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Stage Coach Bill's last ride, or, The bandits of Great Bear Lake

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Title:
Stage Coach Bill's last ride, or, The bandits of Great Bear Lake
Series Title:
American Indian weekly.
Physical Description:
1 online resource (30 p.) 29 cm. : ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Dair, Spencer
Publisher:
s.n.
Place of Publication:
Cleveland A. Westbrook, c1911
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Outlaws -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Dime novels   ( lcsh )
Western stories   ( lcsh )
History -- Fiction -- Canada -- 1867-1914   ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
usfldc doi - D14-00512
usfldc handle - d14.512
System ID:
SFS0000001:00013


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EVERY tfBOY SHOULD READ"}THIS .-. ....... \ ,. -

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... '" I ..,. . 1:'" '. ,,\ I JO .' ',-1 .' .. -.: -.' I') ... .. .... } ...;. , .:' ('. ... I: .; . ,. "; lI;. I . ", .'. ,-4

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BY COJ.ONEL SPENCERDAIR VOl. I THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK COMPANY, CLEVELAND, OHIO, U. S. ,A. Published Weekly. By Subscription, $2.50 per $1.25 for 6 months. II NO. 18 Copyright, 1911, by The Arthur Westbrook Company. Stage CQach Bill's' Last Ride or The Bandits of Great Bear Lake By COL. SPENCER DAIR 'PRH\CIP AL CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY. Sl'AGE COACH BILL BECKER-Almost the iast of his class, is this doughty man. How he, was pursued by a band of outlaws, who were the dread of ,Mackenzie territory, British North America, and who had sworn to extermin ate the brave driver, reads ,like a romance plucked from the olden days of early frontier life in the great West. Stage Coach Bill's fight at odds against the bandits, and his winning of a vast fortune, and his life shows what can be done in the far silent North-West, where men meet no\v on a common ground of bravery rather than upon a pavement of gold. MINNIE BECKER-->The fair, brave, bright daughter of Stage Coach Bill. When it came to dealing in the occult, Minnie knew a thing or two. Her story is tinged with the supernatural arrival of her father, Stage Coach Bill, just in time to frustrate the onslaught of a band of out laws who were thirsting for her bloo.,!. PAUL CASSEL-The guard to the golden treasure which ex-, the cupidity of an outlaw band. His bravery, like that of Stage Coach Bill brought the treasure safe home to Fort Rupert on the Coppermine coach in spite of dangers that would appall any man, had he known in advance that he must face them. POLACCA DELGADA-The leader of a dreaded outlaw band who s courged the No,rth-West for years, and who was daring, brave, self-contained, treacherous, wily and murderQus. His leadership finally ended in his sentence of death at the hands of Judge Lynch. Then he showed the craven heart of outlaw and gun-fighter, standing 'on the scaffold with a rope around his I?eck and the light of the mysterious future beyond the grave dancing before his white face. JOE KAMus-An Indian, mysterious, stoical, self-contained. A bandit and an outlaw by choice, he died silently, un complainingly, like an Indian should, looking forward with no fear, and backward with no regret, even if his life had been a terror of evil deeds. KINISTINo-A N unatalmute tribe Indian and a bandit-out law, who had" followed orders)' of the chief of his gang,) Polacca Delgada, until the grave of sudden death closed over him. KARL THUJU,A w-The young, stalwart, fighting Postmaster at Fort Rupert, British North America, near Great Bear Lake. He repre sents the best type of the new style Postmaster in charge of Hudson's Bay Company prop erty. His winning of something that he was sure was worth a million of dollars-and was at that-is worth discovering. FLAT-FOOT HANK MILNER-Keeper of the stage coach station at Milner Cut, on the line of the Fort Rupert and Fort Coppermine Stage Company, in Mackenzie territory, British North America. "Not afraid to hitch up un tamed bronchos to any stage-coach in the world." "MEXICAN BILL" LANE-I< Judge Lynch" whose verdict ended the lives of three truculent bandits. B UCK COOPER-This stalwart man saw that the sentence of "Judge Lynch" was carried out on Polacca Delgada's outlaw band, after a posse from Fort Rupert, had ar-rested the treacherous outlaws.

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" tHE' AMERIc A N \t\tEEKL Y CHAPTER I. en d o f the stag e r oad, abo u t Cor<::matiohn G ulf neaGr the Arc ti c Ocean. It's fur-trapper time t ere now. OOQ pickings in furs f or. the outla",:"s that-a-way; but you THE RAID O F THE n \ N DIT S. w ait till the
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THE AMERICAN H\DIA:t\ WEEKLY 3 anyway, we have got to get on toward Fort Rupert. Now, Hank, think hard! What can be done? \ "There' s one thing-hold on, you fellers! Any passengers in the coach, 'this trip?" Not one.' l Bill and Paul Cassel cried these two words m u n i so n. Now, you wait," replied Hank. "Mayh'ap I can do som e thing. I have just got an idea. While I'm thinking it over, Bill, you switch the coach back there one side of the station-house, and I 'll have them critters put out and fed. Why' can' t t hey carry you on a bit? I t's o nly twenty-five miles to the next station where you'd change hosses again. Bill did not reply. He pointed to his four steaming, weary horses, who stood in the early morning sun with heads down, the pictures of equine ,collapse. Hank saw the point. The four bronchos were done up: They could go n o further. 'VIl ell, went on Hank, I will see what I kin do." hurried away. B ill slowly climbed d own from his seat, after he turned the coach near to the adobe one story building that made the stationhouse master's home, a n d where the pa ssengers over the stage-line usually breakfasted. Hostlers unhitched the weary horses and led them away t o rest and feed. \ Paul and Bill then m ounted quiet guard along the s ide of the coach. The s teel treasure b o x was s till in its safe-like re ceptacle ju s t back of the driv er' s s eat of the co a ch, a n d n e ith e r men, knowing the des p e rate chances that the o utl aw Polacca Delgada, would take to loot the coach of it s bullion, dared to get far away from if. L oo k s to me a s if we were up against it, this trip," r emark e d Paul to Stage Coach Bill as soon as Hank Milner s tarted away. S ee m s so. But the Delgada g ang have been after m e -a l o n g w hile, beau, and th' ey ain t got me yet." Who runs the gang of desperadoes?" "Pol acc a Delgada" a s h e calls himself It's a Spanish n ame jsn t it?" "Or Italian. W ell it' s probably n o t the outlaw s name, at that . H e don't look like either a Spaniard or an Italian." He don't?" Not a bit." Pro b a bly he took his name t o shield his real one." Y a-s-s! Ain t any f ellcws out here known by their real names amcng the outlaw gentry Too many jails awaitin' for them somewhere in the civilized line. My dau g hter say s, she fhinks P o l is a murder,er escaped fro m some priscn jus t before he was executed, an' then h e com es 9ut h e r e t o make it unpleasant for h e r o l d d a d ." If h e i s a murderer at all and he escaped from a cell he certainl y have esca p e d before he was execu ted, n o t after? " That's so me stire thing." Well, w hy didn't h e hold us u p before we got here?" "I hav e a n idea about that. "What is it?" I d o n t think he has many o f his gang along with him. In f a ct I suspect that P c l i s ju s t back here wit h his deyil side-partne r and that they c ame bac k when they hea r d abou t Fort Coppermine t hat the bullicn was se n t o n from t here to Fort Rupert." .. Ho! Ho! Then yon think they hav e been following t his coac h ever s in ce it l eft Fort C qpperm ine?" .. Eve r y d arned foot of th e six hund red odd miles. ,. v"h e w \A/h y didrl't they rob i t further ba c k o n the roa d ? .. Oh, I d o n't know. G uess P o l d idn't t o Every othe r s tati o n t hey p u t two or three g u a rd s on th e coa c h but this h ere one, they have you only W h y ? "Lor d cnly knows, Li ke the charge at Bal a kl a ya, so m e o n e blundered.'''. Y o u mean that some Q f the uppe r-works of the st age-line fail e d to see that two. e xtra g uard s came h e r e with the coach to help me cut? "That' s what! When we changed h osses, an ,we took the coach twentv-fi v e miles b a ck a t Sh ootin' jimmy's statio n did you s ee any extra g u a r ds l o afin about? " I saw the u s ual chap F r e d Harley, an d two extra m e n I didn't know w ith him and that was a l l." Did they s a y wh y the extra m e n w er e alo ng?" "No ." Ju s t l e t y o u gjt on t h e cca c h back /0' m e and s t a rt? " Ye s." "Bright lot of g uar ds, thi s line has v V hy, they o u g ht t o have t o ld you th e re was extra treasure o n thi s t r ip. " If they had I mi g ht h ave in s i sted o n t h e ext:-a men coming o n with me w hic h woul d have made twent v-fiye o r fift v m iles of e xtra wor k and not a cent of extra pay. bec a use t h e line isn't not<;d for pay ing w h e n it can a vo id it." H av in g not o rd er e d t he extra men to come o n with you n o o n e would pay the m, higher up?" Pre c i sely." "The n this co a c h has only one guar d and a bigger l o t o f bulli o n in its treasure box than i t has had before in m a n y a trip." "That's about it." "Fine l o t of c h a nce we got to get through w i t h o u t being h eld u p," Bet your li fe. But we are going through just the same ." I don't see a n y other way out cf i t " Nor 1." The two 'men p o nd e red deeply. St age Coach B ill was a c haracter, in the' ter r itor v Nearly s ixty y e a r s o f age h e had drive n his coach, the o ld, o ld, ccach that mad e the great America n w est it s ot;Jl y mcde of l o comoti o n f o r so man y y e a rs, over and b ack cn, his s har e of t h e s tage road; summer or winter a lways doing his d u ty wel l. "T was a lmost b orn u p 011 the driyer' s seat of one o f t h ose coaches," Bill was won t to. say. "I d r uv all mv life on that box and I h o p e t o die on it." The coach which B ill so loved was a hiO'h old-fashionecl a ff air at b est. t'I I t was mO,unt e d on high springs with a b iO' S" at each e n cl. The hi gh s t eps gave ingress door i n t h e cen ter cf the coach, T h e r e was a smelly leather back sea t. a cent e r s e at and a f o rward one. so tha t s i x p e r so n s cot{ l d r ide inside. On the -roof the 'driver's seat, wit-h a g reat f ootb r ake that J u tted up from the forward par t of the

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4 THE AMERICAN TNDIAN WEEKLY. coach. but was so powerful when in action that it could lock the back part of the coach wheels fast by one powerful shove of the driver's foot. Bak of the driver's seat was that ot the guard of the treasme usually carried by the coach, and, by the side 'of each was room or two passengers, m case they wished to ride outside. Four mettlesome bronchos, about half tamed, made up tfie drawing that whirled the coach along, and they always went at top speed. 'Some of the stages before horses were changed was only ten miles long owing to the rugged. country; other stao'es were fifteen and twenty-fi ve mIles made ,up the journey f o r one of the sets of four horses. It had to be a good road for them to last }hat far' and s uch roads were few and far between. It was a mar v ellous journey the coach ook from Rupert, on Great. Bear Lake,. to Fort Coppermine o n the Coppennme RIver, In the wonderful North-West of British America .. I can drive anything that can ,l;itch to that coach Hank :Milner," shouted BIll. If. you can four panthers to that coach, I II dnve them. And if you hitch thos e untamed to. the coach I'll drive them, if they run away WIth me mto ." the infernal regIOns.. By Gosh! Bill, YOll are gomg to have the chance to trv. Hi! you stable-men bririg out those four bronchos. have to bIindfold and rope them. before you get them, get then;; They are g01l1g to take thIS coach out, In one hour. . " If Bill Becker can drIve four like cried Hank aside to Paul, "he can any ammal a live But they will run away and kIll Stage Coach Bill the first five hundred.Yards."'. {( I'll dri'l.'e if they d"i ve me strmght to death, roared Stage Coach' Bill. {( Hitch them uP! n CHAPTER II. TH, E OU'l'LA ws' PLA,N. Through forest, skirting spler:did over snow-topped mountains, along a mIghty nver, thrC?ugh bottom-land and up-land amid wild beasts and white men Indians and half-breeds, the c;.,oach ran, day after day, year; in the summer on in the winter, on sleds, dr ,awn by dogs; a splendId epItome of endeavor to lteep open communication between points under control of the great Bay CQm"Well what is Polacca Delgada going to do pany, the organization that; has systematIzed the fur next? business of the world, for 111 the North-'West can be The soft voice of Joe Kamus, a Saulteaux Indian, found the finest of the furs that decorate beauty in whispered these words to the famous outlaw who bore civil ized lands the first name. \ Bill was the first to break the silence. The two men were talking together in the depths of He pulled off his wide-brimmed white fel.t hat and the magnificent forest, not a mile fr-?m Stage wiped his brow with a bandanna handkerchIef of gay Coach B ill had challenged fate by hIS danng pledge colors.' to drive four untamed branchos over the last stage Well," he ejaculated. "It's up to .us. We go t;> of his journey with his precious freight into Fort put her through by daylight on thIS shIft, or we don t Rupert. 'get h e r through at alL" ,'. Polacca elagada, is going to sit, still and rest," Guess, you're right. Look to your automatIc Army came the laughing reply to the question frotp the gun there. You need a high powered gun, and one owner of this dreaded name. that can spit a slew of steel-bullets when the outlaws A big man, with a dark, hard face. Thu"g looked out cOJUe to get that treasure.". of his eyes. His every J;I1ovement was that of the born Right you are! But my SIde-guns are all nght. desperado. This rifle is ready to do biz also." This described the terror of the N orth-West, Polacca hen here's this sawed-off double barrelled shot Delgada O'un. There's a pint of slugs in each barreL" His compa.nion, Joe Kamps, was an Indian, but one h We 'can at least' give a good account of ourselves, who had associated with white men, until he dressed, eh? acted and spoke like them. Bill nodded. His cruelty was abnormal. A hail from Hank Milner at this point interrupted His treachery to friend and foe was noted even the conversation. among the bad men of the territory, but his undoubted "Hey," he yelled. "I can fix ye out so 'you can to urage, and his clare devil taking of chances had en git on if you have the good old sand to get forward deared him' to Pol Delgada the outlaw chief so that with." no one of the tnen that Jllade up tEe Delgada band That's the talk," yelled Bill in reply. "Come over was so trusted as Kamus. and tell us your plan." Kamus tied the two fine horses, the two outlaws Hank slouched forward. owned, to a nearby tree. "Boys," he remarked, as if his astonishing state' Better let 'em trail, eh?" suggested Pol. "There's ment was the simplest thing in the world. "I've got good grazing about here and they might get a bite. four bronchos, that never had a bridle or rein on .'em They may have to go far to-day without much to eat." left out of all ol,lr twenty head of hosses. These belong Kamus shook his head. to me, not to the l}ne." "No'," he remarked, "we are, too near the station "Untamed branchos? Why we can't use them on to have our horses where we can't get to them quick. this coach," laughed Paul. We may need them any second." Bill stepped forward His face hard and set 'with "Guess you're, right. Has the coach got to the sta-grim resolution. tion yet?

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" Yes." for it, now that JOu have learned there is only to be How do you one gucttcl on the coach." "When you sent me fo see what the coach. was {. Oh one o'uard not make trouble." I llear-ly on top of it, without Stage Coach {{ This Paul Cassel, is a !pan with a fighting Bl11.s knowmg anythi,ng at>out what I w;:ts doing." reputation." That's' funny. Stage Coach Bill is a good deal of "He is?" a .woodsn;an, I (1on't See how you got so near .{ You bet he is This fellow is pretty well known wIthout l11s it." as a o-un-man all about Fort Rupert, an' d if I were in ::. was busy talking with His guard." your place, 1'd think car,efully ov;er an' open hold up." HIS guard? You mean his o-uqrds." Both bandits were setlOuS m a m 'oment.' '" :No. There"s only one guar4 left." "The quickest way is to out of. the bushes Delgada smiled with a fearful griJ;!. with a mask over one's face, nddle the dnver and the "Good business," he cried. {{ Say, OUl; luck is turna'uard and then shoot down a horse and you stop the lUg. All the way along from Fort Coppermine th<;:re no to dispute your right to the cash." : has ,been Fhree guards on top. I didn't dare, with just "That's the game nine times out of, ten, but man, m us two to hold up the coach, in the face of three this case X don't thin}< we could make it win." guards. We might have got one of the men, or two, .Why not'? but the third guard, would, have got one of ,us. We "B cause first there'S Paul as guard." ain't so strong that we can afford to 10 e any of our' {{ :Sang! Dead Pat1l Cassel. There g0es one shot! men ju,St now." '" Perhaps." We ought t o hiwe had more of' ot;r men with us.... Well there is Stage Coach Bill left! Bang! There's' "That's right. But I didn't know there was going two plei1ty shots left for a horse," to be big bullion shipment m
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THE INDIAN WEEKLY. 011. w e will see he takes his last ri d e before long, J o e. dc' n t you worry but that we wil1." DelO'ada led the wa y to a rock. about twenty feet ir o m he and his fellow bandit stood. .. A nd thi s chap, Paul Cas.el? " .. \ Ve will send him along a s chief mourner for Btll. A Bow ab o ut his daughter?" / Delgada stooped H e pressed a porbon of the rock. .. \ V h o s e daughter? .. Stage. Coach' Bill' s O h I'd forg otten all about her 'iVh ere i$ she?" Living o ver in Fort Rupert. They have a shack there, B ill and the girl." Sh e kee p s house for him?" Yep." Likely girl? " P eache y." Tall? ., About fiye fee t five and a half ." Vi/ei ght?" "011, o n e hunored and thirt y -:o r so-maybe nJore. " E y e s ?" "Brown Hair brown, too. Fine complexion. Neat figu reo N ice gir1." Loves her dad, Stage Coach Bill." You bet." \\1 e ll we ",ill s ee about her later. First let us get r i d of h e r Stage Coach Bill. " ..\ .11 rig ht. Have you any way of doing this?" .' I think I will get Bill this trip." "You do?" Yes. " Hovv.? D e l gada thought some .time before answering. He hat1 implic it confidence in Kamus, but naturally was ca u t OllS as to revealing his plans in advance of their experiment. But Delgada finally made up his mind that it would do n o harm t o tell his c o mpanion some if not all of the news. D o you 'see that space there," he said. He p ointe d t o a turn in the road directl y in the view ? f b oth ( men who, were percbed on a high rock above It es, I see the road," "replied Kamus. "I t'5 pretty plai\1 All yo u have to do is to wait here 'awhile and the Stag 'e C oach Bill equipage will sweep by at top speed. If you s a y so I'll take a s hot at Bill, right from h e r e." O h I'v e got that game beat to death." Y o u have? How?" Right in that vacant. bit of road you see-see it?" I am n o t blind." I have buried two hundred pounds of dynamite right there in that road." Eh? "That's right. Two hundred pounds of dynamite will an explosion that ought to crack the sky. "Yo u bet." \ Vhen that dynamite blows up, it's good-bye, stage coa c h ta ta Stage Coach BilI, and farewell Paul' Cas-s el. n o w. isn t it?" r. N o ques ti o n of that. boy. Not the slightest in the w o rI d. /That two hundred pounds of dynamite will bl o w this c oach we are waiting for up to the sky-line. But. P o l where and how are ye going to shoot off, the stuff? Delgada laughed in sheer wickedness. Come here," he whispered to Kamus Kamtls obeyed drawing nearer to the outlaw leader. Out flew a springlike door .. \ Kamus saw in the niche behmd the tmy concealed door the top of an electric button. " I have only to p ress this b utton, Delgada hissed, {( a n d Stage Coach Bill, Paul Casse l a.nd the .stage wi th the treasure 01'1 board will b e shtvered atoms. B(lt the half million dollars in gold, w!11 that be blown up?" asked Kamu s .. "Confined in its great steel It probably n o t be injured by the explosion w:h1ch wtll Stage Coa c h Bill and Cassel. But even tf the gold to atoms, we will have the pleasure of gettmg Bill and Cassel. Any way, the plan is a good one, and I think it will succeed." {( S o do I. .When are you g oing to try it. " Li sten, hissed Delgada, the outlaw .chlef hear the rattle of the coach? Stage Coach Bill and Paul Cassel are on the coach. Get ready to help me fire the dynamite mine. Stage Coach Bill is taking h i s last ride." Th e band i ts, now, could plai n l y hear the o f the on-coming coach w h ich they saw was r u shfng toward them at frightful speed drawn by fou r unta me d unbrok et!, ery bronchos. who came at lightning speed dowlI the road with the s wa'j'ing coach d ragging b e h in d them. {( There goes Stage Coach Bill, yelled the bandit chief. "We'll snuff his li f e o u t at'last Fire the mine! CHAPTER III. TAKI NG L ONG CHANCES. Hey, Bill! D o n t get craz y Hank accosted Stage Coach Bill when he heard the indomitabJte driver of the coach roar o ut his words of defiance. Bill repeated what he had said when Milner had told him that there were four untamed bronchos-the outlaws had not stolen. I'll drive them if they drive me straight to death." The firm voice of Bill echoed over the scene. "Why, Bill," insisted Milner. "Don't be such a locoed fool. Them bronchos never had a rein over them." I don't care," replied Bill never had a harness put across their backs." I -don't care." But Bill! I say, don t be foolish. Listen." Listen to what?" "They never were hitched to a coach, or even to a baby carriage in all their lives. That's why the out laws didn't steal them . They were no good to them. They are a .lot of colts, strong as hosses but man, why If they dldn t ki!:k the coach into matches a they would snake the old girl off her run mng gear 111 the first hundred yards. Drive 'em? Non !'ense Bill. ..!f'here isn't the man alive that can drive them hosses." Bill roared out a lusty oath

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THE INDIAN WEEKLY. B y thunder," he yelled.' if you are afraid to try I anel hitch those bronchos up, why Milner, say so. I'll h it c h them up myself if you are such a coward." Hey?" jumped up three feet in the high he wore. I Coward! He shrieked the words at Stage Coach Bill while his f ace was crimson with wrath. Coward?" Milner yelled in q,. howl of rage again. Bill. if you and me hadn't been friends for years I'd put a bullet hole in ye, so help me General Jackson" The memory of General JaGkson, itr some reason or' other wa s dear to Milner. He wasn t born until after t h e death of the d 'oughty old hero but Milner never u s ed Jackson's name in any of his .quarrels until s h o oting-time" had come. It had arrived, but the long friendship between Mil ner and Bin made the shooting part end in a war of w ords only. _\fter Milner thoroughtly "C\lssed-out" Bill, that worthy laughmg at Milner's wrath :Milner took the pos ition by its horns and gave an ordel l that caused a ll the s table-hands to look at him in surprise. Hitch up them fonr bronchos to the stage-coach," h o wled Milner. ' The men buckled to the job with a will. Soon the corral became the scene of a small iJors e hunt. There was a great 'whirring 'of ropes. A terrible plunging of kicking 'and squealing horses, madly plunging hither and thither to escape dexteriously swung lassos. But s o on. in spite of the str.uggles of the angry, kicking, biting horses, perfectly wild., and from, rage and f ear now thoroughly fray tic .. the stable-hands soon hac! each hor s e roped and tied a trembling mass of h o r s e-fle s h ready with the slightest loosening-ofbonds t o b e gin the wild s\,:ramble for liberty over again. "Blind-fold the beasts. You can't never lead 'em to the coach," cried Milncer who in, his anger at 'being -told he was too cowa.rd.ly to hitch the horses tq the coach. '(vould have now Hitched a wild-cat to the vehi cle. i You can't get those horses near the coach unless you bliQd-fold 'ern." U nder the effect of the sudden darkness ,that seemed to e nvelop each animal. ,they were finally harnessed and hitched to the coach. As i f the trembling, panic-stricken beasts were staid h o r s es warranted to drive along without stumbling o n any thoroughfare, Stage Coach Bill stood calmly by the front wheel '6Vhis coach, ready to moun'l: to the driver's s eat, while all the sta15Ie-hand s watched him with curious eyes. This is the ena.o' stable-h and 'said in a l o w t01 to a compani<\ln. won't 'be able to drive, -them critters a mile before they will bolt rand will whirl that coach dowq the rocks into some canyon. I t's all o ver then for Stag-e Coach Bill." But p e rfectly calm, Bill finished buttoning up' his g loves. H e then began to arrang-e tne hnes that he was to u s e in his attempt at driving the bronchos. ," Paul Cassel who had been watching Bill ever since he had roared out his challenge, tried tQ dissuade the driver from his crazy fQIly. ,.. ;1 T H er e's not one chance' in a hundred of :yourdriv,J ing that team," cried Paul. "Why. don' t y.ou give up? What's the use of killing yourself?" .. Are you liv-in II:1Y life?" asked Bill. : :\0." , ., Then ",,'hat is it to you I end it or not? "1\ot anything .. Having made' this remark Paul shouldered his d o uble-barrelled shot gun with its sawed off bull-dog a p pearal)Ce and climbed to the top of the coach and took his seat as usual, as if BiB instead of having tq driye four dangerous untamed horses, was about t o start along the rude road with four rabbits at his propelling power. ..' Paul knew that the road ahead was one that needed s teady horses and a steady brain. But he did, not quail. "If the bronchos bolt down into that canyon we haye to skirt about a mile ahead, ies good c bye fO, r lIS That canyOll j s a sheer descent, for anyone falling o yer it s brink, of at least a thousand feet." Paul thought of the and in spite of himself r shuddere d. _' It wa s unpleasant to think of crashing down that dre a dful depth to be dashed to a painful, bloody death in the b otto m o f the rocky ravine. nut Paul knew there was no use of findin g fault. B ill was on his metal. He w ould have driven o ver i11to ten, cany ons now, no matter, what his fate was. Bill having' looked over the harnesses o n each horse now looked up at Paul.' Better climb down Bill counseled. "Going to be s o m e drive this." Paul shook his head. Probal?ly if you stay you'll get killed." added Bill. P a ul shrt}gged his shoulders. Guess you're bound to stay set?" a s ked Bill in grim admiration. ' Paul bowed. Stager Coach Bill with a nonchalant m anner at length climbed 'up to his seat on the coach. He flung his long whip with its, great" popper" at the end, which when with skill made an explos ion a small cannon o'ut until he was, sure that it was free an\:! in working order. Straighten out the team," cried Bill. in his vernacular anything being a "team" when it was hitched up to a vehicle, if it was one horse or twenty. With infinite pains, and amid much bucking, jump:>. ing, and of maddened horses the sta-. ble-men got the bronchos in some sort of o rder. "Take off their blindfolds/' now yelled Bill. H Let go all! : I, The bli11'dfolds were off in a trice at the command. For a breath: the dazed with the sudden ch:1nge "rom dark1}ess to daylight' stobd trembling. Th n on their frightened ears, there came the wild y ell o f sOllle fiend on the box of the dreadful stagecoach. which t\1ey had seen their tamed brothers so o ften draw to the station. P o p! Pop! whip s o unded thus. H e gave another terrible yell. The l ong whip lash came down on the tender backs o f the bronc, hos. , It seemed to s trike each untamed horse at o nce : POD! 'Pqp' 'Whoop

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... THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. Cracking of whip and yells ftom Bill mingled with the' blows he rained on the backs of his frightened four beasts. His muscular arms sawed at the bits now, for tne first time inserted in tender equine mouths. The horses r eared, plunged, ki<;ked. Pop! Pop! Who.op! This was enough. ,\Vith one wond
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THE AMERICAN INmAN WEEKLY. Thing s usually did. not frighten the Indian. He d i a n carved, up little bit. He will get w ell," replied w a s known for his deeds of blood all over the territory, Kini s tino. apd it w ould not have been supposed possible to frigh"Hear anything about the treasure?" keenly t en him, D e lgada. The re did not seem any reason either, for tpe "On Stage Coach Bill coach, he sure th e re. Every fear, one say s o 'bout Fort C oppermine." He faced a l ow log-cabin w i t h a few narrow win'f T h at's good 6Iad to h ear that," cried Delgada dows i n i t, a d.oor" 'and the en t ir e affair 'chinked in Now h o w did yo u learn that?'" a s ked .Kamus a n d c overed with the usual adobe pl aste r mad e by "Found out a t f o rt. W ent tlJ,ere beggmg. No one m ixing a l ka li dust into a sort o f pa s t e g e t w i s e Thi s rude hut was the home of Sta g e C oach Bill, "Good boy, Kini s tin o sh oute d "Now you and his only daughter, pretty Minnie,. w h os e last name todd l e o n. We have got to g e t this coac h now that was Becker, n o t Minnie Stage Coac h B ill as many it' s coming our w ay." , o f her friends liked to call h e r T h e two bandits th e n d i sc usse d a few minor plans, B e ca use her f r i e nds k new he r fat h er bette r b y hi s just before the drea ded o rder to fire t h e mine, issued uni versal name o f Stage Coach Bill t h a n b y the one by t h e outlaw. i tha t re ally t o him; Becker., K ini stino stopp, ed long e nough 'how ever t o get a H o w this happen?" pos i tiv e Qrder. Kinistino, the I n d i a n softl y muttered He w a s star' W here I go?" he yelled. ing f o r w ard a t a s hadow that was out lined upon the to F ort Rup ert. Y o u find home of Stag e Coach narrow w indow glass o f Bill's home B i ll. Find if g i rl Minn ie, J?ill 's daughter is there. Behind the hut was the g reat fort -like stockade Then you come back a n d repo r t here to me, l' surroundin g t h e mass of Hudso n's Bay Com pany Kinistino accordi ngly hur ried away. b uil d in gs, called Fort Rupert, 7 When he heard the r oar of the coach o n which Bill A r o und the .fort w a s the t in y hamlet, w h e r e the p e o and Pau l Cassel were riding behind untamed bronch os, p i e a ssoc i a ted i n b u s iqess with the great furt r a din g t o what he felt sure was a terrible death he hid i n company livc d ; a v illage of a few th o u sand soul s. the bus h es. Stage Coacli Bill's home was on the ou.tski r s ohhls I wait to hear toar. Wow! Bang! Stag e Coach Bill ti n y vill age, he dead. "vVow!" Fresh a i r, qu i e t anq. no rent i s ftb ou t alt' any The evillooking I ndia n peered aroup d the corner of needs in this ",rorl el," B ill tlsed t o say w h e n tqJd h e a rock until he saw Stag e Coach Bill come down the o u ght to own a more village home. Tliis road. a veritabl e .fur y of haste,' w i t h his madden e d p l ace was g ood e n o ugh for my daughter Minnie's br o n c ho s a lmost leaping out of their harne s ses. moth e r to li v e and die i n It wa good e n b u g h f or The ,momen t the roar of the explodingdynamite M inni e t o be born i n ; all.' i t s e ems to me it' s g oo d smote h i s e a rs, Kini st ino star. ted throug h the wood s enough f o r me to li v e i n a t his half l ope, half walk, which the In dian adopts No inducemen t would ever m a ke h i m .move fmp! engaged i n any sly, spy ing mov, em e nt and so o n hi s humble hut. was l os t t o v iew. M i nnie Becker k new, S tage Coach B ill knew1 and I see S tage Bil l h<: to hims e lf, almost every decent man o r woma n In t h e terrItory "Stage .Coach Brll he t ake hiS last n der-woof, u p kne w tha t for some, th!! isol at i o n of H i e spo ,t ha,c;l gp S t age Coac h Bill-maybe he g o ,down-any way h e made it a dan ge r o u s one. ' d e ad.'" The sil e nt e nmity the 1 \ ,lacc" D e l gada gang of Th e se circ umstances were reall'y 'l-t the bot t o m of Q utl a ws, had for a long. time been d ir ec t e d at Stage the terror of the Indian I Coach B i ll. For while he knew that o n ly a short ho u r b e fore he had H e h a d thwarte d some of their deares t plans. seen S tage Coach Bill t en 't o fifteen m iles away by road, They had tried t o murde r him bu t for some r easo n and about th1'ough the forest; as h e had come, o r othe r Bill had managed to circnn1Vent their w il es yet here was Stage Coach Bill l ooking out of his home In sp it e of aU a ttempts to kill him. he h a d "won w i ndow) cal m ly e ngaged in smoking h is pipe. out" in the game and )'Vas a l i ve; and t h i s hurt the It w a s this appa rent fact tha t h a d so frightened prestige o f t h e ou tlaws, a fact they well knew. Kinistino W h e n Po l D e lgada, the lead e r of the outlaws. had ''. A ghost/ 'the savage muttered I see Bill miles, decidec;l t o kill Stage 'Coa oh Bill if c ould b y firin g and miles away-woof, I hear big m in e blow up . I u noer him a c h a rge of wh ich ought to have I run here through woods. Here i s B ill s moking biO' b lown h i m int o th' e next worl d 1in a breath he had been pipe R i s "ghost!" I, I::> asked for instructions by! Kinis ti no, t he Indian w h o Th e Indian whirled about and r a n i n t o t h e forest had beeN. sent t o the bandit b y other members of his a t his b est s p eed and h alf craze d with gan? w h o were about Fort C o p p ermine. f e a r "What a re yo u doing here?" cried Delgada' yvhen He had h a rdl y vanis h e d whe n a girl looked ou t o f he fi1'"t saw the J ndian K;ini s tino and befor e he had th e w i n dow oyer the head of Stage Coac h Bill and ordered t he explod ing of his a s sassin-like m i ne. peered out ii1to the br igh t sunny Sen t bac k from bal;ld. Told to t ell you all well. Th e girl was Minnie B e ck e l' You m i g h t need h e l p so' was sent back The J child of. Stag e Coac h Bill made a pretty "Boys. d oing well ep?" a s k e d Del g ada .1' pict ur e as sne stoodm th e d ooi-w a y. t 'lee: , < On e can 110t. b e year s .<>l d, w ith hig brown ,.. .?". e y es, b.rown hair that wh,en uncOlle 1 feJl t o o ne' s feet, No one l oIJed latel y b y put III ]{amus. 'Inc! W Ith a well moulded f orm' WIt ho ut beinO' more Had b i g whiske y fight o th e r night. One I n o r l ess happy. .' b

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10 THE AMERICAN'INDIAN WEEKLY. So the r e was a merry glint in the e y es of Minnie Becker. \ But they showed extreme anger not a second c:fter, for w oo d s girl as ,she was, she had seen a s!ngle trembling leaf indicate where Kinistino had val11shed into the forest. " "Th e s neaking Indian hound, fuuttered the girl. Her eyes had told her that an Indian had bee spy-I f h h j in g upo n ler at er s orne. Minnie's revolv er was in her hand in an instant, fr o m where its fellow dangled in' a belt about her trim wais t . The r evo l ver was pointed, and aimed and fired in a breathless s econd of intention. Pop! The startling message of keep off" when it is sent toward an Indian in the form of a conical steel bullet lifrom a magazine 45, usually is enough to, make the dullest Indian understand. Kinistino, Indian outlaw, and murderer ; understood at once. B e was too far out of range to fear the bullet, but h e vani shed further into the bushes and after thinkin g a se c o nd started back at his half lope, half run, t o t e ll P o lacca Delgada that he had visited the l tome' o f Stage Co a c h Bill whence the spirit of the stage-. driver h arllfled, after it had been blown from its body, whe n the dynamite mine exploded. L know Sta g e Coach Bill," said the outlaw to hIm self. I ,kn o w him for thirty year. He sat in the home a-smokin' his pipe. All time he dead under b10:w-up coach, miles and miles away." Kinistino hurried to tell the discovery of the ghost of the boC;ly o f Stage Coach Bill to his thug leader, Delgada. For;:t few moments Minnie Becker shading her eyes with her hands watched for the s uccess of her shot. Pesky brutes! s he said. "Hope I hit him. But no sqch luck. He is too'far off." The was right. ,; Her s h o t while it accelerated the speed of Kinistino, did n o t in the slightest degree come any where near him. 0( '. Fearin' g that the girl's revolver might hurry to her aid, a man with a rifle that would carry to him and wQuld put a hole in his 'dusky hide the thug ran hurriedly away into the forest shade It was fortunate that he did so for his own sake, because the shot went in startling sound down the trail-like r oad that led to Fort Rupert and startled the. ears of a tall good looking broad shouldered young maT) about the age, of the girl, who had fired it. : Thunder!" cried this young man whose alert carriage and general air showed him to be of con:. sequence in the world irr which he moved. As a matter of fact he was of great importance in the vicini,ty of Fort Rupert. For Karl Thurlaw was Postmaster at Fort Rupert for the Hudson's Bay Com.pany. This great fur-buyingorganization was practically the only method by which the catches of trapper or hunter, could be turned into money. The company made the price per peltry, or skin: the trapper took the price, be he Indian or white, out murmur. The grading of skins, the' fixing of the prices, aIJ came under the day's wbrk of Tburlaw! Then there was the general business of the pO,st, which was unde r hi s charge; the sale of groceries clothing all tll e $tuff that goes up to make a general store, the only one at Fort Rupert, all was part of the official business <;>f Thurlaw. It was somewhat of a cause for wonderment why this important and busy man should be her.e on .a qui e t trail, two or more from where hIs busInes s w a s situated, in the earl y summer afternoon: But there were many who looked at br ow n-"e yes of Minnie Becker and after they dId, saId tha t they didn't at all. .., . "That shot 'came fPOlll the VICl111ty of Mtnme s h o n s e ," Thurlaw pondered, a!ter .a second's thought. He took his revolver belt 111 hIS .hand to two large shooting irons confined that h<: sWinging at his belt, and then rushed up the traIl .wlth all the a gility that a six feet high irame gave hIm, together with a very fine muscul
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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. -11 Stage C;oach Bill, heavy whiskers, of sandybrown, Iron gray haIl-, and short pipe, could be seen as sat smoking in high pleasure at the wmdow hIS f.air daughter, the young Post master hurned down IlltO the bushes where Kinistino had so recently left thj'!m, as he hurried away from Minnie's shot But there was no I1).dian in sight. The outlaw had disappeared as if he had fallen off the earth. "There is no Indian here," said Karl, "not a sign of anyone. No outlaw white, red, or black seems to have been here." Karl thoroughly threshed the bushes but not a sign could be found of the bandit. "Guess Minnie was dreaming," Karl ejaculated. "Not a sign of an Indian here." Karl then retraced his steps to where Minnie was still standing, he saw, just as had left her a few moments before. "There's no outlaw there, that I could find, Min nie," Karl cried-" but-why, Minnie, where is he--'" Minnie looked disturbed. Where is whom?" she asked. Your father." "My father? Why he is out with the coach. The coach from Fort Coppermine isn't in yet, is it?" Thur1aw's face was white. His eyes popped out of his head until they-seemed to lay on his cheek. Minnie!" Thurlaw cried, (( am I crazy'! I saw your father sitt-illg there not five minutes ago; there in the window of your home, behind you. Did I see the ghost of Stage Coach Bill?" f, CHAPTER V. STAGE COACH BILLJS DRIVE. While Minnie Becker, and the young Postmaster, Karl ThurIaw, were looking at each other in amaze, while Thurlaw tried to understand how he could see right behind the gitl the face of her father, whom he realized was miles away from the scene, Stage Coach Bill was battling for his life and that of. Paul Cassel. The roar of the dynamite mine smote the air as if it would tear the heavens asunder. "Blown up by a concealed mine III the center of the road!" howled Paul Cassel. Bill nodded. His face did not 'whiten. Only his firm lips closed over his even, white teeth, in spite of his years. His iron nerves did not gIve way. But his long, lean fingers seemed to sh?ot up, grasp the reins that swayed his !eam, and ':VIth the san;e breath in which the explOSIOn seemed to come, BIll swung hiS' team away from the fiery breath of the mine. f P I In an instant of time, to the utter surprIse 0 au Bill had straightened out the four bronchos, pulled them away from the st;dden terrible spectacle that sent them danCing In the aIr, and charged them directly up the side oi the forest clad mountain that lay at their left and would appear to be an impos sible barrier to surmount. By one of those freaks of good fortune that sometimes hover over those caught in from accident the mine had been exploded Just a second too soon. The pressure of the electric button, upon the order of the outlaw,' Polacca Delgada, had touched off the mine, under the nimble fingers of Joe Kamus, when the leading broncho was not ten feet away from the mine. Delgada supposed that the leader was over the mine, it looking to be so from where he stood Hence he had roared the order" Fire the mine." But the few feet that separated the horse, together with the nimble wits of Bill always strained and ready to answer to any sudden call, owing to his dangerous profession of a stage driver in the far North-West, saved the coach and its living freight from disaster. The time was just enough for Bill to swing his horses up the side of the mountain, where, fortunately, wood-choppers had cleared a few acres of land, and right up this rocky refuge the four bronchoes sped, dragging the coach behind them. How the coach managed to hang together was a cause for wonder. But the bronc;hos, already weary from their long fast rUI1, fr0111 Milner Cut to where the mine had exploded, could only drag the coach for a few hundred feet. The wheels of the vehicle locked between two hig stumps. The bronchos made one or two plunges. They gave up, driven into tameness. Bill had kept his word. In the face of what looked like certain death he driven four untamed bronchos ahead of his whirling coach. A record that stands to this day in the mysterious NorthvV est where there are many brave stage coach drivers; but no one has ever equalled Stage Coach Bill s great drive. The coach had not stopped, hardly, when the tal! form of Paul Cassel vaulted from the roof. His sawed-off doubie-bllrrelled shot gun was swung to his shoulder. Its bellowing note did not drown the of the cargo of deadly bullets and slugs that filled each barrel of the shot gun. The searched the bushes about the coach like the steady whirr of, a Maxim gun. With equal noise the shot-gun unloaded its 'seoond barrel in the rank vegetation that lay directly in front of Paul. Bang! Bang! Then Paul's revolvers began to spit fire and fury. The bullets sangin the trees, and as soon as he had emptied the chambers, Paul replenished them. The smoke and' the fury of the shots at any other time would have driven the bronchos mad with fear. Illstead they mildly turned their dripping heads, which hung 10\" to the ground and looked at Paul in amaze. The fight was all out of the untamed bronchos. They ,were tame enough now. ;' As soon as Paul felt that he had pretty well threshed thtough the forest and had frightened away anv at-

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, 12 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. tacking party that had fired the mine, he returned to the coach. Stage Coach Bill was calmly rubbing down dripping bronchQs. He was whistling to himself 111 tnle hostler style as hc did so. '1./ e11, here we are, Paul," Bill remarked. To, drive' untamed bronchos, a long a terrifyjng steep,. mountain road, face a dy! amite m ine sprung by two outlaws, in no way seemed to have affected the nerves of the wonderful man. Paul looked his surprise. ., I suppose the coach is broken. all to bits about its runnin g gear?" he answered. I gue'ss not," drawled Bill. "It looks all right to me. I cala't see as there is anythjng sprun g or broken. Gl)eSS we caI1 htrn her rotind and git her down that cliff some how." \ looked back toward the road, ,I Thundet! 'I h e crie d.' The coach llad run up what looked to Paul tb b e the almost s traight s i de of a rocky mounta in. "Gosh I" s houted Paul "Bill, how did we get up here? \Ve could ride up the side of a house after this. Say, Bill. this is g r eat stage-coaching." Bill grinned. It was gain' some," he admitted, "I didn't. think we hac;:l much c hance of gettin' through when that mine sprung o ut there in the road." "I thought v,\e were goners sure." '" YOlt see terr'ble fall down that canyon to the right and' it isn't ,good going up these hills, this side 0' the stage -road."" Whew! I s h ould say not. It's thousands of feet to fPaul. t( Guess they won't Har e to attack 'us just now. Now, you' tell me what you are going to do "J'de? 'Oh, I'm g0l11g to SIt down. . StaO'e Coach Bill then took a restful on a 0 nearby stump., ?'-Jaw," be went on, I'm gomg to tell you what I will do." "What? "Dri ve back over the road we came to where the mine exp l oded and then try to git by. I want to hustle up and git to Fort Rupert tonight. My girl Minnie may De anxious." Pau l smiled.
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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. "Once they fired at me' out of the woods." What saved you? "Of I didn't expect ,no bandit was goin' to t ry to qssassmate me, so I wasn't lookin' out this t ime for any shot f r oro the !Qres, t at me. I happened ,to see on e of my b uck le-strIngs to the nigh leader's reins was l oose. I leaned over to get a better squint a t it That was just the moment the outlaw--who. was takin' aim a t me fired." He missed." If he hadn't I wouldn't be here." Well, you escaped by a move to see what the accident to a part of your harness mio'ht mean to h 0 your orses. "Sure. Then about the way 't's aone ever since They try to kill me. Some how or other some l ittle thing gets p1e off. I suppose it's lude" "Or Providence:" "Or Providence," cried Bill. The two men turned over in their minds the'wonderf u l escape of Stage Coach Bill from the efforts of the outlaws to kill him. My daughter, Minnie, says, that the outlaws never will kill me. She says it is because she needs me so much But I ain't so sure. 'The pot that goes to the well oftenest, is sure' to gif broken some trip.''' ) Paul smi1ed at the new ,way that Bill present-ed the old adage about" the pitcher going too otten' to the well," but only remarked that it was wonderful how Bill's life had beeh mercifully preserved. "We had better be getting along remarked Bill, as he began playing with his reins. "It's quite a piece yet to Fort Rupert." But when Stage Coach Bill turned about he found the eyes of Paul Cassel turned toward a great rocky side of the mountain. It was such a.. great rock. It was twice the size of the stage coac11. It sank deep into the monstrous mountain. "What are you staring at' like a ninny?" growled Bill a t Paul, who seemed fascinated by something he was keenly looking at. Look there," gasped Paul whose lips were tense and white with emotion. Bill followed Paul's indicating finger with his' eyes. There il; the center o t the great a gigantic padlock and chain, directly below it was a gwnt key. Paul darted forward With super-man ,strengt.h he grasped the key arid wrenched it from its fastentng. I The key was mouldy w;,jth age. Pau.l forced the key into the hoary, rusted "The lock has not been opened for many, years, Bill," Paul whispered to Bill. Paul thrust the key into the l o ck. He tried to open the padlock. It wouta not move. Bill rushed forward to help. U nder the stre1'z,gth at the two 'men,. the key grated the lock and the padlock sprung wtth a L ook! Oh, look Bill!" whispered Paul 111 a of a we and wonder. CHAP TER VI. THE MYSTERV DEEPENS. Karl Thurlavv could npt conceal his astonishment. He was confident i n his own mind that he ha d s een Stage Coach Bill l ooking througl1 the window over his daughter Minnie's head. Yet here stood Minnie, alone. There was nothing in the background the. adobe cabin made that in any way now suggested BIll, her father. ,IThurlaw grin ned sheepishly "I'm all in," he said to the girl viewing him with amazen'Ient depicted on her countenance. /, An in? vVhy, Karl. What makes you look so strange? Karl shook his head. Y ( ; m 'would look strange if yo' u had seen a,ghost." Se n what?" Minnie made one step nearer KarL A ghost," firn;Jly repeated the yOUNg man. Minnie laughed. "Where was the ghost?" she asked. In the window of your home/' firmly replied Karl. I saw your father sitting there." "In the window of my home? Nonsense "Not a bit of it." "That's what I said "Of course :you are not serious? 'I "Never was so much so in my life." "Why, I really think you are." "I am." "Do you wish m e to seriously think that you believe you saw the ghost of my father in our house? "I do." "Where was this ghost?" "It sat in that window right behind you." Minnie giggled. "That's where dad always sits when he is at home," she replied. "I wonder at nothing now, but it would seem to me that' if dad was a ghost that he would have some new scenes to visit, tor awhile anyway, and wouldn't want to come back home and sit in his old seat." ;, Now you are poking fun at me." Not at you, but at the ghost." I You don't take what I saw seriously." "No, because I don't think you saw anything. Do you drink? "If you mean coffee an d water, I must plead' guilty." "Don't you ever touch intoxicants?" "Not much. A man in the North-West is always, better without pooze." I I know you to be a generally truthful man." "Why do you say generally? " Becaus
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14 THE AMERICAN INDIAN \VEEKLY. .. "Vhat are you laughing at?" .. iJecanse what you said makes me know that if dad's ghost did come back it would come smoking a pipe. lJad a live or dead would smoke." .( It's a wise child that'1{110ws 'ts ow. n father! )J Mi.nnie smiled. y .. This child knows its dad all right," cried Minnie., .. Dad, al \\'ays loved 'to smoke." .. Yon don't take much stock in my idea that I saw y o n r clad's spectre?" .1 Not a bit. Dad ain't dead." .. 'vVell you are a bra"i{e g irl anyway. I wouldn't want t o stay in that house a moment after w,hat I have seen. .( Sugap! Why Karl let me tell you one thing. Dad's ghost i s n t here, it hasn't been here and It ain't, coming here." Why, are you so sure?" .. Becau se dad isn't dead. He will be 111 soon on the box of the Fort Coppennine coach. He is que any time between now and midnight. Don't you worry about dad. When the Coppermine coach comes in dad will be driving on the box as usual" You have g reat confidence in your dad." ., You bet I have." .( Bnt it's a well known t.hat the Delgada outlaws have been after Stage Coach Bill for months." It is also a well known fact tl)at the Delgada outlaw band haven't got' dad yet. No, don't you worry." But how do you account for the ghost? II' Whiskey." "I like that." Sorry to hear you confess it." Confess what?" That you like whiskey." "Minnie Becker! I didn't make any such ful confession." Oh, didn't you? How easy it is to be mistaken." Mistaken in what?" In what you hear said to you. .. Sha ll I explain?" .( As you wish." "It made you say liked me." A wave of color dashed over the girl's face . (( Now don't get silly," she cried. I a m not silly. It's you that are so sIlly that you don't see--" For anSwer Minnie clutch e d the astonished young mal! by the arm. . .. M innie, whose out-door hfe and plam hVlng had made her a ) w 'oman of brai'n and muscle, si:oply yanked Karl by the ann in a sort of flying leap, bIg as he was, backward into the house. With a quick motion she slammed the door. She was not a second too soon. Lithe clark forms rose up out of the underbrush that fringed the house. The sharp staccato sound of exploding rifles came to the ears of the two now safely within the house Bullets pattered 'upon the adobe hut. "Outlaws," cried Minnie, as she saw Karl set his teeth, and pull his revolver from its holster, "we are attacked by the Delgada band!''' A swift rain of shot I?attered on the hut. The ,vindictive yells of the bandits could be heard outside. "Barricade tHat door!" shouted Karl. "I'll try a s hot out of this window. We must keep off the out laws a-t all h?-zards. If they get a chance to charge they will murder us." .. CHAPTER VII. THE GNOME KING'S HOME. "How are you mistaken?" Stage Coach' Bill, and Paul Cassel looked at each Because." o ther in sheer. wonder. 'f What a reason." Th I ''''Isn't it a logical one?" e so id rock gaye way under their pressing hands It swung back like a gigantic door. Now you are making fun of me Th I What a wonderful brain you have?" ere was revea ed to them with sensations of mys-terious awe, a wide road. :: yEh ? ) I' They could see ancient marks of long vanished es, it's wonderful how one head can carryall h I I d' d you know." "': ee s ea lllg Own mto a.tremendous depth, that was "Oh say now." ltgdhtehd by rayls of the outSide world for some distance an t en was ost'in deep blackness. brain can see dad:s sitting in Irresolute and tremulous the two men stood upon our wl11dow, said ghost smokmg a pipe, I-S a wonder'ful the threshold of a scene 9 f wonders! one. I'd like to have a photograph of your brain." several moments they looked straiO'ht ahead. Come, now you \surely are chaffing me." Neither dared breathe. "Yes, and to think that your brain did not tell me "Wh' h whether dad smoked the same old kind of smell", to' Is .t.is?" said in a low tone to Bill, his J face whIte With emotiOh. bacco, stro'ng and pungent, that makes our house take "y on'the attributes of a cigar-store. ou can search me," cried Bill in return. "This 17"rl roared. IS the most wonderful discovery that I ever heard of" "-a. "Isn't it?" 'iV ell, Karl, you ate a wonderful man, but anyway How did you come to see that padlock?" I always did like \Yonderful men." "I don't know." :: lOU. I'm obliged for father's ghost." All I do is. that I heard you yell. I looked up and saw you starmg at the rock." "He has also made you make a confession that I "That's the' funniest thing." have longed to hear you, make." What is? Minnie"ooked surprised "I d h "I don't understand," s,he addedafter a Breathless seefmhe to, ear a voice say, t look 11;1 the very center 0 of at rock rIght ahead of you' momellt. J "You did?"

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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 1 5 I \ ., Yes. I followed the voice's advice. he voice than with a cr-ash of clanging rock the gate-like en-s e emed to be a part of me and yet it wasn't either. All trance to the grotesque place swung shut. I kno w was that I looked and saw the biolock and ., Trapped! said Paul. t he confining bar." b j. "When we started down the road'into these infernal J t was strange how you could see it at all." regions we must have hit a concealed spring that re" Wasn't it? feet away it was nothing but a leased the door and shut off the possibility of our repart of the rock, 1t seemed to me. It looked like a tracing 'our steps," replied Stage Coach Bill., sort .?f moss-gr?wn fissure in the great solid rocky Paul ran around to the rear of the coach. wall. \iVith the I'antern he carried he tried hard to find "That's so." > the concealed spring which had released the door but But whep I came there it was, a pl,ain pad-c o uld not see it. I lock." He examined the rock. Stag-e C oach Bill mopped his heated brow. Without question it had swung back to its original "That's just what' l thought," he said, "there's position . something neither you nor I can fathom about this The stone was again immovably fixed in its niche, di s co v e ry. I tell you it's all on a par with something and Paul saw that he could not again cause it to move that seem s to me to be protecting me from the back to allow them to return unless he could find the bandits." 'secret of the inside spring. 1 "Do esn't it seem so? But we must not stand here Paul commun icated the result of his search to talking about what made or did not make !J-s see tha t Stage Coach Bill, who remained on the box, while the lock. 'vVe aren't out of the danger zoner' yet. The now thoroughly tamed broncRos stood like statues outlaws may attack us any time." awaiting an order from their driver. "'vVhat do you propose doing?" I. "Don't seem to me that we can do but one thing," First let us light up the lanterns on the front of chuckled Bill after he had turned Paul's information the coach." o v er and over in his mind, All right." "What's the one thing?" Stage Coach Bill performed this duty in a jiffy. Go ahead! Jump up Paul, and we will go down What next, Paul? You are in command of this and see if his Satanic Majesty is in. Might as well party now." arrange for our apartments now as we go by." Get out the two lanterns from under the boot." Paul chortled. / Bill followed this order. Bill you are always looking ahead. I'm with you. N ow light them also.", Let her go, William of Stage Coach This action was soon accomplished. While speaking Paul hopped up' on the top of the II Now, Bill can you manage those coach. Bill roared Anyway," he added. '" There's no fear of outlaws Paul, them bronc's are the tamest things you ever down here." ,. saw. They will have to be whipped now to make them Don't be too sure of that. This way's been go at all. : traveled by someone before and honest men don't A ll right hop up to your seat Bill. Drive right burrow under ground." into the road there. It looks dark but we have got Bill drove his fore-in-hand 'forward with infinite t o trv and see where it takes us." \ caution. Guess this is all tnat's left or let the trea'sure box Shadows ahead were flung into half lights by the fall into the hands of the outlaws. Nothing by' lanterns. thunde r, but a steam-dert;ick ever get the co?-ch The situation was one of hidden meanings, sug-, back on the road up the way we came." gestive of dark nameless tlangers and terrible things. That's a dead sure thing. Vvell, Bill, let her pop. Whew!" cried Bill. "There seems to be plenty V e might as well be killed going down thrQugh this of air down here, but by Gosh, Paul I'm covered with unknown road as 'to wait here until the outlaws smoke lather." us out and murder us with bullets from their Paul wiped the perspiration from his brow. weapons. I "I'm sweating like a butcher," he replied, "yet Stao-e Coach Bill jumped to the top of the coach. why? It doesn't seem to be hot down here. Are we He b swunO" the horses directly toward the darlc' in a tunnel? ness that the interior of the pit-liKe depths Stage Coach Bill stretched his far above him. th
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16 THE AMERICAN IijDIAN WEEKLY. might have been ,made ages before by some person long now in his grave Through the bottle -like m01.fth of the descent the coach creaked and groaned. Then the way became steeper. I The coach gave a gentle jolt and the road seemed to be now 011 a level. The startling click,.c1ick of the shot gun of Paul broke the echoes as he pulled the weapon ready fo r use, quickly up his shoulde r. A group oi sHadowy white figures seemed. to be starting from the ,darkness to destroy the F o a c h and its trembling occupants. I A white, skeleton-lik e figure with one stretched out as if in griD;1 warning stood out un er the direct rays of the lantern Paul flashed upon it. : Around this silent figu're were ranged in canopied niches hundreds of other shadowy figures, and behind' these were' ranged still others that were so many :that th' e feeble light of th lanterns! could not fully define each form. Bill, get ready to shoot The men raised their weapons to meet the expected atta ck. POLACCA IS VEXED. / '.' .. The wild, star tling laughter. of the outlaw, Delgada, was not pleasant to hear, when his fell()w fien<;i; Joe Kamus, pressed the electric button that ex ploded the dynamite mine, which both bandits felt, sure would end the lives 'of Stage Coach Bill and Paul Cassel. "There goes S age Coac h Bill." Kamus chuckled these words in a growling; b itter tone of hatred. ' U Stage Coach Bill's last ride," yelled De1gada. i, We got him at'last and, a10ng with hitn we have blown to bits his siae-partner Paul Cassel. A fine day!s work, Joe." The two bandits laughed and shook hands, danced and sang. They were sure that 'the man they hated so was dead, and with him their other bitter enemy. "Say, that's a good lesson. It will teacH' some of the people about this territory that' Delgada and his band must be reckoned with. We may be some time getting men that fight its. But we get them all right." That's the stuff. Why, Stage Coach Bill has defie,d us for months. We tried tim e ..and again to get him. Well, we won out this time. Hurrah!" N either man Saw a third figure which had stolen up to them. When Delgada saw a man standing near his hand rushed his gun out r eady, for use, but wh e n h e saw i t was the figure of Kin istino, the Nunatalmute India n member of his band, he refrained from shoo ting. '. "You idiot," roared Delgada to Kinistino . You idiot! Don't you know, better than to come quie t l y on me this war? ,Man, I came n ear shooting \TOU. But one' glance 'at the face of Kinistino further reproach.es. Delo-ada saw that the visitor was one overcome WIth b fear . . d "What i s the matter?" the chtef outlaw cne "Stage Coach Bill," panted Kinistino. "oil i have settled Bill," sneered Delgada, "his body out there in many pieces. I've blown him to Kingdo;n come.' ( What?" cried K i nistino . Delgad'a nanated tHe story of the dynamite mine.' You go back, Kamus," further ordered the outlaw, "and see if the body of Bill is blown to atoms, and find if that-guard is dead. We can't for any mistakes this time. If either men are hvmg, now, just kill them." Kamtls nodded and started off on his mission. Delgada turned to Kinistino. "Now what are"you so chicken-livered over?" questioned the outlaw chief. I "Vou say that Bil1 is dead?" If he Isn't he is a wonder of a man. Any way I hoisted him and his coach up toward heaven by a dynamite-mine." "Nonsense. Stage Coach Bill isn't dead." He isn't?" "Or i f he is he has come back to earth to haunt us." Eh? "That's right. H you killed Stage Coach Bill his ghbst has come back. 'If youl didn't kill him, he is a t his house now, or was an hour since." "Yo, u 're crazy." "No, I am not. I went to spy out what Stage Coach Bill's daughter was doing." "Yes . 1 sent yo' u on that mission." "When I got to Stage Coach Bill's house, his gal was standing in the door looking out." "Yes." \ "Then I got busy. I stole up nearer where I could see the girl and then I saw Stage Coach Bill seated in the window of l: is house smoking his pipe." I, Good Lordy! Delgada truculent outlaw as he was, sat down hard on the g ;round with his mouth wide open and his eyes like saucers. Then he came to himself. .", How long ago did you say you saw Stage Coach BIll at home seated in his window smoking his pipe?" Not more than an hour/: Irflpossible "Why? "Beca?se at, time you state hat you saw Stage Coach B tll at hIS home a good hour's run cross coun try from here, Stage Coach Bill was on the box of his coach driying four untamed bronchos riCYht down up on our mme lieF; .. I saw Bill with my eyes. He could not have drtven home from here in much less than three hours, and therefore you must be mistaken." I wasn't mistaken. I stood' trembling looking at BIll because you know I had seen him at Milner Cut not two hours before I saw him in his home at Fort Rupert, I couldn't be mistaken, man. I saw Bill in both places. " It beats m e. I c an't understan d it orie bit. What does it mean?"

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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 17 Before Kinistino could answer there caIne the sound of swiftly running feet. Ahother panic stricken bandit joined the other two frightened thugs. Gone!" gasped "Gone-who is gone?" snapped Delo-ada. :: Stage C;:oach. :Bill," was the reply. 1 know he IS gone. Men don't live lonowhen hoisted up in by a charge of as heavy as the m111e that l sprunocarried." N b 0, not gone that way. Gone, quit, vamosed vanished, not there," yelled Kamus. Another locoed Indian," yelled Delgada. "Is my band going crazy man after man?" I'm no more crazy than you are. I tell you that Stage Coach Bill has vanished." Ah! I;Ia! Then'I blew him to atoms," sneered Del-gada. "No! No! Not that. He is gone away. He iSt;l't evel1 an atom there." Is Cassel there?" questioned Delgada. / He's gone too! "You don't mean to say that-here you, Kinistino, go back to the road where the mine was sprung see what is there. Hu.rry back and report to me." Having given tHis order Deli
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18 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. ., vVell ?" asked the two outlaw'!:> together. ., It's only an hour from here cross-country Fa where Stage Coach Bill lives." .. Yes." answered Kinistino. Forward! March!" cried Delgada, "We will go and shoot up Stage Coach Bil1." Thus it was that shots pattered like rain Over the hut of Stage Coach Bill in which Minnie Becker, the fair daughter of th e coach driver had taken refuge with Karl Thurlaw, the young postmaster of the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Rupert. The brave young man, and the fair and brave girl, were determined to die where they were rather than to a llow the attack of the bandits to succeed. Thinking that they were facing Stage Coach Bill, and his daughter and bound to murder both, Polacca Delgada, the outlaw, nrge,fl on Joe Kamus and his as-sociate Kinistino to further endeavor. . Shoof. fast, and kill the scum of the earth as as you can, 90Ys," yelled the outlaw chief. (HAPTER IX. IN A WORLD, But the white shapes did ,not i110ve! Stage Coach BilL a nd Paul Cassel awaited the expected charge from the gaunt forms that surrounded them but there was a silence about them that appalled. for it was so different from the rustling of the upper-world above them, "What r arf! thqse white shapes around us?" Paul asked. Dunno," replied Stage Coach Bill. They look like ghosts." GhQsts? Nonsense. Hand over that lantern. I'm going to investigate," 1-' , Lantern in hand Paul climbed over the wheel and down to the ground. '" Pa.ul turned his light toward the shadowy some-things. ";-" Oh !" he gas ped in sheer wonder, ",:Bill, come here." Stage Coach Bill knew that the horses would not move in the great darkness about them. }Ie hurried to Paul's side. / (I Oh?" Bill shouted. He saw that he and Paul were standing in the center of a great room that must have been several hundred eet in The ceiling of the room was at least one hUhdred' feet above them. the two. men long corridors of glittering whIte, sparkled WIth gold, seemed to be disappearino in immeasurable distances. M Massive of sparkling, white, rich with grooves and flutIng, rose from the floor where they stood to the fPof. Around yet in shadow were other columns of striking' form an<;l color. Snow-white stalactites hung in great on every side. I "We' a re in an enchanted palace.!" shouted Pa .. It's the work of fairies," replied Stage Coach Bill. The .room was indeed, a vast grotto of wonderful things. 1 b O n everv side were strange and beautlf:U 0 Pillared walls, see, med to be hung wIth ?eautIful folds of sweeping tapestry, hung v.;lth hanging galleries ; Long pen?ants of a.. dazzhng .white dropped from out of the thICk darkness that hId the high ceiling. , In the center of the room was to be seen the figure that at first so startled Paul. Look! he whispered to Stage Coach Bill. "It is wonderful indeed. That figure seems to be a man s tandinothere with outstretched hands defymg us >::> to approach further. "Doesn't it?" returned Bill, "and look, all around seems to be other men, frozen by a magician's wand into strange attitudes, awaiting some one speak the rnao-ic word that will r 'eturn them to lIfe and ", f riends once more." The two men feas ted their eyes on the wonders before them. "Every place that they flashed their lights gave them I)ew beauties. Such grandeu' r and sublimity the men had ne,ver s een in a country where the grand and the subltme of nature 's handiwork is to be seen with e very passing g lance. "How do you suppose this place, came here?" Stage Coach Bill finally asked this question. "Some great convulsion of the world when it was young probably hollowed out this wonderful spot." We are in an imnl ense cavern, it ,would seem?" again questioned Bill. "That would be my idea of it. I don' t know how deep we are in the earth, but we must be down hun dreds up o n hundreds of feet under the surfacr of the rocky soil above us'." "I wonder how far this cavern extends." Let us try and see." With the words Stage Coach Bill jumped up on the coach again followed by Paul. They resumed their way. The road now led down a long aisle which seemed to be a sheet of drapery thrown over a gigantic alabaster column. At the end of the aisle was a natural fountain, where clear water was dripping into a transparent cup of spar The sound was like that' o f fairy bells. "'.\Thoa!" cried Paul. "That makes me thirsty." The two men quenched their thirst in the half gloom hy the ,fountajn for the extreme whiteness of the walls appeared to so shed light that there was a vague ip the place of the Gods, as J?iIl termed It, and thIS WIth the thin lights of their lan the scene now 110t one of darkness. Don t forget the horses, Paul," cried Bill, as he to o k a. bucket ,out of boot of the coach and gave the thIrsty ammals lIqUId solace from the drinkingplace, Then the way was resumed. They slowly traveled onward. By and by there to appear on the floor and walls as they went along a soft o-reenish tint which gradually grew greener until they rushed forwaro to where daylIght was streaming in upon the cavern.

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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 19 . What is this? they both cried at the same mo-and you can't see mercury with an average spy-ment. . Have we come to the s urface of the earth glass in. any average thermometer." \ again? Pau l smiled. "I don't unClerstand how we have, laughed Paul ., But' we have a time allowance on coaches arrival as he once more jumped from the coach. here," ,,'ent on BilL "If we are not more than three .. By George! he cried with a shout. "It's daydays late we are considered to be on time." light all right." Bill winked. When Stage Coach Bill had joined him, however, "This trip you will be at least a day late?" Paul both men were di?mayed at finding that the daylight said'. ' came from a CO 111 cal sort of well o r fissure in the Oh, detention 'by outlaws is put under the head of rock I mysterious acts of Prividence.' I never could see It's a long way to the surface of the earth," whis-where an outlaw got off." pered Paul, . l oo k there! See? The conical hole runs "NQr I." up to an immense distance." "They are If we were only ramrods we could fire ourselves . Yes." .. out of guns up that hole, but being mere men, we "We can get along without 'em." can't," rejoined Stage Coach Bill. We can." "I'd like to know those outlaws ar:e doing," Yet like the goor they seem to be always with us'." speculated Paul. It's all th<:! fault of honest men in this territory." "So would 1." Is it? Why?" They must have learned by this time that we have I, One group of h onest men, one rOl?e, ?ne branen escaped their infernal machine." of o ne tree, and one general determmatlOv to put I should think so." clown the pests is all that is needed." "I suppose they started a search for us at once." "You mean to lynch the outlaws? " That is what I'd have done under the same cir"Not all of them, cumstances/' "How many?" Well, they didn't find us." 'vV e ll you hang Polac ca Delgada." But that don't help us any. We haven't found "Yes. Consider him hanged." ourselves, at that." J' "Then you stretch the neck of Joe Kamus." "We are here. The eallth's surface is lost. We ain't. "All right! Swing off Joe, there!" lost." "Theli' you hang that sneaky hound of an Indian "I should say not. I could find y,ou, o.r you could thu g, Kinistino, and you have taught all the rest of find me at any time. But there's one thmg I .would the bandits in this territ o ry enough of a lesson. Say, like to find." after that the atmosphere will be full of holes where "What is that?" t h e outlaws that are alive have. jumped through it." The way out of this place?" "Your lesson is a drastic one but necessary." Well, there's one way aut." Of course while you will rid us all of the Delgada "What is that?" \ gang at once there will be other gangs ready to take The way we came in." its place." But the rock has closed us in here, you know." To what do you attribute this fact to?" "Yes, I know. But as we stumbled into here, we "We are a frontier country. We are we may have to stum.ble 'out." have no reform schools, no prisons in W hich to "True. But which end of the game are you going fine people who offend against our laws. That is a to stumble out of?" conditi o n whicl; will mean the flocking of the lawless How can I tell? Here we are shut in down under to us, until by' and by we get civilized, and 'get 'the the earth, by no fatilt of our own. I am trying to get things that civilization bl-ings, schools, prisons, ,courts back to the surface of the earth, and it will b no laws, men to enforce the laws-out here now it's the fault of mine if I d dn't succeed." first man out with his gun. He wins the suit! "You' re the stuff." "Quite a lecture." Nothing great in desiring to live is there? "That's what." "No. But it's good to see that you'd rather die "But talk isn' t going to get that four-in-hand lot ;struggling, than howling for sympathy." of bronchos out of this underground vault, nor the "t don't propose to try.to get either death or sym-coach and 'for that matter it won' t get us out. Don't pathy. I'm going to break out of here some way." you think I'm right?" The two men shook hands and laughed at each "Sure, but what can I do about it?" other. I didn't put your darned old coach down here, and "Is there anything to eat in the coach?" laughed it i sn' t up t o me to get that darned old vehicle out Paul. of here.'] \, My lunch. I got -one at Milner Cut, !ittle think,," It isn't up to either of us But the horses can't live ing I was going to eat it undergro und I lIke to carryon water; and after that lunch is gone, neither can we." a snack of beef and bread on the coach, for one never .Hence it behooves us to hustle." knows over these North-West roads how one is going "I'm ready to hustle but what and where shall I to fare O n any trip. A little bread and beef gges a hu s tle? That seems to me to be the problem." long way toward keeping a healthy stage-coach dri;rer,.J "There i s no use of going back. The sliding part when his coach is late as it is about every other tnp." of that stone alone will shut us fro in getting out the "Is that so?" way we 'came in." "Oh, yes. In the winter ,we have to run on sleds' "And whabt's the ubse.,: 0hf going I b,,\-ck?dIf we do with dogs There's any amount of snow out here, out o nl y t o e met ;y t e 0t:t aws an riddled!"

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20 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY . Isn't it better to die quickly Iby a bullet, than to out asking for protection from any man," she cried. die down here slowly by sheer starvation?" Dad came here fifty-three years ago. I've lived here "I don't know. I never died either way. Each all my life. In fact I was born here." way don't how by the soitnd appeal to me." Spat vVell, start ahead and let it go a t th at.'" This was the sound the bullets made as the out-After some time Stage oach Bill sent the bronchos laws, till a leaded hail against ahead Gtt a fast trot, for the way now wottnd tilrough the sides of the hut-ltke cablll. a 1 011,0gallery with a firm floor. "011, well, don't be squeamish. You as well The fantastic sha.pes the coach hurried by'seemed come in and ask for aid, for if our posltlons were re anxiow;; to clutch the two ,men ahd crush them versed I would ask you." death., ,', 'Would you really?" Every moment some beautiful new arrangement There was sly challenge in the girl's eyes. of the snow-wnite' shapes added to the grandeur of "No not-but then you are going to marry me the scene. some day, so you might feel like asking. for a Whoa! thing like. help to stop a very bandIt Stage Coach BjII pulled, his horses quickly to a from shootmg up you and your dad. stop. N Going to marry tou-of all the nerve 'f' Why If A gigantic, oyst er-shell of pure white barred l did my duty I'd puf you out doors to, ace those road, pirates alone." . It W\:lS easily a hundred feet in dimensions. But the pretty blush that appeared on the gIrl s The two halves of the shell were glistening. face, th e tender light in her eyes, made Karl sure that Right bet;yeen the two shells was suspehded a hu-possibly she might be induced to change her denial man s/:zeleton. to an affirmative, later. Lord, 100k at the ghastly grin that skeleto'n bears," Karl was happy as a sand-boy at the attitude the cried Paul. girl took, .He l1as a gun in his withered hand," yelled Stage But before he could go further in his love-making Coach Bill. the outlaws with a wild yel1 began firing more rapidly Then as the two l;nen gazed t ,here arose at the house. from the deep darkness that enshrouded the queer,; I will crawl up in the little garret up this ladder," gig-antic Qf the white a long, urged Karl, and will see what I can do there toward piercing) heart-rending yell. taking a shot at thQ se rascals." "Good G0d!" oried Paul, "that sounds like a hu" A I?oo<;l idea," replied the girl. man voice: Is a human being (wnfined behind that ter-Karl s weight the 'ladder that led to the garrible shell guarded by a skeleton sentinel?" ret creak with a dread, apparently, of having to give way under the burden. CHAPTERX. 5 lIDT UP THE' J;lECKER H;UT, "Is the door barric'aded?"; "It is." This question fell from the lips of Karl Thurlaw, and was as quickly answered by Minnie Becker. Man and girl each had knowledge of life on t-he far North-West frontier and they did not hestitate in giv': ing and obeying orders. They for a cornmon purpose That waf to keep alive. "Who is holding us up?" asked Karl, as soon, as Minnie had. him that the doors were barricad ed. "Keep out of range of the window." Crash! A bullet whipped its way through the upper 'pane of glass in one of the windows as the speake r dr:ew Gosh! ,,he shouted. "I'm no light weight. Min nie, will this blooming thing hold? Minnie was sure that it would. .' So Karl ventured up carefully. Be found there was barely enough space for his bulk up in the tiny place, which was merely space between t ,he ceiling qf the room below, and the peaked roof above. Hut after some diffi culty Karl managed to draw him self up and hide himself along the side-logs of the house. Be drew his pen-knife from his pocket and began to aig the adobe out from between the chinks of the house, Soon Karl had made a space so that between the chinks of the long logs he could see out into the front of the house. "I can see Delga<;la plain," Karl thought. "He is sheltered behind the trunk of that tree. You bet he ;Vill stand where his hide is safe. There's Joe Kafnus In the foreground. If I can make a birro-er hole for 1 I my revo ver muzz e to get through I'll trot a heat with ,that chap in a minute, I'll blow his brains all over the landscape." the gir1 out of range just in time. Ah! "\TV ell, no one i,s hurt!" Karl aclded. who has held us up, do you think?" Karl began the tedious work of cuttinoout enqugh "Now o f the soft cotton-wood of which the hci't was madel so that he could poke pis revolver through the hole Been and g-et a shot at the outlaws, "The Delgada gang. They are after dad. ) after him for" months." I've heard somet hin g about this. Why didn't you com e into the >ort and tell us about this?" "Mo f, d K 1 111111e, ar, look out.. They seem to be getting together for a charge." The g irl shook her head. We have lived a long while I A suppressed snicker Came to his ears. "By George," thoughtKarl, ,in vast admiration in this country with,. "Minnie isn't a coward at any rate."

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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 21 . All ri g ht, up there, Karl?" cried Minnie from the room below. All right!" Can you see the outlaws?" Clearly." How many are there? \ Delgada, Kamus-yes I see the Indian KIUlstmo a lso-walt' till I get a hole in this confounded hut you call a house, and I'll get a bullet into one of the three, I swear." I Don't sw ear. "Who,is? "I don't know who is going to, but you just said you and r hat<: to hear swearing unless dad does It. Oh, he does It so beautifully. ,He hapsuch a fine Karl chuckled. Can you see what the bandits are doing' now?" again questioned the girl. . They are forming to charge. By Jove, Minnie, here they come. Look out I'm coming back to help you defend the house down there. I can't do anything stowed away up here." The flashinsof the rifles of the outside made a continued booming. Karl hurried to the hole where the ladder should have been and let himself rapidly down to where he I I S\lpposed the ladder was standing to receive his feet. But there was no ladder there. Karl was sweeping the air. his feet, when he heard a terrible yell outsi4e the hut. The sound of shots suddenly ceased. The ghost! There s Old Bill, there, sitting in that window," cried a voice outside. Then there came the sound of running ,feet. Then s ilence fe)! over the scene Karl kicked about a few moments in search of the erring ladder and then giving up the quest, let himself go with a bad word in his mouth and landed a h.'eap of angry manhood in the room below. He blinked in the rush of light that came to him. Then he turned around to see a very much amused girl seated in a chair with a ladder at her feet, and stuffing her small pocket handkerchief in her pretty mouth to s tifle her shrieks of laughter. When 1Iinnie saw Karl leap to the floor she withdrew the handkerchief and gave full vent to her mer-riment. Karl stood watching her "ivith a frown on his face, As she laughed this expression gave way to a smile and then he also broke clo"}n and laughed like a merry lunatic. By and by the girl stopped laug-hing. Good!" burst in Karl's voice "Now then 'we have both laughed heartiiy. Now, what's the joke?" ct You were the joke." Huh?" / Yon stood or rather hung up there like a June all leg-5, and kicked like a crazy man, while, oh m';'. how swore. Dad never did anything along the cussin' that came within a yard of you." Karl "grinned. \Vhat became of the ladder?" he asked. \iVha t ladder?" J ct The one that leads usually up to the attic." ct It Clidn't lead anywhere when you started to' come down. vVell, there it is on the floor where you kicked it." "\Vhy didn' t you put it up when you saw it fall? ., Too w;eak." Pshaw! You look strong enough to put up that .light ladder for me." ct I was and am. It was ,veakness due to my You were so dreadfully funny. I wanted to put up the ladder but I just couldn't I was so weak from my laughter." . Suppose the outlaws had in-would you have laughed then?" Oh', 1 didn't begin laughing until they were gone." "Gone? "That' is what I said "You don't mean to say that Pol Delgada, who is about as brutal. <1 thug as I ever heard of, when in full rush on the house, with his two best al).d worst men along side of him, quite and away without either you or I firing a shot at the band? ct Uh-uh." "Why did they go?" "Don't ask me. They didn't see my face so they couldn't have been scared off by that?" Shucks. That face would have probably lured them on." Sir, you flatter me." "Don't mention it. But you tell me quick whY'did that gang r1m away after they had "r)1shed at the house," cried Karl in a fever heat of wonder, "Down by the willows, oh, sweet 'grow the rushes oh-any more rushes that you want to talk about? Ie You are a provoking girl." You are a ,sarcastic man. You expect me to an swer questions about things I kn,ow nothing of and. man-like you are angry I can't answer your questions. Now, Karl, first, II didn't know w hy Delgada attacked this house. I don't ,know why he has s,llch bitter enmity against dad. I don't know why he wants to kill me, and Karl, how can you, therefore, expect me to explain why, the bandits ran away: like mad?" "You are right," returned Karl. "I Unow how you feel. You' see, it was so wonderful to me, the charge of the outlaws, the ending of the shots, 'the yells of 'ghost' and all ... that sort of thing as the three outlaws ran as if the end of the world was four jumps hehind them, that I was rather in my ques tions." "Dear rne! \-Vhat a husband you'd make Goodness knows I'm glad I haven't yet decided to you. I'll h ave to think over the way you domineer over poor weak me." I Minnie la.ughed as s he spoke Karl's,> eyes gleamed. ct vVe will talk of the marriage question later," Karl said softly. "Now did you see a ghost' anywhere? For answer, to the intense 'surprise of Karl, Minnie burst into a flood of hvsterical tears. ct Ghosts! she criefl "nothing but ghosts. That's all r hear now days. I w i sh I was a ghost myself.'" There came a whoop of voices trom many riders. The little p lace was soo n alive with men on plunging hOIC5. It was a rescue Darty from the fort who had heard the shots fired by the outlaws an d had ri.lshed to assist in warding' oft; the attack. ct Which way did them fellen; go?" cried Big Tom

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22 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. Balser o n e of th e assistants at Fort Rupert to the young Post mas t er. ." T 'hrough th e bu s hes J h e r e," Crie d Karl. Get , t after them b oys, the y have only a half hour s star on you." With a w hoop o f pleasure the rescuers darted .to. ward the fringe of shrubs behind w hich the flYlllg outla w s had ,vahis h ed... "There will b e a l y n ch111g b ee If th ey find them, c ri e d Karl. 1/ Now Minnie, you m us t return to the f ort with. me. CHAPTER XI. THE'BATTLE IN THE CAVE RK. T he second animal eyi dently a female and the mate of the male cat, had been s h o t directly through the if we had misse d ? '" thought Paul}s he g lanced a t the powerful claws of They would have r e n ded u s limb from. 11mb. .. W h a t are you d oing," put 111 Stage Coach BI!l. A r e VOtt wonderii1g why ) w h e n a s t eel bullet goes 111 a wild"cat, life goes o ut?" Paul grinned. . .. o. I was thinking h o w was the lme bet wee n our deaths and th e ir s If eIther o f us had not lanclecl t h e s h o t ther.e w o uld have been two dead men ancl two live wild-cats." .. R i g h t. B.ut a man who weapon and t kno w how t o do business with It to dIe, I think. But aren' t those wild-cats whoppers. I never saw two J:>igger ones. Turning from the two dead al11mals now powerless t o h a rm them, Paul swept Bill with a glance. Bill ," he said., "who was that man there, that Paul Cassel, when he c ri e d o u t in a l arm in the grinning skeleton? depths o f the m ysteri o u s c avern, sure that the I d o n t know. But if I was to guess I should say voic e h e hea rd w as that of a human bemg that it i s all that is left of some outlaw." But in a m o ment he saw his mistake. Do you suppose he belonged to Delgada's band? A long, lithe dark dreadful form crept sl?Wly I hardly think so. toward him, and swung itself frOl:n the "Why?" tic oyster-shell and came hurrymg wIth a creeplllg B eca u s e if he h ,ad been Delgada w ould. hav e been motion toward him. huntino' for 'us d own here long before thIS I take Paul's sho t gun flew to his s houlder. it that"'the skeleton over there is a member of some It's a wild-cat! cried Stage Coach Bill. "There's o th e r b and o f outlaws wh o years .ago. knew of the conanother one behind the first animal. You shoot the I cea led wonders o f this s plendid series of caverns ." first. I'll fire at the second beast." Y o u are right, Bill. It seems s o t o me also. If The two men had come unaware upon the den of DelCTada knew o f us d o wn here, if he knew o f any en-two fierce wild-cats, animals always dreaded in the t o this d read place he would hav e been North-West when met in the open and !Jaw when us l o n g since this and we w o uld have had to fight him they thought that their den was to be invaded, more off--'" to be feared than ever. Ye s We would hav e killed him and hi s gang "For God' s sake don' t mis s ," whispered Stage \ as ea sily as we have killed these wild-cats." Coach Bill. "If you do we are dead men "Yo u can't say. These cats didn't have shootin' "I won't miss," replied Paul with grim purpose. iron s in their hands while the bandits would have had "There they come. Now fire." them '''' ell it all looks to me as if that skeleton must The animals were stealing forward ready for >a have been here for many years." spring. Their cries so the of an .ag(:>nized Ye s I see there is no flesh on that dead man's human being had deceIved Paul mto thlllklllg a bone s He must have been here for many, many years human person was confined in the cave. Let us go and see if there's anything to identify him." Bang! The two men drew near the grewsome skeleton. In absolute unison the shots from Paul's shot gun, The clothing that the man must hav e worn in life and Stage Coach Bill's revolver of high power, rang was utterly gone. forth. The flesh had stripped it s elf fro m its b o nes. The missiles went home. The fleshless hand. h owever, still t o uch e d its The snarls and screams of the two ferocious feline animals could be heard flinging the echoes back and forth thtough the cavern. . They r011ed over and over, dyeing the ground with their blood and then lay still. The horses attached to the coach plunged and snorted. It took all of Bill's strength to hold them in check. Little did the bronchos seem like the wild aninials that had been hitched to the coach early in the morning. Never were b eas t s tamer or easier t o manage. When the y had left off plunging and snorting and stood ttembling, Paul hurried over to whe j 'c the two wild-cats lay. He saw that his 'shot gun had brown the head off of the larg.est cat a male. weapon. Paul stared at the gun. I never saw a gun like that outside of a museum," gasped Paul. He leaned over and clutched the gun. As if his touch was the signal for the final disinte gration o f the skeleton it fell as he grasped its weapon int o a shapelcss handful of mere bones. . The skeleton fell into a heap of nothingness but a rev,,' c alcined bones as if it had been blown into v apor w ith one convulsion of nature. Stag e Coach Bill was white He gasped in terr or.' Paul was eqt,laHy disturbed Gosh! was ail that Paul coula think of that fitted the occasion. Look at that fellow's guu." ventured Stage Coach Bill.

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TlleAMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. 23 Paul turned the weapon over. 1 It was an old flint-lock musket. It )Vas a single-barreled weapon, long extremely heavy, a.nd wi.th its uncouth lock, and cumber some fi,nng tngger, looked as at;1tiquated as the moldy bit of white dust and bones that was now all that was left of its owner. There is a name engraved here on the stock of this gun," said Paul as he drew toward the lantern that blinked near by, making a semi-darkness only, with its light. Read it ; cried Bill. Paul tried to decipher the words. No," he decided, it's not a name but it seems to be figures. Say, if that number isn't 1783; then I'm a Rocky Mountain goat. " Impossible cried Bill. "Y ou must be mistaken." But when both men together tried to ,decipher the inscription they were su're after a long inspecti0n that Paul was correct. Gosh, that's a great, many years cried Bill. Do you suppose that fellow has been here since the year 1783?" I am forced to believe so. That accounts for the fact that the entire flesh was gone, and nothing, but the bones left of thae Bill had been examining the interior of the gigantic oyster-shell, between which the skeleton had been perched. "Say Paul," he announced, ,.' that cliap was not staying here because he wanted to do so." Paul ,smiled. I suppose no man wants to sit peacefully awaiting the arrival of the hearse." No, I don't mean that way. What I meaf,l is that this chap was chatned to that oyster-shell. " You don't mean it?" Look for yourself." Paul hustled around the side of the shell 'which he saw was really only a grotesque stalact'ite, which happened to fall into the of an oyster-shell. By thunder!" he cried. You're right." There lay a chain rusted and worn"but which still hn,ng to its rusty staple.. One end had been fastened to the waist' of the skeleton, for a bit of, the link of the chain where it had fallen apart still clinging to ore of the bones. "Yes," summed up Paul. "This. figure has been confined here. I wonder why?" Paul stood gazing into vacancy wpndering what it all meant when his eyes fellitpon a tiny patc, h of green just behind the oyster-shell. r What i!l the world that?", P.aul as he rubbed his eyes. \ ,,',' He rubbed them,again, but sti'll the green light vvas there; right there in a back-ground of other lights made by the reflection of, the two lanterns upon the white stalactites t here, Bill," cried Paul. Do you see a light Paul pointed to the shimmering green color. "Naw, not to speak of-by George Paul" I do see something! Say, it's a green light." After an attack upon one or two fierce ,tvild-c:;tts with voices almost human one doesn't approac;h a (Jueer gTeen-light withouf caution. So with weapons ready for instant use the two 'men stole forwat:d . The green light did not stir. ,. I suppose in this darned enchanted place th<; light will move out of s ight when we get to it," cried Paul. Bill chuckled in merriment. "That'!:i been our fate ever since we caine in he. e,<' Well," -rejoined Paul, "if we hadn t been lucky enough to get in here our quarters would have been made p e rmanent by the bandits, it seems to me." "Say, Paul is there anything tpore permanent in this world than the grave-eh?" Thus the two wayfarers kept their courage up to the s ticking point. Softly they stole forward. "Wow! Wow! Hip! Hip! Hurrah! Wow!" The foregoing shows in words quite as weU as plain type can it, the sound which burst fro)TI Paul's hps. .. '_ In a frenzy' he cast away hlS weapon. He took one big step forward right upon the green rav. He picked up something. He held it high above his head. He shouted, he sang, he cried, he yelled all m a breath. Above his head gleamed the green light. ,," Crazy! Gone cr .azy!" cried Stage Coach Bill in strong conviction. Poor boy. Brain busted. Couldn't stand the strain of all these dangers : Oh, t unde l How' ,am} ever going to get a coach, four bronchos a 'nd a crazy man back to Fort Rupert .. Bill approached Paul. "Does urn want urn 'ittle, 'ittle green light-ee; well um shall have :un, 'um shall," Bill coaxed, as if soothing a refractory baby. "Now urn come to um coach and go by by." Paul stopped dancing. 'What in thunder ails you Bill? Have you gone crazy? Baul's words made Bill stare. "No, by gosh, I ain't crazy," he replied, "butyou are." '." For the first and only 'time on record Paul swore at a frien d. You higgle-te-piggedeIty son-of-a-rhinoceros," he velled (or words that sounded that way or worse). Crazy? Nit! Why man, we have str-uck the loot of the greatest pirate that eve,. ra1lged the far west shores." "Huh." "Did you l ever hear of the pirate Philip 'Petrowna? Never." "Well. in the early hundreds, he fqllow ,ed up the Hudson's Bay' C0ml"any of the fur-traffic of this' part of the world." "Oh? .. "Like-wise, yes!' Petrowna laid tribute to all the country hereabouts. He swept the Coppermine district with his avenging sword, robbing and killing the of that day, and making himself a Up in the Arctic he pirated among the whalers. He even extended his scope far afloat, and he could, l ooted peace ful mercha n t men of all countries." "What happened to him finally?" "He was c<;lptured 'and qanged." ., "'Veil?" "All t Hat could ;be f p upd his

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, 1 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. "Fine Best plart in the-world." well, made each man while on guar. d submit t o. 'Well, that is not all. Although it Was known that1he chained to the rocky oyster-shell there, by a cham and had amassed. a wonderful trei:lsure by his p'i'racy, no,t one Lock to which he alone had the key." groatofcashwase7,Jerfoundbyany,onel" "Ho!." " "Was search rnade?" I "So this guard' waS left to die miserably with 'a "For year upon years,' until 'Pirate Philip in. sight there before him, because after the Petrowna's Loot' has a word m arrest of PetroWna there was, rlothi'ng possible in the this country." way of rescue for him. If the pirate had told of this "I never heard of it?" cave which he had discovered and used as the head" .Did you ever hear of anything excepting driving quarters of is gang, 'the guard would be "!-rrested yout coach? executed, why ake all that bother? Let hIm starve 1n Bill laughed. -:hail15 argued the freebooter." "Guess you are right. My stock of gene ral infonna"\Vhew! .Thipk of the sufferings of that man." tion outside of my business isn't greater than that of Patll shook his head. th.e business man." Do you think this is all of the pirate's loot?" "Well, iCyou havel1't hea-d of the Lqot' e el!,ie up here has: ' v v "\Nell wha t o f it? WI aes that got t b do witH us' "big box there? It's a gre,at iron chest, here deep in this hole of an cavern." but nOw it seems to me it is so rusted that-well let us Paul pulled his h a nd from behind his back. look into it." It held light' of green. The two men a,.dyanced "See that?" yelled Paul. Paul pulled open the top of the chest. -He displayed a wonderful Stage Bill gave a cry of wonder. He fell In hand sho11e in beautifu green radiance a splen' upon his kn 'ees and grasped a doubJe-handful of splendid spray of al,tijicial flo'Wers. Bttt the ste1l1, of tlie flower di' d gems. :' was of and each leaf) each spray was made 0 that "Look. Paul," he shrieked, "here are diamonds, m'agnificellt .clem, the e111erbld. I. pearls .. oh, look at this! ,. Tit'1nders of shrieked Stag e Coach Bill. Dill held i.1p a lOnclrotls emerald. II This here flower is not a fiower.'at all, but an arti-It 'Was,as b i ig as. an ostrich's egg. ficial flo\y 'cr, built of"sp'lendid etneralds,and that there Paul himself gasped. , light was made by them, these, those-emeralds." "I know of only one other emerald as near that in size," "You're slightly mixed as to gra'mmar and he cri ,ed, "and that is one worshipped by ancient Peru lary, bttt Bill, you've tol ,the Istory. That's jus1 twhat vialls under the name of the goddess or mother of that is." ,emeralds."... d Gosh! ,How much may that be worth ? 'I I, W hat i;; this, big emerald 'w0rth?" "I should think from what I know about gems that "J can't veally estimate it. Possibly a million dolehry stone here came fron;t Peru. THere, you know, lars." a re found in clefts of granitel and in granite vein,s, 'and Bill turned purple. ' other primary rocks, the best emerald;; in point of ilJ-I Why man," cried Paul, "there has never been an color flnd value. Let me see-this put on the real value of the Goddess or is wortil t pmy mind-om; ;;tb(Jut $100,000." Mother of Emeralds. But I'll tell you this much . ,'''If,ully gee!" r .,'. Priests watched the wOl1Clrou' s stone in a splendid "yes.' I s h o uld say this s l":;ty was looted froni temple in Peru. And worshipers used to send smaller I sotne, ship CODlingto America from Some South emeralds as offerings to the -Mother Emerald which Amei-ican l?or t by the pirate. The oldropuleat South' were called daughters let me have one those American was' fond of de' ckinghis wives smaller -emeralgs made in the form of flowers." Bill handed up a stone abolH the size of one that is H ow many wives did the old, opulent gentleman set in an 3iverage l:ing now days: have?". Paul popped i t directly into lantern flame, "This is no census bureau. I am getting as mixed In twenty, minutes it came out a beautiful blue in my excitement in metaphor and grammar as you color. wer:e awhile ago. What I meapt ,to. convey ,to. you As the cooled it resumed its, usual green was that an Opulent South was fond of tint. "' flis wife in made .up 'in flower-sprays, "T\itqt'sthe: fire' test to ascertain wh;t emeralds ltke th1s. are ,' really WOrth, and it sl:).ows that these stones are a n d!,d I could be very fond lof a lady the Peru;iian a:ticle-'-oh, I shoulcl. assay the contents thus decked, rephed Bill. of tr1at box a it stancls at about ve million dollars." "9r 0. her gems?"" Bill sank back, happy as a king. Blll wmked, "Paul, we gd snucks on this eh?" :' Anywayt added Paul, "wlwt we have found is "You bet. We a l e equal in this game." th}s spra ) and you. see,"as we, get the date from the "Paul," cried Bill. "If we get out of here I figure .old musket. wh.en thiS trea.srl:e must have beet; buried; that I am worth two and one half minions. Well know t l:at 111 ,all pre!;a):)111tJ the flower was part, o f Paul. l1.ow. much tobacco can I buy th;;tt? And PI:,atf3 l;?ettownas l oot , say : MmpI e always Vfanted a real silk dress. Gosh! Sa;:-. tha\ must have bee put'here ,as a sure 1S St,agl? G{!aCt Bill'8 Last Riq,e." gu ', Pirate Petrowna knowin hrs g aQg it we O'et out of here but never ac:ral'n \Xro r "',' 1::>' 've a) e riC as

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THE AMERICAN INDIAN 1tVEEKLY. 25 any man need be; a good deal richer. H 'we get out of here--" H," replied Paul with a gesture of ,despair. i Vall, it seems tel' me thet arter we've ,hung this hyear pirate oncet, it is enough punishment. We won't bring no other murder inter this case. We'll string POl u?,for the l}1urder of that chap Ray CHAPTER XII. I THE END OF THE DELGADA GANG. Ives, what was fOl1ll, -ded wit a hole in his stummick, and quite ded, along thet tl1ar Summit trail, last sum:" mer. The evidence hyar before re, gentlemen 0' the jury shows this year Delgac1a, shot this Ray rves, and t4at with him as ac-ce-sorries ter that thar crime was this Joe Kamus and this hyear Injun Kinistino, who war thar at the time; of the firin' 0' the shot that c, Hang them!" killed Ray r yes-but say. feiIers git ill yer verdict. Two words only but freighted with the smell of Make it all reg'lar like. r 'want ter git home ter din-.the grave.'. ner soon as I can.II They were 'roared by a band o men as"Hang :them!" sembled in the great cot:mcil room at Fort RiIpert. TlJe verdict canie again from e ach lusty, brawny Hang then1! 111an. Of Again the appeal for came. All knew that it was time that this gang of gun-J For the decent citizens of the tiny hamlet of Fort n1(!n, 'these unspeakable outlaws s110uld be "cleaned Rupert had at last thrOwn off the yoke which Polacca tIP:" the teHitory was not safe v&ith them above pelgada, the outlaw, and his band of cut-throat bandits ground: had so long made tHem bear. \. P01acca Delgada knew his fate. The posse which had chased after the outlaws from His dark face was ghastly, his hand shook, and he the hut-like house 0 Sta?,e Coach Bill' and his daugl1sat chewing great' chunks of tobacco he awaited the ter, Minnie BeCker, had been successful. verdict which he weIl kn<:;w would mean his death . Delgaqa,) oe -Ka mus, and t he Indian thug, But so far he did not break down. ; K1111sttno, were seated before a band of citizens Joe Ka,mus, an Indian to the COfe', was not so out-heavily ii'oned, mute, panic-stricken. wardly nervous. They had been tried by Judge Lynch, and the A sneer oil his face seemed to show that he looked verdict was now being roared into their affrighted with disdain upon his captors. ears. Kinistino, with an Indian's . acqUIescence at fate I -lang them! was chanting the death song Mexican Bill Lane, a tall man, who had served his tribe. of the -Nunatalmute time of danger and blood in fat' oft in his hpt He kpev\f. youth, had been IT,la,de, LynCh. A nd he was, getting ready for death in his savage He hac! presided at the deliberations the, court. way; the w ,ay that; his treacherous ancestors had I yes Marsh, a staid, trapper; knqwn 'fot his JUdg-done u -numbered centuries. ment and careful attention to the rights of others, had An Indian i;' never anything but an Indian. acted as prosecuting attorney; there had' been a de-Judge Lynch arose. fense by Clubfoot a man known to be friendly "Gentlemen of fhe jury," he said solemnly. "Acto the outlaws, and therefore who was thought best cardin' to this verdict here in this year court rendered to act as attorney for their defence. this yeaI;' day, I order that them three outlaws, Polacca The court had been regular so far as such courts oe Kamus, and Kinistino be taken from could be. hyear they be hanged by neck until they Men, who a few weeks ago would neve.r haye' dared are dead." to have testified against the outlaws, -fearipg that ,they The hcmd of the law haa been placed 'at lal t on the would be murdered if they did so, now that the bandits' shattlders of the men of blood; thei1' outlaw cqree.rs were facing a jury, had gladly COme forward a 'nd told were drawil1 ) g to a close. their terrible stories of the outlaws.. The condemned men were marched to Murder has been charged against this liyear, Pol about a mile from Foit Rupert. Delgada;" Judge' Lynch had summed up, 'and it seems It bore the name p f Murderer's Gulch. to me that that thaI' murder has 'been a proven on There a gallows was hastily built. this hyear Bandit Pol Delgada." liVben he' saw the men raising the cross beam to Right you are Mexical1 Bill," cried Frank be nailed to the uprigllts, Delgada broke down. Carter, foreman of the jury. "That's on'y murd(!f "Sav e me, gentlemen," he cried, "Don't hang me. pro{rec! agin' him. Cail we ban him twicet fer another I'll leave the ten; itory. I W;i11 confess. r will do any-one? thin g to save my life."

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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. But the men around him were not there to listen to confessions. The outlaw's chance to leave the territory had been 'long siuce lost. He should have gone he was free i not before Judge Lynch had grasped him, In ,the North-West Judge Lynch never let.s a murderer escape as some Judges seem to do in other parts of the w,orld. There is always a corpse after the verdict of Judge \ Buck Cooper. i'I'm ready to cash in seeing as no escape," Buck' placed the rope around the outlaw's neck. Kamus looked ar:ound again. / I "Gentlemen,'.' he,' said in a loud tone. "Seeing as I've dever heen hang' ed before, do I jump off or do you pull me up? "Bv Gosh!" hooted Buck Cooper. "We had ter pull Pol Delgada up, but you are a man, if you are an outlaw. I'hl Sheriff h ere. I'll give you your choice Lynch is in, But in spite of tears prayers, entreaties, Polacca Kamtls." was dragged to the scaffold, Kamus smiled. / Mercy! Mer-!" he shrieked.. I'll jump," he shouted, "No man then can say he The rope stopped his wild appeals for the helped string up Joe Kamus, the outlaw." he h ac! d e nieu to many a victim. j, With a great laugh of Joe Kamus leaped into Even, in his struggles the outlaw tried to' un-the great -unknown world of the tv,dlle the rope from his neck; with his futile fingers. JZinistino, the Indian, was the next and last one of "The sent,ence of Judge Lynch has been carried the outlaws to suffer death. j out upon th'e body of Polacca Delgada," said the deep "Come, Kinistillo," )jelled Buck Coope.r "But one voice o f Buck Cooper, who was filling the position of left now J:>oys. Then we have cleaned up the brains Sheriff. "Bring forward the 'bandit Joe Kamus. Apd of the Delgada. gang." may God have mercy on' his soul I Iiinistino lay quite still. The dead body of the chief of the dreaded outlaws, There was a smile on his Inoian face. a 111ere clod, a mass of flesh, bones, and now no longer Then Buck J Cool?er turned 'the outlaw over; a breath, ing, living man, wa. s taken dpwn from the ( He had cheated the scaffold by killing himself. scaffold and laid at one side. i He had ,opened a vein in his arm with his keen Joe Kamus, second in command in the dread band, pen-knife. ' took the place of his leader on the scaffold. There no refuge from confession but in suicide," The InC1ian's face bore its habitual sneer. Cooper" and suicide is confession.''' His swarthy skin had 'not paled in the slightest deThe crowd of executioners then quickly vanished, gree. leaving a few. men to bury the outlaws in unmarked For a few seconds he glanced over the sea, of heads graves, sprinkldi in quick-lime that were about the scaffold. Well boys," quoth Buck Cooper, that's the end of T,hen he spoke. the Polacca Delgada gang of outlaws. I feel that dirty His quiet voice could be n ,eard distinctly for not a as has qeen this job, yet it means cleaner time fer word,was lost in the hush that over all in thiS here territory, Human life will be the ,crowd. a,nd property will be'"safe fer awhile now them bandits much use ,of my confessing to thai .is' under gro,und. ,The rest 0' the Delgada gang won't you got us all right," said the outlaw. We killed need no hangin' ; this hint is enough fer them." Ray I ves. We have been outlaws for years. You are Buck Cooper' spoke truly . doing your duty in hanging us--" The atmosPferewas punctured by the wild leaps The speaker stopped a moment. every member of the Delgada gang, who heard the Into his' eyes there shot the. gleaming cold light of the execution of the chiefs of their band by that conres always in the eyes of the true outlaw, the JJdge were seen to make, in their wild en-tiger-love for blood. -.. deavor to get out of the far N orth-West. -, "F wisl } I w /as free for gne moment," Kamus went 01)" vv:ith my good gun in my pands." ' ... A long sobbing gasp the crowd. They knew what -it would have meant had' Joe Kamus his freedom and a &,un! There would have heen many ere the outlaw died. Kamns shrugged his shoulders. But fie made an eloquent ge!'lture. ,J;=>tl t the rope around my, neck," Kamus said to CHAPTER XIII. "MILLIONS, MY BOY. DON'T LEAVE OKE "What are we going to do with that chest of riches? '" Give j thef!1 away N the poor." Well I'm pretty poor'tl,lyself."

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TH. E AMERICAN INE>IAN WEEKLY. "That's the poor I'm thinking of giving the gems to." "What poor?" i/ I "Us-we are the poorest people r know of that need first aid to the poverty-str\ cken." ( Stage Coach Bill 'and Paul Cassel thus cheerily talked while they looked through loot of the great pirate cnief, Philip Petrowna. Panl winked. ., Feeling this way, I can't help you get out of ):tere. I'm a millionaire, but my millions ain't no more l good to m e than they' d be to a nigger in Central Africa, where there's no place to spend any money, and no d 'f hi" ; money to spell, l t ere was a pace. " \r,V ell I 1 1 ave something of an idea about this series \ o f w onderful caverns down here. Say, Paul," added Bill, this here tHrate, Petrowna, "Tell it." had PotDelgada stopped in the first round in gittin' "Seems to me that this place is near Great Bear to (he good stuff, didn't Re?" Lake. You know the lake itself isn't far from here. You bet." Po l Delgada and his gang are always called TIu! Bandi.ts Why I don't think that Delgada got all his dirty o f G 1'cat B ear 'Lake ." '. life as much as there is here." "\i\T ell w ha t' 5 that t o do with getting out? Bill held up a as big as a roe', s egg as he spoke. That's right. Say, we never can even guess what all this stuff is worth." Why not? " Because half of it' seems to be uncut gems." Wel1 there's one thing sticks out in my mind ." What is it?" That there s never going t o be a time in 1 :1)' life hereafter, that I've got to worry about when the rent is due." And you can look the butc her firmly in the eye when you meet him." Betcher life. Say; Paul' anyway, the!"e's millions, my boy, don't leave one gem?" "Leave a gem? Watch me! Why man I'd carry that chest out on my' back if it wasn't for the coach here that would carry it better.'" , Ain't that humah nature? Put a man up agin' a lot of gold or gems and r,e ain't moderate. He don't saJj Now my pockets, ana my, hands, and my clothes generally will ho'ld eno u g h o f thi s stuff to ,last me in moderation all my life.' No, not he! He .out to c o rral the whole boodle. An he breaks his back in a gettin' out the pelf and can't never set up and. enjoy it any more, on account of his broken back". Paul nodded. Right you Bill. Old Human Nature is the same always. It wants the wHole hog, or it won't take any part of the pig." In this you load the diamonds under the seat where I set boy, and you load extra shot into that' danged sawed-off gun' 0' yourn. If you meet the shadow 0' a bandit or a ghost of a pirate, you get busy, see?" "Sure. You know Bill, w<; hav e yet to get out of this place. The skeleton back there, my man, what it would mean to not get out. Bill whistled. When I came in I forgot to get a blue-print showing me liow to get You see I came in here sudden and onexpectecl like, and forgot anything but that I was about three jumps a head of Pol Dt?lgada "Every thing." "Don't savez." Don' t supp(')s e you do, s o listen." ,all ears as the jack-a:ss said to the robin, who t old him h e had a s candal to relate to hini." Well, this place here seems to me to have been a subterraneo u s o utlet o nce t o Great Bear Lake." Yes." Well. the lak e used t o flow down here but by some volcanic upheav al w a s pr obably diverted to its present bed." .,. "What d o I c are abo ut v olcanos. I want to get o uten here." I know. So do I for that matter. But what I want t o s h o w y o u i s all d e p end ent upo n the conditions I a m citin g " v V ell pus h o nward ." G r anting that we are under Great Bear -Lake, now \ v e know th1 t then t o be a starting point in the 'figuring o f ourselves out of thi s place." : Sure." "Well thel1 we are only to remember that Great Bear Lake runs N orth and South. "Yep. So that if w e go Nor t h for when we entered th,is s eries of caves we were o n the North shore of Great B ear Lake, we w ill in due time come near to the North o r entrance end o f the lak e now won't we?" Y es That's goo d l o gic .' } "Then if w e start to the South we are pretty sure t o come out w here the South end of the lake is to be f o und? " Sures t thing you ever heard." Well if there' s not some place where the water once flowed out of this un,der-ground channel at the S o uth 1:m a Dutchman. Paul -crie d these w o rd s in an attitude that suggested dispute-me-ify ou-dare." But Stag e Coach Bill did not even put up an argument. 1'l1e heav e u p thi s l o t o f diamond and emerald and gold plunder," he c r ied. "V\r e will start South any

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THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. old time you figure where the South 1S situated in this hoie. I always 10ved the South anyway." Paul grinned. "Loa William," 1-I uh? /, Sere I mean." } Stage Coach BllIlooked carefuny at bauble Patll held up. a Shucks, Paul, quit yottr foolin'," said Bill. "I ain't interested in the watch-chq.in your holding up." a It'isn't the watch chain I'm calling your to Bill." "What is it then?" "It's this compass." "Eh? a This compass that I always carry suspended to my watch chain as a charpl. It isn't the most accurate compass in the world but Bill, it will tell us where South I Hurrah!" cried Bill. Paul his compass. a There," he cried, driv:e down that corridor,' along sidebf those gleaming ghosts." I Through a beautiful lqng white aisle, wher:e the stalactites made many wonderful figures of startling grace and mystery, the two ,men rode on the coach, which ran along the firm hard sandy bottom of the caverns,' as they passed an endless chain of beautiful caves. a There must be hundr.eds of these caverns," cried PaLl I. "My, if we hadn't. happened to have this com pass. We would have wandered through cavern after cavern, aimlessly rushing from this corridor' to that. aisle until we would have laid down to die of starva tion-and no one probably ever have found us." "HJw d? you suppose that pirate P hilip knew how to get in and out of the place where we found the loot of his band?" '" a He must have had some chart. Out" finding the gems was entirely due to cold luck Weare going to be equally and get out of this I'm sure." '''Hope so,. I'd hate to die here a millionaire and no one know it." "If you do you'll die in the company of another millionaire and that's a comfort." Just my dumb luck to kick when I've got every money reason to 'want to just now." Ah, Bill, that's the curse gold brings with it. Better ,honest poverty, your stage-coach, your daily stint of work, and your meager pay than this quest with millions of dollars' worth of property for a chance to spend your casn." All right, youngster., old Bill will take a chanst at that, of getting out of h,er' e with the gems. Rather stay here an' d die a nlillionajre noW I have niy flippers on the stuff than to go back and regret aIr my life the leavin' of a fortune behind to save my worthless life." "Human nature, again, Billy boy." As they L'ode aloIJ.g a soft purplish-white tint began to creep iota the cavern. . It loot
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,.. THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY . 29 ""\\T h o are dead ? she a sk ed. "All three o f the outlaws, P o lacca pelgada, Joe K a m us,. a n d th e Indian, Kinistino." Posse ge t them? T h ere w a s a matter-of-fact tone of the fr';ntier girl as s h e aske d the question. T he execution of three bandits was what she had exp ected t o hear any day that the decent citizens in the territo r y a woke and claimed their right to stamp out l aw l ess ness and murderous works, along with the outlaw thugs that lSerformed them. Yes." W h a t next? " Judg e Lynch. ; "Oh The men were strung up, eh? " Yes." "Good day s work. Hope you .were in it. We mus t k eep the territory clear of such gentry as those three assa s sins and it will put a stop to the aepreda t ions of other gangs of outlaws." I fear' not. The Delgada gang will flee. But will be always some thug who wishes to be a bandit, not having brains enough t o see that there's riches here for any man, but only the rope, revolver and the knife for the gun-fighting outlaw." "Well, I'm 'glad it's all o v er." So am I." W h e n are you going t o ma rr y me? The g irl blushed. No w you must take that h1atter up with dad. If he s a ys yes-I -might--" T her e was a scream. But it w as drowned in the loud shouts of applause that came floating around the veranda sides to the happy, man and woman, who stood hand in hand. O op P op! Oop! Stag e C oach BiIFs and whip was heard to be urgin g hi s fast flying four-in-hand of bronchos. O n th e top of the coach y e lling like a maniac was P a ul Cas sel. .'" Hoora y Hip! Hip! Hooray! shrieked Paul. Bill h e r e we are again. Home again!" B e t c h e r li f e ," winked Bill in one senten' ce. Wasn't it l ucky our escape from them caverns? " Wasn't it? Andso easy." "When we saw the light all we had to do was to nus tIe a h e ?d and there the road wound around until i t s t op p e d a t a sort of earth embankment, which we dug thro ugh in a b o ut a n h our." I "Lucky there was a load of shovels and pick-axes sen t t o the f ort as fre i g ht from F ort Coppermine, eh? " Y es. Luck has stood by me all through this camp a i g n with t he outlaws I wonder wher e those chaps ar e ? " Weare in the c onfines of tHe fort how: No danger ever again from them.' n Paul remembered thi s remark when he was told later of the lynching of the three outlaws, Shall I drive right up to the fort?" asked Bill. I Sure. want to turn over this treasure to Karl Thurlaw, as soon as' I can." "Better put that che s t 0' ourn with them millions o f gems in it right into the big safe vau 1 t of the Hud'son' s Bay Company as quiCkly as you can. vVe can't a fford t o lose our newry found millions Stage Coach B ill chuckled. You darned old mis er." roared Paul Cassel. "Now up this team, Weare in a hurry to get home." The "team" o f f o ur bronchos was acq)rdingly "touched up." The process s e emed, to need much snapping and p opping of whip and many strange yells from Stage Coach Bill and P aul Cas sel. The noise Drought out the entire population of tiny F ort Rupert.-"Coach Day" was an institution in the hamlet. Still further a man, woman or child not even a yellow dog in the hainlet but that had heard discussed the bitter fight that the outlaws were waging against Stage Coach Bill the luck with which he had a v oided their devilish plots, and now that he was b ack again in Fort Rupert with the outlaws buried in grave s their crimes du g for their inert bodies the population turned out with a will to meet the returned c o ach driver for Stage Coach Bill was extremely popular in the hamlet "Here comes Bill! c ried ,Buck Cooper "Hurrah! Good boy, Bill. Got th e treasure aboard safe?" I Bill nodded. Paul flourished his shot gun. Buck Cooper pulfed his big rey olver, Yip! Yip! Yip!" he shrieked 111 true cow-boy "I'm going to tarn loose." fI e did turn loose, all right. 'His weapon flashed and banged away like a roaring war.ship.

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I 30 THE AMERICAN INDIAN WEEKLY. "Judge lJ now back to the world "under' his usual name of "Mexican Bill" Lane, also drew his weepin and added to the din. / The example of these .two leaders of Fort Rupert's high-brow thought communicated itself to the other mem bers o f the male population of the hamlet. Every man had a gun. Every man shot one off. Every boy large enough to have a gun shot one off also. And all the women who didn't carry guns, and all the sinall b9Ys too small to carry them-and they were pretty small at in unison. "Thus the eptry of Stage Coach Bill aqd Papl into Fort Rupert in a mild way was quite as effectual as any "triumph .. arranged for the vanity of any Roman Emperor. "Well Bill," cried Karl Thurlaw, wh'en that worthy jumped from his coach to fold his love}y daughter in his arms. "Hello I<:,arI," cried Bill. Say dad," shyly put in just shake hal?ds here with MI : Karl Thurlaw, yout future son-in-law." "What? Bm's face grew red. His were like young onions. "You see, good folks he remarked "I ain't mys elf to-day I ha've escaped a lot of outlaws. I have become a millionaire, and I've got a son-in-law a to me all in one day. Seems to me I'm getting my honors rather fast Iii Dad; cried Minnie. 'The I outlaws have been judged and executed by Judge Lynch." Well, he is smart at j.qdgin when he gets goin'. I didn't think he would get going ever at Pol Delgada and his gang." . .Then Bill told, his story of the millions of gems that he and Paul had discovered. Congratula!ions!" shouted KarL" lsn't it great! Say Minn.ie h
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" THE ADVEN ..... URE SERIES The Most Thrilling, 1 Exciting, Up-to-Date Stories of Adventure and the Far West ever Published. The Absolutely True and Authentic History of the Lives and Exploits of America's Famous Bandits. ALL PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED ,-:_ .. No.2. T h e J ame s Boys of Old M i s s ouri. The Only True Account Ever Publishe d of the Most Desperate Bandits of 1\11 Time This thrilli"g story of th!, Outlaw Kings, who !erronzed the and 1< at" \Vest, IS profusely 111ustrated. It IS baoed on facts related by eye wItnesses of the awful deeds. It breathes of ter rible revenge. It pulses with intense excitement. For the _first time the real history of the assassina. tion of JESSE J.\)LES 'is'set forth. Price. by mail, postpaid, 20c -per copy. No.6. The Younger Brothers. The startling and nigh incredible exploits of these four brothers who terrorized a dozen Statec; are wl-itten from the account of their deeds given by" Cole and Bob, Driven from their homes by rhe perse_cutions of the Federal troops during the Civil \Var, one after another of them enlisted under the H Black Flag 0, of the Guerrilla Chieftain, Quantrel1, and finally joined the notorious James tloys as lllt"l11bers of their gang. by mail, postpaid, 20c pel' copy. No.8. Rube Burrow. l.(nown in ,\labama an d throughout the adJacent States as the .. l'rince of 'if'rain Robbers," Rube BUITOW up the railroad flyers and looted the safes in the express cars for four years ere he 'va.s finally killed. Hundreds of detectives were sent out to capture him, but his arrest was actually accoll1plished by a huge negro. Even after he was in jail. by clever fuse, he ll1ade his captors pri:-;onel's Price, by mail, postpaid, 20c per copy. No. -11. Jesse J a mes' M idni g h t -Raid. This starv describes the desccnt of the notoriol!:; ontlaw alld' his men upon a boon"}" mining town of Nevada. they are encamped in a canY01l they are startled by a cry. .\n investigation leads to an encounter with several ferocious O"ro1111tain lions and the finding of a woman's corpse. Proceeding to the town, the handits ail'ive just in time to prevent the lvnching of the hm,band of the woman, who, it is learned, fled fron\ her home with her baby to escape the advances of the boss of the to\"n. a gambler. Jesse decides to ullmask the villain, and in doing so TI1eetc; a ser:e$ of ad \Telltures that aloe thrilling, fillal1y escaping from 13 cave by mak ing a human bridge. Pdce, by ma il, postpai11, :!Oc }Jel' copy. $20,000 Rewa rd-Dead or Aliv e! Read/about it in the great book, "JESSE J."ms, l\1Y FATHER,'l written by h i s son, Jesse James, Jr., the only true of .th e life of the famous outlaw. 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The Above Books are For Sale by A ll Booksellers and Newsdealers or They wii l be sent Post Paid upon R ecei p t of Price b y the Publishers THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK o.

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AbL WEEKLIES I . . h t t d tective stor.es ever written. No man has ever lived in this These. stones, ISsued every es alleing "'hith so teem with excitement and desoerate sltua c (>unt,y or any blher whbse fales a!,e sToh n ng, so t e as iong as those in any.other library, each story having tions as those of "OLD SLEUTH. e s t ones are \ IC < the enormous total of 50,000 words. Nothing liKe it ever b e f ore, attempted. THE FOLLOWING NUMBERS ARE NOW OUT: Detective; or The Great Philadelphia 1. The Ret\!rn of O ld Sleuth the lIiystery. 2. The ;\1 ystery o f the Missing Millions; or Tracked by a Great Detective. :=:. The of Find. the Hauntea House; or The Great D etective's Tragic 4 The King of all Detectives; or Y O U11g J aok Slellth on the Trail. ii. The Giant Detective's Last Shadow; A Tale of Herculean Detective .r\dvtJnture. G. '(he S ilent TerNr; A Narrative o f Get;lltitte Strategy. i. Thc V e iled Beauty; or The Mrstery of the Cahforma :gelress. S. The Mystery of the Spantard s Vendetta; or A Great DetectIve s j\1arvGlol1s Strategy. .1 n. The Great Bond Robbery; or TIacked, by a F e male Detective. !(to Old Siebth's Greatest Case; or Caught by the t(ing of all Detectives. 11. tbe Jla}i Ridge Mystery; or Old Sleuth's Winning Hand . 1" Shadowed to his Doom' or Fo!led by Ihe YankeI' Detective. l'rapping or The Lightning .petcctive on the TraiL H Trailed by the Wall Street Detective; or Badger's Midnight Quest. 13 . The Irish J)etectlve's Greatest Case; or The Strategy of O'Neil McDonagh. . lr;. The Greatest Mystery o f the Age; or Saved. by the DetectIve. 1 i. TI"apping the Moonshiner s ; or Strange. Adventures of a Government Detective in the Tennessee lIIountams. The GInn. t Detective Among the Cowboys; or The Weird Narrative o f a T 1\f an. m. The votery of the Black 'Trunk; or Manfred's Strange QUl'st 20. The C/iid of t he Coullter feiters; 01' The Boy Detective's Gre!,test Hau!. 21. The Myste, y of the Floating Head; or Caught by the K111g of the Detectives. The Beautifu1 Cr i minal; or The New York D e tectiv e's Strangest Case. .. The Great Train Robberv; or Saved by a Woman Detective. H The Adventuress ; A Tale of Marvelous Plots Red-Light Will, T h e River Detective; or The RoundUp of the Wharf Rat's Gang. .. . 2ft. The T'\'111 Shat;lO\vers; or A Suprl s m g Case of MIsta ken Identlry. 21. The' SMugglers of New York Bay; 01: The River Pirates' Greatest Ctible. Black Ravcn, the 'ferrqr of the Georgia Moonshiners; or The Moun Last Stand. 2n. a Villain; or The Frepch Greatest Case. 'fYY a Russian Duke; 0'An American Detective Among the Nihilists. The '(yotery of the Black Pool; or The Dutch Detective's Sensational Fi",r. The Ve;led Lady of th e Ruins; or Hamud's Ghastly Discovery. :,.1. Foile d by a Corp,e: or A T a l e of the Great Southwest. "ight Hawk,. the Moun ted Detective; or Trailing the Mountain q ut I Ki rll1anped in New York; or The Dangers of :t Gr ea t City. :{(;, Lnred by a Siren; or In the Clutches of a Beau tiful Blackmailer Olel Siouth's T.-iu!f.ph; or The Great Bron x Mystery. :lR." A Trail o f Blood; the to "0' Sl,uth's Triumph :In. The lla"'l of' the" Red Oath:" or Run. Covel' b y a Governn;tent Spy. 40. Te'1'pted by a W oman; or The French D eteoti"e s NarroW' Escape. 41. The Million Dollar Consoi,acv: or Old Sleuth to the Rescue. 42. Accllsecl from the Coffin i or The of a Dastard l,v P l o t ('oolness Ageinst Cunning; or '(railed by "F.ithful Mike.' 44. Foiled by Love; or The" Mo)lv M aguir.,' .. La s t Stand. 4[,. Under a Mil1ion Disguises; or Manfred the Metamorphosist. 46. Tracked by the ;\fan o f Mv