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Frank Reade, Jr., and his magnetic gun-carriage; or, Working for the U. S. mail

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr., and his magnetic gun-carriage; or, Working for the U. S. mail
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Physical Description:
Serial
Language:
English
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels   ( lcsh )
Science fiction   ( lcsh )
Inventors -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
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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 - R17-00011
usfldc handle - r17.11
aleph - 024850329
oclc - 63761896
System ID:
SFS0000002:00011


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Latest and Best Stories are Published in This Library. Entered as Second Class 11Iatter at the New York, N. Y., Post Ojflce, October 5, 1892. No 60 { } FRANK TOUSEY. Punr,tsRER, 3! & 36 NoRTn MooRE S rREET, NEw YoRK. Vol. III COMPLETE. New York, November 11, 1893. ISSUED WEEKLY. .,. c Entered according to the Act of Cong r ess, in the l!tur 1893, by FRA.NK TO [J_SEY, in the ojflce of the Librarian of Congress, at TfTashington, D. 0. Reade, Jr., and His Magnet ic Gun-Ca r r i a ge; WORKING FOR THE U .S. MAIL. or,

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2 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS MAGNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE. The subscription price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50; $1.25 per six months, post paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISH:ER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. Frank Reade, Jr., and His Magnetic Gun-Carriage; OR, 'fORKING FOR THE UNITED STATES MAIL. By "NONAME," Author of" Frank Reade, Jr., With His Air Ship in Asia," "Frank Reade, Jr., in the :E'ar West,'' etc., etc. CHAPTER I. A $50,000 MAIL ROBBERY, THE TentiJ National Bank of San Francisco was in the habit of sending by registered packages large sums of money to the Mici.Jigan National Bani( of Chicr.go. Some time ago they made a shipment of $50,000 in bills of the one thousand denomination, inclosed in n sealed envelope, and the mail pouch arrivell in the Chicago General Post Office apparently ontampered with. It was opened by clerks Doe nnd Roe, who, in checking off, discov ered that the valuable package alluded to above was missing. The loss was immediately reported to the superintendent, and a thorough search was made for it. The Registry Derartment was turned topsy-turvy, no one was nl lowed to enter or depart until all the clerks had been searched, and every nook and corner carefully examined and overhauled. Unfortunntely the search was fruitless. As soon as the pCJstmaeter heard of the robbery he notified Chief Inspector East or Wasnington, and several detectives, or "Inspectors," as they are eaile(i in the Service, wero put to work to fer ret out the mystery of the missing pnckage. Two of the inspectors began tracing tl:e pouciJ which contained the envelope from tb11 time it was received in tbe post office by the two clerks I.111Ck to the post office in San Frnncisco, where it was delivered to one of the railway postal clerks. It was proven that the robbery did not occur in Chicago, and all the clerks in the general office were exonerated, 'l'he San Francisco I.Jankers were notified, and telegrapi.Jed back that the package left them in goo1 order. If this were true, the thief must have hnd a duplicate key to the pouch lock, as only two keys werG supposed to I.Je in !'XIStence-dne in San Francisco and the other in Chicago. The robbery therefore must have occurred between the big cities. I Although as much secrecy aY possible was maintained about the matter by the federal officers, the prying newspaper raporters got points about the matter, and gave the aforegoing rncts publicity. Among the mnny who read the account was a noted inventor of marvelous electrical, magnetic and contrivances, named F'rank Reade, Jr. He resided in the flourishing little city of Readestown, and was re garded all the world over as one ol the most remarkable young men of tbe nineteenth century. Frank resided in a palatial mansion. He wns a dashing-looking young with fine features, and au athletic figure, tlfe most extraordinary courage; and one of ti.Je kind eat or hearts. On the morning be rea.d the aforegoing account or the $50,000 mail robbery, he was sitting in his library, when there sou ded a tremend ous crash of broken glass. The next moment a negro of diminutive size came diving through a window from the yard, and landed in a heap on the floor among the fragments of the brolten frame and .shattered panes. Startled by this unexpected l'Vent, Frank sprang to his feet, and glancing in amazement at tbe coon, IJe exclaimed: It's Pomp, by thunder!" The individual alluded to scramtlled hastily to his big feet, and a broad grin overspread his comical mug, as he replit\d: S'pecs it am, Marse Frank. But if d1s chile hadn't a-come !roo dat winder, It wo11ld have only been de remains ob d:s yere niggnh." "What wns the matter?'' B:lruey done try ter break my head wlf a bale stick. jist kase I wake him out ob a nap in his chair lJy buildin' a bon-fire under it, sah." At this moment there sounded n dismal bowl out in the yard. "Howly floy," roared the man's vmce, "I'll be afther gom' ter !Jed shlandin' up fer a week. Will some wan show me that nagur till I I.Jate a laRg out nv him?" And the door Hew open, nnd n red-handed Irishman rushed i:J. He was llourisi.Jing a cluh in his hand, his usually gopd nntured, freckled face wore a look ol and he around the room with an intense longing to pulverize the coon. Both Pomp and O'Shea 1vere old friends of Frank's, who in. variably assisted him to construct his inventions, ar.d went with him on the hazardous jourr.eys he made in them. Hold on there, !Joys," cried Frank, sternly. "I want you to stop this nonsense! You are vlaying those co .. rounded upon otller, anti I'm sick and ti.-ell further reference to their inj urles, and Frank sa\d to them: "I've got some news or importance for you, boys." Jndade!" replied Burney, interestedly, "an' what moigbt that be?" "You !;now I have just completed a new magnetic engine?" "De Magnet?" queried Pomp. "Yes; I have a use for her." "Shure an' it's plazeLl I am ter hear it." 'Wi.Ja' yo' ter do wif her, Marse Frank?'' "Work for the United States Mail." "How am dat?'' "This newspaper item explains the case." And Frnnli read to his friends the account given at the opening of our story, and then drew a letter from his pocket. Barney and Pomp became very much interested. Glancing curiously at the letter, Barney asked: What is that, sor?" "A letter from Chief Inspector East, of Washington. He wants us to employ one of my overland engines to aid detectives t:1 recover the stolen package." "Fo' de La.wd's sake," Sllid Pomp. "How we'se gwine ter use it dat way!" "I rlon't know yet. But the chief makes me a tempting financial offer to do the W<'rk, aurl 6ays he is goin!!: to send one of his men named Jim Fay here to explain matters. If I conclude to accept his ofi'er, the inspector id to accompany us." An' will yez go?" "Very likely. We have got the mnchine, and no use for it. This ofier opens a fiehl of nuventure for us that we all want. Ah! There's a ring at the door bell. Who can If, be!" They listened, a servant came in with a curd. 1Mr. James Fay, of Washington, she announced. ";The detecti vel' Frank. "Show him in." In a few moments the girl n very large, muicular mnn into the room-a person clad in a plau1 blncl' snit, with a clean shaven lace and close cut hn1r, keen eyes and a quiet air. "Mr. Reade, 1 believe?" he said mqUirin!!;ly, glancing at Frank. "That is my name, sir. Come in. I reccivetl a letter from .Mr. /

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FRA.NK READE, JR, AND HIS MAGNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE. 8 East about you. These are my confidential friends, Barney and Pomp.'' Yes, I've heard of them before," said the ir.spector as he strode in and sat do wn. "You are aware of the object of my call?'' "I am,'' promptly repliEd Frallk, "Please state your case.'' "To be brief, I was one of the two men sent to San Francisco,'' said Fay, "and while there I discovered how the bank's money was stolen. Toe man who locked the mail-pouch in San Francisco post office carried the key home in his pocket. That night his dissolute robbed him of it and boarded the train upon which thll pouches were shipped. Secretly gaining access to the mail car and chloroform ing the clerk unseen, be opened the pouch, subtracted the bank's package, and locking the bag be escnpPd, The railway mail clerk did not know that he had been drugged. But he admitted to me that be had slept while on duty guarding the poncues." "WeHr' asked Fmnk, as the inspector paused. "I Interviewed the man who bad locked the bag. He admitted that he awoke that night, or rather early the following morning, and caught his son in the act of replacing the stolen key in the pocket or his clothine that laid on the bedroom chair. The young man tied. His unfortunate fathet: is arrested and lodged in prison. He will fare hard unless his guilty son is captured and confesses that the old gen tleman was innocent of complicity in the deed." "'l'hen you intend to capture the son?" "Yes. Dick Ross dared not remain in the city. He fled eastward, .and I discovered has joined a lawless gang who make a specialty of robbing the in transit on the railroads through 1\Iontan. a." What did yon design to do with my new magnetic gun carri"ge!" "Run down the maU robbers, break up their gang, recover the stolen money, nod protect the mails m general until the gang in ques tion is exterminated.'' "!like your plan, Mr. Fay, and shall attempt it.'' "Good. I'll meet yon in Chicago one week from to-day. Bring along your invention, and we'll see If we can't put a stop to this ras cality and capture DicK Ross.'' And after some further conversation with the cefebrated inventor, the inspector took his departure. CHAPTER II. CHASING A RUNAWAY. THREE days afterward Frank and his two friends had the Magnet equipped for her wiTtl, adyenturous journey across the continent, and boarding the machine they started for Chicago in her. lt was a custom of the newspapets to apprise the public or the fact t hat Frank Reade, Jr., had invented a new machine every time he tt .. ught out one of these peculiar contrivances. Renee the chief inspector in Washington was well aware at the time he wrote to the inventor that he had this engine in readiness, and as Frank had assistea the government on other occasions there had been 110 hesitancy in calling upon him in this case. The magnetic gun,carriage was a strictly new departure for the in ventor to attempt, as )le had never before utiltzed magnetic power as a means of propulsion. In appearance the machine was very sin!!:ulur. It was mounted on etght wheel!, which hke the rest of the engine, were made of that strong hght metal called aluminum. The front protected by a cow-catcher, the forward wheels turned on a pivot to steer the affuir and the hind wheels were coupled to the armatures of a tremell(!ons to drive it. A square compartment occupied the forward part of the engine, with a powerful electric search light mounted on the roof. This compartment was dtvided into two sections. At the front was a room with i:uge windows for the steersman, 'wiaile in back was a small room for sleeping purposes. Upon the railefi p!ntform of the hind wheels stood a turret from t hree sides of which projected the muzzles of three pneumatic guns, while the shell was llrolmn by slots and hull's eyes. In this rovm the cooking and dining utensils were kept, besides the arms, ammunition, wa er, provisions and other stores. Frank was proud of this machine. He had discovered th:h magnetism could be made as useful for power as electricity was for motive force. The electro-magnet was o,f the ordinary kind, made on a large scale and operated by an elect ric current derived from storage batteries which also operatert the search-light, the incandescent lamps in the roorr.s and otlter arrangements where an electric current was nePrlt>d. This form of magnet was necessary for the following reason: A magnet when fresnly magnetized is powerful, but gradually falls off in strength unlil it reaches a point at which its strength remains constant, called the point of saturation. They are by the weight the armature will bear without break 1 ing away, an:i a 2-ounce magnet will sustain a weight or 3 pounds 2. onnces, or about 25 times its own weight, A 100 pound one will only sustain 211 poands-less than 3 times iLs own weight, and thus small magnets are proven the strongest. Consequently, if ordinary magnets were used, it would require so rnany small ones that the machine could not carry their weight. Frank explained this to his compani ons. as the machine ran smooth ly along a bard road bordering the railroad track. Tile afteraoon was well advanced, and to while away the time, the dnrky took up an old banJo, and the Celt an antiquated fiddle witll which they struck np a lively tune. A traia with many passengers aboard passed them going from Readestown, and a cheer pealed from every one when they saw Frank's magnetic machine. The young investor took it as a defiance, and pulling a lever that added speed to the wheels he drove the Magnet ahead At. that moment the machioe had been making no more thas twenty miles an hour, while the train was going along at twice that speed, aoll swiftly passed her. But as soon as Frank increased the speed of his invention it flew ahead, and swiftly overtook the train. Another pull at the lever sent her rushing on at the rata of a mile a minute, and the train was left behind despite the engineer putting on every pound of steam the locomotive could carry. It was now Frank's torn to feel jubilant. He had no desire to keep up the fur10us pace, however, and there fore slackened speed till the train reached him. "You had a bigger contract on yonr hands than you bargailled for," shouted the young inventor, smilingly. "I thought I could beat that wonder," the engineer replied, as he sized up the Magnet. "I never was so badly sold before!" Frank permitted the train to pass him. It soon vanished around a curve. Pomp went into the turret, and lifting up a trap-door in the floor, be made an examination of the batteries. They were properly charged, and the machinery in the same apace, operated by the electro magnet, was working rapidly Barney passed out on the platform with a tleld-glass in his band. Gluncing back the way they came frotn, he audaenly caught sight of a locomotive and a freight car come tearing along at a tremendous rate of speed after the train that had passed. Amazed at the furious pace nt which the engine was going, when the other train on the same track was such a short distance ahead, the I.rishmat: peered at it through his glass. A startled exclamation escaped him. "Howly Heavens!" he gasped. There's no wan on that locomo tivel" And he told the truth! The engine was running away! A veritable chill passed over Barney, for he realized that if the locomotive reached the train ahead, it would smash into it. A wreck and terrible would ensue. People would be wounded, maimed nnd killed. Into the wheelroom dashed B>1rney to tell Frank, just as tl:e runaway locomotive reached the Magnet. "What's the matter?" demanded the startled inventor. Begob, there's a locomotive on' car widout a sow! on It!" Instantly Frank divined the truth. He glanced at the roaring engine as it thundered past, making at least sixty miles an hour, and as quick as a flash started the Magnet flying after it. He knew that the salvation of the people in the train ahead depend ed upon him st!lpping tile runaway, -and made up his mind to do it if there was a way to. Ahead the locomotive rushed like Jightning, the Magnet in hot pur suit, and the curve was reached. For a moment it to Frank that the Iocomctive would fly off the rails, as tt rushed around the bend at that awful rate of speed and heeled far over upon its side. A wild shriek arose from the wheels on one side, which alone clung to the track, but in a moment more the engine had safely made the curve and went rumbling off on a down grade with accelerating speed. Into the wheel room hastened Pomp, wondering why on earth was driving the Ma:.rnet along so swiftly. A cloun of dust arose around the machine, and Frank pulled lever all the way over. The wheels fairly buzzed like circular saws, and if there had been an obstruction in the way, a dreadful catastrophe might bave oc curred to the three friends. Like an arrow from the how Rhot the magnetic machine, and under the augmented impulse given her, she rapidly bore down on the run away. Slowly hut surely she gained in the mad, furious race, bot the train ahead appeared to view. "By heavens, I'm afraid we can't reach that locomotive before Jt comes up with the train!" panted Frank. "Then It's a terrible collisiOn ther papers'll be afther mintionin' in lhar marnln'," gloomily observed Barney. Kain't yo' put on mo' speed, Frank!" "No; the Magnet is her level best.'' "Faix, it's gaiDin' vre are, an' fasht in ther bargain," hopefully said Barney. "But we haven't toime ter win.'' Fran!;: pondered a moment, and an idea suggested itself to his mind, and he said to Barney: Take the steering wheel, l'm gGing back in the turret." But, hegorry, yer not givin' up?" "No, no! When I yell, you stop the Magnet and turn her around." Wondering what plan Frank bad in view, the Irishman nodded, and grasped the spokes. Frank then passed into the rear rocm. Here he opened tbe breach or one of tbe guns. Standing upon a rack were a nnmbl!r of huge, cartridge-sttaped brass projectiles, loaded with an explosive compound or terrific strength.

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4 FRANK READE, JR. AND HIS GUN-CARRIAGE. Shoving one of them into the gun, Frank turned a wheel at the I such an extent that the hour went by when Barney was to relieve side, charging the air reservoir, and yelled to the Irishman: him or ilia trick at the wheel. "Now! Stop her! Turn h"r!" The Irishman had promptly awakened in the room, however, Shtop it is!' replied Barney. and peering through the open door, he saw the coon standing half He swung the Magnet around and stopped the mechanism. asleep at tile wheel. No sooner was this done, when Frank aimed the gun at the driving A mischievous loolt crossed Barney's race. wheels or the flying locomotive. Build_ bonfoires undher 10e chair, will he!'' muttered the rogue. "Far better to ruin the engine thar. let it kill those people," he "Shure, It would be ther great ptty t.o lave him inj'y himself at mv muttered, grimly. "I think I can make the shot." expinse widout toochiu' llim up a l!it fer it, bad cess to his poo:r He saw that the pllople on the train were aware of the peril they nose!" n were in, for many of them crowded the platforms and steps, and were He saw that both of Pomp's hands clutched the metal wheel, allll looking back out the windows. softly unfastening an electric wire that fed current to the lamps in The engineer had put on every pound or steam his engine could gensleepil:.g room, he made a hook in tile uuinsulated end. erate in a wild effort to run away from the monster that was roaring Reaching out the wire, he hooked it onto wheel pivot, and the after him. current tlew into the metal. It was quite uselees, however. The coon gave a convulsive start as he got the sllock. The passenger train could go only half as fast as the other. Involuntarily his lingers tightened on the wheel. It was swiftly bearing down \lPOn them, aud in the course or a few Then he uttered a wild whoop and flew up into the air. minutes was bound to crash into tile rear car. "Bress de Lawd!" he bowled. Having the gun, Frank mad" due allowaoc'3 for the speedHe landed on his feet, gasped heavily once or twice, his eyes bulged ing of the locomotive, and discharged the shot. and every kink in his wool l.oegan to unravel. Th e re came a heavy thud of escaping air, and the cartridge emitted "Bress de Lawd!" he lwwled again. a wild howl as It Hew through the air. Then his teeth rattled aud hts race t.vitched, he galloped up and It landed and burst with a thunderous report. down, aud he threw ilimseif all over, But it missed the locomotive. A roar or laughter escapl!d Barney. Landing behind it, the shot blew a big hole in the ground. "Oh, be tiler toeuai! av St. Pathrick," he said, "d'yer moiod ther ___ splits au' llip Haps he's adoiu'!'' Pomp beard him. Fastening a baleful glare upon the Irishman, he raved: Yo' doce dat! Yo' done dat!" CHAPTER iii. OFF FOR MONTANA. A CRY of dismay burst Involuntarily from Frank ions when they saw that the shot missed its mark. and his com pan" I'll take me oath I didn't!" asserted Barney. It wor the elec thric spark." "I didn t allow enough for the speeding of the locomotive," the young inventor muttered, in horrified tones. Aim furder ahead Marse Frankl" yelled Pomp from the wheel room. Faith, it's too late ter throy anot)ler shot," roared Barney. He saw that the runaway was in dangerous proximity to the train ahead, and thought there was no salvation for it. Not so with Frank; however. While thllre was life there wos hope. No sooner had he seen the first shot miss its mark when he sprang to the next gun and rapidly loaded it. He did not lose an instant.. Never before had he ever loaded and fired a gun so quickly. Away sped a second projectile while Barney was talking of it being useless to hope to do it. Boom I it roared, And it hit its mark! A terrible crash followed. The runaway locomotive was smashed to fragments, and the freight ear attached to It was torn to pieces. Tu'n it off, hooey, tu'n it off, or l'se a dead coon!" Shore I wouldn't lay me Jluger ou it. Is it in ther same sou; you're in yez would be artber me?'' I tole yer-wow-I-wow-1-wow I" And as the current increased Pomp began to throw himself again. He couldn t let go his grip on the wheel, bu:. as the current flew through him, be kicked higher than his own head and made a terrible etl'ort to pull the wheel to pieces. Barney took a rest and laughed again. "Oh, ahtop!" he chuckled. Pomp, ye divil, it's thtr death av me you are!" He fairly doubled up with mirth when in an ungoarded nigger's feet shot out like a spite driver and caught him in the face knocking him heels over head upon the Jloor. His backward flight, gripping tile electric wire, jerked it away from the steering wheel, relieving Pomp. As soon as tile current stopped the coon was able to Jet go thtt wheel, and the next moment he was jumping on Barney with hands and feet and roaring: Up in the air and in all directions flew the debris. The passenger traiu went on many glasses in the rear 'Take dat, yo' good-fo'-nnffin l'ish trasl...Z Donn' yo' fool aroun dis yere bumble bee if yo' d'wanter git stinged." car de" Murder in Irislll" howled Barney; it's ther jim-jams he has. molished, and many abrasions at tbe end. But no one was hurt. The runaway had been from the truck. 1t was one of the mosL singular means of rescue on record, and the wonderful pn e uma:tic gun had pro\"eo its immense utility in more ways than one. Every one on the train was amazed. As soon as they recovered from thuir a tremendous cheer for Frank and his friends was given. Barney and Pomp were d&lighted. When Frank j o ined them they warmly CO!lgratulated him. Be heavens," sa i d Barney, "I couldn't &fired a bettber shot me self!'' "Marse Frank, Ise proud ob yo'," said the coon. "To prevent any more accidents occurring on that track," said Frank, "I'd better send word back to Readestowu about what I did, and have them send some men to repair the tracks blown up when the locomotive went to pieces." Ile opened a box and took out a telegraph key, sounder ana relay, all fastened upon one small board. Alighting from the Magnet, he climbed up the t:earest telegraph pole beside the track, tapped the wire, and as he understood tele graphy, he sent the message. A r!lply came back that the matter would be attended to at once, whereupon Frank descended to the ground again. The saved train had come to a pause, but Frank signaled the engi neer to go ahead again. We don't want to hear their thanks," he said to his two friends as he jomed them. A few moments afterwards the Magnet resumed her journey at a moderate rate or speed, and as the shadows or night began to fall, Pomp, who was a good cook prepared supper. Several hours later the watch was divided. Frank !lnd Barney turned in and Pomp remained on duty. The Magnet rolled ahead easily on her fiexible springs, and as the sky had become obscured by clouds the coon pulled one of the levers starting the seurch-light. A tremendous abaft was Jlung a mile or more ahead by the power-ful reflector, lighting up the road as if by day. 1 Pomp fell Into a meditative mood, and forgot his surroundings to Will some wan loan me au ax till I ther gorilla!" Frank was aroused by the rearftd racket, and coming out at this juncture, he drove Pomp into the bedroom, replaced the wire, and finally got Barney settled down at the wheel. On the following afternoon they reached Chicago. Here Frank alighted on the suburbs, and calling on the postmas ter, had a long conference with him. Jim Fay waa then suu;moned. "I've just got a report from the Wes!. that Dtck Ross was last. seen in Helena, Montana,'' said he. "He will very likely be round among the gang operating against the Northern Pacific railroad." "Then Montana is our point of destination," said Frank, promptly. "The sooner we start the better." I'm ready," replied the insptctor. They parted with the postmaster, and the detective took his grip and went out with Frank. The officer was amazed at the engine and delighted with its per formance when they started it off . They had a long journey before them, crossing through Iowa and Soutll Daltot.a ere they ran mto the State or Mon. tana, east,. or th" Pow der river monntains. Following the border northward, they reached Fort Buford, on the Northern Pamfic road, after crossing the Yellowstone river at its fork from the Missouri. Jt was resolved to follow the course or the road through the state, as the mail robbers had been infestins :his for a long time, creating their worst depredations there. Accordingly, that mght, after tele!!;raphing back to Chicago in cipher their intontions, they started off. BarDAy and Pomp turned in, leaving Frank and the big man on duty, and as the prairie was fairly smooth, they made progres11 l toward the jistaut village of Brocton. It was a very cloudy night. lllost of the stars were hidden, and the moon showed its silvery disc at infrequent intervals. Several miles ahead of -them the road ran through a woods, and as they drew nearer to it Frank suddenly caught sight or a horseman riding along ahead at an easy pace. Wondering who he was, the young inventor increased the speed of the Magnet, and rapidly bore down upon htm.

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FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS Md.GNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE. Attracted by the glare or the search-light, thtl rider suddenly glanced back and the inspector viewed him with a glass. "By thunder!" be ejaculated, suddenly. "What is it!" quer:ed Frank, in startled tones. He is Dick Ross, the very man we are alter!" Frank was amazed. He viewed the lone rider with a glass. He was a young man with a slight mustache, dark eyes and hair, and wore a derby and good dark suit. It was such a bold, reckless face, Frank could never forget it. "I'll run him dnwnl" he exclaimed. Adaing speed to the Magnet he sent her flying on at a terrific pace, and the horseman took fright. Observing that he was being pursued he plunged spurs into his h orse's llanKs and dashed away. An exciting ruce between the horse and the engina then began. CHAPTER IV. IIURIED ALIVE. DICK Ross wus mountt>d on a magnificent steed, antl still following t he road, be plunged into the woo!!s i:J advance of the Magnet. Here be disappered from Frank'a view. On rushed the magnetic engine, aud in a few moments she entered the gloomy arcade or trees, some of the branches or which overhung the road just the gun carriage. The search-light !lashing ahead revealed the fugitive. He was now but a few yards iD advance. Indeed, his capture Feemed certain. The horse was frightened by the Magnet rushing up behind it, and -exerted every muscle in a wild effort to get a way from it. Ross glanced hack over his shoulder. He saw what danger he was in. A look of despair crossed his face. The gun carriage drew clllser. In a moment more it was almost at his horse's hoofs. Bot the rider saw a chance to escape. He suddenly got upon Ius feet on the horsess hack. Reacl1iog up his bands, he grasped branch or a tree. There be hung. His steed sped on. And the Magnet flew past him! Frank uttered a cry or chagrin when he saw what was done. He quickly shut off power, and whAn the machine stopped be turned her around, leaving the riderless horse to go plunging ahead.' Glancing back at the branch to which Ross bad been banging, Frank daw that the man had diaappeared. By thunder, he has escaped us!" be cried. Bad cess ter him, where has be garn?" growled Barney. "Very likely dropped to the ground, and ran in the woods," SAid Fay. Kaio't we cha se bim in dar!" asKed Pomp In disgust. "No, Frank replied. ' Tllere's no room among the trees to let the gun carriage pass through." "Faix, I'll folly him afutl" said Barney, energetically. "And I!" added Frank. "Count. mil In!" Fay exclaimed. They armed themselves with pneumntic pistols. Directing Pomp to flash the light among the trees they alighted and bastily dashed into tbe shrubbery. Here they beat about for some time in quest of the mao, and the i nspector fir,ally sighted him. He was some distance away, running fast. There he goes!'' Fay cried, pointing alter the fugitive. A rush was made after the fugitive by the three, and as Pomp ob served what was being done, be concentrated all the light upon that paricular spot. Ross was a swift runner. He plunged s ,raigbt ahead until be reached a glen. As he crossed this opening they observed that be was for a pile of rocks upon the opposite side. There was a dark, cavernous opening at one side, into which he rnRhed, and vanished from view. We've got him coroerefi now!" cried Frank, joyfully. "Faith he's loike a rat, in a thrap!" Barney cornmeoted. Are you to venture in?" queried the inspector. "Certainly! Come on!" And so saying Frank rushed into the opening. The others followed him fearlessly, and they suddenly found them s elves within a huge rtJcky cavern. Ross bad run across the place, and was crouching in a corner watching them by the lurid glow or a tire burning in the of the cave. Surrender!" Frank shouted at him. Ha, ha, hal" mockingly laughed the man. "It's on ther other side av yore jowl yez will be chooklin' soon!" the Irishman cried as be leveled a pistol at Ross. Just then a tremendous metallic was beard behind the three, and glancing back, to their dismay they saw that a huge iron door covered the entrance to the cavern. It bad bean banged shut and lo;:ked by a man. Trappe!ll" cried Ross. "We are prisoners! I can't open the door!" exclaimed Fay, in alarm. Then be bas Jured us in here on p urpose!" said Frank. At this juncture a number of metallic doors flew open In the walls all arouod the cavern, revealing a man in each aperture. There were over a score of the ruffians and each one of them held a Winchester aimed at the three adventurers. Roughly clad and having hangdog faces that would have convicted t!iem in any honest community, these men were evidently the very gang Frank and his companions bad set out to exterminate. In n word, the cavern was the mall robbers' retre11t. This fact was instantly realized by the three Again a sneering, sarcastic laugh Dick Ross. "Hallds up, or you'll get laitl out cold!'' he exclaimed. Seeing that their enemies had the drop on them, there was no al teroative but lor them to obey. Accordingly they raised their hanas over their heads. Several of the thieves approaclled, and disarming them at Ross' order, they bound their arms bellind their backs. Once they were secured, Ross llrew near and said sarcastically: "You gave me a blooming chase, you did, bot it clidn't do you any good! Now 1 want to know just what you mugs are up to!" Ob, we only ran yon for fun," the insp e ctor replied. Get out! You can't stulf me with eoy ghost stories after the way you rushed me into this cave with pistols." He was evideolly ignorant or our friends' purpose. They did not mean to explain matters, but unfortunately the rascal now he,e:ao to search them. The tlrst thing be found was the detective's badge, and the next thing was the warrant for his arrest. It startled the rogue. He glanced quickly from one to the other, rapidly read the warrant, and holding It aloft, l;e cried so all his men conic! bear him: This bloat is a fly cop, and this p!l.per is a warrant for my arrest for swiping that registered mail package." A murmur or surprise ran through the gang They now regarded our friends with looks or intense hatred, for each one knew that once be fell into the hands of the three prisoners, his lease of freedom from ja1l would be short. An excited discussion of the situation ensued among them. It was finally ended by Ross saying: "There ain't any use of gassing about the matter, boys. These dof fers are out to put us behind the bars Are you going to run any chances by Jetting them get away?" "No, no, no!" chorused the gang. Then for sell protection we bad better put them out of tbe way. Are any or you willing to do the work?" A bush fell on the crow!!. They glanced at each other querulously. It was clear that none or them were i11clined to deliberately kill their prisoners, much as they wish e d to get rid of them. Ross glanced keenly from fuce to face. He reaa there their hesitancy. But be bad no intention of abandoning the project. "Since you bnve elected me the leader of tile gang,'' he said, in slow, deliberate tones, "I don't intend te see any one of you placed at aov aisadvantage in the game we are playing. This job has got to be done. As none or you wallt to nail them on the spot, I'll tell you how it can be done without bloodshed." How?" grull!y demanded one of the men. "You know what a hungry pack the coyotes are. We can let them do the work for us.'' "Explaio'," said the same man. "We'll bury them in the ground in a standing position and leave their beads out. They will be helpless. The coyotes will finish the job." This plan suited the crowd, for it would put an end to the hostility of the three friends, and they would not have the remorse that would ensue if they deliberately shot their prisoners dowu, Had Frank and his companions d
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FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS GUN-CARRIAGE. Along they (ame-hunureds pf them-llellowing anu snorting, and in a shott time reached tbe three exposed beads. As the brutes went rushing along, tbey threatened to' trample the heads or the three prisoners into a pulp. CHAPTER V. POMP'S EXPLOITS, PoMP bad seen his companions speeding away in pursuit of the fugitive, and finally lost sight or them. Judging by the direction in which they bad gone, be surmised that they would pass through the woods. As he could be of no further us e to them where be then was, he im. agined that it would be au excellent plan to go around the timber and meet them on tbe ooher side. W1 this purpose in view, he finally pulled tile lever to start the Magnet, llut to his astonishment macbine failed to move from where she stood. Golly!" muttered the coon; any de matter wif her? He pulleu the lever over still further. The gun carriage remained 11s immovable as if it were Noted to the spot she then occupied. Pomp's surpr ise increased. It occurred to him that the batteries might have become exhausted, and pasSing back in to the turret, be looked Itt tbem. Tbey were in good order. So was tbe machinery. The coon was greatly puzzled. "Fo' de Ian' sakes!" he muttered. "I 'epees de wheels am cotched." Determinetl to see what the cause or the trouble was, he alighted and glanced at the wbeela. To his intenae amazement be rouuu that they were bound together by stout ropes. In this condition they could not, of course, "Who done d a t?" be gasped. Then he glanced around sus!'}ciously, and gave a vlotent start as be observed half a dozen of Dick men clambering upon the Magnet on the other side Here was an answer to the puzzle. They had evidently fastened the gun carriage. Every one or them were armed, and bore the unmistakable stamp or ruffians upon their faces. "Gosh!" muttered Pomp, utterly aghast. WI!!> am dey? ' He strongly suspected tl!at they were friends or Ross, and slunk back into the woous out of their sight. Pomp dared not retarn aboard. He thought they were enemies and would attack him. It was clear that be could do nothing against such a big crowd, and with a groan came to the conclusion that they had control or tha Magnet. He saw them enter the two turrets. Tben one or them shouted: "Not a son! aboard!" ; Then she s ours!" "Ylls, and Ross wit! lure those three into the cave." ' That will be the end of tl!em for a while.'' Who are they?" "I can't imagine." They must be enemies." "Why!" "Because they chased Ross with guns." What's become of the nigger!" "He must bave left.'' "Cut the ropes on the wheels." A man aligh t ed on eacb side of the engine, armed with knives, and a broad grin overspread the m9ke's face When he SaW them SeVer the lines. He bad left the lever pulled over. The power was all on. No soone
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FRANK READE, Jl{., AND HIS MAGNE'l'IC GUN-CARRIAGE. He recalled to mind the fright he got from those three mysterious I com" out on this side of the woods we would have seen them. As lying on the ground groaning at him, and he fairly shivered they would not be likely to go back the way we saw Ross come from, WJtb horror over the recollection. we would be most apt to lind them going to the westward, I think." ". Spects I betta3 gtt buck dar whar Marse Frank an' de res' was," 'l'hen it's in that direction we'll go, bed ad." cogitated Pomp. "Mel> be dey's look in' fo' me." They returned to the "On carria"e. He started toward the woods again. Pomp prepared breakfast for tlul'm, and at its conclusion they startGlancing toward tbe spot wbere he had seen the mysterious heads, ed oil' tow11rd Glasgow. to his alarm, he saw them again. It was a small place. 'l'llere they were, three in the row. On the way there Frank went lr.to the turret. Pomp halted and gasped. "Which one or you fellows wishes to get the lightest sentence!" he Then he dodged into the Magnet again. asked the prisoners. As soon as he recovered from the nervous shoe:-, be pickecl up a 'l'here was a momentary pause. telescope, a nd cautwusly pointed it out the window at the head8, lor One of the most cowardly of the four then spoke: l!e wus afrutd to approach them. "II we're bound to go up," said be, "I'm t .he one." Pomp was no coward. "Then I'll have you treated with clemency if you will tell me where On the contrary, he was as brave a little coon as ever liveJ, but like the gang is goiug from their den in the woods.'' \ all his race, he possessed a deep element of the superstitious in his The fellow hes itated. nature. Glancing at tis friends, be saw them scowling at him. Moreover, it must be admitted that the bravest man caught in a "Don't betray the gang!" hissed ohe. situation similar to what Pomp bad been would have b "en very un"If you do, it will cost you your life!" said the second. pleasantly affected. "Shut up, Bill; do you want to put your pals in jail?" said the The telescope showed the !aces plainly to the coon, and despite the other. gags covering a portion of their faces he recognized them at Frank watched the man once. He was a good reader of human character. de golden!'' be Toare(l. f In this man !Je saw a most arrant snenk and coward. Down dropped the g!ass with a bang, out of the room be scrambled, The fellow seemed to be scored at his friends' warning words. and the uext moment he rushed lor his friends. "I guess I'd better keep still," he muttered. It only occupied a few Inomnts for the startled coon to reach them, "Very well," satd Frank, shrugging hi3 carelessly, "8() and he mut:.&red regretfully: much the worse for you. Had you spoken, I could have taken you as "Ob, what a big Cool I is! Why didn' I know dem las' night? My State's evidence, and had your sentence shortened by at least a -my! Au' I fink dey was ghosteses an' leabe dem dar all night! Oh, year.'' oh, wasn't dat dretful !" He made a preter.se of going out. Reaching them, and seeing the gags stopping their be An anxious look swept over the man's lace, and he burst into a cold realized at once why, instead of speaking, they hall made the queer sweat as be gasped: sounds that scored him. Hold on there, partner." In a moment more he unfastened the gags. What do you want?'' demanded Frank. He saw how they were buried now. "I'll tell you, if you'll stand by me.'' "Safe, safe!'' cried Frank, the first thing. "You have my word for it.'' "Be heavens, I niver expected that spalpeen av a nagur 'woul
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8 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS MAGNE'fiC GUNCARRIAGE. Poml' prepared supper. Whe!l it was finished they sl;arted off. "She steers very stillly," Frank commented to tbe Irishman as t hey rolled along. But I bope that constant use will cause the frout wheels to work more freely.'' "Arrah, \Jut it's hard look W!l do be !Javin', me bye," said the Celt, Shure an' I hope we'll raich the toonnel in toime.'' "If we don't, I've got a plan to circumvent the raocals yet." An' what may that be?" "To stop at Ashfield, and prevent the train going on." "Can'L we lle afther doin' tha!. onyhow?" We could, but we need the train to decoy them from cover.'' Suppose they gets tber hesht av us?" "1'11 pr e pare lor that contingency.'' Ho"' !'' asked Barney, curiously. "You'll see when we reach the depoV' 'fbe gun carriage made good headway. In due time she reached Asblleld, when Frallk observed the very t rain they were alter just lea\ing the place. "There she goes, now!" he cried, if\ anxious toot's. Chase her, or be heavens we can do nuthin' !'' Away flew the Magnet in pursuit of the train, and after a swift dash, they overtook it. Hey!'' shoutlld Frank st the engir. eer as they ran up to the cab. "Hello-what in thunder is that machine?" "Stop the train quick, or you are all dead men!'' There was so: nething in the inventor's tones that scared the man, .anti he mpidly hrought the trai n to a halt. Leaning out the wicdow or thE" calloose as the Magnet paused besille the engine, be asked anxiously: What's the trouble, my friencl?" There's a plan afoot to hold up the train In the tunnel.'' "Is that so? Who's going to do it!'' "A gang of mail thieves." How do yon know?" Frank rapidly tletailed the news. or the conductors had alighted. Joining the engineer, he heard Frank's stery. A feeling of took possession of them. What shall we do?" asked We conductor. Run back to Asblie.ld," Frank replied. "Give UJ> our run?" "No; but procure all the armed men you can get, and when the t hieves tackle the train give them a red hot reception. We will be on l 1 a11d to assist you with our guus.'' 'l'uia scheme W!LS eagerly assented to. the engine, the train was pushed back to the village. Here recruiting parties went out, and in halt an hour a dozen arme d men were procured near the depot. Nothing was said to the passengers about the matter as it was not
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. FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS MAGNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE. 9 "There are four of them." Mount one and lead the other." "Good! There goes the door open!" They rapidly begun to unfasten the animals. While they were so engaged the man on the fioor began to scream a t the top of his voice! "Hey, Rossi Hey, Rossi This way-quick!" The fool will betray us!" exclaimed Frank. We should have gagged him." lt is too late &ow. Hurry up!" I'm ready." They each sprang astride of a horse, and leading the other animals r ode from the stable. When they arrived outside, they saw a of men come rush i ng from the saloon. Tbay were the R e cognizing our friends, they saw what was transpiring, and draw ing their revolvers thtly beg11n to blaze away at tbe two in an efivrt to stop them. For the space or a few moments a veritable hail of screaming IHallets 11ew around the two. They received several trifling wounds, but seemed to bear charmed lives, as they were not killed. At the first they returned the fire and kept it up, several or the gang falling wounded. As their horses were carrying them ahea:l all the time, they soon opened up a wide gap between themselves and their enemies. An unlucky shot struck Frank's horae, and it (P.ll. He upon his feet, and teul'ing the mail b11g from the ani mal's back, he slung it over the other beast. Getting up behind it, he rode after Jim. They got around the l!ouse. That stopped the firing for awhile. But just then several attaches of the saloon ran out, and grasping the bridle of the inspector's horse, one cried angrily as he aimed a pistol at the detective. Bold on there!" "Let go!" roared Jim. No horse stealing allowed here." "We ar& otHcera of the law." Show us your budge!'' It was stolen from me with a warrant I had for the arrest of Dick Ross, whose you are now harboring." "That don t wash!" Look at these stolen mail "Don't waste lime crierl Frank. "You can't convince him-he's too tbick. Ride him down!'' "Stand aside, or we'll tire!'' The horses were urged and sprang ahead, causing the men to scatter r ight and left. None of them dared to fire at Frank and the officer, for what Jim bud said made them think that after all they had tolu the truth about the matter. Just then some of the thieves came running around the l:ouse, and t he saloon attaches shouted at them. Not another shot was tired. Indeed, the rascals observed that the place was go,iog tQ get too hot to hold them soon. They therefore got out their horses and rode away. Victory!" cried Frank as they da11hetl up to where the gun carriage stood. "We've saved the mail.'' They fiung the pouches into the turret, drove the horses oft, and passed into the wheel room. While the inspector was giving Barney and Pomp an account of what had happened, Frank drove the vehicle into the village, arousing everybody's amazement at her. What are you going to do!" asked Jim. "Tackle the gang,'' replied Frank. "Get ready for work." The Magnet rushed up to the saloon where the thieves bad been, but by this time they all were gone. Frank shouted to of the men who ttied to stop the horses: Whereabouts did they go to!" "I don't know, but they headed for the southward," replied the man. would take them to the river,'' mqttered the inventor. He promptly sent tbe Magnet after them. After a short search they found the trail and followed it. Upon reaching the river all trace of the fugitives was lost. They spent the whole night searching lor them, but failing to do so, t hey returned to the ratlroad. Here a west-bound train was stopped, and the recovered mail bags were put in care of the express messeng e r for delivery at their desti .nation. Our friends then gained some much needed rest. Several days were spent hunting for the thieves. It seemed to be utterly impossibltl to lind them, for upon reaching thP. river, every trace vanished. Frank resolved to keep on going to the west, as he considered it very improbable that Ross would go east again. lt was late In the afternoon when he started, and keeping along the (:Ourse of the nver, she soon reaclled a wild picturesque section tilled with trees, shrubberv and rocks. A short lime after entering this regioa, be hearc Barney say: "Isn't that ther loikes av a house beya11t, Pomp!" "'Specs it am, honey," replied the coon, who)tood with the Celt on the rear platform on watch. What are you alludmg to!" queetioned Frank through the half open rear door. "I don't see anything of a bouse. Falx its only a shanty amoong thim bushes to tlie roigbt.'' Ah-yes. Now I see it? And there's smoke coming out of the chimney. The place must be inhabited. Shall we see who lives there? We might gain some infarmatlon." I go ober dar fo' yo' Marse Frank.'' All right. Take Barney along," Tbe youcg Inventor stopped the Magnet, and Barney and Pomp alighted, and approached the hut. It faced the river, but stood far back from the bank among so:ne bushes that almost concealed it. Therefore, when the coon and the Celt appro11ched it they drew near the rear of the little building, Neither of tbeui made any noise, and having arrived close to the hovel, they were suddenly brought to a pause by hearing voices earning from inside. TLe voices were low, and evidently those of two men. It was almost impossible to dis tinguish a word that was said from where they were, so tbey quietly crept around to the side of the build ing. Here there was a window. It stood wide open. The voices now sounded plainer. One of them was that of a stranger. The other proved to be that of Dick Ross. Barney was startled when he beard it. Raising his finger warning Pomp to remain quiet, he intently listen ed to what was being said inside. The very first words utter!ld startled the Irishman beyond all meas usres, and sent the blood curdling like wildfire through his veins. CHAPTER IX. A RASCALLY SCHEME, "I'LL have that mail bag, or I'll have the man's life!" Such was the expreeslon uttered by Dick Ross, in low, sinister tones, and the two listeners beard him bang his !1st heavily upon a table to emphasize what be said. Have you formed any plan whereby you can get it?" the other man asked, after a pause. "Let me hear all about it again, and then I can come to some de!! nite conclusion," replied Ross. Certainly. I am, as I told you, a traveling for the rich est firm of jewelers in Helena. My plan was to send them an order for $25,000 worth of diamond Jewelry, to be sent to me at Fort Ben ton, where I ostensibly have a customer for the stall. Well, sir, I will order it sent in a registered mail package. I will tell them to mail it at four o'clock on Saturday, so that it will reach me by seven or eight. But one train that carries mail will leave Helena that night at five o'clock. That is the train the jewelry will be on.'' "Yett, yes," eal!.erly assented the mail robber. The mail pouches will go in care of one man-tbe express mes senger-wbo will lock himself in the mail room on the baggage car. Your work will simply amount to getting that mail bag between Helena and Fort Benton. I wtll meet you on the following day at tbe Sha11kin Cr eek stock range, 100d you can pay me cash for my share." One thousand dollars you say!" "Yes, that's cheap enough, isn't it!" Reasonabie, as you run no risk.' No, it won't be any risk for me, for the firm will bear that the goods have been intercepted before they reach me. That will clear me of course.'' And your mythical customer?" Oh, I can say he was a transient who left for parts unknown as long as the goods did not reach him." Hnw did you happen to know I'd go into this snapf' "I gamble some, and met one of yonr men in a faro-room a few days ago. He was an old schoolmate or mine. Seeing me lose all my money and some of my firm's, he suggested the plan, and I was only too eager to grasp it to set mvself straight again. It was the fellow who me to you in Chinook. Then you arranged to meet me here to talk it over with yon, as you know, and there you have tlle idea "And as I said before," said Ross, "I'll have the mail bag containing that jewelry, or I'll have the express messenger's life." "I wouldn't do anything rash.'' Ross laughed sarcastically. His whole life now was made up of rash deeds "You don't know me, cully," he exclaimed, lapsing into his slangy way of tall\ing. "Lately I've got so that I don't care a curse what hap;>ens, lor thE' greater the risk a fellow runs, the better hio chances or success are "Now how can you get the mail bag?" "1'vo got a scheme. You leave it all to me. Go back to Cllinook and peacefully await developments I'll meet you at noon on Sunday at the range in the stockQde by the cree k." Very well. You will trPat me fair!" "or course. I think $1,000 for $25,000 is quite cheap They stopped talking. j Barney and Pomp had expressions of tbe most intense wonder upon their races, and glanced mutely at each o t her.

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10 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS GUN-CARRIAGE. Be tber poker an' Moses, this is a chait!" muttered the Celt. De wuatest willainy dat dis coon ebber hear tell ob." "D'ye moind ther cuteness av ther game." "Golly, how dat feller roast his bo. sa." "Pomp, ye divil, it's' on'y t.wo av thim in ther boot." Dat's all, Barney.'' An' it's itcbiu' I am ter git ther grip av me fisht on Rose." Gwiue ter tackle him, honey?" B" I am!'' "Come on, den, chile, an' I'se gwine ter help yo'!" They drew their pistuls, saw that they were iu re11diness for act ion, an, but we know what traia they intend to rob, and will know to find the salesman on Sunday.'' Then what do you propose doing?" Why, as we can't timl either of the men now, we had better run down to Helena and warn the express of the train m ques tion to be upon his We cnn then follow the cars as we have done before, and guard them for Fort Benton.'' "Very well; that seems to be the only way to do.'' A run was then made to Helena. They cut down between the Bear Paw Mountains and the "'hree Buttes to make a shorter road by the gold mines. The plains were treeless and covered with bunch grass, the mount ain valleys were clothed with artemeaia, while the slopes were cov. erf d with forests of aspen, cottonwo od, cedars and pi nee, among which bears, lynx and wildcat roamed. Moose and Rocky Mountain goP.t were seen in the uplam!s, the for mer in the cool, marshy valleys, and the latter upon the more rugged and inaccP.esible elevatiJus. Great herds of bison ranged the plainB, and troops of the black tailed and mule deer, an telopes and elks were seen grazing in various places, or flying from the gun carriage. When the engine bad reached the towering rocks in the vicinage of the Great Falls of the Missouri, near Fort Benton, a. bl)dy or horsemen were seen approaching. Upon arriving nearer, Frank observed that they were a \mild of Sioux Indians from one of the reservatiooR. fbey were being hotly pursued by a larger party of hostile Cr:>ws, whom they had attacked while in camp. The reservations of these, the Blackfeet, Gros Ventre, Assinihoine and Pend' d' Oreille Indians cover more than one third of ll1e terrj tory. For a moment Fro.Dk imagined the two t>andsof redBkins were in tent upon attacking the gun carriage. He dashed into the turret and fired a shot at tliem. Several of the Indians were woundaJ, and the rest halted. Away flew a second shot at the pursuers, and several of the red men went down. 'fbe rest scattered in all directions. By common consent hostilities between the two parties suddenly ceased, and they combined forces to attack the inmates of the Mag net. They had become so scattered thp,t Frank could not gut another shot at them with his guns. His error was uestiued to cause them considerable trouble. Arm yourselves, boys!'' he shouted to his friends. C. "Come in berel'' cned Jim, wbo held the wheel. '' They are muJ;. ing a rush from the '' Frank started to do so, and was crossing the platform when the carriage jolted a hillock; he lost his balance and I ell to the ground. On rushed the Magnet, leaving Frank b ehind. --CHAPTER X. FIGBTING THE INDIANS. "HELP! Help! Help!" shouted Frank. He scrambled to his feet, and ran after the Magnet at the top of his speed, for several or the Sioux came dashing toward ilim on their ponies as soon as he fell. They gave utterance to the most blood-curdling war-whoops, and! sent a volley of poisoned arrows !lying nfter him. It was impossible to take accurate aim, so fast were they plunging ahead, but the barbed shalts whistled uangeroualy close around tbe head or the youug inventor. He ran as be had never run before. But the swilt ponies rapidly overt o ok him. The paint streaklld warriors wel'e brandishing their lances and hawks menacingly, their feathered head gear waved in the wind, aur. The Irishman and the coon were dead shots, anti they followed the tlrst round with a second. iust then tbe savages were almost upon Frank, but two more of them bit the dust. But one remained. Undaunted by the fate of his companions he resolutely kept on after Frank, and raised his tomahawk to deal the inventor a fatal lJlow as the pony dashed up to him. Frank saw his danger. He sprang aside to the left. The stee:l rushed by him. He grasped its bridle as it was passing. Around it s,.erved, nod running a few steps with it the daring fel low gave an agile leap, and landed on the beast in front of the aston lshed Indian. The next moment he grappled the savage. For a moment they fiercely struggled, the Sioux striving to deal the gallant fellow a blow with his hatchet, and Frank, restraining his arm witll one hand, and gripping the red man's throat With the other. The pony plunged ahead a few yards, and stumbling under heavy load, it went down on its knees. Frank and the Indian were tossed over its head. Th.,y landed with a thud, the inventor underneath and a fierce yell of exultation escaped the brave. He tore his arm free. The tomahawk was raised. But before he could kill Frank the fired a pistol shot that struck the redskin plumb in lhe heart. A look or intense agony convulsed his painted face. He straighteneu up, his black, sparkling eyes distended and the next moment he pitched over-dead. Frank gave a deep sigh. Scrambling to his feet he)aw the magnetic gnu carriage comll rush mg up to where he stood. In a moment more he was upon her. He lost no time in getting inside the vehicle and then saw that the whole band or Indians were coming thunderinl! after the Magnet. Her !light deceived them into the belief tllat sue was flying from them from fear. "Close the window shutters!" cried Frank, breathlessly. "I can't. They're stuck," replied the inspector. "That's had. We will be exposed." "Here's a rifle. Now look nut.'' The whole horde of redskins were closing in on them from all sides, and whtle Barney an:l Pomp, in the turret, began to lire, Frank aud Jim did the same through tbe wir.dowa, Several of the savage11 were struck.

PAGE 11

FRAXK READE, JR., AND HIS GUN-CARRIAGE. 11 They raised a tr<>mendous din with their yells. The remaining warriora hurled tlleir lances, an do, and could only hope to catch him in tile act of execut ing his trick. The night was clear and moonlit, and they soon left the city out or. sight behind, and ran along through the diversified scenery of the country going toward Benton. Frank remained on duty at the wheel. All his companions were armed and poAted in Tarious positions about the vehicle in readiness for action at a moment's notice. CHAPTER XI. A TERRIBLE CONFLICT, THE train was made up of a locomotive, three passenger coaches and one baggage car, which trailed along at the end. As the train ran into a deep ravine down a steep grade, a man sud denly appeared coming out the rear door or the last coaJb. He crossed to tile car. Seeing no one watching, he uncoupled it from the coach. Then be ran up the ladder to the roof and put on the tir11ke. As the haggage car began to slacken speed, the rest ef the t rain rushed ahead, leaving it far behind. Finally the baggage car pau s ed. The locomotive pulled ths rest of the cars out of siai.Jt around a bend in the ravine. Several men burst from the bushes bordering the track. They were some distance away, but they ran lor the uncoupled car, and in a few moments reached it. Every oce of them belonged to R o ss's gang. He was the man who bad gone om or Helena on the train as a passenger, with the intentian of severing the baggage car from th e rest of the train. His men had made a rendezvous or this place, nod had been await lng the appronrh or the train. Not a word was uttered. 'l'hey all had been instructed how to net. When Ross alighted from the car, they quietly went up the track and placed some sticks of d ynamite on the rails. Ross loosened the bral>e. He and his companiopa lied. Carried along down the incline, the baggage car rolled ahead and reaclled the dynamite. Boom! roared the explosion ns the heayy wheels crushed it. One side of the car was blown to pieces, and the rest of it was hurfed from the track a complete wreck. Up to it rushed the maii-robhers. A hasty search was made among the debris. Although the car contained the usaal kind of baggage, there were no signs of the express messenger. Nor was there a mail bag in it. Frank bad adviseJ the express messenger to secrete the mail bags under the seats in the passenger coaches and remain with them. He had done so. As a result the thieves were foiled. While they were searching the wreck the Magnet came along. Ross was furious. He saw that there was no mail in the car. "Blast them!" he roared; "they carried no pouches.'' "Mebbe ther salesman was foolin' ye," suggested one of the mel'. No, I think not. I knew that this was a mail train.'' But tbe' ain't no bags in it." There m:tst have been a mistake somewhere." Sure enough, an thnr's wot canseu it, sir.'' The man pointed at the approactling gun carriage. It instantly flashed across Ross's mind that Frank was in some way responsible -for his disappointment. Filled with fury, he shoatecl to his men to retreat upon the bluffs and bombard the magnetic vehicle with dynamite. They hastened away obediently By the time they were out of sight the Magnet reached the w r eck Frank saw what bad happened and a grim smile crossed his face n s he pointed at the ruined car. See what they've done,'' he cJmmented "Just wha' yo' spected, ain't it?" queried Pomp. Yes. According to all appearances I've doped them.'' "Bednd, it's mad tbey must be,'' chuckled Barney. They must bn.ve left in a great hurry," Jim commented as he glanced around. Prohably they !law us coming.'' In that case they must have scaled the blutll!. As soon a9 I heard those reports I knew that they were busy blowing up the car.' These words had scarcely left his lips, when down from the towermg rocks a missile Cf!.me hurtling It was a small can of dynamite. Striking the ground beside the Magnet it burst with a roar like thunder, and the machine was liftod from the earth with the upheaval of dirt tbnt followed, and blown away. Landing a dozen yards from where she had been standing, with her driving-wheels badly dam aged and her inmates very mucb startled, she fell over completely c r ippled. "Dynamite!" gasped Frank, in astonishment. Down came another can. It struck a few yards in front of the Magnet. An appalling roar followed. Up llew a mass of dirt, grnv11l and broken rock. It poured nil over the carriage, striking the inmates and stung, bruised, and wounded them. A third can descecded. lt landed fifty feet behind the engine. The report was deafening, and the ground shook. By this time Frank recovered his faculties. Realizing that the next eliot might strike the Magnet and blow them all to pieces, he shouted: "They're up on the rocks! Fire at them!"

PAGE 12

12 FRANK READE1 JR., AND HIS MAGNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE, Out he rushed, armed with a braco of pistols, and followed by his comrades. They be,ran to fire up at the villains whom they saw swarming on the bluffs, and dropped several of them. The rest recoiled. But, although driven back from the edge of the clifi; they did not ceaae hurling the dynamite cans. Several more of them came flying down into the ravine, and burst itl da11gerous proximity to the Magnet. As the robbers could not locate the machine, they had to fling"them hap-hazard. "Follow them! cried Frank desperately. "If we let, tbem keep on they are hound to bit her elentually." And up on the rocks he dashed. His friends followed Reaching the top after a climb, they saw the thieves and a aeartly lire among their ranks By this time half a dozen of them were wounded and lying upon the ground groaning. Observing that they were pursued, the villains burled their dyna mite cans toward that part of the shrubbery from whence allots came. Hatl Frank and his chums not left the place where they had been Crouching before the deadly missiles cam e they would have been blown to atoms. 'l'hey hnd reached a number of scattered rocks, however, and crouched down behfll'l them. From here tbey could fire in more safety. The dynamite cans burst among the shrubbery with terrible detonations, blowing up everything near them. 'l'here was something awe inspirmg about the explosive bullets hurletl by the pneumatic rifles. They struck horror to the very souls of the mail thieves, and un able to wil hstanll the fusillade, they fled for their horses, which 1Vere teth e red a stort oil'. Don't let them escape!" shouted Frank, rushing from hehind the rocks. 'l'here are only ten moo left!" Hurroo?'' Baruey, excitedly. ''This makes me think av Donnybrook F a ir! Coom back, yez blackguards, an' thread on ther tail av me coat!" And they charged after their antagonists. Bang! Bang! Bang? rattled their shots. Tlle fugitives fired sev e ral shots back, but they were so anxious to get awa y tbey dared not linger long enough to take accurate aim. L e aving one more or their men behind they tinally reached tho.ir horses, mounted them, and l!;alloped swiftly away. Itt this w a y they ell'ectuated their escape. l<'rank paused, and seeing that it was useless to run any further he t u r ned t o bls friends, and asked: Were any of you injur ed!" t I've got a ball in my arm," replied Jim. Dar's a piece tooken out ob my leg," said Pomp. "An' I have titer laist taate av a cut. on me head," added Barney. "For my part, not a bullet struck sahl Frank. "It is or no use to chase the scoundrels any further Let us gather up the wounded men and return to the Magnet with thelll. Th i s plan was carried out. Seven men, more or less wounded, were taken. Having them in the turret and attended to their own in juries our frienas examined the gutt carriage. She was badly injured. To repair Iter permanently was not possible there, but Frank suw that be could so arrange her as to get her to Fort Beuton where she couhl be properly attendetl to. Having done this, they boarded her ju3t as day was breaking ia the east and proce e ded ahead. Reachiug Benton, a pl1ysician extracted the ball from ,Jim's arm, and dressetl the wounds of the rest. It was then Sunday, . I am going on to the range where Ross agreed to meet the salesman," said Frank to the rest. "You come with me, Pomp. If Ros1 keeps !tis engagement we not only may capture the salesman but t he outlaw himself.'' Leaving Barney and Jim to look out for the Magnet they armed themselves, hired a couple of saddle horaes and rode along tbe road over the Missouri river down to the cattle range into which Shankiu Creek tlowed. Then they beaded for the rendezvous of the schemers. CHAPTER XII. li!AKING AN ARREST. IT was jQit noontime when Frank and Pomp cantered up to the cat tie range stockade beside the creel;. The corrals, pens, huts and yards were deserted, as the animals that occupied them were off grazing. Dismounting from their horses in front of one of the buts, they tied the animals, and caught sight of a slender, well tlressed young man standing near the pens !ooking at them. He had a pale face, a brown mustache, and a very nervous air as he watched. the inventor and the coon. "There he Is now,' whisp'lred Frank. "Golly, I wouldn' know bim if I see him.'' "But you would recognize his voice if you hearrt it?" "Fo' shuah," af!Sented Pomp. I'll engage lnm in conversation and you ca:J try.'' "Orright, honey-come ahead!" Thev strode over to the man and Frank sized him up. lie did not look like a very dangerous person. Nothing was seen of Ross, and the inventor concluded that the vil lain had not yet put in an appearance. Good-morning, sir/' said the young inventor. Can you tell me wherE I can lind the owner or this place!'' "I'm sorry to say I can't. I am a total stranger here," replied the other, eying the two very sharply. How unfortunate. But your face is familiar to me. Where could I have ever met you before!'' "I am sure I don't recognize you," the man answered. "No! Well, come to think of I don't believe tt is your race as much as your voice that I Don't you think the gentleman's voice is familiar, Pomp!'' "Yaa sah! Yas sah!" the coon replied, energetically. "Dat am it -tle voice. Kain't make no mistake 'boat liat. I know dat voice. Dat 's de voice I done heartl Marse Frank." Pomp spoke in very positive tones. It certainly was the same voice be had beard in conversation with Dick Ross when the plan to rob the mail was formed Frank saw that his friend wus sure or the man. A look of surprise crossed the stranger's pale face. "That's a queer way to recognize a maul" he exclaimed. "It would he under ordinary circumstances," Frank replied. "Really I can't understand your meaning, sir.'' "Then I will explain," laugi.Jed Frank, to disarm him of suspicion, and he drew out a pistol and added: "Do you see this weapon?" "Yea, of course," assented the man, unensily. It is loaded with a bomb-like bullet, and I am considered a good shot. Now if you do not f,,IJ instantly upon your knees and raise your hands above your bead I will put that ball in your brain.'' "Wbatf' "Olley me-quick!" "God!" gasped tbe man, iu affright, And down he sunk aml up went his bands. He read in the expresston or Frank's race that it was as much aCJ bia life wa11 worth to refuse to obey. "Now I'll tell you bow we re::ognized your voice," said Frank. "For pity's sake don't kill me!" implored the man. "Behave, then! As I was about to say, my friend heard you and Dick Ross plotting in a hut to swindle your employers out of a regis tered p.1ckage of jewelry." "Great Heaven!" moaned the man, ill horror. It now flashed across !tis mind that he was exposed. A look of awful suspense distorted his face, and a feverish burning gleam shone m his starting eyes. "Fortunately,'' said Frank, "we balllerl the robbers when they at tackej the train. You are now flur prisoner.'' .. Do not put mtl In jail I" implored the wretched mar:. "We must'!" inexoraoly replied Frank. "lt is iL menace to the community to allow such a dangerous swindler as you are to roam at large. Pomp, tie him up!" 'l'l1e coon complied 'l'ery quickly, and then gagged him. "I'se gwine ter put him out ob sight ia de hut," sa1d he explana torily. "Mebbe come benh. He won't lteah de man talk now. We can lay low an' co!.ch him den.'' "Good enough! Put the horses out of sight too then.'' Th1-y pulled the man into the but, nod having concealed the horses, they returned to their prisoner. While Pomp remained on guard Frank searched the man, and saw by some papers that were in his pocket, that his name was Ctmrles Seller. The firm or jewelers in Helena whom he represented was named Ruby, Garnet & Co., and their address was shown. Wtile Frank was learning all this, they heard the pounding of horses' hoofs some distance away. "Hark! Wl:at's that?" demanded Frank. "Soon's like's If dey was goin' away," Pomp replied, as he listened. out. They may be co10ing. '' The coon peered through the doorway. He located the sound and saw three horses. "Oh, my Lord!" he gasped. "SPe heah!" Frank rusbetl over to him and looked out. Upon one or the horses tl.ere sat a man, and he was leading away the other two steeds at a gallop. Why, it's Dick Ross!" exclaimed Frank in 'Startled tones. "Yassah, an' he done got our horses!" groaned Pomp Now be sees oR." Ob, golly! Wba' we do newT" It was clear that the rascal had come to his appointment with Seller. Seeing the two horses in the shed, his suspicions must have been aroused, causing him to run away with them. As soon as be saw Frank and t he coon his fears were confirmed, and btl kept on until he vanished in the distance behind the shrub bery bordering the creek. "That settles it I" exclaimed Frank. "We won't see anything more of him around here now. He bas taken our mounts to prevent us followin!!: bim.'' How vo' e:wine tor git back. tor Fort }3enton ?'' "We will b";'we to walk it; we cno't help ourselves."

PAGE 13

FRANK READE, JR AND HIS MAGNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE. 13 "Gos!1! Nineteen miles!" groaned the coon. Leaving the wheel in Pomp's hands, the young inventor passed out "Have you got a horse?" queried Frank of the prisoner. on the platform. "W!ly, yes," answered the man, as be was relieved of the gag. "I It was a dark, gloomy night. came here in a buckboard. It will carry us.'' Heavy banks of rain threatening cl<'nds co\'ered the sky and en He did not relish the idea of the long walk any more than they did, shrouded the earth in a black pall. and on that account vouchsafed this information. Pomp turned on tile searchligllt and swept it around. Wheroabouts is it!'' A tbrillicg scene met thil view of all hands as he did so. "In the stockade.'' Creeping along the ground toward the village on all sides were "Pomp, get it.'' scores of the Blackfeet Inttinns. "Yo' bet I will," chuckled the coon. They were armed to the teeth. And oti be ran, whistling a lively tune. A general cry arose from them when the light tlashed out. Presently he drove up to the door with the vehicle. It blioded tht>m, and struck terror to their souls. They lilted the prisoner in and then drove away. Frank sprang into the turret where Barney and Jim stood. It was late in the afternoon when they reached Fort Benton, and 'fhey. had loatJed the three guns, and were waiting for orders. there they put Sell!Jr in jail. "Do you see them?" asked Frank Frank then called on the postmaster, and told him about the ar" Yes! Yes!" was the reply of both. rest of the salesman. Each or you man a gun and fire. The registered package had arrived the night before, but as tile This order was scarcely given when three thuds of uir ensued and postmaster had beard about the intended robbery, and the reason of three cylinder3 ftew out in three directions. it, he withheld the package. When they burst the simultaneous reports were terrible. Seller bad evidently not heard of the f ailure of plot. A large number of the Indians were wounded and killed. Thinking the package had reached the hands of the mail robbers ns "Torn her around, Pomp, and stop her!" called Frank. they planned, he had simply gone to the rendezvous to get the $1,000 "Yassah!" came the answer. Ross promised to pay him. And around the Magnet swiftly turned. On the following morning Frank telegmpbeil to the Messrs. Ruby, That revealed the redakins on the other side or the settlement, and Garnet & Co. to come to Benton at once, us an attempt bad been as the guns were loaded once more a second !Olley was dis()harged made to rob the mails of their jewelry. with more disastrous effect than the Jirst. Promptly at noon Mr. Ruby met the young inventor at the hotel, A wild howl arose upon all sides. and heard sLOry of the salesman's perfidy. Tlle redskins beat a retreat. He was very much horrified and astonlsllecl, ani! thanked Frank I "It won' t do to run after them," said Frank. "If we leave the over and over again for what he hall done. village unguarded on one side the villains will swoop down behind us He recovered the jewelry, and accompanied by an ofth:er, took the and attack the people in the depot." salesman back to Helena with him for prosecution. The rest agreed with this view. Fran It bad malle a charge against his seven prisoners, and they For several hours nothing was seen of the Indians. were held with the others for trial. Then Pomp suddAnly yelled: He returned to the Magnet. Say dar! Ain dose shootin' stabs, Massa Frank!" Here he found his companions very busy repairing the dam The in'fentor peered out. age done to the machine !Jy the dynamite cans. Through the air a number of fiery darts were ftying toward the de. It required several days' work. to put her 10 order again, but they pot, and struck the roof and sides. . finally accomplished it. There they remained and burned luridly. Boarding her, they drove her out on the plains again, intent upon "Arrows, with firebrands attached!" cned Frank. "They most finding Dicit Ross. have seen that the depot was lull of people, hOd design to burn the Oue of the prisoners bad informed Frank that there were only half building down around them to kill its inmates." a dozen men left of the gang. Be heavens, they're llrio' yet!" roared Barney, excitedly. Ross yet h!id the $50,000 stolen from the Tenth National Bank of We'll drive tbem back with the guns.'' San Francisco. '' Goorl!'' cried Jim, "and there's no time to lose." The large denomination of the bills had precluded the possibility of Pomp, run back lor the depot." passing them through ordinary channels, and he dared not try at any "Lorl! amassy, it am burnin' up, Marae Frank." bank as their numbers were known, and such an attempt \YOUid surely If we don't get there soon its inmates will either roast to death lead to his arrest. or get shot the moment ttey emerg;e." In conclusion Frank's informant said that Ross had intimated that darky put on power, and away the Magnet 1usbed lor the de as that section of the country was getting too hot lor him, he might pot, out of which the inmates were driven by t!le beat. go on to trv his luck along the Great Falls and Canada Central road. They did not get the gun carriage there any too soon, lor the red He had made a rendezvous at Rocky Springs near the Blackfeet skins bad come swarming toward tbe place with a rush and were bent Indian reservation. . upon the destruction of the whites. The Magnet was directed to the place, and after a long Around tee machine rusheil t.o bring her guns to bear on the savjourney reached the settlement. age borde, and around the search-light swung till its !Jeama flooded Night's sable mantle covered the earth when she ran into the the Blackfeet w1th light. village, and our friends found the place in a tremendous furor of ex Once more the guns belched tileir destructive projectiles, and in the citernent. . lurid glare of the ex.plosions our friends could see a number of the Wondering what had happened, they stopped the Magnet and savages blown to pieces ftying up in the air. shouted at some men who were rushing toward lbem. This discharge so tilled the retlskins with dread of the Magnet and fear of the besieged people, that they sped awa y and were not seen CHAPTER XIII. THE MEN IN THE WOODS. RocKY SPRINGS was a very small place, frequented by the men from the copper, silver and marble mines of the Sweet Grass Hills. There was a larger number tban usual in the place tbat night, and they seemed to be wildly anxious for the cars tu come along. '"Wha L 's the trouble here!" Frank shouted at them. The Blackfeet Indians have broken from their reservation," replied one or the panting men. "They made a raid on the mine and killed and scalped several or the men. We ran away while they were plundering the place. Now they are coming for the settlement. God help us when they get h'lre, for thertl ani scores of them and all on the war-path." Don't alarm yourselves. We have guns on this machine and will aid JO':l!" cheerily cried Frank. This assurance assuaged the general alarm. 'l'he minars came crowding around tile machine. Most of them were arrned. A young lady telegraph operator and the depot agent now came out, and joining the families of the inhabitants, they all swarmed to the Magnet. Havmg seen her guns, they felt some hope spring up in their despairing hearts. "Which way are the Indians coming from?" asked Frank. The north-east," answered several. "All of you barricade yourselves in the railway depot. We will go to see what the savages are doing.'' This wholesome advice was followed. As soon as all hands we1e safely within the building, Frank put on power and the gun carriage rolled away. around there again. The railroad depot hurnE>d to the ground. All night long the people waited anxiouely, expecting an attack at every mnment. It did not come, however. In the morning they saw what terrible havoc was done with the guns, and realized that the savages had away not to r e turn. Messengers were dispatched to Shelby Junction for help, and Frank finally drove the machiue away, assured that the people were safe un til assistance arrived. Tbe Magnet ran on to Swret Grass, and i nquiries were made there lor information about Dick No one had seen anything of him or his gang. A run was then made for Piegan in the south, and the magnetic gun carriage reached there at nightfall. She paused beyond the settlement and Frank started afoot for the place along the railroad track. He intended to make inquiries here. A south bound train stood at the depot taking on some freight and baggage. When the young inventor drew closer to the train, he saw the ex press mossenger alight. The man lived in a small cottage near the depot on the border of a small woods. He had ten minutes to spare and as was his custom, be started for the cottage to get his supper l.Jasket. Frank saw the man comiug towa1d him. He bad only gained hall the distance to his home, however, when the bushes parted t>ehind him, and a man suddenly sprang out and dealt him a l.Jlow on the head. Franl was startled.

PAGE 14

14 FRANK READ'E, JR., .AND HIS MAGNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE. He rushed forward to save the man. The wretch who struck the blow saw him coming. Turning around be plunged into the woods and sped Resolved to capture the wretch the inventor dashed after hir;p, but he hod not gone far in the gloomy woods when be realized that he had be!!n lured Into an ambush. Several men sprang upon him. While two or them pinioned his arms, another one clapped a cloth saturated with chloroform to his nostrils. Frank fought fiercely. He could not tear himself away. lt was impossible to bold his breath for any protracted length or time, and he was tbereforA forced to breathe thv ilrug. He did not inhale as much or it ns hie captors imagined, but had taken in quite sufficient to stupefy him. > Collapsing, be fell to the ground partially unconscious. His captors had no time to lose, and dashed away. It was nearly ten minutes afterwards ere Frank recovered his ;genses, to -his feet, and recalled what occurred. He round llimself alone. Be hnd not even been robbed. Wondering what It all tneant, he ran back to where be bad left the express messenger. He f9und the man, strippec\ or his cap and uniform, lying upon the ground, just recovering from a terrible beating. In Heaven's name, who diu this?'' panted Frank. I don't know,'' groaned tile messenger, getting up. What bas become of your clothing!'' The men who tackled me took it.'' What fer?" One or them put the suit on." He did! What for?'' That's more than I can Ray." What did he do then?'' "I saw him board my train." But the train is gone.'' Yes. jus t left. There's the clothing fellow took off of him. s!llf to put on my uniform.'' He pointed at a heap of clothing lying on the ground. Frank picked them up and glanced at the things when a startled cry pealed from his lips. "Why, these are the things Dick Ross wore when last I saw him!" h e exclaimed. "I see through it now. The mail robbers were 3ere, and t a ckled you so Ross could put on your suit, pass for tbe express messtlnger, and rob the mails.'' F rank correctly surmised the sol.teme his enemies had just put m op&r a tion. CHAPTER. XIV. CONCLUS ION, THE express messenger was very much startled by what li'rank said, and cr i e d excitedly: Yon know who my assailants were then?" Yes, a gar;& of mail robbers. Per!Japs I can overtake that train it t!Je next station, prevent Ross from passing for you m your untform, and catch him ere be can steal any of the mail baga.u That train is making twenty-five miles an hour, and already bas been gone a few minutes." N e ver mind. I've got an engine that can make sixty miles an hour, and I'm g o ing to catch him in spite of the lead he bas got. You go borne and get some clothes, or put ou these duls which Ross lef t behind." Ant! leaving the man wondering what he meant, Frank dashed aw a y to the place he had l et. the Magnet. Hastily boarding her he tolJ:l his frienus wbat bad happened, and started her off after tbe train. It was a cloudy night, and the hour was eig!Jt. There was a good road beside the track, and the Magnet flew along li ke the wind . She w a s soon making fifty miles an hour, and the cooo and the Iris hman stood in the window forward and kept a keen look out a he ad. On on she rushed furiously. Mile after mile was passed over, and presently the rear light of the train they were chasing was seen ahead. Frank put on every bit of power then, and ten miles more an hour w ere added to the speed of the Magnet. Collins was the next station at the fork or the Teton river where Muddy and qravel Bottom Creeks branched off. But the trais was not to stop there. S ha kept right on and reached the bridge. Up to her rushed the magnetic machine, and juat as she reache<1 the middle of the bridge the Magnet reached her The train kad slackened speed upon running on the bridge, and Frank rushed out on the forwarcl platform. At that moment there sounded a grinding crash under the two fly ing The bridge was breakiug under the Magnet. A thrill or horror passed over her occupants as one of the wheels went through the pa'l'ting planks nod held her. ' Jump for your lives!" Frank screamed. Pomp shut off power and rushed out. I He sprang' ofl' followed by Barney and Jim. Frank saw the train leaviug him behind. He gave a leap, aud his fingers closed on a bar of the rear railing. when he was dragged with the train. No sooner had the train reached solid ground when the bridge gave away, and down into tile stream below plunged the Magnet. There she disappeared forever beneath the w ... ter. Barney, Pomp and Jim saved thetr Jives by diving into the stream and swimmirlg away. In the meantime Frank hauled himself upon the rear platform on the train, and was carried along with it toward Collins. All or the people upon the train wtre peering back at the broken bridge and thanking heaven that they had not gone down with it. As the bridge keeper would attend to the sn(ety of the trains that crosiled after that, there was no need for the mail train to atop, so it continued on. Frank passed inside. Meeting the conductor he told him what had happened. "Apprise every one on r .be train," said he. "We will stop the cars, get into the car and capture Die!\ Ross. You will then see that I have told thE! truth.'' The conductor asse nted to this. A few minutes afterward every one or the train bands were apprised of what Frank had said. The conductor stopped the train. When it paused they all swarmed out around the baggage car and rapped on the door for admittance. For a few moments n9 attention was paid to the rap, but when Frank repeated it the door was opened. There stood Dick Ross, attired in the express messenger's uniform, carrying a lantern in b l s hand. It was easy to be Peen that the rascal bad been busy-rifling the mail pouches. Frank leveled a pistol at his head, and cried: "Hands up, Dick Ross, or vou are n dead man!" The rascal was amazed to see the inventor there and startled to find himself trapped. Good Heaven!" he gasped, as be gave a violent start. Up with your hands, 1 say." "Yes-yes-yes!" And up they went over his bead. He saw that every one or the trainmen who had a revolver had it pointed squarely at him. Escnpe was utterly out or the question. Go up and bind him !'' said Frank to a brakeman. The man obeyed. In a few moments Ross wasl!elpless. Frank entered the car and searched him. In bis breast pocket there was a large wallet which contained fifty one-thousand doli\).r bills. Frank took them. 'l'lley were very lil\ely the ones stolen from the Tenth National Bank or San Francisco. "Ross, you havA reached the end Qf your rope," said Frank. "Your gang are nearly ail in my power, and nolv you will sbare their fate > " If e>er I get out of this hole, I pay you off!" growled the man in bitter tones. It will be years hence, 1'm afraid." "Don't you he too sure--" S a y!" shouted one of the conductors Just then. "IIere comes three men running up the track signaling to us." Frank pe e red out the door. He saw they were Barney, Pomp and Jim Fay. was seen of the magnetic gun carriage, anct the gravest fears assailed the young inventor. "Hold the train until they reach us!'' he exclaimed. A few minutes afterward the three panting and puffing men rushed up to the cars and saw Frank, "The Magnet is lost!" cried Jim, the first thing. "Lost?" gasped Frank with a start. "Yes-fell through the hroken bridge into the water." "Can't she be recovered!'' I'm afraid not." How unlucky!" "Got Ross!" "Yes. Look at these bills." The inspector compared them with some numbers he had written in n memorandum book, and said finally: It is the identical money from the Tenth National Bank of San Francisco in transit by mail.'' Good! I took it from the prisoser there.'' All !" shoutect n conductor just then. He wanted to start the train. It was soon speeding away again with our four friends and the pris oner. "Taking it for granted tllat I can't recover the engine," said Frank. We .will let her lie buried under the river. As Ross' gang is broken up, we have no further use for it." No, but it's a !!reat loss," said Jim. Be heavens, we'll build another wan," said Barney. "Golly! yes,'' assented Pomp. "Oat's a fack, honey.'' The train carried them to Great Falls and from there ttey went to Helena their prisoner.

PAGE 15

FRANK READE, JR., .AND HIS MAGNETIC GUN-CARRIAGE. 15 EvE>ry one of the gang wen imprisoned here now, and Dick Ross was pnl behind the bars. The California b11nk received back its money. In due time Dick Ross and his gang wete tried for their offenses, found guilty, convicted and sentenced. Not until they were ti.JUs disposed Jf did Frank and his companions leave Helena. Their work was then finished in Montana. The most dangewus of mail tllieves who ever infested tliaL State was broken up. Dick Ross' father Willi duly exonerated from the suspicion of com plicity in the crime, honorably from custody and reinstated in Ius pol'ition in the post-offbe. Tile big inspector returned to W"ashington, aad Frank, Barney and Pomp returned t9JReadestown. Ultimately rceived the compensation due to them, and devo ted it to tte construction of another invention, the idea of which oc curred to Frank upon his return home. The new contrivance was uestined to be a most wonderful affair and they were soon busily employed at putting it together. : A series of the most startling adventures befell the thre. e frJebds when they put the machine into use. We will soon show our readers what they were in another story about Frank Reai!e; Jr. Having finished this narrative, we will now bid the inventor the Celt and the darky adieu. (THE END.) 'l'he nP.xt number ot the FRANK READE LIBRARY will contain another thrilling story, entitled-" FRANK READE, JR.'S ELECTH.IC ICE BOAT; OR, LosT IN THE LAND OF CRIMSO_ N SNOW." Part I. MULLIGAN'S BOARDING HOUSE. By Profusely illustrated by THOMAS WoRTH. This book illustrates the Comic side of J;ife, full of funny Ad ventures and Novel Situations, abounding in Jokes and Original Sayings. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or we will send it to you upon re ceipt of price. Address FHANK TOUSEY, Publisher, P. 0. Box: 2730. 34 & 36 North Moore St,, New York. TO EUROPE BY MISTAKE. By "BRICKTOP." Telling all about how it happened. Containing twelve illustrations by the great comic artist, THOMAS '\V'ORTH. Price 10 Gents. For sale by all newsdealers, or we will send it to you upon receipt of price'. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, P. 0. Box 2730. 34 & 36 North Mo:>re St., New York. JOINING THE FREEMASONS. By "BRICK TOP." A humorous account of the Initiating, and Ra1sing of the Candidatfl, together with the Grips and Signs. Fully Illustrated by THOMAS WoRTH. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or we will send it to you upot'l-receipt of price. Address FltANK TOUSEY, Publisher, P. 0. Box 2730. 34 & 36 North Moore St., New York. flOW TO BECOME AN INVENTOR.-Every boy shoulD receipt of pnce. Address .nank J1ousey, publlsher, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. t!OW TO BECOME .tt." SPEAKER.--Contalnlng fvnrteen illustrations, giving the different positions reouisite to become a good speaker, read\)r and elocutionist. Also containing gems from all the popular authors of prose and poetry, arranged in the rnoE>t simple and concise manner possible. For sale bv all newsdealers in the United States and Canada1 or sent to your address, postage fre )n of ten cents. Adaress Fran!;: Tous>y, publisher, 34 36 North Moo-A street. New York. Box 2780. OUR SERVANT .GIRLS. By 'BRICKTOP." This book cannot be surpassed fot Fun, Interestino Situations, and the hurr;orous side of Home Lile. Abounding in illustrations by 'l'HOMAS WoRTH. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or we will send it to you upon re eeipt of price. Address FRANK Publisher, P. 0. Box: 2730. 34 & 36 NoJOth Moore St., New York. ZEB SMITH'S COUNTRY STORE. By Handsomely illustrated by THOMAH WoRTH. A Laugh ou Every Page. Illummated Cover. Price Ten Cents. For sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or will be sent post-paid upon receipt of price. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, P. 0. Box 2730. 34 & 36 North Moore Street, N. Y. OJXI" .A. J"UR.. "Y"' .Hy "BRICRTOP.'' Copiously illustrated by THOMAS WoRTH. Side-Splitting Fun from Beginning to End. Handsome Cover. Price Ten Cents. For sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or will be sent post-paid upon receipt of price. Address FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, P. 0. Box 2730. 34 & 36 North Mo:>re Street, N. Y. trOW TO BECOME AN ATID:.ETE.-Givlng full Instruction ror tne use 01 dumb-bells, Indian clubs, parallel bars, horiz(lnta\ bars, and various other !)'lethods of developing a good, healthy muscle; containing over SIXty illustrations. Every boy ca.n become strong and healthy hv following the instructions contained in this little book. For sale by all newsdealers, or sent to your address, postage free, on receipt ot 10 cents. Frank publisher, 34 and 36 North 1\roore .sJ;reet, New York. Box 2730. HOW TO MAKE AND USE ELECl'RICITY.-A description of the wonC.t.rlul uses of electricity and eleclro-magnetism, together with full instru.,tions for malting Electric Toys, Batteries, et0. By George Trebel, A.M., llf.D. Containing over llfty illustrations. Price 10 cen!H. lfor salfl by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to yonr postage free, on receipt of priee. Addresa F'mnk publisher, 31 and 36 !\orth Moore Street, New York. Box 27ill.t. HOW '1'0 DO SECOND SIGHT.-Heller's second sight explained by h3 former assistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. Explaining how the secret dl& logues were carried on between the magichm and the boy on the 11tage; also giving all the codes and signals. The only autbontlo explanation of second sight. Price 10 cents. For sale by all uewsdelt!ers in the United States and Cauada, 01 sent to your address, postage free, on receipt of the price. Address Frank 'l'ousey, 3i and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2700.

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The best weekly .story paper for boys published. Send us your name and address for a package of sample copies FREE. It contains better stories and better illustrations than any other boys paper in the world. Read the following array of brilliant writers who contribute to its SAM SMILEY-GUS WILLIAMS-ROBERT MAYNARD-ALBERT J. BOOTH-GA::;TON GARNE-,-"ED" J. G. BRADLEY-PAUL BRADDON-R. T. EMMET-C. LITTLE-"NONAME"-POLICE CAPTAIN HOW ARD-N. Y. DETECTIVE-N. S. WOOD--ALEXANDER DOUGLAS, (Scot' land Yard Detective)-TOM TEASER-H. K. SHACKLEFORD-D. W. STEVENS-FRANK FORREST-CAPT. GEO. GRANVILLE, (U. S. A.)-JAS. D. MONTAGUE-AND MANY OTHERS. REMEMBER that on receipt of your name and address, we will send you a package of THE Bovs OF NEW YORK containing th& opening chapters of interestmg stories. P. 0. Box 2730. FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 & 36 North Moore Street, N. Y. Latest Issues of Latest Issues of the Latest Issues of the 5 oENT frank Reade Library YouNG SLEUTH LIBRARY. LIDRARY -.,.... Price 5Cents. {) By "NON A.w.E.'' No. No The Son of his Dad, :n The fi&Zera of Hustleton; or, The Imps ot the Aoademr, b Sam Stuiley l2 Short1 Jun1or on Hf1 Ear: or. Always on a Raotet, br, Peter Pad 23 Jim Jams: or, Jack ol All TrAdes, by rom 'l'easer U Tomml Dodd; or, Bounced Everywhere, by Peter Pad Sweet 5h:teen: or. Tlle Family Pet, g.1 Sa.m Smiley M tihOrty and the Count; or. 11be Two Great U nmae hed. by Peter Pad on Teaser l>y Sam Smiley 29 London Bob; or. An English Boy Jn Ameri ca, by Tom Teaser 30 Ebenezer Crow, by Peter Pad 31 Bob Short; or One of Our Boys, by Sam Smiley 32 A Nice Quiet 'B;;y; O!t Never Suspected, by Tom T easer 33 Shorty in Search of .tlis Dad, by Peter Pad 34 Stutteriog Sam, by Peter Pad Pad by Tom Teaser 37 'l'ommy Bounce, Jr.; or, a Chip of the Old Block, 38 Twins; or, Which Was the Other? 39 Bob Rollick; or, Wb&t Was He Born For? by Peter Pad to The Shortys Manied and ,Settled Down, by Pet.er Pad 4.1 rom my Bounce, Jr. in College, by Peter Pad 42 1'he Shortys Out for Fun, by Peter Pad c Billy Bakkus, the Boy With Ah-Look "Whiskers:' or, One Years Fun at Bell toP' Academy, 45 The Shortra Out Fishing, 46 'rhe Short.u Out Ganninll, by Peter Pad 4 7 Bob Rollick, the Yankee Notion Drummerby Peter Pad 48 or, A : 51 Dandy Dick, the Doctor's Son; or. The Terrer, by Tom 'feaser 62 SaSBy Sam Sumner. A Sequel to Sass, S&m. by Commodore 53 The Jolly 'fr&velers: or, Around the World for Fun, by Peter Pad 64 The in the Wild West, b Pete r Pad Muldoon, the Sport, by Torn 'reas er 66 Oheeky an.d Obipper; or, Through Tbiok and Thin. 67 Two Hard Nuts; or, A Term Am's Academy, by Nam Smlley Price 5 Cents. 25 Job; or, Beating th 26 Yonng Sleutlr and tho Sand-Baggers of New York; or, No. 26 Frank Reade, Jr.'s New Electric Terror the" Thunder-26 Oapttve. 27 Frank Reade, Marvel; or, A boveaud Below Water. :1B Kite;" or, 29 Frank Reade, Jr.'s G,..,at Electric Tricycle, and What He Did for Charity, 90 Frank Read"FFJr.'s Ne>Y Electric Invention the "War31 &g::;:.ea in Arizona. 32 Frank Reade, Jr . With His Air-Ship in Africa. 33 Frank Reade, Jr.'s" Sea Serpeat;u or. The t:iearch for Sunken Gold. 34 Across the Continent on Winrs; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s 35 Exploring Me.dco in His New Air-Ship. 36 FiRhting Slave Hunters; or, Frank Reade, Jr . in Central Africa 31 rhe .Electric Man; or, Frank Reade. Jr., in A uatralia. 38 'l'be Electric Horse; or, Fr&Rk Reade. Jr. and l:fJs Fa. ther in Searcb Of the Lost 'l'reasure of tbe Peruvians. 39 Frank Reade, Jr. &lld His Eleotrio 'fe&lllj or, In Search ef a Missing Man. 40 Around the World Under Water; or, Tbe Wonderful Crt!ise of a Submurine Boat. g Work-ing for tbe Government f3 Lost in the of Fire; or, Across the Pampas in the Electric T11rret. H Frank Reade, Jr., and li!s Queen Clipper of the Clondo, Part I. (5 Frank Reade, Jr., and His Queen Clipper of the Clouds, Part II. 46 Sb: Weeks in the Great Whirlpool; or, Strange Adventures in & Submarine Boat. 47 of the Air; or, 60 or, The Bedouin"s Captive. 61 Frank Reade, Jr . and His Electric Atr VM.ht; or. The Great Inventor Among the Aztecs. 52 Frank Reade, Jr., and HiFi Greyhound of the Air; or, the Search for the )fountain of Gold. 63 F,om Pole to Pole; or, Frank n.eade, Jr.'s Strange Sub marine Voyage. 54 The Mystic Brand; or. Frank Reade, Jr., and HisOver laod StaKe Upon the Staked Plnins. 55 Frank Re&de, Jr . in the in tbeFarWest; or, l'be Search lor a Lost Gold Mine. 27 SJJ::f. M7ster-1 of 'lzT. 26 Yonng Sleuth and the Race Course Plotters; or, HoW' tbe Dark Horse Came in Firat. 29 Trick; or, Working as Three 811 Baltimore Game; or, Shadowiog Stolen 31 Uoeton Haul; or, The Keen Deteotie' S2 Young Sleuth's Sao Francisco Deal; or, Tbe Keen De tective in California.. 33 Young Steuth'a Denver Divide; or, For Half a. Great Reward. 34 Yonng Sleuth and tb& L&dy Ferret; or, The Girl Detes; or, The Keen De-45 Young Sleuth and the Bryant Park Mystery; or, Tile of the Queer In New York. !f .:':C! Ferretin 48 Best Race. 49 A StraiaUt 'l'ip; or. Young Sleutb a.t the Americaa Derby. Traoini a Strange Tragedy of a Brokers Office. 52 Young :Sleuth and the Opera House MyaterJ; or, 1\l'ur dered Behind tbe Scenes. 53 Yonng Sleuth Under the Docks of New York; or, The Ri9er 'l'bieves ADd tbe Keen Detective. M Doctor; or, A Medi ... 55 Yeung Sleuth and the Rival Bank Breakers; or, Th Keen Detective's Girl Decoy. All the above libraries are for sale by all newsiiealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to your address, post-paid, on receipt of price. Address P. 0. Box 2730. FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 & 38 North ntoore Street, New York.