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Frank Reade, Jr., and his new steam man; or, The young inventor's trip to the Far West

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr., and his new steam man; or, The young inventor's trip to the Far West
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Physical Description:
1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Inventors -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Science fiction   ( lcsh )
Dime novels   ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )

Record Information

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 - R17-00018
usfldc handle - r17.18
aleph - 024784185
oclc - 27129339
System ID:
SFS0000002:00018


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Main
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
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        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
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        Page 21
        Page 22
    Back Cover
        Page 23
Full Text

PAGE 1

I ,, r\ Latest and Stories are Published in r.rhis Library. No.1. { COMPLETE.} FRANK TOUSEY, PuBLISHED, 3l & 36 NORTH MooRE STREET, NEw YoRK. Ne w York, September 2!,1892. IssuED WEEK L Y { J ttiCII: } 5 V 1. I E n te red according to the A ct o f Congress, in the year 189"2, b y FRANK TOUSEY, i11 the office of the L ibrm ian of Cmt g!css at TVash ington D '-' FHUNK REUDE, JR., AND HIS_NEW STEAM OR, THE YOUNG INVENTOR' S TRIP TO THE FAR WEST. B y ''NONA.l\IE.''

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2 DE JR A"""". HIS NEW STEAM MAN. FRANK REA ., .1.u h $2 50 $1 25 per six months, post-paid. Address FRANK The Subscription Price of the ] 'RANK READE b36. Y Nt etvbeaMr Street New York. Box 2730. TOUSEY, PUBLISHER,;,;. an or Frank Reade Jr., alld His New SteamMan; OR, THE YOUNG INVENTOR'S TRIP TO THE FAR WEST. By "NONAME," Author of,, Frank Reade Jr.'s Electric Cyclone; or, Thrilling Adventures in No Man's Land," etc. CHAPTER I. A GREAT WRONG. FRANK READE was noted the world over as a wQnderful and distin: guisbetl inventor of marvelous macfiines in the line of steam anu electricity. be had I!;WWn old and unable to knock, about the world, as he had been wont once to do. So it happened that his eon. Frank Reade, Jr., a. handsome and talented young man, succeeded his as a. even excelling him in variety and complexity of wveotwu. The son spE)edily outstripped his sire. The o-reat machine shops in Readestown were enlargb:l by young Frank,"'and new !lying machines, electric wonders, and so forth, were brought into being. But the elder Fmnk would main!ain that, inasmuch as electricity at the time was an undeveloped factor, his invention of the Steam Man was really the most womler!ul of all. .. "It cannot be improved upon," he declared, positively. Not If etenm is useu as a motive power.'' Frank Jr. latwbed quietly, and patted his father on the back. Dad," said, with an affectionate, though air, what woulu you think if I should pro1luce a most remarkable Improvement upon your Steam Man!'' "You can't uo it!" declared the senior Reade. Frank, Jr., saiu no more, lmt smiled in a signi fi<:aot manner. One day later, the doors of the secret draughting-room .of design were i.,.htly locked and youno-!!'rank came forth only to Ins meals. For three months this matter o! closed doors continueu. In the machine s!Jop department, whem the parts of machinery were secrtJtly put together, the ring o! hammers might have been beard,-and a b1g was upon the door: No admittance! Thus matters were when one evening Frank left his arduous duties to spend a few hours wilh his "'Jfe all(l little boy. But just as he was passing out the yard, a d_arky, short Ill stature ana of o-enial features, rnshell exCitedly up .to hun. "Oh,"'Marse Frank," cried the sable servitor, "Jes' wait one moment!'' Well. Pomp," said Franlc. pleasantly, '"'what can I do for you!" The darky, who was a faithful servant o! the Reades, and had ac companied both on their tours ip foreign lands, ducked his head, with a grin, ancl replied: "Yo' !ader wants yo', Marse Frank, jes' as quick as eber yo' kin come!" My father," Frank, quickly. "What is it?" 1 don' ouffin' 'bout it tall, Marse Frank. He jes' say fo' rr.e to tell yo' he want fo' to see yo'.'' Where is he?" In his lil;rnry, eab.'' All rig-ht, Pomp. Tell him I will come at once.'' The darky darted away. Frank saw that the doors to secret rooms were locked. This a wise precaution lor hosts of cranks and demented inventors were always hovering about the place and would quickly have stolen the designs If they could have got at them. Not ten minutes later Frank the library where his father was. The elder Reade pncmg up and down io great excitement. Well, my son, you have come at last!" be cried. "I have much wan ted to see you.'' "i am at your service, rather," replied Frank. "What is it?" Frank, Jr., was at a loss to. exactly understand wlmt his father was drivinoat. However, be repl:ed: I may safely say that it is. Now explain yourself. "I will," replied the senior Reade. "I hav? a or great Im portance to give you, Frank, rr.y boy. If your IS as good mv steam man even, and do9s not improve upon It, It Wlll yet perform the work w!Jich I warit it to do." A lio-ht broke across Frank, Jr.'s face. "Ah!" he cried. "I see what you are uriving at. You have an undertakinofor me anu my new machine.'' ]'rank, looked steadily at Frank, Jr., and rephed: You have hit tile nail upon the head.'' What is it!" First, I must tell you a story." "\Ve1l1" .. "It would take me some time to go into the details, so I. Will not atte111pt to
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/ FRA.NK REAVE, JR., .AND HIS NEW STEAM M AN. 3 "In tact his hands nnu face and clothes were almost soaked in red blood. For an instant he was horrified. "What myster.)' was this! But be quickly changed his opinion nnd actually laughed. "It occurred to him as n practical joke upon the part of his club friends. Satisfied or this he resolved to get even with them. "He tried to open the door, through which he bad been pulled. It wns locked and would not yield. "Then he decided to go back to his room and wash off tM blood. Bnt be had not gone ten steps he was met in the glare of the lamplight by one of the club men. Thunder! What's the matter with you, Travers?' asked his friend. "' Ob, nothing, only n little practical joke the boys have been play. ing on me,' replied Jim with a grin. Two or three otb.ers come a long aud Jim explains in like Jllanner. Then he goes to his upar:ments. "When he arrives there be is amazed to tiud the door open and a fearful scene within. Tbe furniture, the lil!'ht carpet and the walls iB. places an smeared with blood. Jim now got angr,y. This is cnrrymg a joke a little too far!' be cried, testily. "This spoiling tine furniture Is too much.' "But be went to washing the blood from his hands. This was a hard job and took time. half a dozeu officers came into the room and seized llim. What do you waut!' cried poor Jim in surprise. "we we.nt yon,' they replied. What for?' For murder-!' Instead of horrified, Jim was mail, madder than a March bare. He just got up and swore at the otlicers. "I don't like t llis sort oftbiug," be declared. "It's carrying n joke too far." The officers only laughed and slipped manacles upon his wrists. Then they led him away to prison. Not until brought into court did poor Jim kpow that he b ad been made the victim of a hellish scheme. Muruer had really been committed in that house into wltich he had been dragged, and whe r e be was blood A man known, was tllere found literally carved to pieces with a knife. had belm fJuud upon Jim m his room. A trail led from the bouse to his r.>Om. .A l\llife was found in his coat pocket. The evidence was all against him and his trial bad just come of! and he had just been sentenced to tleatb by hangmg with only three months ol grace." Frank Reade, Jr. listened to this thriiling tale with sensations which the pen cannot depict. It was so horrible, so strange, so ghastly that lle conld hardly believe it true. He arose and walked once across the floor. CHAPTER II. THE NEW STEA}I MAN, THEN the you11g inventor paused before his fatl!er, an'd in a deeply impressed manner snid: "Then an innocent man stands convicled of murder?" "Yes." "In.tbat case it is the duty of every philanthropic man to try and save the innocent." "It is." "We musL do it." "I am glad to bear you say that." -"But t!Je question nOIY arises ns to how we shall be able to do it. Is there no clew to the real assassins!" "No definite clew." "That-is very strange. or course there must have been a motive. That motive would seem to be to get Travers out of the way." "Ye s." "And lie has no enemies!" "Noue that be knew of." "Ab, but what would any one gain by putting him out or the way--" Frank Reade, Jr., paused. He gazeu steadily at his father. Much passed between them in that glance. "His fortune is a large one," put -the senior Reade, "the right to inherit would furnish the best motive. There is but one heir, and be is a nephew, Artem11s Clift; who is a stockmau, somewhere in tlte Fnr West. could not bfl him." "Could not!" Frank Reade, Jr., sat down and dropped into a bro'wu study. After a time he aroused. "I am interested in this case," he declared. "And my Steam Man is at the disposal of justice at auy time. Bot' you spoke of the prairies. Is there a clew in the West?" "The only clew' possible tQ obtam at present,'' declared :Mr. Reade, Sr. "You see detectives tracked two suspicious men to Kansas. There they lost track of them. Everybody believes that they were the as8assina. '! "Well, I believe it," cried Frank Reade, Jr., with impulse. "I can see but one logical explanation of matter. Either Artemas Cliff bas employed two ruffians to do this awful deed for the sake of Travers' money, or-the cnse is one not possible to solve with ease." Frank Reade, Sr., did not dis lay surprise at tbis_.stntement of his SOD. "Now you have the whole thing in a nutshell, my boy," be_ said. "Of course, you can do as you please, lmt 1! you '\'ish to take any kind of a journey with yolll' uew invention, here is a chance, and a noble object in view. That ob ject should be to track drown the mur derers, and clear Jim Travers. It may be tbat the nephew Artemas Cliff; is the re ally' guilty one, but_ in any case I believe that it ism the West you will find the solution of the myster y." "That is my belief," agreed Frank R eade Jr., "buL now that this matter is settled let me show you the plans or my steam man." Frank Reade Jr., drew a. roll or papers from his pocket and spread them upon the table. -Upon them were the blue print plans and draw i ngs or tlJe mechanism of the Steam Man, Frank Reade, Senior, e n mined them carefully and critically. From one. piece to another he went and after som e time drew a deep brealll saymg: "Well, young blood is the h11et after all 1 must say, Frank, Lbat I am beat. There is no tioubt but that you have improved upon my Steam Man. 1 congratulate you." Thank you," said Frank Reade, Jr. with g rati fication. But I am anxious to see th i s marvel at work." "You shall," replied tlle young invPntor. "To-morrow the Steam Man will go out of the shop upon his trial trip." A few minutes later Frank Reade, Jr., was on the wny to his own bouse. He was in a P!!rticularly bnppy frame of mind. He bad achieved great results in l!is n e w invention, and here as by design, wns n chance afforded lum to use the Steam Man to a philanthropic and lleroic purpose. The idea of traveling through the wilds of the West was a thrilling one. Frank could already picture the effect or tl:e Steam Man upon the wilJ savages of the plains and the oullaws of Western Kansas and Colo r ado. Also the level fi.oor-like prairie of that region would alford excellent traveling for the new invention Frank Reade, Jr., was a lover of adventure. It wns au inborn love. The prospect before him fired his very soul. It was jus t what he desired. That evening he unfolde d all h i s plans to his wife. Of course Mrs. Reaae was averse to her husband undertakin"' Roch n dangerous trip. But niter a time abe overcame her scru ples 0and re conciled h e rself to it. The next morning at nn early hour, Frank wns at the emrine house or the steel works. The wide doors w ere t hrown open an d a wonderful sight revealed. There stood the Steam Man. Frank Reade, Sr., and a great numbar ol friends were present Pomp, the negro, also there a s well ns a queer-looking little Irtahman wit h a genuin e Hiberniau mug and twinkling eyes, whicll bespoke a nature bri : nming over with fnn. This was Barney O'Shea. Bnrcey and Pomp had long been faithful servants or the Rendes. In all of t heir travels with their inventions they bad accompanied them. Of these r.wo characters we will say no more, but permit tbe render lo become a cquainted with them in the c ourse of the story The senior Reade examined the mechanism or the new Steam Inn with deepest interest. "Upon my word, Frank," he cri ed, "you have beaton me out nod out. I can ha rdly believe my ey es. Frank Reade, Jr., laughed good humoredly. T .ben he went about showing a party of frieqds the mecbanisu or the new Steam Man The man himself was a structure of iron plates joined in sections with rivets, hinges or bar s as the needs required. In faco and form the m a chin e was a good imitation or a man done in steel. In no w is ., C.id be look ponderous or unwieldly, though bts stature wnsfully nine feet. Tbt> man stood erect holding the shafts of a wagon nt his hips. The wagon itself was !ight but roomy with four wheels nnd a top covering of fine steel net work. 'l'h is was Impervtous to a bullet while anyone in aide could see quite well all about them. 'fhere were loop-boles 1n this netting to put the rifle barrel6 through in case of a light. A part of the wagon was used as a c o al bunker Other small compartments betd a limited a mount of stores, ammunitions and weapons. Upon the render in front was a brake to regulate wagon on a steep grade, and a slit in the net wor k here allowed or the pn or the reins, two long lines conneJting with the throttle and whistle valves. A word as to the mechanism of the man. Here was really the flue work of the invention. Steam was the motive power. The hollow legs and arm3 of the man ma de the reservoir or boilers. In the broad chest was the furnace. Fully two hundred pounds or coal could here be placed, ke _eping up a fire sufficient to ger:erale steam tor a long time. The steam chest wns upon the man's back, and here were a number of valves. The tall bat worn by the man f ormed the smoke stack. The driving rods, in sections extended down the man's legs, and could be set in motion so skillfully that a tremendous stride was at tai ned, and a apeed far beyond belier. This was the new steam man. The improvements were many and manifest. All the mechanism was more nicely balanced, the parts more strongly joined, and the steel of finer quality. Greater speed was the certainty.

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FRANK READE, JR., ANn HIS NEW STEAM .i\IAN. Fre was burning in the furnace, steam was hissing from the retort, and snwke was pouring from the funnel bat of the man. Frank Reade, Jr., suddenly sprung Ill the wagon. He closed the screen door behind him. Pomp was engaged m some work in the coal bunker. Frank took up the rems and pulled them. The throttle was opened and also the whistle valve. Three gbarp st:rieks the new Steam Man gave and then he was away on the trial trip. -Out of the yard he went and out upon the highway. Everybody rll3hed to the gates and a grent cheer went up. Down the highway went tbe Steam Man at a terrfic J:lis strides were long and powerful. So raptdly were they made that a amount of surface was covered. It was a good smooth road. Just ahead was a man riding a horse. Near him was a. bicycler who was noted as a fast rider. Both bad beard that the Steam Man would make his trial run that morning. Bets bad been made by both that they could beat the Man. Frank guessed the truth at once. "Ki dar, Marse Frank," cried Pomp, wit3 a chuckle and a shake of his woolly head. "Deni two chaps am got a pile ob gall. Jes' yo' show dem e of a lull in their duties to play a. social game of poker in the rear the wagon. These t1vo umquo characters, although.the warmest of friends, 'were nevertheless always engaged in batl<>erin<> encb other OJ> the perpetration of practical joke&. "' BPjabers, go yez ten betther on that, yez black ape," cried Barney, lhrowmg down a handful of chips. "I'll take me worrnd it's big IJ!ulf yez are play in'. Yez can't fool me.'' "Youse will jest find out dis n!gger ueber plays a bluff game,"re torted Pomp with a Jest yo' look out fo'. l'isl!." "Begorra, I ain't afratd av yez an' l'l! go ye the tm,. cr1ed. Barney. There was a broad grin upon Pomp s face. He qutelly ptcked up ten chipe and then put in ten more. "Hold on I'ist. I'll go youse ten better." "Call yez: be tdvens!" cried Barney, chucking in ten more. Then he threw down his hand. "Can yez bate that?" be cried, triumphantly. Gi'lle us the pvt, nayaur. Yez are no good.'' Pomp put one black paw over the pile of chips. "'Jes' wait one minnit, l'isb.'' "Wburro! Yez can't bate it!" cried Barney, conftdentlr. He had thrown a good band containing four kings and two aces. But Pomp quietly laid down four aces! The picture was one well worthy of an artist. F(lr a moment the two card players gazed at tbe six aces. in ama!lement. It was a very curious anomaly that there should be SIX aces m one pack of cards. Then Barney eprang-up furiously. Begorra, it's a. big cheat ye are!" he cried, iiY: :. saw the loikes av that? Be me sowl, the bull p1le IS mme! Don' yo' puz yr bands on dem chips, l'isbl" cried Pomp, angrily. "P'rups yo' kin tell me wllarfore youse got dem two aces, maybe youse can!" "Bejabers they war m the pack, bot yez km tell me perhaps wber& yez got four aces yez put down there?'' "I tell yo', l'ish, dey was in de pack." "Be jabers it's the rust pack af cards I ever ea.w with six aces iu it," retorted Barney. "Now don' yo' gib me any mo' ob yo' sass, l'ish!'' blustered Pomp. "I'll jes' make yo sorry if yo' does.'' "Bejabers yez ain't tbe size!" Look out fo' yo' self, l'ish !" "Whurroo!" Over went the table leaf, down went the chips in the bottom of the wagon, and the two angry poker players closed in a. lively wrestle. For a moment Barney had the best of it, then Pomp tripped the Celt up and both fell in a heap in the bottom of the w:..goc. They chanced to fall against the wire screen doqr in the rear of the wagon. It was unlocked and gave way beneath the pressure, and the two practical jokers went through it and out upon the bard lloor of the prarie. They were rolled about in a cloud or dust, and had .they not been or something more tban ordinary composition they would bave suflerel fronrbroken bones. But cs it was both pjcke
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FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. 6 rapidly. But qmck -as it bad beP.n, the savages bad yet succeeded in makina Pomp a prisoner and getting away with him. "Bejuben, they've got the naygur bound to a horse, cried Barney, wildly. Wud yez Juk at the loikes, Mistber Frank. We must catch the umadhouns and give them a lessio of tbe ri ght sort." I hope we may," replietl Frank, with great a nxiety, "out I fear the red fiends will get to cover b efore we can overtnlce them." "Whurroo! It's mesilf as will sphoi! the .loike av some nv thim," cried Burney, as be picked up his rille. The savages were racin g like mau across the prairie. had caught sight of the Steam Man, which was to them some fiend incarnate, some evil spirit which would seek their certain de struction. Terror of the wildest sort made them whip their ponies to the ut most. It was a mad race. But the Steam Man was gaining. He t ook tremendous striues. Frank pulled the whistle valve, and the shrieks sent up on the air were of a terrifying kind. s avages bad all gazed with wonder upon the white man's iron horae that followed i:s stee l track acrosf their prairies. Bat this latest appearance, the Steam Man, was too much for their nerves. They eoulu not bear it, and lied. Tbe Steam Man wonld certainly have overtaken them. But, not visible until one had turned the timber line and made a ri se in the prairie was a distant range o! hills. Toward tlus the savages were goang. If they reached them, they woulti!Jertainly succeed in eluding their pursuer. And the chances seemed good. Frank saw, ,with a peculiar cbill, that they were really liable to reach the point aimed at. He sent the man on at lull speed. Barney placed himself at aloopbole, and commenced firing as idly as be could at tbe lleemg foe. The result was that many of them fell. and the others redoubled their exertions to make an escape. ,On went the chase toward tile distant range of hills. Nearer and nearer drew the ponies to the objective point. With sinking heart Frank saw that the Indians were likely to reach them before the Steam Man could ov,ertake them. Of course this would mean safety for tbe savages, for the Steam Man coPld not hope to follow tbe over the rouglr surfaces there eu countered. "Heavens, we ate not going to save Pomp!" cried Frank, with a thrill of despair in his voice. Wbnt sllall we do, Barney! Is it not awful?" Barney was busily engaged in placing fresh cartridges in his Win chester B egorra, it's save the I will if I sacrifice me own loife!" cried the big-hearted Celt. "It's me own fault, for sure, that he tve r felltro o the door and got pickeu up by the r e d min." Frank put on all the steam he dared, and the man took tremendous stt i des forward. "We will make a mighty eflort," he gritted, as he piled on the steam. "llejabers, lH,re goes for wan av the spalpeens!" cried Barney. The n t h e Iri-shman's rifle crack ed. One of the sa\'uges tumbled from bis pony's back. Barney to lo:-.<1 and !ire as fast as he could. But the op portuuity was not long granted him. S uudenly the cavalcade of savages dashed into the mouth ol the pass. They were out of sight in a twinkling. The Steam Man was obliged to come a halt. There were howlders nod piles or stones to block the passage Barney and Frank Rea
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6 Jl AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. FRANK READE, :t., 'Yes." "Pardon, senor, but I cannot see in what manner I can serve you. .. You must me. One of my men-u coloretl man-;-has fallen into t!te bands or the Indians. 'l'hey have made tum pnsoner and have just escaped with him into these htlls I ask your ass1atauce lD effecting his rescue." A peculiar smile played about the cowboys lips. Is he not the oue you call Pomp?" he "Yes." "And tbat man with yoa in your cuge there is called Barney?" "Yea." "Ah, I. see-Barney and Pomp. Well, Senor_ Rende, accept my complnnents and the w1sh that you may see CIVIizatlOn a., am alive, which I do -not belive w!ll be the case. Ha-hn-bat You have blunlieretl into a deathtrap!" like a correct comprehensiOn of affa1rs now began to dawn upon Frank ,, "What do you mean!" he o-asped in surprise. "Who are you. "Well since you aRk me"'I will tell you," replied the cowboy chief with a 1dugh. "I am no Spaniard, as you might have thought. 1 am ns good an American as you, and you Will have good cause to re mem bet my name in the near future, provided you escape from tins tra-p. 1 am the man you are so eaget!y looking for-I am Artemas Clitr." "Heavens!" gasped Frank Reade, Jr., "the man I nm lookmg for!" "The same." replied CUff. mockingly. "You have undertal(en quite a daring deed, my tine but you will tin_d tha;, you have bitten off a very much larger slice than you can mastiCate. We will see," began Frank. You see these men?" continued Cliff. "They are my followers tried and true. What is it to you whether my uncle, Jim Travis, should bang for murder? You can never prove him innocent-at lenst, never will, for you will nevet go from alive." ''Scoundrel!" cried Frank. "You are the real murderer!" Ha, ha, ba! Prove it if you can!" laughetl the cowboy chief, de ris1velv. I will prove it, if I have to drug the confession from your lips!" cried Frank, resolutely. "Pshaw! Talk is cheap. Attention, men! Grab the throttle rein ot the Steam Man and you can destr' oy him! Forward Charge!" Frank REado, Jr., bennl the command and knew well the danger. lle was at a loss to acconnt for Cliff's knowledge of him and his inven tlnn. The young invento r was not aware of fact that for weeks pre \'ious to the starting forth of the Steam Man spies had been busy in Rt>n.liPstown. But saeh wns the truth. Artemas Cli!l had covered his tracks well. He knew thnt Frank Rende, the young inventor's father, was a friend of Travers and would s ee hlm through, if possible Tl.lerefore he hnd provided well for giving Frank Reade, Jr., and the new Steam hot reception on the-plains. With hoarse crieY the cowboys de11cended upon the Steam Man. ThAy ur!l;ad their horses forward at a fnll gallop. Frnnk Reade, Jr., kue11 well that it wa9 possible lor them to greatly injure his invention, so he matte quick action to defeat their plans. He shouted to Barney: "Give it to them, Barney. Shoot every mnn you can." Then Frank opened the throttle, and let the Steam Man out for all he was worth. IL was an easy mutter to outstrip the horses, and the Steam Man kPpt nhead, while the cowboys came thundermg on in the rear. Then Frank slackeneli speed so ns to keep up a uniform distance bet we('n the Man and the horses. While Barney poureli in shot after shot into the midst of the gang or pursuers. The cowboys began to drop from their saddles one by one. It was a de3tructive and telling Ana they strained every nerve in vain in an effort to reach the team Man. Frauk the Mnu just far enough ahead to er:sure safety and enable Barney to pick oft' the cowboys with ease. It took Clill'some Lime to tumble to this little game, When he did, and realized thnt be was simply decimating numbers withont gaining ground, he called a halt. The cowboys were now near the tanks or a wide river which was the Platte, Frank Reade, Jr. saw his advnntage and brought be Steam Man to a stop. Then he seized a rille and joined Barney. CHAPTER V. POMP'S RESCUE. Bt'T it wns hardly likely that the cowboys would stand their ground long under snr.h a fire. As fast as they could Frank and Barney worked the repeaters. result was that quite a nom ber of the foe lav dead upon the prmne. But ArtP.mas Cliff knew the fatality of remaining there. Beinnun. ahle to catch the man, be knew that their ouly hope now was in re treat. All or the cowboys fired at the Steam Man. The bullets rattled against the steel cage, Frnnk at once sprang to the reins nnd the brake and started the ..team Mau Ju pursmt. It was quite a turning of tables The pursuers were now tile pursued. So it continued until suddenly, by the ord_ers of Cliff, the cowboys turtiotl their horses Into the nver and forded Jt Once 00 the other side they were soon beyond the reach ot the rille balls. The Steam lvian of course could not follow. The encounter with the cowboys was at an end._ They did not _to the attnc'.t, smgulnrly, but kept on uutil tiJP. rolling plams httl them from v1ew. Clifl's direful threat against tile Steam Man null Its mventor, had t b en caried out. But Frank did not, by any means, delude him belief that the villain would relinquish the attempt so easily. : Well Barney he crietl cheerily, when satisfied that the scnm ae over. "We out of that scrape a little cha best of it. all turno;d out as I expecte_d. 'l'bat Clit!', is tbe real "Begorra, it Inks that way, M1sther Frank, BarueJ .. So it doe'S. We must plan to captare the villam, and wriDg a confession from hirn." "Be jabers that's throe. If I only bad an opportumty I d pretty quick wrinohis loon for him." "But that does not settle the question of Pomp's fate," declared Frank. "He must be saved." "Shure Misther Frank." But l;ow c!m we do it?" This was yet a conundrum. Frank and the faithful Irishman stood looking at eacb other. It was a lona time before either spoke. Finally Frank said: "There's only one way, Barney." "Au' phwat's that!" "We've got to get into those hills in, I don't like t:> leave the Steam Man, but to sAve Pomp I d-The young ceased speaking. A strange medley of sounds. came from the direcuou of the pass. Tilere were wild yells and pistol shots, and then, out upon the prairie, ti:e two astonished travelers saw a motley crew of horses and sav ages emerge. The savaooes were fighting furiously. Frank knew enough or the Indians of re<>ion to know what it all meant. A band of and a band of Pawnees, the deadliest of enemies, were engaged in a terrific batLle. Frank took in the scene at a glance. He at once understood all. The band which Lad cnptured Pomp was undoubtedly the one en gaged in this conflict. 'l'hey had very likely met the Pawnees in the upper part of the pass. When the Pawnees and Sioux met a fight nlwnys followed. Gen erally the latter came off victorious. As it seemed now, however, the Pawnees had the best of it. They were wor:;.ting the Sioux (n good fashion. F'rnnk and Barney watched the scene a moment until suddenly a sharp cry burst from Barney. B$orra, Misther Frank, i! there nin't the nnygur," he cried, wildly. Barney was right. Frank glanced in the direction indicated and saw a thrilling act. In the midst of the Sioux was Pomp bound to thE! back of a musSuddenly in the midst of the melee the horse was seen to bolt from the rest nn
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FRANK RBADE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. 'l If be should go to the bottom of that gorge it would be the end of Po,mp and the mustang. This was 1:leeu at a glance and with the intense of horror Bar ney cried: "Shall I lire, Misther Frank? It's the only thing as will save the The precipitation or the huge bowlder upon the Steam Mao would h a v e destroyed the invention and the lives or those on board. Just in Lime lmd seen the danger. Another moment and it would have lleen too late." nayaur" will have to uo that," replied Frank, sharply. for your aim, Barney. God help Pomp!" "Ki yi, don' yo' see now, Marse Frank?" cried Pomp wildly. "I see," replied Frank, in thrilled tones. "My God' that is a nar" Loo k out row shave. We would hnYe been cruslled to atoms ilt another moment as I live." Barney pulled the trigger. Crack! "Whurroo! Give the spa! peens a good bit av cold lead!" shouted Barney, rushing to one of the loophole:!" with his rille. the mustang in the "That's right!" cried Frank, doing the same. "Golly, yo' kin bet we will do uat!" chimed in Pomp. The bullet sped true to its mark. It struck side. The aminal faltered, threw up its head, stumbled, and then pitched forward in a beap. Pomp lay lleneath the horse It did not require but a few moments for the Steam Man to reach him, Tile two cowboyi, seeing tlmt their game was exposed, sprang up with wild shouts of dismay. As tlley did so they were exp.osed to shot s from below. The three rifles spoke sharply in chorus. In a twinkling Bo.ruey sprang out of the wagon and cut Pomp's '!'he i.wo would-be destroyePs tumbled in a heap. Tbeir fall was fol lowd by a wild chorus or yells from the thickets and uowlder piles He lay witl one leg under above. bonds. The Garky was not in the least injured. the mustang, but was easily extricated. The joy of t he darky at hiil rescue cannot be expressed iu words. He mbraced Barney etrusively, thought yez kilt imoirely, naygur," cried the big-hei1rted Irishinan. "It' s mo1ghLy glad lam to see yez aloive." "Yo' kin jest het dis chile am glad fo' to get out ob dem red debbils' bands," cried Pomp, exuberanLiy. And then he dashed aboanl the Steam Man and grasped Frank's hand. "011;-Marse Frank, I'se. dretrul glad to aee yo'!" cried Pomp, bX citedly. "I am glad to have you back, Pomp," cried Frank. "And to know that you are unharmetl in any way. But it was a close &.have for you!' 'Deed it was dat, Marse Frank. But dis nigger am powerful hard for to kill, an' specs dat's why !lib. But I'se got lots to tell you, Maroe Fran!{." "You ha1e?" Frank, "'Deed I bas. P 'raps yo' kin find it valuable fo' yo'. I'll jes' tell yo' dat when we went up troo dat pass we jes' cum out pretty qnicl' in a valley. Dat ar' valley was a scrumptious one, an''dar was a trail leadin' down inter it. But afore the lnjuns could ride down inter it along cum six white men on hossback an' a right pert young lady on a boss, too. "Sakes ali be I neblJer seen so pretty n gal in ali mah lire. Well, dese yer men, dey seemed like dey was 'quainted wid der Injuns. Dey _,. jes' talked as free like wid old Black Buliillo, an' I jes' opened my ears an' listened. Dey said dat de gal was a prisoner an' dey was takirr' her from a cave in de hills to Ranch V. Dey mentioned de ob Cliff. Den dey rode on, Sllb,an' mah sakes, jus' den up from the val ley dere came a hull gang ob fugine8 and pitched imo us. Ol> cose yo' know all de res'." Frank Reade, Jr., listened with the deepest amazement to this ex cit i ng story. "A girl!" be gasped. "or course those men were Cliff's, but where on earth were they going?" Dey done said it was to Ranch V. suh." "Ranch V!" repeated Frank. "That is not very definite, But it must be tfle headquarters vf Cliff and his gang. You didn't hear them say just where that ranch was located, P01fip?" "No sah, buL I jes' took note ob de direckshun dey was goin' an -:it was to de sour-west.' "Well," said the yq_ung inventor as "he turned the Steam Man about, "I c:mnot imagine who the young girl is or how sbe fell Into the bands of Clitr's gan>!:. But 1t is certain that she is in their power and we must save her." Be jabers that'a roight, Misther Fran!;," cried Barney, gallantly, the O'Sbens from Brian Bom down war a lways know!:! as men av bor:or an' defenders av female vinue." The Steam Man started on the return across the plateau. It was Frank Reade, Jr.'s, intention to reach the prairie once more llnd strike out to the southwest, in the hopes of locating the Ranch V. The Steam Man ran swiftly to the mouth of the pass which led do we to the pruirie. Barney lJad filled the furnace with fresh coal, and the indicator showed that there was plen t y or water in tt1e boiler. Frank was about to enter the pass when suddenly Pomp sprang up .with a wild cry. 1'he darky sprang to Frank' s side and tried to grab the throttle rein. Frank wu. s astounded. "Hold on there, Pomp. What are you trying to do?" he cried. "Ki dar, Marse Frank. Swp de Man, or fo' de Lawd we am all done fo', suah as preaehin'!" ... Wbat?" gadped Frank. "If yo' don't believe it, jes 10ok np yonder?" Pomp point.ed one linger upwllrd 'to the canygn wall above the pass. The sight which' rewarded the startled gaze of the young inventor calfsed him to reverse the throttle and bring the Stearn Man to a halt. Two cowboys were crouching behin1l an enormous bowlder whicil they had intended to roll down upon the Steam Man. CHAPTER VI. THE FIGHT IN THE PASS. A MORE narrow escape could hardly ue imagined. A volley of bul)ets came from there and rattled harmlessly against the steel netting, showing that tbe cowboys were there located io great force How Liley bad chanced to be there at that critical moment our ad venturers could on)y guess. But Fran!;: mentally concluded that at best they were but a di vision of Clift's gang, and they bad happened upo!:! tbe spot by cb:mce. Seeing the Steam .Mao they had seized what seemed LO tuem a fine oppdftuuity to destroy it. -How far short they came of it we have already seen. A red-.bot contest now began betWE!eD the cowboys and those in the steel wagon. Of cotir&e our three friends bad a vast advantage inasmuch as they were protected from the shots of their foes. Ot course the outlaws far outnumbered them, but it w a s not at all a difficult matter to pick them off cecasionally with a ritle bulle t Volley alter volley the cowboys lir"d at the Steam Man. When at length it became patent to them that their siJots were fu tile, they made the air ring with yells of batllod rage. Then. they ceased firing and silence en sued. Every cowb oy bad disa11peared seemingly from the canyon wall. But thid did not deceive Fmnk Reade, Jr. He knew t .bat this was only a game of the roe and that it would yet be unsafe to try the pass. Bejabers, ain't some other way av gettin' out av this cried Barney, giving the plateau a sweeping glance. But the chain of hills surrouudiog it did not lend color to such a. possibility. "It don't look like it," said Frank, dubiously. I jes' fink dat am de only way out ob dis place," said Pomp. "We are in a kind or trap," tleclaretl Frank Rende, Jr. We were not sharp or we woul:l haveavo1ded this scrape. As 1t was, however, the best th ey could do was to watc3 for au opportunity to run the gauntlet through the Pass. But they bad not long to wait new and tilrilling developments. Suddenly Pomp gave a sturt1Nl cry. "For massy sakes, Marse Frank, jes' yo' look out yonder. What ebber am dey up to now?" Over the edge or the plateau there was visible a line of men IDI!."rapidly toward the Steam Jlfan. They were deploying right aud left as if to surround him. T his was their purpose. "They're thryin' to surround us!" cried Barney. Frank watched the maneuver with deep intrrest. He smiled grimly. This was certainly the purpose of the foe But the young inventer saw in the a or !Jig own chances. "They will not gain what they hope to," he said, r esolutely. Then he saw thut a lineor nrm el men ha.d deployed across the mout.h of the Pass to prevent the Steam Man from escaping in that direction. In Frank's judgment there were two hundred cowboys in the party. This w as tremeJJdous odds, but the young inventor uid not fear the results. With a wild cheer the cowboys began to close their line in about the Steam Man. Frank Reade, Jr., opened the whistle valve and let out sev eral de fiant shriEks. Then he started the Steam Man In a straight for the pass. Pomp and Barney with their repeaters began to tlrP. upon the line or men there. The repeaters did deadly work. It was a. constant fusillade, and the cowboys dropped like sheep. The error of their plan could now be seen In dividing their forces to make the surrounding line, th ey bad weakened themselves. Frank had seen this. If they had been merely content with holding the pass it would have been extremely doubtful if the Stearn Man could so have escaped. Just as fast as they could work the sixteen-shot Winchestera Darney and Pomp mowed down the opposing line or cowh!'ys. The line was thln, and it would have required a. very solid corps to have withstood that scathing fire. Down went the Steam .Mao toward the Pass with fparful speed. Heaps or the dead and wounded cowboys lay upon the ground. As (

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8 FlUNK READE, JR.. AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. the Steam Man reached the Pass, a number of the cowboys tried to CHAPTER VII. ""rasp Ute throttle rei us and stop the. machine. T 11 E v 1 G r L A N T s o But the ponderous body of the Man knocked them aside like flies nn1! the wheels of the heavy wagon crushed them into death or insen"WwnA1''s the matter?" gasped Frank, sleepily arousi:Jg bi:nself. sibility. "Whist now Jl.fisther Frank! There' s a quare loight out yonder on The Steam Man literally forged hts way through the Pass ltke a the perairy, I thought I'd jist call yure attintion to tbe same, rocket. sor." Barney and Pomp cheered wildly and fired parting shots at the dts-"A li""ht?" muttered Frank, now fully awake. comlited foe. He got upon his feet, and rubbing his eyes, stared at the distant Jn a few moments the Steam.l\1an ran out upon tbe 'prairie. blaze. Frauk did uo' waste time but set llis course at once to tile Soutlt"That is odd," he "It will do to investigate that.'' wesc. "Sure it may be a camp lire," ventured Barney. He was anxious to locate Ranch V. This he be-lieved was llis fitst "If so then we must find out who the campers are," ueclared :nd most im[JOrtanl duty. Fra:1k. He was salistie'allch wilb stockade. exlensive cattle pens and yards had The scene in the camp now was a ludicrous one. once upon this spot. Frank allowed Steam Man td pass 'l'he men were filllld with mingled fear, amazement and stupefaction through the tuins. at the sight of the Steam Man. 1'1Jrilltn!!; sights were accorded our adventurers. The fiery eyes and nostrils and mammoth proportion s of the man in There were heaps o! ashes. the bones of animals, and several the darkness made him look like a monster from the infernal re"ions. <:h:rr<' moment of stupefied silence the answer came back. quest for Ranc!t V was begun. Who the dici,Pns are you?" But ulghL came on, ami they had obtained no clew. "I am Frank Reade, Jr., and this is my new invention the Steam A was round to. camp, and it was decided to wait Man," replied Frank. "You l1ave nothir.g to fear." moru:ng before pursumg the JOUrney furthet. Tile campers now saw tl:e three men in the wagon as Barney turn Accordingly everything was made comfortable with this end in ed on the hght of the calciUm and tlluminate
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FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. 9 ers had been adj11dgtd guilty, uut wh1ch it was believed was the work of Cliff. Harmon llstenea with interest. "So that's another game o( tiler cuss!" he cried. "Wall, that's a bud one, but 1 reckon we've a wuss couut agin him, stranger." "Indeed!" exclaimed Frank. Dill ye cum across ther ruins of 11 rauch out hyar on ther perairy some miles?" "I did." "Wnll, that was onct Rodman "Ranch, an' Ralph Rodman was one of the hest men in this part of tiler West But that ornery cus s Clitl fell in love 'Vith pretty Bessie Rollman, his darter, an' when Ralph denied bim the right to come a-C)Urtin' her, ther scoundrel jest urougllt down a gaug of hoodlums an' burned down _the ranch, toted ofi ti1er gal, :.n' killed all ther rest about tiler place." '' Horrile!' : exclaimed "But you have not told me of RJman. What oecame of him?" "Wall, that illustrates tber villainy of ther cuss. Just previous to bur.nin' tiler ra.r.ch, two men, Sid Bowen an' Jam Ducey, hired lJy Clirt; enticed Ral[ill tO> New York lJy bringin' him a bogus mess:.ge from a brotter, who wus_reprasenteu as bein' in great distress. That's the last seen of Rodman., IV !Jut they did witll him we don't know. But I've henrtl that Bowen an' Ducey have retumetl, r.n' Rodman didn't cum with 'ern. It's my helief he's been done away with, nn' it's all a game of Cliff 's to get. the gal Bessie into his possesswn." A great cry broke from the lips of Frank Reade, Jr. This of Hurll1.0II S he had listened to eagerly, and, ns it was unfolded, lJit by liit, a clear, concise comprehension of all now came to him. He saw tli e hideous details, the cold, scheming construction of a deep and awful plot, involving murder and abduction -and terrilJle wrong. "Great heavens!" he gasped, wiping cold perspiration from his brow. Your a great hg\lt upon tl.!e matter whicb 1 bave in hand, :Mr. Harmon." .. The deuce you say!" gasped the captain of the Vigllantes. "It is the truth," cried Frank. "I think I can tell you the true late of Ralph Rodman, and you will agree that Clitl is the projector of one of the most awful douule plots of crime that human being could be capuule of. The Vigilantes all gathered around the YOEng inventor, agog with iliterest. "Ye don't mean it?" "gasped Harmon, with amazement. "Ye: re huntin' Cli!I tben ther same as we are?" -"Yes." "What fer?" "To force a confesaion or explanation from him of a mysterious murder of which his own uncle, James Travers, of New Y
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10 FRANK READE, E'v Sl'EA:\1 MAN. JR., AND HIS N utes erery cowboy iu tbe place was a prisoner, and Ranch V. was ca}Jt uretl. ti t t t Waller Barrows, tile brave young stockman, was the rs o en er tlH> main ranch. The instinct of a lover took him to the chamber ID wh1ch Beasie Rollman was kept a prisoner. He burst in the door and clasped the young g1rlm hiS arms. That was a joyo:>s meeting. When they appeared in .the yard the VJg1lants cheered Wildly. It was a brilliuut victory. Ranch V. was captured. The stronoobold of tile outlaw Cliff, the den of v11lamy nnd VICe, was capti1red. It dHl not require much time !or them t:> reach a de cision as to what to do. "p'ut t'e torch "E1ery building must be laid low!" cried Harmon. u Then be came to a halt. d" 1 It seemed as if they must !.ee l safe here .A.ccor mg y, arrangements were mar.le for pas sin g the n1ght. A r t ble seat was arran"e l for Bessie Ro_dman and, much ex fatigue of h e r experienc e s, she quiCKlY fell asleep. But tears had wet her che e k s anr.l tr e mbled ou her eyelashes. Frank hall told her of her f ather's death. 1 "01 I re r it is more than I can bear," s!Je dec.ared, m agony of spirit. 1 .. M; dear, dear fath er., Oll, if I were a man, bow I would avenooe bim!" h !fl Th "There are plenty to d o lhlJ:t,'' Fran!.:, c eenn., l '' evil lain shall surely pay for Ius ev1I J "I hope it may come to she sa1d, S!Dcerely. Then she dropped ofl to sleep But even us she slept, deadly per1l hung over her young and beautif u l head. to every accursed Limber. CHAPTER IX. The cry was taken up an
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I l i I l FRANK JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. 11 Of coqrse it was aneasy matter for the cowboys to board the wagon and make prisoners of all on board. The glee of Chtf was beyond expression. .. lL was truly a du\Jious outlook. The savages were of Black Buffalo's gang of Sioux, and they seemed much elated at getting the prisoner once more into their clutche s Be danced aud clapped his br.uds with fiendish joy. He pinched Bessie's arms until she ecreamed with agony, and with brutal laughter roared: "Oh, I'll mal'e ye all dance. Ye bought ye'd git away from me, ctid ye, gal? I'll show ye that ye can't get away from Artemas Cliff. Ha, ha, hal WlJat a gO"od joke." He laughed uproariously. "All mine," he continued. "And tb_is Steam Man, this wonderful inventi on, is just what I want. I can travel around in grea t style. Ob, Mr. Frank Jr., I'll dance on your grave yet." "Monster!" cried Fran I, writhing in Ins honda. ''You'll never succeed. A righteous God will never p ermit it." The villain gave his men carte blanche to make camp nnd indulge in a carousal. -They d1d so until daybreak, and then Cliff stated that it was his pnr110Be to go back to Ranch V It did not take lrim long to understand the mechanism of the Steam Man. Tj1ey chattHed and gesticulated like a flock of :na.gpies, and some of them approached Pomp with their tomahawks as though they woulu lain make an end ol him then anti there. rBut the others them back anu an excited wrangle fcllowed All this while Pomp was writlJing in Ins bonds. Iu vain he tried to break tlJem. For some wbile tl)e savages wrangled. Then a. compromise was made and Pomp was picked up bod1!y and carried t hrough the pass and into a small glade among some tree9. Here he was tied to n tree and a great heap of fagots were piled at his feet. W1th a chill or horror, the darky saw that t!Je savages meant to take his life in a horrible manner. He was to suft'er death in the flames. Pomp felt sick and fnint. But even iu that moment he thought not o! himself, lJrave tellow, but of Frank Reade, Jr., and the others. "GQ.!ly sakes, whoeuber am gwiue fo' to sa be M ars e Frank, now?" he groaned. He quickly found out how to use the throttle reins. He was aided by the fact that he had once \Jeenalocomotive engineer. CHAPTER X. Wilh the early morning light the start for Ranch V. was made IN THE ENEMY's POWER. And Pomp, wet ami shivering arHl ho1 ritled, crouched in the thicket upon the bnuk of .the creek, saw the Steam Man and his frie nJs all ARTEMUS CLIFF shout e d in evil glee a n d.triumph as he manipulated in the power of the foe, t ak e thE' Steam Man and l e t him out lor a swift run across the prat-rie When they had gone Pomp came out of his hidingplace He a museu himself b y racing with bls followers who were on horse-" Golly!'' be muttered, witll distended eyeballs, "I jes' fink nig -back. ger hab done de berry awlulest ling eber known. Dar am only one "By jingo!" be roared, "this is more fun than I ever had before. way fo' Pomp to sa he his honor, an' dat am to fix some way -to rescue I Why this lJeats the steam-cars all to s m ash. Aml it's all mine. Why Marse Frank an' all ob de odders, an' I'll do it if I can." I can travellik& a prince now. H a-b aha! I'm the luckiest man on Pomp was very muc'l in earnest. earth." He was a brave and gener:>us and willing at any tim e to sac He turned and tixed a glowering gaze_ upon Bessie Rodman. rffice his life fm' his muster. "And ye're m ine too," he cried, "the lily of tbe praine. The happy In some manner he must certainly vindicate himself. He cros se d life companion of Artemu ; Cliff. When I get my bands octO Uncle th e creek again and stood upon the &pot where the Steam Mao had Jim Travers' millions. we'll tral'!l l the world over, my daisy." l.!eer.. Bessie did not appear to !Jeed his words, though her !nee increased Of course the machine was out of sight b y this time, but oeverthea trifle m its pallor. less, Pomp took the trail and proceeded to follow it. "Monster!" cried Frank Reade, Jr., with inte nsity. "You will For some hours he trudged on over the prairie. All the while the never succeec'. Heaven will not permit it." darky was revolving in his mind some plan for tl.:e relief of hi s friends. "Heaven don't have much to do with me," cried the villain, wi h He was bound to admit that it was a puzzle. Yet be ditll)ot lose a lurid oath. "The devil has been a good friend o f mine, anu I ain't hope. afraid of his place either ." The hills were every moment becoming plainer. Already Pomp had "Begorra, th ey wudn't have ye evlln there," cried Barney. "Ye z coverect live or the twenty miles. are too wicked lor avin that place." Tte_darky was a good walker, and no distance was too great for his "Oh, ho, Irish, you've got your tongue, eh?" cried Clift, with a trained muscles. vici o us laugh. "So ye think I'm ':lad, eh!" The sun was beginning to run high in the hmvens, and p, brisk .Be m e sow!, thar cudn t be a place too bad for yez!" breeze blew across the prairie. "Til.have a nice littlt hade s tixed fer yer rig ht on this earth nn' Pomp kept on steadily. I'll give yea fair taste of it in advance, too," suid the villain venge fully. The traiJ .kept on toward the hills, anll \ the sagacious darky r eflected Arrah, yez can't 9c are me aL all, at all," he retorted. "Yet that Cliff was likt>ly going to join the mam body of his men. threats at'e jist the same as a puppy dog's bark." "Ijes' fink I can see what dat rascal am up to," muttered Pomp. "You'll tinct that I m the kind of a uoe: tlJat bite9," averreu the "He am jus' t o o sharp to let de game slip him once he gits hi s clutches villain onto it. He am jus' goiu' fo' to take de Steam Man to his Rnnct. V.. .. It's not me that cares fer yer bites." and dar's wbar dis darky muot go an' try fo' to work some leetl e plan We'll see abou t that. Don' t bl ow your horn too soon." fo' to rescue Frank Reade, Jr., an' de odders. Dat am a fac' ." "Begorra, that's good advice fer yersilf, ye Av I With this logical conclusion Pomp trudged on. on'y had me two hnnds tv uRe now I'd baste the rascali t y oat nv yez He was now on the last live miles of his journey to the hills. The or 1'<1 make a good job fer ther uudhertaker." suo was long past the noon hour when Pomp, by dint of rapid walk "Talk is che;1p ," sneered the villaiu. ""'Ye'd better s a ve yer ing, had made the hills. wind." There was no sioon visible of the Steam Man or of the com boys. It's yersilf as uades it m ost," said Barney, boun:l to have the lnst Bnt Pomp snw that the trail con t inued around the base of the hills. word This puzzled the darkey a Cl!fi evidently round B arney's tongna equal to his own, lor he nban He pa\lsed and scratched his headJn de e p thought. don ell the conversation in n Bullen fashion. "Dnt am a drefl"ul queer thing," be muttered. "Pat ain't de way Ressie Rollman made 11o at speech. to go to. R a nch V, if l'se righ t in mah conj eckshun." She sat silently in one corne r of the wagon. Then he paused, and a l!ght of compreh e nsion broke a c ros s bia face. Frank Reade, Jr., also remaineu silent. t A distant sound had come to his hearing. It was the faint rattle of The twenty mil es were quickly covered by lhe Steam :llan. H was fire-arms far up in the !.ill3. yet far from tlle rooon hour when they arr ived at the camp of t h e p re Golly!" he ejaculated. "I see de trick o b dat berry sharp lox, viou s night. Artemus Clifl. He am gwin e fo' to gib u e Vi!;ibnts a good lickin' The cow bows in full force were there, anj as Cliff appeared w1th the afore he goes to Ranch V. Dat nm jus' my bes' way for to jine Marse Steam Man, they mad e the welkin ring witlJ yells ol delight and sat is Harmon an' his men, an' help dem trash the cowboys." faction. Pomp's mi_t:d wn..s made up. All crowded around to examine the steam wooiler and in3pect its He would join the vigilunts and do his hest to g1ve the cowbnys a mechanism. gooc.l drubbing-. HE' at once struck into the hills. Th e prisoners looked out upon a sea of They were not k ln uly But alas lor Porn!)! regarded by the cowhors. Luck seeme1 against the darky for the time being. _He not .. Take 'em out and s hoot 'em, Cli ff!" cried n roice in the crowd. more ;han fairly entered a narrow pass when an appalhna IIICide ot "Give 'eon twenty paces and a grave s e ven feet deep." occurred. B1it ClifT r eln. sed t.o do this. The air was sudderrly broken by wild yells, and in an i ns tn nt he was .. Leave it to me!" he cried. "I've got a. better plan." surround e d \ly half a humlrell painted savages, who burst from mches .. What is i t?" was the cry. :tnd c1evicPs in the rocks alJout. "1 want ye all to be r eady in half an hour to go into the hills an' They pounced upon him, and before Pomp bad even time to think corn e r Harmon an' his gang. T IJere must not one of the Vlgl!aots of res istance he was a prisoner. go out of here alive." The savages swarmed nlJout him like b ees Words cannot ex;press "Hurrah!" yelled the cowboys. Pvmp's dismay at this turn. "We can give worst thrashin' they ever had." H1s eyes bnlge< l, and his knees shook as with the agu,e. "In course we can ." "Fo' de gootl Lor' dis ana dretrul!" he .groane d. "I se done fo d1s "In reo-ard to the>o prison ers, the gal is going to be my w i le. T b e time, an' dar am nobody to rescue Marse Fr_uuk!" I 'others going to have some fun with down to We'll have a ro.lJbit chase with 'em, or somet!J1ng or the kmll.

PAGE 12

12 RE DE JR AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN, FRANK A c..., Good!" yelled the mob, carrietl a way :-vith the Thus the f a te of the pri9oners was d e etued by the1r But the question of attack upon the vigilanLs was now Lhe one Ill orde r Pr .. parations were at once made for cornermg Harmon and Ins lle rotc little band Severa l partied of cowboys were dispatched to head off any possible attempt at escape from the hills. Harmon' s men were cert a inly he.mmeu In on all BldeE<, and 1t was a most dubious outlook for them. The exultation of the cowboys was beyond expressiOn. .. We've got 'em dead sure!" erie\! Cliff, "Not a one on 'em can possibly escape." The cowboys now began to the ltne m about thetr A pass was found through whtch Stearn Man tllken, a nd to a point witllio e asy ranae of the posluon lleld by the V1g1lunts. Harmon had elevated position on a kind of small tableland or plateau. I Here behinu bowlders he bad concentrated his forces. The posllJOD wn.s not a bad one to defend. To charge upon 1t the c0wboys woulu have to ascend a be1ght of tifl y feet or more iv the fuco of a strong tire. But this sacritice of men Cliff did not intend to make, at least not at once. kl There were other points or vantage about, wh1cb the cowboys qmc Y toClk possession of. From these n desultory fire was kept upwith the Vigilants w1th some loss upon both sides. But Burman's men could not very well withstand any loss what-ever. This the cowboys cculd stand better. The Steam Man, howe ver, could advance to very close prox1m1ty with the Vigila nts, and those on board were safe from any shots of retultation. '1'11111 made it l.iad for Harmon for be bad no way or chocking this most ,Jeatructiv e lire. J t was a most galfing thing for Frank Jr., to remain idle and see his IDVE'ntion used in such a manner. l:Ie "'r onnod aloud with u;:.rror ami dismay. Barney did the same. ...oTI, if I c o uld only free myself," declared the youn11; inventor. Begorra, I wish I cud do that same," muttered Barney. Clitr and the three cowboys with him in the cage were doin& their be t to shoot every Vig ilant who exposed himself. They were thus so deeply engrossed that they paid Iio specia! heed to the for the time. Barney, quickwitted Irishman, noted this fact. At a fuvorul.ile moment he leaned over and whisperetl to Frank: BPjabers, Misther Frank, I think I know av a way to turn the to.blea on tllem blasted omadhouns." The deuce!" gasped Frank. What is it, Barney?" Whisht now nn' work quiet, me gossgon!" whispered 1'11 luy down !erninst the side here an' yez kin turn yer wrists to WMd me mouth an' me teeth are no gcotl av I tlou't cut them in two before so very l ong.'' Frank experience d 11 thrill. Can you llo it, Barney!'' Av cou rse 1 kin.'' But if tlley see us--" They'll utver do tuat. Be aisy now, me gossoon, an' roight on the shell tllere t here's a knoife an' yez kin cut my bonds at the same toime. Thin we kin take care uv four av tbim. I'll take mesilf." And I'm go!)d for the othe r two or I'll die!" muttered Frank. All rl;::ht, Barney, do your best." I will that." But at tbis moment Bessie Rodman leaned forward, and in a soft whi per salt!: Wait! There is 11 qnicker way." Frank and Bart:ey were astonislled. "\Vllat?" exclaimed the young inventor. By way of reply Bessie drew both hnntls from behind tor. They were free. There were livid lines upon tbe fair wrists, where the cruel t hr ongs hu.J cut in. But tbe shapely hands were so small that Bessie had been enabled to slip them through the bol!cs and free them. Up to this moment neither Frank nor Barney had looked upon the girl n.s more thnn tbe ordinary weak woman. Tbal. is to say, they had not given ber credit for the amount of nerve she posse ssed. But they were given ample evidence of it now. Quick as a llasb, and with com' mendable resolution, sbo reached hnd seized the knife upon the sl:df. 1t was but 11 moment's work for her to cut Frank's b.:>ncls. As they snapped, tue young inventor Look the knife and quickly cut Barney's. Th eir captors were at tlle loop-boles tiring, and hbd not seen :.his m o \'e. othing could have worked better. Frunk picked np a club antl Bamey an iron liar. Nobody can hauo.lle a weapon o f the sort better than an Irishman. Whorroo bad cess to yez fer a pacli' av omodhouns," cried BarDel dealing one of the cowl.Joys a crashing blow on lhe head. B e fore one could think, the iroc bar came down upon tho b ead or another. Both sank to the floor of tlle wagon. F 1 ank Rende, Jr., bad knocked Cliff Only one of the foe was left, and he wns quickly knocked out. J n a t as it were, the tables were turned. Barney and Frank Reatle, Jr .. were now masters oJ the Steam Mnn onc e more. The irrepre ssib l e Iri sl!man pulleo.l the wb1stle valve and sent up n shriek o f defiance and trtumph. TbPu Frank rteatl'l, Jr., swung open t h e door. "Throw them out!" be cri ed; "all hut Cittf. Barney obeyetl the command. The three cowboys were quickly dumped out upon 1be ground. . But Cliff was allowed to rem ain. The v1llatn lay msens1ble tn the llottum of the wagon. Frank was about to bind him, when an 1mmment peril claiming his immediate attention prevented him. The cowboys were aware o f the turn i ng of tables Ill the wagon. With mad yells they were rus hing forward m a body t o surround the Steam Man. Unless imm ed i ate act i o n was made they would snc ceetl. Frank knew well the danger of this move. H would be an eaey matter for .the cowboys to rnm the mvent10n by a single blow. There was but one way, and that was to beat are treat. tb tl Barney seize!! his. r e peater and began tirmg mto e crow o cowboys. Frank opened the throttl e and sont the Steam .l\1an u p tbe tn cline toward tho strongholtl o f the vtgtlants. Of course tle latter bud seen nntl understood all: They embraced the opportunity to pour a nank tire mto the ranks or the cowboys. It was a momen t of thrilling sort, but the Steam Man seemetl to have the best or 1t when a tbrillmg incident happened. CHAPTER XI. WITH TilE VIG!LANTS. IN ano:her moment the Steam Man would have been in the ranks l'l the \'igilants. It would have been a great pobt ec_gretl, for Cliff would then be a prisoner nnd the way to save Jim Tr .IVera from the gallows would have been paveo.l. But it was not to be. The villain had come L') in the meanwhile, but cunning rn.scaltbat be was, had lai d inanimate in the bottom o f the wagon. He bad seen all til at was go:ng on, and when be saw that the Steam Man was c ertain to escape h a knew that only desperate actio n upon J.is part would save him now. Accordingly while FranK and Barney were occnptPd at their posts, he made a sudden lightnin11, leap f o r tbe door 1h the cage. Unfortunately Barney bat! not fastened it. A litt.le scream of war!!inl); cam e from but 1t was too l ate. The villain flung open the door and sprung out. He t11mbletl h ee ls over head down the .Jecline. This waa partly dono on avoid any sent after him. But none struck him, and be W:11s the next moment 10 tbe ranks of his men. Frank turned jn&t in time to see tbe daring escape. The young inventor's was so great that be came nea r leaving the wagon to pursue the v11lam. "Begorra, av ther d ivil;aiu't got. clane away entoirely!" cried Barney in dismay. "Tm sorry.'' returned Frank. "But take the precanUou now, Barney, to bolt that door." Burney complied with alacrity Then be was obliged to return to his post, for the enemy were thick in the rear. But the next moment tho Stenm Man toppAd t,l!e rise. A VQliey from the Vigilante tlrove the cowboys back for t be time. Then Frank Reade, Jr., brought tlle machiue to a halt upon the plateau. The Vigilnnts were wild with d e light, and crowded about the .Steam Man. Frnnk Reatle, Jr., opened tho doo r and d!'scended among them. In an instant Harmon w11s b y his side and bad gripped his hntd "God bless y.e, Mr. Reade! cried the wbole--aouled plainsman. "It's like takin' paw of one brought back from the dea'J. Dog. tlast it, but I'd given ye up entirely when I see that your S tea m M a n was in the hands or that coyote. It's all like a kind of miracle. "I think we may congratulate onrselves, '' said Frank, "bnt do yo a know tllat we are In a tight box!" "Nobody knows it better," declared Harmon. "I doubt if we pull out of it." "What kin we do? "Is there no avenue open for retreatT" asked Frank. "Not none." "Then we can only stay here and tight to the last. Of conrse I might be able to elude them with the 8 team Man but I'd never try that while any of your band are left.'' "P' mps it would be ther best way.'' saitl Harmon, generously. At least you coulcl save the gal. It don't mai.ter so much about us. We're only men, and not a one of us afeared to die." "You are heroes!" cried Fraok, wit h f e rvor and if I should de. sert you, I would forswear my honor as a man. No, the Steam' Man wtll stay here and fight for you until the last, depend on iL "In course we need your belp," reelied Harmon. ".Mebl:e we'll whip ther skunks yet." "We'll try it." "13egorru, that we will," cried Barney. "Whnrroo! av' I only had a good whack at that baste av' a Cliff now I'd sphoil his beauty foriver.'' Walter Barrows and Bessie had been holdin"' a joyful conference. But now the order went up: "'

PAGE 13

FRANK E.EADE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM M:AN. 13 "Every man to his post. The enemy are coming." There were no delinquents Not one in tllat heroic little loand bung back. Jt was true thnt the foe were c oming again to the attack. With Clitr leatl in <.I riving the savages out of tbe vlllley. "' the quickly recalled them. A spare horse was brouf!:ht forward for Pomp e.nu the cavalry men in solid body roue out of the valley. As they struck the prairie below, t!le distant sounds of firing came to their ears. It was the din of the conflict l)etween the Vig1lants and the cow. boys. Aided by the iiOuuds Colonel Clark was able to gallop atraigllt to the scene. Through a pass in the hills they reached the plateau, They burst upon the cowboys in the rear just at t11e critical n10ment wben it seemed as if HarmoJ's heroic little band was doomed. It required but a glance for Clark to take in the situation. Whirling his sabre aloft be spurred his borse forward with the thrill ing coll)mand: "F'orwar
PAGE 14

:!..4 FRANK READE, JR., .AND HIS NEW S'l'E.AM MAN. This was that tile cavalry should pursue and thoroughly rout tile cowboys, even going down to Ranch V to effect its deatntction. The vigilants were to return borne, and the cavalry would see to the punisllment of Artemas Cliff. B u t the Steam Man was to remain at a point below until the retum of the cavalry. If possible Cliff was to be captured alive and a confession wrung !rom his lips. This plan llad heen agreed upon. The vigilante were not-wholly satisfied, yet did.not demur. Clurk and his commar:d daslletl away into the hills. The vigilants antl the Steam .Man started !or the open prairie. T h is div ision of forces very S\)on proved to be au uu wise and un fortuna t e thing. 1' he fortunes of war are proverbial for changes. Strongly intr e nched in tile hills, Cliff's gang gave the soldiers a disastrous baiLie. In vain the plucky young colonel triAd to dislodge them. They lougllt like tigers, and having tile advantage of location, ac-tually decimated the cavalry one half in number. Until niglltl all, Col. Clark kept persistently waging the battle. Then he b ega u to think of retreat. llut, to his horror; he found that this was by no means as easy a matter as h e had fancied. The r oe had actually closed in upon him, and nearly every avenue of retreat was closed. lie was lit e rall y surrounded by the foe. ":\Iy soul!" he muttered, in deep surprise; "this is not very ooood generalship on :ny part." W :1at wa s to be done!" ll was plainly impossible to dilodge the foe. The little uant long without an expedient. H e called put one of his pluck1est privates, and said: "Jason, do you want to undertake a ticklish job?" I'm r eady, bir," r e pli e d the private, with a salute. "You know we are in a tight box?" Yes, s ir ." "We must have r einforcements or the enemy will surely e:et tbe best or us." '' I t looks that way, sir." "Now, _I _want you t o to get thrpugh the enemy's line. Look fer Lbe Vrgrlants and the Steam Man and them to coine to our nld. Then. rrde to the f ort as fast as you can for a fresh squa1. 'l'ell the officer 111 charge to senti two hundred mounted men" Very well, s ir." Do you think you can llo tbis?" I will do It or I will not come back." Clark kuew that Jaso n meant just what he said. A ft!w moments la te r the conner for relief slipped carefully into the shadows anti waR gonb. A prayer t rembled on Clark's lips. "1 don't care l o r mysel f," he muttered "but I bear to see my bmye buys si:Ju_ghtcred like sheep." now lluckly settled down. Of course no fio-htinocould be done until the break of day. o o But the cavalrymen were not in a position to auarantee them much rest. ':' Few o f them dani d to sleep, and tlHm it was upon their arms. .. the mghl h o urs by, Clark paced the Rr6und upon the out-kr:ts of the camp nne: ltstened for some sign of the return of Jason. He knew thnt 1t was not pos srble for the faithful courier to return from forL unde r two c!ays. Butrf cavulr> d ivision was reinforced by the Vi .. rlants and the )Ian r hey mrght be able to keep the r o e at bay0until t' f 1 sqund should ar nve. ue res 1 T!1u s tb e plucky young colonel clung to hope. r Trme pMsed. It seemP.d an nge to Clark before a sileat shadowy orm out of the gloom and rnto the camp. As rt drew nearer he r e (!oo-nized the coul'ier Jnon Well, my man!" he "You Jason salutecl qmcklv. "Whe r e are the rehforcements?" "I did not lind tlwm." But-tilt! 1 not tell you to them?" began the cololiel, angrily "Easy, colonel," said Jason, respectfully. "I think I have done a better sir." ., What do you "It's a goocl ways to the fort. You might be cut to pieces before I could returu. I have found au avenue by which I tlunk we can escape." Clark's manner changed instantly. "You don't mean it?" lle exclaimed, excitedly. "What is it!" Jason drew nearer and lowered his voice in a mysterious manner. "Just over that pile of he whispered, I found a nar row passage through the mountain side. It is almost a cavern for the t.op is so closely overhuug with bushes. It's a close lor the horses, but I think we cau all get through and out upo n the prairie before daybrt)Jlk." Col. Clark was intensely ex cited. "Gootl for you, 'Jasorr!" lle cried, in a joyful manner. "Arouse the camp, !Jut clo..il quietly. Put every man in h!s saddle within ten minutes. You have solved our salvation, a11d you shall be pro motet!." Jason hurried away to Ju biuding of tbe colonel. In a brief space of time the camp was aroused. The weary soltliers, worn out with lighting, were only too aJad to learn of tile poasil!ility of au escape. At once preparations were made to steal a m _arcll upon the enemy. The passage described by Jason was found. It was necessary to tirst pry aside a huge bowlder before passage could be made. Into the passage the litL!e l!and went, and one by one file<] out into the vulley beyond. skillfully was the move executed that the toe nev e r dreameiiil Clitl' was furious to tiud that bis intended victims had given !lim the slip during the night. The cavalrymen had reached the prairie in safety and o-alfoped away from the bills. Clark knew that bis only ar;d best move now was to return to the fort for reinforcements. He could not hope to do anything with the roe with such a mere handful of men. Ar. cordingly just as the sun appeared above the horizon, the little cavalcade, with rts shattered ranks, galloped away across the plain. No effort was made to search for the Vigil ants. Clark knew that even with their aid it would not be feasible to give battle to the cowboys. Clearly it was necessary to have two hundretl more men. The colonel set bis lips ven g efully. "I will teach that desperado a lesson," he muttered. "He shall be swept out or existence together with his rascally crew, and bef o re an other week On over the prairie they galloped the fort. And as they rode, thrilling adventures were the lot of Frank Rende, Jr., and his friends on board the Steam Man. Let us, therefore, lor a time, deviate here and follow their fortunes. CHAPTER XIII. THE ABDUCTION. CHIE_F !Jf the Vigilante was not wholly content to abanuon the trarl or the cowboys, just here. indulged in quite an argument with Frank Reade, Jr. Hrs remarks were not lo<>ic. "Why, only _look at the sense Mtbe thing," be declared. "It is by no means possrble .that the soldiers are goina to have an easy tirre withC!itl' and his men. They may turn tlie t:bles on them yet. [tell you 1t was a premature thmg for that colonel to do to set us adrift so QUICkly." "Yet he to know his own strength," said Frank. "I 11on't beheve he does." "I cannot but feel that he Is doing the right thin a." "I don't feel that way." ::Well, in case or defeat the stigma will not fall upon you." Ah, llut is not the idea. We must not let Clifl' defeat them. If ho does, be wrll defeat us.'' What do you propose?" "I _am not going hack home yet. We will make a camp down here on Wrllow When w e learn for a fact that Cliff has been ,.lone up, we wrll go home. Until t!1en we are on duty." saw that Harn.on was r1ght. He extended his hand and I agree with you." "I knew ye would," replied Vigilant leader. We cnn tlo tic is upon our own responsibility. You are to wait for Clark 11.t a point below here, I believe?'' "Yes." "Very e;ood. yon there." That point is ori Willow Creek. We will accompany It was night.fall before Willow Creek was reached. In a C?nvenient spot camp was made. The darkness became most mtense m the vicinity. Cnmp-fires were made and oouards posted The fires in the furnace of Steam Man were banked and the OC COD!Jants descended and mixe1t: with the Vigilants. The men gathered around the lirea and told stories and cracke
PAGE 15

/ FRANK H.EADE, JR., AND HIS MEW S'fEAM MAN. 15 NolJoliy aaw them go, and it is c.loulJiful if any o ne woulu have sou"ht to restrain tl!em. 1bey were committing unwittingly an act of g reat risk and f olly. For unknown to any in the camp a coterie of dusky savages lurked in the tall prairie grass about. Barney :1ntl were entertaining the with some o l their muucbausen stones Tile plainsmen roared with l:mghter until their s i des ached. Both were comical mokes and were continually playing roo ts upon each other. had just worked a gag upon Pomp when sud denly the distant crack of a pistol wa; beard Instantly man in the camp was upon hi's feet. The most intense of reigned. All was confusion. Then one of the guards cam e rushing iu. "There's a hull lot of Ap a ches down yonder," he cried, "ther grass is full of 'em and I reckon they'v e surroum led the camp." "Steady all!" Llmntlereu Harmon, tue Vigilant leader. Who fired that pistol shot?" "I ou't know," repli ed the guard. "Is anybody outside t he !me?" "Yes." "Wilo?" "Walter Barrows and the young lady passed me not an hour a"'o. They weut on down the creek." o "My soul!" gasped Harmon, with white face, that was Bagows pistol without doubt. He an' the gal have certainly f a llen into the "ti p or ther Injuus. We must make lively work to save "Frank Reade, Jr., had list en ell to this report with a sensatioo of hor riJr. Barney and Porn p had at onc e desisted in I heir fun-making, an:i Barney proceedf>d to open the Steam Man's furn ace. Toe crack of ritles now sounded all around the camp. The savages, withou t doubt, were drawing their line closer, and meant If po!jsible to exterminate th e little baud of Yigilants. But a line of uefense was then thrown out, and the skulk ing savages were held at bay. But a desultory and ver y unsatisfactory species of warfare Wl\3 up in the darkness. It was impossible to tell how to nrove or where. .. The enemy fired from a11 directions aud practically at random. Mu:1y. of the Yigilants were wou:Jdeu, and Captain Harmon was angry. _., Conf,)uJd an Injun! he muttered, in disgust.. "ThPy have sich a sneakin' way of fighting. They allus attack one after el stretch, but Frank did not try to run away from them. The Indtans bore away t o a southwesterly course, and soon a range of hills b e cam e visible above the horizon. Harmon made Lbem out as the Black Bear rana-e. "If they get into those bills With the captives, he declared, we'll hav e mighty hard work diggin' 'em out." "Wh y?" asked one of llis men. "Bekase, there's more holes and out of the way dens tllere than you caulills, suddenly tb! pursuers topped a r ise iu the prairie and were rewanleu with a startliner Si
PAGE 16

/ 16 FRANK Rl band of abductors, and tbey vanished from Barney to scan the side of the cliff. A path was not visible anbera, 1 didn't mesilf till I see the top.knot av wan of tllim bustled into the light craft and it was pushed out from the shore. over thut ridge yender .'' Down into the current it went. There was no time to lo s e. ThPy are rPady fllr us,_ then.'' Frank Reade, Jr., came to u stop and raised his ri!le. It was a des-" uod we're ready too. If I iver get a head on any wan pernte chance but he tooK it. av them there'll be a job for the coroner,' bad cess to thim." A quick aim, a bead skillfully drawn on one of the puddlers Where are ther? I can't see their position very well." and--" "Aisy, Misther Frank," s aid Barney, they're biding up yonder Crack! Jist rern10st that big scrul.J av an oak on the edJ:e-Of the cliff." A wild Indian yell went up and the prow of the canoe swung Frnnk looked i n tlJat direction. Suddenly BarLey gave a sharp around. cry. Over into the water went the doomed savage. The shot hnd been a Whurro:" he yelled. go'bd one. Qtuck as allnah hls rille went to his shoulder. But the c11noe was at the moment nt the bead of some rapids. Crack! The next moment it was racing down them, and turning a beud in A \ ell of agony rang through the gorge. Then down over the cliff the stream vanished !rom view. tu:nbled an Indian almost nt the Celt's feet. h'rauk had not time to draw another beat! before it was out of sight, The llullet had pierced hiR skull c.i'ld his final account was settled. aud when it reached the lower level and carne into view again it wna "Good shot, Burne)!" cried Frank, '' that only leaves tive for us to out of range. tackle.'' Barney came along-now and shout e d: Then quick as a Hash the young inventor threw his rille to his "Be jabers, yez did well,_Mistlier Frank. That was a beautiful shot. shoulder. There's only three av ther red divils left." Crack! This was true, but the three savages seemed likely to elude their Anotber yell, a death cry went up on the air of the defile. pursuers after all. "Bejabers, that's only four av the divils left," chuckled Barney. The canoe was racing down the stream, and fast neurinrr a defile in lL's only two to wan, Frank.'' the hills. "' You're right, Barney!" cried Frnllk, with enthusiasm, but the lf it should enter this, there wna little doubt but that the fuaitives odds are too g rPat.'' would make their escape. The outlook now was certainly encouraooina for the rescue of the Frank and BarneY. saw this In the snme moment. Jlri oners. "Bego:ra, Mist her Frank, we must cut the divlls off!" cried the Celt. But the .two rescuers knew better than to essay an open attack. Forward, th -en!" cried Frank. Is there not a short cut?" ln tha n of warfare was in t!Jis case far the best. TIJey Both looked !or this. In the 8ame instant they espied it. remamed strictly under cover. The creek: took o. long and by cutting directly across o. Tl)ead All was quiet on the bluff above, ow the two pursuers saw that they would be likely to cut ofi the sav Bot It was not by any means likely that the foe were inactive. The great now was tho.t they would continue to slip away deeper Into the lnl!s and reach some inaccessible hiding place. Ou r rescuers wn1teu as long as seemed consistent with safety. nges. Accordingly started forward on the run. The Inuian captors saw their move nt once, and an angry yell went up from them.

PAGE 17

FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. 11 One of them rose in the canoe and took quick aim and fired. The bullet whistled close to Barney's ear. The Celt 8tOpped and cockerave young inventor rushed. He thought or poor Ban ows witb his hamls tied. T3rowo into the watets of the creek, it did not seem as if any power on earth could save him. But two o! the sav.ages had seized 'the prisoners. The canoe hatl overturned in close proximity to the shore. The thtrd savage gave aasistauce, and a:; the water did not chance to be deep, all got ashore. "Now we llave them!" cried Frank, confidently. But bis statement WllS premature. Even as it seemed that the rescue was certain, an incident occurred to prevent. From ilebind a small hillock appeared Red Bear's gang of Apaches, full half a hundred CHAPTER XV. THE VIGILANTES TO TRE RESCI,E. THE appearance of tbe savages was most inopportune. Mounted on their fleet ponies, witb. wild yells they &wept down upon the pa.rty. Tbe three Indian capto0rs yelled wrth delight. Frank and Barney of course came to a halt. Of course it was folly to tern pt fate. 'l'o attempt to stand against that gang was folly. "By Jupiter!" gasped tbe young inventor "It's all up with us, Barney! We are badly beaten!" Tare an' 'ounds!" grumuled the an!(ry Celt. "That beats all me woife's relations! PIJwattver shall we do now, Misther Frank!" Beat a retreat," the young inventor. Come on, Barney!" "It's mesilf as hates to retreat," said Barney, stubbornly. "Oh, tf we only b11.d the Steam ?.(an an' the naygur !Jere now we d moighty soon turn the thing about." The two rescuers now turned about and hastily b e.at a retreat across tbe valley. But they bad not gone far when the _!ndians begLI. to ford the creel( fur the purpose of giving pursuit. Barney saw tile move and called Frank's to it. "Be me sowl, Misther Fmnk!" erred the lnshman, exetted!y, "we'va got to make quick toime, or tlley'll have our scalps." "You are right, Barney." But at that moment Frank Reade, Jr., lifted his gaze, and a mighty cry escaped his lips. Directly in front of them, a body of armed men swept mto the valley. Thev the Vi.,.ilants and at their !lead rode Harmon. At s1ght or Frank and Bar;ey urged tlleir horses O!l faster with a loud cheer: This was answere!l by the two fngilives, witb' a will.. Tbe savages, seeing \he V.igilants, now changed t.hetr tacttcs. They turned their horses auout and rode swiftly on the back tratl. Frank could t:ardly wait for Harmon and hia mento come up. Enthusiastic greetings were exchanged, and also exl-ler:ences .. The Vi"ilants had dtiven the before them mto the lulls. But upgn entering the fastnesses, with which they were not famil inr, the Indians had given tbern the slin In tbe they had come upon the scene at an opportune moment. Tllere seemed nobetter thing to d o than to give pursuit to the savages at once. Accordingly a couple of spare horses were provided for Frank and Barney, and they rode forward on the charge. The delay had been brief, it had enabled the savages to cross the creel' and start for the defile beyond. Down thundered the vigilants In hot pursuit. The creek was qalckly forded and the pursuers seemed to be gatn-ing at every bouud. But o! a sudden the savages e:&.ecuted a peculiar and me xph cablc maneuver. Sudder.ly and without warning they split in two sections, one gomg to the right and the other to the left. In one division was the girl capttve, Bess1e Rodman, and m the other Walter Bar-rows. The party who had the girl in charge started for the Tbe other made directly across the valley. In a tlasb of ttme the purpose of the savages was made apparent. The vigilants could not go both ways with splitting up. As they were much less in numaer than the Apaches the result of this woqld be to greatly weaken them, if not actually place then: at the marcy of the red foe. On the othe; ban,! it was a problem as to which direction to pursue or which party to !vllow. Harmon drew a slight rein upon his horse and wavered a moment. The vigilants naturally were inclined to go to the rascue of their comrade, bnt Frank Reade, Jr., comprehending the folly or this, cried: The girl liret. We can rescue the man later ." "Yes!'' cried Harmon, in a voice of thunder; "that is our duty! The girl tirst, boys; then we will try and save Barrows." The vigilants cheered, and thundered the traop toward the de tile. A few moments later they reached it and entered it. High walls of black, fortlid( ling rock arose on either side to a mighty height. 'l'he bell of lite defile was rough and strewq with bowlders. It was harde r for the horses of the vigilants to pick their way through here lhan the tleet-footed ponies of the savages. Accordingly the lndians.gnined qnite a lead. llut after a quarter or a m1le or the defile had been traversed the vigilants were l>rought to a halt in an unceremonious manner. Tile detile seemed sudLlenly to take an upward trend here, and higl:! piles of l>owlders made a barrier or some height. Suddenly from behind this barrier Lllere came the flash of rill e muz zles, and a volley o! bullets came rattling down through the defile. 'l'wo of the vigilants were wounded; aml Harmon instantly called a bait. Cover was quickly sought hehind and near. It was evident that the Indians bad here made a stanLl. The Vlg ilant leader was puzzled. But suddenly Frank Reade, Jr., gave a sharp cry: "Listen!" His acute ear bad caught the sound o! horses' boofR coming up the defile in their rear. "By thunder!" eja'culated Harmon, with suuden terrible compre hension, we f.re trapped!" Tbe mllJl gazed blankly at each other. Nothing was more apparent. The Apaches under the shrewd Red Bear had certainly very cleverly outgeneraleLl tbem. Led into the denle by one division of the Apaches, the other hMl proceeded to block up tbe outlet, and thus litemlly tbe Yigilants were in a trap. There was not the advantap:e in facing a foe in this mann e r that there was in having him wholly in the front. 'l'o be attacked uoth front and rear would demoralize even the laro-est and bravest of armies. Harmon was completely taken ahack. ,'7 wan, I swan!" he exclaimed, with earnestness, "1 never h !IeveLl an Injun could beat me in any such way as that. But we are iu lor it, boys. nnd no mistake. We've got to fight bar d ." The savao-es in froht were keeping up. a rakin g fire. Those in the rear had now drawn near enough to also open :nrc. The fun had uegun. But the urave band of white men bad no thought of !ear or or re trent. They at once, by Harmon's direction, sought sale places or covr.r and proceede d to retu.rn the fire. E"erv time an Indian's tor--knot showed nbove the frmge or rocks, it wns made a target of. Thus the battle was kept up for .over an hour. Then an idea occurred to;the inventive mind of Frank Rende, Jr. He bud carefully examined the face of the pass. In doing ec te 1:110 discovereLl what looked l1ke a feasiiJie foot path over tbe cl1ll At once he called Harmon aside ami explniueLI a plan to him. "I think we can the savLf{es easily in this manner." he dek clare!!. "Give me ftve men and I wtll guarantee n surpnse for thPm. ")Ir. Reade, take what force you need declared the v !gilnnt leader. I have full in your ahility to do as you say. May you succeed." Frank at once selected tivo men from from the troop. -Then with llarney he led the way cuut.iouslr up the path. ForLunatdy, it was overhung with foliage to a large extent, so they were hidden from the view of those in therr rear. Jn a few moments a position near the brow of the chiT had ueen reached Then Frank's surmise was verified. The little party c
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1 8 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM .MAN. All tbia had bappe ned i n a t winldln g o r a n eye, comparatively spe;.king. the fight w a s n o t over. The force in the rea r wer e com i n g to th e attac k But Harmon's men were now in a po s iti o n LO command the defil e A quick, sharp conflict e n s u e d a nd th e A p uclle s were back with great slaughte r The vigllants had tim& far the best o f i r Tl1e enemy had beeu routed and B ess ie Roctman rescued. Only one oL!1er thin g now r e main e d to b e accom plis h e d and t his tue res cue of WalLer Barro w s. But even as Lbe q u est ion was being discu sse d a loud cry arose, a.nd the next mom e n t a natless, bl o od -s t ained young m a n c a rne d a s h down o v e r t h e clifi an_ d f e ll half fainting in the midst of ti.Je v igi l ants. It was Barrows. In the midst of the fight the plucl> y y oun g plainsman had succe ed ed in oreaking his bonds, and af te r a d es perate tight with two of bis captor, had m ade h i s escape E\erybolly extenued congratulations t o the y oung couple, and then pinna for tue fut u re were dis c uss ed. JL wos not certain that savages would n ot to tlie attack. Hut u report was brou)(ht in by a numb e r or scouts sent out that the had w i thdraw n from the fiel d ent.iJely. It was there fore decided to g o b a ck LO Willow Creek. It was not k n own w heth e r C o l Clark had bee n victorious with the cowboys or nor. Until this questio n w a s set t l e d Harmon bud no ide a of returning home. "Until Clifl and h i s ga n g !Ja v e b e eo wiped out or he declo red, "I shall not g ive up t he r ch ase." Frank nnd Barney w e re anxious t o r e turn at once to the S te a m lion ami Pomp. They were, by no mea n s that the darky was s afe or that he m1:;:ht not have into t mublc Accordingly the staet was at on ce mad e for the pra i rie. Do.Jwn one o r the defile s th e v i gila n t s rode. Q oming out into the little valley they croFJsed this and entered the pa'!s. But they had not pro c eede\) a hundre d y ar d s into the pas s when one o r the advance scouts c ame r u sh i n g b a ck an d gave a thrilling report. "'l'ber cowhoye are c o min g up the r pa ss!" be cried. '' Tbar's a host or 'em, ami Art Cllfl1 s a t th e bead of 'em." "The cowhoysl'' gasped llnrmo n Tbe greatest excite m e n t en s u e d. ".My soul!" exclaime d F r ank R e ade, Jr. in dismay. "Clark has been "l3ad luck to the omadh on n s "But wbat or Pom p!" AXcla imed Frank with alarm. "Barney, we ought aL once to ascertain whc 1 e h e i s." "To uo hure, Frank agr ee d th e C e lt "bat how in the name ov all the suints are yez g o in' to do it! Bejaber&, LI.Jese cow bovs have g.>t us cornered Io a very few moment s a la rge siz ed b a ttle was in progress in tbe pass. CHAPTE R XVI. PO:IIP MAKES A CTION Now let u s rf.t u r n to P omp and the S t eam Man, whom ill the detail or the thrilling all ven t ures j u s t c hronicl e d we have neglected. The tlarkey entertaine d nothing like fear at being left alone on boanl the Stenm Indeed, he ralh.er P.njoye d the respon s ibility thu s put npun !Jim llts could hea r rifl e s h ots from the hills, which assured bim tlult Frutk nnd Barney were making it hot for the savages. '' Golly I" lie mut tered. I jes r e ckon d e m Injines glt de worstest ob tlo.t tl:.(ht. Kt dar, if dey amu' t comin' dis yer way. I spec's I bet ter lnO\'e." Th i was true. The Inllinns had heen dr iven before the viaiJants, and starting for the were coming str a i;;ht towar n uutil t!rnt be bad reached a safA point. ).[eanwlule the lndm n s r e ach e d th e pass and entered it: vigilu nts, howeve1, tlid not s ee m in a huJTy to pursue. Thtlv rE'mamell on the b att l e gr o und for sonte while looking after their dead antl wounded \\:ht>n t hey uid s t a r t for the pass Pomp had returned and was there stauoned. _\s thPy came u p the d a rky put bis head out of the screen door and _houted: "Goorl to' yo', M ar; e Harmon. J e s yo' o-ib dem Injuns a good lick 111' fo' luck. l y o k i n great distance either. Pomp could hardly contain himself. Ha walked up and d own in th e cage lik e a priso ner in h is ce ll. Ob c o"se, I haS Mars e Frau k s ordahs to stay yere," h e mutte red, "but it a m evident dat Marse Frank n e e d s a! I de hel p dat lie c a n get. What ebber I kin do, Ije s don' know what." The darky sat down and b e gan sob e r retlectioo H e wils a shrewd fell ow, and a s a r e s tilt he was not long in"formuln t ing a plan. Be sprang up finally. "By golly, I'll jes' do dat Hng!" he cried finally. It am de b es' ling I kin do." He opened the throttle and started the St e am Man along the b a se or the hills. With keen eye be dtudied tlle possibility of entering them. By the pass it was Impossible. But be imagined that it would not be difficult to lind another means. Nor was he disappointed. At 11 c e r tain point the hill s ide w a s shorn of trE'Cs and bowlders It made a smooth surface even over the brow of the hllight. A s the S team Man was provitled with power to climu any hfligbt of thia sort, Pomp at on c e s e t his course up the beigb t U p went tile Steam Miin witll prodigious s trides. N ea r e r the tot> he drew. Pom p had no means of knowing whet her it would b e possible to go further or uot. But his best hope s were realiz e d upon reaching the summit Down a gentle incliue th e Steam Man went nod through a scattered grove or trees, and came out into a valley deep in the hills. The sound o f tiring wus now quit e )Jlain. Indeed, as Pomp guided ti.Je Ml)on down into the valley, he sa IV the powtler smoke or the cooHict in the pass, just a short way up tlle val ley ,By golly!" muttered the darky, joyfully, "I reckon dat I get dar jes' in de bes' time. Won't Marse Frank b e glad fo'-to see me!" But at that momer.t a ftart.ling thing occnrred. The Man was traveling slowly, when just as the bottom of the incEne w a g reached, two powerful savages sprung out of the <>rass a u d sei zed th e tbottle rein. "' Pomp was so taken by surpri s e that for a moment be could not act. Tile palling of ti.Je rein closed tile throttle, and the Man came to a halt. Pomp c6uld not use the rein to open i t again, and bad there beeo more of the red foe, the Steam Man would have been at their m ercy. But there were only two of tne m and while or.e held the rein the othe r easayed to hack his way into the wagon with his tomai.Jawk. Pomp acted with the rapidity or thou g ht. "G'way from dar yo' red imp!" J1e yelled, picking up a revolver. "It you don't I'll jes' bore a bole in yo'." But tbe red man did not desist, and Pomp, springing to a loophole tired at him. The bullet went true tl) its aim, and the Indian fell dead. The other savage seeing th e f a te of his companion let out a baflled yell, and relax ing his l!rip on the valve rein fled precipitately. Pomp dtd not tq!>e the pains to lire at him, but coolly picked up the valve rein opener! the throttle anti the St eam Man w ent on. Straight for tbe scene of ti.Je conHict at the mouth of the Pass Pomp went When be came upon tbe scene he found a thrilling aiid sano-uine conHict in progress. o At sight of the Steam i\Ian a cheer went up from the Yiailants. In a moment Frank and Barney were aboard aud sh:kin"' bands wil h Pomp. "' The situation was Quickly explained. "I thought mos' likely yo' would want de Steam :Man, :Marse Frank," said the faithful darky. "So I jes' fetched him ober t p yo'."-. "You have done well, Pomp," said Frank, joyfully. "Of course,

PAGE 19

READE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. 19 this insures our safety. _With the Steam i\I a n we would eas il r escape the cowboys. But 1t will n e v e r do t o l eave brave \i igilants to their mercy." "Ob co'se not, :Marse Frank," cried Pomp, seizing liis rifle. "Jes' yo' Jet dis chile dr>tw a bead on d e m raps calli ons. I'll show dem Pomp kin use a rifle." The Steam Man was placed in the van of the line of battle. Protected as they were by the imp e rvious screen, those on board could f)re with ad vantage at cowboys. The battle was a hot one, but e very moment the cowboy s slowly gained ground. What was worse, the ammunition of the Vigil ants seemed to be giving out. With plenty of ammunition, it was possible that the Vigilants could have held them at bay for a l o n g while But, of course, when the ammunit ion should give out the battle would be ended. White-faced, but detarmined, the brave plainsmen stood their ground. Not a man of them thought of retreat. All were prepared t o give up their lives like heroes. There seemed no_ way of getting out of their present despe r ate situation, To retreat was about equal to an impossibility, for it would be out upon the open plain where they would b e shot down lik e sheep. The situation was an awfnl one. "Durn it, I don' t keerfor myself," said bluff Harmon the vigilant leader, "but some of -the boys have families dependent on 'em. Ah, that dog of a Cliff bas sins to ans wer f e r." "You are right," agreed Frank R e ade, Jr. "But there must be some way of getting out of this scrape." "How1" "Ah, that is a sticker. There is no hope of reinforcements near1'' "None whatever." "The Steam Man could be sent for them in quick time, if such a thing were possible." "But it is not. The nearest place is Ranch V, and that i s Cli!fs own den. We know that." "Certainly." "The fort is too far off. There is just one forlorn hope." "Ahl" "The cavalry." "But they may have been all wip e d ont." "Very true. \Vel!, we must die t hen like m en. -But, Mr. Reade, there is no reason why you should not take the girl in your Steam Man and make your escape." Frank placed a band upon the vigilant c aptain's s boulder. "Yes!' he said, briefly. "I could do that." "Then do it. We will hold the foe at bay until.--" "Stop! Harmon looked his surprise. "You do not know me," said Frank R eade, Jr., determinedly, "do you think I would desert you in this hour of need r "But-" "Never! If you die so do we. Until the last the S team Man will stand his ground." Withtears of emotion in hi!! eyes Harmon gripped Frank's hand. "God bless your was_all h e c o uld s ay. At this moment one' of the vigil ants c ame up excitedly. "Weare just firing the last cartridge s, h e declared. "What shall we do1 Is it a retreat, Harmon 1" "Retreat!" cried the vigilant leader, clubbing his rifle. "Never! Come on one and all. The crisis has co.me Now l e t us show the m bow brave men can die." The cowboys with their wild cheers were forcing the crippled vig ilants back. But even in the moment of their victory a strange sound came from the rear and a mighty cry went up from the throats of the 'Hurrah! We are saved! R es cue has come atJast.'' CHAHTER XVII. ONCE MORE-IN THE ENEMY S POWER. IT had been Col. Clark's firm. intention to return to the fort for reinforcements. -It was a long ways, but he did not reckon this. He thought only of securing a sufficient body of men to cope successfully with the cowboys. So on they rode the little remnant of the squad for the far distant fort. But after a night bad been spent in camp, just as the bugle called "boots and saddles." one of the guard sighteda body of horsemen jnst coming over a swell in the prairie. 'The alarm was given and Clark rode ont to-investigate. One glance was enough and a cry of joy escaped his lips. be cried. We are in luck. It is Romaine's company of one hundred men. Forward alii" With cheers the little band rode out to mee t the reinforcements. The command had 'been sent out under Captain Romaine to search for Clark and his men. The two officers shook hands and explanations were made. "You h!We come just in the nick df time, Romaine," declared Clark. "We can now return and whip th e "We are with you, colonel!" declar e d the captam w1th a salute. "The boys are itcbinp; for some hot work." "Well, I will promise it to them," laughed Clark, as be took com mand. At once the cavalry set out at full gallop for the hills. It seemed likE> a stnlnge fate that guided them almost to the ven" scene of the conll ict. The tiring was heard long befor,e the pass was reached, and. Clark hurried his men forwaTd. He at once tbre w them into the pass in the rear of Cliff's gang. / I t was an opportune moment, too. Jus t as the last cartridge of the vigilants was u sed the ca'<"al r y struc k t h e rear of the cowbo y ganp;. Insta n tly a panic seiz e d Clift s m en. They ma de a b ri e f stand and t h e n w e r e di: iven up a s i de defil e into t he'bills Here t h e y made a stubborn s l and. The cavalry lite rall y clear e d the pass, and ridin g thr o u g h came into the mids t of t he-vigilants. The,scene which followed baffies d escription. In a moment Clark and bi_g Harmon w ere s h a king hands with the de e p est emotion. "Ye came jest in the nick of time Clark," dec l a r e d the vigilan t chief. "In ten minutes more w e might h a v e a ll b een dead men. The n w e are in Jun k," cri e d t h e colone l, for whi c h I am '<"Cry gl ad. Ah, Mr. Reade, I am glad to see you." "Th e sam e r e plied Frank, as h e grippe d hands wi t h the colonel. The n C l ark rode away up the defile t o see wh a t was going on the re.'' H e found the fiercest kind of a b a t tle in prog r es s T he cowboys h a d intrenched themselves once more and w e r e making a bold stand. The cavalry outnumbered them, but they were in a ve r y advantageous pos i tion. The bes t efforts of Clark's men would not s uffice to di s l o dge them. For a long while the sanguine battle w ent on. In vain Clark tried to eject them from their position. His brav est efforts met with failure, The intrepid colonel knew that if be could g e t the f o e int o the op e n be could hope to whip them. But as it was it looked c ertainly as if his plucky littl e band would be badly d ecimated in the accomplishment of the d esire d e n d In this quandary Frank Reade, Jr., appeared upon t h e spot. 'l'h e young inventor had borrowed a horse of on e of the vigilants and rode up to s e e how the fight was going on. "Well, colonel," he said, greeting Clark, "how are you making "Not as well as I could pesire," replied the colonel in a dejected manner. "What is the matter?" "Why, I can't drive'the rascals." "Why not1" "They have a position up there in the hills whi c h is unassailable." "I disagree with you," said Frank, quietly. "I a m n o t a militar y engineer, but I am a land surveyor and I t e ll you their po s itio n on that bill is not of the best." Clark was staggered. "Whr, it is the best position ab e n from their position. Suddenly all firing ceased. The cowboy gang were not in sight, nor d i d the y fir e another shot. I Clark feared a stratagem or some fatal decoy, and d ared not a t once order a charge. But finally he became convinced that the cowboys had e'<"acuated their position and had made a retreat. Flushed with victory Clark ordered his men to charge,

PAGE 20

20 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. Up the slope they went with fixed bayonets. But when they cleared the wp of the intrenchments, hastily thrown up by the cow boys, it was found that they had gone: They had departed and completely. Not an article of any kmd was left behmd. Indeed it also became a mystery as to the course taken by them. Not a Rlgn of a trail could be found. It baiDed the cavalrymen. "By Jupiter!" exclaimed Clark, in q.isgust, "how are ypu to fight such a sbadowv foe. If they would only come out hke men and tlgbt it out it would be all right. But they don t dare do it." "You ,vould whip them,: sai, sharply. An all fired good one.'' "Hut bow do you know that Clifi''s gang have got "Because we know that it could not be Injuns, for the ground was llHLrl;ed with prints of the cowboys' shoes.' Frank received this information with sinking heart. He knew that it must be too true that Besse Rodman had again fallen into the hands of Cliff'. It a dismaying reflection. -To etrcct l1er rescue would prove no easy task. .Tust how to go to work to do it was a problem to Frank. But he was not long in deciding upon a plan of action. 1\Ieanwhile young Barrows, desperate over the thought that his girl lo"e was once more in Cliff's power, had made a uaring move. Alone he rode away into the.hills. -He was determined to rescue Bessie or sacrifice his life in the attempt. Barrows was a youth of rare pluck and great determination. Iu this quest he was aidtJd by his blind love for Bessie" Rodman. For her he would gladly give up his life. Striking into the hills he sought to follow the trail of the ab ductors. But it was soon lost in the flinty ground, and his best efforts to reco'l"er it were in vain HO\'I"ever, be kept on with feverish resolution. It" was now a blind quest, but this did not him in the Soon Barrows had penetrated deep into the hills. He heard the distant sounds of fi'ring and knew that the soldiers and Cliff's men were yet having it out. "God me stren17th to Bessie Rodman!" he prayed, as he rode on. It had occurred to Barrows that the ymmg girl might have been taken to Ranch V by her captors. He had half made up his mind to proceed thither when a thrilling thing occurred Suddenly the sharp crack of a rifle smote upon the air. reeled 111 the saddle and his horse gave a nlunge. A !me of red blood trickled down over his face 1fhe oullet had grazpd his cheek bone. It was a narrow escape. The fraction of an inch in another direction and the bullet might have penetrated his brain. Young Barrows bad faced danger and death times Pnough to know quite well what to do. He instantly dropped from his horse and spoke a word of com mand to the animal. The faithful and well-trained steed wheeled and galloped away into the co"er of timber near. Barrows himself sank down behind a pile of rocks. All was done in the twinkling of an eve. The trained westerner whose life is in danger knows well the value of quick action. It was this which saved the life of Barrows, fc;>r half a dozen bul lets came whistling down the mouD;tain side the next. moment. He had run unconsciously upon h1s foes. He expencnced a tbrlll as it occurred to him that this was most likely the party w!Jo had Bes sie Rodman in their charge. "Heaven help me now!" he muttered, fervently. "I must sa>e From his position he could safely scrutinize the mountain stdc. He saw that lar up on its side there was a rude cabin made of bark and logs. From this the storm of bullets had come. Nothing could be seen of those within the cabin. But Barrows believed that not only was the foe w1thm, but also Bessie Rodman. He was somewhat at a loss now to know just what move to make. To advance openly to the attack would ha,,e been an act; of folly. He would certainly have met his death in a summary fashion. So while pondering on the subject he continued to watch the cabin windows. He' held his rifle in roodiness for instant use. Suddenly a face appeared for an instant at one of the windows. It was qu.ickly withdrawn, and B _arrows bad not time to fire. H e recogmzed 1t, however, as t ; he face of one of the outlaws. 'l'he young plainsman's nerves were steel, and he watchedhis chance again with nervous anxiety. Suddenly the opportunity came. Once more the face appeared. Barrows raised his rifle quick as thought. Crack! i A wild cry went up, the sound of a falling body was beard, and then the tmmping of feet and bitter curses. Barrows knew that his shot had taken efi'ect. Then he changed his position. But not a sound or a sign of life came from the mysterious cabin. "Irthey are in the cabin they are keeping mighty dark," he mut tered. "They surely must be there, for I have not seen them come out as yet." A great length of time had elapsed. Certainlv "an ho".lr and a half of waiting had passed, .;md Barrows felt that be must do something and at once. "I shall die of worriment if I stay hEl,re," he muttered. "Per haps-" He paused. A thrilling thought hat! struck him. It was more than likely that be had been waiting all this while for nothing. It would have been not by any means a difficult matter for the foe to have slipped ou. t by a rear exit, and by this time be far from the sput. But how was he to determine this fact. It could only be done by approaching the hut boldly and search ing it. 'l'o do this was to incur the risk of a bullet from the outlaws. This might be only a clever trick of theirs to draw him from his col'ert. All these thoughts passed kaleidoscope like through Barrow's brain. He was satisfied that the foe could be but a half dozen in number. If he could have kept up a desultory battle with thent in his Dl'eS ent position he believed that he could have picked off' a numbe r o( them, and thus reducing their numbers eventually bring the figLt to a focus with a fair chance ol winning. But the outlook now was by no means so prepossessing. 1 It was more than 1 cely that he would have great diiliculty in cutting ofi' the abduct Jrs before they should join the main body of the cowboys. In this case it would be more difficult to rescue Bessie Rodrnan. Barrows now realized his folly in starting out single hanaed to pursue the-abductors. If he had now several of his companions with him the hut could h ave been surrounded and there would have been little trouble in making the rescue. But time was speeding and sometllmg had got to be done at once Barrows proceeded to act. He began to cautiously climb up the mountain side keeping in the cover of rocks and trees. He was very careful not to expose himself shot and in this way had soon reached a point from which he believed he could see the rear end of the cabin. There it stood lonely and silent. Was it really deserted or were the foe yet wi its walls?'' To all appearances it was deserted( Barrows hesitated a moment and then took the desperate chance. He emerged boldly from the woods and approached the cabin. On he went until within ten yards of the door. Yet there was no sign of life. The next moment he reached the door. It yielded to his touch and he entered. '!'he place was deserted. There were evidences that the foe had been there. Also Barrows made a thrilling discovery. In the soft dirt of tbe floor he discovered the foot .prints of Bessie Rodman. At least it was safe to presume that they were hers, for there was no likelihood that the region for many miles held another of her gentle sex. Feverishly Barrows examined the trail and followed it out through a rear door of the cabin. It led into a narrow gulch and up the mountain. It was quickly lost in the gravelly soil, but Barrows kept on up the mountain. He now censured himself for not having acted with greater dis patch. He believed that bad be changed his position earlier he would

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\. FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM MAN. 2 1 have become aware sooner of the change of base of the abductors. This was undoubtedly true, but on the other hand there had been the great risk of exposure to a bullet. On the whole the lover felt that he had reason to be grateful for his success in so promptly striking the trail of the foe. He kept on up the mountain with increasing hopes. If he could once more overtake the abductors under more favor able circumstances he believed that he could effect the rescue of Bessie Rodman. He still kept on up the mountain. Then he suddenly halted at a point from which he had a good view of the country about. He looked down upon a level plain ,below some distance which was fringed with trees. In the verge of this timber line Barrows saw a number.of moving figures. He was satisfied that they were the party of abductors and he even fancied he could the form of Bessie Rodman, With deadly resolution Barrows started in pursuit. Down the mountain he went a.nd soon reached the level of the plain. The party was now out of sight but Barrows believed that he could overtake them. So he set out at a rapid pace along the verge of the timber, Excit ing experiences were in for him. CHAPTER XIX. FRANK'S NARROW ESCAPE, FRANK READE, JR., had docided to go at once in quest of the ab ductors of Bessie Rodman. He called Pomp and Barney aboard the Steam Man, and the start was made. Of course they were not a ware that Barrows had started out upon the same mission. It was decided to proceed up the Death Gulch, for Frank fancied that the abductors had likely struck out over the mountain range. The gulch could be traversed by the Steam Man easily, and Frank deemed it safer to travel that way. Up the gulch the Steam Man went. For some distance all went well, and no incident worthy of note occurred. But finally a branch of the canyon was reached, and here a halt was called. This extended to the southward. Frank knew that the outlaws could not have crossed this without a wide detour. The was high above the walls of the canyon, and the young mventor decided upon a different move. The Steam Man proceeded up this canyon for some ways. Then Frank called a halt "vVe will stop here, he said. "Shure, Misther Frank," cried Barney," phwat iver do yez wan t 1o do that It's a clear course ahead.'' "I am well aware of that, B!l.rney," replied Frank, "but I am not !Ure that we are following the right course." In dade, sor." "I mean to climb to the top of the canyon wall here and take a look off at the country." "Shure enough, sor!". "Golly, Marse Frrnk, amn' t youse gwine to let dis chile go wif not a bit av it!" cried Barney. "Shure, yez may stay wid the Stheam Man, naygur." "Yo' g'long, l'ish! I reckon Marse Frank take me dis time," Frank smiled and said : "Yes, it is no more than fair, Pomp for yqu to go this time You will remain with tht Man, Barney." Barney did not demur, for h e knew .that i t would b e of no use. But he had been with Frank on excursions many times, and p e r haps felt that it was no more t han fair that :romp should have this chance. No tiine was lost. Armed with rifles and revolvers, the two explorers left the Steam Man. A good path up the canyon wall was selected, and after an a rdu ous climb they finally reached the summit. From here a mighty view of the country about w a s obta ined. As far as the eye could reach to the eastward was the level ofplain. In the other direction mountain peaks rose above. them to a great altitude, Frank had a powerful gl.ass, and with this proceeded to the country below. But he could see nothing of the cowboys, nor was he able to tell in what direction Clark's men had gone. He descried at once what he believed to be smoke ascending from behind distant trees, and fancied that this might be from the guns of the military and the cowboys. But of this he was not sufficiently positi v e to venture to go thither. "Well, Pomp!" he Raid dubiously, as he closed the glass. "I don't see that we can loc:tte the abductors of Bessie Rodman from here. I declare I am befogged." "Go!ll, Marse Frank," cried Pomp, with dilated eyeballs, "what eber yo link we bettah do now!" "I declare I don"t know." "I'se done reckon dat de cowboys hab gone bac k to -dat ranch ob dere's wid dat lily gal." Frank gave a start; It had not before occurred to him that the abductors might have taken their captive to Ranch V. .. Indeed, so strongly did he become Impressed w1th the possibility that he was half inclined to start at once for the ranch. But sober second thought impell e d him first tothink of s earching the hills. If she could not be found in them then it would be time enough to think of p aying Ranch V a v is i t An inc1dent happen e d at the moment also that f o r a ti m e prevented any move of the sor t Pomp had begun to s c ale a small peak n ear. "P'ra'ps I kin get a bet-ta b look from np ye re, M a r se Frank!" cried the darky. "Jes' de same, I trie s it fo' yo "All r1ght, Pomp," replied Frank. T ell me if y ou s ee anything of imnortance and I will come up." "A'right, sah." Pomp went np the peak. He r eached the top and began to look over t he c o untry, when suddenly he beheld a thrilling scene b elow. Frank had gone to the eage of the-canyon t o loo k ove r and see what the Steam Man was about. As he leal'ied over th'e edge of the deep gorg e h e did not see a giant form suddenly glide from a crevice in the cliff b e h in d h im. It was, in reality, an enormous black beaT. The brute had caught sight of Frank, and bein g i n a n ugly mood, started for him. The bear advanced so quickly and noiselessl y that F r a n k was all unaware of his presence until the brute was upon him. Then a terrific blow from the bear's paw sent him reeling o"<"er the edge of the cliff. Over the edge went the young inventor, and a yell o f h o r ror and pain went up from Pomp's lips. Golly sakes, Marse Frank, hab yo' fall e n down t o yo death?"" cried the affrighted darky, as he came tumbling down t h e peak lik e a madman. Frank had certainly gone over the edge. The bear stood upon the v erge of the p _recipice grow ling savagely. Pomp was m a frenzy of fear and horror. H e cou l d not see what was to prevent his beloved master from going d ow n to h is death. He would have rushed to the spot where F r a n k h a d stood but the bearwas there. At t .his moment the stillness of the gorge was b rok e n b y the shrill whistle of the Steam Man. This was enough for Pomp. In a moment he raised his rifle and fired at the hea r. Ordinarily, he would hav e b een compe ll e d to fire many times, but as chance had it, this shot pro v e d fatal. It struck the bear full in the eye a n d w e n t c r ash in g through his brain. The big brute went over the edge of the prec i pice and c rashing down into the gorge. Pomp heard plainly the crash of the bear's bod y as i t struck the bottom.of the pass. Then he rushed to the edge and looke d ove r. He saw the bottom of the gorge plain l y e n ough. T here lay the inanimate form of the bear. The Steam Man stood not twenty yards distant f r om this spot, and Pomp saw Barney far b e low y elling and wa- ing his hands The darky answered, and the n caug h t s ight o f something whic h thrilled him. Clinging to a jutfingbit of rock in the canyon wall he saw Frank Reade, Jr., h anging between heaven and earth. The astonished darky fell upon his stomach and l eaned far O"<"Cr "Golly, 1\'[arse Frankl" he cri e d excitedly," I done fOught yo' wa'i agoner fo' suah. Hab vo' got a str ong hol d dar?" "Pompf' cr'1ed Frank, in sharp tones, I am n early exhau ted I fear I shall lose my hoid h e re soon." Fo' Hebben's sake," cri e d t h e a ffri g hted dar kyb "don' yo say dat, Marse Frank. If_ yo' f e ll down t o d e cornah o dat gorg e yo" would be killed fo' suah. Yo j es' w ait a n dis chile will h e lp yo'." 1 "You'll h ave to hurry Pom p!' crie d Frank, in r..nexhau s t e d man. ner. "Yo' kin jest bet I will. "vVhurroo, there naygur!" cri e d Barney from below "\Vud )"C Z be afther letting down a rope to Misther Frank. Q u ick, now, or yez: won't have the toime.'' Pomp acted quickiy. The darky carried constantly a lariat at his w aste. This he lowered over t he edg e and down to the poin t w here Frank was hangmg suspe nded b e twe e n eart h and s k y. Pomp had acte d with great d is patch, but eve n as the rope w e n t over the edge, a warning cry w e n t up fro m Barney below. "My God! I am fallin g cried Frank, with horror. His "hands were slipping over the edge of t h e j u tting bit of rock to which he clung. The next moment they releas e d their grip entir ely and down he weut. But, as good fortune had it, just below him was a stump grow ing out of the cliff. Against this he fell and his clothing caug h t upon a jagged root. It h eld him firm:;, and ther e he hung safe and se cure. A cry of went up from Pomp and Barney, "Jes' yo hang right on, M a rse Fra nk!" crie d the earnest .. "!:!.on' yo' gib way at all, an' dis chile h e done pu 1 you up ar1ght. . "All right, Pomp," cned Frank, h 1 s cool ness so habitual to b im. I think I am s afe here. "Praise de Lor' fo' dat?'' cried the elated d arky "Jes' hol' right on." Down went the lariat. In a moment more it settle d over Frank's s h o u l d ers As Pomp drew on it. Frank m ade it secure under h i s arms. Th.en the darky began to draw up on tile r o pe. I t r equired some exertion o( strength, but in a few mome nts Frank cleared the edge. But at this moment a loud shout came up fro m t h e g o rge below. It was B arne y's voice rais e d in a note of a l arm. "My soul!" cried Frank, ex c itedly. "What ca n h a > e happened?" Both rushed to the edge of t-he <;a n yon and l ooked ove r

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22 FlL-\XK HEADE, JR., AND HIS NEW STE.d.l\1 :\IAN. CHAPTER XX. THE FLOOD-CORNERING THE FOE. IT was a thrilling sight which met their gaze. Thev >Saw Barney leaping np and down and gesttCulatmg wildly. "'Vhat is the matter? cried Frank. But, before the words had fairly left his lips he saw what was the trouble. Along the bottom of the gorge a thin stream of wacerwas flowEvery moment it was increa_sing "BeJaber s Misther Frank, IS there much more wather comm? cried Barney. "Shure if so, I'm thinkin' we'd better be after get-ting out of here." "Right!" cried the young inventor, excitedly, "but where can It come from?" He ran to an eminence near and from '"hich a good view of the upper canyon could be had. And there Frank b eheld a thrilling sight. the upper end of the canyon was a large lake made by an ac cumulation of logs and debris across the source of the canygn. Here half a sco re of men with axes and iron bars were engaged in breaking the dam so as to let the whole lake down into the gorge. It would mean a flood of a wtul sort if they succeeded. It would sure l y sweep the canyon clear, and the position of Bar-ney was a most perilous one. Frank saw this with horror. He knew at once that the workmen were of t he cowboy gang. Alrllady the dam could be seen to be giving way. In a very few moments the fl _ood must come. No time must be lost. !iltlnto the canyon the water would;plunge and e)lgulf everyEhmg m their path. Frank waited no longer. He sprung to the edge of the canyon and shouted to Barney : "Go, Cor yourlife, Barney. Run for the plain. 'Ve will take care of ourselves. All right, sar!" Barney sprun g into the cage and away went the Steam Man with a shriek down the canyon. '1 he next momem a terrible roar came from the headwaters of the gorge, and the n Frank and Pomp saw the mighty flood coming. Like a race h o r se i t surged down through the canyon. I t was now a mBd race bet,tee n the Steam Man and the flood. I t was a long ways to t .he plain below, and Frank with horror as he ?ealited the uncertainty of the Steam Mans reaching it. There were plac es where the Steam Man must go slowly, and this w9uld mean oertaking by the flood. But Barney, with his shrewd Irish wit, had realized this. H e knew that it would be impossible for him to reach the plain before the flood. o h e deci d ed upon a wise move. H e reached the junction of this canyon with the other. There was not a moment to spare. Looking back, he could see the water coming in mountainous bil lows The Steam Jlfan had to be checked a trifle in order to turn into the other canyon. But Barney made the turn all safely, and the Steam Man shot up the canyon far enoug h to avoid the back current of the flood. "Bejabers, I'm in luck this toime!" cried the Celt, jubilantly, as he opened the w histle valve. The note of safety was heard by Frank-and Pomp witP. a sensa tion of great r elief and joy They understood at once the move made by B:;truey. "That was a capital thought of Barney's," cried Frank. "It is lucky that he did not keep on the plains. He would have been overtaken." -"I jes' recko n dat am a fac'!" cried Pomp. "W"ell, I fink we'd bet tab back to de Steam Man as quic. k as eber we can." "You are Pomp," declared Frank. "Our position here will be hardly a safe one now." "Youse right, sab." The flood in the canyon was now rapidly subsiding. The great lake had quickly emptied itself into the canyon In a short while the bed of the was once more dry. Barney then ran the Steam Man back into the main canyon and Frank and Pomp bailed him. "You did well, Barney!" cried the young inventor, joyfully. "You made the best possible move." "Begorra, I kne,;v wei! enough that I bad to git out Of the way of the wathers, sor, rephed Barney. "But shure, are yez comin' down soon 1" "We are comiu' right down," replied FraQk. Down the canyon wall they scrambled and safely reached the gorge. ?;hen they with joy and clambered aboard. Shure, phwattver w1ll yez do now, Misther cried Barner. eagPrly. follow the canyon up and try to dislodge the outlaws" replied Frank. good, sir1" cried Barney, with readiness. "We'll go ahead 'Yes." Barney took reins and the Steam Man went on up the gorge. In a short while they had reached the dam which had held back the lake. Here a course was fou?d directly out upon a vast plain. Frank was about to dtrect the man's course thither when au inci-dent occurred to for a delay them. A loud and harsh vmce came from the cliff above. "Hello, down there I" The could not be seen. The Steam Man came to a halt. 'V ell f cned Frank. "Ye're Frank Reade, Jr., eh !" "That is my nan1e." "vV&il, I'm Artemas Cliff. I give ye fair warnin' to surrender. Ye're in a death trap." "Thank yo n for informing us," retorted Frank," but I don't believe I'll surrender yet." "Ye won't then!" "No." "Then take the consequences." "I can do that." A savage curse come down upon the air. Then the crack of rifles was heard and bullets pattered against the.steel netting. Of course no harm was done, and Frank only smiled grimly. He sent the Steam :!Han up the gorge, and in a few moments cam e out upon the plain, which was deep among the hills and hemmed in with a line of timber. The cowboys continued to pour volley after volley into the Steam 1\Ian. Frank waited until he had reached a position. Then be stopped the Steam Man, and picking up his rille, said: '',Come, boys! let's give them as good as they send." Of course Pomp and Barney were ready and eager. A destructive fire was seut into the covert of the cowboys. In a few moments it grew so hot that they coulq not remain there, and bad to get out. With baffled yells they retreated deeper into the hills. "Whurroo!" yelled Barney jubilantly. "Shure it's aisy enough to whip such omadhouns as they be!" "Golly! don' yo' be too suah, I'isb," remonstrated Pomp. "vVhat do yez know about it, naygur!" "Suah, I know jes' as much as yo does, I' ish." I Yez are a big stuff. "I amn t so big a wan as yo' am." "Say that an' I'U break the fac e aY yez." Huh! Yo can't do it." The two rogues would have had a friendly set-to then and there, but Frank interposed. "None of he cried, sternly; "there is serious work before us." This was a quietus upon the. two rascals, and they ceased their skylarking. -11 The cowboys had been driven back, but now a thrilling sound came from the distant hills. It was the heavy volleying of many rifle s There could be but I one explanation. Evidently the cavalr.v had come into conflict with the cowboys. A good s ized battle was in progress. An impulse seized Frank. He realized that he ought to join that conflict. There .:was no doubt but that the Steam Man could do much to aid the cavalry. So he started the Man across the plain looking for an opening into the bills in the direction of the firing. This it, however, seemed not easy to find. But as the Man was skirting the line of timber, a thrilling scene was suddenly brought to view. In a small c-learing in the ver!je of the timber two men were striv ing to do,vn one. It was a terr1fic and deadly struggle which was in progress. The single fighter was holding his own well. Near by with arms tied behind her, was a young girl. It was Bessie Rorlman. "My God!" cried Frank "Quick, for your life, boys! We must put an end to that struggle. Don't you see it is young Barrows; and he is fighting to rescue the girl." "Golly, dat am a fac' !" cried Pomp, excitedly. "J es gib me a chance at dem rapscallions." Up to the spot the Steam Man swiftly ran. A cry of wildest joy and hope welled up from Bessie Rodman's lip s. .. Young Barrows also saw that rescue was at hand and made exertions to overcome .his foes. The cowboys, however, seeing that succor ha'd come tried to break away. As Barro}Vs was too exhausted to restrain them they _succeede d and dashed away at full speed. Reaching their ponies they mounted and were out of sight in a twinkling. The next moment Barrows had clasped Besse in his arms, first cutting her bonds. : Thank Heaven!"..he cried. "We are unitad once more, and this time let U $ hope never to part." Those aboard the Steam Man pretended to be busy during the affecting meeting. But soon the lovers came to the cage and a general welcome foi Jowed. An explanation of all followed, and then plans for the future were quickly decided upon. CHAPTER XXI. WHICH IS, THE END. THE sound of tlrinp; now came from the hills quite plainly. It was evident that Clark's men were having a hard battle. Barrows detailed his experieLces as we have recorded in a previous chapter. Then it was decided at once if possible to join the cavalry. "If I can place Miss Rodman in your charge, Mr. Reade," said ;voung Barrows, gallantlr, "I gladly join the soldiers and aid m the repulse of the foe.' "Yo1r may do that," replied Frank, readily. "In fact, I think it safer for the lady to remain in the wagon hereafter.'' "You are very kind.'' "It is Accordingly Bessie was given a seat in the w-agon. Then Barrows mounted one of the ponies left by: the cowbOys. "I will see you later," he said lifting his hat to Bessie."

PAGE 23

FRANK READE, J R., AND HiS NEW STEA:\l 23 Then be rode away. to join the cavalry in their battle. The Steam l\laf1 of course cou l d not hope to fol low so quickly. The f leec pony could go through narrow paths, and of course Bar r ows reached the scene of action long before the others. Bntl<'rauk Reade sent t h e Steam Man along at a good pace. ATier some search a pass was fou nd, and the l\iau made its way carefully t hrough, and suddenly came o u t upon the field of action. The cowboys were strongly intrenched i n the h ill s, and seemed d i sposed to make a final stan d. Col. C lark's m e n were niaki ng desperate attempts to drive them f rom t h e i r position. As t be Steam Man came dashing u p to the spot -a great cheer went up from the soldiPrs. fran k a nswered it by pulling !.he whistle Yalve of the Man and sending u p a shar p note. The Man could not hope to reach the position of the outlaws, for the ground was too mwrcn. But a position was take n up from where the battl e could be easily watched. Then Co l. Clark came up to the wagon. Warm followe,l, and Frank said: "Is there an_,thiltg 1 could do to he l p you, col onel?" "lthin);: not," replied the gallant officer. ''I believe we shall drive Lhem o u t vecy soon now "I hope so." "If I am not mistaken the day o f C litr and his gang are numbered "That is joyful news." "Yls." "1 h ope yon will succeed." "'flla11 k YOU. ThecolOJiel rode away and the voyage r s watched the contest with interest. One at.ch ing the beautiful (ace of Bessie Rodman could have seen that she was inwardly praying for her lover's safety. But fortune was with the troops, t h o ugh they had e x perienced a h ard battl e The pos i t i o n o f the outlaws was a very strong one and almost un ass;lilable lligh wall s of rock yere t h ere for t .hem to vse as a breastwork. It wag not easy to dtslodge them except at great loss of life But Clark was not a man to be defeated. He urged h i s men on and s l owiy but surely d rove the foe before h i m !!'rank Rea<\e, Jr. now w i t h Barney and Pomp and Bess i e Rodman o n board, t ook the St ,eam Man o u t on to the prairie. For ove r an hour. a kind of des ultory conflict was was kept u p i n the T h en Co l. Clark s uddenly came dashing up to the wagon. "We have got them dislodged he cried. "And I tl) ink they h ave struck o u t fo r Ranch V Now if you w ill show us the way, Mr. Re11.de, we will try and exterminate this poisonous gang." "With pleasure!" cried Frank. H e st.arted the Steam 1\'fan at once for Ranch V. Across the prairi e the machine ran rapidly, and the cava l ry gal loped in the rear. lc was in the latter part of he day that all cam1e out upon a rise overlooking the stockade of Ranch V. But the co"-boys had got there in advance and had made ready for an attack. Col. C lark was a man of immediate resources. With011t or-a moment' s delay he t hrew his men for ward on t h e charge. At a lmos t the first attack the gate was carried and t h e so ldiers entered t1hc yard. l:lnt stt'p by Rtcp Artcnms Cliff t h e way. His men by d i v isions s u rrendered half a dozen or more at a time. Being t.bus made prisoners, t.liey 1vere sent to the rear. In this ma n ner the num ber;; o f the cowboy gan g were decimated. Suddenl.1 a thr'lling cry )vent up. "Fire! Fire!" The stockade and ranch prope r bad been fired, and g reat co lumns of flame now arose. The scene 1vas fast becomi n g a thrilling one. Darkness was com on, a n d the rattl e of firearms the dar k shadows of nigbt par tially dispelled by t h e flames, gave a weird aspect. to everything. Slow but s ure was the conquest of Cliff and his gang. Now he was driven to his last res.9rt the corner of the stockade nea r esc t h e river Scarce a score of I! is follower s now remai ned. It was utterly no use for him to resist longer. The villain saw i t b!lt yet kept on ligh t in g doggedly "Surrender or d i e!" c r ied the' li e utenant w h o led the squad. "It is vou r only chance." 'l'h e remaining c o w bop; threw u p thei r h a nds. But Cliff pitch ed f o r ward i n a heap upo n t h e ground, struck by a p istol ball. T h e r e be was found later under a heap of dead men. He was re m oved to t h e camp near and his wounds examined. Ra n c h V w a s a thi n g of t h e past. Not a st.ick was left standing, and of the cowbor gang fully a hundred had rcndf!'ed up their final account. l:'ossibly twenty of the cavalrymen had been killed. It had been quite a severe battle, but :Frank R eade, .Jr ., aotl his companions could not h e l p but feel overjoyed at the result. Barney and Pomp had an old time set-to over the victon, t hi<; time l:'ornp coming off victorous. The night was passed quietly.. Early the next morning a surgeon came to t h e Steam Man and called forl!'rank. He announced tba. t Cliti was dying, and wanted to make a con fession but woul d make it to nobody else. Frank hurried to the dying C\)UCb of the v i llain. Cliff s filmy gaze was fixed upon him eager l y, and he said, huskily: "Reade, I'm done for. I made a good figbt but I've lost. The game's up. I might as well make a clean breast of it. Uncle Jim is innocent of Rodman's death. Sid Buwen and Jim Dncey, my trusted pal s, frilled Rodman and worked the whole game. That's all. I reckon I can die better now." You have done a good deed, Artemus Cliff,'' said !!'rank kindly. "And may God forgive you your sins." Btit the villain d i d not answer. Alreadv his eyes wer e set. The l\faster had called him. He had cheated the galiow s after all. A grave was d u g on the prairie and !!'rank saw chat he was prop erly buried. The confession was put in writing and duly witn esse d The mission of the new Steam Man to t h e far west was ended. * * .. r.rbe spirits o f a ll we r e bright and cheerful, now that the end had come. The exter minp,t i o n of tbe Cliff gang was certainly a blessing to that part of the Scate, and no one regretted the villain's demise. Preparations w ere now made for the home. Of course, Col. C lark a n d his command would return to the fort, but Fran k now thought of Bessie Rodman. "By .Tupiter!" b e muttP-red, 'something must be done for her. Poor g irl! she is without a friend in the world now," Barney and Pomp winked at each other, and Barney cried: "Bejabers, M isther Frank, ba,,e ycz lost yer pow ers av penetration 1" "I reckon yo' am way off, l\farse Frank,'' r ejoi ned Pomp. "What are you fellows driving at 1" 'll.sked !!'rank, in surprise. "Why, dat ar' gal she am I!:Ot one ob de bes' friends in de worl'. Jes' yo' casi7o' eye ober dar an' see dat spruce young feller what am walkin' wid her ." Frank d i d "cast his eye" in the direction indicat ed, and saw Bessi e and young walter Barrows appronching. Ther e was a par t i c ul arly happy light upon the fac es of both. '"Pshaw!" mutter ed F rank. "That young f ellow can't marry her yet. She's got to have a home i n the mennwbile. Miss-Rodman, one moment, p l ease." The lovers paused, and !!'rank said brusquely: I can understand your position, ve r y well, and I know that you need a home. I can only offe r to take you to Readestown with me, and my wife will do all in h e r power-" "One moment,' si r ," said Barrows, with burning face "You nre very kind, but let me first explain. I am this lady's natural protector for life 'Vhat 1" gasp ed Frank. "Yes, she is my wife." -Pom p and Barney colla psed at the expressio n upon Frank's facl'. "Your w i fe1" gasped the young inve ntor. "\Vhen were you marri ed?!' "Just now, and the ceremony was performed by the chaplain of the regiment." Frank thrust f orth hi s right hand, and gave Barrows a grip which made. h i m w i nce. "You must pardon my conduct," he cried, "but it was such a surprise. I w i sh you both worlds of happiness Some hours later the new Steam Man was on its way homeward. A week later it was in Omaha, Nebraska, and not long thereafter was at home in Readestown. The younl!: i nventor was received at home with an ovation, nnd his father, the distinguished Reade Senior, was overjoy e d t o learn that the evidence had been procured to clear Traver s As for the latter he carne from prison like one coming into a new life and from that time on regarded !!'rank Reade, Jr. as his great est earthl y benef actor. 'J.'be new Steam Man and his wonderful wester n trip was the talk of the country. People camejrom near and far to see the inven tio n ann it wa'l not lonoo before the :mJl.Jlil; inventor suddenly found himself involved in another daring p r o j ect. The new Steam :Man was destined to make another trip, and be com e involved in adventul:e even more thrillin g than these ju t recorded, and a f ull a n d detailed account of the second .trip rna) be found in No. 2.-cf the FRANK READE LIBRARY} -ENT.ITLE.D -fPank Reade, Jtt., With 8is New Steam f/Ian in flo fyian's hand; OR, ON A JY-I:"YSTERIOUS TE.AIL, By. NQNAME."

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-,. WHO IS FRANK READE, JR.7 RsK aar Bor BND HE rtilL TELL Yolfl raar FRANK ilEADE AND FRANK READE, JR. Are_ the Greatest InventQrs that Ever Lived, AND IN ORDER TO PLACE THEm WONDERFUL & EXTRAORDINARY ADVENrURES BEFORE THE PUBLIC WE HAVE STARTED THE Which will give their exploits with their wonderful inventions in detail and furnish all its readers a rare treat in every number. If you don't believe the above read the following list of the first seven titles and be convinced. NONAME" will write them all, and you know what kind of a story he writes. It will be published every Saturday, and each number will be better than the preceding one. You had better tell your newdealer to save you a copy. No.1. Frank Reade, Jr., a.nd HisNew Stea,nt Man; or, The Young In-ventor's Trip t'O the Far West, --By" Noname." 2. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Stea.m. Ma.ninNo or, On a, Mysterious Trail, By" Noliame." 3. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Central America, -------By "Noname." 4. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in IIJ.'exa,s; or, Chasing the Train Robbers, --By" Noname." 5. Fra.nk Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Mexico; or, H _ot Worlt Among the ---By "Noname." 6. Frank Reade, Jr, With His New Stea.ni Ma.n Chasing a, Gang of "Rustlers;" or, Wild Adventures in Montana, By" Noname." 7. Frank Reade, Jr,, and His New Steam Horse; or, The Search for a. Million Dollars. A Story of Wild Life in Mexico, ..... By FBANK TOUS.EY,. PUBLISHER, Box 2730. 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. ID:.PPY HOUR;:; BROTI-IERHOOD REPRINT NO J l I t i Cf Y/) ;