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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam man in Mexico; or, Hot work among the greasers


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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam man in Mexico; or, Hot work among the greasers
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Frank Reade library.
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Frank Tousey
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New York
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Inventors -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Science fiction   ( lcsh )
Dime novels   ( lcsh )
serial   ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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usfldc doi - R17-00020
usfldc handle - r17.20
aleph - 024784247
oclc - 63270946
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
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    Back Cover
        Page 16
Full Text


Latest and Best Stories are Published in This Library. l No.5. { COMPLETE.} FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 & 36 NOR'l'H MOORE STREET NEW YORK New York, October 22, 1892. I ssUED WEEKLY { J 'JUC I C } 5 CENTS. Vol. I Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the yea1 1892, by FRANK TOUSEY, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D C Frank Beane, Jr., With His New Steam man in mexico; or, HOT WORK AMONG THE GREASERS. By 'NON Alli E


2 FRANK READE JR., IN MEXICO. The Subscription Price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50: $1.25 per six months, post-paid. TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. FRANK READE, JR., WITH HIS .NEW STEAM MAN IN MEXICO; OR, HOT WORK AMONG THE GREASERS. By "NONAME," Anther of "Frank,Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Texas; or, Chasing the Train Robbers," etc., etc. CHAPT.ER I. KIDNAPPED BY GREASERS. FRANK READE, JR., the inve ntor of many wonderful mac!1ines and whose fame was world wide, sat.:m his study one day in September looking over a beap of mail matter which the 8ervant bad just brought in. He was a h a ndsome dark complexioned your:g man witt: a distin gue air and that individuality of appearance which stamps the man of uenis. Frank's father was a famous invAntor before him. Foremost among Frank Reade, Jr.'s invenlions was the New Steam Man, a machine of truly wonderful characte r. We will not attPmpt a d escr iption of the Steam Man for certain good reasons untilluter; tirst let us give our atoeution for the moment to the young invent o r. l!'rank Reade, Jr., was naturally the foremost man in Readestown, a respecta\Jie sized aud thriving town, founded by and nameLt his tirsr efpedition was set upon hy hnndits who infest the rep:ioo, and who are under the com mand of Miguel Costello, a noted "His men WAre and he escaped himself b' a narrow chance. Bn t Ronor Montaine is a gentleman of pluck, and he once more began to plan au excursion to Los Pue blos, wilen one morning he t1 isn ppeared. "From thnt day to this he hes never been seen. A notice has been p os ted in Laredo. signed b:v Costello calling for a reward of ten thonMatlll dollars. or Mr10taice will be slain. I "'l'hia re, n rd, or ransom money, was quir.kly raised here amone: Senor Montaine's fnends. but the bandit promptly raised tbe ligures to fiftr th o u s and. "This monAy cannot be raised, r;or is it believed tilat Costello woulrl rPleafl his prisoner for it. It i a hy many that this is a subterfug e employed by the bandit to cover Ius purpose of w orking the Los Pueblos claim himael: It is rumored that he has a large gang of men at work at the mine, and that they are sinking a shaft. lt may be readily understood that this is a dishonest trick of tile villain's. uud the eeuse of justice of every good man must he arou8ed. 1\feu nwhite, a d eserter from Miguel's 't>rmJ hringa ua the story, also a request from .Mt > ntaine, who bAgs us to write you to come to his re lief with your New Steam Man. We are obeying tile dictates of Senor Mont.aiue iu writing this letter. That you may best follow your own conclusion in grunting your friend's request, we have no doubt that you will apvreciate fully I.Jis extreme p er il. '' 'fhis is th e case, and in laying it hefore you, lieve that w e are but doing our duty as Christian gentlemlln. Your answer and d e cisiou Wd awa1t with some impati e nce :1ud mucil hope. I have the honor, senor, to faitbfully subscribe mys elf yours, ., JOSE RAVELLO. "Hotel San Juan, Loredo Mexico." Frank read the tilrongh carefully. T h en he leaned buck m llis cliair. The re was a strange exclted light in his fine eyes, and he exclaimed in a musrc al, but ten se vo1ce: Poor Mo11taine! He is--one of my best friends. S o he is in trouble, eh? Well, I would be inhuman indeed to rtJap o nd to his appeal." Frank sprung up aud pu t on his hat. As be l e ft the stndy he met a colored man in the ball. He was a bt, jolly little d a rky, and as black as tile ace of spades. Pomp," said Frank, sharply. "What am it, sah!" "I want you to go with me." A'rtgbt, sah.'' The darky followed Frank out of the fine mansion and down to the street. A few minutes' walk brought them to the gates of the machine 3bop yard. Here they met a jolly-looking Irishman, wtose twinkling eyes and broad mug stamped him a genuine son of the Gre e n Isle. "Barney O'Shea!" said Frank, sharply, "l want you to come with me." "All roight, sor!" exclaimed Barney, great The negro and the Irishman were old servitors or Frank RPnde, Jr. Th ey had been In the employ of his father before him and Frank would never have thougl t of going up:>n a trip withour them Their servicAs were invaluable. Barney being a engineer aud workmr.n, aud Pom!J was a tine co ok. Passing through the yartl which was tllled in secret. Frank sat down at a tahle and threw Senor Ravello's teLler upon it. "Pomp," he said, tersely, "get me a map of Mexico." "A'rh!ht, Wond ering much what was coming, the darkv qnickiy obeyed. The mnp was spread upon the table. Frank quickly placed his tlngPr upon Laredo. Then he traversed the interior '>f Mexico to the Los Pueblos Mountains. "That is it," he said, theoretically. "It is a long trip, but It can be done.'' Then he turned to Barney: "BP.rney he asked, sharply, "has that new gauge b een put upon the StPam Mnn?" Yis sor rPplied the Celt. "Good! Js the machine all right every other way?" J think so, anr." "All right. Now sit down and let me read you this letter." The two m en annk into ::hairs and Frank read them the letter from Ravello. They lislPnerl with the deepest interest, and when Frank finished Barney cried eagerly:


r FRANK READE JR., IN MEXICO. 3 "Bad cess to the omadhouns! Shure ye'll go afther them, Misther Frank?" "Golly, I jes' hopes yo' will, Marse Frank. Dis chilt> am in it fo' suah." Then you are ready and willing to go?" asked Fr,mk. Yo' kin jest bet." '' Yez are ro1ght we are." Of course my sympathies for Montaine are strong," ea:d Frank; "he is an old ana very dear friend of mine." "Shure, yez oul!hter go to his help," averred Barney. Well, I will consider tile situation. Let us take a look at the Steam Man." .. All three arosJ anti went into an inner chanfb>Jr of the factory. This was a large, high-roofed room. In its center stood t11e won derful invention which llad made the name of Frank Reade, Jr., fam ous t.he world over. Picture a giant man made or iron plates holding the shafts of a wagon in his hands. 'l'he Man was made o f plates of steel hinged at the ankles, knees and hips. There were driving rods down the legs, showing that the Man's motive powe r was steam. The boay. of the man made the furnace, and upon its back was the steam chest as well gauge and indicator. 'l'he tall hat was the smoke-stack, and in Mnn's mouth was the whistle. A headlight was placed in the foreb<>ad. The reservoirs or water were in the Man's legs and arms, so ad justed that a continual circulation was kept up with tl1e water in the boiler. Reins extended from tbe throttle and whistle valve s in the Man's mouth to the dasher of the wagon, and it wao by tllese that the iron monster was guided and driven with the greatest of ease. This completes the discription of the Steam The wagon was also made of plates of steel, cleverly riveted and bullet proof. The w a gon containAd bunkers for coal, also compartments for the safe stOrn;!;e of provisions and a tumn nition. Bunks to sleep in were over the coal bunkers. 'l'he wagon wa s cover egtlrs went. Fertile farms and gardens were upon all sides for a number or miles. It was easy to f ollow good roads for some distance. Then the con lines of civil i zation were r eached und the unexplored wilrls opened up before 1 h em For two t.lays the Steam Man kept a cour se to the north-west. -Mexican towns were passed and ranches without numho1. Ranch eros and pP.ons, hunters a nd cowboys. g r ensers a nd half breeds, all viewed the Steam Mnn wit h great wonderment, nnd some or the ignorant natives with superstition. But the voyag-ers were not molested until one evening. after cross ing an arid plain, the stnrtling discovery was made that the Steam Man's boilers were It was n e cessary to bnnk the fires at once and look for a fresh sup. This it was not easy to find in that l o c ality There was not a stream or lake visible nnywhere. All was a dry, arid plain. But two Titi!es disf ; aQt in the verge or a clump of timber the low roof o f an adobe runc!1 wns seen. It was not known what or people lived there, nor with what sort of a rel)eption they mi gh t meet.. But it was necessary to hnve water, and something desperate had got to be done at once. There must be water there," declared Frank. We will go over th e re a nd see at any rnte." So Barney hea

4 FRANK READE .JR.; IN MEXICO. The S team Man dre w up in the ranch yard. 'fhe e!l'ect upon the JYotley crAw wa s niost surprising. Of cour se this was first time they had ever gazed upon 11nything like th e S t e am Man. Wond e rm ent and interest were d e picted upon their brutish faces as th e y advanced. Pomp r egarde d them askance, and taking a swe e ping survey of the plac e ventu1ed t o say: Goliy! Marse Fran!(, I don' jes lik e s d e looks of dis place.'' I'm wid y ez, naygur!" cried Barn e y. "Av I'm not mish tak e u tuim omadhouns will be LIO !rinds to us." But Frank did not seem to share this f e ar. He lmsied him'self with adjusting the brake, and while thus engaged the greasers crowde d a bout the Steam Man. One of th e m lazily puffin g a cheroot ventured to address Frank: Bu e nos, sen or! Welcom e to Lone Ranch. "Thank you!" replied Frank, politely. Are you the ranchero?" "i::ii, senor! Pray dismount and e nter. I have Eome wine which will suit y our taste." The fellow wa s a tall, dark-complexioned chap, with long black mus t ache anJ eyes of keenest !Jlu c k He used good English and was very polit e and affable. Something about the fellow gave Frank a clnll of distrust. But he kn e w well that in his pres e nt position be was much at the mercy of the gre asers. It wne impos$.ible for tile Steam Man to go further without water. Frank saw a d eep sprmg near and a plan was su gges t e d 10 him. Alter all he 1 bad no rigllt to distrust the Mexicans a s y a t. 'l'he ranch mi;;ht be a respectable place and, at any rate if lie desired to secure a ny o'f tile water, Frank knew t!Jat !Je mus t work bifl cards diplomaticallY' So he d e cid e d to a!lect friendship with the gre asers, and trust to fortune to acc o mplish tile r e st. "Your otfer I will acc ept," said Fra nk, wlt!J a flourish. "Your exc el!eut win e already warms my h 8art." "We are always glad to w e lcome strnn ge rs said the ranchero, with a p e culi a r s mil e "but this is the lir s t time w e !;ave ev e r see n a loc o motive in tile s hape of a man, a nd abl e to run without a tr a ck "Inde ed!" r e pli e d Frank. "Allow me, then, to explain to you the mechanism of the N e w S t e am Man." With this, Frank proce e ded to illustrate to the greas ers the working of the famous invention Tiley liste n e d attentively and witll d eepe s t interest. Wilen F rank had c o ncluded, they begun a qu ee r sort of jargon, and l 'ept it up in an excited mann e r. F rank could not v e ry w ell understand it, as it was a dialect of the Spani s h tongne But the ranchero seized Frank's arm now, and drew him toward the adobe building. The young inv ento r could not r efus e CHAPTER III. THE T,REA CHEROUS R A N G H E RO. "Yo-care my g uest, s enor," th e r a nc : 1 e ro I shall bewitch you with my wine. Tlle re is not bette r iu the Lared<:' vineyard9." "lndeeo, I all) in YO!Jr debt very deeply, senor," replied Frank, but pardo n me, but is not tllat good water in yonder spring? It is; but first the wine." "Very well; yet will you allow us to take some of it aboard the Steam Man?" Si, senor with pleasure," replied the polite ranchero; "take all that you would care to of it." Frank turned and motioned to Barney and Pomp. They took the hint at once and moved th e Man up to the spring. ln a few moments they hall the !Jose out and were pumping tile water with allllaste into the Steam Man's boilers. Frank with tllis followed the ranchero into the adobe building. In the interior it was scarcely more inviting tllan out s ide, but the hospitable ranch e ro otl'ere l Frank a seat. The young inventor accepted it. It was a small cllair near a window, through whic!1 Frank could easily see what was going on in tile yard. "Pardon, senor!" said th e racchero, affably, "hnt may we not ex cllanga names ? I am Don Juan de Casuova." "And I am Frank Reade, Jr." Frank was sure that the other gave a queer start and changed color a bit. But ir so !Je was q uickly recovered. For smilingly he sai cl: "Senor Reade I sllall drink to your healt.h.'' Tllen from a closet near the ranch e ro produced a quaint old !lagon and some silver drinkin g mugs. Into this he pou re d s ome of the r1che s t wine that Frank had ever se en. "This is better than pulque, senor," decl a re(! Don Casnova with a smile. "Drink to s uccese.'' "Amen! said Frank. He took a draught or the wine. It was rich and gratifying to !Jis taste He drained th e glass. Anot!J Pr, senor," insisted Cas nova. Frank could not re$use. Tile wine warmed him and made him feel invig orating1 De Casnova seated himself opposite Frank and opened a conversa .. tion. "Pardon my curiosity, senor," he said, politely, but it is a nat ural question to ask the mission of one trave ling across the country as you are. ls it a secret?" !<'rank hesitated a moment. His better sense told him the danger or making a confidant in tllis wild region. Acting on impu!se, he replied: "I am out !Je re in :}Uest of a gold claim, near Los Pueblos." "Curamba!" exclaimed tile ranchero, witll a start. "Is it a rich onet'' ''It is so reported." "I have lleard of gold about Los Pueblos, but I !Jave heretofore re-garde d it as a mytll.'' "It has been established a cerlain fact I believe." "Indee d! 1 should like to see t!Jat cl a im.'' Frank was silent a moment. 'l'b e re was a question uppermost in his mind which he desired strongly tc ask th e otller. But be was in doubt as to the safety of domg it. Finally, the conversation !Jad turned upon different he ventured to say: Pardon me, senor, but is there in tllese parts a man named Mig uel Cos tello?" The rancllero gave a start. An ode!, sturtleu light came into his eyes. But he evinced trepida tion only a moment. "Si, senor," ha replied; "I have beard or him.'' Wllat sort of a man ib he?" It \Tas a direct question, but Frank believed it the best under the circumstances. The ranchero idly putleu at his cheroot, an(t gazing at Frank languidly through hulf-sllnt ey e s, replied: Well, seuur, I tllink it not good taste to speak disparagingly of a man's character. Yet Miguel is so well known til at it cannot hurt to tell the truth that he is a bad man.'' "Indeed!" In fact, be is an outlaw, and it lie had his just deserts would be hung for man y a dark crim e.'' Ah!" s aiu Fran I < qui e tly; perhaps then you can t ell me of tile unfortunate \.merican, Harvey Montaine, who it is said has fallen into his clutclles?" The ranchero smiled in a peculiar way as be replied slowly: Yes, I can tell you all about tllis afi air, f o r 1 know Harvey Mon' "Indeed!" exclaimed Frank, unguardedly, then be is a friend of vours?" "Well, perh a p s so. Y o u know him yourself, I tJ\ke it!" "Yes," r eplieaudit, and f eelin g that this was posaible Frank's sensations can well be im agined. He wished himself far from the spot at that moment. Indeefl, he had already begun to count the cllances of reaching the Sleam Man alive in case he should break. Ca s nova's ey e s were upon him intently all the while. The villain seemed to read his purpose like a printed book. "You will stop som e days with us, Senor Rende," s aid the ranchero, smoothily. ''You will lind that a Mexican knows something of the art of entert:oimng.'' ________ __


... :_iii( FRANK READE JR., IN MEXICO. 5 "I am well aware of that now," replied Frank. "I will consult witlJ my companions, anti if they--'' But Casnovu. made a gesture of impatience. "S&nor need not do tbat," IJe exclaimed; "they are but peons. Tile senor is assuredly his own master." "Yes," replied Frank, truthfully. Yet I always confer with my two servitors. I will give you an an11wer." Frank arose, but Cashova did the same and seemed to let his guest depart. "All, too much haste," he declared, in his oily way. "Senor Reade, you know not tile ways of these parts." "I shall learn, perhaps," said :Frank, eril and were quick to make action. Barney seizeu a club and rushed from the cage. It was but a couple of leaps he needed to tal'e to bring him to Frank's side. The young inventor himselt bad knocked over two of the greasers with his lists. Barney now with his improvised shillelah descended upon the Mexicans like a thunderbolt. They were utterly unable to stand up before such an attack. Right and left the Celt dealt blows. "'l'ake that, au' that, ye murtherin' crew!" yelieti Barney, excited ly; "hejabers, if it's a ruction yez want, here's one fer yez." The gnmsers wont down before the Irishman's blows like logs. There were otllers to their assistance. But before they could come up the struggle was over. l Barney and Frank bad sprung into the cage. TIJere they were safe from bullets. And these now began to tly. Casnova furiously rushed out i nto the ranch yard, urging his men on. A swarm of the greasers came for the Steam Man. But Frank was not anxious to meet them in close combat. He opened the throttle and let the Steam Man out. Out or the ranch yard the Mall sped, but the greasers all sprang upon their horses and gave pursuit. Out upon the plam went the Steam Man, pursued by the yelling horde of greasera. For half a mile the race was nip and Onlinarily tha Man would have diAtanced them, but there was hut httle ateam up, and progress was slow. As it was, the greasers gained trifle, and one of them sent his lasso coiling like a serpent through the atr. It settled down over the Steam Man'a head and shoulders. CHAPTER IV. THI: PROSPECTORS. THE Mexican who bad the temerity to attempt lassooing the Steam Man had little idea of the enormity of Ltis tagk. The lariat, thrown with great precision, settled down accurately over the Man's head. It reached his shoulders and there tightened. At tbe moment, the Ste.1m Man was going a thirty miles per honr gait. The effect was The greaser fancied that he could bring the Steam Man's career to an enfl, even as he would that of a wild steer. But be had reckon e d his host -this time. 'l'he S team Man Kept straight on. {!'be Mextcan tllrew his horse upon its haunches, and the next moment expected to see the Steam Man topple ov e r. But an astonished cowboy was the order of the hour. The lariat tightened like a w!Jip-cord. The little mustang's forefeet were braced in the soft soil of tile prairie. For ten feet the mustang slid along as if on skates. Then over on its it tile cowboy falling underneath. Tbe dead of tl:o horse was pulled fwent y-five feet, when the lartat snapped like a bit of thread, The other greasers saw the act and were dismayed. Not one of them ventured to throw a lariat after that. Pomp and Barney nearly splib their sides with laughter. Golly, but dat wasjus' too funny fo' anyfing!" cned Pomp, hilari ously. "Jes' fink ou dat fool ob a greaser who 'spected IJe could pull de Steam Man over." I Steam was now got up rapidly and tile Man speedily left his pur suers far behind. Acroas tile plain at race-horse speed he went. Soon the greasers were left out of sight in the rear. It was certainly a narrow esca::>e, and all IJad very good reasons to congmtulate themselves on it. 'l'he Steam Man kept on for a couple of hours at a fair rate of speed. Then some IJigh mountains be!!an to loom up in front. I IJelieve those are the Los Pueblos Mountains!" declared Frank, positively. "Golly! dat am good!" cried Pomp. "Bejabers, thin we ought to be nigh the inemies' camp," remark ed Barney. "Yes," agreed Frank: "It is well for us to be on the lookout." The region about them was or t.he most bare and arid sort. To the southward there extended a literal desert, seemingly as wild as the famed Steppes of Tartary. Every few steps the bones of some dead animal and occasionally a man were encountered. It was in fact a plum of death. No living thing ad'Jrned it, and it was probably in time of great drought that many travelers had lost their lives here. Tile Steam Man picked its way across the plain. Soon hroad mesas of some fertility were encountered. Then a river was encountered, which was fortunately not so deep but that it could be easily waded. Once on the other side the Steam Man made its way through a rocky pass ar.d then a surprise was accorded the travelers. Dowu through the pass tllere came the rumble of wheels and the heavy cracking of a whip. ruen around a curve shot a heavy mountain stage with six horses attached. The driver, a burly fellow, 'with his belt filled with pistols, pulled up the IJorses with a vl'lley of oaths. "Thunder an' blazes!" he yelled. "Who in perdition are ye! What kind of a rig d'yer call that?" The Jel \ u sat on his box at the Steam Man like one out or his senses. Upon the box was a miner in red shirt and top boots, aud upon the tov of the coach were half a dozen more. Withiu the coach a number of Mexicans, a Jlasbly dressed sport and a type of the gennR g'llmbler. "A stage line!" exclaimed Frank, in amazement. "And in this out of the way place. Who'd have dreamed it?" "Bejabers, we must IJe cornln' to some !wind of a settlemint," cried Barney. The pass was barely wide enough at this point to let the coach and the Steam Man pass. But the coach die! not offer to move, aud Frank saw the passengers pulling their revolvers. He comprehend e d the situation at a glance, and criecl: "Hold on, friends! there's no need of that. We are not road-agents!'' 1 "Oll, ye ain't, eh'" thundered the burly Jehu. "Well, we're pow erf:Jl glad to hear tf:at. But whar in thunder did ye git tiJat bullgine, anyhow?" The passengers now all crowded out of the coach. They were consumed with curiosity to inspecL this new wonder. "Instead of a steam ingine!" cried one of the sports, "ye see, gentlemen, we now have a Steam Man." "A Steam Man!" gasped several. "Well, if that don't beat me." With much wonderment they proceeded to examine tile Stearn Man. _Frank politely showed them the workings of tile invention, and then, with some surprise, said: "But how llo we happen to find an American stage and American miners side of the line?" One of the sports gave a knowing wink and said: "That's all right-there's a nice little claim over !Jere that we've been up to see. We are ft"Om Saint's Repose, jest over the line into the States. In course this is Me1:ican laud, but if ther greasers don't get onto us we'll git some of that Mexican gold over into tile Unitld Slates afore many days, you bet!" Frank was astonished. Are we then very near the line?" he asked. "Not more than fifty miles." Tllis was most astounding information to Frank Reade, Jr. He had already traveled a distance of full five hundred miles from Laredo. "Pshaw!" he exclaimed. "If I had known that I would have trav eled nil the wny on United States territory." "Ca rt, .stranger," was the reply, when F'rank informed them or his course, "but then, fOL all that, ye came direct enough. The line bends in here, ye know, and ye've come along a north-westerly course.,. "So it seems!" agreed Frank, "but are not these the Los Pueblos Mountains?" '' Cerl." "Well, how is it that you do not run across Miguel Costello and his gang!" "Well, we have heerd tell of that chap a good deal. He hain't ever attacked us, though we've been lookin' for a scrimmage with him otr an' on." "Indeed!" exclaimed Frank, in amazement. "I think it very sing ular then, for I underetand that he is the terror of this region."


6 FRANK READE, JR., IN MEXICO. "An' so he is, stranger. But we ain't goin' to be bluffed out of our claim for a stuck of greasers as higli as Sliasta." "That's good pluck." "In course, but now ye've axed questions, stranger, s'posln' we take our turn. I'm Sam Sharp, or better known ae Silver 8am. Who in thunder are yon?" Frank was not a little amused at being addressed in this bluff manner, but b e quietly responded: "I am Frank Reade, Jr., and I am from the East." Tbt> sport turned around and indicated three of Lhe others. "'rbat.'s Bill Guernsey, our driver," be said, referring to the Jehu; '' this gent hyar," indicating a bloated gambler-looking man with a prodigious diamond on his shirt front," is Mister Jake Bolton\ we call bim Diamond Jake fer short. This gent," a tall, slender youth with a sleep,v air, is Mister Chris Blume, an' he's our civil an' min in' engineer. We're go in' to drive a shaft up there a mile or more an' he's goio' to do the biz for us." "Gentlemen, l'm all very glad to meet you," said Frank, politely. "The same, stranger," sa1d Diamond Jake, advancing and shaking FraiJk's hand. The others all advanced and di1 the same. Silver Sam, as the sport was called, did not trouble to introduce the laboren, as the red-shirted men m1gllt llave been called. They were a conglom eration of Mexicans, hair breeds and toughs. "Well, frien d," said Silver alter the introd'llction was over, what's yer biz in these parts, might I ax?" "Certainly," replied Frank, "and perhaps you ('an give me some information to aU me?" "Mebbe we can, stranger. We'll be glad to do it if we can." Did you ever hear of a man about here called Harvey Montaioe?" Sharp exclamatiOns went up and glances were exchanged. "You can bet we have, stranger, and he's a white man, too." "Harvey is a gentleman," said Frank. : "You bet he is. He was well liked ln Saint's Repose." Where is he new?" Silver Sam cleared his throat and came nearer. "Look here, etranger," he said, earnestly, are youlookin' for Harvey?'' "lam." Wall, I'm afraid ye'll never be able to rescue him. He's in the grip of that devil Cost e llo." "Ah!" said Frank, grimly. "That Is what I heard." "It's enough. You see, Costello pounced down on him when be was opening np his claim and massacred all his men. They may have killed Hu:vey, too, t>ut Costello keeps for a ransom." "The scoundrel!" exclaimed Frank. "I'm thinkin g he ain' after that," said Silver Sam, with conviction, "no more nor you au' I are. It's my 'pinyun he's got sick of being road agent and thinks there's a princely fortune in that mine.'' Well, is there not?" "There ain't any doubt of it." "Well," said F'mnk, slowly and with great determination, "I don't mind telling you, friends, that I am iii this region to spoil his game and to rescue Harvey Montaine. I mean to do it-or die!" We glory in your pluck, stranger," cried Silver Sam, warClly. We hope ye'll succeed an' we'll help ye nil w e can." I thank you." One thing is sure. If Miguel Costello troubles us, we'll make it warm for him. We don't m ea n to give up our claim. But as be is twenty mil es from here on anotlrer spur of the mountain--" Silver Sam did not finish his speech. A thrilling thing happ e ned at that mom e nt. There was a wild, blood-cnrrlliug laugh far up the gorge, and the next moment the crack of riHes smote upon the air. Two of the red -sh irted miners upon the top of the coach fell dead. CHAPTER V. BEATING A RETREAT. DowN into the defile there came a perfect swarm of armed men. Rough looking wretches they were, all greasers and armed to the teeth. It needed but a glance for any in the party to realize wl10 and what they wer e "All ab o ard!" yelled Bill Guernsey, the stage driver. Run fer yer liv es lads. There's no show fer u s agin that pack of imps." There was no doubt of this. Costello's gang, for such they were fairly swarmed in the defi!e. There seemed a legion of them, and the numbers were too great for thll party of miners. Frank saw this at a glance and he turned the Steam Man about. Barney and Pomp were instantly at the loopholes and giving the wrett:hes a shower of bullets. The party on the coach were firing, and a small sized battle was in progress. But all clambered aboard the coach, and just in time Bill Guernsey cracked his long whip and sent his eight borses flying down the pass. The Steam Man was far ahead making rapid time. But Costello was determin e d not to be cheated so easily of his prey. His murderous gang came thuurtering iu pursuit. The greasers rode like fiends and kept up a constar.t fire. Down throrgh the pasR went the Steam Man. After it canie the stage coach, an Inter the Steam Man shot out upon the mesas. 'l'he coach came alter an([ across the plain the race went. Of course the lleet ponies of the greasers c ould out-fo:Jt the stage horses. The greasers came swarming up around the stage and it was pos sible that they would have annihilated the mining pany bot for an intervention. Frnnk Reade, Jr., saw the danger and at once made action to prevent it. He turned the Steam Man making a wide circle. Then he started out to atrike the foe on the Hank. The Man rushed with full force for the party of outlaws. They did not swerve, and the next moment the Man was among them. The wheels of the wagon overturned horses, split the party up and raised havoc. Men were trampled beneath the Man's iron feet. Horses were sent. riderless over the plaip and confusion ensued. The Steam Man followed up his advantage closely. Right and lett the ootluws were scattered. Several times Barney drew a bead on a leader of the gang whom he fancied to be Costello, but each time misoed. The mao seem ed to bear a charmed life. Tho! C elt was disgusted. "Bejabers, I thiuk I'll have to learn how to shoot," he muttered, disconsolately. ''It's three times s!mre that I ti.Jried it an' each toime missed me mark." The stal!;e-coach meanwhile under Bill Guerosey's able guidance bad gair.ed a tremendous l ead. It seemed, indeed, well ont of the race. The were completely scattered. The Steam Mao went llyiog about the pruirie plCkine; them off by twos and threes. Every shot tired from the cage was deadly. In face of such a withering tire the greasers could not stand thei r ground. They broke in wild confusion for the cover of the bills. In the open the Steam Man was too much for them. It could have whipped an army on a plain of good size, for it could easily keep out o! the way while a most deadly tire was kept up. In abort, the Steam Man put to rout the entire party o-f greasers. 'I'ltey HeLl in t he wildest confusion to the cover or the hills. But the Steam Man was all the while pounding at their heels. In a very short time the plain was cleared. 'fhe stage-coach was a speck upon the lwrizon line. It was on its way to Saint's Repose, which Frank reckoned was a small. mining town, of which there were many in the Rocky Muunt nina. It was now a question as to what it was be3t to do. Darkness was coming 011 and it would be neccsoary to find a campo somewhere. Frank had thought or keepmg on to Saint's Repose with the stage. There he believed it would not be difficult to ptck up a respectable force of men wittJ which to attack the greasers in the bills Of course the Steam Man could whip them in the open But the greasers could stick to the hills and no eiJorts would serve to dislodge them. It required no little thought and consideration upon Frank's part. to decide what to do. il ejabers, av it was me," declared Barney sententiously, "I'd jist go an up mesilf alone and lave the uaygur aboard the Stheam Man." "Golly! it am jes' ns e a sy fo' y o to stay dar as fo' me," spluttered Pomp. "You'se a no count I'isbman, anyway." Don't yez say that to me, nay g ur, or I'll spite tbe face av yez," retort.ed Barney, with mock earnestness. auh! jes' yo' try it, I'1sh. Yo'll hab yo' han's full in jes' a minnit." "Begorrn, I will tbry it." "Jes' cum right along." Barney began to roll up his s l eeves. It was likely that the two rascals \fOuld have indulged in a friendly rough-and-tumble but for F'rank. "Come, lhis won't do," he said, sharply. "If you want to have any skylarking, you must wait for a better time." P o mp made a grimace to Barney behind Frank's back, and B ;roey shook his tist at the durky. Tbis ende d the discu ss ion. Frank decided no t to go to Saint's Repose. It would have been a long run of fifty miles, and the result would have b een extremely doubtful "My mission is to rescue Harvey Montai'tie," he decided, fin all::. I don't care to wage war upon the greaser! or anybody elsa for any other purpose." So Frank remained out ou the plain until nightf all. Then he ran the Steam Man to the shores or a small lake and here, in a secluded spot, camp was made. No fires were lit, as it was not deemed beet to risk attracting the attention or the enemy. The tires in the Steam Man were banked, ancj_ Pomp was elected to watch the first half of the night. Then Barney and Fmnk laid down noel went to sleep. At midnight Barney was awakened and found Pomp ready to turn in. The Irishman bad been on watch an hour when his attention was attracted by a singular manifestation. He could see the distant hill-tovs against tbe sky. \


FRANK READE, JR., IN MEXICO. Suddenly upon the tiptop of one or these a red light was seen to be burning. It wus fie ry red and seemed to oscillate in an odd manner. "Tllat is very quare!" muttered the Celt. I wondner pbwat it is!" The light remained in sigl:t for several minutes describing various movern.ents. At times it described a circle, then moved up ani! down and again waved back and rortu. After the Jiaht disappeared Barney was pondering over the mystery when another"light appeared upon a hill more to the eastward. This described movements exactly like the other. Then Barney's quick wit fathomed the secret. 11 Bejabers, it's tile"r aphin' lJack an' forth they are," be declared. "Och hone, now I wlsht I cud rude wbutiver they be sayin'." The Celt watched the lights with varying emotions. After a time they disappeared altogether. Nothing more worthy or note o ccurred that night. The next mOImng Barney related to Frank the details of the affair. Indetld!" exclaimed the young inventor. 11 That is an important cue. No doubt the bills upon which you saw the lights are near the den or Cosello." "Well, sor, I kin point thim out toyer.," declared Barney. This was done, antl a note of their position made. With the coming of another day Frank decided to make a cautious attempt to enter the hills with the Steam Man. ; Accordingly, steam was got up und the Man was eent along at a rapid gait toward the southern spur of _the It required an hour to cross the plaiD at th1s pomt, it bewg qmte a long ways. But llually the Steam Man reached this part of the range, and for tunately it was fountl that the mountain side here was clear and the Man could scale it. Frank started the Man up thll incline, picking his way carefully. Thus far coulct be seen of the greasers. If they were cognizant of the nearness or the Steam Mun they did not snow it. What their game was Frank Waf' not prepared to say, but he kept a sharp lookout, rearing treachery. After c!imbu:" the mountain side for some time, the Man reached a spur, beyond" which a good view of the interior country C)Uld be bad. Here Frank called a halt for a brief time. W ith a glass he began to study the country beyond. In a few momems he gave an exclamat:on. I believe I have discovered the den or the greasers," he declared. 11 Shure, yez don't mane it?" cried Barney. 11 Yes, I do. Take the glass, Burney, and tell me what thr.t object is ugaiust that part of an extwct cratt>r over there. Would you not call it a buildmg!" Barney tooK tile glass and studied the object. None bat! keener or clearer vision than tbe Celt, and he said pres ently: Ye're roio-ht ]';{isther Frank. It's a butldm', an' sbure 1t s mada av of tit boughs. Shure there's a wide clearing about it and on three at least there is a stellp descint, beJabers, w 'bich no man livin' cud iver cloimb." I so," declared Frank, with gratification; that will do, Barn e y." The Irishman handed Frank the glass. The young inventor wns just ahoul to v1ew the distant buildings again when a startled yell came from P o mp. "Massy sabe us!" cried the terrified dnrky. "We'se all goin' to kingdom come dis l:lerry minute. Look out fo' dut big stun, Marse Frank-look out, everyboed to be tbe soize av' a mountain." "Golly, yo use right dar, l'ish, '' cried l'omp. But Frank had started the Steam Man right up the mountain side. It was his purpose to rout the out of their position. But wben he reached the spot tbey were not in sight. They hall disappeared over the other side ofthe mountain. Aa this was heavily wooded pursuit wus out or the question. The voyagers were much uisuppointed that they could not have driven the grease f a to deCisive battle. Tbe wily rascals, however, well knew that the result would be serious ror them and acted accordingly. 'l'he Steam Man now was upon the tip or the spur. A tine view was to be had of tbe whole mountain range. They coultl now almost look down upon the greasers' stronghold. The tall derricks used in excavating the mine shaft were to be plainly seen, and smoke rising above the trees suggested the presence of a steam engine or tlte stationary kine!. -"It is evident that ther e lies the gold claim which rightfull y belongs to Harvey Montaine," mused Frank. I can understund now Senor Ravello's asaertion that the position of Ute greasers was unassailable. Inueed, witb a hundful of men a small army could be helu at bay here." This bad CE>rtainly the appearance of a logical fact. 0 ne thing w as sure, tbe greasers had guarded the approaches to their mine well and strongly. Frank gazed retlectively at the distant camp and thought or Har-vey Montaine presumably a prisoner there. We muRt effect h11 rescue in some manner," be mutterad. But how?" Frank took a careful survey of the valley and the bills but be c o uld see no way of reaching the greasers' camp. Yet he felt sure that there wus a way. How to find this was tbe problem. However, nothing was to be gained by remaining in his present po sition. It was plainly impossible to effect an entrance by tbat side or the mountain. What am we gwine to do, Marse Frank!" asked Pomp, after a time. "Indeed, that is a bard question for me to answer,'' declared Frank. Bejabers, I think the best thing we kin do at all, at all, is to go back the way we cum," declared Barney. Frank nodded his head. "I declare, I believe you are right, Barney," he said. "Well, so be it." The Steam Man was turned about and started down the mountain. 'l'hey had not prcceeded more than one hundred yards, when the patter of bullets came against the cage. Looking hack, the travelers saw that the top of the mountain was covered with the greasers. They had been in secure hiding near by all the while. ilml auy of the travelers ventured to leave the cage wwile on the mountain, they would havtJ been shot down instantly. Barney and Pomp returned the ti1e with telling effect. The bullets rattled against the impervious steel r;etting or t!te cage inn shower. The greasers made the air ring with their d6tiar.t yells and cries. But Frank kept on to the foot of the mountain A little while later th"e Steam Man was speeding over the plain. The greasers did not pursue them. They remained upon the mountain and wer'ol quickly lost to view. Frank kept the Steam Man on a westerly ('Ourse. He hacl deci t led to cross to the opposite wall of the mountain range. with the hope of finding an entrance there. In order to ao this it was necessary to make a wide detour of fully forty miles But this was not much of a run for the Ste1un Man. Frank pushed along at the steady rate of twenty miles per hour. It was just sunset when the upper spur or the Los PuelJlos range was rounded. Then a tra!l was encountered. It was broacl and well beaten, and gave evidence or being much used. Where it led to Frank could only guess, but he took it, as it led in the direction he wished to follow But before be bad followed it far a sharp cry escaped Pomp's lips. "Look yender, Marse Frank! Whateber am dat?'' Frank looked in the direction i ntlicatetl and experienced a thrill. A long fringe or willow3 and sycamores marked the course or a stream not two miles distant. In the verge of the sycamores smoke arose in twirling columns, evi deuce of a camp-tire.


8 FRANK READE, JR., IN MEXICO. Also forms could t:e seen moving about, and horses were seen to be grazing upon the plain r It is a camp," declared Frank, but whether friend or foe I know not." "Golly!" exclaimed Pomp, does yo' s'pose it am dose people cum back agin wid Silver Sam?" "It is not impossible," replied Frank, "and yet-look sharp, boys! Does not that look like Bill Guernsey's stage?" Barll4ly and Pomp IJoth indulged in sharp cries. "DilL's what It am, Marse Frank." "Bejabers, that's so." Frank at once sent the Steam Man forward at full speed. Quick time was made across the plain for that two miles. As they drew nearer the camp it was easy to see that it was the same party of prospectors under Silver Sam, only this time they were heavily reinforced. Fully a hundred men or all types were gathered in the sycamore grove. There were qatr-breeds and Texans, Irishmen, Frenchmen and Amer icans, all in a mass. But there was not a greaser among them. They were all men from various walks of life como West to seek a fortune in the mines. As the Steam Man came up the tall form of Silve r Sam was seen advancii!g. The sport was evidently overjoyed to meet Frank again. "Hello, fri enll!" be cried, cheerily. "Cocdemned glad to see ye! We're \Jack agin, ye see, and we've go t more men tl.iis time. We rr,ean to paralyze those greasers or lose our scalps." I am glad to see you," said Frank, coming out of the cage. Indeed, it looks as if you meant l.iusiness." "Yes, there' s a hundred of ue more or le ss They say Costello bas three times as many, but our boys mean business and ain't goin' to be backed down l.Jy greasers, you can bet. "That's the talk, pard!" criell big Diamond Jake, as he came for ward and shook bands with Frank. "But we want to extend our thanks to ye for covering our retreat so nobly the other day," decla r ed S ilver Sam. "By Jericho! if it hadn't been for you we'd have been salted sure by them pizeu greas er!-1." "If they" will only o.ttack the Steam Man in the open," said Frunk, with a smile, "I think I can hanllle : them easily." "You bet! That's a won<'erfnl machme you've got, friend. Wall, have you learned any news?" Frank described his trip to the top :>f the mountain and what he bad seen therefrom. The prospectors list ened with deep interest. Then Silve r Sam "Well, I reckon that's where poor Harvey Moutaine is held a prisoner." "I presume so," r eplied Frank. ''We ougl.iter see llim out of the scrape someway." '' Tl:at is my mission here," decl ared Frank. "Good! We'll help ye, friend, all we can. Now let's go in o.nd talk over a good move." Diamond Jake o.nd Silver Sam led the way into a tent wbich was pitched on the banks or the creek. Frank found a s eat upon a stump, and then the conversation be gan. "Ye see," began Silver Sam, "we know well enough that Harvey bas got n claim up there in the hills." "Yes!'' "But we don't propo8e to medllle with his property at all. Our claim is on t'othAr side or the range. But we can't work it until we have done up Costello and his gang." "Exactly," agreed Frank. "Now the question is how shall we go to work to do that?" There was a moment's eilence. Then Diamond Jake spoke: "I've a plan, pards!" "What is it?" "We kin split forces an' enter the hills by two ways. The Steam Man can stay down here on the level g round. When we have driven the greasers out of the bills the Steam .1\fan can clinch the ,victory." Diamond Jake's words were ithout a good the l>isteners. But hefore they could be commented upon an uproar arose from without. All sprang up and rusted to the door or the tent. CHAPTER VII. THE" COWBOYS' DUEL, AMONG those who had joined the band of prospectors were two cowboys. They were a!! genuine specimens of the prairie tough as one could rest eyes upon. One was named" Copr. e r Jake" and the other bore the euphoni-ous title of "Buster Bil ." A number of miners had engaged in a game of dice. The cowboys had finally ventured to take a hand. Ordinarily the best of friends, it was hardly a moment before they were quarreling. The "Buster" accused Jake of using a weighted dice. "You're a goldurned liar,' exploded the Copper, savagely. "If ye don't take yer insinuation back I'll salt ye." "If ye think ye kin do it ye'd better try now," retorted the "Buster." "By goshl I will." "Humph! Ye wouldn't hurt nobody." "Y e called me a cheat." "Wall what of it1" "Take' it back." "Naw, I won't." "If ye don't, I swow I'll drag ye at ther heels of my, pony." "Ye can't do it." "I'll bet vera hundred I kin." "Put up.r' "Here's my dust." In a twinkling the t" o desperate fellows had put up their stakes. They were held by one of t Jie miners, and then the details of the affair were arranged. Several of the miners were appointed to act as r eferees and judgJ!s, and then the cowboys went out and mounted their ponies. It was at this juncture that Frank, Silver Sam and Diamond Jake came out of the tent. Wtth.characteristic_interest in anything savoring of sport. Silver Sam cried: "What's up, boys?" "Ther Buster and ther Copper have made a bet that one will drag t'other first at the heels of hts boss." "I'll bet two to one on the Buster!" cried Silver Sam. "I'll do the same!" cried Diamond Jake. "Anybody take iH" "I'll take ye." "So will I." The miners crowded forward with their money, and bets were made as free as water. Frank watched the scene with the interest of one viewing a phase of life wholly peculiar to the region about. The two cowboys had mounted and rode out upon the plain. Each had in his hand a long and powerful lariat. Each knew how to use it, and neither had a peer in the art. It was an even contest. How it would terminate only time would tell. Out upon the plain the two cowboys rode. When well out they to make a circle about each other. 'I hen the contest began. First one would throw his l asso, and then the other. High up into the air.went the whirling cords. They would seem likely at any moment to settle about the cowboy's head and shoul ders. But the slightest movement, a touch of the knee against the welltrained ponies' sides, would cause the l ariat to fall wide. Hissing and curling through the air went the lariats again and In vain each tried to outwit the other. It was a duel wholly without pre.cedent, and fascinating to watch. The" Buster" seemed to have the advantage for a time, but after awhile his pony seemed to tire. Of course it was only a question of agility and endurance, and the end must come time. Suddenly the Buster's pony slipped, and quick as a flash Copper Jake's lasso went out. It fairly sung its course through the air, and with accurate aim went down about the Buster's shoulde r s A quick jerk and the lasso tightened about the victim. The next moment h e went off his pony's back and was dragged a dozen feet upon the ground. Then Copper Jake raised his broad brimmed hat and waved it aloft. He had won. He might have dragged his rival to death at his pony's heels. But this he wisely refrained from doing. The crowd cheered, the Buster disentangled himself and rode into the camp much crestfallen and subdued. Frank could not repress a smile at the result of the contest. It was a contest wholly peculiar to Western life, seen in counterpart nowhere e lse upon the face of the earth. Diamond Jake and Silver Sam were around cashing their bets in their order but soon returned to Frank's siqe. "Excuse us, strangers," said Jake, with a grin. "P'r'aps seein' the Buster unhossed warn't quite so important as the bizness we were tal kin' about, but you'll admit it was mighty interesting." "Yes," agreed,Frank. "It was extremely interesting, I will own." Silver Sam came up now. "Well, now that the scrap is over," he said, brusquely, "Jet's get to bizness." "I am ready, said Frank. "Good fer you. Then it's decided, is it, that we go up and try to rout out the gang? If we can drive 'em down onto the plain you'll look after 'em?" "I will try to," said Frank. When are you going to bring To morrow morning !" "All right; I will try and do my part." Frank went back to the Steam Man and narrated the plan to Barney and Pomp. The two faithful servitors listened with the deepest of interest. "A'right, Marse Frank," declared Pomp. We'se jes' de chickens what can gib dose greasers a Jickin'." "Bejabers, we'll thry it," said Barney. Nightfall was at hand, so it was decided to make camp upon the spot. The prospectors had decided not to start upon their invasion of the greasers' stronghold until the next day. Darkness settled down thickl y over the plain. It was near midnight before all was quiet in the camp. As tl)e prospectors :had a picket line out, our travelers did not deem it necessary to set a watch. So all turned in and sought slumber. But Frank Reade, Jr., was utterly unable to sleep. He tried in vain to woo the gentle goddess; A premonition of some mighty peril was upon him. At length, as his nerves grew more acute, he decided to get up and walk in the air in the hope of inducing slumber in that way. .,


FRANK READE, JR. IN MEXICO He did not arou_se Barney and Pomp, and quietly left the wagon. He passed through the camp and came to the banks of the creek. Just as he reached this point he fancied that he saw shadowy forms moving a short distance out upon the prairie. Frank's vision was unusually ke;;n He became convinced, after a brief time, that he was right. It seemed as if the prairie in that direction literally swarmed with men. They were creeping noiselessly along over the soft grass. A chill of terror seized Frank R eade, Jr. He thought of the greasers. Might it not be a band of them intent upon attacking the camp 1 The more he pondered upon the matter the more convinced he be-came that such was a fact. But one thing puzzled him. The prospectors bad appointed a very strong picket guard. How had the greasers managed to pass them1 Thio; was a question not easily determined at that moment. It was possible that they bad silently overpowered the picket, or that the latter had slept at his post. In any event the enemy were creeping up to surprise the camp. 'l'h e realization came upon Frank Reade, Jr., with a force which for a moment seemed likely to overwhel m him. My soull" he gasped. "They will b,e upon us before the alarm can be given!" U was easy to foresee the effect of such a surprise upon the pros pee tors. They would, no doubt, be cut down before they could really pre pare themselvoo for the onslaught. In that moment a dozen daring schemes flitted through the brain of the young inventor. He thought of starting the Steam Man out amongst them with a view to breaking up their vance. But the creek was between, and it would be some trouble to find a fording place. Under the circumstanc-es Frank executed the most sensible move that he could. He stole quickly back into the camp. U was but a moment's work to &ilently arouse Silver Sam and Diamond Jake. He quickly explained the situation to them. "Thunder an' blazes!" exploded Jake, "we must sound the alarm--" "Easy," said Frank, quietly. "The first outcry raised will bring them down upon you. They are near at hand." "What in thunder can we dq, then?" "There i s only one safe thing to do, and there may be time yet to do it." What is it r "We must go and arouse each man one by one. Do it silently and don't let the foe hear a sound." 1 "Quick, then!" whispered Silver Sam. "Let's be about it." The move was at once illegun. Of course there was a momentary likelihood that the greasers would attack the camp before it could be aroused. But the alarm givers worked quickly and well. From man to man they went silently and quickly. The result was gratifying. Each man upon being awakened, went to the cover of the syca mores and there waited for events. In a v ery short time the whole camp was thus aroused-and in readi ness. The greasers would receive a. hot welcome in their attack. All was quiet about the prospectors' camp. Frank went back to the Steam Man and aroused Barney and Pomp. The greasers for some reaso n seemed to be delaying the attack. Every one of the miners was in the cover of the sycamores waiting for the1r Mexican foe. Suddenly across the plain there came in a sharp, stern voice, in Spa ni sh: "Mexicans, up and at them! Spare not a life!" Up from the prairie grass sprang a le gion of forms. They came on like a great wave and ?ot a word was said until the creek was reached. Then they broke the air with wild yells and dashed into the waters of the little stream, but they were destined to become the victims of surprise. 1 CHAPTER VIII. INTO THE MOUNTAINS. SUDDENLY Silver Sam's voice rang out: < "Now, boys! draw a bead on each man. Give it to 'em!" There was a moment's silence, then the crash of Jl.rearms broke it. From the fringe of sycamores a line of flame leaped forth. The Mexicans f ell in heaps in the waters of the creek. Their surprise attack was turned upon them, and quickly proved the greatest surprise for themselves. Once again the prospectors fired. The effect was disastrous in the extreme to the greasers. They made an attempt to cross the creek and fired a volley. But it did little damage, and another volley from tile prospectors turned the tide of battle. Overwhelmed with the force of the attack, the greasers fell back. Frank sent the Steam Man close to the bank of the creek, and B arney and Pomp opened fire with their r epeaters. The greasers saw at once that their plan had failed, and they re treated In wild dismay. Had it been daylight they might have been badly repulsed. But in the darkness Silver Sam concluded that it would be folly and e en dangerous to pursue them. So this course was abandoned. But the prospectors felt that they had gained:an important vic; tory, and their cheers rent the air. The disappeared, and did not make an appearance again that night. Silver Sam was more than elated at the result. "I tell ye, boys!" he cried, "we kin whip the whole gang o t them, even if they are three to one. "An' what's more, we'll do it!" cried Diamond Jake, The prospectors cheered wildly at this announcement. came at length. The party were all glad to see it, for it would enable them to start at once upon their expedition into the hills. As soon possible, Silver Sam had all put in readiness for the start. Bill Guernsey and the stage were to carry a part of the com pany as far as the stage could go. Then the others were to press forward on foot or horseback, as the exigency would demand. At length the start was made. The Steam Man accompanied the party as far as the pass which entered the hills. Here,the nature of the ground forbade its going further. Had 1t not been for leaving the Man, Frank, Barney and Pomp all would have lilrad to accompany the party. But as it was, the best thing that they could do was to remain upon the plain and wait for coming events. The party were soon out of sight. Hours passed, and the Steam Man l'"'llained at the mouth of the pass. was not particularly charmed with the situation. It was terribly monotonous waiting here in this -Idle manner. Our travelers longed to be in action, to be doing something. But for the present, however, there was little or nothing to do but wait. Hours passed by slowly. Finally the day began to wane. Then Barnl)y suddenly exclaimed: "Wud yez listen! I can hear the crack av foire-arms." The Celt was right. Plainly enough to the hearing of all came the distant discharge of fire-arms. This meant a great deal. Without a doubt the prospectors had become engaged in battle with the greasers. Frank listened in a fever of excitement. He would have given much to be upon the scene. But this was impossible, for the rocky pass would not allow of the passage of the Steam Man. "Whew!" exclaimed the young,inventor, impatiently. "It seems terrible to be compelled to sit here and no nothing." "I have it, sor!' cried Barney. "What1" "Shure, if yez will agree to it, we will leave the naygLr in the Stheam Man, an' you an' I will take a run up through there. Frank turned to Pomp. "How is it, Pomp 1" he asked. "It am j es' as yo' says, Marse Frank. Yo' jes' go right along fo' all ob dis c hile." "All right!" cried the young inventor, with inspiration. "Come along, Barney." Both seized their Winchesters and left the Steam Man. Striking into the pass they followed it fo1 some ways. They then came out upon a sort of tableland high up among the hills. The sound of firing was now quite plain. But somewhat slngular-11', they were unable to locate it. There existed in the place a strange sort of echo which carried the sound away into different quarters. It was quite impossible for B arney and Frank to tell what direc -tion to take. So they finally struck out at random Leaving the tableland they skirted a part of the mountain wall. Suddenly a startling thing occurred. From a chaparral a score of greasers sprang out and surrounded them. Revolvers were leveled at their heads, and the leader, a villainous looking fellow, exclaimed: "Caramba! Move hand or foot and you're dead men!" "Heavens!" gasped Frank, in dismay. "We are in for it, Barney." "Bad lm;k to the omadhouns," muttered the Celt, in disgust. In a twinklin!'? the two prisoners were disarmed and their hands were bound behmd them. Then the Mexicans led them away into the chaparral. After going some ways bandages were bound across their eyes. Thu'!l blindfolded they were led along for ove r an hour. Then suddenly the buzz of voices came to their ears and the ban-dages were removed. A startling scene was spread before Frank and Barney. They were in a deep dell among the hills. Tall, solemn-looking mountain pines overshadowed the place. About them stood a line of armed men. The leader now advanced and said: "We know you, senors. You have come here with your Steam Man to make war upon Miguel Costello. By his orders we now consign you to a living death. You shall feel the weight of Cos tello's vengeance. Then h e turned and waved his hands to his men. Instantly two of them advanced and laid hands upon the prisoners. And now Frank saw the mouth of a deep mining shaft before him. Its ragged sides and the decayed beams showed that it had long been disused. A chill of horror came over the young inventor. "My God!" he reflected, "they mean to throw m e down there." It seemed at that as if he was doomed to an awful death. But the leader of the greasers, who seemed to read his mind, said: "Fear not, senor. We sha,_ll not relieve yo u of l ife in s o summary a manner


)0 FRANK READE, JR., JN MEXICO. A rope was quickly wound about Frank's waist and then about Barney. Both men were led to the mouth of the shaft and then the other end of the rope thrown over the windlass. Several men operated the windlass, and Frank and Barney were swung into space over the mouth of the shaft. It was a frif!;htful moment for them. What the d1stance was to the bottom of the shatt they could only guess. It was in reality a thousand feet. Down they were slowly lowered. The windlass creaked above them, the light of day went out, and it seemed truly as if they were going out of the world forever. A mocking voice came down the shaft. "I hope you will find it pleasant down there senors. Many good men have gone there before you1 and you will ftnd their bones You can know your fate now. Nooody will ever find you down there for the existence of this shaft is known to no one but Costello and his men." Frank Reade Jr., was ordinarily as brave as a lion. But: it seemed at that moment as if h e must yield to despair. "Death!" he muttered, with white lips. ""Why should I fear it, and yet I cannot face it." Poor Barney was beside himself with terror. "Bad cess to the omadhounsl" he muttered. "I wud jest loike a chance fer to git a whack at them greasers wid a good shillelah. I d vinture to clane out the lot av thim alone." "You will hardly get the chance, Barney," said Frank, lugubriously. "I fear that we are done for.'" "Bejabers, thin, I'll cum back an' haunt the omadhouns, that I willl" cried Barney, angrily. But now they reache d the bottom of the pit. Only a faint light could be seen overhead, and all was dense gloom. Gradually, however, as their eyes became accustomed to the shad-ows, they were able to distingu1sh objects within reach. No sooner had they struck the bottom of the shaft, than the rope came tunibling down after them. What a terrible position was theirs! One thousand feet below the .earth's surface, at the bottom of a mining shaft. They were literally buried alive. Frank groaned in the bitterness of the realization. "My s oul!" he muttered, "this is the end of all. We shall never be rescued from here.'' "But perhaps we can escape," ventured Barney. r Ah, that was the question and it was not an easy one to answer. How could they hope to scal e the smooth wall s of that shaft 1 1 It was plainly impossible. The thought was at once dismissed. Frank suddenl y recoiled with a cry of horror. A bleaching skeleton lay at his feet. There were others nea r, re mains of former victims. This taught the two buried men plainer than words that it was useless to attempt the finding of another outlet to the labyrinth passages leading from the main shaft into the bowels of the earth. Hope was abandoned and both sank down in mute despair. They had but to await deatb. It was certain Inevitable, and t h e sooner it came the sooner they would be spared the s uff e ring and misery of their awful fate, more awful than words can express. CHAPTER IX. POMP'S ADVENTURES. P.OMP, left alone with the Steam Man, was in a by no means easy frame of mind. The d!trky had a singular foreboding that no good would come of the expedition of Frank Barney. "I jes' finks dey oughter hab stayed yer," he muttered, "but, ob co"se, it was no manner ob use fo' me to tell Frank Reade, Jr., dat;" Time passed, and the darky looked anxiously for the return of his friends. But, for reasons well known to the reader, they came not. Finally the shadows of night began to settle down thick and fast, and Pomp ";rew very nervous "Golly, I jes' wish dey would hab some little respect fo' dis chile's feelin"s an' come back," he muttered. At length Pomp's attention was claimeli by a thrilling s ight. Down the mountain side he suddenly saw two huge grizzlies ad vancing They had evidently s i ghted the Steam Man, and were coming directly for it. Without doubt they were wondering in their bear minds what manner of intruder this was, and had come down the mountain to investigate. Pomp watched them with some degree of interest. He knew that he was safe enough in the cage and could do this with impunity. Therefore he chuckled to himself. "I j es' fink dem b'ars fipk dey am some big stuff," he muttered, "but dey am a flea bite 'longs ide ob de Steam Man." In one sense thi s was true enough. The Steam Man, however, hardly stood higher than one of the brutes, who was a perfect monster. The bears came down the mountain boldly and straight toward the Steam Man. Pomp watched them curious ly. I lOne of them began sniffing the air and both came to a halt twenty feet distant. For a moment they sniffed the air then the l arges t rose upon his hind feet and let out a roar that maae the air tremble, Straight toward the Steam Man he came. He was not five feet from the Steam Man when mischievous Pomp unable to restrain himself, pulled the whistle valve, A terrific shriek went up on the a ir. It was deafening in its force and the effect was ludicrous in the extreme. The big grizzly fell backward as if shot and turned a complete somersault. He rolled over and over in a heap and both bears went a safe dis tance up the mountain side. There they paused and began to roar and growl furiously and tear up the ground with their claws. Pomp nearly split his sides with laughter. It was to him the funniest thing h e had seen for many a day. "Golly, I jes' reckon dat was one very much s'prised cried, hilarious!}' "I jes' fink he don' want jno paht ob de Stea Man any more. But in this surmise Pomp was wrong. The two bears had again begun to advance down the mountain side They advanced cautiously, taking much time and sniffing the air sus piciously as before. They took a detour, and both approached the Steam Man from the side. / Steadily, cautiously they approached. Again Pomp pulled the valve. As the Steam Man's whistle went up on the air both bears went tumbling back somersaults. They retreated some yards, but recovered and advanced again to the attack. This time they manifested less fear to the whistle, standing their ground. Pomp saw that the crisis had come, and he picked up his repeat ing rifle. With quick aim he pulled the trigger. One of received a bullet in the shoulder. But the wound only brought a maddened roar from the brute. Rearing upon its htnd legs it made an attempt to rush upon the Steam Man. Throwing it arms about the Man the bear proceeded to give him a hug. But it was not of long duration. / The bear's teeth failed to penetrate the Man's iron armor, and the hot iron burned into the bear's flesh. '!'he air was instantly filled with the smoke aroma of burning hair and bear meat. With a howl of agony the bear recoiled and began scratching its belly furiously with its forV\'ard paws Angered, it dealt the Man a terrilic blow, and Pomp saw that the crisis had come. He threw another cartridge into the breech of his rifle and took aim. The brute's eye was within range. Pomp's aim was deadly, and the big brute went to the ground in a heap with a bullet in the brain. The other grizzly seemed even more plucky than his mate. He rushed upon the Steam Man and essayed to hug him. But Pomp began to fear that some harm might be done the mech anism of the Man. So he started the Man ahead a few feet, then took almost point blank aim and drove a bullet into the bear's vitah. The brute rolled over in the throes of death. The contest was terminated then and there. Pomp was the victor. The darky naturally f elt a bit elated to think that he had slain two gri zzlies with so little exertion. "Sakes alibe, what will Marse Frank say to dat when he comes back1" muttered Pomp. "I fink he will hab dem critters' skins fo' his house in Readestown.'' T Pomp even thought of attempting to skin the bears himself, But a fresh emergency at that moment claimed his attention and he was unable to do so In pulling the whistle valve of the Man it bad not occurred to i'omp that any serious result could accrue therefrom. But as it happened, it was the certain way of letting his foes know of his presence in the vicinity. A roving party of the greasers, ten in number, had heard t.he whistle. At once they decided to descend upon the invention and if possible capture i t They bore down upon the spot full sail, and Pomp's first apprisal of their presence was in t h e shape of a loud shout as the party swung into view from behind the clump of trees below. In an instant Pomp was at the dasher and the throttle rein. He saw at a glance the deadly peril which threatened. "Heavens!" be gasped. "I beliebe dat de rapscallions heerd dat ar whistle. I'd ougl:iter know'd better." The greasers saw that there was only one man aboard the Steam Man. This was enough for them, and they made a full charge upon it. Pomp saw th:J.t his only salvation was in retreat, so he swung the Man about and pulled wide the throttl e The Man started to rush out upon the plain. But the horses of the greasers were alongside, and one of them reached over and pulled the throttle rein. In an instant the throttle was closed. The Steam Man came to a lialt. He still held the rein, shouting to his comrades to board the wagon. Pomp pulled the cord in vain to reopen the throttle. Finding he was unable to do this, he picked up a rifl e and would have drawn a bead upon the fellow but for an incident which oc curred to prevent. The door of the cage was suddenly hurled open. It had been left unlocked, and a greaser sprang into the wagon. Another was behind him, but Pomp fired at the first one. The bullet missed the fellow's skull. "Caramba!" he gritted, rushing upon the darky. The pistol was dashed from Pomp's grasp, and he was wrestling the next moment with his foe.


FRANK READE, JR., IN MEXICO. 11 Pomp knew that it was a desperate situation, and he fought sav-agely. But two more of the greasers were ctuickly in the wajl:on. In less time than it takes to tell it Pomp was overpowered. The darky was held firmly, while one of the greasers searched for a rope. Finding it, Pomp was securely bound. The greasers seemed more than excited over their capture. 'fhey jabbered and gesticulated in a very excited manner. Poor Pomp was beside himself-with chagrin and desperation. Sakes alibel he muttered, desp!l.iringly. "Whatebber will Marse Frank an' de say when dey come back an' don' fin' de Steam Man here any more" The ten greasers crowded about the Steam Man .and began to ex amine it. It was evident that they did not know how it worked for they did not attempt to operate it. Pomp volunteered no information. At opportune moments he writhed in his bonds trying to break them. The greasers in vain tried to discover the method of operating the Steam Man. One of thelll did pull the throttle rem but it had got tangled about the indicator and did not open the valve. They continued to gesticulate and jabber until long after dark. At length, having seemingly failed to understand the mechanism of the Man, they made a peculiar move. Pomp was bound hand and foot and left in the bottom of the wagon. The eaptors then closed and secured the door in the cage and went away. Pomp was much mystified at these proceedings. But he drew a natural inference in regard to them. He concluded that the greasers had decided to go to camp and re port their find and capture. They would then return with a man who thoroughly understood working a steam engine. HaTing decided that this was their move, Pomp at once began to exert himself to gain his freedom. If he could succeed in doing so before they returned, he could turn the tables upon them cleverly. With great exertions he worked away at his bonds. Suddenly he got one wrist free. This was a life and he felt en couraged. With one wrist freed, he went at once to work upon the lariat which bound his feet. It was but a moment's work to reach for a knife in a locker near and sever the bond!>. Thus freed, he sprang upon his f t. The night was dark as pitch, but this did not matter to Pomp. "Golly, I'll bet dey don' cotch dis chile dat way ag'in," he declar ed, sententiously. Then he.opened the throttle and sent the Steam Man flying out -.pon the plain, CHAPTER X. FUTILE ATTEMPTS A' ESCAPE. IN spite of the darkness Pomp kept on at a rapid pace. He felt that the greater distance be put between him and the the less chance there would be of falling in to the greasers' hanas again. Sakes ali bel" he muttered. "I jus' fink I keep my eyes open here after. Don' wan' nuffin' mo' to do wif dem greasers. I'll jes' wait fo' Marse Frank to come back." But obi had Pomp known the position of his master at that mo ment he would have been thrilled with horror. Left alone at the bottom of the shaft, the sensations experienced by Frank and Barney were of the most d espairing sort. The air was foul and damp, and there were stagnant pools of water in places su11:gestive of disease!> of horrible sort. The companionship of the skeletons of former victims was not of the pleasantest. Crawling into the driest places of the mine passages, Frank and Ba.rney &ank down quite overcome. "Well, Barney," said the young inventor, ruefully, "this is rather a bad outlook for us." "Bejabers, I should say so," exclaimed the Celt in:despair. Shure I'm thmkin' we'll be afther dyin' in this place." "I fear so." "But shure there's no sure thing but that rescue might cum yet." "It ishardly likely." "But it might, Mtsther Frank." "It might, but I have no belief that it will. We have only Pomp to searcli for us, and he would never find this shaft. Even if he found it he would never suspect that we were at the bottom of it." There was logic in this. Their case seemed certainly a hopeless and dreary one. There seemed nothing left to them but calm resignation to their fate. But the indefatigable Barney would not give up. "Shure, I wish I cud foind a way to cloimb out av the place," he muttered. He crawled to the mouth of the shaft and looked up. As he did so an exclamation escaped his lips. It was at sight of a passage leading out of the pit and into the bowels of the earth at a point some thirty feet above. It was presumably an upper level of the mine. This discovery brought Frank to the spot. It required some careful study in the gloom to decide whether this really was a. passage or not. It looked like a dark patch against the side of the shaft. But finally the two prisoners decided that it was the passage of an Upper level With this discovery came the thought that by it escape might be made from the mine. ) It was a hope, yet the prisoners embraced it fervidly. But how will we get up there?" asked Frank. I can't see how it is to be done myself." ..J 1 "Bejabers, that's so," said Barney, ruefully. Shure, it's a bit I !J.V a ways up there. Av I was to sthand on yure shoulders, shure I cudn't reach it." No,' replied Frank. Then his eye caught sight of the rope which had been thrown into the pit after them. He picked it up. .Just over the passage of the upper level a cross beam was visible. "Here, Barney!" said Frank, handing the rope to the Celt, "You have learned the trick of throwing the lasso." The Celt's eyes danced. "Shure an' I have that, Misther Frankl" he cried. "An' I've not forEotten it aither." Barney coiled the long rope carefully and made a. turn about a. small stone to give it increased weight. Then he steadied himself and flung it Ul;l into the air. Up, up it went, uncurling as it rose and htgh above the beam. But the next moment it came tumbling down into the pit. "I missed it that toime," said Barney, m disgust, hilt I'll not do that again ye may be shure." \ Once again Barney made the cast. This time the rope went over the beam. The stone tied to its end brought the rope down to the ground again. Barney quickly knotted the ends together and cried : "Shur e it's all roight now, Misther Frank, and shall I he the first to go an up?" "If you wish, Barney." The Celt went hand over hand up the rope. He had servednis time on shipboard and well knew how to go up a rope. In a few moments he had reached the cross beam and swung him-self over into the passage. Come on up, Misther F?'ank," he cried. "Shure I'll steady the rope." "All right, Barney." Frank was an adept in climbing a rope himself. In a very few moments he had reached the beam above and was quickly by Barney's side. "Here we are,"'bedeclared. "Now for business. First, let us see where this passage can go to." "All right, sor." Frank led "the way into the passage. Fortunately he had not. been deprived of his pocket lantern when captured by thegreasers. This he now lighted and then the darkness of the place:was quick-)y dispelled. It was seen that the passage extended many feet into the earth. They followed it for what seemed fully one hundred feet. Here it came to a termination. A blank wall of earth and quartz ledge was before them. There was no doubt but that the miners had once followed a vein of ctuartz through this passage, and had reached what they believed to tie its termination here. 'fheresult of this dampening discovery upon Barfey and Frank was disheartening in the extreme. "No chance," said Frank, gloomily. "We are in for it, Barney." "Bejabers, that's so, Misther Frank," acknowledged the Celt. "Yet, on me wtrrud, I hate to give it up." So do I," agreed Frank. "But what can we do?" J "Shure, I don't know." The pocket lantern burned brightly and illumined the passage. There was plainly no way to go further. To attempt to dig a way out would be the height of folly. A horrible death by starvation seemed to be inevitable. It was much drier and cleaner however in this passage than ab the bottom of the pit. So it was decided to remain here. "We are thirty feet nearer the surface," said Frank. "Oh, if there was only some way to go the rest of the way. Bejabers, I'm not sure but there is,'' cried Barney, as he picked up the rope. "Av yez only remimber there's beams acrost the snaft at intervals all the way up." "Yes, but they are beyond our reach." "Shure, mebbe I cud get the rope over thim in some way or other." The Celt started for the mouth of the passage imbued with this wild hope. Frank lighted the way with the pocket lantern. In a few moments they had reached the rr:outh of the passage, and Barney measured. the distance to the beam above. It was not more than twenty feet. "Whurroo!" he cried, exultantly. "I tell yez I kin jest do it an' don'tye fergit it. Luk out fer ye'silf." Balancing himself upon the beam at the mouth of the passage Barney made a throw with the coil of rope. It passed over the upper beam and came down so that the Celt could grasp the other end of it. With a cry of triumph he made the two ends fast. "Shure, Misther Frank!" cried the brave Irishman, whin I reach the mouth av the shaft I'll let the rope down an' draw yez heart leaped with a wild thril1 of hope. It was not impossible that Barnsy might succeed in his enter prise. It was a frightful dist-ance to overcome, but the Celt had full confidence and any amount of pluck. Up he went, hand over hand upon the rope. He stood upon the beam above a moment later. Frank shot the rays of the lantern up through the darkness of the shaft. Barney had overcome over fifty feet of the thousand, But it was hard to say what obstacles might not be before him.


FRANK READE, JR., IN MEXICO Yet the plucky Irishman realized that any chance of the sort was better than lying down to die at the bottom of the shaft. "Whurruol Mistber Frank!" be cried, with exultation. "Shure, I'm makin' out foinely. There's another beam jist O\'er me bead." Frank murmured au inward prayer for the success of his faithful servitor. But a moment later all the hopeful plans were dashed. An end of the rope came tumbling down. A moment later Bar ney came down and swung into the passage. "Shure, Misther Frank, it's the ind av us!" he said, dismally. What 1" cried Frank, couldn't you go any further ?" I cudn't! Misther Frank. Shure the nixt beam was more nor eigh tv feet a nove me head an' I cudn't throw the. rope over it no bow.'1 The last straw seemed to have given way. Death in its most hideous' form certainly seemed t o confront the two prisoners. A groan of despair escaped Frank's lips. He covered his face with his hands. "I am not a coward, he said, earnestly, "but truly, Barney, it seems hard, indeed, to die in this manner." "Shure it's all av that, Misther Frank," said the brave Celt. "Av it was not so far, I think we cud dig our way out av the place." an instinctive feeling that this might be possible, they re treated to the far end of the passage. But the sober reflection that there were many hundred feet of earth between them and the outer air, and that they had no tools to dig with, dispersed this theory like ruist. ., Both sank down on the ground, overcome with despair. Frank's bead was near the wall of the passage, and suddenly he. experienced a thrill An odd sound came from beyond the wall of the passage. It was not far distant, either, and as tlle young invetitor listened, be heard very diutinctly the ring of pick-axes and the low hum of voices. It was an astounding discovery, and caused him to apply his ear closely to the passage wall. 1 CHAPTER XI. INTO THE eiREASERS' DEN. THERE was no disputing the fact. The sounds which came to Frank's hearing were plain and unmis takable. The ring of pickaxes was quite audible, and could not have been twenty feet distant through the wall of earth. The young inventor was dazed with the force of this realization. Barney had heard the sounds also, and both sat silently gazing at each other. What did it mean 1 Startling queries and theories flashed through the minds of each. '\Vas some one coming to their rescue through ttie earth? Or was it all a delusion 1 I The former theory was at once dispelled. If anv friends knew of their presence there they would scarcely go to the trouble of r.escu ing them by m eans of digging through a thousand feet of earth. A few moments' pulling at the mouth of the shaft would have brought them both out of their difficulty. As for t .be latter possibility it was at once dismissed. Begorra, Mistber Frank," said Barney, in a mystified way, "pbwativer do yez call that?" "Somebody is digging their way toward us," said Frank. "Sh:1re yez don't suppose it is fairies?" whispered the supersti tious Celt. "Nonsense!" Frank had bit upon what be believed to be the truth in his own mind. It bad occurred to him that the greasers were conducting mining opetations in these bills. Might it not be that in their shaft sinking they bad followed a vein dangerously near the old shaft? 1 In fact, it was not impossible that in a few hours they might not dig their way actuallv through into the old mine. The gave Frank a deep thrill of hope. "Barney,' be said, earnestly, "upon my soul, I believe that we are bound to make our escape.'' "Shure, Misther Frank, phwat do yez mean 1" cried Barney, in surprise. "Hush! let us wait and watch. For some time the prisonel's listened to the sounds of the pick-axes, and the voices of the workinen could distinguished. Suddenly, however, the sounds ceased. All was quiet beyond the wall of earth. What did it mean 1 Without doubt the miners bad ceased work. Then Frank recollected the hour, and that without doubt they had retired for the purpose of gaining sleep. With an in!!pirat10n the young inventor sprang up. l Barney!" be cried. "Our time has come!" The Celt was astonished. t "Shure, pbwatdo yezmean, MistberFrank?" "I mean that we must dig out way through and meet that pas sage. It will be deserted, and though it will lead us into the camp of the greasers, we will stand a chance to escape.'' Barney caught the inspiration. "Bejabers, ye're right!" he cried. ":But how will we do it? Shure, we 'aven't any pick nor shovel." "Somewhere in this mine there must be some old ones!" cried Frank. "Let us search. "It will likely be in the ould mine below, sor.'' "All right.'' "Shall we go down, sor?" "Yes." Barney quickly adjusted the rope and slid down into the old shaft. Frank fpllowed him. Then with the pocket lantern they began an exploration of the place, and with most gratifying results. In one corner they found part of an old spade and an iron bar. 'he bar could be used in lieu of a pickaxe. They quickly returned to the upper level. First making sure that they were not likely to be heard, work was begun. Frank wielded the bar and Barney the shovel. For hours they kept at work in a lively manner. A deep bole had been excavated. They had made a distance of full fifteen feet into the solid earth. Frank guessed from the hollow sounds that they were now not many feet from the inner mine. His theory proved correct. In less tha n twenty minutes later his bar went through the wall of earth and be lost it. But, fortunately, with the shovel they were able to enlarge the aperture sufficiently to enable him t o pass through. Barney followed quickly. They were now in the new mine. All was darkness, but Frank cautiously opened the slide of his lantern. The tools of the miners lay about, but none of the latter were in he coast:was:clear apparently, and they moved forward, not, bow ever, without great cauLion 'j he passage seemed to extend a great ways through the earth. 'bey followed it for what seemed a good while and yet there wa" presented no sign of the main shaft. That is curious!" exclaimed Frank, in surprise. "There certain ly is a main shaft somewhere. We must soon find it." Begorra, maybe there's none at all,'' said Barney, logically. Perhaps it leads into some koind av a cave or the loikes.'' There was more in Barney's remark of a pertinent sort than seemed at the moment likely. Suddenly Frank came to a stov. "Goodness gracious!" be exclaimed. "What does that mean 1" "Pwbat ? asked Barney. "Why, don't you see 1" "Begorra, it's a loigbt.'' "Certainly.'' Far down the passage the faint gleam of light was seen. It was not daylight as the prisoners well knew at that hour. T)ley paused and watched 1t intently for some time. At first Frank had been inclined to believe it a lantern carried by some of the greasers, who were coming back into the mine to work. But a few moments' study convinced him that this was not so. "Tbat)s at the end of this ssage," be declared. "Come on, Barney. Let's get out of here w uickly as possible.'' They pressed forward at a rapid pace. Every moment the light grew larger and plainer. Then Frank saw that it occupied the whole size of the passage and at once understood that it was a chamber beyond illuminated. 'his theory was borne out p erfectly well, when, a few moments later, they came to the mouth of the passage. A wonderful scene was spread before them. They came out upon a sort of circular gallery about a deep amphi theater which lay below them. '!'be passage was only .one of many l eading into this gallery, and there were other galleries of similar sort. It was far from being a new mine, as Frank saw at a g lance. Indeed, it might have been older than the mine they had just es caped from. The light which illuminated the amphitheater, which was of large dimensions, was created by a large pttcbwood fire burning in the center of the mine floor below. Frank looked up and saw patches of the night sky through aper tures in the roof of the mine, which was not far above their beads. The fact was, a C!J.Ve had originally occupied the spot and the gal leries and passages bad been added by man. It was certainly a wonderful The floor was full fifty feet below, and as our adventurers lookerl down from the gallery they saw a large number of the greasers lounging about the place. Many were rolled in blankets and sound asleep. Others w ere playing dice or talking and smoking cbeir cheroots, and the bum of conversation came upon the air. "By Jove!" ,exclaimed Frank, with a thrill, "I tell you, Barney, we have found the den of Costello and his gang." "Begorra, that's thrue," agreed Barney. "1t is certainly a place w e ll suited for Lbe purpose.'' "I should say so, sor. But however will we get out of here?" That is a question." "Shure, sor, I think we'd betther get out as soon as possible." "Right you are, Barney. If those miners return and discover our escape from the shaft they will be quickly after us." "Shure enough, sor." "Let us move cautiously along and see where this gallery goes o." Frank led the way along the gallery. It terminated in a flight of s t e ps cut in solid rock. There were none of the greasers, apparently, in any of the galleries or passages above the floor. So Frank felt safe in descending thes e He went down tbeQJ until a gallery below was reached. They were now quite near to the floor. Frank and Barney here paused. It was, of course, decidedly unsafe to venture down within the circle of the firelight. "If they would only all go to s leep," said the youhg inventor, "then we could be sure of slipping by them.'' But the greasers seemed to have no such idea in view. There was no doubt but that many of them would remain up all night. What was to be done? Frank pondered the question seriously and !ong. 1


FRANK RE.ADE, JR., IN MEXICO. 13 He saw what be believed was the passage which led out of the mine. But men were constantly passing in and out, and it would be ut terly i1.9possible to escape m that direction. Meanwhile, the risk was great in staying where they were. At any moment some one of the greasers might come upon them. It was c lear that desperate action had got to be t.aken at once: Frank considered every daring move which he could think of. He even thought of a break for liberty through the outer passage. But second thought showed that thil:! was suicidal. But he noted that there was a line of shadow under the galleries. Perhaps by keeping in this he could find another outward passage. J It was a terrible risk to take, but Frank did not hesitate. "Come, Barney!" he said, "let us go down below." The Celt, without a word, followed Frank. But they had not de scended three steps when the young inventor came to a startled I A thrilled exclamation escaped his lips. 1 CHAPTER XII. THE PURSUIT UNDERGROUND. "HEAVENS!" he gasped. "We cannot go down now. Back for your life, Barney." The Celt, who would have followed his master anywhere, obeyed this command. Back up the stairs they sprang. They were just in time. Two of th11 Mexicans came up the stone steps into the gallery. They paused by the landing anti stood for some time engaged in conversa.tion. Of course while they should remain there the way was blocked for Frank and Barney. The two fugitives were dismayed. They knew that at any moment the miners might return to their work and then their escape from the old shaft would be discovered. Even as this fear was upon them, Frank heard a commotion in the gallery above. A loud cry in the Mexican tongue came down from above. The effect was t>tartling Instantly the greasers below sprang up with loud cries, and made a rush for ehe galleries. Frank turned to Barney. The truth had burst upon him with horrible force. "My God.!" he gasped. "We are lost, Barney. They have dis covered our escaJ?el" "Begorra, that s thrue enough," agreed the Ce),t. "Phwat shall we do, sor 1" For a moment Frank was in a quandary. But there was no time to lose. The Mexicans were swarming up into the galleries. To retreat into the shaft from which they had emerged would be folly. But where else could they go1 It was a serious question. There was no time to Jose. Suddenly, at that moment, Frank saw a narrow opening in the gallery wall. He rushed into it and found that he was in one of the ruany pas-sages which made a honeycomb of the hill. All was darkness, but the young inventor did not care for this, so long as safety was assured. Barney was close behind. They were just in time to avoid being seen by the foe. Fortunately not one of the Mexicans turned into this passage. "Thank Heaven, we have given them the slip for a moment," Frank breathed. "Bejabers, I've an ideal" eJt::c1aimed Barney, with eagerness. Indeed!" said Frank. What is it, Barney 1" "Shure, sor, let us stay here by the opening. Pretty quick the blathershites will all be gone by. Shure, thin, we kin slip out av here, an' p'r'aps foinde our way out through the main passage. Do yez see?" "There is in your plan, Barney," declared Frank. "I think we will try it.' Accordingly the two fugitives waited for their pursuerA to pass. Soon they were heard in the upper gallery, and it seemed as if the coast was clear. Bejabers, now's our toime," cried Barney. "All right," agreed Frank. "Let us'try the game." wm yez lead the way, and I'll folly if it is to perdition1" "I will." Frank crept out into the gallery. He cast a glance up the gallery and saw nobody. But as he looked in the other direction he was given a mighty thrill of horror and dismay. 'l'here, not twenty feet below, stood half a dozen of the greasers. They blocked the passage, and what was worse at that moment, they saw Frank Reade, Jr., and gave a yell of discovery. It was echoed in the gallery above, and then exciting scenes fol-lowed. Frank darted back in'to the He was not a moment too quick. The crack of rifles was beard, and bullets flattened against the gallery wall. My soul! we are discovered!" be cried, wildly. "Come, Barney, we must follow this passage somewhere-anywhere." "That's the divil's luck!" cried Barney, in dismay. "But sure, sir, I'm wid yez foriver. We'll give .the omadhouns the slip yet, or me name ain't O'Shea.'' Into the passage they darted. The sounds of pursuit came in their rear. All was dense blackness in the shaft and they were obliged to rush on blindly. Lights were seen in their rear, and at times it as if their pursuers must surely overtake them. But Frank was possessed of a deadly resolution. He knew that if he was caught it would be certain death. Of course in the darkness there was imminent danger at any mo-ment of falling.into some dangerous pit or bole. But the young inventor preferred such a fate to certain capture. Barney kept at his heels closely. Thus they rushed on at full speed. Every moment nPw passages were encountered. Frank adopted the tactics of dodging into every one be could come to and keeping to the right. In this way he bad soon distanced his pursuers. 'l'he sounds of pursuit died out in the rear. Satisfied of their satety for the moment they came to a halt. Both were quite exhausted, and Barney was particularly so. The Celtilung himself flat uflon the floor of the cavern. '' Och hone, Misther Frank," he cried, in a panting manner, "shure, it's all done out I am wid the exertion av the run. But we've disthanced the divils anyhow." 1'hat's true," agreed Frank, "but in my opinion we are a long ways from being out of the scrape.'' "Shure, that's right.'' "I've no idea where we are or how we'll ever get out of this place.'' Bejabers, I'm sthuck intoirely mesilf an that.'' "But I still cling to a hope that we will yet get out of here all "I hope so, sor.'' "Of course the greasers are familiar with the passages in this mine." "Yis, sor." "Thef probably will make a very thorough search. In that case they wi l be likely to run us dow ... Shure, I fear that, sor.'' .. Lying upon the hard floor of the shaft the two fugitives listened fearfully for sounds of the pursuit. But none came, and after awhile they felt a renewal of hope. But to remain where they were was out of the question. Where to go or what to do was a problem. Finally Frank decided that the best move was to cautiously work their way if possible back to the main body ol the mine. But in the fearful darkness this did not seem likely to be an easy bit o! worlt. One passage could not be told from another. Yet Frank decided upon this as the only feasible move. He went in ad vance and Barney followed slowly. In this manner they crept along in a cautious way. What seem ed an age passed, when a startling incident occurred. Suddenly Frank beard a muffled voice in what seemed like a long distance away. "Mistber Frankl Shure, where have yez "Barney!" cried Frank,_ in surprise, "where are you 'I" "Shure, I don't know, sor.'' "Well, that is odd!" exclaimed the young inventor, with a laugh, in spite of the possible seriousness of the situation. How did you get .. I don't know that, sor.'' Frank was puzzled. The voice of the Celt seemed to be within a few yards of him, and yet was dull and muffled. It occurred to Frank of a sudden that Barney bad wandered into a parallel passage and was now ovpos'lte him, beyond a thick wall of stone. Satisfied of this, Frank said : -"I thoughtlou were right behind me, Barney.'' "Shure, so was." "But you are in another passage. You must have deviated back here a:;ways.'' "Very loikely, sor. Pwhat shall I do about "Why, go back, of course, and get into the right passage and come with me.'' All rmght, sor.'' Be sure and take" the first turn to the right. Then keep straight along the wall u_ntil you reach me.'' "vVill yez watt, sor f "Of course I will.'' "All roight. Here goes thin.'' Frank beard a distant shuffling sound and then all was still. What seemed like an age passed. Barney did not appear. l!,rank listened in vain for some sound of his approach. All was tomb-like stillness. "Well," muttered the young inventor, "that is queer.'' Finally Frank raised his voice and shouted: "Barney Where are you?" Again and again he shouted. No answer came back. Now Frank was really alarmed. Cold perspiration burst out upon him. "My soull" he gasped. "It cannot be that be is lost.'' Fearful that this was the case Frank lost no time, but started to retrace his steps. He kept carefully and closely to the wall of the and at intervals shouted loudly. But each time no answer came. Only the dull, muffled echoes. It was certainly an alar,ming mat ter. Frank did not credit any assumption that Barney had fallen into the hands of the greasers. He reckoned, correctly enough, that the Celt bad been misled furl ther away into other passages and was lost. InO.eed, the mine was a veritable labyrinth, akin to the fabled one of Crete. Frank was not sure that he would ever find his way out of the Dlace, and was oppressed with dismay,


., 1 4 FRA N K R E ADE, JR., IN MEXICO. O n for some d istance he went. I t was easy enough to follow the passage wall. It seemed certain that it m ust sooner or later brin g him into the one in which Barney had gone astray. But the darkness was so very thick that any course was rendered deceptive. It was almost impossible to tell, with any degree of certainty, just where 11ny one wo u ld come up. For that matter, it would be eas y to keep up a perpetual circuit until death from sheer exhaus tion should come to end the struggl e. It was' a situation not with out grim terrors. CHAPTER XIII. 1 A STRUGGLE IN THE DARK. THE further Frank went along the cavern wall, the more fearful he became that be would not be able to find Barney again. 'rhis was most dismaying and the youpg inventor's heart sank. But he set his lips firmly "I must find him," he muttered, resolutely. "Separation will be fatal." In vain he called. No answer came back. The Celt, wherever he was, was certainly beyond hearing. In this quandary and a state of mind most indescribable, Frank strove to make his way along in the darkness. He kept on, at intervals shouting for his companionJ But ever that same oppressive death-like stillness reigned. Finally Frank was forced to abandon all hope of finding Barney. He next turned his attention to the problem of finding his way out of the place himself. Once be should succeed in doing this and in joining his friends there was 110 doubt but that b,e could devise a way to retur_n and make a successful quest for Barney. with this resolution uppermast in his breast he kept on. IJ!' Suddenly a strange sound burst upon his hea,ring I It was a distant sound like the mumbling of voices and gave Frank a queer thrill-of cornprenension. In an instant he realized that he had reached a point in close proximity to those who were searching for him. Wit)l. this belief Frank cautiously came to a halt. As be did so he heard a slight crunching noise in his rear. Involuntarily he turned about. The next moment he felt a clutch upon his shou,lder and then talon fingers closed about his windpipe. Not a word did his assailant speak. Who or what he was Frank could only conjecture. Naturally he believed him to be one of the greasers. But if this was the case, somewhat singularly the fellow made no ctrort to cry out for his companions. His purpose seemed to overcome Frank without an outcry But the young inventor had no idea of submitting without a struggle. He p;rappled with him and a struggle 'followed which baffies description. Backward and forward they swayed and reeled. Now one held tl!e advantage and now the other. In this manner the struggle continued for some time. In vain Frank tried to throw his adversary. "Who are be tln a lly panted, nigh overcome with exertion. "That' s nothin' to you," the other, huskily. "I'm after yer scalp an' I'm goin' ter have it." "Not if I c-an prevent," retorted Frank. "Ye can't help yerself." "Perhaps not." "Ye'd better give in at onct. If ye'll surrender now ru spare yer life an' take ye down to Costello. "I have no intention of surrendering to yo u." "Yedon't,eh1" "No." "Curs e ye, then I'll kill yel" "H you can." "Wall, I kin." "Look here!" said Frank, sharply. "I want to know what sort of a chap are. I can tell by your talk that you are not a greaser." The fellow "In course I am't," be replied. "But what of that f" "Well, you must be a mberabl e wretch to mix up with them." "That's notbin' toyou." "Of course not. Yet I would give one of my own countrymen credit for better sense than that." "Wall, I don't ax any odds of you'nor nqbody else. Let go of my wrist or I'll stick this knife atwixt yer ribs." "I have no idea of it." "Ye haven't, eh 1" "No. "Wall, I'll show ye." With a curse the villain strove to carry out his threat; but Frank hung on to his grip well. Backward and forward they swayed i n a severe test of muscular strength. Frank Reade, Jr. was not a heavy man, but extremely quick and muscular. He managed to hold his own. Suddenly voices were beard in the distance, and lights flashed. Frank knew at once that the greasers were coming that way, and he understood well the result. If they should come up while in struggle thus, his fate would be seal ed. They would no doubt kill him on the spot. This filled him with desperate resolution, and he made a. reckless attempt to end the stru;1:gle then and there. E:X,lrting a ll his strength, he swung his adversary against the wall of the passage. W ith s uch force did the villain strike the wall that he was fo r a moment stunned. 1 It was Frank' s chanc e. Quick as a flash he severed his hold w i t h the foe and darted away in the darkness. Whe:n fellow recovered a n instant later, his would-be victim was mlSSlllg His wrath is not easily depicted in words or with the p en. Yelling oaths and fierce imprecations he started in pursuit. But Frank had got a good start, and went flying down the dark shaft like a meteor. .On he kept at full speed, taking the chances of falling in to a hol e. In a few moments he bad distanced his pursuer. He came to a halt somewhat out ofbreath. There was no doubt but that the villain had taken another c orri-dor and was far astray. The lights and the sound of voices had disappeared. For the nonce Frank knew that he was safe, and be felt relieved. He sank down upon the damp tioor of the mine passage to recover his breath and strength. Every muscle in his body was aching from his experience with the villain. lt bad been a hard tussle and h came o ff victorious only at a great expense of muscular power. For some mom<>nts Frank rested in this manner. Then he once more his feE>t. He. knew the great importance of escaping from the place. He thought of Barney, and at that moment a singular sound came to his hearing. It was like the yawn of a waking person. The next moment & familiar voice in a muttering key broke the air: "Bejabers, I've been ashleep, an' more's the shame to me. Phwat iver will Misther Frank think. wbin I tell him of it1 But shure I was that tired I could niver kape me eyes open at all, at all." Frank ;1:ave a start of joy. How familiar were those tones to him. It was Barney. Impulsively he cried: "Hullo, Barney! Thank Heaven we are reunited. "Misther Frankl" cried the Celt, with wildest joy. "Shure is that yez, 1" "It's nobody else." "Begorra, I'm that glad to see yez that I cud sthand on me head." The next moment the fa.ithful Celt was by Frank' s side, wringing h is band. That was an affectionate meeting between master and servant. One was scarcely less glad than the other. Both were overjoyed. Then they recounted experiences. -It seemed that Barney had wandered into another passage and completely los this w&y. The thickness of the separate walls had prevented Frank's voice from reaching him or his voice from reacbmg Frank. However, they had been brought together again by good fortune. It was now determined not to get into another such a scr&pe. "Bejabers, I'll kape close enough to yez now, Misther Frank," declared Barney, vigorously. "Not a minnit will I lave yez, shure." "lit will be the safest way," agreed Frank. .We will have to look sharp to avoid the foe. Ah I" The exclamation was caused by the distant l'lasbing of alight. "They are coming this way," cried Fra.nk, hurriedly. I I" Shure ye're right 11or. "We must fiet out of the way." "Begorra, its roight yez are." "Come on 1" "I'll folly yez, sor." Frank darted into another passage and Barney followed him. Suddenly, as they were forging along, light was seen ahead. "What IS cr1ed Frank. "As I live I believe it i;; dayli;1:ht!" "Bejabers, sor, it's not the roight color for that!" cried Barney. "I guess you're right." "Shure, it's back into the main mine we be com in', sor." It was certainly a fact that at last they had found their way into a passage leading into the main body ot the mine. Imbued with new hope, Frank kept on at a rapid pace. Soon the light grew stronger, and they became certain th&t they were coming oack to the very point they bad started from. Nearer every moment they drew to the entrance to the shaft. !Notbing was seen or hear d of the greasers now. They were doubtless exploring the passages yet in pursuit of the fugitives. "Shure, it's a nice slip we gave them intoirely," declared Barney, with a chuckle. "You are right," agreed Frank. "Now, if fortune favors us we will be able to escape from this den." Shure, I hope so, sor. At length they reached the end of the l'assage and once more came out into the gallery of the mine. There were none of the greaser s i n the gallery, but venturing to look down into the pit below Frank saw that there were fully a s ma.ny of them yet about tbe fire. It was now a serwus q uestion as to what it was best to do. To a.ttempt to paM through the main part of the mine unobserved was utterly out of the question. They would be sure to be spotted by the foe, but Frank bad de cided upon a moTe and started to creep along down the gallery, when a startling thing occurred. heard a rasping sound almost at his shoulder and then a whisper came, shrill and clear: Whist! are you friends to me f" Frank turned with utter amazement. CHAPTER XIV; THE END. SET in t h e wall of the gallery was a door heaTily barred with i ron. A white face was pressed a;1:ainst it, and as Frank 'lo oked u p he barely repressed a loud cry of amazement. "Heavens!" he gasped, "Harvey M ontainel


FRANK READE, JR., IN MEXICO. 16 soul!" came back in a thrilled whisper. "Is that you Frank Reade, "It is nobody else." "God be praised!" "I have found you." "My prayers are answered." "But I fear we are in as bad a position as you," said Frank. How so asked Montaine. We are alone and unaide d here. We escaped into this place from an old (:!haft near here into which we had been cast to e and a party of the prospectors. Pomp, as we have seen'm a preceding chapter, had released himself from his bonds after being captured by the greasers, bad got aboard the Steam Man and taken to the plain for safety. All that night be kept on the move in the vicinity, takin g care to guard against a second surprise. But he was not attacked again, and some time after daylight be ventured to r eturn to the spot where Barney and Frank up.on re turning would expect to find him. He had hardly done so when they appeared accompanied by Silver Sam and his crowd. Of course an exchange of experiences followed and then Frank and Barney boarded the Steam Man. "Three cheers for Frank Reade, Jr., and the Steam Man, boys," cried Silver Sam, heartily. They were given with a will. Frank replied with several sharp notes from the whistle and then the Man was off. Soon the Los Pueblos Mountains faded away in the distance. For days the Steam Man ke?ot on over wide plains until at length Laredo was reached again. Then once more the Steam Man was put aboard the cars. The g reat quest was ended. Harvey Montaine did not forget the favor done him, for two years later he sent Frank's wife a valuable solitaire diamond worth many thousand of dollars from the mines of South America.. And so ends the story of bot work among the greasers, but it does not conclude the experiences of the Steam Man, a further ac count of which may be found in No.6, of the FRANK READE LI BRARY, "ntitled: "FRANK: READE, JR.. WITH HIS NEW STEAM MAN CHASING A GANG OF RUSTLERS;' oR, WILD ADVENTURES IN MONTANA." ,J.OW TO PLAY GAMES.-A complete and userul I!!:tle book, con. 1 taining the rules and regul at.ion.s of Billiards, Bagatelle, moo, Croquet, Dominoes, etc Price 10 ce nts. For sale by all nbWB-, dealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to you-address postage free, on receipt of p!alers. or 8ent to your address,!ostage free, upon receipt" of price. Fran!( T ousey publlliher, 34 an 36 North Mwre street, New York. P Q, Box2780.


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