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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam man chasing a gang of "Rustlers;" or, Wild adventures in Montana


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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam man chasing a gang of "Rustlers;" or, Wild adventures in Montana
Series Title:
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 - R17-00021
usfldc handle - r17.21
aleph - 024784272
oclc - 63271003
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
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    Back Cover
        Page 16
Full Text


'" N oname's" Latest and Best Stories are Published in This Library. Entered at the Post Office at New York, N. Y., as Second Class Matter. No.6. {COMPLETE.} FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 8i 36 NORTH MOORE STREET, NEW YORK. New York, October 29, 1892. ISSUED WEEKLY. { )'JtiCE } 5 CKN'l'!!. 'V\Ol. I Entered acco1ding to the Act of Congress, in the year 1892, by FRANK TOUSEY, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D C Flank Be arfe' JI.' With His New steam Man Chasing a Gang of" Rustlers;" or, u WILD ADVENTURES IN MONTANA. B y NONAME.''


/ 2 FRANK READE, JR., CHA<51NG A OF "RUSTLERS." The Subscription Price of the F'RANK LIBRARY by the year $2.50: $1.25 per six months, Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 and 36 Nortil Moore Street, New York, Box 27' OR, WILDI ADVENTURES IN MONT ANA. By "NONAME," Author of "Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Mexico; or, Hot Work Among the Greasers," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. EN ROU1'E TO MONTANA. THRILLING reports bad reached the borders or civilization, and, mdeed, all its centers, of certain wild and lawless ileeds by a gang of desperadoes in Montana, near the Wyoming line and the North Powder river. It was said that these desperadoes bad band ed together as a class of robbers, cut-throats and highwaymen, ami had assumed the right to appropriate the somewhat characteristic tittle of "the Rustlers." '.Che report reached Readesto-;vn, one fine morning, and it found FraQI Reade, Jt., nit prepared to take a trip up through the wild Northwest with his famous New Steam Man. Frank was bound upon a trip of explora tion and pleasure, hut !lome of tl!e inventor's suggested that he might do humanity a ser?ice and add to his laurels by. giving the Rcstlers a chase. But Frank, ever anxious to avoid notoriety, said: I shall not bother them if they do not me. Of course, if I saw them committing some law less act I would promptly interfere, if in my power. That is all." Frank Reade, Jr., was a young man, scarce ly more than a boy in years. His father before him had been a renowned Inventor, and Frank had followed the same line. The charming little town or Readestown was founded by Rende Sr., and there tl:e shops of the inventor were located. Here he built all his famous inventions, and really claimed his home. Frank was fortunately blessed with plenty of mon ey. Yet if hEI had been poor, it would have been for but a short time, as be had a natural faculty for acquiring wealth. Of course this was a powerful lever in all his enterprises. His latest invention was the New Steam Man. This was a most wonderful machine, or which we will endeavm : to give a brief and imperfect account. lmaghre a tall, powerful man of giant height, made of plates of iron with hinges for joints, and driving rods down the legs like a steam lo comotive. In the l)ody of the Man was the furnace and boiler of the engine. The tall hat worn by the Man formed the smokeetack. Upon the Man's back was the steam chest, indicator and gauge. The throttle valve and whistle were control led and operated by of reins. In the Man'& mouth was the wti!stle. It did not seem credible that such a piece of mechanism could be constrqcted and made to work, but such seemed a fact. The stride of the Man was controlled by the driving rods operated by the force of steam. In the Man's feet were long iron spikes to give him foothold. So much for the Mau. Now let us look at ttle wagon, the shafts of which were held at his hips by the Man. It was also made or thin plates of iron, with four wheels, which had grooved tires. The w agon was arranged with quite spacious lmnkers for coal. Also there were compartments ror the stor age of ammunition, supplies, weapons and all the articles necessary for a trip into a dangerous country. Over the wagon was a framework, covered with a netting of hardened steel. The meshes were very tine, yet perfectly im pervious to a rttle bullet. In the netting were loopholes throug-h which to fire. In front, at the dasher, was an open ing, through which came the reins, and also there was located a brake. T:1is is a description of thE' invent.ion famed the world orer as one or Frank Reade, Jr.'s best. However this may be, the famous inventor, accompanied by two faithful servitors, an lriahman and a negro, named Barney and Pomp, had taken a number of thrilling tripa through the wild West. The Steam Man bad been carefully fitted out for this last trip to the Northwest. So it happened that one day the Man was shipped in sections aboard a special train tu Cheyenne, Wyoming, as the nearest railway sta tion to the region intended t{) be exploreJ. Frank Reade, Jr., with his two men, Barney ami Pomp, traveled on the same train. When Cheyenne was reached the Steam Man was disembarked and carefully put together. Of course the news of the Steam Man's coming had reached Cheyenne. Con8equontly a large crowd was out to tal{e a look at the wonderful invention. Workmen had been brought along by Frank to put the Man toget.her. They soon succeeded in doing tJ.Jis and then Barney built a tire in the furnace and got np a team. Quite a delega tion or the leading citizens waited upon Frank and extended their compli ments and good wishes. The young inventor shook hands with all, thanked them and then into the wagon cage with Barney and Pnmp he waved his hand in adieu and picking up the reine opened the Steam llfan's throttl : At once the Man began to 1ve away with long, rapid striJes. The people cheered and . rank pulled the whistle valve in reply. Then the Man 1 It the little Western city far hehind and was .oon speeding acrose the country to Cheyenne was in the htreme southern part of Wyoming. Frank's objective point was the Big Horn and Powder River Mountains. From there he intended to strike the lowstone and push on up through the Crow In dian country into British Colombia. He bad started out upon the trip wholly for diversion and exploration. But bAfore it shuuld end he was destined to experi(>nce many most thrilling adventures. Reaching Fort Laramie, t)le Steam Man cross ed the North Platte river, leaving the Black Hills or Wyoming on the west and the Black Hills of Dakota to the east. Frank sought the level prail'ies extending to the Powder River and the Big Horn Mount ains. Anq he now entered a country wild and in rested with many perils. Ens\lonced in the steel cage which covered the wagon It would have seemed as if tbe party had little to fear. The flteam M an was capable or attaining a. terrific rate or speed equaled by few railroad trains. He could easily outstrip any horse on level ground. At l'light camp was generally made near some stream or body of water. Altogether it was a most delightful way or traveling and keenly enjoyed by Barney and Pomp as well as Frank himself. Barney and Pomp were ever the best of friends, yet given to skylarkingand t be play ing of practical jokes upon each other Thus f11r the joorney bad been devotd of in cident of thrilling sort. But startling experiences were in store, and also near at hand. One the Steam Man was leisurely jogging along acroSll a stretch of wild prairie, when Pomp, wbo was at the dasher, suddenly cried, in a startled manner: Golly sakes Marse Frank, jes' yo' c Lere rigbt off." What is the matter, Pomp!" asked Frank, not without some concern. Glory fo' goodness, does yo' see dat black line ober yender? I jes' finks it am Injnns." Frank picked up a glass to scan the distant black line, but Barney, who was full of mis chief, exclaimed: Begorra, M1sther Frank, yez wud be fool ish to take any stock pbwativer in that nay gur'R eyesight. Shure, be couldn't tell a wild steer from a boss at one hundred yards." Pomp turntld with blazing eyes. "Wha' dat yo' say, !'ish?" he cried, hotly. "Don' yo' insult dis chile." Bejabers, I'm thinkin' that wud be a hard thing to do." "Golly! if yo' says any mo' ob dat sort ob etutl to me, I jea' gibe yo' a piece or mah mind." I


, FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A G.ANG OF "RUSTLERS." 3 "Yez 'aven't any to give." I jes' fix yo' fo' dat, !'ish." And with this Pomp picked up a jug or water and burled its contents at Burne y The Celt got the dose full in the mouth, ar.d for a moment he was nearly strangled. When he recovered, he was the maddest Irishman in that vicinity. Bejabers, I'll have the loire av yez for that, nuygur!" he roared, rushing upon Pomp. l:lut the darky lowered his bead quick as a fias h. Barney got it full in the stomach and sat down very hard in the tJOttom of the wagon. "Huh! 1 fink you l'e no !'is h," chafied Pomp aa he cut a pigeon-wing. "Yo' ain't In de race at all wif dis chile." Barney was furious, and wus bound to get square with the darky, but Frank now inter fered. No more fooling now," he said, sternly; there's lively work before us if I'm not much mistaken." This had the effect of cooling down t he two belligerents. But Barney had 1t in for Pomp, and was sure to get square with him. Meanwhile, the black line upon the prairie had resolved itself into distinguishable objects. A large party of horsemen were galloping across the plain and bearing directly down up on the Ste am Man. Frank kept the Man along at a moderate gait and watched them closely. As they drew nearer he soon saw that they were not Indians bot evidently a band of cow bovs. They rode with the freedom and recklessness of t!leir kind, and came sweeping down like an avalanche. When a hundred yards distant they came to a halt. Then they surrounded the Man. Frank brought tile Steam Man to a halt and waited developments. The cowboys seemed excited and somewhat surprised at the appearance upon the plains of such a strange maclline. Finally one of them shouted: "I say, stranger, what do ye call that highfalutin' cart of yers, anyway?" Frank raised his vowe and replied: Can t you see! It is a Steam Man." "Does 1t go by steam?" "Yes.'' "Lik e an engine, eh, only not on rails?" "Exactly." Wall, I'll be \:I lowed I That beats anything } ever see before. I say, start her up an' lets see her go." Fra nk let the Steam Man trot around in a clrciP. The cowboys greeted the exhibition with cheers. It was to them a thing most mar velous. CHAPTER II. BATTLE WITH COWBOYS, BUT thou g h the ccwboys seemed at the mo ment all pleasant enough, Frank was not pre pared to trust them far. H3 knew that they were reckless and un principled fellows. He was also aware that they might take it into their heads at any moment to perpetrate some bit of deviltry. Therefore it was safest I'.Dd best to keep on guard. "Well, gentlemen said Frank, after he had complied with th e ir requ est an1 showed the working of the Man, "I will ask you to break away and allow me to p a s s !'' "Hold on a Lit," cried the leader of the gang. I haven't any time to waste further." Oh, y e ain't, ehf" I saij so." In a great hurry, eh!" I am-yes!" The cowboy leaders seemed to hold a brief consultation. Frank started the Man along, but now one of them put up his hand and shouted: "Hold on, cap'en. Don't be in a hurry." "What do you want!" asked Frank, sharply. Horses and men were knocked over, and the "We want to 11xe a favor." ponderous feet or the M!ill crushed the luckless What is it!" man w l! o to get beneath them. We're hound to admit that ye've got quite In a very few moments the Man had swept a wonderful machine there, but we'd like to through the line, and was leaving the gang be try a hit of a ride in it ourselves. So if ye'll hind. step down au' out we'll take a little turn in it an' They came on in hot pursuit, but the Steam return it to you wben we get through, all safe." Man could easily outruu the ponies ridden by This audaciOUR r>ropcsal an g ered Frank bethe Rustlers. yond measure. Very soon they were distanced, and the pur" You impudent rascals!" he cried, angrily. suit was given over. "I will do of Lhe kind." When the cowboy gan2: had faned from sight "Ye won't, eh! ' "No." below the horizon line Frank held the Man up for examination as to injury done. "Then we'll be obliged to take the machine He liscovered much to his joy that no harm away from ye, an' if we have to do that mebbe wha tever had befallen him. ye won't yet it back." About the Man's neck was found full a score Frank was almost speechless with wrath at of lasso loops. These were cut away, and these insulting terms. Frank returned to 1 "Barney and Pomp," he said, tersely, "be The Steam Man went on his way as uncon ready for a fight." cerned as if the frncas had never occurred. Then turmng to tbe cowboy leader, he re"Golly sakes, l'tfa rse Frank!" cried Pomp, pliecl: with distended l>yeballs. I jes' fink dat we'se "I give you fair warning not to meddle in luck to git away rom dem Rustlers ae safely w1t h me or seak to bar my progress. Get out as we dir:l." of my way." "You are right, Pomp!" agreed Frank. Frank opened the t!lrottle of the Steam Man "And much is due you for your pluck in cutand started ahead. ting their lassoes." In au mstant a yell went up from the cow"Bejallers, the nayger did a good job," boys. averred Barney. Up into tbe a1r shot a cloud of lasso11s. This put Pomp in the best of spirits. A number of them settled aown upon the It bad been really a very plucky act, and the Steam Man' s shoulders. escape of the party was no doubt due to it. Half a dozen of the lassoes would not have The Steam Man now kept on to the northpossessed sufficient resistance to stop the Man. ward. But there was fully two dozen of th e rawhides about the Man's bo:lv. It was not long before the plain began to This was more wei2:ht he could drae:, become more rolling, and, after a time, mount' 1 ains were seen to the northwest. and be was brought to a short sLop. Frank at once picked up his ritle. Ae these were neared, a clump of cotton Bullets bad already oegan to rain against woods was seen, not more than three miles the steel netting. distant. The famous inventor was ever averse to To the left or them were what looked at that taking human life. But in this case it was a to be k rr 1 d 1 d question of self-preservation. IS a ranc WI s a e my I e. ec are He believed the cowbO)' S to be a part of the Frank. l_et,ua go over and see what gang of R11stle1 a whose depredations in sort of a place It 18 bat rel!ion were of terrible sort. The Ste1,1.m Man was headeq for the d1stant ''Give it to them, Barney and Pomp," he ranch. . cried. "Don't spare a single man 9f them." V e ry soon It became qmte to .eye. The two servitors needed no urgin g. There were a number of butl

FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF "RUSTLERS." desperate Lype which he had met with a short time before. Indeed, the men who l!lad been upon the pi azza now saluted him hospitably. One was a stout, bronzed-featured gentle man of sixty years. The other was a young man, and straight and handsome -as Apollo. Both were clearly men of education and re !inement. "Sir, I am glad to welcome you t" Ranch A," said the elderly gentl e man. I am th11 ov. ,er of this ranch and my name is Hiram Dane." Thank you,'' replied,Frank, warmly. "Par don my intrusion, but I was going by 11nd dropped In, by Western courtesy, without an invitation." "You are very welcome." "My name is Frank Jr., and I am making a little exploring trip through this re gion.'' "Good! you most no doubt enjoy traveling in this unique invention of yours?" "1 do, very much." Then Frank proceeded to describe the mech anism of tbe Ste!lm Man. All listened IWith much interest. He then introduced Barney and Pomp to the ranch owner, and was in turn introduced to the young man, whose name was given as Les ter Willis. He was a young New Yorker just from Yale College, and spending a season of rest on the ranch, being, 10 fact, engaged to the beautiful daughter or Hiranl Dane, who was no other than the charming young lady upon the pi azza. After some social converse, Frank was invit ed to a S('at upon th e piazza and was made acquainted with Miss Eva. In the courae of the conversation Frank told of his experience with the Rustlers. The ranch people evinced much interest and fear. Do you know," said Mr. Dane, with much apprehension, "I have been dreading an at tack from those wretches for some time." CHAPTER III. AT S U N RISE. "INDEED!" exclaimed Frank. What would be their purpose in attacking you?" "Well, partly plunder and partly hatred. Yon see, they have a bitter dislike for the eastern ranch-owner. They consider us monop olists and aris tocrats." They certainly are a desperate class of men." So I am given to understand. I am hor rified to l e arn that they are so near us." It was not forty miles back that I encoun tered them." Heavens! then we might expect an attack from them at any time. It is well to be on our guard." I would advise you to," said Frank, earnestly. Oh, I think it would ba terrible," said l!:va Dane covering her pretty face with her hands; what shaH we do, papa?" A shiver passed over the old man's frame as be exchanged glances with Willis. The same thoughts ran in the minds of both. Perhaps it would be well to seek refuge in Fort McKinney for a. while,'' said Willis, gravely. "You may be right, Lester," agreed t.he ranch owner And vet it is a bad time for me to !('ave. You and Eva bad better go." And leave you here?" cried Eva, in terror. Oh, no. H harm should come to yoo, papa, I should die." It is not well to oorrow trouble yet,'' said Frank Reade, Jr., encouragingly, "All may come out well." Let us hope so,'' said Mr. Dane, sotto voce. Frank spent some time at Ranch A, even accepting a cordial invitation to stay to din ner. Then he took leave or the place and was soon once more out upon the wild wasfe of prairie. The Steam Man kept on at a rapid pace. At "Dey am bettah styla dan any ling you'se nightfall a small settlement was reached at got, l'ish." the foot of a range of hills G'long wid vez." Tbis was a sort or mming camp more than "Yab, yah, you'se no 'count." aught else. "Bejabers, I'll sbow yez." 1: boasted of some two dozen rough shan The Celt started for tbe darky, but Pomp ties, several dugouts and a two-story log hotel. was too quick for him. Sunrise was the very fittmg name of this He fl'as out of the cage in a flash and joined embryo metropolis. Frank. Itsl re s identa were all of thetmixed class, so 'l ogether they walked op the village street. commonly found in mining localities, men of and Pomp particularly was the cynosure of all all nations and creeds, but all with the on e eyes. purpose in view, and that of gaining wealth at This tickled his vanity and be strutted along any coat. in great style. Gamblers and toughs abounded in Sunrise. "Bah!" be muttered. "I jes' reckon dis Indeed, morally, the town had a decidedly bad town am about two hundred years behind de reputation. times." But Frank considered it worth while to At this moment in the full glare of a lamp the place on his tour of exploration, and acthey met a colored lass. cordingly a stop was made. Pomp braced, the girl averted her face and The denizens or Sunrise were dumfounded giggled. The darky lifted his hat gallantly, at the apparition of the Steam Man in their and Frank said: midst. None or that, Pomp. You must be pretty They regarded it with deepest wonder, and caref\11 about making acquaintances in a tbe voyagers were looked upon as beings not strange place." of the common sort. "Fo' goodness sakes, Marse Frnnk!" cried As the Steam IMan drP.w up at the hotel, a the frustrated darky. I jes' done dat fo' to be rough-looking structure, the proprietor came polite, yo' know. Yo' wudn't bah me be rude out. to de ladies?" He was a powerful fellow, and wore a red "Not for tbe world,'' said Frank, with supshirt and rough boots of cowhide pressed laughter. Over tbe doo y of tbe hotel was a sign: They now passed into the bar-room of the LOONEY'S HOTEL.'' hotel Neither Frank nor Pomp drank strong "Hello, strangers!" shouted the hotelkeeper, liquor, but they bought some cigars and then cheerily. "Moughty gl a d to see ye. Won't ye proceeded to take a look about the place. put yer animal up an' stoJ,J a while!" Few who haye never been 10 a Western barFrank explained that they made their quar-roo!L of this crass can get au adequate idea ters aboard the Steam Man and bad no use for of it from description. hotels. All class e s or men were drinking at t h e bar. "That's all right, friends!" cried the tavern'fhe floor was sawdust covereu, and reeked keeper, affably. "Jes' thought I'd ask, ye with tobacco expectorations. know. No oflense. This is my bote! an' my Sportin g pictures of the !ondest type cover name is Pat Looney. Call agio at any time. ed the walls. Will be gla d to see je." At tables, scattered about, The g e nial l a ndlord disappeared behind the gamblers werE\ engag e d in fleecing the on greasy bar of the place, and began s e rvin g up sopbisticated miner s cheap drinks to the denizens as unconcerned It was a sce n e which for its motley charas ever. acter and uniqu e asper.ts was never equaled Frank selected a place in a vacant lot near, by any delinea t ion of slum lifa from even the and here camp was made. gif t ed brain o f a Dickens. Darkness had now settled down over the Frank g a zed upon the s cene coriously. 'own thickly. Pomp however, was interested in the games Pomp cooked an appe t izing supper. of cbance at once. It was partaKen of readily by the three voyFor a time he watc bed the manipulations of agers. the pasteboards. A crowd loitered about still r!jgaFding the Then be turned and wandered to the bar. wonderful inventi on with curi o sity. He drew quite close to the b a r anti beg a n to After the supper Fra nk said: stndy a pictur e which hung over it. Which ooe of you wants to go over to the Fra nk watched him with a smile, for he behotel with me and study human nature for a g a n to anticipate the fun which shortly fol while?" lowed. Barney looked up eagerly, but a sudden Pomp was lost in abstraction over the pictrecollection came to him. ure. Beg orra, it's the naygur's turn,'' he deHe did !not notice a :besotted fellow who clared, honestly. "Shure I'll sthay an' kape stood beside him, .and who gave the bartender house this time." a wink. 'lt was Pomp's turn, fair enough, and the The bartender glanced at Pomp and asked darky did not decline. sharply: Golly sakes, l'se j c s' glad enough fo' to go, What is it-whisky straight!" Mar3e Frank," he said, with alacrity. "Jes' Pomp did not hea r a word said, but his yo' wait a bit." head nodded a trifle in his contemplation of the Pomp got himself up to kill with a checked picture. suit and llaring necktie with all tbe colors of What's yours?" asked the bartender of the the rainbow. besotted chap He was quite a nifty-looking darky when, & Medford rum," replied the fellow, with a few mom ems later, be stepped down from the twinkhng of the eye. wagon and joined Frank. The bartender poured out the drinks, and The troth was, Pomp had seen a number of set the whisky down before Pomp. trim-looking colored damsels in the place. The sot drained the other glass, and then At once he was interested. stood dreamily contemplating a row of botBe might not have the opportunity to get ties upon the sbelt. : acquainted with them, but at least he could Come,'' said the bartender, sharply, slapgive them an idea of style. ping Pomp on the should e r "Wake up and So he dressed himself with scrupulous care. down with your oil. There's others waiting All the while Barney guyed him. their turn." But this did not afl'ect the darky to any great What yo' say, saht" exclaimed Pomp, extent. staring at the whisky and then at the barten "Huh!" he grunted. "De berry reason why der. yo' don' dress op,l'ish, am because you' ain' got "Drink yer flip!" de togs." Drink it? but, sah, yo' am mistaken. I "Begorra, I'd go about with am Adam suit didn't odab any drink, sab." on afore I'd wear them things," retorted "Yes you did, too, and you treated your Barney. friend here." . )


FRANK READE: JR., CHASING A GANG OF "RUSTLERS." 5 Mah friend!" Pomp turned aghast and viewed the sot by h1s side. Why, I never seen dat feller afo' in all mah life!" he ueclared. The bartender feigned anger. "That game won't work here," he crieu, angrily. Pay for dem drinks or I'll jug yer. S ee?" He gave Pomp a savage leer. But the darky did not scare. H e was justly indign a nt. Tile sot looked up with a sickly smile and said: "P'r'a ps I didn't do right in drinkin' wid a s t ranger. But I couldn't afford to d ec line, ye know." "Golly I n e b e r axed yo' to drink wit me cried Pomp, an g rily. "Yo' jes' get out ob h e r e or I break yo' jaw." "Oh, cert," replied the sot, and he melted away out of "Now, sab," said Pomp, tUJning to the bar tender, "if yo' gib dat man a drink, yo' jes' dio it on yo' own responsingbility, an' not 'on mine Yo' kin git yo' pay jes' de bes' way yo' sees fit." Why, you goldurned cantankerous nigger, you!" roared the bartend er; "do you think you kin play th a t beat game h e re? You'll pay for th e m drinks, or I'll take it out o f your bide." Golly, p'r'aps yo' better try dat, r eplie d Pomp co olly. "Dat would be n 'm a zin' big contract fo' a lily man like yo'." "Do ye mean to say I can't do it?" roared the infuriated barke e par. CHAPTER IV. POMP D O ES HIS MAN UP. "I M EANS ebery wo'd I say, sah," replied Pomp c o olly. Will ye pay for them drinks or not!" "No ." Th e barte nder placed one hand on the bar a n d w ent over it. He c onfronted Pomp after the manner or a pr ize "Now, y ou cussed nigger," be roared "if you don't pay for that liquor I'll t a ke your h eart out." "I'll ueber pay fo' dat I neber had," replied Pomp, c o olly. 11 [ Quite a crowd surrounded the two disputants. Loud cries of approval went up "Don't ye be afr a id of him, nig." "Go in an' win." "Give him a duff in the jaw." r,' Ye're good fer him." These were th e exclamations, which were ex cited. Pomp seemed to have the sympathy of the crowd. Moreover, be kl'pt his he:J.d perfectly cool ull the whil e "You know you ordered that liquor and you ougbter pay f o r it," declared tile bartender. "I n e b e r did it, sah." "Do you mean that?" "Ye s s ah." "The n y e're a black liar." "Ki dar! look out 1ow yo' call me names like d at," threatened Pomp. "I'll break yo' right in two." "You will, eh?" The barte nder rolled up his sleeves. He was a short, square built fellow or the bull-dog type of m:J.n. Certainly be was a cordy fellow. "Now, ni g gllr, if you don't pay for that liquor I'll sp oil th a t Sunday suit of yers. Say the word "Look yer, Mister Man," said Pomp em phati ca lly, don' yo' make no mistakes. Y o am pic k i n up de wrong chile entirely. Put yo' b a n's on m e at yo' p e ril." But the b a r te nder was angry, and, moreover fP.l t that a b a ck-down now would be a dis grace. flo he dr e w back and let Pomp have a drive full in the che st. "Ug h!" grun t ed the darky. Then what followed w as like a kaleidoscopic affair to the spPctators Pomp low e r e d his h e ad quick as lightning and dove for his antagonist. The bartender made another whack at him, but be could not resist thatl powerful rush. The darky's head took him full in the stomach. The crowd fell back, and the fellow, like a shot out or a catapult, was fairly driven full force under a table. He fell with such tremendous force that for a moment b e was quite unable to arise. When he did crawl out from the pla.ce, he was so batte red and bruis e d that be could nJt continue the lig ht. Tile crowd roared and cheered Pomp to a man . Good fer you, nig!" "Ye did w e ll." Y e're a real slugg e r." '' He ain't in It." But now P a t Looney, the proprietor, came angrily upo n the sc ene. What's illl thi s he roarell. Give me a band herr Gold durn ye, ye pesky nigger, what are a g ittin' up a row io here fer?" "Hoi' on, dar," said Pomp. "I ain' de m u n to blame.'' "Wbo is, then?" "Dat bart e nder ob yourn. He tried to make me pay fo' drinks dat I didn' ordah, sal.!. "He wouldn't do that," thundered Looney "Pay fo' the drinks, an' no foolin'.'' "Hold on!" It was a stern voice. Frank Ren de Jr. pushed through the crowd. He confronted Looney. I saw it all," b e s aid, sternly. "My man did not order the drinks." With an oath Looney pulled a revolver. But b e fore h e could lift i t another cov e red him. "Hold ri g ht where you are," said Frank in a voice of thunder, I'll drop you in a min ute if you don't apologize for this conduct. I have the drop." "Good for you, stranger!" cried voice in the crowd. "He 's right, Looney." "Yer bartende r did try the snide." I seen him do lt." "So did I.'' Looney glared into the mu z zle of Frank's pistol with passion diRtort e d face. Like all villai11s h e was a coward. He saw that the blufl' would not work. TI.Je sentiment of th e crowd was against him. Reluctantly he r e turned his pistol to his belt. All right, stranger," he said, sullenly. If my man d1d that he's to blame, in course. I back down." Frank coolly pocketed his pisto1 and said to Pomp: Come, let us g o Qut.'' But at this moment the clatter of hoofs were heard outside. A hor s e c a me to a stop outside the door and a man burst into the pla ce He was a cowboy, and his person was a sight to behold. He was cover e d with blood from head to foot. His buckskin suit was torn and riddled with riDe balls. His face was pale as death, and rushing to the middle of the lloor, he cried in a loud voice: "Is Mister Frank Reade, Jr., here!" There was an instant or dead silence and then Frank stepped forward. "He isP' "Are you the gent?" "I nm," repli e u Frank. The cowboy tottered to a chair and sank into it. "I'm nigh done out, he said, huskily, "but I came with all spe e d on your trail." "Indeed!" "I came from Ranch A.' A chill or h orror came over Frank. With pale face he int e rrogated: "Well-wbat-wbat is it?" Mr. Dar.e sent m e at the last moment. The Rustler s have attacked the place, nigh all our men uave been kill e d off, and the plac e was afire whe n I left. Dane s ent me for you t o get-help--" The poor f e llow sank back in a deacl faint. "My God!" cried Frank in thrilled tones, "this is horrible. Listen, all you men of hon est hearts and brave souls. Ranch A has been attackedjby Rustlers. Help must go down there at once. Now, who among you will go with me?" A chorus of hearty voices responded. Whisky bad been given the wounded cowboy and he was r e covering. Frank led the way out into the night. A large crowd or men followed. They were rough fellows the most of them, but honest hearted miners were among them, aod these were ever r e ady to respond to duty's call. Frank thought with a sense of power ol the pleasant people he bad met at Ranch A. He thought or the young g i rl Eva Dane, and what would be her fate if she fell into the hands of the Rustlers. It fired his whole soul, and be f elt like dar ing any danger to go to the re s cue. In less time than it to tell it, the vigilant band was organized. Fully fifty armed men on horseback were in froo t of the hotel ready to start in a brief spnce of time. Pomp had g-one down to the Stenm Man. Frank join e d them a moment lat e r. Then the S t e am Mao started out across the plains toward R a nch A. Th e V1gilants followed behind at .a swi nging g all op. The M a n's h e adlights lit up the prairie, and Frank h a d no troubl e in s e eing his cours e But the dis tance was grea t, being full firty miles. Th e Stea m M a n might have made this dis tanc e quicker. But it was daylight before they had cov.Jred it. Ev e n then many of tile horses had dropped out from exhaustion. Topping a rise in the prairi e Frank saw a great column of smoke rising in the air. My God!" he grouoed; th a t cowes from the r a och. I f ear we shall fiud nothing but tba ruins Bis fears proved to be not without founda tion. A short while later the site of Ranch A was in full s1g ht. or all the buildings nought was l e ft save a pile of a sh e s and a column of smoke. It was a m o et horrible reOection, yet it could not be gainsaid. Not a living being was in sight. One lthought f!nshed through the minds or all. Had not the Rustlers massacred everybody, and would not the bodies be found in the ashes? If so-Frank set his teeth firmly. His acquaintance with the people of Ranch A had been brief, but it was suffici ent to cause him to fee l a powerful inter est in them. If the Rus tlers had done them harm the Steam Man would he given a mis s i on. '!'hat mission would be one or reven ge. The St e am Man reached the ruins of the ranch long before the tired horses of the Vig ilante. It was discovered to be too true that the ranr.h had befln r e duced to ashes and its in mat e s slaughtered. There were evidences in plenty that a terrific battle bad been fought. :Oead bodies were strewn about the place or half consum e d in the ashes. Pres ently the "igilants came up. An e x ami n ation of the vicinity was at once made. 1 Then it was decided necessar; to camp for some hours, as the horses were completely done out. The trnil of the Rus t lers was i s covered lead in g to the and toward the Big Horn M o unt a ins. Fran!< caused all or the bodies found to be examined. But hat > Pily the bodies of Hiram Dane nnd his daughter or of Lester Willis were not found. "The y have either e s caped or heen taken away as prisoners," Frank concluded. "We most rescue them.'' A consultation waa held with the Vigilante.


I 6 FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF "RUSTLERS." It was decided ananlm ously to stick to the trail of the Rustlers until they should be run down and brought to "We will stay in it to the end," said bluff Joe Brigham, tlle leader. "If ye'lllea

FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF ''RUSTLERS." 'I With tha greatest or care he made a circuit of the camp. To his surprise and graat joy, he made one important discovery. This wus that the Rustlers bad not establish ed auy picket guard. Or at least if they bad, Frank could see noth ing of him, and was not at all troubled to make his circuit o! camp. Having gained a point 111 the rear of the cap tives, he :began to study tile possibility of ef fecting a rescue. The Rustlers seemed to be giving their pris oners little heed. The most of them were -holding higll carous al with cards and wil!e. It was certainly a favorably or. portunity and Frank embraced it. He crept cantion sly down to very edge of the camp. He was now not ten feet from the bound prisoners. There seemed not a ml"..n near to balk him In his plans. Waiting for a favorable moment he raised his voice in a htgh whisper: Sb! Friends are near yon! Keep up good courage!" Hiram Dane gave a violent start, and color came into the girl's face. Lester Willis turned his head eagerly for a moment. Then all remembered the danger of the mo ment and were guarded and quiet. Frauk now began to make his way slowly anc cautiously nearer. There was a great risk in the move. lie was making. He was obliged to cross a short pathway of light, and lmd any or the Rus"ers.cbanced to glance in that direction he must have been seen. But fortune seemed to favor the young in ventor. Flat upon his stomacl! like a Jnake he made his way to the big tree. He held a keen knife in his right band. It was but an instant's work to reach around the tree and cut the bonos whicn secured Mr. Dane's wrists and ankles. The ranch owner was free. Franksaid in a whisper: "Do not move until I have liberated the otbera. Then watch yoar chance and slip quietly into the forest." The Rustlers were so engrossed in their ca rousal that they bad not noticed the prisoners for some t ime. This laxity was no doubt due to the factthat Sims, their leader. was not present. As the reader knows be was far out on the plain with the Steam Man. Of course all this favored Frank immensely. The young inventor next proceeded to cut Eva's bonds. Then be liberated young Willis and the work was done. Withdrawing to the shadows Frank awaited developments. In a few moments Mr. Dane rolled over Into the shadows nn!l joined him. Eva nod Willis followed, all unnoticed by the cowboys. Franlt led the way hastily up the mountain side. Then pausing, he said: "I shall have to leave you here." "So soon?'' exclaimed Mr. Dane. "Yes. Barney and Pomp are waiting for me just below." Will you not join us again!" "I hardly think It likely. I would a:l vise you to strike out at once deeper into the bills and go into for a time. I think you will run across Joe Brigham and tbe Vigilante." And then Frank detailed the loss of the Steam Man. "You see. it Is necessary for me to recover my invention," he said. "Certainly!" cried Mr. Dane. "You have done enough for us. You must accept our un dying gratitude, and I can assure you that I shall try to repay the favor some day." "Do not speak of it," said Frank. "Now keep straight on into the hills. I am sure that you will find Brigham." With this they separated. The rescued party went on the bills by Frank's ctlrection. Frank himself started back to find Barney and Pomp. 'l'his proved to be no easy job. He through the undergrowth cautious ly, and reached the spot where be was sure he had left them. To his amazement and disappointment they were not there. I At this moment alRo, a thrilling thing oc curred. The outlaw camp seemed suddenly thrown into a state of wildest confusion. 'l'he truth was, the escape of the prisoners bad been discovered. Frank instantly realized that the vicinity would speedly get too hot for him. But wbat was be to do? He did not like to leave until he had learned the fate of Barney an:! Pomp. Where l.iad they gone? While try10g to solve this problem he wait-ed too long in the vicinity. Suddenlv dark forms surrounded him, "Hands up, stranger!" said a voice. desperate impulse was to flee the spot. But a half dozen powerful foes were upon him in a moment, and iu a twinkling be was bound band and foot. '!'hen he was curried into the camp by his captors. cries went up. "Thunder and blazes! that's the feller that has the Ste1m Man." "Hyar's a big catch!" Wbat'll tile boss say?" Lil;e enough he had suthin' to do with the escape of them prisoners . Frank was surrounded by his excited foes. He knew that the woods swarmed with these villains in quest of the escaped prisoners. Frank's sensations may be b11tter imagined than described. "By Jupiter!" he muttered. "I'm in for it now, sure., The cowboys seemed much elated at their cap\ure. But one thing gave Frank a bit of satisfactio::t. They bad not captured Barney and Pomp. Frank knew well that as long ae these laithful fellows bad their liberty, they would not cease to attempt his rescue. The cowboys jibed and tormented the pris oner for awhile. Then he was left to his own ruminations in tbe center of camp. Only a dozen of tbe Rugtlers were left to guard the camp. The others were all out in quest of the es caped Frank was indulging in reflections of a some what moody character, when one or the cow lloys approached him. "Wall, stranger," he said, in a bantering "ye put yer foot in it this time, didn't yer?" "I have been unfortunate," was Frank's reply. "Do ye know them prisoners are?'' "I have no mea!JB or knowing." "Didn't ye set 'em free?" "I don't care to answer that question." 11 Putty close-miluthed, ain't yeT" "There is no law to compel any man to speak when he don't want to," said Frank, COOIIJ. "Oh. ther ain't, eh?" 11 Never heard of one." 11 So yer Frank Reade, Jr., eb?" 11 That's my name." Putty big inventor, ain't ye!" "That is not for me to say." That Steam Man of your'n is quite a tribk, ain't it?'' "It is a good machine." It goes all by steam, does it?" "Yes." "How fast kin it go!" I Frank was getting intensely wearied of this style bt conversation. He looked at bls inter locutor penetratingly and said: If that's all you've got to say to me, let's end the talk here." T-Qe fellow's face flushed. "Humph! putty independent, ain't ye!" he exclaimed. Perhaps so." 11 Ye can't hardly afJord to be so long as ye're a kind of a prisoner.'' "I don't know about that." Do ye know the boys l!ave got a hard grudge agin ye?" 11 Indeed!" "I think they mean to bang ye." Frank's lip curled scornfully. "That does not tntimidate me." "It don't, ell!" "No." The fellow expectorated a big quantity of tobacco juice and leerec! at Frank. "That's all right. I've seen many a chap like you. They're all grit till they git the noose right over their necks. Then they weake::t." "Look here," said Frank, "Do you want to talk me to death and cheat the hangman?" The fellow guffawed immoderately. "Wall," he said, rtsing to his feet, "I'll give ye a bit of a chance. So long. I'll see ye later." He strolled away, and for a time Frank was left to own roflections. Tae young inventor bad not given up wholly to despair. He kept constantly hoping that Brigham and his men woulJ show up at an opportune moment. But tbey did not seem to come that way. Had they chanced upon the outlaw camp at that moment, they would have had little diffi culty in defeating the cowboys. But they did not come. Time passed, and the cowboys who bad gone in pursuit of the escaped prisoners did not re turn. Frank: wondered much what had become of Pomp and Barney. Daylight was now close at hand. Even Sims did not show up, and Frank saw that the Rustlers were getting uneasy. They held a consultation, a part of which Frank overheard. "1 tell ye what," said one of them, "I'm gettin' skeery. It's time that we made some kind or a move." "Better wait till Cal comes," said another. But p'r'aps he won't come." Oh, yes, he will." 11 I tell ye, let's take a vote on it. Shall we move or not!" A vote was taken. It was overwhelmiug!y decided that the party should move. The result was vef.i Important, so far as Frank was concerned. One of the 'Rustlers went to a. tree near and threw a rope over a limb. Then two others advanced and cut the bonds about Frank's feet. 1 He was led lJeneath the tree and one or the Rustlers said: "Now, stranger, say yer prayers. We hev decided to hang ye rather than to take ye along with us." Frank was very calm. 11 Why do you seek my life!" he asked. "You are au enemy." "What have I done to harm you?" "we bad a scrap with you which you well remember. You killed quite a number or our men." "But that was in self-defense." "It's all ther same. Say yer prayers an' git ready to die." Frank knew that it was to make any protest. He was in the banda of desperate men with whom argument did not count. So he allowed them to slip the noose over hie head. l t tightened about his neck. -


J FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF "RUS't'LER8." One of the Rustlers raised his baod aod asked: Are ye ready?" Frank nodded his head. 'l'he next moment the meo at tbe end or the rope gave way. Frank Jr.'s body went up into the air ll'!ld he swung in space. CHAPTER VII. RECOVERY OF THE STEAM MAN. BuT what bad become of Barn e y and Pomp! It will be rem e m b ered that while Frank wa s liberf>ting the prieoners In the Rustler s c amp, the two faithful servitors were waiting hiS r e turn in the undergrowth. Tiln6 passed, and hotb saw th e young in ventor when he cut Hiram Dane's bond s "Golly!" whispered Pomp, "I jes' hopes :Marse Frnnk: Will bab good luck wif dem chaps.'' '' B e jabors so do I," agreed Barney. If d e m Rustlers don' see him now he will get d e m otf s cot free fo' S!Iah.'' "Begorra that's roight." Th e two watched Frank's move mAnta intently. Sudd e nly Barn e y gave a start. What. tb(' divil is that, naygur!" Sh! dar am a lot ob de rapscallions comin' dis way," whis p e red Pomp. This w a s tru e Who.t had attracted them was not easy to sny, but a number of the Rustlers were beating the bush e s n ear where th e two men croucb ed. "Go lly!" muttered Pomp. "I j e s' guess we's e in lo' it. " 'l'hat s thrue shure.'' What will we do, I'ish?'' Be!.!;orra, I don't know." The Rustl e rs were evidently making a search of the bu s h e s. Suddenly the voice of one was heard: Ar e you sure, Bill, that ye seen any one in hya r ? '' "De ad sure, Jim." "It mought have been one of our own men." "Not a bit of It. I t e ll ye tbere's skulkers around l1ya r to-night." Well, by Jupiter, if thar is, we must lind em."'' "ln cour s e we must." Barney and Pomp Knew that it would be tbe heigbt of folly to remain lon g er in tbe place. It was t he safest and best way to get out of tha vir.inity at once. Th e y were desirous of reaching Frank allll also warmng him of the danger. But tbere was no way of doing this. All tbat they could do was to beat a retreat, and sudd e nly Barney's foot caugbt in a wire and he fell. He was almost instantly seen by the foe. They at once gave bot pursuit. D own through the woods the chase went. But the two fugitives JJ;d a good start and dis tanced their purs uers. They were now in a deep valley among high hll;s. The chase bad been conducted at random. Cut off at many turns they had been obliged to pursue a course which was most deviating and perplexing. So that really they hardly knew now where the y were. To attempt to retnrn to the camp of the Rustlers was almost impossible ,, "Golly!" cri e d Pomp. "I'se just about concluded dat we'se lost, !'ish.'' 'l'bru e enough, naygur.'' My wo'd fo' it. What will Marse Frank say?" Begorra, I don't know. Shure, av he re turns for us it's captured he'll be by the omad bouns.'' "I reckon dat am jes' a fac'." The two faithful fellows were mu(lh distress ed with tbis reflection. But there seemed no way out of the difficulty now. It would seem to be too late to return to the now, even had been able to do so. As a tbey wandered around aimlessly for a while. It was just daybreak when tb!ly finally came out at the base of the mountains and in a long valley which extended down to the plains. Tllrough thid rrm a stream. Barney and Pomp crept down to it and slaked their thirst in a cooling draugbt. Tbey were now in very much of a quandary. What to do was a perf e ct eniu:ma to them . They cMt themselve9 down upon the green sward by the brookside. "Be Saint Michael!" quoth Barney, "we must be aftber doin' av som e thin' desperate yet, n ay gur. Phwativ e r shall it h e?" "I jes' don' know nutfin' 'tall about it," r e plied Pomp, despairmgly. S hure av Mistter Frank is in the power av thim vilyuns we mu s t r e scue hun in some way.'' P'r'aps yo' l1in tell ob s ome way, l'isb ?" "Bejal!ers I can't that, au' that's phwy I fee l so J o ike a fool." Bame y had lJe en lying upou his side on tbe green grass. His guze bad wandered to the v e rge of the clump of trees upon the banks of tbfl same stre am u short wny bel o w S uddenly he spran g up with a i'tartled cry. "Be me sow!, phwativ e r is that?" "What am dat yo' say?" W o d yez luk at that?" Pomp follow e d the direction indicated by Barney with hi s e ye. Regave a great start. Ab o ve th e clump of trees there rose a high column of smok e What did it mean? Was it a camp tire? Tbe two fugitives exchanged startled and wondering glanc e s. "1'1! t ell ye what!" cri e d Pomp, "we'se gwine to look tint up.'' All roight naygur.'' N9 sooner said than clone. 'Ihe two servi tors started awoy along th e banKs of the cr eek. They proceeded cautiously, for, f a r aught they knew, a foe might be n ear and ou tbe watch. But as they dre w nearer they became im pres s ed with the fact that the smoke column looked m o re like that from a chimney than aught e lse. That's very quare!'' t hou ght Burney. Then a stilled cry escaped bis lips. ' B e me sow!!" be gasped. "It's the Stheam Man." This was a certain fact. Tbe Man stood puffing upon the bank of creek. Ual Sims, the Rustler chief, and the sole oc cupant of the cage, was just cleceudiog from it. He had the cvnnecting hose in his hand, witb which water was usually pumped into the l.Joilers. It was readily under s tood that the water in the boil e rs had become exhau s ted, and Sims had been obliged to stop u e re to replenish the store. Pomp and Barney were tbrilled with their good fortune in commg upon the villain so op portunely. It was a chance which they should surely embrace and which would have l.Jeen seldom gained. "Be me sow!, Pomp said Barney, excited ly. "We must circumvent the rascal in some way or another." Golly, I jes' tole yo' bow to do dat, I'ish.'' Shure, a n' how!" "Wait till de rapscallion am gwlne down to de watah to f as ten on d a t ho2e pipe. Den we jes' skips up behind him an' yo' kin cover him wid yo' rifle while I jes' ties his hands. See!" '' Yez are a jewe), naygur declare:! Barney, admirin g ly. "I'll let yez take the lead." A'ri ght, I'ish.'' Pomp crept alor:p:, cautiously keeping the Steam Man betw een him and Sims. The villain bad bent down, and was just in the act or putting the hose pipe into the water. Barney crept up to within a distance of twenty feet. "Up with hands thar, yez misfit Eyetalian," I \ j \ crie J the Celt, bringing his rifle to bear upon the villain. Av yez move a hand I'll put a bote troo yez." Sims electrified turned like a Hash. His hand jew to his telt, but Barney made a threatenmg move. Hands up!" be said, sternly. Sims could only ob e y. The Rustler's face was black with im:>otent wrath. Cusses on ye!" be gritted. W(lllr did ye cum from!" Oh, we jist bave be e n Iukin' for the lolkes av y e z," cried Burney, with a complacent grin. "J e s' yo' hoi' d e drop on him, l'isb till I j e s' ties up his han's," cried Pomp. "All roi ght, naygur." SimR was furious. Jfe in vain looked for a way out of the scrape. H e saw t .bat h e was b eaten and his face was as black as a thund e r cloud. "CuisP. )e!" he gritted, sav11gely. "I'll call ye down yet." "Not dis trip, I fink, sah," said Pomp, with a smile. The darky tied the villain 's hands and feet an l l left him l y ing upon the ground. Pomp and Barney th e n hastily climbed into the cage. Tbe pumps bad been working io the mean while, and th e gauge showed that the boilers were well ,til!ed. T a -t a m ali frien'!" cried P o mp jubilant ly. I j e!!' fink yo' h a b a lubly tim e lay in' dar. Yo' j e s' b a b plenty ob tim e fo' to Link ob e r yo' sins." The vill ain andtwist e d and blacken ed the :air with curs es. "Cuss ye, nip:ger!" he roared. "I'll cut yer black heart for this!" I don' fink yo' will!" cried Pomp. I don' fink yo' b e ttuh brag at all.'' Are ye goin' to leave me here to die!" W e's e jes' gwine to lea be yo' here," replied Pomp. "Cursey('J" "Youse m a y tnank RS fo' sparin' yo' life sah. We might hab k i lled yo', an' it would b e a good ling fo' de worl' if we j e s' did do i t." But I'll die in this position, curs e ye, nig-ger!" Dat am a right," taunte d Pomp. "Yous e got to die some time. Jes' wait til! d a rk an' de wolves comes a long. Kidar!" The villain gasped witb fear and trem!>ling at the r efle ction. Curse yel" be howled. "SAt me free! Please do! 1'1! beg of ye! Ye won't, eb! I'll kill ye if ye don't!" Thus be raved f u riously. But his captors were inexorable. Perbapa th e ir human tendencies mig-h t have caused them to yield but for a certain fac t. At that moment they saw a body of horse, men coming down the valley. They knew at once that they were members of the Ru s tl e r hand. They would be sure to find tbe wr e tch and liberate him. So they hastily dre w in the bose, closed the cage doors and then sent up a defiant blast of tbe Steam Man's whistle. Opening the throttle, Pomp sent the Man out onto the smooth plain. HAre they could set the Rnstlers at defi a nce. With swift tread the Steam Man mac \e his way along the base of the mountains. Pomp and Barney had but one paramount desire now, and tbat was to find Frank Reade, Jr. CHAPTER VIII. SAVED. NEVER in his caree r had Frank R e ade, Jr. Cllrne n earer the end of his life. He bad actually been pull e d up into the air by the Rustlers when a startling thing occtlrred. There was a quick, sharp crack of a ri fie, and the cord snapped, and Frank's lJo

( FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF "RUSTLERS." 9 Into the clearing burst half a hundred men, with Joe Brigham at their !1ead. At last the Vigilants bad come. With loud cheers tbey rushed upon the Rust lers. But the latter threw dowu their arms and surrender e d In a few moments Fra nk Reade, Jr., was upon his feet and shaking hands with his friends. It seemed that the liberated prisoners had not gune a mile before tbey fell in with Brig bam The Vi gilants bad been scouring the hills thoroughly. Tiley had found no previous trace of th e Rustlers however. Toe) were much e xcited when they learned that the S team Mao bad fallen into the hands or'Sims. "Wb}", that is hard luck, friend," said Brig ham. "Never mind!" cried Hiram D a ne, "the in vention shall be recovered. We will stand by you, Mr. Reade, until' it i s." The Vi gilants cheered, for all bad f o rmed a great re s pect and hkiug for Frank Reade, Jr. But the question now upon the docket was as to what bad b etter be done. 1 IL wa s a que s tion of no light sort, too. Barney and Pump were mis s ing. For aught Frao'k knew, they might be dead or mu1dere d To bok them up and recover the Steam Man seem e d the principal outlook. But firs t an important move was decided upon. As thrilling exper Jence s ar.d great hardships were likely to ensue, it wa3 decided to take a wis e pr e c a ution. Fort McKinney was Dot more than one hun dreu mile s distant. A p arty of the were detached and Mis s Ev a and her father were to be escorted in saf e ty to the fort. At first the millionaire was anxious to re m a in. "I am not decrepit," he declared, and I want to do som e thinl!: to !;e lp Mr. R e ade." But be was fibally prevailed upon to accom pany his d a u g ht e r. It was well considered a wise and prope r move. After this party bad d e parted, young Willis, taking an a ffection ate leave of his fia nce. the main body of the Vigilante, with Joe Brigham and Frank Reade Jr., at their bead, started out to ransack the hills. First it was de e med necessary tQ look up Barney and Pomp. Frank was much worried over the possible fate of his two f a ithful servitors. If harm hare alive and would turn up somewhere. But he wondered much what had become of the Steam Man. If Sims had it yet in his possession, be cer tainly cid not make any show or himself. This was to Frank most singular. The Steam Man st.ould be to the Rustlers in their depredations a most va!ual.Jie adjunct. The mor e Frank pondered over th'l matter the less satisfi e d he becam e "Confound the rascal!" he muttered. I don't see bow we ever allowed !Jim to dupe us in such a way The loss of the Steam M a n was to Frank R e ade Jr., a most irreparable one. Nothing seemed to atone for it. He walked along in this frame of mind and scarcely heeded objects about him. No thought of possible dang o r cro s sed his mind. Be had reach e d a point fully a quarte r of a mile from th e camp. H e was almost around upon the opposite side of the butte from the camp. 1 S u d denly he was called to his senses in a peculi a r way. He h 2 ard what sounded lil\e a sharp click in the bu s hes at his right. Instinctively Frank thought of a hidden foe and a possible bull e t. H e instantly sank down, but the shot did not come. Instead, out of the undergrowth sprang half a score of dark forms sharp cry f o r help broke from Frank's lips. But th e y were upon him Jill:e panthers in their fury. CHAPTER IX. A FEAR F U L FATE, "SEIZE hind" cri e d a h o arse con s r a ined voice. "Don't kill him. I've got a s weet e r fate in store f o r him." That voice Frank recognized in spite of the tumult. It gave him a thrill. ' Tba\ is Sims," he thought. "The villain! Oh, if somebody would only com e ' But the hig h butte w a s between Frank and the camp of the Vigilants. The loudest cries could not possibly be beard by his friends. It was a thrilling situation and a moment for the young in v entor. He fought well, but the villains were too strong for him They swarmed upon him like bees. H'l was beaten down a nd quickly made a pnson.,r. With hands bound bebir;d him, be stood in the midst of his foes. It was dense gloom, but Sims, the Rustler chief, for be it waR r e scued f1om the po s iti o n in which he was left by Barney and Pomp. I.Jy his own men, advanced and peered critically into Frank's faee. 'Yes," he cried, "he is the man I want. Curse bim! I will make him rue tbe day be ever invented the Steam Man." "Cal Sims," said Frank, sternly, "you will expiate your crimes in a terrible manner yet, mark my w o rd." "It will be no fault of yourn if I don't," sneered the villain; "\Jut I've one satisfaction. Ye'll nev e r hve to see it." Frank made no further talk. What'll we do with him, boss?" lisked one of the men. "Tie !;im to a boss and bring him along with us," ordered Sims. Frank was bound to the back of one of the mustangs. Then the cowboys, a full score in number, started away acro s s the plain. Once Sims rode clo s e to Frank's side and hissed: ''I tell ye, Cal S!ms will win yet. Ye kn o w that gang y e sent o t r with the gal an' h e r f athe r ter Fort McKinney? W ell, I'v e sent th e big gPst p11rt of my men off arte r 'em. Th P y w on't H ave a man of 'em alive, ar.' that gal I'm goin' ter have fer a wife. What o'ye think of that!"


r 10 FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF "Rl}STLERS." Th e brute laughed hideously. It made Frank sick and But be bad n stron g b elief that the party would reach tbe fort safelv. Whei e is the Steam Manf" he asked, calmly. gave a start. His as tu t e n a ture at once perceived that Fra nk wa s una ware of the afl a ir in which he h u d !ig ur e d so humiliatingly. H e smil e d grimly and replied: "Oh, I've got that stored away. You'll nev e r see it agio." Frauk did not doubt the villain's assertion. He fell into something like a de s pondent mood as the party galloped on through th'.l dark night. The butte was soon left out of sight below the horizon lint>. 'l'he nig ht was starlit and clear, and ob j e cts could be seen a goodly distance across the plain. F or some hours the band galloped on in si lence. Th e n the b a nks of the stre am, thickly fring ed with willows, was reached. Here a halt was called and the Rustlers pro &elded to go into camp. Frank w a s t!lken from the horse's back and tied to a tree. Some tim e was spent by the Rustlers in makIng the camp. TIHi n afte r the flurry was all over Sims cam e up to Fra nk and said: "Wall, my fnend, now I s'pose ye're r e ady f e r yer oo se ar.e ye? Wall, I'll make it a sweet one, 1 kin t ell ye." I don't know what you mean,"said Frank, qui e tly. The vill ain laughed coarsely. "Wall, I'll havjl to tell ye then," be averred "It's about time for you to git ready to take leave of this sphere "Indeed!" s11id Frank, coolly. "I think I am quite ready." "Ye are, eh?" "Yes" Quite u hero, ain't yc?" "Pe rhaps so." "Ye'll he like one of them martyrs ye read about, bein' burned at the stake. Oh, you'll do." Frank dei g ned no reply. "Wall," continued tbtl villain, coolly, "I might as well tell ye fer yer own peace of mind whnt I've got in store fer ye." H e ejected a huge wad of tobacco from his mouth and went on. "I war at one time a renegade in a band of Blackfe e t up in the Nor'west. They allus capturto a hated foe and burn them at the st.1ke. \ So that is the way you propose to treat me?" Frank, coolly. "Yas." "Very well. I am ready." Ob, you are?'' "Yes.'' "That settles it. The funeral will open a) once." The villain turned with a coarse laugh and beckoned to a number or his men. "Fe tch a pile of wood!" he cried. Jest heap it up around this cuss to his chin! We'll give him a warm bath, an' don't ye fergit it!" The men at once procee ded to obey orders. Wood was in grea t heaps from the grove near, and heaped up about the intended Frank saw that there was no doubt but that the villain meant to his word. His h eart sank, hut he was a brave man and he would have died then and there rat her than show the least sign of the whit e feather. Higher yet the villains heaped the pile of wood. They kept on until suddenly Sims cried: "That'll do.'' Th e n th e y desistP.d. The Rustler chief ad vanc e d "nd confronted Fra nk. Wall, how do ye feel now?" he asked, taunt ingly. I fee l that you are a dirty villain and a coward." S1ms' fac e flushed. That's not safe talk fer you." I need fear nothing uow that I am to die." I Do ye realize It, then!" "You will have to do the same some day. I am glad that I shall go before my Maker with the load on my conscience that you have." I'll make ye eat fire for that," gritted the villain. He picked up a brand from one of the camp fires. He touched It to the pile heaped up about Frank Reade Jr. The effect wad terrific. The light tinder-like wood flamed liP A terrible death was upon Frank Reade, Jr., the famous young inventor. But, fortunat ely, fate had not decreed that he w a s to die in such a manner. Even as death seemed upon him rescue was close at hand. S uddenly through the gloom there came a flashing light, a noise like the rumbling of tbuuder. As it was too dark to follow their trail Frank set the Steam Man going toward the north. He had thought of returning at once to the butte and rejoining the Vigilants. But when daylight came only the vast plain was upon every band. Mount'ains and timber had all faded away in the distance. However, it was easy enough to set a course, and Frank was about to do so when a cry came from Pomp Ki-elar, Marse Frank! Whatebber yo' call dat yender?" Frank looked across the plain and saw an object approaching them. It looked at first like a buffalo galloping down upon them. But a s e cond look shewed that it was a horse and rider. What was more, the rider appeared all done out, for he lay prone over the pommel of his saddle. It was a startling sight. Down into the camp a mighty monster came CHAPTER X. scatt e ring the fire-brands acd crushing al! A THRILLING REPORT. luckless Rustlers who chanced to be In its path. THE str!lnge rider was beaded directly for the Steam Man. Wild shrieks went up on the air, ear-splitting As he came nearer, Frank saw that he was a nd terrifying in the extreme. able to lift lus bead and wave his band feebly. The cowboys were overturned, knocked right Like a tlasb a thought came to the yo uno"' inand l eft. aud dispersed like chatr. ventor. The ke e n notes of a repeating rifle rang out .. My soul!" he cried, "it is one of the Vio"'iand man a fter man bit the dust. Round and round the camp literally clean!ants who went away to Fort McKinney." ing it out went the Steam Man, for such the This was the truth. . monster was, arrived just in the nick of time. A moment later the r1de r drew rem by the N tl "' h ld th t d th t Steam M an. umau cou WI s an a O:l Frank and Barney helped him from the sadIn vain Sims tried to rally his men. die. Finally, seeing the futility of tile attempt, He was a Bight to 1 c oward that he was be incontinently fled for He had been m four places above t1e his life. belt, and was so famt and weak from loss of In much less time than It takes to tell it the blood that he hardly speak. Rustler "'a ng of a score of men were i"'-"My name IS Jack Moors," he sa1d, f eehl.v !light by tha Steam Man. o "I-I was with. the p!rty to the fort With Then out of the rear door of the cage sprung . an? his dauohte:. . Barney. Yes, Frank, excitedly, but how m

READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF "RUSTLERS." 11 sympathies were at once excited in the fellow's behulf. He went at once to the dasher and took up the throttle reins. Ou the level gr!>und at top speed the Steam Man could cover the one hundred miles easily in two hours. Away he went across the plain with tremendous strides. 'l'be prairie was as level and hard as a floor. He sped on like a whirlwind. Mile after mile was reeled off. lL was somewhere near the hour of noon, when suddenly Barney cried: "Begorra, there she is, M1sther Frank." '' Wliat, the fort!" cried Frank. Shure, sor!'' Where!" "Dead ahead, sor." Sure enough, t ahead the flagstaff of Fort McKinney was plainly seen. The Steam Man went as far as the guard line anti here a halt was called. Frank told his story to a guard, who called for tlle corporal au(l word was at once sent to headqtmrters. An ambulance came out and took Moors in to the hospital. As he went away he smiled and bade Frank good-bye. "I thank you for bringing me t.ere," he said. lL was very kind of you." "lt is nothing," said I<'rallk. "I sincerely hope that you will speedily recover." "I hope to." TllP commanding officar then eent word to the guard to allow the Steam Man to pass the line. The Man entered the fort, and Frank went in to consult with tbe commauder. "So you are Frank Rende, Jr. !" said t!Je officer, with a smile. I am very glad to meet yon. I am Gen. C--." I am glatl to meet you, general," said Frank, politely. "You have a wonderful invention there in your Steam Man." "It IS considered so." "What is all this trou!Jle that I hear about with the Rustlers?" "Well," said Frank, bluntly, "I think it is a matter that the government should deal with, and promptly, too." "I have just bad advice from the War De partment to send a force out, and to-morrow five hundrecl men will start to try and adjust matters." "I am very glad to hear of that,'' declared Frank. "Is it, do you think, as serious as repre sented! Are they really going to such exliS the taking Of human life and the burning of ranches?" "I know it from observation,'' saitl FranK. Then they shall be summarily dealt with!" declared Gen. C--, sternly. "It is bad enough to have to deal with Indians, but white men should know enough to behave themselves.'' A short while later Frank took leave of the fort. Gen. C-knew Hiram Dane well, and said: -..... If they do harm to Mr. Dane and his beau tiful daughter they shall live to richly repent it.!" A few moments later the Steam :Man was again spP.eding away across the !Jroad and level plains. It was late in the afternoon when thev came in sight of the butte where the Ranch x had once stood. But no sign of the Vigilante was visible there. They h ad evidently left the place. So Frank turned the Steam Man toward the distant hills. Some while later they were reached, and the Steum Man was leisurely striding along their base, when suddenly a horseman rode out or a belt of timber. It was Joe Brigham, the leader of the Vigi lants. But he was a sight to behold. His face was pale and blood-stained, his clothing shot full or holes and be seemed weak and faint. He was overjoyed at sight of the Steam Man. He waved his arms and stouted to attract the attention of those on !Joard. Frank stopped the Man and Brigham came up on a lope. He dismounted, crying: "Hollo, fnends! when did ye get back into tile machine?" "Hullo, Brigham!" cried Frank. "You are wounded." "Yes, "bit." A1e you badly hurl?" Only a few scratches. Got any good whisky?" ''Yes." "That will flx me nil Frank opened the door in the cage and Brigham came aboard. A draught of whisky seemed to help him greatly, and he sai::l: -"I feel 0. K. now." "But what has happened?" asked Frank. eagerly. "How did you come in this fix? Where are the others?" ''Easy," said Brigham, with a laugh. "Ask one thing at a Lime. Well, 1'11 tell you. The others are somewhere in hills, and I ex pect they are having a scrap now with some of the Rustlers." Imleed! Why are you not with them!" "'fhat's what I'm a!Jout to tell you. You see, we were leaving the butte. and were at tacked by a terrific gang of the Rustlers. The same gang bad Mr. Dane and along with them aB prisoners." "Just so," cried Frank. "I have heard of that. Go ahead!" "Well, we had a running fight with the gang across the prairie. In the melee, and just as we reached the bills, I got separated from the others. Since then I have bad six single handed tights. I am pretty well used np, as you see, but just the same, I c&me out victori ous.'' "Good for you!" cried Frank. ''You are a hero. Joe." "No, I ain't, but I'll bet in a fair up and np light my boys can lick Sims' gang out of their boots." "I don't doubt it." "And we will do it yet." "I hope so." "Now," said Brigham. ansmg, "I can't waste any more time here I must join the boys. They will be looking for me." He at once sprang out of the cage. "Well," said Frank, "we want to give you some help." I think you can do it," declared Brigham. "HI am not mistaken, the battle ground is apt to be in a small valley in the hills. There is a pass leading into it and I think the Steam l\fan can easily pass through it." Good enough," cried Frank. If you will lead the way I will follow." Brigham would have sprung upon his horse but at that moment the crack of a rifle rang out. The animal staggered and fell. Thunder!" cried Brigham, reeling back, what's that for?" The next instant a volley of bullets came rat tling against the netting or the Steam Man's cage. "Come aboard, quick!" cried Frank. Brigham net>ded no second bidding. He hac!felt several of the bullets whistle by him and had escaped being hit by them very luckily. He sprang at once into the cage. The door was closed and not a moment too soon. From the cover of rocks and bushes about a legion ot;the Rustlers sprang. They advanced with loud yells trying to fire through the net ting. But the bullets could not penetrate the im pervious steel. "Now," cried Frank, in a ringing voice, "let us give tham a royal good thrashing!" All sprang to the loopholes and opened fire upon the cowboys. or course they bad a great advantage over the desperadoes, as they were protected them selves. Tho way Barney and Pomp worked their re peaters was a caution. The firing was becomwg red bot when an idea occurred to FraBk. He sprang to tlle dasher and started the Steam Man slowly out over the plaic. Hi_s purpose soon became plain. CHAPTER XI. ON TO TilE SCENE OF BATTLE. FRANK's scheme was an adroit one. He meant to tempt the desperadoes to fol low him ont on the plain. Once there, and a fair distance from the cover, and be would Lorn the Man upon the outlaws like the car of Juggernaut, and crush them. But the fire from Barney's and Pomp's re peaters was too much for the rascals. They went but a short distance, and then retreated to the cover of the hillside. It was certainly a victory for the Steam Man, and not one on board had received a scratch. Brigham was delighted. "Ob, if the boys were only here now!" he cried, "we would give them a jolly good tbrasliing. '' If they would only come out into the open we could do it as it is," declared Frank. But the Rustlers did not ventare to come out. They contented themselves with firing a few desultory shots, and then the firmg ceased alto gether. It wa!i evident tbat they had retreated into the hills. What was to be done now? Brigham felt that he must rejoin his men as shortly as possible. So it was decided to attempt to enter the hills by means of the pass named by Brigham. But just as th:s conclusion was reached the sound of firing was beard. It camll from the hills and was rapid anti continued. A battle of some sort was:certninly in prr g re8s. Undoubtedly the Rustlers had come into col lision :with the Vigilante. This tired Brigham with an uncontrolla!Jle desire to be with his men. "By Jupiter!" he cried, desperately, "I must join them in some way. They need me bad." But to start alone from that point to enter the hills would have been folly. A move was finally decided upon. "I have a plan," Raid Frank Reade, Jr. Without doubt it will work." "What is it?" asked the Vigilant captain. "We will go to a point beyond that head land yonder. Then you and I will leave the cage and penetrate into the bills." "All right!" cried Brigham, eagerly. We will first gain the top of that high emi nence there. From it we ought to see exactly Lhe position of the foe. Then I will see whether it is possible to enter the hills or not with the Man." "Capital!" cried Brigham. "Let us lose no time." "Jes' wait a bit, Marse Frank," interposed Pomp. What will us chill una do all dis "Stay out bere on level ground and keep out of tbe way of the foe," said Frank, quietly. "A'right, sa h." "Bejabers, phwy can't I go wid yez, 1\{isther Frank?" asked Barney. "Yez ought not to go alone." "Not this time, Barney," said Frank, with a laugh. ]'rank sent. the Steam Man along. At the o\Jjective point a halt was made, and m the cover or a clump of pines they left the cage. Striking straight up the mountain side, they trailed along until the top of the peak was reached.


12 FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF "RUSTLERS." They were now well up, and could command a good view of the valley. But there was no sign of lire there. Looking beyond it, however, Brigham gave a sharp cry. "See the table-land!" he cried. "There is the battle." Sure enough, there the lines of battle could be plainly seen. A deep canyon ran along one side of the plateau. Behind some ecrub pines the Vigilants were ensco1fced, while the Rustlers were behind roc"s at tho other end of the plateau. 'l'here is the hattie field!'' cried Fmnk; "but bow will you rejoin your men, Brigham?" "I see a way." "Where?" "Do you see that pass up there back of the little ronnd top hill?'' "Yes.'' "Well, I can sneak up there and come down J>ebind them. I will be there in twenty min utes "Good! I wish you luck." "Th ank you! but--" "What?" "Bow will you get there with your Steam Man?" "I see a way." "Where?" Frank pointed to the eastward. A cry of joy escaped Brigham's lips. "Good!" be cried ;I" that will !Iring you down right illj the rear of the villains." "Yes, and I think I can drive them out of their position." "If so we can defeat them." "Yes." "Good! now I'm off. I shall look for the Steam .Man." "He will be on hand." Brigham was out 0f sight the next moment. He went down through the rr.ountain pines like a flash. Frank stood and watched the distant conflict for a few moiLents. Then he started to return to the plain below. There is nothing to be gained by remain ing here," he muttered. "I will ret.urn to the Steam .Man." With tins decision he started to retrace his steps. But he bad not gone far when a thril ling thi11g occurred. Frank heard a low, sibilant whistle from some brush just ahead. It was answered from a point just in his rear. The young invento r was instantly upon his net ; ve. Hl'l scented danger ahead. Be paused suddenly and dropped behind the stump of a tree. He was not a nwment too soon. The crack of a rifle smote upon the air. The bullet whistled just over his bead. Had he remained standing, be must have been instantly killed. "Humph! that was narrow enough," mut tered Frank, in a cool manner. I wonder wlw the rascals are?" Again the whistle sounded faintly. Not a sign of any person could be seen. Without doubt the rascals werll in biding. Tllat they were a stray few of the gang of Rustlers Frank felt sure. Be was now iu somewbt of a quandary and quite undecided what to do. If he exposed himself for even a moment, there was great danger of being shot down. On the other hand'; he was much averse to remaining in his present position, for he wish ed to rejoin Pom!J and Barney and tl!e Steam M:m as quickly as possible. But it seemed as if he must be literally sur rounded by the rascals. "By Jupiter!'' muttered the young Inventor, dubiously. What am I going to do? This is getting serious." Then it occurred to him to adopt Indian tac tics. With this thought Frank dropped fiat upon his stomach and begnn to work his way snake In>e through the uncl!rbrush. He was an adept in this art, for he bad learned the trick during one Indian campaign iu which hi! llgured. For fifty yards Frank was successful in thus making his way along. 'l'ben be came to a clear spnce. Here be was brought to a bait. Be beard a noise just above his pre!let;t position, and at the spot he h ad left. He at once concludect that the villains were there searcl!ing for him. But for this opeu ground which be bad now reached he might have felt perfectly sure of But to to cross this was to expose himself to view. This be knew would be a risky thing, for with their rilles the RusL!tli'S coultl pick him ofl: Yet to remain whn it!" "Yes, I do." 'l'hat's luck!" "Come down and see what ye think." "111 rio-ht." Then beard them coming crashing through the underbrush toward him. It was a desperate moment. There was no d<>ubt hut that they had the trail and would very quickly be upon him. In stant action was imperative. Frank took the desperate chance. In an instant he was upon his feet and speed ing across the open space. A loud shout went up. Then rifle bullets came whistling towards him. But in motion as he was the aim was inac curate. None of them hit him. Fortune was with him in that respect. He crossed the open and reached the little belt of timber beyond. Another moment and he would have been safe. The foliage of the brushwood was about to close over him when suddenly up, seeming ly from the ground, sprang a man in his very path. He clutched at Frank and the next moment both went to the ground in a heap Frank made a desperate attempt to spring up and break away from his foe. But the fellow bung to him and a desperate struggle followed. t Down the mountain side came the others, a yelling borde. Hold on him, Jakel" Don't let him go!" He's our huckleberry. Don't let him get awav!" Frank made a last desperate effort to break away from his captor. But the villain had him pinned helplessly to the ground. CHAPTER XU. IN THE QUICKSAND. MEANWHILE Pomp and Barney, left with the Steam Man, were not having by any means the most pleasant sort of a time. I I After Frank and Brigham bad disappeared, Pomp produced his banjo and began to smg some plantation melodies. This irritated Barney, and after listening to "Old Uncle Ned,," "My Kentucky Home," and a few other effusions, the Celt opened fire. "Howld on there, naygur, wid yez clatther in' noise!" be cried. Will there niver be an ind av it all? Yez will drive me crazy, that yez will!" "Golly. I jes' reckon I'se ag good a right fo' to play dis banJO as yo' has fo' to listen," re torted Pomp. With this he drifted off into so;ne sort of a jin g ling clog, and the way he banged the strings was a caution. Burntly stood it as long as he could, and th e n he dived into a locker and brought out a Iiddle. It wae a genuine Irish affair, and Barney claimed that it was an heirloom of the Shea family of generations gone by. Certainly it was olJ enough, as the scarred and seamed wood would indicate. Pomp saw the instrument appear and a smile contorted his features. 1 Dat's right, I' ish," he cried. I jes' fought yo' would jiue de band sooner or lat e r. Cum along. " Begorra, I'll soon dhrown the pandymon ium av that blasted insthrument av tarture yez there," r etorted Barney. Don' yo' call no names, l'isb. I jes' advise yo' not to do dat," Bejabers, l'd loike to know bow yez are going to prevint me." G'long, l'ish, you'se a heap poor stuff, yo' is." Barney ignored this statement and at once began to tune the Iiddle. Of all scmping and <;aterwauling shrieks that violin gave forth the equal was never seen. It was certainly enough to par11lyze the hardiest nerves. Of course, Pomp bad hard work to keep any sort of time on the banjo If Barney was irritated in the first place Pomp was doubly so now. The shrieking and groaning and whirring and tweaking of the violin completely squelch ed the jingling music of the banjo. Pomp tried to keep tba air up, and then paused in disgust. Bol' on dar, !'ish. If yo' is gwine to play, why don' yo' play some \llDsic listen in' to?" Begorra, I'm tuning me fiddle, so I am, an' f er all that it's better music tbab yez kin give." Dat am a lie, aab !" "Pbvrat?" In an instant Barney dropped the fiddle and sprang up "Dat's wha' I said, chile." "Yez call me a loiar, do yez?" "Dat's right." Begorra, if yez don't take it back I'll yez out of yez boots." Pomp laughed s cornfully. "Huh! Yo' amn't able fc' to do dat yet, sah!" be said, coolly. "I jes' gibs yo' warn ing fo' to let this chile alone." Will yez take it bacl?" "No.'' 1 Begorra, I'll never have a man call me a liar an' thin not retaliate," stormed Barney. Shun, take that, ye black, ye!" With this Barney let out with his right and took Pomp in the shoulder. 'I' he darky went over like a ten-pin. But he was almost instautly upon his feet. Dropping his ':mojo. ne rushed upon the Celt lik e a thunderbolt with hiB bead lowered. Golly sakes!" be cried, I jes' teach yo' bett&r dan to strike dis chile dat away." Barney had not time to get out or the way. The two practical Jokers had not stopped to think of the conseQuences. Pomp's bead took Barney fair in stom ach. The Celt was fairly lirted from his feet, and struck the door of the wire c11ge full force. As the bolt w as open, the door :;ielded, and Barney went through it like a cannon ball. l


FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF ''RUS'l'LERS." 13 He rolled over aeveral times upon the hard I de ces' ob him! Looks !dike as if his head had floor of the prairie. been cut off clean." Then be picked himself up as mad as a Indeed, Barney's head was visible, but nothMnrch hare. He started for the cage door. ing could be seen of his body. Bejabers, I'll have the heart av yez for To Pomp's amazement the lips moved and a that!" he roared. husky cry came to him. But Pomp waY ready for him. "Hegorra, will yez iver come to save me, Quick as o. flash the darky shut the cage naygur! Shure, ye'll 'ave to hurry." door and locked it. Then he cried tantaliz"Glory fo' goodness!" gasped the astonished ingly: darky. "I nebber did hear nfo' ob o. man "Huh! Yo' jes' fink yo' is big stuff, don' yo', wid his head cu t off talkin'. Dat am drefful.'' l'isb! I jes' reckon yo' 'pologize to me now ' Hurry up, ye blnthershitel" came Barney't1 afo' yo' gits o.boa'd agin." voice. "Shure it's to the cinter av the earth Barney wo.s raving mad. I'll be afther going .. "Open that dure, ye bluck scoundrell" he Then Pomp comprehended the case. roared. "A.v yez don't I'll have the loife av "Golly!" he exclaimed. "He's bead ain't yezl" cut off at all. It am jes' bekase be 11m haf "Yo' kin jes' wait o. bit, 1 reckon," scoffed buried up in some hole in de ground!" Pomp. "I jes' fink I hab got de best ob yo' It was but a momeiH's work for Pomp to dis time, sah." leap down from th& Steam Man and rush up to Barney was furious. In his wrath he picked Barney. up clods of earth and began throwing them at "Look out, yez omadhoun !'' cried the Celt. the cage. "If yez don't yez will git into the soup, too As they struck the wire screen they burst Then Pomp saw that Barney wns up to his into dust, and this invading the cage, made iL neck in a deep patch of quicksand. most unpleasant for Pomp. The Celt bad not seen the quicksand until he The dnrky stood it for a few moments with was full upon it. patience. Then the first thing be knew be was in it up Barney saw that it irritated the darky, and to his waist. accordingly he kept it up. In vain he tried to wriggle out of the cling" Hub 1 if yo' don' stop dnt, l'ish," cried ing sands. Pomp, finally, "I jes' go ofl an' leave yo' here He was every moment sinking low.,r, and all alone." soon it was up to his arm-pits. "Hegorra, yez had betther not do that," reThe Celt yelled and shouted for help until he torted the Celt. "Shure, Mistber Frank will wns so hoarse that his voice could hardly be be comin' back soon heard a dozen yards away. If he do he will jes' gib it to yo' fo' throw" Och hone ; sure it's kilt I nm intoirely !" in' dat dust into d is yere cage." he cried, despairingly. "Divil a bit nv a Bejabers, it's yure worrnk fo' to clean it chance is there for me at all, at all." out." But when be saw the Steam Man .. Yo' kin bet I won't." then his hopes to rise. Thus the two jokers kept chaffing each other "Sbure, if that nuygnr only hurries up he'll for some time. But Pomp could not stand the loikely save mel" he cried, hopefully. dust noy longer and so be opened the throttle It was with difficulty that he wae able to atand let the Steam Man 11lide abend. tract Pomp's attention. In a few moments he was beyond range. But be Jinally succeeded in doing so, as the Then it occurred to the dnrky a clever trick reader hal! seen. to let the Man run out of sight behind a spur G o lly, howebber did yo' git into dat hole!'' of the mountain wall a few hundred yards becried Pomp. yond. Shure, that's no kind nv a question to ax "l'llje s' gib 'dat l'ishman aigood scare," 111utme. Why don't yez tbry to git me out av this tered the darky. "He'll fink fo' sunb dat l'se hole!" fumed Barney. gwine off an' lef' him." '' Jes' yo' hoi' right on, I:sh!" cried Pomp, The uext moment the Steam Man disappear" an' I'll hab yo' out ob dat m no time." ed beyond the spur and Barney was left alone The llnrky sprang mlo the cage and came on the plain. out with a rope. Pomp, shaking with suppressed mirth, let the Tbis he threw to Barney, saying: Steam Man run a couple of miles before turn" Jes' yo' put dnt nuder yo' arms, l'isb, an' lng bacK. I pull yo' out in a min it." "Fo' suah, Marse Frank won't be back fo' Shure, au' how am I goin' fer to do that!" some time yet," be reflected. I'se jes' gwine cried Barney "Ain't me arrums deep in the to gib dat Micka good scare." sand!" But after awhile Pomp decided to turn back. This was a fact. He let the Steam Man out to top speed, and Pomp was nonplused. ran the return distance in quick time. Howebber is I gwine fo' to git d!l.t !'ishAs the Man rounded the mountain spur, man out ob dat?" .he reflected. "All, I jes' Pomp looked for Barney. fink ob a plan." 'I' be darky was given a great start. Harry up .there, yez slow poke!" bowled The Celt was nowhere in sight. Barney. Shure, I'll

14 FRANK READE, JR., CHASING A GANG OF ''RUSTLERS." turning over a new leaf. Frank knew that his life was in their hands. There seemed no bet ter way tllan to compromi se. Accordingly this was agreed upon. Viewed in certain lights it was a singular affair, but nevertheless true. The Rustlers s!Jook hands with Frank and a moment later had van is !Jed down the mountain s ioe. Well," muttered the young inventor, as he turned to retrace his steps to the Steam M an, "this turned out different tllan I expected." But though Frank bud in a singular manner from this scrape, he was close upon yet another. He had not taken a dozen steps down the mountain when he became aware of a thrilling peril. A hoarse growl sounded in a copse near, the bnshes parte d and a giant grizzly bear ap pearell to View. Frank experienced a thrill as he realized the danger he was in. The bmte was directly in his path down the mountain. Moreover, it looked ugly and aggressive, growling savagely and licking its reeking chops. "By Jupiter! here's a go," thought Frank. Whatever will I do?" He could not very well avoid an encounter with the bear. To go to tbe right or left would only be to expose l : imself to a fiank attack. The brute certainly meant busineas, and Frank was nonplused. He stood a moment motionless, watching the monster. Few people can understand tile terrible feel ing experienced in e;onfronting a grizzly. Tllere is something about the monster when met in the wilds which will inspire the strong e s t men with terror. Frank R e ade, Jr., was an adventurer in many lands, but be was bound to admit that le never f ell more squeamish in his life than at this moment, facing this mammoth specimen of "Old Ephraim," as the Western bunter bas du\Jbed the grizzly. He considered several desperate plans. One was to attempt to dodge and outroot his foe. But he knew that this was not easy to do. '!'he big brute would eaeily overtake him. Another thought was to risk a shot at the brute. But this was risky. Yet it seemed the only method. By placing a shot in the eye or nuder the sh.oulller, to strike the heart accurately, might bring him down. But there w e re chances against the success of such an attempt. However, Frank decided to risk it. He knew that a failure would be a serious thing. It would mean a band-to-h and struggle for !He. So be drew hiR big hunting knife and bared the bla de r e ady for worl!;. Rai s ing his rifl.e Frank took keen and careful aim at tbe bear's eye. Crack! The rifl.e spoke sharply, the bear staggered and utte red a tre mendous growl. Frank experi e nced a chill. To his horror he saw that he had missed his mark. The bullet bad struck the bear's skull just ov e r the e y e and g lanced off. But to the youn g inventor's amazement the big brute did not at onc e rush upon him. H e appeared rather to : be stunned by the shot and stood irr e solute. 1t was 11' rank's opportunity. Quick as a fiash he threw a fresh cartridge into the breech. Again he aimed at the bear. This time he did not try the eye. He aimed for the brute's heart and blazed 'J'his time the b e ar gave a hoarse roar and sprang forward. Tile battle was on. Tile shot, as the other pne had, had missed its marK, and had broken the bear's paw instead of penetrating its heart. The nex t moment, and before Frank could retreat, the big IJrute was upon him. Frank knew that his life bung in the balance. He fought warily and coolly. The bear's claws were what he must avoid, and he dodged arouOJd the big brute like a jumping-jack. At every available chance he slashed the bear with the knife. The ground was literally covered with blood, and torn up like a harrowed field by the bear's hind claws. Such a contest certainly the sun rarely looks down upon. For full fifteen minutes Frank pursued these tactics. He received a number of smarting wounds, but none serious. well knew the fatality of coming to close with the brute. He realized that liis life depended upon keep ing the brute at arms' length. It was now a questi<.'n of physical ance on Frank's p a rt. Of course, every siash with the knife drew blood from the bear, and this loss must weaken him to a great extent. But Frank's strength was fast giving out, and be realized that he must make a desper ate attempt to end the struggle. So be accepted a desperate cltance. Suddenly rushing in upon the brute, he drove the knife to the hilt in the brute's side. Then darting back just in time to evade the claws, he made a tlying leap down the mount ain side. Frank stopped only once to look back. He saw the big brute in pursuit, but his gait was uneven and staggering. There was no doubt but that he was done for and wou:d soon die. The struggle was won, but Frank had just strength left to reach the base of the mount ain. Barney and Pomp in the Steam Man saw him coming. B u rney leaped out and ran to meet him. "Shure an' phwat happened yez, Mistber Frank?" cried the alarmell Celt. "An' phwere iver is the other gintleman?" CHAPTER XIV. THE LAST OF THE S TEAM MAN. "I AM all right," said Frank, faintly. "Only give me a little sLirnolant.'' Pomp now sprang down and the two servitors lifted Frank into the cage. Then whisky was produced and Frank took a strong drum. He felt much better after this and soon re vived. Barney and Pomp listened to a recital of his experience w i th inter e st. S hure, Misther Frank, ye had a lucky e scape," cried Barn ey, but y e z should 'av' taken me al o ng wid yez. I feared yez wud get into thrubble." "I don't know but thnt you are right, Barney," said Frank, with a smile, but I handled the chap alone." "So yez did an' roi ght well, too. Shure, Mistber Frank, yez did ilegant worruk." Frank was soon himself again, and then Barney, who seemed ea ger to be doing some thing, said: "But sbure, Mist her Frank, phwativer shall we be doin' now I'd loike to know!" The sounds of battle from the table-land were now plainer than ever. It was evid ent that a desperate contest was going on there. Frank sprang up, saying: "I am all right now. Let us go at once to the scene." He sprang to the throttle and opened it. The Steam Man moved away rapidly. Frank began to pick his way up the mount ain side. It was slow work, and in many cases Pomp and Barn e y had to get out and move heavy rocks out of the path. But good progress was made, and lll course o time the Steam Man reached the top of the rise. From here down to the table-land there was a clear course. Also on the way the Man could run alongsic!e the rocks, behind wbicll were the Rus tlers, and give them a raking fire. The Steam Man was started down the slope. The horses of the Rustlers were seen cor ralled near, and then the gang themselves were seen. It was a matter of much surprise to Frank that the force of the Rustlers was so large. There seemed to be fully two hundred men, or twice as m!lny as there were of the Vigi lante There would seem to be large odds in favor of the Rustlers. But the Vigilante were making a brave and desperate figllt just the same, and were holding their own. "There are a good many men to tackle," cried Frank. "1 jes' fink we'se good fo' 'em," cried Pomp. "Bejabers yez kin bet we are," sbouted Bar ney. Down the slope went the Steam Man. The outlaws did not see it, until suddenly the ear sptitting whistle burst upon the air. Tbl m they turned in surprise. Frank held the brake aud throttle rein, and Barney and Pomp opened a scathing fire upon the villains. It was destructive in the extreme, and men wlmt down before every bullet fired. Down along the line of the Rustlers sped the Steam Man. None of them dared to get in its way for they would have been crushed like egg-shells. But yells and cries filled tlle air and volleys o! ritle balls rattled against tbe netting. Not a bit of harm could be done tile Steam Man or its occupants, however. Like a Nemesis thP. Steam Man followed on the heels of the retreatin g desperadoes. They were lit e rally mowed down like weeds before a scythe. They tried to seek cover upon the other side or the rocks. B t in doing this they exposed themselves to the fire of the Vigllants. And now Joe Brigham, wt.o was over-anx ious to whip the RustlerSj committed an indis creet act. He rose up and gave his men the order to charge. Down upon them!" he veiled; "don't spare a. mother's son of them. Forward, all!" The Vigilants cheered and rusbej to the at tack. Across the plain they rushed. : By this time the Steam Man had reached the plain after ite destructive course. The meanwhile 'bad gone back be hind the They saw their foe corning, and at once opened fire. The first volley was very destructive to the Vigilante. At least a dozen men fell be fore it. Too late Brigham saw his mistake. "My Godl" cried Frank, with horror; Joe has done the most fatal thing that he could. He will get whipped Indeed, thi s loo ked certain. The Ru s tlers poured a steady fire into the Vigilan ta' ranks. It was quite a ways across the open space, and there was nothing to shelter one. Bot it was too late to retreat. All hope now centered in carrying the posi tion of the cowboys. Pluckily the Vigilante kept on. But it. seemed certain that they would be swept out of existence. Fr:wk was almost beside himself with des peration. "My soul!'' he cried; "something bas got to be done, auJ that at once!" But the Steam Man could not well go back over tte course by which it had come down. A circumstance now occurred, however, which changed the complexion of everything.


.. FRANK READE, JR., CHA S ING A GANG OF "RUSTLERS. 15 Singularly enough, t he Rustl e rs, instead of remaining in cov e r, now sprang d own upon tho pl a in Lo me e t th e Vigil nnts Man was over the edge. Some of the g ang of Rustlers concealed heblnd rocks bre fired a volley after it. and us they were doin g so Frank R ende Jr., o pened his e yes and sat up. By some s trang e miracle he had escaped pmctically unhurt save a tremenu o us amour ; t g f He was rev i ved and was soon vut upon nis feet. But t he ir pilrpo e e w a s q uickly s e en. Th e y outnumbe r e d the four to one and their purpose was to surround th e m in th e <>pen. Ov e r the ed g e went the Steam Man. Down, down with fenrfnl llight. In f act, they succeeded in doing this In the twinkling or an eye. There was a thunde rous crash at the bottom of ltle gorge allll all was still. The Rustlers crept to the edge and looked down into the uby&s. B u rney and Pomp also were discovered alive But Barne y liad two ribs brok e n and a sboul der dislocated ; and Pomp had a bro k e n arm A. d e s p erate battle followed, and the result might have been t he extinction of the Vigilante. Th e Steam Man was but a heap of fragments o! iron. But Frank now set the Steam Man straight for the line or Rustlers. Yards distant, thrown by the concus s ion, w e r e the hodies cf the three occupants. They seemed to be d e ad. The surgeons quickly set th e bro k e n bor:es and dresge d the wounds. ThP. j oy o f all at t ile lucky r e sult was great. C\1eer s wer e given for the brave cre w of the S t enm M an. Then litters w e r e m ad e f o r the wounded ones, and a start was made for Fort McKinne y D'>wn upon them the M a n like a thunderbolt. The next mom ent be was in the midst of the m e n w e re overturned and crushed as the Mau forced his w u y through. But in the pass age pavage blows were dealt the Man. Just as the Steam Man took its awful plunge to destruction, down into the op e n from the mountain siue swept a llivision ol U. S. caval ry. For some weeks Barney and Pomp were in the hospital. But they finn 1 ly eme r ged as bri ght as evPr, and were able to return to Realle s town with Frank Rende, Jr. Rocks were hurled at it and blolts were de alt Fully five hundrerl men in gleaming uniforms and with flashing sabers came upon the scene. the netting with clubbed rill e s. The was a fearful injury was done the .Man. One or t h e he a vy stones struck him up on the steam ches t and rebounding hit the safety-valve l e ver. The Rustlers saw them, knew that they wer e the division sent from Fort McKmney, and kn e w that the game was up. T h e Steam Man was a total wr e ck, and Frank did not attempt to remove it But the Rustlers wer e dispos e d of and did not trouble the region The brave Viu;i lunts und e r Jo., Brigham's captaincy c a m e iu for great honors and returned to Saint's R e pose cov e u d with They triell to beat a retreat. Arter p assing throug h the gang Frank tried to c l o se it, but to his horror could not do so. '1 he M a n was rtying with t e rrific speed straight t o w ard the brink or the deep cany on, which the plateau ter;nin a ted in upon one side. But soldi e rs surrounded them, and they were prisoners Th e n ext moment youn g L es t e r Willis was jo y fully greeting Mr. Dane and Em, this time salely rescued. Mr. Dane h a d his ranch r e built and is living th e re to-day. Straight toward the mig:ny gulf fled the Steam Man. But Willis and Joe Brigham had seen the S te a m Man go over t he c litr and as s oon as pos s ible with a d e tachm ent w ent thither. But Leste r Willis has adopted the business of ranchero and has' formed u p a rtn e r a hip with Mr. Dane with lovely Eva as his happy l.rr ide. In vain Frank trted to shut oil steam or change his course. Two surgeons were taken along. Frank Rende Jr., ncc P p te d tbe l os s of his wond erfulmventwn, the N ew S t e am Man, philo sopbi'!ally. His fertil e l.rruin w a s s ur e to devise som ething ev e n more exce llent in the f lLnre, an account Of which the reader m a y tind in No. 7 of the Frank Reade Library, entitled: "My God!" he cped, "we are goingover." An instant thought of leaping from the cage came to all. A. path was found lealling down into the g<>rge. A. few moment!! Iuter the forms of tbe three travelers were picked up and carried np the plateau above. But before they could reach the door, the The surgeolla made a quick examination, "FRANK READE, .'JR., Wl'l'ff HIS NEW STEAM HORSE;oR, THE SEARCH FoR A MILLION DoLLARs." A STORY OF WILD LIFE IN l1v.bxwo. -c:rsef-u..1 I:n.str-u..cti ve :Books. I HOW TO MAKE A.iSD SET TRAPS.-lLcludi ng hints on how to trap M o l es W ease l s, O t t e r, Rats, S q uirr e l s n nd Also how to cure Ski n s C opio usly illustrat e d. By J. H arrmg t o n K e ene. Price 10 c e nts. F o r sal e by all n e w s d e al e rs in the Unit e d Stat e s and Canada or s ent t c y our addre s s, post-p a id on rec e ipt of price. Address Frank l'ousey, publisher 3!l and 36 North Moore stre et, New York. P. 0. llo x 273 BOW TO DANCE is the titl e o f a new and han..rice; postage free Add r ess Frank 1 'ouse y publish e:r, 34 and 31> Nortb _core street N e w Y ork. P. 0 Box 2730. BOW TO BECOME A VENTRILOQUIST.-B y na.rry K e nnedy. The se cre t give n away E ve r y inte lli gent b for d ise as es I>e culiar to .the horse Price 10 ce n ts F o r s a l e b y all n e wsd e al e rs JU the Umt_ed St a t es and Ca nada o r s ent t o y our ad d re s s postage fr e e, o n rece1pt o f p rice. A ddress' Fra nk Tou sey M and 36 North Moore Stree t, N sw Y o rk. B o x HOW T O RAI S E DOGS POULTRY PIGE O N S AND RABBITS .-A u se fulll. nd instructive book. H a n ds om e ly illu strate d By Ira Dro f m w. Pri ce 10 c e nt s For s al e by a \ 1 in th e Stntes a n d or sent to your a!1 ... r es s po s tpm d, on of p ric.,. Address F r ank T o u sey, 3!1, and 36 North M oore stree t Ne w Y o r k P. 0. B o x 2730. FRANK TOUSThY S UNITED STATES ))!STANCE ':'.\BLEB, COMPA.l"!ION, A ND GUIDE.-Gi v in g the offic ial dis t a n ce s OJ?all the railr oads of t h e Unit e d Stat es and Cana d a A l so, tabl es o f dmta nc e s by water to f o r e ign ports b ac k far es in th e prin c i pa l c iti e s r e p o rts of the ce n s u!'!, etc e t c ., maki ng it o n e o f the m os t com p l e t e and bo ok s p u blis h ed Price 10 ce nts. F o r sal e b y e v e ry n e w s d e aler. ot sent t o your addre:>s, p ostage fr ee on receipt o f the price. Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street, New York. Boll mso. HOW TO ROW, SAIL AND BUILD n. BOAT .-Fnlly illu strate d .Ev ery boy sho uld know h o w t o ro1w and a b oa t. Full instruct ion s artJ g i v e n in this littl e book t oge th e r with in s tru c ti ons o n sw i m m i n g a nd rid i n g c o mp anio n spo r ts t o boat i ng Price 10 conts. For sal e b y aU new s d ea l ers in til e Unit e d S tates a nd C a nada, o r w e will s end it to y our address o n r ece ipt o f the pri ce. Fra nk Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moor e street, Ne\V Y o:rk. Box 2730. 'l\JW TO EXPLAIN D.REAMS.-Ev e rybo' one o f the m ost s u c ce ss ful men o f the present whose ow n exam p l e is in i tse lf g u ide e n o u g h for tho s e who as pir e to f a me and m o n ey Th e book w ill g iv e yo u the sec r e t. P rice 10 ce n ts F o r sal e by n ews m e n and bookl:elle rs, or send pri ce t o Frank Tous ey pu b lis h e r, 34 and 36 North Mo<.n. atreel;, New York. and it will be m a il e d to lou .Dost oaid. a...,w TO FLIRT.-Just out. .rhe a rts and wll es o t !lirtatl ot.< a r e runy expl a in ed by thi s littl e bo ok t h e va ri o u s of k e r ohief f a n g l o v e paraso l, wmdow, and h a t fllrtatwns_. 1 t a ful l list o f t h e l a n g u age and se ntim en t o f flowers, whic h I S m te r es t ing to everybo d y both old and yo u ng You cannot be happy w ith out one Pri ce 10 cents _.\dd r ess Frank T o u sey, publis h e r, 34 and Sli North Moo r e str ee t N e w Y ork. B o x 2730. HOW '1.'0 BECOl\lE A GY::UNAST.-Conta iuin g fnll instru ctio n s f o r all o! g ymn as tic sports and a thleti c e x e r c i ses. tlli rty flvo By Prof esso r W. M acd nre N e w Y o rk. B o x 2730.


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