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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam horse in the great American desert; or, The sandy trail of death

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam horse in the great American desert; or, The sandy trail of death
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Physical Description:
1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;
Language:
English
Creator:
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Place of Publication:
New York
Publication Date:

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
usfldc doi - R17-00023
usfldc handle - r17.23
aleph - 024784334
oclc - 63271071
System ID:
SFS0000002:00023


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Main
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Back Cover
        Page 16
Full Text

PAGE 1

N oname's" Latest and Best Stories are Published in This Library.8 No.9. {COMPLETE.} FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 & 36 NORTH MOORE STREET, NEW YORK. New York, November 19, 1892. ISSUED WEEKLY { l'lliCI<: } 5 Vol. I Ente1ed acco1ding to the Act of Cong r ess, in the year 1892, by FRANK TOUSEY, in t he office of the Librarian of Congress, at Wash ington, D. C Frank Reade, Jr., WITH HIS NEW STEAM HORSE'IN THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT; or. THE SANDY TRAIL OF DEATH. By "NON AME." Frank fastened one end of the lariat to the rear of the wag-on Then he started the Horse slowly. '!'he -result was that Barney suddenly began to emerge from his imprisonment in the sand. -.......

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FRANK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE GREAT .AMERICAN DESERT. The subscription Price of the FRANK; READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50: $1.25 per six months, post-paid. Address FRANK TO"!JSlllY, PuBLISHER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street. Box 2730. JR., With His New Steam Horsu in the Great American Desert; OR, THE SANDY TRAIL OF DEATH. By "NO NAME," Author of" Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Horse Among the Cowboys; or, The Lea?ue of the Plains," etc. CHAPTER I. THE CASE OF ASTLEY, WHEN it became noisE>d about that Frank Reade, Jr., the distin guished inventor, was about to make a trip to the far West with bis wonderful Steam Horse, public interest l)ecame greatly excited. For those of my readers who may never have read any of the ac of his wonderful adventures, I will state that. Frank Reade, Jr., was a wonr!erful inventor of marvelous things; that his father was a famous inventor bHfore him, and that Frank, Jr., took to the trude as naturally as a duck does to water. Yea1s ago, Frank Reade, Sr., bad rounded the town of Readestown, U.S. A. And there had erected large machine shops, to which the younger Reade greatly adtlect in later days. The new Steam Man, invented by Frank Reade, Jr., had made a grent furore. > But apropos of this came the New Steam Horse, and for a marvel ()f ingenuity and mecha_nical skill, it simply could not be surpassed. For the benefit or certv.in of my I will give a brief descriptiJn of the New StAam Horse; a bAtter idea of which, howeve'?, can be gathered from a study of tile artist's picturtl upon tile front page or tllis book. Then we will proceed to the exciting inchlents of this story, wllicb will describe a most exciting trip into a strange region. The Steam Horse was the pattern or an ordinary eqnine done in steel. The body was made or steel plates, ingeniously fastened with various joints and bosses. It is easy enough to make the likeness of a horse thus, but to make It mechanical, to gallop and display otller evidences of !He, is by no means 90 easy. Fmnk Reaody or the Horse contained the boiler. It was an easy matter thus to get up steam. Upon the saddle was placed the steam gauge and indicator. Be tween the Horse's ears was p!aced tile whistle. The nostrils containPU the escape valve, and the lower jaw of the Horse connected with the throttle and whistle vnlvea, so that pressure upon a long pair of reins would regulate the speed or the Horse. The moat difficult matter, llowever, was the delicate armatures and driving rods of the legs. The cylinders were placed upon the shafts of the wagon. These propelled the uriving rods, whieh in turn worked armatures, which caused the Horse's legs to take u. loug and quick stride. Tile bind legs were worked in the same manner by means of drlv ing rods connected with the armature of the forward lege. It was astonishing to note with what marvelous rapidity the Steam Horse would pick up its feet and gallop. Steel spikes upon his feet enabled him to go all the faster. We have imperfectly described the Horse; now, let us tal\e a look nt the wagon. In this the travelers were to ride, and it was necessary that it should be safe and strong. It was made with four strong iron wbeelswith grooved tirerof rub ber, so that thE> rough!lst ground could be travel!Jd over. The body or tha wagon was of thinly rolled but tough steel. The interior was quite spacious and vigorously divideu up into vari oua uses. A coal bunker was provided npon tile sides nf the wngon. Over these were cushioned seats, easily made into sleeping bnks. ForwarJ by the high dasher was a compartmeut ior the storiug of provisions and any necessary stores. But the most wonderful of all was the canopy or top which cov ered the wagon. This was made of thin but bullet-proof plates of steelarrnn11:ed liKe a window-lattice, so that hy touching a spring the four sides would promptly roll up, leavil!g the open on all sides. When the !aU ice work was down loorholes were provicted ic tt hy means of which shots could tJe tired at an attacking foe. Altogether the new Steam Horse was a wonderful invention anl quite a safe equipa2;e to travel across the plains of the wilt! West w1th. At least Frank Reade, Jr., tllought so, and did not hesitate to risk the trip. His only traveling companions upon his famous ttips two faithful servants, a jolly Irishn"an kuown us Baruey O'Shea, and a com:cal moke of a negro called Pomp. Barney and Pomp were unique characters to a certainty. While the best of friends in reality, they were constantly engaged in badgering and teasing each other. One was ns well gifted In tb1s ttirection as the other, so they gener-ally came out about even. 'l'he ohject of Frank Reade, Jr.'s proposed trip to the West was a thrilling one. His attention had one day been claimed by a singular statement in a newspaper. Tile statement read thus: "The Mystery of a Marked Bullet." A strange incident for which a man is now langnislting iq Sil ver City jail awaiting the execution of a s Pntence of death for murdPr, Six months ago a party of prospectors were comiug over the Di vide by a rocky foot trail. "'l'here were twelve in the partv, nod they were all miners. SJme had had fail luck, and others were going home empty-banded. "Suddenly one of them espied what he belie vet! was a hugA buffalo grazing in the canyon far below. "At once the question or marksman9hip enme up. There were two expen shots in thA party, Bert Mason and Sid Powell. "A wager was made as to whiclt one could hit the llutfulo. It was arranged that both should shoot at the same time, using marked bullets. The b:1llet nearest the buffalo's heart should belong to the winner. "The trick was quickly made, the stakes put up, and both men fired. The supposed buffalo leaped in Lhe air with a wild yell of pain and fell to the ground, while a mule cantered away up the canyon. "The ohject had been a IJutl'alo, but a "filite man with a fur coat. on riding slowly along on a mule. "or course Mason and Powell looked at each other with horror. "Great beavers, Sid!' gasped Mason, we've killed a man!' I swan that.'s so!' agreed Bert Mason, in horror. What'll we do?' 01 course there was nothing else to do but to 'Climb down and see If the victim was really dead. ''The two horrified prospectors did so. They found that the man was tlead to a certainty. One bullet had lodged in his brain and the other in his shoulder. The bullet In the brain of course was tile fatal one, and that bore Bert Mason's mark. It looked as if he was the real murderer, if the atfalr couid he culled murder. What made the matter worse,:JlOWever, was the fact that the man was a prominent citizen or Silver C1ty. Neither Mason nor Powell dared to go to Silver City after that. /

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FRANK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE GREA'l' AMERICAN DESERT. 3 Both cut sticks an.i went into the woods to hide. Sid Powell was killed by Indians, hut Bert Mason became a road agent. "He was hunted for years for the murder of Clem Johnson. Sud denly he disappeared and was no more in parts. But six months ago a man was arrested in Silver City who an swered his description to a jot, and who went by the name of Benja min Astley. 1 "He was horrified when accused of being identical with Mason. J He was nt the altar with a happy bride-elect when arrested. The shock nearly killed tlle urilie, who fainted upon the spot. "Astley Is In a terrible state of mind. He has detectives looking for the real Bert Mason. What makes the case look worse for Astley was the fact that one u! the marked lJUllets was found upon him, and it tallied with the one found in Clem Johnson's skull. "Astley has been convicted as the murderer and will doul.Jless bang. Yet she evidence would look to he purely circumstantial, and an innocent man may sufi'er for the crime." Fr:onK Reade Jr., had t>ecome tle e ply interested in the complex "That mau is innoeent!" he declared, with firm conviction. "It is too b a d to hang him upon such evidence." "Bejabers, I uelieve yez are roight, sor!" agreed Barney O'Shea. "J done fink dat man am (\e victim ob cirkumstances!" declared Porn[>, sagely. "The reul murderer Mason is no doubt at large now," cried Frank. "I dsclare he ought to be found." The more Frank thought of the matter the better satisfied he be came that the ends of justice were u e mg defeated. "That is just tbe bot-headed way they do things in the West," he declared. "UJ>On my word it is awful." Finally a resolution se1zed Frank. One morning he came down to the shop and gave orders to have the Steam Horse mad e really for a trip. Of course the workm e n set about it without asking questions. But the report got abroad and many and various w e re the surmises. Finally one of the curious ones veutureu to approach Frank point blank. Where are you going this time, Mr. Reade! Not to the North Pole?" "No," replied Frank, crisply. "lam going West to find Bert Ma son the true mnrderrr of Clem Johnson. If it is in my power, 1 mean t o cl ear up the mystery and set this unfortunate Benjamin Astley right once more. I shall hope lor success." CHAPTER II. THE QUICKS.\ND. THERE was no other motive on Frank's part otherwise than to see ju s [ice done. He was a great lover of fair-play and althoul!h Astley and all the pnrt! es concerne:i were strangers to him, he wanted to see the wrong righted. Burney and Pomp had become fully as il:terested in the case as he bad himself. "Yo' kin jes' bet we'll stick by yo' Marse Frank!" cried Pomp. "Yo' hab got de right obit." "Be julJers, if that Mason was any part av a man, h e 'd cum forrard au' shoulder the blame hisself," Sllid Barney. "Ah! but I imagine that he is a big rascal!" declared Frank. "It will be our work to find him." "S!IUre we'll do that!" "I hope so!" So it happened, that one day the Steam Horse was packed in sec t.ions and shipped to a small station on the verge or the Great American Desert. Frank had got a slight clew that Mason was hiding in the desert to a void arrest. If thi!l was true, It would now be in ordar to find him. This Frank meant to do it such a thing was possihle. The St'eam Horse had been shipped to the nearest point to the desert. Several hundred miles, however, or a wild country had to be crossed. The young Inventor knew that the deadly Comanche Indians frequently ranged as far nort h as this. To fall in with any of them would be unpleasant, to say the leaat. However, Frank was not the dne to borrow trouble. He unloaded the Steam Horse at tLe little Western station and had the sections put together by skillecl mechanics who had come on the special train. Then, getting aboard the wagon with Barney and Pomp, alter steam had been got up, the start was made. ) The Steam Horse started away across thtl desolat(' plains at a rapid gallop. Soon the railroad station and every other sign of civilization was out of sight. As tar as the eye could reach upon either hand naught could be seen !Jut an unbrok('n expanse of plain.l It was a dreary and desolate For a whole day this sort of thing was encountered. Then at night a small lake was sightecl. "BPgorra!" cr1ed Barney. "We'll 'ave a dhrink av that water any way!" So the Celt alighted from the wagon when the shores of the lake were reached, and bending down applied his lips to the water. He took a deep draught or the liquid, and the next moment he wish be had not done so. With a gasping cry he leaped to his feet. Bad luck to the same!" he howled. "Shure it's the divil's own kind av stutl: It's nigh burned the mouth otl me." Why, of course, you silly fellow," cried Frank. "Don't you know that the water in all of the lakes iu this part or the coumry is saiL." Shure I know it now, to me sorrow," cried Barney, holding on to his mug. Then a brilliant thought came to him. The miscllievous spirit of the fellow wus at once aroused. Pomp was in the busying himself about the cooking and had not Barney's experience. The Celt chuckled. Och bone!" be muttered. I'll paralyze that naygur now or me name ain't Barney O'Shea." With this he procured a dipper and filled it with the water from the lake. The liquid was as clean and fresh Jooldng as 1f it hai just come from the best or springe. Barney held the dipper up and shouted: Whurrool I say, naygnrl Wud yez luk this way?" "Wllat fo' yo' want ob me?" cried Pomp, coming to the door of the wagon. "Don't yez want a dhrink? Shure I think yez might be dhry." Pomp was very thirsty. Therefore he repli e d eagerly: "All nght, I'ish, yo' fetch me dat watah an' I cook yo' sumlln' good fo' yo' supper. Dat am a fac'." 1 i" All roight, bejabers," cried BarnAy. "I'll take ye on that, naygur." So Barney went up to the wagon with the dipper tilled witb the saline fluid. Pomp took the dipper and glanced at the water It looked to him as pure and delicious as nr,ctar. Tipping his head back, he proceeded to pour it down his throat in copious draughts. The effect was tE"rrific. For a moment he was doubled up like a jumping jack, with awful contortion of the f('atures. It was a question for a lew moments if he would not actually col lapse with strangulation. But he managed to get his breath after a moment. As f o r Barney, he was turning somersaults in the sand, and fairly killing himsel! with laughter. "Begorra, that's the funniest I iver seen in me [(life yit!" he roaretl. "Shure, the fools are not all dead yit, on me sow!!" "Ki-yi-"-huh! Golly massy sakes! l'se mos' dead, yes I is. Gor rami11;hty, I JOS' kill yo' fo' dat, l'ish! Pomp, now recovered, made a dash out of the wagon for Barney. Had he caught the Celt at thaL moment, he would no doui.Jt have pitched into hi:n in good earnest. But the Celt was too quick. He was away over the plain like a bullet out of a gun. Pomp chased him for full three hundred yards, when an astonishing thing happened. Suddenly Barney gave a yell, floundered abottt for a moment, ami seemed to be drawn by some irresistibie power downward Into the ground. He sank to bis hips in a jiffy in the clear sand, and seemed likely to sink much deeper. ln nn instant tJoth Barney and Pomp realized the serious truth. Barney had inadvertently jumped into a prairie quicksand. Tho sand had closed over him with a vise-like grip, anct was every moment drawing him deeper. Of course to be drawn to the depths of the fatal quickaand meant death. At once all thoughts of fooling left the minds of both. Pomp forg(lt the trick played upon him, and saw only that Barney was in most imminent danger of his life. At once the darky sought steps to relieve his companion. "Golly sakes! what am de mattah, l'ish?" cried Pomp, in alarm, halting on the verge of the bed of quicksand. "Shure the sand is a-suckiu' me in !nsther an' fasther," cried Barney. "Shure wud yez help me, Mist.her Frank!" But Frank Reade, Jr., had already seen the trouble. He was coming to the spot as fast as be could. In his hands be carried his rifle and a lariat. "Keep cool, Barney," he cried, as be came up. "Don't make a move till I tell yon." "All right, sor," cried Barney, readily. "Phwativer is it, sor!" "Why, it is a prairie quicksand," replied Frank. "They are not uncommon hereabouts." Shure, I've no desire to ao to the cinter av the airth." "We won't let you," cried Frank. "Here, pass this under your arm." Frank placed the rifle across the space of quicksand and Barney passed his arm over it. This arrested the downward process and Barney was safe for the time. But be was quite unr.ble to extricate himself. The question was, how to get h t m out of the clinging sands. But Frank Reade, Jr., knew how to do it. H(' threw the noose of tbe lariat over Barney's shoulder!!. Then he said: "Now hang on. We'll try and pull you out."

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/1 4 FRANK READE, JR., IN THE GREAX AMERICAN DESERT. Frank and Pomp laid bold on the rope and exerted their ftlll strt>ngth. But they could hardly move the Celt. The sands were so mighty and clinging that their resistance could not ue overcome witn that amount of force. "Goliy, Frankl" puffed Pomp, "I don' fink we're gwine fo' to git t.lat chile out oh dat place." "Keep cool!" said Frank, quietly. "We will fird a way." Frank went back and brought the Steam Horse up. He fastened one end or the lariat to the rear axle of the wagon. Then he started r .he Horse &lowly. The result was that Barney suudenly began to emerge from his im prisonment in the sand. Slowly bu surely he was dragged from his uncomfortable position. Clear of the clinging sands Fran!' stopped tile Steam Horse. Then Batney scrambled to his feet. He glanced at he treacherous spot from which be hat! just emerged and then at his bedragglPd person. "Begorra, nayl{nr, I think we'd betther call accounts square!" he cried. "Sl111ra it's mesilf as has the divils iud av the bargain tllis toime." "A'right, I'ish, l'Jl fo'g!b yo' dis time if yo' don' try any sich fing on me agin," replied Pomp. "I'll agree wit! yez!" And this ended tile affair. Camp was made by the saline lake that night, however. DarKness settled down thir.kly and to enliven the :iullness or the hour, Pomp brought out his hanjo and Barney his Iiddle. 'l.'hey played very well together, and as the melodies from the two instruments forth upon the air. it did much to dispel the nat ural feeling or desolation peculiar to the region. Frank Reade, Jr., thus far had not dreamed of danger. Nothing had been seen to warrant the assumption that there was atother human being within fHty miles. Sume h ungry coyotes came snapping ana snarling about the wagon. Barney put one of them out of the way with his revolver and this for time silenced the rest. But a1:1 the hour or midnight drew nearer Frank began to think of sleep. He had hardly stretched himslllf out upon the bunk, however, when a sturtling thing occurred. Suddenly Harney dropped his fiddle and sprung up. Be me sowl, the are all about. usl" he roared. "Shure, ye kir. see their forms iverywhere!" At the same moment a llight of came rattling against the metal body of the wagon. In an instant Frank WM upon his feet. The glc>om was broken with the headlight or the Steam Horse now, and the foe could be plainly seen. It was a critical molllent. CHAPTER Ill. CORAL LED, FRANK knew at once that they had been discovered by n bnnd Comanches. The savages had crept up in the darkness and had for a time been puzzled at the make-up of the Steam Horse. 'l.'his bad delayed their attack. But It came, nevertheless, and In a furious manner. The arrows began to fly ln literal clouds. There was great danger of !!;lltting strucK, as Frank well knew. The mventor quickly pressed the apring which shut the n;etal sides the wagon. They were now perfectly Recore from the arrows. But there was an amount or danger in a close combat which Frank dld not relish. Accordingly he decided to make a move from the spot. 'l.'here was sufficient steam up to give the Horse fair speed. Frank pul!ed on the reins and sent l .he Steam Horse forward. Barney and Pomp went to the loopholes and opeued fire upon the red foe. Of course it was firing at random In the intense darkness. The headlight of the Horse lit up for a ways in advance. But the red foe were all abo:1t. The din was somet!Jing terrific as the red foe kept up a perpetual and howling. "Bejabers, I niver kin git a fair shot at the omadhauns," cried Barney, "they do be dodging about so much like the devil, allure one kiu niver tell which way to tire." "Jes' yo' lire anywheres-jes' de same as I does!" cried Pomp. Yo's dead suah for to bit some on 'em "Begorra, that's phwat I'm after doing," cried the Celt. But Frank was anxious to get away from the foe. Of course they had the best of the tunning but it impossible to tell just where the course they were pursuing would take them to In the intense darkness they might at any moment run into some quicksand or saline lake. Frank endeavored to keep .. the Steam Horse up to a good rate of speed. He hunoo to the brake handle and kept a keen watch ahead, as far as he could see in the ratlius of light from the headlight the For what seemed an iutermmable length or time this sort of thing went on. Then it came to a sudden termination. or a sudden the whooping and yelling ceased, and the savages dis appeared. Nothing more was seen or heard of them for a time. Frank was not a surprised and puzzled. I wonder what game they are up to now?" be muttered. "I think we will keep a sharp look out." He was not He did not by any means credit the assumption that the savages bad given up the This was not !1 reasonable hypothesis. "Begorra, mel> he we're com in' to some hole in the ground, or something av the sort!'' cried Barney, suspiciously. "lt will do no harm to keep a good watch anyway," rejoined Frank. And this was done. 'l.'he Steam Horsa oow went on at a moderate pace, and Frank in creased, if anything, his watchfulness. The Comanches rlid not show up, and seemed to have wholly aban doned the fight. Time wore on, and it was near dawn when through the shadows Barney saw a dark object which causer! a eharp cry" to escape his lips. "Luk out, Misther Frankl" he cried. "Shure wud yez see phwat is ahead." Frank's gaze was blinrled by the headlight's glare for a moment. But he closed the throttle and bro11ght the Horse to a stop. He was not a moment too soon. Tiley were at the buse of a high cliff of rock which towered above fully a thousand feet. If Barney had not seen the cliff just In time they would certainly have dashed f11ll into the clliJ. This no doubt would have damaged the Steam Horse greatly if not destroyed it entirely. A lucky escape!" cried Frank, "but where in the world are we, Barney! I saw nothing of any elevation when we camped last night." "Shure, sor, we've cum a good ways," declared Barney. "We must have. Is this the base of some high hill, or--" "Shure it's in a canyon I think we are, sor!" cried Barney. "Don't yez see that there be walls all about av us?" You're cried Frank, as the rapidly growing dawn l.lngan to make the vicinity clear. Then the voyagers were treated to a genuine surprise party as the vicinity became quite plain. I They were in what seemed like a mighty amphitheater fully two miles in circumference, hemmed in with precipitous clifls in almost a co'llplete circle. Where the circle was broken wa!l visible the entrance to this peculiar amphitheater. Through this, by a singular chance, the Steam Horse had Frank understood the situation at a glance. Upon my word!" exclaimed the young inventor in amazement and trepidation, "we've stomtled into a nice trap now, haven't we?" "Begorra, I should say so! t>jaculllled Barney, with a grimace <>f comical sort. "I dono fink dat am a fac'," assented Pomp, seriously. I wonder if those savages did npt know It and hung back on pur pose!" A cbiiling thought struck Frank. Indeed it was not impossible but that they were even now in wait ing at the narrow entrance to the place. Jf so it would be a nice little ambush for the Steam Horse to fall in:o. One thing was sure. The best thing to be done was to get out of that spot just as soon as poss1 \lle. Accordingly Frank at once beaded the Horae for the exit. B9t as they drew near to the narrow passage, Frank foUnd his worst fears conf:ltmed. He stopped the Horse. "It's just as I thought he muttered. in a trap." Fully a hundred h<)stile Comanches were blocking the entrance to the amphithea : er if such it could be called, with stones. For the Steam Horse to pass over the barricade was utterly impossible. They were hemmed in-trapped! It WI\S a thrilling rer.!ization. For a moment all three stood looking at each other in blank amaze ment and indecision. Bejabers, it's a foine thrick they have played on us this toime!" cried Barney. "Golly! I specs dem Injuns knowed all de time we'd be suah fo to come in dis place," exclaimed Pomp. Well, we will have to fight our way out," srud Frank, desper ately. Then a happy seemed to strike him. But first let ua see if there Is not some other method of leaving theplace," he cried. "Bejabers, I don't think that," cried Barney, looking dcobtrully at. the high surrounding cliffs. Perhaps not!''

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FRANK READE, JR., IN THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT. However, Frank turned the Horse about and began to make a ci1clu of the enclosure. But everywhere the cliffs to present the same impregnaLie face. There did not seem a crevice anywhere by which one couhl have hoped to ern wl out or the place. lt was a hopeless outlook. There seemetl no otller way bt:t to fight a way out through the pass. This would not have looked so hopeless had it not !Jeen for ob structions in the shape of the heav} stones rue could not over the@e and to remove them the voy. agers w,ould have had to alight from the wagon aud thus expose tbemselns, But Fnlnk started the Horse boldly fCir tbe pa ss. Tho savages had mtrenched themselves behind the barricade and were ready to receive the attack. A llight or arrows came llurtling through the air. These did no harm falling lightly against the steel shutters. But part of the Comanches Lad lire arms and tllese now began to open fire upon the Steam Horse. FrO:nk sent the Horse up to within a safe distance of the barricade. Then Barney and Pomp op ened fire wi:h their Winchesters. Whenever they were able to draw a !Jead upon any of tile red foe they could make their shots tell. But tllis It was not so easy to do, for the Comanches kept well under cover of the rocks. Every subterfuge was made to draw them out into the open. While the Comanche3 defended the pass did not attempt to make an attack upon the Steam Horse. 'l'h eir purpose seemed solely and simply to be to hold the pass and prevent tha escape of the captives. game evidently is that of a long siege!" declared Frank positively. "It will be a hard outlook for us, for I see no otller way to ge t ont of this place." Barney scratc!Jed his heu.d vlgorouPiy and sat down to tlliuk a moment. "Be jabers, we can't fly out," he declared finally. "No," r e plied Frank. ":3hure its stuck we are." "To a certai nty." What the di vii will we do!" "That's the question." Irish wit, however, was not to be long baffied. Barney suudeutly cried: S ure I have an ljee." "Jr. "Q!" exclaimed Frank. "What is it?" Begorr., wud yez luk up yonder to the top av that cliff?" Fmn k did l oo k up. Til is was to the top of the high walls or the pass. Well," he said curtly, what are you driving nt, Barney?'' "Shure FOr, if yez will give me the ln7e, I'll climb up t he re an' roll
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6 FRANK READE, JR., IN THE GREAT A.;\1ERICA.N DESERT. "I believe you're right, Pomp,'' agreed Frank. "We will go J thither." Accordingly the Steam Horse was turned in that direction. the plain they ran quickly. As they drew nearer the hills, a long stretch of barren country was seen rer.ching to the southwest. The sun's hot rays across It with radiance. The earth seemed baked to the hardness of brick, and great waves or heat could b'! seen with the naked eyes emanating from it. Across this dreary sun-burned waste a horseman was making liis way at a slow canter. At sight of him Frank closed the throttle and brought the Steam R )rse to a halt. Where is my long distance glass!'' be asked B did not notice this inswuation but continued: "P'raps it am dat bery chap youse lookln' fo', Marse Frank." "We'll soon lind out!" declared the young inventor, calmly. Frank opened the throttle and started the Steam Horse a head. The dis tant rider evidently hall not seen the Steam Horse, for he had been riding with his head bowed down. When he did lifL his gaze and saw the strange Invention coming to ward lum, the effect was surprising. He pulled his pony up short and sat for a. moment in the saddle like a veritable statue. Then ho seemed imbued with an impulse to flee. But Frank saw this in time and IJrought the Horse t0 a stop. The young inventor alighted from the wagon and waved his rms In a manner. The traveler, who was a man of singular garb and appearance, re mained and answered thti siJnnl. Frank boldly advanced on root toward this singular nomad of tbe plains, for such the rider appeared to be. He was a tall, powerful-lru.med, man of forty-five yenrs of age. H:s hair hung In long, matted folds down upon his back from be neath a clumsy bearskin cap. A tremendous patriarchal-like beard covered his chest; keen black E>yes looked ont from shaggy bruws. Such was his face and rorm. His garb was o! a nondescript kin!, ant! wholly the prouuct of trnpper life. Greasy buckskin leggings and moccasins inclosed legs and feet, a 1 red shirt, dirty and patched, was worn beneath an outer jacket of tnnned deer hide, fringed with porcupine quills. The unknown carried a rille and revolvers and knife, and rotle in a.n Indian saddle: with a curious bridle of plaited rawhide to decorate the pony with. Such types were rarely met with in that part of the West, and Frank knew it. This man, he instantly reflected, wns far from his nRual haunts. He was a trapper from the wilds of Montana, and made his living in dealing in traps and furs. What he was in this part of the world wns a. problem. However, Frank aavanced boldly toward him. When within safe speaking distance, the young ir.ventor asked: "Good-day to you, stranger. Where are you traveling!" CHAPTER V. BEAVER BILL'S INFOR:I!ATION. THE tropper dismounted and advanced in lite turn. His broad face wore a ger,ial expression, and there was a trusting light in his line blue eyes. Wail, straunger, since ye nsk, I'll make free to say thet I am go in' hack to ther old trap pin' grounds up north.'' All!" Frank, then you are a trapper!' That's the size of it." I am glad to meet you!" Put it thar, pllgrim !" "l\ly name is Frank Reade, Jr. I am from the far East." Wall, my r1ame is Bill Swnzey. Beaver Bill they call me up in ther Powden river ken try an' I'm a trapper." If that is so, what are you doing a way down here!'' asked Frank, in nrr.azement. EhT" exclaimed the with n. start. "Ye don't seem to on rlarstand. This is the trapper's highway along yer. Thar's fully a hundred or us goes up an' down over this trail in the eeasons. When trnvping season is ended we generally nil pilgrimnte to Arizony or some warmer locality. Then we go back wher:. fur is in season agin. See?" "I do," replied Frank, with asperity. "You go to the miser able settlemens to spend the money you have earned so bard by trap ping." Wnll," rejoined the trapper, In a resentful tone, "it's honestly earned, and we kin do as we please." "Oh, of course," said Frank, quickly. "Well, friend, I am glad to have met you.'' Ther same, pard. But what in tarnation do ye call that 'ere thingem-a-jig out yender on ther perairy!" "'l'nat is the Steam Horse," Frank readily. "A Steam Hoes!" gasped Olll Bill. Ye don't mean to say that thin!!: is alive!" "011, uol ltgocs by steam." "By "Certaiuly." The trapper scratched his head and lookewear to thnt!" Beaver Bill looked surprised. In course I kin." Then you are just the mnn I want. H you will go to SilvPr City anrl swl'ar to that you will save Benjamm Astley from the scaffold." Bu: the trapper said coolly: Hold on a hit, straunger. Thar's a btltter way. They mought. not take mf word. Ye want to lind Bert l\lason au' perduce lum in conrt." Frank saw that was true. You're right!'' he cried, earnestly; "but tell me where you think Mnson is!" 'l'he imlul!red in a chew (Jf ping tobacco. "Wall," he said slowly. "I 'low that he's somewhere hereabouts ... Fmnk gave n gaspin!!: cry. "You don't mean it!" he cril'd. "Yns. I do, straunger," revlied the trapper. "I heern it said that at Lone Tree that him an' a doien others had come up inter tiler Great Basin prospecting for gold." A h, and that is why you believe that he is near here?" "Sartin!" "But you don't know the I'Xact locality where he is?" The tmpper was "Wall," he mutteretl after a time. "I reckon you've beard of Satan's Hole?'' No,., replied Frank. "Sho! Wall there Is where he an' his party likely is." What sort of a place is it?" Beaver B11l shrugged his shoulders. "l don't Imagine him nor his palE are In ther hole," he said "for no man kin live thar any great length of time. But it was said that. thar wns a big gold mine jest at ther entrance to Satan's Role." This account was extremely interesting to Frank. "Go on!" he said. Wall, Satan's Hole Is a terriiJle place. It's a deep valley two miles long and hemmed all in by high walls of rock."

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I I j -...... FR.A'NK READE, JR., IN THE GREAT A}IERICAN DESERT. "In ther centre of that valluy thar's nuggets mixed with the sand. pure gold, and lots go into the valley uut never come out. 'l'her gulu tempts 'em." What is the trouble!" asked Frank. Why cannot a man live in the valley?" !" grunted the trapper, tLiar's a powerful reason why. Satan's Hole is as hot as Hades, an' thar's powerful gases come up out of the ground an' OTercomes oue. Thar's a tratl across that val ley strewn with corpses, au' it is called the Sandy Trail of Death." You mean skeletons?" corrected Frank, "not bodies." 11 I axe your panting boss, but it are uodies, not skelingtons. Thar's something about the atmosphere ov the gases, that preserves tber human body, an' tbere are bodies of men wl!o went inter tber placA twenty years ago, as natural as life." Frank was at tl!is marvelous tale, the like of which he bad never heard before. 11 Wonderful," be exclaimed. "Why is it tllat the scientific world bas not beard of tllis strange vallP.y?" Tile trapper smiled. Thar's a powerful good reason," he declared. Ten yenrs ago a party of them chaps cum out hyar. They knew it all, an' tluy wouldn't heed anybody's warning. Tiley went inter the valley an' half way I across tile gas caught 'em." 11 Horriule!" "An' thar they air to-day." Frank experienced a chill. "That is a l!orriiJle tiling, he declared. "1 suppose unsuspecting travelers are apt to walk into the place?" "Certain. I know of at least three men who hev crossed ther valley safely." How did they do it!" "Oil. thar's days when ther gases don't come up, I suppose." Frank was thoughtful a moment. Barney ami Pomp ha(i been listening with the deepest of interest. "How far is it from here to the Satan's Hole?" Frank finally asked. "Oh, a matter of fifty miles I reckon," replied Beav11r Bill. He pointed to the westward .. Right down yonder inter the Great Basin," he continued, "pow erful curus country down there. Don't do to travel far on any of their rivers. for they mought switch ye under ground any minnit "Yes," replied Frank. "I am aware that most of the rivers in the Great Basin run underground." "I reckon so, straunger." "Golly, Frank!" cried Pomp, "don' yo' s'pose dis gentleman would go w1f us an' show us de way!" The same thought hnd struck Frank. He turned inquiringly to the trapper. The latter wore an inscruta ble expression upon hie grizzled face. 11 Wall, I don't mind giviu' ye a lift on it, friends," he said, cheerily. "I will pay you well," declared Frank. Don't want no pny!" exclaimed the trapper, in : lignantly. I ain't that kmd of a chap yew kin bet." "At least we shall be everlastingly in your debt," insisted Frank. No, ye won't, nuther. I'm glarl to be able to help ye out. More over, I've got a bit of a grudge against Mason myself, an' I'd lik"' ter see him sutler." "Then it is agreed!" cried Frank "Thar's my word on't." Isut what will you do with your pony!" trail on all ri.rht enuff." "All right. Get ri!!ht iuto the wagon." Beaver Bill climbed into the wag-on and Frank went to th'l dasher. How many men do you think Mason has with him?" he askeu. "He mought have n dozen." "What is their game?" "I heard that they watch for a chance ter cross ther Death Vall,,y, an1 pick np nuggets, but I reckon there's sumtllin' else keeps 'em busy har." The ol1 trapper winked significantly. "Eh!'' said Frank, failing to understand. "Don't ye embrace the idee?" "No." lt means that they're in the rep rod ucin' business, that is ther mannyfactAr of bad coin." Frank gave a gasping cry. Counterfeiting?" "Yes.'' "Well, I never! Are you quit.e sure of that, Bill?" The trapper inclined his head. "Yew bet I am!'' he declared. 11Thar's lots or ther.stuff goes down towards LanA Tree, and over inter Mexico. It's a purty good imitation, They do say that Mason has a die for tllrowing out silver dollars by ther thousand." Frank Reade Jr., was quite overcome by this announcement. It was entirely unexpected. CHAPTER Vf. THE MEXICAN RIDER. THi s was something utterly foreign to Frank's expectation. To run upon a gnn .!! of conntPrfeiters in this out of the way part of the world was certainly a surprise party. Bnt the young inventor had learn&d to take the unexpected with other things 10 a philosophical manner. Certainly thera cauld have been no safer part 01 the world than this for the manufacture of counterfeit coin. It was easy to evacle the otlicers olthe law, and also easy to secret& any quantity of tile uogus stutl where it could not be located. 'l'he Steam Horse went ahead at quite a rapid gait. Beaver Bill's pony followed on behind at a rapict gallop. The trained animal would at intervals lift its head and neigh shrilly. '. 1 tell ye, I'm proud or that leetle hoss," declared the trapper. "He mayn't be able to jog quite so fast as yer Steam Ross, but h'l knows a heap an' I kin tell yer he's bin in many a hot scrimmage with : me an' many a tirue but fer the leetle cb!IJl I'd ut:ver hev got through." Indeed!" said Frank. "I should think you would be muciJ at tached to l!im. '' "You bet I am, straunger." The face of the country here had the happy virtue or being level, though bare and arid. There were vast tracts of red clay burned beneath the sun's rays as hard as adamant. Tllen sandy plains were crossed and alkali basins. At times gnarled pillars or coagulated ruck! were encountered, mak ing n rival of the Bad Lands. 'l'his showed unmistakalJiy the action or the glacial period. Many strange and wonderful freaks of nature wete encountered. But after a time a long, high-capped range of hills began to show up to the westward. Suddenly Beaver Bill sprang up and pointed to the hills, shouting: Thar, friends, do yer see that break in ther range, a kind of a gatewav like?'' it required but a glance to see a deep notch in the range of hills. It was like a gateway through the mountain wall. 'l'he sky beyond looked peculiar and hazy in its depths. "Is that--" began FranK. "Yas," interrupted Bill, "thet's ther entrance to Satan's Hole." But it looks as if there was open country beyond, '' declared Frank. The trapper shook his head slowly. ''That ain't so!'' be declared. "Ye'll lind that ye're in a level valley with hills all around ye when ye get in there." Frank gazed long and critically at the point in quest ion. And you say that Mason and his gang are located there!" "'l'he best I lou make out." "All right," declared Frank. "We'll soon lind out what kind or a place It is." The Steam Horse now was Rent forw ard rapidly. Beaver Bill's pony seemed to be getting exhausted. It was now a question as to what to do. But the.. trapper solved the question. I'll tell ye what to do.'' be declr.red. "Ye know the way to Sa tan's Hole now. Ye kin let me out yer an' 1'11 rest my pony up and be along up ter.morrer." "VPry well," agreed Frank. "We shall look for ou to-morrow.' '' Yas." The Steam Horse was brought to a stop and Beaver Bill l eft the wagon. He proceeded to loosen the suddle from his p')ny's back and give him freedom. Fortunately thertl was a brief space of green grass here, and the little animnl was enabled to get a bite. The Steam Horse wenr on to the entrance or Death Valley. Soon a plateau was encountered und crossed, tueu a plain beyond it, ank. It was like the veritable gateway to a Hades, and in spite of themee lves all experienced a queer chill. But Frank kept on until the Steam Uorse was fairly in the pass. 'fhe floor 0f the pass was of smooth rock as level as a tloor. Beyond, now the treacherous valley was revealed as plain as eould be. Jt looked likA an ordinary sandy desert plain. That was all. The uninitiated would never have suspected its treacherous char acter. "Golly!" cried Pomp, in surprise. "It lion' look no difl'runt from any oder valley, Marse Frank." "That's so," agreed Frank. "Neither do I see any signs of human life hereabouts." The young inventor was thinking of Mason and his gang. But Barney had to snitl the air, and said: "Bejabers, it's a divil av a funny smell lotktl in the air." Both Pomp and Frank now realized this. seemed like sulphuretted hydrogen. and thoroughly impregnated the atmosphere. Also, with close scrutiny, thllJ' could now see un-mistakahly the sandy trail or death. There it led across the desert wa9te, and objects in the sand might. be the victims or the death trail. Th ese were certain I)' plainly visiule. 1'he adventurers gazed upon the scene wllh peculiar senMtions. Then a lJiast of air came out from the valley. It was a peculiar, withering heat, and caused all to for air. "It is right!'' cried Frank; "tins is certainly the Valley or Death." '' Begorra, I believe yez!" cried Barney. "Shure, it luks enough loike it." "Golly! I jes' reckons nuflin' wud lib in dar," agreed Pomp. This w11s plain to see.

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8 FRANK READE, JR., IN TilE GHEA.l' AMERICAN DESERT. Not a tree or shrub or flowering plant or blade of grass relieved the arid wasteli of the Death Valley. lt was a ghostly, forbidding sight. Even aL that distance with a glass Frank was enabled to see the forms of the victims of the gases strewn along the sandy t1 ail of death. For a time the travelers gazed upon 1he scene. Then :!<'rank aroused himself. This will nev e r dol" he cried. "We are losing time her"." Dat am a fuc', Marse Frank," cried Pomp. "Bel!,orra, y e z won't go ahead will y e z?" asked Barney. I don't think we will follow the sund y trail of death," replied Frank. "But I would like to know where Mason's den is." At thla mvment a sudden startling sound smote upon tha ears of all. The evening e.lr was very still and calm and souud traveled a good ways. It was plainly enough the distant beat of horses' hoofs. It seemed to come from a point above, and now Frank saw a broad tra1l winding to the right up the side of the pass. At the same moment the tlOof strokes became plainer and then into sight rode a man of peculiar appearance. He was tall and (lark and wore a gay Mexican suit of silk and velvet with glittering patent leather boots. He was armed to the teeth and rode a large dark colored horse be1lecked witb guy trappings. Tbe animal had been trotting down the trail, but now came to an Instant halt pulh1d upon his haunches by the rider. It was as II some gay Mexican cavalier bad burst upon the scene fresh from sunny Mexico. The rider sat for a moment like a statue, utterly dumfounded at sight of the Steam Horse. If his appearance had been a surprise to Frank and the others, the sight of tbe StAam Horse was a revelation to the unknown. "Pe 'rdit o!" he in a thrilled voice. Am I creaming! Is It the :Ievil! St. Michael forbid!" Frank heard his startled words, and at once showed himse!C at the dasher of tbe wagon. No, it is not the devil," he replied, it is the invention of a human being.'' The Mexican was unable to reply for a moment. Finally, however, be dotfed his sombrero with great gravity and Buenos, seoorl You have the advantage-! have never seen you b e fore. I am Joue Costrello!" "And I am Frank Reade, Jr.," replied Frank. "I come from the East." "And I am Jrom Mt!xico, senor," replied the Mexican, politely. I am pleased to greet you." "The same," replie.i Frank. But s e nor will pardon me. I have never seen a horse made of iron before." "You have seen locomotives!" Ah, tbut I have. They are plenty now in Mexico." "Well, this Is built on the same principle, only in the shape of a horse and designed to go without r a ils." Si, senor, now I see!" cried the Mexican, spurring bis horse near er: but it is a wonderful thin a." ''Everybody thinks sol" said Frank, modestly. "Yet it would bb as naught and the senors as well should you enter yonder valley." Ah," said Frank, then tbat is really the death valley!" Si, senor!" A terribl!! place!" "Indeed. Many worthy people have lust their lives in that death trap." "There should be a notice warning people of the danger." The senor is right!" Castr e!lo had now r e inld hl8 horse up quite near to the wagon. Frnnk who was a keen student of human nature was doing his best to size the fellow up. As far as he could see, he WM a gay type of the Mexican sport, food of cards and wine and women. He did not seern to be a rascal or a cut-throat in any sense or the term. But what was be doing in this part of the country! A euddeo thought came to Frank. He might be, like others, a customer of Mason's, and have come here for a supply or counterfeit money with which to return to Mexico and defraud his countrymen. Tile more Frank weighed this matter, the better satis!led be was of the truth. But yet be was desirous of making sure of the fact. How to do this without arousing suspcion was a question. But the Mexican's curiosity seemed also to have been aroused, and he asked, in a guarded way: Has senor traveled far!" FranK embraced the opportunity. "We have traveled from the East," he repliecl. "And we have come here to find a certain person, whom you may know." CHAPTER VII. THE PARLEY. CAsTRELLO gave a violent start. Frank's declaration was a g e n'Jine to him. "Ab!" he exclaimed. "You have me by surprise, senor." "Do I!" "I cannot conceive who the person is to whom senor refers." "Ah, do you not know anybody in this locality?" Tile Mexican hesitated. Is the senor hunting for wealth?" "Pe rhaps so," repliet Frank. "At least I have been led to belleve that I coulll find that which would give me wealth here." A light ove rspread Castrello's face. "You have come right!'' be cried. "Senor Mason will give you what you want." Frank knew at once that be hat! gained his point ''All!" !Je coolly, "then you believe that?". "I know it." "How can I find Mason!'' "That trail -.vi!llec.d to his home." "Ah! but I cannot hope to go up there with my Steam llorse." "Not?" "No! Would you mind doing me a favor! Kindly ride up and ask Mason to come down here." The Mexican made a profound bow. He laughed until one could see bis white teeth beneath his dark mustache. I am glad to do your bidding!" he declared. Then !Je touchell tl.e horse with the jangling spurs upon hia heels, and the animal went out of sight in a twinkling in the narrow patll. Time ras sed slowly. It seemed as if an hour passed, and Barney ventured to remark: "Begorra, it's moighty quare where the blacK-eyed chap bas gone anyway.'' "I jes' finks If be don' cum soon dat be ain' gwine to," declared Pomp. "Well, it is a trifle odd," remarke:l Frank. "If be don't show up very soon w e 'll try to ascertain why." Another half hour passed. It was begiunlng to get quite dark in the gorge. Still Senor Castrello fulled to put in an appearacce. Frank was now out of patience. Euougll of this!" he said, with a shrug of the shoulders. We have got to lind a good camping place." "Be jabers that fellow was a fraud!" declared Barney. "Yez kin be sure av tuat, Frank." "I believe yun are right Barney. Well, we will find a good place to by up uutil daybreak and then we will iuvestigate." "Is it out av tbe canyon ye'd be afther goin', Mlsther Frank?" "Yes." All roight, sor!" Barney started the Steam Horse out of the gorge. But now a genuine surprise awaited the party. Turning a short corner 10 the pass Barney pulled the Horse up. Wburroo!" he yelled. Wnd yez I ook at that, Mistber Frank!" In tile pass not one hundred yards ahead drawn up in solid line and armed to the teeth was a line of men. B!\ck of them two men were seen on hors e back. That one of them was the Mexican, Castrello, Frank saw at once. It was a shrewd game that the fellow had played. Of course he was in t!Je gam a with Mason and in league with the counterfeiters. Frank regarded the line of armed men and The y evidently thought to checK the Steam Horse with this display of strength. But Frank only smite cl. The Steam Horse was l.irougllt to a stop, though Frank now took the reins. "Begorra, it's the divils av' counterfeiters thimeelves, I take it," cried Barney. "So it Is, said Frank. "And they think they have got us in a trap." Tbe Celt roand. "Be jub e rs we'll soon learn thim bettl1er than that," be cried. "Luk out dar, Marse Frank," cried Pomp, "don' yo' see dat man wile de white !lag!" This was true. One of the counterfeiters was advancing with a flag of true. Frank at once opened the door of the wagC!n and StP.pped out iuto v!ew. The fellow advancad to within twenty yards of the Steam Ilorse and exclaim e d: "Helle, strnungers!" "Hello!" replied Frank. I reckon ye don't know where ye are, do yet" "We are in the Death Pass, are we n<,t!" replied Frank. "That's right! Wall, tbar's only one man has any right to this pass, an' his nama is Bert Mason." "Indeed!" '' Ye sent word that ye wanted to see him. We've got information that you are a spy, and you'll have ter prove yerself, or ye cnu't go out or here alive." Who says I cannot?" Bert Milson." Who is he?" "Why, he owns this pass." Oh, he does eh?" said Frank, with sarcasm. "He is a fortunate man, ian't he? Suppose I do not prove myself?" "Then ye can't go out ol here alive" "That is serious!" "I reckon ye'll lind it so." I \ \ \

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FRANK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT. 9 What will keep me from going out of here?" I reckon thar'd enough on us. We'll riUdle that go-cart of yours with rille Jails." Frank laughed scornfully. "F1re away!" he erie:!. "I defy you!" You do, eli?" "Yes. h Sliall I take that word back?" ''Yes, if you want to; but stay." "Wall?'' Who is Bert Mason and what is his business? Can you tell me?" Well, I reckon you know well enough," replied tile truce bearer, curtly. "You think so? Well, I think I do. You are all a pack of counter feiters and rascals; but tliat"s all riglit. I'll not trouble you if Mr. Bert Mason will do me a favor." What's that?" "Well, I will explain. Up in Silver City there is a poor chap named Benjamm Astley, who is under sentence of deatli. It is believed that he is identical with Bert Mason and that he is guilty of the murder of Clem Johnson. Now, if Bert Mason will do the right thing ami clear that poor fellow, that is all that I will ask." The truce bearer listened attentively to this statement. Then he laughed in a strange, hollow way. Wall, I'm sorry for that poor devil. I s'pose ye want Mason to go up 11nd give himself up?" "I see no other or better way." Wall, you will be a heap IJigger fool than ye are now when he does." "Ali! can you answer for himt" "You bet I can." "Perhaps you are Mason?" That ain't here nor there. I don't keer to entertain any proposal of ther l.:iud, an' we call upon you to surrender." Frank had thus far pursued clever tactics in drawing the fellow out. He bad gained much valuable information He realized, however, now that the crisis was at hand. What if I surrender?" lie said, keenly. "What are your terms?" "Unconuitional surrender." "That means that you will cut my throat after being taken. Well, I think it will be just as well for me to tight. So I decline to surren der." "Ye do, eh!" ,. Yes." The fellow tur::Jed short about and back to tho file of men. His message seemed to anger them, for a mad yell went up on the air. Then the command was beard: it to 'em, boys!" Tile next moment the crash of fire-arms IJroke the air of the gorge. A volley o[ ritle balls came whistling up the defile. But they rattled harmlessly against the steel shutters of the wagon. Frank and Bamey and Pomp all sprang to the loopholes an l open ed fire upon the villains Volley after volley was fired at the Steam Horse by the counter feiters. But it did no dama.(;e whatever. On the other hand, Barney and Pomp picked off a number of the counterfeiters with deadly aim. Indeed, given timR, the little party or three could have cleaned out the whole gang. It seemed that the counterfaiters had become aware or the fact that their shots had not told, for the order came for a charge. Up the defile they came on a charge iu lieadlong fashion. But Frank was ready for th em. He knew that it would never do to lilt the villains get hands upon the Horse or wagon. To charge was the only method, so Frank opene
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to FRANK READE, JR., IN THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT. They had no dun !It that sentries would be found posted In the vicin-1 lty, so It was necessary to proceed with the very greatest of care. But as they crept on, to their relief and they did not en1 counter anything of the kind. The way seemed clear and they crept into the Pass like silent ehadows. Beaver Bill was an adept at this sort of thing. But he speedily found that it was not foreign to Frank Reade, Jr. The young inventor was as 5 ilent and tactfui as the trapper. This seemed to reas&ure the latter. Suddenly Bill carne to a halt. He made a funnel of IJls hands and whispered faintly In Frank's ear: "Thar's nobody hereabouts, pard. Wlmt will ye do?" Frank answered in the same manner: "Let us try that path down which the greaser came this after noon." Where Is It?" Then Frank remembered that the trapper had uot been present at the time. "All right," he returned, "I'll show you the way," "Lend on!" FranK now skillfully led the way across the pass. So silently and eflectively did he do it, in the intense gloom that it was clearly demonstrated to Beaver Bill that the young Inventor knew his business well. The trapper from t!Jat moment full confidence in his companion. Frank reached the path which led up the cliff. Here he halted a01d listened. It was somewbile before be was satisfi e d that the coast was clear. Then he whispered: "All ri g ht, Bill; come on." The trapper followed without question. Like silent phantoms they crept up the winding }lath, Up up they went until they could overlook the Death Valley. An of them scientific mutters anyway." "I will take my oai.h that I am right,'' declared Ftank, conjdently. "Undeed I am so sure ol it that 1 am going down there and try the experiment." The trapper placed a hand on Frank's arm. "Fer God's sake, pard, don't v e nture inter that hole," he remon strated. It's sartin ter t.e death." But Frank only laughed. "You will see that I am right," he c.ied. ''I will demonstrate thut. fact to you very quickly, my friend." CHAPTER IX. IN THE COUNTERFEITERS' DEN. THE declaration by Frank Reade, Jr., that he was going to enter the Den. b Vall e y seemed to utterly terrify Be9:ver Bill. The trapper said rigidly: Ye don't mean thllt, pard!" "Yes, I do.11 That ye'll enter the valley!" "Yes.'' "Don't ye know thar's dead men down there for that same trickr' "I do." Toen why tempt fate?'' I'm going on a sure replied Frank. "You need not fear at all, my Christian frtend. I am safe." "It's my opinion ye're crazy!" Frnnk laughed l!
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FRANK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE GREAT .AMERICAN DESERT. 11 Turning from the canyon they went on up the trail Trapptr Bill gripped Fmn&'s hand in the dark Yer too deep fer me he muttered. "I'd never have believed it." "Don't you see the simplicity of the thing now?" said Frank, eagflr ly. "We have discovered the secret of the valley. It would he easy enough to lind our way through it In the daytime if we could locate those spots where the gas comes up." I beh eve ye," replied Beaver Hill. "I hain't 'nuther word ter say. Jest ye go ahead and I'll Coller." "Well, what had we do? Go up the trail or take a wal!t in the vall e y!" Wall, I reckon we had better roller t!:ler trail rust." All right." Frank l e d the way, an1 once more they climbed the cliff trail. Tt1ey were Lot far in the rear or the party which had just come out or the valley. Their voic e s and footsteps could be plainly heard and the two sc o uts pushed ahead to overtake them. Bat suddenly the trail ceas e d its upward course, and Frank aud Be aver Bill saw lights ahead. 'l h e y had reached the summit of the cliff, and were now upon a t>road, l evel stretch of plateau. Upon the western side the wall of the plate au jnttPd down perpeu diculr.rly fully a thousand feet into the Death Valley. F1om this point a lofty viPw could be had. 'l'lle eastern wall of the plateau jutted down into the Great Basin with a she e r descent. it seemed a! if one could not climb this elevation except by m e ans of the one clitl' path. T'1is made it a position which could easily be made almost una.s sail:lhle. Y e t the counterfeiters did not seem to have taken any precaution of the kintl. In Je ed, they bad not even posted a guard at the cliff path. Fmnk remarked : his curiously. Evl : lently they did not anticipate or fear an attack. It was at !Jest an unusual state of ntlairs. Tile party in advance of the two reconnoiterers had now half cross ed the plat e au. Upon the western side and quite near to the verge a rude structure cf stone and logs had IJeen built. A!Jout it were several smaller ca.bins or logs and bou!{hs. In fact, it bore the appearance or quite a respectable settlement. Frank uud Be aver Bill gazed upon the scene with iutereat and surprise. Goodness!" exclaimed the yonnp: inventor, with amazement. "I had no idea this was such a place. There is quite a den of the rascals here." "Yer ri g ht! agreed the trnp]>e r. "I reckon, though, we've got to work pooty careful in this locali1y, for we're clos e onto the f o e." I agree wittl you said Frank. But I am very curious to see what is inside that stone house." Wait a bit said the trapper, in a cautious manner. "I rPckon it'll be a uetter time to try thet arter Lhey've mude up ther {lliuds ter turn In fer ther night." All we will wait awhile.'' This tbey proceeded to do. Time pussed slowly, and then matters seemed to have got quiet in the counterfeiters' camp. It se e med as if the majority or them must have turned in, and with this beli e f Frank whispered: '' I think: w e 're safe enough now, Bill." "All right!'' agreed the trappots. A'l the IJench six men were working with hammers at the feit dies and heaps of the bogus silver dollars and gold eagles lay up on the ftoor. It was certainly the hona fieen tliscoveretl, and plainly enough, their game waa up. CHAPTER X. BARNEY AND POMP H AVE LIVELY TIMES. B u T what of Barney ant! Pomp ? Left with the Steam Hors e to awa i t the retnrn of Frank Reade, Jr ., they were not : lestiued to long remain inactiv P In the shadows of the mountaia wall it would have seemed that the y were safe. But events close at hand were to dispr ove this as s umption. N e ither were well pleased at havmg b e en left behind by Frank Jr. "Begorra, I can't see the sinse av Mis thl'r Fmnk's taking that omadhoun with him instill av wan av declared Bar1: ey, petu lantly. "Dat am a fac', !'ish,'' Pomp, "fo' instance a cull uti geu man like myself." '' Bedad, av yez had gone wid him ye'd bav' been wuss than th& thrnpper," blustered Barney, otlend e d at what he considered Pomp's egotism. "Golly! if Marse Frank had done tulc yo' he nebar wud hab got back fo' SUiih. You're no good nohow." Left alone, the two faithful servitors were as certain to geL \ o wrangling and skylarking ns could I.Je. It wus nnturnl for them to badger e ach other. "Whurrol Don't yez me any av yer slang, naygur!" blus t er&d BarnAy. I'll sphile the face av yez!" "Huh I Yo' bettah jes spell aiJie fl)st, MistP.r Mick.'' If t kere was one thing iu the world that would make Barney furi ous, it was the insinuation that he was Mick. .Begorrn, ye'll take that back or I'll have the heart av yel" b& roared making a rush at Pomp. Hi, hi! L9k out dar, l'ish. I'se a dangerous pusson I" Then down went Pomp's head negro fashion. It c:mght Barney full in the stomach. Tlle Hibernian went down iB a heap. l<'or a moment he was wholly unable to lind his breath. Then furiously he scrambled t'l I.Jis f e et, but P o mp had ta.ken admntage of the opportuaity, and dodged out of the open aoor or the Once outside be began to je e r Barney, to make him all ti.Je more fu In this he succeeded well. IV1th an imprecation the C e lt started in pursuit. In the excitement of the moment neither thought of the danger ot leaving the Steam Horse alone. Just what was the cause of it they never knew, but somehow or other, pos s iuly the ja.r of Bnrney'd leap from the wagon, threw the throttle open and the Steam Horse starlet! away. At the moment the two skylarkers were a dozen yards awa y The sight sobered them in a moment. It a s eriouR matter. Away dashed the Steam Horse, with no controling I.Jand upon tbe rein. "Golly, fo' goodness!" yP.lied Pomp. We'se done made fools ob> ours e lves dis time, fo' suab." "Begorrn, catch him!" roared Barney. "Shure, phwat will be the tnd av this! Misther Frank will have the av us. Away they !led like frightened deer In pursuit. l But tl!ey might as well have tried to catch a cyclone. \ Away went the Steam Horse at a mad pace in t o the darkness and was out or sight. It was an appalling mC>ment. Never in their roguish lives had Barney and Pomp recAived socb a. shock. It was awful to think that it was all owing to careless fooling: upon their part. "Och hone, it's ruined we are." wailed Barney. "Shure I Frank niver will fergive us the day.'' "Golly! don' I wish I had staye,! abo'1 de waggin!" wept Pomp. On they ran in the darkness, stum bliog over stones and ohstruer ons.

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I2 FRANK RE.ADE, JR., THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT. Bat nothinp; couiJ be seen ahead of the Steam Horse. A thousand awful reflections came to the two servitors. They saw :tlJe Steam Horse lying at tile bottom of a precipice 111 a million fragments.. Or it might uash against t.be wall of a cliff and be shuttered. Again, if tJy any chance it sllould be Stoppel! som!l of tba counter1:eiters might gt>t. possession of it. { All these fears augmented a. thousandfold flilted til rough the minds or 1 1'.he exci tell and dHspairing pursuers. Golly! where ebller can dat Hoss bab g-one to anyhow I" cried Pomp in agony. "We'se done fo' dis time, l'ish." Be jabers, that's throe enough!" On they ran wildly. But the Steam Horse had gone from sight. All effort to catch up with it was futile. Tltoroughly terrified the two servitJrs were o\Jliged finally to halt. They were completely exhausteu. "They pauseu by a narrow or brook of saline water to rest. Suddenly Pomp sprung up with a hoarse cry of terror. .. Golly, what am c!at!" he gasped. "Jes so suah as yo' am bo'n, ['illh, dar nm dem Injuns a'comin' agin.'' t'he clatter or ponieE' hoofs was plainly heard, atHI they saw the f u pack of came yPlling on t.e Jinll. lt was easy for the Steam Horse, however, to keeu ahead or them. IC it had been daylight Barney coulu have amuseu himself giving the savagPs a wild chase. But it was so exceedingly dnrk that he dared not go too fast. PomJl kept up his dllstructive fire juet the same, and the savages dropped at every shot. On and on in the night. ran the Steam BorRe. Fortunately thus far they had encountered no obstncle. The course had been perfectly smooth, with scarcely a pebble to jar them. But Barney could not hope for this to last. It seemed as if they bad covered sev!lral miles when a startling thing happened. Suddenly lights gleamed just ahead. As well as Barney couhJ betermine they were torches. A chill struck the brave Celt. What did it mean? Were there more of the roe m front? If so, they were literally berpmed iu. This would mean a serious mutter, and the Celt's grip tighteneu on the handle of the brake. "Bejabers, I wonuher phwativer it is?" he muttPrell. Certainly thP.re was a band of men in front of them. The glare of torches coulu be seen, and the dim outlines or horsea and men in the gloom. Bamey saw no way to turn out. To come to a stop would have been to allow the Comanches to de scend upon the Horse. What was to be done? There seemeu no other way but to Iorge straight ubeatl, anti take ChllBCeS or breaking through tbe line or the new foe. llut suddenly a great flasheJ up, wltich made for some seconds the whole viciuity as plain as day. It was a signal light, burneu by those iu front, nnd Barney saw to his amnzemeut and tbe outlines of a large body of soldiers. A great cry or joy anu triumph went up from the Celt's lips. Och hone, an' if 1t ain't sol!ers thay be!'' he cried. "Shure, the luck is wid us nn' we're safe the whi!lll" "Golly! yo' don' mean it,'' cried PorriJ), "den dot am a herry lucky flng. D m sogers can jes' help Marse Frank fo' to cotch dem countiugthters." Yez are right!" cried Barney Th .. u he clo3ell the throttle ami applied tht> brake. The Steam Horse qnickly cu.me to a lluit. The result was thrilling. 'rite Comanches had not yet seen the solllillrs and came about the Steam llorse in a legion. But now up the plain came thl' stentorian order: Attention battalion! Draw sabre! uouble-quick, forward! Charge!" Thll clatter or hoofs, the jingltng of accouterments aud the wild cheer of thll soltltets rose upon the air. Forward roue the troop in heau-long fashion and led by a man with as commnudiug a figure as Murat. The flash or their sabres could be seen in the torches' light. The savages saw them and a panic wus crt>ated. At first they seemed inclined to stand their gtoun:!. Bat their experier:cft with Uncie Sum's troops had heretofore been of the most expensive sort. So they did not deem it hest to ribk an encounter. There was a series of baffied yells, a lluatling rush, and away they went into the darkness and out or sight. But the cavalry came on and in a moment surrounded the Steam Horse. The tall Murat like captain rode forward, and touching the fiat of his sworu to the visor of bis cap, nsked: Who are :ou! Friend or foef" Well, 6or," replied Barney, readily, "shure, we're not an inemy.'' "No? Well, what In thunder klnd of a rig do you call "Ca;'t ye see fer yersilf?" cried Barney, a little out of patience. "It looks like a horse madP. of iron.'' "Shure, an' that's phwat it is, but I'd advisE.> ye not tn do it any harm." "Fear not," cried the tall officer. "I nm Captnin Elmo, of Fort Forty-Five. You don't mean t3 say that that iron horse can travel of itseiff" "Shure it's a steam horse!'' replied Barney. "Did yez niver hear or it afore?" "No, never!" was thP. reply. "But who are you?" "I'm Burney O'Shea!" T>o you own that Steam Horse?" No, sor. It's thP. property av Misther Frank Reade, Jr.'' All, I see it now!" cried Captain Elmo. "I have heard or Frnnk Rende, Jr. Did bfl not travel out here with a Steam Mau once?'' "That he did, sor!" Then I understand it all. Then you two chaps are Barney and Pomp, eh! Well, I'm glad to see you.'' ., 'rhe same, sort" But where is your master, Mr. Frank Rende, Jr.?" olture, sor, him an' a thrapper chap named BenvP.r Btll, they'hnve g'lne up into titer Deatl:! VallP.y Puss, sor, lookin' fer Bert Mason, sor. Yez know him?" "Bert criAil Cnntuin Elmo. "Why he is the chap I have been sent up here to find." llfither Mary presarve us, an' phat for, sor, do yez want him!" is said to be the Jeudfor or a l>at;d of counterleiters who are supposed to have beadqnartets som'3wberes ahout herll." Shure, !Or, it's glau I urn to hear av that," cried Barney. An' it's mesilr as kin tell yez, just where to !oiud yure man?" "Where?" ''Shure, sor, up in the Dentb Pass.'' "Are you sure of that?" "I was well inforrr:ed, sor!" "Enough!" cried the captain, "that is then our ohjective point.'' "All right, sorl Are yez goin' there right away?" asked Barney.

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READE, JR., IN THE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT. "At once!" "Shure, sor, don't yez want the sarvices av tiler Stbeam Horse?" Why certainly I" "Ye're welcome quite!" "Very well. Fall into line with us." Barney was not lou.Lh to do this. The cavalcade set oat at once for Death Valley, and the Steam Horse and Barney and Pomp followed. Tile gray light of dawn was just appearing in the east. The events of the night were rapidly drawing to a close. freeh scenes were at hand. CHAPTER XT. TO THE RESCUE, THE sensations of Frank Reade, Jr., and the trapper, Beaver Bill, was of a fearful sort wllen they found themselves surrounded by the outlaws. It was the Mexican, Castrello, wto stood before them. Tlwre was no use iu offering resistance. 'fhey would have only been shot down in cold blood for it. Frank Rea<\e, Jr, realized this, and he was wise enough to keE>p perfectly quiet-. ''1We're in for it, Bill," he whispered. "But never mind. Keep up a good heart." "Wall, you bet." In the tands of the counterfeiters the position of the two captured spies was not of the most reassuring. Death, of course was the fate of spies, and Frank reflected that the counterfeiters had no reason for sparing them. Bard luck!" groaned Frank. We are done for, Rill!" "Wall, I reckon," agreed the big trapper, "we kalu't die but :mce." "There lB consolation in that thought," declared Frank. Caatrelio seemed beside bimsell With joy at the capture. He had the two captives securely bound hand and foot. Then he said: Perdito! take them Into the strong house. See to it that they do not escape!" Si, senor!" replied one of the men, who appeared to be a Span iard. The two captives were led to a door in the atone bouse. It was evident that the upper end or the house was used for such purposed us this. There was not a sign or a window anywhere. The door was open ed and the prisoners were thrust Into a small ten by twelve chamber. This was as dark as Erebus when the door was closed. Tha door formed the only means of ingreas and egresa. Windows there were none, and uo lamp or torch was left to cheer their droopingspirits. Frank was very much disgusted. "I don't understand it,'' he muttered, dismally. "What rnought that be. pardf" asked the big trapper. How we came to fall into the bands of these miscreants." "I kin see iL easily euuff." "How?" 11 Why, we jest made cussed fools or ourselves. We hadn't orter risked lookin' il) that window. They spottlld us then." "Well, I'm to believe you," muttered Frank, "but the fates have seemed against us. Is there no way that we can escape from Lbis p;ace!"' "Don't see any way." "We can't saw o. window bar out, for windows there are none. Really, Bill, I'm at my wits' end." 1'111 sorry fer ye, pard. I don't see as we kin do anything better than to wait fer morniu'." You are right! cried Frank. 11 That is the best we can do." Both were much tired and gradually dropped into a light sleep. Thi8 laste'i for several hours and was of great benefit to them. Sleep is truly said to be a great restorer. Frank felt better when he awoke. lt was lighter in the prison cell now and Frank knew that daylight bad come. Be was secretly wondering what was to come next. Suddenly the door opened and a rough looking ma.n came in. 11 So ye've raised, ell?' he said with a grutl manner. Wall, it's o.bout time." 11 Who are you!" asked Frank, curtly. 11 Eh! Wall I'm the chap what watched at this door last night to see that ye get out." "You are, eh?" 11 Yasl" Well, what do you want?" The cap'en, Bert Mason, sent me in to fetch ye two chaps out. He's got a bit or aa Inquest to bold over ye." '!'he fellow laughed coarsely at what he considered his witty remark. Frank experienced a queer thrill. He felt that he was going forth to face death. But It occurred that at he would be face to face with Bert Mason, the murderer and fugitive from justice. He offered no resistance, nor did Beaver Bill, and the two men were led out into the open air. It was now after sunrise some while and the counterfeiters' camp ln everY. detail was revealed. Frank looked about with curiosity. He saw a squad of fullv a score of armed men congregated near the western verge of the plateau. The two prisoners were led t!Jither and into the center of a circle of the foe. Sullen l!"lancea were bestowed upon them which Frank disregarded wholly. The young inventor knew bis lif e was by tbeset men, and t!Jat he was never nearer death in his life. One or the gang. r. abort, thickset fellow With lowerina eyes and a brutish cast of countenance, advanced. 0 11 Wall, what !Jave you two pilgrims got to say for yourselves?" Frank Reade, Jr., knew instinctively that t!Jis was the ruffian Ben Mason, and he eyed !Jim coolly. I have nothing to say for mxsclf," be replied, coldly. "Ye haven't, eh!'' 11 1 said so." Mason glared savagely at i.be young inventor and hissAd: 11 So ye're the chap whom they call Frank Reade, Jr., the inventor., ehf" That is my name!" 11 Ye're tbe man what owns that wonderful 8team Hoss!" ''I am the man.'' '' Where's yer hoes D(\w?" ''lllo not know.'' Mason laughed coarsely. Had lots of sand to cum into this region with the idee of bringmg me to my milk, didn't ye!" Perhaps so." Frank was cool and perfectly fearless. This maddened the wretchL. Cuss ye, I kin tel! ye that ye'll never succ to one upon tbe verge of an..awful death. God help us!" be reflected. 11 I think this is the end." They were led forward to the verge of the precipice. "Now I'm going t o give yea chance," cried Mason. "If ye think ye can make the jump ye have a chance for your life. Cut tbei;r bonds, men. Ha, hn, hal I wouldn't give much for YOJlr chance. Two men sprang forward, and with sharp knives cut their bonds. 11 Now say yer prayers!" cried Mason. 11 Ye'll soon be in Hades. The villain laughed again uproariously at !Jis ghastly wit. But Frank Reade, Jr., conceived or a daring plan at that moment.. He whispered to t!Je trapper; 11 Bill, we have the use of our hunds and feet. It Is death Q,Jlywa,.. Why not make a fight for it?" Kerect! I'm with ye!" replied tbe trapper. 11 What's the mover" "You <1asb to the rig!Jt, and I'll go to the left." 11 Ready!" yelled Mason. 11 One--" Be rl!d not finish counting. With tile rapidity or lightning the twD prisoners leaped io opposite directions. There was the rPport of a pistol held In Mason's hand. The l.Ju!let whistled by Frank Reade, Jr's, ear. But the young Inventor did not pause. He rushed madly into the arms or one of the guards. Before the fellow could make resistance Frank bad struck him a terrific blow In the stomach wl,ich stretched him out upon the grouDd. Then he sped away across the plateau like a deer. Rifle lnllets followed him, a11d though his clothes were shot fuD or holes, miraculously he was not injJret!. But Beaver Bill was having a decidedly harder time. He bad been clutched by several of the foe, and a J:vely struggle followed. The trapper was the center of a struggling mass of the counterfeiters, but was making a vahant struggle, when a loud yell or alan& went up on the air. Frank, in his flight across the plateau, suddenly heard a thriUiog sound. He turned his head and clear to his hearing came the shrill wbmtle of the Stearn Horse. 11 Barney and Pomp!" he gasped. What has brought them ben!"' Sure enough, across the plateau, at whirlwind speed, came the stea.a' Horse, I

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.... T l.:t FRA:NK READE, JR., IN 'l'H")t complete'J< around the valley. Unless there was some unknown exit by means of a secret cavern, Fronk cou!ll not see bow the counterfeiters could 'l'he day was spent in overhauling and exp!ormg Masou's den. Towards night, Frank, with Burney and the trapper, Beaver Bill, went to the verge of the plutflau. Pomp was left with the Stearn Horse by the stone bouse. Frank's theory was that the counterfeiters were aecr<>ted beneath the cliffs and were waiLing simply for night to euai.Jle them to lind their way across thtJ vallt>y. But how Liley had gone down over the edge of the clifl seemed a mystery. This, however, Beaver Bill soon solved in a curious manner. The founu several stout iron rings imlledlied in out of the way crevices of the clitf. His theory was logical. I tell ye, I l'E'CkOII they bad double length8 or lariat passed through these ririgs he declared. Tiley evidently ilad tllis all tired anticipatin:.:; an attack some time." "Begorra, I can sell that," cried Barney, "hnt howiver did they go down and be afther tile ropes wid thim?" Easy enough, pard," rep lie:! the trapper, "the lariats were doubled au' by jest unt)ing a knot they could pu!l the rope liown arter 'em, an' ye couldn't toiler in the same way.'' There was no doubt but til at Beaver Bill bad hit the nail on the bead. All accepted this hypothesis as a correct one. But darkness was coming on rapidly now. CHAPTER XIII. THE END. WITH the comiug of darkness the curious r>henomena of the Vl\llev again manifested itself. It was a wonderful scene. But Frank took Captain Elmo to the verge of the pl. teau and said: "I told you that I would explain my theory to lOU to-night. If you will look you will see that those curious ba!ls of light dancing up from the ground exist only in sections." "I do observe that fact," agreed Captam Elmo. "Very good. Now tile noxious gas which overcomes one in cross in"' the valley comes only from those spots. Wherever those balls of light are not to be seen tllere is no gas, aud it is consequently safe to travel." The captain was deeply impressed with this explanation. Upon my word, Mr. Reade," he cried, "that is stro'lg logic!" "I th:mght you would agree to it. Now those cunning rascals of counterfeiters are aware of the fact and cross the valley with impunity at any time o! night." "But-llut what of the nuggets of gold which are said to tempt the unwary into the place! If they were ahle to enter and close the val ley, why should Mason and his gang need to manufacture counterfeit money?" Frank snapped his fingers. "That for the nuggets of gold!'' he declared. "Ten to one thlly are worthless iron pyrites. But we will investigate that later. Ali! what rlid I tell you?'' With thi3 excited cry Frank down into the valley. Dark forms were seen to flit into the shadows between the dancing section3 of gas fire. That they were the counterfeiters bent on eacape wns no doubt. "Heavens! there they are!" gasped the captain. What shall we do?" "Explain the secret9 of. the valley to your men. Close in upon them and--" But Frnnk Reade, Jr., did not finish the The cnptain chitched his arm. My God!" he cried, "there is the end or half of them!" A startling Incident had occurred in the valley, which was so vivid and borrillle as to leave ita impress upon the minds or the spectators ferever. Suddenly hair a do.zen of the counterfeiters were seen to become enveloped in seemed like a momentary tiash of blue i!.ame.

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FRANK READE, JR., IN TilE GREAT AMERICAN DESERT. 15 Then their holli e s were seen lying upon tile sanu, and tbe ghostly balls of L were seen dancing above lll em "H .. avens! flow uo you explam that!" gasJJell the captain. "They must have unluckily stepped up o n an undevelopeu mine of the gas," replied Frank. lL has come up su\copy, as it will both amuse and iuslruct. Price 10 c e nts. For by all newsdealers in the Unit ed States and C1LU1Lda, or sent to auy address, postage on receipt or prica. Addr ess Fn1nk 'l'ousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. llox 2730. HOW TO DO TRICKS WITH UARDS.-Cont ai ning explaMtlons or the general principles ot sl eigh tofhand npplic>Lble to card tricks; of card tricks with ordinary cards, aud not r equiri ng sleight-of-hand; or tricKs involving sleiJ::ht of-ham l, or ths. 4

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The Funniest Stories Ever Written ABE PUBLISHED WEEKLY IN The 5 Cent ComiC Library. ISSUED EVERY SATURDAY. A.sk Your Newsdealer to Save You a Copy Every Week. THE FOLLOWING STORIES HAVE ALREADY BEEN PUBLISHED: 1. Two Dandies of New York; or, The Funny Side of Every thing, by Tom Teaser 2. Cheeky Jim, the Boy From Chicago; or, Nothing Too Good for Him by Sam Smiley 3. Gymnastic Joe; or, Not a Bit Like His Uncle, by Tom Teaser 4. Shorty ; or, Kicked Into Good Luck, by Peter Pad 5. Mama's Pet ; or, Always In It, by Sam Smiley 6. Tommy llounce, the Family Mischief, by Peter Pad 7. Dick Quack, the Doctor's Boy; or, A Hard Pill To Swallow, by Tom Teaser 8. Shorty in Luck, by Peter Pad VVONDERFUL STORIES .ABOUT FRANK JR., THE GREAT INVENTOR, Are :Published Weekly in the FRANK READE LIBRARY. 5 Cents. .. Issued Every Saturday. YOU CAN BUY A COPY AT ANY NEWSDEALER'S. THE FOLLOWING STORIES HAVE ALREADY BEEN PUBLISHED: L Frank Reade1 Jr., and His New Steam Man; or, The Young Inventors Trii>J;o the Far West, by" Noname" 2. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in No Man's Land; or, On a Mysterious Trail, by" Noname" 3. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Central America, by "N oname" 4. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Texas; or, Chasing the Train Robbers, by" Noname" 5. Frank Rea.de1 Jr., With His New Steam Man in Mexieo; or, Hot WorK Amo11g the Greasers, by N oname 6. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man Cllasing a Gang of "Rustlers;" or, Wild Adventures in Montana, by" Noname" 7. Frank Reade, Jr., and His New Steam Horse; or, The Search for a Million Dollars. A Story of Wild Life in New Mexico, by "Noname" 8. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Horse Among the Cowboys; or, the League of the Plains, by "Noname" 9. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Horse in the Great American Desert ; or, The Sandy Trail of Death, by N oname" 10. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Horse and the Mys-tery of the Underground Ranch, by "Noname The Greatest Detective Stories Ever Written ABE PUBLISHED WEEKLY IN THE YOUNG SLEUTH LI13R1\RY. Price 5 Cents. Issued Every Saturday. YOUR NEWSDEALER HAS A FULL SUPPLY. The Following Have Already Been Published: 1. Young Sleuth; or, The Inspector's Ri,;ht Hand Man. 2. Young Sleuth in Chinatown; OEl,._The Mystery of an Opium Den. 3. Young Sleuth on the Rail; or, working Agamst the Train Rob bers. 4. Young Sleuth and the Beaqtiful Actress; or, The Diamond Tllieves of New York. 5. Young Sleuth's Best Bargain; $20,000 for One Night's Work 6. Young Sleuth's Night Trail; or, The Slums of New York. 7. Young Sleath Behind the Scenes; or, The Keen Detective's Great Theater Case. 8. Young Sleuth and the Widow in Black; or, Tracking a Child Stealer of New York. All the above libraries are for sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to your address, post paid, on receipt efprlce by Box 2730. FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 84 & 88 North Moore New _!!Irk.