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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam horse and the mystery of the underground ranch

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam horse and the mystery of the underground ranch
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
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Inventors -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Science fiction   ( lcsh )
Dime novels   ( lcsh )
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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 - R17-00024
usfldc handle - r17.24
aleph - 024784368
oclc - 38532798
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SFS0000002:00024


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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

"" Noname's'' Latest and Best Stories are Published in Library. Entered as Second Class 11fatte at the New York, N. Y., Post Offtee, October 5, 1892. No. 10 . {coMPLETE. } FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 3! & 36 NORTH MOORE SrREET. NEW YORK. New York, November 26, 1892. IssUED vVEEKLY { l 'ltiCE } 5 Vol. I Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1892, by FRANK TOUSEY, in the office of the Librmian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. Frank Reade, Jr. WITH HIS NEW STEAM HORSE And the Mystery of the Underground Ranch B y N 0 N A M E.'' A lou.d cry of alarm went up, and a tall youth on a mustangwas seen riding furiously u.p from the direction of the Wiggin ranch, ''Thunder and guns!" gasped Wiggin, with pale face. "Sumthin's wrong. 'l'ha,t's my boy, Al, an' ha's as white as a sheet." -----I I

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r -I I r I I I l .' T 2 F R ANK READE, JR., AND 'l'HE MYSTERY OF 'l'HE UNDERGROUND RANCH. :::. The subscription Price of tbe FRANK READE LIBRARY by the_ year is $2.50: $1.25 per six mon,ths, post-paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLif?HER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street. Box 2730, ., Frank Reade, Jr., With H i s New Steam Horse AND THE MYSTERY OF THE UNDERGROUND RANCH. By "NO NAME;" / Author of" Frank Reade, Jr._, Wit)l His New Steam Horse in the Great American Desert," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. A PECULIAR .MESSAGE. READESTOWN was a thriving little city in the United States of some ten or twelve thousand inhabitants, noted the world over as the birth-place and home of Frank Reade, Jr., one of the greatest invent ors the sun ever shone upon. The town had been founded by and namell after the elder Reade, who was a man or great wealth made out of his famous inventions of various kinds. Extensive shops Cor the manufacture of his inventions had been built by Frank Reade, Jr., who bad succeeded his father. These gave employment to many skilled workmen anrl learned savants. Master mecllanics and machinists from all over tlle world visited the Reade sb:>ps. Foremost among their most wonderful inventions had been the S team Man. After this had come to destruction in the bottom of a deep gorge in the wild West, FranK Rt>ade, Jr., had thought o f constructing another Man. But an idea struck him to change the ('lao of his mac h ine a littl e ami he decided upon the lines of a horse for tha next A Steam Man, why not a Steam Hors e ? Friend s loC'kett dubious, and reminded Frank that be Jla d four legs to manipulate instead of two which would by no means be so easy But the young inventor only smil e d, and went to work S(Cretly to draw his plans. 'l'he r esult was the Steam Horse, a most wonderful inven L iou. 'l'he fame of the Steam Hor s e exte nded all ov e r the world. Frank made several succ e s s ful trips to the West, and had in mind now another, which promised no ecd of exciting adventur e s and ex periences. It will be the purpose of this book to de s cribe those experienc e s, but first, for the ben e fit of such of our readers as may not have reatl the previous stodes, l e t us :.ttempt a brief descriptiOn or the Ste a m Horse. FranK bad constructed the Horse of pl::ltes of steel, neatly jointed and rivet e d together. In tile body of the I!orse was the boiler, and its held tile fur nace, with a heavy iron door to close it up. From the Horse's sh o uld e rs, and connecting with the various shoul der, knee and post e rn joints were small rods made to work on s houlder,, aud connected witn a cylluder upon eacl.l wagon shaft which car ried a drjviug-rod. The lund legs or the Horse were e quipp e d in like manner. When the throttle was closed and brak e s a pplied the Horse could be brought to a standstill just like any good, docile animal of the equine spe ci e s. But the opening of th e set all the delicate parts to work, anf the Horse would gallop slow or fast, j o 1st as the driver desixed The throttle valve was controlled loy the lower jaw of the Horse, whi"ch carried a bit and reins. Between the ears of the Horse the steam whistle was located, and from the Horse's nostrils came jets or steam from the escape valves. The saddle held the steam register aud ir:dicator. This furnishes a mEager description of the H o rse: Now let u s describe brietly the wae:on It was an iro n affair, with fou r wheels, a high dasher iu front, and coal bunkers upon the sides. Upon these coal bunkerS' good bunks were arranged, which could be used in the daytime as seats There was also in the front part of wagon a spacious l ocker for the storing or provisions, am munition a nd any articles of necessary sort. But the most intercstmg feat u re was the top and sides or the wagon, whi c h wer e o f fin e p l ates or s teel, and made to shut up or down lik e the top or a roll-top desk or a stEjel doo r c urtain W h e n these wer e u p the in t eri o r o f the wag o n b ec a me a comp ara t i vel y i m p r eg n abl e f ortre s s f or th e curtains wer e bull e t proof. I n the lattice wor k wer e l o o p -h o le s to fire throu g h in cas e of t he att ack or an en e m y I The hubs of the wheels were also so arranged that sharp knives of steel could be placed upon them o In fact, the Steam Ho r se and wagon was made with the p n rpose of being able to resist the attack of any foe not ar_med with cannon. ln llJis wonderful invention Frauk Reade, Jr., was abo u t to un dertake one o-f the most perilous trips of llis career A w e ek previous be had received a certainly very eccentric but characte ristic message. It ca\fle through the mail, and was inclosed in an envelope of lmck s kin all ornamented with fringe Frank cut it open and drew forth a lengthy document of sheepskin, npon 'wh,!cll was written in an irregular banu, the following: 1 CITY, NJ:\V MEXICO, ''To MISTHER FRANK READE, JR. 18th July, IS-"DEER S uR-We've heern tell uv yew an' uv yore Steam Hoss Now we, tile honest, law-abidin' citizens of Columbian City, hain't no idee of trespa s sin' on yore good nature, but we are in a powerful sight of tn bble, an' we kan't think of anybody who kin h e lp us as well as yew kin. Thar's a pizen gang of robbers olit yere wllo will sorter pursist in strappin' every pilgrim they kin git in th e ir grip. W e hev tried tew fight 'em but they fit Lew hard fer us. Now, we r e ckon yu're jist tber man tew clean ther gang out, an' if you 'll do it fer us we'll raise a publick subscripshun paper an' git yew a heap ov good will, if not m11ch m o ney. Now, we're trying ter indoos e Eastern gents ter cum hyar an' invest th e r coin in West e rn homes, but our buildin' lots won't s ell fer a buckiu' c a yuse until arte r we kin clean out Sid R o llins an' his gang. Tber mean cus s es hev thre a tened ter extermin ate ther bull community of us. Come '>n, good friend, an' we'll reBPeve yer int!lr thPr bosom s of our famili es, like a br J tber, an' turu out a solid county fer ye if ye ev e r run fer Congre s s. If y e don't an swer thi s prayer of hone s t peopl o there'll be a fune ral f e r ev e r y one of us before two months T e llygraf me r ight back if yow will come, au my man will be at Yuba City t e w git it an' fetch it one hundred miles over hyar. FAr th e r l ov e of God, cum tew our r e s cuP. I've writ t wicet tew ther PreRide nt, but I kin reckon he's tew busy wtil! ther t aritl', er tlirtin' with old Queen Victorry, tew pruy any heed lew sich poor divils as we uns. Be sure an' answer to "Yours on th e r square C A L "Postmas ter, Mayor, Undertaker, Board of Aldermen, and Justice o f ther Peace of Columbian City, New Mexico." Frank's inclination upon rea'ding this peculiar commonicMion was to laugh over the eccer.tric i ti e s or tte writ er, whom he regarded us a mild crank, and consign it to the basket But be happened to think of a friend who had traveled all over N e w Mexico, and knew it well. 1 There was a possibility that the writer of the unique epistle was in dead earnest. If so, then there was no good eason why his me s sage sllould not be respectfully ans w ered. So Frank to send for his traveled frieou aud ask his au vice. Accordingly, he tonched a bell, and in answer, a d o o r ftew open and a short, good-natured and comica l looking negro a p p eared o n the thresho l d "Here, P o mp," said F o ank, "take tbis no t e to Mr. Frank Harper." sah," r eplied the coon, d u cking his head. W bar am 1 ebbPr to fin' de gen t?" "Dpn't you know? Mr. Harp&'s offic e is in the brick bllildi n g o ne s t r eet bel o w here." "I knows, sah A'ri e:ht, sail!" P o mp disappea r e d. Th6 ua r ky w as an ol d a nd f ai t hf lll e mp loyee o f th e Reades. Just a s b e was g oing out or t h e ya r d of the m a c hi n e work s, be ran Int o a n in d ividual who was coming in. S o a nd for cible w as the colli s ion, that ooth 4own very forcibly. l

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FRANK READE, JH., AND 'l'HE MYSTERY OF THE UNDERGROUND RANCH. 3 "Taro an' 'ounds!" yelleu the red-faced Irishman, lor such the other was, "ye' ve uil;,h knocked the loife out av me. As sbnre as me name is Bar1.ey O'Shea, it's the raygur." "Golly! IL urn Jut l'isbmsns." Both scrambled to their feet and faced each other. Burney O'Shea was a genuine type of the Tipperary Celt. His comical mug was indicative of good nature, aml his dancmg \Jlue eyes were always full of fun. Barney was also au old servant of the Real.l!JS. He was returning from a journey to the ould so(!," and in enter ing the yard suddenly had CO'llided with Pomp. The two servitors were the best of friends, though ever engaged in perpetrating jokes upon each other. In this practice it wes bard to say which got the \Jest of it. They were delighted to see each other now, however, and Barney cried: "Whurroo! It' s moiglity glad I am to yez onct more, naygur. Wud yez cum to me arms." They embraced and then Pomp asked: Golly! yo' am jes' about as fat as cber, l'ish. Did yo' hab a good time ober de big pond!" Begorra, kin bet I did! Oh, all the servate girruls an' ther foine byes I see in the city av Du\Jlin." "Dat mus' huh been llretrul nice!" "Begorra, ye bbt 1t was that. Shure, wan day I was out In t4e Duo lin Park, thet's a foine place." "Am dat so!" "Bejabers, I said so. Well, I was a stbrolling alnng w\ien I met a foine girrul, an' she had a pretty posy in l:.er buzzorn. Shure I have one in me button-bole here just loike it." Pomp saw what appeared to be a fine bouquet in Barney's coat la pel. " Siluro that's foine sllmelling,' sez I. Yes, it is,' said she; wull yez moind a bit av a schmell,' sez I, not a bit .,' said she, troth, an' down I bent me nose an' scbmelt, au' be me Pow!, av yez will schmell av this) e 'll get same deloight I did, barrir.' the gurrul's pooty t>yes!" Pomp bent forward and pressed his fat nose against the bouquet. The next moment be was sorry for It, .A. terrific douche of ammonia strong and bitter, llashell into his nostril s For a moment the darky thought be was dying. But ammonia lloes not kill, and Pomp recovered, to lind his tormenwr hall vanished, tbough his mockiug !augh could be heard far down the yard. "Fo' de Lor' sakes!" be grunted, be rushed away npon his er rand. "I'll jes' cu1u square Jat l'ishman, jes' so sual.t as mah name am Pomp." CHAPTER II. STARTING F O R THE WEST. FRAl'K READE, JR., b all not l ong t o wait. A short while later the office door opened and a tall man witll iron-gray side-whiskers came in. "Ali, Frank, how are you ? he said, cheerily. "Glad to see you." "The s ame," r e plied Frank. "You sent for me?" "Yes-thank you for coming so promptly. I wish to ask you a few questions." Proceed." "You have trav e led in New M e xico?" "Pretty much." "Do you know much about a place called Columbian Citj'?" Franil: H{lrpe r gave u sta rt l s hould s a y I did." What sort or a place is it?" "It is a struggliug settlement of a few hundred souls. The people are plain and uncouth, but a more hospitable place 1 never struck in my life." "Do you know a man there named Cal Wiggin?" Wiggin? I should say I did. One or the bluffest, best-hearted men in the world." ".A.b! I am glad to hear it." Harper lookeressed individual. As long as I live my inventions shall work for cause of the just." ".A. noble resolution!" cried Harper. "You will ge' your re warll!'' A few moments later the lawyer left the office. Then Frank wrote a telegram : "To CAL WIGGIN, YUBA CITY STATlON: a upper lip. I am coming to help you. "FRANK READE, JR." For two days after thia the greatest reigned in and about the machine works. / It was rumo,ed that Frank Reade, Jr. was about to undertake an other famous trip, and everybody was interested greatly. The Steam Horse required some little repairing from the etlects of the former trrp, But this was speedily done, and in less than a day the Horse was ready. Barney and Pomp were to accompany Frank, and they were as usual cverjoyed at the prospect. A special train was chartered to transport the Horse to Yuba City. l<'rom there the trip was to be made overland to Columbian City. .\ guide was to meet them at Yuba, and with these arrangements all completell, and the Horse aboard the train, the start was mao.le. The special whirled away across the T e xas plains at a sixty-mile gait. One .fine morning the train was side-tracked at Yuba City. This was a small coll e ction of adobe huts, and the iuha!Jitants were mostly Mexicans and half-breedei. The Steam Horse was quickly [ unloaded. Skilled mechanics ball been brought along to put the invention together. After L!Je Horse was constructed, Barney built a fire in the furnace, water was put in the boiler and steam was got up. The Steam Horse took a trial trip through the streets of YuiJa City. So astonished and terrified were the natives that all ran Into tl:eir houses and fastened the oors. This amused Barney and Pomp im:nensely. At lengtll all was declare1l in readiness to take leave of Yuba City. As Cal Wig gin had agreed, a representative was on hand from Columbian City. This was a mere boy, who said he was a son of Wiggin and gave his name as bscar. He was. a slEnd e r lad, with thin but intelligent featureB, and long yellow Lr. air which fell dow n upon his shoulders. He was illy clad in loose fitting buckskin, could ride like a Centaur and throw a la s so w e ll for a youth or his age. Frank was much interestell in the lad and asked him many questions "I reckon ye won't git thar none too soon!" declarell Oscar. Why!" ask ad Frank. "Wall, pizen reptile, S id Rollins, sed he wns goin' to wipe out Columbian City an' they wuz expectin' him when I left." "Heavens!" exclaimed Frank, "then wo will need to hurrr." I reckon sol'' "How far is it to your place!" "Ahout a hundred I reckon." "How quickly can you go with your pony?" "I reckon on a prnch I kin do it in a day." "Isn't tha.t pretty goo
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r t .... 0 a 4 FRANK READE, JR., AXD THE MYSTERY OF THE UNDERGROUND RANCH. angel sent to him from Heaven. Ma is a heap fend of Sis and so's all the rest of us!" "It is nice 10 have such a sister!'' cried FranK, with interest. 'Deed it is, sir. to us poor people. But we don't think anything or oursehes when Rollins comes to attack U9, we only think what would become of Sis." Frank felt a tingling in his veins. "lf thes coundrel t!ares to harm a hair of her bead!" be cried, heatedly, "be shall pay for with his lire." The .Steam Horse kept on over the prairie at a slow gallop, in pace with the tireless pony of Oscar's. Had it been possible to have allowed the Horse to lake Its swiftest gait, Columbian City would have been reached in quicker time. But it wns necessary to have a guide, so tl.ie Horse was kept along at a moderate pace. Mile after mile of the even plain was covered. As the start had been made c.t tile ; h9ur of noon night came on before half tbe distance had been covered. Oscar was wtlling to ride on in the darkness, but Frank knew the risk to which he would be subjecting the Steam Horse and declined to do so. It was therefore necessary to camp for the night. The Steam Horse was halted in a convenient place near a bubbling spring. Barney bad collected enough dried grass and peat to make a fire, when a startled crv came from Oscar. The boy rushed into camp with a white face and excited manner. "Oh, .Mister Reade!" lle cried in distress, "we're surely done fer. Thar's a hull gang of Sid Rollins' men out on ther peralry thar, an' tbar ain't any doubt but they hev cum out to cut us of!." Frank was instantly upon his feet. Where are they!" he cried. Out yenderl" shouted the boy, pointing out on the plain. And there, plainly visible to all, was a cavalcade of horsemen bear)n!t down upon the Steam Oscar affirmed positively that they were Rollins' men. There was no one to dispute this. It was accepted as a fact. At preparations were made for defense. All spranl!: into the wagon but Oscar. The lad clung tcrbls pony's back and would have ridden away, but Fr4nk cried: "Hold on, my boy! Don't attempt that. It's too risky. Come into the wagon." Oscar slipped from his pony's back. The little animal, faithfully trained, cantered away out upon the prairie to graze. It would be a smart foe who would catch little animal now. All were in the wagon when the cavalcadegalloped up in the gloom and reined in their horses. They were within speaking distance of the Steam Horse, and one of them came forward. Hello!'' be shouted. "Who in the name of Satan are ye!" Frank made reply: "I am Frank Reagart! the Steam Horse as a most wonderful inven tion, and Frank Reade. Jr., an infallible generaL A BATrLE WITH THE OUTLAWS. "I think we will go back to camp now," cried Frank. "I don't be" YB want to see me, eh?" growled the ruffian. lieve they will attack us again to-night." "I clo!" "Ba l cess to th e omadhouns, shure it w-ill be bad for thim if "What do you want to see me about?" they do!" cried Barney with force. "You are an outlaw and a thief. I deman:l that you surrender Accordingly the Steam Horse was sent back to the camp. yourself to the law. If not, I shall endeavor to bring you to justice." Arrived there Barney went for more fuel, whill'l Pomp began lo cook Frank spoke clearly, firmly and forcibly. the supper. For a morr.ent the prairie outlaw made no rP.sponse. were right in the belief that the outlaws would not attett pt Then he leaned back and gutl'awed in a most violent fashion. another attack. They did not again show up. "Well, I swow!" be cried. "My young turkey cock, ye've a "I reckon they know when they've got enutr," declared mighty pile of brass, I'll allow, but ye'll have to look out that yer pin sagely. feathers ain't tllucked afore ye git through. So ye think Sid Rollins While the party were preparing the meal suddenly a loud whinny will give in to ye, eh! Haw! haw! haw! thet's tile best joke I've was heard and up to the spot galloped Oscar s pony. heern tell hereabouts." The spirits of all were high us they partook of the evening meal. "Oh, be's au awful man!" whispered Oscar as he stood shivering be-No attempt was made now to disguise thP.ir camp, ,and it was arside Franl\. "Don't get him too mali, sir." ranged that Barr.ey should stay on guard half the night and Pomp the But Frank made no rPply. other half. Spare your cheap talk, Sid Rollins. l'v e dealt with .hen like you Until a late hour all sat up. before." Dtlring the evening BarnP.y brought out a genuine Irish f!ddle and Oh, ye have, eh! An' ye've cum out hyar with lhat Steam Hoss began to regale the others with Irish airs. to fet.:h me ter terms, eh! Why, I'll sink yew an' yer Hoss ic Wild Pomp, not to he outdone, brought out his banjo and gave some fine river." old plantation songs. Take carE>." Little Oscar Wiggin, who bad never heard the like before, listened Wl!at oft" with interest and great "'rhere is a little risk in ventaring to attack the Steam Horse." "Beavers an' wildcats!" be exclaitr.ed, "I've heard Sam Billings, "Oh, there is, eh?" play ajewsharp, hut it d:m't compare with that music." "Yes." Everybody laughed heartily at this. "Wall, by jinks, mebbe ye mean that for a kind of a challenge!" The night pnssP.d without inrident of material interest. "If you choose!" I In the morning all were astir at an early hour. I'll take it. But rust let me axe ye if Cal Wiggin didn't Frru : k was anxious to ,get startt'd, and bad all on hand to aa early send for ye?" breakfast. "He did!" Soon the Steam Horse was once more on its way across the plain.

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FRANK READE, JR., AXD THE OF 'rHE UNDERGROUXD RAXCH. 0-car rode ahead on his pony, and thus mile mile was covered. At the end of thirty miles a rest was called. lt was yet an hour from noon, so it was reckoned that they would reach their destina tion bv one o'clock. Onc'e more under way t the miles were rapidly covered. Finally a distant l ine of mountair. ran!;eS broke upon the horizon. "Hooray!" cried little Oscar, excitedly. "We're J!10St there!" A timber belt was seen a few miles ahead, and a rich tract or coun try. "There it is!" cried the lad, riswg in the stirrups. Columbian City \l'as revealed to be an indiscriminate gathering of rude log huts r.nd adobe houses. Its location was near the edge of the belt of timber and was quite picturesque and sightly. But there was yet a desolation and gloom upon the country which precluded all possible attraction. "There's dad's ranch!" crieu Oscar, pointing to a long serios of rumbling buildings in a large yard fenced in with high boards. It was the most pretentious of all the places. It!was evident that the Wiggins were the nabobs of the place. Frank therefore held the Steam down toward the ranch. In the yard a number of cowboys were engaged in casting a will! steer with ropes. 'l'he act was an excit lng and dangerous one. They beaseli it at sight of the Steam Horse. All of the townspeople, aroused the whistle which the Steam Horse gave, rushed to the r.;>.nch gntes to view the great object of wonderment, the coming of which, however, they were prepared for. And now from the ranch yard there advanced a man in herder's costume, wit!J sombrero of enormous width-a man of remar'kahle physique and great markedness of features. Instmctively Frank guessed who be wns. He was no other than Cal Wiggin, and the young inventor saw at once that Harper's estimate of the man was correct. Wi"'"'in was a great, bluff nobloheurted man. one hand, saying in a voice which was like deep tbuncer: "Hello, Mr. Frank Reade, Jr.! Blow me, I'm powerful glad to see ye-dang me if I ain't!" "I am glad to meet you, Mr. Wiggin," said Fmnk, pleasantly. So that is tber Steam Boss?" cried the ranch mad, gazing at the invention with the deepest of icterest. "Wall, I swar. it is a good un, ain't it. How in tarnation did ye ever do it, pard! Condamn me, if it ain't a big brum ye've got to master sich a thing." Frank mil:utely described the Steam Horse to Wiggin, who listened with deep interest. Frank begun to be more and more favorably impressed ranch man. Havin"' finished the inspectjon of the Steam Horse Frank asked: what about Sill Rollins!" "Huin't SP.en him for two dnys," declared Wiggin, but I keep my eyes open. fer he might turn up at any minnit." "That is wise," agreed Frank. "He is a bad customPr.". Wi!{gin listoned to an account of t!Je stnrggle with Rolhns' men. He shrugged bfA shoulders and said: "I reckon Rollins will find that he ain't flghtin' women now. Yll've cum jnst in the right time. Mister Reade, an' no mistak:n of it." "Well, here I am, and I urn ready to help you!" declared Frank. But--" He did not finish the sentence. At that moment there was a tremendous uproar in the direction of the village streets. Frank and Wiggin turned and gazed thither to behold a thrilling sight. CHAPTER IV. THE ABDUCTION. THE si<>'ht beheld by those in the ranch-yard was n terrible on11. The of firearms was heard, the yells nnd cries or combatants, and then into the air there shot a long, mighty column of red flame. "My God!" gasped Frank Reade, Jr. "What does that mean!" "Tarnation blazes!" thundered Cal Wiggin furiously. "It means that the dogs of outlaws have attacked us an' that they likely mean to run us out of existence." "Do you believe it is Rollins?" E' Certainly, I do!" "Then let us go thither at once!" With trumpet tones Wiggin was rallying his men. Frank Reade, Jr., sprang aboard the wagon and at once opened the throttle. The Steam Horse went out of the ranch-yard upon the full gallop. Straight for the scene of action the young invllntor headed. Burney and Pomp, with their rifles, were at the loopholes ready for a shot at the foe. As the Steam Horae drew nearer the town, if the rude collec tion of !:abins could he called, a fighting body of men were seen. The Columbian Cityites had barricaded one of the streets and were making a desperate stand. Several of the cabins had been tired by Rollins' men who seemed here, there and everywhere. The outlaws, full three hundred in number, were galloping furiously 3bout, shooting and yelling savagely. That Std Rollins meatt to wipe ou: City that lumi.Jian City was beside himself with exuberance and JOy. Hooray!" he yelled "I reckon oltt Sid Rollins will run up agio a hard snag when he tries to beat the Steam Ross." Then be ran up and fairly embraced Frank. "Mtster Reade, ye have the respect an' gmtituje of all in Colum bian City!" he cried, earnestly. "An' ye'll gtt yer pay." "I don't any pay," replied Frank, mo
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6 FRANK READE, JR., AND THE MYSTERY OF THE UNDERGROUND RANCH. "That is queer!" declo.red Frank. "But what has that got to do J His men rollowed. with Rollins and his hiding place?" As for Frank Reade, Jr., he renl1zed that if beautiful Sis Wiggin "Oh, didn't I tell ye! Wall, we all on us kinder reckoned that he was indeed In the power of the villain, Sid Rollins, her lot would be had some kind of an underground ranch somewhere--" bard indeed. "An underground ranch?" "Golly, Marse Frank," cried Pomp, "who.' am yo' gwine to do ab)nt "Yas; yer see his ken try is full or underground rivers and slch it?" like, au' e hev kinder thought old Uncle Jou Edson, that was his "I am going to rescue her!" cried the young inventor. name, might hev some rich place somewhars a\Jout, where he He sprang into the wagon. cud crawl underground an' bide till spring." "Bo jauers, av I git a shot at the omadhoun I'll soon soon splle his "It is possible!"' game!" cried Barney. "So yer see thet started ther tradition of an underground ranch. Frank open e d the throttle and away went the Steam Horse. Nobody has ever seen it, I know of, but thar's the mystery Down across the plain and into the ranch yard. about it-an' there's many an old herder won't \Jelieve any ditl'erent!" THere a terrible state of excitement was found. Where do you believE> this ranch was located!" Mrs. Wiggin was in a franttc state. Haln't ther sli ahtest idee! "Oh, ye must save. my Sis!" she wailed. Ob, ye uinst eave hert '' Tlten yon think that i t now forms a biding-place for Rollins?" If ye are men go an' save my Si1!'' "Can't say fer sartin. But it's sure t!to.t old Edson disappeared "Ay, wife," cried pallid Col Wiggm, "we will not come 'Jack withwith his two sons an' his cattle just about the time that Sid Rollins out her, ue sure of that.'' turned up hereabouts. "Mr. Wiggin," cried Frani:, "we are at your disposal. We will "Now I kin a'most swear that I seeu some of tber old man's cattle help you in your quest." in Rollins' herd Some av us thought Rollins might hev \Jought ther "God bless ye, sir!" cried tha agonized ranchero. "Ye'll git yer old man out or--" payln The ranchero changed !Jis quid of tobacco from one cheek to the Out upon the plain in pursuit dll.8hed the cowboys from Wiggin's otl )er and gave Frank a look. ranch. "I think I understand!" said the young ir.ventor. "Rollins mny For miles they &conred the plain . have found the underground ranch and made aw a y with the rightful The Steam Horse accompanied them. own era anti--" But the quest was futile. Exactly! Now you've got the whole thing!" Not a trace could be found of the abductors. Frank calle r Wiggin Frank was deeply interested. to the wagon and asked: The idea of an underground ranch he well knew was a mere vagary "Don't you think th e y may have gone to those distant hills!" u.s yet. "No," replied the rancb,ero shaking his head, t bar'll only one place Still it fascinated him and be could not relinquish it. ter look fer o.u' I believe it's ther underground ranch!" Then E < !son has not \Jeen seen for over three years!" Then you \Jelieve they've tah;en !Jer tberel" No!" I do.'' 11 And Rollins made his appearance here about that time!" Then how would yon go to wor.Ir to trace her thither?" "Yes.'' Wiggin wns nonplused. "It looks as if a li:tle detective work might clear that up," said "Upon my word, I harJiy know!" l1e replied "Of course I kio Frank, coolly. look fer th er trail. But mebbe thll.t will fail us I" Wall, I did all I declared the big herder. We took "It won't do : my harm try!" armed mea an' rode the ken try all up an' down. But we cudn't find "Ye're right enough." any evidence agio Rollins.'' It was decided therefore to go hack and look for the trllll. 11 Were you o.t nil acquainted with Edson or his sons?" Some of the keenest plo.irsn.en were put upon it. Wig gin shifted his position. But it could \Je followed but a few miles. ,11 Wall h9 "I 'low we was. I nP.ver spoke to In the sbiCting sands it was soon lost. There seemed no clew il'itltin ther old man but twice in my life, but one of the boys used to know tangible grasp. Sis pooty well. He was a handsome young feller an' edico.ted too. A pall of gloom settled down upon the thronl!'. His'name was Waldo, an' his brother's Isert. I 'low he an' Sis were Night was coming on rapidly, and thus far nothing had been gained. pooty sweet one time an' I kinder thought we'd soon know more about It was a most dismal outlook. the underground ranch, though he'd never tell us anything. But one Cal Wiggin was mgh dead from mental worrirr:ent and distress. day he disappeared. It was certainly a terrible ordeal f o r him, the frantic father. T() "Sis bas been picked and half sick over it since, an' will declo.r' thet know that his dear child was in the power of the wretch Rollins seem be had roul play, but ter relieve her mind, I try an' convince her that ed more than he could bear. it's a case or jilt. See?" In vain Frank tried to comfort him. Frank nodded his bead. He would hsten to nothing of the sort, and would moan: "I see!" be replied. "And pardon me, Mr. Wiggin, but I thiQk "Fate is agin me, I tell ye. But if that skunk does harm to my your canghter bas better penetration than you have." gal I'll foller him to end or time but I'll have revenge on him!" "Eh!'' exclaimed the ranch man; "then you think--" "You wlll have the sympathy and aid of us all!" declared Frank "Tltinll:? Why I am confident that Rollina has done away with that Reade, Jr. \ man and his two sons, and I think you will find that I o.m right.'' "Thar's only one way as I kin see ter do now I'' declarGd Wiggin ... .Tericho! if I thought so I wouldn't rest until I had scalped the desperately. cuss!'' What is that?" asked Frank. "I am quite confident of it," declared Frank. "Indeed, so very "It seems ter me tbet we must all @catter an' work it on a long sure, tl.o.t--" scout. An' yit it won't do fer us ter leave ther ranch too l o ng nt a He did not finish the sentence. t:me or ther skunks will descend on it an' knock us out of tim e.'" A loud cry of alarm went up, and a tall youth on a mus tang was This seE"med only too true. eeen furiously up from the direction of the Wiggin r a nch. It was a despern te predtcamont. "Thnnaer and guns!" gasped Wiggin, with pale face. Sum thin's But Frank Reade, Jr., now off e red a solution of the difficulty. wrong That's my boy AI, an' he' I! as white as a she e t." Pick a dozen good men, Wiggin!" be sa id. Leave the rest to Tlte next moment the lad tumbled speecblesa from the pony s back defend. the ranch. Then we will go ahead and try to locate the den or bv his father's side. Sid Rollins!'' "Wall, speak, ye lubber!" thundered the old man. "What has Wig g in's face brightened. I reckon ye've bit it right, Mister R e ade!" he cried. "It's sartin, "Oh, dad!" cried the lad, with accents of terror and dread, "rna ter be ther best move. Wall, we'll do it I" sent me down for you Oh, Sls-sbe-she--" Wiggin at once picked a dozen of his men. Wiggin gripped the boy's shoulder. ; The others set out upon the return to the ranch. "Wall, speak!" he thundered. But the twelve, hea
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FRANK READE, JR., AND THE MYSTERY OF THE RANCH. With the headlight of the Horse lit, it would not have been so dlfll cult for them to see their way. But Frank would not agree to this. He knew well enough the deadly rial.: that wonld be incurred. The enemy w.mld be sure to see them and could easily keep out of the way. To IJe sure taey could as easily locate the Horse by means of its clanking tread, but they might not be able to tell what it was in the darkness. The furcace of the Steam Horse was made to close up tight so that no light came from it, and the wagon could be darkened. But the hissing of the steam and the clank of irou could not be concealed. However, Frank did not fear this greally, and for hours the Horse roamed the prairie in the gloom. Objects could be plainly seen outlirflld against the sky. Once a herd of butralo was started up and driven away into the night. A prowling Comanche fled for his hfe at sight and hearing of the Horse. Prowling l!oyotes ventured within a certain radius or the Horse, but diLl not dare to come too near. The inofates of the wagon ke11t a very careful watch or the prairie. Frank had become ir.terested and fascinated with the story of the underground ranch. He attached a quite flrm belief to its existence. ''.It Is by no means impossible,'' was his desideratum. the rivers hereabouts run underground, and it is very likely that there may be a secret cavern ln the prairie bereaiJouts.'' So with this strong l.Jelief Frank went at once aiJout the quest. "Golly, Harse Frank, if dat cavern am right out in de middle ob de perairy," cried Pomp, ''why don' somebody fin' it afo' dis?" "Oh, well, that is easily answered,'' replied Frank. "The ectrance to it may be cleverly concealed.'' "Don' see bow yo' am gwmc to do dat, Marse Frank!" "Ob, there are a great many ways," replied the y oung inventor. "Begorra, it's not !lt all stlu ange that )e shouldn't know anythin' about it, naygur!" cri'ld Barney, derisively. "What am dat yo' say, l'isb? I jes' don' wan' yo' to insult dis chile.'' I cudu't do that," ret?rted the Irisnman. "Yo' am jes' a no 'count l'isbman.'' "Yez llre a big stuff, naygurl" "Don yo' say dat ag'ia, chile!'' "Hold on!" cried Frank, sternly. "No skylarking just now." This settled the question. Had not Frank been present there w as no doubt but that the two comical rasc:Hs would have had a setto. BuL Frank w.Julcl r.ot tolerate this. There was too much serious work on hand just at present. "Keep an eye out to the rear, l'omp i" cried Frank. "If you see anything at all suspicious let me know." 1 A'right, sah !" Frank me11nwhile driving the Horse slowly along; when suddenly he received a startling surprise. Something flushed across his vision for a brief moment. He rubbed his eyes to make sure it was not an optical illusion. But be was not deceived. It was a prism of light which flashed against the horizon line and up into the sky. Only for the briefest instant was it visible. To a person less well informed it would Ju:.ve borne the appearanca or some unaccountable display of nature's forces from the heavens. But to Frank Reade, Jr., it was clear enough. The young inventor knew tl:Jat it came from the hvel of the prairie, and at a distance not very fur from the very spot where he stood now. Frank closed the throttle tightly, and nllowed the Steam Horse to l!;lide behind s hummock in the surface of the plain, which hill it completely from view in that direction. Then he whispered to Barney: "Come with me. Pomp, you are to remain In the wagon.'' "A'right, sab." Earney was overjoyed.at the discriminadon shown him, and at once climbed out of the wagon. ' Then with Frank he climbed to the top of the humm0ck. Here fiat upon the ground they waited the enactment of thrilling in cidents. CHAPTER VI. INTO A DEATH TRAP, FRUit felt sure that the light would appear again. He ; was not wrong. Barely had they settled themselve3 down upon the hummock when th>J sa:ne gleam of shadowy light shot up into the sky. 1This time it remained for a full second, and Burney saw it. "Shure, pbwativer was that, \fistber Frank?'' asked the Celt. \" Ah, then you saw it?" asked Frank, eagerly. "Shure, sor, that I di.d!" Let us wait awhile and see if it corr es again.'' Time pass11d slowly. Full twenty:minuteg elapsed and then Barney clutched Frank's arm. Do hear that?'' .. But Frank heard it now. It was the distant clatter of horses' hoofs. Then into view in the distance, outlined against the midnight sky, was visible the forms of a horse and rider. Nearer they drew every moment. Frank and Barney watched 1hem intently uctll they were quite near. Then the horse was suddenly reined Ufl and a peculiar call like thllt of a night jay was heard. Lake a statue on his horse sat the rider. Then suddesly there was the same pecnllar flash of light athwart the sky and horizon, and-A gasping cry escaped Frank Reade, Jr. ahps. He rubbed bill eyes and Barney did the same. What did it meanT The horse and rider in that instant ha
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l 8 FRANK READE1 JR, THE MYSTERY OF 'l'HE UNDERGROUND RANCH. Frank diJ not make any move In response. He, !Jqwever, wit!J a thrill, saw that the move was meant for a signal or countersign, and hardly knew what to do. He bad thought of makmg reply, when a harsh voice sa1d: Stand and Then Frank saw the flash of a pistol barrel. The young inventor knew full well that at that moment his life was in tleaite of his deadly peril the young inventor never once lost his self-possession. He knew that the outlaws woulil not be apt to at once identify him as the man who, with the Steam Horse, carriet l such havoc into their ranks. In this case he hope, by playing a shrewd part, to get some sort or a show of lemency. All tllis flashed through Frank's mmd in a second. He acted accordingly. Simulating fear and cringing, he rejoined: "I say, friends, ye ain't gom' to hold a poor devil like me here! l've:never dope ye any harm." Who the devil are ye?" asked one or the gang. "I'm Jerry Neal, an' I'm only a poor chap that playR in a band fer aJivin'." "Frank knew that his yachting cap would be sure to.attract the at tention and suspicion of the gang unless its use was explained to them. It would be natural for them to fancy him the member of a band, and this bit of headgear would answer in making up the uniform. "So ye play in the band, eh?" cried one of the outlaws. Wall, mebbe that's right, but what're ye doin' alone on the perairy at this hour or the night?" "I hocked my horse down here ter Columbian City, an' I'm tryin' ter git through ter Paradise Camp an' git a claim.'' Tile outlaws eyed Frank sharply while he was speaking. But the young inventor talked in such plaustble fashion that they were completely deceived. One of them gave an ironical laugh and said: "You're down on yer luck, I take it?" 1 Just a bit," replied Frank, with a long drawn face. Wall, p'r'aps ye don't know what kind of a place ye've got inter? We're a hard crowd uown here." CHAPTER VII. DISARMING SUSPIC ION, "I'LL not dispute your word," sa.id Frank, ingenuously, "but how in the mischief did I get down here anyway!" This brought a laugh from them all. Several exchanged glances, a11d one man said: "Wall, so long as ye'll never go out of here alive, I ma, y as well tell ye how it is." "I'll be very glad to know." "D'ye see that roof up tbar? Wall, it is made of plank and It swings on a !Jig pivot. Ther top of it-outdoors as it were-is covered to the depth of two feet with sand and turf, and when in place ye couldn't tell it from the rest of the prairie. But when we work this windlass, down slides ther trap of!' this way and leaves yer boss an' all on tiler floor of ther cave. Kin I tell ye any more?'' The outlaws laughed uproariously as if they considered this a rare joke. Fr11nk simulated his part well. He opened his mouth wide aDLl then stared at the trap above with idle interest. Then he yawned and abruptly queried: Who's got a chew or terbacker?" One or oullaws IJandeu out a plug and F.rank pretenlied to take a chew. "Much obliged!'' Wouldn't ye like suthin' else?" nsked one of the ontlaws, with a laugh 'Jest name yer deoires an' they'll be granted." Again the gang laughed. Frank was keen enoul(b to know .that as long as he could keep them in this mood he wonld be all 8'afe. So y ou're a bandmaster, are ye?" cried one of the men. Whars yer trombone?" Frank looked scorn. I play tbe corn e t!" he declared, pompously. No trombone fer me!" D'ye play anything else? ' "Tbe violin or any stringed instrument.'' That settles it. Fetcu out that banjo, Jerry, an' set him to work." Frank had really been bluffing, for he did not imagine there was a musical instrument in the place. However, he was r;ot going to be stock, fvr that would be fatal. Fortunately he kuew a few airs upon the banjo. Oue or the outlaws now appeared with the instrument. "Tingle her up, pard!" cried one of the gang. ''Let's see if ye're a man of yer word." Cert, replied Frank, cheenly. I all us does jist what I agrees. What' I! ye have?'' "Anything thet's lively." Frank tuned the banjo and then proceeded to work the strmgs. He did tile job in l!vely fashion. Reels and jigs and ,galore were rattled out of that l!anjo. 'l.'be outlaws were delighted. It has been aptly said that music hath charms and so forth. There was never a more 11pt illustration of t.he truth of this maxim. The music pnt aside from the hearts of the outlaws most evil and Frank's chances were better. After a while tbe young inventor began to sing. Frank had a wonderful tenor voice, and with the banjo accompani ment be literally charmed his hearers. Wbe!l be had finished the applause was cle11fening, and one or the gang cried : "Ye're a dandy. We're glad ye dropped in on us "Well, now I've made yea good call and entertained yP well, I reckon you'll allow me to go on my journey," said Frank, appeal ingly. But that changed matters. "Kain't do it, friend said one of the gang. Fr!lnk looked his impatience. "What's the matter with ye?" he (Jueried, sharply. "Why worl't yer let me go?'' It's 'ginst orders." "Orders b e blowed! Now look here, friends, I've got to get through ter Paradise--" The gang laughed uproariously. "Ye'll git through to Paradise fast enough," said one. Frank feigned astonishment. "I say, what kind of a gang are ye?" he asked, testily. Kain't ye see?" i\febbe ye're cut-throats?" "That's ther ticket. Ain't ye a bit skee r e d?" "Not a bit," retorted Frank. "But look here, pards, thar's no sense in treatm' me this way. Let me out of here." "Not much. Ye're too vallyable. Shall I pnt him ter bed, Jim!" '' Yas." "All right; come on, my With c oarse laughter all the outlaws arose to their feet Two of them seized Frank by the arm alll1 began lead him deeper into the cavern. The place was well lit with oil lamps. Soon they had paused before an iron barred door set tn a wall of rock. "Hold on, friends," pleaded Fran!,, "Don't use me that way. Why can't ve be fair with me?" "Ain't we?" "No." "Why?" "Ye're goin' to lock me up." Well that's all right." "No, Jt ain't." "Look here, pilgrim said one or the gang, mysteriou3ly plucking Frank's coat sleeve, "keep low an' say nuthin'. We're goin' ter help ye, but can't do it to-night-see!'' Frank could say no more. He knew that be was in for a bad scrape, and there was no way but to accept it philosophically. So he the and the door clanged behind him. He was a prisoner in the stronghold of Sid Rollins. It was a startling thought.

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FRANK READE, JR., AXD THE l\IYSTERY OF THE UNDERGROUND RANCH. 9 Really there seemed but a scant chance for his life. When be refiected that Rollins would be sure to recognize him the next day Frank's heart MI. "Coufouud those Ignoramuses'" he muttered. "I'm sorry I enter tain e a them now. They ought to let out." But they had not, and there seemed no other way but to make th e best or it. 'l'b18 Frank proceeded to do. He was in a square chamber of the cavern, wll1ch looked as if it had I.Jeen hewn .out by artificial means. There was a shakedown !Jed In the place and upon it Frank cast himself. He was thinking of Barney and Pomp, and wondering wllat would b e come of them, when he became conscious of a thrilling fact. Tbis was a genteel tapping upon the stone wall of bis cell. In a moment Frank sat uprigbt. What did It mean? He asked him s elf this question. In a l!lornent an answer came. A low, Sibilant wnisper came to him. "Rullo, fellow prisoner!" In an instant Frank knew that the voice came from an adjoining cell. H ullo !" he replied. "Who are you!" "I am Frank Reade, Jr." "Where did catch you!" "Right over their infernal trap!" "Ah, w!Jy did th e y not kill you!'' l don't know. They might have done it and spared me this cori finement." S o I have thought often. But wait until you 've been shut up three years as I have." Frank gave a little cry. Three years?" "Tllat's it." Who-who are you!" "I am Waldo Edson!" In an instant Frank was upon his feet. "Great heavens!" he gasved; then you are not dead!" "Do 1 talk like it?" "No, but e\erybody thinks t!Jat you and your fatter and brother all fell victims to Sid Rollins' murderous propensities." "Ail, it is an awful story. But how did you hear of it?" Frank then detai!eu the proJeCt which had brought him into tbe West. Tlle youcg ranchman listened with deep interest. He seemed In awful dist:esE when informed of the fact that Sis Wig gin had fallen into the hands of Rollins. Oh, that will be a fate worse than death!'' he groaned. Oil, I must escape from here and rescue her!" "But this was once your father's retreat, was it not!'' asked Frank. "Indeed, yes. For many years we have herded cattle by summer and wintered hundreds of them In tiJis underground ranch. 1 can tell you that there are vast chambers, covering acres, Mar here, and the cattle used to remain In them all winter, escaping the bleak winds, and kept on fodder which we stored in snmmer, they came out in the spring the handsomest cattle on the range." "Wonderful!" cried Frank; "then the underground ranch is no myth'" "You can see that it is not." But-how did Rollins happei. to find you out!" He played the sneak and our secret entrance. There are four of them. Tben be descended upon the cave and made us pris oners." "Terrible luck!" Well. ves, I should say so. We hae been kept here for three years. lndeed, I feel like the old man of the Bastille." / But your father and brother-where are they?" In som'l other cell. At first we were together, but to make it harder for us Rollins had us separated. He is a tiend in human shave." You are right there. But why did he imprison you instead of kllling you ? " Ah, that Is his fiendish method. He wants to torture us to death by this close confinement " He is a fiend, indef'd l" He is all of that. But, my God, it nearly kills me to know that Sis is in his power!" It is thP. truth, nevertheless." "Then I must escape, and this ver; night!" Frank gave a great start. "This very night!" he gasped. "What do you mean!'' "Wait a moment." There was a grg,ting sound like the displacing of a stone, and then Frank saw the slender body of a youth coming through an aperture 1n tbe wall close by the floor. Waldo Edson stood before him. Frank was amazed. Did you make that bole through there?" he asked. "I did!" It must have cost yon some work!" "Yes. I was a month doing it. But it paid me, for it enabled me to find the way to libarty." "The way to hberty?" "Yes, and I should have used that opportunity days ago but I have tarried hoping to get a chance to liberate my father and brother. Come with me and I will soon place you safely beyond imprisonment here." CHAPTER VIII. l 'HE ESCAPE. FRANK READE, JR., was dumfounded by this thrilling declaration. He could bardly believe his senses. Do l 'OU mean that? he cried. Every word or it." "l:!ut-where is the outlet; how do yon expect to gei ot of here!" "Corne here a moment." Waldo Edson seized Frank's arm and drew him to the other extrem Ity of the cave The wall here was natural, and seemed like the:solid rock !ubstanee of the sullstrata. But Waldo applied his muscle to a square bit of the wall, and to Frank's surprise it yielded. An aperture was revealed beyond, SC'me feet in circumference. I tapped the wall here," said young Edson, in e:tplanation, and I soon found that it gave back a hollow sound. 1 conceivE>d the idea of a CP.vern beyond. At once I went to work with a dull knife which I found in one corner of my cell. By hard work I succeeded in mak ing an aperture large enough for me to pass through. I went. througlJ one night and explored the cavern beym:d. I found an outlet and could have made my escape then." And why notT" asked Frank. "I have told you. I have Jived In the forlorn hope of findmg some wu:y or eflecting the rescue of my father and brotller also. That is why l came back." "Then you have abandoned that Idea?" "No; but I see that I cannot do it by remaining here. Perhaps by getting outside and enlisting nid I may succeed." "I don't see why you cannot!" cried Frank. "There are several hundred of the Columbian City men who will help." Yes; I believe it is my best move. .At any rate we will try it!" "Once in the open air and with fret>dom, I t!Jink 1 can give you such nid as will settle this aflilirl'' said Fr:;nk. "But it is fortunate that 1 was put in this cell!" "It is fortunate that yon were not Instantly made away with!" "Ah, is that their method?" "You may be sure that it is. Few come in here to escape alive!" "Then they are murderous fiends!" "That is what they are. But-hark! What is that!'' A distant sound of apprbaching footsteps came to their hearing. It is needless to say that both were much alarmed. "Some one is coming," whispered Waldo. "Quick! fbr your life! If wa arl' found here, then all is lost.'' "Go ahead," returned Frank. "I will follow." Even at t!Jat moment a hand was laid upon the latch. But Waldo Edson had slipped through t!Je aperture. Frank was half through when the door swung op en. It wns so dark in the cell, howevar, that tlle ligllt from the visitor's lantern d1d not quite reach this corner. Therefore Frank succeeded in passing clear through into the next cavern beforll the visitOI' became' aware of anything wrong. Then a harsh voice cried: "I say, you blockheads! You told me there was a man In this chamber." "So thar is!" cnme back the reply. "No thar ain't!" It was Sid Rollins' voice. Frank r e cognized it at once. The ruffian now begnn to make the air black with savage oaths. "I tell ye there ain't nobody here. Th11nder an' blazes! Ie this tiler way you fallers tend ter bizness when l'm gone! Tiler cuss has es caped!" Frank and Waldo paused to hear no more. "Come!" whispered Edson, there's no time to lose. They will b& riJ,tht along after us!" Frank followed the young rr.nchman without hesitation. Had the young,inventor been alone be would hardly haTe known which direction to take to get out of the place. But Edson was thoroughly familiar with the lay of the land. The foe could be heard coming nfter them full bent. On the two escaped prisoners ruehed at full speed. the deviouR paseages of the cavern Edson led the way. Suddenly the passage took an upward trend, and then Frank felt the cool night air upon his face. The next they were out upon the prnirie. So small was the aperture which formed the outlet of the cavern that they were barely able to squeeze through it. A clump or sage bushes overhung the exit, so that it would have been hard to have found it from the outside. But the escape had been consummated. Frank Reade, Jr., felt like one g1ven a new lease of life. He looked about him ns well as the gloom would permit. 1 Then be gave a startled cry. What js ItT" Edson, sharply. "Look!" Not fifty yards distant, outlined against the sky, which was now rapidly assuming the gray light of dawn, Frank saw the Steam Horslt. No sight ever gave the young Inventor more joy than that. What is it?" asKed Edson

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FRANK READE, JR., AND THE MYSTERY 01<' 'l'HE UNDERGROUND RANCH. "The Stenm Horse!" "The wbnU" Ab, I forgot!" cried Frank. "I have not told you about my Steam Horse, a wonderful invention of mine." Indeed you have not!'' declared the young ranchman. With this Frnnk began to describe the Horse, and also explained his mission in the country. come and see for yourself!" cried Frank. "You can tell very much better." 'l'lle next moment as Frnnk neared the hummock where he had left Barn-ey a dark form arose in his path. Howld on there!" cried Barney, for he it was. Who goes there!" Friends!" replied Frank, in a voice. Thin if yez are such yez may advance an' give the countersign, or be heavens I'll blow n hole troo yez!" "Easy, Barney!"' said Frank. "Put up your gun!" A cry or joy escaped the Irisbmnn's lips. Wburroo! Bejabers av it ain't .Uisther Frank!'' he cried. "That Is who It is," said Frank. But shure, sor, where have )ez boon all av the toime!" "I have had ssme thrilling experiences, Barney," replied Frank. "But first let me introduce to you Mr. Waldo Ettson." Barney and Waldo shook hands. Shure, sor, I'm glad to see yez. But tell me all about it, Misther Frank." "Well, I have been in the underground ranch." Barney gave a gulping cry. Shure, yez don"t mane it?'' "Yes, I do." : An' yez cum out aloive?" "Owing to my e-ood fortune in making the acquaintanc> or Mr. Ed son here." Pomp now appeared on the scene, and after be had been presented to Waldo the story of Frank's adventures were related. Po:np and Barney listened with deep "Shure, sor," exclaimed Barney, it's a lucky man yez are, an' it's moighty glad we are to have y(>z back!" 1'hen you saw nothing of the foe!" asked Frank. "Not a bit, sor." Well, I don't believe that we will have long to wait before we shall see them," cried Frank. The words had barely left his lips when Barney gave a startled cry. "Och bone, there they cum," he yelled. All saw that the Celt was right. Out on ti.Je prairie lights were seen moving about and dark forms. 1 Frank sprang to the door or the wagon. Ali aboard!" he cried. "We've lively work before us!" All crowded aboard the wagon. Young Edson could not but regard the Steam Horse with wonder ment, but there was no time for expression just at the moment. The foe wero close at hand and Frank opening the throttle let the Steam Horse run out on the prairie. Wild yells went up from ti.Je outlaws when they saw the Horse. A volley or rifte balls came rattling against the sides or tile wagon. Waldo gave a start as if to dodge the bullets. This made Barney and Pomp la1Jgh. "Bress yo' baht!" cried Pomp. "Don' yo' be one lilly bit 'fraid! Dem bullets kain't go troo"dis waggin!" "Thank fortune for that!" cried Waldo, wilh a laugh at his own timorousness. Of course the outlaws could not overtake the Steam Horse. Frank took a circuitous course, and Barney and Pomp began tlr.ing into the mi
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FRANK READE, JR . AND TliE MYSTERY OF THE UNDERGROUND RANCH. li Away over the plain thur:dered the cavalcade of settlers. I The headlight or the Steam Horse lit up well ahead so that th1ly Frank turned t o Edson. were enabled to see their way quite cl e arly. "You had better go with us," he said. "It is the only thing we The cavalcade behind, nuder Cal Wiggin's leadership, kept well up can do. We can return later." behind the Steam Horse. "If an y of us live to do that." Waldo Edson, who was familiar with every foot of the mighty cnv" I think we will. I imagine we can put a different face on matters ern, directed the course. when we get to the ranch." For what seemed an intermmable length or time they kep1; on. Frank leaped Into the wagon, and the others followed bin:. ThGn, just as they were about to enter a narrow passage leadin g to Opening the throttle, Frank now let the Horse out. a mighty chamber beyond, Wald o clutched Frank' s arm with a sharp He pro posed to sbow the others how fast the Steam Horse could cry. really go. It is needless to say they were astonished. The cavalcade had got fully a mile the start. But Frank let the Horse ril!;ht out, and the way they raced across tha t plain was a caution to railroad trains. 1 T h e fleet mustangs of the settlers were overtaken and passed as ea s ily as though they had been hitched t o a post. Awa y in advance went the Steam Horse. "Mercy on us!" cried Waldo Edson. "We are How dare yon go so fast Mr. Read e ? If anything should break--" "But it won't," replied Frank, with an ironical smile. "Well, I am satis!:ied!" cried Edson. "I would rather ride a buckin" hroncho for safety." ";,You are much safer," replied Frank. "No harm can come to y ou!" Tl1e settlers were left far 6ehind. Indeed they sank out or sight before Columbian City came to view. A thrilling scene was now accorded our party of adventurers. Gr eat clouds of smoke arose from the town and it could be seen that nearly half or the l.milding s had been burned. 1 The fight seemed to be confined now to the neighborhood of the ranch. There the score of defend!!rS left behind were making a bold anf his mouth when there was a sudden crash of fire-arms and a storm of bullets came whis tling about. Of course no harm was done to those iii the wa g on. But two of the ranch men fell. This was enough f o r Wiggin. Forward, men!" he yelle d "Lick the stuffin g on t e n 'em." With a cheer the rancbmen rode t:>rward. Down into the narrow passage th e y wen t. Ano t her voll e y came, and for a mJment the place was choked with downtrodden horse& nod men. It bad been a reekless move upon Wiggin's part. But ne had made it and there seemed no oth e r way but to back it. up. Frank could not get ahead with the S t e a m Horse, but he s ent therays of the headlight through the pas sa ge s o th a t W ig g in c ould see to l!'et through. The ranchmen went through and into t t e big h e r beyon d But the outlaws dodgea out of sight behi n d pill a rs a .nd corners an d picked o!l: the invaders. Th e y had clearly the advantage. Frank Rende, Jr., saw this, and also that something must be done at once to turn the title of battle. The passage was well cleared by this tilne. He sent the SteaJTI Horse through nod across the chamber. Another narrow passage, leading into an o ther chamber, w as just' ahead. Frank :irove the Horse through this . Rifle balls were fly ing everywhe:e, but this w a s nothin g to in ma t es or the wagon. They were safe from harm, an d Barney a n d P omp were kept bus y with their rilles. H e re and there they got a shot at the f oe, a nd in every case t hey ma d e il t e ll. The outl aws could not stand this ; and s ought s a f e ty in nnrrow cor rid o rs where the Horse coul d not follow. "We have got them routed!" shouted Frank. "Now, show us the way to the main cavern where t h e pri s oners will be like ly to be." "All right," replied the youn g ranch man; "kee p straight on!'' For some ways the Steam Horse pushe d on from one cavern to another The outlaws were fleeing before them. Suddenly Edson cried: "Now we come to the ranch. See yonder lig ht ? The invaders did see it. They also saw a great crowd of armed men in the cavern ch a mber beyond That is it! Now pu s h f o rward and the v i ct ory is o uri! !" Straight for the n a rrow !
PAGE 12

r 12 'rRRNK READE, JR., .A.XD THE MYSTERY OF THB USDERGROUND RANCH. The outlaws certainly had the best of the si t ua : ion now. "Is there no other passag e?" asked Frank, turninp; to Edson. Yes, sir," r e plied the young ranch man, "but the Stea'm Horse could not get through it." What was to be done? There seemed but one course to pursuA now. This evidently was to strike out on foot and attempt to storm the underground ranch with out the aiel or the Steam Horse \ With this dec1sion made no time was lost in e xecuting it. A strong guard was left with the horses and the Sceam Horse. Pomp was left in the wagon and i3arney accompani e d Frank Reade, Jr., and young E d son this time. The Celt was ove1joyed with the privilege. Pomp bad his instructions and knew wha t to do in case of an at tack. Frank Reade, Jr., and Cal Wig gin led the way thr_pugh the narrow passage:. leading into the underground ranch. At every ste p th ey encountered re s istance from the foe and it was necessary to light every foot of the way. .: '!'he battl e was now on more even terms, and the advantage by no menus with the inv ad ar s Every foot of the distance was stubbornly fought. A number of the rancbmeu were shot, but this did not deter the Th e y were fighting to rid the country of a monster in crime, and they would not give up. With such resolution and firm purpose they were bo und t o succeed. The outlaws were slowly but surely driven back into the main cham bers o f the under g round ranch. "Hurrah!" cried Cal Wiggin. Keep on, !Joys. Wt>'ll soon _git :into ther main cavern, an' then we 'll clean 'em out! This enthused the invader s and they pre s s e d forward eagerly. S oot: the battle bad become almost at close quarters. The outlaws made a d e adl y reoistauce, but the ranchmen with Wiggin at their head, made a despera t e charge aJ.d drove tile outlaws before them. Scattered into various cavern passages, some of them surrendered. Others kept up a desultory fight with the s e ttl e rs But now the main cbamher of the uuclerground ranch bad been cleared, and Waldo Edson took no further inte rest 1 n the light. He thought only of his father and broth e r and Si s He rushed from one cell to ano t her, looking for the prisoners. In one cell h e found his fath er, a wbi t e baired, old man. Job Edson, after a confinement of three years, came f o rth from his cell and fell weeping upon his s o n's Frunk Reade, Jr. f o und Bert Edson in another cell, and also liber ated him. That was a wonderful and a touching meeting between the father and sons. For three years they had been in captivity, facing-death as it were. for the capricious wi\1 or Sid Rollins alone warded the grim monster off. To meet now and be once more assured of freedom wa3 a glimpse cl Paradise to tbem. Tile others turned fro n the touching scene withoc. t dry eyes. But Cal Wig ain was in a frantic stat e of mind. He bad searched high and low for his bel o ved Sis. But the girl captive could not be found. Indeed, not a trace of her ileemed to exist in the underground ranch. Poor Wiggin was frantic. I kain't unders c aud that!" he cried How does it happen thet flhe ain't hyar ? 'i'lle cuss must have brought her hyar." "Why, 1 should have thought so," agreed Frank. "Are you sure _you have carefull y everywhere!" "lu course I am " And you !lnd no trace of berT" "Not a bit!' Frank Reade, Jr., was puzz l ed a s w ell as the excited father But Frank was cooler than Wiggin and he began a calm s e arch. He did not go far before he f ount! a clew. In one of the cells he picked up a glove which bad belonged to Sis. This was identified by Wiggin. In course that's her glove!" declared the irate p : trent, but whar's ther gal?" Well," said Frank, with painful conviction, I dislike to speak "DJn't ye be afraid! 8pout it right out. I kin stand it. Ye don't -ye don t think as how-she's dead?" "Oh, no!" replied Frank, quickly, "bnt I think that R o llins has taken her away with h i m." "Ah!" ext!laimed Wiggin, drawing a deop bre a th "Wh:1r could be take her!" "That is hard to say. I don't believe b e would hide her e in the cave!" Then ye think he's taken Sis an' skipped out completely?" Yes, that is i t !" "Well, now, where has be gone?" "That is for us to lind out, declared Frank; "can't we do it?" "We'll try!" roared Wiggin, ru s hing out into the main cavern. "Hello, boys! ali of yc cum with m e!" "Where are you p;oing!" asked Frank. Going?" exclaimed the big ranchman. I'm goin' ter scour every inch of territory in tiler West but l'll lind m y gal S is." Before Frank could say a w ort! more a startling sound came to tlie hearing of beth lL was the distant whistle of the Steam H .>rse. ;, Heavens!" gasped Frank, "they have attacked the guard and we must. J;urry to their assistance!'' "Ay, ay!" cried Wiggin, excitedly. All bands up!'' The ranch men responded qulckly and a r e turn on tl1e double-quick wns made to the cavern where they had left the S team H o rse. But arrived there a s tartling Ha:e of a!!' airs was discovered. The Steam Horse and Pomp were gone, as also the guard and many of the ranchmen's horses. CHAPTER XI. P O MP 1MAKES A F OOL O F Po)tP, left in charge of tlle S team Hors e bali not th e slightest idea of doi ng anything hut f a ithfull y obeying his orders. H e remained aboard the wagon for some whiile. But after a time It became dull and irksome sitting there ,Joing nothin g It occurred to him that it would not be a bad ille a to cultivate the transient acquaintanc e of some of the g uard left b y Wiggin. Ther e seem e d n o t the least indicati o n of r langer about s ... tistied of t.his, Pomp proceeded to make friendly overtures to the cowboys H e bud no trouble what e ver in forming r. quick friendship with them. The fighting was over w i th them for the time being, and the .ranch m e n naturallv lookP.d for some rel a xation. One of them produced a pvk e r deck : Tins wa s enough. In a jiff} half a were re clining upon the gruund engaged in the fascinating game . The others were Interested sp e c t ators, so that fur a all thought of impending dange r was not iu existence. P o mp was inordinately lonG. of poker. His mouth watered as he watched the gam e closely. "Gr,lly! I r e ckon llem chaps jes' needs somAbody fo' to show d to face a rP-volver held at his bead. "Golly, fo' glory!" gasped the astonis!Jed darky. "Wilat am dat yo' want?" "Listen, you !Jit of ebony! crierl the outlaw chief, savagely. "Don't yon dare to refu s e what I a sk o f y ou, or you die !" P o mp gazed into the muzzle of the revolver in dismay. Thb darky was plucky enough. But he h a d yet sen3e enough to see that the l east move was likely to prove hie deathknell. Hi s lirst impulse was to dodge the weapon and risk a combat. But he saw th e danger of thi s His f(Je plainly had t.he drop on him. :Now you black rascal cried Rollins, s:ernly, "I want you to start up your Stearr. Horse and take me out of this cave by the way you camP. in." P o mp hesitated. He was a v e rse to abeying, and yet what could he do?" Massy he groaned. "What ebber will l\farse Frank fink ob me n ow? I jes' reckon he hab no mo' respec' fo'
PAGE 13

FR.AXK hEADE, JR., THE l\IYSTERY OF 'l'HE UNDERGROUND RANCH. 13 There was no alternati1e, bowe1er, but to obey his captor. So Pomp opeucd the throttle and sent the Steam Horse at a slow gallop on the l>ack trrul. Faster!" grovled Rollir.s. "Faster, or yer die!" Pomp op e ne1 throttlt:> wider. The Steam Horse dashed along now as fast as was consistent with safety. "Why don't ye go faster, curse ye!'' roared the villain. "Fo' de Lor's sake, It amn't safe!" protested Pomp. Rollins saw that lhe darky was right enough in this, and be relapsed int o silence. Pomp never could have found bis way out of the place. But Rullins, in terse commands, directPd him which way to go. The Horse sped from oue caveru chamber to another. S uddenly there was a gleam of daylight abead, wbich pale it to blame fo' all dis, an' Marse Frank neller fo'gib me!" This distresse11 Pomp more than anything else. The om law .:hie!, Rollins, se4tmed to greatly enjoy the novelty or the ride oehind the Steam Horse. By Jupiter!" he cried, "this is quite a chariot, ain't it, nigger?" Pomp dared not to a .. swer. "It am a pretty good team," he answered. "I tlnnk I will take it along with me us far as I go, and you too, you l.llack imp. Mind, no treacb&ry uow, or I'll have tbe life of ye!'' "A'right, sah!" Pomp was senile enough, but all the same his shrewd brain was at work. P'r'aps he done drap dat revolver pooty quick!" he reflected. "Jes' as suah as be does, him un' I w11l hub a tussle." At this moment tbe Steam Horse emerged into the vuter air. The outlaw pointed to the open plain as the course to take. Pomp responded at once. At t!Jis juncture the captive girl showeJ signs of returning conscious ness. Her eyelids quivered and she ga\"e a deep sigh ane afraid. No harm shall come to you." He ventured to take her band, but Sis drew it back with a sharp cry. "Don't dare to touch me!" she cried, with flashing eyes. "Your presence 1!efiles me enough. The villain's eyes ftashetl with nnger and resentmPnt. "Easy!" he gritc ed. "Don't drive me to desperation. You are my prisoner!" I realize thatf' declared Sis, scorn "And nobody but a coward would make a prisoner of a :voman." Rollins only l a ughed at this. "You are wild ns a bawk jus t oow," he declared. "But I'll tame ye yet." Pomp had listened to all ttis, and the honeYt lhrky' a blood boiled. "Jes' watt till I gits one chance he muttered. "If only dat rapescnllion wud put down dat ar But Rollins yet held the weupon iu Ids hnncl. He toyed with it carelessly and rAganled l1ia fair captive with evil eyes. Yonr young lover made his escape!" he taunting-ly; bt;t that will avail him nothi1lg, for he w ill ne,er win you as he ex pec:ed. I shall live to triumph over all my foes." She did not reply . Her breath came qnicl!: and short, and there wa8 a uea1\ly pal!o1 in ber face. It seemed to her as if she suffocate in the presence of the mas ter whom she so loathed. "Listen to my plans," continued the villain, calmly. "I mean to take you to South America witb me.. There we shall be safe bevonlack imp!" he gritted. "Show me bow you run thiif machine. No treach .. ry now, or I'll blow yer brains out." "A'right,'' replied Pomp, coolly. "Jes' put yo' hands, hof of 'ern, right on dat l.lrake handle." 'fbe villain obeyed. In orrler to llo it, however, be was compelled to return his fevoher to his be!t. It was the opportunity Pomp "Jes' hoi' right on," sai'l the w&ry durky. "Now whPn y' want9 to stop de hose do jes' so." Swift as l!ghtnin;.(Pomp leaped upon the villain, wincing bis long arms about him and h!m to the bottom of the wagon. TIJen followed a terrible CHAPTER XII. POMP'S BATTLE. THE discovery by Frank Rende, Jr., nod his companions of the dis appearance of tile Stearn Horse was a most startling one. But Frank bad quickly solved the mysu ry. One of the wounded guards who had crawled into a corner for safety, now appeared and said: "I kin tell ye all about it, pards." Wall, let's have it, then!" criell blufl Cal Tile sutieritg man then narratetl the whole 1fl'air. When Fratk be question now was what was to be done? ' Why, go in chase of ther rascal!" cried Wiggin, furiously. "Just let rn e g e t hold of Sid Rollins, an' tbere 'll be oue leEs rascal in this terri tory, you l>et." \ cheer greeted this remark. The ranr.hmnn had l.leen l>usy in looking for their scattered llorBes. Muny of these had been found, and a large purL of the party were ready to ride f\lrth. l>efore this couhl be done there came the crack of rifles an:l three of tl1e party fell. Some of Rollins' men bnd hidden in the arcbPs of the cavern and from their secure1 position were able to make a target of the ranch men. This would never do, aull Cal Wiggin shou .ed: "Cllarge on 'em, lads! Root 'em out, the hull on 'em!" With a cheer the ranchmen went to attack. But the outlans who seemed intrenched held their gr. oun d well and a large sizell battle was soon in amive progress. 4 Cal Wiggin Jed tile ranchmlln with his accustomed intrepidity. Into the recesses of tile cavern went the battle. In vain the outlaws tried to resist the ranch men. Wiggin let! them on so sldllfully and with such pluck tbnt the outIn ws Wflre forced to lJeat an ignominious retreat. Having driven tbe gang into the furthest depths of the cavern Wig gin and his men returned. Now, Mr. Reade!" he cried, we nre ready to go nheu(J with you." All right!" cried Frank with alacrity, "every man to saddle. We win have to ride hard to overtake the S:eam Horse!" "Begorra, we niver kin do it," declared Barney, "av the naygur is smart he"tl niver let the Boss out fer all he's wuth." 'I' rust Pomp for that," cried Frank. W nldo Edson and !lis lJrotber and even the old man, who seemed too decrepit, rode with the lendPrs. Waldo was tile most familiar with the cave r n and led the way. The Hi3tauce to the cavern exit was very qu ickly covered. Dashing into the open air instir:ctively ull looked for tbe Steam Horse. But not a sign of it could be seen anywhere. To the eastward what looked like u body of horsemen wae seen. These in reality a part of t ,be lJn,ud of who had seized some of the ranchmeu's horses upu escaped from tl..e cave at the same time. lt was of !IO use to pursue them. What shall we do?" cned Waldo Edson. "We can't waste lime here." "Find titer trail!" suggested one of the rancbmen. This certainly seemed like a proper move to make. At ottce search for the trail was begun. It was a The tires of the steam wagon left a mark which It was easy to follow. Taking tile trail, it was not dilticult to follow it with the eye at a gallop. For over an hour the ranchmen rode on in silence. Every keen eye, however, was upon the horizon line, and every ob-ject there wns closely scanned. Nothmg lile the Steam Horse carne into view. But after a time SIX round topped buttes appeared in the distance lik+< prairie 8entinels. The trail led in that direction. Gallopmg swiftly the party of rancpmen now neared the buttes.

PAGE 14

l H FRANK READE, JR., AND THE MYSTERY OF 'l'HE UNDERGROUND RANCH. Tllere was a feeling tllat when these shou!J be reached sometlling "" ould turu up. Tllis premonition was verified. Suddenly to the hearing of all there came the sound of firear ms. Tl!en Wiggin gave a cry: "Navajoes, as I'm u sinner!" he yelled. At that momeo:1t a number of tbe mounted savages, with their long were seen to gallop across an open &pace between the buttes. 'f Tl!er e. was no doubt but that the Steam Horse bad encountered the ;Sa \'ages and a battle was in progress. It was now a question {.IS to whether Pomp or Rollins was maKmg the light, whether both were not ma king a common cause or it: There was certainly sharp firing and Barney cried: "Shure that's tl!e naygur's rifle. Don't I know the sound av it?" This might be true, but for all that, it might be Rollins instead of Pomp who was handling it. But the doullt was quickly dispelled. SuJdenly tlle rancl!men rounded the base of one o( the buttt>s and came upon the scene of battle. And a lively sc ene it was. The ;:,team Horse wab backed up against tb\l side of one of the buttes, and the Navajoes, over a lJUnclred iu number, were press ing forward to capture it:and the occupauts of the wagon. But oue man was at :me or tile loopholes and Baruey chanced to see his face for an instant. "Hooray!" he cri e d ''It's the naygur. Shure be's safe." Then with a wilu cheer tbe ranchmen charged upon Lbe NaVOJOes. A lively battle was quickly in progress. It was at tllis stage questionable as to wb!c!.I side would win it. But let us return to the close of a preceding cl!v.pter where we left Pomp and Rollin s iu a deSpfirate strGggle for the mastery. Down to tho tloor of the wagon fell the two contestants. A struggle which baffles ueacriptiou then followed. Ternfied climbed upon one of the bunkers for safety, All this wllile tlle Steam Horse was running at a terrillc pace over the prairie tloor. There was no restraining band upon the throttle rein, and the Horse kept its own course. Fortunately the prairie was smoo:ll and clear, else the result migl!t not have been pleasant for the passengers. The struggle between Pomp and Rollins was a terrific one. Tbe outlaw was a powerful man lout Pomp was wiry and plucky as well. Blow after blow Rolllns rained upon pomp's bead. But the darky dill not heed tl!em more thau so many drops of water. In vain Rollins' tried to best him. Tbe villain made the air blue with his yells and curses. But Pomp, kept a steady pull and this tpletween two of the tall buttes. Beaven, sir, you have come of!' victorious!'' cried Sis j oy tully, as she came up to Pomp's side. "God has aideing tllem, charged at tile foe. Nothing could withstand such a charge as that was. 1 Tl!e Navajoes in dismay broke ranks and were scattered. A yell of victory went up from the white men Bnt at this morneut a t!Jrilling incident occurred. All the wl!ile the crafty Villain, Sid Rollins, had been lyiog upon the floor of the wagou. The shrewd scoundrel had regained his senees and was fully c.Jgnizant of what was going on about l!im. --' Be realized at once what his position was, and a feeling of Jismay seized him. Be saw the band of settlers with big Wiggin at their head. He lwew well euougll that to fall into t!Jeir hands, meant a slip noose an:l a few feet of rope at the nearest tree. Therefore, the villain was glad to accept any chance for his life. By working upon l!is bonds he managed to free Ilia wrists. Be waited a favorable opportunity. Tl!en he sprang up hke a pan and !lung open the wagon-door. Pomp had not time to check him. The villain leaped from the wa2;on and dasheU along at the base of the butte. It was possible that be might h ave escilpeu, but at that moment he chanced to meet a band of the Navajoes. In a moment a circling lariat werit out, and settled over his shoul ders. 'fhere was a: chorus of yells, n stampede of horses, and away went the whole Navnjo tribe across the prarie. And bef.fnd them, dragging at the end of the lariat, was the lifeless bat.tered and miserable form of Sid Rollins T:1e villain's career had terminated in a hideous manner But there were few rf'grets in the crowd of spectators, though all felt ll sense of horror. The ranchmen did attempt to pursue the Navajoes. They had rescued Pomp and Sis and the Steam Horse, and this was enough. What a joyful meeting that was. Cal Wiggin held the beloved form of his darling Sis in his arms once mort!. Wal
PAGE 15

r l -... l!'RANK READE, JR., AND THE MYSTERY OF THE UNDERGROUND RANCH. 15 As for Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and Pomp, they all returned to I btm a motive for another marvelous trip, the full and thrilling details Reallestowu with the Steam Horse. of which may be found in No. 11 of the FRANK READE LIBlU.II.Y, en-But their travels were not yet over, for Frank found there awaiting titled: "FRANK READE JR., Wl'l'H HIS S'l'EAM HORSE IN SEARCH OF AN ANCIEN'!' MINE." "Usef-u.1 a:n..cl I::n.s"tr-u.c"ti ve !lvW TO EXPLAIN DREAMS.-Everybouy dreams, from the little chlla to the man and woman. This little book gives the explanation to all' kinds of dreams, together with lucky and unlucky days, and "Napoleon's Oraculum," the book of fate. For sale by e>ery news dealer in the United States and Canada. Price 10 cents, or "Te will l!end it to your address, postage free, on receipt of price Frank Tousey. oublialler, 34 and 36 North Moore street. New York. J:lox 2730. llOW TO DO TRICKS WITH UARDS.-Containiog explanations of the general prjnciples o! sleight-of-hand applicable to card tricks; o! card tricks with ordinary cards, -and not requiring sleight-of-hand; of tricks involving sleight-of-hand, Ol' the use of specially prepared cards. By Professor Haffner. With illustrations. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, post-paid, to any addreHs on !eceipt of price, by Frank Tuusey, publisher, 34 an"'36 North Moore StretJt, New York. P. 0. Box 2730. BOW TO ROW, BATh AND BUILD A !Uustrated .,}very boy should know how to row and sail a boat. Full instructions are given in this little book, together with itt:)uctions on swimming and :riding, companion sports to boating. Price 10 cents For sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or we will send it to yoc.r address on receipt of the price. Frank Tousey, publisher, 8t tmd 36 No1th Moore street. New York. Box: 2730. flOW TO BECOMJ!l a SPEAKER.--Contalnlng fvnrteen :illustration..,, giving the different positions requisite to become a good speaker, reader and elocutionist. Also containing gems from all the popular authors of prose and poetry, arranged in the moet simple and concise manner possible. For sale by all newsdealers in the United Statee and Canada1 or sent to your address, postage fre J,_ on receipt of ten cents. Adaress Frank Tousey, publtsher, 34 aMi. 36 North Mpore street. New York. Box: 2730. f!OW 'Io HUNT AND FISH.-The most co.nplete hunting and 'rlshlnt guide ever published. It cont.'tins full ins._cructions about guns, hunt ing dogs, traps, trapping, and flshinP, together with descriptistpaid, to your r.ddress, O'l re ceipt of price, by Frank Tousey, 4JUblisher, 34 dJld 36 North Moora New York. Box: 2730. BOW TO ENTERTAIN AN EVENING PARTY Is the t:t:e of a very valu. ab1e little book just published A complete compendium of gamea. sports, card diversions, comic recreations, etc., smtable for parlor or drawing-room entertainment. It coLtainS more for the money than a.ny book published. Sold by all or send 10 cents to Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street, New York, and 1-eceive it by return inail,l)ost _paid. BOW TV BECOME RlCH.-This wonderful book, "Row to llecon:e Rich,'" presents the example and life experience of S<'me of th:> most noted and wealthy m<>n in the world, including tte self-ma.le men of our country. The book is edited bv oue of the most successful men or the present ag:::, whose own example is in itself guide enough for those who aspire to lame and money. 'rhe book will giva you the secret. Price 10 cents For sale by newsmen and l.Jook!;ellers, or se11.d price to Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North :Mo<.re street. New York, and it Will be mailed to vol.!lOSt naid. BOW 'l'O BECOME A VEN1'RILOQUIST.-:By Harry Kennedy. The se cret given away. .Every intelligent bn receipt or price. Address Frank 'l'ousey, publisher, 34 and 36 Nortll Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. :fl.v# ro FLIRT.-J'ush out. 'l'he arts and wiles or f!lrtatlot. M"e fully exphtined by this little book. Besides the various methods of hand kerchief, fan, glove, parasol, window, and bat flirtations, it containB full liSt of the langualie and sentiment of flowers, which is inter esting to everybody, botn old and young. You cannot be happy with out one. Price 'l() cents. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and S6 North Moore street. New York. Box 2730. I HOW TO WRITE LET'l'ERS TO full df' rections for writing to on all subjects; also giving sam ple lettera for introduction. Price 10 cents. For sale by all news tlealers in the United l:ltates an{lkbird, paroquet, parrot, etc ., etc. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or--sent, post-paid, on receipt of the price. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North M:ooro street, New York. P. 0. Box 2730. HOW TO MAKE Aim SET 'l'RAPS.-bcluding bints on how to trap Moles, Weasels, Otter, Rats, Squirrels and Birds. Also bow to cure Skins. Copiously illustrated. By J. Harrington Keene. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers in the United States and 01'ada, or sent to your atldress, post-paid, on receipt of price. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street, New York. P. 0. l:lox 2730, BOW 'I'O BECOME BEAUTIFUL.-One -of the brightest and most va.t uable little books eve r given to the world. Everybody wishes to know how to become beautiful ... both male and female. The secret is simple and alr.lost costless 1wad this book, and be convinced. "How to Become Beautiful." Price ten ce.1ts For sa.le by book and newsdeal ers, or send ten cents to Frank Tousey, 34 and 36 North Moore streetJ :!Sew York. and it will be mailed to your address.DOat llaid.. ROW TO BECOME A SCIENTldT.-A useful and instructive book, gtv. lng a complete treatise on chemistry; also, experiments in acoustics, mechanics, mathematics, chemistry, and directions for making fire works, colored flre!;l, aud gas balloons. This book cannot be equaled. Price 10 cents Fot'sale by all newsdealers, or it will be sent to yoiU address, postage free, on receipt of price. Address Frank Tousey. -.;>ublisber, 34 and 36 North Moore street, New York. Box 2780. FRANK TOUSThY'S TJNITED STATES DISTANCE POCKE'l COMPANION, AND GUIDE.-Giving the official distances on all th& railroads of the United States and canada. Also, tables of distances by water to for e ign ports, hack fares in the principal cities, reports of the censoR, etc., etc., making it one of the most complete and handy books published. Price 10 cents. For sale by every newsdealer. oli sent to your address, postage free, on receipt of the price. Franlt Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street, New York. Bas 2'130. fiOW TO MAKE LOVE, a complete guide to love, courtship, and mar riage, giving sensible advice, rules and etiquette to be observed, with many curious and intert'Bting things not generally known. For sale ny all newsdealers, price 10 cents, or sent, free, upon receipt of price. Frank Tousey, publisher, 34 and 36 North Moore street New York. Box ,2730. ROW TO BEHAVE, containing the ru:-es and etiquette or good .. and the easiest nnd most approved methods of to good a.(f vantage at parties, balls, tl'_e theater, churc!l, and in tne drawing. room. Price 10 cents. For sale by all newsdealers, or sent, free, on receipt of p1ioo. Address Frank Tousey, pubi.Jshelo, K &lid S6 North Moore street. New Jrork.. Sox 2730. ]

PAGE 16

The Funniest 'Stories Ever ,Written ARE PUBLISHED WEEKLY IN The 5 JCent Comic ISSUED EVERY SATURDAY. A.sk Your Newsdealer to Save You a Copy Every Week. THE FOLLOWING STORIES HAVE ALREADY BEEN PUBLISHED: L Two Dandles of lC'ew York; or, The Funny Side of Every-thing, by Tom Teaser !; 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 {. Skorty; or, Kickea Into Good Lusk, by Peter Pad 5. Mama's or, Always In It, by Sam Smiley 6. Tommy l'lounce, the Family Mischief, by Peter Pad 7. Dick Quack, the Doctor's Boy; or, A Hard Pill T9 Swallow, 1 by Tom Teaser 8. Shorty in Luck, by Peter Pad "W'ONDERFUL STORIES .ABOUT FRANK READE, JR., THE GREAT INVENTOR, Are Published Weekly in the FRANK READE, LIBRARY. P 'rice 5 Cents. .-,., w Issued Every Saturday. YOU CAN BUY A COPY AT ANY NEWSDEALER'S. THE FOLLOWING STORIES HAVE ALREADY BEEN PUBLISHED: 1. Frank Jr., and His New Steam Man; or, The Young In Ten tors Trip to the Far West, by" Noname" !. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in No Man's Land; or, On a Mysterious Trail, by "N oname" 3. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Central America, b y Non arne" Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in Texas; or, the Train Robbers, by "Noname" 5'. Frank Reade1 Jr., With His New Steam Man in Mexi:o; or, Hoi WorK the Greasers, by "N oname" i, Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man Chasing. a Gang of "Rustlers;" or, Wild Adventures in Montana, by "Noname" 7. Frank Reade, Jr., and His New Steam Horse; or, The Search for a Million Dollars. A Story of Wild Life in New Mexico, by "N oname" 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 "Noname" 10. Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam and the Mysl tery of the Underground Ranch, by "Noname" The Greatest Detective Stories Ever Written ARE PUBLISHED WEEKLY IN THE YOUNG SLEUTH r-Price 5 Cents. Issued Every Saturday. YOUR NEWSDEALER HAS A FULL SUPPLY. The Following Have Already Been Published: L Y O!ln Sleutll; or, The Inspector's Right Hand Man. z: Y euq Sleuilt in Cllina.tewn; O!J. Tlle Mystery of an 0pium Den. :t Y Sleutlt the Rail; or, w orkiag Agamst the Train Rob-Mra. . Yuas Sleuih ana tile :Beautiful Actress; or, The Diamod TltleTeeet New Yerk.. 5. Young Sl&uth's Beiit Bargain; $2D,OOO for One Night's Work 6. Yuac Sl&uth's Night Trail; or, The Slums of New York. \. 7. YoUDK Sleuth Behind the Scenes; Ot", The Keen Detecbive's Greai Theater Case. 8. Youag Sleutlt and the Widow in Black; or, Tracking a Siealer of New York. .All Wle aboftllbrariea are for aale b:r all newsdealers in the United itatee and Canada, or 11ent to your address, post paid, on receipt fprlab:r III 2730. FlANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 & 86 North Moore Street, New J _ork.