Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam horse in the North-West; or, Wild adventures among the Blackfeet

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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam horse in the North-West; or, Wild adventures among the Blackfeet

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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam horse in the North-West; or, Wild adventures among the Blackfeet
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Frank Reade library.
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Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
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New York
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Frank Tousey
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English
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;

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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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R17-00027 ( USFLDC DOI )
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f '"' N oname's" Latest and Best Stories are .Published in This Librar_y. No. 13'!.-{COMP LETE. } FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 3! & 36 NORTH MOORE STREET, NEW YORK. New York, December 17, 1892. IssUED WEEKLY. { J'JtiCE } 5 CENTS. Vol. I Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1892, by FRANK TOUSEY, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. FRANK READE, JR., WITH HIS NEW STEAM HORSE I N THE NORTH-WEST; or, Wild Among the Blackfeet. B y N 0 N A ME." One of the bowlders near he selected and crept behind it. Then he opened fire. But at this moment from the woods in Walker' s rear now burst the other band of savages. His case seemed hopeless. indeed, when suddenly the echoes ot wildetness were awakened witn the notes of a steam whistle, the rumble of wheels and clatter of iron hoofs and into dashed the Steam But if he was the Indiana were doubly so.

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( 2 FRANK READE, JR., IN rr\HE NORTH-WES'r. The s ubscription Price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50: $1.25 per six months, post-paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, a4 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. Jr., His New Steam Horse in OR, WILD ADVENTURES AMONG THE BLACKFEET. By "NONAME," Author of" Frank Reade and His Steam Man of the Plains; or. The J.'ert'or of the West,'' etc., etc CHAPTER I. THE SETTLER. "MY soul! We are lost-hopelessly lost in this North-west wilder ness!" The speaker was a tall, handsome young man, with bronzed f ea t ures and an expression in his brown eyes which betokened a woman's heart, but a lion's courage. He was roughly dressed in the garb of a Western pioneer. Jean pants were thrust into the tops of his heavy boots. A broad brimmed hat shaded his face, yet the rough exterior could not dis guise the grace or movement and courtliness of manner which was the gentleman's stamp. Leslie Walker was by nature cut out for a higher sphare In life than this. But circumstances bad led him to seek his fortune in the far West. Therefore, with his young wife and aged mother, be had left their .Minnesota home one day in a type of the prairie schoontlr. And thus we find him, far In the wilds of the North-west. He stood by the si de of the faithful pair of horses hitched to the schooner, and made the remark with which we open our story. In the canvas covered wagon were the two women, his wife and motheP. The wire was a slender and beautiful specimen of girlhood. Indeed she seemed not at all fitted to cope with the perils or this wijd region. But m reality she was plucky and true. Indeed, her resolution was much in excess or her husband's. Alice Walker gazed at her husband a moment with something like desperation in her eyes. "It can't be possible, Leslie!" she said, doubtingly. I tell you it is true!" said the despairing young settler. "In some way we missed the trail some tbi ty miles back!" But cannot we t.uru back!" No. nig-ht's rain bas obliterated our own trail, and we could not fail to get only more hopelessly lost." Hosband and wife looked at each other with a vag-ue sort of terror. It meant something to become lost in this wild region, so thickly infested with the sava,g;e Indians. :Mrs. Walker, the elder, only clasped her wrinkled bands and said: Well, may God's will be done!" Leslie Walker advanced and lowered the check reins upon the nllcks of the two horses attached to the schooner. He looked about him with a keen scrutiny. "Let me see!" he muttered, "this is not a bad place to camp. Water is near-we are sheltered by trees." "Shall.we camp?" cried "!Jig wife, with something like apprehension. Is this a safe place, Leslie?" The young settler hesitated. It was not the safest place in the world. I They were, as be knew, in the BlucKfoot country, and at any mo ment a band of the redskins might stumble upon them. In such an event the chances were very good that their scalps would adorn the wigwam or some Indian chief in short order. Thus far young Walker had been lucky. They bad narrowly avoided a collisiOn with the savages twice. There bad been another route to their destlnation-:-a safer one. But it had involved a great detour, so that Leslie had chosen this one. It was through a corner of the territory infested by the hostiles. but Leslie had hoped to get through in three days and had accepted the risk. His route had been laid out for him by a man well familiar with the region. This was !!.n old trapper who went by the name of Panther Joe. But in some way Leslie had w!l.ndered from the trail. "Well, Alice," be said, dubiously, "I don't see what else we can do but camp here for the present. I feel as though it wn. s necessary for me t o first find oct exactly where we are before going further." "And bow will you do that?" 'l'he settler was silent a moment. He seemed to be struggling with himself. "I see no other way," he suid, "but to leave you here for a brief time and go ahead a little ways upon a reconnoiteringtour." The young woman's face paled bat she offered no demurrer. "You will not be gone long, Leslie?'' "No..'' "And you will be cautious?" Of course I will." Ther e was a lump in young Walker's throat as he said this, bow ever. He quickly advanced to the wagon and took a rifle from within it. There were two other rifles left there, and both women knew how to handle them, as women on the frontier generally do. "Now, Alice, if anything should happen," said the husband, anxiously, "just flre a shot. I will bear it and return at once. Un til I return remain in the wagon and keep a good outlook for foes." Mrs. Walker nodded an assent. ''Don't worry about us, Leslie," she said, bravely; "only take care of yourself." "!Will." Then Leslie Walker leaped into tbe"wa gon Md kissed both his wife and mother. The next moment, with a choking sens ation in his throat, be strode away into the forest. There was a strange, dark f(lreboding upon his mind. He felt as if upon the eve of some dreadful crisis. But he kept on resolut e l y He looked for a time in vai n for a clear country ahead. For several miles be pushed on, seeking to gain an P.levation or some point from whence he could get a good view or the country about. But he did not seem to succeed for some time, and finally came to a small rivulet which trickled down through the foredt glade. Walker was both tired and thirsty, and the water looked tempting eno ugh. Without a moment's hesitation be advanced to the:edge or the stream, threw himself upon his stomach and was about to drink in the cool liquid, when he received a stunning or surprise. There, in the soft, sandy bottom of the stream, was clea rly visible tire imprint or a moccasined root. Walker was thrilled at this evidence of the proximity of a foe. For that the Indian was not far away he could not doubt. If the footprint had not been recently made, the water would have was'leu It away. The young settler was so startled that be forl!;ot to drink. He knelt gazing at the foo\[)rint for some moments. / Then another startling incident occurred. He beard the sudden snapping of a twig in the underbrush In his rear. In a moment his acute hearing taught him that something, whether man or animal, was creeping up on' him. With thiG conviction the natural question to occur to the settler was as to what move be bad better make. He might be literally surrounded by the red foe for aught be knew. His whole soul "''as imbued with horror. One moment longer be knelt there upon the bank of the stream. Then quick as a panther he sprang up, leaped the stream and dove into the underbrush upon the opposite side. In the same moment a wild and fiendish yell broke the solitude ol the north-western forest. Young Walker bad beer. not a moment too soon. The air was fillad with arrcws. One or these cut a gash in his cheek, and another penetrated tbe sleeve or his bunting jacket. \

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FRANK READE, JR., iN THE NORTH-WEST. I 3 It was a literal miracle that he escaped with his life. As it was the chances were by no means good that he would yet succeed in so doing. Into the underbrush be dashed and ran like a frightened In this course he thought not so much of his own safety as that of the two defenseless women whom he bad left behind him iu the prairie schooner. Walker knew that he must lead the foe a cha8e directly away from the schooner m order to insure the safety of his dear ones. This he d1d. On til rough the underbrush be ran at a tremendous rate of speed. He could bear the foe coming crasbing after him. But the settler's strength could not hold out forever, and e began to wax fatigued before two miles were cov e red. Moreover, the woods now terminated, and he came out npor. open / It was a sort of plateau, over which IVere scattered a number of bowlders. Walker now believed his chances good. By aodging among these bowlders, be believed that be could elude his foes. But be had hardly crossed half of the plateao, when suddenly be saw a who Je war party of the Blackfeet, on foot, and just ahead of him. They had seen him. and were evidently bound to cut him off. What was to be done? Walker's sensations were those of utmost helplessness and despair. With the enemy in his rear and now facing him, there seemed httle chance of escape. But Leslie Walker was made of the stuff of wt.icb heroes are com posed. He was determined to never surrender. With his repealmg rifle be believed he could give the foe a hard fight. providing he found good shelter. One of the bowlders near he selected and crept behind it. 'l'be savages came on with yells of fie11disb kind. Leslie waited until they were within range. Then he opened fire. The result was that one of the savages tumbled in a heap. Bot at this moment from the woods in Walker's rear now burst the other band of savages. He was now between two fires. His case seemed hopeless 7 indeed, when suddenly a startling thing tappened. 'l'be echoes of the wilderness were awakened with the notes of a steam whistle, the rutr.ble of wheels and of iron hoofs was heard, and into view dashed an object which gave Walker the great est shock of his life. But if be was shocked the Indians were doubly so. CHAPTER II. THE l!l'rEAM HORSE. WHAT Leslie Walker saw was a horse made of plates of iron and stJemingly operated by the power of steam and all hitched to a curi covered wagon. lt was literally a Steam Horse, and the like Leslie had never seen liefore nor even dreamed or. He stood agape, gazing at the thrilling spectncle. Straight across the plateau the 8team Horse. Then from loopholes io the sides of the wagon were thrust rille bar rela and a volley wns poured into tho midit of the Blackfeet. Terrified nnd demoralized, the savag e s broke ranks and fled in the wildest confusion. In a few seconds not a savage wns in sight. To say that the s e ttler was astounded is putting facts mild. He would not for a momer. t believe that it was not a dream. !'Thunder and guns!" he muttered. Wha.t sort of an invention is that?" His question was quickly answered. The Steam Horse came to a halt not fifty yards away. A door in the rear of thi! covered wagon opened, and a white man stepped out. At the same moment the sides of the wagon, which seemed like lattice work, suddenly shot downward and revealed two other men seated in the which was now an open vehicle. The man who had descended was a mere youth in appearance. He wore a dark suit, with an engineer's natty cap, and his fine, handsome features were m up with a pleasant smile. He held up one hand as a !oken of amicy. "All right, friend!" he cned, in a cheery voice. "Yon need not fP.ar us. We happened along just right, I take It, to rescue rou from those Blackfeet." Walker recovered himself. For which I am indebted to you!" he cried. There is no indebtedness about It,'' was the reply. "I am glad to meet you." "The same to you," replied Walker, earnestly, as he advanced and took the other's band. "My name Leslie W'nlker." And I am Frank Reade, Jr., from Readestown, U. S. A. This is my Steam Horse, and the gentlemen In the carriage are fellow trav elers, Barney and Pomp by !lame." A genial-faced Irishman, of the regular Tipperary type, and a short, good-natured negro, black as soot, arose and bowed to Walker. The settler was quite overwhelmed. Well!" he exclaimed, "I don't know whether I am dreaming or not, but this Is the most singular experience I have ever hnd. For instance, who ever heard of a Steani Horse before?" Frank Reade, Jr., laughed. "Well, you see, it is an invention of my own," he declared. "No body else has one like it." I should say not!" gasped the astonished settler. "It goes by steam?" "Yes." "Much on the principle of a locomotive?" "Exactly, only I need no track.'' Walker rubbed his eyes. "I'm not dreaming," be muttered. "Pardon me, Mr. Reade, but have you traveled far with that machine?" Two thousand miles over the plains!" Whew! What are you after out here?" I am on an exploring tour," replie1 the young inventor. I have beard of thtl existence of a region north of the Assinibolne country which is a wonderland of geysers and hot springs far exceeding the Yellowstone wonders. I wish to confirm the report." "I believe you can do it," replied Walker, eagerly. "I have heard of it mysAlf." "Indeed! Then you are familiar with this region?" No, I am not. I am a settler and own a thousand acres up near the line, where I intend to settle and begin stock raising." With this Walker detailed an account of his trip into the North west. Frank Reade, Jr., listened with deep interest. "I should think it a bit risky, Mr. Walker,'' he said, brusquely, to have come away and left your women where they are. I would advise you to return to them at once!" "I mean to do so,'' replied the settler. "Ir you wish, I will volunteer to take you back to them." "Do y ou mean it!'' asked the eagerly. "I do!" "I am more than anxious to rP.turn to them quickly!' "Then you shall go with me, and I will get you there mucll quicker than you could walk, if there is a clear enough way through the woocs." "I think there is!" All aboard then!" Frank Reade, Jr., led the way to the wagon and motioned for Walker to get aboard. The settler did so. "Now, Batney," said the young inventor, "take Mr. Walker's direc tions and go ahead!" "All roigbt, sor!" replied the Celt. Walker described the course l5y which he had come, and away galloped the Steam Horse. The settler could not recover his great wonderment at the wonderful character of this st range invention. Frank Reade, Jr., saw this ir: his face, and with a pleastmt laugh said: "Yon are interested in thn Hors&, Mr. Wall{er. I will then de scribe its mechanism to you!" I shall be very glad to listP.n," replied the settler, eagerly. "Well, to begin at the beginning," s ai d Frank Rllade, Jr. "I have been all my life a student of mechanics, and this is only one of many Inventions I have brought out." "Ab, indeed. Is it patented?'' asked the settler, innocently. Frank Reade, Jr., nearly collnpsecl with laughter, as did Burney and Pomp. "No, I have not considered that necessary,'' replied the young in ventor. "Somebody might steal your idea." "They are welcome to
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4 FRANK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE NORTH-WEST. down on rollers. Here are Jockero for weapons acd stores and a large bunker for coal. Whenever we get out of coal we use wood, but generally there are coal mines enough to be found to get a supply any time we may nee..I it. This is, as you may see, a description of my invention," concluded Frank, modestly. "And a wonderful one it is, too," cried the settlPr, admiringly. I consider it one of the wonders of the age." At this moment Barney suddenly put up hiB hand. What's the matter?" asked Frank Reade, Jr., sharply. "Well, Marse Frank, mebbe it am my Imagination," cried Pomp, before the Celt could answer, but jes' so suah r.s yo' r.m alibe, dis minuit I done finks I heard de lirin ob gnus ober yonder." "Begorra, I was goin' ter say that same mesilf, Misther Frank!'' cried Barney. Suddenly Walker leaped up with a wild cry. My he gasped. I really believe that is my women fo!kd. It sounds like my ritle!" "Do you believe it!'' exclaimed Frank Reade, Jr., sharply. "Upon my word, I do." ... Put on more steam, Barney." The agonized settler was wringing his hands bitterly. "God be with them!" he cried, prayerfully. "I fear the woret." Frank Reade, Jr., was not unmindful of the horrors of the situation. Two women attacked by hostile Blackfeet in that Wild would stand scant show of escape. _, That they would be captured by the savages seemed to Frank Reade, Jr., a foregone conclusion. He knew well the blood-thirsty proclivities of the Blackfeet. There was little doubt but that they would be instantly slaughtered by the blood-thirsty liends. The thought was enough to fire the Poul of any man. The settler crouched in the bottom of the wagon. On ftetl the Steam Horse with wildest speed. Barney a skillful engineer, and put the Steam Horse to its boat speed. On anti on through the forest path they sped. Suddenly a warning cry went up. H(llf a dozen savages were seen in the forest path ahead. Ttiey had e. lariat stretched across the path to stop the Steam Horse as it came thundering on. There was no doubt in their crude minds but that they would be would be able to throw the iron steed if nothing more. "Begorral wud ye ink at that!'' cried Barney, with a roar of laugh ter. Then he opened the throttle wide. The next moment the Steam Horse struck the lariat. The effect was ludicrous. For a momed't tho air was foil of somersaulting Blackfeet. '!'hose who hunll on to the lariat were drawn under the wheels of the wagon and crushed. The others were hurled about like puppets. The next moment the Steam Horse had dasbe(l into the clearing where Walker had left the prairie schooner. A cry of agony escaped his lips. The schoo11er was gone. CHAPTER ITI. A PRACTICAL JOKE. IT required but a glance to see this. The prairie schooner was not where Walker bad left it. upon tbe greensward of the glade lay the blood-stained bodies of tt.ree of the Blackfeet. That told the story. The trave women had made a noble defense, and if taken captives had certainly made it expensive for the savages. By Jupiter!" cried Frank Reade, Jr., there has been a bit of a fight here. Don't give up, Walker, your women may be safe, after all." "No," cried the settler, rigidly and with pallid face, they are lost! Perhaps not. They may have been taken prisoners, and we may b'l able to rescue them y'lt." But Walker shook his head. "I know the Indian nature too well," he declared. They are dead." And nothing would dispossess him of this belief. Frank first made sure that the Ticinity was clear, then he descend ed from the wugon and bego.n to make an examination. There was no doubt about it, the two women had made a desperate stnud. There were hoof and wheel marks in the tnrf, and It looked as if the savages had seized upon the team and driven it away. This was true, or tbe brave women bad themselves sought safety in llil!ht. Walker would not believe the tatter theorv. "I tell you it is all wrong," he de c lared, vehemently. "They would have stood their ground and waited for me!" "But when they found you did not come, what then!'' asked Frank. But the settler was unconvinced. Bot t here was no time to lose. It was necessary to act with the greatest of despatch. At on ce the trail was taken. It lAd to the southward for a mile and then divtlrged into a sandy plain m1!es in extent to the Black river beyond. Here the nature of the ground was such that the trail was lost. Until dark the search was kept up. But it was all in vain. Not a trace of the missing ones could be found anywhere. At length it was necessary to abandon the quest. Poor Walker was in a terrible state of mind. He was whoily inconsolable, and would cot abandon the idea that his dear ones were dead. Darkness was now at hand and it '.Jecame to camp. Of course the Steam Horse could have traveled on in the darkness, with a headlight to guide tlie way. But Frank was averse to traveling in the night. There was great risk of permanently injuring the Steam Horae by running into unseen holes or So it was decided to camp right in the open plain. A good watch could be kept upon all sides, and a foe would have difficulty in creeping up unawares. A fire was built and Pomp, who was a lirst class cook, provided the evening meal. It was eaten with much relish by all except poor Walker. Tbe griefstricken settler would accept nothinl\'. "Oh, to think that I should have sacrificed their lives 80 needlesslj!" he wailed. I should Lever have brought them into this ac cursed region! It is just punishment upon me." Don't say that," said Frank Reade, Jr., sincerely. All may come out right yet." I don't believe It!" cried the poor fellow, desperately. I tell you they are lost!" Pomp and Barney now partook of their supper, and then both be gan to clean up for the night. The cooking utenRils were washed and put away, and blankets produced for use in the bunks in the wagon. Barney and Pomp were tile best of friends, but yet the most Invet erate of practical jokers At :wery opportunity one was bound to play roots upon the other. Mnny a friendly rough-and-tumble they indulged in, and it was even up between them. All day long Barney had been itching to get in. one at the darky. The chance came shortly after the evening meal. Pomp had in some mysterious way got bold of a bottle of prime o!d whisky. Now there was nothing in Barney's eyes to be compared with a smack of old rye. But Pump understood the Celt's penchant well, and perhaps a little se!tishly kept the possession of the liquor a secret. But this was not true. Barney had discovered the fact and with true resentment muttered: "Begorra, I'JI pay the naygur up for that. Shure he's a stingy thing!" Pomp never took his whisky raw, bot was fond of dljuting it with water and adding a few spices. The drink, matured well, was his great delight. To mature it, he would mix the liquor nt an unobservea moment and then secrete the glass under one of the wagon standards. When the proper time came he would seek his genial nightcap, and with many a smack of his lips and inward groan of relish proceed to satisfy the inner man. It required no small mental struggle upon Barney's part to forego the temptation of emptying the glass himst>lf the first time he dis covered it. "The mean spnlpeen," he muttered. indignantly, "to think av his all that to himself. ;:,hare, I'll give him a Jesson he'll niver fergit!" The Celt Wl18 as good as his wora. He managed to extract some bitter aloes and j from Frank's medicine chest. Then he procured a bottle of red pepper and mustard. From this combination he elicited a compound which would have made an alligator ill, to say nothing of a poor negro. Barney had watched his opportunity all day. Now his chance had come. Pomp ha
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FRANK READE, JR., IN THE NORTH-WEST. The dose nearly strangled him, and for a moment he fancied that his whole windpipe auc.l stomach was burned out. "Fo' massy'8 sakes, wllat am datf' he gll.Bpod, in horror. I hab done took de wrong medicine!" Barney could holc.l in no longer. It was useless for him to conceal his feelings or his hand in the bus iness. It was too rich an opportunity to get hunk with the darky. So he gave way to litero.l roars or laughter. "Ho, bo, ho!'' he shrieked. "Yez got it that toime, didn't yez, naygur? Begorra, that pays yez well for yer stinginess!" And Barney was convulsed. PomJi at once saw through the whole game. He realized that the Celt bad certainly got the upper crust this time, and he was naturally crestfallen and mad as well. "Fo' de Lor' sakes, did yo' put dat pizen stutftlar, yo' big l'rish s t uff!" he yelled. ''I'll hab yo' haht's bloud fo' dat !" Pomp made a rush at Barnt>y. There was the fire of righteous indignation in the darky's soul, and he would have given Barney a hard tussle if he had been in his normal state. But the Celt knew that he bad nothing to fear at the moment. The wretched dose taken by Pomp began to get in its work. Everybody knows that jalap and aloes are sickening articles. Pomp's stomach began to undergo a decided revulsion. So terribly sick was tlle dnrky that be rolled upon the ground, hold ing on to his stomach and howling di s mally. But relief came soon in vomiting, and directly Pomp began to improve. But be was a w e ak-kneed dnrky when he did reco v er. B a rney had bad fun enough for one night. The racket of courae bad attracted the attention or Frank and Walker. Frank read Barnev a l e cture and the affair ended. But reveng e lurke-d in Pomp s hea rt. "Fo' de Lor'!'' he mutte red, griml y as he crawled into his bunk. "l'se gwin e fo' to git squar wif dat I'iehman if I lib fo' to see a nod e r day!" It was arranged that Walker and Barney were to watch alternately during the night It was not apprehended by Frank that the Blackfeet would atta ck them. Yet it was better to be prepar('d. So all due precautions were tak e n. It wa s Barney' s turn to watch t!)e first half of the night. It w a s ne a r midni ght before anythin g of a thrilling nature occurred. Then suddtlnly th e Celt s a w a moving llgure out on the prairie. Then the l on g howl of a coyote went up on the air. Begorra, I've a momd to risk a shot at the baste!" muttered B a r ney. But he refle cted that it would unnecessarily arouse the others, so he desis t ed Pretty quick anoth e r coyote was seen and soon fully a score of them were moving about the plains. At l e ast so it se e med to Barney. Their cri e s wt>re long dr awn and mournful on the night air. Several times the Uelt was tempted to llre at them but desist ed. Finally it came time for him to arouse Walker. But the settler was on hand at once. 'He had teen unable to sleep. He arose and Barr.ey was about to lie down when a str..rtled cry escap e d his lips: "Look! What Is that?" Shure it's only a lot av co y otes," replied Barney. "No, look!" cried the settl er, with horror. And in that mstant Barney saw his mistake. The mis taken coyotes were Indians coming to the attack, and in a jiH' y the wagon was lit erally surrounded by them. IV. BRAVE FIGHT O F THE WOMEN. ALIC E WALKER and her mother, left in the prairie schooner, were also afflicted with the same foreboding ol clanger which bad fallen upon Leslie Walker. After Leslie had gone a great pall see!Jied to settle down about th em. Each gazed into the pallid face of the oth e r. Why Is It, mother!" exclaimed the young wife; "I feel strangely terrified." "I cannot understand it, my dear," said the elderly woman.' "I f eel as if somethiil g terrible was g oing to happen." "I moat confess to the same feeling." What can it mean?" '' Heat'en alone knows!" Oh, I wish Lesli e had not gone! I fear for him!" We can only trust in God, child, and pray Him to guide us." But what if we were attacked by the Indians?'' Both women shivered. Alice picked up one of the rifles and examined it. I She had been taught by her husband how to use It well. The idea occurred to her that it wot1ld be well LO be prepared for an attack even though it did r.ot come. So she saw that the magazines of both ritles were fille d. They were Winchesters, sixteen shot each, and in the hands of ex perienced marksmen a weapon to be dreaded. Then Alice knotted the reins and headetl the horses to the south ward or the direction thev bad come from. She knew that it would take them toward civilization and this would be the best course. 'l'hen the two women sat down to await the return of Leslie. The minutetl seemed hours and time literally drogged by. The pall of gloom upon their spirits seemed to deepen every mo ment. Silent and with strained nerves they waited and watched. Every rustling leaf or cracking twig in the forest brought Allee to face the apprehended danger. And thus the time passed. And it happened that their forebodings were not without foundation. Suddenly Allee gave a little startled cry. My soul! There is an Indian, mother!'' elder womnn was pallid as a ghost, but calmly asked: "Where, my child?" "Yonder, in the cover of those trees." Sure enough, there, plainly discernible, crouching in the under growth, was a powerful framed Blackfoot sav a ge. A cold, crawling sensation came over Alice as she watched the wretch. It was truly an awful position for the two women. What do you suppose he means by crouching there!" whispered Alice. "I do not know." "Do you think there are others near?" I have no doubt of it.'' Alice wrung her ha9ds. "Oh, my God!" she moaned. "What U Leslie should return now! H e would not more than e nter this clearing before be would be shot down.'' It was a horrible thou g ht to the two a g onized women. Finally the suspen s e b e c a m e nnhea rabl e Do you know, I've a mirtd to lire at him," whispered Alice. "Nol'' "Why!" He may be a friendly Indian!" Alice shrug ge d her shoultlers,. That JS hardly lik e ly!" she declared. "Ah, see that!" The s a va g e h a d drawn his bow and was aiming an arrow at Alice. Just In time the young wife dodged. The a rrow g r a z e d her foreh ead. Action was quick upon her part. She flung the ritle to her shoulder and pull e d t3e trigger. Cra ck! '!' here was a agonizing death cry and the savage reeled into th e open and fell de a d It was the signal for battle. From v a rious quart e rs there now came maddened and fierce yell9. Another s a vage leaped from cover an1 stn rte c l for the wagon. Mrs. Walker drew aim upon that one and llr ed. The bullet went true to its mark. '!'he wretch threw up his arms nod fell dead. Another appeared and Alice brought him down. But the clP.aring now literally swarmed with the savages. It was quite ns e less to think of standing a I.Jattle. They would quickly be upon the wagon, and a hand-to-band con flict would bfl fatal. Besides the arrows were Hying. Two had cut gashes in Alice's arm, and one bad passed through Mrs. Walker's sleeve. There was no time to lose. Alice acted quickly. She seized the reins and lashed the horses wft.h the whip. Away they went at full speed along the southward trail. The savages followed. They were on foot but it was not difficult for them to keep in sight of the lumbering prairie schooner. On went the horses under Ahce'd skilled guidance. The savages came howling after, but they did not gain upon the schooner. Alice lashed the horses again and again with the w!Jip. After a time they came to a wide, sandy plain. Out upon this they galloped, but still the Indians kept in the rear. The horstls were not of a speedy pattern and could not travel fast. Alice looked back fearfully from time to time. She knew that it would not be difficult for the Indians to keep up that gait for a long time. Jt was therefore possible that they would yet overtake the wagon. Mrs. Walker, at every availnblo opportunity, sent a telling shot into the midst of the savage pureu e rs On across the plain went the pursued and the pursuers, neither gaining a dvantage. After a time a long mountain wall seen to the southward. Alictl suddenly experienced a chill, "Oh, mother she cried, "we ure lost!" "What?" gasped Mrs. Walker. It is true." "How so?" Alic e pointed ahe ad.

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FRANK READE, .JR, IN 'l'HE NORTH-WEST. "We should have borne more to the eastward here. Don't you re mem'ler the fearful step-ofijust ahead?" Mrs. Walker rememtJered that the plain terminated in a fearful de scent, down which no horse could s afely go. It was the descent to the bed of a canyon stream, which extend e d far up into the mountains. This was a terrible thing to consider. It was impossible to turn about now. Tlle savages were between them and the direction it would be necessary to take. Wllat was to be done! Awful horror was upon them. They most c e rtainly be brought to a halt at the precipice What could they hope to do iu the face of all tho s e savage foesr "Well," said Mrs. Walker, resolutely, "we will kill a few of them before they can tomahawk us." Alice picked up her rifle. "jYou are right; we will!" she declared. "I have heard that th e Indian is a coward in open field, Perhaps we can hold them at bay!" We will try!" The horses had now come to a halt. Tlle sheer walls of the canyon were before them and there was no other Alice and Mrs. Walker now open e d fire upon the red foe At that distance the rilles made deadly work. A Sioux or an Apache would h ave and kept a safe distance. But the Blackfoot is a dogged and courageous savage and not ea s ily beaten. Tllerefore they kept straight, and the two women saw that their cause was loet. But yet they kept up the fight, until the savages actually clambered into the wagon am.! disarmed them. The plain was strewn with dead Inaians, yet the savages had not tired a shot at the women. A tall chief who ran in advance had prevented this. His orders bad been to capture the women alive. If there Is one thing that the Indian admires it is a pluc k y woman. This might have explained:the motives of the bauguty Blackfoot Perhaps he saw in them a valuable addition to the wigwams of bis braves. At any rate the two women were not tomahawked but made pris oners. Then such jabbering and excitement as followed. The contents of the schooner w e re confi s cated and also the horses and harness. But the wagon was rolled over the edge of the prec i pice to become a wreck in the bed of the canyon below. Then the two captives were placed upon the backs of the horses and a march to the northward begun. For the re9t of the day this was kept up. When evening came they had left the plain far behind. Camp was made In the depths of a m1gbty fore st. Tho two captives were pale a nd fearful but yet calm. Where do you suppose they are going to take us, mother?" whis pered Alice. Without doubt to their Indian village!" replied Mrs. Walker. "I think we need fear no harm at present. But when they get us there they will doubtless make slaves of us." A pleasant fate to contemplate!" But it might be worse!" That is true." The two women were now taken from their horses and with. their arms bound behind them were allowed to sit upon a fallen tree in the edge of the camp. A fire was made and the savages began to hold a council around it. In their Interest in tire proceedings the Blackfeet relaxed their Tig ilant watch of the prisoners. So it happened that Alice suddenly heard a movement behind her. Turning her head, she saw in the gloom the form of a man In trap per's garb. Then a familiar voice reached her ears in a soft whisper: Sh! Keep cool an' don't lose yer head. If yer will keep right quiet mebbe I kin save ye!" Panther Joe!" whispered Alice, with a wild thrill, as she recogniz ed the scout. Certainly the outlook was beginning to looK brighter. But danger was all about. CHAPTER V. THE BUFFALO STAMPEDE. IT wns a thrilling moment for Barney when he sn'lt the Blackfeet swarming about the wagon. It was odd Indeed thnt he should have mistaken them for coyotes. But aided by the darkness and the fact that they crawled upon all fours, just as an animal would, they had been able to make the decep tion perfect. "Indians!" gasped Walker, clutching his rifle. "What shall we dor Whurroo!" cried Barney, with a leep In the air. "Wake up, Mistber Frank. Shure there's music in the air!" l!'rank, who was a light sleeper, was upon his feet almost instantly. Ehl What?" he cried. "What's up, Barney?" Shure, sor, it's attacked we be by the spa! peens av Injuns!" It n e eded but a glance for Frank to see tllis. He realized the danger at onc e and was quick to act. "Lively! he cried. "Give them a volley!" Pomp was aroused by this time, and was by sicte or Barney and Walker in an instant. It was easy to pour a rattling volley into the midst of the gang of savages. The volley was given none too soon. Another moment and the Blackfeet would have got their hamls upon the wagon. 1 Frank Reade, Jr., had sprung to the dasher and open e d the throttle. The S team Horse, with a snort, leaped forward and right into the midst or the savage crew. 'l'hey tried to stop the iron steed, but in vain. S avages were hurled right au
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FRANK READE, JR., IN THE NORTH-WES'l'. 'l What is It!'' asked Frank. "You will notice that all of the savages have cleared out "Yes!" "'l' hey know the danger. It i s not often that such a thing happens at night, but there is certainly a big herd of buffaloes moving across tile plain!" "Buffaloes!" cried Frank with i nspiration. "You are right! "A stampede of bu!Ialoes is a bad thing! rejoined the s ett.er; "they will crush everytbing before til em." "My soul, you ar e right!" cried the young inventor, willlly. "We must make quick action or we are lost." But what was to be done! 'l'o attempt to return across the plain now would be to meet til e buffaloes. To g o in the oppo s ite direction would be to meet the precipice over which the buffal o es s eemed fated to go. Fra nk was tilril!ed with h o rror. Gr eat beads of cold perspirr.tiou stood out upon his face. "!My God!" he moaned. "What shall we do? We are lost!'' "Wait!" crie'd the settler; spriugit ; g up. I believe there is a chancel'' What is it?" ":As near a'l! I can remember the plain to the north here JS cle ar. Perhaps by running in that direction we can outflank the herd of buffaloes!" There was logic in this. Frank knew it. Of course there was the risk of running unawares upon s o me sec tion of the c a nyon abyss or encountering some obstacle wbicll might wreck the Horse. But if th e plain was cle a r there w as no doubt but that they would get throu g h all rigbt Unles s tile line 9f bufl'alo es e x tend e d to the extreme nort.h end of the plain Frank be,ieved th a t lle could outrun them. It was a d e s('erate chance. But eome t bing bad got to be done. Every mom ent the thunder of hoofs grew nearer. 'fbere was no time to Jose. With inspiration Frank shaped the course to the northward. "May God be with us! h e cried. "We can only make tile attempt. It is certain death to attempt any other move." Away lied the Horse through th e darkness, Of cours e the headlight showell pll\in some small distance ahead. But in the main it was chance work auu at any moment they might have e ncountered instant de a th. But as fortune would have it the surface of the pl ain proved smooth and clear. On, fas ter and faster they went. The wagon occasionally struck a hummock in th e prairie and g av e the inmates a sl!aking up. But no serious injury was done. Every moment the thunder of the oncomin g herd of buffaloes could be beard plain e r and nearer But suddenly Fra nk checked the spe e d of tile Horse. A cry of relief e!capE:d his lips. "We are At that m:>ment a buffalo went plunging across the Horse's path. Several passed at the rear of the wag on. They bad passed the outer line of the herd and were safe. Their thundering tread was now beard rec e ding in the distance. To be sure it had been a close call, but safety was assural all th e Th e y had defeated the Blackfeet, outrun the buffalo herd and were for the nonce safe. But new dangers were ahead. Plans were now discusse:t, and it was decided to select some suita ble spot and go into camp. Nothing of consequence could be done until daylight came. So the Steam Horse once more went into camp. The rest of the passed without incident worthy of note. When the first light of dawn appeared in the east the party was astir. There was much to be done that day and there was no disposition to lag in the quest for the captive women. With dayl!gbt their position was quite plnln. They were at the upper end of the strip of prairie and near a range or bills. It bad occurred to the settler, Walker, that it would not be a bad idea to climb one of these hills and take a survey of the country. He imparted this idea to Frank. A very excellent idea!" declared the young inventor We will go together, Walker." This pleased the settler well. He was the first to spring out of the wagon, bot his feet had barely touched the ground when be gave a gasping cry and fell. Frank saw a bullet wound in his forehead and realized that be had received a prQbably fatal wound. CHAPTER VI. PANTHER JOE'S GOOD WORK. ALICE WALKER was more than delighted when she realized that Panther Joe, tne scout, was near her and trying to effect their rescue. The old scout an<1 trapper, so widely known through the Nor:.h west, was a boaom friend of Leslie Walker. I It was Panther Joe who given Walker tile dangerous short cut through the Blackfoot country. The scout had repented it as soon as intelligence came to him that the Blackfeet were once more on the war-patll. "By jingo," be muttered, "I've likely S'Dt them greenhorns to their doom! Wall, I'll jes' take a ron up thar ter onct, an' see if I can't help pull them through." 1 As It happened, Panther Joe bad been in hiding and saw the sav, ages go by with their two prisoners. i He bad at once took the trail and followed the party up. "Wall, you k:n beL it's Panther Joffl" whispered tile scout In reply to the remark of Alice. He ain t goin' ter see any harm come to ye, nuther. D'ye "Thank Heaven!" murmured tbe settler's wife. "Ob, If yon cnn only geL us out of this place, Joe!" Wall, you beL J will." But take good care! Tile foe are all about and they are very coif ning.'' I know thet. But where is yer man ? "Leslie!" "Yas.'' "I do not know." With this Alice whispering told the !'Vents of the day bus lily. "Wall!" exclaimeu the scout, testily "I allus reckoned Leslie Walker bad more sense than ter go off an' leave you women folk in such a way as tbut!" Sb!" exclaimed the settler's wife, warningly; "look out for'dan. Panther Joe sank down among the wood ferns as a savage stalked by. Then when onc e more the coaRt w a s cl e ar, be whispered: N ow, watch your chance. When I whistle break for the clump of bush e s r1ght l>ehind y e!" Then he reached up and cut the thongs which bound the wri s ts of both women. Tbe trapp e r slunk back into tbjl shadows like a shadow himsalf. H e waited and watched for what he believed was the favorable oppor t unity. The n be said in a sibilant whisper: "Cornel" Instantly Alice silently arose from the Jog and glided into the for eat. Mro. Walker followed her. The trapper grabbe their hands and dragged rather than led them away through the forest arches. There was not a moment's time to lose. The moment the savages discovered their escape a hue an l l cry l would be rais ed. It would not be so difficult for t hem to overtake the fugitives. Therefore it was necessary to get a good lead. On throu g h the forest a rches th e y ru shed at headlong speed. "Quick!" gasped Panther Joe; ye must hurry!" Mrs. Walker out of breath, sank down upon the ground. Leave me!" she said, g a dpingly. I am not afraid to die!" "Ob, mother," wailed Alice, "we cann o t do that!" "Can't ye go further? asked the trapper. "My strengLb is gone." "Wall, we ain't goin' ter leave ye. With the greatest ease the cuge back woodsman lifted the light form of the woman upon his powerful back. l The n away through the woods the y dashed once more. And now from the dlstanci! a thrilling sound came. Jt was a long drawn yell, followed by a chorus of yells. The escape bad discovered. Pursuit would of course at once be organized. There was not a moment to loR L The trapper staggered on wlth his load, and Alice had sunk down half fainting just as they reached a vine clad precipice. "Ob, my God! they will overtake us! cried Alice, despairingly. "IJlan go no further-! am exhausted! But ye ain't e;ot ter go any further!" cried the trapper. Witll this, be instantly lilted the veil of vines and disclosed a deepmouthed cavern in the roclts. A cave!'' cried Alice, joyfully. "Yes," rejoined the scout; "ye'II be safe enough in thar." Alice crawled into the cave, and the trapper carried Mrs. Walker insitle. Then be adjusted the vines, and, sitting there in the darkness, they awaited the coming_ of the foe. The distant yells of the savages were plainly heard. As they momentarlly drew nearer, it was safe to assume that they were upon the traiL Of course, It was not impossible but that thay would trail the es-i capeu prisoners into the cave. 1 But there was a good ehance that In so secure a hiding-place they would escape discovery. From behind the veil of vines it was easy to see shadowy forms iu the dark woods beyond. Presently a light was seen coming through the forest. The trapper understood all. ThAy were following the trail, and must soon reach the cave. Whether they would discover the hiding-place, was a question which remained to be answered. The trap!Jer gripped the stock of his rifle and waited grimly. There would be a desperate fight if tbe cave was discovered.

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FRANK READE, JR., IN THE NOR'IHWEST. The trapper was resolved that he would not submit to capture. I It was a thrilling situation. The suspense was dreadful. The three inmates of the cave watched the coming of the light through the dark forest. It came along slowly, as it was necessary for the trailers to pro. ceect slowly, in order to decipher the trail. Nearer they drew. Now their voices could be hoard and their shadowy forms seen. Straight for the vine clad cliff they c ame. Prese ntly they wefEl at its base, an1 within touching distance of the fugitives. 'l'h13ir could be plainly heard, and their copper colored visages were visible in the torch light. It was a thrilling moment for the three fugitives. The least sound would have betrayed their presence. The result would have been tragical. In guttural tones the savages discussed mysterious eocting of the trail. But they never dreamed that the precipice was hollow-never imagined that. their quarry was so near them. They discussed the subject for Rome while and then passed on into the forest searching for a renewal of the trail. The trapper drew a breath of relief. Alice veutured to whisper: "Are we sure of our safety now, think you?" "That is hard to say," replied the trapper, dubiously. "But they have gone by?'' "Yes, but they wit! return!" The hours passed wearily by. The trapper would not permit any noise or movement to be made. This seemed a bit inconsistent in view of the fact that the savages bad passed by. But the scout knew w e ll that the een the tlrst impulse or tb" savages to look fur a hidingplace. But they aid not discover that under the cliff by the best of good luck. They passed it and after a time all signs of tlaeir presence ceased. For the tlrst time Panther Joe brightened up. "Cheer up, ladies," he sa:d, lightly, "we're all safe now, I reckon." "Do you uelieve it?" asked Alice. "Yas, I'm mougbty sure of it. But p'raps I'll better take a little scout out to be more sure." "Oh, you are not going to leave the cave now?" ".Test fer a minit. Ye needn't have much fear. I'll be back soon." But Alice clung to the scout's arm. "Oh, I beg of you
PAGE 9

FRANK READE, JR., IN THE NORTH-WEST. 9 Frank leaped to one side. He shouted to Walker to do the same. But the settler's foot slipped, and h\l was not given time. The next moment the bear was npon him. All now With horror saw that the sa vag ad heaped brush about I "There they are!'' the man bound to the stake, and that smoke was from it. They were dancing about their victim with fiendish yells. Crusheu back by the tremendous weight Walker went dowa in a heap. '1'be bern's jaws were within a short distance of hiR head. A circumstance of 1he most trivial kind sparetl the settler's life then. Tile bear in coming down t.he hill bad acquired snch momentum that he was actually carried cornpletely over Walker's form. The clumsy brute turned a complete somersault and landed in a clump of pines. He was upon his \ feet and mad as a March bare. But the settler was now also up ar:d sought safety behind a huge stump. As the bear came rus!:tiog for him Walker gave him another shot. Frank now got the range of the big beast and qo1ickly term!nated the conflict. A bullet under the shoulder clid this, as It reached the bear's heart. The beast leaped in the air and fell in a heap. He was dead almost instantly. "Whew!" exclaimed the settler, as he pulled himself together, "that was a close call for me, eh?" "You're right!" agreed Frank. "And I am inclined to believe you a recklesd man." "Well, I was in that easel" admitted Walker. Are you burt at all?" Only a few A fortunate escape, indeed." But ain't he a munster!" "As large a grizzly as I ever saw.'' They made a brief examinMion of the bear. Frank would have liked his skin well enough but there was no time for this. So they pressed on up the hill. Very soon now they reached the summit of the eminenca. The view spread out before them was wpn,derful and varied. Prairie and hills were blended with plateaus and deep valleys. Far to the northward were seen great columns of smoke or vapor. That is undoubtedly the geyser reg-ion that I am looking for," declared Frank. I must make a note of this!" He drew a note book from his pocket and proceeded to make a rude map of the region. But Walker was looking with anxious gaze for some sign of the Blackfeet, and if possible to locate their village. It was his belief that his women folk had been taken thither. To locate it was the tlrst move. Witll the help of Frank Reade, Jr., and the Steam Horse, he believed that be could efl' ect the rescue all right. But soddenly a. sharp, horri:ied cry escaped his lips. A sight had met his gaze which for a moment paralyzed him. "My Godl It is awfnll" What Is itT" asked Frank, eagerly. "Look!" Walker pointed to a low valley just below. There, in an open clearing, a terrible tragedy was being enacted. In the center of the clear ing was a heavy stake driven in the ground. To this was bound a white man. About the clearing were a score of savages engaged in collecting brush to heap about the stake. It was evident that they meant to roast their victim alive at the stake. It was a horrible scene and an awful reflection to the two specta-tors. Horrible!" gasped Frank; thejV evidently mean to take bis life.' That is certain." The fiends! But we are not men to stand idly here and see that terriole deed enacted.'' "So say II Lilt ns go to the rescue at once!" cried Walker. The brave settler was about to start down the mountain side. Bot Frank restrained him. Walt!" he said. "Why?" "It will be fo!ly for two of us to attack such weight of numbers.'' But we must save the man.'' "We can do that in a better way." "How?" Back to the Horse! It will be easy to gallop around hill, and we ought. to be there in full time to stop the horrible work.'' "All right!" agreed Walker; we must wo,rk quickly." "Right you arel" Down the mountain side they ran at full speed. They could now see the Steam Horse below them. Barney and Pomp were faithfully on gnard. Dowtl the hillside ran tbe two excited men. 'fhey reache:l the wagon all out of breath, and Frank, leaping in, cried: Get your rilles ready, Barney and Pomp. Thare'R work ahe!!.d for us!" "All right, sor!'' cried Barney. "Jes' so, Marse Frank," returned Pomp. Then Frank opened the throttle. There was not a moment to lose. Frank opened the whistle valve and sent up a reassuring blast. The savages, astounded, turned to see the dreaded Steam Horse bear ing down upon them like a Nemesis. It was too much for their cour age. CHAPTER VIII. A TIMELY RESCUE. WHEN Panther Joe left the two women In tho precipice cave be not t be slightest idea that he was not to return again that night. His knowledge or Indian signs was almost illimitable, and be believed that he was right in his premise that none or tbe red foe were in the vicinity. In one sense he was right. The foe had abandoned the trail. But there were yet several lurking In the vicinity, as he very speed"lly round out. He like a shadow among the trees. But he had not been long outside the cave when he became aware that the !oa were all about him. What was to be done? Joe was much discomfited. In !act, he was bound to admit that be bad never been so com pletely deceived before in his life. He was also in a quandary. What was to be done? To return to the cave would have been to disclose the hiding-place or the women fugitives. This would never do. And now came ba<.k to Joe the strange forbodings expressed by Alice Walker. "By beave1.1s!'' be muttered, "I r('ckon sbe was right arter all! What in tarnation am I goinl ter do! These confounded reds have spotted me. I kain't go back, an' if I don't get out or Iiere, I'll get collared." Panther joe played hide and seek with his fOilS in the underlJrush !or a time. 'Then his mind was made up. There was but one thing to This was to lead the foes away from the vicinity of the hiding-place or the two women. He knew well enough that the redskins wou!d dog him, thinking no doubt in that manqer to learn where the fugitives were concealed. "I'll lead 'em a good chase!" muttered Joe, with a chuckle. His only way now was to ltmd the Blackfeet away to a good dis tance, then elude them and return. As yet be bad seen but one of the Blackfeet. But t .bat prescience, which is ever with a genuine woodsman, in formed him that there was a legion or them following him. However, be boldly shouldered his rifle and started away through the forest. For two miles he kept on, threading the tangled forest. Then matters suddenly came to a crisis in an unlooketl-for manner. Tht! trapper knew that his foes were following him closely. He reached a small stream which trickled down through the wood land. Just beyond was a dark patch of woodland, gloomy and dark as Erebus. The trapper here had made np his mind to slip the foe. But be did not succeed as.well as he had hoped he would, as after events will show. Plunging into the dark woods, the trapper fCJr a moment fancied that he was out of eight of the foe. Catching the lower limb of a pine tree, be suddenly himself up into recesses. Tt.ere he waited patiently for some length of time. Tben he saw silent, sbadowy forms gliding from one tree to another below. He knew that they were the savages trailing him. He chuckled to himself at his success in outwitting them. He belleved that it would be an easy mattef to slip ont of the tree and return to the cave. But even the shrewdest of beings will 3ometimes reckon without a host. That this was not altogether a difficult matter near events were to prove. Panther Jqe waited until he was well assured that the last savage had passed. Then he slipped down out or the tree. Quickly he glided !Jack toward the brook. Chuckling to himself he began to ford the stream. Bot he was exactly in the middle when be beard a guttural grunt. Looking up quick as a flash he saw a number of dark forms before him. That they were savages there was no manner of doubt. That be was entrapped was a lso certain, for as he turned to retreat Around the hill the Steam Horse ran at full speed. On til suddenly Walker criet': I he found a number of the foe in his rear. and on un"White man no make tight; he be killed qmck!" was the exclamation. I

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FRANK READE, JR., IN THE NOR'l'H-WES'r. "Trappe d!" muttered the trapper, with sinking heart. But he was not the oue to give up without a strug g le. He knew that capture meant death by tile most horrible or tortur e So quick as a Bash be rai sed his rille and fired. Then be maue a backward leap out ot the brook. The next moment he was in the of his foes. The struggle which followed was a most deadly one. But the savages were too numerous for t.be plucky trappe r and h e was overpowered. llts arms were bound behind him wit h stout thongs. Then, in the midst of tile crew of savag es, he was led awa y throu g h the forest. The light ot day was now breaking in the east. For miles they tramped on, aud finally camped at the base of a hig h bill in a little clearing. Here the score or Blackfeet seemed to b old a council. They consumed some time in smoking th e pipe and goin g through the ceremonies of the council. Then finally a decision se emed to have been reached. A number or the savages proceeded to plant a heavy post in th e ground near. The trappe knew at ouce wbat his rate was to be. 'l'be stoutest heart will quail at the thought of a death at the stuke. The scout'a tace paled. But beset his lips rigidly and was determined to die game. Rapidly the preparatwns w e re made. Finally Joe was bound to the stake and heaps of bru s h piled about htm. Then the savages made a circle about the prisoner and indulged in a war dance of grotesque sort. One of them set fire to the brush finally and then the trapper r eally gave up all hope. As the flames starte d upward a c d he began to feel their ileat lie realized truly that his end had come. "It's all up, I reclwn !" be muttered. "I ain't been ther bes t man that ever was, but I ain't been ther wust outlier A rude prayer was upon his lips, wben suddenly a s t range s.ound smote upou tbe woodl and air. It was tbe shrill blast of a steam whhtle. It was at this cri t ical moment that the Steam Horse appeared upon the scene, as we have seen at the close of a pre'Ceding chapter. Tbe Horse made for the savages full tilt. Barney and Pomp and Walker all opened fire with their rifles. The result was that a number of the savag e s were shot down before the others took to flig ht. the Steam Horse to a stop Frank Reade, Jr' .s first m o v e W!lS to leal> out of tbe wagon and rush in amon g the burniqg brush. He quickly scatt e red it before tbe !lame s could reach the prisoner Then be cut Panther Joe's bonds. The trapper was so amazed that he hardly knew what to do. The Horse was no surprise to him, for be b a d met Frank Reade Jr., at a settlement below a few weeks previous. But Walker gave a great cry and made a joyful rush forward. "Hello, Panther Joel" he cried, wildly. "Is it really you!" In course it is," cried the trapper. But look here lad, I've got a bone to pick with you." "Eh, what do ycu mean!" What did you go off and leave your women in such a plight for ? A wild, incoherent cry escaped th e settl e r's lips. "My God! it is too much joy. Do tell me that they are sde!" cried the wildly excited settler. I "Wall," said th,e trapper, coolly," I was lucky enough to jest be able to pull them out of tber fire, that's all." "God bless you, Joel" said Walker, in a cboking voice. Then they're safe!" I reckon they are." They had trouble with the savages?" Yes, and were captured. But I chasea the reds up and sneaked into camp and rescued them." Panther Joe, you're a hero!" cried the settler, wildly. I follow ed your path as well as I could, but I think I got lost." Wall, ye did, my lad," declared the trapper. Ye went a littl13 out of yer way. But I never wonl1 have sent ye tbis way if I had known the reds were on t he rampage." "Oh, that is all right, Joe. I accept your kindness for the deed!'' "!Wall, jest as soon as I learned ot tbe true 11tnte of aflairs, I started up hyar to look after ye. I've d .>ne it to ther best or my ahlity. Any way, I've saved yer wollftln fer ye!'' "God bless you for that, Joe. Are they very near here?" "Not more three miles." "Ob, take me to them! In course I will!" Then the trapper turned and greeted Frank Reade, Jr., pleasantly. Arrangements were quickly made. As the woods were tolerably clear or underbrush, the Steam Horse could piok fts way along finely. In this way the distance to the cave was quickly covered. Leslie Walker was hesi1e himself witb joy. He demanded and listened to a dozen accounts ot the affair from the scout's lips. He deluged the trapper with a literal flood of questions. So they really had a hard scrimmage with the Blackfeet?" he asked. "Yas, they did!" repiied Joe. And they got away trom them?" '' Yaa." "So the old prairie schooner is at tbe bottom of the canyon! Well, I think I shall bave to give up my claim and go back East." "Don' t do iLl" cried the trapp er, emphatically. Ye mustn't give up so easy. All will come out right yit!" Tbey were now near tbe cave. The trapper leapid out of the wagon and Leslie Walker was close at his side. Do ye see that cliff?" cried the scout. Wall, under them vines ye 'll find a cave. The y're iu tbar!" As he spoke the trapper reached the precipice wall. l He grasped tb
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]'RANK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE NOR'l'H-WES'l'. 11 Beyond all doubt it woulu bring the savages down upon them. But there seemeu no other way. The bear advanced another step. It was the signal for Alice. God help us!" was her prayer. Raising the rifle quickly, she fired point blank at the beast. She had aimed for the animal's eye. She knew that it was the most vulnerable point in that position. At that short range the aim was perfect. The bullet penetrated the bear's brain, the huge monster reared and fell directly at the feet of the t .wo women. It was a courageous and remarkable feat for a woman slender and frat! as was Alice Walker. She was beyond doubt entitled to much credit for her bravery. But now that the peril was over, her nerves again gave way. Sue sank iu a hysterical leap at tl.e older woman's feet. Mrs. Walker at once devoted all her energies to the consolation of the unnerved woman. "Ou, I fear we are surely lost!'' W!'iled Alice, brokenly. We have escaped one peril only to fall into a lleeJ:er one. I am very sure those savages have beard the shot and will discover us!" "Let us hope not," said Mrs. Walker. "It is no use hoping against fate. After all what have we gained? Better to have been eaten up by the bear tbau to fall into the hands of the Blackfeet ." Mrs. Walker felt inwardly tbat llbis was too true. Butthe fears of both found speedy verification. Suddenly there was the tlash of a torcb and then a light shone into the cave. Guttural exclamations filled the air and the forms of a number of savages could be seen hovering about tbe entrance to the cave. It was a t3rilling momli'Ut. Alice was sullocating with the awful horror of the thing and was unable to act. Before either woman could make a move to resist, the !lavages sprang into the cave and seized t.hem. In less lime than it takes to tell it they were once more prisoners. Words cannot describe the awful terror experienced by the captives. The savages treated them with contumely and sueers, auu draggeu them forcibly from the cave. They were compelled to march ignominiously through the forest back to the camp they had left. Part of the band were yet ttere and their nunJbers seemed to have been by ntJWCJmers. The two women were brought triumphantly into camp, bound to a couple or pine trees, and a grand r;ow-wow and dance was held about them. Indeed, brush was brought and heaped about them, and they would have been burned to death upon the spot but for a suduen interven tion. Into tile camp circle strode a white man. He was tall and lleavy framed, With dark, scowling features. His dress was part savage, and at his appearance tbe savages fell back with much servility. What s this? he growled, advancing and peering mto th!l faces of the women. One of the savages a few guttural statements in Pxplanation: "Women, eb!" exclaimed the renegade, for sucb he appeared to be. "Wall, I like that. One on 'em is pooty too. Whar did ye find 'em, Red Knife!'' "Find in woods-in cave," replied the savage. Jericho! one on 'em is young and poot .y. Confound yer foolish ness, cut them ropes on tber wrists. That's no way to use a w:oman." Alice's lovely face lit up at this. For an stant she fancied that here was a champion. He was at least a white man and could not be devoill of mercy. Oh, sir!" she cried, pleadingly, you will listen to ol!-r praye,rs. You will be a friend to us and set us free. You are a wbtte man!' Something like a sardonic smi.le flitted across the renegade's face. Wall, I like that pooty one," he said, harshly. "Don't ye fear. No harm will come to ye. I'll take care of that:: I ain't seen a woman in ten years I've taken sich a fancy to as you." Alice shrank back. In that moment she regretted her eager speech. She read the purpose of the wretch and his real char a cter in that moment Her heart sank within her. All seemed lost. The renegade saw the shrinking motion and laughed. Oh, ye thought I'd set ye free, eh? Oh, no, that ain't Sid RP.ynold's way." 1 At the mention of his name Alice experienced awful terror. '!'bat came was known through all the Nortn-west as belonging to an inhuman monster-a blood-thirsty brute. More homes had been despoiled, more settlements burned by this wretch than any other But the bonds of the two captives were cut, and a tepee having; teen erected near, they were placed in that for the remainder or the night. The next day, and after a sleepless night, they were visited by two of the braves, who led them out and forced them upon the backs of ponies. Then a start was made to the northward by the whole band. The rene!!ade, Sid Reynolds, was not in the party. It was evident that tLe savages were acting under orders to take the captives to the Blackfoot village. This, as Alice bad gatbered from stray llits of conversation she had overheard, was f:.>r to the northward, and beyond the region of geysers. Despair was in the heatts of the unfortunate women. It did seem as if theirs was a hopeless case. They had absolutely no hope of ever seein5 their friends again In lire. Alice thought or her husband, wbo was in agonized quest for her, and her heart was nigh bursting. Deep regrets filled her soul. Why had they ventured into this terrible region? Better have been satisfied to remain within the conlines of civiliza tioQ. Of course it was possible that rescae would come yet. And thus hoping on, fervently the two women antlered themselves to be carried deeper into captivity, and seemingly to a fate worse than death. CHAPTER X. DIVIDING THE PARTY. THE trapper experienced a thrill of horror when he found that the cave in which be had left the two women was empty. At once he knew the truth. He was coutluent that they would not have left the cave on tbe : r own account. Tlley would certainly have awaited hi3 return. There was no doubt but that they were in the power of the savages. It was an awful thought. Tben Panther Joe thought of the agonized husband at his shoulder. He turned slowly and with a face ghastly iii its pallor. Friend s!" he said, brietly, the worst has happened. They are gone, but we'll rescue them yet!" "Gone!" wailed the settler, in a delirium of despair, ns he rushed into the cave. "Oil, God! they are lost!" "No, no I'' cried the trapper, clutch in!! his arm, "they have certainly been made prisoners and we'll rescue them." But Walker was inconsolable. He wo>uld listen to no word of comfort or hope. However, if pursuit of the redskins was to be instituted, there was no time to be lost. Panther Joe made no doubt that they had gone to their cam}> in the woods. He knew the way thither, an d had no tronble in reaching the spot. But tile camp bad been abandoned and the redskins were gone. However, evidence was found clearly enough tbat the two women had been taken to that spot a second time. Where the tepee hr.d stood the scout found a fragment of a shawl, which Walker identified as having to his wife. There seemed uo way but to follow the trail. Accordingly, Panther Joe took it. Progress was now necessarily slow, and they reached n wood so dense that the Steam Horse could not make its way through it. There was now no alteruative but to divide tbe party. While the Horse made a detour, others must go forward on foot. It was decided after some consultation that Panther Joe and Walker, with Barney, should take the trail. Frank Reaue, Jr., and Pomp were to make the detour. Accordingly, the three trailers struck out the woods. They were quickly out of sight. "Well, Pomp," said Frank, as he took the reins, "it's you and I. is it?" "I re<;kon dat am a fac', Marse Frank," replied the darky. Pomp was delighted at tte idea of traveli q g with Frank Reade, Jr. The young inventor could not confer a greater favor upon the darky than to select him as his companion. So Pomp, with alacrity, proceeded to assist Frank in driving the Steam Horse. Leaving the three trailers for a time, let us follow the adventures of Frank and Pomp. The Steam Horse soon bad skirted the edge of the forest and came to a level plateau. Frank held the Horse down to a lively gait across this, and a broken cotntry of hills and hollows now preRented itself. Beyond this, however, over the hill tops a gray, misty cloud wa.a seen. It was like a bank of fog, but Frank knew what it was. There was no doubt but that it was vapor from the hot springs and geysers or that region, which be had been long in quest or. "Then it is really a fact," muttered the young inventor. "I must visit the region and substantiate it." Indeed, it seemed directly in his path. Panther Joe had averred it his belief that the Blackfeet village was beyond this. There seemed no way of rejoining the trailers until that region was reached, so Frank decided to go ahead. He sent the Steam Horse on at a rapid gait. Hills were climbed, belts of timber threaded, small streams forded, and at length the Steam Horse topped an eminence, and the wonder ful region of hot springs was spread out to view. I And it was a wonderful region in very truth. One might have ipdulged in a light stretch of the imagination and fancied themselves at the portals of Hades itse!r. 1 As f;u as tbe eye could reach to the northward was a migbcy region or boiling springs, hot lakes and sulphurous streams. I I I

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12 FRNNK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE NORTH-WEST. Mighty geysers with cannon-like thander would break from the trembling eurth and mount upward hundreds of feet. '!'he Yellowstone regi,on seemed wholly outdone: No tourist hati as yet penetrated to tais valley of tha [t was a region wholly unexplored, and Frank Reade, Jr. gazed t:pon it si!ent wonder. "Golly, Marse Frank!" muttered Pomp. "It am a dretrul place .' steam nn' smoke, amo't it?" .. A good abode for the legions of Satan!" laughed Frank. '' You' se jes' ricrbt dar salil" Frank watched the sce ne a while, and then with sudden inspiration saill: Look here, Pomp! Well, sah ?" "You will not ba afraid to remain here alone for a few moments?" 'fl:e darky chuckled and shrugged his shoulders. Huh! does yer fink I is a bo'n coward, Marse Frank:?" "No, I know better," replied Frank. "Of course you will do it. But I would like to go down there on foot and take a little look at that place." A'right, sah. Yo' kin go right along fo' all ob me There is no sign of any enemy hereabouts, and I think we shall be perfectly safe." "Suab, Marse Frank." With this the young inventor took his rifle and left the Steam Horse. He descended into the hot valley, walking upon a crust of some material resembling lime It was like walking through a city of geysers. There was not a liLLie risk in walking upon the valley's crust, but Frank accepted it readily enough. At times the crust UUllulated and seemed about to cave in. Bot Frank kne'r that it would a severe strain. Beneath the crust he knew there was a vast lake of bot water. To have been precipitated into this would have been death. So Frank took due caution Wonderful sights were spread upon every hand. The mighty geysers threw great columns of water high in the air, to ran with tremendous thunder to the narth. At times Frank: would come to extinct geysers. Here would be round a beautiful sight. Oftentimes a wide basin would be revealed, polished by the action a of the water and silica until it resembled the finest and daintiest of 1 porcelain. At times treacherous looking air boles in the valley's crust would 'be seen. Through these the boiling waters could be seen beneath. Once Fran!' came to a deep w e ll-like basin, with the water of such wonderful cl ea rness and purity that he could see the sandy bottom plainly. Objects there magnifi ed to an enormous extent. And as !Se continued to gaze Frank beheld an object whicll no awfui shock. It was imbedded in the white sands and lay revealed as the skele ton of a man. Some poor mortal in crossing the treacherous valley had slipped into a hot basin and ended his career. Frank turned away with a shiver. He had penetrated into the valley far enough to be sure tl::at it was many mile s to the wooded country beyond. "Maybe the Blackfeet crossed this valley,'' he muttered, dubiously. But I stand much in doubt of it. He saw an opportunity to skirt the valley to the westward with the Steam Horse. There was firm and smooth gronnJ, and he determined to try it. Accordingly he turned back in the direction of the Hor6e. As he did so he saw Pomp perched on top of the wagon. The darKy was waving his arms and beckoning to him excitedly. The young inventor was astonished What can be the matter?" he mnttered. I can see no Indians about." I However, he started back for the Horse with all speed. Rushing up the eminence he was hailed by Pomp. "Oh, Marse Frank, yo' rnus' come jes' as quick as eber yo' kin!" What's the matter with yon?" asked thl' young inventor, sharply. "Fo' goodness sakes, Marse Frank, de Jnjins hab jes' gwine ob e r dat ar rise an' dey done hab dem two women wif em on de back of Jlonies!" Frank was electrilled with this declaration. "You don.'t mean it, Pomp!" he cried. "I jes' does, sah. Yes it am de lnJins fo' snah!" "You say they have gone out of sight beyond that rise of land?" "Fo' suthin' suah, sah !'' "Ail right!" Frank opened the throttle and let the Steam Horse out. They fair\y flew over the iutervening distance to the hill named by Pomp. Up this they went. 'l'hen a thrilling sight wns revealed. A migl11y lake lay spread before their v1sion. The had just entered canoes and were leaving shore. Frank saw the two female captives in one of the canoes. The Indians Haw the Steam Horse at that moment and set up a wild yell or dellance. I "Just too late!" muttered Frank, In dismay. "What shall we do?" But his mind was quickly made up. He knew that the Indians were pulllng across the lake to their vil lage. It would no doubt take a long detour, but he would skirt it and cut ofl' their landing. With his mind made up to this, Frank let the Steam Hotse go along the sandy shore. But they had not proceeded one hundred yards when it was seen that an immense log lay across the path. '!'he lake was upon one side and impenetrable woods upon the other. Progress was cortainly barred until the log was removed. Frank was in a dllemma. But not for long. He suddenly grabbed an ax and sprang out of the wagon. "We'll soon spoil that obstruction," he cried. "Here goes!" He rushed to the log with ax upraised. It descended, before it could be raised again up froli! behind the log sprang a dozen painted sanges. They had been secreted there nil the while, and were upon Frank like wolves. \. Before young inventor hardly realized his danger he was a pris oner. Pon1p on board the steam wagon saw the situation with horror. He opened fire upon the crew of redskins, and tumbled two or them over. But In his great excitement he bad not thought of the rear purt of his wagon. Suddenly he heard a yell behind him. Into the wagon sprang three brawny savages. Before he could make a move they were upon him. He was almost instantly overpowered. lloth hil!lseH and Frank were hopeless prisoners. It was a sudden turning of tables. The savages crossing the lake now turned back and came ashore. Great exmtement reigned su preme. CHAPTER XL SAVAGE TOIITURE. AMONG the attaCKmg savages Frank had seen a white man, Jt was the Sid Reynolds. The villain was IJeside himself with glee. He fairly roared with triumph. "Ha, ha, hal" he shouted, "that war tber best little game I ever seed played. Worked well, dtdn't it?" He advanced to Frank all(l poked him in the ribs with his hand. "Hi! my highfalutin inventor," be cried. "Kinder takin' a little grief, ain't ye? I reckon that Steam Hoss of your'n will make a nice little rig fer me." Frank only glanced contemptuously at the fellow. "You are a line specimen!' he cried, coolly. "Coullln't find any bett e r business than mixmg up with redskitls, eh?" "What's that ter yon?'' growled the renegr.de. "I' m a good enough man ter hev ther best of you!" "It seems so just now." "Ye needn't IJe so sa.ssy!'' There Is no law to compel you to address your remarks to me!" The villain was furious. "That's all r:ght!" he roared. We'll see bow much you can afford to play the part.'' He turned and gave several guttural orders to the savages. The two canoes with the women prisoners in DO'%, came ashore. The renegade held a brief conference with the savages. They seemed to approve or his remarks, for they were supplemented with triumphant yells "Well, Pomp, we're. in a bad scrape!" said Frank, to his faithful servitor. "Golly, you'se jus' right, Marse Frank." "I'm afraid we shall not pull out of it very easy!" Bot the darky shook his head. Don' yo' gib up hope, Marse Frank. DE>re am all ob de oders hot on de trail. Dey may come up at any moment an' jes' rescue us o.'right." "I hope 3':>n are right!" said Frank, hopefully, "but I must say that it looks most dubious 'l'he renegade had climbed into the Steam Wagon and was endeavor ing to learn its mechanism. He seemed to succeed, for the Stearri Horse started forward at a gallop. The obstructing log had been removed, and Reynolds guided the Horse for some dJstance down the shore. Here there was a break in the forest, or wide clearing Into this the renegade directed the Steam Horse, and brought it to a stop. Pretty quick along came the other with the prisonl'rs. Tbey entered the clearing also, and proceeded to make camp. At first Frank wa's somewhat mystilled at this action. But presently enlightenment came. The renegade advanced, and with:a caustic smile said: "Ah, Mister Frank Reade, Jr., ye kin prepare fer yer funeral right away. We've a nice little mess ready fer yel''

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( I FRANK READE, JR., IN 'l'HE NORTHWEST. 13 I am nol afraid to dio!'' replied Frank, cooll,r. "Oil, ve ain't, ell?" "No!" Wall, how would ye like to !lis ther death we have pla:med fer ye? We're goiu' ter take yer otf, and Lbeu pour hot waler on ye ter toughen ye up agin The VIllain Ja.ughet.l in a demoniac fashion. Frank experieuced a sick feeling at the pit of his stomach. He re aliz e d that tlle vill ain would keep Ills word. It was useless to appeal to him for mercy of any kind. That the Blackfeet would not shrink from iullictiug so u. torture was certain. There were not a few cases on record or uufortunate victims who had been llayed alive in this atrocious fashion. From b1s position Frank could see the preparations going on. Pomp hau been elected to run a deadly gantlet Q! knives. Alice Walker bad been removed to one corner or the clearing. But Mrs. Walker had come under the ueatll penalty amlwas IJOund to a stake. That they meant to bum h e r alive was certain. "My God!" gasped Frank; "you don't mean to burn tt.at poor woman!" "Wall, kain't ye see?" replied the renegade, harshly. "Hain't ye got eyes?'' "That is an inhuman thing. "P' r'ups so.'' "You are a monster. Retribution will overtake yon jet!" "Easy thar!" gritted the renegade, darkly. "Look here, Sid Reynolds," said Fran!,, forcibly, "you're a white man the same us I am. Tllere must be somewllere in your heart a spark of humanity." The renegade winced. "Wa ll, tbar ain t! be replied, grufily. I can understand bO)V these ignorant savages can commit such atrocities, said Frank, coolly, uut a white who lias had the advan tages of the average, is hard indeed wllo cau do such a thing." A hard light shone in Reynoh.ls eye. Shull! tell ye why 1 kiu see it done? be gritttld, sava g ely. "Tbar was a time when I was a Christiur: man. But my conlillence was allusell. I was jilted by the girl I l o vell; falsely traduced und robbed tJy my own brother. Do you think I have any faith in human naturt! N o, it is all deceptive anti l,ying, and all are alike. It' s every man for rlimself. 'l'bar s nothin too bani for me to do now. Why, I bad tile r revenge or choking my trtlacberous brother to death! i\ly soul!" Frank "Ycu don't menu that!" "Yas, I do!' Then enough! I believe you are capable of anything!" The renegade laughed harshly. Ye 'll lind out that I am!" he r e phed. But the preparations for the death torture were mad<1. Stukes had been driven in the ground and stout thongs attached to them. To these Frank Reade, Jr., was to be bound. 'rhe young inventor was now overcome witb awful h o rror. He saw that an awful fate was close upon hrm. There seemed no escape. He thought or Panther Joe and the others. If they should happen along at the r ight moment the tables miglrt be turnad. At length two savages advanced and began to divest Frank of his clothes. 'l'lle upper part or his body was bare!!. Then he was boupd to the ground by means of the four stakes. Two savages with keen hunting knives advanced. On" of t!lem went so far at! to draw the back of his knife across ribs. Then the carnival of torture suft'ered a sudden interruption. There was a report of lire.arms, one of tue f:laying savages tumbled forwuri.l dead, and the other, terrified, dropped his weapons. Frank Reade, Jr., felt a wil ue found. ::>be had mysteriously disappeureu. There was little donut, however but that the renegade Sid Reynolds had carried her away in the retreat. The rage, grief and des pair of Wall>er was pitiable to witness. "I tell you she is lost if she is in the power of that fiend!" be cried, wildly. "It is all up, and I am a heart broken man!" "Have good grit, pard!" declared Panther Joe. "We'll overtake ther coyote But Walker was. inconsolable. The Steam Horse was where the renegade had left it. The wonderful invention wat! intact, an1l as Frank Reade, Jr., spmng aboard he opened the valve and gave a triumphant whistle. Plans were quickly made to pursue the abductors of Alice Walker. As all could not get alload th e Steam Wagon, it was decided tllat Baruey, Walker and Panther Joe should go ou ahead, as before. Tile others, Frank, Pomp and Mrs. W-alker, would ride. Frank found a good smooth path along the shore of the lake, and sent the Horse ahead at a fairly rapid gait, Thrilling wcidents were near at hand. CHAPTER XII. eURROUNDED BY FOES. FRAN K READE, JR ., hod no doubt but that the prisoner, Alice Walk er, would tJe takeu to the Blackfoot village direc Tlterefore be started at full speed as soou as open ground was reached. There tlgnting going on in the woods, as he knew by the crack of l'itle s commg tlleiefrom. But the young inventor believed thiS WM only a dodge upon the part of Sid Reynolds to cover the retreat of the main touy with th11ir captive. "I tell you, Pomp that by go i ng direct to Red Knife's village we sh all gain mora than one point. We shall cut otl the party going thither with their prisoner and m a ke a tlauk movement which ought to defeat the [reckon you'se right, Marse Frank," agreed the darky, "but dis chile don' wanter fo'git dat dar am apt to ue a big crowd at dat viihtge." What or that!" cried Frank. ''We ought to be able to clear them out'' The darky was a bit doubtful, but be said no more. 'l'he Steam Horse ball now rounded tlie upper enll or the lake ami was rapidly leaving it behind. A pictur e sque region was now encountered, and suddenly they came to a long and narrow depressica which seemed to merge into a sort of canyon far below. Golly!" cried Pomp, dat am a cur' us looking place. Does yo' s pose dat de Injun vrllage am down dar?" I don t know replied Frank. We can go down and see.'' With this tlle young inventor let the Horse gallop down into tlte place. I was a curious sensation which all experienced as they passed through the gate-like entrance k) the lower valley. It was !ike entering the portals of some division of Hades The Pavine soon merged into a narrow with mjgbty trees growing out of the steep ascent upon either band. This vast growth of forest increased as they proceeded further into the place. Suddenly they came into what seemed to be a veritable pocket he tween hie:h hills. Upon all sides tbe ascllnt was precipitous and cov ered with a denee g rowth or 1rees. Then, as they continued deeper into the pocket, a lower canyon was seen. Passing through this, they came out on a wide plain. It was certai!lly a curious transit.ion. This plain, thick with matted grass, extended as far as the eye could rer1ch. So dense and matted was the grass t!Jat the Steam Horse cou!d wade through it but slowly. Frank Reade Jr., had got some distance out upon this plain ere he recognized the fact that he bad made a grievous mistake in attempt ing its passage. At intervals in the plain there were tall '.Iottes. Toward one of these Jt'rnnk now made his way. "Well, upon my word!" he declared, "I have never encountered anythinl!' hke this in all my lif!l." Golly, Marse Frank, I don' jes' see how we will ebber git !roo dis yer place." "You're right, Pomp!" cried F'rank, with apprehension. "1 am afraid I made a mistake in attempting it." Indeed, the situation was peculiar. The Horse could barely waae through the l!'rass. It twined about the axles, got into the Horse's joints and literally trigged the machin ery most effectually. At length the Horse carne to dead stop.

PAGE 14

FRANK READE, JR., IN THE NORTH-WEST. It con:d not. go fcrther. 'l'here was but just one thing to do. This was to go out and begin the laborious work grass from the various parts of the machinery. 1 They had literally lJecome lmnsferred !rom tho! frying pail into the fire. of clearing the 1 Frank realized at once what a hopeless, in !act, utterly useless task 1 it would be to attempt to clear the macbiner> and get off the plain. They were at the moment not more lifty yards from one of the steep l.mttes like sentinels dotted the plain. "I see no other way !Jut for us to clear tUat gra3a awD, y and tben turn uack," said Franl, disappointedly. 1 "Fo' suah, M1lrse Frank,., agreed the darky. He had advanced to the door of the wagon to get out when a atart li ug thing happened. A loud and thrilling warwboop arose upon the air. From behind the butte, wallowing in the matteu grass, there ap peared a large band or )3lackfeet. They were mounted and ttleir ponies could 4not much more than walk in the dense grass. Massy sakes, Marse Frank!" cried the terrilied dnrky. "Now we'se in fo' it, fo' suab." They cotdd not even gat the Steam Horse into working order before the lire must be upon them. Desperate indeed was the situation. What was to be done? There seemed no way to avoid the dreadful fate. On came the terrible !lames. 'l'he prairie was in a ripe state for a terrible fire. The grass was so long and matted and w it struck the :young inventor as extremely odd that the savages bad not thought of the butte. But they had not, and were now far out on the prairie. They were struggling desperately to get through the long grass. With inspiration Frank threw open the doo of the cage, and cried: "Come, Pomp, we can save out;selves!" "Golly!" crien the darky, in amazement. "How am dat, Marse He touched a opnng and closed the wagon curtains. We'v11 got to light for our lives, Pomp!" he cried, grimly. I lear Frank?" "Ask no questions, but come on!'' that we are done for." But the brave erwhelm the eminence. Even at their height the heat o: the !lames for our adventurers was almost unbearable. The next moment the flames enveloped the Steam Horse. For a moment the Horse was enveloped fro01 view. Then there was a tremendous explosion as the boiler blew up. The flames swept on in their destructive course All tbat was left of the wonderful Steam Horse was a heap of use less iron. Pomp as well as Frank was visibly affected. Neither made commept though. But presently Pomp cried: "Fo' Hebben's sake! Jes' yo' look out dar, Marse Frank?'' The young inventor beheld a thrillil_lg sight. The savages bad not been able to get ofl the prairie. Had they reacher a moment they were visible, then the flames swallowed them up. It was a thrilling sight. Nigh a hundr d of the bloodthirsty brutes, however, had expiated their crimes. The fire quickly swept over the rest of the prairie. It now presented a blaekened appearance. Frank ancl. Pomp des cended and took a look at the remains of the Steam Horse. But the young inventor was not the one to long give way to grief at anv misfortune. "dome, Pomp!" be brnjlquely, "the best thing we can do now is to go back and join the rest 6! the party." This was true enough. But Mrs. Walker could never have accomplished the distance on loot. A happy thought struck Pomp. He saw the Indian penies on the side of the butte. I

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