Frank Reade, Jr.'s new electric van; or, Hunting wild animals in the jungles of India

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Frank Reade, Jr.'s new electric van; or, Hunting wild animals in the jungles of India

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr.'s new electric van; or, Hunting wild animals in the jungles of India
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Creator:
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
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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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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R17-00031 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.31 ( USFLDC Handle )
024784590 ( Aleph )
63271348 ( OCLC )

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.:'RANK READE JR.'S NEW ELECTRIC VAN. I t -=======,(::::::======================:: The subscription Price of tne FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50: $1.25 per six months, post-paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PuBLISHER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street. Bo1r 2730. r FRANK READE NEW ELECTRIC VAN: OR, Hunting Wild Animals 1n the Jungles of India. By "NONAME," Author of "Frank Reade and His Steam Tally-ho," "Frank Reade a.nd His Steam Team,'' etc., etc. CHAPTER I. THE CIRCUS MAN. yesilf as was a monkey afore iver yez war a man. Whurroo! Take that fer yer impudence-au' that!" A pail of dirty water sat upon a platform by t)le gate. "Is Mr. Frank Reade, Jr., in?" Barney had picktld it up and dashed it full at Pomp. 'Deed, sah, I done fink he am!'' Its contents took the darky full in the face and with demoralizing "I would like to see him!" eft'ect. "If yo' gib me yo' card, sah, I take it to him!'' The dirty water went down the darky'a throat, into his eyes, ears, "Here it is!" and nigh strangled him. This conversatign took place aL the gate entrance to the large yard "Jes' yo' stop o' dat, I'ish!" he yelled when he recovered his s urroun
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FRANK READE JR.'S NEW ELECTRIC 3 You know that I run a circus!" "Yes!'' "Well, you and your two men, Farney and Pomp, with one .or two
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4 RE.ADE .TR. 'S NEW ELECTRIC V .AN. The Electric Van was packed In section9 and shipped to San CISCO. But just as they were about to take the ears from Readestown Frank read in a newspaper: "Thrilling escape of a crank from the jail. Stillman True, the 111an j who assaulted Frank Reade, Jr., nearly brains Turnkey Wallis and makes his escape!'' "Mercy on us!'' thought the young Inventor. "Can it be possible that vil!ain mtends to follow me?" But Frank would not entertain the thought. The party reached San Francisco In safety and went aboard the steamer. Soon they were sailing out through the Golden Gate en route to the west. All were in high spirits. Walsingham Gladwen was particularly hilarious, and actually danced a jig in his delight. But among the passengers was one individual who regarded the party covertly and with an evil sneer. He waB dressed slouchily and wore a long, black beard. To a close observer it would have seemed as if this was artificial. The steamer, however, was two days out frpm San Francisco before any incident occurred to mar the voyage. Then one moonlight evening all were congregated upon the deck. Barney bad his fiddle and Pomp his banjo. The two jokers were entertaining tho crowd with alternate songs. Barney had a fine, rich voice, and sang sentimental as well as comIcal ditties. Pomp had a beautiful tenor voice, and his rendering of some of the old plantation sonl{s was indescribable. "Och, Rory be aisy, don't kiss me no more, Shure, 1t's six toimes to-day ye've kisaed me before. Och, there goes another, nn' there to make sure, Sure theres luck in odd numbers, says Rory O'More." Even body applauded, and then Pomp got in his work in fine shape. It was certainly quite a treat. Frank Reade, Jr., presently strolled away from the others, going aft. He was busily thinking of the future, and was in a retired part of the ship. He never suspected the flict that a dnrk form was creeping up be hind him stealthily. Leaning over t .he rail, Frank was watching the sen, when he heard a rustling sound behind him. The ship had coma about and was lying to. The boat now ran alongs i de and Frank ran up the gangway. He was greeted instantly by his friends. He explained matters, and much excitement was created. A search was made for Stillman True, the would-be assassin. But now a si:1gular tiling occurred. He could not be found. What did it mean? Where hnd be gone? Had he also thrown himself overllonrd and drowned himself? Thi s was a query not easily answered. The ship was saarched assiduously from deck to bold. But not a trace of True could l.le found. He bad mysteriously disappeareu. It was believed by the.majority that be had committed suicide. And there the matter rested. Tile VOJage was But Frank never went ue11r the rail without a premonition of some thing t e rrible, and kept his eye out. But Lo all appearances, the crank had left the ship. Indeeu, the vessel nearly into Honolulu before anything hnppened to warrant n di!Ierent behef. Then an idea occurred to Frank. He hastened to the bold. There waq stored iu sections the wonderful Electric Vnn. A horrifying fear taught the young inventor the extrtJme danger of leaving the boxes unguarded, with a madman somewhere at large upon the boat. It would be au easy matter for him to damage the machine out of pure spite and meanness Frank went down into the hold and made an examination of the boxes. To his great relief, he found, however, that no harm bad been done the machin e Indeed, it did not appear that the crank hnd touched it at all, which was only another fact to bear out the supposition that he we.s not on board the ship at all, but bad committed suicide by leaping overboard. Nothing more occarred during the voyage to disturb its tran-quility. In due course of lime tl:le ship reached port at Calcutta. There tlie Van was packed In sections aboard a railroad car. The railroad ran along tile valley of the Ganges river for severlli ,. hundred miles. At Calcutta many English and American residents came to pay the ';; respects to the explorers. He turned just In time to recognize a man springing upon him. It was the man with the whiskers, nnd he hissed fiercely: "Ah, I tell you that Stillman True is not to be ballled. 'fnis time you diet" l Tb.,ir fnme ball preceded them, and one great Hindoo prince, whose domain extended to the verge of the B ang Cuu jungle, came to visit Frank. A sharp cry escaped FranK's lips. But bef:>re he could get into position to defend himself, his assail ant had hurled him over the rail bodily. CHAPTER III. IN CALCUTTA, Dow:r< went Frank Reade, Jr., into the sea. A great cry went up from his livs. But It did cot seem to have been beard. The singing forward drowned it, and he realized in an instant bow utterly despernte his situation was. The steamer, of course, was leaving him every instant. In a comparatively short time it would be out of sight. He was a good swimmer, but he could not hope to keep afloat long. "My God! I am lost!" he cried. "Help-give me help!" But there seemed no answer to his prnyer. Those on board the ship either did not hear him, or would not an swer. But no! Suddenly there was a great shout went up. There hnd been a sailor on one of the yards, and he heard the splash, and turned just In time to see Frank in the water astern. Man overboard!" he shouted. The cry went from one end of the ship to the other. "Man overboard!" It is ever a thrilling cry at sea, and impresses one with horror. In an instant everybody rushed to the rail. 'fhe bell rang in the engine-room t(l slacken speed. Down ftom the davits went a !>oat, quickly manned. Sturdy tars pulled away astern looking for the victim. Frank was still afloat, for he was a good swimmer. He shouted to tlle boat's crew and they were soon by his side. In a jifly be was lifted into the boat. His life was s p ared. Why, it's Mr. Reade!" cried the boatswain. However did ye come to fall over, Mr. Rende!" I didn't fall. I was thrown over!" cried Frank. Thrown over?" ''Yes!" May the saints save us! How did that happen, sirr Frank described the incident. The boat's crew listened with horror. "I know the sculpin ye refer to, Mr. Reade!" cried the bontswain, "and I've never liked his looks since he's been aboard. We will put him in irons!'' He came in state, with a body-guard of armed men, and met the young explorer witil great cordiality. "Ah, sab ib,'' he enid through his interpreter, "if you can succeet l in bunting down the fierce white tiger, you will have won the grati tude of all my people." "I shall try," replied Frank. ''I shall pray to my gods for your success. But there is another and more dangerous foe I must warn you against while in Nepal.'' "Indeed!" "That Is the Thug. That region is their native home." "I will remember your warning, great prince!'' said Frank, grate fully. "Perhaps I shall meet you again?" "I return to Nepal next month. You will be welcome at my palace!" All over the Jndlan part of Calcutta traveled the newe of the arrival of the distinguished American who had come to.lndia to clean out the dread jungl e of Bang Chu. The native Hindoos flocked to the railroad station In great numbers to get a glimpse of the famous new-comer. Native princes nnd dignitaries called upon Frank and extended to him hospitable greetings and best wishes. It was with difficulty that the party finally got away from Calcutta. The railroad train finally took them up the valley of the Ganges as far as the l:ne of travel extended. Then the party disembarked at a small station in the verge of a vust forest. It wns five hundred miles from there to the jangle of Bang Chu. The country in some places was rough nnd uneven. Several mountain ranges would have to be crossed. But beyond these there was full two hundred miles of level plain whtch it would be easy to cross. The sruall station at which they disembarked was called Hudi Jan. The Van was taken from the cnrs, and Barney and Pomp, under Frank's direction, proceeded to I>Ut It together. This was not altogether a difficult job. Finally the last bolt had been driven and the last nut tightened, and the Electric Van was rendy. Th& batteries were filled and the motor charged. Then all the stores were placed aboard and all was ready for tAe start. Of course all this work had taken some time. But the job was finally finished after a day and a half had passed. The voyagers went aiJoard the Van, and the start was made. There wllB a turnpike road leading out of Hudi Jan for twenty miles;

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FRANK READE JR.'S NEW ELEC'L'RIC VAN. Til is extended througil a pieturesquo tract or country. In a measure, it was an agriCultural region. But the pytllon was not inclined to heed the Van. It was the carcass of the deer it was after. lS Small plantations were seen, and some line bungalows, or Hindoo houses, were passed. But the scent of blood llad brougllt to the spot another aspirant for a hearty meal. The natives everywhere dropped tlleir implements and stood at sigllt of tile Electrac.Van. agape Tbis was a huge, yellow tiger, which now came leaping gracefully out of the forest. It was altogetller a curious sigllt to them. Never before had so strange a machine invaded the region. It was, therefore, no wonder tllat they were astonlslled. But none oflered anything like llostile opposition to tile Van.1 In some place superstitious ones tlung tllemselves on tlleir faces, overcome witll fear and llorror. Our adventurers in the Van enjoyed tile situation. Tile tiger came down in a crouching attitude upon the opposite aide of the deer from the python. It was a tableau. Between the two gourmands was the dainty prize. Tile tiger lashed its tail and growled, witll its eyes fixed upon the snake. Upon every llaucl tllere was some new wonder to be seen. The country was wild and picturesque ami unlike anything had ever before. The latter drew its sinuous coils up and gave a tremendous bias. By tllis time Gladwell bad reachetl the Van and all were safely they aboard. Walsingham Gladwell was in llis element. He was so much pleaseu witll his experience caperea and sang liv ely songs. Begorra, it's a foight they'll have!" screamed Barney. Shure, it's tile snake an' tile that lle dancecl and Pomp llatl picked up hia rifle and seemed inclined to fire. But Frank Reade, Jr., cried: "Hurrah! I wouldn't have missed this trip for the price or my show!" be cried. "It is simply gran(\." Barney manipulated steering wheel, and Pomp attendetl to the dynamos and to the culinary d_,partrnent. It was easy sailing as far as the high way went. "Hold on, Pomp!" A'rigllt, Marse Frank!" Let us see what they will do. It is likely they will eat each other up." Indeed, this was likely .But when this finally terminated it was not so easy. A region was now encountered of tllick forests and brakes. Neitller seemed disposed to give io, and this was evidence of their dense caneravenous hunger. Whew!" exclaimed Gladwell, rubbing his hands. "Don't I wish I could get hold of that python! He'd be worth ten thousand dollars to rny show l" To penetrate these it was necessary to take narrow paths used by the natives, ami o!ten it was imperative to stop and fell trees to make the way broad enough for the Van to pass. In the ordinary canebrake the knives upon the hubs It is hardly likely that you will succeed, unless the tiger Is his of the wheels prey," Maid Frank. would cut their passage througll. But, of course, in the !orest tills could not be done. But the spirits of all were high. There were plenty of provisions on board the Van. But at available opportunities Frank sent Barney and Pomp into the woods for game. Rice and corn and other artlcles of food were also bought of the nauves. Game was plenty. Deer and bear were in the forests, and ducks and wild geese in the canebrakes. 01 course Pomp and Barney enjoyed this. The foe tlley had dreaded most was the deadly cobra di capellu or hooded snake. 'hese were verv plenty, and their poison was fatal. But the adventurers llad made provision for this before leaving home. They bad provided themselves with long leggins of rawhide. The fangs or the cobra, unlike those or the rattlesnake, are weak brittle. Against the rawhide they were of no avail whatever. "or course the tiger will whip him." Frank shook his llead. "Not much!" be replied. "That is by no means certain. The pytllon is a bad one to bundle." All now watclled with interest the movements of the two foes. Neither seemed disposed to yield ground to the other. 'file appetizing meal between them was sufficient incentive for a battle to the death. The tiger crouch,ed low and lashed its tail furiously. The pytllon's huge coils were drawn up and its head was reared high. Suddenly it shot forward, the immense coils unrolled like a whip las b. Tllat moment would have been fatal for the tiger but for prompt movement upon the part of the beast. The tiger did not attempt to dodge the attack. Nor did he retreat. On the contrary, he crouclled flat upon the ground, burying his nose between Ilia paws. The python's coils rolled harmlessly over him. It was impossible for them to close around him. Had the tiger been in an erect posture they would have done so. CHAPTER IV. But the instinct of the savage beast had saved it. THE GIANT PYTHON. The instant the python's folds passed, however, the tiger acted. So that they were completely safe with regard to the hooded snake. Quick as a flash up went one r.aw and the sharp claws tore a long The reptiles in some places were very plentiful. rent in the python's body. In fact, Barney was struck in the lower part of his legs eleven times The snake gave a fearful hiss and whirled about. one day, while hunting in the canebrakes. Down went the tiger again. Had it not been for the impervious character of the rawhide he Once more the huge folds passed harmlessly over the tiger's striped would have heen a corpse. body. There were other roes to be dreaded. Again the tiger's claws tore a rent in the pylbnn's folds. One or these was the brown python, a monster wllich frequently at"Golly!" cried Pomp. "Dat am jes' a dre!lul sllarp old cat, dat tained the stupendous length of forty feet. tiaah am.'' The party were enjoying a nnouing in a shady dell in the forest one ":, Begorra, av he keeps on he'll tear the reptile into ribbons!'' cried ke away from the It was now the tiger's turn to assume tile ofl'ensive. spell and cried: This changed the aspect of a!lairs quite materially. "Och hone! Wud yez luk at the loikes av ill Shure it's a fearful "I'll bet on the snake now!" cried Gladwell, excitedly. craytbur. Run, naygur-run fer yer loife!" The sJake's head slowly worked ils way toward the antelope. "Golly!" exclaimecl Pomp, making a bolt for the Van. Yet its eyes seemed fixed upon the tiger .Both terrified fellows ran for the Electric Van. That beast growled savagely and began also to creep toward the They were shouting at the top of t.heir lungs. Walsingham Gladwell drJpped his water bucket and also started The snake's jaws seemed about to close upon it. for the Van. Now or never! Meanwhile the python very coolly glided out of the undergrowth. I 'rhus the tiger must have thought, for he flung himself forward and It was a literal monster, and its shining brown fold$ seemed fearful made a blow at the snake's head witll his paw. ln their length and circumference. But he might as wellllave made a pass at a shr.dow.

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6 FRANK READE JR: 'S NEW ELECTRIC VAN. The snake dodged quick as a flash. Then out shot those terrible coils. This time the tiger could not dodge. The coils closed about him with a crunching sound. Up into the air and over and over went tiger and reptile. The tiger's claws were flying everywhere and his hoarse growls filled the air. But the python's folds were about him, and crushing vitals, bone and sinew and flesh all to a pulp. Around the glade like a huge ball furiously went the combatants. Then the din ceased. Suddenly the python ceased its revolutions. There was a crushed yellow body in its giant folds. There was one Jess tiger iu the wilds of Nepal. The p y thon dropped its victim and now started with a gliding motion for its prize. Our adventurers each drew a deep breath. It had certainly been a wonderful spectacle. It was safe to say that 'few human beings had ever witnessed its like. Begorra, I niver seen the loikes av that!'' cried Barney. Shure both av thim was dead game to the last." "Golly, but I done fink I wouhln't like to hab been ic. dat tigah's place!" cried Pomp, with a deep breath. No,'' s aid Frank ; th e python 1s a hard reptile to handle.'' "What a beauty he i s!" cried Gladwell. "Oh, it I only had him for a specimen in my show." B a rney h a d r a ised h i s rifle. Shure I'll quick spile the ugly mug av him!" he cried. But F ran k interfered H old on!'' he cried "Did you say, Gladwell, that you wanted that p y thon!" "Ye s " Yon shall have him.'' But-l:!ow can we trap him?" K e ep quiet and I will tell you.'' "I'll do that." "After he h a s g orged himself upon the antelope be will go into a kind of stupor. You c a n then hire a dozen natives for a song to net him. In the net !Je can be dragged into a cage and taken to Calcut ta and shipped home for you by the natives.'' Good! cried Gladwell, excitedly. It will be worth a fortune to me.'' The python did just what Frank said it would. The reptile began the process of swallowing the antelope. This was the most astounding spectacle yet. To see that mass of 11esh dlsappearmg slowly down the snake's throat was a sight of no ordinary sort. It required fully twelve hours for the python to swallow the ante lope sufficiently to go into a torpor. Then Barney was sent to the nearest bungalow. A half score of natives were easily for the purpose of netting the bnge monster. They returned to the spot with Barney, and aftgr an interview with Frank Reade, Jr., proceeded to bag the python. CHAPTER V. IN THE POWER OF A THUG. Tms also a wonderful spectacle. A huge and powerful net, with many folds, was procured This was thrown over the snake's head, and then spears were jabbed into the reptile's body. In a few moments the re1)tile, writhing in pain, wound itself so com pletely in the net that it was powerless. Then a native ox cart was procured, and the snake, with its tons of weight, was dragged aboard. It would require two weeks to get the reptile to Hudi Jan. But there Gladwell had appointed shipping agents, who would see that the snake was safely caged and cared for and shipped by steamer for San Francisco. The natives departed with the python after being assured that they would be well paid when they reached Hudi Jan. Gladwell was delighted. He had procured a specimen for his show, which for size bad never been equaled in Amenca. "I will astonish everybody!" he cried. "Gladwell's Circus will take the lead." The Van now pushed on deeper into the wilds. The region grew wilder and less thickly inhabited. Thus far Frank had seen nothing of the Thugs, against whom he had been warned. One day they met a native hunter, who told them that they were only fifty mile3 from the Bang Cbu jungle. He directed them to go to the northward, when thsy would come to the open plain, and all would be clear Frank followed these directions and found them to be true. 1 The jungle wa11 reached in quick time. The wonderful an :I dangerous Bang Chu jungle lay before them. None of the natives dared to invade its depths, which were said to literally swarm with wild beasts. In the verge of the jungle they came upon a village of Hamados, a Hindoo sect. The head man or prince of the place consulted with Frank. The young explorer was not favorably impressed with his appear ance. When he had gone, be said jocularly to Gladwell: "'fhere, Gladwell, if you had that fellow in your show, you would have the greatest curiosity of all!" "Catch him and muzzle him!" cried the circus man. But Sado-Dak, which was the ruler's name, gave Frank some valua ble information. His description of the jungle and its terrors was of L!Je lurid, blood curdling kind. S a hib will find many dangers there!" be declared. "There is the white panther, Lhe giant bear, and the mighty dragon In the cen ter of Bang Cbu there is a vast lake, in which is a mighty s erpent capable of opening its huge mouth aud swallowing up a boat with ten men i.n it." Many more Muncbausen tales were rendered Frank. The young inventor listened with great seriousness. But when Sado-D a k was gone, be said: ''That is the biggest rogue and most atrocious liar I have met since I have been in India!" The Hamados were all of a low caste, and beyond all doubt cutthroats and ruffians. Frank remembered the warning he had received in Calrutta. That these villager a were of the Thug denomination he had 1:0 doubt He warned Barney and Pump, and preparaLions were made to re sist aay attack made upcn the Van. They were obliged to hnger f o r two days at the village of tbe Hamados on account of a dearth of provi s ions. The re was, of cour se, no path into the jungle of Bang Chu. But Fran I' felt sure that they could mow a way through the dense grasses with the s cythe blades upon the bulls and in front of the Van. B a rney and Pomp were wis e enough to heed Frank' s waroitgs. But Gladwell was not inclined to be so distrustful. The circus proprietor regarded the Hama<1os as innocent and ignor ant natives. "They can possibly mean no harm," he declared. "I am not afrai d of them." "You have beard of the deadly disciples of Thuggee?" asked Frank "Pooh! You mean t!Jose wretches who come up behind you and garrote you?" "Yes.'' I am pot afraid of them. I can keep an eye out, and 1t will be a smart man who garrotes me." It of no Ude to argue wit!J Gladwell. The circus magnate only laughed a::Jd pooh-poobed the subject de ri s ively. So it happened that when Frank and Barney and Pomp were ndt. looking, be slipped Ol!t of the Van and paid a visit to the town. He was received with the greatest of courtesy. The Hamado merchants threw open the flaps of their tents, and in vited him in to partake of basheesh or smoke a weed allied to tobacco, or drink wine. Gladwell went upon a kind of spree, as it were. He joked with the Hindoos fitrted with their women, and incau tiously showed that he had money with him. He had spent some hours in the town, and was having a high old t ime when a native approached him. He had a smattEo>ring of English, and, bowing low, said: "Sahib, I greet you. Great princa of a mighty nation, I pay ,you homage.'' "Go easy, friend!" cried Gladwell, with a laugh. "I ain't used to taffy. What do you want! A ticket to mv show!" ''Sahib is looking for wonderful animalsto cage and curious things?'' "I am!" cried Gladwell. "Have you got a six legged rhinoceros to sell?" ".Ah, come with me, sahib. I will show you the most wonderfu l yet.'' Gladwell was usually a sharp man. In his own country the bunco sharp would have had no show what ever with him. But here in the heart of ignorant India be allowed himself to be vic timized. The native, a villainouslooking fellow, who gave the name of Mahdan, led the way to a grove of trees near the town He pretended that in this belt of trees there was kept a wonderful animal the like or which existed nowhere else. Soon they had reached the forest and entered a narrow path. This was thickly beset with overhanging vines, which in places nearly shut out the light of day. Mahdan led the way into this path. Gladwell bad not proceeded ten yards when a fearful sense of ap palling danger came over him. He suddenly remembered with a chill Frank Reade, Jr.'s warning. The instinct was upon him to turn back. They were just passing under an overhanging limb of a tree, when Mabdan sudrlenly paust>d. "Ab, sahib, look!" he cried "Behold the wonder of Bang Cilu!" In that instant Gladwell heard a noise behind him. Before be could turn something Jiasbed hissing past his head, and a sinewy coil was about his neck. The Thug!" flashed across his horrified vjsion, then there was a wrenching awful pain; unconsciou s ness followe d. Glad well's form lay in tile path, and two villainous Hindoos were over him.

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FRANK READE JR.'S NEW ELECTRIC VAN. T They quickly rifted his person. "Ah, Mahdan, you found an easy victim!" "Ay, but feel of his heart!" "Is he dead!" "Allah be praised! Now, away!" And they vanished like shadows, taking with them the deadly cord which had done such fatal work. Frank Reade, Jr., was much distressed when he learned that Glad well had left the Van. It is a. piece of folly!" he declared. I gave him credit for more sense!" Barney and Pomp shared the fears of their employer. I done link some ob dem villains will pick him up!'' declared Pomp. "What am it best fo' to do, Marse Frank?" "I declare I don't know!" groaned the yonng inventor. Frank waited m vain for Gladwell to returu to the Van. Hours passed and he didn't come. The young inventor decided to take heroic measures. He sent a native runner into the town to look for Gladwell. The fellow returned with the report that be was not there. Gladwell had been seen to leave the town, going toward the jungle with two of the nnti ves. He bad not been seen since. lt Is as I thought!" groaned Frank, with horror. He is doubt less a dead man long ere this.'' But Frank deciued to make a desperate move. Ile did not venture to leave the Van. Closing the doors, he started the Van through tbe town. Barney and Pomp stood ready at the loopholes with rilles. There was much excitement in the town. The report had spread that the white sahib had been enticed into the jungle and had not returned. Prince Sado-Dak was a villain of the deepest dye. From the first he had kept vengeful and covetous eyes upon the Electric Van. It had occurred to the native prince that the Van would make him an excellent coach of state. As foc scruples m the matter of gaining possession of the Van SadoDak had none. l He would without compunction butcher the whole gang to gain his desired ends. With this thought he had secretly called together a few hundred of his warriors and instructed them. The report of Gladwell's fate was the spark which kindled tije flame. As the Van went thundering down through the street of the town saddenly a perfect legion of Hindoos sprang into view nnd opened fire. Frank snw the situation and its perils at a glance. Quick action was necessary, or the fiends would surely succeed in getting away with their prey. Frank was at the wheel, and he said to Barney and Pomp: Steady now! Give them the Winchesters as fast as you can load nnd fire!" The two faithful servitors needed no second bidding. They sprang to the loopholes. In that moment a thrilling battle was begun, which was to prove a memorable occasion for all. CHAPTER VI. REPULSE OF THE HAMADOS. I THE Hindoos fired a volley at the Van. It had been their belief that the bullets would penetrate the steel network. They expected at once to see the inmates of the wagon riduled with bullets. I But the leaden missiles only fell ha.rmlessly against the steel netting. Burney and Pomp now opened fire. Both were excellent shots. The Hin:loos fell beneath their aim, and as the Winchesters coald be fired with amazing rapidity, the volleys bud a most telling effect. Frank sent the Van crashing into their ranks. It was utterly impossible for the wretches to stnnJ before such an attack. The heavy wheels of the Van crushed them, and the knives upon the hubs made fearful work. Down through the gang like a thunderbolt went the Van. It was utterly impossible for the Hiudoos to stand before it. Clearing the villainous crew, Frank turned the Van about and ade another charge at the foe. This time. Hindoos seemed determined to stop him. The young mventor smiled. He opened the key wide and sent the Van ahead at railroad speed. Like a meteor it went down into the midst of the dusky horde again. t Barney and Pomp kept the Winchesters popping. In vain the Hiudoos tried to stav the progress of the Electric Van. They might as well have tried to lightning in its course. Scores of them went down under the destructive wheels. Give It to them!" cried Frank to Barney and Pomp. Once again the Van reached the end of the street, and turned to once more charge through the village. But the Hindoos had enough. Sadt>-Dak was a wily anu treacherous prince, but he was not reck less or utterly devoid of sense. He saw that this dreadful invention of the white man could cut him all to pieces. In fact, it was in Frank Reade, Jr.'s power to destroy the town. So Sado-Dak threw out a white flag and called his men back. Frank Reade, Jr., accepted the truce. "I ought to
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8 FRANK READE JR.'S NEW ELEC'l'RIC V .AN. He was weak, as might naturally be supposed, but a more thank ful person was never seen. The experience had eiiectually cured him of anything like reckless ness. He was prepared to use good sense in tlJe future. I have been a fool!'' he declarell. In the future, Frank, I will do just as you say." "1 am glad to hear you say that," said Frank. "I will not advise you for your injury, depend upon it." I know that well." This ended the episode. Gladwell was saved and nil on board the Van were overjoyed. Sado-Dak bad been g:ven a rich lesson and stood in fear of the Electric Van. But this very fear made him craft.y and treacherous. He was determined to get square with Frank Reaue, Jr., in some way. On the other hand, the young inventor was determined to get out of Sado-Dak's 1vny ag quickly as poesible. Accordingly, so IIIIICh as wishing the treacherous prince good-day, he started the Van to the northward. Along the verge or the great jungle for twenty miles the Van travele:l. Then Frank selP.cted a good spot and drove ibe Van into the jungle at full speed. The monster carrriage went crashing through the dense grasses, and suddenly came into an open space in the very lleart of tile wilds. It was a picturesque spot, and Frank, impelled by some motive, pressed the lever and brought the Van to a stop. He had no sooner done this than a great cry went up from Barney. "Begorra, Misther Frank, wud yez Ink at the loikes of tl:at!" At til at instant a wild scream came from 1 he depths of the jungle, and out into the open dashed a Hindoo hunter. He was out of breath and panting with terror. Behind him, with long strides, came a powerful tiger of the man-eating species. Help, snllib, help!" shrieked the unfortunate llindoo. "Give him a shot!" cried Frank Reade, Jr. But before any could get tlleir rilles or make use of them the tiger was upon the Hindoo. The fierce beast crushed the luckless fellow to the ground. He fastener! his powerful jaws in the Hindoo's slloulder. Barney llacl got his rifle just in readiness to tire wllen out into the open sprang another tiger. "Don't tire!" cried Frank Reade, Jr. "You'll bit the man." Bejabers, I'll kill tile other beast!" cried Barney. So the Celt drew aim at the other tiger and blazell away. The bullet went to a vital spot. The t.uge beast rolled over in the death agony. But no sooner had this been accomplished, when, with deep, cavern ous roars, two more sprang out of tile jungle. They were powerful specimens, and descended into the open with most savage mien. The place seemed a regular tigers'
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FRANK READE JR.'S The Celt came, but just too The tiger went up over the top of the Van and then away into the j un gle at full speed. He was a-one from sight almost instantly. That the last seen or the white tiger that night. The howllno-s or the beasts was not conducive to good sleep, and yet our were so extremely tired that they were glad to snc cumb to slumber. When morning came the hvenas disappeared. But three bu a e tigers were crouched upon the top of the cage. Ponlll and B;rney wanted Lo give them an electric shock. But Frank said: "We will give them a ride." went tho Van, crashing through the jungle. It was a novel experience to the tigers, and evtdently not a pleasant one, for they leaped down from their perch nnd vanished into the jungle. A every turn w1ld beasts were encountered. There was no doubt but that our adventurera were now right in the pejl:_rt or the jungle. ;J:'rank ha d begun to for the large lake which had been de sr ribed to btm by the natives. He had seen QOthing as yet of the fearful hydra-beaded dragon said t o in these parts. But he bnd no doubt as to the existence or huge snakes. Indeed, as the Van was going through a dense part or the jungle, one of the mighty monsters threw its huge folds completely about the Van. The python tried to crush the steel structure. But its utmost pressure did not even make the frame-work creep. This python seemed even larger than ti.Je one which had been capt- ured and sent borne. Gladwell was consumed with a mighty desire to secure this new specimen. "I tell you he would be worth five thousand dollars in America!' be declared. "We ought to have him." But Barney cut the monster in two through one of the loop-boles. his spoiled him for a specimen. Suddenly the Van came out upon a hage open tablelaod in the cen l tar of tbe mighty jungle. This table land was dry and arid, and seemingly devoid of any thing to support life. Yet, as the Van glided out upon level expanse, a wonderful spectacle was presented. There, not t'lve:hundred yards : distant, stood an animal which, for size and peculiar shape, our adventurers had never before seen the lik\) or. It was a near approach to the elephant, though much larger and weightier. Its botly was covered with a long growth thick brown hair. Its head was or tremenduous proportions, and huge tusks were curling outward from its jaws for the length of lull fifteen feet. What on llarth is that?" gasped the circus n:an. "Begorra, yez ought to have that fer yer show!" "Golly! I done fink dat beat Jumbo sky high!" 1 But Frank Reade, Jr., was the first one to hit upon the character of the animal with any degree or accuracy. I CHAPTER VIII. THE LAKE SERPENT. "WHAT Is it, Frank!'' asked Gladwell. "It IS a specimen of the megatherium family I" said Frank, positive ly. "An animal (Qr centuries believed to have been extinct. But \here is cer::.ainlv a living specimen." The explorers gazed with wonderment most intense upon this speci men of the suppo3ed extinct mammoth. It was an animal or certainly monstrons proportions. Jumbo, the famous giant elephant, was n'it to be compared with this monster. The megatherium, for such il,muat be called, seemed to be cropping stunted grass which grew n110n the plain. It appeared to ta,;e no notice whatever of the adventurers. Indeed, the Van glided quite near to the monster, hardly its attention. The explorers were given a good opportunity to study this monster specimen or an extinct race. Whether the megatherlum had a mate or not they had no means or /mowing. None was seen. What would not scientists give to be here at this moment!" cried Reade, Jr., with excitement. 1 You are right," agreed Gladwell. "It would be a of 1\'alue to them. Oh,how I woultllilte !Jim for my show! There'd be a million dollars in that fellow." Everybody laughed at this. did not venture too naar the mammoth, for be did not know what sort of freak the animal would talte. Aslight blow o! its trunk must have been enough to have derr.ol lsbed the F.lectric Van. The creature kept on for some time feeding. Then suddenly it started away with long strides into the jungle. Its coqrse made a literal rca
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FRANK J R.'S NEW BLECTRIC V .AN. 8 snake's body was dark with a reddish tinge upon the belly. Its ad was a frightful sight for fangs. Barney and Frank tumbled over each other in their excitement and uorror. "Golly fo' glory!" sr.reamed Pomp. We'se gwine fo' to be swal lowed up ali be jes' as suah as you'se bo'n !" Bejabers, not if I know it!" roared Barney, making a break for the Van. Gladwell, terrified at the appalling spectacle, had also made a dash for safety. Frank threw open the doors of the Van and called to his com panione. There was little need of this, for they were coming with all speed. A moment more and Barney and Pomp came dashing into the wagon. Glad well followed them. Barney sprang to the motor and Frank was at the wheel. The gaze of all was upon the monster of the lake. It was an appalling sight. Those who beheld it never forgot it to their dying day. The huge iierpent seemed to fill the body of the lake, so huge were its proportions. Indeed, it would have easily passed for the fabled sea serpent, fam ous in the lore of sea captains. Its length Frank could not accurately estimate, but he guessed it to be fully seventy feet. The reptile appeared to be a monster specimen of a species of water snake not uncommon in some parts of India, and which are said to reach the length eaoily of thirty and forty feet. Water pythons they were called by the natives, and, indeed, it W0Uid seem that they well merited the name. The explorers watched the movements of the reptile with a peculiar dull horror and fascination. The water python did not seem to see them. At least it made no movement toward them, but continued to dis port itself in the lake. Finally it took a long dive and came up fully a mile away and was seen to pull its monster body out of the water and crawl into the jungle. All drew a breath of relief. "Well,'' averred Frank Reade, Jr., "that beats all the snakes I ever saw." "The natives were right," declared Gladwell; "the monster serpent is no myth. Qh, if I only had him for my show!'' "It is lucky that the monster did not attack us.'' "You are tight!" "It would have crushed the VaR with its ponderous weight." "Begorra, I'd a good moind to take a shot at it," cried Bamey. "Huh! I done fink no bullet would ldll dat snake!" declared Pomp. "Phwat do yez know about it, naygur!" demanded Barney. "Pomp is right!" averred Frank Reade, Jr. "No ordinary bullet would have killed that snake. It is lucky that you did not tire, Barney, or the reptile might have turned on us, and much to our S<>rrowl" "That's right!" cried Gladwell. "I don't beliPve we will be able to capture that monster for my show, Mr. Readet'' "No, I thmk not!" said Fnnk, dryly. "We will draw the lion at snakes seventy feet long!" What new wonders the Bang Chu jungle held our explorers could only imagine. But now that the monster snake had disappeared the courage or all returned. As it was getting near dusk it was decided to remain upon the spot for the night. There was no longer any fear of the monster serpent. CHAPTER IX. THE MONSTER TURTLE. THE reptile might not return, and even if it did, there was no actual harm that it was likely to do so long as our adventurers took care not to trouble his snakeship. en was a more desirable place to camp than in the forest. So Frank decided to spend the night upon the spot. Camp-fires were made in the sand, and things made ship-shape. But Barney and Pomp were possessed of a powerful deeire to take one more dip in the limpid waters of the lake. or course there was the risk of the return of the serpent. But they finally overmastered their fears and repaired to the lake shore. Out in the lake they now espied what looked like a black, round, crowned rock above the water's surface. It seemed a bit curious to them that they had not espied this be fore. But they attached no Aignificance to the fact. "Well," cried Pomp, with a comical grimace, "I done like to make .one lily hit ob a wager wif yo', sah," "Yez woald, eb?" "Fo' suab." "Well, phwat is it, naygur?" I like to bet wif yo' dat I swim to dat rock rust.'' \ Yez mane to say that yez kin beat me to that rock?" "Yo' am got it.'' "." Well, bP-jabers, I'll take yez up on that!'' cried Barney. Into the water they leaped. Away they ewam hke veritable ducks. Nearer the supposed rock they drew every moment. But Pomp was the better swimmer. He was far ahead of Barney. He bade fair to reach the rock long before the Celt. The latter splashed and splurged in the water in a vain attemp.t, ta. catch up with the darky. No use. l Pomp reached the rock and crawled upon it. He was about to turn and wave his arms derisively to Barney, wl}en, an astonishing thing occurred. The supposed rock suddenly moved beneath him. 1 Up it went out of the water higher and presenting a broader Slir-1 face. Then, to the darky's amazement, he saw that he was upoa the back of a giant turtle, the like of which he had never before seen. The turtle evi) ing six or seven feet. ( They appeared to perambulate about upon the lake's surface. "Begorra, that's queer enough,'' muttered Barney. "Am I dram in' or is it an optical illusbion!" But Barney soon beeame convinced that it was neither. '' He turned the electric search-light about in such a position that its rays fell upon the water. t The wriggling forms were squirming thickest in the glare of the )' light. Then a comprehension of the truth burst upon Barney. Bejabers, I have it!" he cried; place is aloive with eels!" The Celt had hit upon the truth. Attracted by the electric lights of the Van an immense number of eels had rise a from the bed of the lake. Hundreds of them could have been netted with ease upon the shores of the lake. Barney scratched his head. "Shure there's no harrum in eels,'' ]]e muttered', "but phwativer else is there lives in that lake! Shure, I wondher how we iver come out av it alive!" 'I Of one thing the lake seemed free and this was crocodiles. t But while Barney's attention had been claimed by the lake he had l failed to keep an eye upon the plain. From that direction there now came a hoarse, thunderous roar. Barney turned and saw what appeared like a mighty black hilL moving down upon the Van. In an instant the Celt sprang up. t,' "May the Vargin save us!'' he cried; "phwativer is coming now?' It was the huge mammoth the explorers had seen in the afternoon. The monster was coming straight for the Van with a tread which shook the earth. It was swinging its huge trunk and bellowing loudly. Barney was imbued with an awful terror. But yet the Celt had sufficient presence of mind to press the dy namo key. The Van glided forward and out of the path of the mammoth. peel it. Barney let the Van run ahead for one hundred yards and then stop-J The danger was paS!Ad. v r The megatherium bad not attempted to pursue the an l--

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FRANK READE JR.'S NEW ELECTRIC VA.N. In fact, the hul!:e animal's purpose had been apparently not to atJ Then Frank said: tack the Van but to reach the water. Now, when the tiger cornea out, be sure and pull hard on the net. It now waded into the lake and proceeded to cut up curious antics. When once he is in the meshes, don't be afraid of him, but rush up With its huge trur.k it took up vast quantities of water and spoutand wiud him up in it. Do you see?" ed it into th e a i r aud over itself. "All roight, sor!" It seem e d to be part of a regular course of ablutions pursued by the "We'll jes' do dat!" g1ant animal, a nd was a sight to behold. "P2haw:" exclaimed Gladwell in disgust. "Do you expect to net The starting up of the Van and the din made by the monster had the tiger!'' ; aroused the others. "That is just it,'' replied Frank. All watched the performances or the megatherium with keenest in"Y()u can't do that!" .. "Wby?'' For some while the huge monster continued its play in the water. "He will tear those nets into strings." Then it marched out and away across the plain. "Do you beli eve that?" No oth e r incident worthy of note occurred t!Jat night. "Of course!" But nex t day Gladwell carne to Frank R e ade, Jr. "Well," said Frank, sarcastically, "perl1aps you can advocate a "Don' t y o u think it about time to try and bag a white tiger!" he better way?'' ask eel. I can!" "We will try it to-day!" replied Frank. "What?" "Alive? ":We can make a trs.p or the Van, bait it anti wait until tte tiger is "Oil, of course!" inside and then cloae the doors.'' This pl e n sed the circus manager, who anteretl into the plans with Frauk Reade, Jr., was disgusted. great interest. I gave you credit for more sense than that, Glad well!" he said. But in orLler to bag the tiger it was necessary first to find one. "Yon should have kuown better." A pathway through tile jungle was fouml and through this the Then be proceecteLI to bring out a quantity of oiled waste and rags. El e ctric Van made its way. This he placed in the mouth of tile cavern. The deeper they penetrated into the jungle the more evidence our It was but a moment's work to ignit e them. adventurers found of the exist e nce of wilt! beasts. In a jifl'y they were ablaze, and then Frank threw a blanket over At every turn tbe lair of a tiger, a wolf or a panther was invaded. the mouth of the cavern. The savage animals in the majority of cases made off in fear. This seDL the smoke and fumes down Into the cavern. Bu t there were some dispos e d to dispute the situation. Some little time passed. Such usually fell victims to the bnllets of the explorers. 'l'lle pile of oil waste burned and smoked intensely. To capture a white tiger aUve, Frank knew was no light uodertakCertainly the tiger was getting a fine taste or it. ing. Frank believed Lbat the smoke would be m ortl th a n tile beast could Y e t the young inventor had fully made up his mind to that end. stand, and that he would soon seek more congenia l qu a rters. And with Frauk Reade, Jr., to undertake an enterprise was seldom In this he was right. to fail. After a time there came a loud roar from the cavern. The circus manager, Gladwell, was in the highest of s;>irits. "Look out, boys!'' cried Frank. "He is coming." The closest watch was kept lor the coveted prize. This proved true. But they had penetrated miles or the jungle before they were reOut into the outer air sprang the white form or the tiger. warded with success. But right into the net he went and was instantly entangl e d I n its Then, coming out at the base of a slight eminence, Frank Reade, meshes. Jr., saw a fine specimen of the wonderful white tiger leisurely walking With a cheer Barney and Pomp ru9hed up. across the clearing. They ran around tile entrapped and struggling tiger, winding the At once Frank pressed tile lever and brought the Van to a stop. meshes closer nnd closer. Gladwell was fearfully excited and wanted to start at once in pur'!he huge hea8t snarled and howled and struggled. suit. In vain its powerful claws strove to tear away the net. But Frank Reane, Jr., restrained him. It was rutile. "Hold on where you are!" he said. "Don't do anything rash!" The powerful strands held, and the tiger was effectually entrapped. "But how are you going to capture the beauty?" asked the Circus Like flo fly in the web of a spider, the powerful beast was helpless. manager. All tearing about and roaring was of no avail. Leave that to me!" "Hurrah!" cried Frank, "we have his tigership.'' "It looks as if you would just allow him to escape!'' Then he turne
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12 FRANK READE JR.'S NEW ELEC'l'RIC VAN. The natives there were astounded at sight of Frank's captive. It was the first time that they bad ever known of the capture of a white tiger. Their religion taught them that the white tigers were under the pro tection of Brahma, and they never all'ected to hunt them. But Frank Reade, Jr., did not care for this. His faith was never of the superatiuous order. Therefore the white tiger was not sacred in his eyes. But men were found to prepare a box car with iron bars. Into tbis the supposed violent and wild beast was placed. Then the white tiger was billed to Gladwell's agent in Calcutta, with directions to ship to America. All this had been done, and our explorers were about to re-enter the Van and return to the jungle for fresh adventures when a new in cident occurred. Suddenly a loud shouting was heard at the lower end of the Frank Reade, Jr., saw a large gang of the natives coming, armed with spears and guns. They were evidently in a very excited frame of mind, and the Van seemed to be tbe object of their spite. "What's up?" exclaimed Gladwell, In surprise. "Something is wrong wtth the natives." "So it seems!" replied Frank, in surprise. "I don't understand it." "They are coming toward us!" ''Yes." "What have we done to disgruntle them!" "I don't know.'' "Begorra, Misther Frank!" cried Barney, "I'm thinking we must be on the watch for thim rapscallions!" "Right you are!'' cried Gladwell. "They evidently menu us harm." "Golly fo' massy sakes alibe!" cried Pomp, "does yo' see 'em com in', Marse Frank?" "Everybolly e;et their rifles," cried Frank, "but don't fire until I give you ord e rs." "All roight, sort" The natives now came ou rapidly. They made menacing gestures as they neared the Van. But the sight of the rifle muzzles protruding from the Van was the means of bringing them to a halt. Then one of their number advanced with his hands held up as a token of amity. Frank went to a loophole. "Well,'' he asked, tersely, "what do you want, sir?" "Great prince, we salute you," said the fellow, obsequi
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l';R.A.NK RE.A.DE JR.'S NEW ELECTRIC V.A.N. 18Thus equipped they left the Van. It was au easy matter to follow the tiger's trail through the deep grass. For some distance it was followed. Frank looked apprehensively for blood marks. He would not have been surprised to have found the marks of the ren ding in piec e s of the victim. But nothing of this sort was discovered. The trail finally led from the deepest part of the jungle into au open glade. ouddenly Barney clutched Frank's arm wildly. "Howly Moses!" he gasped. "Wud yez luk at that!" Indeed the spectacle was one well calculated to chill one's blood. From a distant copse the giant form of a tiger was seen to glide. In the monster's jaws was the form or tl!e Hiodoo child held suspended by its dress. . The tiaet was crossing the open slowly and ladlnng ll8 tat!. It did ":!ot seem aware of the presence of its foes. Pl!wat shall we do, Misther Frunk?" cried Barney. Wud yez give it a allot?" Wait a moment," said Frank. He crept cautiously out into the long grass. The result was startling. Suddenly from another copse near a second tiger bounded forth. With a hideous roar the brute seemed about to throw itself upon the young inventor. But Barney and Pomp's rifles spoke sharply. The tiger was struck but not fatally woundeJ. With a maddened roar it turned and daahed for the two servitors. Frank gave one gl1.1nce in that direction. He saw that Barney and Pomp were well prepared. Therefor e he did not offer to go to the i r aid He was tbicking of the child in the grip of tlie other tiger. 'l'he effect of the melee upon the other tiger was surprising. To Frank's surpnse he droppeJ the insensible child and turning faced Frank in seeming anger. This was just wbnt the young inventor wanted. He knew that if he could divert the tiger's attention now tile child miabt stand a chance of being saved. So Frank raised his rifle, took steady aim and fired. He aimed directly for the beast's eye. It wns a capital mark and Frank wne a rought the Van to a stop. The reptiles were swarming up the spokes of the lVheels, striking furiously right and left. "Upon my word, I never saw so many snakes before In my life!" cried Gladwell. "Wlla' fo' goodness' sakes doe3 dey come from?" cried Pomp. "Begorra, it's a hull army ob dem on de march!" cried Barney. This was a seeming fact. The snakes nil seemed to be working in one direction. It was a curious phenomena. But it was shortly explained in a most thrilling mann 9r. Soddenly Frank cried: ''Listen t" From the distance there came a rumble like rolling thunder. It seemed every instant to swell louder and louder.

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14 FRANK READE JR.'S NEW ELECTRIC VAN. Then there was a crashing in the undergrowth and an antelope went bounding by. In another moment several more followed. Then came tigers, leopards, bears, and all manner of beasts and reptiles. All seemed l)efore some dread roe. "Begorra, phwat the divil ails thim anyhow?'' cried Barney. I ndeed. this was a mystery. B ut It was suddenly explained. 'l'o the nostrils of all came a distant odor. It was unmistakably tlHJ smell of smoke. "Fire!" The adventurers exchanged startled glances. It required no explanation to convince them or the magnitude of the danger which threatened them. A fire in a Jungle is a matter of no light sort. A prairie fire is bad enough, but a fire is much worse. It is almost impossible to tell from what direction it comes, as the flames and smoke cannot be seen until almost upon one. But in this case the course pursued by the beasts and reptiles told the tale. If there is one thing the cobra fears it is tire. If a jungle is of the kind that will burn, that is composed of canes, and light reeds and dry grass, is tired, every cobra in the place will swarm out. Our explorers well knew the consequences of lJeing overtaken by the fire. or course it would mean the destruction of tile Van, if not death to themselves. Frank Reade, Jr., knew this well, and at once headed for open ground. He took the trail, but had not gone halt a mile when he saw tlames and smoke ahead. It would be madness to go in that direction, of course. To turn the otber way was just the same. The fire was upon all three sides, and thereseemed no way but t o run before it. '!'here was no time tc lose. The f a ces of the plainly showed their great apprehension. F rank Reade, Jr., new well that it would be a close pull at best. He headed the Van directly before the tire, and sent it forward as fast as was possible. It was a fearful race. Many obstructions w e re encountered and overr.ome. Fallen trees bad to be avoided, also groups of standing ones. On rushed tho Van. But th e fire gained. Nea rer it drew. "My God!" cried Gladwell in despair; "we shall be burned up alive:" But just at that moment a cry of hope went np. The Van clea r e d the undergrowth and came out into an open space. It was a plain, heavy with thick, dry grass. The moment the fire struck it the grass rolled up in one miglJty cloud of flame. C lose af ter the Van it c a me. Frank put the lever full down and let the full current on. Fortunately Lbere were few obstructions of any aceount in the way. On went the Van at a terrific speed. Anti now a great cry went up from the voyagers.: Dead ahead of them they saw the shimmering waters or a lake. At once they realized where they w ,..,.e All looked familiar about tl:rnn They could even see the spot wher!l Barney and Pomp had bathed. But alas! this was upon the opposite shore of the lake. 'l'o make the circuit of the lnke was impossible. 'l'ho flames had already shut in on either side. Frank Reade, Jr., saw that they were in a fearful position. The graSS(>S here ran down into the waters or the lake. The re was not a spot of clear land anywhere in sight. The Van could not cross the lake certainly. The flames were howl ing in the rear aud upon both sides. What w as to be done? It was a stupendous problem, and Frank Reade, Jr., felt keenly his iaability to wrestle with it. My God!" he muttered, "we are lost! Death is upon us!" Indeed, so it seemed. SLmight down to the water's,.edge went the Electric Van and came to a full atop. CHAPTER XIII. THE END. THERE was no question but that the fate of the Electric Van Wlhl sealed. The flames were now within three hundred yards. They were coming on with race-horse speed evP.ry instant. Even at that the beat was intolerable. The voyaaers wer e in a fearful state of mind. '' llfy God! We are lost!" r epeated Frank Reade, Jr. "The Van will be burne
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PAGE 16

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