Frank Reade, Jr.'s catamaran of the air; or, Wild and wonderful adventures in North Australia

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Frank Reade, Jr.'s catamaran of the air; or, Wild and wonderful adventures in North Australia

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr.'s catamaran of the air; or, Wild and wonderful adventures in North Australia
Series Title:
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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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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R17-00067 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.67 ( USFLDC Handle )
024921733 ( Aleph )
64587769 ( OCLC )

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-!l' Lates t and B est Stories are Published in This Library. Ente ed as Second C lass Matter at t he New Yor k, N Y;, Post O ffice, O ctobe 5 1892 ... T 90 { } FRANK TousEx. P(TRT,TSfiER, 3! & 36 NoRTH MooRE s'REET, NEw YoRK. { J nJcE } V 1 IV .1.' Oo o COMPLETE. New York, September21 1894. ISSUED WEEKLY. 5 CENTS. 0 0 Entered acc ording t o the Act of Congress, in t h e year 1894, by FRANK TOUSEY, in t h e o.ffice o f the L i b a i a n o f Con o r ess, at Washingt on, D. C. FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AlB; or, Wild and Wonderful Adventures in North Australia. By" NONAME." as they came out into the open, a cry went up from P omp. "Golly, Mars e Frank! ship comin' fo' all it is wol'th!" This was quickly seen to be the truth.

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, FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF 'l'HE AIR. 2 The subscriptiou price of THE FivE CENT WIDE AWAKE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50; $1.25 per six months, Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, i:l4 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Catamaran of the Air: OR, WILD AND WONDERFUL ADVENTURES IN NORTH AUSTRALIA. By "NONAME," '" Author of "Frank Reade Jr.'s .Marvel," "Frank lteade Jr., and His.Air Ship," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. gaze and thoughtful air betokened him a man "If money will secure Mr. Reade's services I THE LOST EXPEDITION of no ordinary mental gifts. will subscribe one thousand pounds thi1s moSm ALGERNON BARCOURT, M. P., sat in the "What is it, my dear cried Sir AI-ment as my contribution to a fund. for that pur reading room of the Piccadilly Club, London, gernon, joyfully. "Sit down. You are the pose.'' with a newspaper in his hands and person above all others I have desired to see." "Do you mean an P.Xpression of disn1ay upon his fine features. "Indeed!" exclaimed the other. I may say "I do." He had just been reading a paragraph Which the same. Of course you have read the cabled "Then," eried Prof. Ferry, excitedly, "I begin truly was of a distressing character. He heaved reports in this morning's newspaper 'i" to see success before us. There is a meeting of a deep sigh and murmured: "I have." the directors of the society to-night. The matter "All hope then is gone! It is of no use to "What do you think of them 1" shall be brought up for debate. If it is agreed send out any more expeditions upon an errand 1 "I am very much distressed. Prof. Ferry, upon I will volunteer to go to America and in these times it is certainly quite im-what is to be Prof. Philosoph us Ferry confer with Mr. Reade, and what is more, will possible to accomplish. And yet there is no was the leading of the society. He give my services aif the report that the Royal Geographical Society's mventor, Frank Reade, Jr., has completed h1s h ld th t . th t 1 h C e a evenmg m e some y s rooms. exploring party is hopelessly lost in NorthAu.stralia. new and most mventwn, t e ata-The result was that it was voted unanimous-Not a word has been heard from them for eighteen maran of the A1r. It IS expected that Mr. 1 t d p f F t A b" months, and it is quite safe to assume that they Reade will shortly make a trip around the 0 sen. :o : etry 0 menca up?n IS have shared the fate of past expeditions. In the world in his new air-ship!" d1plomat1c W1th a realizatiOn party were the following members of the society p f F 1 'd th d d 1 k d of the necessity of prompt actwn, the professor ro erry a1 e paper own an oo e . Captain McLain, Mrs. McLain, his wife, and Harh d t s AI It 'd hast1lypacked h1s effects, and was off upon the . ar a 1r gernon. was very ev1 en,; r1et, h1s daughter, Vernon and Alfred that the same thoughts ran in the minds of next days steamer for .the States. ward, the accomplished naturalist. They had a The world at large was not mformed of th1 s body guard of 115 native soldiers. That they have . action. P.rof. Pbilosophus Ferry, so well fallen victims to the deadly perils ?f the country Wem Said Sir Algernon, known in England was incognito in the United there is little doubt. North Australia has thus far "Have we reached a solutwn of our prob-St t d h h h l' ht d f th batlled the best efforts at exp loration. Its bo andless lem asked Prof. Ferry. es, an ence w en e a. 1 g e rom. e deserts poisonous reptiles and plants and hostile "Do you mean--" tram at Readestown, not one m that beautiful tribes natives make it a pestilential' and danger"y I th t t 1 k 'te 1 1 city dr,eamed of the presence in their midst of es. mean a 1 oo s qm og1ca f th t--d' t h d t' th ous region to invade. What will be taken by that we might be able to explore North Aus-one o e mos IS mgu1s e SClen 1sts m e the society now is not known. ' tralia yet. This Mr. Frank Reade, Jr., is an world. Sir Algernon Barcou.rt was one of the promienterprising as well as a philanthropic man." Prof. Ferry entered a carriage and directed nent members of the society, and it had been! s ir Algernon reached over and grasped his the driver to convey him at once to the resi at his instiga!.ion and through his efforts that confrere's hand. dence of Mr. Frank Reade, Jr. the expedition had been planned. "Of course I know nothing about this air-This was done, and the famous young in" That is what comes of taking women on sh. ipl" he said. "I do not know that it win fly ventor, who is too well known to need a formal f such an expedition," he muttered. "I a.rgued even!" introduction, was somewhat.surprised to learn in vain with McLain to leave his wife and "It will, fo Mr. Reade has invented and from the name on the card that he was favored daughter at home, but I might as well have traveled in other air-ships!" with a distinguished visit. spared my efforts.'' "Do-do you think that Mr. Reade could be A few moments later they met in the Ji, "Quite right, Sir Algernon-quite right!" induced to attempt sach a thing T' asked Sir brary. said a voice at the nobleman's shoulder. Algernon, excitedly. Prof. Ferry was amazed to find himself in the Sir Algernon turned quickly and faced the Prof. Philosophus Ferry arose and paeed. the presence of a boyish-looking young man with speaker. He was a man of peculiar appear-floor excitedly for a few moments. Then he clear, handsome features, and straight, athletic ance. paused. form/ Tall and lank, with cadaverous features, he "It would at least do no harm to approach In a brief, concise manner, Prof. Ferry out-had much the appearance of a Scotch schoolhim on the.subject.'' lined his mission. master. But his lofty brow, deep, penetrating I am deeply interested!" cried Sir Algernon. Frank Reade, Jr., listened intently,

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r I FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF 'l'HE AIR. 3 When the scientist had Frank sim-the excited Irishman; "take that, yez misfit ished. Rising from this was a structure which ply arose and said: monkey! Whurroo!" served as a cabin, and in which was the deli" Prof. Ferry, I am much interested in your Barney picked up a scoop of flour which thecate but powerful electrical machinery, story, and I would be deaf to the sentiments of cook had left upon the table. Above this was a round tower which held the humanity and of justice did I refuse to do all Into Pomp's face it went in a cloud. The steering gear and electric key board. In this in my power to aid you. I think that we will efl'ect was comical to witness, but not by any were circular windows, which could also be have no trouble with the Catamaran of the Air means so to E'xperience. utilized as loopholes in case of attack. in learning the fate of your party," Into nose, mouth, eyes and ears went the The cabin was divided into five compart" What!" cried Ferry, overjoyed. "Then you flour, and Pomp gasped and spluttered, and ments. One was the main saloon, which was will really nearly choked to death. He was transformed gr11.ndly furnished. The second was the engine "Myself and my new air-ship are our in that moment, beyond all doubt, into a white room, where was the electrical machinery. service, sir." man. The third was the dinjng-room, the fourth, Prof. Ferry began to efl'usively shower thanks "Golly I glory, massy sakes ali be!" gasped Pomp's culinary department, and the fifth the upon Frank, but the young inventor interrupt-the astonished darky. "I jes' hab revenge fo' sleeping cabin, which held a dozen or more ed him. dat, yo' sassy I'ishman." staterooms. "That is all right," he declared. "I am mch Then, recovering himself, he made a mad dash Prot Ferry took this all in with the keeneet pleased to be given a mission of the kind to for Barney. of delight. enable me to make my trip around the world The Celt, screaming with derisive laughter, But he pl!.id special attention to the electrical interesting." was not quick enough to get out of the way of machinery, and the method of the elevation This settled the matter at once. the enraged darky. and propulf!ion used. It was arranged that Prof. Ferry should cable The result was that Pomp's head came in The catamaran was suspended in the a ir by the society, and Frank announced that the contact with the Celt's abdomen, axl.d so means of fine suspensory helices or rotascopes. catamaran would be ready to start within a forcibly that he was butted clean through the These were of a great power and speed, and week. door which to the cellar. when driven by the electrical engines would The door g1vmg way, Barney went down the h 1 "Besides ourselves," said Frank, there will cellar stairs like a football. t e catamaran to eap upward wtth ter be as passen,gers on the my two It would have killed an ordinary man but rifle speed. 0 servants Barney and Pomp and a scientific th C It k d h' If d d The propulsory power was gamed by a stm' e e pte e tmse up an rna e a dash up 1 d h ll t th f h friend of mine, Dr. Vaneyke." the stairs. p e evtse, a uge prope er a e rear o t e "Dr. Vaneyke!" exclaimed Ferry with pleas"Bejabers I'll kill that nay uri" he ell d catamaran. ure. "He is connected with your Smithsonian "I'll break the back av him'" g Y e "How a speed do you reckon that the Institute." catamaran wtll make1'' asked Prof. Ferry. "Yes" But when he reached the landmg Pomp was "As fast as any train of cars on the globe!" _ gone. The darky was the winner of the round, replied Frank I know htm well, havmg met htm m Braztl and Barney muttering fierce threats f o ven"You don't mean 1t 1" once . I shall be P.leas.e. d to have v aneyke as a geance, hastened to the stable to get the span t l "Yes,Idol" rave mg compamon. of bays and carriage as ordered "I have no doubt that you will fraternize," '__ "Well," said the professor, with a deep 'd F k ith 1 h breath, "I shall be the most highly honored sat
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FRANK RlUDE, JR.'S C.A.T.A.M.A.R.A.N OF 'l'HE .A.IR. -gentleman alighted from the Washington on the eager lookout for the coming of thelnoble sport, and the young inventor was not train, and went at once to Frank Reade, Jr.'s wonderful air-ship. loath to participate in it, bouse. Every householder upon rising in the morn-The others were enamored of the project, It was Dr. Vaneyke, the noted scientist and ing had considered it his first duty to scan the particularly Barney and Pomp, who were inwarm friend of the young inventor's, sky from horizon to zenith for some trace of tense lovers of sport. He gained a warm reception. the wonderful airship. "Ferry will be here to-morrow," he said. Therefore, the catamaran was first sighted "Really, Frank, this is a trip I have always by a watchman in a weather signal tower. He CHAPTER III. wanted to take.'' pressed a telegraph key and sent the startling EXCITING ADVENTURES. "Well, it looks as if your wish would be all over the city. PROF. FERRY and Dr. Vaneyke Sa\v an opgratified," said Frank. It brought out the population of Sydney en portunity to study the flora and mineralogical "l am glad of that." masse. attributes of the country, and were delighted Barney and Pomp were elated with the idea No event in its history had so thoroughly ex-with the idea of a few hours on terra firma. of the trip. They worked hard and zealously cited the little .Australian seaport. Thus far they had made but few descents. upon the preparations. Preparations had been made for the reception It would seem good indeed to once more set At last everything was in readiness. The of the distinguished aerial visitors. foot upon the earth. catamaran was in the yard and ready for the The public square had been draped with So Frank allowed the catamaran to descend start. bunting and decorated with txopical plants. upon a clear space in the verge of a mighty Prof. Ferry was on hand with Dr. Vaneyke. Bands of music were playing, cannons were tropical forest. The electric engines were in working order, and in the center of the square a To the northward extended the mighty and the voyagers all stood upon the deck wait-wide platform had been erected for the air-ship plains covered with tall pampas grass and ing for the word from Frank Reade, Jr. to to rest upon. many flowering shrubs. take .eave of the earth. .As the catamaran hovered over the city like The catamaran rested upon the earth, and .A great crowd of curious spectators was a mighty bird, the voyagers saw all this and preparations were at once made for the kanga-gatbered outside the yard. .A band played, Prof. Philosophus asked: roo hunt. cannon fired a salute and then Frank Reade, "Will you accede to tLeir requests, Mr. No sign could be seen anywhere of the exist-Jr., pressed the electric key. Reade, and alight upon that ence of human beings. Up into the air shot the catamaran a thou"Yes," replied Frank. "It will be better Frank did not believe that any E!xisted in the sand:feet. not to slight them I think!" vicinity. In fact, he believed that they were in Frank Reade, Jr., and Prof. Ferry waved So the catamaran settled down and rested a wilderness peopled only by Wild animals and the American flag over the rail. The thunder finally upon tl'le platform erected for that purdeadly rept, iles. of cheers came up from below and then the pose. Therefore a move made which, under catamaran started on its way. 'l'be people cheered madly, and a party com-other circumstances, would never have been Readestown faded from view, and westward posed of the city officials and a number of dis-dreamed of. sped the air-ship upon the most wonderful ex-tinguisbed men advanced and greeted the voy-Barney and Pomp were especially desirous ploring trip of modern times. agers most ceremoniously. of accompanying Frank upon the hunt. Indeed, The Western States were passed over in one .A speech of welcome was made, to which the young inventor could not very well dis-vast and marvelous panorama of scenic grand-Frank replied gracefully. pense with their services. eur. Then the freedom of the city was extended Prof. and Dr. Vaneyke were anxious Over the mighty Rockies and on to the Paci-to the visitors, and also an invitation given to a to pursue their scientific research. There fie coa.st sailed the air-ship. The Golden Gate fine banquet. seemed no way for both parties to acc
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' FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF 'l'HE AIK 5 Frank, with Barney and Pomp, set out for "That is so!" a greed Frank. "We had bet-from his hands as quickly as he gained it, and the open country, where the kangaroo was cer-ter get back the catamaran as quickly as there was no alternative but a wrestle for su-tain to be found. possible But look!" premacy. The two sci entists plunged into the forest. A sb,arp cry of alarm pealed from the young It W!LS a question now wholly of physical su-Tbus they separated. inventor's lips. periority. The way Barney went at his foe Both were intent upon the furtherance of There was cause for it. was a caution to prize-fighters. their cherished hobby. For the time let us folFrom the jungle, now less than one hundred The Celt was a fine wrestler, but a better low the hunting party. yards away, came the natives. They were boxer. As soon as he could get sufficiently Striking out ove r the pampas, the three swarthy-hued fellows, with powerful limbs, clear of his foe's embrace to use his fists he pro-hunters wandered on for some while. and naked save for a breech clout and a sheep ceeded to illustrate the manly art to the un Game was plenty and of all kinds. skin mantle. tutored savage in royal fashion. QuailR and pheasants were everywhere in 'fhey wore huge rings in their ears and noses, The savage was .. not in it." Barney knock great numbers. Jack rabbits bounded from and ,were as villainous looking a set as the ed him down four times in succession, and the every thicket, and occasionally a panther's mind could picture. last the fellow failed to respond to the call lithe form went gliding away into the grass. 'They were armed with boomerangs, slings, for time. De.er and antelope were seen in the distance darts and javelins. They made the air hidecess to the loikes av yezl" cried the and occasionally a buffalo. But our hunters ous with their yells, and came on like a whirlCelt, wildly. ''If there's any more av your re passed these by carelessly, being rather_ on the wind. lations as wud loike ter thry the same thing, lookout for different g ame. Frank knew well what it meant to come to begorra, I'm open to an engagement!" The kangaroo is a wonderfully shy animal to close quarters with these savages. Their ferocity But Barney heard others coming, and for approach. The least suspicion of the nearness and fiendishness was of the most awful kind. once forgot his threat, and chose the better of. danger will send it bounding. away with To fall into their bands was a terrible fate. part of ,valor, which is discretion, and beat a strides of wonderful sort. Barney and Pomp were also well aware of this hasty retreat. For a time it did not seem as if the party and that it would be better to fight to the Poinp had been having a lively time also. were to be rewarded with any great degree of death. Four of the barbarians had pounced upon him success. But Frank's plan was to retreat to the cat: ae one time. But suddenly Barney gave a sharp cry and amaran. But the plucky darky managed to down two threw his rifle to his shoulder. Once on board the air-ship, of course they of them with the butt of. his rifle and outfooted Crack I . 1 would all be safe and could set the onslaught the other two. The bullet missed its mark and Frank Reade, of their foes at naught. Frank Reade, Jr., had been pursued by a Jr., who was on the lookout saw a magnificent "Steady!" cried Frank, as the natives came dozen of the natives, and was only saved by specimen of the kangaroo bound past him. on. "Now, let them have a volley!" slipping into a dense net of vines, and giving The young inventor raised his rifle and pullCrack! Crack! the foe a very clever slip. ed the trigger. Three bullets sped true to the mark. Then A few moments later the three fugitives all The bullet went true and the kangaroo1 sixty the Winchesters were instantly loaded and came out of the forest and met each other. The yards away, fell in a heap. fired again. foe were for the moment eluded. It was a victory clean and sure r.nd a : yell of 'l'be effect of the volley was in a measure "Thank Heaven, we stand a good show to joy and approval went up from Barney and gratifying. The natives were brqught to a sud-beat them!" crifld Frank, joyfully. "But you Pomp. I den check. look as if you had been in a light, BarneY'." "Begorra, Misther Frank, yez have landed The loss of six of their number in almost as "Begorra, it only took four rounds to put me the game!'' cried Barney. "Sure an' it's a many seconds was to them a surprising and an man to sleep!" cried the Celt. "But, shure, beauty av a baste be is too!" appalling thing. Misther Frank, was it not over yender that we "Golly! Yo' made a fine sho"t dat time, Marse Caution is ever the attribute of. the savage. wor afther leavin' the catamaran, sod" FFank,!" cried Pomp. At once they sank down in the deep grass and Barney pointed to the edge of the forest just Frank was elate d with the success of his disappeared from view. But our below. Frank Reade, Jr., gave one look and marksmanship, and was about to rush to the were not so foolish as to imagine that the foe his face turned ashen pale. sidP of the dead kangaroo, when a yell of pain was repulsed. "My God!" he cried, wildly. "That is the went up from "Look out, Barney and Pomp!" cried Frank, place, but-but where is the Something came down through the air like a warningly; "they mean to surround us if they Horror unspeakable settled down like an cannon ball and <>truck him on the shoulder. can!" awful pall upon the three voyagers. There It brought a yell of pain from the astonished "Golly, Marse Frank!"' cried Pomp, "I done were the anchor ropes and the wires, but the darky. 'J'he object lay upon the ground at his fink we bettah make a break fo' de deeper catamaran was gone. feet. woods!" It was a huge boomerang. "All right, Pomp! You go to the.right and CHAPTER IV. If it had struck the Celt in the head, it would you to the left, Barney, anii I will take the THE WILD HOGS. doubtless have knocked him into insensibility. center." THE appalling effect of the discovery that Frank was astounded. Away they went through the woods in this the Catamaran was gone from its place of an" Whurrool It's kilt I am!'" howled the Celt. fashion. But how near the strategic foe came chorage upou the three adventurers; Frank "Sure, phwat the divil hit me, I'd loike t e r near surrounding them was quickly demon-Reade, Barney and Pomp, cannot be expressed strated. in words. "Heavens!" gasped Frank. "It meanB that Suddenly Barney, who was dodging rapidly For a moment they stood dumfounded, and an enemy is close upon us. Break for cover, from tree to tree through the;torest, felt rathe r gazing blankly at the spot where the air-ship boys!" than saw a dark for]Il in his rear. Then the had been, The move was made none too soon. Several next moment he was enwrapped in a power-There were the anchors and the ropes and more of the boomerangs came hurtling ful e)Dbrace wires. They had evidently been severed. But the air and fell happily by striking stumps of Barney was a stout little Irishman,and though as the gaze of the three adventurers roamed trees about. not heavy, he was a hard and plucky fighter. more closely over the spot they became aware The natives were doubtless s ecreted in a Instantly he began a deadly wrestle with his as-of a thrilling fact. jungle not fifty yards distant. 'rhey did not at sailant. Upon the ground about lay the lifeless bod-once show themselves. This was one of the natives who had manag-ies of a dozen or more of the natives. The three hunters lost no time in getting to ed to make a detour in advance of his fellows. They had evid{ntly died from bullet wounds. cover in the edge of the forest, near which they The fellow tried to brain Barney with a pow-Like a flash a comprehension of all burst upon happened by chance to be. erful club, but the Celt caught it just in time. Frank Rea<\ll, Jr. Barney's shoulder pained him greatly, but "Whurroo! it's a ruction yez want, ye bloody "I have it!" he cried. "It is the work of did not prevent his making use of his rifle. barbarian!" cried Barney, wildly. "All roight; Ferry and Dr. Vaneyke. They no doubt were "Bejabers, av I cud only draw a bead on be me sow!, yezshall have the same. I'll tache pursued here by the savages, and having a wan av the omadhouns, shure I'd moighty ye betther than to cum sthalin up an a gintle-fight with them, were obliged to cut the an-quick return the complim!)ntl" he. cried. man in sich an imperlite manner." chor ropes and get out of danger." "I done fink yo' might hab a chance yet, With which Barney proceeded to wrench the This was the correct explanation beyond a !'ish!" declared Potnp. club from the savage's grasp. But it slipped doubt.

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6 FRANK JR.'S CA'l'AMARAN OF THE AIR. Barney and Pomp saw it in the same moment One of the boomerangs had struck him a ter-more wild hogs would scarcely be found after and signified their belief to be the same. But rifle blow, and for a moment he was complete-the drove had done with him. nowhere in the air could the Catamaran be ly dazed. So the coming of the wild hogs through the seen. Frank and Pomp rushed to his side quickly woods haQ. carried dismay into the ranks of However, the scope of vision here was not and with alarm. the bushmen and had been the means of break-large for the tall trees shut it in closely. But But the Irishman quickly recovered and ing up the battle, all this had passed through the minds of om:: staggered to 'his feet. How many of them had falle.n victims to the ad venturers in much less time than it takes to "Golly! am yo' done hurt, l'ish!" cried the hogs it was difflcult to say, tell it. darky, throwinfl his arms about him, "fo' de Barney and Pomp had comprehended the There was need of immediate and desperate Lor' if you'se done killed, dis chile ueber sleep situation almost as quickly as Frank. A big action. again until he hab revenge fo' yo' death!" wild boar was making 11 lightning-like drive The savages were coming with all haste and "Don't attempt exertion, Barney!" cried for Pomp, when with a yell the darky leaped ferocity to a second attack. The situation was Frank, anxiously. "I fear that you are badly up; caught the limb of a tree, and swung him-most critical. hurt!" self up to a place of safety, "For your lives!" shouted Fr-ank Reade, Jr. "Begorra, an' is that yure opinyun!" cried He was none too soon. "Get to covert" Barney; "thin yez may ondesave yersilves Barney had a torn in the leg of his trou- But there was no need of this admonition. fer I'm as good as two dead min yit, an' niver sers. before gaining a safe perch. Frank Reade, All in the party had scrambled for the first a bit worse. Whurroo! have at the hay Jr., was out of danger. r a'iailable point which afforded protection. And the Celt seized his rifle and began firing The next instant the woods were alive with I j The natives, genuine bushrangers, had made again at the bushmen. the ferocious animals. Like a devastating ', .. f themselves invisible in the midst of the under-The contest now was waxing hot. Boomer-army they p 'assed on. brush which dotted the plain. angs and darts came flying through the bushes They were quickly past. There was little The North .American savage, noted for his in clouds. danger of their return, and our adventurers woodcraft, is in no wise a match for these cun-It was little short of a miracle that our adquickly slipped down out of the trees in which riing bushmen of Australia. venturers were not struck oftener, Had one of they were. Their powers of scent, intuition and divina-the darts struck them it would have been the It looked now as if they had an admirable opare They will see end of the one struck. But fortunately they portunity for escape. plam_ Iy a tra1l where the ordmary hunter would these. They saw it and embraced it. Frank Reade, be blmd. But 1t was already ev1dent that the battle Jr. led the way crying: If the trail cannot be_ seen, they scent it, was drawing to close quarters. The ell;d seem,: Come, boys!' This is our chance! Make foJ no sleuth-hound 1s better at th1s sort of near, and the bushmen would be likely to the plain yonder!" thm17. _ . trmmph. . Frank' s hope was that once out upon the W1th their mcred1ble powers of makmg Frank saw th1s and he experienced a sense plain the air-ship might be seen in the vic' c themselves unheard and invisible, they will of hopelessness and desperation. and come to their relief. Ill! y creep upon a foe, while the latter is making up What was to be done 1 In this hope he was not to be disappointed his mind that they are not within many rods There seemed no but to stand the Suddenly, as they came out into the 0 en. a of him, the result the ground and fight to the b1tter end. Death cry went up from Pomp. p str1ckden down _m a fihasth be F k'" d B "Golly, Marse Frank! Dere am de air-ship o 1me an w1 on any ue warnmg w a egorra, 1s er ran cne arney, min' fo' all it is 0 th .. ever. "shure an' it luks as if the omadhouns have coTh' kl w r t b th t th Th Th f t d b t rt th d th t !" 1s was qmc y seen o e e ru e elr eroCI Y an ru a 1 Y 18 some. mg us one up IS tme Catamaran of the .Air was distant not quite most fnghtful to contemplate. There 1s no "You're r1ght, Barney, agreed the young h If .1 d k' 1 th h . . . a a m1 e an was s 1mmmg a ong roug barbar1ty whteh they w11l not mfl!Ct upon an mvencor, "but we can at least show them how th t th t t f t b th 0 ., e a1r no more an wen y ee a ove e enemy. _. to te. ground. Nobody was better aware of th1s fact than "That we can, sor." a Frank Reade, Jr. "Yo' may bet dat dis chile am gwine fo' to It was coming straight to';ar_d ... He knew that they were in a des{lerate posi-die hard!" averred Pomp. venturers, and soon was w1thm ha1lmg dis-tion. But at the eleventh hour rescue came, and in tance. He was well aware of the fact that the mura very curious manner. Dr. Vaneyke was seen to be in the pilot-derous foe was fast closing in upon them, and Suddenly from the depths of the forest there house, amd almost in that moment he saw the f that only the most valorous of action would came a strange, grunting sound. Down through party of adventurers. save them. the underbrush pore an animal of most peculiar At once Prof. Philosoph us was seen at the He fancied that he could even feel their pres-appearance. rail making gestures, and then the catamaran ence near him already. To remain in one In somerespects it resembled a hog, but it settled down not but a few yards from the place was suicidal. had a heavy mane, immense, long tusks, and party. In a few moments they were on board. The best of tactics was to move about. Keep deep-set, beady eyes of red. It came like a It was a joyful meeting. on the move and never let up fighting is the whirlwind, and I!' rank narrowly avoided being Explanations were quickly made. It seemed only way to hold the bushmen. struck by the animal. that the two scientists had first been attacked Every moment boomerangs or poisonous Then from the forest came wild cries of ter-by the bushmen. darts came hurtling through the foliage. Frank ror and pain. The bushmen were seen to .A hard battle had followed, and the cata believed that the woods was the most secure flying for their lives pr climbing into trees. maran was obliged to ascend. Then they had spot that he could select. In a moment the truth dawned upon Frank gone in quest of the others. So he kept on falling back before the ad-Reade. But there was no need of any fear for the. vancing line of foes. "Heavens!" he cried, wildly, "it is a drove bushmen now, At every available point shots were fired, and of wild hogs. Get up a tree for your lives!" They were able to set them at defiance. sometimes with effect. But there was great This was quickly seen to be the truth. Sailing far above the woods in which they were, danger of being struck by one of the poisonous Through the underbrush came a perfect horde Frank brought an electric borr:.b from the cabin. darts. of wild hogs. The .Australian wild hog is This he dropped down among the trees. The This would mean death, and the adventurers larger and more fierce if anything than the result was a terrific explosion. took care to avoid them. Steadily the three peccary of South .America. Trees and earth were hurled high into the plucky fellows held the bushmen at bay, and In any sense he is a foe to be dreaded. When air. Whether any of the bushmen were killed kept changing base in the forest. these hogs, in droves of several hundreds, take or not it.wa.'l difficult to say. But they were But this sort of a battle could go on fora "drive" through the country, they leave certainly given a great scare, for nothing more ever. nothing living in their path. was seen of them. The three brave men had thus far received no No.animal, not' even the fiercest tiger, is a Far to the northward extended the desolate injury worthy of note. Several of the bu13hmatch for them. The moment that the" drive., Emu Plains. men had been shot. trike a living animal, the keen tusks in a .Across this the air-ship began to make its But now a sharp cry went up from Barney, most incredible space of time literally tear the course. But the thrilling incidents of the day and his companions saw that blood covered his victim into mince-meat. were not over by any means. face, and he fell in a heap. .A man overtaken by a drove of a hundred or In the mean while, however. Barney and

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, FRANK READE, JR.'S CA'l'AMARAN OF 'l'HE AlR. 7 Pomp had a little celebration of their own. So the Celt filled the fla s k with the same The air-ship, with the coming of another day They were both in high spirits. grade of liquor from a chest which he carried. was yet ab<1Ve boundless deserts. Barney had it in for Pomp and had long been But in the liquor he diffused a decoction of jal-During the morning much time was spent in studying up a scheme of revenge for a practical ap and some other sickening articles. making scientific observations. So engrossed joke the latter had worked upon him some "Holy Vargin! but I'll fix the thafe this were'all in this that a ,little mishap which be-while previous time!" he muttered. fell tbe air-"ship was not for a moment noted. As the Catamaran sailed away over the desSo he left the bottle upon a shelf in the cook-Suddenly there came a tremendous s hock. olate plains Pomp appeared on deck with his in g galley, along with some crumbs of pie and Everybody was prostrated. Movable articles I banjo. dry bread. were thrown about, and it seemed as if the He played and sang for some while Vl!'ith great The moment Pomp entered the galley, he Catamaran was going to pieces. gusto and to the amusement of the others. spied the bottle and the remnants of there-But Frank Reade, Jr., was quickly upon his Barney listened with an ironical smile upon his past.. feet and rushed to the rail. face. It was a neat trap, nicely baited. He saw what was the trouble at once. The "Bejabers, it' s out av the othe r side av his "Golly!'' he muttered. "Here am jes' a gooa rotasco pes were flying rapidly as was the pro mouth he'll be afther laughing wan av these one on dat l'ishman. I done learn him bettah peller, but the Catamaran was not moving. days!" he muttered. "Shure, an' it's not so far dan to come in here an' steal mah pie. He hab The anchor had in some way slipped from its off as that aither. Av I don't get square wid IEi f' his bottle here, an' jes' to git squar wif him davit, and the line paying out quickly it had dat coon dis time, then me name is not Barney I'll jes' drink it a ll up!" fallen one hundred feet to the earth below. O'Shea. That's alii" And Pomp proceeded to do this. The con-Dragging but a few feet the kedge h a d tents of the bottle werfftransferred to his stom-caught in some roots and held the Catamaran CHAPTER V. ach in quick time. safely moored. EXCITING INCIDENTS. At first the liquor warmed his stomach, and It was a fortunate thing that the shock had POMP sang to his heart's content and until he f elt much better. But presently he was injured none of the delicate electrical machin-everybody else had their fill. very sorry. ery. He was in the midst of the "Old Kentucky The jalap began to get in its work, and a "Heavens!" exclamed Professor Philosoph us, Home" when Barney stuffed his dudeen in his sicker coon was never seen. pulling himself together, "I thought we had pocket and cried: "Mah goodness!" groaned the darky, "I come in collision with a planet." "Howld up wid yer iverlastin' noise, will wonder if I hab made a mistake and too.k pois"I was sure we had fallen to the earth!" said yez iver!. Shure that's the hundredth toime on. I nevah was so sick afore!" Dr. Vaneyke. ye've sang that tune. Give us a rest!" Pomp collapsed with the powerful nausea, "Golly!" cried Pomp. "I done fought dis Pomp brought his hand across the banjo and actually rolled over upon the floor. At was a gone coon fo' suah. But wherebber i s strings with a crash and glared at Barney. this moment in came Barney. we anyway, Marse Frank 1" "Wha' fo' am dat any bizness ob yo'sf' h e The Celt feigned great excitem ent, and pre"Sure enough!" cried the young inventor. cried, hotly. "Yo' bettah bring out yo' old tending not to notice Pomp made a dive for the" Where are we and what sort of a place is fiddle and jes' pizen d e hull crowd ob us fo' shelf .where the bottle had been. this." sure!'' "Begorra, it's gone!" he cried, with feigned Singularly enough during the morning a thick "Begorra, there' s more music in an Oirish consternation. "Shure, I'll break the head av wall of mist had been advancing to the westjig than any of yer high-falutin' plantation the rascal what sthole it, that I will!" ward. melodies, an' I'll leave it to the crowd!'' The n he turned and saw Pomp. This now came upon the air-ship all in a mo" Yo' don' know no mo' about musick dan a "Tare an' 'ounds! What's the matther wid ment. ole cow!" cried Pomp, in disgust. "Yo' ole yez, naygud" The mist was so thick that it would have fiddle would jes' wake de dead, dat it would!" "I'm dyin', fo' suah!" groaned Pomp. "Send seemed not a difficult job to cut it with a knife. "Bejabers, it's only heavenly music will do fo' a minister! I'se done gwine to pass in mah The explorers could hardly see each other on that!" retorted Barney, with a laugh. chips!" the deck. Irish wit was too much for Pomp. Only the most strenuous of efforts kept "We ll," cried Prof. Ferry, "here is a pretty He made a dive at Barney, but the Celt got Barney from exploding with laughter. The fix. What are we to do?" out of ihe way. darky in spite of his sickness saw this effort "We cannot go ahead," remarked Dr. Van-Barney went into the engine-room and Pomp and a suspicion of the truth flashed upon him. eyke. went into the galley to prepare the evening In a moment he was the maddest darky on "Why?" meal. earth, or rather above the earth. "It is not safe.'' For a long time Pomp had suspected Barney "Golly fo' glory! Darn yo' ole skin, yo' !'ish "Indee d! Will you please explain why it is of carrying about with him a bottle of choice muckerl Yo' done put somefin' in dat bottle not safe?" asked the English savant. whisky. fo' to make me sick." "Simply'for this reason,'' said Frank Reade, But for some reason or other the Celt would Ohol" crowed. Barney. "So yez are the Jr. "It would be difficult to tell whether an never ask the darky to drink. thief what has be e n dhrinkin' all av me whisky obstruction was in our path or not." Pomp was very thirsty these days, and as a lately. Be jabers. an' av it has med ye sick it's "An obstruction in result he bad some days before spent some just upon ye fer havin' so weak a stomach!" "Certainly. Some mountain peaks might tlme in searching Barney's bunk, with the re-Then roaring with laughter Barney made a tower above us, or some tall tree. It is quite suit of finding a flask of choicest stuff. break for the upper deck. fmpossible to keep the ship at the necessary el The darky took a swig and went on deck. If Pomp had been in his accustomed strength evation." He watched Barney do the same. After a at that moment, it would have 'fared hard in"I acknowledge the cause," said Prof. F erry, time he got thirsty again and went in fo11 an-deed with the Irish joker. with a laug h; the compass is no use in this othe r dram. But the darky was too weak and sick to case. Well, we are safely anchored." This one was a copious one. Somehow the pursue his foe. Presently, however, he began "Yes!" darky's lips became glued to the neck of the to retch and vomit, and this relieved the nausea "We need fear nothing right here 1 bottle and he would not let go until nearly all greatly. "Certainly not!" was gone. But it was some hours before he was able to "But I have a longing to put my foot on The Celt was dumfounded to find so much of get about. mother earth again!" said Dr. Vaneyke. "Will the liquor gone. Barney was compelled to spread the supper, it be saf e to descend 1" Shure, that's powerful quare!" he mutter-and Pomp did hot show up until next morning. "Of course!" replied Frank, readily. "Let ed. "On me sowl I never drank the whole av When he came on deck he was quite a sober the air-ship down, Barney. It will be a good thot. Shure, the bottle don't leak!" darky, but internally he was seething with chance for me to examine the dynamos. But I A short while.later, on deck, Barney caught plans of revenge. would advise that nobody leave the air-ship Pomp's breath and dropped to the truth at "If I don' jes' gib dat Irishman a soak in', den while this fog lasts!" once. my name ain! no good!" he muttered. "I'll fix "Which is good advice," said Ferry. "We Barney was mad and inciined to jump on the him fo' suah!" will heed it.'' darky for it. But he restrained his temper And thus for a time the matter rested; but Barney turned the lever on the keyboard and wisely and muttered: Barney was not so fooli s h as to believe that his the air-ship began to descend. "Be jabers, there's a betther way to fix that dark-skinned confrere would soon forget the Soon it rested upon the earth. chap, an' I'll do it.'' joke The anchor cable was taken in and the an-

PAGE 8

8 FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. chor secured. Then the fog began to gently pulse, raised his rifle quick as a flash and looking for such beauty and richness under-lift. fired. ground." Frank was busy with the dynamos. Boom! "What do you call the formation Near by was a thick patch of woods. The two The report was like that of thunder in the "Evidently of the pliocene order, or the w ere desirous ,of exploring them in recesses of the cavern. The effect was thrilling upper tertiary deposit. We should find some the mterest of natural h1story. in the extreme. evidence of saurian life here." They explained t'be situation to Frank who There was a fierce, wild shriek, and the next "Let us test; the stratum. Ah! What sort said : moment Dr. Vaneyke was felled to the ground. of a rock would you call "It. will be all right if you will not get lost." H e felt sharp claws and a hairy body upon Dr. Vaneyke paused before one of the onyx We will take good care," they said. him, and he was making a desperate struggle pillars. The n, armed and equipped, they left the air-for his life. He was examining it closely in the light of ship' Soon they were in the forest. But that leap of the animal was its last. the electric lantern. Suddenly he,gave a sharp Certainly it was an excellent field for the The bullet fired from the doctor's gun had exclamation : naturalist. entered a vital part, and the animal was dead "Upon my word," he cried, "this is very Upon every hand they encountered new even as he struck his intended victim with his singular!" specimens, and rapidly added to their collecbody. In a moment Ferry was by his side. tion. So interested did they become that Dr. Vaneyke .scrambled to his feet in great "What' l" exclaimed Prof. Philosophus. gave. little heed of time or as to where the.1r excitement. "What is the footsteps were leading them. "Hold on, Ferry!" he shouted. "I've killed But the English scientist saw in that mo: Deeper into the forest they wandered. Sud-the beast!" ment what was the cause of his confrere's ex-denly Ferry gave a sh11.rp cry. But the Englishman had already reached his citement. "Look here, Vaneykel" he cried. "Here is side with the intention of helping him to deD_eep _m the hard surface of the pillar was the mouth of a cavern. Wonder where it leads fend himself. an mscr1pt10n . It sev!)rallines of a. "Th k h 1 .. h d "th style approachmg the Rumc. an eaven. e cr1e en you are un . . "A cavern!" cried Vaneyke, a.t once inter-injured, doctod" The two scientists stud1ed 1t a moment m si ested. "Oh tel lence. Then they exchapged glances. yes, qui Th-I t' I" 'd D ,.. k The doctor was an expert and he "vVh t t f 1 't IS IS a reve a 10n. sa1 r. aney e. d I t h a sor o an an1ma IS 1 y -ht was at once intereste n a momen e was "I don't kllQW, We will drag him out to the ou are Tlg . . at Ferry's side. . light." Human certamly cut that 1nscr1pt10n Sure enough, ther? m the Side of the hlil, And this they proceeded to do. In the outer m the rock. deep among the fohage of trees and scrub air the animal was revealed a.s a most strange" And that proves that this cavern was once growth, was the mouth of a cave.. looking creature, half between a lynx and a the abode of human beings." From what could. be seen of 1t there was panther. The minds of both sci!)ntists seemed united good reason to believe that it was a deep one. "What will we call .it, asked the upon this point. It was certainly a,mighty in;But the entrance was completely choked up professor.. teresting revelation. with underbrush and saplings. "Give it up!" replied Dr. Vaneyke, puzzled. They clasped hands in a frenzy of delight. "It is certainly a cavern," said Dr. Vaneyke. "It is a species I have never seen-or heard of." "We hav.e made a mighty discovery!" cried "How can we enter it, "Nor II" Prof. Philosoph us, excitedly. "It will pin our "Enter "It might be well to note this down and naq1es high upon the pinnacle of fame!'' "Yes." record it when. we get home." "We are the discoverers of sure evidence of "Easy enough, if you really want to." This was done. the existence of a prehistoric people in North ::But why we notr. Now that this dangerous occupant of .the Australia." Ugh! There m1ght be a tiger or a panther a d f th t t' t b ",What will the archreological world -th 1 .. cave was 1spose o e wo sc1en 1s s egan m" ere. , to consider the possibility of further explora-The two-scientists were literally boiling over Pshaw! Don t you see 1t s mouth 1s comt' with delight at the prospect before them. In pletely it is very dark in this cavern!" declared that moment forgotten were the catamaran "Sure enough We will explore it if you d th f tt II 1 b t Ferry. "We had better invent some kind of a an e1r compamons-orgo en a e se u ., light, doctor." the engrossing study before them. But how can we ented "R' ht!" d D V k "A d h At .once they began to explore the cavern "I will show you." lg c _ne r. ane! e. n ere 18 chamber. Ferry drew a sharp knife and began to cut Jbusttte the th:nllg, an ehlectotrlCb lanter_n,d s_torathge Abundant evidences were found that the h d b h I f t ._ a ry sma enoug e carr1e 1n e h d 1 b th b d f away t e un er rus. na ewmomen s .. e k t 'th t' f th t d f 1 cavern a certam yonce een e a o eo a had made some progress toward the entrance. 'R ed IOn a wen er u man, prehistoric people. Vaneyke took hold of it .also, and both scien. ea e, f 1 f II There were hieroglyphics upon the walls, tists worked away with a will. "y e IS a ow. heaps of flint arrow-heads and stone axes and In a short while they had a passage cut D are ;re. d th 1 t h' h many other interesting things found. through the undergrowth . After this all was r.. dandey e prod ucfe 1 e at?' ernf, Fw lCk Suddenly, in examining the walls of the _ was m ee a won er u tnven 10n o ran . "Clear R d J ;, chamber, Dr. Vaneyke saw a pecuhar hne ex-They crept into the mouth of the cavern. For ea e, r s. tending seemingly through the stone. He drew a brief ways it was dimly lighted by cracks in The electric lantern gave quite a sufficiency his knife and with the point pricked this the roof. of light, and Dr. Vaneyke led the way into the away. But suddenly Vaneykegave a backward leap cavern. A (U'evice was revealed, and he saw that it and a cry of wildest t error. Passing through a. narrow corridor, they en-was but plaster, and that it surrounded a. flat tered quite a large cavern chamber. Here the stone set in the wall. CHAPTER VI. rays of the small lantern were hardly suffi" Hurrah !" he cried. Come here, Ferry. cient to light up the large area. Here is a discovery." A PREHISTORIC DISCOVERY, But such as was revealed in light was THE cause of Dr. Vaneyke's terror was the grand beyond description. "I hardly know, but I think I sudden appearance of a peril right in their There were pillars of a variety of stone, rebe able to tell you." path. sembling jasper and onyx, and even the price-Then the doctor began to pry away the cement A pair of gleaming fire-balls shone through less emerald. These gleamed clear and bright, with his knife. the darknes s. That they belonged to a tiger probably for the first time in artificial light, as In a few moments he had the crevice around or panther the doctor felt sure. the scientists thought. the stone open, and a few seconds later he At the same moment a hissing soul!l.d filled a few moments' later they were unde-pushed the in. The revelation was a most the air. ceived. surprising one. "Look out, Ferry!" yelled the doctor. "It's "On my word, Ferry!" exclaimed Dr. VanAn aperture :or open space cut in the solid a tiger, I think. eyke, "this really exceeds anything for beauty rock was revealed, and there in a heap of dust But the Englishman needed no adjuration. that I have ever seen." )ay a moldering skeleton. He had started for the mouth of the cave, "You are right, doctor," agreed the English A little further examination showed that the but Dr. Vaneyke, acting upon a curious im-man. "Truly no one would have thought of cavern was really a vast sepulcher or cata.l

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FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF 'l'HE AIR. 9 combs. More than two hundred of the sepul same thoughts ran in the mind of each. In silvery voice but a strange tongue, wholly unin chers cut in the rock were counted. that moment both were anxious for a look at telligible to his listeners. The skeleton was carefully examined:, the underground people. The two scientists shook their heads to mdi It was found to be very ancient and almost Their wish was gratified in a mil-nner which cate that they did not understand. Then they in a complete state of dissolution. The shape did not exactl;V suit them. made signs. of the skull was a trifle abnormal as compared Suddenly a yellow light shone all them, The fellow watched the motions of their with the Caucassian. and turning, the two men beheld an astound-hands eagerly. But it showeq evidence that the owner had ing spectacle. He had all the appearance of an intelligent presumably been possessed Of intelligence and A of men, white as the driven snow, chap, and seemed quick to divine their s t 'gn good gifts. skin, hair and all, without a vestment save a talk. It was not many moments before quite a The other sepulchers were not opened by the breech cloth, were rushing toward them exsyste[\1 of conversation by signs was established. scientists. !)itedly. The others watched the result with eagerness It would have consumed a great deal of time, What was most astonishing about these and interest. and they' were anxious to pass on to other people was the fact that their bodies were lum"Who are "you 'i'; the fellow asked by sign things. inous, and this strange yellow light which em-talk, "and what do you want in this cavern?" Thus far they had'taken no note of the time. anated from them was sufficient to enable them It required some time and effort for Dr. Van They had been for hours absent from the air-to go anywhere in the darkness of th' e cavern. eyke to make comprehensive answer. ship they little realized it. But the Their manner was fierce, and brandishing "You have come from the outer world 1" at thought of a return did not occur to either. primitve weapons they rushed upon the two length the.underground nomad asked. There was too glorious a prospect of scientific scientists.' The doctor nodded in acquiescence. research before them, and they' prOCfleded to Do you make war upon us?" follow it up. No, replied the doctor emphatically, iii The main chamber or crypt had been exam-CHAPTER VIL sign talk. "We are friends. Y,ou need not ined as they suppos ed. But now upon passing THE PEOPLE OF LIGHT. fear us." into a passage beyond they came upon a mighty A MORE astounding spectacle the two scien-The fellow seemed pleased and smiled, arched cavern which extended an unknown tists never beheld. showing his teeth in a peculiar fashion. Yet distance into the center of the earth. The People of Light, for such they might be his manner was not warm or cordial, or by any What was more quite a large stream of wa-fitly called, had rushed toward them with apmeans reassuring to the two scientists. ter flowed through this. Its shores were parently hostile intention. He turned about and conversed for some mo: sandy and shelving, and the two explorers ad"GrelJ.t heavens!" Ferry. "What aments in a strange jargon wit!t his companions. judged it a genuine underground river. predicament! What shall we do, Vaueyke r Prof. Ferry shrugged his shoulders. To what depths it flowed, or what its outlet "I'm sure I d:qn t know," replied the doc"Upon my word, Vaneyke," he said," 1 don' t they had no means of knowing. tor in indecision. "I don't want to shoot." like the outlook. I don't believe we will ever The flash of the electric lantern lit up the "But they evidently mean to do us harm;" be able to make friends with these people: surface of the water in a gloomy fashion. What on earth are Certainly they are You don't 1" "Let us follow the shore for a ways," said flesh and blood." No." Dr. Vaneyke. "I have some curiosity to see A crude or superstitious mind might have "I cannot see why." how far it goes!" been excused for taking the strange people for "But I can. That fellow does not show sin "All right," agreed Ferry. "We surely can-supernatural beings. cerity in any line of his face. But can you ex-not get lost, for we have only to follow the Their bodies were so luminous that a halo of plain wh;l.t gives that luminous appearance to river right back. light was shed about them, which was most the skin?" "That is sol" effulgebt and weird. ,; I think I can," replied Dr. Vaneyke, qmck-So the two scientists set out along the river White as driven snow they were, with forins ly. "Watch the evolutions of yonder fellow.'' bank: pe'rfect in symmetry and graceful in contoilr. One of the strange race seemed to be engaged '!'hey kept on for some while until finally the Certainly they were angelic in all appearance. in rubbing a luminous kind of oil upon hiS body river entered a narrow passage. Here they 'Dr. Vaneyke threw up hands as a sign of from a pouch containing the same, which he came to a halt. friendliness, and made gestures to tl;tat effect carried at .qis belt. It was seen that all the They had been examining the sands for some The strange, underground people had made People of Light carried these pouches. signs of the pliocerie depol;lits, and had been so hostile manifestations in the first place, but "He is annointing himself with that lumin intent in the that they had become obn?w t'Qeir manner curiously ons liquid," declared Ferry, with amazement. livious of surroundings. ,They halted not a doze)1 yards distant and" That Is what gives them the luminous ap Suddenly Ferry gave a sharp cry. als.o up their hands ,This was c::ertainly in pearance;'Vaneyke, as sure as you live.'' "What is the.matter?'' asked Dr. Vaneyke. token of amity, and the two scientists felt "Certainly!" ' "Lookl"' greatly relieved. ., The:y are otherwise but a'> you and I." Ferry pointed to an' impression in ,the soft Dr. dropped the bu,tt of his rifl e to I believe it.'' soi]. It was the exact imprint of a human the ground. '1'But what sort of a preparation can that foot. "Lucky I did not fire," he said. .. :I' hey are be?" "Heavens!" gasped Vaneyke in utter amaze-friendly, professor:: , looks to, me liite a phosphorescent oil, ment ''It is a human foot-print!". "So it seems. What a mighty discovery fo r which it ihay be they 'obtain!somewhere in this "Yes!" 1 us! Our fortunes are Vaneyke, as w 'il cavern.'' "And freshly made!" as our fame." "You are right." '\Yes!" "Wonderful beings, are they npt?" Whether the scientists had hit the truth or The two astounded men gazed at each other "Beyond all description!" no' t they had no means of determining at that for a moment silently: ,. indeed, so engros were the two sava_nts incidents for a moment 'l' he n they1 caref:ully examined thE) foot-print in the wonderful character anq _appearance l,lf claimed again. the. strange people that the,Y d1d not observe The result of the cave-dweller's communion There was no disputing the fact that it had the conduct of one o"t them wbo hl!-d advanced with his fellows was now made manifest. Tvvo been freshly made. It implied mucp to from tl;tE( throng fot some momeiitis. ' of therfi, carrying curious-looking emblems For it proved that some human being !;tad He was a powerful built_ fellow, hands?me and made of pottery in their hands, now approach-passed that way but a short time previous. straight as au arrow. There was a pleasant ed. "What do you make of it, Professor?" asked smile upon his' f ace, and he held up hisbands They advanced with stately tread until with-the doctor. in token of peaceful intentions. in a dozen feet of the two visitors. They then "What do I thin,k of it 1" .1.. When the scientists did see him, Vaneyke made several strange signs, and'kneeling held "Yes." gave a start .and exclaimed: ' the emblems up as if to present them to the "I think that there are other human beings "4truce! It is evident that they want to strangers. in this cavern, and--" parley with us, Ferry." \ But Dr. Vaneyke and Ferry stood motion" What?" "Let us hear what he hal> to sa:!:,''said Prof. less. They did not.comprehend the move and ";It. may mean that some of the prehistoric Philos9phus, adjusting his eye-gllisses were at a loss what to do. race yet live here!" The truce-bearer halted a few yards distant ThE!" result was startling. The two scientists were much excited. The and made a low bow. Then he spoke in a In an 'instant the two priests, if such they

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10 FRANK READE JR. s cATAMARAN oF 'l'RE d.IR. were, were upon their feet, angrily flourishing the two priests just ahead, going through gers closed over a rope. He did notkn,ow what the emblems and uttering a harsh chant. The sortie outlandish rires, as a greeting to the it was part of, but instinctively clung to it. entire body of cave-d welleJ,"S .rushed forward. vast crowd of cave-dwellers beyond. It was really a part of tlie rigging of the after The scientists saw in a moment that some"Ferry," Dr. Vaneyke suddenly whispered, rotascope--shaft which had become detached, thing was wrong, "be ready! I have a plan for escape." and as he clung to it, he was some twelve feet It was not unlikely that their failure to com from the bottom of the air-ship, swinging in ply with the ceremony, throngh their ignorance CHAPTER VIII. mid-air. of its meaning, was likely to cost them their POl\1P's WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. He was in imminent peril of being dashed to lives. FRANK READE, JR., had been loath to seethe the ground and killed at any moment, but wit.h "Great heavens !" gaspe' d the doctor," what two scientists leave the catamaran upon their the conviction o{a desperate man he hung to shall we do, Philosophus1" .expedition. the rope. "'fhey mean to kill us. We must defend our He knew of the' perils of the wild region, The catamaran was wholly in the grasp lives!" and the possibilities of some catastrophe over-of the cyclone. Through the air it was hurled With which the profes!lor in his excitement taking them. like a top. raised his rifle and fired. One of the cave"I am afraid they will go astray in this fog!" How far it was thus swept it was not easy to j dwellers dropped. Another fell before Dr. he declared. "Upon my word, I am sorry they say, but Pomp suddenly became aware of im Vaneyke's rifle. have gone!" awful conviction. This was a declaration of war and a des per"On my wo'd; sah," said Pomp, "I done fink The rope to which he was clinging was part: ate fight followed. it am de foolish test fing I eber heern tell ob. ing, and he was sure to be precipitated to the It did not. seem to be the intent of the caveI 'specs I knows better dan dat mahse'f." earth. dwellers to kill their adversaries. Indeed: "Begorra, if anythin' happens to thim, just The darky felt that this must be certain did not use their weapons at all, but closmg !n let take the consiquinces!" declared Bar-death, aild with a fearful cry of anguish he en upon them, Dr. Vaneyke and Ferry were pr1s-ney, VIgorously. deavored to get a better hold. But his efforts oners in a jiffy. "We cannot do that!" said Frank, reprov-were in vain. lost!" cried ingly. "It is our duty to lo_ok them." There was a sudden snap, the rope parted despamngly; this 1s the end of us, Ferry 1 But Barney and Pomp retired mto one corner and he went through space. But as good "Have courage l We may escape!" of the catamaran and mutually berated the fol-fortune had it the darky had not far to fall. "I see way. They will never let ly.?f the two ,; The catama:an was not more than fifty feet. us off allve now l Dem fellers am Jes got no sense tall, de-in the air at the moment. A lake was just The scientists now regretted that they had clared Pomp, Dey don' know below, and into its waters Pomp was precipi-not submitted to. in the first place. 'nuff fo' to cum in when it rains." tated. The would now be sure to avenge '.' Bejabers, it:s a yez Down into the foaming waters went the ter the death of their comrades. sa1d Barney, w1th a mischievous twmkle m h1s d d k I t' t' 1 h d k h b t t k th . ntie a.r y. ns me 1ve y e rna e a stro -e There was no way, owever, u o ma e e eyes. "A v th1m mm only had yure brams kl t h f be t f t d th' th t -t' t d d h th 'd h' , and came qmc y o t e sur ace. s o 1 an IS e wo sCien IS s procee e now, s ure ey mver want anyt m more. I 'th th t t f ff t th t p to do. Barney's sarcasm was not relished a bit by t was WI e grea es 0 e or s a omp The cave-dwellers overpowered them and the darky. was en!l-bled to kee? up, the waters of the lake took from them their weapons. The rifles, the "Huh! Don' yo' talk nuffin' 'bout it, !'ish !" were lashed so tfe:rlblby by the clone. h But a storm o Its c aracter IS never long of use of wh1c)l was to t em an emgma, were helgrunted . "Yo' amn't smaht nuff fo' to spell d d h d b t b d thrown into the river. yo' name backwards. I jes' larned to do dat de uratwn, an. t. e wm egan su SI e Then, amid much excitement, tlie t'"wo pris-bery fus' ting an' 'fore eber I learned to spell it almost as quiC Y as It came. oners were led away, deeper into the cavern. frontwards, sah!" The darkness. away, the was calm, Along the bank of the underground river "Begorra, I'll bet yez a pointavl whisky that the sun v;as shmmg the churmng waters they were led for what seemed mile_s. Then a yez can't sphell it aither way," cried Barney. had subsided almost mto a calm. f great blaze of light was seen ahead. But before the two roysterers could get deepthe face of the country presented a pe As this drew nearer, the walls of a. mighty er into the argument, a startling thing occur-cuhar spectacle. The of the tO!'nado cavern chamber were reve' a.led all ablaze with red were fearful beyond descr1ptwn. the same strange luminous oil,with which the A. whiff of came suddenly down upon Pomp saw that he was fully a half mile from cave-dwellers were anointed. the catamaran's deck, a moaning sound fiiled shore. ._ It was a scene beautiful beyond description. the air, and as if by magic the fog lifted. He was quite exhausted and did not feel To one coming from the upper world the transi-Then a thrilling sight was revealed-. Far equaL to the exertion. However, his gaze lit tion would seem like a. heavenly one, with a out over the face of the country trees were seen upon what seemed to him to be a black round palace and people of sacred light. to be uprooted, water was swept into mid-ail:, topped rock protruding above the surface of The two scientists were spellbound. How while piles of debris and" a great yellow cloud the lake not many yards away. ever, their first surmises pr!)ved .:orrect as to seemed swooping down upon the catamaran. To the exhausted darky it presented an op the luminous oil, for they passed a huge bub-Frank saw the truth at once that a. portunity for rest, and' he at once swam over to bling spring of it, which issued from the earth mighty tornado was swooping down upon them, it. and flowed into the ;river. This gave to the and a wild cry of terror escaped him. Its surface was smoothly polished and ,slip stream, for a great .distance below, the appear"Barney! Pomp!" he shouted. "To the cab pery and it was with difficulty that he crawled ance of a river of fire. in for your lives!" .. out upon it. It was not likely, however, that this', would "Begorra, it's lost we air!" cried. Barney, Several times he fancied that it move
PAGE 11

FRANK READE JR.'S CA'fAMARAN OF THE AIR. 11 "Golly! What am de mattah 1" he muttered. Both were pale yet from the effects of theirllhardly be seen from the decks of the cata "Is it a airthquake, or what am it 1" e xperience. Certainly theirs had been a nar-maran, it wasdecided to descend. But an explanation was at that moment ac-row escape. It was done, and the air-ship was securely corded the darky. "Great heavens! how that blast did toss us anchored. Then the two adventurers began ')ut of the water there obtruded a huge head. about!" cried Frank. their search. '-' Then Pomp saw that what he had regarded Bejabers, I niver knew whether _I was on But it proved, as ever, a fruitless one. After as a rock was really a monster specimen of a me head or me feet from first to last!" declared hours of patient, toil, they emerged from the turtle. Barney. forest. 'fbe astonishment of the. darky can well be I can say the same," said Frank, sincerely; "It's of no use," said Frank. "Well have to imagined. "but 'here is Pomp 1" give it up, Barney." His first startled impulse was to leap into For the first time they had thought of the "Shure, sor, an' I believe ye're roight," the water, but second thouglitshowed him the darky. agreed the Celt, reluctantly. "Well, may the folly of this. He was not in sight. Lord rest his sowll He had a black skin, but So long as the turtle remaine.d upon the sur"Pomp!" cried Frank, loudly; "where are shure his heart was white!" face, safest spot was upon his back. So you 1 Answer I" so the quest was abandoned. Pomp 'was the darky, with keen presence of mind, contin-The call must have gone from one end of the given up, and now the two adventurers were ued to cling to his hold. catamaran to the other. But no answer came beginning to turn their thoughts to other mat-The turtle seemed fully as much alarmed as back. ters. the darky. Barney and_Frank exchanged glances. They could certainly pursue their search for It had struck a bee-line for the shore and "Quick!" cried the yollng inventor. "Look the two scientists. They were no doubt alive, was making rapid speed, Pomp saw a hard everywhere! See if he is on board!" and perhaps at the spot where the catamaran problem easily solved. "All roight, sor!" formerly been, waiting for its return. "Massy sakes!" he muttered, dis am done Barney was not slow to obey. Frank was not quite sure that he could find gwine fo' to sabe me a good swim, dat am He went quickly from one end of the cata-his way back to the spot. While reflecting suah. I jes' stick to dis ole chap's back, and maran to the other. But not a trac!l of Pomp upon the matter his attention was suddenly when I gits ashore, I jes' drops off!" could be found. claimed by matters closer at band, With this conclusion, the darky's spirits "Och hone!" cried Barney, in tones of dis-There was a wild yell from Barney and a rifle arose. Indeed, so jubilant was he that he be-tress. "Phwa.tiver has become of the naygur 1 shot. gan to dance a double-shuffle on the turtle's Shure an' I believe that he has tumbled over-Then Frank saw the Celt come flying down back. board." an incline in a state of wildest terror. This only served to accelerate the speed of ''My God!" gasped Frank, then he may be "Tare an' 'oundsl" he yelled Luk out fer the monster. dead!" yersilf, Mi3ther Frank!" "Dat am de way!" screamed Pomp. "Jes' yo' Both were appalled with this idea. How"What is the matter 1" thundered the young go right along, ole turklel Take dis chile right ever, there _was no way but to turn back and irlventor. "What on earth ails you 1" to de shore cl'ar to rights." look for the missing man. "Bejabers, luk fer yersilf!" Nearer the shore they drew. The turtle eviAccordingly the catamaran was allowed to And the excited Celt pointed up the hillside. dently fancied it his only way to get rid of his descend to a lower stratum of atmosphere. The Frank felt a thrill of alarm. load, and at once rushed out of the water upon storm had now passed. Down the slope came a huge serpent of the the sandy shore. But Barney in looking over the rail saw the water species. It was gliding along slowly Pomp's was but as a feather upon the rope dangling below, and a cry escaped ami sinuously, with its huge head uplifted. 'strong back of the turtle. But as soon as the his lips. It was certainly a munster, being fully eighshore was reached, the darky leaped down and The rope was quickly drawn up, and upon teen or twenty feet long. Whether it was of a cut for cover. examination the conclusion was reached that poiso!lous variety or not Frank did not know He plunged into the forest and did not stop its breaking had let Pomp fall to the earth. It!'! size warranted the exercising of due canuntil he had run fully a mile. Then he came The truth was easily guessed. tion, and the young inventor drew back the into a path. Nothing remained now but to find the darky's hammer of his rifle. ":Golly!" he muttered, 1 wondah wherebber body, if, as was believed, he had death in "Egad!" he exclaimed, "he is as big as a boa dis leads to!" the fall. constrictor!" His curiosity led him on, and suddenly reachthe catamaran was sent o n the backward "Don't yez let hfm get neartlr, Mister Frank," ing the summit of a small and rocky hill, he course. Barney. If yez do, he'll surely charm beheld a thrilling sight. u It happened that the air-ship had been driven ye z. 1 Below him, upon a sort of table land, he saw: in an opposite course, so that in the return the The young inventor placed no credence in a walled city, built of a peculiar kind of sand-region traversed by Pomp was not covered this declaration. H e experienced a, strange de stone, with streets and squares, roof& and minelse the darky might have seem the patama.sire to see what the reptile would do and so re-are_ts, of a rude fashion. r{Ln. frained' f ,rom shgoting. A strange-looking people were visible even at The air-ship was kept but a short distance The monster was gliding along slowly and that distance upon the walls of the city. For above the earth, and careful scrutiny was made in a;n inquiring way. a moment the darky was dumfounded. by Frank Barney prjlsided a.t the wheel. It did not to be cognizant of the pres-He could hardly believe his eyesight. In this manner the ground was thoroughly ence of its foes. Slowly its coils slid down the Here, deep in the heart of Auscovered. hillside.,. , tralia, was a walled city, inhabitants appar-But no trace of Pomp found. Frank It was a strangely beautiful reptile, being ently or at ],east versed in many began to grpw discouraged. marked in a peculiar fashion with prism-shap arts. An undreamed of, an almost absolutely "I am afraid we will never be able to find ed patterns of various colors unheard of wonder this surely was. him!" he muttered. "It is probable that his Tru)y it was beautiful to the eye, despite the body has fallen in some out;-of-the-way place, instinctive sense.'of aversion felt for a snake. CHAPTER IX. and it is looking for a needle in a hays task to Nearer reptile
PAGE 12

12 FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. A strange, ecstatic thrill of pleasure swept told their story to Frank, who listened wonSpellbound, the party gazed for a time upon over him. He was entranced-bewitched, and deringly. this won,lerful exhibition of na:ture!s wonders. as powerless to move as if dead. Nothing more beautiful had any of them 'ever Then a deadly nausea seized him-a frightful, . . seen. sense of death. We left the scientists m the phosphoresTh\) two scientists were particularly inter1 Nearer the reptile drew, with its glistening cent while the were enested, and began at once to make an examinaorbs fixed upon its intended victim. m some sort of fantastic nte. tion of the place. And in that moment Barney saw the t'iuth any doubt but "The water is a mineral!" declared Ferr-y, as and cried wildly: that _their fate was sealed, unless they could he tasted it; "probably it has medicinal quali" Misther Frank, phwat are yez Oh, contnve_ to escape. ties. If this spring now was only in an accesmurtha! The snake has charmed him!" The Sight of the the sandy sible region we should add to our fortunes by Qui<;k as a flash the Celt's rifle went to his shore at once suggested a 'darmg plan to Dr. opening it to the\mblic!" shoulder. Vaneyke. "Unfortunately it is not," said Dr. Vaneyke, There was a sharp report anil the great sin-They were now guarded by only three of their" but as the Pyramid Springs it is certainly not uous body went whirling down the hill minus a captors. They had not been_ b?und, conse-the least of the wonder s of this region." head. quently had the free use of the1r limbs. "Right!" cried Frank, "and judging from But Frank was saved. The spell was broken. were men, but plucky and deter the number of well-beaten paths leading down He sank down overcome. mmed. In a whisper Vaneyke gave the cue to to it, I should say that the water is appreciated "Greaj; God, Barney!" he exclaimed; "but by wild beasts if not by men." for you I should be dead now( Qmck as a flash yaneyke struck down There was no dfsputing this fact. "Och hone, Misther Frank, an' I know that guard nearest to him. Ferry had felled hiS The paths about the Pyramid Spr_ings were well enough!" cried 'the Celt. "Shure, come . t well beaten, and showed that tile place was with me down to the river near here and get The third guard broke and ran, While he frequently visited. some wather." two scientists for the coracles. Into Indeed, even as they stood there, Barney It was not far to a swift-rushing river, and one of they sprang. gave an exclamation: as they reached the banks, both were astonishUp with the and away they went at "Whisht, now! Pwhativer koind av animals ed to see that it ran out of a mighty in full speed. In a Jiffy they were one hundred do yez call thim, I'd loike to the mountain side. yardsaway. The party were astonished to see a perfect "Bejabers' it's an underground river!" cried After them ca'me a storm of missiles. By/drove of peculiar-looking animals emerge from Barney. . some of these_ they were and. the boat was the undergrowth and advance to the water's Then both stood still, peLrified with a thrill-threatened With overturnmg. l edge. ing sight. Out from the cavern, borne upon the But they managed to get safely ?ut of They seemed utterly oblivious of the presence swift current, there suddenly swept a light, and down the mad current of the nver whither of the human beings near them. In appear dancing coracle they knew not they _went. . ance they were of the of a young pig, but And in were two men. It required but a m puxsmt. of the shape and color of a mouse minus its glance for Frank and Barney to recognize them But the two sment1sts had gamed a great tail. as the two scientists, Prof. Philosoph us Ferry start, and they never relaxed exertion unLil The explorers had seen many-curious animals and Dr.Vaneyke. they came out of the cave as we have seen. since coming into the wilds, but scarcely any All this was rehearsed to Frank and Barney, more curious than these. who l'iswned with deepest interest. "Pwhat the divil are. asked Barney, CHAPTER X. The account of the cave-dwellers seemed like curiously. v: a genuine .Arabian Nights tale. That it was "I can tell you what they are,'? said Ferry, true, however, there was no dispute. quickly," and we will be lucky, indeed, if we THE astoun4ing .appearance of Ferry !Lnd Dr. When the doctor and the professor learned tlo not have trouble with them before we get Vaneyke in the coracle for It moment almost that Pomp was missing they'' were solicitous through.'' THE PYRAMID SPRINGS, paralyzed Barney and Frank. indeed. "Ah!" exclaimed Frank, in surprise. Indeed, so great an effect did it have upon '1 He Ihust be found!" cried Dr. "Veneyke. "They are an animal of the pig species, in the young inventor that he almost instantly "He is too good a man to Jose. I don't believe many respects like the peccary, and known as recovered from tl:ie stupor induced by the ser-that Pomp Is dead!" the Australian wombat." pent's l;lasilisk eyes. ' "No stone shall be left unturnedl" cried "I have heard of them!" cried Frank; "they "Whurroo!" yelled Barney, the first to re-Frank, grimly. are a dangerous animal to play with." c'over himself. Av it ain't the two purfes"Good!" cried ':vaneyke. "Let lis Jose no "You ar'e right, Mr. Reade. As long as we sorsl" ' time. But be 'ar in mind one tliing!" don't come irr their way, however, I hardly "Vaneyke and Ferry!" Frank; .. but think that they will trouble u s." how on earth did t _hey get here, and 'where did "The wonders of this region are not half "We will take care to k;eep out of their path they come 1 told It is all beyond' human fancy!" then." Certainly this was a matter. which need' ed "I 'believe you!" agreed Frank; "but first let "It is well!" explanation. But this was. speedily forthcom-us establish' Pomp's fate, then we w-ill turn to The wombats drank at the spring, appearing ing. ' I .... 1 other matters." 1 -i ,vholly oblivious of the of the white A touch of the _paddles sent the coracle to "Right-go ahead!" nien. shore and the two men Barney had allowed the catamaran to de-Then grunt.ing like a colony of pigs, they But the of each was excited and they scend now in a different part of the forest. vanished once more into the depths of the cried: : Just to the northwest was a range of hills. forest. "Frank, Barne_f, for your Jives get away Here a search was made of the undergrowth, Prof. Ferry drew a breath of r elief. from this sptit!" and during'the quest a thrilling discovery was "I am glad they are gone!" he said. "It "Vaneyke," gasped Frank," what do you made. would have been by no means pleasant to have A path was found by Barney, and he followbeen driven to a top and there held a pris" They are after us." cd it for so 'me ways. oner for hours. I never would care to trouble Suddenly it emerged into a wide clearing in the wonibats!" "The cave-dwellers. Where is the catania-the forest. "Which is very good advice," sa'id Frank. ran, Franlt And in the center of this clearing there was "Ah, what comes "Right at hand." revealed a wonderful spectacle. The unqergrowth parted and out into the "Good! Let us go to it at once and get out A wide pool of clear water Jay in a rock-clearing there strode a magnificent specimen of here. Then I will explain all.:' fringed basin. of the emu. Frank was not loath to do this. In the center of the basin were three huge The bird, which is allied to the ostrich of The cave-dwellers did not appear, but the spouting columns cf water shaped like pyra.Africa, is quite common in the wildest part of party reached the catamaran. mids. .Australia . Its plumage is well known for its Springing aboard, Barney pressed the lever They rose to the height of full ten feet, and beauty. and sent it aloft. were beautiful in their symmetry and their One moment the emu stood in a half-frightThen the. two scientists sank into seats and evanescent colors. ened way gazing at the white men.

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t FRANK READE, JR.'S CA'l_1AMARA.N OF 'fHE AIR 13 Then its graceful neck was arched, its throat arts and have a walled city, which they can "Shure an' we be as glad as yez!" cried expanded, and with a shrill cry of terror it ably defend. Barney, who could not let his beloved partner vanished again into the fo:.:esf;. "Ward has fled to them and incited them go; "but the divil have yez bin all this "By Jove!" exc,laimed Frank. "If I wanted against us, they having been friendly. The whoile1" to go on a huating tr{p; I should do no more villain's motive is purely that of jealousy, he "Give him a chance for his breath, Barney!" than to come here and sit do .wn. All the game having fallen in love with Harriet McLain, and laughed Frank, "and then he will very likely would come to rue.'' having been by her swore revenge. be able tq tell U3." cried Dr. Vaneyke. "In the blackness of his heart Ward no doubt Pomp was allowed a breathing spell an' d then "Shure an' I wud have taken a shot at that means to 'Capture and kill all but Harriet, told his story. burred av yez hadn't 'ave skeered it away so whorq it is his purpose to force into a marriage His account of his ride on the monster quick!" cried Barney, disappointedly. with him. turtle's hack waslmost graphic and interesting. But Frank had turned, and was making a "To the young girl death is far preferable. But when he told of the -walled city he had circuit of the clearing. Suddenly he paused The Belots, incited by Ward, even now sur caught a glimpse of, then all were deeply in-with a sharp cry, round us, and we are threatened a hard Directly in his path there was a flat slab of battle for life. We are thirty strong, native "What was your impression of the city1" sandstone. And upon it there were characters guards and all. I can even now hear the Be lots asked Frank, briefly. engraved. shouting. 'fhey are coming to the attack. Now "GollJ:, MarsE! Frank, it am a big place. I What was more, these characters were in for the struggle. God be with us. done fink de people what live dar am gwine to .English, and constit,uted quite a number of "Inscribed by VERNON BEALS," gib us a good tussle." sentences, the purport of which was almost Every word of this thrilling account, en"What are the houses made oH" thrilling, and in fact afforded a tremendous graved upon the.slab of sandstone, was read by "Dey am made ob stone, Marse Frank, an' revelation. the explorers. dey is jes' about twelve feet high in de fus' story. For a moment an impressive silence reigned. It am quite a fine place, sahl" CHAPTER XI. Then Prof. Ferry was the first to break the si"I am anxious to get a look at it," said THE WALLED.CITY. lence. Frank. "I think I will take a walk over that THE amazement of Frank Reade, Jr., at his "That is a most graphic account," he deway." discovery cannot be expressed in words. For clared. "I would give much to know if Cap-"That is a good idea, Frank," said Ferry . a moment he was dumfounded. tain McLain's party survived:' '' You_ can better judge what sort of a place it Then hP. managed to exclaim: "So McLain is dead!" cried Dr. Vaneyke. is by looking at it." "Upon my word! What on earth ia l!oll .. Well, he was a brave man." I believe you are right!" Ferry and Vaneyke were by his side in a mo "We must be able .to find some further eviAccordingly the young explorer turned t<;> ment. dence of the result about here," said l!'rank, and said: "Heiroglyphicsl" cried the professor, ex-with interest. "Barney, you had better return at once to citedly. ''Evidence of the existence of an an"Let us search the vicinity." the catamaran. There is some danger or the cient race in this locality.'' This was done. Belots finding it, and it is hardly safe to leave But Frank reto.rted: But the only furthet evidence found was the it unguarded."' "Put on your glasses, professor. You can't skeleton of a native lying in the bush, and the "All roight, sor," said Barney. see straight. Those are not heiroglyphics, but fragments of a broken gun. "Now, Pomp," continued Frank, you may just as good English .as you and I know!" That 'there had been a battle in the vicinity show us'the way to the walled city.'' "English!" gasped the professor. seemed almost a dead certainty. But which .This arrangement was at once carried out. "Yes!" side had won victory wa!l not as yet fully estab-Barney started upon the back trail of the cat" You don't mean it!'' lished. amaran. "See for yourself. Here, I will turn the Fin(l.lJy it was decided to abandon the quest. Pomp led 'the way through the under-stone over, and we will see what it says!" Dr. Vaneyke suggested that a search be made brush to the eminence near. From the top of With Barney's help, Frank turned the stone for the walled city of the Belots. this it was that he had obtained so good 11. view o>er in such a way that they could the more "Do yo u know what my opinion he ask-of the walled city. readily read it. ed Frank. In a few moments the party had reached the What they read was to them a roost astound"No." summit. ing revelation. "I believe that the Belots captured the party, The view which was accorded them was a Every lette r was cut deep in the sandstone, and that they may even now be held prisoners wonderfnl one. and with precision Thus it read: in their city." What J)uzzled FS:ank the most was, howeveD, "ANNO DoMINI, March 12, 18-. Frank shivered as he said: how it happe'lle d that they had not before this "God grant this may someday meetthegaze "My God! think of the fate of l!arriet Me descried the walled city the deck of the of civilized beings, and the fate of who Lain." catamaran w:hile sailing in the air; rest beneath this stone may be published to the 1 That is it,' said Ferry. "It is our duty to But here it was certainly, and plainly revealworld. look for them. In fact, it is one of the pured to them. Surely it was a beautiful city. "Her.e lie the bones of Captain David Me poses of this expedition to learn the fate of Me'The yellow stone of which it was bunt conLain, native of Shropshire, England, foully Lain's patty." trasted ,beautifully with the green foliage of murdered by one of his own party, a fiend by "Which we will certainly do," said Frank. the forest about. For some time the party nature, and whose name is Alfred Ward. "Let us go forward at once." gaze d upon the scene, spellbound. "At Melbourne Ward joined Captain MeThis would have been the certain I!!ove of Then Frank said: Lain's exploring party: in good faith, but from the party but for an incident. Suddenly a "Truly, here is a discovery of which we may the first he has proved a disturbing spirit. The loud shout went up. well boast. A new and strange people, of party when i t left Me!Oourne consisted of : All turned, in surprise and alarm. whom the world has known nothing hereto" Captain David. McLain, But this was quickly ehanjZed to delight. fore. They seem possessed of a good knowl" Harriet McLain, his Down an eminence there came flying a familiar edge of the arts and sciences. It is a pity that Mrs. McLain, his wif e form. we shall find them ''Vernon Beals, of Sussex, England, A yell which would have done credit to an "Look yonder!" cried Dr. Vaneyke. Do you "Alfre d Ward, of Melbourne. Apache 'brave welled from Barney's thr.9at. see that long "And a bod y-guard of fifty f:j.ithful natives, "It' s the naygur!" h e cried. "Yes." all well versed in the art of busl;l life. It was, indeed, Pomp. The darky c[\me t.earthat is where the p.risoners are "We have penetrated far into the wilds of ing down the slope, delirious with joy at havkept." Northern Australia, have made many valuable ing met the party once more. "Indeed!" s aid Fr,ank. "It looks very much d iscoveries. gaine d many points and are on our "Whurroo!" cried Barney. "Come to m e like a prison. Possibly within those walls are way home to Melbourne. arruros, yez imp av darkne!>s. Shure, it's wilMrs. McLain, Harriet and Beals, if they are "Our trip might be voted a succe ss; b'llt for come yez are intoire ly. alive." t he insane of Ward. In this n eighbor"Golly!" exploded Pomp, "but l'se done With sensations hard to describe, the party ho od t h ere is a race of strange peopl e, who glad fo' to fin' yo' people once mo'. I done gazed upon the peculiar long building, which paint their skins with a r e d pigment, and who made up mah mind dat I wud neber see yo' seemed to be a prison. are known as B e lots. They are well up in rude agin."

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r FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. CHAPTER XII. of them were to be seen. Barney came rushing "A'right, Marse Frankl" replied the darky. 1 A DISASTER, up. "I do jes' as yo' say!" t idea that this might tlie prison in :: Och hone, :rvt;isther Frank;: he cried. The Be lots stood for a moment inactive upwhich the survivors of Captain McLain's party Well, what lS the matted asked the young on the hill. Then witjl sudden impulse they were imprisoned seemed logical, and gave the sharply. charged down it, yelling and brandishing their watchers a queer thrill. Shure, sor, there's the divil to pay. The weapons futiously. What if they are in the place at this mo-catamaran, sor'--" Frank knew that it was useless to procrassaid Ferry. tinate further. "We must plan a rescue!" declared Frank Barney had been obliged to pause breath. The time for action had come and his voice Reade, Jr. "Shure, it's smashed all to smithereens, sor. went up in clarion notes; "How shall we work it r A big mountain has fell over upon it and it's "Stand firm! Give them a. volley boys 1 "There seems to be no other way but to atruined, sor." Shoot every one of them!" tack the place and bring the Belots into a state Frank 9 heart sank. The crash of the firearms smote upon the of subjection." It was a serious predicament. If harm had air. But it was evident that the Belots were "That may not be easy!" come to the catamarap. they were in a hard fix accustome d 'to this. "I do not se.e why I We have electric mis truly. For on they came, faster and-more deter-sHes which ought to destroy the whole place if He did not wait to catechise Barney further mined. Straight on, though their numbers we see fit. I will bring them to terms!" said but went on at full speed. The others followed were dropping. Frank, confidently. A moments later the catamaran came Their numbers seemed More swarm When the young inventor said a thing he VIew. The scene was truly a most appall-ed over the' ridge. meant it, as the others knew. So no demur mg one. Ordinarily Frank would have let the cata\;j was made. The air-ship had been left' in a position just maran up into the air. But this it was impos'11 It was proposed to at once return to the cata-under a tall pillar of rock. No doubt the shock sible to do now. maran and move without delay to an attack of the earthquake had caused this to topple There was no way but to make a stand and upon the city. over. fight it out. The devoted li'ttle band retreatso they started, Frank leading the way. Tons of rock lay across the bow of the cata-ed to the cabin of the catamaran. They pushed on with all haste, until Pomp maran. It was as helple:>sly wedged in as if a Here they kept up a fire through the win. suddenly halted. part of the rock itself. dows and the numbers of their foes melted. The negr9 stooped and placed his ear to the Barney had been on board at the time and But yet they came on. ground, the crash had given him a fearful shock. Frank went forward on to the electric gun. "What is the matter, PompT' asked Dr. The Celt had fancied that his last hour.bad He forced a projectile in tbe.breech and turned Vaneyke, sharply. come, and ran shrieking from the air-ship. the muzzle upon the Belots. "Hum! jes' you wait one moment," said the His hasty examination had caused him to be" I dislike to take so many lives," he said darky. "I done hear somefl.ng. If I am not lieve that the catamaran was hopelessly crush-grimly, "but it is all for self-preservation." mistook, it am somefin like a earthquake. Fo' ed. Then he drew back and pressed the electric de good Lor'--" That this was not the case however Frank button. There was a flash and a zigzag light-The darky did not finish the sentence. There now quickly determined by 'a brief ning flame. was a sudden indescribable shock, a peculiar tion .. It was seen that the cat4maran was simTl'len there wa.s a crash and the air was full movement of the ground, and an awful, thun ply wedged in, but not crushed. of debris of flying forms. A mound of earth derous bellow, That it could be extricated possible but was raised, and before such fearful fire the Be-It was all over in a moment. only by blowing the rocks to pieces or otherlots in the wildest confusion. But tqe damage done was indescribable and wise removing them. "It 1s a plucky army that will face the elec ?eyond estimate. Great fissures were opened To do this would also mean possible harm to gun!" sail! with a grim smile. "It m the earth, rocks were split asunder, trees the catamaran. Altogether, it was a tough lS sure to conquer. leveled, and for a moment it seemed as if the problem. Terror profound !'eemed to have seized whole universe was going to pieces. But Frank Reade, Jr., was not the one to be the Be.lots They retreated in the wildest of The party were all prostrated, and for a mo easily batl;led. confusiOn. ment stunned. He would have at once began work upon the The pa.rty on board the catamaran were con-There was no doubt but that it was an earthenterp!"ise had it not been for a new and unex-gratulatmg themselves, when Frank Reade, quake of the.good old-fashibned kind. Every-pected incident. Jr., cned: thing was shook up generally. 4 Suddenly Barney threw up his arms "and Barney and Pomp. I want your as Pomp was the to scramble to his feet. pitched forward on his face. Upon the grmind Slstance. The darky was greatly excited. beside him lay a boomerang. "Yis, sor," replied Barney. "Golly, fo' glory!" he gasped. "What am The Celt was quickly upon his feet, howe. ver, ','A' sab," returned "Wha' am all dat t Am yo' burted, Marse for the bloiY had not inJured him badly, simply yo gwme to Marse Frank 1 "Not a bit," replied the young inventor, as he giving him a bruise upol!the shoulder. .young mvent?r gazed keenly the two scrambled' to his feet. "Upon my word, that "Thunder an' guns!" he roared. "Where a moment, and. then_ said: was quite. a shake, though; wasn't it r the d ,iv.H did that iver come Shure I'm I am go.mg to take_ the electr1c gun up on "I should say so!" gasped Vaneyke. "It was nigh kilt." blow1 .. the Belots' city enough to throw over a mountain." But the question wa,s easily, !J.D.swered. Not a o pow er m we ve ours It required some moments for the party to tlfty yards di.stant upon a knoll there had sue.recover themselves. But they finally did so, denly appeared a group of the strange-looking CHAPTER XIII. and once again started for the catamaran Belots. FOR A RESCUE. B t th h d t f THE declaratiOn of Frank Reade J r w u ey a no gone ar when yet another Nearly naked they were and armed 'th ., as a thrilling incident occurred. h' ld b d 1 most sta,rtlmg one. There waJ> seemingly no . s 1e s, oomerangs .an ances. Their skms doubt but that h bl t Suddenly a man burst mto Vlew from a jun-were a bright vermilion in hue the result of e was a e o execute his gle ahead . . threat. the pigment wh1ch 1t was the1r strange custom The 1dea of rem th 1 t It d b onng e e ec nc gun from require uta glance to at once recognize to. use. ' the deck of the catamaran to the hill was a him. It Barney. One of them bad thrown the boomerang, good one. All clapped their hands. The Celts manner was extremely exalted probably to arouse the party. n certainly was "Good enough'" d D v k and he c f d f 1 cne r. aney e "You arne orwar on the run, waving his success u have h't 't ht F k w arms wildly 1 1 ng ran e ought to very "Wh t' ., In an instant all cocked. their rifles, and soon be able to bring the rascals to terms!" a 8 up 1 cr1ed frank, apprehenstvely. Pomp cried; ' "We will do it" said Fra k d t dl "Can anything h b d t h t n e ermme y; ., ave appene o t e ca. a-"Glory fo' goodness! I jes' gib dem heathens "have no fear of that." rna ran 1 b t f 1 k I" I . as o o uc The electric gun was not heavy being pneu-. n that mstant It had flashed through his But Frank interfered. matic and made of th' b t fi d that the might have gained pos"No!" he cried, sbarp)y. "Do nothing of toughest steel,' It was r::r session of the air-ship. that kind. It may be that they will be friendly men to carry it But this idea was quickly dispelled. None to us!" Frank put B.d p t k arney an omp a wor un.

PAGE 15

FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF 'l'BE AIK 15 coupling the rigging which beld it to the deck All exchanged glances and Barney suddenly would fire Barney, it was to be called a Mick. of the catamaran. said: His blood boiled. This was a slow task, and the day was draw-:;Misther Frank, shure I'll >olunteer fer to "Be me sow!, do yez mean to insult m e nay-ing to a close. The shadows of night w ere fall-thry that game!'' gud" he roared. ing fast, and Frank finaUy d ecided that it "Golly, Marse Frank, Iemme go!" cried "Di,vil a bit do I care how yez take it, nay-would on the whole be better to wait until Pomp. gur," he continued, "but yez are known t o be morning before taking the gun up onto the The young inventor arose. the thrue discendant from an African monkey, hill. he said, decidedly. "Neither of you an' yez kin niver be a white mon, even if ye He knew that it would be easier to work by shall go. I intend to undertake the thing my-was peeled av yer skin." daylight. Moreover, if attacked again by the self." "Golly! but it am a suttin fac' dat yo' am jes' Belots, a better defense could be made from the This declaration created a sensation. But as bad off as mel" retorted Pomp. "Any one cud air-ship's deck. all attempts to dissuade the daring young insee by yo' face dat yo' am a genuine descendant But the strange people had withdrawn and ventor-were in vain. ob de gorilla. Dat am de same kind ob sass fo' . "I know my business," he declared. "I yo'." dtd not seem disposed to return to the attaek. h ll t f 1 It was not impossible however but that they s a no at Thts was toe;> much for Barney. were lying low for new and' daring move. At once he began detail his plans. It was true that there was a very striking re-It was well to be on guard "I shall carry thts very fine spool of wtre," semblance between his broad mug and that of D rkness shut down rapldly now he said. "I shall have a ticker with me, and the African ggrilla. But the Celt did not relB:rney and Pomp were on guard 'and Frank at intervals I will telegraph you. One end of ish being told of it. Reade, Jr., and the two scientists were in the this ';ire is to ?e connected with an instru-He made a bifl' at Pomp; but th. e arky cabin making plans of action. ment m th? th1 e ot1her !nd I shall do,dg 1 ; 1 d 1.h h k' "As matters are now" said Frank with con-carry, unwm mg e spoo as go. ave t e s m av yez fer that, naygur!' viction, "I don't see we can the foe h" ve? Prof. Ferry; "but b t h to terms in any other way than with the electric w 0 IS gomg WI you on yo e oo sua retorted Pomp. gun. It will take days of hard work to release "I am going alone!" . Then he lowered his head and struck th catamaran and even then her mach' All demurred at thts. Barney Pomp m the stomach. If the Celt had come m con m:y need repairing. We must strike both pleaded to go, but Frank said: tact with a battering ram he not have and boldly for the sake e O!lr to act upon the which Frank might make for help. key, suddenly cried: prmctple that all are yet pnsoners among the A few moments later Frank slid over the rail "Frank is in danger!" That we c:!'n and disappeared ill the .darkness. Barney and I agree to.that, satd Ferry. Well, Frank, Pomp stood by the rail for a long time listen-! can hardly wait until morning. Why can ''\'e ing intently. CHAPTER XIV. not make somesort of a strike to-night 1" "Huh! I kain't jes' say dat I likes Marse A TRIP IN .rHE DARK. The young invent?r turned in his chair and a Frank's plan nohow!" said Pomp, 1n a disLEAVING the catamaran, Frank set out light broke across h}s face. gusted way. "Somefin' is dead suah fo' to ;les' through the darkness, not without some mis" A good professor!" he cried. happen to him." givings as to the result of his hazardous un" I am with you. What. shall it be r "Bejabers, avhehad taken yezalong heniver dertaking. ?;his staggered th_e would have stood any chance at all, at all," He knew that there was a great deal of peril Well-I-that IS-he "I said Barney, caustically. in the attempt, and, indeed, that it might re-hardly know what say. I am afraid I shall "Wha' dat yo' say, !'ish 'l"' suit after all in no benefit gained. have to leave that to_ you, Mr. Reade." "Yez heard it plain enough, naygur." But the young illventor was an adept in the Frank laughed qmetly apd was thoughtful a "Wha' fo' would anyfing mo' happen to Marse art of woodcraft. a moment; then he saia, with sudden inspira-Frank if he tooken me 'long wif him r He had spep.t a season in the wild West in tion : Pomp's eyes stood out like agates and he company with' skilled trappers, and could fol I have an idea, and l believe it a capital glared at Barney savagely. The Celt could low the trail with the astuteness and skill of one, although it illvolves no slight degree of not resist the opportunity for a dig at his an I1;1dian. risk." friend. On through the darkness he went. All Wjlre interested. "Begorra, it's black enufl' now widout yez He kept paying out the wire, and once, plac'" What is it1" along to make it blacker. Shure, ye'd intillsify ing the sounder upon it, se.nt word back to the Frank drew a pencil from his pocket and the darkness so that he couldn't see his nose catamaran. upon a piece of paper he drew a diagram. The afore him !" "I am in sight of the city. How arethings others looked at it wonderingly. Anyreiection upon his color angered Pomp with you 1' "It is not such a very great ways to the greatly. He shook his head and retorted : The answer came back promptly: walled city!" he declared. "Now if one of us "Don' yo' sass me like o' dat, yo' stuff !'ish"We are all right. Use due caution. Let us cared to take the risk under cover of this dark man. Don' yo' see why he didn't take yo' 'long? know if you want help or are in danger," night he might pay a visit to the place and per-Well, I jes' tell yo' why. De darkness out dar Frank smiled and continued on his way. haps gain some valuable information. ain't deep enufl' fo' to hide yo' !'ish green and Soon he had approached quite near to the high "Ah, but would that be safe?" cried Dr. de enemy would be dead suah fo' to see yo' afo' of the city. But thus far he had seen Vaneyke, doubtfully. "Not being familiar yo' got anywhar near dem. Dat's a fac' !" nothing of the Belots. with the region it looks to me as if the risk "Whurroo!" cried Barney. "Shure, green is If any of them were on guard it was certain would be very great!" a more ilegant color than black. There's many ly not outside the walls; "No doubt it would," agreed Frank: "but if a good man wears the green." And indeed1!'rank could see nothing of any-successful the result would be of incalculable "Dar am lots ob Micks wears it." body on the wall. It seemed certainly as if the value." If there was one thing in the world that coast was clear.

PAGE 16

r FRANK READE JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE aiR. 16 But even in that moment of fancied security But the streets were narrow and dingy, the "Yes." he became aware of a queer sensation. dwellings but mere patches of stone and mor-With a curse the-fellow rushed forward. But Through the gloom just to the left he saw a tar, without any given style of architecture. Frank was ready for him. They closed, and. shadowy form creeping upon him. It was evi-The people were half naked, savage, un-for a moment it seemed as if Frank had the dent that it was one of the Belots, and that his couth and ugly. Yet it was all a wonderful upper hand. purpose was to leap upon him by surprise. scene in its way. Right on the edge of the wall they were Frank pulled l:\imself together for a struggle. Frank gazed upon it with interest. Indeed struggling. The least swaying wc.uld precipi First he sent the message over the wire as so engrossed was he that he was not aware of tate them down many feet to the jagged rocks follows : a dea4 he wheeled.. "Well, it is my business, tool' There was but one thing for him to do safely, The Belot's Club was in mid-air. It hovered "jin what respectr and that was to retreat. there a aild descended upon air. Frank "I am one of the rulers of this country. My With a quick movement he flung the villain bad cleverly dodged it and rushed, in upon .Qis word is law here, and your life is in my. hands." aside. The wall was narrow and only by clutch assailant. Th!l fellow folded his arms and faced Franking at the edge did Ward escape going over. Up went the knife and down it came. Tom this cqarse manner. Fol' a moment there TheBelotscameswarmingover.thewallina the hilt it was buried in, the sayage's breast. was silence.. legion. The Belot gave a sharp, agonized cry and The young inventor felt no fear. He was as They were close upon Frank. He knew that reeled backward. Frank, with a quick ex9001 and calm as could be wished. After a mo-he could not escape by climbing down the wall. ertion, flung the body from him. ment he said: There *as no resort but to retreat along the Vi?tory was his. For a moment he panted "Well, now, perhaps you will .deign to an wall. ,. with the exertion of the struggle. Then he swer my question. Who are you 'I'' This he did af full !Speed . The. Belots follow-picked up the sounder and sent the message "Well, I am 'Alfred Ward. I know welled full bent. tlie wall tbey went. back to the catamaran: -enough what you are here for. You have been But as they went on the wall grew higher, "You need not come. I have vanquished my commissioned by the British Government to and there seemed less chance of safe descent. man!" look fm: the lost exploring party of Captain Now Frank came to a point where the wall Once more Frank crept forward. Now he McLain." seemed to cross a ravine. The young inventor was at,the base of the city wall. Here he hesi"Very good, sir,"replied Frank. "You have saw far below the turbid )Vaters of a r iver. tated a moment. guessed the truth." It seemed as if the whol e town was aroused. Beyond the wal! he could hear sounds : "Well and good. I ht>pe we understand each As he looked behind him he could see nothing which indicated the hum of busy life. Against other perfectly 'well' l Captain McLain is dead. but the forms of his enemies. He khew that the sky was reflected the glare of map.y pghts. The others are prisoners here. Harriet McLain to be would be death. The risk was something appalling. this is very shortly to be my wife. You expect to One swift thought flashed through did not deter Frank. rescue her. You are a 'very clever fellow, sir, mind. He deposited the wire and telegraph sounqer with your. wonderful air-ship, but you will He embraced what he belie>ed was his only at the foot of the wall. Then l;le began to scale never succeed." chance. One moment his form wavered, sway-the wall. Ward laughed harshly and loudly. Franked, and then over the edge he went. This was not a difficult job. experienced a feeling something to being It was. a leap for life. There were interstices. in which he could in the presence of an' e vil spirit. Down into the darkness he went and out of pll\ce his feet, and in this manner he had very "I have. with villains in my life," he sight. The savages, reckles!' fellows, halted. quickly passed over the highest part of it. said, keenly, .but never a deeper one than None of them dared to follow him in that man-Soon he reached the top of the wall, and there you!" ner. be crouched gazing down upon a scene the like "Spare your personalities, sir. Be kind Dowl;l into the dark water Frank plunged. of which he had never seen before. 1 enough to bold up your hands." There were ma.ny chances against him in that The city lay before him. "You ask me to surrender 1" moment. Lights were flashing everywhere, and he 11aw "Yes." If he had struck a rock under the surface or long streets and wide squares, which were "But what if I refuse 1" alighted in shallow water, death would have thronged with natives in their primitive style "Then ;rou shall die!" been his certain portion. of dress. "We are alone here. I am as good a man as He knew this and shrank from the awful There were bazaars and shops, almost the yo;11!" said warily. "I refuse to surren-peril. But fortune had favored him. He went same as in Cairo .or any Eastern city. But, of der!" down mto deep wa.ter, came to the surface and course, all was rude and primitive. You a.re a fool! With a gesture I can bring struck out. Carnivals were being held right in the open a hundred men to my atd. Up with your harids! But the danger was not over yet. air. Great crowds of people were gathered The Belots did not dare to follow him, buthere, and there was singing and dancing. All Never!" down mto the water came missiles of every de-was life and light. "You refuser scription.

PAGE 17

t .. FRANK READE JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. Fortunately not one of these struck him. He knew well what a terrible fate threatened And now he heard the distant crack of fire They fell all about him. him. The most powerful of reptiles 'had the arms. Frank struck out and swam fol," the spore. facu!ty of crushing him into a jelly. There was no doubt but that ljhe battle was Soon he was able to pull himself out upon terra But Frank's plucK and coolness and presence on. firma. of mind all came back to him Iiow. 1 With such overpowering numbers the Belots He was not much the worse for his experi One of his arms chanced to be free, and he might carry the day. ence, but he care to get quickly to cover. had m ,anaged to get a grip on fhe handle of his was all the work of Ward, as Frank It had been a narrow escape. hunting nife. knew. But Frank would not concede that his trip The ake's folds were drawing tighter, .the Under his directions the natives would know had been altogether a failure. He had learned hideo head swayed and danced above him. just how to attack the catamaran. much. Th young inventor drew the blade But Frank was determined to sell his life He knew now that the survivors of the across the snake's body. Great jets of blood rather than allow the air-ship to fall into the McLain expedition were all alive. leaped up and suffused his person. clutches of the Belots. He was als9 aware that as yet no harm had In the darkness Frank could only be guided All depended upon saving the catamaran. been done the women. This was gratifying by the sense of touch. For should it fall into theirt:lutches, no doubt knowledge certainly. But he knew that the only way to get rid of they would not hesitate to at once destroy it. Hope sprang up in his breast that he would those horrid folds was to cut them in two. By' With the loss of the catamaran it would be yet be able to accomplish the rescue of all. this disintegration alone he could hope to es quite a serious matter for our adventurers to But it was important now to return the cape their power. get out of the country alive. quickest way to thecatamaran. Accordingly he siashed away furiously. He So Frank ran on. Concerted action should be made at once. was none too soon: Had he not adopted this The sounds of the conflict grew louder every Frank saw that there was but one way to method as he did, his death would have been moment. brig the Belots to terms. a certainty. "Why don't they use the gun!" muttered the This he believed he could do with the electric As it was, he freed the coils from young inventor, in an agony of dread. "That gun. his body, Completely severed, they fell in would win the victory quicker than anything Therefore, he must return post-haste to the s uirming masses. else!" catamaran. Drenched with blood, weak and faint, Frank This seemed a certain fact. But Frank had But this did not promise to be a very easy taggered down to the river side. He. sank not long to worry over this matter. feat. down drank of .the coQling water. Suddenly he heard a distant, thunderous Back of him was a high mountain wall. o Then he plunged .mto the current and allow roar. Three times this was repeated. Then all scale this not going to be so very easy. ed it to cleanse his person of the blood. sounds of the conflict died out. Time would be lost in the attempt. Y t to He recovered quickly however in the cool "That has settled the question," declared go ahead was to face the foe who were scram night breeze. Frank; "they cannot fight against the electric bling down into the ravine. Regaining the shore, he was resolved to gun!" What was to l!e done 1 waste no further time in the vicinity. His on I d d th b t 1 It was necessar. y to make some bold move at desire was to get back to the catamaran. dn dee T' h e a t e seemed studddenbly ._to havll en e ere was no reason o ou tvut that escape, and once. What had been gomg on there he had no th B 1 t h d 'thd Frank glanced down the river. means of knowing. :UP the banks he ; e s a d He saw a huge log just floating out into the went. ran was no a 1 e that they rapids. Without a moment's hesitation he He h&.d drifted further down the river than so qUickly.. struck for it.. he had imagined. :J;.t was fully an hour before u ere ec a It ';as very Itl,ely their He reached it, and the next moment, clinging he came in sight of the walled city again. ':;!sterwus gun which had to the log, he went do'Yn into the blackness of Then he proceeded more cautiously. Howh ?m 0 t t 15h the lower river. ever, he saw no signs of the Belots. at t was np t e real reason, however, On and on he was whirled in the darkness. Once he fancied he heard distant shouting. he was soon learn. Then after a time he came to a stop in a still He crept on cautiously. Soon he r!)aclied the Another smgular fact was, that as pool of water. spot where he had taken the plunge from tlie on, he met none of the But It _was Striking out he swam to the shore once more. city wall. that they had retreated m another direc-This time he was beyond the sight and hearing None of the foe were in sight. Cautiously up twn. of ,his enemies. the ravine he crept, and s ,till the coa.St was Frank began to use more caution now, for But it was not as ,yet clear how ,he was to clear. fear of running across some of the foe. But get back to the catamaran. He did not possess as he on, he heard a clicking be :night have spared himself the trouble. sufficient knowledge of the country to enable sound in the grass. He rushed forward to the None were encountered. A few moments him to make a circuit of the hill. very foot of the city wall. later h e came out into the clearing and in sight Before him was a deep jungle. He crept into And here, he had left it, he found the of the catamaran.. thjl edge of this and watched and waited fo; a telegraph and sounder. It was no':'" sem1-dayhght, and he saw Barney while. I He picked WP the sounder, anfl quickly sound6n the deck. Frank loudly: There was no sign or sound of the Belots. ed a call. He knew that ,it had just been call"Barney! Rullo!" He firmly believed that they had given over ing him. "Wh)lri:Ool" responded the Celt, "it's Mis t he pursuit. He had half made up his mind to The reply came quickly. Frankl'' risk retracing his steps when a thrilling thing "Is you, Frank r .Then down from catamaran's deck he occurred. Yes," the young inventor replied. "Did sprung, and came rushmg down 'to Frank. Suddenly there was a rustling sound in the you call me just The Celt was overjoyed to welcome his masfoliage in the rear. InstinctiTely,he turned. "We did. Come bacJ;: just as, quickly as you again. He was given a chill. Deep in darkness can. We are attacked, by the Belots, who com"Shure, it's glad I am to see yez back safe was a pair of fiery eyes. They seemed to waver pletely surround us, and evidently mean busi again!" he cried. and dance like ignis fatuus. ness." In a few moments Frank was on board the For a moment the young inventor imagined Frank waited to hear no more. catamaran; that they were the orbs ot a panther. IIe joyfully welcomed, and then explana-But he was quickly undeceived. That moCHAPTER XVI. tions were had all around. Frank told of his ment of waiting was to him a fatality. THE ):tiVAL TRIBES. experiences. Suddenly there was a swishing, whirring FRANK did not even wait to pick up the wire, "Then the prisoners are all alive yet!" cried sound. He made a leap forward to escape, but He left it and all behind in his hot haste. Prof. Ferry. "You gained a great point, Mr. too late. He knew that if the catamaran was attacked, Reade, in learning that." Powerful, sinuous folds encircled him. A it was necessary for him to be on hand at once. "'I believe it!'' cried Frank. "We shall yet cold, slimy body enveloped him. Failure to do this meant ruin, defeat and succeed in saving them!" "Oh, God!" he screamed, in horror. "It is a death. "I hope so-!" snake!" He had perfect faith in Barney and Pomp, "But I would like to ask a question." A giant boa it was which had him in its but even the assistance of one more vras vital. "What is it 7" folds. On he. sped through the night. "How on earth did it happen that the foe

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FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. abandoned their attack on the catamaran so that tm,mber of the Shun6kins; Ther. e is no He danced and leaped in the air like a child in sud,denly doubt bf tl:iat." 1 his glee. "Bejabers I gave thim three shots with the "Well, sor," said Barhey, "divil a bit av dif"We intend to rescue the ladies if it is in our electric gun r: declared fel:ence doesit ro _us, so,r. They are both power," declared Frank. "What do you think "Ah, but that should not have caused them inemies to us." of our chances, Mr. to abandon it wholly." "If they would only eat each o 'ther up it "They are good,'' replied the young English "Well, it is something of a mystery," said would be mo1si gratifying to me," said Frank. man. "Indeed, I believe they are. Yet these Dr. Vaneyke. "I believe it is worth investi"Shure it would save us a deai of ttouble." Belots are a bad class-to handle. Moreover, gating. When daylight comes suppose we do "You areright."1 they are directed by one of the greatest scoun' so!" Both laughed and 'continued to wa h the drels on the face of the earth." "Daylight is cere!'' said Prof. Ferry. "In battle. It was a most thrilling as well "And that is Ward." twenty minutes the sun will be up I" teresting scene. . "Yes. He was a traitor and a murderer!" So it was decided. Soon the orb of day was was no small degree of declared Beals, forcibly. above the horizon. shown in the displaying of the different dlvi"I know him and have had a. little experi-As there seemed to be none of the foe in the sions. It was plain that though savages, they ence with him," said Frank. vicinity. Frank and Barney ventured to leave were not unversed in the art of skillful warfare. "He killed brave Captain McLain," the air-ship. Suddenly the battle opened. ued Beals, "and delivered us all up to the Be They were armeQ. to the teeth however and A squad of the Shunokins rushed upon a lots. He was foolish enough to fall in love ceeded with great ' squad of the Belots. '{'here was no chance for with Harriet, who hates him. It is his hope to hall soon reached the edge of the Mrest. staggering volleys, for the conflict 'was purely get her in his power in this way." Here [hey paused hal!'d to hand. Certainly he is a villain. Y bur experience Ad 'stant medley of sounds had come In an inextricable inass they inv?lved. must have been a hard one." to F 1 k' ars It was nothing but give and take with war ax "You can see that it has," declared Vernon. it Barneyr he asked and club. "Just look at me. I am naked, and in this "Sh a .'I do that!" Men fell on both sides. Brains were batter-fashion I have been obliged to work as a slave ure, sor, n d t b t d 'th d 1 f "Wh tis e ou reas s were pterce Wl arts, egs in the city o savages. "Be r:c sow!, sor, I believe it are some sort arms w_ere shattered and neither si e ::That is hard!". . . of a ruction goin' an over yonder beyond that seemed to the supremac!. There are no mdtgmttes or privations I h'lll" Yet unquestiOnably the wetght of advantage have not suffered. Words cannot describe 1 seemed to be with the Belots. That they em I can assure you." "So do II" agreed Frank, "but yet I am at a would-win was certain. "Well you have made your escape" said loss to understand it!" Frank and Barney watcl!ed the conflict thus Frank, cheeringly. 1 However, Frank was not to be batlled, so he with varying emotions. "For which I praise God. I live now only to began to climb the hill. The nearer to the sum-Suddenly a new and startling incident occurrevenge myself upon the traitor, :Ward!" mit they drew the-plainer became the strange red. A sharp cry escaped the lips of Barney. "l'here is no doubt but that you will succeed. sounds.. "Shure, Misther Frank, an' phwat wud yez You shall return with me to the catamaran There was shouting and the clash of weapons. thatT' and I will furnish you with clothing." It certainly sounded-like a distant concourse of Both men stood in astonishment gazing at a "Is that the wonderful air-ship of which I armed men. 1 spectacle before them. From the undergrowth have heard so much 1" Now Frank and Barney drew near to the top a man nearly as naked as the day he was born "It is," replied Frank. of the hill. had 'started forth. .'I shall be glad to see it. It is indeed a won-As they at length .reached it, a vast track of He came rushing toward Frank and Barney derful thing that aerial navigation has at last country was, spread to view. Below was a with pleading gestures. To their amazement been solved. When your air-ship arpeared in mighty level plain, extending almost from the they saw that he was not a savage, but a white the sky I was laboring as a slave in the Belot northern wall of the Belots' city to a distant man and civilized. city.' It took Ward a long time to explain its chain of mountains. --character to the Belots and overcome their su-And upon this plain in martial array there CHAPTER XVII. perstitious fears." were two vast bodies of men. THE l).A.TTLE FIELD. "Then you knew that we were coming to Their number ran up into the.toousands. WoRDS cannot express the utter amazement your rescuer asked Frank. They seemed about equal in number and divid-of Barney and Frank. Save for a breech clout "No, not that exactly. I knew that a tal ed into squads were facing each other. the .man was naked. en ted American inventor with his wonderful It was nothing more nor le,ss than a mighty His skin was torn and bleeding, there 'were air-ship was in the region." field of battle. bruises and cuts upon his body, and iu other "Ah, well, let us return to the catamaran." Upon one side were the Belots. Upon the ways he showed hard usage. "But wait," said Beals. "You are interested other, the cavern. race, the Shunokins. Yet his face, though pale and drawn with in this battle I know. A great deal depends The latter had ventured out into open day 'in suffering, was handsome and intelligent. upon the result." , order to give battle t'o their foes. He was a young man and splendidly formed. "I would ljke to see it," said Frank. "Yet And now it could be seen what a strange As he came up he cried out in good English : I am anxious to serve you." -., looking race they were. 'In the sunlight, "God be praised I D,o I see my own country-"After the battle. I can wait." bodies so pallid from the air of the cavern look-men Then I am indeed happy." "As you say." ed pearl white. "Who are you" cried Frank in amazement. Then the y 'oung inventor turned to Barney: The Belots upon the other hand made a more What has happened to 1 I p.ave no Ferry and the others would formidable array. -' "My name is Beals!" replied the like to see it. Suppose you jog ba6k to the They we_re coarser, hardier looking and seem-young man, and said no ;IDOre. catamaran tell them I think it will be safe ed born to be warriors. The Shunokins were For hi aWomentFrankhadgrabbedhishand for them to come." vice versa, excitedly: ''All roight, Misther Frank," replied Barney, All were armed with nothing but primitive-"Heaven be praised! You are the man we and away he went. weapons, lances and clubs and boomerangs and are 'n quest of. You are one of Captain MeFrank and Beals became engrossed in the darts. Lain:s party!" battle, and somewhat oblivioud of
PAGE 19

FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AlR. But Beals shook his head. leaving the here in this position," "Then we had better die with our boots on." "Not more than half of the Belots are in the he declared. "At any unguarded moment a "Bejaber><, I'm ready fer that same!" cried field," he said. "And those in the city are on gang of tile savages may descend upon and de-Barney. their guard and raady for business." stroy it." "Dis chile am jes' dar, too," agreed Pomp, "Then you would not advise it1" Frank was bound to admit that Ferry was with a grin. "It would be the worst possible time to make partly right. The Belot messenger was now out of sight. the attack in my opinion. The foe are all on However," he said, tersely, "we will carry Once more attention was given to the moving their guard. out the plan as foramlated. I think we shall of the electric gun. Frank could not help but see the logic of this. be able to win.'' "We certainly. have no time to lose," said r So he said no more, and all became engrossed So the matter rested. Frank. "After receiving my sharp reply to llis in watching the conflict. But just as they were about to begin operamessage, Ward will. no be disposed to The right wings of the two armies were now tions for the moving of the electric gun, there at quickly." hotly engaged in the battle. The left seemed appeared in the clearing one of the Belot savBut just as the party emerged once more upon held in reserve. ages. the deck of the catamaran, there was a whirr It seemed to be the purpose of tne Shunoldns He carried a lance, upon the end of which ing sound, and a number of arrows rattled to turn the left of the Belot line, but the effort was a long streamer. against the steel hull of the catamaran. made a fatal weakness in their center. "What does fellow want f' cried Dr. One of them pierced Barney's sleeve, and The wily Belots were quick to see this and Vaneyke. another shot away Prof. Ferry's hat. act accordingly. "It is a declared Frank, confidently. Then followed a number of boomerangs. In A wedge-like movement was made for the "WeJI, we will talk with him." a copse near it was evident that a number of It proved successful in the The young inventor stepped out into view, the gang were in hiding. extreme. and with reassuring gestures bade the fellow This was a risk not to be lightlv regarded. Like conflicting tides the two sections of the advance. "By Jupiter!" cried Frank, springing back armies met., Down through the weakened He did this, and when within a few yards of to the cabin door. "They mean business, don't center went. the victorious Belots. the catamaran, Frank saw that he had a slab theyf' In less time than it takes to tell it the Shunof slate stone in his hand. "You're right!" cried Vernon Beals. "I okin army was divided. With their center This he offered to the young inventor. warn you to look out, for the points of those turned, the right and left flank in confusion, arrows are poisoned." both yielded. CHAPTER XVIII. "Poisoned arrows!" gasped Dr. Vaneyke. This terminated the conflict. BA.RNEY .AND POMP IN TROUBLE. "That is bad.,. In a jiffy the Shunokins were routed and flyFRANK took the slate in his hand and glanced "If you were struck with one, you would ing for their lives from the plain. Frank had at it. think so," said Beals, quietly. "The victim is seen enoue:b. He saw that there was writing u,pon it. It hound to die in awfUl agony. In the meanwhile Ferry and Dr. Vaneyke was a bold, legible ha,nd in good English, and This statement had the effect of causing all and Pomp had come up. All had viewed the he read: to adopt methods of caution. battle with interest. "To FRANK READE JR.: "I'll fix them!'' said Frank, with a grim "Enough!" cried Frank; "let us get out of "Sm-It is folly for you to attempt to stand smile. this the quickest way. Now to strike a blow ground against us. We are a thousand to your one. The party had already discharged their ritles for the rescue of Mrs. McLain and Harriet!" I call upon you now to surrender. It you do not into the copse, but with little or no effect "Hurrah!" cried Vernon Beals; "that Is the death shall be your lot. If you surrender peaceably The young inventor went forward and placed kind of talk." your lives shall be spared. Excuse this primitive a projectile into the pneumatic electric gun. Back to the catamaran all went with all of_correspondence, but all my stock of writHe pointed the muzzle toward the copse and h t mg paper1s exhausted. Yours truly, 11 d th t as e. "ALFRED WARD, King of the Belots." pu e e ngger. Beals was shown about the a1r-ship by Frank' The effect was terrtfie. and was delighted with its wonderful appoint-. read thts through, and then smiled There was a tftlrst of flame, a ments. tromca Y fearful explosion in the thicket, and the air But lf I were you, Mr. Reade!" he said He the! slab over, and wrote upon the was filled with flying debris and the bodies of pointedly, I should want to at once back of tt a rep Y as follows: a n umber of the Belots. measures to release the catamaran from its "To ALFRED WARD-So-called King of the BelotsOne shot was effectual. None of the foe were present bad posit'on., "Sm-Your insulting communication is received. in sight after that. 1 I have only to say in reply that your proposition is Th d'd "That will reqUire a g reat deal of ttme!" to t to th' k t I t I 11 ey 1 not stay to dtspute the pass b u t 'd . o prepos erous m o n urn ca upon you fl. d Th 1 t 1 1 sat Frank, and that IS to me JUSt now of to surrender those ladies whom you villainously e e e ec r1c gun was a 1tt e too strong more varue than anything else!" hold captiya, or I shall blow you and your tribe from for them. "But are you not afraid of an attack from the face of the earth. I will give you one hour to Vernon Beals gazed Upon the spectacle in the Belots 1 I should think they might overanswer this proposition. Yours, stupefaction. whelm you in this position!" "FRANK READE, JR." "My soul!" he exclaimed. "I don't wonder "ThPy have tril'd it twice and failed," said Frank handed the slab to t -he Belot messen that you feel confident, Mr. Reade. Why, Frank, confidently. "No, I believe I can hold ger. The fellow turned and made off at full those rascals will stand scant show before such their whole nation at bay with D;lY electric speed. a weapon as that." gun!" The young inventor turned to his inquiring "I thought you would see it!" cried Frank, Beals listened to all this with deep wonder comrades. triumphantly. "I tell you I can wipe them all ment. "That fellow Ward is a out of existence if I choose." "I do npt believe it will be necessary to move he cried. "He is foolish enough to demand "I am not disposed to doubt you I would the catamaran at present in order to gain our our surrender." advise that no time be lost in assailing the ends," continued Frank. Dr. Vaneyke and Barney laughed. But Vertown." "How else can you do that 1" non :Beals looked serious. "That is a good suggestion," said Frank. I shall move my electric gun to the summit "I trust you will pardon me, gentlemen," he. Come, boys, let us get the gun off the deck at of a high hill near by. Frotn there I can com-said, .but I know something of the power of once. pletely demolish their city, if they do not come these people. We can hardly afford to hold it All hands responded to this call. to terms!'' too lightly. They may give us much trouble The electric gun was lifted with ease, carriage "Good!" cried Vernon, joyfully. "Your yet." and all, from the 1eck of the catamaran. scheme is a p:ood one and it will work grand. "I appreciate that fact," said Frank, "and The distance necessary to carry it was fully I have no doubt they will be glad to yield up I quite agrep with you. I don't propose to take half a mile. the two prisoners in preference to being blown any chances. Yet I have no idea of such a But it was not heavy, else the air-ship could to pieces by the electric gun!" thing as a surrender." not have carrie d it. In a short while it was "I think so!" "Never!" cried Dr. Vaneyke and Ferry, in carried to the very summit. There was one merhber in the party, how one breath. "We will die, but we will never Here a fine view of the city could be had. ever, who differed with Frank. surrender!" A thrilling scene was witnessed. This was Prof. Ferry. "It would, in fact, be equivalent to death to The whole place seemed alive with arme d Be "I tell you that we are tak-ing chances in surrender," said Beals. Jots. were swarming out o f the city

PAGE 20

FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. gates, and it was evident that they meant bus-If they shou1d do this, then the r.hances of "Dat am jes' de way I feel, chile," declared iness. the two defenders would be slim. Pomp. "I'se drefful anxious to know what Frank gazed upon the scene a moment with They watched apprehensively and waited im-dey am gwine to do wif us l" thrilling, tingling veins. patiently for Frank to come. Yet he did not So am I, bedad l" "They mean to annihilate us, don't they!" he appear. But the Belots did not seem disposed to be muttered. "We will see about that!" "Golly!" cried Pomp, lugubriously. "Kain't accommodating enough to relieve the suspense There was just one projectile witb' the gun. say datI jes' likes de looks ob dis fing nohow. of their prisoners. All the others were on board the air-ship. What am we gwine to do it dem barbarians The night hours wore away ;Neit.her Indeed it was necessary lot: Frank make tackles us, !'ish!" of them slept. some more.He could do this quickly, but it Bejabers, give thim a hot reception l" reFinall;y daylight came. Then there were foot would be necessary to return to the catamaran. plied the Celt. steps at the door and a )Dan enterl!d. An idea struck him. . "Huh l dat amn't so easy fo' to do yo' kin He stood upon the threshold with a leering, "I will give them checkmate now!" he bet!" triumphant smile. It was.no other th;m Alfred cried, "this one shot will confuse them until I "If Misther Frank iver gits here wid. dem Ward. can get some more shells loaded." bombs it will be all right, naygur." Barne.y glared at the villain. Accordingly he placed the projectile in the neber do dat, sab, hear mah gentle "Well, phwat are yez luckln' at, yez misfit breech -of the gun and then sighted it. voice!" declared Pomp, po : itively. "Dar am he demanded, angrily; "didn't yez He pressed the electric key and the result no doubt ob dat." f .ver see a 'man J:iefore was thrilling. "Well, begorra, we have got ter obey or-Ward defiantly. The projectile struck in the very of the dhers, anyway, nayg\lr." "Keep a civil tongue in your head," he said, savages. 'fhe re<>ult was that dozens ,of them "Oh, I jes' reckon dat we bah, chile. I kain't harshly. "You. must remember that you are were killed and wounded. fin' no fault wif dat-not a bit!' at my mercy." They were. of course thrown into a panic for Both turned to see Frank and his. compan"Divil a bit do we care for that," retorted the time being, but F .rank knew that the ad ions appear on the catamaran deck. At once Barney. "If yez are going to kill.us why don't vantage ought to be followed up. their hopes arose. yez do it without so much fuss about it-7" He turned to Barney and Pomp. "Bejabers, they're com in'!' cried Barney. "Kill yet" gritted the villain. "Stay here with gun," be said. ."Will "Shure, we'll give the inemy a taste av fun "Didn't I say .that same7" the rest of you please return to the catamaran now." "We haven't an'y idea of killing ye . But we with me and help bring up some more ammu"Golly, dat we will, sahl" cried Pomp, with are going to do what is no doubt worse to you. nition a grin. We are going to put you to work!" Of course we will," cried Vernon. But the words had barely left their lips when "Worruk is cried Barney. "Divil a bit And away they all went hack to tne catama-an and depressing thing occurred. will I worruk for such as ye. I'll stlirike afore ran, leaving Barney and Pomp with the gun. Suddenly from the copse in their rear there I commence!" Reaching the air:ship, Frank at once began sprang forth half a hundred of the "No won't!" gritted the villain. .Slaves work upon the refilling of some explosive It was a cleverly-wor];;ed surprise. never strike!'' shells. They had climbed the hill in the rear of the "So it's slaves yez mean to make av While he worked at this, the' others busied two servitors, and so silently that they were "Yes." themselves in puttii\g out a guard wire about taken completely off their guard. "That's foine." the catamaran which Frank intended to heav-TheBelotswereupon them like an avalanche. "Oh, you like the idea do You may ily charge for the purpose of warding off an at-Barney tried to use his i-ifie, but it was stricken not like it so well after it has been tried on tack. from his grasp. you." They completed this job just as Frank finish He was seized by P?werful arms. He strug"Dis chile neber be no slave!" cried Pomp, ed loading the last shell. gled but_ of numbers told. obdurately. "Mah fader was a slave, but I done The wire, or rather several of them, had been In a Jtffy_he was a and Pomp also. fink: I se got mah freedom!" carried in a circle about the air-ship. A circuit The two servttors of Reade, Jr:, Ward laughed boisterously. was made connected -yvith the dyna:mos so were chagrmed as well as at thetr "You fellows amuse me," he said, "but I 1 that the pressmg of a key would make It comfate. .. have no more time to fool with you. Strip of! plete. They sa;v the party on the catamaran rushyour clothes!" Frank emerged from the cabin wtth some of ing to thetr rescue, but the swarm of Belots B d p 1 k d d . . arney an omp oo e amaze the m hts arms. on the were too "Phwat's that It wtll be necessary for some one to remam BeJabers, we are m fer tt, naygurl cned ,. St ;., 1 th l" \.... ,,, C t "h d d t h ld B 1 b 1 rtp ou your c o es ...aboard the a amaran, e sat an 1 s ou arney, ugu r10us Y. Ph t f I'd 1 k t k ... 'th th f B h ht t d 1 k d t l'' wa or, Ol e o now' be a man who is conversant wt e uses o ress yo a 1 one oo a way "Sl t 11 d 1 th' Best' de, d th d k I d h h d d aves are no a owe c o mg. electricity. agree e ar y. won a w y e on th' t 1 1' t ., "Then It had better be me," said Dr. Van-kill us right to onct!" ,1,s{; c d 1 1 t d eyke readilv. "I stay." But it did not seem to be the purpose of the Ie .', nete st mkmde, an ff opgoo k'll th I t d h ness am gwme o a e em o sat omp. "Very good," satd Frank. Belots to 1 mr pnsoners. ns ea t ey "y 't So it was arranged that Dr. Vaneyke should were hustled away toward the walled city. W odu a 1111 ,de t...., Th h t d d . . ar g are a romp. en e urne an remain aboard the atrshtp. The others were Through vast bodtes of the savages the two "d th' tt 1 . . . sat some mg m a gu ura "VOICe. about to load themselve wtth the proJecttles prisoners were led. I t th 8 couple of stalwart when an astounding shock was accorded all. Not until they were fairly within the walls B : t e room sprung The top of the hill was suddenly seen to be of the Belot city did they fully realize their e 0 s. . . "th B 1 t post"tt'on At Wards msttgat10n they setzed the prts-swarmmg wt e o s. . In their midst were Barney and Pomp. It They were captives in the power of the and began to pull off thetr clothmg. Re-was certain that they were prisoners, that a Belots. :Ststance was surprise had been sprung, and that the electric What would be the end of In a couple of mmutes every vestige of cloth-gun was in the hands of the foe. Both remembered that Beals had been kept was from th. em. Their anger was A more appalling realization for the adven-as a slave. Undoubtedly this was the. fate in-mtense but futtle. r turers the human mind could hardly picture. tended for them. They were to retam a breech-c out, Into the dense!!t part of the city they were made of a coarse kmd of cloth used by the CHAPTER XIX. led. Here they were thrown into a small, Belots. 1 N s L A v E R Y. square chamber in one of" the low-roofed build"Drive them out into the field and to work!" anc.l. Pomp left with the electric gun lags and an armed guard stood at the door. directed Ward, in the Belot tongue. upon the brow of the hill were not in the most What was going on outsil;l.e they had little Barney and Pomp were led out mto the comfortable frame of mind imaginable. means of knowing. street. Other slave.; were there, though they From their position they could see the ac Their sensations can better be imagined than were all natives like the Belots themselves. tions of the Belots plainly. described. The hours seemed years to them. In the common gang, the two servitors were There was danger that the foe might "Be jabers l" said Barney, sententiously. "I driven away with the lash cracking at their succeed in climbip.g the hill before Frank kain't say that .I loike this at all, at all. I wud heels. could return with the dynamite bombs. rayther be taken out an' hung l" It was certainly not a pleasant situation or

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FRANK READE, JR.'S C.ATAMA.RAN OF THE A.Ilt. 21 outlook. Through the streets of the city in the I The .slave drivers fell back at the words of king listened spelhbound. When Barney had midst of the slave ganp; they were driven. the captain of the soldiers. finished, he turned and gave excited orders to Ward had disappeared and they were under Barney and Pomp were amazed when they his men. the lash of a brutal savage who was a genuine were suddenly led away in. the file of men, and Instantly rugs were brought and laid before type of a murderer. treated with inore deference and courtesy than them. A pot of some sort of sweet smelling After a time they came to a wide field where they had known yet. incense was also placed by their sides. several hundred of the slaves were working at "Begorra, that's queer!'' muttered Barney. Then tile king motioned for more. various occupations. '' Phwat the divil is up now?'' The two cute servitors of the great inventor Some were cutting stone, others were mak"Golly, I don' jes' know!" said Pomp. Thim saw that they had caught on great. It meant ing bows and arrows, and a number were ena chilling thought struck him. life or de 'ath, and they were willing by all gaged in the construction of a building near. "P'r'aps dey am gwine fo' to take us to de means to live. Barney and Pomp were put at work upon town agin an' cut our heads off." So Pomp sang: "Down upon the' Suwanee this, carrying heavy stone and mixing a kind "Bejabers, I'd rayther they'd do that than River," "Old Black Joe," and various other of mortar to lay them in. to kape stingin' us wid dat whip-lash!" declarquaint plantation melodies. It was hard, laborious work, and the slave ed Barney. The native king was delighted. Jars of some driver was a hardened brute who gave them "I done fink it am all up wid u s, !'ish!" peculiar kind of wine much resembling the no rest, "Och hone, it's a pity to kill two sich ele-scuppernang grape were brought and placed be-Barney suspected that he had been put up to gant gintlemen, ain't it, naygud" fore the prisoners. this by the villain Ward, and intimated as "It am dati" This touched the weak spot, and Barney and much to .t'omp. In spite of the seriousness of their position Pomp threw themselves into the spirit of the "Golly, I done fink dat am so!" agreed the Barney and Pomp could not help making occasion darky; "but I clar fo' goodness, if he gib me facetious remarks. The spirit of wit and mis-They tasted of the wine, liked it, and then onemo' cut wid dat whip, I will hab his heart chief in the breast of both was keenly alive, drank copiously. fo' it, if I'se killed de nex' rriinnitl" and would only Qe suppressed with death. The king also drank. Pomp was in earnest. Away they were led through the streets of "Hum! dis am mos' as good possum The nrutal \>lave driver had cut his body the town. stew!" declared Pomp, as he tossed another with the whip until he was bruised and bleedA great rabble followed at their heels, but bumper. "Wha' yo' say, I' ish?" ing. they kept on until at length a halt was made 'Be jabers av I had me choice betwixt an It was literal barbarity, and all without before the entrance of a ,mighty court-yard, bechune it an' Oirish I'd have a divilish provocation. The injustice of the thing stung high walled and paved with blocks of stone, harrud time to tell which I'd rather have!" Pomp. and beyond which could be seen the walls of a averred Barney. The driver, however, seemed to have singled large building; All now became hilarious. Pomp out as the butt of his ill will. Once Barney and Pomp both guessed correctly that The Belot king seemed to appreciate the fact more he cracked the brutal whip across Pomp's this w 'as the palace of the Belot king. that he had fallen in with two of "tl1e boys," back. A)ong line of guards extended through the and was disposed to pitch in for a hilarious The darky could standit no longer. He turn-court-yard. time. ed like a flash. these the prisoners were led, and He gave sharp orders which resulted in the "Don' yo' ebbe r dare fo' to hit dis chile wid now they saw tbe king himself, a powerful courtyard being cleared. dat whip agin!" he cried. "I jes' llab yo' life framed but jovial-looking savage, seated upon Only two p;uards were left with the king, fo' it!" a throne made of stone. who pitched in for. a good time with his new 'rhis was insubordination, and a light of Straight up to this the P .risoners were led. made friends. madness leaped the slave driver's eyes. The guard knelt, but Barney and Pomp reIt is an'ancient fact that royalty lo ves entermained statl:ding. tainment and will accept it from one source as CHAPTER XX. The .king smiled, and made a gesture with well as another, so long as it is of the right ENTERTAINING ROYALTY. his right hand, kind. THE slave. driver was madder than words Of course neither Barney nor Pomp under And Barney and Pomp bad caught on quick. could express at Pomp's declaration. stocd it, but the quick-witted Irispman said: l y with the Belot king. He did not understand the words, b1;1t the "Shure an' I kin see his game; naygur. He's The two rogues appreciated the fact and pro gestures were comprehen' sive. His savage curiou s to know somethin' about our people, ceeded to make the most of it. They sang brow was contorted. where we come from, and phwat we're aloike. songs, imbibed the wine and pitched in for a In his own to"ngue he l aunched forth invect-Do ye;1: see1" good time. ives at-Pomp. "Golly! I done fink dat am so," agreed While the king. could not n\ake t.hem Then up came the cruel whip, and this time Pomp. "Now dat Ward am not here, we meb-stand his language, they soon became quite it left a livid welt across the darky's back. be kin make frien's w if dese people." proficient in sign talk. This was enough. It was to the two prisoners a brilliant "Begorra, Pomp," said Barney, after a time, Better. to die than to submit to such treat-thought, and they instantly decided uvon a" let's give his nibbs some. acrobatic feats." ment. Pomp made a savage spring forward. plan of action, which was to make themselves "A'right, I'ish. l'se wid yo'." He caught the wretch by the throat and bore as agreeable to the king as possible. With this they proceeded to do some.ground him instantly backward. Then he wrenched The monarch attempted to make them unand lofty in which they were quite the whip from the brute and laid it over him derstand hi in, and by close watching Barney fine. until he fell senseless with blood streaming was able to comprehend a part of his meaning. Indeed, in his younger days Barney had once from wounds inflicted. "From what country do you coine1'' the Be-traveled with a circus, and was away up in G It was "turn about for fair play," and Pomp's lot king asked by signs.. in such matters. revenge was sweet. After some effort Barney managed to make All this pleased the native king immensely. None of the slaves dareq to interfere, but reply: His royal highness was getting quite full from Barney cried: "A mighty country far over the sea." the effects of the wine, and was e::-tremely Good fer yez, naygur. I glory in ye r spunk. "What are your people like 1" asked the good natured. A v yez need any help say so!" king. But Barney and Pomp, although they were But other slave drivers were rushing to the Barney looked at Pomp. heavily loaded with the liquor, had no id r a of spot. Their faces were blazing with anger and "Now is our chance!" he said. "If we make getting intoxicated. hatred. a good impression we are saved. Phwat the There were too many interests at stake to do It was certain that Pomp would have receiv divil will we do 1" this. ed a terrific beating, if not been killed. out "Hum!" said Pomp, thoughtfully, "S'posin' Sa they now ceased partaking of the wine. right by .the maddened but for an inyo' jest sings a song!" The king now began to relapse into a stupor. tervention. I Be jabers ye're a better singer than I am." "Bejabers, it's dhrunk he is, naygur," whis-Suddenly there appeared upon the scene half "Yo' sing fust' off an' I will sing aftah yo'," pered Barney. "Phwat the divil will we do a dozen native soldiers. said Pomp. now." They rushed forward; with loud cries, and "All roigbt., naygur!" The words were barely out of his mouth when just in time to prevent the beating which So Barney sang richly a quaint old Iris h bal-an appalling thing happened . Suddenly a gut-Pomp would have received. lad, full of pathos and of feeling. The Belot.tural voice sounded in their rear.

PAGE 22

FRANK READE JR. '8 CATAMARAN OF 'l'HE AIR. Both turned to see a tall, dark-featured, s.av-giant hands. Where any received the full Frank found that the damage to the-ship's bow age-looking fellow standing over the m. By his force of the current they were instantly killed. was so slight that it was I\Ot necessary to re-side were a h a lf doz e n armed guards. It was a death girdle about the catamaran. pair it at once. The f ellow was. probably a p'rince of the Those who succeeded in passing the wire s The catamaran was all ready for another realm, and he was exceedingly angry at the were shot down. aerial flight. Once more the future began to stat e of affairs. The.ground was lieaped with the dead foe. look bright and propitious .., H e gave s h arp and angry orders to his men. Nothing human could withstand such a state Three rousing cheers were given when at I nan in stant the y had seized the two prisonof affairs. length it was seen that the catamaran was at and dragge d them forward. The Belots w ere brave, but the hidden, mys-liberty. Barney and pomp were thrown upon their t erious, unknown force was to them very "Now, Frankl" cried Dr. Vaneyke; "what knees, and their heads were bent forward to strange and terrifying. is to come Have you not a plan of ac expose th;ir necks. They could not withstand the powerful wave tion1" Over the m stood a powerful felfow with a of superstition which would assert itself, and "1'hat I have," replied the young inventor; monster club. The fri ghtful purpos e was most yielded to the impulse to flee. readily, "but we cannot operate it in dayplain, and this was to break their necks with They broke, and in much confusion retired. light." the clubs. It was another victory for the explorers. "Ah, what is it1" Words cannot express the horror and despair "Hurrah!" cried Beals, triumphantly. "We "Wait until darkness comes and you shall of Barney and Pomp at that moment. are not conquered yet, although they have got see!" our electric gun." But the day had well nigh passed anyway, CHAPTER XXI. "You are right!" cried Frank. "We shall and it was not long before darkness came THE CATAMARAN RELEASED. give them a royal tussle before we yield, de-again. THE capture of the electric gun by the B!lpend upon it!" Then Frank regulated the machinery carelots was to Frank and his companions a most "With their ardor cooled by this defeat th. e fully, went into the pilot-house and pressed the appalling catastrophe. Belots retired and presently :qot one of them key which impelled the rotascopes. In that moment all their plans seemed bafto be seen anywhere. They began to hum at once, and into the air fled, and the shadow of an awful fate seemed This was most encouraging for the explorers sprang the air-ship. settling down upon them. and determined Frank upon a new moTe. lt was a novel thing for and he was "They have captured the gun, and Barney A conference was held. delighted. He went to the rail and looked and Pomp!" gasoed Dr. Vaneyke. It was agreed th!!-t extreme measures must over. "Heavens! all is up!" be resorted to. The fate of Barney and Pomp But all was darkness below save just where "What shall we dof was unknown, but if alive and prisoners they the lights of the Belot city broke the gloom. "We must not gtve up without a struggle!" rescued. The air-ship hovered over the city like a bird cried Frank, excitedly. "Come, one and all. Frank proposed to at once go to work to libof night, and the voyagers kept good watch of We must. save them!"' erate and repair the catamaran. the streets. The others needed no bidding. But as all gazed at the tons of rock wpich Not a light was permitted aboard the cata All s e ized their w "eapons and started for the held it down they felt discouraged and doubt-maran, for Frank did not want the savages to hill. They fired as they ran, but before they ful. know that the air-ship was released and afloat. could reach the summit the Belots had gone, But the young inventor was not to be baf-The young inventor brought the catamaran carrying away their prisoners and the electric fled by this obstacle. Quickly he went into the to a point 'just over the liuge building which as well. cabin. all had agreed was the prison. Frank in his impetuosity have pursued When he came out he brought with him the Here he held the air-ship steady and then the wretches to the very gates of their city. sections of several queer looking machines. sent the rays of the search-light down through But at this moment a warning cry came from "Do you know what these are1" he cried. the darkness. Beals. "I must say that we do not," said Dr. VanThe effect was simply wonderful. "Look out!" he cried, they have started for eyke. "What are they 'l" Every part of the building was illumined the catamaran. If they get possession of that "A new invention of mine," as if in broad daylight. What was more, an we are indeed." "Always an invention!" astounding revelation was made. This was true. Frank laughed merrily. In the middle of the prison building there The Belots in great numbers were swarming "I would cease to be an inventor,"' he said, was a broad .courtyard. This was lit up as from a neighboring jungle toward the ca,tama"if I did not produce something new now and bright as day. ran. Frank saw that no time was to be lost. then." And there, just risen from a stone settee, as All depended now upon the catamaran. "Well, what are if in fright, were two female forms. It needed Frank regretted too late that he had remov"Electric drills. With these I will show but a glance for Beals to shout: ed the electric gun at all. It would haveseem-you how very quickly those tons of rock will "My soul! it is Harriet and Mrs. :M:cLain! ed far better policy to have first liberated the yield." We will rescuethem." air-ship. Then the famous inventor proceeded to show Frank held the search-light upon the court-Back to the catamaran went the voyagers at the working of the drills. yard for a full minute. Vernon Beals leaned full speed. They were not a moment too It was a simple matter to set them in frames far over the rail and shouted: soon. over the rock, and connect a cylinder contain"Have courage, Harriet! We have come to Several of the Belots had reached the rail. ing a dynamo with a wire. The machinery of save y<>u!" Frank and his companions gave them a vol-the drill did not differ greatly otherwise from Then Frank instantly shut off the light, for ley and then rushed aboard the air-ship. the ordinary steam drill. he was fearful of attracting the attention of But the situation was now most alarming. J3ut the motive po\yer was, of course, elec-the Belot. Whether they saw it or not, it was From all sides throngs of Belots were surging tricity instead of steam. not easy fo say. Doubtless they might have forward to the attack. There was an abundance of force aboard the regarded it as some wonderful meteoric dis" Quick, or we are lost!" cried Frank. catamaran to operate a hundred of t.hliSe drills play, for it did not seem that any sensation A terrific volley from the Winchesters Wa'S with ease. was created. But the question now was how given the savages. Then Frank rushed with Everybody was enthused with idea, and to rescue the t wo women. all baste to the dynamo room. the drills were at once put to work. It will be remembered that wires had been Soon the air was ringing with their sound. CHAPTER XXII. placed all about the catamaran,. through the Block after block of the huge ledge was cut A PLUCKY RESCUE. !!;rass and along the ground. A number of the away in this manner. WHETHER the captive women heard his voice Belots had already become entangled in these. Until late at night, under the glare of the or not Beals was not quite sure. He hoped that Quickly Frank pressed the key which sent search-light, they worked. they had, however, and that they would remain the current through the wires. When daylight came only a small fragment in the courtyard. The effect was thrilling. held the bow of the catamaran imprisoned. Frank had wisely shut off' the search-light. The wire2 were nearly as deadly as the elec-This was quickly removed, and the airship All was profound darkness. But the location tri<' gun Those of the foe who came in con-was free. It was a clean-cut job and a big vicof the courtyard could be easily determinea. tact with them were made tory. All on board the catamaran were very much They were lifted and hurled back as if with Moreover, to his joy, upon examination, excited.

PAGE 23

I FRANK READE JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. A plan of action was quickly formed. A huge At tllis moment there.was a scraping sound He was furious, indeed raving iil his madness basket similar to that used in ballooning was above. Then there came a flash from the at the fact that the women captives were gone. brought out from the cabin of the catamaran. searchlight. It required but a g!ance for those above to To this was attached a stout rope, and the The basket was seen sliding down the roof. recognize him as Allred Ward. basket was let down over the side of the air But the same flash of light enabled the Belot The villain was so enraged that he shook his ship. jailer to see it also. fist at the glare of electric light above and Beals bad volunteered to descend in the bas 'fhe fe'llow saw the airship as well, and elled: ket and rescue the two women. Of course the stanlly realized the situation. "Curses on ye all! Ye've got the best of -it ris k would be great, but he did not stop to A terrific yell pealed fromJlis lips. He rus_bjust now, but I'll have the hearts ol the whole think of this. e d toward Beals like a thunderbolt. of ye. Revenge shall be mine!" Frank Reade, Jr., Ferry and Dr. Vaneyke Inst;mtly from every quarter of the prison "Take care, Alfred Ward," replied Frank had 1iold of the rope. there came a terrific uproar. Reade, Jr., warningly. "I hold your life at this "Let her go!" cried Beals, as he stepped into The alarm was on. very moment in my band. I could kill you at the basket. Vernon experienced an awful chill. His first a blow!'' Down went the basket and its eccupant until impulse was to rush for the basket. "A fate'he. deserves," said Ferry, with ea.rnithung right over the courtyard. A little lower But the Belot jailer. was close upon him; In estness. and it descended right into the place. another minute the yard would be tilled with "That is right," agreed Dr. Vaneyke. "I Beals sprung out of the basket. There a foes. don't know why you should spare him. He is dim light burning beyond an archway leading There was no time to squander. Quick as a a curse to humanity." into the prison. Here the young adventurer flash Vernon squared off. Frank held a bomb ln his band. saw two dark forms. He was an expert boxer. As the jailer rush-He hesitated. One move of his hand and he He had no means of knowing whether they ed at him he drew back and let him have a could hurl the villain and a score of his fol were enemies or not. But there was no time crack in the face. lowers into eternity. for rumination. The Belot staggered and received a crack on But he shrank from this. The risk mu_st be and he did not the jaw, one in the jugular and an uppercut in He was always averse to taking human life. tate to tt. Qutekly be gave a shnll, the cheek. But yet through some .remarkable For this hesitation he was ever after extremely tremolo whtstle. tenacity he maintained his grip and closed sorry. "Harriet-Mrs. McLain!" he exclaimed. "Are with Vernon. Ward and his gang recoiled, and sought you A fearful wrestle followed. shelter in the prison. Beals was now aboard In an instant he heard a faint cry, and then a In this the young Englishman was expert. He the air-ship. light form came flitting through the gloom. quickly whipped his adversary over and makFrank the search-light's glare over the "Vernon!" said a soft, thrilled ,.oice. "Is it h ld 1 k b h h' h stone prison -and a part of the city, to_ take in the de-Ill !I( a s OQc er oc roug t tm to t e you r Hoor with a crash. tails. "Harriet, my own darling!'' cried the lover, There the fellow lay insensible. It could seen that much excitement ex rapturously. "I am so glad to you _!" The basket now lay upon the ground. Vernon is ted The Belots, in were In a moment she was folded m hts arms. made a spring for it. But his troubles were throngmg the streets, and makmg hosttle ges-That was a moment of thrilled sublime happi not yet over. tures at the catamaran. ness for the lovers. Into the yard sprung a half dozen of the Be, Frank Reade, Jr., carefully looked the ground Bu_t there was no t.tme . Danger was lots. They were armed with clubs and carried over. tmmment, and desptte hts fehettude Vernon torches which lit up the place. Then he turned to Ferry and Vaneyke. realized this, and that he must act at once and Beals' saw that he had not time to reach the "Well, Frank, what will you do r the. docquickly. basket before they would be upon him. For tor had asked. Mrs. McLain had now reached his side and tunately he had a brace of pistols in his belt. "I have made up mind!" replied the young clasped his band warmly. Quick as a flash he drew these and opened inventor, rigidly. "I shall bring the Belots to .. "I am so glad to see you, V she sairl. fire upon the crowd. Of course the sounds terms If they do not Barney You have come to rescue us 7 of the conflict reached the ears of those above. Pomp to me safe and well wtthm twenty mm-" Yes." In a moment Frank had turned the glare of utes, I w!U to blow their city into "But-how will you do it r the search-light downw_llrd and illumined the perdition." no":," Vel'Il;?n, courtyard. hasttly, but get mto thts basket-Th 1 d the thrilling scene in its en CHAPTER XXIII. "Basket!" exclaimed Mrs. McLain, in amaze IS revea e BOMBARDING THE CITY. ment. "Is it a balloon 'I" G d!" d p f Ph'! h .. h THERE was no doubt but that Frank Reade, .. A k t' y o crte ro 1 osop us, e ts J d dl t. h t h 'd Th V 8 n.o IO:s. I' d 'th; M lost. They will kill him!" rh., ead y m w a esat e ernon s reque!\ was comp te wt rs. .. Oh h' 1 d H t h h dot ers ts ene grave y. McLain andHarrietentered the basket. There. t 'save d 1r k w 0 tat .. Well, it is your only course, Frarik," said was a vivid flash of light from the clouds Jfiusd' recohverelf rbom derth 0? !at Dr. \Taneyke; with conviction. 1 n mg erse a oar e atr-s tp. on e .. Of 't 1.. d th t seemmg y. b k'll h' 1 course 1 ts sat e young mven or, It was from the search-light above, and by itt I tmf a F k .,.,_ d J positively. . ave no ears !!at ran nca e r. Vernon had made stgns to those on board the ..,1 .. W .11 1 ' "I cannot say that! blame you for the move," h' t l1 co"' y. e wt save tm 'd p f Ph'! h "S tb' b t atr-s tp 0 pu away. . Frank had seized an eiectric bomb. But he sat ro 1 osop us. orne mg as go Up the basket mto atr, swmgmg aw at a lance that it wduld not be safe to use to be done at in order to save Barney and and gyratmg. In a moment 1t was out of Ver-\ g Pomp." non's sight. t 18' "You are right." The young explorer remained in the court-The Belots, however, were being held at bay "But how will yoli communicate with the yard waiting for the return of the basket. He by Vernon. The revolvers had for a moment barbarians r could see nothing above, but heard plainly the held them back. "There is but one way, and that is through creaking of the rope. Seeing the position at a glance Frank leaned Ward," said Frank. "I will prepare ames Time passed. He had begun to wonder at over the, rail_ a.nd shouted: sage fer him,at once." the tardiness of his friends above, when he ex-"Jump into the .basket, Vernon. will "But will it be safe to take it down to him 'I'' v e rienced a thrill. lift you." Why f' This was of genuine alarm, and there was Beals was now able to do this. He kept up "He is treacherous." good cause for it. There was somebody else a fusillade with his revolvers which kept the "Ah, I will provide for that," said Frank. "I now in the courtyard. foe at a distance. will put it in written form and in a cylinder. He heard a guttural voice, and saw a dark Those above gave way at the rope_ and up He can answer as he pleases." form emerge from the archway. went the basket. The Belots. hurled their ar "If he does not answer favorably--" Instinctively Vernon reali zed that it was one rows and javelin.s, but fortunately none of them "Then I shall bombard the city." of the Belot jailers. did Vernon any harm. "But Barney and Pomp may come to harm The fellow had, no doubt, come in to look Quickly he was bey At this moas well as others from the projectiles," argued after his prV3oners. ment a man appeared ill the courtyard who Prof. Philosopbus. The positiQn of was a peculiar one. was recognized by all. "I have provided for that." said Frank.

PAGE 24

FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAM:A.RAN OF THE AIR. "Have no fears. I believe they are in tile Frank gave a long, shrill whistle and tore the serted. Jn the night, under cover of the fog, prison, and that I shall leave." letter into shreds. they had left it. . With this Frank went below to write his "That settles it!" he said; "there is no use Frank after some t1me arr1ved th1s stun-message to Ward. fooling with these people any longer. So here ning and most amazing c01;wlusion. But what Meanwhile, Vernon Beals had been making goes!" . had become of the Belots?. things cheerrul and pleasant for the two la. He touched the rotascope lever and the cata-He was thoroughly dies. maran leaped into the air. Up several hundred There was_no use to talk;. 1t was a peculiar The happiness of being reunited was, for the feet higher it went. of affa1rs. . two lovers, greater than words can express. Then Frank allowed the catamaran to float; What do you thmk of 1t? Frank asked of Both Mrs. McLain and Harriet were both high in the air. and .. wonderfully impressed with the marvelous He was now over a part of the city which Ill be hanged 1f I know :"hat make of mechanism of the electric catamaran. was some distance from the pril!on and the 1tl the elder SCientist. I am beat It seemed to them all like a marvelous dream. king's palace. . al!,outl 1 "Just to think!" said Harriet. "We are He had quite a number of the electric bombs ;rhe same sa1d Dr. Vaneyke. I high up hete in the air, out of all possible danon the deck, and these he now proceeded to don t understand, lt. h d h d h d d th il But Vernon Beals w o .stoo near a ear ger. rop over e ra "So you are,'' said Vernon. "You need fear rhe first one struck a house-top. The effect all. F k d h h' h nothing further, my Happiness is our& was fearful to witness. He stepped up to ran an touc mg lS at, now, for our troubles and dangers are over and In less time than it takes to tell it, there was sa'i'd h' k I 1 t we shall soon be back in civilization." nothing left of the building but a pile of stones Mr. Rea e, _t m h She turned her gaze upward into his hand-d debris. why the Belots did not &tan t e1r groun an 1 . 1 an that I oa.n tell you where they are.to be found some face w1th an ange 1c sm1 e. Another house' was blown up in this way. !" f 11 d h d at th1s moment Happmess, a ter a our sorrows an ar St d'l the destroyer advanced. h V ' h 'd t I "Oh t ea 1 Y 1ps, ernon, s. e rap urous Y 1 The people, terrified beyond all power of de CHAPTER XXIV. . . .scription, began to grow panic-stricken and THE SAND-STORM "And yet 1t IS true!" he sa1d, fondly. .'Life h 'ld f n The fled before t e rum m WI con USIO FRANK regarded the youthful explorer in will be bnghter to us all now.'' 'th the terrified . W d great squares were surgmg WI amazement Vernon emerged from the cabin -Frank m the cabm wrote a message to ar f ll Belots. where he had been with the ladies. as 0 ows. "I'llbringthemtoterms,"mutteredFrank, "Well" said the young inventor, tersely, "To .ALFRED WARD-You hold as prisoners my . p I h b call gr1mly. "let's have .your mmd on the subJect, young two servants, Barney and omp. ere Y S 1 t w'ful punishment he was giv0 "th 'tl" upon you to resklre them or I shall take extreme ure Y I was a; man. ut WI I m eas ures. T ake this warning! :u you do not at ing them. Yet somewhat cunously there Beals drew himself up and replied: once set them at liberty I will blow your city and all seemed to be no thought of surrender. "You shall have it," he said, promptly. "In the people in it into etern:ity Answer at once. In all his life Frank had had no exptrience the first place, the Belots have the greatest "FRANK READE, JR." with such obdurate people. It angered him fear of your electric bombs. They have real" I think the villain will pay some heed to greatly. ized that in order to. save their lives they must. that,"said Frank; "he will hardly dare to. dis"They are unwise and foolhardy," he deJeave the city. This is their motive for leav-1 regard it.'' clared. "What consum'!late ing." Prof. Philosophus and Dr. Vaneyke nodded The work of destruction went on. The dead "That is logical," agr eed Frank. "But where. approvingly. ly electric bombs were reducing the houses to have they "You are right there, Frank !" said the for-heaps of ruin. "Under cover of the fo! they have made their mer. It ought to bring him tfr terms." That Frank would have kept up the destrucescaJile. In the center of the city there is the "If it does not, the electric bombs will.!" de-tive work.all )light there was no doubt but for mouth of a deep cavern, which is really concll}red Dr. Vaneyke. 1. an nected with that in which the Shunokins, or So Frank went at once upon .deck and threw The wind had an a dense fog had People of Light, dwell.'' the search-light's glare down into the streets of come up.: This was a revelation. the city. All view of the country below was shut. off. "There is no doubt," continued Vernon, Be saw a great crowd gathered near the It was necessary to abandon the bombard-"that they have retreated to the depth of this prison, and among them he at on<;e ment. cavern, and there they are now in fancied se-Ward. But Frank was satisfied. curity. Frank allowed the catamaran to untll "It is enough for to-night," he said. "To-"Indeed, it may be that they_ are in real se-it was within three feet of morrow they will come to terms." curityt: V cried Frank, dubiously. "How on Then he held the cylmder over tJ:?.e rail and The night 'l''ore away slowly. Daylight came earth are we going to bring them to terms dropped it where it would fall at the feet of at last how'ever. ., 1" Ward. . The far executed could be "Attack them in the cavern." It fell, and for a moment there was a frantic plainly seen. It WIJ.S of most terriOle sort. "But that is not so easy to d_o." .scattering of the ):>arbarians. now an astounding surprise wa.s accorded the "Why not' 1 The mouth of the cavern is ':'hey had evidently it one of the dy young inventor. '' large enough to admit the air-ship. If you could namite bombs. But as It d1!1 not explode or do "Why!" exclaimed Dr. Vaneyke iii amaze-only contrive to put it on wheels--" any-harm, one of them had the courage to go ment. "What doe s it mean? seem But Frank shook. his and pick it up. tope anybody in the town!" "That is out of the question," he, said. It was opened and the paper revealed. Th1s This was the' truth. "However, it is < possible that the catamaran was Greek to the natives, so they took it, to 'Everything wdre a deserted air. Not a single might fl?at in on theriver current, by lowering Ward. Belot was to be seen. the rotascopes. The oa.tamarau has been de .The villain was seen to read the paper. He The amazement-of the catamaran's party was signed to travel on water as well as in the air.'' made motions then that he would ansWjer the intense. They exchanglld glances and then "That is all right then," cried Vernon. "We message. scrutinized' the scene below. can enter the cavern by means of the river.'' Frank lowered a small wire. 1 .. I'll find out where they are," said Frank, "Very good; how far we have to wrote up?n the pa ; t"er and 1t m grimly. travel before findm!!i the Belots This he wire, and He dropped a bomb. Their hiding-place may be miles from the 1t was hOisted aboard the air-ship. It blew the roof from one of the houses. point where we may enter. Frank unfolded the paper and read as fol-Every room was exposed, 'but not one of the "I do not llelieve it," said Vernon. "I think lows : inmates were seen . the river branches underground, and by follow" To FRANK RFADE, JR.-I will say that you fire This was repeated several times, but nqt a ing the tributary, we very nearly reach the your electric br.mbs at the city at your !lWIJ peril, Belot appeared. What did it mean? Here point where the Belots are in hiding." and that of your two faithful servants, Barne! a_nd was surely a problem. "Is that true 'I'' cried Frank, eagerly. Pomp. moment you open fire upon this City It was not at all likely that they were sleep"It is." t hey shall die. If you want me to return them to you ff t' d' d f th deadly bombs ":And you are familiar with the ramifications you must return the lady captives to me. mg or a ec 1sregar o e "Yours in hate, ALFRED WARD." It was plamly a fact that the c1ty was deof the cavern? t

PAGE 25

FRANK READE, JR.'S C.A'l'AM.ARAN OF 'l'HE AIR. "Quite familiar. I ought to be, for, as a Frank eaught the idea quickly. osophus. "Indeed, there are authentic accounts I was obliged to toil in the place many He turned the rotascope lever and sent the of whole cities having been buried by Sahara weary hours. The main body of the river catamaran up. Like a huge bird it passed sands, and there they are to this day.. But this alone the underground territory of over the city and a wide tract of the country, was certainly a sudden transformation." the Belots from that of the Shunokins." finally hovering over the spot where the under"Sudden!" excla}med Vernon Beals, aghast. "Ah, that is it!" ground. river emerged. "Well, I should say sol" "Yes!" Frank here allowed the air-ship to dP.scend "It is awful," murmured Harriet. "Do you think it likP-ly that the Belots have until it rested upon the bosom of the river. "How lucky that we did not remain in that J aken Barney and Pomp into the Its cylinders floated the water like a prison yard to await the passill;g of the storm," "I should think it quite likely. However, I duck, and the propeller was put into operation. said Dr. Vaneyke. would first advise that the prison be searched A rudder was lowered, and. the catamaran "We would not now be here." thoroughly." became a water craft. "I guess not," "A capital ideal" Into the mouth of the cavern the air-ship "It is also lucky for Barney and Pomp that At this moment Dr. Vaneyke stepped for-glided. theircaptorstookthemintotheirunderground ward and touched Frank on the arm. And this was not a moment too soon. retreat." you think ;;e had better look for the There came a sudden blast o: wind, a howl "And how fortunate for the Belots that they electrlC gun, like that of a thousand dervtshes, and the made their timely retreat put in Prof Ferry-"Of course!" cried the young inventor. "If storm was on. in ultimatum. they have not destroyed it!" Prof. Ferry and Dr. Vaneyke were anxious to "Do you suppose that they foresaw this cat-"I think that is hardly likely, Indeed, I have witness the warring of the elements, so the astropbe1'' been studying an object near the city gates catamaran was anchored just in the mouth of , I d t b r 't.. 'd th . with my glass, and I feel quite sure that it is the cavern. 0 h e 1 sal e SCientist. the gun!" Here the storm could be safely viewed. A cou t ey o so, I would like to "You do r more terrific or awful one the explorers had kTh1s s 1todrm has no precedent to the1r "Yes!" now e ge. never seen. "C t ed D V k b t th' Let me take your glass!" At times the darkness of night covered t.he orrec agre r. e ; u 18 Frank went forward and studied the object face of the country, The air was thick with the fate of Too bad, you for a moment carefully. Then he stepped into debris and flying sand. e ec ric son it, Frank." the pilot-house a?-d sent the catamaran for"My God!" exclaimed Ferry. "I pity any absently. ward. poor souls who may be out in that terrible e rec on e a er resume our Very quickly the air-ship was right over the storm. The deadly sandstorms of the Sahara for 1 d ., d D gates. Then it was seen plainly that the elec-are not to be compared with it." am a rai eir a e IS sea e sal r. tric gun lay there half co vered in sand. "Indeed, it is terrible!" agreed Vernon Beals. ; "I feel so bad for them. The natives had attempted to carry it into "It looks to me as if the whole country was ';r e h d th' t' B b "the city, but evidently concluding that it was being buried in sand." very 0 Y ec oe IS sen 1 !llent. ut. e-of no use to them had left it in thi'S spot. "That may be literally true!" continued the fore Frank could the of the It b t f t k f th E r h "f : t b h h catamaran a new mc1 ent occurred. was u a evr momen s wor or e air!oung_ ng IS man, or_ JUS ove ere _t ere Spddenly Harriet McLain who had been sb1p to descend, and the gun was lifted aboard IS a mtghty desert covermg mtles of terntory. t d tb k t d t v' B 1 h d I d d . . s u ymg e s y urne o ernon ea s w o an p ace once more upon the swtvel. The san 1s of light quality, and no doubt th1s t d ' It was practically unharmed and for this sand comes from there." s ?.0R V 't t b t' 1 .11 Frank 'lfas thankful. Certainly fortune seem"It will be interesting to take a look at the eba ernt on, 1 mtus etahntoip tea 1 u. . swn u 1 JUS seems o me a can see a e d favonng the party. 1 country after the storm IS over!" sa1d Dr. Vanb 11 d ,. "N 1 t' b k t h d 1 k a oon over yon er. ow e s go ac o t e an ook ey e. "A balloon!" gasped Vernon. for Barney and Porn p 1" Frank cned. And thts was agreed to by Frank Reade, Jr. "y . t 1 k .. And back to the prison went the catamaran. The terrific cyclone continued with unabated es, JUS 00 Soon the air-ship settled down into the yard. fury for several hours. The young Englishman looked in the diracFrank and Vernon Beals well armed now When at length the force of the wind ceased tion indicated and gave a startled cry. undertook the search of the,prison. and the appearance of the sun was evidence Far in an upper current of air, he From one part of the building to the other that the storm was over, Frank allowed the saw plamly the body of a balloon. It looked they went shouting loudly for Barney and catamaran to drift out of the cavern. shrunken and tipsy, andseemed to be drifting Pomp. He turned the rotascope lever and allowed at will with the wind. But to all appearance the place was deserted. the air-ship to leap into the air. Jl'or a m6ment he was so amazed that he "Enough I" cried Frank; "there is no doubt An astounding sight was spread to the gaze ha:rdly knew what to do. Then he turned and but that the prisoners have been taken into of the explorers. cned: the cavern. We must look for them there." "Where is the Belot cried Vaneyke. !!'rank Reade, Jr.! Dr. Vaneykel Every" Which is correct 1" agreed Vernon Beals. With stupefaction all gazed at the spot, body come here quick!" "Now, Mr. Reade, let us go back to the air-which was now nothing but a howling, whirl-His startled tones went from one end of the ship." ing waste of light sand. Buried beneath this air-ship to the other. In an instant everybody And this was done. But as they stepped completely was the city of the Belots. It was responded. aboard Prof. Philosoph us pointed to the sky a thrilling and wonderful sight to contem-"What is the matter, asked Fra k, and exclaimed ominously: plate. excitedly. "I don't like the looks of that Mr. Reade." "What has "Ahl" exclaimed "What is CHAPTER XXV. "Has somebody fallen But the young inventor need not have asked THE LOST AERONAUTS. "Look! Look there!" cried the excited young the question. One look was enough. IT was an appalling scene upon which the ex-Englishman, pointing to. the sky. The sky was a dull, copver color. The sun plorers gazed from the deck of the catamaran. "A balloon 1" was obscured by a thin; filmy haze. A low, There was no disproving their eyesight. The All stood spell-1::>-:-und gazing at the distant dull, moaning sound seemed to permeate the Belot city had been completely buried from sight. None were more wonder-struck than a ir. sight. Frank Reade, Jr. "My God!'' exclaimed the young inventor; Not a house-top was to be seen above the All watched the distant balloon for some mo \Ye are going to have a cyclone as I live. This shifting feathery pile. The two scientists, how-ments in silence. i s bad!" ever, were the most interested. "A balloon in this part of the world 1" said The position of the catamaran was not a bad They understood the philosophy of the thing Frank, finally. "What on earth does it one, being protected by the walls of the prison well enough. "I think it would be worth while to find yard. But Frank was fearful that the rota-The desert above the city had simply been out 1" suggested Dr. Vaneyke. scopes might he twisted off. shifted by the mighty force of the wind down "You areright." He was for a moment in a quandary. But into this valley. This was by no means an un-Frank sprung to the pilot-house and turned Vernon Beals came to the rescue. usual freak of nature. the propeller lever. He sent the air-ship with "I have the idea!" he cried. "Let us seek "The thing has been repeated many times all speed in the direction of the balloon. in the cavern." along the verge of the Sahara," said Prof. Phil-The balloon was seemingly a dozen miles I

PAGE 26

r 26 FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE AIR. away. The catamaran sped through the air nitude, and which it is believed will be better viewed son is a fool an' I'd loike to plug his eye fer at arrow-Eke speed. in that part of the world. him." As it drew nearer it could be seen plainly "Also our Soci e ty has_ offe;ed us "Golly, dat am jes' de size ob it fo' a fac'," that the balloon was slowly sinking. costly medals_tf we wtll do expl?ratwns m that declared Pomp. "What am dey gwine to do There was no doubt but Lhat it bad ke t unknown Upon thts we start _to-wid us now, I'd like fo' to P day. May the God of the French be Wtth us. Vtve d h 'II adrift as long as was possible. 'l'he gas-bag 1 F 1 Begorra, I'm av a mom that t ey have was rapidly decreasing in size. a .. constructed for our use one of the best us kilt yit. Shure I thought we med a good There was visible sign of human occupants balloons that money and skill will build. In it we impression on the king, an' av it wasn't fer in the basket. What had become of shall ascend from Melbourne and trust to the tavor-the blatherskite of a Ward we'd have a fat Were they able air currents to take us to the locality desired." time av it." All these questiens surge d through the Then followed a dozen pages or more of Barney smacked his lips _as he thought of brains of the explorers. It was all a curious scientific data which Frank passed over, and the wine, and was only sorry to think that be mystery. Why was this balloon thus found the entries from day to day of the ex-had not drank more. about at random in this part of the world? periences of the aeronauts. Both were drowsy, and as there was nothing How bad it come here? These described the incidents of the trip, better to do, they fell into sleep. How long 1 Had the sand-storm brought But it was how different air currents were made use of to their nap lasted neither was able to say. not at all likely that it had once come in con-carry. them over the country. The latter of But when they came out of it, Barney sprang tact with that. these was most pathetic. up, saying: The blinding, whirling sand would have cut The aged scientist was taken ill. Medicines "Whishtl do yez hear that Shure, it's -the delicate gas bag to pieces in a moment. seemed of no avail. The food supply gave out, Misther Frank!" That the balloon bad been driven hither all and then the balloon became unmanageable 'fhere was a dull, distant roar and an earth this distance from some European country was and drifted away at random. quake-like shock. To the two prisoners it was neitb.er propable. Altogether it was a great Several descents were made, but the young comprehensive. They knew that the noise wa& mystery. aeronaut dared not leave the basket with his caused by the electric bombs. But it was destined to be very shortly solved. Sick friend in it. Every day both became They knew that Frank was bombarding the Nearer the catamaran drew to the balloon. weaker. They knew of no way to get food, and city, and a wild thrill of joy and hope seized The latter was rapidly settling. the air currents did not seem inclined to take them. Before the air-ship could reach it, it settled the balloon back to civilization. The pitiable "Wburroo!'' cried Barney. "Shure, Mistber down upon a smooth p)ain. The catamaran result is known. Frank is comin' afther us. We're goin' to b9 also descended about one hundred yards dis-Thus the journal closed. Had the catamaran saved, naygur!" tant. been a day earlier in finding the balloon, pos"Golly! l'se done glad ob dat!" cried Pomp, Frank threw out the anchor and then leaped sibly the lives of the unfortunate aeronauts ecstatically. out himself. might have been saved. For some while the two comical fellows lis-The two scientists and Ver!l'on Beals follow-In the rear of the book were written two tened to the distant booming. Every time an ed him. As they reached the b11.sket they be-names, probably of the aeronauts. explosion came, they would turn somersaults held a horrible sight. "MONSIEUR FELIX LEBRUN." in tbeit: joy. In the 'bottom of the basket there lay two But after a time the sounds ceased. The con-men, dead beyond a doubt. But this had not "DocTEUR RoUGET DE VARIN." elusion naturally arrived at by them was that been for long, as one of them was yet limp. Sadly the catamaran's party were making the Belots had surrendered. Aghast the explorers for a moment paused. ready for the burial of the unfortunate aero-But, in reality, it was at this juncture that "My God!" exclaimed Ferry;" the aeronauts nauts It was the most pathetic incident of the fog had shut down, and thus put an end to are dead.'' the voyage thus far. the strife. "Perhaps not!'' said Beals. "Let us make Graves were dug in the plain, and tenderly Time passed. The two servitors waited anx-an examination." the aeronauts were laid to rest. A prayer was iously for what they certainly believed would J They were lifted from the basket and place d said over the grave by Dr. Vaneyke. be the coming of a rescue. But it came not. upon the ground tenderly. But it was useless; Then the records of the party were taken After a while footsteps were beard in the they were dead; aboard the catamaran for further examina-corridor without. The door swung open, and It was evident that they bad died from extion. half a dozen stalwart Belots entered. posure and starvation. One was a tall, straight There was no time just now for that. The Barney and Pomp gazed at each other in dis-\. young man, with clear-cut features; the other all-important matter in hand now was the res-may. Their hearts fell. This was most unex-was older and evidently a scientist. cue of Barney and Pomp. pected. The tricolor of France was wrapped about "'Vb.at am all .. muttered Pomp. "Wha' the body of the older man. CHAPTER XXVI. fo' am dey come yer, .. There was no doubt that that was their "Bejabers, naygur, it's to take us out an' kill nationality. The car of the balloon was finely BARNEY AND POMP ESCAPE. us entoirely they've come." fitted up with astronomical and scientific in-Welefttbe "Golly! Deyamn' t gwine togii:> ustimefo' struments, which told the story. two faithful servitors in a desperate position to say our prayers, They came here for the purpose of astro-truly. "It don't luk loike it." nomical observation!" cried Ferry; possibly Had the dark-eyed prince 'been permitted to "Sbuah dat am a fac'. Ob, dis chile am jes' geographical research. See, this fellow was a carry out his purpose their heads would cer-gwine to-die hard." Ii'lember of the Royal French Society!" tainly have been lopped off at that moment. With rough, guttural exclamations the Be-The professor held up a medal which depend-But fortunately rescue arrived. lots compelled the two servitors of Frank ed from the breast of one of the dead aero-This was at the bands of one of whom it was Reade, Jr., to follow them. nauts. little expected-no other than the villain, Alfred Out of the cell they went, and finally into the All gazed sadly upon this wrecked and fatal Ward. courtyard. Here others joined them, and they expedition. Suddenly into the courtyard bounded Ward. were led into the street. Then Frank gave a sharp cry. He saw the two powerful executioners stoop-Here an astonndirig spectacle was presented. He picked up a jburnal from the bottom of ing over their would-be victims. The streets were thronged with the barbarians. the basket, the pages of which w ere close In a voice of thunder he yelled orders to them A thick mist bung over the city like a funeral written in French. which caused them to fall back. The Belot pall. "This will tell the story!" be, said. 'Let us prince turned upon him angrily. The strange people bad their arms full of va-read it." Heated exclamations passed between them. rious articles, and many carried litters heavily Frank could read French as easily as En-The prince made a blow at Ward and the loaded. All seemed on the move to some dis glisb. Upon the opening page he read as a latte r struck him down with his fists. A gen-taut point. memorandum: era! row followed. It did not take Barney and Pomp long to "RuE DE VILLIERS, PARIS, FRANCE, F eb. 14, 18. In the melee the two prisoners were hurried catch on to the fact. "To-day we leave Paris, beautiful Paris, upon our to prison. Both much disgusted exclaimed Barney. "It's afther great expedition to North Australia, where we will with the outcome of the affair. makm a retbreat from the city they are." mak e rbse rvations for the n e w comet said to have "Bejabers, I don't loike it at all!" cried Bar"Yo' am right, I' ish," agreed Pomp. "I app eare d in Androm e d a and t o b e of the fift h ma.g-ney. "Shure the king is a gintleman, but the won dab whar dey am gwine

PAGE 27

FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE. AIR. 2'1' But they were very soon to learn this. Beit had been. Both Barney and Pomp were The weight not only strained the rotascopes, tween their captors they were led through vaspeechless with amazemem. but the provisions w ere getting low. Thus rious streets, and finally came to tl;le mouth of But what had become of the They matters were. a mighty cavern. looked about for it in vain. The practicability of leaving some of the This was right in the heart of the city and party at a safe point unLil the return of the seemed to extend an unknown depth Into CHAPTER XXVII. catamaran was discussed. the earth. The objection to this was tbe fact that most H seemed to have been specially designed by NEW PLANS-STORM DRIVEN. of those to be left were ladies and the dangers nature as a place of retreat for the Belots in "GoLLY!'' exclaimed Pomp at length, draw-of ti:J.e country were great. case of attack. ing a deep breath. "Dere mus' hab been some Bushmen and wild beasts would be almost Into this cavern the two prisoners were led. kin' ob a cyclone since we uns went into dat sure to pounce upon them. The matter was As they passed from the outer air the spirits cave." certainly puzzling. of both ank. 1 "Bejabers, I should say so," said Barney, What was to be Frank Reade, Jr., "Begona, it's lost we are!" moaned Barney. scratching his head. "Or it may be that was never so perplexed in his life. "Shure, Misther Frank niver kin rescue us we've come inLo some other part av the wor But at this stage of affairs an incident oc from here!" ruld." curred which effectually solved the conun "Don' yo' lose baht, said Pomp, cheer"I don't believe dat," objected Pomp. "Here drum. fully. "Mebbe we kin fin' some way fo' toesau1 suttinly de place whar we fus'looked at de All were in the cabin engaged in the noonday cape." cit,r.." meal on the following day. A small yellow Barney, howe'l'er, was not so cheerful. They 'I his was a fact. The two servitors had no cloud unseen had crept up to the zenith. were led deep into the cavern: Upon the banks alternative but to accept the fact that the coun A terrlfic storm equal almost to the one just of an underground river they paused. try had been S\vept by a mighty tornado. experienced was close upon them. And noTorches and bonfires lit up the place. The This was an impressive discovery to Barney. body dreamed of this until the first warning Belots crowded into the cavern by hundreds. "Shure an' it was luck,r fer us, naygur, that came. / Time passed, and it seemed utterly impossi-we went into that cave,' he said. Or mebbe This was in the shape of a fel\rful blast which ble for the Belot king to bring order out of we'd be underneath that sand now." caught the catamaran up like a feather, whirl chaos. "Yo' am right dar, chile,'' agreed Pomp. "I edit about a hundred times or more, and bore Indeed, this very confusion was a godsend to spec's some ob de barbarians am suah buried it away upon Its wings like a mere bit of cotthe two prisoners. Pomp, who had been on down dar." . ton. the qui vive all the while, suddenly whispered "I wudn't be surprised. But phwat of the Frank and the others were hurled across the to Barney: cattymaran cabin. The dishes were smashed and things "Golly, chile, I kin see a way fo' to escape!' The two servitors looked at each other aghast. were turned topsy-turvy. Barney quivered like an aspen. The same thought was in the mind of each, and It was beyond all possible human power it "Yez kin, eh this was that the catamaran had been destroy-seemed f,or a time to save the air-ship. It seem "DatI can, chile!" ed by the same awful storm. ed doomed. "Phwat is itr' That it could have outlived it did not seem It was for a time completely at the mercy of Pomp placed his lips close to the Celt's ear, possible. Both looked around fearfully. the wind. and whispered something: in it. which gave Shure, av it's the ind av Misther Fra:nk an' How the rigging and the rotascopes helrl out Barney a start. the cattymaran, phwat the divil will become was forever a mystery to Frank. With the The Belots were in a state of the wildest con-av wailed Barney. greatest of exertion he finally managed to reach fusion from their evacuation of their city. An But Pomp's keen gaze suddenly caught sight the pilot-house. incident occarrGd which also served to divert of an object in the western sky. He instantly In vain he tried to get speed enough into the their attention from the prisoners, and gave gave a yell akin to an Indian war-whoop and rotascopes to rise above the storm. The c.ataBarney and Pomp just the opportunity they wenc to turning flip-flaps. maran was wholly in the power of the wind. desired. Barney looked in that direction, and letting To add to all the propeller refused to work The river, which flowed. not ten feet distant, out a roar, went to doing the same. under such pressure. Then darkness came. was swift and powerful in current. Upon the 'l'he joy of the two servitors was of the That was an awful night to the aerial voy. sands there lay a small boat made of light francic kind. They seemed wholly beyond con-agers. All that could be done was to keep the wood. trol. catamaran upright and keep the rotascope This was what had caught Pomp's gaze and They were like wild Indians in their antics. shafts well oiled. suggested to him the idea of escape. The catamaran was certainly in the sky, and Several times Frank had given up the battle t Only two of the Belots stood by them. bearing down toward them. There was good and believed that the air-ship was going all to Neither of the prisoners were bound. It was reason for their joy. pieces. a mighty chance, and they were desperate 1'he catamarah came on swiftly, and finally But she proved stanch. For hours the gale enough to accept it. was directly overhead, at a height of a thousand bowled fiendishly. Daylight came at length, At this moment an incident occurred which feet. and the storm ceased. The catamaran rode aided them. For a moment Barney and Pomp were fear-high and steady in the air. Alfred Ward had appeared upon the scene, ful that it would pass them by. She was somewhat battered, but not at all and was having a savage altercation once more But Frank Reade, Jr., with a powerful glass, cranky, as Frank saw, with joy. He went to with the dark-eyed prince. Indeed, from words had been studying the ground below . With a the rail and looked over. they went to blows. thrill of joy he had seen the two lost servitors. He knew that they bad been driven a great Ward had a murderous temper, and whirl"Hurrah 1" he cried; "there is Barney and ways before the storm, but was hardly prepared ing a club aloft, brained the prince on the Pomp. In some way they have made their es-far the sight which met his gaze. spot. cape." The mists were clearing away below, and The effect of this was terrible. It was a joyful announcement. Down went therehe saw high combing waves. A great cry In a moment the Belots turned against the air-ship and rested on the ground. escaped his lips. Instantly everybody was by their white ally. They rushed upon him with In a few moments Barney and Pomp.wereon his side. loud yells. board. It was indeed a joyful meeting for all. "My God!" cried Frank, excitedly. "Do you The two guards beside Barney and Pomp 'l'he dark clouds had cleared away, and the know where we are, friends?" caught the excitement and forgot their charge. horizon once more looked bright and promis"Where?" Vaneyke, breathlessly. They joined the avenging crowd, and the two ing. "Why, we have been blown completely o ver prisoners stood alone. Mutual experiences were. exchanged, and the Australian continent, and goodness knows J3arney and Pomp had just time to see Ward now new plans were discussed. how far out to sea." JdJied outright. The next moment they were None felt any further in .the Belots in the canoe. or the People of L1ght. CHAPTER XXVIII Before any of the Belots saw them t ,hey were Ward .had met with a fearful expiation of lost in the gloom of the cavern. They had made his crimes. None felt any keen regret for THE OCEAN STEAMER. a daring break for liberty. his fate. It was certainly deserved. FRANK READE, JR.'s exclamation that the "Wburrool" cried Barney, wildly. "Shure, Of course, Vernon Beals and tlie women were storm had driven them over the Australian we fooled thim. Now, naygur, whichever way anxious to return to Melbourne. Frank Reade, continent and out to sea was a thrilling one to shall we go?" Jr. was meditating taking them thither. the voyagers. "Don' 1o' git excited I'isb," said Barney, But Prof. Philosoph us and Dr. Vaneyke were But the mists were clearing away below and coolly. Jes' keep right' on down de ribber.'' not satisfied. The district they had come to now they could see for themselves. And this they to do. see had not yet been fully explored. The hungry rolling sea lay beneath them. Presently they came out into the main Their desire for further explOration was How far they were from land they knew not. river. A brilliant light far in the cavern apstrengthened by a remarkable discovery. But at all events the catamaran was going prised them of their nearness to the home of Among the effects of the dead aeronauts stanch and steadily and they were all safe the People of Light. there had been discovered journal. and sound of limb. But there was nothing to fear, as the current This gave a thrilling and authentic account This was a matter of deep congratulation, was sweeping them in an opposite direction. of the discovery of vast diamond fields which for it certainly looked squally for their welfare For some hours they were thus borne on. ought to rival those of Kimberley. Fine speci atone time. 1 Finally showed ahead, and they knew mens were secured, and there was no doubt "Mercy on us!" puffed Dr. Vaneyke. I with intense JOY that they were coming out of that skillful mining would unearth large for-thought we had sure1y done with the things of the cavern tunes. this life.'' It was too sublime a realization to lose sight It was not the intrinsic value of the precious "It was a close call, doctor!'' cried Ferry. of. Their joy was without limit when finally stones that the scientists cared for. "Our escape from shipwreck was' very lucky they came out into day once more. Both were wealthy men. But the field of indeed!" But what a scene lay before them! There geological research seemed great, and the honor "Bejabers, I was nivel) so shaken up in me had evidently been a mighty storm since they of discovery of the new Kimberley was greater loife!" said Barney, ruefully rubbing his skull. had entered the cavern. yet. "Golly, but I jes' about done up mah shin!" Sand lay all about them. Indeed, climbing a Thus matt11rs stood. For a long timA it was declared Pomp, ruefully rubbing that member, heigbt to take a look at the Belot city, it was unde cided how to act. The ladies of the party had been badly fright not to be seen. Of course it was large party for the cata-ened, but were unhurt. Vernon Beals had re Only a. plain of sand marked the spot where maran to carry. mained by their side through all. /

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, 28 FRA N K READE, J R.'S CAT AMARAN OF 'l'HE AIR How far out to sea they bad been driven are in distress. Place the ladies aboard, and Then suddenly from a copse there leaped' Frank was as yet uuable to tell. they shall have good treatment." forth a huge animal. H made away ove. r the After all had pulled themselves together Frank returned quickly to the catamaran. plain below with great leaps . Ferry ventured to ask Frank : It became now a question as to how to trans It was a specimen of the kangaroo tribe. A "Well, what shall we do n.ow?' fer the ladies to the steamer. monster ot its kind. Frank did not attempt to "First I must get our bearings," declared In the' brisk breeze blowing, it was extremely shoot it. the young inventor, "then I Cfln answer that dangerous to bring the catamaran too near the Then a nest. of tl;le little duckbilled platyrus question, We will wait until the fog wholly rigging of the steamship. was found. These are a curious little animal lifts." But a boat put out from the Princess Ida; which Jay eggs and hatch young just as birds For an hour or more the catamaran floated aJold waited until a basket was lowered from do. idly in the fog. the air-ship. But exciting sport was ahead . But it gradually vanished, and just as it was b. this \Vay, one at a time, the ladies left the "Golly, Marse Frank!" declared Pomp, as rolling away even to the distant horizon, an catamaran. they entered a ravine. "Dey don' seem to be object burst upon the view of the voyagers They bade a kindly farewell to the crew of no sign ob possums round yere. I'se bin lookwhich gave them all a start. the catamaran, and warmly assured Frank in' fer dem eberywbere!" Coming out of the fog not more than a mile Reade, Jr., of their especial gratitude to him. "You'll have to wait until you get back to distant was an ocean steamer. It was steamSafely on board the Princess Ida, Vernon South Carolina for them!" laughed Frank. ing along at a good rate through the heaving Bejjls and Mrs. McLain and Harriet waved an "Don' yo' fink d,ere am any here?" sea. adieu. "I'm afraid not. The possum is essential!y a "A steamship!" cried Vernon Beals, excited-1l'hen the steamship started, and the catama-Carolina product,you know. Of course there Jy. "And as I li>e, she carries the British ran sprang into the air. are other species." flag!" "Back to the land!" cried Frank. "We are "Hub!" said Pomp, disappointedly. "Kain't Intense excitement was created. Everybody rtd of all encumbrances now, and can explore say datI like dat idee at all. 'Tain't very much crowded to the rail. The ladies particularly North Australia with.out any hindrance. ob a whar you kain't skeer up a 'pos were interested. Of course th1s deltghted the two savants, sum or two, .My mouf am jes' itchin' fer a bit The steamer was watched with deep interest. Ferry and Vaneyke. ob good ole possum stew!" ,. Frank allowed the catamaran to descend unThey foresaw now nothing l.mt a grand op Frank laughed heartily. til within less than a hundred feet of the portunity to further their studies in science "I'm afraid.you'll have to wait a while for water. and natural history. They anticipated rich ad that!" he declared. "Wait until we get back '!;hose on board the English steamer had now ditions to their collection of specimens. to the United States!" caught s ,ight of the catamaran. The rail was As for Barney and Pomp, they were ready "I done wish I was dere now!" crowded with the crew and passengers, and for anything new in the line of adventure or "Oh, we'll' have some fun here yet. Just the ship was seen to diminish speed, sport. hold on!" said Frank, reassuringl y. Then up went a signal flag. It was decided not to return to the locality 'rhey were now well int. o the ravine. Just Frank leaned over the rail and waved the of the Belots. as they were passin g a heap of brush Frank American flag. All cheered loudly, and this The northern part of Australia was outlined gave an exclamation and sprung back. was answered by a vigorous hurrah from the on the map as the objective point, and the cataFrom the bush there suddenly lumbered British vessel. maran was put to full speed to get there. forth an enormous specimen of a bear. Nearer the big steamer drew now. The next morning after an all n ight's sail the He was a perfect giant in proportions, and The faces of the passengers could be plainly voyagers awoke to find a vast stretch of the black as a coal. He started to c limb the mou n seen upturned as they watched the catamaran wildest country they had ever seen spread betain side. with wonderment. low t .hem. Frank instantly raised his rifle to his shoulThe air-ship was to them, no doubt, a won They gazed down upon it with w onderment. der. derful sight. It was (j.oubtful if any of them Plain and mountain and valley were blended ''Look out, Pomp!" he cried. "I'm going to had ever seen its like before. in one. Prof. Philosopbus and Dr. Vaneyke give him a shot!" They were within hailing distance now. A were of course anxious for a chance to do some "A'right, Marse Frank!" cried Pomp, ex-Jack Tar was in the steamer's foretop and sent exploring. citedly. "I'se ready to help yo'!" .up a lusty hail. Frank acceded to their and the cata'l'he bear had mounted a log which lay wedg-" Ahoy up there!" maran descended. I ed in between huge bowlders. Frank drew "Are-aye!" replied Frank. A clear, open space on the side of a small hill aim and fired. :1 yifhat craft is that?" was selected as a good landing place. Crack! "Frank Jr's. e The lyre bird, the emu, the cassawary were In the ravine two more h a d shown up, and passengers," be s.aid. "Especially those who all seen, and several specimens obtained. back of them were others. In less than three

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FRANK JR.'S CA'l'AMAR.A.N OF THE AIR. minutes our adventurers were able to count "Bejabers, they're comical enough!" cried "Indeed, I believ e d this myself and counted halt a hundred of t h e tribe. Barney "but howiver will yezgit rid av them, it my Jast hour on earth. On came the lava. And e very moment the number was ir.creas-Frank?" "llut we turned an angle in the mountain in g "That is easy enough !" said the young in-wall, taking a new course. The The place seemed to be a literal den for the ventor. "You don't know bear nature as well went Lhundering on down at a point beyoud brutes. What was more they had apparently as I do!" us. I believed that we were saved. smelled the blood of their dead comrade and "Shure will we shoot. thim and tumble thim "But at that moment I heard Ferry give 11. were angry. gurgling cry_. He was behind me. I turued Straight toward the hunter:! they came at a "By no means!" said Frank. "I have a bet-and the n ext moment he had gone from sigbt. long loping stride. ter plan !" "I turned and went back. There was a de e p, Frank Reade was aghast. "Shure an' is it!" cavernous hole in the mountain side. I shout" Massy sakes ali be!' screamed Pomp. "I'll show you!" ed down it, but no answer came back. "V.Tha' am we gwine to do, Marse Frank turned the lever back and the air-ship "I tossed a pebble down, and it se .emed to D ey done eat us uP,!" i:legan to descend. They had drifted some dis-strike water a thousand feet below. I gave m y "It looks like it!' muttered Frank, in dismay. tance and would alight in a different spot. friend up. Oh, mr God! There is no ove to hear him. on them was most pecuhar as well as am us: My God, it all up with poor Ferry!" he So they were able only to venture a baphaz-ing. cried. ard guess at his condition or position. "Ferry!". Frank. "What has l..tapAgain and again Frank shouted. XXX. .to . A p eculiar hissing noise, like the escape of It awful story. Give me a httle stim filled the air. This drowned most other THE VOLCANO. ulant. sounds. UP shot the catamaran to the height of a brought some brandy from the The eruption was rapidly subsiding, and the thousand feet. cabm. The doctor partook of it and the n mountain beginning to assume its normal ap-A more astonished coterie of bears were went on: pearance. doubtless never seen. A number slipped over "We were out J!rospecting and sighted a Frank Reade, Jr., arose, and for a moment the edge and fell. mountam peak whwh looked to us to be the all stood in silence, gazing questioningly at Some leaped, but the majority did nothing crater of a_ each other. but cling on, and crawling to the edge, looked "We cllmbed tt and found that thts was. An idea had entered the brain of the young tremblingly down. true.. We up<'n a narrow shelf of rock mventor. The situation now assumed a comical aspect. lookmg down mto the crater. After a moment's thought h e c ried: The bear tS an amusing brute when viewed "Red hot lak_es of lava were there, and these "We have got to make quick action. It is at a safe distance. The brutes, in their alarm were J?UCh agttated. Suddenly there was a necessary, first of all, to ascertain what Fer and surpnse, forgot all about their foes. < boom hke thunder and we saw the eruptwn ry's condition is, and devise a plan t9 rescue. They crept to the edge and looked down commg. him!" through that appallmg space to the earth. "Knowing our peril, we started down the "Exactly," agreed Dr. Vaneyke. Then they danced, rubbed their eyes and mountain side at full speed. We ran on at "Pomp and Barney!" exclaimed Frank, "run wrestled, and made grotesque antics, fearful speed. down to the air-shtp a s quickly as you can and were funny beyond all description. "Suddenly Ferry gave a cry of horror. I brmg me a wire from the dynamos. Also Barney and Pomp, in the pilot-house, turned just in time to see a great wave of lava bring along an mcandescent globe." voCiferously. coming down the mountain. "A'right, sah!" cried Pomp, and both started y sakes!" roared Pomp. "It am too "'My God! Vaheyke,' he cried, 'it will surepell-mell for the catamaran. f unny fo' anyfing. ly o -vertake us!' Arrived there, it was b u t a moment's w ork

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30 FRANK R E A D E J R 'S CATAMARAN O F THE d.IR. for Barney to uncoil some wire and attach it to 'Barney and Pomp were dying to them"What is he asked. "What does it the dynamos, with an insulated key to hold the selves, but they could only obey orders. current in check. Down into the pit they lowered Frank Reade, "lt means that this is an active geyser!" de" Now, naygur !'' said the Celt, brusquely, Jr. When the bottom was reached he disen-clared the doctor, excitedly. "Just at this "if yez will shtay here an' howld the key I'll gaged the rope, and Dr. Vaneyke came down moment it is inactive, but at any moment it is jist carry the woire up ter Misther Frank." behind him. apt to let forth its mighty volume of pent up "A' right, I'ish," replied Pomp, readily. Then the two explorers beheld a sight which waters." "Jes' go ahead an' say when yo' am ready,'' appalled them. Through the passages leading The two men looked at each other. "All roight !" from the pit theybeheld a perfect wall of flame. "I understand you," said Frank, calmly. "If This Barney proceeded to do. The passages seemed to extenq a distance of the eruption should come while we are here He carried the coil of wire, uncoiling it as he some fifty feet into the interior of the moun---" went up to the spot where Frank was. The tain. "It would mean death!" young inventor took it and quickly attached Passing through one of them the two adOf course this was an appalling fact. The to it a globe and electric burner. venturers came out upon a broad platform of passages of the cone would fill up almost in-Then he lowered this into the pit, at the rock and beheld one of the most wonderfu stantly, and they would be boiled alive in the same time shouting to Pomp: sights ever accorded the privilege of man. hot waters of the geyser. "Turn on the current." A mighty amphitheater with a vast dome like The awful danger of their position now oc The darky o:.eyed. .The platinum burner a roof covering acres and acres in extent. A curred to the two explorers. sputtered and suddenly gave forth a brilliant boiling, tossing, heaving caldron below of lava, For a moment both were so utterly appalled light. Frank leaned over the edge and looked ashes, cinders and flame. that they coula not act. Then Frank with a down. All this tumbling, tossing mass was raging shrug ex.:laimed : The darkness of the pit; was dispelled entire-furiously in the shell of the mountain. Near "Ugh! this is Let us get out of this ly by the electric light. Down went Lhe light the edge of the rock table the heat was fright, as quick as we can!" until it was quite near the bottom of the pft. ful. "You are right." The pit was seen to be a sloping funnel seem-But there seemed a draught downward Both started for the main s haft of the geyser ingly coated with a silicious substance and through the pit, and this alone kept the ex-cone. ---, enlarged as it extended down plorers from perishing. As they pushed on hurriedly, they could I he ptt at the Oc;>ttom was full twenty feet m Far above were of flame and every moment plainer the gurgling of dtameter . From tt there extended pas-smoke, borne by a. mtghty draught upward while the hissing of steam sounds which lea_dmfl: deeper m_to the mountam and through funnel-like cone of the volcano. from the first filled the place became intense. perhaps mto the crater Spellb?und Frank and the doctor gazed upon Each turned a white face upon the other. U(?On the floor of tJ:!e ptt sat Ferry a the subltme but awful spectacle. They were running at full speed. spramed_ ankle. Thu> was the only mJury he -"My God! we are lost if we get out of had recetved. . CHAPTER XXXII. here at once!" cried Frank. "There is an It was certamly a most mtraculous for eruption coming doctor!" him,_and how he had fallen distance and IJS'. "It will us. survtved; wa:s to stand for a l_tvmg wond_er. IT seemed. to as tf they were a The walls of the cave now trembled as if with The setentlst_scra_mbled pamfully to hts feet, look at the Hades. It reqmred no the shock of an earthquake. 'fhere was a jar and shouted 'Ylth. JOY as he loo_ked up and saw great of to see shapes and ring sensation as if bodies of water were the faces of hts frtends above htm. forms m tossmg fires of lost human being hurled against the partition But what he said could not be heard above. beings expiating their sins. On ran the two men H?.wever, Frank shouted: "Mere): on us!" _exclaimed Dr: They felt the air getting thick with a dense fast, partner! We wtll send down a SI*'ht to beat thts, vapor like steam. 'fhen they burst into the rope. There lS nothmg! main shaft. Everr;bod_y was to know that the "You are r_ight. I;J;urnan tongue or pen could Iloth had expected to find the rope there aged setenttst was alfve. not descrtbe tt fitly! ready for them and their friends at the orifice Barney quickly procured a rope. A noose The dome above them all ablaze, and far above was made 'in_ it, and it was !dwered to the bot-beneath Tere voids of black smoke llvi_ng But. to the horror of both the rope was gone, tom of the J?Lt: . flame. It was an awful grand and lmpresstve and the shaft was lit only by the light. from Ferry qutckly sltpped Lt under J:lts arms. sight. . . the inner fires of the volcano ThP.n those above quickly pulled hun to the Indeed, so near dtd tt all seem that mstmct'l'be orifice above was and no light of surface: tvely tJ;te two watchers could not help but feel day came into the place. '!'he JOY of the aged setent1st at once for thetr own safety. They were in a sealed trap hemmed in by fire bemg on terra cannot be m There were tJ;lundl'rous rel\orts, rnmb-and boiling water in thehea:rt of an active gey words. He was fatrly embraced by .hts col-hngs, and at ttmes 1t see.ned as if the shelf league, Dr. Vaneyke. upon which they were wo!lld fall. seAr. wf 1 t t ld h dl be "I knew you didn't come to Australia to d1e, But they were really qmte safe. in more a 0 SL ua IOU cou ar Y tm did you old pard 1" cried the doctor, excitedly. The downward draught from the cone kept ag1'hed. 1 f shall both live to reap fame and fortune the flames and much of the heat from reaching and yet. them. . . "Heaven help us!" cried Frank Reade : Pshaw!" cried Ferry. "I'm as as a For so .me while the:y-re;mamed gazmg m SL-with awful horror. "We are lost doctor'. crteket only for my ankle. But-I say! lent wonder upon the scene. cannot escape'" ' "We!H" The whole sh,ell of the mountam trembled "We have "Upon my of I. never a with the tossing and heaving of that awful "Yes. g more wonderful stght m mv llfe than LS to be caldron of fire. "What an awful fate'" seen from the bottom of that pit!" But_ did not seem da?ger of an "Ah far beyond the powerof words to "What do you eruptiOn JUSt now. For the ttme bemg at least press .. "Did you notice a number of passages lead-they were safe. in!! from Dr. Vaneyke was like a madman in his Overcc;>me wtth _horror and agony they could Yes" ness to secure specimens. He broke off btts of do nothmg but mutely glare at each other. "wei!, standing at the bottom of the pit, the ledge, and also fragments of the silica '.' Oh, my God!" Dr: Vaneyke, "to one can look through those passages and actu-which lined the cave. thmk should dte m thtsawful manner. ally get a glimpse of what looks like the in-This he examined closely. Oh, Frank, 1s there no way of teriOl' of Hades." "It is queer!" he ejaculated. "None!" "You don't mean it!" What is queer?" asked Frank. The young mventor SJ?Oke .. "Yes, 1 do, and I can say that it is the fi:->t ;; This!" , '.'We then be ltterally bo1led altve in time in my life that I ever got a look at them-"What about . th,t,s teriOl' mechanism of a volcano." I have never seen thts sort of coatmg m a Yes. It is worth seeing then 1" volcano cone before. It is silica and is generally Do you . "Worth seeing! Look here, Vane,rke, I found in geysers. It is _ma.do:: by the of It was the dtst.a.nt roarmg and tumblmg o f hurt and can't go down there. But m. the m-hot 'Yater upon kmds of mmerals, ltke. terests ot science and knowledge I advtse you chemtcals and sand. I hear Lt. . . to go down there and do some exploring. "Indeed!" exclaimed Frank, "for aught we "The tjeyser 1s resummg tts acttvtty. The others looked aghast. know this may sometime have been a "Yes.' .. "Go down there?" Dr. Vaneyke gazed critically at the young mplace was_ fast fillmg wtth steam. "Yes ventor. Thts. was gettmg to be almost unendurable. "But the mountain might blow up. Fire "Do you think it possible?" The atr was so densely permeated that one mi ht come into this pit which I believe is "I do. could hardly breathe. but a small crater 'or outlet." "Well, on the whole I believe Y?U are right," Something must be done at once if they "True but without risk there is no gain." cried the doctor, excitedly. "It ts not an unhoped; to .escape. But what could be F 'erry a. glance upward to the summit of usual combination, a geyser and a volcano. If Certamly tt looked hopel_ess.. . the mountain. It was yet hurling aloft mighty that is the case--" . At first both had been mclmed to SLJ?lpy watt volumes of flame and cinders, but the flow of The scientist's face turned chalky whtte, and fo;, death. But now J?r. Vaneyke satd: lava had practica\ly ceased. he gave a convulsive gasp. Let us do somethmg, Frank. m!ght Frank Reade,. Jr., caught the inspiration. "What is the choose anqt?er. fo;,m of death by.leapmg mto "Come on, d->ctor!" he cried, excitedly. "My God! do you hear that t?e vol_cano s ptt! . "Let us go down. We will take the risk!" Frank listened out heard nothmg. But m that moment an msptratton up-Vaneyke did not hesitate. "No," he replied. on Frank: He gave a sh.arp cry and.ymnted to "If you say so, Frank," he cried," it is a go!" "It has stopped no-.y, satd doctor, an angle.1_n the_wall whteh had untt now es" I do" huskily "but step back mto the corndor here caped thetr not,ce. "All and put your ear to the wall. Listen!" It was but a. momen't work for him to reach Frank put the rope under his arms. Frank did so. tt. "Lower away Barney and Pomp!" he cried. He experienced a thrt\1. A sound wasfamtly Back of thts ang)e, as he had hoped there "Let us lose no time." audible like the gurgling of many waters, was a passage, lea.dmg he _hardly knew whtth-

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FRANK READE JR.'S CA'rAMARAN OF THE AIR. "It is certainly grand!" agreed Dr. Vaneyke, But just as Frank was climbing down nue of escape and this was enough. the air is as dry' and soft as can be." ledge, Barney recovered himself and said in a He motioned to Dr. Vaneyke who was in"Yes, and exhilarating all the same," said hoarse whisper: stantly by his side. Frank. .'By the way, doctor, what is tbat yon"Shure, Misther Frank." "What is it?" cried the scientist, eagerly, ded" "Well'/" "It looks like an avenue of escape!" "What do you mean?" "Phwat the divil has iver become av the big "I believe it is I" replied Frank. "At any "Can you not see? Upon yonder ledge it giant?'' rate let us trr, it!" looks as if a giant stood there!'' Frank looked up and saw with much surprise "Lead on I' "A giant?" that it was true that the giant was gone. 'fogetber they started away through the pas"Yes. Wait a moment." He had disappeared while they hadbeen ob-sage. There was certainly no time to lose as a Frank leaped up and ran to the search-light. serving the giant diamond. thunderous sound now came up from below, He turned it upon the distant object. Frank, however, was not dispossd to give All gazed thither with utter amazement. much thought to this. He was interested CHAPTER XXXIII. There upon the spur of the ledge stood a human wholly in the big gem. THE MYS1'ERIOUS GIANT. figure, but of what awful dimensions. It was his intention to return to the cata-THE passage seemed to lead upward. It was It seemed fully nine feet tall. It was a pow-maran and keep a watch upon the treasure lined with silica, just the same as the cone. erful built man, nearly naked, and car.rying until morning. The footing was slippery, and the passage what looked to be a huge club. Then he would have it cut from the l edge) soon a sheer upward trend. "Mercy on us!" exclaimed Ferry. Is he a and proceed to further search of the \liamond And here the two explorers were forced to man or what 1" fields. come to a halt. "I don't believe it," said Dr. Vaneyke. "It But at this moment he heard a peculiar With horror and panting for breath they is a statue!" wailing sound up the pass. It was like the gave up the struggle. 'The evidence of some prehistoric race, chanting of many voices and seemed to be "It 1s no use, Frank!" said Vaneyke, in then!" cried Ferry, exCitedly. "Let us .go every moment nearer. despair. "We are lost, and might as well thither at once and see." Then the flash of torches was seen and mov-give up!" Barney raised his rifle. ing forms in the distance. In a moment "Yes," Frank. "I can hear the "Begorra, I'll moighty quick Tind outwheth-Frank down. water coming now." er it's a statoo or not," he muttered. "Barney!' he cried. "Run back to the cat-The next moment the water It wM But Frank intervened. amaran and turn off the lights!" over and around them in an instant. But the "Hold on!" cried 'the young inventor, don't "All'roight, sorl" waters of a geyser are marvelously buoyant, fire!" Away went the Celt with all haste. He had and instead of sinking or b eing "Begorra, there may be others there an' they quickly obeyed the command and the surround the two victims were lifted upon the surface may attack us," said Barney, apprehensively. ings were once more in darkness. like corks. "We must look out for that," said Frank, Frank and Pomp bad sought refuge tpon Round and round, over and over they felt cooll;y. "Who will dare to go out there with spur of the pass and now beheld a strange pro: themselves hurled. Neither were they par-me 1' cession coming down the pass. boiled, for the first waters of a geyser are some-Fully a score of men, like 'the giant times cold CHAPTER XXXIV. seen a short while before upon the barUp they went like a shot, and then they were THE HuGE DIAMoND barously clad, and carrying each a huge torch hurled into the open a ir. THE announcement of Frank Reade, Jr., ere-marched in single file down the pass. Full twenty feet they were lifte d in the air a ted no little sensation. It was certainly a In the glare of the torches the diamond shone and the next moment found themselves upon bold one. with great brilliancy. the mountain side with the water rushing over There stood the giant form as immovable Now a strange thing was witnesselil. them. Neither were scratched or even stunned. and mysterious a.<> ever. Down upon their knees went the giants in a In a moment t h e y scrambled to their f eet. As Barney had said, it might be an image of semi-circle ana continued their chant. Barney Above them to a h eight of full fifty feet stone, or on the contrary, it might be one of a had now come up, and with Pomp was witness roared t h e geyser. The waters now were ac-band of giants, ready to pounce upon and deing the curious ceremony. companied with steam and were getting hot. stroy whoever ventured out to inveetigate. Various ceremonies and forms were enacted. Tile two adventurers hastened to get out of If the latter supposition was correct, then it Then the band arose, and as they had come, t h e way of the boiling stream of water which would be indeed dangerous to attempt such a marched away up the defile. now came rushing down the mountain side. thing. "Begorra, I niver see the loikes av that. be" Saved!" cried Dr. Vaneyke. "Oh, Frank, Therefore, the others were silent at Frank's fore!" declared Barney, in amazement. Shure, how did it ever happen?'' words. Again the young inventor said: it's afther makin' a god av the dia!Il()nd they The young inventor was himself at a loss to "Come! Will you not go out there with me, be doing!" understand. Barney?" "Yes," replied Frank. "Upon my word, I don't know!" he ex"Huh! I jes' goes wif yo' anywhar, Marse "Shure, the more fools they!" claimed. "It is a miracle, It was not meant Frankl" cried Pomp. "No doubt they regard it as the sacred light that we should die!" "Bejabers, an' so wull II" cried Barney, inof their divinity!" said Frank. "I cannot "No, but look!" stantly. blame them in their for there is A loud cry went up from a point above them. This settled the question at once. Barney nothing else worthy of mterest in this barren rwo forms ca.me rushing down to the spot. and Pomp appeared with loaded rifles. region!" "Bejabers, av. it ain't Misther Frank alive!" They left the catamaran and struck into a "Gollvl I'se Jes' gwine to agree wif yo' there, cried Barney, wildly, for he was one of them little pass which led up to the ledge where the Marse Frank!" cried Pomp. and Pomp was the other. giant form still stood in the glare of the search-But what was to be done? Barney and Pomp explained that they had li9,ht. Frank was not long in decidingthis question. remaine d at the geyser orifice waiting for The bare wall of this pass was revealed in It was proper to return to the catamaran and the return of Frank and Dr. Vaneyke, when a the electric light. Suddenly as the three for daylight. startling thing occurred. adventurers were passing through it Frank It. would then be an easy matter to cut the Suddenl,y and without warning there came a Reade, Jr., gave a start. diamond from the face of the cliff, and possess small landslide down the mountain, which com"Cresars ghost!" he ejaculated, "What is the most wonderful gem in the world. pletely c6vered the mouth of the orifice. that?" But fate had decreed that this should not be The horror of the two faithful servitors could Then all saw in the blank wall of stone what so easily accomplished. well be imagined. They were in a perfectly looked like a ball of brilliant light, star-like in Suddenly, just as Frank was about to turn, frantic state until the geyser broke forth at its intensity, though much larger in appear-there smote upon the air a number of guttural another point, and Frank and the doctor ap-ance. sounds. peared. "Be jabers, pbwat do yez call it 'l" cried From the gloom there sprung a number of The catamaran was awaiting them below. Barney in amazement. giant forms. No harm had come to it, and Prof. -Ferry was "Goliy! I done fink it am de eye ob some big In a moment the three adventurers were sur aboard, nursing his sprained ankle. beast," cried Pomp. rounded. Quick as a flash, Frank Reade, . So all went aboard, and matters were soon "No!" said Frank, with inspiration. "It is made action. OJlCe more at rights. nothing of that sort. Wait and we will find "Quick, Barney and Pomp," he cried. Let us proceed at once to the spot where out what it is!" "Break for the catamaran. Run for your the diamonds were located by LeBrun and De With which the young inventor climbed uP lives!" Varin," said Prof. Ferry. "I am anxious to the ledge until he was but a few feet from the if their reports were true." ball of light. CHAPTER XXXV. "All right!" agreed Frank. "If I am not Then he saw at once that it was a huge diaTHE GIANTS' DEN. mistaken we are not far from them now. They mond, large as a goose egg, set in the stone AT the same moment, Frank pulled a re-should be in this immediate vicinity," wall of the pass. volver and fired right and left. The catamaran made a course due westward. He could see a million dollars in the value of Giant forms went tumbling down, the air Frank was at the wheel. Time passed, and that mighty specimen of the most precious was broken wit their roaring cries, and Frank the catamaran sailed on rapidly. gem in existence. was able to clear the way before him. Nightfall came, and it was deemed better to "Heavens, what a find!" muttered Frank, Barney and Pomp would gladly have done descend and wait for daylight to come again, with a sort of delirious joy. "This will be the the same, but they were not accorded the Accordingly the catamaran was allowed to wonder of the world." chance given Frank. descend. It rested upon the earth near a hill "Golly, but ain't it a whopper!" cried Pomp. Before they could get a rod from the spot o! broken ledges and bowlders. "It is without doubt the largest and finest giant forms were upon them. Supper was prepared and partaken of. The in the world!" said Frank. They were pigmies in the powerfui grip of spirits of the travelers were high, and they "Whurrool" cried Barney. "How iver will their captors. gathered upon the deck in the evening to enjoy yez get it out av' there Misther Frank?" Finding themselves du combat, Barney the balmy air. "That will be easy. The rock can be cut out and Pomp could only wisely submit to their "By J ovel" said Frank, lighting .a.. fine cigar, in a section around the diamond. It will be a captors. "this is certainly a cl.iinate not to be beaten on vast treasure for us." But Frank Reade, Jr., had cleared a space the face of the earth. I am indeed in love with 'fhe two faithful servitors were so overjoyed about him, and :ll.ow made a break for the cata it." that they danced a clog at;d an Irish reel. maran.

PAGE 32

FRANK READE, JR.'S CATAMARAN OF THE A I R. giants came afte r him full tilt. They The air-ship hung between the walls of the advantage of a lull i n the fight to pull the great runners but Frank had a good start. pass, and several hundred feet above the bot-ro)?,e : Vaneyke and Prof. Ferr y on board the tom. Then like a flash htJ vanished up between the catamaran saw him coming. The search-light was steadily down. walls of the pass. At once they opened fire upon the _gtants, but A s_teel r_ope was under Fran_k s !lrms, the rest A moment later and he was upon the air the latter were not checked, seemmg wholly of 1t bemg upon an e!ectnc wmdlass, which ship's deck. devoid of fear. could be made to lower or haul him up rapidly "Now (o 4lnd Barney and Pomp!" he cried, Straight for the catamaran Frank ran and Dr. Vaneyke stood by the rail and steadied throwing of\' the electric pugilistic rigging. sprang aboard. He knew that all depended Frank as he went down. "Cut off the current doctor. upon quick action. "When I reach terra firma, doctor," he said But Vaneyke bad' a lready done this. Into He gave one swift glance backward to see if "turn on the e lectric current. When I a the pilot-house Frank sprung. Barney and Pomp were coming. pull on the rope, set the windlass going.' The catamaran was :;ent, ahead and the But they were not "All right, Frankl" search-light played up and down pass. In Satisfied of this Frank rqshed to the pilot-Then down went the form of the young in-its glare Barney and Pomp were seen running house. Springing in, he pulled the rotascope ventor. at full speed for the open country. lever. Up sprang the air-ship. Down bet-ween the dark walls of the pass he They saw the catamaran above them and U p into the air it went like a rocket. Four went. Now he was below the roof of the cav-paused, waving their annA of the giants h a d reached the .rail and grasped ern,_ and a sta!'tling Down settled the air-ship. it. : F1 res bnrlllug at l!ltervals thts up, and Dr. V:aneyke lowered a rope ladder, and Not letting go thetr hold m t1me, they were Frank saw a perfect ctty of the g1ants made of upon thts they sprang. Even while they were carried up into the air still hanging to the r a il. stone blocks and skillfully built. climbing it the catamaran shotup and not a But when apprised of the fact that they were Hundreds of the giants were to be seen in moment too s oon. leaving the earth, in their terror they let go. this strange cavern city. The giants, in hot pursuit were close upon The distance to the ground was fully two They were, however, just now congregated th.em. hundred feet. before a coupl e of stakes set in the ground, and But the danger was over. It was safe to say th!l.t not one of them es-to which were bound two men. Barney and Pomp had b een rescued by the caped instant death. It was a frighful fate. It required & n!y a glance for Frank to see ingenuit.v and c lear grit of Frank Reade, Jr. It was a fortunate escape. But Frank Reade, that they wer e Barney and Pomp. It was a matter for congratulation. Jr., did not forget Barney and Pomp. It was certainly the purpose of the giants to The tw o servitor s were indeed thankful When not more than three hundred feet in burn their prisoners alive. !!'rank was there to t hemselves for the They realized that the air, he reversed the current and held the rescue t hem. it was all due to the wonderful effort of their catamaran stationary. Proceedings were interrupted by the new ar-young Then he turned on the search light, and let rival upon the scene. The catamaran hung over the pass until the the rays flash into the defile. light of day began to appear. The two servitors and their captors were vis CHAPTER XXXVI. Frank's intention was to descend and secure ible nowhere. WHICH IS THE END. the big diamond imbe dd e d in the wall of the "Where had they gone to 1 This was not an THE giants saw the form of Frank Reade, pass. But a s day broke a ' e r y singular thin g easy matter to solve. Jr. descending from above. For a moment was observed But it must be done, and Frank wa.'! r es olved they regarded him with utter amazement. There was a peculiar y ellow haze in the atto leave no stone unturned to do it. Then hoarse and excited cries went up. One mosphere and a stillness was upo n all nature. Dr. Vanevke now came into the pilot-house. and all rushed forward to intercept him. The two scientists in particula r noted this, "That was a close call for you, Frankl" h e The young inventor's feet touched the ground and remarks were made upon it. gasped "But what of Barney and and he faced his legion of foes. "Such a thing always forebodes one of three "I do not know," replied Frank, with deeJ?, "Now or never!" h e muttered. "All dethings; declared Ferry. "A typhoon, a tidal agitation. "That i s what I want to find out.' pends upon this move. wave or an earthquake--" "Were they also set upon by the giants?" Barney and Pomp had given themselves up He cea ed speakin g Every one on board "Yes for lost. They witnessed the appearance of turned deadly pale. "Heavens! then I fear it is all up with them!" their master with amazement. There was a certain quivering of the atmo-ejaculated the doctor. Frank had facP-d his legion of foes coolly and sphere, a hissin g as of currents of air and t hen "Well, we won't give them up!'' d ec l a r ed warily. an ominous thunder. Frank. "I will rail:'e the earth to find them. He knew that he was taking a mighty risk, Glancing over the rail, all beheld an awful t D epend upon that!" hut he was prepared for it . Straight for him s ight. Down settled the catamaran over the pass the giants came. It was as if the whole f a ce of the country b e -The search-light's glare went into its every He did not affect opposition. low was in a state of commotion. The ground dept h. He felt certain that the giants would not at-seemed broken into billows huge rocks split And now a singular discovery was made.. tempt to strike him down, They would doubt-asunder with thunderous report, and great The pass itself seemed a long cleft in a less attempt to make him a prisoner. bodies 'of water went rushing from their chan mighty series of l edges fully a mile in l ength. In which case Frank f elt confid ent of giving nels. But in the middle of this extent of ledge it them a hot reception. They were all abou t Such a scene none had ever before beheld. was so deep that it was with difficulty that the him now like b ees. It seemed to last fully a minute. Then it was search-light's g lare was sent to its bottom. Now was the time to act. all over. The face of nature was once more Then vast were seen to exist down Quick as a liash Frank touched the nearest smiling and peace ful. below there extending how far under the l edges g iant. But the spot where the pas s had been was the observers could not say: The touch was enough. now a mighty mound. The pass was closed, It was no doubt. to this place that the giants Over went the brute as if struck by the den of the strange giants was hermetically had retreated. It wa.'l certainly a very singu -ning. He was knocked se nseless. Right and seal e d, its occupants buried a li ve, and the Jar d e n. left Frank sent the deadly blows. mighty d iamond which the voyagers had cov But not one of the giants were to be seep. The lightest kind of a blow was sufficie n t eted, was beyond reach forever. They had no doubt so ught refuge in this den. he mere contact with the e lectri c discs was The most thorough of search failed to reveal No doubt Barney and Pomp were prisoner s enough. any trace of the ledge where it had been. down there. That is if they were alive, which A perfect heap of the giants lay about him. To d i g for it would have been foll y. It wou l d fact had not yet been definitely settled. Infuriated, and not understanding the reasons have b een worse than looking for a needl e in a. Frank decided first of all to settle this. So for his mighty power, they tried to close with haystack. he returned with the catamaran to the spot him. Standing upon the mound made by the earth-where the battle h a d taken place. But Frank was wholly invincible with that quake, the explorers looked at eac2 other. Here the air-ship descended and rested upon powerful e lectric force in his grasp. "Well?" said Frank Reade, Jr. "what is the ground. A thousand of his foes could not have ove r -the next A careful search was made, but no sign of powered him. "I have.had enough," said Vaneyke. the two servitors could be found. He took good care to keep the path clear be"Let us go home," declared Ferry. "'l'here is only one thing about it," declared fore him, for he knew that if any of them Barney and Pomp were only too delighted at Frank. "We must invade that cavern. But should sever the wire behind him he would be the prospect of leaving this w ild and barbar how shall we do lost. ous part of the world. "'rhe catamaran can never get in there," Right and left he dealt those herculean The resul t was that twenty minutes later the said Dr. Vaneyke. blows Nearer every moment he drew to Bar-catamaran was headed for Sydney. Oh no, I .do not expect that.'' ney and Pomp. The object of the expedition had b ee n accomFrank spent some time in earnest thought. The giants were headlong and reckless in plished after a ll The royal societv s expe He was of an inventive turn of mind, and their valor. But such a repulse could not help dition had been resc u ed, the mystery of its fate t hough the problem seemed a d i fficult one he but count. solved This was enough. had soon hit upon a plan. They were obliged to draw back. Frank had Diamonds and gold had no power t o hold the "I am going down into that place," he said. actually forced his way to the side of the two explorers in North Australia longer. "I want your help, Dr. Vaneyke.'' captives. At Sydney they were warmly greeted, and in "Yon want me to go down with yo u r He r eleased one hand long enough to draw a America they met with au ovation. The two "I will explain presently." knife and sever theii: bonds. Then he cried: scientists went back to the Smithsonian Insti Frank went into the cabin. In a small iron "Make a break for you r lives!" tute with honors chest he found a number of curious looking It i s needless to say that Barney and Pomp Frank Reade, Jr., and Barney and Pomp discs and a pair of what looked like cymbals, n ee ded nosecond bidding. A way they went were glad get back to Readestown, and soon which he fastened to each hand. like the wind. fell back into the old ruts. First he had connected insulated wires to The g iants tried to pursue them. But the in-But Frank Reade, Jr., still pursued his in these, and then several .hundred feet of ins ul-vincible Frank with his electric thunderbolts ventive studies, and it i s possible that the ated wire to an electric battery strapped to his stood in the way and over went every big brute reader may hea r of him again in the near back. who came in contact with him f uture, in new and thrilling adventures in an 'l'his wire was connected with the dynamos, Barney and Pomp were saved. other land and 'mitl other scenes. and thus equipped, Frank stood at the cata-They were now far down the pass. Frank With this, dear reader, comes our story to maran's rail. saw that nothing more could be done. He took [THE END.]


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