Frank Reade, Jr., and his electric car; or, Outwitting a desperate gang

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Frank Reade, Jr., and his electric car; or, Outwitting a desperate gang

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr., and his electric car; or, Outwitting a desperate gang
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Creator:
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
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Language:
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.
Resource Identifier:
R17-00075 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.75 ( USFLDC Handle )
024923711 ( Aleph )
64636749 ( OCLC )

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in This Library. Enter e d as Second C lass Matter a t t h e New York, N. Y., P ost Office, October 5, 1892. No 101 {COMPLETE} FRANK TOUSEY. 3! &; 36 N o R 'l'H Moo RE STREET. NEw YORK. { J 'JtiCE } Vol IV New Yorlt, February 22, 1895. IssuED WEEKLY. 5 Enter ed accordi n g to the Act of Congress. i n the ywr 1895; b11 FllANK TOUSEY, i;., the o.(Jlce of the Lib rarian of C o ngress, a t Washington D. C AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR; Or, Outwitting a Desperate Gang. The c:oon was staring ahe.ad intently and managing the wheel with the skill of a veteran, when he suddenly caught v1ew mustang go1ng at full speed across the mesa they were trnversing. There was a man tied to the ammal's back, and the coon heard him shrieking for h elp. Frightened at the ele<:!tric machine the mustang suddenly wheeled around ahead of her nd rushed al.ong the road.

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FRANK READE, JR,' AND lW::l CAR. The subscriptiOll Price of t h e FRANK LIRRAR y by t he year is $2.50: $1.25 p e r s ix month:s, post-paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PuBLlSHER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR; OR, OUT'WITTING A DESPERATE GANG. I By "NONAME," Author of "Under the Equator From Ecuador to Borneo," "Frank Reade, Jr.'s 'Sky Scraper,' "Under the Yellow Sea," "Frank Reade, Jr.'s Prairie wind; or, 'rhe Mystery ot the Hidden Canyon," etc., etc CHAPTER I. THE G OLDE!\ ANKLET. THE treasure is worth at least $500,000, Reade." Wllat! Half a milllon dollars? That's a fabulous amount.'' "I can prove the fact. And we can ensily get the gold, t oo." You mean by using my new electric car, don't you, Dunn?" "Exactly. Now what is your decision! Will you go alter it or not?'' Frank Reade, Jr. to whom this question was addressed, was pac lng excitedly up and down the parlor of his handsome residence on tllat cold night in March, and his caller sat near a window narrowly watching him. The youth was a rich and famous inventor of electrical contrivan ces, and was a dashing fellow, with a fine face, an atl:lletic ligure and possessed a bold, yet kind and generous disposition. Charles DYnn was an old friend of Frank's, who recently come from South America with a most startling story about a great treas ure the location of which be had discovered. His object was to induce Frank belp hiru get the gold. Dunn was a man of about thirty, with a short, thickset form, clad in rough garments, his sun-burned face was adorned wltb a brown mustache, and be had rather sharp features, and deep set dark eyes The young inventor pondered over what bis caller said, and then pausing before Dunn, be exclaimed: "You say you just come from Central America, and tell me yon know where the treasure is, yet give me no particulars, and expect me to fit out au expensive extJedition. Why don't you give me the details, Churleyf' "Oh, that's easily done,'' laughed the other. "Just listen: a month ago to-day I was crossing Honduras from Choluteca, to Truxillo, on horseback, when I reached the remains of what had once been the little lonely mountain village of Sao Rosu. It was deserted and the score or so of adobe houses bad fallen to decay. Not a eoul was in the place for it had been ravaged by some fatal epidem ic that killed its few inhabitants. Even the little Catl.iollc church was in ruins rank weeds filled the streets, lizards ran over the fallen masonry, and an air of utter desolation prevailed "It impressed me deeply, for I knew it wns one of the oldest vil lages in Central America. Indeed, I had br,ard that the ruinEid little church had been built by the priests who had followed Hernando Cortez during the conquest of Mexico. Later I found this report proven strangely true. The historical reputation ot the church led me to dismount from my horsa and enter the building to examine it. Aa I dre'll' near the altar, I observed a tablet in the wall, on which was in scribed in Latin, "Guatemozin, son-inlaw of Montezuma, and the Cacique of Tacuba." I was astonished to find this church contained the tomb of those two noted men. As you must know, Frank, after the death of Montezuma, Guatemozin was elected emperor of Mexico, and was captured with the prince of Tacuqa during tl!e conquest. Cortez had sent one of his captains, Christoval de Olid to Honduras, to round a Spanish colony at Truxillo. Hearing that Olid was setting up an independent government there, CorLez organized an army and marched to Truxillo, taking Guatemozin and Tacuba with him. As the conqueror feare
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-...----;. FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR. 3 it and get t hat gold, if he had to ldll me to accomplish his purpose. I gave hlm the slip, however, and came on here to interest you in the matter. I'm confident there is no humbug about the matter. If you will employ your electric machine to go after the gold, I will divide all we get with you." Let me look at the relics you got from the stone coflln," said Frank. I've got a book here by which I can translate that inscrip tion and satisfy myself of it.s being genuine." "That's a fair test,'' assented Charley. He opened his valise and took from it several discolored golden obj ects and laid them upon the table. Frank closely examined them. He saw at a glance that they were very antique. The workmanship on them was marvelous, considering the age in which they were made, the broad, golden bands being beautifully chnsed and filigreed, while the chains were most handsomely wrought. Rich carvings or the peculiar ancient Aztec symbols covered ali the ornaments and the joints and patterns were of the finest. U only required a short examination to convince Frank that these articles were genuine. He then got a book or and began to compare tbe in scriptions on the anklet with the figures in it. When this study was finislied the young iliventor said quietly: I am csnvinced that thes e articles are not fraudulent. Your trans lation agrees exactly wltb the one I made. I feel sure you have made a most wonderful discovery, Charley." "I'm glad you feel satisfied," replied the young man, smilingly. "And don't you agree with me that it's worth investigation!" "Most decidedly,'' answered Frank. Why don't you agree to go, \ben!'' "I can't, until I consult two fr'iends who always go with me on m,Y journeys. I'll summon them, anli abide by their decision." ''Ver y well." Frank rang a bell. It was answered by a short co.rky with long arms, a good-natured face, and a pair of comical eyes, arid be askell, as be entered: "Yo' wnnt dis chile, Massa Frank?" "I've got something important to tell y ou and Barney. Summon biru.'' "Yassir,'' replied Pomp, ducking his woolly bead, and withdraw ing. In a few moments he returned with Mr. O'Shea, who proved to be a rawboned Irishman, with a pug nose, a freckled face, and a mop of hair as red as fire. Both the negro and the Irishman were loyal friends of the inventor, were addicted to practical j:>kes, enjoyed a good tight, and were very useful and entertaining in various ways. Bebeavens?'' the Irisbmo.n was so.ying as they entered, if it's foolin' meyer bes, I'll be o.ftber pull in' yor nose off, ye spalpeen!" "Golly! yo' fink I'se such a blamed lio.r as yo' am!" demanded Pomp. I wish to lay a most impor.tant matter before yon, boys," said Frank. If yon both agree, I'll undertake the job." He then told them all that has been described. When he finished, Barney so.id emphatically: "Faix, it's fools we'd be not ter go aftber tber gold!" "Yassah,'' added Pomp. "1 done say ter go!" "That settles it! We will undertake the trip, Charley," said Frank. He bad hardly given utterance to this remark, when.suddonly there came a crash of glass, a pane in the front window was smashell, a band shot tl1rougb the opening, and the golden anklet was seized. Tho next moment the mysterious arm was withdrawn, and they dimly saw the figure of a man on the piazza running away. CHAPTER II. THE MAN ON THE MUSTANG. A CRY of alarm escaped the occupants of the parlor when they saw what the d a ring thief had dono. "Great heavens!'' cried Charley. "Did you see his face?" "No," replied Frank, hastily. "Did you recognize it!" Yes. It was Sancho Pectr9, the Mexican.'' Begorra, be bas the anklet; aftber alii" muttered Barney. Chase de skunk!" roared Pomp. Out rushed the whole party, and dashing into the street they saw the rascal running away like a deer. Arter him ran. the four, bot just as turned the nearest corner they saw tho tnan spring on the bnek or a horse and go galloping away out of tho town of Readestowu at a furious pace. It was impossible to overtake him then. Frank, however, thought of a means or apprehending kim and rush ing to the police station, be detailed wbo.t happened and an alarm was telegraphed to the authorities of the adjacent towns and cities to ar. rest the Mexican on sight. Nothing further could be dono then, so Frank and the rest returned home, tbire to discuss the robbery. ,; Sancho Pec!ro must have tracked me here from New York," said Charley in cisgnst. He was determined to have that golden anklet and learn Its secret. Now he has got it at last.'' If the rascal escapes the police,'' said Frank, he will ge right back to Mexico, and set about to get the gold before we get to the place. That will end our expedition.'' But can't we forestall him by starting right ofi!" asked Charley, excitedly. We don't need the anklet now that we kuo,w where the treasure i9 to be found." That's a good suggestion. I'll follow it. Call at the house to morrow morning, prepared to depart.'' Good ebough! 1'11 be here.'' How we'se gwine ter know if ther police catch him!" asked Pomp. "Faith, it's an ignoramus yez are entoirely,'' said Barney. "Can't they send us thor loikes av a telegram or a letter, or a telephone mes sage.'' "G'wan dar," grr.wled Pomp. "I! we'se rid in' rroo de country on de 'lectric car, how am it gwino ter reach us-hub!" Barney scratched his bead with a perplexed look on his face and gave up tho conundrum, and Charley finally departed, On the following day tho news reached Frank from police bead qoarers that the Mexican bad got away on n train to Boston, and there embarked on a steamer bounll for Yucatan. He was then out of reach, of course, hut Frank comforted himself with the reflection that be and hiij companions could outstrip the Mex ican in a race by going southward by rail. As soon as Charlay arrived the inventor told him the news, and they set to work packing the electric machine iu cases for transportation with all necessary things for the journey. By nightfall not onJy was the electric car shipped, but the four ad venturers were aboard a going over the continent. They wero swiftly carrieu as far as the city of Mexico, and altbougla they were over a week roaching the place, they knew they bad ar rived before tho thief could land and use his knowledge. On 'he suburbs of the quaint old city, they P.acnred the privacy or a courtyarcl in a building to unpack the cases and put the electric car together, in order to use her. When the machine was ready, she presented a remarkable appear ance as she was built or silvery aluminum. She was named tho Fox, and was iu tho form or a railway ()Oach on seven wheels, with a rear platform, a rounded dome forward from which projected a pneumatic gun, and on top stood a searcli-light. Her many windows were futnished with movable metal shutters pierced by loopholes, there were air-brakes at the flat cogged wheels, flexible springs made her ride easily over rough ground, and the driy ing wheels were geared to electric motors. The body of tho car contained a store-room, a combined vv .. anll dining lapartm>nt, and a parlor containing sbveral berths. Large tanks held the water snppiy, lockers were filled with canned food, and boxes held the arms, ammunition, tools, and other neces sary articles. 'l'ho mechanism for operating her laid in a compartment tinder the flilor and comprised a dynamo, run by a powerful spring, which gave current for the wheels, heated the electric stove, illuminated the big searchlight and incandescent lamps, anrl worked the fan motors. Attached to that part of the gun within the turret, was an air-pump, the forward steering wheel was operated by a pilot's wheel in t.ho tur ret, and tho electric mechanism was controlled by a set or levers and switches secured to a board on top of the compasB"bmnacle. It was nightfall when tho Fox was rt>ady for work. Frank and his companions then embarked, and the young inventor entered the dome to start the engine, while Barney with a -fiddle and Pomp \'\'ith a banjo sat in the parlor playing a lively tune. < The inventor moved a lever putting the spring in operation; the armature or the dynamo whirled, generating an electric current, and when Frank turned a switch it flashed into the wheel motors. Instantly the Fox rolled out into the street. A number of civil guardsmen saw the electric sparks flying off -her wheels, and considering that. Frank must give nn a::count of tho Fox and show his passport, they rusi.Jed up to him, shouting: "Halt! We wish to know about this rnacbinel'' "I am in a hurry,'' answered Frank in Spanish. "Stand aside and allow me to pass. I will give you an accounting later on.'' "No, senor, yon ,must do so now." I refuse." "We shall arrest you then!" "You will have to catch me first!'' And so saying, Frank drove the Fox ahead at full speed. He expected the soldiers woold get out of the way, but they refused to do so, thinking he would not dare ron into them. The result was that the machine struck two of them and knocked them over. A yell of rage and wounded dignity escapEd the soldiers. Every one of them got excited and d!lnounced Frank fiercely. Then the whole crowd made a rush for the machine, intending to arrest the inventor and his party. Frank !lid pot i!Jtend submit to such a delay, however, and prompt ly put on full speed, drmng the Fox ahead rapidly. There was a big electric gong on the machine, and be rang it furiously to warn people ahead to clear the way. ( The fools!" excluimed the inventor. They thought I would step and now they've got to pay for their folly.'' "You'd better skedaddle!" laughed Charley, glancing back. "The soldiers are furious. There's '-' mob chasing us.'' Through t!Je street rushed the Fox. A yelling crowd of civilians and soldiers ran after her. They were quickly joined by some mounted troops, and tile wild chase continued, all the pursuers yelling to Frank to stop. He refused to obey. Then the soldiers got angry. They took the law into their own hands.

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4 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR. One of them discharged a carbine at the car. It seemed to uct as an incentive for the rest to follow suit. Within a few moments shot after stot wus discharged. Many of the bullets struck the electric car, but as her plates were thick enough to resist r1lle bullets, none of them pierced her. They are getting recldess!" exclaimed Frank. "I never saw such excitable people before," Charley replied. Just then Barney and Pomp rushed In, having heard all that trans pired, and the Irishman exclaimed eagerly: "Lave me have a gun! I'll drop wan av thim greasers--" No, no!" I.Hlstily said Frank. "H you fire baek and injure any of them, we will soon have the whole city in an uproar, and the nation al gnarl chasing us." "Lord amassy," growled Pomp, "am yo' 7wine fo' ter let dem yere yaller coons pound us dis way an' say nutHn, Massa Frank?" "It won't do any good to tight them. Their missiles can't reach us. I'll soon escape them. See, we are makin g forty miles an hour.'' The Fox was setting a terrific pace now, and rapidly her pur suers behind ns she dashed out into the country. A regular volley of shots was fired at her tJefore she finally got out of range, nod us none of the bullets did any damage, Frank uttered a quiet laugh, anrl remarked: "We've beaten them nfter all." N:o1t of the people afoot are out of t!Je race," iinid Charley. "Au' dem yere bosses are gettin' lef', too," Pomp addl'd. Faith, it's a pity I didn't git a welt wan av their beads wid me black thorn shtick!" regretfully said Barney, displaying a s!Jillelah Frank directed the Celt to fill the lubrication cups of the generator, and put some vaselioe on the commutator. In half an hour more the machine had left Its pursuers out of sight behind, and follCI'Ived a country road to the southward. Pomp was a line cook, and then prepared their supper, after which the watch was divided like on ship board. The Fox was then well launched upon her dangerone journey. She sped along rapidly all night, and when morning dawned B!)rnl'y wa11 snoozing in a chair, ar.d Pomp was steering, while Frank aud Charley lay sleeping in their beds. Tin! coon was staring ahead Intently and managing the wheel with the skill of a. veteran, when he suddenly caught view of a n:ustang goin nt full speed across the mesa they were traversing. There was a man tied to the animal's back In a proetrate position, d the coon beard him shrieking for help. Frightened at the electric machine, the mustang suddenly wheeled around ahead of her and rushed along the road, "Lawd amassy! Looker dar!'' roared Pomp excitedly. "What is it!" demanded Barney, bounding to his feet. "Somebuddy tie dat mao on de horse's back!" "Begorra, it's a dead mao he'll be If wanst any accident do be afther bappenin' ter t!Jer said Barney. "Chase it!" "What yo' gwine ter do!" "Save tber poor divill" Tl!e darky increased tbe speed or the Fox; and she went rushing on in hot pursuit of tl!e terrified mustang. CHAPTER III. A DAN G EROUS V ISITOR. THE unusual commotion aroused Frank and Charley, and they has tened into the turret, to learn the cause of it. out the window explained the situation to them, and the young inventor noticed that the Fox was fast gaining on the mustang, although It ran at Lhe top of its speed. "Keep her steady, Pomp,'' he exclaimed. "Try to run her beside the animal, and I'll endeavor to cut the Mexican's bond s." "De animile am woun!led in de Jlanks, sah," said the coon. "Yes-I s ee. It looks as if it had been shot.'' "Help! Help!" yelled the bound man,in tones. Frank secured a knife, and ran ont on the rear {llatform where be took up a position on one of the steps. Up to the mustang dashed the electric car, and with a frightened cry the animal swerved to one side to get away from it. Pomp followed It with the Fox, and graded her speed to agree with that of the terrified beast. In a few moments the inventor was alongside the mustang and as quick ns a nash be cut the lariat whtch bound the man tQ its back and then pulled him off. Away darted the beast, but the Mexican was left in Frank's bands and he landed the man on the platform. I've got you!'' he ex-claimed smilingly 10 Spanish. "Gracios a Dios!" the mao muttered. In a few moments he recovered from his nervous excitement. Frank saw that be was a middle-aged man of .tine appearance, but most of his clothing wns gone his face wns very pale. The cpeed of the car had been slackened and the mustang dashed away, and soon disappeared from view. "How came you to \Je tied to that animal's back!'' asked Frank. It was done bv Sancho Pedro's gang of bandits,'' replied the Mexi can. I fell into their bands while ridin,!!; toward Mexico and they plundtored me, and as they owed me a grudge for having had sev eral of their number arrl'sted, they sought reven,!!;e. Having t1ed me to the mustang's back they shot it In the flanks to madden it with pain and away It dashed with me. They expected it would go over a precipice with me, but it swerved when it reached the edge and rushed over the mesa. 'l'he bandit.s then galloped off fur ious over the failure of their design.'' Sancho Pedro's gang!'' echoed Frank, in surprise. Do you mean the public letter writer of Truxillo?'' "Yes. Didn't you know be was the leader of a gang of bandits?" "No," replied Frank. "That is news to me!" "And so it was to everybody else, when the secret recently was exposed. It seems that he took adv.antage of his vocation as letter writer to learn people's secrets. When be thus discovered that any rich booty was in transit, be no tilled his gang, and they stole it.'' Are there many such scribes in this country!" "Oh, yes-plenty. You see few of the people can J;ead or write and pay these men to do tiler correspondence .' Was Sancho Pedro wiLb ttJe gang?" "No; be left Mexico to go to the United States." Whete does his gang flourish?" They have no regular stamping ground, but scourge the whole country from the Pacillc slope the Gulf of Mexico Now, pray tell me, senor, what sort of contrivance this vehicle is?" Frank satislle
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FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR. 5 "Ob, my Lawdl l'se a dead niggnh!" bowled the coon. Confound you!" shouted Charley, as a plate of fried and the contents of the cotl'ee pot tlew all over him. What are you doiug!" The breakfast was a wreck. Doan' yo' speak ter me," groaned Pomp, as be rubbed his injured bead. "Sen' fo' de doctnbl Arrest dnt Insll gorilla! Oil, my cocoa nut-it nm busted Inter fo'ty-leben pieces, fo' suab!" Whin yez tbry ag'in ter puck a hole in me neck wid yer top knot, put a coal-scuttJ.e on It," advised Barney, who was lauglliug so heartily at the coon's mishap, the tears ran from his eyes. Ar.d so saying he left the dining-room to relieve l!'rank, wllile the subduad coon got down on his bauds and knees to clear up the wreckage, By nightfall the Fox bad left the good roads she had been running over, and was cutting acrnss tile cactus covered country, and got down among the rugged hills and mour.tnins covermg the iuterior. The tropical moon rose, flooded the scene with its mellow light as the Fox ran into a greut rugged mountain pass, and Frank bent over the switch board and turned one of the bandies. It threw a current into the electric ran-motors, and as they revolved with a buzzing sound, un agreeable draught began to circulate for the weather was exc e edingly hot and sullry T h e young inventor was aloue in the dome. His companions were ail seated back iu the engine-room playing cards. As the Fox ran further into the rocky pass, she was overshadowed on either side t>y great, towering mount-ains. From withou t there call)e the sounds of thousands of insects, night birds and lizards, and above it rose a purring yell or some Wild beast, wh1cb was crouching in the adjacent bushes. Frank turned un the search-light. Its blinding glare tlashed far nhead, lighting up the way with the brilliancy of the sun, and the low, beastly growl was heard again. As the machine grew nearer to the bushes, there suddenly sounded th e crackling of twigs, and then a cra sh. Out from the midst of the bushes leape r a huge dark form. lt wns an enormous jaguar, and its lithe body clove the air like an arrow, and it landed on the turret window sill, directly in front of the y oung inventor. There the savage beast hong, half in and half out of the pilot-bouse, its red month gaping and sbowl11g its awful fangs as it gave a horrible yell, a nd gl a red ferociously at Frank. An ex clamation of alarm escaped tbe inventor as be recoiled. CHAPTER IV. A SURPRIS I N G REVELATION. FRANK was exceedingly startled to see that horrible face looking thro ugh the open window at him. Tlie brute did not remain there more than an instant, for it bad its bind legs braced on top the barre l of the pneumatic gun and gave an other s pring that launched its t>ody at the inventor. Frank had nothing but a huntin g bandy, and jerked it from his belt just as the jaguar struck him on the shoulders with its fore paws and knocked b .im against the wall. In an upright position the jaguar was as tall us the young inventor, and as it clung to .bim its cntlikt) big bead was !:Jrought in close contact with his face. He felt its cruel claws pierce his tlesh, and saw its red mouth open ed wide as it t urned its bead sidewise as if to bury its long, sharp tee t h in his throat and tear him to pieces. A more savage foe be could scarcely have encountered. Before the monster could bite him though, Frank plunged the keen knife in its body and a frightful shriek burst from the animal, its grip relaxetl, and it fell to the floor, bleed i ng from a wouud. There was no one to guide the Fox now, and she rushed into the bushes from which the beast sprang, and &tuck fast. Such a shock ensued that Frank's friends were intensely alarmed, for tlley bad heard the yells of the jaguar, and all hands now came rosbing forward to see what bappened. ., When they reached the door, they found Frank on the floor. He had lost his knife from a blow the jaguar dealt him, seized the animal by the throat and was trying to choke it. The jaguar's four legs were moving furiously, and it scratched and dug Frank until his clothes were ribboned and his body and limbs were cut and bleeding. Des!)ite the furwus efforts of the animal to release itself, the gal lant inventnr clung to its throat with the grip of a viCe, and choked it ull its tong_ne lolled out and its glaring eyes bulged, A cry of astonishment and alarm escaped Frank's crew, and Barney drew a pistol from his pocket and ru9h e d into the dome. "Howly heavens!" he gasped, "it's tbryin' ter nit him!" And bang! went his pistol, the ball lodged in the jaguar's brain and in an instant the beast was dead. Frank rose pantingly to his feet. He was almost exhausted by the contest. The grateful look be bestowed upon amply evinced how glad be was the Irishman ptlt such a sudden end to the fight., and as be hastily sbnt off the current of the dynamo, he exclaimed: I'm afro.id be would have scratched all the flesh off my bones if you hadn't finished his so suddenly, Barney." Where did ther baste come from?" Out of the clump of bushes we just ran into.'' "Fo' tle Lawd, dat's be biggest cat I ehber see!" Pomp asserted. "You nr!l pretty badly lacerated, Frank," said Cbarley, In anxious tones. You ball better attend to those wounds at once.'' Very well, Barney, see if yon can't get tlu;.t carcass out of the turret, and Pcrnp can back the Fcx out or the 'Jushes wbile I'm at tending to my injuries. Come and help me, Charley." Frank then left the turret, and as soon as the body of the jaguar was flung out the window, the coon got the Fox out of the bushes, and sent her on her coarse once more. On the following moruing the Fox reached a smnll village and paused there, as Frank wanted to purc!Jase some oil for lubrication. 'l.'he electric car nttracted a good and Charley who stood in the turret: "What right llave you to bring that accursed machine into this puehlo and frighten our mustangs so tbey break their tetbers!" "Faix, I hope yer feelin' well, me buck," politely replied the Irish man, who did not understand a word of the Spanish adtlressed to him. "As for mesel!, I do be t'inkin' I have :her loikes av a bad luug." "I have a mind to get into that car and put a knife in you!'' yelled one of tbe Mexicuns, as he shook his fist at Barney. Ah, bow are ye, sport," affably grinned tile Celt, waving his band to the man. "Div1l a bit do I know who yez are, but shnre it's a trnte ter see yez, I'm sure. I'd give yez a sup av whisky if I bad it, me jewel." "Fool! You spenlt as I cannot understand you," raved the man, who seemed 'to be the leader of tbe party. "But that ts the way witli tilose cursed Yankees. They are a vile race and--" "You lie!" exclaimed Frank, just then, in Spanish. "Don't you deride my counlryment We had no intention of scaring your horses. My friencls do not speak Spnnish and therefore do not understand what you were saying.'' The Mexican turned and stu re1 at. Fmn!l: from bead to foot He was boiling with rage at the inventor's remark, and hissed: How dare you ten me I lie? "Simply because you did," coolly answered Frank. "That is an insult, you dog!'' "It is a complim ent to such u cur ns you." "By the demon, this is too much! I'll choke those words dowu yoar throat,'' shouted the man, and be made a rush for the Invent or. Frank did not flinch. The moment the Mexican arrived in arm's reach, with the inten tiou of choking the young American, be received a whack on the bead from r.he oil jog thnt knocked him down. The man bad a score of friends with him, and every one of them became incensed against the daring inventor for punishing the man. Seeing the gang closing in around him, Frank moved toward lh rear of the electric c a r and shouted: "Stand back there, you ro g ues, or I'll Aerve you tbe same way!" Not if you get this between your ribs!" shouted one of them, brandishing a dagger, and it actuated tile rest to draw their weap. ons. In a moment more Frank found himself surrounded by a gleaming array or knives that had a decidedly ugly look. The Mexicans were closing in around him fast, He knew that the moment they met him more than one of tllose kPen blades would be plunged into his l:oody. But his flriends bad seen wbat was occurring, and arming themselves with rilles, tbl'y aimed t.he weapons out the windows at the gang and made no hesitation about llring. All three were dead shots, and three of the Mexicans fell wounded. The discharge or the weapons created a panic in the crowd. All the villagers rusbe:l away yelling and shrieking into their houses, and the menacing Frank fairly stumbled over each other in their desperate efforts to bnsten out or range.
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\ ( 6 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR. His frientls were equally as astomshed as be was, when he told them what the Mexican bad just said. 'l'here can be no doubt of it that they are the fellows who robbed the Mexican they tied to the horse's back," said Frank. "Beheavens it's ignerent thim villagers bes av ther fact thin," said Barney, earnestly, or they wouldn't be after trealin' thim wid re spect.'' I'd like to see them jailed!'' exclaimed Charley. "If they were thus put out of the way of doing us any harm, we could go on after the gold without fear of future molestation from them." "Yassah!" said Pomp. "Let's go fo' dem!" Keep quiet a moment!" exclaimetl Frank. What's that yelling for? See-they are galloping a)Vay.'' "Here he comes! Here he comes!" he heard the bandits yell. Frank cast his glance along the street, and now saw a solitary horsem11n in the distance coming at a furious pace toward the gang. He wns a big Mexican in native sombrero, spurs and coetume, and he was mounted upon a tine horse. From where he walt Frank could see that the man had a flowing black mustache and a dark, narrow face. Who can this fellow be?' he muttered. "By thunder!'' cried Charley, peering out, "it's Sancho Pedro!'' What!" cried Frank in astonishment. "Yes! The sLea!ller from Boston m11st have made a fast passage and landed him in Mexico. He probably had an appointment to meet his gang here and came Inland on horseback:' "The wretch!" cried Frank. "So be's the one who robbed us of the !!Olden anklet, eht Well, it won't do him any good If I can help it. Let's chase the rascal and get it away from him!'' The rest assented to this. All bandits had gone galloping out of the village at once, for Sancho Pedro knew as soon as he saw the Fox what she was and who rode aboard of ller. Away daslled tile electric car at a rapid rate, and soon she left the village behind as she plunged arter the galloping horsemen. CHAPTER V. TREED BY A BEAR. THE morning sun was blazing down hotly upon the open country .liS the Fox left the village b'3hind and sped along a rough road in pur suit of Sancho Pedro anll his twenty men. It was evident to Charley Dunn that the rascal knew who pur suing him and feared to pay the penalty of having stolen the golden anklet on which was tile Aztec inscription. or course the man had by that time read the whole ioscripti:m and knew where the gold or Montezu!lla Jay borie
PAGE 7

I r FRANK READE. JR., HIS ELECTRIC CAR. 7 Pomp glanced around. He was in a wild lonely place. From the midst of the bushes a big bear was and the coon bounced to his feet when be saw it, and groaned. "My lawd, looker dati" The bear saw Ponip and cam11 toward him. It sent a cold chill o! alarm through tte coon. "Done gwine fo' ter chaw me up," be gaspe1. "1 'spect I better git away from heah jes' as soon's I kin." With this reflection he dashed away. Obaervmg his signa o! timidity, the big beast quickened its pace, and a aharp race ensued between them. P<'mp diu not have a weapon. That's what CIIUSed all his alarm. He continued to run a short distance, but soddenly found himself confronted by ::me o! the huge cactus hedges to which allusion has been made. There be paused. He could neither go ahead, nor to the right or left, and the bear was coming on in hot pursuit. If he attempted to enter the hedge, tiJe cactus needles would IJave lacerated his flesh frightfully. The coon cast a hurried glance !).round. A short distance oft' stood a large tree, and as it ollered him a slight refuge he ran lor it. Up shinned the coon with the agility of a monkey, and he reached the branches just as the bear arrived at the foot o! tile tree. CHAPTER VI. A SINGULAR DEATH. To Pomp's alarm the bear began to climl:l the tree In pursuit of him. He did not expect such a move, and in his alarm he went out on a nuge limb and gasped in husky tones: "Brees my soul, if de ol11 snoozer ain't comin' up aftah me." On came the hungry animal, exerting the most laborious efforts, un til it finally reached the branch to which the darky clung, and u tteriug a low growl, it went out on the limb. Pomp retreated to the extreme end. His weigllt caused the branch to bend down. "Come ahead, yo' sinnah," be exclaimed. "Dis chile out ob yo' reach now, I reckon-come on, dar!" The bear needed no invitation. It continued ahead toward Pomp. Its added weight caused the branch to snap and crack with an omi nons sound, and made it bend lower. Upon observing that the bear had accepted his defiance, Pomp hagan to wish be bad said nothing. He pondered over the matter awhile, and then he muttered: "I wondah i! I could shake him off! I'se gwine tar try.'' And so saying be began to swing the branches up and down. First it swung very gently, but 1ts violence increased every moment and the big beast began to totter. "Hurrah!'' roared Pomp when be observed that it was with the greatest difficolty the ammal prevented itself !rom falling. Dat's de only way! Golly looker him stagger!" Up and down went the branch faster. Then there came a violentSnap! Then a sharp Crack! Then a crackling Crush! Then the branch broke and down went the coon and the bear into the cactus bushes like a pair o! carmon balls. ."Obi'' yelled Pomp, wildly. The next instant be was plunging into the bushes. His body ripped the branches off, tore down the thick leathery leaves, and broke the big stems as If they were mere straws. The bear landed on the ground close to the coon. For an instant both Pomp and the animal were too confused to stir so sudden and great was the shock. They finally recovered, however. The first move made by the coon was to dive head-first out of the cactus into the clear space where the tree grew. But the bear followed suit. It had injured its paw by the !all, yet it came along at a moderately swift pace, more incensed than ever against the coon, and so furious tb .a.t bad he then fallen into its clutches the animal would have torn him to pieces. Fortunately for Pomp, the Irishman relented, and coming back with the electric car, saw the danger he was m. Seizing a rille, Barney aimed at the bear and fired. Tile ball penetrated tile bear's bend, just as the brute reached Pomp's heels, and over ,it fell dead. "Erin go bragh!" yelled the Celt. "Arrab, but it's a holy terror I am D'yer moind ther fall I tuck out av him!'' Bully fo' yo', Barney," replied Pomp, In grateful tones. "I'se gwine ter fo'gib yo' now !o' leabin' me behind." Git aboord, ye ace av spades! Faix I've lost too much time on yer already, so I have." Pomp quickly mouRted the Fox. She then retraced her course. Frank and Charley were apprised of what bad happened, and when quietness was restore(), the journey was On the following day Mount Zempoaltepec was:discerned. It was an enormous mountain, standing 11,965 feet high in a spur o! the Sierra Madre range, and as the electric car ran into the valley at its base, the crew saw that the mountain was densely wooded in some places, while in others frowning naked crags broke out from amid the verdure. "There's your treasure mountain," said Frank to Charley, "but it's miles in extent, and it's a question now at what part of the hill we are to !o()k for the ruin of the 'l'emple of thll Sun.'' A lew miles futther on,'' replied Charley, thoughtfully, there's a village called Hidalgo, on the bank of the Teschoacan river at which we might make some inquiries." "Living so near the mountain," said Frank, "surely some of the lnhabit11nts ought to know wllere the ruined city o! Pahuatlan lies. I'm going to try thu.t piau." The Fox soon reached the village. It was similar in aspect to all Mexicansettlements, tile small a
PAGE 8

l I 8 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC .CAR. strokes, and had evidently died or the third, which bad just attackeu hlm. Frank and his companions were startled and amazed. "The man must have been a paralytic," be said to the rest. "Yo' better git him out an' tell de gang," advised Pomp. Here-I'll help you to carry him," said Charley, seizing the mtm's legs. Tiley bore the corpse from the electric car and laid it upon the ground, and a wild yell escaped the crowd. They have killed the deputy I" shouted one of them. It was so we 'lfOuld not see thein murder him that they wouhl not let us into the vehicle!" yelled another. Every one became intensely excited-an easy thing with that race. "Gentlemerr-" began Frank, wishing to explain. But a wild furious yell from the crowd interrupted him. "Kill murderers!" screamed one of the men. "Kill them!" CHAPTER VII. THE EFFECT OF THE GUS. THE fierce cries or the enraged :l!lexicans clearly gave Frank aild Charley to understand that the population or Hidalgo imagined that the crew of the electric car bad murdered the deputy. Despite all his protestations to the contrary, the young inventor knew be could not convince them of his-innocence. Moreover, be now saw that the vengeful instinct of the nation was asserting itself lor many of them had drawn weapons. The whole crowd surrounded Frank and Charley cutting off their re treat to the electric car. As they rushed toward the inventor, he shouted in Spanish: "Stop! We have done nothing He--:-'' "Down with him!" interrupted one or them. "Stab him!" shouted au other. Seeing that argument was useless, Frank cried; Charge on them, Charley, with your lists." They made a rush toward the crowd who interposed between them and the Fox, and struck out right and left. Barney and Pomp shot into the ct owd !rom the car windows. For o. moment the inventor and his compo.nions saw scores of gleaming knives !lashed around them, and barely escaped being st.ab bed to deo.th by exercising the utmost agility. They tlid not escape nn hurt, though. Several of the knives inllicted cuts that, though slil!'ht, were never theless painful in the extreme. Bo.ng! ho.ng! went the Pifles in the bands or the coon and the Irish man, and several of the Mexicans fell wounded. Bitf! whack! went tlte fists of the gallant young inventor and his companion, and every mun who received a blow had occasion to re gret So furiously impetuous was the rush or the two that they !ought open o. passage to the Fox. Hastily boarding they dashed inside, just as those of the Mexicans who had revolvers shot o.t them. Escaping the bullets,... they closed the shutters. "Safe so far," panted Frank. "Look out wbin ye embers ther dome," warr;ed Barney. Keep on firing, and I'll get her going.'' "Glory Hallelujah!" roared Pomp. "Git o. gun, Charley." Crack-bang! went the shots through the loopholes, and down went two more of the furious, unreasonable Mexicans. :Frank rusb,ed forward. To hide himself he got on his hands and knees. He thns got into the dome without beiug seen, a lthough the wmdows were wide open, o.ndcrept forward to close tlte shutter!!. Before he could cross the turret though, several or the Mexicans climbed up on the front of the car, and peered in. Tiley saw him. Severo.! pistols we're aimerl o.t him. Frank was now armetl with o. brace of revolvers though. He was a dead shot, and as quick as lightning in his movements, and ere the natives could lire he sent such a volley llyiug at their heads that those who did not fall from being wounded dropped to the ground glo.d to escape with their lives. Bang! the blinds shut the next moment. Not until then vias Frank ubsolutely sale. Re loaded the pneumatic gun.The mob outside were o. desperate, bloodthirsty crowd, and he lost all patience with them. They were then shooting at and stoning the Fox, and Frank re solved to put o.n end to their hostilities. He tberefure aimed tlte gun o.nd lired a projectile Ao that it struck the ground a. short distance from them. It burst with o. report hke Tons of eo.rth, stone aud debris were blown toward the Mexicans, but the ehell spent its dangerous fragments in the ground. He only designed to scare them, and be succeeded weU. The cloud of dirt llew all over them, the stones pelted them and the awful report gave them a terrible fright. A wild chorus or shouts arose. Then a great stampede followed. Off they ran in all directions expecLing t.o be killed. Frank laughed, and dreve the Fox in the opposite direcUon. ''Stop tiring, boys!'' he shouted. "They have had enough!" A laughing chorus responded.1 'l'be undignified retreat, and terror of the Mexicans was comico.l after the bloodthirsty actions they bad been assuming. J;larney now the turret, opened the shutters, and said: "Faith, they're a cowardly lot." I've got well rid of them,'' lt'rank answered. Lave me bowie tber wheel. Sure you an' Charley Is tilo.t gashed up be tber knives av tile spalpeens, sure yez looks like bash." Fro.nk was only too g lad to resign the wheel. He o.nd Cllarley then doctored their injuries. The Fox cut across the lo.vo. ueds, and po.ssed down into the big de prbsBion to reach the eastern side of the mountains. It was nearly midday before she go.inE'd the place she sought. Tliere was only one place o.t which she could ascend, and that was a succession of terraces, overgrown in places by different kinds of trees, the bald rock cropping vut here and ther.e from the sml. Frank cau.,.bt view of the almost obliterated ruins of what bad once been a flight or stone stairs leading up the slope or one or these terraces, and upon a closer examination, he ssid: This is tile place. See-there are the remains of what must once have been o. meo.ns of ascent for the ancient dwellers of this place. Consequently this clear slope may leo.d us directly to the very place we are searcb.ing for." "Is the Fox capal!le of making all the ascents!" o.sked Charle .v. Oh, yes. They o.,e steep in places. But then it looks as if in by gone ages they bad been steeper. A llow or molten !avo. the mountain side would be apt to level the terraces as q)UCh as they now o.re. The fact of some such peculio.rity having occurred here is shown by the absence of many trees and smoothness of the ascent." "Dis chile 'gree wil yo' perzackly," said Pomp. "Let's try it, honey." Frank then turned the electric car up the slope. f;lhe had all her current working the motors, but made very slow progress up to the top or the lirst ascent. Frank managed her. He bad to pick her course. In cert!Win places it was too steep to be mounted. She wenL up again, t.owever, and llnally reached the first small helt of limbel{growing in her course. B:Jt she bad scarcely reached it when the young Inventor gave o. start, o.nd turning her aside, put on lull speed and cut diagonally across the plateau sue stood upon. At the same time the rest beard a deep, rumbling noise. What's up!" demanded Barney, gripping o. rille. Death stares us in the face!'' mo ttered Frank. "My Lawdr who.' yo' call dat rumble!" Bowlaers shooting down toward us.'' Heavens!'' gasped Charley. Every one now looked out the windows.'' They saw a dozen or more mighty rocks, none of which could have weighed lees than o. ton come !lying down the slope. As tl:ey sped down the mounto.in side with a rumbling roar, they kliocked up the dirt in showers. Meeting obstructions they would sudJanly bound up lnto the air and coming down o.gain, dlg a long go.sh in the grountl. Frank bad turnecl tlla machine to get out of their way. As the Fox darted along und e r a slight elevation, the foremost rock struck the edge of the eminence. Every one held his breath with suspense. None expected the rock could against the Fox and smash her to pieces. But the bowlder llew up in the air, and shooting clear over the car, landed on the other side of her with a bang o.nd went on Tolling down the steep declivity. Before tile rest of the rocks could follow Lhe titst one so closely to the car, Frank had run her among the trees hedging the open space. There she paused in comparative safe ty. "Where did tllim pelllJles came from?" ,!!;aspecl Barney. No one ventured to reply, as they did not know, but Frank sug gested. "They didn't come down voluntarily." "Jes' when we was gwine up too," added Pomp. "It's a queer mystery," s11id Cbarley. "Are yon going up?" "As soou o.s the downfall ceases," replied Frank firmly. The rest of the bowlders went thundering by, and when the last one ho.d disappeared at the foot or the mountaiu, Frank ran L!Je Fox out into the clearing and starteq her np again. She began to ascend another terro.ce. In the meantime Frank keenly scanned the heights o.head, but failed to observe the cause of the rocky do wnfall. Hs wag very much perplexed over the matter. There were no more rocks falling. 1 Perho.ps," so.id be, those bowlders became detached from up in the mouuto.in and rolled dowu in consPquence of a shaKmg of the gronnd. Ordinarily I would have thoughL some one bad burled them, or rather, started them rolling down tor the object or crushing the Fox. Yet there IS no evidence to bear out this idea.'' They reached the nflxt plateau. Here the clearing was narrow, the sides Qeing bordered by rocks and trees and o.n endless variety of bushes. She hut! no sooner reached the when out !rom their conceal ment behind the stones and swarmed t n veritable army of savages, and Frank stopped the car. With o. rush tluy r1>achcd the Fox. A large number or them caught hold of her.

PAGE 9

FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELEC1'RIC CAR. Theo, to the astonisment of every one, they dragged, pushed, and pulled her to tile edge or the terrace and shoved her off. In a moment more, and ere Frank could prevent it, she waa llyiug down the steep declivity at au appalling speed. CHAPTER VIII. f BURSTING THE THE fear filled Frank's mind tllat the electric car would capsize dur ir:g tllat fearful plunge down the bill. He dared the braKe, for that would be sore to trip her, but be got a grip on the wheel, and when the Fox reached tile lirst plateau below, he turned her. Around &he spun, deviated from her co.urse, and rushed along the edge of the plateau, digging up the dirt with .bel' wheels. Fortunately she did not go down the second declivity but dashed ahead toward the trees, the inventor now applying the brake. Just as she reached tile trees Frank stopped her. A shout from tile natives now reached his ears, and glancing up, be saw hundreds of them swarming over the terraces. "They must be the tribe of Aztecs the Mexican spoke of," muttered the inventor, "and they evidently meari to repulse our attempt to as cend the mountain. There are hundreds of them, too." "Be heavens, ther brown spalpeens handled us wid aise,'' said Bar ney, "an' if we gets ter ther tip nv ther monntain, it will only be foightin' every shtep nv ther way." "They nre only armed with primitive weapons," observed Ch1nley, "and their clubs, spears, nod nrtows can't do us much harm." "Gwint! ter go up dar again, Massa Frank!" asked Pomp. "Yes-you take the wbeel and l'll clear the path with the gun.'' The coon assumed control. Frank then got his weapon ready. -when the mountaineers saw the Fox returning they gave a yell, and brandishing their weapons they ruslled to and fro. It was evtdent that they expected to repulse the car ag11in. "I'll take a of the spunk out of them in a few minutes,'' Frank muttered, in grim tones. "Look out fo'r more rocks," cautioned Charley. "It must have been those villains who sent down the a valance at us." Arrnb, but It wor a mystery ter me," said Barney. "Dllrop about tree thousand av thim, Mastber Frank, dear, an' place me among ther rest wid me shillelnb. Sbure, I'm crazy ter git a welt at their heads, bad cess ter tber blackguards." Up the slope went the mnchinet, and a shower ef spe11rs were hurled at her by the savages, aozens of the shafts striking the Fox. S ome of them broke the mnclline, otbers bounced off, and many mis8ed her, but, of course, no damage wns done. As sbe continued to ascend, the shouting became louder. 'l' beo the twang of bow strings was heard and down came a volley of arrows, none of which did any more harm than the spears. By this time Frank had the gu9 ready. He saw thM tbe sternest measures were necessary. These savages were thirsting for the lives of the car's crew. In order to win their respect it was necessary to show tbe awful power of the guo, and teach them a severe lesson. Frank Jet the projectile Jly in their midst. Boom! It roared. The deadly fragments scattered everywhere. A score or the savage bit the dust. The rest were paralyzed with astonishment. As soon as they recovered tlley scattered aoj ran. "That settles them!" said Frank grimly. "Dey am in no humor fo' mo'," grinned Pomp. "1'here they go among the trees!" said Charley, wa,tching them. "Now, bedad, it's no interference we'll get," Barney chuckled. "I don't agree you," said Frank earnestly. "The superstition of these people will overcome their alarm of us. I expect them to still contest our advance most bitterly.'' Forcing her way upward, the Fox passed the place where the na tives had been gathered. Reaching the last terrace, she ran out upon a l evel that extended ahead a g reat distance. From the extremity the mountain rose in rough, rocky ascents, s plit by canyons and gorges, and rent by water courses. Tile place was alive with game and an abundance of fruit, so that It proved a floe location for the Aztecs to hve in, as they depended entirely upon hunting and trapping for their support. Frank then saw the canyon ahead that led to the upper ground and ordered Pomp to run the machine into it. We must tuke advaolage of their panic to get as far up as we can," he exclaimed. "We will soon enough hnva tllem buzzing about our ears again. Hurry her along, Pomp." Am yo' gwine right straight inter dat yere canyon, snb!" Yes, for it seems to be the only opening that leads to the height beyond," replied Frank, as he scaonea tt.e rocks. Tllere's the brown nagurs," said Barney, po10ting back. The Aztecs bad come from their coverts. All were now intently watching the machine. Ope tall, majestic fellow who seemed to be the chief, was seen to gather a number or them around him and speak to them. They then dashed toto the bushes and vanished. Did you see that, Frank!" asked Charley. Yes. The chief evidently gave them instructions to do some thing and they have tun nwny to exAcute his orders." "Very likely then we will bear from them ahead.'' That's just what I anticipate." "Ht>ah am de canyon, Massa Frank.'' Run her up, Pomp." "Fnix, there's a wall ahead," said Barney. So there is-it looks like a pile or logs, dirt and stone," Frank re marked, as be scrutinized no elevation that crosaed the other end or the canyon high up In the mountain from over which poured a tiny stream that ran down to the canyon. He leveled a telescope at it On each aide was a sloping footpath that ran from the canyon up to the top or the fall, but it was too narrow for Fox to mount. She continued on toward it a short distance, when Pomp said: "Knio't glt up dar, nohow." "Stop and turn around," replied the inventor. What am de nex' mover "We'll have to run back and find another way to get u.p." "Bebeaveos,'there goes thim yaller coons now!" crieJ'tbe Celt. He pointed at the top of the cliffs on each stde. There ran the nieo the chief bad been speaking to. In a moment more they dlsanpeared. Just as Pomp attempted to tu ro the machine the -dynamo spring ran down, and the mechanism came to a full stop. Frank quickly ascertained what happened. As he opened a trap door in the tloor, he sung out: "It's the spring bas run down. I'll wind it up again.'' To do this would occupy fully live minutes, for it was an enormous I spring, and bad to be wound by means o! a crank. While the inventor was attending to it, Charley exclaimed: "The Aztecs have veached the elevation ahead.'' "What are \hey up to!" queried the inventor. I can't make out without a glass, bot they're working there.'' Pomp had the telescope. He now gave nn exclamation or alarm. "Golly, dey am knockiu' away dl' logs an'--" Boom I came a sullen roar, interrupting him. Then a most thrilling scene was witnessed. All now saw that the logs facing the elevation had been forming a dam, and having been weakened by the natives, the whole thing was giving away with a gurgling roar and a crashing or timbers. Out spurted the water. Then the whole dam gave away. Several of the Aztecs f11iled to get out or the way in time, and were caught by the tlood and hurled along. Toward the Fox rushed the llood. It was appalling. As the Fox stood directly in its way, and could not run on account of the spring having given out, she stood an excellent chance of be ing deluged and perhaps destroyed. All her Inmates observed tllelr peril. Frank did not stop working at the spring. But before it was or any avail the roanng, boiling, and seething mass or water struck the electric car and flew up ovP.r her. Oyt with you nod swim!" Frank. He renljzed that the Fox was buried. The force or the current wna burlina her along. It they remained inside they would 'drown like rats in a trap. Even then the water was pouring into bel' fast, and she was reeling ae if abott to go over at any instant. All rushed for the windows. IL was a deeperate fight to get out. . The last one bad scarcely hurled htmself !rom the machine when 81ie was tipped over, fell on her side, and swept along with the current. All banda could swim. Frank found himself engulfed. He strove to reach the foamy surface. Tbe water was rushing forward with a strong impulse. In places it wllirled nod eddied, in other places it leaped in frothy breakers over the rocks impeding its way, and the awful onward rush carried everything before it. Frank reached the top and glanced around. The surface was littered with tlonting logs, bushes and rubbish. Barney was swimming, Pomp was clinging to one of the logs, and Qt;arley was hanging on to a sapling near the clifl when a loa came along, dealt him a terrible blow, nod he sunk. o "He's gone!" groaned Frank. 1 Just then be reached the entrance of the canyon. Here the waters burst out with a loud hissing rumble, spread over tbe plateau nod lost its force. Frank was shot forward like a cannon ball. I Down he plunged a moment afterward. His head came in violent contact with a log and stunned him. His senses tied, nod he sunk in the water like a corpse, and it seem ed as if' be must drown in that condition. CHAPTER IX. AT THE AZTEC TOWN, IT was, perhaps, the llow of the cool water laving Frank's head that revived him a abort time afterwards. He suddenly realized that he Jay among a collection of logs, his head and shoulders upon ooe of"them, and the water almost over hla face, so that the slightest move might have drowned bim. His head throbbed painfully as be sat up

PAGE 10

.,. 10 FRANK READE, JR., .AND HIS ELECTRIC OAR. Then he heard the report of a weapon, and glancing in the direction from whence it came, he saw Barney and Pomp. Both stood beside the overturned electric car up to their knees in water, and were tlrmg at a party of Aztecs who had been rushing up the slope towards them. Charley was nowhere in sight. The shots repulsed the natives and they retreated. Frank lay midway between the Aztecs and llis friends. As be staggered to his feet, the mountain men saw him. This they manifested by a chorus of shouts. 'l"hen they ran toward him. "Barney!" he sllouted. His friends heard him. Run I" yelled the Celt. Bang! Bang! came two more shots. Down \Vent two more of the Aztecs. 'l'hat drove them back. But they sent a shower or arrows wllizziug after Frank, and they flew so close to him the wonder was he escaped unwjured. He could only account for it by reflecting t,he natives were un able to toke accurate aim while runnin!!'. Bang! Ban,g! followed a couple of rifle shots to cover his retreat and stop the flight of the arrows. Frank ran as fast as possible through the shallow water and reach-ing his friends. he panted: Where's Charley!" "Sorra a bit do I know," Barney replied. Were either of you hurt!" "Berry lit-tle, Massa Frank," replied the darky. and the electric car!" "Begorry she's been row led like a futball, but she's that shtrong it wud take a batthery av mountain howitzers ter desthr'y her/' We'll have to get her upon her wheels now." "Yo' git de tackle," said POIJIP to Barney. "I guard yer, chillen." The Irishman complied. By means or the ropes, he and Frank hauled the Fox upright. Her contents were scattered and drenched, and many things were broken, but she was in good traveling condition, despite the rough handling the stream bad given her. All got aboard and tried to put her in order. "I'll run up in the canyon with ller, and reco:ver Charley's body,'' sa1d Frank when they rearranged the interior. His body!" echoed Barney in alarm. "Yes. I saw him sink after a log hit hi10 on the head.'' "Oh, fo' de Lawd-am be drowned?'" I'm afraid so, Pomp." Frank started tbe current and the car ran ahead. She did not proceed very fast, however. Into the canyon she rolled, and every one kept a lookout for the corpse or Cllar!ey, bot failed to lind it. They scoured the place from end to end. Long before they finished the water had almost ceased flowiiJg through the broken dam. Only a small stream remained, and such water as had been flooding the bottom of the canyon tlowed all away. Although the bed of the canyon was then exposed, the body and made the Fox rush rapidly toward it. She soon burst !rom the woods. Ahead was a village of small stone houses. From the center or the settle01ent rose a small hill upon which was perched a large, peculiar looking building. From this place came tbe notes of a horn and tbe chanting of many voices, while the lire on a square stone altar before the por tals of the lmilding, was surrounded by men. Around the base of the hill, looking up at the ceremony going on at the crest of the elevation, were a large number of men, women and children of the Aztec race. Ever and anon the deep, dull clang of a big gong pealed out. Just as Frank saw them a prbceseion of men garbed in the robes of Azte:: priests issued from the temple. At their head marched a man with his hanlls bound behind him. "By heavens! there's Charley now!" cried Frank, pointing at the prisoner. The p-riests made bim kneel before the altar. A chorus of shouts rose from tile spectators. One of the priests drew a dagger from his girdle and sprang toward the kneeling man. His murderous intention was obvious. As quick as a flash Frank aimed a ritle at him and fired. The ball struck the priest, he uttered a shriek or mortal agony and! flinging up his bands he fell prostrate. Barney, load and fire the pneumatic gun at them "I will that! We'll save the poor lad yet!" Pomp, take this rifle and lire at the priests!" A fearful commotion had taken place when Charley's appointed executioner fell dead. The rabble set up a fierce shouting. As Pomp sent more shots up at the priests they scattered. The projectile shot from the gun landed on the hili and a panic fol lowed that beggars description. Ahead rushed the electric car. She dashed through the village and reaching the bas e of the temple hill, she sped among the frightened Aztecs and went ftyiag towar d the top to the rescue or Charley Dunn. CHAP'l'ER X. THE C A V E ,IN. IT was remarkable with what spoed the electric car reached the summit or the hili, and dashed toward Charley. Several of the priests bad made an effort to bury their knives in his body after the tlrst one fell, hut the dead shot darky dropped them with his rille r s fast as they appeared. Finally they all rushed into the temple. "Stop her here, Frank!" cried the Celt. "I'll be after goin' out--" "No! I'll attend to Charley. You tire the gun at the village.'' "Golly-he am runnin' dis way," chuckled Pomp. "Frank! Frank!" sboutetl the prisoner. Open went the rear door and out jumped the inventor armed w1th a.. knife, and as soon as he met Charley he cut his bonds "Thank Beaven, you are safe!" "Did you give me up for delld, Frank?" "'Yea. I thought you were drowned.'' "Oh, no. A log struck me, hut I only sunk for a minute, and when I rose the cnrrent carried me out of the canyon right into the hands of a crowd of these blackguards.''

PAGE 11

} FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR. 11 "Into tbe car with you!' They quiokly got under shelter. Pomp then started the Fox down the hill. '!Where have they been keeping you!" asked Frank. "In the temple on the hill. It was a gloomy dungeon. They were going to roast me in that fire when yon appeared." Frank explnined how they searched for him. By the time he finished the machine reached the foot of the hill and dashed away, leaving the village behind. A crowd of the Aztecs cnme running after the car, bot the gun was reloaded, the Fox swung 11rouud, and Burney let a shot lly in their midst that mowed down a score of them. That put the rest to t11ght. "There's a path; 1t looks a good deal !like a wagon road," said Frank as he entered the turret and grasped the wheel. "I'll pursue it and see where it will !ead us as it ascends the slope." They were gr11duully lighting their way up the mountain side and running a dangerous gauntlet, and expected to have an equally as dangerous time coming down. It was evident that the Aztecs were bitterly opposed to them. Frank was fully determined tl:.ough to fight his way to the place he was in search or, and llnll out if uny of Montezuma's gold was really hidden there as the golden anklet stated. None of the Aztecs uow followed them. The path run through the trees, over the stoniest of ground, lava bade, and up the steepest ascents. When they finally reached a point not far from the extreme summit of the mountain, they saw a levei plateau upon which grew the trees and shrubs. I It was very dark and gloomy bore, and the air was much cooler than it had been down in the valley. The search-light was started. As its gl11re shot among the trees Frank suddenly cried: There's a ruin I" Every one looked and saw what had once been a huge building standiog among the trees. Only a small portion of the pillars and walls remained, and trees and shrubs were growiug in what had OGCe been the Interior of the building. Around it portions of other buildings were seen. Some wel'e covered with lava, and others formed ridges bene th the soil, while the crumbling remains of but very few yet stood where they originally were built. Arrah, this must be tber place!" said Barney. "Fo' shuah it am," assented Pomp. Frank and Charley agreed with them. A suitallle opening between the trees was found, and the young in ventor drove the Fox into it. She finally stopped in the oig building, for this, if any, musL have been the temple of the sun. Here Frank alighted and made an examination of the ground. He found that it was covered with lava, and reflected that if there was a vault IJeneatb this llinty substance containing the gold, it would be one of the most difficult places to reach. Returning aboard the Fox, he told his friends the result. "How we are to break through that thick crust," he said, "I do not know. I doubt if we could blow it open with the gun." "But we'so got ter see what's undah it," said Pomp. Yes, that's what we came here for." Shore, it's a big buildin', this," said Barney, an' as we don't know at all, at all where ther loikes ar ther vault do be Bltuated, we'd have ter probe thor hull place. That would be a party tough job!'' Pel'haps we may devise a plan," sai
PAGE 12

.. --. 12 FRANK REA.DE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC He saw the mountaineers into the ruined temple by the hundreds on all sides. The inventor and his companion hastened aboard the car. "What is it-a concerted attack?" asked Charley. "S'peca it am," panted the darky. "Ebery one ob dem am ruahin' dii way. As we couldn't keep 'em back bery easy, we rnuned." "Tuere c&rtainly 1s a. large force," commented Frank. Beaorra, they're joompin' down here!" Barney exclaimed. Get your weapons!" cried Frank. "I'll do the best I can with t he o-un. Tbe chiefs must have gathered their entire tribe here for this 0attack. There's to be a hot time, boys!" The doors and windows were secured. Many missiles were fired by the Aztecs, as they surrounded the ruin anrl came pouring down into the depression. In a few moments the rilles of the inmates were blazing away and the; pneumatic gun was sweeping the ground ahead and to the right and left. A perfect bedlam reigned for awhile. As the big gun could n.ot be revolved more than in a semi-circle F rank could only command half tbe place. His companions wielded their small arms so effectively tbopgb that tlley kept the rear section cleared. The Aztecs withstood the tir e gallantly. Many of tllem went down, but there were scores to take the places of the fallen warriors instantly. Indeed, many of them reaclled the Fox. They seemed to be determined to overcome Frank's crew. It occurred to them, as they bad OJICe before handled the Fox, that they could cripple her inmates by throwing tne car over. With tllis intention in view, many or them flung the s ,ones aside t hat bound her whe els holding h e r where she stood. The moment she was released of the -.ise-like grip of the debris, fully fift y or them seize d her. Bnt just then Frank electritled t.be hull. Horrified by the momentary shock they screamed and releasing her the y dashed away, ignorant of the cause. They now bad a dread of the car. "Fools!" muttered Frank. "Ins tead of injuring us as they designed, they have merely succeeded in liberating us from an unpleasant pre dicament. Now we can manage the Fox and drive them out." He called Barney and told him to operate the gun. In the m e antime Frank examined the machinery and found that it h a d not been injured much by the full. H e quickly put it in order. The running gear wns not broken. The re w e ra a number of dents in the car, but she was manageable, a n u he returned to the turret and started her. Runn i ng over the top of the debris in any direct i on was not possi b!e, but t h ere were places across which the Fox could jolt and turn, aud when sjJ&wns under way Barne y could discharge the gun in al most any direction. That turned the tide of the battle. I "They have practically withdrawn all opposition. They seem to be glad we are clearing out of here." "It's sorry I am eo toirely ,'' said Barney in tones of deep regret. I "Begorra, I'd sooner be break in' their beads nor runnin' away from I tbim, d'yer moind." "For my part," said Charley, I'm glad they have given up the I fight . Those people could have done us a great deal of miscbief bad they been so inclined. However, we've the gold aud now have only to get away from here as soon as possti.Jie and return to civiliza tion." "Dar am de terraces, Massa Frank," said Pomp, as the car ran close to the clifl of the canyon where the deluge occurred. A short distance oil' to the left, there was a huge mud-Jiat. This bad been the bed of a lake which bad emptied its water down into tbe canyon through the broken dam. In a short time the machine was on the lower plateau. "Not a sign of the .Aztecs here," commented Frank, smilingly. Dev mus' bab gitJ up de tight," Pomp rep!i etl. How does the car run with her extra 11eavy weight!" "Very well, Charl ey. I can only observe a diflerence when going down the declivities when a:1 extra momentum is imparted to the machine by the weight, and mukes me use the I.Jrake a good deal." 'l'be Fox ran down to the place where the floocl bad poured from the canyon, and then beaded for the terraces. Only a tiny stream was coming from the canyon now, but the ground showed the recent inundation. Numerous logs, heaps of mud, and a large quantity of ris was scattered over the plateau. Crossing t11e plateau the Fox reached the terrace top. This was the steepest descent to be made, and Frank took a firm bold or the brake lever. Down went the car, the brake shoe gripping the rims and, in a measure, slackening her speed. She was so much heavi e r now that it required all of the young in ventor's skill to prevent her from plunging ahead at a tremendous velocity. Tile F o x cleared the first terrace without danger But when she was hair way down the seco:Jd one, the strain on the brake shoe became so great that it suddenly broke with a report hke a pistol shot. With nothing to cbe!lk her now, she rushed ahead. Down the steep hill she went plunging, gathering speed every mo meut until she was going like a ligbtlJing express train. A cry or ahum rose from her crew. Frank dared not turn her now for it might wreck her. He seized the steering wheel firmly, and held her on a straight course. CHAPTER XII. US IN O THE ELEC TRI CI TY. "HOLD or you'll get your necks broken!'' "Be h e avens, she'll thrip herself-! know s he will.'' "Cau't you turn her into the bushes, Frank?'' So many of the Aztacs fell that the res t became discouraged and finall y climbed out of the trench. The continued f a ilure on their part to inflict injury, coupled with a ppalling execution created by the gun finally drove them away from 1 the ruin entirely. As soon as the firing ceased, Frank drove the Fox over to the door i n the to the treasure chamber. "If he do dat, she am gwine fo' ter hit de rocks, too." "We've got to go down, boys-the brake ie broken.'' Down, down, down they shot, tbe car rocking and swaying, the dirt flying up in showers, and the Fox threutening to go over at every lurch. B a rney and Pomp were then apprised of tbelr discovery of the gold, and then the inventor said: "We must take advanta g e of this lull in the fight and get the gold aboard," said Frank, in c o nclusion All agreed, and the work began. They carried the treasure one by one and stowed it on the Fox. When it was all aboard, t hey then devised a means or getting the F ox up on the plateau again. The scheme was to break an incline in one or the walls of the de pression, up which the machine could run. This was done by firing the gun at the wall Great masses of dirt were blown away, and by repeatedly firing at t he spot, a w1de trench wns excavated. In ttis manner a road was made. There was great difficulty in getting the heaviiy-h\Clen car out of the d epression, but under Frank' s skillful managemenL it was finally ac complished. Once on the plateau, in the woods. they saw the Aztecs skulkiQg about among the trees intently watching them. A bee-line was made for the road. Frank then sent the Fox back the way she came. Nothing was done by the natives to interfere with her, except to s h oot arrows from a
PAGE 13

READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR. 13 What do be your intintions wid regard ter tiler gold?" Barney inquired. Sllure we can't lug It iverywhere we go!" "That's a fact," assented Cllarley. "I think we had better sell it at the first city we reach ... Mus' be mo' dan ten millyun dollars wuth," said Pomp. Not quite,'' laughed Frank. A fuir estimate of its value would be at a rough guess about $500,000." It's a rich muu yez are, Charley." "Oh, I get only a quarter of it, Barney." How om dat!" "Because it is to be divided equally." "It will not do to return to Hidalgo,'' sold Frank. "No, indade. Sure the spalpeens there would nit U!." "Where shall we head for then!" asked Charley. "Vera Cruz. We can tllere get a steamer bound for the north.'' They discussed the plan of travel for some time. It was finally agreed to follow tlie course to Vera Cruz. This understanding bad hardly been reached, when suddenly they were startled to see a riflll thrust through each of the four windows. As these deadly weapons covered them, n voice outside roared: Hands up!" All obeyed tile stern mandate. Refusal meant certain death. There followed an interval or silence. Tlle four gazed blankly at each other : Who are tlley?" Frank asked. In the gloom outside, he sow a man's face at each window, and Ob served that they were clad in the garb of Mexicans. The rear door banged open and several men entered, carrying revolvers in their hands, and at their head strode Sancho Pedro. Frank and his companions recognized the bandit at once. "By thunder-our old enemy!'' cried the inventor. it's Sancho Pedro," groautld Charley. "Bedad, we're roobed,'' gasped BarMy; dismally. "All de fightln' an' trouble fo' nuffin," added Pomp. There was a wicked grin on the Mexican's swarthy face as he regarded the quartet. Behind him came half a dozen of his men. As Sancho Pedro paused, he said sarcastically You are a nice set of fools." "What do you want here?" demanded Frank. That's a silly question. Can't yon realize that we were emnrt enough to let you get the gold, and then wait here until you appeared so we could take it from you?" So that was your game, eh!" Exactly so, senor. I am obliged to you for g etting the treasnre for ns. It has saved liS a heap of trouble.'' "You are a cheeky rogue.'' Senor, you compliment me; I felt very sorry to be obliged to fol t-lOW Mr. Dunn all the way into Readestown in order to get the golden lo' anklet away from But after all it did me no good, What a pity. . However, since you so kindly did the work for us, It .,does not matter. We Will now relieve you of it!" "Rob us?'' That is a harsh way or expressing it aut it's true.'' As he said t his, he turned to his followers and told them in Spanish to bind the four prisoAers. It was quickly done. Then the bandits eagerly examined the golden ingots, "It's worth a large fortune!" cried one, exultingly. With this precious metal, we can go out of the business," said Sancho Pedro, with a grin. "There's a l:ing's ransom here." What shall we do with the prisoners, captain?'' Lead them out, and tie them to the trees." "II you do that," said Frank, quickly, "bow are you going to get this electric car to the place you wish to go to with the ggld!" "Why-work the car ourselves." "You can't do it.'' Let me see.'' He entered the turret. There he began to examine the mechanism. Pretty soon tJis hands touched a live wire. A wild yell him. He could not let go. In rushed the men to see what ailed him. Sancho Pedro was howling like a wild Indian. He accompanied bis voice by the most violent contortions. What's tbe matter?" gasped one of tile men. "Oh, ob! I'm full of electricity.'1 : Let go the wire, why don't you?" "I can't! Oh, pm mi padre! This is terribltl!" "Why can't you let go!" "I don't know. Help me!" The man seized his wrists, intending to pull his hands oft the boee wire, but no sooner did he form a circuit with the bandit chief wlien he, too, received the current. He swore, polled at Sancho Pedro, and yelled for help. "I'm cnught! I'm caught, too!" he screamed, frantically. "Dios mio," gaRped one of the astonished spectators. "What does it mean!" asked another, in bewilderment. They were all puzzled, as they knew nothing about the subtle cor rent and felt very "Help us, you dogs!'' yelled Sanch Pedro at them. The men hesitated about obeying, for they had no desire to share the fate of the man who had gone to the 9aptain's aid. Why don t you do something?" roared Sancho, wildly. I'm nfrmd," acknowledged one of them. "Coward!" ",Perhaps Reade can stop it." "Yes, yes! Fetch him beret" One of the outlaws quickly obeyed. l Frank burst out laughing when be sow them. "Getting a little shock, e!J!" he asked, p!easantly. "Little!" madly yelled Sancho. It's terrible! Stop it!" I can't without pulling that bar out," said Frank; pointing at a brass hand roil firmly bolted to the Willi. "Well, pull it out!" roared the electrified villain. "Me! Why, my strength al'ln
PAGE 14

\ 14 FRANK READE, JR., AND HIS ELECTRIC CAR. aplre
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