The lost caravan: or, Frank Reade, Jr., on the staked plains with his "Electric Racer."

The lost caravan: or, Frank Reade, Jr., on the staked plains with his "Electric Racer."

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The lost caravan: or, Frank Reade, Jr., on the staked plains with his "Electric Racer."
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;


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Inventors -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Science fiction ( lcsh )
Dime novels ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
R17-00105 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.105 ( USFLDC Handle )
024946919 ( Aleph )
65167544 ( OCLC )

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' I 2 THE LOST CARAVAN. The subscription price of the FRANK READE by the year i s $2.50; $1.25 per six months, post paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PuBLISHER,34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. I THE LOST. CARAVAN; OR, Frank Reade, Jr., on the Staked Plains With His "Electric Racer."" I A STOBY OF THE WILD SOUTHWEST. I I By "NONAME," Author of "Across the Earth," "Along the Orinoco,'' "The Coral Labyrinth," "Over Two Continents," "Across the Desert of Fire," etc,, etc., etc, CHAPTER I. IN THE APACHE COUNTRY. TttE blazing sun of New Mexico one day looked down upon a thrill scene in the verge of thd't wild and trackless region, known as tbe Llano Estacado Towering above the green plain was a high butte, crowned with a few scraggy trees. At the base of this, witb a few bowlders to screen them, crouched two men. One was an Irishman with a shock of red hair, a pair or twinkling 'tllue eyes, and plenty of wit and sbrewdness to match. The other was a tall, handsome and :listinguiahed-looking young man. They were intenlly watching a small clump of mesquite below. It contained what to them was a mighty peril. For, lurking in that dense, leafy screen were a ball score of savage India&a, the deadly Apache, who are the dread and scourge of the Southwt>st. Begorra, Mist!Jer Frank.'' cried the Celt, as be fingered the lock or his rifle, "it's mighty glad I'd be to get a fair crack at wan av the omadhouns. But niver a wan dares show his bead!" You are right, Barney," said the young man, allxiously. "I can't say that I exactly like tbe situation. We are in rather a box here. If darkness overtakes us we might as well coun t our scalps as lost.'' If we end only make the naygur bear us now!" cried Barney, "shure, it's bad ears he bas onyway!" "You must remember that Pomp and the Racer are quite a dis tance away on the other side of the hutte." "Sllure, Lie oughter cum around to see phwat'a the mattber wid us! We've biu gone loqg enuff, sort" He probably does not know just where to look .for us,'' replied the young man. We cannot blame him. Our hope lies in eluding these dusky rascals, and getting around to the other side of the butte some how." Frank Reade, Jr., was the speaker's name, and he was known the world over as a wonderful inventor. He it was who had mastered the problem of aerial navigation, and solved the theory of submarine travel. His presence in this out or the way part or the world was due to a desire for wild and the opportumty to try his new Electric Racer-a wonderful machine and vehicle, which we will take a close look at a little later on. His companions were two fatthlul colleagues, Barney and Pomp, one an Irishman, and the otller a jolly African. They had left El Paso a month previous, and had experienced many thrilling adven. tures in the Apache country. But upon this day they had unfortunately placed themselves in the embarrassing predicament in which we find them. Frank and Bar ney, feeling sure that there were no Apaches in the vicinity, had set forth to explore the butte which stood like a watch towilr in the great, green plaius. The result was that they stumbled 1ucklessly upon a gang o! Apaclles, and were forced to seek the first available shelter, wllich was behind these bowlders. So long as they held the messengers of grim Death in the cylinders of their repeaters, the Indians seemed satisfied to keep a Bafe dis Lance. But it was this very state of siege which worried Frank. Night was not far away, and he knew that when darkness should come, it would be very diiDcult to hold the wily foe at arm's length. It would be mach better to make whatever aggressi'l"e move was in their power now. To fall into the banda of the Apaches was certain death. They were seldom known to render mercy. Frank studied the situation very closely, and he was bound to admit that it was a desperate one. The savages seemed to understand the position of their intended victims, and were playing their cards accor

i /' THE LOST C.A.RA VAN. 3 The purpose of the red fiends was plain. By gaining the top or the butte they could fire down upon the two white men who wvulct thus be exposed to their aim. Tuis was a calamity. As Frank: saw this move he knew that the time !or action bad ar rived. There was no longer any question about it. As well die in the attempt to escape along the racky wall as to submit to be shot !rom above. So he drew a deep breath and said to Barney: There's ouly one chance for us. Follow mel" All roight, sor!" The young inventor flung himself down upon his stomach. He began to wriggle like u snake acrose the open space to the next pile of bowlders. Barney was close behind him. .Instantly from tbe mesquite clump there came the crack of rif!9s. The bullets glanced from the face of the cliff or plowed up the shaly ground. One just grazed Barney's shoulder. But everyone knows bow bard it is to hit un object prone upon the ground. Frank and Barney were not bit. They were now safe behind the next pile or bowlders. But they were still expoHed to a shot from above. At any moment the foe might reach the summit of the butte; then -the eod w0ulu quickly come. 'rile two hunted men panted with their exertions. Creeping over that expanse of shaly ground in the glar11 of the pitiless New Mexico suu was no easy matter. They rested for an instant in the prote'ction of the bowlders. For fifty yards they crept along behind these with immunity. Then the line of breastwor came to an end. To go further must be to ex[!ose themselves certainly the tire of the foe in the mesquite. To remain where they were was equally !a tal. In this desperate predicament Frank's keen eye hit upon a project Ing shelf of rock which they bad just passed. He returned to it, and to his joy, saw LIIUb it afl'orded protection from uny shots from above. He muttered an inward prayer. "Here we are," be said, and here we muat stay until succor comes, or the savages give up and leave us alone." "BeJubers, they'll never give up," averred Barney. "You may be rigut," declared Frank, but it is our only hope." 8o the two men crouched there while the sun sunK momentarily lower. ,Finally il reached the horizon line, and twilight began to come on. It could easily be seen t!Jat toe red foe were wattiilg for the cover of darkness. Then they would consider the white men easy prey. But Barney bad not been hlle. Something prompted him to fall to examining the wall of the butte \ beneath the shelf of rock. He suddenly gave a little exclamation. Be me sow!, M;sther Frank, phwat llo yez think av this?" Frank turned and saw that the Celt had dug away sand at the base of the cliff and exposed quite an orifice under it. The young inventor's heart gave a leap. "A cave!" he exclaimed. Then together the exoited men enlarged the opening. It was li,O dark now that the redskins could not see what thev were doing. The plaintive gurgle of water was heard. Then Frank crept into the orifice and saw walls on either side and the light of the stars above. A little trickling stream was beneath his feet. Instantly he saw the truth. Time, and a living spring of water had cleft a space between the walls of the butte and this extended for what distance to the southward he could only guess. It was enough to reflect that this was a possible avenue of escape, so the two men proceeded to follow it. Hastily they stumbled and splashed on down the little water course. "J.'he walls were in places so close as to gtve a tight squeeze. But they kept on until suddenly the open plain, sturm and shadowy was seen ahead. Another moment they came out at the lower end or 'the butte. They bad traveled folly a c;uarter of a mile and had given the red foe the slip. Down an incline they slid and into the mesquite. Then rapidly they -ran around the southern cape or extremity or the elevation. A greatl white light smote upon their vision. "The search light," cried Frank. "There is the Racer, Barney! we have had a tight squeeze of it!" Elated at so successfully eluding the foe, they ran on. A few mo menta later they were alongside the Racer, that wonderful vehicle, in which they were destined to experience the thrilling ever.ts of this story. A cheery voice came from the Racer's side. "Golly fo' glory! I done fo't yo' folkses was lost lo' suah!" It was the negro Pomp, and a moment later Barney and Frank were safely aboard with hil!l. CHAPTER II. THE ELECTRIC RACER. OF course Pomp was given an acl}ount of the adventures nnci nar row escape of his companions. His eyes stuck out like moons. "Sakes alibe, honey!" he ejaculated, "if I bed jes' known anyfing 'bout dut I cud jest rup around dar an' train de 'lectric gun on dem bery quick!" Begorra, we was wisbin' yez wud make a guess at it an' cum along'.'' declared Barney. Shure it was a close call all the same fer us." However, they were safe now, and Frank intended proceeding at once to leave the vicinity. But right here let us take a look at the wonderful invention culled the Electric Racer. Iri constructing the machine Frank bad held in constant view the fact that the were likely to be placed in their travels in potll.tions of danger and risk of life. Hence the necessity of providing means !or offensive and defensive work. The Racer was somewhat in the shape of a long and commodious van with sides of thin but tough steel callable of resisting a !Juliet at the shortest range. In the sides were two circular windows of plate glass with guards of steel netting. On each side, midway was a win dow, or ruther section of steel network, through which the travelers could see all about them. In this netting were small loopholes for the use or the rifle in case of attack. Forward w!l!l a large section of heavy plate glass, also guarded by a curtain of steel netUng which could be lowered or raised as the exigency demanded. This was really the pilot bouse. Here was the steermg apparatus and the key boara by which the electric engines were directed. For the motive power of the Racer was electricity, furnished by a storage system which was un invention and secret of Frank Reade, Jr.'s. Forward of the pilot bouse was a small deck or platform protected by a guard rail. This was directly over the pilot or cowcatcher as it might be called, wpich oroumented the front. or the vehicle. Toe runnmg gear of the Racer was wonderfully light and intricate in its mechanism. The wheels were of steel with pneumatic rubber tires. Soft springs supportP.d the body of the vehicle. Entrance was made hy the rear where there was a small, railed platform, and a portable gangway. The main platform on tleck was upon the roo! of the vehicle, and wus protected all around by guard rails of brass. Here was placed the powerful electric eearchlight and also the electric gun, light and thin ,of shell, but capable by electro-pneumatic force of' throwing a dynamite projectile a distance of a mile with destructive Tlle interior of the vehicle was divided in several small compart ments. One of these was devoted to the cooking galley over which Pomp presided. Anoth!!r waR arranged with rows of sleeping berths, and heydnd was the main cabin, so-called, where were the general equip menta and arms necessary for the journey. FLrward of this was the pilot-bouse. The stores carried by the Racer were kept in compartments beneath the main platform or lloor or the cabin. They were in compact form, for economy of space was strictly necessary aboard a vehicle of this kind. Taken altogether, the Racer was an invention designed for safe travel in an enemy's country, where exposure meant death, and the protection afforded by the vehicle's steel walls was necessary. In invading the Apache country, Frank could not have sought a better opportunity or field for the testing of the powers and merits of his machine. The Racer was quickly under way, and the butte and the Apaches hevering about it, were quickly left behind. By means or the search light, travel across the darkened plain was easy. Bot Barney, wbo was at the wheel, was suddenly interrupted by Pomp, who came from th'.l rear of the vebiclA, "I done tole yo' dey am follerin' us!" cried the darky. "Eh!" exclaimed Frank; "what do you mean, Pomp?" If yo' go back dere an' listen, yo' kin hear dere ponies' hoofs dead easy, sab!'' "Begorra, we kin outrun thim, I'm thinkin'," declared Barney, about to put on more speed. But Frank said: on!" HI' sprang up through the trap to the upper deck. 1 It was but a moment's work turn the of the search-light back upon the stretch or plain. A startling scene was revealed. For six hundred yards in the rear of the machine the pathway of Jiaht was unbroken. Then it fell upon a band of mounted savages. 0They bad been spurring their ponies forward at a rapid rate of speed. Bot the sudden dazzling radiance which !ell about them, brought them to a soddeu and startled halt. Barney brought the Racer to a stop ut a motion from Frank. Then the savages quickly recovered from their surprise; with dis taut yells they dodged to the right into the gloom of the plain. They were thus for a moment invisible. Blt only !or a moment. Frank switched the search light about. and kept them constantly in its glare. Finally the bewildered Apaches drew rein. Now is the chance," cried the young inventor, "keep the focus on them, :Pomp!" A'right, sor!" replied the coon. Ji'rank sprung to the electric gun. It on a swivel and easily trained. He drew a quick and CGrefnl sight. T..Uen he pressed an electric button, There was a click, a sharp swish and a slight recoil. The projectile was off. It struck the prairie directly in front of the mounted savages. Had it Rtruck in their midst they must all have been killed. But Frank bad no desire to take human life so ruthlessly. He always avoided bloodshed if be could. He ha.1 aimed to strike the plain in front of and give them a !right. The effort was a succ

4 THE LOST OARA VAN. 'fhere was a terrific roar, and up into the air rose a mighty column or earth and debns. It was swept in a cloud among the redskius, and dispersed them like chaff. Panic-stricken tbey rushed frantically away again in the direction of the butte. They were at a loss to account for the terrili: burst of thunder and liglltniug or the terrible ey11 of deadly light which fol lowed everywhere. Be jabers that settled the question fer thirn !" cried Barney. "You are right," agreed Frank. "1 doubt if they will care to risk approaching so near to us again." I done reckon dey woo' want to toller us any rno' now," averred Pomp. You are wrong there, Pomp," dPclared Frank. "You don't know the Apache. He is relentless and persistent in tbe carrying out of a purpose. They will keep at a saf11 distance, but tbey will never give up following us." Does vo' fink dat, sah!'' "You may be sure of it. Apache curiosity will lead them to do that. They will want to find out wbat mauner of a vehicle tbis is, and what sort of people we are.'' BP.gorra, they'll rnoighty quick foiod that out iC they make a thry fer it," averred Barney. The Racer now continued on its way, The episode had furnished diversion or an exciting kind, and the relaxation was now felt. Pomp almost went to sleep while standmg on the forward platform, and Barney said: "Be off wid yez an' git in some sleep. Shore I may be after need in' some av tbat mesilf, an' I'll call yez up three fer to take me place." "1 go yo' on dat, !'ish,'' agreed the darky, as be rolled down to his berth and tumbled in. Frank sat up for some while In the cabin. He was much wearied himself, so finally he came forward and said to Barney: "I believe I'll torn in for the night, Barney. Are you all "I am, sor.'' "Keep tile Racer to the northward. If anything b&ppens warn me. Don't keep up much speed." "Ail roight, sor." By and by the moon came up and made the plain bright as day. The Racpr rolled steadily onward over the smooth surface. Finally Barney saw a glistening line in his front. It extended east and west as far as he could see. "Bejabers it's a river," be muttered; "shore It's no usd to thick av crossing that the night.'' Tbe Racer ran up to the shelving shore. Tbe steamer was both broad and deep. Barney ruminated a moment. llis lirst impulse had been to arouse Frank Reade, Jr., and ask his advice. But finally he decided not to do this. He would remain where be was until daylight. There sorely could be no risk. It would be safer to attemptthe passage of tbe stream by day. Moreover, Frank was In need of rest, and Baruey was loth to disturb him. In this open position no foecould possibly approach without being seen. Thus the Celt reasoned. Bejabers, we'll wait here tor the morning," be decided. Shure, that's the beat way." He quickly extinguisued the lights and pot the hood hver the search-light. Then be took his post on tbe upper deck, where he could keep constant watch of tt.e vicinity. Tbe night wo!'e on It had its usual concomitants of noise, the dis tant yelling of coyotes or the shrill notes of night birds; but no ap pearance of a foe could he seeu. As be sat there Barney had begun to wax extremely sleepy. He finally consulted the chronometer. [t was after two o'clock. That nayJ!:ur has shlept long enough," be muttered. "Begorra, I think I'll call bim." He r.rose with this resolve uppermost in his mind, But before he bad reached tbe trap leading down into the pilot house he paused. Then he rubbed his eyes. BAjabers, bow's that?" he muttered. He gazed for up tbe silvery current of the river. There was no deny a curious fact. Upon the waters of the stream there twinkled a distant star of light. It looked like a lantern, the signal light of some craft coming down the river. 'fhe Celt gazed at it for some while. Then he formed a definite con clusion. It was too lixod for iginis fatuus. Nothing in the cate<>'ory or Nil tore's forces could account for it. Human agency alone respon sibie for the mysterious light. CHAPTER IU. THE R A. F T S MEN. SATISFIED of this (act, Barney pursued his deductions. The curious light was advancing. It was coming down the river current and must soon be opposite the Racer. Who were lheRe midnight travelers upon the river? What was their errand? WPre they red or white! Friend or foe! The Celt was now wide awake. He octed upon a sudden resolu tion. Bejabers, there's only wan thing to do," he muttered; an' that is to let Misther Frank know. Shure, I don't loike to call him, but thin, It's only pbwat be told me to do.'' Down through the trap went the Celt. A moment later he was at Frank's bunk. In an instant the young inventor was wide awake. "All right, Barney!" be declared. "I'll be right up!'' It took but an instant for bim to spring up. He got into his clothes and then joined the Celt on the deck. Frank guzed long and steadily at the light. lt was plain that he was also puzzled. It seemed to be rapidly in creasing in size. "It is a mile 11way," he declared. "We could hit it with the search light.'' "Shure, yez are roi,gbt," agreed Barney; "Stall I taro it on, sor!'' "Not yet, Barney; let them get nearer, and then we can better identify tllero." Crouching by the search-light, the two men watched the distant light, and counted the momenta as it drew nearer. Steadily down tbe river it came. As it drew nearer it enlarged, and then Frank whispered: "It torch of wood!" "Begorra, that's risky, av it's whoite men they are," averred Bar nay. "You are right," agreed Frank, "There could be nothing more sure to Invite au attack from the Apaches. It would attract them for lDiles.'' With intense curiosity, Fr11nk a od Barney watched the approach of the unknown and rash voyagers. It seemed as if they must be lit eral greenhorns in prairie craft, or they would never have thus so clearly exposed themselves. Frank waited until they were within n few hundred yards. Then be ranched forward and pulled the hood from the search-light. A great pathway of intense light shot ovEJr the river's surface. It showed a raft made or logs and propelled by long sweep oars. Then it was easily seen why the nver voyagers hud dared to travel with a torch in such a conspicuous manner. They were protected upon tbe raft on four sides, n wall of logs was built, behind which the voyagers could safely hide. Tbey need fear no shot from the shore. It wo.s really a fort, and that it was well manned our ad speedily found ont. With the sudden flashing of the search-light, the long sweep oars ceased to work, there were sounds or confusion, and faint voices aboard the raft. It came to an instant stop and there was -the creaking or ropes which would seem to indicate thJ.t ancllors were cast. And there it swung In the middle of the stream. Between the logs our odventurers fancied they could see the gleam of rifle barrels, and Frank muttered: "They may give us n shot. We bad better get down behind the gun shield, Barn!'y!" "All roight, AOI !" This was done. Those on board the raft were of course unable to see the Racer on account or the blinding glare or the light. For some moments the situution remained tho&. Then Frank broke the ice. Raising his voice, he shouted: Ahoy the' raft!" The murmur or voices was heard, then a hearty voice came back: "Great buffiers! Air yew white or redskin?" "White!" replied Frank, "but who are you?" We are a search party from Tascos Ul> in ther Pan Handle, I'm ther leader, an' my name is Bill Bent, cowboy an' scout!" Glad to know you, Mr. Bent," replied Frank; what are you in quest of!" "The lost caravan," was the reply. "Yew ain't cum acrost it, hev ye!" "The lost caravan!'' e:iC!aimed Frank. What do you mean!" "Jest thet, an' no more. But before we go any further; who ail; yew?" "I am Frank Rende, Jr.," replied the yo-ang inventor. Never heard tell on ye! What kind uv a hght is thaL air!'' It is an electric light.'' 1 "Sho. Yew don't say? Wail, it's a powerful one I kin own up. Hnow do yew carry it!" It is carried on board this vehicle, the Racer," replied Frank. If you will come ashore I'll show yon!" There was a moment's silence. Then came the bail again. I sny, strawnger!" "Well!'' "Whar he yew goin' ter!" Nowhere in particular, I nm traveling the West for pleasure.'' "Thar must be a heap in it. Haow many in yer party?" "Only three. How many in yours?" "Ten," replied Bent, readily; "thar war twenty-two when we left Tascos, but we've rubbed agio the Apaches too many times." "Well, Mr. Bent," cried Frank, "I think we understand each other. I would like to have a talk with you. Will you come ashore tonibt, or shall we wait until daylight?" If it's all tber same to yew we'll wait until daylight." "All right.'' I I


THE LOS'l' CARAVAN. TL1ia t&rminateJ the confab. But daylight Will! not far away. Frank was deeply interested in the raft and its occupants He was determi:led to kuow what had brought them into this danger ridden region. He felt sure that it was some hero1r. or philanthropic object. These men would never have sacrificed twelve lives and incurred such risks for nothing. Barney was completely tired out and retired to rest. But there was no more sleep for There, anchored in mid-stream, the raft wuited for the coming or day. As the gray light increased the raft became visible to Frank as did the Racer to the raftsmen. At Tength the @Un "ppear11d above the horizon. Then tbe,raftsmen crowded the log breastworks or the raft, and gazed with curiosity and wonder at the Racer. Wnll, I'll be durned!" shouted Bent. What kind or a loker motive hev yew got thar, my frleiid! Dew yew travel around in tbatf' Sure!'' replied Frank. Come ashore and I'll talk with yon.'' "I don't see why we hadn't oughter trust each other," suid Bent, "bot this air Is a tough ken try!" Have no fears," said Frank, with a laugh. I am not a foP. If I am willing to trust you, why you ought to bo willing to trust me.'' "Right, strawnger," cr1ed the rough leader or therartsmen. "I'm com in' off tew see ye!" The next moment a lig!,lt cantle put off from the raft, Bent and a companion were the occupants. Bent wus revealed as a powerful, broadsbouldered fellow or good height, and a type of plainsman. Be was armed to the teeth. The canoe touched the bank, nod the two men leaped oat. They came quickly toward the Racer. Frank sprang down to meet them. They gripped hands, and Bent said: ''I'm Bill Bent, an' this ar' Is my pard Jack Dale, or Pecos Jack, as the boys calls him." "I'm glad to meet yon, gentlemen," said Frank, warmly. "1 had hardly expected to find a white man in region.'' "Ugh!" ejaculated Bent; "yew won't lind muny or 'em. Bot we're here for a purpose.'' "Ahl'' said Frank. "The lost caravan, is it!" Jest so.'' Bat-what caravan, and how did it get lost? .At least explain It to me.'' Tbat I will, friend,'' said Bent, "but it's quite a story, an' I'll have to begin at tber beginning.'' u Firilt come on board the Racer," said Frank, "then l can explain my onsineas in this region, and we will mutually confer." "Good," agreed Bent; "that's what I like to bear!" The two plainsmen went aboard tbe machine. Frank showed them over it, and explained its mechanism as well as be could. They were astonished as well as tlelighir eight companions of the new stroke of luclt. So delighted were they, that they mounted the parapet of the raft and cheered lustily. Frank and Baroev and Pomp answ ered this with a will. Then the raft cast off its moorings and the start was made. The Racer followed the banks of the river as closely as possible. It was necessary to go slowly, as the raft movecl slow. Thus they proceeded for miles. Thus far tile river bad made its way through a green plain. But now a belt of timber and a dense chaparral come into view. Frank regarded this witt some concern. It was a possible obstruction. H its undergrowth was too dense the Racer might have to go out around it. How much or a detour this would make was a question. This would mean a temporary separation or the machine and the raft. But jnst ab Frank was puzzled the mosL to know what to do, Burney cried: "Shure, Misther Frank, wnd yez take a Ink at the raft. There's somethin' the matther wid 'em!" ]!'rank instantly glanced in that direction. He was surprised to see that the raft had come to a stop, and one or the party was waving a white flag tied to a stick. That's queer,'' muttered the young inventor. What can be the matter!" The machiot> came to a stop and Frank ran down the bank to the water's edge. Then he shouted:


\ 6 THE LOST CARAVAN. What's the matter, Bent!" I Soon they were in full sight of the rapids. And now a singular I jest thought I'd ax ye bow ye could git through that ere timber scene was presented. belL! It looks pooty thick." The river here seemed to divide into two branches. One went dash "I hardly know," replied Frank. "I thought of going around it." ing and roaring down over a rocky bed. Won't it be a pooty long trip!'' The other on the contrary flowed away at another with swift Well, rather." current, bat no rapids. Into this branch of the river the canoes, "Mebbe sutbin' happen \Ve cudn't git together agio." passed. "I thoaght of that." Wall, thet beats me!" cried Bent, in surprise, "dew yew reckon "Wnll, I've got an ijee." this river meets agio?" "Well?" asked Frank. "Yes," declaretl Frank, with conviction. "I think you will find it S'posin' yew jest run yore wnggin aboard this raft. It'll float it so. But to make sure, suppose some or us go ashore and climb the easy. Then when we cum to open ken try you kin go ashore again." tallest tree hereabouts. Barney, you are a good monkey!'' "That is an excellent plan," agreed Frank, if the ra!t will surely Bejabers, I'm the IJJan fer yez, Misther Frank," cried tbe Celt; Jlont us." "be share, sor, I'll undhertake II." "I'll take my oath on that.". "Then yew air the huckl e berry Jer us," cried Bent. "We'll try Then it is agreed. Can yon wear the raft around to this shore?" thet high ::ottonwood yender. Kiu ye go tbet?" "Jest as easy. We hev got some spare logs fer skids tew, so we "Shure an' I kin!'' kin slide the waggin right down from the bank." The canoe ran up to the shore and Barney sprang out. Dale and Frank was ut once favorably impressed wttb this plan. He saw his men now came up. that the raft was so large and so staple an affair that it could easily Barney quickly ascended into the cottonwood. In a very few mo bear up the weight of the Racer. Moreover, this would unite the mente, with agility, he bad the highest branch. From this party. elevation he bad a tlweeping view of the river in either direction. So the Racer was quickly run down to the bank. The raft touched The Celt used his eyes for all they were worth the sands, and the stout plainsmen very quickly bad run out some He saw the two branches of the river in their full course. That to hug!' logs from the raft to the bank, making in reality serviceable the nortb ran rapidly for some miles over rough stony bottom. 'l'ben skids, down which the machine could be slid safely. it came out into an open plain ami bore in a crescent course around to Then all tt.e plainsmen came ashore. The cable which Frank prothe south. ,; t)uced, was tied about the rear part of the Racer, and then the line of Herll it joined the southern branch which in all its coarse w&s un men bore upon it and gradually lowered the machine to the raft. broken by rapids. The mam river thus floweu away to the base of a Great cbeertl went up as this was safely accomplished. Then all distant range of flat topped hills. 1 went aboard and the raft cast away from the shore. That these were the Table Mountains for which they were bound, Down ln:o the current it Jloated. It was now more than ever a floatthe Celt felt sure. All this be noted and more. ing fortress. The island thus made was in the most part densely wooded and And our adventurers bad a most excellent chance to get well acrocky in the remaining part. qaainted with their new-made acquaintances. 'l'bey fJund them to be Studying this panorama for some while the Celt next turned his rough but honest and fearless men. gaze to the east. He 11aw the winding course of the river and the raft Barney and Pomp were right in their element now. moored a few miles above. They quickly fra:ernized with the frontiersmen, and all were aoon Then he caught sight of something else which made his hair creep. the best of friends. Betwee11 them and the raft and gently gltding ai:>ng in the cover of The comicalities o! the negro and the Irishman kept the plainsmen the shore, were half a dozen large canoes. in a constant state of good humor. They contained each half a dozen dusky a w rparty. Down the river the raft now drifted. That they were creeping down the river to surprise and attack the two Soon naught but the forest was upon !'ither band. It could be canoes of white men there was r.o doubt. seen that the Racer could never have penetrated its tangled depths. This was a peril real and enormous. For hours the raft drifted on thus. Thirtysix armed Apaches betw!len them and the raft. What could Then suddenly Bent approached Frank and snid: the six plainsmen hope to do in the face of such odds! Do you bear a peculiar sound jest ahead of us, Mister Reade!'' "Be me sow!!'' gasped Barney. "Misther Frank most know av Frank listened, then gave a start. tha' right away!'' "On my word I" be exclaimed; "that sounds like rushing He lost no time but slid quickly down the cottonwood. He scram waters ." bled down the bank with white face and agitated manner. "Rapids!" "What is the matter, Barney?" asked Frank in surprise. "What "Yes." bas gone nowf' The two men looked at each other questioningly. For a moment "Shure, sor, they're afther us!" gasped the "We must neither spoke. be nftber gdttin' away from here." far the river bad presented only a sluggish current and easily With which be told the story. It Is needless to say that quick action navtgat>le. Now, however, a real danger began to loom up before was made. them. The two canoes were quickly run ashore. T hey were dragged into Frank glanced at the shore. It was by no means an encouraging the bushes, and the white men croucbed down to walt. landlng plnce for the Racer. Yet what was to be done! Their game was, of eourse, to allow the pursuing savages to pass, It would certainly never do to riak a breaklna up of the raft in the and then launch their canoes ngnin and make for the raft. This would rapids unless they were of the kind down which the raft could safely be giving the foe the slip in good fashion. pass. The only way to make of this was to anchor the raft here But, alas, for best laid plans! and then go on ahead and ascertain the facts In the case. As they crouched there in the jungle, sudl!enly a peculiar note of a Frank broached this Bent. The latter agreed that it was right, bird was ,heard np river. so at once orders were gtven for the mooring of the raft. "They re comm'," wbtspered Bent; "I know that cry. It's an The roar of the rapids coulo.l now be quite plainly beard. The canoes Apache call!" were brought out and a party of six made up to go aber.d and reconSeveral times the cry of the river ben was beard. Then it was renoiter. Bill Bent shook his bAud. pentad from anot her quarter, and so astounded our adventurers, that "I'm afraid we are going ter meet with ditfikilty now," be cried for a moment they were in dire confusion. If we hev tew leave ther raft an' take to tbet chaparral there'll The answer to the water ben's call, came from the forest in their bard work afore us afore we reach tber Table Hills!" rear. It instantly established one terrible fact. Frank heartily agreed with the cowboy. But yet be hoped for the They were pursued on land as well as on the river. Moreover, the best. red foe were all about them. CHAPTER V. SURROUNDED BY SAVAGES. THOSE selected (or the expedition were Frank and Barney, Bill Bent and Jack Dale and two or the plainsm en. These were in two canoes, Frank, Barney and Bent in one of them Leaving the raft they paddled away down the stream. They soon beyond a bend in the river. Here the current grew momentarily swifter. Then there suddenly burst into view a distant cloud of mist. Bent gave a prolonged whistle. Whew!" be exclaimed; it's lucky for us that we didn't make out tew try an' run them rapids. We'd been in a high old Hcrape rio-bt away." o ''That Is true," agreed Frank. "Need we go further! Judging .rom the roar of those falls we can not boJ:e to paPs them." Wall, ye never kin tell," ventured Bent. "We mouabt invest! o So the canoes went on. "Surrounded," gasped 'Bent. I'll be if thet ain't bard lines!" Begorrn, we''"e got to foight fer our loives! If we only had the electhric gun here now--" "We might try the other side of the river," suggested Frank. But Bent shook his head. No use," he said; they're over thor too, Don't ye bear Surrounded by the Apaches. Truly it was a bard outlook. What was to be done? For some moments our adventurers were in a dire predicament. But Jack Dale now came to the rescue. "We mougbt try an' beat 'em In tber bush," he sa "We'll bev to leave our canoes to do it." Anything!" exclaimed Frank; "this is no time for choice! Name your plan, Mr. Dale!" "Wall, come with me," said the Texan, who was an expert Indian strategist. He started at once along the river bank. But Bent exclaimed: "That's walkin' right inter 'em, Jack." "All right," said the Texan, laconically; "in course that's so. Hut we must slip 'em ye see. They'll be looking fer us on the river in


THE LOST CARA; VAN. 7 stead o! ther shore. Tbet will help us an' il we work their [ Once more the big raft was under way. Down the river it drifted line we kin git beyond 'em an' have a clear course fer tbe raft. See?" and every moment nearer tbe boommg rapids. "I see," agreed Bent; "but won't tbey stumble right onto us, j And now a possible peril suggested itself to Bent. pard!" "Do yew s'pose tber current kin be powerful enuff tew draw ns off We must keep our eyes open don't ye see? averred Jnck; "git inter them rapids!" be asked Frank. II it is our goose Is cooked." under ther grass like a snake, or up a tree like a coon. Keep outen We must guard against that," said Frank. "II necessary we can their sight, tbet's all." send ropes ashore, and wear our way on side until below Both Frank and Bent felt very doubtful of their ability to do this. the angle." If all of us bad as good a knowledge of wood-craft as you, Mr. "Right, friend," agreell Bent, "but them ar Injuns--" Dale," said Frank, we could be pretty sure to do it!" worry about tbem," said Frank, confidently. "I think I "Jest do as ye see me do I" can make matters pretty sickly for tbem hereabouts; just leave thnt "Well," agreed Frank, "it is onr only chance. II we are discovto me." ered, we must fight, tbat is all." "All rigtJt, cap'en," agreed Bent, but it was plain that the cowboys So it was decided; were none of them so confident as Frank was. Brit first Jack Dale or Pecos Jack gave them all instructions how to On drifted the raft. bide from the gaze of tile prowlmg savages. He caused tile party to Suddenly it turned th& bend and came in easy view of the rapids. separate a little. Tben an thing happened. Then, secreted under the thicket, all waited for the critical passing The cracking of rilles came from the forest on botb sides or the of the line or roes. river, aud bullets went singing over tbe parapet, or sunk into the logs Suddenly the Apache signal sounded close by Frank. He gave an with a tbnd. One of the sweepmen was slightly wounded. involuntary start and gripped rille. Instantly a commotion was created This kind of an attack was "Shl don't ye know better nor that!" came the warning whisper totally unlike tbe Apache style of warfare. from Jack Dale; "keep dead quiet, pard!'' But it was likely that they bad discovered the imposition practiced But I beard one of them right beside me," whispered Frank, in upon them by the whites, and were too enraged to control t!Jemselves. reply. Nothing could have suited tbe raftsmen better tbao t!Jis betrayal of Tilet was me." t!Jt>ir presence. You?" "Oho!" cried Bent, Jeeringly, "they are awful mad, ain't they! "Yas!" So they're goin' to show an open band right away! Durn their mens" But won't that bring them down onto us!'' ly bides, that's jest what we want! Heigboi' Dale chuckled in reply. This latter exclamation was caused by an unexpected sight. Dale II they bear an Iujnn over here giving a signal, they'll never was the lirst man to see it. think of looking fer us here," he declared; "they'll jest go out "Look!'' he cried, "they mean to get us into trouble if they kin." around us!" All beheld the cause o! this remark. Across tbe southern branch of Frank could say no more, He saw that Dale was a past master in the river there was stretcbeu a couple of strong lariats strongly interthe art of wood-craft. twined. Soon tbe chatter of the squirrel, or the shriek of the wood-hawk It would seem as if the weight of the raft should snap them like a and other signals were all aboat the biding white men. tow string. But to one familiar with the tenacity and strength of the Jack Dale kept up his one note of the water hen, and eo skillfully rawhide lariat, it was at once easy to see that the harrier was no des did he practice the deception that the advancing line of skulking savpicable one. ages actually passed by without discovering their quarry. 1 It would have seemed easy to cut it, but a man must expose himself All in the party felt like giving the shrewd woodsman an embrace. on the end of the raft to dn this. That deadly rifleman lurked in the Bot he made quick signals to follow him, and away they glided forest recesses on either side was certain. This would mean certain through the forest. death. Tbis was by no means an easy feat, for it was necessary to proceed Moreover, it now looked likely that the lariats were not needed to with the utmost silence. consummate the ruin o! the raft, for it was slowly swinging o! its own The creaking of a twig, an unwary crash in the underbrusb might volition toward the rapids. bring the red foe all about them again. The sweepsmen were working like heroes. But the raft was barely But forunately the white men made no mistake. Soon Dale burst belding its own. out from a tangled mess of vines and pointed to the river before them. Bent was pale and nervous, "There's tbe raft, pards," he cried. "I reckon we !ooled tber reds "By wildcats! I'm a! raid we're done for, Mr. Reade!'' be said; this time." what dew yew think o! It!'' "Thanks to your excellent strategy," declared Frank, "it is likely Frank's keen gaze bad been taking in the situation. He saw that that we owe our lives to you." the time had come for oecisive action. Dale modestly disclaimed this assumption, however, and they went So be sprung aboard the Racer. He mounted to the upper deck on down to the water's edge. and put a dynamite shell into the pneumatic gun. The first object visible was Pomp's woolly head above the parapet. lL was but a moment's work to train it. He aimed for the clump of He gave a loud whoop of joy at sight of bis companions sale and trees at one end of the lariat. Then be pulled the lever. sound. There was a slight recoil, and the hiss of air. Then a canoe put out from the raft and took them off the shore. The shell struck where it was aimed. The next moment the vlcinGenernl explanations followed once they were aboard the ralt. ity looked as if a cyclone had struck it. "Golly fo' glory! I'se done glad yo' has come back agin fo' suah!" There was au awful roar. An earthquake shock and a terrifiC upcried Pomp. Wba' dis nigger eber do if yo' had been all scalped by heave! of trees, stones and earth. The lariat snapped like threud. dem Iojms?'' Quick as a tlash Frank sent another shell to the opposite shore .. BeJabers, yez would have' hall everything to yeself thin, naygur!" He followed this witb others into the nearby woods. cried Barney, throwing a flip-tlop. "Small nade there'd be !er the Fearful whoops and yells came from the forest depths. Then they loikes av vez to kick. Shure, wudn't yez have the Racer!" ceased. Nothmg human could stand in the face or such a fire. "Huh! don' care nuffin 'bont dat. "S'pose I want dis Racer wi!-Frank now rushed to the rail of the Racer. out Marse Fran:C to boss 1t. Dis chile ain' no fool. Yo' cudn't glt "Lively now, all of you," be cried, "take a rope ashore and turn along wifout MurRe Frank no moah dan I cud." it. around that big cottonwood ou tbe point. Don't be afraid of ApaEverybody laughed at this, and Bent cried. cbes. You won't find one in a radius or miles!'' By bufllers, Mister Reade, them two chaps are pooty much atThe astounded plainsmeu for a moment were unable to act. It tached to you aln't t::tey!" was Bent who gave tbem their first inspiration. Frank smiled and looked pleased. "Come on," hu cried, springing into the canoe, "the quicker we We are old friends,'' he said. It is a tie not easily broken. go the better.'' Where I go Barney and Pomp go too.'' Four men were quickly on their way to the shore with the rope. "An' ye're a combination hdrd tew beat,'' declared Bent, whereat They were none too soon. the others gave a shout of assent. AB' it was carried around the big cottonwood the bow of the raft CHAPTER VI. AT THE RIVER FORKS. IT was easy to see that our adventurers were popular with tbe plainsmen. The best or feeling prevailed, which was a very good thing. Then a consultation was held. Of course but onA conclusion was reached. Tbis was that the party should keep on down the river on the raft. I do not fear any attack they can make," declared Frank, not so long as we have the ele!)tric gun." Then ye think it'll be sale to run right on down tber south branch of ther river?" asked Bent. "Why not!" "Wall, I reckon 'tis. sweeps." Haul up anchor, boys, an' give way at ther came slowly around. Another rope was carried to the angle of the two rivers, nod slowly the big raiL swung into the smooth river. The danger was over. Tbe raft was saved. And all was owing to Frank Reade, Jr., and the electric gun. On down the river went the rescuing party once more in quest of tbe lost caravan. But all these incidents which we have described bad consumed much time, and darkness was rapidly coming on. What had become of the Apaches it was not easy to But after such a repulse it seemed as if they would be wise in keeping a Bafe distance. Rapidly night came on. Guards were stationed at all of the raft. The search-light made a pathway or light down the river And now that the perils of the day were the spirits o! all were gay and a jolly time ensued. Barney anrl Pomp added their quota to the little fund of entertain


8 'l'HE LOS'l' CARAVAN. merit. Aboard the Racer they sprung and each appeared, one with a banjo and the other with a fiddle. Pomp twanged away at a plantation breakdown and theu sung a darky song. B11rney gave Garry Owen on tbe Iiddle and sang an Irish ballad. Al.ogether it was a joyous evening aboard the raft and none turned In until quite a late hour. As good fortune had it no incident marred the repose of those on the raft tbat night. Morning came lull and fair and all were astir at an enrly hour. During the night the raft had drifted clear of the forest and the open plain was again upon either hand. While In the distance the Table Hills "''ere to be descried. Sud:ienly as they were making a bend in the river Bent caught sight of something on shore. As he did so be gave a little gasp. Look!" he exclaimed; "duroed if they didn't break up their raft here!'' And so Indeed it looked. For, piled up on the shore was a heap of logs and debris. There were also remains or an old wagon. That the caravan might have met rts final fate here looked, indeed, logical. Bent orders to moor tbe raft. Then tbe canoe was put out, and Frank with Bent and Dale paddled ashore. One fact at least was established. They were upon the track of the lost caravan if it yet existe.:. Approachir;g the ht!ap of debris the three men first beheld a ghaatly sight. There in the sands of the bluff lay a number of bleaching skel etons. For aught they knew these might be the remains of the sole surviv ora of the ill-fated expedition. Bent made a close examination of them, and said: They air white men's bones, I reckon. No Injun has a skull shaped like thet." The others agreed with Bent. Then tbe debris was given an over hauling. This resulted in one conclusion. It was logtcal that the raft had at this point moored lor the and a section of it was cut ofl and left bere. Also the dilapidated wagon, from which the Indians bad taken every vestige of iron. But the large part of the raft and the survtvors of the party hfld continued on down tbe river. They had arrived at this conclusion when Jack Dale made a discovery. He picked up the tail board of the wagon. Upon this was an entry in blue chalk. Thus it read: "We in camr once more alter twenty miles drifting to-day. Jetf thinks we ought to react! the hills to-morrow. Ooe of our men reports Indian signs. We are to post extra guards to-night. God hal p us tl we are for ours is a feeble band and these accurs ed Apaches follow us like a plague. It will be a happy day for us when we make the west bank of the Pecos. There we hope to find relief from the fort. I am to relieve the guard at two o'clock. Memo. of Dick Clare.'' Bent was much excited when he read this. "I know the lad well," be declared; "he was a bravjl youth and one c>l a bright family. Jasper Clare, his father, is one of the best ranchmen ic ther hull west." It wnli evidently the guard that were killed," said Frank, slowly; "do you think the writer of this was one of them!" Bill Bent shook his head. Those are hones of men well matured." he said. I reckon the lad escaped. Then ther lnjuns probably struck their blow afore mid night." These discoveries were of course of no slight importance to the res cue party. It offered a ray of hope. "It'll depend on what we lind next, pards," declared Jack Dale. "Mebbe the rest of 'em are tied up Ill ther hills." "Then we're galoots tew be loalln' here," cried Bent; "they may be deadly in need of us this ere minoitl'' "You are rtght, agreed Frank, "let us press on us quickly as possible.'' Back to the raft they went. Once more the mooriogs were cost off and the raft was propelled down the stream, The men worked vigorously at the long sweep. Mile after mile was covered. At last they were to the Table Hills. Tile river ran mto a canyon here and tile raft came noain to a to decide what was the best move to make. Exciting were 10 store. CHAPTER VII. THE FUGITIVE. THE deadly fear of the Apaches, which had been the bugbear or the plainsmen until now, was quitfl dispelled, now tbat they had 'se cured the co-operation of Frank Rende Jr. It seemed as if the electric gun and the Rlcer were a safeguard against all peril. It restored the courage of the rescue party, and they were ready for anything. To enter the hills by means of the canyon or on foot was the ques tioo. Frank had decided for himself Once in the canyon, it would be hard to turn back. They might eo counter rapids or a cascade. So Frank decided to unload the Racer a( this point. The raft was drawn up to the shore and moored. Then a platform or of logs was quickly laid up on the bank. Up this the Racer was once more landed, and stood again on terra firma. Then a confab wss hehl. The resul\ was that Bent decided to land his men here and follow tl;ie lead of Frank Reade, Jr., into the hills. What was more the discovery or marks of a former landing was made. Dalll declared: I honestly reckon thet ther caravan people came ashore at this p'int. We kaio't do better than Lew toller 'em.'' "Ye're rtght, Jack.,'' agreed Bent. So the raft was abandoned. Armed lo the teeth tbe teo plainsmen were ready for the invasion of the Table Hills. As the Racer could not have carried them it was useless for them to do aught b:It follow tbe machine on foot. So they set forth, In al! the southwest the Table Hills bad not a parallel. Too high to be distinguished as table-lands or plate!\us, they were yet of the same character. After having ascended their precipitous sides the summit was found to be as flat as any prairie or bottom land and covering many square miles in extent. Each of these singular hills was tbus llat at the summit. Between the hills were terrible ravines, canyons and gorges. But yet from each to the other there was olways to be found a narrow causeway, as if designed by nature for communication. So that on the summit of the Table Hills fully a hundred square miles could be traveled on a levE'I surface. The toilsome ascent was begun. The machine experienced some little :iitficulty, so rou!?h was the steep. But in due course all had made tbe climb safely, and were upon the summit of the Table Hills. There were vlst!l.s or level green plain, dotted with chaparral, visi ble as far as the eye could reach. Over this the party made their way, It was assumed that the caravan parry would endeavor to follow the river to its junction with the Pecos many miles beyond. So the rescue party decided upon the same move. The canyon was found, and along its verge the party made its way. For some days no incident or any kind occurred. Neither was any trail or trace or the lost settlers to be gained. However, Bent kept on. "Iu course they followed this ere way," he said, with conviction, "they lmdu't any better thing tew dew. Thunder an' grizzlies! what was thet!'' A terrible long drawn wail of agoov went up on the air. It came from a copse not far distsnt. There was no mistaking the fact that it was a human voice. Instantly several of the plainsmen, headed by .Bent, had started for the spot. But they halted. Out from the undergrowth sprung a tall. slender figure of a man. In one hand be held a long, keen-bladed knife. lt was dripping with blood. At the same moment three other forms were seen skirting the I copse to head him They were armed with rilles and were Apaches. Another momeot and the fugi!ive youth would have come in a line with their vision, anti might have been shot dead. But in that instant Bent threw up his rille as did two others. Crnck-ack! Two or the savages threw up their arms with wild yells and fell,' The other vanished. The fugitive.youth turned in amazement. At sight or the and the plainsmen be gave a cry of joy and came bounding towards them. His appearance was pitiable. Some terrible hardship hnd reduced his clothing to a few ragged segments. His hair fell low over his shoulders, and his face was bruised and swollen. "Thank God!'' he cried, in a quavering voice, as he came bound log up. I once more meet those of my own race. For months past I bave done naught but lead a Looted existence, pursued, tratled and almost run down by those fiends or Apacbesl" "You are welcome!'' cried 'Frank. "Yonr looks bear out your words. Was it your voice we heard in yonder copse?" No," replied the rescued youth, that was the death cry or an Apache. We bad a terrible battle, but I triumphed, and plunged this knife Into his heart. But for you, though, I must have soon paid for it.'' "Yas!" cried Bent, "they war close onto ye. But haow in time did yew git in tAr sich a fix, an' whar ar ye from?" This was the question upon the lips of all. The youth saw it and hastened to relieve their curiosity. "It Is a long story," be began. "Our party, in which were anum ber of families of settlers, bound for Fon Sumner on the Pecos, fell in with Apaches before they hn

THE LOST CARAVAN. 9 vain. They were securely fortified in a little pocket in these bills. I went out upon a bunt !or venison. When I returned they were gone. I have not seen them since." This created a sensation. "How long ago wuz thet!" asked Bill. Fully a moo th." An' yew've bin bun tin' fer 'em ever since thou?" I have." "Wall, was there any reason for their taking sicb French leave! War they attack&d by ther reds!" There were marks of a desperate light. Yet I found no dead bodies. my friends are somewhere in these bills, but I can not seem to get track of them." This was a remarkable story. Bent and Dale exchanged glances. Tbl'n the latter asked: Could they bev taken yore people oft as prisoners!" Tbe Apaches don't do that," replied the youth. "Right," agreed tbe Indian lighter; "but it's curus whar they went. How many were in tber party when yew left!" Perhaps eighteen. Not more than eight of them were men able to fighL." .. Wbewl is thet all that's left of tber carr.van!" It is, sir.'' "One moment," said Frank: Reade, Jr. pressiug forward; "what is your name, young man!'' "Dick Clare!" "Ah!'' exclaimed the young inventor, "' guessed as much. We read a bit df memorandum written by you on the tailboard of a wagon--" "Yes," cried Dick Clnre, eagerly, "that was where we lost three of our best men. n was a midnight attack." Then young Clare proceeded to give in detail the course and tbe fearful experiences of the caravan in its long career across the Llano. He was lisLenet.l to with interest. When be had tlnlsbed. Frank called to Pomp: Hey, you black rascal, get this gentleman something good to eat.'' "A'right, sabl" replied Pomp, as he vanished. "I will find you a new suit of clothes,' Mr. Clare,'' Frank continued. "You s eem sorely in rJPed nf it." Tears stood in young Clart>'s eyes. "You are more thun kind," he said, huskily. "I trust you will get your reward. But, ob, I wisb I knew where my companions are to day." "We will find them, if possible," said Frank, earnestly. Your.g Clare was aEtonisbed when he went on board the Racer and noted its character and its fittings. "By Jove!'' he exclaimed, is a palace on wheels. And run by t>lectricity too. Well, I never!" Cl.;re f e lt much better when be had finished meal, and he soon appeared in some new cl:>thes, thanks to Frank's p bilaothropy. Then with high spirits he was all in for the finding of tbe otber 1 members of tbe caravan. "With your help I shall lind them!" be cried. "I was before in constr nt fear of the Apaches!" "Tben these hills are tilled with the du s ky barbarians, are they?" asked Frank. "They are everywhere!" declared Clare. "You can hardly step in the grass without your foot on one!'' "WfJ shall be glad to step on a few," said Frank, ironically. "I think we can give them n scare!'' As it now was n certainty tbnt they were in the very nest of the Apaches, all bands were on the alert. Every move was made with caution and judgment. Slowly the party moved forward. 'fbe Racer went ahead, nod luto every suspicions thicket or covert a few rifle shots were thrown. The plainsmen came on behind and prepared for a hot fight at any moment. But the Apacbe is the shrewest strategist In the world. It was hardly likely tiJM they would show themselves. And it is when the Apache makes himself invisible that he is most to be dreaded. It may be well reckoned upon that be is close at hand and meditat ing some treacherous game. None knew this better than Jack Dale. He deployed his men right and left, and compelled them to keep constantly in cover. And in this manner the invasion of the 'l'alile Hills was made. But where was the remnant of the lost caravan! What was their fate? CHAPTER VIII. THE MIDNIGHT ATl'ACK. FRANK READE, JR., would have given much to have been able to answer this question. But be believed that the solution was not far distant. For an hour the invading party crept forward. Not an Apache sign was seen. Then night began to settle down again. It became necessary to camp. Jack Dale's face was grim. Under cover of darkness be knew well that the savages would en deavor to make an aggressive move. It was well to be prepared. So be called an early halt. Then preparations were made for mak ing the camp secure. The party rested upon a little rise of ground. The machine was upon one side as a r11eans of screen, and a ledge of rock upon tlie other. In a hollow of this a camp fire was built. Then the search-light was kept constantly at work scanning the in tervening plain to a clump or trees distant not a half mile, and which would afford presumably the best cover for the redmen. Guards were also posted. and thus forutled, the invading party felt a safer. Yet there was danger. A. deer bad been shot during the march, and the venison was roast ed over the camp tire. .8ut Pomp managed to als!J furnish a few ad ditions to the general bill or fare. Perhaps the happiest member of the party was Dick Clare. He told his story to Frank, who bad at once made friends with the youth. There was quite a little romance connected thereby. In the caravan party there was a family named Lewia. Tl!ey were from the far eust, and the family consisted of Horace Lewis and bis w1fe, and a daughter of seventeen, Eva Lewis. As eulogistically described by Dick, Eva Lewis was One of the most beautiful and charming of young girls. It was plain tbat the young man was heels over ears in love With her, and that his love was re ciprocated. If any harm comes to her!" said Dick, with set teeth and flashing eyes, woe to the Apache nation! I will consecrate my life to exter ruinating the deadly vipers.'' "We will hope that all of your party are safe somewhere in this re gion," said Frank. "And we will rescue them." Heaven aid us to do that!" The night was a black one. Dark clouds banked in the heavens and obliterated the light of moon and stars. A soughing south wind went wailing across the plain and rustled the tall grasses and the leaves of the trees and sung in the tangled spires of spiny cactue. It was an Ideal night for an Indian attack. The wind favored the red foe, and tbe darkness was their boon. The while guards were constantly upon the alert. Tbe search lump sent its while light in every direction across the plain. But it could not penetrate to the roots of the wa'fing grasses. There, for aught thev knew, hundreds of si{Uiking savages might be snal{elike making their way to the camp ready at a signal to leap to the attack. All in the party were extremely t1red, and most of tbem retired early to rest. But Frank Reade, Jr., and young Clare were not inclined to sleep. They wandered outside the circle of tbe camp, and in tbe shadow of ledge they sat down upon a bowlder, straining their gaze into the darkness. For Frank felt intuitively that they would be attacked that night. Young Clare seemPd to have taken a great fancy to Frank. He hung about him persisLently. ThPY conversed in a low tone. "What dreadful foes these Apaches are,'' declared the young set tler. "This region will never be open for seltlement so long as they infest it.'' I quite agree with yon," said Yet the eyil is one not easily cured." I should think Uncle Sam, with all his mighty resources, might remedy 1t.'' "How!" By sending troops out bere and giving the red wretches a whip ping." "Ah," said Frank, shaking his head, "that is considered an ex treme measure. It would he condemned in the East, wbtJre popular sentiment favors the poor Indian. It would be deemed a massacreor at lt>ast, oppression in favor of the grasping Western lund grab ber.'' "Pabawl'' exclaimed Clare, imJ)atiently. "Some of them ought to come out here and take a look at the matter just as it is. Then they might not have quite so much to say." I quite agree with you.'' The words !lad barely left Frank's lips, when young Clare put a band on his arm. He was treml!ling like an aspen. "Look," he whispered; did you see that!" What!" asked Frank. That Ir.dian! I'll take my oath he stood at full height out yonder in the grass a moment ago. He bas vanished now!'' Frank was mnch excited. "Are you sure of that!" he asked. "As surs as that I Jim alive atthis moment." He must have been venturesome.'' Ah, he stood trp to get a look in at the camp, but he did not ex pose himself for long.'' 'l'bat is very true. Then there must be others out there. No doubt the grass is alive with them.'' I believe It, and they are only waiting a weak moment to dash in upon us." Frank set his lips. "Then we must be prepared,'' he muttered. "If I was sure they were out there I'd maKe It hot for them wit. h the electric guo.'' The young inventor was about to turn and reenter the camp, when an unlooked-for thing happened. Again Dick Clare gave a smothered cry. Then Frank saw In that instant the of it.


10 THE LOST CARAVAN. Afar off in the direction of the north part of the Table Hills there suddenly sprung into view a fierce rea glow. It mounted up Into the air and shone brightly against the sky. The two men gazed intently at it a moment. The n Frank exclaimed: "A fire!" "Yes!" agreed Clare, "is It a signal!" Both knew that this was a favorite Apache trick, and that oftentimes hundreds of signal fires would be burning in diflerent parts of the hills. Bitt a closer scrotinv convinced Frank that this hypothesis was wrong. "Hold on!" he exclaimed, "that is not a signal fire!" "Sol'' exclaimed Clare, in surprise, what then is it!" "Look! It is too fierce and bright. See how it burns with a vol ume equal to a volcano. Ah, did I not tell you! Listen!" Plainly to the bearing of both came faint yells and the barely aud ible crack of rilles. For a momeUJ; both Frank and Clare were spell-bound. They hard ly knew how to act, or what to do. Then Frank recovered himself. "Do you know what that means!'' be exclaimed; "as I live I be lieve that is an attack upon the lost caravan!" Clare's face was ashen pale. It is, he gasped. I know it. They will murder ,them, every one. Oh, for the lovo of heaven, let u s to the rescue!" In that moment Frank saw but one path or duty. This was to fiy to the rescue of the besieged people. He clasped Clare's band and turned back into the camp. The dis tant confiict could not be more than two miles away. It would take but a scant while for the machine to run that dis tance. With the electric gun he could scatter the savages like chaff, and Bent and his men could hold the fort where they were or follow slowly oq as they might choose. This was t he instant plan which fiasbed through Frank's bnin. He had time to say to Clare: "Don't fear! We will snve them!" Then a thrilling incident occurred. From the ground almost at t.heir feet a lithe form sprung up. No panther was quicker in an attack. Straight at Frank Reade, Jr., it sprung. A deadly tomahawk llasb ed In the night air. That moment would have been Frank Reade, Jr.'s, last but for the quick action of Dick Clare. Swift as the attack was the defense. Clare leaped forward like a cnt and caught the uplifted arm of the savage. Then his strong arms en circled the savage's neck and both went down. The tomnhawk clanged on the ledge. The savage knowing that his game was foiled emitted a fearfal war.whoop. It was a terrible signal. Every man in the camp was upon his feet, Rifles were grasped and the semblance or a defense instantly organized. But in that moment the great plain became alive with dusky forms. It seemed as If thousands w e re rushing forward to the attack. Meanwhile Frank had spruug to the aid of his brave young defend er. The savage might have got the best of Clare. But Frank dealt a terrilic blow upon the savage's head which knocked him senseless. Clare scrambled to his feet. Over the ledge bvth scrambled barely in time to avoid a shower of bullets. Bent and Dale had rallied their men and were holding the letlge a<>ainst the attackmg redskins. 0Barney and Pomp were on the deck of the debating whether to use the electric gun or not. Taey hailed Frank's coming witb joy. "Fo' de Lor', Marse Frank," cried Pomp, I done fot yo' was kill ed by dem Injinsl" Be jabers, we com moighty near using the electhric gun on the omadhouns!" declared Barney. "I wish you had," said Frank, "bot lively now, or they will be in the campi Bring out some projectiles!" Scarcely what lie was doing, Clare chmbed aboard the Racer. With Barney and Pomp be opened lire with repenting rilles. While Frank worked the electric gun. It seemed as If the savages were legion in number. Right up to tbe camp entrance they It was evident that they meant to concentrate all their overwhelming numbers and sweep the camp out or exis t ence. Ali bad been well planned, though it was not ns much of a surprise as they had probably intended. CHAPTER IX. One repulse is all that is ever necessary with a body of Indians. Open and persistent fighting is not their style of warfare. As the terrific dynamite burst through their midst, they wavered. Frank repeated the dose as rapidly as he couhJ. There was one moment of uncertainty. The plainsmen were being forc e d back, and two of them were dead and scalped. But the next appalling thunderbolt gave the Apaches a panic. They rolled back, made a faint attempt at rallying and then fled. In less time than it takes to tell it, they bad vaniahed out over the great plain. The battle was over. But Frank sent cl!arge after charge of dynamite across the surface of the prairie to break up the nest of vipers and sicken them of further I attack. Scarcely one of the plainsmen bad escaped some sort of a wound. Two of them were dead. But tile remaining eight were dead game and actually wanted t() go in pursuit of the savages. Frnnk, however, culled up Bent and Dale and explained the situ ation to thP-m and the meaning of the distant lire. The plainsmen were instantly e x cited and ready to go to the rescue. "But we'll have to break camp here," said Frank, "and that will tnke time; we may be too lat e." "Yet what else can we do!'' asked Bent. I had thought of rushing on ahead to the rescue with this mactine," said Frank, but I fear now that you will bl' left in deadly peril." "Nevl!r mind us," said Bent; "go ahead. Thar are wimmen an children tew save, yew know.'' "Exactly," agreed Frank, but I cannot consent to sacrificE! you. We must arrange some other plan. Give orders to strike camp as quickly as possible!'' Bent hurriedly gave this order. When the plainsmen understood the true state of aflairs, they were much excited. Iu less time than one would expect the camp was struck, and the hardy band of Indian fighters were ready to leave the spot. There might have been some little risk in leaving their present posi Lion of vantage, had it not been for the eiPctric guo. But It was quite certain that the Apaches would not venture an open attack within range of that deadly article. So the party boldly ven tured forth. Two miles over the plain was not such a great distance, and the men were able to march at the double quick aud curry their camp equipage, too. On they ran behind the Racer. The distant lire had seemed to be dying out, and the sounds of the 1 battle Wllre certainly growing more desultory. It meant one or two things. Either the savages were completing their victory or else they had b e en repulsed and were falling back. Clare sLOod on the deck beside Frank, and his face was very pale, and .hiS nerVPS Very tenee. God help us to get there in t ime," he murmured; but for that other attack we would have done so." Yes," agreed Frank, "we would. But I feel confident that Haines, after lighting the savages so long, bas oncP. more beaten them hack." But at that mo:;ment Clare gave a mighty start. "Look!" he shouted. There the red fiends go over the summit of that butte! No doubt it is a dodge to take the whites in the rear. For God's sake press on! We muet save them I'' It was the search-light's glare that had revealed this. The sides of the butte were indeed covered with savages. The next moment llerce sounds of a conflict were renewed. Up flashed the light again. Then it was seen from whence this came. Upon a spur of the hill a number of red demons were heaping brush and firing it. Very likely this sent a light down mto the besieged camp, and enabled the savages to the better direct their attack. It was evident that succor was coming none too soon to the !Jattle worn members of the caravan. On rushed the party. Now onlv ,. fifth of a mile intervened. Frank was determined to accept a risk. He went up and trained the electric gun upon the savages on the tot> of the butte. A moment later a shell went hissing up into their midst. The aim was good and there was an awful explosion. 'l'he slaughter was terrific. The other savages turned and saw the great whi te eye of light on the plain far below. lL wos advancing toward them. They )lad never seen anything like it before Steadily it advanc e d toward them. 'l'ben another awful volcano in their midst settled afl airs for them. THE APACHES REPUtSED. IT was lucky for Bent and his men that the Racer left them for the scene of a distant fray. The survivors burst into a mad and precipitate retreat. In less time than it takes to tell it the summit of the butte "as had not already clear. One nest of the demons was llroken up. A shell into tile pile of burning brush scattered it and killed the to tell the tale savages tending it. The !lext moment the Racer rounded the emin If it had, not. a man of them would have survived or a terrible massacre. Bot the moment the deadly electric gun began to get in its work, there was n change. The terrible dynamite shells bursting in their midst were inexplic able and appalling to the Apaches. ence. The search-light threw its rays into a narrow passage leading be tween high rocky walls. This wa.s obstructed with bowlders and behind these crouched the gamy defenders of the lost caravan. I


THE LOST I CARAvAN. S ix haggard and blood-stained men, nearly every one with a wound, ca"le forth to greet the rescuers. Brave Jeff H a ines was their leader. Back of them was the retreat which they bad held for so many months against almost daily attacks of the Apaches. It was a sort of pocket in the side or the butte. Nothing could exceed the heroism or this little party of isolated settlers battling for t h eir lives and their families in this awful wil!\er ness and against a fierce borde or savages. Many of the women and children had succumbed to hardship. There were sorrowing hearts and sad hopes for all. It had l!eemed a hopeless fig ht. Without relief there had seemed no chalice for them. bad not hoped for rescue. How could a relief party expect to find them in this fearful r e mote part or the earth! But yet the six surviving men had fought on doggedly. A few hours more, however, would have sealed their fate, for their ammu nition was givil'g out. To express the wild joy of the rescued people would be an utter im possibility. They were frantic in their demonstration of happiness. It seemed to them a new le a se of lire. And as the dynamite shells of the Racer quickly drove the Apaches back, daylight app,.ared in the east as if to crown the occasion. Then Dick Clare found himself face to face with Mr. Lewis. The pioneers face was ashy pale. "Dick," be cried, "thank God you escaped with your life!" "And yon," replied Clare; "but Mrs. Lewis, and-Eva--" Lewis gave a gulping cry. "lfy wife is nigh crazy," he said, huskily; "Eva is gone!'' "Goce!" Clare fairly shrieked the word "'Yes,'' said Lewis, with a spasm of awful pain. "I fear we shall never see her again." Clare forced the heart-broken man to explain matters in the quick est way. He gave a thrilling tale. For weeks they bad been unmolested in this mountain retreat. While they knew that the Apaches were all about them, yet no attack was made. So that ttev had gradually relapsed into a feeling of security, be lieving that tbe red foe would not dare attack them. This was fatal. One day when the Indians had not been heard from for many days, Mr. Lewis and two other men ventured outside the pocket tQ hunt antelope. They were mounted upon the wagon train horses which they had brought with them on the raft. Eva was a daring horsewoman1 and pleaded hard for the privilege of going with them. At llrst her father had denied her. Oh, if I had only stuck by that denial,'' he cried, in agony. "My darling child would be with us now!" But as the little hunting party emerged upon the table-land no sign of Indians was visible. The coast seemed clear. A herd of 11ntelope was sighted and the bunt began In the excitement Eva became slightly separated from the others. Suddenly a startling t hing happened. Up from behind a ridge in tile plateau there sprung a score of In dians and their ponies, whicl!i were-trained to lie down in the grass. With a wild war whoop tliey swept down toward the hunters. Rilles cracked and for a few moments a lively fight ensued. But Eva had been some little distance from her companions, and before she could rejoin them the red fiends had swept down like a cloud about her. In a twinkling she was a captive and carried away in the yell ing horde. The frantic white bunters pursued, even at the risk of their lives. But they might as well have followed an igni:us fatuus. The wily Apaches slipped their pursuers so skillfully covered their trail that they could be traced no further. Words can hardly express the horror and anguish of all. Sadly and slowly they rode back to camp with the dread news. The name of the chief of this band of Apaches was known as Flat Nose. He was a merciless monster, and the Table Hills was his stronghold. This was the narrative to which several listened. Clare was nearly prostrated with the awful news. It seemed to him as if the light of his life bad gone out in darkness. CHAPTER X. FRANK'S CLEVER PioAN. BuT among those who s\ood by and listened was Frank Reade, Jr. The young inventor's face was gnm. Clare had picked up his riHe and started for the canyon. Frank managed to step in front of him. "Where are you going, Dick!'' he asked. The youth turned his agonized gaze upon him. "Need you ask?" he said. "I am going to rescue her or die in the attempt." "Wait," said Frank, calmly, "don't do anything rash.'' "I am not." "Yon are." "What!" "I mean'jnet what I say,'' declared the young inventor. "You are acting most rashly. In the first place it is madness for you to set rorth alone to rescue that girl You can't do it." "Then I can die!" said \he youth, desperately. That will do you little good," said Frank, reprovingly. Lis ten to reason. There is a better way." 1 Clares face lit up. God bless you!" he exclaimed. You will help me!'' "I wilL" I "I will then leave all to you. Heaven will reward you," said the youth, fervently. But-will we not act soon!" "Immediately," replied Frank. The sun was now high in clear sky. The report spread through the camp that an effort was to be made to rescue Eva Lewis. The besieged men were to turn about and hunt their foes. Flat Nose was to be tracked to his den. Of course there could be nothing but guesswork regarding the fate of Eva Lewis. In the powar of such a wretch as Flat Nose the worst was to be feared. But now a new face was put upon matters by a declaration of B9n t 's. I kin tell ye why thar's good reason tew hope tew find ther gal all safe,'' he said. '' Tbar ain't no Apache would hev scrupled much about heviu' her yaller scalp at his girdle, yew kin bet.'' What do you mean!" exclaimed Clare, "she is in the hands of the Apaches.'' Mebbe yew think so!" Is she not!" Wall, yes, but this ere Flat Nose ain't &o more of an Apache than you or I, mv friend.'' This announcem e nt created a sensation. Do yon know for a fnct!" asked Frank Reade, Jr. "In cuurse I do," replied the plainsman, positively. "I reckon I orter. Nose is a white man an' he wuz as tough a sport as ye ever knew in early days on the Brazos.'' "You don't mean it!" "Yes, I do. Arter he bad killed his fourth man down thar, the people turned pizen on him an' be had tew skip inter tber Llano. Then be fell in with Big Lip, the Apache chief, an' made friends with him. Be got to be a chief and is the big gun called Flat Nose to-day.'' Frank Reade, Jr., saw the point at onl!e. He understood now what Bent bad meant by his first statement. Flat Nose no doubt would endeavor to compel his fair captive to become hie sqn aw. In that event he would not of course seek her life. 1 It was necessary to lose no time in effecting her rescue. Plans were quickly made. The stronghold or camp of Flat Nose was believed to be in a similar pocket in tbe hills about twelve miles below on the river bank. It was decided to make a feint at leaving the hais for the Pecos. Then when the savages were drawn from their camp, as they on doubt edly would be, a retrograde move could be made to cut them off and attack their stronghold at a moment when it was weakly guarded. In the execution of this move great dependence was placed upon the Racer. I While the machine was cutting the Apaches off from their den and holding them at bay, the rescue party were to descend upon It and endeavor to efl'ect the rescue of Eva Lewis. All this was clearly outlined and looked like an excellent scheme. The move was made an hour later. Some of the horses bad been saved through all the vicissitudes of the caravan and upon these the women and children were placed. The men marched with Bent and his force, while the Racer i led the way. Careful outlook was kept to guard against a sudden attack. But no signs of tlie foe were seen. It was hoped to reach the base of operations by JIOOD, the distance being about twelve miles. Steadily they moved onward. The river here wound through deep canyons among the Table Hills and one could stand upon a fearful verge and look down a thousand feet or more to tbe ribbon of water below. But just before it emerged and crossed the plain to join the Pecos there was a series of rugged heights. It was among these in a deep pocket that the chief was re puted to have his stronghold. As the caravan approached this critical poidt there was some little excitement. Some looked for an attack from the savages. But no sign of them was visible thus far. They were to all appear ances in closest hiding, If indeed they were in the vicinity at all. But Frank had laid his plans shrewdly t He made no feint to ap proach the hills, or make an attack, but rather pressed on by as if to make for the P e cos. This ruse, as intended, completely deceived the savage s W h en the train had left the hiding-place of the Apaches fully a mile behind, there appeared to tbe southward a mighty body of plumed horsemen. These were riding in a direction which would surely cut off .the caravan before It could leave the hills. Frank indulged in a chuckle. He stopped the Racer and the caravan came halt. Their posi tion thus in a depressed plain was seemingly most disadvantageous. Thf' Apaches were not slow to take ndvantage of what they fancied was a grand opportunity to harass their white foe. They deployed inf irregular groups south and east and kept riding nearer, partly sbiel d by the rise in tbe plain. All this suited Frank well. ..... I ...


r 12 THE LOS'l' CARAVAN. He could have thrown a shell into their midst, but be d1d not care to do this. His plans were much deeper. He pretended much fear and a shrinking from conflict by order ing a slow retreat [or a half mile or more. This brought them to a ridge or land extending westward to the hills. Here he affected to make a stand. 'l'be savages never suspected llis real motive. 1 They no move to surround the caravan. They knew that t ile impassable canyon was at the north and their own stronghold due west. j Witb their own lines ranging east and south, they believed the wh1te men well hemmed in and consequently easier In their power. But for once Flat Nose reckoned without reason; He was destined to be deceived. He saw that the caravan was in an exposed position, and believed that his white quarry was trapped. All that wat1 necessary was to close in upon them. So he began to draw down upon his intended victims. He little realized his miltake. He had a greater general than himself to con tend with. Frank made his plans quickly. The women and children were cor railed just in the rear or the Racer. 'l'hen every able men in the cara-van equipped himself for tlte attack upon the stronghold. They were led by Jack Dale, that prince of Indian strategists, and thus equipped the start was made. Back of the ridge or land they their way easily to the base or the hills. Clare rode beside Bent and Lewis. Only Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and Pomp, were left to guard the camp. But with the electric gun Frank did not deem this a difficult Into the hills rode the attacking party silently. Then they were obliged to leave their horses and go forward on root. Scrambling over the rocky ground, they had soon gained a broad 11tretch or rock leading to a precipice. Under this was the pocket whicb made the den of Apaches. Score& of rude huts and wigwams were there. About them were groups of women and children, engaged in various occupations. Everything was characteristic or an Apache camp. Old crones )Vera rocking and crooning and plying their needles in the manufacture or blankets. Squaws were dressing hides or making pottery. Children romped with dogs and young lads were prac,icing with arrows and spears. The scene was closely scanned by the white men. But a few Apache braves were seen. All were out wltb Flat Nose. As hiR gaze wandered over the array of wigwams, Clare wondered in which or these his true love, Eva Lewis, was confined. Bnt now the signal for advance was given. Right and left l.he men were deployed and crept down over the led!!;es or rock. At a given signal they sprung into the camp. The scene bafiles description. Instantly all was the wildest excite ment and confusion and uproar. The squaws and pappooses ran yelling and screaming wildly about, evidently fancying that their last l hour ha1 come. Some of them even made a show at defence. But a dozen of the white settlers hastily corralled them, and then Bent and Dale and Clare proceeded to make a search or tbe wigwams. From one to anotber they went hurriedly. But each was emP.ty. Search as they would no trace of the fair captive could be ronhd. Horace Lewis staggered, .faint and sick at heart. Clare was giddy with horror and disappointment. The worst was reared. "My Godt she has been killed!" groaned the father. "We ore too latet All is lostt" "Hold on,'' said Bent, savagely, we'll know the trutht Bring me thet squaw over yonder with ther yaller an' crimson blanket. She's a chief's wUe, an' mebbe she kin tell authin'.'' Two of the settlers dragged the squaw forward. Then Bent pro eeeded to catechise her. But she was sullen and would not give him an answer. CHAPTER XI. I "White-raced squaw in cave. Go hy tall stones, lift 11at rock, lind hole in mountain side. She theret" Dale knew the Apache tongue and translatE'd this. Horace Lewis was lii

'l'HE LOST C.A.R.A. Y AN. 13' All eyes were turned to the south. A great black cloud tinged But to leave a comrade in distress was something against tlleirwitll tlame was sweeping up from the plain. honor. They could not do it. In an incredibly sllort space of time it bad mounted high in air Th11re did not se'3m a ghost of u chance for their salvation, but yet. and spread with race horse speed east and west. Bent said hoarsely: A running, leaping line of lire. "Take his shoulders, Jack-I'll catcll onter hia feet." Instantly all in the caravan saw the deadly purpose of the Apaches. 'fhey lirted the helples11 man between them and staggered on. But The awful swift running prairie lire \'laS a peril not to be ignored. the air began to grow suffocatingly close. Clare pressed alongside "My soul!'' exclaimed Horace Lewis; "if tll&t overtakes us we and did his part. are lost!" Suddenly Bent and sank down. "Make for the river!" cried Frank Reade, Jr., "it is a matter of "No use, pards," be whispered; "we're done fer. It's all up with life or death. us!'' "'l'het's right!" cried Bill Bent. Then his face turned ashen pale. But Dick Clare leaped forward with sudden recuperation. His eye11 He saw the belplass women and children. It was an awful outlook shone like stars. for them. "No!" he sllouted. "We are sated. Here is help!" Strong men could have accepted chances in reaching the river. But The next moment ll. great body shot forward through the grass. A these weaklings could hardly hope to get there '.l) any oruinary means. loud voice hulled them. Clare insLmctively spruug to the side of tlle girl he loved. Men It was the Racer with Frank Reade, Jr., at the keyboard. One took places by tbeir families. moment it stopped beside them and right under the awful rolling "Go and leave us!'' tlley said to the othera. "We can die but clo11ds or. smoke. once!" Then Barney and Pomp leaped down. The next moment they bad But Frank Rende, Jr., bad formulated a plan almost as rapidly as lifted Lewis over the rnil. The others sprung aboard and the Racer be had Lakeu In the siluation. His loud, clear voice rose above the wus off for the river. tumult. Out of the mass of smoke she ran and Frank put on all speed. "You will do what I tell you, if you wish to be l.Je cried. There was full need of it. "Attention :.Ill" The awful racellorse of fire behind them was coming madly. It They fiocked to him as to a Savior. Quickly !!'rank laid out his seemed certain to overtake them. plan. That race to the river none ever forgot. It was a fierce and deeper.. Put the women and children on the deck or this machine!" be ate one. cried, "they are light and I can carry them. Then all you that can, On and on rolled the machine faster and faster. All the furies of a mount the horses. EaciJ horse ought to carry two men. Those on volcano pursued. foot 1 will returr.t for. If we cun reach the bottom lands of the river It seemed an eternity ere the ri\'er camol into view. But all things. we are saved." must have an end and soon the river bank was but lifty miles away. Wild cheers burst from the desperate men. Instuntly Frank's orders Tile entire party of settlers bad tied into the swampy bottom land, were carried out. where tlle tire could not reach tllem. Frank saw that be was in a The women descended from the horses and got aboard the Racer. desperate predicament. They crowded the machine. To force the machine down into the bottom land wns to incur the It could not llave carried the same number of men. But aa Frank risk of miring it. To remain on the bank was to ruin it in the awful bad declared the freight was lighter. heat of the !lames. The horses were mounted, two on each. This left four men on foot. He saw u s)Dall cape of land jutting out into the river a short disThey were Bent and Dale, Lewis and Clare. tance below. II tlle machine could reach this there would be a 'rbe cllances for them to reach the river on foot were slight. It was chance, full three miles, and the prairie lire was on like lightning. With Frank to think was to act. But the quartette were cool and determined. They waved farewell Quick as a !lush he turned the Racer in that direction. It was a. to the others, and Clare:!!ave Eva a parting look, wi.Jich spoke worlds. Larrow squeeze At the angle in the shore which turned upon the Then the Racer was oft: cape the waters of the river came within a few feet of the bank, tlle 'l'he horAes went galloping on bP.hind. Of course the machine outbottom land terminating here. stripped them. But just as this point was reached an awful catastrophe occurred. It reached the river bank. As quickly as possible Barney and The fire made one swoop and descended upon the machine. Pomp assisted the women and llhildren to alight. The pilot house windows bhivered into a thousarJd pieces. The By this time the horsemen bad come up. One and all gave ll. backkeyboard rolled up like paper, and the electric wire connections ward glance over the plain. melted. The sight was appalling. Frank was prostrated and would have died then and there but for The lire was reaclltng nigh to the zenith, and the flames and smoke Barney and Pomp. obscured the sun. It was a fearful spectacle. Tilese two faithful friends seeing Frank's plight sprung into the But tl!e party bad but one thought. What of the four brave men on pilot house and grasped him. Bodily they carrried him tllrougb the foot! cabin and out onto the platform next to the river. It was se11n to be clearly impossiole for them to outstrip the lire. The machine had come to a halt against a stump and half tilted Th11y would surely be overtaken. over the hank as if to fall into the river. Already Bent, Dale, Lewis What then was to be done! All eyes turned to Frank Reade, Jr. and Clare bad leaped down into the cur!"ent. The young Inventor gave one sweeping look at the heavens, and then Barney and Pomp, drr.gging Frank witll them did the same. They cried: were just in time. Come, Barney and Pomp. There is a. chance for us to save Another moment and they would have all perished like rate in a th.em.'' trrop. But what of the Racer! Its fate was sealed fore\"er. Instantly the two faithful companions of the young inventor 'l'be fearful heat ruineu its delicate machinery and consumed everysprung aboard the machine. Frank opened the lever and it was on board. off. 1 Tllis was an awful catastrophe and in that moment it seemed as if Away it sped over the plain. Flnt Nose had really gained the mastery after all. Tbe fleeing men bad hardly covered a mile. They were spent and But the end was not yet. nigh fainting with their etl"orts. Every moment the great, roaring, Frank revived with his fall into the water, He was quickly able t() awful mass drew closer down upon them. support himself in the current. It threatened to overwhelm them in its emnrace. The heat even The seven men swam until they were able to crawl out upon the at that distance could pl,;iuly be felt and was overpowering. :>ottom land. Then in a few moments they bad joined their com pan"My soul!" gasped Horace Lewis, staggering wildly. "My brain ions. is bursting, I bt.lieve I shall have to give up." Dejection most profound bad re1311lted from the effects of th\l prairie "Keep up!'' cried young Clare, cheerily. "We have yet time fire. It had at once put a new face upon matters. Bent and Dale now came forward, and each grasping an arm drag. The party were left without their principal bulwark of defense. Not ged the fainting man on. a scrap of the Racer was left, for the explodtng dynamite aboard her Go-go ancl leave me,'' said Lewis. "I am willing to die. Let had blown her into atoms. me go and save yourselves.'' The party were almost wholly without ammunition. In this state But the two brave men still clung to him. It was not like them they were utterly at the mercy of the Apaches. to lea'le a comrade in distress. Doubtless Flat Nose would follow this lire right down to the river On and on they staggered. Every moment the air grew more bank. When he should discover the helpless condition of his white stilling. And yet tbe river was far away. foes, what a massacre there would be? What was to save them! The awful presence of death was upon Moreover, t he fire was raptdly burning out at the river bank. As them. There seemed no hope. soon as the smoke should clear their position would be unveiled. CHAPTER XII. THRILLING EVENTS-THE END, LEwis at length sank down, utterly unable to proceed further. vain his companions tried to rally him. In the face of this awful catastrophe what or Frank Rea

' I 14 THE LOS'l' CAR.A. VAN. I ,; All understood the situation thoroughly. There was no need to An appalling gloom settled down upon the party. The children began to cry plaintively and the women to wring their banda with despair. I discuss it. What was needed was action. And instinctively all looked to Frank Reade, Jr. As ever the youug inventor was not found wanting. Be quickly outlined a plan of action. "We must fall back into the deep saw-grass by the water," be said. IL will be hardship for a time, until we can manage to cross the river. We will, at least, be In a better position for hiding and defense." "Very good!" agreed Bent, but how are we to cross the river?" Do you see that cottonwood close down by the water's edge?" "Yes." We must fell that and make a small raft of its trunk and branches. There is a little rise or hank there which will protect the children and the women from the Indian bullets. Lively now!" Thus Frank had already shaped a way out or what had seemed an almost hopeless difficulty. Very Quickly the plan was c arried out. / The women and children were enacoocect 11nder the bank and the work of felling the cottonwood was well under way, when amidst the smoke and ashes on the river bank: there appeared a legion of mounted Indians. They surveyed the bottom lands in a critical way. Then one of tl!ena descended and followed the plainly marked tratl imo the swamp. Be gave a yell or communicatio to his companions. In a mo ment the borde came swarming down into the bottom lands. It was a critical moment. All the white men had gripped their rilles and werLAIN DREAME!.-Zv erybo

frapk Tousey's Jiapd Books. Containing Useful Information on Almost Every Subject Under the Sun. Price 10 Cents Per Oopy. No.1. apoloon's Oraculuu1 and Dream Book, Oontainin' the g.reat oracle of human destiny: also tbe mea.nmg of almost any kind of, t.oeetber with charms. ceremonies, a.nd curious eawes of cards. A cow .. plete book. Price 10 con ts. No.2. HOW 'fO DO TRICKS. fte areat book of magic 11nd card trioks, coDtaining full fnatruotion Qf al tho le11diog card tricks of tbe day, also the most POJJular magical illusion& as performed by our leadi!W" magtcians; every boy should obtain a CUP1 as it will both amuse and instruct. Price 10 centa. No.3. HOW '1'0 }'LIRT. The arts and wiles of flirtation are full.v explained by little book. Besides the various methods of handkerchieL to everybody, botb. old and young. You canIAOt be happy without one. Price 10 cents. No.6. HOW TO BECOME .L-, ATHLETE. GIY!ng full io&trucllon for tbe use of dumb-bolls. lnrliaa eluba, parallel bare, horizontal bars snd various a healthy b, following the instructions contained in thW ll;tle book. Price 10 cents. No.7. :HOW TO KEEP BIU.DS. No. a. HOW TO BECOME!. SCmNTIST. No. 10. HOW TO BOX. !'he art ot aelt-defonse made easy. Contaiaing over thirty Wuetrationa of juards, blows and tbe o One of the bri ... test and most valuable little books fivet re9uiaite1 to a good speake! reader an4 given to the world. Everybody wishes to know bow to etoout1omet A so contaJmng gems ft:ora all the PO.PUI&J become beautiful. bnth male and female. The seeret is authors of prese and trrra':lged lD the most Simple simple, and almost costless. Road this book and be con1 and cono1ae manner possible. Pnce 10 cente. iuced how to become beautiful. PrioelO cent& NO. 19. FRANK TOUSEY'S United States Distance 'l'ables, Pocket C6m pan ion and Guide. Giving ltbe official distances on all the railroads ot the United States and Canada. Also, table of distances b)" water to foreign ports, hack fares in tbe prin'}i7' 1 moflt No.20. How to Entertain an Evening Party. A ver1 valuable little boo!: just published. A complete oompetJdium of games, sp&;tg, C&Td-di't'ersions, comfo recreations, etc., for parlor or drMvine-rooln en tetainment. It c onta.ins more for the money than aDJ' book published. Price 10 cents. No. 21. HOW TO HUNT AND FISH. No. 32. HOW TO RIDE !. BICYCLE. No, 34. HOW '1'0 FENCE. Oontainiag full mshuctton for fencing and tbe Ul!l8 of the broad6'word ; also instruction in archery. Da.oribed wUh practical illust.rations, giving the best in fencin&. A ovwplete book. Price 10 cents. No. 35, HOW TO PLAY GAMES. Tbe moJt complete buntin" and tlsbing guide ever published. It cons&ins full instructions about gur.s. buntin1 A complete and useful little book, containing tbe rul with descripand regulations of billiards, bagatelle. backgammon. 01 .. quat, dominoes. etc. Price 10 cents. No.24. HOW TO WRITE LE'l"l'ERS TO GENTLE MEN. Oolitaining full directions for writing to gentlemen on all subjects; aleo giving sample letters for mstrnotion. Price 10 cents. No.26. HOW TO ROW, SilL AND BUILD A. BOAT. Fully illustrated. Every boy should know bow to row and sail a boat. Full instructtons are .riven in this little book, together with instructions on sw1mming and riding, com panion &ports to boatine,. 10 cents. No. 27. HOW TO RECITE A.ND BOOK OF RECI 'I.'A.'l'IONS. No. 36. HOW TO SOLVE CONlJND:RUMS. Containing all the leading conundr11ms of the day, amaelal riddles. curious catches and wittysayinaa. Price 10 centL No. 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSE. J.t contains information for everybody, boys, alrls, mn and women; it will te&tlh you bow to makealmestanythiDI around the house, as parlor ornaments, brackete, oemonts. molian harps, and bird lime for c&tchine bird8.. Price 10 cents. No. 38. HOW '1.'0 BECOlUE YOUR OWN DO(,'TOR. A wonderfnl book, containinR' useful and practical infor.. mation in ttle treatment of ordinary diaeaaes and atlmeDtl common to every family. A. houn ling in ,nd eifecl. ive recipes for gener&l eomplainta PricelD ceDt& No, 39. How to Raise Dogs, Poultry, Pigeons and Rabbits. A nsofnl and Instructive boolt. lian4aomely lllnatratocL By Ira Drofraw. :'rice 10 cents. No. 41. Tfle Boy!! of New York End Men's Joke Book. Oontaininl!l" great variety of tbe latjlst jokes '!sed by t!>o most famous ead men. No alD&tenr m"inlftr' 1s complete without this wonderful little book. Price 10 cents. No. 42. HOW '1.'0 MAKE CANDY. band-book for makine all kinda of candJ,Ioe-pieces, together with mtll otandard r .. dinll&. Priee 10 The Boys of New York Stump Speaker. 'Weam. qrupe, eseenoes. etc etc, Prioe 10 centL oente. for home amusement and amateur ohowo. Prico.10 ceD.._ For sale by a.ll newsdealers, or sent, post-paid, upon receipt of price Address Box 2739. TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 &. North Moore Street, New York,


Latest Issues of Latest Issues of Lates t Issues of THE 5 cENT Frank Reade Library YouNG ITDMIIT -LIBRARY. By"No=m. SLEUTH LIBRARY. No. 64 Tho Shorty Kids; or, Throe Chips of l'hree Old Blocks, by P eter Pad 65 1\fike McGuinness; or, Travelin& for Pleasure. 66 Tite S .hortys Snaps 67 'l'h e Bounce '!'wins, or, 'l'be ;fwo Worst Boys 1n the World, by Sam :Smiley 68 Nimble Nip, the Imp of the School, by Tom Teaser 69 Sam Spry, the New York Drummer; or, Busmess 10 MJJd:r: b 71 '!'bose Quiet Twins, brr Peter Pad Ready's by Peter Pad 7( An Old Boy; or, Maloney After Education, by Tom 'J'easer 75 Tumbling Tim; or, Traveling With a Circus, by Peter Pad 76 Judge Cleary's Country Court, by 'l'om Tea.ser 77 Jack Ready's :School Scrapes, by Pete r Pnd 78 .Muldoon t .be Solid Man, by 'l'om l'edser 79 Joe Junk, the Whaler; or, Anywhere for Fun, by Peter Pad EO The DeAcon s :Son; or, 'fhe Imp of the Villaae, 81 Behind the Scenes; or, Out With a Combination, by Peter Pad 82 'fbe Funny J four, by Peter Pad 83 Muldoon s Base Ball Olnb, by 'l'om 'l'ease r 84 Muldoon's Bas e Ball Olub in Boston, by rom 'J'easer 85 A lla.d l.gJ,t: or, Hard to Crack, by 'l'om 'l'ea.ser 86 Sam; or, 'J'he l'roublesome .l!..,oundling, by Peter Pad 81 Muldoon's Base Ball Club in Philadelphia, by 'l'om Teaser 88 Jimmy Grimes; or, Sharp, Smart and Sa.ssy, by 'l'om 'l'easer 89 Litt le Tommy Bounce; or, Sometbing L1ke His Dad, by Peter Pad 90 Muldoon' s Picnic. by Tom Teaser 91 Little Tommy Bounce on His Travels; or, DC\ing 92 Sam Bowser at Play. by Peter Pad 93 Next Door; or, 'l'he Irisb f.wins, by 'l'ow 'l'easer 94 The .Aldermen Sweeneys of New York, by Torn Teaser 95 A Bad Boy's Note Book, by Ed" 96 A Bad Boy at School, by "Ed" 97 Jimmy Grimes. Jr. ; o r the Torment of t .he Village, hy 'J'om Teaser 98 Jack and Jim; or, Rackets and Scrapes at ijchool by 'l'om 'J'easer 99 'l'he Book Agent' s Luck, by I;d '' l&'f 102 'l'he '!'raveling Dude; or, The OomictLI Advent103 Fitz &oyJones, 104 or, Working 105 The Oomical Adventures of Two by 'l 'om T easer lt. 108 Billy Moss; or, From One Thing to Another, by 'l'om Teaser Truthful Jack; or, On Board the Nancy Jane, by I 01u 'l'easer 110 Fred Fresh: or, As Green as Grass. by 'I' om 'l'easer 111 The Deacon's Boy ; 0 1, 'l'he in 'J'own by P eter Pad 112 J or, 113 Jim, Jack and Jim; or, Three Hard Nnts to Crack, by 'l'om l 'easer m tad Oirons. by 'l' o m 'feaaer 116 Benny Bounce; or, A Block of the Old Uhip, by Peter Pad 11'1 YonnK Dick Plunket: or. The Trials and 'fribu-lations of Ebeneze r Orow, by :Sam Smiley 118 lluldoon in Ireland; or, 'l'he Solid 1tf1 m o n the Old Sod, by 'l'om 'J'easer 119 Mulri o on s Grocery Store. Part I, by 'l'om J'lO Muldoo ns Grocery Store. Part II, by 'fo m Teser 121 Bob Bright; or, A Boy of Busines R and i fun. Part I, by Tom T ease r 122 :Bo b Br igbt; or, A B o y of Business nd l!-.nn. Part 11, by Tom l'ease r 123 Muldoon' s Trip Around the World. P a r t I, by 'l' o m T e a ser 124 Muldoon' s Trip Around tbe World. Part 11 by T o m T easer 125 Muldoon's Hotel. Part I. by T o m l'ellse r 126 Muldoo n s H o tel. Part II, by 'I' o m l'eaMr 1271\tuldoon's by 'fom Tell Rer 128 'l'he :Shorty s Rackets, by t'ete r P a d 129 in the 130 Sam Smart, Jr.; or, Followine in the Footstep s of His Dad. Part II, by l'etor Pad 1 3 1 Three of Us; or, Hustling for Boodle and Fun. Part I by T o m Teaser 132 Thre e of Us; or, Hustling for Boodle and .Fun Part. II. by rrom 'l'easer 133 Ont .For Fun; or Six Months With a Show. uy P eter Pad 134 Diok Duc k t.he Boss of the Town, by Tom Teaser 135 'fhe Shortys Doing Europe; or, On a Grand 'l'our for ll'un Part I, by Sam Smiley 136 'rbe Sbo r t ys Doing Kurope; or, On a Grand rour f o r ll'uu. Part. 11. by Sam :Smiley 137 Aunt Maria; or, She Thought She Kne w It All, by Sam Smiley 138 :Muldoon In Ohicago; or. The Solid 1\la.n at the W orld's Fair, by Tom Tenser 139 Oou s in Harry; or, An English Boy iri Americ a Ptl.l't I by :Sam Smi1ey 140 C o u 8 in Harr)'; or, An English Boy in America, Part. II. by ::ia.m :Smil e y Price 5 Cent s No. 83 Acros s the Frozen Sea; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Electric Snow Uutter. 84 LoSt in the Great Atlantic Valley; or, Frank Reade, Jr. and His Submarine Wonder, tbe "Dart. 85 86 87 Frank Reade, Jr.'s of the Prairi e ; or, Fighting tbe Apaches in the .Jo' ar :Southwe st. 88 Under the Amazon for a 'l'housand Miles; or, Frank 89 tbe Silver Wha le; or, Under the O cean in the Electric" D olphin." 90 Frank Reade. Jr.'s Catamaran of tbe Air: or, \ Vild and Wonderful Adventures m North Australia. 91 Frank Reade, Jr.'s :Search l for a Los t 1\lau in His Late s t Air Wonder. 92 India; or. The Search 93 Reade Jr.'s Wonderful 94 Over the Andes With Frank Reade, Jr. iu His New Air-Sbip; or, Wild Atlventures in Pern. 95 l frank Reade, Jr. s Whirlwind; or, 'l1he Mystbry of the Hidden Canyon. 96 Undet tbe Yellow Sea; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s ::iearch for the Cave of Pearls WH.b His New Submarine Cruiser. 9'1 Around the Horizon for J 'en Thousand Milea ; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Wonllerful 'J'rip With H1s Air Ship. 98 Frank Keade, Jr. 'a .. Sky Scrape";" or, Nort h and S o u t h Around the World. 99 or, 100 From Coas t to Uoast; or. Frank R eade Jr.'s Trip Across Africa in His Electri c u Boo m e 1 ang.'' 101 Frank Reade, Jr., and His Electric Car; or, Out"'it-102 the :&loon; or, Frank Reade, Trip With His :New Air-Ship, the 103 100 Mil e s Below the Surtace of the Sen : or, Tbe 1\fl\r v elons 'l'rip or .Frank Reade, Jr.'a "Hard-Shell" Submarine .Boat 104 Abandoned in Alaska; or, l1Tnnk Rende, Jr.'s 'l'hrilling :SQarQb for a. Lost Gold Claim With His ,.'\Jew New Mlectric 105 Around the Arctic Circle: or, Frnnk Reade, Jr.'s Most Famous Trip With His the'' Orbit." 106 lteade, Jr. A Submar107 108 J:I' Jash 109 Lost in the Great UndertOW! or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Submarine Cruis e m tbe Gulf ::itl eam. 110 From 'frop1c to 'fropic; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Latest 111 Air-Ship; or, Frank .Reade, J r .'s Great Mid-Air 'Flight. 112 '.rhe Underground Sea; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Subter ranean Cruis e in His Submarine Boat. 113 Tbe My sterious .Mirage ; or, Frank R eade Jr. s Desert. Search J or a :Secret Ui t y with His .New Overland Chaise. 1U The :Hiectric Island; or, } rAnk Reade. Jr.'s S earch for on Earth With Air-ShiQ, 115 or, 116 'J.'he Galleon' s Gold ; or, Frank U.eade Jr.'s Deep :Sea Search. 111 Ntt': Antipodes. 118 Frank Reade, Jr. s Greates t Flying .!\lachin e ; or, the Terro r of the Co a st. 119 On the Great M eridian With Frnnk Reade, Jr. In His A 'l'wenty-Five Thousand .l\iile 120 Under the Indian Ocean With Frank Reade, Jr. ; or, A Oruise in a Submarine B oat. 1 2 1 America With the E lectl'i c Cah 122 Lost in a Oo m e t's .rail: or. }-,rank Reade, Jr."s Strange 11dventure Wtth Hi& l'lle w Air-ISb i p 123 Six Sunken or ] frank R eade. Jr.'s Marvelous Adventures to the Deep Sea .. 124 Beyond the G o ld (Joast; or, Frank Reade, .Jr.'s O verland Trip With His El ectric Phaeton. 125 Latitude 90: or, li'rank Reade, Jr.'s Most Wonderful 1\ti


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