The abandoned country; or, Frank Reade, Jr., exploring a new continent.

The abandoned country; or, Frank Reade, Jr., exploring a new continent.

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The abandoned country; or, Frank Reade, Jr., exploring a new continent.
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
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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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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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R17-00108 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.108 ( USFLDC Handle )
024947099 ( Aleph )
65167715 ( OCLC )

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.; J N Latest and Best Stories are .Published in This Library. -..T0 139 { col\IPLETE } FRANK TOUSEY. P{Jnr I sHER, a 1 &. 36 Noa' I 'H MooaE sraE E 'r, NEw Y o a K { J t ttctc } Vol VI New York, August 7, 1896. Jssmm WEKKLY. 5 C K NT!l. accordin g t o th,_ .Ac t of Cono ess, in t h e yew 1896, b y FRANK 7 0 USEY, in t he o.(Jlce of the Lib arian o f C m oess, at 1Vashing t on, JJ. C. The Abandoned Country; or, Frank Reade, Jr., Exploring a New Continent. B y "NONAME." It was Wendel who saved the day. He luckily had his rifte with him. Rushmg forward he placed it at the bear's head and fired point blank. The ball crashed tht:ough bruin' s brain and ended the struggle. Frank detached himself from the brute's embrace. I )


' 2 THE .ABANDONED COUN'fRY. The subscription price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50; $1.25 per six months post paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PuBLISHER,34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. I OR, FRANK READE. JR., A NEW coNTINENT. A RECORD OF WONDERFUL INCIDENTS. By "NONAME," Author of "The Weird Island," "The Transient Lake," "The Lost Caravan," "The Sunken Isthmus," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. A WONURRI'UL TALE, So you think the earth has b e en thoroughly explored and that there is no such as an undiscovered continent, do you!" asked Percy Rntdull. as be Iit a cigar uud seated htmsPif com!ortnbly in a In the office of Frank Reade, Jr. lor a social chat. The youtH!; inventor, who hardly needs an introduction to the reader, 110 well is he known the world over, turned from his desk and regarded his visitor with a quizzical smile. Still at that old theory, Randall!" be suid. I thought you bad discarded it after that last expedition of yours." Randall, a bronzed, athletic m;.n or thirty years, hut heaps or expe rience as a globe trotter explorer, winced, but replied lightJy: "WP.ll, 1 did have a !lard time. We lost our ship In Channel, nod were forced to take to an iceberg;. II w e had had an overland machine like your Electric Scorcher, we equid have easily crossed that Ice harrier, and set loot upon the new coutioent, the ruost wonderful part of the globe. But ns it was we were carried north into Cape Horn waters on the berg and tinnily picked up by au Argentine veasel." Frank looked interested. "Then you really believe that there is an inhabited and undiscovered continent beyond that ice barrier?'' he asked. "Why, I have old Jacl< Wendel's word for it!" A sailor's w .ord is good except when connected wttb a story. The telling or a yarn is ample license for stretching the imagination." Very goo11l" rejoined Randall, "but old Jack .bas given his davy un it, and all sorts ol ontba. Ob, I firmly believe him." I would much like to bear his story,'' said Frnnk. "You would!" asked Randall, eagerly. "Yes!'' Then you shall. I brought him here to-day f.:>r that purpose. He Is JUSt outside the door. 1 will call htm." / Randall opened the office door and called: Wendel, come 10 h erel" The oAxt moment there appeared In the doorway the figure of a sailor, of the old time type, who spliced the main-brace and made sen nit in the forecastle in the palmy days of "tea wagons" and seventy-four gun frigates. Jack Wendel pulled his foretop respectfully before Frank, nod said: With anbmiasion, sir, just come aboard, and at your service!" "Glno.t to nieet you, air!" said Frank, wnrmly, "sit down. My friend here tells me that you have a wonderful yarn to tell." Wendel ahot a shrewd glance at Frank, then said: "It is not a yarn, skipper. It is a true story, on my honor." : Very good," said Frank. I should be glad to have you repeat it to 1D8." \J4111clellooked at Randall, who said: '8ertainly, Jack-fire away." The old Bjlit claHped hie hands over hie knees and began: "It \Yas u\ '53, nod I went OlJt from Baltimore in the Mary Luce, Captnm Barnaby. lor P e ru. There never was a stauncher ship, mates, nor the Luce. S he stood Ul> like a churcb m a running gale, and it was no light storm that put her under tile rollers. "Well, we were forty-three sonia aboard-crew, officers, and n few passengers. We bad a tucky v'yage all the way across the Equator. and down the cpast until we struck tber Born seas. 'l'hen there was the Old Harry t1b pay. "We hi\ into a south storm, and for four days we were unable to tell where we were. The seas came r.board like avalanches and clear ed the deck to tbs masts fore and aft. That was a leetle the toughest trip I ever bad. And I hnveo't forgotten it. Well, the way the winu did howl nnd the sea run. Wherr at length t .be suo ehooe long enough to take nn observation our skipper swore that we were south or the Antarctic Circle. Antl with that our bo'sun'a mate cnm11 up to say that the ship was leaking a hundr e d a mmute moe or less. We all turned to the pumps and worKed lil;e mad men. Bot what was the use! We could never hope to make land under many weeks and the ship could not tloat that long. We were put to it pretty desperate and Hnnlly the end came. "There was no way but to take to the boats. What was worse a little squall came up and made it almost impossible to launch Then the ship began to settle. 1 can't tell ye jest all about what followed. The captain's boaL was lowered aud swamped. The long-boat cleared fonneen aboard but was caught between the rollers and capsized. All hands wqnt down. There was over twenty of us left on the ship's deck, and a regular tight was mnd11 lor the remaining boats. They w11re put out and two of 'em got clear and made off. But whatever became or 'em oollody ever knew. Six of us were left behind, and we hall given up for "But the ship water-logged and did not sink as soon as it was thought that she would. Tbnt gave ns time to make a raft. We put some stores on it, and set out in a calmer sea. For six we!lkB we Hoated in those icy seas. Luckily for us it was the Antarctic and we managed to get along with our Lhin clot!Jing until we soddenly bailed land. Yes, it was actually land, away beyond the ice'Jergs. T here were mountains and a smoking volcano. At once our boys were decided to pay it a visit. The raft drifted on into the edge or the ice 1loe. Then we left and cut out across the ice neld. It would take a long time for me to tell ye all tbat happened us on that long walk. One or our men slid into an air-hole and we never saw him again. "Another died o! exhaustion. But we kept on, though the cold was something awful to 'bear, until at lut we came to a cot In the


; / \I THE ABANDONED COUN'l'RY. 3 shore line. It was the mouth or a big river, and was jammed full or l I have a the young inventor. I can attach my new ice. skate shoes with the ice crank to the wheels. That would fnable us to "It looked like a clear country beyond. We saw fir forest s and f cross tile ice, and we can remove them when we stri:te land." evidences or a g a me coun t ry. So we push e d ou over the ice p a cks in An ecstatic cry escaped Randall's lips. the river. "Oh, then you really think of goin g !" be cried. That is splendid, "For fifty mil e s we followed the course of that icy river between Frauk. lL will be a wonderful experience." fearful Jssell on. "Dar. l'isbman, sah! He am jes' outside, sah," replied the coon, A few d ays later we left the icil re g ion behind us entirely, and with a duck o! the head. came upon the w o nderful P olar country. I couldn't begin to de C all him in. I want to see both of you." scribe it 3 .ll to ye, mates; it waa unlike any other part of the All rtght, sah!" earth. A m.oment a shockheaded native of the Emerald Isle apo Well, we wandered around for six months. It was easy to live llflared with the darky. These two men were Frank Reade, Jr.'s there, for there was plenty or game In the valleys were citi e s ami most faithful collea g u e s and comp a uions in many n wonderful voyage. towns, I}Dd at a distanc

, 'l'HE .ABANDONED COUN'l'RY. I Would not you gentlemen !Ike to take a look at the Scorcher?' "Delighted," was Randall's reply, a nd Wendel nodded eagerly. So they lllft tbfl :>ffice witil this purpose in view. When Barney and Pomp went forth tiley w e re in hilarious spirits. They crossed the yard with a bop, skip and jump and approached tbe heav y iron doors of a high, truss-roofed structure. "Ki yi!" cried Pomp clicking his heels together. "I jes' 'lot on seeing dem ice-b e rgs. Hob! dat be a berry gtJOl l place fo' yo', l'ish." "Phwat do yez mane, naygor!" interrogated Barney. Bekase It am so cold." "Phwat hilS that to do wid me, yez grinning misfit av au ape?" Hi, hi, hi! don' yo' know! Ice am a'rigut fo' to pres e rve green fings." \ Barney made a bifl at Pomp. B e me sow!, it'll make y c z more conspicuous fer yer color, naygur!'' he c r ied. "Shure ye'll froighteu the whole counturv." Huh! reckon dere am bruck men in all pahts ob de w o rl'." "Divil a wan Will y e z foind on the old sod." Dat am a berry unfor tunate fing fo' de island,'' retorted Pomp. "Ki dar, look out fo' dat big snaik!" Tbe darky simulated terror and pointed to the CPlt's fee t. Of course, there was no snake there, but the exclamation caus e d Barney to leap and y ell with terror. When he saw how he bad been sold be made an angry biff at Pomp. Begorra, I'll have yer skhin fer thnt!" he yelled. But Pomp put out his foot and tripped tbe Celt up. However, Bar ney caught the darky's ankle and brought him down too. Then i.J.ere followed a mix-up. For a time it was hard to tell which bad the best of il. But suddenly approaching footsteps ami voices were heanl. "Wbisbtl" crieu Burney, "that's M i sther Frank. Be off wid yez." And they scurried nway just in time. ,Frank with his visitors came up and opened the big doors. There upon a sma!ol platform stood tte new mventiou Tho Electric Scorcher was built for spee1, and with no idea to economy of space and lightness. It weighed hardly a LIIOUStuJd pounds, but on its pneumatic tired wheels ran apparently as light as au ordinary bicycle. The s y mmetry or its build and the grace or its contour was remark able. ln these was seou tho master hand of tbe builders and t!Je mechanics. Tbe body or the Scorcher was made of bullet proof plates of steel. It rested upon light but strong runniog rear. There were four plate glass windows upon each side and une in the rear. Above the deck rose a structure or steel netting-a sort of cage in which the voyag e rs could remain with unimpeded view in all direc tious. In this cage there were loopholes for firing upon a foe, if such a thing as defense should b e come necessary. Over this cage was a small deck, aud upon it was mouLted a long, light steel cylinder. This was Frank Reade, Jr.'s most wonderful in vention-the pneumatic dynamite electric gun. This was a very deadly wenpon, capable of throwing a dynamite shell two miles with frightful effect. Just forward of tbis cage wns the pilot house, with heavy plate glass windows. Tbe rear of the Scorcher was graced with a steel hood-mach like the top of a chase. In this there were kept the dynamos and electric engines. In the pilot bouse was a keyboard by which tho machine could be regulated and operated. Over the pilot house l'{as a powerful search light with a wide range. The equipments aud furnishing& or the machine throughout were of the beat, and there were stores aboard sutncient for a year's journey. Nothing had been left undone. The Electric Scorcher wll8 quite ready for Lbe trip. The two visitors looked the machine over with wonderment and do light. Then they went back to the office where final arrangements were made. And thus was undertaken the remarkable faat of making a voyagtl to no undiscovered continent. It was au arduous an:.l perilous undertaking, but our adventurers were pl e dged to it, and what their success was we shall see. CHAPTER IlL I lN SOUTHERN SEAS. AND now, with the reader's permission, we will change the scene of our story to the hi,!\'b seas soot!! or the Equator. The Black Pea rl, staunch brig, was her way through a white-capped sea. Unusually good weather batl favored tbe party thus far. There bad been no difficulty encquntered with the doldrums or bend winds even, and the Pea rl bad rnad11 a quick passage. The sun was t!ercely bot, and they were yet able to realize that they were in the tropics But they knew tbat every hour now brought them nearer to their destina t ion. On the deck a canopy bad been erE-cted, and under this all were fond .lf reclining. The principal pastime or discussing the probable results of the trip and the peculiarities of the AolnrNic land. A s near as Frank coultl figure, the fiord or riYer outlet, by means of which Wendel and his companions had entered the Antarctic c went to work to put 1t to ge ther In a short space the machine wns all ready f o r the start. All this while the captain and his m e n had stood by eagerly watching. The captain bad naked Frank many qIestions, all or which the young inventor hnd thought it no harm t o answer. At length the adventurers w ent aboard the Scorcher and all was ready for the start. 'fhe Ice shoes had been fitted to the wheels, which were in turn trigged with Ucder each wheel w u s a 6 harp arrangement which struck into t he ice and thus propelled the Scorcher over the smooth surface or tbe clinging snow. And thus the start was made.


d I I 'l'HE ABANDONED COUNTRY. I Frank and his companions had shaken !Janus with the captain, and the young inventor said: 1 suppose you will soon be on your way to Montevideo, Mr. Ward. You will need to malte huste to avoid shut up in the ice pack for the coming wiutllr.'' "I will look out for that!" replied Ward almost stifHy. Then the S corcher glided slowly awny across the rce field leaving the brig yet in the little ice-bound basm. The progress across tbe ice field was by nc means easy. 'l'bere were sections of it where the ice cakes had crashed together and made long mounds or high barrters. Sometimes these were lifty feet or more in height. It was necessary often to mnke a smooth road over or through these barriers and this toot> much time. 'l'lte light of the waning Aut arctic day was none too bright. But steadily our adventurers drew nearer to tbe mighty cliffs and headlnnds, which open ed to create the deep fiord. Tbe trip, howev e r, was no t incident, for just as they were skirting a high pinnucle of ice, it cracked, crumbleol, nnd fell. The descending avalanche fortunately did not fall squarely upon tbt> Scorcher, else the resul L mwht have been serious. It instead museed itself about, the machine, and half buried it. For a time the adventurers were in a virtual panic. But as soon as the crashing ice setthHI into place, Frank sprung ogt of"the pilot house and llegau to examine the running gent' of the ma chine. How is itt" asked : has anything smashed!" "Nothing," replied Franl<, j cy fully. "I feared the worst." I thought we were doomed.'' So did I, but thanks to Providence we are all right." Save for the ke!" Hung me for a whale," exploded Wendel, "I don't bow we'll ever squirm out of this, mates!" "Well, you stJnll see,'' said Frank. "Burney and Pomp, bere'a work for us. Let ull haudR fall in." Jn a few moments all had dolled their for garments and were workin,!!: like beavers. The tee was cl ea red from the deck after twenty minutes of hurd work. Then Frank hit upon an idea. He went into tile pilot-bouse and brought out a number of heavy wires. Wbn.t are you going to do, Frank!" naked Randall. "Wait nnd you will see," enid the young inventor, vaguely. "I will ,lo so," agreed Rundall. "I suppose it is as good as settled that we are out of here without further etl'ort!" Don't be so sure." Oh, you never fail. If I had half your resource and Inventive faculty, I would be a king among men.'' Pslmw!" said Frank, tt>stily, talk nonsense!" Over the ice heap the young inventor with the wires. Th en be brought ooght small dynamite cartridges a:Jd plnced at the end. of each wire. It was now that Rundall clearl y saw his purpose. Will not th e explosion injure tile machine!" be askerested. High up on the rocky steeps or the liord snow-ilurdened firs hung over the abyss. At times a IJear or a fox might be seen among the icy rocks. Great Hocks or penguins and other water fowl were in evidence. There was an abundance of game. liThe Scorcher cnme to a long, level reach of smooth ice. Over this the machine spe d with ease. Miles Hew by, and soon tile snow-burdened region began to un fold itself. Wendel soddenly pointed to a distnnt range of mighty mountains and declared: Look ye, mates! Beyond that range is tbe new continent. Do you see that column of smoke?" "The volcano!'' ejaculated Frank. "Just so, skipper. We crossed the runge just to the weat of that. This river risPB somewheoe in tbose beil!.'hts.'' How fur are they?" asked Randall, with About stwenty miles," calculated Fmnk. "Yes, folly one hundred," declared Wendel; "distances are great er in this sort atmosphere.'' "That is quite likely," agreed Frank, "but It looks to me as if we must !lave rough traveling to get there.'' "Stick to the river,"

6 'l'HE ABANDONED COUNTRY. 1 which seemed like a' rellectlon from the zenith made the .('olar Conti nent 'jUite light. For a time our adventurers regarded the panorama below them. Then Frank started the Scorcher down Lhe monntaio slopes to a. ser ies of plateaus just below. Wendel was right in his el e ment He recalled many scenes and iocideo;s upon all sides and never tire d ot telling or them. Frank inquired: "But the cities and towns, and the Polar people. We have seen nothing of them yet!" Well, it is high time!" replied Wendel. "l think we will see them from lower ground." .So alllookeg forward eagerly to this possibility. The Scorcher with brakes on slowly made its way down the mountain sid e Soon, alter a descent of a few thousand feet. not unattended with risk the machine slid out upon a plate au. Here the surface was con paratively smooth anti free from obstructions. Tue S corcher rolled forward to the verge of the plateau. Then glasses were brought out, and all looked f o r the habitations described by Wendel, but the old ijnilor was given a great surprise. 'fbe.f' were nowhere visible. Words can hardly depict his supreme am a zement. The eyes of all were lixed upon him. "Well, I'm bloived," exclaimed the old sailor. "I' can !ay that there were cities and towns and people here, when I was here before! I don't see how they could take wings and fly away!" "ThilL is very curious, Jack," said Randall. Are you sure this is the locality visited by y ou!" S artin it is, mate!'' Presently Frank and Randall descended from the deck or the Scorch er, and strolled along the verge of th e plate au. In every other respect," said Randall, the old fellow's story has proven correct." That is true," replied Frank, and yet it seems hardly possible that he could be mistaken in regard to seeing the people and their "Exactly! How"tiben do you explain the discrepa!!cy!" ".There is one way." "What is it!" "Perhaps thfly have departed for some other parts of this region," Abandoned the country!'' "Just eo!" "But-what would bil their rensoof' That can hardly be explained without further invest-igation. Per haps an enemy desc e nded upon them and swept them out or existence. Perhaps a pestilence or a lloo d.'' There must have been some reason for it." Just so!'' I Well, what shall we do!" I propose that we push our way down into this abandoned coun try. We will doubtless find some trace or the Polar people, perhaps the ruins ,or their towns." "I agree with you and I am eager to go on. Let us lose no time." One moment please!'' Frank plac e d his glass to his eyes and studied some objects in the valley below f o r a few moments. ThAn be exclaimed: "Have you a glass, Randall?'' ''Yes." Tak e a look to the east or that little clump of trees down there. Do you see anything?" Randall compli e d with this request. His face changed. "It looks a building of stone." "Exaclly." H there are others, or if it is one of a they are hidden be bind the trees." "So I believe. Wendel has told us truly. Let us go down there at once. How far is it!" "Ten miles." "Yes, nil of that.'' Hastily tbe two explorers made their way back to the Scorclur. It needed but a glance for the others to see at once that something was up. "Wha' am de word, Marse Frank!" asked Pomp eagerly. "Move!'' replied Frank. "We shall go ahead, and I believe impor tan,t discoveries are near at han6.'' CHAPTER V. THE RUINED CITY. ALL received this word with a cry of joy. In a few moments the Scorcher was d e scending to the next plateau. Here a revelation was accorded the adventurers, as Frank had prom' For there, just be y ond the fringe or trees, ) there was indeed visible quite plainly the white ruins or a town. It was surrounded by a demolished wall of stone, restJmbling marble. All about this were trees of a pomegranate nod mulb e rry type or species. It was plain that great gardens had once surrounded the town. The buildings were all shattered and riven, as if by the force of an I I ear. thquake or a I.Jombardment. It was evident that the city was de stroyed by some force as yet unknown. And the mhabitants-were they dtostroyed also! With great interest and powerful curiosity the voyagers watched the ruined city as they nearer to it. A long level prairie now alone intervened. To cross this did not require a great 8pace of Lime. But the S corch e r now struck into what looked like a sort of road leading down to the town gates. Part of the way it was fringed with a beuge of firs. And at intervals the ruins of strange looking houses were seen up on either baud. The regarded them wonderingly. On r a n the S corcher at a fair rate cf speed. And it followed that v&ry soon the machine crossed a causeway of white stone and rolled between two high pillars into the main street of the town. It was noted then how curiously the place was laid out. The emire town described a circl e all th e s t reets beginning at the gat e and extending in circles about a hollow or amp h itheater in the center. It was a strong reminder or a coliseum, the houses occupying the positiou of the seats. In the center of the public square or circle r a ther, there had stood a tall shaf t of stone fully one hundred feet high. Doubtless this was a monument commemoratin g s o me beroic.deed or occasion. Iu this sentiment at le ast tile Polar people re sembled th e ir civilized neighbors beyond the ice belt. "By Jove," exclaimed Randal:, "these people wero the equal of, the anci ent Azt e cs. Their architecture shows that." They may he oor equals," said Frank. "We have as yet no means of proving the contrary." That is very true.'' There were sorr.e obstructions in the street or the Polar city, but the Sc o rcller managed to pick its way along without great difficulty. Not until the central part or the was r e ached did the machine stop. 1'hen F r ank stepped out on deck, and cried: Well, friends, here \fe are. We have acc:>mplished the great feat of crossing tile Antarctic harrier and invaJing th e P o lar continent. We have discovered a ruined town, and avidence that this was ouce an inhabited region though now abandoned. Let us therefore set foot on Polar soil and some time to exploration." Che e rs followed this declaration, and all leaped over tbe rail There was little need of guarding the Scorcher, for no living foe was in the vicinity. Barney and Pomp be g:.n a frohc on the green torr, while Frank, with R a ndall and the sallor, began the exploration. They scrambled over the ruins of the buildiug, an\1. were impressed with the fact that their n rc;bitecture had been of a tasty kind. "These. people were not savages," declared Frank. They u n der stood the arts. Look!" He picked up an object which all saw at onct! was a helmet or bead dress. It was bascinet shaped, nod or a strange kind of hronzelike mental. .. What is the metal!" ;,sked Randall, as be examined it. Then he gave a sharp cry. Wh:1t is tlie matter?'' asked Frank. Do you know what kind or llletal this is!" asked Randall. "No!'' Frank knew that the other was an expert metallurgist. So be awaited the annoucement with interest. "Well." said Randall, slowly, "It's chief component part is gold!'' "Gold!" Yes, alj!O in the alloy is silver and iron. Tllnt proves that these people kuew tlH use metals. I: proves more!" W e ll! That gold is one of the common ores of this !'egion Fr a nk and Wentlel gave a s tart. Their eyes shone. Ho;v easy it is to urouse the gold fever in the human composition. It is as P ntural as bre athing. But Frnuk regained himself. That adds to the value or our di s cover y !" be cried. At no dis tant day doubtle s s gold seekers will forsake Australia and Africa for the Pol a r mines." "Exactly! I have no doubt that rich deposits e xist her e !'' Well,'' said Frank, they are or little use to us just now. Ha! What have we here!" As be spoke the young llJVe ntor had taken a step forward. At his feet yawned a deep pit. There were stone stairs descending into it. What seemtld like a crypt, or underground chambers, were doubt .lesR b e low. This rellectioo was enough. Exploration was the order; M Frank hesitated no longer, but pre pared to descend into the place. Rundall waited curiously for Frank to descend. Then he followed. / Tiley stood in a little square chamber, apparently cut out or solid rock. Beyond was a narrow passage but as black as Erebus. "What is it!" asked Randall. "It looks like a tomb." And so it may be,'' agreed Frank, or perhaps a treasure vault. At any rate, we will explore it. He stepped into the dar!{ passage; bu before be b a d proceeded ten feet he r bruptly halted. In th e darkness ahead there blazed two fearful balls or tire, In stinctively Frank shivered.


I .. THE ABANDONED COUNTRY. '1 He knew th'lt some fierce animal-a panther or wolf-bad made tbis llole their den. He was face to face with the creature and it was by no means a despicable foe or an enviable situation. In this dark placfl :t would not be easy to defend one's aelf. A deep hoarse growl came from tlle deptbs. Thou Frank gasped: A bear!'' He retreated backward precipHately hoping to reach the outer chamber, but the glaring eyeballs were close upon him. Frank bad for weapons only a revo!ver an(\ a knife. He drew the revolver and llred point blank at tbe eyes. Before he could lire again it was struck from his grasp by a huge paw and he bad to ft.Lil buck on his knife. Another blow of the paw brougbt him to his knees and he was obliged to cllnch with his foe. Meanwllile Randall and Wendel bad grasped the situation. 'l'he former tried to drag Frank from the dark passege and in the struggle botb man and bear emerged. was a better cbance lor Frank. The bear was of a monster black species. Frank was driving the knife into its carcass, but it seemed to bave no effect. It was Wendel who saved tbe day. He luckily bad his rifle with him. Rusbing forward he placed it at the bear's head a ad flr11d point blank. Tbe ball criJ'sbed through bruin's brain and ended the struggle. Frank detached himself from the brute's embrace By a miracle he was comparatively unharmed, having only u lew bard scratAhes to show lor his struggle. But it was a close call. By Jupiter," gasped Randall. I thought you were don lor that time, Fra11k. "I owe my life to you," said Frank, gripping Wendel's hand. "I am glad of that. mate,'' replied the sailor, heartily. Do you tbink tllere are any more bears iu there!" asked Randr.ll. No!" rephed Frank, lmt It is well to use Let us proce11d with care." Once more they crept into the passage. In s few moments they stood in a gloom-tilled .At one end of this was another pit and stairs. Tiley evidently led down to deeper regions. It was too dark to proceed further at haphazard. So Frank turned about, and said: II one of oe can go a yawning pit, which was filled with smoke and llamas, and fr9m which a rosa fear lui fumes. A gallery ran from the lake shore to this pit and divided the two by about fifty feet of solid rock. The beat o! the furnace was in tense. But the voyagers did not hesitate to draw the coracle up on the shore and .walk over to the fiery pit. It covered fully an acr High above it was a funnel-like shaft. Up this the flames and smoke and the deadly heat seemed to shoot. All in that instant Frank goessed the truth. By jove," be exclaimed, "I know where we are!" "Eh!" exclaimed Randall. We are in the volcano!'' The volcano?" 1Yes.'' Impossible!'' Not so! If yoo remember we have trnvAied a good ways under ground, and it has carried ns without a donbt under the plateaus and into the heart of the mountnio. Probably this is only one of half a hundred or more internal cra'.ers.'' The logic of this assumption was at once obvious. Certainly in no other wu.v could this crater of fire be explained. For a time the three men were silent. They studied the strange scene awhile, then Randall said: Well, Frank, wha( shall we do about Jt!'' Follow me," said the young inventor. Frank led the way around the gallery It trended upward, and soon shot off at right angles into a serpentine course beyond the wall of the pit of lire. It was as if this corkscrew-like passage had been bored for just such a purpose as it was 11ow used. Frank l ed tbe way. It was like ascending a winding stair in a tower. But before they bad gone far Randall uskf'd: "Where are we going, Frank!'' To follow this passage to its end,'' was the reply. Where do you think it will end!" I don't know. It mny come out on top or the volcano." But-is there no danger of losing our way!'' "I think not.'' 'And if we come out on top of the mountain, shall we return this way!" 1 We shall see.'' As they advanced now, the situation became one filled with terrors. It was as if they were iu a literal pandemonium. All sorts of stran g e sounds were about them. I There was the rumble of thunder, the gurgle of molten liquid and the hiss of steam. Then terrillc explosions came with !earful eehoea through the cavernous depths.


I I 8 'l'HE .ABANDONED COUNTRY. lL was sufficient to strike rear futo a strOll!; man's bosom. For a time even Frank Reade, Jr., himself w us a tritle daunLed. Is it quite safe, Frank!" asked Randall, with so(ne apprehension. "Suppose a stream of lnva should comA 'tearing this pasRage!" "It would cook us," said Frank, imperturbably; "but we won't au ticipata that!'' "Ugh!'' exclaimed Wendel, "I thiPk we'd better get out of here as soon as possilllel" "And so we will," declared Fr nk, "but this is a w11ter course. I don't believe we need fear lava; we ought to he near tbe summit.'' But they toile:! on lor another hour. 'l'ben, however, thy eme rged into the open air. The traos&tion was for a m oment surprising. Even the Sflmi-gloom or the Antarctic night was dazzling. But they were high in air, and a mighty panorama of country lay before their gaze. To the northward, shr<>uded in dull gloom, was the barrier of ice snow; to tbe south, the Polar Continent in its green hue. 'l'o the east, the great pass, and west, the line ol mighty cra ters, wh&ch belched at intervals the irfiery contents a thousand feet into the air. It was a spectacle which literally appalled the adventurers. They were truly on a new continent in an unexplored world. Then Raudall exclaimed: How is it, Frank! Shall we stay here long?" "No," replied Frank. "I haveaccomplisbetl my object; let us now return to the Scorcher.'' Randall was about to reenter the downwar:l passage, but Frank (.'ried: Not that way!" "What?" "We will return tbat wav." "Why not!" "it is too far and too perilous. We can just slide down the mountain 8ide here easier.'' But we left the electric lantern on tile shore of that lake--'' "Hang the lantern," cried Fmnk; .. we'll let it stay there. not go back for it now at least. "All right,'' criE!d Randall, "I'm more than agnenble. Let's slide on down." Anli down the crater side they proceeded to travel. Leaping from roc!< to rock they went rapidly down. Soon the plateau below was reached. Then the y saw the Scorcher dimly in the distance down the valley. it was quite a long tramp down over the steeps to wtJere the ma chine was. Barney and Pomp were not in sight When the three explorers reachqd thH :::lcorcher after threading their way among the they were surprised to lind the two jokers mies ing. The truth was, they had gone upon a little exploring expedition or their own. When Frank and his companions disappeared in the old rim, the Celt turned n on the pavement, and cried: Be me sow) naygur, phwat do yez say av we llave a little explorntion av our own?'' I'se wif yo', !'ish. Wha' am we gwine fo' to PXplore!" "The whole town, yez ignoramus! Shure, it's loil1ely we may foind some valuable relics ourselves. Thin Misther Frank will be aftber than kin' us fer thim !" Pomp hesitated. Wha' do yo link ob leavin' de Scorcher!" he asked. "Shure, that will be all roight. Don't yez have no fears about that .at all, at all!'' A'rig;ht! I go yo', !'ish. Jes' yo' lead de way an' I !oilers on!" "Which it's proper yez should, considerin' me superior advantages," declared Barney, in his puffiest way; "do yez see that big heap av athone down yender!'' "Yast" Well, I belave that's some koind av a ruined temple or the loil\es, an' we'll thry that first off!" "A'right, !'ish. Yo' go ahead." In a lew moments they were among the rums of a hnge building, which as Barney said nught have been a temple. They passed among a heap of fallen pillars, nud just u1 the others hall done found a descending 8tairway. CHAPTER VU. BARNEY'S AND POMP'S ADVENTURES PHWERE the divil do yt>z suppose that goes to!" cried Barney, glancing somewhat timorously down into the place. "Goll:y I I cudn't guess so hard a one as ,fat, I'ishl" Be me sow!, I behlve there's a big treasure hid away down there) Who knows but that murtberin' ould sculpin', Captain Kidd, left his gould in this spotf' Pomp's eyes glistened. "We ain' gwsne to lind out unless we tries it.," he said. Yez are roight, naygur. Jist <;limb down there an' take a look -about whoile I lo atl up me pistol.'' Yo' go yo'sef!" snifJed the darky. "Yo' am de leadah. Kain't play no tricks on dis chile!" Begorra, I'm not af .her thrym' to do thatl" criQd Barney, indignantly. Go an wid sez fer a big coward. SLure, it's afraia yez l I aiu' afraid!" '' Yez Youse '!raid yo'sel!'' Ti:&ie was enough for Raruey. He gave the darky a look of withering contempt and then veutured down into the place. Dowu the he blundered and soon found himself at the bottom of them. A dim light showed bim the way through a long corridor. This was paved aud extended far beyond the range ol hiR vision. The Celt hesitated a moment. Be me sowl, we kin do moighty hltle widout a lauthern, uaygur, \V,ud yez go back Jlnd get one!" A'right!" agreeu the darky. 1 So I.Jack to the Scorcher went Pomp. He soon returned with a lantern. Tl;is aided the two explorers very materially. They were aiJle to easily see thei&' way now. Aloug the passage they proceeded and came to anotber flight of steps. As they descended these, Barney rernarl)ed: Shure they seem to be a bit al.iaky, naygur. Luk: out fer thet lower one." A' right, l'ish !'' ln !act it did uot look to he a difficult thing to tumble the whole pile of masonry down. However, the two now eutered an-other passage. 1 Suddenly they came to a curious niche in the wall of stone. Barney scanned it a moment cartlfully in tl.&e light of the lantern. Tbeu be SUIC: On me honor, naygur, this is a big dure in tbe wall.'' "A qoo r, yo' say!" asked the darky. "Yls.', A atone door! I don't see it." Begorra, yez will!" Barney put I.& is hand in the niche and began to pull upon a metal bar wbicb be saw tl.&ere. It was consumed witl.& rnst, aud crumbled in hii grusp. But tl.&e pressure was sutllient to cause a huge slab of stone several feet -square to move out of place, leaving an aperture. This was large 11nough to admit tbe body of a mau. Barney tlasbed his lnnteru's rays into it. The sight which be IJeheld gave him a chill. A small apartment hewed out of the solid rock was seen. Its walls were damp and moldy, but what transfixed the two explorers witb hor bor was the fact tbat the place wus a litem! charnel bouse. There, expoRed to their view, were four hunian skeletons. They in various posi tions against the crumblinl{ wall. For an instant Baruey thought tllllt the apartment might be a tomb. But second t told him than this. The position Of tlse skeletons disproved the theory. "l'lli,ber presarve us!" gasped the Celt in horror. "Phwat do yez sav to 1 hat!" ;, Golly fo' glory!" echoed Pomp, "dey shut dem po' chaps in dar to tlie!" "Be me sowl, that was a hard late fer thiml'' cried Barney. "4-n' Hiven rist their sowls! Shure, wl.&oiver do yez suppose they cud nv been?" "Hull! I done fink dat dis was a big prison, I'hih, a&;&' dat dese were some ob de prisoners." "Av coorsA, ,rez blockhead! But who may the poor di,ils be? Howid the ll\nfhern, an' I'll IJe afther tukin' a bit av a luk at With wl.&ich Barney crawled iuto the place. All raiment which the dead men m&ght have worn bad fallen to decay. Tllere @eemed nothing left but the bones. But ola sudden Barney's keen eye caught solllf' lines in the black surrace of the stone wall. They were scratched quite NTON, Sa!Gm; Mass." Barney read aloud and then te and Pomp shivered as they r.,ga rded the skeletons 1 "Golly!" gasped the coon; "dat am tie mos' orful fin!! I eber heern tell ob! Come out ob dar, Ilish! Le's get out ob dis place!" {.


THE ABANDONED COUNTRY. "Dlvil a bit until I've found out if there are any more av the same I "I think not," he said; ''though what should detain them down koind llere," lieclared the Celt. there I do not undersoand." And he went on dowu the passage. llis queet was not unrewarded. "Well, suppose we go downf" There were other cells and In some of them were skeletons. "Certainly." But in no other place d1d he find a rec o rd. Also the conformation of The three men went f!uickly down t!le staircase. They were the l:!kulls satisfied llim that these victims were doubtless criminals of soon in the pas sage whicll bad been followed by Barney and Pomp. the Polar naUon and not civilized meu. But they did uot follow it far. Their progress was checked. A These vaults wert\ lloubtless part of a great prison. They extended great wall of earth and stone confronted them. a long distance underground. At once tte truth tlashed upon Frank. But the two explorers soon tired of the quest, and decided to get out "A cave-lu!'' he declared. "They are imprisoned!" of the grewsome place as quickly as possible. Ranuall was deadly pale as he turned to Frank. "Gvlly, I'se Sl'en uutf ob dis place," declarl'd Pomp. "I'se ready My soul! You don't think they are under that debris?" to' to "et a breaf oh fresh air.'' Let us pray not!'' on then," said Ban:ey, "shore, we'll have something to tell "What shall we do?'' Misther Frank, anyway!" 'l'llere is but one thing!'' "Dat am a'rigbt." Frank threw ofi' his coat. Then he turned to the stairs. So tbey set out along the corridor. But when they reached the foot Where are you going?" asktd Ra11dall. of the stone staircase, tlley were confronted with a horrible dis"After shovels and picks. We must do some hard digging. I covary. shall not leave here until I have brou g ht them out dead or alive!" It bad caved in, and a section of the wall also yielding, the entire "Amen!" cried Randall. "I am with you, Fra11k!" passage was clo3ed. In l e ss time than it takes to tell it t!Je tools were brought and work They were shut off from Lhe outside world by 11 depth of earth and beguu. Ami it was at this juncture that Barney and Pomp heard rocks which they could not easily-calculate. It was a stunning retlectheir deliverers. tion. At once they guessed the truth and Barney joyously crilld: For a moment nei t her could speak. Wl111roo! we're goin' to git out of here, naygur, shore. It's "Gor' a'mighty ,'' lin ally ejaculated Pomp, "we'se info' it now!" Mistber Frank afther us!'' Be me sow! it looks Ioike it!" Then the two imprisoned fellows went to work like beavers. In a S11oah's youse bl>'n we' se buried alibe 'long wi! d e res' ob dese short while they w e re able to shout and be heard on the other side. people!" Tbe rest was easy. Barney had tnrned a grayish pallor. Before long they ::rawled out of their captivity, and none too soon "Bej11bers, Misther Frank will b e nflher gettin' us out," he declared. either, for the air was g e tting extremely foul and dangerous. Morse Frar.k ueber tin' out wbar we gwiue ter; we a in de soup, But soon they were above ground and sale. It was a joyful moment y o kin bet I" for all. Trembling and faint, the two jokers sank down onto the damp pave-Further exploration of the ruined town was made, but nothing of ment Both were plucky, keen-witted fellows, and they tried to Lhiuk. great icterest waa discovered, and finally Frank conclufled to go on. Finally B u rney rose. S o al! went on board the Scor cher and it rolled away across the Po" Wha' am yo' gwine to do, l'ish!" lor country. Begorra, I'm goin' ter tbry an' dig me way out av this,'' declared Everywhere was that same desolate, abandoned appearance What the C e l t. bad become of the Polar pe o ple, it was not easy to guess. "Dig!" CitiPs and towns to the number of a dozen were encountered in the "Yls!" next week. Then the explorers came to a high mountain range, "A'right; I'se wif yo'!" which Frank declared marked exactly th'e locality of the South Pole. They had no s pado or pick, but they had strong hands, and soon got lL must have been ten or twelve tbousand filet tn height, and was all to work. The ir efforts were not without avail of solid grnnite. The earth was coarse and gravelly, an

10 THE COUNTRY. Do you see those linear ''Yes." The highest one is full two hundred feet. "' That Is true." Well, have you never s e en lines like those before!'' Frank studied the face of the cliff a moment. Then be said: "Yes, I think I have. They look like high water marks upon cliffs at the seashore." "Just so. Now if they are water marks it must mean that th e r e have been times when this whole basin, this entire Polar country bas been under water," Frank was astounded. "At the glaci a l epoch!" be asked. "Glacial epoch be hanged! W ithin a hundred years, more or less." The two men g az e d at each other. Frank looked incre d ulous, but Randall was convinc ed. "Mark von resumed geologist, "I have closely examined tile drift and strata of this region. All point to this conclusion. Also that the basin has been occupied by water at diH' e rent in t ervals. What I mean is l hat the presence of wat er bas been p e riodical." Frank rubbed his e ye In that case --" "The place may become submer g ed again, nd I believe that the period is not far dis tant. If my hypothesis i s correct," continued the geologist, "we have a very logical explanation of the abandonment of this country by its inhabitants." Frank was so overcome by the astounding force ol this declaration that lor a time he could not s pe ak. Al ter some thought be said: "Yo\) have c e rtainly hit upon a .logical Idea, Ran d all. But' if it is true, where does this flood come from, and how would til e p e ople know it!" Randall pointed at the distant column or smoke rising from the volcano. Do y ou see that? be asked, "it menus that this entire region is go'l'erned by volcanic forces. Now the action of the internal forc e s of which we know lit.le ma y be capable or brin g ing a vast V)lumt> of water P,eriodically to the surf a ce from subt erranean basin s The pres sure would be sufficient Synonymous with certain action8 of yonder volcano, this beautiful land or promise is llooded to the brim." Frank gazed keenly at Randall. He had not given him credit for so much penetration. "And th a t is why this country has been abandoned?" "Just so! it Is e asy enou g h to s ee how the people could tell when danger tllrentened. The eruptions or the volc ano are d o ubl e ss periodi cal. The Polar people kne w just when to abandon this valley." Whew!" exclaimed Frank, then according to that it is apt to become flooded at any tim e now!" "Just sol" Randall, you are keen!" "Pshaw! It only requires a little study. Do you see that little rivulet trickling oat from under tile mountain wall!" "Yes!" Well, that was not there yesterday.'' "Eh?'' It is true!" Eveu as ha spoke Randall gave an exola.matio!l. He pointed to a patch of turf ne n r and whispered: "Look-look! Yoo. cannot want be tter evidence.'' Frank gazed in tht! direction mdicated, and both beheld a most astounding thing. The little path of turf bad b e gun to throb and heave. Soon dew like moisture was seen o n the blad e s. Tben up shot a little bulb of boiling water. It momentarily grew larger. The turf was genll v thrust asid e and disintegrated, while a tiny stream llowed away down the incline, making its own course and mo mentarily growing larg er. A spring bad burst into life in that moment "That is only one of m a ny," declared Randall. "You shall see." Deep in the center of the Poiar vall e y was a lake. It was true that this was steadily riswg above its ba!lks. All this was prima facie evidence. Astonished, Frank w a tched the ph e nomenon. 'fhen he turned and swep t a glanc e up at the mountain wall. "It seems to me that our po s ition t hen is one or p e ril," he said "What is to save us if the valley fills as you aver! We would be drowned like rats in a trap.'' CHAPTER IX. 0 N A N 1 L S A N D "You are right," agreed Randall, "and it will not do to tempt fate.'' What sh111l we do!" "We must leave here.'' Where shall we go!" Back to the mountains. From there I believe we can watch the whole wonderful phenomenon." All agreed Frank, with alacrity; "it shall bil as you say; bot one thini puzzl e s me." "Well!" / Wha t has become of the people w llo abandoned this doomed conn. try?" It is easy enough to guess. Doubtless they have made their way to other parts of the Antarctic as y e t undiscovered by any oue." Before I leave this land of wond e rs I must lind them," dE!clared Frank. I must take a look at them.'' I don't se e why we cannot accomplish that,'' declared Rand a ll; th e n we will return to the other end of the valley, will we!'' "By all m e ans!" In a few moments more Frank and Randall were aboard the Scorch er. They said nothir.g to the others or the subject uppermost In their minds. Bat Frank s t arted th e m a chine at once back up the valley. Scarcely twenty mil e s had be e n made, how ever, when a stran ge grayish bank o f clouds began to rise upward t oward the zenith. Thus far our advenwrers had not experienced a storm of any vio lence. There had b een only some slight rains. But the moment Frank saw the strangely tinted clouds he became alarmed. "On my word, R a ndall," he said, "I believe we are going to have a rough storm." The geologist's lace was grave. He studi e d the sky a moment. Then he swept the land s cape. Which i s the highest powt of land near nere?" he asked. "I think it is yonder hill," said Frank, pointing to an elevation about live miles distant. How far is it over ther e?" "Fiv e miles." Well, I think we ha d bPt ter make for it. It there should com e a cloud-burst, or even a heavy fall of r a in, in these J()wlands we might. get swamped." I believ e you are ri g h t ," a g reed Frank. "We will do that." He change d the cours e of the S corcile1 at once. F1ve miles was quickly covere d and they r e act.ed the hill. Th e great, angry cloud had swept up to the zenito. A !llacknAss most intense was settlin g down ove r th e landsc a pe. exclaimed Wendel, sniffing be air, "we're going to have a bit of a blow, mates." Be j a bers, av that' s so, I'm aft her tt.inkin1 we're on high enough land to git the whole benitit av l t.'' "That's true, Barney," said Frank; "but i t i s better than getting drowned." "Pbwat's that, sor!" asked the C e lt in surpriSe. "Sllure, there s no chance av that, is there?" Frank saw that he had put his foot in it, to speak metaphoric ally, an d was decide d now to make a clea n qreast of t he matter. So he calle d Randall liP. and said : I think it would be wisest to e l:plain our situation and our f ears in full to the others.'' Well,'' R a ndall, "I g uess you are right.'' With this Frank c a lled the others \IP and told them the truth caused them some surprise, bu t Wendel said: Well, mates, all of our f a mily wer a se a -farin J m en, and all have found a grave in the sea but me. I don't P l:p e c t to be an e xception." Bej!lb e rs, tile naygur an' mesilf are good swimmers! Eh, naygur Yo' kin b e t we is, !'ish!" "Very good!" said Frank, with a laugh; "then we need fear noth in g. Yet I believe we had better turn the machine head on to the wind anct trig the wheels well.'' This was done. And now all awaited with som e apprehension and eagerness, the comwg of the storm. As is usual with tempests, iL was not long in coming. Over the volcano It swept, bringing down into the valle y a vortex or ashes an d soo t 1 The approach of the storm was like the b e llowing of a thpusand wild lions. In tile utter blackness its coming could only be felt n;,t seen. I t struck the Scorcher with terri tic force. For a few moments it se e m e d as if the m a c h ine was i11 the clutchei of destroying fiends. Then the wind passed as quickly as it came and the rain followed. Torrents of water surged about tile machine and over the deck; It seemed as if it would be en:;!:ulfed. For hours th e s torm raged. Then in a lull Frank went on deck and turned on the search-light. The sight r e vealed was stu rtltng. The electric ligh t f ell gl a ring bright upon llashing waters. All a!)ou t the Sc o rcher as f a r as tile light coulll penetrate all was a mass of w ater-a n inland se a Ran d all clutch e d his arm. It has c o me!" h e said. "My hypothesis was correct!" Ell!" exclaimed Frank in dismay, "tbE'n we're in a fine rap." 'l'hat IS 1f the waters rise higher. "Yes, or if no t !" Whyf' "We are impri s oned on an island ma d e by th&top of this-bill. The water s may not subside for a yea r. N o body knows how long!" This was th e c e rtain truth. The Rituation was certainly a most appalling one. But t here was one source of comfort lett. The rain was lleginning to subside. In a Abort while the sky begnn to grow lighter and soon the black ness passed away. The valley became quite lig ht. Then the true posi they were in was seen b y the voyagers. Almost the entire valley was one vast lake. \ \ I I


THE ABANDONED COUNTRY. 11 Only the higher land was exposed. In some places the water must bnve been or considerable deprh. One thing was certain. It was impossible for the machine to travel through it. The adventurers were anchored to the hill top isle. What was to be done! Frank knew well that the water was rising all the while. It was a desperate situation. In tlle bold or the Scorcher there was stored a portable rubber boat. In this all could doubtless have made their way to the higher land aud escaped. But they would have beer. compelled to leave the Scorcher. 'IJhis would have been equivalent to signing n death warrant, and they knew it w e ll. So Frank did not accept the chance. He stepped down from the S c or cher's dec!;: and walked about the bill top. At one end was a clump of giant pines. And, as brs eyes fell upon these m ighty trees, a sudden, plan suggested itself to him He saw oue forlol'll chance But Frank Reade, Jr., was never the one to yield to despair. Scant as the chance was. he decided to adopt it. He went hurriedly buck to the Sco rcher. "Come here, nil or you!" he cried. "I have hit upon a plan.'' This was enough. With alacrity all came forward. And now Frank unfolded his plan. "Do you see those big pines!" he said. "Well, in then: lies our chance. If we can hew down enough of them to make a raft to 11oat the Scorcher, I believe there is a chance for us!" For a moment there wns silence Then all gave a loud cheer. "We'll do it!'' cried Randall. "Give ua some axes. Come, boys! It is for our liv e s we are working!" Barney and Pomp ran to get axes. W ndel and Randall and even Frank himself selected a tree. Tlle axes rang merrily in the soft wood and steadily all worked, each man at a tree. In a comparatively short space of time live of tbe trees were down. then each set to work upon another. But now the trees were down t he bardt>it part of the work began. Tllis waa to trim tile huge logs and bind them together for a raft. 1 But this waR tinnily accomplished. 'l'he logs were firmly bound, two tiers deep. Tllis was reckoned as sufficient to 11oat the machine. Then the Scorcher was run upon it. There was little time to spare. For the rise of the inland sea was so fast that already the water was up to their knees as th ey worked. The Scorcher was secured to i .he raft. Then all waited for the water to cover the to11 of the hill and 11oat the raft. They bad no( long to wait. It was already skimming over the highest point. The raft began to riae. The voyagers had provided themselves with long poles to push the raft off and propel it with. Soon it was atioat. It required several hours or hard work to propel it to the upper end of the lake or the slope of the volcano Here, however, a landing place was found, and the Scorcher was run off the raft upon terra firma. A position was selected above tlle lligh water mark ; on the slope or the volcano. The eruption somewllat singularly had ceased alto gether. The reason for this was f!Ot apparent, but it was possible that the rlsjng or tlle waters had extinguishe!:l the internal tires. The voyagers were engaged in watclliog the slow rising of the in land sea, when suddenly a great cry came from Barney. B e me sow!, tl i ere's a lot av the up there among the rocks," he cried. Shure, have an eye out fer tbim, or they'll be afther con:;in' down onto us!'' Where are tllt>y?" cried Frank, springing to Barney's side. Up there sort" Frank was just in time to see that the Celt was right. A number or forms were scrambling over a heap of bowlders far up on the crater's side. '\'his was the first sign of human beings, other than themsel\'es, in the abandoned country. is needless to say that all were excited. CHAPTER X. A. STARTLING lliSCOVERY. No one doubted for a moment that tbe forms scrambling over Lhe crater's side were really rhe Polar natives. lt'rnnk picked up his rilie, and cried: "Come on, boys! Let's have a loo k at those chaps." Shall we go armed!" asked Randall. "Of course. Men who hav e the nerve to confine white viaitors in underground vaults to die of starvation are ct>rtainly men to be strong ly dealt with." So Randall and Barney followed l<'rank up the mountain. Pomp aud the s a ilor remaine d to guard the Scorcher. Up tbe crater ran the pursuers. Yet tbey nthwnced cautiously for they had no means of knowing what manner of weapons the fugitives had. But before the s ummit was reached, Frank received a Sllrprise. He saw four men lnulolled bellind a bowlder. And a, voice iu unmistakable English, cried: "For Heaven's sake, mates, don't blame us-we're under or ders!" "Jack Mains, mate of the Pear)!" gasped Frank. "What on earth are you doing here?" I swear, sir, it is not our fault. Captain's orders!" declared the Pearl's mate us he and his compnmons came forth. "Your captain's orders!'' exclaimed Frank. "Where is he!'' "!-can't say, sir. He went down into that vaaey. Maybe the water-you can guess.'' The aslonisbment of all wns great. And do you mean to tell me,'' eoxclaimed Frank, that your cuptaio..,...that Isaac Ward actually followed as hitl!er?'' "I do, sir," replied Mains trembhngly. Wbere is his ship!" "Des erted, sir. For all I know, back in the ice pack and not a soul on board ." "But-" exclaim ed Frank in sheer amazement, "what on earth imyou all to leave the ship!" Gold, sir." "Golll!" "Yes, sir. Captain Ward thought y ou were down here after a great treasure, srr, and wanted to claim a share." l'his was a revelation to Frank, and the otl!ers, too. For a moment he was speechless Well,' lle suid, finally, that is the worst fool's trick I ever beard of! You say lte tlle ship to the mercy of the ice?' "Yes, sir!'' Aud he went down into thll valley!" "Yes, sir! All went down there except me and my three friends here; w e stayed back.'' My soul!" exclaimed Frank; tlley have not returned! Then the Hood overtook them. This ia the plain r .. sult of avarice!" For a time all were silent. The four sa1lors looked wretched enough. We are nigh dead from starvation," Mains said finall y "Tllen come with me," said Frank, moving down the mountain side; "this is a terrible affair!" "God bless you, sir!" said one or the sailora. Wll will d1e for you-only take us back to America!" Humph!'' exclaimed Frank, "It looks mighty doubtful now whether any of us get buck or not." Back to Scorcher they went, and Pomp gave the surviving sailots food and drink. Then the folly or Captain Ward's move was dilated upon. There sult was a disappointment to Frank. I bad intended remaining here for the waters to fall he sa1d, "but now all depends upon our reaching tlJe Pearl before the ice pack breaks up. If we do not reach the ship in that time we may give our selves up for lost.'' And go to swell the number of explorers who have invaded this accursed land never re t urn!" declared Randall. There was certainly DtJe:t of dispatch if the party were to reach the sbip before the puck should break. It was a long, arduous trip back through the fiord. It would re quire much time to make the trip. Frank would have started at once hut be felt in duty bound to 11rst learn the f a te of th e captain and his men for a certanity. There was a faint possibility, or course, tl!at they bad made their egcape. So a par tv wns made up anc 'Sent along the moun tam side. Frank and Barney and Randall were the members of the party Be!ortJ he returned Frank was determined to accomplish one thing and this was to gain the summit of the southern mountain wall and take a look at the country beyond. 'l'hey were well armed for there was no telling what perils they might encounter on the way. They struek out along the southern verge o! the crater. So on they were out of sight or the Scorcher among the huge bowld ers. Frank led the way. But they hatl little idea of the character of tbe region through whicl! the y were now compell e d to travel. It was fearfully and 10 places almost inaccessible. They climbed along the mountain wall for hours and yet the south ern end of the valley looked an interminable away. Finally they sank down from shet>r exha u stion. There was no t hing for it but to camp on the spot and this wa s done. In a little pocket among the crags a sheltered spot was .found. They bad brought some provisions with them and were enabled to mal

12 THE ABANDONED COUNTRY. Now to Frank this was especially irritating, for be knHw that time was He was exceeuin!!lY impatient. And yet be was at a los s to !mow how to remady the ditliculty. There set>rnt d no way but to walt until the stor m had passed. It shut d own n ow blacker tllan ever. Soon tl!e mist lifted a trifle and th e rai!l f ell harder. Hours pass e d and r.h e y seemed like month s At length Frank c ould stand i t n o longer. "That s ettle s i t,' he cried. "We 11annot do worse than stay here. L e t us mak e a n etfort to return." "An!l giv e up th e expedition!" asked Randall. Yes ; we are oblig e d to do dlat. If we can return in safety to th e S corcher that will be all I will ask I" "I'm with you, Frn.nk a g re e d the geologi A t. "1 tl!ink we've done our bes t and we had better return to the ship. Perhaps we can ven ture a trip or e x ploration hither at some other tim e." "It Will have to be so d e clared Fra nk. B!! me s ow!, I'm aftber thinkin' we' ll lose our way in this mis t,'' said Burney, a pprehens i vely On, I think riot," said Randall. What if we fire signal guns! P erbaos thos e on board th e S corcher will heur us.'' Tbi; sugg estion s e emed not a bad one. as they wandered on through th e mist, R a ndall fire d his rifle at intervals, It was no t lon g ere a n a nswer carne It was a faint shot, and far in the d istanc e But it w a s en p ugb. It iud ic t lt ed tl!e fact that the S corcher was not beyond bearing. Frank tri e d to locate the search-light's gl a r e 'l'h e sound of tiring se e med to come fro m a point higher up the mountain s i de, and the adventure rs accordin gly kept on in that direc tion. '\ A t int ervals Randall fired his g un, and the answer came. Bat one racL imi > ressed the trio curiously. Tbia was th a t the tiring sour.d e d m!Jre and more distant, though they were going a s the sound guiued them directly towards it, The meaning o f this it was not e asy to underst a nd. and fainter grew the answ e ring sh o ts. Then Randall hal ed. We are going i n the wrong d irection !'' be declared. "Pret ty quick we won'L be a ble to hear thos e shots at all." Y o u are rig ht!" agreed Frank. "It mus t be that the mist tra ns fers tbll s o und L o diflerP.nt p oints of the comr.a ss." Begorra, w e kin go no furder dis wuy auybow !" cned Barney, who was a little in advance How is th at?" asked Frank. Shure s or, there's a s teep place here, and a big hole. Will yez have a look at it!'' Frank and Randall ran forward. At their f eet yawned a deep aby ss. It was the crater. They bad climbed the cone to the ver y summit. There was little wonder that the sounds of tiring had grown so taint. CHAPTER XI. A S E R I OUS ACCIDE NT FRANK now began to make more accurate calculations as to th e ir exact p o sition The r esult w as that thll party were soon scrambling down the mountai n s ide nnd r a pidl y approaching th e S corch e r, for the tlriug ever y moment grew more d istinct. S u d d e nly a dull glow was seen through the mi s t. Frank gave a cry of joy. That is the search light," be cried; "we shall soon be there !" And lJis prediction was verified. After a bard scr a mble tlJe S corcher was reached. A l l w e re gl a d of this. The e xpe dition aro und the range bad been a failure. The fate of C!lp ta in W a rd and hi s men remain e d unsolv ed But it wa s s ufe to assume th a t they had perished in the watera of the inland s e a All were a g r eed upon t his point. Fra nk e xamined the barometer wi\b some alarm, I'm a frai d," b e said, tn a t if we do no t maktl a move very qu ick ly to r eturn to the P e arl that we will n e ver g e t there.'' "That's c o rrect, mate decl a red Wend e l; "I agree with ye. Th e winter storms wtll bl o ck the llorll. If the ship s t a nds the nipping the apnng thaw will carry her into the northwuru current and we shall nev e r s ee her again." "Eno ugh!'' cri e d Randall. "Why do we delay here thenT" "I l ea r to start in tlJis deadly mist," replied Frank. "We must ris k It!" A l o u g and e a rnest consultation was held. Of c o urs e t here wa8 no te lling h o w long the mist would last. It might disapp ea r in a few hours, it might not for a wee k. 1 Howev H r it was ti. n a lly d e cid e d to make the a t tempt. The search light was trimmed to ita fullest power, and the Scorcher began to feel Its way down the mountain side. Mains ar.d the thre e sailors rode on the deck, for there waa not room f o r all in the c abm comf o rtably. For h o urs the S corcher mad e its uncertain way down the mountain t o the plain and the pass which would t a k e them iuto the tlord. It was not an e as y matter to thus fumble along in the darkness. There were innumerable perils. But Frank kept the machine on ita course as well as he could, and exercised all due caution, At length the pass was reached, Here the mist lessened and it was easier to aee Llle way. The rna. chine threaded its way Lhrough .be dellle with greater ease. 1 And when its end was reached, the plain and river extending to the ice llelt lay clear of mist or cloud. The storm was pt>culiar to the volcanic region alone, Frank was even enabled to dispense with the search-light. A ehill wind blew from the north, and the voyager1 were obliged to wrap themselves up warmly. The machine ran along the banks of the river. The spirits of all began to arise. Even the seamen en the Scorcher's deck were much lighter of spirit. "U we only lind the ship unharmed," cried Frank, "we will be able to find our way home yet.'' Home! 'l'he word seemed to have a magic charm to each one in the party It wa s true that it had b e en a long tim e since they had seen it. ludee J i t h a d s e emed at time s as if t hey were doomed to spend their lives in this pl a ce 'l'hat it was to become their tomb. But there was a chance of lii.Jeration and all looked forward hope fully. Camp was made on the river banks. Barn e y and Pomp improved the opportunity to try fishing. 'th11re were delicious trout in the cle a r waters and they rose readily to the tly. They returned with a goodly mess, and it was an agreeable change from the stale food which they h a d IJeen eating. Down the river's c o urse the Scorch e r went until patches of ice and snow began to appear. Soon they crossed th e b e lt aud w e re in the ice region. lL became necessar y n o w to don th e ir fur su1ts aud prepare for the chill winds. Frost form e d on the pilot nouse winuows exceedingly thick. The four seamen were enaeonc e d in crampe d quarters in the cabin, for they c o nld not have outside. All preparations were made lor a rou g h trip1 And this was what they had as events will prove. Soon they were in the heart of the liord and upon surface of the river. Here the first mishap befell them. Barney was at tl!ll wheel and the Scorcher was gliding between two huge berl\S of ice, when there was a crash and a sullen roar and one or them fell. It struck the former trucks or the machine. There was a ripping, rending sound ami then the machine pitched forward heavily. Not a man but was thrown upon his face and all realized that the machine had met with a sflrioua mishap. Frank sprung out of the cabin door He gave a cry of dismay at tbe sight before him. The r e lay a hea p of crush e d materi a l, the tracks and forward run ning gear of the machine. They were f e arfully mixed up with the ice. Here was cutaatrophe of no mild sort. Pallid and nerveless he was joined by the others. "Ge e whiz!" exclatmed Rundall in dism ay ; "we're done for, Frank!" Begorra the masheen is s p oilt intoir ely wailed B a rney. F o r a moment Frank s e em e d u t terly una ble t o act. Th e n h e walked slowly about the Scorcher. He examined the brok en gear lon g and slowly. 'l hen he said: "Barney and Pomp, bring out tools and help me clear away this dehris.'' The two jokers hastily obeyed. Fran k proceeded to disentangle th> wreck. All went silently to work to h e lp him. The forward part of the S corcher w a s set upon a support while Frank endeavored to repair t h e whe elo, Bu t presently he said: My frle uds, I am afraid we are badly s tuck. 'fhese wheels can never tlo servic e again." Jt was an ominon s statement. A gro a n w e nt up simul t aneousl y Confound the luck!" crt e u R a ndall; the fien c s are after us! What is tile next best thin g we can do, FrunkT" There is torlauately a way out of th e difficulty," said the youne: inventor. 1 At this the faces of all bright e n e d. "As we are upon snow," c o ntinned Frank, whe els are not a prime necessity. I tllinlc we cau rig up a temporary sl e dge to go uml e r th e !orwu.rd part of the mnchiue and yet go ahead." A cheer arose at thi s It was f ortunate that the power of the S corcher was connected with the hind wheels where the cogs w e re place d ; there f o re, the Joss of the forward trucks did not interfere with the ma chinery or driving power. Frank now s e t to work to rig up a sledg e Tllis it wus not difficult to do with t he remnants of the track. In a few hours th e machine was providP.d with sl e dge runners. worked clumsily and v ery s e riousl y impeued the speed of the Scorcll e r. But tlley w e r e bette r than no t hing. This accid ent was a bad one tor the of the voyagers, and all f e lt secretly discoura g eit, It se e med a lmost a cert a inty that the ship would be nipped before th e y coulu get to her. But Frank enid: "Doa't give up yet .' We have a good chance and we'll hang onto it."


'l'HE A..BANDONED COUNTRY. 13 Slowly the Scorcher now made its way down the fiord. The cays passed into weeks before finally the great headlands were seen and all craned their necks lor a sight of the ship. But an immense barrier of ice had risen jolt off shore. It was fully two hundred feet high. This showed that beyond a doubt the pack had been at work. There must have been terrific crowding and crushing to have raised this barrier. What then might be tbe fate of the ship! Was she lying on her beam ends a crushed and worthless wreck! Or bad she gone to the bottom 1 It could hardly be beli.!ved that she had altogether escaped mishap. The adventurets were in a lever of anxiety. It was fri::btfully cold. Nothing like it bad ever been experienced I A voice muttered: "Ph were the divil am I! Shure, it's kilt I nm, an' thi! is Purga1 tory!" No, it Isn't!" shouted Frank, "it'a only a hole in lhe Ice. Lively now, old fellow. Bow is the other fellow!" "Misther Frank!" shouted Barney. "Ye!, it's mel" Shure, wbaC's the matter!" Oh, you fell into a hole in the ice, that's nil!" "Och, shore, I rememher now. An' the other !eller-Mither nv Moses! I belnve he's dean and the trio went on up the steep incline. No further mishap llefell them. They stood upon tbe highest pinnacle. With his night glass Fran!; acanned the ice fhJ!ds. Suddenly be gave a sharp exclamation, 'l'here she is!" he cried. "I see her!" shouted Randall, at the same moment. "She stands up well." Sbe is not nipped yet." "No-and-by Jove, she is in open water. The bay has not filled in "Give me a hand Randall," be said Together they tried to lilt the block of ice. But it would not budge. yet, Frank.'' Their strength was not adequate. Frank WbB in a quandary. Be knew that his two colleagues were somewhere beneath that Im movable block of ice which had fallen into just the posit ion to close the cavity into which they had fallen. How deep the pitlall was he hl.\d no means or guessin%'. He placed his ear to tire crack aud listened, No sound carne up. Various horrrble possibilities occurred to Frank. Suppose the cavity was so deep that it extended all the way down to the water, or wus really in itself an air-hole! They would certainly go to the bottom of the sen. In such a case they were beyond earthly aid. But Frank did not belieYe yet that such was the case. He hoped to llnd both all ve, though possibly unconscious at the bottom of the pit. But first of all it must be opened. So he drew his hatchet from his belt and began work. Randall did the same. Their purpose was to, if possible, split big cake ol ice and thus open up the trap. They worke1! hard and fast. With raf'id blows Frank quickly cot a deep channel into the ice block. D eeper It grew and Randall advanced to meet him. Then one unrted blow crar.lo:ed the ice blpck. They put their shoul ders to it and hurled it down the slope. CHAPTER XII. This was seen to be the truth. It was a gratifying fact. Frank's face wore a relieved expression. Then there is a chance for us," he cried. We will do the best we can." Bnck to the Scorcher," cried Rundall. "We must lose no There Is snow in the air, and if it comes before we reach the ship it may spoil all our plans.,. "You are right," agreed Frank. Back to the Scorcher!" Down the slippery ice hnmmocks they went. They found Mamll' where they had left him. The sailor was upon his feet but he was not deemed strong enougtr to walk llack to the Sorcher. So Barn e y and Randall carried him between them, while Frank went ahead with the penstock to pick the way. They were not long in descending to the level below. Tho s e on board the Scorcher saw them coming lind shouted joyfully. It wus good news which they learned when the three explorers went aboard. There wus certainly a chance for them. In the cabin of the Scorcher an elaborate discussion was held. The ship was in eight and it would be easy to reach her on foot. But what of the Scorcher! Bow could they hope to get the machine over that mighty ice bar rier! I was a sheer impossiuility. The malter tinnily resolved itself into two alternatives. One was to r e main ahonrd the Scorcher until spring and the ice bar rier should fall, and then trust to luck in gettmg aboard the Pearl WlliC H IS THE END. before the northward current should take her .As tb.ey did so both nearly fell int9 the cavity. They clung to the Or, th e y might ncce;>t the dernier resort, and abandon the machine. edges desperately. Frank consi

I I 14 THE ABANDONED COUNTRY. Antarctic, but on the other hand he could not see any ready way to avoid it. What should he tlo! There were many valnnble e H"ects aboard. 'l'hese could in the main be tranRported to the ship. "Gentlemen," lw said Hnally, "I have t!1e matter over seri ously I believe it is a questiou of life or death with us. "Life if we get away on that ship hefore the winter sets in. 11 Death ir WA have t' remain here neurlv nine months until the northern channels open again. We are not bre ; l to this climate. We could not stnnd the rigorous cold. We would pe.rish. It is only the question of the .Sco1cher, and I huve tlec:ided what to do." We willubundon the machine?" There was profound siler.ce. Then resumed: Life is of pnramount importance. We will trauspo1t such of tbA Scorcher's effects as we cnn, anen in "})laces, but there were sufficient obstructions to hold the vess H I back What was to be done! ThP crew all looked dismayed. It looketl as if tbe Penrl must stay in the Antarctic after all. But at the last moment Frnnk RAade, Jr., came to thP rescue. He bad not as ye by auy means overtaxed his resources. He gav e quick and sharp o rd ers. ''Bring the pneumatic guo forward," he commanded. Two men brought t he cylinder of steel and its pivotal carriage forwa rd. It was quickly mounted in the bow. The were made with the pneumatic chambers and the dynamos. Then Frank placed a projeclile in the breech. He trained the gnu upon the blocked channal. One moment he drew the then he pressed the electric but-ton. The etrect was thrillinl!. \ The shell struck fair in the midst or the ice blocks. There was a terrible crash-a sullen, thunderous roar. Up into the air one hundred feet went a column of water and Ice fragments. It was a marvelous Fpectacle. 'l'he ship pitched and rocked violently. Then Frank sent another shell into the heap. The ice jam gave wa, For fuil live hundred yards the chnnnel was open. A uortbward current moved the crushed ice rapidly away 111111 in an hour's time the channel was clear as far as the eye could re:och. The Penrl sailed out into the channel amid tho cheers of her crew. In thafifty miles of circuitous Balling the ice fields the elec tric gun did valir.nt service. In due time th" Pearl emerged into the open sea. She met fearful weather for the !i rst week. But abe steallily and stanchly fought hor way northward. Inch by inch it seemed, until at l ength abe was in Cape Horn seas. The rest was easy. A week later she was In Montevirleo harbor. Here a fresh crew was shipped and a uew cnp1ain procured. Then she to Rio und took on a cargo of c oftee, so that her homeward cruisA migh t not be In due time she reached New York. Ward's wife was in consolable over his loss The ship was sold anJ the sum given to her. Frank also paid to her again the sum of the charter, which was a provision want, and some recompense for her terrible loss. But nobody could deny but that Ward himself was solely to blame. The seamen survivors of the party scattered wheu New York was reached. Jack Weudel returned to his seashore horne, and Randall went on to with Frank and Barney and. Pomp. In a lar!!e measure the trip had been a success. They had accomplished the of discovering the abandoned coun try, but nPither Frank nor Randall were satisfied. I shall have another try at that game some day," declared the youn!! inventor. "I want to explore the rest of that strange land." By all means take me with ynu?" asked Randall, eagerly. 1 We will talk it over, replied Frank. And lull of the idea he went back to h1s work. Whether be ever carried out his project or not, we will wait for the future to tell. and with this announce1hent bring our story to (THE END.l I "Usef'1.11 an.. d.. I:n.str'1.1cti. ve ::S<:><:>ks. HOW TO WRI'L'E LE1'1'ERS 1'0 full dl recti o n s for writing to l{entlernen on r.ll subjects; also giYing sam-ple lette!i! lor introduct ion. Price 10 cents. For sale by :til news dealers in the Unite d ::ll. i\tes and Clln,\da, o r sent to your \lddress, postage fr ee, on r R c e lpt of pric e Ad

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Latest Issues of THE 5 OENT COMIC LI.BRARY. No. 68 Nilnble Nip, the of the SohooJ by Tom Tea.ser > York D tammer; '10 Muldoon Out West, bt 'teaser by 73 A. BoUine ::Stone; or, Jaok Read,'a Lire of Fun, by Peter Pad U An Old Boy; or. Maloney Alter Education, by 'I om 'l'ease r 76 Tumbling '.fim; or, Traveling With & Oircue, by lo'eter Pad 76 Ju,dge Olearye Court, by 'l'om Teaaer 11 Jaok Ready's Scrapes. by Peter Pad 7 8 Muldoon, Solid Man, by 'fom "fedo8er 79 J o e the Whaler; or, Anywhere for F'un, so Tile Deacon's 8on; or, Imp of by Tom 'l'easer 81 Behind the Scenes; or, Out With a New York Com .binatioo. by Peter Pad 82 'rbe Eunoyli'our. b)' Peter Pa.d 63 Muldoon's Base Ball Olub. by 'l'o z:n 'l'easer 84 Mnldoon'a Base l:bll Olub in Boston, by l 'olll 'J'easer : l'easer by Peter P a d 87 Muldoon's Baae Ball Olub in Teaeer 88 Jimmy Grimes( or, Sharp, Smart and by 'fom 'l'easer 89 Boa.noe; or, Something 90""-Muldoon's Pionic, by 'foJU Teaaer 91 Little Tommy 13oun oe on His Tra.vels; or, Doiog 92 Sam Bowser at 93 or, 'fbe Iriab Twins, 94 The -""ldermen Sweeneys of New York, by l'om Teaser 95 A Bad Boy's Note Book, by" Ed" 96 A Bad Boy at 8ohool, by Ed" 97 Jitnrny Orimes, Jr.; or, the Torment of t .he Vil-laae, by 'fom Teaser S8 Ja.ok and Jim; or, Rackets and Scra.pttel M ;)c b ool. by '!'om 1'easer 99 'rhe Book Alent's Luok, by" 1: <1" 102 'l'be 'l'n.veling Dude: or. 1'he .Comical Advflnt.-ures of Clat'ence 1 fitz Roy Joaas. by l'um Teaser 103 SenAtoz' by Tom 'l'fln.ser lot or, Working 105 Tlte Oomioal Adventures of Two by 'l'otn Teaser lt. l

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