Over the Steppes; or, Adrift in Asia with Frank Reade, Jr.

Over the Steppes; or, Adrift in Asia with Frank Reade, Jr.

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Over the Steppes; or, Adrift in Asia with Frank Reade, Jr.
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
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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:
R17-00109 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.109 ( USFLDC Handle )
024947231 ( Aleph )
38535175 ( OCLC )

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N oname's" Latest and Best Stories are Published in "'lr.TO 140 { col\tPLETE } FRANK TousEY'. Prrnr. tsHER, a! &:. 36 NoR'l'H MooRE S'l'REE'r, NEw YoRK. { PJncE } Vol VI .L,. New York, August 2 1 1896. ISSUED WEEKLY. 5 CEN1.'!l, 0 Over the SteppeS; Or, ,ADRIFT IN ASIA W,ITH FBANK READE, JB. The Pilot had risen a few hundred feet over the brow of the cliff when a startling and unlooked for occurred. Suddenly the blended report of rifles was heard. Bullets came rattling against the air-ship's hulL It was a close call for Beals, who waa at the rail.


\ I 2 OVER THE S'rEPPES. The subscript ion price of t h e FRA N K READE LIBRA R Y by t h e year i s $2.50 ; $1.25 p e r six mont h s, pos t paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, P u BLISHER,34 and 36 Nort h Moore S t reet New York Box 2730. OVER. THE STEPPES; I OR, Adrift 1n Asia With Frank Reade, Jr A STORY OF AERIAL TRAVEL. By "NONAME," Author ot "The Weird Island," "The Transient Lake," "The Lost Caravan," "The Sunken Isthmus," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. THE LOST BICY CLIS TS. AN American newspaper bad just printed a thrilling report con cerning the supposed fate or two b o y bicyclists who bad started to travel around tbQ world on wheel s As literally rendered the para graph was as follows: News bas at last reached the American Consul at Cons t antinople or the possible fate of the two boy bicyclists, who" left N e w York last November to tour the world, aud were last beard of at Zeitoun in Ar meni a Haro!d Wyman and Sam Bent are the sons of wealthy f a milies in this city, and started upon the great trip well provitled with money and credit. They left Zeitoun on the 19th of June after having map ped out u. route which was to take them through Kurd e s tu.n and across tbe Great Steppes. They sem red a guide named Beni Berber, who, however, is now known to have been a rascal, and who is probably reapoosible for the fate of the boys. "Scouts sent into Kurd estan report having traced the course of the bicyclists to the Hills of Allah, just in tbe verge or the region of steppes. Here all trace is lost Natorally, the friends or the two boys are frantic, and they bave offered a reward of fifty thousand d o llars for poslti ve proof of their fate or their recovery, dead or aliv e "The clews so far obtained are due to the wonderful vtork of the shrewdest detective in America-Jackson Beal s of New York-who is still at work on the case. Further particulars are awaited with In terest." This startling report was read hy many thousands of people, anct nmor:;g them was one who was known well as one of the most distin guis h e d of the world's celebrities, He was a very young mnn too, and lived In a small city which owed iti rounding to his ancestors. His name was Frank R ende Jr., or Readestown. He is too well known to merit more tbau a slight introduction. As the inventor of manv wonderful vebiclt1s and &ubmarine bouts and the air-sh1p, be has gained world wide fame. Tile moment Frack Reade, Jr., saw the newspaper account of the lost bicyclists be was interested. He at once pulled down a char t of As i a noel began studying it. At the moment he was in his oJHce at the m a chine works in Readestown. While thus engaged the door opened and a comical darky, as black as a coal, stood on the threshold, Beg yo' pabdon, Marse Frank." Well, Pomp," said the young inventor, "what is itT" A gem men sent up bis kyard, sab; wouldn't take no fo' an answer. Got to 11ee yo' to' it am a question ob life an' death." Ehr' exclaimed Frank. He looked at the card. Then he said: "Mr. Jackson Beals, detective Humph! Show him right in, Pomp!" The d!lrky grinned and d;Jck e d his head. A' right, sah !" A moment later n tall, spare f e atured, keen looking mao stood in the pres e nce of the y oung inv e ntor. Be bowed gravely and said: I am g lad to mee t you Mr. Reade." The same, Mr. Beals." I have come to se e you upon a verv important matter." "Very well, sir." Frank indicated a chair, into which the detective sank. For a moment there was silence. The two men regarded each other stu diously. My name and calling Is on that card," declared Beals. The matter which I have to broach to you, you are no doutJt Already familiar with." Year "Tt concerns the two boy bicyclists who lefl New York laHt No vember to tour tbe world." I guessed as much," said Frank, with a bow. "I have rend the newspapers, and saw you were connected with the case.'' Then nothing more need be said on that subject." "No-but in what manner can I serve you!" The detective drew a map from an inner pocket and spread it upon the table. It was a map of Asi a Here," be said, putting his linger on a certain spot, "tbis is about the locality where the boys disappeared, Now I lind that it is impossible for any American rescue parLy to attempt to penetrate thut region. 'l'hey could never come out alive.'' WellT" asked Frank, quietly. That is if they entered the region in the ordinary way. It is in fasted witll a cut-throat brotherhood worse than tbe Forty Thieves of Ali Baba. Even the Sultan can do nothing!'' Then the fate of our two unfortunate countrymen woulc.i seem seal e d?'' said FranK. Yes, unless--" "What:" S ome unusual way can be devised Cor invading that region and effecting t he rescue." 1 The two men understood each other now. Frank knew perfect.ly weH what the mission o! the detective was. But he said: "How do you know that the boys are yet alive? They mo.y have been massacr ed.'' "That is true enough. I am acting upon the assumption that they are alive.'' 1 "Well," said Frank, proff e ring tbe other a cigar, .et us under stand one another. You have an idea that I can help you to rescue these imperiled lads!" "Exactly!" ,"In what manner!'' "You have an air ship!"'


OVER THE STEPPES. 3 Frank lit his cigar. "Yes!" he rephe!l. "That explains all. With the aid of yourself and your alrship I believe the boys can be saved. You are aware that a large reward, $50, 000, is offered. That I will share with you fairly." 'l'he detective lix:ed his keen and burning gaze upon Frank. It was a moment of suspense. "I do not care lor the reward," rephed Frank. "I have money eoougll for all my needs.'' The detective's face fell. "But in the interests of humanity, Mr. Reade. You are a generous man. Human hie bangs in the balance. l believe you are the only man in the world wilo can save those l>oys." 'l'h e se words had a telling effect upon Frank Reade, Jr. us could se e n. He hes itated a moment and then rising, paced the floor. I have lor some time meditated tnklng a voyagll al>oard the Sky Pilot," be said. "And I am not averse to the idea of a flight over Asia." Beals' eyes glistened. "Good!" he cried, eagerly. "I knew you would; come to terms. We shall surely succeed. And I would beg that you would at least claim enough of the reward to sufficiently indemnify youraelf." "Enough of that," said Frank, curtly. I want no part of the re ward. However, I am much interested in the ,.flair and will agree to do all I can to efiect the rescue. Is not that fair!" It is more than fair," cried Beals fulsomely; "it is nobly generous and all that I have heard of you as a philanthropist, Mr. Reade. Wllen shall we start?" "The Sky Pilot IS now in readiness for a cruise. We need not waste more than two days in preparation." "I will be ready in half that time,'' cried Beals. Very good," said Frank, who had now entered wholly into the spirit of the thing; "the compact is made. We will undertake the rescue of Harold Wyman and Sam Bent. Be on hand Thursday morn ing before len." "I will." Frank touched a bell and in response the door flew open and a jolly little Irishman with flaming rt>d hair stood in the doorway. "Burney,'' said Frank, "the Sky Pilot is to sail upon a voyage over the steppes. We must have all in readiness to leal"e here Thursday morning. and Pomp must see that ull Is ready." Begorra, we'll do that, cried Barney, duckir.g his bead, "An' it's glad I IJill to be orr once more. May we have luck, Misther Frank." The Celt disappeared to do Frank's bidding. The detective hesitated a moment. Frank looked np inquiringly. "I beg your pardon, Mr. Reade," said the detective, "but I have a certain curiosity to take a look at the aerial vessel in which we shall sail so so on. May I be permitted!" "Certainly," replied Frank, readily. "I will be pleased to show yon the air .ship; come this way." The detctive followed, and they passed through a corridor, which presently led out into a great high-roofed l>uildiog, with wide dQors opening into a great yard beyond. Her.a, upon its stocks, rested the new air ship. As the detective's gaze rested for the tirst time upon the Sky Pilot, he was much impressed. It far exceeded his expectations. "By jingo," he exclaimed, "she is a beauty!" Frank laughed at his earnestness. "That ia what they all say,'' he declared. "As for myself, oo be modest, I am very well satisfied with the Pilot." Frank took his visitor aboard the air-ship and showed him all its workings. The detective was delighted. The Sky P1lot was in shape of hull not unlike a type of monitor. The bull was or aluminum and steel and bullet proof. She was built narrow ani:! rakish, and her deck was nearly all occu pied with a long cabin. This cablu was provided with broad, plate glass windows, and was furoisht>d luxuriously. Four steel revolving masts rose from the deck, and upon each was a huge and powerful rotascope which furnished the power of sioo. These were driven by marvelous electric engines placed in the hold of the ship. Forward was a pilot-house with an electric keyboard. Here the pilot could operate and guide the air-ship with the greatest of ease by preasing any of a number of buttons as required. The ship could be made to Ahoot upwards, or sink, go forwards or back by the simple manipulation of the httle levers and push buttons on this table. CHAPTER II. BOUND FOR THE STEPPES, ELECTRICITY was the motive power of the air ship. Thi'l was gained by placing stornge l>atteries aboard, the construut,on of which was Frank Reade, Jr.'s secret. A powerful search-light on the maio deck made travel b7 night one of the possibilities. A huge propeller at the stern gave motive power. The Interior of the air ship was a wonderful spectacle. So richly was tbe cal>in furnished, so well provided with and lux uries that nothing seemed wanting. The hold contained the electric engines and batteries. Then there was the after cabin wit h the storerooms, the galley and the diniong saloon. All were finely appointed. Much time might be consumed in minor description. This let us weave in in the course of the story. The detective was more thun delighted, as well as wonderstruck, at this evident triumph or the inventor's brain. He cou l d hardly find words with which to express his admiration. "Aud you are sure," he asked, that this air-ship will stand the strain of so long a voyage!" 1 "Certainly," replied Frank. "Do you see any structural weak ness?" "Not a bit. But 1t is a tremendous distance to the steppes of Asia." "That is true. But the Pilot was constructed with just such a voyage in view." "Good! I am glad that you have consented to co-operate with me, Mr. Reade. I feel sure uow of success, and shall hope to return Wyand Bent to th,.ir friends in due course of time.'' "We will do all we can," agreed Frank. "No oue can ask more,'' replied BAals earnestly. "And I will re join yon on Thursday equipped for the start.'' "Very well." A short while later Beals was on the night train whirling back to New York. Of course the first person he met upon reaching that city was the lrrepressiblol reporter. The result was that all the morning papers came out with a thrill ing account of the projected relief trip for the lost bicyele boys. The excitement all over the country was intense. Before Thursday came Frank wns l!ooded with letters and telegrams without number. Some were from sympathetic friends pf the boys, or philanthropists expressing approbation, but many were from all classes or cranks with strange requests and even dire atreats. To all of these, or course, Frank paid no attention. He consigned lhem to the wuste basket, ao.1 went on with his ar raogernents for his wonderful trip. These were soon made. Bnroey and Pomp worked like heroes. While Frnnk studieu t.he situation and tl:orougbly, he knew that it was no light aftair. Daily thrilling reports of the murder of defenseless people came from that far-off, barl>arous, part of the world. To invade it was cer tainly to court danger. So, as a sate-guard, Frank had amnmoitiun and several stands of rilles placed aboard. These were to l>e used strictly in defense. And so it happened that, by the appointed day the air-ship waa all ready for her trip. Tr:Ie to his promise the detective was on hand at an early hour. He took his effects aboard the Sky Pilot and all was in readiness. It was a bright, clear morning when the air-shfp took its leave of ReadesLown and started for the steppes of Asia. Cileering thousands saw the departure of tile ship and it was an hour of triumph and pleasure for Frank Reade, Jr. the young in ventor. Frank had mapped out his course with great care. This was a direct line for the North Atlantic, eventually sighting the coast of Norway. Thence be would strike in a direct line south over St. Petersburg and the great country of Russia to the east shores of tb Caspian Sea. Beyond the Ural River were the steppes and these Frank was aim ing for. A quick voyage was the desired thing. So after leaving Readestown the air-ship strock out for the north east, bearing away over the upper end of Long Island nod thence out to sea. Beals, the detective, was impressed deeply with the novel sensation of sailing in the air. He stood at the rail and looked down upon the mighty panorama below him. It was a marvelous sight. Cities, towns, hamlets, forests, hills and valleys, green fields and great marshes, sound and shore all flitted below. People looked like tiny insects sofar away and the earth was a hnge disc rolling away be neath the air-ship's keel. "By jingo!" muttered Beals, "this is an experience few can boast oll Sailing through the sky! Only think or itl WI.mt will come to pass next? Surely no greater triumph can be conceived than this!" "No," replietl Frank, candidly, "aerial navigation bas been the greatest stumbling l>lock or the inventor and the scientist. That is true.'' It was dark when the air &hip hung over the Sound, and the shores of Long Island were uot far away, but Frank stepped up to the searcll-ligbt and turned the valve. Instantly a great blaze of light shot down throogh the inky black ness. It was a pathway or radiance, and everything in its line was made as plain as in daylight. Down into a little cove in the shore flashed the light. There, rock ing at their anchors, were two beautiful yachts. A wharf was near, and upon the cliffs beyond there were handsome residences. Just beyond a summer hotel was seen. What would New York do without Long Island!" cried Beale; "there are so many charming resorts anti summer abiding places. It is a breathing place for the jaded workers of the metropolis to hie to" .. That is true," agreed Frank, "and it Is fortunate that it is so ac cessible for the Manhattan Islanders.'' Over the beautiful summer resort the air ship sailed. The search light made a streaming pathway across the country. Until a late hour Beale amused himeel! by flashing the electrio light across the country.


OVER 'l'HE STEPPES. People below looked up and won the north. The air-ship glided on and soon was traveling oYer the land of the Norwegians. Many strange and unusu a l things were seen. But it did not take long to cross the narrow strip of Norwegian ter ritory, and Frank finally announced that th e y b u d crossed the bound ary into Sweden. Across the Gulf of Bothnia, and at last they were over the Russian Empire. The scenes witnessed from the deck of the air-ship were quaint and curious enough. Tue strange forms of !He, the curious people and their habitations were alia matter of intereat to the voyagers. Be jabers, it's all roigbt," averred Barney. "But all the same I'd niver carrl to be a Roosbian. Shure, there's only wan dacint counthry in tbe world, barrin' the ould sod, an' that's Ameriky!'' "Yo' jist wants to include de State ob Georgy in dat," declared Pomp;' "dat's wbar I cum from!'' "Phwat doT know about that, yez black misllt,'' sneered Barney. "Shure, I'm talkin' av those places ph were white folk!! live!'' This angered Pomp, and his eyes rolled and his whito teeth chat tered like castanets. CHAPTER III. IN A S I A. WBA' am dat yo' say, l'isbT Does yo' mean to insult me, sabT I reckon de hrack people amn't so bad as dey look, sab!" Begorra, I should bopll not," retorted Barney. Shure there'd be no livin' wld 'em fer noig!ltmares!" "Huh! Dey are a heap sight s'perior to de low down !'ish, sab! I to!' yo' dat fo' a rae', sab.'' Phwat's that!" roared Barney. Insultin' the Oirisb, are yez! Shure it's not ler the loikes av yez. Take it back, ye poltroon or I'll break the facfl av yez!" "I neberta ke anyllng back !say,'' retorted the coon. don't eb!" "No, sab!" Thin be me sowl it's high toime yez broke that rule. Here's at yez.'' With Barney made a biff at Pomp. The coon dodged and be gan to sputter. Then Barney hit him a solid crack on the cranium. It would be lolly to assume that it burt the coon, but it made him mad just the eame. Huh! Yo' bit me, does yo'T" he cried. Look out dar, chile! l'se comin'!" Down went his wooly bead, and he made an avalanche-like rush at Barney. The CE>It dodged, but did not avoid it. Pomp's head took the Celt full and fair in the stomach. went down like a thousand o: bricks. "Ouch! Murther! It's kilt I am!'' be sputtered, and Pomp for. bore another attack. But Barnt>y was not so badly injured as be affected. Like a flash be was upon his feet an r l gripped the darky around the middle. Pomp came down with a crash. Then folio well the liveliest kind of a wrestle. They tugged and panted, strained and struggled, until both were so thoroughly doue out that they could do nothing but lie on their backs and gasp. Is yo' sassified, l'sh!" finally asked Pomp. Air yez tooT" retorted the Celt. "I is, sah!" "All roight. Thin _we'll call it a draw," growl e d the Celt, and each limp e d otf to his respective post or duty. Warmer friends never existed, but they were inveterate jokerp and constantly delighted in nagging each other. Frank now set a direct line for St. Petemburg. Increased speed be came the order. But why need we weary the reader with a minute description of that journey across the great Russian Empire. It was devoid of special incident, for the air-ship was seldom earer distance than half a mile or tbe earth. The great Russian cities and quaint towns were passed over in due course, and one day Frank came on deck and enid: "Yonder river is the Ural." Instnntly all was excitement for the voyagers knew that beyond that silver ribbon in the landscape was Asia. This river was the di viding line, and Europe would lay behind them. To the southward now hnJ:st into view a great expanse of water. That this was the CaRpian Sea, there was no doubt. Asia!" exclaimed Beals. At last we behold the land of the Orient!" "And B!JOD,'' rejoinad Fran!.!:, "we shall be upon the Great Strlppes and in qu est of the objects or our search." "That will be a welcome moment," declared Beals. The air-ship drew nearer the banks of the Ural. There was no reason cogent for visiting the Caspian, eo that grer.t inland sea was left to the south Thtl country was wild and unsettled. The vovagers gave It little heed but looked beyond into Tart(lry. A half hour later the air-ship had crossed the Ural and was at last really in Asia. The land or the Khirgeez and the Kurd was before them. It was a region of limitless plain, infested with wolves and dark bills where the robber Tartars usually had their strongholds. Here was to be the theater of their adventure11. Here they were to encounter experiences of the most thrilling and fantastic kind. All felt a premonition of this as they set their gaze upon the region. Thus far no sign of human life bad been seen. Bot two hundred miles farther into the interior the scene chang ed. There were no cities or towns, for t.be Kirgheez are nomadic, and live in tents. They feast upon the flesh or their herds and sucb or their neighbors' herds as they can capture, roaming from place to place. To locate the Hills of Allah and the retreat of the outlaws, of whom Ben! Berber was one, now became the order. It was pure guesswork, howeve r for the voyagers bad no clew, Somewhere In Kurdestan or Tartary the hills were reported to be lo cated. There Beals expected to learn beyond all doubt the exact fate of the two boy bicyclists. What this was they could only hazard a guess. Tbey might be dead, or perhaps held as prisoners. If tho latter, then it would be a happy thing indeed to effect their rescue. This was, however, almost incredibl e when the length of time they had been missing was considerell, as well as the character of the wretches who were their captors. "lt is almost too much to hope to flnll them alive," declared the detecli ve, and yet there is a chance. However, to clear up the mystery of their fate will be something.'' "If they are alive," said Frank "they are probably slaves of these Kirgbeez. I have heard of their enslaving their prisoners, and that for tnsk-masters they are not excelled by even the Moors." Do you fancy it the truth?" cried Beals, eagerly. "Then p e rhaps we can make the hearts of all th e ir rriends in America glad, by br,ing ing them back alive." At this moment Barney who was in the pilot-bonae, motioned to Fra.nk. The young inventor JOined him. Shure, sor," said the Celt, "there's a queer lOoking cloud away ont yender ferninst the borryzon. Pbwat do yez make of it, sor?" Frank saw a peruhar funnel shaped cloud far otr In the distance and contiguous to the earth. It was growing in size with great rapidity. One glance was enough. Frank saw Its character at once. He bad seen the same thing in other parts of the world. He kne\v what it was at once. Jupiter," be gasped, "that is trouble for us!" What 118 Itf' asked Heals, sharply. A tornado!" /


I f OVER THE STEPPES. Do you mean it.!" I do, and similar to those which we have upon our own western plains. It means disaster for us, unless we cau avoid it.'' Instantly all was excitement aooard the air snip. It was plain that the voyagers were in great dang e r. To ascend above t!Je storm was out of the question. Upper air cur rents would catch the air ship before it could get to the necessary al titude. To flee before it would be certain destruction, lor the tornado would easily overtake the air ship. To dodge right or left meant a quick de tour of miles, aud there was not time. To remain upon the ground \tould be a safer course, but it would al most certainly mean the loss of the rotascopes. These Frank knew very well he could not alford to lose. H., had but a very few moments in which to Jecide. Noc a mile distant was a very high precipice. It was upon the southern side of a small range of hills. Frank noted the course of the storm and made up his mind, He seized the steering wheel. The air-ship shot down toward the cliff. It was fully one hundred feet wltb a sheer precipitous side. Tbe Sky Pilot descended and rested in a little grove or tre es close to the rocky wall. Frank threw out great cables and fastened them to trees. Then the air grew dark. There was one hope, and this was that the fearful destroyer would be split by the hill, and its brunt be avoided by the air-ship. It would strike the other side of the eminence. Frank's plan was the shrewdest and most practical that could be devised under the circumstances. The next moment the storm broke. There was a distant dull roaring sound like the falling of many waters. Then with a fearful bellow the storm came. Darkness shut down and the air-ship rocked and swayed. The air was full of Hying material. But notlling struck the air-ship. It was not blown !rom position. It scarcely felt the blast. The smooth side of the hill answered for this. Bat for the space of seven minutes the nerves of the voyagers were upon the qui vive. 1 It did not seem possible that the air-ship could escape the general wave of deetruct1on. But it did. The wiud howled and roared away into the distance, aad after a reasonable length of time died out. The great tornado was over. The sun shone once more. But the scene presented was one which almost baf:IIes descript:on. The country looked as if il had been swept with a broom. Trees were uprooted and great gulleys were washed in the loose soil. It was certainly fortunate f<>r the aerial voyagers that they were able to secrete themselves behind the precipice. Else the air-ship must have been destroyed. Everything was lsoaked with the avalanche of water which bad swept down from the clouds. Bat now that all was over the fears of the voyagers departed. They came out on deck and took a look at the situation. Truly it was a startling one. "By Jovel" exchtimed Beals, "that wind was a savage one, was it not? Just look at thaL grove of trees. Every tree is snapped off or bent tn the ground!" Right!" agreed Frank, there is tremendous p:>wer in the torn ado. We have good cause for mutual congratulation!'' I should say so. If that wind bad struck us-heigho! What is tbatT" A sharp cry came !rom Barney and Pomp. They were upon the opposite side of the air-ship and the cause of their excitement was instantly visible to Frank and the detective as they faced about. CHAPTER IV. THE CLIFF CAVERN. THE !nee of the cliff had been covered with mosses and a great profusion of clinging vines. The wind had twisted these literally from their ho!J and carried them away at a tangent. This left the wall of the cliff revealed. And an astonishing sight it was which was thus revealed. In place of the rough and rugged rock there was visible in the cliff wall a veritable lac-simile of a giant face. Clear cut in the stone were tbe hideous outlines, the nose, eyes, mouth and chin being perfect in conformation. But the mouth was an open cavern, and the eyes were windows, There were rude steps cut in tke chin leading up to the cavernous mouth. For a. moment the aerial voyagers gaped at this startling discovery. What did it mean? What was the origin of this giant face in the cliff! Why bad been carved thereT For that it was cl\rved and that it was the work of human hands there was little doubt. Nomads of perhaps centuries previous were responsible for this work. All sorts or conclusions were in order. Perhaps this had been a temple of worship lor the barbaric tribes. the huge lace re):resenting that of their idol or god. That tbe cliff was cut up into caverns seemed certain. It was a strikingly perfect likeness of a barbaric face, and the voy agers regarded it spellbound. "By exclaimed the detective, "here's a discovery! What do you make or it, Frank?" "It is probably an ancient idol or temple of worship," declared Frank. "Built by the Tartars!" 'Their antecedents. a thousand years ago. The Tartars of to-day are not idolaters you know.'' "Well," said Beals, drawing a deep breath, "I am interested. What do you think is in that place, Frank!" "I hardly Know.'' Will it not be worth while to explore it!" Perhaps sol" It may not have any connection with our mission In these parte. But my curiosity is powerful!" r think we may safely undertake the exploration,'' declared Frank. "We cannot lose much time, at any rate, and for aught we know it may lead us to some valuable clew!" Golly!" cried Pomp, as be stood on his bend, "dat am de way fo' to do it, Marse Frank. Maybe yo' find some gold in dat ar place." Be jabers, there's oo tell in'," averred Barney, The saf!le thought had occurred to Beals. he said nothing. It requ1red but a few moments to prepare lor the exploring tour. Pomp was to remain on board, and Barney and Beals were to accom pany Frank. They climbed down !rom the air-ship's side, and in a few moments were at the steps leading up to the mouth of the stone face. But they did n 'ot ascend. A discovery was made which precluded the neceBBity lor this. Just on a level with the ground, a passage was found which led into the cliff. Into this tho explorers proceeded. It was a trie dark, but Frank carried an electric lantern, which made all as plain as day. The passage extended about a dozen feet inward, an!l then began to ascend. "We've bit it!" cried Beals; "this will take us up into the cham bers above!'' Begorra, an' we saved risking our necks on thim stbeps," averred Barney; "that's wan point!" Up the passage they proceeded now rapidly, until suddenly Frank gave a start and came to a halt. 1 He bent :!own and Hashed his lantern over the stone floor. Some thing glittered on its surface. "Pick it up, Barney," he commanded; "it looks like a. piece of aLee!." that's phwat it is," cried the Celt, as he picked the ob ject np. He held it up to view. lt was a slender piece of steel wire, with a slight crook in it. For a moment the explorers regarded it intently. "No ancient inhabitant owned that," declared Beals; "it would never have remained so bright all these years.'' "It is steel," said Frank. "Begorra, that's roight," dGclared Barney. "But what is it?" asked Beals. Then he looked into Frank's face with a sudden quick gasp. The little steel rod had never bad but one use. That was apparent to them both. "A bicycle spoke!" declared Frank tensely; "that is just what it is.'' And oot3ing else," averred Beals. It proves--'' "Much.'' They have been here. Perhaps, pursued by their foes, they sought refuge here.'' A thousand s L artling tllonghts, theories and surmises flashed through the brains of the explorers. That the bit of steel wao a spoke from a bicycle wheel was cer tain. It was qui t e positive proof that Wyman and Bent bad visited this place. A more startling revelation could hardly be imagined. It meant much. By the merest chance they had stumbled upon the trail of those they sought first thing. "They have been here," repented Beals, forgetting all else, let us look further. They may be here yet!" "I hardly think it,'' replied Frank, "they would have appeared to os before this." "Ah, but I mean not alive," said the detective, significantly, "if they crawled in here pursued by their foes in a state of exhaustion, the} may never have gone forth." "That is true," agreed Frank. We shall only learn that by a close search.'' "Exactly!" "Let us go on then!" This move was executed. The explorers went on deeper into the cavern. But though they seGrched it assiduously no trace of the bodies of the two bicyclists was found.: If ttley bad sought refuge in the place, they had doubtless gone forth alive and resumed their journey. It would be necessary to look further. But the cliff cavern was indeed an admirable hiding-place. How they bad discovered it, it was not easy to guess. There were six large chambers, one over each eye cut into the cliff,


6 OVER THE STEPPES. one representing the mouth and three connected by stone cor ridors. There was no relle or clew to be found as to the identity or charac ter of the of this strange temple in the cliff That the structure was of very ancient date there was no manl!er of doubt. But after a time Beals proposed that they return to the air-ship and resume their journey. "There is no doubt," he said, "but that Wyman and Bent were here, though how long ago and for bow long we can hardly guess. We must look further." "Ri ght!" agreed Frank. But even as he spoke he sit;ht of a heap of dark objects in one corner of the cavern near the mouth. He flashed t h e rays of hi s lantern upon them. Then be gave a great cry. "Heigbol" he cried, "here is their campiug pl a ce. Look here are the dead emb e rs or their lir e And-bello! What is all this?" Frank picke d up a u o bjec t lu th e light of th e lan tern it wna re vealed ns a small knaps a ck, much worn and full or holes. It wus past se rvic e a nd had appare ntly been discanle< l for thnt reason. But some motive imp e lled F rank to loo k within it. As be did so b e gav e a little start. There was a small notellook an d p e ncil in t he Iwaps ack. The youn g Inventor eage rly drew these out, and read: "Diary or S am B ent since l e aving Astrakhan June18-." Beals a t tbe same moment ren d this snme thing over his should e r. Words can h u rtlly ex pres s the excitem snt or both. Frank turned t he p age s hnstily over. They were close writ t en in a legibl e hand. Thi s will throw light upon tbe m y stery," lHl cried, "here is tbe most important clew yet.'' Righ t !'' crietl B e als, "bow fortunate to find lt. It most have been l eft behind inadvertently." Of course. Sum pr o b a bly did not know there was anything in the knapsack when he thre w it awf!.y." Further search rev e nled no other important find. Tbe three expl o r e rs hast e n e d back to the Pilot. Once upon the nir ship's deck Frank was en a bled In the light of day to rend the diary. This he rendered aloud, to the deep inter est of th e oth e rs. It de t ailed firs t the adventures of the two bicyclists in their trip from Constantinople along the shores of th e Black Sen, over the Ca u casus mountains to Astrakhan on the northern shore of the C a spian. All these incidents, wbile inte r esting, were not thrilling, and we will pas 8 over them. B eni Be1 ber, their guide, was here described as a jolly fellow, and responsible for much pleasant entertaiument. Berber was to guide them t.o Irkontsk in C e ntral Asia. Thence they were to strike south through Mnnchooria to the coast and take a vessel ac r oss to Japan. But after l e aving Astrakhan and crossing the Volga, the troubles of the two bicyclists b e gun. First th e y detE>cted Berber in conference secretly with a number or rough-looking Kirghe e z one dark n!ght just outside the camp. Their suspicions were f o r the first time aroused. Crossing the Ural they were now in Asia. And here their troubles began We will be g in the diary from her e : "Th01 sdayl this is a clear, bright day and we are taking an early start. Harold's snddle went back on him whe.n an hour out from camp, but we managed to r e pair it. My punctured tire I have mend ed with rubb e r taptt and it serves me well. Berber's conduct is nry dis tressing to us yet, and if we only dared we wonld turn back even now. But to turn back would be to invite a cenain ambush and the descent upon us or the robbers. I do not think our suspicions cun be unfounde d for Berber's very manner Impli e s guilt. He essays to be as plensant as ever, but hP knows that we miatrust him, and his mnnner is forced. God knows what it will e nd in. "We shall d ef em1 ourselve s to the lust." CHAPTER V. THE ST O RY O F TilE BICYCLIST S "FRIDAY! still on the mov e Berber said to-day thnt we ought to aight the bills or Allnh. Told us of a w o nderful spring with eands of &:;Old in its rec P saes an d wan t ed us to visit it. "I do not think w e will f o r we suspect it a trick of the rascal to decoy us into the stronghold or his robb e r frie nds. We do not trust him at all now, be hns betray ed hims e lr in so many lies. "If worst com e s we shall tig ht. We have our rifles and ammuni tion, and c a n kill a few or our foes. Harold is almost c e rtain that tbe crisis will come to-night. His r e ason for this is that be detected Berber as he beli e ves sig naling to some of his gang beyond a distant st e ppe. The vill&in w a s just in our rear mount e d on his Cossack pony, and H a rold riding low over his handle bars snw him mak e moti o ns with his arms as if ton distant friend. Glancin g in that llirection Harold saw a distant flush of red cloth beyond an eminence. Then be roue up and told me of it. So we knuw that the foes are all about us. They are simply wait ing to get us into a trap. Our position is not a pl easant one. "I hardly know what we ought to ao. Harold has come forward WILh a plan. It is a desperate game to get rid of Berber. "We are dead sure that be will deliver us vet intn the hands or the murderous Kirgbeez. It is a question or giving him slip or dying. But bow to do this is the question. He dogs us about like a wolf and we can never get out ol his sight. Saturday! last night we cumped in a small valley. About mid night Berber left the camp anr! did not return until ne!lr morning. When we asked him whe re he bud been he laughed insolently and said he had gone off by himself to make his prayers to Allah. We are sure that he met and conferred with Kirgheez. It we are to make a move for our safety there is no Lime to los e At last H a rold bas hit upon a plan. W tt talked it over tlus after noon. The Hills of Allah are in sight. It is o ur b e lief that when we are quite near them, probably to-morrow night, the Kirgbe e z will de scend upon us and capture us. We will be held for ran s om or mur dered. God help us! Hnrolll's plan is a daring one, Among our eff e cts we hnve some morphine. Harold proposes to plnce this in some wine which he has, and give the flask to B e rber to drink. When the villain is asleep we will then cut out on our m n clun e s an d le ave bim, taking care to cbnng e our course and obliterate our trail. In th1s s chem e alone our salvation depends. We abatl mnke the trial to-ni g ht. "Sundny. Last night while we were .about the camp lire the wine bottle was passed aroun d : We pretended to d r ink a nd Berber drained the flask. He was soon like a log, his stupor being so great thnt nothing ordinary could aro us e him. "It was our chance. We left the camp-fire burning and got upon our machines. S ilently we glided away tnrough the night. We rode several miles over the pebbles or a dry wat e r course where the !rail could not be se en. "By daylight we wer e forty mil e s away and much e xhuustod. We come to a high clitl', b e n e ath which we overjoyed at having e lud e d Berber so cleverly. The future holds some uucertaintie s but we rejoice w the preHent. "Harold believ e s he can lind the wa y to lrkontsk by means of his chart and compass, even without Berber's guidance. Or, at least we can cross the steppes and find the abodes of honest people. But menu while, we must be on the guard against the Kirgheez, for th e y will surely track us. "Sunday night! We wore to ha ve set forth again this evening bot a fearful thing hangs over us. H a rold came rushing into the cave to say that Berber and a of Kirgbeez were in plain eight ridin g toward us. How they ever tracked us was a mystery. We climbed to an upper chamber, where, through a hole in the cliff and by part ing the vines, we could see the villains. "Our he arts sank when they rode right up to the face of the cliff and (hsmounted to make cnmp. 'l'hey w e re not twenty yards from us. What if they should discovar our bid in2;-place? "We were glad to see that it was only coincid eQce which bad led them to this spot. Tl.iey did not suspect our near p r esence. "Savage brutes they were indeed. Berb e r was much in contrast with them, but it was plain tbnt they fear e d him. He was of superi or mould and bad a powerful influence over them. "Presently one of tlleir number came;in with:Un ante lope. They built 11 lire and roasted the animal. After partaking of the meat they bobble d their ponies and turned in for a night's sleep. And all tbiR while we were but a few yards from them. Of course it was useless to set out that night. So we crouched in the cavern, praying and hoping that they would not discover us. It was a long while till daylight came again. "It might not have been a difficult matter to have crept down and assassinnted the whole io their sleep, but w e CO\lld not bring ourselves to do this. At la s t morning came Then Berber held a long discussion with them. We felt sure tha\ they did not suspect our presence and were at a loss to know where to look for us. Finally th e y mounted and rode away to the eastward. We are hopeful that we have seen the last of th em. At first Harold was in favor of taking the back trail for As trakl.lan, but on second thou ght we have. decided go on to Irkontak. The risk in going back would seem fully as great, for we would be in danger of falling in with bands of Kir g heez any day. The fur thl'r east we went, how e ver, the danger would lessen. So we decid e d to go ou our way, and by traveling nights for a time, avoid the r a s cally foe. We shall start to-night (Monday) and hope to lind a safe biding place by daylight again. May God favor us!" This was the last entry in the journn!. As Frank finished reading there was an interval of silence. "Be me sow! excl:dmed Barney, finally, "it's plucky lads th e y were an' 1t's luck I'm aftber wis bin' them." "Amen to that," sai d Benls ; "and for aught we know they may be now anti s ound in lrkontak." "In that case,'' said Frank, "our quest is in vnin." "Not so," cried the detective. We are by1 no means sure that they are not now lost ilomewhere in these boundless steppes, and lighting for their lives ngamst wild wolves and savage Kir gheP z." "Well, enid Frank, with a long breatll, "we have at least found a trace of them." "So we have." I


OVER THE STEPPES. "Therefore we have a clew to guide us. We will keep on." "Good! There is no reason that I can see why we should stop here longer. They have doubtless gone on weeks ago." "Certainly." The air-ship's rotnscopes revolved and the great stone face began to recede. Up went the Pilot. Clearing the brow of the cliff the long level expanse of the Steppes was seen extending far into the As the voyagers gazlld across them they instinctively pictured in fancy the two bicyclists speeding across the expanse. They onld im agine their and fears and the perils before them. The Pilot bad risen a few hundred feet over the brow of the cliff whe n a atartling and unlooked for thing occurred. Suddenly the blended report of rifles was heard. Bullets came ratUing against the air-ship's bull. It was a close call for Beals, who was at the rail. For a bullet barely missed his head. He drew back in amazement. "Ell-by jingo! We're fired on: be cried. "Who is iL?'' Frank sprung to the bow of the ship. Here by caution he could see the top of the bill below. And there in a clu .mp of timber he saw a score of barbaric horse men. They were dressed fantastically witll fur trimmed boots and funnel shaped hats. '\'bey were bearded, dark featured, fierce looking fellows. "Kirgheez!" he exclaimed, "what a barbarous crew!'' Barn11y held the air-ship suspenaell where it was, and from the bow of the air-ship the aerial voyagers studied the motley crew. By I should say they were b a rbarians!" cried Beals. "I woulan't want to be now." Go!!y! dey am a tough-lookin' crew!'' cried PomtJ. Be jabers, they're wuss than tber Amerikan Injuns!" declared Barney. The Kirgbeez were makmg savage gestures, and their horses were wildly cavorting. Frank could uot help a smile. "I suppose they t hink they can frighten us into coming down," be said; they will l e arn better than that." More flies are caught with molasses et ceter,'' cried Beals; but if you say the word, Frank, we can pulverize them.'' Be jabers, we'll bag the whole av thim aisy," cried Barney. "No!" replied Frank, decidedly, "that would be slaughter. We have no right to kill them save in self-defense.'' "That true!" agreed Beals, "but truly, the world would be bet ter rid of a few of them." We shall probably have that opportunity,'' said Frank. The air-ship bad drifted a trifle, and the d e ck was more on a line with the riHes of the savage foe. 'fbis was what they wanted. Crack-ack! Crack! Their rilles spoke sharply. Bullets Hew all about the !lir-sbip. But no damage was done. Bad cess to yez!" roared Barney, angrily, av yez do that agin we'll be afther tacbin' ye a lesson in good manners! Wblsbt away wid yez." To the surprise of all, the Kirgbeez ceased tiring, and a voice in the purest English camp up from h e!ow. Hello! that's the rust time I've beard my native tongue In ten years. For the love of Heaven who and what are ye! Americans or angels, to be a-llyin' in the sky!" CHAPTER VI. A STR.t.NGE STORY FoR a moment our voyagers were so astounded they were unable to speak. They gazed at each other in amazement Great Scott!" finally Beals exclaimed. Did the rest of you hear that?" "Begorra, I did!" cried Barney. "Ard J, sab!" declared Pomp. It is a fact,'' said Frank; one of those barbarians is a conn tryman of ours." Au American!'' "So he has declared." "And In such tough company! I've no respect for him!" "Wait There may he some reason for it. Let us !lear what be bas to say." Frank advanced to the rail and scanned the uptured faces be low. One of them he saw, in spite of-its tan, was that of a civil ized man. "For the love of he declared, "who are you and how came you in this part or the world!" The fellow was much excited. God be praised!'' be cried. I see one of my own people again! You ask me bow I came among these barbarians?" "Yes.' "I do not wonder at your question. It is a lonll' story, but I will be brief. My name Is Percival Annis. I am a New Yorker and went to Moscow to study a few months In a medical school. While there unfortunately I got in\'olved with 11 soCiety ol Socialists. Our quarters were raided, and I was captured with the rest and transported to Siberia. "For a year I a offered all the tortures of Inferno in the mines. Then I made my escape into Kirgheez Tartary. I fell into the hands of these nomads, and for a time was a slave, but finally married one of I their woman and became a chief iu the tribe. I have been with them since. Thi s is my story. "Come down and let me see your faces and talk with my own people once more. What wonderful invention have yo:1 there, that you are able to travel in the air!" "This IS an air-ship, oiJerated by means of electricity," replied Frank. What is your name!" "Frank Reade, Jr.!" And you are from America?" "Yes!" "Won't vou come downf" Will it be safef" By all means! I am chief, ann tbese fellows are bound to obey me. When I saw your air-ship first I thought it s o me invention of the heathen Chinese or the accursed Turk. Fear nothing!" Frank turned to Beals. What do you think?" he asked. Risk it! We can be on our guard!" "Very wetll Barney and Pomp, stand by the cabin door with riOes. At the least sign of treachery you will know what to do." u sa.b!" "Yez bet we will!" Then l?rank lowered the air-ship. Down it settled and rested on the gr ound. The Kirgheez sat motionless on their horses twenty yards away. Their leader Percival Amnia, escaped Siberian walked boldly up Lo tile air-ship I am glad to see you, gentlem en,'' be said, heartily, and his man ner certainly implieJ sincerity. He sprung over the rail and stood on the air-ship's deck. His figure was tail and strong, and his features would baTe been banqsome but for the bunted expression and lines. He bad ail the appearan ce of a fugitive, of a mau bunted for his life. There were tears in his eyes as be gripped the hands o! his countrymen. Then he told the story of his life again. "Do you ever think of es cape from this region?" asked Beals. Annis siJook his head. "No," he said. "Have you no longing for America!'' "I have buried that.'' A sad light shone in his eyes. "No matter how keen the desire," he continued, "my honor for bids it.'' "Indeed!" exclaimed Frank, "in what does your honor bind you?" "I have a Kirgheez wife While I did not wed her for love, yet she bas borne me beaULiful child reo; she is true as steel and I would be a craven to desert my offspring.'' ''Spoken like a man!" cried Beals. "You have our respect and our admiration, Mr. Annis." That is true,'' replied Ftank. Thank you," replied Annis fulsomelv. "I often have yearnings for my native land. If my wife would return there with me I would go back. But this is her land and tbede her people. Here we must stay." "You are right," agreed Frank. "We wish y ou life-long happiness, sir.'' "Thank you. But now you have aroused my curiosity.'' "Ahf' "What hns brought you to this out of the way part of the world!" Beals gave a sharp cry. "Ah, perllaps you can help us!" be cried. "We have come here upon an errand of mercy, or philanthropy-call it what you will.'' "Indeed! If it is in my power I will help you.'' "Two of our countrymen-young New Yorkers on bicycles-are lo9t somewhere in th!s part of the country. They were betrayed by a rascally guide-Beni Berber.'' Annis gave a great start. "Beni Berber!'' he exclaimed. "He is a robber and a cut-throat! God pity them i they have fallen into his hands!" They were In his power, but escaped from him.'' And with this, Beals proceeded to give Annis the whole story. The Kirgheez convert was keenly interested. But be shook Ilia head ead!y. "The Kbirgeezs are mostly barbarians," be said. "Beni B e rber's band are robbers, and worse than the average. Yet I am one of these people now, and to take sides with you would make me a traitor.'' What!" cried B e als, in h:>rror. "You cannot lend yourself to such a nefarious garnet'' "You do not understand. Our band would do nothing of the kind. But on the other hand, we would not dare take sides against another band. I sympathize wit h you and would help you if I could, but I cannot do it openly. TIJat is all." "l can see your posiliou," said Frank, at this juncture, "an1 you are right." "Yet you will admit that it is not right to see these boys wantonly murdered!" cried Beals. "I wilL admit that," declared Annis, "and I stand ready to prevan t it If I can.'' Can you prevent itt" "I do Hot know. Certainly not openly." "Mr. Annis bas spoken fairly,'' interposed Frank. "We can ask tio more. Now if he can advise what to do, or give us any clew--" "Good!" cried Beals, eagerly. ..


8 OVER 'l'HE STEPPES. "J think I can," replied Annis. "I can tell you wllere Berber and his gang hang out. It is in the Allah Hills to the north of us. Ir the two boys are his prisoners, you will find them there. He has also an other strongllold." "Ahl" Tllat is to the south near lhe Sen of Aral in a deep valley which is undermmed witll caves. Look for him there." Do you think we would be more likely to find him there!" "Yes, unless he has followed tho two boys to the eastward. It is possible that he bus captured them, and lf so he bas taken them to Aral." Annis spoke with conviction, and his words had weight with his bearers. Beals turned to Frank. I don't see what more we can ask or Mr. Annis,'' he said. He has rendered us valuable information," agreed Frank, for all of which we are indeed grateful.'' "I would gladly help you more," sa1d Annis, "but I could not do it snlely. It is not for myself I care, but for my llesh and blood. However, I w1sh you success, and nobody would be more pleased than myself to see Beni Berber br ought up with a short turn. With this he turned to tile rail. He made a respectful salute which was returned by the voyagers. Tben he returned to his followers. He spoke a few short words with them. The Kirgheez mounted and rode away with the convert at their head. The voyagers watched them out or sight. Then Barney blur t ed out: Begorra I av a bit ov pity for that poor chap. Shure he's put himself iu a scrape an' iR that honorable he c a n't get out av it." That is true, Barney," declared Beals, "But it is to his credit.'' Shure It is, sorl" The plans of the voyagers were now somewhat changed. The pre vious plan had be e n to proceed in a straight line to lrkontsk. The quest for the boy bicyclists had now began to assume almost the character of the search lor a needle in the proverbial haystack. It was c e rtainly a tough undertaking in that vast country. But Frank was not dismayed. He conl e rred with Beals. Do you know what I believer "What!" "That the boys eventually !ell into the power or Berber, aud were taken to the Sea of Aral.'' The detect! ve woa reflective. It may be so,'' be said, finally. "Yet we know that they started out lor Iri ontsk.'' We donot know that they reached that point.'' "True enough. Well, so be it. I believe il we find Berber we shall find the hoya. What say you!" That is my belie!.'' Then to Sea of Aral! Find Berber first of all." "Exactly." I am satisfied." "Then it is settled." Frank went into the pilot house. He turned the rotnscope lever and tbe Pilo t leap e d into the air. Up abe went to a dizzy h e ight. Then Frana: set his course to the south-east. Soon the air ship was speecllng along at rapid speed. But night had begun t o tall rapidly. As it was deemed best to take a close look at the country as they went along, Frank check ed the air ship when the darkness became intense. As it was naught but a level plain in all directions, and there was chance for a foe to creep up unseen, Frank decided "to speud the night on the plain. So tlie air ship descended and rested upon the smooth floor or the plain. CHAPTER VII. THE RUSSIANS, As all were latigued with the day's incidents It was deemed best to turn in at once. Barney was lett on guard lor the first half of the night. He was to be relieved Inter by Pomp. The search-light was to be constantly Uiled In sweeping the plain so that the approach of a roe could be seen; Thus equipped Barney took his post. But there were other than human foes abroad that night. On the face or the globe there is no more fierce and deadly animal niter dark than the Tartar wol!. Roaming the steppes in vast herds they are certainly to he dreaded by the traveler as the fleetest horse could not outrun them. But Frank believed that the glare of tbe search-light would he sol flcient to hold them at bay, so he gave no special .:mlets to Barney upon r e tiring. Tbe Celt had not been two hours at his post and it was not yet mid night when trouble came. A distant long loud howl was heard. This was the !!ret warning. The Celt sat by the searcblight swinging t he cylinder about occa sionnlly. "Bejabersl'' he muttered, "that's wan av thim wolves or I'm a fool. I'll jist say pllwnt etnct this wnll have upon him." He turned the cylinder in the dir e ction of the howl. But nt that moment another came from an opposite directiOn. Then another came from a different Quarter. They multiplied until finally there was a terrific chorus and all coming from every direction. Then Barney saw the great sbllggy bodies flashing through the grass. 'l'hey seemed to have made a cordon about tbe air-ship. They were far !rom bemg afraid of the electric lights. This was quickly apparent. Soon there was a tremendous armv surging about not fifty yards from the air-ship. Their din aroused the other voyagers, but none came on deck, lor it was not believed that the wolves would venture nn attack. But Barney began to think different. His temper got the best ol him. Bad cess to the howling pack av yez, he cried; are enough to make 11 sow! crazy I rake that an' see how yez loike it!'' Witc which he lifted his gun and tired into the pack. One of the wolves fell, but in less th a n hall a minute not a tuft or his hair was lett. He was devoured instantly by his companions. .Again Barney fired, but this had no etlect upon the fears of the creatures. Indeed one or them sprung over the rail of the air ship and upon the deck. Barney put a bullet tbrougb it. But its companions came over after it and a score of them were in stnntly struggling over the carcass. They got their eyes upon Barney, and the Celt's career would have found a sudden terminlllion, had lie not acted promptly. He sprang into the pilot bouse. "Bad cess to the divils!" he yelled as he. bolted the door. ''Shure they'll ate up the air-ship!'' The row on the deck and tbe horrid din brought all the others out o! their berths. By this time the d e ck was packed with wolves. They were yellmg, snarling and snapping at the doors and windows and tr' lng to t':lar their way in. "Jupiter!" exclaimed Beals, they are worse than a plague! What can we do to drive them a WilY> Frank!'' "We'll find a way," muttered the young inventor. He went into tile pilot house and pressed the rotaacope lever. In stantly the air-ship sprang in to the air. The result was curious. Instantly the majority or the wolves scrambled over the rail. They fell hundreds of feet and were devoured by the gang be low. Bnt half a dozen of the shaggy monsters were left. These dared not leap, and ran like the treacherous cowards they were !rom one end of the ship to the other trying to get off. But they might as well have tritJd to fly to the moon, for they lrad not tbe courage to take the awful leap, for Lbe air-ship was now a thousand feet In the air. Frank threw open tbe cnbm door. Beals grasped him by the arm. What are you doing, Frank?" !le cried, "don't be rash!" "Pshaw!" laughed the inventor. "I know what these fel lows are. They are too great cowards to venture to attack us now!" And in verification of this, Frank deliberately kicked one of the passing monsters. It slunk away with a cowardly whme. The epirit o! the awful sca vengers was gone. Six or giants were on tLe deck of the air-ship. What was to be done with them! Certainly they were undesirable fellow passengers. But Frank had a plan. He went into the pilot house an

I ..... OVER THE STEPPES. 9 "Russian guards io this lonely part of Tartary! They must have come hither upon an important aml a special mission." What was it! To say that toe aerial voyagers were curious would be a mild state ment. Moreover, Frank and Beals were determined to know. As the air-sbip drew nearer, the alarm call o! tlle bugle was beard. In an instant the men armed sprung !rom tents, 'l'hey formed square. The appearance o! tile air-ship must have been startling thing to them. Our voyagers could even bear the orders o! the officers, and though spoken in Russian they were not uuiutelliglble to one member o! tile party. TIJis was Frank Rende, Jr. The young inventor had spent a season iu Mvscow, and bad ac quired a smattering of the Rus@ian tongue. He li11tened atten. The Russian soldiers regarded the air-ship plainly with surprise and not a little apprehension. Tiley lleld their guns ready for uRe. rue air-ship settled down uutil right over the camp. Then it wal!l held in suspension. A hail came up from below. Beigho! Who are you?" was the call in the Russian tongue. "Parlez vous Francais!" asked Frank. ''I don't unders t and," replied the in Russian. "We are Americans,'' replied Frank, io broken Russian. Who are you!" Americans!" cried the officer io surprise. Ah, that is like your people to be sailing in the air. What do you so far from home!" We are in quest of' a couple o! our whom we fear have fallen into the bauds of the Kirgbeez." "So!" replied the Russian, witll interest. "Then maybe we can help you." Thank you!" "Will you not descend and talk with us!" Frank turued to Barney and said: Lower the air ship." The Celt obeyed. It descended and rested upon the ground not fifty yards from the camp of the Russians. Tile officer, who 'Vore the uniform of a lieutenant, advanced <;uickly. Frank sprang over the rail, as did Beals, and met him. They gripped !Janus, and Frank introduced himself and Beals. Then the Russian officer said: "I am Sergius Ivan Petrolsky, lieutenant of the Emperor's Guards. I am in Asia upon a very important mission." "lodeed!"sntd Frank. I am in quest or a notorious anarchist nod nihilist, who, by the way, is also an American, though one time a student nt Moscow!" Frank gave a start, Bas IH.me!" lle asked. "His name is Percival Annis." Frank gave a sharp cry nod exchanged glances with Beals. The lieutenant was quick to note this. His face changed. "All!" be said, io a tense voice, "yoa know this mao!" No-well-tbat is to say-yes!" stammered Frank. "We have met him!" In this region?" asked Petrolsky, eagerly. Frank hesitated, tbeo Beals gave him a quick, resolute look, and the young inventor replied: I prefer not to say!" TIJP lieoteor.nt's face changed again. A quick, bard light flashed from hi8 eyes. CHAPTER VIII. ARBITRARY ACTION. PETROLS!tY turned and made a quick motion to his men! So q tckly was it heeded that the two Americans hardly saw his purpose until it was executed. A dozen soldiers filed to the rear of the Americans. Frank gave one swift glance behind him and his lip curled. Pardon me!" said Petrolsky, politely. I hope to give you no trouble. But I must beg of you to answer my question. Have you seen Percival Annis io this vicinity?'' ,Why do you wish to know!'' asked Beals, shrewdly. I will tell yon. Be is a dangerous roe of the Czar's and was concerned io an attempt on his lire. llis blood must answer for it!" But you cannot hol:l us respoosibld for his deeds,'' said Frank. The lieutenant bowed. "I am glau to know that you are not responsible,'' he said, "bot you seek to shield him!" "How so!'' You will not give me the information I desire." Even if I were able, wby should I himf" "Your refusal to Uo so brands you as in his sympathy, and makes of you also an enemy of the Czar!" I The lieutenant's eyes fiashed. Take care,'' he said. Incautions words may turn the evidence against you! Bow shall we know that you do not meditate harm to his majesty with your infernal air ship!" "Well, you are a precious lot of fools," cried Beals, angrily. "We are not in Moscow nor lo Russia! We care nothing abo11t _you nor your Czar! If a despicable of revenge leads you to track down this unfortunate man Anoia and murder him, you need not expect us to help you. We are not iu any way bound to d.> so!'' "I ask you for io!ormatlon." "We have none to give." You refuse!" "We do.'' There was a ring of delinnce in Beals' voice. Frank nodded in ac quiescence. The lieutenant's face was black. "Then you are implicated with him in shieldine: him," be cried; "it is au offense punishable by death to shield ao anarchist. You are prisoners of the Czar!'' "Wbal!" exclaimed Frank, astounded by these words; "do you mean that!" "I do, sir.'' Frank turned to retreat to the air-ship. But a file of soldiers were closing m about him. Be saw at once the folly of the move. To say that he was angry would be a mild statement. Be turned hotly to the Russian. "Sir!" be cried, "you lnterfere with us at your periH" In what respect, sir!" asked the lieutenant, mockingly. We are citizens &nd.beyond the border of your country. You bave no Juriaose from part of the world and ours. Be will never trouble your Czar again. Why seek his life!" The Czar demande revenge!" I Inrle6d," uaid Frank, sharply; "then he must demnaau aid of others than ourselves. We utterly refuse to give him any assistance." Unless we cnn outwit them,'' said Frank. Cnn you suggest a plan?'' I am waiting for ooe to suggest Itself" Is there any possibility of that!" I think so.'' I


10 OVER THE STEPPES. I pray Heaven there may bel Of course Barney and Pomp will come to our relief?" "I am placing much dependence on them." At t his moment P e trolsky came up stiffiy and said curtly: Will you be so kind as to command your men to bring down the air-ship? It is the property of the Czar, for I seize it in his name." Frank smiled sardonically. "Oh, you do eh?" be said, cooll y "Well, before you can seize a bird you must firs t brin g it down out of the air," "I depend upon you to do that, sir," commanded Petrolsky. "You will be v e ry aged and gray-haired when I do that," retorted Frank;" do you think I am a fool!" "Then you will not order It downf' "No, sir!" Petrolaky glared at the obdumte prisoner. He placed a hand on the hilt of his swntd and said: "Yo u will do as I tell you or you will die !" Frank looked the other square in the eye and for a moment lost his temper "You contemptible ass!" he said strongly, in Russian; "do you think you can frighten me! I am not a cur and a coward like you! I have no fear of death!" A hiss escaped Petrolsky's lips. "We s h all see," be gritted. Then he gave orders to his men to fire upon the air-ship. The '.>ullets rat tl e d against the air-ship's hull like bail. They dtd more, they excited the rage or Barney and Pomp. "Be m e sow!. I can't shtaud it, uaygur!" cried the Celt, "give it to 'em back a g io!" "Golly! l'se wif yo', chile!" Insl.autly they opened tire witb their Winchestera. Two of the Rus sians dropped. In a moment two more dropped. This astounded tbe obdura l e P e trolsky. He could hardly believe his sE>nses. How dared they open tire upon the soldiers at the mighty Czar. Sucb a thing was tre a son and de11th. But be forgot one thing. He was dealing with American citizens free and enlightened ami ladependent veople, and not the ; grov e ling r e presentalives of down tro d den serf d om. 1". He sp e edily l e arned tbM be was contending with a different class of people. He was too pig-headed and brutish to see that he bad made a mista.ka. Frank was at once seized with alarm when be saw this somewhat rash act.iou of Barney and Pomp. He feared the outcome would he disastrous. The brutal Russians in revenge might turn and murder their captives. He communicat e d this thought to tbe detective wt.o agree r l wtth him. T h ey were assure d that their position was one of greatly e n hanced dangar. But Burney shouted down from thb deck: "Don't y e z be a! e ard, Misth e r Frankl W e 'll kape our g uns ready to shoot de rust man what attempts to do yez harm. The y 'll niver Jive tu reach yet" The battle bad now opened in earnest. It's effect upon the Russians was deadly. But tbe two defenders of the air-ship were invulnerable. They could fire as they chose from the air-ship's deck withou t danger of be ing hit by the return volleys of the soldiers. CHAPT E R IX. BERBER A PPEARS O N T H E S CENE. THE Russians were dropping like sheep, and not the least bit or harm had as yet b een done to the air ship or its defenders. At this rate the soldiers bad e fair to be exterminated. Certainly th e y bad the worst of tbe encounter. The y were no t able to bring down their antagoni$t to anything like level ground, The terrr.s of the confiict were decidedly one-sided, and so the lieu tenant speedily saw. H e was furious. As Frank had predicted the spirtt of revenge seiz e d upon bim. He w a s determin eil to vent his spit e upon bis helpless prisoners. So be turned and made a bee line for them. He carried his unsheathed sword and murder was in his eye. It was plniu that he meant to use the w e apon, "Curses on you!" be y e lled. "We h a ve lost twenty good men and all at the bands of your dogs of slav e s up there and by your order s You shall pay for it!" "Call off your own dogs!" said Frank, coolly, "and we'll call ofi ours and be quits!" Bring down your air-ship!" "Never!" Then you shall die!" Stop and think. lf you kill u s not one of you will escape alive. My men are inatructed to kill eve ry one or you. Kill us and tben die yourselves Our hves for yours." Fra.uk spoke strongly, determin e dly The Russi a n offic e r for a mo ment lost his blindness. "Call down your air ship," he said; "I will try and get clemenc y for yon at tbe hands of tbe Czar!" Poob !" retorted Frank; we scorn such an offer. Call off your men or you will all cliel" You a ball die first!" "Take cure! You attack ns at your peril!" said Frank. But the Russian heuteuaut only laughed scornfully. "Pshaw!" he cried. What do I care for your threats. Two of the Czar's foes shall die, at any rate." He tiashe(l his sword aloft to make a pass at Beals. It was likely that moment might have been the detective's last, but for an intervea tiou; Quick eyes on the air ship's deck had seen the misguided officer's actiJu, and divioed his intention. 'l'bis was enough. It sealed his f a te. Barney tired quick as a. flash. His aim was deadly. The bullet struck the Russian full in tbe bead. He dropped in li lifel ess heap; his career was ended, Other Rus s ians came running to his aid, but they were almost in stantly dropped. The ground was now COfered witll dead and dying Russian soldiers. The slaughter was grea t Barney and Pomp had four rille s at hand. While Pomp was two, B a rney was firing the other two, and always wil b deadly effect. Such territlc tire could not fail to have its effect u pon the Russians. It tried their n e rves sorely. Tbe result w&s that with the fall of their leader they became dom o r alized. They dispersed singly and it bec ame harder to pick t.hem off. But none of them ventured to approach Frank :.nd Beals. The dead ly fire fro m the airship precluded this. The r e sult was that presently Barney saw his chance and sprang in' to the pil o t -bouae. He lower e d the air-ship and threw over the rail a. long rope ladder. To the lower strand be attached a knifP., Tbis swung down in front of Frank R e ade, Jr. He quickly man aged to get hoill of the knife and with a great effort manage d to cut his bonds. Tbe Russians seeing tilis rallied, but a. hot fire drove them back. The field b e l o n ged to the air-ship. Frank quic kly cut Beals' bonds as well: with a cheer he sprang up on tbe rope ladd e r. Bullets whistled about tbem,as they mounted to the rail but fortun ately they were n o t i ) it. Once on the ail ship's deck they were happy indeed. Grandly they had outwitted tbe cunning Rus s ians. The air sllip shot up to greater heights, and beyond the range of the Russians. Til en the aerial voyagers fairl y em brac e d each o ther in their joy. "Golly, I was done 'fraid yo' was done fo', Marse Frank!" cri ed Pomp. l'se drefful glad yo's cu:n back all safe." Begorra, I cud see no oth e r way but to light for it," declared I Barney. "Your coup-de-main worked well!'' cri e d Frank, entbutiastically; it saved our lives!" "I don't want anything more to do wit h Rus s ians," declared Beals. "I declare they are the worst people to deal wit h in the world! They dOI!'t value human life!" Well, the ignorance and higotry of that Russian lieutenant was without parall e l,'' declared Frank; but we are well rid of them!" Indeed we are !" "It is lucky for poor Annis that they have never recaptured him." "They got no clew from us." Not much and now that Petrolsky is dead, probably these fellows will be glad to abandon the que s t." I bope they will." Glancing over tbe raJI, the Rus s ians were seen collec t ing their dead and wound ed. They w e re much sc a ttered and appa.rentl.v wllolly de moralized Frank no desire to have further intercours e with them So he headed the air-ship acro s s the salt lak e Upon the other sh o re it was d ecided to desce n d and camp for dinner. So the air-ship ali g hted in a bank or while s a nd. f, Pomp soon bad a lively !ir s und e r a b a nk and was engaged in getting tbe noonday meal. Barney wand e red awa y along tile lake shore. He had not gone far when be noticed a curious mark ill the wet sands. It looked like the track of an endless serpent, and ex t ended as far as be could see. "Be the sow! or ould M a guire," cried B a rully, that's not the track of an animile, I'll swear. Sbur e-as I liv e it is the track av a bic y cle.'' Til is d iscovery had a sta r t ling etfect upon the C e lt. or course he knew what it m e ant. Ei t her Wyman nr Bent had paRsed that way s hor tly before. H e re was a fresh clew. So e:xcited was the Celt that he ran back to the air-ship, shoutin g : Shure, I've round it .Misthe r Frank. It's a bicycle tbrack in the sand!'' At of this startling d e claration Frank s prang down from the air-ship's deck. H e the C e lt. A glance was enou,gh. A bic y cle track he muttered. It is either Wyman or Bent. Which way wer e they He Inspected the wheel mark carefully that the course was eastward and toward Irkontsk TbAy did not change their cour s e,'' he muttered. It is evident that Liley found the coast clear when tbey passed tbis way."


OVER THE STEPPES. 11 Another wheel mark was found iurther up the beach. This was proof positive. The boy bicyclists had passed that wa y Moreover, they probably had just missed !JOn tact with the Russian soldiers. For t!Jis they might be thankful en o ugh for there was no telling what new quibble the lieutenant Petrola ky might have taken. It was plain the y had passed that way not long b e fore. This was startling as well as wonderful news, for it was proof that the boys were yet alive and had their free dom. Their position c o uld at once be seen. Doubtless th e y had been pursued by the Kirgheez, and bad been kept l!usy for months dodging them, or ou trioing them. The effect of all this upon the voyagers was most joyful. Beals was ela ted. He bad faith now that they would come ver y quickly upon the lost boys, and their rescue would be quickly accomplished. But Franll: said: "It may be harder now than ever to tlud them. They are on the mov e rapi dly, and m a y elude us a thousand times. They are probably the i r cour s e every hour "A s ort of Godg ing game, eh!'' "Just so! It is easier for th e m to dodge th a n for us to choose the i r devious course." "Why don't they strike out strai g ht for lrkontsk!'' asked Beals. "That is e asy enough to see ,' declared Frank ; "they are consta nt ly meeting the Kirgheez. It is th e ir safest and best way t.o dodge them." "Just so ,' agreed Beals, where do you think they are now!'' "We can only g u e ss; we will follow the trail as far as we can." In vi e w of the fact th a t an important trail had b e en struck camp was quickly struck and tile air -s!Jip start ed to over t ake the bicyclists. Just beyond the lake was a high plateau. Up to this the track led and disappeared. Bey ond the plateau there was a high range of hills. The trail had led directly toward t hem. There is w h ere we shall find them declared Frank; l e t us go there at onc e." So the air-ship was behl down for the hills. It did not take long to cover the intervening distanc e But suddenly, as the air-ship sailed over a little pocket in the hills, an astounding sigh t was revealed. There, with thtlir Tartar ponies tethered, was a group or men. They were Kirgheez, and savage looking fellows They wo:lre dressed in the wild fashion of the Kirgheez. But among them was on e who would command attention anywhere. He was well dressed and wore a garb half European. A glance istlec Frank at once. It was Ben I Berber, the Tartar robber. They were in quest of the two boy bicycli s ts. There was no doubt or this. 'file appearance or t he air-ship created a sensation. Some of the Kir g heez sp e d t o their borHes and' rode away But B eni Berber stared at it with startltd gaze. Fire wall opened upon it; but the llollets flew by. Frank was determined to speak with the outlaw, and held the air-ship down to within hailing distance. Then be hailed the Kir gheez. Frank used Russian, French and German. Bat the villain under stood none of these. However, he had a reply. smattering or English, and using this made CHAPTE& X. IN C LOSE PURSUIT Ab, but I have weapons such as you have not got,'' warnlld Frank, again I tell you, Beni Berber, to turn back." But the Kirgbeez only laughed jeeringly You are nothing," he said, snapping his fingers, this is the land or Berber and his people. You have no law here!" "As good as any law," repli e d Frank, coolly. "do you see that pass! The first man to it without my permission dies!" For a momen t Berber hardly knew what to reply, but already fear began to appear in his face. He folded tis arms, and tinnily made a sullen reply: "You no catch us yet doing harm to Yaukee boy8. When y ou do, then you can talk.'' "Ab, but you decoyed them into this country to rob and murder them!" That is not so," protested Berber, stoutty. They try kill me, I My men they tell you-boys give me liquor with drug to poison me, then leavA me on plain for wolves to eat. They go away au' take my money-all I L1ave. That why 1 chostl them!" I "That is a black lie," cried Beals, hotly. "You know that they would do nothing of the kind! You are a villain, Beni Berber!" Tbe wre tch shrugged his shoulders. "No more say," be said; "no more talk with you!" Beals turned to Frank. "I don't know but that he is right," he said. What is the us e of more talk with him! What can we do with him?" Nothing as I see replied Frank. "We can only go on and find tlle boys.'' "And leave B e rher to lind other vict i ms!" "It is not incumbent on us to bang him for his sins." "No, nor do we want to. Ver y well; let the wretch go. S hall we go ahead!'' "Yes.'' Franlt gave the word to Barney, and the air ship sailed on. It was soon over the deep pass. As this was the only route the bicylis t s could have taken, it was easy to follow them. On sailed the air ship, and in due course the pass terminate d in a deep v alley in the heart of the bills. But around this there extllnded a sort or broad shelf of ston e next to the mountain wall. It was like a va s t promenade above the vall ey, and looked as if designed by human bands. Comin g from the pass, one might choose either course to descend into th e valley or keep on along this promenade. Which llad the bicvclists chosen 1 This was a question, and one which it seemed not easy to fin d an answer to. "I should think they would descend into the valley," said Bea ls. Very well," agreed Frank, we will take that course. So down through the valley sailed the air-ship. The depression was fully tifty miles long between might y walls of rough mountaiu s In the center of the valley was a huge lake mirror-like surface. There was little show o! vegetation. What lay beyond these mountain ranges could only be guess e d. It was enough to know that this was t he course taken by the c y clists. As they progressed, however, Frank kept a close watch of the moun tain wall. He than half suspected that the cyclists bad taken this course and not the vallev. And as the Pilot was gliding along over the valley lllke, a sight a t tracted the or all. From a small pocket in the side of the mountain just off the prom enade, so coiled, there arose a faint column or smoke. It curled aloft in thin wreaths, and might ila.ve been overlooked by a casual eye. At once be cried: "Change the course, Barney! Do you see that smoke, Bealsf'' "Ah," cried the detective, excitedly, til at is their camp-lire!" BERBE-R spoke English roughly. Every word he uttered was hardly Let us hope so!" plain. Frank answered him. The air-ship swerved about and bore down for the smoke. As it Where are the boys whom you undertook to !l;Uide to lrkontsk?" drew nearer it was plainly a camp lire. asked Frank; "we have come In search of them!'' Soon the P1lot was over tbe flat projecting shelf, and descending, "They be maybe in lrkontsk," replied Berber, in substance "How rested upon it. Then Frank and Beals leaped over tile rail. expect me know, eht'' They approached the narrow entrance to the pocket. So sore were "You know better than that, you villain. You know very well that both that they would find the bicyclists there that they never thought you decoyed them Into the Kirgbeez' plains to rob and imprison them o! possible danger. for ransom." Turning the ar:gle they entered the crevice. "Tilnt is a lie, sir!" replied t Berber; believe me, Effendi, boys In that moment they were bitterly disappointed. It was empt y reached Irkon : sk all right.'' The boy s were not there. We will not attempt to give Berber's conversation in his broken "By Jupiter! e x claimed B e als, "we are just too late English. Frank could hardly understand it. Too late!" ejaculated Frank. "That is true. But the y have been You know that is false, Beoi Berber!'' replied Frl\nk. You are here.'' even now on their trail.'' "Yes, and not long since." The Kirgheez chief gave a start. "We are close upon their heels.'' "How you know zatr be asked. "Let us then waste no time here but press on to overtake them." We have tracked tbr.m and you also. We know or your trench But Frank stepped forward and kicked aside the embers of the tlre. erous game!" He knew that it would aflord a clew to Berber as it bad to th em. Berber showed anger. I There were plenty or tracks and other evidence of the presence of "You are poor fllolsl'' he declared, "go way an' leave us. Fly the bicyclists in the place but a sh'>rt wilile before. away in your boat with wings." Frank and Beals turned to return J o the air-ship, They bad no "Not until you desist in tlleir pursuit," declared Frnnk. "Now I doubt now of overtaldng the boys in a very short time. warn you to abandon it." 1 They bad just clambered over the rail when a sound reached the Ba t Berber laughed scornfully. hearing of both which gave them a start. "You can do me no harm," he declared. "We are Iitty and you 1 They listened inte e tly. have but four, we can see. If you come down we show you how to "What is it!" asked Beals. fight.'' ''The hoof beat of horses!" ..


I \ 12 OVER THE STEPPES. "And somebody yelling fiercely!" "Yes." "Heighol there goes a rifie shot! Something is up!'' Startled beyond measure, Frank was about to enter the pilot house and raise the ship to ascertaiil the cause of the trouble when a start thing occurred. Suddenly arQund a in the promenade there flashed two fig ures. They were torn and tattered in garments and pale of feature. Each waa mounted upon a dilapidated wheel and they were flying at a terrific rate of speed. So swift did they come into view that they did not give more than a swift glance at tbe air-ship. Then they were by and turning to the right seemingly into the very wall of the mountain disappeared very mysteriously from view. All was over in the twinkling of an eye. Beals let out a yell. "It's them! Stop them!'' he screamed. "We've found them at last! Confound it, where have they gone? -Don't they know we are friends!" "I doubt if they bad time to size us up," replied Frank, they would hardly look for friends In this wild part of the world!" Beals saw that this very logically explained the situation. It waa natural that the boys fleeing for their lives should fail to see any. body on tl1e air-ship's deck, much less to recognize them or the char acter of the air-ship. Bat where had they vanished to so suddenly! Before au answer could be found to this question their pursuers came suddenly into view. They were horsemen, and drew rein in sudd"n amazement at sight of the air-ship. It was a case of mutual surprise. For at the head of the Kirgheez pursuera rode Beni Berber. The wily nomad had cat around the mountain so as to Intercept the boys when they should emerge by another pass, which they bad intended to do. It was a clever trick, and they bad only escaped by the merest chance. But at sight of the airship, which was a moat unexpected thing for the villain, he drew rein. For a moment be glared at Frank and Beals, who were at the roil. Then he gritted: "Allah rlefend! What do you here?'' "You may well ask that question,'' replied Frank, k4lenly. "I will answer it by asKing you the same." We are passing through by another pass," replied the Kirgheez; "you forbade us the other," with a sneer. "And' accidentally run across the two bicyclists," replied Frank, with sarcasm. You gave them a fright." "That is the1r folly," replied Berber, suavely. We wanted to catch them to tell them of your presence i:l th1s country." "Very likllly," said Frank. You are a very clever Berber. It is a pity you did not overtake them." We tried to," replied the villain. Then a startling thing happened. He bad dismounted from his horse, as had others of his crew. They were not a dozen yards distant from the air !hip's rail. Berber, swift as spoke one word to his men. With in credible quickness-in fact, a very second or t1me-they leaped for tbe air ship's rail. Over it they went, and overtook Frank and Beals at the cabin door. CHAPTER XI. A TURNING OF TABLES. WoRDS hardly suffice to describe the situation. A blow upon the bead laid Beals senseless on he de(lk, Frank was instantly m the grrp of a half dozen of tue villains. But quick as bad been onslaught, he had shot down two of the wretches at close range. Into the cabin rushed the black crew. Barney and Pomp had grasp ed .their rifles and made a stand by the pilot bouse door. Four of the Khirgeez fell beneath their tire before they w ere over powered. Sick with horror and shame, Frank saw that they were undon& And by these dogs of Kirgheez. The air-ship was captured. They were in the hands of their worst foe, Beni Berber. What more awful disaster could befall them. It was too dreallful to believe. Beals came to quickly as the blow had merely stunned him. He wns overwhelmed with the horror of the situation. He and Frank were dragged into the cabin. Berber and his men began to loot the air-ship. I They spared nothing. Every article of value or use was seized. To the victor belong the spoils" was well applied. The exultation of the fiend was sickening to witness. He chuckled and crowed am1 gloated. It was his hour of triumph. But even in that moment Frank recovered his self-possession, and began at once to plan a way out of the difficulty. But his wonderful inventi'lle genius seemed to have received a ter rible set back in face or this catastrophe. He seemed powerless. For b:mra the held their orgies on board th11 air-sh-ip. Everything was turned upside down. :rrank saw that there was nothing left of value save the bare hull I and the machinery. This they had not as yet defiled with their touch. 1 But the time was coming. I Suddenly one of them dashed into the

OVFJR THE STEPPES. 13 The f o ol!" g asped B e als. Will h e allow us to do that! S p e a k to h im, Frank! him to s e t yo u free so as to step the shi.p." "Easy," re p lied F rank. I am almost fre e now. Leave it to me.'' M e anwhil e Berber waH a s t o unded, and not a liltle a larmed at the unexp ecte d succe s s or his op e ratio ns The ai r ship was tra v e ling throu g h space. He was muster or It, and was alon11 on bo a rd with th e prisoners. But be never tllought of th i s. S o elated was he with his success that h e could only rush out on d e ck and look back down at th e ea rth, then rush back to study s ome way to check the air ship and c o n trol it. If be could mnster that secret, he would be all rig h t as be knew; s o he did not think or calling Fmnk to his aid. But o f a sudden tile air grew chill. A wint ry bitterne s s perva d ed it; also it became difficult to breathe Iu an incr e dible abort space fros t formed on the wintlowa and snow fell on the d e:lk. The y bad plunged into a frigid a t mosphere. "Mussy L o rdy! 2;asr-ed Pomp dat fool am g wine fo' to kill de hull ob u s We's e g o n e chickens In those rar efie d he ights o f the atmosphere lif e could not be long supported. Yet no soun d cam e from the pilot-house. God help us! e jaculate d Be ula, and blood beg a n to stream from his nostrils. "All right!" cried Frank, with one mighty effort l'rn free!" He threw oti tbe bonds and sprung up. His breath seemed to leave him. H o w be reached the pilot-hous e he never k new. But he stumbled ov e r the senseless form of Ber b er in t h e doorw ay He reacbed J,he lever and g av e it n turn. 'l hen he clung to the key board. Down sank the air-ship. It r e quir e d but n few moments for it to reach temp e rate atm o sphere Tiler; Frank held it suspended. His head nod he was excessively weak But be kept his aeuses. In a few momenta be wns able to return to the cabin. Beals was in rather bad shap e He ba d bled profus ely from bead and lungs, but after some effort F rao k resusc itated him. B a rn e y and P omp had recovered all right. Frank cut their bonds. It was a joyful moment. They w e r e free again. The villain B erl.le r, was outwitted and they were once more in pos se s sion of the air ship. T o b e sur& it bad been looted, but some of the thin g s, particularly a r m s and ammunition, bad been left aboard so that they were not so l.ladly off. But JUst at this moment there appeared in the doorway a gnunt form. It was Berber. The villain's eres were bloodshot and his face covered with blooll. He g lared at his ers twhile prison e rs. When be compreh e n.ied that tbey had their freedom he mutteretl an oath and whippe d out a pistol. But Frank was too quick for him. Quick ns n flash the young inventor bad his own revolver in readi ness and fired The bullet pass e d through tile other's wrist and btl ID stantly dropped the revolver which he held. Stand where you are, Berb e r! crieu Frank In a ringing voice, it will be death to you if y ou don't!'' The wretch cowere d back in the doorway and held up his hands. Fra nk turn e d to B a rney an d Pomp. Bmd him?" be said sternly, The order was obeyed and with the t a bles thus turned upon him Bem Berber's gnme was up. Be als was soon able to go on deck, and the joy of all this sud den chan g e in their fortunes '"as grent. "We will tnl < e care not to get into such a srcape again," declared Frank. "Now all we have to do is to find W y man and Bent and then strike for home!" "I think I can see the prospect of success," said Beals wit h much satisfaction CHAPT E R XII. THE END. No attempt was mode to descend that night. The air ship hong aloft until daybreak. Then it descend e d n couple or miles until again right over the val ley they bad left some hours before. 'ro the surprise of all, no sign or the Kirgheez could bo seen. The y bad decamped bag and baggage. This was disappointing, for Frank bad hoped to recover some of the effects of the air ship which they had tnken with them. But now the mystery of the disappearance of the two !>!cycle riders was solved. Following the tracks or their machines, the voyagers were led to the month or a which extended into the mountain, they knew not how far. Into this the bicyclists bad Tanlshed, but there were no marks or an exit. "Perhaps there i au other eDt,'' suggeated Beals, "known to them." "I doubt It from the conformation or the cavern,'' said Frank. Where are they thenr "Probably they 1ue yet In there." "Do you believe i t!'' "I think it is pos s ible." Beals gave n cry or joy. "T!Jen let us cull th e m out at once,'' be said. "Who has a good voice for s houting? Here B a rney!'' Barney compli e d and tilled the arches of the cavern with his rich brogue. For a time there was no reply. T o en a faint answer came. "Hello!" "Hilloo!" shouted Barney. "Cum out av that! It's frinds cum to foind yez!" A diatnnt shout was beard In response and then some time elapse d The next t ime Barney called the answer was within n distance of fifty yards. "Who are you?" carne from the cavern d e pths. "We are f r iends!'' cried Beals. Have uo fear! We have come 1 0 snv e y ou! Come out!'' "We will gle.dly do that if y o u assured us that you speak the truth,'' was the rept y "I will do that,'' cried Beals, stay wht>re you are and I will come to you. But wait! who are you? "Americans !'' "You are bicyclists!" 'Yes." "The n you are Harold nnd Sam Bent." "You know us!'' "Tha t settl e s it. Come out I I am Jackson Beals, New York de tective and t h ese men with me are Frank Rende, Jr., and BarnE>y and Pomp. Mr. Re a de is the owner or the air-ship which brought us hither." "Airship? was that what we passed last night when pursued by Berber and h i s m e n!" Jt is!' Why, w e thought it some sort or a heathen pagoda or temple or som e thin g or the sort. We saw no white men. Come on, Sam! these people are friends, for which thank Heaven!" The n ext moment the two lost bicyclists on the i r wheels rode out or the cavern. Their appea rance was striking indeed. Pale and attenuatdd, they were in rags and showed rougb treatment and bardshii), They had been through many thrilling episodes, nnd they were for tuonte indeed to have escaped alive. Their joy at finding friends was great. When Beals bad t old the stor y of tile quest !loth boys turned to Frank Reade, Jr., and fairly embraced him. "We owe our lives to you!'' they said. Their wheels were in bnd shape, and could not have stood a n t u ch longer journ ey. "We bad no idea of the magnitude of the undert6kiog, sai d y-:mng Wyman, "or we never would have tried to r.ide across the steppes." "1, for one, shall be glad to get home ,' declared S nm. And I,'' agreed Harold. "You shall have that prayer,'' declared Beals; "but we have t he traitor and your persecutor aboard." What! not B e rber?" cried the boys. "The same!" "Whew!" cried Wyman. "I have some curiosity to see him.'' "You shall I'' When Berber was by the boys the efiect was curi(.oos. The fellow showed his cowardice, He broke down a ud begged like a whipped cur for his tire. In dis gust Harold finally said: "Shut up you fool! do we want of yod'f worthless life. It would be a mercy to hang you, though.'' Then the vo y agers retired to the deck and d!scussed the possible fate or the wretch. It was finally decide,] to set him free. So Berber was brou g ht out of the cabin and rudely bustled over t h e rail. B arne y and Pomp stoneu him down the mountain side. It w a s the last se e n of him. "Now for Llome!" cried Beals, his trip hna been an enormou s succ e ss.'' For which we are to be thankful," declared Fronk, "the risk was great." Indeed, yes. But for you, tllese soung men might never have seen home again.'' The air-ship quickly mounted into the sky and a course was set for the Caspian Sea. It was decided to return by the very route they hod come. Bar ney put on all speed. Rapidly the wild land of the Kirgheez wns lefl behind. None or tl:e voyagers looked back. forward. As for the two boys, Harold ond Sam, they were happy enough. It was a pleasant Uwugbt to them that they were going home. 1n doe course the waters or the Caspian came into view. The air ship lloated along above this vast expanse of water for a day and nicht. 'l'ben the Cnucasus range came into view Over the air shtp pasMed and Frank decided to cut across the Black Sea to Constan tinople and notify tile American Consul of the success of the trip. This was a well meant plan, but it would have proved a more for tunate thiug for the young inventor bad he kept on across Russia to the North Sen.


I OVER THE STEPPES. As the air-ship was now in Europe, the voyagers felt a degre e of conl!dence which they could not have felt in Asia. It was the cause of a tragic incident. The Black Sen had fnded in the distance, am! the air-ship was drift over a part of picturesque Turkey. It bad been a fr.vorite pastime to watch the little towns and ham lets as they passed helow and study the peculiarities or Turkish life. One day Barney bad allowed the Pilot to descend within six hun dred I.eet of the earth. They were passin& over a little hamlet which was against the side of a hill. Look!'' cried Beals, the peo'J)le in that town seem much excited. What can be the matterf' I t is the air-ship!" cried young Wyman. They&are evidently afraid or us." Indeed this seemed to be the case. To verify it a number or bullets -came whistling upward. Barney bad thought of sending the air-ship higher when the disaster -came. Unseen by the voyagers, right in the side or the hill wa s a small fort. A cannon wl\.8 mounted there, and suddenly there was a terril!c boom-and then--. C r ash! Zip-rip-tear! A beavy shot went smashing through the enj!;ine ro c m. The machinery was lotally demolished. Down sank the air-ship. The rotascopes fl'rmed a sort of parachute and eased the descent. For a moment the voyagers were too borritled to speak or "Great heavens!" l!nally cried Beals. "We are done up, friends, and by the unspeakable Turk!'' The next moment the air-ship struck the,eartb. In a jifl y it was surrounded by a mob of Turkish olllcers with drawn scimeters. lt would have been madness to make resistance. But Frank was very angry. Somebody shall pay for this outrage," he said, grimly. I The voyagers were instantly mode prisoners. The air-ship was conliscated and they were marched ofl to a prison in the little fort. Here they were thrown Into a common cell, and left for a time to tbeir own ruminations. "Well, I'll be bung," muttered Beals, "to think that such a thing as this should happen in this nineteenth century! It is pretty rough.'' Wbat are we going to do!" asked Harold and Sam. Perhaps they will behead us without trial, a most delightful piece of Turkish prejudice," enid Beals. We ought to send for the American Consul," sntd Sam. And so w e will," agreed Frank,-"if they'll give us a chance." At this moment the door opened, and a puffy little Turk in gold lace came in. He glanced from one to another of the prisoners in astonishment. "Pest e!" he exlcaimed, in French, "these are English! They told me yon were Armenilins." Well, monaieur," replied Frank, "they have made a costly mtstake. We are Americans, and claim the protection or the American flag!" "Your passports, monsieur?" "We do not require passports to travel in the air." The little Turk was for a moment staggered; buL a l>right idea came Allah gives us ownership of all above us to the gates of Pa!adise," he said. "You must have passports." Thnt is a unique excuse," replied Frank. "We have not got them. We demand to see our consul!" After some further palavering the llttle officio.! departed. It was not long before the door opened, and he reappeared again with benm ing face. He held in his band a dispatch bearing the government seul. "You are free, masseurs," be said. "The Soltau pardons you. Here is a message from your consul at Constantinople.'' They marched out of the prison with relief. The air ship, a literal wreck, lny where it bad fnllen. It was obsequiously surrendered to the aerial Toyagers but Franlt cc uld only say: I think, friends, we will have to go home by steamer. The air ship is plainly non compos.'' And so it was decided. But before he left Constantinople, Frank put in a claim against the Turkish government. The remn!l.nts or t he air-sbip were not worth carrying home. Frank left them where they were. As the Turks were in the wrong 1n due course Frank's claim was al lowed. He received a fair sum for the alr-sbip. "It Is a pity,'' said Beals; "such a beautiful invention as It was. Confound their ignorant heads!" But Frank onlv smiled. I can duplica t e it,'' he said. "And will you!'' "No." "Ahl" "I shnll not duplicate it. I will excel It," replied the young invent or; keep your ey e s open for its successor." I shall be happy to see it and more happy to take another jour'nev with yon," said the detec t ive. "It Is not impossible but that you may have a chance,'' replied Frank. "We will leave it to the future.'' In due course our adventurers reached New York. The boy l>icyclistll, Harold Wyman and Sam Bent, were joyfully wel comed back by their friends. It is safe to say that tbey will not at tempt another such feat right away. Plucky Jnckson Beals got his l!fty thousand dollars reward. He was happy in hill success. What of Frank Reade Jr. Barney anJ Pomp! Of they re turned to RPadestown. 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A complete and useful little book, containing the l'lll10 aud regulations of billiards, bagatelle, backgammon, ill .. quet. dominoes, etc. Price )Q cents. No. 37. HOW TO _KEEP HOUSE. lt eonta.ios information for ever,body, ho78. girls, milS. and women: it will tea<: h you bow to makealmostanythiDS around the hon a e, &uch a.a parlor ornaments, aements, molin.n harpe, and bird lime for catchina: Price 10 oents. No. 38. HOW '1'0 BECOl'IE XOUR OWN DOC.,'TOR. A wonrlerful 'baok, useful and practical mBtion in tne ffeatment of ordinary diseases and ai1meai:l commoc to every family. .A boun linll in useful ttnd effect.> ive recipes for gener&l complaint. Price 10 oeDU. No. 39. How to Raise Dogs. Poultry, Pigeons ad Rabbits. A useful and lnstrnotive book. Handsomel7 lllustrate

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No. 88 Nimble Nip, the Imp of the Sohool, by Tom Ten.ser 6U Sam Spry, the New York Drummer; or, Busmess 10 b 71 'l'hoae Quiet Twins, Peter Pad :fa Ready's by Peter t'&d 74 An Old Boy; or, M.alony After Education, bf Tom 'l'easer 75 Tumbling Tim; or, Traveling With a. 01rous, by Peter Pad 76 Judge Cleary's Country Oourt. by .rom 'l'euer 79 Joe Junk, the Whaler; or, Anywhere for Fun, by Peter Pad SO The DeAcon's or, rhe Imp of the VillrLge, 81 Behind the Scenes; or, Out With a Oombina.tion by Peter Pad 8'2 The Fa any Four, by Peter Pad fl Boston. 85 A Hl\d or1 Hard to Crack, by '!'om 1'ea.ser 86 Sam; or, '.l'he froublesome .!foundling, by Peter Pad 87 Jlluldoon's Base Ball Olub in Pbilade lpbi&, by 'l'om Tenser 88 Jimr'y Grimes; or, Sharp, Smart reaser 89 Little Tommy Bounce; or, Something Ltke His Dd, by Peter Pad 90 Muldoon's Picnic, by rom 'fea.ser 91 Little Tommy Bo ance on His Travels; or, Doing 92 Sam Bowser at Play, by Peter Pad 93 Next Doorj or, 'fhe lri.!h Twine, by '1'ow1'easer 94 The Aldermen Sweeneys of New York, by Tom Teaser 95 A Ba.d Boy's Nate Book, by Ed" 96 A Bad Boy at School, by "Ed" 91 Jimmy Orimee, Jr.; or, the 'formant of t .he Vil98 Jim; or, Rackets and r::ser :School, by 'l'om 'l'ea.ser 119 The Book Luck, by" Ed" 102 'rhe 'l'ra.veling Dude: or. 'Phe Comical Adventures of Olareooe ll.,itz Roy Jones. by 'l'um 1'easer 103 Senator !\1 uldoon, by 'l'orn Teaser 104 or, Working 105 The Oomical Adventures of Two Du:fes, by 'l'om Teaser lt. 108 Billy .Mosa; or, From One 1'hing to Another. by rom Teaser 109 Truthful Jack; or, On Board the Nancy Jane, by Tom Teuer 'i'easer by Peter ,Pad 112 Johnny Brown & Oo. at School; or, 'l'be Deac-113 Orack, by Tom l'easer .,Pad 116 or, A Block of the orJ' Teaaer by Peter Pad 117 Young Diok Plunket; or, The Trials and 'fribu-lations of Ebenezer Orow, by Sam Smiley 118 Muldoon in Ireland; or, 'l'he Solid Man on the Old Sod, by 'l'om Teaaer 119 :Mulrloon's Grooery Store. Part I, by Tom 1 teser 1\lnldoon's Grocer1 Store. Part II, by rom Ten.ser 12l Bob .Bright; or, A Boy of BusinesR and ]fun. Part I, by Tom 'i'easer 122 Bob Bright; or, A Boy of Business and Fun. 123 Trip Around the World. bf>:frhi, 'l'easer by Tom Teaser 12C Jlluldoon's Trip Around the World. Port U, by Tom Teaser 125 Muldoon's Hotel. Part I. by Tom Teaser 126 Muldoon s Ho"'l. Part II. by Tom 'l'easAr 127 Muldoon's UhristmM, by '!'om Teaser 128 '!'he Shortya' Ohristma.s Rackets, by .Peter Pad 129 in the 130 Sam Smart, Jr.: or. l i "ollowin6: in the Footsteps of His Dad. Part II, by f'eter Pad 131 Three or Us; or, Hustling for Boodle a.od Fun. Part [. by Tom Teaser 132 Three of Us; or, Hustling fot Boodle and .Fun. 133 or Six Months With a 'l'ea.ser uy Peter Pad 134 Dick Duck, t.be Boss of the Town, by Tom Teaser 135 The Sbortys Doing Europe; or, On a Grand Tour for Fun. Part I, by Sam Smiley 136 'J'he Sbortys Doing Kurope; or, On a Orand 'J'our for Fun. P&rt II, by SILm :Smiley 137 Aunt Maria; or, l;lbe Thought She Knew It All, by Stniley 138 Jlluldoon In Ohicago; or, Tho Solid M&n at the World's Fair, by Tom Teuser 139 Oousin Harry; or, An English Boy in America. Part I. by Sam Smiley 14.0 Oou11in Harry; or, An English Boy in America. Part. II. by Sam Smiley 14.1 A New Tommy Bounce; or, The Worst of the Lot. Part I. by S a m Smiley 142 A to:.w Bounce; or, The U3 Stump; or, "Lithle, But, Ob, My!" Part I. by Peter Pad 144 Stump; Ol', "Little., But, Oh, 1\fy!" Part 11. by Peter Pad Latest Issues of Latest Issues of Frank Reade Library YouNG SLEUTH LIBRARY. By "Noname," Price 5 C ents. No. 87 or, Fightiug 88 Under tne Amazon for a 'l'bousand Miles; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Wonderfull'rip. 89 Frank Reade, Jr.'s Search for tbe Silver Whale; or, Under the Ocean in the Electric" Dolphin." 90 and 91 F rank Reade, Jr.'s Sea.roh ll.,or a Lost 1\la.n in His Lat est Air Wonder. 92 Frank Reade, Jr., In Central India; or. The Search For the Lost Sa.vants. 93 Reade Jr.'s Wonderful 9' Over the Andes With Frank Reade, Jr., in His New Air-Ship; or, Wild in Pern. 95 li'raok Reade, Jr.'s Pra iriA Whirlwind; or, 'l.'he of the liidden Oanyoo. 96 Under the Yellow Sea; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Search for the Oa.ve or Pearls With His, New :Submarine Oruiser. 97 Around \he Horizon for 'J'en Thousand Milee; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Wonderful 'l'rip With H1s .AirShip. 98 Frank l(.eade, Jr.'s "Sky Scrapet-;" or, North and :South Around the World. 99 or, Fra.nk 100 }"'rom Coast to Oout; or, Frank Jr.'s 'l'rip Across AJrica. in His Electric u Boomerang." 101 Frank Reade, Jr., and His. Elect.ric Oar; or, Ontll-it-102 the !loon: or, Frank Reade. Trip With His New Air-Ship, the 1U3 100 Milos Below tbe Surface of tbe Sea; or, The 111ar velons 'frip of ReAde, Jr.'s .. Hard-:3bell" Submarine .Boat 104 Abandoned i n Alaska; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s 'rbrill ing Search for a Lost Gold CJai.m With His .New New ]j;lectric Wagon. 105 AroUnd tbe Arctic Oircle or, Frank Reade Jr.'e Most Famous 'I' rip Wjth His the'' Orbit.." 106 lteade, Jr.'s Submar-107 108 109 Lost in the Greu.t Undertow; or, lfrank Reade, Jr.'s :Submarine Oruise In tbe Gult Streum. 110 From 'l'ropic to 'fropic; or. Frunk Reade. Jr.'s Latest 111 an Air-Ship: or, Frank .Reade, Jr.'s Gre&t Mid-Air Flight. 112 The Underground Sea; or, F rank Reade, Jr!s Subterranean Cruise io His :Submarine Hoat. ll3 The Mysterious Mirage; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Desert Search for a Secret Oity with His .New Overland Ohaiee IH The Klect ric Island; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s for the Greatest Wonder on Earth With His Air-Ship, 116 J.iuried in & Deep Sea. Oave; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Great Sabmarme Search. 116 'l'he Galleo n's Gold; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Deep :Sea Search. 117 r;b': Antipodes. 118 Frank Reade, Jr.'s Greatest Flying :Machine; or, the 'l'error of the Ooast. 119 On the Great Meridian With Fr1mk Reade, Jr., In His A 'l'wenty -Five 'l'housand 1\iile 120 Under tbe Indian Ocean With Frank Reade, Jr.; or, A Oruise in a Submarine Boat. 121 Astray in the Sehas: or, Tbe Wild Experiences of Pomp, in South 122 I.ost in a Oomet's Tail; or. Frank Reade, Jr:s Strange Adventure Wtth His New Air-Ship. 123 Six Sunken Piratee; or, Frank Reade1 Jr. 'sl\larvelous Adventures in the Deep SeA. 124. Beyond the Gold Coast; or, Frank Reade, ,Jr.'s Over.. land Trip With His l!:lectric Phaeton. 125 Latitude 00: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Most Wonderful 126 Forest; or, With Frank R&&de, Jr. on a Submarine Oruise. 127 Across the Desert of Fire: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s 128 J r.'s 129 Reade, Jr., in a. Deep Sea Oave. 130 Along tLe Orinoco; or, Wi.th Fra.nk lleade, Jr., in Venezuela. 131 Across the Earth; o1, Frank Reade, Jr.'s La.test Trip 132 Frank Reade, Jr., I n the Sea of Gold. 133 The Island in the Air; or, Frank Reade. Jr.'s Trip to 134 Land; or, Wit.h Frank Reade, Jr., in the Heart of Australia. 136 Yacht tbfl "Sea Diver .. 136 on tbe 137 138 Fran k Reade, Jr.'s Str&nge Submarine Search for a Deep Sea Wond er. By the author of "Young Sleuth." Price 5 Cents. No. 78 Young Sleuth in Siberil\ ; or, Saving a YQung American from the !'rison Mines. 79 Young Sleuth A1most. Knocked Out; or, Nell Blondin's Desperute Game. 80 'fwo; or, Tb& 81 Young Sleuth's Master Stroke; or, 'l'be LadY Detec tive's !tinny Masks. 82 Murdered in a .M:ask; or, Young nt tbe French Ball. 83 Young Sleuth in Paris; Or, The Keen Detective and the Bomb-Throwers. 84 Young Sleutb and tbe Italian Briga.nda: or. The Keen Detective' s Greuteat Rescue. 85 \:' te o r The l\1esFol-88 Gre&t Seaside Mystery. 89 Young Sleuth, the Detective in Obica.go; or, UnravelMystery. 90 'fhe Man in tlle Safe; or, Young Sleuth as a llank De\ective. ..-91 Yonng Sleuth ILnd the Phantom Detective; 'l'be Tr&il of tbe Dead. 92 Yonng 8leuth and the Girl in the Mask: or, 'J'he LAdy Monte Uristo of Baltimore. 93 oung Sleuth and \.he UoreiciLn Kilife'l'brower: or, i'lle Myster y of tbe 11urdered Actress. 94 Young Sleuth and the Onshittr"s OriiUe; or, 'l'he Evi dence of a Dead 'fitness. 95 Young S teutb in the '!'oi ls; or, The Death Traps of New York. 196 tbe Miser's Ghost: or, A Hunt .l"or 97 \'oung Sleuth as a Dead Game Sport; or. 'l'be KeeD Detectives .H.use for $10,000 9M the Gypsies' Gold; or, The 99 Yonne Sleutb and T'oli1y .Pete, the Sharper King; or, 'fbe Keen Lottery Game. 100 Young Slenth in tbe Sewers ot New York; ot Keen Work from Broadway t.o the Bowery 101 YounJt Sleuth and tbe Ma.d Hell Ringer; or, 'l'h& :Secret of the Old ()burch '!'ower. 102 Young l,;nknown; or, '.l'he Man who Oame Behind. 100 Young f31euth's Great Swamp Search; or, The Mise Girl at Everglade. 104 Young Sleuth a.nd the llad Doctor; or, The Seven Poisoned Powdet"s. 106 Young Sleuth's Big Bluff; or, Simple Sallie'sl\lission. 106 Youog Sleuth's Gteat Contract; or, '!'be Keen De tective's Double Gnme. 107 Younll Sleuth's Night Watch; or, 'J'be Keen Detective Guarding Millions 108 Young Sleuth and the Mystery of the Dark Room;. or, Tile Crime or the Photograph Gallery. 109 Young :3leuth nd the Gold bbip Robbery; or,lleatiog .Hold ()rooks Gn tlD Ocean Steamer. '110 Youn g Hleut h and tbe Great Mine :Mystery; or, Mur-dered Unaer Ground. 1U Young Sleuth and the Runaway l{eires.s; or, A Girl 112 Pban113 'l'ramp; or, Dia.-114 Masked Hs:tber of Atlantic. City i or. Tbe Mystery of a Crime of t.he Surf. 115 Young :;)leutb and. the Mad Artist; or, '!'be O rime o f the Studio. 116 Young Sleuth's .Best Find; or, The Secret of the Iron Obost. 117 l'oun& Sleuth's J ... ady Ferret; or, Tile Keen DetectUS WoU in Sheep's Clothing; or. Unma.skiag the Prince of Impostors. Jl9 Young Sleuth's Boy Pupil; or, 1.'he Keen Detective's Street lloy Pard. 120 Prince; or, Neck to 121 Young Sleuth and the Mysterious Model; or. 'l'h& Secret of a :Murdered Artist. 12l Young S leuth and the Lad1 Physician; or, The Mys tery of the Poisoned Cup. 129 Young Sleuth and the Actor's Strange Crime: or, The Murder Before the Jrootligbt.s 12C Young Sleutb and the lliadbouse Mystery; or, Tb& Mystic of 1 125 Y oung Sleuth and the Mystery of the Mill 011 the !ola.rsb; or, 'l'be Indian Doctor's Dark Plot 126 or, 121 or, The Queen 128 Young Mlentb and Lost 1\tr. Medway; or. the Hand 129 Copper Mine Mystery; or, The Detective's Underground Clew. 130 Young &leuth a.ud the SlAves of the Silver Dagger; or, The .Mfatery of the New .A.I a'ddin. 131 Y Sharp; or, Des132 or, 133 Fence of the Bowery; or, 134 Young Sleuth and the Fat.!LI Postage or, Murdered by .Mail. 135 Young Slenth tul d the Kscave Crook; or, fbe Keen Detective's Hattie in Mid Air 136 and the Midnicht Moonshi ners; or, 'rhe Tra1l of the :Mountain League. 137 Youaw Sleuth and the Man in the Gray Ooo.t; or, Mystery o t a MW"der Without a M o tive. 138 Young S leuth and the Boy Bueball Oaptain; or. Happy Harry's Great Home Run. All the abov e librar ies are for sa.l e by all news dealers in the U nited States a n d Canada., CU' sent t o y ou r address, p os t -pai d on r e ce ipt of price Add ress P. 0. Box 2730. FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 34 & 36 North Moore Street, New York. I


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