Through the tropics; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s adventures in Gran Chaco.

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Through the tropics; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s adventures in Gran Chaco.

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Title:
Through the tropics; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s adventures in Gran Chaco.
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Creator:
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
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Frank Tousey
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English
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;

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

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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R17-00114 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.114 ( USFLDC Handle )
024951627 ( Aleph )
65177127 ( OCLC )

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Latest and Best Stories are Published in This Lil>rary. Ente1ed as Second Class Matter at the 1\lew York, N Y Post Offtce, Octobe1 5, 1892. No 145 {COMPLETE} FRANK TOUSEY. P(1nusFtreR, 3! & 36 NoRra MooRE srREET, NEw YoRK. { PJtiC E } Vol VI New York, October 30, 1896. IssUED WEEKLY. 5 C J GNTS Entered acc01dino to the Act of Conoress, in the year 1896, by FRANK TOUSEY, in the o.(Jice of the Librarian o f Conoress, a t Washinoton, D.' C or, Frank Beade, Jr.'s Adventures In the Gran Chaco. In an instant a flood o f light illumined t h e entire pock e t. Six m asked outlaws with pistols, covering Frank and D o n Jose, stood revealAd The game was up. Bot h Frank and the stock herder saw that resistance was useless. The;yd ropped their weapons and threw up their arms in token of surrender. I

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2 THROUGH THE 'l'ROPJCS. The subscription price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50; $1.25 per six months, post paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 34 and 36 North Moore Street, New York. Box 2730. Through the Tropics; OR, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Adventures in the Gran Chaco. By "NONAME," Author of "The Magic Island," "The Lost Navigators," "In the Black Zone," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. AT BUENOS AY&ES-GETTING READY. THROUGH the central part of South America and nearly the whole length of the Parana river extends the Grand Chaco. Every booted and spurred vaquero, every yellow-visaged Gringo, or gaunt-framed mule driver and cattle herder, who hatls up at Ascon sion after a season's drive, bas wonderful tales or adventure to relate while wandering over miglltV expanse of plain and table land. What the Llano Estacado Js to the United States so is the Grand Chaco to thl' South American. It is a region half explored, half un known, filled with dangers, dread and mystery. One day there appeared before Buenos Ayres in tne mout h of the Parana river a small flying the American colors. It dropped anchor and soon a small boat put out and came ashore. At the quay the U. S. Consul with a couple or Argentme offiCials were in w a iting to greet the newcomers, whose corning it seemed was not unexpected. From the boat there sprang two men, Jeavmg the light craft to the four seamen who were nt the oars. One or these men was Captain Randall, of the Stea:ner Utopia, and a thorougll Yankee. The other was tall, youthful, bot handsome and look in g. Ab, Mr. P a lmer," said Captain Randall. shaking hands with the consul, "I am glad to meet you again, Not a day older, as I live! Same old six pence I'll wager! Look at me! I've grown as gray as a rat. But nllow me-my friend, Mr. Frank Reade, Jr.'' Indeed! I am pleased," said Consul Palmer, as be shook hands with the younger mao. I b e lieve I was at one time fairly well ac quainted with your father, Mr. Reade. Always inventing some won derful thing or otber." "And ttis is a chip of the old block!" cried Captain Rnndall, slap ping l<'rank on tl.te shoulder, only a little more so, as tile old saying goes. He double discounts his father as an inventor." Tile young inventor blushed. "I cry you mercy!'' he exclaimed, "that is too much. I am very glad to make your acquaintance, Mr. Palmer!" The consul then engaged in a brief conversation with his visitors. All this wbile the Argentine officials bad been standing silently hy. Now, however, Palmer introduced them and the next sutject brought forward was the obj ect of their visit to the Argentine. You can never guess it," cried Captain Randall, I will tell you something remarkable. Iu the bold of my vessel out yonder iR one or tbe most wonderful inventions of the age. It is an Electric Trav eler.'' Palmer looked puzzled. What the deuce is that!" be asked. You shall see," declared the enthusiastic captain. "We propose to unload it here, right on tbis quay. With it, Mr. Reade and his two servanfoj!, Barney and Pomp, propose t.o take a trip through the trop ics by \vny of tbe Gran Cbnco." "Ab!" exclaimed the consul, "it is a vehicle then?" ''Yes." I shall be glad to see it. I have no doubt the president of this republic will give you passports to go where you chOose. He is very friendly to Amertcans." That is very kind," said Frank Reade, Jr., with a bow to the Ar gentine official!!; "I appreciate the courtesy.'' "Senor Americano need look for no interference," replied one of the officials; "he is welcome to tbfJ Argentine." Bot you most first dine with me," declared Palmer. My house is not far from here, ami I have a carriage ready.'' Frank exchanged glances with the captain. He was naturally anxious to unload the machine, yet averse to declining the court So he said politely: I thank you. We can give orders to send a lighter out to the &hip and bring the Travlller off while we are absent.'' "It shall be done!'' cried the captain, who bad all the while been extremely anxious for fear Frank would decline. "I will give the order now!" Accordingly be advanced to the edge of the quay and gave orders to the seamen. They rowed away to the silip, and' the party entered a cardnge near and were driven to the consul's house. Barney and Pomp, a genial Irlshrn an and a jolly negro, were on board the Uopia, and hastened to obey Frank's orders with alac rity. A lighter was Inter towed alongside, and preparations were made to remove the sections of the machine to the wharf. It did not take the hardy roustabouts long to do tbiR, Barney and Pomp overseeing the job. Then the Traveler was conveyed to the quay. Here Barney and Pomp directs
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THROUGH THE 'l'ROPICS, The running gear or the Traveler was light but strong. The wheels bad rubber tires like those or a bicycle, so that great speed could be gained, toven over a poor road. But, even if overtaken in a rough tract or country by a roe, a most valiant defense could be made by the inmates or the vehicle. For cutting its way through heavily grassed pampas or thick jun gles, the machine was equipped with sharp knives which could be !as tened to the hubs of the w!ieels and alllo the forward axle. These, re volving, would easily cut down any ordinary material in the way. For fording streams or crossing any small body of water there were paddles, which could be fastened up<'n the wheels, the forward axle being manipulated for steering just as on the ln.nd. The Traveler was water-tight in her lower part and made quite seaworthy. There were many minor details about the machina which we will not give attention to just now, but leave to future reference in the course o! the s tory It was some hours before Frank and Captain Randall returned from the dinner at Consul Palmer's hous e They reached the quay to find the Traveler all set up and equipped for tha start. It was surrounded by a curio:Js crowd or interested onlookers, who bad never Reen anythin g like it before. A number or Buenos Ayres officials were with the party. and Frank for the eake o! tlip!omacy took th em aboard the vehicle. They exam ined it with interest. And not one in the party but declared it superior to any railway coach, and one of the Gringos wan te d the privilege of accompanying the party. "I have lots of cattle in the Chaco," he declared. "I can help you, senors, and show you the points of interest if you will allow me to join your party." Of course Frank evaded the proposition nod finally politely declined much to the disappointment of the Grin go. Captain Randall was now ready to return to his vessel. "I am going to r ound the Horc nnd visi t Valparaiso," be declared; "if you can give me an idea ns to what time you will return to meet me here, I would like it, Mr. Reade." Frank was thoughtful a moment. I have been considering the matter," he declared, "and I have decided not to return to Buenos Ayres as we talked of in the first place." The captuin was astonished. "What!" he exc l aimed "Not return to Buenos Ayres! Where then shall I meet you!" ''Let it be at Rio tie Janeiro." replied Frank; "after traversing the Grand Chaco it seems t o me that it would be much neurer to cut ncross the country to that point than to return here." "Why, so it would!'' "Very good; if you will mee t me in three montbs from now, I shall be very glud." The captum bowed It shall be so," he I wish you good luck and a pleas-ant journey through the tropi cs.'' "Thank you!' shook hands wannly. Then Captain Randall leaped into his boat, and was rowed away to his ship. Fran!!: saw him depart with momentary sensations of a thrilling sort. He was now face to face with the project which he had undertaken. The mighty wilderness, with its unknown perils and uncertainties, was befor e him. For u lle experienced a faint regret-a sort of homesick sensation, then he smiled at his weakness. All aboard!" he said to Barney and Pomp. All roight, sor!'' cried the Celt. "We'se done rAady, sabl" declared Pomp. Both lively fellows scrambled aboard the vehicle. Frank was about to follow them whPn a surp rising thing happened. Down the narrow street leading to the q uay there came a party of horsemen madly ridin,!{. They were dressed in the picturesque garb of stock herders, and the foremost was a tall, p owerful-fram ed man or commanding appea!' ance, with a flowing white beard and hair, which made him look really patriarchal. He flung his horse upon its haunches, and leaped !rom the saddle just in front of Frank. Dotllng his broad sombrero, he made a low bow. "Buenos ssnor," h e said, in a rich m e llow voice, "Don Jose Gon salvo at your service. I am, indeed, fortunate to lind yoa here!" Frank was at a loss to understand what the tall Gringo could want with him, but he made r eply: I am glad to meet yon, senor. What favor can I render you!" Ab, then, ;rou will rendP.r me a favor, senor." cried the aged herd er, impulsively. 1 l:ianta Maria bless you. The Americaoo bus a heart, and will listen to the sad story of a breaved father." Frank began to see through the game now. This mao had come to him to ask som e service, just what it was not easy to guess. Hun dreds of others had done the same thing before the young inventor had left America, and had he granted all their requests, be would have bad a life occupation on his hands. The result had been a p o sitive rdecllnation of all requests. An annoyed look for a moment s h one in eyes, It was upon his lips to tell the aged senor that it would be ble for him to listen to any proposition. But he hesitated. A aweepingtlnnce showed him that this mao was deeply in earnest, and that some great trouble was upon bin;. His patrician features were partly shadowed by the ricllly-braltled sombrero. His dress throughout showed him a man or wealth and distinction. It was no light mauer which had brought him here a.s a supplicant. So Frank said: What is your story, senor!" "You shall hear it," replied the stock herder, with a ring of pathos in his voice, "though it tears my heart strings to recall it." I am Jose Gonsalvo, and in all the Chaco there are no larger or finer herds than mine. My hacienda is deep in the heart of the richest grazing, and until a few weeks since it has been a haven or comfort, joy and brightness to me. But alasl in an evil hour, a liend in hman sbapa bas robbed it o! that light, whica was to me dearer thnn ll!e. Jesu, pity! do not turn coldly from a sorrowing father. My Muriel, my own child, the image ol my dead Isabella, was foully torn from my bosom, and from my life. In my absence on the runge, Red Murillo, the greatest wretch among the outlaws of the Chaco, descended upon my hacienda, \'lith his vile band, and after looting: it, curried away my Muriel, my aarl ir.g angel daughter. Long and bard I have ridden with my brave friends at my back. Long have I striven to track the guilty wretch, but in vain. He has eluded me, and I am in despair. But my friend, the Al calde, Don Venturo, has told me of you and your wonderful traveling wagon with its powerful guns. So Senor, I have hastened hither in all my despair to beg of you aid in my sqrrowing quesl. The Amer! cano has a heart ami he will not wro coldly from the father who seeks to rescue his daughter from the power of villains. The Americaoo is noble and chivalrous. He will aid me!" After this thrilling narrative and pathetic appeal Don Jose stood with his burning gaze lixed upon the young inventor. For a moment Frank was silent. The passionate appeal bad not been without Its el!'ect upon him. But he hesitated. Yours is a sud story, senor," he said; "but is It possible, think ynu, for me to give you aid?" "Av, senor!" replied Gonsalvo eagerly. "You can fight a legion of the outlaws with your powerful guns; you can travel where horses and men cannot; yours is the power!'' Frank did not attempt to deny this. He knew that it v(as largely true. After all, what better could he do than undertake this chivalrous as well as humane mission! It need not Interfere w1tb necessary explor ation. In !act, it was adventure he wus seeking. But his mind was alread} made up. He extended his hand t" the stock-herder and said in excellent Spanish: "I will do all I can to help you rescue your daughter, senor." The agonized parent was profuse in his expressions or delight. He could hardly find words t.o express his gratitude. By this t1me the story hut! spread through the crowd. All bad heard of Red Murillo, and the a!Hiction of Don Jose appealed to their sympathies. They swung their hats 11nd cheered the Americanos. Fran:t mod estly bowed in acknowledgment and sprung aboard the Traveler. Barney opened the motor lever and the wheels began to turn. Up the street of the city the wonder:ul electric vehicle ran. And the crowd cheered madly, while Don Jose and his cavalcade galloped on behind. Thus they passed through Buenos Ayre11 and into the open country. The great trip through the Tropics was well begun, and already exciting adventure und thrilling incident was promised. CHAPTER II. J.N' TUE GRA.N CHACO-THE PAMPAS :FIRE, Now with the reader's kind permission we will transpose the scene or our story to m1ghty depths o! the Gran Chaco. Sutlic" it to say that, leaving Buenos Ayres, the Traveler with Goo salvo and his men bad journeyed rapidly into the wilderness. So fur no incident worthy of noLe had occurred. But now that they were deep in the heart of the Chaco, the scene to change. The Traveler could speed rapidly over the hard floor of the plain, and would have left Gonsalvo and his men far behind had Frank seen fit to do so. But the party kept together, and steadily they worked their way into the wilderness. Don Gonsalvo affirmed that the stronghold of Murillo would be found far up in the wilderness, near the Bermejo rirei'. Hera the country was rough and broken and afforded deep canyon& and rocky fastnesses. Here Murillo had his headquarters in an ul most inaccessible region from which he descended at suitable times to rob, pillage uo<1 murder. He was the terror of the law abiding her ders of the Chaco. So the course had been made steadily toward the Bermejo River. Days passed, and still the party kept booming ahead, They encountered many ht.rds of cattle, being rounded up by the herd era, and frequently found rough habitations in the wilds. Sometimes information was regarding Murlllo, but he was always represented as being at Bermejo; so they kept on. Begorra, it's the woildest part av the worruld I lver waa lnl"

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4 I THROUGH 'l'HE TROPICS. declared Barney, as they rolled on over plain and tllrongh jungle I He has faithful minions then. But we must take measures t and woods. "Shure, Africky don't howld a candle to it." avert this impending catastrophe at once. Have yon any plan, senor!'' "Or Ireland either, fo' dat," declared Pomp, w1th an innocent "Only to llee from the lire,'' replied Don Jose. The wind is from air. the north, and that will bring it full down upon us. Therefore, eur Barney turned sharJ) about. I best way is to make for the west and get beyond its line." "Phwat's that yez say, sorf'' he demanded, sharply. Frank looked dubious. "A'rigbt, sub,'' said Pomp, blandly. I "Its line may spread in that direction,'' he declared. "Wilat The Celt glared at the coon. It was abont time for them to have should we do then!'' the customary ruction. This was a peculiarity of their friendship "We must die!" replied the herder, with apparenL resignation. that one was always engaged in nagging the other. "I am not ready to do that as yet," declared Frank. "We might There was nothing they enjoyed more than a rough and tumble set a counter fire." wrestle or a wrangle of some sort. Yet they were the warmest of But Don Jose shook his head. friends. "It would surround us," he declared; "the pampas will burn There was nothing Barney would resent quicker than an allusion to against the wind as well as with it." his native isle. Like all true born Hibernians, he was loyal to his "Then our only course is to make a race for it." fatherland. "Si, senor.'' So he sidled up to Pomp with a sinister glare in his eyes. Now Frank saw at once how truly desperate the situation was. Oa "No, it ain't all roight, me foiue frind!'' he declared. "Yez meant a level, smooth plain. he could have tlle tire. that fer ari attack upon me native so'i:l, an' be me sow! I'll not take But the machine could maintain only a limited rate of speed thb insult! Ireland, sor, is a foine intelligint countbry, an' yez can't tbrougb tile tall grass. The scythe blades on tile bubs could cut it, deny it!'' but thiS very act was an i111pediment to speed. "Huh!" ejaculated Pomp; '' yo' jes' wants to pick up a row, does However, according to Dou Jose's views, there was no choice. yo'T Wba' did I say dat youse mad at!'' They could only run for it. "Yez called Ireland a wiluerness, sor! An' it's a foicer counthry With this conviction Frank loBL no time. He changed the course or than ynre ancisters com from. Shure the O'Sheas are descended the vehicle to the west and was about to crowd on all speed, when from--" suddenly Gonsalvo's voice was beard again. "Rats!" exclaimed Pomp. Yo' kain't talk 'bout nuffin' but yo' "Jesu pity! We are lost!" ancestors. How does I know yo' eber had enny1" "EbT" cr1ed Frank, springing out on deck. 'What is the matter Whurroo!'' bowled thll indignant Celt, pbwat do yez take me now!" fer, yez black son av an ape! Share, tbat's an insult no tllrue Insh-"See, Senor!" cried the Don, pointing to the west. man kin iver overlook!" A long liue of smoke at right angles )Vitb the northern line wae With which he threw out one foot and Pomp sat down on the deck aeen. The plain had been fired in that quarter. of the Traveler very hard. This at once set the ball rolling. All was easy to see. Tbe coon sprang up with blood in his eyes. H'e started for the Celt The villains sought to make a circle or fire about the invaders ao4 shaking his bead like 11 mad bull. burn them up like rats in a trap. Look o'ut dar fo' trubble!'' be yelled. l'se gwine to fix yo' fo' "God help us!" exclaimed Frank, "that may mean death to us!" dat!'' By this time Barney and Pomp had reached an understanding of the Barney made a whack at the coon, but missed him. The next mosituation. Tiley were horrified. ment Pomp's head took him in the stomach like a battering ram. "Shure Mistber Frank,'' cried Barney. "Phwy not go back the He sat down bard on the deck. The darky stumbled over him, and way we came, they clir;cbed. "We may have to," declared Frank, "but we will be apt to be run Tilen followed a desperate struggle. They were well matched. down by the tire, being in its path. H we could go to the east we They fought like tigers until so exhausted that they were finally might perhaps run beyond its line.'' compelled to quit. Tllen they heard Frank coming out of the pilot Then Frank picked up his glass and scanned the eastern horizon. house. As he did so he guve a great cry. "Whisht!'' cried the Celt, "there corns Mlsther Frank.'' There extended for miles a long body of water, probably a lake. "Yo' am right.'' The outlaws bad deemed this as serious an obstacle as the tire. "Will yez apologize!'' But Frank did not. "No, sah !" To bim it was an avenue of escape. He shouted to Gonsalvo. "Thin be jahers; I'll cum square wld yez another toime!" "To the east!" be cried; "there we can escape!" "Yo' kain't do ill" a But the herder answered: T!Jen away they scrambled to their respective quarters, and Frank "We shall plunge into a lake and be drowned, senor!" found them industriously at work when he appeared on the 6cene. "Not much!" replied Frank. "I'll show you how to av01d tilat. Frank bad come out of the pllothouse for a purpose. '!hey bad Forward all:" been for some hours traversing a beaviJy.grassed plain. With which he gave Barney a signal, and the machine was ol'. Far away to the northward he had spied a long column of smoke, Away It went at fearful speed. which ha doubt of it." Then the herders climbed out upon the machine's deck, holdinl" the Then-we must be near the rendezvous or Mur1llo.'' bridle reins o! their horses. Frank sent the machine further out into Not but another day's journey.'' the lake. But how would Murillo know that we were coming to attack him!" The horses swam easily behind. They could keep aftoat a long Don Jose laughed harshly. while, but it was hardly likely that this would be found necessary. "Ah, senor,'' he replied, "the news left Buenos Ayres before we For a tire like that or the pampas burns so swiftly that it is soon did. The spies and colleagues of Murillo are everywhere. It is safe burned out, and this proved to be the case. to say that word reached him a full day since.'' A few moments later it swept down to the water's e<:ge. And he has been watching for us ever sincef' There was a great wave or smoke and ftame, which went sweep" Exactly, senor.'' ing across the water; then it gradually lifted.

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.. THROUGH THE 'l'ROPICS. I The blackened cinder strewn expanse reachl'd as far as the eye could see. It required but a few momeut11 for Frank to turn the Traveler shoreward. And a few minutes later, machine, men, horses and all emerged from their watery bath and started away once more across the plain, which now a. vastly changed appearance. And as they went on, suddenly a cavalcade of horsemen was espied in the tliatance. A great shout went up. Gonsa.lvo came riding alongside the Travel e r "It is Munllo and his gang," he cried, "they have come out to make sure that the fire destroyed us. Oh, if we could only catch th e m!" Frank' s eyes flashed. He studi e d the distant body of horsemen a moment with his glass, Then be made a swift r e solution. Follow on a.s you c an, Don Jose!" be cried; "I am going a!Jea.d in pursuit." "Good, senor! May good fortune go with you!'' And Frank sprung into the pilot-bouse and threw the lever wide open. Away weut the Traveler. But the wily outlaw chief had espied the machine. He saw it com ing and away sped ilis horses like frigbt&ned over the burned pla in. But Frank knew that on smooth groom! he could outrun any horsa that ever stood on hoofs. The Traveler on a. smootll surface could run close o a. mile per minute. So it can b e understoor heard of. Wlmt a wonderful freak of Nature!" For he saw at once that the cavern was the work of Nature, uDLl not human hands. It cculd be very readily understood when one cast a look to t!Je north. For distant but a. mila was a range of rocky hills. Doubtless this cavern extended far b e n e ath them. c At all events it had o!Ierf>d the outlaws a very good avenue or es cape. They h a d made good use or it. Don Jose and his men were tar in the For a few moments Frank was undecided how to act. The entrance to the cavern was small. The horses could go in eas ily enough in single llle. But Frank saw at oncA that it would be quite out of the question to follow with the Traveler. However, for revenge; and partly for the purpose of entrapping the villains, he sen a dynamite shell into the place. It exploded with frightful etrect, completely closing up the entrance with fallen stone. If they come out,'' muttered Frank, "It must be fly some other entrance." Then he wait11d the coming of Don Jose. The stock herder was Pluch excited when be heard all. By the saints!" he cried, "we have found the den of the tiger by the best of luck! Now we must smoke him out!" Can you tell bow we shall do thatf'' asked Frank. Dov .Jose was fain to confess that he could but be suggested at once invading the bills and looking for the oti.Jer entrance to the cave If such existed. Frank agreed to this and they set forth. It did not take lung to reach the hills, it being scarcely a mile. Here they found themselvee among the greatest aggregation or rocks which any or them had ever seen. They were in all sizes, sha.pE>s and varieties. But by t his time the sun had set in the west and the Incidents of the day were over. As all were weary and little could be done that night, it was propos ed to camp where they were and a wail the coming of another day. TIJis was agreeable to all and accordingly Don Jose's men corralled their horses and made a roaring lire. There was a good supply of llama meat which they roasted over the hot coals and til us made a good meal. Don Jose dined witb Frank ou board the Traveler. The two men retired to the cabin to plans lor the morrow. SeMed at a table, Frank made a map or t!Je route they had followed thus for. "We have tracked the villains to their lair, secor,'' said Frank; but there is one tiling we have not accomplished." Ah, seoor!'' "We have learned little or not.hing of the whereabouts of JOUr daughter. We do not even know that abe is yet alive." 1'he stock herder nodded with a ghastlv emile. "Si, senor," hll agreed; "that is too true. But I live m hopea." That is wise. Now I have a plan.'' Don Jose looked eagerly at !<'rank. "You are a man of resource," he said. "You always have a plan." "I suggest," said Frank slowly, "that we wait until the camp has quieted down, say near midnight. We will say nothing to anyone, but you and I, well armed, can steal out on an exploring tour. If we could posstbly lind our way into the outlaws' stronghold we would gain much. Or maybe we could find eome clew. That would repay us.'' Don Jose gave a little gasp and clutched Frank's arm. "That very piau was mine,'' be said. "Yours!'' "Yes, buc I was going forth alone. I feared that you might not sanction the move. But I am glad that you do!" "Then it is settled," said Frank. "We will go forth at midnight!" To guard against an attack or being taken by surprise the search ligi.Jt was turned on and made the vicinity as plain as day for a great distance a9out. The stock herders were disposed to be jovial, and indeed ao were Barney and Pomp. In the course of the evening the two jokers joined the circle about the camp-fire an
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' I 6 THROUGH THE TROPICS. "That Is Murillo," whispered Don Jose, raising his rille; "there is I Murillo bimsell it was who given the order, and be now adno !Jetter chance to rid the world or tbe ruffian!" vanced and coo!ronted the. two ., But Frank gripped his arm. "Ah, senors! be w1th a mockmg, Jeermg iaug!1, you "Hold!" be whispered, aternly. "You must not! It would mean sought to follow the fox toto his bole, dtd you!. But the lox s scent de!eatl'' was too keen. No man can track Murtllo and hve to tell o! it. You Thus adjured the stcck herder lowered his rille. Within a few yards know your fate." of the concealed men the outlaws passed. "We ask no quarter," sa1d Frank calm!\'. ,"We have fallen mto In single file and silently they passed by and away among tbe the hands of a look lor no shadows. When the last man bad passed Frank gripped his compan. seuorl crted the outlaw cine!, thts ts no time lor ion's arm. msultl .. "Come," he said, "\et us go along. We must follow them." well die lor that as aught Frank. Don Jose did not demur and silently followed Frank. They kept at Munllo leaned forward and stared mto Franks face. a s ale distance in the re a r of the horsemen. "Ab, I see!'' he muttered. "You are. not .. one or our countrymen. Among the crags and huge ledges the cavalcade wound its way. A !?reigner, eli! Per an American! F o r an hour they trav e led slowly thus. You have guessed aright. Frank knew well enough tbat they were traveling a long distance. What then do you here! Why do you seek to make war upon But h e never once thought of abandoning the pursuit. me?" At length the horsemen wound tl1eir way down into a little pocket mottve whtch tmpels an honest man to further the ends of in the bill s The n there was a brief halt. JUStice! Frank and Don Jose shrank back into the shadows. Tbe scuffiing "Ah, a sharp answer truly. We test your brnvado further of horses hoofs upon sbaly around wus heard for a few moments tben presently. And thl:o man-Santa Marm. all was silence. "' The outlaw chief recoiled as be glanced into the white stern face of For some mmutes the two men crouched there, listening with all Don Jose. their ears for some further sound. he gasped. And beret By my soul, what do you But non e came. beie, stre? What did it mean! "It is well for you to that questiOn, Murillo!" replied the stock .. Wher e are they?" tinnily whispered Frank. "what IB more powerful than the love of a father for "I can se e nothing or them," declared Don Jose. Ius chlidf II they are there, certainly they are keeping very quiet.'' The outlaws face darkened. ,., be .. Perhaps the y suspect us?" ."So you that I have carried 'lff the beauttful Monel. It is possible!" satd, wtth a ltght laugh. . I -know it, you wretch t And thts conclusiOn induced.the two watchers to sbrtnk .deeper toto .. And you have come here thinking to effect her rescue!" the shadows and k e ep more qutet than evt>r. Thus a long ttme passed. "I have!" Frank was puzzled. "Well," sneered the vlllain, "you have made a pretty mess of it. cer t mn l y to have bet!n some sound come. from the cavWhat do yon think of your chances!'' alcade 10 nil this ume. The champing of the creakwg of saddles, .. Providence will aid me!'' all had ceased. "We shall see how far!" said the outlaw. "Juan, you Castello Then a dawned upon the young mventor that they were dogs, bind the prisoners and take them to the last cavern Hold certainly outwttted. strona guard over f,hem there until yoy have further orders from The outlaws bad gone on and ler: them, or outwitted them m some me!",. way.C 1 d t "t 1,. tt F k .. I ld h k Two or the Argentine outlaws advanced and laid hands upon the on oun my s uptul y. mu ere11 ran suou nown prisoners. than tins. Dop Jose, .we must overtake them. In a trice they were bound and blindfolded. Then they were Jed Wtth which Frank glid e d out or h1s cov .ert. He looked for th.e conaway, they knew not where, but after much journeying when Lhe tmuance or the poth. he was met wtth a dampening surpnse. bandages were rernovllll from their eyes they saw that they lu a There wns no su ch thtng. defile came .to an end here. The stone chamber with an iron door. pocket was walled m upon three stdes to the 11e1ght or fully n hundred And here they were left, the door being barred on the outside. feet. It was some while before either could sufficiently recover his scatThe cavalcade could not have gone over this nor apparently through tared senses to talk. it, yet they had disappeared. Then Frank declared: Astonished the two roen looked at each other in the dim ligM. "I am certain of one thing, Don Jose." "Santa Maria!" exclaimed Don Jose, "he is aided by the devil!'' "Ah!'' exclaimed the stock herder. "Inee ed, it is very strange," agreed Frank. "What can it mean!'' "We have made fools of ourselves." Then be to exaruine the smooth, unbroken walls or the How 80, senor!" pocket. There was nothing show that any part or it was remov"Have we not! It would have been more sensible to have remained or that any passage beyond existed. on boarrl the Traveler and kept our necks out of this noose. We will It was a mystery. be sure to be ass1111sinnted and we have and can render no assistance Frank was wholly at a loss for an explanation. Never in his life whatever to your bad he met with a stranger circumstance. "There may be a chance or rescue." Where had the outlaws gone so suddenly and so mysteriously? It "It is slight." was all very inexplicable. Thus discussing their folly, the two prisoners pnssed the night. So inter e sted were theZ two men that they never once thought of When da) light came, Frank saw a small grated window in the further any possible risk or peril in their position. wall or the cell. ::itanding tn the pocket they were in q1ute an exposed position. But Through it -the sunlight was streaming. lie climbed up and looked this fact was presently called to their minds in a startling manner. out upon a strange seem. "Ha, ha, hal" He looked down the face or a mighty cliff, with a deep detlle and Frank gave a tllrilled start and Don Jose did the same. They sprung swirling stream far below. Their prison chamber was a c11.vern cell, i nto the deeper shad ows. and Lhe window w1111 cut through its face. What was that!" he whispered. But us Fr&nk looked over the rugged panorama before him, a start I don't know!" ling sound came to his ears. Don Jose meant that he did not know the meaning of the hysterical, It was the distant rattle of tlrearms. Be gave a sharp cry. ironical which seemed scarcely human, and which bad woke "Dill you bear that>, Uon Jose!" the echoes of the place. Ay," replied stock bertler. What do you make of it!'' The-two startled men crouched against the rocky wall in a thrill ol "Only one thing is possible. The wretches have 1 attacked the apprehension. Don Jose had tllought of proposing retreat, when camp. It may be that they have surprised our !rien!ls and will anm Frank grippe d his arm. bilate them." "Sh! keep quiet on your life!" And then the two crouching men saw that a half dozen men were in the pocket; where they bad come from so euddenly, was most mexplic able. But there they were, dark, shadowy forms. Frank and Don Jose had not as yet believed that their presence was suspected. But now, a harsh rasping voice broke the stillness: Now, us the light!" In an Instant a t!Jod o! light illumined the entire pocket. Six mask ed outlaws, with pistols covering Frank and Don Jose, stood revealed. The game was up. Both Frank and the stock herder saw that resistance was useless. They dropped their weapons and threw up their arms in token of sur render. It was a picture worthy of an artist. There against the wall of the pocket, in the strange white light which lltumined the place, stood the two men, covered by the weapons of the six masked outlaws. CHAPTER IV. THE FIGHT WITII THE OUTLAWS, BARNEY nnd Pomp had neither o! them remained on guard that night, for the picket line established by the stock herders bad been deemed sufficient. But for some re1111on or other the Celt could not sleep. At an early hour he arose and went out on deck. He lighted his dudeen and sat down by the rail to enjoy a At the moment he did not for a moment dream but that Frank and Don Jose wern In their bunks below decks. Bad be known that they were not he would have acted differPntly. The sun hPgan to peep abova the hilltops before the camp began to arouse itself: then the pickets came in for relief, and all became activity. Pomp came on deck, and Barney, cried:

PAGE 7

THROUGH THE 'fROPICS. I say, l'ish, wua' made yo' git up so early, el:lf' Sl)ure, 1 oudn't slape fer tile sllnorin' av yez!" declarell Bar ney, with a twinkle in his eyes. "Hnhl me!Jbe dat was de some reason wha' Marse Frank an' Marse Gonsalbo ge' up too.'' Barney opened his eyes. "PhwaL's that yez say! Misther Frank ain't up yet, nor the dago either.'' Huh! Marse Gonsalbo ain' no dago. He bery tine gen'leman, sah. Dey am up long ago I tell yo'?" Bejabers, thin it must have been rnoighty airly," cried Baruey in surprise. "Shure I ain't seen 'em nor any sign av thim." I done reckon yo' links yo' sees eberytlng. H yo' don' beliebe wha' I say, yo' jes' g:> down dere in dere staterooms an' see fo' yo'se'f!" Barney sprung up with a sudden ex clamation. A distant startling sound came to the bearing of both. It WllB a rille shot. It was followed by another and another. Then into the camp there came rusbing one of the pickets. We are attacked, senors!" he cried in Spanish, "to arms! Where is Don Jose!" In an instant the camp was in an uproar. But Don Jose was nowhere to !Je found. Nor could Barney and Pomp find a trace of Frank Reade, Jr. They were both mysteriously absent. And the camp was attacked by the outlaws. What was to he done in the absence of the leaders? Of course tilere seemed but one thing to do, and tllat was to make a defense. But it could be seen that without a bead, there was danger of a panic among tile herders. Barney and Pomp realized this and did all they could to establish a aystem. But as neither of them could speak Spanish they were handicapped. Th e pickets were being driven in by the attacking outlaws. Tile fight would soon be general. But Barney blinked his eyes and adjusting one of the dylamite guns, Raid: Begorra, if I get at thim wid this, it'll be an unlucky thing that they 1ver timed eucb a game, yoli bet." All that could be done therefore was to wait for the eonllicL to come to close quarters. This bade fair to be the case very speedily. 1'be firing momentarily drt!W nearer. The berders, ensconced be hind rocks, made a gallaut defense. It ch afed Barney and Pump to lie inactive all thi8 whil>, and finally tile Celt declared: Shure Wtl haven't any orders from Misther Frank, but it's me he lief that av be was here he'd move forward au' ingage the inemy." I reckon you'se right, chile, un' I backs yo' up," agreed Pomp. "Thin here's at tbtm!" Barney sent the machine forward to a higher position. From this poiut the line of the outlaws' attack could be seeu by tbe smoke from thPir ritles. They were safely ensconced behlnc ledges and bowlders, as were the herders. It was a desultory battle. And Barnev saw that it would be almost a waste of ammunition to attempt to drive them back with dyMmite. He could no doubt blow many or the ledges to powder, but this would only put the foe on their and do them little harm. So he desisted from firing. If they should once venture a charge, or show themselves in the open woe unto them. So the two defenders or tho Traveler contented themselves with riile practice as were tile herders. Woe to the outlaw who unwittingly abowed his head. Thus for an hour the battle was waged with no special advr.ntag> to either side. And all the while ever} body was wbat had be come of the two leaders, Frank R e nde, Jr and Don Jose. The outlaws far outnumhered the herders, and began to draw tbeir lines closer. This made the fight hotter. It also Increased tbe chances for Barney to make use of his dynamite guns. For this be was waiting patiently. Be me sowl, av I kin jest git wan shot at thim," he mnttertld, shure I'll blow Ivery wan av thim into eternity.' But the outlaws appeared elusive, and though they were momentar ily contracting their lines they never presented a good target. Moreovor their sharpshooting was beginning to tell upon the herd era. The Iutter had already lost a baH dozen men. The outlook was serious, inusmuch as Murillo's men seemed to hA working around t::> the rear and gradually surrounding the party. The borders grew anxious. And yet neither Fmnk ReadP, Jr., nor Don Jose put iu an appear ance. What could it m ean! Had they been present the rP.sult of the conflict could not have been long In doubt, for all that the herders needed was a fresh supply of confidence. Meanwhile Barney and Pomp cbafed at their own impatience, and finally the Celt said desperately: "Begorra, naygur, av yez say the worrud we'll move down upon the inemy." Don' see wha' harm dere cud be in dat," declared Pomp. I'se wid yo', mah honey!" Barney needed no further encouragement. He sprang into the p1lot house. The herders set up a shout as the machine began to move away. But Barney did not stop. He sent the Traveler down a narrow pass amons; the ledges, and straight toward the line of the foe. His purpose was, to if possible, get in their reu anti give them a taste or the dyuamite. It was all very well planned, and fortune aided Lhe Celt. Tile machine glided like a meteor down tile little defile. The next moment it turned obliquely to the right. "Now, g1ve it to thlml" cried Barney, as he saw a group of aston ished outlaws along tho'! leuges. They were apparently amazed at this audacious move. Pomp needed no second bidding He leveled the dynamite gun and pnsbed the button. There was a booming, lightuing flash, and tbe outlaws were swept like flies from the ledges and in to eternity. Certainly a dozen or them must b!lve been disposed of in that mo meno, and down from bowlders and crags and ledges, there came rush ing a perfect legion of them. The air was filled with their battle yells. Straight for the machine they made their course. It was evident that they beE'lved it already captured. It was a thrilling moment. But Barney and Pomp were right in their element. Neither one or them flinched. Barney turned the machme straight about, and Pomp once more discharged tile dynamite gun. The shell struck a ledge opposite and blew tons of rock from it. The explosion mowed the foe down like ripened grain. But It did not check them. On they came like a whirlwind. At close quarters they might possibly have boarded the Traveler, and the result have proved serious. But at this moment the herders came up and joined in the fray. They poured a deadly volley among tile rascally crew. Then Pomp sent another dynamite shell among tllem. 'fhis turned the tide. A stentorian voice was bearu, a re treat. Like magic the attacking force vanished among the ledges. The battle was over, at least for the time. In one sense it was a victory lor the stock herders and the ma chine. The foe had been repulsed with great slaughter. It was Barney's impulse to follow, bat Pomp demurred. "I ret;kon we bettah wait fo' Marse Frank's ordahs," he said. "Meb be he cum back berry soon now.'' But Barney shrugged his shoultlers, and said: "Be me sow! I'm afraid that it will ':le a long day afore Misther Frank or the Dago himself cums back." "Wha' yo' mean, hooey?'' "Shore, jes' phwat I say. Suppose they have wandhered out av tl:e camp an' fallen into the hands av tbim outlaws! Shure it's mighty little tcime wud be lilt tbim on this earth." Pomp looked distressed. "Fo' de Jun's sakes! Wba' wlll hecome ob us if dey hab killed Marse Frank!" he wailed. "Dat am a dreffulllng!" "Fust off we'll make sbure av it," declared Barney. How am we gwine to do dat?" "I'll show yez." The outlaws had fled leaving their dead and woundetl behind them. On the le
PAGE 8

/ 8 THROUGH THE 'l'ROPICS. And Barney thrust a small llask of whisky into the outlaw's band, for which be muttered his tilanks. Then the Celt sped back to the declt fof the Traveler. .. Shure I have the truth now!" he cried as. be met Pomp. "Mis ther Frank an' the Dago are prisoners in the den av the outlaws; wan av t.bim tould me hisself!" "Golly! yo' don' say!" cried Pomp in amazement. "Howebber did dat happen!" "I can't say, naygur; only it.'s fer yez an' I to fly to his rescue roigb t off." "A' r!ght, sab! I'se wif yo' dead to rights!" cried Pomp. By this time Juan Lodero, the lieutenant of Don Jose and the man who bad taken command of the herders, rode up. He could speak a smattering or English, and addressed Barney. What are we to do now, senor!" he asked. Do you know where are Don Jose and your master!'' Ay, sor, I do tbot," replied Barney, and then told the story as given him hy wounded outlaw. Lodero listened with interest, and then related the fucts to his com panions. A sensation was created. The b.mters were much excited, and for at once llying to the rescue of th eir chief, but they were confronted with another problem. How were they to gain entrance to the outlaws' den! This must first he accomplished. Barney still kept his eye upon the black spot on the mounto1in wall, and which the wounded outlaw had declared was a window. TIJen be moved the maclune towards it. Tll11 nature of the region prevented his getting extremely in good position. Bnt be did succeed in getting near enough to see the iron bars at the window. He experienced a thnll wl.len be rellected that Frank and Don Jose were just beyond them. He longed for wings wil h which to fly up to them. In lieu of these be anxiously watched the window for one of them to appear. But they did not show themselves. Anxiously the two faithful fel lows watched. Finally an idea came to Barney's mind. "Be gorra, av 1 cud shoot something up there, I'd make thim look out," he declared. "Faith, I'll thry it!" ''How am yo' gwine to do it, sab!'' asked Pomp, incredulously. "Yez kin kape yer eye on me an' ye'll see," replied Barney. With which the Celt went into the pilot-bouse and hunted up some putty which be bad, iu case or need, for broken windows und otber uses. 'fbis he rolled up into a round hall nnd placed it in the breech of the pn e umatic gun. It. was the same stze as a shell of dynamite, and coul!l b e propelled by the compressed air JUSt us well. Then Barney sighted tbA gun for the chfi" window. Car e fully be drew aim and then pressed the button. It flew straight to the mark. Tbrougb the barred window it went like a hullet. The Celt did not see its passage so swift was it, but be knew that it bad entered the window, f o r no mark of it was seen upon the outer wall. Then be awaited nox i o usly the result or the shot. .. CHAPTER V. A BOLD ESCAPE-A DARING RUSE, FRANK und Don Jos e wer e indeed in a sore frame of mio
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