The cloud city: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s most wonderful discovery.

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The cloud city: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s most wonderful discovery.

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Title:
The cloud city: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s most wonderful discovery.
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Frank Reade library.
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Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
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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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R17-00124 ( USFLDC DOI )
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024953191 ( Aleph )
38532540 ( OCLC )

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Nona:rn.e's" Latest and Best Stories are Published in This Library. Ente1ed as Second Class 1Hatter at the New Yor k, N. Y., Post 0./Jlce, October 5, 1892. H o. 164. {COMPLETE.} FRANK 'l'OU'SEY, PPBT,ISHER, 29 WES' r 26th SrREET NEW YORK. New ,York, J uly 23, 1897. IsSUED SKMI MONTHLY { ,.,t. c E } Vol VII 5 ,Entered according to the Act of Conuress, in the yeur 1897, by FRANK 7'0 USEY, in the office of the Libraria n of Conuress, at 1Vashinuton, D. C. THE CLOUD CITY: I Or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Most Wonderful Discovery. B y "NONAME." !l'he air ship came slowly about and the balloo n impelled by the air currents came rapidly nearer. The car was a h uge cylindrical structure of wicker w o rk, with small bull's-ayes windo w s o f glass, and a square door which opened outward upon a b a lcon:v. Below the car bung a long piece of rope which had been broken, evidently the anchor havmg become lost thus.

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THE CLOUD CITY. The subscription price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the vear is $2.50; $1.25 per six months, post. paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PuBLISHER, 29 We8t 26th Street, New York THE CLOUD CITY; OR, FRANK READE, JR.'S MOST WONDERFUL DISCOVERY. A STORY OF AERIAL N:AVIGATION. By "NONAME," Author ot "Chasing a Pirate,'' "Frank Reade, Jr., in Cuba," "Frank Reade, Jr., in Japan," etc., etc. CHAPTER L BOUND FOR THE 41/DES. FRANK READE, JR., baa just completed his new air ship. It was the crowning effort of his career as au inventor. Tlle Air Sprite, as he christened it, was built of the lightest and strongest materials which he could llnd. Of course aluminum enLered largely into the construction of the craft. He followed out his pet theory of the revolving rotascope as a means of elevatlon, and the revolving propeller driven by electric engines for propulsion. Frank's purpose was to visit the Andes mountains of South America. Why he bad chosen this trip we will explain later. The Air Sprite was modeled somewhat a!ter a Government torpedo boat. She was long and with slight depth of hold. Her bull was of thinly rolled but bullet proof aluminum and steel. Above her decks rose a double structure with plate glass windows, and which served as the forward and after cabins. These were richly appointed, for Frank had spared no expense in equipment. In the extreme bow was the pilot house. Here the operator could and d1rect all movements of the air ship by means of an electric key board. Of course the motive power was electricity, generated by a compact system of storage which was Fmnk Reade, Jr. 'a, secret. At the stern was the huge four bladed propeller. The power of as cension was furnished by four large rota8copes, placed upon revolving masts. These could be driven at great speed. It would require a volume to give in detail all the wonderful ap pointmects of the air ship, so we will not devote more time to the subject just now, but leave it to the incidents of our story to introduce from time to lime. Suffice it to suy, that the Air Sprite was equipped with arms and stores such as would be necessary for a long cruise in an enemy's country. For Frank Reade, Jr.; doubted not that they would meet foes in the unexplored wilds of Sooth America. So he was resolved to be pre pared. Barney and Pomp, his traveling companions, were extremely en thusiastic over the proposed trip. They were never so happy as whee traveling in some far part of the world with Frank Reade Jr. The Air Sprite had been built at Frank Reade, Jr.'s machine shops iu Readestown the smart little town where several generations of Reades had dwelt. Franlc Reade, Jr., was, of course, quite wealthy, for his inventions had brought him great quantities of money. So his trip to the Andes was not in quest of treasure. But it was to establish the truth of a story more strange than human fancy can often picture. This story had been given Frank :>y a celebrated South American traveler, Van Gay, who clairr.ed to have witnessed the wonder with his own eyes, Austin Van Gay wall an Americanized Hollan
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I TllE CLOUD CITY. 3 Finally the hour drew near for the sailing of the Air Sprite. r It was not el!.ly to form any safe conjecture 11.8 to where it bad come 'l 'he voyagers went aboard and the start was at once made The from or what was its errand in this part of the world. What bad behuge rotnscopes were started and the air ship leaped into space. come of its voyagers was a mystery. Soon Readestown was but a speck among the distant bills below. Of courst! notblng could lJe seen of the Interior of the ear, so that Straight to the south Frank set his course. it could not be determtned whether it was occupied or not. It was a wonderful experience for Austin Van Gay, who bad never If It was, then the occupants must be either dead or asleep. Else before made an aerial voyage. they must bave become cognizant ol the nearness of another aerial Be could do notbiog but sit by the rail and watch the great craft. rama below. It was an ever varying picture. For a time Frank: cculd not decide what to do Hamlets, towns and cit1es passed in kaleidoscope order, and moun It required no slight amount or maneuvering upop Barney's part to tains, valleys and plains were blended. prevent the two air ships from fouling each otb er. 'l'he altitude at wbich tlie air ship sailed was even greater than that Attracted by the more powerful current created by the Sprite the of the Andes, but the l'Oyagers experienced no sickness therefrom. balloon followed it most tenaciously. Sometimes it ruabed down Which proves that the so-called mountain sickness is not wholly owing tbe Sprite at frightful speed. to altitude. It was well what would be the result -of such a collision. On sailed the air ship until finally night shut down over the land Both vessels must be wrecked. scape. Then the electric lights ma;le all aglow and travel just as easy "If there is anybody in that car they ought to wake up!" cried Van ae in daylight. Gay. Why not hail them, Frank!'' Barney and Pomp were faithful at their duties. Barney looked after "Ali right!" agreed the young inventor, 11 give them a sboutr electric engines and Pomp prepared au appetizing meal. 11 Hello-o-ol Hello!" shouted Yan Guy. After this was over all sat out upon deck to enJOY the balmy air. Again and again he sent the call across the intervening space. But Pomp brought out his banjo and Barney his fiddle and for a time no reply came back. tbt!y made things lively enough. Here was a mystery. The trip bad begun auspiciously as all agreed, and when the hour Where were the aeronauts! for retiring to rest came they were In high Barney and Pomp What strange balloon was this, where bad It come from, what was were to alternate lis watchmen. its mission and how long bad it been adrift! Frank was determined to When morning came they were sailing over a part of Kentucky know. and still bearing to the southwest. Wonderful progress bad been But the great problem DOW befnre him was bow to solve the mystery. made. The first move of course wns, to vielt the car. Frank predicted that before noon they would reach the But to do this waR no task. It would not do to allow the bal Gulf. Tropical" skies and atmosphere vroulll then be in evidence. loon to come in too proximity to the Sprite It would not be a long sail frum there to the upper spur of the Frank studied the situation for some while. Then be decided upon Andes. a plan. Van Guy paced the deck Hire an admiral, with head erect and shouJ. He went into the pilot-house and took the wheel from Barney. ders square. He watched eagerly the southern horizon. He pressed the rotascope valve, and the Sprite shot upward three But that afternoon, as they were just entering upon the swampy hundred feet. lands of Louisiana, the first lucident of the voyage occurred. The balloon followed a abort distance, then its buoyancy ceased Suddenly Burney sent up a loud yell from the pilot bouse. and it returned to its leveL "Och lionel Wnd yez be aftber coming here, Misther Frank! The problem was solved. Sbur.!, there's the divil to pay down yonder.'' Frank gave the wheel to Barney and sprang out on deck. He Frank rushed Into the pilot bouse. Ile glanced through the plate picked up a long rope and 'brew It over the rail. glass window in the direction indicated by Barney. Then a sharp ex It descended to within reaching distance of the car of the bal clamation escaped his lips. loon. By Jove, it Is a balloon I" Frank secured tho rope to the rail tightly. Not five miles distant, and being driven toward them by the Gulf Van Gay st ared. airs, was a huge balloon. 11 What Is all thief' he cried. "You are not going down on that At that distance the car looked so small that little could be distinrope, Frank!" gnished within it. But Frank: snatched up a glass and brought it to The young inventor smiled. bear upon it. 11 I am,'' he replied. He gave an exclamation. 'But-suppose it should break or you should lose your holdf' "That is queer! seems to he nobody aboard! It is evi "It will not break, and I shall not lose my grip,'' said Frank, dently a derelict." lightly. "Come, Pomp. I want you to steady me." Vnn Gay had by this time put in an excited appearance. "A'right, sahl" "What do you make of it, Frank?" be cried; "it looks as if With this, Frank swung himself over the rail. He was as nimble somebody besides ourselves Is trying aerial navigation.'' as any sailor. "You are right," agreed the youo,; Inventor. "Let us see what Down he went, and Van Gay watched him with starting eyeballs. use we can malta of a signal.'' Bot did not fall. With which Frank picked up a large flag and went aft to the His oene Wall fullly equal to the occasion, and soon he had reached hil!best mast. Here he ran the bunting up. the loop at the end of the rope. This he slipped under his arms and Up and down the mast he caused the flag to run rapidly, so as felt secure. to attract the attention of those in the distant balloon. But nojV the question arose as to how he was to raach the car of the But if the aeronauts saw it, they did not heed It, and finally Frank balloon. desisted, saying: Tne angle was such that the balloon's eclipse prevented his accom "It is my candid belief that there is no one in tbat cnr. It is a plisbing this end in tbe ordinary manner. Meanwhile the great globe derelict balloon, beyond doubt.'' of gas would keep swinging about in the air currents, aud it required 11 Jehu!" exclaimed Van Gay. "I am more than ever interested. Barney's best efforts to keep the Sprite near the What shall we do about It, Frank!" But Frank now shouted: The yoong inventor did not at once make a reply to this question. "Hello, Pomp!" CHAP'l'ER II. THE STORY OF THE BALLOON. FRANK was not the least interested of the party. The mystery of the balloon was a deep one. He was determined to fathom it. "Barney!" he shouted, bear oil a trifle to the west. Then hold the Sprite steady for a time." All roigbt, sort" The air ship came slowly about and the balloon impelled by the air -currents came rapidly nearer. It does not tl\ke a balloon long In such strong airs to travel five miles. As a result it was soon within a short distance of the Sprite. Frank was cautious. He knew the danger of fouling with the huge aerial vessel. It was the largest of the kind he had ever seen. Nor was it like any other he or Van Gay bad seen In its appoint mente. The globe was of eome material unlike the usual oiled silk and yet seemingly as light and impervious to the elements. Tbe car was a huge cylindrical structure or wicker worli:, with small bull's-eyes windows of glass, and a equare door which opened out ward upon a small balcony. Below the car bung a long piece of rope which had been broken, evidently \be anchor having become lost thus. For some while our adventuers gazed upon the strange float ing globe. The darky leaned over the rail. "Yas, sabl" "Bear on the rope and &wing it toward the balloon.'' Pomp caught the idea. "A'rigbt, sabl" Tbe darky followed Frank's instructions, and Frank swung nearer to the car of the balloon. Again and again be swung in toward it. Then with a qu1ck move he grasped the wicker work and held on. Wltbout removing the rope from his shoulders be opened the wicker door of the car and glauc ed in. It was a remarkable sight which met his gaze. The compartment, of course, was small, but It held a surprising number of appoi&tmeots and fixtures. But there was no human oc cupant. It was then after all, a derelict, and In very truth a lloatlog mystery. Perhaps the car contained an explanation of this. Frank was deter mined to know. So he dropped down into the little compartment. In its center was a small table of light wicker work. Upon this were volumes, paper and writing materials. A couple of very tiny and light chairs rested against it. Que wall of the car held shelve upon which were scientific iostru mente. On anotl!er side were co ing utensils. In a small canopy above was the generator and regulator which furnished gas for the balloon, Against a cushioned seat leaned a coaple of handsome ri.lles. Also

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THE CLOUD CITY. in the roof above nod to oue side of tile generator was a powerful telescope. Frank took in nil these tillngs and could form but one conclusion. Tilis was that the missing aeronauts were sci e ntists. Doubtlesil' they had set forth upon some voyage of researcil, aud owing to some acci dent, perhaps the breaking of the anchor rope, tlle lJalloon bad got away from them. Thl s was a plausible theory, and in lieu of a better one, Frank was to accept it. But who were the aeornauts, and of what nationality! He looked about him for an answer to this question and his gaze fell upon tile papers on the table. At once be proceeded to examine them. There were sclentil!c notes and meteorological recordEt, but soon Frank hit upon a bundle of manu11cript which was labeled: "Log of the balloon, Cruiser." Frank turned to the page, and read: '' This is the Jog of the chemical balloon, Cruiser, the invention of Howard Stearns and Professor Alexander Bent, or Black Creek, Mtchi gao, U. S A. We are bound by means of traverse aerial currents for South America to cross the Andes at their greatest altitud e ... Then followed voluminous notes and o!Jse rva t lons, which Frank passed hastily over until he came to a startling entry. Thus it read: To-day, the seventh of February we hit upon a wonderful dis covery. For weeks we have sailed over various ranges o! the mighty Andes. But tl:ls morni\tg at an early boor, the cloads for a few mom e nts broke from the summit of a certain great peak, and we be belli a great valley deep among the crags It was very green and fertile and wns covered 11ith what seemed like great l!elds of maize and other grains known to the natives of t h e lower plains. Bot the astounding feature was the !act the valley held rude habitations and human beings could be seen. At the distance we could distinguished li t tle of their personnel but they seemed of great stature and giant frame. I sbouh.l any the valley among the peaks was twenty miles in length by five miles in breadth. Bot the wonderful spectacle was a white city right 011 a great cliff on the topmost height of the Andes. My companion, Profes11or Bent, is very anxious to make their acquaintanc e s, and if we can navigate the balloon close enough to the city, we will descend and try to fathom this mystery of a city and a people so far up in the clouds." Here tbe journal ended. Frank Reade, Jr.'s interest was, It ne('d hardly be eaid, or the mo1t intense description. Great guns!" be ejaculated, "here is a mystery as well as a revel ntion. Otber aerial voyagers have visited the Cloud City. But bow did the balloon get away np !Jere in North America, after sailing so far to the south? It Is the peculiarity of the aerial currents. Will not Van Gay be amazed when he reads this." 1 Frank looked about the balloon car and took several small articles which be thought might be of use for purposes of identification. He placed the journal in his pocket carefully, and then climbed out of the car. He waved bia hand to Pomp far above, and then swung clear of the balloon. The great globe swung away, and after the line had ceased its gyra tiona, Frank beg an to ascend hand over hand. Up be went to the rail of the air ship and sprun!! upon the deck. He was met by Van Gay, who wus wildly excited, nnd crted: By Jerusalem! I'm glad you're back, Frank! You know I wouldn't have given n cent !or your chances down there. It lool;ed pre tty shaky to me." Frank laughed. "You did no t know that rwas such an acrobat, did you?" Ind eed not!" 1 That was a very slight feat. Bu t I know you are anxous to know what was in the car of that balloon." "Well, I should say so!'' cried Va:: Gay. "No dead meuauyway," assured Frank. "The ear contained no oc-cupant." Derelect ?'' "Just so!'' Golly!" cried Pomp, unable to restrain his surprise; wha' eber became ob de people wha' owne(l dnt halloonr "That is a m y stery which we most solve," replied Ftauk, "and we have only this very slight clew to guide U@." He drew from his pocket the journal which he hall secured a few momen t s before. CHAPTER III. THE CASTAWAY. VAN G A Y was perhaps the most excited of the group, but even Barne y cam e out of the pilot bouse to take a look at the journal. Frank banded it to Van Gay, and said: "You may read t he first and last ent ries aloud. The balance or the j ournal is or little interest to us just now." Van Gay complied with this request. H e read Lhe entries aloud. For a mom ent there was astonished and profound silence, "He!!orral" exclaimed Barney, l!uall y "did yez iver hear the loi kes av that?" Lan' ob goo d ness! Dat heats c e bull worlcj!" Van Gay l e aned over the rail and loo ked at tile balloon. How the deuce did It get back ilere?'' IJe a&kPd in amazement. "That is easy," replied Frank; "this last entry was made in February. .lt baa bad ample time to travel hither by means of shifting air currents. It Is, however, a curious fact.'' "I shoulu say so! :But that does not explain the fate of the aeronauts." We can easily guess that." "Ahl" It is a simple matter to assume that the two aeronauts descended with the ball;,on into the valley in the Andes." "Sure!'' What would be easter than that they should anchor their balloon. Next, they may have failed to make friendly terms witil tile natives, who cut the anchor rope and let the balloon fly away!'' "All that is possible," agreed Van Gay, "or a ileavy gale may have parted the rope." Exactly!'' In either case, what of the aeronauts?" Frank arose. We are to the Cloud City," he said; "and we will make it our business to find out." Barney turned a flipllnp and Pomp stood on I bis head. Here was something to look forward to. But Van Gay leaned over the rail, and cried: Wh:.t shall we do with the balloon, Frank!'' "Nothing," rHplied the young inventor. Look, yon!'' To the astonishment or all, it was seen that the great globe was sinking. Its silken sides were drawing in. Its life had reached a ter m i nation. A leak bad allowed the gas to lind its way out of the globe, and downward it was smking to its late. Far below was a great Louisiana marsh. In this it could never be found or recovered. The voyagers watched it until it fell into the mire and ooze and sank from view All drew a deep breath and left the rail. "Now," criea Van Gay. Ho for the Andes!'' Barney spruug to the pilot house and once more the air ship was nuder way. A lew hours later tile delta of the great Mississippi was in view. This was a wonderful spectacle. There were the great arena of dri!t and mire, brougilt tiloosands or miles from the upper waters of the great river. There also were the famous jetties, built by a famous engineer. Ves sels of all descrip t ions were being ptloted safely through these marvels or engineering skill. That the air ship attracted attention was certain, for sailors on the vessels gazed aloft and even sent up signal flags to the masthead. Thus the Air Sprtte passed on out over the waters of the Gulf. The voyagers now began to feel as if th"Y were really on their way to tile Aod83. Frank set a straight course lor the great promontory of Yucatan. Then night shut down just as the land faded from view on the hori zon. The Air however, was quite able to travel after dark, for the search-light threw its rays lolly a mile ahead. Then again there was no danger or collision at that height in tbe air. The air was clear and fresh, the sky starstuded and hright. Our voyagers enjoyed fully this evening over the Golf. They sat ont on deck until a late boor. The Air Sprite sailed steadily on. Every moment drew now nearer to that South American land of won which the"y were all so anxious to see. Van Gay had been sitting near tLe rail, engaged in smoking a tlne cignr. Suddenly he turned his head -vith a violent start. What was that!'' he t>jnculated. Eh?'' exclaimed Frank. Van Gay looked over tlte rail down to the dim water folly a thousand feet below. "On my word," he cried, "I could take my oath that I heard a cry fer help !'' Frank was at once interested. Do you think soT'' he cried, springing up. Lower the ship, Bar ney!" All roight, sort" The Celt sprung into the pilot-house, lor the wheel was lashed, and al once the Sprite began to descend And then, quite plainly to the hearing of all, came a distant faint cry of distress. There was no vessel or craft of any kind in sight. 'l bis increased the mystery, and added incentive to the investiga tion. If there was a human belli!! in distress b elow, he must be adrift npon a plank or other buoyant object. Down sank the nit ship, and Barn e y began to thro w t he rays J f the search-light about over the water. Van Gay shouted loudly. Some time elapsed then a distant faint cry was bPard. lt's off there!" cried Frank; "bear away to the south, Barney! The Celt obeyed. The air sbip was now hardly fifty feet above tile sw e lling waters. On tr. glided nod suddenly Barney cried: Dead ahea d snr, an' a man on a dhriltin' a pbat!" All strained guze with tbis, and as a result it was see!! that B u rney was right, / The re was plainly visible, tossing about i n the tumbling a

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I I I I THE CLOUD CITY. 5 human being clinging to a mast. His white upturned face could be plainly distinguished agonized and despairmg. While once more, and Lbis time much fainter, came the call: Help! Ob, God, give nie help!" 1 "Ay, ay!" shoated Frank; "hold on 'bravely, my man. We are comina!" Dow"'n swept tne air ship until it was right over the castaway, Then Frank threw one end of a long rope overnoard. The next moment and before anything more could be said or done he went over the rail. Down the ropo he slid. As be struck the water, he grasped the o!Xhuusted castaway by the right arm. He saw that the man had but little strength left. So he cried reassuringly: "Bear up, my man! You are safe!" "Heaven be praised!" breathed the other. "I was about to glv\l up!" Don't think of that. No. w follow my directions. Put your arm around the rope-so! Now, under the shoulder!" Deftly Frank made a noose under the man's arms. He had scarcely done so when the other's head fell upon his shoulder. He had fainted. Frank shouted loudly: A.ll right up there. Haul away!" Barney and Pomp and Van Gay all gave way at the line and Frank and his bnrden were drawn swiftly up. Over the roil they were safely brought. Tender hands picked the unconscious oustaway up and carried him into the calnn. He was placed upon a couch and restoratives were applied. It was now seen that he was a fine-looking man of middle age and posstss ed of intellectual features. How he chanced to be drifting thus on a spar in the waters of the gulf it wasnot easy to guess. To asce,rtain this they wait until he came to. And this did not happen for some while. Indeed, for a time it seemed as if the weak and wasted body most succumb. But aftEJr much bard work Frank succ6eded In bringing a quiver to the sunken eyelids, and then the castaway for the first time since com lug aboard manifested signs of life. "Heigho!'' cried Van GaY., "be is coming out aU right. Poor fel low! He must have suffered much!'' "You are right," agreed Frank, as be placed a fresh blanket over the sufferer. "Now for a little stimulant and later some nourisbmer.t al)d be will soon be with the living." ,.Within an hour the rescued mao was able to sit up weakly and talk. flis story was a thrilling one. "My name is James Leclair," he said. "My home is in Belize, Honduras. I sailed from there for New York aboard the steamer Ln Carib. We were not a day O'lt of port when fire broke out in the en gine room of the steamer. We fought it as long at> we could. But it overcame our efforts and the boats were put out. I was one of the last to leave the steamer and was compelled to cling to a drtfting spar, as the boats were given up to the women. But just at that moment a gale came sweeping down upon \18, The steamer went down at the first blast. What became of the boats I cannot say. For two days and nights I have been buffeted about toy wind and waves. At ti es I have almost yielded to an impulse to sink beneath the cruel waves anJ end my misery. But I hung on doggedly, andthanks to you, my klind friends, I am saved.'' We are glad to be of service to you.'' said Frank. Then Leclair looked curiously about the cabin. He pressed a hand over his eyes and said: It is all like a dream. Pardon me, friends, but as I was hauled aboard, tllis ship seemed suspended in the air. Was it only my I "By no means,'' replied Frank. "Thia is the nir ship, Sprite. We nre from Readestown and hound for South America." Leclair seemed surprised; hut he only eaid: Then you will pass near Belize!" "Yes." "It is my home. Would you mind putting me down there!" It is our purpose." replied Frank. God bless you! You nre good and kind to me. I have heard of air ships, but this is the first time I have ever seen one.'' "I will be glad to show you its appointments on the morrow,'' replied Frank. "You will he stronger then." "I shall be glad,'' said Leclnir. Then he fell asleep. But when the morrow came it brought a tragic happening, which came near to putting an end to the South American project and the lives of all. CHAPTER .IV. A MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE. VAN GAY had kindly volunteered to watch by the bellside of the castaway. For a bit of fever seemed about the man. Be talked strangely in his restless sleep, but yet did not arouse un til dayllll;ht came. Then Pomp brought up a nourishing repast for him, nnd Frank re lieved Van Gay. The young idventor notice!l that the castaway's eyes were strangely brilliant and seemed to in his head. Be aweared also to be curiously morose and abstract, at times not heeding remarks addressed him. But Frank attributed this wholly to physical weakness. "He will come out or that ae he grows stronger," be said. Leclair seemed to b11ve no inclination to leave his bunk. Toward noon be fell into what seemed like a refreshing sleep. As he appeared to be sleeping soundly, Frank ventured to leave him :lnd go on deck. They werA Just passing over White Gull island, a curious sort of Cay near the west coast of Cuba. From here to the Gull of Honduras the course was sou' -west. The isle presented a wild and desolate appearance. There was t\ tradition that it had once been a resort of Morgan and his buccaneers. Many parties bad dug the island over in quest of buried gold. "Ir we had time!" cried Van Gay, "1 would hke nothing better than to stop here a while, Frankl" "I fear we sbould loose time," sai1 the young inventor. We may be able to do so on our way home!" "That will do as well," said Van Gay with delight. "Jericho! what was that!" Frank gave a great start, and Barney rushed out of the pilot-house. From the cabin there had come a wild eerie cry. It was such as could come from only one kind of person. And that was a madman. Then all beheld a strange sight. In the cabin door for a moment stood the half nude form of Leclair the castaway. But his appearance was awfully changed. His hair was disheveled, his features distorted. The stamp of the maniac was upon him. It was a moment of horror. Not one of the Spirte's crew could think or act in that moment. One horrible fact was impressed upon them, and this was that the fearful strain upon Leclair's nerves bad driven him mad. It might be only a temporary fit, but in any event it was possible for him to do himself or others much harm. Frank was the first to act. "Mercy on us!'' he gasped; "the poor wretch is mad! Watch him, that he does not jump overboard!'' "Easy," cried Van Gay; "try an easy method. Pacify him if you can!" Barney, by Frank's gesture, worked quietly along behind the cabin. Pomp was in the stern. Van Gay went along lhe port-rail, and Frank approached leisurely In front. Leclair seemed not to see them. "Oh, ye blue fire devils!'' he cried, incoherently, "ye think to burn my soull There's water enough here to quench all the fires of Hades! Curse ye all! I go to join my br9uther in the clouds!" With a wild, awful laugh he advanced toward the rail. Below full half a mile, were the rocky crags of Gull Island. Frank put out a hand appeasingly. The maniac paused. He glared at the other blankly. "Let us have a talk first, Leclair," Frank said, in a persuasive way. "I think the clouds are waiting for ns down here. Let us see.'' And Frank indicated the cabin stairway. For a moment the madman's face softened. He whimpered like a child, and Frank even was able to place a band on his arm. "You are my brother!" said Leclnir, in a purring way. "I cannot forget our school days. All! see yonder devil grinning there! Curse him! let me at him!'' With a shriek the madman burst from Frank. He drove his body with great force against the cabin wall. The shock seemed to, for a 1 moment, stun him and be fell back. Frank tried to seize him, but quick as n cat be wheeled and dodged to the left. One moment he cringed in the center of the de::k. Then with a yell of awful terror he started for the pllot-hoQse. "Look out for him!" shouted Frank. "That I will,. sor!'' cried Barney. And the Celt made a dash for the unfortunate man. But he was not quick enough for that. Witll an eerie laugh Leclair sprung into the pilot house. Barney was after him lik!l a deer. But quick as he was, Leclair was quicker. All the cunning of the madman was h:s. With a lightning-like movement he shut and bolted the door behind him. Bnrney fell against it, just too lute. In an instant all four of the aerial voyagers reached the spot. Horror was upon their faces. It was a fearful realization. The air ship was completely in the hands of the madman. There before him and at his fiendish mercy was the keyboard, and all the delicate electrical machinery of the ship. It would have been an easy matter for him In that moment to have destroyed or dnmaged the mac!Jinery so that death would have been brought swiftly upon all on board, for the fall of a mile to the earth would have assured this. My souJ!V. gasped Van Gay; we are In a scrape now! How shall we get out of it!" There was a way into the pilot-house through the cabin. Barney now started for I his. But he might as well have saved himself the trouble. In the pilot-bouse Leclair turned and made !!erce grimaces and gestures through the glass. Frank tried soothe him, but in vain. He was furious to the last degree.

PAGE 6

'l'HE CLOUD CITY. cries were some., It was 1oite possible that Barney and Pomp had fallen into one of these cells and possibly were at the bottom of a deep underground He is at the keyaea, or dashed to pieces hundreds of feet below. He raved abont the place wildly, His yells and thing fearful. "Heuen help us!" cried Van Gay, suddenly. board!" So great was the horror of the two explorers that a cold sweat This was seen to be the I ruth. The maniac llad canght sight or the white-keyed table. It bad at once excited his cupidity. At once he began trilling with the keys. Tbe efl'ect was start ling. Through some chance the air ship began to descend. Fortnnately it fell slowly as the current was light. But every electric bell on board begnn to ring and everything was in a furor. Van Gay rushed 10 the rail and looked over. "Thank Heaven!'' he cried; "we are going to drop (lD the island. It i8 all right, Frank. Thore is no danger of drowning." This was enconrnging, to be sure, hat the fact yet remained that the pilot house was in the poasession or the maniac, who bad the power to effectually ruin the machinery. Of course this was an appalling realization, Cor it meant an end most cisastrous to the Sontli American trip. Down settled the air ship until the sc.ndy of the White Gull island were but a few hundred feet below. Then a startling thing b&.p pen ea. Barney had gone to gain admittance to the pilot house from below: Bat the madman had preceded him. Leaving the keyboard, lle had apparently caught sight or the stairs leading down to the engine room. At once his cupidity was again ex cited and down these he sprang. Into the engine-room he dashed. With a wil,l glance about he sin gled out the live dynamo with its shower of llying sparks. It prove:! a fatnl attraction. broke out over each. "It is too awful!" groaned Frank; "bow unfortunate that we land ed on this acctmiled Isle!" Indeed that is true!" But we must not up hopei" What can we do!' One or us must go down there!'' Van Gay looked surprised, How!" be asked. "Wait here!" said Frank. "I am going back to the air ship for a rope!" In a few moments the young inventor returned with a long coil of rope. Van Gay began to poll oft his coat. "Hold on!" said Frank:. "I am going down there myself.'' "Yon bad better let me go!" "No,'' objected Frank. "I wish to go myself.'' So Van Gay gave way and Frank qaickly prepared to make a de scent into the unknown depths. Near by was the trnnk of a large tree, about this Frank fastened one end of the rope and made a noose of the other. Then be threw the end or the rope Into the cavity. In his band be carried an electric lanteril. "If you do not come bac k what shall I do!" naked Van Gay. "Take the air ship and go back to Yankee land Cot llelp, replied Frank. It waa at that moment tha\ Barney arrived in the room. the maniac's purpose and shouted: The next moment be slid down lr:to the cavity. Van Gny saw the He saw star of light go down and down. Then it flickered and grew dim. He drew a deep 'Jreatb. "Howld on, yez crazy coat! It'll be the death av yezl Whist! Arrah, it's all over wid bim!" Tile Celt reeled back In llorror. It was tr.lly all over with poor Leclair. Drawn by the tlashlng sparks he bad grasped the dynamo with both hand&. What followed is beyond description. Death was certainly instantaneous. Whan the otl1ers gained ad mittance a few moments later, his mangled body was found jammed in between the electric storage coils. The air sbij> had struck the earth and rested se<'urely upon a bank ot sand. The voyagers first looked to the safety of the Sprite, then tlley brought the remains of poor Leclair out on deck. It wus a sad scene, and all were much aOected. But the best tllat could be done was to give the unfortunate man A grave on the isle. "I will communicate With his folks at the first opportnnity,'' said Frank. "That is all we can do.'' "Nothing more," agreed Van Gay. "I am not much of a parson, but I think I can say a short prayer over l:is grave. Poor fellow!'' The air ship was wllile Barney and Pomp prepared a shroud, Then a grave was rlug on a Alight eminence near. This overlooked the sea, and not a hall mile distant was a capacious harbor, which Van Gay at once noteJ. "He has got to the end of the rope," he muttered. Tben he waited and listened, The light flickered and grew uim and vanished. Van Gay grew alarmed as time went on. '' Jerlcbo," he exclaimed, "I don't like it a bit! Why don't Frank answer?" He grew very nervous. At last be consulted his watch. It ))ad been forty minutes since Frank had slid into that hole in the earth. "It's all wrong," muttered Van Gay, and he glanced toward the air ship. The impulse was half npon him to f(Jllow Frank's instruc tiona and go for llelp. He leaned over the edge and again shouted. No answer came. I Then Van Gay pulled on the rope. It was loose and held no weight at its end. With a chill of llorror he pulled it all up. FranK Reade, Jr. was not at the end or it. But one conclusion could be formed by him, In his excited state be fancied that Frank Reade, Jr. had lost bls grip and fallen, perhaps to tile center of the earth, The spell of hor ror upon him was intense. His mind waa settled. He would take the air sllip and go back to America; so he made a rnah for it, witllont recalling the fact that the mnniac Leclair had It tampered with the intricate machinery. Neither was he quite sure tllat be understood the key-board; but He called Frank's attention to it. "Perpaps that is where Morgan made an anchorage," he said. looks large enongll Cor a lleet of vessels." "It may be," agreed Frank. The body had been brought out on an impromptu bier. Barney and Pomp bad already fashioned the grave to a depth of four feet. Two feet more would be deemed suOicient. But at that moment a strange thing happened. A loud shout went up, and then Harney and Pom}J disappeared from view. Astounded, Van Gay and Frank looked at eacll other. Then they rushed to the grave. It waa a most astonishing spectacle which met their gaze. The two grave diggers were not to be seen. An awful dark aperture yawned where the oottom of the grave hnd been. Foc a moment neither Frank nor Van Gay conhl act. "Jericho!'' exclaimed the latter, ''have they gone \o the center of the earth t" he was desperate. Something must be done. As he passed the bter upon wllich lay the body or Leclair be gave a start. Here was another matter for consideration. Overhead a great Hock of buzzard s hovered, ready to descend and make a horrible feast upon the corpse. It ought to be pat nuder ground. Van Gay llesitated. Then lle looked about for a spade. As he did so an astonnding met his gaze, A hundred yards distant three men appeared from behind a sand dune and advanced toward him with a loud shoat. He rubbed his eyes. Then Frank recovered himself. He rushed forward and threw himself down upon abyss. All was dark below. He listened intently. "Jericho!" he gasped. "Am I dreaming?" But he speedily became assured of the fact that he was not. The the verge of the three men were no others than Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and Pomp. When the ground gave way beneath them and they Cell sncb a dis Lance, Barney and Pomp escaped death by a literal miracle. Then he shouted: Hello! Where are you, Barney?" Again and again he shouted. Van Gay did the same. But no answer came. All was silence and darkness. The two men appalled exchanged glar:ces. "I tell you it's a deep hole!" cried Van Gay; "it's one of these cnraed coral isles which are so fearfully honeycombed. They have gone do11 n to death." CHAPTER V. BARNEY AND POMP'S ADVENTURES. They fell to their watsts into a depth of soft n.ud and ooze. This broke their fall. All was darkness about them save u dim circle or light far above. Whurroo!" gasped Barney, as soon as he recovered from the shock. Phwere the divil are we anwway, nayl!nr?'' "Golly Co' glory!" stuttered the negro, "'pears to me like we'se done fell to de berry center ob de year!!" They lloundered about in the ooze and tina!Jy sncceeded in crawling out !ipon a bit of terra firma. This was some yards away from the spot where they ha1l fallen and was far nuder a cavern roof. They could not see the light of day FRANK was not inclined to dispn\e Van Gay, In fact, was disposed to agree with him. above them, and the cavern depths prevented their bearing the shouts he rather of Frank and Van Gay so far above. But what they did see was a faint star of light In the distance through the cavern. Barney was the llrat to make a suggestion after they emerged from the ooze. It was by' no means an unfeasible theorv. These islands of the semi tropics were often of coral origin and honeycombed as he auld.

PAGE 7

'l'HE CLOUD CI'l'Y. 7 "Be me sowl, nnygur,'' he gasped, "we are sthuck now! We uiver kin get back that way we come." "l;luhl" cried Pomp, "doli yo' worry 'bout dnt. Marse Frank, he neber leave us dQwn yere, an' don' yo' t!nk he Will.'' Begorrn, he won't nv his own free will, to be shure. But sup. posin' he can't himeell! Phwat tllinf' Marso Frank urn able to do moat unyt!ng, I tell yo', chilo.'' I'll not dispute yez there, naygur. But It looks off yonder, as If there was a way out av this place, an' be me sowl, I'm fer thryin' it!" Pomp hesitated. 'By this Ume they had scraped the mud from their garments as well .as they could see to do it In the darkness. All was Stvgino gloom about them. There was nothing to indicate as yet, that any attempt was to be made for their rescue. Both went as near the edge of the pi' of ooze as they
PAGE 8

8 THE CLOUD CITY. It Ia all right! I shall have it in working order very quickly." I Tbe anchor rope parted and up she shot like a rocket. What fol And his promise was verified. In 1:1 lew hours the Air Sprite was lowe
PAGE 9

THE CLOUD CITY. 9 -=================================================== Across an immensely deep chasm there was a bridge of rope, and eome llamas with their driver were crossing on it. The scene was an interesting one, an:! Van Gay nod Frank watched it for aome while. Truly, this was a wonderful part or the world. Tbeae moun tnin crags, the awful chasms, the wild vegetation, could be equaled r.owbere else. "'Pon honor," exclaimed Van Gay, this is worth traveling round tba world to see. You will )ldmit, l<'rank, tbnt it is grand!" "Certainly!'' agreed the young Inver. tor. "But wait until we get down into Peru!" 'declared Van Gay; "the Cloud City will open your eyes. Ab, it seems as if we would never get there." And thus the a1r sbip drifted on over the great sceUA spread below. Every hour they were now nearing th e boundary line of Peru. A little past the noon hour Frank came out on d e ck and enid: "We have just crossed the Equator. We shall soon be in the Peru vian Andes." This delighted Van Gay. At once he began studying the distant horizon with bls glass. Meanwhile Barney bad been very basy in the pilot-house. P(lmp waa engaged in the cooking galley, preparing tbe noonday meal. It was served a little later, and as Frank and Van Gay sat at the table while Pomp served them, for the first time Barney's practical joke began to take effect. Van Gay was the first 10 note the bald spot on Pomp's black poll. At first he thought his eyesight was deceiving him. Then be cried: "Why, hello! I didn't know that you were at all bald, Pomp! What does It mean!" The coon turned in surprise. "Wba' dnt, sah?'' be exclaimed. "I don' undabstan' yo', sah. I ain' a bit &aid, snb. Mab wool ueber come out vet, sah." "Well, I'll take my oath you are mistaken," declared Van Gay; just you feel back or your bump or precocity there and see. H tlte wool is not missing there I'll treat. What do you say, Frank!" The young inventor stared. "On my wore! it is the truth," he declared. This somewhat startled Pomp. At once he proceeded to investigate. He put a band to the top or his head, and--Horrors! his wool, such as was left, fairly rose on end. The expres sion on h i s face was comical. "Fo' de Inn's sakes!" he gasped. "I ueber f e lt dat nfo', When eher did I lose all dat rom mah bead. Dar must be satlln' wrong. cud sw'ar l:ed. "Massy, Lordy, I hope de res' ob mnh hair won't come out dnt way. I done wish yo' had tole me obit, I'ish." "BAgorra, yez moight have felt offinded," replied Barney, with &n effort nt eelf con,rol. "Yo' know bettah dan dat. Wha' nm I gwine to do! Ain' got no use at nil fo' a bald headed niggab!" wailed Pomp. Barney was certainly getting squarewith his confrere in a rich manner. But be was not yet through with him. "Pbwat will yez pay me if I make that wool grow out wanst rhore!" be asked. I'll gib yo' de bes' bottle ob Scotch whisky dat I hab got in mnh commissary chest, aab," declared Pomp; "hab yo' got anyflng dat will make dat ha'r to grow out, honey!" Bejabers, yez kin bet that I have!" cried Barney. Wa1t here and I'll bring it to yez." And away went the Celt. When be reached his own room he went into paroxysms or laughter. CHAPTER VIII. THE CLOUD CITY, BARNEY's joke had worked well. But poor Pomp had not yet seen the last or it. In a short while the Celt returne1. He carried some strange-looking black mixture in a Mancer. Also some strips or lint and linen. "Now," he &aid, seriously, "Lhis !oine hair producP-r was forst used in Oireland by the O'Sheas, and they were lr;sb kings, an' the saycret has descinded to mesilf as a family inheritance. Av coarse, it's very vnlooable, an' av yez wnrn't a friud av moine I'd niver let yez hll'l'e it." "Yo' kin be suah dnt I appreciate de favor!" declared Pomp. "Yez kin be dead shure av gittm' yer balr all back agiu 1! yez will follow my directions," continued Barney. "All that yez need to do ia to kape this poultice on the .bald spot fer twioty-!our hours. It may give yez a bit av sbmartin', but it will dbraw the hairs out ngin jist aa a bot sun dhraws wnther from the say. Now, are yez riddy!'' Barney daubed some of the black mixture upon the lint and applied it to tue bald fpot. Then after a liberal application be bound it up with the linen. Now yez must not take this off fer twenty-four hours ; '' be declared solemnly. "Yez hair will grow ivery day n!ther that.'' "Lor' bress yo', chile snid Pomp, gratefully. "l'se jes' gwine fo' to do j es' wha' yo' tells me to." A short while later, Barney, from his position in the pilot bouae, coultl bear Pomp grunting and swearmg in a most profuse manner. But the bandage was not removed. Frank saw that Pomp had his bend tie d up and laughed uproarious ly when he heard the reason therefore. Well, I hope your remedy will succeed, Pomp," he cried. "I never heard of one like it, though." But the darky was faithful to the Celt's remedy. He kept the poul tice on loyally for twenty-four hours. Then, when he removed it, the nicest kind of a bhster !iliAd the plnce of the buld spot. "Wbin goes down," said Barney seriously, "yez will folnd that the little foine hairs will be comin' out.'' But it was several days before the blister vanished. Then after the sore scalp bad healed, as Barney had predicted, and as would have been the caae anyway, thA wool began to rapidly crop out. This was all nuts for the Celt. He bad never bad so much secret run before in his life. He had deceived lbe coon, who believed him his great est benefactor. But he suspected that Frank and Van Gay had tom bled to his game, though they held their peace. Which was lucky for Barney. Meanwhile ; the Air Sprite had drifted down into Peru. Van Gay declared that they were not fifty miles from the high peaks among whiclJ lay the walls of the Cloud City. Naturally the voyagers were all eager and excited. Tltey recalled tlte strange fate of the two aeronauts, Stearns and Bent, and wondered if they should be able to solve the mystery. Van Gay believed that they would, nod that it was not impossible that they were yet alive, and might be rescued. Frank was skeptical. "Those mountain people like the Incas, were erode and ignorant, nod bound by savage laws and religio .n. They would probably put the prisoners to death." However this was, the voyagers all kept an eager watch for the Cloud City. But they sailed through dense clouds which seemed to envelop tbe penll:s. For two days the air ship cruised about among this eternal wall of mist all(! then it lifted for a brief while. That waa sufficient. The Cloud City was instantly revealed to the astonished gaze of the voyagers. They were spell-bound. It far exceeded even the enthusiastic description of Van Gay. High crowning tile mountain wall of pink colored rock 1t made a beautiful spectacle. It might have bqen a feudal city of ancient times, so far as its aspect went. Far away through the high valley or the Andea stretched this region of the clouds. It seemed strange that vegetation should exist and the land appear so fertile at this fearful altitude. It was an absolute contradiction of the teachings and the experience or the scientist. But Van Gay had already theorized that there were certain climatic differences here existing, created by tLe almost constant presence of the clouds, which gave to this aerial world a climate or its own. The air was not so dry nnll arid as one might expect on mountain peaks. The Air Sprite bong directly over the Cloud City. The scene revealed was a most remarkable on11. To describe it in detail would seem almost lmpossi!J!e. The city did not seem to bavA streets as most cities do, but the buildings w11re connected with the little arched Tile people lived practically on the and descended into their houses instead of enlerlng from below. This mude of the buildings a strange and unique spectacle. The housetops were, without exception, liter.ai roor gardens, after the manner of the Damascus of ancient history.

PAGE 10

10 THE CLOUD CITY. Everywhere were great throngs of very strange looking people, men, women and children. They were gazing at the Air Sprite with appar ent wonder. And yet there seemed to be no fear or conateroatloo. Giant framed people they were. Van Gay and Frank studied them with a glass, and finally the latter asked: "What do you make of them!" "Tbey are not of the Red lndi&n,l"ace," declared Van Gay, positive ly; "their peculiar yellowish skin and fair hair precludes that. Neither are they of the Incas race. By Jove, we have diacovered a new and distinct race of people!" Frank waa of this opinion himself and not disposed to make denial. But he again asked: "What is the next move, Van Gay!" The explorer was silent a moment. "Well,'' be said finally, "we did not come here lor conquest.'' "No.'' "Perhaps we can make some overtures of peace with them." "Very well. Have you any method t1l suggestr' asked Frank. Van Gay stroked his mustache. "Perhaps a bold method Is the best," be declared. "We ouaht with our eqoipmect lor de!enae, to little lear an attack. Why not"ue: scend and meet them!'' Correct!" agreed Frank; it Is a good pian!" So be turned and signaled Barney, Let the air ship descend,'' he cried; "drop her on that green knoll just under us!" All roigbt, sort" Down settled the Air Sprite slowly until she waa within a hundred yarlf," agreed Frank; "but let us not be the first to strike a blow.'' So the voyagers held fire until tile foe were right at the foot of the knoll. Then a good view or them could be bad. In all their travels our adv!lnturers had never seen men of such won derful physique and strong faces. They were clad partly in goatskin aud a curious kind or fiaxen material. Long yellow hair fell down from their shoulders. Their weapons were javelins, tipped with bone and tllnt, huge clubs of wood and darts wtth keen tips-not very formidable when com pared wtth the white man's deadly rifle. But yet, on even ground, these giants would make a tremendous battle, no doubt. They were not to be despised. They swarmed at the foot of the knoll like veritable bees. There were fully a thousand of them. That they meant to attack the air ship there was no doubt. With fierce cries and brandishing their weapons, they came quickly on up the slope. Frank saw that there were but two things to do. One was to raise the air ship to a point of safety, and the other was to gtve the foe an impression most forcible of the superiority of the Invaders. H Frank should retreat now he saw thn.t it would simply add to the confidence of the enemy, and put further away any posaibllity of a chn.nce at amic!lble understanding. He was much averse Lo the taking of human life. But he was convinced that his best and only plan was to stand bla ground, And be did so. On came t!le foe. The aerial travelers bad retreated to the cabin. Here they were ready lor action. Frank waited patiently. Then, when he saw that nothing else could be done, be cried: "Open fire! Take the foremost!" At ouce the four rilles spoke and a volume or llame leaped from the port holea in the cabin aide. As many huge mountain natives threw up their arm1 and fell. There was a swaying and uesitatiou in the attacking line. The mountain people were evidently astonished by this strange aud an. heo.rd of repulse. CHAPTER IX. FIGHTING ON THE HOUSETOPS. THE ilash of ll.re and smoke, the deafening report and the sudden dropping In a mysterious manner of four of their number, brought them to a mystified halt. The mountain people had e't'idently never aeen or heard firearms before. "Once again!" cried Frank, "take them while confused!" Again the rilles spoke. The monntalo people fell back. Consternation took the place of bra't'ado. Here was a foe, and their superstitious fears as serted themselves. They retreated in a disorderly fashi.Jn some distance from the knolL The air w:.s filled with their startled cries, and they ran about like eheep. "Whnrrool" shouted Barney, "shore it's a !oine batln' we gave thlm!" "Not much to boast of," declared Frank. "I always feel guilty to shoot such poor wretches, but really, It was our only way to bring them to terms." "Indeed It was!'' agreed Van Gny. "Perhaps they will treat with us now.'' Frank stepped out on the forward deck with a white tlag. He did not know that they would understand what this meant. But be col,lid think of no other or better signal. He waved the tlag and made nil sorts of amiceble gestures. But the mountain people would pay no heed. They remained in a budtlle ont upon the level ground. They dld not return to the attack, but seemed to be holding some sort of a cour.cil. Frank came back into the cabin. "No use,' he eaid. "We cannot compromise with What shall we do then, to learn the fate of Stearns o.nd Bentr Frank: was thoughtful. Finally he said: "We must search for them. First let us drive these rascals out of their city. Then we can search It thoroughly, and if the two aeronauts are alive we shall lind them." "Good!'' cried Van Gay; "we could devise no better plan." We will start at once!" "Yes!" Frank at once raised the air ship an:l allowell It to sweep over the heads of the startled mountain natives. Many of them lt!ll upon their faces. Straight for the city the Sprite sailed. This was now uearly deserted. But seeing the apparent purpose of the visitors, the mountain people set forth at full speed to return to the of the city. But the Air Sprite of coarse reached It long before them. Frank se lected the broadest and highest roof and allowed tile air ship to settle down upon it. Then be cried: "Lively alii We shall not have any too much time In which to carry out our plans." "You are rlgltt!" cried Van Gay. Pomp, you may remain on board the air ship and keep a good outlook. Don't let them surprise you!" said Frank. The darky bowed and scraped. "A'right, Marse Frank. Don' yo' be '!raid ob dati" Frank and Van Gay,IWith Barney now leaped down upon the atone roof of the building. Tiley were armed to the teeth. Frank led the way to a broad stairway which led down into the dwelling. Not one of the natives could be seen. The room below was dark and bare. A few piles of goat akin& were scattered about, which probably served as sleeping couches. Below this room were others. There were but small apertures for. windows, and no door or outlet save that b which they bad entered. From room to room our explorers went with no further discovery. Not a native was to be found, The boose was deserted. As was to be gained by further search here, the explorera returned to the roof. And hare tlley met with what came near prov ing a fatality. On an adjoining roof several of the mountain people who had re mained in the city were gathered. As our adventurers now appeared they sent a shower of javelina across and Into their midst. One of them grazed Barney's shoulder. A few inches nearer and It would have proved fatal. others went wide, but this was enough for Frank, who shouted: Down, everypodyl Give it to them!" A small parapet ran around the roof. Behind this the explorers sank filtt. Then they opened fire. In lese time than it takes to tell it the roof was cleared. But by this time there wae a great uproar at the city gate. A mighty tbr
PAGE 11

'l'HE CLOUD CITY. 11 It was evident that they were desperate and meant to drive out the invaders at any cost. Swinging their weapons they came rushing acrllss the housetops. "Begorra!" cried Barney, "sbure tlley are afther us! shall we doT'' "We will hardly be able to withstand such a mob," said Van Gay, "You are rigllt," agreed Frank. Wfl must get buck to tbe air ship at once." They turned with this purp'Jse in mind, when a startled cry came from Pomp. The coon had rushed to t!1e air ship's rail. "Wud yez luk over there, Misther Frank!" cried Barney, who bad caught the meaning of Pomp's alarm. The coon was pointing across the roofs. Frank and Van Gay looked in the direction indicated. Their gaze encountered spectacle. A number of human forms were engaged in a deaqly wrestle at the very verge of one of the housetops. Six mountain natives were en deavoring to overwhelm men, w om allm the exploring party now saw were white men. "Jericho!'' screamed Van Gay; "they are the lost aeronauts!" Bejabers, they're white men!" cried Barney, Shure we ought to help thiml" "And help them we will!' shouted Frank. "Forward-all!'' At this moment one of the white prisoners broke awuy froffi bis captors. With a wild cry, be set out across the But be did not go far. The mountain natives were upon him like wolves, and he was borne down, helpless. Before our adventurers could reach the spot he was dragged down with his companion into one of the buildings and out of sight. Our adventurers had no idea of abandoning the pur8uit. On they went at full speed. But when they reached tlle spot not a sign of the wretches could be seen. But there were stains of blood at one of the stairways. Down this the rescuers now rushed. Down they went and into a huge room below. Here was a huge bowl of stone with a great round bowlder In it. The bowlder was pro vided with long at;ms of wood driven deep into it. In the bowl was a heap of yellow maize. It was n rude mill for grinding grains, and was operated by turning the bowlder about In the bowl. Na doubt the two white cuptives, like slaves, had been forced to do this. Through the mill chamber the would-be rescuers rushed. Another l!tairway was seen and down this they sprung. This brought them to the ground floor of the building. But the big cllamher was deserted, Not a human being was in sight. Nor was there any visible outlet to the place other than the one by which tbey had entered. "Fooled!" cried Van Gay. "We are off the track." "No,'' said Frank positively; "they certuiuly came down here,'' Begorra, I think so," agreed Barney, Van Gay was impatient. "Well," he exclaimed, "they are not here now!'' "I am not so sure of that." "What!" "There must be some trick about it all. I mean to find it out." "l'm with you!" cried Van Gay, "if thflre's any chance. But I think they gave us the slip up-stairs." How could that beT'' "Easy enough, Perhaps we did not get the right stairway." But Frank was obdurate. He felt positive that the party bad come down into this chamber, So be fell to examining the walls and the tloor. Van Gay and Barney joined him. The result was that in a few moments Frank gave a shout: "Look beret" he cried. One of the great blocks of stone appeared not to be encased in mortar as were the others. A distinct open crack was all about it. Frank pushed on it and it moved. Again he and it swung back. It was !ID a pivot and revealed a huge, dark uperture. Van Gay gave a shout and was about to run into the place when Frank restrained him. Waitl"he said. What is the matter!'' "We can g(l no further now!" Van Gay was amazed, Why?'' he asked. Listen!'' And then to the hearing of all came plainly a startling sound. It was the distant mutlled rattle of 11 repeating rifle. The looked at each oth11r. "Pomp is having a lively time!" cried Van Gay; "if they pen us in here we are lost!" This was seen to be true. Of course it was a e:reat disappointment to have to abendon the quest here and now. But it was necessarv. Back they rushed for the housetop. They cdnld hear a greut din and Frank was in great fear that the foe had got aboard tt.e air ship. It seemed hardly reasonable that one man could bold so many h:.n drecls at bay for any great length of time, All realized the necessity, therefore, of at once reaching Pomp's side. Up the stairs they dashed. But suddenly a startling thing occurred. There was a terrific explosion and every man was hurled from W.S feet, and thrown violently down the stairs. Daylight yawned before them, and they saw that a great gnp hid been made in the adobe wall of the building. What bad happeuedT Van Gay was the first to recover, He shouted: "An earthquake!" And for the moment this was accepted as the logical and possible explanation of the matter. But a new dilemma now presented itself. The stairway had also tumbled with the wall. How were thl'y to reach the roof above! It did not seem easy bf any manner of means. CHAPTER X. ON THE CLIFF WALL. IT was certainly not the most cheering of situations. The three ex plorers looked at each other.1 "Trapped!" declared Van Gay. "It looks like it!'' agreed Frank. "I hope no harm has co .me tD the air ship." "Bejabers, the yaller divila are coming afther us, in spite av all,"' cried Barney. "Wud yez luk at that?" The Celt was right. Up through the IJreach in the wall came a swarm of the foe. It was: a thrilling moment. A more savage, blood-tbirst,y mob could hardly be conceived. Ther had caught eight of our adventurers and meant to have their lives. Up they came like wolves. There voas no time to lose. "Give it
PAGE 12

12 THE CLOUD CITY. At both Frank and Van Gay started for the pilot bouse. They were interested, It did not take Barney long to point out his discovery. And Frank and Van Gay shared his opiuiou that it was the work of human hands. "Tbat means much,'' declared Frank. "We have now a better idea or t h e resouces of these people.'' Right,'' agreed Van Guy. "No doubt the entire chfl' is honey combed." t In that case our prisoners are somewhere dowr. in those under ground chambers." Yea. The three the situation for some time Then Barney eard: Shure, sor, phwat will yez be afther doing about it!" "Nothing to-night," replied Frank;, to-morrow we will see what can be done. Heigho! what is tl.lat?" The young inventor sprung up with a sharp cry. He pointed with a thrill at one or the windows in the cliff. 1'he sight which all beheld was an astounding one For a moment it held them spellbound. 'rh e y knew not bow to act. For suddenly through one or the crevic e s there l!ad crept forth a human form. It hung a moment on the verge ana then a rope some hundred feet in length went tumbling down. Dowu this the unknown slid. At its end was a small shelf or rock and here he rested. But what a position was his. Be could certainly go downward no further unless to his death. It was only one-tenth of the distance from the uotLom or the abyss. But yet be bung there looking downward, as if m"llitating a leap. But one conclusion was rea::lled by the aerial fOyager Be was one of the two imprisoned aeronauts. Certainly tllis was t.rue. Their duty was plain. Be muvt be rescued. Frank sprung to the key-board. At the same moment Barney loosened the anchor rope. Frank lowered the air ship quickly, and bore over the face of the cliff. Van Gay shouted: "Have courage, my maul We are coming to help ycul" The imprisoned man turned his gaze upward and made a joyful gest ure with one arm. The air ship slid nearer. It was a critiCal moment for all. 'l'be chances were by no means of the best for getting the poor fellow safely of!' his dangerous perl'll. Near a thousand feet or abyss was at bia fea t. Be was weak, a n d do doubt nervou s There was no certainty but tllat be might fall at any moment from sheer exhaustion. There was tbe necessity for extreme haste. Frank realized this. N ear.er swept the air ship. Barney and Pomp and Van Gay were at tbe rail, ready to give an assiating hand to tbe unfortun a t e man. They '117ere within a dozen feet or Hirn. They could see bra gard, wan face light up with intense joy, wben a wild, awful cry went. up from Barney'& lips. Back, MisL ber Frank, back," be shrieked; "bowly murtber, it'll th e ind av us!" There was a terrible reason for Barney's danger call. Far above be had beard a babel of voices, Looking up be saw a light on the verge of the city wall. A great throng of the mountain natives were there congregated. They were just in the act of rolling a mighty bowlder over the verge. lf it should strike the air ship fairly, its fate would be sealed. Instinctively everybody looked upward. Then Frank reversed the pro peller. The air ship shot backward, but all too late, Down came tbe mighty bowlder. It Atruck the air ship a glancing blow just abaft the pilot house. Frank was hurlea to the deck. Had it bit the air Bhlp fairly, it woulu have been demolished. But as it was, it threw the electric machinery out or gear, and the Air Sprite began to settle to the bottom of tbe gorge, grallnally sliding away in a lateral direction from the cliff. The unfortunate prisoner was left yet upon the shelf of. rock. What became or him couh.l not be seen, us every electric light was extin quished. Down slid the Sprite. She finally rested with a slight shock upon a green mossy bank of a brawling stream. Other bowlders came plunging down, but they did not strike the air ship as she was out or their range. The discomfhure of our voyagen can hardly be expressed in words. "By Jove! it Is too bad that we couldn't have got tl.lat poor fellow aboard first,'' declared Frank. "Indeed it was!" agreed Van Gay. We can do nothing for him now." "Not until the machinery is repaired." Is it badly damaged!" I think not." Frank went below to examine the injuries to lbe Sprite. In a few moments be bad the electric ligbtlln operation. The first move was to throw their glare upward against the cliff. A great shock was accorded all. The shelf of rock was bare. ILs occupant was no longer there. It seemed that there could be but one explanation of his disappear ance. lie bad gone down to bis death, a sure release from his slavery There was a possibility of course that be bad gone back to his prison chamber. But none belleveu ttis. Poor fellow!" exclaimed Van Gay, "it is too bad. I wish we bad seen th'lt bowlder in time." "Welt," said Frank, grimly we can at least avenge his death.'' "Good!'' cried Van Gay, give them a terrible lesson, Frank." "I mean to.'' Frank went at once to work upon the machinery. But It was a long task, and daylight bad come ere it was completed. Then all could look up and see plainly the narrow windows in the cliff The rope yet bung from the crevice. The brawling sr, ream was just beneath that shelf of rock. No doubt the unfortunate man's body bad been carried down its current into valleys far below. For all agreed that be was dead. CHAPTER X -I. THE RES C UE: NoTHING could be seen of the natives upon the city walls far auove. All was silence. Where they bad gone or what they were up to was a question. But the great problem which now confronted our voyagers was what it was best to do. Frank was a lit:le shy of risking another trip onder the verge of the cliH; Doubtless other bowlders were in waiting uuove. But be was soon decided. Be pressed tile rotascope lever and sent the air ship upward. Up abe Wl'Dt Otlf or the gorge. Above the city walls a lively scene was brought to view. 'fhere were the mou:Jtain people in hundreds behind tlle parapet. A long line or bowlders was all in readiness. Up shot the air ship above it all. A tllrrilic din was made uy the barbarians. They burled their weapons at t!Je air ship and made all ofanner of angry dernonstra tion8. .. We will drive them out of there quick!" declared Frank. He held the air shill directly ovllr the line or bowdlers. Then be took a handful or small t>omus and went to the rail. Be hurled one witll' great exactness downward. It struck fairly on the verge of tl.le It is not easy to de scribe the fearful result. A great section or the wall and the bowlders went crashing down into the gorge. Some of the natives wen't with it. 'I.' he others fled for their li vee. In a very short time the vicinity was quite deserted. The natives bad tled for their lives into the remaining houses. There was no doubt but that they had into tbe lower depths of their cliff abode, far beneath the Clo&d City. They bad vanished as by magic. Not one of them was now in sight. The Cloud City was as deserted and lonely as if it had no Inhabit ants. "They have got the best of us just now!" cried Van Gay. H ow will you root them our, Frank?" \ We will see!" replled the young inventor, coolly; there will be a way open for us." The Sprite sailed around the city once and Frank carefully studi P d the situation. Tben he dec1ded upon a plan or action. He knew thnt it was necessary to invade the chfi stronghold of the natives if he hoped to rescue the two prisoners. This certainly seemed no easy matter. To venture single-banded into the plr.ce would ue suiciual. But Frank reflected that 1f tile clifl' wall could be shattered, perhaps the place could be made untenable for the foe, with the use of the repeat ing rilles. So ha decidfld to try the effect of the dynamite bombs. He pro cured a number of them and selected the most salient point for opera. .A:. ection or the cliff bad already been shattered. Frank retlected sagely that if more of it could he demolished per haps a way could be opened into tile cliff chambers. There was some risk in the undertaking. There was the chance that harm might be done the prisoners ns well as the natives. But Frank could see nothing better thou this dernier tesort. So be caused the Sprite to bang directly over the vulnerable spot. Then be began Bomb after bomb was dropped on the cliff, and great fragments were shattered and cleft from it. Gradually a cavity was opened. And chamber after chamber became thus revealed. until finally there was a great shock, and the entire upper face of the cliff fell. A mighty cavern chamber was thus revealed, fully one hundred feet below the cliff verge. Bnt not a sign or the natives could be seen. Doubtless, however, they bad penetrated to deeper chambers be yond. Frank saw now that be must change his plans. Be could not bope to blow away the whole mountain peak. Tbis would require a year's time. There waa no telling bow deep the cavern passages were. For aught be knew they might extend under the entire mountain. So Frank desisted in his present course. "What are you going to do!'' asked Van Gay, "give it up!" j "Not by any means," replied the young inventor. "I hue an other plan.''

PAGE 13

THE CLOUD CITY. 18 "What 1s it!" "Well, you see we huvll now a foothold on this cliff." "Yes." "I propQse to rest the air ship here while three of us penetrate the passages beyond." Van Gay looked dubious. "Is it the only move we can make!" he asketl. "It looks like it at present. We can keep a sharp lookout and if danger confronts us we can return." "Very well," agreed Van Gay, "I am with you. Whatever you say goes." "An' I'm wid yez too," cried Barney; "shore we moigbt as well thry an' do something." So the Sprite rested on a convenient part of the cliff and pre para. tioos were made for invading the clitl stronghold. was no light undertaking. Bot Barney and Frank and Van Gay wete soon readv. They were armed to the teeth as they leaped over the rail. A moment later they entered one of the passages. It was dark and a tr1lle damp. But the Pxplorers went boldly forward. They had not far when the passage began to descend. Then it widened until nank exclaimed: "Listen:" All came to a halt and listened. Plainly to their ears came a com prehensive sound. It was the distant rush of waters over a stony bed. "An underground stream!'' exclaimed Van Gay. "Wbo would have looked for such a tbmg!" "That then explains the outlet of the Andean lake," declared Frank. The lake which be mentioned occupied the center of the valley among the peaks. Several streams run into it, but bad seem ed to be no outlet. This, however, seemed now to be explained in the underground stream. Our advemurers pushed on. Nearer drew the sounds of the roaring torrent. It was not long be fore came to it. Light was admitted through crevices in the rocky roof above. It was seen that the stream Was a powerful one. It dashed on down through the underground cavern, and a dull' roar some distance below indicated that there a sizable catar act there. It was easy to understand that this underground stream, burst lloally out into a deep and wide gorge somewhere down below :o the Andean region. There were many such streams in the great range of mountains. r Along the banks or the stream the explorers 11roceeded until they came to the verge of the cataract. Then they paused. Tbere was no possibility of going further. There was a sheer des cent of many llundred feet to the bottom of the cataract. "Whew!" exclaimed Yan Gay, "if a man should go over there his fate would be sealed." "You are right," agreed Frank, "it proves well enough that our foes never wen& further in this direcLion. We migbt as well go back!'' So they turned back until they reachea the passage by which thl'y t.ad entered the place. Their further progress seemed to be barred by the stream. It looked too swift and dangerous for a safe fording. That tbe mountain natives had crossed it was by no means certain. For the moment our explorers were stock. They could not decide what move it was best to make. But at the last moment, and when it was half decided to turn back, an unexpected thing happened. There came from the distance up the stream, a sudtlen, strange and weird sound. It seemed to resemble nothing so much as the wa1l or a lost spi'rit. "Whnt was that?" exclaimed Van Gay, in amazement. Did you bear it!" Regorra, lt was a banshee!" averred Barney in trepidation. "Hush!" exclaimed Frank, "there It is again. A human voice!" The explorers looked at each other In amaze !lent. They waited and listened. Again tbe voice sounded, and this time nearer. In tact, it drew nearer every moment, until its tones were plainly to be beard. "llelp! H11lpl Oh, God, give me help!" It was unmistakably English, and 2'ave our explorers a great thrill. They knew that some person or their own nationality was in trou ble, "Come on!" cried Frank, "We go to his help, whoever he is." Forward the three explorers sprang. But they had not gone a dozen yards when an ElXplanation of the mystery was afforded them. Into view !rom the darkness of the passage above there sprang a human form. He was in a staggering run, with white face and gasplogo for breath. It was one of the imprisoned aeronauts. At sight of our friends be gave a choking cry and increased his gait. .... Behind there was the roar of human 'oices ubove tbe sound or the cataract. "He has escaped!" crietl Van Gay, "and they are in pursuit of him. We must belp him I" As the escaped prisoner came up, he cried: "Til auk God! I have at last reached you. Defend me, I beg of you. Oh, help me from this accursed place!' "That we will I'' cried Frank; "have no fear. Take that passage behind us and go on until you come to the air ship. Go aboard ami wait for us. We will llold tll'ese devils at buy!'' No further explanation was made. Tile escaped prisoner staggllred on in compliance with the command. Then our adventurers faced the coming foe. They raised their rilles ana opened tire. Crack--crack--ack! A volley of bullet s met the barbarians, and no doabt was a stunning survrise to In spite of their numbers tbay besitatetl, and with another volley cutting them to pieces fell back. Thus far our friends bad the best or it. "If we can only bold them nt bay a few moments longer," cried Frank. "We shall be all Give 1t to them!" cried Van Gay. Volley afler volley went crashing up the cavern arch. Tbe moun tain people, however, were not to bll lo(jger beld in A wild prolonged howl came from them. Then they came surging down upon the three white men. Nothing could slem that human tide. The mere weight of numbers would be overwhelming aud. Frank saw tbat tbe time bad come to retreat. \ So be cried: "It is all up! We most get out of the way now! Fall back!" At first they retreated slowly, tiring as tbey went. Bot it soon be came necessary to break into a mad run. It taxed their best energies to keep abeaj of the foe. But knowing that their lives depended on it they exerted every nerve. It seemed an interminable distance to the mouth of tbe cavern. But presently It yawned before them. Daylight and liberty was in sight. Death was behind them. On they ran. CHAPTER XII. THE TALE ENDS. THE next moment they dasl.ed out or tile cavern and reached the shellered ledge. They looked about for the uir ship. It was a little to the left of tbem. For some reason Pomp bad been obliged to chane;e its position. The coon and the rescued aeronaut were at the rail shouting encoura2'ement. Both had rilles. "Quick!" cried Frank. "We must be lively!'' Straight for the air sbip they ran. But close behind them out of the cavern came tbe barbarians. Scarcely a dozen yards was between them. "Hi-hi!" yelled Pomp. "Run, Marse Frank--run, all ob yo' I We gib it to deml" The two rilles on board tbA air ship spoke. Again and again they cracked as the repeaters worked. One instant the barbarians wavered. But in that moment an loci dent oc' curred which encoora,ged them. Javelins and slings were tlying nil about our adventurers as they stumbled on nigh exhausted. One of these struck Barney a glancing blow on tbe bead. The Celt went down momentarily stunned. A mighty yell went up from the pursuing mob. On they rusbetl t.o finish their victim. In that one instant was supreme in Frank Reade, Jr.'s mind. He Van Gay rnigllt kept on and reached the air ship in safety by leaving Barney to h1s fate. But neither lor an instant thought of such a cowardly thing ns tltis. Frank stopped quick as a flash, as did Van Gay. They saw a shal-low reef of ledge just to tbe rigbr. It hardly sheltered them, but Frank tired at the oncoming foe, and reaching down, grabbed Barney by the shoulder. How be accomplish ed the deed he never knew. Bot he actually secceeded in drawing the stunned back of the rPef. He was struck twice by glancing stones, but was not &eriously burt. 'i'ben he followed Van Gay's example and flung himself upon his face. Tlle position was slightly elevated, and they could lire down upon the toe. 1 With four repeaters thus working the barbarian s went down like grain lief ore the slckld. They nearly reached tbe ledge. Had they done so, Frank and his companions would probably have been slaughtered. But they did not succeed. Barney bad now recovered. He was a tritle dizzy, bot well nble to his rille, which be clid. Reeling buck, the mountain natives were repulsed. Tlley fled hnck into the cavern and did not reappear. It was a close shave for our at! venturers. "Be me sowl!" cried B11rney, rubbing his bead, "I've had me till av all this! Shore the spalpeens nearly killed met" "I thought you were really done for, Barney,'' cried Van Gay;" it was a fortunate escape for us all.'' "On the strength of which,'' said Frank, coolly, "let us go aboard and break a bottle of wine."

PAGE 14

I THE CLOUD CITY. Barney turned a handspring to show ttnt be was yet on earth and Pomp clapped his bands approvingly. The two cronies fairly em b raced when Barney went over the rail. "Golly fo' glory!" Pomp. "I done fought I bad lost mah p artner fo' a suttin fac'l l'se glad enutr fo' to see yo', cllilel" "Bejabers, I'm glad enaff fer to be wid yez mesilf," declared BnrJIIey, in his jolly way. "l'm aftller think in' they ain't kilt us yet." Frank and Van Gay had gripped hands with the rescued priscner. 1 lf ever human being showed the effects of suffering and bard usage &his man did. "Gentlemen," he said in a. choking voice, "I owe you more than .I can ever pay. You have brought me back from the dead-back to a happiness and a possibility which I had never hoped to realize." "Do not speak of lt," said Frank, warmly. "We are very glad to :have been able to do you the service. To help a fellow being in dis tress is always a great pleasure." "Indeed it is," agreed Van Gay. "You cannot possibly understand what It means to me," continued t he aeronaut. "1 have friends in America, a sweetheart, and a mo,ther. I can now see my way clear to return to them. But my old frJend, Professor Bent, being ao old man without living relatives, was quite resigned to die." "What?" exclaimed Frank and Van Gay in one breath. "You do Dot mean to say that your companion is 'dead!'' The aeronaut bowed in assent. "That is true!" be declared. Then-it your friend who was on the cliff that night and fell--" "No, it was me." Frank and Van Gay looked surprised. Then the professor-your companion was killed by the bar barians!" Howard Stearns, for this was the young aeronaut's name, bowed. "When I climbed back into the cavern that night," be said, "after seeing your nlr ship go crashing to the bottom of the gorge, I found that the fiends had entered our prison chamber and poor Bent lay dead on the stone floor with his bead beaten to a jelly. None of the wretches were in the chamber when I entered, or I donbt not they would have served me the same. I feel sure now that they did not see me on the shelf of rock and fancied that I bad got aboard your air ship. The door of prison cell was open and no gnard was there. or course, I was awfully shocked to tlnd Bent dead. But seH is a strong instinct. Guessing the truth I slid out into the deserted passage, and ever since have been trying to tlnd my way out of the awful den. "And by a mishap I was seen by the barbarians and they gave chase. I ran until nearly dead from fatigue and then happened to see y ou. It seemed as if a new life was opening before me. You know the rest. We are glad that we were so fortunate as to be on hand at the r ight moment," said Frank, "but do you know the fate of your b alloon!" Stearns was astounded. Balloon!" be exclaimed ; "how did you know that we came here i n a balloon!" "We came across it," replied Frank. "Where!" "Far up in Louisiana." Stearne was almost speechless. Well,'' he finally exclaimed, "that is very strange. How did it come there! "I presume the air took it thither," replied Frank. We found y our log or journal in the car and came hither at once to try and give you aid." Stearns sank into a chair and for a time was very thoughtful. Sud denlv he lifted his head. "But I have not explained to you how we came to lose the balloon," h e enid. "Shall J do so!'' "By all means.'' ; "or course you are familiar with everything up to the moment when we reached the Cloud City. "Well, to Bent it was a moat important diacovery. He was deter mined to make friends with the mountain people and in spite of my w a rnings n ncllored the balloon and went down to meet them. At first Lhey seemed friendly enough and Bent urged me to come down also. It was a fatal move. While we were making apparently friendly sign talk with them, several of the rascals bod cut the anchor rope and were,trying to pull tile balloon down. "01 course the Cruiser leaped miles into the air. Several of the natives bung to the rope and !ell from a frightful to au awful death. We were left In the power of a race of bar:>nrians upon the highest peaks of the Andes, and from which the natives thamselves could not descend. All might have been peaceful had it not been for the death of their confreres who bad fallen from the clouds. This so angered the wretches that they were for killing us; but finally they to make slaves of us. And thus you can undersland that we have been in torture most terrible for many months past. At times poor Bent meditated taking his lile; but I have clucg to hope through all, and at last my prayers have been answered." Yes," said Frank:, wit'h a hearty ring In his vc.ice, your troubles are over now, 1 believe. The balloon lies in the Louisiana swamp." "Would that we had never seen it!'' groaned the aeronaut. "By the way," asked Van Gay, "can you tell me anything about the mineralogical featurers of this region? Are there any precious metals here!'' Howard Stearns' eye11 flashed, There is enough e;old under that Cloud City," he said, to buy a dakedom. The cliff with all its passages is nothing but a mighty mine of the precious metals. It crops out in great seams ant! lumps. Do you wish to make a fortune!" Van Gay looked u.t Frank. What do you sayt" be asked; "shall we do a little prospecting about here!" How can wet" asked Frank. "We will run into the bariJarlans aaainl" "' .. We could drive them out all right." Frank shook his bend. It would be too much like downright slaughter," be said. "I don't care to lend myself to it." So the matter dropped. It would have been folly to have attempted the recovery of Bent's body. After some discussion a plan or action was agreed upon. This was to sail away to the and explore the upper end of the valley. Then a run down to the Pacific coast would be made. After which the air ship would be turned homeward. The object of the trip bad been accomplished, and all were satisfied. "Home, sweet home!'' sang Van Gay, "there is no place like home." "That means more to me than to you!" declared Howard Stearns. "When once I get back there I'll never leave it again.'' Everybody laughed at tl.Jls. Then Barney went to the keyboard and In a moment the air ijhip was alofL. The trip up the Andean valley proved very interesting. Ba\ none of the mountain people were seen. They had made themselves invisible from fear no doubt. Bat oar voyagers cared little for this. Finally, reaching the end of the valley, they descended from the high allltudE>S. Down tbe western slope they went to the sen. Thence they eoasted nortbwar.i over the cUes and towns, and the long stretches of wild coast mtil they reached Panama. Not content, Frank kept on until they reached the Gulf of Californ!B. Then they sailed over to the wide plains and high ranges of Texas, To describe all the incidents of the trip would require volumes. In due time. they reached the bank of the Mississippi and beaded north ward for Chicago. Here Stearns took lenve of them to return to his home in Michl gan. He was deeply affected in parting; and embraced his rescuers warmly. "I shall never forget you, Mr. Reade," he declared. "I owe you my life." Well," said Van Gay, when the air ship was once more afloat, "I think our Andean triP, has been a glorous success." "Ay," agreed Frank, "it has. We have bad some thrilling expe riences, and it seems good to be at borne once more." "Indeed it does,'' agreed Van Gay, "What is the next trip, Frank!'' "1 shall leave that to the future to decide," declared the young In ventor; "but here we are at Rendestown.'' The air ship was soon safely in ita slore bouse. Legions of friends were on band to welcome the voyagers borne. And, having brought them safely to this happy point, let us leave them for the present. (THE END.] rrsefu.l. and Ins"tr-u.c"ti ve :Boo:k..s. HOW TO B E COME A PHOTOGRAPHER. Gontainihg useful! HOW TO MAKE A MAGIC LANTERN. Containing a descrip information regardin the Camera and how to work it; also how to tion of the lantern, together with its history and invention. Also m a ke Photographic Lantern Slides and other Transparencies. full directions for its use and for painting slides. Handsomely Hands omely illu strated. By Captain W. De W. Abney. Prit:e 10 illustrated, by John Allen. Price 10 cents. For sale by all news c e n t s. For s ale by 11.U news dealer s in the United States and Canada dealers in the United States and Canada, or will be sent to your or will b e sent to your address, postpaid, dn receipt of price. Ad address, pn s tjlltid, on receipt of price. Address Frank Tousey, dress Frank Tousey, Publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York,

PAGE 15

THAT TELL you VALUABLE INFORMATION ON EVERY SUBJECT Price Only 1 0 Certts Each. No. 1. Napoleon's Oracu1um and Dream Book.-Containlng the oracle of human destiny; also the true ml!aning of almost any kind of dreams, togother with charms, ceremo nies, and curious games of cards. A complete book. Price 10 cents. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No.2. Uow to Do 'l'ricks.-The great book of and card tricks; containing full iu struct10n of all the leading card tricks of the day, also popular maf!'ical illusions as per!Nmed by our leading magiCians; every boy shoulL.ohtaln a copy of this book, as will both amuse and instruct. Price 10 cents. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No. 3. How to Fllrt.-The arts and wiles of flirtation are fully explained by this little book. Besides the various methods of handkerchief, fan, glove, parasol, window and hat flirtation, it contains a full list of the and senti ment of flowers, which is interestmg to everybody, both old and :young. You cannet be hap PY without ene. PriCe 10 cents. Address Frank publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New No.4. Bow to Dance is the title of a new and handsome little book just issued by Frank Tousey. It contains full instructions in the art of dancing, etiquette in the ball-room and at parties, how to dress, and full directions for calling otr in all popular square dances. Price 10 cents. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No.5, How to lllake Love.-A complete to love, courtship and marriage, giving fl!lilJnRible advice, rules and etiquette to be obwitb curious and intereeting known. Price 10 cents. publisher, 29 West 26th No, 6. Bow to Become an Ath1ete.-Gtvlng full instruction for the use of dumbbells, In dian clubs, parallel bars, horizontal bars and v arious other methods of develoi?ing a good, healthy muscle; containing over s1xty Illustra tions. Every boy can booome strong and healthy by following the instructions contained in this little book. Price 10 cents. AddreBS Frank Tousey, publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No. 7. Bow to Keep Uirrs at home. The moat complete book of the kind ever published. Price 10cents. AddreBS F nk Toueey, p11blisber, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No.17. How to Dress.--containing full in atructiou in the art of dressing and appearing well at home and abroad, giving the selections of colors, nmterial, and how to have them made up. Price 10 cents. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No, 18. How to Become Beaotlfnl.-{)ne of the brightest and most valuable little books ever given to the world. Everybody wishes to know how to become beautiful, both male and female. TJie secret Is simple, and almost cost less. Read this book and be convinoed how to become beautiful. Prioe 10 cents. Addrees Frank 'fowsey, publisher, 29 Welli 26th etreet, New York. No, 19. Frank Tousey's United States Dls tanoe Tables, Pocket Companion aad Guide. tbe otlicial distances on all the railroads of the United 8tatea and Canada. A1eo ta'llle of distances by water to foreign ports, back fares in the principal cities, reports of the census, etc., etc., makmg it one of the most complete and bandy becks published. Price 10 cents. Address Frank Tousey, publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No. 20 .llow to Entertain an Evening Par ty,-A very valuable little book just published. A complete compendium of games, sports, cartl. diversiOns, eomic recreations, etc., suitable for parlor or drawing-room entertainment. It con taiJl8 more for the money tban anT book pubJIBbed. Prioe 10 cents. Address Frank Teusey, publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No. 21. Bow to Hunt and Flsh.-Tbe moe, complete hunting and fishing p;uide ever pub lished. It contains tnlllnstructions about guns. hunting dogs, traps, trapping and fishing, to gether with descriptions of p;ame and Asbt Price 10 cents. Addr!ll!a Frank Tousey, publisA er, 29 West 26th Street, New York:. No. 21. How to Do Second Slght.-Heller's second sight explained bT his former &BBistant, Fred Hunt, Jr. E!
PAGE 16

LATEST ISSUES OF THE FIVE CENT COMIC LIBRARY. 74 An Old Boy; or, Maloney After Education, bfTom Teuer 75 Tomblin& Tim; or, Traveling With a br, Peter Pad 76 Judge Clea.rts Country Court, by rom Teaser 79 Joe Junk, the Whaler; or, Anywhere for by Peter Pad The Deacon's Son; or, 'l'be Imp of the Vilht.R'e. by Tom 'J'easer 81 Behind the Scenes; or, Out Wit.h a New York Combination, by Peter Pad 8'l The Funny Four, by Peter Pad 83 Muldoon' s Base Ball Olub, by 'l'om 'l'easer 84 1\.luldoou's Base Ba!J Club in Boston, by Tozo Teaser rs 'l'ow Teaser by Peter Pad 87 1\luldoon s Baae Ball Club in 'feaser 88 Jimmy Grimes; or, Sharp, Smart and Sassy, by 'l'om 1 'easer 89 L ittle Tommy Boa nee ; or, Something Ltke His Dad, by Peter Pad 90 Muldoo n s Picnic.. by Tom Teaser 91 Little Tommy B o n nee on His Travels; or, D()ing 92 Sam Bowser at Play, by Peter Pad 93 Next Door ; or, 'fbe Irish rwins, by '!'om reaser 94 l'he Aldermen Sweeneys of New York, by Torn Teaser 95 A Bad Boy's Note Book, by Ed" 96 A Bad Boy at School, by Ed" 97 Jimmy Grimes, Jr. ; or, the Torment of t .be Vil-98 Jim; o:. Rackets and T::ser ::iohool, by Tom 'l'easer 99 1 'he Book Agent' s Luck, by "li :d .. 100 B o arding_ House, by l'om 'l'euer 101 1\ltlldoon' s Brother Dan, by Tom l 'easer 102 'l'he 1 ra.v e ling Dude: or. The Comical ares of Olarence Fitz Roy Jones, by 'l'um Teaser 103 Senator !'\luldooo, by 'l'om Teaser 104 or, Working 105 The Comical Adventures of 'Iwo Dudes, by 1'om Teaser :::: lt. 108 Billy Moss; or, From One Thinl to Another, by Tow Teuer 109 Truthful Jaok; or, On Board the Nancy Jane, by 'J om 1'easer 110 Fred Freeb; or, Ae G reen aa GTass, by 'l'om 'l'euer 111 The Deacon's Boy; or, 'l'he Worst in 'l'ow n by Peter Pad 112 or, 113 Jim, Jack aad Jim; or, l'bree Hard Nota to Crack, by 't'om l'e&ser 11i-8mart & Co. the Boy Peddlers, by Peter Pad 115 Tbe 'fwo Boy \Jlowns; 01, A ISnmmer With a Uircus, by 'J'om 'feaaer 116 Benoy .Bounce; or, A Block of tbe Old Uhip, by Peter Pad 117 Young bick Plunket: o r The Trials and 'l'ribu-lations of Kbenezer Orow, by iSatu :Smiley 118 Muldoon in Ireland; or, '!'be Solid Man on tlle Old Sod, by 'l'o.r,n 'J'euer 119 1\tulrloon's Grocery Store. Part I, by 'l'om 120 Muldoon's Grocery Store. Part I I, by 'l'ow Teaser 12l Bob Hright; or, A Hoy of Husineu and Part I, by Tom Teaser 122 Bob Brigbti or, A Boy of Business and Fuu. 123 Trip Around the 'Vorld. 1'euer by Tom Teaser 124 Muldnon'o Trip Around the World 125 Muldoon's Hotel. Pnrt I. by 1'om Teaser 126 Muldoon s Hotel. Part If, by 'l'oru 'l'easar 1271\luldoou's Ubristmas, by 'fom Teaser 128 'l'be 1:)hortys' Ubr1st.mas Rackets, by t'eter Pad 129 t'llowing n the 130 Sam Smart. Jr.: or, .b'ollowin&: in the }footsteps of His Dad. Part II, by l'eter Pad 131 Three of Us; or, H.ustliog for Boodle and Fun. Part I. by Tom Teaser 132 'l'hree of Us; or, Hustling foL' Boodle and Fun. 133 or Six 1\looths With a 'l'easer oy Peter Pad 134 Dick Duck, t.be Boss of the Town, by l 'om T6aser 135 'rhe Sbortys Doing Europe i or, On a Grand '!'our for t.run. P&rt I, by Smiley 136 'l'be Shortys Doing lurope; or, On a Grand 'l'our for Fun. Pa.rt 11, by Satn Smiley 137 Aunt M : "ia; or, Sbe 'fb.ought She Knew It All, 138 :Muldoon In Chicago; or. 1'hd Solid World's Fair, by l'om Teaser 139 Coaain Harry; or, An English BOJ i a America. Part I b7 Sam 1.0 Cousin HarrJ; or, Aa English BoJ in America. Part II. by Sam ISmileJ U1 Bouace; or, "J;,he 142 A t ommy Bounce; or, The Wont of the Lot. I' 4rt 11. br bam !Smiley U3 Stump ; or, "Little, But, Ob, My!" Part I. by Peter Pad li4 Stump; o1 "Little, But, Ob, My!" Part 11. by Peter Pad U6 or, Nobody' Moke. Pa.rt I. U6 ShoO-Fly; or, Nobodr'ollloke. Touer by Tow Touer 1i7 Obips and Chin Chin, the Two Orpbans. Part 1. by Peter Pad US ChiJIO and Uhio Chin, tbe Two Orphans. Part 149 the Road; or, In tile nees Just for Fun. Part. I, by Peter Pad 150 Tbe on the Road; or, In the Old Busi161 'g:, {he by Tom 1 eaeer 152 Pluter and Stickem; or, Out For th Stull, by Srnileg 1113 Muldoon's Flats. Part 1. br Tom 'l'euer 1M 1\.Iuldoon' Flats. Part II. by 'l'om Teaser 166 Boarding School ScJ"apes: or, Tbe liM'ckeh of a Young Part I by 'rom 166 School Scrapes; or, 'J'be Rackets of a 157 Wbackington Ac!ldeJUy Part I. Sam SmileJ 168 Yellow and Black; o, 'l'be Two Bosses of 159 1,orment of the Town. Part I. by Tom 'l'eaeer 160 Fred Frollick. the Boy Ventriloquist; or, 'J'he 'J'orment of the 'I'own. Part II. by Tom Teuer 161 :Mortimer .Merry; or, 'l'be Pranke of a BoJ Mes .. merist. Part 1. by Tom 1'eaaer 162 Pranks 163 The Two Mimics; or. Jack and Joe Johnson at Sobool. Part I. by Sam Smiley 164 or, Jack and Joe 165 Shorty; ori..Kicked Into Good Luck, by Peter 166 :Silorty In uck, by Peter Pad All the above libraries are for sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Ca n ada, or sent to your address, p ostp ai d on reeelpt of price. Address FRANK: TOUSEY, Publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. LATEST OF THE FRANK READE LIBRARY I 89 Frank Reade, Jr.'s Search for the Silver Whale; or, Under the Ocean in tbe Electric"' Dolphin." 90 Frank .Reu de, Jr.'s Catamaran of the Air; or1 Wild and Wonderful Adventures In tliortb Auatraha. 91 Frank Reade, Jr.'s Search !for a Lost Alan in His Lat;... est Air Wonder. 92 Frank Reade, Jr., In Central India; or, The Search For the Lost Savants. 93 Reade Jr.'s Wonderful 9t Over' the Andes Witb. Frank Reade, Jr., in Hie New Air-Ship; or, Wild Adventures in Pera. 95 Reade, Jr.'s Prairie Whirlwind; or, The ot the Hidden Oanyoo. 96 Unde r the YeJiow Sea; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Search for the C ave of Peurls Wit.b. His New Submarine Oruiser. 9 7 Around the Horizon for 'J'en Thousand Milee; or. Frank Re&de, Jr.'s Wonderful Trip Witb B1a AirShip. 9 8 Frank Reade, Jr.'s .. Sky SerapeT;" or, North and South Around the World. 99 or, Frank 100 From Ooast to Ooaat; or, Frank Rea1e Jr.'s Trip Across Africa in His Electric" Boomer&DI' '' 101 Frank Reade, Jr. and His Electric Oar; or, 102 tbe Moon; or, Frank Reade, Jr. a Great Trip With His New AirSbip, the u Scud. 103 100 Miles Below the Surface of the Sea; or, The Mar v e lous 'frip or Frank Reade, Jr.'s "Hard-Shell" SobJUarioe Boat. 104: Abandoned in Alaska; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s 1'hrill iog Search for a Lost Gold Claim With His New New Wagon. 105 Around the A.rctio Oirole: or, Frnnk Reade, Jr.'s 1\fost Famous '[rip With His Air-l:)hip, the'' Orbit." 106 Uuder Four Oceans; or. tl'raok Reade, Jr.'ft Submar ine Ohase of a Sea Devil 107 From Nile to the Niger: ot, Frl\nk Reade, Jr., J,ost in the Soudan With His .. Overland Omnibus.'' 108 "Flash. 109 Los \ in tbe Great Undertow; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Sub:narine Oroise 1n the Gulf Stream. liO oQ'a;.rank Reade, Jr. 'a Lates\ 111 To the End of tbe 1::a.rt.h in an Air-Ship; or, Frank R e nde. Jr.'s.Great Mid-Air Flight. 112 The Sea; or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Subterr a n ean Cruise in His Submarine Boat. .By NONAME.'' 113 The Mysterious Mirage; or, F rank Reade, J r.'s Desert 137 WRe,.tahde:.J, r. 'NseAwdvAe,.n,: Searcb for a Secret City 1tith His New Overland "" v .n IU h1and; or, Frank Reade. Jr.'s Search for 138 Frank Reade. Jr.'s Strange the Greatest Wonder on Earth With His Air-Ship, Submarine !Search for a Deep Sea Wonder. tbe"Fii"b.t." 139 The Abandoned Country; or, }rank Reade, Jr., Ex-115 For Six Weeks Hu rled in a Deep Sea Cav e ; or, ploring a New Co.ntin'?ont. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Great ISabmarine 8earcb. ver the Steppes; or, Adrift in Asia With Frank 116 Gold; or, Frank Reade, Deep ::Sea 141 Sea; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Under117 AEcrloe .. etrA,.custUraarli a Wori,thWFornadnekrfRuleadAo,vJernt'ulrnesHJins 'Ntellwe 10 I ne or Frank Reade Jr 'e Quest for a ':,he of ivory. 118 Jr.'s Greatest FJytq Maobine; or, 1'-1 The Loflt Naviaatore; or, Frank. Reade, Jr.'s Mid-Air the Terror of the Ooast. 1 119 On the Great Meridian With Frnnk Reade, Jr., Ia Hie Tr;p of MYstery. A 'l'wentJ -Five 'l'hooeand llile 145 '.rhrougb the 'l'ropice: or. Frank Reade, Jr.'s Adl'en-Under the Indian Ocean With Frank Reade, Jr.; or, 1.S Frank Reade, Jr.'a Ten A Cruise in a Submartne Boat. Thousand Mile F'ligbt Over tbe Frozen North, 121 10 the Sehas; or, The Wild Esper1ences of 147 Below the 8abara; or, Frft.Ilk Reade. Jr Exploring aD Jr.t... and Pomp, ln South Uodeqround River Wiitb Hie Submarine Boat. W1th ,the Cab 1 1.S The Black Mo,.ul; o r 'rbrougb ll'dia With Frank 122 lost tn a Comets 01. Jr. s Strange Reade, Jr., Aboard His Boomer.'' Adventure H1B Atr-:Sbtp. 149 '}1be Planet; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Queet for 123 Sunken P1_ratee; or, I! rank Reade, Jr. II Marelous. a Fallen Star With His New Air-Sbip, the Zenith.'" 124 ReAde, .Jr. 'a Over-150 .. Ja!ld Trip W ith His }l_;)ectric Rocket. ,. 125 Latt.tnde .900:. or, Frank Reade, Jr. 11 Most W onder ful 151 The Prairie P iratM; or. Frank Reade, Jr.' Trip to 1\tulAir Fhgbt.. Tesas With His Electric Vehicle. the'' Detective." 126 Afloat i n a Sunken Fo"rest: or, Wit h Frank Reade, 152 Over the trient: or, Frank Reade, Jr. 'a Travels in Jr., on A Submarine Uruise. Turkey With l:iis New Air-l;bip. 127 Across the Desert of Fire: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s 153 Tile B.Jack WbiriQ_ool; or! Frank Reade, Jr. B Deep Marvelous 'l'rip to Country. Sea a Lost Shtp. 128 Over Two Continents; or, Frank Reade, J r.'s L-onR 15i The :Silent or, Frl!}llc Reade. J:r. R Vis1t to a 129 Reade, Jr., 155 to the in a Deep Sea Cave. Land of Tombs. 130 Along the Orinocoj or, Wit.h }"'"rank Reade, Jr., in 156 Under the Gulf of Guinea; or. Frank Reade, Jr., 131 or, Frank Reade. Jr.'s La\estTrip Reef of Gold With His New With HifJ New AirShip. 157 The Yellow Khan; or, Frank Reade, Jr., Among the 132 1,000 Fathoms Deep; or, With Frank Reade, Jr., in 'fbugs in Centrai.Jndia. the Sea of Gold. 158 Fraak Ht>&de, Jr. 1n Japan W1th Hus War Oru1ser of 133 Air; or, Reade, Jr.'s Trip to 159 Jr Cub.a: or, Helping tbe Patriots 134 In tbe Wild Man's Land: 01', W1th Frank Reade, Jr., W1th H1B Latest A in the Heari of Australia.. 160 Chllsing a Pirate; or, }i'ru.nk Reade, Jr., on a Desperate 135 'J'he Sunken Jsthmns; or. With Frank Reade, Jr., in Cruise. the Yucatan VhRnnel Witb H11 New Submarine 161 In the LAnd of Fire; or, Frank Reade, Jr., Among tbe Yacht tbe Diver. Head Hunters 136 Tbe J.Jost Oar&vl'ln; or, FrAnk Reade, Jr on the 162 7,0011 1\liles Undergr:>und; or, Frank Reade, Jr., ExStaked Plains With His ,. Electric Racer." ploring a Volcano. For sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada., or sent to your address, post-paid, on recei pt of the price, 5 cents. Ad dress FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York.


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