Across Arabia, or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s search for the forty thieves : a weird story of the land of mystery and magic

Across Arabia, or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s search for the forty thieves : a weird story of the land of mystery and magic

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Across Arabia, or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s search for the forty thieves : a weird story of the land of mystery and magic
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Inventors -- Fiction ( lcsh )
Science fiction ( lcsh )
Dime novels ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
R17-00126 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.126 ( USFLDC Handle )
024953420 ( Aleph )
65181645 ( OCLC )

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T, Nit\V Y on.K. lll:MONTHL }'.. { l'HlCE } v I VII 1"; C ICN'l'8. 0 o o Q( the Li/J 1 aiian of Co11111ess, at !Vashinaton, n. c. Or, Frank, Jr.'s Search fior the E v Thieves. Upon the groun d in the center of th encampment anti bound to stakes was the 1P1re of a man. His eyes were turned skyward a n d he saw the air-sh '.Phe Arabs diet not per ceive the air-s' p until it was almost down upon t hem. Then the commoto n was fearful. 'rhey broke right and le in the deadliest o:t terror.


FRANK READE l!BRARY by the year i s $2.50; $1.25 per sixlnonths, p crst paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, ?UBLISHER, 29 West 26th Street, New ACROSS ARABIA; -OR/ I FRANK READE, JR.'S FOR THE mR TY THIEVES. A Weird Story of the Land of Mystery Magic. "NO N AME,'' cross the Jrilky way," etc., etc. ine," "Under CHAPTER I. NEWB FROM ARABIA, FRANK READE, JR., was planning a trip to Asia with bis new air ship, the He bad designed a tour or r esea rch and adventures among the h o rdes of the Steppes. Bnt just as t.he arrangements were concluded an incident occurred which induced him to slightly alter his plans He did abandon his plan of a trip to Asia, but insJ,ead of going to the Steppes he decided to visit Arabia, the land or myHtery aml magic The home of robbers aud predatory tribes, the placo ot da<>r defiles and endless caves. e wa -" The reason for this chan<>'Q ,., '" ODA' and came about in an unuiffl!l.1 . -... ir memoriul ,Arabia has owed to no one d1g mtary. pflovlnce are ruled by various ernlra and sheil,s, and fl""" crwe . """"'"' .. o h o ther. Pillage 11\d plunder rule, tbe descendwg upon the weak. Sheik Suleiman Ayo tr was one or. the most these petty rulers. He was also the most learn ed. At his palace were bighlysalarhid tutors from Fra1 ce' fr<>m RllBsia and from the United States Sheik Suleiman could tharefore speakait these laDguage.s and read the newspapers of these co n ntriee, thus kei p iog lo touch with the world. More than tbis, Suleiman showed his sense and advancemen b y sending his son Azya to the United States to be educated. He was a student at Harvard College. The bim s elt, however, could not be induced to leave his coun. try Ju fact, the affairs or his prot'iuce deman1led his constant atten. r Especially was this SO at the present time, ror incidents or an exclt ing sort Jiad arisen, aocl actnally threatened the safety o! his kin.,.. dom, if such it could be called. 0 First of tragedies, not a stone's throw from the palace, be gan to corm Ill. Then robberies, mysterious and inexplicable, occurred. Even one or the treasury .vaults was encered and completely depleted, the six armed guards bemg found at the threshold witb throats cut. And yet not a clew to the identity of the perpetrators could be found But every few days some rich man or the province would re ceive a mysterious note, demanding a certain large sum ror ransom on penalty of death. As surely as he failed to comply with the demand he would be found dead, sometimes in bis own house. In all cases these writteu messages were signed: 1 THE FORTY THIEVES. In vain the shrewdest deteCtives in Suleiman's service tried to ret out the mystery. Everything was done to t>r\nll' the Forty Thi e ves to the executioner's block. 0 But they could not be tracked nor entrapped, It was believed that they inhabl : ed a certain tableland with in ac cessible sides, rising a thousand feet aboye tre plain about.' The u nrlergrouud w ay to this was their secret. No devi c e co u ld be rigged to s afely ascend tha mighty h e ight. It was tried once with a balloon, bn\ the luckless aeronauts did lUrD, In this extremity Sul e iman one da v read in a paper from the United States, nu. account or Frank Re.ade, Jr. aud his air ship. The sheik was at once exmed. He called iu bis councilors and soon a messeng e r was ou lus \jay to Port Said, and thence to Europe whence Azya, .. "" Un"" '"d. 0 ort was s pead everywhere that Frank Reade Jr gorng to Aru1J1u with his an ship to cuptnre the Forty 'l lus recalled the tales of Ah Baba, an

. s1 rnngest wind, aside from a hurricane, couhl inllueoce her in her cours e The interior of the Crescent was titted up handsomely. Frank had spared 110 pains or expense. :5utllce it t11 say that tho Crescent was a marvel of mechunicnl inge nuity :rnd skill. Ber equal did not exist on the earth. And in this cleverly 11rranged air sh ip Frank Reade, Jr., intended makln!; a long !light of thousands of miles, over the sens acrois Ambia. Ao unheurd or, unparalleled.feat. Words are inadequate to describe it. However, Frank was as cool nod mutter-of-fact about it us could well be imagined. When the hour came for departure he merely walked aboard the air ship and gave the word lo Barney to start the electric engines, Be had left the mnchioo shops in the care of a : rusty foreman, nod bis business nlfa1rs were ull in ship-shape order. He took 11 sweeping look at Readestowa, and then suid Lo Burney, who was at the key board in the pilot house: Press lever No. 10." All right, sor!" cried the Celt, and executed the order. The r.ext the Crescent shot up into the air like a rocket. Azyn, the Arabian prince, stood beside Frank at the air ship's rail. It was n novel sensation to him. As the earth receded like a railroad !ruin, nod trees, houses and other objects became mere dots upon the lnudscnpe, he lairly screamed: "Allnb, ii Allah! We shall never return!" Frank smiled grimly nnd said: Have no f e ar, Prince Azyn. There is no doubt ol yonr return." "And we shall not !all, etlendi!'' "No.'' "Bismallah!" ejaculated .lhe prince, and was silent. Upward tlew the air ship until the earth was a vast map beneath them; then Barney shut oil speed nnd set the propell e r at work. 'l'be course was set enst by north. 'lbe Crescent was soon speeding on her way like u rocket. Citi e s nod villages, lakes and river s, monntnins and valleys, all passed in a panorama lJeneath Lbe nir ship, until ut length night shut down darkly. The sky was overcast, autl great black clouds were alJout the Cres It was a curious sensation to go shooting into n bank of these, earth and sky being for n time shat from view. Then the air ship would glide out of the lleecy mass only to shoot into another. At times the stars 'twinldetl above liken myriad of httle lnGtern@. Then llght3 from the earth were seen. But. of a sudden across the great canopy of the sky there crushed a peal or deafening thunder. Lightning flashed fiercely nml luridly about the air ship. This alarmed Prince Azya a trille, until Frank assured him that there was no danger whatever. Yet, as the air currents began to rock the Crescent violently, Frank it best to be on the snfe side and gave Burney au order to send the Crescent up higher. The air ship shot. up until fnr above the battlinp; elements. They '!ere safe here, but the view or the storm raging below wns grand in the extreme. The search-light was turned downward upon it, and the lightning's glare vied wilh the electric blaze. For several hours Lhe storm raued fiercely. ,,. Then it cleared, and the earth lay du,k and monstrous rar below. The Crescent descended a mile and then drifted on through the clear atmosphere. ,. There was little sliiep for the voyagers that night. None quitted the deck until near daylight. Prince Azya hnd wit nessed a scene which he would not forget to the end or bis days. CHAPTER II. A.CROSS MOROCCO. WHEN daylight came all but Barney were sleeping, exhausted nature having demanded 11 r est. Bat the scene bud greatly changed. Below lay the vast rolling e x panse or the ocean. Ships and steamers were seen their way across the great_ waste. They were but dots as viewed from the air ship. Shortly after daylight Pomp came tumbling out to relieve Barney. The rJnrky had aroused himself reluctanlly, for he wns very sleepy. Therefore when he came on deck he was feeling a bit cranky. Barney saiv at once and a grin overspread his face. The two were the warmest of friends, but the keenest or practical jokers. Nothing pleased them better than a ruction or n scrap or 1rny kind. So Barney at once seized the opportunity presented. He looked keenly nt Pomp, and said: Be me sow!, I thought yez wud niver turn up. Shure, I'm nigh !Pr the want av sleep." "Huh!" sniffed Pomp; "d(ln' yo' fret. Yo' will get yo' chnince." Not if I bud to depind on yez!" It was not the words, but the way In which Barney spoke them that nrouBed The coon was on edge. Yo' neber was good fo' nutIJn' but to sleep, anyway!" he snnp1>ed. Phwat's ;hut!" said Burney, affecting anger. Be me slept as much as yez, shore, I'd niver do anything else." ,..a Pomp shook his woolly head like a mad bull. He snorted angrily: r j "Look out d11r, chilel Don' yo' git me too mud!" Pb wnt wud yez do about il?" asked Barney, insolently. "t;}ollyl" ejaculated Pomp, rolling his eyes about. Then he lowered his bead and made a dive for the Celt. Barney nimblv leaped aside, and Pomp's cranium came in contact with the rotaecope shaft. The s 1ock was a terrlllc one, and would have brained an ordinary man. Bat though it staggered Pomp be quickly recovered, and the blow had the ellii_ct of adding fuel to the !lame. Be made another lunge at Barney. Whurroo!" cried the Celt. "It's a foight yez want, Shure, yez shall have it!" AaCI Barney mnde a tlilf at tlie coon, but this time Pomp's aim was true, and his head came Ill contact with the Celt's stomach. Burney went down, Pomp went with him. Then they closed in n terrific struggle. They rolled about the deck, tugging and panting furiously Neither seemed to gain the ascendency for a time. How. long the scufile would have lustHd it was impossible to guess, had it r.ot baen for the appearance of Frank on deck, who had l>eeu aroused by the uproar. This settled the affair at. once. Barney and Pomp scurried away, Pomp to the pilot house, and Barney to bis hummock, to sleep. A short while later Prince Azyn appeared on dPck, and then Frank set the course or the air ship, and Pomp went down to prepare tlie break last. Arter Lile morning meal, Frank and Azya went back to the ileck, and made themselves comfortnnle in the bow, where t hey could see the ocean below, and pass the time in conversation and smoking. Frank found the young Arabian prince very entertaining. Azya told of !iis native land nnd many stories of its wonders. Frank listeaeu with interest, The robber bantls, the deep caves in which they dwelt, and the strange legends of the far away land of magic, formed an entrancing topic. / Th11s the days passetl. lu course of time the Azores came in sight. Here the course was changed to the southeast, oo ns to strike the thirtieth parallel of latitude. By following this they would pass di rectly over .Morocco, Algiers, 'l'ripoli, Egypt and the Suez Canul into Arabia. . Cairo was exactly on lhis parallel. The regions to be passed over were all or much interest to the traveler. This prospect was IL parlicularly pleasant one to Azya, and bid fair to be protitable us well. For tlle Ara.lJ)nn prince expected to some day be culled to the throne in his native land, and here was nn opportunity to get n sure look at tbe domains ol the Bushaws of thPse northern Africa countries. After leaving the Azores the Madeiras wue tho next islands en countered, and then the peak of 'l'eneritl"A was seen fur to the south. 'l'hey were now on the thirtieth pnrellel or north latitude. It now remuined to puMh east ward along this line. The coast ol Africa soon came to vicw. Great white cliffs were suc ceeded by auntly plains. In green valleys dotted here and there were miserable habitations. The natives were seen at various occupations. Bands of savage-looking fellows roamed about mounted on fleet horses. In the fertile urea, nuked slaves were plowing and sowing, or working in the irrigating tlitches. "Allah!'' exclaimed Azyn, with a shrug or his handsome shoulders. "This country is not to be compared Arabia, Our couutrv i11 barren enough but tbi&is worse." "You are right!" agreed Frank. "It is really a wonder how these poor wretches keep soul and l>ody together." It is said that their rulers are the most cruel in the world." "That is likely," said Frnnk. "There are many slaves in Morocco and Algiers. Their masters are unprincipled, heartless tyrants and monsters/' Azyn shrugged his shoulders. I have learned mnuy things in America," be said. "Your gover11me11t is the best in the world. When I come into power I shall try and govern accordingly.'' A praieewortby purpos9," declared Frank. There is hope ror Arabia!'' "l trust there is!'' "If we can once bring the tribes together under one ruler and civi lize them n little then we shall have the nucleus of a wonderful nation. For the Arabians, my people; are possessed of great skill, natural ability and wit." I hope you may be successful.'' "It is n big undertaking," said Azya. "or course such things I require a gre11t deal of time. It may not come In my time, but i( I cnn lny the foundation, it will come, I feel sure.'' Thus Azya, the plucky young prince reasoned and reflected. Frank looked at bis handsome face an

, 1ey lacked cteveloprnent. From time immemorial they had n .ot anged. And yet Liley were of that Aryan branch supposed to be the first people on earth, the descendants of Adam and of Noah. Mount Ararat, the resting place of the ark was in their domains. Given presLige and opportunhy, yet!Lhey had stood still, and it had re mained for the people of the western world to develop all the advan tages of civiliznllon. Azya had learned all this. He saw clearly that people ,.-ere thousands or years buried in the drift or ages. How to reclaim them, to bring tllem to a high standard of progress and civilizaLion was bis ptoblern. Yet he was a clever young man, gifted and well taught. Be would not al.Jaudon the efl'ort without a good enrn\!st trial. So Azva studied the babi tations and lire of the Morocco natives with interest, and found tllat his were not the only peoples deficient in modern advantages. For the purpose er observation Frank allowed the nir ship to de sceml to within a few hundred feet of the earth. So wllen the Crescent went sailing over the l\forocco villages, a great sensation was created amon!! the villagers. Alarm and conster nat ioo seized them as a general tl1ing. They fled to their dwellings or fell upon their faces in terror. Meo, women and children were alike terrifi e d. Many comical scenes were witnessed as a result. Agnin tragic events followed. On one occasion Azya c&.me near losing his life os a result of the terror of a Mohammedan guard. The fellow, 10 his terror, fired at the air ship. The bullet grazed the Arabian's side, malcing a flesh wound. Slightly nearer, it would hn'l"e pierced his heart. But the second day after embarking upon the voynge across Moroc co, a thrilling adventure broke tbe routine of the trip. Coming suc!denly to n bit of desert, a train or camels was seen. Be hind these wns a long Ille of naked blacks, with manacles riveted to a long iron chain which bound them Beside them marched armed guards, fierce warriors, armed with yataghans and Turkisb guns. Tht1y were slaves procured in the of Africa, and were being taken to the capital to be sold at to the higlJest bidder. It was a fearful spectacle. The poor blacks could hardly creep from exhaustion, and their hacks were rnw and bleeding from the bastinado. It was a scene of cruelty fit to make the humnn soul cringe. Frank gave a start ns lJe saw them, and shouted to Barney: "Slacken speed, Barney!'' "Al! ro1ght, sor!" As the air ship swept down like a great bird of prey from the sky, the voyagers all crowded to the rail. The effect upon the natives was thrilling. For a moment they seemed petrified with terror and amazement, The blnclt slaves fell upon their faces. The camel drivers tumbled from their high seats and sought refuge behind their animals. Tile horses shied with fear, and were bridled with difficulty. S11perstitious fear was no doubt in the minds of the desert travelers. The y hud never 86en anythiDg like this aerial monster before. Tlie Crescent stopped when but a hundred feet over their beads. Frank hau directed Azya to. speak, f:Jr be knew the Mohammedan tongue. '!'i.Je Arabir.n prince leaned over the rail and shouted: Dogs of the devil, what do you, in Allah's name, with those ppor blnck men?" For time no answer could be mnde, so great was the uproar. The terrified slave drivers tried to burrow in the sand to escape what they believed wr..s the vengeance of Allah. Again Azya leaneu over the rail and shouted to them. CHAPTER III. FATE OF TllE SLAVE DRIVERS. THE answer this lime came back from one of the slave drivers, who closing bis eyes, held his bands up in a supplicating faebion, and cried: "Oh, Allah, thou most high and serene one! Forgive thy slaves! We are but simple merchants journeying with our slaves to our homes i::J Morocco." "You are dogs and sinners!" cried Azya, in a terrible voice. "The bluck men are your brothers! Break their manacles and set them free, or Allah will visit npon you l" "I beseech thee-. began the Arab slave driver. "Silence, thou dog!" roared Azya. "Do as thou ort bid! Bismil lah Dost want to lose thy head!" The slave driver bowed to the earth. Then he spoke words of com mand to bis companions. At once a number of the Arabs began unlocking the gyves and set ting the blacks free. Soon all or them were free. Be me sow II" cried Barney, "I niver see anything worruk betther than that. Bad luck to the omadhouns! Shure, it's murtberers they are, nnywnyl" "You are rlgbll" cried Frank. "Bat their time hns come. I mean that they shall never enchain their fellow beings again in this life!" Azya turned In surprise. "Oh, Etlendil'' he excla imed. "How will you prevent them!'' "Easy enough!" declared Frank. "ls there any reason why they should live?" The Arabian's eyes flashed. "They deserve death!'' "Then why spare tllem?" said Frank, forcibly. "The sooner the earth is rid of them the hetter for humanity!" "Golly, Marse Frank!" cried Pomp. "It yo' say so, I doDe git mah rill er' "Shure, I will, too, sor!" "No, no!" dec lared Frank. "I will not rid the earth or the mur derers in that wuy. Tile better plan is to turn the veugeance of the slnves upon them." All were surprised. "A grand" cried Azya; "but how can you do it?'' "I will show you." Frank then dictated some commands to Azya who again sb(lnted to the terrified Mohammedans below. "Doge of the devil!" be cried. "Your hour of puniebment ia at hand. All ye who serve Allah, luy down your arms and praise Alluh, if you would hope to be savotl." So thoroughly convinced were the slave drivers that it was Allah who was talking to them from the sky, tlmt they dared do nothing bot obey. They cast their guns an1l swords upon the sands and fP.11 upon their faces. The ignorant blacks stood in a stupor looking at the air-ship and then at their late captors. Among them, however, were some black servants who had been long in slaverv nod who were helpmg the Arabs. They understood the Mohammedan tongue as well oe their native lingo. Azya went quickly to the other side of the airship antl addressed them in tones just loud enough for them to he11r: "Black men, fear not. God is on our side. Seil/le the weapons of your oppressors and kill them, '3Veryone. The blacks started up and looked eagerly at the air ship, and then at their foe. The wild courage of the jungle came back to them. Alrendy they saw the distant Afric a n kraal from wbicll tlley tad been so rudely torn. Already they heard the voice9 of friends and loved ones there mourn ing for their loss. What would it not mean to return? The wild hope gave them renewed courage. So when Azya called agnin: "Up ond at them! They are accursed! Your hour of vengeance is at hand!" they sprung forward like a pack or wolves. Too late the Mohammedans sprung to their feet. The blacks had renched the yatagbans and the guns. They out numbered the slave drivers fo11r to one. And now witll the Mohammedans unarmed, they bad tbe advantage. They fell upon the foe like fierce tigt1rs. No quarter was Tlle comest was a quick nnd decisive one. In lesa time that it takes to tell it, the bodies of the cruel slave drivers strewed the plain. Their horses and camels and all their, eflects became the property of thE blacks. When the battle was over the liberated blacks fell again upon faces in tlle sands to return thanks to their deliverers. Azya smilea ..( with delight. ...,_ 'fhe affair, which to his mind was an eminent subservlng of justice, bad been to his liking. Again he shouted: "l\fy hlack children, mount the horse& nod camels, tnke thy weap ons and flee to the south, back to the jungles and thy borne and be happy!" At once the blocks raised their voices In n chant of praise. They really believed that u power !lad given Lli em their liberty. It is needless lo say that they obeyed the command of Azya. Sooo they were m 11king tracks for the Sahara at full speed. Bnrney turned a handspring, and Pomp did a double sbuffie. Azya and Frank gripped hands. There was a great wrong righted," declared the young inven tor "Tbose human hounds will entrap oo more innoceut, helpless people.'' The air ship once more got under way. Night had began to shut down, dark and silent. The or the desert was everywhere. No human being or habitation was lo sight. The next day they were to poss over a certain rained city which Frank was anxious to see. But as it was only a few hours distant, they must pass over it m darkness unless a wait was made. So Frank decided to wait where they were for the coming of day. Just 11head was a tumble-down pyramid of stone and a clump of palm. A small pool was near by. Doubtless this hnd once been un important oasis. Frank decided to wait here. 80, moving the air ship forward, he drew overboard an anchor which held the Crescent. She was barely fifty feet from the e;;rth. II was deemed safer to do this than to descend to the earth. There was no outlook of a perilous sort. But Frank was determined to be upon the safe side. The Crescent pulled at her anchor in the light breeze which rippled ncross the desert. As the night was perfect and the air so b11lmy, our voyagers were not at. all disposed to turn in. They sat by the rail smoking and chatting upon various subjects. Suddenly Barney clutched Frank's arm.


.ACROSS .ARABIA. Mither av Moses!" be Pjnculnted; is it dhrunk I am, or can yezi' I "Mebbe dey will come back." see anytbing down there, Misther Frank!" "Divil a bit! Av they do, It's a hot reception they'll git!" Ile pointed down to the pyramid. A111ong the !Jeap or stone there Frank and Azya lifted the unconscious !orm. of the prisoner atlll fias!Jed a strong ray or light. cnrried !Jim to tile air ship's deck. Frank gazed at 1t. and at once became inte rested. Blankets were spread In the s!Jade or an awning and be was It was too powerful for the light of a glo w worm; yet !Jow could it stretched upon them. Then Frank began to dre!i!! his wounds. be connected wiLh any human agency? He s a w that none or th e m were likely to prove mortal. "That is queer," muttered the yoang inv e ntor. 'Hey were lle sh wounds, and whil e painful, not nece s sarily fatal. In The lig h t burned steady and strong. It was like the Jlime or a lamp a short while F rank had them all well bandaged. l or a small lire. Then efowly the re s cued man came back to himself. By this time Azya bad also become intereste d. The next time he opened his eyes be looked up and smiled filebly. "By the Bear d of the Prophet!" he b X claim e d, "I mean to know Th e n lie said hu s kily: what that i s Will,you come, Effendi!" "Frank Jr., God sent you to my assistance." "I will," replied Frank. "There is c e rtainl y some thing myster Frank gave a start, ions about that light. Lower the ladder, Barney!" "You know m e! he asked. "All roigh t, sor." "And you know m e !" The lad der or rope was thrown over and Frank and Az y a descended. "I b e g pardon---" But whe 1 i t h e v reach ed the pyramid the light could b e found nowhere. C a n 1 t lie that you have forgott e n Tom Trull? Were we not friends It bud dis a ppe a red. in collep:e!" F run k p r oduced an electric l antern a11d be g un lo make a search or "'.l' o m Trull ? gasped Frank. "You hnve changed. Heavens man the vicin ity S oon he founll a cre vice amon g the r o ck s 1 "hat has d ontl it?" ' 'l'hen the od o r or smoke r.ame to b i s nos t rils. He follo w e d it and "'l' b e climate here and much sntforiag," replied Trull. "You see J foun c l a h eap o r ho t ashes. have be en live years in th e d e s e rt. It had probably been fanned into a flame by the night bree ze. At "Me rcy! what brought you to this out or the way part o! the first Frank tJ1oug ht that it was the remains or a camp left by some world?" wandering b a nd of "l was one or a party or archreolo g ista," replitld Trull. have But Az y a shook his bend. thorou g hly explored M o rocco, I.Jut one day 11 week a"o this guna o( "Not so, Effe ndi.'' he s aid. "It i s only the burning bush." fitimla deacen d ed upon us and I was the only survivor. They wclared Frank. "I know what sort of S atisfied fully, the two explorers r e turned to tile deck or the air ship. a cre w they are. It is time wasted to a.ttempt reformation." Noth in!! mor e of interest occurred that night. Tom Trnll was now given food and drink. H e was maJe comforta But the n11xt rluy about noon a numbe r of t e nts were sigh Led. It ble on the blankets. was an Arab camp pii.ched in the heart or the wilderness. By this time the Arabs had begun to cree;> buck toward their tents. As tbP air ship drew near, a strange and unusual spectacle was The li .. e was wnxiPg warm. spread to view. Baruey and Pomp were, how!lver, in a protected spot, all was Upon the gr.>ond In the center or the encampment and bound to' well. Yet Frank knew Llmt it was best not to allow tb e foe to come stakes was the figure or a miin. too near. Around l:im were thronged a half hundred wild natives or the deaert. So he went from one tent to anoth11r quickly and looked rnto them. In n o instant the air ship's crew understood the situation. Thtty were unoccupieU, and held only the etfects of the Arab mur The cruel Arabs had a prisoner in ttielr clutches whom they were darers. slowly torturing to death. '!'his was a custom among them, most It was but a few moments' work to liberate the camels and the h o rrit1Jy crue l. and send them away over the desert. Then Frank touched a "Allah forbid!" gasped Azya. "They are devils!" match to each tent. We will so o n make devils of them," said Frauk, rigidly. As I In a few moments the Arah encampment was in !lames. li ve, t!lnt poor devil is a European I" The vilainuus gang were iusane with rage at this. They even began Tbe whhti skin and lllonde .balr of the prisoner at once furnished to ch a rge toward the air 11hip. p ro of thnt he was not a nntive or the desert Woe to the European "Come aboard!" shouted Frank. wl: o is recklesR enough to fall into the clutches Barney and Pomp sprung over the rail. The next moment thti It seem e d as if they took special delight in the tor.tore or such. The Crescent rose ahout two hundred feet. poor wre tch's body was streakiid with blood and his Cacti was conThen from this elevated vantage point a hot fire was poured down torted with ngony. upor. the Coe. They retuliated, but with no efi'ect at all, But hie eyes were turned skyward and he saw the air-ship. '!'he resul wns loreseen. What his sensations ivere at that mom e nt, pen cannot describe. Soon they scattered and Hed in all direc1ions over tile desert. Full That th e y were powerful go e s without s a ying. half their number had been killed. The Arabs did not percPive the uirship until it was nlmost down Frank was satisfied. upon them. Then the commotion wns fParfal. "That will do," b e declared. "I trust the survivors w l ll profit by Tt1ey broke right and lelt in the deadliest or terror. the lesson. OncA more eastw a rd hound." 1 them It' was a !earful visitation from Heaven and they Jled in the Barney opened the lever and the air ship sped away again over the most abject or rear. desert. CHAPTER IV. AT EL DERA VEH. BARNEY and Pomp opene < I l!re in stantly with their Winchesters. The air ship sett led down upon the ground heel1e the pri s on e r. Franl\ sprung out and rushed 10 the unfortunate man's sid e cutting bis bonds. But lu; had fain t ed. Azya applied a flask of brandy to his lips. For a moment it seemed as 1f Ufe was extinct. The hound n ry of Morocco and Algiers was passed and steallv!" cried Pomp, "I done bet dar am more'n forty ob dem h e reabouts."


/ ACROSS ARABIA. Arabia is cursed with thieves," said Franlc, "though it no is not so bad as in ancient times." "He cannot fail my most high and serene father," said Azya. All this while Barney ahd Pomp were aboard the airship. Suleiman anxious to visit and inspect the air ship, but first it was ordered that a least should be surved the visitors. "I hope for Arabia," said Prince Azya, with a wistful gaze about him. Allah, will aid us!" Surely a wilder desert the aerial vovagers had never seen. Even Prince Azya himself had never seen much of the Rocky Desert bllfore. It wits quite new to him. Various little villages of tents nod huts were seen at intervals, but in general the desert wns untenanted save by hyenas. 1 Southward the voyagers kept. After leaving the desert behind them, as Prince Azya predicted, the country grew There was much really fertile soil, !Jut little of it wT:ls tilled. The Arabians are not farmers or \ven producers. The1 e were walled towns, and here merchants halj us in Constantinople, but the goods were brought into the country by armed caravans. They were not manufactured there. Not Arabia was entirely devoid of products Spices and wooils and cloths, were articles of commerce, ai:d to some extent of export. / In the southern part of the couutry, on the Persian G ul! and the shores of tbe Arabian Sea, Prince Azya assured bis companions tbat there were many rich towns, governed by despots. In fact nearly all of the Arabian rulers were rich so far as gold and silver went. The country produced these. Suleiman Ayotr was a very rich ruler. In fact, Arabia held none more powerful. I El Deraveh seemed a long way in the rnterior of the country. But one evening Prince Azya pointed to some glittering lights on tile horizon amt declared: .. There is my home. 1'ou shall be my welcome l!nests." An hour later the air ship hung over the city of El Deraveh. It furnished the aerial voyagers a surprise even ill. the evening. The streets, well lighted, lay in glittering sections below. Crowds of richly clad Arabians were walking through them. One immense building, lighted up from bottom to top, Azya pointed out in particular. "My father's palace!" be said. "Indeed!" exclaimed Frank. "Do you think be is on the lookout for you?" "There is y_Qur answer," said Azya, as a cannon !loomed on the city wiills. Then it seemed as if pandemonium was let loose in the Arabian city. Lights flashed, bonlires blazed, guns boomed arid people rushed from houses in 11very part of the city. The gaze of all was turned skyward. Then Frank the cabm lights, and saw that they must have betrayed the presenr.e of the 11ir ship. He spmng to the search-light and turued it on full force. As tile d11zzling rays llasbed across the beautiful city, the uproar in creased. Azya was deligbtea. We shall own the town," be said. ''Descend before the palace, Effendi. You can see that a reception is awaiting you tbere." Frank saw that this was trne. A long file of soldiers encircled the Equare, There were gaily color ed awnings an1l rich carpets spre11d on the pavements. Bands played lively aira. Frank had thought of remaining aloft until daybreak. But be saw that this was out ol ,he question now, So be ordered Barney to lower the air ship. Down it settled unql it rested upon the carpeted square. Then Frank and Azya stepped down froni the gangway. In an instant a namller of Arabian dignitaries were ori hand, how Ing to their They led Frank and Azya up some steps and into lhe hall of the f}alace, which was all white and gold. A thousand brilliant lights blaz e d in the r1lace and showed hundreds of the Arabian nobles clad in the richest of Oriental costumes. The scene was like fairyland, and Frank could not help but gaze upon it spellbound. Bot foremost in the throng of richly clad was a bandsome white-bearded man in a cloak of gold and purple and white ermine. This was Suleiman Sheik and ruler of El i:>eraveh. He held his arms wide open. Azya saw this and rushed into them with joy. CHAPTER V. JN THE LAND OF ROBBERS". THAT was a happy meeting betwPen the sheik and bis son. Azya bong for some while on his father's llreast. Then Suleiman suddenly gently released him and looked at Frank Reade, Jr. Instantly Azya led Frank forward. 'l'he young inventor bowed graciously and with"le to net, not a sign could be found of the man on the while steed. / It is ,needless to say that the entire city was thrown into a state of most intense excitement. Ii Frank and Azya rushed out or the palace.. The young prince fell upon bis knees witll thanks to Allah when he saw that the air ship was unharmed. Everywhere soldiers were sent in pursuit of the while horseman. But not a trace of.him could be round. Sileik Suleiman offered a fabulous But Azya said: "They are masters of those Forty Tbi.ives. We shall no\ catch t111s rascal right away!" "Let this incident be a lesson to us!" said Frank. "We are loaing time, besides endangering the air ship by remaining h e re. Let us start at once upon our mission." Azya agreed with Frank and Suleiman gave his sancLion. In a few moments all were aboard the Crescent ready for the start. Thousands of Suleiman's subj1;cts crowdPd the squarP, As the Crescem sprung skyward, a great shout went up. Guns were tlrec! and bands of music played in the wild Arabian fashion. The air ship ascenOed a thousand feet. Then a l{Ood view of thecountry about was bad It was seen that Suleima1fe ceuc try was or the best in Arauia, There were fertile valleys nml green slopes. Husbandmen tilled the soil of the valleys, and shepherds herded upob the hillsides. All looked thrifty and prosperous. As the nir ship floated along above this beautiful region, Azya gazed upon it with priue. "There is nothing better !fan this, Effendi," he said, "in your own pro>ud land of America!''


"Yet, this is the best pnrt of Arabia I have seeu yet." superstitious, of course, he had emilod at the Arabian's fear. "You have not seen the farms of the Great West," said Frank. I Azya bad bade them beware of magic. But as Frank w At this moment Azya pointed to a distant stupendous range of As the air ship vanished silently upwo,rd, and was to be seen again mountains. the sky only us a sort of black object, Frank and Barney stood for "Yonder is the land of the magicians.'' he said. "If we find the I some moments silently in the defile. den of the Forty Thieves it will be on that high plateau." Frank's motive for this was a warrantable one. "Ab!" exclaimed Frank, witll interest. "That is the place we lle knew tllut it was not at all impossible, but that some of the rob want to see!" bers bad been watching tile air ship and had seen it drop into the de He leveled his glass upon the disla11t elevation and studied it a long file. while, Jn that event they might be in ambush It was necessary to Nearer the air ship drew to the high moc.ntain rnnge. The spirits proceed with great wariness. of tbe voyagers were now on the qui vive. Frank had spent some years upon the western plains and was film Soon it was near at hand. Then Frank was ready to admit that he iliar with ll!llian strategy, which is acknowledged to be the best in the bod nevur seen a wilder, more uncanny looking region in his life. workl. The mountain pe11ks assumed oil kinds of outlandish shapes. AlSo be put a band on B,arney's arm and kept very still. The minutes most .nny one of them could be conjured into the shape of a demon or pussed and a hull hour passed. Thrn a peculiar chirp like that of a a reptile of some kind. cricket was beard, not a dozen yards distant. There were detiles so deep that the darkness in them was almost Frank tightened tlLe pressure on Barney's arm. Then they kept that o! midnighla pur!ectly still hardly danug to breathe. There were caves and weird nooks, recPsses and wild peast deus. Frank knew well enough that no cricket uttered that call. The f orests were deep and tangled. The uplands rough and rugged. A moment later his assumption was verified. There wus a slight A more capital place of biding for eould not be imagined. crunching of gravel, and lthe two watchers, with their eyes a little Frank could not wonder that the author of the,Arallian Nigtts had more accuetomec! to the darkness, distinguished a shapeless object selected Arabia as the location of his fabulous tales. but a yar:I distant. All was appnrently allll no sign of human life was visible. As they were against the cliff wall they were not so easily seen. At Great !locks of vultures hovered lu the air, while hyenas bowled in least the unknO'lyu betraye:l no knowledi:e of their presence. the glens. But in a few moments he a:,rnin gave the cricket signal. It was nn The Crescent sailed slowly and steadily over this region. swered a !ew yards awny. 'l'heu a startling thing happened. For hours it made a circuitous tour of the place. But not a sign of The dellle became suddenly tilled with dark figures. a robber was to be seen. They were so near Lo Barney and" Frank that the latter could have Azya did his best to locate some clew. But when nightfall came touched them. Tl1f1t they were members of the robber gang there was the searchers were bound to admit that nothing of value had be'en no doubt. found. They iUllulged in hurried, whispered consultation. Being in the The darkness which shut down was of the proverbial kind. Arabian tongue all this was unintelligible to Frank. Bu:. for the electric lights nothing could have been seen. J3ut Like silent statues they stood in that little patch of gloqm and were Frank sent the pathway of the searchligl!t llash!ng over tne peaks not discovered. constantly. After a few moments of consnltation, the robbers flitted away in the However, little was seen which sogg!'St(;ld the presence of dwelltirs gloom and the danger was past. Frank drP\Y a dell breath. below. At one time Baruey fanciet.l !Je saw a man's tlgure among He realized now wh11t he had to contend with. No North American the rocks: Indian was more strate!!;iC or wary then these Arabian robbers. Finally Frank said: ... He must meet their tactics with the same method, It did not take "ThPy are doubtless biding. Bnl it is hardly likely that they will him !011 to decide whnL to clo. continue that 1f we wait l believe we shall .yet hit some He kuew that the danger was for the moment practically ovPr. thing." After a sufficient lapse or time be led Barney away down the llellle We can do not!Jing but wait," agreed Azy11, "They can har:lly after the robbers. leMe here without being seen!" lt occurred to Frank us a good plan LO shut of!' the electric lights at intervals and this he did. Ouce wheu he !lashed them down suddflnly i11to a d e file hesaw o. horseman. There was no manner of doubt. The horse was milk-white. The rider could not be recognized. Only a moment was he visible. How he vanished so suddenly or where he went could not be guessed. But Frank was reassured. He knew that the rascals were in this part of the hills and time and patience must reveal their biding plar.e. For three dnys the air sl1ip hung over the hills. On the third night Frunk adopted a new plan. He announced it to Azya: I l!ball take Burney," he We shall the air-ship WE'il armed and equipped nod make a tour of exploration in the darkness of tlmt defile yonder.'' Azya was eager nnd excited. ' Oh, DOQle Etl'endi," he cried; will you not permit me to go with you!" Frank shook his hend. "I cannot," he "Two must remain "ohoard the air ship. The risk will not be so great for Barney a!J for you.'' Aud why not as great?" You nre the prince of thiR lnnd. They would give you no chance for !He. 'Again Barney is stronger, and a great tighter In case we should meet witl! troutile." Then you mean to explore the detlle?" I do.'' Azya was dis1111pointed. But he could ofl'er no objection, and said: Allah be with you! I beg you Lo lookout for their magic.'' "Mugic I do not fear.'' laughed Frank. "Bot fear not! When WP return we shall have learned l!omething." I pray it may be so." The air ship's lights were extinguished, and she descended slowly into the defile. The darkness was heavy, and could almost be felt. CHAPTER VI. AN SUCH blackness FranK bad never seen. Down into the defile the air ship settled. Not since leaving El DP.ranh had Fr .. nk experienced a thrill of fenr. But as he and Barney slid down the rope ladder to the stony .ground below, be could not help a bit of a chill. The next moment they were alone in the dell19 and the air ship errung upward. Alone in the region, almost in the den o! tile Forty Thieves. Like silent shadows they crept on in the pursuit. But before they had gone far thEy kuew thut the chase had ended. The objects of their pursuit had 6Cattered and gone knew not whither. Here wus u quandary. For a moment Fra11k hut! allowed himself to fancy that he mi!!'ht follow them to lair. Once this was discovered, the young in ventor felt sure of llis gume. But novr, with the robbers scattered in a dozen directions, he knew not which to take. "Bl'I Ill!! sowl," whispered Barney, "they're afther giviu' us the goby this toime, l\11sther Frank." Well, we're stumped just now," admitted Frank. "But we'll not give up. P& auy of the villains, if followed, will eventually return to the den." Then we'll kupu right on, sor!" "Yes; it is the easiest way.'' 1 Howev!'r, the deep nnd inky block defile was now mPrgin!! into a sort of depressio11 or pocket in the mountains. Consequently tbe darkness was leas dense. It was nectisaary now to proceed with greater care. Suddenly Bar ney clutched Frank's arm. "Mither av Moses!" he gasped, "Phwo.t is that, sor?" He pointed to the right in the gloom where was a slight knoll or mossy mound. Something like a glittering star glimmered in its side. Frnnk rubbed his eyes nod looked ho.rd at It. For a moment he was puzzled. He thought or some precious stone, li.!te a certain diamond which hos the power of brilliant light in dark ness. it occurred to him as the luminous eye of some serpent, or even a wild beast. But after a moment be saw tbat it could not b& the latter. So h i drew nearer, stared again, then 11:ave a great exclamation: "By Jove!" be gasped. "It 1s o. hol!' in thA groand!" Literally t'tis was true. Frank threw himself down beside tj1 moued. He applied his eye to a small crack in the ledge which cro ped out from beneath the growth of moss. l What. he saw stupefied bi.11. He gazed o. long while. He saw full tirty feet below, through what seemed the ceiling of enormous underground chamber, a sight such as it would have h hard to eqnal, even in the imagination. All the tales of Alad1lin and his lamp, of the fabled palaces he was o.hls to procure, paled before this glimpse of the underground Albam bra. Great columns of white marble and onyx, fad!'d into a vista before his vision. TherA were white spotless tloors, golden lamps in scores, the richest of loveliest of rugs and Orieutal furnishings. A great gil

ea a clear comprehension of all came to him. He saw that this tire uadergrou111J retreat or a powerful and rich fed e raLion, the orly 1'bieves. The cavern bad been fitted up like au emperor's palace, with booty hicb they had procured lu various raids. The naturnl character of be rock had enabled them to get the marble and onyx effect. But Frank snw no living soul in tbe rluce. This seemed strange. Was it deserted! But, of course, this was wholly unlikely, and even s he discarded tb e thought, he saw the glitter of gold and satiu, and youug woman, fair as a goddess, came with graceful tread through the arches. She walked quickly to the throne, and sank down upon. the velvet. ushions. Her face was upturned, aml it seemed to Frank as if she was lc..oking directly at him. -1 !!'or a moment he felt a bit fearful that he wns exposeu, but the uext oment he recognized the impossibility or this. At that distance it was not likely that she couhl see bis eyes through be crack in the roof. Sbe was of the radiant Arabian type of beauty, a most pronounce d runette. Her lips were like rich cberrie s, and her cheel's tinte d l\h the soft pink or the ile a shell. Her eyes, with their starry lashes ere lovely beyond compare. In all bis life Frank bad uever seen her equal. Who was she? This was the question he asked himself. It was not easy to guess. et he made the hazard. Who could any that she was not the daughter or the ro!Jber chief. er dresses were us rich and costly as those of a princess. Diamonds her plump arms and revellM in her hair. or course this all the booty of the rob!J e r band. Yet it added o the gil'l's beauty, thouglJ she would have been wondrous without hem. "Be me sowl, Mietber Frank," whisoered Barney, who was at hie houlder also peeping in at the crevice," dill yez iver see the loikes v thot! Is it not wonder fol, sor?" "Indeed it Is, Barney," agreed Frank. "I think she must be the aughter of the robber chief." Shure sor; that is loikely." For some while the bmu i ifnl Ara!Jian girl reclined there on the soft ushions or the dais. Then she began to sing, low but wondrously weet. The words Frank could not understand, though be caught the ame or Allah und judge d it a hymn. The young inventor was en ranced. Severn! verses or the Ar11bian song' she sang. Then there up ieared from the arches or the underground paluc1>, two negroes, black s conls. They were dressed in the rictiest or silks, and each Cl!.r ied a banntir of purple and gold. They advanced with SlBtely trend, and when they bad, renched the hrone, stool! each on an opposite side or it. Tllen Frank guessed he t:-uth. The court or this robber kingdom was about to open. The ruler ims&l! would soon appear. Nor was the youn!! inventor's guess far wrong. Suddenly from be distant arches came the soft sound of plaintive. music. Then the musicians therr sel ves nppeureu, play mg on reeds at the ead or quite a lengthy ar.d stately vrocPssion. Attendants richly dressed, wnlked next to tl:e musicians. Then ppeartid a strong b&ilt, dark-hrowed mun, arrayed in a long purple own or velvet. A huge sword hung at bis girdle, aud upon his llend as a ctrclet of gold and diamon1is. A robber king he truly was. Tbis then was the borne of the Forty bi1:ves, anti this was their palace underground. Frank felt a thrill of triumph nt the discovery. !!'or the first time he elt a repugnance to the task he bad undertaken. Tills was the extermination of this very same assembly, upon whose rand person he was now looking. Though he knew 1 hat they WHre hieves, yet he also knew that all other tribes in Arn!Jia, even Suleiuu's, were the same. After the rol>ber king came a long line of nobles, all dressed much he same, but wit h oot the circlet of gold. Out of curiosity, Frank counted purple-clad dignitaries. To is surprise there were just forty of them. At once he understoou that th ese were the Fortv Thieves. 'I 'hat ach was an Oriental uoble auu had nuder him a band or armed en. CHAPTER VII. AN I NVITA1'ION. ALSO Frank saw that the 1'hieves were numerically strked kee nly nt Azya. "Yes," he said, quietly. Was she not ns radiant as the sun!" Sl:e was very b9nu t iful !" No harm must come to her if she !nils into our lmnds. Neither must my father s ee her." Frao k was nstonished. Whnt do you mean, you sly rogue!" h.i asked. All11h be with us, Effendi! My father would seize aer for his bi>reml" And you--" Azya's eres flashed.


" She has captured my heart at sight. Zosia muat be Azya's wife!" But if she refuses--" Azya looked surprised. "You do not know Arabian women!" be said, and the subject drop ped, I In a few moments they were again aboard the air ship. As nothing further was to be gained that night, it waa proposed that all turn in for much nePded sleep, ;rnd this was done. After bre1akfast the next morning, Barney, who wae on deck, heard a stranire sound from below. He went to the rail and looked down. Standing on a spur of the mountain wall was nn Arabian beating a drum of the kett le type. A white tlag floated from n staff beside him. Bamey called Frunlc nnd and the latter said at once: "A parley! Whut di

" Yet this is not your sole purpose in asking us hither nuder the protect!on of a truce. What do you nsk!" A frightfully malignant gleam came into the eyes or the robber king. Bis lace was posi t ively cruel, as he "I ask lhat which you cau, give and for which I will make of you the richest prince on earlh." Azya did not reply. The robber king leaned forward and hissed: "Your father's head!" LighLniug leaped from Azya's eyes. He forgot whel'tl he was, and nil conditions. He leaped to his feet and would have sprung at the kiug. "Doi!! Devil! Dare to say that to me, and by Allah! I'll !lay thee aliv e I'll feed thy tlesh to crows--" He choked and stopped. Frank and Pomp had seized him by the shoulders. At that instant every noble had sprung to his leet with drawn swords. But the kin g Ali Mandab, sat;cool and s11111iag on the gilded throne. When Azya bad recovered himself and silence again reigned, he said with sarcasm: "I thought the t est wouhl not fail. Were the truce tb;ne it would not be kept. And yet, thou !!on of a dog, thou di a liv ely lir e Three of the rol.Jbers fell. The others van}shect wit h the prince and Zosia. 'l'hen Frank was desperate He started in pursuit For fully an hour he wandered among the defiles a-nd recesses of the rocky r egion. No trace of lhe robbers and th e ir charges could be find He bud no means of knowing what h a d b ecome of them. Neither could he !ind th e way a!!;ain which led hack to the pal a ce. He wondered why the robbers did not appear and try to make bimse i f and Pomp prisonerll. After a while h e halted and snid: "It's no u se, Pomp; we might as well g o b a ck to the air sh ip. For some reusou we are not their game, Th e y do n o t seem t<> want us.'' "I specs you'se right, Marse Frank," ngreed Pomp. "I'se d one afeared tint am de la&' ol.J Prince Azya." Frauk made no fnrther comment, but scanned the sky for the air sllip. To his surprise be saw it just It was easy LO sign al Barney, who at once d e scend a d. In a moment more Frank had b o ld of the rope ladder and quick ly mounted to tl;e deck. Pomp follow e d b1m. Burney showed his surprise anll apprehension. Frnnk s aid: Prince Azya is iu the power of tbe robbers. We must re s cu e him ii we can!" Be gorra, that we will!" cried Bamey, forcibly. Shure, an' how-iver did it happen, Mi11tber Frank?" Frank narrated tile wllole affair, to wbicb Barney list'ened with sur prise a11d interest. .But Frank was puzzled enough cow to know whnt to do. While in this quandary he w a s suddenly arouse d b y a cry from B:trney. Wburroo, Misther Frank!" he cried. Wud y e z look yonder, sor! Shure, it'd an army comin' this way I do believe.'' Frank looked to the plain below, and west or the mountain rnnge He was astonished at the sight which met. nis gaze. Barney bad spoken or au army. That it was such was certainly true. An enormous body of armed men were advancing toward the moun tains. They murched in long files and carried banners and shinin g weapons. Frar:k kn e w nt once who they were, It was the army of the Sh e ik Sul e iman. He had been unable to remain longer at home and wait for news from tile air siup. With tbe firm belie! that his aseistance woul

.ACROSS A passage way was surely being blown 'into the cavern palace. A well directed bomb on the roof b f the structure would 1.Jlow it in. But at this mom ent a whit e !lag was s e en. Then out through dense smok e and luri:l llume strode a man. It wa11 Ali Munduh. He held up bo t h arms. It could be seen that his face wae very white. Frank ceased firing and allowed the sh i p to d e scend within speaking tlistanc e Then he sh o uted in French: "Well. m'sieur, what will yon have?" "Your surrender," said Ali Mundah, in a le ering manner. "ls tlrnt all! ' Is it not enough?" "It is. Quite enou g h to warrant UR in CO!!tinJ!ing our firing." Wha t do you m en u to do, Etl'end i?" "I mean to blow you into bits if you do not come to my terms." Ali M andah looked at the air ship a nti at the d amag e done hy tho elllctric bombs. Tn e n he saw that the advantuge wos with the air ship's people. .. Well," he naked, "what arr your terms?" "Tbe d e liveriug up lo us of our frie:id Azya, the prince, safe and sound. We will tll e n go away." "Will you come down and see the prince yours elf? He is very bad ly wounded anti un able to be moved." "The n you have not murdered him?" alike11re d to trust the r o bb e r king. "lf I desceud what warrant shall I have of personal safety?" he asked. "My word, Effendi,'' repli e d Ali Manduh wit h dignity B e Misther Frank," e x c l aimeu Burney, "I'd niver do It, sJr. Shure av be gets yez into his power n g in afther phwut damage ye've jest done, shure he'll play u treacherous g a me on yez." Frank saw that Barne7 was right. S o he replied:. Show your good faith by delivering the prince up to us, even though he is wouncled." "'l'hat I cannot e at the cost or Azyu's life. Be tried to think or a stratagem. B n t for once in his !He he was stuck. The wily Ali l{undub spoke again: "You need not f ear fbr the lif e of the prince, Effendi," he suit!, nssurill!!;ly. "No harm shall come to him unless you keep up your attack." "What inducement can I off e r then for the r e l e ase of the pri nce?" Whe n the right 1time comes I will set him free. Suleiman mnst cease his warfare me first. I am no worse thau he. His an cestors w e re rol.Jber kings the sa:11e us I. Rut l have won succ e ss. WhnL if I have taken pia stre s and u few tlocks from him! He could atford to los e for be is wealthy. But I um ready to giTe up my rob ber Ille and become a ruling sheik the as hims e lf. I will si g n the bond of p eace with him if he wishes. Do you take tuis word to him." "Are you sincere, Ali Mund a h?" 2 s ked Frank, eagerly. "I swear it, by the soul of Allah, and by my bear d." "I will do os you request. P erhaps S uleiman will be gla to take you as his brother!" Ali Mundah shook his head. It' may not be: he replied. The sheik is vecy hard of head and stern of heart. He seldom forgives u foe. Bnl-you see n;y good intent, Effendi. If he pursu e s the w a rfure, may the 1.Jlood be upon his head. Cun yo11 not see that I um fair!" "You are!'' a g reed Frank. Ah Effendi, from far away America," plended the robber king, "why warfare against me? S uleiman will not thu11k thPe. Be will likely beh e ad thee in return for thy e1>rvice S wear to help Ah Maptlah, anti Ile will make or thee the richest pri11ce in Arabia. With Lhy air ship we will co11quer the Sultan. All things will be possi Lle!" Thnt will not be possible," replied Frank, lirmly. I am not in Arnllia for conqueat. I urn here to h e lp Sule iman rid his kiogdorn of your robl.Jer b a nd. That is m y ple,l!.(e.'' I CHAPTE R X. TREA C H E R Y ALI MANDAH's dark !nee cloud ed, and hi eyes llashed. For a mo ment he setimed about to brenl; out in anger. But he curbetl 1Jim9elf, anti replied: "At lenst take my word of grace nnd friendship to Suleiman. Kiss him !or me upon tbe shoulder, and say that Ali Manduh is henceforth bis broth or "I will do that;'' replied Frank. .ARABI.A The robber king vanished among the rocks, and Frank said to Bar ney: "Bear down for the army on yonder plain. We will see what Suleiman has to suy." . 1'1Je uir ship sniletl down from the heights ; and was soon over tbe plain. Frank cause d it to d escen_

ACROSS Love flowed in a subtle bond between them, though unprofesa:ed by either. That was a halcyon hour. It. was later in Lb.e day that Zosia heard a great stir out8ide Lhe caverc, and then Lhe curtains or the chamber were hastily thrust aside. Her father and another richly dressed and kiugly persouage entered. The latter was Suleiman. He gave a great cry and rushed Lo the side or his son. Azya vpened his eyes and embraced bis loving parent. That was a happy hour for all. Frank Reade, Jr., waited just ont'8Hle the cham.ber door. When be learned that Azya was alive, he was overjo} ed. Presently Suleiman came out and said: 011, noble Etlendi, my son asks for thee. Wilt ti1on not come!" "Certainly!" replied !<'rank. In an6ther moment he ll'aS by thti side or thP wounded young prince. Azya's tuce ,'Lho ugh it bore marks or pain, was radiant. "Oh, my great and kind benefactor," he said. A happy hour is come. My father tells me that the great Ali Mandab offers brother hood to l1im, and will give np his career as rolJber kinir, and obtain from Lhe Sultan, by purcl111se, the title or E mir. We shall lJe all one united province, anti, what is more-tb.e beautiful Zosia loves me. Si.Je slrnll be my princess!" Frank was delighr.ed with this turn in affairs. "Prince Azya," be suid, "I am rndeed overjoyed to hear of this. I nm sure you will all be very happy. There is notbwg to.:> gootl for me to wish you!" At this moment an entered the chamber, and said: Our noble lord, Ali Mandah, gives ortler that all here shall meet him in tb'l throne room without delay!" "It is to ma!rn the brotherhood compact!'' said Azya eagerly. Let men carry me there on this litter." This was done. Four servaots carried the litter and Zosia walked beside Azya. Frank and Suleiman with bared beads walked behind. In this way they enteretl lbe throne room. Ah Mandah sat upon tbe great gilded chair. He was in 1his imper ial robes, as rol.Jber king. But upon bis 11g!y race there was a gloomy shadow. The prince's litter was set down and the a.ttendanta foll back. Frank and Suleiman stood heforti the robber king. "Noble brother,'' suid Suleiman. "We pay thee boma1;e!" It is well," said Ali Mandan, Then he clapped bis hands. Instantly, rrom various entrances the Forty Thieves appeared. The robber king indicated them with hie scept1e and said: Kuow you, Suleiman, that these are my nobles, men of the high est birth in Arabia. and to whom I owe my kingdom. You have of ferred me a broli.1erbood, bin they deny it me!" For an instant a silence like that or the t\)mll reigned in the court. Suleiman's tall figure towered higher. He glanced from one to another of the Forty Thieves. His gaze was like that of an eagl e. "And who are these," he asked with disdain, "that they can refuse a brotherhood with Suleiman?" "Death!" roared the Forty Thieves. Forty swords in the air, llnt All Mandab's v0lce rang out: "Buck, by Allah!" lnJ!lantly the wea11ons were sheathed. Then Ali Mandah smiled in hie cruel way nnd fluid: For this Allah cannot bold mP. responsible, noble Suleiman.. The 'wi!l of my forty frieuds I cannot rorego. It was a fatal hour which brought you to this place." "Explain thy words, son or a dog!" c ried Suleiman, unsheathing bis scimeter. f' I am the so11 or Mahomet and' I have no fear." Again All Mandab smiled in his cruel way. There can be no brothe1 l:ood!" he said. Prince Azya gave a gurgling wild cry and tried to rise, but fell back. Zosia !till by litter, spea King words of comrort. As for S uleiman, his fine JipJ curled in contempt. I owe no allegiance to any forty slaves of mine!'' he said. Ali M11ntlah's eyes !lashed. Nor II" he cried. Know, thou fool, that it is also the will of Ali Mandah." What!' roared the sheik. Does this mean treachery?" It means that my hour has come!" thundered Ali Mund ah. Know the truth, that all .the hordes or the Crescent cannc1L save you now, Suleiman Ayotr, Sheik of El Deraveh. All the wealth of the world car.not ransom you from me. I will suck your veins, drink your lif e blood, and reur 111y kingdom upon the ashes nnd the blood of yours. Thus does Ali Mandah make himself the greatest ruler of Arabia!" Words cannot explain the situation or the scene which followed. The treachery of the robber king was something beyond comprehen sion. CHAPTER xr. IN CAPTIVITY. FRANK READE,' JR., was not the leasl dazetl of the party. Be could l.Jardly believe his sensea. He was famililtr with the pecnliarities or Lhe Arabians in general, but he had never of Lhe violating or hie word ancl his truce ARABIA. in such a manner by Ali whom he bad hitherto regarded as at lrast honorablll in matter or bjs word. The dan,.er which now impeotllld over all was of the most frightful kind. Suleiman, though brave as a lion, was white and He knew at once Lhat he was ia the power o! hie sworn roe. 1 There was not the least chance tor eacape, not the least hope in up pealing to the honor or his villainous captor. Too late he regreL ted I.tis foolhardiness in having com e so blindly and unprepured into the enemy"s stronghold Better far to have r e main e d o.utside, to have met Ali Mandah half way und negotiated with him. Better to have given his kingdom as runs:>m for Azya, his b e loved son. As for Azya, he was rn a state or frenzy. But be was too weak to muke action. Howe ver, Frank Reade, Jr., now made an;etrort to turn the tide. "Remember, Ali Mandah," he said in French, which the rout.Jer ki11!1; underatood, "you ure staining your soul wit!1 an infam y which Goel will not overlook, nor the world allow Lo go i;m1venged. You will pay dearly ror all this.'' Ali Mandah laughed jeeringly. Ah, American Effendi," l!e s u it!, contemptnons!y, "you could talk lo me bravely when your air ship I.tung over my palace with Its ac curs ed thunderllolts. But now the tables have turned, and Ali Man dah is on lop." You forget,'' cried Frank, "that rny air ship yet hangs over this place, and if harm co111es to us, not one stone Slmll be left upon another here!" "You do not know," retorted the robber king, "that your air ship antl your two servants are captives in t .he defile without. They cannot escape." For a moment it s ee med to Frank as if the room whirled him. He could hardly believe his senses. Barney and Pom1> captured, and the afr ship ii! the power of the robbers! Here wus a frightful turning or tables. He realized now also, a& had Suleiman, what fools they hat! been in trusting themselves in the power oi Ali Mandah. The end must cer tain ly be death. Frank could see no way of He was a l.trave man, but l.Jis heart sank at the prospect. A!i Mandah made a motion to one of his attendants. At once he vanished. A moment later he returned with others. They carried a furnace anti anvil with heavy chains und gyves. A burly smith began to upon the anvil anti blow the fire. It was evident that the prisoners wero to be cbainetl. One of the attendau1s advanced with manacles. He was ubout to place tltem upon Suleiman's wrists. But Zosia strpped between them. She extended her own lovely arms. "Put them upon me lirst," she said. The smith and Lhe v.tterulants fell back in affright. A murmur went up from the Forty 'l'hieves and Ali }tfandab spraug from his throne. What is this?'' he roared, glaring at ZQsia. "Get thee to the barem, thou fnlse daughter. Bnt Zosiu raced him like a lion. Her eyes were liKe burning coals and her bosom swelled like a raging sea. "I reruse to o\Jey thee!" she cried, in a full ringing voice. "From this hour I denounce thee! Thou an no longer rather of min e!" For a moment Ali Manduh bent llke a reed in a storm before this powerful denunciation. His face tnr11ed chalk y white, his throat rattled and h e llashPd forth his scimeter. The most unspeakable rage held mastery or him. He might have elaio his daoghtPr then and there but tor the voices or the Forty 'l'hieves, which were raised in protest. Several or them rushed between him and his would-be victim. "Tbat I should live to see that nngrateFul hu B sy denounce me," he fumed. ,.What dost thou mean, child o r a demon po&sessPd!" "It is thou who art possPsse1I of a demon! ' rnplied Z osia,' forcibl y. "See what thou hast done? Tl1ese men come here in thine honor, and by thy word, and t hon wilt condemn them to dP.ath. Thou art no t father of mine longer! I loaL11e thee, for it is wriuen iu the K cran that no mu)l may hope for Heaven and break his word!" Azya had made a tre;nendoaa etrort LO get from 11is htter. Bvt faint ness ove1came him. Frank anti. Sa!P.1man wer e rendy to in!lantly sell their in de fense of this brave young girl, who had so nobly defen : led them. Suleiman gaz,.d at her with worship "Ah, 111111 I but such 11

The secuoa of chain between ench was several yards in length so that each could move about with some degree of ease. But their sensations were tlismal aud melancholy. They were sure that Ali M.andab had merely granted them this respite lo prepare for them a fearful death. "The c!ogl" exclaimed Suleiman, lo aoii;er. "H I could bot meet him on eveu terms, I would do the world a service and rid it of o. fiend!" Azya had returned to consciousness and was groaning with his wounds. Zosio. was bending over him and giving him solicitous Her hearL was very heavy. "Oh, thou pearl without price!" moaned Azya; "would it were in my power to defend thee, \Jut Allah forbids." "1 have loresworn my lather," she said, rigidly. Henceforth he is dead me. I have nought to live for, and death will be merciful." Azyo. grasped her hands, feverishly. "Oh, life of my life-soul of my soul!" be cried, passionately; thou hast me, who loves tbee, who adores thee beyoud compare! Oh, thou art mine-ii not in life, w e will be with each other in Heaven!" She wept upon his bosom, ,and thus they became avowed l:ivers. Frank and Suleiman, much wearied, sl e pt. Thus the hours passed, until an attendant brought them wa j er and dri e d tlgs-o. frugal repast. However, they were glad to partake of it, nod were somewhat re freshed. T uen Zosia, who had become calmer, began to move the mam1cles on her delicate wrists. To her surpri s e she found that they would slip partly down upon her bands, as slender almos t as the wrist. SlJ e maue several etlorts to 1lro.w her haotl through. Tllis pained her greatly, but she did not desist. So, of a sudden sue gave a little cry anu held up one hand. "I am free!" she said. This announcement created a sensation. Suleiman wns beside himself with joy. Perhaps, fair maid, you will fi11d the way to liberate us?" he asked. I will uot spare my life to save you!" she said. After much eOort she drew the other hunu also out or the manacle. She wns now free. \Y ords cannot the joy or all. At once plans were made. There was no easy way for Zosia to break the manacles of the others. But she might obtain the means to do it. So ehe d e cider! to creep stealthily back to the main roome or the underground palace, and if possible tlnd the heavy hammers and chisels of the smith. Azya kissed her farewell and the others knelt and prayed for ller suc cess. The next moment she was out of sigbt in the gloom, Zosla was o. girl of rare courage and much fertility or resource. Severo.I daring plans other than the breaking of the pris oners' manacles had occurred to her. She was determined to carry them out. As she crept noiselessly into the main part or the palace, she heard the sounds of revelry. In the main chamber wns o. ban'}uet table loaded with wines. Here Ali Mandab and the Forty Thieves were engaged in carousal. They were celebrating the success or their n e farious game. All maudlin drunk. Most of the servants and attendants were in the same state. This gave Zosia her chance. She crept even to the cavern entrance. There in the defile she saw the air ship. It bad not been looted, but was tied to the cliff with ropes. No doubt Ali Mandah had declared it his own property, and meant with its use to try fort conq nests, as he had declar1id. The two companions of Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and Pomp, as Zosia knew, were imprisoned on board the air ship. The guard at the cavern entrance was asl!)ep. She silently o.IJstracted his keys from hia girdle. ll was easy for her to !lit across the defile in the darkness. T!Jen she reached the air ship's deck. The guard was pacing the opposite aide or the deck, and appre hending no danger. Zosia easily glided in nt the cabin door. Barn e y and Pomp, with manacles, were lying in the middle of the cabin floor. Zosia reached their side. She could not speak their tongue, but she implied silence by means of o. hushed exclamation. Then she unlocked their manacles and freed them. Now, all were in o. quandary. As Zosh1 could not speak English, for o. time it was difficult for her to explain to Barnev and Pomp what her mission was. But she knew French, and fortunately Barney bad a smattering of this. It proved the necessary open se s ame. In whispered tones Zosia told them all. Barney and Pomp were much excited, but glad to know that Frank and the others were yet alive. "Faith, we'll rescue thim!" cleclared Barney, resolutely. "Bad luck to the omadbounsl Whio we aflher wid the nir ship, ehure they'll think the ind av the worruld bas come !er share!" Zoeio. was faint with joy at the prospect. But her strength soon rewhen she remambered what was before her. It wue necessary for her to return now with the tools essential for be release of the !Jtl1er prisoners. Barney was anxious to go with her, hut Pomp said: It will be easier, chile, fo' her to go o.101141. dey might notice yo' whar dey woulun't her. De place lo' yo' un' l o.m right he11h 11bo'd ae air ship." Barney saw that this was right. But now a new peril arose. Another guard lrnd come aboard the air ship. His step sounded right ilt the cabin door. CH APTER XII. WHICll ENDS THE STORY, FoR o moment it seemed as if they muet be betrayed. Then the voice or the other g uard was The two exchanged remarks, and tlno.lly the relief, for such he was, turned away without entering the cabin and crossed to the other side of the deck. It wus Zosia's chance. "Now, miss!" whispered Barney, "shure, an' may luck go wld yez!" Zosia, like a shadow, tlltled out or the cabin. Slle reached the gangway and climbed down. Barney !nd Pomp cowered in the cabin until well assured that she was in safety. Then they kept watch of the cavern entrance, hoping o.t any moment to see the thre'l pri s oners appear. Meanwhile, Zosia had ag a in passed the sleeping guard and so.fely eate red the cavern. Yet the dangP.r was notJover for her. She knew where the smith s tools were kept and set out to procure them. But just before the eutrance to the and forge, three drunken wretches lay on the cavern lloor. Tuey were cursing and reviling frightfully, and Zosia did not dare to approach them, much less io let them know of her presence. Here was n delay upon which elle had not counted. The drunken robbers showed ao disposition to change their position and continued to remain where they were. There was no other way to get into the smithy. But they were maudlin and the chances were good that they might soon fnll asfeep. So Zoijia waited with some patience. Time passed slowly. It seemed b.n hour ere drunken slumber came upon them. When llnally assured that they were asleep, Zosia made brave action. It was necessary to step over tbem to get into the smithy. But she diet thi s so lightly and noiselessly that tlley were not disturbed. She made some noise in getting the iron tools, but happily this dill not arouse them. Once more the brave girl was in the main cavern with the means in her possession of freeing the prisoners. She lost no ti me. Down the cavern passages she flitted. The toollil were heavy and made her arms nod back weary. But she kept bravely on. It SE\emed o.n interminable distance, nod a number or she was sure that ebe had taken the wrong passage and was lost. But eudd1mly she heard o. distant groan. At once she raised her voice slightly, and "In tlle name of Allah!" A joyful cry her. Allal'I be praised!" God blees her!" exclaimed Frank. She has performed a bra'l"e deed!" In another moment the young girl had the tc.ole o.t the feet of Frank and Suleiman. Then she fell beside Azya and kissed hie fevered brow. It was but a moment's work for Frank to dispel the darkness with his pocket lantern. Then the chisel was placed to Ills manacles, antl ) Suleiman rained blow alter blow upon them with the Iron hammer. The manacles soon parted and Frank was free. Next Suleiman was freed In like manner. Then came Azya'e turn. The young prince was soon lib&rated. Zoeia now gained her feet. Most noble sheik she said, addressing Suleiman. It is possi ble to go e11fely to the air ship ii we use care. My fnther and the Forty Thieves are nil drunk, and doYbtless ere this asleep!" "'l'heu let UR go. Oh, light of Paradise," said Suleiman. "WJlt thou lead the way?" Zoeia proceeded to do this. Frank and Suleiman carried Azyn be tween them. Taus they proceeded for some distance. It ee0med as if success was assured them, when a startling and un looked-for occurred. The distant roar of a thunderous explosion caused the roof and walls of the cavern to tremble. Then loud yells and cries and the crash of firearms followed. Zosia cnme to a bait. Her heart w11e beating like a trip hammer. "Alas!" she exclaimed. "We must go no farther in this direction." What does t-lmt inean ?" asked Frank. "They have discovered the escape of the air ship men!" Zo eia. They will come here next. Let us not l_inger.'' What shall we do?" asked Suleiman. I know another way out of this cave!" replied the young girL I beg you nil to follow me, quickly." Zosia turned back and entered a side pase11ge.


This she followed until It began to trend upwards. Soon a patch or light shone above. Then suddenly the fugitives came oat into open air. The light of morning was in the sky. The thunder of explosion crashed upon their ears. Frank and Suleiman rested a moment. from carryinir Azyn. Frank looked upwards and saw a pathway of glaring radiance. "The air ship!'' he exclaimed. "lleaven ue prulsed, we are save:!!" Amen, oh, Allah!'' said Suleiman, sinking upon his knees. After the departure or Zosia, Barney and Pomp crouched in tha air cabin, watching for the possible coming or Lhe prisoners. They had armed themselves with rifles, aud were prepared to defend the air ship with their lives. But Zosia's delay at the smithy had proved fatal to her chancrs for a safe return. The nigllt began to fall and the light or morning to appear. Burney became uneasy. "Be me sow!!" he ejncoiated, "it looks bad for thim! Phwy don't they cum!" "Golly! mebbe de gal hub been captured herself," said Pomp. Be_iabers, I reckon we'll not take many more chances." \ "No,-1mh!" lt won't be safe, shore!" Who.' am we gwine to do!" \ Before Barney could answer, the guard suddenly appeared in the doorway. It was a thrilling moment for him as well as the prison ers. He saw at once that they were free. They saw that they were dis coverell and the crisis I.ind come. The guard let out a yell of alarm and raised his piston The bullet shaved Pomp's skull. But Barney's rifle ball the next moment ended his career. From tho cavern there sprung armed men in response to the guard's call. But by this time Barney was in the pilot house. He turned on tlie current and set the rotascopes buzzing. Then with an ax be dodged out on deck am! severed tbe ropes which bound the Crescent. Bullets rattled against the cabin sides, but the high bulwarks pro tected Barney. Then the air ship gave a great lurch and started up ward. Several or the outlaws grabbed the rail, but fell back and were crushed a handrea feet below on the roci(S. Up into the air bounded the Cresce1.1t. Baruey shut off apeed, how ever, nnd allowed it to remain at a height of 11 few hundred feet. i 1'hen he cried: "Git the bombs, oaygur! Shure, we'll hlow thim all Into kingdom come!'' Down showered the bombs into the dellle. They made terrible havoc. Soon human life was not safe in the pince. One of the bombs rent the roof of the underground palace. Tue robbers rushed out only to meet death. The slaughter was ter rific. Suddenly a white flag appeared below. Barney an d Pomp ceased firing. "It's a surrender they'll make!'' cried the Celt. "Av they mean it . well an' good! lf not, shure we'll exterminate the wllole lot av thim!" "Golly! I guess dey be done glud to g1b up de prisoners now!'' cried P omp. The air ship was lowered to within speaking distance Then the robber king, Ali Maodah, bleeding Trom many wounds, crawled out or tho debris, Io French he shouted: "Io Allah's name give us mecry! We are outdone!" "So I thought," repl:ed Barney, in broken Frencll. "Will yez give up the prisoners yez have!" '"I cannot, ror they are no longer here.'' I / Barney turned while. y,z don't mane that they're do yez?" he asked. "No, Etlendi. They have 1>scape tll" Do yez hear that?" criPll Bariwy. turning tQ Pomp. "Now, pbwllt do yez think av il? Ph were are they!" Golly, bow yo' s'pecs I kin tell!" "Whurroo!" At this moment Barney chanced to ran his eve over the mountain wall. He lleheltl that which rialle his veins tingle. There were four l>ersons on a ledge signaling him. They were Frnnk, Suleiman, Azya nnd Zosia. It can lie easily imagined tt1at Barney was not long in responding to their call. The air ahi11 clescended quickly, notl they were taken aboard. Azya was carried tendPrly into t.he and left in Zosia's care. '' Allah be pruised," declared Suleimnn What say the robbers?" "T11ey have surrendered, sor!" cried Barney. "Shure, av they hadn't, I'd av blown thim all to perdition!" Suleiman was overjoyed. He embraced Barney and aaid: I will take them to El Deraveh and bang them. The arch traitor, Ali Mandah, shall be flayell alive!" "Ugh!" exclaimed Frank. Why not shoot them where they are? I don't helieve in human torture." "No," said Suleiman, generously. "If they will leave Arabia for ever they shall have their lives." "Tell them that," snill Frank. The air ship returned to the defile, and Ealeimno addressed the survivors or the robber band. It was a surprise to them to be given their lives. They readily agreed Lo the terms, 1 Bot Ali Man

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Jr.'s Stran1 Sea Wonder. b 'rank Reade, Jr., E For sale by all newsdealers in the Un "d t&tes and Canada, 01 ent to lOUr addr ess, poSL-p ai d o n receipt of the price, 5 cents A d dress \ FRANK TOUSEY Publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York. 1 .,


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