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Frank Reade, Jr., and his new steam man, or, The young inventor's trip to the Far West

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Title:
Frank Reade, Jr., and his new steam man, or, The young inventor's trip to the Far West
Series Title:
Frank Reade library.
Creator:
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
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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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
R17-00129 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.129 ( USFLDC Handle )
024953780 ( Aleph )
29886562 ( OCLC )

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L 4 .tes t a nd lle:s., f4Aories a r e i n This I ..... ibrary Ente.-ed as Second Class 1l1att01 at the 1 Y ew I" 01 k, 1Y. Y., Pos t Office, October 5 1892. No. 188. { C Ol\tl'Ll!:'l'E.} l!'ltAN. K 'l'OOSH:Y. Pt1 11r.1SHH:1<, 29 Wti:S l 2-0th S'l'l?ltlC'l', Ni.:w YORK, :-
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FRANK REAf>E JR., AND HIS NEW STEA:.\1 The subscription i:;rice of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the year is $2.50; $L2.5 per si.x months, post paid Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 29 West 26th Street, New York 'Frank Reade Jr., and His New Steam Man; OR, THE YOUNG INVENTOR'S TRIP TO THE FAR WEST. By "NO NAME,'' Author of "Frank Reade Jr.'s Electric Cyclone; er, Thrilling Adveutures in No :Man s Land," etc . ( ", CHAPTER I. i A GREAT WRONG. FRANK READE was noted the world over as a wonderful and distin guishetl inventor of marvelous machines in tbe line of steam and electricity. Bi;t he bad grown old and unable to knock about tbe world, as he had been wont once to do. So it happened that his son, Frank Reade Jr., a handsome and talented young man, succeeded his father as a great inventor, even excelling him in variety and complexity of invention. The son speedily outstripped bis sire. The great machine shops iu Readestown were eniarg('sign 1vere io-:Jily and young came forth only to bis meals. For three months this matter or closed doors continued. In the machine shop d epartment, whern the parts or machinery were secredy pat together, the ring of hammers migllt have been heard, and a big sign was upon the door: No admittance! Thus matters were when one evening Frank left bis arduous duties "' to spend a few hours with bis w1fe and little lloy. But just as be was passing out or the yard, a darky, short in stature atH1 af genial features, rushed excitedly up to him. "Oh, Marse Frank," cried the sable servitor, "Jes' wait one mo mem1 Well, Pomp,'' said Frank. pleasantly, "what can I do for you!" The darky, who was a faithful servant of the Rendes, antl had ac companied both on their tours in foreign lands, ducked bis hend, with a grin, and replied: I 11 Yo' fader wants yo', Marse Frank, jes' as quick as eber yo kin come!" "My father," exclaimed Frank, quickly. What is it?" '' 1 don' k:iow nuffin' 'bout it tall, Marse Frank. He jes' say fo' ir.e .to tell yo' he want fo' to see yo'." Where is he?" "In his lil>rary, enh." "Al! right, Pomp. Tell him I will come at once." The darky dartetl away. Frank saw that the doors to :he secret rooms were locked. This was a wise precaution for hosts or cranks and demented inventors were always hovering about the place and would quickly have stolen the designs if they could have got at them. Not tea minutes later Frank entered the library where his father was. 'l'he elder Rende was pacmg up and down 'in grent excitement. Well, my son, you have come at last!'' he cried. "I have mnch wanted to see you." I am at your service, father.'' replied Frank. What is it?" I want you t0 tell me what kind of a machine you have been gettina up." ,7 Come now, that's not fair," eaid Frank Jr. with twill'kling eyes. "Well, 1r It's any kind or a machine that can travel over the prairies a.ell me so," cried the elder Reacle, excitedly. Frank, Jr., was at a loss to e xactly untlt'rstand what his fathet was dnving at. However, he repli ed: Well, I may safel y say tllat it is. Now explain yourself." I will," replied the senior Reade. "I have a matter of great im portance to giv.e you, Frank, ILY boy. If your is as good ail mv steam maa even, and does not improve upon 1t, it will yet perlorrn the work wbich I want it to do." A light broke across Frank, Jr.'s face. "Ah!" he cried. "I see what you are driving at. You have an undertaking for me and my new maclline." Frank, Sr., looked steadily at Frank, Jr. and replied: You have hit tile aail upon the head." '' Wbat is it!" First, I must tell you a story." "Weal?" It would ta:-e me some time to go into the details, so I will not attempt to uo that but give you a simple statement of racts; in short, the outlina o! the story." All right. Let us have It.'' The senior Reade cleared his throat antl contiauetl: "Many years ago when I was traveling in Austra\ia I was set upon by bushmen and would have been killed but for tile sudden arrival upon the s::ene or a countryman or mine, a man of about my own age and as plucky as a lion. tHis name was Jim Travers, and I had known him in New York as the son of a wealthy family. He was or a roving temperament, how ever, and this Is what had brought him LO Austrnhn. "Well, Travers saved my life . He beat oil' my assailants, and ours ing my wounds brought me back to life. I "I have felt ever smce thatt 1 owed him a debt which could not be fully r Ap11id. At that l.ime I could make no return for the service. Jim and I drifted thrnugh the gold Ileitis together. Then I los track of him, and until the other day I have not aeen or heard from him. "But I now tind that it is In my pow e1 to give him assistance, in fact to partly pay the delJt I ow11 him. This brings us to the matter in hand. Six months ago it seems that Jim who is now a man of great wealth, still a bachelor and for a few years aat Ii ving at a fashionable hotel in New York w ent to his ciab. When he returned iu the evening h found a note worded hke this: Afr. Reade laid a note upon the table, Frank read it: "DEAR TRAVERS :-I would like to see you to-night upon a verJ important matter. Will you meet me in twenty minutes at the car on your corner I must see you, so be sure and come. "A FRIEND." "or course Jim wondered at the note, but be did not know of an enemy in ihe world. so he felt perfectly in keeping the appoint meat. He itnrted for the cafe. "The night was dark aud misty, .Jim walkect along and h11d got nea the care when someb6dy stepped out of a dark hallway and grnspe his arm. Come in here," a sharp voice said, we can talk better here Urn in the cafe." "'Before Jim could make any resistance he was pulled into a dar hallway. Two men had hold of him and something wet was dnshe across his face and over his hands, then he felt some liquid poure over his clothes natl some ohject thrust into his pocket.' Theo the door opened again and he was flung out illlo the street. Jim wae unharmed, but amazed at such treatment. He l : ad not bee hurt and was at a loss to untlerstand what it nil meant. The incident had taken but a few moments in its course. At a thoui?ht or foul play had flashed across Jim. Then it occurrecl to him to look at hts han
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.............. FRA NK RE.ADE, JR., AND HIS NEW STEAM 3 "In fac t bi s h a nd s and !ace and cloth es we1 e almost soaked in red b l ood. Fo r a n instan t he w a s homlied W ha t myste r y w as this! But h e quickl y ch a n ge d his o p ini o n and actu ally laug hed. occurr e d to him as a pr a ctical jo k e upon th e p art o r his club friend s o r his h e r es o lve d to get even w ith th em. "He triec! t o ope n t h e doo r thro u g h which h e h ad u e en pull ed. It was lock ed an d would n u t y i e l d "'l'he n h e decide d t o g o tack t o h i s room a n d w as h off th e blood Bat b e h ad n ot g on e te n s t eps b efore b e w a s m e t in toe g lare or the lamp lig H by one of th e c l ub men. "Thunder! What's the mMt e r with you, Trav e rs?' a 8ked his frien d Oh, no thin g only a lit tle practic a l joke th e boys h t1ve b eell play. ing on me,' r eplied Jim with a gri11. Two o r th ree ot h ers c ome aloug all d Jim e xp l ains ill like Qlanlle r The n he goes t o his "Whe n h e a rriv e s the r e he is am azed to tiud the llOo r opell a nd a fearrul s cen e with in. The f u rnitur e th e lil;':h t ca rp e t and the walls in pla c es a re sme are d wit h !Jlo od. Jim 11ow g o t ang ry. 'l 'his i s car rying a j oke a littl e too far!' h e cried, tes t ily. "This spoilillg tin e f urnitu re i s too muc h.' B ut h e went t o w ashing the blood fro m h is h a n d s This w a s a h a rd j o b alld t o o k t ime. S u d d Plliy hair a dozen offic ers came int o t!Je roo m a lld se ized him. "What d o y ou w a nt?' cri e d poor Jim ill surprise. W e we.n t y ou they repli ed. "' What f or ? "'For m ur d e r!' Instead of being h o rrified ; Jim w a s mad, madder than a M a rch hare. He just go t u p a1ili s w o r e at th e offic e r s "I do n't like thi s sort of thing, he declared. It's carrying a joke t o o f ar." The officers only lau g hed and slip petf ; m a nacl e s upon bis wrists. Tb e n t hey l ed him a way lO pri son. Not br o u g ht into court did po o r Jim kno w that he h ad been mad e the victi m of a helli s h s cheme. Murder h ad r ea lly bee n c ommitt e d in that house i nt o which he had be en dragged, a nd wbe r e h e w a s smea red with bloo d A man U!l known, w a s Lher e found lite r a lly carved to pie ces with a knife. B l ood had b ee n f-lund upon Jim m his room. A trail led from the house to hi s r .lom. A kni f e was round i n his coat p o cket. The evi den ce wae all agamst him and his tri a l ha t jt1st co m e otl and he had jus t been s e n te n ce d to dea th by hangrng with onl y thre e months or g r ac e." F rank R eade Jr., list e n e d to this thriiling tal e with sensations w l iich the pe n c a nnot d e pict. It was so horrible, so strange, so g h a stly that h e could hardl y believe it true He aro se and walked once acr o ss th e lioor. CHAPT E R II. THE NEW S T E A M MAN. THEN t h e you11g inventor pau s ed b e fore his fatl!er and in a deeply impressE!d manner said: "Then an i nllocent man stands convicted or mur d er?" "Yes." "In that c a se it Is the duty or every philaI1thropic man to try and e a v e tile in noc ent." "It is." "We must do it." "I am glad to hear you say that." "But the qu esti on now arises as to how we shall be able to do it. Is there no c lew to the real assassins?" "No d elin it s clew." "That is v e r y stran g e Of course there mast have bee n a motive. That motive w o uld seem to be to get Travers out or the way." "Ye s." And h e has no enemies?" "No u e that he knew of." Ah, but what would any one gain l>y putting him out of the wav" Frank R e ade Jr., paused. He gazed steadil y at his father Much passed bet w een th e m in that glanc e "His fortune is a lar g e one," put in the s enior Reade "the right to inherit would furnish the best motiv e The r e is but one heir, and he is a neph e w Arteml\S Glitl; who is a stockman somewhere in tile Far West. could not be him." "Could not!" Frank Reade, Jr., sat down aml dropped ill to a brown study After a time he aroused. "I am i nter es ted in this case," he declared. "And my Steam Man i s at the disp o s a l or justice at any time. But you spoke of the prairies. Is there a cle w in the West?" "The o n l y clew possible to obtam at present," declar e d Mr. Reade, Sr. "Yon se e detectives tracked two suspicious m e n to Kans as. The re the y l o s t track or them. Everybody believes that they were the as 8 assins "Well, I believe it, cried Frank Reade, Jr. with impulse. "I can see but one log ical expl a nation of thit1 m a tter. Either Artemas Cliff has employed two ruffians to do this awful deed for the sake of Travers' money, or-the case is one not possible to solve with ease." Frank Reade, Sr., did cot dislay surprise at this statement of his son. "Now y0,u have the wbole thin it in a n11tshell, my boy," he said. "Of course you can do as you pleas A hut 1( yon "ish to take any kind or a journey with your new invention here is a chanc e and a nolll e obje c t in vie w Tllat objec t s hould be to tra c k drown the mur d e r e rs and clear Jim Travers. It ma y b e tha t the n e ph ew, Artemas Cliff is the really g uilty one, but in an y c ase I 'Jelieve til a t it is m the W es t y ou will lilld tbe solution of th e myst e ry." "That is my belief," agreed Fra nk R ea d e Jr., bul now that this matte r ia s e ttled let me show you the plans or m y ste am man." Fra nk R e ade Jr., drew a roll of pap e rs from bis pocket and sprea d them upon the table. Upon them wer e the blue print plans and drawings of tile mecha n i s m o f the SLe am Man. Frank Reade, S enior, ex amine d them carefully and cri t ically. From one pie ce to a nother he w ent and a fler some time drew a deep breatb "Well, young blood is the t\Pst aft e r all. 1 must say, Frank, that I a m h ea t. Th e r e is no doubt but that you bave improve
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FRANK READE, .JR., AND NEW STEAM MAN. Fire was burning in the furnace, steam was hissing from the retort, and smoke was pouring from the funnel bat of the man. Frank Reade, Jr., suddenly sprung in tbe wagon. He closed the screen door behind him. Pomp was engaged in some work in the coal lmuker. Frank took up the rems and pulled them. The throttle was opened and also the whistle valve. . Tbree '.!harp sl:rieks the new Steam Man gave au<) then be was iJ,way on the trial trip. Out of the yard he went and out upon.the highway. Everybouy rushed le> the gates aad a great cheer went up. Down the highway went the Steam Man at a terrific gate. His strides were long and powerful. So rapidly were they made that a trem11ndous amount or surface was covered. It was a good smooth road. Just ahead was a man riding a horse. Near him was a uicycl e r who was noted as a rider. Both bad heard that the Steam Man would make his trial run that morning. Bets had been mode by both that thiy could beat the Man. Frank guessed the truth at once. "Ki dar, Marse Frank," cried Pomp, wit!J a clrnckle and a shake of bis woolly head "Dllm two chaps am got a e ob gall. Jes' yo' show dem clat dey ain't iu it. Won't yo'!''1 Po111p had mnre t ha n one r eason for ueat.ing the horse and bicycle. He hati made a small bet or his own on tbe re su lt. It was evident that Lhe parties ahe:td were ready for the fun. Frank Reade, Jr., smiled grimly, ant.I opened the thtottl" a little wid e r. The next moment the Steam Man, tlui bicycle rider and the trotter were all !lying nAck and neck Jown the road. Heavens! what a race that was! Down tl.ie roa!:I tbey Dew like a whirlwind. The dust Jlew up behind them in a cloud. But the Steam Man just trotted by his competitors with seemingly no exertion at all. Frank turned with a laugb to see how easily they wer e distanced. After a good trial, the new Stenm Man returned to Lhe foundry yard. As Fmnk stepped down out of the wagon his father came up and his hand in an elstasy of delight. Bravo, my son!" he cried. "You have eclipsed my inver.tiou. I wish yo u luck, amt I know that you will succe?.d in cl earing Jim Tra-' vers." "I shall takA only Barney a n d Pllmp with me," said Frank Rea1JP, Jr. "There will not be room in the wagon for more Well, they will be useful companions," said tlui Senior R e ade. "My son; may God be with you in yonr enterprise." Frank Reade, Jr., at once proceeded Lo make preparations for his western trip. He visited Travers in prison and talked with him. To tell the truth. I am distrustful of my nephew, Artemas Clifl: He is an a7aricious villain, and a number or times has tried tll swindle me ont of money. 1 know that be has led the life of an outlaw out there on the horder." "But if be aspired to gain your wealth, why did he not attempt your lit e in some direct manner?" asked Frank. "I presume l.ie m"y have feared detection," replied Travers. H I am hung for the m1mler or this unknown man, the mystery will be sealed forever. Thoy real murderer will never ll'l known." "I believe you are ri ght," agreed Frank Reade, Jr. "Well, I will Jlnd this Artemas Cliff, and do the best I can towards clearing up the '-mystery and setting you l'ight." --, -'\l'hank you!" said Travers with emotion. "I feel that you will succa-ect." \.. CHAPTER III. ONT-HE PLAINS. THE cene of our story 11ow undergoes a great changll. We ill transfer thA reader from Readestown to the plains of the Far \ est. Fully five hundred miles from civilization, and right rn the heart of the region of the hostile Sioux. Fr rnk Reade, Jr., had transported the Steam Man as far as possible by r uil. F: rom tilence be had "journeye1l the rest or the ways overland. othmg of tllrilllng sort had as yet marked their Journey. But they we .e upon the verge of the mo3t exciting adventures 118 the reader wi .I hereafter agree, possible to be experienc11d by man. With the broc.d expanse cf rolling plain upon e\"'ery hand, one moru i 1g in June Lhe Steam Mau might have been seen making its way long at a mouerate gait. Frank Reade. Jr., with Barney ant, naygur. Yez are uo good." But Pomp put Olle black paw over the pile of chips. "'Js' wait one minnit, l'ish." "Wbtirro! Yez can't liate it!" cried Barney, conOdently. He had t .hrown a good hand containing lour kings and two aoes. But Pomp quietly laid down four aces! The picture was one well worthy or an artist. Fnr a moment the two card players ga.zed at the six aces in amazement. It was a very curious anomaly that there shoul!'' Look out fo' yo'self, J'ish !" "Whnrroo!" Gver went the table leaf, down went the chips in the bottom of LhEl wagon, and the two ar.gry poker play e rs closed in a lively wrestle. For a moment Barney had tlie best of it. then Pomp tripped the Celt ap and both f ell in a heap in the bottom of the wagoc. They chanced to fall against the wire screen door In the rear of the wagon. It was unlocked and gave way beneath the pressure, and the two practical jotrnrs went through it and out upou the harll Jloor or the prarie. They were rolled about in a cloud of dust, and had they not been of something more 'than ordinary compo s ition they would l.iave suffered from broken bonPs. But cs it was both picked themselves up The Steam Man bad gone on fully one hundred yards before Frank Reade, Jr., perceived that bis companions were missing, and at once closed the trottle and the Man to a halt. "Serves the rascals right," muttered Frank, ae he saw them picll: themselves up from the dust. "They are always skylarking, and n<> good comes of it." Frank had stoppP.d the Steam Man. He waited for the two joker!i to pick themselves up and return to tbe wagon. But at that moment a thrilling thing occurred. Barney and Pomp had fallen near a clump of timber. From this with wild yells a liand of mounted Sioux Indians now dashed. They were a war party-painted and bedecked with feathers, and in the full paraph1irnatia or war. The peril which threatened the two jokers was one not to be de spised It was quite P.vident that the savages m eant to cut off their rejoining the Steam Man. In Lhat case their fate woult\ be sealed. But Barney was qmck-witte
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rapidly. But quick as it bad bem, tile savages hall yet succeeded in making Pomp a prisoner and getting ii way with him. "Be j:lbers, they've got the naygur IJouml Lo a horse," cried Barney, wildly. "Wud yez luk at the loikes, Misther Frank. We must calch the omadhouns and give them a lessln of ttle right sort." "I hope we may," replie1l Frank, with great anxiety, "but I f ear the red fiends will get to cover IJefore we can overtake them." "Whurroo! It's mesilf as will sphoil tlie loike av some av thim," cried Barney as he picked up his ritle. The savages were racin1-(" like mad across .the prairie. 'fbey had c a ught sight or the Steam Man, which was to them some tiend incarnate, some e\il spint which would seek their certain de struction. Terror of the wildest sort m a de them whip their ponies to tlie utmost. It. was a mad race. But tlie Steam Mun was i::;aininJ.?:. He took tremendous strides. Frank pulled the whistle valve, and the shrieks sent up on tlie air were of a t.,rrif y ing kind. The savages had all gazed with wonder upon the white man's iron borae that followed i:s st e el track acrosE th e ir prairies. Bijt this latest appearance, the Steam Man, was too much for their nerves. They 1:ould not hear it, and lied. The Steam Man wonlll c e rtainly have overtaken them. But. not visible until one had tnrned th e 1 imber line and made a ri s e in the prairie was a distant range or hills. 'l oward tl11s the savages were gomg. If they reached them, they would certainly succeed in eluding their pursuer. And the chances seemed good. Frank saw, with a peculiar cbill, that they were really liable to reach the point aimed at. He sent the man on at full seed. Barney placed himself at a loophole, and commenced firing as rap idly as he could a( the Heerng foe. The result was that many of them ren and the others reLloubled their exertions to make an escape. On went tbe chase toward tbe distant range of hills. Nearer and nearer drew the ponies to the olijective point. With sinking heart Frank saw that the Indians were likely to reach them before the Steam Man could overtake them. Of course this would rnPun saf e ty for thll savages, for the Steam Mail coPld not bopo to follow the over the rough surfaces there eu countered. "Heavens, we are not going to save Pomp!" cried Frank, with a thrill of despair in his voice. What shall we do, Barney? Is it not awful?" Barney was busily engaged in placing fresh cartridges in his Win chP.ster. '" Begorra, it's save the nayi?nr I will if I sacrifice me own loHe!" cried the big-hearted Celt. It's me own fault, for sure, that he 1 ver fell troo the door and gotyickect up by the red min." Frank put on all the steam he dared, am! the man took tremendous I strides forward. "We will make a mighty effort he gritted, as he piled on the steam. "Bejabers, here goes for wan av the spalpeens!" cried Barney. Then the Irishman's riHe cracked. One of tbe savages tumbled from bis pnny' s hack. Uarney continued to Ion.ct and fire as fast as h11 But. the op portunity was not long granted him. Suddenly the cavalcade of savages dashed i n t o the mouth of the pass. They were ont of sight in a twinkling. The Steam Man was obliged to come a bait. 'l'here were htlge h o wlders and piles of stonP.s to block the passage. Barney and Frank Reaae, Jr exchan11;ed glances of despair. "That is the end or Pomp Buffalo's band, and he l)ever spares a life." CHAPTER IV. THE 00WBOYS. FRANK bad spoken truthfully. The band of savages was really a part of the tribe of which Black Bnlfalo was tile chief. Throughout all the Kansas l.Jorder this blood thirsty tiend was known and (eared. He bud ravaged morn trains, hurneq more settlements, and committed more massacres than any otlier Sioux chief in the Far West. His name was a syuonym of terror among the settlers, from Da kota to the boundary line of Texas By many he was claimed to he r i white ma.n or renegade. Others averred that he was a recreant P1iwnee chief However this '-".as, certainly no red warrior was better known and feared than Black Buffalo. And it was into his hands that Pomp had fallen. Small wonder then that Frank Reade, Jr., was much alarmed, and even inclined to believe his faithrul servitor's life lost. The merciless Black Buffalo would not be likely to spare Pomp's life. The savages had captured him alive simply to drag him into the bills and turture b1m to death. Barney began to bemoan the in violent tP.rms. "Och hone, the po 0 r soul," he cried, "he was a lilack naygur hut NEW STEAM MAN. 6 he bad a white heart jist that eame. Be jallers av' we cud only get near euougl1 to tlie rec! omadhouns I'd loike to shoot ivery mother's son av thim. "Well. I don't see why the red fiends haven't the b{!"jjt of ns," de clared Frank. "It luks that same, Mist her Frank," wailed Barney. "I don't see bow we can ever get through tbat pass. The Steam Man might go there, lJUt the wagon won't." This was trne enouglJ. The Steam Man on the level prairie was invincible, bnt on rough ground like this wholly nseless. . Frank and Barney were beside themselves with solicitude and per plexity. Frank even thought or going forth on foot to tr} and overtake the redskins. But of course the folly or such a coarse was quickly ap parent to him Barney even attempted to carry out lilerally this plan. He went so far as to open the door in tlie wire screen and leap down to ground. Bnt Frank cried sternly: "Barney, come back at once Yon can gain nothing by such a wura&" f "Sbure, Mr. Frank," cried the Irishman, "if yez will only let me go--" "Come back." was Frank's terse command, which was reluctantly obeyed by the Celt. Frnnk took a careful look at the bills. He to see a smooth pathway np the height, and which seemed to follow the course of the canyon or pass Up this the Steam Man cautionsly advanced As they continued to ascend )1igher a good bro ad view of the prmrie was obtained. And suddenly reaching an elevation from which a southward view c o uld IJe olJrnined, Frank gave a sharp cry, and taking a glass from a locker, sprung to a loop-hole in the netting. He scanned a number of objects npon the prairie far beyond. At that distance they looked ilke a herd of IJuffaloes. But with the glass Frank saw that they were mounted men 11.nd white men at that. They looked like a roving band or cowboys. In any event they were white men and it was qnite enough for the young inventor to know this. "We can depend npon them to help rescue Pomp!" cried Frank, exuberantly. "Luck is yet with us, Barney." Be jabers I hope so," cried the excited Celt. "If tbey be white men r.ncl have a heart they'll shurely do 1t. Frnnk instantly turned the wagon about and sent the Steam Man rapidly down to the prairie. He blew shrill blasts upon the whistle to attract the attention of the white men. In this be was successful. As the Steam Man reaclied the prairie Hoor, the cavalca de or cow boys came up. 'l'hey did not seem surprised at sight or the Steam Man somewhat singularly and C.rew up tifty yards distant while one .of their number rode forward. He was evidently the leader, a11d was a tall, dark, evil-looking fel low. Frank Reade, Jr. was not favorably impressed with his appear ance. As the young inventor noted that tlie whole gang had a Corbidding appearance and with a chill Frank r Buenos Senors!" he said with a Sanish accent. I wish yoll""lr'" fair day. Do you travel far with your Iron Man?" I :I am glad to meet you," replied Frank, eagerly. "We come from the East anness. I am pleased to bear it. Are you not the gentleman .called Frilll k ReadP., Jr.?" Frank g-ave a start or surprise. I am," he replied, quickly, "then you have heard or me." "I have, Senor Reade," replied the cowboy chief, with another exnggernted how and smile. "Perhap@ you know of my mission here!" "I do," was the reply. Frank was more amazed than words can express. What mystery was this? How had this fellow, who bore the stamp of ll Spaniard, learned of his mission to the Far Wast? TLe young inventor was staggered for a moment "Your mission here," replied the cowboy chief, politely, ":s to bunt down two men who yon believe are guilty of a murder wticb they sk1llfully foisted upon a certain man by the name of Jim Travers." "You are right!" cried Frank. "But how in the name of wonder did you know that?" "I prefer not to say. It is eiiongh that I kn<'_ W it." "It is strange that you shol!ld have learned it," said Frank, "but I will ask no more qnestions just now in the face of a terrible ex igency." 0Ah!" "I want to ask your help." "My help?''

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6 "Yes." "Pardon, senor, but l cannot see in what manner I can serve you." "You must assist me. One or my men-a colored ma11-has fallen into t!le bands of Lbe Indians. They have made him prisouer and have jost escaped with him into these hills. I 11sk your assiatance '.n effecting his rescue.'' A peculiar smile played about tl1e cowuoy'e li1>s. "Is be not the one you call Pornpl" he asked. 'Yes." "And that man with yon in your cuge 1 there is calle u Barney?" ''Yes." "Ah, I and Pomp. Well, Seuor Reade, pray accept my compliments and the wish that you may see civilzution again alive, which I do not belive w!ll be tho case. Ha-ha-ha! You have lllun dere\I into a death-trap!" like a correct compreheusion of affairs now llegan to dawn upon Franlc. "What do you mean?" he gasped in surprise. "Who are you?" Well, since you ask me I will tell you," replied the cowboy chief with a laugh. "I am no Spaniard as you might have thought. I am as good an American as you, and you will have good cause to rt member my name in the near future, provided you escape from this trap. I am the man y ou are so e11gerly looking for-I am Artemas Cliff." "Heavens!" gasped Frank Reade, Jr. the man I am looking for!" "The .same," replied Cliff. mockin g ly. "You have undertaken quite a daring deed, my tine inventor, but you will !ind that you have llitten off a very much larger slica than you can masticate.'' We will see," began Frank. "You see these men?" continued Cliff. "They 11re my followers, trie:team Man Apies had heen busy in Roodestown. But such was the truth. -----Tbe pursuers were now the pursue d. So it coutinned until smideuly, by the ordPrs of Cliff, the cowboys turnud tbeir horses Into the nver and forded it. Once on the other side they were soon b eyo11d the reach of the ril:le balls. The Steam Man of course could not follow. The encounter with the cowboys was at an end They did not to the attack, somewhat singularly, but kept ou u11til tl11-i rolling plains hid them from view. Clifi's direful threat against the Steam Man and its inventor, had not been out But Fra11k din the Man and the horses. "While Barney poured in shot after shot into the midst or the gang or pursuers. . The cowboys began to drop from their saddles one by one. It was a destructive and telling lire. Anr the of a wide river which was really the Platte, Frank Reade, .Tr. saw his ad vantage and brought Steam Man to a stop. Then he seized a ril:le and joined Barney. CHAPTER V. POMP'S RESCUE. BuT it was hardly likely that the cowboys would stand their ground long un der such a fire. As fost as they could Frank and Barney worked the repeaters. The result was that quite a number of the foe lay dead upon the prairie. But Artemas Cliff knew the fatality of rinnnining there. Being unable to eaten the man, be knew that their 011ly hope now was in retreat. All of the cowbovs fired at the Steam Man. The bullets rattled harmlessly against. the steel cage. Frank at once sprang to the reins and the brake nnd started the l StPnlll Man in pursuit. It was quite a turning of rnhles. Ilarn< 1y. BPgorra, Mis titer Frank, ii there ain't the nnygur," he cried, wildly Barney was right. Frank glanced in the direction indicated and saw a thrilling act. In the midst or the Sioux was Pomp bound to tbP. back of a mus tang. Suddenly in the midst of the meleA the horse was seen to holt from the rest and dash out upon the prairie. Of course, Pomp had no cor.trol over the beast, having his hands tied \Jehind him. ,.. The mustang took his own course an<.! ra11 like the wind The Sioux did not
PAGE 7

If be should go to the bott would be of Pomp and the mustang. This was se1m at a glance and with tt.e moot intanse of horror Bar ney crieJ: Sball l lire, Mistber Frank? It's tho only thing as wm save th" nn.ygur." You will have to do that," replied Frank, sharply. "Look out for your aim, Barney. God help Pomp!" Barney pulled the trigger. Crack! 'l'he l.lullet sped true to its mark. H struck the mustang in the sidtJ. The amiaal faltered, threw up its 11e11d, stnrnbletl, an.I then pitched forward iu a heap. Pomp lay bemmth the horse. It did not require iJut a few moments for the Stearn Man to reach him, hOW'lVPI'. In a twinkling B1Lrney sra11g out of thtJ wagon and cu: Pomp's bonds. '!'he C:arky was not iu the least injured. He lay with one leg under the mustang, but was easily extricated. The joy of the darky at his rescue can not I.le expressed in words. He embraced Barney efl'usively. Shure I thought yez kilt intoirely, naygur," cl'ied 1 he big-hearted Irishman. "It's moighty glad I am to see yez aloive." "Yo' kin jest het Ois chile am glad fo' to get out ob dem red dehbils' hancls," cried Pomp, exuberantly. Aml tllen be daslled aboard the Steam Man aad grasped Frank' hand. "Oh, Marse Frank, l'se dretful glad to see yo'!" cried Pomp, bXcitedly. 1 arn glad to have you I.lack, Pomp," cried Frank. "And to know that you :ire unharmed in any way. But it was a close sha\e for you." '"Deed it was tint, Marse J<'rank. But dis ni1rger am powerful l1ara for to kill, au' specs dat's why l lib. .But l'se got 101s lo tell you, Marse Frank." "You have?" Exclaimed Frank. "'Deecl I has. P"ruvs yo' kin lind it v.iluable fo' yo'. I'll Jes' lell yo' dat when we Wt!nt up troo Llat pa. 'S we jes' cum out pretty quick in a valley. Dat ar' valley was a scrumpti', snah n.s lll'i>11chi11'!" "What?" ga;ped Frank. "If ye' don't believe it, jes look up yonder?" Pomp poin1ed one finger upward to the canyon wall above the puss. The sight which rewarded the startled gaze of the young inve11to'r caused him to reverse the throttle and hrmg the Steam Man to a halt. 'l'wo cowboys were crouching hehincl an enormous bowlder which they bad intended to roll down upon the Steam Mau. CHAPTER VI. THE FIGHT JN THE PA S S. A MORE narrow escape could hardly I.le imagined. The precipitation of the huge bowlder upon the Steam Mao would have destroyed the inventiou aud the lives of those on hoard. Just i11 time Pomi; had seen the danger. Auother moment and it would have neen too late." "Ki yl, don' yo' see now, Marse Frank?" cried Pomp, wildly. "I see,'' replied Frank, in thrilled tones. "My God' that is a narrow shave. We would have been crushed to atoms in anotber momeut as I live." "Whurroo! Gbe the s nlpeens a good bit av cold lead!" shouted Barney, rushi11g to oaH of I he loopholea with his ritle. That's rig.ht!" cried Frank, doing tbe same. "Golly, yo' kin I.Jet we will do <'.lat!" chi111ed ill Pomp. The two cowboyli, seeing that their game was PXposecl, spra11g up with wild shouts of clismay. As tlley did so they were ex1iosecl to sllo1. s from below. Tile three rilles spoke sharply in cborus. 'l'he two would-be destroyers tumbled in a heap. Their fall was fol low.d by a wild chorus of yells from the thickets and bowlder piles abOVt!, A volley of bullets came from there nud rattll)d harmlessly against the steel 11ettin:,r, showing that the CO\l(boys were tllere located in great force. How they had chanced to be there at that critical moment our ad could only r.;uess. But Frank mentally coi.cluded that at I.Jest they were but a division of Clitl's gang, and they had llapvened uo1! tne spot by Seeing the Steam Man they bad seized what seemed Lo them a line opportunity to destroy it. How far short they came of it we have already seen. A red-bot contest now l.Jegan between the cowboys and those in the steel wagon. Of course our three friends had a vast advantage inasmuch as they were protEJcted from the shots of their foes. Of course the outlaws far outnumbered them, but it was not at all a dil!icult matter to pick them off occasionally with a rille bullet. Volley after volley tbe cowboys fir"d at t11e Steam Man. When at length it b!lcame patent to them that their shots were fu. tile, they made the air ring with yells of bafHed rage. Then they ceased firing and silence ensued. Every cowboy bad disappeared see111i11gly from tbe canyon wall. But thi3 dill not deceive Frank Rt!ade, Jr. He knew that. tins was only a game of the foe and that it would yet be unsafe to try the pass. Bejal.Jers, ain't there some other way av gettln' out av this place?'' cried Barney, givinu: th plateau a sweeping glance. But the chain of i1ills surrounding. it did not lend color to such a possibility. "It don't look like it," said Frank, dubiously. "l jes' link dot am de 011ly way out ob dis place," said Pomp. We are in a kind of trap," ueclared Frank Reade, Jr. We were not sharp or we wo11l'.1 have avoided this scrape. As 1t was, however, the I.Jest they could do was to watc3 for an op. ponunity lo run the gauntlet through the Pass. But tliey !1ad not long to wnit fo new and thrilling developments. Suddenly p,>mp gave a startlrd cry. "For massy sakes, Marse Fran Ii, jes' yo' look out yonder. Wllat ebber am dey up to now?" Over the edge of the plateau there was visible a line of men aavancrng rapidly toward the Steam Man. They were deploying right and left as if to surround him. Tbi8 was certai11ly their vurpose. "They're tbryia' to surround us!" cried Barney. Frank watched the maneuver with deep intrrest. He smiled grimly. This was certainly tbe purpose of the foe. But the young saw in the m')Ve a b1Jtterment of his own chances. "They will not gain what they hope to," he said, resolutely. Then he saw that a line of armed men had deployed across the mout.h of the Pass to prevent the Steam Mnn from escaping in that direction. In Frank's judgment there were fully two hundretl cowboys in the party. This was tremendous odds, hut the young inventor did not fear tbe results. With a wild cheer the cowboys began to close their line in about the Stearn Man. Frank Reade, Jr., opened the whistle valve aod let out several de fianl shrieks. '?'lieu he started the Steam Mau in a straight line for the pass. Pump and Barney with their repeaters began to tirP. upon the line or men there. The repeaters did deadly work. It was a constant fusillade, and the cowboys l! roped like sheep. The error or thAir plan could now be seen. In dividing tbeir forces to mnke the surrounding li11e, they had weakened themselves. Frank had seen this. If they had been merely content with holclmg the pass, it would bave been extremely doubtful if the Steam i\Ian could so 1:asily have escnpell. Just ns fast as they could work the sixtee11-shot Winchesters, Ilar ney and Pomp mowed down the opposing line of cowb"ys. The line wa!' thin, nod iL would have required a very solid corps to have withstood that scathin,!!; lire. Down went the Steam Mau townrd the Pass wllh speed. Henps or the dead null woundecl cowboys lay upon the 1;round. As .J

PAGE 8

8 FlUNK REA E, JR .. the Steam Man reached the Pass, a number or the cowboys tried to grasp the throttle reins and stop the machin\l. But the ponderous body or the .Man knocked them aside like and the wheels or the heavy wagon crushed them into death or insen sibility. The Steam Man literally forged bis way through the Pass like a rocket. Barney an 1 1 P..>mp cheered wildly and fired parting shots at the dis comfited roe. In a few moments the Steam !\fan ran Out upon the prairie. Frank did n)t wa&te time but set his coursll at once to the South west. He was anxious to locate Ranch V. This be believed was bis first aJcl most important duty, He was eatisfie(1 that nothing was to he gained by remaining in the hills. He was confident that Cliff haJ gone to the Ranch V wherever it was. More thnn all else, be was powefrrully iuterested in the mys terious young lady :is described by Pomp. He was determined to ,know who she was, and what Cliff held her in captivity lor. The day was rapidly drawing to a close. After a short while the bills faded out of sight, and the rolling prairie was visible upon every hand Then, as the Steam Man took his long strides across the even plain, Fran le suddenly caught sight or a beaten path or trail. It was plainly a trail much used and bore a trifle east of south. Frank brought the Man to a stop. I wouJj like to know where that trail goes to?" he declared. "I am not sure but it ls the route to RanclJ V . "Golly, Marse Frank!" cried Pomp, craning his neck and looking to the southward a little ways. What am dat jus' oher dat roll in de p erairy? Am not dat some berry sumspicious objec'?" Frank gazed in the direction indicated and saw a tall, blacK-looking timber seeming to rise out of the roll in the prairie. But he kuew that it was beyond. Frank Jet the Steam Man go along for a quarter or a mile, and topping the rise a startling eight was revealed. There, scattered over several acres of land were the blackened ruins and charred timb3rs of some buildings. H was &asy to see what these buildings had constituted. large ranch with stockade, extensive cattle pens and yards, had ce stood upon this spot. Frank allowed tb'l Steam Man to pass through the ruins. Thrilling sights were accorded our adventurers. There were heaps of ashes, the bones of animals, and several charred skeletons of human beings. There was every evidence that a fight had occurred at the place, and that the ranch had been bnrned by either Indians o r rival cowboys. As chance bad it the sign which, painted in broad letters, hail once hung over the yard r,nte, had not been destroyed, and Jay upon the ground near. Our explorers wertl enabl e d to read it plainly. "Rodman Ranch." Barn e y and Pomp descend e d from from the wagon, and spent some time in exploring the ruins. "I jt1s' tlnk de Ingines burned up dis yer place," averred Pomp. "Begorra, it's the divil's own job tbey med av it," declared Barney. But Frank said, with conviction: .. Just as likely it was the work or Chff and his gang. Tbey are out laws at best, and if Rodman Rauch was a respectable place, they would be sure to destroyed." Barney and Pomp re-entered the wagon now, and once more the I for Rane) V was begun. But night came on, and they bad obtained no clew. A good place was found to camp, and it was decided to wait morning before pursuing the journey furtber. Accordingly everythiug was made comfortable with this end in view. No camp fire wns made, for this was not deemed necessary. At night tbey atwnvs slept in the wagon, and Barney and Pomp served turns in The fires in the furnace were banked, and the Steam !\fan was given a rest just the same as lite others. One pince was always as goouds overhung all. Suddenly Barney saw a light glimmering far out on the prairie. It increased to quite a respectable size and cor.tlnued to blaze for a long time. The Celt watched it for a long while. Then bis curiosity got the better of him. Bejnbers, that's quare," he mntt ered. "I'll make sure something wrong a'Jout that now." Barney, acting upon impulse, lenned over and grasped Frank's The young ill\entor awoke with a start. II. THE VIGILANTS. W-wIIAT's the matter?" gasped Frank, sleepily aronsi:ig hi:nself. "Wbist now, Misther Frank! Ther e's a quare loight out yonder oo the perairy, an I thougbt I'd jist call yure attintion to the same, sor." i; A light?" muttered Frank, now lnlly awake. He got upon his feet, and rubbing his eyes, stared at the distant blaze. "That is odd," he muttered. "It will do to investigate that." "Sure, it may be a camp fire," ventured Barney. "If so, theu we must find out who the campers are," declared Fra!lk. It was but an instant's work to arouse Pomp. Then the !Ires in the furuace were started, a line of hose was run to a creek near, and the boiler was llllem Poker Gulch. We're out on the trail of a gang of r!lffiaus. "Vigilants!" cried Frank Reade, Jr., with joy. "Theo you are not members the Artemas Clifl gang?" . "Artemas Cliff!" cried Harmon. "He is the chap we want. If we can lay hands on him wa stretch bis neck, you bet. D'yer know whar we km find him?" "I am on bis trail myself." "'l'he deuce ye nre?'' I L'S the truth." What for?" Frank opened the door or the wagon, and descending shook hands witf1 the Vigilant captain. He told hnn explicitly or thP. myst.erions murder of which Jim Tray

PAGE 9

) FRANK READE, JR.,' AND HIS NEW S'l'EAM MAN. ers had beeo adjudged guilty, but wb1cb it was beheveu was the work of Cliff. Harmon listenetain of the Vi;!lantes. "It is the truth," cried Frank. "I think I can tell you the true fate of Ralph Rodman, and you will agree that ClitI is the projector of one of tile most awful double plots of crime that human being could be cup111Jle of. 'l'he Vigilantes all gathered around the young inventor, agog with i1.terest .. Ye don't mean it?" gasped Harmon, with amazement. "Ye're lrnntin' Cliff then tber same as we are?" "Yes.'' "What fer?" "To force a confession or explanation from him of a mysterious murder of which his own uncle, James Trnvers, of New York, bas been ad1uged guilty and who is now in prison awaiting his sentence or hanging about a year from now. ''Oh, this villain is a deep one. But I have told you of that. rr,ys terious murder and, as Heaven is my judge, I believe the victim of that murder which was purposely thrown upon Travers was Rodman. You see Cliff's object in throwing the murder upon Travers was to see bim hang and thus inherit his vast wealth.'' 1 For a moment this statement silence reignecl. Ap;>alled .with the magnitude of the villain's plot all remained si lent. But the mystery was cleared up at last. All understood now exactly the deep game of Artemas Cliff. But one sentiment reigned supreme in tbe breasts of all. Artemas CJiff should be brought to justice. r It was eaay enougb to see how the wretch in planning to win Bessie Rodman had enticed Rodman to the East and there murderecl him. Then to kill two birds with one stone he had caused the awful crime by clevsr circumstantial evidence to be thrown upon his wealthy uncle, James Travers. Of course, with Travers' death, he would inherit the millions left by him. Ralph Rodman was dead. The ranch was a heap of asheR. For these crimes Artemas Cliff was responsible. But Bessie Rodman we,s yet in bis power. Trnvers was near the gallows. These two people must be saved. Frank Reade, Jr., si:w the missio11,i as did H::.rmon. Iustiactively they clasped hands. I I reckon we both know what to do," declared 1.he Vigilant captain tersely. P'r'aps we kin work togetber. I'll help you all I kin." "And I will help you," replied Frank. We will bring Cliff to jus tice if the Steam Man can help us to do it." He will hang if I kin get my hands onto him." "But we must make no mistake. He is strollgly 'lacked up. You have only twenty-five men with you." But they air all men," replied Harmon, pluckily. "I will not question that," replied Frank, "but tbe weight of num bers would defeat you. Cliff has several hundred men in his cornmanct." We're not afraid of 'em. Yet ye're right ennff. It's well fer us to go easy." "It is well to be careful," said Frank. "I think you had bet ter keep along with ue for a Lime." ''All right!" "I think there is no doubt but that the voung g i rl whom Pomp saw in the hills was Bessie Rodman." "Jn course it was her." "They were taking' her to Ranch V. Do you know where it is?'' "Yas," replied Harmon. quickly, "that's on Stone River, an' it'd a. pesky big place too. Thar's a big stockade around it an' armed me11 are allus a-watchin' for fear an outsider wili git in. So that's ther place, eh? Wall, it will be hard to git Bessie out of Ranch V." "Sbe shall be got out or I will give my life in tbe attempt!" cried a tall, handsome young plainsman with flashing eyes. He looked much in earnest. Frank gazed at him critically. A little later he was introc.luced to him as Walter Barrows, a risi young stockman, and the lover of pretty Bessie Rodman. CHAPTER VIII. ON TO RANCH V. PLANS were quickly matle. It was decided to work upon strategical grounds, as their force was, so much lighter than Clifl's. / "Yoa see, if we. can strike Ranch V. at a time when Clift and thi! majority of his men are in the hills we can capture the place," ueclarather, Mr. Harmon." "All right, cap'en. I'm with ye." Father plans were elaborated, then as only a few hours yet intel!' venecl until dawn, it was decided to snatch a few brief hours of slee p With the early asin Jake of water. Here camp was brielly macle, and also at tbe same time an 1mpartant discovery came to h11nj. A broad trail made by a cavalcade of men and horses was dif covered. It pointed to the north. Harmon examined it carefully and finally, with great cried: "It's good luck, friends, Tbat thar trail I believe was made by lhar, from which he wiLh Burney and Pomp, covered the work of invas i ou by a hot fire with their Winchesters. The cowboys could not get upon the stockade to fire at tbe assailants for this reason. Harmon's men therefore worked with perfect immunity. No more favorable time for an attack could have btJea chosen. There were but few of the cowboys in tho ranch, and these wer& picked off by the tire from the Stearn Mun as fast as they appeared (.;1 the stockade. With lusty Nies the vigilants chopped through the timbers of gate. In a remarkably brief time a hole was cnt through and the gale raised. The Steam Man rushed into the yard, and in less than tea mfo-

PAGE 10

FRANK READ-E, JR., AND HIS NEW Sl'EAM uttis every cowboy in the place was a prisoner, and Rancll V. wae capt ured. Walter Barrows, tile brave young stockmau, was tlie first to enter th" main ranch. The iastinct of a lover took him to tile chamber in which Bessie Rndman was kept a prisouor. He burst in the door and clasped tl.16 young girl in bis arms. 'fbat was a joyo:is rne e ting. When they aptJeared in the yard the vigilants cheered wildly. It was a brilli1.tnt victory. Ranch V. was captured. 'l'he stronghoid of tile outlaw Cliff, the den of villainy and vice, was captured. lt did not require much time for them tJ reach a decision as to what to tlo. "Every building must be laid low!" cried Harmon. "Put the torch to every accursed timber. 'l'he cry was taken up anc! spread from hp to lip. ln haste torches were procured. Harmon l.Jimself lit the first, and Wai! about to apply It to a But Ile did not do so. A thrilling incident stopped him. A lond cry went up. "Tile cowboys! tlley are coming! To arms everybody! There comes Cliff tlleir llead !" Every eye was turned to the plain beyond the stockade. 'l'here was no disputrng the truth. Cliff and his gang returning from the hills had come just in time. It would be folly now to l.Jurn the ranch. Han!lon Beeing the desperate exigency dropped the torch, aw! crie1I: "To the stockade! It's for life or cleat,h, boys. Fight to the last!" But tLie command was not necessary. Already the brave Vigilauts were at their posts. Cliff with bis small army of followers came ou at 11 swinging ga'llop He could see that the raucb was Ill the possession of a foe. 'l'lJis inflamed his wratll and, with lou 1 curses and yells, be rode down in the van of bis followers. Fra11k Real.le, Jr., had taken iu the situation at a glance. He knew that it would be 11at!y impossible for the score of vigilants to hold those tbree hundred desperadoes long at bay. It would meal! the eventual massacre of every vigilant. This Frank wished to avoid The young inventor had induced Bessie Rodman to seek refuge in otherwise, she would certainly fall into the hands of the foe again. Fra-nk started the Steam Man ahead, and went down to the stockn d e. He made the vigilantes a l.Jasty addres&. Nothing will be gained by holding this place," he declared, witl.J force. You cannot do it. Tile odds are too great." .. But we cannot surrender," cried Harmou, O.!ld how can we rut rnat?" Easily enough," replied Frank, "there is a rear gate. Open it and cut out upon the prair:e." But they may overtake us?" "It is your only hope. You'll have to work lively, for they are try to surround tlJe stockade. I'll cover your retreat easy enough." Harmon saw that Frank was right. He did uot pause to argue the point further. With quick com1na11ds he caused his men to fall back. 'l'he stockade gate in the rear was opened just in time, and the vigilante rushed out upcn the prairie: They set out at a mad gallop for the distant bills. 'l'l.Je cowboys with mad cries followed. But they met with quite a obstacle in their pursuit. ""'Phe-Steam Ma!! kept exasperatingly between them and the vigi lants. From the rear loopholes of the wagon Barney and Pomp kept up a steady fire witl.J the Winchesters. Nearly every shot emptied a sa1hlle, and despite their superior num bers, the cowboys soon found it bette1 and safer to keep well out of 1:iuge. 'l'he pursuit lasted for miles. Then the horses of IJoth parties became fagged and they were C < >mp.illed to halt. But Harmo n'ti men, by dim or carerul work, got their horses into the fastn esses of the hills. Here t.l!ey felt more secure. 'l'l1e Steam Man I.Jud WP.II covered t he r et r eat of th e vigilants. B1tt darl;ness was now coming on a nd a serious question presented itself tb Frank Reatle, Jr. 'l'o remain where they were for the night would b e to incur the risk or a midnight :tttack from the cowboys This might result seriously. AL least Frank was disposed to evarle ii. He consulted with Harmon, and the r esult w a s an arrangement which it was believed would be better for all. 1u the fastnesses of thP. hills Hnrmon felt sanguine of holl!iug his own agamst the cowboys. Therefore it was decided that the Steam Man s!Jould leave the vic1111ty and go far enough away over the prairie to make sure of safety fo1 the night. Accordingly Frank left the vicinity and sent the Man striding over thA plain in tile dusk of evening. 'l'tiere was no vi s ible indication that the cowlJoys ietended to pursue. They bad apparently irone into camp not live miles distant. Frank kept on with the Steam M1.1n until twenty miles had been cv.c red. Then he came to a bait. It.seemed as if they must feel safe here. Accordingly, arrangements were made for passing the night. A comfortable seat was arrange< for Bes.3ie Rodman and, much ex hausted by the fatigue of her experiences, she quic1dy fell asleep. But tears bad wet her cheeks and trembled on her eyelashes. Frank had told her of her father's death. "Oh, I fear it is more tbau I can bear." she declared, in agony of spirit. "My dear, dear father. Oh, if I were a man, bow I would avenge him!" : "Tb.ere are plenty to do lhal," replied Frank, cheeringly. The vii lain shall surely pay for his evil l:!eeds." "I hope it may come to pass," she said, sin erely. Then she dropped oil to sleP.p. But even as she slept, deadly peril hung over her young and beautiful head. CHAPTER IX. POMP'S MISTAKE. FRANK READE, JR., felt comparatively safe as he rolled himself up in a 1.Jlanket and went to sleep. He did not believe that tile villain, Cliff, woultl be uble to molest them that night. It was Barney's first watch. The Hibernian, until midnight, kept a good lookout in the cage. Then he calleu Pomp to succeed lliin The darky kept a good lookoot until the early morning hours. The darkness was most intense. At about this time Pomp expeiienced a (]eadiy faintness at the pit of the stomach and a great longing for water. His thirst became most consuming, audit seemed as if he must, at any cost, gratHy it. But he fouud, upon looking in the tank, that it was empty. There was not a gill of cold water in the wagou. Pomp grew Buber with this reflection "I j es linl< if I had a bit of watah I would be a' right," he mutter ed; but how Jbher am dis niggah gwlue fo' to get it, dat'R what I'd like to know." Pomp went to the steel screen and tried to penetrate the darkness. He lrnew t .hat uot ten yards distant wer.e the waters of a small creek. He could hear them rippling now. It was (Jirectly at variance with !)Is orders to open the cage door. Yet it seemsd to Pomp as if he must do so. The risk dill not seem great. There seemed little likelihood of the proximity of a foe. Pom1J felt certain that he could reach the creel\, get his drink, and get baCI\ safely to the wagon. He was sorely tempted. The desire was most powerful. "Golly!" he mut:ered, with a wry face What am I gwine fo' to do? I don' beliehe dar's any danger ob going out dar, hut if Marse Frank knew it l.Je'd !ix me putty quick. Sakes alibe! hut what am a chile gwine fo' to do? I am mos' dyin' fo' a drink ob wMah Pomp thought of awakening Barney and enlisting his aid. But he rellected that the Celt would be certain to disagree with his scheme. There was no other way but to assume the responsibility himself. Pomp drew a deep breath. Then he fell to listening, All was silent as the gr. ave. Sbo!" he muttered. "Dar ain't no danger at all. I'll jest bab dat watah as suah as I'm born." He quickly slid back the bolt in the door and opened it. Th!)n he stepped out of the wagon. In another moment he glided down to the water's edge. Pomp flung himself !lat and began to drink of the creek water. But he had not taken one drink when he became aware of an appall ing sensation. He turned bis head and glanced back at th8 Steam Man. The lantern hanging in the cage showed the open door and all as plain as day. But, great heaveuR! What did he see! Dark forms were swarming about the machrne. One as already in the:wagon. Pomp saw this much, and then his attention was claimed by another matter. He suddenly felt a heavy body descent! upon him and talon lingers clutched 111s throat. In that flash of timt Pomp had turned partly over. He was just in t1me to see the flash of a knife blade. He made a convulsive upward blow, and grasped the wrist or his unknown as sail ant. By the merest chance the death blow had been averted. But it was a close call. 'l'ben with a herculean effort Pomp rolled over the edi;e of the hank, and the next moment, with a powerful swing, he had brougl1t him self and assailent in Lo the water of the creek. 'l'he sudden hath caused Pomp's adversary to relax his grip. 'l'he darky bad no further motive for continuing tile struggle, and striking out swam for the opposite hank. He clambered out or the water, and crawled il!tO a thicket. '!'here he lay aud witnessed a thrilling scene upon the oLhP.r bank of the creek. The occupants of the wagon had nil been aroused, and were every one prisonl)rs, in the power of Cliff and hii! cowboyR. 'l'he outlaw had managed to cover the twenty miles, skillfully follow ing the trail by means of a dark lantern. He had been hovering with his minions at.out the Steam Man, as Pomp comm,i:ted the in
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01 course it was an e asy natter for the cowboys to board the w a gon and make prisoners or all on board. The glee or Chff was beyo1rd expression. He danced a nd clapped his hand$ with tiendish joy. He pinched Bes s ie's arms until slle ecreamed, with agony, and with brutal laughter roared: "Oh, I'll make ye all dance. Ye tbou ght ye'd git away from me, tlid ye, gal? I'll show ye that ye can't get away from Artemas Cliff : Ha. ha, ha! What 11. good joke." He laughed uproariou s ly. All mine," he continued. "Aud thi s Steam Mau, this wonderful invention, is just what I want. I can travel around in great style. Oh, Mr. Frank Reade, Jr., I'll dance on you! grav e yet." "Monster!" cri e d Fran I,, wrllhin g in Ins hond s "You'll n e v e r succ ee d A righte ous God will never permit it." 1 The villain gave his men carte blanche to make camp and indulge in a carousal Th e y did so until daybreak, and then Cliff stated that it was his purpose to go hack to Ranch V. I t did not take him long to understand the mechanism of the St e am Man. H e quickly found out how to use the throttle reins. He was aided by t he fact that be had once been a locomotive engineer. With the earl y morning light tbe start for Ranch V. was mad e And Pomp, wet and shivering and horrified cro uched in tbe thicket u pon the bank or the creek, saw the Steam Man and bis frie1hl s all i n the power of the foe tak e / When they had gone Pomp came out of his hiding place "Golly!" be muttered, will.I distended eyeballs, "I jes' fink dis nig ger hall done de berry awfule s t ting eber known. Dar am only one way fo' Pomp to sahe his lionor, au' !>ad, eh?" "Be m e sow!, thur cudn't he a place too bad for yez!" "I'll have a nice littl& hades tixed fer yer right on this earth an. I'll give ye a fair taste of it in advance, too," s a id the vill ain, vengl! fully. Arrah, yez can't scare me at all, at all he retort ed. "Yer are ;ist th e s ame n s a pu ppy dog's bark." "You'll !ind that I'm the kind of a dog that bites," averred t h e villain. -"It's not me that cares fer yer bit es." We'll s e e about that. Don't blow your horn too soon. "Begorrn, that's' good advice !er y ersilf, ye blatherskite? Av [ on'y had me two hands t.> u s e now l'd baste tlle rascali l y out av or !'ti make a good job fer ther undhertaker." "Talk is cheap," sneered the \'illain. '' Ye't.! better save yP.r ...,.-wind." ___, It's yersilf as uades it most," said Barney, boun:l to have word. ClifI evidently found Barney's tongue equal to his own, for he alan-doneLI the conversation in a sullen fashion. Bessie Rodman made no attempt at speech. She sat silently in one corner or the wagon. Frank Reade, Jr., also remained silent. The twenty miles were quickly covered by the Steam Man H was yet far from the coon hour when they arrived at the camp or the ( vious night. The cowbows in full force were there, and as Cliff appeared with t h a Steam Man, they made the welkin ring witb yells of delight and sati.9faction. All crowded around to examine the steam wonder and inspect it.II mechanism. The prisoners looked out upon a sea of faces. They were not kintl!J regarded by the cowboys. "Take 'em our anti suoot 'em Clift'!" cried a voice in th e crowd. "Give 'em twenty paces and a grave seven feet deep." But Cliff refused to do this. "Leave it to me!" he cried. "I've got a better plan " What is it?" was the cry. "I want ye all to be ready in half an hour to go into the hills an' corner Harmon an' his gang. There must not one ol the VJg1la.nt.1 go out ol here alive." "Hurrah:" yelled the cowboys. "We can give them the worst thrashin' they ever hacl." -"In course we can." "In regard to these prisoners, the gal is going to be my wife. The others I'm going to have some fun with ctown to the ranch. We'll have a ratJbit chase with 'em, or something or the kinll."

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FRANK READE, JR., AND HIB NEIV STEAM MAN. "Good!" yelled the mob, carried away with the plan. Thus the fate or the priaoners was decided lly thefr captors. But question of attack upon the was now the one in order. Preparations were at once made for cornering Harmon and his he rmc little lJand. partied of cowboys were dispatched to hem! off any possible attempt at escape from the hills. Harmon's men were certainly hemmed in on all sideR, and it was a JDOl!t dubious outlook for them. 'The exultation of the cowlloys was lleyond expression. "We've got 'em dead sure!" cried Cliff, triumphantly. "Not a one on em can possibly escape." 'fbe cowboys now began to close the line in about their prey. A pass was found through which the. Steam Man was taken, and to a point' within easy range of position held by the Vigilants. Harmon had chosen an elevated position on a kind of small tablelm; d or plateau. Here behinll bowlders he bad concentrated his forces. The position 'WNJ not a ball ooti to defend. To charge upon 1t the cowboys Would have to ascend a height of 1ifly feet or more ill the fucc of a strong tire. :But this sacrifice of men Cliff did not. intend to make, at least not 11l once. 'Ihere were other points of Yantage about, which the cowboys quickly UJnk possession or. From these a desultory fire waa kept up with the Vigilanls with '&Orne loss upon both sides. But Harmon's men could not very well withstand any loss what'llH!r. 'rbis the cowboys cculd st.atHl better. Tbe Steam Man, howllver, could advance Lo very close proximity 11>ith the Vigilants, and those on board were safe from any sl.Jots of retaliation. made it bad for Harmo11 for he had no way of checking this most destructive ti re. It was a most galling thing for Frank R1>ade, Jr., to remain idle and ee his invf'ntion ased in such a manner. He groaned aloud with anefore so very fong." Frank experienced a thrill. Can you do it, Barney?" "Av <;ourse I ki11." But if they see us--" "They'll mver do tnat. Be aisy now, me gosaoon, an' roight on the shelf there there's a knoife an' yez kin cut my bonds at the same loime. Thin we kin take care av ther lour av Ll1im. I'll Lake mesilf." Aud I'm good for the other twv or I'll die!" muttered ,....,_ .All right, Barney, do your best." 1 '"" I will that." hut at tbis moment BessieRodman leaned for w::ml, and in a soft trbisper said: Wait! Tllere is a quicker way." Frank and Bari:ey were astonished. "Wllat?" excl11imed the young iuventor. By way of reply Bessie drew both han1ls from bel11nd ter. They were free. Tbere were livid lines upon the fair wrists, whern Uie cruel throDgs h11r hnd seized the knife upon the sh.ilf. It was but a moment's work !or her to cat Frank's bonds. As they 1n11pped, the young inventor took tbe knife and quickly cut Barney's. Their captors were at the loop-holes tiring, and hi.d not seen :move. Nothing could have worked better. Frank picked up a club, and Barney an irnn bar. Nol.Jody can .handle a weapon of the sort l>etter than ail Irishman. Whurrop! bad cess to yez fer a pac1rav omodhouns," cried B11roey dealing one of the cowboys a crashing blow on tbe head. Before one could think, the iroc bar came down upon the b ead of anotber. Both sank senseless to the tioor of tlie w11gon. Frank Reade, Jr., had knocked Cliff senseless. Only one of the fun was left, and be was quickly knocked 011:. Jn a twinkli1:g, as iL were, the tables turned. Barney and Frank Reade, Jr., were now masters or the Steam Man once more. The irrepressible Irishman pulled the whistle valve and sent up a shriek of defiance and triumph. 'l'hPil Frank Reade, Jr., swung open the wagon door. "Tb row them out!" he cried; "all but Cliff." Barney obeyed thecommand. The three cowboys were quickly dumped out upon the ground. But Cliff was allowed to remain. The villain lay insensible in the bottom of the wagon: Frank was 11bout to bind him, when an imminent peril claiming bis immediate attention prevented him. The cowboys were aware of the turning of the tables in the wagon. With mad yells they were rushing forward in o. b o dy to surroun the Steam Man. Unless immediate action was made they would sue ceed. Frank knew well the danger of this move. It would be an ea@y matter for tbe cowboys to rain the invention b 11 single blow. There was but one way, and that was to beat a re treat. Barney seized bis repeater and began tiring into tbe crowd of cow boys. Fran I; opened the throttle and soot the Steam Man up tbe 10cline toward the stronghold of the vigilants. or course the latter bad seen and understood all. '!'bey embraced the opportunity to pour a flank tire into the ranks of the cowboys. IL was a moment or thrilling sort, but the Steam Man setJmed to lul'l' e the best of it wben a tbrillmg incid!'nt happened. CHAPTER xr. WITH TIIE VIGILANTS. IN ano:.her moment the Steam M11n would have been in Lhe ranks of the vigilants. It would tmve been a great poit scored. for Cliff woulcl then be a prisoner ancl the way to save Jim 'l'r ivers from the gullows would have been paved. But iL was not to be. 'fhe villain had comet') in the meanwhile, but cunning rascal that be was, had laid inanimate in t!:e bottom of t tlie wagon. Ile lmd seen all that w11s going on, and wJ\en he saw that the Sream Man was certl\in to escape knew that only desperate aci.iou upon his part would save him now. while Fra111;: and Barney were occupiAd nt their posts, he made a sudden lightningleap for the door ih the cage. Unfortunately Barney had int lasteued it. A litfla scream of war!!in!!: came from but it was too late Tile villain flung open the door and sprung out. HA tumbled heels over head down the decline This was partly done on purpo1.1e!to avoid 11ny bullets sent after him. But none struck him, and he was the next moment in the ranks or bis men. / Frank turne\] ju&t in time to see the d11ring escape. The young inventor's disappointment was so great that he came near leaving the wagon to pursue the villain. "Begorra, 11v th e r di vii.ain't go1: claue away entoirely!" cried B11rney in I'm sorry," returned Frank. "But take the precaution now, Barney, to bolt that door." Barney complied with alacrity. 'l'hen he was obliged to return Lo his poit, for 'l;e enemy were I hick in the rear. But the next moment the Steam !\fan top11Ad the rise. A volley from the Vigi!ants drove the cowboys back for t.be time. Then Frank Reade, Jr., brought the machine to a bait upon the plateau. The Vigilanls were wild with delight, and crowded about the Steam Man. Frank Reade, Jr., opened the door and descend!ld among them. In an instant Harmon was by his side and bad gripped his bai:;d. "God bless ye, Mr. Reade!" cried the whole.souled plainsman "It's like takin' th A paw of one brought back from the dea']. Dog dast it, but I'd given ye up entirely wben I see that your Steam Man was in the hands or that coyote It's all like a kind of miracle." "I think we may congratulate ourselves," said Frank, "but do yoa know that we are in a tight box?" "Nobody knows it better," declared Harmon. "I doubt if we pull out of it.". "What kin we do?" "Is there no 11venue open for retreat?" asked Frank. "Not a one." "Then we can only stny here and tight to tloe last. Of corroe 1 might be able LO eluda them with the Steam Man, but I'd never tr_ that while any of yonr band nre left "P'raps it would be ther IJest way." said Harmon, generously. "At {east you could save the gal. It don't mai.ter so much .11bout us. We're only rough men, and 11ot a one of us afeared to die." "You are heroes!" cried Frnuk, with fervor, and if I should de sert you, I would forswear my honor as a man. No, the Steam Man will stay here and tight for you until the last, depend on it. "In course we need your hel1>." replied Harmon. "Mebbe we'll whip tiler skunks yet." "We'll try it." "Begorra, that we will," cried Barney. "Whurroo! av' I only had a good whack at that baste av' a Cliff now I'd sphoil his lieauty roriver." I Walter Barrows and Bessie h:i.d been holding a joyful conrereaee. But now the order went up:

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'Every man to his poat. Tho enemy are coming." here were no delinqu.ints. Not one in tlrnt lleroic little band llung k. twas true tha t the foe were coming again to the attack. itb Cliff leading them th e y were. Cl!arging fltriously up the bill. the V1gilants stood firm a nd ,!!ave the m a raking voller. or a mom ent they wavered. Then once more t h e y Cllme on lifl's voice could be h eard as h e r a lli e d t h e m. 'C!Irse ye go on up thar alll l kill the hull cre w of 'em!" he le t "Don't le t on e of them escape aliv e Kill 'em, every one, don't give any quarter!" 'We'll see abont that," mutte red Frank Reade, Jr. "It may be so easy to do all that, Mr. Cliff." rank and Barney, from tli e ir position aboard tbe Steam Man, uld pour a terrible fire into the ranks of the foe It was a t errible battle! The cowbo y s were jown lik e !!;min before the sickle; yet e y did not waver, but came on faste r. E very m oment they d rew nearer the top of the rise. If they sur unded it the sequel woald be brief. O verpo wer ing m:iscle s would quickly t e ll t h e story, and the little nd or vigilants woul d be wiped out o f e xi s t e nce. It was wi thout doubt, Cliffs purpose t o gi ve no quarter. A wbolele madsacre would be the r e sult. The Vigil ants were now fighting for their lives. As well die facing ,1e foe as with back turne d. Eve ry man was r e solute i n this. But the tremendous body of men swept over the r:ae and gained the lateau. In a twir;kling the Vigilants wer e surrotnded, and it seemed s ir no power would intervene to save them from sure and total ex nction Frank Reade, Jr., t o ok in the situation a t a glance, and cried de puirin g ly: "Barney, we are lost! Ou r end bus come, and we are as good as end men al r e ady!" P oor P o m p saw no way out of the awful situation rn which be was laced Dea t h in its most a wful for m was upon him. A wof s e rat e could not be imagined. 'l' h e sava g e s piled the brushwood about him, and danced with e moniac ) ell s a uout the pilP. If Pomp could have turned pale, he would have been whiter than halk a t that moment. .But for all 1 his, the darky' s fears were even now more or his friends h a n for him s elf Golly Mas s y!" he chattered, shivering like on e with the agu-;;. \Vhatebbe r will be de end ob all dis. Yer e !Me gwine fo' to be urne d to u eath, a nd M a r8 e Frank in d e clutches ob dat rascal Cliff, n' nobod y to res cue him Oh, goorl Lor' it um dre fful." It was indee d a dreadful th i ng. But Pooip was certainly powerl e ss. Highe r th e brus hwood was eaped, and then one of the savage s advance d with a torch. In a momen t be had applied it to the pil e Tbe dry wood burned like tinder. In an instant g r eat !la mes sprar.g p. But he y were at the edge of the pile. Howeve r, Pomp felt their eat and they would s o o n reach him. The poo r d arky was n e arly i11sane with a fr e nzy or d esperation. The sav ages now bogun a fie ndish dance about the pile. They eaped and ran, and swung their tomahawks a nd made hideous faces t thei r victim. But fate h a d not ordained that this was to b e.Pomp's end. Even while death seem e d certa in, rescue w a s close at hand. Suddenly there smote u pou the air the rin;r of horses' hoofs, and a nick sharp orde r, foll o wsd by the crash of carbines. Indians f e ll in heaps before that voll e y A panic resulted and the ext moment through the smoke Pomp saw tile gleam of uniforms, ud knew that a body of United States cavalry had happened upon the syot jus t i n the nick or time. The d arky was beside.himse lf wit h the r ealization. He tried to break his bond s, and cried : Sabe me, sogers-s ub e Pomp! He am gwme f o suah to burn to death er yo' :Jon' sabe him!" But the c a ll was not n ecessary. Through the smoke sprnn11: two dismountecl. soldiers. In a twink lin g the burJJing brush was kicl\ed aside, and Pomp' s bonds were cuL. Then tbe dark"y w a s face to face with a tall, handsome young officer. 'l'he In dians had been di s persed and the fight was over. I am Col Clark, o! th e United States Sev enth Cavalry," said the young olllcer. "Who nre you?'' "I am Pomp!" was the uarky's prompt r e ply. The officer smiled. "Well, w h o do you bel ong to? " I belongs to Marse Fraak R en de, Jr.," r e pli ed Pomp, with em phasis. I'se a free nigge r, but 1 goes w bereh h e r M arse Frank goe 8 j est de same. "Oh, I see," repl i ed the offic e r ; "well, w he r e i s ) our master just now?" 1 Golly, for g oodn ess!" cri e d Pomp, e xcitedl y. "He am m a h eap o b trubl.Jle a n yo' kin help him out of it. With thi s Pomp t old Cla ck all about th e Steam Man a n d th e ir m is sion io the W e st. The young colon e l liateneoys and rescue Marse Frank and he llon e s h 0 w vo' where t1e R a nch V are. "It shalibe clone if we are able," said Colonel Clark. He turned t o l11s men who were scattered about the vicinity, having b ee n en gag<1d in !lriing the savages out of the valley But tl1e l.Jm;le quickly recalied them. A spare horse was brou ght forward for Pomp and tbe1i the cavalrymen in s olid body rode out of the valley. As they struck the prairie below, the distant sounds of firing came to their ears. It was th e din o f the conflict between the Vigilante and the cow h oys. Aided by th e 11ou11ds Colonel Clark was able to gallop straight t o th e s cen e Thro u g h a pas s in the hills they reached tbe plateau. They burst up o n the cowboys in the rear just at the critical 1uomen.t when it seem e d as if Harmo:i's hero i c little band was doomed. I t required bu t a glance for Clark to take in the situation. Whirlin11: his sabre aloft he spurred his horse forward with the tbrillinl! command : Forward! Charg e!" CHAPTER XII. THli: FORTUNES O F WAR. J usT nt I.hat mom ent when utter destruction threatened the brave little hand of v1g 1lants the U. S. s oldi ers came upon the scene. Nothing could have been more opportune. Jt wa s the saving 'b f tb e day The emotions of nil at sight of the gli ttering uniforme m a y be imagined. A great shout o triumph w ent up. A yell of dismay came from th e COWh O }'S. followed the rattling of ste el and the flash of sabte blad es. B e fore that charge wh a t force could stand? Backward th e followers of Artemus Clitf were forced. In vain 1be villain trie d t o rally them. They would not respond Th e odds w e re too g reat. a nd they broke and lled in wild confusion. The 11e x1. m o men t P o mp dashed up the incline an<1 dropped from his h o rs A alm os t a t Frank Reade, Jr's, feet. "Bress d e Lor', Mnrse Frank," he cri e d ecstatically. "Yo' am ali\1e an' W Ail, un' di s nigger ha\J hronght yo' a rescu e nfLah all. P 'raps yo' forgib m e fo' lealiin' d e Steam Man when I hadn't ought?" You are forgiven, Pomp!" Frank, lightly. "I might have done th e same thing myself. I am glad no harm came to you I had given you up." "'De ed no, Mars e Frank!" cri e d the delighted durky. I is too bad fo' to die. Hi dar, l 'i s h, I i s glad to s e e you!" 1 "Well, if it ain't the naygur!" cried Barney, with a wild rush at P omp. "Whurroo, its glad I a m to see yez onct more alive an' well! B ejabers that' s so!" Th e two fri enas embraced warmly. Then Colonel Clark rode up and saluted all "lt seems that you've been having a bit of a sq1iall here," he de clare d, ''but at any rate you've vanquished the enemy." "With your timely a ssistance," replied Frank. "But I believe we are not strangers, colonel "Frank Reade, Jr., the inventor!" cried Clark, springing frorr. the saddle and e eizing Frank's hand. "Woll, now, I'm glad to eee you. But come to think of it, your colored man mentioned the name of Frank Rend e but I never dreamed that it waR you-" It i s nohody el;;e replied Frank with a laugh. "And I well re member you." "And I do you," replied Clark. "I was once one or an army com mis s ion to visit you and make you an ofl'er for one of your inventions on a gu1? ." '.'You are right." Y ou woulll not sell it." "No," replied Frank. "I do not care to sell any of my Inventions. The y are for my own use. I will a lways, however, put them at the dl p osal of the weak and oppress ed." "Truly a noble sentimeut," a!_{re ed the colonel, "but I am anxious to cnpture this man Cliff H e llo! what hnv e you there ? A !.{lant in iron? On e or your n e w im entious i s it? Well, t hat beats all With this Clark proce eded to make sn in s pection or the Steam Man. A great crowd of the n e wcomers were
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This was that the cavalry shoutd pursue anct its deatrnction. The vigilants were to return home, and Lue cavalry wou:d see to the punishment of Artemas Clift. Bnt the Steam Man was w rernam at u. point lJelow until the return of the cavalry. If pos3ible Cliff was to be capturnd alive a11ed away across the plaiu. No effort was made to search for the Vigilallts . Clark knew that even with their aid it would not be feasible to battle to the cowboys. Clearly it was necessary lo havo two hundred more men. colonel set his lips veugefully. "I will that desperado a lesson," he muttered. "He shall l swept out of existenc;e together with his rascally crew, and before at other week." On over the prairie they galloped ,oward the fort. And as they rode, thrilling advP.11lures were the lot of Frank Read Jr., and his friends on board the ::itP.11m Man. Let us, therefore, for a time deviate here and CHAPTER XIJI. THE ABlJIJ CTION. CHIEF HARMON or the Vi:.rilants was n o t wholly content to aband the trail or the cowboys, just ht>re. He Indulged in quite an argument with Frank Reade, Jr. His remarks were not without l O!!ic. "Why, only look at the sense or't.he thing," he declared no means possible that the soldiers are gorngto have nn easy ti1 with Clift' and his men. They may tum the tables on them yet. I t you it was a premature thmg for that colonel t o do, to set us adrift quickly." "Yet he ought to know his own strength," said Frank. "I c!on't believe he does." "I cannot bnt feel that he Is doing I he right thing." "I don't feel thnt way." "Well, In case of defeat the stigma will not fall upon you "Ah, but that is not the idea. We must not let Cliff defeat If he does, be will defeat ns." What do you propose?" "I nm not going hack home yet. We will make a camp down ber on Willow Creek. When WP learn for a fact tnat Cliff has been 1Joa up, then we will go home. Until then are on duty." Frank saw that Harn.on was right. He extended his hand an said: I agree with yon." ''I knew ye won!(]," replied the Vigilant ll'undt>d nm! mixed with the Vigilants. The men arouud the fires, and told stories and cracke jc.kes. Walter Barrows, the young who was so deeply in love with Bessie Rodman. !ind wnit<'d upoi. her at t.he wagon step, and together Lhey too k a lover-like wall< down the hank of the creek.

PAGE 15

READE, JR., .AND HJS .MEW STE.AM MAN. body saw them go, and it is doubtful if any one would have ht to restrain them. t they were committing unwittingly an act of great risk and folly. unknown to any in the camp a coterie of dusky savages lurked ta.II prairie grass about. aey and Pomp were entertaining the camp with some or their a.asen storie;. plainsmen roared with laughter until their sides ached. h were comical mokes and were continually playing roots upon other. Barney bad just worked a gag upou Pomp when sud the distaut crack of a pistol hes.rel. tautly evnry man in the camp was upon his feet. e most intense of reigned. All was confusion. en one of the guards came rushing in. l'here's a hull lot of Apaches down yonder," be cried," tiler grass I of 'em and I reckon they've surrounded the camp." teady all!" thundered Harmon, the Vigilant leader. Who fired pistol shot?" I aou't know," repli e d thii guard. Is anybouy outside the hue?" Yes." Who?" Barrows and the young lady passed me not au hour ago. went on down the cree k." My soul!" gasped Harmon, with white face, that was Barrows ol without doubt. He an' the gal have certainly fallen into the of ther Iujuns. We must make lively work to save 'em." auk Reade, Jr., bad listened to this report with a sensation of borarney and Pomp bad at once desisted in their fun-ma.king, a.aJ ney proceedfid to open the Steam Man's furnace : 'be crack of ril1es now sounded all around the camp. he savages, without doubt, were drawiug tlJeir lme closer, and nt if oossil.Jle to exterminate the little band of Vigilanls. ut a ilne of defense was tlJen thrown out, and the skulking savages e held at bay. ut a desultory and very unsatisfactory of warfare was kept n the darkuess. was impossibleto tell bow to move or where. e enemy fired from all directious and practically at random. any of the Vigilauts were wou::ided, and Captain Harmon was an Injun!" be muttered, in disgust. "They have sich a kin' way or lightiug. They all us attack one after dark, an' hain't the pluck to come out in the open an' light." verybolly was bound to acknowledge the logic of this. t the s r vages kept up the same mode of attack until Frank Reade, ade a diversion. Barney bad succeeded in getting up steam once more in the Steam n and now Frank Reade, Jr., approached Harmon. Give me five men," he declared, "and I will whip the foe for u." "Five men!" gasped Harmon. "Why, they're ten to one out ere." "I don't care if they are.'' "But--" "Will you give me the men?" "Oh. yes, but--" There's no ume for questions, Captain Harmon. Leave it all to e." All right, Mr. Reade." Harmon's orders five or joined Frank Reade. e led tht1m aboard the steam wagon Then be closed the door seized the reins which connected with the throttle. e Steam Man gave a shriek loud enough to perforate the ear s or any one in the vicinity. hen It dashed out upon the prairie. l,1e effect may be imagined. 'he monster with fiery eyes and all tlame and smoke, with clanking nderous tread plunging into the midst of the roe, was an appariwell to be feared. iaht into the midst or the savages the Steam Man raa. the armed men in the screllned wagon poured destructive leys into the midst or the red foe. ea cannot adequately describe the situation. l?or a moment the Apaches held their ground. Then, with wild, ed yells they tled berore lbe conqueror. less than twenty minutes the vicmity had been practically cleared avnge s hey retreated to a point below where their ponies were corrallM. ounting, they dashed away to the westward. The Steam Man ued until finding a creek, they escaped for good. hen the Steam Man returned to camp. ut although the foe bad been repulsed, matters were still bad alter Barrows an1 Bessie Rodman were missing. hat they were captives was a forlorn hope. That they bad been dered was a dreadful feat. elay was almost fatal in this calile. Without loss of time a good er was .put upon the trail or the lovers. ayligbt was breaking in the east, and this enabled him to easily w the trail. long the 1.Janks or the creek it ran for nearly a fifth or a mile. hen the trailer paused. Here without doubt was the spot where Barrows had l.Jeen by the Apaches. There were footprints and marks or a struggle. A ritle, will! broken stock, was picked up. "It is Barrows' gun," said one of the Vigilauts. Blood was found upoc the ground, but no trace of the bodies. "They have been ta.ken away as captives," declared Harmon, posi tively. "There no doubt or that." "Or thrown into the creek," suggested one of the Vigilanls. Investigation for a moment gave the pursuers a thrill of horror. There were footprints down to the water's edge, and the marks or some heavy body dragged thither. Ju the shallow water, protected by reeds, was a body. For a moment all expectell to recognize Barrows. But all drew a breath of It was not him. The body was that of one of the Apaches. Doubtless it was one shot by Barrows, and his body had been thrown into this place to es cape the notice of the white puraufrs. "That's an Injuu trick," declared Harmon, positively. "I'm mighty well satisfied that the captives are alive." "I hope you are right," said one man. "Ditto!" said another. "Then let us take the trail," cried Frank Reade, Jr. "If possible, we must rescue them." The question was settled at once. All sprung to sal1
PAGE 16

FRANK READE, JR., AND rt1s NEW STEAM MAN.( dently !oteode
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RANK READE, JR., HIS NEW S'l'EAl\1 MAN. 17 of them rose in the canne am! took quick aim aml fired. bullet whistled close to Barney's ear. The Celt stopped and d his rille. e jnbers, I'll spuil that fellow!'' he cried. Have at yez, ye erskite! ney'e rille spoke. t the motion of t11e canoe very likely destroyed the aim, for the did not take effect. this point the c a noe took a swift course, and in the twinkling eye seemed to have overcome the skilled hand at tbe paddles. a flash it weut ov.er and the entire part.y were dumped into the s of the creek. great cry went up from Frank Reade, Jr. Iy Goll! they will lie drowned!" rward the llruve young inventor rushed. He thought or poor ows with his bands tied. rown Into the waters of the creek, it did not seem as if any power artb could save him. t two or the savages had seized the priaoners. Tl1d canoe had turned in close proximity to the shore e third savage gave aosistance, and as the water did not chance e deep, all got ashore. Now we have them!" cried Frank, confidently. ut bi:; statement w1.s premature. ven as it seemed that the rescue was certain, an incident occurred revent. 'rom behind u. small hillock appeared Red Bear's gang or Apaches, half a hundred strong. CHA.PTER XV. 'l'HE VIGILANTES TO THE REscr,E. HE appearance of tile savages was most inopportune. ounted on their lleet p do than to give pursuit to th11 savages at once. a couple of spare horses were provided for Frauk and Barney, and they rode rorwllrd on the charge. The delay had been brief, but it had enabl.,d the savngeR to cross the creelc and start for tile detile heyond. Down thundered the vigllants In hot The creek was qnlckly forded and the pursuers seemed to he gaining at every bound. But of a sudden the savages e;\.ecuted a pecnli.u and inexphcablo maneuver. S uddenly and without warning they split in two sections, one to the right ana the other 10 the left. In one division was the girl captive, B ess ie Rodman, and in the other Walter Barrows. The party who had the girl In charge started for the defile. Tile other made oirectly across the valley. Jn a !lash or time the purpose of the savages was made apparent. The vigilante could not go both wnys with splitting up. As they were much less in num:1er t.hnn the Apaclrns the result of "is wo11ld he to irrPn t ly weaken I hem, if not 'llctually place then: at e msrcy of the red foe. On Lite other band It was a prolllem as to which direction to pursue or wllicll party to t;;llow. Harmon drew a slight rein upon bis horse and wavered a moment. The vigi Ian ts naturally were iuclined to go to the rescue or their comrade, but Frank Reade, Jr., comprehending the folly or this, cried: "The girl firet. We can rescue the man later." "Yes!"' cried Harmon, in a voice of thunder; "that is our duty! The girl first, \Joys; then we will try and save Barrows.'' The vigilants cheered, and aw11y thundjlred the tr:>op toward the defile. A few moments later they reached it a,Jid entered it. High walls of black, forbidding rock arose on either side to a mighty height. The bed of the defile was roug nd strewn with bowlders. It was harder for the horses or t vigilants tq pick their way through here than the fleet-tooted ponies ohhe savages. Accordingly the Indians gninE>d qnite a lead. But after a quarter or a mile or the defile had been traversed the vlgilants were brought to a bait in an unceremonious manner. The delile seemed suddenly to take an upward trend here, and biga piles or bowlders made a barrier or some height. Suddenly from behind this barrier there came the flash of rille muz. zles, and a volley or bullets came rattling down through the defile. Two or the vigilants were wounded, and Harmon instantly called a bait. Cover was quickly sought behind rockd and cornel'!I' near. It was evident that the Indians hat! here made a stand. The Vigilant lender was puzzled. But snddenly Franl\ Reade, Jr., gave a tjharp cry: "Listen!" His acute ear bad caught the sound of horaes' coming up the defile in their rear. By thunder!" ejaculated Harmon, with sudden terrible compre lrnns1on, we a.re trapped!" men gazed hlankly at each other. Nothing was more apparent. The Apaches nuder the shrewd Red Bear had certainly very cleverly outgeneraled them. !fed into the deftle by one division or the Apaches, the other had proceeded to block up _the ontlet, and thus literally tile Vigilants were in a Imp. There was not the advantage in facing a foe in this manner that thAr e was in having him wholly in the front. 'l'o Ile attacked both front 1-Lnd rear would demoralize even trle largest aod bravest or armies. Harmon was completely taken a!Jack. "Wall, I swan!" he exclaimed, with earnestness, "I never belie,ell an Injun .could beat me in any such way as that. But we are in for iL, hoys, nnd no mismke. We've got to fight hard.'' The savag es in front were keeping up a raking fire. Those in the rear had now drawn near enough to also open fire. The fun bad begun. But the brave I.land of white men had DO thought of (ear or o( retr'*t. Tiley at once, by Harmon's direction, sought sate places or cover and proceeded to return the fire. Every time an Indian's tor.-knot showed above the fringe or rocks, it wns made a target or. Thus, the battle was kept np for over an hour. Then rft1 idea occurred to;the inventive mind or Frank Reade, Jr. He had carefully examined the face or the pass. In doing so ts hnd discovernd what looked like a feasible foot path over the cliff At once he called Harmon aside and explainecl a plan to him. "I think we can