Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam man in Central America

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Frank Reade, Jr., with his new steam man in Central America
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Frank Reade library.
Senarens, Luis, 1863-1939
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New York
Frank Tousey
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1 online resource (15 p.) 29 cm. : ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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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:
R17-00130 ( USFLDC DOI )
r17.130 ( USFLDC Handle )
024953841 ( Aleph )
65182165 ( OCLC )

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a r e P ublished in Entered as Second <..:lv"',,.,. 2 6th "'.,."''"'T. 'lrew YoR K. New York. July 22, 18118. l st 1m S1o:>u-MoNTHLY. Ente1ed acco1dino to t h e A.ct of Conoress, in the ye

2 FRANK READE JR., IN CENTRAL A:\fERICA. The subscription price of the FRANK READE LIBRARY by the vear is $2.50; $1.2.5 per six months, post paid. Address FRANK TOUSEY, PUBLISHER, 29 West 26th Street, New York. !fl Ii.Jlltt!ll VVith His Steam Man in Central America. By "NQNAME," Author of "Frank Reade, Jr., With His New Steam Man in No Man's Land; or, On a Mysterious Trail," etc., etc. CHAPTER I. A STRANGE STORY FROM YUCATAN. FRANK READE, JR., the tlistihl!;llished inventor j( m1rny \70nderfal machines, and particularly the new Steam Mun, sut in hi8 library one winter's day reading a newspaper. His wife sat near him engaged in some light needle work. She looked up to see a peculiar expression upon her husband's handsome face. "Well, that is strange," exclaimed Fmnk Reade, Jr., with a whistle of surprise. "I am p1Jsiti\e that is my old friend, Buckden, whom I knew at coll .. ge. Upon my wort!, this breaks me all up." "What is i t Frank?" asked M1a. Reade, with interest. "Why, Tony Buckde11, an uld cPJlege mate of mine, it seems hns turned his wits to mining 'l'hts Ima taken him down to Central America, to Yucatan, and a cablegram has just b een r eceived in New York, stating that Tony !mt! become separated from his party ilnd lost In the jungle. For six weeks he was searched for m vain." "How terrible." "It is more than likely that he has fallen a prey to wild beasts Yet his father, the millionaire, Thomas Buckden or New York, comes out with an off er or $!'iO,OOO to the p1 r s on who will furnish posiuve proof that his son is alive and bring h11n 8afely home." "'!'hat is a large reward," ventured Mrs. Read 'e, "I hope some holly will win it." "Poor Tony!" exclaimed Frank, with emot10n. "I declare I al most feel lt my duly to go to his r e scue." What! leave home again so soon?" "Yet what is my duty, dear wife? It would seem that my dear frientl s lire is at stake. Ought I not to sacrifice something to save fiirn?' "What? You don't really think of going yoursem" "I don't know," replied F.rank, agitatedly pacing the fioor. "I don't see who else can go and s L aml the ri!!;ors of that climate, dure the 1Jangers the jungle, the wild beasts anti natives, and succeed in 1escui11g Tony." "Are you s,11re that you can do it?" "Ought I not to he r.easonably sure! Have I not the Steam Man? Barney and Pomp I am sure would go wit-I! ma." I bope Jou will not be so foolish as to go." "I cannot say yet, my dear. I rr:ust sutisry myself completely that it is my duty. But I think I will walk down to the shop and see the Steam Mun." Frank bent down and kissed his wife and children and then left tbe house, But just as be was going do,,.n the steps the mail carrier banded him a letter. Thus it was superscribed: "To FRANK READE JR., READESTOWN, U. S. A." Frank glanced at the foreign postmark und then broke the seal and Tead: "DEAR FRIEND FRANK-I have been thinking of you of late and so feel coustrainecl to write you. Moreover, I have a big scheme in which I want to interest you. While at Campeachy I fell in with a native trader from Valladolid. I was fortunate enough to do him a service .and gain his friendship, and as a reward be accorded me a most astonishing tale and secret. "He told me of his trarels in the interior through jungle and swamp and forest. Also of the deadly animals nntl reptiles, the poisonou3 insects, and all the great and pitralls of the traveler in those latitudes. But more than this, he told me a wonderful story or a ruined city far up in the inaccessible table land9 of Tunuda. No doubt you are familiar with the accounts or thll ancient cities of Palonque and others. Well, I imagine that ruined city, Maztindla be called it, is one or the same sort. "But Metlo, which is the nam e or my informant, described a vast in which he said there was vas L treasures of gold, silver and jewels. But ever since aiscovered this temple has been a l>erfect nest of gigantic anacondas, and none of the natives have ever ven tured into \he place. Only on e man ever lived to get out or the place. ang of you to writ e m e at onc e to Ca111peachy. And now, my

FRANK REA.DE, JR., IN CENTI<.AL AMERICA. 8 lt was evideut tllat the lett e r had made a powet'ful impressiC1n upoc tllem. Well!" said Frank, when they had finished. What do you tbiuk or it?" Be jabers I'll loike notlling betther than a go at some av them forty root snakes. Sh ure it's a foine thrip that would be ler tiler Stbeam Mau, Misther Frank." "Ki dar, Marse Frank!" cried Pomp, with eyes as moons. Kain't day dis cb1le likes snakes, but yo' kin jes' bet be':! like to go uur jes' de same." "Good!" cried Frank, then if I conclude to go, you'll be all ready!" "Yo kin jes' bet we will." "Make no doub't av tbat." "All rigbt," said Frank, buttoning his coat closer, be in readi ness for l may decide to go." The young inventor went on down the street. In a few moments be came to the eu trance or the big yarlls or the Reade Machine Shop. Here at the entrance was the sumptuously !uruisb ed office. Frank entered, and o.n elderly patrician-looking gentleman who was pacing the floor, excitedly rushed up to lnm, crying: "Are you Mr. Frank Reade, Jr.!" "I am," replied Frank. Thank God you have come at last! Here is my card." Frank took it 1rnd read: "THOMAS BUCKDZN, NEW YORK CITY." "Indeed!" exclaimed the young inventor, affably. "I am glad to welcome you here, Mr. Bnckden. I believe l kuow your sou well, and--" "Oh, then yon rememl'er him well," cried the old gentleman, ex citelily. "Thauk Heaven for that! It will perbap3 iutluence you to accecle to the request I have t) make. 011, have-!Jave you beard about my son?" "I have beard that your sc.n at last accounts bad become lost 111 tlie jungle," replied Frank. "Yes, yes, I.Jut we beli.-ive that be baa been captured and held a prisoner by a wild tril.Je or savages known in tbat vicinity as the Ta nadaa." "It is quite likely." "God grant it may be so, Ob, sir, listen to an agonized father's prayers. 'l'hey tell me tbat you I.Jave the necessary equipments and urn the only man who can go into tbose wilds and rescue my boy. Now I am a wealthy man and will pay--" "Swp!" said Frank, imperatively. Do not speak to me or pay! I knew your son; be was my college fr1e11d. I am only too glad to be able Lo go to bis I will say this mucb that beiore three da) a I shall start from New Orleans with my Steam Man on board a special steamer for Campeacby. You may if you choose see to the cllartering ol the steamer." A fteet if you wish ill" cried Mr. Buckden. "Oil, accept my deepest gratitude, Mr. Reade, and--bring my boy Palely back." "l will try," replied Franl; "Goll bles;j you! But this wonderful Steam Man-I have never seen it." Come with me and I will be glad to show it to you," said Frank. The young inventor leli ,Lhe way a high roofeld them that they were iu a tropical clime. To the surpnse of our voyagers, a warm reception was accorded them at Campeachy. The Spanish people, ever of an enthusiastic, sportlovi11g turq, turned out in great force to welcome the distinguished visitors. Wore! bad been received by cablegram of their coming. The governor or Campeachy warmly welcomed Frank, and for a few hours he was taken c11arge or by a committee and treated LO many hospitalities. Tllere were many o! bis own people in the town also-merchants connected with houses in New Yorll: that dealt in dye stufl's, fruits and many of the products of the country. Frank wae deeply impressed with the warmth of the w elcome giveu him. He thanked all bis benefactors kindly. Tben at the most favorable momeat he returned to the ship. The Steam Man was brought ashore and exbibited to the woudetiog gaze of the people. But Frank knew the importance o! qnick and prompt action, and was not the one to readily accede to delay. He knew that every moment was to the success or his enterprise ol vital worth. The people were all in sympathy witb bis enterprise. Tony Buckden bad been well and favorably known in Campeachy. The young engineer was very popular there, and everybody was deeply interested in his fate. But Senor Gonzales, oue or the patrician gentlemen ot Cam peachy, came to Frank anl said: Senor Americano, I hope you will succeed with all my heart. But do not be disappointed if you do not !ind the young Senor Buckden." Ab, then you think the chanc es are few?" asked Frank. "I Bi>eak or what l know. The dangers of interior Yucatan are known to none than I. I fear th!'! worst for your friend." "But I can at least try." "Si Senor. May the mother be with you," said the Spanish gentle man, warmly. Frank lost no time now in making the Steam Man ready for the start. One day was consumed in making a map of bis route, as nearly


4 FRANK READE, JR., IN CEN'l'RAL AMERICA. correct us he could gather Ill detail from the m1ti \'BS who penP.trated t.he interior. Frank bad decided to proceP.d at once to the table-land of Tanada. This point gained he believed that be could there learn somuthing more of the fate of Buckden. He consulted with every ne.tive guide and traveler wboJrnew anything about the route. But now a curious thing occurred. . Every man be encountered se1Muid to have a different idea of the Lallie-lands. Some were inclined to Muncbaueen tales, while others pooh-poohed them. At length in sheer disgust Frank said: "There is just oue thing about :t. l have got to proceed solely upon my own judgment. If I adopted all the different plans accorded me I should lead a queer course to be sum." So with this decision Frank left Cam peachy. Beyond the city, Frank found some fairly good roads which led through 11 section de\'Oted to the culture of fruits and vegetables of various krnds. 'l'hen immense fields of the cotlee )llant were passed and fitially the country began to chnnl!e its appearance. Immense tropical forests were encountere care in the least for the ma chine. Indeed, it acted defiant mad ready fer battle. Barney shrugged bis shoulders and pickecl up ritte. Begorra, I'd loitrn to spoil the appetite av tiler baste," he cried. "An' it's t.hat same I'll do." So with this the Celt up and tire1l at the python. The effect was curious. The huge snake received the bullet in lts sinuous folds, and a Jet of blood marked the cnurse of the ball. Hissing savagely with pain, ti!" python released the wood fawn, nod without an instant's warnmg c'Jarged dire'ctly at the man. In an instant Frank saw that they hacl commited on indiscretion. While to be sure they were protected by the steel of the wagon, yet it was easy to reck,on tile or the python's attack. That monster's browu body came hurtling and hissing down the slope like au avalanche. Swifter tlrnn a railroad train tha enraged python charged upon its foe. It would have required something more than an ordinary barrier to withstund such an attack. ,Frank saw this anu made quick action. With quick baud, he seized the throttle rein and started the Steam Man ahead. Tl!en be turned him face on to th11 repi.ile. He bad barely time to do this, when the monster struck the machine. In a flash the folds of the reptile w,ere wound about the Steam Man. 'rhe foresight and wisdom of Frank's move were once seen. If the snake struck the wagon, he might have crushed the screen with it leviathan folds. As it was, the air wns instantly filled with the fumes of burning saake llesh. 'l'he huge snake's body coming in contact with the almost red bot fire box of the Steam Man, receivecl a terrific scorching. For an instant his snakeship did not seem to mind this um! made terrific blows with his head at the screen. He strove in vain to reach the 11111n within. Wburro!" yelled Barney. "Yez did a wondherfal thing thin, Misther Frank. Shure, the big divil is burnin' up." Golly sakes, dat nm a fac'," cried Ponip, joyfully. But Frank knew that the !Jattle was not over yet by any means. It had only just begun. Tbe monster, feeling the terrible effect of the bot iron, with an aimost lrnman-like cry unwound itself quickly from the Steam It went twisting and rolling about the plain in agony for a few mo ments. In its course bushes were upruoled, the ground was torn and the air tilled with dust. Frank knew that this would last b!lt a few moments. Tlle enrnged monster would soon recover ar.d renew the attack with ten-fold fury. So the famous inventor took np bis elephunt rifle and tnrust an explosive shell mto the breach. Goiug to a loophole in the screen he took careful aim. Crack! The ri.fle spoke sharply. Straight to its mark went the shell. The next moment as it exploded the air was full of shreds en braced against a heap of stoue9, it would surely have been swept over upon its side. But, by the best of good fostune it resisted the shock. Like a llash the snake's coils went twining about the wagon. They began to draw powerfully, and the metal work began to groan and crack. I "Quick, boys!" shouted Frank Reade, Jr. "Cut the folds in two wherever you can. But Barney and Pomp needed no bidding. They already bad tluiir kuives unsheathed, and where the snake's body was exposed at the loopholes began Lo slash and cut. ]<'rank with bis rifle tried to get a shot at the reptile's head. l! be could only blow it olf with one of the shells, the battle would be ended. But the monster ortunity. Something desperate needed to be done. The metal work of wagon threateued to give way. Fruuk saw this and at on9e with his accustomed hardihood accept a desperate ch1u1ce. Throwing open the aoor of the wagon, he sprang out. The reptile's bend was above the wagon, and Frank instantly tired at it. He was a dead shot and, undobtedly, would have hit it, bad it not been for lhe snake's gyratory mot10n. Tile reptiles attention was instantly n!tractAd toward Frank. Singularly enough, folds relaxed aud it slid away from tbe wagon and started for the young inveutor. The suake was between Frallk and the cage door. He knew that if those deadly folds were to close about him, there would be little likelihood of ever edcapiag alive. The snake had acted with the rapillity of thought. Frank had not even time to thrust another cartridge into the breech of his gun. He started to run. For a few paces he madll good time, but what is there on earth to equal the speecl of an active pytbou. Swift as the wind the monster was upon 111111. Frank felt it9 hot breath, and saw for a moment its glistening jaws onen over him. -Instinctively he threw up one hand, and by chance his fingers clutched the monster's throat. Frank hung to this hold with 11 grip. He felt the coils closing about him, nna then with the desperation of one facing certain death be clutched the hilt or his knife with bis free hand. With all bis strength he slashed at the monster's throat. 'rhe first blow half severeJ tbe head fl'om the body. A huge jet of black blooct' spurted into Frank's face and nigh chok ed him. But though half sutlocnted he made another blow. The snake's folds began to loosen, and the monsttr writhed and tried to free itself. Frank instantly realized that he had won tbe fictory and fought more coolly now. Once more he made a blow at the snake's neck. This time it severed the head from the body completely. The body of the s11ake went twisting and writhing a hundred yards across the plain, while Frank fell half fainting to the !!round. Burney aud Porn p were quickly by his side and tbe Celtic cried: Be me sowl, Misther Frank, I did think yez wor done for, an' it was a good foigbt yez made to be sbure. Are ye:r. badly hurted?'' "Not a bit, .Barney," said Frank, staggering to his feet. "It was only a little faintness, that was all." Pomp a band spring. "Glory fo' goodness!" cried the overjoyed clarky. "I'se jes' dat glad, Marse Frank, datl don' jes' know what fo' to do dat yo' was not hurt." The snake's body now lay writhing and twisting far out on the Tbe adventure:s did not go near it. They had bad snake experience enough for one day and rl'lurned to the Steam Man.


FB.ANK READE, JR., IN CEN'fRAL AMERICA. 5 "The next time you see a big snake, Barney," snld Frnnk, "if he is not disturbing 11s I think yon had bettar let him alone." Tile Steam Man now once more went on its way. E\ery day now they penetrated deeper into the jungles aIHI wild fast.nesses of this wi!des _t. country on the 1,;lobe. Many strange sights were seen and some thrilling experiences were encounterer Frank," he cried. "It nin't a bit safe fer ye:.i to go ot': out there alone." "Jes' yo' wait dar, qsh, l'se gwine wid Marse Frank m'se'f.'' "No, yez won't." Yo' jes' bet I will.'' The two zealous servitors were in imminent danger of a collision. But Frank turned aud said peremptorily: "Hold wilere you are. I am going alone. Look out for the Man until I get back." This settled the question. Reluctentlv they turned back, and Pomp went about bis cooking duties, while Barney gazed wistfully aft!'r Frank n!Hl declared: "Be me sow!, it ain't safe for that man to go out there alone. I'll just kape me eye out a!l the same." So Barney proceeded to keep an eye out, while Pomp was busy at his work. Reaching the woods, Fran I> entered them without hesitation. He was confident that he had really seen the walls of a ruined bmld ing through the thick foliage. To bis best belief it was some part of the ruined city they were. in quest of. :Sut upon entering the forest, Frank round that progress was not so easy as he fancied. The vines and matted shrubbery were almost impenetrable. 'l'he famous inventor, however, ussd a small hatcllet, and proceeded tu cut Ins way through. In this manner he had very soon cl41ared quite a path. But suddenly he was brOU1?ht to a hhlt in a most startling manner. Down through a network of vines he suddenly saw a glistening pa:r of eyeballs. To his startled fancy they seemed veritable balls of tirn, and for a moment he could not act. They were fixed upon him with piercing and deadly earnestnPss. Frank instioctively kuew that they belonged lo some wilt! animul. Just what krnd of a cieature it was he could not a L tl!e moment tell. But he was satisfied that bis position was ol)e o! deadly veril. But he was not one given to rear or hesitation. His mmd was quickly made up as to what to do. Quick r.s thought he ins rille up and fired point blank directly between the blazing eyeballs. The result was terrific. Frank had presenl!e or mind enough to sink down upon I.lie fnce 1 just1as a tremendous tawny hotly rose out of the shrubbery and sprang 1 directly over him. It was as he saw at that moment a monstrous puma or panther, called by the natives lion. Indeed, the genuine lion is not a morP. formidable beast to encounter than the puma of Central America. It was a narrow escape that Fran! had bad. The puma had sprung clear over him and tumbled headlong into a heap or brush, where he began to flounder and make the air hideous with his cries. Frank was not eure whether he had given the beast a mortal wound or not. Nor ciid he try to find out or follow up the contest. He lrnew well enough what a hand to hand encounter with one of th

FRANK READE, JR., IN CEN'l'RAL AM.ERICA. Wburroo! ' yelled Barney, in delight and triumph. "We've saved yez, Misther Frauk, an' ,if we hadn't yez would sburely 'av' lleeu kilt ent01rely." "Yes, I thiuk I should,'' agreed Frank. "And I owe my life to you boLh. I s hall not forget it. The puma was tlJe largest or lJis kind that our adventurers had ever seen. It was nt the time of year tl!at his skin was worthless, lleing mangy, so that it was not !Jreserved. Frank was quiLe overcome with bis experience, and went on board the wagon to rest. As darkness was at band, it/was decided to make no further ex ploration of Lhe forest -until morning. Frank was more than ever convinced, however, that there were ruins in the forest. "To-morrow we will cut our way lhrough," lJe declared, "and I will s;1tisfy you, mv frieuds, that I am right." Marse Frank," agreed Pomp. "We'se open to convic tion jus' de same.'' Bejabers, tbat's right1" put in Barney. It was seldom deemed safe to sleep outside the wagon. So beds were made comfortal>ly enough tbe seats which ran along the sides. Here our adventurers could sleep quite soundly. Burney and Pomp were s oo n in tlJe land of dreams. But Frank Reade, Jr., could not successfully woo the ge ntle god dess. Suddenly, as he lay tlJere in a reverie, a eudden curious manifesta tion caused him to start up. A ray of something, a trifle l>riglJter than the moodiglJt, glinted its radiance athwart the wire 11etting. For an instant Frank was puzzled. He rose to a sitting plsture and glanced out upon the level plain. All was plain in tlJe moonlight out tlJere. But no sign or life was to be seen. Then Frank turned his gaze toward the forest, and there he caught the vivid gli1J1mer or a light. E:ertainly it was not moonlight glinting on any bright substance, l>nt such a vivid radiance as could only be made lly firelight. Eitl\er a torch or lantern it was, aud its motion and chnnging of base suggested that 1t was carried l>y human hands. Frank was deeply interested. I knew it!" he muLtered. I'll wager my life -that there is a lluilding in that forest, but I did not dream that it was inhabited." He watched the light intently. It moved back and and was of such size as to dispel the tl:eory of the will-o'-the. wisp or ignis fatuus. Once from the distance Frank fancied he heard a distant oo.tcry. But could not place reliance upon, as it might have been made l>y some wild beast. 1 But of one thing he was satisfied. Thare was certainly human life and habitation in tlie forest. On the morrow he would learn what it meant. He was hardly able to restrain a str:1g desire to go alone upon an exploring four under cover of the 11ight. But so!Jer reflection persuaded him not to nilding of whitest marble and mighty dimen s ions l>efore him. Al>out the building were acres of pave l l comts and walls, with open gatewa):s a1HI overgrown with all manner. of vines and vuri-colored vegetat10n. The llnildiag occupied a space or over an acre, and in style of archi tecture was not unlike some of the better cluss of puel)Jos in Mexico. But there were richly carved balconies and hanging gardens, piazzas ancl porticoes, and nil dose in the whitest of marllle. Whnt was stranger yet, the building did not seem to lie a ruin but newly constructed and indeed not altogether finist:ed. There waa evidence that the workmen bud not belln absent many I Beds of fresh mortar were in tbe court-yard, sla!>s of newly cut mar ble were strewn about. As the Steam Man entersd the court-yard, Frank noticed this and looked for the appearance of any number of workmen. But to bis surprise they r pueblo in the deep forest was cleaerted. For some time our adventurers continued to guild this kind of a hoosA." '' Phwativer koind of people do yez think they are, Misthllr Frank?" "Well,'' replied the young inventor, slowly, ... it is my opinion that we have made a Jiscovery va luable to scieace and the world. "lndeed it is not extravagant to assume that tbose people are a remnant of tbe original iolJabitauts of Yucatan who l>uilt the famous cities or Palenque and Mazendln. "If so, then I shall have the grP.atest curiosity to see them "rse a heap '!raid we won't see 'em to-day, Marse Frank," said Pomp. Another boor passed slowly. Still the mysterious workmen did not return. At the expiration of this time Frank decided to take a look about the premis es. The Steam Man was left carefully adjusted, an:l the three adven turers set out ncross the court -yard. Of course they were heavily armed and did not intent! to go out o sight of the Steam Mun. In crossing the court-yard they ca me upon a wonderful bit of work. This was a square-s haped basin cut in whit est marble, and occu pied by a l>ubbling spring with water as pure and clPar as crystal. Jn this water werP. fish of a peculiar green and vivid hlue color, or the gold fish species evidP.ntly. It was certainly a beautiful spectacle. Pomp tnsted uf the water. It was as pure and cool as could well be desireil, and far superior to the wAter usually found in that part of Central America. Passing by this they er;tered th.i mnin hall or the pueblo, if such it could be called. It was a massive chamber, higt roofed, with polished columns. was a perfect wonder to the explorers, wpo could not concea l their amazement. But at one end of the hall was a strange polished dais. Towards this Barney made his way. It seemed made of some peculiar kind or beautiful stone like agate. l:lnrney sprang UDOn it. Bejahers!" he cried. av this ain't the place phwere they'll set their idol. If Iver--" He did not f111ish his spe ech In a twinkling a thrilling thing hap. pened. The polished stone' to some mys terious !1.nd inexplic able agency, turned ai:;d Barney vanished !ike a llasb. CHAPTER V. BAT ;rLE WITH THE PIG:ll!ES No. sooner had Barney mount\)d the polished dais, than with a swift movement iL turned and he vanished into a black aperture be neath. He went out of sight so suddenly that nothing could hnve l>een done to prevent or save him. For a moment Fravk Rearle, Jr., and Pomp stood aghast gazing at the treacherous slab of stone. "Great heavens!" gasped Frank. "Wbat d o es it mean? Barney! Where are y!lu? Answer if you can." A long wail went up from Pomp's lips "Lor' sakes, Marse Frank, he am gwine gone to his death Dat big stone !Jab jes' crushed him to rle ath fo' suah." "It can't be-it must not be so!" cri e d Fra;;k, with horror, and hair insane, he was abouL to spring npon the stone himself, Vl hen Pomp pulled him back. "Fo' goodnPss, Marse Frank,

FRANK READE, JR., IN CENTRAL AMERlCA All was the silence of the tomb. Bathed in coJ,1 perspiration, Frank and essayed to move it. But he could not do this. laid his hands upon the stone l What other resort he would have tried, it is impossible to say, but at that moment a warning cry broke from Pomp's lips. "Fo' Heb bin's sake, Marso Frank, jes' yo' look yenjer. I done fink we bettah skip lo' de Steam Man." Frank glancerutes. 1 Accordingly the safest method to pnr,;ue was to fly to the Steam Man. Without further hesitation and with one impulse, Frank and Pomp They sped through the court a flash. Que of the tigers let ou: a tremendous savage roar. All of the savage beasts were in hot pursuit of the two men. Fortunat. ely tlley ha:i not far to go. Frank reached the wagon first and sprang in. Pomp followed, and they bad just time to shut the door in the cage, wl:len tpe foremost or the tigers came bounding against it. One of the tigers sprang on the top of the cage and crouched there, to claw llis way tllrougb tlle netting. The others kept leaping against the side of tile wagon ferociously. Pomp had sprung for a ritle, anti would have fired at the brutes. But a strange incident prevented. Suddenly the no t es or a strange sounding borll sounded through the arches of the temple. Instantly the three tigers leaped down and went skulking away across the 1:ourt-yard. Pomp and Frauk were so complete!) amnzed that they were for a moment speechless and inactive. "Fo' massy"s sake!'' gasped Pomp, in utter amazement. "Wbat ebber am de meanin' ob etweec the garb of a Turk and a native Mexican. In his hand he carrle:l a long lance steel tipped. For a full minute he stood gazing at the Steam Man. "Golly, Marse Frank," muttered Pomp. "Dat am de funniestJookio!!; little man I el>er seed." Well, you're right, Pomp," agreed Frank, regarding the other with rnter est. If he i s a specimen of the aborigines of tllis cou!llry they were a runny looking loi-of people." But the fucny looking little man leaped down from his perch and now advanced toward the Steam Man, gesticulating and talking in some strange tongue. Frank could not understand a word he said. The famous inventor opened the door of the cage an:l stepped down into the court-yard. At this the aborigine came to a not ten paces distant. He spoke to Frank in a strange tongue. Frank did not attempt to make It out, but replied: "l cannot talk your language, sir.'' Again the little man spoke. Frank repeated bis declaration. rue pigmy gesticulated furiously and swur:g bis lance threateningly. But Frank tried to pacify him by resorting to signs. This had some little effect The plgmy understood partly the signs Fraak made. Tt.e youn!! rnventor pointed to the Steam Man and talked and ges ticulated 'l'he pigmy's confid e nce seemed to l>e gained and lie ap roached nearer. "Now, Pomp," said Frank, "start the Man up a little." Pomp pulled tlJe throttle rein. The Steam Man gave a puff and began to move ahead. The effect upon tl:e pigmy was rather startli1 : g. He dropped bis lance and stood for a mom e nt trembling in abj ect t e rror. Then wlJeeling, with several cat-like leaps be gained the edge of the parapet and went over it. Fra nk .rushed to the wall and looked over. But the pigmy had gon e He was nowhere to be seen. 1 Frank now beg1m to fathom the mystery of the place. These strange people bad m ethods of living vastly at variance with An1erican ideas. None of them were visible just now. He bad read or a class or people in Africa wlm never showed them selves above ground in da:yligbt. All or their work was done at night, and during the daytime they burrowed caverns rn the ground and slopt. These people of the marble puelilo might be mqcb the same. Frank began to l>elieve that this was tile way of it. The light which be had seen tile nigllt l>efore was uo doubt used by the workmen in laying the stone and for the structure. But where did they find biding places during !he day? Were there chambers or caverns underneatn the marble pueblo? Certainly the pigmy could not have disappeared so easily if there wns not some method of hiding in some s u ch manner. Frailk vaulted the parapet and began to examine the stone walls. After some moments' searc!1 to his surprise, as be touched one or the stones, it swung inward. A long, 11arrow passuge 1ark as Erebus was disclosed. The mystery was solved at last. This no doubt led to underground chambers where the pigmies spent their days. And now Frank believed that he bad solvel the mystery or Barney's fate. The Celt had no doubt fallen through one of the mysterious en trances into the t:ndergronnd nbode of the pigmies. The marble dais in tbe temple was then, after all, but a curious sort of entrance tte underground retreat. By leaping upon it, one was quickly carried down to the depths be low. It had required something more than ordinary ingenuity to invent this clever door of stone so nicely balanced. Certainly these remnants of a lost and almost extinct race were cer tainly fur from being fools. They were beyond doul>t most clever and skillful mechanics, :nasons -and artisans. Frank was tempted to invade underground retreat of the pig mies, out sober secc>ml thought rorl>ade. Again at this moment a warning cry came 'rrom Pomp, who was e.board the Steam Mau "Come, quick, Marse Frank, fo' yo' life!" shouted Pomp. Frank lost no time in complying. And, as be leGped over the wall, he saw the cause or Pomp's alarm. The court-yurd was suddenly filliug with a seemrng legion of the pig mies. They were all armed as well, and were inclined to a warlike atti tude. Three tigers were now held in leash Frank saw the !lrst little man in front rank. He seemed to be t he Jead e1 o r the band. Fully three hundred or the pigmies had suddenly appeared. It was a most astonishiag complication to Frank Reade, Jr. 'l'he pigmies were all armed with long lances and bore down toward the Steam Man. Frank pulled the whistle valve and let out an ear-splitting shriek. For a moment the pigmies ap1>earett to be literally paralyzed. They were thrown into the wildest confusion. Terror seemed to be predominant, until the little old man ran in front of them and ex1 horted them. His words seemed to act like magic upon them. They re-termed and once more the outlook became serious. With bristling lances they once more advanced toward the Steam Man. There was no evading the issue now." Frank saw this at a glauce. He was averse to killing any of the strange people unless com pelled to. Discretion seeme;t the better part of valor, and It appeared in order to retreat in as graceful a manner as possible Accordingly he started the Steam Man across the court-yard. With clanking tread the Man crossed the space. This brought him out upon the roadway. The pigmies pursued hurling their lances at the cage. But the steel net:tiug was proof against them, and they fell off harm lessly. However, Frank saw that they were planning to annihilate the Steam Man with a huge log thrown across the roadway l>y IL party who had headed the Man otr. The tree would prevent I he Man's progress m that eheved that they bad their mysterious visitor cornered. Loud cries or triumph pealed from their lips. 1 But Fraok opened fire with bis Winchester repealer. The shots ttew swirt and true. One, two, three of the foe fell. Then Pomp joined in the battle. Crack! Another of the pigmies fell. This had the effect of parti!tlly checking them Frank started the Steam Man forward. The huge log across the rond barred their progre ss but a few sh11ts from the Winchesters scattered the foe there nssBmbled. Then Pomp sprang down anG moved th e l o g. It reauire1J all the tlurky's strength, hut he s ucceeded and then re l urned to the wagon.


"' FRANK READE, JR., IN CENTRAL AMERICA. . "Golly, Marse Fra11k!" cried the excited darky, "I reckon we'se jes' gib de:;n rascals a bit ob a lesson." "I think w e have, Pomp," agreed Frank, "but I fear we've not seen the last of this battle yet. The young fears were not without foundation. The pigmies had been for a few momeuts repulsed by the deadly fire of the repeating rifles. But tbey had by no means given up the idea or capturing the Steam Man. A large party or them had struck out into the forest, and now, as Frank started the Steam Mall for the table-land beyond, be was again quickly brought to a halt by a new develop'.llent. Turning a bend rn the road unexpectedly, be saw just ahead a large gang of the pigmiee congregated there. They had felled several tall palms, and they lay across the ro!Ldway effectually blocking the passage of the Man. Affairs had certainly reacheli a crisis. CHAPTER VI. BARNEY MEETS A FRIEND. BuT what of Barney, whom we have seen disappear in such a mys terious manner beneath the st one dais? The astounded Celt felt the stone give way beneath him, but before had time to recover himself it hacl turned completely over, and. he felt himself descending tllrough space and darkness. He struck upon his back upon some' soft substance. How far be had dropped he had no means or knowing. All was darknass about him. He was quickly upon his feet, and began to feel about him. The substance he had fallen upon he discovered by touch was a pile of some sort of soft cl abearought him here!" "::lhnre, he's look in' for a young man named Tony Buckden who got lost down Ill this haythin region." Well, is this not luck? Look here, man, I am Tony Buckden--" Barney threw up Jus arms. "The divil yez say!" he exploded, in a hoar!e whisper. "Shure, I'd ought to hnve guessed tliuL, au' Mr. Frank will be deloighted to see yez." "And I shall be delighted to see him!" cried the millionaire's son, for such he was. "So be answered my letter in p3rson!" '' Yis." And be has the Steam Man here?" "Shure enough." "Then the success of my plans are exclaimed Tony, jubi lantly. That is, if we succeed in escaping from here." "Shure we must do that." declared Barney, confidently. At this moment there arose a grenL commotion among the pigmy people. Excited cries arose, us with one accord they rushed from the place.. In less than no time the place was cleared. Tony Buckden and Barney were not a little surprised. I wonder what that means?" exclaimed the New Yorker. Bejabers, there's no tellin' b11t that they've beard of the Steam Man and that's phwat b:i.s drawn thim away." "By Jove, I don't know l>ut that you are right. Bnrney,'' declared Buckden. At any rate, it looks to me like a very good opportunity to escape." "Shure, it's a foine chance." Not one of the pigmy people were left, in the place. or ccurse Barney and young Buckden did not hesitate a moment to avail themselves of the opportunity. Buckden led the way and they crossed the broad chamber and came to a passage which to lead upwards. 'l'here were stairs cut in the stone, and u1> these the two imprisoned men sprung. A moment later they came out into the main body of the temple, Now ttey could hear the c:ack of tire-arms and the yells of the pigmS people. It was at the moment when the Steam Man was about to leave the court-yard and had been attacked by the nativea, if such they could be called. Both Buckden and Barney could see the heads of the contestants beyond a wall of stontt. It was their impulse to go to the aid of Frank aucl Pomp. But this was seen at once to be clearly Impossible. They could not hope to successfully fight their way through the crowd of people. Moreover, a tl!rilling danger now confronted the ful(itives. The three trained tigers from whom Frank and Pomp bad so nar1 rowly escaped were gamboling in tbe court-yard. If they should chance to catch sight of your.g Buckden and Barney the result would not be pleasant for them. Clearly the safest way fort.he two adventurers was to steal out ol the place and gain the forest l!eyond.


FRANK RE.A.DE, JR., IN CEN'l':ij.AL .A.MERICA. Theu ttey might trust to luck in reJornrng the Steam Man. Cer tainly it was the best method to pursue. This Buckden at ouce proceeded to do. He led the way IJold)y across the court-yaru and to a wall at its extremity. Fortuue favored them, and they reached the wall in safety. Vaulti11g it, they dashed into the forest. Once among tile thick undergrowth they \Vere safe, at least for the time. "Whew!" exclaimed Buckden, pausing and wiping the perspiration from his race. "We did that iu line shape, .

FRANK READE, JR., JN CEN1'RAL 'l'he widelstreet, which seemed to extend for miles through this mam moth cit y w a s paved with blocks of a sp ecies of sandstone I Be tween the stones grass bad grown up, and in places trees had at tained a grett height. Palms grew and flourished upon the roofs of many of the buildings, and everywhere clinging vtnes bedecked the ruins. It was a wonderful sight, nod one which our adventurers never for go t The sight of this wonderful city of ruins awoke many strange thoughts an

FRANK READE, JR., IN CENTRAL AMERICA. / 11 After him with despairing souls ran the explorers, vainly trying to overtake him. Ia thii cage, unable to extricate himself, tl!e l!uge anaconda wa.13 taking au enforced ride. I The others did work quickly. Barney raised his rifle an risk a jump with safety. But Frank Reade, Jr., was not the one to be long in a quandary. He quickly hit upon a plan. Advancmg to one of the windows, he looked down to the pave ments below,


12 FRANK READE, JB .. IN CENTRAL .AMERICA. It was a height of possibly twenty feet. But a jump was out of tbe quest.ion. However, some stout vines grew over the face of the building. These offered a good safe hold, and by means of Lhese the three explorers dambered down td the ground floor. The first thing to do now was to rescue Barnev. It was found, however, that the redoubtable Celt did .not require any assistance. He had discovered a war to clamber out of the erted the place." It looks like it." "Of course." "Then we are in great luck." "Yes. "But the treasure-ah!" Buckden paused before a ring in the stone floor. It was an iron ring firmly joined to a slab of stone. The New Yorker bent down and began to pull upon it. The instant he did so a thrilling thing happe ned. There was a strange whirring sound as of machinery buzzing, and then a grating noise. Quick as a flash the stone dropped and Buckden went out of sight like a meteor. Down into a black void went the young New Yorker. He was swallowed up as lit about to recoil from the verge of the awful pit, there was a grinding sound as of mortar giving way, and then, wholly unable to save himself Frank went headlong into the abyss. Down, down he felt himself going. He clutched at the air wildly, experienced a sense of suffocation, then he felt a sudden shock and knew that he was in water. It seemed as if his breath must leave his body before he came up out of this water. Comiug to the surface, he drew in a deep breath, and then stru.:k out to swim. The water was icy cold, and he knew that its depth must be great. Also, he believed its extent to be considerable, as the reverbera tions coming to his ears were far-reaching and loud. Frauk had no means of knowing into what sort of olace he had fallen, or what was to be the outcome of this adventure. CHAPTER X. THE SEALED CHAMBER, BuT he did know that he was in the embrace Df some under ground lake or reservoir of water. That it was not a river he was assured as there was no current whatever. Involuntarily he looked about for light. There was a faint square far 11-bove his head. This he knew must be from the aperture through which he had fallen. Certainly that must have been a fearful distance to have fallen. To have survived that fall seemed a miracle. But that light was too far away to be of any se rvice. All upon the surface of the underground lake was Stygian black ness. "I don't know where I am, nor if I shall ever get out of here alive," muttered the young inventor, "but I must try. I will swim as far as .I c11.n." And this he proceeded to do. Striking out he forced his way swiftly through the water. Pausing to rest, he suddenly heard a startling sound near him. It was a splash in the water. At first Frank instinctively thought of the presence of some sub-marine monster, but recollection came to him in time. "Tony!" he cried; "is that you?" "Thank God!" was the reply. Neither could see the other, but they swam side by side in the darkness. "Than I;: Heaven, you are alive!" said Frank, sincerely. "I feared you were dead." "I am alivi>," said Buckden, "but I fear we will never get out of this." Why did you not answer my call 'I" asked Frank. "I did not hear it." Is that possible 'I" "For some moment after coming to the surface the shock made me deaf." "Oh, I see ." "What sort of a place are we in 1" 1 "I cannot imagine." "I pray there is an outlet .:iomewh.ere. If not, we are done for! "That is true," agreed Frank. "Let us pray for escape." The words had barely left bis lips, when Frank's hand struck an object. In a moment his fingers closed upon it. It was the edge of a stone coping, and quickly he drew himse1f out of the water upon what seemed like a platform. It was really the shore of the underground reservc:>ir or lake. Frank secured a foothold ami then turned to Buckdel\. "Are :y,9u there, Tony f" "Yes.' "Give me your hand and I will help you up." "All right." The next moment Buckden was draw ioafely up out oJ. the water, Both men now stood once more upon terra firma. "Well, we're out of the water, anyway," cried Tony, as he pro ceeded to wring the water out of his coat. "Yes." But wbere in the mischief are we 'I" "Give it up."


FRANK READE, JR., IN CENTRAL AMERICA All was Stygian darkness about them. But Frank remembered suddenly that in an inner pocket he had a small pocket lantern. This was in a water-proof case and consequently had not suffered by the immersion. There were matches in the same case and Frank 'lit one on a dry part of t .he stone coping. Then he lit the wick of the lantern and the vicinity was dimly il lumined. But the moment Frank the rays of the lantern to the rear both gave a wild start. A frightful object confronted their gaze. At first sight Frank had thought it a living object. It was a monster dragon with wide open mouth and awful jaws. But a second glance revealed the fact that it was not animate and could consequently do them no harm. It was of some peculiar quality of dark colored greenish stone, and was a remarkably life-like representation. "Jupiter!'' exclaimed Buckden, "but that ga7e me a start." "I must confess to the same," said Frank, with a smile. '':!tis a clever imitation of a dragon, isn't it 'I" "J.ndeed, it is." Both adventurers now ad, vanced and began to examine the mon-ster critically. It was a wonderful bit of workmanship in very truth. "Indeed!" exclaimed Buckden, "I douot if our sculptors of the present day could ever equal this." "I do not think they could surpass it much." "It certainly attests that the ancient inhabitants of Mazendla were a remarkably talented people." "Right you are." "But the 9-uestion now is, how are we to get out of this place 'I" "Exactly.' "There certainly must be some other way out besides that through which we came-ah!" Frank gave a gasping cry and came to a halt. Just at his feet was a ghastly sight. It was a heap of bones. In a promiscuous fashion they were heaped there. Human bones and those of the cayman, a species of crocodile, were there all piled up together. The two explorers gazed at the spectacle with amazement. This was the first indication of human remains that they had found thus far. There were human skulls and the complete skeletons of the crocodiles. A qulck comprehension came to Frank. "I have it!" he cried. "'\VelH" '' In my opinion this lake was once the abode of these crocodiles. The ancient rulers placed them there for a certain purpose.'' could it have been?" Well, supposing a man committed some crime. It may be that he was thrown into this place as a method of punishment, for the crocodiles to tear to pieces.'' Indeed, I believe you are right, Mr. Reade," cried Buckden, "but what a number o( victims they must have had.'' "For aught we know the bed of this lake may be paved with human skeletons." It was a grim, horrible thing to think of. Both men shivered. Then Tony reached over to pick up one of the skulls. The mere motion caused the b.orrid pile to disintegrate and relapse into a heap of gray dust. Ages bad passed since these bones had been deposited there, as this very action would attest. "Come away," said Frank,,with a shiver. "Let's find our way out of here.'' Together they passed by the heap of moldering bones. A deep, arched passage lay before them. It was not a long one, and suddenly came to an end in a startling manner. A huge iron gate made of transverse bars confronted them .. It was a ponderous affair, and there were huge bolts to hold it shut. It did not seem as if they could ever hope to pass through it. "My soul, we are badly stuck!" cried Tony. "We'll never get out of here alive, Frank.'' Frank looked aghast. There seemed no means at command to force the mighty gate. It certainly seemed an insurmountable barrier. It also seemed the only means of exit from the place. The two men looked at each otber in utter dismay. What was to be done 'I Could they remain here in this place and suffer tamely a death by starvation 'I Frank was resolute. "There is just one thing about it," he declared. "We've got to force our way through that gate." "Good for yout'' cried 'l'ony. "I'm with you!" "It must be done!" "But can it be done 'I" "I see no reason why not. We will make a valiant effort. It is better than tamely submitting to death.'' "Indeed, much better.'' "Here goes!" Frank advanced and placed both hands upon one of the iron bars of the gate. It was thickly encrusted with rust; yet neither looked for the re sult which followed. Frank gave the gate a quick, sharp pull. Then he gave a leap back ward. It was just in time. He was not a moment too soon. Down came the whole affair in a clanging heap. If it had struck Frank Iie might have been seriously injured. But fortunately it did not. The action of time had rusted hiuges and locks, and the gate was just ready to fall. A great cloud of dust.was raised which nearly overwhelmed the two explorers. 'l'hey emerged from it completely covered and wheezing and puff ing. "Jupiter!" gasped To ny, "there's no question about getting out of herenow,Frank.'' "No, not if this dust don't kill us," replied Frank. "Whew! it is fearful.'' After a time, however, the dust cloud was dispelled and they emerged all safe. Then the first impulse was to break through the archway. This they did and came 'to a flight of stairs. Up these they ran at full speed. Arrived at the top, they were confronted by an astounding fact. They stood in a small square chamber. So far as they could see there was no door or window or other mode of exit. Orily bare walls of stone were about them upon all sides. "Well!'' exclaimed Frank, in amazement. "Wha, t the deuce does this mean 'I" Where are w e 'I" Sure enough.'' Can you see any way out of here 'I" "I cannot.'' The two men looked at each other blankly. It was some time be fore either ventured to speak. "This is the toughest yet," said Buckden, finally. "What is your idea, Frank 'I" A light broke across the young inventor's handsome face. '' I have an idea! he cried. "What is it'I" Frank went andcriticallv examined the walls of the chamber before he ventured to answer. This is a sealed chamber," he said, finally. It is sealed that nobody may find the secrets of this underground charnel house." "A sealed chamber!" gasped Buckden. "My God! then we are lost, for that is equivalent to being buried alive. Our end has come!" CHAPTER XL OUT OF IMPRISONMENT. IT was a terrible despairing cry which Tony Buckden gave. It came from the depths of his soul, and embodied utter hopeless-ness. Indeed, the situation looked to be a desperate one. H it was in .. deed true that they were the inmates of a sealed chamber their fate seemed sealed. What was to be done 1 Surely they could not submit to a slow lingering death bv stan-ation in that wretched place. Frank went forward and began to examine the masonry of the chamber walls. The stone was a peculiar sandstone, and while it showed evidence of age and the discolorations of time it was yet firm and hard. But the mortar would yield to the point of the knife. Frank at once began work upon it. "My plan," he declared, "is to displace the mortar as far as po s sible, and perhaps we can loosen some of these stones and make an aperture large.enough t.o get out through." "Good!" cried Buck den, joyfully. You've hit the mark, Frank." "I hope so," said the young inventor, modestly; "time will tell. First we must make sure that the mortar will give way.'' they went to work upon the mortar. It yielded readily to the points of their knives and soon had been displaced about one of the smaller stones. To their joy this yielded and the stone was removed. But a second layer was discovered just beyond. How many more were beyond this they could not guess. But Frank believed that only this layer separated them from the outer air and freedom. Accordingly with renewed hope the two imprisoned m e n went to work. With a will they hacked away at the crumbling stone and mor tar. In a very short space of time another stone had been 100sened A third was quickly displaced, making an aperture sufficiently large enough to allow a body to pass through. Now the second layer was attacked. To the agreeable surprise of both it was a very rotten stone and yielded readily. In a very few moments daylight streamed into the place. "Hurrah!" cried Frank. "We are sure to escape, Tony!" "So it seems!" cried the young New Yorker, cheerily. "This is what comes of good pluck." "You are right.'' Peering through the.small hole made, Frank saw that they wo&ld come out right in the main body of the temple. Both men now worked like beavers. In a few moments one of the stones was displaced. Another quickly followed, and then they crawled through and into the open air. The relief experienc.ed was beyond description. To drink in the pure air and the health-giving sunlight once more was a boon of no small sort. . But after a time they began to think of Barney and Pomp and the Steam Man. It was certainly advisable to find them at once. The fate of the Man was a matter of conjecture. But Frank arose from his reclining position and said: "Come, Tony, old man, we can't stay here any longer. There's work for us to do." "All right, Frank." Frank started to leave the temple, but Tony chanced to glance across an inner court-yard.


FRANK READE, JR., IN CENT R AL AMERICA. "Wait a moment, Frank!" he cried. "What is it r' "Just look across that cou;t-yard. i s it7" Frank looked and gave a start of surprise "Upon my soul!" he exclaimed. "What sort of a creature can it beT" "Let us investigate." "All right." "Lead the wa;r." Through a series of arches they went and reached the court-yard. Across it they made their way. The object of their surprise was a strange looking statue. It was sculptured out of the same peculiar greenish stone as the dragon seen bebw stair s The statue was a compromise between a man and some strange wild animal resembling the panther. Certainly a more life like and hideous monstrosity they had never beheld before. They gazed upon it in wonderment. "Have you ever seen its equal 7" asked Tony in amazement. "Never!" "What is it intended to represent 7" "Like the statues of Bacchus and the Centaurs found in ancient Greece, it is a creation of mythical sort." I believe you're right. Hello! What is this 1 Another trap door1" Tony paused before a heavy iron ring set in the tiled flooi:. "Don t trouble it," said Frank. It may let u s down mto another underground lake." "Do you believe it1" 1 I should fear it." But Tony could not resist the temptation to insert his. fingers in the ring and give the stone a lift. It was a reckless thing to do. The result was startling. The stone yielded, and the next moment Buckden lifted it fi:om its bed, dis1Jlosing a cavity beneath some four feet long by two wide. Stone steps were revealed leading downward. For a moment the two explorers looked at each other. What will we do 1'' asked Buckden. "Investigate," said Frank, tersely. "But it is dark down there:" "That doesn't matter," said the young inventor, coolly. "We will regulate that. Then, from his pocket, Frank produced a small folding pocket lantern, an invention of his own. He lit this and boldly ventured down into the place. He went down a dozen steps, and then a wonderful sight was spread before him. A large chamber, about fifteen feet in length by ten in breadth, hewn out of solid rock, was revealed. The walls were adorned with !!helves, and about the stone floor were chests of metal. These chests contained coins and silver and gold cups, flagons, pots and all sorts of ware, thrown about promiscuously and in heaps. For a moment the two explorers astounded, gazed at the scene be :fore them. Both were so dumfounded that .they could not speak. One thing was apparent to them, and it brought the blood in surges to tlieir temples. The treasure of Mazendla was found. It would be quite impossible to enum erate its mighty value. But it would seeni. that it must be up in the millions. For how many centuries it had remained here it would be quite hard to say. "Heavens!" gasped Frank. "Here i s enough to enrich U!'l many .times, Tony.'' "I should say so." "It is the wealth of a king." "To be sure." "But what great good can it do us1 We have got enough.'' That is so." The two explorers proceeded to make an examination of the con tents of the treasure room. Among all the gold and silver Fra1;1.k looked for diamonds. But these seemed scarce. However, he did find a few in a small s ilver casket. These he se cured, and, with Tony, took several bags of the coins and some of the quaint silverware. "Well," said Tony, speculatively," what shall we do with all this stuff, Frank 1 It is too bad to leave it here.'' "I have an idea." "What'/" "Let. us take it to New York, convert it into greenbacks and dis perse it in charities." "Good!" cried Tony, readily, "that is a fine idea. They now ascended to the m1J,in room of the temple. For the first time Frank thought of Barney and Pomp. The two servitors had wandered off in some other part of the tem ple and were not in sight. Frank shouted for them, but no answer came back. This seemed a little strange to the young inventor, and he bega11 to fear that some harm had come to the two men. "That is queer!" h e muttered. "Why don't they answer 1" Again Frank shouted. 'fhis time an answer came back, but it seemed a mile away. Frank was not a little vexed. "Confound the rascals!" he muttered. "Where have they gone to1" "We had better go in quest of them," Tony. "Harm may ha:ve overtaken them.'' "You are right. They were about to follow up this plan when a startling thing oc eurr ed Suddenly from the distance beyond the temple doors there came .a t ,hrilliug and yet familiar sound. It was a prolonged shriek, a distant note from the ear-splitting whistle of the Steam Man. CHAPTER Xll. WHICH IS THE END. FRANK READE, JR., gave a 1;1reat cry of surprise and joy. "Thef have found the Man, he cried. "We are in luck." "No,' said Tony, putting a hand on Frank's arm. "You are wrong. That i s not so. Listen!'! t 'fhe shrill whistle of the Steam Man was still going. "I have it," said Buckden, positively. "In some manner the whistle valve has opened, and it will continue to blow until steam is all blowed ofl'l" "Right!" crie d Frank, excitedl y; why didn't I think of that. Let us go at once in quest of the machine.'' The two menstartea at once out of the temple. But as they reached the paved street below Tony hesitated. "," he said. What for 1" asked Frank. What about Barney and Pomp?" Here was a conundrum. There was little time in which to decide. But Frank decided quickly. "Enough!" he cried; they must take care of themselve s They are abundantly able. Our life all depends upon recovering the Steam Man." "You are right!" cried Buckden. So away the two men sped. It was easy enough to locate the Man now, as the whistle was an infallible guide. Straight across the plaza they ran, and turned into a broad avenue. Here, on the verge of a clump of palms, they beheld a thrilling sight. There was the Steam Man standing motionless on the edge of the palm clump. The huge anaconda was yet writhing in the cage. Frank guessed the meaning of all at once. The Steam Man had been saved by a lucky chance. The snake, in its writhings, had not only closed the throttle by twisting the rein about its body, but had also pulled open the whis tie valve in the same manner. The two explorers came to a halt at first, and regarded the s pec tacle with much wonder. Then Frank cried : "Hurrah! got the best of it. We can easily end the fight now." Straight up to the cage Frank ran. It was an easy mn.tter to climb up and draw aim at the anaconda's hettd through the loop hole. Crack! The saot pierced the snake's brain. The head dropped tife!t:ss, but the huge body continued to writhe in the throes of death. Frank swung the door of the cage ov.en. "Come, Tony!" he cried, cheerily. 'Let's pull the monster out, and we will then have the Steam Man once more in our possession.'' Buckden needed no urging. Both laid hold of the snake's huge coils. It was a hard tug, but the huge monster was finally pulled out of the cage. Then the two men sprang in and proceeded to put things to rights. The snake had done no material damage, but the odor of its pres ence in the cage was something frightful. However, Frank quickl y dis pelled this with a chemical, and then the Man's course was set for a return to the treasure temple. No obstacle was encountered upon the return. Soon the Steam Man came in sight of the temple. As it did so, Barney and Pomp wer e seen rush mg down the steps. Their joy to discover that1the Steam Man had been safely recover ed knew no bounds. "I tell yo', Marse Frank, dat dar am big piles ob gold an' silver in dat ar temple," cried Pomp. "Bejabers, that's sol" cri ed Barney. "An' I hardly get the naygur to come away from it." Where did you rascals go r' asked Frank, sharply. "Way up in ae top ob de temple," replied Pomp. "Didn't you hear me when I called 1" "Bejabers, we did that, an' it was mesilf as answered yez," re plied Barney. "But I couldn't get the naygur to come away. "Did you hear the whistle of the Steam Man 1" "I did that, an' that brought us down quick enough," r e plied Barney. "Well," said Frank, with satisfaction, "we are in luck. Now for home." "Ki dar, Marse Frank. What about dat gold an' silver 1" cried Pomp. Frank looked at Buciiden. "Is it worth while to return for it1 he asked. "Oh, I think so," replied the New Yorker. "All right." Barney and Pomp eagerly started for the steps of the temple, but a startling s ight caused them to draw back. Suddenly, from what seemed like a deep archway leading into black depths beyond at the lower end of the temple wall, a large anaconda glided into view. It was a monster of its species. "Back into the cage," shouted Barney and Pomp. The two servitors had barely time to accomplish this move when the snake glided swift as the wind up over the temple steps. Look-look!" cried Buckden. An astounding sight was n ext.witnessed. Out from the archway there emerged more of the huge reptiles. Some of them were monstrous in proporLions 'fhe arch way was literally choked with them


FRANK READE, JR., JN CENTllAL .AMERICA. 16 All seemed to be making for the temple. Truly, the wonderful tale rendered by Metlo was true after all. There seemed legions of the snakes. They swarmed over the tem ple wall and through all the passages. Dumfounded, our adventurers stood and watched them. "Great hea"ens!" gasped Frank Reade, Jr., "what a sight that. isl" "I never saw its equal!" Golly! amn't dem de bigges' snakes we"se seed yit r' "Tare an' 'ounds! av the divils get afther the Steam Man--" "Look out!" Several qf the huge reptiles seemed making for the Steam Man. Frank's hand was on the throttle rein, and he was about to pull it, when a terrible thing happened. There was a dull, distant rumbling like thunder. The air became sudd<>nly still and oppressive. Instinctively Frank knew at that moment what was coming. "The earthquake!" he shouted. Steady, all! Look out for yourselves!" Frar.k gave the throttle rein a yank. The Steam Man ran in stantly to the center of the plaza and came to a halt. Then a mighty, sullen roar was heard, a terrific gust of wind swept down t.he avenue, and the earthquake came. For a moment it seemed as if the Steam Man would be over-turned. The ground rose and fell in billows. The air was filled with the thunder and crash of falling buildings. The temple of treasure, which was full of the anacondas, was lit erally leveled to the dust. It remained a great, moldering heap of ruins. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of the huge snakes were crushed in the ruins. The treasure of Mazendla was beyond the reach of our adventur-ers now. In three minutes the entire disturbance was over. The city presented a vastly aspect now. Many of the mammoth buildings were a heap of ruins. Trees were uprooted, and a scene of havoc was upon every hand. "Golly fo' goodness!'" gasped the startled Pomp, as he pulled himself together. "I kain't say dat I'm stuck on yarthquakes, am yo Marse 1 "No," replied Frank, as he adjusted a sprained shoulder. "And what is more, we will start this yery moment for civilization, and the land where earthquakes never happen." "Good!" cried Tony Buckden. "I'm with you." "Bejabers, I'm the same," cried Barney, Not one gave thought to the deeply buried treasure of Mazendla now. It proved in after days that their decision was a wise one. The silverware preserved by Frank and Tony, as well as coins, 1 turned out to b e a weak" alloy. The diamonds were the real treas ure, and Frank had secured them all. So the treasure of Mazendla yet rema.ins unearthed. Certainly, it was never thought worth, while by our explorers to ever return for it.It required some time to pick their way out of the ruined city. But they finally succeed.,d, and emerged upon the vast table-land of Tanada once more. The Steam Man at a rapid rate of speed kept on the return route to Campeaehy. . But the return trip was not devoid of mc1dent. When two days out from Mazendla, the Steam Man came to a vast morass between high mountains, and surrounded by tall reeds. The Steam Man on the way out had found little difficulty in skirting this to the eastward. But rains had since fallen and the morass was a lake Any attempt to go over the return route now must result in sink. ing the Steam Man in great depths of mire. So a halt was called and a consultation beld. There seemed to be no other way of surmountinp: this obstacle but to camp and w11-it patiently for the water to subside. This meant a delay of several days, but it was a virtuous neces sity, as it was clearly impqssible for the Steam Man to climb the rough mountain sides. Accordingly camp was made. A good clump of palms was found and the fires in the furnace were banked. It was entirely out of the question for four men to remain cooped up three or four days in the cage of the Steam Man, inactive and dull. The natural project was a hunting trip and this was at once de-cided upon. What sort of game our explorers were in quest of it is not easy to say. In fact, it might as well be said that their quest was as much Qne of exploration as quest of game. They started early one morning and climbed the mountain side. This was rocky, but fortunately clear of brush or dense chaparral. Several rabbits were bagged and some bird& of beautiful plumage. Then just as they were up!Ul the verge of th\l crater of an extinct volcano, the stirring events of the day begai;i. Suddenly Barney, who was skirting the etlge of the crater, gave a sharp ocy, and as his companions turned, they were horrified to see him suddenly disaP.pear from sight. "Great heavens!' gasped Frank. "What has become of Barney 1" All rushe d to an opening in the ground through which the Celt had disappeared. As they reacped it, a terrific roar came up from below. lt required but a glance for the explorers to perceive a horrible state of affairs. Below, at a depth of some forty feet, was a cavern. The entri.nce seemed to be from tbe,crater, and clinging vines lined the passage down which Barney had fallen. A treacherous coating of moss had covered the hole, and the un suspecting Irishman had stepped full upon it, with the result we have seen. In falling, Barney had clutched wildly at the vines, and now be hung twenty feet from the bottom by a single vine, which swayed and seemed likely to snap at any moment. Just below, upon the tloor of the cavern, crouched two fierce til)lers. l'hey roared and snarled savagely and made upward leaps to reach the Celt. \ was white with fear and clung desperately to the swinglllff vme. Help!" he shouted in terror. "Misther Frank, save me." "Hav'e courage, Barney!" cried Frank, resolutely. "Hang on and I will do my best." Barney did hang on with all his strength, and Frank cried, turninff to the otherss: 'Draw a bead on the tigers. Be sure and make your shots tell.'' The three rifles cracked, and one of the tigers turned over and lay limp and lifeless upon the bottom of the cavern. The other was hit, but not badly wounded. The wo und, however, had the effect of exciting the animal's rage and with a roar it vanished from sight for a moment. When it came into sight \t was seen coming up over the edge of the crater to attack its human foes. U p ove1 the rocks it came with mad l eaps. out!" cried Frank Reade, Jr.; "take good aim at the beast. 'l'he three explorers fired. Whether the bullets struck the beast or not i t was not easy to say. But the tiger came on with long bounds. Before the repeaters could be worked .again the tiger was upon them. He struck Pomp first and the darky went over like a ten-pin. Buckden rus hed to his rescue with clubbed rifle. But the tiger knocked the rifle from his hand-a and tumbled him over in a heap. That moment would have been Ton['s last but for Frank, who rushed forward and thrust the muzzle o his rifle close against the hide of the beast. '!'he bullet penetrated the tiger's heart and he fell dead over Buck-den's prostrate form. lt was a narrow escape for all, for the tiger might have killed one of them. Haste was made to relieve Barney from his irksome posi tion. The exploration was continued, but no other such serious adven ture befell our friends, A few days later they were able to leave the morass behind them. Nothing worthy of note occurred during the remainder of the trip. Campeachy was safely reached and there the party received an ovation. Tony's many friends were overjoyed to see him back alive. A few days later, however, saw them aboard a return steamer. New Orleans was safely reached in due time. Here Mr. Buckden met the party and welcomed them home. He embraced Tony joyfully and at once made out a check to Frank Reade, Jr., for the reward offererl of $50,000. But Frank politely declined it, refus in g to accept.more than enough to cover the actual expenses of the trip. Tony and his father returned to New York city. At last accounts the young explorer had given up traveling !l.nd was engaged in the banking business with his father. Frank Reade, Jr., Barney and Pomp returned to safe ly with the new Steam Man. But their travels with the new Steam Man were not yet conclud ed by any means, and a con.plete account of their thrilllng experi ences in their next trip may be found in No. l9lof the FRANK READE LIHRARY, entitled: FRANK READE, JR., WITH HIS NEW STEAM MAN. IN TEXAS; OR, CHASING THE TRAIN ROBBERS.


/. LATEST ISSUES OF THE/ FIVE CENT COMIC LIBRARY. 16 A End Boy nt School. by "Ed" d7 Jim1uy Urimes. ,Jr.; or, the Torment of t.he Vil-lage, hy 'fom 'l'aaser 18 Jack and Jim; or, Rack4:1ts and Scr&t1f;t1 Rt School, by 'fom l'easer 19 'l'htt Uook A1rent's Luck, by Jt;o,. OU .\luldoon's Bo1lrding House, by rom 'l' r U l .M11ldoon's Brothur Dan, by 'fom 'l' eatie r t()2 1'be 'l'rnveling Dude: or, 'l'be Comictt.I Advent-ures of Clarence li'itz R.oy J.ones, by 'l'um Tea.111er 03 $eon.tor 1\1 u ldoou, by 'l'om or. Working ' i.05 The Comical Adventures of 'l wo Dudes bi 'l'om TeMer .. :gti F::: It. ,:OS Billy Moss; or, Frow One 'bing to Another. by Tom Teaser l(lQ TrutUfo1 Jack; or. On Board the Na.ncy Jane, by I om 'J' Aase r 1'ettSer by Poter PM! 12 Johnn\ Brown & Co. "t or, l'he D en.c. on's at His Old 'J'ricks', b.v Pad .13 J im, .Jack and Jim; or, Three Hard Nuts to Urnck, by Tom l'ea11er 114 Snrn rr .k Go., thfl B oy Peddlers, by Pf:l' Pad 115 Tbe Two Boy U iownSi 01, A :3ummet Witb a. Uircus. by 'J'om J'easer 116 Beuny llouncei or, A Block of the Ohl Ubip, \17 Vonni: Dick Plunket: or. The Tri1tls lations of 1he.nf1ZHr Orow, by t;um Smiley 118 .Mulrl oo n in lrelirnJ: or. 'l'he Solid Mtt.n on the 1 111 n rocerl' Store. P1irt I. t'lil StfH'e. Pa.rt lr, by 'fom J ' r 1 l liob Hright; or, A Boy of U.usinesR n.nd Fun. l'urt 1. by Tom Tenser l".!"l Bob Brighti or, A B O>' of Business nnd Fnn. 121 Trip Around the World. Teaser b.v 'l'om rreaser 1.!4 :Mnldnon's Trip Around t11e World. Part 11, by Tom Teaser l'!:i MnMoon's Rotel., P11rr, I b.v Tout l' euso r IZG lluldoon s Hotel. J>n.rt II by '1'0111 'l'en.sf\r l\Tuldoon's b)' Tom 't1e,..J1er 1!8 'l'he :Sbort ,ys' Rnckets, hy Peter Pad U9 t:)11m Smart, Jr.; or. i1ol101Ving m the Footfiteos of His Dud. Purt I. by Peter Pad 130 Se.m.,;.;n1tr t, Jr.: or. I i'ollowin&: in tbe Footst.eps of, is D11d. Part II, by 1 'eter Pad 1 31Til'iee0( Ua; or, liustliug for Boodle anO. lfnn. f fPart f. by '1'0111 1'ea.ser 132; 11bree of Usi or, Hustling fo1 Boodle and .Fun. #,. Part 11. by 'l'om 'l'eaaer 133 Out l t 'or 1.IU.n; or Six Months With a tibow. 11y Peter Pad 134 Dick Duck, the Boi;s of the Town, by Tom l'tiaser 135 '!'he Sbortys Doiug Euro1: or, On & Grund 'l'our for J<'un. Pit.rt I, by tiam :Smile y 136 'l'he 8hortys Doing J lurope; Or, On a G rand 'l'onr t o r Fun. Part 11 by :Sam :Smiley 137 AunttAtu.ri1t; or, SUe l'hougbt tihe Knew It All, f by Sam bmile7 138 Mnldofn fn CbicagOi or. J 'hd Solid l\ld.n a.t the World's F11ir, by Tom 'fenser 139 Co11!1in Harry; or, An English Boy in America Pnrt I. b y bam :Smile r 140 CouRin Harri:r; o r Ao Eu&::lish .Boy in AmericA, Pari. 11 hv ::!am Smil e 1 141 A New 'fommy Bounce; or, The Worst of the Lot. Part I. Uy :S&m Suiile y 142 A New Tuu1111y Bounce; o r, 'l'be W .1rst of the t,<1t . P.trL 11. b y Smiley H.3 Stui.up; or, Little, Bat, Oil, l\ly!'' Part I. by Peter P&d 14 4 Stump; or, Little, But. Ob, .My!'' Put 11 by Peter Pad 145 :Shoo-Fly; or, 1'obody's Moke.. Part I. 146 Shoo Fly; or, :XoUody's Moke. Teaser b.v Tom 'J'e&Sel' 147 Chips and Obin Ul.Jin, the Two Orphans. Pa.rt I by Peter Pad 148 Ohil'S and Ohio ()bin, tbe 'l'wo Orphan s. Part 11. by Poter Pad 14.9 Tbe 8bortvs on the Road: or, In the Old Basi-1 00 In the nesF. Jnl't fo' r Fun. f>a.11 11. ty P et.e r Pad 151 Our Willle; or, The .Last of the Fitz-Herberts. by 'l'om J easer 152 Plaster and Stickem; or, Out For thf" Stuff. by :Snm Smiley 163 l\111ldoon's Flnts. P a.rt T. hy 'J'om 'J'easer 154 h.lnldnon'11 Flat.s. Pnrt I I by Tom Teaser 155 li"nrding School R cra.tes; nr, The of a. Vt>nt.riloQ11i>1l.. P1trt I hy Tom 156 Boa.rili u;( Scli."'lol Scrapesj or. 'l'he Rac kets o f a 157 Y 1!1;wo Whaclterranean Oruise in His bubml\rine Bo11t. 113 The Mysterious .Mirage; or, Frank Re1lde, Jr.'s Desert 8ea.roU. tor a 8ecret tJity wit.h His New Overland Obaise. 114 The Island: or, 1!r11.nk lteade, Jr.'s SParch for the G reatest Wonder on Earth With lli::1 Air-Ship, tbe "Fli"llt.'' 115 .ll'o r Six \'{eeks Buried in a Deep Seu C:tve; or, Frank Reade, Jr. 's Great 8obm1Lrine Se1trch 1l6 1 'J'he Galleon' s Gold; or, ]frank H.eade, Jr.'f' Deep Search. 117 Aoro8S AustrA.lia With Frank Rende, Jr Tn His New Electric Uur; or, Wonderful Adventures in the Antipodes. 118 Frank Reade, Jr. 's Gren.test Flying Machine; or, Jl'i,zbting the Terro r of the Uoast 119 On the Great Meridiao 'Vith l J 1'<1nk Reaade, Jr.'s l \..Ud-Ait Search Witb Hi e l'\ew Air-Shin. the "Sky Flyer.'' 144 Tbe Ma2io Island; or, Frank Reade, Jr.'sDeep :Sea Trip of Mystery. 145 'l'brough the Tropics: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s Adventures in the (;ran 146 In Wb1te L11.titudes; or, l lnnk Reade, Jr.'s Ten 'J'housand Mile Flight Over tha tfrozen North, 147 an 148 r Fr11 nk 149 Ui's 150 Rocket." 151 '11he Prairie Pirates: or. Frank Reade, Jr. 's Trip, to 'l'exns With His Electric Vehicle. the Detective.'' 152 O nr the Orient; or, Frank R eade, Jr. 's 'l'ra-,els in '!'urkey With His New Air-Shi1>. 153 The l31ack Wllirlpool: or, Frnnk Reade, Jr.s Deep Se" Se1lrch to r a. Lost Ship. 154 The Silent Oity; o r Frnnk Reade, Visit to a. People 'Vith His New Electri c Flyer 1551 'l'he W'"hite Oef'ert; or, li'ranlc Reade, Jr.'s 'frip to the I...aud of Tombs. 156 Under the Gulf of Guinea; or. Frnnk Reade, Jl"., Explorinsz the Sunken Heef of Gotd With His New ::iubmurine Bo&t. 157 The YellO\f Khan; or, Frank Reade, Jr., Among the in Central Jndill. \ 158 Frank Hf'ade, Jr., in Japan With His War Oruiser of tho Olouds. 159 Fr11nk Reade, Jr., in Cuba.: or, Helping the Patriots Witb His Latest Air-Ship. 160 CbA.Sing a Puate; or, ]i'runk Reade, Jr., on a Desperate Crnise. 161 In the Land of Fire; or, Frank Reade, Jr., Among the Head Hunters 162 7,cn> Miles Ondergr:mnd; or, Frank, Jr., Ex ploring a. Volcano. 163 The Demon of tbe C lPuc;ls ; or, Frt..nk Reade, Jr., and the Ghosts of Phantom hla.nd. 164 The Olou11 Oity; or, Fr1ui) Reade. Jr.'& Most Wonderfu l Discovery. 165 ']'he White A toll; or, Frank Reade, Jr., in the South Pncitic. 166 The .Muuarch of tbe lloon: or. Frank Reacte, Jr. a Exploits in Africa W"itb His Electric" Thunderer.a 167 37 Ba.2'S ot Gold: or,, Jr., Hunting for a Sunken Steamer. 168 The Lost Lake: or, Frank Rende, Jr. s Trip to Alaska. 169 1'he Caribs' C ave; or, Fronk Heade, Jr.'s Submarine Search for the Pearl$. 170 The Desert of DeatnJi or, Reade, Jr., .Kiplor ing an Unknown Land. 171 A 'l'rip to the Sea or the Sun ; or, With Jl'rnnk Reade, Jr. on & Perilous Oruise. 1'12 The .Black Lagoon; or. Frank Reade, Jr,'s Submar ... ine Search for a Sunken City in RuSAia. 173 'rbe Mysterious Brand: or, F rank Reade, Jr. Solv ing a Mexican l\1yst.ery. 17 ing Star." 175 Under t .he Great Lakes; or. ]'rank, Jr.'s Latest Submanne Cruise. 176The1\lagic Mine; or, Frnn'k Reade. J1 .'e Trip Up the Yukon With His Electric Combiuation rrnveller. 17i Across Arabia: or, Frank Reade, Jr.'s 8earoh for the l forty 'l'hieves. 178 'fhe Silver Sett.; or. Frank Rt?ade, Jr.'s Submttrine Cruise in Unknown 'fateri:i. 179 Jn tbe Tundras: o r, F rn.nk .Reade, Jr.'s Latest '!'rip Northern Ar;i;ia.. 180 The Circuit of Ua11cer: or, Frank Reade. Jr.'a Novel 'l'rio Aronnd the 'Yorld W'itb Hiis l'\ew AirShip tbe "'Fligbt.11 181 The Sacred Sen: or, Frank Rentie. Jr.'s Submarine Exploits A moog the Dervis1 e,.. o IndiR. 182 1 'be Land of Dunes; or, \\ ith F1auk H.eade, Jr., in the Oesert of Oohi. 183 Six Days UnOer Havant\ HRrbor: or, Frank Reade. Jr.'s Secret t:iervice Work lfor { jncle 81\m 184 'l1rip Into 185 In the Gran Ohaoo; or, Frank leacte, Jr., in Search of a Missinl? Man. 186 'J'be Lo s t Oaeis: or, With }!"'rank Reade, Jr., in the Australian Desert. 187 I@le of Hearts; or, Frank Reade, Jr_ in a Strange Sea. With His Submarine Jfont. 188 or, The 189 Frank J{eade, Jr. Wi\b liis New Stettm in No l\.11m's Land: or, On a Mysterious 'frail. For sale by all newsdealers in the United States and Canada, or sent to your address, post-paid, on receipt of the price, 5 cents. A4 dress FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 29 West 26th Street, New York.