Jack Lightfoot's lucky puncture; or, A young athlete among the hoboes

Jack Lightfoot's lucky puncture; or, A young athlete among the hoboes

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Jack Lightfoot's lucky puncture; or, A young athlete among the hoboes
Series Title:
All-Sports Library
Stevens, Maurice
Place of Publication:
New York
Winner Library
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Sports stories, American. ( lcsh )
Athletic clubs -- Fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
A46-00009 ( USFLDC DOI )
a46.9 ( USFLDC Handle )
025818984 ( ALEPH )
75562139 ( OCLC )

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D bl hers' Note "Teach the American boy bow to bewme athlete, and lay the foundation for a constitution greater than that irU IS f the United States."-Wise sayings from "Tip T o p There bas-never been a time w hen t h e boys of this great country took so keen an interest in all manly and healthgiving sports as they do to0day. As proof of t his witness the r eco rd=breaki n g throngs that attend coll ege struggles on the gridiron as well as athletic and baseball games, and other tests of endurance and skill. I n a multitude of channels this love for the "life strenuous" is making itself manifest, so that, as a nation, we are rapidly forging t o the front as seekers of honest sport. Recognizing this "handwriting on the wall," we have j:Oncluded that the time has arrived to give this vast army of young en thuslasts a publication d evoted exclusively to invigorating out-door life. We feel we are justified in anticipating a warm responsefrom our sturdJ' American boys, who are sure to revel in the stirring phases of sport and adventure, through which our characters pass from week to week. ALLSPORTS LIBRARY i s sued Wee/iJy. By SufJscription :ta.so per year. Entered accord ingto Act of Congress in the year rq05, in the Oflice of tlze Librarian of Cimgress, Wasltinpon, D. C., fJy T HE WINNER LIBRARY Co., I 6 5 West Fifteenth .S t ,, New Y o rk, N. Y. No. 13. NEW YORK, May 6, 1905. Price Five Cents. Jack Lightfoot's .Lucky Puncture; OR, A YOUNG ATHLETE AMONG THE HOBOES. By MAURICE STEVENS. CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY. Jack Lightfoot, tll.e b est a ll-roun d ath lete i n Cranford or vicinity a l a d c l ear of eye, c lean o f speech, a n d after h e had conqu e red a few of his faults, possessed of a faculty fo r 'doine thines while others w e r e talking, t hat by degree5caused him to b e looke d upon a s the natural leader in all the sport s Young A merica deli g h t s in-a b o y who in learning to c onque r himself put the power into h i s hands to wrest victory from others. Tom Lightfoot, Jack's cousi n, and s ometimes his rival; t hough their striving for the mastery was always of the friendly, generous kind. Tom was called the "BookWorm by his f e l .lows, on ac cou n t of h i s love for studyin g such secrets o f nature a s pra ctical o b s erver s have discovere d and published; so that he pos sessed a fund of general k nowledge calculated to prove useful when his wandering spirit took him abroad into strang e lands. Lafe Lampton, a big, hulking chap with a n ever present craving for something to eat Lafe always h a d his appetite al o n g and p roved a stanch friend of our hero thr ough thick a n d thin. Jubal Marlin a n d Wilson Crane, two o f Jack's companions, and members of the athle tic association. Barron, a hobo who runs u p aga i n s t troub l e o n the d a y he first meets Jack Lightfoot. Kinky, another o n e o f t h e tram p gan g Mrs. Ransom, a warmhearted country woman. Mary Elle n, a poor litfl e waif whom Jack befriends. Llze, the pretended mother of Mary Ellen. _J CHAPTER I. MARY ELLEN. "Hello, little girl !" Jack Lightfoot slowed his wheel. A little girl, whose ragged dress and distressed manner were so out of keeping with her winsome face that his attention had been strongly drawn, was walking along the rough c ountry road Jack did not leap down from the bicycle, but gave it a zigzag motion, which enabled him to keep his seat and at the same time accommodated his pace to that of the child. "Little girls shouldn t be crying on so fine a day as this." The child turned to him. Her sunny blue eyes had been filled with tears, which s he now rubbed away with a chubby, dirty hand.


2 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY The front of her tattered dress showed milk stain s I-I broke the pitcher ," she sobbed, "and spilt the milk!" "Crying doesn't help it, he urged. This made her sob again. "I shouldn't cry about it." "But I broke the pitcher and lost the milk!" She rubbed her eyes again. "How did you happen to break the pitcher?" "Lize sent me to get milk, and I stumbled and fell, and pitcher broke, and the milk is all spilt out. She looked at the front of her short dress, and brushed at it with her soiled hand. "There are plenty more pitchers, and more milk." S he did not ans wer "Do you live near here?" "Right down there," she said, pointing. "Andand I'm-I'm afraid to go home!" She sobbed, convulsively. "Afraid to go home?" L i z e 'll beat me, be-because I hr-broke the pitcher!" "Oh, I don't think it will be as bad as that! I "\Ve can get something at RansonYs t o p ut the milk in; perhaps an other pitcher. "Oh, I'm afraid to---to go home, 'cause Lize will beat me!" "Well, if we get some more milk, and perhap s an other pitcher, there won't be any trouble about it, I think." She stood in road, crying and digging the toe of her ragged shoe into the dirt, while Jack sat on hi s wheel with his hand on the fence. "What do you say?" he asked, in a gay tone. "That will be just the thing, and if we hurry we can be back here almost before y o u could s ay Jack Robins o n Vv e can go awfully fast on this bicycle. You aren t afraid to ride on it, are you? I'll hold you." She continued to cry, digging her toe into the dirt. Jack leaped down. "Come now," he urged; "we'll go ri ght back and get that milk. Don't you think y ou'd like to?" She hesitated. "Is Lize your mother?" he asked. ."She-she says she is; but she ain't." "Well, she won t be angry, I'm sure, if we get more wouW.n't cry about it. How much milk d id you have?'' milk." "A-a pint. The girl looked at him steadily, almost unwinkingly Where did y o u get it?" Her face was dirty, apparently because she had been "From Ransom' s rubbing at the tears with a very dirty hand; but Jack I s that t h e farmhouse back there?" could see that it was a beautiful face, and the blue eyes She did not answer, but he knew he had guessed showed intelligence. r ight, for s he had b e en coming from that direction "Sbe--she beats me; and she'll beat me again!" It was a lonely country place with few houses, some "I'll explain how it was," he said, "and then she miles out fro m Cranford, on the road between Cran ford and the manufacturing city of Cardiff. Jack had left Cranford in the morning and ridden to Cardiff, where he had some acquaintances, and there had found things so pleasant that he had started late on his return journey, and was still a long way from home, with night at hand. The sun had already set. "I'll tell you what I'll do, little girl. If you'll get up here on my wheel we'll ride back to Ransom's and get a nother pint of milk. I cango fast on this wheel, a nd you won't miss hardly any time in getting home." But I-

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 3 on. Then he mounted, with the child in front of him, and sped with her swiftly back to Ransom's. Mrs. Ransom, who came to the door, was a moth erly looking woman, w110 seemed much surprised when sM saw the little girl ar{d Jack. "Why, Mary Ellen, that's as good as riding in a carriage, ain't it?" she cried, cheerfully. "Bette!'," said Mary Ellen, her blue eyes shining with chilJish delight. "We came to see if we could buy a pitcher just like the one she had, and get another pint of milk,'' said Jack. "She fell and broke the pitcher, as she wa s going home." :Mrs. Ransom looked at him questioningly. "You aren't related to-to the Barron's?" "Never heard of them," said Jack. At the mention of the name, Mary Ellen began to tremble again. Seeing this, the woman assurecl her that she could get a pitcher for her, and could give her another pint or milk. Jack had dismounted, with Mary Ellen, from the wheel. "If you could get a pitcher just like the one she had,'' he said, and he took out the coins he had showed to Mary Ellen. "I'll see what I've got," answered the woman, and went into the house. Jack looked about the yard. There were old-fash ioned flower beds, with tall lilac bu<>hes, a climbing rose vine over the door, and at one corner of the house the huge vine of a trumpet flower. Out beyond were some stables and barns, and a carriage shed. \ Vhen Mrs. Ransom appeared in the door again she beckoned to Jack, saying at the same time : "Come in and see if this will do?" Jack knew this was a subterfuge, for the purpose of getting a word with him which Mary Ellen should not hear, and he entered the house, telling the child he would be out in just a moment. Ile saw that Mrs. Ransom looked grave, and even troubled. She had put the small white pitcher down on a table, \\'here she had also a lighted lamp, for the room was growing dark. "Y ott're a stranger here?" she said, looking at Jack, and pushing back a stray coil of hair that dropped down over an ear. "I live in Cranford," said Jack. "It's several miles from here." "Yes; but one can get along pretty fast on a wheel." "You don't know the Barrens?" "Never even heard the name before." "That's what I 1thought. They live in that old house down the road, and every day or two they send Mary Ellen up here to get so mething. They gin'erly pay for the milk, but other things they don't. They re the borrowers I ever seen. But that ain't what I want to say. They're a bad lot-about as bad as tramps, if they ain't tramps themselves. I hope you won't have any trouble with 'em. o, I won't charge anything for the milk." Jack had taken out the coins to pay her. "I'll pay for the pitcher." She shook her head. "Let it go; 'tain't worth much, but it's as good as the one she broke. I suppose you saw Mary Ellen cryin', after she'd broke the pitcher?'' "Yes." "Them Barrens air terrible prople; the way they whip that child is simply scandalous. If I wasn't a wielder woman myself I'd do somethin' to stop it, but they'd burn the house over my head, if I did." Jack was almost startled by this vivid picture of the character of the Barrens. "Is this their child?" "Their child? That handsome little thing they'r'n l I don't believe it; though that's they claim. But Mary Ellen told me one clay that she wasn't their child. And they treat her worse than I'd treat a dog. So 'Im glad to let you have the milk and the pitcher, on that account." "But you're robbing yourself! Let me pay for them." "I'm willin' to do that much for Mary Ellen. But don't git into any quarrel with the Barrons, when you go there. It i;1ight be better for you to say that I thought of sending a new pitcher and more milk, and


4 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. that I aske d y o u t o take Mary Ellen on your ])1.cycle, \VI t I 1a \\'aS t 1e name of the city here you used so that s he c o uld git home quicker," to Jive?'' "Th a n k yo u for the pitcher and milk, s aid Jack, "It N was ew York; but Lize and Dan s ays it was ba c kin g th ro u g h the door with the pitcher in his hands. no such thing." ":\nd I'll r e m e mber what y o u've told me." "vVho's Dan?" CHAPTER II. MARY ELLEN'S STORY. 1 \ s Jack Lightfoot sped with Mary Ellen along the count1: y road in the gathering dusk he tried to draw She was more cheerful, because she hoped that the n e w pitcher and the milk would avert the beating she hacl f e ared. "Ilow long have you lived with Mrs. Barron?" he a s ked. "Oh, a long time!" "Did you al vays live here?" .... "In that house? Oh, no!" "In this part of the country?'' "r' used to live in the city," she declared, brightening s till more with that memory; "and I had a little and a little doggie, and my pa used to take me out in his carriage to drive in the park with mamma." This was most surprising information, and it sug ges t e d s uch possibilities that Jack sought for more. Mary Ellen became silent, with a new fear, when he questioned again. "But I mustn't tell anything!" "vVhy not?" "You won't tell, will you, what I said about the d o lly, and the doggie, "Not a word," said Jack. Cause if you do Lize'll beat me; she said she' cl knock my head off if I ever told. She beat me one day for talkin' to Mrs. Ransom 'bout it." "She won't know that you've said anything to me, for I will not say a word about it." She snu9gled close against Jack's breast, as if that gave her assurance and comfort. "I-I like you," she admitted, timidly. "That's good; and I like you." "And I like to ride this way; it's lots of fun. We go so fast that it makes the wind blow in my face." "Dan is Lize's 'Old Man'; that's what she calls him She pressed still harder a g a i nst Jack "Oh, sometimes he's worser than Lize; he hollers at me, 'specially when he's been clrinkin'. And then bis breath smells oh, just horrid! Did you ever see any body when they'd been drinkin'? They're just offul; they'll hit you with a stick, if you don t get out of the way. Dan hit me once." Though she was holding the pitcher, she tried to slip up her sleeve, to show the mark of the blow, but could not. / "It's there on my arm now, a great, big, black spot, where he hit me; he was drinkin', and he throwed a stick of stove wood at me. Sometimes he throws things at Lize; and then they have fights like every thing. One time when they was fightin he fell down, and the n she pounded him offul with the poker. Sometime s they have fights with the men that come?"' "What do you do when they fight?" "That time I climbed up the ladder and hid in the loft; but there's a crack there-it's that wide-and you can see through it! And Dan he hollered turrible when Lize was hittin' him with the poker. And I was scared, and they didn't know I was lookin'. But you can see good, through that hole; only it's dark up there in the loft. Lize shuts me up there when I cry too loud; that's when she's been beatin' me, and people are passin' on the road and she don't want 'em to hear me cryin'. She says it will make 'em mad at me and so shuts me up there; and it's just offul dark, and I'm scared. Say, do you know, there's rats there! Yes, sir; great, big, black rats; and they run round and squeal like anything." "\Vhat was your name, when you lived m New York?" "Lize says it wasn't New York." "\Vhat was your name before you lived with Lize ?" "My name then was Mary Ellen Traverse; but it's


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 5 Mary Ellen Barron now. They've 'dopted me, 'cause I ain't got any home; and Lize she says that she's goin' to be a mother to me, and train me up to earn money She says that I can earn a whole Jot of money -most a handful every day." Jack had seldom been so deeply interested in a story as in this naive narrative, given in answer to his per sistent questioning. The house of the Barrons was now near at hand, and he must finish his questions quickly. "How are you going to earn thii; money?" "Beg." "Beg?" "Um-huhl That's what Lize says. She says the gentlemen and ladies the city will a little girl like me whole lots of money for beggin'. And then. she's goin' to buy me a dolly with it, and a little doggie, and maybe a pony; and I'm to have a little gold locket with a chain, and a red coral i;jg, like Mrs. Hazard's little girl's got.'.\ "Who's Mrs. Hazard?" "Oh, how funny You don't know anybody round here t She lives at the next fam1, bnt it's an offul long ways. I ain't ever been down there but once, and that was when I run away. Lize come after me, and then I got an offul bcacin'. And I got shut up in the loft all night." Then she saw the ramshackle, old house which was now her ho e, and straightway the dreams she had been indulging in came tumbling to the ground; for out in the yard she ..saw Lize, an ungainly, rawboned woman, with a vicious face and a shock of coarse hair. Jack felt the little form trembling. "You-you won't-won't tell!" she begged, in a frightened voice. "Vve haven't spilt any of the milk, have we? That cloth tied over the pitcher is wet, but the milk didn't run out did it?" "Not a drop ran out t" said Jack. I "And-and you won't tell what I-I said? It was wicked; Lize says it's wicked to tell things, and the devil gets people who tell. So you won't tell, either." She was trembling so violently that Jack took the pitcher from her hands. as they turned in at the house, where Lize was standing in the grassless yard. The woman was dark-faced, either from smoke and dirt or because of a natural complexion, Jack did not know which But he knew that she was a vicious looking creature, and he trembled, himself, for what might befall this helpless, little girl whenever Lize had her way with her. CHAPTER III. JACK CHIPS IN. When Jack slipped from his wheel, assisting Mary Ellen down, the dark-faced woman tried to smooth the wrinkles of anger from her unprepossessing coun tenance. She was crafty, and her words brought to Jack the shock of a surprise. Instead of being harsh and threatening, they were wheedling in tone. "Sweetest, why was you gone so long?" she asked, addressing the trembling child. "She's offier, when she's that way," Mary Ellen whispered to Jack, and her little hand sought his as if for protection. Twilight though the time was, Jack could see plainly the look of fear on Mary Ellen's face. L He closed his hand tightly on hers, to comfort and reassure her. "You met a nice, young gent by the way, did ye? and he give ye a lift?" "Th-the pit-pitcher felled and broke," Mary Ellen stammered, "And we went back and got some more milk, and another pitcher," said Jack. The woman's countenance, which had clouded w.hen she heard the words of the child, cleared again, as Jack spoke. "It was offiy good o' you, I'm. sure, to want to help a pore, little child that is the sunshine and light of her mother's heart. Come here, sweetest." \i\ T hen Mary Ellen hesitated and trembled, the woman spoke again, in that sugary, wheedling way. "She ain't used t' ridie.' on a masheen, ye see; and it's frightened her, the pore dear!" She put out her hands in a coaxing manner. "Come, tell me how you happened to meet the nice,


6 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. young gent, clearest. And what did Mrs. Ransom say about ye breakin' the pitcher?'' Mary Ellen clung to Jack's strong hand until the last moment, then dropped it reluctantly and went over to the crouching woman. "Mrs. Ransom said she wouldn't charge anything for the extra milk, nor for the pitcher," said Jack. "I explained to her that it was altogether an accident, and she said she wouldn't charge anything, because of that." "She's an angel, that's what she is; ain't she, Mary Ellen? Now we'll go into the house. And we thank the young gent most kindly, fer the nice ride he give ye." She took the pitcher which Jack extended to her. Then he made a surprising request. He asked Mrs. Barron if he might remain there all night. "It's some distance to Cranford," he explained, "and I've already ridden a long ways. I can sleep on the floor, and almost anything to eat will do me." A suspicious light came into the dark eyes of the woman. She looked him full m the face, for the first time, and that look was one of questioning, almost of fear. Then her eyes dropped. "Vve're only pore folks, with scursely a bed in the house, and hardly a bite that would be fittin' fer ye, so we couldn't do it; though we does thank ye fer bein' so kind to little Mary Ellen. Don't we, Mary Ellen? Tell the kind young gentleman that we thanks him very much." "Thank you very much!'' said Mary Ellen, her voice fluttering in a way that went straight to Jack Light foot' s tender heart. A heavy step was heard. Mary Ellen shrank behind the ragged dress of the woman. And then Jack saw a man, as evil of face as the woman, walking from the road into the grassless yard. His attire was little better, if any, than that of a tramp. One eye was gone, and the scar of the wound that had doubtless slashed that eye out ran as a fiery streak from his red, beard up to his dusty, red h.lir. The part of his face free of beard was marked with smallpox. He shamhled as he walked. Little wonder, Jack thought, that Mary Ellen shrank behind the dres& of the woman she feared, for this man was undoubtedly more of a brute even than the woman. "My husband," said the woman, ducking in a clumsy bow, as the man came toward Jack. "This is a kind young gent that give Mary Ellen a nice ride on his masheen. Didn't he, Mary Ellen?" "Howdy do!" the man grunted. "Pleased to meet you," said Jack, though he wasn't. "I suppose you couldn't let me stop over wi'th you to night." Your wife says you haven't much room, but I could bunk down anywhere." "No room fer th' likes o' you!" the man grumbled. "So, go 'long wit' youse Dis ain't a boardin' house.'' The woman was retreating toward the open door, dragging Mary Ellen with her. The man turned toward the doorway. Sick at heart, and puzzleG. as to his proper course of action, Jack threw his wheel around. The next moment he was mounted and riding on. .t3ut he did not go far. The trembling, and the look of fear, of Mary Ellen, tugged at his heartstrings. when he had ridden far enough for the gathering dat kness to hide him he stopped, and, dismounting, stood in the road, considering what he ought to do. Then he. walked back slowly along the road, trun dling his wheel at his side. As he drew near the house, still screened by a growth of trees from the view of anyone there, he heard a childish scream of pain and fear. It came the voice of Mary Ellen. "Oh, don't, don't!" Jack's heart leaped with indignation. He sprang upon his wheel. As he sent it along, those pitiful cries continued to reach him, with loud screams of pain and fear; and then he heard the strokes of a lash. His wheel fairly jumped along the road, and in a few moments he was again in the grassless yard. "You telltale brat, I'll kill you! Do ye hear? Stop


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 7 that cryin'. now! Stop it, er I'll mun.ler you right It was the voice of the female termagant and tyrant. Then the man's voice came: "Let me git at her; I'll l'arn youse somethin', kid! You ever goin' to talk t' strangers ag'in ?'' "No, no!" the child wailed. "Don't try ter break away from me-don't you try it, you--" The lash fell, and the child screamed. Jack could not stand any more of it. He rushed to the door, leaving his wheel lying on the ground. From only one dirty window light shone; the rest of the house was in darkness. It was from the room where this faint light oozed out that the sounds came, and it was to this quarter Jack ran. He set his hand to the knob, and the door yielding to his hands, he stepped across the threshold. The woman stood with whip raised, as if to strike the child, and, seeing him, she turned on him with blazing eyes. The man leaped to his feet with an oatl" The child screamed again, and now tried to break away from the woman. She was thrown back and fell to the floor, and then both the man and tpe woman faced Jack. "What youse

8 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. He struck the floor so heavily that his fall jarred the Ii ttle b ouse. That blow and fall caused the woman to abandon her wheedling tones. The tigress purr vanished, to be replaced by the tigress scream of rage. She caught a knife from a shelf and made at Jack. "Don't try to strike me with that!" Jack warned; and when she came on fierce as a panther, he threw up foot, in a short, quick kick, and sent the knife spinning across the floor. The woman fell back, for Jack's toe had struck her fingers, as well as the knife, and for a moment she thought her hand was >broken. The man scrambled to his feet, dogged and cursing. "I'll kill you for this!" he threatened. "Do you think youse can come inter de house of a peaceable citerzen and do like dis? Nit!" "Now, see here," said Jack, who feared he was not helping along the cause of Mary Ellen. "See here? Wot is it? All I want out o' yo use is ter walk See?" "I see, and I shall obey you, when I get ready. This i5 what I want to say to you: There are laws in this country, to protect unfortunate children that fall into the hands of such people as you." "Fall inter the hands of?" screamed the woman. "That's what I said." "She's my own child!" "There are laws to protect children from the cruelty of even their own parents, when those parents happen to be brutes. There is a town about four miles from here-the town of Highland. You know where it is --off on the right here. I'm going to ride to that town as fast as my bicycle can take me, and I shall bring officers out here who will see that this child. even if she is yours, has proper protection. Now, that's my say." He turned as if to leave, then stopped in hesitation. He wanted to take Mary Ellen with him, and would have done so if it had been possible without a terrible fight. It seemed best for himself, and hest for Mary Ellen, that such a fight should be avoided. He might be injured, even killed; and then he could not hel1J the child who so plainly needed assistance. "I want tyou to understand, last of all," he said, speaking again, "that if you beat Mary Ellen while I'm gone it will be made known, and your punishment will be so much the worse." "You goin' to take her away from us?" screamed the woman. "Either that, or you'll have to give bonds to treat her right. There was a case of a little girl like this in Cranford, some time ago, and the people had to give bonds to treat her well. I know what I'm talking about." He moved toward the door. The man seemed about to advance on him again, but hesitated, remembering the power of that youthful fist. That blow had been both a revelation and an educator of the most practical sort. Nevertheless, the man could not help shouting: "I'll kill youse fer dis! If youse goes to dat town and puts de cops after me, to pinch me, den I gits even wid youse, if it takes ferever." Jack stepped through the doorway, after flinging back this threat : "Remember what I said about your beating that child If you touch her again it will be worse for you. I shall send here the first men I meet, and tell them what you're doing, and then I shall have the officers out here." He moved out into the yard, toward his bicycle. Mary Ellen had not said a word. Deadly fear had paralyzed her. CHAPTER IV. HESITATION. The door closed behind Jack with an angry slam. He stood in the yard, listening, sorely troubled lest he had made matters worse for MCl{y Ellen. "Yet they couldn't have been much worse, unless they killed her outright!" was his conclusion. He eared to leave the house. The anger that had shaken him like a gust of wind, the red-hot rage that had hurled him into the house and made him threaten


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 9 these fiends with the law had passed in a measure, so that he was -able to take a saner view of the whole matter. He was still resolved to protect Mary Ellen, at the risk of his life, if necessary; but the manner in which he ought to proceed troubled him. He did not know what to do. He had said that he would hasten to Highland and return with officers. But if he departed from the house he might let against Mary Ellen once more the relentless brutality of this man and woman, who were not her not related to her in any way, but who, as her words had convinced him, had stolen her away from her city home and were drilling her for their use in begging. They were cowing her with beatings, trying to crush all her spirit of resistance or complaint, so that when they went out with her she would be but a pliant tool in their hands, with which they could coax money from the public. Jack believed now that they were in this place but temporilrily. It was not their proper or congenial hab itation. They were not country people. It seemed to him more than likely that they were for a period in hiding here, they were wanted elsewhere for some crime. And while they were thus keeping out of the clutches of the law, they were bending Mary Ellen to their will and breaking her with many and cruel punishments. It was, to Jack's mind, clearly a case where the law ought to interfere. That these people were strangers in the neighborhood had been proven by the words of Mrs. Ransom, and her words had shown also that she feared them and could not be depende d on to do any thing, even though she pitied the hard lot of the child. No sounds except low-muttered words came now from the house; but the light still shone from the dirty window. The words Jack could not understand; but, at any rate, Mary Ellen was not crying. She was probably too frightened to make a sound. Yet her silence told him they were not beating her again. Jack moved on out into the yard and picked up his wh-eel, which he pushed along out to the road. He stood there a while, in the thickening looking at the house and listening. Mounting his wheel, Jack rode slowly along the road in the direction of Highland, hesitating still as to what he should do. He would have ridden swiftly toward Highland if he had not been afraid to trust Mary Ellen to the mer cies of those demons. Yet, apparently, the bitter punishment to which she had been that evening subjected was nothing new. The way in which she had trembled as she came home with him told him that. Jack did not ride far. He stopped his wheel again, and then, after another period of thought, he returned toward the house "I can make that 1'.omplaint to the officers to-mor row, as well as to-night-better than to-night, for it will be late l:Yefore I could get anyone out here. That's what I'll do-make the complaint to-morrow; and to night I'll stay right here." He did not approach too near the house; but, climb ing the broken fence, he lifted his wheel over into the field and then sat down in the fence corner, thinking over the situation and listening for some sounds from the house. After a long time, when no sounds came, he moved nearer the house. Pitch darkness had now come, so that even the house was invisible, but the darkness coi,1ld not hinder the passage of sounds, and he was resolved go to Mary Ellen's aid if anything indicated that she .was being again punished. Jack had eaten no supper; and being a normal, healthy fellow, he felt very hungry. "I can stick it out till morning," he said, resolutely. When the silence continued he moved with his wheel still nearer to the house. By and by he circled it. and came to the barn out beyond. In this barn he discovered that a horse was kept, for he c 0 uld hear it moving restlessly in its stall. The barn was much larger than the house, but it was an old tumble-down affair, with broken roof and g-enerally disreputable appearance, as ill-looking in its


IO ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. way as the man and the woman in the house. Bchind it, and close up against it, was a high, rocky hill, a part of a range of hills beginning here Jack thought once of going into the barn and lying down on the hay, but that would have made it harder for him to hear any sounds coming from the house. "They'll be surprised if they do begin on that child again, and I pop in on them," was his thought. He almost chuckled. Yet he was troubled. He had done the only thing that seemed possible to CHAPTER \7. HEROISM. The frightened horse was plunging in its stall, as Jack Lightfoot ran toward the barn. The glare of the fire illumined the night and made the old house stand out plainly. Jack was startled by the suddenness with which he had been aroused, and by the sight of the fire and the almost hmnan cream of the scared horse; yet, even then, he had time to note the strange silence which lay l'.m the house, and to wonder why none of the inmates appeared. do, yet he was not at all that he had bettered Mary He had no time to investigate this; but, going to Ellen's position, or that he could really accomplish "' the barn door 011 that side, he threw it open. anything in Highland. The people of even The interior was flaming like a furnace the officials, might not be willing to take the matter up. The fire had apparently started in the haymow, for He had a few acquaintances in Highland, chiefly among the baseball boys; but those Highland baseball boys were not likely to pay much attention to him, for they had not shown a very good spirit toward him when Cranford played Highland, at which time he was pitcher for the latter nine. There had been trouble Letween his team and the Highland nine, and some things had happened that would not make the baseball boys think too kindly of him now. As nothing opened, except to camp down somewhere near the Barrons' home and keep a watch for a while, this is what Jack did, putting his back against a tree, with his wheel at his side, He meant to keep wide awake, and he did for some time; but he had ridden hard that day, and now, with the subsidence of his anger, there had come a reaction, which, adding its weight to his weariness, soon made him sleepy. Stoutly resolving to remain awake the first half of the night, anyway, he fell asleep, with his back against the tree. Then he was awakened, well on toward morning, it seemed to him, by a scream of terror from the horse in the barn, and by a flash of fire The barn was in flames. it was chiefly in the upper portion; but strands of bun1-ing hay were dropping down everywhere, igniting whatever they touched The hay in the horse's manger was flaming, and the horse was surging back on the rope that held.it there, trying to break away. The rope went round its neck and an end was tied to the manger, so that the doom of the animal was sealed if no help came to il Disregarding the element of personal peril, Jack ran on into the barn and the stall. He laid his hand on the flank of the horse, and with a stroke tried to soothe it; but the brute was wild with fear and was leaping and snorting. A gust of air blew the flames of the burning manger into its face, and with another startled scream it threw itself back, choking itself with the halter and falling down in the stall. Jack slipped over it, as it lay struggling and writh ing, and tried to get at the halter, which was now taut. The flame from the burning hay blew toward him, and he could only reach the halter and at the same time save his eyes by bending far over and stretching out his hand He held his knife in his hand and was about to slice at the rope, when the floundering horse all but threw him. "Steady!" he called. "\Vhoa, there, steady I'll have you out of this in a jiffy!"


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. I I The horse threshed and trembled, and swinging its head back and forth, beat its head against the wall of the stall. I Jack felt the heat scorching his face, but he hacked resolutely at the rope. and felt it part under the strokes of his knife. The parting of the rope threw the horse back, for it had been pulling on it, and this movement .seemed to wedge it more tightly in the stall. Jack now tried to get the scared animal upon its feet. It was so stricken with terror that it refused to rise, but lay there trembling and threshing about. Then Jack did the only thing possible. He took off his coat and wrapped it about the horse's head, thus covering its eyes and shutting from it the sight of the fire. \Vith a staggering 51.-trge the horse now gained its feet, and by jerking on the rope Jack backed it out of the stall. But new difficulties were in the way. 1The burning hay wisps which dropped from above had ignited the bedding of straw, and also had ignited a lot of hay near the door, which had been thrown from above, for feeding purposes. This flashed now and roared up ward, putting a wall of flame between him and the only way of escape. Securing the coat about the horse's head--for he k,new if it came away and gave the horse cl view of that fire in front the beast would become unmanageable-Jack seized a pitchfork and began to throw the burning hay to one side, out of the way, trying to passage to the door. He worked like a Trojan. Strands and wisps of burning hay fell over him, and once a cin

12 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. that though the heat had made his face smart, he was As he crouched thus, trembling and wondering what n o t burned, except where the spark had eaten through next, and with a thought that this was the end for him, his shirt and touched his arm. he heard a voice. Jack Lightfoot's unselfish heroism came uppermost, It sounded husky and far away, but it reached him as he heard that seemingly human cry from the interior clearly : o f the barn. He turned to the barn door, which stood "Dis way!'' it whispered. o pen, and through which he could see the leaping fire It seemed to come from the water at his feet. wi t hin. Though sure this could not be, Jack stooped and Then he heard the sound again. felt in the water with his hands, for the well was large "Something is in there!" he and he coul

/ ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 13 thought, these others were Mrs. Barron and Mary Ellen. What were they doing in there? and had they fired the barn? And if so, why? Jack answered the man's question, but with a thick ened utterance that made his words almost indis tinguishable. "\Vhat's de matter wit' youse ?" the man demanded. "Mouth's hurt," said Jack, still disguising his voice. "Gee! How' d dat happen?" Jack did not know what to say, so he said: "I dunno." "vVell,

14 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. The men were leaving ; and as there seemed nothing else to do, Jack moved along after them. He said nothing, while they talked incessantly. The roar of the falling timbers and of the fire kept him from understanding much, but he heard a few "plates," "swag," "the goods, and the like. All of it was Greek to him. Then, suddenly, the men came to a door, against which Jack would have bumped in the darkness. The darkness was now deep about him; but even here the heat and the smell of fire penetrated, though the noise had subsided. Jack was ready to turn about and plunge headlong i nto the darkness behind him, no matter where it led, if discovery came; but the men did not yet suspect that he was not one of them. He wondered whom he was mistaken for. Later he knew that one of the gang into whose midst he had tumbled had ventured into the barn from the well and had been stricken down by a falling timber. His bones were found in the ashes, after the fire. Some hea '1y bolts were slipped, and then Jack saw dimly a dark hole, like the entrance into a mine. Into this the men walked. Jack stili' followed them, but with growing hesita tion. He was wondering what w9uld happen next, and was beginning to think that the peril from the fire could not be much greater than the danger he ha

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 15 branch to. this passage, the tramps would soon hold him up in there, and he would be in a helpless position. Yet the backward way seemed to offer nothing. 1'he one opening of which he knew was in the old well in the barn. That was choked with fire now, and he could not use it. Nevertheless, he hastened back as fast as he dared to go, feeling the ground with his feet, until he came to the door which the tramps had opened. Fortunately they had not locked it, and he passed through without trouble. Then a bright thought came to him. He remem bered that the tramps had removed some bolts in open ing this door. Though he had some matches in his pockets, Jack was afraid to use them, and he began to feel over the surface of the door for the bolts. He was trembling, and his breath came heavily. Dropping the plate to the stone floor, as he made this search, he found the bolts, and closing the heavy door of wood, he pushed the bolts into place as well as he could. They were simply stout, wooden bars, yet they would hold out against a goC!d deal of hammering. Jack felt easier, having done this. I Now he ventured to strike one of the matches, after listening and becoming certain that the tramps had not returned. By the light of the match he discovered that the plate was some kind of steel engraving, or a metal plate etched with acids. He was not up in such things, and before he could make much of an examination the match was dying out in his fingers, and he gave his attention to the passage before him. The match flickered out, expiring with a red end that glowed in the darkness like a little glowing eye. But Jack had seen the timbered passage which led from the cavern entrance in the direction of the barn. It was smoke-filled, and the smoke choked him and set him to coughing, but he moved along it. He knew there was a larger place. a sort of room, and that in it was a candle. He found the room, and after some search found the candle, which he lighted. The room was not as large as he had thought : but it was fitted up somewhat like a workshop, and at one side was something that, to his inexperienced eyes, re sembled a queer cider press, or the old-fashioned washington hand press which he had once seen in a country printing office. While Jack was looking with quick glances at these things, and wondering what to do next, he heard a pounding on the door he had closed and bolted, show ing that the tramps had returned,' had found it bolted and suspected him of being behind it. This startled him, and he moved on, bearing the candle, h?lding it well up that he might see the tim bered walls, which pinched together into a narrow pas sage, where he had to stoop and crouch to pass. Here the smoke was thicker and the heat became suffocating. In sheer desperation, Jack was about to turn back. He felt that he should be choked if he stayed there, and he preferrd to battle for his life witlr those tramps. But before he turned about, to creep back toward the door, he saw a gleam of light. He thought at first it was the shine of the com bustible things that had tumbled, or were tumbling, down into the old well. Then the light flashed brighter; and the ground 111 front of him seemed to tumble bodily inward with a cloud o,f dw;;t and cracking timbers. As soon as he could see what had happened-all that was visible at first was the glare of a fire and a \ haze of dust-he rushed forward, for he knew a hole had opened in the earth from above. Then he heard exclamations and excited voices. He was close to the opening, when these words reached him : "By Joshua! my ole wagon broke through there and the hind wheels come nigh droppin' in!" Then Jack, reaching the hole, where earth and broken timbers lay in a heap, thrust up his head and crawled out of the opening. And the cool night at mosphere, with alternating gusts of hot air from the burning barn, swept across hi.s face.


r6 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. CHAPTER VII. ACCUSED. As Jack Lightfoot thus climbed out of the hole, '' hi c h had been made by the ca v ing in of the tunnel that ran from the old well under the barn to the cav ern, and the light of the fire fell upon him, there was an outcry from some men standing near. They moved toward him in a body, and he s aw that they were country people who had probably been drawn there by the sight of the fire. Jack still clung to the metal plate so strangely given into his keeping, and it was under his arm as he scrambled out. He was resolved to hang to it until he discovered wha t it was and meant; for the thought had come to him thaL it might be a counterfeiter's plate used in making bogus money Before Jack could s ay anything by way of explain ing his position, he heard the voice of Barron raised in denunciation of him. "A counterfeiter"s plate!'' Then Barron screamed again: "I told ye he was a bad un A counterfeiter, too, is he?" "I don't know what it is," said Jack, sturdily. "Oh, ye don't know what it is!" said Barton, in a wolfish voice. "O' c o urse youse don't know what i is. Mebbe you'll say youse didn t bt1rn the barn?'' "I will say it. I had nothing to do with burning the barn." "Mebbe you'll say that youse didn't burn it jist to sp ite me an' my ole woman, 'c ause we wouldn't give ye lodgin' ?" "I'll say that, too."' The faces of the men were ominous. One of the men caught Jack roughly py the arm and pulled him forward. "Go through him! he cried, speaking t o the other man. "And what's he been

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. One G>f the men dropped into the hole and disappeared from sight. "A tunnel down here," he called. "That's where my wagon broke through!" It was a heavy wagon, as Jack could see, and the tunnel at that point had been weak; but the breaking in of the wall had let Jack out into the open air again. The question with him was, if he had behered his position. Jack saw at once the clanger into which he had run himself. These men had found him with a counterfeiter's plate in his possession, and what was apparently coun terfeit mdney in his pocket. He had been taught with "the goods" on him coming out of what he was sure now was a counterfeiters' workshop. Under the cir cnrnstances, how could he expect these men to believe anything he might say? The man who had dropped into the opening shouted up, and curiosity drew other men into the hole until only three remained to hold Jack a prisoner. Barron had drawn back toward the house, which lay just beyond the barn, and Jack now saw the woman and the child. Mary Ellen was with Mrs. Barron, and was being along with her. The firelight on the child's face revealed the terror that was in her heart. Jack was about to call the men's attention to Mary Ellen, when he recognized the uselessness of it. Whatever he said would not be believed. Mary Ellen would not dare to support his statements. After a word with the woman Barron returned to where Jack stood, and Jack saw Mary Ellen being led away by the woman she feared, while he stood help less. When Barron now began again to accuse Jack, showing that he hoped the young fellow would be maltreated by these men, it seemed to Jack that his position would not be worse if he told just how everything had occurrd. But before he could proceed one of the men who had gone into the hole came tumbling up in great ex citement. ''There's a reg'lar counterfeiters' den down there!" he cried, his eyes rolling with excitement; "and some of the counterfeiters is behind a big door! It's bolted on this side, and they're tryin' to git in this way. We're goin' to capture 'e m." "Some o' his pals!" said Barron, pointing to Jack. But Jack could see that the information given of the men behind that door had terrified Barron. And that told Jack, what he had already believed, that Barron knew all about that counterfeiters' rendezvous. Another man tumbled into the hole, an

18 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. hoped to capture them, and then had made this wild and desperate rush for llberty. When he saw them and heard their hO\vls, which told them that the pursuers were right at their heels, Barron dropped his knife hand and joined them as they ran with shambling steps along the base of the rocky hill. Jack saw that they were going in the direction taken by the woman. Again he heard a scream from Mary Ellen. The woman had lost all sense of ca'ution, and had struck the child because she did not mo ve fast enough \ to plea se her, and was now beating her because she had cried out. / Mary Ellen's scream of pain and fear, \\hich she tri ed to subdue, but could not, came to Jack as the cal\ of battle comes to the heart of the so ldier. / To obey that call migh lead to death. For an in stant Jack hesitated, though not from fear. Some of the farmers came into view, scrambling out of the hole, and seeing the tramps running, to ok in pursuit. Jack was left alone, forgotten for the moment. Out by the fence, where some one had placed it, he saw his wheel / the red fire light shining on it in a way to make it glitter. He felt that he could explain everything later, even be tte r than now. If he remained, the farmers would not believe him Tl1ey would take him to town, to Highland, probably; and though he was sure that he c ou ld get help from Cranford, which would remove suspicion from him and set him ultimately at liberty, in the meantime Mary Ellen, for whom his whole being cried out, in its desire to aid her, would vanish into the darkness, to which she was being dragged. When that happened, likely he would never see h e r again, for it was plain to him that these as he had considered them, were.fleeing as if for their lives, and would not again be seen in that neighborhood. And thus he should lose Mary Ellen, and by so doing no doubt condemn her to a life of which he shuddered to think. His mind acted quickly. He had seen Mary Ellen clinging to the wo.man who was beating her, and he still heard her unheeded cries. He saw the tramps running, and the farmers chasing after them. Where he stood was nothing but that telltale hole in the grolmd, the burning barn, and be yond that darkness. His resolution was taken. He ran to where his wheel rested by the fence and mounted it. Mary Ellen and the woman had gone down .the road, and he sped after them. The light of the fire still reddened the sky, but it had sunk so low by this time that it did not well illu minate that stl'etch of highway. Jack rode half a mile, and sa w nothing, heard nothing. "They )eft the road and struck across the fields,'' he said. He turned and rode back. Coming to a place where the fence was broken clown, seeming thus to invite passage, he lifted hi s wheel over it and rode on across the short grass of the meadow land, away from the fire. "vVhen those men c ome back a nd find me gone they'll be sure I m one of the counterfeiters," was his conclu s ion; "but Jet them think so; I can explain la ter, and whether they believe me or not perhaps won't mat ter. I can find people who will believe me and under stand that I am telling the truth. And he rode on, stopping now ancl then to listen \\ hile behind him the fire tprew its red against the black background of the sky. CHAPTER VIII. STRIKING THE TRAIL. The time was almost morning when Jack Lightfoot thus wheeled away from the burning barn in pursuit of the woman and the child. Riding across the field, he came to another road that paralleled the one he had left. But he had seen nothing of Mrs. Barron and Mary Ellen. He hesitated again hen he reached this road. I


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 19 'I Looking at the eastern sky, he saw that dawn was at hand. "I'm up against it! I can't very well help Mary Ellen, unless know where she is." Highland was nearer Cranford. He had been on the point of riding to Highland, it will be remem bered; and he might have done that now, but for the fact that he feared the report which the farmers would soon be circulating everywhere. Those farmers, who had gone in chase of the tramps, were sure that Jack belonged to the band of counter feiters whose secret hiding place and workshop had been revealed by the breaking in of tpe little tunnel leading from the barn. Hence, it was apparent that the vicinity of the farmhouse and that whole section of country, in fact, was now dangero neighborhood for him. Jack did not fear the ultimate of being held by the farmers on that foolish charge, but he did not want to be delayed and be put to the vast trouble of proving himself innocent, while the tramps and Barron were hastening out of the co.untry with the child. Jack recalled that the tramps had spoken of the Painted Cave as a rendezvous. "If I see nothing of them when daylight comes I'll start for the cave," was his thought. And this suited him in other ways, for the Painted Cave was on the road to Cranford, and in Cranford be had friends who would believe him and stand ready to help him in any undertaking. He climbed the fence, swung his wheel over into the ro:id and, mounting, pedaled slowly along in the C'.an for

20 I ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. who had ridden away on a bicycle, she was wondering if she was not now talking with him. Jack was on the point of enlightening her, but himself, when -he remembered that he was still in that danger zone, where he might be arrested on suspicion and taken to Highland. He was not willing to go to Highlat1tl just then, having other purposes in his mind. So, while he an swered with apparent fullness, he was careful what he said The man came from the milking shed, and he, to o looked Jack queerly, and asked questions. "If I don't get out of here he'll want to hold me," was Jack's thought. So he paid for what he had eaten and rode on, glad to get away so easily At the turn of the road, a half a mile further along, where there was a wood on one side which reached back to some hills behind this farmhouse, Jack stopped and looked back. What he saw well repaid him. Barron had come t0 the farmhouse, where he had received a "hand out," and was turning back toward the woods, from which, apparently, he had come. Turning his wheel, Jack now sped swiftly back along the road. Bt\t Barton saw him approaching, and ducking be hind the stables, managed to keep them between him and Jack, while he hurried to the shelter of the woods. Jack came up to the farmhouse, pedaling at top speed; but he did not stop till he reached the barn, When he arrived at the edge of the \voods Ba rron was out of sight. The strip of woods was of no great width, how ever, and through it Jack could see the light of the sky beyond. He found a path which seemed to lead in the di rection Barron had taken, and he rode along it. But there were so many interfering bushes, that part of the time he had to dismount and \Valk, which de layed him greatly. Yet, when he came out on the other side, where ... there was another road, he again saw Barron. By rapid run;1ing Barron had made a great gain in distance, while Jack was working through the woo

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 2I thought Jack, "and that will take them in the direction of Cranford. They're heading toward the Painted Cave. Well, if they go there and stay there any length of time I'll see that it's a trap for them, all right." The horse and wagon were awaiting the coming of Barron, Jack knew now, and he knew the wagon would start on before he could reach it. Having crossed the hridge, the tramp slowed his gait. He felt sure Jack would not try t o cross that dangerous girder on his wheel. ,Yet when Jack reached the bridge he did not hesitate an instant. Seeing that Barron was afraid of him, determined to do something for ary Ellen, and having right on his side, Jack rode out on the dangerous footpath, where a slip or a moment's inattenfioi1 would have toppled him into the gorge. Bar1'_on stood staring in awed wonder, w hen he saw that; but heedless of danger, J ac'k pedaled out upon the narrow girder of the dismantled bridge, bent on overtaking the fugitive hobo. Jack had learned one thing, through the various experiences that had come to him in the past few months, and that is, that the guilty man or boy is a coward. Guilt makes a c oward of everyone. Barron was showing this cowardly tendency now in running. The knowledge that he was worse than a pretended tramp; a counterfeiter, in fact, with the law reaching for him, and that, in addition, he and the woman with him were abductors, liable to terms in prison for steal in g that child away from her home and her parents, took aH the fight' out of him, and made him tremble at sight of the h .ifoic youth who was rushing across the perilous bridge in pursuit. Barron turned and fled, with a cry of fear gurgling from his lips when he saw that Jack was going to cross in safe ty. He had hoped Jack would tumble into the stream; but the lad wa s too cool, too clear-headed, and alto gether, t oo steady of eye and of nerve, to do a nything of the kind. Though the he ight of the gir

22 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. The woman's aim was spoiled. She dropped the gun, and with a blow of her fist sent the child reeling. The cry of pain that came from the lips of Mary Ellen, reached Jack, and he pedaled faster. He was drawing so near that the woman had no trouble now in leveling the rifle upon his breast, just below his cap, as he bent over, thrusting his head low to give power to his legs and speed to the wheel. Mary Ellen, stunned and terrified, and half dazed with the pain and s h ock of the blow, did not interfere again: and Barron, to give the woman the better aim, stopped the horse. Tlten the rifle cracked. Jack Lightfoot, at the same instant, shot forward from his wheel, turning a somersault, end over end, in the dust of the road. Barron laid the lash on the back of the horse, and the animal sta rted with a jump. "Gad, ye got 'i m he sq ueaked, 111 a sort of blind terror. The woman looked from the rear of the wagon, as the horse galloped wildly on, driven by the stinging lash which Barron now used mercilessly. "Yes," she said, slowly, while her eyes glowed and her face whitened, "I got him r' \ "He won't fo11er us furder," said Barron. "No," said the woman, again speaking slowly, "but others will. He'll be found there; and then--" The fear of that gripped her hard heart. As if to revenge herself further, or still the terror of that struggle within her, she again dealt Mary Ellen a blow ; and again the child, shrinking from her as far as she could, crie<;l out in pain and fear. But Jack Lightfoot did not now hear the cry of Mary Ellen. He was lying in the road as if dead, but was not even seriously hurt; the bullet had qot touched him. As the woman pressed the trigger, aiming the murder ous weapon1 his front tire had struck a sharp stone, which ripped a hole in it flattening it like a pancake: which was the thing that had shot him headlong into the road, and not the bullet. It was a lucky puncture, for it had saved his life. The bullet had whistled harmlessly over his head. But the Barrons believed that he had been cut down by the murderous lead, and they drove wildly on, the man lashing the horse. They wanted to get as far from that grewsome spot as they could before the body they fancied was lying there s hould be discovered by some passing farmer on a wagon. And as they thus fled they were alternating with joy over the death they believed they had consummated and fear of discovery and of the law. Scarcely were they out of sight around a: bend in the road, hidden by the shadows and the trees, when J ack rose to his feet, limping a little, and walked to his wheel, brushing the dust from his clothing. He had heard the crack of the rifle and the whistle of the ball as he shot forward from the bicycle, and knew he had been fired at from the wagon. But more serious even than that, it seemed to him now, was the discovery he made of the puncture that crippled his wheel. "That's bad!" he said. they'll get away, sure, for I can't make any speed on this thing, with the front tire torn like that." Then he thought of Mary Ellen, and, recalling that last scream, his heart ached again for the hapless little girl whom he was now powerless to aid. Yet even then Jack Lightfoot did not despair of ac complishing the thing to which he had set his hantl withQut hope of any other reward than the approval of his own conscience. I Jack was not of the despairing kind. CHAPTER X. WHAT HAPPENED TO TOM LIGHTFOOT. On the road that passed near the Painted Cave, some distance out of Cranford, four boys were pedaling along brisk gait. They were Tom Lightfoot, Lafe Lampton, Jube Marlin and vVilson Crane; and they were out for a morning spin, having taken this road by chance, as much as anything else. As they passed along, talking and laughing, Tom


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Lightfoot lagged now and then behind. to make a study of something that interested him, rejoining his companions a little later by faster speeding. Tom Lightfoot was a good deal of a naturalist, and a hard student, as well as a creditable athlete. For that reason the rocks he saw now and then along the road had various stories to tell him. The history of the rocks is as interesting as any story ever written, and what they have to tell of periods of time long past, of earthquake fires, of glacial grinding and the like, every boy who desires to be well informed should try to make himself acquainted with. In addition to the rocks that now and then caused Tom to stop, were the lichens which grew on the rocks and trees, the delicate flowers that lifted themselves from the crannies, together with the birds and the butterflies that flitted here and there in the morning sunshine. Jn his trips into the country Tom always carried in his pocket a little magnifying glass, which helped him in his studies'. Sometimes when he found an interesting specimen, he took it home, to further study it there with the magnifier, and perhaps look up something about it in a book. As a result of such studies, and because his reading v,,-as of a wide and varied kind, there was no better informed boy in Cranford than Tom Lightfoot, Jack's cousm. Yet Tom was not at all a dull companion, as some people foolishly think a student must be. The boys often called him Bookworm, but they never thought of calling him dull; they could not do that, for Tom was lively, full of fun, pranks and jokes, and loved a game of manly sport as well as any boy could. As Tom thus idled along the road, following behind the other boys, he saw, down a side road that here opened through the woods, a large, mushroomy growth on a tree. Tom's teacher had been talking about this kind of fungus only the day before, and had made some state ment about it that Tom now thought he would like to verify. So he left the main road and wheeled down the dim path through the woods. When he reached the tree and examined the fungus and was ready to go on again, he saw another path through the woods, by taking which he could probably cut off a considerable distance and overtake his com panions sooner. Hence, he entered this path, instead of turning back to the n4ain road. He held the section of fungus in his hands which he had cut away with his knife, and was looking at it, not giving particular heed to the path he was fol lowing, when his wheel struck something, which sent him flying from the seat. The thing with which the tire had come 111 contact was a section of grapevine stretched across the path. Torn saw that, almost as soon as he struck the ground, and was proceediqg to blame himself for his carelessness, when he was surrounded by some tramp ish figures, that rushed at him. Tom still lay on the ground, and was so astonished that he did not know what to thihk or say. He saw that there were four men, one woman, and one child; and beyond, dimly to be seen, was a wagon and a horse. "When you gits away from dis time, you knows it!" cried one of the men, who was none other than Barron, dropping back into the tramp lingo that he affected at times. Tom tried to scramble to his feet, but was seized by one of the men, who hurled him angrily to the ground. The woman came forward, peering at him, dragging the child by the hand. "So you "\vasn't hit by that bullet at all!" she said, as if she could not believe it. "What made you tUplble ?" Tom Lightfoot did not know what she was talking about. "I guess you've made some kind of a mistake," he said, not pleased with the looks cast on him. "Nit, we ain't!" said one of the men. "We know youse, all right." "I don't know you." "Oh, cheese it! Do youse t'ink you kin feed us

24 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. hate with that one evil eye, the scar that ran from his red beard into his dusty red hair making him a fearful figure to contemplate. It almost made Tom shudder to look at him. Tom tried again to get on his feet, but was again caught by the shoulder. "This isn't funny," said Tom, growing angry. "Stand out of my way and let me ride along." "No, 'tain't funny F' said Barron. "\Ve ain't never t'inkin' dat it was funny. De way youse has follered us don t make us lat\gh." The woman tried to laugh, and made a failure of it; but she pushed forward, devouring Tom with her fier:e eyes. / "Look an' see if that bullet didn't scrape him some place I can't understand it." "I think you must all be crazy said Tom. "Take your hand off me, can't you, and let me go? I'm in a hurry." All laughed, gurgling, unpleasant" manner. "Oh, he's in a hurry!" "That's what I said; I'm in a hurry." "Youse been in a great hurry, all night an all mornin'. 1 ow we're gain' to Jet youse rest a while, see?" "V./ ot did you do wit' clat plate an' clat swag we gives yer ? one of the men demanded. "I don t know what you're talking about. Take your hands off of me!" He pushed the ,man away. "Oh, youse wasn't in

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY from it. 'Tll pull her ear out by the roots if I want to, and you can't help yourself." She turned on him, wild as a panther; while the child fell to the ground, cryin g and writhing in pain. "It was cause you interfered the first time on her account that this trouble's come, and why you've got into the pickle that you're in now." "And he won't git out o' it!" said Barron, again lifting the knife. "Better take him to ther cave 'fore youse does the job," one of the men advised; "dere'll be blood out here and maybe a rumpus, and it might lead ter dis cov'ry; better jump him inter de cave, an' finish 'im dere." Then Tom Lightfoot knew that his life was in dan ger, and that these men had fully made up their minds to murder him. CHAPTER XI. A MEETING OF FRIENDS. Jack Lightfoot had made what progress he could toward the Painted Cave, in spite of that puncture, which he had no way to mend. The front tire was useless, but where the roads were good he rode his wheel, carrying it over bad places, and trundling it up the hills. His progress seemed slow to him, but he stuck to the work with a persistence that was almost as good as speed, and he was not so very far behind Barron and his wagon when the wooded hills that mark'ed the vicinity of the Cave were reached. He had hastened toward the Painted Cave, after los ing sight of the horse and wagon, because of what he had heard the tramps say in that chamber under ground where the counterfeiters' outfit was sheltered. As Jack approached the Painted Cave, trm1dling his wheel most of the time, for the road was rather poor and filled with stones, he was surprised, at a turn, to come face to face with Lafe Lampton, Jubal Marlin and Wilson Crane. "Hello, got bad puncture! s aid Lafe. when he saw that Jack was carrying his torn tire. "A I ucky puncture, said Jack. "By granny," exclaimed Jube. "I shouldn't call it a lucky puncture, if I got a tire ripped up in that .way!" "But you would if it saved your life." The boys stared. "I should call anything lucky that saved my life," said Crane. "You ripped it when you weren't riding, and that saved you from a bad tumble, I suppose?" Then Jack explained. The explanation was so startling that it threw the boys into a fl.utter of 1excitement. "They came this way," said Jack, "and I've been following them. They were heading for the Painted Cave." Wilson stared more than ever. He had been caught and held in that cave once, with Jack Lightfoot, by some and it was an experience he was not likely to forget. "Likely they're the fellows we had our fun with that time, Wilson," "I don't care about havin any more of that kind of fun." "You were taking a ride out this way," said Jack. "If you don't have to hurry back too fast I'in going to ask you to go with me to the cave, and we'll see if those tramps are in it. We'll try to be carefui and keep them from seeing us. They've got a horse and wagon, which they'll have to hide out in the woods, I think. If they're in there, we'll get word to Cran f<;>rd in a hurry and have them arrested." "Tom's back there somewhere," said Lafe. "He's loafing along the road somewhere, looking for stray bugs and other things We've been riding slow, think ing he'd soon catch up with us." "We'll go on then and meet him,'' said Jack. "Tom is just the fellow for a thing of this kind." They moved back along the wood, talking excitedly He was not only surprised, he was delighted A of the tramps and of the queer experiences Jack had smile came to drive away the tired look from his face. When they saw him they quickened. their pace and came up, shouting to him: met while away from Cranford. "If the hoboes are in the cave we'll send Wilson to town for Kennedy, and he can have Kennedy bring:


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. out a lot of deputies, and the rascals will be bagged right there rnmarked Jack. This meeting wit h his friends, at a time when he \Va kcoming very tired, and when he so much felt the need @:li hel 'Jl>', overjoyed him. ''I've hung to this thing simply to' help that little girl," he admitted. "It's a shame the way that cruld is-aloused. Those are killmg her by inches, and sh e s the child of respectable people, I'm sure. Ifs an outrage that oughtn't to be allowed to go on another clay." Jack wa s thoroughly aroused on this point and re lentless. He did not intend to abandon this work until Barron and the woman were in jail and the child rescued. As they thus rode along they heard the scream of a child. It came from the woods off beyond the Painted Cave. Jack s t o pped s t oc k still, and the others did the same. "That was her! he said. "I'll bet anything on it! They're out there somewhere, and that woman is beat ing her again. They ha s tened now. A rew m i nu t e s later a call rang through the woods that startled them. "Coo-ee coo-ee coo-ee !" It was a call that had great carrying power, and it was three times repeated, in quick succession. / It thrilled the bicycle boys to their very marrow. For it was the "help'' call of the Cranford nine; and when made in that way-three such calls in quick succession-it meant that the one making it was in peril and needed help, or that something had occurred out of the ordinary which demanded the presence of friends at once. The "Coo-ee'' call was used by the Cranford boys a good deal, in various forms; and the manner in which it was uttered formed a sort of signal code which was useful on more than one occasion \ "That's Torri!' said Jack. "And he needs help!" shouted Lafe, beginning to pedal. "Ran into those tramps, maybe_," said Wilson. Jack dropped his ,,,,-heel by the side of the road, a.Bel while the other boys pedaled alonghe ran after them at a sprinting pace, sure that Tom Lightfoot needed help, and needed it quickly. CHAPTER XII. A YOUNG ATHLETE AMONG THE HOBOES. Tom Lightfoot had no intention of being dragged into the Painted Cave and murdered without resistance. So, when one of the men came toward him for the purpose of pulting him along, Tom uttered the "Coo-ee" call for help, and then landed a blow in the rascal's face that sent him reeling. Hav ing done that, to the astoni s hment of the hoboes who had not guessed that he meant to attempt any thing of the kind, he jumped to the nearest rock and put his back against it. He saw he could not escape by nmning, for the men hemmed him in. The rock was right at. hand, and almost at his back before he made that quick leap. The man had fallen in a heap, and the others stood staring at the young athlete who had so promptly knocked him down. The woman laughed scornfully, though she was nervous. "Air ye goin' to let a kid knock ye out that way?" she said. The man who knocked down arose, cursing. "What did youse mean by hollerin' dat way?" asked Barron, feeling his knife, and looking as if he sought a chance to rush in. "That. was just my little war whoop," Tom an\ swered. "It wasn't a call fer help?" "Well, yes; I've got friends close here. I think they'll hear it." "Rats!" "Call 'em that if you want to." Tom was on his guard, with his hands and arms ready, for he knew that the men moving constantly nearer to him, thus closing in, would be likely to jump at him "We know youse ain't got any friends here, all


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. right," said Barron. \"Youse has been follerin' us all m o rnin '. You follered us frum dat house, and you still kep' at it ; and youse has follered us to yer death, see?" Then he dashed at Tom, striking with the knife. He drove low down, at Tom's body, to avoid the swing of Tom' s hard fisti Tom could not have desired it better. His foot flew out, and catching Barron in the face, sent him backward as suddenly as the hard fist had sent the other rascal. That kick in the face, which laid Barron out and sent the knife spinning, opened that old scar on the scoundrel's face, and set it to bleeding. He howled with rage and pain as he struck the ground, and the other rascals dashed in, to finish the I work he had left undone. They had their knives out, and if they could have reached Tom they, would have sliced him into ribbons. The woman, wicked and vindictive as the men, urged them on with fierce cries. Crack! One of them received a stinger in the eye that closed that optic and bowled him back into the arms of his friend thu s putting two out at the same time; and the third finding it safer to withdraw, rushed to get the knife Barron had let fall. Barron rose to his feet, half blinded by the blood tha t trickled into his one eye. "Come on!" shouted Tom, thoroughly aroused. "If you think t am 'going to stand still and be killed by you, you're mistaken." They came on again, but with more caution, spread ing out so that he c o uld qot easily pass them. Tom again set his back to the rock. His gray-blue eyes were blazing and his rather fair face was flushed now to a deep red. His lips were apart and his breath came in panting gasps. He reali z ed the peril of his position, and was resolved to fight for his life to the utterm ost. "Co me on!" he cried, panting out the words. His attitude was so courageous that the trampish 1 rascals hesitated "Are you skeered of one boy?" howled the woman. "Why don't ye do 'im up?" One of the tramps drew a revolver. "This'll fix 'im !" he said. "No use gittin knocked down fer nuttin'. Dis'll fix him! "No shootin' !" said Barron, who feared that a shot would betray them to some one passing along the.road. "But he's already made a noise, hollerin'." "Where's that knife? I ain't afraid of him. Gimme that knife an' I'll settle 'im in short order." He seized the knife which the other man had snatched from the grbund, and with blood streaming down over his face advanced upon Torn with the reck lessness and the fury of a fiend. And he was truly a frightful sight, as he thus came forward. Tom dodged sideways, as J3arron, rushing in, struck with the knife, and again planted a blow, but Barron was expecting it, and received it on his neck. Though it was a jarring one it did not shake him, and he struck again. "Rush 'im !" he said as Tom hurled him backward with a blow that was better delivered. And then all four men, chagrined by being ; et at defiance by one boy rushed in, striking with their knives and their fists. Mary Ellen, seeing that frightful fracas, and believing that the boy attacked would be killed instantly, uttered another scream, which she could not suppress, and was knocked fiat by the woman. Then there was a wild and quick transformation. The underbrush cracked. Four boys came leaping out, armed wit ) 1 clubs. They were Jack Lightfoot, Lafe Lampt on, Jubal Marlin and Wilson Crane. Their advent on the scene was so unexpected, and tl'ie sight of Jack, whom they thought they had before them with his back to the roe\{, was a discovery so paralyzing to the men that the spirit of fight was pretty well taken out of them. With a bound like a deer Jack reached Tom's side, just as Tom reeled under a blow given him by Barron. One swoop of the club, striking Barron on the head, fell eel him like a log. Two of the tramps started to run.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. One of these Lafe Lampton knocked down with his club. The other two sprinted for clear life, throwing the boys aside a11d fleeing in sheer terror. The woman tried to reach the cover of the under growth, dragging the screaming child by the arm. "Look after Tom,., Jack shouted, and took off in pursuit of the woman. He overhauled her at the edge of the brushy growth. "I'll have to ask you to stop a while," he said, and he caught her by the shoulders. She turned on him with blazing eyes, and, jerking a little pisto l from her pocket, threw it up and fired. The bullet sped over his head. The next instant the revolver was knocked to the ground. The child had run to Jack, and caught him by the legs. as if in that way she sought protection. Confronting the infuriated woman, Jack put do\vn his hand and touched Mary Ellen's head. "You don't leave this place until you've accounted for this child!" he declared, sternly. "Will T stay here for you?" she shrieked. "I think you will," he said, his voice shaking. "I don't want to lay hands on a woman, but' I shall do so if you make me. You're going to stay here." Barron was lying senseless by the rock, and the other tramp who had been knocked down was holding his awn aching head with his hands and seemed not to know what had happened. The other hoboes were seeking safety in rapid flight. Seeing that the tramps who had been knocked out I .. were m no concht1on to get away, and that Tom was not seriously hurt, the boys came leaping to Jack's assistance Then the woman surrendered, but with very bad grace, fuming out her wrath and denouncing them for what she called their "impertinence." * Barron and the woman, and the other tramp who had been knocked out by a blow from a club, were conducted by the boys into Cranford. They were lodged in the Cranjorcl jail, in charge of Kennedy; and then telegrams were sent out to the sur rounding towns, telling how and why they had been captured. Before noon a reporter of the Cardiff daily was at Jack's house, interviewing him his experi ences. A posse of men had gone from Highland, the reporter said, to the rendezvous under the burned barn, which Jack had so strangely discovered; and com munication had been secured with people in New York who were believed to be the parents of Mary Ellen Traverse, the little girl rescued through Jack's efforts. The Cardiff papers of that evening and the next morning, and the newspapers of the big cit ies as well, regaled their readers with a strange and sensational story, which told how one sturdy and heroic yo.nth had unearthed a band of counterfeiters, who had been posing as wandering tramps, and how, through his coolness and courage, t\\o of the chief men of the counterfeiters' band had been landed, and the long lost daughter of Guy Traverse, of New York, had been found. The next clay Mr. and Mrs. Traverse appeared at Cranford frQm New York. They identified their daughter, and there was more praise for Jack, in the papers of the country, and in the town of Cranford as well, in addition to the prom ise of a reward from the police authorities for unearth ing the counterfeiters. Traverse offered Jack a reward also, but this Jack refused. "No," he said, sturdily. "If the authorities want to pay me something for bririging about those arrests, well and good. But I don't want to take anything for what I did for Mary Ellen. I would do it all over again, and be glad to, if circumstances were again the same "You've given me back my mamma and papa," said Mary Ellen, "ahd I love you for that!" Which certainly was reward enough for Jack. TlIE END. Next week's issue, No. 14, will contain "Jack Light foQt, the Magician-;or, Quelling a Mutiny in the ine." This is another capital baseball story, which all interested in the great American game will want to Jack walked behind them with the revolver which read. You will want to know about that mutiny, who had belonged to the woman, and the other boys formed .stirred it up, how it "as settled, and all about the great a guard.


I A CHAT WITH YOU 1 Under this general head we purpose each week to sit around the camp fire, and have a heart-to-heart tali< with those of our young readers who care to gather there, answering such letters as may r e ach us a s king for in formation with regard to various healthy sports, both in door and out. We should also be glad to hear what you think of the leading character s in your favorite publica tion Besides answering the various letters and giving advice on athletics, it is our indntion to furnish from time to time short essays upon timely topics, such as "How to pitch a drop ball," arid other things that most boys desire to know, told in a manner that may be easily tmclerstood. It is the editor's desire to make this department one that will be eagerly read from week to week by every admirer of the Jack Lightfoot stories, and prove to be of valuable assistance in building up manly, healthy Sons of America. All letters received will be answered immediately, but may not appear in print under five weeks, owing to the fact that the publicat i on mus t go to press far in advance of the date of issue. Those who favor us with correspondence will please bear this in mind, and exercise a little patience. Here are some figures, my measurements. How do I stand in the average class? One man connected with a gym. here tells me I am too heavy and ought to train clown. Perhaps I am, but I thought he only wanted to drum up another recruit at ten dollars a year. Weight, 133 pounds; height, 5 feet s.Y:i inches; chest, 35 inches; thigh, 21 inches; calf, 140 inches. How is it? Indianapolis, Incl. ''DONOVAN." The instructor was only telling you the truth, for you might easily knock off twelve or thirteen pounds and still be of the average weight for your size. As to the other measurements, they are slightly above the normal, but if you exercise enough to bring your weight down to 120 pounds, you will find that they will decrease in propor tion, and that you can just fill the bill all round as a per fectly formed athlete. Cross-country walks, the bag, boxing, and bar exercise-be careful what sort of bar it is, for there is one species that ruins athletes every time-will gradually reduce your weight and 11arden your flabby muscles Though I have not seen anything t6 that effect, I take it for granted, Mr. Editor, that soon you will be receiving so many letters of applause. asking for information about athletics and such things, that you will think it necessary as well as convenient, to open a department in the back of the book. They all do, and I imagine such a thing must be very popular, judging from the way in which the boys write. I want to tell you what I think of Jack Lightfoot, as well as his friends and enemies. At the same time, I know how valuable space is, and :;hall keep my le' tter with i n as reasonable bounds as my enthusiasm will per mit. Somehow I've taken a great fancy to Tom Light foot. He seems such a sensible fellow, who can be re lied on every time. Jack is more talented, but there are occasions when he fails to make good through some cause or other. Of course I can see that the author means to build Jack's character up as he goes along, and it is a fine thing to attempt, which we will watch with great interest. All the same, good old Tom my fa vorite He has the stuff in hi m to make a hero, and I hope Mr. Stevens will, after a little, let Tom stand some in the center of the stage wheie the glare of the lime Hght falls. I also feel good toward Lafe Lampton, and even the benighted believer in jiu-jitsu is an interesting character I wonder if he will do something in that line by accident some clay. If he does my, what a cackle there will be. \i\Tilson Crane has not been shown to pos sess any very admirable traits of character as yet, but I can see signs of"promise there for a pretty good chap, Stick a pin in that for a prophecy, Mr. Editor. Of course I dislike Kirtland. We all know just such a con ceited donkey, and have had trquble with him ourselves Phil can do things, just a little under the standard Jack sets, and it makes his proud spirit n1acl to play second fiddle. About Tom, I know from the signs that after a while it is intended to take him off somewhere in the wilderness, perhaps bunting moose up in Canada or gri zzly bears-somewhere, so that his reading and knowl edge of things will come into play That's Prophecy No. 2 I could write on for pages about those Cran, ford boys, I strem to know them so well, but I don t care to fill your wastebasket with my effusion. Hoping to see this in print, Jos. E. CARLIN, St. Joseph, Mo. Your letter, though long, is interesting, and, we hope, will be read with profit by our boys. Others besides friend Jos. have conceiv .ecl a fancy for quiet Tom-old, reliable Tom. Perhaps he may presently have his turn in the middle of the stage, as ]. E. C. so ardently wishes ; but just what glorious happenings the author has in view for the athletic boys when the baseball season is over we do not c;;ire to disclose, as it would be telling tales out of school. I would be very much obliged if you would tell me whether I am above or below the average, and wha t you t


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. would advise to build up a better physique, if, as I fear, I am not up to the standard. I want to say a good word for J ack Lightfoot and his chqms They are the right sort. A fellow is bound to like them. Arid while Jack does a lot that may seem to be b eyond th e general run of fellows, still h e s how s no signs of being conceited T hat is w h y I like him. Why, if it was Phil Kirtland who did all those stunts, there wou l d be no peace in the camp, such airs he mus t put on. I hope yo u will print this. P l ease do not mention my name, but just what I sign, A READER FROM No. 1. Dayton, Ohio. We print this l ette r just to show how careless a boy may be in writing. It is all there but the important thing-the figures he in tended to give-size of chest, thigh, height and weight. Plain ly, without these we are un ab l e to declare whether our young friend is above or below the average. Suppose A Reader from No. I tries again? I am no kicker, and I don't want yo u to think so, but T must s a y I'm a little bit disappointed about J ack Lightfoo t. In the beginning Mr. Stevens led us to believe that Jack must be a weak sort of a chap, i nclined to timidly when it began to look sort of stormy-in fact, I for one, made up my mind-that Jack was going to have a high old time conque rin g that shrinking fee lin g, which n,;i. de him imagine it was all of no use-the world was aga rnst him, ancJ what was the good of trying. Well, we'ye seen this same Jack go through some pretty warm ad ventures by this time, and he doesn't seem to b e troubled very much by that "tired feeling." To tell the truth, Jark is no quitter-he must found bis back bo ne in short order, to j uclge from the vYay he eats things up Please give us more of ba s eball stories during the The first a nd second are prime, and I have no doubt if it were put to a vote, the boys would be almost solid for the stories of the diamond. Suppose yo tell us how Jack learned that wonderfu l "spit" ball. I thought it was a s ecret with Chesbro and a few others. Could an ordinary pitcher learn it, do you think? I hop e you will make use of this l etter. I understand that th e dealers here sell a large number of ALL-SPORTS_ J. G R. Westfield, N. J. If the author has not brought Jack's most serious failing forward as frequently as our correspondent thinks s h ould have been the case, perhaps i t is for good reasons. He may have considered that Jack only gave way to thi s fe eling of timidity under certain conditions; or e l se that with each successive encounter, Jack secured a better h o ld and was more able to keep his weakness tmcler subjection It was Mr. Stevens' intention in the beginning to show b y set stages Jiow a young fellow who had seldom been able to accomplish great things, pushed to the front just as soon as he hut his teeth together and vowed h e would gain his end. A n yone can do it-ther e is no secret process about the thing. As regards the baseball stories, th ey will b e numerous and exciting enough to please the most exacting. The author knows his game from A to Z, and those who follow the fortunes of the rival nin es will find scenes pictured by a wizard pen. vVe believe Jack is a character who will grow int o the h earts of all true American la ds both North and South. Presently, when the arrangements we have und e r way a re com pleted, yo u will learn all there is about the wonderful "spit ball"; a l so h ow even a t yro in the art of pitching may acqui r e the various trick balls u sed b y g r eat pitchers. We do n ot consider yo u as a "ki cker,"]. G. R.; only o ne in search of information. Up our way th e boys. a r e of one opinion. We think ALL-SPORTS the coming weekly, and we int end to stand by it right along. T h e best thing about M r Stevens' writing is that he never mixes a fellow up. His l anguage is s impl e and t o the point. 13oys lik e tha t sort o f stuff. It makes them fee l just as if they knew those Cranford fellows. And when it tomes to a description of a rattlin g game of ball 11 r. Stevens has them all beat to a sta nd still. He takes care of every littl e point, so that I declare it's almost as good as seeing the game yourse lf. Tell him to please g iv e us plenty of this during the season, and I wish he would go deeper into tha t new "spit ball of Jack's. We're all wondering how it's clone, and our pitcher is reaching out eve r ywhere to find the secret. Won't you tell us? WILLIAM K. SMITH. B urlin g t o n Vt. Thank yo u \i\Tilliam. \ i \Tatch th ese Chat columns for a few weeks, and you will pick up considerable informati o n in the line you seek. Perh aps you'll conside r it ou t of pl ace that I s hould write you what I think of Jack Li g htfoot And th ere may not be many who will agr ee with me; but then it would be a queer world, wouldn't it, if. we all thought the same wav I sometimes feel that Jack is pretty much of a cad." The author makes much of Phil Kirtland al ways wanting to occupy first pl ace-but it is Jack who takes it Jack to whom the royal chances come to dis t ing ui s h hi mse lf. How would he fe e l if he had to oc cupy a subordinate place? Now, I'm not pre judic e d agains t Lightfoot, nor do I s imply want to get up an argument; but, according to the way I see thin gs, th e r e are others among the C r anford boys who deserve t he post of l eader just as much as Jack. vVhy should h e be always first? Perhaps you won't want t o print this whine, because it is in the wrong ke y but I'd truly lik e to know. HALF-BACK. 'l'v' e welcome criticism as well as praise, so lon g as it i s sincere; but if you had kept a close t ab upon Jack's met ho ds you surely must have discovered ere now th a t h e is a modest youth, not seeking the h onor s whi c h his ad1niring chums insist upo n thrusting on him. He is on ly human, and makes mistakes, as what boy does not; but upon bein-:; convinced that he is on the wrong side. J ack is frank and manly enough to confess hi mse lf in the wrong and chan g e his position without delay. l.'nder such an attack his friends should rally around his stand a rd, and prove him to be anything but a cad. TnE EDITOR-


COME BOYS, COME CET THE PO LIBRARY 66 Teach the Americafl! boy how to become an athlete and so lay the foundation of a constitution greater than that of the United States.!t!t -Wise Sayings "Tram Tip Top. You like fun; adventure and mystery, don't you? well, you can find them all in the pages of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. As the name implies, the ALL SPORTS LIBRARY :i's devoted to the sports that all young people delight in. It has bright, handsome, colored covers, and each story is of generous length. You are looking for a big five cents worth of good reading and you can get it here. Ask your newsdealer for any of the titles listed below. He has them in stock. Be sure to get ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Like other good things, it has its imitations. 1-J ack Lightfoot's Challenge; or, The Win ning of the Wager. 2-Jack Lightfoot's Hockey Team; or, The Rival Athletes of Old Cranford. 3-Jack Lightfoot's Great Play; or, Surprising the Academy Boys. 4-Jack Lightfoot's Athletic Tournament; or, Breaking the Record Quarter Mile Dash. 5-J ack Lightfoot in the Woods; or, Taking the Hermit Trout of Simms' Hole. 6-Jack Lightfoot's Trump Curve; or, The Wizard Pitcher of the Four-Town League. 7-Jack Lightfoot's Crack Nine; or, How Old "Wagon Tongue" Won the Game. 8-Jack Lightfoot's Winning Oar; or, A Hot Race for the Cup. gJack Lightfoot, The Young Naturalist; or, The Mystery of Thunder Mountain lo-Jack Lightfoot's Team-Work; or, Pulling a Game Out of the Fire. II-Jack Lightfoot's Home Run; or, A Glorious Hit in the Right Place. PE?ICE, 12-Jack Lightfoot, Pacemaker; or, What Hap pened on a Century Run. l 3-Jack Lightfoot' s Lucky Puncture ; or, A Young Athlete Among the Hoboes. 14-] ack Lightfoot, the Magician; or, Quelling a Mutiny in the Nine. 15-Jack Lightfoot's Lightning Battery; or, Kid naping a Star Pitcher. 16-Jack Lightfoot's Strategy; or, Hare-and Hounds Over Cranford Hills. l 7-] ack Lightfoot in the Saddle; or, A Jockey for Just One Day. 18-Jack Lig-htfoot's Dilemma; or, A Traitor on the Diamond. Jack Lightfoot's Cyclone Finish; or, How Victory Was Snatched From Defeat. 20Jack Lightfoot in Camp ; or, Young Athletes at Play in the Wilderness. 2r-Jack Lightfoot's Disappearance; or, The Turning-up of an Old Enemy. ack Lightfoot's "Stone Wall" Infield; or, Making a Reputation in the League : . For Sale by all Newsdealers, or sent, postpaid, upon receipt of price by publishers : : WINNER LIBRARY CO., 165 West Fifteenth St., NEW YORK


' I THRILLING SEA STORIES This library represents an entirely new idea. It is totally different from any other now published. The stories detail the adventures of three plucky lads who set out to capture the notorious Captain Kidd. Every real boy has longed to read more about the doings of this bold marauder of the seas and the opportunity is now given them. The stories are of gene:-ous length and without equals in thrilling adventure and interest. The best sea stories ever written. I. Captain Kidd's Sea Swoop; or, Carried Off by Pirates. 2. Captain Kidd's Buried Treasure; or, Adventures of Three Boys Among the Buccaneers. 3. The Silver Cutlass ; or, Thad and His Chums Lost in the Swamp. 4. Defying the Sea Wolf; or, Thad at Bay in the Powder Magazine. 5. The Jolly "Red Raven"; or, Captain Kidd's Daring Raid on Old New York. 6. The Corsair Captain; or, Thad and His Chums Afloat. 7. The Death's Head Rovers; or, How Thad Outwitted the Coast Freebooters. 8. Walking the Plank ; or, The Last Cruise of the Flying-Scud. 9. Captain Kidd's Revenge ; or, Thad Among the Tigers of the Sea. rn. The Chest of Doubloons; or, How Three Boys Defied the Buccaneers. II. The Rival Pirates; or, Thad and His Chums in Irons. 12. Captain Kidd's Stratagem; or, Simple Simon Takes Soundings. 13. The Red Raven's Prize; or, How Young Thad Sailed a Pirate Barque. 14. Nailed to the or, The Last of Captain Kidd's "Hole in the Wall." 15. Captain Kidd's Long Chase; or, Thad and His Chums in the Tropics. 16. Set Adrift By Pirates; or, Thad's Adventures in the Saragossa Sea. 17. To Sink or Swim; or, Thad and His Friends On Blue Water. 18. Captain Kidd's Drag-Net; or, How Young Thad Hoodwinked the Buccaneers. 19. The Phantom Pirate; or, Thad and His Chums on the Haunted Ship. 20. The Winged Witch; or, How Three Boys Saved the Treasure Galleon. 21. Captain Kidd in New Orleans; or, The Pirate Scourge of the Rigolets. 22. Tiger of the Sea ; or, The Three Castaways of the Gulf. 23. The Pirates of The Keys; or, Our Boys Afloat on the Spanish Main. 24. Captain Kidd at Bay ; or, Marooned On a Sand-Spit. For sale by all new.r;dealers, or sent postpaid upon receipt of price by the publishers THE WINNER LIBRARY CO., 2 Duane St., New York ..


I COME, BOYS, COME. GET THE ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY "Teach the boy how to become an athlete and lay the foundalion of a constz"tutzon greater than that of the Unz'ted States -Wz'se sayz'ngs from Tzp Top. Y o u lik:e fun, adventure,. and mystery don't you? Well you c a n find them all in the pages of the stories in this library. As the name implies, the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY is devoted to the sports all young people delight in. It has bright, handsome colored covers, and each story is of generous length. You are looking for a big five cents w orth of goo d reading and yo u can get it here. Ask your newsdealer for any of the titles listed below. He has them in stock. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 15. PRI. CE., FIVE. CENTS Latest Titles Lightfoot's Crack Nine;. or, How Old Wagon Tongue '' Won t he Game Jack Lightfoot's Winning Oar; or A Hot Race for the Cup Jack Lightfoot, the Young Naturalist; or The Mystery of Thunder Moun t ain Jack Lightfoot' s T earn Work; or Pulling a Gam e Ou t of t h e Fire Jack Lightfoot' s Home Run; or, A Glorious Hit in the Right Place Jack Pacemaker; or, What Happened on a Cen t ury Run Jack Lightfoot' s Lucky Puncture; or, A Young Athlete Among the Hoboes Jack Lightfoot, the Magician; or, Quelling a Mutiny in the Nine Jack Lightfoot' s Lightning Battery; or, Kidnapping a Star Pitcher 16. Jack Lightfoot's Strategy; or, Harea nd Hounds Over Cr anfor d Hills Thi s library may be purchased fro m any newsdealer at five cents per c opy, or any = nn= NEW YOR.K


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