Jack Lightfoot, archer; or, The strange secret an arrow revealed

Jack Lightfoot, archer; or, The strange secret an arrow revealed

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Jack Lightfoot, archer; or, The strange secret an arrow revealed
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:
A46-00020 ( USFLDC DOI )
a46.20 ( USFLDC Handle )
025837619 ( ALEPH )
76175579 ( OCLC )

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l'J hr h s' Note "Teach the American boy bow to bee-Orne .... at11Tete, an<1 lay the founy THE WINNER LIBRARY Co., 1 6 5 West Fifteentlz .S t. N e w York, N. Y. No. 32. NEW YORK, Septembe r 16, 1905. Price Five Cents. JACK LIGH T F OOT, OR, The Str ange Secret a n Arrow Revealed. By MAURICE STEVENS. .. CHARACHRS IN THIS STORY. Jack Lightfoot, the best all-rounc.1 nlhlelc i n Cranford or vicinity, a lad clear of eye, clean of speech, and, after he had conquered a few of his faults, possessed o( a faculty for rloiitt[ tilings while others were talking, that by degrees caused him to be looked 11pon as the natural leader in all the sports Young America delights in-a boy wbo 111 learning to conquer himself put the power into his hands to wrest victory from others. Tom Lightfoo t Jack's cousin, and sometimes his rival; though their striving (or the masterr was always of the friendly, gen e rous kind. To1n was called the Book\Vo rm by his fellows, on account of his love for studying such secrets of nature as practical observers have discovered and published; so that he possessed a fund of general knowledge calculated to prove useful when his wandering spirit took him abroad into strange lands. Ned Skeen, o( impulsive, nervous temperament. Lafe Lampton, a big. hulking chap, with an ever present craving for something to eat. Lafe alwa)'S had his appetite along, anc.1 p"oved a stanch friend of our hero through thick and thin. 01lisy Lightfoot, Lily Livingston, Kate Strawn and Nellie Conner, some of the girls of Cranford. Phil Kirtland, Jack's former rival, but who just at present was bt:ing drawn toward young Ligh lfoot. Nat Kimball, an undersized fellow, whose hobby was the study of /i"tt-}itsu, and who had a dread of germs. Brodie Strawn and Wilon Crane, who also knew how lo use a bow and arrows to some advantage. Jubal Marlin, a Yankee boy, with a great ambition t o make money. Crabbe, a strange h ermit of the woods. Wally Waggles, who had a cabin and a bit of a groden whe r e the young Robin Hoods camped. CHAPTER I. TWO LETTERS. "He allus was an o nr eliab l e c u ss." T h e words came from Juba l Marli n spoken aloud to him e lf as he sat in his "office" in one corner of the gy m and re ad over a l ette r h e had just received The envelope bore a New England postmark and it h ad contained tw o communications-the letter he wa s reading and an o ther which lay on the desk with th e envelope That the reader may know at once just what had drawn that remark from Jubal the letters are given here. The fir s t ran as follows : "MR. JUBAL MARLIN. "DEAR Sm: Before starting to Cranford last s prin g yo ur uncle writ this letter which I s'pose he intended t o send, but didn't. I ha v e jus t found it while looking through some of his things. I'm gittin' mighty oneasy


? ALL-SPORTS LlBPv\RY about him, too; for when he started he said he' cl go on to New York after seeing you and would then coMe straight back home. He ain't come yit. I sho uld be pleased to learn if he is still in Cranford. "Write soon. We are all well. "SUSAN GARLOCH." The other letter had been written by Jubal's uncle, and was the one which Susan Garloch referred to: "DEAR }UBE: I'm goin' to New; York. Start tomorrow. On my way there I'm 'goin' to stop off in Cranford and see you. Been a good while. since I see n you. How are you cloin' in Cranford? Do you like the place? I hope you are in the way of making a mint of money. There ain't nothing stands by a man like money, as I've always said and always will. Friends may forgit ye, but if you've got money you can git along without 'em. Well, as my pen is pore and my ink is pale, I'll jist say that my l ove for you will never fale, and close this letter. I'll see you in a few days, and then I'll tell you all about how things are up here. ".Your lovin' uncle, "JUBAL MARLIN, SR." But Jubal Marlin, Sr., after writing that letter and then forgetting to send it, also forgotten, or failed,' to visit Cranford; and this was J ube's first intimation that he had ever intended to make such a visit. "He was allus an onreliable cuss!" was Jubal's comment on this letter. TJ1en he began to wonder about the singularity of the circumstance. He pushed back in his chair, as he thought this over. Why had his uncle failed to return to his home? It did not seem strange to J ube that he had neglected to visit Cranford, or that he had written the letter and then forgotten to send it; but it was singular that he had not gone back home, anci stranger still that the people there had not received a word from him. It seemed to prove, indeed, that Jubal Marlin, Sr., was an "onreliable cuss." On the table before J ube, as he thus sat and thought, was a handsome bow, and a quiver of arrows. He had placed them there with the intention of going with them clown to the ball grounds in a few minutes, where there was to be an archery shoot. "More'n five months since he writ that letter, and 'twan't never like him tew stay away from home that long. Well, I allus did think he was a little bit teched; and, by granny, that seems tew prove it! Writ tew me an' ent away without sendin' me what he'd writ, and then ergot to come tew see me, and failed to go back home! But I don't see why he didn't go back home? Might h ave got sick claown in the city, I reckon; er might e; en have died there." He drew lip to the desk, and tak"ng up his pen he began a letter to Susan Garloch, explaining that his uncle 'had not visited Cranford, and he did not know where he was. written this, J ub;l sea led it, and went with it to the post office, for he wanted it to start at once. On his way there he pa ssed Phil Kirtland and Brodie Strawn, who, armed with bows and arrows, were on their way clown to the ball field. "Aren't you coming?" Brodie called to him. "I'll be with ye in jist the s hake of a lamb's tail,"' Jubal sho uted, and then hurried on to the post office. On his way back he saw Lil'y Livingston, Kate Strawn, Daisy Lightfoot and Nellie Conner driving dowt; in the Strawn family carriage. He also saw other people moving toward the ball fielq. "We'll have a craowcl aout," he mused. The time was afternoon, of a beautiful clay in early September, and Cranford Lake looked like a picture, with the deep woods and the blue hills showing beyond it. Entering the gym and ascending to his "office," Jubal took up hi bow and his quiver of arrows, slung the latter over his shoulder, tucked the bow uncler his a rm, placed the two letters in their envelope in his pocket, and came down. He locked the door of the gym, or rather the door of the lower part which had been an old carriage shop, and dropped the key into his pocket. Jubal was the "janitor." Then he took his way hurriedly to the ball grounds, for the writing and posting of that letter had made him late. CHAPTER II. ARCHERY. An archery club had been formed by Jack Lightfoot and his a. sociates some time before, and they had clone a1good deal of practicing with the bow and arrow smce. This afternoon another archery contest, or "shoot," was to be held, at the end of which Jack and several others were to start into the woods on a little outing trip, taking with them their bows and arrows. When Jubal reached the archery "green" inside the old fair grounds. the contestants were already at it. what Jubal saw was a quadrangle marked on the


I ( ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 3 gras s with white l ines, and at th e further end of it a n archery target cons isting o f a flat, circular pad of twisted straw four feet in diameter and faced with cloth, up o n which was a yellow central di s k calle the "gold." Round thi s disk of yellow was a band o f reel, followe d by one of blue, the n one of black, and lastly one of white. In archery contests "points" counted, and that was what the yello w di s k and the circles round it were for. A hit in the gold coun t s nine i n the r ed seve n 111 the blue five, in the black three, and in the white one The target was m ounted on a tripod, \\'ith the "gold'' center four feet from the ground and the distance to be shot over was fifty measured yar ds Tat Kimball had let fly with his arrow and had struck the ground beneath the target, instead of hit tin g it. "\Vow! yo u couldn't hit the earth if it was s tood up there before you!" shouted Neel Skeen, gayly. "Stand out of the way, you geezer, and let me s h ow yon what I c an dot" "But I did hit the earth," said Nat, grinning, though so me\\hat crestfallen. "If yo u do any better it will be an accident." "Stand o ut of the way, fellows, and give Ned ro om," cried Jack, laughing at Skeen's hum oro u b oas ting. "He's going to tear a h ole in the gold so big that you can put your he a d through it." Then-ed actually hit the gold! "\\ow!" he ye lled. "Do yo u see that! Howling mackerels, h ow i s th a t for s hooting?" "It was an accident ," sa id Kimbal l ; "you c o uldn t do tha t again t o ave your neck!" "Oh I couldn't? That's what you say. You go a\Yay back and sit clown! The boy h o drew the arrows out of the target, pulled out Neel's and c a me running back witk it. "A hit in the gold c o unt s nine ," said Jack, marking with a pencil o n a score card. "Skeen, you're at the head o f the cla ss "But he'll n o t s tay there," persisted Nat. "Oh, I. \\' O n't? Well, you'll see!" Kate Strawn's name \\'a s called, and she stepped into position, with a beautiful lig ht bow which s he had tipped with the Cranford baseball c o lor white and blue Kate made a handsome pict ure as s he s t oo d there in her white outing sui t wit h hat flared 1 ack on her forehead, and lif ted the ribb o ned bow for her s h ot. ''N ovv, don't laugh any of you," s he begged, "for if you do I shall miss "Keep still, every body! cried Jack, dramatically Kate laugh ed and let the arrow fall. But s he picked it up, and once more fitted it to her b ow. She lifted the bow, sig hted a m o ment and the brnng of the bowstring sounded "Five-in the blue! Jack sho uted. "Good enough!" He set down the figure opposite Kate' s name on the score card. "Now, Kellie," he said, "it's your turn to play Indian That's a gold bea v er out there and you're going to bring it clo'wn." "If I th o ught it was a beaver I couldn't shoot at it." She, too, was dressed in white, with a blue hat on the c oil of her brown hair, and a flush of excitement put roses in her cheeks. Sbe trembled a little a s she lifted the bow, but the tremblin g ceased as she stead ied on the target; then she let the arrow slip. "Seven!" Jack yelled. "In the red-seven Now, Miss Lily !" Lily Livingston tripped forward, s miling and charm ing a nut-brown maid of a summer girl, in her white dress and tan s hoes, and airy, jaunty manner.' But s he did not d o as well as either Kate or Nellie, for she put the arrow in the black, and that counted on ly three. Then Jubal' s name was called. "By granny: I've had news that's sorter unstrung my nerves tew-day," he declared, "and I dunno whether I can hit anything er not. "Did somebody leav e you a gold mine?" asked \i\Til son Crane. "\V ell, I'll tell yeou 'baout it some othe r time; jist .. naow I'm und er contract tew bu' st a h ole in that yaller." But Jubal' s arrow stuck in the white, and 11e had but one again t his narne on the score card Thus the sh oo ting went on. It was fun and it was good exerci se, n ot only for the muscles but for the eyes and the hands. It trained one to see accurately, and to judge di s tances and other things with care. The fell o ws had never taken up any light form of amusement that pleased them better anc!' the fact th a t the girls could take part in it did not lessen the pleasure, but rather increased it. J ac k' s s i ste r, Daisy, who followed Jubal drove the arrow int o the gold; but she laughingly declared that


' ALL-SPORTS LIBR,\RY. it \\"aS an accident and s he knew she ccul

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. I 5 In addition to these blankets, they carried two light hatchets, a frying pan, and a coffeepot, and each boy carried a collapsible drinking CUP which would go in a pocket. They used their knives in eating-"ate with fingers instead of forks"-and for plates had clean strips of birch bark, which were thrown away after use. Thus it can be seen that they traveled light, having nothing else for burdens but their bows and arrows and a very small supply of provisions. They did not take much in the way of food, for they knew that they could find farmhouses here and there where they could purchase things and even get a meal occas i ona lly if they desired. At these farmhouses they could also get eggs and milk and bwtter, and a fat chicken or two, if their bows and arrows failed to bring down game or their luck at fishing failed them. All the young fel l ows were in a j ov ial mood, even to Jubal, who hacl told his story and s h own his l etters, and thus had rel ieved his mind somewhat of that matter. On the floors of t h e green tents of hem lock boughs and poles hemlock browse was pi l ed for beds, making odorous couche Whenever hemlock could not be had the boys ex pected, if the weather remained warm and dry, to sleep on the rubber blankets placed on the dry earth, with the woolen blankets over them, if these were needed. They did not intend to s l eep in a house while they were gone, if it could be a\!oidecl Of course, if a storm came on they miaht be glad enough to seek the she lt er of a house, or even of an old barn, or abandoned shanty of any kind. But the weather promised to be favorable -warm and dry, just ideal weather for camping. "By granny. this is something lik e livin' !" said Jubal. as he hacked at the hemlocl< with one of the hatchets. "Seems tew me sometimes I'd like tew go aout intew the woods and pla y h ermit r est of my natcherel clays." "But you'd want some one with you,'' suggested Skeen. "\i\ T ell, yes, it wouldn't be bad tew have some com pany." "Then you wouldn't be a hermit." "And I d want to keep close to so me farm where there were plenty of milk and eggs and good chicke n s for frying," obsen-ecl Lafe, who overheard thi s as he worked round his fire. "And an ice cream parlor and a soda fountain not too far away wouldn't be bad,' \tVilson Crane added. "And a little library where a fellow could get books now and then, arid a post office or something whe re he could receive magazines and papers and such things," said Tom. Jack laughed as he listened to these wishes and com ments. "In spite of the bows and arrows we're on ly imi tation Indians," he said. "I like to get out int o the woods and go wild for a littl e while, but I'm as glad as the next one to get back into the town again after I"ve had my fun." But pe1:haps that o nly sho \\'ed h ow thoroughly Jack understood what the pleasures of the camp life consist in. \11/e enjoy it because it i s suc h a contrast to our ordinary method of living, but we should hesitate a long time before being wi llin g to adopt it as a regular mode of existence. \/\/hen the outing is over and we get back home the comforts of home are more thoroughly appreciated because of the contrast. Camp lif e ha s its j oys in plenty,, but it has al o some dis comforts; which are really not discomforts, however, to a hardy lad. The camp was macle by the time Lafe had the s upper ready; and then all sat round on the rive r bank, with the flashing fire shining red in the tumbling water; and, ''vvith fingers fo r forks,'' aided by their pocket knives, they devoured the things which Lafe's cooking skill had prepared. They sat up after supper a long time, talking over th eir plans. Then, as the night remained so warm, with no hint of clew, they dragged bags of hemlock browse out into the open air and made their couches there, and lay clown to sleep under the bright stars and with the sound of the gurgling river in their ears. They \Nere a ll tired and t h ey s lept well. It seemed to Jack that he had been asleep but a little while, when he was awakened by an excited whisper from Neel Skeen, and, opening his eyes, saw the red fire of the morning sun s hining high in the eastern sky, showing that full sunrise was not far away. Neel Skeen1s question was followed by the twang of his bowstring, and a cry of kind came from the underbrush near. Jack rolled out of. his hemlock bed, and all the boys started up. Neel was on hi s feet, looking into the woods. "Howling mackerels! it was a wild cat or a panther, or something like that!" he declared. "He was close up by the camp when I heard him. Then he scudded and I let drive with an arrow."


6 ALL-SPORT LIBR.\RY. "And I'll bet yeou've lost yer arrer," said Jubal. "But I drove him away, just the same.'' "Better put on your shoes," Jack warned, as Neel was about to dart out to the spot where he had seen the animal he had s hot at; "yo u may cut your feet and go lame for the r est of the trip ." Neel was almost to o excited to obey this, but he did; a nd by the time he was ready Jack and the other boys had slipped into their clothing and had drawn on their shoes. "He was right there," said Neel, leading the way and palpitating with interest. He pointed to the spot at which he had aimed his arrow." "By granny, yeou must ha ve clruv it clean through him! Jubal ejaculated. The arrow was sticking in the body of a tree near the ground and there was n o indicati on that it h a d gone through or hit anything but the tree Neel stared. "Well, if I didn't hit him what made the thing scream?" "Neel,'' said Tom, "I've been thinking all the time that wasn't a scr eam, but a ye lp-the yelp of a frightened clog. It must have been a clog .. "A clog-nit! Didn't I see the shine of his eyesthe y looked green, a kind of red-gr een.'' "A clog's eyes would look that way the sa me as any other an imal's, and I suppose their reddi sh shine was from the red of the sun in the sky." Neel .was n ot willing to belittve that the t h ing he had shot at was only a clog. "But there aren't any hou ses near here!" he pro te s ted. "That doesn't pr9 ve it wasn't a clog. It was prob ably a hound that had been o ut hunting, and he came n os ing round the camp to get something to eat." Proof that T o m's theory wa s the correct one was found when they went a little further and there found some clamp, boggy grotrnd which shovvecl the tracks of a dog clearly enough. But Neel refused to be convinced. "I still don't think, it was a clog," he declared; "f1ow cfo> you kn ow it wasn't a panther, or some other animal l ike that?" "Because there aren't any panthers round here.'' "How do you know there aren't?" "None have been seen for years.'' "Well, it might have been one that had escaped from some\Yhere, you know; or, perhaps, a jaguar that had escaped, o r somet hing of the kind. I read '"'-. in the papers la st summer of a jaguar that escaped from a menagerie out in Colorado, and they had fun in getting him again." Neel was l oath to give up the i dea that he had shot at someth ing more wonderful and romantic than a common clog. CHAPTER IV. THE QUEER STRANGER. \tVhen breakfast was over, the h as tily constructed camp was abanckned just as it s to od, and with each boy bearing his portionof the camping outfit and provi s i ons they set o ut again, heading toward the blue h ills that l ay over behind the woods. It was noon when they reached them, and found a fine view of the woods when they had climbed up some dis tance. T hey cou l d see the lake and the town of Cranford, b ot h eeming very far away and s111all. In passing through the \\"OOcls they had done some hunting, and had three gray squirre ls, which Lafe was to cook for dinner. The squirre l l aw was off now. They had also stirred up seve ral partridges. They might have brought clown m o re game, but they did not care to ri k the l oss of any arrows by shooting where there was not a good chance A rabbit bounced out of a clump of bushe s, and Wilson Crane let an arrow fly at it. Jubal sent a second; but the rabbit went off unharmed, and the boys hunted for their arrows. "That would have h e lped out on the dinner," said Lafe, regretfully "I believe I could eat the se three little squ irr e l s myself.'' But the three squirre l s were enough, with some of the supp lies they had brought from the town. The boys had n_ow reached the region in which they purposed to spe nd most of their time. There were quirrels in the woods, partridges in the brush)r districts, rabbit s everywhere, and quails round the grain fields of the scattered farms. Be sides, the Laurel River, to w h ose banks they still clung was well stocked with fish. They were not likely to go hun gry, for they knew that two or three miles away were some farmhouses, where they could buy things if their supplies ran out. When dinner was over another camp -vvas built. Then the boys lay around, resting and talking a while, and finally scattered to look over the surrounding c o untry, that they might better determine their plans for ci1e future. It was four or five o'clock in the afternoon and


,\LL-SPORTS LlBR .\RY. 7 J a ck Lightfoot wa s \1 alking al o n g s ome high rocky cliffs that overhung the little riv er, with the water thundering a nd dancing below him in a wild, frothing stream, when he found him s elf s uddenly opp o sed in the path by an unkempt incliviclual, who carried on his arm a long-barreled, big-b o red rifle. This rather wild-l oo king man had evidently been waiting for Jack there, for he slid clo wn from some rock s and placed himself in front of him. Jack s topped in hesitation. "Hello!" he s aid by ,, a y o f s triking up a conver sation. "Thi is rather pretty up here, don't you think?'' The man plumped the butt of his rifle down on the rocks, folded his across the muzzle and stared hard at Jack without answering. Finally he asked what seemed to Jack a singular question: "Is y our name Jubal Marlin?" "No," s aid Jack; "what made you think so?" "You re cam pin' over there ?" The man jerked his head in the direction of the camp. "Yes." "A half dozen of ye?" "Yes, .that's the number." Come frum Cranford?" "Yes." "\Vhat y o u d o in' there?" "Just camping." "\\'hat fer?" "\\" h y jus t for the fun of the thing, of course." "That all?" "That' s all." "You' re a liar!" The man had remo1 ecl his clasped hands from the muzzle o f the rifle. S orry y o u think so," Jack an s wered, wondering if he w as g o ing t o haYe trouble with this fell ow. Y e s yo u're a liar. Y our name' s Jubal l\Iarlin !" He c a me close up to Jack p eering with little gray eye s that were s h a rp and cunning. "lf you'll let me go by, said Jack, "I'll n o t trouble y o q." He m o v ed t o o ne s ide t o pa ss man. for he did n o t reli h the th ought of an encounter with him on th os e hi g h bluff ov e rhan ging the river. The cunning eye s dropp ed craftily. "Oh, well, if ye s a y it' s so I g o t t c believe yon I s p os e !" He s tepped a s ide as if to let Jack pass; then as Jack mo : ed a long he lun g ed at birn dropp ing the rifl e 1rit h a clatter to the rocks. Jack a v o ided his o ut s tretched hand s and with a qt.1ick kic k of o ne fo o t tripped him sprawling; then ran on al o n g the bluff s s t o ppin g when h e wa s some distance a\rny. \Vhat he s aw as he turned round made him cluck behind a tree. The man had caught up the long rifle and was aiming it at him. Jack' s quick leap caused the man to lower the weap o n fo r Jack had thu s taken h i mself o ut o f sight. A fight ,, ith a man who was armed with a rifle and would n o t he s itate to u s e it was not to Jack' s taste, and h e hurried o n clown the s lope, interp os ing t rees and rocks between himself and his unk1101rn enemy. At the encl of this s harp flight he fo und him s elf panting fro m his exerti o n s and s t o pped. Then he climbecl cauti o u s l y t o the t o p o f th e n e are s t ro c k and looked oyer it, but the man w as n o t t o be s e en. It w o uld ha1e been mere foo lhardin ess for h i m to go back up the s lope for th e purp os e o f dis c ove r i n g what had bec o me of the m an, a s the latt e r might be in hiding, waiting for him to come in sigh t and in range of his bullet. Jack wa s a boy of courage, but he was al s o a boy of discretion. So he slipped d o wn fro m the r ocks and turned in the dir ection of the camp, feelin g that he had had an adventure that \\'Ould spice the talk of the evening round th e camp fire. \Vhen Jack reached the camp Ned Skeen came out to meet him. Neel was so much excited he c o uld hardl y speak. "I've stayed in camp about all afternoon, .. h e said, "and I've had the scare of my life! My hair hasn't turned white, has it?" He tried to laugh, but h e was apparently very nenou s "Your hair's holding it s natural c o lor I belie ve. \ V hat' s h a pp ened?" "\Yell. there' s a queer fell o w wandering round her e and J think h e s craz-y. :f:le ca r ries a big cann o n of a rifle, ancl o nc e I thbught he wa s going to shoo t m e with it. I was the la s t to leave the camp, and I met hiq1 rig ht o ut there. He asked me \1hat my name wa s and when I told him he acted a s if he d o ubt ed me. "I came back t o the camp, for I didn' t 1 ike the l o ok s of him; and then I saw him prow ling round out there staring at the camp. "By and by, when I th ought he'd gone away, I heard a foo t s tep right behind me. It made me jump; and when I turned r ound-well, howling mackerels!


8 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. that foo l \\as right there, \rith his gun pointed a t me. I n e arly thre\\. a fit. 'Tell me your true name!' he saicl, in a sort of ice-cream Yoice that sent the shivers galloping up my spme. "And whe11I told him he looked again as if he didn't belieye me. But he went away; and I've been her e ever since, waiting for some of you fellows to come back. Gee! I'm in favor of moving camp, for I know he's crazy! You didn't see anything" of him as you came along?" "Yes, I saw him," said Jack. And then he sat down and told Ned of his own encounter with the same individual. Half an hour later Jubal with a story as startling. His clothes were torn, and he looked as if he had been mixed up in a dog fight. "By granny, I come nigh aJ;laout bein' killed!" he shouted. "You saw him?" said Skeen. "You had a fight with him?" "Well, I dunno who yeou're talkin' abaout. but I run acrost the gol-darndest critter, carryin' a big gun. His face was all coYered with whiskers-hadn't sha\ed fer six months, I reckon. I was walkin' along, lookiu' fer squirrels clown in the woods, when f ust I seen him. I thought he was lookin' fer squirrels, tew. 'Seen any squirrels, mister?' I ast him, as he come up tew me. "Instead of answerin', he looked at me with eyes like shiny, agate marbles; and he says: 'Tell me whut's yer name?' "'Jubal Marlin,' says I, as perlite as I knowed haow. "\Vell, I vum, if tl;e critter didn't jump fer me then like a squallin' tomcat,! "I jumped back, tew git aout of the way; and when he struck his foot agin' a root and fell sprawlin', I cut sticks aout of there, naow I tell yeou." "And you didn't see him again?" Jack asked, almost as excited now as Ned. "I seen him onct-seen him swing up gol darnecl big rifle p'int it at me; and then I went over a rock like a rabbit and scudded fer here. Tore my clo'es some, tew, doin' it." J ube's eyes were fairly rolling "That's the fellow," cried Skeen, "the very same one; he wanted to shoot me here, and he tackled Jack! He wanted to know what my name was, and he told Jack he believed he was Jubal Marl in. Now what d oe s that mean?" "\\' h a t in time kin it mean?'' Jubal demanded, staring round into the \YOo ds a s if he expected to see the c1ueer rifleman out there behind a tree. Jack got up and )Yalked to the edge of the woods, finally mounting a slight knoll that s tood in the open before the camp He had been made uneasy. "I don't know what to think of it," he said, as he back. "Likely the fellow is crazy." "<:;:razy as a water bug!" said Skeen. "I had a theory, but what J ube says has almost knocked it out." "What was that?" did I say tew change it?" Jack sat down again, but kept his keen eyes on the woods and on the stony, brushy country that stretched toward the nearest hill. "My theory was simply that as the man asked for Jubal Marlin he might be that uncle of J ube's who was to have come to Cranford; but that can't be so, for Jube has seen him." "Howling mackerels, I hadn't thought of that! It couldn't have been your missing uncle, Jube? He might have gone crazy, you know; and that would account for him not appearing in Cranford." "He might 'a' gone crazy," said J ube, "but could he have sp ro uted whisker s like that? Yes, I s'p o se he could, in six month s ; and that would change his lo o ks. He allus went clean shaved, and he allus wore purty good clo'es. This feller was a ragamuffin." "Could it have been him?" Jack asked. "It don't seem posserble." "But hovv di0 he know your name?" All three got up and stepped out beyond the camp, looking about, thus showing their uneasiness. "My uncle \ms allus n o ted fer bein' an onreliable cuss, said Jubal, "which acc a ounts fer his not c o m in' tew see me an' not mailin' that letter after he'd writ it, but it don't accaount fer the sing'lat: fact that he didn t go back home. That's been puzzlin' me ever sen s e I heercl abaout it. It'd be mightysing'lar if this hairy, ragged critter was him. It don't seem tew me that I can believe it." As Jack and Jubal had encountered the man some distance away, it was not likely that he could now be near the camp, unless he had followed Jubal. Nevertheless, the boys continued to watch the wo o ds and the rocky slopes, until Tom and Lafe and Wilson came 111.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 9 CHAPTER V THE CAMP HAS A VISITC!f As a re s ult of the se encounters with the queer rifleman the boys moved camp that evening, and estab lished themselves so me distance away. Here in a crevice Lafe fri ed the fish he had caught that day, and the game which the other boy s had se cured. Tom had brought down a plump partridge, which flew up from the ground and stopped o n the limb of a small tree, giving him a good shot with the b o\\ and arrow. And Wilson had two rabbits. One he had discov ered sitting in a bunch of g ra ss, f-tnd the other he had found squatting in the brushy g r ow th of the hill s ide. Both he had killed easily w ith his arrows. It was "pot hunting," but a s the b ys wer e armed with nothing but their bows, they c o uld n ot afford to take the chances of trying to bring down game that was fl.ying or running, as one may do if he is o ut hunting with a shotgun The abundance of fish and game made Lafe's "moutli. water," as he put it. The boys h e lped him to prepare them for cooking, and Lafe desired n o mote assi s t ance than that. He wanted to attend to th e cooking himself. for then he wou ld kn o w that nothin g was burned o r unclercl one, and that the business \ vo uld be performed properly "I don't know but I'd like to be a chef in a big hotel somewhe r e," he r emar k ed, as h e busied him self about the fire. "They get whaling big salaries, and the work mu s t be just fun." "Fun for you, perhaps.," obse rved Jack, "but I shouldn't fancy it." "Oh, of course," said Lafe, l a u ghing as he poked at his fire, "you're not expected to know a good thing \\hen you ee it!" Jubal was almost too serious-minded to talk. 1 \ncl Neel Skeen \\"aS taking no part in the conversa tion. He h a d constituted himself the "watchdog" of the pa rt y, and wa s sitting well out in front of the camp with hi s back again st a tree and his eyes roving about. He didn't want that man 't o come up behind him again and poke a rifle at him. That h ad given Neel a nervous turn which he would not be abfe to get over for a week. \s Neel sat thu on guard there was a crackling o f underbrush which fairly made him jump, and a man cam e into view. reel a sigh of relief, even though he did h ot lik e the appea r ance of the vis it o r \Yho wac. not t he queer rhleman, but a greasy-looking, rom cl-bodied in dividual, \Yith a flat, greasy face. "Howdy! h e called, waving his hand as if he were a big fish wiggling a fin; and with this sa lutation he walked toward the fire. All the boy s started up when they saw and heard him Neel's first thought was that thi s might be Jube's missing uncle ; but he soo n saw he was again mist aken, for appa r ently Jubal did not kn ow the man. "Seen ye r camp fire," said the visitor, dropping his greasy form to the ground, "an' thought I d come in an' be friei;iclly." He l oo ked hungrily at the things Lafe was c ooking. "My name 's Waggles," he said, w hen n o one s h owed j oy at his intru s ion-"\Vally Waggles. When I was yo un ger I \\' as c alled vValter \ Vaggles, but I've cut that out, and now I'm je st Wally Waggles. Glad to see ye." He put his b road back agai n st a tree and beamed amiably. "You Ji,e round h e re, I s upp ose?" Jack asked no\v. "I guess your name o ught to be Weary Waggles," th ought Lafe, poking viciously at the fire to reli eve his feelings, a nd w onde rin g a n xiou ly i f th e ma n would expect supper, and how much \\'Ould be l eft of the fish and game aft e r he got thro ugh with it. "Well yes: ye may say that I do-'bout a mile from here, er mebbe more, ove r on the road th at leacls west from the lake. I'm Jivin a l one there. I dis kiverecl that you yo un gsters \,as in the neighb o rh ood, and so I thought I' cl drop in, sort of frie11clly like ye know." Agai n he l oo ked hungril y at the thing s Lafe was cooking. "Oh, I wish you'd m ove on back h ome!"' thought L afe as he caught that l ook "This afternoon,'' sai d J ack, "so me of my friends and m yself met a quee r fellow o ut near h e re. and ma y be you can tell us who he _is. He had a bushy, overgrown beard c arrie d a l ong rifle, and wa s fairly ra gged." "Had a wild l ook," s uppl e mented Skeen wh o h a d come int o the group and was surveying the stranger with interest. Wall y vVagg les leaned heavily back against the tre<.l a nd gurgled o ut a lau g h \ Nell, that's a relief to me! That must have been Crabbe. There's been a feller round here that we ca1' the hermit Crabbe, but ain't nobody seen him in a


J O ALL-SPORTS LIBR:\RY. month of Sundays. Most folks thought h e wa? de a d, mebbe." "Was he crazy?" asked Neel. "No, h e wa'n't crazy, as anyone knowed o n, 'ceptin' that I reckon any feller that liv es a l o ne in the woods must be a l ittle bit cracked. I'm bettin' that was Crabbe!" His manner changed when J ac k told what had be [a llen Neel and Jubal and himself. "Then he's gone crazy," said \i\Tally \ i\Taggles. I 3tmm, I don t want to meet him!" "You ain't met any feller callin' hisself Jubal Marlin ?" J ube asked, anxiously. "Never heard the name before." The supper was ready. "I reckon I'll lay to. with ye," observed the greasy stranger, thus inviting himse lf. I snum, I ain't see n s ich vittles fer a month o' Sundays." A n d he "lay to," with such an enormous appetite that Lafe fe lt like beating him over the h ead with the stick he had been u si n g as a poker for the fire \Vally Waggles did no t stop eating until the la s t bone of the game and fish had been picked clean and the last drop of coffee had been drained fro1i.1 the little coffeepo t. "Eatin' out doors is healthy fer the appetite," he observed, sagely. \ He drew out a black pipe pushed a handful of tobacco into it, and se t it going; then looked round at the gathering darkness. "I don't )ike the idee of goin' home, with that crazy critter wanderin' I don't know who h e i s, an' h e might take a fool n oti01; that I'm Jubal Marl in an' try fer a crack at me. But how d'ye reckon he ever heerd that narue, if he ain't this young feller's uncle o r akin to him?" "That's what I'm wantin' tew know tarnal bad," said Jubal. "You're that cellerbrated, I reckon that even a h e rmit in t h e wild woods has heerd of ye." \i\ Tagg les tried to laugh, and looked round agam into the thickening gloom. "I'll accompany you h ome, if you're afraid to go alone," said J ack, who wanted to get rid of him." "I think I'll go a l ong, then," remarked T om, getting to hi s feet, for h e distrusted this g reasy stranger. "'Well. of all the hogs!" said Lafe. as the man dis appeared with h is escort; "wh y, actual!?', the fello w n eat m ore than I can !" ,. Then Lafe pretende d not to see the j oke, when the f ellu\YS laughed at him. "But I'm anxious," said Skeen, moving about nerv ous l y. "\\That if Tom and Jack don't come back what if something happens to ,them? vVhy didn't they n1ake go home alone? This has been such a qqeer clay that I'm getting nervo us." The boy s l aughed again, for Neel was always n e r v ous "He wq.uleln't have gone home a lone; he' d have stayed OYernight,'' said Lafe. ncl what would 'vVe have fe<,l him with in the morning? Jack wanted to get rid of him." Neel Skeen walked round outside o f the with his bow and arrows. watching. But J ack and Tom came back after a \Yhile, dec laring that they had fo un d Greasy Waggles highly interesting. "I didn't find him interesting," Lafe grumbled. "Look at tha t pi l e of bones And the bread is all gone, and everything el s e that we had cooked ... He s hook the cracker bag, and a few l o nely crackers rattled round in it. "Fellow s, we'll be up agains t starvation to-morrow "\i\T e 'll prevent that," said Jack, "by getting a move on u s in the m orning and doing some hunting and fishing that i s \vorth while. And if we have no luck, we ca11 go onr to one of the farmhouses and buy what we've got to ha, ,e." CHAPTER VI. WHAT AN ARROW REVB(\LED. Though nothin g \\as seen or heard of the strange rifleman throughout the n ight, when the boys started out the next m orning to do some hunting they re so lve d to keep together. Jubal bad not s lept well, and he seemed tired and anxious. The breakfas t that morning was rather scanty. They put themselves o n a short allowance of bread, for they wanted it to last as long as po ssi ble As for game and fish ther e was none, t hanks to the healthy appetite of Greasy Waggle s Ned Skeen seemed to be looking more fo r the rifle man than for game, fo r when a squirre l ran up a tree bes ide him he did not see it until he heard the other fellows sho ut. T o m Lightfoo t brought it clown \vith an arrow. Five m ore squirrels were added to the bag that m o rn mg. O ne of these \\a s secured by Jack, who al so brought dr'"'r a partridge.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRA RY. I l \\Tilso n Crane got a n other rabbit; and as t hi s was Wilson's third rabbit they began to call him the rab bit dog "Oh, we' re al l right aga in! Lafe declared, buoy antly, as he viewed the increasing bag of game. "I know where we can get a l ot of fish, a nd that will fix us We won't h ave to visit any farmhouses to-day." Being tired of the hu nting, they to the banks of the river, and were soon pulling in fish, meet ing with such fine luck that in less th an an hour they had more than two dozen speck l ed beauties to show for their work. Jubal, who was having the poorest success all, for his mind wa s not really o n t h e fishi ng, go t up and walked a l o n g the bank l ooking for a bette r place. As he clicl so a rifle cracked so m e\\'here in the woods, and Jubal fairly fell forward, while a c h a racteri st i c exclamation was bellowed from his lip s Jack dropped his willow pole and scramb l e d toward Juba l his first th ought being that his friend h ad been shot. But he was relieved t o see Jubal stra i g hten up with a nervous lau g h. "By heml ock, I thought I was a gone r! Yeou heerd that gun, didn't ye? \V ell, the bull e t frum it wen t s p a n g intew that tree ri ght by my h e ad. T h e r e it i s!" Instead of strai g htening up to hi s full height, cau tious Jubal gave a sq uirming l eap now that t oo k him well down the bank. "Better git daown frum there," he warned. "That crazy feller h as opened up on us with his rifle." Seeing that Juba l wa s unhurt, Jack climbed cau tiously to the top of th e nearest bluff and l ooked off into the woods from which the rifle s h o t mu s t have come. Though he saw nothing, he knew that the riflem a n was out there somewhere. Jubal and the ot her s we r e staring up at him and waiting for his r epo rt. All h ad taken up their bow s and arrows, and hacl abandoned their fishing. "Couldn't see anything," Jack rep o rted, as he s lipp ed back from hi s post of o bser vation. "Was that an ac cident, or do you think h e shot at yo u with the inten tion of hitting you?" "He shot at me with a bu llet b y 'fa cky Seems tew me I can hear it singin' in m y ears y it. It didn't mi ss my head by more'n an inch "Stay here," said Jack. "Tom, you go round that way, while I go round this Keep l ow, and your eyes open. May be we can get to see that fellow." "vVhat's the use o lookin' ?" Jub a l g rumbled I know who s h ot that bulle t at me." Dut T om and Jack slipped away. vVhen they returned they were able t o report that they had seen the rifl e man moving off hurriedl y through the woods at a conside rable distance. This was a relief; for they could feel n ow that fo r a time at l east no more bull e t s would be fired at them. It was clear t o J ack that the m a n h ad s hot at Jubal from a certain hig h kn oll which commanded that point on the ri ve r bank. Whether h e had Jub al, or had me r ely fired n o t carin g which member of the party was the target, was uncertain; yet J ack and Tom, and Jubal him s elf, were of th e op ini o n that the man had aimed a t Jubal. "By h emlock, I'm fer gittin' aout of this place!" de clared Jubal thrown int o a panic b y hi s narrow e s cape from a sudde n death. "If the crazy critter shoots at me onc't there's n o sayin' but he'll devv it ag'in the fu s t chance he g i ts I'm fer back-trackin'. I'm a peacerble citi zen, kill in things fer fun afld fer food; but I ain t h ankerin' tew be killed m yself." He tried t o laugh, but the effort was not a success. In fact, J ube had been scared, a nd his white face s h o wed it. The my ste ry o f the thing was also wearing on his n erves. "We ought to be a ble to tell if that bullet came from a big-bored rifle such as that fellow carries, said J ack. Sayin g this, he t ook one of the hatchets and began to chop into the tre e for the bullet. He brought it up in a little w hile. It wa s a lar ge bullet from a big-bored gun; and this s eemed s ufficient p roof, i f added proof was needed, that it h ad b een fired by th e rifleman T h e r e was no further desi r e for fishing, and it "as decided n ow t o return to the camp. On the way back Jack saw a large hawk swoop down and h ove r ove r a rabbit. The rabbit escaped b y some quick running and twisting, and the di s appointed hawk soared int o a tree and alighted. "Fellows," J ac k whispered, "I think I'll try an arrow on that rascal!" He s lipp ed on in adva nce and by some creeping con trived to get within what would have been good s h ooting dis tance if h e ha d been armed with a gun. T h e bow was n ot so reliable h owever, at that long r a nge, and when he let s lip an arrow. at the haw k, he sa w it s trike a g l an cin g blow agains t the limb below it and then shoot downward and off at one s ide.


12 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Not wi hing to lose the arrow Jack noted the direc tion and distance it took: instead of \\'atching the ha\\'k, \\'hich flew away. \Vhen the boys came up, Tom went with Jack 111 search of the arrow. ''\V hy I didn't know there wa s a s hanty here!" said Torn, as a cabin came into view. There was dense shrubbery all about, and this had concealed the little, tumble-do\\'n cabin. "The arrow went in that direction," said Jack, "and w e'l l haYe trouble in find ing it. I oughtn't to have tried it on that hawk." As they tramped through the sh rubbery in search of the arrow they came suddenly on a rather grewsorne sight. Before them was a human ske l eton, with the arrow sticking up between the ribs. "The missing hermit!" Jack exclaimed. "It must be,'' said Tom, in a low voice Apparently, by a st range freak of fate, the arrow fired at a ha\\'k had re\'ealecl a tragedy; it seemed that the disappearance of the hermit, Crabbe, was no longer a mystery. Jack's shout brought the othe1: boys running; and they arri ,.ed to see Tom and Jack staring at the arrow sticking between the ribs of the skeleton. "Gug-goshfry !" gurgled Jubal. "HO\Nling mackerels, a skeleton!" cried Skeen. "And it looks as if the arrow had killed the man," observed Wilson. "I'm bettin' twas that feller with the ri Re clone it, if he was killed," was Jubal 's guess, remembering h ow he had been fired at. "Do you s upp ose that can be the skeleton of the her mit that old Greasy told us about last night?" Lafe asked, ser iously. "There's no way to tell,'' sa id Jack. "But there may be something about it-some means of identification," Torn s uggested. 'Up till now no one had advanced further toward the gha'Stly find, but now all went forward to investigate. \Vilson drew out the arrow, which had merely gone between the rib s and then had stuck in the ground be neath. "Not injured, he said, as he looked at it. "But it makes a fellow feel queer to put it back in his quiver and use it again,'' Jack obse rved. Nevertheless, he returned it to the quiver, for ar ro\'.s were likely to be valuable. Looking again at the ske leton, the keen eyes of Jack Lightfoot saw a round object which seemed to have been disturbed or shaken out of place by the with clra\\al of the arrow. He took the arrow from the quiver, and, putting its point against this little round thing, pushed it out upon the g r ound at one side of the skeleton. "A bullet!" he cried. He stooped and picked it up holding it gingerly between his fingers. "A bullet, fellows; and my guess is it's the bullet that killed the man, \\h oever he was." He now took from his pocket the flattened bit of lead he haq cut out of the tree. All the boys gathered round, looking at the t\\'o pieces of lead. "From the same rifle, is my guess,'' said Jack. "What do you think?" "I'm betting the same thing!" said Skeen. "Sure thing!" Jubal agreed, bending forward for a close look. Torn took the hrn bullets and hefted them; then examined them closely. Each was but the one fired int o the tree much more so than the other. "I sho uld say they're from the same gun." "f\nd that proves that the crazy guy out in the woods killed this man,'' was Skeen's conclusion. "It looks so." "And what are we to do?" "Git aout of this,'' said Jubal, anxiously. "Some of us a ir likely to be skeleton mighty soon if we don't. That feller that's cloin' the shootin' ain't my uncle, and I know it." Jubal could not get a way from that strange sensa tion of a bullet whizzing by his head and striking the tree. Jubal was no coward, but he was s ure that bullet had been meant for him, and he had no desire to be come a target for pellets of lead like that. "It seems to me iYs up to us to l ook into this thing a little further,'' was Jack's sensible statement. "My guess is that this man was murdered, and by the crazy chap who shot at Jubal. Perhaps the man is crazy and is not responsible for what he did; but just the same, the matter ought to be sifted We ought to be able to find out who this man i s and somethjng about him." Wilson, rendered curious by the finding of the lead, was making a further examination, but discovered nothing. "We'll take a lo ok through the cabin," Jack sug gested. "He must have lived 111 it, and maybe we'll find something there." At one side of the cabin was an old well, which held some filthy-looking water, and by it was a rusty


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 13 tin pail, with a rotting rope attached. Apparently, neither had been u sed fo r months. The grass in fro'nt of the broken-dow n door was untrampled, and the cabin had an odor of mustiness and decay. Going inside, the boy s saw that the interior was poorly furnished. There was a homemade bed in one corner, covered with some moldy bed clothing. On a little mantel stood a cheap clock, which had long since stopped. In addition, at one encl of the cabin was a fireplace, with some pans and kettles on the earthen hearth. 1-ranged on some rough s h elves on the wall were a few battered tin plates, with br ken knives and forks "Hello!" Jack cried out; as he and the others were making thi search. He had lifted a dust-covered block of wood from the mantel, and revealed beneath it he saw a scrap of paper containing writing. All ran to him, drawn by his exclamation, as he lifted this paper. All read the writing, which was but a penciled scrawl, uncompleted: "I have buried the money in--" That was all, th e wavering words trailing away into an indistinguishab l e line after that. But Jubal had given an excited cry, and seemed sud denly to ha \ e become as crazy a the boys believed the trange riAeman to be. By hemlock," he howled, "lemme look at that closer!" He wa fumbling nervously at a pocket in his coat, and brought out the letter written by his uncle, which he had recei \ 'Cd just before starting o n this trip. IIe held it up with baking finger to compare it with the writing on the paper found by Jack. The re emblance between the t\rn writings was re markable. The greate t noticeable difference wa that one handwriting was stiff and angular and without shaking curves, and the other wabbled and sprawled over the paper, and then ran into incli tinct lines. Tom Lightfoot and Jack, and all the other boys, were staring at the writing and the letter. Tom brought out his pocket magnifier. "I should say, in spite of the differences, that they are the ame handwriting,., he declared, aft r an ex amination. A silence fell on the group. To everyone had been brought the sudden belief that the skeleton lying out in the sh rubbery was the skeleton of Jubal's uncle A hard sob choked Jubal's throat, a dash of tears came to his eyes, and a look of pain and distress crept into his homely face. "By granny, that's tough, if it is him!" "Oh, say, fellows, it can't be!" Lafe urged, moved by sympathy "The writing rooks a good deal alike, but there's still a big difference." "Of course it can't be!" asserted Skeen, distressed by the thought of what it would mean to Jubal if the supposition were proven true. "The clifferenfe in the writing is no greater than o ne would expect to find under the circumstances argued Tom Lightfoot, coolly. "This man didn't fin ish what he meant to say, and that s hows that he must have been sick, or something of the kind." "Probably he had that bullet in him at the .time," suggested Wilson; "and when he stagghed out into the yard he fell there where we found him." "It speak of money," sa id Jubal drying his eyes. "What in time do yeou make of that?" They read the words again : "I have buried the money in--" "If h e was sick, o r wounded, and buried the mone y then, he must have buried it here in the house," was Jack guess. "Something "as the matter with him, o r he'd have fini heel \\'hat he tried to write," Tom argued. "And the way the letters are sprawled proves that, too. He got that far and hadn't strength to \Hite anothe r word clearly .. IIe put the magnifier on the writing again in an at tempt to decipher the sentence beyond the legible \\'Orcls. "Cant make it out," he confessed. Jack was again moving round the cabin, and the other boy now joined in the search. The thought that money was possibly hidden there proved a mighty stim ulant, for the lure of gold i s ever s trong. B11t for once Jubal. was tirred by something more than the lure of gold, In addition to hi naturally in tense desire to learn if the skeleton might be that of his missing uncle, was the thought that if anything \Yas cli co\erecl in the cabin with it might be some \\Titing that would as ist in the identification. Though the resemblance of the two writings was so marked, he had not been able to convince him self be yond doubt that they werethe sa me, any more than


ALL-SPORTS LIBRA RY. he Jue! been able to iden tify the queer rifleman as hi s uncle. There was still great room for the belief that his uncle had not come to the vicinity of Cranford. Above all, it seemed most unlikely that even if his uncle had started for Cranford he would have ven tured into the se woods. The boys began their search b.iY digging in the cor ners of the cabin with their knives and with sticks. When this digging revealed nothing, they began to remove the few boards from the floor. As this was fruitless, Tom L1ghtfoot again took a look at the two bullets, and then walked out into the shrubbery for another inspection of the skeleton. Jack and the other boys gave over their search and joined him. "I can't find that any of the bones of this man were broken so far as I can see. \Vhat do you say to re moving that bit of clothing there and looking under neath it?" The clothing \Vas scraped away with a stick. There seemed a dent or partial fracture in one of the bones thus exposed. "That might have been made by the bullet," said Tom. He held up the bullet. "You see it's flattened a little. If it struck only flesh it would hardly have been flattened so, and, be sides, it's likely it would have gone through the body, unless it was fired from a considerable distance." "\Veil, that crazy critter takes long shots,'' said Jubal. "What I've been thinking," went on Tom, "is that this bullet may not have killed the man: it may have been in one of his pockets, and when the clothing fell to pieces it dropped down where we found it. If that's so he wasn't killed by it." "Then you think he may have died naturally?" said Jack. "I don't know. It's possible that when he wrote those words he was very sick. He may have come out to the well for water, and then reeled round and fell here \vhere we found him." "My suggestion," said Jack, "is to call in Wally Waggles. If he can get to see that my s teri ous riAe man he ought t o be able to tell us if he is the man he calls the hermit Crabbe.'' It was so good a suggestion that they decided they would act on it at once. It was neces sary, any\Yay, to communicate with some one and get word to the iocal 01uthorities,, steps might be taken m a legal way to determine the cause of thi s man's death, and to bring hi s murderer to pun ishment if it was found that he hacl'met a vio lent death. So, leaving the skeleton as they had found it, they parted from the tumble-down cabin and took their way back to camp, talking of the mystery, and keeping a sharp watch for the queer straoger who roamed the woods with that big rifle. CHAPTER VII. WALLY WAGGLES' DISCOVERY. Jack Lightfoot had by thi s time about reached the conclusion that the man found dead was really Jubal Marlin's uncle, and that the man who prowled round with the rifle was the fellow called Crabbe, and that Crabbe had slain Mr. Marlin, perhaps for his money. He talked this theory over with Tom and the others as they walked to the camp. Jube's uncle might have gone astray from the road and become lost in these woods, and he might have found his way to Crabbe's cabin. That may have been Crabbe's cabin. Crabbe may have discovered that he had money, and may have shot him. Well, I get rather balled up when I get that far. Apparently he didn't get the money, for this man wrote that he'd buried it. But if Crabbe killed him, or wounded him and left him there without finding the money, so that later the man was able to bury it and write that note, the thing may have set Crabbe off his head. "He'd be expecting that some one would come to arrest him, and naturally when we appeared he thought of that. If he's crazy, and he must be, he'd try to kill us. "I s hould think that in some way he learned that Jubal lived in Cranford. If the dead man was Jube's uncle he may have told the hermit that. Seeing us here and jumping to the conclusion that we came to look for him one of Crabbe's first th oughts would be that Jube was leading the party, and that the rest of us had come \\"ith him. So he would try to find out if J ube as one of u s He asked me if I was Jubal Marlin, and h e asked Skeen his name. He'd neyer seen Jube, if my s upp osit ion i s correct, ai1d so would not be able to recognize him at sight. And then he askecl Jube; and jumped at Jube and tried to kill him wh e n Jube tolcl him hi s name. This morning he seems to ha, e tried to sho o t him. He might have the crazy thought, if he \\as insane, that that was the way to keep him elf from being arrested for the murder. Crazy people do queer things and get queer ideas, you know."


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. J There see m ed t o be so m e h o l es in t he ory, when they talked it over, yet Tom was inclined to ac cept it as the correct one. "Then Uncle J ube is dead," sa id Juba l th o ught fully. He was trying hard n o t to s how h ow thi s th ought affected him. "I've aid he was an on reliable cu s. and he \\'as; but he was so r t o' goocl-heartecl, tew. Ile as mighty tight abaout money matters, but I dunno as yo u kin h ol d that agin' him; a man's got tew be tight that way if he gits ahead any. He didn't believe much in banks, fer they're all u s bustin ', er the cashiers air runnin away with the money. I r ecko n he'd saYed up a purty good wad, fer his expenses were n t nothin' much tew speak of. It ruther s'prised me tew know he eve n thought of goi n to i r ew Yor k on accaount of th e ex pense it'd be. But I'm goin' to hope that it wa sn't him, until I know better. \Vhen they reached camp the time was long past noon; and as they were now very hungry, they helpecl Lafe prepare the fish and game, and had a good clin n e r, though they were short of bread. Then th ey se t out for the h o me of Wally \Vaggles, determined to enlist him in the sea r c h and try to h a,e him determine the identity of th e r i fleman ; for they were n o w r esolved to run this mystery to the earth. It wa s a duty they owed to Jubal, as well as to t h e dead man. They found Mr. Waggles engaged in the u sefu l work of diggi n g so m e potat oes 'I swan t o man!" he said. a n d looked frightened, when th ey told him of their cl i sco very. "I hope you ain't thinking that I killed that c ritt er?" '' Tothing of the kind,'' sai d Jack; "but we want to get you to identify the fell o w with the rifle." i\Ir. \ Vally \\'aggl s look e d s ca r ed, then. "He might try to take a s h o t at me. If he's shootin' into your cro"d I reckon I'd feel healthier to stay right here .. "If you don't go wit h 11s,' aid J ack, as a sort of joke, "" e'll drive him in th i s direct i on, so that yo u can t help seeing him You mu s t ee him yo u know, so that we can fincl o ut \\'ho he is. \\'e'cl like to know if he is that man Crabbe ... "\Yell, he must be. Cr:i.hbe liYecl OYer there." \nd we \\'ant yo u to u s \\'hose old cabin that is where we found the skeleton. It to o k a good dea l o f per s uasion on the part of the boys to get \ t\fagg les t o Yentnre int o tf1e woods with them; and before he wo uld go he armed himself with a rusty shotgun that seemed Lkely t o clo more damage at the breech than at the muzzle. Having got him started, they pilote d Waggles to the s p ot w here th e ske leton lay. "I wa s never here but o nc e," he confessed "but this i s where C r ab b e lived; and if it was my guess, I'd say that i s the ske l eto n of the hermit ; and, of cour se, if it's his skeleton, then he can t be the t'other man." waggles was now so stirred up, by that hint of buried money, that he insisted on making another sea r ch of the cabin and its vicinity. "If I'd thought to bring my 'tater hoe a long I c ould tear thi s ground up live ly ," h e said, with longing, w hen the search was as barren as the previous o ne. Stiil moved by the search ing ardor, h e pro spect ed through t h e shrub bery. As he returned from one of these r o und s he declare d his belief that the dead man was not C rabbe, thus reversing his previous opin i on. "I Yum, I believe y o u felle r s i s ri g ht and that Crab b e killed thi s man, instead of bein' killed hisself I'll have to g it word to the officers abo ut this right off. Crabbe kill ed this man fer his m oney, mebbe, jis t as you sa id; a nd then went crazy thinkin' about it. It wo uld set any man off his head, livin alone like that and broodin' o,e r a murder; specially when the murder was, as ye may say, a failure; fer it see m s he didn't git a n y money afte r all, if the feller buried it, as he writ that h e d id. Again he prospected through the shrubbery, bein g as as a pointer hunting for birds. Sudde nly he uttered a cry; and as they ha s tened to wa rd him th ey heard him running t o ward the cabin. When he came in sig h t his coat tai l s we r e fluttering and hi s greasy face had turned to a pa st y white. He eemed about to fall over in a fit. \\/hat is it ? Jack asked. "I-I see n him!" he gasped, his pale lips trembling. "Who? C rabbe?" "'Twa1d Crabbe, by gum! I don't know wh o 'twas But it was the feller \vi th the gun, and he was loo king throug h the underg;-owth at m e He lifted his gun when h e see n I'd see n h im, and I lit out. He's right over there n ow. But l ook o ut, fer h e'll s hoot!" He as s hakin g with fear. Jack plunged through the bushe s in the directi o n in dicated, foll o w ed b y his companions, while Waggles clroppecl clom1 by the cabin door, gasp ing for breath after his s harp run When they reached the spot where \iVaggles had been n othing was seen of the man with the rifle.


IQ ALL-SPORTS LIB.RARY. They went further into the woods, looking warily J.! ) out, for no more than Waggles did they wish to run in to a bullet. When they came back to the cabin that same greasy pallot showed on Waggles' face. "See him ?" he asked. "'vVe didn't see anything." "Well he was there! I snum, I thought he was go in' to bore me! And I'd left my gun behind here, and--" He fairly stammered the words. "You're sure it wasn't Crabbe?" Jack asked "Purty shore. But he skeerd me like time." He glanced off toward the skeleton. "That's Crabbe over there, I reckon pore feller; but who thjs other'n is gits me He rose to his feet, still panting and trembling. "I reckon I'd better git word o' this to some officer er other. It's their duty to look into things of this kind, and n ot have other people re skin' their live s doin' cluty th .at don't belong to 'em." He seemed anxious to get away, and caught up his gun. "Say," he said, anxiously, "couldn't you fellers go back with me to my house? I snum, I don't want to go through these woods alone, with that devil prowlin' round! I'm 'most afraid to start, as it is." "I'll go with you,"' said Lafe, "if you'll let u s have a bushel o f those p otatoes you were digging." Waggles hesitated "We'll pay you for them," said Jack. Then Greasy Waggles breathed freely. Why, of course; take all ye want to! They're fifty cents a bushel, though." Tom laughed. "That's all right; we'll pay you for them. CHAPTER VIII. JUBAL'S PERIL. Wally waggles tarried no l onger at his cabin than was necessary to make sure that the boys took no more than a bushel of potatoes and that they contributed fifty cents for the same, and then he departed in hot haste, after declaring that he meant to summon an officer at once. Jack and his friends returned to the camp, lugging the potatoes in the 'rubber blanket. Though they talked a good deal, they were rather sober on the return journey, Jubal being noticeably so. Since Waggles had said that the rifleman was not the hermit, they were rather at sea for a theory that would stand the test of close examination. Who was the wild rifleman in the woods? Why had he killed the hermit, if the dead man was the hermit? And whose was the mysterious bit of writing which Jack had found on the mantel in that tumble-down cabin-writing that so strongly resembled the writing of J ube' s missing uncle? It was easier to ask these questions than to answer them. They asked them of each other over and over, and were no nearer a solution of the muddle than before. Lafe Lampton was the only member of the party who could get any cheerfulness out of the situati on; and Lafe was cheerful merely because of that bushel of potatoes. That promised son-iething to eat. "Fellows," he said more than once, "if potatoes are roasted right they're almost as good as bread, and will do for bread. Vv e can get plenty of game and fish, and there's still plenty of sal to season them with." So long as the food promised to hold out Lafe could "Well, I snurn, I think I'd like to be moving! Got endure other troubles with equanimity so methin' to carry the 'taters in?" "V/ e can go by the camp and get one o f the rubber blankets, and bring them in that," Jack s ugge sted. "A bushel will be all we'll want." "\Vell, you're welcome to 'em; they're fifty cents a bushel, and you can have all ye want, if you'll go back Though they -vvere somewhat afraid of the rifleman, that afternoon Lafe went clown to the river with \Vil son and Jubal, for Lafe declared that they must have more fish. They went to a diff e rent spot from that \\"here Jubal had h eard the bullet sin g by his head, and finding c o nwith me. I snum, I don't want to meet that critter cealme nt in some bu hes overhanging the high bank, alone!" they felt rather secure.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. But the fishing was n o t so g o od here a s \\'here they had been before, and Lafe, dissatisfied, rose to go to another point. As the three youths straggled along through the undergrowth on the banks of the stream, the wild rifleman parted the bushes and leaped upon Jubal, who was some yards in the rear. Jubal dropped his b o w and arrow and the few fish he h acl caught, and wa s engaged the next instant in a terrific combat with the man there on the bank. Lafe and Wilson heard the sol1nds and turned back quickly. What they beheld fairly paralyzed them for an instant, for they aw Jubal and the rifleman struggling t o gether o n the rocky bluff overhanging the water. Juba l w a s n o mean fighter, thank s to his athletic tra ining in the highschoo l gym. He had gras ped the rifleman by the throat wa s pu shing him back to the edge o f the bluff. The man had his arms ab out Jubal h o wever ; and s eemed n o t at all loath to go over if he could drag J ube d o wn with him. \ V ith a y ell Lafe clas hed t o ward the c o mbatants and Wilso n follo wed him. The n the y sa w Jubal a nd the rifleman t o pple from the bluff t o gether and drop toward the river like a revoh ing s p o keles s wheel. They s truck with a loud splash ; and when Lafe re a ched the edge o f the bluff b oth had gone out of sight beneath the water. Lafe s t oo d staring in amazement and fear as \i\Til s o n r ea ched his s ide. \ Vilso n' s large eye s had rounded \\'ith fright, and h e l o o k ed m o re than ever like the big bird whose name h e b o r e as he cran ed his l ong neck over and stared in t e ntl y int o the water. He gav e a s h o ut. a s he saw J Libal's head rise to view and \Yatch ed him begin to swim toward the shore. J ub a l c a me t o th e bank b e l o w puffing; and \ Vilson and L a f e s cramble d d o wn to give him whatever aid h e ne eded B ut Juba l cli mbed o ut alone, sputtering and blowing the water out o f hi s mouth. He was wet to the skin, of course, and his head was bare, with the water plastering the hair tightly down on it. His cap had fallen on the bluff above during the struggle. "By gum, did you see that?" he gasped, as soon as he cou l d get his breath "He tackled me right u p there l" Having crawled out of the water, he turned to see what had become of the man. "Can I help you?" asked Lafe. Both he and Wilson were looking into the water, ex pecting to see the man's head shoot into view. Jubal stood up, the water running from his clothing in streams. "Y eou .seen him?" "Yes," Wilson answered. "Well, by time, that was a mighty clost call l If I hadn't jm'npecl quicker'n lightnin' he'cl have had me Diel yeou see his knife? It was a foot long, an' he driv it at my back. I heerd 'im an' turned j ist in time to keep it fnun goin' intew me." "Could it have been your uncle?" \i\lilson asked. "Yo u got a good look at him this time." o, I clicln't, nuther git a good look at him; he was on t o p o' me before yeou could wink; and then I \Yas fightin' tew gol-darnecl hard tew see anything. But I kn o w 'twan't my uncle. He woulcln't clo that, even if he \\'a5 crazier'n a skunk." "It begins to look as if he's drowned," said Lafe, anxiously. "Serves him right, if he isl" cried Jubal. "He come at me with a knife-with a sticker a foot long, and tried to sock it intew my back. But I reckon yeou couldn t drown a devil like that." A moment later he said: "If that was my tmcle he wouldn't want tew jump at me; he wouldn't ha,e any call tew clo that; he'd know me, even if he was off his base "I'll be hanged if r don't believe he is drowned!" cried \Vilson. "He might have struck his head against when he went under," Lafe sug g ested; for, like Wil son, he began to think that the man must be drowned, or he would have shown himself. They walked along the stream, pushing aside t h e


IS ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. thick-growing bushes to give them pas sage \vay bushes which made it impo ss ible for them to see far in any But though they made this search, peering into the water a nd up and clown the stream, they w e re able to s ee nothing of the mysterious rifleman. It gave them a queer sensation, to be thus searching for a man who h ad been so s h ort a time before fighting with Jubal and d10. so far a s they could wa s n ow at the bottom of the river. When they were unable to discove'r the man or his body they climbed up the bank and vvent to the place where he had leaped out up on Jubal. They expected to find hi s l ong rifle l ying th ere o n th e ground, but it \va s not there. "My bow s an' arrers air gone, tew !" sa id Jubal, staring blankly. "You dropped them here, I suppose when he at tacked you?" said Lafe. "Yes, I did; an', b y granny, my string o' fis h air go ne an m y p o le an' line!" Jubal stared around, with his m outh dropping open; and he was a forlorn ob ject with his clothing adrip, and that troubled, almost frightened, look on his homely face. "Here's your cap, anywa y said vVilson. "Say, .. said Lafe, as h e poked un s ucce ss fully among the bu s hes "you d o n t suppose while we were clown there l ooking fo r him h e could have got out of the water and come back here and swiped the bow and arrows and go t his gun?" ,{ "\!\Thy how could he ?" vVils on demanded. "We di<'.ln't see him leave the water." "We decided he must have been drowned, y o u know." "We guessed that, because we didn't see him come up.,, Jubal walked cautiously to the edge of the bluff and looked over. Lafe and Wilson followed and al so lo o k ed over. "Better be careful," Jube warned; "if h e s over on t'other bank so me'ere s he might t ake a shot at u s !" It seemed a p ossi ble thing, yet hardl y likely, that the man had swum under water to the bank, and then had climbed cautiou s ly a shore, after which he had made his way up to the bluff and se cured the articles that were missing. "You couldn't have kicked that bow and the quiver over while you two were fighting?" \Vils o n asked of Jubat. I "I dunno what we done, then. I had all I coul

ALL-SPORTS LIB.RARY. "I've known a better hand than even six kings,'' re-The writing had been scratched on the bark with marked Wilson, dryly, thus recalling the days when he some sharp instrument, and it read: and Jubal played cards with the "Gang." "But tell 'em abaout that," Jubal urged, giving no heed to Wilson's remark. Lafe told it; and it was so startling a story that Jack and his companions were fairly dumfounded; though, perhaps, they should not have been, when the things which the rifleman had done before are recalled. "You think it couldn't have been your uncle?" Jack queried. That fairly made Jubal angry. "By hemlock, don't say that ag'in, if yeou don't want tew rile me! If my Uncle J ube was crazier than a 'tater bug, he'd have more sense than tew do that. Why should he want tew tackle me? Even if he had growed a beard so that I couldn't rec'nize him, I ain't changed so very much and he'd know me." As if to confound Jubal and refute his boasting, an arrow flirted past his head and struck in the hemlock boughs near him. He sprang up, with the blanket about him; and all the boys who were sitting down leaped to their feet. They caught up their bows and arrows and stared off into the woods. Bushes grew out there, and a number of high rocks obstructed the view. For a full minute they stood staring into the woods, hearing nothing and seeing nothing. The silence was so profound that they seemed almost to have stopped breathing. Jack was the first to turn and look at the anow, which had lodged in the hemlock boughs. "Keep a watch out there," he warned, and pulled out the arrow. All turned to see it, and heard his ex.clamation, and .. beheld the strip of birch bark wrapped round it which had drawn the cry from him. "\Vriting !'' he said, as he opened the birch. Seeing that all were looking, he asked \i\ r ilson to k eep a watch out in front for the man who had shot the arrow. "One o' my arrers, I bet!" said Jubal, staring at it. "This is a warnin'. There will be wuss come be fore long." It was not the words alone that caused th em to stare so, but the writing. It seemed to be the sam e as that in the writings previously mentioned. With a st range, scared c:y Jubal ran to his wet coat, where he had left the letter from his uncle forgotten and overlooked, and drew it o ut. It was soaked, but as legible as ever, and he oame back with it and held it up beside the birch bark warning. "What is it?" Wilson asked, as he stood guard with his big eyes fixed on the bushes and rocks and woods "Found something?" "Yes," said Jack, "that arrow brought a He read it aloud. "It seems to be the same kind of writing as the others. But keep a lookout there. "It's exactly the same as the writing in Jube's let ter," Tom asserted. Again he took out his pocket magnifier, and passed it over the birch message and over the letter, letting the others look. There seemed now no reasonable doubt that the mes sage and the letter from J ube's uncle were the same, even if some question might exist as to the scrawl found in the cabin. Jubal was dumfounded. "I don't want tew believe it," he urged. "'vVe don't any of us want to believe it," said Jack; "but we've got to believe what we see." "Howling mackerels!'' It was Ned Skeen's favorite exclamation. "Have we got to believe that fool rifle man, who ha s been tryrng to kill us, is J ube 's uncle?" "If he's Jube's uncle, he 's crazy," said Tom. "Wan't never any of aour family had bats in their garrets, that I ever kn owed on," J ube asserted. "And Uncle J ube wan't never a man to go off his base in that way. He was sing' lar, but there wan't nuthin' crazy abaout him." "The thing hasn't been proved, you know," ventured Jack, more to comfort Jubal than because it seemed to him it was not proved.


20 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "Jiminy crickets, seems to me we're up against a bigger mystery than ever!" was Lafe's conclusion. "If we get anything out of the comparison of these writ ings it is that the rifleman is J ube's uncle. \i\lhoever the man is, he carries that big rifle. \i\le found a bul let from that rifle in the skeleton....-it must have been from that rifle. That would seeh1 to show that this man, even if he is J ube's uncle, killed the man at the cabin, who may have been the hermit, Crabbe. Then whose was the money? Oh, say, I'm all tangled up about this !" All the others were also tangled up about it. "There's one thing," called out \Vilson; "we'd better move this camp away from these bushes and r9cks !'' "And there's another thing," said Lafe; "that riRe man wasn't drowned. He did come back to the tcip of the bluff while we were looking for him in the river and took away Jube's bow and arrows. That must be ope of J ube's arrows." "But he left Jube's cap," said Skeen, trying hard to be humorous "J ube, you can thank him for that!" When the boys sat down to dinner that day they had three guards out in the woods: then the three who had eaten stood guard while the others took their turn. "We'll move camp," was Jack's decision; and as soon as they had finished eating they proceeded to do this, carrying their supplies and blankets to the higher p o rtion of the hillside, where they chose a sort of amphitheater, surrounded by rocks which could not be easily ;ipproached, b ut from which they could see readily in all directions. CHAPTER X. hunting, they decided that they must either go int o some other section or make a search for Waggles and find out what he had done. In this dilemma, and with their food reduced almost to potatoes alone, they moved camp again, proceeding to \Vaggles' cabin, and pitching camp almost in what might have been called his dooryard, if he had been blessed with such a thing. There were some trees in front of \Vaggles' abode, and here the boys brought hemlock boughs and poles and set up their green tents, and dug a fire hole for Lafe to roast potatoes in. Lafe's eyes shone as he looked upon Waggles' little potato patch and weedy garden. vVaggles was a very slovenly gardener, with m ore weeds in his garden than anything else; yet e ven in the midst of the \Veecls the boys had seen that there were beans and late peas, beets, onions, parsnip s and carrots, and other vegetables. There was also a little patch of sweet corn just right for roasting, and s ome early turnips, not to mention the potatoes which they had already tested. "YVe'll take what we need, and pay him for it when he c omes ," was Lafe's suggestion; and to the oth e r s it seemed a good one. Within \Vaggles' cabin, which they found unfa -tened-it had neither l o ck nor bolt on it-they found some kettles and other coo king uten sils wh i ch they s c o nred with sand and water until they fairly shone, for Lafe felt otherwise that he c o uld not u s e them. "Say, we'll live high all right while old Wag i s gone!" he in great, g o od humor, a s they brou ght the kettles and other things over to his camp fire. Then Lafe dived into the garden and began to pull up vegetables by the handful. WAITING. \i\!hile in the midst of this delightful work he was Neither that night nor the next morning did Wally 'startled by Waggles' bellowing roar; for \Vaggles had waggles appear witb the officer he had said he meant to bring. Neel Skeen began to argue that waggles himself was the murderer of the man found dead by the cabin, but no one would agree with him. vVhen Waggles still absented himself, and fear of the mysterious rifleman kept the boys from fishing and c o me on the scene and beheld the devastation that wa s gorng on. "\Vow!" he squalled. "What in the name o' Sam Hill ye doin' in there? That's my garden!" The other boys turned and saw \i\laggle s s tandin g o n the edge o f the p o tato patch, and s aw Lafe rise out of the beet rows with his hands full of beets. The


ALL-SPORTS LIBR.\RY. weeds were so high abo11t Lafe th a t they almo s t r ea ched to his knees. "Come out o' there!" 'vVaggles bellowed. Lafe smiled and waved the red beets at. him as if they were red flags of defiance and anarchy. "Why, we supposed you were dead!" he "And so we tho11ght we'd help ourselves to this stuff, as you'd never need it." "Need it? yelled vVaggles, walking toward him. "That's my livin', by hokey! Who s'gested to ye that you could dig up them vegetables?" "Hunger," said Lafe, calmly, st ill clinging to the beet "There isn't any law that says a fellow must starve hen there are a lot of things to eat growing close by him. But we mean to pay you for these things.'' "I snum, I reckon you'll have to!" But the suggestion that he wa s to ,be paid for them c o nsiderably m o llified his wrath. Jack and the other boys came hurrying over from the camp. "Why didn't you come back last evening?" Jack asked "We waited for you; and when you didn't s how up we moved over here this morning, for we didn't care to stay longer over there in the woods after what has happened. Where is the officer?" Jack was half convinced that Waggles had seen no officer. "He wouldn't come. That is, he wouldn't come at once. He said that he'd con sult some jeclge er other about it, and then would bring a possum er somethin' of the kind over." "A posse," said Jack. "Well, it sounded like possum. I dunno what he meant by it." "He meant he' cl get together a crowd of people to 011ion s for a s tew, and some of th ose bean s and peas. and a little of that sweet corn and othe r things. We'll pay you for whatever we take. And I want you to let u s have some flour, too, and some corn meal." Waggles let Lafe have the things he wanted, and was satisfied when Jack h ad counted out the money in his greasy palm. Having received pay for the things taken from the garde n \ Vagg les intruded his greasy form at the camp fire, and ate more than anyone else there, including Lafe "Now I'm ready to tell ye the hull p'ticklers," he said, putting his back lazily against a tree and stuffing tobacco into his pipe. But the "p'ticklers" amounted to f\O more than \that he had found the constable of the township and laid the matter before him, and that the constable had promised to look into it as soon as he could consult with the local justice of the peace and summon a posse to assist him in the search and in arresting the mysterious strang er of the woods. \ Vaggles was very much interested when shown the birch message, and compared it as carefully with Jubal's letter as if he had been an expert in the ex amination of handwriting. "I sh'd say it's the same," he declared. He looked at j ubal through the cloud of smoke he exhaled. "But I don't make out about that buried money. If them three writin's is by the same man, and I judge they air, then the chap that's been

22 ALL-SPORTS LIBR1\RY. "\Vhat you goin' to do now?" "But for the mystery of the thing and our feeling that Jube's uncle must be mixed up in it some way we'd cut out of here," Jack answered, quite frankly. "But track of that money," he said. "As Jube once thought, if 1.1e could find that money we might dis c over some thing with it which would explain things." when Wally Waggles h eard this, he declared at we'd like to see it through. We'll stay right here, I first that he would go with them and take his shotgun suppose, until your constable and his men come and we see what they make of it." ''And by that time, I snum, I won"t have anything in my garden but weeds!" However, he jingled in his pocket the coins wl1ich Jack had given him, and did not see m so very much dis tressed by the thought of the l oss of his vegetables. 'Nall y Waggles was not willing to venture from the shadow of his own doorway that day or night; and as there was nothing to draw the boys into the woods, and many conside1ations w h y they should stay out of them, they remained in their camp close by waggles' door. \t\fhen the next forenoon passed and still t he con stable and his posse did not come, Jack began to think that it was time for himself and friends to take some steps on their own account, for he could not rid him of the idea that Jubal's uncle was the strange rifle man. He knew from talks with them that Tom and others felt the same. He had not pressed his arguments on Jubal, however, for they carried the theory that this uncle either while insane or for sinister purposes had killed the hermit. It was possible, and the facts so far as known bore out the notion, that he had become insane after committing the murder and through brooding over it. The handwriting alone connected Jube' s uncle with the mystery upon which the boys had stumbled; yet that handwriting spoke vo lumes as evidence. CHAPTER XI. THE POT OF MONEY. Having thought the thing out and consulted with Tom anJ Lafe, Jack now suggested that the whole party go again into the woods, out that they keep close together_ to prevent any surprise on the part of the mysterious man who made his haunt there. "I want to see if we can't in some way get on the It was clear that he feared to remain at his cabin alone But when they were ready to start he announced a change of mind; and saying that he would go again and see why the constable delayed, he took his gun and made a hasty exit from the cabin in the other direc tion, hitting the r oad at a lively gait that led westward from the place. Jack laughed as he saw the greasy coat of disappearing up the road "That fellow is about as big a coward as I ever saw!'' "By granny, he's a right tew be!" Jubal declarecl. "If it wan't fer them writin's sort of mixin' me up in this thing I' cl light out myself." And Jubal was no coward. Keeping close t ogethe r, the boys again plunged into the woods, and going to the cabin of the hermit and the river they made a search. But they saw nothing of the rifleman. Apparently, he had left the v icinity. Lafe wanted to fish, he reached that good fishing hole in the river; but Jack was anxious to push on, saying that a s now they had plenty of food they would not take the time to fish. "A few fish would h e lp out a lot!" Lafe grumbled. Yet they went on ; and one result of the further search of the river banks was that by and by they came upon another cabin, hidden, like the first, in the midst of a growth of shrubbery and small trees. It was in somewhat better condition, and gave every appearance of being inhabited. Tht grass was trampled down before the door, and there was a path leading to the well, where again the grass was trampled. On entering the cabin they found a cot of skins and old blankets in one corner supported on a framework of poles set into the l ogs of the walls; and, in addition t o this, evidences that a fire had been burning in the fireplace that morning. "He's been cooking here to-day, whoever he is," said Lafe.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 23 All believed that they had found the home of the queer rifleman. Jack now posted Wilson and Lafe outside for guards, and he and the others began to look the cabin over. "I suppose this is taking liberties," he said, "and perhaps liberties that we haven't any right to take, but just the s ame as no officer ha s come to dip a hand in the matter, we'll see what i s here." There was an old box at one side of the room th::it was apparently used a s a s tool: yet the fact that it w os placed over there by th e wal(, in a corner, where there was no light, made hck regard it with suspicion. H e called the bo ys attenti o n to it, and then dragged it from it s po s ition Beneath it wa s fre h earth, as if a hole had been o ut there and then filled in. Jack dropped clown on his knees and began t o s coop out th'is earth with hi s hands, while the others lo o ked on. Pretty s oon hi : fingers touched something hard. Something in here, sure! he said, and clawed away with new energy. When he had drawn out a few more handfuls of the clay he saw before him the top of a covered iron pot. This he pulled out, by getting it by the handle, and then lifted the top. "Money!" The exclamation came Jubal. "Sure thing!" cr i ed Skeen, dancing about in his ex citement. Jack lifted out the money-it was in bills, with a few silver and copper pieces below it-and gave it to Tom. "Count it," he said. He was fairly trembling, and the others were quite as excited. Tom's fingers shook a s he b eg an t o count the money. It wa a considerable roll, and when Torn had gone through it and had counted the coin s he announced : "Five hundred and s ixty doll a r s and forty-three cen ts ." "Is th e re an y thin g in there s howin' whose it is?" Jub al a s ked, anxi o u sly. \Vas this the money mentioned in that s lip of paper found at the other cabin, and did it belong to his uncle? That question was not only in Jubal's mind, but 111 the m i nds of all the others. "Howling mackerels. what a find!" "It's a good deal, .. s aid Jack, "and until \re kno w better we ha\'e t o believe that it b e l o n g s t o lhe man who owns this cabin and makes his h o me here \Ve don't everJC know that this i s the rifleman' s cabin. And we may be getting ourselves int o trouble by doing thi s .'' He took the money and put it back into the iron pot, and then set the pot in the hole. "Y eou go in' to leave it there?" Jubal demanded. "\Vhat shall I do with it? It isn't ours!" "\Ve'll put it back there," said Tom, "and some of u s ill guard the cabin \Vhen the man comes, if it's not the fellow we think, we'll tell him what we've done and why, and apologize." "And if it' the rifleman?" asked Skeen. "\iVell then, I think it will be our duty t'"' find o ut if he"s crazy, and, if he i n't, to demand an explanation of his conduct." "He'll make a fight, you bet!" said Skeen. "If he don't try to shoot one of u it will be a wonder," / was Jack' s observation. "The o nly way to keep him from trying that will be for us to take him by surpri se, ins tead o f letting him tak e u unaware s ., Jack had hardly said thi s \\"hen ther e wa s a yell from Lafe Lampto n outside, foll o wed by the rep ort of a heavy rifle and another cry from Wil s on Crane. Jack abanJonecl the p o t o f m o ney and leaped through the open door. A s soon a s he \ms o ut s ide he wa gratified to see that neither Lafe n o r \\Tilson were hurt. Lafe had run t o the edge of the shrubbery beyond the well, in the direction of the river and there Jack saw some bu s hes waving which indicated the progress of the man who had fired the shot. It was not recklessness now that took Jack in quick pursuit, but coura g e and an exercise of his reasoning faculties. The shape of the bullets-they were round


24 ALL-SPORTS LlDR .\I'Y. balls of lead-told him that the rifle which the man carried was a muzzle-loading rifle. Therefore, having fired that shot from it, the rifle was now empty and u se less as a weap o n except as a club. The man had a knife, of cour se, but that was not so much to be feared. "Corne o n! Jack cried to Torn "He's s h o t the l oa d out of his gun, and if we him hard he won't have time to reload." He was gone even while he spoke, bounding on in the pursuit. If he could do no more, Jack desired to come near enough to this man to make sure that this was none other than the rifleman, though such evidence s eemed scarcely necessary. But Jack was dealing with a man who, though he had evinced little judgment, now showed a crafty mind. Whe11 Jack clashed out on the high, rocky shore of the river, expecting to see the man running along the bank some dis tance away or swimming in the s tream, the man r ose up from behind a rock where he had crouched in waiting and swung at him with the rifle. Jack clucked to avoid the murderous blow; and then seeing that he would have t o clo se in with the man to keep from being brained by him, he sprang like a tiger at his throat. The man struck again w ith the rifle as Jack thu s lunged in; but Jack expected that and avoided it ; and then he fa s tened his iron finger s on the fellow's throat. The man now dropped the rifle with a yell a nd tried to get out his knife. Shifting his hold, Jack secured a clutch of the kn if e hand and then tried to trip the man They fell halfway to the ground t oget her the man dropping to one knee. Jack heard Tom and the other boy s cra s hin g thro u g h the bushes b ehin d h im. The m an ;icard them too, and it see med to give him the st ren g th of a giant. He br o ke Jack's hold. and when Jack tried to get him again he smashed a fist int o Jack 's j aw th at sp11n him round whirling ; and before Jack could turn, the man had leaped \\ ildly fro m the bank, l eaving his heavy rifle ou the rocks. Jack ran to the edge of the cliff, b reathless from his exertions. Then he b eheld so mething that h o rrified him. The m a n in hi s leap had caught his foot in a vine that grew out from the face of the rock, and, being thus retarded and tripped he turned a wild somer sa ult in mid air, and come down with a twisting mo tion toward the st ream which was here a mad torrent churning ove r half-hidden rocks. The man seemed to a void th ese rocks in his fall, and, striking the water he avi ly, s h ot clown and out of sight. "Run b e l ow there along the b a nk a nd see where he c o me s up! Jack s h o uted to h i s friends; while he re mained to watch the s tream where the man had dis appeared. A minute later he heard Wilson Crane yell from below: "Here he goes Jack ran down the bank, followed by so me others, and fourid \i\Tilson staring at the wa t ers with hi s big eyes. "I think he was drowning," said \i\Tilson. "He struck that whirlpool and swung round and then went clown again, throwing up hi s h a n ds The man rose int o view at the edge of the whirlpool, clawing w ildly at th e air. Jack went the bank with quick leaps, and plun ge d int o the water without stopping to rem ove shoes or clothing. The man had sunk from s igh t again, but Jack had seen w h ere he went d ow n, and, calculating the force of the whirl, he dived like a flash. \ Vhen he ros e to the s urface h e h ad the man b y the h air, and Wilson, who had waded as far out into the water as he c ould, came now to Jack's a id. The ot h er boys on the bank, see ing this, came ru n nin g, and were at the edge of t h e wate r as \i\Tilson and J ack d ra gge d the ir burden to the land. The man was but half conscious, and Jack could see that h e had st ru ck something and cut a blo ody gash in liis head. They bega n at once the work of resuscitation by r o lling him on the bank to get the water out of his


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. lungs, and moving hi s arms up and down and bre athing int o his nostrils and mouth. Their strenuous efforts were soon rewarded with success. Tom, seeing that the man was coming back to con scio u s ness, climbed back on the bank anxious to take a l oo k at that big rifle. He had in his pocket the two bullets that it was belie ved h ad c o me from it. As he went, he heard Jubal loudly declaring that the man was not his uncle. CHAPTER XII. THE MYSTERY UNRAVELED. As Tom picked up tli.e rifle he heard a s h o ut, and, g lancin g up the stream, he saw o n the bank above \Vally \ Vaggles and s everal men. \i\Taggles had really seen the constable, as he had claimed, and in his hurried retreat from hi s h o me that forenoon he had come upon him and the po sse he had gathered; and these were the men whom T o m now be held, led b y Waggles, whose courage was good en ough when he had a big crowd with him "\Ve heard yo u ye llin' over here, \Vaggle s ex plained. "\Ve was goin' to Crabbe's cabin, but run this way when we heard ye." "'0/ e've got him," said Tom. "And here 1s his rifle." Waggles and the men with him stared. "I sn um ye don't mean it? "He jumped into the river here and came near drowning. The boys are right clown there bringing him to." "I swan t o man !" \Vaggles and the men followecl \ T o m at a lively pace along the river, and scramb l ed with him down the bank to the margin of the s tream. Then waggles uttered a h ow l o f surprise. "I snum, it's Crabbe!" He rushed up to the pro trate man and bent ove1 him, and the resuscitated man sta red up at him with a wild look in his little, gray eyes. beheld the flat, greasy face o f Wally Waggles bend ing over him, the wild l oo k in a measute we1tt out of his eyes. Yet it could still be seen that he was not right in his mind. He sta red at Jack and his friends, and at the men with the constable. "If you'll take these fellers away, \ yaggles, and keep em frum hangin' me I'll tell y e how 'twas!" he s h o uted. "But they're goin to h ang me!" "They ain't, nuther," said \Vaggles, consolingly. "I'm gain' to stand right by ye. \Vhat is it ye want to say? You been kill in' anybody, Crabbe?" Crabbe struggled to a half-sitting posture. "Take 'em away!" he begged. vVaggles waved a greasy hand, as much as to say, "Stand back o ut of his sight! All stood back. Tow they're gone," said \i\Taggl es, reassuringly. "Ancl what ye've got to say you can tell me, ye know, fer I'm yer o ld friend! I'm guessin' that yo u 've been kill in' somebody?" "Yes, I have," said Crabbe, his eyes s h ining strangely. He bent toward Greasy Waggles and caught him by the coat. "I'll tell you, fer you're my friend." "Right ye air, said Waggles; and I'll stand by ye!" "Well, he come to my house," s aid Crabbe, in a high whisper, which all could hear; "and he had a l o t o' m o ney He'd lost his way, and was bound for C ranford. He co.me an' stayed all night with me, and he sa id his name wa s Marlin, and that he had a nevvy livin' in the town over there of the same name as his, an' he was goin' to see him. He had money to pay his car fare, but he d walked some o' the way to save it; and so he was footin' it a l ong the road. He tri e d to take a short cut thro u g h these woods and got l ost, and I come on him while he was wandering round, and he went h o me with me to stay all night. And he had a lot o' money!" He stopped, gasping, and drew vVaggles nea rer t o "It's Crabbe, I s num But changed so that I him. didn't rec'nize him when I seen him before." "And then he got sick there. I didn't intend to kill Crabbe had recovered consciousness, and when he him, but after he'd got sick, and I'd had a chan c e to see


26 ALL SPORT S LIBR.\RY. his money, the devil got into me. I kep' away frurri him and fit the devil; but the devil got the better of me. I went over there finally, intendin to kill him an' git the money, an' he come out into the yard there by the well. I run, at first, fer my narves went back on me; then when I seen him reelin' round I up and shot him." "So, ye killed him?" said Waggles, when the hermit stopped again. Crabbe pulled Waggles to him again. "Yes," he whispered, shrilly, "I killed him; and then I ran off in the woods and h id, and stayed there a long time. I clon 't know how long, but 'twas a long time. An' then I come back, and I found the money he' cl hid, an' took it an' put it in another cabin that was off there in the wood s and I hid it there." He pulled vVaggles close clown to him; he was panting and almost livid. "You ain't goin' to tell anything about this?" "No," said Vvaggles. "That's right, don't tell no one. But they heard of it over in Cranford. I knowed all the time they would. And then they come huntin' fer me. But I was too smart fer 'em!" He l aughed horribly. "I was too smart fer 'em. I killed three of.'em, while they was lookin fer me; and I'm gain' to kill em all. \ They'v e found out where the mon e y is-in my c a b i n in that iron pot ; but I'm goin' t o kill all o f 'em. so' s they can't git it, and can't take me away and hang n1e. "That's right, said Waggles. "Allus lo o k out fer Number One." "They was here a while ago, but they're g o ne now; you scared 'em away. to attract his atte ntion an

1\LL SPORTS L IDR .\RY. They follcred me to the cabin and found the money, and then I killed one of 'em; s hot 'im; and they chased me and I jumped into the river * N othing wa s clearer than that Crabbe was a dangero u sly insane man ; and, th o u g h he had been responsible fo r the murder o f Jubal's uncle at the time the cr i me w:i.s c o mmitted, he was an irres ponsible creature now; th e murder h a d wrecked his mine\. T herefore, in teac\ o f being imprisoned for his crime, or hanged, he was sent to an. asylum for the insane. But all this was not clone at once, for there were many legal preliminarie after he was removed from the woo ds by the constable and his posse. But the my s tery which had puzzled Jack and his friends had been cleared away. Jubal's uncle, it was plain now had started for Cran ford. Being penuriou he had preferred to walk a part of the distance rather than spend money for the rai lroad fare, and he had taken the road leadjng along Laurel River. Trying for a short cut through the woods, he had become lost, and was met by the hermit, who had con ducted him to that little cabin. There Jubal Marlin, Sr., had fallen sick. It eemed likely t o Jack and his friends and as being in acco ; c\ance with what would naturally be the fact s that Jubal's uncle had not spoken of the money he ca r ried with him until his tongue had been loosened and his caution lost by the fever that came upon him It was even possible that the first that Crabbe knew of the money was revealed to him while he tried to assist the sick man. However that may have been, it was certain that a desire for that money had put the tho ught of murder into the mind of the hermit, and t hat he had finally consummated the deed, after neglecting the sick man for clays; and had then shot him as he tried to get out to the well for water. After that Crabbe's mind had broken clown under the terrors of fear and remorse. It seemed a peculiar fate that had led Jubal into the woods on that archery hunting and camping trip with Jack and his and had conducted him t o t h e place where the discovery of his uncle's rema i ns was so strangely made by the arrow w hich J ack fired a t the hawk. B u t fo r the eccen tri c flig h t of th a t arrow the party might have rema i ned in t h e woods a long t ime wi th o u t making that discovery; and pro b ab l y t h ey wo uld h ave been frightened away by the in s ane and murderous cond uct of t h e cr azy h e rmit without learning any thing. * As soon as the party could get back to Cranfo.J:.d 1an undertaker was sent to the place w h ere t h e s k ele t o n lay, and Jubal tel egraphed to Susa n Gar l oc h the fact s of his startling discovery The remains were taken back t o the h o me o f Juba l Marlin, Sr., and the r e g i ven r espe c tfu l buri al. There is one thing more to be said," for i t m a y h ave an important bearing hn Jubal's futu re. He was the sole heir of J u bal Marl i n Sr, In addition to t he money vvhich Jub e's un cle fool ishly carried with him because he fea r ed to t ru st it to any bank, a further small sum was found h idde n in h i s home, the whole amou nting to about a tho u sand do l l ars. Besides this, the rocky ew England farm owned by his u ncle descended to Jubal. "It's good, strong l a n d," said .Jubal. "It's nearly all rock," sa i d Jack, who had accom panied Jubal home with the remains of his uncle "That's what I said-it's good, strong land; it h a to be strong tew ho l d up all them rocks t hat a ir on it!'" "VI ell, I hope yo u 'll get something o u t of it some clay." "Me tew," sai d J ubal. But at th e t i m e h e hardly exp e cte d that he w ould THE END. N e x t we ek's issue, No. 33, 1s J ack Lightfoot's C l everness; or, The Boy Who 'B u tted In.'" T his is a capital story of sports at Cranford, and introduces an interesting character in the boy who "butted in." Y o u will want to know who he i s, and yo u will b e s u re, also, to enjoy the story


A CHAT WITH YOU Under this general bead we purpose each week to sit around the camp fire, and have a heart-to-heart talk with those of our young readers who care to gather there, answering such letters as may reach us asking for information with regard to various healthy: sports, bQth indoor and out. We should also be glad to hear what you think of the leading characters in your favorite publication 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 assist ance in building up manly, healthy Sons of America. All letters rece i ved will be answered immediately, but may not appear in print under five weeks, owing to the fact that the publication 1 must go to press far in advance of the date of issue. Those who favor .,ps with correspondence will please bear this in mind, and exer cise a l ittle patien ce. THE EDITOL:. I have been reading the ALL-SPORTS from the first number, and can't begin to express my admiration for it. I write this lette r however, to see if you can help me. I am 5 ft;et 2 inches tall and weigh I8o pounds, and am only IS years old. All the fe ll ows call me "Tubs" and "Fatty," and as I have always been fond of athletics and been ambitious to become a good, allaround athlete, I want to know if there is some way to get thin. How much I weigh, and how can I get down to it? Although I am fat, I am not lazy, and play baseball, but ca n t run bases very well. I enjoy all outdoor sports, and if I was only thin like other boys, I'd be the happiest boy in the United States. Trusting that yon will be able to tell me some th ing that will make me thin, I am, an ALL-SPORTS admirer, Springfie ld, Ohio. "LAFE LAMPTON." Yours is a sad case, but not a hopele ss one, by any means. We hope that your appetite is not as great as Lafe's, however, for if that is the case, we fear your chances of reducing your weight would be rather s lim. In the first place your weight should be about one hundred and ten pounds, so, you see, you are about seventy pounds overweight. Now, in regard to a diet: The amount of food eaten should be restrict e d to the actual satisfaction of hunger; beyond this not an otince must be taken. Do not drink at meal times and sparingly through the day. Avoid pork in all forms, fat meats, cheese, butter, milk and potatoes; all sweets, coffee and tea. An active habit of life must be cu l tivated, both mental and physical. Want of regular exercise is one of the chief factors in producing obesity. Exercise burns up the excess of food, which otherwise produces fatness. Hot baths should be taken at least twice a week. An occasional Tur kish bath is beneficial. By following these direc tions carefully, and exercising as much as pos sible in the open air, you will soo n notice a decided change in your figure, and you will soon lose you r nickname and join your companions in calling some other unfort u nate fellow "Fatty." I want to be marked down as an admirer of Jack Lightfoot. He's just the sort of boy I like, and I follow his adventures week by week with an eagerness words will not let me describe In fact, I've become so much attached to Jack and the balance of that hust ling Cranford crowd that if by some accident you sto pped printing ALL-SPORTS-which I do hope never will happen -I'd feel like putting crape on my hat, becau se it would seem as if I'd lo t a bully good friend. I hope your splendid paper will keep up for many years, and that, from time to time, you will give us an idea as to just how Jack builds things. He made an iceboat-now you have never said whether he ever built a skiff or a canoe. I want to try both, and would if I knew just how to go about it, and what it would cost. Please note the change of address, as we hav e moved since I s ubscribed. Bridgeport, Conn. CL,\RENCE L. COLLINS. \ii/hen you have read a r ecent number of ALL-SPORTS, Clar ence, you will learn that Jack did make a canoe. He also built seve ral other boats in times past, having quite a talent that way. We havereceived other inquiries with regard to the making of a cheap s kiff, such as might be paddled like a canoe; and for your benefit, as well as the rest, we give in the "How To Do Things" department this week, full directions that will, we believe, c ove r your wants. Rely upon it, we appreciate your kind I hope you will not object to a girl invading thi s department, but I want to say that I have been reading your ALL-SPORTS WEEKLY from No. I to date, and think them just s plendid I think Jack Lightfoot is just 0. K., and must say that I wish there were more boys like him. But, oh, they are scarce. Although only a girl, I enjoy a game of baseball as well as my brothers and they are cranks. GENEVIVE RAYMOND. Denver, Colo. Thank you for your pleasant, breezy letter. We are always very glad to hear from the gentler sex, and we are also glad that you enjoy and baseball so much. We are certainly glad that there is such a publication as the ALL-SPORTS WEEKLY. We read it every week, and wi sh to thank you for publishing the b es t boys' journal to be found on any news stand. We hope they will be published for many years to come. Long live ALL-SPOJi.TS WEEKLY, in all its glory! FRED NEWBERRY, Worcester, Mass. RICHARD FouLKE. Thank you for your kind and cheerful words and your good wishes. There is no doubt but you will be able to enjoy reading your favorite weekly for many years to come. wishing to Jet you know how I felt toward the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY, I thought I \\"Ould write a few lines. 1 have read all of the numbers but two, whi ch I could not get. They are Nos. 13 and 18, and they were not sent to either of the book store. of Man s field. Nearly every morning I get up at four o'clock and go out t o the park. which is ahol1t a mile distant. We play ball, run around the park, and go in swimming. Those who do not get up early in the morning take a swim at five in the afternoon. There is a fine wimming pool at the park, which is owned by th e morning walke1 s Tt has a shute, two trapezes, two ropes, springing board and hig h ladder, besides some ftying rin?s and a good showe r bath. I haYe been in swimming twenty-eignt times so far this year. A short time ago a man was drowned in this pool, and now we have a g r appling h ook, seve r a l ropes and we h ave ordered some life preservers. I like all the members of ALL-SPORTS that are Jack's friends, except Lily Liv ingston. She doesn't seem to ca r e what happen to J ack, but as soon as he finds somethi n g wron g about that "dude" Shelton, she comes around and begs for him to be forgiven. I think if Delancy was se nt to jail for a while he'd have a little m o re sense. I would suggest that the applause column be lengthened out a couple of pages, as we like to r ead the letters. I would like to give a few of my measurements and have you criticise them. My age i s r4 years; height, s feet 6 inche s ; weight, 125 pounds; hips, 33 inches; waist, 27Y, inche s. Hoping this will not take up too much s pa ce, I remain, yours very truly, WILLIAM F. BLACK. 490 Wes t Park Avenue, Mansfield, Ohio. You are a bit heavier than the ave rage for your h eight, but we presume you must be in pretty good trim, judging from your sensible method of early ri sing in summer and your athletic training. As I am a constant re ade r of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY, I thought I would write a letter to the Chat column. I like Jack Light-


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 29 foot, Lafe Lampton and all the other characters, and am certainly glad you have opened the Chat column. I enjoy reading the advice on baseball. I like the baseball stories better than any. I would like some of the readers to write to me. I certainly will answer all letters. How much should an e i ghteen-year-old boy weigh that is five feet ten and one-half? Thanking you in ad vance for the information, I remain, you r s truly, P. 0. Box 285, Pensacola, Fla. B. J GRIFFIN. Something like one hundred and fifty-five pounds, if you are in good condition. Your opinion of our publication is of the right sort. We trust you gain considerable benefit, both morally and phy s ically, by practicing such things as J ack excels in. The ALL-SPORTS is, indeed, the boys and girls' "prin rn of "eeklies." I suppose nearly all of the ALL-SPORTS readers arc acquainted with the "king." Tnis is no slur agai nst the ALL SPoRTS, as the Tip Top has had nearly ten years of experience. Should the ALL-SPORTS be running nin e or ten year from n ow, who can tell what will be the case? T've noticed, in Nos. 23 and 24 of ALL-SPORTS, that there were only twenty-seven pages. Gi\'e us more, publishers \1Vhcn a good thing i cut off like that, it's time that we rise up and howl. Oh, yes, we know w e' r e greedy, but can you blame us? Nixy. Jack Lightfoot and his cousin are my favorites, but Kirtland comes in for hi s sha re. Say, Mr. Editor, will you please ramble41Jp to 1Ir. Stevens and ask him if he can't manage to have Kirt pitch a sta r game and win his own game, or else dis tinguish himself in some other way? Kirtl and is a b oy in whom the bad qualities are slightly more prominent, but who has much ster ling worth beneatli. A writer t o the Chat suggested that Kate and J ack take a moonlight stroll by the lake I got tired a long time ago of reading of moon light scenes. Everything's so pretty, don't you know. "Moon kisses her golden hair; makes it seem like the finest ilk ; the hero is overcome; she seems like a goddess to him; the 1110011 peeps through the trees; it goes behind a cloud; hero lo ses control of himself, and--" Fudge! When you sh ut your book you come down with a terrific thump from h eave n t o earth. Such scenes have been worked to death. Mr. Stevens knows \\hat he's doing; so three cheers for him and the publi hers. Here are my mca urements, Mr. Editor. Tell me my weak pdints. Age, r6 years; height, S feet 6)1z inches; weight, 126 pounds; chest, normal, 32 inches; 35 inches; biceps, 10Y.; inches; calves. q inches; thighs, 20 inches; waist, 27 inches; hips, 33 inches; neck, 13Y, inches. You will know me as, Terre Haute, Ind. "Noni:rnc." The stories are ju t as long as ever; indeed, we tried h ard to have Mr. Stevens increase their length by one quarter; but he refused, lest his work must suffer. That h e was horn:st in his opinion you can b lievc, since the compensation was to have been also liberally increased. We crowded in a page of "How To Do Things," which i s really extra. As to yo1ir measurements, you are a trifle heavy, not enough to count; en Ives normal, ditto waist, but you lack several inches in chest. Work to enlarge your lung capacity. Having read your "king of weeklies" up to date, No. 22, I write to se nd my warmest congratulat ions for it. "Jack is a corker," "can't be beat." Lafe a nd Tom a rc about even in my estimation. Nat, Ned and Jube are all right, but I hope Phil Kirtland will soon fo r get hi s snobbish ways and fight for Cran ford and not for his ow n personal glory. If he doe s Brodie will follow him, I know, and tho se two cannot very well be spared from the team. There is one I think is just, and it i s that you have not enough about the girls in your weekly. I think Jack ought to h ave Nellie for his sweetheart. Kate i s all right, but s he has gone back on Jack so many times that I can't get to like her as I do Nellie. Believing that all ALL'-SPORTS read ers think as I do, I have taken the liberty to make this request. Hoping to see this in print, and not i n the waste ba sket, I remain, A NEX.LIE:ITE:. San Francisco, Cal. The day ALL-SPORTS arrives by mail is the happi est of all the whole week to me. Once it didn't get here, as something hap-pened to the mail, and I never knew time to drag lik e it did then. When the mail arrived next day I wa5 on hand watching like a hawk, a11d when I aw my beloved paper shoved into our box I felt lik e giving a s h out. It came out as quick as it went in I can tell you, Mr. Editor. I enjoy reading all the letters in your Chat pag es, and hope to sec thi s printed there. Jack Lightfoot is my ideal of a boy, and I am trying to pattern my life after 11im. I 've quit smoki n g forever, and' I feel that what little athletic training I've clone h as been more than good for me. I h ope you contmue to publish ALL-SPORTS for many years. It must help thousands of b oys to start right, and leave off habits that could o nl y be injurious to their health. I s 123 pounds a fair weight for a boy of fifteen, s feet sYi--il')ches tall? Daytona, Fla. A JOLLY READER. Your weight is ve r y n ea rly the right thing, which in itself goes far toward proving that you are leading the proper kind of lif e You h ave a charming town, too. The editor spent half a year there, and fished from the long bridges across the Halifax. We are glad you ha ve been benefited in all ways by reading of J a ck Lightfoot's trial s and victories. Indeed, no boy who thinks at all could read these stories without realizing how nec essa ry it i s for a lad to keel? a clean mind in a clean body. Write again, J o lly Reader. I will write a few lines, telling you what I think of your ALL SPORTS LIBRARY. I have r ea d all the numbers since No. I, and like the characters very well. I think Jack Lightfoot is a very good friend of mine, even if I have never seen him in the flesh. Reel a n d Delancy are villains of the worst sort. Rex i s a "bird" of a ma sc ot. Wish ing ta have this letter appear soon in the applause column, I will close, C. E. A. Defiance, Ohio. Thank you. Your letter is short and to the point. When a lad take s the trouble to write his opinion of his favorite paper, we can only take it as a most sincere compliment. We hope you are not keeping the pleasure all to yourself, but sounding the praises of ALL-SPORTS among your friends. We have a mission to carry out among the boys of America, and the greater our audience the more s uccessfully shall we be enabled to spread the gospel of clean minds and athletic bodies. You can help us by getting your friends interested in the publication that stands for everything that is good and healthy for the coming men of our country. It see ms to me that the readers of ALL-SPOR.TS have kind of que er. So far as I've seen, not one has ever stood up and thanked you, : Mr. Publisher, for giving us the n e w departm ent, "How To Do Things." Now, for one, I've found it both inter esting and useful, and I guess every boy that plays ball and reads about Lightfoot has profited in so me way from the articles on how to play the various po sit i o n s on the diamond. Say, some of those essays were peaches a nd cream to me, and you can just depend on it I've played better ball this year than ever before in all my life, and I can see, too, h ow there may be some migh t y interesting reading yet to come in this same page. We all want to know "how to do things," and I look forward to getting a lot of inter es ting info rmation from th a t quarter. I suppose you intend to take up football in season, and tell us just how the different positions s hould be played in a way to win. Well this letter i s getting long, and if I hope to have it escape the waste ba ske t, I guess I'd better quit. Give my regards to the author of the Jack Lightfoot stories, and also hoping the Winner Libra ry Company may always meet with success, I remain, your friend, G. S:e:Aw. Wilkesbarre, Pa. Glad you appreciate our efforts, Robert, in opening the new department. We a multitude of good things which are awaiting their turn, and which we feel sure will interest you. Some of our readers seem to imagine the story has be e n made shorter, but such is not the case; only the lines had to be con den sed a little in order to give us this page for "How To Do Things."


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. HOW TO DO THING5 By AN OLD ATHLETE. Timely essays and hints upon various athletic sports and pastimes, in which our boys are usually deeply inter ested, and told in a way that may be ea sily understood. Just at present basgball i s the topic in hand, and instructive article s may be found in back number s of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY, &s follows: No. 14\ "How to Become a Batter." N(t, 15, "The Seienee of Plac e Hitting and Bunting. No. 16, "How to Cover First Base." No. 17, "Playing Shortstop." No. 18, "Pitching." No. 19, "Pitc hing Curves." No. 20, "Th e Pit c h er's Team Work ." No. 21, "Play ing Second Base." No. 22, "Covering Third B ase." No. 23, Pl aying the Outfield. No. 24, "How to Catch." (I.) No. 25, "How to Catch." (II.) No. 26, "How to Run Base s ." No. 27, "Coaching and the Coach." No. 28, "How to Umpire." No. 29, "H o w to Manage Players." No. 30, "Baseball Points." No. 31, "How to M ake a Cheap Skift/' A R C HERY. From earliest tim es the bow and arrow have occupied an important part in the development of a country 's greatness. Thus, we see, the English in the Midd l e Ages excelled in the use of the stro n g-bow, and a r che r y was an important factor in the victories of the En lish troops. Particularly was this so in the battle of Hastings. Not i ces of archery are of frequent occurrence throbgh out Jewi s h hi sto ry, more particularly in the histories of th e wars of this people; and from other sou rces also, as fro m ] osephus we l earn that the use of the bow throughout the Holy Land was very general, it being consid ered the mo s t effective weapon then known. The arch ery of Jonathan is s peciall y ref er r ed t o in Holy Writ, and the bow and arrow was then, as indeed d own to the time of the emp l oyment of gunpowder in warfare, used a gainst an enemy in all stages of civilization. Of the deadl y feats of the bow, history offers numer ous curious instanc es Cephalus mi s to ok hi s w ife for a wild b east and s hot her. Hercules discharged his arrow with deadl y aim against Ness us for a ttemptin g to run away with his wife, Dejanira. Achilles r eceived his death wound from an arrow sho t by Paris, the son of old Priam. Ulysses also s lew the s uitors of Penelope with th e bow that had hung so l ong on the walls of his h ome, and which no o ne could s trin g but him self. Then again, how deli g htful are the tales of Robin Hood and his merry men, in which the long bow plays so in}portant a part. "A fam ous man is Robin Hood, The English ballad-singer's joy." The depths of Sherwood For es t saw many a famous feat with the bow in the hand s o f R obin an d hi s stanch followers. The discov e ry of every new country has found the in habitant s in p ossessio n of the bow a nd arrow. Columbus found it in Ame ric a, Vasco de G ama in India and, in more recent tim es, the vari ous explorers in Africa dis covered each tribe in possession o f the bow and arrow. In our own country, the various tribes of Indians who once roamed over the \ Ves tern plains, were ve r y pro ficient in the use of the bow and arrow. it being their chief weapon of defense, and also used by th em when engaged in the chase Some of the braves were so pro ficient in its u se thev could send a feathered shaft wit h such force that it wo uld go straight through t h e body of a deer. To come down to recent history1 when the United States troops first met the Filipinos in battle, a band of Igorrbte wa rri ors met our boys in khaki with a shower of arrows, believing that they were superior to the rifles of the h ated Americanos. Need l ess to say, that was a time w h e n the b ow and arrow were of little service and a trifle behind the times. It is entirely beyond the scope of this article to illus trate the changes and variations characteristic of arch ery in every age. Consequently we will h ave to be content with treating the game of the present day and offering some hin ts as to the best method of becoming an expert in the pastime. In advising the choice of a bow many points have to be taken in to consideration; jf, as is usually the case, the advice is required for a beginner, the weight which can be properly commanded should be th e first consideration. The weight of a bow should be that which the shooter can thoroughly command during the operat ion of drawing, holding and l oosing, and, as this la s t is the most delicate operation of the three, as well as the most dif ficult and important, so it is the power of loosing which should regulate the weight of the bow chosen. All bows require to be treated with care. After shoot ing on a damp day both the bow and the string should be thor o ughly rubbed dry with a soft rag, especially at the ends and handle, where the damp is likely to settle The string should be rubbed with beeswax, and the bow should not be placed in a case, or if it i s necessary to do so to take it home, it should be taken out and again wiped as soon as pos s ible. When the editor was a lad boys usually made their ow n bows and arrows; but nowada ys the manufacturers p l ace such splendid material on the market that it is al most as absurd to think of whittling o ut a hickory bow as of trying to make a baseball bat The same applies to arrows quiver and other things connected with the game T h ere is a l ways a certain amount of temptation to shoot with lighter arrows at one hundred yards than at the shorter distances, so as to get the lower point of aim, to which some archers give way. Some, also, have shot w ith heavier arrows at one end than at the other, so as t o try to neutralize the effect of an up and down wind The diff erence of e l evation gained by changing the weight of the is hardl y sufficient to counterbal ance the inco nveni ence of having to take about with one double the number of arrows, and the danger of using, on some critical occasion,. the wrong or mixed lot of arrows. The pleasures of archery like canoe in g, can only be fully realized by those who have enjoyed them to their full limit. A nd naturally, as the good yew bow and feathered shaft of Robin Hood's day always bore an inti mate connection with the leafy arches of Sherwood Forest, so to day a love for the woods must abide with every one who desires to realize all that is best fn archery. Game may not reward th e hunter 's que.st, or fall to the arrows he discharges with so much zeal, but if he only keeps eyes and ears on the alert, he will hear and see a thousand things calculated to make him better acquainted with nature, and the habits of the feathered and furred denizens of the forest. By all means, indulge in the delightful game of arch ery if you possess any yearning toward nature's heart, for such a rocreation is bo1,111d to enlarge your views, as well as increase your knowledge.


i THE RED RA VEN LIBR RY TII:R.ILLING SEA STO:RIES This library represents an entirely new idea. It is totally different from any other now published. The stories detail t he adventures of three plucky lads who set out to capture the notorious Captain Kidd. Every real boy bas longed to read more about the doings of this bold marauder of the seas and the opportunity i-s now given them. The stories are of generous length and without equals in thrilling' adventure and interest. The best sea stories ever written. 4-Defying the Sea Wolf; or, Thad at Bay in the Powder Magazine. 5----The Jolly Red Raven; or, Capt. Kidd's Dar ing 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-tWalking the Plank; or, The Last Cruise of the Fl'j'ing-Scud. 9-Capt. Kidd's Revenge; or, Thad Among the Tigers of the Sea. lo-The Chest of Doubloons; or, How Three Boys Defied the Buccaneers. II-The Rival Pirates; or, Thad and His Chums in Irons. 12-Capt. 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 Mast; or, The Last of Capt. Kidd s "Hole in the Wall." 15-Capt. Kidd's Long Chase; or, Thad and His Chums in the Tropics. 16--Set Adrift by Pirates; or, Thad's Adven tures in the Saragossa Sea. 17-To Sink or Swim; or, Thad and His Friends On Blue Water. 18-tCapt. 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-Capt. 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-Capt. Kidd at Bay; or, Marooned On a Sand-Spit. 25-The Silver Barque; or, Capt. Kidd's Last Prize. 26--Among th e Buccaneers; m, Thad and His Chums in Desperate Straits. 27-The Red Scourge; or, How Morgan, the Buccaneer, Stormed the Citadel. 28----The Chase of the Slaver; or, Thad Among the Indigo Planters. 29-Morgan's Coast Raiders; or, Thad at the Sacking of Maracaibo. 30-The Buccaneer's Ghost; or Thad's Adven tures with the Pearl Divers. 31-The Sea Cat; or, How Our Boys Held the Fort. 32-The Phantom Galleon; or, Thad's Adven tures Along the Istnmus. 33-A Blue Water Free-Lance; or, Thad Adrift in a LeaJ

COME BOYS, GET THE ALL=SPORTS LIBRARY "Teach the American boy how to become an athlete and so lay the foundation of a constitution greater than that of'the United States." -Wise Sayings from 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 nalll:e implies, the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY is 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. I-Jack Lightfoot's Otallenge; or, The Win:.. ning of the Wager. 2-Jack Lightfoot's Hockey Team; or, The Rival Ath letes of Old C ranford. 3-Jack Lightfoot's Great Play; or, Surprising the Academy Boys. rJack Lightf oot's Athletic Tournament; or, Breaking the Record Quarter Mile Dash. 5-Jack Lightfoot in the Woods; or Taking the Hermit Trout of Simms' Hole. 6-Jaek 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. 9Jack Lightfoot, The Young Naturalist; or, The Mystery of Thunder Mountain. 10-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. 12-Jack Lightfoot, Pacemaker; or, What Hap pened on a Century Run. 13-Jack Lightfoot's .Lucky Puncture; or, A Young Athlete Among the Hoboes. 14-Jack Lightfoot, the Magician; or, Quelling a Mutiny in the Nine. 15-Jack Lightfoot's Lightning Battery; or, Kid naping a Star Pitcher. 16-J ack Lightfoot' s Strategy; or, Hare-and Hounds Over Cranford Hills. 17-Jack Lightfoot in the Saddle; or, A Jockey for Just One Day. 18-Jack Lightfoot's Dilemma; or, A Traitor 011 the Diamond. 19-Jack Lightfoot's Cyclone Finish; or, How Victory Was Snatched From Defeat. 20-Jack Lightfoot in Camp; or, Young Athletes at Play in the Wilderness. 21-Jack Li ghtfoot's Disappearance; or, The Turning-up of an Old Enemy. 22-Jack Lightfoot's "Stone Wall Infield; or, Making a Reputation in the League. 23-Jack Lightfoot's Talisman; or, The Only Way to Win Games in Baseball. 24-Jack Lightfoot's Mad Auto Dash; or, Speed ing at a Ninety Mile Clip. 25-Jack Lightfoot Afloat; or, The Cruise of the Canvas Canoes. 26---Jack Lightfoot's Hard Luck; or, A Light ning Triple Play in the Ninth. 27-Jack Lightfoot's Iron Arm; or, How the New "Spit" Ball Worked the Charm. 28-Jack Lightfoot on the Mat; or, The Jiu Jitsu Trick that Failed to Work. 29-Jack Lightfoot's All-Sports Team; or, How Lafe Lampton Threw the Hammer. 30-Jack Lightfoot in the Box; or, The Mascot that "Hoodooed the Nine. 31-Jack Lightfoot's Lucky Find; or, The New Man Who Covered "Short." 32-J ack Lightfoot, Archer; or, The Strange Secret an Arrow Revealed. 33-Jack Lightfoot's Cleverness; or, Tlle Boy Who Butted In. 34-Jack Lightfoot's Decision; or, That Chest nut of "Playing Against Ten Men." CENTS. : : : For Sale by 1111 Newsdealers, or aeat, postpaid, upoa receipt of price by publlsbrs WINNERLIBRARYC0 165WestFifteenthSt .. NEWYORK i


BUY IT AT O NCE many of our boys have bicycles, some have boats, others like fishing and shooting. A LL of these sports will be carefully dealt with in "Tea cit the All-Sports Lbrary. The stories will deal with the adventures of plucky lads while indulging tlte Amercan boy lzow in healthy pastimes and should be read, there fore, by every boy who wants to learn all that to become an atlz. et e mtd so lay tlze 'r foundatzon of a couis new in the various games and sports in which he is interested. s//utz'on greater tlzan \ t It a t of t lz e Unted :{ "LIKE all other good things The All-Sports Lz'bra1J' has its imStal es." Wse sayings itations. We warn our boys to be careful not to be taken m by these counterfeits. Be sure to get T!te All-Sports Lz'brary ;:Pt:: that the quotation from ous Tip T o p Weekly tells, in a as no other can compare with it. few words, just what the All-Sports Lbrary is attempting to do. We firmly believe that if the American boy by all newsde a le rs, or sent, postpaid, by t It e of to-day can only be made to realize how surely the All-Sports Lbrary will give him an insight into all matters relating to athletics, our library will attain the mightiest circulation reached by any publication for boys J T would be hard to find a boy who 1s not interested in athletics to some extent. All our schools have pub!zshers upon receipt of price. PR.ICE baseball, hockey, football and track teams and when these teams play their rivals, interest runs high indeed. THE WINNER LIBRARY COMPANY, 165 West Fifteenth Street : : NEW YOR.P.:


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