Jack Lightfoot's duck blind; or, A strange mystery of the swamp

Jack Lightfoot's duck blind; or, A strange mystery of the swamp

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Jack Lightfoot's duck blind; or, A strange mystery of the swamp
Series Title:
All-Sports Library
Stevens, Maurice
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New York
Winner Library
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1 online resource (30 p.)


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
A46-00030 ( USFLDC DOI )
a46.30 ( USFLDC Handle )
025841973 ( ALEPH )
76263861 ( OCLC )

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P bl h N t "Teach the Amerrcan boy !low to bee<>me an attltete, ana 1a y the founaatton for a Con stitution greater tltan ma U iS efS 0 e. of the United States "-W ise sayings from "Tip Top. There bas never been a time when the boy.5 of this great country took so keen an Interest I n all m anly and health-giving sports as they do to-day. As proof of this witness the record-breaking throngs that attend college struggle s on the gridiron as well as a t h letic and baseball games, and other tests of endurance and sklll. In a multitude of other channels this love for the "life .strenuous" is making I t self manife s t so that, as a nation, we are rapidly forging to the front as seekers of honest sport. Recognizing this handwriting on the wall," we hav e concluded that the time has arrived to give this vast army of 7oung en. tbuslasts a publication devoted exclusively to i n vigorating out-door life We feel w e are just ified In anticipating a warm response from our s turd7 American boy&, who are sure to reve l I n the stirring phases of sport and adventure, through whic h our character& pass from week to week. ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY l1s1Ull W1111&. JJy $a.50 pw year. Entered according-lo Act of ConKf'es s i n flu year rqo5, in tlu 0{/i c e of tlu Libraria n o.t Conzr1111, Wasl1inrton, D C., by THE WINNER LIBRARY Co., r 6 5 W est Fiftee n th S t New Yo r.t N. Y. No. 44 NEW YORK, December 9, 1905. Price Five Cents. JACK LlfiHTFOOT'S DUCK BLIND; OR, A Strange Mystery of the Swamp. By MAURICE STEVENS. CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY. Jack Lightfoot, the best all-round athlete in Cranford o r vicinity, a lad clear of eye, clean of speech, and, after he had conquered a few of his faults, possessed of a faculty for doing tlu"ngs while others were talking, that by degrees caused him to be looked upon as the natural leader in all the sports Young America delights in-a boy who in learning to conquer himself put the power into his hands to wrest victory from others. Tom Lightfoot, Jack's cousin, and sometimes his rival ; though their striving for the mastery was always of the friendly, generous kind. Tom was called the "Book-Worm" by his fellows, on ac count of his love for studying such secret s of natuno 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. Lafe Lampton, a big, hulking chap, with an ever p resent craving for something to eat. Lafe always had his appetite along, and p=oved a stanch friend of our hero through t:aick and thin. Phll Kirtland, a rival of Jack's, but who was not averse to winning a little glory at times, even if he had to share it with Lightfoot. Katie Strawn and Nellie Conne r two Cranford girls, friends of Jack. Brodie Strawn, one of the C ranford boys who of late had begun to understand Jack, and at the same time admire him. Bill Dillon Jim Wag.stan, a couple of vagabonds who caused our ,Young duck hunters considerable trouble. Professor Sampson, a q ueer old naturalist, and a teacher In Cranford. Kennedy, the plucky town constable. CHAPTER I. THE GUNNING SKIFF. Bang! The report of a fow ling-piece in the hands of a you t h ful sports m a n r ang out up o n the crisp air of the l ate Nov ember af terno on. T he s p or t s m a n w a s J a ck Lightfoot the lea ding all aro u nd a thlete of t h e town o f Cra nford, and the gun had been aimed at th e side wall of an old bu ild i n g. As the smoke cleared Jack ran to the sid e of the build i n g, fro m w hich he had be e n s tan ding so me fif ty yards a way, and h e now bega n to examine the re s ults of hi s s hot. The w ea t h e r-bea t en boar ds o v er a circular s p ace fully a ya r d i n d i am e ter w ere pitte d deeply w ith the ti n y pell e t s of lead, a nd a look of sa t isfa ction quickly lig hted J ack's handsom e health fu l fa ce. "That's very good wo rk, o ld twel ve-bo re he s ai d to himself, fondly patting the stock of the dou ble b arre l e d


2 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. gun. "If you carry as strong as that over fifty yards, I can see trouble brewing for the ducks and geese up around Hickman's swamp." His favorable mental comments \Yere at that point in terrupted, ho .. vever, by a shout from the direction of the street, and Jack turned quickly and saw Brodie Strawn, one of the academy boys, waving his hapd from outside the front fence. "Come over!" shouted Jack, returning the friendly salutation. "Come over and join me." Brodie evidently needed no second invitation, for he quickly vaulted the fence and crossed the grounds be them, joining Lightfoot at the side of the build ing. "What are you doing, Jack?" he asked, surveying the gun with much intere st. "You're not thinking of shooting yourself, are you?'' "Not so you'd notice it, Brodie," replied Jack, laugh ing. ,,"I heard the report, so I ran down here to see what you were firing at." "I was only trying the gun, Brodie." "Trying it?" "To see how strong it carries, and also how much it scatters, at a range of fifty yards," explained Jack, pointing to the side of the building "Is that where the charge struck?" "Yes." "Gee! but she peppered it good," cried Brodie, now also examining the pitted boards. "At fifty yards, did you say?" "The distance was greater, if anything," replied Jack. "I was out beyond that tree over there." "Sure! That's more than fifty yards "I knew the gun pretty ;veil before," added Jack; "and what it would do against small birds. But I now intend going for bigger game, so I wanted to see how the gun would carry a charge of duck s hot." "It scattered all right, Jack, for a half ch o ke left barrel, and had plenty of power," said Brodie. "That' s evident enough." "Yes, so it did," nodded Lightfoot, throwing open the gun' s breech and expelling the empty shell. "If there had been a duck, a brant or even a goose, Brodie, within the circle of tl1ose shots, I could easily see his finish." "That's right, too, assented Strawn. Then he turned about again and looked at Jack with inquiring eyes. G oing after bigger gatne, did you say?" he asked "That's what, Brodie." "What kind of game?" "Ducks," replied Jack. "It's coming colder weather now, and they are beginning to fly south. They are said to be quite plenty up around Hickman's swamp just now, and I'm g o ing up for a try at them." "That's a wild place up there." "I don't mind that, for it's all the better," said Jack. Lampton and I have been up there twice this week, and we have built a duck blind that ought to enable us to do good business." "Is Lafe going with you?" "Yes." "Who else?" "Nobody on the first trip; Brodie. 'vVe first wish to learn what there is in it." "Seems to me, Jack, you've been mighty secret about it," grumbled Brodie, a bit put out. "This is the first I've heard of it." "Oh, there has been no secret about it, though we have not been giving ourselves away much," Jack has tened to expl a in. "You see, Brodie, if everybody knew that the wild fowl had struck in up there, no end of gunners would }?e out after them and soon would fright e n them away." "That's right enough." "So Lafe and I have made our preparations quietly, but not with a design to conceal anything from our friends." "I see what you mean," nodded Strawn, somewhat appeased by the explanation Hickman's swamp, the locality mentioned, was an exten s ive section of wet, wooded land some .six miles from Cranford town. It made the beginning of a long stretch of woods off to the east of Highland, one o f the neighboring towns, and the country up in that section was, as Brodie Strawn liad remarked, a very wild one. There were scarcely any houses for some miles around, while the swamp itself was an entirely deserted wilderness, abounding with small ponds and shallow creeks, some of them connected by narrow strips of low water, all bordered thickly with tall bullrushes, shrubs and coarse grasses. The entire section comprising the swamp was, in fact a lonely, di s mal and wild place enough, and one into the depths of which few persons would have cared to penetrate. Such anexp edition as that planned, however, just suited Jack Lightfoot, whose venturesome spirit was not e asi ly daunt ed an d wh o se n erve and c ourage were equal to much more hazardous undertakings than this.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY 3 Jack was, moreover, a crack shot both with a gun and revolver, and he stood in. no awe of anything in the line of man or beast that Hickman's swamp was likely to produce. Yet Jack was, though wholly unaware of it at the time, destined to meet with some very startling and stirring adventures, entirely out of the line with the sport he and Lafe Lampton were about to seek. "When are you and Lafe going up to the swamp?" Brodie Strawn presently asked, still a hit down in the mouth because he had not been included in the expedi tion. Jack Lightfoot noticed this and he again attempted to appease him, it being second nature in Jack to seek only the good will of the other boys. "We are not going up there for business till Thurs day, Brodie, there being no school the last three days of this week," said he. "If we find any sport, there will be plenty of chances for you and some of the other fellows to go up with us a little later. I'll keep you posted, I give you my word for that." "That's fair enough, Jack." "I always mean to be fair, Brodie, you know that." "You're right, Jack, I do," Strawn now warmly rejoined. "You and Lafe are not going to stay at the swamp nights, are you?" "No, indeed." "That wouldn't be quite safe." "My mother would object to that," added Jack, with habitual loyalty to his home duties. "V.,T e shall start at daybreak, Brodie, and return with our bag of game in the afternoon." "If you bring down any," laughed Strawn. "Oh, we'll bag something, all right," Jack confi dently declared, little dreaming what sort of game fate had in view for him to bag. "You've not yet seen the skiff I made, have you?" "What ski ff is that, Jack ?" "A gunning skiff I have just completed." "Whew you always see to it that everything neces sary is provided," cried Brodie, admiringly. "I never knew your like, Jack." "I have built it at odd times," returned Lightfoot; "when not engaged with my studies, or with other sports." "I have wondered more than once what you were up to, Jack, when I didn't see you around. Where is the gunning skiff?" "Out in the shed, Brodie. Come and have a look at her." Jack led the a y across the grounds to the building mentioned, the broad do or of which he unlocked and opened. A quick cry of admiration came from Brodie Strawn. Raised upon rollers upon the floor was the gunning skiff Jack had built, the sight of which so had pleased his companion. It was about ten feet long. Though square at each end, both had been carefully tapered somewhat, giving the sides a graceful curve and the skiff as a whole a very symmetrical appearance. "Gee! but she's a corker, Jack," exclaimd Brodie, surveying with a critical eye the light skiff. "She's all right, Brodie, for what we want of her," replied Jack, placing his fowling-piece on a workbench at one side. "Take' hold, Brodie, and see how light she is." "Gosh! she's as light as a feather." "Pretty nearly," laughed Jack. "I've built her as light as possible, so she may be easily carried by two of us. Up in that blooming swamp it's often neces sary to get from one pond to another over some strip of land, in which case the boat must be lifted over." "I see," nodded Strawn. "Two could carry that skiff a half mile, if necessary, she's so light." "That's what. I planned for," nodded Jack. "Wouldn't she be better if you had made the bow sharper?" "No, not so." "How's that?" "It would have given a gunner less room to work in," explained Jack. "Now, you see, he has plenty of space to crouch down in, and can handle his gun to much better advantage." "That's right, too," admitted Brodie, nodding ap provingly. "But you could have got more speed out of her, Jack, if you had built her with a round bottom instead of a flat one." "I'm not looking for speed," laughed Jack. "Room and stability were what I chiefly wanted." "I see." "Besides, the water in the swamp ponds and creeks is often very shallow, and a flat-bottom boat can be used to much better advantage," Jack went on to ex plain. "We can go anywhere we like in this one, Brodie, for she'll not draw more than four or five inches loaded." "You're right againt Jack," assented his companion. "You always seem to consider all the requirements. no matter what you undertake." "Well, there's always two ways of doing a thing, a right and a wrong way," laughed Lightfoot. "I always


4 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. make it a point to try, at least, to hit upon the right way." "And you most always succeed, too," said Strawn, now walking about the light skiff and surveying her from the aft end. "She'd have been prettier, Jack if you had painted her white, instead of that dull green color." Jack Lightfoot laughed again and shook his head. "Prettier, Brodie perhaps, but not so practical," said he,. "A white skiff would be too easily seen by birds flying over, and it would tend to keep them at a dis tance." "So it would, Jack." "I have painted her nearly the color of the swamp grasses and foliage along the edge of the ponds." "So she'll not attract attention?" "Certainly," nodded Jack: "It now will be very easy to conceal her among the grasses and bullrushes and we then can a good crack at flying birds before we are noticed." "I see the point," said Brodie, with much approval. Then he suddenly exclaimed, bending nearer the stern: "Why, what's this, Jack? You have named her Kate!" He was examining the name neatly painted in white letters on the stern of the skiff. A wave of color rose over Jack Lightfoot s attrac tive face when Brodie spoke thus and looked quickly up at him. "Yes," he rejoined, simply. "You haven't named her for my sister Kate, have you?" "Well, yes, I thought I would," smiled Jack. "I don't think she will object, Brodie, will she?" "Object-well, I should say not!" And Strawn suddenly sprang up and held out his hand, adding quickly, with much feeling: "She'll be more than pleased with the compliment, Jack, and so am I, too." "Well, I'm glad of that, Brodie," said Jack, return ing the hand pressure. "You're all right, Jack, and the skiff is worthy its maker, and worthy the name of the girl," cried Strawn, heartily. "And I'm blessed, Jack, if I'm not ashamed of myself for having shown any feeling over not having been let into this business before. There is one sure thii:ig, Jack, and that it that you can always lilank on my loyal friendship." Jack Lightfoot colored a little deeper and thanked him warmly. As a matter of fact, Jack not only was very fond of Brodie Strawn's pretty sister, but it was Jack's invari able policy to insure, also, by such thoughtful acts as this, the kindly regard of all of his associates. CHAPTER II. THE RIDE TO THE SWAMP. It was late Tuesday afternoon when Jack Lightfoot had his talk with Brodie Strawn about the gunning skiff, and the latter told his sister all about it when he reached home at supper time that evening. As he had remarked in the afternoon, Kate Strawn was more than pleased with the compliment paid her, and her face flushed and her pretty eyes grew brighter when she heard about it. "It is very kind of Jack to name the boat for me, and I hope it will bring him no end of good luck," she glee fully exclaimed. "Jack Lightfoot doesn't need any luck," laughed Brodie. "He has so much foresight, and ta-kes such care to head off every possible difficulty, that the ele ment of luck doesn't cut much ice with him." "He is a very smart fellow and as good and brave as he is clever," declared Kate, with open admiration. "No better example is set by any of the Cranford boys, than that set by Jack Lightfoot." "That's right, too," Brodie frankly admitted. The pleasure derived by Kate Strawn, moreover, was further increased the following day. This was on Wednesday, the half holiday, and at noon that day the Cranford schools and the academy closed for the rest of the week. It was during this short vacation that Jack and Lafe Lampton had planned to make t he several daily expedi tions to Hickman's swamp after wild fowl. Soon after noon that day, just as Kate Strawn had finished her dinner, she answered a ring at the front door and discovered Jack Lightfoot standing on the steps, at which her countenance lighted with pleasure. "Oh, is it you, Jack?" she exclaimed. "Most of me, Kate," laughed Jack. "Will you come in? I have been hoping to see you, so that I could thank you for naming your new boat for me." "It is I who should do the thanking, Kate, for the privilege of using your name, which I took without the asking," smiled Jack, blushing slightly. "I'm very g lad you did." "Are you ?"


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 5 "Surely you knew I vrculd have consented to it. I feel much complimented." "That's all right, then," rejoined Jack. "And per haps you'd enjoy riding up to the swamp with us this afternoon, to see us put the boat into the water." "Indeed, Jack, I would," cried the blushing girl, eagerly clapping her hands. "Since the skiff is named for you, I thought it was only proper that you should be at the launching, though it will not be a very imposing spectacle," laughed Jack. "Nevertheless, I shall enjoy it." "I have sent word to Nellie Conner, your chum, and she no doubt will go with us." "I'm quite sure of it, Jack, and the ride will be de lightful." "We are going to start about one o'clock con tinued Jack. "I've got the running gear of Mr. Grat ton's wagon, one of our neighbors, and he also has loaned me his big gray horse. We're going to load the skiff on the running gear, and you and Nellie can ride in the boat, while we boys tramp alongside." "That will be fine, also a ride in the woods at this time of the year died Kate. "I also have provided seats for you to ride home on." "That's very good of you, Jack, and just like you," said the girl, with a fond light in her bright eyes. "What time do you wish to start?" "In about an hour, Kate. You may come over to my house as soon as you are ready, and Nellie prob ably will be there by that time. Bring Brodie along, also, and we'll soon have things in shape to get under way." "I'll come as soon as possible," replied Kate, as Jack bowed politely and drew down the steps to depart. Promptly at one o'clock Kate arrived at Jack's home, where she found Nellie Conner waiting for her at the front gate. "I'm so glad you could go, Nellie," she cried, as they met. "It will be great sport riding up there in the new boat." "So it will, Kate, and it was just like Jack tq think of us in this way." "Hasn't Brodie come over here?" "Yes; he just went in." "He started ahead of me," laughed Kate. "I couldn't hold him "The boys are loading the boat upon the wagon wheels." "Let's go in and see them. We don't want to miss I anything." "That we don't," smiled Nellie. They locked arms and made their way around the pretty cottage, then out toward the shed where the boys were gathered. There they found Jack and his cousin, Tom Lightfoot, also Brodie and Lafe Lampton, who had come to assist in the work. Nearly up to the open shed door Jack had backed the wheels of Gratton's wagon, from which the body had been removed, while fro m the floor of the shed to the rear axle he had adjusted a strong skid, up which the skiff was to be run on rollers. "Now lend a hand, boys, and we'll have her loaded in two shakes of a lamb's tail," cried Jack, as the girls approached. "We mustn t keep the ladies waiting." "Oh we shan't mind waiting, Jack," said Kate, with \ an appreciative nod. "Lafe and I will handle her on this side,'' cried Tom, who was steadying the boat on the rollers. "You and Brodie get a grip on the other side, Jack." "That will be good enough," assented Lightfoot. "Now we're ready." "All together! Yo, heave, ho!" Under their united efforts, which by no means were required to move the light skiff, however, the boat was run out of the shed and well up onto the skid. "Steady her, now," cried Jack. "Steady her until I can get between the wheels. You slip in between them on that side, Lafe, and then we can lift her to the fore axle." "Gee whillikins I can lift her there all alone," cried Lafe, who was a strong, husky chap with no end of btawn and muscles. "If I couldn't I'd go at swinging the clubs." "I know you can do the lifting all right, Lafe, but I don't wish to bang her," said Jack, who never did things with a rush unless the occasion absolutely re quired it. "Now we are ready again. All together -once more! There she is, boys, in just the right place." "Going to tie her on, ain't you?" demanded Lafe, tersely. "Certainly." "Here's the line," said Tom, hastening out of the shed. 1 "I'll make her fast to the rear axle, then you can fix her forward." "All right, Tom; go ahead." It required but a very few minutes to bind the boat securely to the runnin g gear, and Jack then closed the


6 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. door and announced that they were ready to start. "I'll first get a couple of cushions from the house, Kate, for you and Nellie to sit on," said he, turning to the girls. "You'll find it kind of rough with out any springs, but I guess you'll enjoy the trip "I know we shall," declared Kate. Having brought out the cushions, Jack arranged them on the bottom of the skiff near the aft thwart, then placed a chair for the girls to step on in order to reach the boat. "You can sit in the bottom and rest your backs against the thwart," he explained, as he assisted them aboard. "That will be easier than sitting bolt upright on one of the seats." "Oh, this is easy enough for anyone, J and so very novel," laughed Kate, as both girls arranged them selves in the boat. "Now we are ready and will start at once," said Jack, catching up his coat from the ground. "Hadn't we better take a gun along with us?" asked Lafe, halting. "We might get a crack at something, a duck or a quail, mebbe." "No, Lafe, not to-day," protested Lightfoot. "Why not, Jack?'" it's not always pleasant for girls to see birds shot," Jack quietly explained. "There'll be time enough for us to do our shooting when they are not with us." "That's right, too," added Tom, with a nod of ap proval. "Leave the shooting until to-morrow." "Oh, I don't mind," dubiously assented Lafe, who was endowed with an appetite to be proud of. "I only thought I might land a quail or the like for my sup per." "We'll bag something bigger than quail to-morrow, Lafe," replied Jack. Then he gave the gray gelding the word, and the jovial party was away amid shouts and "Gracious, I guess we shall need cushions, Nellie," chuckled Kate Strawn, as the wagon jolted heavily while going down the incline from Jack's front gate into the road. "I was struck with the same feeling," laughed Nellie, under her breath. None of this reached the ears of the boys, however, who were out of hearing Jack and Brodie Strawn walked in advance, looking 3fter the horse; while Tom Lightfoot and Lafe brou g ht up in the rear, keeping an eye on the boat. Their way took them through a portion of the business part of the town, where they were the observed of all observers. Everybody knew that Jack Lightfoot now was out on another of his expeditions, but the skiff led all -to infer that it was J fishing project. Jack had foreseen that this would be a natural conclusion, and so felt sure of getting the first crack at any game that might that night have appeared at the swamp. As they were leaving the outskirts of the town and entering the road across country, the swamp being nearly six miles distant, Brodie Strawn suddenly caught sight of a solitary horseman just making the brow of a hill something like a quarter mile away. "Hello!" he exclaimed, turning to Jack. "Isn't that Kennedy, the Cranford constable?'" "It rides like him, Brodie," said Jack, after watching the distant horseman for a few moments. "He's coming this way." "We shall know presently. Yes, that's Kennedy, all right." "Something must be up, Jack, to have taken him out of town on horseback." "Possibly he will inform us." "I say!" shouted Lafe Lampton, from back of the wagon. "Isn't that the constable?" "Nobody else," answered Jack. "Brodie and I were just talking about him." "I'll bet he's out after somebody." I "That's a fat conclusion, Lafe," laughed Brodie Strawn. "Do you imagine we thought he was out riding for his health?" "Oh, go and chase yourself," growled Lafe, coming forward. "You're not half funny." "Never tried to be," grinned Brodie. "It sounded so, anyway." "Ifs the fault of your ears, Lafe. They were out of tune." "Stop quarreling, you two boys," commanded Kate, from her seat in the1 boat "We are not out to hear anything of that kind." "Whoa!" Jack Lightfoot suddenly exclaimed at this point, seizing the horse's bridle. "Hold up for a min ute, boys "Going to stop?"' "Yes," replied Jack, who had been intently watching the approaching horseman. "Kennedy is going to wait and speak to us, I know by the look of his face." "I believe you are right, Jack." "There's somethjng wrong, too, that's enou gh," said Tom Lightfoot. "He has been like fun. His horse is all of a lather." "\\'c'll see what he has to say, boys." plain riding


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 7 seen leaving town in this direction about three o'clock this morning," continued Kennedy. "They drove very fast, and their haste, along with the early hour, ap pear suspicious." CHAPTER III. THE CONSTABLE'S DISCLOSURES. Jack Lightfoot and the Cranford boys with whom he associated all stood well with the constable of the town. Very few of the more matured citizens, in fact, held a higher place in Kennedy's estimation than Jack did The latter had har

8 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. cut loose, and the journey to the swamp was done with less thought of meeting with burglars and ruffians. Mr. Dillworthy, whose house had been robbed the previous night, was one of the wealthiest merchants of Cranford, and was well known and liked by all of the boys. This was the third burglary that had been committed recently, and the people naturally were somewhat disturbed by the frequency of the outrages. As Jack had predicted, however, no suspicious char acters were seen during their journey, and at the end of an hour they were well over the range of hills and striking across the country beyond, which made toward the southern edge of the great swamp. Here the country was covered with belts of woods, sorpe of which had been partly cut away, leaving rough clearings here and there. It was well into the late autumn season, and most of the leaves had fallen from the trees, or hung sparsely here and there still rich with their fall colorings. Jack presently struck intq a narrow road through these woods, and Brodie Strawn quickly asked : "Why are you taking this road, Jack? It leads to one of the wiidest parts of the swamp. Is it out this way that you have built your duck blind?" "No, not exactly," replied Jack. "But I know of a good place up here for hiding the skiff, so I'm heading for that point." "Oh, that's your scheme, is it?" "The place is on the lower edge of one of the larger ponds," continued Jack. "We've built the duck blind over on the other side of it, but we'll not go around there to-day. By leaving the boat on this side we'll have less walking to it to-morrow morning, and we can cross the pond more easily and quickly in the skiff. It's quite a long walk along the shore." "I see the point," nodded Brodie. It was nearly three o'clock when the party arrived at the place of which Jack had spoken, and it was, as he had said, an ideal place for concealing the skiff from the observation of any other gunners who might head that way. The road which they had followed ended in a thick belt of woods, which bordered closely upon the southern edge of the extensive swamp. Jusf beyond the break of the heavier timber was a shallow creek, part of a larger pond which could be seen through the trees and the dense shrubbery border ing the low-lying water in every direction. Skirting the edge of the creek was a wide growth of tall flags and bullru s h es, and it was in the midst of these that Jack Lightfoot had decided to conceal the skiff during the night. The silence of the place, the impressive solitude, the primeval wildness of this miniature wilderness, all presented a scene of great interest to the two girls, who never before had visited the swamp, and their enjoyment of the novelty surpassed even their earlier anticipations. CHAPTER IV. MORE STARTLING NEWS. "You girls now can amuse yourselves in your own way, while we are busy unloading the boat," said Jack Lightfoot, while he assisted them from the skiff. "The place is amusement enough of itself," Kate gleefully cried, as she alighted upon the leaf-strewn ground. "This is like walking on a carpet." "Somewhat," smiled Jack. "I never was so near the swamp before. It's awfully interesting." "It; is too late in the s eason for anything in the way of wild flowers said Jack; "but you'll find plenty of handsome ferns out that way." "We'll gather some to take home," said Nellie. "Look out that you don't get lost cautioned Jack. "Oh, we'll not go out of sight, Jack, you may be sure of that," laughed Kate. Leaving the girls to divert themselves as best pleased them, the boys now proceeded to unload the boat from the running gear, and soon had it safely upon the ground. Jack Lightfoot then drew on a pair of long rubber boots, and with the help of his companions the skiff was quickly borne to the edge of the shallow creek. "I'll haul her into the water," cried Jack, slipping in among the tall flags and sedge grass. "There's no need of any of you wetting your feet." It was soft and boggy down near the water's edge, and so the skiff slipped easily over the vvet soil. It took Jack but a few minutes to conceal her amid the flags and bullrushes, where he secured her with a long pain ter reaching to the shore, and which he also carefully concealed from view. "I'll shove the oars under this brushwood, as an ad ditional precaution," he remarked, as he trade back to the upland. "Then, in case any persons should acci dentally stumble upon the skiff, they can't make off with her." "That's a good idea, too declared Lafe, approv ingly. "We'd feel like thirty cents, Jack, if we ar-


I ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 9 rived here to-morrow morning and found ourselves \vithout a gunning skiff." "I don't see any birds flying," said Tom Lightfoot, staring about a bit "I hope you fellows will not have had your tr::iuble for nothing." "This is not a very good locality for them, Tom," explained Jack. "Wild fowl are more likely to haunt the other side of the pond, where the water is more open." "Is that so?" "We'll go across in the skiff, and in the early morning I have no doubt we'll strike some." "I hope so." "Me, too!" exclaimed Lafe, .:Vith vivid anticipations of roast duck. "I'm concealing the skiff here," added Jack; "only because it's the nearest point to Cranford, and so will save us considerable walking. Our duck blind is over on the other shore, beyond that point that makes out yonder." "I say!" exclaimed Brodie Strawn. "Isn't it some where up in this section that old Jerry Sampson comes looking for the torture plants that he imposes upon us?" "What a way to speak of Prof. Sampson, one of your teachers," protested Kate, as both girls now re joined the group and heard Brodie's remark. "Well, isn't it torture have to analyze the outland ish things he brings into the classroom, Jack's in the pulpit, skunk cabbages and the like of them?" laughed Brodie. "It's torture enough for me, Kate, I can tell you that. The study of botany is not my long suit and never will be." The man referred to in this way was Prof. Jeremy Sampson, one of the instructors in the Cranford acad emy, a teacher not very well liked by most of the pupils, possibly because he was exceedingly thorough in his work and often imposed tasks of considerable severity. As an instructor of botany, which was his own special delight, one of Sampson's fads was to scour the country in search of flowers, shrubs, fems and the like, which he brought into his classroom in endless variety and abundance, and compelled the students to study and analyze. It was no unusual thing on a holiday to see Samp son's tall, angular figure, with a bag or basket over his shoulder, in the fields or woods miles away from Cranford, seeking for new specimens of plants or flowers. As may be imagined from this, moreover, he was a very eccentric man, close upon fifty years old, and was as tall and thin as a fence rail, with a face as beardless and narrow as a hatchet. "Yes, I have heard of his being out this way in search of plants," said Jack Lightfoot, in reply to Brodie's question. "So have I." "But that's not much wonder," laughed Jack; "since he goes nearly everywhere.'' "Well, I hope we don't run across hi m to-day," growled Brodie, with a grimace. "I see enough of him school hours, and more than enough." "We are not likely to," said Jack. "It's after three o'clock and we must soon start for home." 1 "Let's get under way at once," cried Lafe. "There's nothing more to be done here." The journey home to Cranford proved uneventful, and the dusk of the early autumn evening was settled over the woods and fields before Jack and his com panions arrived in town. There they separated for home at once, with the ex ception of Lafe Lampton, who remained with Jack to help him put Mr. Gratton's wagon in shape and return it to the owner's stable. "That must be done to-night, Lafe, for we want to start before daylight to-morrow morning," said Jack, when they were alone. "That's so," assented Lafe. "The earlier the bet ter." "We can return this team in course of half an hour, after which you can go home to supper." "And I won't do a thing to supper," grinned Lafe. "I feel as if I could eat a ton." "You'd fall short a few pounds, I'm thinking," laughed Jack, as they sprang down in his yard and set about replacing the light wagon body. "And after you have had your supper, Lafe, I think you'd better bring your gunning outfit down here and spend the night with me." "Mebbe tpat would be a good scheme," said Lafe. "Then I'll be sure to wake up in the morning." It was so arranged between them, and just before nine o'clock that evening Lafe returned rigged from top to toe for the following day's sport, with his gun over his shoulder. "Good enough!" exclaimed Jack, when he admitted him to the house. "We'll turn in early, Lafe, so to be bright and fresh in the morning." "We ought to get a good day's sport, I'm thinking," declared Lafe, who really was thinking more about the viands that might be the result of it.


IO ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "There's no doubt about it in my mind," said Jack. "It's coming colder to-night, and should be crisp and sharp in the morning. That'll set the birds flying, and I'll wager we bag a good bunch of them." Just as the boys were about turning in, however, they heard the sound of the doorbell, and Jack's mother presently called up the stairs saying that he was wanted in the parlor. "Who is it?" asked Jack, quietly. "I'm nearly un dressed." "Mr. Kennedy, the constable," she replied. "I hope, Jack, there s nothing wrong." "There's nothing wrong with me, I you. Tell him I'll come down in a jiffy." "It's the constable again," said he to Lafe, as he re turned to his chamber. "vVhat the dickens can he want, now?" Lafe sur prisedly demanded. "He may have something more to tell us about that burglary, replied Jack. "That's so! Perhaps he has got some clew to the thieves." ''I'll go down and see." Jack had slipped into his clothes while speaking, and he now hastened downstairs and joined Ken_nedy in the parlor. "I'm sorry to trouble you, Jack, just as x_ou were going to bed," the genial constable apologized, as Jack entered the room. "No trouble at all, Mr. Kennedy; was the hearty reply. "What can I do for you?" "You can tell me whether you saw Mr. Sampson, the school teacher, during your outing this afternoon." "No, I did not see him," replied Jack, with surprise. "We did not lay eyes on him." "Well, he's missing," said Kennedy, bluntly. "Missing?" "Word has been sent to me by the head master at the academy, wh o evidently has become anxious about the missing man, and he has requested me to make some inquiries explained the constable. "I remem bered having seen you heading out over the hills, and I thought that you possibly had run across Sampson during the afternoon." "Did he go out that way?" "Nobody seems to kn o w where he went. One of the servants up at the academy states that he started out about one o'clock, with his fox terrier along with him and a small basket in his hand. It's not known which way he went, however, nor what he was going after." "Probably after plants or flowers," said Jack. "He frequently makes long jaunts for that purpose." "But he never has been known to remain away as late as this." "That' s true, no doubt." "And he couldn't be gathering plants or flowers after dark." "Not very well," admitted Jack, not a little mysti fied. "There are several holidays coming, however, and possibly Mr. Sampson has gone to visit some friends." "I suggested that to the head master," replied Ken nedy, shaking his head. "But he says that Sampson has no intimate friends about here, and is never away from his rooms overnight." "That probably is true, for he is very regular in his habits." "One fellow I questioned, I'll not mention his name, hinted that Sampson might have had a hand in the burglary last night, and that he now has lit out for keeps," remarked Kennedy. "But I don't take any stock in that, to tell the truth." "It's absurd on the face of it," declared Jack, with some indignation. "So I think." "Mr. Sampson is an eccentric man, and all that, but I'm sure that he's away above doing anything dis honest," Jack warmly added. "It is very possible that he went further than usual this afternoon and has not yet been able to walk back, or he may have mistaken the road and lost his way." "That is my theory," nodded Kennedy. "But I am told that he knows the lay of the land in every direc tion, and that it's wholly improbable that he has lost his way." "Has his dog returned ?" "Not yet." "It does seem mighty mysterious, I'll admit," said Jack, thoughtfully. "I hope nothing serious has hap pened to him." "He may have fallen from a ledge, or met with an accident of some kind. That seems to me to be the only explanation of his long absence." "What are you going to do about it?" "I don t see that we can do anything .before to-mor row," replied Kennedy, rising to go. "Perhaps he'll show up by that time." "That's my opinion, Jack. He's certainly old enough and big enough to look after himself, and I think this stir over his absence is a little bit previous.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. II If he doesn't turn up by to-morrow, there'll be sorrie sense in making a hullabaloo over it." "I guess he will return all right, Mr. Kennedy," said Jack, accompanying him into the hall. "I am going out to the swamp after wild fowl early to-morrow morning, and I'll keep my eyes open for some sign of him. In case I run across him and anything has hap pened, I'll at once bring word to town." "Good enough, Jack." "I think, however, that he'll have returned before morning." "I hope so. Good-night, Jack." "Good-night, Mr. Kennedy." CHAPTER V. A MORNING ENCOUNTER. "Gee whittaker it is a bit sharp this morning." This exclamation came from Lafe Lampton an hour before daylight, when he and Jack Lightfoot left the latter's home for their first day's sport at the swamp. Jack had arisen long before five o'clock and prepared a hot breakfast, also a lunch to be taken with them, and it was not much later when the two boys shouldered their guns and left the house. Stars were still twinkling in the sky overhead, but away down low in the east a streak of gray was the harbinger of the approaching dawn. "It's going to be a fine day all right," said Jack, with a glance at the heavens. "And it will be y.rarm enough, Lafe, once the sun gets up and we strike the wild fowl." "It'll be warm enough for them, all right," laughed Lafe. "So it will." "I'm not cold, Jack, as to that." "Nor am I.'' "These woolen gloves your mother knit for us are out of sight." "They are nice and warm," replied Jack, shifting his gun to the hollow of his arm. "We'll strike a good stiff gait, La(e, and that will set our blood moving." "Let her go, then cried Lafe, cheerfully. "You'll not find me lagging." "We must cover the six miles in but little more than an hour," added Jack. "That will be easy." "And it will bring us to the swamp about seven o'ciock, just as the sun shows above the tree tops." Both boys were finely rigged for their outing. A pair of long-legged rubber boots, strapped high about each thigh ; a pair of warm woolen trousers, an old dogskin jacket and a thick woolen cap. Each wore strapped around his waist, moreover, a belt filled full of cartridges charged for duck and geese, and both boys had double-barreled breech-load ing guns. "I cannot help thinking about Prof. Sampson and what Kennedy told me last night," said Jack, as they trudged rapidly on their way. "Jimminy crickets!" laughed Lafe. "It would be funny if we ran foul of him out here even on a holi day." "Not so funny, Lafe, if anything serious had hap pened to him." "'That would queer our day's sport, all right." "It seems strange that he did not return home last evening," said Jack, in thoughtful tones. "It was nearly ten o'clock when Kennedy called at my house." "The old plant hunter had no business to be out at that hour," growled Lafe. "He ought to have been at home and abed." "Perhaps he wishes he had been." "It'll be just our luck to stumble on him somewhere. Mebbe with a broken leg. That would be excuse enough for any man's not walking home. Jack laughed and shook his head. He knew that Lafe' s bark was worse than his bite, and that he was not only a warm-hearted boy, but thoroughly reliable whenever an occasion required it. A1 period of silence followed. Jack had begun hitting up a fast pace, they now being well out of town, and he knew that continuous talking while they were walking rapidly served only to use up their wind. For half an hour the two strode rapidly on, covering nearly half the distance, and by that time the streak of gray in the east had become a streak of mingled red and yellow. "We shall see the sun in another quarter-hour," said Jack, as they entered the road through the woods. "Hello! there's a brace of quail!" As quick as a flash, when the wild whir of the birds smote his ear, Jack's gun had leaped to his shoulder and belched out its on the crisp morning air. Though thirty yards away and flying for dear life, both birds pitched earthward and left only a cluster of fluttering feathers in the air where they had been a moment before. "0ood shot! A bully one!" shouted Lafe, triumphantly. "Merely for practice, and Number Four shot. I think


12 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. it pretty fair myself," laughed Jack, as he ran and picked up the two birds "It was a good one, Jack, for all that." "I've blown one of them most to pieces, but I reckon there's a good meal in the pair. I'm specially fond of quail." "Too little of 'em for me," tersely answered Lafe, with a significant grin. "I want both quantity and quality, chiefly quantity." "You ought to feed on an ostrich," laughed Jack, as he thrust the dead birds into the game pouch of his coat. "I thinki:hat would about hit my capacity," laughed Lafe. "Well, let's get on," said Jack. "We still have good two miles to cover." "I'm with you." With which both struck again through the woodland road, and more than another mile was covered without incident Then, just as the first rays of \he moming sun shot like yellow beams through the trees, a second exclama tion came from Lafe Lampton. "Hello! who the dickens are those fellows?" From beyond a clump of trees and shrubbery some Lhirty yards away, two roughly clad men had suddenly stepped out into the road, where both halted quickly, with sharp glances at each other, the instant they saw Jack and Lafe approaching. They were tough-looking customers, both of them, carrying guns and with slouch hats drawn over their brows. Both were upward of fifty years old, and with their coarse garments and unshaven faces they presented a type of ruffian by no means agreeable to meet. "Don't stop unless they speak first," whispered Jack, when Lafe showed an inclination to halt. "One of them is Bill Dillon, a worthless fellow who lives further around the S\vamp. I've seen him in Cranford several times, but he doesn't know me." "Do you know the other one?" murmured Lafe. "I never saw him." "He looks like the breaking up of a hard winter," grow led Lafe, under his breath. It was afterward learned that Dillon's companion was a man named Jim Wagstaff, and that he had a reputation, where he was known at all, even worse than Dillon had, which certainly was bad enough Jack and Lafe had continued walking up the road while quietly whispering their remarks, and both hoped they would not be accosted by these fellows. Yet neither felt the slightest fear of the two men, as was presently evident when Lafe's corns were trod on. Both men waited till the two boys were within ten feet of them, when Dillon roughly cried : "Slow up, you two kids! Where are yer going?'.' Jack promptly halted and quietly answered, politely, yet man fashion : "Over to the swamp after wild fowl." "Are yer sure thet's what ye're looking fer?" de manded Wagstaff, with a suspicious gleam in his ugly black eyes. "Gimme the truth now, d'ye hear?" Jack drew himself up with some dignity and coldly answered, yet with habitual politeness : "I always speak the truth." "Oh, yer do, eh?'" "That's what I do." "Waal, see thet yer speak it now," cried Wagstaff. "Are yer sure wild fowl is what ye're looking fer?", "Well, we're not looking for trouble, mister," cried Lafe, with startling abmptness. "If you think we are, you're off your trolley." This was when Lafe broke out. He did not like Jim \Vagstaff s distrustful look, nor the threatening voice with which he had addressed Jack, and it needed only an affront of this kind, particularly when directed against Jack Lightfoot, to send Lafe's defiant temper clean over the traces. Both men appeared a bit startled by his sharp re tort, and Wagstaff now frowned more darkly and growled, significantly patting the stock of his gun: "Look hyar, youngster! Don't yer git sassy to me, or ye'll git more'n yer looking fer." "Oh, we will, eh?" cried Lafe, defiantly. "Thet's what yer will, honey!" "Well, if it comes to that, mister, you'll find that we can shoot as straight and as quick as you can. And we're loaded for geese, mister, too!" And Lafe dropped his gun into the hollow of his arm with a move so sudden and decided that Jack Lightfoot impulsively put out his hand to restrain him. "Steady, Lafe!" he cautioned. "None of that." "Well> I don't propose to have that guy drive me into a hole," growled Lafe. "I have as good a right to be here as he has, and mebbe better:" "Waal, don't git sassy, boy, thet's all I've got to say." "You've said that once already." "Oh, dry up, both of ye," Bill Dillon now inter rupted, with a warning look at his companion. "Vv e don't mean ye any harm, boys, but sort o' wanted to know what yer were after up this way."


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 13 "We are after ducks," Jack now replied, while Lafe relapsed into grim silence, with his eyes steadily fixed upon those of Wagstaff. "Up in the swamp?" inquired Dillon. "Yes, said Jack. "Y e'll need a boat, won't ye?" "Perhaps so," Jack evasively rejoined. "We are going to have a try at them, anyway." "Ye wasn't looking fer nuthing else, eh?" "No, that's all." "Whar d'ye hail from?" "We live in Cranford." "Did ye leave there this morning?" "Yes, about half-past five o'clock." "Ye must have sot a good clip to hev got here by this time," put in Jim Wagstaff, with another distrust ful flash of his black eyes. "Well, we came along quite smartly," nodded Jack. "Is there any news in Cranford?" asked Dillon, with some show of carelessness. one that I think of." "Thet so ?" "There was a burglary night before last," added Jack when it occurred to him. "Don't ye call thet news?'' "Well, I don t know many of the particulars." "Know whos e place 'twas, don't ye?" "It was the house of Mr. John Dillworthy." "Did they git much?" "Who?' "The crooks, o' course!" growled Dillon. "D'ye think I mean the covey as owns the house?'' "I don't know just how much the burglars got away with, replied Jack, anxious to end the conversation and continue on his way. But both men stood in his way, and Dillon detained him with further questions. "Have they arrested 'em yit ?" he next demanded. "I don't so," said Jack, with a headshake. "Ain' t they got any clew to 'em?" "I believe not. I saw Kennedy, the constable, yes terday, and he said there was no trace of the rascals." "Is thet so, me lad?" Dillon now rejoined, quite pleasantly. "Waal, I hope they'll land 'em, and mebbe they will. D'ye want to go on, now?'' "If you have asked all the you wish," said Jack, dryly. "Waal, I reckon them's about all," laughed Di!Ion. "Only the next time ye meet two gentlemen in the road ye want to be right perlite to start with. Hold up a bit!" "Well?" said Jack, halting. "Take keer ye don't git inter anything thet doIJ.'t be long to ye. Keep on this 'ere side o' the swamp, mind thet l" "We intend doing so." "'Cause I okkipy a crib over on tother side me lad, and I hate to find ye prowling around there. It might be most as much as yer neck is wuth." "We shall not trouble anything belonging to you," replied Jack, coldly. "See thet ye don't," added Dillon, as he and Wagstaff drew to one side of the road and Jet the boys pass. "If ye don't see to it-waal, in tl;iet case I'll come mighty nigh seeing to you. Now go on about yer busi ness, the two o' yer I" CHAPTER VI. AT THE DUCK BLIND. "I didn't like the eyes of that fell o w in brown," de clared Lafe, as he and Jack again hastened up the road. "Neither of them looked very inviting laughed Jack, now that the episode was ended. "I guess we'll see no more of them." "More or less won't bother me," growled Lafe, still nursing his resentment. "I'm not afraid of them." "Nor am I, Lafe, as far as that goes," replied Jack. "It' s much better, however, not to go looking for trouble." "It struck me that Dillon was mighty anxious to know what we were looking for," answered Lafe, with obvious misgivings. "He asked us twice about that, did you notice?" "Yes, I did." "What do you suppose he thought?" "Possibly he had an idea that we were after something belonging to him," replied Jack. "He may have a skiff in the swamp, pr something of that sort." "He's got a bat in his belfry, all right, that. I'm sure of." "He's not worth talking about." "That's right, too." "Ah! there's the pond," cried Jack, as they rounded a curve in the narrow road, and brought both the pond and creek into view. "It's already hit by the sun. Get a move on, Lafe!" In their enthusiasm they forgot all about the two men, and both broke into a run and dashed down the low hill leading to the creek. "The skiff is here, all right," cried Jack, as they neared the spot. "You get the oars, Lafe, I clear the painter. We'll be afloat in a jiffy."


14 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Lafe hastened to comply, while Jack took the ked g e aboard and stowed it with the painter under the for ward thwart out of the way. "I'll row to start with," said he, as Lafe slopped in among the flags and stepped aboard with the oars "All right, Jack. I'll look after the guns." "She'll slip along more easily after we get through these flags and into the clearer water." The growth was thick about the edge of the creek, but after a dint of hard pushing Jack forced the boat through the fringe of flags and into the open water. "Now we're away,'; said he, dropping to the thwart and gripping the oars "I'll head straight around yon der point and make for the duck blind at once." "That's the stuff." "How's the wind?" "Nearly east." "That's a favorable quarter for us, Lafe, for it blows across the pond toward the blind. Ducks have a deu cedly fine scent and we must be to the leeward of them." "They always head into the wind, don't they?" "Sure I That's so they can scent danger." "I don't see any signs as yet-yes, by jimminy crickets! there's a flock of three over in that little cove," Lafe suddenly cried, dropping his voice to a sup pressed whisper All excitement, he had caught up his gun and risen to one knee, pointing out to Jack the three black specks in the water something like a hl!ndred yards away. For under Jack sturdy strokes the skiff had now left the narrow creek and entered the broader sweep of the pond, nearly out to the point of land which Jack had mentioned. "Keep your head, Lafe," he coolly rejoined resting on his oars long enough to have a look at the distant fowl. "Can't we get one crack at them?" demanded Lafe, eagerly. "Not from this direction," said Jack, confidently. \ V e are nearly to the windward of them, and even if they failed to see us they would scent us before we could get within gunshot." "Me bbe s o." "They have already ," cried Jack, suddenly. "See, there they go! They're making straight across the pond." "By thunder! if we were in our blind now, Jack, we could drop them all right. They are heading nearly over it." "There'll be others, Lafe, and the sooner we get un der cover the better," replied Jack, agajn bending to the oars. A few vigorous carried them around the point, and then, off to the west, stretched the side shore of the larger pond. Here there was a background of dense woods, while the edge of the pond was bordered thickly with shrubs, tall flags and sedge grass, outside of which was the clearer water. Jack Lightfoot rowed quickly into a sort of cove, which broke the line of shore in that place, and drove the light skiff in among the flags. Here the boys had previously constructed the cluck blind, that all might be ready when they arrived. It consisted of a shelter for the boat, built high enough to conceal it and enable them to crouch out of sight of flying birds overhead. It was cleverly constructed partly of light branches near the shore, and of flags and bullrushes which arched over the outer end of the skiff Into this concealment Jack quickly ran the skiff, where she,lay easily, there being no tide or wind to move her. "Now we'll soon be ready for them," said Jack, as he shipped the oars. "We'll keep these handy, for if we drop any game we'll have to slip out into the pond and pick them up, not having any dog wit!! us." "Drat a dog!" rejoined Lafe, removing his gloves and taking up his gun. "They are more trouble than they are worth." "Hello! there's a flock settling into the water away over yonder!" exclaimed Jack, pointing across the pond. "We can't get them from here, but I think--" "Easy!" whispered Lafe, suddenly. "There are some heading this way."


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. rs Jack quickly caught up his gun, and in a moment both boys were crouching side by side in the skiff, ready for a shot. As Jack Lightfoot had foreseen, the wild fowl had fairly struck into the swamp, and the sharp morning air was making them lively. Lafe instantl_y fired one barrel, dropping a brant, moreover, when the same three ducks which they had startled from the pond a few minutes before came flying over the woods in the background. With a wild whir and a splash they settled in the open water scarce thirty yards from the skiff. Lafe's gun quickly came to his shoulder, but Jack sharply : "Hold on! Don't fire yet, Lafe. They are too scat tered for you to hit all of them before they can rise. vVait till they line up, or draw nearer togeth.er." Lafe held his breath and waited. The three ducks were s

16 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Brant or goose, it mattered little, for at the double discharge of Jack's faithful old gun bore the pilgrim of the upper air to?k a tumble. Half a score of birds dotted the sparkling water, and in the very midst of them fell a mammoth goose, dropped dead under Jack's unerring aim. Despite the trouble Lafe had had with his gun, a yell of delight broke from him when he saw the re sults of their mutual shot. "Eureka!" he exclaimed, leaping up in the boat. "You've brought down the goose, Jack, and there are no end of brant." "I aimed for the goose all right with my first bar rel," said Jack, more complacently. "He's as dead as a smelt." "I saw him keel over, Lafe, then I sent the other barrel into the rest of the flock." "Let's gather them in," cried Lafe. "vVe have got to wring the of of those fluttering fellow s ." Jack readily complied and again they sent the light skiff out into the deeper water. It took them some little time to gather in all of the game, and when the last bird had been tossed onto the boat the heap began to look quite formidable. "We shall have a good lug home," laughed Lafe. "And a good meal off of what we Jug," added Jack. "You bet! More than one meal, too." In his mind's eye Lafe already could see them plucked of their feathers and gracing a festive board. "We'll now get under cover again," said Jack, after making a long survey of the more remote parts of the pond. "I don't see anything near here in our line, and we may have a long wait before getting another shot like the last one." "The game is worth the waiting declared Lafe, with another glance at the plump birds. "I'll row her back this time." "All right," nodded Jack, surrendering the oars. As he had predicted it was a long wait before they got another shot, an d then they bagged only two out of a trio of flying ducks "What time do you c all it?" a s k e d Lafe, as they returned to cover after taking in the last birds. Jack glanced up at the sur.. "Eleven o'clock," said he; '\or so near it there is no fun in it." 'Bout time we fed, isn't it?" grinned Lafe, with a wistful glance at the lunch pouch. "I was just thinking the same," laughed Jack. "\Vell, thinking won't fatten us up much." "We'll do better," said Jack. "We'll lay off a while and have lunch." "That will hit me all right." "We had breakfast quite early, and the exercise has whetted our appet,ites." "Mine doesn't need any whetting. It never did." "I guess that's right," smiled Jack, passii:ig over a generous sandwich. "It is a good fault j however, and -hello! there's that sound again." "Did you hear it before?" demanded Lafe, quickly. "Sure." "So did I Jack, but !'imagined you didn't notice it." "I heard it each time after we fired our guns," said Jack, listening intently. "There it goes again!" exclaimed Lafe, and he even quit munching to listen. From the far distance there had come to their ears a long, melancholy sound, too faint to be easily located, yet one that was irresistibly thrilling with its dismal intonation. "What do you make of it?'' asked Lafe, staring at Jack's intent face. "I can't make it out, that's just the trouble," replied Jack, with a mystified expression. "Neither can I," said Lafe, resuming his eating. "It sounded a little like somebody shouting for help," added Jack, after a moment and when the sound was not again heard. "That's what I thought at first." "Yet it might have been the howl of a dog, or of some wounded animal." "It would be a mighty small dog, then, or else a long way off." "I hardly think it was a dog." "It sounded from considerabl e distance." "Yes," nodded Jack. "It came from over that edge of the swamp, as near as I can locate it."


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 17 The mysterious sound was not immediately heard again, however, and the boys finished their lunch and prepared once more to get down to business. "What time shall we start for home?" asked Lafe, as he recharged his gun. "About four o'clock, I thought." "That will suit me, Jack." "We ought to have game enough by that time, and if we start by four we won't have to hurry to reach home before dusk." "That's right, too," nodded Lafe. "I'd like to get just a few more cracks at these fellows. How would it do to slip a little further up the shore?" "I don't think there would be anything in it," re plied Jack, shaking his head. "We have a good blind here, and without it we might not be able to do any thing." "Mebbe not." "A still line hooks the most fish, Lafe." "But we are not fishing '.'The principle holds good m our case just the same. We can't gain anything by changing our posi tion." Lafe yielded readily, for he knew by experience that Jack was fi.early always right. In the course of another hour they bagged a few more ducks, and finally wounded one which, too badly injured to fly, fell into the pond and managed to flutter quite rapidly over the surface of the water, in a direction parallel with the edge of the pond on which the blind was located. "I'm bound to have him," growled Lafe, who then was at the oars. "He t:uts out quite a clip for a winged one, but I'm blessed if he escapes us now that we've hit him." "Well, we'd better get him," laughed Jack, amused at Lafe's impatience. "We owe it to him at least to put him out of his misery." "I'll put him in a comfortable place a little later," Lafe declared rubbing his stomach while he turned to get his direction. Then he bent to the oars again and sent the light skiff flying over the water. The chase proved longer, however, than either he or Jack had anticipated When they finally over hauled the duck, which Lafe put down and out with the blade of one of the oars, they were a strong half mile up the shore, reckoned from the point where the duck blind was built. "I wouldn't have believed that one duck could have caused us so much trouble," panted Lafe, while he rested after his exercise. "Whew! it's anything but cold now, Jack." Jack Lightfoot made no answer. He had dropped the dead duck to the bottom of the boat, and sat listening intently as he had listened two hours before, with his gaze fixed upon the wooded shore some fifty yards away "bid you hear it, Lafe?" he presently asked, scarce above a whisper. "No, I didn't hear anything," said Lafe, startled by the awed look on Jack's face, an unusual expression for him. "The same sound-only nearer.'' "Jerusalem beeswax! there it is again," gasped Lafe, as the doleful noise, still too faint to be accurately iden tified, fell upon their ears. "Is it a cry for help?" asked Jack, in perplexity "It doesn't sound just like that to me, yet I'm blessed if I can make out what it is." "Can it be a dog howling?" "It doesn't sound like a dog, .either." said Lafe. "It's more like--hark there tis again Jack stood up in the skiff and again strained his ears. The melancholy sound hung upon the stillness of the for several moments, then died away to utter silence. "That's mighty mysterious," said Jack, with brows knit. "I hate to go away and feel that I may have left somebody calling for help about here." "That would be a little tough." "If I was sure that some one is shouting, I'd try to discover--" "I say!" interrupted Lafe, suddenly. "You don't suppose Prof. Sampson has got lost up here in the swamp, or mebbe broken a leg, do you?"


18 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "Jimminy I'd forgotten about him, Lafe," cried Jack, with face lighting. "It's barely poss'ble that he may be in some kind of trouble." "Gee whiz! but we'd stand ace high with him here after, in case we could help him out." "That's a very practical way of looking at it," smiled Jack, not much impressed with so remote a motive for doing the elderly professor a service. "Well, 'twould figure in the balance sheet, anyway," grinned Lafe. "Hark! there's the noise again." "Sampson had his fox terrier with him, didn't he?" "Yes, so Kennedy said last night." I "Gee! it might be the howl of that little dog," cried Lafe. "And the old man himself may be down and out." "Lafe, I'm going to investigate it," Jack Lightfoot abruptly exclaimed. "I'm going to solve this swamp mystery, or lose a leg in the attempt." CHAPTER VII. THE SW AMP MYSTERY. Having resolved to investigate the mysterious sound, Jack Lightfoot was not slow in acting upon his determination. The possibility that some person was in distress and calling for help, whether it should prove to be Prof. Sampson or not, was enough to arouse Jack's manly sympathy and send him in search of the sufferer. Lafe Lampton also was of the same mind, and he caught up the oars again, crying quickly: "I'm with you, Jack. What shall we do first?" "We'll go ashore yonder and haul up the skiff," re plied Jack. "Then we'll listen for the sound again and try to go to the spot from which it comes." "We can hide the boat under those willows on the boat to the low bank. There both boys sprang out, part ing the long willow branches which hung nearly to the water, and under which they quickly drew the skiff and made her fast to the protruding roots of one of the trees. Jack stowed the oars under the thwarts, then gath ered the dead game in a heap and remarkeci while he did so: "We will leave things shipshape, Lafe, in case we don't come back here this afternoon. It's now after three o'clock, and there's no knowing where this expe dition will take us." "That's right, too," admitted Lafe. "Had we better take our guns along with us?" "I think so." "Me, too! vVe might run across Dillon again and that black-eyed rooster in brown." "Possibly." "In which case the guns may tend to make them a little more respectful," Lafe dryly added. "If it hadn't been for them, Jack, I think they'd have kicked us this morning." "Wasn't it over in this direction that Dillon said he lived?" "Sure." "Bis house must be out beyond the ecfge of the swamp, then," said Jack, sizing up the situation. "I don't think the upland on this side is very far away." "Hark!" muttered Lafe. "There's that noise again." Both stood and listened for a moment. "It is over in that direction," said Jack, pointing to the west. "That's where I located it." "Come on, then. We'll make a start that way." "Remember those tall pi9es over yonder," said Lafe. "We can locate the skiff from them." "A good landmark," nodded Jack. "Now we'll be off to see what that means." bank." With their guns under their arms the boys struck "That will be a good place, Lafe, and then we easily through the swamp in the direction mentioned, pickcan locate her when we return." ing their way over the soggy ground and through the "Shall I hit her up?" thick growth of shrubs and bushes, till they had cov"Y es." ered several hundred yards. Lafe bent to the oars again a.nd quickly brought the Then the ground became harder, the way Jess diffi-


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 19 cult, and the background of loftier trees loomed up more plainly. "We are getting to the edge of the swamp land," .said Jack, halting for a moment to be sure he was right. "Gee! but that was rough walking," declared Lafe, panting for breath. "It's coming easier now." "So I see." "We'll work out this way till we reach the woodland, then listen agairt for-there it is, Lafe, now." Now the doleful noise sounded a little more plainly, and Lafe quickly cried : "We are nearer to it, Jack. I'm blessed if I don't think it is a dog." "It did sound more like one," Lightfoot admitted. "Let's get a move on again. Perhaps the job may not prove as difficult as we think." "Go aheac!. I'm with you." A walk of five minutes through dry underbrush now brought them fairly into the woodland mentioned, and something like a hundred yards away they could discern indications of a narrow road making through the woods. Toward this they turned their steps,, and Jack presently remarked : "It's a road all right, Lafe, and must lead to some place." "Mebbe it's a blind orie." "That's not likely, yet-hello! what's that thing?" From above some low bushes several yards away, protruding only an inch or two above them, was a round yellowish object which had caught Jack's alert eyes. Closely followed by Lafe, he now hastened to ward it and presently cried, quickly: "It's the handle of a wicker basket." "Not the professor's-yes, by thunder, it is!" Jack had picked up the small covered basket, and both stared briefly at it with startled eyes. "Are you sure it is, Lafe?" "Dead sure, Jack. I've seen him carry it hundreds of times.'" "If 'tis his--" "See what's in it!" Jack quickly raised the cover. Limp and wilted in the bottom of the basket lay a handful of plants and ferns, positive e;idence that the basket was, indeed, that of Prof. Jeremy Sampson, the Cranford tutor and botanist. A momentary feeling of awe fell upon both of the boys, so startling was the discovery, and Jack presently remarked: "Something serious must have happened to him, that's evident." "Mebbe he only lost the basket," suggested Lafe. "That theory might go, Lafe, if he hadn't been missing from home so late last night," replied Jack, quick to reason correctly. "That's true, Jack." "The two circumstances point to something more serious," added Jack. "Certainly we now must re double our efforts to find him." "Sure thing we must," cried Lafe. "Let's see if we can trace his footsteps from here, since he must have been here when he dropped the basket." "It seems so," said Jack, peering eagerly about. "Here is a broken bush, Lafe, and yonder is another. It looks to me as if he had suddenly dropped the basket and started running." "As if frightened by something?''. "Exactly." "He must have gone in that direction, then," cried Lafe, noting the two bushes Jack had pointed out. "Let's follow it as far as we can find any signs like these." "That's a good idea." "Perhaps he ran foul of some wild animal, or saw some--'' ('Here's another broken bush, Lafe," interrupted Lightfoot, who was striding quickly ahead. "And, look! yonder the ground is some torn up, as if there had been a struggle." The spot now discovered by Jack was somewhat nearer the narrow woodland road, and was quite free from shrubbery and undergrowth. Both boys hastened to the spot and fell to carefully studying the damp ground. Here among the leaves and pine needles they dis covered the deep prints of heavy boots, together with


20 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. numerous scrapings and indentations which plainly indicated that there had been a hand-to-hand conflict of no ordinary violence. "There was a fight here, all right," declared Jack, with grim decisiveness. "And a fight between men, not against any animal," added Lafe. "Look at the sizes and shapes of these footprints." "There are three different sizes, Lafe," said Jack, studying the impression more closely. "These smallest ones must have been made by the feet of the professor. The others are larger and broader, and appear to have been made by heavy boots." "Right you are, Jack, and this indicates that Samp son encountered two men, by whom he must have been assaulted, if not robbed and done away with." "That would be horrible," muttered Jackl with a shudder. "One thing is sure, Lafe. We now must go to the bottom of the mystery." "That's what Jack, and I'm darned glad we brought along our guns." "So am I," nodded Lightfoot, rising from the ground. "It looks to me as if the professor may have run foul of Dillon and that ruffian we saw w ith him this morning "By Jove that's so! Do you know where Dillon's house is located ?" "Only that it is over in this section." "Are there any other dwellings near it?" "I think not, Lafe. If it's the one I have in mind, it is in a clearing on the west edge of the woods and is entirely isolated." "Those two curs may have robbed the professor and then lugged him up to the house." "That would be better than having killed him," said Jack, thoughtfully. "But we have no positive assur-' ance these prints were left by Dillon and his comTo go to his house might not result in any thing." "That's true," Lafe dubiously admitted. "If we could manage to follow these prints, which appear to be en tirely lost beyond this bit of ground, we might be able to trail him to some place or discover where-" "Hark! there s that howl again," interrupted Jack. "By thunder! I have it, Lafe. It comes from Samp son's fox terrier. We know that he had the dog with him." "I have heard that a dog will stay and howl above the grave of its master," said Lafe, with dismal fore bodings. "I'll bet, if we find the professor at all, we shall find him under the sod." "Dead or alive, Lafe, we must find him," Jack Lightfoot firmly declared. "There's but one thing to be done, that with which we started. We must follow that sound until we reach the spot rom which it comes." "I'm with you, Jack." "Whether it leads us to a grave, or to something less dreadful, it's up to us to solve this mystery" to rock bottom. So keep your gun handy, Lafe, and we 'll go at it." CHAPTER VIII. A DISCOVERY. The sound which Jack and Lafe had heard so fre quently now appeared to come from beyond the narrow road upon which they had stumbled, and from a direc tion. nearly at right angles with it. On the opposite side of the road, however, there was a thick woodland and a rise of the hills, which offered no very promising reward to a search. "There is nothing to be gained by following the road," Jack protested, when Lafe Lampton demurred somewhat over plunging into the woods. "Mebbe not, Jack." "The road will only take us away from the s ound, instead of toward it. We must make a bee line for that noise, Lafe, wherever it leads us." "All right," Lafe finally assented. "I'll go where you go, Jack." So they plunged into the woods together, with guns ready for any emergency. Again Jack's superior judgment proved to be right. A laborious tramp of ten minute s up hilis and through thick underbrush, brought them to a less dense p o rtion of the wood s It had proved to be only a wide belt of timber land, beyond which now could be seen a


ALL-SPORTS LIBRA.KY. 21 broad sweep of the open country, and in the far dis tance the road that led toward Cranford. Some little distance to the west, moreover, and on the very edge of the woods, Jack quickly discovered indications of a small clearing. "If I'm not mistaken, Lafe," said he, while they halted to size up the situation, "yonder is where Dil lon s house is located." "In that place that looks like a clearing, Jack?" "I think so." "It seems to me that we shall be bucking up against bother, Jack, if we venture upon his territory," said Lafe, a bit doubtfully. "I'm not yet sure that it is his place," replied Jack. "We can make a detour through the woods and ap proach it from the rear. Then we can make sure whether it is Dillon's house, and perhaps discover who s there." "That's more lik! it," cried Lafe, nodding. "Lead the way and I'll follow you." Again they struck out through the woods, taking a back track for a short distance, and then bore around on a that would bring them back of the clear ing. As they came nearer they again heard the doleful sound previously noticed, now very distinctly. "Gee whiz! there's no mistaking it now, Jack," muttered Lafe, when he heard it. "It's the howl of a dog, all right." "Sure as death and taxes." "I think it must be--" "Steady, Jack, not too fast! Yonder's the roof of a house." "I see it," Lightfoot softly answered. "Co me this way. We'll steal through these scrub oaks till we can get a square look at the place." "That's the stuff." "They'll conceal us all right, in case there's anybody about." Dropping upon all fours and trailing their guns, both Jack and Lafe now crept under the low branches of the scrubby trees, till they lia

22 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "Gee whiz! I can see our finish if Dillon, with that other guy, discovers us." There was in Jack Lightfoot's eyes a look that spoke louder than words, however, and Lafe Lampton knew that he meant just what he had said. "I'll go it, Jack, if you say so," he quickly added. "It's certainly up to us, Lafe," Jack firmly answered. "We can't doubt that some ill has befallen Prof. Samp son, and the presence of his dog here, as well as the animal's actions, plainly seem to say the man is in that house, a prisoner there, if not dead." "There is no getting around that reasoning," ad mitted Lafe. "For us to turn back, then, and leave him helpless in the hands of such ruffians as we encountered this morning, would be to act the part of cowards, of curs with even less heart than yonder dog ." "That it would!" exclaimed Lafe, moved by Jack's manly words. "Then we must do what becomes us." "Say the word, Jack, and we'll raid the place with a rush." And Lafe jerked his gun forward and dropped the stock under his arm, as if ready for business then and there. But Jack briefly checked him, saying quickly : "Hold on! There's a right and a wrong way to go at this, and we'll try to take the right one." "What do you mean, Jack?" "If we approach the house cautiously, .or as if sus"I'm ready when you are." "Shall I do the talking, m case we find the house occupied?" "Yes, if you like." "Forward, then!" And Jack Lightfoot, closely followed by Lafe, stepped out of the woods and strode across the clearing toward the house. Each carried his gun under his arm, and displayed neither fear nor suspicion. The moment the dog saw them emerge from the woods, he emitted a longer howl than usual, but neither gave it any attention. "Which door, Jack, front or back?" asked Lafe, as they drew nearer the house. "The back one, Lafe," said Jack. Without hesitation he approached the door and rapped smartly on one of the dingy panels. The sound echoed dismal and hollow from within, but only the echo responded to his knock. Thrice he repeated this attempt to summon somebody to the door, but each time it proved futile. "Either there are no persons at home, or they are lying low," whispered Jack, with a side glance at -Lafe. "That's evident," muttered Lafe. "I'm going to take a chance that all hands are ab sent, Lafe, and try to get a look inside." "I'm with said Lafe, boldly. Rounding the house Jack peered through one of the side windows, but only the dismal interior of a ,dirty kitchen met his gaze. "There is no one in there," he whispered to Lafe, picious of something wrong in there, we shall at once at his elbow. "We will try a window of the front invite trouble in case we are seen." "That's true." "On the other hand, Lafe, if we go boldly to the door and pretend that we are lost and wish to inquire room." Here they met with no greater results, in so far as discovering any inmate went; but as Jack turned about he felt a quick thrill upon seeing something mov-our way, we may possibly discover what we wish to ing some twenty yards away from the house. A secknow, without having awakened the distrust of any inmates of the house, providing it is occupied." "The circumstances certainly warrant as much de ception as that," growled Lafe, approvingly; "and the plan's a good one ." "I think it may serve our purpose," said Jack, de cidedly. ond glance showed it to be the fox terrior, however, which now stood gazing at the boys much as if he recognized them, and with an indescribably wistful ex pression in his bright, intelligent eyes. Jack dropped tio one knee and cried, louder than he had spoken since approaching the house: "Here, Toby! Come here, Toby!"


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. The dog, who was much accustomed to being petted by Cranford schoolboys, now seemed to know that he had found friends. He needed no second call, but came leaping joyously about Jack Lightfoot, and fell to barking at the top of his lungs. "Hush! hush!" cried Jack, quieting him with some difficulty. "Y ou'II arouse everybody within forty miles of here. Lafe, this dog hasn't been fed sincehark! what's that, Lafe?" The barking of the dog so near the house, together with the louder voice with which Jack had spoken, now had evoked a sound that sent a momentary chill through both of the dauntless boys. It had appeared like a hollow groan, issuing from some quarter within the dismal house. "Did you hear that?" asked Jack, staring at Lafe Lampton's startled countenance. I "Yes, sure I did!" exclaimed Lafe, under his breath. "What was it?" "It sounded like somebody groaning.'' "That's what I thought." "I'll bet the professor is in this house, and in mighty bad shape," declared Lafe. "Then we must get in there, Lafe, even if we have to batter down a door," said Jack Lightfoot, firmly. "Stop a moment." He had caught sight of a small cellar window in the foundation wall of the house, one of the dirty, impen etrable panes of which was partly broken out. At this window Jack now hastened to kneel, trying to peer into the depths of the cellar. The interior was so dark that he could see nothing, CHAPTER I JACK TO THE RESCUE. "The professor is down there, Lafe, there)s no doubt about that," exclaimed Jack Lightfoot, springing to his feet. "It certainly sounded so," admitted Lafe, who also had heard the noises. "He must be bound and gagged, for it's plain enoagh that he can't speak, but can make only those smothered sounds in answer." "VVhat's to be done, Jack?" "Lafe, I'm going into this house, and into that cellar." "Isn't it breaking and entering? demurred Lafe, with some misgivings. "I can't help it if it is," cried Jack: "The case war rants such action and I'm going to take it." "I'm with you, then.'' "Come this way," said Jack. "We'll first try the back door. If we can't open it we will force one of the windows." Now hastening to the rear of the house, they found that the back door was secured within, and it resisted Jack Lightfoot's every vigorous attempt to open it. "Hadn't we better try the front one?" asked Lafe, a bit excitedly now that he was fairly bent upon the war rantable undertaking. o, I'm not going to delay for that," cried Jack. "If they really have the professor coilfined in here, these rascals probably have secured both doors." "What are you going to do?" however, yet he detected the foul, damp odor from "Smash a window," declared Jack, decidedly. within and almost immediately heard, as if he had been take that end one.'; observed at the window by some person inside, the half"The sooner it's done, then, the better," cried Lafe. smothered noises of some one in distress and trying to' "Dillon and his ugly companion may show up at any make himself heard. moment." As Lafe drew nearer, Jack bent down to the broken "That's right, too," admitted Jack. pane and cried : He waited only to glance sharply about the clearing "Is that you, Prof. Sampson? Are you in this eeland out over the open country. There was no person Jar?" visible, but above the bushes which skirted a portion Instantly the noises were repeated, much louder than of the distant road to Cranford there was quite a cloud before, and with a significance that could not be misof dust arising, as if a team over the high


24 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Jack gave this no attention, however, but at once approached the window mentioned. With the butt of his gun he quickly broke one of the panes, enabling him to throw the catch inside. "Hang on to your gun, Lafe, in case we have to put up a fight," he softly advised, as he raised the lower sash. "You bet I will," Lafe mu:tered. With a bound Jack Lightfoot sprang into the dis mal kitchen, and Lafe quickly followed. "I'll dose the window," said he; "in case Dillon shows up." .iA wise precaution," nodded Jack. "Now to find the stairs leading to the cellar." For several minutes they could not locate them. Then, in a dingy /'room adjoining the kitchen, Lafe Lampton discovered an iron ring in the floor. "Here is a. trapdoor, Jack," he cried, quickly. "This may open to the stairs." Hastening to join him, Jack seized the ring and threw back the small section of floor. Through the square, dark opening rose the same foul odor of the cellar, and a flight of narrow wooden steps met the boys' gaze. "You wait here, Lafe, and keep a lookout from the window," said Jack, after briefly peering down. "I'll go down these stairs and see what's in the cellar." Jack uttered a cry of indignation and whipped out his knife. With half a dozen slashes he cut the ropes binding the man's arms and limbs, then more gently removed the gag from his mouth. Though cramped and quite weak from the severe treatment he had suffered, the relief he evidently felt upon being rescued gave the man strength to speak, and he at once cried, huskily: "God bless you, my boy! Heaven must have heard my prayers and sent you to my aid." "Give some of the credit to your faithful little dog," replied Jack. "Don't you know me, professor?" "Dear me! Is it Jack Lightfoot?" "The same, sir." ... "I am so _glad, so relieved," cried the man, while Jack chafed his swollen wrists. "You have done me a service, Jack, I never can repay." "Don't speak of that, professor," said Jack, warmly. "Tell me how you came here, and how long you have been here." "I have been here, a prisoner, since yesterday after noon, in the power of thieves and ruffians," cried Prof. Sampson, momentarily gaining his strength. "Help me up the stairs and I then will tell you all. The air here is frightful." "It is, for a fact, professor," said Jack, aiding him to rise and reach the stairs. "I wonder that you could "Go ahead," nodded Lafe. "I'll sing out in case have lived so long here." of danger." "I feel as if I were only half alive," replied Samp-Without a thought of fear, Jack Lightfoot placed his son, as he climbed up to the room above. "Ah! a gun on the floor, then picked his way down the narrow, rickety steps. For some moments, untii his eyes became accus tomed to the dim light, he could not discern anything, yet he heard again the half-smothered sounds he pre viously had noticed. Groping his way in the direction of them he pres ently beheld a man seated in a common wooden chair, to which he was securely bound, hands and feet, and with his speech prevented by a gag tied fast in his mouth. The man was, inde'lid, Prof. Jeremy Sampson, the

ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "Will do us the greatest favor, professor, by for getting all about it," interposed Jack, heartily. "We are than glad to have been able to help you out of such a scrape, I ass.ure you. Tell us how you got into it." "Are those two men about here?" "Not at present, sir." "The rascals! the sinful scoundrels!" exclaimed Sampson, with an asperity that nearly Lafe laugh outright. "I was seeking for some. rare ferns in the woods below here, when I first discovered the knaves." Lafe secretly hoped he did not discover the ferns. "And what happened then, sir?" inquired Jack, :yvith much interest. "I saw the two rascals before they saw me," replied the professor. "I looked up from my search and dis covered them burying something under a tall pine tree, about thirty feet from where I was standing." "I see, sir," nodded Jack. "My first thought, finding them thus engaged, was that they possibly had committed a murder and were now burying a human body,'' continued the professor. "I hope it wasn't as bad as that, sir." "Not quite as bad, Jack. For after watching them for a few moments, I saw that they were burying a lot of silver ware, which I immediately suspected that they had stolen." "Silver ware?" "Exactly." "Eureka!" cried Jack Lightfoot, with a sudden tri umphant bound. "I see it all now, Lafe. Those two fellows are the rascals who robbed Mr. Dillworthy's house." "And they were hiding their plunder," cried Lafe. "That's just the size of it." "Has there been another robbery committed in Cran ford?" inquired the professor, who, of course, had not heard of the crime. "Yes, sir, the house of Mr. John Dill worthy, night before last," explained Jack. "We have learned from Kennedy, the constable, that there was a lot of silver ware stolen, but that there was no trace of the robbers." "There now is a very reliable tr ace of them, thanks to us, my boys," said Sampson, with threatening sig nificance "They were the two knaves who live in this house. I do ubt not that they are the two who have been committing all of these burgla_ries. With you to help me, boys, we now will see that they are taken in custody." "We'll help you, all right, professor," cried Jack. "But you haven't yet told us how you fell into their hands." "That may be very quickly explained," was the re ply. "While I stood looking at them, too amazed to move, of them suddenly glanced up from his evil work and saw me. He instantly gave the alarm to his companion, whereupon both s!_:>rang up and started in my direction." "Alarming you, of course." "Naturally, Jack," bowed Sampson. "I dropped the little basket I was carrying and at once took to my heels. My only thought was to escape them and re port what I had seen to the authorities. But the scoun drels overtook me before I could reach the road, even, and we then had a brief but 'very violent combat." "We have seen signs of it, professor, and we also found the basket," remarked Jack. "Ah! is that so?" "We then knew that something serious must have happened to you." "I found myself unable to cope with the two men, who finally overcame me," Sampson quickly went on. "They first tied me to a tree, then finished the work they were doing. After a brief consultation between themselves, I then was brought to this house, where I since have been confined, most of the time in the cellar and in the condition in which you found me." "The rascals!" declared Jack. "Do you know what their intention has been in keeping you here?" Prof. Sampson shook his head. "I can only guess at what plar:s they have had in mind," said he. "They knew that, if they released tpe, I would report them to the police. I judge that they would have killed me sooner or later, or else have kept me a prisoner until they could make all their prepara tion for flight. I infer that they have been waiting to day to learn whether any suspicions against them exist."


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "I think that about hits the nail on the head, pro fe s sor," said Jack. "We met the two scoundrels early this morning, and the inquiries they made show quite plainly that your theory is correct." "I am quite sure of it, Jack." "How are you feeling now, sir?" "Much better, quite like myself again," cried Samp son, heartily "I feel as if I could, with your help handle both of those rascally robbers. Have you any idea where they have gone?" "We haven't seen them since morning," replied Jack. "They were here at noon, b ,ut soon went away again." "That s? unds as though they're likely to return a lit tle later." "Tr.ue." "Look out of the window, Lafe, and see if there are any signs of them." Lafe Lampton hastened to comply, and almost imme diately an excited cry broke from him. "There's Brodie and Tom," said Jack, eagerly watching the approaching team. "Also Ned Skeen and Kirtland-oh, I say, professor, you see you're pretty well thought of, after all ," he broke off to add laughing. Prof. Sampson turned gravely to him and took his hand, saying with some emotion: "Yes, I see all that, Jack. But I see more plainly than all how good and brave a lad you are. I shall never forget the service you and Lafe have done me. "Say no more about it, professor, I beg," replied Jack, modestly. Lafe, however, hoped he would ease up on him on the plant business. The cloud of dust the boys had seen a short time before had been occasioned by the approaching team, and before anything more could be said in the room the vehicle whirled up to the side of Dillon's house, and it s inmates began to pile out. Then Jack Lightfoot gave them all the surprise of their. lives by opening the window, and drawing for"Gee whittaker Look here, Jack! Here c o mes ward the professor in sight of all. a w a g on wit h Kennedy aboard, and half a score o f the Cranford boys!" CHAPTER X. THE ARREST. Jack Lightfoot uttered a shout and ran to the win dow, to which Prof. Sampson also hastened, now quite restored in the better atmosphere of the room. Lafe Lampton was right in his announcement. Scarce a hundred yards away and rapidly approaching Dillon's house was a huge Cranford express wagon drawn by tvv o horse s with the driver and Constable Kennedy on the seat, while in the body of the wagon were half a score of the Cranford boys. Jack Ligh, tfoot, with his usual keen insight, at once hit the nail on the head. "It's a searching party out to find the professor ," he cried. "They are heading for this house to see what they can learn from Dillon." "Jerusalem beeswax! .. shouted Lafe. "I now can see Dillon's finish all right, if he shows up here with that ugly-eyed pal of his "Hello, Mr. Kennedy!" he shouted. "I guess you've brought the boys up to see what sort of game we found about Hickman s swamp. Behold, not exactly the game, but Prof. feremy Sampson!" The amazement that filled his hearers could not be described. It h e ld all of t hem speechle s s for several minutes, but Kennedy finally found his v o ice. "Well, I'll be whipped, Jack Lightfoot, if you don't take the cake," he cried striding nearer the windo w "By thunder!" muttered Kirtland, who was a little b j t jeal o us of Jack. "It's mighty funny that Jack Lightfoot is the one to turn these clever tricks." Explanations were quickly made, however, for Jack foresaw that Dillon and his pal m ight return a t any moment, and if they discovered the strangers at the house they would at once become alarmed and resort to flight "There is one thing that must be done before the crooks arrive, Mr. Kennedy," said he, when the en t ire situation had been outlin e d t o a ll hands. "What' s that, Jack?" inquired t h e co nstable. "The dri ver must t a ke L;s tea m out o f sight into


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 27 the woods, while the rest of us conceal ourselves here in the house to await Dillon's arrival." "That's a good suggestion." "If they show up a little later, as we expect, it then will be easy to arrest both of them," added Jack. "I'll arrest them, all right, the rascals," said Kennedy, with g rim significance. Jack's suggestion was acted upon at once, however, and the driver presently disappeared with his team around a bend of the woodland road. Then Kennedy and the boys all clambered into the window which Jack had broken, and proceeded to con ceal themselves in various parts of the dismal little house. "It now comes down only to a matter of waiting," said Jack; "and as it already is beginning to grow dusk I think we may not have very long to wait." He and Lafe, together with the professor, hid in a closet in the dingy dining room, while Kennedy took for concealment a cupboard of good size in the kitchen. As Jack Lightfoot had predicted, they had not long to wait. For about five minutes absolute silence reigned in and about the house, and then the gruff voice of Dil lon's pal was heard outside. "There's that cussed dog ag'in, Bill," the boys heard him say. "If we're going to do away with the old covey in the cellar, we might as well shoot his dog, too, and send 'em along together." "We'll go in and see how the old bloke's doing," growled Dillon, opening the door with a key and strid ing into the kitchen. "I don't much like cutting off his wind, but I don't see what else can be done." "Nuthing else can be done, Bill," :marled his com panion, standing his gun in the corner and closing the kitchen door. "Mebbe not, Jim." "If we let him go he'll give away what he seen in the woods, and then it'll all be up, and the goose hangs high with us. They'll round us up for all the bur glaries we've done, and find the swag just whar we buried it." "I reckon you're right, Jim," said Dillon, as the two entered the dining room. "Sure I'm right," growled Wagstaff. "Nuthing else can be done." It was at this point that Kennedy started in. Slipping out of his concealment he uttered a low whistle, then stepped to the dining-room door, thus heading off the retreat of the rascals, and while he presented a revolver at the breast of both he cried, sternly: "Oh, yes, there's something else you can do! You can throw up your hands, both of you scoundrels, and do it lively, too! If you don't I'll let daylight into you!" At the same moment, in response to the whistle, Jack, Lafe and the professor sprang out of the closet, while the Cranford boys came pouring through the ad joining entry. Though they turned ghastly with dismay and con sternation, both Dillon and Wagstaff saw that they were helplessly cornered, and they grimly threw up the sponge Inside of two minutes Kennedy had them both in handcuffs, and that night they occupied a cell in the Cranford jail. The departure to town was delayed only a short ,, time, for Jack and Lafe to return to their skiff for the game they had shot, and then a!l hands, the two bur glars included, piled into the wagon and were driven to Cranford. There quite an ovation was accorded Jack Lightfoot and Lafe for the feat they had performed when seek ing only a day's sport, and one and ali conceded that, of all the game, that secured at Dillon's house was by long odds the most creditable and profitable. Jack Lightfoot bore his honors with becoming mod esty, however, as he invariably did. / XHE END. This little adventure of the swamp was not the only excitement that came Jack's way during those early winter days when was a threat of snow in the air. You will find more of the same sort in the next issue of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY, No. 45, entitled "Jack Lightfoot' s Luck; or, Glorious Days of Sport Ahead." Out next week.


ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. HOW TO DO THING5 By AN OU> A THLETB. Timely essays and hints upon various athletic sports and pqtlmes, in which our boys are usually deeply interested, and told in a way that may be easily unders.tood. Instructive articles may be found in back numbers of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY, follows: No. 31, "How to Make a Cheap Skiff!' No. 32, "Archery." No. 88, "Croes-Country Runuing.'' No. 34, "The Game of Lacrosse.'' No. 35, "The Boy With a Hobby for Collecting." No. 86, "Football, and How to Play It." No. 37, "A Practice Game.'' No. 38, "How to Play Football-Training." No. 39, "The Men in the Line.'' No. 40, "The Men Behind." No. 41, "Signal Systems." No. 42, "Team Play.'' No, 48, "The End of the Sea:ion." A GYMNASIUM WITHOUT APPARATUS. I. At a time when people are generally intere ted in everything pertaining to physical culture, new books are appearing on the various branches of the subject, and all the gymnasiums of the country are crowded daily with old men as well as young men, it is unnecessary to speak of the benefits to be derived from exercise. Everybody kn ows the vali1e of moderate daily exercise, frequent bathing and careful dieting, to preserve one's health and prolong his life. A great many young men, while rec og11izing the need of exercise, and desiring to begin a course of training of some kind, are at a loss as to just how they should commence. Gymnasiums are too expensive for a great many who would like very much to attend them, while numbers of youths and boys find, on account of their working hours, that it is entirely out of the question for them to think of such a thing. They have the desire to build up a strong, healthy body, but do not possess the tlme or means to carry out their design when depending upon elaborate apparatus and a physical director to obtain the best results. Fortunately for most of us, these require ments are not absolutely necessary for our physical de velopment. On the other hand, there are many cases wherein light exercise without apparatus does the most good. It is the use of this means by which one is to gain health and strength that has been made the subject for discussion this week in ''How to Do Things.1 The United States Army long ago recognized the value of a few simJ?le not requiring apparatus of any kind, which 'the soldier could practice in the field, in the barracks-in fact, anywhere and at any time, without being dependent upon the paraphernalia of the gym nasium. As a result, the soldier need never grow "stal e or have any excuse for slighting his exercises because at the time he might be quite a distance from the post gym nasium. As all the apparatus he needs consists of his arms and legs, he can hardly say, when he feels like neglecting his exercises, that the means of trainirig has been left behind at his last stopping place. The United States Army exercises are to-day the basis of all methods of instructiQn for the development of muscular power without the use o.f any appliances whatsoever. Generations of young rnen who have never seen the inside of a gymnasium have practiced the few simple rules laid down by Uncle Sam for his soldier boys, and reached a wonderful degree of physical perfection. These simple exercises are very convenient for the schoolboy and the young man who have but little time for any kind of training. Ten minutes in the morning after getting up, and fifteen minues before going to bed, covers all the time necessary to be devoted to the prac tice of the few rules explained in the following para graphs, and to enable anyone who will closely follow the instructions to put his body in a healthful condition. If you keep up the work faithfully for six months you will notice a marked improvement, even in that short period. Before beginning the regular "setting.up exercises," as they are called, you should practice deep breathing a few minutes to clear out the lungs. There is nothing so good as this to bring one out of that heavy, loggy state which everyone experiences for a few moments when jumping out of bed quickly after being sound asleep. And first of all, be sure that there is plenty of fresh air circulating in your room before beginning any form of exercise. Throw all the windows wide open, but be sure that you do not stand in a draught while going through the exer cises. Place yourself in an erect position, the heels close together and the toes forming an angle of sixty degrees. Keep the knees straight, but do not allow them to assume a stiff position that will prevent a free movement of the body. Let the upper part of the body set lightly on the hips, and inclined a little forward. The shoulders should be square and fall equally from the sides. Straighten the arms along the thighs, and let the palms of the hands rest against the legs. Hold the head back, with the chin in, so that the eyes will look straight ahead. Fasten the gaze upon the juncture of the ceiling and the wall of the room. Now bend the body from the waist until the tips of the fingers touch the knees, at the same time allowing the shoulders to fall forward and the chest to contract. When this position has been assumed, draw in the breath very slowly through the nose. Begin to draw the body up to an erect position, throwing the shoulders and the chest out. When the original position has been regained, hold the breath a.second or two, and then kt it out slowly through the mouth. This first breath of fresh air will act as an exhilarating tonic, and make you feel lively. By the time you have completed this exercise the blood will be coursing through your veins, and you will be ready for the next series of movements. The first is the arm exercise. Take the position as de scribed above and as seen in Fig. I, Have the shoul ders thrown well back and raise the arms until they ex tend out straight from the body. Raise the arms up toward the head and let the tips of the fingers touch directly above it; gradually lower them till they strike the top of the head, the backs of the hands touching all the time. Be careful to have the elbows well pressed back while doing this, and the thumbs pointing to the rear during the descent of the hands. Extend the arms to their full length over the head with a gradual motion, and then describe a circular swing, bringing the arms to their original position by your side. Repeat this exercise a few times and then take up the second one. Before going on with a new exerdse, prepare for it (Continued on page 30.)


A CHAT WITH YOU Under this general head 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, both 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 de s ire 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 received will be answered immediat ely, but may not appear in print under five weeks, owing to the fact that the publication must go to press far in advance of the date of issue. Those who favor us with correspondence will please bear this in mind, and exercise a little patience. THE EDITOR. I not written before to say how I like your publication because seve ral times when I had a question I wanted to put to you, some one else got in ahead of me, so that I read the answer in the Chat columns. There was a little talk about a shotgun, for instance-that covered my case to a dot, because I've wanted to get one for a long time, and have been saving up with that idea, but my sister has always been opposed to the idea I've got the gun, a good one, and I mean to use it as carefully as any wi se old hunter. If it hadn't been for the advice you gave, I guess rd have be e n tempted to buy a cheap one, and perhaps been sorry. So it has been in three matters I read the letters now before I dip into the story, and I'm not the only one given to that trick, I should judge, from the inter est s hown in that department Would you recommend any par ticular house in buying athletic goods? I purchased my gun through a friend who is employed in Spalding's. I fancy they are as reliable a firm as any. With best regards for Maurice Stevens and the publishers, WALTER J. CODDING. East Orange, N. ]. The advice given with regard to choosing a gun was iptended for boy s in general, and we are pleased to know you had the good sense to take it to yourself. What you say about us in such pleasant words we fully appreciate. The house you men tion stands at the top with regard to reliability-none better. We have known them a long time, and always cheerfully recom men_d their material as capable of standing the test; which, of course, does not mean that there may not be others just as reliable. An article you had lately in your department called "How To Do Things," was very interesting to me, because I've always had a mania for collecting This article was called "The Boy with a Hobby for Collecting." Of course, like nearly all boys, I've always gathered s tamps, and for a while took considerable interest in that, but in time it died out. Not so with the collecting of eggs I have a very fine Jot now, so I'm told by tho se who surely ought to know, and it makes me proud to hear them say so. For that collection represent s a tremendous amount of energy. Many of the specimens could tell a pretty good story if they were able to talk and when I handle them I can see once more a bo y of about my size hanging to the face of a cliff, or swaying in the top of a big forest tree, with perhaps an angry hawk making things lively. I think a fellow enjoys hav ing a collection that ha s cost him many a long tramp and hard climb, more than one that was given to him as a present. I hope you have some more articles after that order in your weekly. The stories are fine-none better at ten times the price I expect to read ALL-SPORTS for years to come. I don't think I ll ever be too old to enjoy stories of outdoor life. Sometime, perhaps, I may write you some of my adventures while collecting. RUFUS G. SMITH. Helena, Ark. Thank you, Rufus, for such an entertaining letter We feel sure that many other lads with a love for collecting must have shared in your enjoyment. As to your writing again, do so whenever you feel the spirit move. / I have been a reader of your weekly from the first number, so you can understand from that how much I like it. Some times I believe I'd sooner do without my dinner than miss ALL SPORTS. I read. word in it f:om cover to cover, and sigh for more. Noticing the good advice you are constantly giving young fellows, I some time ago cut out cigarette smoking and began a systematic course of training I feel so much better i n every way because of it that I want to thank you from my heart. I have gained more than an inch in chest measurement, wi.th. a vigorous step, my eyes are clear and my skin healthy looking. My mother, whom I love very much, has several times told me how glad it made her to have rrie quit cigarettes. That set me thinking. You see, it gave me such a thrill when she told me that I began to realize how I had been sliding down hiJJ, and the pull up didn't come any too soon, I guess. I owe much to your advice, and I want you to believe that I'll speak a good word for ALL-SPORTS wherever I go. Such stories s hould interest nearly every boy who has any red blood in him. Zanesville, Ohio. J. E. S. Your experience is only that of thousands but, unfortunately, few of them carry out their resolution to give up an evil habit. You are to be congratulated, and we feel that the love that shone from your mother s eyes when she told you how happy you had made her, must have been the keenest kind of satis faction to you. Your little ALL-SPORTS is true to the name. You seem to cover the field pretty well. And say, the stories are good enough to suit me, all right. I'm a great admirer of reliable old Lafe. He is the pick of the whole bunch, according to my way of thinking, and I guess I'm only saying what a Jot of fellows be lieve. Everybody likes Lafe, becau se he's so natural you know, and don't put on any airs or strut around when he knocks in a home run with Old Wagon Tongue and wins the game He just feels hungry, and makes another home run for supper. And then again, Lafe is the goods when it comes to trouble. Many a time he 's stood back of Jack and carried him through just because he was fearless and a good strong hitter. r.afe is the best character Mr. Stevens ever gave us, and we can't see too much of him I wish there was a Southern boy in the story. Tell Mr. Stevens he has a host of friends and admirers down here in Dixie, and we don't feel as if we're treated just right in not having a representative in the story. Perhaps later on the talented author will get good and introduce a boy from the land of sunshine and cotton Well, here's where I must shut up shop, or else never see this letter printed. Charleston, S. C. RoB G. ARKELL. You are quite right in saying that Lafe is popular among the boys-just as he seems to be with the young people of Cran ford. A frank, genial nature such as he possesses always makes a host of friends. The author may later on see fit to grant your request, which we deem reasonable enough. Please don't think I'm writing this just to see my name in print, or to be on the band wagon with all the fellows who are barking the praises of ALL-SPORTS. The fact is, I feel it a duty to let you know how much I like the little magazine. I call it that because it comes to me every week just stored chock full of good things. I guess there n eve r is a line from cover to cover that I miss, and my back numbers are getting pretty shabby from being looked over so much. Yes, more than that, I'm saving my nickels and dimes with the intention of ordering a complete file of the first twenty-six numbers and having them bound Perhaps you'll say I'm a pretty good friend of ALL-SPORTS. Well I am, and I never let a chanGe to sing its praises get away from me. Already I've influenced two boys who were


30 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. reading other libraries of blood-curdling adventure to swing around and buy the Lightfoot weekly. Both of them sing its praises just as loud as yours truly now. Well, I feel better now. Nothing like letting off a little steam sometimes. I just wanted to stand up and be counted as one of the ALL-SPORTS family. May it keep on increasing until Jack has half a million admirers over our whole land. CHARLES P. TAFT. Milwaukee, Wis. If we were running an honor roll, your name would, of a cer tainty, grace the very top, Charles. We thank you for your words of praise. They have no uncertain ring, and stamp you as a warm friend of Jack Lightfoot beyond a doubt. I have read ALL-SPORTS from No. 1 up, and I think it is just as good as the Tip Top. I like Jack, Tom, Lafe, Brodie, Phil, Nellie, Kate, Rex and "Polly" best. I wish, in your "How To Do Things," you would show us how to bind our ALL-SPORTS, as they get torn very easily when they are single. My measure ments are: Age, 16 years; weight, 117 pounds; height, S feet 3 inches; neck, 13 inches; chest, normal, 31 inches; expanded, 33 inches; arms, normal, 10 inches; wrists, 6Y, inches; waist, 26 inches; thighs, 18Y, inches; calves, 13 inches; ankles, 8 inches. What are my weak and good points? I remain, Mankato, Minn. 0. 'A. B. Fasten the numbers together inside the covers of a book which is useless for any other purpose; or, if you can afford it, buy a ready-made binder. This will keep them in good shape. You are a bit heavy for your height, but your chest is not quite in proportion. You could stand another inch and a half. Try some of the exercises recommended for it in the books on athletics. Two months or six weeks ago I wrote my first letter to the Chat. My measurements then were: Age, 16 years; height, 5 feet 60 inches; weight, 127 pounds; chest, normal, 32 inches; expanded, 35'-inches; reach, 67y,( inches; waist, 28 inches; thighs, 20 inches; calf, 12?/z inches; neck, 14 inches; biceps, ro;lz inches. Now my measurements are: Age, 16 years 5 weeks; height, 5 feet 7 inches; weight, 132 pounds; chest, normal, 33 inches; expanded, 37 inches; reach, 69 inches; waist, 270 inches; thighs, 20Y, inches; calf, 13 inches; neck, 14y,( inches; biceps, II0 inches. I think there is a big improvement, even if I say so myself. Isn't there? I can punch the bag, with both hands, six hundred and forty times in one and one-half minutes. four hundred and fifty-six in one minute, two hundred and fifty-six in one-half minute, one hundred and thirty-eight in one-quarter minute. How is this? I can stand and jump eight feet four inches. I have read every number of ALL-SPORTS, and they are AI. I hope Mr. S(evens will introduce plenty of winter sports. Will you please recommend exercises for filling out hollows around the collar bone? Hoping this escapes the wastebasket, you will know me as "NOTHING." Terre Haute, Ind. Well, you have done splendidly, beyond a doubt, and we can only say that if you keep on increasing in weight at the rate of five pounds in six weeks you will very shortly be unable to find any hollows such as you mention. Let us hear from you again in a few months. As I have been a constant reader of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY since they began, I would say it is one of the best books I ever read. I like Jack and all his friends, and hope some day Phil Kirtland will be one of Jack's best friends. I have just read No. 34, and I think it was a great surprise when Lily Livingston gave them the parrot. I hope the football stories come next, and that they are as good as the baseball stories were. Hoping this will not take up too much space, I will close, with good luck to Mr. Stevens and the Winner Library Company, Lawrence, Mass. OTTO TEUBE:R. By this time you will have read the entertaining football stories, which, we hope, have pleased you quite as well as the baseball series. Never fear but that Jack and the Cranford boys will keep the ball rolling all winter. There are many enjoyable things that the author has been holding in reserve and is now ready to spring upon his audience. ( "lfow to do Things")-Continuedfrom page 28. by assuming the position already described for deep breathing. See Fig. 1. Raise the arms horizontally as in the first exercise, and swing them to the front of the body so that the palms will touch. The heels should rest squarely on the ground. Throw the arms behind you, allowing them to drop slightly downward, at the same time raise your body on the toes. Bring the arms in front of you again with a quick movement, so that the hands will resound with a (FIG. 1) (FIG.) SECOND EXERCISE. sharp slap. Continue this exercise till you can touch the backs of your hands. It is recommended as being particularly good for enlarging the chest and increasing the lung power. Should you practice this regularly five minutes in the morning and again at night for one year, the development you would attain would be astonishing. We know of a young man who practiced this exercise faithfully for that period, never losing a day, in con junction with other exercises, and enlarged his chest three inches. Of course he observed all the laws of health during his course of training, and did not permit himself to indulge in any harmful practice, such as smok ing, for instance. THIRD EXERCISE. Raise the arms from the sides and hold them out straight, the same is in the first exercise ; describe a cir cle upward and backward, but do not allow the arms to pass in front of an imaginary line running across the chest. Work the shoulde rs so that it seems as if you are "grinding" them in the sockets. This will strengthen the muscles about the shoulder blades. FOURTH EXERCISE. This, like the rest, is an arm exercise Begin by placing the tips of the fingers on the top of the shoulders, taking pains to keep the upper part of the arm, from the elbow to the shoulder, in a horizontal position. Bring the el bows as far front as possible ; then force them back as far as you can. (This paper will be concluded next week )


rr TALES OF ADVENTURE IN A BIC CITY BOWERY BOY LIBRARY PRICE, FIVE CENTS Every boy will be delighted to read these adventures o f a plucky lad among the good and .bad inhabitants t hat swarm the streets of New York. The "Bowery Boy Library" contains tales of the adventures of a poq r waif wh o se name is "Bowery Billy." Billy is a true product of the streets of New York. Beneath his ragged jacke t t h ere beats a heart as true as s teel and as unswerving in its d evot i o n t o his friends as the course of the earth in its orb it. Billy is the personification of "right m a kes might." No true boy can read the tales of his trial s and s uccesses without imbibing some of that resource and cour age that ma ke s the char acter of this homeless lad stand out so p rom in e ntly. B oys, i f you want the most interesting sto r ie s e ve r w r itten abo u t a boy, do not fail to read the "Bowery Boy Library" every w e e k Y o u will be more than with the investment of your nickel. HERE ARE THE TITLES l-Bowery Billy, the Street Vagabond; or, A Boy Hero in Rags. 2-Bowery Billy's Chinese Puzzle; or, Holding Up the Pig Tails. 3-Bowery Billy, the Dock Rat; or. A Bootblack Among the River Pirates 4-Bowery Billy on Deck; or, The Trail of the Gotham Fireb u gs. 5-Bowery Billy's Bootblack Pard; or, Righting a Great Wrong 6-Bowery Billy's Bargain Day; or, Following a Strange aue. 7-Bowery Billy's Busilless Racket; or, The Boy Beagle in a New Deal. 8-Bowery Billy's Best Job; or, The Street Gamin Detective in Oover. 9-Bowery Billy's Mark-Down; or, A Corner in City Crooks. 10-Bowery Billy's Twin; or, A Boy Ferret Among the Dagos. l l_-Bowery Billy in Luck; or, Move-Along Mac, the Mercer Street Moke. 12-Bowery Billy's R u nabout Race; or, The Brigands of Brooklyn Bridge. 13-Bowery Billy's Blazed Trail; or, The Man Hunters of Manhattan. 14-Bowery Billy's Side Line; or, A Whirl of Fortune's Wheel. For sale by all newsdealers, or will be sent post ... paid by the publishers qt Five Cents per copy The Library Company 165 West Fifteenth Street, NEW YORK CITY


COl\.t:g BOYS, GET THE ALL=SPORTS LIBRARY "Teach the American boy bow to become an athlete and so la;y the foundation of a constltutloa greater than that of the United .States." -Wise Sayings from Tip Top. YOU like fun, adventure and mystery, don't yon? Well, yon can find them all in the pages of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. As the name 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 it.I imitationa. 16--Jack 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 on the Diamond. 19-Jack Lightfoot's Cyclone Finish; or, How Victory Was Snatched From Defeat. 20Jack Lightfoot in Camp ; or, Young Athletes at Play in the Wilderness. 21-Jack Lightfoot's Disappearance; or, The Turning up of an Old Enemy. 22-Jack Lightfoot's "Sto ne Wall" 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. 30Jack Lightfoot in the Box; or, The Mascot that "Hoodooed" the Nine. 31-Jack Lightfoot's Lucky Find; or, The New Man Who Covered "Short." 32Jack Lightfoot, Archer ; or, The Strange Secret an Arrow Revealed. I 3J-Jack Lightfoot's Oevemess; or, The Boy Who Butted In. 34-Jack Li g htfoot's Decision; or That Chest nut of "Play ing Against Ten Men." 35-Jack Lightfoot, Pennant-Winner; or, Wind ing up the Four Town League. 36-Jack Lightfoot's Pledge; or, Bound in Honor. 37-J ack Lightfoot's Nerve; or1 A Desperate Mutiny at the "Gy m." 38-Jack Lightfoot's Halfback; or, Playing the Giants of the League. 39-Jack Lightfoot's Gridiron Boys; or, Leading a Patched-up Team to Vict o r y 40-Jack Lightfoot's Trap Shootin g ; or, Up Against the Champions of the Gun Oub. 41-Jack Lightfoot's Touch-down; or, A Hard Nut to Crack at Highland. 42-Jack Lightfoot's Flying Wedge; or, How Kirtland Won the Game for Cranford. 43-Jack Lightfoot's Great Kick; or, The Tackle That Did Not Work. 44-Jack Lightfoot's Duck-Blind; or, A Strange Mystery of the Swamp. 45-Jack Lightfoot's Luck; or, Glorious Days of Sport Ahead. 46-Jack Lightfoot's Triumph; or, Back from a Watery Grave. 47-Jack Lightfoot Down in Dixie ; or, The Voyage of a Single-Hand Cruiser. 48-J ack Lightfoot's Plans; or, Wrecked on Indian River. 49Jack Lightfoot on Snowshoes ; or, The Chase of the Great Moose. 50-Jack Lightfoot Snowed-Up; or, Lost in the Trackless Canadian Wilderness. CE:N"TS. . For Sale by all Newsdelera, or seat, postpaid, apo11. ttceipt of price by publlsbn : . WINNER LIBRARY CO., 165 West Fifteenth St., NEW YORK


THE FA VO RITE LIST OF FIVE-CENT LIBRARIES ALL-SPORT S LIBRARY All sports that ooys are interested in, are carefully deal t with in the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. The stories deal with the adve nt ures of plucky lads while indulg i ng in healthy pastimes. TIP TOP WEEKLY Frank and Dick Merriwell are two brothers whose adventures in coll e g e and on the a thletic field are of intense interest to the American boy of to-day. They prove that a boy does not have to be a rowdy to have exciti n g sport. BUFFALO BILL STORIES Buffalo Bill is the hero of a thousand exciting adventures among the Redskins. These are given to our boys only in the Buffalo Bill Stories. They are bound to interest and p l ease you. BRA VE AND BOLD ..-------, Every boy who prefers variety i n his reading matter, ought to be a reader of Brave and Boid. All these were written by authors who are past masters i n the art of t elling boys' stories. Every tal e is complete in i t self. DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY The demand for stirring of Western adventure is admir ably filled by this library. Every up-to-date boy ought to read just how Jaw and order are estab lished and maintained on our Western plains by Diamond Dick, Bertie, and Handsome Harry. NICK CAR TER WEEKLY We know, boys that the re is no need of introducing to you Nicholas Carter, the greatest sleuth that ever lived. Every number containing the adven tures of Nick Carter has a peculiar but delightfut, power of fascination. Do not think for a second; boys, that these stories are a Jot of musty history, just sugarcoated. They are all new tales of exciti n g adventure on land and sea, in all of which boys of your own age took part. ROUGH RIDER WEEKLY Ted Strong was appointed deputy marshal by accident, but he resolves to use his authority and rid his ranch of some very tough bullies. He does it in such a slick way that everyone calls him "King of the Wild West" and he certainly d eserves his title. BOWERY BOY LIBRARY The adventures of a poor waif whose only name is "Bowery Billy." Billy is the true product of the streets of New York No boy can read the t a les of his trials without imbibing some of that re source and courage that makes the character of this homeless boy stand out so prominently.


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