A young detective's air route; or, The great Hindoo mystery

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A young detective's air route; or, The great Hindoo mystery

Material Information

Title:
A young detective's air route; or, The great Hindoo mystery
Series Title:
Nick Carter weekly
Creator:
Carter, Nicholas
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (32 p.) 25 cm.: ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Detective and mystery stories. ( lcsh )
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
030779578 ( ALEPH )
17907716 ( OCLC )
C36-00020 ( USFLDC DOI )
c36.20 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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lo. 54 NEW YORK, January 8, 1898. Price 5 Cents.

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ton ts. CHIC.AQO, Ente,ecl cteco1'(/iug to Act of Oong1ess in the yem 1897 by Street .t Sllli/11, in the Office of the Libraicm of Cong1ess, W ashiugton, D C E11ter ed as seco"' l c la ss .llatle1' at tile Xw ro, k N. r., Post Office. weei.'/y. SII/J-
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r NICK CAT\TER WEEKLY. The newsboy king edged his way half past the servant, to get nearer to a person whose magnificent physique and magnetic face loomed 1.1p beyond him at that mo ment. "Mr. Carter!" palpitated the excited Buff. "You know-you remember? Told me to keep a watchout around Guffey's tenements for a fellow'?' "Yes," nodded Nick-"the Hindoo. '' "I've got him. Nick looked a trifle surprised. "Quick work, Buff." "Ten dollars don't float our way every clay, Mr. Carter. There he is!" ''Where?'' "Had 'to get help-he fought like a wildcat. Cornered him in a backyardcoop, ropes-we've run all the way--'' "Buff! Buff! this really won't do!" spoke Nick quickly, with a somewhat disconcerted glance at the commotion without. "No other way." "A little too demonstrative. Down tl1e steps with you! back to the area, dump the coop and disperse that mob before the neighborhood is scandalized." The amateur detective looked a little crestfallen at so sharp a criticism of his methods, but he reached the curb in a JUmp. Keen, well -trained, one word sent his helpers into action, across the walk the cart flew. The coop was instantly released. With quick dexterity Buff got it through a doorway ont of sight. "Scoot!" came his sliarp mandate. Like magic cart and crowd swung away from the house. In thirty seconds every vestige of the recent commotion had faded as if it had never existed. Nick Carter had been interrupted in a conversation with three of his pupils by that sharp ring at the door bell. As he hurried down the lla11 now he. stuck his head into the gymnasium. "Bob Ferret!" he called out. Nick's pet graduate, the boy who had done some of the slickest work of the aroup was in distance in a flash, ..., .... while his companions, Jack Burton and Aleck White, l ooked expe.ctant and inter ested at the detective 'g an imatecf movements. "They've got him," spoke Nick. "Who?" projected Bob. "The Hindoo. That newsboy fellow, Buff, did it. Incidentally, knowing he had the ins and outs of Guffey's teJJements at his finger's tips, but scarcely dreaming that our man would come there, I offered him ten dollars. He's earned it. '' "The man is here?" "I will have him np stairs in a few minutes. Make your play, Bob, and coach the others. I am satisfied tl1is means a definite starting point in wha t has been nothing heretofore save ...gues. work and theory." Nick Carter went down stairs to receivt> the strange consignment that fate hac: sent across his path. Bob Ferret re-entered the gymnasium that was a favorite haunt in Nick Carter's detective school, to startle his companions with the information just imparted to him. 1 Then as the door opeu e d Bob into a sort of a cabinet where disguises were kept, whence he could peer a11(l listen without being ob;;erved. Nick Carler enterec{ holding, half-pushing singnlar a looking being as ever invaded the detective's l1eadquarters. In everything but dress tJ1e newcomer \vas distinctiYely East Indian, Hincloo characteristics being most powerfully dis playec1. Tall, lithe, sinister, quick as a flash in every movement, armed with eyes that shot out glances keen, piercing, terrifying by turns, the newcomer glared about him like a restive animal in a trap. Instantly Jack Bmton took up hi s position at one door leading from the room Noiselessly but significantly Aleck White made guatd at its othe r e x it. ... "Sit down," ordered Nick a11d he pushed the stranger to a chair. The latter having the apartment with looks t11at took in every possibility of escape, now turned his burning glance upon his captor. Nick n1et his eye ca]mly, firmly, 111,1flinchingly. He read power, alertness, depth in tl1e Hindoo's saffron face, and he knew .that in a wordy contest, as in a

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NICK CAHT8R wEEKL't:. 3 ell ow, ng he I teJJe arcely there battle of nerve, he hac] no ordinary ad\'ersary to dea l with. "You are Djalma, the Hindoo?" he spoke in terrogA ti vel y Quick as lightning the Hincloo flared up. A snperb disdain came into his eyes, his lips curved, he drew erect, lookiug lalmosl kingly in the proud defiant pose of his head. ''By what right do you make yourself a few my jndge ?" he demanded. and "Thelaw." I t1Ji<; "Bah!" what The Hindoo made an unutterable gesgnes . 1lne of contempt and confidence com-. l bined. have placed yourself under its ) 'suspicion, if uot within its pale .'' "Proveit!" hissedtheman. "Isthis asnnn ntcr', ll1l011!1 ed to !. glide9 1' a1W comer [incloo ly dis-ash in :; that errif)-about l tp l1is n1 the Aleck r, and possJumng y, llU rtness, e, 3nd :ts 1n a Russia that I, a stranger, am made the football of a lot of wild boys? I s thismis hallah abon !" The speaker checked hin1self with ome native ejaculation so fierce and expressive that it shook hit:i very frame. In an instant his manner changed. From coutemptuous defiance his dusky features relaxed to breathless alarm, to -..-it,0e fri,..::l!t. e 1TI0vecl a trembling finger toward a magnificent portrait on the wall that he had just noticed for the first time, as if tracing the autograph signature beneath it-" Nick Carter." "That-that," he quavered, "is you?" "I am called Nick Carter, yes," an swered the detective simply. It seemed as if the discovery of his host's identity was crushing the I-hndoo. A ghastly streak of yellowish-white came across his twitching lips He looked about him hopelessly, a lost expression dimmed the ferocity of his da1 k eyes. _Then his hand groped in the loose si l k scarf he wore as a belt, came out, and a black globule held between thttu\ b and forefinger shot into his month. Nick was impressed by a movement he could not analyze-mystified, yet warned. He sprang toward the mau and seized his wrist. "What have you clone?" he demanded. The Hindoo's face hardened grimlya dull r esigned l ook haun ted it now "Do yo u h ea r me?" nrged N1ck very steru ly, "you k n ow w h y I h ave brougl1t you here-to demand an explanation of your peculiar movements. What have you to say?" "A few words and then I am silent," at last spoke the Hindoo. "At most men, even your great police chief, I would snap my fingers The trail of the snake in the grass, the flight of the eagle aloft fiud them if you can! But to you, king of man hunters, to w h om they say jungl e and eeyrie are alike open books, I have heard of you, and to you --'' "Well, what?" demanded Nick, 1m-patiently. "My last worcl I am mute!" "Vou don't intend t o talk, eh ?" Nick Carter measured the H i ncloo with a prett y portentious glance. T h e man sat dumb as a Sphynx, r igid as a statue. The transfixed eyes of N ick Carter's young ass istants read the oracle quickl y 'I'he Hindoo, making t he d.iscovery that his captor was t h e famous de t e ctive, squarel y met the iss u e by "thr ow ing up bot11 hands,'' but refusing to speak one added word. "We shal! see!" remarked Nick, and l1e walked to a cabinet, unlocked it, took up a graduated glass, mixed something in it from several bottles, placed it on a stand, and striding straight up to the watching but emotion less Hindoo, said: "My friend two weeks ago you stole your way into the grounds of the retired railway magnate, Edward Spencer, on the H uclson. "Feigning to be a peddler of oriental cnrios, you managed to see and reach the grandson, only heir and favorite of the gentleman in question-Rolfe Spencer. "Upon the back of his right hand you impressed a mark, a symbol of your native language in indelible ink. "That mark Mr. Spencer bas since come across in the pa-pers of h i s dead son, the boy's father, and presu mes r t h as some mystic import. "We know it is a menace, for t w i ce since a ttempts h ave been made t o kidnap the boy. "Th e Spen ce r p l ace i s 11QW so g u a r ded b y watchmen t )1at there i s : little fear of your succeeding 1 n this ,,

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4 NICK C ARTER WEF.KLY. M r. Spencer, howev e r, was d eter m in e d t o find yo u. Afte r a week's search a c cid ent h a s p l ace d y o u in our h a n ds W e d o n o t k n o w your colleagues, the m e n, the n ative s back of you, but this y ou mus t n o w tell. 11 Ni c k t ook up the li qu id he had j us t prepa r e d. The Hindoo's fac e quive r ed the m eres t trifle. "It is n o t a qu estion o f you r w ill aga in s t mine, 11 c ontinue d the de t e cti ve "but o f your c o m p l e te h elple s s nes s unde r the sp e ll of sci e nc e o f a ch emica l that once administered unloosens lips howeve r tightly seal e d 11 The Hindoo started. His w a ll of re serve went down like a paper castle. He arose to his f e et. "Hold !11 he spoke, "and hear you me. Wha t am I-a m e re atom in the who l e Remove me, a s c ore spring up to fill my place. "Listen, you-the great, the only searcher of true detective science-! f ear y ou. When I he a rd tha t n ame, Nick Carter, I surrender, I give up. "But only I. You shall not make m e speak, your chemical is vain. The p ellet under m y tongue is b e yond your r e ach. "Even now what trifl e I h a v e a b sorbed affects me. I drop out of the c ase a c as e involving that of which y ou little d r ea m. "Wis e as yo u are, cunning a s yo n are, it is like fighting regim ents to c o m ba t the r eal p owe r b ac k of that symbo l o n the hand o f yo un g R o lfe Spencer. 11 Every ac cent the Hindo o emplo yed b o r e the tinge o f t r u t h. "In e i ghty do yo u k n o w w h a t will hav e o c curred ?' h e w ent on. "To all inten t s and p u rposes I s h a ll be dead You have caged rne I sea l my lips Try your vaunted powers against the physical f acu1ties paralzyed by the most powerful drug in the world I Part of a machine, I have oone that which was apportioned to me. I a m conten t .'' The man swallowed the pellet-Nick could tell i t by the movements of his lips H is eyes fixed o n vacancy-they g l owed g l azed clos
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N IC K CAR TER WEEKLY. li conster pot w h ere the Hin doo had been cap t ured Nick Ca What N i ck had told was posit ively al l hat e i t h er th e veteran or hi s young Jack Bn rotege k n ew of this singular affa i r 1an done?. A weal thy magnat e fancied a l l k i nds the i mpend in g evi l s, because a mysterious are ha d b ee n :;ecre t ly i mpressed u po n :rson-th he han d o f hi s gran dson and h eir. te nts and W h e n a r ailroad pres i de n t h e h ad often dead It n gaged N i c k to hel p him with his acti ve He h as t:tec ti ve experi e n ce, a n d h ad c o m e t o > Y sealin illl n ow, im p lorin g him t o l o c a t e the M y Y in dou wh o h ad vi site d his h o m e i u the :ek the cl uise o f a p ed dl e r t o l ea rn what those n g symb r a nge sy mb o l s m eant. 1and in They m eant so m ething d eep s i n s t e r, ragic-f r o m the s t art Nick was sa ti s fied the di s n th a t p oin t. 1tional w a H e l ea rn e d th e Hindoo's n a me, a li t tle n its ow bout his be in g a travelling juggle r, but a t was all. ; o that his In informatio n Bob, J ack and A l e ck v e known ad pursue d v a ri o u s lin es of in quiry, b u t :he stree ts, cas u a l dire cti o n give n b y Nick t o the ective. e v er-witted new s b o y, Buff, h a d alone :imply, "I sulted in any t a n g ibl e di scoverY. y s t art." Buff h a d execute d m a n y littl e m iss io1c; ....;r,i3llilf-... tL.Ch e de t ec t ive in the pas t, a n d was II. !lOVE. i ghti l y pro ud to ea rn the ten do ll a r s d in c i denta ll y N ick C arter's g oo d rd of prai se. H e was p r o u de r still whe n Bob-kno w1 ? g t h a t t h e Hindoo h a d defied inquiry :nts ye s," d ru gg in g him self into a s t a te o f per ne nt catalepsy, a n d d e t ermined t o ge t clue t o t he Spencer case o n exteri o r ri ts-h ad so ught hi m out. ointed a t a "Take me s traight t o tJ:e p l ac e where : stairway. Hi ncloo lived,, Bob had ordered, and corner," h y had arrived at the scene of the clay's ner wants a ture. "He dicln 't l ive here,, explained Buff, pay it," he poin t ed at a locked door opening a g loomy hallway. "He just came wheel on t re once in a while -slunk in like a Jenty-five c ke, flitted away like a shadow. This 1is first appearance for days aud clays Now, 'Is it?" murmure d Bob. "Now, then, ::> occup1ecl ?' ff, that will do D on't m ention to anysensat ional y I'm here-forae t all about the b ck C arter s doo '' lone the bes nff looked crestfallen S u re I can't do a nvthin g more to yo u t '' he queried. Very s ur e ' W is h I could," d ec l a r e d Buff a rd entl y I te ll yo u, i t s th e life f o r me, this detectinga ll bustl e a n d e x c i t e m e nt. A n d I ca n f o ll o w a m a n like a s h ado w I've do n e i t f o r M r. Cart er-hung unde r cabs go n e ove r r oo f s o nc e l ay in a d i s tillery va t a ll ni ght. S ay-le t m e help yo u!'' "Well, o f a11 the coaxin g a r dent aspi rants!" c ommented Bob. "No, Buff, I m o n a l o n e tra il ju s t n o w, lJut some o t he r time yo u s h a ll have a show. Of c ourse, if yo u f ound out anything more about this Hind o o--" Yes yes," pre s sed Buff ea g erl y "Follow it up, and report to Mr. C a rter.'' The newsboy king vanished with a smil e a s proud a s if he h a d be e n give n an offic ial commis sion from New York detective he adquarte rs. B o b tri. e d the door before him, inserted a wire turned the lock catch, entered, re slicl the tumblers and lit his dark lante rn. It w as the barest room he had ever se tn. It h e ld a chair, a table, a w ardro b e In the l atte r Bob cam e across a bundle in case d in a worn, fra ye d strip of ve lvet, h a n g in g from a h o ok. It app e a r e d to h o ld some to o ls or trinket s. About to opeu it, Bob shot his lantern s lide abruptly S ome o n e trie d the door. Then there w as a fum b lin g unde r it, and pla iul y v i s ibl e in the contras t with the grimy floo r the r e s t o l e thro u g h the thr es h o ld crack a l e t te r. "Ln ck !"pr o n ou nced Bob Ferret o ra c u larly, a n d he ld h is b reath. A lettera letter f or t h e l essee of this room, and who was t ha t but D ja lma, the Hindoo! Into his pocket Bo b t hrust the parce l found i n the ward or be. Eagerly he picked u p the missive. The envelope bore no superscription. A great black splotch o f wax d i sfigured i t s bade Bob tore it open unceremon io u s l y focussed t he bull 's eye u po n it. "P'st!" He was bad l y disappointed. A g l a n c e was eno u g h Into h i s poc k e t, crump l ed, w e n t the l etter, a fte r it h oltecl the l antern,

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6 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. and Bob was out of the room and at the front of the house in a jiffy. "Ought to have slid out right after the fellow who brought the letter," decided Bob. "But can't think of everything. He's gone, now. Here is what Nick Carter may well call a bad break. Now what?" Bob fumbled the crumpled missive thoughtfully. The street lamps had just b een lit. He got in range of one and inspected the letter again. "Hindoo jargon," he soliloquized-" I know that from what I've run across in this Spencer case. Tells something, though. What? The thing is to find out., Bob started forward briskly. The hunt for the Hindoo during the past week had led him directly across the track of many persons of that nationality in New York city. Bob, Jack and Aleck had run down all kinds of fakirs, jugglers, students, busi ness men and sailors in the bunt for Djalma. Among them Bob suddenly remem bered a Hindoo described as "an agent'' and his place was less than a mile away. He occnpied a house so closely shut up that Bob had never been able to see him. Each time he had called, a cunning faced servan t had avowed he was away, negotiating for the sale of some menagerie animals. "I'll stop there, anyway," decided Bob. "I '11 hire him to translate the letter. They say he's an interpreter, furnisher of talent for conjuring troups, and all that, so this will be in his line." Bob arrived in front of a gloomy l:ouse in a gloomy side street, and operated its ancient knocker. The same servant he had met before admitted him, asking his business. Bob told that he had a letter in Hindoo which he wanted translated, the servant bowed, led the way up some stairs, and ushered him into a room hung with many oriental draperies. The apartment was filled with cttrios, and the air was dense with incense burning in a filagree censer. As Bob was taking in his surroundings. a curtain parted and a great athletic fellow attired in a costume half-barbaric viewed questioningly, almost suspiciously. "What is it?" he asked. "I have a letter I wish translated only a moment's work. You du s tasks?" "Yes. Let me see it. If a serpent had bit the agent, l1e cot not have started more violently than. did as Bob handed him, open, the he had just found in the Hindoo's roo Instantly, however, the startled fr became a wily one. He threw out < arm in a stretchy way, and muttered: ; "Those twinges of pain! They alw; affect me before a rain-the bite cobra some years ago. Ah, yes! Hind1 But the Northern dialect. My friei this will take me some time to deciph Will you accompany me to my stucly Bob tried to guess how much was and how much was sham in the evasi\e manner. 1 He was shrewd enough to discern t1 the letter had startled the man, but }\. knew no such thing as fear. n He followed the agent through sevt' rooms. They came to one l ess elaboraill furnished than the others. It had a table on which severa op 1 s pipes rested-its sides were sealed, in corner was a sink and a hydrant,,' near it a high cupboard. In this were hung a variety of garm! that looked to sharpeyed Bob amazi r like disguises or stage dresses. 1 Altogether, there was an air about P apartment suggestive of the secret c clave room, the laboratory, the lait1 men who wanted to be isolated when casion required. The agent shut and locked the c0 cupboard door, muttering sometJ I : about the carelessness of his serv 1 seated himself at one enQ of the t and beckoned Bob to a chair opposit A cup-like contrivance hung string from the ceiling, and in this candle, affording the only light in e room. The agent held the letter towar but his eyes were not fixed on the le Bob caught them fastened on his as if piercing him through and thrqn "Yon wish this letter l you?'' interrogated the agent, and 11

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NICK CAUTER WEEKLY. 7 [wed l a certain sinister undertone of expres-ly. 1 in his voice. "Ves," answered Bob promptly. "Why?" "\Vhy?" repeated Bob in snrpnse. Because I want to know what it ans. '' t he co "Ah, yes!" purred the agent, stroking Jy than chin slowly thoughtfully. "The letter he written to you, 1 presume?" oo's roo"No, and say-what has that got to do rtled it?" appended Bob in a practical, out iness-like way. ttered: 'Just this: You may have no right to ey alw w the contents of this letter." bite I have-every right 111 the l Hind rl d !" My frie 'I think not!" o decipl here was a lurking menace in the stucly. n's tones as he spoke these words. h was Ie arose with them, to his feet. Bob the m e ciecl he pnrposely struck a little sih-er 1 at his side with his sleeve, but he iscern ld not tell for certain. n, but t any rate, his suspicions were intl v set on guard. 1gh sev 'Give me back my letter!" he de elabora 1ded, extending one hand. "When 1 ___ I do uot care to gu into de era] op s t tat is none of their concern.'' led, in No!" spoke the agent, definitely. ydrant, You won't?" Hardly." Why? Is this the kind of business amazu do!" It is, when I am personally conr about eel." s ecret Personally concerned?" repeated Bob, the lai ing irritated. eel when Exactly. I will not give yon back l etter 11ntil yon tell me how it came ur possession '1! soon see abont that! What busi-d the sometl is sen is it of yours--" f the t 11 in the world." opposite ndeed !" 11111g b 'es," answe refl the agent, fixing a 11 this nl, dangerous look on Bob, "for I iaht in e that l etter myself less than an hour "' t r towar n the le on his < ncl thro ranslate nt, and CHAPTER lll. H 0 T A N D H E A V Y. n a trap!" mttttered Bob Ferret r h i s breatlt. ne eded neither time nor a magnify-ing glass to plainl y read the situation so alarmingly presente d to his view-he had placed his head in the lion's mouth! Trying to run the Hindoo down, he had run right into the man who was probably an active coa
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8 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. "It i s s il e nce." "I say l You mnrd.:ro u s scoundrels," voiced Bob, struggling. Flop! A plaster came acros s h i s m outh, close fitting a s an air-tight jar c over. With his foot the agent spume d B o b, and his as s i stant dragge d him ov e r n ear the sink and droppe d him, B o b's head being saved fr o m a sound knock b y land ing on an old m antle lying w adde d up on the floor. "Now, come!" The agent directed a g l a nc e a t the helples s, prostrate Bob that l e ft 1 i ttle promis e of near rel e ase or s a ti s f action. As h e and his s ervant clos e d the door of the next room, Bob heard a fina l w ord: ':This means danger of the worst sort! Word mus t be sent out immediately." "Struck the very nest of the plot!" floa t ed convincingly through Bob's mind, "but-laid out at the very first step!" The agent and 'his servant must have gone to the remote part of the h o u se where Bob had bee n admitted, for the latter heard several doors slam. Then he started a trifle. A heavy c h ain rattled near, and a gruff, growliug sound ec:10ed vaguely. ''Animals? Some of the menagerie he's negotiating for," mused Bob. "I suppose a U kinds of horrors exist under this roof. Wonder what they'll do with me?'' Bob felt neither comfortable nor c on fident. He blamed himse lf, too, for his present unfortunate environment. "I acted a trifl e t oo precipitate," he reflected, selfc hidingly. "But who in the world would fancy a ca s u al inquiry -would land a fellow slap up against the very person who wrote that J ette r to the Hindoo! Well, now, what's that?" Bob, from studying gloomily the flick ering, swinging candle, fix e d his gaze abruptly upon the cupboa rd h e h a d n o tic e d, and the ope n d oo i o f 'vhich the agent had closed and l ocke d whe n he had firs t entered the room That door was shaking-beyond it was a great rustling. Bob f;rew bigger-eyed a s he c ontinued to peer. "Ho p e none of the grewsome p e ts thes e people fancy about them, like t h e cobra that bit the a g en t, is iu there,'' rumi ated Bob. "Something i s. Well!" t: The cupboard quivered nnder s om ad s h eavy press ure. The n a g ood, sonne t a s i s olid kick made the door creak an T ht s t r a in. ive f< It had a stout lock, howeve r, : mel w
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, rum i Vell NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 9 nder som ad swept the primitive chandelier before It illumined the room mom en tari ly od, sounc. as if it was chaff. as well, and Bob directed a swift glance creak an1 The cup-board had landed with d<:.strucat the wrecked cupbqard. f I3 b ld 1 1 "Helpless 1." 1ve orce. o cou no onger see p amer, and but h e had heard boards crack and Bob's last hope sank with the discovery ndian woo;plinter--in fact, several pieces of wood before his eyes. ad struck the wall beyond him. The cupboard had split open. Half in the rns He listened eagerly for some demon-held under it, head and shoulders alone e the rece trac ion from Buff. free, where the side had burst out, lay > assume Bob's heart sank as a low, mtnmnring Buff. jna of t roan issued from the wreck of the cup-The newsboy king had a cruel mark "' oard. over one temple. still \lreat The newsboy had sustained a fall or a His sunny, tangled hair was matted l th;ught low that had stunned l1i_m-Bob where it rested across a jagged splinter of ndiblc the ason out no other solutiOn to the 111-woud. crack,whe use silence now supervened. There was not much smoke in the 11 spruna 1 Had the souud of the pash startled the room-Bob noticed this with renewed "' ther occupants of the l10use-how soon alarm. oulcl they arrive to discover and render The crash of the cupboard had brought comment elple ss a new intruder who, had he re-no one to investigate-unless the smoke ined his senses and strength, would have carried a warning promptly, the conJade short work of Bob's captivity. clitions promised a holac::tust. ,iaorous a "How he ever got in here is a mys-The fiercest kind of a fire was pent in call ry," reflected the worried Bob. "The the cased up sink box. when it did hurst forth, its fury would Bob could turn his head, that was be t111controllable. r >ont all tl1e fn:edom the stout bonds All Bob could do was to lie still and l!J owed him. quiver. He could not reach Buff, he t lie turned it uow with au animated could not even hope to arouse him from mce more . "tl Ja rk and a qmck expansiOn of eyes his fa_tal lethargy by calling out to him. f1 1 amn artlecl and terrified. Bob's cheek nearest to the fire, and not I 'l'he candle haclnot gone out. six inches from the shrivelling outside ondenng B1 It lwei rolled under the bottom of the wood of the sink, began to burn and blist is. Bu_ff nk hox. ter with the fervent heat. re's COII1lll0' Hob thrilled as he realized what had Snap-hiss-flare-at last the imprisnt, but ov ken place. oned monster l1acl burst its bonds. A [ menace t His colllpanion in sensible, himself sizzling dart of forked flames shot across gged to utter silence ancl bound to Bob's face. ant of lplessness, neither could cry out or Pop-swish-splash-what was this rike out for deliverance from a direful, uew contending series of sounds, quite as pending catastrophe. startling and almost simultaneous? The candle had ignitecl some oil-soaked "Melted!" gs uncl e r the sink. Bob's voiceless comments came 111 Bob could smell them. moiwsyllabic chunks. ate. The cl 1t had caught the wood-work, also, for Jnte11se thankfulness and relief let his cnpboarcl is now began to crackle. nerves clown fron1 a tension that had vered as l1e All wood-floor, sides, ceiling-Bob been fairly eli. tracting. [ rret could Yividly realize that within The worst was over-the best had hapendous erase space five minutes that room would pened. bt, missing a roariug mass of flames. In a -,;orcl, the fervent heat had melted "nell. ---the lead water pipe. he top of CHAP'rER IV. To a conflagration succeeded a deluge-d struck "FINDING ouT." to the sharp sputter of licked up splinters ed candle, A sharp ton gue of flame shot through ensued the dull, sullen hiss of drenched rack in the side of the sink box and out e1nbers. sped Bob's hair. A steamy vapor began to fill the room,

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.. 10 NIOK CARTER WEEKLY. but the flare lowered, flickered, reddened, quivered, died out completely. Bob lay still, letting time brace up nerves scarcely ever before so severely tried. Then his senses gave a swift response to the sound of a low utterance, the dislodgment of various. pieces of the wrecked cupboard. "Ugh!" Bob, tracing movements by sounds solely, guessed that a sl,ooting spray of water had driven Buff back to conscious ness and to his feet. "Who am I, aoy..;ay? Feel as if I'd never reorganize myself again!" he heard Buff mutter. Snap-flash-up flared a lucifer. "Hello!" voiced the newsboy, giving Bob a good, hard stare. He was down on his knees beside the latter instantly. Bob felt his bonds drop asunder under the influence of a few groping knife-cuts. "Off she comes!" declared Buff, giving the mouth plaster a pull at one edge. But "off she did not come!" Buff had to make a deft insertion with his kttife and leave Bob to work the rest of the gag loose at his leisure. ''Sticks like tar,'' answered Buff. "Now, then, what is it?" "Buff," were Bob: s first words, and he tried to make them stern, but failed, '' Wha told you to come here?'' "You." ; "Eh ?" "Didn't you?" "No. "Short but wrong. You said if I could find out anything further about that Hindoo, to do so." "Yes." "And report to Mr. Carter?" "Well?" "I was on my way." "To Mr. Carter?" "No, to finding out something first. What was the use of going to Mr. Carter till I had, and how was I going to find anything out if I didn't start to do it? A fellow drops a letter under the Hindoo's door at Guffey's tenements. I saw him do it. I followed him. Why not? That seemed in the line of orders. He came here. I sneaked in, then I backed in, followed up by the man who lives here, hid in the cupboard." 'Pro "You should have left the letter aff:'Say for me to follow up, Buff." Jte t "Say! you'd be in a pretty fix if I h:ce it: now wouldu't yon?" rout Buff's logic was irresistible. Bob n' He to his feet and shook some of the stiffn.' Just out of his joints. ob'. He lit his dark lantern, flashed its r11c1 1 over Buff to ascertain that he was 1. two seriously bruise d, and approached the crl t door of entrance a11cl exit which the ro<1 f afforded. 'te 1 an "Have you found out anytbmg ?" 11 quired Buff in a whisper. 'G "What do you mean?" rejoined "About the Hinooo ?" } "Of course. That's what you're aff 1d11 isn'tit?" "Surely. I have learned next to nc'Tl ing, except that the men here seen, ,,.r1 k 1 now 11m. An when I came here, the wa'Wh got 1n was because some one was go'I'll out," explained Buff. 1 "Isthatso?" "The fellow who lassoed you was one who brought that letter to t Hindoo. He had come into the ho s and the one who lives here--" rr111 1 "Theagent?" ves "Call him such-the agent-was ing good-by to a man. I was snea k close to the door. They passed me, go''tn g down a step or two. In through the d W h way I slipped. I lingered for a minje. Says the man who was leaving--" 'Wh "Was he a Hindoo ?" e of "No, a white man. I couldn't see you. face, but he was rather stout, and ;ide agent called him Major." ::>k ar "Go ahead, Buff." -th I' "Says the man, Major, two things.)re n "What were they?" I ha "First, 'We must act at on ce. Sf thephiz!'" ere's "Eh ?" propounded Bob, in mystil lie tion. "'Spoil the phiz?' "Uh-huh !" "You heard him say that?" "Don't I tell you so?" "What did he mean?" oon "I don't know, and there's a ill s baH of the Chinese puzzle to come y eve "Indeed?" way

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 11 ere, '11 say so when you hear it." Proceed.'' er aff Says the man next, 'There's only one e that leaves no trail, and we will if I h e it at once and end this affair-the route.' ob r He said that?" stiffn 'Just those words. l, ob's thoughts scurried fast, but he Its r lcl make neither head nor tail out of was r two s111gular statements. the in the light of facts as yet conhero led from him they were vitally signifi t and important, he was doubly eer'Good for you, Buff," he commended. ned you haven't strnck the keynotes to t mysteries of this Hindoo case I've re a sed my guess.'' 'Spoil the phiz?' t to 11 'That meaus something." see 'Take the air route?' '' 'And that everything." the wa 'What, do you think?" as go'I'll tell you when we get out of th1s That's what you're after?" u was Q . k b Th r to mck .as qt:lc can e. e agi}nt 1 1 st be 1nvest1gated, na!led, before the Je 10 f . 1 h l 111 o my coming w1t 1 t at etter es him to hide his trail. Come on." -was 5'Say !" demurred Buff, looking sensi s sneak important, ''what do you say to my ), l ?" me a or mg 1ere. il do'Why, what for?" said Bob, in sura min1e. --" 'What for-to find out something l \e of course. You don't know, mt1ch, n't see you? You get out, you work the tt, and ide end of affairs and let me k aronnd the i11side. I'll bet all I'm th I'll run down some ideas for you things. re morning!" 'I have no doubt but what you would, ce. admitted Bob indulgently; ere's no lack of pluck in you, but the mysti lies beyond here now. What you me about the man, Major, convinces that some scheme is ab Aout to be put ction away from this place. It is, hermore, dangerous to stay here, for on as the agent finds I have escaped ill start the hottest kind of a search. come Y evening has been a lucky hit so far, way tl1ings have come out-I don't ant to spoil prospects by any imprndent risks.'' Buff rubbed his head dubiously. He muttered something about "supposing a bird in the hand was worth two in the hush," but "not knowing much about real detective science, of course," and silently followed Bob. The mask lantern showing the way, the two boys passed through one room, half crossed another, and paused summarily. "Voices!" wl!ispered Buff, and grabbed up a stick with a brass cap and projecting hook on it standing in the corner nearest him. "Coming this way, too!" muttered Bob. Like a miniature searchlight the hull's eye went shooting about the apartment. "vVe've got to go back, guess," began Bob. "No, we haven't!" "Any other way?" "How's that?" Buff grasped Bob's hand and directed the focussed glare across something Bob in a hasty, superficial glance had quite passed over. What had once done service as a plant stand rested against one wall of the room Everything about it indicated that it was in daily use as a means of ascent and descc:nt About two feet above its top a broad board seemed to swing in on hinges. "Where do you suppose it leads to?" murmured Bob. "Don't know, but it's easy to find out," declared Buff, making a dive to ward it. "They're right on us," breathed Bob, following He shot the lantern slide instantly. The knob of the door was turning "I can't make it out-board pushes in, and it's a drop beyond," spoke Buff at the top of the steps. "Drcp, then-no otl1er way," com-manded Bob, sharply. "Drop it is!'' "Me after you!'' Pellmell both boys slid past the swaying board, eight feet, ten feet, and landed "Say voiced Buff in a gasp.

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I .,/ '. 12 NICK CART E R WEEKLY. I B o b c lu tc h ed hi s a r m a n d bo t h gai n e d the i r fee t p ulsating w i t h a n omi nou s brood i n g se n s e of p e r il. The y co u ld n o t s e e a foot before t h e i r f a c es, bu t the y could hear. Dis t r acting l y prese n t i n tl1e aw es om e sile nc e o f t h e place h ea v y b r ea thing w a s au d i bl e-the s l o w c erta i n v e lvety m o v e m en t o f some lithe but ponde r o u s c r eature cut the d arknes s appr oaching them, they f elt it, t h e y k n e w it. 'Bob!" w hi s pe r e d Buff, a nd h is vo ice was a trifle unstea dy, "flare the l antern. Click-th e re w as a l o w, purring w h ine. F lash-a fri ghtful r oar fill e d the place with thunder e c h o e s "Buff!" gas p e d B o b r e t r ea ting a nd p ul li n g h is compa ni o n back with h im "it's a ti g er!" CHAPTER V A GANTLE T OF P ERIL. Facin g the m os t f ormid a ble danger tha t h ad yet e o n fr o n t e d the m in t h e peril -g u ar d e d h o u s e of the I I i n d o o agen t, B o b a n d B uff forgo t tha t wh i c h mi ght h ove r in the 'roo m abo ve the y h a d h a d s o summa r i l y a n d b l i n dly l ef t A d o zen e n e m i es might be a t tha t swingin g board sp a c e o verh e a d-the y d a r ed n o t l oo k u p t o se e F o cu ssed in the bright rays o f the m as k l ante rn their n e w oppon ent f as c i n a te d the m, h e ld their g l a n ce a m a g n i fic ent spe ci me n o f the r oya l Be ngal bree d During r e c ent p r obings a m o n g thing s Hincloo i sh, Bo b h ad l earn e d of q ui t e a l arge r e c en t New Y ork co n s i g n m en t o f thes e f e r o ci ous brutes It was o nl y n atura l tha t the a g ent in hi s u s ual p r o v in ce of bus in ess s h o uld h ave secure d o n e or m ore o f these d a n ge r o u s m a ne a t e r s The bo y s h ad un witting l y dropped d ow n into the anima l d e n of the :1gent's q u ar t e r s thr ou g h the space w h e r e f oo d \ vas th row n t o its o cc upants F l a r e him!" whis p e r ed B uff, a n r 1 hi s s h o u lders hunched in to the p ose of a r e so lute b o y c o rn e red, but fight a nd m e ttl e t o the c o r e "Wha t d o yo u m ean?" as k e d B o b. "Keep fla shing the li ght into his eyes They say it d azz l es the m "It d on't d azz l e this o n e!" Not a bit o f it! The tiger w as s ecure d by a lo n g b ri ght-link e d c h ai n to a ce n tr on p os t In th i s the cha in was ri ve t e d, a g l a n c e show e d B o u t h a t i t s sl ack a (en, mitt e d of the brute r eaching t o t!W o farthes t c o m e rs of the apartm e n t. 1itl; T h e ti ge r s t oo d bris t l in g g laring f eJ{ob, ci o u s l y f o r a m o m e nt. eel, T h e n i ts el astic n eck e l ongate o e e Growli n g omin o u s l y it h alf-c r o uched a e 1 its f o r e f ee t as if pois in g f o r a sp ring. stc d i d n o t h ee d t h e bli n d ing l i ght i n t b n t l eas t. "Le av e i t t o m e spok e Buff h a s t i l C e Ge t b ac k I sa y Leave it to m e p n d arm ed .'' bn. "Armed!" uff Buff w as a young whirlwind o f strengs h a n d p ositi v e n ess w h e n in ard ent acti o n.le r H e pr es se d B o b bac k p e rfo r ce, a n d L oo gras p e d the h oo k e d sti c k h e h ad ca rrin t i l fr o m the r o om above a s if h e m eant st a n chly util ize it for e v e ry v es ti ge\Vh m e r i t 1t c onta in ed. eel I "Kee p the li g h t o n the ti g er-th:fl nd a ll," l 1 e direc t e d, s harp l y. et B uff h a d p n sl1e d B o b b ac k into t he o n '1 co rn e r of t h e ro0111, as s t e ad i l y the kept ad v a nci u g u po n the n I. .1. Suddenly it m acle a s prin g T here a t e rrific s n o rt, a s h r i l l j a n g l e o f s Jt c h a i n a whistlin g d es c e n t o f the weaf.JP in Buff s hand, a nd the a nim a l f ell ba e ve a l o n g line o f r eel streaking i ts f n e whe r e t h e huok h a d sc r a p e d ere "Now t h en-don't move o nl y p n t o l a n t e r n C o111e o n, puss 1 B o b could n o t wi thho l d a cry of ala n m b b u t h e w as t o u l a t e t o in t e rcept B uff. ;elf Around the r o 01n, k e e pi n g t u a s u c l oses t e d ge ran tl1e 11im b l e f oo t ecl n e wur b oy king 2om Afte r him, s t n1ini n g furi ous l y a t 3uff: ch ain, prog r e s s e d the t iger g lid i n g, luin;; in g a nd B o b tho n g hjJi s h a n d treml:\.u.1 with s u sp e n se m ov e a t h e l anteru\.ncl d i r e ct e d. v.Iig 1 "T,vo laps-thre e keep it up!" tou! The darin g B uff b o un ded b y tlH; h e f g r o s s e d Bo h as hi gh-spirit e d as if h e S indulg in g in a n o r di n a r y f oo t ra ce r h i n the n Bob awak e n ed t o hi s s c hem e :d B Each l a p Buff w a s narrowing ere c o u rs e eac h circling flight the clelne b. ti ge r w as winding itself up! ( R o und a n d r o nnel a n d faste r a n d fared flew b oy a nd ti g er. whack! every

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 13 t i n to a c entr oulcl g e t in a blow Buff let drive the ri ve t e d, ai eel cud g el, evidentl y a n appurtenance its sl ack a enag erie training. ching to tl /Vound u p!" tm ent. ith th e b reathle ss words Buff ran up r g l aring f e lt. ob, a s wit h a j erk and a growl the '' d, b e wild e r e d ti ger c a me t o a h a l t 1 k e longat e e e nd of its chain, slam! agains t the Ifc r o u c hed c e p o st. r a spring s to o d t here glaritt g, snarli n g strain g li ght in t l ut t o w ard the two bo ys s eeming l y agc r to k ee p the m within its lurid e B uff hastil c e to v enture a backwar d m o v e m ent it to' m e I' rd regaining its lo s t t erritory of l1ad s n a t c h e d the lantern fro m vincl of t ren g s h a n d, a nd was irr s p ecting the walls rde n t acti on e pl ace erforce a n d oa k th e r e!" he d i r ec t e d, indicating b e hacl c arri n ti l ati n g window. "We can r each if h e m eant '' e ry ves ti g e IV b y not the boa rd space?" sug ed Bob e t iger -tha nd ge t b ack iuto wh a t yon w ante d e t a way from?'' d e m a nd e d Buff. into the o n 't b elie ve thos e f ei l o ws kno w w e are ea d il y the t i re--mt1s t h a v e p a s sed throug h the 11 1 . L oo k h e r e-oh d on't b e afraid of i n
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14 NICK UAHTEH. WEEKL'!. to the other and seemingl y stouter section o f the roof. In fact, all kinds_ of acrobatic equip ment litterecl the Roor, and Bob was not slow in surmisin g what the great barn of a place comprised. "It's the practicing room of the agent's outfit,'' he explained' 'a sort of gymnasium.'' "That's ju sJ it!" assented the enlightened Buff "I say, though, there's alantern down there, and somebody may come in at any moment." "Yes, we will lose no time in getting out of this." "But how?'' The roof course was blocked to them, judging from past experience-they might not be so lucky as to fall on a platform the next time. Even this platform, secnred by light bars to the stringers overhead, had seen its last days, for it shook whenever they moved "We've got t o go down to ge t away, that's certain," calculated Bob. "It's a tw e l ve -yards drop, if a foot," declare d Buff. "Say I'll fix it." "Will you?" "Sure!'' ''How?'' "See me do it! I'll thro w you up a rope inside of ten seconds. Here goes!" Bob had heard befo r e o f Buff's accomplishments as a n all-around amateur acrobat, but h e wa. s scarcel y prepared for the boldness and dispatch of his companion's next movement. Buff gave a little run along the diving board, and Bob saw that he was aimed f o r the n earest trapeze. The slant was a fair one, and B.uff had calculated closely. His hands struck the trapeze bar squarely, but jus t then something not anticipated took place. The bar, rotten, unused for months perhaps, snapped directly in two. With a slight interjection of a nn oy ance, Buff w en t whilring ahead, about as sure of his final landi n g place as a per so tumbling down an elevator shaft. Bob uttered a cry of vivid a larm, however. Stationary, he was en a bled to see with clearer vision a possible landing place. Buff was headed squarely for a double ladder, such as is e111ployecl by professional sword-walkers. Every ring was a scimeter, and upon their keen, glittering edges, it seen1ed certain that the daring, reckless B uff lllust land. CHAPTER VI. OUT OF A LABYRINTH. Bob was not the boy to ever be frighte ned into helplessness, no matter what me11aced . He gave a yell that rang like a clarion note. "Look out!' He saw the speeding Buff duck his h ead he fancied a cry of dismay an swered his own. At all events, Buff's supple form described a quick, a remarkable manenvre. B uff did credi t at that critical moment to his proud reputation as a gymnast. A 11 the palpitating Bob saw was a human frm doubling into a wad, like au India-rubber ba 11. 'rhe next instant, by one of tl1ose"'eK traordiuary evolutions gained only by powerful practiced control of the muscles, the expert B uff threw a double somersault. It bl"Jke his fall, and it e nabled hi m to evade the g l eaming battery o f scin1eters, w aiti n g thirstily t o drink his life blood. "Superb!" Bob voiced the enthusiastic encomium more like a critic viewin g a first ni ght perfonna n ce from a private box, than a boy air-Cmsoe d aloft n o t knowing how he was goi n g to get back to terra firma, and likely at any mon1 ent to see any nulllber of aroused enemies coming in at the door of the amphitheatre. ''Landed!'' Buff piped the call cheerily, but he must ha\'e h ad no easy landing, for he lookecl a little jarred, and stood feeling of his Jiwbs cautiously before he started into action again. Bob saw him grope in among a lot of miscellaneo u s plunder, whence his hand emerged bearing a rope. 'want to try the other trapeze?" he grinned up audaciously to Bob. "Not on this occasion!" "Come off the perch, then!"

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' I NICK CAR'lER WEEKLY. 15 ly for a dotNith the dexterity of a cowboy, Buff by profHecl a coil aloft. 'That was an ordeal!" commented ter, n affixing the rope and sliding down es, Jt see o the ground . reckless 'Yes and maYbe a lot more to ao ) J b ottgh," observed Buff. 'There's doors enough to get ottt at." I. hey advanced toward one that looked rl\'TH. rw ard from the house fronting the ever be fri et, as most likely, to prove the safest 1 matter nue of exit. like a c1 ust nearing it, Buff gave Bob a nudge t carried him completely off his feet. Vith him he fell, plunged, tumbled ctly behincl a massed up pile of tent Buff duck v as. lf dismay events, B tick, a rem S-st he warned. You're not forcible or anything!" pered Bob . to be. Lay very low." i tical mo1 Vhat's up?" 1 gymnast. Jb saw w a wad, lik : of thos ainecl only of the m u s double so b had his answer as he peered cauy. In at tl1e door came the servant had admitted hitJ.1 to the agent's in front, and who had later nearly 'g1ed him to death. he fellow took a look all around. arently, from his hurried, peering ner, he was there for the purpose of ing for soniebody. enabled hi e glanced aloft, saw the broken roof, y of scim still quivering rope, and planted him _1is life blo squarely, head thrown back, staring and evidently trying to make out if 1stic encom e one had just gone up .or clown the g a first n 1te box, th knowing to terra fi uff crept softly away from Bob. ear the door was a wire form dumemployed doubtless to exhibit cases. ft as a eat's tread was Buff's footfall his. ", intended victim turned just as heerily, bu (lJt directly up behind him, but he landing, fo cr late. I stood fe was vir e device came over his head out at. He was undersized, and it w obm flat. among a 1 u se ior, and I'll fill you with sawhence bis g an a:l9-red Buff, laying all over the linerl tontrivance to keep his prisoner 1en !" tage wl. nt <1ncl l !" supplement ed Bob, de arouncinging forward with leveled r arbor. Buff ran from the cage and began dragging two heavy tent poles forward. These he crossed so as to p ress down the cage effectually. "Now then," spoke Bob, "w.hich is the easiest way out of here?" The dusky prisoner looked mun'ler ousl y sullen. "Better speak advised Buff, kicking a pound or two of the fine sawdust throug h the wire strands into the fellow's face and eyes. The agent's servant strangled, shook with rage, and pointed at the door through which he had just entered the place. "Come on," directed Bob. "What's this, first?" Buff made a dive with one hand. He reached through tl1e wires of cage. A fearful cry of alarm rang from its inmate's lips as Buff triumphantly pocketed a folded paper. "Mine-give it back!" raved the fellow. "Out, before he's raised an alarm directed Buff. The agent's servant, yelling, scrambling, was wildly endeavoring to free himself. Bob bolted for the door, Buff by his side. Ah he told the truth for once," o bserved t11e former. With gratification and relief Bob saw just ahead of them a paved court. Over its centre hung an electric lamp, and this showed several streets diverging from this little waste piece of land beyond their intersection. "We're out of it!" pipeci Buff. "Halt!" "It's the agent!" Bob came to a stop. From some shadowy angle of the place the agent stepped forth. He had a t'evolver in his hand. This he leveled so menacingly, that Bob did not dare to draw his own weapon. "Back where you came from!" he hissed out. Not a person was in view. Bob faltered. "See here, mister--" began Buff. "Silence!" g rated the man. "Listen, both of you! Do as I say-go back

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16 NICK CAH 'I'ER WEEKLY. whence you came, or I fire-twice! I am a dead shot.'' "I won't!" declared Buff, flatly. "Be warned!" Bob began to slowly retreat toward the street. "One!" "Dodge-he can't hit both," whis-pered Buff. "Two!" ''Thr--" A yell of pain, howled forth in sudden agony, completed the last numeral. On the sill of some upper window came the tapping of some one emptying a pipe of tobacco, instantly followed by the fall of its burning refuse. This landed, red-hot, on the hand that held the revolver. With a clang the weapon dropped to the pavement, its owner driven off guard by the excruciating pain caused by the to .rturing, fiery mass. "Run!" directed Bob. ''Hand in hand!'' It was a dart, a slide out of the court, into the public street, off into a side lane, and into a doorway at a safe distance Bob and Buff g lid ed to catch their breath. "Safe!' panted Nick Carter's young est detective. "We've run the gantlet at lest.'' "Whewl" panted Buff. "I say! we've done pretty well.'' "Yes," assented Bob, "it's a hot one for a starter.'' ''Starter?'' "Certainly. It's only eight o'clock. Why, Buff,-I call this just fairly begin ning a good night's work!" CHAPTER VII. ON HAND! "You make 111 y head spin said Buff Hutchinson, the newsboy. "Make your feet spin when the signal comes-look to that!" responded Bob Ferret, detective. Three hours had elapsed since, after running the most terrifying gantlet of his life, Nick Carter's apt pupil and his chance assistant, Buff, had emerged safe ly from the den of the Hindoo agent in New York city. They were now many miles away from th ere. Bob had barely taken a breathing spell after escaping the leveled revolver under the electric lamp. The he inspecteo the paper that Buff had snatched from the pocke t of the agent's s ervant the y had caged in the amphitheatr e, -it seemed to turn ish the clear, impclli1Jg motive to further acti on. He simply asked one questiou: Did Buff wish to help him out a little furthe r on the case in grasp ? Did he !-Buff's eloquent face and eage r eyes flashed an unmistakable reply. Then straight for the West Shore Railroad depot Bob put, and hour midnight, after a l01f from a little station, 0 lone trailers found vicinity of a magnificent countr. It was just here, lurkiug pe shrubbery, about twenty feet brick wall surrounding the grJke a prison, that Buff avowed t quick dash from city to subn !1s rapid and vivid explanation le s and directions made his head e a top. "Say it again," he spoke. 1 t me say it. When you blow that silver whistle twice, sharp, I'm to finc1 yon come to yon?'' "Inside the place here, if I need yon yes,'' responded Bob. "On the tap. And if you don't whi s tle I'm to lay low right here. No matter who come s what happens, I'm to stay quiet?" "Just that." "All right." "I want to explain something to yon, B uff, for you deserve to know it,'' pro: nounced Bob. "We are trying to run down the plot that began with the Hin cloo you and ycur crowd ,j..'1 tl-M> chicken coop to-clay." ''I guessed that.'' "He's a dead issne for the present, but the agent, his servant, the man, 1\lajor, you told me about, are probably the other active end of the scheme." "That's easy, too." "Well, what they are after, evidently, is a boy in yonder house." "Sho!" ejaculated the imaginative Buff, disappointedly-" jus t a boy! Not burg lary, or counterfeiters, or a muroer

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NICK CARTEH WE.EKLY. 17 "No, a plain, si n 1ple mystery." "Oh! it's a mystery? \ Vei l tl!at's better.'' "On the hand of the boy Jiying i11 that house, Rolfe Spencer, the Him1oo has put an indelible sign-som e kind of a Hindoo syn1 bol." "l\Iarkecl for life!" "Twice i.hey have tried to kidnap hi Ill." "What for?" "Tl1at's the mystery." "Oh, I see muttered Buff, perplex' of c11e t\ aest 0ihe paper you snatched from the 11"' ''A i t of the agent's servant this eveuing 1snake Jug h p l a n of th1 s l ) ]ace." :cswallovit, u ow ?" a ral trenlU heard the man, Major, say to maker-ent two very startling things this :allOw?" g." )\1 An ililil the phiz?" rnred. I? vattncl his ie t h e atr route?" l e nse uctly. What do those strange ex-' ?" roerl hi1s u,ean ....,_......,_.:..c:;, ___ ..;n .... fo:: boy, I guess. "That's how I read it-prompt progress, anyway. Thinking it a ll over, I concluded that this is to be t h e centre of action, if any place,'' explained Bob. "\Vhy. clicln'L you have the agent arrested?'' "\Vhat for?" "That's so, what for? What he did to ns was our own concern, in sneaking in 011 him. But why don't you say something to the people in the house here?" "And alarm them unnecessarily, and have them raise a ll kinds of com1110tion and scare away the people we're after? No, Buff, the only way to find out the of this affair, is to catch t:he Hindoo's assistants red-handed. I beli eve the y are going to come here to-night. That's why I'm h ere. Lay low. For your life! Look there. They're here already!" Bob pulled hi s companion clown a mon g the bushes. The night was moonless, but his eyes had become so mew hat accustomed to the darkn ess. V ery plainly h e could make out a form advancing-its outlines its move m e nts. It was that of a man clad in the same tight-fitting nnder garb the agent back in the city had worn. ".A Hindoo," murmured Bob-"a ne:w actor in the play.'' Bob was deeply impressed with the sudden a ppearauce. The new-coJJJer moved like a phantom-not the of a l eaf nor tl1e crackling of a twig at-tended his swift progress. "Lie still-move only on signal," whispered Bob to his gaping c omrade, and started to follow the man who was fast flashing out of sight. The spo t w as dense with overgrown bus h es, saplings, high grass and tree stumps. The n ew-comer passed by and among these without a trip, stumble o r even seemi u g contact, but Bob h a d to proceed m ore slow ly. He ma11aged, however, to keep the man in sight, and as the latte r h alted he dropped flat. A peculiar call like that of a night bird rang ou t after the lapse of perhaps sixty SeCOil(lS. This was followed by a spell of silence bsting O'-'er five minutes. The Hiwloo had taken up an easy, negligent waitin g positi on aainst a tree stump, and, arms folded over his breast, seeme<'l content to wait patiently for what was to come. "Machines, the last one of them!" commented Bob. "This fel low acts jn_st like the one captured to-day-runs l1is spurt, and waits for tl1e next move like -an automaton." Heavy footsteps, dishnbing grass and weeds heedless] y, snddeul y broke the spell of silence. Bob saw a rather stock y form loom np, and coming forward peer into the Hiudoo 's impassive face squarely, with the words: "From Djalma ?" "You know it," voiced the Hindoo. "There was a token?" The new-comer flashed some kind of a nng. "It is enough," nodded the Hindoo. "I a m to call youl\1ajor?" "Correct, auclnow to business!" "The man Buff saw at the agent's house," murmured B o b A 11 b u si n ess, brisk, loud-toned as if h e was n1nning an auction sale 'instead of t aking part in a sinis t e r and secret

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18 NICK C AR 'fER WEEKLY. mi ssio n the man called Major put out his hand. Into it the Hindoo delivered a packet. "lt is the money," he explained. "Correct. Now then, brisk's the word, m y friend! Let's start the programme." "The house yonder is guarded." '' l understood so.'' "I shall go, as I sa id. I will reach the picture." "It's your co ncern." I shall get al l teady." "A11d se nd me the silken cord?" ''As agreed.'' "It will take me some time to -get my traps in shape,'' remarked Major. ."Out of sight, out of reach, we have till morni11 g if we wish." "Good! and when I am ready?" "I deliver." "The goods-and I am to redeliYer to friends.'' "You will not fail?" "With double what yo u gave me just now waiting m e back in New York city? Hardly! Wait. I want to send a word to the agent. You will see him?" "Whe u I a m through here." "\' e r y well." The man called Major lit a cigarette. The Hindoo nttered an ejaculation of alarm, and blew ont the match he flar e d b e f ore h e was fairly through with it. "That is not our way!'' he said, seri ou sly. "Oh! they're all asleep in the house yonder,'' nonclialantly observed Major. By the aid of the bright end of the cigarette he began writing on the back of a card h e had take n from hi s pocket. Then he tore it in half, cast it asi de, took out another card, and after scrawling a few lines, handed it to the waiting Hindoo. "There yon are," he spoke. "Just give that to the agent-a w ord about whe n I'll see him, and whe re, on my return.'' "It i s well. ''Start in.'' "Yon will proceed cautious ly?" "Oh! I'll get there, never fear." ::\lajor threw away h is cigarette. The ---'-'-L'-. u:loo _a 1.:,, i t t P il (' n r il f r n m Bob was uot at .all clear as to. what these tw o men were up to. The great contrast between the twain struck hilll forci bly-one was all caution, the other careless, eager only, it seemed, to hurcy through with a programme in which h e was to h andle "the goods" for a money consideration. l\Iajor turned on his heel and ceeclecl into a little patch of bushes. Bob fancied that he saw there a heap of stuff that looked like tumbled ten[ canvas and other like b elongingsH e did not wait to ever. He felt that tl1e Hind' J e vita l centre of the night's s, and he pnt afte r him. I lJis First, however, Bob a few yards, and picl!ecl up the or anuff's had torn in two. I .ark-He tried to sca n the pri cle, but it was too clark. The s Y lining the wall, he followe d The Hincloo;=quite a littl ce, tumed a sharp angle of th nent as a e au As Bob reached thi s, he 1 Some kind of a garden b7;nd111g ca -,e up to the n ai l-studded top of the wall. Alon g its centre r a n an ornamental non cap. The Hindoo arranged the coiled cord he had 1mw o nncl from his waist, and made a superb throw aloft. The loope d end caught across one of the centre points of the roof omament. Nimble as a monkey, he went up tli cord, r eached the roof apex, and elisa peared beyond it. ,. J'-'ll,. "Great action!" pro: "What am l to do-follow?" to run fle_-:tecl a minute or two. Then e Bin from h is pocket a pair of tN.e b e r so l es, attached the m to his shoes, but toned his coat tight, and gliding up to the end of the cord dangling clown the w a ll f elt of it. About t o seize it and begin an ascent, Bol1 realized that he had retained in his palm the two pieces of card M ajor had thrown away. "I'm sort of curious to know what line that fellow is in, n soliloquized Bob. it wn11lil hP ::1 valuah! e nnintP 1" I .,. I

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 19 is lighted mask lantern upo11 the frag llents of pasteboard. "Well, here's a puzzler,' muttered Bob emphatically, as he read the chroni tle they bore: "Willi::nn 1\1ajor, Rai!Jlllaker." CHAPTER VIII. DARK WORK. ./ "They're a queer iot !"murmured Bob, pocketing the torn card for future reference, as he noted an adr' ress on it. He voted the last accession to the ranks of the Hincloo conspiracy to be the strangest of the crowd so far in sight. "A rainmaker! I wouldn't wonder at snake charmers, contortionists, sword swallowers, lion tamers-that's the na tural trend of these fellows-but a rainmaker-what's his act going to be, any how?" An important one, of that Bob was assured. Bob was hungry for clevelopJJJents, and his zest for getting deeper into the dense, l.wvering mystery of i.he night uroed hnn promptly forward up the rope as the Hindoo had done, perhaps not quite so niJJJbly, still, Bob was a practiced climber, and he reached the apex of the roof without bungling. The other side led to a few feet from the ground by a gentle, gradnal descent. Bob took a sllrewd gla11ce all about be fore he ventured down. He made out the object of his shadow, just glicling past the corner of the great mansion, a hundred feet away, an10ng hnshes. have t]id to the ground, crossed to the SCint a_nd halted just past the spot o, H1ndoo had disappeared. has he gone to?" questioned Bob. ''Ah,Isee!" Bob (liscerned the man with his back to him, crouching close to the house. He was watching somebody or something out of Bob's range of vision. A row of bushes ran straight out from t11e house for over fifty feet at this point, forming an almost unbroken hedge. Bob linerl these. He had now a point of va11ta6e whe.nce he coulcl see the entire front and side of the honse. Way around at the front was a little summer arbor. I11side, on a table, stood a la11tern. Its rays showed two forms reclining iu hammocks. Just beyond Bob, seated in a n1stic arm chah, his feet tilted upon a garden urn, sat a man, and this man the Hindoo was watching. "I know who they are," reflected Bob -"the officers guarding the house. They all seem asleep. No, this one is only drowsy, but-that fixes him!" Bob started slightly. The Hiniloo had dropped flat. Bellying along like a snake, he got just behind the nodding watchman. Reaching under tl1e chair he wayed a silke11 scarf. It must have been previously imprenated with some subtle anaes for almost instantly the already drooping head of the watchman sank upon his breast in apparent profound stupor. The Hindoo ;nose erect, gave a keeu glance at the clista11t arbor, and then re turned to the house. He now seemed to think that he was out of range of any observers, for he moved more bol<:lly and quickly. There was only one light in the house clown stairs-in a wing, evidently the library. At its window the Hindoo halted. He peered in, tried the sash, seemed to find it locked or a bmglar alarm attached to the inside, for he did not try to spring the holding catch, probably an easy process for a fellow of his fertile resources "He's a good one," voted the keenly interested Bob. With one sweep of a jeweled ring on his finger the Hindoo cut a deep circle in the glass pane. was a gentle tapping, and Bob saw him remove tl1e piece. Bob wondered what he was after. Then, from looks and gestlnes, he guessed that the Hindoo was interested in some way in an oil portrait facing him from the opposite wall. "It's a picture of a boy," murmured Bob. "I can make that out. Why! it's probably one of the boys they're afteryoung Rolfe Spencer." The Hincloo groped in his silken belt. Then he seemed to be molding something with two fingers of his right hand in the pa)m of the other.

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20 NICK CARTER W EEKLY. This he rolled into a ball and set it be tween his teeth. Applying Ins month to the hole in the pane, he ejected an aspiration that Bob, even at the distance he w as could plainly catch. "!say B o b s t arted now. The man had shot something from his mouth that struck the picture, direct. There was the faintest snap, the dim mes t flare in the w o rld. The fac e of the portrait seemed to writhe-little streaks of phosphorescent luminosity r a n acros s it, and it shriveled up like a piece of scorched pape r. 'Spoil the phiz !'-I uncl erstard now,, gulped the en g ros se d and s t artle d Bob. "That Hindoo i s prepa red f o r any thing The se f e llow s h a ve probably l earned that the portrait is the only one of Rolfe Spe ncer, and w ant to d estroy it so no photog r aphs will be scattered o ver the country to block them when they g e t the boy away. Shrewd workers-I think!, Bob was sure that he had guessed cor rectly the solution of the first section of the man Major's expressive programme -"Spoil the phiz !'1 The Hindoo, at all events, seemed through with the initial stage of his night's work. He drew away from the window, glared over toward the two recumbent forms in the hammocks as if he would like to drug them, too, and then running an imagi nary line from the post of in s p ection across the house, and evidently consider ing that they were so placed as to be all right for his plans, he lined back the building-till he came to a corner where a w ater spout ran up. Witl1out an instant's hesitation, as if he thoroughly knew his ground, and un derstood his own powers complete ly, the nimble gymnast seized this and went up it c1ear to the roof like a cat. "I can't do that!" decided Bob, in di s may. It did, indeed, look a difficult task, but even as Bob studied the pipe, the angle where it ran, down came uncoiling a light ladder. Why dropped, why left in place, Bob could not comprehend just then, but he gues sed that it, like the cord hanging from the garden house roof, had b ee n put in place to facilltate escape if forc e d in a hurry, or to leave an easy course for "Willia m Major, Rainmaker,,, to purs u e if it was intended that he should later come immediately upon the scene Bob glance d up the dangling ladd e r and regarded it admiringly. Light as paper, it w a s most e xquisite ly constructed. Fine, s oft silke n strands wound r ound tiny links of the stronges t steel. Weighing not more than sixty ounce s the ladd e r was probably capable of sus taining a full ton press ure. Bob look e d up and h esitated. "It's trus t to luck,-" he d e ci de d finally. "Tha t f ellow's no idl e r. He i s n t s itting on the r o of whistling t o the bird s o r l o ok ing at the stars No, h e's a t his work, wh a tev e r it nex t is, and proba bly too busy to notice me, if I g e t al oft when he 't looking.'' Bob weut up the silken l a dder. Eyes level with the roof, he took a cautious squint. ..r "Why, where is he?" There was a fiat roof before Bob, brok en only by chimneys and a skylight i n the centre, and he could scan it pretty thoroughly. Nowhere across the surface of the roof, however, was the Hindoo visible. A veri table steeple-jack, had he come up here simply for amusement, and gone down on the other sid-e? "Hardly; he's too much business for that, and he's working hard and quick," ruminated Bob. "The skylight's open. I declare! if the daring fellow hasn't got into the house!, So c onvinced was Bob that'the W h had disdained burglar-alarm-guarded windows and double-bolted portals, pass ing them over to gain an entrance n e ver suspected by the inmates of the h o u se, that he ventured to crawl out upon the roof. He approached the open skylight tim orously. Conjecture was made certainty as he gained its side. A light hinge-jointed rod held it open about tv,o feet, and tied to the chimney near by and running down over the edge of the skylight frame was another of those ubiq s een: Be to tl : roon li gh1 F1 d i Ill tra t e Tl of tb the 1 d oo H prey p e n t f r a m sa s h. B< stoc1 '" he c< w "I d ecla watc hons with hat m en, m o t i w e d 1 pt:r B e p ee n Tl A eli w a ll w i nd He abou It bl e SO tnt Tl

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g l t n > r r.r ly :1s s t s, s i V n for I led ss se, .he 11-ty en ey ge se NICK CARTER WEERLY. 21 ub iquit011s c o r ds with which the Hindoo seemed illimitably provi d e d. Bob peered down. The s haft ran c lear to the l owe r floor. Windows of vari o u s rooms fron t ed into it for v entilation a nd li ght. From one about fift ee n f ee t down the dim light of a turned down lamp pene tra t e d the s h aft. There, halted by a dexterous knee-loop of the cord a n d a solid purchase against the back wall of the shaft, was the Hin d oo He resembl ed some hoverin g bird o f prey-a veritabl e vampire, as his ser pentine fing e rs roved o ve r a window frame, and Bob sa w him softl y lift the sash. CHAPTER IX. QUEER. PROCEEDINGS. Bob c a ll ed a h alt on himself, and took stock on environm ent and prospect s ''What is the Hindoo up to, anyway?" h e cogitated. Was this ''the air r oute that left no >The n where d i d the rainmake r ? come Ir! ((I could nab the outfit in a jiffy," declared Bob ((There's Buff, a host in a tussle the watchmen b e low, the p eop le in the h ouse Flop! with the skylight, clip! with the rope, a nd one matt's caged, but what good would that do? We catch the 111en but we know no more about the motive underl y in g all tl! ei r schemes tha n w e did before No, l'm n o t rloi11g police work-cutting ou t c lu es with an axI'lll trying the fines t strain of d etective science, to gain a cred itabl e showin g as Nick Carter calls it. I'd bette r let things l'--y1p'E'l'Ia '6i t lon ger." Bob crouched by the skyli ght, and peered clown like a cat w atching f o r a m o u se to come o ut. Then he craned hi s n ec k interestedly. A dim s hadowp l ay began on the white wa ll of the li ght s h a ft just opposite the window opening into it. / He could trace a sinuous form moving about in a furtive, gliding way. It see med to b e flauntin g tha t inevita bl e silke n scarf again, hovering over same o hject. The r e w a s the sound of drawers cantiously ope n ed. Then a h ea d c ame out into th e shaft, that of the Hindoo "He's collling up again,'' decided Bob. What should he do? where should he hide? Bob se l ected a chimney on the far s i de of the house, ran to it, and crouched b e h ind it. The Hindoo came quickly. What he had accompl i shed below Bob could o nl y g u ess-presumably h e h ad drugged the occupan t of the room he had entered. Bob watched him curiously and nar rowl y The fellow was in vivid action a gam. H e seemed never to pause in a carefuJl y marked out c ourse ; h e w orked like a pi ece o f we11-reg ul a t ed eve r y movement time d and prompted by some intrica t e but shrewdly devi sed system. ''.What's he a t now?" muttered the peering Bob. The man was adjusting t o two l engths of cord a three f oo t square pi ece o f stout clo t h, which he had brought out folded in s m a ll compass fr om some hidden His t as k comple t ed he had a ham m ock-like contrivance that would readily r est around one person's s h oulde rs, while sustaining another at the bacl(. This h e thre w to the roof Then h e drew a long flut e-like tube from his b e lt. H e applied thts to hi s lips Next h e produced a r ee l of the finest s t r in g Yard after yard be unwound at his feet, till h e r eac hed a nubb in at its end This h e inse rted it: the pipe, move d about til] h e f ac ed the p oint whe re he had left the m a n M a jor, and gave a quick, sharp puff. 13ob could n o t see what h e h ad d o n e f o r the finene ss of the string, but h e g u essed that the Hindoo had l aid a min ute c a ble from the roo of the Spencer mansion t o the point in the brush outside where the rainmaker lingered. The Hindoo h eld o n e end of the string, it see m e d, like a with hi s finger on a sympathetic n e r v e His sensitive form vibrated as there appeared to come a j erk. He w aite d again. The n he began to pull in. S lowly, steadily there came into view a s t outer cord, the n a thin rope, and the n two glittering wires of l arges t piano size. Whe n thes e r eached the Hindoo's

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22 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. hands he separated them, wound one ruund and round the nearest chimney several times, knotted it, gave a signal .pull on the other wire, and both instantly stretched out taut. "That man, Major, at the other end," cogitated Bob. ''He's tied it to some tree. What for? ls he coming up here aloft that way? Is that the mysterious 'air route?' A silent telegraphic code of pulls and jerks appeared to guide the Hindoo now. Hi8 whole attitude was that of a person paying strict attention to signals from a distance. He finally began pulling in the loose wire in his hand. Bob fixed his eyes down the strange slanting cable. Along it came a clark, bulky object. lt crossed above the garden wall, above the garden, straight up to tl1e Hindoo. Tent canvas or rubber covering of some kind it certainly was, hut so tied that Bob could only make out a bundled up mass. Bob now saw that it had been hooked to a loose ring along the fixed wire. The loose wire the Hindoo pulled in on was to one side of this ring, and a wire operated from beyond was fastened to its qther side, so that the man in the brush aecl the man on the roof could pull to and fro. Back went the moving wire. In ten minutes a second load came over, in twenty a third load. Bob began to stare. "This beats me!" he ejactdated, per plexedly. It looked as if the Hindoo and his dis tant accomplice were massing on the roof of the Spencer residence the para phernalia of some circus troupe. A great basket-shaped affair, swathed in cheese-cloth, was landed next; then a couple of fibre ware tubs, strapped to get her. Bob rubbed his eyes. His brief detec tive career had involved some pretty strong situations, but nothing, he de cided, approximating the present one in no,elty and mystification. "I can't guess what they're up to_.:_I can't think out the slightest excuse for all this business," he confessed, blankly. "Ah! there's the end of the air ship ments, I reckon." A big can came swinging to the Hin cloo's hand, and, unhooking this, he dropped the wire and stood back against the chimney like a statue, arms folded, in a pose of dumb patience. Perhaps half an honr went by. The Hindoo pricked up his ears suddenly, ad vanced to the edge of the roof where the silk ladder ran uown, and glanced 0\er Into view a minute later came the great blustering face of the rainmaker. He puffed like a porpoise, and he looked out of sorts, apparel disordered and shakeu up generally. "Better provide wings, next time!" he muttered gruffly. "Not so loud, I pray you!" remon strated tl1e Hiudoo. "Well, I'm a skimmer by profession, visited cc now's lll' Bob ac from the skylight. He wa his head cloo's cau Bob S\' he had He got culty anc "A ne strange c he gazed room. but l'm to heavy to scale all kinds of im A turn possible roofs. Got the plunder safe?" m one c "It is all here," replied the Hindoo. Its ray ''Very good You've done your share.'' the cent "All but the--" shadow, "Exactly, the goods?" thither h "Your hnrden is ready, when needed." ing ther "And no trouble?" demanded l""ri.,.,....,.... ...... ,._ "No more than a lump of clay." quized. "That's the way I like it! Oh, by the The way-I dropped a can of chemicals from the ladder. Will you go down afte r j t ?" "Willingly." Over the edge of the roof the Hindoo dropped. The rainmaker turned his hack to Bob as he stood and watched the de scent and ascent of his confrere. Dob rustled. He was trying to do some pretty heavy and urgent thinking, but he gave it up. As to what these fellows were abqut, he couln not gain the remotest ink!.\ ..., What a "skimmer" was, why a rain maker was brought into service, were puzzlers that fairly racked his brain. One thing, however. Bob Ferret did know-every occnrrence of the night was a link in a chain leading straight to young Rolfe Spencer. The final end to which these two cou spirators were reaching, was the kidnap ing of the grandson and heir of the wealthy magnate. "Am I clue below-oughtn't I to know what tbe room that the Hindoo the origi the Hin At a sodden s ciead, h e2 ''Drud Bob. ,, laid out er, was Acros deep bro strange Nick Ca He ha the caus twice be A cop ex-railw ters, and familiar

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e r 0 k e-e Je t, nre icl ht to 11ph e to 00 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 23 visited contains?" inquired Bob. "If so, now's my chance." Bob acted on an impulse He glided from the chimney and reached the open skylight. He was over its edge just in time. As his head went clown the shaft, the Hin cloo's came up over the roof. Bob swung and slid to the window that he had seen the Hindoo enter. He got over its sill without any difficulty and dropped the cord "A new chapter in this strangest of all strange cases!" murmured Bob Ferret, as he gazed curious l y and keenly about the r oo m. CHAPTER X. A DARING RESOLVE. A turned-down lamp burned on a stand in one corner o f the apartment. Its rays were dim, a nd eve n the bed in the centre of the ro o m was in vague shadow, yet the ins t ant Bob glanced thither he guessed who the person sleep ing there might be. 11 \joy-Rolfe Spe nc er:" he soliloquized The slumberer had his f a ce partly buried in a pillow, but Bob kne w he was the original of the portrait destroyed by the Hindoo in the libra ry below. At a glanc e he saw that he was in a sodden sleep, and d e t ec ted its cause in a ciead, l1eavy taint in the oppressive air. "Drugged b y the Hindoo, decided Bob. "Wha t's A suit of clothes laid out to carry away with him? That shows they're going to take him, and that-ah !" Bob came to a dead h alt, studious and attentive. ---erie hand, the right hand of the sleeper, was ext ended from the co ver l et. Across its white, s h apely back was a deep bronze mark-a combination of two stra nge symbols "That's the mark Mr. Spencer told Nick C arter about," d eca re<'l Bob. He had see u the symbol that had b ee n the cause of all the present complications twice before. A cop y of it h ad b ee n brought by the ex-railway president t o Nick's hea<'lquar ters, and all the detective's pupils were familiar with it. The second time Bob l1a d see n it was barely three hours before On the train from the city with Buff, he had taken occasion to open the pack age he had fo1md l1anging in the ward robe in the room formerly occupied by Djalma, the Hindoo. It contained two articles-a long strip of \'elyet CQ\'ered with gems worked i 11 to various mystic symbols, and an ivory device resembling a watch charm. Chancing to press this on a piece of paper, Bob had ascertained that the e n d was a ctHYeC stamp with an invisible suppl y of ink or stain. In fact, the contrivance wa s the bra nd with which the present symbol on tl1e han<'! of the sleeping boy had been,im printecl. Bob stood re garding the sleeper with mingled emotions. H e rather liked the expression of what of his f ace l1e saw, and his hel p lessn ess appeal ed powerfully to every instinct of both huma11e and professional sympathy. "They're going to kidnap him, that is c ertain," c a l culated Bob "Now then, what shall I do? I can carry him into some other r oo m, and they would find a n empty n est wh e n they came. I c ould n ab them red-handed what then? The men ace is not removed Djalma bnastecl that many are in this plot, that others will spring up as some drop out. The sa m e efforts to get the boy will be conti11uecl. No, to call a h alt now, even with the agent, his servant, the Hindoo on the roof, the rainmaker, all cornered, would scarcely satisfy me. Djalma has shown h ow one of these fanatics can keep his lips sealed. As to ::.V1ajor, he would undoubtedly fall back on the declaration tha t h e was simply hired to take the boy away, that he knows nothing of the r ea l motives underl y in g the crime." Bob fig ured 11p the case in all its bearIngs The essential point was to probe the motive tha t l ed t o his extraordinary determination to abduct Rolfe Spe ncer. ((I can't make it out, an<'! there's only one way to make it out!" he declared. Another spe ll of thinking-Bob's earnest fa ce working actively the meautime. !'And tha t way-1'11 do it!" When Bob Ferret made up his mind tc-

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on 2! NICK CARTER WEEKLY. lil do a thing, it meant action, prompt and positiYe. He had made up his mind t o something daring, so r as h that even Nick Carter, with a ll his superb disreg
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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 26 Bob, place nded ns of from odily have some could t lurk s once-a medium for carrying him aloft like a papoose. The Hincloo took in the marked hand with an advancing glance. Then Bob was lifted. A blanket was wrapped nbout him, and he was deftly swung across the cloth canying contrivance. He held his breath as the Hindoo got up on the window sill, }Je counted the seconds till the roof was reached, for so frail was his balance, so terrifying the numerous jerks and jolts of the climber as 11e struggled up the cord, that a crash to the bottom of the light shaft seemed imminent at every moment. Panting with his extraordinary exertion, as he got over the edge of the light shaft, the Hindoo rolled Bob up in the blanket and laid him flat on the roof. ''All is ready?'' Bob heard him ask. A flapping, fluttering sound struck Bob's hearing, and then the echo as of metal catcl1es snapped, as of the jangling and straining of some mechanism. ''Yes," responded the rainmaker. Bob dared not move. The Hindoo stood directly beside him. ,____.. __ a 1pummy, Bob could not te s and e Bob r l e d to secure 1is plan t o him rer ancl see out a particle-could barely hear audibly, except by straining his senses to their utmost. "Got his clothes?" ''I forgot. '' There was a few moment's respite, but only that brief, for the Hindoo was clown the shaft and up it in a twinkling. them in," continued Major's VOlCe. Into what? Bob would have given a dollar one single peep. "Now the boy." Bob was lifted. Sift, but He rested in something that swayed. sensation was an ominous one-but ragging B o b was not frightened, only Then "Got your knife ready?" demanded the rainmaker, and Bob felt him wedge into lged to :Jdow of 8:indoo, tel for a ing the Bob had for at the same receptacle in which he now lay . ''Yes,'' came the Hindoo 's voice. "One word-you will not fail?" "To deliver the boy?" "As you promised." "That's what I'm running all this risk and discomfort for, isn't it?" "My brothers are in waiting." "I will gladden their eyes soon. Now then, 5he's straining. All ready?" ''Yes.'' "Cut loose!" Bob could stand the curiosity, the sus pense, no longer. The mystery, the uncertainty of the moment drove him fairly frantic. He boldly moved Hside the blanket. At that instant he was carried upward with a suddeu jerk. Then a strange buoyant sensation he had n.ever experienced before pervaded every nerve. He poked out his head. Of its own volition it popped back, under the influence of the start, the shock of Bob .Ferret's life. "Why!" gasperl the electrified Bob, nwe're in a balloon!" CHAPTER XI. THE CRITICAL MOMENT. Bob Ferret was "up in a balloon!" The unexpected discovery, the ominous unreality of a kind of progress new to him so completely unnerved the young detective that he lay still enough now, in a 1l reason Bob felt if every energy was paralvzed. The terrifica1ly umque methods of the Hindoo conspirators had nothing approximate in the whole realm of detective lore that he had ever beard of or read about. Then Bob suddenly remembered that sterling axiom of Nick Carter's-"Never get rattled till you're hurt !"-and tried to trace his present peculiar position to natural cause s. He slowly drew his head out of the blanket again. He lay in the bottom of the basket contrivance he had seen bnded on the roof he had just left. Beside him was the rainmaker, turning a clf'vice that looked like the handle of a rudder. At one side four light paddles were whirling in tlJe wind, and overhead were the two tubs, on top of which sat some kind of a litlle tin lamp, well shaded, and evidently converting the chemical contents of the tubs into gas which supplied the narrow but high and bulging

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26 NICK CAHTER WEEKLY. bag overhead, and to which al l this equip m ent was attached by ropes. "Rainmaker!" breathed Bob, in an enlightened way. "I can see now why he' was called in." This was the boasted "air route"-and it indeed left no trail! Unwilling to risk an abduction through the ordinary exits of a house well guarded, the Hindoos had gone to this past grand-master in ballooning science -probably some former circus aeronaut. Bob had once witnessed the performance of one of these men with their rainmaking balloons down at Coney Island -haQ. seen the dexterity with which the exploding globes shot the clouds, the ease with which ordinary balloon ascensions were accomplished. For a brief rise and a short run on a windless night, the small air bags used by this craft were just of that handy kind which could oe at any place with a very brief preparation. At all events here was the situation, and less alarmingly Bob now accepted it as quite a novel and pleasing episode, as he saw Major standing at the m echanism as unconcerned as an engineer rnnning a slow freight engine. Bob got quieted down and braced up very promptly. There was .really no cause for alarm, he saw that. "I started to go where this fellow thinks he is taking Rolfe Spence1," soliloquized Bob "so what matter the ronte that brings me there?" Bob lay perfectly still. He wonder("d what the real Rolfe Spencer wou l d tllink when he awoke, what would come to poor, waiting Buff He knew enough of the pertinacious character of the newsboy to believe he wuulcl stick at his post through thick and thiu. "'When morning comes he'll go back to the city, though-that's sure," calcu lated Rob. "He'll tell Mr. Carter. Nick will send Jack or Aleck to hunt me up, there will be explanations at the Spencer mansion, the boys will figure out '"hat's happened, and--" Bob paused there, come to a dead stop of the most pronou nced kind. On the track of a deep mystery, he was plunging personally into its denses t phase, and the future was completely obscured. For two mortal hours Bob lay in the position in which he had been placed. Finally Major moved about the limited space of the basket more generally. He took to looking over its edge; by touching some mechanism he slackeued the speed of the balloon Bub could guess they were descending. There were a good many jerks and jolts, quite a bang that rattled his teeth, a bounding slam or two, a sharp hiss, and Major leaped out the bag aboye the basket began to sway to and fro, and set tle down slowly as the gas ran ont, covering Bob completely. If he was m inded to escape Bob felt that here was his opportunity, but h e let the chance slip by. He feigned his former inertness as the bag w3s dragged aside Through his partl y cl osed eyelids h e made out that fonr men had seized him quite gently. They lifted him ottt of the and were bearing him toward the open door of what looked like a deserted mill on the edge of a little stream. Bob was carried clown some stone steps, into a room with a lantern swingi ng from a bare rafter, and placed on the skin of some animal spread upon the floor. His four carriers squatted bow legged in a circle about him. I ot a word was spoken. Bob's nerves were more tried by the grim, unwavering cynosure of those eight keen, gleaming eyes than by any ordeal he h ad yet passed through. He decided to precipitate a c limax. He had come here to find out something, and he was in a boyis h hnrry to do so Bob ope11ed his eyes, sat up, rubbed them, stared at his four grim watchers u affected astonishment and alarm, and started to his feet. At this the qttartette arose also. Otte of them had brought in the bundle of Rolfe Spencer's clothing. He tendered it to Bob with some gutteral ejacu lations, ::.nd Bob too k it. The minute he was dressed two of the Hindoos took each an arm, and, the otlters leading the way Bob W8S nsltered into another room c a b h t 1 y g : : 1 J gr Cl: w ar su gt VI de JU tr< af to er li: ly fa sc

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 27 ob-the ted by ned ng. olts, 1, a and the setfelt let the tm He gave a start of real interest as he crossed its threshold. Another Hindoo sat on a stool. At his feet played a small leopard. It snarled and bristled at the entrance of a stra.1ger, but a word from the m a n caused it to slink behind a roll of matting across which rested a wicker screen. Just beyond the man I3ob observed a hole. It looked like a grave, and his senses crept a trifle as he saw that it was deep and freshly dug. The man arose from the stool. Then all five of them eagerly scanned the symbols impressed on the back of Bob's right hand. The man they had intruded upon was, to Bob's way of thinking, a kind of a leader of the crowd. "I am the only one here who speaks your tongue," he said "My friend, a glorious career a\'\
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28 NICK CARTER WEEKLY o r rathe r on top of the thick f old afte r fold of matting that encased him. It began to move about all over him and then to began to sera tch -se r a tchscratch again. "The leopard!" Bob guessed it with a thrill-guesse d as w ell all about his environm ent. Over it the w icker grating had been placed as a g nard. The leopard he had se e n in the .room above, hiding or lurking, had scente d a victim of prey and, beyond its master's present contro l, in trying to pus h a side the screen had broken through it, and was now pawing Bob over, trying to get a t him. The scratching efforts of the animal now partook more of a tearing, rending character. Bob coulcl hear its claws t ea r loose the thin w< aves. He could imagine these cnt through, separated like wrapping after wrapping of paper around a parcel. ''I've got to brace up or I' 111 lost,'' re flected Bob. '' 1 never was so weak, dizzy-headed, knocked out in my life, but here's its crowning struggle, if I don't 111 istake. Nearer dug the leopard, g r ea t e r grew the pressure on Bob, but looser b ecame the m as s of coverings. With a rip of its active paws the leopard tore along the final laps of Jllat ting with snch force and velocity that Bob felt one of the animals claws catch into his clothing as well. The covering fell away from him. Bob drew up his arms They were so cramped tha t they scarce ly had any f eeling in them. A s he moved, the lithe Jeopard sprang back. \i\lith a tre mendous effort Bob struggled to his f ee t, kicking free the 111ass o f dis ordererl matting H e n e rved l1imself for a clutch a t the top of the hole. It reqnired a sprin g He lllad e it, got aloft and started for the d o o r of the p lace. Instantly h e went flat. The leopard, foll owing him out of tl1e hole, had landed on his shoulders. As Bo b went clow n the animal slid b e yond him, one paw t earing across Bob's scalp like a buzz saw. Bob reached out for the stool jus t a t hand. Bob got to his feet, staggering. Whack! Down the stool came, squarely meet ing the l eopard's hard skull. "I've stunned it," commented Bob, and put for the door. It was broad daylight-:-about n oon Bob g u essed as he came outside the pl a c e Jle starte d ahead blindly, f o r his eyes w e r e yet dazed. and h e went none too steadily, for his feet were half-asleep. There was a s li ght rise in front of the mill. and up it Bob ran. Gaining its edge, he saw that it looked squarely down twenty -five feet to a roadwa y. "After me!" Bob looke d back, for a commotion had suddenly sounded out. Coming through the c'loor over the threshold he had just passe d was the f e w in found borrov was sr: city. The Bob r h o m e key, a the de en gag( J::.tck B "He Nicl Bob' auce t c lay bel import "I'v R o lfe with d< "Oh leopard. 1 1 Running towarc 11111 from the rear of the house were two Hindo o s. tion w a B 1 l 1 f 1 He thinQs o) startect up at 11s ul speed. had no weapon, h e saw that in a r ace he think \1 h ome w o uld be overtaken within thirty s e conds. Rounding some hig h bnshes;-:>:v--fl too' hi: a dart for the e(]ge o f the rise, det ermined his life t p jump to the road b e low. R kl 1 1 t fi Bob's to him-ec ess y eav1ng erra-nna, "Yot eyes expanded "Luck!" he breathe d, ardently. i An immense loa d of hay was just pass ing below. In front sat the drive r, n od cling. Plnmp into the middle of the soft y ielcliug mass Bob l ande d, sank clear out of view and snuggl ed the r e. He f a n c ied h e h ea rd chall e n ging shout s from the Hindoos, h e imagined the d ri\' e r checked the vehicle f o r a n instant, but as i t proceeded forward at its o l d j og1 Bob made no effort t o peer frolll n1s covert, content to feel safe l y hidden He rest ed, for h e needed res t and he mnst ha\'e n o(lded, f o r l1e arouse d with a start
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N ICK CARTER WEEKLY. 2\1' ; t a t f e w in q u i r ies a n inves tigatio n o f a purse g. f ound in a pocket o f R olfe S pe n ce r's b orrowe d cloth e s a brie f wait a nd Bo b 1 eet-was spring in g o n a train f o r New York c i t y Bob, 'l'he cloc k s were s tri k in g se v e n w h e n Bob r a n up the s t e ps o f N i c k Cart e r s 1o o n ho m e l e t hi mse lf in with a l atch the k e y, and eagerl y cros se d the porta l s o f the detective's li b r a r y t o find his patro n e yes e n gaged in earnes t c o nv e rsatio n with : t o o }::1ck Burto n a n d A l ec k Whi t e ) f t h e g a r e l y H ello!" gas p e d the l atte r. N ick s c a nned hi s p r o tege k eenly Bob's stra nge attire anr1 general a p pear a n ce t o ld the shrew d vet e r a n tha t a s t ory l a y b ehind the m of more tha n ordinary import. J had "We ll, B ob?" h e insinuate d simp ly. I've run down the motive in the the R o lf e Spence r m ystery," announce d Bob 5 the with d e finit e n ess "Oh, indeed?" murmured Nick. ea r o f Y e s I made a bold bid f o r i nfonnati o u w ante d, Mr. Carter. I've some l arge He things t o t ell y o u a11 d to t e ll him, a nd I ce he thi n k w e h a d bette r get to the Spe nc e r 1 h o m e and Jet the e x ra il wa y pres i dent :on e s k 1...-.. d v I J.l.U'>V miltt ers stan -" o u see : d o o k h is grandson's pl a c e p r o b a bl y saved m J n e 1 l'f b d d 1 11s 1 e y o m g so an w ant to exp a m t 1 B b' o ttm--0 s Yo u won' t b e abl e t o expl a in to him, B o b interrupte d the d e t ective Eh! Why n ot?" t p ass-1 B e ca u se R o lf e Spence r h as m ys t eri-. noc o u s l y d 1 s a ppe a reel e s oft :a r out CHAPT E R XIII. TRACKED. s h outs "Mr. W i l li a m Ma j o r. d river "Not in, sir." nt, b u t B o b F erre t asked the q u es ti on-Bob c1 jog., h e tire l ess the invinc ibl e HlJ o nl y three h ours afte r his re turn 11 t o r eport t o N i c k Carter t h e m o s t ev e n t a n d h e !ul expl oit in h is d e t ective ca r ee r, a n d ye t with a B o b was on ce m o r e on ac ti v e duty. stan d -Tha t v ery m orning the ex-railroa d p r esident had come t earing up to Nick's ay Bob n om e a carri age over t l1e )n the n ys t e n o u s c llsapp e a ra n ce o f h1s g r a n d s on :ountry B o b aske d ? few r ap i d B o b earne d that ln s aba ndon e d suit o f c l othes 1a d e inad disappeare d with R o lf e Spen cer, se t b y A ed on a theory, a n d a nn o un ce d to N ick tha t h e w a s go m g t o find out wha t h a d b eco m e o f t he m ag n a t e s g r a n dso n. He as k ed abo u t B uff. N o t a word h ad b ee n r e cei v ed from Bo b s n e w s boy a ll y h o w eve r, a n d t h i s mystifie d Bo b m os t o f a ll. B ob w ent straight fr o m N i c k C arte r 's h o u se t o tha t o f the r ainmaker. H e r e m e m bered the address g i ve n o n the t o rn card. Whe n h e r eacl1e d it, h e f ound it t o be a third -r a t e b o ar d in g h o u se An inquiry bro u ght out the info rm a tio n th a t M a j o r was not at home. B o b put h e r thro u g h a rapi d co ur se o f qu e stions. Had Maj o r be e n h o me tha t clay ? Y e s, early in the morning. And w ent aw ay? Before d aylight. Al o n e ? The g irl he sitated, but finally a nsw e r e d "yes." On f oot? The girl got flustered, and finally s aid "no." B o b r e ad something under the surface. He came up closer to the girl. "Young lady," he s p oke in his mos t winning tones, and the p olitic courtes y c a u ght the girl a ll a -flutt e r, y ou are hiding something from m e, N o w this i s dea d wro n g M ajor i s in trouble, seri o u s trou h le I don't U) ind t elling y ou that. If y o u conce a l fa c ts y o u '11 share his trouble and if you let the m out n o w, to m e while its some u s e, y o u '11 have the p ri c e of a n e w go wn a s s oon as I run a c r oss him.'' The girl h esitate d r eflecte d. Then she blurte d out: H e di dn't go away al o n e, then, a nd h e w ent in a c a rri age." "Ah !" mutte r ed Bob wh o wa s with h im?" A bo y. A bout yo u r s i z e a n d say!" e x c laimed the g i r l with a start, "the boy had jus t s u c h a birth m ark o n his h a n d a s yo u've got." "Did, eh ? int e rrogated Bob, w i t h bri ghte ni n g face "Yes 'Th e b oy c a m e h e r e just a s I go t up t his morning and ju s t a ft e r Major h a d come in. H e h a d a card o f M r Ma j o r s t o rn in two H e as k e d me if h e c o u ld s e e that man. I se n t him u p t o Ma jor' s room. Soo n J\1ajo r co m es ou t, exci teil -li k e and s e n d s m e for a cab S oo n it comes up, and h e w as half-lead i n g half-carrying t h e b oy t o it, a nd d rove off.'' ''

PAGE 31

I 20 NICK WE KLY. "Where?" demanded Bob, sharply. ''How do I know? But maybe to his place down on Staten Island.'' "\Vhat place?" "Whete he has b ee n making his ex p.::riments in rain-making." "Got the trail, first innings!" Bob only needed the stimulation of a promising clue to revive all !lis vim and a rcl or. He le.ft the rain-maker's lodgings en-tirely e11lightened. -"Clear as daylight," declared Bob. "It's find Major and I've cornered the last point. I see how it is-Rolfe Spencer woke up in a maze and got to investigating. He found his own clothes gone, ano mine in their place. He saw the open window, the skylight, the ropes. He looked to me just plucky enough to be tired of being a lay figme surrounded with watchmen and mvsten, ami decided to take a hand in himself. What did he do? Put on my clothes, foliowed the mystifying cord to the roof, the l ad der to the ground, and wire to the brush. It all puzzles. him, ancl he goes farther. All be finds in my pocket to guide him is the plan of the grounds ano card. He cotttes to the rain-maker for explanation. i\1ajor clrngs him and spirits him awa\', and-it's a quick run before he him bevond reach!" Bob had got very clear directions as to the location of the rain-maker's quarters on Staten Island. It was long after .midnight when he reached tlte place-a low shed, isolated, uear an inlet. 1t had a half basement, probably Major's work-room, and one large apart ment only on its main floor-littered np with kegs, boxes, jars of chemicals, rocket sticks, and all the paraphernalia likely to accrue to a man in Niajor's line. I3ob crept np cautiously and peered in. No one was in view. Then observing pen, ink and a halfwritten sheet on the table, and taking a risk h e had no business to venture, Bob stole across the floor. "Hello!" he ejaculated, and became instantly interested in an uncompleted scraw1. It was addressed to the railroad magnate, Edward Spencer. "Your grandson will be a thousand rom a c miles away when you get this," ran the es, such first sentence. ucl -explc "It. will take one bnudred thousand e inser clollar5"in cold cash, paid within ten clays the haHc to get him back. If not paid, and any 'Hold 0 1 row made--" euclecl the second sen-'he man tence. ons-1ook ,[Ah! I muttered Bob. "MaJor 'You k1 "If found out that he took the wrong Rolfe Spencer to the Hindoos, and with the wd, gooc right one chopped into his power, he is rk ever a aoina to leave the Hindoos to their OWll what t h h t devices and hold the magnate's grandson .' 0 gue. for ransom. I wonder how he theorizes an out my part in it--" ... _11 t < Slam I'' be 'B 1 I Across tl1e table, dashed flat by a a 1 f powerfnl hand, went Bob. en.ty1 g Click! l h 1t. In Over his wrists snapped a pair of hand cuffs. Around his feet went a doze 1 strands of wire. He lifted, throw upon a heap of stuff resembling a col lapsed ballobn, and, staring up amazed was confronted by the rain-maker. Major was glaring clown at him, an Bob saw that the branded right hand be l 1 '' 11s glance. "How did yon get here?" the rain-maker, his brow set cious scowl. "Yon think you have seen me before?' remarked Eob. know it. Don't attempt to band words with me. Time is worth gold do l Jars I know from that mark, from th clothes yon wear, that you are the bo 'vhom I took from a certain place i1i balloon early yesterday morning. I g min word two hours since that escaped. sa\', who are you-what are yon me dling in this affair for?" "You guess it!" "Yes, I will gness it!" : ,frotu "'J becoming fearfnlly enrageu-' J ,JtJ a ot al -IIJ helping out the detective the Spence the employed." , 1\lavbe." "N Carter? I am right. I can see heart by yonr face . Well warned!" fme flare c The man moved away. ard the bu A great barrel stood at one side of tl ob shrivel room. He approacl1ed it. I say!" Picking up a tool from a bench 1 stead of pried out its bung. e a cheer}

PAGE 33

, 32 NICK CARTEH WEEKLY. "Rush right on him, n ordered Bob. The Hincloo looked up interested o "Better way "Yo it arc not?" he a:,kecl. Crack! ''CertainlY not. It was mv unc;e wi Through the air a formidable proje cname d ark. I am the of l' oLe tile, aimed true as a trivet, the h:mnue r Spencer.'' went flying from Buff's hand. "It is simple,." announced u Champion qnoi..t thrower of the '' Djalma, yon. and your friends ha 'Steenth, you know)" he commented. been running clown the v.roug person.' The rain-maker. about to file, threw "Yes, my uncle aud his Inrlim1 w ttp both hands and snnk a lifeless lump and tb-e.ir sou are all d ead, years ao-o." to tl1e sand. The Hindoo 's face e xpressed <'Otn i Two hours later a cab deposite d a qneer tion, but it fell with clisapp<..ntment at lQad at the door of Nick Carter's head-chagrin. quartt:rs. "Is it possible?" he S ecurely t:ed, a groaning, ha:f-seusible '(Yon shall be entirely 1 F. burden of humatiity, l\lajor, the rainit," announced Rolfe SIJenr.tJ. maker, was lifted" p the steps. .. "Then, Bob, not only ktve. A little daze,d, bnt gradually recover-trated the mystery snrrounciing iug from the effects of the thug adminis-strauge tease,'' spoke N ic.l$: Carter, 1 tered to him, Spencer followed. you hqve oissipateJ the meunc.e tl.i t 11':) Nick Carter h retired, bnt a word overJ.be Spencer household ns \\'ehi" brong ht him do.wn stai'rs like a f. reman .; ,t<., -:lck Bttrton and Alec;k \Vh1te filled 111 l:o thank ]"nm -place t I 1 J. icture, a second later, aud Bob was command the wealth, the inflrt .. lr reac 1 -. ness. the Spencer family for.h1 noble di T!)t:: !e .:t t .... t,l t' eir behalf. to ...1 .. ,..n::t:Jathc ...,. "Yo 1ivc do 1'tluch nti11tl1aking, for a L,\ years to .cone, my man," re-"You have '..:!. ,, 1 mni e ,Ni.n a qnestion," inter-pupil of N1ck Carter's Detectiv jectecl Bob. "Your friends referred to this boy Rolf Spencer as the son of Mark [THE END. J Spencer of India." The next number of "It is true-his son, also the sou Weekly will contain of the princess---" "Look 'here!" interrn ptecl Rolfe Spen cei a start, "that's a mistake." Telephone," 'OX the ."' :

PAGE 34

Nick earter Weeki Thirty=two Pages Price, 5 Cents. IDnminated Cove THE BFST LIBRARY OF DETECTIVE STORIES. 111111111111111111111111 tick Numb ers always on hand. Price, postpaid, Fi v e cents each 111111111111111111111111 5-Trim Among the Bushmen; or, Searching for a Lost Gold Mine in Australia. &-Trim' s Double Header; ot, 8naring Human Game with Decoys. 7-Trim on the Safety Valve; or, Taking Long 0hances with Death 8---Trim's 'J'roublesome Tiger; or, How H is Pris oner Escaped the Gallows. 9-Trim in Cape Town; or, The Man with a Htrange L1mp. 10-Trim in the Diamond Fields of Kimberlv. 11-Trim in the Wiltls; or, Hunting a Cl'iminal on the Dark Contin ent. 12-Trim Changes Cars; or, Taking Big Chances tor a Quic k Capture 13-Trim in the Main Shaft; ot, Hunting Crimin als a Thousand Feet Under ground. 14---Trim th e Gram Chute; or A Surprise Party on Board the 1ii-Trim'R.H.ouuct-up in or, A L<)t1 ('ha. Ended in u H urrv \ 16---Tl'im's :-;tring of Olews; .t ll Tietl hy the 8ame Knot. 17-Trim in Cincinnati; or, Foll o wing a B o gus Case IS--Trim's Secret Mission; or, A Gteen Countryman in 'l'own 19-Trim's Cold Bath; or, Ttapping a Crintiual in the Boy. 20-'rrim's Chase after a :M.urderer; ot, Caugllt in the Air. 21-Trim m tile Cigar Store; or, A Lively Wooden Indian. 22-Trim iu Mexico; or, Breakisg up a Secret S o ciety. 23-Trim m the Crescent City; or, A Break in the Levee. 24-Trim's Run of Luck; or, A Case Con<:lude d Ahead of Tim e 25-Trim's C ombination Cas e ; or, Two Client s Afte r th e Harne Mnn. 26---Trirn on the Road ; or, A Leave of Absence that Turn e d out Gold 27-Trun in Kans a s City; or, 'l'he Deteetiv e s Ex p e rim ent in S e c oud Sig ht. 28--Nic k Carter at the Track; or, How He Bec.ame a Dead Game Sport 29-Trim in th e Dark, or, A Long Road that has no Turnin g. 30-Nick Carter's Railroad Case. 31-Trim's Machine; or, The Man \ Had Charge of the Otfice. 32-Nick Carter at the lron Pier; or, The B Found in the Boat. 33Ttim Tums Professor and reaches a Lesso a Queer PupiL 34-Nickl)arter's Wl1eel of Fortune. 35-Trim's ::)tock Exchan ge Case; or, The Ma Answered the Actvertisement. 36Ni<'k Carter in a 'right Place; or, a Haul ' Making 37-Nick Catter does his Best; or, a For the Ballace. 38---Trim Behind the Footlights; or, the H ld at the Casino. 39-In Nick Garter's Hands; or, A Fool uJb. :Money :-:loon Parted. Umter's Detective School; or, The Yo Heporter's First Case. Ua1ter at Headquarters; or, Work the Inspector's Scrap Book. 42-Nick Carter's Brightest l;'upil; or. The Uounterfeiting Case. 43-Nick Carter ArrestM by J\fistakf' ; Or/ Man on the Window Sill. 44-Nick Uatter's Magic Hand; or, The CrhP The Chin ese Highbinders. 45-Nick Carter's Promise; or, MiilionA nt :-; 46-The Gotd Wizard; or, Nick Cal'tCJ''A Protege Carter in th e Chinese Joint; 01, A gain in Crime. 48-Nick Cartm's Newsboy Friend; or, The G1 Sandoval ystery. Cnttet's Ilot Pursuit; or, On the T of an Escaped Com ict. 50Nick Uart e r s y, ungPst ll<'tective; or, W ing on J J s Own Case. 51-Nick Carter' s ::leeond Edition 52-Working m th e Da1k; or, A NoVice Lends a Ile lping Hand. 53-A Hidden Clue; or, Tne Mystery of Sack. 54-A Young Detective's Air Route; or, The G Hindoo Mystery. 55-Nick Cartpr's : Missing Detective; or, .A W ing by Telephone. 111111111111111111111111 STREET & SMITH, PUBLISHERS, N EW Y ORK. For Sa1e by all Ne"'\;v-sdea1ers.


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