Nick Carter strikes oil, or, Uncovering more than a murderer


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Nick Carter strikes oil, or, Uncovering more than a murderer

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Title:
Nick Carter strikes oil, or, Uncovering more than a murderer
Series Title:
Nick Carter weekly
Creator:
Carter, Nicholas
Place of Publication:
New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (33 p.) 25 cm.: ;

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Detective and mystery stories. ( lcsh )
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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030793432 ( ALEPH )
17908237 ( OCLC )
C36-00037 ( USFLDC DOI )
c36.37 ( USFLDC Handle )

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issued By Subscription $250 per year. f:."ntered as Second C"l<1ss .Jl cllte r at K e w York Post Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 William St. N. Y. No. 280. Price, Five Cents ..

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IuU1ul Wee"y. By Sscnptian l'J" per ye .. ,. .. Entered as Seco1ed Cltus Matter at t/le N. Y: Post Office, lJy STREET & SMITH, z38 William St. N. Y. Entered accordingto Act of Omzress in Ille yea,. IQCJZ, in tire Office of the LtiJra,.ian of Congress, Washing-Ion, .D. C. No. 280. NEW YORK, May 10, 190.l. Price Five Cents. STRIKl:S Oil: OR, Uncovering More Than a Murderero By the author of "NICHOLAS _CARTER." CHAPTER I. THE CLERGYMAN. "It ain't right! it's swindling and you can't make it anything else !" These words uttered in a loud, angry voice, were followed by a fierce oath. The man to whom they were addressed raised his hand, and there was a look of pain on his pale face. "I wish wouldn't swear," he said, gently. "Be calm, and tell me just what you mean." The first speaker looked ashamed of hiq1self, and probably would have answered in a quiet way if another man who was standing near had not put in: "Don't pay any attention to him, Mr. Judson. Let him rave. If he's such a fool that he can't make money, it's not your fault, and he has no business to complain to you." "But," said Mr. Judson, "he makes a serious charge--" The first speaker did not near this, for he was angry almost beyond his control, "mad clean through," as the saying is in that part of the coun try, Colorado, where the scene took place. He did not hear because he broke in violently: "I've been swindled, robbed, do you hear? and you're just as much to blame as if you'd been only one in the scheme. You wear the clothes of a preacher, but, by -! you're a wolf in sheep's clothing, and you deserve to be shot on the spot. If you want to keep that pious skin of yours whole, you'd better not come atound Hank Law's way." "But, Mr. Low, listen to me," the clergyman begged. "Not a word, you black-coated aevil When I

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2 NICK CARTER WE E KL Y t\li:ik of the way my wife and kids have been cheated by a sneak-thief of a minister, it puts murder in my heart, it does! I won't talk to you, for fear I'll .for git and take the law into my own hands. Geddap, Jenny." Tlte man's old mare responded to the command and a lash of the whip and jogged away, dragging the rickety old in >vhich sat the angry Hank Low alone. The clergyman turned, with a sigh, to hi s compamon. 'Tm afraicl ).!fr. Claymore," he said, "that all is not as it should be in this matter." "Pooh!" retnrne
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\ NICK CJ\RTER WEEKLY. 3 Supposing that it was all right, he had put in his money, and had been made the president of the company. His name was printed in large type on the letters sent out by Claymofe. These letters were sent to people in the far east \Yho had been members of Rev. Mr. Judson's church. They were sent. to other places where his name was known, and they told all about the wonderful discovery of oil. Friends of the clergyman were to be allowed to invest in the company if they wanted a sure thing. The letters did not state that money was needed for digging the wells or building a refinery. machinery for sinking the wells, and Mr. Judson was satisfied. They went out to the land, and there happened to meet Hank Low, as he was driving to the city with a small load of farm stuff for the market. By that time, of course, Low had lea1'ned just why his land had been bought. The farmer honestly believed that he had been swindled, because nobody had told him that the land he was selling w::ts very valuable. "They might have let me in on the deal," he bled. "The land was mine. spose it had been gold they found. Wouldn't it be swindling to make 1ne sell it dirt cheap just because I didn't know what Oh, no! Persons vvho received the letters were 'hvas worth?" given to understand that this was their chance to get rich quickly. And the Rev. Elijah Judson's name as president of the oil company was enough to make everybody sure that it was all right. For, 6f course, the clergyman would not go into any business that was not perfectly straight and sure. That was quite the case-at least, the clergyman thought it was. He meant well, and he really be lieved that the company was square, and that there would be great profits in the business. There were many answers to the letters, and money came in rapidly. Not many perso ns invested large amounts, but the sum total was considerable. All this operation of raising money for the work took several months. At last the clergyman went to Colorado to look over the plant and do his share of the work. He was surprised to find that there wasn't any plant. There was the land that had been bought; on it were a few small mounds of loose dirt to show where borings had been made; and in Denver there was an office of the company. ::\!' othing more. Claymore explained that it took time to get the His neighbors told him he mustn't expect any better treatment in a business deal. "But," he argued, "they sprung the preacher on me, made me believe there was to be a school there. Ain't that false pretenses? You bet, 'ti s! an' ef ever I git my hands on that preacher I'll make hirh suf fer!" He hadn't had his hands on the Rev. Elijah Judson, but he had made him suffe r just the same. "I hate to be called a swindler," sighed the clergy man, as he stood there with Claymore. "Mr. J udso," responded Claymore, ''business is business, and the man who gets left in a trade is al ways sore. That's all there is to it, and you mustnt think anything more about it." "\i\Tell," said Mr. Judson, "I'lJ try to think it's all right, but if I should find that any wrong has been done I shall insist on making things right with Low." There was a sneering expression on Claymore's. face, but he said nothing, and they returned to the city. Mr. Judson found new trouble there. He met one of his old church members on the street and shook hands with him. "I didn't know you were in this part of the coun try, Mr. Folsom," said the clergyman. "I suppose not," snapped Mr. Folsom, in reply,

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4 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. "and I presume you'dhave liked it better if I had stayed away." "Vvhy what do you mean?" "l came out here to look into the oil company I put my money in. That's what I mean." "Well--" "There isn't any well! There ought to be several, but there isn't one, and, what's more, there won't be any, and what's more yet, you know it." "\Vhv brother Folsom--". "Don't broth.er me! You've lent your name to a swindle, and you ought to be ashamed of yourself. I can stand my loss thank God! and it will teach me not to trnst a minister again, but there are others, widows and orphans, who have put their all into your infernal s.chemc, and they can't stand it. You've made them beggars just to fatten yourself." The clergyman grew ghastly pale as he listened, and even Claymore, who ''"as still with him, looked troubled. "This is dreadful!" gasped Mr. Judson. "I'd die if I believed it to be half-true!" "Then you'd better die," retorted Folsom. "That's all I've got to say. I've looked at that wonderful land the company bought, and there isn't enough oil in it to fill a lamp. Not a dollar that's been put into it will e ver be got out again. But you'll be fairly vvell off with the money you've got from the widows and orphans-if you don't get into jail for swindling." With this Mr. Folsom strode away. "Wbat does it mean?" asked Mr. Judson. "Sore head, that's all," responded Claymore. "He doesn't know what he's talking-about--" "But he seems to. Mr. Claymon1, if I find that there has been any dishonest work in this business I shall expose it all understand that. 1 shall die of the shame of it, but I will not commit suicide until I have seen that the really guilty parlies are punished." "Come, Mr. Judson, dont talk of suicide That's foolish. u sed to business that's all." 'It is not all-ah! there"s Mr. Low's wag0n in front of that store. I am going to speak to him." Claymore objected, but the minister was stubborn, and they went into the store. Low was there, and the clergyman asked him to call at the hotel to talk over matters. I want to know all the facts," said Mr. Judson. "\i\Tal," answered Low, slowly, "I've got some business to attend to, but ef ye're 111 at h;ili-past three I'll be thar." "I shall look for you at that hour." It was then about noon, and while they were at dinner Claymore tried to make the clergyman think that the business was all straight, but evidently he did not succeed. "I shall go to my room and think quietly till Low comes," said Mr. Judson \yhen they got up from the table, "and I repeat that if all does not seem to be honest and aboveboard I shall take measures to right the wrongs that haYe been (;one." ''Go ahead, then," grumbled Claymore. "I shall be at the office if you want any information." They parted, and did not meet again. Half-past three came, and, prompt to the minute, Hank Low drove to the hotel entrance anvent in Mr. Judson's room was on the fourth floor, the clerk told him and called a boy to show the visitor up. "'Never mind, said Low, "I've been here before, and I know the way." He therefore went up alone. Within five minutes he came clown the stairs again, an angry look upon hi s face. He said uothing to anybody, but hastened to his wagon, got in, sa id "Geddap, Jenny," and drove away as rapidly as the old nag could take him. As nearly as anybody could make out, it was just previous to Low's departure that two or three persons on a street that ran along one of the hotel were fearfully startled by the sight of a man falling from an upper story win dow. He s .truck head first o n the sidewalk, and was instantly killed. Men were at his s ide before hi s heart stopped beating, but no word came from the unfortunate man's lips. He was unknown to those who saw his end, but they knew from the eut of his clothes that he was a clergyman. lnforinat.ion was taken lo th. e hotel ofi1ce at once, and the clerk went out. He immediately identified the body as that of a guest of the ho11se1 Rev. Elijah Judson.

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N ICK CARTER WEEKLY. CHAPTER II. WAITING !'OR NICK CARTER. In the first horror of this discovery nobody thought of murder. It was taken for granted that the unfortunate clergyman had been leaning from his window and lost his balance. It was not long, however, before men began to look at the thing in another way. The minister's body was left on the walk undC;r guard of policemen until an undertaker came to take it away. Up to that time no friend of the dead man had appeared. The clerk had been so shocked that he could not remember whom he had seen with Mr. Judson. So the hotel manager had engaged the undertaker. At last the clerk recalled that Judson had been with Claymore early in the morning, and that the two had dined together in the hotel restaurant at noon. Accordingly, a messenger was sent to the oil company's office to inform Claymore of what had happened. It was while the messenger was gone on this errand that a man went into the hotel and laid his card 011 the clerk's desk. "Send it up to Mr. Judson, please,'' he said. "Mr. Judson!" gasped the clerk, looking first at the man and then at his card. replied the caller, "Rev. Elijah Judson. He's stopping here, isn't he?" "Yes-that is, he was1 Mr.--" The clerk looked at the card. "}/fr. Folsom,'' he added, "but he'she's gone." "Gone! when?" "A short time ago-ah! you see, Mr. Folsom, he's dead!" "Dead!" cried Folsom, "dead! Mr. Judson dead?" "Instantly killed, sir." Mr. Folsom echoed these words as if he were in a dream. "\!\That do you mean?" he whispered then; "how did it happen?" "Nobody knows, sir," replied the clerk, "except that he pitched headforernost out of window. He struck the sidewalk; it was jList outside there--" The clerk's explanation \YaS not heard by Mr. Folsom. "My God!" he gasped, pressing his hand to his brow; "he took me in earnest and committed sui cide." "Suicide!" It was the clerk who repeated the word, but he had not time to say more when Claymore rushed breathlessly up. He had caught the last of Folsom's remark. "\Vhat's that you say o.f suicide ?" he demanded, excitedly. Folsom looked at him, blankly. "I said," he answered, slowly, "that m.y old friend had committed suicide, and I fear it was some husty, angry words .of mine that drove him to it." Claymore looked sharply at speaker. He remembered him. That conversation ou the street was not easy to forget, though Claymore had taken no part in it. Evidently, Folsom did not remember that he had ever seen Claymore before. He had spoken to the clergyman without noticing that a stranger stood near. "I think you're wrong," said Claymore, still looking straight at Folsom. "I wish I could think so," responded Folsom, sadly; "but I spoke to Judson very harshly. I thought I had reason to be angry, and I guess I had, Lut I should not have spoken in that way. I came here just now to beg his pardon. He said at the time that he should die, and I tofd him he'd better. Good God! to think that I should have hounded him to his -death!" Mr. Folsom was terribly distressed. The crowd that had gathered at the clerk's desk listened breathlessly. "You may be entirely right," said Claymore, quietly, "but I think not. I heard the conversation you ref er to." "You heard it?" "Yes; I was with Mr. Judson at the time. "Ah! I didn't see you. Then you heard hh; words?" "I did, and, as I say, you may be right, but [ think differently." "How can you?" asked Mr. Folsom, eagerly; "if there's a ray of hope for a different explanation, in the. name of Heaven speak up, man !1

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6 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. I "Mr. Judson had a bitter enemy," said Claymore. "An enemy? Do you know this?" "I heard a man threaten to kill him this morn ing." For an instant Mr. Folsom was too astonished to speak. He stood with his mouth open, staring at Clay more. Then he brought his fist down on the clerk's desk with a bang! and exclaimed: "Then, I'll be responsible for tracking that enemy to the ends of the earth, if necessary. I'll telegra?h for Nick Carter to come. He's in this part of the country, and I can get him here by evening, if not sooner." There w a s a murmur from the cnowd. "My name is Kerr," the stranger said then. "I am a detective, and belong to the regular force here. I shall be very proud to work with Nick Carter on this case if he comes, but it is my duty to get ahead on it, and clear it up before he arrives, if possible." "Of course," responded Claymore. Folsom nodded. "Now," said Detective Kerr, "you may answer this gentleman's question. Who is the enern!f you refer to?" "You mean the man I heard threaten Mr. Judson's life?" asked Claymore, cautiously. "Yes." "It was a farmer named Hank Low. He lives out beyond Mason Creek a few miles." Kerr made a note of the name. Everybody, unless it was Claymore, seemed to "What led to the threat?" he asked. think that this would be the best possible plan. "The men had high words about a busi n ess trans-After a moment, he asked: action, in which Low thought he'd been badly used. "Is Carter a friend of yours?", As a matter of fact, Low was treated with perfect "I'm proud to say he is," replied Folsom. "Vv e've fairness." been friends since and he will do anything "But he was hot about it, eh?" for me, I'm sure. I can't rest as long as there's any "I ohould say so!" shadow of doubt that I worried poor Judson to his "Where was the threat made?" death." "Out there." "The local police on such a plain case," began "Near Mason Creek?" Claymore, but Folsom interrupted: "Yes; on the oil company's land." I eaid I'd take the responsibility, and I will. Let "Well, do you mean to say that this Hank Low fol-the local police do all they can. It won't do any lowed Mr. Judson to the city for the purpose of murharm to have Carter also on the spot. I'll him dering him?" at once." "No, I don't mean to say anything of the kind." He reached for a pad of telegraph blanks, and "Then I don t see how \Ye can suspect Low. wrote a dispatch, which he gave to the clerk with a Mason Creek is some miles away--" request that it be sent to the offite in a hurry. "Yes, but Low was on his way to the city when we A bell boy went off with it on the run. saw him." Then Folsom turned again to Claymore. "Oh! that's different. Now perhaps we are get"vVho is this enemy of Judson's you speak of?" he ting down to business. The first question is, did anyasked. body see him in town?" A man who had been quietly listening to the con"I saw his wagon in front of a store," said Clay-versation touched Claymore the shoulder. mbre, hesitatingly. "Don't answer that question just yet," he said. "\\T hy do you hesitate?" demanded the detective, At the same time he pulled aside the lapel of his sharply. coat. "vVell, r just begin'to feel that it's a pretty serious Claymore and Folsom both saw a badge pinned to thing to bring a charge of murder against a man. his vest. You see, Low was hot and he shot off his mouth in "Come into the office a minute, both of you," added the stranger. T1he two men followed him into the hotel man ger's private room, and the door was closed. a temper. I presume he didn't mean what he said." "It isn't our business to think what he meant," de clared Kerr. "And we're not bringing any charge against him. If he's innocent he can stand a little in-

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 7 quiry. So you'd better tell all you )mow frankly and about their conversation, a11d went out to talk with not wait till you're examined in court." the men who had seen Judson fall. "Oh, I'll be frank enough," said Claymore. "I .. They agreed pretty nearly as to the time of the know that Mr. Judson asked him to call here at haH1 event. past three." One said twentY.,-five minutes of four. "You ought to have said that before." The other thought it was two minutes later. Folsom, who had been listening quietly to the con\ Vhen their watches were compared it was found versation, here suggested that an investigation that one's was two minutes ahead of the other's. should be made to find whether this Hank Low had been seen in the hotel. "I was just going to," said Kerr. He opened the door and asked the clerk to step in. 'Do you know anybody named Low?'' asked Kerr, when the clerk was with them. "Yes," replied the clerk; "there's a farmer named Hank Low, from Mason Creek--" "That's the man." The clerk said nothing further, and Kerr asked: "\Vbcn did you see him last?" "This afternoon," was the reply. "Here?" "Yes-Great Heaven!" The clerk looked suddenly startled. "\i\That's the matter?" "Why! Hank Low called on Mr. J uclson just be fore he died-or was it afterward?" "That's a mighty important point," said Kerr,. gravely. "Isn't there way by which you can fix the time?" The clerk thought a moment. "Yes," he said, "I can fix it to the minute, but I can't do it offhand." "Why? How can you fix it then?" "Just as Low came up to the a telegr
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8 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. ''Well, I'm going down to the telegraph office to iook up that messenger's book. If it gives the time I think it does. I shall start for :Mason Creek without waitillg for Carter." 'I suppose that's right," said Folsom. Kerr was sure it was. He \<.-cnt to the telegraph office, but was clisap pointecl to .learn that the boy who had book he needed to see had been sent to a distant part of the city, and could not be back before six o'clock at the earliest. Then Kerr was in doubt as t-0 what he ought to do. "It would make me look like thirty cents," he re flected, "if I should arrest Hank Low and bring him to the city, only to find that the boy's book showed that he couldn't have done the thing. ''Suppose, for example, the book shows that the clerk s'gned it at twenty minutes to four. "By th2.t time Judson had been dead at least fiye minutes, and, of course, Low couldn't be guilty. "I think I'll wait for the boy to get back. Carter may be here by that time, an
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-NI C K CARTER WEEKLY. 9 I'm not in town. Then engage a private room for dinner---" "We have done that already, Mr. Carter." "Good! What's the number?" "Fourteen, second floor." "Patsy and I w11l join yo' u there in half-an-hour unless there's some hurry." "No," said Kerr, a little doubtfully, "I don't be lieve there's any hurry, for we can't act till we g e t the messenger boy's evidence. "So long, then." Kerr and Folsom left Nick and Patsy in s ide the station, where they had met. "You don't really h ope to conceal the fact that you're in Denver, do yon, Nick?" asked Patsy. The great detccti\e smiled. "\Vhen fifty men heard that I was sent for?'' he returne d, quietly; 'not quite." ''Tlien, why do you make such a fuss about it? \Vhy not go along to the hotel openly?'' "Palsy," sai d Nick. as he pretended to consult a pocket timetable, "i f the guilty man was one of that fifty. Jon't you think it likely that be would s!radow Folsom and Kerr and follo\Y them to the statio:1 to sec if I came?'' yes! l hadn't thought of that." ''.'\11d if lie did so, of course. he's seen 'Sure. me. "Auel he \\icln't foilO\\" the others ont, but would \\'<1it to sec \\li:it became of rne." "That's it." "\\"ell. then--" "You nccc.ln"t say n11y more, :\ick. 1':1: 011. l vc spotted every ma11 \\'110 has 1Jeen 111 sight s ince we stepped off lhc train." ".\bout a of them, eh?" "Fully that. .. All through this taik each had been carefully ing around the station. though n o 011c there couid have snspectecl that they \\'ere paying attention to nuything bnl themsehes. In fact, J l ick had been taking in the s ituation f:om the moment h e met Kerr am! Folsom. "Let's go into 1 be \Yaiting-room,'' he sai d, ;is he put away his timetable, "nncl buy a cigar and a paper." As they went across the large room they observed very carefully to see if any man was watching thei r movements. The crime had happened too 1ate {n the aiternoon for the regular editions of the evening papers. but extras were now out, and a big pile of them had just been brought to the news stand. Several men were at the counter buying the papers. Patsy went to the cigar case. and Nick asked for a paper. The Loy behind the counte r \\'as :ery busy just then. Nick had to wait hi s turn, which didn't trouble him any. "Mr. Ciaymore !" the boy ca11ed, sucldenly; "yon forgot your change." "Oh! did I?" said a man, who had bought several papers and was hurrying away. He came hack and reached his hand across the counter. "Keep ,a nickel of it for your honesty,'' he said. "Thankee, Mr. Claymore." Nick bought his paper next, and Patsy joined him. They went slowly to a corner of the ancI sat clown. "\\'ell?" said Nick. as he unfolded the paper and began to read about the death of Rev. Mr. Judson. "\\'ell," repeated Patsy, "tbere' s nobody hanging around now who was here w len we came." l thought so." Xick read for a moment, and then remarked: "That's an honest newsboy.' "Yep." re tu med Patsy. who. ha cl nea rel t h e talk tlic forgotten change. "The man he spoke to \\'aS o n the platform whe n \\e ;i,rri\ ecl.'' "Yep.'' That was ali they. aid about it. As a matter of fact, neither of them had the slightest suspicion of Claymore. any more' than they had of any of the dozen others who had stayed in sight while Kc:T and Folsom were there: hut they remembered h i s iace and name. That was a matter of habit wit h them. 'Look it O\er," said Nick, passing the paper to Patsy. vVhile the young man read, :Nick thought. At last he said: "I think we'll call at the The name of the undertaker who had taken charge o f Judson's body \\'as printed i n the paper, and Nick

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10 NICK WEEKLY. inquired the way to his place from the first police man they met. There was a crowd of curious idlers at the door, and a man stood there, who at first was not_ going to kt the detectives in. "\Ve want to see the body of the clergyman who--" Nick began. "I know you do!" interrupted the man, crossly, "and so does everybody else, but you can't see?" "Can't see when I have eyes?" retorted Nick, with a queer smile, and he pushed by the man into the building. The man was astonished. 1-le had not expected this stranglr to defy him, and there was something so commanding in Nick's quiet way of doing things that he had let both de tectives pass before he knew it. Then he followed them into the office, blustering. "\Vhat do you mean?" he demanded. "It's my business to be here," said Nick, coldly. "I am a detective, and my name is Nicholas Car.ter." "Oh!" exclaimed the undertaker, and his eyes bulged. He did not seem able to take them off the famous man, of whom he had heard so much. "Oh!" he added, after a pause. "If that makes a difference," said Nick, you may show us the body." "Certainly, anything y ou want, Mr. Carter. Only too proud." He led the way to a back room, and for a minute or two Nick and Patsy stood there studying the still, cold form. "Can I do anything more for you?" asked the un-dertaker, as they turned away. "No, thank you." "I suppose you'll see the clergyman's friend, won't you?" "Do you mean Mr. Folsom?" "Yes, sir. The hotel people, you see, Mr. Car ter, told me to take charge of the body, and I supposed it would be a kind of charity case, as, of course. the hotel people had no interest in the unfortunate man. But if Mr. Folsom was his friend, perhaps he'd like to order a better casket. don't you see. If-'--" "I'll speak to Mr. Folsom about it." "Thank you, sir. Perhaps you'c,l like to look; at some of my caskets and advise Mr. Folsom--" "I'll leave that to him." / "Oh! very well, sir; but if you 'don't mind speak ing to him about the matter. It would be too bad to bury a clergyman in an ordinary--" By this time Nick and Patsy were out of hearing. "Say!'' said Patsy, in a tone of disgust, "that fel low had gall." Nick was silent. "The idea of asking you to pick out a casket! Huh!" When they were about half-way to the hotel, Nick remarked.: "It wasn't suicide." "No," responded Patsy. "I could see that. The thing that killed him was the breaking of the back of his skull on the sidewalk; but he had a black-andblue mark over the right eye. That wasn't made by his fall." "Certainly not. It was made by the blow that sent him reeling through the window." "That information will make your friend Folso.m feel better, won't it?" "I judge so, as hi telegram told me that he feared suicide, and hoped that it was murder. ''But," added Nick, "I don't think I shall be in a hurry to ease Folsom's mint!. \Ve'll wait till we haYe heard the whole story before letting him know what we think. It may be handy to give out the report that we believe it a ca s e of suicide. "I'm on said Patsy. They found Kerr and Folsom waiting for them in room fourteen, and they sat down at once to dinner. \iVhile they were eating, Kerr told the whole story as far as he knew it. Naturally, lie mentioned Claymore's name as the witness to Hank Law's threats. / "Who is this Claymore?" as keel Nick, as he lighted a cigar at the end of the meal. "He' s a Denver business man,., replied Kerr. I have no acquaintance with him. I believe he hasn't been here more than a year or so." "Less than a year, I guess." saicl Folsom. "\;\Thy do you know him?" a sked Nick. "'No, replied Folsom. "except as I lrnYe talked with him this afternoon, but I remember now that his name is on the letters sent out by the oil company of which J nelson was president. Claymore is the secretary of the concern, I believe .. "But yon hadn't met him before?'' "No; and I didn't hear his name till late 111 the ..

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N I C K CARTER WEEKLY. 11 day, and even then I didn't connect him with the company, though I remember wondering a little how he knew so much about poor Judson. You see, I was terribly excited." "No .wonder." "It worries me a great deal," continued Folsom, "to think that my angry words might have led Judson to suicide. He meant well, I am sure of that, and he was deceived by the rascals as much as the rest of us." "Hum!'' murmured Nick; "seems to me that's setting Claymore out in rather a black light." "Yes, it is. I hadn't given it much thought, for my attention was taken up with the death of Judson, but I have no doubt that Claymore is crooked. A dishonest promoter, you know. One of these fel lO\YS who knows how to swindle and keep on the right side of the law. Don't you think so?" "Maybe." Folsom looked as if he wished that Tick would say mqre, but the detective was silent. Shortly after this, a waiter came to the room to say that a telegraph messenger /wished to see Mr. Kerr. "Send him up at once!" exclaimed Kerr. The boy came in with his book. "Boss said you wanted to see it," said he, laying it on the table, and going out again at once. Kerr opened the book with great eagerness. After looking clown the columns of names and time nnrks until he came to the one he wanted, his eyes glowed with delight, and he passed the book to Nick, with his finger on a certain line where the hotel clerk's name was written. "There!" he cried, triumphantly; "see Nick looked. He saw the clerk's name in one column, and ag:iinst it in another column the figures, "3.3 r." '"You see!" added Kerr, too excited to wait for Nicks opinion, "Hank Low did it." "I see," responded Nick, slowly, "that Hank Low could lrnYe clone it." The reply disappointed Kerr. He began to argue, but Nick interrupted. me a moment, gentlemen," he said. He rose and looked at Patsy. They withdrew to a corner of the room, and whis pered together a moment. Then Patsy went out. Nick returned to the table. \ "Excuse me," said Nick, again. "I don't mean to interfere with your handling of the case, Mr. Kerr--" "Oh! bless you!" exclaimed Kerr, "that's what we all want. You do just what you think best, Mr. Car ter." "Thank you. I was going to say that I had forgotten something and sent my assistant out to look after it. Now, as to this time mark, it is very important. I can see that." "Of course," said Kerr, encouraged by the great detective's tone. "The testimony of the clerk cannot be doubted. Here is the sure testimony that Hank Low started for Judson's room four minutes before the man fell from his window. It is known that Low left the hotel and drove away just before word was brogbt in that the man had fallen out. See?" ''"'{es." "Then do you think we ought to lose any time be fore arresting Lmv." "Do you say that he lives some eight miles from here?'' ''Yes-about eight." "If he's running away, he's got a pretty good start." "All LJ1e more reason why we should get after him at once. I declare, I wish I had run out there and hauled him in before you came." "That might have been a good idea, but I don't be lieve there' s any use in hurrying now." Neither Kerr nor Folsom could understand Nick's delay. The fact was he was waiting for Patsy. He kept them talking for several minutes, and then Patsy returned. "Speak out,'' said Nick. "I want these gentlemen to hear what YQU have to report." "Well," said Patsy, "Claymore was in his office all the time from one o'clock to ten minutes of four, when a messenger came to tell him o f Judson's death." CHAPTER IV. NICK'S JOURNEY TO HANK LOW'S. Kerr and Folsom stared at each other and at Nick. They were no fools. It was clear enough what Patsy's errand meant.

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12 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. "Then," said Folsom, in a low voice, "you sus pccte:cl Claymore?" "Oh, no, not exactly," Nick replied, "but I thought it would be just as well to make it impossible to suspect him. That ,,as all." This remark did not convince either of the men. ''You wouldn't have gone to this trouble," said Folsom, "if you hadn't believeq that he had a m0tive for the crime." "As to motive, replied Nick, "I can only guess but if Claymore is crooked and Judson was straight, isn't it possible that Judson threatened an exposure, and that Claymore \Yould try to prevent it?" Kerr nodded. "Th.at's all righ t he said, "but in the face of this evidence," and he tapped the messe11ger's book. "It 14i>oks very bad for Hank Low," admitted Nick. "You think that Claymore set Low up to it?" re marked Folsom. "Do I?" inquired Nick, mildly. "\IV ell responded Folsom, '\vhat are we to think?" ''Anythi11g you please. I am willing to take hold of this case, but, as I start under unusual difficulties, J want you to let me go at it in my own way." "Certainly, Mr. Carter," said Kerr; "but I don't see the difficulties with all this evidence--" ..... ick raised his hand. 'You've done first-rate work, Mr. Kerr," he said. "The evidence is sound as far as it goes. But it don't go quite far enough. .The difficulties I refer to are the fact that so many men know that I am here, and that the only man who can say that Judson was murdered is dead." "I see." It was Kerr who spoke. Folsom turned pale "You think, then," he said, hoarsely, "that it was not a case of murder at all?" "I didn't say so," responded Nick; "but this I will say, for, as I am in it now pretty deep, there's no use in concealing my thoughts from you two-but you mustn't let it go any ,;i,rther." Certainly not, Mi. Carter." "\iV ell, then, I dop't believe that Hank Low did it." Bo t h Kerr and Folsom stared open-mouthed. "By thunder!" said K e rr, slowly, "if any man bu t Nick Carter said that--" He hesitated. "You'd say he was a fool," remarked Nick. Kerr laughed uneasily. "I am afraid I should," he admitted. "That's all right," said Nick; "you can think that of me just as well as not, if you want to. Me_antime, I'll go out and get acquainted with Hank Low." "To-night?" "Now." "\Von't you want help?" "Oh, no. If I don't come back with him as a voluntary prisoner, Mr. Kerr, I'll help you arrest him in the morning and give you all the credit." "Credit be hanged, Mr. Carter! I'm not a jealous idiot." "Glad to hear you say so. You will lie low, then, till you hear from me again?" "Yes, but if it was any pther man--" "You' d lock him up as a dangerous lunatic. I know. If I'm mistaken, I'll own up frankly. Now, tell me the way to Mason Creek." Kerr told him and advised him where to get a horse. 'It seems to me," said Nick, "ydu\ e described a roundabout way." "Yes, the road runs along a crooked valley and around the base of a big hill. If it was daylight, I might tell you of a short cut over the hill, but you wouldn't be able to keep to the trail in the dark, to say nothing of the fact that the woods on the hill are not safe just now." "Not safe?" "No. There's a scare about panthers out that way." "Ah! I shall have to keep my revolver handy." "It will be as well, but, of course, you'll stick to the road?" "Yes, though yon might tell me where the trail strikes off." "It' s abou miles from here. You pass a perfectly bare a hundred yards long at your right, and then come to a stream. Instead of crossing the bridge, you can follow up the stream. In the day time. it's pJain enough, and not a bad ride for a good ho2 se." "All right." Nick then gavc some private instructions to Patsy, and left them. He went to the stable that Kerr had spoken of and hired a horse.

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. It was about eight in the evening when he gal loped away, and at that hour it was qttite dark. The road took him quickly out of the city, and he was soon in a wild country where it would have Leen easy to imagi!1e that there wasn't a town within a hundred miles. The sky was clear, but the moon had not yet risen. Nick did not ride hard, for he felt in no hurry. It was somewhat Jess than half-an-hour after lie started when he noticed u long, high ledge at his right. "Probably the place Kerr spoke of," he thought. He was gianciug up at it. when his horse suddenly 1 leaped violently. At the same inst.ant the1e v-as a flash and a report from the bushes at the Otl1er side of the road. Nick's hat flew from his head. He felt a wave oi heat cross his brow. It had been singed by a rifle bullet. His hand caught his re\olYer, but before it was drawn, another shot ca.me, and the hcirse stagg-ered. Nick slipped off quickly. He ran a few paces and fell. Then he lay still and watched. The horse fell in earnest. He was some two rods from the detective, and, as did not struggle after he went clown, Nick knew that he had been inst:mtly killed. ot another sound came from the bushes across the ro:-id. ( "Confound tfaem !1 thought Nick, wl10 was scratched, except for the slight mark on his !orc head. "\Vhy don't they come out to n:ake sure of their business?" It was clearly a case of murder intended, for, if the unseen villains had been robbers the;r would have crept forward to go through the supposed dead man. And, of course, it was plain that they knew whom they were firing at. Nobody would have shot at a stranger like th:.i.t. "This," muttered Kick. "is what comes of starting on a ca s e with a bras s band at the head of the pro cession." He meant by this that i1e believed the attempt to kill him was connected with the de;lth of Judson. "It's only too easy to see how it h;:ippened," he thought. "Everybody knew I was sent for, ancl there isn't a doubt that my arrival was spotted. "Then it was easy to guess that I would go to look up Hank Low, antl, as this is tlie only way to his plc!ce, they were sure of having a shot at me." Nick listened as he lay .there, but could hear no sound of steps on the other side of the road. The rushing of the stream a little beyond would have drowned ordinary noises so that the would-be murderers could have got away without being no .. ticed. Apparently, that was what they did, for the de tective neither heard nor saw them. He could only guess whether they believed thut their shots had done their work. \Vhile he was waiting the moon rose. As the sky was perfectly clear the land became almost as light as day. Nick at last got up cautiously and went to his horse. The animal had fallen at the side of the road, an4 so was out of the way of any one passing. Nick took off the saddle and bridle and hid them in the bushes near. "I'll pay for the horse's," he thought, "but there's 110 sense in giving the saddle to the first thiei who comes along." He went back to the spot from Nhich the shots had been fired and lit np tl1e place with his pocket la1t te:n. If the scoundrels had accidentally dropped anything that could serve as a cle-..v, the detective woulcl have found it. Nothing w a s there that could be of any use to him. He saw traces of footprints on the grass anJ leave s, but they were too faint to be measured. Having satisfied himself on this matter, Nick started on foot to finish his jouri1ey. When he came to the stream, he did not cross the bridge, but turned into 'the trail that Kerr had toid him about. The moon made the path p eriectly plain at the start, and Nick took it not only to save the long walk around the base of the hill, but to save time. For some reasons, he would have liked to go straight back to Denver. There was no doubt in his mind that his would-be murderers had gone to the city. If he was there, he might run across them. But he believed it to be his first business to have a talk with Hank Low and so he went on. The trail followed along the bank of the stream

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, 1 4 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. for s.ome distance and then crossed it a bridge of fallen trees. After that, it was very steep unti l it reached the summit of the hill. Although the t r ees were ra ,ther thick, the moonlight came in o n the eastern slope sufficiently to make the way clear. It was different when N ick began to descend upon the other side. That slope was in sha dow for the moon vvas not high enoug-h to light it, anci more than once he found it difficult to ke e p on the path. Once he though t he had lo s t it and he wa s thinking that it wou l d make him feel rather fooli s h to get l ost at night in these i,voocls B etter hav e kept to the road," he muttered, standing still. There was a very steep de scent jus t before him He could see hardly anything, but he felt that. the ground was dipping sha r ply. At the l eft there w as a ridge of bare rock, a nd it seemed that the trail led alon g the under s ide of it.. "This must be right," he a r g ued to him s elf. "By daylight a horse would get clo wn h ere i l y enough. It's the right general dir ectio n anyway, and I'll it." Putting his h a nds on the bare rock at his l e ft to steady himself he went s lowly d o wn. It was ndt a high le dge, and he had come as he thought, about t o the bott om, when there was a slight noi s e behind and almos t overhea d that startled him His re v olver w as in his hand in stant l y There was a blinding flas h not ten feet in front of him and a deafening report. Swish! went a bullet pas t his face. Then there was a blood-curdling scream in the air above, and the de t e c tive fell fiat under a heavy body. CHAPTER V. THE DETECTIVE MAKES AN ARREST. N i ck's breath was knocked out of him, but he was not stunned. He knew pa r tly what had happened. it was a w!IJ b east that had borne him to the ground. Kerr's remarks about the "panther scare" flashed upon his memory. E vidently, thi s had sprung upon him from the top of the ledge. He could feel the great limbs quivering, and one of the claws scratched his hand. All this was in a quarter of a second. In the next second, Nick had exerted all his giant strength, and rolled the bea s t o v er. He got upon his knees and fired hi r evo lver three times in rapid succes sion at the huge carcass that he could fee l but not see in front of him. Then a rough, surprised voice interrupted him. ''Good lord! how many of em be ye, anyway ? O nl y o ne, stranger," r e plied Nick, getting to his f e et. ';Go sh! I thought it mought be a regiment by the w ay ye fired. Got a double-quick: action repeater ain t ye ? Nick did not r eply at once. The bea s t was still clawing the ground frantically, and he w as not s ure that another close of lead was not n ec e ssa ry. The n a little flam e glowed in the darkness near by. The man who had spoken to him had struck a match. He hel d it first o ver the dying panther, for s u ch it w as, and then remarked, in a satisfied tone: ''Done for. Four ti rnes dead, I reckon. Then he took a step forwar d and held the mat ch clo s e to Nick's face. The men looked at each other in silence for a mom e nt. N ick saw a surpris ed, honest-looking face-that of a hardy backwoodsman-and he caught a glimpse of the rifle that the man held loosel y in the hollow o f his arm. The backwoodsman saw a well-dressed tenderfoot, whose coat was torn by the panther's claw, whose face w as grime d with dirt and smeared w ith blood. By golly, stranger," said the backwoodsman, you're,, not jes t fit to enter a beauty show-not but what ye may be a sl i cklookin' chap w h e n yet fac e is washed." The detective laughed heartily. "I r eckon, pard," he said, "that y o u sa ved my l ife "Reckon I did," returned the otl1er, quietly, "but I come dum clo s e i o killin' you to do it "I f elt your bullet hi ss past my face." "So? Should ha' thought that mought hav e scared ye t o death.

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. NICI < CARTER WEEKLYo HS "Ob, no, I'm used to that." "Y 6u don't say!" ''But I'm not used to enemies that spring man in the dark v\.ithou t making any n oise of w:uning. That's what the p.anther did.'' "Yes. he cl ha' had ye, sure, ef I hadn't been here to fire." "It was good luck." "\Val, I dunno abottt the lnck of it. I was here on p urpose. Been a-lookin' fer that critter." ''Indeed! "Yes; the pesky varmin, t has been worryin' the l ife out of us, and to-night I jest made up my mind that I'd get him. I was pretty clum certain he'd be on the trail somewhere, fer theres enough as comes over it, you know, to give the scent. I thought he'd be watchin' fer prey, but I didn't have no idee t hat he'd git a chance at any. That's whar I'm s'prisecl. How 1 ?" come ye 1ere, stranger. "I'll tell you in a minute," :Nick answered; ''just explain to me first how you managed to tal
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16 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. which he had spoken while talking about the panther. "No," replied Nick, "I haven't anything to do with the company. I heard you were swind l ed." "'That was i t, stranger!" cried Low; "nothing short of it. People say I was beat in a business deal, bu t I'm tellin' ye it wasn't a squar' deal." "I'd like to know all about it." "What's yer name?" "Nicholas." "Be you a lawyer?" "Not exactly, but I may be ab l e to set you right in some ways that you may not have thought of." "Wal, Mr. Nicholas, come down to the house. I've got nothin' to hold back, and ef you're interested, you can hear the whole story. Low taikecl as they walked along through the woods. His voice continued to be harsh, a he told of the trick that had been played upon him, but Nick saw that Oaymore had kept well within the law. "It wasn't fair ," thought the detective; "but it was what would be c a lled a business dea l and Low was beaten. No wonder he feels sore, but he can't do ai1ything about it." Of course, Low mentioned the Rev. Elijah Judson in the course of his story. His voice was more angry at this point. "I can't understand an out-an'-out v ill ain," said he, "but it seems a durned sight worse when a preacher takes to sw in dling, now it, Mr. Nicho las?" I should say so," repl ied Nick, "if I was sure that .the preacher had known that the scheme was unfair." "Know! How could he help it? Ain't he president of the company?" "I-le was." "Was? Ef he ain't now, then thar's been a mighty sudden change. \ Vil! ye come into the house, Mr. Nicholas?" They had come to cleared land at the bottom of the hill, and Low' s house was plainly seen in the moonlight a few rods away. None of the windows were lighted. "No," said Nick; "your wife and children are asleep by this time, and we might wake them up. \!Ve can talk out he1:e just as well, can't we?" "Sure." They sat down on a log near a shallow brook that crossed the farm. The moon rays r eflected from the water straight into Nick's eyes, and his attention was curiously attracted. "Must be handy .having running water on your place," he remarked. "Huh!' returned Low, "that's whar you reckon wrong. I thought so when I took this land, and I found out my mistake too late." "\tVhat s the matter?" "Durned ef I know. The cattle won't drink it, and I d on't like the taste myself. I've had to dig a well up on the hill thar and run the water to my house and barn through pipes. That cost a good bit, but it was the on l y way I could get water that would do." They were silent for a moment. Then Low said: "I seen that cuss, Judson, to-day." "So?" "Yes. He was up here with Claymore in the early morning. I met 'em and e had a jawin' match. I spoke pretty hot, I reckon, but I can't help it when I think how I'Ye been used. Thar's my wife and chil dren, you see. I never have been able to give them the nice things I'd like to. Ef they had let me in on the deal I rnought ha' got money enough to dress my children right smart and send them to school in the city." \Vhat should you say," suggested N ic k, "if you heard that the company had got left in buying your land." "Eh? Got left? W hat do you mean?" "Suppose that after all the land proyes to be as worthless as you thought?" "By--! 'twould serve 'em right." "I guess that's the case." \Val, I'm dum glad to hear it, but it don't make me feel any better toward those swindlers. I kind o thought the preacher chap wanted to squar' things, but I found I was mistaken." "So? How was that?" "He met m e again in the city, and asked me to. call on him at the hotel. Reckon he had some new, slick scheme up his sleeve." "Did you call on him i"' "Yep." "\Veil?" "He wouldn't see me." "T11at's odd."

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NICK CA R T E R WEEKLY. 17 "I thought so at the time. I told him I'd be there at half-past three, and he said he'd wait for me. I was there on time, and I went right up to his room." "vVhat did he say?" "Say? He didn't say nothin'. I didn't see him. He wouldn't let me in." ''Did he know you were there?" "Sure! I knocked, and heard somebody stirrin' in the room. I'm sure of that. So, when he didn't say 'Come in,' I knocked again. 'It's Hank Low,' says I, loud and sharp. 'Ef you want to see me, speak up quick, fer I ain't got any time to waste on ye.' "Thar wa'n't no ansvver to that, so I sung out that he might go to the devil, and I waltzed downstairs fast. "I was kind o' 'fraid he might me back, and I didn't want to hear him, for I was as mad as a hornet, and I was afraid that ef him and me got together thar'd be trouble." "Did you leave the hotel at once?" "Yep. Druv straight home and didn't see him then, nor since." "Did you notice any excitement around the hotel as you drove away?" "Excitement? Reckon not. A feller I know spoke to me, but I was too dum mad to answer him decent." "But didn't you notice anything else?" Low thought a moment. "Now, I think of it," he s aid. "I do remember seein' two or three men ruunin' clown the street at the side of the hotel, but I was so dum mad that I clidn 't turn my head. The hull town mought ha' been on fire fer all I cared. I was thinkin' of how I'd been cheated.'' "I understand." If Nick had had any doubt of this man's innocence it was all gone now. Low was no actor; just a plain, honest farmerbull-heacled, quick-tempered and unreasonable, perhaps, but no murderer. He couldn't have told his story of the afternoon in that straightforward way, if he had been guilty. "Mr. Low," said Nick, after a pause, ''J uclson is cl ea cl." "Dead!" repeated the farmer, in a tone that showed the greatest surprise. "How long since, Mr. Nicholas ?" "He d-ied while you were at the door to his room." "You don't meant it!" "He was murdered." "\i\Tha-a-a-t !" "Thrown fr.om his window to the sidewalk." "Good lord! Then that was what those men were runnin' for." "Yes-they went to pick him up." The farmer sat with his elbows on his knees, staring open-mouthed at Nick. "That's awful, ain't it?" he whispered. "It is," said Nick, "and there's something else that is still more awful." He paused, but Low said nothing. "It is perfectly well known," Nick added, "that you started up to Judson's room just before the deed." Low became very attentive, but it was plain that the truth was not dawning on him yet. "And that you came down again in a hurry," added the detective, "immediately afterward. It is a l so well known that you threatened Mr. Jud son--" This WilS enough. The light burst upon the honest farmer suddenly. In the mconlight his face was ghastly white, and his voice almost choked, as he said: "Mr. Nicholas, you don't mean to set thar an' tell me thar's foiks as say I done it?" '"Jhat is w). 1at they say," returned Nick, quietly. Low groaned, and buried his face in his hands. "My wife has often told me," he sobbed, "that that. ski.1p tongue of mine would git me into trouble. I sec It ail fits in like the handle in to an ax. My will anybody believe me?" "Listen,'' said Nick. ''There isn't going to be as much trouble as you thi1:ik for. I told you that I was not a lawyer, ] ::iut that I might be able to he'tp you I am a detective, Mr. Low." The farmer uncovered his face and looked frightened now. "I said my name was Nicholas," the detective went on, "and that was the truth, but only a part of it. \ My last name is Carter." Low started. "From New York?" he gasped. "Yes.'' The farmer shook from head to toes. He lald his trembling hands on Nick's arm, and began: ..

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1& NICK Ci\RTFR \\IEEKLY. "Mr. Carter, I've hearn tell of you that you're keen and hard when it comes to criminals, but you're straight with innocent men. Afore God I swear--" ''You don't need to," interrupted Nick; "you are as innocent as I am, and I know it. I believed it when I started out to see you, but I am going to arrest you for murder, nevertheles .. "Mr. Carter! I don't understand! \Vhat will my poor wife say?" "You needn't let her know. I want you to understand, though. Suspicion has been put on you by an enemy of yours. Now, if I lock you up over night, it will make this enemy believe that I have finished my work. See?" "Y'ou want to blind him?" "Yes. Then I can hunt for the real murderer in my own way." "All right, Mr. Carter." Low was perfectly quiet. He did not talk or act like the hot-tempered man who had threatened Mr. J uclson. "You can tell your wife," said Nick. "that a man wants you to go to th e city on business about the land deal. Let h e r think that some good luck has come your way. I don't think you'll to dis appoint her afterward. Then hitch up your horse, and we'll go back together." Low agreed to this without argument. He went into the house and was gone several minutes. Then he went to the ba,rn and hitched up. A little later, he and the detective were jogging over the road toward Denver. / CHAPTER VI. THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S EVIDENCE. Kerr was at police headqtrnrters when Nick ar rived with his prisoner. His eyes glowed triumphantly when he saw them come in. "You got him!" he exclaimed. "Yes," said Nick, "he surrendered when I told him how strong the evidence was against him." "I wonder he hadn't run away." "Well, you see, he didn't know that a messenger had come in with a telegram just ahead of him." Kerr chuckled. "This will be a great story for the newspaper fel lows," he sa.id. "They've been here all the evening till about half-an-hour ago. I told them to come back later." Nick looked thoughtful. He wondered i f it \\'Ould be necessary to give the honest farmer the shame of ha,ing it printed that he had been arrested for murder? "I suppose the newspaper boys know that I am 011 the case,'' said Nick. "Oh, yes-everybody knows it." "But they don't know that I went to Mason Creek?" "\i\T ell, I reckon they've guessed it. N cwspaper reporters are good at that, you know." "Do they know that Low was under suspicion?'' "Sure! They got that from the hotel clerk." "Humph!" >Jick was a little disgusted. \Vhen f]e handled a case in his O\'.n way, hotel clerks and others were not allowed to tell what they knew, and he took pains that nobody shoul d know too much, anyway, until he got ready to tell them. "See here. Kerr," he said, earnestly, "I'd hold the reporters off for a time. if I were in your place." Kerr glanced at the clock. ) It was not far from midnight. "They'll be hungry for ne\\s pretty soon," said he "And perhaps I can give them a little more, and a better story, if they wait a bit." "\\Thy--" "Low isn't the only one." "Ah I" "I want to consult with my assistant before telling about this arrest." "You have a clew that you haven't spoken of. then?" "Maybe. Just lock Low up without putting any thing on the blotter for a little while Give me an hour to see what I can do. "All right, Carter, if you say so. But what shall I tell the reporters?" "Nothing. I 'll be back 'inside an hour." Nick whispered a few words to Low, telling him to keep his courage up and his mouth shut, and went away. He had asked Kerr to wait an hour, without any idea as to what he should or could do. Nick felt that he had only got to the beginning of the case.

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 19 He was ce1 tain of Law's innocence, though he might no: be able to convince a jury of it. It was necessary, then, to find the proof of Law's innocence, as well as proof that somebody else fvas Who that so?aebody else was he could 1aot guess. He still thought of Claymore, in spite the alibi that Patsy had found to be sound. Claymore evidentl,_ had not committed the mur .e der, but that he knew more than he had told, Nick was certain. Could any e\ id e nce be g-ol in an hour that would save from being published 111 the papers as a suspectetl murderer? Lovv's horse and wagon were at the door of the station. Nick got in and drove to the stable where he had hired a horse. There he explained what had happened to the horse, paid the damage, and returned the saddle and bridle that he had picked up on the way back with hi:; prisoner. Then he went to the hotel in the hope of finding Patsy. He made the round of the rooms on the ground floor without finding him. As he was passing the desk, the clerk spoke to him. "Excuse me," said he, ''but aren't you Mr. Car ter?" "I am," said Nick. i "There' s a young man vva1t111g here to see you. Your assistant told me to point him out to you as soon as you came in." "\rVhere is he?" "That man sitting near the door with a parcel in his hands." Nick went up to the young man. "Are you waiting for Mr. -Carter?" he asked. "Yes," replied the -young man, rising. "I an1 he." "Oh! well, sir, I understand you are working on the Judson matter. The man who is supposed to have committed suicide." "I have been looking into it a little." "\Yell, sir, I've got something here to show you. I sh o wed it to your as s istant, and he said it would interest you." The young man went to undoing his parcel, and three or four idlers dre\\ near. "Wait," said Nick. He led the young man to the desk and asked for a room. Shortly afterward, they were in a room alone, and Nick took the parcel. Unfolding the paper vrith which it was wrapped, he found a photograph. It was a clean-cut picture of Rev. Mr. Judson's fall from the hotel window Nick looked earnestly at the picture. "How did you happen to get this?" he asked. "I am an amateur photographer," was the reply. "I work in the office at the top of the building just acr
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20 NICK CARTER WEEKLVo He paused, but Nick said nothing, and the young man adde
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NICK Ct\RTER WEEKLY. 21 "I haven't a doubt of it," said Patsy, "but you couldn't swear to it to the satisfaction of a jury." ''True, and the jurymen could look at the picture for themselves, and see that the likenesses are not there. \Ve've got to get more evidence than this, Pat.sy. Nobody saw them do the deed. This pic tur:e almost tells the story, but not quite. But go on. You must have more to tell. "A little. I shadowed Hamilton and Thompson to a dive \\'here you and I have been before-Daddy Drew's." "Whew!" whi stled Nick. "It means a fight with all the crooks in Denver, if we go there." "\.Veil, that's where they are, and they're waiting for Claymore." "All right. we'll go there and get them, then, if we decide \Ye'd better arrest them. I s tha t all?" "Not quite. Knowing they were there to stay, I ran back to Claymore's office He h ad just put out his lights and was leaving the building. "He went to. police headquarters." "Did you go in, too?'' "\Vith a disguise, yes. a private talk with Kerr. I saw that Claymo re had Then h e went out again." "How did he look?" "Rocky, but he was saying, 'Ver y good,' and 'Quite right' to Kerr. "That means that Kerr told him," said N i ck. "Told him what?" asked Pat y "Wh a t I have clone. He shouldn't have said a war.cl, but I can understand how he should make such a slip, for Claymore was the first to direct suspicion at Hank Low. \Vhat became of Claymore?' "He went home. He lives 111 a boarding house--" '\Ne must h ave him! Come on!" They left the hotel together hurriedly. * * In a corner of Daddy Drew's dive-the worst place in Denyer-sat the two men who had escaped from Nick Cart e r in Helena a short time before. They had liquor in front of them, but they drank little. Every time the door opened to admi t a newcomer, they looked that way eagerly. The place was prett y well filled. All the sc um of the city seemed to drift in there, for it was knO\Yn that once inside the doors a man need not lea,-e until morning. Daddy let his customers sleep on the floor, if they had nowhere else to go. At last it was closing hottr. The doors were locked, and the curtains pulled tightly across the windows. Jack Thompson muttered an oath. "Hes going to bilk us,., he muttered. "Not him," re sponded Hamilton. \IVait, I tell you. The night's young yet. He can't afford to bilk us, don t you see?" "No, I don't. He might skip--" "But he's not suspected! He's got every reason to s t ay, for here i s where the money is. He'll get around befo re the night is over." I hope he brings his wad with him." "He will." They were silent for a moment, and then Jack muttered: "I'd have lik ed it better if he'd paid us for the other job and not asked u s to tackle the detectiv e." 'Pooh! what scares yo u so?" "Nick Carter. Ain' t that enough?" ick Carter' s c;lead." "Do yo u b elieve it, Nat?" ''I'm going to tell Claymore so." Jack shuddered. "I see you don't believe it," b e said; "but I hope Claymore comes along and bel i eves it. Then he'll pay us, and we can skip before t he cu ss comes to Ji f e." Nat Hamilton smiled 'He won't come to lif e if he 's dead," he remarked, c901ly, "any more than the preacher chap will." ''Ugh!" grunted J ack, and they were silent again. Not less than thi r ty men were in the place. They were fairly quiet, for they knew that loud noise might bring the police down on the dive, and then th eir night's shelter would be closed np But they ,,ere a tough l ot, and every man of them \\ottlcl have joined in to help anybody there if a po liceman, or a dozen of them, h ad come in to make an arrest. This was so 11-ell knmn1 that the police usually waited for their men to come out before trying to arrest them. There hadn't been a murder in Daddy Drew's for a long time, and a tough present on this night remarked to another that one was about d u e

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22 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. A few minutes after twelve, there was a light knock at the door. The bartender who went to it and looked through a slide, came back to Nat. "Feller out there askin' fer youse," he sa id. Both men got up, but Nat pushed Jack back into his chair. "I'll see who 'tis," he said. He went to the door and looked through the slide. Claymore's face appeared there as if it were a pic-ture in a frame. "He's all right," said Nat to the bartenCler; "friend o' mine. Let him in." The door was opened, and Nat's friend came in. As he went to the back of the room silently with Nat, many curious glances were cast at him. "Who is he?" asked one of another. And those who answered came pretty near to guessing the truth. "Some fellow," said they, "who gets others to do his work for him." Two or three knew Claymore by sight, and they were not surprised. "Well?" said the newcomer, when he sat clown al the table in the corner, and heads were put close together. "We done it," said Nat. "Sure?" "He's dead as a nail." There was a short pause. Then, in a low voice: "You lie Nat." Both the c-riminals started angrily, but they gritted their teeth and looked at the man, who added: "He's just as alive as I am. Less than an hour ago he brought Hank Low in on a charge of mur der." "Then," exclaimed Jack; "it's all right, ain't it?" "No! it isn't all right. Carter believes that Low is innocent, and he has arr.ested him for a bluff. He knows that you did it." Jack turned ghastly pale. Nat looked as if he didn't believe it. "He can't have any evidence against us," said he. "He'll get it. You know Nick Carter." "But how can he get it? Nobody saw us." "Somebody must have seen you enter the hotel." "No," said Nat, positively; "I swear, Claymore, we got in without being seen." "You haven't told me how you managed that." ''No, for you sent us down the road on the chance of a pot shot at the detective. I'll tell you. There's an office building next to the hotel, you know, with an alley between." "vVe went in there and found an empty room. It was easy enough to pick the lock and get in. Then \Ye found that a short board would reach from the window to an open window in the hot,el. Jack went out and swiped a board from the place where they're putting up a new building-. At twenty-five minutes past three \\e put the board out, crawled across and got to the preacher's room without meeting any body." "And left the board there?" "Not on your life! replied Nat. ''\Ve took the board in and hid it in a closet until we had tumbled the preacher out of the window. Then we slipped back, returnee\ to the office building by the same way, and so \Yent,dO\Yll to the street." "And left the board--" "Of course! Werweren't going to lug it around in daylight. \Vhal harm could it do in an empty room?" ''Oh! no harm. of course," very sarcastically. I ":\ obocly would find it, and \Yonder about it; oh, no!" '\Vhat do you mean, Claymore?" "I mean this: Nick Carter has that infernally sharp Patsy along with him. I believe you know Patsy." "Yes, cl-him!" "So I say! but while Nick went out to get Low, Patsy was nosing around town. He probabiy found that board; he probably saw you two fellows, and knew you; then he put two and two together, and the long and short of it is that Carter is after you." "\Ve'll be han ged sure!" groaned Jack. "There's only one way out of it boys." ''Well?" "Carter will come here to a dead certainty. He knows the town. and knows that this is the place where you would most likely hang out. He'll come here." "Then he'll get a warm time 'Of it," said Nat. 'If you think so, stay. But you know the Carters. If you want a .chance to e s cape, take it nO\\'. There's a train for San Francisco runs through here in half an hour. You can catch it." "Come on," said Jack, nsmg.

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NICK CJ\RTER WEEKLY. 23 "Hold on a bit," said. Nat. "\i\Tho pays the freight? We haven't had our money yet." "I've got it, but I'll be hanged myself if I pay you in here. Get out on the street. I'll go with you part way to the station, and settle v,:ith you." "Don't wait,., urged Jack. "That's good advice. Carter may break in here any minute, or he may sneak in in disguise. That's his most likely way, and then you'll be nabbed before you know it." Nat was rather pale now. "I'll give him a fight for it. if he comes," he mut-tered, but he got up, and the three went out. \Vhen they were on the street Nat turned. "\i\Till you settle now?" he asked. "Don't be in such a hurry," was the sharp reply. "Your only safety is to get away from this place. \Valk along toward the railroad. I'll be close at your heels until I think it's safe to stop and settle." Nat hesitated. ''Don't you dare to do us dirt!" he hissed, sa -agely. ''I'll settle with you both before you get to the CHAPTER VIII. HANK LOW1S LUCK. Claymore was not in l1is boarding-house when Nick and Patsy arrived there. Ile had come in and gone out shortly afterward. \Vhere he had gone, or in what direction, nobody could sav. Possibly to Daddy Drew's to meet the desperadoes he had hired to commit murder; but Nick didn't believe it. "That long work in his of-fice this evening means something else," said Nick. "He's got another plot up his sleeve. I'll go to Daddy Drew's and get those men." Accordingly, .he had turned his face into a copy of Claymore's and had been admitted easily. Nat ,had said l e would put up a stiff fight if he should meet Carter, and he kept his word. Probably he reckoned that the detective wou ld \\ish to take him alive. for he did not surrender when he saw the revoher pointed at his heart. Irsteacl he made a quick rush at Nick, trying to station. Get a i;noYe on! Carter may be here the knock up both his arms. next second." The crooks started away, looking back frequently to see that Claymore was following. He kept ahout half-a-block behind them. Nobody but themselves seemed to be on the 'Streets. I There was a drunken man staggering along some distance ahead. but he didn't count." He, too, disappeared around a corner before the crooks came to it. \Vhen they were about to pass that corner a quiet voice behind them said: "This will do. \i\ T e'll settle here." "All right," resP'onclecl Kat. Both men halted and turned about. They looked into the muzzles of two revohers. The face back of the hands that held the weapons was not that of their employer, Claymore, but that of their rleadly enemy. Nick Ca.-ter. The detective was quite ready for that. It was true that he wished to take the men alive, and he did not fire. He had hoped they would be scared into quiet surrender. \ Vhen the attaick came he dropped both weapons to the sidewalk. Lettingdrive \\'ith his ) fists, he caught Nat on the chest, and knocked the wind out of him. But crook did not fall. He staggered against Jack, who at first was going to give up. Seeing that the weapons had been dropped, Jack joined in and made a desperate effort for freedom. He caught his partner and kept him from falling. Then both together sailed into the detective. ''\Vhy !" said Nick, with a laugh, "come on, if that's what you \Yant." His arms shot out like lightning flashes, and ev ery

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24 NWCK CARTER WEEKLY blow landed, but the crooks kept too close for him to give them settl ers. ; And, after a moment, Jack retreated and drew his revolver. That was a moment of peril for Xick, as he was busy just then with Nat. And Nat, seeing the chance, pretended to be knocked down. This was to give Jack a chance to shoot. Up came the ruffian's revoh er, but before he could aim, around the corner rushed the drunken man whom they had seen. This man threw his arms about Jack's neck, and bore him silently to the ground. "Put the bracelets on him, Patsy," called Nick. "They're on, replied the "drunken man," calmly. Nick had leaped upon Nat, and in a second had him ironed. i s the way I settle,., he said, as h e stood up. The prisoners cursed furious_ly, but if that did them any good nobody knew it. Nick picked up his re\ohers, and then h e and Patsy marched the prisoners to headquarters. Kerr was still there, and he was surrounded by eager reporters. "Here are the murderers," said Nick. "Lo\Y is in nocent. He produced the amateur's photograph, and told the story as l>riefty as possible. "The chief villain is yet to be caught," he con-cluded. "I think >Ye shall find the clevv to him in his office I There was a great deal of excitement at head-quarters, and many questions were asked. Nick told the reporters to make it plain that Law's a rrest had been a fake. "When it's all settled," he said, ''I'll give you the 'de t ails, or you can get them from Kerr, who deserves a great deal of credit for the way he picked up e v idence. I've g
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NICK CARTER \\" E EKLY. 25 Nick watched the rascal for a few minutes, and then walked toward him. "Why don' t you put the post up where it will take in '.Hank Low's house and barn?" he asked. Claymore turned at the sound, and caught. up a revolver that was lying on the ground beside him. He fired hastily, and the bullet went wild. Nick had him covered. "Try again," said the detective, "if you think you can do your own murdering." As he spoke, he was advancing upon the man. Claymore g1:1.ve one desperate look around. He saw two wag-ons coming up the road. Then he dropped his weapon, sat on the ground, and put his hands to hi s face. "You hav en't as much nerve as I thought you had." remarked Nick. He put handcuffs on the prisoner, and waited for the others to come up. "I can tell you all about it," said Nick, then. "This man Claymore found that he had bought land where the oil was scarce. He was so anxious to get the land cheap that he didn't dare to prospect thor qughly. If he had done his work well he would have seen that the place for oil wells i s further up the stream and nearer Low's house. "He found that out after a while, and then schemed to get possession of the rest of the farm without paying for it. "Seeing that Judson would expose the crooked \York of the compa ny. l:e had him murdered by a couple of desperadoes who drifted into De11ver just "His confederates have told me all about the murder of Judson, so that they are sure to be hanged, and one of them, Jack Thompson, is ready to confess and tell just how Claymore hired them to do the deed. "Between Jack's confession and what I heard them say, we have got a complete case. "If I was in Hank Low's place I'cl give up farming on land where the water is covered with oil, and / dig wells. "I noticed the appearance of the water in the stream when I was talking with Low earlier in the night, and I knew that the place to dig for oil is near his house. It was soon proved that Nick was entirely right. The upper part of Lows far m was rich in oil. The farmer acted more than honestly about it. \Vith the help of Folsom, who was greatly pleased to learn that the clergyman had not committed sui cicle, Low got the names ancl addresses of all who had put money into the scheme of which Judson had been p resident. And in the encl nobody who had in vested with the clergym an lost anything. No attempt was made to get back the part of the farm that was sold, for the land wasn't worth tha trouble. Jack Thompson confes sed, but that did not save him from severe punishment. He was put in prison for life. and Claymore ancl Hamilton were hanged. "I can't help wishing ." said Nick, ''that Claymore's p artner, Donnelson, had been aronnd. I would have liked lo send him up, too, but perhaps I shaii C:'1mc in time for the job. a c ross him later. ''Then he
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FIFTY PRIZES FIFTY PRIZES There is a good chance for every boy in our new Funny Story eontest \ you ALL KNOW what rattling funny s tories we p r inted in t h e contest that has j ust closed. It w as a corking contest, and we are going to follow it with anothe r o f the s a me kind. You have j ust as good a chance in this contest a s any other boy in Ame rica, whether you entered the contest or not. We want '10RE FUNNY STORIES Think o f the funn ies t s t ory of w hich y o u have ever h e ard, or the best )oke. Write it out and send it to u s-then look out for funny stories. We are going to publish in this contest some of t he best side-split te rs that ever came out of the joke factory. Remember the prizes we are offering. In this contest there are FIFTY NEW PRIZES FIVE fl R S T PRIZES The five b o ys who sen d in t h e fi ve b e st st ories will each receive TEN BOOKS from this list. The list inclu d es som e of the best detective stories, t ales o f a dventure, and most i n ter est ing boys sto ries ever w r it t e n TEN SECOND P RI ZE S Thete n b o y s who send i n the next best stori e s will each re c ei v e any FOUR BOOKS the y may s elect i n this li s t. FIFTEEN THIR D PRZ E S T h e f i fte e n b o ys who s en d u s t he ne x t best stories will each re c ei v e any THREE BOOKS the y may select in this list. The next twenty boys will rece i v e any TWO BOOKS they may select in this list. HERE ARE HIE DIRECTION S Thi s contest will close S EPTEflBERlst. Remember, whether your story wins a p r ize o r not, it stands a good chance of being published, together with your name. NICK CARTER WEEKLY PRIZE CONTEST No. 3. I Name ......... .. .... ... ....... ..... .... ..... ... ..... ... ... .. .... Street nnd Number .. ... ... ...... .... .............. .......... City or T o w n ..... ............. ........... : ...... ... ....... ... : State .. ................. .... ..... ................... ..... ....... ... ..... Title of Story ............... .. .. ............... .. ......... .. ... 'l'o become a contestant for these prizes you must cut out the Prize Contest Coupon printed herewith, fill it out properly, and mail it to Kick Carter weekly, care of Street & Smith, 238 Wil liam St., New York City, together with your story, No story will be considered that does not have this coupon accompanyi n g it. Watch fo r the announcement of the prize winners in three weeks. 1--The ;13oa.t Club, ............... By Oliver Optic 2-Cadet Kit Carey .. By Lieut. Lionel Lounsberry 3-All Aboard .............. ., .. By Oliver Optic 4-Lleutenant Carey's Luck, By Lieu t. Lionel Lounlll>erry Ii-Now or Never ................ By O liver Optic 6-Captaln Ca.rey p! the Gallant Seventh, By Lle1,1t. Lionel Low1sberr y 7-Chased Through Norway ....... Sy James Otts 8-K1t Carey's Protege, B y Lieu t. Lionel Lounsberry 9-Try Again .................... By Oliver Optic 10-Dan Kirk, the Boy Cattle Kinl!r, By Gilbert Patten 11-Frnm Tent to White House. (Boyhood and Lire or PreslJa..:k Archer ................. By G A. Henly 33-Jud a.ncl Joe, Printers and Publishers. By Gilbert Patte n 34-Tbe Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green, By Cuthbert Bede, B. A. 36--In the Reign o Terror ....... By G A. Hem y 13arracks and Wigwam, By W!lliam Murray G rayd o n Fenn By A rthu r Sew all 39-Wlth Boer and Britisher In the Transvaal By William Murray Graydon 40-Canoe and Campfire .. By St. George Rathbone 4 1-Ch cc k 2134 ............. By Edward S. Ellis 42-Tbo Young Acrobnt. ... By Horatio A lger, Jr. 4:\-In Southern Seas ...... By Frank H Converse 44--The Golden Magnet.. By George Manville Fenn 45-JaC'k \:Vbetder; A 'Vcstern Story, By Capt. David So u t hwick 4H--Poor and Proud ............... By Oliver Optic 47 -J;;ric Dane ............ By Matthew White, Jr. 48--Luke Bennett's Hide-Out, By Capt. C. B. Ashley. U. E. Scout 49 -'rbe .Mystery of a Diamond, Dy Franlt H. Converse 5-0-Dcan Dunham ......... Bi' Horatio Alger, J r 51-'fom Trac)' .......... U y Arthur Lee Pnlna.m (Horatlo A!ger, Jr.) 52-From Jt"a.rm Boy rn Senator. 53-The Adventure o! a 1-loy ............... By Arthu r Lee P u t nam Alge r, .Jr.) M-Joe '.'11cho ls; or, 5&-A Voyttge to the Gold CoMt. By Frank H. Con verse I>C'r-:'lature's Younc-Nobleme n, By Brook McCormick 57-' l h e Gold o Flat Tap Mountain. By Frank H. Converse 2:2-Tlie Champdoee M:yslcry By Emile Ga.boriau 21-The Delt..,.ctlvc; s Dilemma.By Emile Gaboriau 2J-The DEier People's !\Janey .... By Emile Gaboriau 21!>--A Hidortland Place Mystery. ErnE.>st De Lancey Pierson ::?04--Eunted Down. By Richard Aehton \Va.ln<\'rlght

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Say, boys, this new contest has made a great beginning. The editor dislocated his jaw laughing last week. He says his sides are sore, and he has lost two or three buttons from his vest. He is ready for more, however. Prize winners in the last contest will be announced next week. Look out for them. Maybe you have won a prize. Pat Rooney. ( By John D McGuire, R. I.) Pat Rooney was an Irishman who live d near m y house He was working one day in a pit with Mike Farrell. Pat began to tell Mike about his life At last Mike got tired of beariug Pat talking and he asked.Pat: "Say, Pat, how many tongues have y ou got?" ''Why,'' answered Pat, "I have three tongues." "How do you make tha t out?" asked Mike. ''Why, t o be sure, I have one in .my mouth and two in my shoes,'' answered Pat. One night Pat and Mike slept together. When they woke up Mike asked Pat, ''Did you hear the thunder last night?'' "No, Mike; did it really thunder?" asked Pat. "Yes," said Mike, "it thundered as if heaven and earth would come together.'' ''"'Why the deuce," said Pat,' 'didn't you wake me up, ye know that I ca n t sleep when it thunders?" Another time Pat was sent to the post office after the letters. He was asked on his return: '' 'Vell Pat, what was there for me?" ''Two letters and a palJer, sir.'' ''Well, hand them to me. What are yon standing there for?" "Indade, sir, and you didn't t e ll me to bring them at all, at all." "What did you go to the post office for?" ''iVell, to be sure, you told me to go to the post office and see what was in your box, and haven't I done it, sir?" So Pat had to go back-to the post office again. One day Pat got a Jew boy to say a speech. ''Tell us the story or poem about 'Excelsior,' said one of the men who was with Pat. Tl.Jen the boy began: ''Do se efening clouds was sedding fast, As a young mans drough der fillage passed. S!Jkating along 'mid shtorm and hail. Mit dese vords tied py his goat d a il, S hoo Flies! '' 'Oh, don't go oudt such a nighdt like dose!' His mudder gried, 'you vill got vroze; Dot Shack Vrost he vill nib your ear.' He only answered mid a sneer: 'Shoo Flip!' 'Gome pack, gome pack!' der oldt man saidt; 'Gome here und eadt dis biece uv pread.' He yust looked down und hofe a sigh, 'I vus a hunky boy mit a glass eye: Shoo Strings! ''Higher nndt higher dot young mans vent, For der shtorms he didn't gare a cent. He flipped de shnow off his nose und ear, Und dese vords vas heardt so loudt nnd clear, 'Shoo Tacks!' "In about a veek (or maype more) Der beeble beardt an awful roar, Dot sounded loudt nnd var und vide, V on vay np der monndain side: Shoemaker! ''Two men vere ondt a-shooting shnipes, Und vile d ey shtopped to shmoke der bipes, Und ven dey habben ed to look aroundt, Dey saw dot shticking in the ground, Lalamazoo !'' So this finishes the adventures of Pat Rooney. Bill Was Too Smart. (By Hugh M. Haines, Pa.) "My son Bill,'' said the old farmer, "was just too smart for anything. I had a big red bull, who used to git lo os e once in a while and lick everything in the State, an' Bill was ready to bet his last cent on that critter. ''On e day when a circus proce ss ion was coming up the road Bill comes runuing from the barnyard an' says: '' D ad, I'm gain' to, let that bull out.' 'Fur why?' says I. 'Fur to se e him hev fun with the e lephant.' \ '''Don't you do nuthin' of the kind. The elephant would break bis back in a holy minit.' 'Never, dad, never! Our bull will roar one roar,

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28 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. dive one di v e, and he'll tumble that behemoth into the ditch an' then upset the band wagon. Dad, it's the chance of our life to see a heap of fun.' "Waal, now," drawled the old man "Bill said so much that I told him to go ahead. Mebbe that bull smelt them three elephants a mile away, fur when he was let out he was ready fur a row. He pawed and bel lered, and worked J1is mad up, and when the elephants finally come along he selected the bigges t of the three and made fur him. One of the circus men called out fur one of us to take our critter away, but we was lettin' him take keer of hisself. "Jest then, with a belier and a rush, lJe w a s upon the elephant, but things didn't happen a s Bill had planned them. Say, now, but that b i g bea s t 1 ) 1et our bull bead on an' knocked him flat and the n he got his trunk under him and flung him into a swamp and uever ev e n looked ?t him. W e went d o wn to se e our bull, and he bad tears in his e y es, a broken l e g and one horn g on e. I at Bill, and Bill look s at m e, and bim e by I sa ys: '' 'Bill, this critter cost me $40 in cash.' 'Don' t s ay a word dad,' h e s a y s as b e sits down with a big sigh. I thought I was the smartes t feller in this county, b,1t I was foolin' mys elf. I'll work three months fur $15 a mouth and pay for t11e bull, and if I'm ever fool 'nuff to buck up ag' in another elephant, may somebody kill me with a crowbar.' A horse from a livery stable died soon after being returned, and the person who hired it was sued for damages. A witnes s was called-a long, lanky stable boy. ''How does the defend ant usually ride 1
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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. 2 9 position, namely, Where the devil he was, and where the devil be was going. "Thirdly, and this is of a persoual character, Who the devil be was seekiug. ''And fourthly a11d lastly, we shall endeavor to solve .a q uestion whic.;h bas i1ever beeu solved yet. What the devil he was roaring about.'' John's Reven ge. (By Harry Goodstein, Mass.) Mr. Smarthead, the teacher, had been rough on John, and John wanted revenge. The next day John came to school and the teacher noted a meaning smile on his face, and saw that he wanted reveuge. A little later the teacher went out for a moment aud when be returned he saw a tack 011 his chair. But be saw through the thing_ and did not sit down again, hut said: "Boys, I am going out of the roon1 for a moment aud I wa.nt a boy to take my place at the desk while I am out.'' Then turning t o John he said: ''You may come here and take rny place, but sit down on n iY chair and do llot stir." When he finished speaking the last words he graf:;ped John by the shoulders and sat him do\'\'n ou the chair. The tack was made of steel, but the pants were uiade of wool, so, of course, the tack went thro11gh the pauts. Quack Quack! (By R. Jackso11, Ohio.) A quack doctor stood on his wagon at a street corner selling his cureall. A gronp of people gathered about him, and he undertook to teach them the anatomy of the throat. "My dear friends," be began, "perhaps you don't kuow it, but there are two passages that go from the back of the mouth to your stomach. One is called the oesophagus, and the other the oesophagi. Now, the soli
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30 NICK CARTER WEEKLY. When we got our dinner be asked me to go down-town with him, so I con sented to go with him to show him the sights, and as we were passing a grocery store he saw some cocoanuts in the window. He stopped and gazed at them for a while apd he said to me: "How much do those potatoes with hair on cost?" I laughed all day. Every time I think of him I laugh. A New Kind of Cheese. (By A. M. Erwin, La.) It has not been many years since, that if one went into a .village store and called for a box of axle grease, that there would be handed him a round woocien box of grease of a dirty grayish color. Later on came the tin boxes with the bright golden grease which looked very much like cheese. One of these is the cause of this story, the iucident actually occurring in a town on the Arkansas River, about ninety miles above Little Rock. An old negro came into the store one day and after making his necessary purchases was looking around the store when he saw the axle grease in the tin boxes. It was something new to him and turning to the clerk, he said: "Boss, what kind of cheese am dat ?" The clerk, se eing a chance for a good joke, replied: "Well, Mose, that is a new kiud of cheese, and it is verv fine.'' Mose picked up a box, looked at it closely and asked: "What am it worth, Mr. John?" Mr. John replied: ''Well, it is worth only ten cents, and if you want a box, Mose, I'll throw in some crackers with it." The old darky took the "cheese" and the crackers and went out back of the store and sat down on a drygoods box to enjoy his lunch. He didn't seem to enjoy it very well and made such awful faces that we who were watching just laughed and laughed till we could laugh no longer. But Mose kept faithfully at it, and finally finished his lunch. When he came back into the store we were all up in front trying to keep our faces straight. Mose came up to me and said: ''Marse Abe, does you like dat new cheese?" "\Vhy, certainly," I replied, "it is very fine." Mose looked at the other boxes, twisted his tongue around in his mouth as if trying to get rid of the taste, and then said, very earnestly and solemnly: "Boss, dat am de rausomest chee s e dat I ever eat." Two Hunting Stories. (By Amos. ) A turkey bunter once crept up under a huge tree in the darkness of the night to wait for light enough to shoot the turkeys overhead. it was light he noticed there were twelve turkeys roostiug on a straight limb. He knew that his bullet could only get one turkey, so he took an .extra bul1et fro111 his pouch and wHittled in the shape of a wedge a11d dropped it in the mu;;izle of his rifle. Then, instead of shootiug the turkeys he aimed at the limb and SJ.)lit it as the bullet passed through, and when the two sides came together again it caught the turkey's feet, and that is how he got twelve turkeys with one bullet. My friend told a story about a hunter who fired nearly a score of times up into a tree at some strange animal, such as be had no recollectiou of ever having seen be fore, but bis two companions with him tried in vain to get a sight of the strange animal. Finally it was discovered that on a hair from his eyebrow, which hung down within a half inch of the pupil of his eye, was an insect usually found grazing on the heads of people ;:;nd that was what he was shooting at. When it was removed the strange animal disappeared. l\n Evasive Answer. (By H. Hunt, Mich.) "Pat," said an Irish clergyman to bis factotum, "I shall be very busy this afternoon, and if any one calls I do not wish to be disturbed. "All right, sor. Will I say you 're not at home?" "No, Pat, that would be a lie." "Ah, pwhat'll I say, yer riverence ?" "Oh, just put him off with a11 evasive answer." At suppe r time Pat was asked if auy one had called. "Faix, there did," said he. ''And what did you tell him?" ''Sure and I gave him an evasive answer." "How was that?" queried his reverence. "'He axed me wuz your honor in, an' I sez to him, sez I, 'Was your grandmother a hoot owl?' Three Were Enough. (By S. Lingelbach, Wisconsin.) An Irishman, in order t0 celebrate the advent of a new era, went out on a lark. He didn't get home till three o'clock in the morning, and was barely in the house be fore a nurse rushed up and uncovering a bunch of soft goods, showed him triplets. The Irishman looked up at the clock, which said three, then at the three of a kind in the nurse's arms and said: "Oi'm not superstitious, but Oi thank Hiven thot Oi didn't come home at twilve." RIDER AGENTS ViAtfrED One1nes.eh town to ride o.nd sample 1002 Bicycle. 1902 Models, $9 to $f 5 'OI & '00 Models, high grade, $7 to Sil SOOSecand-hand Wheels 7'Vesbfpto anyone on approval and tenda)'B trial without a. cent in advance. EARN Al BICYCLE d!stributlntr 1000 cato.lop:ues f o r us. J Vrite at on.:a ment. sandrics. o.Jl kinds, bait regular prices. MEAD OYCLE CO.

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Amateur Detective Work" Boys, in reading one of the Nick Carter stories did you ever try to think ahead aud guess who was the in the case? Each of the readers has a chance to find out bow good a detective he is. f> He has the facts of the case laid before him jl1st as Nick Carter himself has. Of course, be has not got Nick's experience or wonderful detective insliuct. Stiil, he can prove whether or not he is a good detective by trying to decide in his own mind what the solution of the mystery is before he has read to the end of the story. The earlier in the stoty he is able to make his guess and the more accurate it is, the better detective be is. We ''ant to see what sort of detectives the readers of the NrcK CARTER WEEKLY are. We want one and all of you to write to us, t elling us whether you were able to solve the mystery that Nick <;:arter had to solve before reading to the eud of any of the stories. Tell us how'far you read before you arrived at your deci sion, and just wlia t points guided you in making your decision. Your letters will be printed in this columu. Here are three good lettel's, boys. Three of the QUt of the pile of letters we've beell getting. The first is from A. M: Erwin, wlio has just entered the funny story contest. His story was a rattling g ood one, and will be printed shortly. We wish him success ln all he undertakes. He comes from that lively old French-American town, New Orleans, and he's a credit to it. Messrs. Street & SmithGentlemen: I have been a reader of Nick Carter ever since it first came out and I think it the best book of its kind puhlished. I took great interest in the contests last summer and winter aud wished that I could have been iu them, but I was barred by lack of time. When I first commenced reading Nick Carter I was a slim youngster weighing 11i1Jety-five pouuds Now at twenty-four, I weigh 152 pounds and hold some very good records. I enclose a story which I hope will win a second prize. Success to you, your publications and their authors. I mean continued success, as they are a success already. I will read them as loug as I can get them. Hoping my story takes a prize, I r.emai11, Yours truly, New Orleans. A M. ERWIN Thank you for your good wishes. Your story is entered in the contest Here's a letter fr'om another part of the co!rntry. It's a good big bop, skip and a jump from sunny Louisiana to Minnesota. Bt1t we can make it. Hear what the bo y from tlie :Northwest has to say for bi self. He's got the makings of a fin e de t ective in him, and he's all right, anyway. Dear Sir: I have read a number of Nick Carter Weeklies. I always think ahead. In" Nick Carter's Ocean Chase" I spotted Palog first thing for the thief, because he was restless and w1easy. ) I was reading on the second page, and I said to my self, "Paiog is the thief." In the 'Mine Under i-he Grand Duke's Palace," I knew the girl was the leader of the gang, because the leaders do the pl otting. In "Nick Carter and the Guilty Governor," I had suspicious of Governor as soou as Chick had got those letters, and my suspicions gretv greate r when I read Nick's talk with the Gbvernor. I always solve the m ystery before reading much of the story. Yours truly, Mariette Min11. FRANK PEBLY. Good work, Frank. ... Get ready for another trip. This fone we're goiug East to Boston Nick Carter has worked on many cases there. There are some rattling good amatet1r detectives in that to\\r!J. Heres a letter from one of them: Editor of Nick Carter WeeklyDear Sir: What a corking story'' Nick Carter aud the Professor'' i s It offers the amateur detective a fine chance to show his ingenuity. I must say that I was suspicious of Pro fessor Drummond from the first. 'fhere was sometlii11g queer about the man. He gave me a sort of creepy feeling when be talked to Nick. He lived in a queer way-tile way a crank or a crook would live. About the u1iddle of the story I had my suspicions A ou I 1becaml! more certain. I thrnk Nick never showed his ability to better adva n tage than in t 1: at story. Three hearty cheers for Nick and the rest of the Carters. Yours for success, Boston, DONALD McKENZIE. Good work, Donald. You show good judgment. Write again.

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NICK CARTER WEEKLY. \. (LARGE SIZE.) The Best Detective Stories in the World. 1 249-Nick Carter Investigating a Lea!(; or, One Page Missing. 250-Nick Carter's Double Clew; or, The Fatal Resemblance. 251-Nick Carter and "The Brown Robin"; or, The Unknown Letter \Trite r. 252-Nick Carter Tracking a Traitor; or, Night work in a Country Town. 253-Nick Carter's Tunnel Mystery; or, Lost: $200,000 in Gold. 254-Nick Carter's Queer Murder Case; or, a Terrible Suspicion. 255-Nick Carter Challenged; or, Fighting a Powerful Enemy. 256--Nick Carter and Arizona Jake; or, The Big Westerner's Part in the Cooper Suicide. 257-Nick Carter in the Council of the Reels; or, The Plot of the Anarchists. 258-Nick Carter and the Secret of the Tin Box; or, The Man Who Stole His Name. 259-Nick Carter' s Fire Trail; or, Thwarting a Villain's Plot. 260-Nick Carter on the Track of the Freight Thieves; or, The Boldest Gang in New York. 261-Nick Carter on the Track of a Gentleman Burglar: or, Robbing a Thief. 262-Nick Carter Attacked; or, The Desperate Plot on the Detective's Life. 263-Nick Carter on the Trail of the River Pirates; or, The Dangerous Work on the River Front. Carter and the King of the Tramp Thieves; or, Patsy's Lone Hand Against the Hoboes. 265-Nick Carter and the Man in the Cask; or, Patsy's Terrible Predicament. 266--Nick Carter and the Shoplifters; or, The Automobile Clew. 267-Nick Carter's on Chase; or, The Missing Crown Diamond. 268-Nick Carter and the Broken Dagger; or, The Black Man from Borneo. 269-Nick Carter's Advertisement; or, A New Way to Catch a Criminal. 270-Nick Carter and the Nihili sts; or, The Mine Under the Grand Duke's Palace. 271-Nick Carter in the Convict Gang; or, Ida Jone;; to the Rescue. 272-Nick Carter and the Guilty Go vernor; or, The Am e rican D etectiv e and the Russian Officer. 273-Nick Carter in Canada; or, Showin g the Way t o a Treacherous Guide 274-Nick Carter and the Smuggler s ; or, Thief-C a t ching o n the B orcle i. 275-Nick carters Enemy; or, Bring ing a Murdere r to th e G allo ws. 276-Nick Carter's L a nd Office ; or, Outwitting a Cle ver Swindl er. 277-Nick Carter and the Professor; or. S o lvin g a Scientifi c P ro bl e m 278-Nick C arter a s a Mill H anel; or, The Fall Rin:r Murder Mystery R e \'e a led. 279-Nick Carter and t he Kich1apecl Heiress; or. The R e co ve r y o f a Great Ransom. 280-Nick Carte.r Strikes Oil; or, Uncovering More Tha n a Murderer. 281-Nick Carter' s Hunt for a Treasure: or, A Fight for Lif e with a M ysterious Foe. All of the above numbe r s always on hand. 1f yon canno t get th em from your n ewsdealer, five cents a copy will bring them to you by mail, po stpaid. STREET & SMITH PUBLISHERS 238 vVilliam St., New York.

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no the advantage of being able to !I box well. When called upon to defend l McGOVERN CROSS-COUNTERS wnH HIS RIGHT. yourself you are a lways ready and the manly art of boxing if practiced as set forth in the pages of the book entitl e d "The Art of Boxing and Self Defense" will bring the muscles into pla y and transform a weak man into a n ob l e specimen of his race The Art of Boxing a"d Self Defense B y PROF. DONOVAN The; only authentic WQrk on Boxing now on the market. I DIAnOND THE CONTENTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS WILL DIAnOND HAND BOOK HAND BOOK No.6 INTEREST THE MOST INDIFFERENT PERSON No. 9 ----JT is profusely illustrated with 37 e l egant half tone cuts, showing the different positions and blows. The originals of these illu s trations are such noted pugilists as James J effries, Robert Fitzsimmons, James J. C orbett, T erry McGovern, Y ou n g Corbett, and all ,the heavy and light-weight fighters who have ever held tbe championship of their class. The book is printed on good paper, clear, sharp type and bound in attractive i llu minated cover PRICE 10 CE NTS ..... : ALL NEWSD E ALERS If sent by mail, S cents additioqq.l for postage. I STREET & SMITH 1=-' PUBLISHERS NEW YORK YOUNG CORBETT GETS IN A STRAIGHT LEFT ON McGOVER0N'S STOMACH.


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