Buffalo Bill's Chinese chase, or, The battle of the Tongs

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Buffalo Bill's Chinese chase, or, The battle of the Tongs

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Title:
Buffalo Bill's Chinese chase, or, The battle of the Tongs
Series Title:
Buffalo Bill stories
Creator:
Buffalo Bill
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (31 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Western stories. ( lcsh )
Buffalo Bill -- Fiction -- 1846-1917 ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
020911026 ( ALEPH )
15929825 ( OCLC )
B14-00112 ( USFLDC DOI )
b14.112 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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E n te red as Second-class Matter at tile N Y Pos t Office, by STREET & S MITH 7 9 -89 S even t h Ave., N. Copyr ight, 1009, by STREET & SMIT H No.449 NEW YORK, DECEMBER 18, 1909. I Price, Five Cents As Buffalo Bill and hi.s pards turned the corner, they beheld old Nick Nomad, enmeshed in a heavy n e t being hauled up the side of a house by several desperate-looking Chinamen.

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A WilKLY.POBLICATIO Issued Weekly. By 1uhscriptw11 $2.60 #r year. Entered as Second-class Matter at tile N. Y. Post Office, fJy STREET & SMITH, 19-89 SerJentli Ave., N. Y. Copyrig-J.t, 1909, hy STREET & SMlTH. @""' Beware of Wild West imitations of the Buffalo Bill Stories. They are about fictitious characters. The Buffalo Bill weekly is the only weekly containing the adventures of Buffalo Bill, (ctol. W. r. Cody), who is knowR all over the world as the king of si;outs. No. 449. NEW YORK, December 18, 1909. BUFFALO BILL'S CHINESE CHASE; OR, THE BATTLE OF THE TONGS. By the author of ''BUFF ALO BILL." CHAPTER I. MARSHAL JAMESON "NORATES." Jim Jameson, marshal of Cyanide, tipped himself back in his easy-chair, swung his heavy feet upon the window ledge, and stuck a lighted match to his fat cigar. "Y' see, it's this way," he said. "Whether Bent Mur dock went under er not, I don't know, and can't find out. Wish't I could; fer he was a neighbor o' mine, and was allus considered plum on the square until this thing happened." He was addressing a small, dark man, who had come into his office a few minutes before. The stranger had given his name as Sam Lawson, fnd stated that he was an insurance detective, sent to Cyanide by the company that had issued a large insurance policy on Murdock's life. The heirs had already put in a claim against the company for payment of the policy, pushed to it, as they declared, by Murdock's creditors and the bank with which he had been connected. The company, so the little man had said, was disposed to contest the thing, and certainly would not hand over the money until they had positive proof that Murdock was dead. Naturally, the first thing the insurance detective had done on arriving in Cyanide was to call on the Cyanide marshal. "His friends and fambly believes," said Jameson, "that Murdock was helped off the planet by Chinese thugs, who w anted his roll. But as there's the hottest kind of a tong war goin' Dn clown in Chinytown right now it's as much as a white man's life is wuth to poke round in there to find out. I've tried it, an' I know. "The funny thing about it, too, is that on the surface everything down there is as ca'm as a millpond. Things air, apeerently, so peaceful in Chinkville at this minute that you'd believe all the tong gun men was on a vaca tion. But let me tell you that less than two days ago, to my own knowin', nighabout a dozen Chinamen was killed in some of them underground rooms. I seen 'em myself as they lay dead. Yit there ain't been a single chink funeral; and if you ask a Chinaman about it, he'll swear by all the high gods of China that he ain't never heard of any such fight. How does that hit ye?" "It's very peculiar, to say the least!" Jameson looked at him through the smoke of his cigar. "Well, I should say!" "As you're familiar with the situation," said Law son, would be your advice as to how I'm to proceed to get at the bottom facts here?" Jameson took out his cigar and looked the insurance detective over carefully.

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2 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "You want my honest opinion, I reckon?" "Sure!" was the answer. "Then, I'm saying to you that the best thing fer you to do is to pack your grip and hit it back to the place you come from?" "And not do anything?" "That's my say." "But I've been sent here to get at the truth of the matter!'' 'I reckon." "And yo11 advise me not to do anything!" "You'll live longer," Jameson declared. He lifted his feet off the window ledge and brought them with a thump to the floor. "Let me norate to you a few facts that has come un der my pers'nal observation sense things bas got to hummin' this way down in them chink latitudes. First off, Buffalo Bill and his pards comes here, sent to look into what's happened to Matt Nightingale, hitjl bein' a cattleman, who is all the time supposed to be close herdin' about his home range. "Buffalo Bill, like his custom is, jumps into the game plum greedy to do things. In addition to bein' detailed to look into what's befallen the said cattleman, he has become pers'nally interested in seein' what's occurred to a certain young ombray and his girl; the young ombray bein' B1odie Towne, who bas been hittin' the pipe hard in these here chink joints, and the girl bein' a missionary to the chinks. Cody has seen 'em enter by way of Moy Wing's restaurant; and they don't come out ag'in. "Tharfore, Cody and his pards butts into the game straight off. And the times they has gittin' out, after onct they had got in, is enough to give 'em brain fag. "BrodJe Towne himself, the chinks has tried to feed to the rats of the underground river; but, bein' a plucky boy, Brodie gives the ravenous rats the 'Ha, ha!' and gits out. Brodie's girl, this Miss Kelso I mentioned, is held by a chink who has took a notion to make her his wife. "As if all them exciting circumstances aip't enough, Wild Bill is captured and held by the chink thugs, who air goin' to kill him; and his pards, old Nomad and Baron Schnitzenhauser, who air tryin' to locate him, air trapped by a wizard umbrella that drops down on them, and finds. themselves prisoners alongside of Wild Bill. "I reckon all three would have gone under, too, if it hadn't been fer another chink what was sent hyer by the chief of police of 'Frisco to help Buffalo Bill in his Chinytown fight. This chink, which his name is Sam Wah, finds out where the pris'ners air held, and comes and tells of it. "Tharfore, Cody ancI me sets out with him; and after adventures dangerous and numerous enough to curl our hair we gits to 'em. We finds, too, Brodie Towne and the young woman-they bein' ag'in in the hands of the chinks-and the whole of us gits out at last. Likewise, we arrests some of the chinks. They're in jail now!" "But you didn't see anything, or hear anything, of Bent Murdock?" "Not a thing," said Jameson. "So I opines he's dead, and that yer old insurance company is goin' to have to hand over the money to his widder and the creditors. And seems to me you ought to do it. That's what in surance is for, ain't it?" "We expect to make the payment if he is dead." "You don't believe he is?" "We want the proof first." "I reckon that's natural," Jameson admitted. "How you're goin' to git it, though, I don't know." "I was figuring to get help from you; or information, at any rate." "You've got me pumped dry, Mr. Lawson." "What is Buffalo Bill doing now?" asked Lawson. "I reckon you may say he's restin' on his laurels." "Why1 he hasn't accomplished anything!" Jameson sat up straight, boiling with indignation. "Wow He ain't?" "Not as I see it." "Then your eyes, er somethin', is shore failin' you." "vVhat has he clone?" "Jest what he set out to do. He was sent hyer to see what had become of Matt Nightingale, the elusive cattleman aforesaid, which I was tellin' you about. Matt's friends thought he was dead; or, at any rate,. Matt's brother, who is an officer at Fort Union, shore thought that. Cody was to see. As the upshot of his investigations, taken at the risks I was noratin' about, Cody finds that Matt Nightingale is plum a sweet song bird, of a kind that nobody had guessed. He had swin dled his partner and jumped out with a lot of money. Thinkin' be would be pursued, he had hid in Chinytown, him bein' a former friend of Moy Wing, what runs the chop-suey house. I reckon he pays Moy Wing to hide him down in them Chinytown ratholes. But Cody smells him out and the mystery is ended." "But he didn't find Bent Murdock!" "That wasn't Cody's work; he was only lookin' fer Murdock as a sort o' side issue, while he was belpin' to git Towne and this girl out of the hands of the chinks and find the cattleman. "You see," the marshal went on, explaining and de fending, "Cody is workiq' for the government-'specially the army part of it, bis chief duties bein' to do scout work when the reds air troublesome, and to put a quietus on the outlaws and gun men that air from time to time makin' trouble along the border. He was sent hyer by the army officers, at the instigation of this officer at Fort Union, to find Matt Nightingale. He found him! By now Matt's brother wishes that Cody hadn't been so industrious and keen-nosed, I reckon; for Matt is a Nightingale roostin' in jail, and will go over the road. So that's the end of Cody's task hyer. And, as I said, not havin' anything extry on his hands, jest now he is restin' on his laurels; which is to say, he's takin' his ease at ther best hotel in Cyanide, s mokin' good see gyars, and conductin' himself, fer a little while, like a giniwine son of rest. Likewise, his pards air doin' the same." Lawson, insurance detective, who had been mightily interested, asked another question: "Could I get bis aid in this matter, do you think? I'd like to see him." "I don't reckon you could," Jameson answered, smok ing up again. "Not unless he was made to see that it was his duty, er that human life was at stake, er the like o' that. It's this way, you see: If Cody should pick up every case that is brought to his attention. or which he is asked to dig into, he"d be turnin' hisself into a perpetual-motion machine, he is that successful and

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. 3 popular. So I figger that he's likely to rest and git his wind ag'in, ag'inst the time, which may come at any minute, when the army men will fire him like a shot out of a cannon at suthin' else." Sam Lawson sat in thought a minute; while the mar shal, his chair tipped back, blew rings of smoke at the ceiling of his office. "Just go over what you told me about that umbrella trick again," said Lawson. Jameson turned to him. "Well, it was a trick that nobody but a chink would ever thought about-a sort of man trap, shaped like a big umbrella, workin' up and clown through a hole in the ceilin', makin' of it a sort of elevator. Never seen anything like it." "It's there yet?" "It is, if the chinks ain't taken it away; which is likely, now that we're onto it." "Could you show it to me?" Jameson stared at the little man. "Y' wouldn't think o' tryin' et?" "I might." "I'd advise ye not to. So I reckon I'd better not tell ye where it is." "In one of the cellars, you said." "There's a good many o' them; more'n anybody knows about, in my opinion." "Well, I'd like to see it. I ain't saying I'd try to use it; that would be a risky thing, I s'pose, for me to do?" "It would." The little man fell silent again. "I guess I'll ask you to show it to me, anyhow; be cause, for one thing, I want to get them cellars located. It's up to me to find out if Bent Murdock is living or dead. The insurance company sent me here to do that, and I'm going to do it." His manner was so nervously commanding that the marshal pulled himself out of his easy-chair by the window. "I kin show you where it is," he admitted, "if the chinks ain't plum stopped up the door in th!'! wall which leads into the cellar. I'm half thinking that maybe they have But I'll show you." They left the office together and took their way to the narrow alley that lay at one side of Moy Wing's chop suey house, which was to be reached from the main street. "Nobody much but chinks ever passes through this alley, day or night," said the marshal; "and lately I've noticed that even they fight shy of it." There were a few Chinamen on the street, but none in the little alley, wh\ch was quite deserted. "Right there is the box which they keep settin' ag'inst the wall to hide the door," announced Jameson. "Seems jest set there by accident, that box does, as ye may say "Yes, it looks that way." Stepping up to the box, Jameson pulled it asiJe. What they saw was a hole, made by the removal of two or three bricks in wall of the house, which flushed sharp against the sidewalk. Jameson stuck the toe of his shoe into the hole, kicked sharply, and a little door was driven open, inward, by the blow of his kick. Thi> reyealecl a small, square door, yet large enough to admit a man easily. Beyond the door everything was dark, even when the insurance detective dropped clown on his knees and tried to see in. "Back there 1s the cellar," Jameson explained "There's two more connected with it Then another one, that's underneath. And still some more overhead Only them that's overhead, I reckon, you wouldn't call cellars, as they're above ground; they're rooms and cor ridors, and sech like, on the ground floor of the buildin'. This house is two stories, ye see; the other houses jammin' up ag'inst it air of the same height. Under all of 'em air cellars; and the chinks lives and hides in the cellars as much as they do in the houses "I think I'd like to take a look in here," said Lawson. "Ye can, if ye want to. Ain't nobody to say other wise. Unless," he added, "the chinks should take a hand at keepin' ye out." "Back in there somewhere is where all the wonderfu l things you've been telling me happened?" "Yes; and on the floors and in the rooms above." "And the underground river you spt)ke of is back in there?" "'Tain't exactly a river," Jameson amended; "it's jest a canal, as ye may say, plugge' out underground by the mine and reduction works company, to carry off the water from the mine and the reduction waste See? It comes out into the gorge that's below the town." "I guess I'll crawl in and look round a bit." "Better take a lantern with ye; things air plum blacker than a pocket without a light." Lawson went back with Jameson to get a lantern, after they had pushed the box into position again to hide the hole. "You're runnin' this resk ag'inst my judgment," said Jameson. "If I had time I'd go with you, jest to see that you keep safe; but you're an experienced man, you tell me, and know how to look out fer yerself. You'll need your wits about you if so be the chinks takes a notion to make you trouble." "I don't really think they will bother me," Lawson declared. "You say that because you're that ignorant of the possibilities that you ain't met up with." "You don't think you want to try it with me?" The insurance detective had got his lantern and was ready to return to the alley. "I don't," said Jameson. "I've had enough experience in there to do me fer one while." "Good-by, then !" Lawson turned away toward the alley "How long before I shall begin the work?" J ameson asked, in a casual tone. "What work?" said Lawson, stopping'." "The work of rescuin' you?" "Now you're joking!" "Am I? I'm hopin' it will turn out a joke, that's all." "You won't go with me?" "Not any." "Good-by, then. You'll see me inside of an hour." "Livin', or the other way?" said J an:eson But Lawson trotted off, swinging the lantern, a:1ll soon vanished from the street into the little alley.

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4 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. I CHAPTER II. S.\M LAWSON'S MARVELOUS STORY. It was late afternoon when the marshal took his way in the direction of the Cyanide Hotel, where Buffalo 13ill and his pards were stopping while in the town. He had seen nothing more of the insurance detective who had given his name as Sam Lawson; but waiting at his office for word from Lawson had made him late. He had expected to call on the noted scout at a time much earlier. His surprise was great, therefore, when, passing the mouth of the little alley leading into Chinatown and glancing curiously into it, he saw La>vson swaying about in there as if he were intoxicated. Jameson stopped and turned into the alley. "Hello!" he said, approaching Lawson. The insurance agent was now standing in the middle of the alley, swinging backward and forward on his heels, his hands thrust deep into his pockets. Occa sionally he muttered some indistinguishable word: His appearance was tltat of a man intoxicated, and that was Jameson's first impression on beholding him at close quarters. "Hello!" he repeated, when Lawson did not respond to his greeting. The insurance detective stopped teetering and stared at his accoster. "\Vho're you?" came the thick question. "I'm Jameson, marshal of this hyer hamlet. What's happened to ye?" "Oh! You're Jameson!" The insurance detective passed a hand before his face, as if "batting" at a mosquito. "So you're-you're Jameson? Tha-that's clear enough! But-what I want to know is, who'm I?" "Why, you're Lawson! What's the matter with you? Been drinkin', or hittin' the opium pipe in that joint back there?" He took Lawson by the arm. "Say," said Lawson thickly, like a drunken rnan "you're Jameson? That's all right. Question is, who'm I?" "I've told you-you're Sam Lawson, the feller that has come hyer to look into this insurance case of Bent Murdock, because your company ain't goin' to pay the money until they know fer sure that Murdock has gone under. That's what you told me." "I did?" "You sure did. I reckon you've been drinkin' ." "No-p; so 'Ip me, ain't had a drop o' nothin'. 'Twas the chinks." "Wba-at ?" "The chinks done it." "What did they do to ye?" "I dunno-can't 'member; I knowed a while ago and forgot." ''\Vow!" breathed Jameson. "More black works of the chinks o' Chinytown. I reckon this hyer is a case fer Duffalo Bill to look into, as I'm jedgin' it's too much fer me." He said to Lawson: "You jest comego 'long with me and I'll see that you're took care of. Was you goin' to your hotel?" "D-don't know where I was goin'. Do-don't know where I am. I'm -fogged. So you're Jameson? 'Portant question is, who"m I?" He swayed tij)sily, and might have fallen to the ground but for the su s taining arm of the marshal. "You come along with me," urged Jameson. "If you need treatment you can have it. I'll summon a doctor. But first off I want vou to see some men that will be mightily int'rested in this." Lawson, lacking any will of his own, permitted Jameson to lead him away. As they went up the street, the insurance detective leaning heavily on the arm of the marshal, and now and then mumbling, all who saw them thought that Lawson was a man under arrest for intoxication. Within ten minutes or so Jameson had arrived with Lawson at the scout's hotel, and stood before the door of Cody's room, on which he knocked. The deep voice of Buffalo Bill bac;le him enter. \Vhen he pushed open the door, which stood half ajar, the Cyanide marshal found the scout and his pards in various easy attitud es, taking their comfort. But Buffalo Bill came at once to his feet when he saw Jameson and the man he had brought. "Feller hurt?" sang out Nick Nomad. "Looks as if he'd been smellin' the strong water," sug gested Wild Bill. "He says he ain't drunk," Jameson announced, "but that the chinks has been at him." The scout pushed out a ch1air, and J arneson low ere I the nearly helple s s man into it. By this time all the occupants of the room had come to their feet and were asking questions. Buffalo Bill bent over Lawson, felt his pulse, and made a hasty examination. "Not intoxication," he announced; "so it looks as if it may be true that the Chinese have been at him. Bring me some cold water and a sponge, N omacl." Jameson was already explaining: "Name's Sam Lawson; and he told me that he was an insurance detective, sent byer by the company to look into this case of Bent Murdock, as the insurance people air goin' to refnse payment until they know fer sure 1 that Murdock has gone under. I was tellin' him all about the things that has lately happened in Cbiny town, it comin' up through the suggestion that maybe Murdock had been robbed and murdered by them; then this feller gits crazy to take a look at that door in the alley and a peek into them cellars. I advised him that it was plum too dangerous; but he would try it. That was five hours ago. Jest now, in comh1' by the alley, I found him moseyin' round in it, actin' like a drunk man. But he says thet it's chinks. So I headed him fer hyer; and now you see him." Buffalo Bill began work with the sponge and the cold water. In washing Lawson's head he found a lump half the size of a hen's egg. "It looks as if he had been hit," he said. right there would make him dizzy, all right. may be just what is the matter with him. that pocket flask, Hickok." "A blow So that Give me He was brought the flask and a spoo n, and gave Law son some whisky. They continued the coid-water treatment, with a little stimulant at intervals, having placed Lawson on a lounge. They did not think it nece ssa ry to send for a

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TIIE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. s phrician, not knowing but that what Lawson might re late would be better told with no physician present. Lawson was still lying on the lounge when he came back to a full realization of things and showed a dis position to speak of what had befallen him. "This is Buffalo Bill, that I was tellin' you about," said Jameson to him; "and hyer air his pards-Wild Bill Hickok, Nick Nomad, and Baron von Schnitzenhauser, which we calls Schnitz fer pho rt. They're all intere sted in chink
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6 a'HE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. overexcited him to relive those sensational and danger ous n:oments. "But a fool for luck!" he went on. "You know how it 1s. If I hadn't been a fool I wouldn't have got in there in that manner; and if I hadn't been dead lucky I"d never got out." "Wapgh !" Nomad rumbled, bending forward as if that would help him to hear better. "I didn't know where I was, and I didn't know where I was going; but I do know that I heard the chinks hot after me as I scuttled along. Then I butted into a little room all filled with red velvet curtains and the like, with a big black monster, shaped like a man, right in the middle of it.' : "Ther Chinese joss!" said Nomad. "Must er been." "Probably that 's what it was-the Chinese joss. If so, I had blundered into the joss house. Well, I didn't see any way out, so I dived behind one of the curtains, which put me right in front of the black image. I gripped my revolver nervously for I didn't know but that soon I would have the biggest fight of my life, and would see my fini s h. "But even then, I give you my word if it didn't give me the creeps, just to look up into the ugly face of that joss. The eyes glated at me; and then I saw the eyes move." "Wow!" "That's what I thought-wow! It gave me the creeps. Then I s aw that they were human eyes, looking out through the eyes of the image. And if they were human eyes, then I knew a man was in there. That gave me an idea, as desperate as that first one which decided me to try the umbrella. If the man got in there he did it by a hole, or a gate, or a door, or some think like it; I knew that. "I thought I heard the feet of the chink s that were chasing me; and it occurred to me that I must have made pretty hot time to have left them so far behind. Then I began to crawl round the jo ss, hunting for the door by which the fellow had got into the ins ide of the thing. I suppose now that he was a priest, or some sor t of spiritual caretaker; but just then I didn't know or care what he was; I was resolved that if I could get hold of him I would yank him out and take his place. "Perhaps he understood what I was thinking; or else he heard the pursuers corning. Anyway, he did the thing I would have asked him to do, if I'd known how and supposed he would do it. He opened a little door near the bottom of the image-a door that was all cov ered over with red velvet hangings; and then he tried to get out. "But I nailed him and hammered him on the head with my revolv;r. He sank down as limp as the velvet curtain "Waugh!" Nomad breathed again. "By this time the men that had followed me were right there. I didn't have time to think further, but jerked myself under tho s e velvet hangings, keeping the fellow with me that I had knocked out. I also had sense enough to douse my glim, and do it quick. It was behind the curtains, and in the lower part of the joss, when the pursuers dashed into the room. "I heard them looking rom:id and hunting for me; heard them pushing the curtains about. But I noticed one thing: that they didn't come close up to the ima ge I suppose now they were afraid to, because of s upersti tition or a religious feeling. You can bet I was glad that they didn't! "Setting down my lantern, I 'put my fingers on the throat of the unconscious rascal I had in there, pre pared to do the choking act if he came enough to him self to try to set up a holler. But as he was still limp as a rag I, after a moment or so, let him lie on the floor. "The fellows were still htlnting round. Apparently they thought I ought to be in there or that they had passed me somewhere, which last probably didn't seem likely. Another thought came to me-that they didn't know that the image was hollow and had a door leading into it, hid under one of the reel velvet curtains. It's my opinion that the fellow you think was a priest, see ing I was a white man, and that I had spotted his mov ing eyes, got the idea into his head that I would come in there and murder him; so that is why he tried to get out. Probably he would have stayed right there if I had been a Chinaman ." -"Them priests is plum deceivin' critters!" Nomad avowed. "I think you're right there," said Lawson. Then he went on: "Inside the image was a sma ll ladder, and when the f e llows still hunted round, making a lot of noise, I climbed up that short ladder, and found myself right behind the eyes of th e image, so that I could look out throu gh the holes the other fellow had looked out of. I saw the chinks rummaging round, searching for me six of them, all chattering in whispers, and giving glances now and then at the big black image, as if they were not sure but it would jump at them. But they didn't come clo se to it 'This i s all right,' I thought. 'I'm safe, unless one of the priests comes.' I admit I didn't ju st think the word priest at the time, for I didn't guess what the big image was; but I felt sure that the man I had knocked out had friends who knew the secret of that place as well as he did ; and it was them I was afraid of. "So I climbed down the little ladder and squatted by the senseless Chinaman, again ready to choke him if he stirred. "By and by I heard the searchers leave the room; they had given it up. But to make sure I kept still a while; then I climbed up to the eyes again and looked round. They were gone. "After that I climbed down and lighted my lantern. The jo ss was big enough inside to accommodate three or four men easily, and was tail in proportion. I think the thin g must have been made of brass plates, for I thought I saw the heads of rivets that had been gilded over with paint. "But the thing that caught my eyes-knocked me silly -was that in there was a little cabin et, or chest of drawers, all filled with gold money. And though I'm no thief, gentlemen, the temptation to swipe some of that gold came to me pretty "I t'ink I shou ldt haf done it,'' declared the German. "Iclt hadt peen stolen by dhem, I pedt you!" "I didn't know about that. Perhaps it was the offer ingto the temple, as seems to me now, since your sug gestion. Still, I might have filled my pockets with it;

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, THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 7 but just then the chink I had hammered on the head showed signs of coming back to life. "I didn't want to hammer him again, for I might have killed him. So I concluded to get out of there while I could. And I had no reason to stay in there, since the Chinese who had chased me were gone. What I wanted to do was to poke round and see if I could find out any thing about Bent Murdock, and then get out as quick as I could. "I dropped one of the gold pieces into my pocket, just to be able to show it, as proof, maybe, of my story; and pulled my freight away from that place while the fellow was rolling and muttering himself back to consciousness. "\Vhcn I got out, and had left the room, I found my self in the same passage I had been in; but I saw that there were others, several others-each of them leading up to that room. "As there wasn't much choice, I struck into one, be cause I didn't want to go back the way I had come, and perhaps meet the Chinese. So I swung along again, not knowing where I was going. But I tried to keep track of the direction; for I felt sure I should want to go back that way as s oon as I could. "After a while I heard Chinese. The galleries were mere tunnels, at times; and there were small room s l-Iost of them s howed that recently they had been occu pied. It was like going into a house that had been deserted, as I did once, wh e re a fire had scared the people out, and they had fled and left their beds and clothing and everything behind. It was just the same." "I think we can explain that," s aid the scout. "Then I wish you would," Laws on told him. "There has been a merry chink war going on down there for some days and nights. The Hep Sing Tong men have been fighting the On Leon Tong men. There haye been some bloody time s and a number of Chin:i mcn have been kiJJed. Those occupying those room s probably got scared and cleared out in a great hurry to save their Jives." "I was tellin' you something about that," Jame son reminded. "I recollect now that you did," Lawson admitted. "Go on !" the scout urged. "vVe're anxious to hear about Bent Murdock." "Oh, yes! Well, I heard a sound by and by which led me to a small hole of a room, like an open pri s on cell, where I found M urclock chained by one of his legs to the floor, surrounded by filth and dirt. "The fellow was nearly insane, and his wild muttter ings are what guided me. I had a talk with him-jus t a few words, while I was trying to get the chain off his legs or loose it from the floor. But I didn't get his whole story. But from what he said I think he was taking some money home from the bank, after the fail ure, or because he expected it to fail ; and was set on by Chinese thieves, who not only robbed him, but had broug-ht him to that place, where he had been chained and held ever since. "I was doing everything I cottld for him, which was just nothing at all, when some Chinamen came rushing suddenly on me. They had been drawn by the light of my lantern, which I had neglected to put out. "'vVhcn theY. saw me they came for me, howling. Some were armed with swords, others with knives. I knew I had to move at once. So I jumped to get out; but ran into a club, or something, which cracked me on the head. I remember that I smashed the fellow who did it with my lantern, crushing it over his head. After that I hardly know what happened to me, except that I ran. "It seems to me that I ran miles; but of course that was only a delusion, clue to my condition. I was crazy from that crack on the head. I remember dimly that I tried to find my way back to the umbrella room. Whether I did or not I don't know; I guess I couldn't have clone that. For, by and by, I struck up against a door; and, when I rammed hard on it, it let me out of the house. "Though I was outside, I hurried on, for it seemed to me I still heard the Chinamen hot after me. I must have found my way to that alley, or else I came out into it. I can't say as to that, gentlemen. All I know is that I have just the faintest remembrance, like a dream, that Jameson came to me and told me who he was; and that I was bewildered as to who I was and where I was. "He said he would take me to a doctor, I think; or perhaps his statement was that he wpuld bring me here. I really don't know. But that's all. Only--" He paused. He had talked himself into a condition of feverish excitement. "Only," he repeated, "I want to thank you for what you have done to help me, and for the interest with which you have listened to this overlong story." "Interest!'' cried the man from Laramie. "Overlong story! I'm betting none of us here has listened to a more interesting yarn, or one that's important, since a good while." "That's right!" Buffalo Bill agreed. "It teils us where Bent Murdock is, too." "Whar he was, yer means," Nomad corrected. "It tells us that he is alive, which is the most im portant thing; and where we are to look to find him." "I reckon, Cody," remarked the man from Laramie, "that the chances are big that he won't be where he was when Lawson saw him, even if we could find the place." "I admit freely," said Lawson, "that even i I was in s ide those rooms I couldn't lead you to that joss room, nor to the point where I found Murdock." "Yet I reckon you could make a mighty good sashay at hittin' the spot," said Jameson. Lawson took out the piece of gold he had taken from the store in icle the joss and showed it to them. "Chink money !" said Jameson. "I never seen none like it." "Chink money is generally silver," remarked the scout. "Y ct this seems to have the Chinese look." Ile hefted it. "Has the feeling of gold," he said. "Aber I ain'dt anxious to play der thief," remarked the baron, "I am acknowledging dot I vouldt like to haf some of close moneys minesellef." "Thar must be a lively time goin' on in Chinkvillc now sense your advent inter et, Lawson," declared No mad. "You talk et over wi' ther boyees while I take a turn down in the street." Then he arose quickly and went out.

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"' 8 THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. CHAPTER III. SAM WAH. Buffalo Bill gave the old trapper a quick and com prehensive glance as the latter passed out of the room; then he returned to the subject of the conversation. He knew Nomad had heard a suspicious sound outside. Jameson was anxious to "hit" the chink colony at once, before the Chinese had time to gather their wits and get in readiness for it. "They'll be expectin' a raid," he urged. "As a friend o' Bent Murdock, I'm uncommon concerned about him." He looked at the scout. "Cody, of course, ain't in the game," he said, "yit I'd like his help." "You can have it, old man," the scout told him. "The fact that Murdock is held a prisoner, chained by the leg in those foul dens, is all the warrant that my pards and I want." "Well, it's good o' ye, Cody. I reckon Mr. Lawson there will be wishin' strong, too, that we kin resurrect Murdock; fer if we git him out alive then this old in surance company won't have to pay fer him bein' dead. But what I'm thinkin' about most is Murdock himself and his fambly. He's a fine man, and bas got a fine fambly; and it hurt me like time to have people hintin' round that he had gone crooked with the bank money and skun out." While they were talking, deciding that the time to begin was at once, Buffalo Bill still showed no desire to get into immediate action. He began to ask Lawson questions again, thus prolonging the interview. Lawson was rapidly regaining his normal condition ; and though he said his head thumped like a drum, he yet declared that he was able and anxious to take part in the proposed effort to release Bent Murdock. Suddenly footsteps and the sounds of a scuffle were heard in the hall beyond the door; then the door flew open, and Nick Nomad tumbled into the room, dragging a Chinaman by the queue. "This hyar is plum what I went out fer," he bellowed. "I heard the rat-eater listenin' out thar, and set out to trap him. I ma.de a pertense o' goin' down ther stairs ter the street, knowin' thet he had backed into some o' the rooms; but I didn't go furder than enough to hide me. Thar I camped down; and when the chink came snoopin' back ter lissen ag'in I jumped out, and was on top o' him 'fore he could make his gitaway." He flung the Chinaman to the floor in the middle of the room. But the surprise given to the Chinama; was no greater than that given to the men in the room; for as soon as he scrambled up they saw that he was Sam Wah, the Hep Sing Tong man who had been sent on by the chief of police of San Francisco to aid Buffalo Bill in his fight against the thug CB.inese of the town of Cyanide. Nomad roared like an angry bear when he saw whom he had captured. "What's et mean?" he demanded, in a tone like a buzz saw. "Looks so suspicious as to be plum scan'lous, ter me! When a man spies on his friends et smells c rooked." The startled and discomfited Chinaman stood trem91ing. "Me allee samee make the sneak to listen," he urged. "Waal, I guess yes! I reckon you did. But what fer?" "That's right, Sam Wah I" said the scout. "A quick explanation is in oider." All had gathered round the ruffled Chinaman; and, as they were much larger men, he lookeJ small and cowed in their midst. "Me makee the explain," he said, waving his hands. "No touchee pigtail any more and me makee the explain!" I "We're waitin' for it, chink," said Wild Bill. "Don't rust out our patience." "Chief policee 'Flisco," said Sam Wah, "tell me al ways I shall know evel'thing what is going on. Savvee? He say, 'Not tlust anybody!' He say; 'Sometime man makee out he is your fl.iend when he nottee your fliend.' So I do. I am come top-side here to see the honorable Melican I have a reportee that I must make. Savvee? So I hear many men talkee-talkee in the loom. So I listen; see what all the talkee-talkee is. Savvee? I think maybe I got enemies in the loom what talkee with the honorable scout." "That is all right, Sam Wah," said the scout. "We will accept the explanation. Take a chair now and we'll all feel better." He set the example by resuming his seat. But Sam Wah, even when seated, surrounded by those Americans, did not seem at ease. He looked sus piciously at Lawson; and cast glances of dislike at old Nomad, who had laid sacrilegious hands on his pigtail. Besides th_e pain of it, that had been a deep indignity. He was disturbed, too, by the ease with which the old trapper had captured him ; that ate into his pride, and he had a good deal of it, of a professional kind. "What's your report?" the scout asked. "You said you had one." "Too many Melican man here," said Sam Wah, voic ing his objection bluntly. "Me no can talkee when so many Melican man have ear to listen." "Oh, it's for me alone?" "It pleasee me better." "Then come out into the hall." The scout stepped out into the hall and the Chinaman followed him. "Look out fer tricks!" Nomad could not help flinging after them. Buffalo Bill led the Chinaman to the farther end of the hall, where they were quite safe from being over heard. "We can talk here, all right," he said. Sam Wah looked round carefully, then opened his budget of information. "You know On Leon Tong men?" "The Chinese of this place! The men we have had all our trouble with." "And you know Hep Sing Tong men?" "You, and the other Chinese that came with you from San Francisco. Yes; I've got that all straight." "When we havee the fight in Chinytown," said Sam Wah, "you see the Chinee dead men-all plentee dead men!" "I saw that; and it wasn't a pleasant sight.1 "Thlee of them Cbinee dead men are Hep Sing Tong." "Three were your friends from 'Frisco."

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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 9 "Allee same true. So me sen dee 'Flisco, gittee plentee more Hep Sing Tong fightee men. Now we are to makee the kill." Buffalo Bill made Sam Wah 11eturn to the room and repeat this, as he wanted the others to hear it. "Waugh!" bellowed Nomad. "Ye're goin' ter start up a murder mill o' yer own, eh?" r "We killee On Leon Tong men," said S am Wah, not at all disturbed, except by the fear that if all these men knew it the thing might be stopped. He seemed to think it was the proper thing to do, that he might get "even" for his comrades who had fallen in the bloody tong war. "We makee hot time." "Wow! Waugh! Waal, ain't thet ther plum limit?" Nomad demanded. "Go on," said Buffalo Bill 'to the Chinaman. "What else? we will hear all of it." "Thattee all," Sam Wah answered. "I reckon it's enough !" said Jameson. "When is this hyer killin' to take place?" "Light away," Sam Wah admitted. "Then, I reckon, in the int'rest o' peace an' decency, I'll have to take charge o' you, and prevent it." Sam Wah looked scared. "You stoppee me, hey?" he cried. "I reckm' it's my duty, as marshal o' this camp." Sam Wah backed toward the door and laid a hand on the knob. "I reckon yo11,'d best stand off from that door," warnefl the marshal. "You ain't go in' out till I say you may." He drew his revolver. "No shootee !" gasped Sam Wah. "I want to ask you a few more questions, Sam Wah," said the scout. that I'm your friend." "You my fliend, hey?" Sam Wah shot at him. "Yes, I'm your friend," the scout answered. ":'.\Ic been sent here by chief policee 'Flisco to hclpee you You savvee that !" "That's right." "You no lettee that man shootee me, hey?" "I don't think he will unless you give him plenty cause. What I want to say is: Do you know where Bent Murdock is?" "l\Ie no savvee Muldock." "The white man I've told you about, that is missing; the man we thought might be a pri s oner of these Cy anide Chinamen. We dis covered that he is really held a prisoner by them. Think now! Could you guide us to where he is held?" "Me no savvee Muldock," Sam Wah repeated. "Then you can't help us in that, of course; that is, unless you would undertake to guide us again through those underground rooms. You did tbat once, to our entire satisfaction, and I knqw you could again. That's what we would like you to do." Sam Wah, looking from Jameson to Nomad and back again-he seemed to consider the two men his enem ies seemed scarcely to hear the scout. "This man"-the scout indicated Sam Lawson-"went into those rooms not long ago, by using the big um brella. He found Murdock chained in a little room. Ilut he couldn't free him. Then the Chinamen in there -the On Leon Tong men-came on him, and he had to run for his life; and had a hard time getting out." Sam Wah was still letting his black eyes rove from Nomad to Jameson and back. "You hear me?" asked the scout. "Velly well." "Well, what do you say?" "Talk up, chink," Jameson commanded. The answer to this was disconcerting. Quick as a flash Sam Wah's right foot came up and shot its slip per into Jameson's face, momentarily blinding him; so that, if he had wished, he could not have used his re volver. Equally quick was the jump that the China man gave, as he drew open the door and hurled his blue bloused form out into the hall. He threw the door shut with a bang as he made his exit; and they heard his feet soft ly pattering through the hall. Jameson roared his anger and Nomad flung himself at the door. But by the time the trapper got out into the hall Sam Wah had disappeared. other occupants of the room followed N omacl through the door, Jameson bellowing his anger and swing ing his revolver; he was, at the same time, with his free hand, digging at one of his eyes. "Where's the chink that clone it?" he how led. "I'll shoot the rat-eater full of holes!" But the offending chink was not to be found. Ap parently he had gained the street and got away. Sam Lawson was the first to return to the room. He had not moveq farther than jn st beyond the door, as he still felt weak and was troubled with dizziness. Then the others came streaming jn; Nomad and Jame son the last to give over the search. "Wow!" gasped Jameson, as he dropped into a chair and dug again at his eye. He saw Sam Wah's slipper on the floor and gave it an angry kick. "To have an eye put out is enough, without it bein' done by a filthy chink slippe r !" He purpled and glared when he heard the light laugh of the man from Laramie. "You didn't expect the chink to s urrender kindly and let you lead him off to jail, I hope?" sa id Wild Bill, in explanation of his laugh. "It wouldn't be chink na ture, nor human nature. You gave him to understand that you meant to stow him in jail to prevent this threatened tong war; and of course he wasn't goin' to stand it. Can't say that I blame him for anything but that lick he gave you with the slipper." "Dudt uff he hadn't done dot, how vouldt he haf got ouclt ?" asked the baron, who also seemed to sympathize with Sam Wah. "You see how idt iss," he went on, explaining. "Vildt Pill unt me, ve ton'dt forgidt clot uff iclt vosn't for clot chink ve vould be righdt apoudt now roosdting der cemidery in; unt ve ain'dt readty vor dot yiclt. I ain'dt, eenyhow !" "Right-o !" Wild Bill assented. "Sam Wah done us a mighty good turn. And one good turn deserves an other." Nomad arose suddenly. "Seems ter me I hear thet chink stirrin' roupd some 'ere out thar," he declared. "Talk et over, while T looks round. I ain't fergittin' thet he clone me a goocl turn, too ; but--" ,.. He drew tbd door open softly and slipped out into the hall.

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JO THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "What about Bent Murdock?" asked Lawson, who had not lost sight of the main point. "I acknowledge that I'd lik e to him rescued." "So that your company wouldn't have to pay that money?" said \i\Tilcl Bill, smiling and winking at the baron. "Partly-perhaps principally; though they'd never pay it now, after I make a report that I have seen him alive. But I'd like to see him rescued from where he is; and I'm willing to take a few personal risks to bring it about." "I think it would be well for you to stay under a doctor's care, while the rest of us make a hunt for Mur dock," the scout told him. "I don't bother the doctors when I don't have to: and I don't think right now I have to. So, if you've got a plan, and I can help in it, I'm ready for it." CHAPTER IV. TI-IE TRAPPER TRAPPED. While Buffalo Bill and those with him were discussing ways and means, Brodie Towne came hurriedly into the hall and to the scout's room. Old Nomad was still poking round outside, looking for Sam Wah. Towne's manner denoted that he had news he con sidered impo1tant. But before delivering it he glanced sharply at Sam Lawson. Buffalo Bill gave them an introduction; and explained that Lawson had but recently made an escape from the underground rooms of Chinatown, where he had found Bent Murdock in chains. Brodie's pale face took on an anxious look when he heard it He was still making a manly fight to over come the opium habit to which he had become addicted; yet the pallor had not left his face nor had the over brightness gone out of his eyes. "It's a bad outlook for Murdock," he said. "And worse now, because of the tong war that is surely corn in g. That's what I came to tell you about." He hesitated, glancing again at Lawson. "Mr. Lawson may know that I have been a good deal about Chinatown," he remarked; "altogether too much for my own best welfare. I used to visit the opium and fan-tan rooms a good deal that were run by Moy Wing; and, because of it, I made a few friends among the Chinamen. When I meet one of them the ch:;u1ces are that he will talk with me and usually let drop some thing that may be important." With this explanation he turned back to Buffalo Bill and the latter's parcls. "I met one of the chinks who claims to be friendly," he said "It was clown near Moy Wing's. And I had a little talk with him. He says that it's known by the On Leon Tong men that a large number of Hep Sing Tongs have come on from San Francisco to make trouble with the On Leon Tong fellows for those kill ings a few nights ago. Moy Wing has got scared ancl closed up his restaurant; the laundries in Moy Wing's basement have closed ; and there has been a big exodus o f On Leon Tongs out of this camp." "The more of 'em that goes, and the faster, the better I'm pleased," Jameson grunted. "It's makin' me plum white-headed, the \VOrry of it!" He passed his fingers through his coal-black hair. "This Chinaman t ole! me," Towne went on, "that it was Sam Wah who sent to 'Frisco for the Hep Sing Tong men. I thought you ought to know it if it's so. Sam Wah came here under instructions to work for you, so of course you have a right to give orders to him. And I thought likely you would want to order him back to San Francisco short off. I\Iy informant was sure that in the tong war which he says is coming Sam Wah will be the leader of the Hep Sing Tongs. "That tallies with what Sam Wah s aid himself," was the comment of Wild Bill. "You've seen him?" Brodie Towne asked, surprised "Nomad is out in the hall now, looking for him. He was here, and told us that the tong war was scheduled for an immediate performance; and when my fiery friend, the marshal here, tried to spoke it, Sam Wah slammed a slipper into his face and scooted Towne looked amazed. Buffalo Bill explained more fully wl
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THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. II "Then," said Jameson, "likely we'll find him some 'eres down round Moy Wing's, or round Chinytown." They tramped together down the stairs and out into the street in front of the Cyanide Hotel, a notable and conspicuous group, that drew all eyes. "We'll jest take a look clown by Moy's," said the mar shal. "I don't think Sam Wah would go there," urged Brodie Towne. "Still, you can't tell," declared Wild Bill. "The ways of a chink are They saw very few Chinamen, even when. they had reached the Chinatown streets. Now and then a pair of slant eyes peered at them from doorway or window, or slippered feet went scuffling through the dark alleys; but, as a rule, of every variety were more notice able by reason of their absence from their familiar haunts than otherwise. "There seems to be a good-sized scare on," commented Wild Bill. They looked into the dark doorways they passed, and into the alleys, that were almost as dark. They were about to go on to Moy Wing's; but, in passing a narrow street, they heard a strange outcry in it. Though the central roar seemed hardly human-it bellowed so wildly-they yet recognized in it the voice of the trapper. ''Nomad!" cried Buffalo Bill; and turned into the nar row street at a run. The thought of all was that in "following Sam Wah Nomad had tumbled into trouble. They beheld soon an astounding sight A big net had been dropped from a window down on the old trap per, and was being hoisted by the Chinaman who had flung it out on him to the window over bis head. The meshes of the net being large, the trapper had pushed his arms through the .11oles, and swung his big revolver, though the motion of the rising net made it impossible for him to use it. Old Nomad, drawn upward in the Chinese net, howled like a trapped coyote. Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill, and the baron were in the forefront as they' jumped to the aid of the imperiled man. Buffalo Bill's reliable forty-five came out. "Bang!" A chipped the ledge of the window right under the noses of the chinks manipulating the net. "Bang!" echoed the revolver of vVild Bill; and a Chinaman flung backward, evidently the recipient of the lead. The chink heads vanished like magic from the window. There had been a risk to Nomad in thus driving back the thugs who had trapped him-a risk that the net, in its tumble, if the thugs released it, wQulcl fall so heavily that he would receive broken bones. But it did not come clown at all. Some of the meshes hacl caught against projections of the wall; so that, when the Chinese abandoned it and fled, the net hung, sus pending the howling trapper above the rough pavement. It was a funny sight, though at the moment no one there was in a mental condition to enjoy it. Nomad howled and threw himself about; ancl the revolver going off in his hand, sent its lead into the wall, gouging a hole. "Waugh! Er, waugh Leggo-leggo; lemme out er this Wow I'll shoot ye so full o' holes thet yer hides will look like yaller muskeeter nettin' Leggo of me, I say!" He did not know yet that the Chinamen had aban doned their attempt to hoist him to the window; but the next moment he was made aware of it, as Buffalo Bill called up to him. "You can't crawl out of that, I s uppo se?" the scout asked. Old Nomad painfully worked himself into a position which enabled him to look down on the scout. "Wow! Et's Buffl.er !" "You can't free yourself?" Nomad gave a flounce and a jump; which only suc ceeded jn ramming his legs through holes in the netting. "Waugh! I can't! Yer sees how et is! Whar'd ye come frum? An' who was
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I2 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "I wasn't prepared fer et," he said; "ner you wouldn't been. Bt I has my opinion o' what it meant, sense I've had time to think a little. Et was meant fer Sam Wah, instid o' me. He wasn't two yards ahead of me hyer, as I was hurryin' to overtake him, intendin' to git a bit more talk out of him. Then, slam bang! clown she comes, right on top o' me Mebby ther chinks up thar didn't at fust know ther difference; er, mebby, havin' by a mischance snared me fer him, they thought they'd kerry et through and h'ist me, anyhow. Thenyou come." "It shows, if the theory is true, that the enemies of Sam w ah are ready for him," observed Lawson thought fully. "I reckon you're right," Nomad agreed. "Shall we try to git up to that window and into them buildin' s ?" said Jameson. Buffalo Bill turned to Lawson. "I don't think this building connects with the one under which you saw Bent Murdock." "No, I don't think it does," Lawson agreed. 1'It would probably be a waste of time, then, if we tackled those windows." "Der cellars py der alley in for me," cried Sclmitzen hauser. "I am vanting to dry dot umprella machine unt see clot Chinese yoss; unt esbecially dot Chinese money." "We will try either the cellars or Moy Wing's res taurant," Buffalo Bill decided. At that they turned back toward the main street, leav ing the Chinese net dangling against the wall of the house. They had no doubt now that the intention of its users had been to capture Sam Wah rather than Nomad. CHAPTER V. BY THE UMBRELLA ROUTE. Buffalo Bili had at length divided his party. Wild Bill had taken Nomad and Jameson, with the intention of forcing a way into the mysterious underground re gion of Chinatown by way of Moy Wing's chop-suey house; while the scout himself, with the baron and Law son, were to make the attack from the alley and the cellars. Night had come on rapidly, so the alley was dark when the scout's little party invaded it. It was deserted, too; and even out in the street, at the front, not a Chinaman had been seen. The sense of peril lying on Chinatown thus made itself manifest. Lawson had quite recovered from his late unpleasant and perilous experiences. But he had learned nothing in the way of caution. In that respect he was as reck less as the baron. Perhaps he was just as lucky. 'I;he baron's luck was a matter of constant wonder. Lawson and the baron wanted to scramble headlong into the cellars. The scout preferred, however, to go carefully; so he crawled through the narrow door, in the lead, a revolver in one band and a lighted lantern in the other. "I am righdt pehint you fast, as der bear saidt ven he vos chasing der hundter," announced Schnitzenhauser, squeezing his thick body into the hole. Then he stuck, his feet waving about in the alley and his hands waving about in the cellar. "Yaw I am fast, all righdt I guess I vill haf to haf some hellup uff I ton'dt sday here all nighdt. Yoost you gif me a bull, unt Mistler Lawson he gan gif me a bush." Buffalo Bill caught the baron's hands and snaked him out into the cellar. "Ach Der odder dimes I lose most all my skins in dot hole, unt now I lose 'em ag'in." He scrambled up and out of the way as the small, lithe form of Sam Lawson, the insurance detective, came sliding through. They closed the little door, after pulling the box as close against the wall as they could. Buffalo Bill then flashed his light round the cellar. "N oddings doing," puffed the baron. "I suppose we may as well tackle the umbrella room first," the scout suggested. He moved toward it, followed by the others, each man alert, hand on weapon. But they encountered no one. Concerning the umbrella, they had come to the con clusion that it would not be found in its usual place; as the likelihood of its removal, since the discovery of its secret by the white men, had seemed more than probable. They were surprised, therefore, on entering the um brella cellar-as they had begun to call it-to find the huge umbrella ornamenting the centre of the ceiling just as when last seen. Knowing so well the manner in which it dropped down upon any desired victim who had the temerity or foolishness to step under it, they contented themselves at first with regarding it from the corridor entrance. I Buffalo Bill flashed his lantern light, which revealed the old tea boxes and miscellaneous clutter; but no per son could be discovered. And not a sound had been heard. "Aber ve ton'dt seen anyt'ing, iclt iss no assuredness dot he iss nodt here !" breathed the baron, peering in. "We can explore the room safely if we keep close to the walls, beyond the spread of the umbrella," said Buf falo Bill. He entered the room, flashing the light ahead of him. Followed by Lawson and the baron, he made the dr cuit of the cellar. No enemies lay concealed in the holes and corners behind the boxes. When they stopped they stood staring at the umbrella

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. I3 "You remember I tolcl yott that outside is a cord which works it.> but in its present position that can't be seen," said Lawson. "It looks as if the Chinese have deserted this part of the house. If so, there's no reason why we can't mount to the upper rooms by means of the umbrella without trouble. I believe I can work that spring again." But when Lawson had worked it the umbrella had already been lowered to the cellar floor by the Chinese. Whereas now it was close against the ceiling and beyond their reach. The insurance detective stepped to the centre of the ftoor, where he could look straight up into the heart of the umbrella; thus risking its quick descent. "If it should be dropped on you," warned the scout, "you could hardly escape it where you are." "But it isn't dropping, you see!" said Lawson. "Which proves to me that no Chinese are on the floor above close by the umbrella. If they are they don't care to trap me, having perhaps had me there, as they may consider it, once too often." He laughed lightly. "The only way to get into those overhead rooms," he added, "is by way of that umbrella; but I'd like you to tell me how it is to be clone." "Right behind that tea box," said the scout, "there was a rope, by pulling which the umbrella was made to descend. And I recall that, by a spring hidden in the handle, it was made to ascend." Saying this, Buffalo Bill stepped over to the tea box; but the rope was no longer there. A round hole through which it had been passed had been plugged with wood. \Vhen he succeeded in removing the wooden plug only the hole could be seen. Nor by delving in the hole with his fingers could he find an end of the rope. "I give it up," he said; "the rope has been taken away." 1 "'vV e could make the umbrella rise if once it were down here," declared Lawson. "How to get it down is what feazes me." Buffalo Bill began to study the problem. "Idt iss a kvestion mit me," said the baron, "uff dhem chinks ain'dt yoost vaidting for us to gidt incautious unt all standt under der umprella togedder. Uff dey should drop der umprella now idt vouldt sure gidt vun uff us-11isder Lawson. Maype dey haf got tired uff der redail pitzness unt now vandt to go indo der whole sale. Vot you t'inks ?" "I think you've got a lively imagination," said Law son, whose spirits were mounting, with the prospect that he would soon again be in the midst of strenuous deeds if he could have his way. "The Chinese whose busi it is to manipulate this umbrella have simply no doubt because they were scared." Buffalo Bill had come prepared with a strong la riat; and its possible use he was now considering Ile, too. had reached the conclttsion that the Chinamen in charge of the umbrella machine had abandoned their post. "You stand here, baron," he said, "with your revoker ready, and if you see peril coming to us, open with bullets through the ceiling there as fast as you can sen 1 them." As the baron drew his hardware and prepared to get into quick action with it, the scout settled his lariat in a coil and stepped out into the middle of the room. The next instant the loop of the lariat flew with a quick jerk at the ceiling; and when the scout pulled on the free end the loop tightened round the umbrella handle. "We may be able to start it in this way," he sug gested. "Heave clown here with me, Lawson!" "Ouch!" squealed the German "She iss earning!" They believed afterward that the method which had suggested itself to the mind of the scout was at least one of those used by the chinks. The heavy downward pull starting the umbrella, it dropped with its former swiftness; so that the scout and Lawson had not time to get out of the way. They evaded the stabbing blow of the weighted handle, and by throwing themselves flat escaped being rapped heavily by the bamboo ribs. Then the folds spread wide over them, with almost smothering effect. But instantly the umbrella began to rise, clamping to gether, the iron-tipped bamboo ribs scraping over the floor and gathering them up almost as if they were sticks or straws. The scout and the insurance man were slammed heav ily up against the handle; and for an instant it began to seem that they would be jerked upward through the hole in the ceiling. But after this violent effort the um brella stopped, just as the ends of the ribs cleared the floor and came together. "Loogk oudt-loogk oudt !" the baron was squawk ing. "Idt iss gidding you !" "It has got us, all right!" said the scout grimly, with a sense of relief when the queer machine halted Lawson was struggling and flouncing about, breathing heavily. "I guess we're all right," he said. "If your friend was only in here now I could find that rope outside, or the spring in handle here, and send the thing up." The iron tips of the bamboo ribs, having come to gether, formed a footing for the passengers, to be used when the umbrella rose with them as its burden "Here is the spring," said Lawson, scratching rournl until he found it; "but I'm afraid to pull it, lest it may shoot us up before we are ready for the trip." "I am in der darkness," they heard the baron de claring; "since you haf tookt der landern." Buffalo Bill held the lantern, and it gave light to the cramped space of the interior_ of the umbrella

PAGE 15

14 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "\,Vhen it drops clown," said the scout, "it opens ap parently of its own accord. There must be some spring to open it from this el;lcl." As they could not see any spring but the one indi cated already by Lawson, and feared to try that, Buf falo Bill slit the umbrella, thereby opening a hole by which the baron could enter. The baron came cautiously across the room, swinging his forty-five, and looking up aJ the ceiling. "Usually a blendy uff excidemendts suidts Schnitzen hauser," h e said; "but vot I am t'inking iss dot ve vill yoost haf too mooch uff ve findt apoudt dwendy chinks squadding round oop pehint der ceiling now, vaidting for us. Vot you t'inks ?" "We'll try it," cried Lawson. "Get your guns ready. If we have to fight there will sure be a merry little war up there. Crawl in here and we'll see quick what's hap pening." The baron crawled into the hole made for him. "Close kvarters !" he panted. "Uff dhis lifdting ma chines lifdts me, mit all uff you pesites, idt iss a good vun; I veigh yoost nodt kviet t'ree hoondert." When Sam Lawson, with a reckless laugh, touched the lever in the handle, setting the umbrella in motion, it rose, but not with its fcrmer speed; the weight of the three men wa:s a heavy load fordt. "The chink who harnessed this queer elevator to the water power of that underground stream was a mighty good mechanic," said Lawson. "It shows more brains than I ever thought a Chinaman had. Some of them must be pretty smart." "They are smart, and they are very imitative. The chink who did it no doubt got all his ideas from some water power with which he was familiar; and of course bought American-made machinery. But this umbrella is, I should say, pure Chinese." They heard the top of the umbrella bang against and lift the trapdoor in the ceiling begin to scrape through the hole there; so they got ready for the warm reception they more than half anticipated. But when the umbrella had swung up to its usual height, letting the trapdoor drop back in place, and had then suddenly spread out and spilled them to the floor, they found no one to bar their way. The upper room was as deserted as the noisome cellar 'below it. "Just as I said," declared Lawson, scrambling up and looking about. "Not a chink here; they've cut out." "It seems so," the scout agreed. "So you see, baron," went on Lawson, "your idea that they perhaps were wanting to go into the wholesale business had no foundation." The umbrella had risen and hung poised above their heads now, its bamboo wings widespread. The. light of the scout's lantern drove away the shadows. Having gained their feet, the three men stood with revolvers ready. "No one is here," said the scout. "Which proves," said Lawson, "that the Hep Sing Tong men have given their enemies a bad scare. Per haps they're even more scared since that net, with which they caught Nomad, failed to get Sam Wah." "One guess is as good as another. Which way now, Lawson?" The insurance detective looked abou to get his bear ings. CHAPTER VI. BUFFALO BILL AND THE CHINK PRIEST. Fortunately Lawson's bump of location was well de veloped. "I'm sure this is the way," he said; and led off in what proved to be the right direction. "The chinks have cleared out, so I'm hoping we'll have no trouble. The thing I fear, though, is that they may have shifted Mur dock to some other prison. But why they are holding him puzzles me." Buffalo Bill and the baron followed Lawson, stepping softly. They had not gone a great distance when Lawson's guess that the chinks had deserted the place was given a rude shock. He was declaring that he knew he was proceeding in the right direction, and that the place where he had found the joss could not be far off, when a rushing patter of slippered feet sounded. This was followed by high-keyed, peculiar yells, accompanied by blows and the sounds of bodies falling. "A fight!" said Lawson. "Idt iss !" whispered the baron. "We'd better get into the corner here," advised the scout, moving into the corner nearest. He turned out the light of the lantern, so that they were in darkness. Hardly had he done this when the door of a room broke open, not far off, and a howling, fighting mob came rolling out. It was like the bursting of a dam ; the corridor literally overflowed with Chinamen. The room from which they had come was dark, as well as the corridor. Not able to distinguish their ene mies, the frenzied chinks were delivering blows indis criminately. On the floor a number of them were roll ing and fighting like maniacs. The human tide flowed even into the corner where the scout and his companions had soug)1t refuge. Buf falo Bill felt himself caught by a Chinaman. Feeling the movement of the chink's right arm, which probably held a knife or sword, the scout gave the Chinaman

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THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. rs a violent push back into the mid s t of the s creeching rabble. The fierce fighting did not last long; the Chinamen, except those who had dropped, poured on along the corridor, yelling in their s trange, wild way. The last was not out of the corridor when the scout made an amazing discovery. So far as his friends were concerned, he was alone; apparently they had been squeezed into the mid s t of the s truggling mob and swept away by it. On the corridor floor a wounded Chinaman groaned and s obbed. "Hello!" Buffalo Bill called s oftly. "Are you there, Lawson? Are you there, baron?" When he got no answer he ventured to s trike a match and light hi s lantern. Then he saw a grew s ome s ight. Four Chinamen lay dead in the corridor, one of them horribly ripped by a sword. Another Chinaman l a y groaning, having re ceived a sword cut across the brea s t, which had a bad look. But nowhere were the s cout 's companion s Made anxiou s by thi s Buffalo Bill began to follow in the track of the fighting Chinamen. He could s till h ear their terrible uproar and kn e w that the fight was being continued. But though he came clo s e up on the heels of themso clo s e that the light of hi s lantern was seen and he was forced to put it out again-he did not see his friend s For s ome time Buffalo Bill hunted about vainly; then it occurred to him that the baron and Lawson, after b e ing s wept out of th e corridor by the chink ru s h, had probably e s cap e d it and fled; and perhaps they were even now hunting him. The scout continued hi s s earch, relighting his lantern as soon a s he felt that it wa s safe to do so. H e did not find Lawson and the baron ; but in stum bling about he came to a room that he recognized, from the description, a s the jo s s room which Lawson had been in. It was a larger room than he had thought. Lined with curtains of red velvets and silks, it seemed proba ble that its true dimensions had been obscured to the insurance detective by its hangings. Back a little from its centre stood the black jo ss, a hideous Chinese image of immense size, towering high over the head of the scout, as he looked up at it. The tip of the tongue protrnded from the horrid mouth, and on each side of the tongue gleamed white teeth, proba bly of ivory. The whole expr ess ion of the huge face was so hideous, even fiendish, that the scout almost re coiled He found the little door at the back, concealed by curtains, by which the priests gain e d e n trance to the in terior of the joss. He had wanted to locate this door, that he might take advantage of it in case of necessity, somewhat as Lawson had done. While prodding among the silken and velvet hang ings Buffalo Bill heard a light step. Some one was coming to the joss room. Turning out his lantern and lifting the curtain near est to hand, the scout crawled behind it, finding him self under what appeared to be a combination table and lounge. It furnished him just the security he required. He wa s hardly ensconced when the steps he had heard entered the room. Almo s t immediately the dragon lantern at the ceilin g before the joss, was lighted. Lying flat, with hi s face close against the floor, the scout saw now, through the silken fringe of the hang ings, the legs and feet of a Chinaman. "The priest !" was his thought. Without hesitation the prie s t, for so it was, went to the small door, and drew himself at once into the in1 terior of the metallic image. The s cout did not hear the door close, and it gave him a suggestion. So, as soon as he heard the priest mounting softly the tiny ladder, he pushed the hangings aside and crept out into the well-lighted room. In another moment or so he had tiptoed to the little door. As he had expected, he found it ajar, though not wide open. "He means to come right down F' was the scout's thought. "Well, I'll put a s p o ke in his wheel!" He drew the door open s oftly, and as softly crawled ins ide, The interior space at the foot of the image was large enough to hold sev e r a l m e n, but nowhere in it did there seem to be a place to bide ; y e t there may have been more than one, for the s cout could not see very well, as the light of the dra go n lant e rn had been nearly shut out-such light a s cam e int o th e image entering s omewhere at the top. Crouching in the s trange int e ri o r Buffalo Bill looked up and s aw the pri e st above him. What the fellow was doing Buffalo Bill did not know. But he had a shrewd idea that, in making thi s vi s it, the prie s t's object was to remove the gold coin seen by Lawson. Feeling about, the scout laid his hand on the cabinet that held the coin. But immediately he became aware that the priest was descending. Buffalo Bill crouched against the wall until the priest was at the foot of the ladder. Then hi s arm s hot out with th e quicknes s of thought, and the priest felt the clutch of tho s e masterful fingers at his throat Hurling the astonished and bewildered prie s t to the floor, the scout stuck the cold muzzle of the revolver against his face.

PAGE 17

16 THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES. "Cry out," he whispered, "and you are a dead man!" That touch of cold steel caused the priest to collapse and drop back against the floor. "You understand? Make a noise and I will shoot you Who are you ?" The Chinaman made a chattering effort to speak; then blurted out the information that his name was Li Bing. "Well, Li Bing, you are the priest here, and a cunning rascal, I don't doubt. But you will be safe so long as you do what I tell you. I am one of the desperate Americans-a 'foreign devil'; and there is no telling what a foreign devil may do once he is started." He released his hold of the priest, but poked the re volver muzzle against the fellow's body. Then he stooped and pushed open the little door, which let in a flood of light. The priest was lying on his back on the floor, his face a tallowish yellow with fright, his narrow black eyes staring. The light revealed his shaven head and his priestly clothing, Chinese in character, but of the richest and costliest silks. Prodding the priest again, to keep him quiet, Buffalo Bill backed through the door into the joss room; then he reached in and dragged the shivering and terrified priest out into the light. When he set the fellow up against the joss he nearly fell over, so scared was he. "I'm not going to hurt you, Li Bing," said the scout, "if you do what I want you to. ;you understand Eng lish? I know you do." "No savvee muchee Englis'," said the priest. "Then a little will have to do. Just answer a few questions now. There is an American held in here somewhere. You wouldn't probably recognize his name, but it is Bent Murdock. Do you know where that man is?" Li Bing stared and gurgled. "Think quick!" urged the s.cout, prodding him with the revolver. "Where is that American held? When we had news from him he was chained. You know who I mean "Melican devil killee me, hey?" wheezed the priest. "Not if you do what I tell you." "Whattee want?" "I've just told you. Show me where this American is held-the one that has a chain on his leg." "Then no killee me?" "No, I won't kill you, or hurt you, if you obey me." The priest arose, shaking with fear. "But I'm not going to trust you,. remember," the scout told him. At his waist Buffalo Bill had the riata he had used in drawing down the umbrella machine. He flung a loop of it round the Chinaman's neck. "Now lead me to the place where the American is held," he commanded. The startled Chinaman gurgled and put up his hands to cast off the rope. "Drop it! Lead me to that American." Seeing that his state was hopeless, the priest shuf fled from the joss room; then set out along one of the grimy, foul-smelling passages, which twisted its course as if it were a veritable rat hole. At times there was room enough to permit their passage ; so that Buffalo B .ill wondered what happened when Chinamen met. "One must lie down and let the other crawl over him Yet they saved work in making the galleries small; not so much earth must be taken out of a Ilittle one as out of a big one." The scout was sure this was not the pathway which had led Lawson to the prison of Bent Murdock. Nev ertheless, he followed the Chinese implicitly, feeling sure that with the rope round his neck and a revolver threat ening him the priest would not dare to attempt deception. He was right in that. In a little while a small, filthy room, little more than a hole in the earthen wall, was reached; and in it lay the object of the scout's search. CHAPTER VII. SECRETS OF THE BLACK JOSS. Murdock started up, raving, when the scout and the priest came suddenly upon him ; then dropped down, as he felt the pull of the chain that held his leg. He had seen the priest before he did the scout. But at once he was reassured. "I'm Cody, you know-Buffalo Bill. I made this priest lead me to you. But we must be quiet." The nearly crazed prisoner and victim of Chinese cruelty began a string of almost incoherent words. "Another American was here while ago-not so long ago," said the scout; "and he gave t1s the first news we had that you were living, and where we ought to look for you. He is in these underground rooms right now, somewhere. How is that chain fixed on your leg?" "It's locked there," said the prisoner, his voice trembling. "Perhaps this priest can unlock it?" The scout turned to the frightened Chinaman and made a motion toward the prisoner, indicating by the motion what he wished done. "Take a look at pim, Murdock," said the scout, when it began to seem that the priest was about to claim him self ignorant or unable to unlock the chain. "Has he been here before? He must have been, or he wouldn't have known the way to this place."

PAGE 18

THE BUFF ALO BILL STORIES. 17 Murdock stared into the face of the shrinking priest, by the light of the lantern. "Yes, he's the devil that put me here and has been keeping me here !" "Then we will make him unlock that chain," said the scou t, with determination. "He is not one of those who jumped on me in the street and robbed me, and then brought me here; but he is respon sible for keeping me here. Though likely I should have been killed if he hadn't taken the notion to chain me in this room. You see, the villain has a grudge against me because at one time I refu sed to let him have money out of the bank. I reckon I may have spoken sharp to him then. Anyway, he told me about it, and told me in his pidgin \lingo that he meant to get even with me. And he has! It's a wonder I'm not crazy, or dead, in this hole." Buffalo Bill had turned to the priest. He still held a grip on the rope round the Chinaman's throat, and stood ready to throw the priest down by a jerk on it, if needed. "Unlock that chain!" he commanded. The priest began to fumble in his silken clothing, and brought out some queer-shaped brass keys. One of them he fitted to the lock on the chain round the prisoner's leg, and the chain soon dropped away. Murdock, who had been watching this nervously, sprang to his feet, as if he meant to run or yell; then reeled back against the filthy wall, almost too weak to stand. Though believing that the priest was thoroughly cowed, Buffalo Bill watched him every moment, drop ping a hand now and again to his revolver to attest the fact that he would shoot if it was needed. "Now," he said to the priest, "lead us back to the place we came from." By the flashing light of the l antern he caught a gleam of hope as it leaped into the man's yellow face. "But no trick s !" he warned, tapping the revolver. "We are desperate men right now, knowing how much danger surrounds us; and we won't take chances. So I warn you !" The Chinaman understood this so well that his manner changed and he again became cringing. "Me do evel'thing honorable Melican man say," he declared. "Then lead us back to the place we came from. Murdock, help yourself along by hanging to my arm. I sha ll need both hands, I think-one to hang onto this rope with and the other to use the revolver with if it's needed." Murdock caught the scout's arm and pulled himself to his feet. "Perhap s you can make him show us the way out," he whispered, his voice as well as his body shaking. "It's a miracle to me that you got in here, thus far, and live. The place swa rms with Chinamen." "But the ones who belong here-the On Leon Tongs -aren't having such a free swing as a while back,'' the scout explained. "A lot of their enemies-Chinamen from San Francisco-have got in here; and some lively battles are going on, or were. We may not have so much trouble, as our enemies are right now very busy in looking out for their own carcasses. I'm free to say, though, that I'm troubled over what has become of the baron, and Lawson, the man who found you in here." "He tried to free me, but couldn't; and then he had to leave me." "Yes; he told us about it." Buffalo Bill commanded the Chinese priest to move along; and, with Murdock hanging to the scout's arm, they began to move in the direction whence they had come, but at a s low pace. Not a foe did they see, nor a single person, as they passed along the narrow, tortuous gallery to the joss room. And that no one had been in the joss room since the scout had seen it last seemed proved by the fact that the dragon lantern was still burning. "How much money did the dinese thieves take from you?" the scout asked Murdock. "Nearly five thou sand dollars, in bank bills and gold,'' Murdock answered. "It ruined me. What I shall do about it when I get out, if I get out, I don't know." "There is a pile of Chinese money inside this black joss," the scout told him; "most of it, perhaps all of it, is in gold; and I supp9se it is the property of the joss house and the priests who serve here. It might be poetic justice if we could get enough of it to make you even; for it looks very much as if this priest was either one of the thieves or profited by the theft. Anyway, he knew all about it, that's sure; and it 's a thing which makes him as guilty as the guiltiest." The priest understood enough of this to make him uneasy, as his looks and manner showed. "How much gold you got in there ?" the ssout asked him. The priest shook his head. "l\1e no savvee." The scout might have "argued" with him on that point; but unmistakable sounds in one of the passages announced that some one was coming. The priest turned quickly, looking with staring eyes at the red cur tains on that side "No, you don't!" said the scout, jerking on the lariat, at the same time cocking his revolver. "Murdock," he whispered, "on the other side of this image you will find a little door; by lifting the curtains you can get into the joss there, and I think you had better do it, for this looks lik e trouble."'

PAGE 19

r8 THE BUFF ALO BILI.: STORIES. l\ r urdock hobbled to the other of the joss with surprising speed and disappeared. In another minute the sounds were right behind the curtain which the scout and the priest were watching; then the curtain swung aside, and in the opening revealed-which was a small door-appeared the heads of several Chinamen. Seeing them, the priest gave a yell and made a jump toward them, in spite of the rope. The rope brought him to an ignominious halt, as the heads ducked back out of sight. Thinking the rope would be more valua ble than the priest, the scout caught the loop from the rascal's neck. With another jump the priest hit the red curtains, which had dropped back into position; and, seeming to dive right through them, vanished from sight. Buffalo Bill jumped quickly round the joss to the little door. He took time to coil the riata and swing it at his belt; he also again made sure that his revolvers were in working order and filled with cartridge, as he foresaw some righting before he and Murdock, got out of that place. "You all right, I\Iurdock ?" he whispered. "Yes," came the shivering answer. A yell lifted beyond the silk curtains, and again the hangings swep t aside and Chinese heads showed. The foremost Chinese was armed with an American revolver, and he fired as soon a s he s aw the scout. His trembling hand or poor aim caused the bullet to go high; it st ruck the jos s above the scout's head, and, glancing off, went into the wall through the reel cur tains. Buffalo Bill returned the s hot, aiming to wound rather than kill; then dived into the image through the door, which Murdock had left open. As he did so another revolver bullet came from the revolver held by the Chinaman. Murdock was crouching on the floor in the scanty light that came in through the door. But Buffalo Bill's lantern gave good light to the interior, as soon as he was within and the door closed. Outside, the joss house MTas brilliantly illuminated by the dragon lantern against the ceiling. They were not able to see their foes now. Buffalo [Bill passed one of his revolvers to Murdock and told him to guard the door with it. "Hold the door at all hazards," he warned ; "it may mean our salvation. I'm going to climb this ladder and take a look out." Stimulated by the change in his situation and his aroused hope of escape, Murdock was regaining his strength and courage. The clutch of the revolver aided in this. 'Tll kill any villainous chink that pokes his head in here!" he declared, in a way to show that he meant it. "I think we're safe from them if we can hold that door; the scout told him. "The plates of brass, or whatever this joss is made of, see m heavy enough to turn a revolver bullet. The thing that rather astonishes me is that the chinks should shoot at their god!" "The ruffians would do anything." "It is likely that the thug element care very little for this joss or anything of the kind; it look s it." "The pri(f!)t is no better. He's a thieving old scoun drel, who would as so on commit murder a s not. I've had rea so n to know. The sco ut was climbing the ladder. when he reached the eyes of the joss he did not re veal him se lf there by pressing close up to them to look out. Fortunately the head of the jo ss was so large that he did not need to; yet he wa s able to look into the room. Now and then he saw a curtain s wing aside and the revolver appear. A moment later he di sco vered that the Chinese had got into the room by another way; then he s aw them, half concealing themselve s behind the curtain s Their talk filled the room; 1but it was Chinese, and he did not know what they were s aying. Thinking that the door at the base of the image would be the point of attack, the sco ut descended, to put him self bes ide Murdock. "Sec anything?" Murdock shivered. "I can hear a lot of the devils out there." The lantern was on the floor. Looking down at it, the sco ut began to scan the floor. Suddenly he bent over and began to tap the board s sof tly with the butt of his revolver, the noise made by the Chinese enabling him to do thi s without being heard by them. "Ha!" he said suddenly. "I think there is a door here under us, Murdock!" Murdock stared. "I hope so," he declared. "We might get out that way. Though, as there is no telling where it would lead to, we might be in a wor se fix even than this." "And this is bad enough, you think?" "I've been in others that pleased me better. But I'
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