Citation
The diamond legacy; or, The queen of an unknown race

Material Information

Title:
The diamond legacy; or, The queen of an unknown race
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Shea, Cornelius
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Mystery fiction. ( gsafd )
Detectives -- Fiction -- United States ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Record Information

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:
028874912 ( ALEPH )
07219689 ( OCLC )
B15-00011 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.11 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
Dime Novel Collection
Brave and Bold

Postcard Information

Format:
Serial

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

. f tune 1 you are mad f the right stuff to get it," said :Bony Larkins as be k th"s. it contams a or "There, ta e 1 the boy a leather po<:ketbook.

PAGE 2

BRAVE OLD A Different Complete Story Every Week Issued Weehly By Subscription la.so per year._ Entered according to Act of Congress in till! year in the Office of till! Librarian of Congress, Waslztn.![ton, D C. STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. No. t4. NEW YORK, March 28, 1903. Price Five Cents. THE DIAMOND LEGACY; OR, The Queen of an Unknown Race. By CORNELIUS SHEA. CHAPTER I. A STRANGE LEGACY. It was a cold, stormy night in the month of November. Two boys were hurrying along a country road through the blinding rain just at the outskirts of the village of1Mottfield. Both were drenched to the skin, and the darkness was so in tense that it was with great difficulty that they were able to keep in the roadway. "By Jove!" exclaimed one of the boys, "I don't remember ever seeing it rain so hard before." "Nor I, either, Frank," returned his companion, almost shout ing, to make himself heard; "I'll be glad when I get home, or my name is not Sam Singleby." The two boys had been to a meeting of a club. Frank Lowe was an o rphan, and worked for Sam Singleby's father, who owned a farm about four miles from the village. Sam's mother was dead, and his father had married a second time, to a woman who did not treat the boy with more than motherly love. On the whole, neither of the boys led very easy lives. They had to get up at the break of day and work hard for a very poor recompense. T hey were now within about a mile of their home, and were hurrying along with all possible speed Suddenly they heard a strange sound above the roaring of the elements. Both boys came to a halt, and stood stock-still in their tracks. It sounded like a groan that they had he ard. At that hour of the night the sound startled them not a little. Both listened intently. Presently the n oise was repeated. Yes; it was unquestionably a groan that they heard. It appeared to be very near them, too, for this time they heard it distinctly. "There is somebody in distress, nearby and I am going to see who it is," said Frank, as he made his way toward the ditch at the roadside. Sam followed him. Suddenly Frank stumbled and fell over something, landing up on his hands and knees in the soft mud in the ditch. 'Help me out of here," said a faint voice beneath him. "Who are you? How came you here?" a ske d Frank, feeling about until his hands came up on a man's body. "It's me-Bony Larkins. I had some sort of a fit, and fell here, and I can t help myself a bit. I suppose when the people at the village hear this they will say I am drunk again. But I don't care; let them talk; I'll soon be forgotten, anyway, for something tells me that the shadow of death is hanging over me. Help me up, whoever you are, and try and get me to my shanty." The boys quickly r ecognized who the man was. He was a strange character, called Bony Larkins, who had come to that place but a few months before. He kept himself alone in the old shanty in the woods he had taken possession of, and had the reputation of getting drunk every time he went to the village. He had never been known to speak a word to anybody, unless it was to the storekeeper where he purchased his meager supply of goods, consisting of groceries and rum, principally.

PAGE 3

BRA VE AND BOLD Like the rest of the people in the neighborhood, Frank and Sam did not have much of an opinion of him, but they lifted the old drunkard out of the ditch as quickly as though he had been a near friend. "Who are ye, anyway?" he asked, as they lifted him to his feet in the middle of the road. Frank at once told him their names. "Ah, yes; I have heard of ye. Now, jist git me to my shanty as quick as possible, or I'll die on the way. This is the fust favor I have asked of anybody since I have been in this place, and in all probability it will J:>e the last ot'\C." The man talked in such a strange tone of voice that the boys felt moved, and they hastened to assure him that he would be all right as soon as he got horn "Never you mind, boys," aid he. "You think I am drunk, but I am as sober as either of you are at this minute; I know what I am talking about, and something tells me that I am not long for this world. Well, never mind; I have seen a good deal of it, and I am satisfied. So heave ahead; my cable is running short, and I want to die in the forecastle of my ship." His words now drifted into those of a seafaring man, and he brightened up as he finished speaking. "Are you a sailor, Mr. Larkins?" asked Frank, as they hurried along as best they could over the narrow path through the woods which Jed to the old man's shanty. "I have bee11, my boy, and something of an explorer, too, in my day. I tell you, it is many a strange sight that my eyes have seen, and many an adventure have I passed through, which,. if I told to some folks, I would be called an old liar of the first water. But we won't talk about that now; we are putty nigh my old ship. Let me git there before I siip my cable, for that fit I had a spell ago wasn't for nothing. My legs are getiing cold and numb now." Bony Larkins' voice was very husky now, and it was with extreme difficulty that the two boys managed to drag him along. The rain was still steadily falling, and it was as dark as pitch; but at length the shanty in the woods, which the old man called his ship, was reached. The door was on the latch, and, pushing it open, the boys entered with their charge. Sam struck a match and lighted a dirty-looking oil lamp on a rough wooden table, so they could see what they were doing. A wretched-looking bunk was in one corner of the single apartment, and they gently deposited the old man oq this. As they did so, they saw that his face was a deathly white, while a strange, unnatural look shone from his eyes. Frank and Sam now began to grow deeply alarmed. Something told them that Bony Larkins' words were true, and that he really was going to die. 'Give me a swallow of that," gasped the sick man, pointing to the black bottle upon a shelf. Frank hastened to obey. The bottle contained whiskey, and it seemed to revive him a little. "Now, boys, seeing that you have been kind enough to bring me home, an' that I am going to die soon, I mean to lea1e you all I am worth." vVith much difficulty, he turned over, and drew a greasy-look ing leather pocketbook from his breast pocket. "'There, take this; it contains a fortune, if you are made of the right stuff to get it. I han not a single relatin in the world, and it is no more than right that some one who is a little de serving should have it." Mechanically, Frank reached for the pocketbook, and took it in his hand. The next instant Bony Larkins began breathing heavily, and fell.hack t1pon his bunk. In ten minutes' time the two boys were in the presence of a corpse. CHAPTER II. WHAT THE POCKETBOOK CONTAINED. For the space of five minutes the two boys gazed at each other in speechless dismay. A feeling of horror came over them. The sudden death of old Bony Larkins completely unmanned them for the time being. They had not dreamed that the man was so near death's door when they helped him to his hut; but now he was dead, and they were in the presence of a corpse. Frank Lowe was the first to speak. "The man has eYidently died of heart disease, Sam," said he. "I suppose it is our duty to notify the coroner, and tell him the facts of the case." "You don't suppose we will get into any trouble by the man dying so suddenly, do you?" anxiously asked his companion. "Trouble? No. 'Why should we? All that we can do is to state the case just exactly as it happened. But," he added, after a pause, 'there is one thing that we must say nothing about." "What is that?" "The pocketbook-he gave it to us, you know; we will examine its contents to-morrow. It may be that it contains the means of making us both rich." Sam Singleby shook his head. "I don't think old Bony Larkins knew what he was talking about. In my mind, it contains nothing beyond a few dollars. But, at any rate, he gave it to us, so you keep it until we have time to see what is in it after this thing has been settled." "Hadn't we better start at once and lnake a report of this?" asked Frank. "Yes; come on." Turning the light down low, they buttoned up _their coats and left the hut, closing the door carefully behind them. It was still raining hard, and, turning their faces toward the village, they struck out on a dog trot. A constable lived just at the outskirts, and, on reaching his house, Frank rapped boldly on the door. In a minute or two a window opened from above, and a man thrust his head out. "Whafs wantin' at this hour o' ther night?" The two boys told him what had happened as quickly as pos sible. "What in thunder do I care if old Bcmy Lukins has turned up his toes?" demanded the constable, in an irritated voice. "He's better dead than alive-a good sight. What did he amount to, anyhow? You don't think I'm a-goin' to turn out of my be.d on a night like this for him, do you? You boys git on home, now, as qui c k as you kin; it's time you were in bed three hours ago. I'll notify the coroner in the mornin', and case will be 'tended to. Git, now, an' don't bother me no more to-night!" ''V\'ell," said Sam, as the window was closed with a bang, "it's off onr hands, anyhow; I guess we better take the constable's advice and go home." "That's so," assented his companion; and, turning their steps, they 0011 reached the house of Farmer Singleby. They climbed upon the .shed, and kt them.selves in at the win-

PAGE 4

BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 dow as noiselessly as possible, and in a few minutes were in bed. They were not allowed by the farmer's wife to have a light in the room, or they would have examined the pocketbook s con tents then and there. But they concluded that next morning would do as well and after talking 011 the subje ct for a long while they fell asleep. The two boys slept on soundly, and did not awaken until Sam's father routed them out to feed the cows, about half-past four in the morning. T h e re are lots of little chores to be done on a farm b e fore breakfast, and our two young friends were kept so busily en gaged that they scarcely had time to think of what had happened the night before. At length, when they were going to the house to get their breakfast, about half an hour after daylight they were suddenly recall e d to it. They beheld a crowd of men and Qoys, among whom was the coroner, making their way along the country road in the direc tion of Bony Larkms' hut. In a moment they became infu se d with the excitement of the event of the night before, and, forgetting all about their break fast, they jumped over the rail fence and started along with the crowd. The coroner at once proceeded to question them, and, as they told a perfect ly straight story, the matter was ended, as far as they were c once rned. At length the greatest part of the excitement was over. The coroner's jury brought in a verdict of "death from heart disease," a1Jd the body was carted off to the undertake r's. Frank and Sam started h o meward, with the rest of the crowd answering all sorts of questions that were put to them by the inquisitive ones, i n the b es t m anner possible. They entered the h ouse, and received a severe scolding from Mrs. Singleby for going off without their breakfast. "\Nell, ne ve r m i nd now," said she, angrily; "the table is cleared an' not a mouthful do either of ye git till dinner time! I > nev e r seed s ich cuttin' up in all my born days. Go on an' 'tend to yer work now, an' show that ye kin earn the victuals an' clothes ye git!" Poor b oys! They were re a lly very hungry, as the keen air of the November morning had sharpened their appetites. But there was no use in stopping to argue the question. Mrs. S i ngleby was the boss of that house, and what she said was law Her hu sban d gently expostulated, and then his better half flew in a terrible rage, and told him to "git out of ther house, too, an' not to show up till dinner time." Without saying a word, Frank and Sam put on their hats and went out in the barnyard. "I am getting tired of this kind /of living!" said Sam, hotly. "If it wasn't for father, I believe I would run away from home." "I think I s hall leave anyway," replied Frank. "Pe rhaps you are right," returned his companion. "But Jet us see what is in this pocketbook before we b egin to worry. What do you say if we go to the hut wh e re Bony L arkins lived and examine it? It isn't at all likely that we would be disturbed there." Sam at once agreed to this and half an hour later they had reached the hut, and closed and locked its single door. Making sure that there was no one in t he vicinity of the hut, the boys sat down at the rickety table, and Fra nk produced the pocketbook, and emptied its contents before them A folded sheet of foolscap paper, a flat piece of ivory, with a square hole through the center, and an oblong piece of some dark substance, about the size of a rifle cartridge-that was all it contained. The first thing Frank did was to unfold the sheet of foolscap. It was filled with writing in a cramp ed hand. Eagerlv the two boys peru se d the following: "To WHOEVER Frnns THIS: I, Napoleon Bonaparte Larkins, do truthfully affirm that I landed on the eastern coast of Africa, near the mouth of Lufiji River J on the nineteenth of December, 1888. Being fond of adventure, and being po ssesse d of a very hardy nature, I organized an eKploring party of three white sai l ors and eleven black natives, and set o inland, fully equipped for the j ourneY. "After many days' travel over poisonous mars hes and across arid plains, I arrived at the foot of a towering range of moun tains with but four followers at my back. "I had been just a m onth on my trip when I arrived at the mountains, and I determined to cross them and see what lay be yond. "Well, to make a long story short, I crossed the snow tops of the mountains and descend e d to the other side with my four followers. "Now comes the strangest part of my story. I had reached a region of country that was abs olutel y un known to the world at large "It was the most beautiful country I had ever set eyes upon, and it was inhabite
PAGE 5

4 BRA VE AND BOLD. take to reach the unknown country, winding up with the fol lowing postscript: "The piece of ivory in the pocketbook is one which I brought from that country, and is considered of more value than gold or diamonds there. If you open the small black object, you also find, a diamond will be disclosed. This belongs to the queen's crown, and I would like it to be given b ac k to" h e r, in cas e youwhoever it may be-ever r eac h the place, as I stole it before I left." There were still a few more lines of writing on the extreme edge of the paper, which l ooked as though it had been written at a more recent date. It read this way: "Dig two feet b eneat h the sto n e s lab at the door, and you will find an iron box. In this is enough m o ney to purchase a n outfit to reach the unknown race, and more beside. "NAPOLEON BONAPARTE LARKINS." lt was fully five minutes before either of the boys spoke after r eading the contents of the sheet of foolscap paper. "Well, what do you think of it?" finally asked Sam. "It is just this way with me," r eplied F rank "if we re a lly find t h e mon e y ben eat h the stone s lab and there is a diamond i n that piece of gutta-percha, or whatever it may be, I believe the whole story!" "And othe rwi se?" "I think it is a farce!" "Well, old f e llow, that's just my opinion exa ctly We will open thi s." He picked up the object re sembling a rifle cartridge, and, giv ing it two or three turns, it came apart, and a large-si zed !lia mond, of the most extraordinary brilli ancy fell out upon the table! CHAPTER IIL OFF FOR AFRICA. "By Jove!" exclaimed Frank Lowe, "there is the diamond, sure enough!" "Isn't it a beauty, too!" quickly replied Sam. "Now we must look and see if the money is under the stone slab." "There is a s ho ve l yonder in the corner; we may as well see the rest of this adventure out." Frank seized the artide in question, and, opening the door, he was soon engaged in digging down by the side of the slab. In a few minute s he was able to pry it over, and then he struck in upon the soft, yielding soil with a vim Just as he had dug down about two feet, the shovel struck something hard, which sent forth a metallic ring. A minute more, and he stooped down and drew something from the hole. Both. boys gave a suppressed cry of joy. It was the iron box! "Take it inside," said Frank; "I am going to fill up the hole again and place the slab exactly like it was This task was soo n finished, and then they proceeded to ex amine the box. It was not over six inch es squa re, and the lid came off r ea dily enough. A wrapping of oiled silk m et their gaze. "I don't think we are going to be fooled," remarked Frank; "a nd, if we are, we may as well know it at once." Turning the box ov e r, he durr.p e d its contents on the table without further ceremony. Then it was that both u t tered an exultant cry. A double handful of gold e n coins clinked upon the table, in every direction, and some falling upon the floor. Without stopping to pick them up, Frank unrolled the piece crf oi led silk, which was wrapped around a s mall package; and, when h e had succeeded in doing so, a roll of bank notes was disclose d "Hurrah!" exclaimed Sam Singlelry. "I believe every wor
PAGE 6

BRA VE A N D BOL D. 5 "Well, it won't do any harm for us to k eep a watch on him, anyhow. Keep your eyes and ears open." At Suez the boys had picked up a young Englishman, who was stranded in a strange place, without a penny in his pocket. He was a good-natured fellow, as strong as an ox, and one who was not likely to forget a favor. Frank questioned him, and found that his name was Oliver Looney, and it struck him then and there that he would be just the person to accompany them on thei r quest for the unknown race. The Englishman jumped at an offer made by the boys, and said "he would stick to 'em has long has there was hanythink left of 'em to stick to." He had not been in the services of Frank and Sam two days before they were satisfied that he was just the fellow they wanted, so he was at once put in charge of their baggage, which contained many valuable things in the way of outfits, etc., uitable for traveling through the count.y they hoped to penetrate. It seems that the fears of the two boys in regard to the sus picious-looking Frenchman were not altogether groundless. One night, when the vessel had almost reached her port, a dark figure glided to the door of the stateroom occupied by Frank and Sam. It was J aques Lecairo. In a moment he had noiselessly unlocked the door, by means of skeleton keys, and entered the room. He carried a revolver in one hand and a handkerchief saturated with chloroform in the other. Both boy s were sleeping soundly, and in a minute's time he had placed the handkerchief to Sam Singleby's nostrils, and ren dered him unconscious. But just a.') he turned to the other berth, Frank awoke He gave a 10\\r cry of astonishment as he beheld the Frenchman standing over him with teveled revolver, and reached for his own weaport beneath his pillow. ''Stop!" hissed the Frenchman. "Make another move, and you die!" CHAPTER IV. IN THE AFRICAN WILDS. "Make another move, and yo u d ie!" As Jaques Lecairo uttered these words, Frank Lowe came to his full senses. With a coolness that seemed almost impossible under the ex isting circumstances. the boy gazed at the Frenchman, and said: 'If you have any bu s iness with me, out with it at once!" The villain was staggered for a moment, and knew not what sort of a reply to make But he kept his r evolver leveled at the' boy's head, and seemed to be striving to think of something to say. He had no intention whatever of doing the boys any bodily harm. He had overheard a bit of conversation between them several days before, and, from what he had caught, he jt1dged that they were bound to some spot where gold and diamonds could be found in a plenteous supply He heard them talk of a paper they had in their po s session describing the place, and also of the diamond that had come from there, and, taking this in, the villain had long been waiting for an opportunity to steal the paper from them, well as what money they had, without being discovered a the thief. But now his plan was frustrated; he had succeeded in chloro forming one of the boys, but the other was \\'ide awake, looking d irectly at him. J aques Lecairo thought the bes t thing he could do now was to get Frank L owe to promise to say nothing a bout his mi dn ight visit, and then leave, and wait for a more fitti n g o p p ortunity. Holding the r evolver still pointed at the boy's h ead, he said: "If you will promise to say n oth ing about t h is until after we arrive in' port, I'll leave at once, and won't bother you again." "And if I refuse...:._what then?" asked Frank, coolly. ''I'll kill you!" hissed the Frenchman, beginning to get in a passion. "No, you won't!" "I will kill you, I say, if you ., 1 , At that moment a startling incident occurred. The figure of a man suddenly s g upon the Fren chma n and sent him reeling to the floor with a w from a short club. "Take that, ye r willain I Hi kno her reason why yer come haround sneaking hin gentlemen s rooms!" Frank uttered a joy ous exclamation, and sprang from his berth [t was Oliver Looney who had made the timely interference and he now st o od over the prostrate form of Jaques Lecairo in a threatening attitude He had been awakent:d by a bad dream, and, being of a rathe r superstitious nature, had crawled from his berth, with the thought that all was not well with his two young employers. He made his way silently to the door of their stateroom, and seeing tha t it was ajar, pushed it open and softly entered. A dim light was burning, and the plucky Englishman took m the situa t i o n at a glance. How well he improved his opportunity is already known "Br'.tlvo, Oliver! You were just in time," said Frank. "Right yer are, sir," was the reply. "Get out of here, ye r bloom i n duffer!" And he kicked the fallen villain back upon the floor just as he was in the act of rising. But Jaques Lecairo was no coward, whatever else he might have been and, making a sudden movement, he sprang to his feet, and drew a gleaming knife from beneath his coat. Spat! A well-directed blow from Oliver's fist sent him back into hi$ former position. "Don' t yer think Hi 'ad better throw 'im hup hon ther deck, hand let 'im go?" said Oliver. "Hi don't think he will bothe r hus hagain." "Go ahead; I am agre e able. Without any farther ado, he picked the man up as easily as if he had been an infant and fired him out in grand style. It was just about this time that Sam came to from the effects of the chloroform, but he was too dizzy to comprehend what was going on. The smell of the powerful drug was still very strong in the stateroom, and, taking the boy by the arms, Frank and Olive r led him outside and up on deck. The air was cool and bracing, and it soon had the effect of re viving Sam to the full extent of his faculties again. The Frenchman was nowhere to be seen, and they conclude d that he st have been satisfied with the rough handling he had received and slunk off to his stateroom. Nor did he get in their way during the rest of the voyage, and wh e n the vessel arrived at Bagamayo he sneaked ashore as quickly as pos s ible, and made himself scarce. The boys tarried a couple of days in Bagamayo, during which time they purchased a yoke of oxen and a strong cart. and se cured th e services of a reputable guide to lead them through t h e u n known wilderness they hope d to traverse.

PAGE 7

6 BRA VE AND BOLD He was a gi .ant black, of fine proportion, and agreed to con duct them as far as the marsh lands for a nominal sum. When Bolo-that was the black's name-.-learned that they in tended to penetrate the swamps, he insisted that they should purchase a light canoe. He also predicted that if they stuck to their determination they would never return. He was a Zulu, and was very eloquent in picturing to the boys the horrors of the "Death Lands," as he called the marsh dis trict. But Frank and Sam laughed, and Oliver Looney grinned, by way of accompaniment, wh ever the Zulu talked in this strain. "Never mind," said he 'wait and see. My white brothers will wish they had take e advice of Bolo-many times before a hundred days have come and gone." Frank did not take much stock in what Bolo said, but he acted on his advice in regard to the procuring of a canoe, and placing it on the cart with the rest of their outfit, and left Bagamayo on the morning of the second day of their arrival in port. They struck out in a southwesterly direction, and it was not very long ere the little town was lost behind them. The sun was scorching hot, and boys felt anything but comfortable. Oliver said it reminded him of a baker's oven in London, and swore that they would not need a fire to do their cooking while ih that region. The farther they traversed, the wilder the appeara11ce of the country became, and on the evening of the fourth day they had arrived at a spot which appeared as though the foot of man had never trod it before. But Bolo assured them that he had been there several times before, and that it would be two days before they would reach the beginning of the "Death Lands." "You won't go any farther with us after we reach them, then?" asked Frank, as they went into camp for the night. "No," replied the Zulu; "too many went there before and never came back." Suddenly a thought struck Frank. "How old are you, Bolo?" asked he. "Pretty near forty, my brother," was the reply. "Why do you want to know?" "Did you ever know a black guide by the name of Zeika a long while ,ago?" The Zulu and gave the boy a look of searching in quiry. "Yes, brother," he slowly answered. "I knew him well; he was my father. He led some white men into the 'Death Lands,' and none of them ever came back. Why does my brother ask of Zeika? Where '1id he ever hear of him?" "I will tell you what I know of him presently. You say none of them ever came back; I say one of them did." In a moment the Zulu was all attention, and almost fiercely told Frank to tell what he had to say. In as few words as possible, the boy related what was written upon the manuscript in his possession, and showed him the diamond and the piece of ivory. "There, Bolo," said he, in conclusion; "now you know. the rea son we came to this wild country. What do you say Do you believe the story?" For a moment Bolo remained in silence. At length, rising to his feet, he said: "Wait until to-morrow, my brother, and Bolo will tell you what he thinks about it." The two had been seated upon a mossy rock, a few yards from the camp-fire, which now burned up brightly in the gathering darkness, and, as the Zulu ceased speaking, they were startled by hearing a low, mocking laugh from the bush behind them. CHAPTER V. IN THE DEATH LANDS. "Brother, that was t4,e laugh of a white man," said Bolo, after he had listened for a m ament for the sound to be repeated. "You are right I" exclaimed Frank, drawing his revolver and springing toward the bush. As he did so, the mocking laugh was repeated, and then a crashing in the undergrowth was heard, showing that the author of it was endeavoring to make his escape. Hastily telling Sam and Oliver to guard the camp, the boy started in pursuit, followed by the Zulu. In a moment they were in the midst of a tangled maze, and be fore they succeeded in breaking from it the noise made by the one who had been spying upon them had completely died out. It was too dark to attempt to find the trail, so, not a littre crestfallen, they returned to the camp. "vVhat was the matter, anyhow?" asked Sam, as soon as they got back. "Some one prying into our business-that's all," replied Frank. "Natives?" "No; it was a white man-that I am sure of." "I'll bet five dollars it was the Frenchman, then." "Hi wouldn't be ha bit surprised hif hit was ther blawsted cove," put in the Englishman. Bolo shrugged his shoulders. "My brothers had best not to wonder so much as to who it was. They had better draw in the oxen and prepare the camp for an attack. If they have enemies following them, we must be prepared for them, or we will all perish before we reach the 'Death Lands.' "Bolo is right," said Frank. "I have not the least doubt that it is Jaques Lecairo who is following. He has got wind of our errand in some manner, and is bent on finding a rich treasure, or something of the sort. We will fix up our camp, and keep on the watch for a surprise, for beyond a doubt he has some one with him." Being on their guard now, the boys at once began t o make what little preparations they could. The cart was rolled over to the face of a steep bank, within a few feet of a river, which, the Zulu said, was the Lufiji, and the oxen were driven in and hobbled close by it. They divided themselves in watches, and prepared to await de velopments. But the long night wore on, and at length the morning came, bathed in a bank of mist, which arose from the ground like a cloud of steam. Not the least noise had been heard beyond the usu a l sounds of prowling animals and the cries of night birds, c ommon ih such regions. Preparations to continue the journey were at once begun. After a hearty breakfast had been eaten, the oxen were hitched to the cart and the party struck out, following the course of the river, with Frank and the Zulu at itshead. Oliver Looney drove the oxen and Sam brought up the rear, occasionally glancing behind, to make sure that they would not receive a surprise tram that direction. When they had traversed a mile or two, it suddenly occurred to Frank to ask Bolo if he .had come to any conclusion in regard to the story he had told him the niglit before.

PAGE 8

!' J : t ERAVE AND BOLD. 7 The boy at once broached the subject. The Zulu rema ined in silence for a moment, and then said: "Brother, I believe what the white sailor wrote down on the paper is true; I will go with you to the unknown land. If any body else could reach it, we can. Enough; \ve will succeed, or we will all die together in the Death Lands." After this declaration, the Zulu remained qmet for a long time only replying to the boy's questions by nodding his head. Just about the time s p ec ified by t guide, they arrived at the commencement of the mar sh district. They had not come across a sing le hui;nan being but numerous footprints had been di scove r e d at one articular point, showing that there were natives about the vic1111 Y I t was about noon when Bolo ordered the to come to a h a lt. "Now, my brothers," said he, addressing them, "we have come as far as we can with the oxen and cart; our path now is a dan gerous one. vVe must slaughter the animals-or one of'them, at least-and salt the best of the meat for u se o n our jburney. There may be plenty of food to be got in the l{cath Lands, but we must make sure that we won't starve before'we cross them. vVhat do my white brothers sa y? Shall I proceed with the task?" The boys nodded their willingness. Th could do naught else than bow to the Zal u' s s uperior judgn1 ent; and, besides, it would be utterl y irnp oosib le to drive the oxen over the treacherou s qu icksa nd s of the horrible swamp. By the time darkness had set in, Bolo h a d s laughtered on e o f the oxen and turned the other o ne loose, and the animal at once started o n the back track. He fixed the meat he had se lected in a manner according o hi s own idea, and then the party prepared to pass another night before they ventured to brave the d ange rs of the swamp. The next morning, after breakfast, dividing the meat and o t fit into four pack ages, they bade farewell to their cart, an<;l, pi ing up the light canoe, they boldly entered t h e realms of the swa mp la1ids. They p icke d the ir way over the treac h erous ground for fully an hour b efo r e they came to any r ea l signs of a body of water, and then a narrow, black looking strea m showed up which led to a drea ry-appearing l ake of broad expanse. "'Whew!" exclaimed Oliver; hif that hain't lher wust-looking lot o' water Hi've seene d hin m y whole life, vy, then, Hi don't know vot talki11g habout." The Englishma;:i had sca rcely ceased speaking when a floun d ering was heard, and the next moment the -head of an enormo u s crocodile arose fr o m t he surface of the stream, and made a vicious snap at Oliver gave a yell of dismay, and endeavored to jump b ack, but his feet went from under him on the slip p e ry ground, and h e fell downward, lik e a shot, in to the water, withi n a few feet cf the crocodile's open jaws. Almost at the same instant a rifl e shot rang out, and, clutching his h ea d w ildly, Frank staggered for a moment, and then fell at 1 he Zulu s feet. CHAPTER VI. JAQUES L ECAIR O A T WORK. It will be in order for us to follow up Jaque s Lec ai r o a li ttle, and find out what the wily scoundre l was b ent up on. As soo n a s h e s n eake d from the ship, on her arrival at Baga m ayo, he ch a n ged t h e sry le of his wea rin g apparc:l and donned a h eavy false beard, thu s effect uall y disgu i s in g him se lf. He followed the 1.wo boy s and their English servant about, and 6ok n ote of everythin$ t hey did during their stay in the town ; a nd, wtle n engage the services of a black guide, he set abou t doing the same The Frenchman seeni d to ha ve plenty of money at his com mand, at1d he had no diffieu'lty in hiring an ugly, scar-faced man, w ho was an en e my of Bolo, ancj .as much of a villain as Lecairo was him se lf. "Birds of a feather flock together, is an old s aying, and, when the Frenchman told the black wlfat he wanted of him, they soon came to an agreement. I want to follow tliose boys ; and get a certain paper they have in thei r po ssessio n," sa id Jaqite eca iro '"You can have what booty they have got fot yourse esi des the money I am going to pay you for your services-. A t same time, you will be able to get s qu a re on the Zulu guidf, ho yo u say, you have got a grudge against. If can "t surprise them, and get the best of the m w e must follow t h em as far as t hey go, eve n if it be to the very h ea r t of the continent." The bla ck, wh
PAGE 9

8 BRA VE AND BOLD. For a moment Singleby he'. Zulu were rendered speechless by the two startling evjfit just occurred. But before either of them could:utter a word or make a move, Frank, who had fallen to the apparently lifeless, sprang to his feet, and, seizing the Englishman by the hand, drew him out of the water just as the crocodile made a vicious snap at him. For a wonder, the did not atte1npt to crawl upon the bank, but, after gl "ng at the party for a while, pad dled away and behind of thick reeds . "Now, then," said Frank, oily, as he jerked Oliver to his feet, "I would like to know Q fired fhat shot which so nearly came putting an end to m '\. j The bullet had graze d the side of his cheek, leaving a brown streak, which no"\v felt as though he had been singed with a red hot iron. They had all been too much occupied with Oliver Looney's accident to note which way the rifle shot 9-me from. "Blawst me!" exclaimed the Englishman; "hit seems that. some hother bloomin' duffers besides crocket-tiles har ha botheiin1 husl" "Yes," rejoined Bolo; ''bad white man fire that which came so near killing my brave young brother. We must look sharp for him, and if we lay eyes on him he must die; that is the only way to m"llke ourselves sak There is enough danger in the Death Lands to come upon us without having a bad man trying to shoot us." "You are right," said Sam. "We have got to be very careful. Let us hunt about and see if we can find some traces of J'!-ques Lecairo." They did look about, and presently they came across the foot prints made by the Frenchman and his accomplice. It did not take Bolo five minutes to find out that they were only two who were following them-"a white man and a black," he said. But while they discovered the footprints easy enoug it was impossible to find the ones who made them, and after an hour's diligent search they gave it up and made way to the edge of the broad lake! "Now," remarked Frank, "according to Bony Larkins' direc tions, the journey he made was by way of the left s hore of this body of water. But as we have a canoe we will go directly across it, and thus cut off two or three days' dangerous trave lin g through the intricate paths of the marsh. We may as well launch the canoe at once; it is fully capable of holding us and all our be longings." "Good enough!" exclaimed Sam, lifting up one end of the light craft. "Catch hold, Oliver, and we will set her in the water." In ten minutes' time the launch had been successfully accom plished, and putting their belongings in the canoe, the four stepped in and took their places; then they pushed off, and began paddling toward the center of the black-looking body of water. The boys laid their course by compass, in accordance with the rough chart of the swamp they had in their possession, but when night came they saw that Bony Larkins had made a mistake in his drawing, or else the swamp had been submerged since he had traversed it; for there seemed to be no end of it yet. A lantern was lighted, and placed in the bow of the canoe, and they kept on their way all night, relieving each other alternately the paddles. When it began to light up a little so they could sec what they were about, they observed that their traveling with the canoe was ab o ut done. The swamp now was one vast area of little pools, patches of comparatively solid ground and numerous quicksands. Pushing the canoe toward a high and dry spot, which loomed up before them like an oasis in the desert, Frank said: "Here is a good place to land; we will see about getting break fast on terra firma." In a few mom ; nts they made a landing, and Sam collected some dry twigs and started a fire. The Zulu proceeded to take some of the salted meat, and soon a very appetizing odor began to pervade the dank, noisome place. It n o t only caused o r .ibur friends to grow very hungry, but other creatures as we I. Just. as they we're about to sit down and partake of their meal, so rt oJ barking yelp was heard, which was presently answered by like .s ounds from every point, it seemed. "Vot his ter matter now?" queried Oliver. "Hit sounds has though ha lot hof. : bloomin' do gs 'as been let loose!" All hands in astonishment, and presently they heard a P attei;ig ;s01.1nd like tile rush of many feet. ' they grasped their rifles and strove to pierce the gloomy depths of the swamp. Th' e r r suspense was not of long duration, for presently a score or more of creatures resembling hideous baboons made their appearance from all sides. They were as large as men, and resembled the human race far more than any creature Frank or Sam had ever seen or read of. But what seemed most strange to the party was the fact that hey ran over the quicksands with as much ease as though they were upon solid ground. mystery of this was soon explained, however, for as they dtew nearer, the intruders of the swamp saw that the horrible ooking creatures possessed immense web-feet, which spread out to alarming proportions when the occasion demanded it, and shut up accordingly. They possessed faces exactly like that of a Congo negro, and nearly all wore a short curly beard. The rest of their bodies was covered with a thin growth of hair, and their legs, which were very long, were shaped like those of a trained athlete. Each one of the creatures carried a huge knotty club, and when they arrived to within fifty feet of the four, they halted and formed a circle about them, keeping up their dog-like cries mean while. "My brothers," saici Bolo, with a faltering voice, "we will have to kill some of these strange people of the Death Lands, or they will kill us!" And he leveled his rifle and pnlled the trigger. Crack! The report rang out sharply, causing innumerable echoes, and one of the denizens of the swamp threw up its arms and fell headforemost in the quicksand, where it gradually began to sink from sight. For a moment the creature's companions gazed in terrified silence at its sinking form, and then they uttered a long-drawn howl of dismay, and glared fiercely at the intruders. "We are in for it now," said Frank. "Stand together, boys, and we may be able to drive them away." Seizing their clubs, the now furious inhabitants of the swamp made a savage rush at the little party. The next instant four Winchester rifles began speaking in rapid succession, and the rush was checked. The strange animals seemed bewildered at the result of the

PAGE 10

BRA VE AND BOLD. 0 galling fire, and seeing their forces dropping all around them, they uttered a combined shriek of terror and fled from the spot like the. wind. "Very good," remarked Sam Singleby, breathing a sigh of re lief, "I'll bet they won't bother us very soon again." "No, my brother, they will not," said the Zulu, solemnly; "we can proceed with our breakfast, and then be off on our journey." Sam was right. They did not see the least sign of another of the curious, baboon-like animals during the rest of the journey through the treacherous swamp. CHAPTER VIII. OVER THE MOUNTAIN. Three weeks from the time our fri ends entered the horrible s wamp we find them safely out of it on the other side. But how chan ged Their food gave out almost a week before they emerged upon high and dry ground, and they suffered untold misery in their efforts to leave the detested place b ehi nd them. They had nearly p e rished on several differentoccasions. It was with great difficulty that they kept themselves from being sucked down into the quicksands; Oliver Looney had been attacke d with fever; Bolo had broken his arm by falling from a tree. While on the verge of starvation they had been attacked py a number of vampire bats while they slept; but after outliving all these, and many more dang e rs, they gave a cry of feeble joy and their pale, emaciated faces brightened whe n they saw that they had struck the beginning of the upla11ds. It was now two day!' since they had crossed the "Death Lands," and they had pitch ed their camp about five miles b eyond their limit, to rest and recup erate their lost strength. Game was plentifol, and as th ey had an abundant supply of ammunition, all thoughts of starving for the present were thrown aside. "I think," said Frank Lowe, as he turned a pheasant he was roasting over a fire, "that we had better remain just where we are for a few days. Bolo's arm will be better then, and we will all feel more like climbing those mountains over there. That range tallies exactly with the description writte n out by Bony Larkins, and I am firmly convinced that when we cross them we will find the unknown race." "I agree with you, brother," returned the Zulu, quietly. "All that you told me has come true thus far. I shall find my father there, too, depend upon it." "I wonde r what sort of people this unknown race is?" remarked Sam. "Bony Larkins did not say, you know. He only wrote that they were unlike anything he had ever seen1 or heard of. I am getting anxious to see them; for, I suppose, when we meet them all our former adventures will be eclipsed!" "We can only wait, my brothers," said Bolo. "My broken arm is knitting so fast that it will not be long now before we shall be '1ble to cross the mountains." The mountains in question were about five miles away to the southwest, and s ome of their peaks reared up to such a towering height that they seemed to be lost in the clouds The party rested six dfys longer in the spot, and under the healthful influence of the pure air and the plenteous supply of fresh meat they b e came stout and hardy again. They now concluded that it was time for them to climb the mountains and see what the other side had in store for them. During the time they had remained in camp they had, at the suggestion of the Zulu, constructed four rude-looking robes from the skins of the different animals they had slain. They would need these, he said, before they crossed the moun tains, and as all hands could plainly observe the snow-covered peaks, they did not doubt his word. It was scorching hot where they now were, but a day or two would make a big change. It 'was about two hours past noon when they reached the base of the mountains, a nd after re sting a brief spell they threw their blankets and as muc h meat as they could well carry over their shoulders, and started on their Jong and tortuous climb. Everything com es to an end, sooner Or later, and this remarkable journey was no exception. One day ab ou t noon they stood upon a level pi ece of rock, gazing into the most beautiful valley they had ever set eyes on. They had cros sed the snow -c apped mountains after innumerable difficul
PAGE 11

IO BRA VE AND BOLD. while about the waist short skirts were fastened, resembling those nf a ballet danc e r for all the world Their breasts and s hould ers were covered with capes that ran 10 a long point in the back, and in several cases eve n extended below the skirts. This briefly de scr ibed attire was o f a very fine texture, and was of every hue and color that could be imagin ed. How these stra1ige p eo ple had managed to surround them so complet e ly without being obseryed by the party, t hey w e re .at a loss to understand; but they were there, and there was over a hundred of them, too. Frank was the first to recover from his asto11ishm ent at the unexpected appearance of the gaudy, n o t to say fantastic crowd, and folding hi s a:rms, he gazed coolly at those who confronted him, and said: "Don't attack us; we are friends, and mean you no harm." He hardly e.-pecte d that his words would be understood but what wa s hi s surpri se when one of the unknown r ace, who was apparently a leader among them, stepped out from the circle, and waving his h a nd for hi s followers to lower t heir weapons, which consist ed solely of short spears, he cleared his throat, and puffed his chest out in a very important way "Strangers," said he in fairly good English, "I can speak your language, and understand what you say. I learned it l ong ago from some of your race, who were foolish enoug h to venture in this country, which is for none save the Laking peopie. You must turn back at once, or else show so me good reason for com ing here." For a moment Frank was completely nonplused, and the n he thought of the contents of the pocketbook given them by Bony Larkins Hastily producing the article in question from his person, he drew out th e piece of ivory and held it up in plain view. The most abject silence pre va iled among his companions, and they watched him with as much inter est as did the unknown race. "Here!" went o n the boy boldly, "do you r ecognize this? Will thi s buy our way into the realms of your land?" The spokesman of the crowd gazed at it in astonishment for a moment ; then rushing forward, he eagerly demanded that Frank should let him exa mine it. The boy at once complied with his requ est, and after examining it for fully five minut es, he turned and spoke a few words in nis own tongue to his followers. Then, retaining the piece of ivory, he faced Frank and his companion, saying: "You got this from the only person who ever came to this land and escaped with his life; you have br o ught it back; very good! Now I will say in behalf of my people that you are welcome here. But since you have come here you must expect to remain here always! Never attempt to leave thi s l a nd on pain of instant death; follow me and I will conduct you to our solare." "Come on!" exclaimed Frank, turning to his companions; "we will see the thing through, at all ha za rds. .AQs he ceased speak ing four men m:irchcd forward, and picking up the still unc onsc i ous form o.f the Frenchman started s lowly down the m ountainside.' Darkness set in before t h ey rcac;h e d their destination so thr.y were not able to see much of the country that consisted of the domain of the unknown race They were conscious of the fact that they had ent'ercd a com paratively thi ckly populated village after a while, a nd presently they were ordered to halt in front of a tall wooden edifice. Sam Singleby Oliver and th e Zulu were conducted in s ide of this without further ceremony, while Frank was le d further along until they came to a fnt:e1Y..rt'lmleled stone building, which ap peared rnore grand than all-ything he had yet seeb. "You are to be the guest of the solare," sa id t h e man who had acted as spokesman on tha: mountain. "Enter. To-morrow you / will be question ed as to how you came by the piece of ivory I hold in my A door swung op t1 :Hid Fr,mk was led inside. Then the four who were carrying the bods of Jaques Lecairo starte d away their burden and di sap p ea red in the gloom Frank's conductor led him aloug a wide hallway until they came to a h eavy-curtaine d do o rway Then h ast ily turning, he bade the boy good-night, and left him alone in the serni-clarkne S of the place. .. By Jove I" muttered the boy. "A queer proceeding this He evide ntly means for me to ente r through this curtaj n ed doorway. \Veil I shan't be surpri sed at anything I see insid e." He pushed the curtain and stepped into a room light e d by a flicker ing torchlight stuck in a crevice of the wall. Before h e had a c han ce to take in hi s surroundings there was a low growl, and the next instant a heavy animal sprang upon him and bore him to the ground. CHAPTER x. STRANGE OCCURRENCES. The building into which Frank Lowe's three companions had been conduc ted contained several good-sized rooms, and into one of th ese our fri en d s were at once hu s tled : There was no ligh t in the place and as th ey could not make the men who had charge of the m understand what they wanted, they were fo r ced to submit to take up their quarters in the dark room. As soon as they were in side a s light grati11g sound was heard, and then all was as silent as the grave. "A ver y strange wa;r to be treated, I must say," remarked Sam, as he b ega n groping about the place. Suddenly it occurred to Sam to strik e a match. A s nothing had been taken from any of them, he had no diffi culty in producing one of these useful articles from the stock he carried. Quickly striking it, he held it aloft, and as the flickering flame grew brighter they saw that the room was of a circular shape, but not a window or door could be seen. Sam rubbed his eyes in a very much perplexed state of mind. Oliver," said he, "I believe the place is bewitched I Where is the door we came in at? I won't be surprised if I see h a lf a dozen gho sts before morning." Hoh, Lord!'' groaned the Englishma n, falling upon hi s knees, don't talk like that, sir; for hif you do Hi shall 'ave ha fit. Hi vish I vos back hin Vitechapel blawst me hif I don't!" For a moment Sam fo rgot about thei r peculiar situatio n and s to od gazing at the superstitious fellow before him. The mere mention of gho s ts in hi s prese n t state of mind had n ea rly fright ened Oliver out of. hi s wits. But Sam was suddenly called to himself by the match going out, and then making up his mind to be surpri e d a t nothing, he gave his English servant a smart poke in the ribs, to. let him know that he was no ghos t, at a ny rate, and bade him to crawl over to a soft spot and go to s l eep This Oliver at length di d but not without considerable groan ing and ej aeulatio n s of fear; and then, being tired and worn out, Sam coiled himself up on the floo r and was soon in the land of dreams.

PAGE 12

BRA VE AND BOLD. II It must have been near noon on the following day when he awoke; and when he did so he was conscious of a queer dizziness in his head, which so muddled his brain that it was some time be fore he could recollect what had happened the night before. Presently it' came to him, and raising himself to a sitting posture he prepared to take in his surroundings. It was very light in the place, and as Sam gazed about the room a puzzled expression came over his face. He blinked like an owl, and then pinched himself to see if he was really awake. Becoming satisfied that he was, he arose to his feet-not from the hard floor he went to sleep upon the night before, but a soft couch of skins. While the inmates of the strange circular chamber had been asleep a transformatioo scene had taken place. The room was now handsomely furnished in a quaint way, and there were at least half a dozen windows in it. In the center was a tray containing a delicious-looking break fast, and as soon as Sam's eyes lit upon this he found that he was very hungry. Remembering that he had made up his mind to be surprised at nothing, he started toward it. But as he did so he tho ught of Bolo and Oliver and he again cast his eyes about the room. He was not surprised at all when he observed them lying upon couches similar to the one he had just arisen from. "Come, Bolo-Oliver! get up and get your break.fast," said he. But neither of the objects of his attention moved, but kept on breathing regularly in a sound sleep. "We must have been drugged in some manner," thought Sam. "It seems that I was the first to awaken; but, never mind; here is our breakfast waiting for us, and I am going to wake them ." He shook the Zulu smartly by the shoulder, and that in dividual roused up almost instantly, yawning as if he had been asleep for a whole week. As his eyes rested upon Sam a look of intelligence came over his face, and when he saw the changed appearance of the room he just merely nodded his head as though he had half expected it. But wlien Sam succeeded in rousing Oliver to his right senses, that functionary nearly had a fit on the spot. It was rather strange about the Englishman . He was one of the bravest in the midst of danger and when there had to be any fighting done, but as soon as he saw some extraordinary thing that be was unable to account for his superstitious nature made him a rank coward. At length, after consid erable sharp talking, Sam succeeded in allaying his fears somewhat, and when he saw the tray contain ing the eatables he returned to somethiY.g like his own self. Everything was finely cooked and was simply delicious. There were two earthen vessels on the tray, om: of which con tained water and the other a dark-looking liquid. Oliver placed his nose to this and took a sniff. "Whew!" he whistled; "hit smells like porter; Hi guess Hi'll sample hit." He placed the of its contents. draught. vessel to his mouth and swallowed a mouthful Then he smacked his lips and took a deep "'Ave some?" asked he, tending it to the Zulu. "Hi don't know vot in ther dickens hit is, but hit tastes like vine hand hold porter mixed, hand hit hare good!" Bolo shook his head with an expression of disgust on his face. "No, my brother," returned he; "it is something that will cause drunkenness, and I have yet to taste of strong drink." Sam also declined with thanks, and stuck to the pure, cold water the other vessel contained. "Go od !" e x claimed the Englishman. "Since no von will join me, Hi viii drink hup ther 'ale pot by myself. 'Ere goes I" He took another draught, and then placing the vessel on the fl0or, b ega n to grow quite hilarious. He sang a f e w bars of a n English song, and then rising to his feet, executed an impromptu dance. The Zulu was di s gusted with the performance, but Sam laughed in spite of himself. Oliver then drank the balance of the liquor, and then promptly rolled over and began to snore. "That must be powerful stuff to knock out a person as quick as that," remarked Sam. "I wonder if ,.--" His words were cut short, for at that moment a sliding noise was heard, and a part of the very wall itself slid back; the n ext moment a man enter e d, and bowing low, stood before them without uttering a word. CHAPTER XI. FRANK'S QUEER ADVENTURE. As Frank Lowe was hurled to the ground as he entere d the curtained doorway, the breath was knocked from his body and he was rend e red partly unconscious. It had all happened so sudd e nly that for the space of half a minute the boy was c omp letely dQzed. He felt a weight upon his chest, and as his full faculties returned to him he opened his eyes. Horror upon horrors what did he see? A magnificent specimen of a male lion stood over him, its fore feet upon his ch es t, and its fiery eyes glowing upon him like two living coals As th e boy op e ned his eyes the lion uttered a low growl and began licking its chops fiercely. Frank had bee n in a good many tight places since he had set out upon his journey, but this was far worse than anything he had yet passed through. A cold sweat broke out upon his forehead and his very heart ceased to beat for a moment. He felt that he was doomed-utterly doomed! and expected every second to be his last. But the terrible beast did not seem to be in any great hurry to make an end of him; it just held him in one position with its heavy paws, and ne v er took those fierf eyes from his. Finally a thought struck Frank. He would move and that would probably cause the lion to grow angry and finish his work. Then it would all be over and his torture would be done. Closing his eyes, he uttered a silent prayer, and then made a sudden movement, as if to throw the beast from him. But no! the scheme did not work; the lion made a quick move ment, and recovering itself, assumed the same old position. A wild holje sprang into Frank's breast. Surely if the beast would stand such a rough movement as that without tearing him to pieces, he might stand a show of killing i t with his revolver. No sooner thought of than the boy's hand was upon the heavy revolver in his belt. The lion growled a little, but did not make the least effort to do him any furth-::r harm. A moment more and the muzzle of tho revolver was withiD three inches of the terrible beast's left eye.

PAGE 13

12 B R A VE AND BOLD Nerving himself, Frank placed his finger upon the trigger, and--Clang! At that very instant a gong sounded with a loud noi se, and be fore the revo lver could be discharged the lion sp rang from the boy's b o dy and as if by magic. "Heavens!" thought Frank, "what has happened now? Still grasping the revolver in his hand, he arose slowly to his feet. Even as he did so a slight rustle was heard and the figure of a female glided into the room. Frank stoo d there in the uncert a in light caused by the flickering torch, and as his gaze rested upon the girl-for such s he washe could not suppress a cry of admiration. The girl did not seem to be very much surprised, but returned his gaze with interest, just the l east vestige of a smile playing about her lips. She was not more than fifteen, and was rather tall for one of the peculiar race to whom she belonged. She was attired in a long robe of gauzy material of the most delicate variegated colors, which flashed like a sheen of silver and gold at every movement of her well-formed body. Her face seemed to be, to Frank, the most beautiful one he had ever looked upon; her dark eyes shone like diamonds, and her long, raven-black hair hung in a misty veil alm ost to her delicate, shapely feet. A jeweled necklace surround e d her snowy-white neck and dazzling brac e l e ts were on her exquisitely molded wrists. Taking her, all in all, as she sto'od there before the mystified boy, she was what might be called "a thing of beauty and a joy forever." Probably a silence of fully five minutes ensued, and then Frank spoke. "Miss," said he, "will you kindly direct me to what I am to do? I am a stranger in a strange place, and am at a loss how to act." The girl at once replied in a language that was entirely un known to the boy adventurer, so he saw that it was utterly use less to attempt to hold any conversation with her. There was a pile of skins in the center of the room, and after a moment' s pause the vision of female loveliness motioned him to seat himself upon it. Then, quick as a flash, she left the room, leaving the boy in a very peqil ex ed state of mind. Probably ten minutes passed, when the curtain of skins was thrust aside where Frank had entered, and the man who had con ducted him there came in. The boy's face brightened up. Here was a chance to talk to somebody who could understand him, and, most likely, give him some information. "Hello, my man!" said he, "I wish you would explain matters a bit. I can't understand all this ; I have been attacked by a lion, and just as I was going to shoot him a gong sounded and he left me like a shot. Then the most beautiful girl I ever saw appeared before me; and now I am so much mixed up that if something is not explained pretty soon I believe I shall retire from this place and look up my comp a nions and see what has befallen them." The man smiled and shrugged his shoulders at the conclusion of Frank's speec h, and seating himself on the skins beside him, began to talk. "Young man," sa id he,' "are you not aware that the token of ivory I took from you denoted that the bearer of it seeks an audi ence with the solare of the Laking people?" "I did not know it," repli e d Frank. "It is true, nevertheless. But few of our people ever come in posses sio n of one of these tokens and when they do they forward it to the solare, or queen, as it is termed in your language; and she grants an audience, providing they are able to su rmount the dangers and difficulties which strew the p ath that lead s to the ro yal chamber. I led you to the threshold of the commeflcement of the path, thinking that it was your intention to See h e t. The lion who attacked you and held you down is trained for that purpose. It is to test your courage, for none but a brave man hl!S ever see n and talked to the solare-knowing that it was she!" "Have you?" asked Frank. "Oh, yes, many years ago I worked my way to her royal pres ence, and owing to the excellent manner in which I did it, I was appointed a d vise r to her You s;,ty a beautiful girl appeared to you after the lion had left. If you had followed her you would ha ve taken the next step on the way." "Have I still the privilege of going on?" "Yes, sir; you have." "You say that none but a brave man has ever seen and talked with the solare knowing that it was she. What do you mean by that?" "I mean this, sir: Almost every day she appears among our people, but she is disgui s ed so that none can tell who she is. There are many among our people-eight or ten thousand-and out of all of those it would be h ard to pick out the solare, un less by so me one who thoroughly knew her." Frank was becoming more deeply interested every moment. He now made up his mind that he was going to have an au d ien c e with the queen if he died in the attempt. '"What is your name, my man?" he asked. "Zex," was the reply. "All right, Mr. Zex; give me something to eat, and let me rest a while, and then I shall be ready to continue the journey to see k an audience with the solare." Zex bowed hims elf out, and returned in about half an hoar with a plentiful supply of food Qn a tray. "Eat," said he, "and when you get ready continue on your journey. The lion wi.ll not trouble you again, but other things will before you are through. Have confidence and all will be well." The next moment he was gone, and being r e assured, Frank be ga n eagerly devouring the meal, for he was quite hungry. He had barely finished when he heard a movement before him. Glancing up he beheld the girl who had before confronted him. CHAPTER XII. THE ZULU FINDS HIS FATHElt. The man who entered the apartJI1ent where Sam Singleby and his two companions were, was very fantastically dressed, was very short in stat ure, and wore an exceedingly long beard. "Good-morning," said Sam, politely. The newcomer nodd e d his head, as if he fully understoo d the remark, and motioned for them to get up and follow him. "Can you s p eak our language?" asked Sam The man nodded his head "Yes," replied he; "I speak a little. Man like learn me," and he pointed to Bolo. T he Zulu gave a start that askmished the Laking. "Where is the man like me, my brother?" he hurriedly asked. "Will take you to him now. Come on; leave the man who took too much drink where he is; he will be taken care of." Full of cu r iosity Sam obeyed, followed by Bolo who was very excited over the prospect o f finding his father.

PAGE 14

BRA VE AND BOLD. 1 3 After traversing a passage, they came outside in the open air. It was just about midday, and the sun shining from directly overhead sent forth a fierce heat. But the Laking village was built in the mid t of a grove of trees, and, consequently, it was comparatively shady and cool. There were no streets or roadways cut through it at all; the houses were built here, there and everywhere. Some were built of wood and others of stone, and all showed a certain degree of fair architecture and workmanship. The majority of them were built sixteen feet square, or in a circular form, and were covered with a coating resembling paint of different colors. Sam took notice of these things as he walked along, but before he could take any further observations their guide came to a halt in front <>f a small wooden house, which was of a strictly white color. A venerable-looking black was seated in front of it, and three or four mulatto children were playing about his feet. He looked up from the ground as the Laking approached with Sam and the Zulu, and as his eyes rested upon them he uttered a cry of astonishment, intermingled with delight, and sprang to his feet as quickly as his aged condition would allow him. ''What is it, oh, my brothers l" he exclaimed; "has it come to pass that the Great Ruler of the universe has at last sent some of my former brethren to me? The sky is clear, the sun shines bright, the birds sing in the wilderness, and Zeika is happy. He feels like a young warrior again, when his eyes rest upon one of his own kind ; and he would shake the hand of the brother of his own color, and also of his white companion." This was spoken in the Zulu tongue, and. of course, Sam could not understand a word of it. But Bolo did, and replying in the same language, he seized the old man by the hands and kissed him reverently upon the forehead. Then for the next fifteen minutes nothing was heard save the ceaseless chatter of the two Zulus, and Sam in the meantime studied the peculiar habits of the children close by. At length the conversation began to lag, and then turning to Sam, Bolo said: "My brother, this is indeed my father. I have found him after many years, thinking he bad perished in the Death Lands. He is now seventy years old, and," he added a little sadly, "he is married to his third wife and has nineteen children living." "A very good showing, I am sure," replied the boy, stepping up and shaking the old man by the hand, and not cracking a smile meanwhile. Seeing that they were now sufficiently introduced, the Laking who had brought them there saluted respectful1y and took his de parture. "Come inside, my son, and you, too, my white brother," said the old Zulu, leading the way inside the house. There were three or four rooms in it, and these were neat and tidy and presented a semi-civilized appearance. Sam and Bolo seated themselves upon a rough bench and Zeika entered one of the other rooms and presently retumed with a rather youag and pretty Laking \VOman, whom he introduced as his wife. Bolo kissed his stepmother upon the forehead-with a certain degree of coolness, perhaps--and Sam shook hands with her, wondering all the time why such a comely looking woman was satisfied with an ugly, scar-faced, aged Zulu for a husband. Then Zeika proceeded to relate all that had happened since the event of his arrival in the Laking Land, teUing all about how Bony Larkins and his companions had attempted to escape and how be had settled down and took a wii'C, being fully contented with the mode of life led by the Laking people, who were a thrifty and intelligent race and were we.JI in many arts and trades of the civili z ed world. He also stated that their ruler was invariably a woman; that her husband had absolutely nothing to say about the affairs of the country whatever, and that when she died, if she had not a daughter to fill her place, her nearest female relative took the throne. The old Zulu went on talking about the unknown race until finally Sam thought it proper to a s k him one question. "Zeika," said he, "how was it that we went to sleep in a room with no windows, doors, or furniture in it last night, and when we awoke this morning it was altogether different?" "You were drugged, my brother, and then carried in another room. That was done to impre s s you. I tell you, brother, you will see and pass through many strange things before you be come accustom e d to the people of this place." f "Humph!" thought Sam, "there is nothing fery strange about it afte r all. I don t think I shall be much puzzled at anything further that happens." But Sam was destined to be puzzled more than once before he left the land of the Laking people He started for the door of Zeika's hut and was just in time to see a curious, not to say striking, sight outside. Passing the hou s e just at that moment was Oliver Looney in a very unsteady condition, with a Laking woman on either side of him engaged in the occupation of keeping him from to the ground. CHAPTER XIII. FRANK STARTS TO SEE THE LAKING QUEEN. Frank Lowe sprang to his feet as he saw the girl in the room before him. "I'll follow you this time," he thought, "and see the end of this curious adventure." The girl gazed at him in an expectant manner, and plucking up courage, the boy started toward her, motioning that he was ready to follow her. A smile of satisfaction stole over her face, and, throwing a curtain aside, she slowly left the room, followed by Frank. A flight of stone steps was now before them, and without a word the girl began to descend them. Down they went for at least fifty steps, and then they arrived at the beginning of a long hallway. Straight along this for perhaps fifty yards, and the boy's fair conductor came to a halt. This place, like the rooms above, was dimly lighted, and Frank saw another curtain before him. But there was no time for him to form any conjectures as to what lay beyond, for, throwing the curtain aside, bis conductor motioned him to enter. The next moment he was in a medium-sized apartment, in the center of which was a sort of divan covered with soft skins. Hardly knowing why be did so, Frank seated himself upon it. It was cool and refreshing in the room, and a delicious, frag rant odor pervaded the atmosphere. A sort of dreamy feeling came over the young adventurer, and closing his eyes, he settled himself back in a reclining position, and, for the time being, be was at peace with the whole world. Presently the sounds of soft music, as if being played a long distance away, came his ears. Then a voice-and iUch a

PAGE 15

BRA VE AND BOLD. voice-burst forth in a melodious strain, and Frank lay and lis tened, drinking it in with the raptures of one of the blest. For fully ten minutes the music and singing kept up, and then suddenl y it ceased as if by magic. The next there was a rush of cool air, and the room grew dark as pitch. Frank started to his feet. His spell of enchantment was broken. "What is going to happen now, I wonder?" he thought. He was not kept long in suspense A d ozen hands were laid upon him as quick as a flash of light ning, and before he knew what had taken place he was whisked from the place and carried swiftly along a dark passage. In a minute or two he was placed upon his feet, and then the sound of receding footsteps was heard and he was alone. Alone? Nol The appalling silence which hung over the place was suddenly broken by an ominous hiss. In spite of the fact that the boy was prepared for most any thing, a horrible shudder came over him. Producing a match from his pocket, he struck it and held it aloft. A startling sight met his gaze. The floor of the room was literally covered with serpents! Big, little and medium sized, but all horrible and loathsome in appearance. If there was anything that Frank dreaded in the whole world, it was a snake He had often remarked that he would rather face a lion than have a snake tum on him. Now he was in a very nest of them. His first thought was to flee from the spot, but the slimy, crawling things were all around him, and he could not see a single spot where it was large enough to make a step without placing his foot upon on e or more of them. "My God I" exclaimed the boy, a cold sweat breaking out upon his forehead, "this is awful! What shall I do?" At that moment his match went out and he was left in darkness. The serpents now began crawling about the ground, hissing in concert, it seemed, and as one big fellow touched his leg and began slowly coiling itself about it, Frank could not repress a cry of horror. He forgot all about the mission he had started on, and that he had been told by Zex that he would have to surmount dangers and difficulties ere he saw the queen. His mind only dwelt on one thought now, and that was the terrible position he was placed in. Clang! A gong sounded exactly the same as when the lion was upon him, and a moment later the sn akes had left him, and he felt that he was the only living thing in the room. A queer sensation of relief came over him, and he felt like falling to the floor. But recovering himself, he lighted another match. He was right in his conjecture; he was alone, standing upon a smooth, rocky floor. "Pshaw!" he muttered, coming fully to himself again. "Why should I become frightened? I was told as much as though noth ing would harm me." The light from his match showed him an opening a few 0feet ahead of him, and again making a 'resolve not to be surprised at anything that might happen to him, he passed boldly through it. He now found himself in a narrow passage, with a dim light showing in the distance. Along this Frank started, and in a minute. or two ..t:e arrived at its end, where a torch was burning. He stepped forth into -a good-sized chamber, in the center of which one of the Laking people was standing. "Well,'' said Frank, addressing him, forgetful of the fact that he was not likely to be understood, "what am I to go through next?" Without vouchsafing any reply the man held forth his hand, with a small article between his fingers. A glance showed Frank that it was the piece ef ivory which Zex had taken from him on the "Oh!" thought he, "you want me to take that and deliver it to the solare, or queen. All right." He put forth his hand to grasp it, but, to his astonishment, the Laking suddenly drew it back, and laughed in a mocking manner. Then the fantastically attired being began dancing about the boy, as if inviting him to a conflict. Presently he placed the piece of ivory directly under his nose, and then suddenly drew back again. Becoming exasperated, Frank suddenly shot out his right fist and caught the fellow on the nose, knocking him fiat on his back. The Laking tossed the piece of ivory to the boy, and then began rolling about the floor, howling like a crazy man. "By Jove!" exclaimed Frank, "he evidently got just what he was looking for,'' and stooping, he picked up the piece of ivory and placed it in his pocket. In a minute or two the Laking get upon his feet and darted from the place. Almost at the same instant the girl whom he had met before appeared, and, without a word, motion e d h i m to follow her. Frank was all attention now, and he obeyed with wonderful alacrity. Passing through an arched doorway, the girl came to a halt Frank gave a start as he reached her side. He was standing on the brink of a chasm! Placing one hand upon his shoulder, the beautiful Laking gazed up into his eyes, and then, pointing downward with the other, motioned him to jump. A shade of hesitancy came over him. He had passed throug safely enough so far, but should he court what seemed to be certain death by leaping into that yawning black hole? It appeared to be a very rash thing to do, and yet, as the boy gazed into the beautiful girl's eyes and saw that she was really in earnest for him to do as she directed, he made up his mind to make the jump. "Well, here goes !" he muttered. The next moment he sprang clear of the ledge, and disappeared in the darkness below. CHAPTER XIV. OLIVER BECOMES ENGAGED. Let .l!S now return to Jaques Lecairo, the Fr. enchman, and see how he fared in the hands of the unknown race. Owing to his half-starved and exhausted condition, he remained in a sort of stupo r until his bearers placed him upon a soft couch in one of the houses of the village. A decoction of herbs and drugs was mixed and given to him, and almost immediately he came to his senses and sat bolt up ri,ght. "Where am I?" he gasped. And then, as he caught sight of the strange people about him. he fainted dead away and sank again.

PAGE 16

BRA V E AND BOLD The F renchman's across the swamp lands a11d over the mountains had bee n as terrible as it was pefsistent. When he had fallen from the tree after firing the shot which had so nearly end e d Frank's life, he had struck in a pool of water. This was th e means of saving his rascally life; and, sputter ing and bl i nded by the muddy water he was helped out by Wampi and placed upon dry l and. We will not d\vell on the many perilbus incident s they pa sse d through, but sufficP. it to say that before they had half crossed the Death Lands Wampi peri s hed in the quicksands, dying a miser a ble death. Jacq ues Lecairo was now left al o ne, and how he ever manage d to penetrate the dreaded swamps he never exactly knew 11imself. But he stuck to the comparatively plain trail like a sle11th houncl, and at length, mo re dead than alive, he overtook the little party, as has already been describe d * * * Sam Singleby laughed heartily When he saw O l iver Looney and th e two Laking women passing in front of Zeika's house. Bolo only shrugged h is shoulders and said: "My broth e r it appears that your white servant has fallen in love I prophesy t ha t he will be a married m an befo r e man y days "Do you think so, Bolo?" asked Sam. "Yes," was the reply. \"Look at my father; the r e is an example for you. At this moment a mulatto youth walked up a n d entered the house. "I wonder who that was?" said Sam. "I don't kpow; probably it is my half-brother," r eplied Bolo. He was right. Almost in a minute the boy came out again followed by Ze i ka. "My son!'' exclaimed the venerable Zulu laying his hand upon Bolo's shoulder, "this is your half-brother. Embrace him." Bolo ob e yed at once, and presently the newly-found relatives were chatting plea s antly enough Z e ika' s Laking son, whose name was Danst, could speak thre e languages quite fluently-Zulu, Engl ish and Laking-and on be ing introduced, Sam took quite a likirig to him. He questioned the boy as to where the two L aking women were taking the Englis h man. "Oh they have both chosen him for a husband, and are taking him before the high priest to let him decide which one shall have him. You know if a man speaks tenderly to a woman in this country she at once takes it for granted that he desi r es her for a wife. Your friend has evidently been making love to the pair of them replied Danst. "Phew!" whistled Sam. Come on, Bolo and let's see h ow Oliver makes out. The Zulu guide was willing, and so tf1e two followed Danst through !he crowded lanes and byways of the village until they arrive d at a pretemious-loo kin g dwelling nearly in the cent e r of it. Quite a crowd of the .gaudi l y aWred race were collected about the entrance, and pushing their way through, they at once entered. The lower part of t h e high priest's h ouse contained but one ro o m, and that was in the shape of a circle. In the center was a r aised platform, upon which sat the fun c tionary who was to pass judgment upon the case of Oliver and the two women. He was attired in a scarlet robe and wore all sorts of ornaments upon his person. As Danst edged his way into the r oom, followe d by Sam and Bolo, one of the women was telling her side of the s tory. At Sam's request Dan s t translated it to him T h e case was something lik e the following: When Oliver recover e d some what from his drunke n stupor, after his two compani ons had left the house, he found a woman in clearing away the remain s o f the i r breakfa st. As s he was young and rather pretty, h e arose to hi s 1\e t and playfully chuckled her under the chin. She di d n o t see m to be displeased, but left t he room at once, greatly to the Englishman's astonishment. He sta rt ed to follow her a nd met another w o m an, who was also yo un g, but n o t quite as good-looking as the othe r. But this fact made n o differ e nce to Oliver, and he stop ped and winked at h e r and the n threw an imaginary kiss at her. The.n h e was astonish _ed_ again, for s h e also disapp ea r e d from hi prese n ce to so m e other part of the h o use. He sc ra tc h e d hi s he a d in a b ewi ld ered m anner for se v e ral min utes, and then conclud ed that h e had b ette r start out t o look for hi s companions. But just as he was about to leave the hou s e the fir s t woman he had met came up dressed in a very gorgeous manner, and took him by the arm. "Hi say there, me girl, let go I 'anged hif Hi like this, yo u know." Just then the other woman appeared, and took him by the op posite arm. The n they began to jabber away a t a great rate and finally, getting mad, n ea rly pull e d poor Oliver apart. Bnt prese ntly they d ecide d to l eave it to the high prie s t as to who \ yas best entit l e d to him and away the y started. The Laking priest liste n e d to both s id es of the story in a very di gnified manner, and then, after deliberating for a while, de cided that womau No. I was entitled to the strange white man for a husba nd. Upon h earing this deci s i o n th e ot h e r woman at once let go of Oli ve r, a nd relinquished all claim upon him. The Englishman was in a very unsteady condition, and this movement on her part caused him to lose his balance and fall flat up o n the floor. The Laking woman, who glo r ied in the name of Sextupuaga, lifted her affianced to his feet, and assiste d h i m o u tside into the open air. Oliver did not know any more about what had occur r ed than did the man in the moon. But that made no difference to the woman. She regarded him as just a degree above the race to which she belo n ged, and she was very proud of having secured th e prize. She called one of the men who could speak a little English and bade him to inform Oliv e r of what had occurred, and a l so t hat h e mu s t be prepared to wed h e r in six days from date "Vot !" exclaimed the surprised Englishman, when he stood the s ituati o n, me get marrie d ? Not hif Hi knows hit. Vy, Hi ham hopposed to vimmen, hand h alway s vas." "Allow me to congratulate you on your excellent choice," said Sam, at that m o m ent coming up and s haking him by the hand. "His hit so, Mr. S a m that Hi've got ter marry this woman?" a ske d he, brightening up jus t a little as h e saw who was address ing him. Y es, Oliver according to the laws of this country, you h ave," returned the b oy, without a smile; "and," h e added, I ho p e you will be very happy." T h e soon-to-be bridegroom cast a frigh t ened loqk arou nd hi m.

PAGE 17

16 BRA VE AND BOLD. as if seeking an avenue of escape from the dreadful doom that awaited him. ''Hoh, Lord!" he exclaimed, and then making a sudden bolt, darted away through the dispersing crowd. I CHAPTER XV. FRANK LOWE'S SUCCESS. As Frank Lowe made the leap and felt himself going down, down into the unfathomable darkness below, he almost gave himself up as lost. But, no! Before he had shot through twenty feet of space he struck plump into a strong net, and then rolled over on his side, without the least vestige of a bruise upon his body. A sense of relief came over him, and he did not attempt to extricate himself from his position. The strange and thrilling events he had passed through since he had arrived in the Laking vi1lage were running through his mind like a misty dream, when suddenly he felt the net gradually tightening about him. The next moment he felt as if he wa,s incased in a bag, and then he began slowly to ascend. Presently he felt himself drawn over the edge of the chasm, and the ne.'>t instant the net was thrown from him, and he stood upon his feet. A torchlight suddenly illumined the and two Laking men stood before him. One of them was Zex, who at once spoke. "Friend," said he, "you have done remarkably well. But one ever took that leap vo luntarily before you in the last fifty years, and that one was myself. All others had to be pushed over the brink while they hesitated. Come! all trouble is over now. You may now see and talk with -the solare." It was a f e eling of deep relief, intermingled with one of pride, that Frank followed t he two men into the chamber where he had knocked the Laking down and secured the piece of ivory. To his astonishment he was conducted back exactly over the same path he had traversed. But no signs of any serpents or anything else came in their way, and presently they stood in the room where the lion had met him. "Now," said Zex, "pass through tl)at doorway yonder, and walk along the passage until you come to another. The solare is in that room; present the ivory token, and all will be well. Your language is well understood by her, as it has been one of the studies of our race since it was first introduced by your people, who first came here a long while ago. Go on; we will leave you now." Thanking Zex for the many points he had given him, Frank waved his hand and left the room. Acting fully on his instructions, he soon arrived at a richlycurtained doorway. which he knew led to the presence of the queen. At that moment the curtain was thrown J;iack and a musical voice bade him enter. Without any further hesitation Frank stepped boldly in. The girl who had twice before met him during his journey stood before him. A pleased look was upon her face, and bowing politely, she said, in remarkably good English : "Come in, sir. As I am now able to talk to you, I bid you welcome." Frank blushed like a schoolboy, but recovering himself, took a step or two forward. '"Will you grnnt me one favor?" he asked, in an earnest tone. "What is it?" "Tell me your name. I have seen a great many ladies in the. different countries I have traveled through, but I must frankly tell you that you are the most beautiful I ever had the pleasure of me eting." The girl replied in a low, faltering voice: "I am Alare, the solare's daug_ hter. Prepare yourself now to meet my mother, who will be glad to see yo u, since you braved the apparent dangers in such an extraordinary manner in your at tempt to see her." Then she led him through another doorway, and Frank was in the presence of the queen of the Laking people. She was seated upon a throne in a very gorgeously-appearing room, and as Frank approache,d her, he followed the example set by his fair companion and bowed almost to the floor. At this the queen, who was rather .fat a11d a small silver gong and i;he two arose to their feet. "My son," she said, "you h ave come from afar to seek me; now you have found me--what is your mission in coming to this land?" For a moment the boy was at a loss as to what reply he should make, but suddenly he thought of the diamond he had in his possession, which Bony Larkins had stolen from the queen's crown years before. He saw a splendid way out of the difficulty. "Most gracious solare," began he, bringing forth all his oratorical powers at one jump, "I have come all the way from my land, many miles away, to bring to you a diamond which was st ole n a long time ago from the crown you wear. Will it be accepted from me--and may. my compamons and myself be forgiven for trespassing in your land?" "Let me see the diam o nd. If what you say is true I shall be glad that you have come, for the crown jewels are held sacred by me, and the return of one that has been missing so long will indeed be a wonderful thing." Frank produced the diamond and handed it to her. The queen gave a start as her eyes re sted upon the and a cry of joy escaped her lips. ... "It is the lost jewel, indeed I" she exclaimed. "My have conferred a great favor up o n the Laking race by retui"iting this to where it bel o ngs. There is only one request that I will ever refuse to grant you until your dying day, and that is to leave this land. Wear this and you will be granted the privileges of my own children She placed a curious necklace of ivory balls about his neck. Frank bowed low and murmure d his thanks. "You may retire now, and henceforth you may come and go at will. Ze x, my most trusted adviser, will place a dwelling at your dispos al for the use of yourself and friends. There is only one thing that I warn you of, and that is: never attempt to cross the mountains that surround our land If you do certain death awaits you!" T he boy again bowed, and then left her majesty's presence, followed by Alare. "Stay I" exclaimed the queen. "One moment, please ." Frank halted. "Here is the ivory token. In the valuable service you have rendered me by bringing back Hie .crown diamond, you may take this and present it to your most trusted friend, and allow him the privil ege of seeking an audience with me ." "Thanks !" He accepted the piece of ivory, and in a moment he and the girl were in the other room.

PAGE 18

BRA VE AND BOLD. "Now, Miss Alare, I must leave you," he said, raising the hand of the beautiful girl to his lips. To his astonishment Alare uttered a cry of alarm, and the next moment the queen rushed upon the scene with flashing eyes. CH PTER XVI. OUR FRIENDS ARE 'GIVEN A HOUSE TO LIVE IN. Frank had no sooner placed the girl's hand to his lips than he saw that he had committed an act that was considered alto, gether out of order. Alare's action plainly showed him this; but when her mother burst upon th e m, her eyes flashing fire, he heartily wished that the ground might open and swallow him from sight. "How dare you!" tljundered the queen. "Don't you know that you have insulted the throne by kissing the hand of the queen's daughter? That act of familiarity is never allowed among our people unless the parties have a settled marriage agreement. The hand of Alare is already promi se d to a young and estim2ble man of high standing This base insult cannot be wiped out; it is the duty of my daughter's promised husband to kill you. That is one of the laws of our country." But, your majesty," replied Frank, firing up just a little, "such an act as I have just b ee n guilty of is a mark of respect in my country, and I trust that I may be excused on the grounds of my ignorance of your laws. If I have done anything wrong I am willing to apologize." "An apology will do no good in this ca se," replied the angry woman, coldly; "our laws must not-shall not-be broken." She reach e d up to pull a cord as she finished speaking. "One moment I" the boy, in a voice full of spirit. "Only a little while ago you told me that you would grant any r equest I might make, so long as I did not ask to leave this coun try, did you not?" The queen staggered back a pace or two and turned white. "I did," she returned, "and I never break my promise." "Then, your majesty, I ask to be forgiven for what wrong I have done." ;....-"Be it so, then, boy. But dare not speak to Alare again on pain of instant death." "Thank you," said Frank, and bowing, he left the _,. The farther he got aw ay from the royal chamb e r the better he felt, but he could not help but think of the beautiful girl whom he must never speak to again "I wonder what sort of a fellow lover of Alare's is?" he thought, as he walked along. Does she think anything of him I wonder? I must see him; I am deeply interested in her, and if I find that she does not care for him, I'll forget about the solare's eqmmand and speak to her whenever I get the chance." Thus he mused until he reached the outside of the house It was after sunrise in the morning, and as Frank observed this fact he was not a little surprised. "Queer ," muttered he. "The rule must be that the queen will grant an interview with a person sending the ivory token to her at any time whether it be day or night." Just then he observed Zex coming toward him, and after salut ing him, that individual condlfcted him to a neat-appearing house at the outskirts of the village. It was all ready to receive him, and being completely worn out by what he had undergone, Frank lay down upon a pile of sk i n s with the intention of seeking his companions when he awoke. The afternoon was weU spent when he arose, and after eating a meal that had been prepared for him by s-omebody, while he slept, he felt considerably refreshed. Then making his way o utside, he started toward the center of the village of many-hued houses. As he neared it he observed quite a crowd coming from one of th e buildings, and curious to know what was going on, he hurried toward it. He was just in time to see the figure of a man, whom he quickly obs e rved to be Oliver Looney, running tsiward him at the top of his speed. But that was not all he saw. A woman was after him in hot pursuit, and taking in the situation as a comical one, Frank laughed. At that moment Sam and the Zulu came up, and after a hearty greeting, they explained the nature of the Englishman's terrible case. / Well, I don t see why he should be so badly alarmed," re marked Frank. "Nor 'I," replied Sam. "But, old fellow, where ha..ve you been so long? Tell us what has befallen you since you entered this place?" "There is only one way for you to find out what I have been through, Sam. Take this piece of ivory and present it to the man known as Zex. He is the one who took it from me on the moun tains. If you fol!ow his directions "you will pass through exactly what I have, and you will feel yourself well paid. I am not bound to keep my adventures a secret, but for certain reasons, I have concluded to do so. Don't ask me any more qu estions now; but my advice is to seek an audience with the queen, or sola re, as she is called." Somewhat mystifi e d at Frank's talk, Sam took the ivory._,token and placed it in his pocket. "All right. I will do as you say, and seek an audience with the queen." A little after darkness had set in, Zex led Oliver Looney to his comp anio ns, and left him there. "vVell," asked Frank, "how did you make out?" "Hit his hall settled; Hi'm resigned; Hi'm goin' ter be married to-morrer. First she said a week; but now she says to morrer. One thing, she hain t so very 'omely." CHAPTER XVII. OLIVER LOONEY'S WEDDING. The next morning, shortly after sunrise, the house of our friends was visited by two Laking men, who bore a good-sized bundle betw e en them. This consist e d of Oliver s wedding outfit, which was invariably furnish e d by the bride in that country. Frank and Sam soon discovered that the biggest part of the clothing worn by the strange race was manufactured from flax. and then dyed through s o me chemical process. The Englishman s wedding outfit was simpiy grand! The long, skin-tight leggins were a mixture of vermilion and pink, the skirt was grass-green, and the cape was a beautiful clouded blue; a white head covering with a yellow plume, and a pair of crocodiles kin sandals. and the rig was complete. After breakfast Oliver reluctantly donned the gaudy toggery. "'When does the ceremony take place in which my English brother is to take a wife?" ask e d Bolo. "Hoh, Lord! right ha'tVay, Hi suppose. Hif Hi don't 'urry hup Hi hexpect she will be hafter me pretty soon. Blawst the bloomin' place, hanyhow." He was about right in his expectations, for hardly had he ceased speaking when the beautiful and gushing Sextupuaga ap peared, coming toward the house with all possible speed.

PAGE 19

18 BRA VE AND BOLD. Olivet groaned, but bracing himself for the ordeal, strode hastily out to meet her. The meeting was a very affectionate one. His affianced hugged him and then kissed him on the nose, which evidences of affec tion Oliver awkwardly returned, g r eatly to the delight of the two boys. The couple started toward the priest's house, followed by the two boys; and presently, knowing what was going to take place, quite a crowd of the Lakings joined in the procession. The ceremony was to take place in the operi air, and a movable platform had been placed in the center of the little squa re, in front of the Laking priest's house, for the purpose. Frank and Sam were treated with more than ordinary respect, and were invit ed by the priest to take a seat upon the platform. T he master of ceremonies then motioned for the couple to step upon the platform and be married. There \vas a momentary break ill the crowd, and Oliver sprang nimbly up, followed by Sextupuaga, who was dressed to kill. "Now, h old man, 'eave hahead hand git ther bloomin' p e r for m ance through with!" exclaimed the Englishman in a loud voice. The priest did not understand what he said, but began to tie the knot right away i.ust the same. After he had joined their hands in a loving clas p he proceed ed to recite a long rigmarole in the Laking l a nguage, which was so interesting to Frank and Sam that they took a seat upon the ground and n early fell asleep. He concluded that part of the interesting service by kissing each of the contracting parties o n the forehead; then a wild, weird sort of 'tune struck up, comi1ig from beneath th e platform, and everyb ody, including the bride and groom, began a fantastic dance ,. Then quantities of the intoxicating beverage, which was called lahn, was passed around, and after all who cared to had drunk to the future health and happiness of the pair, they were pronounced man and wife amid great chee ring by the entire populace. The J ahn tasted so good that Oliver wanted more of it, and thinking it best lo humor him a little on the start, his wife gave him all he could drink, and then started for the house that had be en prepared for them. But, as is a lr eady known, the beverage got in its fine work very quickly, and before they were halfway to his future home, Oliver began to grow hilarious. "'Oop !" he yelled. "'Urrah for h old Ringland! Hi'm ha married m a n h and Hi don't care 'oo knows hit!" J then a richlyattired young Laking passed him, sGowling fiercely at him as he did so. Oliver was not slow in noticing this, and being just in the right condition for a row, turned around and faced him, doubling up his fists a t th e same time. "Vat hare ye so mad habout ?" demanded he. "Hif you vant ter fight, vy, eome hon !" At this the Laking's brow grew as dark as a thunder cloud, an d drawing a flat wooden instrument from beneath the folds of his skirt, h e struck the Englishman a smart blow on t h e cheek, knocking him clown. T h e bride began to c:ry, and implored the enraged Laking to go on a nd leave her husband a l one. But th e young man was evidently not jn the mood to do so, for sp rin ging upon O l iver's prostrate body, he began to beat him un mercifully about the head and face. Frank and Sam, who were follpwing the couple up, took in the situation at a glance, and m a moment the:ic we re upon the spot "What do you mean; you cowardly cul". by hitting a tnan in that manner when he is down?" exclaimed t'rank., up and d ea ling the Laking a heavy blow between the eyes with his clinched fist. Spat! down went the astonished man, flat up o n his back, a th ousa nd stars flashing before hi s startled vision. Sam ra ised th e Englishman to his feet and quickly hu st led him fr o m the spo t followed by tlie weeping bride. It was at l eas t half a minute before the Laking arose to his feet, and when h e did so Frank stoo d facing him. His eyes shot forth a vengeful look, and shaking his stick at the boy, h e muttered so m ething in his own tongue and then turned upon hi s nee! and hurried from the s p ot. "Ha, ha!" laughed Frank. "So you dort't want to fig ht it ou t, do you? vVell go on; you are a cowardly cu r, anyhoiv. He was just about to move on when Zex came hurriedly up a look o f extreme a nnoyanc e upon his face. "Boy," said he, m an excited tnanner, "you have made a mis take. T hat man y o u just struck is one of the nobl es of this coun try. He is very vengeful, a nd will do all he can against you as long as h e liv es. His n ame i s Hanga, and he is the affianced hus band o:i the queen's daug11ter, Alare." "Ah!" thought the boy; 1'so that is Alare's lover, is it? Well, I 'll bet all I am worth she doesn't care a straw for him. If she do es she i sn't the kind of a girl I take her to be." CHAPTER XVIII. THE TIGER HUNT. ., A week Om fri ends had now become accustomed to the manner of th e inhabitants of t h e L aking Land: but things had grown so monotonous that they began to l ong for livelier sce n es. They h ad been unable to gain mu c h information about the dia mond and gold min es in the limi ts of the vast vall ey, and they began to study some means of finding them. As yet S;im had not und erta k e n the task ot seeking an audi ence with the que e n. but he in tende d to do so at n o distant day. For a wonder, Oliver Looney appeared to be perfectly con tented with 1 hi s marri e d life, and he told the boy s that he was not at all sorry that he had taken the important step. f.'rank h a d l earne d throug h Zex that J aq u es L eca iro h a d so far recovered from his illness that he was now able to be up and about. He v.r,as also much surprised when he learned that the Fre nch m a n in some unknown m a nner, had become an inmate of the house occupied by Hanga, the suitor of the queen's daughter. "Birds of a feather flock together," thought he; we must look out for them." A couple of days later a grand tiger hunt was arranged to take place, and our fri ends were invited to participate. Frank 11nd Sam were glad to accept the invitation, and even Ilolo said he would go. Oliver also got the consent of his wife to be one of the party, so at suflrisc o n the day appointed the tiger h i.mters were ready to start. There were twelve Lakings, and counting our friends, the party c o n s ist e d o f sixteen all told. Zex was irt command, and notici.ng that he was apparently wait i ng for so mething, Frank asked what it was. 'vVe must wait for the horses," replied he; "we are to go mounted, you know." Neither of the boys had seen over a dozen horses since they had been in the place, and these, for the mqst part, were very sorry-looking animals But what was their surprise, a few minutes later, wbcn sixteen

PAGE 20

BRA VE AND BOLD. as fine-looking stee ds as they had ever set eyes upon were led prancing up. "We have not many good h0rses," said Zex, noticing their surprised looks, "but what we have are reserved strictly far this business. Tiger hunting is dangerous, and the hunters must have good steeds under them. Besides, we will have to travel a great way before we find the animals 1n plenty:" None of the horses had anything like a saddle upon them, so they were compelled to ride bareback. But as Frank and Sam had been brought up on a farm they were welt used to this, and were soon upon the backs of their ani mals, as unconcerned as any of the l,akings. Oliver and Bolo were pretty well up in riding, also, and pres ently all were ready to start. The wea pons carried by the Lakings were short, keen-edged spears, but our friends carried their rifles, revolvers and hunting-knives. They had just left the rainbow-hued village behind them and entereg a heavy growth of ironwood trees, when the sounds of rapidly-approachin2" hoofs were heard behind them. An uneasy look came over the face of Zex, and halting his men, he waited for whoever it might be to come up. Presently two horsemen came in sight, and as they rapidly came nearer, Frank could not repress a start. It was no other than Hanga and Jaques Lecairo who were fol lowing them. The Frenchman seemed to have recovered entirely from his re cent illness, and as he rode up he bowed politc;ly to the two boys. Hanga did not notice them in the least, but at once began be rating Zex at a great rate in his own language for starting on a tiger hunt without first notifying him. Zex received the irate map's lecture cool enough, and then, after the two newcomers had joined the ranks, gave the oroer td start again. Presently he got an opportunity to whisper to Frank. "Look out for Hanga," said he. "He has never been on a tiger hunt before; he has some purpose in view, or he never would have come. I don't like the looks of the man who was sick that came here with you, either; he and Hanga seem to be great friends." Frank nodded, and then told Sam that Hanga was his sworn enemy, and cautioned him to keep a watch upon his movements. The party kept on until nearly noon, when they forced their way through a thick belt of jungle. Zex said they had now arrived at the hunting grounds, and bade the boys to be careful. The Lakings now split up into twos, and began galloping along the edge of the j ungie, uttering loud cries to call the tigers forth. With their rifles ready for instant use, Frank and Sam can tered about the center of the open space and waited to see what would happen. Presently there was a ferocious, cat-like growl, and a mag nificent specimen of the beasts they were in search of sprang into full view, and began lashing its tail furiously. In a moment or so it was joined by its mate, and both stood with blazing eyes glaring upon the hunters, who began galloping about them in a circle, waiving their short spears in a frantic manner, and shouting at the top of their lungs. Both the boys felt that they could have easily dispatched trre beasts before they had fired half a dozen shots, but they did not interfere; they were anxious to see what the Laking hunters would do. Seeing that they were interested spectators o the scene, Hanga thought he would show them what he could do, for suddenly he uttered a wild yell, and leaving the circle of riders, dashed di r ectly toward the furious beasts. The tigers crouched low to the ground, thrashing their tails and growling in an angry manner. Just as the young Laking's horse was within a dozen feet of them they made a simultaneous spring toward him. But they did not reach either the horse or its rider. By a deft movement the steed sprang nimbly aside and avoided them easily enough. Then, before they had recovered themselves, Hanga plunged his spear into the heart of the nearest one, killing it almost in stantly. A shout of approval went up from all sides, and even the boys cheered at the wonderful movement. But the other tiger, which was the male, did not care to be so easily disposed of evideotly, for it quickly leaped back a few paces and became very cautious Just as Han&"a was about to rush down upon him, a startling interruption occurred. By some unknown cause Oliver Looney's steed at that moment became unmanageable, and darted toward the tiger ahead of Hanga In trying to rein up his steed the Englishman dropped his rifle to the ground. The concussion discharged the weapon and the horse, becoming doubly frightened at this, gave a maddened plunge, unseating Oliver and throwing him headlong to the ground within a few f eet of the savage beast. Instead of striving to avert the unfortunate man's doom, Hanga sat still on his horse, his arms folded across his breast, and a smile upon his swarthy countenance. Oliver had been rend e red unconscious from the force of his fall, and as he lay there the tiger lowered its belly to the ground and to launch itself upon him. The two boys thought it high time to interfere. Placing their rifles to their shoulders, they took aim at the beast and pulled the triggers. Crack-crack! The tiger never made the spring, but rolled over upon the ground, in the agonies of death. Another wild shout went up from the crowd, and, quickly turning his horse about, Hanga galloped away from the spot, followed by Jaques Lecairo, who had been an idle witness of the scene. The two boys rnshed forward and assjsted the dazed English man to rise to his feet. He was not hurt, beyond a few slight bruises, and, as his horse had bee n captured by one of the Lakings, he mounted again, saying that he was as good as ever The hunt was kept up until nightfall, and about a dozen fine tigers had been slain and skinned. Then the party went into camp, intending to resume the hunt the next day. Frank, Sam and Oliver were seated a little distance from the rest, talking of Bolo, who, strange to say, had not been seen for a couple of hours or more. Frank was just thinking of starting out to hunt him up, when the Zulu made his appearance. He carried the skin of a freshly-slain tiger over his shoulder, showing that he had not been idle while he had been missing, and, after laying this down, he walked up to Frank, and, placing his lips to the boy's ear, said: "Brother, I have discovered a wonderful place; it ia the &old and diamond mines of the Laking country I"

PAGE 21

20 BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER XIX. THE LAKINGS' MINES. The boys became deeply interested when Bolo said he had dis covered the rich mines of the Laking country. Zex would n ever t ell Frank where the mines were situated, and apparently did not care to talk upon the subject at all. But now, as Bolo said he had found them, both Frank a nd Sam made up their minds that they would visit them. "How far are the mines from here, Bolo?" asked Frank, when the Zulu had eaten his supper and seated himself by them. "Not over five miles, my brother; they l ay about n ort h of us. While on the hunt, I became lost from the rest of the party, and came upon them before I knew it." "How did you find out that they were the mines?" asked Sam. "Because, my brother, I saw both gold and diamonds there. It is a very strange place, and does n ot seem n atural at all; for, while the gold shines through the dirt on the hillsides, the diamonds are placed in little jars and are hidden in holes. I have a handful abouf my person, but dare not show them now, for fear the Lakings might become angry and slay us. The mines are not very large, my brot)lers, but they are, incleed, wonderful. We must all g o through them." Zex now came up, and all further private conversation was stopped. After talking over the day's hunt, and what might be expected the m orrow, :rnmerous fir es were built about the camp, to keep away prowling bea s ts and all save the guards turned in to sleep. They were up the next morning with the sun, however, and the hunt for tigers was again r esumed. Frank and Sam were very successful, and before noon they had each slain one of the beasts without any assistance from anybody. The jungle at this point seemed to be alive with tigers and it was surprising to the boys where they all came from. About noon the two boys and the Zulu managed to get out of the sight of the re s t of the hunte rs, and, urging up their horses, started in the direction Bolo said the mines were. It did not take them v ery long to find the place, and presently they came to a h a lt on a sandy hill in a wild, i so l ated spot, sur rounded on all sides hy a t hick, a lm os t impe n etrable forest. "Here is the pl ace, my brothers!" exclai m ed the Zulu. "You can hardly call it the mines, yet you will find it a very rich spot, or I know hot what I anf saying." Dismounting they tethered their horses hard by, and 'began the sp ot. On the side of the hill, at different points, bright yellow streaks of virgin gold could be plainly see n, and as they kicked the yield ing dirt aside, the sun flashed upon it with such extraordinary brilliancy that it fairly dazzled their eyes. When they had feasted upo n the sight for about a quarter of an hour, Bolo sta rted down the hillside a nd said: "Come; you will now see the di. amonds, my brothers." They followed him to a hoilow square o f sa ndy arid soil, and as he pointed to the ground, saw numerous little cavities containing small earthen vessels. Seizing one of these, Frank tore off the covering. It was filled with precious stones. "It is strange!" mused Sam, when they had feasted upon the vess e l s contents until they were tired. "How is it that the Lakin gs leave these things h e re undisturbed?" "I don't know," replied Frank, "unless they hold this spot as Ah! what is this?" He paused at the month of a smaH opening in the ground as h e spoke, a nd dropp i ng upon his knees, peer e d in A flight of roughly-h e wn stone steps met his gaze, which apparently led downward for many f eet. 'Bolo, you may call this place the m i nes after a11 !" exclaimed he, ri sing to hi s fee t "Th e re is a flight of steps here that lead down into the bowels of the earth. \i\/bat do you say if we go down a little way?" "I am willing, to be sure," quickly r e plied Sam. "Lead on." "vVe h a d better not, my brothers," said the Zulu, with ; a slight show of fear. "I feel that we are on forbidden ground, for, if not, wl:ly is all this riches lying scattered about here undistiarbed? No good will come of our coming here, I am sure. I wish now that I h ad n ot said anything about my di s covery. Let us leave here and return to the hunters." "Not by a jugful!" exclaimed Frank. "You may leave if you wi sh but I am going down thes e steps to see what is below." Then Bolo gr. ew eloquent in his appeal for them .to come away from the spot. "Hear, oh, hear me, my brotners !" said he "We are stand ing upon the brink of the grave; and soon, if we do not turn back, we will be swallow e d up into nothingness; our bodies will disappear,. and our spirits will never rest. Come away, I im plore you! Oh, come away!" But neither of the b oy s heard what he said. They had already di sappe ared in the hole, and were descending the stone steps. Once more did the Zulu frantically call them to tum back and then, b eco ming horrified at some strange, superstitious feeling which had come over him, he sat down upon the grciund, and began to chant in his own language. For fully t e n minutes he kept it up and the n, slowly to bis feet, he began to shake and quiver like an aspen }.faking one mqre effort, he threw off the strange feeling that was upon him and thrust his head down the opening. Come back!" he shouted; "co me back!" But only the echo of his own voice came to his ears. "They may stay, but I must leave," he muttered. "There is something wrong about this place." He attempted to rise to his feet again, when two pairs of hands grabbed him sudd e nly from behind, and he was thrown on his back upon the ground. He beheld the evil faces of Hanga and Jaques Lecairo glaring upon him. CHAPTER XX HANGA'S THREAT. A vengeful light gleamed in Hanga's eyes as he st1rveyed the fallen Zulu, and he began speaking slowly in his own language. Meanwhile, Jaques Lec ai-ro kept Bolo covered with his revolver, a sardonic smile on his face. Hanga coulrl speak a little English, and when he had finished what he was saying in the Laking tongue, he said : "The three dogs of a strange"land have sealed their own doom. They have trespassed upon i.he burial ground of our noble ances tors, because of the riches that are scattered about; the two baby faced boys have entered the tomb out of curiosity, and they will Flever come out again. You, dog of a black man:, must go down with th e m and share their fate! When the solare hears of this act, she will applaud me for sealing your doom. This ground, and everything in it and upon it, is sacred; I have fj.nished what I ha ve to say. Get up and go down the steps in the hole!" :Without a word in reply, Bolo slowly got upGn his feet, and

PAGE 22

BRAVE AND BOLD. 21 then, not making the least effort to fight it out with the two vi11ains, did exactly as be was directed. He had felt that no good would come of their visit to the place, and it had come out just as he expected; what was the u se of trying to avert the ill luck? That was the Zulu way of it. As soon as Bolo s head had disappeared down the bole, Hanga scraped a s ide some loo e dirt near its mouth and disclosed a Rat slab of stone, "Catch hold said he to Jaques Lecairo. The Frenchman obeyed. Then, by their united efforts, they overturned it, causing it to fall directly ove r the opening. Not with this, they began piling all the heavy stones they could find on to p of the slab. "There," remarked Hanga, when they had finished their work, "let the dogs die the death they deserve 1 Come; we must leave here at once; we are 0;1 forbidden ground. The vaults below have been used for the burial-plates of the royal family for ages. It is wrong for us to tarry here." "But," interposed the Frenchman, as they mounted their horses to leave, "what of all the gold and diamonds about here?" "It is worth nothing in this land; t h e gold, as you call it, has been h ere since the creation of the world, and the shiny white stones in the jars were placed h ere centuries ago, because they were deemed as a curse to all mankind. Here they have remained ever since, and it is against our rules to meddle with them. Lecairo, who did not deign to make a reply, looked about upon the scattered riches with a longing eye. Hanga must have noticed him, for he quickly said: "Don't wish any of it were. yours; you must not touch it, or even come to this place again. If your desii:e to gather any of the stuff like that which is here, I will show you, some day, where there is plenty of it." The next moment they were galloping from the spot. \Vhen t11ey returned to the tiger-hunting grounds, the hunt was about over. About fifty skins had been secured, and, packing these upon .__ r t'iteir horses, they were ready to start for the village. Oliver Looney was alarmed at the protracted absence of his friends, and he began searching high and low for them : Zex a1so began to grow a little anxious, but he thought that probably the missing ones had got tired of the hunt and gone on back ahead of them. It was after dark when they arrived at the village, and in quiries in regard to Frank, Sam and the Zulu were at once made by Oliver and Zex. But, of course, they had not returned, as the reader already knows.' But there was somebody else in the Laking village who was alarmed over the disappearance of the boys and their black ser vant. It was no other person than Alare, the dattghter of the queen. She had allowed herself to grow very much interested in Frank Lowe, though she had tried to throw all thoughts of him one side, He was young and good-looking, and was such a brave and intelligent boy that the girl found that she was really in love with him. She knew that' she ought not to allow herself to do this, but the more she strove to beat the feeling the stronger it be came. Alare was above the average of her race in intelligence and imagination, and as soon as she found how real her interest in Frank was she began to puzzle herself as to the reason of his not turning up with the rest of the tiger hunters. While she was yet thinking on the subject, ber persistent suitor, Hanga, came in. Alare almost hated this man, but be was the choice of her mother, and hitherto she had been resigned td a marriage with him as soon as she became a little older_ 'But since she had met Frank Lowe she had begun to realize that such a martiage would never result happily to and she had even asked her mother to break it up. But no I The queen would not hear to any sucb thing; Hanga had noble blood in his veins, Was brave and handsome, and she was a mere child. As the evil young reached the presence ot the beauti ful girl, he at once began pressing his suit, and ura-ed her to a speedy marriage. But Alare did not appear to hear him; without answering, she began plying him with questions regarding tbe missing boys and their Zulu servant. At this, Hanga's brow darkert'ed J.ike a thundercloud, and he uttered such an oath that Alare drew from him in horror. "They will never come back!" he excla-imed, venomously. "If you have fallen in love with one of those baby-faced strangers, you may as weU give him up, for they walked into their own graves. And let me tell you, Alare, if you don't agree tt:il marry me within fourteen days, something will happen that will change everything in Laking land. The people are not suited with tho present mode cf government, anyway, and it requires but a spark from me to set the whole thing in a blaze, The majotity ol them are tired of being rt.lied by a woman, and I have been requested to proclaim myself as king, and lead them on to a better form of government. This can all be averted if you will take me for .i husband. Think well over it; I will call to-morrow for your ans,ver." 1 With these impressive words, the Laking strode from flie room, wit!:\ haughty mien, and sought the companionship Jaques Lecairo in his own house Poor Alare Hanga's words cut her like a knife, for she felt that he could surely do what he said if he so desired, and that he certainly would do it should she refuse to become his wif;; she well knew. There was but one pefson that she knew of who could he1. P her out of the difficulty, and that was the boy who had so bravely leaped into the dark chasm at her command. She felt that she could depend upon him; but where ?.>as he1 That was the question. A thought strm:k the girl. She would find him, if he was in the land oi the living. CHAPTER XXI. IN THE VAULTS. D own tlie stone steps went Frank and Sam, untH lt became so dark beneath them that they could no longer see their way For fear they would step in some unseen pit, and fa11 to their death, they came to a halt. Frank lit a match, and held it befort thelfi. By the aid of the flickering light, tMy saw that a few more steps would fetch them to the bottom. A moment more and they had frrushed the descent. "Now," rema.rl.;;ed Sam, as the match went out, "if we on1y had a torch, we might be able to make some discoveries." Frank produced another ri1atch and struck it. "By Jove!'' he e..'Cclaimed. "'Here is the very thini!

PAGE 23

22 BRA VE AND BOLD. Leaning against the flat, ro<;ky wan was a piece of resinous wood, which plainly showed evidences of having been used as a torch before. In a moment Sam had coaxed the charred end to kindle in a blaze, and then they were fully equipped to ex.plore the underground place. The chamber they were in was about fifty feet below the surface of the ground, and branched off in a half dozen different galleries. The boys were now worked up to an exciting pitch, and, torch in hand, Frank Jed the way through the widest passage. As they entered it, a strong, pungent odor filled their nostrils. "I wonder what that is?" remarked Sam. "I don't know," replied his companion; "it don't s;rnell b_ad, and yet I can't say that it is pleasant. We will find out pres ently, no doubt. Ah I here is a vault." "Yes," said Sam, quickly, "and a burial vault, too. Look at the coffins." After hesitating a moment, they entered the vault and began making a survey of its contents. On either side were a number of lx>xes, greatly re96Illb!ing Coffins of modern manufacture. As they drew near them, they discovered that. there were no lids attached to them. "Mummiei, by Jove I" cxdaimoo Frank. Yes, they were mummies, iure enough; and, as the torch was placed near one of them, the wrinkled, leat!ter-laoking face seemed to smile upon them in a ghastly manner. "A queer place, this," remarked Sam; "I don't half like it; let's get out." "All right," returned Frank. "This seems to be an ancient burial vault. We have no right here, and I don't mean to disturb anything." They were just turning .to leave the vault, when a footfall sounded, and Bolo appeared in the doorway. Both boys gazed at him in surprise. In a few words, the Zulu related all that had happened. A look of pallor came over the faces of Frank and Sam. "W c must get out of here at once!" exclaimed Frank, starting toward the stairs at a brisk pace. Sam hastenl!d after him, but Boki togk his time, and came along with his head down, in a meditative way, As soon as the two young adventurers reached the foot of the stairs they began rapidly ascending them. They held their revolvers ready for instant use, thinking that Hanga and the Frenchman would be standing at the opening, ready to give them battle. But it did not take them long to discover that the entrance was blocked. Making a mighty effort, they attempted to remove the heavy stone slab. But they might u well have undertaken to move a brick house. After vainly trying it three or four times, they sat upon the steps to speculate over their situation. Presently the Zulu came up and joined them. "My brothers, we are doomed," said he, quietly. ''We may as well go down to one of the vaults, choose the spot we desire to lie upon, and await the coming of death." "Bolo, are you crazy?" asked Frank, sharply. "Do you think I am going to give up right away? Not much ( If .there is any living chance to get out of here, we must find it. "Let us .go down and hunt through the different galleries; maybe there is another way out of here.,. Without making any reply, Sam and Bolo followed him down the steps again. More torches were found, so dtey decided that each should enter a separate passage, explore it, and then come back and re port at the starting point. The one Frank took was a rather long one, but it ended in a vault, exactly as the one they had been in before had done. It was filled with the same sort of death relics, and was just as loathesome and uninviting. With a heavy heart, Frank slowly made nis way back. Sam was already at the starting point, and one look at his de jected face showed plainly that h e had met with the same luck. The two boys felt gloomy enough, and, seating themselves upon the rocky floor, they awaited the return of Bolo. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes slipped by, and he did not show up yet. What_ was the matter? Had he discovered a way out? Or was the passage he ha,d taken longer than the others? They thought that the latter was probably the case, and so waited a little longer. Half an hour pasied, and no signs of the Zulu yet Frank and Sam arose to their feet. There were two passageil that had not been explored as yet. Maybe he had returned before either of them, and had started along one of them. They to try them, and each entered one. In ten minutes both came back, with the same result as before -and no signs of the Zulu yet CHAPTER }CXII. ALAllS JIRAVE ACTION. Alare had no sooner made up her mind to try and find Frank Lowe and his companions than she started to act. Leaving her room in the royal palace-or whatever it might be called-she proceeded cautiously outside, and then made her way to the place where t!1e horses were kept. Among her other accomplishments Alan! was a superb rider. and she had a horse as black as midnight for her own especial use. This steed was as pretty as a picture, and as swift as an arrow, notwithstanding the fact that he was as gentle as a young lamb, and loved his mistress as a child might have done. Sh!! the stable where her horse was kept, and man aged to lead him forth without being discovered by the man who was watching the place. In the twinkling of an eye she had mounted, and then guiding her steed until she reached the outskirts of the village," she came to a halt. Which way should she go? That was the question. Suddenly a thought struck her, and she gave a start. Hanga said that the three who were missing had walked into their own graves. The burial vaults! They must have entered them, not know ing what they were. Alarc shuddered. She knew that it was a sacrilege for any one to venture there unless it was the bearers who conveyed the body of one of the royal family to their last resting place. What if they had discovered this place, and out of curiosity entered it? It did not take the girl long to conjecture this theory of the case, so, without further ado, she turned her horse's head in the direction of the sacred spot. The journey was a perilous one for a man, let alone a delicate

PAGE 24

BRAVE AND BOLD. 23 young girl. But Alare did not notice the growl s an. d screams of t he wild beasts, but kept steadily on her way. It was about midnight when she a rrived in sight of the deso late-appearing spot. She was now at a l oss as to where the entrance to the vaults could be found, and, dismounting, s h e began to search about for it. SL{ddenly she h eard a whinny close at ha11d, which was imme diately answered by her h orse. A light broke ove r her countenance1 and, q ui ckly proceeding in the direction the sound came from, she saw three steeds teth e r e d to a tree. "Ah!" she exclaimed; "the se are the animals they rode They must certainly be here." She passed the pile of sto n es Hanga and the v illainou s French ma n had placed upon the slab that cove red th e hole at l east ha lf a dozen times. But it di
PAGE 25

BRA VE AND BOLD. Alare stood before them; but she started back, with a low cry, at their sudden appearance. Forgetting all ab out his last meeting with her, Frank had seized her by the hand the next m o ment, and was thanking her warmly. After he had introdu ced Sam he explained who it was who made the wild shrieks which had frightened her so. "Come," she said, after a pause, "we must leave this at once. \ Our horses are hitched over yonde -r, near a running Mount ; and let us be off; I have something to say to you on the way home. In an exceedingly short space of time the boys had reached their horses, and, after mount i ng, Sam took the bridle re)n of tile, 's_teed the ill-fated Zulu had rode, and they were ready to start. Alare rode up and, placing herself at the side of Frank, they started on the journey back to the village, which they hoped to reach before daylight. On the way, Alare told Frank all about her interview with Hanga, saying also that she expe(;ted he would put his threat in execution, especially when he saw that the ones he had doomed to die had made their escape. "Well," said Frank, after he h a d thought a while, "you may count on Sam, Oliver Looney and myself to go on your sidepoor Bolo I If he was not d e ad, he w ould also be a big help in a case of this kind. But you mu s t first tell your mother all about it. If she sanctions it, I think there will be but little trouble for us to put down any rebellion that may be made." "I will tell my mother all about it before I sleep again," was the reply. Frank explained the situatio n to Sam as they rode along, and that youth seemed to be pleased rather tha0n otherwise at the outlook. "It will make a little excitement," said he, "and the government will be all the stronger for it when it is all over." When the three riders reached the outskirts of the village, the first gray streaks of the coming day bec a me visible in the east. Apparently, no one had yet arisen in the village, and they man aged to reach the house that had been allotted to our friends without being observed. Sam stopped here, but Frank went on with Alare. He wanted to be sure that sh e got to her house in safety. In a few minutes they reached the s.\ables, and the horses were put away; then they started on foot for the royal palace, which was but a hundred yards away. By this time it was growing quite light, and, as the two halted alm o st at the doorway of the house, Alare reached out her hand, and said: "Here, Frank, y o u may touch your lip s to my hand if you wish. Things are altogether diff e rent now, and, besides, I want to learn the customs of your people, who are a great way above us, I am sure." Frank did not let the golden opportunity slip, but. kissed the beautiful girl's hand in a reverent manner. To him she was the most beautiful creature in the world, and, young as he was, he had fallen in love. There is no telling but that he would have declared it then and there had not something extraordinary taken place. 1 Even while he held her shapely hand in his own, gazing into her lustrous, dark eyes in the dull gray of the early morning, he detected a footfall behind him. his revolver from his belt, he turned as quick as a The figure of a man stood before him, and a single glance s howed him that it was Hanga. Alare gave a sudden scream of dismay, and clung to the boy for protection. A sardonic smile came over the face of Hanga; and then he exclaimed, in his gwn tongue: "Treachery I Seize them, men I The solare's daughter has violated the laws of our country I" The next instant a dozen Laking men sprang into the light, and rushed upon Frank and his fair charge. CHAPTER XXIV. THE REBELLION BEGINS. Frank pushed Alare him, to shield her from the advancing Lakings, and then, leveling his revolver, exclaimed : "Stop! The man who advances a step nearer dies!" But the command was not heeded; the next moment his weapon spoke ; and one of them fell to the ground. Crack I crack Fire flashed from the muzzle of the deadly tube twice more, _and two more dropped, uttering howls of agony. The remainder fled in wild dismay, and Hanga followed them, his face as white as a shiet. Alare had fainted, and ; lifting her tenderly in his arms, Frank bore her to the door of the house. At that moment the queen put in an appearance, in wild alarm, followed oy half a dozen of her servants. "What means this?" she a s ked, addressing Frank in English. And then, as her eyes rested on the three de a d Laking men : "What, in the name of the Great Unknown, has happ ened?" "It means, your majesty," replied the boy, as coolly as p o ssible under the circumstances, "that Hanga has started a rebellion against the throne; ask me no more Alare will tell you all, as soon as she comes to from her fainting spell. In the meantime, if you will take my advice, you had better call together all your loyal subjects, without a moment's delay; there is trouble ahe_;i 'vVithout waiting to see the effect of his words, Frank quick! left the spot and started for hi s own house. He reached it without seeing a sign of Hanga or any of those who had made the attack on him. Sam, who had not gone to sleep, stood in the doorway, await ing his appearance. In a hurried manner, Frank related what had occurred, and then told Sam to run gver to Oliver Looney's residence and bring him and his w.1fe to their house. Sam departed on his errand, and then, after securing the door firmly, Frank set about getting something to eat. He had barely commenced, when he heard loud cries and the tramping of horses' feet outside. Rushing to the door, he unbarred it, and looked out. Two mounted men were dashing through the crooked streets of the village in full speed, crying out something in their own language in a very excited manner. Just as they disappeared behind a clump of the gaudily-painted houses, another horseman appeared on the scene. Frank gave a start of surprise. It wa s Jaques Le cairo The Frenchman held his rifle in readiness, as though waiting to get a shot at the ones he was in pursuit of. In a moment he was lost to view, and then the report of a rifle rang out. Almost at the same instant a sound like the beating of drums came from a point just outside the village.

PAGE 26

BRA VE AND BOLD. In less than ten minutes the utmost confusion prevailed in the place. Men, women and children began rushing wildly about the streets, some going in the direction the beating sound came from, and others toward the solare's palace. "The rebellion has begun," muttered Frank; "I must be one of the first to take a hand in it. Those two horsemen were, no doubt, sent out by the queen to warn the people of Hanga's in tention. This thing has evidently been a long while pendin g, and through my hurrying it a little 1'as broken out at last. We will now see w ho has the most friends-the queen or Hanga." To Frank the scene appeared more like a drama upon the stage than anything else. The queerly-attired men and women of a race unknown to the world presented such a fantastic sight, as they rushed about hither all'l'1 thither in their excitement, and seemed to be so unreal, that for a time he could scarcely compre h e nd that he was not dreaming. But he was soon brought to his senses, however, by seeing Sam and Oliver Looney and his wife coming hurriedly toward him through the crowd. "Come in,'' said Frank, "and guard the house till I come back. I am going to the palace, to speak with the queen, if I can, to see what action she is going to take." "All right," replied Sam, "go ahead. I'll guarantee that we will hold our own until you get back." After seeing that his weapons were ready for instant use, Frank set out on his errand. He soon reached the palace, and was at once ushered into the queen's presence. She seemed to be very glad to see him, and, after the usual formalities had been gone through with, said : "I will come to the point at once in what I have to say. Our' government, which has existed for many years, is in danger of being overthrown; Alare tells me that you, though young in years, have a thorough knowledge of warfare. She also openly avows to me that she loves you, and desires to marry you. If this is pleasing news to you, take charge of this campaign, and the Laking country from ruin. '\That is your reply to this?" Frank was not slow in answering. "Your majesty," said he, "I will gladly do this. All that I ask is that you place me in full charge of your men; if you will do this, I will guarantee to settle the disturbance in a few days." Certainly," was the reply; "you may consider yourself in charge at once. Zex will take what orders you may give and translate them to our people. And now, one questibn before you proce ed. I have said that Alare has declared that she loves you. Are you willing to take her for a bride when you have gained a victory for me and saved the government?" "Yes," returned he, quietly, "I will." Then, making a salute, he left the queen's presence, motioning Zex to follow him. Then he started in on the task he had undertaken. The loyal ones amounted to a little over nine hundred men, against Hanga's two thousand. Frank had read con s iderable about warfare, and he intended to conduct this campaign on the same basis that a great general had been successfui in. In the first place, he marshaled all his forces near the royal p alace, and then set to work in drilling them. Sam and Oliver, of course, came inside the lines with the rest of the loyal ones, and they were appointed to very important po sitions in the small army. But Hanga and Jaques Lecairo were not idle all this time. They, too, were drilling their men, and it looked as though our friends had no easy task before them. CHAPTER XXV. SAM AS A SCOUT. Two days passed. Hanga had not begun the attack yet. The queen was growing more nervous every hour, and at length she sent for Frank, and asked his opinion of the delay He at on ce gave her his idea of' it. "Hanga has a shrewd villain on his side--the Frenchman, you know-and he is acting on his advice. The attack will n0t be made until they have the men in some sort of discipline ao they can manage them," said he. "They outnumber us two to one,'' remarked her majeaty, In a doubtful tone. "I know tbey do. But we also outnumber them three to one, as far as rifles are concerned; and they are the weapons that will settle the business Her mind was somewhat eased at this, and Frank withdrew. He had divided his men in four regiments, or whatever they might be called, and each was led by a worthy person. He took charge of one himself; Sam acted in the same capacity for aPother, and Oliver and Zex commanded the remaining two. The Lakings were very quick to learn, and in the two days they had been drilling they had made rapid strides in the tactics Frank put forth. Frank could easily see what Hanga was doing from his po siti on, and he noticed that Jaques Lecairo was drilling the men almost incessantly. As the day slipped by, and darkness came on, he concluded to send out a scout, to learn, if possible, the exact Intentions of the enemy. Ort second t hought, he concluded ta send two-Sam and one of the Lakings. Of ctmrse, Sam was willing to undertake the job, and It was no trouble at all to get one of the Lakings to go with him, ao they at once set out. Cautioning his companion to be as careful as possible, Sam led the way, going by a roundabout course through a belt of timber on the south side of the village. By going this way, the distance was not very great, and in less than h3.lf an hour they were within pistol shot of the enemy's camp. A d o uble line of guards was placed around it, and, observing this Sam hesitated about going any closer. But his companion volunteered to steal a little nearer, and end eavor to glean something by listening to the conversation of the guards. "Go ahead," said Sam, "and I will wait here till you come back." The Laking got as close to the ground as possible, and began crawling along in a very stealthy manner. In a minute he had disappeared in the shrubbery. With his hand upon the butt of his revolver, Sam prepared to await his return. Five minutes slipped by. The boy began to grow iust the least bit uncomfortable. Had he done the right thing in Jetting che Laking venhtre nearer the lines of the enemy? He was to think that he had not, when he detl!CUd a slight movement among Hanga's followers.

PAGE 27

BR A VE AND BOLD The next moment a loud cry was heard, and he saw his late companion rushing toward him with a dozen foes at his heels. Almost at the same instant he was overpowered from behind and thrown to the ground. Before he was aware of what had taken place, he was securely bound and hustled away from the spot. Straight through the lines of t he camp he had been watching he was carried, and jqst as he came to his full se nses he was de posited before a brightly burning fire. It now came to him very forcibly that Hanga's forces were not to be caught nappi11g. He had been discover ed and pounced upon in short order. In a minute or so the Laking who had acconipanied him on his scouting expedition was brought in, also bou11d securely, and thrown on the ground at his si de. It was Sam's first experience in the rtile of scout, aud he made up his mind that he would know what he 1ras doing before he attempted any such business again. While he was wondering what was going to be done wit h !1im, Hanga and J aques Lecairo came up, and cool ly surveyed him. "Well," asked the Frenchman. with mock politeness, "how do you like your po sition? You wanted to find out what we were doing; are you satisfied with the result of tour of inspec tion?" "Hardly," returned Sam, with co n s iderabl e boldness. "You have got the best of me for the present; now the question is, what are you going to do with me?" 1'_11 tell yo1: what \1 e are going [(,) do with you," s p oke up Hanga. "If the plan I have in view fails to worl;', you shal1 be killed by your own iron tube that sen d s out fir e and death !" Then the two arch villains drew aside and convers ed earnes tly together, in a low tone for a few minutes. Presently they returned. and at once liberated the Laking prisoner, and bade him ri se to his feet. much to Sam's surpri se. Hanga th en addressed him, in hi s own tongue, the substance of which was the following: "Return at once to the so l are, and tell her that if s h e will give me Alare for my wife and submit to me as the rulet of the country hereafte r and agree to banish the three trangers from thi s land. after first taking their weapons from them, I will withdraw all further hostilities. and everything s hall proceed in peace and harmony. If she r efuses, she and all her followers s hall be slain before t h e setting of another s un, and I will wed her daughter b y force." The recipient o f this verbal mes sage at once bowed and started for t h e he adquarters of Frank L ow e, thanking hi$ star s t ha t he bad gotten off so easily. As soon as the mes e.nger had departed, Hanga began to ex :uni11e the weap o n s taken fr o m Sam, and asked Lecairo to instruct him in their u se. This the Frenchman endeavored to do, but Hanga h;;i.d scarcely had one oi the in his hand wl1en he accidentally touched rhe trigge r and it went off, the bullet lodging in wrist a nd shattering th e bone. \,Yith a ho\\], b e flung the weapon to the ground, and began dancin g about like -;i wild man. $am laughed, in spite of his sittiation, whereupon lhe wounded man ki cked him savagely and began h eaping curses upon his head. NerYcd to desperation at the cowardly assault upon his d e fensele s s person, the boy struggled viole ntly and succeeded in bursting hi s b onds The next m oment he b ad sprung t o his feet and seized the :re ;volv Then, while Jaques Lecairo looked on in speechless surprise, he struck Hanga a blow between the eyes, sending him over backward into the blazing fire. Crack! He leveled the revolver at the Frenchman and pulled the trigger,. and then, without waiting to see the result, he da s h ed away m the darkness, up setting all who opposed him. CHAPTER XXVL SAM FINl>S A CAVE. Away dashed Sam, the astoni shed Lakings gazing at his retreating form, too much surpri s ed to make' a move t o intercept him. until fmally he was lost i n the darkness. But their legs were shorter than Sam's, and he was a good runne r, in the bargain; consequently, he soo n outdistanced them. But the daring boy soon discovered that. instead of drawing nearer to the place where hi s friends were s itua te d, he was leav ing it farther b ehind him at every step. "Never mind," muttered he, gritting hard upon his teeth; "so loljlg as I elude Hang-a's followers, I shall be satisfi e d. I will get back to headquarters before morning, without a doubt." I t was d ark as pitch and very difficult traveling, and the fart her he made his way, the thicker the j ung.le seemed to be. To make matters worse, the sky began to cloud up and presently drops of rain comm enced to fall. He again set out with renewed vigor; he did not relish the idea of being out in the wet long, even if he was in a warm climate. Presently the ground became rocky and uneve n, and it b ega n tu dawn upon him that he wai< walking up a gradual as_cent. 'I must have s truck the mountains," muttered Sam; "I am away off; the queen's palace i s five or six miles from here. \Ve il. it is raining so hard I guess I'll crawl in some place and wait till it tops. Anyhow, it is too dark to find my way back to the village." He had m ounted a s teep hill, as he was soliloquizing, a m oment he had r eache d the top. :I ..._ The next step h e took his foot landed on nothing, and before he knew it h e was sl iding down an incline at the rate of a mile a minute. \ There was clattering of stones aud dirt, then he brought up with -a s light jar. After he had regained his feet, he produced a match, and, with considerable difficulty struck it, and p eere d around, to see what sort of a place he had landed in. Saro was unable to di stinguish much during the brief mornept the sulphur flamed up but h e saw enough t6 convince 11im that he was in a sort of gully, through the cen .ter of whic h flowed a stream of water. A little to the right of him was a cave, and toward this the boy now felt his way. In Jes s than a minute he reach e d the mouth of the cave, and then, lighting auothe.r match. to make sure that it was empty, h e peered in. It seemed to run back a considerable di sta nce and, w ith the exception of seve ral bunches of dried mos it appeared to be empty. The moss gave Sam an idea; picking up a handful of it he placed the lighted matc h to it, to see if it would burn. It did, sure e nough, and the n without any further ado he scraped up a good-sized h eap, and S OOT) had a brightly-burniug fire. "This i:;n't so very bad, after all he muttered; I can dry my.

PAGE 28

) BRA VE AND BOLD. clothes, at any rafe; and, besides, the fire feels good, for the air is very chilly." There was plenty of moss in the cave, and, as it did not seem to be consumed very quickly, Sam reckoned that there was eiiough of it to keep the fire blazing all night. Seating himself before the fire, Sam proceeded to dry his wet clothing, and make himself as comfortable as possible. He was completely tired out from what be had undergone since he had started on his scouting expedition, and presently he be came very drowsy. Then he began to nod. Five minutes later, and his chin had dropped upon his breast, and he was sound asleep. He must have slumbered in this manner at least an hour, when he awoke with a start. He plainly detected a hissing noise, like the sound of escaping steam. What could it mean? Sam asked him>elf this question, and then threw some more moss upon the fire, which had nearly died out. Twisting a bunch of the moss into the form of a torch, he lighted it, and then proceeded to the rear part of the cave. The hissing became more intense the nearer he proceeded in that direction, and presently he halted, feeling that he was close upon the spot where the noise proceeded from. A solid bank of clay was before him, and, moving his torch along the face of it, he endeavored to find out the cause of the strange sound. "It's funny," he mused, as he approached a little nearer. "I can't imagine what--" The rest of Sam's sentence remained unfinished, for at that instant there was a blinding flash, followed by a deafening report, and he was flung violently to the ground. CHAPTER XXVII. BANCA MAKES THE ATTACK. '--' When the Laking arrived at the solare's headquarters with the message Hanga had sent, her majesty became almost furious, and declared that she would never consent to any such proposal. Frank and Oliver grew very nervous when they heard that Sam was a prisoner in the hands of Hanga and Jaques Lecairo. At first Frank was for attacking their foes at once, and en deavor to rescue him; but, on second thought, he concluded that it would be better to use a little strategy. He knew full well that unless Hanga received an answer from the queen at once, he would, in all probability, begin the attack. But he was all ready for it, however, and in a very uneasy frame of mind he prepared to watch the long night away. When the rain that Sam had been out in came up, and the darkness grew intense, the Lakings soldiers began to grow rest less, and to pierce the inky darkness, as if in an ticipation of the enemy's approach. Zex said that this was the case, and he himself feared that the bad Frenchman might put it in Hanga's head to make the attack during the night. "Why, don't you like to fight in the night?" asked Frank. "No," was the reply. "Who does? And, besides, our people have never been known to do it. If they had any differences to settle, it has always been done in the light of day." "If that is the case, then, we won't be attacked to-night, Zex." "Why do you think so?" "Because Hanga will not allow his men when they have never been used to doing it. to fight m the dark, He, no doubt, places a great deal of confidence in Jaques Lecairo, but he will not be led into anything that is against the desire of his followers. Depend upon it, we won't see anything of them before daylight." Zex appeared to feel considerably easier at Frank's words, and the boy himself felt so confident in his prediction that he sought his bed, to get a few hours' sleep before the battle would begin. The long night wore slowly away, the rain falling steadily until half an hour before daybr eak, when it cleared. Frank arose before the sun, and, when it began to grow a little light, he climbed a tree, to take an observation upon the camp of the enemy. He saw a sight that made his pulse quicken, and caused the blood to flow faster through his veins. Hang'a's forces were just leaving their camp, and were march ing, like well-trained soldiers, toward the solare's adherents. Quickly descending the tree, Frank gave his orders to Zex, in a collected matter, and soon all was bustle and confusion among the loyal Lakings. Their voices, as they talked together about the coming battle. sounded like the hum from a hive of bees, only on a larger scale. But in ten minutes' time the most perfect order prevailed among them, and they coolly awaited the approach of their foes, whom all now could plainly see. As soon as Hanga saw that his advance was observed, he gave an order, and presently the noise of half a hundred drum-like instruments rang out. This was answered almost immediately in the same manner by Frank's forces, to show that they v.;ere defiant, and not afraid to meet their foes. There was a large, open square near the solare's palace, and when within fifty yards of this Hanga's men spread out like a fan, in two separate companies, one ilbout two hundred feet behind the other. The square was evidently the spot chosen for the battle ground, and Frank gave the order to march out and meet the enemy. Nearly every horse in the viJlage was in the hands of the loyal ones, and all that they had were now put in use. Frank possessed a manly, handsome appearance as ho rode out at the head of his men to engage in the battle. He also held half of his forces in reserve. These were under the charge of Oliver Looney, and after tho first rush had been made he was to follow up the advantage gained-if any-and endeavor to rout the enemy. Frank strained his eyes to catch a glimpse of Jaques Lecair<>, but he was nowhere to be seen. "Strange!" muttered the boy. "I wonder if he is up to some thing by keeping out of sight? Well, never mind; we have got too beat those fellows, and do it quickly, too. If anything has hap pened to the Frenchman so that he wiJJ be unable to take part in the fight, we shall have an easy time of it, I'm thinking." Frank was a little cautious aboct approaching too near the enemy. He thought that probably Jaques Lecairo might be con cealing himself somewhere, waiting to get a shot at him. But the fight had to commence now, and when the two oppos ing lines faced each other, with but fifty feet of level ground between them, he gave the order to charge. Almost at tile same mBment Hanga gave a like command, and then, like a mighty rush of wind, they dashed toward each other. Just before they met, Frank began emptyi11g the contents of his rifle into the ranks of the rebels, killing a man at every shot. He now became convinced that something must have hap pened to the Frenchman, as not a single answering shot camt back.

PAGE 29

BRA V E AN D BOLD. The boy's action served to c r eate dire con fusion in the ranks of the rebels, but Hanga urg.ed them on, and th en: Clash! The 1 s p e a rs of the contending parties m et. For the s pace o f a mintite neither side wavered,. and then the otnemy's lin e broke and Frank's men rus hed among them. Wherever he saw a strong point in the opposing force, Frank would send half a dozen shots. This would inva r iably cause them to break and re.treat a little. Soon the entire front l ine began to fall ba c k, and, becoming al a rmed, Hanga called upon the reserved force to fall in. Frank sent a ha s ty message to Olive r and Zex, and p r esently half of his reserve c-.ime sweeping down upon the fighting grounds, with Zex at their head. The other half, under the command of the Englishman, began making a detour, with the intentio n of flanking the ene my on the tcft. When the next charge was made. Frank was past the cente r of the s quare. and a confident s mile ca me over his handsome, boyish face. He wa gaining ground, and h e felt elat e d over it. This time owing to their supe rior number s Hanga's men did not give an inch Frank poured out his l e aden hail with terribl e effect, but as fast as one man fell another took his place. Rendered furiou s at the sight of the m e n falling around them, each side rus hed at the other with rene we d force, lunging their keen spears and sh outi ng like madme n Hangas men were just on the point of wavering again, when Oliver, whose movement had no t been observed, came rushing down upon them like the wind from a new quarter. Then it wa s that the battle was decided. In t'ive minutes' time, Hanga and hi s followers fled from the scene, leaving a third of their number. dead and dying upon the battletield. CHAPTER XXVIII. SAM AND THE FRENCHMAN'. A s Sam wa s thrown to the gro und from the force of the ex plosion, his se n ses left him. It was some time before he came to, and when he did so a strong smell of gas pervad e d the cave, and he felt so di zzy that it with difficu l ty that he managed to ri e to his feet. "Great guns l" he ejaculated. "I wonder what has happened, any h ow!" As soon as h e r egai n ed the full p ossessio n of his wits, h e be gan to look about him A single glance s how e d him that a part of the wall of earth where the hi ss ing so und had come from had entirely disappeared, and a bla c k opening showctd up ins tead. "Another n ew di scove ry, Sam. Well I will cer tainly see what it amounts to. That soun d I heard was, no doubt, gas escaping from a natural well. When I placed t he torch near it to find out what it meant, it exploded, and nearly ended my career. I gue ss th ere is no further danger now, so I will light up again, and see what kind of a place that is next door." Suiting t h e action to the words, he twisted up another bunch of the mo ss and lighted it from the still s1'nolder ing fire near the cave's m o uth. 'fhen holding it so it would throw th e light as far ahead o f him as possible, he started b o ldly through the break the explo sion had caused. At first he could see nothing but black-looking walls of stone either side of him, but as his eyes gradually became accustomed to t h e light he detected the glimmer of a running stream, which flow e d through the center of the sandy floor of the place That there must be an opening overhead, Sam felt certain, for he could plainly feel tbe rain descending upon his head from the outside. "It is fonny where the gas cam e from," he mused. "Since I came in here I can't sme ll it at all I want to find that out first, and then I'll examine the place farther." He retraced hi s ste ps a little way, until he came to the spot where the earth had given way. Here he again detect e d the odor of gas A littl e to hi s r ight was an opening of about two feet in diam eter, from which the fum es came. Sam thought a m o m e nt, and then concluded to wait until day light before he made any fur t h e r in vestigatio n. He was afraid his lighted torch might cause another explosion. Extipguishing it, h e m ade his way to the mouth of the cave. After select ing as soft a spot as pos-sib.Je, he lay down to re s t till morning. Sam was tired, and, in spite of his rough surroundings, he slept so undly When he awoke it had ceased raiuing, and the sun was shining brightly in the mouth of the cave. He arose to hi s feet feeling quite st1ff and sore, but this gradually worked off as he b ega n moving about. He made hi s way at once to t he spot where the gas had expl o ded the night b efo re. He could still smell t he fumes, but, not minding this, he ad va nced through the break into the other cave A rift in the rocky roof let the sun in and it was almost as light a s it was outside in the canyon. "A queer place this," muttered Sam, as he adv::mceci to the stream and p eere d into its d e pths I w onder where this water runs to?" At that moment he was startled by hearing a footfall behind him. Quick as a flash his hand was upon hi s re vo lver, and he had turned around. Sam uttered an e jaculation of su rpri se. Befote h im stood Jaque s L e cairo the Fren ch man. The villain wore a sardonic s mile on his face, an d 111 either hand was a revolver, which covered the b oy. "Ha, h a !" he s n ee red "so I have found yqu have I? You thought your s hot killed me, but it did not. Hanga also thought I was dead, but I am worth a dozen d ead men y et; the bullet you sent at me grazed the s id e of my h ead, and s tunned me ; but I am rca<;Jy for you now. The Lakings could n o t find you, but the trail you l eft was too plain to fool me." "Well, said Sam, rec ove ring somewhat from his surprise, "since you have found me, what are you going to do about it?" "What am I going to do about it? You will find out too so on, young man. You delibeFately tried to kill m e iu Hanga' s camp; I am going to kill you!" The two were not more than ten feet from each other. Sam stood in the sa me p ositio n that he had been in when he disc ove red the intruder, with his left foot advanced, and his right hand grasping hi s rev o lver. the muzzle of which was turned to ward the ground. Bpth of L ecairo's revolver s were leveled directly at Sam s br eas t, and hi s fingers we r e up o n the tri gge rs ready to se nd their deadly con te nts into the human target. Sam well knew that the least sort of aggressive movement he made would most likely seal his doom.

PAGE 30

BRAVE AND BOLD. Apparently, the only way to save h is life was to get the fir s t shot in him sel f He concluded to try il Lecairo, said he, I will make a bargain with you." "What is it?" a sked the Frenchman, evincing the least bit of surprise. "That is it !" Crack I It was Sam's revolver that spoke, and, with a gurgling cry, Jaques Lecairo sank to the sandy floor of the cave, his weapons flying from his grasp. CHAPTER XXIX. "WE MUST LEAVE TO-NIGHT." Frank L ow e was very much pleased at the manner in which Hanga's forces had been r epulsed, and he waved his hat in the air, and led his men in a h earty cheer for the solare. But, though Hanga had been repul se d, he was not beaten yet by any means. His nature was of such a villainous sort that he would never r est until he ;iccomplished what he had undertaken, ev e n if it took a year to do it. The queen took it for granted that he would give up the idea of r ebe llin g against the thr-one and ask her pardon, which she cone! uded to grant. Alare's eyes sparkled with more than their usual brilliancy when she welcomed Frank after the battle had been fought a nd just at that mom ent the brav e boy adventurer was the proudest mortal in the whole world. The morning s lipped by, and at length noon arrived. Frank and Oliver, who were pacing up and down o n the ltvel plain just above the royal palace n oticed a figure coming toward the m from the direction of the mountains on the north. Both gaz ed for a single instant, and then uttered a s i mul taneous cry of joy. It was S a m Singleby who was approaching, beyond a doubt. The shot he had fired in the cave had struck Jaques Lecairo in a vital part, and the villain bad expired almost immediately. Leaving the body of the victim of a misspent life whe re it had fallen, Sam struck out to return to the Laking village. After about an hour he sighted it, and then, with all possible speed he haste ned to meet his fri e nds As soon as Frank and Oliver saw him they waved their hats and rushed to meet him. In as few words as possible, Sam r elate d what had befall e n h i m, after which Frank told him of the recent sc rimm age with Hanga, and h ow the situatio n was at pres ent. "Well, said Sam, as they walked along in the direction of the royal p alace; do you want my opinion of things i n general?" Both Frank and Oliver nodd ed in assent. "It is just this, then: We must leave this place as soon as pos sible; get all the diamonds from the mines or burial grounds that we can, and then be off." Frank shoo k his head. I am afraid you are about right, old fellow," returned he; "but I hat e to leave so soon "Hi don t care habout hit myself," put i n Oliver Looney. I understand how it is exactly. There is a woman in the case with both of you One has just been married. a nd the o th e r i s thinking s t rongly of doing so. But w e mu s t l oo k the s i t uation squarely in the face. Both of you intend leaving the place some time, don t you?" "Certainly," was the res ponse. "How many rounds of cartridges have you, all told, for your rifles and revolvers?" "About e i ghty for our rifl es, and a couple of hundred for the revolvers," said Frank. "That's where the point is, exactly; all that I have left in the lin e of weap ons and ammunition is this single revolver, with four chambers loaded. When all our cartridges are gone, what is to become of us then?" "You're right, old fellow-you're right!" exc laim ed Frank. "It would never do for us to hope to reach the coast without our fir ea rms and the nece ssa ry ammuni t ion." H o f course hit wouldn t, sa id the Englishman "Hi'll tell my hold 'oman habout hit, hand she kin 1ave 'e r choice hof stay in 'ere or gain' halong." "Yes; and m ayb e you can get Ala re to agree to accompany you," v e ntured S am, addressing Frank. "No," r et urned hi s fri e nd sadly s h aking his h ead; "no woman or girl could liv e t o r eac h th e coast. They would die before we could mak e half the distance." "You have niy opinion on it, anyway ," r emar k ed Sam. "If we stay h e re, and waste all our cartridges in fighting down this r e b e lli o n of Hanga's, we mu s t expect to stay here till we die." I n eve r looked at it in that way before, Sam," said Frank. "We must certainly do as you say, and it will never do to let the que e n know of our intentio ns. No! We must sneak away like a th ief in the night. It don't seem ri g ht, but we must do it!" The thre e had halted, and were standing on the brow o f a hill, within a stone s throw of the palace, and Frank p oin ted in the di rect i o n of Hanga's headquarte rs. "See," said he, they are going to make another attack to-day; we mu s t be careful of our shots." He was right. Hanga was going to make another attack, and that at once. Already he h a d his forces into line, and presently he started again for the battle ground. "When s hall we leave? asked Sam, as they hurried to make pre parati ons for the attack. ''We must leave to-night, if we hope to leave at all," was the r eply. CHAPTER XXX. THE REBELS' VICTORY. While the latter part of the conversation between our friends w as taking place, th e fig ure of a girl h ad been crouching beh ind a clump of bushes, drinking in every word It was she arose to her feet as the trio l eft, and blindly gras ped the limbs of a n eig hboring tre e for support. Her face was as pale as a snowdrift, and her bosom heaved convulsively. She was only a child, but her l ove was pure a nd and who would dare to say th at it would not prove lasting? The young stranger from a far-away land had returned the affection shown by her-at l eas t she had had reason to believe that he did-and now he w as going away to leave the Laking country-and her. The thought was a h o rrible one to the poor girl, and at length she became overcome to such an extent that she uttered a cry of anguish a nd sank to the gro und in a swoon. But only for a few m o ment s did she r e main in that state; then s he a ro se to h e r feet, with an expression of resignation upon her face. Her better judgment told her that Frank was right when he said: "We must leave to-night!" \Vhy should he not des\re to.

PAGE 31

BRA VE AND BOLD. return to his own country? It was far superior to the land of the Lakings; and, besides, his friends and former associates dwelt there. Yes, he must go, and she would aid him, too. With this determination in view, set out for the royal palace by a roundabout way. When she arrived there, Frank, Sam and Oliver were already in the presence of her mother. Hanga and his followers we re o n their way to meet them, and Frank was telling the anxious queen that h e hoped to break up the r ebellion in this conflict. Alare hoped he would, for he might stay longer with them, the n. But her heart told her that it was not to be so, and she was re signed to the inevi t able. Frank p ressed her hand as he left the palace, and s h e noticed that there were tears in his eyes as he did so. Swall o wing the lump that arose in her throat, s he put on an <.ir of indifference, a nd bade him do his best and def eat Hanga, if possible. A few minut es more, and our three friends were leading the solare's followers to meet th e ir foes. This time Frank h a d hi s forces divided into four companiesone to m eet the attack, one for re serve and the other two to flank the enemy on their right and left. His men seemed to b e determined and eage r for the fray, and Frank felt that, if Hanga could be slain on the start, victory would surely be on his side. At len gth the rebel leader halt e d his men at the edge of the square and pre pared for the ch a r ge. Frank was re ady to meet him, and the next instant the rush started. The two opposing parties met in n ea rly the same spot they had in the first charge of the previous conflict, and it was a lto-gether much the same. Frank used hi s shots very sparin gly,, and did his best to down Hanga. But the wily scoundrel evidently se e m e d awa r e of his i nten tion, for he kept himself well aloof from t h e r a n g e of the deadly rifle. So per sistent were t h e r e bels that th ey did not fall b ack an inc h, but. on the contrary, kept on advancing. Ten minute s of t hi s sort of work during which l arge numb e rs on either s ide fell to ri se no m ore, and Frank's followers b ega n to waver. Just as they broke he sent out the signal that h a d b ee n a g re e d up o n and the re s erve, und e r the command of Sam Singleby. cam e up, while Oliver Lo o ney a nd Zex led t he oth e r two com p anics to fla nk the rebels o n e i the r s ide. Sam had sca rc e l y join e d in the fray before Hanga's reserve dash e d up. and the n it was that some fig htin g was d o ne. But i t could n ot l ast. The boys w e r e very sparing with t h e ir sh ots and the superior number!' of the enemy seeme d bound to win. Back, inch by inch, F rank and Sain we r e driven, until they felt that if Oliver a n d Zex did n o t arri ve soon, they would have to fly to the hill s back of th e palace and form a breastworks. But even as they were about to turn their horses' heads and sound the retre at, t h e t w o companies dashed up. H:m:sa was evidently np to this man e u ve r, for the rea r division of his m en, und e r his own l ead, met Zex with a fearful rush, and in five minu tes' time put him to flight. Oliver was m ore successful, ho weve r as he succeeded i n cut ting a veritable pathway throu gh the thickest of the rebels. Thus the fight went on for half an hour, Hanga's men fighting with dogged determina ,ti on that was remarkable. How it was they hardly knew, but pres en tly Frank, Sam and the Englishman found themselves iin a heap in the midst of the ow frenzied lighters. Ze x h ad fallen, and this fact had a demoralizing effect on the loyal Lakings. Our three fri e nd s w e re mounted on good horses and in the midst qf the how l ing enemy, as they were, they concluded that i.t wa s h ig h tim e that they sought for an avenue of escape. They had expended about all the shots that they could well afford, and now, as they had done their best, there was nothing left for them to do but to retire as gracefully as possible. It was with a feeling of reluctance that Frank gave the order to break through the surrounding horde and seek the safety of the hills. "Keep t ogether!" he shouted, "and use' your revolvers 1 A couple of shots apiec e will do the busine ss He was ri ght; two more and t hey were gallop ing from the spot, followed by the d e m o ralized loyalists, who were now fleeing for their lives The battle was over. For some rea so n best known to himself, Hanga did not pursue the d efeated ones, but seeme d sa tisfied with taking possession of the palace, where h e declared himself king of the Laking country. And th e queen and Alare? They h acl also sought the shelter of the hills, and were surrounded by a knot of their followers when the boys rode up. \ Veil?" ask e d her m ajesty, addressing Frank, with a woful l ook on h e r coun te n a nce. Your cause is lost," returned he, solemnly. ''Then I shall d i e with it !" and, drawing a small poniard from her dre s s she plunged it in h e r bo so m. CHAPTER XXXI. ALARE'S TRAGIC DEATH. The queen's action h a d been so sudden that for a m o m ent those assembled about h e r did not fully comprehend what h a d taken plac e. Frank was the first to make a m ove, and, rushing forward, he raised the woman's head from the ground. She was still breathing, but the bloo d flowing in crim son stream from a wound in her breast, from which the hilt of the p oniard srlll protruded. A single glance told the boy tliat s he was dying. "Al a r e," said he, gazing at the g irl tenderly, "your mother is dying. Speak to her, and see if she is conscious." In another moment Alare had sunk to the side of the dying que e n, her face as white as a ghost. "Moth e r, moth er! Don't die a nd leave met'' she in her own tongue. But there was no answer to her appeal; the poniard had done i ts work, and a moment more the defeated queen of the Laking Land was dead. Alare fainted, and some of the co.urt women carried her away from the s pot. Sam, who was a rather k ee n observer, had been watching some of the leaders of t h e defeated pe ople, a nd it began to dawn upon h im t h a t h e and his comp a nions w e r e looked upon with consid erable distrust since the disastrou result of the battle. He told Frank and Oliver of this as soon as he got the oppor tunity, and they all concluded that it 'Yas high time for them to leave.

PAGE 32

BRA VE AND BOLD. They hung about the foot of the mountains, _they had been driven by Hanga, until sunset, and the n, seeing that their late friends were grnwing s till colder toward them,' they got ready to leave. They still retained the horses they had ridd en during the battle, and they conc)uded to lea ve, one at a time, on these, and meet at a certain point after dark. But Frank desired to see Alare more before he left the Laking Land, and he made up his mind that if in any \\tay pos sible he would d o so. The place appointed to meet at was the royal burying grounds, and accordingly Sam at once set out, mounted on his horse, as if he were going to find out something about the enemy. Sextupuaga, Oliver Looney's wife, had been k i lled in the mad rush to the hills for safety, and so there was now absolu ely nothing to keep him back. He started about fift een minutes after Sam, going in a slightly different direction. The Lakings did not appear to notice these departures in the. leas t, but huddled themselves togeth e r m knots, and jabbered away, in their own peculiar language. The Englishman and his steed were no sooner lost to view when another horse and rider left the place. It was Alare. Frank was agreeably surprised at this, and he at once join ed h e r. When they h a d placed themselves well beyond the hearing of the def eated Lakin gs, Frank swallowed the big lump that had risen in his throat, and took the beautiful girl's hand b ega n he, I am going away ." "Yes; I know," s he r et urned, sadly. "You know how ?" "I overheard your conversation with your two friends this morning." "You would not have me stay, W01,1ld you?" "No, it fa best that you should go. My p eo ple are setting them selves against you. They say that if you had not come here there v0t1ld hav.e been no war. Go, and my blessings will go with you. Only"-and a tear dimmed her eye-"think of m e sometimes, wh e n you reach your own land. Think of Alare, wh0, though but a girl loved you with the simple love of a woman of her own race. I shall not h ve to see anything further o f the ruin that has been brought upon us by Hanga, for so me t hing in my heart t e lls me that I will never see another sunrise. We must say good-by now; think of me in after years is all that I ask." "But," said Frank, who was now nearly blinded with the t ears that came into hi s eyes, I can't lep.ve you this way, Ala re; come along with me and I will take you to my own country." "It cannot be; if I desired to go with you ever so much-and yo u kpow hat I do-I could not live to cross the m ountains. It is cold at th eir tops, and my people ca11J1ot live ten minutes where the climate is at the free z ing point. Thus it is that our race is kept in this one place, surrounde d on all sides by towering m ou n ta i ns, whose cold, white top s mean certain death to any who might be ra sh enough to venture there." The girl's words fell upon Frank's ears with such a blinding fo rce that he felt a cold shiver run down his back. He no w realized only too well that ah thought of taking h e r with him to brave the dangers of. reaching civilization, were utterly useless. Still he could not bear the parting that had to take pl ace within a few minutes. Taking a package from her bosom, Alare handed it to him say in g : "Here, take this and divide its contents among your two frie nds and yourself. It eon tains a hundred of the glistening sto n es you deem so precious. Tal}e this a l so, an d keep i t for my sake. Don't open .it until you arrive at your own home." Mechanically the b oy took what sh e offered h im and placed the m in his breas t pock et. T h e fir st wa:S a good-sized package, and the second was a sma11 bit of light material wrapped in a piece of gay-colored, silk-like wrapping "Now, o n e thing more before we p art forever," said Alare. "I suppose you are to meet your t wo friends at the royal burial grounds? If you are, don't touch any of the gold or diamonds there; there is enough ri c hes in the package I just gave you. Will you promise me this?" ''I will!" exc laim e d Frank, hoarsely "Then, good by." She took his hand and held it t ightly in her own for a moment. Just at that instant there was a rush of many feet, and turning, the two parting ones beheld Hanga and a score of his followers directly upon th e m "Ha!" exclaimed Hanga. "Dog of a stranger, I have found you. Die!" With all the power he cou ld command the Laking rebel hurli:d hi s short spear at Frank's breast. T h ere was a wild sc ream and A lar e threw herself across the neck of the boy's steed and saved hi s life. Yes, she saved h is lif e at the cost of her own. The quivering spear pie rced her delicate, shapely back just be low the l eft shoulder blade, and its sharpened point found a rest ing place in her h eart. She threw her arms about the ueck of Frank in one short em brace, and then slipped to the ground-a cC>rpse For the space of ten seconds not one of the lookers-on could m cve a mu scle. Even Hanga seemed to be dazed at the horror of the tragedy, and h e grasped a sapling for suppo rt. As Frank r ealized what h a d happ e n ed, a gla.ssy l oo k came into his eyes, and he felt as if he was falling from the back of hi$ horse. But only for a mom ent did he r e m ain thus. 1 Then his eyes emi tted a blaze of fury, and his revolver leaped to a lin e w i t h Hanga's h eart. Crack! The weapon spoke, a nd i.ts report echoed the death knell of the villain. But t he boy did not feel satisfied; before the Laking's body re ac hed the ground all the chambers in his r evolve r found a l odgment in hi s carcass. The r e bels, who stood gazing upon the sce ne, had dropped their weapons to the gro und, and the looks of horror upon their faces s howed that they h ad completely lost their senses for the time being. \lv'ithout noticing him in the l east, Frank s lid to the ground, and after imprinting a r everent kiss upon the lips o f the dead g irl, sprung up o n his h o rs e's back, and d as hed away like the wind to ward the s pot where he was to m eet Sam and Oliver. CHAPTER XXXII. FAREWELL TO LAKING LAND. Fra nk L 0we proc eede d on his way unmolested, until at length h e arrived at the burial grounds, where he was to meet Sam and Oliver. T h e two we re already there waiting his coming, and as he drew rein before th e m they greeted h im with a joyful shout of .,velcome. "Have you broken op e n any of the jars of dian10nd s yet?" were Frank's first words. "No." returned Sam; "we thought we would wait until you arrived. "Then don't touch one of th em. Come! we must be off at once." "Why, hain't ve goin' ter take hany riches ha way vit h hus ?" asked Oliver in surprise "Yes; I have enough for all of us in my breast pocket. It mi ght seem st r a nge to you both in my telling you not to touch anything here; but I promis e d one who is now dead that we would n ot." Sam did n o t ask a sing l e question; a look in the face of his fri e nd told him that it was not good policy to do so n ow. Silently he vaulted upon the back of his horse, hi s action being follow e d at once by the Englishman.

PAGE 33

n BRA VE AND BOLD. "I don't believe we shall be able to cross the mountains at the pointwe came over," said Frank, as he led the way from the spot. "Why not?" asked Sam. "Because Hanga has been killed, and I expect the entire Laking population are on the watch for us at this moment; they will n 1 turally guard the place we came over, thinking we will return the same way." "You are right, old fellow. You said Hanga had been killedwho was so kind as to rid the world of th e sc oundrel?" "It was I who did the deed; he came upon me on the moun t ain side and hurled his spear at me, with the int e ntion of cu tting short my earthly career ; but Alare, poor girl sprang forward to shield me and received the weapon in her back." "And she is--" "Dead I" r e plied Frank, in a hollow voice. "That is ther wust n e ws Hi 'ave heard since Hi 'ave been hin this beastly country remarked Oliv er. But Frank did not notice his words ; he was growing excited in the recital of what h a d occurr ed and he went on: "Yes, she died in saving my life, and Hang a wa s her murdere r. But I avenged her almo s t imm e diately; I shot t he s c o undrel in his tracks as if he were a rabid dog; then I fled from the spot like the wind. Here I am; now what course shall we take?" "Make for the nearest point whe re the m o untains bound this land," replied Sam, who sympathized deeply in his heart at his friend's sorrow over the d eath of Al a re. "All right then ; we may as well continue on the course we are going. It is away from the L aking village and, if I judge r i ghtly, the mountains are n o t far from here." The horses the y rode were good ones and where the traveling was good they got v e ry quickly over the ground. Just as morning dawn ed, th e y arrived a t t h e foot of the m o un tains at a p o int where Sam thought he re c ogni z ed. It soon s truck h i m that he was near the c a n y on wh ere he h a d shot Jaques Lecairo in the gas cave. He quickly inform e d his co mpanions of this fact. "Did you e:>.."Jllore the canyon to see wh e re it l e d to?" a s k e d Frank. "No, I did not; I was too anxious to get back to you." "Can we g e t to it with our horses?" "Yes; I am sure we c a n." "Lead the way, then. It may be the me a ns of getting us out of this valley." Sam wondered what his fri e nd meant by thinking of g etting away from the plac e by see king the canyon whe n he well knew that there w e re m o unt a ins to cr oss But he did not say anything and led the way to a good place to enter the n arrow cut. In a few minutes th e y h a d made the d e s cent, and the n Frank came to a h a lt. "Now for breakfast," s aid Fra nk "and th e n w e will see wh e re this canyon l ea d s to. It eith e r st ops a t t h e fa ce of that stee p m o untain over t here or else i t g o es on through." Sam no w beg2J1 to o p e n hi s eyes "Yes ," return e d he: '"I n e v e r t hou ght of t hat. See the water in the str e am runs th a t way Who c a n tell but it do e s g o o n through?" Oliver h a d w a lk e d off whil e t h e tw o boys w e re c onv e r sing, and pres e n tly th e r e p ort of his rifle r a n g 011t. A few min ut es 12ter h e appea r ed, dra::;ging a goat o f th e sam e sp e cies Sam h a d sh o t o n his form e r vis i t t o t h e p l ace This sernd to mak e th e m a n e x c ellent bre c.kfast, and t h en, cut tmg off th e best p?.r ts o f t h e mea t t hey ga-.rc the ir h orse s a d r ink a nd i o foll ow t ht: stream d o\' m th e "::>. nyo n. In abou t h a lf a n h o u r t h e y ca1i1e ro wha c seeme d to b e t h e en d o i it: bu t a seco nd g i;;;1ce s h owed t h e m that it p r oceeded o n throug h t h e mo1111ta in, j ust as Fran k h ad a nt icipated. It w as a n ir reguhr tu'lml, abont fift een fr e t wide b y t welve fee t hi g h a nd as fa r as they could see. was a s dark as th e g r ave Af te r a b ri ef rC'sting s p ell. dming whic h the hor ses were a llow ed to n i hble u;:icn th<' h o r t g r a s s that grew on t h e sides o f th e can yo n t hey boidl y e mc;ed the m m;th of the t unn el. The f r t h e r t h ey went th<'" more sure t h ey w e re that it passP d co mplet ely thro ur,-11 to t h e other side Jn many pl a ces it was b1r ely '.Vide e n o u g h for t h e m t o pro cee d \"lhile in other s i t l arge enct: g h for a co m pan y of soldie r s to pas s thro u gh. il v e r y d ark in ti1e tnnn<'l, but as the s tre a m flo w e d on through the c e n ter o f it they !me w t hat if th e re were any h o les or pitfalls aheaa of them, they would become aware of it by hearing the water as it rushe d over. At l ength, after what se e med to be many hours, they detected a faint g limmer of light ahead of them. \Vith a feeling of j oy they shook e ach other by the hand, and then pushed on the tired horses as fast as they could travel over the rough ground. Fifte en minut e s more and they had passed through the tunnel and reached a canyon similar to the on e by which they had entered. The y found that it was past sunset, and considering the fact th a t night was upon them, they concluded to camp where they w e re for the nigh:. Tethering their tired steeds near a patch of mountain grass, they ate s o me of the g oat-meat and then went to sleep. They w e re up and stirrii1g when day broke and once more started on th eir wa y In a couple of hours th e y reach e d the l e vel country once more l eaving the Laking country far behind the m on the other side of the mountains. CHAPTER XXXIII. CONCLUSION. Just six weeks from the time our three friends emerged from the mouth of th e canyon, after peqetrating the mountains, we find them safe ly in Bagamayo They h a d fallen in with an exploring party and reached the seaboard in safety. Oliver Loone y's horse had died from the eff e cts of a snake bite. but Frank a nd Sam r e tained the irs. T hey conclud e d to take them home wit h them, as they were fine-looking animals, sturdy and strong and very swift travelers. Frank divided th e di a m onds giv e n him by Alare equally with hi s comp a n ions, and then th e y a ll kn e w that th e y had been w ell p a id for th eir perilous visit t o the l a nd of the unknown race. The sal e of one of the largest of the preci o us stones brought in en c u g h m c n e y to pay their p as s a ge to London. H e re Oliv e r Looney conclud e d to remain, saying that when he h a d ob t ain e d a fair educ a tion he would come over to the Unite d States an d pay them a visit. Frank Lowe and Sam S i n g leby took passage on board a fas t steamer, and arrived in N e w York just one year from the time the y h a d left it. ,,-Of course, the first place they visited was their old Mottfi e ld. H e re a surp rise await e d them. The y found that S a m 's stepmoth e r had died from the bursting of a bl 9 od v essel in a viol ent fit of a n ger a month pre vious, and also t hat hi s fat h e r w as just abo ut to be turned from his farm on acc ount of a p endi n g forecl os ure. It is n ee d less t o say th a t the two boys were warmly welcomed by F a r me r S i n g e by The m a n wep t ge nuine t ears of joy. His so n a nd Frank, who m he th o u ght ne a rly as much of, had com e bac k a nd th e y w e re rich! Think of it-rich! His farm \WS saved, an"1 now he need never work so h ard aga i n Fra n k L o w e h a s not for.gott e n the beautiful Al'lire yet, nor n eve r will a s l o n g a s he lives. S o metime s h e u nl oc k s a drawer ;md pro. duces a lock of hair, as black <:ts a ra ve n's w i n g a nd a s fine as s ilk. The te a rs glisten in his eye<. It is poor Alo.r e s last ke e p sa k e which he will cheri s h forever. One thing b o lh F r ank and S am p o si t ively d e clare, and that is t hat i h ey will n eve r a ttempt t o p a y a second vis it to the land of the Unkno wn Race. THE END. 1\1 ext w eek's i ssue., .r. o. IS, w ill c cntain "Bert Breezeway; or, T h e B oy W h o Join e d a Cir cu s," by Barry T allyh o B ert w:i.s t h e b a d boy in th e scho o l h e attended. Nothing really b a d a bout him but he was mis c hievous, and set the whole s c hool topsy-turvy. Afterward he became the star performer in a b i g circus, and during all this time things were happening m q u ick order. It's one of th e j oiliest, most e x citing stories you ever read.

PAGE 34

j 7 ,., '11 ....-++--...................................................... ................................... .... ,.,; ... l The BOYS' OWN LIBRARY A SERIES OF BOOKS BOYS Edward s Ellis Horatio Alger, J r James Otis Matthew White, Jr. Arthur M. Winfield George Manville Fenn Capt. Ralph Bonehill Wm. Murray Graydon Brooks McCormick HE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY consists of one hundred copyrighted titles published in this series only. The books are bound in cloth in highly illuminated cover designs, and equal in every respect to the average 1 1 I .. :. high-priced works. Price, 75 cents each For sale at ali firs t-class r book stores. Catalogue on application to the Publishers .Jli JI. I STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street, NE' W YORK