Bert Breeziway; or, The boy who joined a circus


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Bert Breeziway; or, The boy who joined a circus

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Title:
Bert Breeziway; or, The boy who joined a circus
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Tallyho, Barry
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
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1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
028874948 ( ALEPH )
07234708 ( OCLC )
B15-00012 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.12 ( USFLDC Handle )

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" This will be the death of me, groaned the doctor "Go it, yelled Bert. "I'll bet on the bull!"

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B A E .ll Different Complete Story E very Week I ssu111i W ee llly, By Subscrip tio n $11,so fler year. Entere d accordi ng t o Act of Congress in the year IQO.JJ_i'h the Office of the Librarian of Conrress, Washing-to n, D C. S'!'REET & SMI;rH, 238 Wilham St., N. Y. No. is. NEW YORK, A pril 4, 190 3. Price Five Cents. ERT BREEZI OR, The oy ho Joined a re By BAR.RV CHAPTER I 'J. BOY A BICYCLE AND A BULL "Hoop-la! Clear the way, for we are coming I L et her gonot slow!" "Don't yez dare to run into me, be jabers Av ye do, Oi'll b are yer hid off, that Oi will!" "Clear the way and open the switch, the n I Here we co.me a -flying I Look out for the locomotive! I'm going to let her rip I" And "let her rip" he most certainly did. For, with the last word. Bert Breniway threw his fe et up clear of the pedals, set the front wheel of his bicycle straight as a die, arrd went flying down the hill with the velocity of a projectile. It was a reckless, heedless v e nture. The de scent w as steep and the path was a narrow one, not over two feet wide at the most. On either side a field of prickly bu s hes. sown thickly fenced in the way. But the very dare-deviltry o f the und ertaking was the attraction that caught Bert Breez1way Bold to a fault, the element of danger was a spice that added zest to his sport and sent the bloou bounding through his veins with ke enest delight. The Milcsian gentleman below him on the path did not appear much delighted however; and if his blood, too, was bounding, it was only because it must perforce follow the movements of his limbs. For the gentleman was bouncing about in a vuy lively fashion. He was halfway down the path when, hearing a noise, he turned and saw the he e l wming It was bearing straight down upon h im, and, naturally, his ire was aroused in a moment. "Shtop, ye omadhaun !" s h rieked the Irishman, shaking his fist v)gorously, and wishing the boy's head was at the end of it. But Bert did not stop. HT oo busy now ; com e around next w eek," he c ried, gleefull y Bcgob, as sure as me name's Dinny Mulcahey--" beg;m fhe laborer. He paused because he could think of nothing forcible enough to add, and began to render the air sulphurous with oaths and curses. Then, turning, he fled wildly down the hill. But on came the wheel. Right at his back' it was now. With a startled h ow l D enny Mulcahey l ea ped off the path, landing squarely in a clump of thorny bushes. The succeeding moment Bert and the bike flashed p ast. The unfortunate Denny's feelings were in no degree softened by a l augh, free and blithe as the summe r air, that floated over Bert's shoulder back to his ears. The daredevil rider of th e bi cycle h ad not abated his speed. Rather, h e h ad increased it. 011 he shot unruffled and triumph ant, and was now near the foot of th e d esce nt. "Oh, by Ge o rge I" exclaimed Bert, suddenly. All at o nce another person had burst upon his view in the path before him The bushes we.re very tall at the spot, and the man had been b e nding over to watch the flight of a butterfly near the ground. The insect arose In the air, and the man straig htened up. Then Bert saw him. "Hey, there I" he cried. The man looked around, with a jump. He gave a bigger jump when he the bicycle bearing so rapidly down upon him. F o r a moment it seemed as though his faculties were paralyzed, and he was incapable of action. He stood staring at the bicycle, app a rently unable to move His eyes grew big nnd round as saucers, filled with the st;Irtl e d stare of terror; his hair fairly rose on end, and his mouth was agape with surprise. He was a very tall and thin man, wearing a frock coat and a & uit of solemn black. There was a certain look of dusty book

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( BRA VE AND BOLD. knowledge about him that would suggest he must be connected with a school or other institution of learning. "Hey!" cried Dert, "clear the track, there! Out of the way for the Aying express!" The shout seemed to break the spell that bound the other. There w:is no help for it. The man turned and fled wildly down the hill pi;r sue d by the relentle ss bicycle. "Oh, oh! This is awful I This is dreadful!" cried the fugi tin>. He present e d a comical sight. His hody was bent half over, and his long legs were Aying up and down like piston-rods. He got over the ground at a good rate, but still faster came the wheel. The bicyc le w;is just liehind the Aying man. when, fortut1atcly, he the foot of the descent. Here the tall, thorny bushes came to an end, a nd 11e re repl ace d by level fields, separated from the ro;id hv fenres. There ,,:as no time to be p a rticular. or to pick and choose. The man hastily tumbl e d over the first fence he came to. "Thank J-l ea;en Thank H caven !" he exclaimed. "Truly, it was jus t in time! Another second would have been too much. I am completely exhausted. "Oh, clear! Oh. clear! What an indignity to put upon a man of 1 he higli scholarly attainments and standing in society of Dr. Larrnpp !" he adde d With a careless glance about, the doctor started to cross the field. He had covered about half the distance across, when a bellow smote his cars that fairly curcllccl the blood in his nins. Looking around, he discovered an infuriated bull clashing toward him. "Horror upon horror's head! Heaven and earth protect us!" cried the doctor, frantically. "I'm lost-I'm lo st !" He started on a wild run for the fen ce, with the bull at his heel s The bull had been lying beside the fence at one encl of the field, and for that rea so n the doctor had not noticed him before. He was a particularly ferocious animal, for if the doctor had not been under the necessity of crossing the fence in such a hurry, he might ha,c seen a board near where he entered the pasture bearing the legend: "BEW ARE OF TIIE BULL!" Still, it is possible that the beast might have suffered Dr. Larrupp to cross his domain unmolested had not that worthy gentle nrnn of learning been so imprudent as to wear about his neck a r ed silk handkerchief. Bert Brceziway, flying along on his bicycle, whose speed. as it r eached a level stretc h, was now dimini shing, heard the bull's en raged bellow aboYe \he whirr of his "Uh, ] erusalem !" e..'Cclaimed Bert, as he glanced around and took in the situation; "th ere's going lo be more fnn !" R11l the doctor did not exactly view it in that l ight. "Oh my I Oh, my!" he groaned, as he st retched his long leg s over the ground as fast as he could run. "This'' ill be the death of me!" "Go it!" yelled Bert, "go it! I'll bet on the bull!" "\Vith the greatest pleasure, I belie"e l cou ld see that young fiend roasted alive over a slow fire!" exclaimed t he doctor, audibly. The pounding of the bull's hoofs almost at his heels admon ished him that he had better save hi s breath for sprinting pur poses. On h e ran, exerting himself to the utmo s t, throwing everv particle of strength he could summon mto his efforts. But the bull was just b e hind. Lowering his he a d the animal made a decisive cha rge. One instant, and he was upon the doc;tor. l !e set those broad horns under the man's coat-tails, and gave a vigorous upward The doctor was lifted clean off the ground and sent flying into the air. Fortunately for him, th ose wide, br nching horns were tipped as a ptecaution against suc h an occasion as the present. Up he went like a shuttle-cock. Hello I'' cried Bert, heartlessly. "Giving you a lift, eh: I'll put all my spare coin on the bull." In his interest he had dismounted and stood watching the affair. The doctor came down on the other side of the fence, squarely in a puddl e of very dirty and muddy water. He slowly arose to his feet and stumbled out of the pool. Ile was, inde ed, a sight worthy a second glance. From crown to toe he was soppi n g wet. His hair was matted with mud, and hi s face was splashed with it. Likewise was his clothing, while from every part of his body t he water r an in streams. As he waddled along, he appeared a veritable human Niagara. "I guess we won't linger to witness the conclusion of this in cident," said Bert, airily. "Time presses, and we must tear ourse1ves away." He leared upon his bi cycle and rode off, followed by the indig n ation o Dr. Larrnpp, who s h ook a muddy fist after him in im potent rage. "\\.ell." mused Bert, "I must say I'm getting along very fairly. I've started to ride from my home in Shadydale over to the academy at Forest Heights, only twenty mile s away, and I've had a little matter of half a dozen adventures on the way. Oh, well, let them come l They'll find me r eady for them, and the more, the m errier." He started to whee l clown the slope, and reckl ess l y "let h e r go." On flew the bicycle, gaining speed with every r evo lut ion of the tires. Onward it shot, like a thing of life, as though eager to reach the stee l tracks glistening in the sun far below. Bert's eyes sparkled with keen enjoyment, and his cheeks Rushed with health. At last the greater part of the hill was at his back, and the steel r ails were not so far away. Now they were nearer, now nearer still. Sudde nly a whistle, shrill and piercing, broke the stillness of the air. "Better slow clown a bit, if I don't want to be ground to pow der," Bert muttered, and was about to snit the action to the word, when he made a discovery that curdled the very blood in his veins. A child had suddenly appeared upon the railroad t r ack, directly i n the path of the approaching train. A little, sunny-haired tot she was, but a few years of age, in nocently playing between the deadly tracks because she knew no bett er. Suddenly from a cottage hy the roadside, so hidde n among the trees that he had not seen it before rnshed a woman. She was waving her arms wildly in the air, and was, evidently, fr;intic with distress "Oh!" she cried with the wild anguish only a mother's heart can know, "my baby! my baby! Save her! save her! Save my little baby! She will be ground to pieces! Oh. G od!" "Not while Bert Breeziway i s on !he top of this planet!" exclaimed that worthy. with fierce resolve. "lf that little thing goes under, she 'll h a\e me for company. I'll save her, ma 'am, or they'll have to rake my scatte red pieces together for burial! Now, th e n to put in some scorching such as I 've never put i n b efore !" }I e leaned over the handle-bar, set his teeth together, and worked the pedals desperately The bicycle shot forward lik e an arro\\T toward the track, on which the child still lingered in innocent play. Onward thundered the train. It was now so near that it see med Bert's bold attempt must surely be in vain, and himself, as well as the b abe be mangle d and crushed to death under its pitiless wheels. CHAPTER II. BERT SAVES THE BABY. If the little one would only become frightened at the approac h ing giant and run off the track! Then all would be well. But no. Instead of alarmed, s h e i s pleased. It is a novel sight to her, and she enjoys it. She stands midway between the rails, and laughs, and claps her hands and cro1ws her delight. On Bert. On rushes the train. Two seconds now will tell the story of life or death. The engine dashes on seeming like a car of Juggernaut swooping d ow n upon the child.

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 At the same instant Bert makes a last desperate spurt and is on th e track A shriek of wildest anguish bursts from the mother's lips, as she witnesses her little one's doom, and sees the gallant rescuer dash also into the jaws of death. Then the rushin g train hides everything from h e r sight. But just the briefest space of time before, Bert Breez1way, shooting like an arrow across the track, leans far over toward the frighten1d child. Swinging one h:md down, he clutches her by the arm, and hfts her off her feet. A startled shniek breaks fi
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4 BRA VE AND BOLD. Chester turned in surprise, wondering who among the apparently unfriendly crowd was willing to take his part. His eyes fell upon Bert Brceziway, whom he had never seen b efo re. \\Tith his nsnal impctnosity, that erratic young gentleman had decided to take a hand in the enconnler. ''I'm death on bullies," he said, meeting Chester's puzzled look with a smile. "Just stand aside, and see how easily I'll polish thi s o ne off." "v\Tho are you?" asked the other. "Bert Brceziway they c?.11 me, as a rule, when they haven't got any little grudge against me, then I re ceive nice little pet names. Say, .inst get out of the way, Chet, will you, and let me go for this chip "] don't want you to fight my battles," protested Ch ester. "I ain't. I just want the first whack at this fellow You can sail in when I get through, if there is any left." Chc;;ter drew back, pulling his coat on again. Perhaps he was not so reluctant to accept a substitute, for he could not help seeing that he was no match for the bnlly. Bnt the latter
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BRA VE AND BOLD 5 astonishment to the class. Little murmurs of surprise ran about the room. "What's the matter with the doc?" "The old man is late for once." "Funny; never knew that to happen before. "l\ eitl1er did I. He's generally as punctual as time and tide, which wait for no man." These remarks continued for a. few moments, when there was a sudden cessation. "Here he is now." "The doc's on deck." "No, it ain't the doc, either; it's Swain." Through a door at the front end of the room a man had entered, and advanced to the tutor's desk. It wa; e\idenr, however, that he was not the person the boys had been expecting. His first words were to that effect. "Dr. Larrupp is unavoidably absent," he remarked. "I cannot account for it, as he has always been at his pqst before. However, the doctor is punctuality itself, and will, doubtless, be here shortly. As this is but a short se ss ion of the class, I will conduct the recitations, pending his arri,al. Now-ah, whom have we here?" The last remark was called forth by ou r hero's having sud d enly stood up in his place. "You are :-Ir. Swain?" he said "l am." "Pleased to candidate for words, 1 new r io-ht." 9 Hitch?" make your acquaintance. I'm Bert Breeziway, a Forest Heights Academy membership. In other scholar, just ridden in. Hope we sfiall hitch all "Yes-like each other, you know. Always like to feel that people are fond of me." "Hum!" said .!\fr. Swain, hardly knowing what t o make of Bert's assurance. The boy's face bore such a solemn expression, i t was hard to believe he was making sport of him. Several of the boys laughed broadly, and the master said, sharply: "Yoll mustn't talk that way." "Nor H o w am I to talk, th en?" a s ked Bert, 111 apparent per plexity ... 'ot i n the sign language, surely? I haven't been through the deaf and dllmb alp hab et yet." "I mean you must be more respectful." ''Yes. sir. I'm 1 full team of r espect ." "'\Veil ," the tutor began, when there was a startling interrupt ion. Through the door by which he had entered rushed another man-and such a man The blac k suit in which his slender, elongated form was clad ,\-as rent in several places, and covered with mud, not yet dried, from heaci to foot There was a bump almost the size of an egg on his right temple. "'The doc!" exclaimed the boys, in one v o ice. "\Vhy, Dr. L arrupp," b egan Mr. Swain, surveying his em ploy e r's plight in dismay, "whatever--" But in no measme did the sentiments of the others approach the consternation that seized upon Bert Breeziway. Too well he recognized the newcomer. That tall form and thin face! The unhappy wretch he had chas ed with his bicycle downhill-chased him into the field, whence a bull had tossed him into a pool of filthy water! Now the a1biter of his fate! The last thought was enough for Bert. Already he felt in anticipati o n the sting of the sound caning he knew he would smely r eceive at the outraged ma ter's hands. "Oh. l"m in for it. sure!" he murmured lle had kno\rn the principal al first glance, and the rec ogn ition was mutt.:al. R aising his hand. the doctor pointed at Bert, who, in the excitem e nt, h a d forgotten to sit clo wn an d cried. excit edly: "There he i>-there he is! That's the boy!" "Yis, that's the b'y, begorra Faith, that's him-that's the b'y !" echoed a voice. And the Irish laborer .whom Bert's bicvclc had also forced into a !inly sprint down the hill burst through the door by which the doctor had iust entered. The scapegrace's two victims confronted him, bent on venge ance. "Both of them l" groaned Bert. "This is worse and more of it! Oh, I am a goner now for fair I They'll simply skin me alive!" CHAPTER V DENNY MULCAHEY IN FIGHTING MOOD. "Pardon me, Dr. Larrupp," said i\fr. Swain, "but I am all at sea. I cannot make head or tail of this affair." "The whole head and tail of it, sir," r ejoined the doctor, em phatically, "is that boy-that boy 1s a despicable young scoun drel!" "He is?" queried Mr. Swain. "Of course he is! Look at me-am I not a pretty sight?" fairly shouted the ma s ter. ''Um-er-your clothing seems a l ittle soiled," answered the subordin a te, who did not know what kind of reply he was expected to make. "Soiled! I should say it was soiled! It is positively encrusted with mud. And for my condition that young scamp is responsi ble I" He pointed at Bert, and Mr. Swain looked properly horrified at the sight of such youthful depravity . "Ht chased me downhill upon a bicycle He set an infuriated bull up o n me! He caused me to be tos sed in the air so violently that it is a wonder there is a single sound bone in my body. Ile had me thrown into a very sink-hole of slime-a veritable quicksand of mud-from which I was unable to escape until after what seemed hours of agony! He ha' made me a mock, a byword, a thing of ridicule, a laughing-st ock-I, Dr. Pythagoras Larrupp I, a man of high learning and attainments made a-fool!" The wrathful doctor hurl ed out the last word like a thunderbolt, with which he would crush Ilert forever That young gentleman was quite undismayed by the torrent of words, however. The might of the principal's arm had more awe for him than the weight of his tongue "Young man," said Dr. L arrupp, forcing himself into momentary calmness by a great effort, as he turned to Bert, "what is your name?" ''Be r t Breeziway, sir." 'Ah, ind eed! I had a letter from your father a few days since He is an old friend oi mine, by the way. In his letter he wished to know if I approYed of corporal punishment. I informed him that I did. whereupo n he wrote me that he should like to have his son admitted to Forest Heights Academy. One thing you will b ea r in mind, young man-I approve of corporal punish n1ent." ''Oh, that's all right," said Bert, easily. "l)on't put yourself to a ny extra trouble on my account. I'm no corporal. Just con sid e r me a plain private." "Yo>ir facetious remarks will do you no good. Mr. Swain, will you haYe the kindness t o fetch me in h a lf a dozen stout canes? Master Breeziway, remove your coat." "'I'd rather not," said Bert. I have a very delicate constitution, and might catch cold. "You will catch so m ething very different, and be warm enough presently," said the doctor, sig nificantly. At this moment i\fr. Swain returned, with seYeral canes, and Dr. Larrupp elected one "Take off your coat, s ir," he again ordered, sternly. Sudde nly the Iris h laborer took a hand in the matter. He had heretofo.re remain ed sile nt, standing in the background, and watchinoevents with rath e r a puzzl e d air. But n ow stepping to the front, he dem an ded, quickly: "Faith, an phwat will h e take off his coat for?" "So that I may punish him as he deserves," returned Dr. Lar rupp, impatiently, and hardly 1ooking at the Irishman, of whom, in his excitement, h e had not taken any especial notice "Take off your coat!" h e r epeated, sternly, to Bert. "Take off his coat, is it? Whoop! Hurroo Shure, an' it's mesilf that'll do the takin' off!" cried the Irishman, with a yell t)1at startl e d the doctor almost out of hi s senses H e pulled off the garment in question and threw it on the floor. Then he doubled up hi s fists. ;rnd, while executing an impromptu war dance, went through pantomimic motions of punchmg the principal's head

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6 BRA VE AND BOLD. "Whoop! Hurroo Come on, till I bate the head off av ye I Punis h him as he d eserves, is it? Faith, an' Dinny Mulcahey will have a worrud to say about that!" "Wh-wh-what ?" stammered Dr. Larrupp, recoiling before the adYance of Bert's unexp ecte d champion. "Come on, ye spalpeen I Ye'll bate the b'y, will ye? Ye'll put a cane on his back? Oh, ye villain of the worruld, jest let me hit ye wan s t !" He shoved a huge, grimy fist under the doctor's nose, and the latter sprang back with such suddenness that he tripped. The result was that he went sprawling upon all fours on the floor in a very undignified attitude. The sight was too much for the boys, w o burst into a roar of lau ghter. The doctor got upon his feet, his face very r ed. "Are you hurt, sir'" asked l\fr. Swain. "No, I am not physically injured," was the ref.lly. "but I am considerably perplexed. My good man, will you kindly explain what mlerc.st you have in this young-er-reprobate?" "Phwat is it? Young phwat ?" "Reprobate, I said." "Reprobate yesilf it is, ye ould spalpeen !" cried Mr. Mulcahey, indignantly. "Do1:1't ye be afther callin' him names, or I'll blacken the eyes av ye. It's a young gintlemon he is." "Yes, yes," hurriedly acquiesced the doctor, keeping a wary eye on his restless foe. "\\That interest have you in him? Why do you object to his being punished?" "Faith, d'ye think I'd be afther lettin' ye lay a shtick on th!!: back of the b'y that saved me little girl's loife ?" The words created a sensation in the class. Bert was almost as much surprised as any one. It was evi dent, he now realized that, by a strange chance, the Irish laborer he had chased down hill was the father of the child he had saved from death. As for Dr. Larrupp, he looked thunderstruck. "He-did that?" he ejaculated. "He did, begorra !" exclaimed Denny Mulcahey. "There was me little girl playi11' roight in the middle of the track, and there was the cars a-rus h in' down. An' there was me poor woife just crazy wid fright, but too far away to do anything. "An' at that moment ,,ho comes in soight but this young gent. "Then, faith," continued the grateful father, "he shoots roight down in front of the engine an' me woife thinks he's gone for sure. The train goes on, when it's past there he is on the other side, begorra, an' the nixt minute he has our little Katie in her mother's arms!" "Hurrah!" cri e d three or four of the boys, impulsively. "Hurrah, hurrah!" cried others, and the cry was taken up until the room rang with it, despite the efforts of the masters to quell the noise. "An' do ye think I'd l et ye bate that b'y now? Shure, he s aved me little girl's loife, b egorra an' I'll bate the head off any wan that lays a finger on him!" Mr. Mulcahey threw himself into a fighting attitude again. It was very evident that he was in earnest and would do just as he said. But Dr. Larrnw was not paying as much heed to him as be fore. His eyes were fixed on Bert, who during the recital of his heroism had got as red as a peony with embarrassment, and was now standing with his eyes fixe d on t he floor. The doctor q1.
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BRAVE AND BOLD. 7 Chester looked at his chum questioningly for a moment before he saw the point. Then he burst into a roar of laughter. "Strikes you all right, ch?" asked Bert, smiling. "Tiptop! ProYided you can work it." "We'll know in a minute. Let's see what his nibs has to say." The tramp was still asleep, as he had been when they fir st dis" covered him, reclining upon his back, and making the air resonant with a not exactly musical snore. Bert caught him by the shoulder, and shook him vigorously. "Change cars for Chicago!" he cried. "Look out, pard; here comes the brakeman, and he'll fire you off." The tramp sat bolt upright, with a start. "The blazes he will! I 'll--Hello! I thought I was stealing a ride on a freight. what did you wake me fer?" he demanded, with a scowl, as he saw Bert. "Easy, Weary Willie; don't get riled I just wanted to present you with quarter," said that diplomatic young gentleman, holding out a coin of the denomination mentioned. The tramp grabbed it, set it between his teeth to test its genuineness, anr! the n stared at Bert. "Wot fer?" he ejaculated. "Oh, for fun," said Bert. "Use it to pay your dues in the Sons of R es t "Aw, wot are yer givin' us?" demanded the worthy wayfarer, contemptuous ly. ''Say," said Bert, abruptly, "do you want to make a dollar?" "\Vot at-work?" queried the tramp, cautiously "N 0; just for sleeping in a good, nice, soft bed for to-night." "Aw, ycr givin' me a gag!" "l\1o: that's st r aight; it's a joke." "The bed's full er tacks, er prickers, ter stick me? That's the j oke, hey?" 'No; the bed's all right. The joke ain't on you, but somebody el se \Vhat do you say? Ifs an easy chance to scoop in a hundred cents." The tramp refl ected a moment. '"I'll go yer," he said. "But remember, if yer up to any games, Hungry Hank-that's me-will take it out er yer hide s VVhere's the bed?" "Up th e re in one of the rooms of the academy," returned Bert, indicating the school building, which stood at quite a little dis tance away. \Ve'll sneak out and meet you here after dark and pilot you in." The final details of the plan w ere arranged, and then the boys went back to the academy to supper. After this meal there was an hour of study, at the expiration of which they were at liberty to occupy th e ms e lves as they pleased unt ii half-pa s t nine, when all retire d for the ni ght. Bert and Chester sought their roo m, with the others, but not to sleep. They waited until all was quiet, when they stole out and let in their ragged henchman. This exploit w as accomplished without mfshap, and soon Hungry Hank was stretched upon the softest couch his limbs had known for years. The boys took th e remaining bed, the two lying together. They did not go to sleep, but lay waiting, with every sense on the alert. The time dragged a l o n g on l eaden wings. One, two, almost three hours had passed, w hen their vigil was rewarded. There wa a significa n t noise outside the door. "There tli ey are!" murmured Chester. "Yes," said Bert, "and now look out for fun!" .... .. CHAPTER VII. THE HAZERS WHO WERE HAZED. Bert Breeziway and Charlie Chester lay still as mice when the cat i s near. listeni n g intently for a second suspicious sound to Indic ate the advent of the hazers. "Ah! Did you hear that?" breathed Chester, sudde nl y Bert nodded; his eyes were twinkling with fun. A significant n oise had reached their ears from just without the door of the bedroom. Bert was as cool and unconcerned as possible. whi!e Chester was hardly able to contain himself with suppressed excitement. As for Hungry Hank. that weary wayfarer lay in the sleep of t he innocent, obliYious of all that occurred. The c hums, keeping their eyes fixed on the door, saw it cautiou sly pushed open. First one and then another figure appeared on the t hresho ld. The hazers Ind sprung from their beds and hastily donned part of their clothing, as soo n as they judged the night was sufficiently advanced to insure them against interruption. Now they filed stealthily forward, looking like specters in the dim light of the room. They were six in number, each with a rudely -made mask of bl ack cloth tied over his face to conceal his identity. "Well, fellows, here we a re, and the coast is clear." It was the leader who spoke. and, despite an evident" attempt to alter hi s voice, the chums easily recognized Bullard, the bully. "\Vhcrc i s the ,ictim ?" queried the second night-rover. "Right here; this first bed," replied Bullard. "Sure that':; the right o ne?" "Sure. I ain't making a n y mistake. I m ade inquiries to-d ay and found out from a reliable party just where that fresh kid was going to s leep. This is the bed, all right." The much on which the virtuous llungry Hank reclined was th e one he indicated. At sound of the assurance in his voice, the chums could not r epress a smile. Their own bed ,\ as more in one corner of the room, \\'here the shadows were thicker. and on that account none of the haz ers noti ced that it contained two fqrms instead of one. "He's sound asleep," commented one. "Yes," assnred Bullard. "Come, all Jay hold of the covers an d pull th em off. We'll yank him out of that nice, snug snooze in a hurry." Bert and Ch este r were almost strangling with suppressed laught er. The hazers ranged themselves about the bed, and seized hold of the co1erlct. At a signal from Bullard, it was roughly jerked off, an d the sheets followed Quilts o r blankets th e re were none, it being a warm, summer n ight. The tramp now lay clad on l y in shirt and drawers. Y et still the hazers did not discover that h e was other than their intended victim. Such an idea was so far from their minds that their om1 lack of suspicion blind e d them. Hung ry Hank continued his peaceful s lumb er, undisturbed by the attentions of which h e was the mistaken subject. "Hang him! Will he n e ve r wake up?" growkd Bullard. "He sleeps like a log. Grab hold of his ankles and gi,e them a good jerk. Two of you be ready to clap your hands over his mouth, in case h e sets up a yell." His followers carried out the instructions to the letter. Bullard and another on one side of the bed and a secon d couple on the other seized the sleeper's ankles and gave them a vigorous jerk. T h e re su lt was all they could have desired-even more, in fact. The tramp started bolt upright in bed. He had been in the middle of a dream of stealing a ride on a freight train. He had just r eac hed a point where a brakeman was about to ln1rl him from the top of a car while the train was running at foll speed, when he was so rudely awakened. What more natural than that he should confound the waking with the sleeping, and in his half-confused state of mind think it was all part of the same thing? "No, y ou d n't !" he cried, angrily. "Fire Hungry Hank I guess n ot 'ake that!" His movfments were like lightning, for he believed safety de p end e d upot1 guickness Dra,ying hi s feet up as far as possible, h e shot them out again lik e catapults J ne ngnt struck one of th e hazers, with the force of a batter111g ram, squarely m the stomach, and doubled him up like 11 j ack-knife. The left foot caught another on the chin, sending his teeth toge the.r with a snap that made him bit e his tongue and hO\Yl with pain. ''Fire Hungry Hank off!" cried that indignant gentleman. I guess you won't s lin g him off the top of no moving train! I kin lick any brakemau this side of hades! I am a terror, an' they don't nev er want to ackle. me more'n once! Fire Hungry Hank, hey? Take that, an' that l" He doubled up his big fists, and, with his mind's eye traosforming th boy s in to a horde of assaulting brakemen, he leaped among them.

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8 1BRAVE AND BOLD. The luckl ess would-be hazers were so paralyzed with surprise and terror at the amazing turn of affairs that they were unable to flee. Biff Chug! Whack! One fellow caught a brawny fist in the eye. Another got it on the jaw. A third caught a blow on the ear that made his head ring. Then the fourth turned and ran for dear life. It was Bullard him self. "No, yer don't! Yer don't git away! Not much yer don't git away from Hungry Hank!" Thoroughly warmed to his work, the tramp dashed after the leader of tfie hazers. Bullard bolted through the doorway and dashed down the hall toward the stairs Hungry Hank was at his heels. "Come on!" cried Bert, springing out of bed. "Let's see the sport." They ran out into the hall, and watched the chase. Bullard reached the head of the stairs. The tramp was just behind him, "Fire me off, h ey will yer ?" he cried. "Fire off Hungry Hank? I'll give you a kick-off yer worr't forgit !" He raised his foot and gave the bully a tremendous kick just as he balanced on the top step of the stair "Oh, oh! Help! murder! fire!" cried that wretched youth. The force of the kick lifted him clean off his feet and sent him flying head-first down the stairs. The two boys w : 1tching fairly hugged themselves with glee. "He'll haze me some more!" said Bert. "Oh, say, ain't it a circus!" gurgled Chester. "Help, murder! murder!" howled Bullard again. Then there '':ere sudden ejaculations in a new voice,the thump of two bodies coming into Yiolent contact and the added noise of another form rolling down the steps. "Dear me! Bless my soul! Oh, what-Help!" cried the voice of the unknown. "Great Saltpetre!" gasped Bert. "Bull has gone plum into somebody coming up the stairs!" "Yes," groaned Chesler, "and there'll be the mischief to pay. Do you know who it is?" "No." "It's the doc l" "Oh, murder!" "What are we going to do? We're caught dead to rights. Here's Hungry Hank, and everything I We're in for it sure." "Not yet, old man. Never say die I Pull your mug down straight, and trust to me to get you out of the scrape." With these words Bert advanced and directed his attention to the tumult at the bottom of the stairs. CHAPTER VJII. BULLARD PAYS THE PIPER. Hungry Hank stood at the head of the stairs with a puzzled ex pression on his face. It was evident that he had bul just become thoroughly awake. "What's the matter with you, anyhow?" asked Bert. "Say, did I sling that gang of brakemen off the top of the car, sure enough?" queried the wayfarer. "No, but you slung around a gang of fellows w.ho came to ha,ze my c hum and me. You're handy to have 'round, Hungry. You've just fired the last one downstairs, plum into the principal of the school, knocking him heels over head, too." "Oh, Lordy, I'm goin' ter slope!" groaned the tramp, his cus tomary assurance totally knocked to pieces by the recital of his midnight ravages. "Say, hand over that case you \'Vere goin' ter gimme." "Case? What case? You're a tough enough case yourself." "None o' yer funny biz!" growled the hungry one. "Gimme the plunk, the century, the long green ." "Oh, you mean that dollar, eh? Well, you don't suppose I carry it around in my nightshirt, do you? My chum will fix you up all right. Here, Chet, go back to the room and get a dollar out of my clothes to this Son of Rest for his noble exer tions to-night in our behalf." Chester and the wayfarer hurried to the bedroom, where the former hastily extracted a bill from Bert's trousers pocket-as it happened he had not th e amount in his own-and handed it to the tramp, who made off in short order. Then Chester hurried away to see how Bert was making out. That young gentleman, r eady of wit as usu al, had made good use of his time. Rushing clown the stairs to where the principal and Bullard l ay in a tangled heap at the bottom, he exclaimed. effusively: "Oh, Dr. Larrupp Oh, what a shame! I am so sorry. Here, let me help you up, please, sir!" He extended his hand and assisted the docror to his feet, at the same time cont ri ving to bestow several sly kicks on the bully. \Vh-what does this mean?" demand ed the principal, with a half-daz ed
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BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 "I never expected the doc to come along just then," rejoined our heru. leither did Bull, and that's just where he slipped up. But the old man has a way of taking a midnight stroll through the build in g o nce in a while to see for himself that everything is all right, and he just happened to take the notion to-night. I guess it's your luck. You always fall on your fee t." Bert's only answer was a laugh, and the conversation ended. Both jumped into the one bed again-neither caring to lie in the place of the departed Hungry Hank until there had been a change of sheets. They were soon asleep, and did not awake until mornjng. Chestoc's remark that Bullard woul6! "get walloped" proved prophetic. Before the exercises for the day began the six hazers were called to the front, read a severe lecture and then soundly caned by the doctor, \,ho, despite their lu sty bellowing, did not des ist until hi s a rm was wearie d. The bully's cup of gall was filled to the brim. The consequence was a bi tte r hatred of Bert and an inward vow to do him a bad turn at the first opportunity. "You want to look out for him, Breeziway," was the repeated warning our hero received from first one and then another. "He's a nasty fello w to h ave dow n on you. Don't give him half a or he'll get you foul." But Bert o nly laughed at it all, and said, in his reckless way: "Oh, I gue ss not! I shan't let it scare me out of over two years' growth. anyway." Little either he or the bully drea med what strange events the power to foresee the future would h a ve revealed. or how strangely their lives were to be interwoven for good and ill. CHAPTER IX. RlDING BLACK DEMON. "Say, look h e re, you said you could ride any that ever stepped ." 'H'm! I don't know about that." 'Oh, do you want to pack out, then?" "I haven't done any Sacking out yet. What are you trying to get at?" The scene was the grounds of Forest Heights Academy, and the time during the recreat-ion hour. The speakers were Bert and a boy named Dunton. Chester and several others were interested listeners to the dispute. "What I am trying to get at," sa id Dunton, "is just this: I kn ow of a horse that I'll bet you can't ride." v\ihat one is it?" "His name is Black Demon, and he belongs to a man up the road nam e d Barker." "Oh, no!" cried several of the other boys; "not Black Demon I" "It ain't fair to bring !Jim in, Dunt." "Of course not; nobody could ride him." "Oh, well," said Dunton, "Brceziway is a big exception to the common run, you know. He can do anything. Besides, he's b.een blowing around here till I got sick and thought I would like to take him down a bit." He spoke in a mo st dis ag reeabl.e m anner aod with a palpable sneer. Dunton was an intimate and follower of Bullard. He rese nted Ben's o\erthrow of his leader, and, on that account, was anxious to m a ke him seem small if possible. "\\'ell, I didn't say I couldn't ride Black Demon," Bert remarked, plac idly. "You d o n t dare to come d ow n and do tt," said Dunton. "Lead the way and I ll fill your footsteps, old Know-it-all," was the prompt r e ply. Accordingly they stiarted off up the road, attended by a large following. The news that Bert Breeziway was going to attempt to ride the unmanageable Black Demon caused a sensation at once. Not a fellow tb.at heard but dropped whatever he was doing to go down and witness the sight. Bullard went along. his eyes sparkling with malicious glee. That his enemy would be maimed for life, if not killed, in case tie made the trial, he had not the slightest doubt. He knew Black Demon. The dangerous task before him, for it now seemed assured that he would undertake the fea.t, did not excite Bert or cause him to lose his wits in the least. Before getting beyond the cpnfincs of the academy grounds he turned back and secured his bicycle, an example which was unanimously followed-as all Ind wheelsand soon the entire party was p e daling instead of walking up the road. About a mile from the academy was the home of Mr. J ason Barker, the OYmer of Black Demon. This gentleman was proprietor and m a nager of the Barker House, a road hostelry which was very well patronized, especially in summer, by tourists from the cities stopping at Forest Heights. The owner of the hotel himself was standing on the stoop as the bicycle cavalcade came up the road. The hotel-keeper was tall and lank, with a face clean-shaven saYe for a bnnch of whiskers on his chin. He was a genuine Down-Easter in all but his speech; there were no Yankeeisms in that. "\\i ell, boys?" he said, interrogatively, as the bicycle host came to a halt before the hotel and eac h iellow slipped off his wheel. "l\lr. Barker, we've got something for you," said Dunton. "Here's a fellow wants (;{) rid e Black Demon." He pointed Bert. "\Veil, he can't ride him." "vVhy not?" "In the first place, the horse wouldn't let him. In the second, I don't care to be respo n sib le to Dr. Larrupp for the death of one of his b oys. Again, the brute would be almost certain to injure some one else and mi ght even fatally injure himself. I don't care to t a ke any risks with such a valuable piece of horseflesh," concluded Mr. Barker, in a tone of decision. Bert put his voice in for the first time. '"I'd like to have a try at him. I wouldn't hurt the h o rse." "No ; but h e' d hurt you," said Mr. Barker, grimly. "There he is now Just look at him and then tell me you want to ride that brute." A hostler was just leading a magnificent coal-black steed out of the stab>le. The animal was prancing about, rearing up on his hind legs and striving to jerk fre e the rope by which the man held him. "He's a beauty I" exclaimed Bert, looking at the horse with ad mi ring eyes. The beast's appearance certainly justified the words. Clean limbed and shapely, with delicate nostrils and proudly-arching neck. he look e d the thoroughbred. "\l\T ell, have you changed your mind about wanting to ride Black Demon?" qu e ried Mr. Buker. "Not at all; I don't said our hero. "I'm open to the job if you will give me leave to try." "\Veil, I most certainly will not. The brute is as much a demon as his name impli es, and for you to attempt to ride him would be simply s1.1icidal. I will not be a party to any such foolhardy business.,, Bq.rker spoke very decidedly, and whe n he h a d cons:luded he turne d and entered th'e hotel as though h e wished it to be under-stood that the matter was settled for g.ood. The boys stood looking at the horse as he shifted about un easily unllie r the hostler's attentions, and turning the thing over in their minds. Presently Dunton said: "Well, why don t you jump on his back? What are you waiting for?" "Mr. Barker's permission. He says I can't have it." "Bah! A poor excuse is bet te r than none, ain't it? The fact iS;\)'OU are afraid to tackle the horse." Dunton drew back in haste He recollected that he was talking to the person who had conquered Bullard. It was one of Bert's weaknesses that he could not take a dare. "As for riding the nag," he said, "I'll show you how much afraid I am to do it." He ed ge d his way up to the steed until he 'was just alongside him. Then he made a spring. An outburs t of exclamations rent the air. The reckless boy was upon Bia-ck Demon's back. The beast at once threw his head up so sharply that the rope was torn fro m the hostler's hand. He made a dash to get out of the way of the angry brute. Black Demon rear d straight up on his hind Our hero stuck to his place like a fly on the side of a house. The horse threw himself down and roll'ed ove r UJ>On first one side, then the other. But :Bert was prepared for him, and by

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10 BRAVE AND BOLD. nimbly leaping up each time, managed to escape these attempts to injure him. "Look out, Breeziway, look out!' cried some of the students. "He's getting uglier every minute." The shouts caught the attention of Mr. Barker, who came rushing out to see what they meant. He stopped, h orrifie d at the scene before his eyes. To heighten his dismay, Black Demon at that moment rushed wildly away up the road, tearing along with furious gallops and apparently hee
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I BRA VE AND BOLD. II Bert Breeziway was in the lead and prepared to take big risks if necessar'y. On shot horse and bicycle i.n a thrilling race for life or death Ah! Bert forges ahead. But only a little-a very little-not enough to give him the ad vantage he needs to stop the horse. Nevertheless, pluck to the backbone, he makes the attempt. He swings his body out in front of the animal &.nd tfu-ows up one hand. Black Demon swerves aside. Fatal move! The precipice is before them, and the horse's involuntary plunge takes him too far out on the edge. Over he goes before he can recover himself. And Bullard is on his back! It looks as though not only horsll, but rider, too, is surely doomed. Bert Breeziway, by the failure of his attempt to head the runaway, is thrown to the ground. Entangled with his bicycle, he is apparently out of the game. But Bert is made of the never-give-up material, and as Black Demon goes over the boy makes a frantic clutch at Bullard. Providentially his grip reached the bully's coat. There is a fearful jerk, that seemingly almost tears Bert's arm out of the socket. But the arm holds, so does the grip, and so does Bulla.rd's C0at. As a result, the bully's downward flight is suddenly checked. He is brought up with a sharp turn, and hangs suspended in air over the side of the cliff, with nothing but the tenacity of Bert's grip and the strength of his coat between him and a cruel death on the rocks five hundred feoit below. C1f APTER XI. THE KING OF LIARS. A scream almost human in its anguish comes up from the noble as he plunges swiftly downward through the a.ir to death. Then, with an awful thud, he strikes the base of the cliff and all is still. Bert Breeziway, holding his enemy suspended over 1 the edge with one hand, clutches him with the other also and tries to pull him up. In this he is assisted by the other bG>ys, who have just come spinning up, and the frightened bully, to whose headstrong actions the catastrophe is wholly due, is drawn up to safety. He sank down on the ground, quivering in every limb, com pletely unnerved by his hairbreadth escape from a frightful death. The boys stood around, looking at him in silence for a few mo ments. Then, when he began to recover somewhat and arose to his feet, Chester said, warmly : "Say, Bull, you can thank Bert Breeziway's nerve that you're alive and kicking at this minute, and if you've got even a little common decency you'll tell him so Several of the other fellows nodded vigorously in emphatic approval. Bullard turned upon them with a look of well-simulated aston ishment. "Thank him for what?" he asked. "For what? For saving your worthless life you cur!" retorted Che ster, whose disgust with the other's manner was too deep for language to express. "I don't see it," said the bully. he saved me from going over the cliff, it was only what he ought to do. But for him I wouldn't have been in danger." "What!" was the general outburst. "Of course. Didn't he scare the horse by riding the bicycle up into his face and whooping like a madman, so that the animal got crazy mad and j umped over the edge. I could have hauled him in and stopped him if it hadn't been for Breeziway." "You are a confounded liar!" exclaimed Bert stepping forward, fists clinched and eyes flashing. "If it hadn't been for me your worthless ca r cass would be lying down there beside that poor horse's, battered and mangled as that is." "Oh, of course, you say so, and you may try to bully me into agreeing with you," said Bullard; coolly. He had laid out his course, and was determining to stick to the infamous falsehood. "You used to do a little in 1.he bullying line yourself before you tried it on me and I licked you," said Bert. The other ma;:le no r e ply, but slunk away to his own little group of cronies. Tliey had already taken the cue and were prepared to champion his version of the accident, though not one of them but felt it was a lie. "Well, of all the mean skunks I ever knew I" said Palmer. "Let's give him a good kicking," suggested Chester. "No; leave him alone," said Bert. "He's too mean even to kick. Let's go around to the foot of the cliff and take a look at poor Black Demon," he added. "I suppose we can't do anything for him." _Several of the boys had already looked over the edge of the cliff down at the hapless animal, and pronounced him dead be yond a doubt. However, no one had any objection to taking a nearer view, and they rode off on a circuitous route for the foot of the cliff. Bullard and his cronies witness e d this move with much satis faction. They at once took a straight course back toward the Barke r House. The bully being without a bicycle, one of his followers turned his over to him and prepared to foot it himself. "Look at those fettows !" exclaimed Chester. "They are hurry ing to get back to Mr. Barker because they think if they get their story in first they will stand more chance of being believed. We ought not to let 'em get ahead of us that way, Bert." "Oh, let 'em go," said our hero, di s dainfullly. "They won't be able to deceive any one with their lies." The party therefore held to their first intention and proceeded to the spot where the lifeless Black Demon lay. A glance apprised them that their journey was vain, so far as aid was concerned. The horse had struck upon his head and been killed instantly. He lay on his side with little pools of blood "Well, we'll go and see Barker now," said Bert. "Poor old Black Demon! He was a good horse when properly broken in, and he would have been all right if that cur Bullard had let him alone. Barker won't like it for a cent." Barker most certainly did not like it. When they reached the hotel-keeper they found him impatiently awaiting their arrival. Bullard had told his story, corroborated by his friends, and Barker was anxious to hear what Bert had to say. He was soon satisfied. Our hero plunged promptly into the subject without preliminaries, and gave a graphic account of the affair. "Bbtt this young fellow here says you frightmed the horse over the precipice," suggested Barker, as he concluded. "Is it likely?" asked Bert. "You saw how the horse ran away with him. You could see that he had no control over him what ever. Do you think he could stop the animal on the very edge of the cliff if he couldn't do it before?" "H'm!" muttered Barker, thoughtfully. "You be.Ji eve me, don't you?" demanded Bert. "Well, I'm out a horse, any way yo u fix it; thae's how it seems to me. A good horse, too." "He wasn't any good till I rode him," said Bert; "but that isn't the point. Don t you believe me?" "It lies between you two," said the hotel-keeper, diplomatically. "If I believe one, the other is a liar. The best way I see is for both of you to put in together and pay me for the horse." "Well, if you expect me to foot the bill for another fellow's actions, you are away out in your calculations," said Bert. "There's the man who is responsible for your horse's death. If you want your money get it out of him." With the last word, he sprang on his wheel and rode away, accompanied by his friends. Bullard and his cronies remained behind, for the hotel-keeper had promptly laid hold of the bully, demanding that he pay for the loss of the horse. A heated altercation followed, Bullard absolutely refusing to pay a cent unless Bert Breeziway did likewise, and Barker in sisting that he make good at least half the amount at any rate. The upshot of the matter was that the hotel-keeper decided to carry his case to the academy, hoping to obtain more satisfaction from Dr. Larrupp. This he accordingly did. The docto r called the boys before him and heard their accounts of the affair. Then he gave his decision, holcfing them both to blame, Bert, because he had mounted the horse in the first place I

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12 BRA VE AND BOLD. against Mr. Barker's express command, and Bullard because he had als o ridden him without permi ss i on. As to the hotel-keeper, he a ssure d him he need have no uneasi ness over his bill, as he hims e lf would pay the amount and charge it to th e two boys' parents on th e quarterly bills. That was all Barker wante d, and he departed well satisfied with the result. But, as may be imagined Bert was the reverse of satisfied. His anger, however, was all dire cted toward Bullard. But gradually time wore away the sh a rp edg e of Bert's ani mosity. He finally came to tolerate Bullard in a half-contemptu ous way. The bully was anything but pleased with this, and with several other things as well. It went hard with him that he was not allowed to play the bully now. He missed sadly the ready obedi ence the cringing and dread he had been wont to exact from the other boys. He lamented the autocratic sway that had been his. Lament was the most he could do, however, for he dared not attempt to establi s h it again. He knew how promptly the fist of Bert Breeziway would overthrow such an effort. "If only Breeziway were not here I" was the thought that coursed again and again through hi> brain. At last the idea produc e d another, and he began to ask himself: "Can' t I get rid of the fellow s o mehow? Can't I manage it so he'll be kidnaped or dismi s sed in disgrace, or something of the sort? Let me think a little." As is usual when one seeks to accomplish an evil end, he pres ently hit upon a method. The result of his cogitations will shortly app e ar. It was a result that was destined to completely change the current of Bert Breeziway's life. CHAPTER XII. A PLOT IN THE AIR. "Hello, there, young fellow I Is your name Bert Breeziway ?" It was after ac a demy hours on a pleasant d a y late in summer that Bert, wheeling along the road, was thus accosted. He was on his way from Forest Heights to the school, having taken a spin down to the village to attend to a little errand for himself. The salutation came from behind, and he was about to glance around, when the person who had hailed shot up beside him. He also was mounted on a wheel, and was a tall, thin young man, apparently abcout three-and-twenty, with long and angular limbs and stooping shoulders. He had a sallow complexion, small, pale-blue eyes, a large nose and a few wisps of hair, barely distinguishable, on his upper lip. Bert was not attracted t-0 him, or even prepossessed in his favor. There was something about the other that inspired a feeling of yague distrust. Nevertheless he answered promptly: "Yes, I'm Bert Breeziway. What's the trouble? Is anything wanted?" "Nothing, except you, and by me. I've just dropped down to Forest Heights to spend my few weeks' vacation, and I've a..lready h eard so much of the redoubtable Bert Breeziway I felt curious to see him. That's all." "Humph!" said Bert. "Well, he isn't much to look at. However, you can go ahead and fill your eyes; the exhibition's free." "Ha, ha, ha I" laughed the stranger. "I see you are all you have been reported to me to be, Bert Breeziway. I am glad I met you. Let me introduce myself. Frank Senner is my name, and my calling, medical student. I expect to branch out as a full-fledged M. D. in a year or so, and in the meantime I am learning the secrets of the profession at a :nedical college. As I said, I am spending my vacation in Forest Xi eights." Bert listened to these explanations with languid interest. He did not see how they concerned him. He did not like Frank Sen ner, and did not intend to have any more to do with him at future times than he could help. Senner rattled off a lot of talk calculated to display his knowl edge of medical matters, and Bert answered him in monosyllables. Suddenly the stranger switched off on a new track. "By the way, that fellow Bullard, up at your school, must be a pretty mean case," he remarked. "I heard something about the contemptible way he lied about you after you saved his life. How was it, anyhow?" This was a subject on which Bert was quite will to talk. As he warmed up to his story he forgot all about his dislike of Sen ner. The latter agreed with him in everything, and by the time the recital was concluded Bert thought hirr. rea! good fellow. After they had s e parated, and his late companion was wheeling toward the village while he helc! his course for the academy, his former feeling of distrust returned. But he tried to throw it off with a laugh. Senner had passed out of Bert's sight about fifteen minutes when he encountered Bullard. The actions of the two indicated that it was not an accidental meeting, but pre-arranged. "Come at last, have you?" growled the bully. "Well, it's 'bout time. I've worn out all my patience waiting for you." "You never had much to wear," retorted Senner. "Best thing you can do is to lay in a stock. These things take time." "'How did you make out? No good, I suppose "'Tiptop. Breeziway and I are now good friends. He didn't like me at first and stood off until I got him to talking about ihat Black Demon business. I chimed in with everything he said, anlll that won his heart right away." "It's a confounded pack of lies l" blustered the bully. "Your side of it, you mean. Very likely. But that's none of my business. what I want to say is that I am right in with Breeziway now, and you can work the game almost any time you like .. 'Tl! leave it to you to suggest it to him whenever you see a good chance. Being with him, you'll be better able to set the time than I can. Don't make any mistake about the thing. I don't want there to be any slip this time. Bert Breeziway must be cleared out of my path for good and all." "He'll be cleared, never worry; there won't be any slip on my part. But how about you ( Do you think you can carry the thing through all right?" "I'm sure I can. I've practiced it several times, and I know just how to behave. There won't be any mistake." '"There's another thing there don't want to be any mistake aboc1t, either," said Senner. "What is it?" "l'dy money. Don't let that slip your mind." "Your money is all right. You will get it right down in your hand the minute the thing is done." "I'd better, or I'll make i't warm for you, I tell you. Well. so lor?g I I'll have to be off down to the village to my boarding house. If I'm late for supper there won't he anything left on the table-it's that kind of a ranch." with the last words Senne r's wheel shot a way with a speed that told he intended to be in time for the evening meal, or know why. Bullard, who was also on a bicycle, rode to the school. He got in late and received a reprimand; but that did not annoy him in the least. His spiteful nature was overjoyed at the prospect that his enemy would soon be out of his way. It was on the academy grounds, one evening several days later, that Bullard's friend, Dunton, brought up the subject of ghosts. He told a thrilling story of a haunted house and an insuppres sible phantom that roamed about at the unseasonable midnight hour, waking honest folks out of their sleep, frightening them half to death, and causing uneasiness and disturbance generally. Dunton told the story well, in a graphic and impressive man ner, and most of the boys listened to it with respect. There is a grain of superstition in almost every one of us. Bullard, however, laughed outright at the tale. "Ghosts!" he exclaimed. "Ha, ha 1 You can't scare me with any silly yarn like that. I should like to see somebody try to play off ghost on me. I"ll bet he'd be sorry." He said much more to the same effect, until all who heard him were disgusted and glad when bedtime came. The next day, however, the subject came up again. Dunton made some remark about his ghost story, and Bullard began anew his boastful remarks. "Ghosts? Bosh! Nonsense! I'd like to see the ghost that could scare me," he said. "Well," thought Bert Breeziway, who overheard the remarks, "you seem to be actually asking for it." Since the affair of the runaway Bert had had as little to do with Bullard as possible. He had adopted a policy of ignoring the bully completely. But on this occasion he was strongly tempted to depart from the custom. Bert had now been at Forest Heights Academy about two

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BRA VE AND BOLD. months. He had readily fallen into the routine of the school, possessing the happy faculty of adapting himself to almost any situation or condition. His tutors liked him on account of the quickness with which his sharp brain !!rasped their teachings, and disliked him for the practical jokes he frequPntly executed. Among his schoolmates Bert also took the lead. He excelled in running, swimming, rowing and athletics generally, and he was acknowledged chief in all plans of darcdeviltry and schoolboy larks. On this occasion, howeYer, Bert decided, after a little thought, not to unbend toward Bullard even so far as to play a practical joke on him. "Let the cad go! He's not worth lhinking about I" he finally exclaimed, and leaping on his bicycle, was off for a five-mile spin. Withir1 half a mile of the academy he met his new friend, Senner. To Bert the encounter seemed quite accidental; but Senner had been waiting about the spot for some time, hoping our hero would come along. "Hello!" he sal ::e d. "Hello In ;,ai
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BRA VE AND BOLD. "Confoun d the cur I He will have the whole place down on me!" mut,ered Bert. As yet he saw not hing more serious in the escapade than a good laugh at Bullard's expense next d ay. But suddenly the latter, with one bound, l eaped out of bed, and cowering down in the furthest corner, looked at him with frenzied eyes. Almost at the same instant the night-shirted form of Chester appeared in the doorway. "Quick, Bert!" he cried. "I :01.lldn't wait for you any longer. I thought something was wrong. What kept you such an awful while, any way? This cur's yells have aroused the whole place, and the doc will be down on u s in a jiffy if we don't light out." Bert made no move, but looked at the crouching bully. "Come on," pleaded Chester. "Quick, or we're goners!" "Wait a minute," said his chum. He was still gating at Dullard with an expression of perpl exity. Ch ester's eyes naturally took the same directi on "Great Scott!" he burst forth. Bert did not speak, but looked his interrogation. "Great thunderation \!\' hat's the matter with the fellow?" ex-claimed Chester. "Is he going daft?" The last words struck a cold fear to Breeziway's heart. "My God, no!" he cried. "Look here, Bull, you know me, don't you?" said his chum, advancing a step toward, the crouching figure. But the latter frantically waved him back. "Take it away I Take it away!" he screamed. "Another dead man! Don't l et it get me I Take it away I" Chester recoiled with a startled cry. Bert stood staring like one spellbound. "\!\That does this mean?" all at once demanded a voice behind them. They turned with a start; it was the doctor. Behind him were a number of the boys. They were caught red-hand e d in the act for a certainty; but somehow that did not se em to matter much now. The fear of a greater evil, that as yet they dared not name, overshadowed the lesser one. "Breeziway Chester I What does this mean?" said "the doc," severely. They did not answer in words, but mechanically each pointed toward the crouching figure in the corner. "Bullard, get up I" ordered Dr. Larrupp. "I do not---'" He was interrupted by wild screams from the bully. CHAPTER XIV. THE PRACTICAL JOKE'S TRAGIC RESULT. "Another one! Another. one I Take 'em away I Don't let 'em get at me I Don't let the dead men have me I Make 'em go back to their graves where they belong! Take 'em away I Take 'em away!" So startling was Bullard's outburst that the doctor recoiled. His eyes fell on Bert. "You have been up to some of your practical joking, Breezi way." "He boasted so much about not being afraid of any ghost that I wanted to test him once," p enitently explained the bogus phan tom, for whom the fun was all out of the night's escapade. "Leave the room, you and Chester I We will settle this matter in the morning:." The churns obeyed, but ling ere d just outside the door and lis tened with anxious hearts to what next transpired. "Now, then, Bullard, I order you to stop this nonsense. I will positively have no more of it," began the d octor. "Take 'em a way! take 'em away I" shrieked the bully, with frantic gesticulations. "Don't let them get me." "He acts as if he was out of his head." said Dunton, who was in the group of boys at the doctor's heels. "Hadn't I better run for a doctor?" "You will find none nearer than the village, and that is two miles ." "You forget, sir I Dr. Hartley lives on the way. I should like to go. Bull is my chum 1 you know." "Very well; you may. Dunton rushed to hia room and pulled on his garments with incredible rapidity. His face wore a look of wild elation. He did not appear like a boy whose chum was in danger of going mad. "It's working, it's working I" he muttered several times to himself. "lt's working like a charm! There won't be a single hitch." In a few minutes he dashed out of the academy and set off down the road. He had barely left the building behind him when a voice ex-claimed: "Hello!" "Hello!" rejoined Dunton; "that you?" The stranger was Frank Senner. He had his bicycle with him, but he was not riding it at the time of the encounter. He had dismounted, leaned the machine against a tree and was smoking a cigarette with evident relish. "You oughtn:t to be doing that," said Dunton; "you might be seen. That light, small as it is, shows in the darkness." "Oh, no danger," rejoined Senner, carelessly. "No one along at thi s time of night. How are things going?" "Perfect as clock-work. You're to come in at once. Been waiting long?" "Yes, some time. I made sure to be early enough, for I knew that a few minutes late might spoil the whole thing." "Well, come along in. You know what to say." The two hurried into the academy, Senner leaving his bicycle in the lower hall. In a moment they stood in Bullard's room, confronting Dr. Larrupp and the boys. "I didn't have to go as far as Hartley's, sir," said Dunton. "Before I had gone any distance at all I had the good luck to meet this gentleman, Mr. Senner, who is a friend of mine. He is studying to be a doctor, and I guess he knows pretty near ail about it. I told him what was the matter in as few words as I could, and he said he thought he would do." "Yes," added Senner, "I think I may truthfu.J.ly class myself as an M. D. in all but diploma, and I shall have that very soon. I've gone through the mill." "If you can give any explanation of this boy's strange actions you will certainly place me under obligations, Mr. Senner," said the doctor. The medical student advanced toward Bullard, who greeted his approach in the same way that he had done the others. "Take it away I take it away!" he screamed. "Don't let it e-et me!" "He has received a severe fright." said Senner. "I believe one of the boys sought to frighten him by imper sonating a ghost-a most reprehensible action," said Dr. Larrupp. The medical student looked at Dullard again and shook his head. Then he turned to the master. "The joke has had a most serious result. I fear the worst." "Fear tfVhat? What do you mean?" asked the doctor, quickly, alarmed at the other's tone. "The boy's present state may be only temporary; it may be permanent." "If temporary--" "If temporary it will last for several months; if permanent, well--" He paused significantly. "Great heavens, man!" gasped the doctor. "You surely cannot mean--" "I mean that this practical joke you speak of has taken such effect upon the boy as to drive him out of his mind . He may re cover after several months, but I very much fear that he will be insane for life I" Bert Breeziway, outside in the hall, almost fainted as he heard the terrible verdict. "I have worse than murdered Bull, Chet," he said, in a hoarse voice to his startled churn. "I have driven him crazy with that ghost business of mine I" CHAPTER XV. BERT GOES OTJT INTO TliE WORLD. Bert Breeziway and Charlie Chester stood in the hall, looking at each other with startled glances. "That's what I have done," said the former, solemnly. "I have driven Bull crazy I" "Oh, don't say that," said Chester. "What else can I say?" "Maybe it ain't so bad as all that.

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BRA VE AND BOLD "Yes, it is. Something tells me it is fully as bad, if not worse." "\Veil, it wasn't your fault. \Nho could guess the fellow was going to be such a scare-baby?" '"That doesn t help things any. I was the one that scared him." "Don't blame yourself so much. No one could guess it was going to turn out like this." Bert was silent for a moment or two; then he suddenly ex-tended his hand, with the words: 'Good-by. Chet!" ''\Vhat's the matter?" asked his chum, in amazement. 'Tm going to get out." 'N"o !'! y <"'S, I am. I couldn't bear to stay here after this thing." "Gning home?" "l:\o, I couldn't bear to go there, either." "\\-here are you going, then?" ''Oh. I don't know. I'll strike somewhere." "Don't you do it!" exclaimed Chester, warmly. "Oh, I must. I couldn"t stay here. I'll get out while the excitement i s on, so I won't be stopped." \Vhile speaking Bert walked rapidly toward his room. Chester hurried along at his side, wanting to interpose objections, but not knowing what tQ say. Bert made short work, wnen once 111 their room, of throwing off the ghostly habiliment and donning his everyday garb. "I ought to pack a satchel, but there's no time," he said. "Leave that to me," answered his chum. "Send me a note of what you want and where it is to go to, and I'll see that it gels there. You needn't fear I'll betray you." ''I'm not afraid nf that at all. I know you too well, Chet." Bert held out his hand again. "Well, good-by!" "Wait a minute. How much money have you got?" "Enough lo see me through till I get a chance to earn more, I reckon," said Bert, recklessly. Chester emptied his pocketbook into his hand, and h eld the contents out to his chum. "I won't take it." said the latter. "You will!" and he shoved it into Bert's pocket before he could resist. "You are a true friend, Chet," said Bert, with a catch in his Yoice. "I won't forget this when this thing blows over, if it ever does." "I never met a better fellow than you, Bert Breeziway, and I don't want to meet one," answered Chester, with tears in his eyes. "If you ever want anything from me, you can have it, and I don't want you to forg'et it, either. You may have some tough times after yon get away from here, and if you do I want you to remember that we're chums still." Bert"s answer was a pressure of the hand, more eloquent tlrnn words. They parted at the outer door. Chester watch ed until the darkness swallowed up his chum's familiar form, and then went back to his toom, with a feeling that a g reat deal had gone out of his life and there was a big vacuum in it. Bert was striding away through the dusk in the direction of Forest Heights. He was fairly adrift on the ocean of life. He had burned his hridges, had yn]untarily severed all ties that bound him to home, parents and fr:ends. Pampered and provided for, shielded from the slightest care and trouble, his every wish gratified, his every want supplied from his birth, he should henceforth have to provide for and shield himself. vVcll, the world was all before him, and he facep it with unflinching front. The past was behind, and the future was his to make. He had n o decided plans as to where he should go or what he should do. He had acted on the spur of the moment, and circumstances must shape his course. Once he stopped, \\ith an angry exclamation: "What a fool I was not to have brought my wheel. I might just as well ride as \Valk, and I'd get. over the ground much quicker. I've a good mind to go back for it." He paused in irresolution, but after a moment shook his head. 'It would never do. I'd be collared, sure. No, hoof it is the word now for fair." And again he trudged on into the night. Meanwhile, back in the building which Bert had left a group was gathered in Bullard's room, casting looks o f awe and horror into one another's faces. The doctor had gas p e d with horror at Frank Senner's words: "lnsane You cannot mC'an it." ''lt is too true," returne d SL:nne r, solemnly "The boy has been subjecte d to such a terrible that he has been driven out of his mind. Look at him. De. not his appearance and liis actions furnish as strong a contirmation of my words as one could ask for?" At that moment. though he actually comprehended the words, Bullard jumped up and screamed wildly: 'Don t let it get me! Take it away, take it away!" "There! \Vhat do you say to that? Do you want any further proof?" asked the medical student, triumphantly. The doctor sh ook his head, sadly. "Let us all go out of the room," he suggested. "That may serve to quiet him. Senner shook his head, with a smile, but the trial was made, notwithstanding. Every person quitted the room save Bullard. They merely stepped into the hall. howeve r. where they waited the result of the experiment with intense anxiety, "Stop it, stop it! There it is, there it is I It's coming for me!" were the startling shrieks that reached their ears. Peering into the room again, they beheld its sole inmate crouching abjectly in the corner, looking up with eyes of terror at an imaginary assailant, at whom his cries were directed. "There is no one else in the room?" said the doctor. "No," returned Senner. ''The second person exists only in his disordered brain, and that is where the trouble lies." "I fear you. are right and that it is too true," said Dr. Larrupp. "What can be done fo r the unfortunate boy? \Vhat would you advise?" ''For the present, nothing. Rest and quiet, I think, will do more good than anything else. Snppose we put him to bed and I sit by him a while and se e how he gets a long?" "Just as you say," agreed the principal, and the suggestion was accordingly carried out. Bullard was put to bed in another room, in the hope that the change would aid to banish his unpleasant delusion. Senner took a seat at his bedside and Jent an attenti\'e look on him. The boy closed his eyes and in a few minutes his deep, regular breathing announced that lte was fast asleep. Dr. Larrupp, ha1ing dispatched the boys to their several rooms, had sealed himself at the foot of the bed, prepared to maintain a sleepless 1 igil until daybreak. But at the sound of Bullard's deep breathing, Senner remarked: "I do not think, sir, it will be necessary for you, too, lo sit up. The patient, as you see, is now resting quietly, and o n e at his bedside should be quite sufficient. Permit me to suggest that you retire, and "should anything alarming happen, r will call you." "No, I prefer to sit up." said the principal, sturdily. "But excuse me for a few moments; I shall be back very soon." He quitted the room as he spoke. The door had barely closed behind him when the sleeper's deep breathing ceased abruptly and he opened his eyes. Evidently he had been only shamming slumber. ''Is the doc gone: he asked. "Stepped out for a couple of minutes, that's all. If you have anything to say, be quick, fov he'll probably be back in a jiffy." ''How have I worked the thing ?-that's all I want to know. How is it running?" "O. K.; couldn't be better if you tried. "'Was Breeziway scared?" "Out of his seven senses, reckon. He skipped out at the first alarm, and I ha\'en't seen him since." "Good. He'll most likely be expelled, if I don't show signs of recovery in a hnrry." "Very likely." ''Good. I'll be as mad as a March hare until they fire him out. Then T will gradually recover, eh?" ''Yes. yes, of course. Those things were all sctlkd l ong ago Look sharp, now, for here comes Larrupp." ''vVell, I'm glad I make a successful lunatic, was 13ullard's response. Vl'hen the doctor re-entered the room, an instant later, he found the young reprobate breathing in the same deep, regular manner. And, as the bully presently did really fall asleep, the principal

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16 BRA VE AND BOLD. h a d no susp1c10n that he had been hoaxed, or of the brid conversation tJ;iat had occur r ed in his absence. Still less did he dream of the dark scheme that conversation revealed-the foul plot by which, through Bullard's pretending in sanity, and carrying out the plan by the aid of Senner and Dunton, the high-spirited Bert Breeziway was driven forth into the world, with, as he thought, a brand as of Cain upon him, to live or die, starve or carve out his living and fortune, as circumstances and his own stout heart should decide. The shrewd plot of the conspirators had signally succeeded. Bert Breeziway was an outcast. Let us see how he faced the world. CHAPTER XVI. BERT STRIKES A MIDNIGHT ADVENTURE. "Trust to luck, trust to luck! Stare fate in the face. Sure, your heart will b e aisy if it's in the right place." The young gentleman who voiced the above .sentiment was, of course, the irrepressible Bert Brcez iw ay. Bert must still be Bert. Nothing could crush his spirits or dampen his ardor long. Though the shadow of an awful error hung over him, even as the darkness of night clun g about, though he had fled in darkness and disgrace, like a felon, his buoyant spirits were already beginning to recover from the blow. He did not sing the words, how ever, for he was neither so h eartless nor thoughtless as that. He merely murmured them softly as he strolled along. Then his mind went back to the cowering, shrieking Bullard, and he became solem n again. Steadily on he trudged, until he had put a good distance between himself and Forest Heights. Then he began to feel a little like rest in g, for he had as yet had no s l eep that ni g ht. Just then several drops of rain fell upon his face. Evidently they were the precursors of a storm, which wonld soon be in full sway. It behooved our hero to seek a better shelter with dispatch. He began the search Fortunately, it was a short one, for the drops b egan to come thicker and faster as he found himself facing the building h e sought. "No use trying the door; of course that's locked. And, if I manage to get in the window, ten to o ne there's a ferocious bulldog inside yearning to sample my flesh." He reconnoitered the place carefully, but could discover no window that offered a means of ingress. Finally he approached the door, though with no idea that he could enter it. There was a padlock upon it, but to bis surprise lt was un locked. "The hayseed forgot to close up tight, and left the door open. So much the better for yours truly.'' Such was Bert's opinion at the time, but he afterward had cause to alter it. Before he got through with that barn. he knew that the farmer had not neglected to attend to the door, but had secured it as carefully as usual. He did n ot stop to moralize now, however. He could get into the barn, and that was enough to know at present. The rain was falling too fast to think of anything e lse. Bert opened door softly, and slipped quickly in like a shadow, pulling the door quietly shut behind him. The whole process consumed hardly a second. It was darker inside than out. At first he could not see his hand before his face, and he stood for a moment until his eyes shou ld get accustomed to the gloom, and he could get his bear ings. Suddenly h e received a genuine shock. The sound of voices m et his ear : "Hist, Bill I" came in a low tone. "Did you hear that?" "Hear what? I didn't hear nothin'." "Didn't the door open and shut just then?" "No," came the positive answer. "You're as bad as an old woman. If I'd known you were goin' to be so nervous I'd never taken you in this job with me." "It's a nasty job, and I"m afraid we may get caught. If we ever should be, it's all up with us. We'd never live to see our trial; these old hayseeds would lynch uii, sure." "Oh, don't be such a fool, J ake. They've got to catch us first, and there ain't any danger of that. You get scared at your own shadow." "I wish I was only sure it was my shadow," grumbled Jake. As may be supposed, Bert Brceziway pricked up his ears and straightway did some very sha rp thinking. lt was evident that therP. were two men in the barn. They were fugitives from justice, in hiding on account of some crime they had committed. Presently the men spoke again. They used the same low, cautious tones, but Bert overheard their words distinctly. The first voice was that of Jake: "Is the all right?" he asked. "Yes." "Safe and sound?" "Yes, I tell you." "Gag over her mouth all right?" "Yes. What's the matter with you?" It was evident that Jake's companion, Bill, was impatient with hi s pal's uneasiness. "Oh, nothin'," responded Jake, "only it's best to be careful." This second whispering set to thinking anew. So the precious pair had a girl captive, had they? W ell, 1hat settled one thing-he should make it his business to get her out of their clutches. Bert's eyes had by this time come somewhat accustomed lo the darkness, and he could dimly make out the Jay of land, so to speak This apartment of the barn contained two or three stalls and a couple of barrels and bags of feed. In one of the stalls, Berl surmised, the two men were hiding. Whether the others were occupied by horses or not, he could not tell as yet. He could dimly discern various outlines of objects, but could not see them clearly. With great caution, he began to work his way along the wall, thinking to get behind one Qf barrels. Suddenly there was a catastrophe! Bert trod upon a short, round stick, which, rolling over under his feet threw him off his b alan ce. He fell forward, striking a board cover on top of the rrel, and knocking it to the floor, with a prodigious clatter. 1 "The fat's all in the fire now!" was Bert's exclamation to him self. "Now for the tug of war!" He straightened up, and braced himself for the coming struggle. That the villains would take the alarm was beyond a doubt. "There, Bill, what did I tell you?" came, in a loud whisper, from Jake. you're right; there's somebody iH here besides us." "What are you going to do, Bill?" "I'm going to fix the cursetl spy so he won't be watching us any more.'' Bert strained his eyes and ean in the darkness, and in an instant made out a dark form advancing. Then he knew that while he stood unarmed and weaponless, a murderous ruffian, knife in hand, was stealing upon him in the darkness. He ran his hands along the wall in search of something for a weapon. Eureka! he had found it. H is fingers closed over a round handle, and, on lifting it, he knew he had a pitchfork in his grasp. Bert raised the implement and poised it in front of him. Then h e spoke, in a clear, firm tone : "Keep away!" he ordered, sharply. "I've got a pitchfork, and if yo u come any nearer, or try any funn"y business with that knife, I'll jab it into you where it will do the most good! Don't run away with any idea that I'm squeamish I I've taken your measure, and I'd just as soon kill you as I wouia a snake under my feet!" The man, Bill, stopped al:rruptly in his forward movement, and an angry cmse tell from his lips. Presen tly Bill spoke: "Put that thing down!" he growled. "Vlhat for? I think I see myself!" "Put it d o wn, I tell you!" "So ym can run a knife into me? Oh, yes, I'm full of those little tricks!'' "I won't do anything to you." "Not while I hold this pitchfork in front of you. I know you won't." "I don't want to hurt you."

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BRA VE AND BOLD. "How quickly you ch a nged your mind! This pitchfork is such a good persuader, I' guess I 'll !'cep it just where 1t is." Bnt the ruffian was not yet ready to ackn o w l edge defeat. The pitchfork prev ented him from get ting t o close quarte r s but there was a nother way to make use of th e knife. Drawing back his arm, he hurle d tl1e weapon, point foremost, straight as an arrow at Bert's heart. Swift as the action was, the iloy had marked the drawing ba ck of the a rm, and a nticipat e d what to foJlow. On the m oment he ga ve a sharp d .odge sideways and down He was barely out of the way, when the knife shot OYer him and hung, qui veri ng, in the wall, behind the spot wbere he had just been standing. "You treacherous cur! Take that I" exclaimed Bert, angrily, and lun ging out quickly with his weapon. ''Oh curse you! You've stabbe d me!" ejaculate d t he ruffian. At the sa me time Bert was eonscious that the pnmgs o f the pitchfork had encountered a slight r esista n ce and h e knew they h ad penetrated his enemy's Aesh. He drew back his weapon at once, and the fell ow fell to the floor, with a groan. But agai n stoo d on guard. He did not yet know wha t the other fellow intended to do. He was a l so afraid the man he had w o unded might be shamming, to a certain extent at any rate, with tho id ea of catching him off his g,uard. "Oh!" exclaimed the fellow o n the floor, with a dismal g r oan. "Now you ve done it!" said his comIJanion. "You've killed B ill!" ''I'll give you the sari1e d ose if you d on't l oo k out!" decl ared Bert. sternly. He advanced sharply, menacing the fellow with the pitchfork. The man retreated fr o m befor e the gleaming prongs of steel. ''What a re you trying to do?" h e uied. L ook out or you'll stick me!" "Tha t 's just what I'm after. .You m ay bet I'll stick you in a hurry if you don't g e t out!" vVith the last words, Bert made a sha rp advance on hi s op ponent. He drove the fellow into a corner, a nd, as h e turned half around, t o save his fac11, the boy several 31igh t jabs with the pitchfork at t h e most prominent portion of his anatomy. The feUow shrieked an d danced with fright. "Oh, oh I'm stabhe d !" he cri ed "Wounded in the rear!" quoth Bert, sardonically. "You won't be abl e to s it down for a m onth." "Oh! have you no mercy?" "Not a little bit. I m seeking to emul ate the s.an guina r3 exa mpl e of Merciless Mike, the Pitiless Pirate of the Spanish Main, who u sed to slaughter a sh ipload of people every day just far recre a ti o n, b esi d es the oth e r s he killed i.n a regular bu s iness way. Ever read about Mike? It's a dandy libr a ry.i. The other made no reply, but, seeing a n opening, dashed for 1he door. In a minute he had closed it b ehi nd him. Feeliong that h e could now do so with safety, Bert struck a m atch. A qui ck su!'>Vey disclosed a lamern banging 01a the wall. He lit it and then examined the wounded He w as more frightened than hurt, and our h e ro wasted no more ti.me on him. With the lantern, he proceeded to explore the barn. A brief search sufficed to reveal lying in o ne of the stalls, the perso n of a y(mng girl. Her wrists were tied and there was a bandage ove r h e r mouth, prevenJ:ing speech. In a twinkling, Bert had these bends r e m oved. For a few moments the g irl rubb e d h e r wrists, and then h e r mouth, which were numb from the arrested circulation of the blood. The n she spoke : "fhank you ," she said, simply. "You're very welcome," returned her res cuer, with equal direc t sess. He co uld see that his comp a nion was a very pret ty girl, about the same age as himself. Her hair was long, and of a r eddishgolden s h ade. e ye s l a r ge, and blue in color, and JIOse, ears. m1?uth and chin delic ately chiseled. All her features were r egula r an d her orm e rect and shapely. She took in Bert with a comprehens ive glance, and was evi-dently favorably impressed. "My name is Mabel T r escott," s h e "And rnine's Bert Breeziway-at your service." He bad intended to give another name, sirn:e he had run away from school and home, an
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1 8 BRAVE AND BOLD. The twain were plodding along the road to Forest Heights, and had b eg un to b eguile the way wi t h c nwrs ati o n. Mabel laughe d gayly at Bens reierence to h e r s elf as d ist in guished. She h a d begun to r ecO\ T r from the effocts o f h e r late trying situation and to regain her spi r it s Yes. I a m one of the performe rs." sh e s a id "But nw work i s more p:.ss ive than otherwise. A cannon does thl' ac t i\: e part of the act. ' "A cannon?" rep ea t e d B ert. puzzled "Yes. I am the human pro j ecti le you know. I am s hot out of a cannon and drop in a n e t on the other side of the tent." "Isn't it dangerous?" "Not if it is d one ri g ht. You want to k eep your wits about you, and your nerve up." "Did those tramps belong to the circus, too,,, asked Bert. "They had worke d w i t h it for a kw days, but I think they only did so in order to familiarize thcms cl\es with t hings a littl e so as to carry out their d es i g n s against me." Mabel pause d a moment, and, laying h e r hand on Bert's arm, said impressive ly : "They meant to kill me!" Our hero was as startled as if a r edhot brand had touched him. "No!" he exclaime d in credulously. "Yes," insiste d .Mabel. "I OYerheard th e m say so, as th e y forced me along." "Had they any app a r ent cause to wish to kill you?" "Not the slightest, that I know of. It i s all a deep myste ry to me. I have n o t an enemy in the world. "There must be a darky in the woodpi l e somewher e ,'' declared Bert. "I do not know what to make of it. The m e n decoved me from the circus tent b y th e s impl e pla n o f representing that some one wished to see m e outside. As soon as we h ad go n e far enough to be secure from observation, they seized me, bound my arms and c o mp elle d m e to walk away bet\1 een t h em. "But th eir plot miscarried. There was to han been a conveyance waiting for them at a given point, Lut il was not o n hand. As th e y h a d gone too far to b ac k out, the y were co mp e lled to proce e d on foo:, fo r cing me to do the same. They kept a sharp lookout for the carriage all al o n g the way, and many and bitter were th eir curses whe n it did not appear. They decla r ed ove r and over that they h a d been betrayed. "My hands b eing bound, and a gag ove r my m o uth, i nc r ease d my difficulti es of travel: hut they forced me on. u;1til J thought I should fai rly d rop Then the rain b eg an to fall and we w e n t into th e barn. The y were going o n as soon as the r ai n stopped but before that you came. A nd-and-Gc d bl e ss you for it!" At last they came within sight o f th e vil!;:i.ge of Forest H e i gh ts, just as dawn was bre2 king. Thei r eyes fell, too. up o n a great tent men werl" putting up in a l arge, vacant lot by the morning li ght. "Oh there they are!" cried Mabel, joyously. "There is Mr. Bridgma n now!" She pressed forward eagerly, an d B ert was compelled to quicken hi s steps t o keep pace w i th h e r "Oh, :-Ir. Bridgman!" exclai med Mabel. The p e rs o n >he address ed, a tall a n d slender gentl eman. b een directi11g the ope rations of two men who Lusy tightening some of the ropes that held the great tent in place. His ba c k was toward the arrivals, but at Mabel's voice he turne d at o n ce 'Hel-lo 1 he ejaculated. his eye s growing very big and rou nd as they fell upon the girl. ''Whe r e did you drop from-the sky?" "No: 1 ,, .. 1 s kid n a p cd last night by two ruffians, and t hi s bra\'e young g entleman re s cued me from them. He is a hero,. i\1r. Bridgman. "Glad to meet him, then." :;aid the latter. grasping Bert's h an d and pre ss ing i \\armly. "Heroes are ;i sc a r ce commodity n owadays." :1liss Trcs c ptt makes altogether too much of it,'' rejointd Dert. "\IVhat I did did not amount to anything "Oh, it did! I don't know \\hat w o uld have happened b ut fo r yon. You trnly sa\ed m y life. Don't yon beli e ve him, iVIr Bridg m an. He i s too m o de s t." "Doubtless." assented th e g e nil'.'.m a n. "l\Iodesty ac companies brave ry vi;:ry often. I will take your v e r s i o n, i\fabel. But, now, J. d on't you thin k you h a d b ette r lie down and r est a while? I am afraid yon are going to h ave a fever. Do you feel well?" "l\e got a b ad h ea d ache ," confessed the girl, pressing one h:rn d to h e r brow. "but I will be ell right after a little sleep. I L c!ieve I will lie down for a s h ort time. Don't l e t m e s l ee p too l ong, l\1r. Bridgman. Be su r e to call m e in time for the parade. "I won't l et you sleep too l ong," was the gentleman 's answer. His face h :id a troubled l oo k :is h e g l ance d at the gi rl. and Bert conld not wonder at it, when h e marke d her flu s h e d cheeks and sparkling eyes ":-Ir. l 3 ridgman. I forgot to introduce you, but this is Mr. B ert Rreeziw:iy Any f;!\'ors you m ay be able to show to him will be the same as though gi\e n to m e." I will look a'fter M r. Breeziway, all right. You go and lie down." ''Very well, then, s ince you are so pers i s t ent, sir," she said, with a little p out. "You wi l l excuse me, Bert? Go od-morning for a little while," and she gave her ha.nd to our hero, with a s mile. The next mome n t she had trippe d out of the tent and was gone. "I do n t kn o w you, B re cz iway ," said Mr. Bridgman, putting his h and o n Bert's shoulder, ''but I do kno w this much-if you have d o n e anythin g fe r that little miss-and s h e says you have, m os t decidedly-you have made firm fri ends o f m yself and every man in thi s s h ow. There i s n't one of us tha t do esn't almos t wors hip the ground tha t sweet child walks on, and wouldn't do anything for Quee n ;\la b. as we call her. Don't yo u forget that, my boy. If yo u want a friend, I'ru your man." Jn his eagerness, he clutched Bert's shoulder so tightly that it pa ined ''I'll see what I c2n do to make you comfor table around here by and by Kow, I want\ you to come and have some breakfast with me>" T h ey ad_iourned t o a n eating house, and partook of a1:i appe tizing m eal. Though Rert w as in ccnctant fear tl1at some o ne m igh t ente r the piacc w h o kn ew him-fortunate ly the proprietor di d not-he manage d l o do justi ce to the repast. At the conclusion, h e put hi s hand in his pocket, but Mr. Bridgman in s isted o n settling the complete score. A doze n times during the m ea l B ert was on the p oint of confiding hi s situation and circumstances to his companion. He abs tained, h o w ever, and t\1r Bridgman returne d to the circus tent. in that re s p ec t as ign o r ant as before. He was met by a woman, who excl ai m ed: "i\lab is s ic k She won't b e 2blc lo do h e r act lo-day!" ''What!" exclaim e d M r. Bridgman. "Sick! What kind of sickness?" "She h as got a h a d fc\er," r ep lied th e w oman. She had just come from the conch of Mabel. h aving called an othe1 person to take h e r place while she saw :-Ir. Bridgman. 'You ought to h ea r her rave! All about barns, and tramps, and pi tc h forks. I know she will neve r be able to do her act to dav." Bridgman utte red a g r oa n "I was afraid of th;it when I sa w how she looked before she av d0\n1 he said. ''Let us take a lo o k at her. Come on, Breezi \vay. Bert followed him to a space partitioned off from the dressingr o o m. On a cot, with several pillows under h e r head, lay Mabel Trescott. She was t oss in g r estlessly about. Her go ld e n hair h ung in coninsion a b out her s hould ers, her eyes w e r e unnaturally bright, and h e r face flu s hed. A woman sat by h e r s id e watching her closely. As the three enter ed s he rai se d a fihg er, to enjoin silence. They 'itepped o n tip toe. and did not speak. The invalid was talki n g to h e r self. ''Oh, don't t a ke m e away; l e t me go-please let me go!" she exclaimed. "Oh, my. h o w brave he i s He i sn't a bit afraid of him. Now, that ruffi a n has a knife in his h a nd Oh, he will kill hi m No; see, the boy h as a pitchfork! H e stabs him with it! Oh. h ow brnve h e i s !" "She is dreaming of the fight in the barn last night," murm'ured Bert, looking, with compassiom>.te eyes, at poor Mabel. 'How do you feel, little girl?" asked Mr. Bridgman, advancing to the cot and bending ove r it. But the occu pant only r eplied:

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BRAVE AND BOLD. "Oh, now the ruffian has got a knife! Now he stabs him with a pitchfork! Brave, brave-how brave!" Seeing that his presenc e was useless, Mr. Bridgman turned sadly away. "She d oes not know me," he said. "She is quite out of her he ad; ha s a bad fever. L e t everything possible be done for her, and I will be in again in a short tim e." T hey left the apartment. Once outside, Mr. Bridgman mur m\.lred: "I am very sorry for this-sorry on Mab's and o n our own. She has been billed extensively-in fact we h ave made her o.ur leading fe at ure, an d wh e n she fails to appear, will rais e a cry of fraud that will hurt us very much in the surrounding towns." Can you n o obtain some one else to fill the place tempo rarily?" asked f c rt. I do not thmk so. I cannot hit upon any one in the show who is suitable." "ls the performance so difficult, then?" "No; it is being shot out of a cannon. The principal requisites are nerve and confidence." Bert had an inspiration. '"Why w ouldn't I do?" he asked. "You are not a girl. We have advertised a girl to appear, and if we disappoint the public it will hu r t our business. I do not know, com e to think of it, but you might fulfill the requirements in all other particulars but this-the most e sse ntial one. You are not a girl." "No, but I could become one," said Bert, with sparkling eyes. Mr. Bridgman look e d at him as though he thought he had sud denly taken leave of his senses. CHAPTER XVIII. BERT BECOMES A GIRL. "You could become a girl?" rep e ated Mr. Bridgman, after a moment's pause. "Was that what you said?" "Precisely." "I don't think I quite catch your m e aning. Are you serious?" "Never was more so in my life," replied Bert, enjoying the other's surprise. "Let me explain,'' he continued; and, feeling th a t he could trust his companion, he told him of the fatal practical joke at Forest Heights, of his hurried flight, and how he came to put in an appearance at the barn at such an opportune time for Mabel Trescott. Mr. Bridgman beard him through without comment. At the conclusion of the story, he said, simply, 'in response to B ert's anxious questioning look: ''Well, my boy, I see no reason to withdraw my offer to be fri end you. What I said stands good. But, now, what is this idea of yours?" "I thought I would like to adopt a disguise," said But. "And, if I am going to do so, why not fix myself up as a girl, and take the job of the human projectile?" "H'm I" said Mr. Bridgman, thoughtfully. "Do you think you could do it?" "Certainly. You iust said that what it required was nerve and confidence, and I think I've got a pretty good stock of those qualities." "That is in your favor, then." "Oh, I will be all right. You couldn't kill me with an ax. Just let me try it this afternoon. "I'll tell you what I will do said Bert. "I will try it before the nerformance opens, and, if I don't suit you, I will Jet it drop." "Done !" exclaimed the other. "We will compromise on that understanding." "Now, then, to get into my rig,'' began our hero. "For the first thing, I shall want a wig, and that is where the trouble crops up at once." "H'm I Wait a bit; I thi.nk I can remove that difficulty. Come with me; and l e t me introduce you to Mademoiselle Jeanne. She will probably be able to relieve y o u as she ha s wigs galore." "Who is Mademoiselle J ean111e, if I may ask?" said Bert, as he accompani e d his companion "She is one of our equestriennes-a Frenchwoman, and as vain as a peacock. Her dresses, wigs, etc., are innumerable. Let me tell her your story, and I wager she'll fix you up all right." In anot .her mfnute BetVhad been introduced. Mademoiselle ] eanne was a tall, s l ende r woman, o f middle age though she did not appear so old, with plea.sing features, spark lin g blue eyes and vivac i ous manners. M r. Bridgman plunged into bu siness at once, and soon had the lad y deeply interest-ed in his project. It is not n ecessary to follow the subject farther in detail. Inst ead, let us tah a look at Bert two hours later Bert in woman's garb. Bert,. with his own hair clipped close to his skull by one of the circus hands, and a thick, h eavy wig o t yellow hair, formerly t he proper ty of i.\Iadcroo1scllc ] eanne, ar ranged in place on his head by that expert lady's deft finge rs. "Now, see what you thin.k of yourself," she said, shovi1Jg a handglass into his grasp "Whew!" It was a long whistle of s urprise from our h ero's lips. A strange face looked back at him from the gl1ss-the face of a very good-looking you n g girl, with thick, golden hair. With the exception of the laughing eyes and the old s mile at th e cdr n e rs of the mouth .. 1cre w:is nothing left of B ert Breeziway. "\Veil, if that don't b eat the deck!" e jaculated Bert. "How do you like my work?" asked the lady, with a smile ''Fine! It is just perfect! I ll r emember you in1 my will, mademoiselle," said Bert. "Oh, I hope I shall not have to wait as long as that!" l a ughed the equestrienne. "Now, you must have a name. What shall y o u call yourself-?" For answer, Bert sang, gayly: "Sweet Rosie O'Grady, my dear little rose I Sh e's my steady lady, 'most ev ry one knows. And when we get married, h ow happy we'll be! I love sweet Rosie O'Grady, and Rosie O'Grady loves me! "l\fiss R osie O'Grady, at your service, mademoi selle;'' h.e added, with a bow. Good, good!" exclaimed the equestrien ne, clapping her hands. "Capital! I might have dep e nd ed OF! it that you would think of something like that. But comes Monsieur Bridgman to see h ow you are getting along Mr. Bridgman also opened his eyes pretty wide at B er t's trans formation. He was highly amused at first, a nd laughed heartily. "vVell, what kind of a girl do I make?" asked our hero. "Do you think they'll tumble to me?" "Never!" said the circus man, emphatically. "Your make-up is perfection. I defy any one to discover your real sex in that rig." "All right," said Bert. "Let's go off a!ild try the cannon now, to see how we make out. "How is Mademoiselle Queen Mabel, mon sieur?" asked the equestrienne. "Is s h e any b e tter!"" "I do not know. I was just going to take a l ook at her. We will all go in." Accordingly, all three proceeded t< Mabel's bedside. But if they h o ped to witness any decid e d improvement over her con diti on of a few hours before, they were fated to disappointment. She lay on the cot, with her eyes closed and appare ntly asleep. But occasionally she tossed uneasily from side to side, and mut tered, barely loud enough to be audible: "Oh, l et me go! Please let me go! I will not tell on you I I promise I will not! Oh, now he has a knife! Now he has a pitchfork! Oh, see!" It was evident that her mind was still wandering, and Mr. Bridgman shook his head. "Poor little Mab will be unable to p erfo rm for days, perhaps weelh," he said "If you can fill her place, Bert, it may meb.n the virtual saving of the season, for she is our biggest card in these parts. "I'll do my pretti est," said our hero. "What's this I hear?" exclaimed a small, slim man, bustling in. "Queen M a b s ick?" It was l\fr. Sellers proprietor of Sellers' Great Continental Circus and Monster Aggregation of Marvels. Or, rather, he was only part proprietor, as Mr. Bridgman, who acted as gcnei;al man age r was almost an equal partne r in the show. In as few words as po ssible, he acquaihted his partner with the state of affairs. Mr. Se llers was con siderably concerned about Mabel's illness, for the girl h a d been with the circous for several )'ears, &nl:l the

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20 BRA VE AND BOLD. proprietors h ad become as much attached to h e r as any other persons in the monster aggregation. Mabel was an orphan, who had been picked up by the show. They had ove r taken her-a shivering, wretched. pitifu l little figure-plodding along the road, one wet, stormy night. l\lr. Bridgman, who chanced t o be with the wagons, q uest ioned the waif. All she could tell was that her name was Mabe l Trescott, her parents were dead, and she had no other relatives. to h e r knowledge. "They bad take n papa a nd mamma away, and she was going to find them." The child did rio t realize then that she wa s a n orphan; the understanding h ad come to h e r since Iler forl o rn pli ght went to the hearts of the circus people, and she was, forthwith, takrn in a nd adopted by the s how. As soon as she g rew old enough s he manifes t e d an eager de s ir e t o do some thin g to ea rn her bread, and thus it was that she became the human projectile. To return to the present: Mr. Sellers, o n satisfy ing himself that everything possible was being done for Mabel, consulted wit h his partne r as to what s h oul d be done in the unexpected situation. He was informe d o f 13ert's desire to take Mabel's place, a nd r eadily fell in with Mr. Bridgman's ideas Both partn ers repaired to the main tent to witness our h e r o's in itia l attempt. Of this we will at present say nothing farther than that it was satisfac t o ry to both. And so it came to pass t h at in the middle of the afternoon, Bert Breeziway, l ooking lik e a n y o n e but h imse lf a w ealt h of yellow h ai r falling down on his s h oulders. and clad in a .sui t of spa n g l e d tights ran gayly in to the circus ring of a tent p acked t o the utte rm ost with people who knew him well, unrecognized by any one ''Well, I r eckon thi s rather lays over anyt bing I've known yet," h e t h ought, as he l ooked around at the sea of faces turned toward him. "But now I must ptit rnme frills on. and astonis h t h ese n at ive s a little. If I arn going t o be a g irl. t h en it 's .i ust the bang-uppes t kind of a g irl they ever saw in all their liv es !" CHAPTER XIX. CHESTER AND "sl\"EET ROSIE o'GR.\DY." Bert felt that he 1Yas o n his mettle, and must do hi s hest. Failure l\Otikl me::tn not alone his own discomfiture, but a stain on the r ep ut ation of the fai r girl he had that morning rescued from her abductors. But, as he had once performed the act already, he had n o idea that he fail. R0membering the coachinl! he had received from :\Iademoiselle Jeanne. he bowed to the audience and threw kisses upon all s i des O n this, a little ::ipplause sprang up, but not much. People were cha r y of approval until they had witnessed the performance. Then. if it stiitcd them, they would app l aud. "Oh, by George!" exclaimed Bert, suddenly. "Ther e's the fel lows, as I live!" In the first row of reserved seats looking out upcn him from the spectators. were his late fellow-students of Forest Heights Academy There they were, among others, Cheste r Palmer, Dunton, <:ml rat her to his suq1risc, even B11llard. They were watching him intently, but with no sig n of re cog'lition. "Don't k n ow me in this rig. of course." chuckled our hero. He walked across the r ing, his spangled tight -glittering with every mo1e111cnt, to where a cannon rested upon the ground. This cannon was not the regulation piece of artille ry. It was made of wood, painted black to resemble i ron. and inside was a p owerful sp rin g, which could be released by pu.lling a lanyard A c harge of powder was fired at the same time, to make the act more thrilling. The cannon was pointed upward at an angle of about forty fiye degrees. Bert jumped up, shoved his feet into the mnzzle, and slid his b ody down in ide the cannon up to his shonlders. He had practiced the feat several times before the perform ance, so as to be able t o du it deftly. The audience was watching him with s p ellbound i nt e r est. T his w as an act that ne1er failed to work them np to the highest pitch. The man whose duty it was to fire the cannon stepped forward, the end of the l anyard in his hand. "Are you ready?" he asked "All ready," re s pond ed Bert. "Everything all right?" ''Yes, al l right." "Here s h e goes, then!" exclaimed the other. S tepp in g back qnickly, h e gave the lanya rd a vigorous jerk. Bang! Ther e was a mighty r epo rt. The body of Bert sho t out of the cannon and upward through the air. Followed by all eyes, it soared up and onward, describing a great curve in the air. The vel oc ity that had been imparted to the boy's body carried it across the tent. At the farther side cou rse curved downward, till it fell into a n e t spread to receive it. A rope, d epending from the ceiling of the tent, swung near the edge of the n et. Bert caugh1 it, and let himself down to the ground, with a run. A storm of ap plause greeted the success of his performance. Hand-clapping and stamping of f ee t filled the air. Bert stood and bowed his a cknowl e dgm e nts, throwing kisses on e v e ry side fo r a few m o ment s Then. still d oing so, h e ran out o f th e rin g a nd th e curtains of the dressing tent closed behind him. Behihd the scenes he was congratulated o n his successful performance by other members of -the circus company. He tore him self away from hi s well-wishers as soo n as possi ble. h oweve r, for he had a new idea in his he a d he wished to carry out. This was to see k an interview with Charlie Chester, in the guise of Rosie O'Grady. His motiv e for doing so was both seriou s and for amusement. He wished to g ive his chum some w o rd o f himse lf, and also to mystify Cheste r a little. Accordingly. he don n ed the attire of Rosie O'Grady, which was a dress Mademoiselle J eanne h a d given him, all Mabel Trescott's costu m es being t oo small. "Oh, I don't make a bad-looking g irl," said Bert, surveying himself in a $:lass, when "all ri gged up," as he phrase d it. "I'll wait till the s how's over; the n I'll l ay for Chet." He readily g n esse d that the academy boys would go back to school 011 their bicycles. Mabel was the p ossesso r of a wheel and he borrowed it for the occas i o n \\'hen tl e performance came to an end, h e went outside, and poised himself i n a spot where h e could see th e p eople as they came out. Chester a nd the othe r s were among the l as t to appear. They had lingered to go through the menagerie, viewing and discussing the various wilcf animals. surmise proYed correct, for they had left their wheel s at a lemonade booth a short distarice from the entrance to the t ent. Hastily secu rin g them, they m o unt e d and dashed a w ay. Our h ero was in t he sadd l e in a trice, and spinning along after them. But Bert was in a quanda ry. He wish e d to see Ch ester alone, but how was he to manage it? There were e ight of the boy3 from the academy, and t h ey all r o d e together. It was very likely that they would continue in the same order until school was reached. Om hero cnd?,"el ed his brain a bit, and then decided upon a characteristic plan. The basis of his scheme was the fact that Chester was a swif te s t rid e r of the company h e was with. Bert h ad tnrnecl into the sam e road as th e boys, and was but a short distance in their r ear. He put more speed into his pedaling and soon 01ertoo k them. "Y 011 little boys don't think you can ride do you?" he asked, disdainfully "\"/ell, yes; we've got a n idea a littl e tha t way," retorted Cl1e s t er. while he and the other s looked with surprise at the girl who addressed them. "\I\' ell, then, yo u are mistaken. I defy one of you to overtake me!" exclamed Bert, as he shot a h ead. 'We'll take that defi Cb m e on, f ello ws, and show your scorch in g powers!" cried Chester. This was what B ert intended. He understood his chum's na ture well enough to be certain he would accept the challenge. Chester, moreover, bega n to work his pedals with a will. In a n instant he had pus,he d him self ahead of his companions and shot a fter the unknown girl who had defied him to overtake her. This promised to be no easy task. When at the academy, Bert '>ad b ee n regarded as the fastest rider of all. And now, though

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 21 the skirt he wore somewhat impeded his movements, he was wheeling in almost his best form. turned and l aughed at Chester, who was his nearest pursuer. "Come on; come on i vVhy don't you get a move on you?" he cri ed, tauntingly. "I told you you didn't know h ow to ride." 'I'll be up with you in a minute," flung back Chester. "Pshaw! You wouldn't get up to me in a year l" "Wait a nd see." ''I will." "I wish poor Bert Breeziway was only here now," thought Chet. "I'd like to see him run up against this one." All the while he was wondering who could this girl be who was makin g h e rself so familiar. He did not believe she belonged in the n e i ghbo rhood for he did not remember having ever heard before of any one of her appearance and ways. "Something funny about this business, anyway," was his decision. Bert h a d now come to the last branch that ran off the main road before the academy was re ac hed. He turned into it, and wait ed, with no little suspense, to see what Chester would do. Chet promptly followed his example and turned into the branch road in pursuit. Hey, Chet, come on! Give it up!" cried his compani on s "Not much I won't! I don't give up so easily," was the sturj;Jy And the speaker bent forward over his handle-bar, and sought, but vainly, to put on more speed. "Well, go ahead, if you will, then I But you 'll have the race all to yourself l" cried Dunton. He and the others did not turn into the branch road, but kept straight o n for the academy. This was exactly what Bert wanted. He now had an oppor tunity to speak to Chester in private. Accordingly, he slackened his pace so that his chum might overtake him. This Chet quickly did. "Aha! I knew I'd h au l up to you l" he exclaimed, triumph-antly "Now, who is it that don't know how to rider" "You," retorted Bert, tranquilly. "Didn't I give you a start and overtake you?" "When I ch ose to let you. I want to say a few words to you in private. I have a message from Bert Breeziway." "What! From Bert?" cried Chester, eagerly. "vVhat is it? Tell me, quick!" "\!Veil, he told me to say that you were not to worry about him at all ; that h e fell into a piece of good luck a short time after leaving you and is getting along finely." "He is all right, then?" asked Chester, anxiously. "He is all right-tiptop-never was better in his life." "Do you expect to see him soon?" "I may. Why?" "If you do, I was thinking of giving you a message for him." "What is it? If it sho uld be anything of sufficient importance, I can make it my special business to see B ert about it.' "\!Veil, I don't know whether that is worth while. But I might as well tell you anyhow. It begins to look to me as if there was a put-up job in Bert's ha v ing to go away!" "What!" exclaimed our hero, all attention at once. "Yes, you see, Mi ss--" "Miss O'Grady-Rosie O'Grady." "That the name of a song." "It's mine too. \l\Tasn't the song named after me?" "I give it up 'Sweet Rosie O'Grady,' eh? \l\1ell, you look it!" "Neve r mind compliments. What were you going to tell me?" "Well, you see, sweet Rosie, it looks to me as if Bullard, the fell ow on whose account Bert went away--" "Yes, I know; Bert told me the whole story. What about Bul lard?" "\1\1 ell, it l oo ks to me as if Bull was getting over that craz,iness of his mighty sudde n." "Is he over it now?" "Not exactly. He seems to be all right at times, but whenever I a m around, and he finds me watching him, he acts as if he was as b a d as ever." "You th ink h e may be putting on?" "I wouldn't be afra id to gamble on it. I know Bull." "Still, he may be pretty bad. You can't always tell about lun ati cs, you know. They arc very cunning at times." "Yes, I know. Bull is very cunning all the time, lunatic or no lunatic. I'm going to keep an eye on him, and see how things go." "Very well. Do so. In the meantime, I will make it my bu s iness to see Bert and let him know wha t you have said. But, now, I must say good-by. lt is growing toward night, and I mu st get back to the circus in time for the evening performance." "Oh, you are Queen Mab, the human catapult, aren't you?" "Yes. What made you guess it?" "J was wondering why your face seemed familiar to me. I suppose that explains it. Giv e my re spects to Bert, please." ''Certainly." "Tell him I would like to see him a heap." "I am afraid that could hardly be arranged just now. He is trying to keep away from wherever he is known." ' I s he disguised?" "Well, yes-a little." "Do you think I would know 11im if I saw him?" "Well, no," said Bert, in th e character of Rosie O 'Grady, look ing his chum squarely in the face, with a slight smile, "I hardly think you would." CHAPTER XX. SEVERAL CIRCUS PEOPLE. Bert rode back to the circus tent, after parting with Chester, in a very thoughtful fr a me of mind. In r egard to Chester's n ews. Bert did not attach as much im portance. to it as might be supposed. At bottom, Bert Breeziway was a h oy of hard, sound common sense. His greatest fault was, perhaps, too great confidence in his own judgment. Bert had hims e lf been a witness of Bullard's b e havior after the memorable practical jok e that drove him from Forest Heights, and he believed it was genuine. He did n o t consider the bully possessed of sufficien t smartness or a good enough actor to so successfnlly feign the emotions of seve re fright and loss of mind. Ch es ter's suspicions he set down to an instance where the "wish was father to the th o u ght," for he knew nothing would delight his faithful chum more than to find that the famous joke had not really had the fatal re s ult represented. Bert could have wished for nothing better, also; but, after turning the matter over as carefully as po ss ible in his mind, he was comp e lled to rej ect the idea. He had reach ed the great circus tent now, where the crowds were already begi nning to for the evening performance. Bert dismounted from his bicycle, and, pushing the be side him, entered th e performers' tent to dress for his act. Just inside the entrance, he was surprised to hear a voice ex claim, in mournful accents: "No; it is u seless! Sh Q will not h eed me; she will not give me any encouragement! Hang that skeleton! Curse the skinand-boncs !" 1 Bert stopped, and l oo ked to see who was the author of these remarks. It was quite dark just ins i de the doorway of the tent, and he had some difficulty in making out the speaker. But at that m o m en t a man came along to light up, and by the aid of the new illumin at i o n Bert was at once able to gratify his curiosity. The person he saw before him was the circus giant, who formed one of the side shows that traveled with the Great Con tin ental. The giant truly de se rved the appellation, for he was fully eight feet tall, and broad in proporti on. On the circus posters h e w as billed in great letters as "Hugo, the Huge. But in private life, as if by the irnny of fate, he was simply William Little On the present occasion Bert looked at him closely. There was a look of distress on the giant's face. "You seem to be in trouble," said Bert, impulsively. "What is the matter? Can I do anything to help you?" Hugo lo oke d at him for a m omen t in indecision. But Bert assumed a sympathetic l ook, and, in his character of Rosie O'Grady, looked like a girl who could be trusted with a confi d ence. Evidently, such was th e giant's opinion, at any rate. "You are the young lady who is acting in Queen Mab's place, aren't you?" he qu e ried. "Yes."

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22 BRA VE AND BOLD. "Your name is Miss O'Grady ?" "J\t is. Can I do anything fur you, sir?" "No, l am afraid not. Nobody can do anything for me," said the giant, moodily. "You are in trouble, then?" trouble:" "Perhaps I might be able to suggest some plan for your re li e f if I knew the particulaFS"," insinuated Bert. "Oh, I don't know. I do not believe any one can help me. l am afraid my case is past help. The fact i s said the giant, I am in love!" "In love?" r epeate d Bert. Somehow, such a rnnfession in the case of the great being be fore him seemed supremely ridiculous. He had all he could do to suppress a laugh. "l\lay I venture to ask who is the fortunate lady?" he queried. "It is Baby Bunting, the fat lady!' The fat woman! Again Bert was strongly tempted to laugh. "I wi.sh you luck," he said. "You have my b est wishes." But the giant shook his head mournfully. "It is no use-no use!" he exclaimed. "She will n o t listen to my suit. I have a rival, and a favored one, as w e ll. That i s why I am so discouraged. Baby Bunting won't look at me be cause she'5 rnashed on somebody else "WhG> is it1?" "The one she's dead gone on? Oh, the living skeleton." lj: Bert had been tempted to laugh before, now he wanted to roar. His face was red with suppressed laught er. Sn
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BRAVE AND BOLD. 23 placed a huge hand over his heart, and stood like a sentimental actor posing for an encore "How does your suit prosper?" asked Bert, with difficulty choking down a mighty guffaw. 'Slow, slow-very slow at present," answered Hugo. "But I think I may have hop e." "I am glad to he a r it." "Yes, I think I have hopes. I have reasons for thinking so." "Ahl" "I b elieve that base caricature of humanity, the living skeleton, is playing swee t Baby Bunting false-that he is deceiving her loving, trusting heart." "That's tough." "It is dastaqily-shameful-despicable It is just what one would expect from such an abandoned wretch, destitute of all the noble traits of mankind." "What's his little game?" "He is leading the id o l of my heart to believe he is devoted to h e r, while, on the sly, he makes love to the bearded lady." "I'd go for him." "I intend to. I shall expose the wretch. At the same time I shall declare my undying affection to sweet Baby Bunting, and plead with her to give me her hand. If she consents, we will elop e and get married at once ." "I'll help you, if you need any as sista nce," said Bert, scenting fun at once in the last idea. 'Thank you. You are a true friend. I appreciate your disin terested kindne s s," responded Hugo, wringin!l" our hero's hand with gratitude and a grip that almost reduced 1t to a jelly. They now emerged from the wood, and presently found them selves following a path that led along the base of a hill, or, rather, s mall mountain. At times the side of tije elevation rose in an almost perpendicular wall beside them. Though they llttle dreamed it, danger hung over them. Their departure from the circus tent had been noted, and they had been under espionage since. Two men had followed their every movement. Bnt when they emerged from the woods, the pursuers drew off their track. It was not with the int e nti o n of abandoning the ir task, however. They kn ew there was but one road Bert and the giant could take, unl ess th ey turned back, and they hurried forward to put a c ertain plan into operation. They made a detour that put them in front of our friends, and hastily climbed a path up the side of the mountain, stopping finally at the height of a number of feet. They h a d halted at one of the places where the mountainside wa s so steep that their position fairly overhung th e path below. Their purpose was not long in doubt, for they hastily gathered several rocks and large stones into a small pile before them This had barely been d one whe n Bert and the giant appeared in sight. The two m e n looked at each other with grins of satisfaction "Wait till they a re exactly under," said one. "All right," rej o ined the other. "I won't make no mistake." On the shelf where they were they leaned forward, each with a stone in hand, and looked down upon their approaching vic tims. Chatting gayly, Bert and the giant came on, wholly unconscious of their deadly peril. Presently they were directly under the men above. "Now! Let her go!" At the word, two stones simultaneously shot downward. The aim was true. The missiles struck Bert and Hugo, the giant, on their heads. They at once stopped short in their tracks and pitched over to the ground like d ead perso ns. "We've killed 'em!" exclaimed one of the scoundrels, somewhat fearfully. "All the better," replied the other, with a callous laugh. "In the case of th e gal, it will save us trouble. I'll be glad if she is d ea d already, so we don't have to finish her off. Come! We've got to go down and see!" 1-CHAPTER XXII. A MYSTERIOUS PIECE OF BUSINESS. The two miscr eants whose deliberate action had inflicted prob ably serious injury, perhaps death-they troubled themselves little which-upon Bert Breeziway and Hugo, the circus giant, pro c eeded to carry their fell purpose to its completion. By the same path they had ascended to their position on the side of the mountain they ma
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24 BIR.AVE AND BOLD. tu re's beak. Her eyes were sm-ill and piercing. and her face was 5 is true bhte. He. has followed me up till he's found' me, and now he's on the warpath for fair. He is a whole host in himself, and is going to be some fun when he starts in at rough-and-tumble with these people." There were, indeed, lively times in .Jrospect. CHAPTER XXIII. THE CIRCUS GIANT TO THE RESCUR. "Coniound this troublesome meddler!" exclaimed the leaeen confinel!. The shanty was a rnde affair, and had originally been erected evidently for campers-out. It was in a wooded country, but the ground was cleared of trees for a space around it. A brook rip pled along several rods from the building. The giant set off along a faint path through the woods, and Bert followed. He was compelled to walk behind, as the way was too narrow to admit of their proceeding abreast. This, however, did not preven; their interchanging w.ords now and tJ1en. "How did you come to find me?" was na,turally Bert's first "I think that was a brilliant piece of work." "Oh, not exactly," said Hugo, modestly. "It was more good luck than good management." "Tell me h
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BRA VE AND BOLD. 25 hard, and that Is why, aftei: I was knocked out, I did not lie senseless as Jong as those f ellows prob ably expected. "As soon as I came to, and saw you wer1: missing, my first idea was that you had been take.n away, fo r I did not beijeve you would desert me of your free will. I was., therefore, eager to go you at once 'Chance favored this design The. spot where we had been stricken down was of sandy soil, al'ld m 1t I saw the footprints of two men. It is true, they might not have any connection with the affair, but I took the chances that they had, and results justified the conclusion. "I walked along the road a distance in the direction the footsteps pointed, and then I began to feel at a loss. The prints visible for but a few rods, and I had no means of deternuomg how soon the men had left the road. "But in thi..s perplexity I unexpectedly came upon a child, a little boy of six or seven. The little fellow looked considerably frightened. "Well, to shorten the the ch ild told me tTfat he bad seen two men carrying a sick lady along die path. He k11ew the lady was s ick because she just lay still, and d'idn't move. He hap pened to be playing in the w('lods at the time, out of sight from the path, and so the men did not see him. Had they done so, they would have taken hrm along 'vith them, or have done 'Some \lhing else to prevent his spfeading his story. "He told me :hat while he watched them, the men t111rned off the path into the woods. I examined the spot he indicated, -and found a faintly-defined path "I had barely made this discovery, when a frantic woman came hurrying along, and at sight of the child snatched him up, w>ith a glad cry. -He had wandered from her side almost an hour be fore, while she was out for a stroll in the country, a-nd.the anxious mother had been searching for him ever since. Had I come along the road ten minutes later, I should never have met the child, and would have missed the information that me to find you. The whole thing providential." "It was," said Bert, thoughtfully. "\Vell," resumed Hugo, "I followed the 'path I had discovered, and it finally brought me to the s h anty. I felt sure you were there, and so you were." "And am not now, tha!'!ks to you;" added Ber!. "I will not forget this great service, and shall repay it at the first opportunity ." "Do you really mean that?" asked Hugo, eagerly. "Of course I do." "You can repay me very soon, if you will." "I will glad ly do so. Tell me how." "Well, you know, to-morrow we a"!'Pear at Chester; it i's qtJite a good-sized place-in fact, a city." "Yes I know." "Wefi, I a m going to end this suspense in regard to that de spicable living skeleto n at once. To-morrow I shall propose to Baby Bunting. If she accepts me, I shall ask her to elope and get married at once. Will you help me?" "Like a shot," re spon ded Bert. CHAP'l'ER XXIV. THE LIVING SKELETON IS "SAT ON." Mr. Sell e rs and Mr. Bridgman were promptly acquainted with the afternoon adventure and were, of c'clllrse, surpris ed and shocke d At Bert's r equest, they consented to keep the matter to themselves, as our hero feared that if it were fold to other members of the company they might mention it in Mabel's pres ence, anrl he did not want it to get to her ears. Mr. Sellers decbred, however, that he should at once engage the serv ices of one or more of the best detectives money would obtain, and see if the matter could not be ferrete d out. Both he and Mr. Bridgman inclined to Be.rt's theory that these my ste ri ous assaults h ad something to do with Mabel's unknown early life, and believed that following them up might event u ally lead to the solving of the mystery of her birth and idel'ltity. It should be explained that Mr. Bridgman had desired to leave her at Forest Hisights, ion the hands of competen t nrses, with arrangements by which s he would r ece ive the best of care. But the little maiden 1ns1steq 1.11pon being taken along with the circus, and Mr. Bridgman and every one in the company had grown so used to deferring to Queen Mab's wishes that there was not!\ing to do bu.t h onor her again as usual. The manager en gaged a couple' of tramed nur ses, hcwcver, an d under their care Mabel imp ro ved rapidly. On the uccasion of his present call 'Bert found her sitting up in 1;1n invalid's ahair and in the best of sptrits. "I shall be dancing around again before you know rt," she said. "I am glad to hear it," replied Bert. "\\'hen you do I sh.all say gooq-by to the circus and yau will your own p!'ace again." "Oh, no, you won't," rewr,ed Mabel. "I was talking to Mr. Bridgman about you only to-day. He says he js interested in you and he doesn't propose to lose you just yet. \Vhen I get able to perform my act again it wo11't maH!e any difference. Mr. Bridgman says he will find something for you to do in the ritig, if he has to have us both shot out of the cannon, one after the othr." "That's kind of him. I'm much obliged," said Brt. "Oh. you're appreciated; that's all." A ft er some further clrat Bert J'eft l\Iabel. Late eYcning, when, after his performance in the rll'lg, he made his way t o the dressing-room, Hugo was waiting for him. t,Je rushed at Bert ou;stretcl.1ed Come with me. :\,1s,; 0 Gl'ady, pe cxdaimed. "'The bes.t t11i11g in the world for me has happened." "What is it?" "You know i told you while that scum of mankind, the living skeleton, was leading my adored one to believe he cared for her, on the sly he was maki"ng Jove to the Bearded Lady?" "Yes, I remember. \Vhy ?" '"\.\'ell, n;:iw I'Ye got him. I have discovei:ed him and the Bearded Lady 1n a nice litt)e tete-ii-t.'te, and I am going ro un d e .,eive sweet Baby Bunting by letting her see them a:nd hear tl1eir remarks." "Thai.'s not a bad scheme V-Then did you make the discovery?" "But a few moments ago; and I c'ame here at onee, because I hav<': a pre,sentirnent that I shall \rnnt your help before the n ight i s over." "Maybe you've mactle a miS i:t was p ossible to squeeze. The Fat \Vornan grated her teeth at the sig ht. But if this en r aged her, what can be said of the words of endearment that r eached her ears? ownest to11>tsey-wootsey !" said the Bearded_ Lady. ":'Ty pops'y,-wopsy !" declared the Living Skeleton ..... Then tl1ey put their lips together, and there wai the 11ound of a smack. "Fools!" hissed the Fat Wo1'11an. ,. I

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) BRA VE A N D BOLD. The giant favored Bert with a look of delight. But there was worse to come. "Do you know, toots ey-wootsey, I was a little afraid about you one time?" said the Bearded Lady. "Afraid? About what?" asked the Skeleton. "I was afraid you thought too much of the Fat Woman." "What, that big lump of fat? Not o n yout life I was only havin g a little fun with the big fool. I saw she was stuck on me, and I only wanted to jolly h e r along a little. She ain't in it with yon. "Oh, the despicable, wretch!" hissed the Fat Woma n, between h e r teeth. "l could kill you for that!" "I only wish I could h o ld you on my lap, sweetsey-weetsey," said the Skeleton; "but, alas! that pleasure is denied me." "No," r ejoi n e d the Bearded Lady. "I am afraid I should break you in two if I should try to sit on y ou." The words gave the Fat \\To man an inspiration. \11/ith a quickness of movement Bert did not believe her capable of she rmhed into the tent. hurled the R e a rd cd Lady aside with one hand, and threw the Living Skeleton to the ground with the oth er. 'Ihen she carefully and d e liberately planted her huge figure .upon the prostrate man' s stomach. I'll sit o n yoti !" she exclaimed "You vile, despicable wretch I I'll sit on you as you ought to be sat on! Yes, yes; I'll sit on you and break you in two!" CHAPTER XXV. THE ELOPEMENT OF THE GIANT AND TIIE FAT WOMAN. "You despicable wretch, you base deceiver, you infamous stealer of women's hearts and trafficker in their affections, you-Oh, I could s it on you, and sit on you, and sit on you!" Each time the Fat W oma n said "sit on you" s he bounced up and came down upon the abdomen of the unfortunate Living Skelet on like a ton wei ght. "Oh, oh!" he gasped, "you will kill me sure!" By this time the Bearded Lady, who had been standing by, aghast at the proceedihgs, thought fit to interfere. Approaching the Fat Woman s he assumed a threatening at titude and said, menacingly: "Get off him!" 1Now there 'll be some fun ," thought Bert Breeziway, who, wi t h Hugo, the giant, was an amused witness of the scene. But the Fat Woman merely fa\ored the Bearded Lady with a glance of lofty contempt. The latt er, emboldened, advanced n ea rer, and repeated, with a more menacing expression: "Get off him." "Get out, you, or I'll pull your whiskers out!" exclaimed Baby Bunting. "You ought to be ashamed to s how your face! You ought to be tarred and f eathered! You ought to be roasted alive, you deceitful thing!" "Get off of--" began the Bearded Lady, though not so ag gressiYely as before; but the Fat Woman cut her short. "Do you want me to throw you down a nd sit on you, too?" she exclaimed, making a moti o n to ri se an d with such a business-like air that the bewhisker ed one retreated in alarm '"Won't you please get off me, dear?" pleaded the wretched Living Skeleton, in abject tones. "You really have no id e a how heavy you are." "Haven't I. Well, I have some idea how base you are, scoun drel!" exclaimed the Fat Woman, wrathfully. "I have found you out now, you soulless wretch, you d ece iver! Oh, you cur, you snake, you reptile! Oh, give me a man!" Here was Hugo's chance. Like a flash he took advantage of it. "Herc he is, sweet Baby Bunting, if you will but have him!" he exclaimed. "What?" gasped the Fat Woman. "You say, 'give you a man,' and it gives me supreme bliss to offer myself. Be mine, darling, and make me the happiest person in the world!" And the giant dropped on one knee before the lady of his heart. The Fat Woman looked at him in surprise. It was clear from her face that she had not expected any such avowal. But it was equally clear that she was not altogether dis pleased .. She slightly shifted her position on the Living Skeleton. That unhappy wretch groaned and she sat on him a little harder. "Fair Baby Bunting, I have long admired you from a dis tance," said the giant "In secret I have long worshipped at your shrine. Be mine and make me the happiest Of men! Elope with me! Let me take y o u to the parson, and we will be made one In his earnestness Hugo forgot that there were listeners to his prop osal. "You want me to elope?" asked the Fat Woman. "Yes." "Why?" "It is a pet idea of tnine I think it is the nicest way ta get married "When-now ?" "Well-er-not exactly," said Hugo. "I bad fixed on tomorrow night." A look of decisi o n came into the Fat Woman's eyes "If you want m e you can take me," she said, "'but it must be to-ni ght. One man ha s played with me; I will not let another. "Well, I thought to-morrow night," said Hugo, taken aback at such a prompt decision. "We will b e at Chest e r and--" "Now or never!" said Baby Bunting. The giant l ooke d at Bert "I think I should take Baby Bunting at h e r word,'' said our hero "It is bad m anne r s to keep a lady waiting." "All right; to-ni g ht, then," said Hugo. "I am ready; but if you want me you will have to take me," said the Fat \\Toman. She l oo ked up at the giant with a smile that seemed to say, "I know you can't." But she did not credit him with the strength he possessed. "I'll take you," he said, and stooping down lifted h er bodily in hi s strong arms, big as she was. With his burden he marched out of the tent, and s trode away from the circus grounds toward the village, Bert at his si de. "Vl/e will get a carriage," said the giant. "No." declared the Fat vVoman; "no carriage. If you want me you carry llie to the mi11ister." "All right," said Hugo, manfully. \V ell was it for him that he was a giant, with a giant's strength. He walked along as fast as he could with his ponderous bur-den, and Bert k ept pace with him. "Thi s is the gayest old elopement I ever heard of," thought our hero. The Fat Woman had a shawl over her head, which she h;id hastily snatched up as she was borne out. Presently they r eached the streets of the village. The giant evidently had his work laid out. Perspiration was streaming down his face, and he was becoming exhausted with hi s ponderous burden. He gave Bert a look that said: "I can't hold out much long e r." At that moment a man came along. Bert accosted him on the in sta nt. "\\'here does the nearest minister live,,, he demanded. The m a n stared at the oddly-assorted trio. "Minister?" "Yes; minister, pars o n, priest-anybody who can marry p eople. Where does th e nearest one live?" blocks ahead. It's the Reverend Mr. Starchly: his name s on the door. "Thanks!" and Bert bolted down the street on the instant. Straight onward he ran. He da s hed along at high speed, totally forgetful of his skirts and the fact that he was supposed to be a young lady. Fortunately there were few pedestrians abroad. and no one wit nessed the startling conduct of "Miss Rosie O'Grady. At last Bert had traversed the prescr ibed number of blocks. Keeping his eyes ope n he saw, a few h ouses further on, a door plate b eari ng the name he sought A vigorous pull at the b e ll brought to the d oo r a tall, spare man. This is Mr. Starchly ?" asked Bert. "I am the Reverend Mr. Starchly, yes." "You are just the person I want. Come with me, pleas e Before the minister knew what had happ e ned Bert had grasped him by the arm, pulled him out upon the s idew alk and was hurr ying along in the direction of the giant and his bmde n. "What-what--" begall the minister, excitedly.

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BRA VE AND BOLD. "Pardon my rudeness, but it is important, v ery important," said Bert. "But, my dear young l a dy, I haven't got my hat on. I mM-St go back after it. And this is th e coat I w ea r o nly in the house, too. I always change it when I go inf6 the .street." "Let the coat and hat go this time., for once, urged Bert. "This is a very, very important m atter." "It must be some poor creature dying and anxious to have a last prayer said," thought the clergyman, impresse d by his earnestness. Bert guessed what was passing in his mind, and wondered what he would sa y when h e discov .. ed t h e real reason for ha-ste. Then h e thought of Hug0 staggering along 1unde r weight of the Fat W o man, and the whole matt e r o f tlte "elopement" struck him in such a ludicrous light that he could not refrain from bursting into a loud laugR. Thoroughly startled, the clergyman turned and darted a look of apprehe nsion at kis companion. A thrill of alarm shot tluough him. The whole circt:Jmstance was so strange; the suddenness of the call, Bert's importunity, the lateness of the hour. And now this apparently causeless laugh I What did it all mean? There could be hut one solut ion in the clergyman's mind. "Merc iful !" he a ske d himself, 'am I in the clut;ch of a maniac? If so, may heaven protect me!'.' CHAPTER XXVI. AN LEPHANT ON THE RAMPAGE. The Rever-end Mr. Starchjy was hardly to be blamed for his fear tha t Bert was a m aniac. Our hero's actio ns were so strongly at vari a nce with his assumed character as to favor any startling supposit i o n. But Bert himself h ad no idea of the min'ister's thoughts as he hurrie d along. He was thinking instead of the giant a nd his inamorata. "She is crazy, she is surely in sane!" thought the cle rgym an. "\\'onder if she would go so far as to turn o n me and tear me to pie ces; one can never tell wh1t these maniacs will do. Was there ever such a situation? Oh, d ea r I oh, de ar!" He would.have turned and bolted for home at once, but was afraid such an action would draw on him the very attack he dreaded. And all this time Bert, with a grasp on his arm, was hurrying the wretched man along. At last they came in sight of Hugo. That l uckless eloper was all but played out. He was so exhausted h e could go no further. He had backed up against a buildrng, where he le aned still desperately holding fa1t to the Fat \rVoman. "Oh, if :Miss O'Grady would on ly come I'! he said to himself again and again. "I can't stand this thing much I shall have to let her drop in a minute or two, I know I shall!" The perspiration stood out on his forehead in big beads,-and his body was as wet with it as though he h:1.d just been pulled out of the, river. As t o Baby Buntin g, she seemed to extract :1. hug-e amount of enj oyment from the situation. The efforts of the giant gave her much amusement. \ Vas it not b eca us e h e wanted her badly that he was doing this thing? "It's n o use," thought the giant. "I've got to let h e r drop. I can't h o ld out any longer." Tben he thought of how the Living Skeleton would grin at suc h a n outcome. The reflection m a de him grit his teeth with fiercer determina tion. "No, I'll be hanged if I'll let that bag of bones have the laug>h on me! I guess I can stand it a f ew minutes yet." It was .at that moment Ber.t and the minister appeared,. No dying wretch ever welcomed the apj:\roac h of those who were c omi n g t o save his life with more hewly-made wife, "just carry me back a gain and we will--" ''Cany ,YOU back again I" efclai med the gia nt. "Shades of suffcnng I s ra e l I not on your photograph, madam! If there i sn't any way you can ride ba ck you ca n make up your mind to walk!" It is needless to observe that tl)ic elopement and marriage of the gfant and Fat \ Voman excited the livelies t inter-est and amuse m ent among the m embe r s of the Great Continental Circus. \ Vhen the story c2.me out on their return they were overwhelmed with congratulations. The incident of h ow the Living S keleto n h11d been "sat on" also got around and he was the l a ugh in g-stoc k
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BRA VE AND BOL D He indicated with a nod the largest and most unruly animal of the lot. Tip, or Tippoo Tib, was the latest addition to the menagerie, havin g been purchased by Mr. Sellers but a few weeks before. and. in the words of i\Ioses, was not yet thoroughly "broken in." yo u don't mean to say he was wild when you got him?" asked Bert. "Oh, no; not at all. The old man got him from another circus. But he knows there's been a complete change-elephants are smart-and he thinks maybe he can cut up with me a little; wants to find out what I'm made of. I'll show him quick enough," added the trainer, grimly. '1-l e will break out, you think, then?" "He will, sooner or later." "Don t you ever feel afraid of them?" "Kever. Just as soon as I get that way, said Moses, earnestly, "I had better get out of this business on the jump. If I don't my funeral ,,ill follow in short order. Never let wild animals know you are afraid of them; make them afraid of you." "'How about governing them with kindness?" asked Bert. "Kindness is all ri ght in some cases, but for myself I would ne ver trnst any obedience that did not ha\'e fear at the bottom of it. Just l ook at that fellow now. He inclic;:ted Tippoo Tib, who was re garding them with wick ed little eyes, as though he actually und erstood all that was said. It was in the division of the tent devoted to the menagerie that the c onversat ion occl1rred. Cages c ontai ning lions. tigers, leopards and other animals were ranged along the walls. The elephants stood in a row, chained fo1 cfoot and hindfoot to stakes driven in th e ground. Tip was at one end of the line. "He does look wicked," said Bert. "Oh, he means mischi ef. beyond a doubt. He intends to break out soon. I would just as lief he \\'Ouid do it now, so that I could have it over with him once for 2'1." The. trainer's wish was gratified more promptly than he had dre:nned Tip began to strain at his chains with savage intensity, as thou gh to lireak loose. "Stop that; be quiet!" ordered :\loses, peremptorily The animal looked straight ?.t him with his little eyes, and pull ed more vigorously at his chains. The trainer knew that the time of the battl e for supremacy had arrived Tip's restlessness w:J.s communioting itself to the other ele phants \\'ho w ere beginning to show s i gns of uneasiness. Moses knew this must be stopped al once. "Be quiet, I tell you," he cried, catching up a pitc h fork and approaching the r ebel. At that n'oment he tripped ove r a stake and fel! to the ground, just in front of Tip. Bert uttered a cry of horror: "He'll be killed!" The trainer tried to roll ont of t h e way, hnt his coat caught on a stake and held him. The pitchfork h ad fallen from his hand s and he \ \as helpless. Trumpeting shrilly, Tip rushed forward to hring his huge foot down on th e prostrate man and trample the life out of him. Moses looked up at Bert. "Quick!" he gasped. "Take the pitchfork and jab it into him hard. Don't be afraid It's my only chance." Bert did not hesitate for the fracti ,.m of a second. Catching up th e weapon he rushed f earles>ly at the a:1gry though in his heart he believed the attempt was 11seless, and that the li\es of both the trainer and himself would be s:tcr'ficcd to the furious animal. CHAPTER XXVII. HOW THE ELEPHANT RAN AWAY. With a desperation born of the knowledge that two lives hung upon the outcome of his effo rt, Bert rushed at the rebellions Tip. Lunging forward with the pitchfork he dro\'e the shining prongs once, twice, thrice into the elephant. The blood spurted forth as he withdrew the weapon, and the sharp forks were dyed \\'ith it. "Back! back! get back!" cried Bert, l oudly "He afterward wondered that the elephant did not seize him with his trunk, swing him high in the air and then dash him to the earth. But Tip did nothing of the kind. He recoiled from the sharp prongs of the pitchfork, evidently having no desire to feel it further. This gave Moses a chance to scramble to his feet and take a hand in the battle. "Here, let me have it!" he exclaimed, and catching the weapon from Bert's grasp he ran forward and jabbed it again and again through Tip's tough hide. The animal did not attempt to fight back. He trumpeted shrilly, but it was evidently vith fear, and h e seemed desirou:> only of getting away from the sharp points of the pitchfork. ''There, I guess that will do," said Moses as, satisfied that his charge was thoroughly conquered, he desisted from his efforts; "I guess he'll be a pretty good elephant for a while." "I hope so, for one," said Bert. "I want to thank you, Miss O'Grady. You saYed my life. When I was there on the ground I thought it was all up with n1e." "Don't speak of it. I am glad it ended as well as it did." "It was a mighty brave thing, though. Not many men would dare to do what you did, or do it as promptly and well. You are the plucki es t girl I ever saw." "vVe'll let it go at that, then," laughed Bert, wondering what the elephant trainer would say if he knew how much of a "gir!" he really was "Tip will have a better opinion of you, too. after this, as well as of me, or I miss my guess I shouldn't wonder if you became good friends." Bert said nothing about his latest exploit, but Moses took pains to spread the news of it as soon as possible. Our hero was over whelmed with praise and congratulations, and it was agreed upon every hand that Rosie O'Grady was an acquisition the circus could not afford to lose Bert did not allow his almost fatal encounter with Tip to keep him away from the elephant tent. He was interested in the great brutes, and thought he should lik e to know them better. l\loses, too, he lik ed, and enjoyed watching him put his giant charges through their p aces So it happ ened that considernble of his spare time was spent in the company of the elephant trainer. "You just make friends with these elephants, miss." said Moses. "It may stand you in good some day. Though th ey are unruly and u gly at tim es, elephants sometimes are very faithful to persons they lake a fancy to. Take a little pains to make friends with them, and I'm sure you w on't be sorry." Bert followed this advice, and the elephants came to know him and to look eagerly for his coming. for he filled his pocket s with peanuts or other things they were fond of b efore he went in. Singularly enough, it was Tip, the one-time reb e l and would-he murderer. who seemed to favor him m ore than all. He would plainly show his plcasnre when Bert came in, and would reach out his trunk and beg for d a inties in a manner a lmost human. "Tip has tak e n a big fancy to you," said Moses. "Yes," replied Bert, skeptically; ''it's either that or he's fonder of the peanuts than the others. '!\ait and see," said Moses. Two day s l ate r h e had some new s for Bert. "The old man want s somebody to ri de one of the elephants 111 the morning parad es, he said "How would you like to do it, Miss O'Gradv ?" "The old riian" meant :\Ir. Bridgman. "Ride one of them? How?" asked Bert. "He's going to haye a ho\\'dah on the elephant's back and wants som e one to sit in it." "I shotdd think he would select you for that position." "Hardly. He dont want any grizzled old chap like me if he can get a pretty young lady lik e '.\Iiss O'Grady," l ;rnghed Moses. "That will do sir. No m ore compliments, if you please," re plied Bert, imitating the air and manner of a young lady to perfection "How about the eleph;int riding?" "Oh, I am perfectly willing to sit in the h o\Ydc:; if :\
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" BRAVE AND BOLD. came to Mabel's ears. She declared that she positively must ride i11 the howdah, too. "But aren't you afraid?" asked Bert. "vVhat, with you? Not at all," replied Mabel, promptly and decidedly. "You've got too high an opinion of me," laughed Bert, color mg. "I am not invincible." "I've got my opinion and I'm going to keep it. It isn't too high, either," declared l\1abel. Seeing the uselessness of prolonging the discussion, Bert sub sided. The next day was the one on which he and Mabel were to make their debt.I as elephant riders. Ar the proper time, as the morning procession was forming;, Moses had Tip, gayly caparisoned and with a gorgeous howdah upon his back, waiting in line. Bert and Mabel mounted by means of a rope ladder to the car, and seated themselves within, and in a few minutes the proces sion was in molion. It was a country village called Bentonville where they were to show that day. The people, of course, had turned out in force, not only the inhabitants of tlw town, but numbers from miles around, for the circus came hut once a year. Tippoo Tib behaved very well on the whole, though at first 1he car on his back, to which he was unaccustomed, seemed to make him uneasy. But Bert spoke to him reassuringly and the now well-known voice had a quieting effect upon the elephant. He went along docilely enough. Our hero could not help thinking, however, 1 hat it would have been better to have given him a few rehearsals with the howdah before it was tried in public. Still all seemed to be going very well. But Fate was lying in wait for the discomfiture and undoing of Tip. Fate on this occasion had her abode in the being of a small boy. Said small boy had come out to see the parade. He stood in the front row of spectators watching the circus go by, and his heart was tilled with joy at the sight. The measure of his happi ness was full or almost so. But there was one thing wanting. The small boy had some big torpedoes in his pocket that he yearned to use. He kn ew they would make a splendid noise, and it seemed a shame not to fire them off at once. "Wouldn't it be bully to throw them into the middle of the i:i rcus,"' he thought. "I bet they just would jump." While this entrancing thought was in his mind the elephants came along, and th e :;mall boy's decision was taken in a trice. "I'll throw my torpedoes at the elifints. Won"t it be fine to sec them da11ce !" Vlith the reckles s ness and deviltry char11cteristic of the small boy. he selected Tip as the fir st object of his operations. "I wanter see if he'll sling them people onter that house on his back, he thought. To think was to act. Into his pocket went a hand, out it came, was raised, drawn back and swung forward, and the torpedo was hurled. Bang! The missile struck Tip on the head, squarely between the eyes, and exploded with what was to him a frightful no ise He was alarmed on the instant. He reared up, waved his trunk in the air, and began to trumpet shrilly. "Look out, look out! The elephant's going to run away!" was the affrighted cry raised by the spectators. "Look out, or he'll tread on you!" The frightened people 'pressed back ha s tily from the curb, and those who w e re not hemmed in by the crowd turned and ran. A panic was imminent. But Bert Breeziway did not lose his presence of mind. "Down. Tip. down!" he exclaimed, sharply, to the elephant. The brute, however, gave no heed to the familiar tones; in hiE frigiH it is doubtful if he recog)lized them. Suddenly whirling about he made for a spot where the crowd was most open. People saw him coming, and with frantic crie! made haste to get out of his way. The elephant burst through the crowd and started on a wild run down a side street. He was thoroughly aroused, and it was impossible to tell what damage might not be done before he quieted down. The position of Bert and Mabel was one of the greatest peril; while from the rear could be heard the cries of persons who had probably been trampled on, and doubtless fatally injured by the elephant in his mad rush through the crowd. CHAPTER XXVIII. MABEL'S SECRET ENEMY. Tippoo Tib was losing no time in getting over the ground. He rushed along at a rapid pace, despite Bert's commands to him to halt. The eleplnnt kept on d own the street to the end, and then straight onward still. The thoroughfare was con tin ued in a country road, and along this the animal made his way. A new danger now became apparent. Trees grew on either side of the way and their branches extended overhead. So far there had been room enough for the elephant and the howdah to pass. But shou ld it transpire that the branches grew lower further on, which was more than likely, the most serious consequences might e nsue. A branch, !hick and st r ong, grew out low across the road. Its h eight from the ground was such that it would evidently just about graze th e elephant's back. As for the howdah-"It's coming!" thought flert. He put his arm arouIHl :\label. h olding the cushions tightly about her form. At the same time he made one last attempt to avert the peril. "Stop, Tip, stop!" he shouted. The command was as vain as before; the elephant rushe d on. Ilert set his teeth together and waited. A moment later the catastrophe occurred. Tip came the limb and passed it safely, but it caught the ho\\'d a h squartly at the bottom. There was a frightful shock. Tlien the howdah was torn from its lashings. The eleph
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BRA VE AND BOLD. But he knew instinctively what had happened; his leg was broken. "Well, here is a fi.x for fair!" he exclaimed. He had spoken aloud, and the sound attracted the of some one sitting back in one corner of the room. The person came forward to the bedsicie, and he was ove!' j oyed to see that it was Mabel. She walked with a springing step and there was a smile on her face. She, at least, had suf fered no ha11m. "Oh, Bert! I did not know yon were awake," she said, l ea ning over the bed and laying a hand on his. "I wasn 't-till about a minute ago," was his prompt answer. "What's all this business, anyhow?" "Oh, Bert! Y.ou-you broke your leg, and all on my account!" She took his face in her hands and began to sob. "That's all right; that don't amount anything. You didn't aet hurt, did you, Mab?" "No You see, you held me so that when we fell you were under me, and tha.t was what caused it. The do cto r said that if I hadn't fallen on you your leg wouldn't have been broken." And Mabel began to cry again. "That's all right, Mab; don't cry. I didlil't want you to get hurt. But I thought I hit on my head first?" "So you did, and that is cut, too. The doctor had to attend to it. JJ Bert put his hand to his forehead and felt a bandage. '"How did w e get here ,,, he asked. "What b eca m e of Tip?" "I don't know where he is. He ran right on, and I haven't heard an-ything about him since. You see, Bert, where we were thro.wn off was only a short distance down the road from this house. Mr. Felton li1es here and he is very rich. W e ll. he was going over to the v ill age on horseback and came along just as we fell. He had us brought here at once by his servants, had a doctor come a nd attend to you, and eYerything: It was awful good of him, wasn "t it, Bet't ?" "Yes," said Bert. Then after a short pause, he asked : "How lon g have I been here, Mner. He did not doubt that he did. "I guess you will get along all right," said the other. "I will send some one in pres<'ntly with a little lunch and to see if there is anything else you want." Bert thanked him, and after a few more words Felton with-drew. Our hero had another thought. "J\1ab," he said, "they know I am not a girl, don't they?" "Yes," answered Mabel. "When the doctor cut the hair away to bandage your head he found out it was a wig." "Did they say anything to you about it?" "No, no t a word. But I know they know." Bert rel apsed into silence and though Even though in the midst of enemies, had "it not been for his injury, he would not have feared. But with a broken leg, what could he do to de fend Mabel when the danger came? He felt as helpl ess as 11babe, and grated jqis teeth as he thought of his own impotence. For a moment a feeling of despair swept over Bert. But then his courag e arose with the desperation of the case "Mab," he said, "go and look out of the window a few moments; please '"What for, Bert?" "I am going to get up." "No, no; you must not do that. The doctor said you could not get up for several days "Mab, you can trust me, can't you? You have confidence in n1e ?" "Of course I have, Bert." "Then believe me, I am tl:loroughly in earnest when I say that it is absolutely necessary for our own safety that we get away froin here at once. No, don't lo ok at me that way. I haven't got any fever or delirium; I know just what I am talking about. Perhaps you will believe me a little more when I tell you that I know positively that this Mr. Felton is the man who hired those two tramps to kidnap you, with the intention of eventually putting vou out of the way. I will tell you more when we get out side." Mabel was thoroughly convinced now. Her face was the color af marble and she was trembling like a leaf. "Don't be afraid," said Bert. "We will get through all right. I will beat these ras cals yet, even if I have a broken leg. Once we get aw:iy from h e re we'll be all right." His companion made no further objection to his plans. She went to the window and looked out, while he put on the gai:-

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BRAVE A N D BOLD ments of Miss Rosie O'Grady, that young lady who now, alas, was unmasked. At last he was ready. "Mab, this room is on the ground floor, is it not?" "Yes." "That's good. Now, I must have a pair of crutches; can't get along without them." Hen: it seemed they were brought to a standstill, but Bert's fertility of invention came to the rescue "See if the bed has slats," he said. "Yes," exclalmed Mabel, on examination, and pulled out tw of them. Using these as crutches and partly supported by Mabel, Bert managed to walk to the door. It opened upon the l awn Fortunately, the house was built partly upon a slope of ground, so that while there was a wide stoop of several steps in front, there was but one step to the rear entrance, out of which the fugitives now made their way. "While there's life there's hope," thought But. ''Never say die." But his will-power was greater than his physical strength. They had only got as far as the barn when he felt that he must stop. "Mab," said Bert, "I am. afraid I won't be able to get on fast enough. It is harde r work than I thought it would be. Do you think you could go on. alone to the village-it can't be so farfind Mr. Bridgman and tell him what has h appened?" "I will do just what you say, Bert. You know what is best." "Well, then, I think your best plan would be to l oo k out for a farmhouse. The fir st one you come to ask them to hitch up and drive you in to the circus Tell them Mr. Bridgman will pay whatever they ask and they'll do it quick enough. Then tell him everything, and he'll know what to do." "All right, I\ert, I will go, then, though I don't like to leave you at all. I-oh, what's that?" The last words were called forth by an unexpected occurrence. There was a sound of heavy footbeats and the next minute a l ong the road, coming into their view from beyond the barn, appeared Tippoo Tib, the runaway elephant! "Oh, Bert, look1 look! It's Tip!" "I see him. Here, Tip, Tip I" called our hero "Don't call him; he will hurt' you." "No, he won't. I'm not at all afraid of that." At sound 0 the familiar voice the elephant stopped and looked around, turning his head in several directions before he discov ered Bert. But as soon as he did so he came running toward h im, flourishing his trunk and giving every indication of joy. He stopped in front of the boy and put his trunk out for peanuts. Bert found he had a few which had hot been taken from his pockds and gave them to the elephant. Tip promptly disp ose d of them. "Now I'm all right!" exclaimed Bert, joyfu!Iy. "I'd like to see Felton or any one else dare to lay a hand on me \\'bile Tip is here!" Barely had Bert spoken when around the corner of the barn came the person to whom he refcned: the villain was followed by two big stout men-servants whom he had brought .along to assist him. "Ah, here they are now!" he exclaimed, at sight of the fugitives. He started as he saw the elephant, but did not seem alarmed. '"What does this folly mean?" he demanded, addressing Bert. "Do you not know that the doctor said you must not move, much less get out of bed?" "It means that I know you, villain, and that I would not trust myself in your house for an hour," returned our hero, boldly. "What! You are impudent!" Felton rai sed his cane, menacingly. ''Look out for the elephJnt, sir!" warned one of the men. Tip had moved up to Bert's side, and his little eyes, directed at Felton, had an ugly look in them. Plainly he did not like the man 's actions. "You had better be careful," said our hero. "That elephant is a pet of mine and he gets ugly on occasions. If you attempt to strike me I won't be re spo n s ible for the consequences "Won't you? Don't think you can fri g hten me with your big talk. Take that, and let it teach you better!" cried Felton. Ru shi n g at Bert h e brought the cane down in a swinging st roke that gave the boy a vicious cut across the face. But he had no time to r epea t the blow, if suc h was his inten ti on. With a hoarse bellow of rage the elephant lunged out and seiz e d him with his trunk. "Tip, Tip!" cried Bert, frantically. Heedless of the shouts, the great animal, encircling Felton's body with his trunk, swung him high in the air, then hurled him with ;;reat for ce to the ground and trampled the prostrate body with his huge forefeet. The two m en-servants ran, terror-stricken, for the house. Bert and Mabel were left alone with the angry elephant, which was th oro ughly aroused again and a very d e mon. CHAPTER XXX. HOW IT ALL CAME OU T, "Tip, Tip!" cried Bert, frantically. "Stop, Tip!" "Tip!" repeated another voice. "Aha, here's the rascal, flow!" "Moses!" exclaimed Bert, joyfully. Mos es, indeed, it was, rnme up at this most opportune moment, at the head of severa l of the circus men, with whom he had been searching for the animal since he had bolted from the parade. Moses did not waste any time in words, rushed at Tip with a pitchfork, and as soon as the animal saw the weapon and recog nized his master he drew back and became as submissive as a lamb. "Killed a man!" exclaimed the trainer. "I wouldn't have had this h appe n for a fortune." "It is a terrible thing," said Bert, "though the man is one of the greatest scoundrels that ever went unhung.'" They bent over Felton and found he was not dead. In haste the elephant's feet had only grazed his body, and had it not b ee n for the shock sustained when the animal hurled him to the ground he might have recovered. As it was, he was injured i n ternally and had but a short time to live. "He must have a doctor!" exclaimed Bert. "One of you run over to the house and tell them to get one in a hurry." One of the circus men darted away at once. But the injured man f e ebly shook his head. "I don't want a d octo r," he manag e d to say. "I want a con fes so r. I am past mortal aid. I have been a bad, sinful man all my tile. May G o d have mercy on my guilty soul!" "He will have mercy," said Mabel, bending over the dying ma n with tears in her eyes. "He will forgive you if you pray to h im like that."

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BRA VE AND BOLD. "You say this to me!" exclaimed Felton. "You, who m I have wron ged, robbed and t1ied to murder! Do you forg1ve me?" "Yes, yes; freely!" cried Mabel. The dying man c10sed his eyes a moment with weakness; then he opened them again. "Lift my head up a little h e s aid. "I can talk easier th a t way, and I have a confession to make." They lifted his head, and two of the circus menput their coats un der it. This seemed to ease him somewhat. Listen closely to what I say," he said, "fo r my time is short, and I shall have to use few words. "I do not ri ghtfully own this house, or barn, or this estate, or any of the millions I have invested. They all belong to Mabel Trescott." A murmur of amazemen\ greete d the statement, and none was m ore surprised than Mabel her self. The dying man went on: "I hav e been a wicked man. God forgive me!" "He will fdr g ive said 1Iabel. "Will you forg'ive me?" "Yes I do." "Pray for me." Mabel pray ed simply and fervently al0t1d for the soul of t he d ying man. As he listened a 'look of peace crept over his face. Once more he spoke slowly and with difficu'lty. "'.fell-my wife you-me Mabel TJ Mabe l and take h erself off at once, but the generous hearted girlbvould not hear of it. "You must stay ri ght h e re," s he said. "There is enough for b ot h of us, and I shall want some one foc company, you know." She insisted so strongly on this arrangement that Mrs. Felton finally consented. Mabe l n ever h ad cause to r egret her action, for in all things Mrs. Felton has since been like a mother to her. "Well, now, what am I going to do?" a s ked Bert. "YOU are going to s t ay right h ere and keep quiet until your leg gets b e tter, for one thing," said Mabel. While he was playing invalid Bert thought it would be a id ea to write a letter to his old chum at Forest Heights Academy, Charlie Chester, apprisi ng him of his whereabouts, how he had g o t along and what generally sin c e parting In prompt reply he re ce ived an enthusiastie scrawl from Ches ter, the substance o! which was as follows: "DEAR BERT: I co uld jump to the skies, I was so g lad to hear fr o m Come back, come b ack Just as soon as your l'eg will a llow you to travel, right back to Forest Heights. You y.re all solid h'ere. Bu}la-rd w crazy at all, t.,1t it was a put-up job between i)im and Senner to )'(JU believe h e was, get sea.red and run away, just as you d'iCl. It has aj_l come out, and, oh, wasn't there a tempest! The doe wanted to expel Bullard at once and the fellows wanted to tar-and-feather him and Sen n er. But the two worthies settled the matter bv running away vVe don't know wlly can. (Signed) "CHET." As Bert read this a great load was lifted from his heart. He was not, then, responsible for the loss of a fellow-creature's rea son. Glorious news! Mabel would not hear to leaving the house until his leg was perfectly well. She was afraid there would be some evil re sults to hi s sudden flight with her from the house. But good treatment and a capable doctor performed wonders, and in aboat two months the limb was as well as ever. Not even a temporary limp remained as a reminder of the injury. The n Bert and Mabel went back to the Great Continental Cir cus, not to appear as performers again, but to say farewell. They s a id it to the Li ving Skeleton and the Bearded Lady, to the giant and the Fat vVoman, to Signor Bonani, Mademoiselle Jeanne, Moses, Mr. Sell e rs and Mr. Bridgman, fri'ends tried and true. Bert had written h o me at the same time he wrote t6 Chester. His moth e r had 'been worried greatly about him, but his father had simply said "he knew the boy would turn up all right. Only the good die young." Mr. Bridgman and Mr. Sellers have gone out of the circus busi ness and are now joint proprietors of one of the best-paying th eatres in Chicago. Mr. Bridgman was Mabel's guardian until she b ecame of age, which happ ened a few years ago. Tippoo Tip has killed another man, and it is hardly likely th at he will. Fie is stiTI under charge of Moses, who is now su perintendent of one of the largest public museums in the country. The Giant and Fat Woman, neither of whom has ever had cause to regret the unique elopement and marriage, have retired as curiosities and are living in private on the fruits of years of museum po sing. May they live long and happily! The Living Skeleton and the Bearded Lady, who decided to also become man and wife, are still in harness. At this writing they are filling an engagement at a museum in New York City. Signor Bonani and Mademoisene Jeanne, who will never forget how she transformed Bert into a girl and fooled the entire circus company and a ll the world in general, are at present two of the .. bri ght, particular stars of the Barnum-Bailey show. Bert returned to Forest Heights to fini sh the course. Then he went up to Yale, where he is now, with Charlie Chester, who i s still his chum After he graduates an important event is sched ul ed to take pl ac e Just about that time Mi"ss Mabel Trescott, he iress, is going to be married. Who is to be th e fortunate other party to the transaction we will not particularize enough to say, but will leave our read e rs to guess, with the remark that Miss Trescott is wont to say that "there are plenty o.f boys and plenty of Berts in this world, but there is only one Bert Breeziway." THE END. Next week's issue, No. 16, will conta i n, ''Dick Hayes, Explorer; or, Lost in the African Jungle." One of thos e stories of adventure that every boy love s You can read it be s ide a good fire on a winter evening and imagin e that you yourself a-re hav ing the thrilling adventures that befall the hero. First he gets tangled up 1n a shipwreck, and that's only a starter, for ad venti.tres fall thick and fast about him He's the kind of a hero yo u like. A boy-jtist like yourself.

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' .)t A NEW WEEKLY! RA VE AND BOL 'D. New Weekly is a big Departure 'rom anything ever Published Before. NUMBER CONTAINS .A COMPLETE STORY AND THE STORIES ARE OF EVERY KIND. .. That means all descriptions of first-class stories. For every story published in BRA VE AND BOLD will be first-class in the best sense-written by a well-known boys author, full of rattling i nciden t and lively adventure, and brimming with interest from cover to cover. No matter what kind of a boy you are, no matter what your tastes are, no matter what kind of a story you prefer yo u will hail BRAVE AND BoLD with delight as soon as you see it. It is the kind of a weekly you ...... j have been wishing for. Variety is the spice of life, and Brave and Bold is well seasoned with it. STORIES OF ADVENTURE. STORIES OF MYSTERY. STORIES OF EXPLO = RATION IN UNKNOWN LANDS. STORIES OF LIFE IN GREAT CITIES. STORIES OF WONDERFUL INVENTIONS. No. I .-One Boy in a Thousand ; or, Yankee to the Backbone. By Fred Thorpe. No. 2.-Among the Malays; or, The .Mystery of The Haunted Isle. By Cornelius Shea. No. 3.-The Diamond Tattoo; or, Dick Hardy's Fight for a Fortune. By n. Boyington. No. 4.-The Boy Balloonists; or, Among Weird Polar People. By Frank .Sheridan. No. 5.-The Spotted Six; or, The Mystery of Calvert Hathaway. By Fred Thorpe. No. 6.-The Winged Demon; or, The Gold King of the Yukon. By W. C. Patten. No. 7..Stolen A .School-house; or, Sport and .Strife at .Still River. By E. A. Young. No. 8.-The Sea-Wanderer; or, The Cruise of the .Submarine Boat. By Cornelius .Shea. No. 9.-The Dark Secret; or, .Sam .ShoA, the Boy Stowaway. By Launce Poyntz. No. 10.-The King of the Air; or, Lost in the .Sar gasso Sea. By Howard Hoskins. No. l Young Silver Hunters; or, The Lost City of the Andes. By Cornelius Shea. No. 12.A Remarkable Voyage; or, The Fortunes of Wandering Jack. By Captain Geoff Hale. No. l 3.-The Knowlhurst Mystery; or, The .Strange Adventures of Leslie Norton. By Frank .Sheridan : No. 14. -The Diamond Legacy; or, The Queen of An Unknown Race. By Cornelius .Shea. No. 15.-Bert Breeziway; or, The Boy Who Joined a Circus. By Bert Tallyho. No. 16.-Dick Hazel, Explorer; or, Lost in the African Jungle. By Cornelius .Shea No.17.-The Electric Traveler; or, Underground to the Pole. By the author of Dick Hazel. Copies of the Brave a11d Bold Wecllly 1nay be purchased for Five Cents fro111 all Newsdealers, or from & SMITH, 238 William


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