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The moonshiners of the Ozarks; or, The boy who worked for Uncle Sam

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Title:
The moonshiners of the Ozarks; or, The boy who worked for Uncle Sam
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Montfort, Thomas P.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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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 )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028875072 ( ALEPH )
07230826 ( OCLC )
B15-00015 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.15 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
Brave and Bold

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Serial

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., r ,,, I; f \j.. C:N l;OfiiR:"E R STORIE 5 THAH CONTAINED I" ANY CENT LIBRARY PUB_LISHEP i t-PFt '_ .. :v "Stop, Hank Duncan, where you are," the girl cried. "Lay your hand on me aud I'll send a bullet through your heart the next instant."

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B E L .II Different Complete Story Every Week Issued Weekly. By Subscnption h.50 per year. Entered accordin!I' to Act of Congress in. the year rQOJ, in tlu Office of tile L1'brarian of CongreSJ, Washington, D. C:.: STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. No. !8. NEW YORK, April .a5, 1903. Prke Five Cents. THE MOONSHINERS OF THE OZARKS; OR, The Boy Wh'O Worked for Uncle Sam ... By THONlA.S P. JM:ONTFOR'r. CHAPTER I. "HANDS UP!" It was late in the afternoon of a beautiful June day, when Jack Marvin rein ed up his horse o n a little "rise" in the p ath, and looked leisurely around him on every side. After a careiul survey of his surroundings he drew a paper from his breast pocket, and scrutinizing it closely for a moment, he muttered half at:d ibiy: "I must be right, but things are from what I fancied. I expected to find this the m ost forlorn and God-forsaken spot on the green earth. and instead it is the most romantic and cap tiva ting place I ever saw. To be sure the country is rough and broken enough, and it don't appear that there could be anything in the way of civilization within miles of this, but still it would be a pleasure to :ive and dream away a life in this quiet, secluded nook, where ca r es and worries surely never come." Then taking another look around, Jack sat for a short time in a thoughtful attitude, after which he drew himself up with a g e s ture of sudd n and settled resolution. "Yes, I'm right," he murmured, "and the game is near. I'm ready for action, and the time has come to move with caution." The speaker was a young man of fine appearance, and some"'herc near t\\enty-five years old. Since early morning he had journeyed by ; m uncertain and little-used road that led off through the hills and breaks and up into the heart of the Ozark Mountain region. The way was through a wild, secluded section, and the only evidence of civilization that marked his course was the oc casional log hut that nestled at the foot of some towering bluff with its little patch of clearing. These huts were for the most part old and dilapidated, with rough clap-board doors, that rattled and screaked on their wooden hinges, while the front of the buildings were adorned with a large collection of coo n and other animal skins, tacked up to dry. For the greater part of the distance the road wound along the hanks oi the Mcramec River....:.a clear, shallow stream that flowed down from. the innumerable great springs away back in the mountains, which t umbled their waters down the precipitous ravines_ into the winding course of the river, where they dashed along over ) he sto ny, p e bbly bottom, whirling, swirling past the gre at, round, smooth bowlders that lined the way, and now dropping over some miniature waterfall into a foaming, noisy pool below. Time and again Jack stopped that day to listen to the music of the waters, or to gaze enraptured on the beautiful falls that cast up sprays, glistening like diam on ds in the sunlight. Time and. again the r oad crossed and recrossed the river, and onl y once, when the towering bluffs approach e d the river's edge on both sides, .had the path left the valley to wind its way among the huge stones that lay, as they had for centuries, along the brow pf the hills half jutting over into space, and seemingly needing but a breath to s end them crashing down to the river bed. To a man like Jack, who had spent all his life in the city, this wild weird scPne had an awe-in.spiring effect, and more than once as he rode along hew.as aware of a new feeling in his hearta feeling of supreme reverence for his Maker. Since about noon Jack had seen no marks of habitation, and the great, dark for.:st gave forth the appearance of having never l>cen invaded by man. The road had long since run out into a

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BRA VE AND BOLD. mere c at tle trail ; and as he pa sse d o n mile after m i le, t his g rew less and less distinct. Several times he stoppe d in doubt, a nd once he mad e up his mind that he was lost B ut, after consu l ting the paper he car ri ed in his pock et, whic h was a carefully-wo r ded direction, he rode on until at las t he c ame out o n the ris e" w h e re we found him in the beg inn i ng. "Yes, I'm right," he repeated; "there can be n o d oubt of tha t. But the question now is, how to proc eed It can be but a little way to th e 'ne st of the moonshiners, and I'm l iable to run into them at any time; and, as t hey are naturally susp icious quick to act, I 've got to u se the utmost caution. I don't \vant to make any fool break and get a hole put t h roug h me, and I'd lik e to m ove j ust right if I knew h ow, but i t's all in the d a rk, an d I'm most apt to do the very worst thing fir st. However, I'm i nto i t, a nd I mu st d d som
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BRA VE A N D BOLD. 3 virtue of necessity, for he understood the old man's manner too well to doubt the mtent of his words. "Then come erlong the mountaineer commanded, as he strode away down a narrow cow trail that wound across the little vale, then up the bre a k between two mountain cliffs. The way was rugged and steep, and J ac k almost despaired several times of ever reaching the end with his horse. As for the native he swung him se lf along the rough trail with perfect ease, and when at last they came out to a little clearing near the summit of th mountain, where a small, rickety, old Jog cabin sto o d, nestled back against the m o untain s ide, he seemed as pert and chipper as if he had only walked a few steps. "Reckon yer hain't much ust ter skinnin' up an' down moun: tains ?" he said to his companion, whe n they halte d at tfie yard fence. "No; this is my first experience," Jack replied, laughing "Pooty rough 'un, too, I j e d ge yer figger it." "Yes, a little r ough, but I think it must be healthy exercise." "vVal, this is whar I live. Think yer kin git erlong in sech er place?" "Oh, I shall find it comfortable enough," and as Jack said this he cast a despairing glance at the cabin an d its surroundings, and as be took in the whole sc e ne hi s h eart sank within him. It was truly anything but an i n spiring prospect. The situation was the most gloomy one ima g inable, with .nothing but tow ering mountains and deep, dark forests on every side. The old cabin had evidently stood for years, since a portion of the logs of which it was c o nstructed had d ecaye d and let one corner down at least two feet. He notic ed that the one small window contained but one pane of glass,, the other p a nes having be e n replaced with old clothing and an old hat; a nd h e n oticed that the shackled old door hung l oosely on one wooden hinge, while the fr ont of the build ing was extensively decorated with numerous coon skins tack e d up to dry. It was not a pleasing prospect, but J ack realiz e d that h e was in for it, and h e knew h ow to make the best of a bad bargain. So, swallow in g his re se ntment, he put on a c h eerful appearance, and follow e d his h ost p ast seve n or eight dogs and entered t h e c abin. I CHAPTER III. A PRETTY GIRL. J ack shudde r ed as he stood for a momrnt on the threshold of the hut, and cast a searchi n g g lanc e around. It was growing late, and the close little room was veiled in semi-darkness that made its contents appear but dimly. Yet he could see enough to satisfy him that 1t was a dreary, gloomy d e n, void of everything calcula t ed to pro mote either pleasure or comfort. A smoldering fire burned in t h e g r eat, d eep fireplace, while in one corner s at an old-fashioned cupboard. Over to the b ac k of the roo m was a bed, and h e re a nd there ab out the house stood a chair or two, a box or two, and other contriv a nces for seats. In one corner there was a ladd e r leading to a garret. The native poked the fire and in a moment it b egan to blaze, sending out light and warmth. "Do you live here alone?" Jack asked, seeing no evidence of a ny other person anywhere aboub "No, not ezactly the native repli ed. "I hev er gal, but she hain't in just now Reckon mebby s he's gone ter mill 'over ter Munger's. I hearn 'er say es how she'd layed off ter tote e r turn down thar ter-day. It's m o u ty ni g h time she wuz gittin' back, too. Reckon she'll be 'Jong soon. She'll put up yq1ur hoss an' feed 'im when she comes." "Is she your daughter?" "Yas." "Your wife is dead, I suppose?" "Y as ; she wuz took mor' n ten year ago, an' ever sence then me'n93et hes sorter grnbbed 'long he re ther best we could." Just then the two men were disturb e d by a noi se without, and the mountainee r, ri si ng, remarked: "Guess Bet has come." Alm os t sim ultaneou sly the door was pu s hed open and the girl entered, carrying a bag of m ea l on her shoulde r. As her eyes .Jell upon the stranger, she stopped for a moment, fiesitated, then; as a blush sp read over her face, she b owe d awkwardly and mut t e red a salutation. Jack shrugged his shoulders, and from his m an n e r it was evident that he was di sappointed in the girl. His look was a puzzled o ne, and the expression of his face denot e d that she was far from the sort of being he had pictured her out in his thoughts He had expected to find her a tall, dowdyish, awkward, sharp-featured, ill-br ed, ma sc uline woman, perchance bare headed and bare-footed, with unkempt hair and staring eyes. Instead. h e saw before him a plump, rosy-cheeked, blushing girl; po o rly dre ssed, it is true, but neat, with r eserved manners and downcast eyes-a bein g that seemed as much out of place in that cabin an d among her surroundings as a -diamond would be in a pile of rub bish. "A pretty girl, by Geor ge !" was Jack's mental c om ment. "And a born lady if ever there was one. "Bet," Rile Tucker-such was the mountaineer's n ame-ca lled, as the girl deposited the bag of meal on the floor, "this yere stranger hes come ter spen' the r night 'uth us, an' yer'd b est 'tend ter 'is ho ss." "All right, pap, I'll go an' fe ed 'im," and the g irl started toward the d oo r. 1 "No, I cannot permit it!" Jack exclaimed, coming before her. "Tell me where to put the horse, and where to find the f eed, and I'll go myself I cannot have a lady doing such things for me." The girl stood irresolute, and gaze d wonderrugly into the young man's eyes, as i f she could not comprehend his meaning It was the first time anybody had proffer e d to aid her in any thing, and stranger st111 to her ears w as the word lady. It was the first instance of her ever having been addressed as such, and somehow the word had a strange. soothing fas cination to her ears as contrasted with the word 'taJ." As for Tucker, he stood in a n attitude o f uncertainty. and for the time h e probably d oubte d his h earing; but, as he became satisfied it was no dre
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4 BRA VE AND BOLD. friend, so I'll put my own horse away, and exempt your daugh ter from that much work that does not belong to her duties.'' Jack went out, leaving father and daughter to digest their astonishment, little dreaming h ow much his words ould affect his future. "Bet!" the old man called. "Yes, pap." "Yer must go over ter Hank Duncan's an' tell 'im I want 'im.'' "When?" "N ow-ter-night." "But it' s a good six mile, pap, an' the night jest awful dark, an' yer know what sort o' er road it air." ( "I can't help that, Bet. I got ter see riank ter once, an' I reckon yer kin git thar some way." "Ef yer say so, I kin try," s he replied, with an air of resigna tion "Whut must I tell Hank?" "Tell 'im ter come here airly ter-morry mornin'; I want 'im ter g it yere by sun up 'ithout fail." The girl was ready to go, but h esitated. There was something she wanted to say, but s h e could not bring herself to speak, and for some time she stood twitching her fingers. "Whut air ye waitin' f e r, Bet?" the old man asked. "Why don't ye go?" "Pap, is my goin' got anything ter do with that f e ller out thar ?" "Whut yer mean, gal, by axin' that?" "Yer know what I mean. Is he a detective?" "I dunno. That's what I want ter see Hank erbout. He's to d much for me, an' though I don't b'leave he'd know, still ef he wuz ter see it, I hain t will in' ter take no c h a nces on 'im. Them chaps is purty slick, an' he may be er spy I l ow Hank kin tell." "Then, yer won't do nothin' to 'im ?" "I dunno till I see Hank. Ef he sees fit ter let 'im go, why it 's all right; but ef we think he's liable t e r be d angerous, we'll send 'im 'long o' them other ch a p s whut come fool in' 'round h ere We can t erford t e r t a ke no chances on nobody." "Pap"-and the girl s voice was all a-tremble, and strangely soft and e arnest-"I wish you d give up mak in' whiskey, gi t erway from them men up thar, an' leave th e se here mountains for good. I t's er awful thing ter kill off them m e n the way they d o." "What's got inter yer, gal?" the old man exclaimed. "What put th e m fool ije es inter yer head?" The n, without waiting for her t o repl y he commanded her to go, and y she ob e y ed CH:APTER IV. TERRIBLE PERIL. H a n k Du n c a n lived away i!Cross the mountains it was inde e d a rough way that led to his house The road wound up and down gorges, back and forth across the M e ramec River, and sometim e s aiong pass e s so narrpw that a h o r s e coul d with the utmost difficul t y pass through between the towering cliff on the one side and the yawning aby s s on the oth er. It was a road that few p e ople would hav e ca r e d to travel in the bright light of day, and it i s no w ond e r Bet hesitated to attempt i t on one of the darkest nights that ever s ettl e d down over the earth. But as much as the girl dreade d the undertaking, there was another and much greate r cau se for her he s itation. She knew H a nk Duncan w e ll, and he kn e w him to be the leader of the m oo n s h i n ers o f t h e O z a r ks-a m a n w ith o ut principle or feeling, wh o se hands were s tained with the blood of more than one o f hi s fellow-kine!. She k new th at in Hank Dncan s hand s no man's life was safe, and that but a brea th of s u s picion against' a stranger was sufficient to send him to hi s death. She feared for Jack Marvin, and trembled at the thf,ught of hi s coming into the power of Hank Dunca n and his blootlthirsty gang. "He mu s t be saved," she though t, as she left the h ouse. "I mu s t go to Duncan's, and I must carry the message that will set the whole pack of 'e m on hi s track; but I mus t warn him to flee. Eut )low?" f 'Knowing that her fat h e r would be on the watch to see that s h e departed imme<;Jiately, a nd that to go to the barn to warn the strange r would arouse the old man s s u spicion, and perhaps brin g prntters to a te r rible climax, she resolved to act di ffer ently, and accordingly mounted her pony and starte d away in a sweepi n g gallop. As she passed t h e barn, s h e k ept a s harp lookout for Jack, and seeing h im standing near the road, s h e let h e r bonnet fall to the ground As she exp e cted, J ack came at once to give lt to her, and as he did so she had occas i on to whisper t h e wo rds: "Leave here at once-to-night-now! For the sake of your life, go-go!'' Before Jack could utter a word the g irl was gone A long time he walked up and down the l ittle path that Jay b etwee n the cabin and the b arn, and as h e walked he tho u g ht. At l ast, corning to a hal t, he clinched his hands a nd said: ''I'll stay and see the end!" Reentering the house, he sat d own b efo re the 1fire, taking care to sit in such a po s i tion that the window, the d oo r and the old m an were a ll un de r his scrutiny. "It's gitti n ' l o n g in ther night some, a n' ef yer feel like Jyin'. down, yef'll fin' a b ed up thar," pointing to the garret. I l ow yer must b e sorte r tired a n' s l eepy?" "Not particularly. Say, what did you mean by 'moonsh in ers' w h en you spoke thi s even ing down the re?" "Don't try to play off ignorance on me, young feller. Reckon yer hain't so green that yer never heerd o' moonshiners." "I have always J ived in the city m y friend, and this being the first time I eve r was in tne Oz arks how s h ould I know your m eaning? However, it d o n t matter, for I shall h ave no time to both er with anything of th a t sort." "No, it don't matter n ow n o thin' 'bout that. I guess we'd es well go to bed." J ac k consented, as there Wi!S no excuse for sitti n g up l onger, and h e could urge no ob j ection to retiring without possibly ex c iting suspicions. Accordin g ly not knov.ring to what fate he was going h e took up a candle and went to the l oft, but no t to sleep. He his r.iistols, a nd found they were properly l oad e d and ready for i1se. The n he sat d own on the bed to think1 after extingui shing t h e light. H a d hi s m i s s ion in the mountai11s already b e en s usp e cteq by Tucker, and had b e sent' th,e girl to n o ti{y the moon s hin e rs of his presence( He was alm o st su re that such was th<; c ase, for why e l se sho1Jld tht: !;Iirl be sent out ir1 s qch a night, and why had she warned him to flee ? Yes, h e was suspected, am! the ela n were to knpw of his presenct That much w a certain Then, what wquld they do? Had the gi rl not t o ld hitn to fly for his life? Anc\ was n o t that a su r e indication of what his fa t e wou l d be if once he was in their han<'ts? Then h e kn;;w enough of th e of th e c l a n to understand how lig htly the y held murder, and that with them it was better that tw enty inn ocent m e n peri s h than tliat one

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' BRAVE AND BOLD. s should go free against whom there was a breath of suspicion that he was a spy. "I shall expect no mercy," he thought, as he sat there in the dark, waiting and list ening for the approach of the men whom h e was s ure would come b efore morning. "I shall e x pect and rec eive no mercy from the villains if once they have me in their clutche s ; but, by the gods! they shall never get their hands on me while there i s breath in my body!" It was a long, tedio 1s wait, there in the quiet and darkness of the night, with no sound to .break the stillne ss, save the monotonous creaking of the old door, or the occa s ional rattling of the l oose board roof. An hour p assed, and he knew that Tucker h ad not stirred from the corner w h ere he left him. It was painfully e vid ent to J ack's mind that something was going to happ e n a nd with the probability that hi s experience with the moon shiners of the Ozarks would soon terminate He felt that the cri sis was n ea r, a nd what the end would b e he could not conj ecture. He could only w a it and se'e; and he h a d not much l onge r to wait. Soon there w as a s t a mping of horses' feet over the road bel ow, then sho rtly a light t a ppin g at the cabin do or. He heard Tucker steal soft l y acro ss th e room in an wer to the J
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6 BRA VE AND BOLD. "D-n you, die !" In the next instant he was lying on the floor, in a half-unconscious condition. Jack had sprung forward just in time to save the girl, and, with a blow from his fist, lay the leader of the moonshiners fiat on his back. Hank Duncan's companions, when once outside, Jost no time in getting away. They were arrant cowards, to whom a vision of that defiant girl, with her revolver drawn and finger on trigger, was anything but inspiring. As for Rile Tucker, he crouched in a corner, daring neither to speak nor move. In a short time Duncan recovered enough to arise, and imme diately took his departure, being accelerated considerably by a go o d, substantial kick from Jack Marvin. J ack stood in the door, and lis te ned until the sound of the horses' feet had died out in the distance, in order to assure him self that no treachery would be attempted. Then, closing the door, he turned and faced the girl. She had thrown the revolver fr o m her, and now stood almost listlessly l eaning a ga inst the wall. The h e ightened color was rapidly receding from her face, and the fire of defiance had die d out of her eyes The terrible tension on her nerve s was relaxed and the reaction h:id s e t in. She waveNd, her form r ee led, an
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BRA VE AND BOLD. The sun was just appearing ove r the long range of mountains away off to the east, while down in the deep valley, from whence he had c o me the d ay b e fore, th e birds, see min gly ten thousan d in number and a th o u sa nd in variety, wer e making the world alive with so ng. \i\Then he returned to the cabin, h e found Ril e Tucker s itting in the corne r, s m ok ing hi s pipe. As Jack entered, the ol d man glanced up, with a guilty, h a n g-dog l ook in his eyes; but, casting hi s g l ances quickly d ow n, said nothing. J ack felt a loathing and contempt for t h e old m an, but, r ealizing the n ecess i ty for r e stra inin g hi s ill feeling as far as pos s i b l e h e a c costed hi s host with a cheery: "Good-morning, colonel." "How're ye?" th e ol d man r e pl ied, with another s h eepis h glance. "Is you r daughter still s leeping?" "Yas, s h e is. 'Pea r s sorter qu a re, so m eway, that she don't w a k e up. " I'm afraid s h e i s pretty badly hurt, my friend." "Dunno h ow s h e could e r go t hurt." "Easy e n o u gh. Her p ony fell with her last night, and h e r head stru ck against a r ork. I think you ought to get a doc tor, if th e r e i s o n e to be h ad." "The re h ain't n o n e ni gher' n six een m ile, a n' I reckon I h ain' t got time ter chase all ther way thar jest for nothin', an', asi d es it '.ud cost ten d o ll a r s ter fetch the r doc out yere "But what i s all that to your child' life, man?" "Oh r ecko n they hain't n othi n much th e matter ov 'e r. Jes t so rter dazed er leetle by t h e1 fall, a n' I guess s h e'll soo n git ove r it. 'Tain' t no u s e t e r go ter both e rin erroun an s p endin' mo n e y jest fer foolishness. Guess s h e's jes' er b it d aze d an' e r goo d swig e r sp iri ts an' so m e sor te r tea'!! fix 'er. up all right." J ack looked at the old. m a n w ith a feeling o f utter disgust. as he sat th ere calmly smo kin g his pipe and talking in that calculating w ay about a matter of suc h g r ave importance, a nd it w as with th e g r eatest difficulty he r e tr.ai ned his feelings an d re tained his calm se lf-composure. "After what your daughter has done for me," said J ac k, "it is du e her th a t I s hould render h e r eYery service in my p ower. To her I owe the prese rv atio n of m y life, and after that I cannot, and will not, allow her to suffe r for th e w ant of atte nti o n so much ne ede d I will go and bring a d oc tor, and I will pay him for his servic es Please tell me th e n a m e of the d octo r yo u would prefer?" "I h ain't no choice, an', ef yer want ter go," yer k i n g it whoever ye please They'r e all the r same m e.All I want yer ler do is t e r u ndersta nd that ef yer fetch one yer got ter pay 'im fer l h ain 't a-goi n' ter pay fer no sec h fooli !m ess." "I shall not expect you to pay for anything I see fit to do," Jack retorted, a ngrily turning o n hi s h eel. Goin g to the b edside, h e l ooked at the sleep ing Her s lumb e r wa s d eep and peaceful, but her face wa s hot 'and flush e d, d e n ofing a ri s ing f ever. Taking h e r hand he found her pulse r a p i d and strong. "Poor girl," h e muttered, i t h as been a terrible st rain on you r nerves, i f n ot hm g more." As he spoke. her lip s parte d in half a s mil e and, stoopi n g, he tou c h ed his lips t o her h o t for ehead. He walked softlY. o u t, and, saddling his h o r se, led him forth to b egin his journey. As h e was about to mount, the old man came out, and called to him: "Well, what i s it?" J ack asked. l wanted to know ef you wuz comin back ag'i11 ?" Jack, unsuspici ous of any hidden purpose there might be m the question, replied immediately and emphatically : "Ce rtainly, I am c o ming back." "I didn't know but maybe yo u 'd conclude to stay away arter what happened last ni ght. I dunno ef it wouldn't be b e tt e r fe r ye to." "I don't know as to th at, Mr. Tucker, but I do know th a t I a m not going to be scared out of h e r e by a gang of murderers." '' Say, I sorte r l ike ye, young feller, an' I don't want yer to think I he d aught ter do wit h what tuck place, fer I didn t." "Mr. Tucker, it's usel ess to add the sin of ly ing to your oth e r crimes. I know what p
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8 BRA VE AND BOLD. ncr do nothin' else with it Curse 'er f I'd 'bout cs lief shoot her as him. What did she wanter come in thar fer at ther nick o time ter spile ever' thing? An' now thet he's gone, yer kin j est bet h e'll never come till he fetches er gang o' them govern ment dogs with 'im." "I dunno, Hank, es ter that. He said he wuz comin' back ter-day." "He did? Wal, I hope he will, for we hain't safe now as long as he bre athes. Ef he comes back, he must be put out o' ther way. We've got ter fini s h 'im." "D'ye reckon h'e's raley er spy, Hank?" "I d;no, an' I d on't keer. He knows t o o much now ter let 'im go. He'll hev ter be finished." "'Pears ter me like es if we wuz er le et l e too fast last night. We orter wai te d erwhile an' b een er leetle shorer ov 'im an' his business." "I 'spect mebby we acted a g rai n ha sty, but ther safest way is ter be prompt. Anyhow, we've gone too f e r to back out." "Wal, whut air ye goin' ter do 'bout it?" "I wuz jes' er tryin' ter think whut 'ud be best. He's er fool ef he ever comes back, that's sartin." "Yes, I 'low he is." "Do yer reckon he will come?" "Yes, I b'lieve he'll come." "Then, ther best tliing fer us ter do road." 1s ter waylay 'im on t1:f; "But ther doctor'll be with 'im." "Mebby not; an', ef he is, we kin fix 'im so's he darn't ter say nothin'." "Yer ther man ter say 'bout sech things," Tucker with the air of a man who shifts the whole r es pon si bility off his own shoulders. "Yer ther bo ss an' whut yer say goes." For several minutes Dunca n was busy with his thoughts; then, looking up, he said: "Tucker, I'm gittin' er leetle gra,in s'picious o' you." "Whut ?" Tucker ejaculated. "Yer don't think I'm er goin' wrong, do ye?" "I dunno, hardly, but it 'pears ter me ye hain't actin' jest squar'." ... "Whut hev I done that warn't squar', Hank?" "Whut did that gal o' yourn do las' night? P..n' do in lettin' that feller go away this momin'? busin ess to 'a' fini shed 'im whut. did you It was your "Es fer whut ther gal done, I hain't responsible, f e r I'd never dreamed o h e r
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I BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 got hurt, fet that corn needs a h oe in', an' yer arter be in it now, stid o' lyin' here abed. Reckon ye kin hoe it ter-morry ?" "I'm afraid not. I feel awful weak, and my h ead's so queer." "Mebby ef yer d git up an' knock erbout some it 'ud kin' e r wear off." "I tried to get.., up a while ago, but I couldn t do i t." Shucks, bu t that's bad." The old m a n went over to the chimney-piece, and, taking down his pipe, filled it with tobacco, ligh te d it and sat down in the door to smoke. re sign ing him self as best he could to his cruel s itu ation. An hour, probably, went by; then, getting up, he went across the room, took down his gun, and, throwing it over his shoulder started out. "Where..are-yo u goin', p ap?" Bet asked. "Goin' h untin'." "I wi s h you wo uld fetc h me a drink from the s prin g before you go." "I hain't got time; an', asides, thar's water here tha t wuz fotch yisterday." "But it's warm, and I want some that's coo l." "Oh, yer too perticklar. That's good ernuff." And, with that, the old m a n strode o ut and, calling th e dogs, disapp ea r e d in the woc1ds. It was a l o ng, long evening to th e p oor, s ick girl, who l a y there all alone, with nothing to do, nothing to engage her attentio n, save the h orrid scene of the '\last night, and of the stranger who had so briefly crossed her life, but whose image was fixed in delibly on h r mind. "Where," she asked herself, "was he now? And would he ever come b ack ?" CHAPTER IX. A NEW ACQUAINTANCE. Arriving at his destiqatio n a ft e r a t edious and n ecessar ily slow ride, Jack began his searc h for a phy s ician. There were but three in the place, h e soon and the fir st of these to whom he applie d was h imse lf sick and unable to make the journey; the second was awa y on a visit, and would n o t be back before 11ight; an d the third a nd la s t had a call to make, and could not go to Tucker's until some time in the afternoon. J ack was vexed at this ann ou ncement, and used every m ean s to induc e the doctor to go at once. "It is a serious ease," J ack urge d, "and sh ou ld have imm ed iate attention. A life may depend on your promptness. Surely, you cannot d elay unde r such circumst:mces ?" "I am compelled to, my young friend," the doctor r eplied; "but, as I must go to the other p atient-who, by the way, is in an equally criti ca l condition-I cannot go with you now. I wish I could be in two pl aces at once, but, that being impossible, th e b est I can do is to hurry to the one, a.d afterward go with you; or, if you prefer, come after you. Perhaps you will not care to wait?" "Not if it is unnecessary. But can you find the way, doct or?" "Oh, yes. I have been up in the m ountai ns frequently. You n eed have no fears of th at. "Then I shall not w a it. But, b efo re I go, I will pay you t he f ee Here-is that enough?" and Jack threw out a tcndollar bill. "Plenty," the d octor replied; "but I do not expect my fee in adva nc e ." "That' s all r'ight," Jack said, as he arose to "Now, do your best to get the re as soon as p ossible, for I fear the girl is dangerously hurt "I will not lose a mom en t ," and the doctor gather ed up his m ed icine case, and bustl e d away with the ai r of one who pro pos e d to keep his promi ses to the last l ette r. Having settled th is p o int J a ck wa lke d back down one of the bu siness streets of th e littl e tow n and, entering a s m a ll groce ry store select e d from the tumbl e d a nd ragge d contents a few deli c aci es suc h as he thought the girl m ight like. This accomplished, h e secured hi s own b r ea kfast, and, re mounting once agai n, turned his h o rs e's he2.d toward the h eart of the Ozark Mouutains. All at once the qu est i on that Tucker had asked him at parting came back, and with a meaning he had not before placed u[J'on it. He stop ped his h o rs e as the true import of the qu est ion flashed over him. "Yes, I see it no w," h e said. "He had a purpose in asking if I was co ming back, and stupid fool that I was, I t old him yes. Now, I s h all find them p repare d to receive me, or, perchance, wayl ay me on the road. I thi n k I must have lo s t my wits, and it is high time I was r ecovering them. What had I better do? Turn back? Never! I have settled that point, once and for all, and from henceforth I s hall consider it n o more. I might wait for the doctor. But \\ ould that do any good? Would his pres ence prevent carrying out th e ir plans? And, b es id es would they not as readily disp ose of him, too, if he was in their way? No, that would be u seless ." So there was nothing l e ft but to go on. Passing ove r a few more miles, h e app roach e d the mounta i n pass, and, as he came around a short bend in the toad, he came face to face with a h orseman J ack st oppe d short, and, placing h is hand on his pistol, waited for the other to speak or act, as he felt inclined. The other m a n was a tall, limber-l ook in g spec im e n of back woods life, in hi s shirt sleeves, and wearing a great, wide brimmed straw hat. His hair hung away down over his s hould ers, and his face had the appeara nc e of havin g been mowed rather than shaved. A goodn atu r ed smile or, rathe r gri n, broke over his feature s as for almost a full minute he stood there silently eying the man before him. At last, seeing that the other was making no effort to speak, he relaxe d hi s grin, and drawled out the word: "How' re ye?" "I'm pretty we ll," Jack replied. "How arc you?" "Oh, fust-rate. Hain't no call to grumble. Whar yer goin'?" "Up to the mountains." "Ever been up thar ?" "Yes." "Summat erquainted, then?" "Yes, slightly." "Know Hank Duncan, er any o thet set?" "No, I can't say that I do." "I didn't know but mebby ye did." "Do you know Mr. Duncan?" "Wal, I can't say that I know him the best in the war!', but I know 'im ernuff, I reckon. It hain't best to know so'me folks t oo well." "I suppo s e not. What sort of a man is h e ?" "Looky ycre, stranger, it a in't safe tcr do t oo much t a lkin' in th ese yere parts, and a feller hes tcr be a lectle kcerful o' how he speaks. Gotter sort o' watch is tongue, yer know. But se ciD'

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IO BRA VE AND BOLD. 's I know what yer arter an' who ye air, I don't mind talkin' ter you." "How does it happen that you know me and my business?" Jack asked, with a tinge of suspicion in his voice. "You never saw me before and I'm at a loss to account for your words, unless--" and here h e checked him s elf, abrnptly. "Unless whut?" the other asked, eying Jack a s kance. "Never mind that. Answer my question, if you please." "Wal, now, whut wuz i t ye axed?" he asked, with provoking calmness and deliberation I a sked h ow ,it came that you knew me and my business?" "Yas, I ri c kermembcr now. Wal, the fack is, I hain't never seed ye afore, an' I dunno yer from Adam, but I've lived in these yere parts long ernuff ter know who all thes e fellers is that comes up yere, an' what it is a s fotches 'em, an' I reckon ef I w11 z ter say ye r wuz er detective I wouldn't miss it none, an cf I wuz ter say ye r business wuz ter spy out them darne d moonshiners, I 'low I'd about hit it." "Do you think so?" J ack replie d, somewhat reassured that the man before him was not one of the crowd who had visited him the night before. "Yas, I know. Shucks! I kin tell 'em quick's I set eyes on 'em. Say, ef I wuz you I'd go back. It's pesky resky business, an' them clurned scamps is jes' n achully pizen to anybody they s p 1c10n. Tell yer whut, I don't wunt no truck 'uth 'em They don't think no more of k illin' er man ner they would er killin' er da wg. There's been er good many fellers gone up thar as hain't never come out ag'in." Jack had little, if any, doubt of the man s hone s ty, for his face and vo i ce spoke of it in unmistak"able terms. There was nothing of the s n eak about his appearance, but, on the contrary, he seemed to be a good-natured, well-meaning, h o n o :-ablc, gen e rous s ort of m an, a trifle sh i ftless and ea s y-going. Y : i \ 11:.1. \here do you live, my friend?" }:t e l : "Up the crick a piece." \hat is your name?" "Perry Jackson." "Say, I am up here on a little hunting cxp cditio: "Yas, I nn 'e r stand, but don't matter 'bont that n c11.' "Don't matter about what?" fl vVhy, 'bout ther sorter game yer hunlin'. Go on 'uth yer say." "Well, I am here for a s h ort spe ll of hunting, and I want a place to stop. Now, what I was going. to ask is, could you let me stop at your house?" "Wal, we hain't nowise fixed f e r keepin' people. bnt ef yer kin s tan' us, I reckon we kin stan' you. Ef yer w illi n' t e r try it, come erlong. 'Tain't muc h I h ev ter offe r,. but sech i!S it is goes free " W e ll, I have to go up m the mountains to-n i ght, but to-mo r row I will come." "Jest es ye say, mister. R ecko n yer know yer own busincs.s. \'Vtirn yer git ready ter come, jest faller up this path erbout er <:::'.c, an' yer'll fin' us. Good-by." The n?.tive rode on, while Jack remained a short time looking after him "There i s .a whole-souled, h appy-golu cky, h o n est so n of the forest," he thought. when the man broke out into rude, discon nected song, that was noisy if not melodious. Jack rode up the mo untain path, and h ad almost reached the t op, when four men stepped out of the bushes, with drawn xev o l vers. I "vVe h e v y e r now," one of the m sa id "an' yer end hes come!" An<1, c ocking hi s r evo lver, he lev e l e d it at J ack's head. CHAPTER X. A CLOSE SHAVE. The attach', while n ot altogeth e r unexpec ted, was so sud d e n and ,vell-timecl as to l eave Jack entirely at t h e mercy of his assailants. Before he could place hi s hand on his pistol, four drawn revolvers were p ointe d directly at his 1 h ead, and the ac ti ons and t h e l oo k s of the m en told h im they meant no foolish n es s He saw at a glance that he was completely in their power, and that to attempt resistance would be s h ee r nonsense "We have ketchecl you, and darn ye, yer got ter go!" the l eade r r epeated. "Go where?" J ac k asked. "Go to ther d evil, whar yer rightly b e long. We're gwine to kill ye, don't yer un'e rstand ?" "Kill me I What for? What have I clone t o yo u o r against you?" / 'Tain't so much whut yer h ev clone es whut yer want te r do. Young f elle r we hain't no pack o' darned i)io t s up hy a r in these mountinfs' ef w e / ain't see d much o' ther world. Leastwise, we hain't sic h fools that we dont know whut fotched ye up in these ye r e parts; an' l e mme tell ye, thar mayn't be no other busmess yer could g it in so much ter yer taste as huntin' m oo n shin e rs, but thar s ot h e r things as is er blam e d sigh t m o r e agr ee al.Jle fer er feller's health." "\;\,Thy do you think I'm hunting m oonshiners, my friends?" "Huh, why do we know we're a-livin'? Why do we kno w any thing? Jes' kase we hain't no blamed fools Reckon we h a in t never seed non e o' them darned spies? Reckon they h ai n't neve r n one o 'em come up h ere afo r e ? Wal, I reck o n ef ye r figger it out that e r way yer figger it mouty wrong. T har's been pl enty o' them up hyar fust an' last, but t h e r w u z e r p esky s i g h t l ess ov 'rm went out o' ther m ou n tings than thar that come in." ''\l\ That became of them?" Jack a sked, more to gai n time than anything else, for he but too well surmi sed what their do o m had been and what hi s was to b e in a short time. "\!Vhu t went. with 'em? \!Val, the y died, mister. They did n t find it none too healthy hyar, l e mme tell ye. But that h ai n t hyar nor thar. Air ye r ea dy t o go?" and, as the man spoke, h e rai se d his pistol and squinted along the barrel as coolly as if he was aiming at a tree Jack re alized that it was u se l ess to parley for the looks of the men proclaimed that they were in earil es t, and that no argument or plea could turn them from their purpose. As he glanced from face to face, the terribl eness of hi s p o sit ion flashed over him in all its force, and, forgetting all of the present, his thoughts flrw ba c k to hi s home and fri ends, who would mourn his loss witl 1t eve r sus p ecting his fate. .And it i s strange that in that. one brief m o m ent, whe n o n ly the nearest and clear est objects found their way to his thoughts, that Bet should be there more vividly and m ore dearly tha n any other. 'Air ye -ready?" the mountaineer asked again, h'olding his pis tol in range with Jacl):'s he;icl. Jack never answered that qu est i on, for at that moment the r e was an awful, crashing sound above them, a s if t h e whole m ountain top had torn loose and was rushing with lightning speed to the valley below. They all gla n ced up at the fir s t sound, and their faces grew white with fear and astonishment; Hank Duncan forgetting

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BRA VE AND BOLD. II his pri.soner and everything else, let his pi sto l fall to his side, while he stood gazing upward with wide, wild eyes. On-on, crashing i ts way through the trees, riding d ow n small saplings as so many straws, the great rock of perhaps a thousand tons came at a spee d that was terrible, directly toward the men who were below. Hank Duncan and his comrades waited no l o n ge r. Forgetting their mission, perhaps t otally unmindful of the exist ence of J ack, they too k to their heels, and fle w down the road as if an avenging Nemesis was after them. J ac k was no less hasty in making his and, putting the sp urs to his horse, he away in the opposite direction. Jack did not stop to see where the stone found a lodgment, but as he gallope d on he h eard it crashing its way through the timb e r a way down the mountainside, and, as he listenetl, he muttered: "Luckily for me you lost your balance when you did, for your presence at that m omen t save d my life." It was, ind ee d, a n op porturye event for Jack, for, had the great stone been d e l ayed but a moment in its. descent, his life would have been gone, for Hank Duncan's finge r was already on the tri gge r of his pistol, and but a second would have sufficed for him to have sent a bullet throug h J ac k Marvin's brain. "Fate or Provide nce has interfered twice to save my l ife within twenty-four h ou r s," J ac k mused, as he scrambled up the m ountai n toward Rile Tucke r's cabin; "but that power will not always be mindful of me, and from this on I must be more ca reful to guard my own life." CHAPTER XL A TALK WITH TUCKER. Dismounting, J ack cautiously approached the cabin, the door of which stoo d open He did not particularly fear T u cker, but yet, afte r the experiences of the last few hours, he b egan to be wary, and h e felt that it was time to use discretion, at l east. These moun taineers, he dis co vered, were a hard lot to deal with, and it was doubtful, he thought, if any of them could be safely t rusted. He decided that Tucker wasnot really bad, and, if left to himself, no harm was to be fear ed from him. But now he felt differently, and resolved that no ma;1 sl10uld get "the drop" on hi m again. Stopping at the door, h e peered anxiously into the r oo m and around. A de a thlike stillness prevailed. Going in, he stealthily approached the bed si de wh e re Bet lay. She was asleep, but her slumber was so light that his though noiseless, attracted, her attention, and she opened her eyes as he stooped over her. Fo.r some time J ack sat beside her, talking qui etly to her. Two hou;s passed, and then suddenly there came the clatter of horses' feet along the road. Jack sprang up, a nd, drawing his pistol, went to the door to se e who approac h ed coward and fly at the beginning of the tas k. But re s t easy, for I know enough of these people now not to be so easily led into their pow e r." After h earing the d o ctor s d ec isi o n, and l earning that Bet was not seriously hurt, he bid her good-by, and, m o unting his horse, rode away. Procee ding with great cauti o n, and with his hand on his p ist ol, r eady to fire on a seco nd's notice, Jack at last reached the scen e of the late encounter, and stopped for a moment to view the ground. It wa s truly a w o nderful sight. The m ass ive stone, in its lightning speed clown the mountain, h ad l eveled everything before it. Lesse r stones were crushed to p ieces or driven into the earth, stumps and trees were uprooted or m ashed out of shape, while smaller obstacles were blotte d out of existence. From the summit of the mountain to the base a track was cut out as clear and clean as could have been d o n e by the h a nd of man. As J ack remained gazing up at the s ummit of the mountain, where a long line of hug e bowlders l ay s e e mingly needing but a touch to send the m cra s hing down the way the one had gone, his attention was attracted by a n oise b e low him, and, whirling about with drawn revolver, he stood face to face with Rile Tucker. "Yer got thedrap on me, stranger," Rile Tucker said, with a broad grin; "but yer mout es well put up yer gun. I hain t tryin' ter hunt ye . Ef I hed er wanted to, I would er done it afore this. J es' put down ye r gu n, will ye? It h ain' t pleasant ter hev it p'in te d at er feller that a ir way ." "No, you don't come it over me that way, old man. In t his section, the man that's quickest has the best chance for his life, I find, and; s ince I have you safe, I'll just hold you so." "Say, young feller, yer off ii{ yer cackilations e f ye r figge r out that I'm wantin' ter hurt ye. I hain t never wanted ter hurt ye from the fust." "That's easy enough s;i.id, but it's a li ttle hard to believe, after alJ th.at took place l as t night and to-d a y." "'Wa l I 'low things do 'pear er right smart'n ergin' me. But er feller h es ter sorter look out fer hissel' in this here kentry, an' th em derned cusses up thar is wuss 'an pizen whe n they git arter er chap. They've already 'gun ter s'picion me." "Why do they suspicion you? It appears to me that you have played into their hands as faithfully as they could wish. Don't try to palaver me with any of your lies, for it won't do any good. If you h a d a chance you d shoot me in a minute." "Say, yer off thar. I wouldn't hurt ye fer nothin'. I sw'ar it I" "Well, it may be so, but I'm not willing to chance you. I'm not going to hurt you if you go along straight, but I'JJ keep you under my eye, just the same." "\Va l be er mite keerful 'u t h that dog gon e gun. It don't l ook ral e purty from this 'ere end." Niove on, th.en." \ "All right. Say, h e s the doc come yit ?" One glance reassured him, for he saw that it was only the doctor. Turning back, he r e marked: "The d octo r i s here, and your father wilJ be back soon, so I had as well prepare to go ." "Yes, he's up there now, and you'd better get along and take some care of the poor girL What did you want to go off and l eave her this way for?" ''\'\ here ?" the girl asked. "Down in the valley somewhere. I shall try to find a more lwspitable roof to stop under. I hate to l eave you, but of course I cannot think of rema ining here any longer." ''.No; you must go, but I wish you would give up the project and leave the mountains for good." "I can t do that without turning coward, and I won't tum "Reckon I couldn't ha' done nothin' fer 'er ef I'd i;tayed. Is she pooty bad hurt?" "No, I think not." ''I'm monstrous glad o' that. I tell ye, I hated it powerful ter hev 'er Jain 11p jes' now with ther crap in ther grass. Reckon she kin hoe ter-morry in ther new roun' ?" For a full minute Jack eyed the old man almost viciously. "Say, I ha v e a great notion to shoot ye," Jack said. "A

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12 BRAVE ANO BOLD. lubberly, lazy, good-for-nothing, awkward rascal, loping around over the woods day after day, while that girl is made to do your work! You ought to be ashamed to show your face!" "Shel: yer make er awful fus s ,bout nothi n'. I r eckon it don't hurt ther gal no11e. It jes' tnake' 'er healthy." "'vVhy don't you send the girl away? Don't you know it's no fit place for her h e re in the society of al.I those thieves and cut throats?" "5ho; I jedge she's
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BRA VE AND BOLD. 13 are too suspicious to give a man a chaflce to leat11 anything abc:'.Jut them. They seem to make it a pain\ to kill every stranger on sight. I don t kn ow but that if I was you I'd give up the idea. It's too drmgerous "No, I s h a ll r emai n a while, any how. I thank yo u for your in the matter, h owever "Well, if you think it best to stay, d o so, and if at any time I can aid you, let me know." "Th anks, do ctor; I s h all bear that in mind ." Shakin g h ands, the two men separated, the doctor contint1ing his homeward j ou rney, while Jack struck into a trail following up the river bank t e r ed hi s situatio n o r h ad merely, to use a so mewhat worn phrase, '.'i umped from th e fryin gpa n into the fire?" Was it pos s ibl e tha t the whole settle111e11t of the Ozarks were l eagued together, and that Jackso n was a member of the moonshiners' gang? Sus picion was :very strong agai nst him, and while his l ooks and his l anguage proc l aimed hi s innocence and inoffen s iveness, J ack could not account for the old man s visit to the nrnuntains except Qn the theory th at h e went the r e for a siriister purpose. Was Jackson a friend, as h e professed, o r a n enemy, as he appeared? CHAPTER XIII. The latter was not long in reachi11g the cabin where Perry A PROPOSA L. J ackso n lived. The cabin and everything about b es poke the \IVhet h e r J ackson was an e n e my o r a friend, or whatever he character of it s occup<111ts, and Jack would h ave readily guessed mi g ht be, J ack Marvin r esolved o n taking the chances of spen d the sort of man J ackso n was, even if he had never see n him. ing a night u11der his roof. It was already fast approac h ing night, Sto ppin g at t h e r acke d, broke n bars t ha_t stood in fr ont of the a nd th e re was no other pl ace that he knew h e wo uld be safer cabin, J ac k "hel l oed" two or three times, and at l ast was r ewarded than wh e re he wa s by th e sight of a h ead thrust arnund the corn e r of th e hot1se, and So dismou n t ing, h e foi!owed his h ost into t h e cabin, an d irt at th e sa m e titne a voice cried: due time sat down to a r e past of corn bread, bacon and cold "vVal, whut yer want?" "gr eens T h e bill of fare was not ext e n s iv e nor were the viands "Is this Mr. J atkson's place?" t e mptin gly d elicate, but to a m a n who had eate n but little fo r "I 'low it a ir. Whut yer want?"' twepty-four h ours, and who had passed through the exe r c i se and "I want to see Mr. J ackson. I s he at home at present?" hardshi ps that J ack Marvin h ad, any fare, how ever rough and "Recko n he ain't fe_r off. Whllt )'er want ov 'irn ?" course, h ad a d electable appeara nce; a nd to the corn bread, bacon I met him to,day and arranged to stop with him for a few and "gr ee ns" he did full justice, to say the l east. d ays, and--" A week p asse d an d though Jack h a d ventured up into the "Yer ther chap, air ye? Wal, I thou ght yo u warn't comin' mountains every day, he had at night none the wiser for till tomarry." his pain s Sinc e the day h e left T uck e r' s he had m e t with no "But I cha n ged my mind and conc lu ded to come to,day." one save Perry J ackso n' s family, a nd, as may be readily sur"It don't 111ake no differ e nc e I j e dg e Won't yer lig ht?" a nd mi se d his life began to wea r a terribly m onotonous aspect the s p eaker came out in full view, r evea ling to J ack 's gaze a tall, He would have almost welcomed so m e of the stirring scenes stGut, negle1:t11d-lGoking fomale who had prob a bly seen the su n of his fir s t day in the mountains, as preferable to the dull, qui1it of fifty summers, t imes he was dragging through. It is true at first Perry Jack" J ac k was about to comply with the woman's ih v itatioh t o son's talk amu se d him but after a f ew days h e tired of li stening "light," but at tli a t .moment his attention was attracted by a to it for h ours at a time; and as for Mrs. Tildy J ackson, his figure emerging from the thick bu shes aGross the r oad. wife, or Miss Sallie J ackson, his daughter, they were no more For a mitiut e the two m e n look e d intently at eath ot h er, while val uable as society that'f t wo stumps. The former was nev e r able the woman, placing her h a nd s on h e r hi ps, and wit h her arms to express an id ea in all s h e said, while the latter n eve r said anyakimbo, stoo d l ooking sile ntly o n. thing to express an id ea, if she po ssessed any, whic h seemed ex"Goo d eve ning, Mr. Jackso n," Jack sa id. tre m e ly doubtful. "Wal, I m go ldarned," Jacksofi exclaimed, as a broad grin broke Ja1:k h ad not forgotten Bet, and o ft en of nights when he l ay over h is face up in the garret l oft o n hi s hard bed, tryin g to woo sleep a nd "What's the tnatter with you?" rest, she was in hi s thoughts, and h e was c onsc ious of a tender "Nothin'. solicitu d e for her we lfa re and happiness. Time and again he "Well, what a r e you 'goldarned' about?" pictured out h e r life up there on the mountains, and often h e "Say, I thought yo u w a r 'n't ag\Vin e ter come till ter-morry ? wondered what she was do i n g and if she was thinking of h im. "That was my intention, but I concluded to ,.ome down ta-Once in his r ambles a m o n g the mount a ins he h ad p enet r ated ni ght." some di s ta nce bey on d Munger's mill. In fact, every day he had "Oh, huh." gone in th a t direction, for he was firmly imbued with the id ea "Th e re s nothing very strange a bout that, i s there?" that the still was l ocated somewhere in that r eg ion. He had "Naw, not perticlerly A feller's mi)uty liabl e ter 'is never gone up toward Tucker's, but now he r eso l ve d to do so on hotioq purty often up thar in them m o untains. Been h evi n e r th e morrow, and with the determination fully settled, he dropped l eetle r a ck et up tha r t hi s evenin', hain't ye? off to s l ee p. "How did you know?" He awoke quit
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BRA VE AND BOLD. "Think yer will?" "I can't say T can only keep o n trying." "That's so. Say, I'd l ike ter help ye some ef tha r wuz any way I co u ld." "I'm thankful for you r good will, Mr. Jackson, but I don t think of any way in which you c ou ld aid me, unle ss--" "Onless whut ?" "Unles s you were disposed to give me a pointer on the location of the still." "Why, gos h amity, man, I dunno whar ther still is no mor'n you d o ." "I thought, perhaps, living here as l ong as you have, that you m ight have a pretty good id e a about where it is located." "Wal, I'll tell ye I don t know e r d e rned thing erbout it, but ef I wuz goin' ter hunt fer it, doggone my old pelt mi st er, ef I'd ever git very fer erway frum ther mill. Mind, I hain t a sayin it's thar nowh ar, but it must be." "Thanks. I shall remember your suggestion, and try to profit by it." "Say, yer ack es if yer wuz er l eetle skeery o' me. I wu s h yer wouldn' t do that, fer I I wouldn't think er goin' ergin yer fer the m goldarned skunks up thar, an' yer'll diskiver it ef yer stay h e re l on g ernuff." "Oh, no; I m not h a rboring any suspicion of you, at all." "Hain't, eh? I wuz erfeered yer wuz. S ay, I want ter speak ter ye erbout er leetl e m atter o' bus iness, ef yer feel like listenin'." "All ri g ht, go aheaa." "Wal, yer know Sal?" "'/es, I've seen her more o r le ss for a week, and I think I m a y say I know h e r to a certain extent" Uh, huh. Wal, that's whut I wuz comin' ter. Sal, she's er quare sort er critte r an' won't t a lk none, so s he wanted th a t I should talk ter you fer 'er, an' tell ye that she's tuck er power ful notion to ye, an' ef ye r wuz willip' she'd like fust-rate ter marry ye. Whut yer got ter say ter thet ?" Jack sto o d for some time thoroughly dumb with astonishment. I t began to be quite apparent t o him that if the Ozark Mountain country was nothing else, it was b eyon d doubt a land of sudden surprises an d unlooked-for events. A m a n could be killed th ere without a mom ent of warning, and equally as une x pectedly could h e b ecome e ntan g l e d in Jove' s m es h es. At first Perry J ac kson s statem ent appeare d too utterly ridiculous for a moment's se rio us consider a ti o n but wh e n he recalled the fact that h e could not afford to Jose Perry's good will, and that to treat the m a t te r lig htly would probab l y re s ult not only in that, but also in gaining his everlasting and bitter enmity as well, he took a m ore serious view of the matter, and when he answered, said: "I am hardly in a position just now Mr. Jackson, to give you a favor a bl e answer. I have not thought of marrying at a ll, and even now I could hardly think of such a thing with my chances of escaping alive from the successful compl etio n of the work I have begun so slender. However, I am truly gratified by the h onor yourself and dau ghter have done me, and I promise you I will con side r the ma tte r, and if the time ever comes when I ca n conscientiously make you r daughter my wife I will marry her. "Azackly. An' Jet me say this much, mister, ef yer marry Sal, y e r'll fin' yer got er mouty good, solid gal. She hain't rale purty, but she's er worker, an' when it comes ter tendin' er crap she jest can't be la id over, an' that's er strong pint in 'e r favor, I take it." "It undoubtedly is." "Then I kin tell 'er yer'll figger on it?"' "Yes, you may tell her that." "Wal, that h ain't as much as she cackil ate d on, fer she wuz !yin' off that you an' her ud go r igh t down to ther squar's an' g it married this mornin' But it'll be summat consolin' ter kno w yer goin' ter figg e r on it. Reckon yer mout say fer shore this evenin' er to-morry." "Perhaps I migi1t; but I rather expect I shall r equire a little m o re time than that even." Just at that moment breakfast was annou nced and the con versation ended, greatly to J ack's r elief. This new and totally unlo oke d -fo r incident upset the young man's n e r ves and it was with a weak a nd faltering appetite he sat d own to the m ea l of in ev itable corn brea d, bacon and greens," and it was very little of it h e ate. After the meal was over he hurrie d away on foot, taking a "nig h cut" that h e h a d discovered leading across the mountains in the dire ction of Tucker's house As he ascend e d the ru gge d, precipitous path, hi s mind dwelt on the prop osition Jackson had m a de to him, and h e tri e d to d e vise some way o f evading a positive answer. He kn e w it would be expected o f h im that night, or the next n ight at least an d he knew not what he sh oul d say. CHAPTER XIV. LIGE JONES. When Jack h a d gone quite a way up the m ou ntain path, and h a d b ecome pretty thoroughly worn and weary, h e sat down on a large stone to make a mental inventory of the events of his life during the last t e n days. H av ing thoroughly rested, and having also once more gone over the prospect before him, and hav i n g again decided to see th e matter to the end, h e arose and walked o n Afte r going some distance by a path that led up and up by a devious and w inding course, sometimes across a little stream of clea r cold water that flowed down from a spring somewhere along the mountain c rest and again edging between the large bo w ld ers that tow'!red up twenty f eet o r more, he camf! to a toler. able plain road that led along the base of the second rise in the mountain. This he surmi s ed was t he narrow strip upon which Tucker's h o use stood, a nd h e doubted not that by follow ing the road around he wou ld eas ily reach the en d of his journey. With this idea he started forward at a b risk walk; and though he was awake to his p ositio n, and kept a sharp lookout around, n othing transpired to disturb his p e ace and quiet until he had g on e a mile or more. He was just coming in a little strip of clearing when riding across from the timber on the other side he saw a native of per. h aps fifty years, who had much the appearance of all the other natives, in that he was tall, raw b oned, hard f eatured, grizzly and unkempt, an
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BRA VE AND BOLD "Do you think you'll know me wh e n you see me again?" "Dun-no." "What do you w a nt, an y how?" "Noth-in'." "\/ h e re a re you .going[" "Ho-me." Well, why d o n't you go, the n?" "Hain't in n o h oory, I re ckon," the ol d ma11 drawle d o ut in h i s slow w ay. Got all day afo re m e Whar mout you be gwine ? "Up to Tuck e r 's." "D'yo u know Tuck-er?" "I've seen him ." "Uh I h u h ." "Do yo u kn ow Tucker?" "I've seed 'm." "You h ave, eh?" "Yaa -s. "Ar e you a fr i e nd of his?" "No-o; not mu c h Air you?" "No; n o t much "Uh! h u h." "Say, what's your n a me ?" "My n -am -e ?" "Yes; what's your name?" "Wal, it's Lige J o nes ; but th ey call m e L azy J o n es fer shont up h er e." "Pretty name, too i sn t it?" "Uh, h u -h.'' "Where do you live?" "Er mile a n '-ah a lf d ow n thar." "What did you m ot i on m e to stop for?'" (\ ":V didn't kn -o-w but you mout use terbacker." "f do, but what of it?" "Couldn't ye r give er f elle r e r chaw? "Ce r tai nly. Here, help yourself." As J ack h a n ded out a good s i zed chunk of flat t obacco, th e old m an's eyes twinkled and his mouth spread into a bro ad, p lease d g rin Taking a hu ge slice fr o m the piece he placed it in his m outh, and as he che w e d it a compla ce nt, satisfied look settled over his features. -"Do yo u lik e it o ld m an?" Jack asked, afte r h e had watched the old fellow a minute Uh, h-uh ." "Pretty fair tobacco?" Y a-a-s S ay, you mus t be er rich 'un." "v\/ hy what makes you think that?" "Don't none but rich 'tms chaw that sort o' t e rb acker." D o n t? Why, where I came from th ey all u s e that kind." "Uh h u-h. All rich uns thar, I reckon. Hai n t no rich uns here." "No rich ones at all up here?" "No-o, n o t l ess' n it' s Hank Duncan, an; he ain't rich nuff ter chaw that." l s Hank pret ty w ell fi..xe d ? "Uh, h-u-h." "Han k's a pretty good fellow, isn't he?" "Dunn o n othin' 'bout th at mi ster." "I thought yo u knew him well?" "Uh, h-u h ." "You kn ow where h e li ves, I presume? "Ya-a-s." ''Well, I want to see Hank right away. Do y o u t hink I woultl b e liabl e to find h i m a t home if I were to go there now?" . "'Spect not." "He's pretty apt to be at his still, isn't "Dunno. Mout be." "Well, I co uld go there, but I n ever b een t o the still from thi s dir ectio n, and I don't kn o w whether f could fin
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I BRA VE .AND BOLD. "Say, look here old man," J ack said, trying ano.ther tactic, "I a m not a friend to Hank Duncan, but, on the contrary, I am trying to catch the gang of moonshiners who have so Icing cursed this section. Do you understand?" "Uh, h-u-h." "Now, if you can help me any, I want you to do it, and you sha'n't lose by it." "Uh, h-u-b." "Will you help me?" "I'd like ter 'commodate yer, stranger, bnt I h2in "t ready ter aie jest yit. Good-day." CHAPTER XV. AN AWKWARD INTERRUPTION. "Well, l"ll be hang ed!" Jack ejaculated, as he gazed at the vanishing form of the very slow, but very cau t ious Lige Jones. O ld chap, you may be as l azy as they ever make them, but I've seen a good many people who had a great deal les s sense. '\That's a fellow to do? Nobody knows anythir.g abo ut Hank Duncan and his gang, or about the still; and if they do know they Wnn't talk, so it"all amounts 'to the same thing to a man who is seek ing in formaticn. If I c o u l d jus t g e t a pointer
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BRA VE AND BOLD. I '"Get up!" Jack command ed. "'Sartinly," the othe r repli e d, proceeding at once to obey the comm a nd Getting on his feet, Jerry sto o d looking in t ently at his assailant for several seconds, after which he exclaimed: "Wal, I'll b e gors h d a rn e d I" "Are you s at isfied?" Jack asked. "I. reckon 1 air, mist e r. I h a in"t no h o g: an' I d o n t want ther yarth. But say; how"d yer do.that?" "Want me to show y ou?" Guess I hain't hankerin' ter know, an' I r e ckofi I won't trouble ye no more." "Now, let me tell you, my fri e nd, h e r e a fter be a little care ful h o w you speak of Mis s Tucker or to h e r. She's a lady, and you have got to act the part of a gentleman t oward h e r. Do you und e r stand what I mean?" "I low I do "And will you rem e mber it?" "Sh o re, in co se B et's er fine g a -cr l ady, slan ge r, an I think er he a p ov 'er. I bee n er c a ckilatin all erlong ter m arry 'er, an' ole Tucker he s been figgurin' on it, too. But doggone my hide, ef it don't 'pPar ri g ht sm art like you'd sort e r upsot thin g s." "Miss Tucker has a p e rfe c t right to dd as she chooses, and if she is willing to m arr_v you I suppose she w"ill." "Reckon yer right thar. But she don't 'pear ter be willin'." "Then, of course, that ends the matter, and if you were dis posed to act the gentleman you would let her alone." "Reckon I'll hafter." \ A short silence ensued, during which time Jerry picked up his hat, slapped it a few times against the side of the house to dust it, plac e d it on his head, and took a firm stand with both hands on his hips. "Looky here, mister," he said, "I'm just doggon e d ef I aon't sorter like ye. I t ell ye, ther fell e r wlmt kn oc ks Jerry Jen k ins off his pins es slick. es you done it, hain't no slouch By gors h, it' takes er good un ter do it es nice es that wuz done Say, I jedge yer don't kn6w Jim Duncan?" "No, I do not." "Wal. Jim an' m e 's been at it off an' on ever smce we wuz boys. _Either on us kin lick anything in ther mounting, but we h a in't never made out yit whi c h un ov us is the r best man We've fit at every doggoned log-rollin' an' house rai s in', an' every other sort o' gutherin', an' som e times one licks, an' sometimes t'other. Now, I tell yer whut, I d love ter see yer flummix Jim oncet like yer did me." "'N ould you?" "Bet I would." "But I have no reason for fighting Jim. "Shucks, that ne e dn t stand in the way none. I hain't never had nothin' ergin 'im nether, but we've allus fit. Thar'll be er roll in' over ter ole Buster's day arter ter-morry, an' I Jim'll be thar. Wush you'd come. Kain't yer?" 'Tm afraid not." "Dorggone it al mister, but yer ort. It'll be er bushel er fun -ter see yer keel Jim over 'fore he knows it, an' ther fellers will all swear by you arter fflat. Say, try an' git over, won t ye?" "Yes I'll see about it." "Thankee. Now lookyer, we're purty good friens, hain't we ? "Yes so far as I am concerned." "'Nill ye sh a ke han's on that?" "Ce rtainly." "Thankee ag'in. An' now see here, stra nger, ef yer ever w ant er frien' er er favor jest think o' J er:ry Jen-kins, will yer, an' ef y.:r whistle I ll come." All righ t J e rry, I'll bear that in mind. Now, before you go, tell me s o mething ab o ut Jim D u ncan. Who is he, and where d o e s he live? The tw o men had w a lked o ut to the yard fence as they talked, and now st o od leanin g a gains t it "vV al, fust a n' for m os t, Jim i s o l e Hank Duncan's boy, an' he liv es u t h his p a p over bery ant ther mill. Yer know whar ther mill is, I j e dge? " Oh, y es, I know where the mill is. That is the mill down close to Hank Duncan's still, I supp o s e?" "Ya-a-s. That is, I mean Munger's mill. I dunno nothin' b out no s till," a nd J e rry s hift e d about unea s ily. Of cours e y o u kn o w s o mething about the still," Jack replied, "and there is no use for you to deny it." "I swar I d o n't, stranger. Ackly an' honestly I don't." "I don't belie v e you I know that Hank Duncan has a still down th and so do you. Now don't you?" ' Wal, ter be hones', mister, I hev hearn sick talk." And y o u k b ow where it is?" "No, I don t, shore. That' s er fact, stranger." "I believe you're lying to me." ,, "Hone s' truth, mis t e r, I d on t know er derned thing bout it But air yer one o' them f e llers that's been er comin' down yere ter hunt them moonshiners?" "I have a little busine s s with Hank Duncan, and I'd like to know where his distillery is." ''Yas, I thought yer wuz one ov 'em. Say, yer seem ter be a mouty nice sort o' feller, an' I like y e r fust-rate, an' I wanter give yer a word ov ad v ice. Ef I wuz you I wouldn't go sneakin' erroun' arter tha t dorggo ned ole s till. I'll jest be blamed ef I would ''Tain' t no more use ner nothin', an' asides yer shore ter git kilt. I've lived right yere ever sence I wuz borned, an' I h a in't got no more ijee o' whar that blamed ole still is ner yo u hev." "Have you ever tried to find it?" "No-o, I kain't ri g htly s ay es I hev. But I've been nigh a'most all over these yere mount'ins, an' while I warn't huntin' no still, I 'low I seed 'bout e ver thin g that lie in sight, an' I jedge I'd er know e d er still ef I'd er s eed it." "Then you have no idea where it is?" "Not er dinged bit." "See ms to be pretty well hidden then?" "That's right. Tell ye wln t, I'd as lie try ter find er chigger in er forty acre fie!' er rye, es ter try ter find that th'ar blamed ole s till." Having satisfie d himself that no information" of any value was to be,obtainM froni Jerry, Jack bid him good-day and returned to the house. CHAPTER XVI. LOST IN.THE STORM. Jack tarrie d at Tucker's l onger than he had intended, and, when at la s t he resolved to go, he found that it was near night. He had gone a mile, perhaps, whe n his attention was attracted by a l o n g l o w rumbling thunder, followed quickly by a swift gust of wind and a s udd e n darknes s Glancing up he s aw the clouds rolling, boiling, and pitching forward ih an g ry-l o oking mass e s I For a moment there was a lull a dead calm, and not a leaf in the forest seemed to stir-even the birds had hu s hed their notes, and a perfect silence reigned o n every s ide. S oo n the thunder reports grew loud e r and more frequent. The flashes of ligh t ning shot to an
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18 BRA VE AND BOLD. many serpent tongues in angry combat. Then a few large drops of water fell, pattering on the leav es like tpe ticking of machinery. Then up from the west, fr om the valley and. caves, came the hoarse roar of a t e rrible storm, and a moment it swept up the gorges, over the mountain crests, across the plateaus and plain s sweeping the dry l eaves along and bending the trees until their tops almost touched the ground. From every qu arte r came th e crash of falling trees, some up rooted from the earth, some s n a pped off at the ba se, and some riven from top to bottom. Jack waited in breathless awe and wond e r. Before him behi1{ d him and on every side, trees were going down before the p ower and strength of the awful sto rm Should he go forward, th e re was danger; should he retreat, the r e was eq ual dang e r. Where he was the re was l ess danger, for he was in the mid s t of a narrow cleared strip, a nd he resolved to sta nd his ground and wait. Directly the storm ceased a nd was s u ccee d e d by a calm as op pressive as that which had prec e d e d it. For a moment the heavens lighted up and }fl.Ck started on, but he had advanced not more than two hundred yards when the .clouds seemed to have opened and poured their contents out. Such a rain mortal man seldom sees It came in sheets and s lices and within five min utes after it bega n to fall the mountainside was one solid sheet of rushing water. See? It was impossible to discern objects twenty feet away-objects as l arge as trees. The road was full of broken trees and boughs, and as Jack stumbled on amid the rain and gloom, he had lit tle idea of where his steps were t e nding. Now clambering over a fallen forest monarch, now scrambling through a matted growth of sh rubs and vines, and n ow picking his way along some narr ow pass, he trudge d forward as best he could. His progres s was slo w and the darkness thickened rapidly, a nd before he l e ft the l eve l track to desc end the mountain, h e became uncert a in of his course, and once or twice h alted as in the gla r e of a lig htning flash h e sought for some remind e r of the course h e had pursued that morning. He stumbled, blundered and s pla she d along until he came to a little rivulet that ran brimful of muddy water down the moun tain si d e Was this the go rg e h e had followed up a few hours ago? There was nothing to identify it to his mind, yet he thought it must b e the same, for he had no remembrance of crossing anY other along his way either in going or coming. He felt about for the road for some time, until a flas h of lightning revealed to him that no road was there; he was lost! Jack w
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BRAVE AND BOLD. 19 ha:in' t never felt jest easy over it. Eve ry night when it's d ark an' rainy like, it p ears so m eway as e f I c a n h ear an' see it all es plain es I heard and seed it then. Yer' ve he arn o' haunts, hain t y e?" ' Yas, g hosts an' fixin's " \Ii/al I d u nn o ef I d on't b'l e eve in the m thin g s now. I u s t ter laugh at s e ch n o tion s but se n ce t hat nigh t I ve f e lt k i nd e r d iffe r e nt. Thar, didn t ye hear th a t ? ''No, I didn't hear n o thin', only them waves a-slappin' up ergin ther rocks down thar. Did you?" I thort I he erd a voice sayin' My G o d !' j es t like that f e ller said it es we 'im ov e r, an the n I heerd e r sp las h in the r wate r d own tha r, .jest like some t hin h a d f ell int e r it. That's j est ther way it s o u nd e d that night w h e n h e struck. I du n no w hy it is b u t a lmo s t ev e ry ni ght I kin hear the m n o i ses a n ' s peci ally e f it's d a rk an' rai ny I r e ckon th e m must b e gho sts. "How'd y e com e t e r k e tch i 1 n ?" "Wal, yer s e e he found his y;ay down y e re s o m e h ow, but h o w he ever done it, I dunno; a n whi l e h e w uz sta ndin out thar a lookin' erro und an' w o nd c rin ', I g u e ss, why, Hank an' Jabe come up fr o m t' ot h e r side an' afo r e the r fell e r knowec! it the y h a d 'im an so lid _Wal the n the r que s ti o n co m e up e s ter whut he r we'd tal ke d ther matter over e r b i t. it w u z erg r ee d t h a t it 'ud b e saf e r ter fiirtg 'im in the r ri v er, wit h e r rock ti e d t o i m tf10u g h fer my part I k i n e r h elt o u t e rgin it. B u t H a n k, he s to o d fer e so mebody the other suggested. "Mebby yer seed er rale s h o re nuff live man? " Sho ', y e r go in c,raz y m a n Yer know ther hain t nobody erb o u t h e r e n ow h a r. The r kain t be.'' "Why kain t the r be?" "B e ca se th e r h ain' t n o place fer 'im ter hide." "Humph! c ouldn't h e hid e behind that big rock easy 'nuff ?" "Wal, he m out do th a t but I reckon it hain't likely es he wo u ld." "We m o ut l o ok, an y way, an' ."Yer kin ef yer want ter. fooli shness. m a ke s hore ov it." I hain't ergone ter do no sich Jack, who ha.d all the time shrunk back farther into the shadow of the stone, listening, with bated breath, to every word the

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, 2 0 BRA VE AND B O LD. men had spoken, hail e d this last announcement with geftuine plea sure, as may be readily s uppo s ed. While he was yet p ortde ritig thi s m atter and wondering what fate had in store for him, he wa s startled by the sound of foot step s behind him. Some one w as approaching th e c av e frnm the we s t, :rnd, irt order to rea c h it, mus t pa ss th e sp o t where J ack stood. and n earer the footstet>s approa ch ed. Oh, fortunate, indeed for Jack, that the night was so dark that objects could not be se en inches from the eye, el s e h e mus t have be e n discovere d and his doom fixed. A s it was, the man cam e slowly on, :feeling his \ v ay c a titi o u s ly, for the path w as nari-ow and there \\ras 11ecd of the greatest caution. Fortunate was it for Jack that the wate rs down below kept up such a roaring' and s pl as hing, e l s e hi s v e ry bre athing, soft as it was, mus t have direct e d the man's atte nti on. Directly the 111a1i came e v en with the crouching figure. He was feeling his way al o11g and k ept hi s h and o n the s ton e and Jack was forced to sto o p low e r to l e t the h and p ass above him. It w as a critical mome nt, and one in which Jack n either moved nor bre a t h ed. "Darn the luck," the m a n muttere d, a s a s tone gave way beneath hi s foot. arid he ca!Tie v ery n ear lo s in g hi s balance and going over the precipic e "I ne ver see d sich er night as this. D arker' n a nigger p i cni c ." He s poke low, but he was s o clos e to J a-ck that he h eard hit11 plainly. Inde ed, he would have heard hi111 if h e h a d s poken irt lhe lowest whisp e r, a11d it is doub t fttl if he could not a lmost hav h eard him, th ough he h a d d o ne no 111ore than think. "This is er cu sse d night fer s hore the man w ent on, stGp ping within s i x in c h es of J a ck and fumbling about his clothes. R e ckon er f e ller co uld strike er match an' s ee 'i s way et leetle bNter.'1 Jack' s heart beat fa s t when the man drew a match across the stone. Would it light? And if !1 did wh a t w o uld b e the result when he wa s di sco ve r e d there? l h e an swer to the la s t que s tion was easily found. What had be e n the fate of the man whtl was found there? His rnuld not be better, for he Wa\'l knGwn, and his business was known. One, two, three, four matches were tried, but none of the m lighted, and all that time Jack waite d with the determinatio n that if one did light h e woulc:I pu s h the rhan over the precipice and make a run for his life At last the man pa ss ed on, and coming to the corner of the rock, was light e d alon g the led g e of st o n e to the mouth of the cave by the little spark of light that lay buried back in the mount::tin. "Who' s that?" he h eard a voice demand in a low tone accotf! panied by the click of a pi s tol. "Hank Duncan1 you fool," the other replied. "Who else d'ye r 'spect it ter be com in' h ere s ich er night?" "Sich er night is whefl th e y r e mos t apt ter come, rnebby "Mebby it is, but I reckon not." CHAPTER XIX. A DARING LEAP. "Any news, Hank?" one of the men a s ked. "Yas, there is Hank replied ih a t o ne that showed unmis takably that whatever the news was, it was not pleasant or agree able news. "What hev yer hearn ?" ''Wal, for one thing I heat'n that that f eller stopged t1Jl thar at ole Tucker's hain't l eft ther m ountings et tall, ut is sufh e i''s erbout in this yere section now. ; "Is that er fack ?" "\ "Course it's er fack, er I wouldn't sa id it wuz so "Whar's he stoppin' ?" "Dunno." "Then how'd yer know he's h ere?" "I reckon he hain't here. I wush he wuz, for then we d soon git rid ov 'im fer once an' all." "I mean how yer know he' s in ther mountings ?" "Seed 'im." "You seed 'im ?" "Yas, I seed 'im." "Whar?" ''Up erlong ther bench jes beyartt old Parker's It Wuz jest afore ther stonh corrte up, an' when I seed hitn er swingin' erloilg dowrt ther road fro1t\ ole Tucker's, I hid berhind er lawg an' waited fer im." "Whyn' t yer cl rap 'irn ?" "Drap 'im? Wal, that' s jesl whut I wuz figgerin' on doin' an' I waited tell he got almost even with me, an' then jes t a s i sighted an' put my hand on ther trigger tet pull it, stlfi1pin' hit me squar oh the r head an' laid me out senseless fer er good bit I guess. Anyliow when I come crround ergin, it wuz pourin' down r a in, an' I wuz !yin' in er sluice er water, an' ther feller wuz clean gone to no tellin' whar.'' "Wlrnt wuz it hit yer ?'' "It wuz er rock, but I dunno no n1or'n you do who throwed it." "It watn't the r feller, I n lckon ?" "No, it warn't him, case he didn't hev no rock in his hand, an' a s ide s he couldn t er done -it 'thout me seein' im." "Wal, that seems sorter quare, cloh't it?" "It d on't S e eh1 no qUarer t e t y o u tier it does ter me, I jedge." "No, I low ( it don t But who d 'yer think could 'a' don e it?" "I kain t make out no head nor tail ter it. It's all er puzzle t e r me.' And Jack, listening in his corner behind the stone admitted that it was all a pltzzle to hift1; but nevertheless he felt thankful i11 his heart to the unknown per Ort who had so Oflportunely and s o unsuspectingly saved his life. To b e sure he could not form the le ast idea of. who his bene fa ctor cquld be i but some way a;id J erry came b e fore hall, ana he felt a strong 1hcltnatt.on to associate one of the m with the act. "Look yere, Hank," one of the men went on, "dgn't it 'pear s o me to 1 you like that thar feller's puttin' in er lee tle too nrnch up thar at Tucker's?" "I dunno es he's been thar s ence that day we run him down the r range-ther day he fotch ther do.c:.'' I dunno mithet; bltt he tnout er been gain' thar every day es fer es we know. He mout er bee11 that "He mout, that's er fack. But what of it?" "Wal, nothin' ov it; cnly ef he's goin' up thar, mouten't it be sorte r likely that ole Rile is actin' sorter o' shabby 'uth us an' hcppin' ther fell et out? An' ef he's a-doifl' that, mouten't it be sorter likely that it warn't nobody bltt ole Tucker w l10 tl'li'owed ther rock?" / "Wal, now, ef that's wh'ut yer tryin' ter reason out. yer right smart_ off yer base, Qle man, fer I know it warn' t ole Tuc;ker er tall." "How d'yer ktiow that, Hank?" "I know it, because I \mow Rile warn't thar. I wuz down ter thr store ter-day, an' \fucker war thar, an' me'n him c;ome b ack tergethet ter ther forks, an' I come oh this erway, an1 he went on home.'' "An' yer shore he didn't turn back an' foller yer ?" "Cours e I art:t; fer not five minutes afore I wuz hit I heerd ole Tuc ker shoot 'way over ercrost ther mounting.' "Wal, in co se it couldn't er been him then. But who ther devil it could er beeft, stumps my 'taters. "!t 'ud stun1ti anybody's 'taters, I 'low. I've' re:ts6fied ther hull detl'ied thing out es I tome etl6flg, afl' ther oi1ly way I kit\ fix it is that ther must be two o' them spies in these mountings." "Wal, now, that's jest erbo11t whut they air, Hank, an' I tell yer ef that's ther case, we gotter keep our eyes out purty derrted sha rp 11 retkon I krtow that 'bout's well es you dB." "Yas, s'pose yer do; fer er fade An' yer hain't nd ijee whar that feller's e r stayin' ?" "No; but we gottet fin' out purty soon." "Dunno which way he tuck artet yer seed 'ith up that?'' "No; but it stands ter reason he come on ddWl1 this way, don't it, when he \vuz headed thi s way?" J a<;:k's heart beat a little faster. "Yas, sure 'miff, it does. But whar <;ould he a-gone in th_ is direction?' "Wal, that's jest whut I been er wtlnderin1 erbot.it art' ttyifl' ter figger out. They h1!in't bllt one jjath 'twixt what I s eed 'in'l an' this, aleadin' off ter ther river, an' that's ther one that goes down by oie Perry J ackson 's. Now he didn't go down that road, fer I kep' er lookout fer it, an' I seed that er stone es big e s er barn hed rolled dowl1 art' stopped right erctost it, all' they warn't no possible chance fttr im tet go down thar, An' yet know yet

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' BRA VE AND BOLD. 2 1 self he couldn't er gone down nowhar else, an', fer that matter, he couldn'f e r gon e up, could he?" o he couldn't." thar's no two ways erbout it, b oys He's sttmer's nigh thi s place ri g h t n ow, an' while he hain't n ow i se likely ter find tis out, he 's purty d e rn e d liable ter git e r l ee tl e to o clos e fer comfort." J ack's h eart b ega n to thtimp and his h air stoo d up It \vas beginning to a pp ea r pretty a pparent that h e was in a close pl ace, to say the least, and that unl ess th e moonshiners soort gave him a chance to r et reat he would b e di scovere d and killed. \ Vhi l e h e was yet waiting and listening, o n e of the men said: "Dal1 seed e r feller standin' in front h e re erwhile ergo., but he l owed it wuz e r ghost e r ha' n t er su m pin'." "Ghost e r ha'nt be derned," Hank replied; "ef yer seed any-thing it wuz that feller, a n h e's 'roun& h e r e pow s um er"s." "He couldn't be here nowha r le sse n he wuz b ehind that rock." "Be may be thar." Jack's heart stoo d sti ll, and hi s blood ran cold in his v e in s "Git e r lig h t an' we'll soo n see ef h e's thar," Hank co mtnal1ded. "Oh, why didn' t I pu s h him over the precipice?" he thought. Howeve r he tarrie d not .to b e found; but with one sw ift jump he cleared the bank, a nd \vent down, d own to the foaming, to ssing water s ixty feet below. CHAPTE R X. OVER THE FALLS. It was ;.! fea rful le a p for life or death, and few men would have made it and escaped. But when n ea r the bottom. Jack struck a point of so ft dirt tha t projected a foot or two at t!Tht point, thus breaking the force of his d esce nt, and throwing him into the wate r sa f e ly and soundly. The river was roaring and toss ing, a11d full from the recent hea vy' rain. 1 On its bo so tn floated gteat 1 6 gs, litnb s and chu11ks, until they almost forme d a solid raft the entire width of the s tream. Jack having r etai n e d his conscioli ne ss a11d wit s froh! the fir s t, soo n m a d e himse lf secute to one of these floating Jogs, and was thus safe from drow11ing, at lea st. It was a wild, weird night, and Jack's surrOtmdings were far fro m pleasant, yet as he floated down the river with the swift current, h e r ecalle d all that h a d trllfis pired, and felt thankful for sec!mi11gly miraculous escape. There was no po ssibility o f him escaping from hi s p os ition for in the Int e n se darkness of the night no 011e could have f0t111d a way to the shore through the m ass o f floating timbet, and it would h ave require d mote than ordinary human strength and endurance to have succe'ssfl!lly fought against the boiling, rolling currertf. J ac k \Vas already w ea k from exposure and fatigue, and wisely d eci d e d to maintai11 hi s po s ition on the l o g, and drift with the current into the ne\V day llf\d whatever it brought him. He was not at peace within hin1self by any means, for. while the ot1tcome of his adventure wa s far from s ettled, and he realize d that at 'any momellt he be da s lied from his un ce rtain b ark; hi s mind was bu s y \vith th e eve11ts of the last f e w h ours, and he was troubled l es t hi s lu cky discovery of the moonshi n e r s' den might ptove v a hteles s after all. He h ad floated on for nearly half a n hour, when he noticed that the roarirtg of the water s increa sed At first he took no s pe c i a l n ot ic e of this, but as minute '
PAGE 23

, 22 BRA VE AND BOLD. floated up none stood out so boldly and so prominently as his last interview with Lizzie Tucker. He passed on mile after mile, and it was near the middle of the afternoon when the path he was following led down a slight decline and ran for some distance along the edge of a steep preci pice, at the foot lof which a little valley stretched away a hundred yards or so to where the mountain rose again. It was simply a littl e ba s in comprising less than two acres of Jan<;! almost entirely shut in by mountains with only a narrow inlet at one side, and an eq ually narrow outlet at the other side for the tin y stream that flowed through on its way from the mountain springs to the river. 1 It was a picturesque spot, and Jack, in his meditative mood, --was struck with it, and stopped to enjoy the beauty of its sur roundings and scenery. He had remain e d standing on the brink of the precipice for five minutes, perhaps, when he was disturbed from his dreams by a slight noise among the l eaves a nd brush back of him. Glancing quickly around he hastily and eagerly scanned the whole side of the mountain a b ove him, but n othing rewarded his view. "A squirrel or rabbit, I guess," he muttered as he turned b ack, and in a moment all thought of the noise, or of any danger that might attend it, passed out of his mind. Since le aving Fifer's, J ac k h ad not see n a single sign of human I habitation, and so far as outward appearances went the whole country for miles in every direction might ha ve been in its original and unsettled state. It i s true there was a little useM path leadin g through the mountain s but it might have been worn out by the animals of the forest. He had taken a "nigh cut" that ran by a more rugged course and through a rougher section of country, instead of going the pla iner road that followed up the . It was a desolate spot, and as Jack stood gazing dow.n iryto the valley, that was a lr eady shrouded in the solemn sha d es of evening, a sense of lonelin ess crept ove r him and an unacc ountab le sadness settled down on his spirits, and his mind wandered away to other times and other scenes. So deep h ad h e fallen in this reverie, and so lo s t was he to his surroundings an d the present, that he saw and h eard nothing that passed around him. It was while in the midst of these dreams, and while peering absent-mindedly down into the thickening gloom, that he was startled and aroused by the appearance of a man emerging from a clump of low trees on the opposite s ide of the valley. The figure mo ve d slowly, stealthily to ward Jack's pos iti o n two or three times halting to listen and cast furtive glances around. -Jack drew his pistol and waited for the issue, having no doubt but that another attempt was to be made on his life. But in this h e was mistaken. The fir s t figur e r eached the middle of tbe valley, and for a moment lifting his head so that Jack looked clown on his face, nevealed to the lat te r his identity. When the first figure loo k ed up and J ac k caught a good view of his face, he was surpris e d to find that it was none othe r than Tucker. And he was equally as much surprised when he saw Hank Duncan steal forth in Tucker's wake, evidently intent on murdering him. It was the work of but an in stant to draw a b ea d on Duncan, even as he was preparing to fire on Tucker, and almost simu l taneously the two weapons 'Vere discharged with s uch effect that, while Tucker e scape d, Duncan received a ball through his right arm near the shoulder. A minute elapsed, probably, and Jack rem aine d in the same position looking down in the valley, when there was a s udd e n rustling of the leaves and bushes above him, and turning about he found himself face to face with two m en with drawn revolv e rs. "Curse you! we've got you thi s time, I r ecko n," o ne of them ground out through his teeth. "vVe've hunted you high an' low, an' two or three times you hev escaped us, bu t this time we've got you Indeed, Jack's case did seem hopeless, and he no doubt felt that his chance of escape was a slender one. His assailants had the drop on him, I and even if he made a motion to rai se his pistol, they would in stantly send a bullet through his brain. r "You have the advantage of me. men," Jack said after a short silence, in which his assailants had gazed into each others a&ainst one, and you have the drop op. me." J "I 'low yer k'rect thar," one of the men replied, with a cold, hideous grin, "an' furder we 'low ter keep the drap OFI ye." "Then you don't propose to give a man a fair chance for his life?" "Not sech as you, we don't." "Is it manly or brave of you to shoot a man down in cold blood, when he is powerless to -offer the least particle of de fense? "Dunno nothin' 'bout that. Reckon anything's good ernuff fer t h em darned spies, an' you re one ov 'em. Hain' t nothin' tn
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BRA VE A N D BOLD 23 firm and unshaken; his face, though a shade paler th<1n wont, showed no trace of fear, and his eyes looked all the defiance that it was possible for eyes so soft and dreamy to look. Even the murderous mountaineers must have felt a sort of admiration for the man who could so coolly face death; but their feeling of admiration was not sufficient to alter their purpose or cause them for a moment to hesitate in their diabolical work. 'Ready?" The word had barely escaped the man's lip s when a h eavy hand was laid on hi s shoulder and. he was jerked back to the earih. Momentarily Jack was surprised beyond the power of action, so suddenly and unexpecte dly had this last comer appeared on the scene. But quickly recovering his selfpo sse s ion, he drew forth his r evolve r, knocked the other assassin down with one blow, and quickly disarmed them both. Then extending his hand to his deliverer, he sa id impetuou sly: ''Tucker, you h ave saved my life, and T have not words to thank you. lf I have misjudge d you in the pa s t, I take it all back, and swear friend hip to you n o w and forever." "One good turn deserves ernuther, I reckon," Tucker replied; "an' I 'low it 'ud er been sorter dern s habby in me ter a stood off thar an' seed yer killed arter yer fixed ole Hank jest now an' saved my hide. I reckon ef anybody orter ax pardon an' swar frien'ship, it orter be me." "vVell. enough of that now. 1 have these two fellows on my hands, and l mu)>t get them out of here and put them in a place of safo keeping." "It won't take long ter do that, ef yer er mind act sensible," Tucker r ep lied. I "How is that?" "I l ow yer orter know whar they'd be safest." Jack under?tood Tucker's meaning, and shaking his head repli ed: "No; I couldn't think of that, Tucker. It would neYer do. They must be turned over to the law. "Law be derned Law hain't nothin' down here; an' ef yer want them fellers ter git i estice yer got ter deal it out ter them yerse'f. 'Tain't n o use er monkeyin' 'bout the law. Ye got 'bout ther only l aw es counts in this sectio n right har in yer hand. Jack/ lifted his pistol and glanced at it, at the sa me time shak-ing his h ead. "No; while these cowards deserve such treatment, I will not stain my hands with their bloocf. They are prisoners, and it i s my duty to deliv e r them up to the law, to suffer whatever punishment it puts en them." Tucker was not pleased with this mild way of dealing with hi s old-time comrades, and friends, but now hi s inveterate enemies, but he refrained from aying anything further, and stooc! sile ntly by looking on while Jack brought forth a pair of handcuff s and prepared to place them 011 the wrists of the m e n, who all this time lay flat on the ground as if not yet recovered from the shocks they had received. He bent over the tallest one1 who lay as if his life was on the point of going out, and lifting his arm, was in the act of spri.ng ina the bracelet on him, when, lik e a flash. the p owe rful man to his feet, giving Jack a vicious shoYe as he did so. which sent him staggering back to the brink of the precipice and over itand down-do wn to the very bottom. At thesame moment the other sprang to hi s feet, and the two disappeared in the bushes, receiving a parting salute from Tucker's gun as they did so. "Drat the luck," Tucker muttered, as he stood momentarily upset by the s.udden turn affairs had taken. "Drat t h e luck, why warn't I keepin' my eyes open so's ter be r eady fer t hem cusses? I mot 1t a-knowed they wu'Z 'possumin' an' waitin' fer er chance ter git erway. Shucks, ef that feller'd er acted an' lai<:J 'em out fer good> while !Jad 'cm, it '.ud been more l.ike busine ss. 'Tain't no use er fool111' 'uth law an sech nonsense 111 these yere parts. Ther sensible way is j"est ter d r ap 'em." Having del ivered himself of this piece of p:ood logic. Tucker took up his gun and looked over it carefully, then went on muttering: "All foolishness from fust to last. Law may do in some places but down here it hain't no mo r e nor wind. That air's our tapping his gt\)1, "and w h e n she speaks she mean.s business. _They hain t n o goin' back on it, er monkeyin' ou t ov it, ef she is p'inted right. Law Dern tile r law' Yer jest naterly got ter 'drap 'em.''\ Having by this time spoken his sentiments to his ow n satisfac tion Tucker began to recall Jack to mind ,and wonder what his fate had been. "Mashed ter pieces, I reckon. Legs an' arms an' neck's all bro ke. 'Pears like some folks is natre l -borned fools from the fust, an' don't know nothin'. Ef he'd had any sense he'd er 'drapped 'em.'" Tucker had pent a good many years in the mountains,r and had in hi s n11merous hunting expeditions traversed the country from o ne end to the other, and consequently knew almost every path, n ook an d corner in it. And on this occasion he was at no los s for a way by which he could descend to the valley. Cautiously, stea lthily creeping along, h e finally reached the bottom, and ke eping a sharp lookout for his enemies, at la s t reached the spot where J ack had fallen, and where he now lay in an unc o n sc iou s condition. "Air ye dead young feller?" Tucker asked, as he lifted Jack's hand, and turned him so the light fell full in his face. Jack's lips moved as if in spe ech, but not a sound came from them. Tucker, putting his car do ')' n, asked: "Whut wuz it?" ''\>\Tater," he barely di sce rned. Tucker_ realized that ever;i: moment they remained there they were 111 1m111111ent danger, smce the m oo n s hiner s were liable at any p1oment to return to finish their work if it was not already complete, so hastemng to the creek he brought so m e water in hi s hat, and g1v111g Jack a swa llow of it, dashed the balanc e in hi s face, and taking him in hi arms disappeared in the bu s hes and stopped not until he r eache d the o pposite s ide of the valle/ Here h e came to a little cave see mingly hewn out of the with an entrance scarce wide enough to admit a man's body. Layin g Jack down, Tucker went in first, pulling his companion 111 after h1m, who by this t1111e was fully re stored to his senses but not to the u se of hi s limbs. "Thar yer air, safe a n sound," Tucker remarked, as he stowed J ac k away o n
PAGE 25

BRAV E A N D BOLD. while he w a s wea k a n d hungry, h e felt tha t h e c o uld n o t b olt su ch p rov i s ions . . However in a s h ort time Rile r e t u rn e d w i th s o m e thin g enti r ely d iff e r e n t A morse l o f fried s qu irre l d o ne to a turn, a s l ice o f e xcellent brea d and some oth e r l itt l e k n ick n acks c alcul a t e d t o t em p t t h e m ost fa s tidiou s "Th i s i s some o' B et's to a ccept thesituati o n wit h as mu\:h g r ace as p oss ibl e ." Reck o n y e r h ad Say a fo r e ye g o a n y furd e r I wa n t ye ter u n'e r s t and th a t I'm y e r fri e nd. Ye r know I t ol d ye I wuz fro m the fust." "Yes, I r e m e mber, b u t whi l e I d o n o t d o ubt it n ow I did d oubt i t th e n " Yas, a n ye r h e d r easo n s t o I j e d ge I n e v e r lik e d them d ern e d on ne ry cus s es, b u t I wuz erfeerd ov e m an' I. sent e m w o rd t h a t fust night cau s e I k n o we d ef I d i d n't th ey'd find out you wuz thar an' t hey d kill m e B e t sh e went ca u se she knowed the y'd kill me. B u t yer s e e I hain't g ai n e d nothi n by it, an' s e n ce I m inter i t w ith ye I 'll s t ick te r yer till the r end. "I b e lieve you, Tucke r and s i n c e I h a v e un i ntention a lly brought thi s t ro ub l e o n yo u I ll do all I c a n t o h e lp yo u out of i t So th e y s h oo k h ands o n t h e c om p a ct, and neit h e r h a d a doubt of t h e h o n es ty and goo d intenti o ns of the ot h er. It was alrea dy n i g ht by t his time and Tucker anno unced his in te n t i o n of returning h o me. Y o u \\ill n o t t a k e t h e ri s k of going back t onight?" J ac k p ro t es t ed. ' Yas, I ll hev t e r g o an asid es, the y hain' t n o res k i n it." "You may mee t those m e n ." "Not lik e l y to I r ec k on. I k now this y e r e c o un t ry a le etle b etter' n any o' th e m d e rn ed sca m p s knows i t an' I r ec k o n I kno w whu ter go a n h ow t e r go so's t e r le a ve 'e m ef the y air watchin '. " I s it n e ces sary t h a t y o u s h o uld go?" Vv' al, I o r te r g o "I'd rath e r y o u wouldn t Tucker; but of course you k n o w y our own bt:s i n c ss b e st " I hate te r lea v e ye h ere e rl o n e J a ck," T uc k e r re plie d, ca llin g hi s com p a ni o n .by n ame fo r t h e firs t time "but ye r'll g i t erl o n g w ell ernuff, 1 j edge; and a s id es i t can t be help e d I h a ft e r go an' t hat's t h e r ee n d -on i t." mi n d m e J ack r eplied "I s h a ll do w e ll enough, and th e n yo u 'll n o t b e go n e l o n g B u t b e care ful. "Oh, I'll b e k e e r ful ermtff," Tuc k e r sa id a s h e p a ss e d out. T h e fir s t t h o u g h t that ca me t o Jack wh e n h e w;,, a l o n e wa s : ''\.Vould T u c k e r eve r return, and if n o t, wh a t w o uld be his d es tiny, c o op e d t h e r e i n t h e c ave w ith o ut wate r o r food?" * * * F o r two d a y s J a ck l a y th ere, un a bl e t o m ove and witho u t fo o d o r drink . He h a d b e come un c o n s cio u s whe n Jerry an d L izz i e m a d e th eir w a y into the c ave o n the third d a y J crry ente re d, followe d imme di a t e ly by hi s c o mpa ni on w h o ; as soo n as s h e r eac h e d the s i de o f h e r l o v e r thre w h e r se lf d own b y him and c ri e d o n hi s bo s o m aga i n a n d aga in k i s s ing h is burning ch eeks brow and l i ps, sa ying ove r and ov er: M y p oo r, p oo r J ack!" CHAPTER XXIV RE UNITED. \ Tuc k e r h a d l e ft J ac k full y d etermine d to r eturn that ni g h t b ut h i s c onfide nce in his a bility to e s c ap e d a n g e r a nd ma ke his w a y sa f e ly throu g h t he niounta in s w as d es tin e d to be d as h e d to a to ms and i t w as v e ry l ong after h is de parture fro m the cav e H e h a d hardly r eac h e d t h e mountain pla i n and turned off by a s h o r t w a y th a t l e d to w ard h i s h o me, whe n he was s u ddenly b rou ght to a h a lt by the click o f a pi s to l an d a vo i ce c r yin g : "Hold th a r Tuc k e r a l t h o u g h s u r p ri se d a n d momenta rily di s co n c e r t ed was q u ick to r ealize hi s dan ge r and kno wi n g t hat to halt m eant d eat h he d as h e d a w a y d ow n the hill s id e, throu g h th e brus h and ove r t h e s t o n es and l o gs t h a t l ay thic k in hi s cot; rse, fir e d at in rapid s u ccess i o n b y th e t wo m e n who had atte mp te d to h a lt h,im. T h e b ullets whistl e d close ab out hi s e ars, but none o f the m stru c k him and h e w o u l d h av e es c a p ed unharme d h a d n o t a sto n e g i v en b e n eat h his foo t, ca u sing him t o fall h ea d fo r emos t s o m e dist<1nce d o w n the h ill, breaking his coll a r bone and otherwi se injuri n g him T h e a ssass i n s did not fo llow and Tucker lay t h e r e in an unco nsc i o u s sta t e a ll th rottg h t h e ni g ht, and unti l ] ate in th e fore n oo n, w he n h e wa s accid e n ta lly dis cov e r e d by J erry J enki n s who h a pp e n e d to p a ss that way and w a s attracted by the g r oa n s of th e wo mide d ma n H av ing secure d as s istance T u ck e r was conveye d h ome, w here Lizz.ie atte nded hi m and fo r t h ree d ays an d night s h e rema ined in a n uncon s c i ou s c o ndi t i o n O f te n b e l ay q u ite sti ll and fo r a n h o u r n o t a word wo uld es c a p e hi s lip $ T h e n aga in he would brea k forth in wild r aving, a n d for an h our t a lk in a and di sco nn e cted way, and always of J ack and the cave, and of R o whnff's Gl en. T h us it w e n t o n day and night until the listener s had gathere d e n o u g h t o convi nce t hem that J a c k had m e t wit h !In a ccid e nt, and by deg r ees th e y came to u nderstand the whole of the situati o n The mom e n t it was a ll plai n to and she came to under-\

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BRA VE AND BOLD. stand that J ack was hurt and was then lying in a cave in Row huff's Glen, she quietly took up her bonnet and stepping toward the door, said: "I am going to find him." "What?" J erry exclaimed, "not by yourself?" "Yes, by mys e lf." "You can't. You don't know the way, and you couldn't never find it." "I'll try, anyhow I can't think of leaving him alone there to die, without making some effort to find him ." "Wal, you can't do it by yourself," Jerry replied, "an' so I 'll go with you ." Lige Jones was there at the time, and promised to remain with Tucker while they were gone. It was a long trip, and over a rugged country, and Jerry feared th at the g irl coule never m a ke it, but, wrought up by excitement and anxiety, she did make it, and not only that, but Jed J erry a liv e ly chase on the way. Jack was in a d esperate condition when they found him, and his features
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I BRAVE AND BOLD. "Yes, I know that," Jack replied, "but you haven't thought how easy it would be for them to build up a fire just outside there, and smoke or roast us out." "By 'jux, I hain't never thought a breath o' that. They could do it jest es easy es nothin ', an' I reckon ef they let us erlone we'd best let the m erlone." Jack rapidly regained his strength, and by constant bathing, the pain and soreness was soon subdued, and his limb s restored to their natural c:pndition. Jerry had b1ought a goodly supply of provisions, and every night when he went out he brought in other necessary articles, and altogether they got along very well for prisoners in an underground dungeon. Lizzie sincerely mourned the fate of her father, and begged time and again to go to his grave, but J ack would not allow her to expose hers e lf to suc h great clanger, and per s uaded her from it. Thus a week passed, and it becoming evident that the moon shiners had up sea r ch for Jack, it was decided to leave the cave. Jack emerged from the cave, and with Lizzie walking by his side, followed after Jerry, and in due time arrived s afely at the main road leading clown in the direc tion of Fife r's house, w here Jack had cleciclecl to take Lizzie, now that her father was dead. "Yer'll be safe enough now ," J erry a nnounced, "so I'll not go any f<)rcler. Gla d fer Bet 's sake we got out 'thout bein' mo l ested, but I'd 'a' liked doggoned well ter clrap one ov 'em." CHAPTER XXV. JACK STARTS FOR THE MOUNTAINS ONCE MORE. "Jerry," Jack said, extending his hand, "I may never see you again, but I want you to bear in mind that, no matter where I am or how many years I may liv e I will never, never forget you and the many kindne sses you have r e ndered u s And be sides that, you have lost time, Jerry, and I feel that I ought to make i t good to you, so if you will you may take this." "Whut is it?" Jerry asked, eagerly eying the little parcel Jack held out. "Open it and see," Jack replied. Jerry took it and found a couple of gold pieces when it was unwrapped. It was near noon when Jack and Lizzie arrived at Jim Fifer's and were welcomed into his doniicile by that somewhat eccentric individu al. "By Jacks, stranger, you've come back!" Fifer exclaimed. "Yes, I 've come back," J ack repli ed "Yer not lookin' very bloomin' jest now by Jacks Looks like ye mout 'a' been sick er s um pin'." "I have been s ick, Mr. Fifer. but l m all right again." "Uh-huh! Them mountings hain't the healthiest place a-goiri', air they?" "I hardly know. I might have been sick elsewhere just as easily." "Yas, that's so by Jack s ye mout-ye mout-in co"se, to be shore. Reckon yer hain't a-goin' back no more?" "Yes, I'm going back." "Diel ye git hurt, or s uthin', up thar ?" ''I'll tell you about my se lf after a while," Jack replied. "First, I 'd lik e to speak with Y.OU privately a few minutes, if you please." "Sartainly, by Jacks!" W!1en they had gone out and walked down to the ri'ver, Jack laid his hand on the other's shou l der, and said: "Mr. Fifer, I believe you are an hone st, straightforward, well meaning man and that I can trust you.'" Fifer ran his hands clown the bottom of his pockets, chewed his tobacco very fast, and gazed attentively into his companion's face, but made no "Now, I h ave come back here," Jack went on, "and I have brought that young lady up at the hou se with me." "Eclzactly, by Jacks!" "And npw I am going back up in the mountains to-morrow, a nd I am going to leave the lady here under your protection. I believe I can tru t you, and you are the only man in this whole region that I know well enoug h to trust so far." "Edzactly, by Jacks!" "Now, will you promise lo keep her and protect her, as if she was you r own daughter, until I come back?" "Stranger, I hain't much on makin' promises, an' sayin' I'll do this, or I'll do tlfat, or I'll do father, but yer welcome ter leaye the gal here ef ye want to .. an' here s my h?-nd that she' ll be treated white an' pertected es fer es I'm able. That's all I kin promise ye." ''That's all I could ask you to promise, and I believe you'll do what you say." A short silence e1isuecl, after which Fifer, turning to Jack, remarked: ' Looky here s tranger, I don't want ter be too officious nor nothin', an' I don t want ter no se in whar I don't b'long, but mout I ax whar ye got that ga l an' whut she's a-cloin' with you? Reckon it's all .straight an' squar' ever' way, but at ther same time I 'low I h ev er right ter ax fer a explanation/' "Indeed you have," Jack replied, "and I'll gladly give it. To begin with, I suppose you have no idea of who the girl is?" ''Not a shadder of a n ij ee, by Jacks." ''Well then, she i s you1 niece, Rile Tucker's daughter." "By Jacks. stranger, is that so? Is she Taley ole Rile's gal?" "Yes, she is." "Then whut's 'come o' old Tucker?" Thereupon Jack related the w h ole of the circumstances pertaining to Tucker's death and everything connected with the girl and himself from that day clown. "Stranger!" Fifer exclaimed extendi n g his hand, "I promised to stick by the gal the best I could, an' now, by Jacks, I swar ter stan' by 'er es long as I've got er hair on my head." ''Thank you, Mr. Fifer. I was sure you would, and that is why I brought her here. I won't be gone long", and when I come back she i s tn go with me, and, to become my wife." Fifer gaz ed stead ily into the river, but made no reply. "Don't you approve of that?" Jack a keel. "Yes, I hain't nothin' to say agin' i t. But if I wuz you I wouldn t go up thar no more. I tell ye, you won't gain nothin' by it. Them fellers is too n1any fer you, an' they're dead shore to git ye b efo re it's d o ne with. You're out now an' you're safe, an' you've got a who l e hide, an' a purty gal to 19ve an' be lov. d by, an', by Jacks, I say keep oulen them thar doggon e d mou t ings." Jack only shook his h ead. Fifer waited a few minutes. and then went on: "In co'se you kin a n orter to do jest as you please. It's your right an' your only I kriow it 's too pesky risky, by J acks, to suit me.'' I appreciate your good intentions, Mr. J.ack replied, "but as I told you once before, I am fully clec1decl 111 this mat te1-, and whether it be a wise thing or a foolish thing, I am going through with it to the end. And now, if anything should happen, and it should turn out t hat I didn't come back, I want you to see that the g irl is cared for properly." "I'll do all I k i n fer 'er, mi ste r, an' little es that is, I'll do it g l adly, fer I hain't nob0cly else to live fer. By Jacks, stranger, I'm dinged glad o' hevin' er cha nce o'
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BRA VE AND BOLD. pedi t ion so all the entertaining, and qu es ti oning, and wondering fell to Mrs. Jacks on s lot. At the e nd of half an hour Perry Jackson came in. As he entered t h e house he saw Jack sitting before him, and stopping on the thresho ld, he excl a imed : "Wal, I'll be goldarned." "How are you, Mr. Jackson?" Jack said, rising and extending his hand. "Purty well," said J ackson. "Nothin' extry, but sorter fair ter middlin But I'll be golda rn ed, stra n ge r ef y e don t clea n up so t me I hain t b ee n s'pectin' t e r see ye any more in these yere parts. 'Lowe d y e'd d o n e b ee n kilt or run otrte n the mountings long afore now. Whar ye r b ee n all the time?" Oh, I ve b ee n kno c k i n g about in the m ounta in s ." It was late that evening when J ac k walk e d out and stood leaning again s t the f e nce maturing his pl a ns for the work of the next day H e had been tpere, perhaps, a quarter of an h our, wh e n old Perry Jac kson app roache d and said: "Strange r, yer rick o lcc t I j edge, the talk we had j es t afore you went away?" J a ck thought he kn e w what the old m a n m e a.nt but it was far fro m his purpo s e to encourage him, so h e merely a ske d as coolly and un co n ce rn edly as possible: "What ta)k do you m ea n lYfr. J ackson?" "Whut talk? Why, goshamity, mister, I reckon yer know es well s I do ." "We talked ab out several things, and you m a y r efe r t o one and you m ay r efe r to another. How am I to kn o w which you have in m ind?" '"Wal, then, to be pl a in 'ut h y e I'll say I m d n ther talk we had bout S al. Yer b' a r that in min', I j edge?" Y es I r e m e mber that. "An' yer rick e rl e ct y e r promise d ter l e t us know when yer got back whut yer wuz gai n' ter do 'bout it?" "Yes, I b elieve I did J ack admitted, hesitat i ngly. "Wal, yer b ac k n ow hain't ye?" "Yes. I a m back." "An' 'cordin' te r promise I '.] o w yer ort ter be ready ter sp eak out a n' sa y whut ye r cackerlate ter do. Yer prom ise d t e r figge r on it, ao' I 'l ow yer've bed pl e n ty o time ter do all ther figge rin' yer'd ne e d ter d o." "Mr. J ac kson,/ I hav e as your wife expresse d it, had an""up and go' time of it since I l ef t h e re, and I have h a d no time o r opport uni ty to think o f anythi n g much So I must beg for a little more t ime. I 'd perfe r to get w ell throti g h w i t h this m oon shine business befo r e I talk a botJ1. any other b u siness." J ack thou ght to propitiate th!' o ld m a n's f eelings as far as po ssib le, for he r ealize d that in hi s present conditiort he coul d not -afford to m ake enemies, and besides, J ackson's fri endshi p w as likely t o stand h i m well in h a nd "Of course," h e continued, I a m speaki n g for the goo d of all of us You kn ow I t old yo u before that if I could ev e r make i t conv e ni ent to marry your daughte r, or r ather, if I eve r sa w m y way clea r to that e nd I'd do it; a nd n o w I r epea t it. But und erstan d I a m not m a king any promi ses, for it is hard to te ll wh a t m a y turn up Anyhow, i t is b est t o wait a w hil e l onger." "Wal, it'll hev ter b e as yer say, stranger, bu t i t's mouty dis app'int i n' to ther ga l arte r she's figgered o n it so much." '"Well, we all h ave more o r l ess disa p po intments to b ea r in this lif e a nd we all ha ve to ge t u se d to the m ." So th e matter dropped, an d early the next d a y J ac k rode off do w n the r ive r in sea r c h o f the m oo n s h i n ers' den. For the first few m iles th e r oad led a l o n g the b a nks of the Meramec River, through a n a r row valley t hickly set with wide b o u g h e d mapl es ?nd drooping elms. It was a be a utiful r e tired quiet spot, and a place in whi c h J ack f e lt free of care and fear. He very n aturally enjoyed it too, after the exciting scenes he ha d pass e d throug h, and very natura lly he f e lt a great r e lief in b eing on ce more in a situa t i o n where h e could draw a fr e e breat h a nd have no haun ti ng drea d of being surprised or fir e d on at the mo s t unexpected m o m e nt. H e cant e r e d alon g l e isurely until he came to a place wh e re the ro a ds cross ed, and whe re stocd a little,board e d-up build ing, which, on a nearer approac h proved to be a typical woods country place where the s m all farmers and th eir wives fr o m the mountains came to ,exch<;inge butter, eg gs poul try, and such other marketable produce as they could rake an4 scrape up for cali co, groceries, and s uch other actual neces s itie s as t hey cou l d afford. The re were no c u sto mers a b ou t, and the old sto r e ke eper sa t out in fr ont on a box, p resenti n g a n yt h i n g but a mcrchant prince appearance. He was a l ong, slender ol d fellow, wearing a pair of cotto n overalls, held up well und e r h is arms by a si n g l e cotton suspend e r and J acking almost a foo t of r eac h ing down to hi s sh oes, th us l eavi n g quite a b a l a nce of soi l -s t a in e d and sunb row n e d shan ks expose d to view. J ack's quick eye noted evcr.1thin g a t a gl a nce, and it was hard for hi m to r ep r ess a smile as he rode up and saluted the merchan t with a p leasant: "Good -morning. "How 'r' ye?" the o ld man cried. "Won't ye 'li ght?" "It's hardly wo r th while, I suppose "Gi t d own-g i t clow n st rang er, a n'. rest a bit. Yer hain't in n o g reat h urry, I r eckon? "No, not particularly. "Wal, 'light, then. I'm rale down gla d ter se e y e." "I will stop for a d ri n k of wate r ," J ac k replied, at the same tim e dismounting and tying hi s horse. "Mout I ax, st r ange r, the old storekeeper asked, "whar yer h a i l from?" "I am direct from P erry J ackson's H ave be e n stopping there rec e ntly ." "Uh, h uh. But yer a in t one o the pe o ple o' thcr mountings, though, an' w h a r mo u t yer ri g htly b'l ong? " Oh, I live up ,Nor th.!' I thought so Whar, e f I may ax, air ye gain' now?" "At present I am on my way dow n the r ive r a f ew miles. I ha ve a little matter of bnsinP s s to atte nd to d ow n there." It was some tim e b efore the old man s pok e agai n and when h e did, he only said : "Down th er riv.er, h ey? "Yes, d ow n the riv e r "Hev yer ever been d ow n thar ?" Neve r have." "I thought ye ha dn't. " \ Vhat made you th ink that?" "vVal, I l ow ef a feller's eve r been d ow n thar once he ain't ap t te r be goin' b ac k agai n soon." V\lhy, i s th e re any danger in it?" "V\Tel, y e r see th e r mout be an' t h e r m o utn't. It all depen's "It all dep ends on what?" "Depen's on how e r feller gits er long. Yer see, it's nothin' but tarnal swamps, all that country d ow n thar h a in't an' ef er f elle r misses his way a n' gits ter windin' 'bout 'mong the m woods, he's liable ter git inte r a bad box ter say th e r l eas t. But eJ he st i cks to thh little road that tha r is, h e kin go 'long tol erable safe lik e." "Does the road foll o w the ri ve r all the way d own?" "No, it don't. I t d oes fer a mile. then it cuts out ercrost the bo ttom, a n' don't tech the river ag' in till it's gone a bo ve five mile." This, of course, b y n o m ea n s pleasant informa ti on for J ac k. His course lay by t h e r iver. and by all mean s h e must keep to the b ank. 1t was his on l y h ope to find the d e n, an d if h e could J not follow the r iver dow n h e h a d as w ell n o t go at a li. "See here," he said, i t is absolu tely n ecessary fo r m e to k ee p to the ri ver, and I want to kno w if the r e i s no po ssib l e chance for me to do so ? "Wal, I wbuldn't like to try it fer my part, the old man a d m itted "still I d o n' t say it k a in't b e d one. A f elle r mout do it, a n' he m ou t come ou t sa fe, an he moutn't come out safe. I d on't know a s h e couldn t All I know is n o ne uv us down yere ever keer to c h ance it." "Well, I' beli eve I'll try it If it gets too bad for me I can easily turn back." "S' pose yer could.'! "But p robably I could get along b es t afoot." "It's ther only way ye kin git erlong. No horse kain't git thro u g h t h e m brnsh an' vi n es "Then, if the r e i s n o objection, I will le;i.ve m y horse here until l return.' "No objectio n stran ge r. none in the wo r ld "The n I'll go on. I will be b a ck withi n a few hours.'' J a ck had go ne a short di s t a nce when the thought came to him that he might be able to gain some informa tio n from the mer-

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BRA VE AND BOLD. chant in regard to the m oonshi n ers, if he was :wp r oache d o n the s ubj ec t He wa s well assure d that there nothing in common be tw ee n the sto1e keeper and the "s hin ers," and that, whether anythi ng was g<1ined o r n ot, nothing could be l ost by approachin g him o n t h e sq bj ect. So, walking back h e said: "Col o nel, 1 suppose, occupying ;\ public place as YOtl do you must gai n a &reat dea l of in formatio n reg<1rding the people of the You see 111any of 1he m YOll know, and he<. r so much of their talk." "Yas, I hear a good bit o' whut's a-goin' o n." "I was sure of that. and what I was go in g to as k i s this: What do you know about Hank Du11can and hi s moonshine ga n g? ' "Wal. to be straight ',1th you, miste r I don't know n othi n'. Leaslwise whut I know i s right piumb next to nothin'." "Then you h ave no id ea whe r e the s till i s located?" "Not a ghost u v er ijee whar it i s "Then you ca n g i1e m e n o information in regard to t h e m oo ns hin e r s at all?" "I l o w n ot, st range r." I s upp Dsed that you h ad been living h e r e a good m a n y years, and we r e by thi s I ime quite cotwcrsant with the sectio n a nd the people." "Wal, I've. been her e nigh to thirty year n ow, an' I {lm right well po s ted in things h ereabouts. but you we ove r here don t have no truck with t h e m over yan. \/\ie go our way an' they go thei r way a n we don't ax after them an' they don't ax after us. ''You know that the r e is a distillery somewhere over ac r os t h e river?" "I've h earn s ich talk." "Now, d on't you have some sus p icio n of where that still is located?" "Not e r g host e r s'picio n I tel l ye T t m;iy be up the river an' it m ay b e d ow n t h e riv e r an' fer that n1atte r so fer as I know it mayn't be nowh a r." Jack saw that it was u se l ess to parl ey l o n ger, so he turned and walk ed away. CHAPTER XXVII. THE FF.VER SWAMP. "Humph, l've heard of the swamps, and I expected to find something bad when 1 found th em, hut this beats my fancy clear out of s ight," and Jack sto pp ed t o give one de spairing gla n ce around hi111. "Here's whe r e th e r oad le:11e5 the river.and here's where I il' ave 1he road, and whe n we shall eve r come t ogether again i s m ore th a n I can t ell. A man who lives a n d travel s is alwa ys findinr; some thin g new, s omet h ing h ette r or somrthi,ng worse than h e eve r saw before. but in th e latter r espect I thi n k I h ave un doubtedly capped the climax and though I were to 1 trave l the woi:td,, over, I would hardly find anythi n g to exce l or even equal, this. It 11 as indeed. a so rry. prospect. A l ow, Aat bottom thickly studded with cottonwood shrnbs. intertwined w it h willow s and dogwood s and h aze l bus h es. and al l matted and bound together with a profusion of wild vin es of every conceivable va1i ety and species Talk about a horse getting through it. Newfoun dla nd clog could not have mad e hi way through a nd even a r abbit would haye experi enced e nough difficul!ics to ha.ve thorou g hl y discour9ged hirn from making n secon d attempl. dded to this was t h e $ l o11gh of st;:igm111t water that stoqd Q \ er all the ground \\'i\h the t hick green sc um tha.t made tl\e very air poi so nou s, T h e only things that seemed to thrive were the rank ve getf\l i011, the myriads of frqgs t hat m ade d ay and ni ght hid eous w i th thei r co ntinual croaking and tl. 1 e millions of ga lli nipper s t hat h ummed about in a half-fami s hed state, ready to pounce upon a nd s uc k the la s t drop of bl oo d from <1ny poor victim who c h a q ced la fall in the i r way. It was far into the a ftern oo n wlien h e at last carne to a point where a h<1lt was in e vitable. Before him l ay a slo u gh of mud a n d water extending from the river to th e mo11ntqin, aml about o ne ht111dred yards in width, vqid of tree s but 1 hie!\ set wilh grass. To cross it si mply a p i1\1poss-ibility, a s he fo u qd out afte r making seyera l futile at\e111pts, and so l\nding himself thwarted in hi s effo r ts to r e ach t h e m oo n s hiners' den by that cou r se, Jack turned to retrace hi s steps, and h a d gone a little way whe n his atte1 1ti o n was attracted by the &ound of a v o ice not far away. Hastening forward as best h e c o uld, he s hortly came out into a small cle a red s pot in the cente r of which a snia! I cabin. "Great Scott!" h e mentally ejacuhted, i s it po ss ible that any body lives in s uch a place as thi ?" Going u p to th e house h e was met by a little, s hrivel ed, driedup old man, who l ooke d so d ejecte d
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BRAVE AND BOLD. gittin' yerself killed er carried off by them danged rascals? They hai n't hone, by J arks!" "Maybe 11ot, uncle," Lizzie replied, with dt:termined calmness; "but I'm going." After making a few preparations, Li z;de announced her readi ness to go. Jim Fifer looked at her in wonder and admiration, as she stood for a moment in the bright sunlight, her face lighted up with the fire of resolution, and her eyes sparkling with a queer mix ture qf gentleness and daring. He felt that, though docile and quiet as s he was, she was a c;la11gerous person to wake tip in anger. In short, he l ooked upon her that morning as a girl to be lov e d and feared-a girl who would submit to anything that was righ t, but who would submit to nothing that was wrong. "She's a curious critter, h e admitted, "a doggoned quare gal, by J acks T h e n he watched her as she walked away-watched her until she climbed the path, and was still watching her when s he reached the sum 't, and turned back to wave him a farewell. And when she disa peared from sight, h e dropped his gaze, saying: 'A doggoned quare gal, by Jacks!" Liz z i e went ba ck by the road that she and J ack had traveled that day they came down to Fifer's. It was h e r intention to visit Rowhuff's Glen, and to that end she directed h e r course, keepin g a sha rp watc h as she went ;:dong for the point where they h ad come into the road that morning when they left th e cave. Accordingly, before kaving Fifer's s he had res olved to make that the first p oint she visited. After passing some distance along the mountainside, she halted at a point that she felt was the place where they had sep arated from Jerry Jenkins and where she must turn off from the road in order to reach the g len and the cave. It did n ot look q'l.1ite familiar, yet s he remembered that s he "as flustrated and excite d that morning, and that, perh aps, after all, she had not n oted the sqrroundings very close ly. There was a dimly-marked path leading off in the right direc tion, and it was the and o nly path he had discovered so far along her way. and besides s he had come aboqt the p roper dis tance, so s he reasoned, it must be the proper place to turn off. Without further h esitancy or doub t she left the road and plunged into the dark forest, and for an hour followe d the path that led on into the broken mountains. now winding about through the huge bowlclers that lay thickly along the mountain crest, and ag2in following up or down some small ravine tha t had forced its way through t h e stones l Al the end of an hour's ramble the path ran out, and Liz zie found herself in a narrow cave between two m ou ntain ra nges, wit h a steep precipice on o n e side and only a narrow o pening on the other by which s he had found an ing re ss to t he cave. 1'I have J ost m y way," s he said to h erself as she catne to a halt, finding it impossible to proceed a ste p farther. Directly began to retrace her course by the circuitous, meandering path, and after severa l turns came to the top of the mountain. For hour s h e trpmp ed about, and it was quite dark, and she was about to s mk down o nce more in hopeless despair, when her eyes happened to catch the glimmering of a s mall spark of light through a clump of tl'ees. For an instant he h ailed the discovery with delight, and then there came a feeling of fear to her heart, a nd she hesitated. un dec id ed whether to go forward and the sou rce of the light o r to fly from the spot While she stood thus in uncert11i1Hy a h eavy hand clutched her shoul d er, and a voice at her ear cried out: "Curse you, be quiet, or Jill $hoot you!" Surprised and s hocked as was, Lizll!ie attempted to scream, but another h eavy ham! was placed over her mouth. an was forced to p ermit herself to be dragged along in the direction from whence the Jig-ht had come. They soon reached the little log cabin, and when her captor had ruclely pushed her through the ope n door, he followed and closed the cloor after him. "Now sit down thar," the man said, pointing to a n1de bench that stood against the wall. Li izie, for the time overawed l;>y the sense of her situation, obeyed without a murmur. Then the man l ai d hi s pistol down in his lap, holding it with hi s h a nd, a nd we nt on : I low ye don't !
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BRA VE AND BOLD. going to the door threw it as far as s he could into the woods, and imm e di ately followin g s h e disa p pea r e d among th e trees an d the thick d a rkne ss Once ou t s i de t h e g irl r a n for life, he e dl ess o f whe re sh e went or in what directi o n, unmindful of all oth e r d a n ge r in the remembra nce of that from which s h e was flee ing On a nd o n she flew, over s t o n es a nd logs, up hill and down, until at l e ngth, completely tired out >and exhausted she sank down at the foot of a l a rge tree, and fina lly f ell in to a d ee p sl eep. 'Wh e n she a woke it was dayli ght, and the s ky overh ea d was clear and bright. She r ea lized that it would be usel es s to attempt to find Row huff's Gle n s inc e s h e h a d no id ea in w hat direc ti o n it lay, s o she determine d to try t o find her way b ac k to the road. Late in th e afte rnoon, ju st b etwee n su nd own a nd dark, s he cam e out t o t he e dge of a prec i p ice that f ell d ow n p e rpendicularly to a d epth of almost a hundred feet and ended in the Merame c Riv er. As far as s he could see in both dire ctions the pre cipice con tinued, and she was at a l oss what to do o r h ow to p ro ce ed It was at a point in the m o unt a in s new t o her, and s h e had no idea in what dir ect i o n to go to r e a c h th e s h e h a d lef t the m o rnin g of the d ay b efo re, nor h a d s h e a ny id ea of h o w far she h a d w a n de r ed fro m it. She w as standing o n t h e brink o f the preci pice, l os t in t h o u g ht, when a m a n approach e d fr o m b e hind a nd s k ulk i n g th r ou g h th e woo ds dodging from tree to tree c o ntinued to draw n eare r to her po s i t i on. Ui:imindful of a n y presence ne a r, and little drea min g o f d ange r, L1zz1e r e m ove d h e r b onne t and sea t i n g h e r se lf o n a l a r ge sto ne, leaned back to let the cool even ing bre eze fan her hot, throbbing brow. F o r half a n hour s h e r e m a in e d thus. and all the ti m e t he figu r e in the rear k ept flitti n g fr o m tree to t r ee, silent ly1 but surely stealin g up o n her, un til it r eache d a p os iti o n wit hin a few :!eet of h e r and lik e a tiger pre parin g t o sp rin g upon it s u nsuspecting prey, t h e ma n crou c h e d to m ake a sw ift lunge at the poo r girl and h old h e r secure in his i ro n g r asp For a moment h e h esitate d th e n like a cat leaped forward, and had a lm ost secu r e d t h e priz e the report of a gun broke the stilln e ss o f th e night a nd ec h oe d a nd r e-ec hoed through th e forest, an d in hat sam e instant t he girl looked around to find h e r pursue r lying at her f ee t welteri n g i n bl ood. CHAPTER XXX. J .ACK GETS HIS TEMPER U P J ac k h a d a sever e spell of fever but rccovereg sufficient ly w ithin a we e k to be able to ge t back to J ackson's. His first t hought was of L izzie. an d know ing t hat s h e would suff er un to ld ago ny of s u spe n se on account o f his l ong abse nce, h e rcso !Yed to go at once to F ife r 's an d acquaint he r w ith all that h ad t r anspi r ed, a nd the n return ? g a in to t h e moumains to t ake up the pro se cutic n of his work. So it came abo!1t that at n oo n of t h e second day afte r Li zzie' s d epartnrc Jack rod e u p to Fifer' s h ouse and disrn o un tc d to ente r when Fifer came ant. Ther e was a l ook of t r oub l ed aston i s h ment o n t he o ld man s face that was too ap pa rent not to b e ob served, ancl Jack felt that so m et hin g had gone wrong. Thus, for a little while t h e two men stoo d each wa i t i n g for th e other to spe ak. J ack was t h e fir st to brea k the si l ence, and he asked: "How is Liz zie. Mr. Fifer?'' I The old man s h ook hi s h ead J ack beca m e ala rm ed and ad v ancin g a few steps nearer. said : "Ncth i n g h as h appen ed h as the re?" "I dunno," Fifer replied. T he gal's go n e up i n them mount in gs a n orte r 'a come ni g ht. an' she hain't come yit I d u n no what's h ap pened to k eep 'er. Nlu st be so m eth in ', thoug h J a ck succ e ed e d afte r a tim e i n getting the who l e s t o ry from Fife r Without an o t h e1 word h e re m o un ted, and h ead in g his h c,rse for t he m ou n tain, d ashed away a t full sp e ed, muttering as he w ent: "Those r asca l s have caught h e r a nd kn owin g how she h a s fa vo r e d me, t h e y ha ve kille d o r-which would he a thousand times worse-have carried her a pris oner to their. den." For. once the !his hat, and in th e ma d ra ce h e was making prese1:ted anyth in g but a hrave appearance. J erry, Jerry, the g irl called. But .Jerry ei!lir' r did not hear o r
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BRA V E AND BOLD. Now th a t it w as settled that he had n o t actually killed the man Jerr y's sca re p assed off a nd he bega n to feel brave again. Lizzie h a d all thi s time s t oo d aloof, looking o n the wpw1d e d man 's face. As soo n as h e was turne d to the light she r ecog nized him as the man whose prisone r she h a d been t h e ni;;ht before, and who w as known to her by n a m e a s Dave C obb. ::,he r ealize d n ow that he had been following and hunting her fr o m t h e tim e she bolted from his cabin. "Ho w did yer happ e n t e r be h e re, Jerry?" Jones asked . "Been huntin', an' j es t h a ppen e d ter pa ss h e re at ther o' time, a n seei n that feller makin' fe r t h e r girl, I turned ole Betse y loose on im an' drapped im. Tell yer whut, Li ge, 'tain't he alt hy ter foo l 'uth ther o l e gal when she 'gins ter squall. She goes in to fetc h blo o d, an' s h e fetches it. She"s er bad un ter stan' up agin'." ;I s h i bad hurt?" L izz ie asked when Jones had examined Dave Cobb's wounds. "No, n ot. very much I jedge," Lige r e pli ed. "Jest got a charge o' bird-shot in his back, an' I 'lo w h e' ll git over it soo n ernuff." "If he gits over it crtall it'll be soo n ernuff, an' er b l amed sight t oo soo)1 I reckc11," Jerry sa id. "He's on e o' them derned m oo n shine gang, an' ort a be fini she d while he's started on the road ." "But we hain't no right ter fini s h 'im, J erry, no matter whut he i s er who he is. We bain t go t no call ter up an' lay or se l ves liable fer murder j est b e ka se this yere onnery cuss ort a be killed Then whut air we goin' ter do 'uth 'im? That's th e r question?" "Dunno J esse n we throw 'im over th e r bank inter ther riv e r." "Kain't do that. fer tha( 'ud be murder, yer know "Looky y e re, Li ge m e' n ole B etse y dra p pe d that f elle r, didn't we?" I r ec kon "Wal, now if h e gits well, er ev e r gits a chance in any way, ha i n t he mouty li ab l e te r tell all about this yere scr immage, an' hain t I mouty liable ter h ev that whol e set o' mo o n s hiners a-scourin' the woods for me an' a -huntin' cv me down?" Re c k o n ye air." "An' d on' t it p ea r purty dogg o ned plain to y q u that if they k etc h me it'll be all day f e r m e an' o l e Betsey, an' that they won't be no talkin' an' hummin' an' h awin' one way a n' ern u the r 'bout it?" "Guess yer figge r n 'bout r ight thar." 'Th en d o n't it sta n ter r easo n that som e thin' ort a be done 'uth that air feller? S ometh in' that ud sorter cut him off frum th e gang, a n fix im so's he couldn't do no h a rm?" 'Wal f e r your safety they o rt, J erry, that's a fack. But how kin we do it 'thout committin' a murder? An' yer know that's a goldarned bad thing ter do. Now, hain t it?" "Yas, it air, Lige; but yer ort to b 'a r in mind th a t it hain t no funny thing ter b e hunte d down an' kill ed, as I w ill be e f h e g it s er c h a nce t e r tell on m e ." "Wa l o' one thin' I m purty dog go ned sa rtin a!)' that is this: It ain't n ow i se safe fer us ter stan' here an' a r g y ov e r this b u s iness ; fer the fust thing we know somebody'll ketc h us here, an' th e n we'll all be i n ter it. We got ter do someth in ', an' do it purty d oggo n ed quick; but I dunn o w h a t i t had best be What d 'yer think, Bet?" "Yas, Bet," ec h oe d J e rry, "what d 'ye r think 'ud be b est? CHAPTER XXXII. JACK'S BRAVE FIGHT. Liz ::ic lnd no need to an swe r the question, for scarcely h a d it b ee n asked whe n a pisto l shot rang o ut c l ea r and sharp on the ev ening a ir, and that was followed imm e di a tely by anoth e r. "What doe s that m ean?" Li z zie ga sped. "Whar i s it ? Jerry inquired. 'In the m eant im e Lige J o n es l eane d out as far as po ss ible the bank, and stood sta ring down to the riv e r. D i r e ctly two m o r e shots were exchan ged, and Lige J o nes, springing ba ck, said: "It's him it's him a n they're onto him red-ho t." "vVho, who?" Li zzie dema nd ed "Why, that Jack feller. He's found th,er m oo n s hine d e n down thar, I low, an' he's got inter it with 'em." "My God! they'll kill him th ey' ll kill him!" the girl cried, wrin g ing h e r h a nds. "Reckon so me o' th e m 'll go fu s t," Jones replied, starting off down the b an k at a r apid p ace in sea r c h o f a place to descend "vVhar 's o l e Bet sey?" Jerry demand e d tearing about excitedly. "Th e o l e gal'JJ want er w ord t e r say in this ere scrimmage an' whe n s h e speaks somethin's g o in' ter draJ?." Li ge J o n es was gone from view in a m o ment, and w h i l e Jerry tore abo ut in search of his gun, Lizzie began to search for a place where s he coul d de sce nd t o where J ack was fighting such an uneven battle with the moon s hiner s Once the r e were three o r four s h ots in rapid succession, and J erry, stoppi n g a m o m ent to peer over th e cliff, dodged back, muttering: "On e u v e m 's d o n e fer by jingo, fer I see d 'i m tumble int e r th e ri ve r. bu t they re gittin' too m a ny fer J ac k an'll soo n do 'im Whar's Betsey? The ole gal n ee ds ter do som e g a bbin' to them fellers j es t now At t h at m o m ent Dave Cobb sprang up, an d a ttempting to stand on his f ee t s ta gge r e d ba c k a nd v,;ent do w n the prec ipice right in the mid s t of his friends and c omra d es This unlook ed-for advent mom e ntarily surprised and di sco n certed the mo o nshin e r s a nd save d Jac k 's life, for the falling b ody fell up o n and knocked down one of the m e n who at that m o ment, h a d drawn a bead on J ack, and was in th e act of pulling th e tri gge r whe n he w as stru c k a nd laid senseless on the ground. This e v ent d ecided the c o n test, for already Hank Dunca n had gone d ow n t h e pre cipi ce a nd into t h e riv e r with a bullet 'throug h hi s h ea r t a nd o n e other h ad r eceived a severe wound that h a d s tretched him o ut in a condition of perfect harmlessness Dave C obb w as dead a nd the m a n h e had collided with in hi s d ow nward tall was past fighting, so that only three men r e mained t o keep up th e contest, and t h e y being natural cowards, gave up th e fight and fled in to the cave. J ac k placed handcuff s o n the two m e n who l ay outs ide and th e n overcome, san k down at the door of the ca v e and passed quickly int o un co n sc iou sness. Lige J ones was by hi s side and in a moment Bet and Jerry ca m e too. T h ey found, upon examination, that Jack had received two w ou nds, o n e in t h e l eft arm-a mere fles h wound that had only affe cte d h i m by causi n g a conside r ab l e l oss o f blood, and the other a m e r e scratch o n the right s i de of hi s b ody. Lizzi e did n o t fall o n hi s breast and weep as she so lopged t o do, but instead, set to w o r k to r evive him. "Bring some wate r ," she c omman d ed, and J erry b o und e d away to obey, while s h e boun d a r ticles o f clothing about t he arm to stay the flo w of blood. L ige J ones, in the m eant ime, h ad taken the pre c a uti o n to securely faste n the stro n g d oor to t h e cave, t hu s making hims e lf sure of the three m en who werl pri soners within By the way, if t h ose people w h o so ofte n referred to Lige as Laz y J ones could have see n t h e coo l cal m a nd ene rgetic m a nn e r in which he acte d tha t ni g h t, th e y would doubtless never more haYe us e d that obnox i o u s appellatio n w h e n speak ing of him. He proved h imself. though not a da s hing, a brave o rd e r l y man, and t o him t h e final breaking up of the moonshine o u t l aws of the Ozarks is g r eat ly du e The flow of b lood once stop ped, and a liberal bathing in cold water soon brought J ack aro und ag-ain, and his mind was as clear a s eve r though his limb s were almost l oo weak to support his weight. Are they all safe?" h e asked, as he glance d arou nd. Yas, all safe ," J o n es answered. "These fellers out yere air ti ed up all ri ght 'nuff, an' them in th a r h ain' t likely ter cut no figge r n ow T h ey're J ocked in tight a n fast. "Then thank Heave n," J ack sai d r eve rently, "the fight is over, and t h e m oo n s hin ers of th e Ozark Mountains a re brou ght to b ay." "And yo u are sa f e," Li zzie ad d ed. CHAPTER XXXIII. CONCLUSION. H :n ing "-S s ured h{mself t hat his work in r ega r d 'to the moon shin ers w as compl e te, J ack turne d his atte nti on to his friends, and aske d for a n exp l a nation o f the circumstances that brought the m all to get h e r so opportunely a':ld un ex pe cte dly.

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I ,., .:)" RRA VE AND BOLD. In a Jew words Lizzie related her experiences in the mountains dering the past thirty-six hours, and ended by recounting the in cid ents of the meeting on the edge of the cliff, in which Je.r r y and Li ge Jones figured. "Lizzie must be taken awax from h e re and the officials must be notified," said Jack. "Suppose Jerry takes my ho rs e and go s with Lizzie to Jackson's and, leaving her there, rides on down to town for help. He can go and come in three or four hours, and while he is gone we can hold things in proper shape here." "That's er sensible sch e me," wa& Jones' comment, ."an' Jerry'd best be hustlin' ter once "But I won't go Lizzie said when appealed to. "Your pl an is all right, but I shall stay here until you go away, Jack. 1 w on't go and leave you." After a littl e further reasoning and argument, Jack allowed the girl to have her own way, and s ent Jerry away with,-a note to th e doctor who had vis i ted Lizzie when s he was hurt, and who was the only person in the town that J ack kn e w aught of and was willing to trust with so important a matter. In the note a brief statement of m atters as they stood, was made, and the doctor was urge d to send aid at once to a ss i s t '.n completing the work of taking and conveying the m oonshiners from the mountains. Jerry was further instructed to sto;i at Jackson's on hi s way down, and leave word for old Perry to com e at once with some provisions. This order was made for Lizzie's benefit, for s he had not cate_n anything for two days and a night, and w as borne up by excitement alone. It was easy to account for the t i m e ly arrival of Jerry Jenkins on the s pot that evening since he spent the day hunting down the river, and was o n his w a y heme, when h e saw Dave Cobb making an effort to capture Liz zie Tucker. Lige Jones spent a g oo d portion of his time 1111nting, and almos t every day _for y ea rs he had passed and r e pa s sed within s)ght cf the den without ever once having a susp;cion that it was any where near. He happen e d to be close when Jerry discharged o ld Betsey to such good effect, and hearin g the report started forward in the direction fr o m whence it came, and had gone but a f ew steps when Jerry ran into his arms. _Al! this was explained before J er ry moved away to fulfill his m1ss1on, for he was determined that Betsey s h ou ld receive her mead of prai se. "You have d one well, Jerry," Jack said "and you and Betse y deserve great credit "B et yer h ide, mister, ole Betsey gits thar when she talks. Thar hain't no fo ol.is hn ess 'bouten ther ole gal an w h e n she soeaks somethin' has got ter drap." With thi s p arting spe ech J erry strode awav. and a minute or so later they heard him ga llopin g off clown t l;e mountain. About an hour after Jerry's departure P e rry Jac k sc n arrived with a buck e t of provi s i o n s a nd approached the cave, as 1f he wa s n t fully d eci d e d whet11er J erry' s story was altogether t rue, a nd whether or not th e re mi g ht not yet b e danger from the mo o n s hiners. '.'Hed er scrimmage h e re, I jeclge fr o m r he l o oks o \ things. Ham t bad hurt ye r self I hope?" said Jac k so n as he entered. "No, a sli ght wound or two," Jac k r e pli e d and tho:-y'll soon heal up." "Glad uv it, mister, do ggone my skin ef I hain 't. Yer a purty doggoned plucky s ort o cha p now h a in' t yer? Never had no i jee o' yer ev e r runnin' th e m fellers clown. bt!t s'pected C';ery day that they'd do you cleacl' n n ot hin G os hami ty but I'd a h ate d ter a un ertuck that ai r j ob." By this time the two wound e d men. with whom Lige Jones h a d b e en at work, were so far revived a s to be conscious of wha t was gom:;: on aficl knowing that I h e y trapped be yond all hope of rel ease, s h owed a n disposi tio n 10 s hift t he re sponsibility of their crime s to the sho uld ers of th eir comrades T h e hours wore 0)1 and awa y t oward miclnio-ht the clatter of horses' hoofs was heard up th e ri ve r a nd J acl. turning to his companion, remarke d : ."They are coming, and 111 a short time w e s hall be through with our work, and I am glad of it." "Then we will go .away from the m ountains for good and forever?" Lizzie asked in a low tone, as she leaned agaipst Jack for support. "Yes we will bid good-by to the Ozark Mountains ,forever," Jack an sw ered, drawing her ne:i.r e r to him. D i rec tly t he men rode up and the docto r was with th e m. He cam e forward at once, and taki n g Jack by the hand, exclaimed: r am glad of the opportunity to help yo u my fr i end, and I c o n g ratulate you on your s uc ces in r id din g th is section of the greatest curse that ev e r ;my sect i o n of country suffered from. You hav e d o n e mu c h for us and we are g lad to a id you in it." "Then let your men take these prison e rs safely to jail, whe r e they may be k ept and c a r ed for until the y h a ve had a fair trial. The three m e b in t h e cave, knowing that they could no long e r r esis t, were g lad of an opportunity to surrender, and when the d oo r w a s opened they m a rched out, and were handcuffed pre p aratory to m aking t h e t rip to the county seat, where they were take n and duly l odge d b efo re morning T he doctor r e main ed wi t h Jack at Perry Jackson's and at tend e d to hi s wounds. Jerry a l so went there, insis tingl that he and o ld B e t s ey didn't propos e to give up the field until t he smolse of the battle had fo:al l y cl eare d away, s h owing that thl! victory was p erfect and complete in every res pect. It was almost a week before Jack was enough recovered to undertake the trip down to the rai lroa d, and in the meantime Li zzie was his nurse, staying by him and waiting on him like a d evoted worshiper. J erry llacl spent a great part of the time there, only toward the last it was noticed that he and Sal were together quite fre quently, and that often Jerry assist e d her in hoeing, and some tim e s of evenings they were seen sitting in very. suspicious at titudes down by \ he ri ver banj. Every day the doctor came to see his patient, and at last one clay he cam e accompanied by another gentleman o,f a clerical ap pearance In fact he was a clergyman, and he came on busi ness. Pretty so o n after the a rri va l of these \wo gentlemen, Jim Fifer came in answe r to a s ummons sent by J ac k, and the result of the whole besiness was a wedding. wherein Jack and Lizzie figured as the p arties chiefly in t erested. This marriage, wh e n over, was followed in short order by an other. in which J erry and Sal becal]le m a n and wife, to every b o dy's satisfaction, and espe c ially so to Jack and Lizzie, who re-I joic e d to see Jerry thu s provided for. That a ft e rnoon Jack at1d his new wife bade good-by to their fri e nds, and in compan wit h the m inister and the do cto r left the for the rail roa d in order to take the first train for Jack' s hom e lt was a beau tiful clear day, and as they passed down the valley road by the river bank, listening to the sweet music o f the bird s and t h e wat ers. nei ther talked much, both being busy with t.hough t s o f the past and the future. When late in the afternoon they reach e d the last "rise" in the r oad, beyond whi:h t hey pas se d o ut of si ght of the mount ains, t h ey halted a nd lo::iked bac k e n the Ozarks, that lay way off t o the north like g r eat piles of blue clo uds standing up against the sky A long time they gazed in silence. and neither of them spoke. The n turning, t hey rode on and pa sse d out of sight of the 07.ark 1\fom1t;iins fnre ver. ,... THR END. Next week's issue, No. 19, will contain "Under Sealed Orders; or, Lost in the Wilds of Yucatan .J::>y Cornelius Shea. The boy who started out for Yucatan under sealed orders little expected th e astounding and p eculiar adventures that befell him. He was a boy w i th a hot temper and with plenty of courage. and these two qualities started him in a series of events that will surprise you when you read them. This story is one that you cannot afford to miss.

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A NEW IDEA! A NEW WEEKLY! Cf3RA VE AND BOL CV Street & Smith,s New Weekly is a big Departure from anything ever Published Before. EACH NUkIBER C O N T A INS A COMPLETE STOilY AND T H E S 1 ,0RIES ARE O F EVERY /{IND. That means all d escriptions of first cla s s sto rie s F o r e ver y story p u b li s h e d in BRAVE AND BOLD will be first-cla s s in the b est s ense-written b y a w e ll -known boys' a u t h o r, full o f rattling incident and lively ad venture, and brimming with interes t fr o m c o ve r to. cover. N o matter what kind of a boy you are, no matter what your tastes are n o m atte r w h a t kind o f a s tory yo u prefe r you will hail BRA V E A N D B oLD with d elight as s o on as yo u s ee it. It is th e kind o f a w eekly y ou have b ee n wishing for. Variety is the spice of life, and Brave and Bold is well seasoned with it. STORIES OF ADJT E..VTURE. 'STORIES OF MYSTERY. STORIES OF EXPLO= RA Tl.ON I.V UNKNOWN LANDS. STORIES OF LIFE IN GREAT CITIES. STORIES OF lVONDERFUL ISVENTIOXS. No 1 -0ne 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, Dic0k Hardy's Fight for a Fortune. By fl. 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 -StolenA Schoolvhouse; 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.-he Dark Secret; or, Sam Short, the Boy Stowaway. By Launce Poyntz. No 10.--The King of the Air; or, Lost in the Sar gasso Sea. By Howard Hoskins. No. 11. -The Young Silver Hunters; or, The Lost City of the Andes. By Cornelius She a. No. 12.A Remarkable Vo y a ge; or, The Fortunes of Wandering Jack By Captain Geoff Hale. No. l 3.-The Knowlhurst flystery; or, The Strange Adventures of Leslie Norton. By Frank Sheridan. No. 14.-The Diamond Le gacy; 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. No. 18.-The Moonshiners of the Ozarks; or, The Boy Who Worked for Uncle Sam. By Thomas P. Montfort. No. 19.-Under Sealed Orders; or, Lost in the Wilds of Yucatan. By C ornelius Shea. No. 20.-The flysterious Box; or, The Hidden Valley of Pirate Island. By the author of" Among the f\alays." Copies of tl1e Bra1r e and B old Weekly 1nay be purchased for Fitre Cents from all Newsdealers, or fron1 STREET & S 1VITH, 238 Wil lian1 Street, Nelv York.