The lost lode; or, The boy partners of Diamond Bar

The lost lode; or, The boy partners of Diamond Bar

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The lost lode; or, The boy partners of Diamond Bar
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Hackstaff, Richard
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
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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 )
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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028875134 ( ALEPH )
07231972 ( OCLC )
B15-00018 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.18 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
Brave and Bold

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1 L.0 ... CER STORIES THA,.. CO ... TAIHED '" FIVE cE ... T s l/ ANY S:IVE CENT LI BRA RV PUBLISHED 1'1 A Cl FFERE;"T COM PL.Eie t;VERY WEEK f Rac e seized a revolver from the belt of the nearest man to him, and bounded forward to the girl's assistance. I


BRAVEBOLD A Diff erent Comple te Story Every Week Iuiud Wdekly. .By Su!;scription per year. Entered accordingto Act of ConKress in the year IQO.J, in t/u Office of the Librarian of Conpess. Washington, D. C. STREET & SMITH, <138 William St., N. Y. No. 23. NEW YORK, Ma1 30, 1903. P rice F ive Cents. THE LOST LODE ; OR, The Boy P ar tners of Diamond Bar By CORNELIUS SHEA. CHAPTER I. RACE'S ARRIVAL IN ARIZONA. "Well, so you have got here at last?" ''Yes, Merle, and I am awful glad of it." "You are n ot a bit more glad than I am, Race old fellow." The s p ea kers were two boys, aged about seventeen or eighteen. One was attired in a sty l ishly-c ut, n ea t fitting suit of black, and the other wore a flan nel shirt, corduroy trousers, high top boots and broad-brimmed felt hat. The former was Race Neville, of New York City, and the latter was his cousin Merk Baxter, of Glendale, Arizona Race had received repeated invitations to pay a visit to his cousin s Vv estern home, but it was not until after his widowed mother died that he thought seriously of going out there. One day he received a letter from Merle almost entreating him to come out, and the boy concluded to do so. He was alone in the world now, as far as parents or brothers and sisters went, and what mattered it to what part of the world he went? On the twelfth day of April, 1879, Race got aboard the cars at t he Grand Central Depot, New York City, and started on his journey to the wilds of Arizona. "Don't mind anything you hear or see said Merle when he met Race at the Glendale station "As soon as we get over to the house you can get out of that rig and get into one I have prepared especially for you." "They don't seem to dress up much out here," observed Race, with a "No," was the retort. "A fellow came here one day last week wearing a swallow-tail coat and high silk hat. They shot his hat full of hole s and cut the tails off his coat-that is, a crowd of half-drunken miners did." When he had donned the suit of clothes that his cousin in sisted he should 'wear Race looked altogether different. Like nine out of ten of the inhabitants of the mining town, he was supplied with a brace of revolvers, the calibers of which so large ,that they were anything but toys. He hardly thought it nece ssar y to carry these about, but Merle told him it was, so he gave in. Shortly after darkne ss set in Merle suggested that they should take a walk about t ow n to see the sights. Race readily consented, as he was anxious to becom e ac quainted with the mann e r s and customs of the people. The New York boy's face, being so pale from being so much indoors attracted no little attention, and several of the rougher element of the men frequently alluded to it in a sarcastic way. Race did not like this, but he wisely held his tempe r tbdugh his cousin advised them more than onc e to desist. When they had passed through the entire town they s a t d owsi on a grassy bank to have a talk . Just as they did so they were startled by a groan. It came from a gully close at hand, and instantly the boys were all attention. Again they heard it, and locating it, they hastened to the spot. Neither was surprised when they found a man lying o n the ground in a pool of blood. ... "'


BRAVE AND BOLD That he was wour.ded unto death was plaihly evident, for he was breathing heavily, and when Merle lighted a match and held it close to his face they saw that his eyes were glassy. "What has happened, friend?" asked Race, anxiously. The dying man, realizing that some one had come to his assistance, rallied a trifle. "I've-I've been mur-murderedl" he gasped; "and the silver lode of Diamond Bar is-is lost forever. It is worth millions, and I-I-I-am the only one who knows where it is!" Merle quickly felt in the man's pockets and found a flask. It cont a ined liquor, and \v' hile his cousin held the poor fel low's head he uncorked it and placed it to his lips. A f e w drops of the fiery stuff r e vived him somewhat, and in a voice that was between a gasp and a whisper, he went on: "I'll tell you where the lode is, though I received my death wound b e cause I would not tell Daring Dave, the outlaw. It-it is located seventy-six .yards from the p e ak of Jarvis Mountain. When the sun is four hours o-o-old it-it casts a shadow upon--" The dying man Sl?ddenly ceased. A convulsive tremor shook his frame, and then he fell back dead. Race and Merle gazed blankly at each other but for the space of a minute neither spoke a word. "He is dead!'' the boy from the East finally ventured. "Yes," replied Merle. "And he failed to tell us what he intended to." "Yes." "However, the words he did say arc. firmly stamped on my mind." "The same here, Race." "Where is Diamond Bar, Merle?" The boy asked his cousin the question as a way from the corpse. "About fifty miles from here-in the Arizona." he arose and stepped wildest part of :111 "I should like to go there," said Race, half to himself. "So should I!" Merle. "By Jove! we will, too!" '\ ould your father allow you to?" Merle laughed. "Would he? Why, he has not been afraid to trust me any where since I entered my fourteenth year!" "We will go, then, an

-:t i BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 that you are from the East, and if it was not for that fact I would drop you dead in your tracks for daring to accuse me of killing the m::n you found dead. You might call this a joke where you came from but it is not here." His hand slid to the butt of his revolver as he ceased speaking, and he backed up against the wall. Then to the astonishment of all hands Race took a step toward him and exclaimed You admit that you are Daring Dave, then?" A deathly silence followed for the space of ten seconds, and then an angry gleam shot from the accused man's eyes, and out came his revolver. "Yes, I admit that I am Daring Dave, the outlaw! What about it?" His eyes swept the faces of every one present in an instant, and a reckless smile hovered about the corners of his lips. It struck all hands that he was a man to be feared-at least, all but one. That one was Race Neville. The boy had no more horror of the bl;ick muzzle that was staring him in the face than if he had been facing a popgun in the hands of a four-year-old child. He was sure that this was the murderer of the man who had tried to tell his cousin and himself about the silver lode which was now lost And he meant to bring the man to a just punishment for com mitting the foul deed. Merle expected to see his bold cousin drop with a bullet through hi s brain and he. like the rest present, dared not draw his own shooter for fear that such would certainly be the case. Five second s passed. Then a startling thing happened. There was a quick movement on the part of Race, and the s t range r's revolver fell to the floor fully ten feet distant from him. ::rwo quick blows followed this remarkable action, and then the b o y from New York had the outlaw down upon the floor with his knees upon his chest and the muzzle of a six-shooter pressing against hi s n ose. A murmur of admiration went up from the men in the bar r oom. Never before had they seen such a daring performance. "You have admitted that you art: the murderer, so you are my prisoner! Race exclaimed. "Handcuff him, some of you!" 'We hain't g ot any handcu .ffs, but I reckon a good rope'll an swer, retort ed the mayor, starting to carry out the boy's in structions. Every n;ian present now had a re'volver in his hand, so the mayor ordered the outlaw to get up. H e did so quickly enough, and then with a yell of defiance m a de a bound for tht: door. Thi s action was so unexpected that he was outside before any one could raise a hand to prevent him. Around the corner of the house the outlaw ran through the darkness. By a streak of luck he reached the stable and found the hostler at work on his horse. He had drawn another revolver, and one blow from the butt of it sent the ho s tler senseless to the ground. In much quicker time than it takes to write it the villain was upon the back of his steed, galloping off into the darkness of the night A score or more of bullets flew about his ears, but not one touched him, and with a yell of defiance he disappeared. "That is too bad!" observed Race, as he saw some of the men mounting their horses to start in pursuit. "You are right!" exclaimed his cousin; and patting him on the shoulder he added: "Race, you have got more sand in you than I believed. Go with you to find the lost silver lode? Well, I guess I will I" / CHAPTER III. STARTLING EVENTS. The excitement caused by the advent of Daring Dave in Glen dale wa s long and pronounced. The murdered miner was given a decent burial, and there was one more unknown grave in the little cemetery, for there was nothing upon the man's person to tell who he was. Merle had not the least trouble in getting the consent of his father to go to Diamond Bar on a prospecting trip. His mother was dead, so there was no gentle woman to persuade him to stay at home. A day or two later the cousins set out, mounted on good horses and well equipped for the journey. At Merle's suggestion Race had been practicing a 0great deal with the revolver and he promised to become an adept in its use. Unused to the saddle as he was, the boy from New York rode like an "old-timer," and excited the admiration of his cousin. Though the distance from Glen

4 BRA VE AND BOLD. The rain began falling faster than ever, so he set out at a sharp canter, leading the riderless herse at his side. In a very few minutes he came te a geed-sized log house. A bright light showed through the windows, and, as he was iet ting pretty well soaked, Merle came to a halt. The moment he did se the deor opened and an elderly man stepped out. "Hello, stranger!" he cried, c;hec,-rily. "Can I do anything for you?" \ "I should like to come in until the raiq is over," Merle replied. "'[ am in trouble." "Jump off yo.ur horse What! two of 'em, hey? An' one is without a rider I I wo uldn't surprised if you are in trouble, bey. Where's the other feller?" I don't know ;'1 a nd th e n, as they led the animals to the shelter ef a shed Aear by, he told the man what had just happened in the mountain p ass "Bad work, bad work!" sa id the mal'I, half te himself ; and the n, turning to Merle, h e added: "Come in the house. My name is Jeff Hope, an' I liv e here, j ist at the outskirts of Diam o nd Bar, along with my wife an' Bill an' two daughters, Millie an' Rosy. We are a h ea lthy family, I kin tell yeu, an' there ain't one of us that can't haRdle a rifle or six-shooter as w ell as any one around these My son Bill keeps the supply store at the Bar." Merle smiled in spite ef his dismal feelings The old fellow rattled it off so fast that it wouldn't have taken him many min utes te have r e lated hi s life story from babyhood te the prns ent moment. But he did not he sit ate to a&ept the invitation to enter the house, and shaking the rain from his hat he follow e d Mr. Hope inside. A plain but neatly furni s hed room greeted his eyes, occupied by a mild -face d woman of forty-five and two very pretty girls of fifteen and seven teen "Bill ain't g\)t back from the store yet," explained Jeff Hope. "Mr.--" "Baxt er-Me rle Baxter." "Oh, yes! Mr. Baxter, my wife and daughters, Millie and Rosy." Merle took the proffered hands of the ladi es and greeted them as l)olitely as he knew )low. Tl).e rpother busi e d 4 bol)t the cupboarq, evidently with the intention of getting their guest so mething to eat. Eut before she could lay the eloth there came a sharp rap at the door. The eid man hurried forward and opened it. gne said go o d evening in

.. BRAVE AND 'BOLD. s rpan you died before he could tell us where it was.'' "Boy, you lie! You came out here to work upon this at least five rninutQs btfore he j'jly realized whl!t had happ e ned, an

6 BRA VE AND BOLD. "The question now is whether they were mounted or on f oo t," said the boy. "When the villains held up my cousin and I they were on horseback." "It is quite likely they had their horses with 'cm," retorted Hope. "We'll take these two of yours an' follow 'e m, if you've no objecti9ns." "Take them! Of course we will; your daughter must be rescued!" Merle exclaimed, untying his horse as he spoke. A minute later the two were mounted \ The rain was falling steadily, but Merle was so excited over the startling events of the night that he did not mind the wetting he was receiving. Jeff Hope led the way through the pass at a reckless gallop. He did not stop to think that it was possible that the outlaws had gone up the side of the mountai n ; hi s idea was that they bad gone straight along the trail and he meant to overtake them. And Merle, entirely unacquainted with the country, l eft it to the old man. In a very short time they had traversed the entire length of the pass, and they had neither seen nor heard a sound of the outlaws. In a dejected mann e r Jeff Hope r eine d his horse to a halt. "We have lost track of them," he said. "Yes; they mus t h a ve a h angout somewhere on the mountain side," Merle answered. "We will go back to the house and wait until daylight comes That cowardly scoundrel of a Morrow has been paying attention to Millie for the past few month s and she det ests the very sight of him. I had no idea he was the dreaded Daring Dave, but I knew he was not what he repr esente d himself to be from the very start." The miner groaned in an agonized manner as he thought of the probable fate of his daughter. "Cheer up; your nam e suggests something that gives me cour age,'' o bserved the boy. "I am confident we will save both your daughter and my cousin from b e ing harmed before many hours." "Yes," was the reply, "my name is Hope, I know, and I shan't give up yet. We will go back to the hous e n ow. Bill, my son, will be home by the time we get there. He has heard tell a great deal about Daring Dave and his band of outlaws, who have showed themselves around here lately, and he may be able to help us out." "I hope so," and Merle turned his horse about and started back through the pass. They reached the house without meeting a soul, or hearing a sound other than that made by the falling rain. Contrary to his usual custom, Bill had not yet arrived, and the mother and daughter were in a g r eat state of anxiety. They sat on chairs facing the door, with rifles in their hands, ready to shoot down the first unwdcome visitor who appeared. But they quickly recognized the voice of Hope, and let him and Merle in. It was long past midnight when the son arrived. He was a fine-looking young m a n of twenty-four, and there was such an anxious look on his face that Merle thought he must have heard of the abduction of his sister. "Where have you been so long, Bill?" asked his father. "I've been straightening up accounts down at the office," was the reply. "I don't believe you, Bill." A flush came over the young man's face, and he walked to-ward the door of anoth e r room. "You've been gambling again, Bill," Merle heard the mother aay. "Yes, an' while you've been sittin' at ther card table you} sister Millie has bc;en sneaked away by that scoundrel of a Morrow!" thunde red the old man. Bill Hope jumped as though he had been shot. "What!" he gasped. "It is so, my son,"' said Mrs. Hope; and then for the twentieth time that night she burst into a flood of tears Merle felt very uneasy. The scene was a very distressing one to him, so he arose and, putting on his hat, went outside and stood under the horse shed to keep out of the rain. For half an hour he remained there, thinking over the abduction of R ace and the girl and even then he would not have gone in the house had not young Hope come out after him. "Come on in and we will turn in," he said. "The row is alt over now, and I think we will find a way to get Millie back in si de of twenty-four hours. I had no idea that Morrow was such a villain. I always liked him pretty well, and took him to be a gentleman." "He is no other than the notorious Daring Dave," Merle answered. "So pop tells me. Well, come in and we11 get a little sleep, so we can get at it the first thing in the morning." CHAPTER VI. THE PEAK OF JARVIS MOUNTAIN. Merle slept but little that night. Be was up as soon as day had fairly broken. When he went outside he found that the storm had ceased, and the golden sky in the east gave promise of a pleasant day. Bill Hope came out a few minutes later. "As soon as brea-kfast is over we will go over to the bar and tell the capt/in of the vigilantes what happened last night. If anybody knows what to do, Jim Decker does," said he. "You have a vigilance committee at Diamond Bar, then?" asked Merle. Oh, yes. It was started almost as soon as the town was. "What is the population of the bar?" "About three hundred and fifty, three-fourths of whom are men trying to get rich atdigging gold." "Are there no silver mines around here?" "No," replied Bill; "though I heard a month or two ago about a rich lode of the w hite m etal being located on the mountains ide. No one knows whb found it, or where it is, so it is hardly worth believing." "Is there much gold found about here?" "Just enough to e ncourage the miners to keep on working. A silver lode, like the one that is reported to be on the mountain, would be worth a dozen of the b est claims at the bar." "My cousin and I came out he11e for the express purpose of finding the lode of silver you mention," asserted Merle, quietly "You did !" exclaimed young Hope "You heard about it in Glendale, then?" "Yes; we heard about it the same night we met Daring Dave, or Mr. Morrow, as you call him." "\Veil, I hope yo u will succeed in finding it; but I wouldn't be afraid to bet a hundred spot that you won't." "I don t believe in making wagers," Merle answered. "Oh, you don't? Well, you will if you stay about Diamond Bar very long. A fellow who does not bet and play poker is not in the swim around here." At this juncture Mrs. Hope called them in to breakfast, and as Merle sat down he made up his mind that Bill was a very nice .. \" .,, <'


bRAVE AND BOLD. 7 fellow, but that he had one bad habit-that of a confirmed As it was only a short distance, the pair walked over to the bar after breakfast. The inhabitant> we7 early ri sers, and the h alf dozen shanty .saloons in the place were already doing a thriving business. Diamond Bar was a funny place to be called a town, so Merle thought. There was not a building in it that could be fairly q!1lled a house and the only thing that made it look s hipshape at all was that all the shwties were built upon a straight, lev e l street, which was at least a hundred feet in width. The flag of the Union floated above the post office, and this was about the rr .os t pleasing thing that struck Merle's eye. Bill Hope led the way direct to the hangout of the captain o f the vigilantes, which was at the principal saloon, and found that worthy standing at the bar indulging in a morning bracer." Jim Decker was his name, and i 'v!erle was promptly introduced to him. The man was a big, powerful fellow, standing six feet four inches, and the expression on 11is face sllowed th a t he was of an honest and kindly dis position. ''Young feller, I like your .looks an' shape!" was the blunt exclamation of the big miner. "Now, then, Bill Hope, what's brought ye out so early?" 1n an excited manner young Hope related what had happened th e night before. Jim D ecke r w as ama7.ed \Vhen he heard Morrow and the outlaw cap tain were one and the same person. "Great boots!" he cri ed; "we'll make that gang howl for this. If Morrow dares ter show up here ag'in he'll git a rope cravat as sure as my name is Ji m Decker!" As Bill had failed to say anything about his troubles, Merle told the captain of the ,-igilantes how Race had been whisked away in the darknes s by a gang ?f cutthroats. "111ey were the same ones that abducted Mi ss Hope," he added. "I am quite sure of it, because Daring Dave was down on my cousin for giving him a thrashing i;1 Glendale." "A boy give him a thrash in'?" echoed the miner. "'/es, and he did it with all the odds against him." "An' he's from ther East, you say?" ''Yes. he is a New Yorker-1;>6'1'1'\ and bred in that c:ty." "I want ter git acquainted wtth him!" and d invn came his big fist on the bar to show that he m eant it. "Come, boys, an' h ave a dri11k," he added. "Then we'll git ther g ang: together ah' go otlr an' find this gal an' boy afore breakfast!" Merle took a cigar, .which co t the captain of the vigilantes fifty cents. This might seem an exorbitant_ price, but where the miners were making from t e n to forty dollars a day, fifty cents was not much to them. Jim Decker was as good as his word for in less than fifteen minutes he had a scc,re of determined men, mounted on good horsc_s, at his back. Bill Hope was forced to go to tl1e post office, as a maif coach was due in less than <111 hour; s o Merle hastened to the house o! Hope, and he and the old man the ranks of th e v igilantes. "Vle will scour ther country hereabouts," said Jim Decker, "an' look in every hole an' cori;ier. If we hap(len to come across Mor row, an' find that we can t take him alive, boys, jist fill his car with lead.! Ye hear what I say?" "Yes, yes!" came the r eply. "Now keep yer eyes peeled. Darin' Dave and his infernal gang are located somewltere around these diggin's, an' we've got er find 'em!" The big man's words inspired Merle with a feeling of hope, he concluded that the chances of rescuing Race artd the girl were good. Up the zigzag paths on the mountainside the searching party went, not passing a niche or crevice in a rock without examining it. But at the expiration of two hours they were no better off than when they first set out. Our young friend was fast getting discouraged when he sud denly looked up and beheld a sharp mountain peak some distance before him. "What peak is that?" he asked Jim Decker. "That's Jarvis Peak," was the reply. The peak of Jarvis }.fountain! seventy-six yards from that the lo s t lode was located Merle gave a start he realized this. "How long do you suppose the sun has b een up?" sa id he: "Pretty nigh four hours, I reckon," retorted one of the rnen. The boy looked around for the shadow of the peak ort the ground. Before he could make a note of it his h orse stumbled, throwing him fr om the saddle. The s l oping bank of a ravine was right before him, and before he could save him se lf Merle went tolling downward! CHAPTER VII. A BOLD STROKE. Had a bomb exploded in the den of the outlaws Daring Dave could not have been more astonished than when Race Neville sprang toward him with leveled revolver. "Hands off that girl!" exclaimed the boy, placing the muzzle of the weapon within a few inches of the villain's head. The captain immediately let go his h old upon the struggling captive. He knew what sort of stuff Race was made of, as he had had dealings with him before The moment th e girl was free she did exactly the same thing the boy did ')'hen he appeared on the scene-she seized a revolver from th e belt of a spellbound man. That she was one o f the plucky sort was apparent; for in a voice that rang like the peal of a silve r bell, she exclaimed: "Mr. Morrow, order me to be released at once, or I will shoot you down like a dog! Do as I say!" -"And give the sa me order for me," said Race with a danger ous glitter in his eyes. ''Seize thcrn, sc me of you!" cried Daring Dave in a vclce that trembl e d with both r age and fear. "Men, what do you mean by standing there lik e lot of statues!"' "Stop!" thundered the young New Yorker, as some of the men made a nlove to start tcward him. "Take anothe r step, and your captain dies in his tracks!" A deathly silence followed, and every villain remained motion less They looked at each other in biank dismay knowing full well that both: the boy a nd the girl would do exactly as they said they would. It was a striking s ituation-bne that no one present wollla likely. to forget. A boy and a m e re child in petticoats hold ing over a scol-e o f in their tracks-not one of them daring tc so much as lift his hand for fear of seeing their leade r drop dead before them. As the reader no dotbt guesses, the girl was no other than Millie Hope She wi1s one of the sort who can always take her own part if she only has the least show.


8 BRAVE AND BOLD. She was quick to think and quick to act, too. Millie remembered the way she had been brought in the den, as the cloak had been thrown from her head the momeht she was carried out of the reach of the falling rain. While her young champion was holding the attention of the outlaws she darted swiftly toward the exit of the main chamber. She opened the first door she came to, and that proved to be long to a sort of small closet. The brave girl was just about to close the door and look for another when her eyes lit upon several cans of nitre-glycerine in the doset. She knew what they were the instant she saw them, for her father had used them on more than one occasion to split large rocks asunder. Seizing one of the dangerous explosives, Millie darted back to the center of the underground apartment. There was not a man present who did not recognize what it was in her hand when she held it aloft. Their faces turned pale as death, and one of them fixed his eyes upon Daring Dave and said : ''Let her go, cap; she's a regular witch!" "You may go on out about your business, girl," faltered the villain. "That is, if you can find the way." "I demand that the young gentleman who has taken my part shall show me the way!" was the cool rejoinder. "If you refuse I will toss this can ::if nitre-glycerine on the ground, and you know what will happen then." The plucky girl was more than master of the situation. She was able to make 1he villains do anything she said. Daring Dave, with his eyes fixed upon the gleaming revolver in the hand of Race, faltered out the words : "Go on with her, boy!" "Thank you," replied the young fellow, a smile curving about his lips; "I hope you are quite done with me now." "Go on l" the outlaw captain cried, hoarsely. "You arc both free to go where you will. Do

BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 what the peak cast a shadow upon, and he desired to in vestigate more closely. Whew! what a strong current!" he exclaimed, as he stepped to the side of the mountain. "And how deep the water is! A person could not swim up that stream to save his life. Hello it goes underground, or I'm a blockhead! Ah! what is that shining so in that dark hole? Eureka!" One after another Merle uttered these e.ifciamations, and as the last one left his lips he leaned over the bank of the stream and peered eagerly into the dark opening it lost itself in. He leaned just a trifle too far, for the dirt crumbled from beneath his knees, and without further warning he fell headforemost into the rushing stream. Whizz-whirr Then a drop of a dozen feet and Merle was swimming in comparat i vely still water I It was not light enough for him to see exactly what sort of a place he was in but he knew he had passed over a waterfall and landed into deep water. Of course he was somewhat confused, but this feeling quickly wore off and he struck out for the opening, a few feet distant, where the light came in. He found he could touch bottom before he got there, so he waded the rest of the distance. As he emerged into the light of day Merle gave a violent start. And no wonder! Not twenty eet distant he saw his cousin, Race Neville, fishing in the streamJ :ijut that was not all! Near him, busily engaged in kindling a fire, was the identical girl Daring Da\'e had abducted the night before. The boy cold scarcely believe his senses. He rubbed his eyes to see if he was dreaming, and then, unable to restrain himself, he uttered a yell of joy. The two young people turned as though they had been shot. "Don' t you know me?" cried Merle. Well, I guess so!" exclaimed his cousin. "How came you }:iere, Qld fellow?" "J\.p accident brought me." "The same thing brought us here." "I have been lo oking for you," said Merle. "Tell me how you gqt away from the outlaws." Race narrated the exciting events that took place in the headquarters of Daring Dave, while his cousin listened in openmouthed amazement. "When we fell into the stream of water I made up my mind that my end had come," the New York boy went on. "Miss Hope had the can of nitro-glycerine in her hands at the time, and what becatr1e of it we don't knew. At any rate it did not explode "We were whirled along at lightning speed for what seemed a long while, but in r eality it could not have been over five min utes, and then we sailed over the little cataract and landed safe and sound in smooth water. "This happened last night, and here we are yet, because we can find no way to get out." "That's so we are in a kind of a prison," said Merle, as he glanced about him. It was a sort "of pit, with smooth, perpendicular that they were in. Jt was oyer fifty by thirty, an,d an overhanging ledge nearly covered the entire opening. The biggest part of the place was a miniature Jake, and in thi s Race was fishing with an improvised hook and line, made from a beI)t_pin q,nd the strands. of a piece of rope. . . He roWicJ an arigieworm for bait; b "ut he might have fished until doomsday without getting a bite, for there we re no fish there. The water was but the result of the freshet caused by the storm, and in a few hours the bottom of the pit would be dry. Millie Hope told him this, but Race desired to be doing something to pass away the time so he started in to fish. "Your father and the vigilante s will be along presently and will find us," s:+id Merle to the girl. "They were with me when I tumbled into the ravine "And it they don't find us we will have to wait until the srre!m: dries up sufficiently to allow us to climb the rocks it dashes over," replied Millie. "And we have nothing to eat!" exclaimed Race, putting on a wry face. "We will shout to try and attract the attention of our friends," observed Merle, stamping ab o ut in his endeavor to shake some of the moisture from his gar6ents. "Now, then! I'll fire my re volver, and then all of us will join in a good yell!" Crack! He-e-el-lo The echoes came back to their ears, but there was no answer ing cry. But just then som ething else ha p pened that was truly startling. A deafening explosion rang out from the direction of the little waterfall, the earth and stones tumbled all around them "The can of nitro-glycerine-that must have caused it!" gasped Race. I "Look at this!" said Merle, as he picked up a chunk of virgin silver. "Race, we have surely found the Lost Lode I" CHAPTER IX. THE LOST LODE, AND A GOOD SHOT. "The Lost Lode!" echoed Race, as he gazed with distended eyes at the chunk of silver Merle held in his hand. "Old fellow, you are right 1 This must certainly be the spot the dying man tried to tell us about." Millie Hope looked on interestedly, but did not say a word Evidently she regarded the cousins as very lucky mortals, for the expression of her countenance showed nothing but ad miration. At length Race turned to her. "You will please excuse u s Miss Hope, for ignoring you in this matter-I hope you will when I tell you that we are now in possession of a silver lode that we came to Diamond Bar on purpo s e to find. Please say nothing about this outside of your family. We shall tell your father all about it and get him to help us work this vein." "I assure you that I shall never say a word concerning the lode," said Millie. "What you have found belongs to you, and no one else." "Oh, no you must in for your share !" exclaimed Race. "You found it as much as we." "That is right!" echoed Merle. "Well, then, you two can be partners in the concern, and I will be one of the principal stockholders," Millie answered, with a ripple of laughter. "That sctt1es it, then," returned Race. "Yes," spoke up his cousin. "Now let us see what else the explosion has done for us. It seems to me the water is rising, instead of going away." "That is because the rock over which the cataract runs has been blown away," retorted Millie. "We to be to get out of here very soon now."


10 B R A VE AND B OLD. Meanwhile the stream Race had beet! fishing in was rising to alarming proportions. In fact,_ it threatened to fill entire pit! 01Jr th r ee young friends began to grow a trifle uneasy. "Where d-0es the water. nm off?" Merle. "You ought to know, for you been here longer than r have "Right over there!" exclaimed Race and Millie, in a bi:eath, pointing to a cornet of the pit. Merle hastened to the point indicated, being compelled to (vade through the water part of the way One glance sufficed to show him why the water was rising so rapidly. A log wa s wedged across the outlet of the stream, and a mass of leaves and other objects had collected behind it. An energetic pull with his hands loosened the log, and away it went, the water following with a turbulent rush. "Good!" exclaimed his cou s in, who had been intently watching what being done. "My! set> how the water is lowering now!" "Suppose we make a move to get out?" Millie suggested "Certainly." The two boys pushed their way beneath the overhanging ledge of rock, and were soon standing upon what had been the foot of the cataract. The water was still running swiftly, but its descent was more gradual, and it was not over six inches in depth. Daylight could be plainly distinguished at the other end of the natural tunnel, not over twenty feet distant. "'\/Ve will make a try for liberty, anyhow!" cried Merle. "Come on, Race, and be careful to assist Miss Hope." "I do not need much assistance," retorted Millie. "I am pretty su r e-footed." By dint of holding fast to the craggy sides they waded through the tunnel, and a minute or so later were at the spot where Merle t umbled in so unceremoniously. Their hands clutched the white, shining metal as they passed through, but they did not stop to investigate or examine it. That the lost silver lode had been found by them the boys were confident. T-0 get Jeff Hope to help them stake out the claim and wor)< it was the next thing Merle led the way to the placf' where he had first started to climb o ut of the ravine, and just as they got there they heard vo i ces calling them from above. The voices came from Jeff Hope and the vigilantes. Hope was overjoyed at finding his daughter alive and well, and he rushed forward and embraced her as the three came panting up the ascent. Millie explained what had happened in as few words as possible. 1 The miners gave a cheer for her, and then Jeff Hope led in another fo r Race Neville. "It are all right. as fa r as the r boy an' gal are consarned," sa i d J im Decker; "but Daring Dave an' his gang ain't downed yet, an' t hey've got ter be!" "An' we'll stick tc 'em till we do down 'em!" exclaimed one of the men. "Right ye are!" chorused the rest. "We will adjourn the lost silve r lode and why it was that they came out to Dia: mond Bar to search fo r it "If you are sure yuu've found it your fortunes are made," s

BRA VE AND BOLD. II going to take a piece out of that cowardly, brute's left ear, just to teach him a lesson." The back of the drunken man was turned toward them. He had just raised his hand to once more strike the woman when-Crack I He gave a wild yell, clapped his hand to the side of his head, and then dropped to the ground. Rosy led the way to the spot at a gallop. "Get up!" she cried in ring\ng tones. "You are not hurt-only a part of your _;ar is missing. Go in the house and have it attended to, and 1f you ever strike a woman again you will get a bullet through your head!" It was really ludicr ous to see how meek the coward was, and how quickly he followed his wife into the house. "I wouldn't give much for Daring Dave's chances if you ever drew bead on him," said Race, as he rode back home "He would be apt to die the instant my r ifle cracked," returned Rosy, quiet l y. CHAPTER X. CARD PLAYING EXTRAORDINARY. Bill Hope was probably the best educated young m a n in Diamond Bar when the post office was established there and through t h e influence of his father and several stanch friends he got the appoint m ent of postmast e r As the mails arrived and departed but a week he h a d very little to do. Still his position was a re spo nsible one, and the residents of the little town were more than willing to chip in enough to make his sa lary figure up to about two hundred and fifty dollars per m o nth Leading a life of comparative idleness Bill learned to gamble and drink, and at the time the reader first became acquainted with him he was leading anything but a straightforward life. As soon as Merle Neville and the vigilantes left to hunt up his stolen sister Bill locked up the post office and hastened to the lowest and most vile resort in Diamond Bar. The fact of his sister being spirited away by Morrow, alias Daring Dave, worried him considerably, and he began drinking. He was well acquainted with this man Morrow-in fact, he was under certain obligations to him; and, what was more, he was a member of the famous villain's band of cutthroats! It is not necessary to state how all this came about; Morrow was a gambler, and so was Bill Hope. A man will sometimes gamble his honor away, and that was how it was with Bill. The young postmaster had taken his seat at a table in the corner of the room off the bar, and he was just pouring out his fourth glass of whiskey when a man wearing a heavy black beard came in and sat down near him. "Hello, Bill!" exclaimed the newcomer in a low tone; "you don't know me, I see." The young man gave a violent start, and then gazed searchingly into the speaker's eyes. Great Scott I is it you, cap?" he ejaculated. "I guess it is, Bill, my boy," was the rejoinder "And you are here after what happened last night?" "Yes; why not? You would not have known me if I had not forced you to; it isn't likely that any one else will." The man, who was no other than Daring Dave, gave a little laugh. "Have a drink, cap?" "Yes, but when you see me in this rig hereafter address me as Jennings. I am supposed to be a post office inspector from the government. See?" "Ye-es;" and Bill nodded admiringly. "Well, as I am an inspector we will go over and see how your office looks. I have a great deal to say to you." The young man arose fr o m the table, and going into the bar room, paid for what he had drank and purcha se d a bottle of whiskey; then he led the way to the post office, the disguised villain following "My siste r, Millie. was kidnaped last night. That should not have been done," exclaimed Bill, as the p air neared the post office. "It had to be done, young man, and it will h ave to be done again. She got away fr om me soon after I got her to the cave." "She did?" echoed Bill. "That is r ather queer. She had not showed up h ome when I left le ss than an hour ago." "Do you mean that?" cried Daring Dave. "I do." "Something has happened to her, as sure as fate l" and the villain looked as though he was v e ry much worried about it. "See here, cap, are you joking with me?" "I never was more serious in my life." "Well, if she h as walked over some precipice and gone to her de ath, you are to blame cap." .. She was not alone when she left the cave." "Not alone?" echoed Bill. "Who did she have with her?" "One of the worst enemies I've got-a buy named Race Neville. He hails from the East, I believe." "I heard of him this morning. Here we are at the post office. We will go in side, and the n you can tell me all about it." He unlocked the door as he finished speaking, and the two went insicje. The outlaw captain took a sea t at a table near the window, and when the postmaster had followed su it he related just what had taken place the night before, and why it was that Millie made her escape from the cave in the company of Race Neville. "It is mighty queer they didn t show up before I left the hous e," mused Bill. "Let's have a drink out of that bottle!" exclaimed the dis guised outlaw. "The thought that I might lose tbe girl, after all, makes me sick!" "She is too pure and innocent for such as you, anyway. She might better be dead than to b eco me your bride !" retorted the p ost ma s ter, with more spi rit than he had yet shown. "Have a care!" hi sse d Daring Dave. "You know you stole the government's money and gambled it away, and if it had not been for me you would have--" "Enough !" cried Bill, his face as white as a sheet. "Here! take a drink." With a sardonic grin, his evil companion poured some liquor in a glass and gulped it down. "Now then, we will enjoy a nice little game of cards. Go out and hunt up some one who has got a thousand or two to lose." '.!;'he young man arose and meekly left the office. He feared the outlaw captain as a mouse fears a cat, and he was beginning to hate him as well. ; In a few minutes he returned with a big, hulking fellow who had recently it rich, and then the game began. When noon came the players were pretty well even, and at the suggestion of the fraudulent government inspector they repaired to the nearest shanty hotel and ordered dinner. At the dining-room table they made the acquaintance of a. new arrival at Diamond Bar-a meek-faced, red-haired man, who was not slow in telling them that he hailed from the State of New Jersey. He introduced himself as Lemuel Gates, and said he had come West to get rich.


12 BRA VE AND BOLD. The fellow seemed to feel highly honored when he Je:irned that he was in the presence of the postmaster and an official from Washington. ''Very glad ter meet you!" he cried, as he shook hands. "I wish you gents would put me in the way of makin' some money. I've got a few hundred in my clothes now, but you know how it is-a feller is never satisfied." Then it was that the draw poker subject came up, and Mr. Gates agreed to join them in a game at the po s t office after dinner. Daring Dave and the postmaster exchanged glances. They were so elated at the prospect of fleecing the greenhorn that they forgot all about the lost girl both had appeared so anxious about. The outlaw captain insisted on paying for the four dinners, and then they repaired to the room in the post office building. At first Lemuel Gates appeared to be very "easy," but soon he began to do a little winning At the time when the boy partners and their fair companions rode past the Jerseyman was several hundred dollars ahead, and all four of the players were too much absorbed in the game to notice who was passing. Daring Dave had been trying a long time to outwit Gates, but he had been foiled every time. At length he determined to do something desperate, so when it came his deal he prepared himself for one of the dirtiest tricks a gambler could be guilty of m a game. He gave the wink to Bill Hope as he dealt out the cards, and the young man managed to keep Gates' attention attracted while the villain dealt from the bottom of the pack. The Jerseyman made the first bet, and Bill and the other man dropped out. Daring Dave was sure that his opponent had four kings, and he was equally confident that he had four aces, though he had not yet looked at his cards. But what puzzled him not a little was that Mr. Lemuel Gates had not looked at his, either. "He is going in 'blind,' thinking he'll 'bluff' me out,'' thought the outlaw. "Well, I'll plank down a hundred better!" He promptly did so, and the Jerseyman saw him and went two hundred better. And still neither had looked at their cards! "This is pretty good," observed the postmaster with a drunken chuckle, as he thought how the stranger was going to get fleeced. The betting continued in the same way until finally there was nearly three thousand dollars on the table. Then it was that Daring Dave began to grow uneasy. It occurred to him that he might have made a mistake in deal ing, after all. So, after another bet was made by the Jerseyman, he "called" him. .., "I d6n't know what in the dickens I have got," drawled Gates. "You ought ter know, Mister Inspector, you dealt 'em. Thunder! only a pair of deuces!" The disguised outlaw held his breath as he lifttd his cards. Then he tt.ltned as white as a sheet and drew his revolver. He did not have a pair in his hand! He realized that he had been beaten at his own game, but he meant to have the stakes, anyhow. But before he could get his weapon on a level with Gates, it was knbcked from his hand, and the cold muzzle of the Jersey man's revolver was pressing against his forehead. "I guess this belongs ter rne, Mister Inspector!" As the stranger spoke he scooped the money ittto his pocket, and then, quick as a flash, tore the false beard from Daring Dave's face. "I reckon you ain't what you seem!" he added. "But whatever you be, you must not think you kin fool a Jerseyman in any kind of fashion. How would a pair of bracelets fit on your wrists, mister?" The outlaw captain was rendered de$perate, and his one desire was to get away. Regardless of the fact that he might receive a bullet in his brain, he made a flying leap and crashed through th"e window. CHAPTER XI. THE CLAIM J3 STAKFD. The next morning, while Jeff Hope was waltmg for some boards to be delivered from the sawmill, a mile or so beyond the Bar, Merle proposed that they should pay a visit to the Lost Lode, for such was the name they concluded to call their claim. The old man was willing, and of course Race was, so the three set out, well armed and carrying a pick, shovel and ax with them. "We are out prospectin', if any one asks," observed Hope. "That is right," and the boy partners nodded. "I wish Bill was 'iike you boys," remarked the old man as they trudged along. "I am afraid that post office has been the ruin ation of him. All he does is to sit around an' play cards, an' I've smelled liquor on his breath more than once." "He has a good position, hasn't he?" asked Race. "Oh, yes, he gets a good salary, an' he ought to save lots of money, 'cause he's never been charged a cent for board." "I guess he'll work around all right," said Merle, wishing to change the subject. "Perhaps he will," was the rejoinder. The walk to the gully where the lode of silver was located was not over half a mile, but it was uphill all the way, :i.nd conse quently quite tiresome. "This ground around here_. belongs to ther goverfiment," said Jeff Hope. "All's we've got to do is to stake off a piece of it, an' then it belongs to us until we are forced to buy it or get off." "We had better stake up our claim as soon as possible; sortie one else might come along and find it, you know," exclaimed Race. "We will jist as quick as we kin cut an' drive ther stakes," was the reply. When the three reached the gully a surprise awaited them. By some cause the roof of the little natural tunnel had caved in, filling the water course and trrting the stream in another di rectiort. Race's jaw dropped when he saw this, and Merle laughed at him. "What is the matter, old fellow?" he asked. "Don't you know this cave-in is the best thing that could have happened?" "Why is it?" q uestiorted the boy from New Yark. "Because no peeping eyes can see what we know is buried in there." "That is right." And Race gave a sigh of relief. "Of course it is right. How would I know what's there if you hadn't told me?" chimed in Hope. "Now, then, we'll git to work an' cut some stakes from that group of scrub oaks, att' then we'll drive 'em in ther ground." "We ought to have brought an ax apiece," said Race, as he watched the old man cutting away. "Never mind," was the retort. "I'll do thct cuttin', an' )'OU two can do ther drivin'." 1' .. \ .. .. i


'I BRA VE AND BOLD. 13 It did not take him a great while to cut enough, and, one hour from the time they got there their claim was staked off. "That is enough for to-day," cried Merle. "Now we own a claim at Diamond Bar, and we want to work it until our fortunes are made. Before any one could make a reply a rifle shot rang out and a bullet whistled past the speak

BRA VE AND BOLD. It was that of Daring Dave, and he was talking to our three friends in the gully and at the same time making an effort to dislodge the bowlder so it would go crashing down upon them. Lemuel Gates did not see those below, but he knew that by the way the man spoke there was somebody there. The voice sounded familiar to him, too, but he could not place its owner them. But he was bound that the bowlder was not going to be pushed over. Already it was rolling back and forth, and' it needed but one good push to dislodge it. / Like a cat Gate s sprang forward and seized the unsuspecting outlaw by the collar. One mighty jerk and he was lying on his back, with the J er seyman standing him, a leveled r evo lver in his hand "I guess not, Mr. Stranger !" exclaimed the J erseyman, coolly. CHAPTER XIII. BILL HOPE'S REMARKABLE SHOT. Just at the very moment the boy partners and Jeff Hope ex. pected to see the bowlder come crashing toward them, it ceased rocking. "Come!" exclaimed Race; "we must get out of the way!" The spell was broken now, and a few hurrieti steps carried our friends out of danger. Why had Daring Dave not pushed the bowlder down upon them? That was the they asked themselves. "We must find that feller," said Hope, grimly, as they ascended from the gully, his keen eyes roving from object to object. "He has either Ief the spot where he was, or is waiting there to ambush us," retorted Merle. "Be very careful now!" The three were cautiously approaching the bowlder. Five minutes from the time they left the gully they were there. But beyond a piece of rope lying on the ground there were no signs of any one having been there. "Funny!" exclaimed Hope. "I don't know where the con founded varmint could have gone." "And it is queer why he changed his mind about sending the bowlder down upon us," added Meile. "He is probably laying for us1 so he can capture us," said Race, keeping a sharp lookput about him. "I don't think he'll bother you much right away, gents!" The next instant Lemuel Gates appeared from behind a rock, dragging the bound figure of Daring Dave after him. "He came mighty near fixin' you fellers," went on the Jerseyman, as our three friends gazed at him in op e n-mouthed amaze ment. "But I happened along jist in time ter nip him in the bud. Who is he--does any of you know?" "Yes," Race hastened to answer; "he is Daring Dave, the captain of the worst gang of cutthroats that ever breathed!" "Pshaw l An' I caught him-me, Lemuel Gates, the speculator from the East! Now, the question is, what will I do with him?" "Take h im down to ther Bar an' we'll lock him up!" cried Jeff Hope. "We'll give you all ther help you want." "Thank you, gents. We'll all go down together." Fifteen minutes later they were filing through the pass, Daring Dave securely tied to his own steed. The fellow had shaved off his mustache, and his hair was closely cropped, but this did not stop the cousins from recognizing his: handsome, evil countenance. '-le was in anything but a pleasant frame of mind, as could be observed by the ne._rvous twitching of his lips. Neither of the four spoke a to the villain on the journey to Diamond Bar, but all hands kept a sharp watch for a surpris e from his followers. But none came, and :i few minutes later Daring Dave was lodged in the lockup of the little town, which was built of heavy logs. To say that the captain of the vigilantes was surprised when the noted outlaw was turned over to his tender care would hardly express it. He could scarcely believe it was he. But after scanning his face carefully he r e cognized him as the man he had known by the name of Morrow, and that se ttled it. "Here is the gentleman who took him prisoner," said Merle, pointing to Lemuel Gates. "'Him!" exclaimed Jim Decker, bluntly; "why, mister, you don't look as though you had enough sand in you ter run an hourglass fifteen minutes. But-great boot s seems ter me you re semble ther feller that wiped out ther post office inspector at poker, that Big Al was tellin' me about." "I reckon I am that indiwidual," returned the Jerseyman, grinning good-naturedly. "Put her there!" and Decker held out his brawny hand. Gates gripped it warmly, and from that hour the two were friends. "May I ask what you are going to do with the prisoner?" Race ventured to inquire "We'll give him a fair trial, an' then string him up !" replied the captain of the vigilantes. "That's square enough," nodded Jeff Hope. Race was going to remark that he could not sec the necessity of a trial, since it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that the man was to be "strung up," anyhow; but he concluded to remain silent on the subject. The ways of the inhabitants of the far West were decidedly to say the least. Shortly after Daring Dave had been confined in the prison Bill Hope came upon the scene. His face was pale when his father told him that the noted outlaw was at last ir1 the toils. "Are you sure it is he?" he asked of his father. "You might have the wrong man, you know." "I guess I know Morrow when I see him," was the retort. "He is caught hard and fast an' he'll wear a rope necktie inside of twenty-four hours, or I don't know what I am talking about!" His son shrugged his shoulders uneasily at this remark. "You don't appear ter like ther idea of ther rascal bein' hanged?" said Lemuel Gates, gazing keenly into the eyes of Bill. "Who says so?" was the petulant reply ; and the postmaster took a step forward. "Bill," exclaimed his father sternly, "don't you go and make a fool of yourself by pickin' a quarrel with Mr. Gates. Jist mind your own business !" Without another word the young man walked away. Both Race and Merle thought there was something on his mind, and they wondered if he wasn't a trifle friendly toward the outlaw captain. "Ther trial will take place arter dinner," said Jim Decker, a few minutes later. "I'm ther judge, an' I'll soon get a jury that'll do ther thing right. You people must be around an' give testimony." Punctually at the appointed time the judge and jury took their places in the room adjoining the bar in the largest shanty hotel, and the prisoner was brought in As many as could squeeze in were present in the "courtroom," and the boy partners a.nd Jeff Hope were among the number,


BRAVE AND BOLD Lettluel ha.d been appointed to take ch:rrge 0 the oner, and he attended to that duty like a veteran at the business. O i cours e the trial that tonowed wa-s a mere farce. The vigi ]antes were bent upon hanging t h e villain, and when the foreman of the jUry anncnmced the verdict of "gnihy I" haH a dot1:n of fhe mine r s rushe d for a rope The y w e r e going t a hang him for .two reasons. One was be cause he was the lender of the gang of that _preyed upon t raveler s to and from Diamo nd Bar, and the other becau s e he had t a ken Millie from her .. h0111e by force. Taking into c o n s id e ration the fact that a horse thief sutiereo the penalty o f being h a nged in that s ection, the verdtct o f th e jury was ri ght and proper Anyho w the hone s t res idents of the Bar thought it wa s and they se t a\m ut making pTeparati ons for the execution Race Neville knew that t he outlaw c a ptain no doui>t d eserved hi s fate, bu t he fell. th a t h e had not had anything lik e a fair tri

I 10 BRA VE AND BOLD There was no reply, though our two young friends felt like speaking. "No one to prove that I didn't," went on the Jerseymari, coolly. "Well, I'll tell you all that I didn't, an' I know who did!" '.'\Vho-who ?" roared the crowd. "The postmaster !" "You lie!" cried Bill Hope, drawing his revolver and sprirtging forward. "Drop that!" said Gates, sternly, as he flashed his own revolver on a level with the young man s breast. ''I am glad old man Hope is not here to see this," whispered Merle to his cousin. ''So am I," was the reply. "To use one of the expressions of this part of the country, there is apt to be a funeral in the Hope family before many hours." Mea.nwhile Bill stood glaring at his accuser, his face as pale as a sheet. He had allowed his pistol to <;lrop to the ground, and in a voice tha_ t was a trifle shaky he said : ''Drop your pistol and we will meet on an even footing. I am going to make you take back what you said 'That's right!" yelled Big Al, the miner. "Fight it out with knives, an' ther feller that wins will prove that twas t'other that shot ther rope in two !" "Good!" shouted the crowd. "Give 'em room, boys!" sang. out one of the vigilantes. "This are_ ther only way ter settle ther dispute." Lemuel Gates tossed his revolver aside and drew a keen-looking kniie from his belt. Come on," said he quietly. "I am satisfied to do _it any way that the crowd." A hearty cheer greeted this remark, which showed that the J erseyman had lots of friends in the crowd. Bill Hope was of athletic build, and was a first-class shot and an expert with a bowie-knife. He was going to make the fight of his life and slay his accuser, for if it became known that he had been the means of. liberatiug the outlaw captain, he would be compelled to leave the Bar-that is, .if he was allowed the opportunity. These were the thoughts that flashed through his mind as he stepped forward to meet the speculator from the State of New Jersey. "Ready l" cried Big Al. "Let her rip!" The knives clashed together and the fight was on. With distended eyes the cousins watched it. 6_! 5rs! they thought it be of Jong duration, but a moment later their minds were changed. Lem Gates knocked the knife from his oppouent's hand and sent him to the floor. It looked as if he meant to stab him, for he bent over him with upraised knife. At that moment Rosy Hope appeared. "Spare my brother I" she cried. C H A P TER XV. T.HE MAIL COACH IS HELD UP. Daring Dave lost no opportunity to get away from the spot. He did not know who it was that severed the rope and saved his life, nor did he try to ascertain. His one idea was to escape, and the instant he fell in a heap to the ground he sprang to his feet and was off like a flash. When he once reached the wildness of the mountainside he was safe, and by dint of hiding and running alternately he at length reached the secret entrance to his retreat : The outlaw captain was jubilant. It occurred to him that he must bear a charmed life, and he felt so good over his remarkable escape that he ordered a keg of whiskey to be tapped. He did not regale his followers with what had transpired until he had drank several bumpers, and then he took the floor and gave a glowing account of the proceedings. Concluding, he said: "A small-sized cyclone has struck Diamond Bar in the shape of a red-haired little man, who calls himself Lemuel Gates. f.Ie is by far a worse enemy to us than the boy we had here. I wa.nt yon all to be on the lookout for him and not underestimate him "I am not afraid to meet him on equal conditions!" exclaimed a young Englishman, who had deserted his ship at San Francisco a few months before. "I never saw the man I was afraid of!" The bulldog expression of the man's face was ample proof that he was a tough customer, and it was quite evident that he was one of the sort who would die fighting. Daring Dave scowled fiercely at the fetlow. The Englishman was the most independent of any of the band, and he did not like him for that. "So you are not afraid of any ooe eh, my young Johnny Bull?" the captain coolly observed as he drained another glass of whiskey. ''That is what I said, and I'll stick fo it," was the sailor's retort. "Don't you think you are talking a little too fast?" "I always say what I think. and talk whenever I feel like it." "You do, eh? Well, suppose I should tell you to shut up, w o uld you do it?" "No!" "What?" roared Daring Dave, drawing his revolver; "you would dare to disobey my command?" The fiery Englishman's blood was now up. As quick as a flash he drew his revolver, and then without a word glared at the outlaw captain, who was dreaded so much by the oth,er members of the band. Daring Dave could have shot the fellow down at the start; but he did not anticipate such a thi n g as h i s drawing a revolver, too, so he stood with the muzzle of his shooter directed at the floor. For a few seconds a deathly stillness reig.ned in the cave. Then the Englishman spoke. "Daring Dave. we will see who is boss of this gang, you or m e!" he exclaimed. The se audacious words nearly took the breath away from the a s sembled outlaws, although they could but admire the pluck of the sailor, and drawing back on either side of the underground retreat, they anxiously a w a it e d the result. The outlaw captain had now r e gain e d his usual coolness. "Prepare yourself to step out!" he cried. Almost at the same in stant two reports rang out, so close together that they were blended into one. The Englishman drupped to the floor, shot through the heart, -sd Daring Dave remained standing! A satisfied smile flitted over his face for a moment, and then, with a swe e ping glance, he "Is there any one eise who h a s such an opinion as that poor fo o 1 had?" There was no reply to this, but finally one of the men yelled out: "Three cheers for the captain, boys!" A dea-fening cheer rang out and Daring Dave acknowledged it by doffing Iris hat : "Remove the carcass !" he commande d. -


BRl\. VE AND BOLD. Half a d ozen of the villains flew to do his bidding and a minute later the grewsome object was tossed through a crevice, to go cr ashi n g into the depths of a chasm. Fill up on ce more, men! After that n ot anothe r drop un til to-morrow morning; there i s work for us b etwee n now and that time The mail coach leaves the Bar at daylight." "And there must be lots of stuff aboard," added one of the me.n. '!S i 1 r e Some o f the miners have struck it rich lately and aresending lot s of money h o me, saKI tpe villainous captain. By this time it was nightfall. The man who cooked for the gang brought o u t the s upp e r a nd all sat down to it. Daring Dave haq a tin plate n ailed to the tabl e in the pla ce the Englishman had usually occupied, and with a piece of chalk he the word "Traito r up o n it. More c heer s went up a t this act, and the captain felt that he now had his foll owe rs unde r perfect control. After the me a l p i p es were lighted, and an hour later all hands r eti red save the man o n guard. At three o' clock Daring Dan a r oused them. r Get r ea dy, he said. "All hands will go save the cook, who will stay here to watch the place and breakfks t r ea dy when we return." Half an hour later the outlaws were leading their horses out through the 5ecr e t exit. All wo r e black ma sks, and Daring Dave was only distinguished b y a r ed plume in his h at. D ow n th e mountainside the villainous band th eir' way, an d when the pass was r eache d the y galloped to the other side of the rangt:. Day was bre aking n ow, and whe n the outl aws came to a h a lt in a sec l ude d s pot the s un w as just b eginning to s h ow its fac e a bo ve the line of the h o riz o n "The coach will b e along sh ortly now," o b served D ating D ave I got information that it was going to make an early start be cause there is so much m oney in the mail bag s Ha, ha, ha I I will g et square on some of the hounds who were so anxious to s trin g m e up ) ; es t e rd a y Patient ly the ma s ke d band wait e d, and after a while the' rumbling of a vehicle could be heard. It was the mail coac h Get ready!" whispered the outlaw captain. Nearer and n earer came the so unds, and pres e ntly the coach came in v1e\\ The outlaws p ee red through the trees and saw that there were n o p assenge rs but that a man sat on the box with the driver, with a rifle in h is hands. "He i s guardi n g the mail, Daring Dave, with a little la.ugh. Well, I guess I'll pick him off, so h e won't do a ny harm." He drew hi s rifle to his sho ulder, and takin!!" ie!iberate aim, pre sse d th e trigge r. Crack man dropped from the box to the ground and the driver r eined in t he horses. Then the outlaws came d as h ing from their cover and surr o unde d the stagecoac h ''Hand s up, driver!" came the stern command. R efuse and you 'll die !" There was nothing for the driver to do but to o b ey, so he very wisely dropped the reins and lifted up his hands. A c.auple of the masked men held the porses b y their head s and wh ile the rest covefed the driver with their revolvers, Daring Da v e clambered i n side 'the vehicle. The moment his eyes lit pon the mail bags he seized upon them A s he lifted the m up the figure of a man wa s disclosed huddled in the bottom of the coach Before the outl;tw could say anything he arose to a sitting posture. It was Bill Hope, the postmaster I CHAPTER XVI. WORKING THE CLAIM. It was n o t at all likely that Lemuel Gates intended to take the life of Bill Hope, but the attitude he struck made the lookers-on think so. And every one of them-even to the young man's sister-felt that he was jus tified in doing so. But blood is thicker than water, and when Rosy sprang forward and ap peal ed to :he J e rseym a n to spare the life of Bill, he s t eppe d back with a smile and placed the knife in his belt. A cheer went up from the crowd at this action and when the d e feated young man arose to his feet and followed his sister into the post office Gates turned to the crowd and exclaimed: Gentlemen, I reck o n you are sat i s fied that it wasn't me who fir e d ther shot that clipped ther rope?" "Yes-yes!" c ri e d the miners in a chorus. "I want you all ter understand that I came out here ter do g ood, instead of evil the Jerseyman went on. "It was me that collared the r sk unk of an outlaw an' brought him he re, as you all know; so it co uldn t p oss ibly be me ter let him git away Now I'm goin' ter h unt Daring Dave up ag'in, an inside of forty-eight hours I'll fetch him back here. Sec if I don't!" "Hurr a h for ther' J erseyman !" yelled Jim Decker, who app ea r e d o n the scene jus t then, after a fruitless search for the o u t l a w craptain. Race and Merle join e d the crowd in cheering, and then, after the of the vigilantes had made a little speech, the miners began to leav e the spot. Not one of them lik e d the idea of leaving the postmaster to go a b ou t free, for they were s atisfied in their own minds that it was he who had been the m eans of causing Daring Dave's escape. "It lo o ks bad for Bill H ope, observe d Merle. "If the miners get full of whiskey and get it in th eir head s that he ought to be lynch ed, they will do it." "I hope nothing of the kind will happen, for the sake of the family h e bel o ngs to," replie d Race T h e boys' f ea r s were not entirely without found a tion By the tim e darkness se t in the min e r s were "celebrating" in fine style, an d many of them talked in a very ugly fashi o n of the postmaster. The cousins r ema in e d about the h ote l s to find out t h e outcome, a n d if nece ssa ry put Bill on his guard. After a while one of the p rominent memb e r s o f the vigilanc e committee suggeste d that a m ee ting should be ctlled to sett!e up o n the p ostmaste r's cas e The suggestio n was favorably rec e ived and in a very few minutes a judge and jury were se lec te d to de c ide it. The verdict, whic h was rendered very qui ckly, was that Bill Hope sho uld be given twenty-four hours' n ot ice to g e t out of Di a mond Bar, and tha t hi s father, or one of hi s siste rs, shotil d take his place as po stmaster until one was appoin ted by the government. Jim Decker wrote the notice hims e lf, and then delivered it to Bill "That isn't so bad after aU," said Race. "It ought to be a


18 BRAVE ANDBOLD. -ie!so n to th e fellow, anI places in the world besides Diamond Bar where Bill H6pe can make a living, he will' hllve to go a long way before he strikes the sinecure he h ad here." As soon as young Hope got fhe notice he closed up the post office and went h o me. .. His mother wa; very mu c h agitaled ove r his banishment from the place by the vigilantes, bu! his father only shoo k his hea'd. "It i s n o use in kickin' agin' what ther wigilantes do," said he; and the n, in a whisper to his wife, he added: "'Tain't wery ofte n they make a mistake, my dear." It was decided by the family that Millie and Rosy should as sume the cares and duties of the post office, as the vigilance committee would guarantee them protection from the rougher element of the Bar. The mail coach was to le; the next morning, sho rtly after daylight, and Jeff Hope instructed his disgraced so n to assist the girls in putting up the mail and then l eave in the coach .. . Race and Merle went with -.them to the office wh e n the time came, and, sure eno ugh when the ve hicle started with the mail bags, : containing over a thousand dol lars in money, which the miners were sending to their rel atives Bill Hope was aboard. here," sai d old m a n Hope to the b oys, after they had re turned _to the h ouse and eaten their breakfast, "do you know it strikes me that it won't be safe to leave your claim alone?" "!';ye been thinking that way myself," Merle answered. "What i s the matter with. building a s11anty and living there?" spoke up Race. "That'swhat we'll have ter do!" exclaimed Hope "I've started ter build o n this one, but that won t make a ny diffe1'ence. Mrs. .. Hope and ther girls can Hve at ther post office, an' I can git ter see 'em every d ay. There is only one thing about it-\ve've got ter git ther silver out of that lode without any one knowin' that we've stnick a big find." Suppose we at it right away?" the cousins sugges ted. "We will." Matters were soon arrahged ami by neon Mrs .. Hope and her da tl'ghters were insmHed at the post office, and her husband and the boy par!ntrs had pitched a tent on the ground where the L ost Lode was lo ea t ed. They intended to build a s h anty at thei r lei sure and \vork the s i lver" vcin for all it was worth. J eff H-o'pe owned a team o'f mul es and a heavy wagon, and these, together with their hors es, were brought to the elaim. The boys were pretty well 'tired out wh e n night came, and as they were tci'p' Mle flight in .. the tent, they tried to make things as comfortable as possible. Hope kept the fire burning brightly and smok e d and chatted wi t h his young companions on all subject s sav e the banishment o f his son fro m the Bar. About nine o'clock, when the moonhad ri sen. Merle wa s struck with th e idea of goi;1g up to the top of the cliff and faking a look at Diamond Bar by night.' ,_. "I'll that' I -'am too tired to -tlo any climbing to-11ight," said Ra ce. "But you can go on, only do not go beyond 6ur h ea rin g." "Oh, I can take! 'dire of myse lf all right," was the r ejoi nd er. "Look out for them outlaw f ellers," cautionetl Hop-e. '.They might be around these diggings." 1._ I gut;ss t hey won't b ot her us any mO'l'e. Daring Ie ought t6 to ieav e ''erroutn alune;" said Merle, as he started UJ;l the ascent. .. ; His friends watclied him mtil they saw. h im c ome lo a halt near the bowlder the outlaw captain had so nearly crushed them with. They had been careftil to pitch their tent where it would be out of narm's way, even if the heavy stone did come rolling lnto the gully. From where Merle stood he had at'l excellent view of the collection of huts below Ti1e di stance to them was less than a quarter of a mile in a straight line, but to get there requir ed a journey of over a mile .. While Merle was standing fhere taking in the sce n e he heard some one cough behind him. Like a flash he turned abo ut, his h and upon the butt of his rev olve r "Hello, Merle, it is I-Bill H ope!" said a voiee in a low tone. "I \v:lnt you to do me a favor." CHAPTER XVII. THE JERSEYMAN' S PATIENCE. Lemuel Gates did not l inge r about the shanty hotels after he had eaten his supper. He was bent upon capturing the out l aw captain again, and )le meant to do it if it was p ossible. For some reason he started on foot immediately afte r darkness set in, taking with him a small bundle. When h e .eached t h e seclusion of a clump of bushes on the mountainside he s t opp e d and untied the bundle If it had been light enough to see, a long .. tailed coat would hav.e com e to view, but Gates did not se em to care whether a n y one saw it or not. He coolly put it on, and then took off the. crop of red hair that covered his head A wig! that was all it was ''I'll take the part of Dead-eye Bill from Black Range, the J e rseym an mutter.ed. "Thi s coat will make me l ook a lit t le que e r but the rest of the make-up will be all ri g ht. The r ed wig wa s :,towed away in an inner pocket, and a .darkbrown one,. mix.ed with gray, wit h a full beard to match, was fis hed out. .In a very short space of time G a tes had d(i)nned th ese articl e s of disguise. A hpge sloi:cb hat .. was next produc e d and t h e n a large greasy l ooking leather belt. The latter was buckled on outs id e the coat and a brace of ugly looking r e v o lvers .afld a knife with a blad e fully twe lv e in c hes long were thrust in it. say the man would have "bad" if he walked into a lig htec barroom would be putting it mildly. I guess I 'll do 110 w," chuckl ed Gates; "now for this here Daring ba,: e's hangout!" He must have h2d a good mem o ry, fo r in a h a lf hour's time he stood on the spot v i here he had made the outlaw c aptain a pris oner not many hours before. "If 1 kin find what T atn lo6kir1g fo r between no\v a n m ornin' 1'11 con s id e r myself" lucky," the di s gui s ed m a n mutte red. "Now, which is th er right way te r g o, I w onder? S po se I 'll trust ter luck. With the s louching gait of a h a lf-drunken m a n h e s ta-rt e d o n e of the paths that circled the m ount a in peak. For o ver half an hour Gates abCrut from one path to another, and at length becoming< tired, he halted and sat. dowrt on a bowlder. .. B'efote be'ba

I -1 JI ( -------------. BRA VE AND BOLD. At first he thought it came from the m in ers in the valley below, but a second thought convinced him that it did not. By the time the "three times three" had been given he made up his mind that the men who were doing the shouting were very near him. Their voices appeared to b e muffled much like the sound that comes when a person shouts down a coalhole. 1'I' ve struck ile, I reck on," obse rved M r Lemuel Gates, when sil ence reigned once more. "Ther gang of outlaws are in a cave around h ere somewhere, as sure as I am alive! I'm goin' ter lay around here until I set eyes on somebody, an' that settles that l" Patience must have been a virtue with the Jers eym an, for he picked out a good hiding place and remained the re for two solid hours without so much as complaining. He had not heard a sound since the cheering to give him the least encouragement that a human being was about. But this did not matter with him. He was sure there was, and he was willing to wait. A n other hour slipped by, and another, and the situation re mained just the same. "I'd take a n ap if I thought I dared risk it," mused the di s gt1is ed man. "However, I reckon I kin stand it till daylight." Gradually the night wore away Gates never left the spot, though occasionally he would change his position. At length he fell into a do ze in spite of himself But it was not over a minute's duration, for what he had been waiting for so long had come at last He heard voices talking in low tones. And the owners of the voices were in the open air, and not und e r the gi-ound I I Instantly the J e r seyman was wide awake. P ee ring cautiously from his hiding plac e he beheld a number of maske d men in the act of mounting their horses. And not tw e nty feet from him he saw an opening in what he had believed was solid rock. A man was just coming from it leading a horse. Acting on a sudden impulse, Gates softly crept to the spot He arose to his feet almost in the midst of the horsemt"n, but it was so dark that they did not notice that he was not one of their number. It was a daring thing to do but Lemuel Gates was given to doing daring a nd unexpected things. Like a shadow he moved directly into the opening. He was not an instant too soon, for the next moment the place wa s closed with a thud. A stone door had swung shut, and Lemuel Gates was inside the ouflaws' retreat. A foolish move for him, some might say, but be did not think so. It was as dark as a pocket in the place where he was, but he did not attempt to light a match. He waited until he was sure the band had gone, and then the daring man placed his hands upon one of the side walls and began feeling his way cautiously along. A few feet ahead he suddenly saw a streak of light coming through a crack. "That must be the door," he muttered. "Now for a peep inside." In another minute he had placed his eye to the crack. What he saw was the interior of the outlaws' den. As the reade.r knows, all the members of the band, 91!.ve one, went out to ho L d up the mail coach. It was the cook who rema.jned, and he was just preparing to take a little nap before he breakfast ready The J erseyman tried the dei>or softly It yielded. Drawing his revolver, he rushed in, with the ill e a of over powering the man But as the door swung back a bell jingled somewhere, and the outl aw sprang to his feet, revolver in hand. Crack! f'he moment he saw the newcomer was nilt a member of the band he fired at him. CHAPTER XVIII. W H A T G A TE S L E A R N ED. At the very instant the outlaw discharged his rev o lver Lemuel Gates slipped and fell to the floor. That was all that saved his life, for the bullet struck some rough woodwork near the door on a line exactly where his head had been As it was, the villainous guard thought he had surely killed the intruder, but as he ste pped for \ard he held his shooter ready to discharge another shot. The Jerseyman lay just as still as death, though his hand still clutched his revolver. He was a man who, unquestjonably, posses sed great presence of mind. He knew it was a matter of life or death to him now, and he re so lved to live When the outlaw was within six feet of his prostrate body his right hand flew up, and simultaneously with it his revolver cracked So quickly did he fire the shot that he scarcely knew whethet he had the man covered or not. As it happened the bullet took effect in the man's right and he dropped his pistol with a howl of pain. One second later and the wiry little man from New Jersey was on his feet. "Shut up !" he exclaimed; "make another bit of noise and you are a dead man!" It was surprising to see how quickly the wounded outlaw be came quiet. He knew when he had the worst end of it, aud he was not going to rush matters a bit "Who are you?" he ventured to inquire, in a tone that sh'owed signs of great uneasiness. 'Tm Dead-eye Bill from Black Range," was the quick reply. "I wasn't born to stand any foolin', so you had better do jist as I tell you." "How did you git in here, anyhow?" "I walked in through a kind of door or somethin'," "You did?" "Yes, I certainly did." "Was the door open?" "Sure it was." "I can't understand it." "You don't seem to like my comin' in here." "No one has a right here unless I know him." "Well, you kin git acquainted with me in short order if yod want ter," and Gates walked a step nearer and thrust the muzzle of his revolver under the fellow's nose. "Ncr.-n.o !" cried the outlaw; "I don't want to git acquainted with you in that way." "You tried to shoot me." "Ye-es, I'll admit that I did." "An' I am a citizen of this county who has lived Oil bulleta and grub for ther past two dayS:--prmcipally bullets.


2 0 BRAVE AND BOLD. "I can give you all you want to eat, if you are hungry," and a ray of hope crossed the face of the rascally cook. "I'd like ter have somethin' ter eat an' a good horn of whiskey." "I'll get both for you right away." "Hold on i I'm afraid you might pizen me. Jist tell me where ther stuff is an' I'll git it myself." "Set' here," said the guard, who now believed his visitor was fully as much of a rogue as himself, "if you are what you say you are, .and wapt to join a gang that is makin' lots of money, I'll put you on it." "How?" questioned Gates. "I'll let you out, and then meet you at one of the ginmills of the Bar about four hours from now." "And what then?" "I'll bring you back here and vouch for your bein' a good man, and you'll be taken in as a member of the band." "Are you sure they would take me in?" "When a member proposes a man, and the man stands the test, he is bound to be taken in." The Jerseyman had been weighing in his mind whether the villalfl was in earnest or not, and he came to the conclusion that he was. It struck him that making a pretext of joining the vile gang would be the best way for him to get his clutches on Daring Dave. "All right," said he; "I'll do as you say. I've had hard luck lately, an' half a dozen deputy sheriffs are after me. I've done killin'. in my time, an' I'm ready ter do some more." "You'll do!" exclaimed the outh1w. "Here! jist see how bad my wrist is hurt; it seems ter bleed pretty good ." "It is only a scratch; you can say your revolver went off as you were about to clean it." "Yes1 that will do. I'll let you out, Mr.-" "Dead-eye Bill, from Black Range." "Oh, Well, Mr. Dead-eye Bill, from Black Range, I'll let )'ou out, an' four hours from now I ll meet you in their saloon opposite ther, post office, which buihlin' you kin tell by a flag floating over it." "All right; l'H put trust in what you say. If yoo go bagk on file, th01.1gh, j ist look out.I I'm a bad man!" and our disguised friend shook the revolver he still held in his hand. "I believe you was the truthful reply. "Wait a minute and I'll get some whiskey." Gates sat down on a blmch as unconcerned as though he be longed there A minute later the outlaw produced the liquor and he took a light drink of it. Then he arose, and after telling the man ta be sure and keep his word, asked to be conducted outside. "You must not mention that you was in here before when you come in ter join," cautioned the guard as they parted. "You kin depend on it that I won t,'' was the retort. After the secret door of the retreat had been closed upon him, Lemuel Gates stood and pondered a tnoment. He was making up his mind whether to hide around some where and waif till the outlaws came back, or go on down to Bar. At length he decided Gn the former. There might be suGh a thing as the friend he bad just made going back en hlm ; so it would be better for him to learn all he could about the headquar ters of the band. It was now daylight, and not knowing jHst how soon the cut throat gang might return, our wiry iriend begart le0kini about for a good place where he could lie low and see without being seen. The place where he had been for the best part of the night was about as good as any, so he crtpt into it and prepared to put in another long wait. An hour passed. Then his ears were greeted with the unmistakable sound9 of approaching hoofs. The Jerseyman remained as quiet as a mouse and watched. ,, Soon the gang of masked riders came view. They halted close to the secret door in the rock, and then one of their number dismounted and made a careful tour of inspection of the near vicinity. Everything being all right, the door swung open at a tap from the butt of the captain's pistol. When they had all filed inside, and closed the door behind them, Lemuel Gates uttered a chuckle. "It would be dead easy to lead ther vigilance committee here an' then blow that stone door off its hinges with dynamite; but I ain't go in' ter do it j ist yet ." He cautiously crept from his hiding place, and a minute later was making for the village below in order to keep his appoint ment with the outlaw cook. Lemuel Gates was not quite. sure that the outlaw would keep hig appointment, but he h oped he would, and at the prop e r time he walked into the saloon that had been specified. In his rather curious costume the Jerseyman created no little comment as he walked up to the bar and ordered a drink. Many remarks were passed-some of them not very nice-but he paid no attention to them. Just as he laid down the money for the drink a man stepped up to his side. It was the outlaw! Gates knew him the instant his eyes foll upon him, though the fellow had changed his appearance some what. Tile men greetings, after which drinks and cigars were ordered. The outlaw seemed to be pretty well known in the salq,on, and as as they saw he was a friettd of the stranger with the long-tailed coat the !(Jungers c-eased passing temarks. It was still quite early in the morning, and some of the miners had merely s topped in the saloon to get a morning drink before proceeding to their w6rk. Jim Decker, the captain of the vigilance committee, dropped in, and good-naturedly invited all hands to partake of their ''pizen," as he tailed it But before the stuff could be poured out the mail coach, which had f tt1w11, accorJin' ter ordt!rs I" At this juncture the Hope girls came running ont Qf the post office. "Don't git nervous, gals," said the captain of the vigilantes. "It is bad lm;k, that's happened to ye on your first takin' charge of ther office. But don't mind it ; you ain't ter blame. Don't worry over ylil\ti' brother i 'tain't likely ther outlaws wiil hurt him." \' . .. .. . .... -.. I A.t


BRA VE AND BOLD. 21 "Corne!" whispered the outlaw in the ear of Gates; "we'd better lig11t out." Though he would have liked to hear the full account of the hold up, the Jerseym;m thought it best to humor the man, so the two left the rapidly-gathering crowd and started up the mountain. In due time they reached the retreat, and, true to his p.romise, the outlaw introduced Dead-eye Bill," who stood the test and was duly installed as a member of the band. Lots of exciting things were in sto re for the Jersey man. CHAPTER XIX. DARING DAVE IS ASTONISHED. One of Lemuel Gates' first di scov eries on being admitted into the outlaw r etreat was that Merle was a prisoner, bound hand and foot. He had been led into a trap by Bill Hope, who had only pre tended to wish to s peak to him to give Daring Dave a chance to su rround him Of course D a ring Dave's object in seizing Merle again to di s cover the location of Lost Lode. Merle stubbornly refused to say anything about it. Of course he did not recognize Gates in his disgui se as Dead eye Dick, and he was greatly surprised when one of the outlaws in passing shoved into his hand a piece of crumbling stone with the following words written on it: "Kee p up your courage. There is a friend near." He crumbled this into dust, allowing it to drop on the floor. I don't know where the Lost Lode is," he said to Daring Dave, who had approached him to question him. I am going to make you tell the truth," cried Dave. "I am going to lower you into a pit beside the traitor I shot yesterday, and leave you there until you tell me where the Lost Lode is." Every boy has more or less, a horror of a dead person, and Merle was no exception. When Daring Dave told him that he was to be lowered into a deep pit that was already occupied by the corpse of an outlaw traitor, he shuddered in spite of himself. "If you will tell me whe re the Lost Lode is you will not have to go down there; if you won't tell me you will be lowered down and kept there until you get ready to tell," said the captain. Merle shook his h ea d. Down with him, boys I" A rope was immediately tied about the lad's body below the arms, and then he was dragged to the other end of the cavern. The disgui s e d J erseyman was present, but he did not have a word to say. He followed the test of the men to see the boy disappear. wi t h a "one, two, three I" Merle was lifted up and pushed over a wall of rock. Then the two villains who had hold of the rope began paying out upon it. It must have been a pretty deep pit, for fully seventy feet of the rope had run out, and the bottom was not reached. Daring Dave was just going to call for another piece of rope to tie on to t he ertd when Merle was landed at the bottom of the pit "Ma ke it fast with room enough for him to move eight or ten feet," the captain sai d "He won't be likely to cut the rope, for if he does he will lose all chances of getting From what I know of it the pit is a one, with a subterranean strearu running through it. It is ra.ining outside now, an_(j when the stream begins to swell it ii more than likely the body ef the. traitor will be washed away." When the rope had been fastened to his foll sati s faction Daring Dave walk e d away and took a seat in his accustomed place. Lemuel Gates was playing hi s part to perfection. He had been questioned over and over again by the captain, and his aniwers had prov e d satisfactory. All the d a ring man was waiting for was to find out all about th e hidden retreat. and then l ead the vigilance committee there and bag the ent.ire band. But just n ow Gates had something else on his mind. He was studying out a plan tc save Merle Baxter, for he was quite sure Daring D ave would kill him in case he refttsed to impart desired inform

2Z BRAVE AND BOLD. "Till he rots, if he don't signal that he wants ter come ti{> an' tell what was asked of him." "I don't think--" Gates was cut short in the remark he was about to make, for at that moment there came a sharp jerk upon the rope "Go an' tell ther captain that ther boy wants ter come up l" exclaimed the outlaw excitedly. "All right," and the Jers eyrnan started off He found Daring Dave in s tructing a couple of his men i n the art of card playing. "Cap, ther b o y wants ter come up," said he. "He does, eh?" was the rej cinder. "I thought it was pretty near time he came to his senses. I'll be right there. Don' t haul him up till I do get there." Gates w.alked back and reported to the man in charge of the rope. How he could manage to save the life of the boy our disguised friend did not know. One bad move on his part' mi ght cause him to lose his own life .AJ:td yet he was bound that Merle Baxter sh o uld not be slain. Pretty soon Daring Dave came over to the spot "Haul him up l" he commanded. Gates sprang to the assistance of, the man, and they rapidly pulled upon the rope. "He are a pretty heavy boy l" pant e d the outlaw. "You're right," said the Jerseyman. A minute la t,t r a human h ead came in view HNow, up wi \ h him!" cried Daring Dave. Exerting themselves, Gates and the outlaw r e ached down and seized the pair of arms that were apparently waiting for them and landed their burden on th e rocky floor of the cavern Then it was that a simultaneous cry of surpri s e left th eir lips. It was not Merle t.'iey had hauled from t he pit, but the body of the dead outlaw that had been thrown there I CHAPTER XX. A HAPPY KEETING. Meanwhile Race had gone out on a hunt for h i s cou s in atcr Merle had been gone from the Hope cabin for some time He wandered about the hills for nearly an hour, and when he saw a storm coming up he decided to retrace his steps. To his surprise, he found that he had lost his way, and he was hurrying on in the direction in which he thought the Hope cabin must lie whe n the ground suddenly gave way beneath his f e et and he went sliding down the steep side of a hill on which he had been walking. Down-down went Race, the howling wind and driving rain of the storm that had now come on drowning the cry of horror that left his lips. That he was descending to certain death the boy felt sure, and the whole history of his past life flashed through his brain in a second. But, no! Race N cville was not to die just then. A Divine P.rovidence interfered in his behalf In exactly two seconds from the time the dirt gave way be neath his feet his falling body struck the top of a tree. It was a thick-limb e d pine, and its brittle branches snapped beneath his weight the moment he touched th e m. He settled, with scarcely any shock, into a lower fork of the tree, and there he remained, breathless and speechless, for the &pace of fully half a minute. "Whew I" he at length exclaimed "I thought I was gon e urc, that time. I wonder how far I fell, anyhow? This is what I I get for foG!ing around on the mountain after dark. I wonde r if Merle is back to the camp yet? My l but isn't it raining, though?" Whe n Race had relieved himself of these thoughts, he shifted his po s ition and started to de s cend the tree. A lightnini flash showed him that the tree grew up from a narrow gorge, which was a strange place to h im. The boy slid down the trunk and landed up o n the solid ground below Be yond a few scratch e s and a gen e ral shaking up, he was as good as ever. But he was no better off, as far as finding Merle, or his way to the camp, was conc erne d He wa s st>aked to the skin by this time, but, n o t withs t anding thi s fact, he crawled under a ledge to e s c a pe the v i olenc e of the thund erst o rm. The plucky b o y had not been und e r shelt e r o ve r fiv e minute s before he h eard the noi se made by a landslid e not far fro m him. I gue s s I ll get out of here," h e mutte red. "The first thing I know I will be buried alive. This i s the hardest I ever saw it rain in my life, and it is rai s ing the dick e ns." Race stepped from beneath the ledge and s to o d unprotected in the rain But h e soon noticed that it was s l a cking up. The thunder and lightning h a d died out, and it w as quit e e v ident tha t the st orm wa s ab out o v er. Ten m i nutes later it had ceas e d entire ly. "Now I gue s s I'll move on again!" excl ai med the N e w York boy. "I' ll follow this r a vine till it f e tch e s me out somewhere." A stream of wate r flo wed throug h the place and it was now swollen to about three times its usual size. Race walk e d along its edge for a few feet, and' then he came to a pile of loosened dirt and stone s "This must be where the ca ve -in took place, he thought "Well, I'll climb over the t o p of the pile and go on." In another minute he had reached the top of the pile. He found that the side of the1 gorge had fallen out-that is, a part of it ten or fifteen feet in d iameter had. The mouth of a cave was before him. While Race stood there endeavoring to pi e rce the inky blackness of the interi o r he was startled by the sound of footstep s And the sound came from the cave, tool The boy felt for his revolver, but found that he had lost it. What could it mean? The mouth of the cave had apparently been there but a few minutes, and yet there was some one in there already Nearer and nearer came the slow measured tread. Race crouched in a niche and w a ited to see who it was. The next minute a flickering light flashed up Whoever was inside the cave had struck a match. Race s haded his e y es to get a good look at the p e rson. Then h e uttered a cry of joy and sprang to his feet. If his eyes did not deceive him his cousin stood before him I "Merle-Merle!" he cried, rushing forward. "Race!" Then the two boys fairly hugged each other with delight "How came you here?" "How came you here?" "You tell me your story first. I have been hunting all ov e r for you and came very near breaking my neck." "Well," said Merle, "I've had quite an adventure. I was captured by the outlaws, and because I would not tell the capta iri where the Lost Lode is I was lowered into a pit bf the side of a dead body."


',:) i ,1 BRAVE AND don't mean it?" Raee gasped. "Yes, I d'o." And the bey teia-ted just haa p-l'aee. cAnd they thirik yo u are in the pit yet?" "Yes; if a whole let of dirt had not in aad ftUed a s iveam of water that' flowed threugh the pit I would there yet." "That m ade a way for you to get cntt, then?" "Yes; if yoa folmrace of revolvets, and l oo ked very pre tty ill' h e r neat hunti11g costume. "So I h ave fo und .you!" s he cried. "Wh e r e in the world have you b een?" "Merl e went out a nd got captured by Daring Dave, and I went out to look for him and tumbled over a precipice; then we met," s a id Race, as he to o k the girl's proffered hand. "Fath e r came to the B a r shortly after midnight and reported tha t yo u were miss ing ," said Millie. "So about ri hour ago twe n ty men und e r ihe l ead of Jim Deck e r, started out to look fo r y ou. W e all thought, of cour se, that the o utlaws had captured y ou." "A.nd you came out to join in th e search?" asked Race. "Yes, I came out on my own h oo k prepared to shoot the first outl aw I m et." You are running a big risk, coming up here," s poke up Merle. "You are ri ght s h e i s young f ellow !" T he words were s pok e n so clo se to th m that our th_ree young fri ends were dumfounded. They could scarce ly believe their senses when they b e held three masked men, w i th le vele d rifles, not a dozen feet di s tant. T h eir unexpected meeting had made them oblivious to the a p proac h of the three m as k ed men who were no o ther than Daring D ave, the Jerseyma n an d th e fellow called McCoy. Of course the partners and their gi rl friend thought they we r e all o utl aws, and they gave th e m selves up as lo st "Ha, ha ha!" laugh e d Daring Dave, s n ee ringly "You see my turn c o m es once in a while!" I never b een beat e n by y ou yet, and I do not propos to -." b e now!" r eturne d Race,-c s piri te dly. "You are -nothing but a c o w a rdly a nd I tell you plainly that inside of twenty u tes you will b e a p risoner!" Jus t why the b oy sa id this h e did not know. A.t any rate, it gcr exas p erated the ou tl a w captain that he raised his rifle t0 send a b ullet through his h ea rt. "Stop!" cri e d M illi e,-j umping in front of Race. "You may kill me, but not him!" "Ha!" exclaim e d th e villa in lowering hi s weap on. "So, my pre tty one you t hink more o f the young upstart tha n you do of me-your in te nd ed hu s b and! Well tha t g ives me an idea. \Ve will fight for you r h a nd, th e winne r to t ake you with him. What d o you say?" I agr ee to 'your propo s ition," qllickly repli e d Race, "if you will let me c h oose the weap011s " Certainly," ar\d Daring Dav e gave vent to a laugh. "YGu have oot to die, a tiyh o\v, so yb u may as well have a s how for your J ife I can best y o u easi l y with a ny w eapol'I you may name, and y ou ought to i t .. Say that you are that w e s hould fight it out right here.


BRA VE AND BOLD. I will surely win," Race whispered to Millie, who was still standing in front of him as a shield. "I ought to have a word to say," spoke up the girl. her flash ing eyes turning to the outlaw captain "You say that the one who wins take& me; do you mean to stick to that?" "I do," was the retort. "Then I am satisfied for you to fight it out right here Merle looked at the girl with admiring eyes. Never before had he seen such nerve displayed by a woman. And he could not imagine why Race preferred to fight Daring Dave, with only one chance out of a hundred of winning, to be ing taken a prisoner. "Perhaps he is talking this way to gain time and give the vigilantes a chance to come along," he at length concluded. At that moment ont oJ the outlaws raised his mask a trifle, and he saw that it was the man who had handed him the piece of stone in the outlaw's den A thrill shot through the frame of Merle. There was a chance of getting away yet, perhaps. That man claimed to be his friend, and if he was he could aid them greatly But it was too late to stop Race fro!D fighting with the captain. The villain agreed to Millie's proposition and turning to the boy who defied him, told him to hurry up and name the weapons. "The weapons shall be those that Nature has provided us with -<>ur fists I" said Race. "It will take too long to kill each other that way. You must select revolvers or knives. Hun:y up, now." "W c will fight it out with our fists," repeated Race. "I will leave it to your men if it i& not square/' "It certainly is, cap," spoke up Gates, and McCoy nodded to show that he agreed. D<)ring Dave did not like this decision, but he did not want to go back on his word before his men, so he signified his willing ness to fight it out with fists. "Hand over your knife and sh o oters to your men!" cried Millie. "Race hasn't anything but a knife, and I'll take charge of it until the thing is settled. Your men can keep me covered so I can't interfere." "Ae you say, my beauty," and the cenfident villain passed over his weapons to the disguised J erseyman, and then pulled off his coat. "This _is to be a fight to the finish," said Race, grimly, and he tossed his coat to Merle. "Do you understand it that way?" "Y cs, and I am gc:ing to break your neck with my fist," was the retort. "Are you ready?" sung out Gates. "Yes," came the answer from the outlaw captain and the ath letic boy who sto o d facing him. "Let her go, then l" CHAPTER XXII. ALL O. K. AGAIN. 'As Lemuel Gates cried "Let her go I" the outlaw captain made a vicious pass at Race. But the boy neatly parried it and landed a light one on the villain's nose. Merle caught the Jerseyman's eye, and the two exchanged winks. . It cicurred to both o f them that Race was going t9 pro".e himself altogether too quiclc for Daring Dave: Of course the blow he teceived angered hiili somewhat, buf the outlaw captain was still confident of easily besting his youthful opponent. And, on the other hand, Race was equally confident that he would not. Born and reared in the city of New York, where scientific boxing alm2st comes natural to boys, he knew lots about t h e manly art that Daring Dave never dreamed of. And when another blow was aimed at him and missed, he smiled. "You mus.t not do it that way he s

BRAVE AND BOLD. 25 He made a powerful effort to free himself but it was useless. Lem ue l Gates and his companion had m a de a g o od job of it. W e won' t say anythin g ab uut who tied the villain," Race wh is pered t o M e rle and Millie. co us i n n odded, and the n, turning to the vigilantes, he told t h e m of the fight betw een Race and the outlaw captain. "An' s o, Mt'. Daring Dave, y ou sorte r got ther worst of it, I r e c ko n s aid J i m Decke r turning to the pris o ner "You fought fo r t h e r g a l h ey? An' ther b o y w on! I wonder is ther gal sati sfied? H o w ab out it, m iss?" "G>f course I am sa tis fied, was Millie's blushing reply. "Bu t D a r ing Dav e'll have a bride just the r same, the miner went o n D ea th'll be hi s bride, an' the re 'll be no danger of his ever g it tin a d i vorce eith e r He' s got on his weddin' suit now with t h e r c e pti o n of th e r neck t ie, an we ll furni s h that in double qui c k ti m e a s so on as we g e t inter town Come on, boys! We' ll strike out for Diamond Bar, ther biggest place for its size this s i d e o f ther Mississippi !" The vigilantes broke into a rousing cheer at this, and then all hands started down the mountain path, Daring Dave being pulled al ong i n the center. The outlaw realized that he was in a bad box, but he did not give up h o pe He had b e en within an ace of death when the vigilantes tried to han g him before, but he bad made his e s cape, and why shouldn't h e t his t ime? T h ese t h o u g hts lent him courage, and he showed no signs of being une asy. In a v e ry short time our fri ends reached the post office, and fo und R os y H o pe there in a great state of agitation. But when she saw her sister and the boys back safe and sound, s he uttered a cry of joy. Where i s your father?" Merle asked. You will probably find him somewhere in the neighborhood of the claim," was the reply "We had better go out there at once then," suggested Race. "Not until you have eat e n a good breakfast!" exclaimed Mrs. H9pe, who appeared on the s cene at that monient. I t t o o k but little pers uasion on the part of the females to make the c o u si n s stay Bot h were and pretty well exhausted from the want of s leep I t was t h ei r intention to get to their tent in the gully and lie d own for a c o upl e of h ours. T h ey were quite sure tha t D aring Dave would, be executed by the m iners this t ime but the y did not want to be around wh e n t h e t oo k place. W h i l e they were w ai ting for th eir breakfa s t Jim Decker came a long a nd i n for m e d them that the y had decided to w a i t until n oo n t o l a un c h the o utlaw cap ta in into e te rnity, as they were in hope s L e m ue l G ates wo uld sh o w up by that time T h is just su i te d t he bo ys, as the y knew they would be at their ca m p w h e n the executi o n t oo k place Afte r the y h a d e a t en a p earty breakfast Merle and Race set out for th e Lo s t Lode. "The re i s o ne thing I would like to know," said the former, as they ttudged a:long t he rugg ed m o un t ain path "who Is that out law w ho t oo k s uch an int e rest in me, and why did he go back on the captai n ? ' "We w ill probably learn all about it a little later replied his c ompanio n Y o u are ri ght you will my bo ys-!" L e mu e l G a t es stepped fr o m b e hind a bowlder, still attired in the Bill di s guis e -CHAPTER XXIll THE JERSEYMAN ENTERTAINS THE HJNEKS. "Hello!" exclaimed Gates, as he faced Race and Merle. -what did you do with ther captain?" "The vigilance committee are taking charge of him," retorted the boy from N e w Y o rk. "He is to be hanged at noon." "He is, hey?" and the J erseyman gave a start. "I wonder if they ll fix him this time?" You talk and act rather queer for an outlaw," ventured Merle. "Mebbe I do; you can t tell who's who nowadays, you know.H "That's so," and Race gazed at him curiously. "Mebbe I might be an outlaw, an' then I mfght be only plain Dea d-eye Bill, from Black Ran ge; and mebbc I might not be either," went on the disguised man. "Y oil are a good one, whoever you are." "I'm glad you think so." "We have reason to think so." "Very well, boys, I can't stop you from thinking. Good morning I" The Jerseyman left the boys standing in the path and made his way in the direction of the settlement below. When he was well out of their sight he paused for a moment, and then entered a clump of bushes. Three or four minutes later he had changed his appearance, and once more he was plain Lcmue!'Gates "Now I'll go down tG take charge of ther hangin'," he "Though it ain't exactly right, I suppose that scoundrel of an outlaw has got ter be executed with out a trial. I know he is well de se rving of it, so I shan't lose any sleep over his death." Gates walked leisurely into the Bar and dropped into the hotel, where he had a room. "I've been out prospectin' or somethin' else," said in .answer to the clerk's look of inquiry "I s'posc my room ia still at m y disposal ?" "Ob, yes," was the reply "Guests are mighty scarce in Dia m ond B a r That's why we charge so much." A go o d way of gittin' square ," laughed the Jerseyman. "We w on't have dinner until one o'clock to-day on account of the r hangin'," said the fellow as the gue s t started for his room. During the next half hour Lemuel Gates busied himself writing a letter w hich he sealed and took over to the post office He had a few minutes conv e rsation with the Hope girls, who a s sured him that the letter w ould go all right, as the outlaws would not be likely to h o ld up the mail-coach since their leader w as gone N o w then I'll wait around till ther hangin' takes place," he muttere d I wouldn't be much s urpri s ed if B i ll Hope tries to s ave him ag;;in, although it strike s m e that ther young feller has h a d en o ugh of doin bad. Pre sently he met thr captain of the vigilantes, who was so glad to s e e him that he almo s t s hook hi s h a nd off Ji st t her man I want ter s ee!" e xcla imed the big miner "Ther boy s have concluded to have a little cel e bration in honor of ther doomed outlaw captain We want you ter make a speech, sing a s on g, or s omethin' . Will you do it?" "I gu e s s I kin acc o mm o date you on somethin'," returned Gates, g ood-naturedly "I'll sing a s ong an' then give )'OU a little ex hibiti o n in ther sleight-o'-hand line "Go od! Dariiig Dave is locked in a r oom without a winder in it, an a man's on guard at ther door all ther time. We'll string him up at ther Wind-up of our. doio'&. I've gi:ven 2Il order for fifty d o llars worth of whis;cey, an' ther boys will chip in an'


BRA VE AND BOLD. patronize ther bars when that's gone. Won't we have a hot time, though!" The Jerseyman said hi' reckoned so, and then followed Decker to the center of the square, where already quite a crowd had collected. As the reader knows, Gates was an adept at handling cards. He could deal them .i.ny way he wished and do several tricks with them. As there was not a miner in Diamond Bar who did not know what playing cards were, he concluded to show them some sleightof-hand with the pasteboards. Going about through the crowd, he managed to place half a dozen cards on the persons of as many men, and he remembered what card each one was and where it was placed. To do what he was going to do required an excellent memory, and that was one of Gates' accompli s hments. He took his seat near the rudely-constructed platform on which two miners were standing ready to give a song a11d the next minute. Sure enough, the qu een of clubs was found in the man's2 pocket I "You can't do that again!" cried the puzzled Jim Decker. "Oh, yes I can,'' was the modest retort. "Fil shoot the whole six chambers off, an' a card'll go just where I aim ther pist.ol." He proceeded to do so, and was successful in each case. Just then it occurred to him to do something which, if succes s ful, would cap the climax of all tricks in the minds of the rough men about him. The six extra cards he had used he had found 6 n the floor be neath the table Daring Dave played on in the retreat, and he had seen the outlaw put the rest of the pack in his pocket. This happened the night before, and it was prett certain the villain had the ca rd s on his person yet. "Which is ther shanty Daring Dave is in?" he asked. "That one right over there," said the vigilantes' captain. "All right. You all remember what the six cards were I shot among the crowd?" "Sure!" ''I've got mine yet," added a miner, holding it up. "Very well. I am going to throw the balance of the pack irfto one of Daring Dave's pockets. I am going to do it right from this platform, but they will go so swiftly through the air that you won't be able to see a single card. Ready now I Here they are-now they are gone!" The cards had certainly vanished, and a second later the men made a rush for the outlaw's prison. The fellow on guard unlocked the door, and Jim Decker stepped forward to open it. ''I'll see if Daring Dave has got cards!" exclaimed. He opened the door . A howl of astonishment left his lips. The roou1 was emp ty! Daring Dave had vanished as mysteriously as the cards had from the ] e rseyman's hand l CHAPTER XXIV. THl!EE SKELETONS AND THREE PILES OF GOLD. A& they th!! boy partners found Jeff Hope at the camp in the gully. l;{e seated 01 1 the bak of the stream that flowed through of c la\m and lost it self underground, and ao pcared to be very much dejected. "Hello!" called out 1\Ierle from the top of the bluff. Th\! old man started as if he was shat. At first he could scarcely believe eyes, and it wa s not until they were neariy at his side. that he found words to peak "Where-cw.he-re have you been?" he faltered. to tell him all about it. in as few vo\ds as possible So alL that has happened since you left hardly seems possible!" "But it is, nevertheless," spoke up R ace. camp last night] l It 'T gave: you p a,s having been murdered by the but it .was some time before I r eported you missing and the vigilantes to look for yoll. I went about o n the mountain myself for a while, got downhearted and came back here." ''Well, as everything is all ri ght, and Daring Dave I s to be banged at 11-0on. we can start in at work with a little more con fidence," said Race we have had a couple of hours' sleep,'' ut in Merle. "There i s dry straw in the tent; go in an' take a nap. Pll call you <:1t noo11 I" exclaimed Hope. The boys needed no urging, to do this, and ten minutes later tbey were asleep. l I :


BRAVE AND BOLD. patronize ther bars when that's gone. Won't we have a hot time, though!" The Jerseyman said ht> reckoned so and then followed Dec ke r to the center of the s quare, where already quite a crowd h a d collected. As the read e r knows, G ates was an adep t at handling cards. H e could d ea l them J.ny way he wished and do several tri ck s with them As there was n o t a min e r in Diamond Bar who did not know what playing cards were, h e concluded to s how th e m some sleight of-hand with th e pa steboa rds. Going about through the cr owd, h e managed to place half a dozen card s o n the p erso n s of a s many m e n, and he r eme mber e d what card each one was and where it was placed. To do what h e was going to d o required an excellent memory, and tha t was one of Gates' acco m pl i s hm ents. He took hi s s eat near th e rudely-con structed platfor m o n which two mi11ers were standing r eady to giye a song aml da nce after J im Decker had m ade a short address. The address was a rather s h ort o ne a nd dealt mo s tly with Daring Dave, but all h a nd s voted it a good o n e When the cheering had su b s id e d th e song and dance t oo k place, and the min e rs were t i ck l e d imm e n se ly. The next thing on the programme wa s a grand marc h in whi c h t h ose of the m e n who cared jji .went around in single file an d partook of a drink of liquor fr om a tin clip. Whe n thi s w as 6ve r shouts for the Jers eyman were, so he mounte d i th e platform. He rende red the song of "Jersey Sam" for them in really good style, and r ece ived a thunderous applause. 'they would no t think of letting him go a t tha t so he sang t wo more. songs and th e n managed to escape fro m the p latfo rm. "Gentlemen,'' yelled Jim Decker, "Big. Al will n o w recite the iJ>iece called 'The Tramp,' and the n Mr. L e niu e l Gates will charm you with some sleight-o'-hand tricks. After t h a t we'll git ready fo.r ther combination rop e an' ai r t itself underground, and aopeared to be very much deject e d. . i 1 "Hello!" called out Merle from the iop of the biuft:.. The. o ld man started as if h e was s hot. . At first h e could scarcely eyes, and it not .until they were n ea r ly at side. t hat he found words to s peak. "W hav e you been ? he faltered. to tell him all about-it. in as few .words as po ss ibl e . So a l h that has happened sin ce you le.ft camp l ast night.? It hardly see m s p oss ible!" "But it is, neverth e l ess," spoke up Race. I gav<: you uP: i\S baving been murdered .by t ;1e out_l_ aws, but I'll up an' put it in ther barrel of ther shooter,. it was so m e time b efo re I r epo rted you missing and. urged. the an' then you ji s t watch me." to l oo k for yoll . I went Oh. we ca n start in at wmk with a little m ore con-crowd and pull e d trigger, fidence," said Race . . As the rep ort rang out t he J e r seyma n cried: "After we have h a d a couple o f hours' sleep put in "That man has the drd in his l e ft trousers pocket; I s h o t "There i s dry straw in the tent; go i n an' take a nap. Pit c a ll it there !1 you at noon!" exclaimed Hope. ,, A wild yell of woiider and de1ight went up the next minute. The. bo ys needed no urging, tq do this, and ten minute s later Sure enough, the queen of clubs was found in the pocket I were !\Gund asleep. .. ...


s t e 1f i. ( e r BRAVE AND BOLD. "Won't they be surprised, though," mused the old man. "I would have told t hem o f my discovery before this, but I knew they were in need of sleep." He walked over to t he point where the lode began, or rather where it showed itself n ea r es t to the surface, and afte r looking cautiously about to make sure that no prying eyes were watching him, lifted a flat piece of stone. He was forced to place one foot at the very edge of the swollen stream to do t h is, and it took no little effort to accomplish it. An opening amply large enough to admit the body of a man was disclosed, and into this Jeff Hope crawled unhe sitati ngly. Six or eight feet through a sort of natural tunnel and he emerged into a cavern that ran many feet toward the very heart 1 0 the m ountain. I "Whoever would ha ve dreamed of this?" he muttered, shaking his head. "I reckon this is the greatest discovery that has been made in a hundred years." As he concluded his remark he lighted a torch which looked as though it had been burning but recently, and was lying right at hand, and arose to his feet. The dull, flickering light made by the torch illumin e d the cavern but for a small space, but where it showed upon the side walls a glittering sheen of silver fairly dazzl e d the old man's e yes. "The wealth of a kingdom!" he cried in rapture. "If what is in here was turned into money a man c0uld not spend it if he lived for a hundred years!" The further he walked t he wider the cavern became, until at length the side walls could not be seen. Suddenly t h e old man's foot kicked against something, and looking down he was horrified to see that it was a human skull "Heavens !" he gasped, "some one has been here before me, and they never got out l" When he had somewhat recovered him self he knelt cl06er to the ground, and beheld the entire skeleton of a man. But that was not all! Near it was another, and another! It seemed to J eff HoJi>e that he had entered a veritable silver tomb. He turned from the skeletons and walked a few feet further. Then a cry of surprise left his lips. On a square slab were three piles of golden nuggets-aggregat ing at least two million dollars, according to Hope's judgment. "Three ske l etons and three heaps o f gt!>ld," he mused; "and in a cavern of silver at that. Cou ld anything be wonderful? I thought my discovery of the cavern alone was the greatest won der of years, but this does beat all "It does, Jeff Hope!" 'Ihe words rang out so close to him that the old man started as though he had been stricken by a bullet "Ha, ha, ha!" laughed a mo cking voice; and a dark form emerged from the darkness of the t om b-like place and faced Jeff Hope. It was Daring Dave, the outlaw! His revolver was p ointed directly at Hope's breast and, by the manner in which his eyes 'flashed i n t he unc ertain light made by the torch, there was murder in his so ul at that moment "How-how did you get here?" gasped H o pe. I thought you were to be strung up at noo n ?" "So I was-if I had stayed in D iamond Bar. But I didn't stay;" and the villain gave a fiendish chuckle. "I am glad I happened along i n time to see you crawling throug h a hole,'' he went on. "I followed you, and I've found the Lost Lode by doing so! Jeff Hope, just imagine how happy you r daughte r Millie will be as my bride, with all this gold and silver to spend I Think of it, man! I-Morrow, the man who ruined your son and made him a thief, an outlaw like myself. I am Daring Dave, ti:le richest man on the face of the globe! Ha, ha, ha!" "Fiend !" cried Hope, his voice trembling with excitement "The bones of three unfortunate devils lie before us in ghastly array," the outlaw continued. "These three piles of gold no doubt belonged to them when they were alive, and after that to the fool I killed while trying to wrest his secret from him. He was t oo superstitious to tou c h a bit of the gold, but he did not know enough to stop speaking aloud his thoughts to himself. I knew this place existed, but could never find it until to-day. I am much obliged to you, Jeff Hope, for showing me all these riches." While talking, Daring Dave unconsciously lowered his revolver. But Hope did not seem to notice this. He stood as immovable as a statue, in the same position as when the outlaw faced him. What was passing throt12"h the old man's mind would have been difficult to imagine by the expression on his countenance. His eyes glared like those of an angry bull, but there wu thing that looked the least bit like a smile playing about his lips. "Morrow," said he, slowly, "you had better go out of this here place and never think of coming in it again, or. ewr mention the fact that you have Ilee n here. What's in this cavern belongs to me an' ther two boys outside in the r tent." "Outs ide in the tent !" almost shouted Daring Dave. "Do you mean to tell me they are there? What a fool I was not to look inside I After bribing a man to let me go from the of the vigilance committee b y paying him four thousand dollars in cold cash, and th e n having the extraordinary luck of finding the coveted Lost L ode, the two boys I hate like po iso n are free, and within a few yards of me to balk me again It shall not be, Jeff Hope I It shall not be !" Daring Dave must have beco me crazed for the minute, for he began to w alk about excitedly, calling himself a!J sorts of names for not l ookin g int o the tent before crawling into the hole in the wake of Hope. As he stated, he had bribe d his jailer to set him free The man o n guard was an honest miner, but he was getting ready to go to hi s wife and children i n Missouri, and the offer of four thousand dollars was too tempting for him to resist. He gave the v illain his libert y while Lemuel Gates was hold ing the attention of the crowd. The outlaw caught sight of Jeff Hope, who was just in the act of rem oving the stone s lab from the entrance to the cav e rn, and, creeping d ow n int o the gully, cautiously followed him inside. It occurred to him that be had at last found what he had been / I lo oking for so l ong. And so he had As the villain began to walk about the In his excitement the voice of J eff Hope suddenly r ang out like a clarion "Hands up, Darin_ g Dave or I'll drop you on the spot!" Hope had recovered himself, and now bad the drop on Ole villain.


BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER XXV. THE WALKING SKELETON. "It js my tm now!" cried Jeff ffope, exultantly. Dave, you will never leave this cavern aliv1: !" The stnmi;:e, m1sal expressi on on the old man's face told {!lainly that he meant what he ,said, "Tho silver and gpld in this cavern to me an' ther two boys outside," hil went on, "You tried a long time to find ther .. Lost Loqe, but co1.lldn 't dn it, even a fl er yo \rnl:l few mi11ytes had elapsj!d si11ce tbe two men hat$t to keep Hope from shooting, hoping all the while that the light wo11ld go -0ut and leave them in total darkness. ;"Make me a pri&on e r if y<'lu will, J eff Hope, but y-0u are not justified in shooting me," sai d Daring Dave, nervous ly watch. jpg )lis foe, "Not j 11stilied, hey? I'll shpw you! I'll bore your heaFt--" A cnishing noi se, intermingled with a -Oull roariag s01;n

t e. 1 k w t-ye t BRAVE AND BOLD . "\Vho is that man, Merle?" and the old man laid his hand upon men to make a thoreugh search of the mountalns! de and 1mdeavor the boy's sheulder. te reapture the villain at all hazards. "Me is a fFiend," was the reply. There was one man among the miners who was probably more "One who can be trusted?" interested in getting the outlaw captain back in the toils than any "Yes.'' one else, and that was Big Al. "It is ajl right, then," and he breathed a sigh of relief. It was not alone for the sake of seeing the notorious despendo "'I'o provi that I am a fiend who can be trusted, i will t111! you hanged-although he was ready to haul en the refJe when the who I am. I am Lemuel Gates." word was given-Alllt because the big fellew believed Lemuel Merle put eut his hand. Gates to be the most wonderful man alive, and he wanted te see "I am glad you are with us, Mr. Gates," said he. "Misery likes company," replied the Jerseyman, with a laugh, theugh at the same time he shoved signs of uneasiness "Misery?'' echoBd HofJe. "Why de you say misery?'' "Because we are buried alive, unless you know of a way to get out different from the place we entered!" exclaimtid Merle. "Yes," added Gates, "it will take twenty men half a day to dig out. if tFie airremaiRs J?t:re to keep us alive for that time we will be all right." Jeff Hope began walking up and down excitedly. "And the worst enemy we hae got is in here with us!" he cried. "We'J.l look out for him," was the grim retort from Gates. f:He is my meat, I want you to understand!" "Let us go back to the passage aRd listen for sounds of the picks. McCoy and Race will soon have a gang there digging us ot," Mede suggested. l'No--no !'1 almost shouted Hope. "We must not leave the wealth that is lying over there! Look! One is yours, Merle, one is Race's and the other is mine!" He pointed to the three piles of gold, and for the first time the twe newcomers saw them. "What i s this?" eried Merle. "6reat Scett Skeletons, as I live!" "Yes; three skeletens aRd three piles of gold!'' "And a cave with a lining of silver!" added Lemuel Gates. 'fhe wiry little man became as much excited as his eompanions. Never in his life had he looked upon so much riches! The three of them knelt before the golden treasure and began sifting the shining grains through theiF fingers. So absorbed did they become th11t they forgot that they were impri soned in the underground place-forgot that Daring Dave was in the cavern. For ten minutes they sat there, estimating upon the worth of the gold which had once belonged to the three ghastly relics lyfr1g near them. "Ther.e is e nough here to give yeu a share, Mr. Gates," said HoJ?e. cavern alone is worth millions!" CHAPTt<;Ec xxvr PHiGJPG AWAY 'FJ!E )illJ>T. if the nnnainder of the pack ef cards were in the eutlaw's poeket. Big Al had never seen a genuine necremancer perferm, and Besides, he was very superstitious. He was pr-titty well undt!r the inflUiamond Bar, and he quickly asked hi s aid in digging the imprisoned out. "How many ar-e in ther cave?" Big Al asked. "Four that I know of," aris\vered McCoy "an' oHe of 'em is Daring E>ave, ther eaptajfl e f ther mountain gang. "What!" cried Big Al, dancing with delight; J11st ti}l! irian I'm lookiR' for T'Ffi a"goin' ter reet him aut. \Vheop !" _5=asting a swift glance at the track 0 the avalanche, the bi!f 'fh c;l[citell'lave's frllow swung his hat in the air and dartea frpm the spat ffillA

BRAVE AND BOLD. redoubled their effo r ts, and finally an entrance was forced through the dirt. wall. Ras_e sprang to meet his cousin, and the two boys hugged each oth e r with joy. Jim Decker l ed the miners in a cheer. and when this had sub sidcd he caught Gates by the arm and exclail!'led: Half a dozen ugly stabs in the breast and abdomen showed that he had been irt cortflict with some one, and Gates made up his mind that it could have been no one else than Daring Dave He flashed his lantern about and presently beheld a rope hang ing down from above "Ah!" he exclaimed, "this explains it, I guess Big Al came Daring Dave? They tell me he was in ther cave in and Daring Dave went out I" with you?" "Be's in thete yet," was the reply. "Then we'll fetch him out! Come, boys!" ''You'll ne ed a lantern or two, I reckort," said R6pe. "Wait an' I'll git one : "I will go i'n again wiih my l a ntern, too, and I'll show you whe r e we last saw Daring Dave," spoke tip the Jerseyman. "Artd I'll stay olt!side with you, Race ," sa id Me'rle. "I've a whole lot to tell you abou t the inside of that cavern." Jeff Hope soon had his lantern lighted, and then, with Gates at his side, he led the way into the wonderful cave o.f silver. Eacho f the m followed a side wall of the underground place, the miners following through the center. Every one of them held a drawn revolver, and it was quite evi dent-that the moment. Daring Dave came to their view a score of bullets would be buried in his body. The m i ners were so excited over the pros pect of hunting down the oi.1tlaw ca ptain that they did not comme11t upon the glistening sitver -walls at all They seemc:"tf to have but ohe purpose in view now, and that was a relentless one When a c om pl ete circu'it of the place had been fflade thos e of the men in advance were attracted by a groan. The next m oment Gates discerned the figure of a mart lying o'n th(: ground. But it was not Daring Davel 'This he saw w11en he Mid his lfl11tern fonvard aM be'nt over the body. A e ry of astonishment left his lip!i.' "Why, it's Big Al, ther drunkard!" cr1ed the ta:ptain of the igilantes. I thought you fellers Daring Dave was in here?" So he was," Jeff Hope, looking about him 111 a v.:a)'., 11An' 1 ;;an was .outside with us a few minutes ago," s poke up McCoy, who was one of the patty. "He Said he way of. ge _tting jn here, an' whert we give him a rope he started up th e r hill a .p' was collared by Daring Dave's band. He got a"'f,a! them after Race N' evi!Jc shot one_ of 'em fl.I\' saved us from bein'. blowed to ther .sky, an' no'll:'. he is here!" "It is odd how he got here so soon," 9bserved Gates . "Y?u are. right,''. exclaimid Jitn Decker. "Now, hOw did he git.-he!e, an' where are Da:_rjng Davt: ?" Bi g Al would nev er answer the ques tion, for at that moment. "That's it," nodded McCoy. ''Now, we want to go out an' find him I'll ptovt to you that I am an honest man at heaft, fot I am going to bring tlie villain back to you, dead or alive. I know where he will make for, an' I'll find him in no 1 time." The reformed out l aw was off the next instant, arid as the min e r s stood there in the dull glare of the lanterns Lemuel Cates told them wbo and what lte was. "He'll make a man yet, tf Daring Dave don't kill him," he said. "Gentlemen, let's catty out what's ldt of Big Al afi' give him a decent burial." The body was lifted tenderly from the ground, and all hands tiled through the cavern and out through the pas5age. When they got outside in the light of day Gates flOticed something that he, had overlooked before. The right hand of the dead miner clutched a pack of playing cards! No one could imagine why he died with such things in his fingers, unless it was be<;ause he was a confirmed gambler .. and. wishe d to s how that he as he had liv ed. Big Al had found the rema inder of the pack of cards, artd he died thinking the Jerseymaq had placed them in Daring I?_ ave's pocket by magic I __ CHAPTER XXVIII. t,;{JN.CLUS-ION. 'We'lr make o'rie job' of it, I guess," observed Jim L>etker. "Them outlaws have got ter be cleai1ed oi.1t afore sunset! r've said this afore, but somethiil' tells me that it!II come to pass this time." 'I'll lead you right to.their hang-out,:' 'said Umni know where it is, as I joined the band the other day." A murmur of. astonishment went up from .Jhe crowd_ '.:Wh; are you, anyway?" gasped the captain o1 the vtg:ilatite s. You b eat any man I ever come across." "I a1U Lemuel Gates. from tl1e St

BRA VE AND BOLD. Jeff Hope shook his head. "I'll stay here and watch what belongs to us," he said. The boy partners followed the crowd of determined men along the mountain path. Lemuel Gates was leading them straight to the retreat of the outlaws, and he carried with him the can of nitro-glycerine that was lying upon the breast of the outlaw Race had shot. Not the least sign of one of the villains could be seen, but the Jerseyman, or detective as we shall now call him, was pretty sure they had ta.ken refuge inside. A few yards from the secret entrance they came upon a startling scene. Two bodies lay side by s ide on the ground. And they were Daring Dave and McCoy! Both were dead-killed instantly, it seemed, for a hole in the outlaw captain s breast and one in McCoy's forehead told the tale. Just how it happened no one knew. They could only judge. "I aaid that fellow would make a man of himself, if Darinig Dave did not kill him," said Gates, shaking his head. "I took a great notion to him, and intended to set him up i n business in the Eaot." "He said he would bring back ther captain dead or alive, an' he made a big stroke to do it," observed Jim Decker. "Now, There is not a great deal more to write, for the excitement and the wild life our heroes bad been forced to mingle with was now over. There was no one to inttrfere with them in working the Lost Lode, and they got along swimmi ngly. At the end of two months they had secured a deed and clear title for their claim, though it cost something like a small fortune to do this. But, as the money came out of the golden piles found in the silver cavern, this did not matter. It became the ambition of Race Neville and Merle Baxter to build a city where Diamond Bar stood, a nd they set about it. In two years' time they accomplish e d great things, and they saw that their hopes were to be realized. Merle's relatives came out there to live, and this made it more pleasant for the young partners. Jeff Hope worked along in harmony with them and h i s daughters became engaged to our young friends-Millie to Race, and Rosy to Merle. They had never heard from Bill Hope since Lemuel Gates saw him in the o utlaw s retreat, and they were qui t e sure he was alive somewhere, as his body had not been found among those of the outlaws. The months rolled on and the time came for a grand doul:>le then, we'll make them measly coyotes hum! Gates!" Let h e r go, Mr. / wedding to take phce in the hustling city that once was the mining village known as Diamond Bar. "Let what go?" asked the d e tective. "Why, this," and almost before he knew it the man seized the can of explosive from his hand and hurled it at the a few feet away. They were standing behind a large bowlder at the time, and as q1.kk as a flash every man dro pped to the ground. The next instant a deafening explosion rang out and pieces of rock flew far over their heads. "You s houldn't have done that!" said Gates remonstratingly. "I wanted ter wake the r gang up," wa s the reply. ".(uid you might have put some @f us to s l eep." "Oh, no! I knew this here bowlder would keep us from get tin' hurt." The detective saw there was no use in arguing the point, so he led the way to see what damage the explosion had caused. But just then another surprise took place A volley of rifle shots whi s tled about them, and one of the ;vigilantes was shot dead. The nitro-glycerine had d estroye d a large portion of the h idden rdreat of the outlaws, and rendered desperate the surviv ing members of the band made an attack upon the miners. "Now, then, jist mind your eyes an' mow 'e m

) .. .. A NEW IDEA I A NEW WEEKLY l . ... CJ3RAVEAND I Street & Smith's New Weekly is a big Departure from anything ever Published Before. EACH NUMBER CONTAINS A THE STORIES ARE COMPLETE STORY AND OF EVERY KIND. That means all descriptions of first-class stories. For every story published in BRAVE AND BOLD will be first class in the best sense-written by a well-known boys' author, full of rattling incident and lively adventure, and brimming with interest from cover to cover. No matter what kind of a boy you are, no matter what your tastes are, no matter what kind of a story you prefer, you will hail BRAVE AND BoLD with delight as soon as you see it. I t is the kind of a weekly you have been wishing for. Variety i s the spice of life and Brave and Bold is well seasoned w ith it. STORIES OF ADV E N T U R E STORIES O F MYSTER Y STORIES O F EXPLO= RATION I N UN K NOWN LAN/JS. STORIES O F LIFE I N GREAT CITIES. STORIES OF W O NDERFUL INVENTIONS. No. 1.-0ne Boy in a Thousand ; or, Yankee t o the Back bone. By Fred Thorpe. No. 2.-Amo n g the Malays ; or, The Mystery of the Haunted Isle. B y Cornelius Shea. No. 3.---The Diamond Tattoo; or, Dick Hardy's Fight for a Fortune. By M. Boyington. No. 4 .-The Boy Balloonists; or, Among Weird Polar People. By Frank Sheridan. No. 5.--The Spotted.Six; or, The Mystery of Calvert Hatha way. By Fred Thorpe. No. 6.-The Winged Demon; or, The Gold King of the Yukon. By W. C. Patten. No. 7.-Stolen-A School-house; or, Sport and Strife a t Still River. By E. A. Young. No. 8.-The Sea-Wanderer; or, The Cruise of the Submarine Boat. By Cornelius Shea. No. 9.-The Dark Secret; or, Sam Short, the Boy Stowaway. By Launce Poyntz. No. 10.-The King of the Air; 01:, Lost in the Sargasso Sea. By Howard Hoskins. No. Young Silve r Hunters; or, The Lost City of the Andes. By Shea. No. 12.-A Remarkable Voyage; or, The Fortunes of Wan dering Jack. By Captain Geoff Hale. No. 1 3 -The Knowlhurst Mystery; o r, The Strange Adven of Leslie Norton. "By Frank Sheridan. No. 14.-The Diamond Legacy ; or, The Q ueen of An Un known Race By Corne li us Shea. No. 15.-Bert Breeziway; or, The Boy Who J oined a By Bert Tallyho. No. 16.-Dick Hazel, Explorer ; or, Lost in the African Jung le By Corne lius Shea. No. 17.--The Electric Traveler; o r, Underground to the Pole. By the author of Dick Hc.zel. No. 18. -The Moonshi11 er5 of the Ozark<: or, The Boy Who Worked for Uncle Sam. By Thomas P Monlfurt. No. 19.-Unde r Seal e d Orders ; or, Lost in the Wilds of Yucatan. By Cornelius Shea. No. 20.-The Mysterious Box; or, The Hidden Valley of Pirate Island. B y the author of "Among the Malays." No. 21 .-Among the Utes; or, The Marvelous Adventures of Two Young Hunters. By Major He. bert Clyde. No. 22.-Lost in the I sle of Wonders; or, The Mysteries of the Echoing Cave. By Captain Basil llenedict. No. 2 3.-The Lost Lode; or, The Boy Partners of Diamond Bar. Copies of the Brave and Bold Weekly may b e purchased for Fiv e Cents from all Newsdeal e r s, or from STREET & SMITH, 238 William Street, New York.


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