Jockey Sam; or, Riding for fortune

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Jockey Sam; or, Riding for fortune

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Title:
Jockey Sam; or, Riding for fortune
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Young, Ernest A.
Place of Publication:
New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

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

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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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028875228 ( ALEPH )
07234784 ( OCLC )
B15-00020 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.20 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
Brave and Bold

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A g1FFEREl-tT C:OMPL.CTE STORY WEEK CA-ack The rail gave way, Sam pitched forward, and down shot his form, alighting :;quarely upon the shoulders of the ruffian.

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I BRA VE. BOLD A Different Complete Story Every Week By .Su/ls.raption .t..so per year. Entered acrordi"lf lo Act of Congress in the year rQQJ, in llu Office of llze Librarian of Conrr e ss. Was/zing-Ion, D. C. STRJ:ii:T & SMITH, 238 W#liam .St ., N. Y. NEW YORK, June 20, 1903. Price Five Cents. JOCKEY' SAM; OR, for Fo:rt:-..:i.11e. B y ERNES!'r A Y OUNG. CHAPTER I. SAM TALBOT AND THE RUNAWAY. "Twenty-three cent s and a trousers button," counted Sam Tal bot. And he reflectively jingled the money and collateral in the bottom of a pocket which was certainly deep enough to have con tain ed much more than it did For a moment he continued to sit and gaze pensively down the long vista of a broad, tree-shaded highway, where, in th e distance, he discerned a small cloud of dust that was approach ing with remarkable r a pidity. "That outfit is coming at a spanking good gait, sure!" he sud denly exclaimed, as he p e rc eive d that the nucleus of the dust cloud was a team of some sort. He arose from his seat on the mossy bank, and craned his neck to gain a better view of the approaching vehicle. And he was thrilled as he perceived the latter to be a sulky such as ho r semen use, and that it was without an occupant. "What a beauty!" fla s hed through his mind, as the nmaway drew near, and he was able to take in with a critical eye all the points of equine perfection. And in t h e same breath h e exclaimed, aloud : "That filly must be stopped I She'll be cutting her legs, or do some mischief to herse lf at this rate. She isn't much frightened, but with a clear road before her and nobody to say whoa, she'd run h erse lf to death." The next moment the youth was standing almost in the track of the running horse his slim figure bent for a spring, and his. active muscles quivering in anticipati o n of the strain to be put upon them. He did not shout nor wave his arms, as so many would have done urider the same conditions. As he had said, the horse did not appear to be really frightened; yet, in her nervous condition, it would have been easy to render her frantic. "Hi, th ere-hi, my girl!" he exclaimed, in a persuasive tone, a;; the runaway came nearly alongside. At the same t i me he ran swift l y a yard or two beside the horse, without t ouc h ing her, and as the sulky came up with, and was passing him, he vaul t ed upon the narrow seat. The reins were dragging upon the ground. But Sam did not attempt to seize them. It was upon the back of a horse, rather than b e hind one that he felt most at ease. To spring from the sulky to the back of the runaway was not a difficult feat, and in a flash it accomplished. The weight of the youth's body had the immediat e effect of accelerating the pace of the horse; but the v oice o f the rlder, still low and persuasive, accompanied by a reassuring touch u p on the steed's moist neck, with as yet no restraining pull on the bit. was a course of treatment which the animal was quick to r e spond to. "Easy, m y gi rl ," said Sam, cautiously obtai,;iing cont r ol o f t h e reins wit h his r ight hand. while h e continued to caress with h is left. "Easy we are. W'oa, my girl I that's it! Good girl, we are!" \ Gen t ly, by degrees, the horse became conscious of a guiding hand, and she surrendered her liberty with a that surprised even he r rider, who well knew that all runaways are actuated either by impulses of eq11ine fright o r perversity, an d

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BRA VE AND BOLD. that violence only increases the mad purpose of the animal in either case. In less time than it ha s required to write these details the spirited young animal was brought to ii full stop, and the youth slipped from her back, and, s till talking to h e r in the ge ntle, friendly way, patting her arched n eck and stroking her velvety face he sought to become better acquainted with the horse which he had saved from the con seque nces oi her headl ong flight. "She is a beauty now, isn't she?" was his admiring co mment, repeated a dozen times as his eye perceived new points of per fection to excite hi s enthusiasm. "And what a gait she was getting when I first saw her kicking the dust. That sulky lo o k s as if the owner was training her to trot, but she's good for something b et ter, if I know s what's what. Didn't she act as if she lik e d the feel o f me" on lier back? She h as b ee n run at the track, or I'll miss a cent. But h o w did she get l oose? And whose filly is she? I don't see a sign of anylfody comirig after her. We'll see." With a parting caress. the y o uth got into the sulky once more, turne d the team around in the broad road, and started back at an easy pace which the horse would have been glad to better had he been disp ose d to allow the te st. Sam Talbot, with his well-worn, du s ty clothes. looked little better than a tramp. And, if the truth must be told, the last few days of his life had been SJ)ent in tramping. Perhaps Sam was really lazy, as some who thought they knew him well had declar e d. Perhaps there was so me other rea son for his r e fusing to saw up half a cord of wood in payment for a breakfas t of salt pork and "warmed-over" potatoes, which were the t erms and bill of fare which he had been offered at a farm house few h ours l:iefore we made his acquaintance. At all events, he paid a quarter for the meal instead of tackling the woodpile, with the result of le av ing him in a financial strait which there appeared to be no immediate pros pect of remedying . But as he sped along the pleasant strip of road behind the spirited young horse, Sam was for the time oblivious of .the low ebb reached by the cash capital in his pock et. He was going in the direction which would bring him to the city of Springfield the destination he had most pro minently in mind at the time. And he was trave ling in a style whi.ch su ited him fart.better than riding "Shank's mare," as h e h<1d been doing for nearly a week. "Queer where the driver of this mare went to," he mused, as nearly two mil!!s had been traversed without any sign of a sea rch and pursuit of the runaway. "That is a .horseylooking chap," he exclaimed. at length, as h e perceived another sulky with a driver approaching at a smoo th p ace. Sam drew up slightly as they came alongside, expecting the stranger to speak. But the latter merely gave him a quiz zica l stare as he sped by. "I'm glad this fiily isn't his, anyhow," said the youth, after the other had passed. "For if that fellow didn't have an evil eye in his head then I don't know when I see one. He wouldn't have stared at me harder if I had b ee p a lobster. And there he is, looking back at me this minute, with his head tipped over one way, and hi s hat ti'lted the other. I hate to see a man carry his head jn that The stranger was, indeed, staring back 1at the b oy in a; rather disagreeable way; although it would have been impos sible for Sam to have told why the stranger's stare annoyed him so much. "Maybe h"';i kn ows the horse, and wonders how I came to be driving it ," was the next comment of Sam, as he allowed the filly to quicken Jier pace somewhat. "Hello I here's the driver of this rig, I'll bet a cent. Got thrown out of the sulky, likely. But-ah! what ails the chap anyway?" Sam dre\v up rathe r abruptly under the sp reading branches of a large elm, a great many of which shaded the l ong, level roadway. \ There was a stone watering trough n ea r the elm, and the horse thrust her nose into the swirling liquid with a grateful sniff while Sam alighted, with one hand still on the bridle r e in bent over the figure which h alf reclined o n the turf beside the tree. The figure was that of a young man of nin eteen or twel)ty. He was in the act of rising, or trying to ri se, to a sitting posture. His costume was that of a jockey. His cap h ad some h ow betaken itself to the wrong extremity of his attenuated length, and h e was holding it d ow -11 with one dusty shoe. "J sec ye!" this ind ivid u a l exclaimed, peering up at Sam in anything but a friendly manner. "And I've ketched ye at your tricks," he continued. By a great effort he got upon his feet and confronted Sam Talbot, steadying him self by resting one hand aga in s t the tree. "Well, you're a cool one, if I do say it," retorted Sam. He comprehended the s ituati o n in an instant. The jockey w as n either ill nor hurt. He was decidedly the worse for liquor, and it was evident that he had been asleep on the turf. Evidently he was under the impressio n that Sam was in the act of leading the turnout away-probably with the de ign of stealing it. l t see med likely that h e h a d fallen asleep while the filly was drinking at the trough, and that h e was unconscious'i'of the lapse of time. 1 "This horse yours?" Sam demanded, without appearing to r.o tice the ridiculous charge of the oth er. "Guess you'll find out if you try to git away with her/' was the retort. As he spoke the jockey advanced aggressively, and was on the point of seizing the reins which Sam still h e ld when there was the clatter of approaching h oofs, and a horse man came suddenly upon the scene. "'Gre2t Jinks !-it's Ragsdale!" the jockey exclaimed. And with unsteady limbs he scrambled up the grassy bank and disappeared in a thicket beyond. CHAPTER IL MR. &AGSDALE'S ENEMY. "We.JI, sir, how's tliis? where's Tripp ?u exclaimed the gentle man who drew up his horse so abruptly at the watering trough. jus t as the intoxicated jockey disappeared over the brow of the slope. Sam was not of the sort to have hi s wits p a ralyzed by either sudden or unexpected happentngs. "Your Ragsdale? And this your horse and sulky?" h e questioned. The boy stoo d a( the h ead of the filly, and affectionately stroked the animal's nose as he spoke. IThe outfit belongs to me--or would if they \vere paid fo.r-, ancl my name is Ragsdale ," the ge ntl eman replied, critically eying the trampi h-looking youth who seeined to have taken possession of the turnout. "The filly was runtting d own the road two or three miles back here, a nd so I pulled her up and fetched her back," explained Sam. "Runni1"fg away. was she? And Tripp not with her?" And something between humor and impatienc e twinkled in tJ\c gray c yes of fhe gentleman. The latter took off his derby hat

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 and dusted the crown as he spoke, still eying Sam, as though he were trying to make up his mind whether or not the latter were a confederate of Tripp, whom the latter may have bribed to take the brunt of his maste r's displeasure. It was quite evident to Sam that Mr. Ragsdale's jockey, the aforementi o n e d Tripp, was prone to getting into scrapes of one kind or another. "The filly was taking a trip of her own choosing, and leaving the other Tripp to sleep i<: off, as it were," Sam replied, shrewdly making the most of the possibilities of a pun on the jockey's name. "I see-and so my plans seem to be in a fair way of getting badly tripped all around," said Ragsdale. The gentleman dismounted and flung his rein to Sam, while he examined the leg s of the filly to see if she had done herself any mischief. He evidently found everything satisfactory. "Tripp is a h a rd ticket at times, and worth his weight in gold at others," he said, again fixing his keen eyes upon Sam. "He has won two o-r three hard races for me, and he has likewise k ept me awake at ni g hts for fear that he would turn up good for nothing just wh en I needed him most. Didn't I catch a glimpse of t h e rascal running up the bank yonder as I came up?" Sam briefly recounted what had passed between hims e lf and the young man he had discovered beside the watering trough. And he added i n co nclu sion: "I was just figuring whether to give the rig over to him or hold onto my find till I found the owner. I'm glad you came up just as you did, for I ha te d to ha ve anything happ e n to the mare. Ain't she a beauty, though? And she seeme d to know what it was to have somebody on h e r back, and to rather like it." Mr. Ragsdale surveyed the youth from head to foot before replying. Sam had a bright, open countenance, and eyes that were not afraid to meet a glance squarely. Still, his dusty, badly-worn clothes made hi111 look too much like a t r amp to please fastidious eyes. "You lik e horses?" the gent leman suggested. "I J ove 'em !-that is, good ones. I don't go any great on 't he sort they wear out on horse cars and public hacks. And I n e v er was much stuck on following one with a plow or a stone-drag. But that filly is a daisy, and she would h ave some speed in her, unhitch her from the su lky. She's no business to be kept down to a trot, though !" Sam spoke as there were no one to listen-rather as though he were talking to the horse herself. Mr. Ragsdale's eyes twinkled. "Ever ride at a race? he asked. "Not at a r egula r one. A jockey got me to help him train a w ild young beast last summer, but he served a mean trick before th e race come off, and I got out of it." "What is your weight-that is, with some of the dust off you, and your hair cut?" "Hundred and sixtetn, when I've been having my rations reg ula r Hardly up to that to-day. I've lived on wind and pump wate r for the last three days, and that isn't so good for putting meat on a fellow's ribs as some things "I should say not. According to what you say, you have been tramping it lately ." "That's the plain truth of it," Sam replied. Ragsdale evidently kn ew something about boy nature; perhaps because he h a d been a boy himself at no remote date. "Didn't like the last place where you worked, eh?" the gentleman shrewdly suggested. "No great love lost between old Caswell and me," Sam re torted, a flash of resentment in his eyes. "You know the races open at the park here next week? And that there never was anything here on the same scale before. J ump onto Dandy, there and .I'll keep alongside in the sulky. Perhaps I can make use of you. If I do, I won't squeal when you ask me for your pay. Had yom breakfast ? Sam did not answer until he wa & in the saddle of the sleek animal which Ragsdale had dismounted. The latter entered the sulky, gave a parting scrutiny to the clump of bushes where Tripp had vanished, and set the pace at a bri s k walk along the shady road. Sam ached to see what the animal under him could do, but see ing that the other had something to say, he curbed the impulse. "I had a pretty slim breakfast," he declared in re onse to the gen Jeman's last questi on. Slim but not very tall, eh?". suggested Ragsdale. "That describes it, sir. But the little ride I had on that filly of yours was pretty pear as good as a square meal!" The ride that fol!Qwed, although not long in the matter, of dis tance covered, nevertheless took considerable time for its ac compJislfment, and it ended by Mr. Ragsdale taking Sam into a r estaurant on busy Main Street In the city which had been the youth's destination. And there justice was done to a liberal "spread," and afterwll.rd \they proceeded out of the city by another street, arriving at last at the d oo r of a small, neat private stable, which the owner had been obliged to give up the use of on account of ill health. A cosy cottage stood at a little di sta nce from the barn, and h ere R agsdale had secured lodgings, that he might be near his horses both night and day. As Sam dismounted and his new friend a light e d in front of the stable, both noticed that the door was wide open, and upon the neat floor just within th e building Jay a battered hat and shre ds of torn clothing, with other signs of a scuffle. "What i s the meaning of this?" exclaimed Ragsdale. And his cheeks paled with mingled anger and alarm He rushed into the stable as h e spoke, l eaving the filly to the care of Sam. The latter followed, leading both horses. At th e same moment a man staggered forth from a vacant stall. A glance shewed that the shreds of tattered clothing and bat tered hat were his, for his head was bare, and his blue flannel wa s nearly torn from his back. This was not afl. The man's face bore several brui ses while he seemed so weak that it was with difficulty that he could erect. "I-I got rid of 'em, boss, anyhow this individual managed to articulate, in response to the inquiring lo o k of Mr. Ragsdale. He finished by ejecting blood from his mouth, at the same time showing that he had lost one or two teeth in his recent encounter. "What do you mean, Jack?" Ragsdale demanded. "Who have you been fighting with? Somebody been trying to run off one of. my horses?" Jack Gardner drew one tattered sleeve across his lips before replying "He didn't git so fur as that," he replied "But I reckon he meant mean kind of mischief of some sort. K etc h e d him hidin behirid a bale of hay up in the loft. He pounced onto me like a dern ed c ata mount, and we clinched Then he run d ow n here, but I got ahead of him, and afore he could git away we clinched ag'in. Ugliest customer I ever tackled!" "And he got away from you, after all?" Ragsdale asked. "Yas, he got away ." "And you were too badly used up to give chase?" \

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4 BRA VE AND BOLD. "Ugliest customer I ever tackled," reiterated the hostler, with a sheepish grin. "But you saw the man's face?" "I saw the man's face, boss. And it was the same chap that we see prowlin' 'round two or three days ago." Ragsdale's face was white with an emotion which was stronge r than fear, as he suddenly faced about and spoke to Sam. CHAPTER III. A SUDDEN DROP. "This thing has got to be looked into!" exclaimed Mr. Rags dale, looking at Sam Talbot, although his manner protlaimed that he was sp king more to himself than to anybody else. "Somebody down on you? Trying to square an old grudge?" Sam return ed, not knowing what else to say, but feeling that some reply was required of him. "There may be a grudge, or there may Il!Jt-it doesn't concern you, i!J either case," was the unexpected retort. And Mr. Rags dale looked savage for an instant. Then, as though recollecting that he was making a fodtish show of temper toward one who had, at all events, done him a good turn, he s udd enly added, in a pleasanter tone: "I'm out of sorts, and you mustn't ipind. Here is my groom used up just when I need him most, and I don't know whom to trust in his place. I had something else in mind for you to do, but I'm going to ask you to stand guard here for a few hours while I take Jack to a doctor. and have his mouth mended. There isn't much for you to do. I will send a man to do the work, and you will only keep a lookout for my interest till I return. Are you willing?" Sam readily assented. And he refrained from asking any ques tions, although he was i'tensely eager to learn more of the trouble which had subjected Jack Gardner to such rough usage. Sam presently found himself alone in the s mall but neat stable, and he soon forgot everyt hin g else in his interest in the fine horses quartered there. There were half a dozen in all, counting those with which Rags dale and himself had just returned, and one of which was now gone with the owner and the groom to the city. Four new horses, finely-bred, and such s l eek, clean bodies and limbs, which Sam could not refrain from stroking with a hand that delighted in the firm tissues and quivering nerves which, to him, would have distinguished each one from the common order of horseflesh, which is either hard or flabby to the touch. The stall he visited last contained the most attractive animalto Sam-of all. A young mare of perfect proportions, a light chestnut in color, with several peculiar tan-colored spots about the forelegs and shoulders which would have identified the animal among a thousand. But it was not the color or marking that excited Sam's chief interest. As he approached the stall the mare sent out her heels with a rnddenness that would have ended our hero's career then and th e re had his head been six inches nearer at the instant. "Whew!" he exciaimed, recoihng out of range. But he was 11ot to be daunted by this unfriendly beginning of their acquaintance. Now that he knew what to expect, he soon found a way to enter the stall, and there to more familiarly in spect the animal whose dtS{Josition seemed to be so fiery. The mare took kindly enough to his pattings and pleasant words, though all the while there 11as an expression in her eyes which warned Sam to be on his guard. The more the youth looked at her the more interested he be came. There was something a trifle forbidding in the look which the mare bent on him, and that rendered him all the more anxious to find out what sort of stuff she was made of. "She's one of the wild sort, I'll bet a cent," was the mental comment of Sam, as he charily loosened her halter and led her out of the stall. She was gentle enough in permitting him to put on bridle and saddle. Indeed, there was such a marked display of acquiescence on her part that Sam's suspicions were excited yet more than they would have been had she obstinately resisted the harnessing process. "Think you'll fool me into letting you get another clip at my brain-pan with your hl;!els, eh, my beauty?" Sam suggested, as he stood for a moment regarding the now docile-appearing brute. "But I think you'll hav e to reach pretty high with your heels, and get there pretty often, if you expect to sp oil my good lo o ks in that. way. Mr. Ragsdale left me in full charge, and he didn t say that he had a nag that would kick my brains out the first chance she got. And h e didn't say I was to keep off the back of any particular good-looking, wild ginger-snap of a horse that I hap pened to find in his stable." Sam mounted, a littl e cautiously, as he thus addressed this "wild" specimen of eqt1ine beauty. He was gently borne forth from the stable, and began to suspect that the animal's only trick was that of kicking, after all. But a moment after his original suspicions were verified in the most sudden and unexpected manner. As though she had been stung by a wasp the mare made a wild leap down the level road plunging and throwing out het saucy heels as a colt will do when first let loose in an open field. Then followed a series of the most violent and ingenious attempts to throw her rider .that a spirited and untamable horse can devise. Plunging, rearing, wheeling, running, stopping, all in such rapid succession that the rider knew not which maneuver to look out and prepare for next. A wild horse, ind eed. And did she succeed in her attempts to rid herself of the agile figure upon her back? Not at all. By degrees, she felt the bit drawn by hands which were not weak or wavering. \Vh en she wa s disposed to go at a steadier pace Sam compelled her to keep on at the mad speed which she had chosen to display. And thus, when she was at last driven back to the stable, which they had hardly left out of sight the beautiful animal was panting from exhau s tion and as mild-tem pered as a spanie l dog. "Maybe youd like to try that fun again one of these dayseh, my girl?" exclaimed Sam, as he rubbed dowu the moist, quivering limbs of the wild-tempered brute. But a glance into the mare's eyes told a different story. She had found a master, and acknowledged his power by a manner that was as caressing and submissive as it had before been defiant. The mare again in her stall, Sam was on the point of looking out for some new sensation when .he was startled by the souqd of \to ices just otitside the stable. The voices were gruff, and the spe akers appeared to be ap proachi.ng. "That isn't Mr. Ragsdale, so se>en !'' Sam exclaimed, half aloud. He saw two shadows fall across the clean floor of the stable, and there pause, as though the speakers were raking an observation before entering. Sam qttickly opened a narrow door, and uoi elessly dosing it again, darted up the stairs to the stable loft,

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 5 Before doing so he noticed that there was a fixed ladder also leading to the loft at the other end of the building. The stable was divided through the middle by an open space of sufficient width to admit ordinary v e hicles, with a row of stalls on either side. Over the s tall s were scaffolds for hay, and these two s ide s o f the loft were connected by a narrow bridge spanning the carriage space, and about twelve feet above t he floor. Reaching the scaffold, Sam tautibusly stepped out upon the bridge, wh e nce he could command a view of the entrance just outside of which t11e strangers were standing. He was in time t o see them enter, peering to the right and left. One was a stoo ps houldered ruffian, the other the horsey looking man whom Sam had met on the road a few hdurs before 'His head was tipped to the right and his hat to the left, in the style which so disgusted the youth "That b o y came in here, and the first thing is to find and settle him ," sa id the stranger. \ Sam, leaning over the r ail, recoil e d suddenly. As he did socracl<-the rail gave way-the b oy pitch e d forward-down shot his form, alighting s quarely upon the stoopi17g shoulders of the ruffian! CHAPTER IV. SAM AT THE TRACK. Great Scott!" the hor. sey stranger, recoiling from his companion, who had dropp e d like a fog under \he weight which had descended so un expectedly upon hi s rounded shoulders. Sam !albot was on his feet in an instan t, and confronting th e one who had spo ken, while the other, whose person broke the Loy 's fall lay groaning o n the floor. "F ergot to say I was coming, but am here just the sallJe !" Sam excla im ed, coolly. V lell, who are you, boy? And what are you doing here in my fri e nd Ragscla e's stable?" the strapge1r demanded, eying the boy in a crafty. disagreeable way. "Mr. Ragsda l e i s your friend, eh?" Sam r e torted meeting the ,I gaze of the other squa rely. "He ought t o be, if he isn't, after what I 've done h im," said the st r a ng er, sig1;'.ificantly. "You see," he whlfe a mi i'thless grin caused the rhan 's white teeth to "a man that advances cash to anNhe1 i:nan, t'other is in a pinch, de se tV'es to be counted as a friend, though it d on't always turn out that way ." , '. Sam r emembe r e d what said about the runaway filly bein g his if s h e were paid for. !t thetefore occurred to him that thi s disag ree a ble stran&er might be; after all, a money t 6 the more prep ossessing spottihg gentlenian. Sam was cautious. He liked Mr. Ragsdale yet he r eally knew nothing about him. "I'll go slow and watch v.'hich way the wi1id blows!" was his mental re solu tion. Aloud he sai d : I K you come here td see Mr. Ragsdale, ybii will have "to ca11 again l a ter. He left me in charge c>f this stable till he carlle back. n you've got any mes sage for him, I'll deliver it when he back." Gone into the city, has ha?" the other asked. I didn t say where h e had gone." "Do t b e cranky boy. You see, .I k,now all about my friend Ragsdale and hi s way of doing business. I come here to see his jockey-the slab-sided specimen called Tripp: Tripp used to ride at the track for m e and. I want to strike a bargain with him." "Tripp isn't here, Sam replied. The round-shouldered man was upon his feet by this time, and if Sam had been at all nervous he would have shivered under the savage glare of the ruffian's eyes. "This is my man-of-all-work, Mr. Cashin," saicr the horsey rpan, with an affable show of introducing his companion, who cer tainly look e d lik e a promi s ing candidate for State's prison. Whereat ."Mr. Ca s hin" ducked his bullet head in acknowledgment and looked more ugly than before. "And I," continued the speaker, still more affably, "am Mr. Bamford Brayles, of th e Coney Island J ockey Club. I run horses at the tracks ." Sam was not so much impre sse d by this announcement as Mr. Bamford Brayles evidently expected him to be. r:J.'he truth was, the boy divined beforehand that the stranger was a frequente r of the racecour ses, and so much of his declara tion therefore was no surprise to him. "And as for hi s being a member of the Coney Island Jockey Club ," Sam mentally observed, ''I'll bet a cent that he owns just about as much stock in th e Coney Island track as I do, But I won't let on that I see through his yarn. I can see that he wants to work n)e for some sort of a game on somebody, and I'll keep cool and see what he wants. There is some kind of crooked busine ss going on, and when I find ot!t which is the right side cif the game, that's the side where I'm going to tie up." "'The Coney Island i s a great track," said Sam aloud, in the way of a non-committal "Immense!" was the enthusiastic response of Mr. Bamford Brayles "Not so much l ike the short tracks th ey make up thi s way for trotting horses. Still, when a man plac es his money right, and has a jockey that knows his business, there may be something in a handicap race even here. You said Tripp wasn't here?" "No, he i sn't h ere," Sam replied. "Know whei;e he's gone?" "l clol1't know anything about him." "All right-o nly I thought I would ask. And what might your name be? Se e ms to me I 'v e seen you before, somewheres." Sa.m could do no les s than to give his name although he re frained from mentioning th e ir chance meeting o n the road that mon1ing. The intruder's rem aine d about the s t a ble a little more than half an hour, but k ep t a s harp lookout all the while for the return of Mr. Ragsdale Whatever their original intentions may have they took their depq.rture with out making any aggressive move, and Sam was relieved to see them walk clown the road and get into a buggy which they had left hidden beyond a clump of trees Ragsdale returned almost as soon as the visitors we.re ant of sight, and he was accompanied by his hostler who evidently ha to comply wit)1 this suggestion. In hts heart he d e youtly hoped that Tripp. Lhe, regu lar j ockey, would remain a

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6 BRA VE AND BOLD. "But," he silently reflected, "he wouldn't dare to risk letting me ride at the race without knowing more about me. Too much money at stake. But if I do well for him in practice it may recommend me,. as a jockey for somebody else. A f ellow can't expect to tumble into good luck the first throw." Aloud he said : "I'll do the best I can, Mr. Ragsdale, if Tripp don't come around this afternoon. But I guess he'll turn up again before long, and when he does I'll be one jockey too many." To this remark Mr. Ragsdale vouchsafed n o reply. Whenever Sam's gaze was averted the gentleman scrutinized him keenly, as though he wished tostudy the youth's face unobserved. The distance to the track was not great; and Sam rode thither with Ragsdale in the sulky. The hostler followed with Jilly, the youngest and fleetest mare in the stable. This animal Sam had noticed particularly in her stall, and his eye told him that she was of no ordinary value. And now, as she was led along the road toward the track, he glanced back at her frequen t ly At the track were the usual scenes which transpire upon the days immediately preceding the races. Jockeys, in their caps of various hues, were plentiful enough; and ownern of horseflesh, and the sporting gentry in general, were talking and smoking in groups. Two or three jockey,s were try ing to make a start with horses that nobody in particular seemed to have an interest in. And there were a T ew gentlemen in silk hats who seemed to be thinking more of making equine purchases than of taking a direct part in the corning race. Nejther Bamford Brayles nor his ruffianly companion were at the track; and Sam was not a little relieved when Mr. Ragsdale told him to "work" Jilly around the track, just to see what she could do. Sam had good luck as well as skill in the management of the filly. There was not a soul at the track whom he knew, except his employer, therefore he felt no embarrassment. Sam rode well at the trial on the track; and Jilly seemed to think that a heavy wager was pending on h e r speed. When Sam sprang from her back and turned the quivering animal over to the hostler, Mr. Ragsdale seized Sam by the shoul ders and hurriedly drew him aside. "You worked her to a charm I" he exclaim ed, when they were alone. "And if she does as well when the real work comes it will be all I will ask of Jilly. But you must mind and not make them do better at the trial than they can follow at the race. She has been under the training of Tripp, and he knows how to handle her. If he only could work my bay colt-Wildfire, as I have named her-I would put both of them into the race. But--" "What ails Wildfire?" Sarp asked, for he had said nothing to the other about his experience with the "wild" horse, which has been detailed to the reader in the preceding chapter. "l have never yet seen but one man who could ride her." "How is that?" "She was broken to saddle by a wild young rascal who sold her to me. I'm no rider myself, and this fellow showed the colt off for my benefit at a great rate, and I thought I was getting the animal for a song. Well, that colt nearly broke Tripp's head for him the first time he tried to mount. To make a long story short-I have had three jockeys and trainers on Wildfire's back, and every mother's son of them was fired over the beast's head before he had ridden her a furlong." Sam could ill conceal ea gerness as he replied: "I was on Wildfire's back for half an hour to-day,while you left me at the stable, and she didn t fire me over her head. She tried a few antics, but--" "You rode that colt? And she didn't throw you?" Ragsdale excitedly demanded. "Nary a throw," said Sam. "Will you prove it to me by trying the experiment again to -night?" "I'll prove it, any time and any place." "If you succeed in taming that animal for me," said Mr. Ragsdale, earnestly, "I'll make it worth your while." Half an hour later they returned to the stable, and Sam could not help a feeling of intense disappointment when Talway Tripp, the recreant jockey, emerged fro;n one of the stalls greeted Mr. Ragsdale with a sheepish grin. Sam did not stay to witness the "interview" which he felt con fident was to ensue, but started off for a stroll. He had barely left the stable out of sight when two men stepped forth from a roadside thicket and confronted him. They' were Cashin and Mr. Bamford Brayles l CHAPTER V. THE PLOTTERS IN THE WOODS. "Just the chap we wanted to meet !" declared Mr. Bamford Brayles, laying a detaining hand on the arm of our hero. Sam flung off the familiar hand and drew back. "Needn't be particular about taking too close a view of me, just the same," he replied. "Come, boy, don't be cranky I" said Brayles, persuasively. "You were at the track this afternoon with one of my friend Ragsdale's horses, and they tell me you handled her neat as could be. Wasn't that so?" "You didn't see me there?" Sam questioned, a little surprised. "You were seen, and noticed. And you know how to ride at the track-so much I feel sure of. And jockeys of your heft are scarce as flies in January. And yet I'll go something big that Ragsdale hasn't engaged you to rid e for him at the race I" "That's between Mr. Ragsdale and me," Sam replied. "Of course. I ain't wanting to pry into your arrangements with my friend Ragsdale, by any means. I merely wanted to put a flea in your ear, as it Ragsdale is a great hand to make contracts with people that he never intends to -keep, except as far as it suits his convenience. That is something which it isn't pleasant for me to say. But you are a boy, and I judge that you've. got your living to get. And J'm the sort of man that stands up for a boy that is ready to work his way in the world Bamford Brayles had a most emotional voice, and there was something like a suspicious moisture in his eyes as he gave voice to these generous sentiments. Perhaps Sam might have been more impressed by the speech of the suave stranger had he not at the same moment noted the tigerish cunning and ferocity which pervaded the whole coun tenance of Cashin. As it were, the boy did not for a moment believe that Mr. Bamford Brayles was speaking from any noble or unselfish motive. It was merely a question with Sam as to what malignant and treacherous scheme the other was plotting against him or his employer. "If that's all you've got to say to me, Mr. Brayles, the sooner I march on, the better !" said Sam. And his eyes rnet tbose of the man with a defiant flash. Brayles saw the defiance and understood it. He shot a sudden look at the face of his comrade; an before Sam could follow the glance to see its effect upon the other, Cashin made a tiger-like spring toward the boy jockey. Sam would have consulted his own safety best at the moment

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 7 had he taken to his heels. But there was something in his blood that always impelled him to face an enemy, no matter how heavy the odds might b e against him. .. So in the present case, where agility and fleetness might have defeated the purpose s of his assailant, he stubbornly faced the ruffian, and met the attack of the latter \yith a sturdy blow "straight from the shoulder." The blow dealt by the arm of a boy though it was, gave Cashin another unpleasant surprise. The ruffian under it with a fierc e growl lik.e that of a wild animal and his prominent teeth gleamed lik e fangs. Sam stood his ground, feeling no fear there upon a public high way, where teams of 'va ri ous sorts were frequently passing. "Take care, Mr. Cashin," said the drawling ton es of Brayles. "You mustn't let your temper carry you too far, so as to be harsh with the boy. You know it isn't my way ever to be hars h." Brayles sm iled as h e s p o ke; and to Sam's surprise Cashin slunk away and walked s louchlngly.down the road. with reluctant back ward glances. He appeared for all the Sam thought, like a fierce dog whose m aste r had called him off from his coveted prey. "A stran ge sort of man but very faithful to m e !" Brayles confide ntially r ema rked to Sam. "I should say so," said the latter. "And I hope he won't le ave y;u with any prejudice against me I was really anxious to propose something to you that would h ave been sure to put a pretty p e nny in your pocket. For that Ragsdale-but never mind! I must not presume to prejudice you Time will tell. Good-ni g ht1" Bamford Brayles b acked away, l eaving Sam standing alone, and not a littl e bewildered at what had pas sed. In another moment Sam heard the sound of wheels, and he saw Brayles and his human hound flitting down the quiet road in a buggy, and behind a horse that struck a lively pace Evening was at hand. The sky overcast, and there was a feeling in the ai r that porte nded rain. It was too far fro m the city at that point for street lig hts al thou gh were occasional handsome re s idences and well-kept in the vicinity. Sam found him se lf mechanically following the wheel of Bamford Brayles ; buggy Presently he found that the vehicle had turned from the hi g h way a narrow track that seeme d to lead into the depths of a woodland tract. S a m IY.sita ted only a moment. ''I'll find where that pair puts up,,'' he re so lved. He ha..: along th e 1yood road but littfe more than a quarter of a mil e before he sudrie nly found himself near a large barn, with trees standing all about it. And just beyond, upon the opposite side of the road. he perceived a small, unpainted house, with a fight glean1ing dimly from a window. The wheel tracks turned in at the barn, the larg e door of which stood ajar, letting qut another gleam of light, for here it h ad grown quite dark, so dense were the shadows from trees. From \vithin the barn ca me the sound of voi'ccs. Sam crept up to a small square window and pel'rcd cau tiously in. Bamford Brayles and Cashin we r e each seated upon a barrel, turned bottom up, and near them stood a third man, who b o re a strong r esemblance to Cashin, except that he must have been several years the latter's ju11ior. .... "\Ve hav e pal a .vercd .about thi s business as l o n g as we can afford to," Urayles was .. saying, .with a 1 in1_p t ient_ lure.' "Ragsdale has put every penny he can raise or borrow into the chances of the race day after to-morrow. If he wins, I lose; but against that, if he loses, I'm sure to win in more ways than one. I want to ruin Rag sdale-no matter why-and for help that will bring about that r esu lt I m willing to pay well. Now, Burton, if your plan is as sure as you say, give u s the det a ils, then go in and win the reward. Sam Talbot, holding his breath in the intensity of his interest, pressed his face yet closer to the opening, that he might not lose a single syllable of Burton's reply. CHAPTER VI. THE PLOT AGAINST SAM'S EMPLOYER. "There's ways e nough to beat a man at a race, if ye're only rniddlin' sharp, and have got the nerve to kerry anything through," declared the man called Burton, peering down into the face of Bamford Brayles with a cunning leer. "\Nell," drawled Brayles, "I think I have the nerve for anything that you may propose, and as for being 'middlin' sharp,' I rather think you're in a p osi tion to judge as well as anybody whether I am or n ot ." Burton s hrugged his sho ulders It was evident that he know whether Bamford Brayles was sha rp or not. "Ye say ye tried to buy up Tripp, Rags dale's jockey?" Burton a.sked. ''I tried-yes," Brayles r eplied "And he didn't buy easy?" "He didn't uy easy," was the echo. "\
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.. -8 BRA VE AND BOLD. head, and if it was worth any more than the one I had mapped out in my own." "Perhaps the youngster would come to his senses if he was given his choice betwixt money and a broken head I" leered Bur ton, with a sidelong slouch. "Not much doubt of it," Brayles answered. why not try that as otr first move?" "I can manage the jockey," said Burton. "But as for the hosses--" "Manage the jockey, then. I'll find a way to fix the horsesthe ones he is to enter for the race, at least. Now for the youngster-he is your m eat, Cashin." The latter, like the fierce animal he so strongly brought his teeth together with a click. 'Sam Talb. ot, the boy jockey, had heard enough. With thrilling nerves he turned away from the barn window and stole silently out toward the wood road. Evening had fallen swiftly in the woods. Sam dared not strike a running pace while he was so close to his enemies. He walked with long, cautiouS' strides, glancing frequently backward at the glimmering lights in the house and barn. Suddenly the rumble of wheels sounded just ahead of him, and He realized that a vehicle of some sort was approaching the lonely .dwelling. He turned hastily in among the denser shadows by the road side, hoping that he might thus escape observation. As he did so, however, he saw a dark object bound along the narrow road and halt abruptly opposite his hiding place. -At the same moment the long, doleful bay of a h und quavered upon the air, and the animal, which had paused to sniff at the tracks of the intruder, wheeled suddenly and leaped toward Sam's concealment. 1 All these details occurred much more rapidly than we have been able to relate them. Sam knew that discovery was inev itable. He had not a doubt but the driver of the approaching team, which was accompanied by the hound, was friendly to the occupants of the lonely house. Sam's first impulse was to escape from the teeth of the hound. To that end he did some lively climbing up the nearest tree, which chanced to be a maple sapling. He got his legs out of reach of the dog as the latter leaped upward at the foot of the tree. He paused, breathless, upon one of the lowest branches just as the team stopped. And an instant after he saw a man alight and approach the dog swinging a lantern to and fro as he came. "I ain't caught till I come down," thought Sam. And with this thought he began to climb higher among the thick-foliaged branches. "Hey, there, Snipe!" exclaimed the miut, as he reached the foot of the tree where the hound was still dolefully signaling. "What ye treed? Nothin' but a chipmunk, I'll warrant l" The man squinted up into the branches, still swinging his lan tern. Then Sam saw him take IO!!'.ething from his pocket and hold it close to the light. The object was a small p<>':ket t!lirror, and the rays from the lantern were reflected foll apon the figure crouching amid the! foliage. Sam strove to avoid the searchlight, but in vain. "I see ye," said the man, coolly tl:e glass. "Better come down," he added, "whoever ye be I I \'7on't Jet Snipe chaw ye unless ye try to be too nimble. Come, get a move ,on ye!" "Suppose I rather roost up here 1" Sam retorted, reaEzing th:!t he was fairly discovered, and that it were useless to pretend otherwise. "I tell ye to come down, and lively about it. I ain't foolin', as ye'll find out if ye try to be too funny!" Had it been merely a matter of his personal safety, Sam would not have hesitatec\_ about surrendering. But he thought of the consequences to Ragsdale if he were to fail to warn him of t he plot to ruin him. And this thought made him resolve to escape if possible. So, instead of speaking or making a move toward descending, he began to clamber out upon one of the larger branches, with the purpose of getting into another tree which grew close to that one. "Hold on, youngster!" commanded the one below. And Sam. was thrilled by the sound of an ominous click. Glancing down he saw that the man was menacing him with a revolv er! Sam set his teeth with mute determination. With sudden agil ity he swung his weight from the bough that supported him, and clambered nimbly into the tree adjoining. The sha rp report of the revolver rang on the air, followed by a triumphant howl from the hound I CHAPTER VII. A LIVELY CHASE. Sam felt a sharp twinge in his left ankle at the same time that he heard the pistol shot. '-Sam fell into the midst of a dense thicket, and, being out of range of the lantern's rays, the dog was momentarily at a loss. The animal ran past the thicket-sniffed the air-bayed once more-then leaped directly toward the fugitive. For the moment Sam had little hope of escaping capture, e ven temporarily. But the weakness that caused him to fall passed off as quickly as it came, and as he attempted to rise to his feet his hand touched a loose stone upon the ground. He clutched the missile eagerly, and arose with it poised for a throw. The hound was almost upon him. The man, too, was approach ing at a slouching gait. The dog made a spring toward the youth with open jaws and gleaming eyes. Sam recoiled-hurled the stone with all his strength-then, as the hound fell in the midst of the thicket, the boy sprang away through the woods at a pace such as Ire never struck before. At first there were heavy footfalls in his rear, indicating that his enemy was in hot pursuit. But these became inaudible, and Sam was col"\scious of a sticky feeling upon his left foot, and fre quent twinges of pain in the ankle which had received the shot. "He drew blood on me, anyhow," was his reflection, as he sank upon a half-rotten log and pulled off shoe and stocking. He struck a match, and hurriedly examined the wound. The shot had clipped across his ankle, just above the joint, tearing off a s mall piece of flesh in its course. The wound was not serious, nor was it likely long to continue painful. But it bled copiously, and Sam bandaged it with his handkerchief, replaced the stocking and shoe, and then once more arose to his feet. Above he could see the cloudy sky, with not a star in sight. A gusty breeze whirred through the trees, and whisked dry leaves up from the ground. "I don't seem to be getting out of the woods in this direction," Sam observed. And he tried to think of some way of getting his bearings.

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.. BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 "Let me see," he added, holding up one hand to let the wind blow upon it. "The wind came from the east when I started down the road two hours ago-I r e memb e r b eca use it was in my face all the way. If it hasn't changed si nce, then I have b e en going north all this while. That wouldn't take me out to the road in a month of Sundays. I must strike off from the path, and find my way out by k eeping along close to the wood road. I wonder if I smas hed that dog's skull! I hav en't heard a yip from him since I flung the rock." Having, as he believed, obtained his b ea rings correctly, Sam struck out at a more leisurely pace in the directi o n which he thought would take him to the highway. He kept on thus, through a path)ess, wooded tract, for fully an . hour. The darkness was intense, and pre ently it began to rain, the drop s pattering down through the foliage. Just then Sam was surprised to see a light glimmering through the trees. "Must be there's the road, and the light comes from a house," was his thought. He went forward cautiously, and saw that the light ind eed came from a dwelling i but nothing like the well-kept highway which h e was seeking was visible. The house was a mere hovel in dimensions, and unpainted. It was like the one ocC\ipied by the accornplices of Bamford Brayles, from whose neighbn-rhood Sam supposed he had been fleeing. "If I've gone back to that shanty, it's a pretty go," Sam exclaimed. He stole cautiously forth from the edge of the wo0ds, and ap proached the window through which the light was shining. The window was sma ll and a curtain closely drawn shut out a glimpse of the interior. Sam r eac h ed up and drew himself to a level with the window sill, in the hope of being able to find some slight opening through which a view of t h e ro om within might be obtained. As he did so he heard the sound of footsteps approaching, and saw a hand seize the curtain from the inner side, with the e vident purpose of drawing it aside. Sam dropped to the ground with all the noiselessness and celerity he cou ld command. had he done so, and drawn himself within the dens e r shadow of a tree that stood close to the h ouse than the sash was softly raised. and he beheld something like a bundle thrust out through the open ing and droppe d to the ground. Sam had not time to r ecover fro m his astonishment at thi s manife station before t h e sash was rai sed s till farther and t h e form of a gi rl clambered out upon the sill,1 and letting herself down at arm's length, hung suspe nded for an instant, and then dropped to the ground, so l ig htly that Sam would n ot have sus pected by the sound what had happ e ned had he not observed the act. The girl stood erect in a list ening attitude her face turned full toward the hidin g place of Sam. Then she picked up her bundle, a nd stole with swift, cautious footsteps toward the forest. He stepped noiselessly forth from hi s concealment, and in an other moment stood directly in the path of the fair, young stranger. She recoiled, an d for an instant seemed bent upon fleeing from the spot. But she saw that he was a stranger, and but little olde r than herself, and these facts seemed to reas su re h er. By a hurried, gracefu l gesture she beckoned him to follow her, at the same time gliding along a forest pathway with which she seemed to be familiar. Sam compli ed with her silent command curbing his curiosity until she s hould bid him to speak. They kept on thus silently for ten minutes, the girl leading the way, and occasionally paus ing to listen. At the end of that period she abruptly paused, and, after listening once more, she faced him, and exclaimed, in a low, swee t voice: I don't believe they have discovered my flight yet, and I hope they won't until morning. If they don't, they will have a good time finding me, I can tell them that. But w'ho are you? And why were you prowling around the house? Were you watching for me to come out?" "One question at :i time miss," said Sam. Yet he briefly an swered all three questi ons, adding: "Now, I guess it would be no more than square for you to tell me who you are, and why you're .running away in this style?" "My name is Eugenie North," s he declared, in a low voice. "But," she added, "the full name is too much for me to carry around for ordinary use, so you will call me Genie, if you please. Uncle Caleb Burton, who used to live in Kansas, calls me 'Norther,' bec ause he says I am a good deal like the fearful winds they have out there some times." Sam inwardly decided that this was just the style of girl he should like. There was nothing "slow" about her-so much he f elt sure. "So Burton, who lives in that old house in the woods, is your uncle, i s he?" Sam asked. "I s'pose sl, though I didn't choose him. And the worst of it is he calls himself my guardian al;i,.o. He has more ugliness in him than any other man I ever except his cousin, Mr. Cashin, who look s enough like my uncle to be his brother. Cashin shows his teeth like a bulldog It is from the two that I am running away, for t h e y re plotting so much mischief, day and night, that I am really afraid of my life." "You go t out of that window pretty neat,'' said Sam. "And I s uppo se you know what place you're for? Got friends 1n th e city?" "I haven't a fri en d in the world," was the quick reply. "But I'm not afraid-hark I Hear that? My flight is dis covered, and they will track me with their hounds! Come I we have a good start, and we must run as if' it were for our lives I" The sound of loud shouts, followed by the baying of hounds, told Sam that their peril had only just begun. CHAPTER VIII. AT THE BARN. Silently they hurried 1forward, and for a time it seemed as though they were l eav ing their pursuers behind. But presently the baying of the hounds assumed a g r eate r di sti nctn ess, and they reali zed that they were close pressed by their animal pursuers, at all events. Genie abruptly came to a halt. "There is no u se in trying to outrun the d ogs,' she exclaimed. "T)len I'll find a stout club and fight 'em,'' suggested Sam. "No use in that, either," the girl returned. "\\That will we do, then? L e t 'em gobble us up like a pair of w oodc hucks ?" "Not at .pl,J. The dogs will not hurt me, nor you either, if I tell th e m t o let you alone. They se t them on my track, so that they would know how t o follow m e in the dark-that is all. The dogs will keep their barking goi ng, to tell them where we are. But we h ave still a to se t them on a wrong scent, and so gain time. The hounds are 'most here, and I will make them keep quiet for a little while."

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JO BRA VE AND BOLD. Sam's wits were not idle. His companion had the power to protect them both from the teeth of the hounds, since they knew her and were friendly to her. And while she was temporizing with the brutes, why might he not carry out his origtnal inten tion of securing horses from the stable of Caleb Burton? "Good I" e'xclaimed Genie: when he proposed the idea to her. 'Make your course back to the barn now, as quickly as you can, while I deal with the hounds. As soon as they come up with me I will coax them to keep still, andthey will follow me quietly back toward the barn. That will leave Uncle Caleb and Cashin all at sea in following me, and if you are spry and cautious you will have time to get out a horse for each of us, and then we will give them a fine chase before they see the light of our eyes again." Sam soon found himself near the large stable within which he had overheard the plot to beat Mr. Ragsdale s runners at the r.ace. The barn seemed to be deserted, although a lantern was burning dimly near the door. The latter was shut and locked on the inner side, indicating that the one who had secured it came out by another exit, probably on the other side of the building. The window at which Sam had played eavesdropper was still available, however, and Sam did not take the trouble to look for another entrance. If there were one it was likely to be locked, and he could not risk the breaking of a lock to gain admittance. To climb in through the window was not a difficult task. To select and equip two of the speediest-looking horses was brief work for his practiced hands. He found a side-saddle for his new friend, and chose for her a steed that seemed the most gentle in disposition. Sam looked around to see that no one was on the watch out side, and then lee! the horses cautiously out. Then, as he was on the very point of springing to the back of one animal, he heard a whizzing sound in his ear, and the next instant was felled to the ground by a terrific blow. When one is wholly insensible the periods of a moment or a week seem the same ui:ron awakening. It was so with Sam. He became conscious first of a jarring, thumping sound, which he soon understood to be the stamping of horses upon the floor of a stable, and that they were very near him. He opened his eyes, and arose painfully to a sitting posture. His head seemed to be cracking with pain. The dim light of a lantern swung to and fro before his dizzied vision, and he pres ently perceived that the lantern was held in the hand of a man. ""Well, sir!" exclaimed t!iis person, in a voict: that Sam rec ognized with a feeling of dismay. For the speaker was Bamford Brayles. 0Sam did not respond. A glance showed him that he had been lying on a horse blanket upon the floor of a vacant stall. The door of the latter, which was of the "box" variety, was closed, and Brayles had evidently just come in to see his prisoner. "What do you want me to do?" Sam asked, after a long silence. "Agree to let Ragsdale and his horses alone, in the first place. Come." "I don't make any blind trades," said Sam. "And I'll put a hundred in cool cash in your hands, whether we make or lose on our side." "I guess not." "Hundreo and fifty, then?" "I'm not for sale." "You want more money?" ''No; I'm in the employ of Mr. Ragsdale, and if you take me for the sort to sell out a friend for money, you have missed your guess. I don't belong to that species of animal." For a moment Bamford Brayles glared at the boy in mingled astonishment and anger. It was evident that he ceive of a human being who would refuse money. Then came the impulse of baffiedrage. Sam heard footsteps along the floor j USlf>Utside of the closed stall. Brayles opened the door, and, ithout taking his eye5 off his prisoner, called out: "Cashin-that you?" "That's me," was the reply, and the next moment the hang-dog countenance of the round-shouldered ruffian looked in "See that boy, Cashin? Remember trick he's you 1 Well, I give you leave to take it o ut of his skin I Hofd cin don"t kill him I Just short of that. Tie him hand and foot be fore you leave him. Vve must keep him a prisoner till after the race ; and then-but we'll see how tame he is before we decide how to dispose of him finally." Like the fierce brute which he so much resembled, Cashin flung open the door, and rus h ed upon our hero. Sam knew that the brawny ruffian could overpower him singlehanded; and besides, Brayles stood by, ready to lend his aid. Yet the young jockey made a wild, fierce fight for his liberty. But the battle was a brief one. Cashin had a stout cane in hi hand, and he did not scruple to use it. For a second time the boy jockey was beaten down by blows, and while he did not entirely lose consciousness as befon', he found it expedient to feign that condition, for he began to fear that the infuriated ruffian wotrld kill him ere his brutal rage was spent. He was bound hand and foot, and then left lying upon the floor of the sta ll. \ For what seemed to him like a long period, Sam lay in thrt helpless condition, his head splitting with pain. In truth, every bone in his body ached, and so thoroughly miserable was he that for the time he was indifferent alike to his own situation andthe interests of his emp loyer. He finally arose to a sitting posture, and began to strain at his bonds. But even as he did so a startling cry fell upon his followed by the tramp of heavy feet and the stamping of horses. Th; cries-the hurried clatter-a smudge of smoke-a glare of. flame-all told Sam of a new and deadly peril. The great bar!), with its tons of hay, was on fire. CHAPTER IX. OUT, OF THE FLAMES. "Fire!" The single s hout, which had first given the alarm, was followed by a confusion of excited cries and commands, mingled with wild screams of terror from the horses. Sam heard the increasing sounds of confusion. He strained madly at his bonds, rolling over and over along the floor of the stall, at the same time rai sing his own voice in a cry for help. Suddenly in his evolutions his hand came intp painful contact with a bit of iron, which had been driven through the i:Joor from underneath close to the wall of the stall. The hurt gave him an idea. however, and in another moment he was rasping his bonds against the edge of the iron, which was rusty, with a fo ce and rapidity that soon caused them to give way. His hands were thus freed, and it was but the work of an in stant to release his at;kles. In the meantime the indications of fire became alarming. The stall was filling with smoke and growing oppressively hot. He could distinctly hear the cracklir;ig of flames. Hay makes quick fuel, and the fire had caught 'at a point where r .

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, BRA VE AND BOLD. III this most combustible portion of the barn's contents was stored. The refore it was making rapid progress. Sam strov e first to open the door. But it would not yield, and he saw that it w a s u s eless to attempt to beat it down by the sheer force of his small stre ngth. H e next turned his attention to the small window. But he could not his b o dy through that-of this he was sure without trying. But he at the same time espied the opening over the crib thro u g h which feed was thrown fr o m above. And in a moment he wa s clambering upward through this opening, with a dense cloud of smoke surging down into his eyes. Once t\pon the l o ft floor above-, he found that he would have to pa s s through the densest smoke, with here and there a tongue of lurid flame, to get down to the open floor of the big barn. And e ven .the re, was not sure that he could get out, since he no longe r heard the shouts of men below. Halt' blinded by sm o ke and stifled by heat, he nevertheless saw a window on the same !eve.I with the loft to which he had gained a s c e nt. He da sh e d toward it-sent his feet cras hing throgh and gl ass-and then with a refres hing draught of cool morn ing air in h is fa ce, he leaped outward through the opening without once l o o king to see where he was likely to alight. He struck in a Wet, miry spot, into which he sank nearly to the tops of his sho es. He sprang to his feet, extricated himself from the slo ugh, and d arte d a w a y fro m the burning building as fast as his feet would carry him, until he reached the shelter of the woods. H e r e he paos e d to look back. :M"orning had broke y e t it was not quite li ght in that gloomy pl a ce. T he flames w e re l ea ping upward from the roof and one side of the great barn thro wing a lurid glow over the scene. He saw Brayle s and C a shin hurrying away from the fire, each with a horse the hi;ads of the animals blanketed to keep them from rnshing back into the flames, as they would have been cer tain othe rwi s e to do. At the same time Sam heard a nervous whinny from a point near at hand, and he saw one of the horses, al s o blind e d, and tethered securely to a tree, fully two hundred yards from the fire. With a leap of heart, Sam recognized the animal a s the one which he had saddled for his own use just before his detection by Bamford Brayles. The horse had on neither saddle nor bridle. Yet Sam did no t hesitate. Vaulting upon th e back of the horse, which was a speedy and n e rvous animal, he was soon careering swiftly along the wood road toward the highway that Jed to the city. Sam had no trouble guiding the horse, and in a short time he emerged upon the open highway. Just as he did so some one stepped from the roadside and looked up at him with a pretty, smiling face. "So you got away, Sam?" It was Genie North. The storm had cleared, and the morning sunlight brightened her shimmering hair and pretty but tiredlooking face. I" whistled Sam. "But I guess you got tired of waiting for me to come back to you with a horse? You see--" "Brayles caught you-I understood," she interrupted. "And so you came on along?" "I didn't hurry. Uncle Caleb and the hired man got tired of trying to track me after the dogs kept and It was easy for me to w:ait around to see if you wouldn't come back. I didn't think they be able to keep you a great while. Yet I didn't She inter Pted herself, and glanced back toward the column pf smoke, which they see from that point mounting skyward from the burning barn, and as she looked she shrugged her shoulders. They were walking bri s kly along the pleasant road. The latter led to a suburb, and workmen were laying the track of a new electric railway. The poles and wires were already up, and they paused to see a trolley car come buzzing along with a gang of workme n and a few early pas s engers. The car stopped, those aboard got off, and the conductor walked out leisurely to observe how the work was progressing. The motorman also got off, lighted his pipe, and seated himself under the shade of a tree to wait for orders to return to the city, which would not come for twenty minutes. Sam idly noted all these detaijs, not thinking that events were shaping themselves for the most thrilling adventure into which his headlong spirits had ever plunged him. While he stood with Genie beside the idle car, of which the trolley had bee n for the return trip, he became conscious of the thunder of approaching hoofs. S a m and Genie look e d their faces paled. Two h9rsem e n were coming-and they were Bamford Brayles and Caleb Burton. A triumphant shout came from the latter. S a m saw the terro r of his companion-he thought of his own mis s ion--and then he acted upon an audacious impulse. "The y'll take me back I-they'll take me back l" cried Genie, clinging to the arm of her companion. "They'd hardly dare to try taking me," said Sam, breathlessly. "And yet, if that Brayle s g ets his hands onto me he would try .to make out a pretext for hanging on. And I can't stop now for any uncertainties-too much is d e pendin g Come-quick-we'll try if lightning won't beat Brayl e s' horses in a race !" Sam seized Genie by the arm, and, without thinking what he meant to do, she Jet him put her onto the car. Then, at a bound, Sam leaped upon the front platform, seized the motor crank with one hand and the brake with the other. A glance at the motorman serenely smoking by the roadside, and the conductor yet farther away, and then backward at the enemy who were advancing at a keen gallop, shouting and gesticu lating as they came-and then a turn of the crank that let on the current. The car started smoothly, then, as more power was let on, its speed was increased with a jerk and a buzz that sent a leeling of reckless exhilaration through the brain of the boy. The sound aroused the motorman; several workmen simulta neously saw the car moving swiftly off. A chorus of shouts filled the air-there was a mad rush to overtake Sam and the car-a thunder of pursuit from the horsemen. CHAPTER X. INTO SAFETY. It was not the first time that Sam Talbot, the boy jockey, had controlled the power of an electric car. Now that he had inaugurated the audacious attempt at escape for his companion and himself, he felt that he must succeed at all hazards. "I might as well be killed for a goat as a kid, now I'm in it," was his mental observation. And, with steady hand and grimly shut teeth, he Jet on more and more of the current until the car seemed to fairly fly along the rails. A backward glance showed him that the men who had at-. tempted to leap aboard were already left hopelessly in the rear. He could hear their shouts above the rumble of the car, and the conouctor and motorman were fairly up and down witl1 excitement.

PAGE 13

I2 BRA VE AND BOLD. The horsemen were still coming, and they evidently compre hended what had taken place, fol' they were urging their steeds to their best speed. But it was plain that the horses were not the speedy racers of Bamford Brayles. At first they g-ained slightly on the car. But Sam felt the limit less power under his right hand, and now he was in the race, there was all the better sport in finding what the invisible power of electricity could de against horses. Genie sat with clasped hands aud flushed cheeks, looking from the determined face of the youth to the pursuing horsemen and wildly-gesticulating employees of the road. This street led directly into the From it a side street extended a little farther on, and it was upon the 1atter road that Ragsdale's St'.1ble was situated. Therefore Sam intended to continue the flight only to the junction of the two roads. There was a curve arottnd which they present!; swung, and as the road was lined at that point by large trees, they could no longer be seen by their pursuers. Already they were close to the point where Sam intepded to stop, and, as they were going at a reckless rate, the boy shut off the power and allowed the momentum of the car to carry them the balance of the distance. As soon as the buzzing and rumble subsided s.o that she could make herself heard, Genie exclaimed: "This-this is an awful bold thing to do. You will sun:ly be arre.sted-we both will-and put in prison, for all that I know." Sam set ui:i the brake hefore answering. Then he jumped off and helped his companion to alight. "If we go to prison, that will be merely another sert of an ad venture, and that's what l'm after," he coolly declared. "Come," he added, pointing into the side street. "This is where we switch off. I'm sorry they haven't got the trolley wires and track laid this way, so that I could take you straight to my friend's ranch, but I'll have to ask you to excuse me this time. I have an idea that those fellows following us on horseback will do what they can to keep us from being arrested. But I may be mistaken." "Brayles and Uncle Caleb? Keep us from being arrested by the officers of the street railway?" GeHie spoke incredulously. In truth, she was more afraid of. her uncle and the sleek, treacherous, horsey man than of the authorities whom Sam had so audaciously defied. "Ybu see if Bamford Brayles doesn't figure it so that the rail way company won't prosecute," said Sam. "How will he do that?" "I don't know how-only Brayles seems to have plenty of money, and money will keep a fel!Qw out of a good many kinds of difficulty, if it's only spent right." "I know-but why should he interfere' to save you from arrest, when yQu say he has tbe best reasons for wishing to get you into trouble?" "Because, if I was arrested he would have to appear against me in the court, and it would come out why I w<1s running away from him. And al::out the time I told the authorities all I know about him and his s chemes, you would see him in a fine pickle. No, ma'am-Bamford. Brayles don't want to do business through the criminal courts. That's just the kind of a picnic he isn't hungry for." "And so you think he will try to prevent them from having you arrested for run11ing away with the car?" "That was what occurred to me the minute I thought of the scheme. There was risk in it-hut we have got here all die same:." The stable was just ahead. Sam saw Mr. Ragsdale and Jack Gardner talking earnestly outside. The boy's heart beat faster as he thought of the possible re sults of his advenh1re. He had discovered the plot against his employer, and now it remained to be seen whether his warning should prove sufficient to prevent the execution of the scheme. "You said you had no friends?" he hurriedly asked of his com panion, pausing a moment under the shade of a big elm near the cottage. "Not a friend in the world," she answered for the second time. "Then what are your plans. after getting away from Burton?" "I know how to work. I can fmd plenty to do in the city, and think I can live without being the drudge I have been all my life." "Then you had no particular thing in mind for to-day?" "Nothing." "Well, while the races last, and Mr. Ragsdale stays here, you might stop at this cottage, and, if I have good luck, I'll lodge here, too, unless they lock me up at the police station for running away with the car. They're nice people here, and I guess they'll put you up for a day or two till you make up your mind what to do. Then, if Caleb Burton tries to take you back, I'll try if my influence with Brayles won't induce him to let you alone for a while. You see, I'm counting big guns on the grip I hold on Bamford Brayles." "If they will let me stay here, I will be only too glad to have somebody near who can stand up for me," said Genie. Sam knocked at the door of the cottage, and upon a hasty pre-text gained temporary admittance for his companion. A minute later he confronted Mr. Ragsdale. "I came as soon as I could," he began. "I dare say. Indeed, you came rather sooner than you could respectably. Come, you're not wanted here. I have as many bums on hand as I care to look after." Sam's fare flushed with anger. It was plain that Ragsdale thought he had been drnnk "You won't give me a chance to explain," he exclaimed. "And I have been working for you all the while, and got nearly killed for it. I have been spying upon Bamford Brayles, and overheard a plot to ruin you at the race." Sam's rapid, earnest speech impressed the other. Ragsdale was in an irritable mood, and with good reason; yet he had been unwilling to believe that the boy to he had taken such a strong and sudden fancy was even more' faithless than Tripp. "Yau have been spyiug upon Bamford Brayles?" he repeated. In another mome'lt the man laid a hand soothingly on the shoulder af our, hero. "Forgive me," he said, kindly. "I had no business to jump at a conclusion in that way. But Tripp has gone off again this morning, and, when you failed to appear, I about made up IT)Y mind that a decent jockey didn't live. Come--you look half dead! Had any breakfast? Come in, and let me help pull the kinks out of you. Then eat-thti;n ten me your story." The words carried all of Sam's momentary resentment before them He went into the cottage with Ragsdale, and in response to orders from the latter the boy was given a ch<1nce to clean up and refresh himself by a bath. Then he sat down with Genie to an appetizing breakfast, while he told Ragsdale the story of his night's experience. The young man asked a few questions, walki11g the room in great agitation. An hour was spent fu talking over his plans. He SCl!ITICQ tq fee\ the deepest gratitude toward Sam for the courageous part e

PAGE 14

BRA VE AND BOLD. 13 l1ad played. Yet he said nothing about engaging him to ride the race. Indeed, it appeared that h e still h oped to have Talway Tripp in shape to do his part when the time s h o uld come. Sam got two hours' sleep. Then, being once more in Jrim for adventure, he offered to s how Rags dale that h e could ride the in corrigible bay colt, Wildfire, as h e h ad promised to do. The trial was made o n the level stretc h of road near the stable. Sam was by no means certain that the taming which h e had given the colt upon his first trial would be last ing in its effects But Wildfire immediately s how e d that she considered the boy jockey to be h e r master and friend. None of her wild antics shown upon the prec e ding trial were She had been so difficult to manage that s he h ad receiv e d little previous trammg. Yet S am speedily proved that the '"wild" horse could make supe ri o r time. And Mr. Rag sda le, delighted with the success, decided that Wildfire should be worked a trial trip on the track that afternoon. And, it she s h owed up as she seemed capable of doing, she should be ente red for the race. Tripp was o n hand in the a fternoon, and, to the disappoint ment of Sam, the recreant j ocke y was told to work Jilly at the tri al. Tripp was out of money, and so, perforce, was sober. And, being financially "broke, he was more than usually anxious -to ride at the race. He was really friendly to Ragsdale, and he was not mean enough to "sell out" to Ragsdale's enemy. Sam, however, tried Wildfire at the track that afternoon. A dozen jockeys were on the ground, and two arranged to start in a mock h andicap with Sam. They perceived the wild .mettle of the co lt>, and nothin g would give them better sport than to get th e boy jockey thrown into the dust. But Sam was prepared. He felt that he had already made friends with Wildfire, and .that he could depend upon her to do her par t T he start was made, amid a deal of noise from the other jockeys. T hey tried to "foul" Sam by running across his trackthey jostled him in front and rear. And at last one tried to throw our hero from the saddle by suddenly putting his foot under Sam's ind lifting the Latter from his seat. Sam being lightf'r than the lank young fellow who attempted th e trick, seeme d to promise to be a good subject. But the other jockey who was called Lanky at the track, was treated to a little surprise. Sam perceived his intention, and al lowed the other to ride up close to him, although he seemed to be trying to get out of L a nky's way. They had made a start, but, owing to the trickery of the jockeys, there seemed to be little chance of any o f them making a fair trial for time. Ragsdale and Tripp were both eagerly watching Sam-the former anxious to see how the boy would cope with his rivals, and Tripp in anticipation of some fun at Sam's expense. Sam found already that Wildfire was quickly obedient to his touch. The splendid, spirited animal seemed to have conceived something lik e positive liking for the boy who had been the first to her moods. Therefore the boy jockey b ega n to trust to his power of control over the "wild" colt. With Lanky pressing clo se upon him on the right, and another jockey striving to cross his course in advance, Sam's wits and muscles were strained to the utmost. Seemingly un suspe cting he yet kept an eye upon Lanky's foot, which was drawi'ng close to Sam' stirrup. Then the ch ance came. An incoherent shout broke from the lips of Ragsdale-a shout of warninf, for he feared mischief to both th e colt and its rider. Lanky 's foot came out, intending to catch Sam's underneath, and to lift th e l atte r from the saddle. But Sam's foot was It dropped from the stirrup, and s lipped under his rival's. Simultaneously \.\/ildfire, obedient to a tightening rein re are d back upon her h a unch es. There was a s hout from Lanky-then a yell from jockeys and horse owners. CHAPTER XI. SAM A A JOCKEY. It was a triumph for Sam Talbot. His own alertness, with his firm seat in the saddle, combined with a happy control of the \Vild-natured colt, brought the jockey who attempted to unseat him to grief in a most unexpected manner. Sam's foot caught that of his enemy fairly underneath. Lanky was heavier than our hero, and it would not have been easy for the latter to have lifted him by a sheer effort of his leg. But it was here that the obedience of the colt was made to count The spirited animal seemed to know just what was wanted of her. The sudden rising upon her ha1.mches was in the nick of time, and supplemented the effort of he r rider perfectly. Lanky was lifted from his seat, a yell of chagrin broke from his lips, his arms waved wildly in the air, then he was sent sprawling in the dust, while his horse careered away on the course at a furiou s pace. It was then that cheers and laughter broke forth froin the by standers, the witnessing jockeys joining in with a zest that showed a good-natured acquiescence in the discomfiture of their comrade. Sam stuck to his seat. He sa w that his victim was able to scramble to his feet, and then sped away around the course at a rollicking pace. He put Wildfire twice around the track, and so even and swift was her running that there was a murmur of applause at the finish, and an eager knot of horse owners gathered about the colt and h e r rider with approving nods and glances. Sam dis mounted and turned Wildfire over to Jack Gardner, who was waiting to take Ragsdale's horse back to the stable. "That was well done-very well done!" exclaimed Mr. Rags dale, a flush and excitement on his cheeks. "Don't she kick up the dust as pretty as any of them, though?" Sam enthusiastically returned. "Yes'. yes! And it is money in my pocket, too. I can see half a dol".en would-be buyers of that wild little animal right here on the ground. You see, the colt seems to know just what to do, and that is worth as much as speed in this kind of a race. She has had better training than I thought. That isn t all; you seem to know how to handle her t o a dot. You would never let them put you in pocket with that beast!" '"That lank s pecimen it, anyhow," said Sam. "I thought he would throw you sure. Yau heard me whistle? I meant to warn you, but I didn't need to worry. It was well done-only I'm sorry it had to happen before the race. That jockey will pay you off if it i s a po ssible thing, and it'll be bad to have it happen when everything is at stake!" Sam look ed quickly at his employer. "Tripp rides at the race, I suppose?" he exclaimed. "Tripp rides Jilly. But I s hall enter Wildfire-that is--" And Ragsdale chewed his mustache meditatively. Sam waited. He glanced over to Tripp had beeu stand-

PAGE 15

14 BRAVE AND BOLD. ing a moment before, in the a idst of a group of jockeys. But the eccentric fellow had disappeared. "You say you never rode a regular race, with big money at stake?" Ragsdale abruptly asked, lowering his voice. "I never rode a regular race," Sai;n admitted, reluctantly. "Yet I beliwe you could do it with Wildfire. What do you say?" "I wouldn't be afraid to try." "But you would have to keep cool-very cool! And let me tell you, the outcome is a serious matter to me. To lose would be my ruin!" "You have a good deal of money in it?" "You don't understand, Sam. It is my secret; that is what makes me so anxious. I may tell yoa about it some time-and I may not. Yet I have a mind to put Wildfire onto the track and let you ride her for me. You can work her another trial trip tomorrow morning before the trotting begins. You at least won't go and get intoxicated." "With nothing but joy at winning," smiled Sam. His heart beat fast with anticipation. "Another thing, Sam. You know I have an enemy-that Brayles. He has tried to beat me through you already, and the reason I trust you on such short acquaintance is because you have stood by me to such good purpose in the affair with him." "I don't see how he can beat you now, if Tripp does his part and I do mine." "There are a great many ways in which an unscrupulous scoundrel may win in an underhanded game. As you know, there is nothing too desperate for him to attempt, rather than to see me succeed." "Why don't you get rid of him?" Sam asked, his interest in the mystery enshrouding his eccentric employer growing stronger. "Get rid of him? How?" "I suppose he has a right to get the best of you at the race by any fair means. But he has no right to do anything to injure your horses, or to force Tripp or me to desert you. You can take the law on him if he tries anything of that kind, and I overheard enough to make out a good case for JlOu." ''.No, no!" Ragsdale hurriedly exclaimed. "I can do nothing of that kind, even to save me from the worst!" The man's great agitation puzzled Sam more than ever. This conversation occurred in part after they had started homeward from the track. For the first time Ragsdale remembered that Tril!P was not with them as they drove up to the stable. "He went out of sight all of a sudden while we were talk ing, just before we came away,'' said Sam. The day upon which the incidents just recounted occurred was a Friday. The next day was to be given up to the trotters, with a short running race at the close, the runners being owned by local gentlemen. Ilut the principal ra"tes would begin on the following Monday, for which day Jilly had been entered. So a Sunday intervened. Saturday was spent by Sam almost wholly at the track. In the morning he worked Wildfire for a trial again, and the other jockeys discreetly kept out of his way. It was a successful trial, and Mr. Ragsdale entered the colt for the race. Her turp would come on Tuesday. Tripp put in an appearance once more, and exercised Jilly with his accustomed careless ability. He remained at the track until the last race had been run. He accompanied Mr. Ragsdale and Sam back to the stable, and seemed to be in such thorough earnest that his employer's hopes of keeping him in suitable trim to ride Monday's rate arose almost to a feeling of absolute confidence. Monday morning did not find Sam asleep. Although the races did not begin till afternoon, there was enough to be done in the interval. Mr. Ragsdale looked pale and anxious. As the time for the test of his horses approached, it became evident that the outcort).e was to be a matter little short of life or death to him. He was silent on the score of the secret fear he evidently had of Bamford Brayles and the ruin which would come if he were to lose the race. Yet he made no bones of telling Sam that to lose would be the most serious calamity that could befall him. Tripp appeared at the stable in good season. To the intense relief of Mr. Ragsdale, he appeared to be in good trim for the work in hand. All were at the rack in the forenoon. Tripp "limbered up" Jilly in two pretty runs around the track. It was a noisy and bustling scene. It was said that the laws against all forms of racetrack gambling would be strictly en forced. Yet the "bookmakers" were on hand, and whoever might desire a chance to win or lose his money-especially to Jose -need not have sought far. At noon Mr. Ragsdale and Sam took a hurried lunch at the track. The gentleman, as the hour of his trial approached, grew more calm and confident. "Brayles is here,'' he said to Sam. "And he is going to put one filly into the race. He won some money at the trotting race Saturday, and seems to be feeling good. I think he will bide his time and let us do what we can to-day and to-morrow without trying aqy of his tricks." "I hope so," Sam returned. "And as for Tripp, he has behaved like a hero l I begin to love the fellow!" Ragsdale exclaimed, enthusiastically. "Tripp will stand by you in this business,' whatever he does in the future," Sam warmly predicted. -The excitement increased as the hour for the race drew near. Sam kept away from the other jockeys as much as possible, since he was suspicious of some possible attempt to injure him before the morrow, when his part of the affair was to be played. The fact that Brayles seemed to be peaceably inclined did not reassure him. He remembered the prediction of Tripp, and did not intend to be caught off his guard. Sam was standing near Mr. Ragsdale who was conversing with other horsemen, when a boy came running into the midst of the group. He was a freckled youngster, and a younger brother of one of the jockeys. "Where's der N'Y ork chap?<.' he demanded, casting a swift glance from face to face in the group. Ragsdale looked at him quickly. "I'm Mr. Ragsdale; mean me?" he asked. "You're der chap. Come dis way, will yer, and hustle!" The boy started off, but the hand of Ragsdale fell upon his shoulder. "What do you want?" he sternly demanded. "Come outer der crowd and I'll tell yer. He told me not ter be partickler 'bout shoutin' der business from der judges' stand. Git a move on ye, or your part in der race'll be in der soup!" A sudden pallor shot across the face of Mr. Ragsdale. He mo tioned for Sam to follow, and he hurried after the boy, who led them to the spot where Jack Gardner and two or three jockeys were bending over an "object on the ground. "He's took sick," said the boy, glibly, ahead. "Sick I-whom?" a. ' .. ... . J 1 1 .... -.

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.. BRA VE AND BOLD. "Yer jockey-Tripp, dey calls him. Guess he's goin' to'croak, by der way h e takes on I Took sudden jest as he was goin' to take der filly to der post!" Mr. Ragsd a l e did not stop to hear more. With Sam he was at the side of his jockey in an instant. 'falway Tripp it was indeed, who lax groaning upon the sward. "Foul play h ere!" cried Ragsdale. His white fingers felt for the young mans pulse. 'Bring a doctor, quick! There are a dozen on the ground!" ordered. 'What is it, Tripp?" Sam softly asked, as the eyes of t he suf fer e r re s ted upon hi s face. r'I-1 d o n1t know-unless I was-dosed!" was the husky re sponse D osed!" echoed Sam. springing to his feet. And the sharp eyes of the b o y-j o ckey keenly read the expressions upon the faces o f thos e who w ere looking en. But he saw no guilty countenance there. "Tri_pp said there'
PAGE 17

I 16 BRA VE AND BOLD. jockey all he had bargained for if the latter were to make any dis h onorable attempt to defeat him. The signal to go to the post and take their positions was given. The re was no more time to exchange compliments" with the other riders. There was a great crowd o f spectators. In the incessant hum of voices the name s of the favorite horses could be fr eq uently h eard. But that of Jilly was not among those which were men tioned. This was not surprising, since Mr. Ragsdale was a stranger in that locality, and his horses wholly unknown. Still many curious eyes were fixed upon the clean-limbed filly and her youthful rid e r as they came to the post. And once Sam caught the words, from somewhere in the midst of the crowd: "The youngster in blue and white? Oh, that is the chap that takes the place of the jockey that some say was drunk, and others that he was sick. A young lad, and the fiJly, nob ody knows any thing about. A pretty animal, though!" "They'll know m o re about the filly pretty soon!" was Sam's mental comment. He was so excited that he hardly heard what the starter was saying. But a sudden hush f ell upon the crowd; then the signal sounded and he saw the flag fall I Obedient to rein and whip the racers shot away upon the track. A yell went up from the spectators. It was a good s tart. Sam glanced to the right He m e t the l eering look of Lanky. Jilly and the lean colt of his rival were neck-and-neck. CHAPTER XIII. THE RACE. Away sped the racers over the damp track, the jockeys with bent backs an d g r i mly set lips, every horse doing n o bly, the thunder of their hoofs sounding the murmur from the crowd. Sam knew that the eyes of his employer were fixed upon him with all the inte n sity of a man whose fortune-perhaps who se life-hun upon the result of the race. Sam had n o t expected the start to be made so successfully. It is not often that both jockeys and horses behave so correctly that the fir'st attempt may be called a start. But the truth was, only Lanky had the disposition to play any of the racetrack tri 7 ks which are so common, and he had a plan for defeating Sam later. The horse rode by Lanky was no untried runner. He had made a r eco rd at Coney Island; some said that a former owner had made him close to a winner. Lanky and his h o rse were, indeed, the leading card to draw a crowd to this rural handicap. Zebra-as the colt was called-=-seemed to know what was ex p ecte d of him. Perhaps his equine ears he ard of his own unique name oftenest mentioned am ng spectators and bettors. For the first furl ong th e s i x rac e rs were well "bunched," that la. no marke d lead was gained by any one. lt promised to be a close race, and a good one. But suddenly Sam realized that four of his rivals were falling behind. One or two began to trail-to lag so far in the rear that shouts of deri sio n came from the crowd. T hen the name of Zebra went up in a thunder of applause, and our hero saw that his enemy was leading the p ace. Yet a moment later "Jilly!" was shouted, and he knew that she was preS!:ing hot upon the trail of th e lead e r. The first quarter was run; they shot past the starter again, and once more Sam felt the intense look of his employer upo n him "Blue and Whit Sam I" came to his ears in a feminine -voice; and the ears of our hero tin gled and his h ea r t swelled as he heard the title. Genie North was upon the grand stan d and s he, too, was watching him with eyes that were eager to see him win. "Win I must!" he muttered. He b ent upon the n eck of the filly with murmured words of en couragement He had used whip and spur sparing l y thus far, and' Jilly seemed to appreciate his forbearance. But now she must understa nd that there would be a penalty jf sh e were to let the lea n colt win the race. Under hi s increased urging she seemed to develop a new pace. She had not been lagging at all; s he merely had not been doin g her lev e l best at the start. Sam could feel the acceleratioi;i, of s p eed, and a moment more h e found himself closing with Zebra once more. L an ky did not l ook backward, yet he was keenly aware of the trem en dou s pace of the filly For the first time it actually oc curred to him 'that lie really h a d a dangerous rival in the race. From the first he had not spa red whip or spur. The h orse h e was riding was really a m agnificent animal, and the jockey knew h ow to bring out all that was in him. There were other good h o r ses in t he r ace, and a nky had at first thought little of Jilly and her rider. He knew the latter was comparatively green on the track. As for the filly, he might have fe are d what she could do with Tripp's hand o n the r ein, for there were few jockeys in the country the equal of the eccentric Tripp when the latter had a mind to do his best. Somethin g of this sort doubtless flitted through the mind of Lanky when h e first und erstood that Sam was to ride Jilly. If he could beat the l atter fairly, that would b e better than to resort to any trick. And, s ince th e r egula r j o ckey was out of the race he had not the shadow of a doubt of his ability to win. 'A' hat was his chagrin, therefore, when he became conscious o f the steady and incr eas ing pace of Ragsdale's filly. They h ad been neck -an d-neck at the start; but Zebra had be e n made to lead so soon after that Lanky had di s missed all thought of the filly and the jockey in blue and white Lanky knew now that in the filly and her boy rider lay his only danger of defeat. To "foul" the latter, and so gain a temporary advantage, was easy to do, was Lanky's thought, so h e did not despair of his o wn success, even when he saw that Sam was riding the better horse But a race won by such tactics better not be won at all, since the fraud is more than likely to b e discovered. Therefore Lanky determined first to make sure that his own horse was doing his b est. Jilly was cree ping up. In another moment colt and filly would once more be neck-and-neck. But at this ;.oment Lanky put whip and spur to his horse with merciless force. The animal fairly quivered under the pain, and redoubled his alEeady nobl e efforts to le a d For the moment Zebra seemed in a fair way of gai n ing what h e h a d lost But at the same time Sam increased hi s efforts Jilly, and there foll o wed for half a minute as pretty an exhibition of "nip-and-tuck" running between the two animals as was ever shown upon any track. A cheer arose from the spectators, who were by this time fairly wild in their enthusia sm. But Mr. Ragsdale, with p ale face and compressed lips, fairly held his breath in his anxiety for the outcome. So far he had been amazed at the splendid riding of the b oy jockey On and on flew the horses and riders, a blended maze of colors. Some of those in the rear began to show up in a grand burst of )

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 17 speed, and it began to look as if the lead might be disputed by "dark horses." Ther e was more than one favorite on the track. And when one of these gained a temporary lead over those in the bunch, shouts of applause shook the air. But it became more and m o re plain that the rac e was to lie be tween the two leaders. The very fact that both the owner and th e rider of the wonderful filly were comparatively -unknown among the spectato r s and even to the sporting men, now called about them more interest than would have been centered upon them otherwise. Once more Zebra and Jilly were running side by side. The latter was gain ing The jockeys did not look at each other; yet Sam knew that his enemy was plotting to d efea t him by foul means if he could not do so by fair. Z ebra suddenly made a forward lep.p, as though he had been seized by a power greater even than hi s own splendid sinews. he spurt carried him ahead o f Sam's filly, and the boy j ockey saw the colt bearing across his track, while Lanky made a sudden show of sawing at the bit. 0A wasp !-stung!" came from between the compressed lips of Lanky, loud enough for Sam to hear. Sam had no breath to respond. The behavior of his rival was throwing the latter across the track, and in anothe r m o m ent would oompel the filly either to swerh from her course or to break her pace. It was plainly the purpose of the other to "foul" our hero, so far as he could do so without the aid of the other participants in the race "Th e wasp business is a fraud!" was the thought of Sam. At th same time he could not help but wonder what had Jent the sudden imp e tu s to the running o f Zebra. To recover hi s position would be impossible for Sam with the other running so close, and half a length ahead of him. -'!"here was no time to be J ost Zebra, under the sudden spurt o f speed, had gained the lead, but it seemed to have cost the colt dearly in the force which should have been rese rved until the last. The superb animal actually faltered for a moment, and the spec tators thought he wonld fall. A startling suspicion at that instant crossed the mind of Sam. At the same time h e took advantage of the faltering of his rival tp swerve a littl e from the cou rse so as to have the road cl ea r ahead. This permitted several of the other racers to make a slight gain, and those who thought the race already a settled thing, ut te red a shout of renewed interest. But Sam knew that Jilly had not y e t run herself out, and he now r edoub led his efforts to bring out the best that was in her. Whip and spu r were us ed now-not cruelly-but with that exact measur which the exigency required. And Jilly seemed suddenly to straighten h e r slim bocfy, and then to s h oot ahead as though she had bu r just left th e post. Cheers arose upon the air. The crow d was growing wild with admiratio n for t h e beautiful filly and her youthful rider about whom so little was known. They were upon the homestr e tch now. Zebra, recovering from the mysterious exhaustio n, which had seemed m ome n tarily to overcome him, was again taking his great, steady leaps that made him only riv a l of the filly. He was half a length in the rear of the latter, but was losing nothing. It seemed now to the breathless watchers that the race would be won or lost in a final spurt at the last. The finish was to tell the sto ry. The critical moment was close at hand. Zebra again began to move up, closing the gap, and his backers f e lt that their expectations in this superb horse were to be ful filled, after all. But again Blue and \Vhite Sam urged his horse. Once more Jilly was ga ining. And then Zebra made another of those mys terious forward plunges, as though he were lifted by a super natur a l power. The spurt brought him to the side of Jilly, neck and-neck. The last m oment had come. The spectators saw the boy j ockey straighten his form, and a yell went up. CHAPTER XIV. THE JOCKEY'S TRICK. "Won I" breathed the only silent man in that wild crowd of watchers. Mr. Ragsdale it was who uttered the exclamation. His senses seemed to reel, for at the last moment it had seemed to him that the boy jockey fairly lifted Jilly under the wire. If the owner was nearly prostrated by the revulsion of feeling, Sam, the boy j oc key, was not less impressed. It was some time before Sam could get to his employer so that they could exchange a syllable that others might not hear. I am saved!" gasped Mr. Rags
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18 BRAVE AND BOLD His cheeks burned. but personal feelings did not eclipse his proud sense of hav1ng save d his employer from the disaster which a treacherous enemy \H uld have brought epon him. Mingled with these a1:d other emotions was the memory that he was no longer without money or friends. \Vith a thousand dollars in clean money as the fruit of his work, he felt that 11e had won the beginning of a forttme. A jockey who could win such a race would have enongh t o do during the racing seasons, and he might almost name hi s own price Sam stepped from the scales. He saw Lanky in the rear of the other jockeys who were waiting to be we.igh ed. One of the judges, a po!iE:eman and Mr. Ragsdale wl'fe with him. He was remonstrating with them in tmmistakablc excite ment. A boy darted away through the crowd, and presentiy re turned with Bamford Brayles. ''What's this?" demanded the latter, addressing the p olicema n, but bestowing a savage l ee r upon Mr. Ragsdale. ''Your jockey is charged with u s ing fraudulent means for de feating his rival in the race. You know what the rules were un der which your horse was entered. lf the charge against the jockey is fal se, he can prove it easily. That i s all we ask." Brayles repressed the angry retort which was on his lip s He tmned to Lanky. The latter met his gaze. The j oc key was plainly ill at ease. "How is it, Daniel?" his employer asked. ''That kid ," pointing t o Sam, "knows what was th e matter as well as I. It was a fair race, and I should have won it if the colt hadn't broke down at the last minute. And that kid knows why thC! colt broke, if he is hone st' enough to stand by what he knows!" Sam was s ilent. A s the winner he could well afford to hold his 11eace until questioned. Yet he was determined that Lanky should know that he under stood the trick he had played. ''I may bt a kid," was thonght of Sam. "But he mustn't think I'm any greener tha11 T look. We may rid e against each other in a race at some future time, and it will be wall for him to have me sited up where I belong!" Brayles did not manifest any affection in the gaze which he now be stowed upon the boy jockey. "You hear what my man says?" the hors ey man demanded. "I heard," Sam answered. "Well, what caused my horse to make that plunge just before he reached the ; wire?" "The same thing that maqe him plunge and break half a minute before that." "Well, what was it?" "Lanky said it was a wasp-that the colt was stung." "Was that it?" And Brayles tl]rned again to his jockey. "I thought so," said Lanky. "Anyhow, there was a wasp buzzed aro\lnd. me the first time." Sam looked a.t the judge and smiled. The latter gentleman quietly said: "We mig'ht b@lieve that the colt was $t\lng once, but that the same thing happened again, just at the most critical moment, is tQo much to credit, ev\!n from a New York jockey." "The word of one jockey is as good as that of another," said Brayles. "And if that boy thinks there was fraud, why there is just as good reason for saying there was a trick on his side, too, since he won, and with a hoTse that nobody expected would make a showing at all. I'm well known at the best tracks in the country. But that man and the boy !-who ever heard of them?" and judge sxniled at this remark froin Bamford Bra;ylc'-"Y'le were heard from to-day,'" said Sam. And the bystanders laugh e d "There are various tricks among jockey s for giving their horses a burst of speed," said the judge. "But there is only one to my knowledge that will act like the one just played by your man, Mr. Brayles. Young Ta)bot, here, says. that some h ave been caught using electricity for stimulating a horse to greater effort. What does your Daniel say to that?" Lanky's sallow cheeks flushed and his eyes fell. He cast a hurried glance at h i s employer. "lf he did anything of that sort it was not by any orders of mine!" snarled Brayles. "Thell you are willing to have him examined!" "Yes!" Lanky uttered an imprecation and ran precipitately through the crowd, disappearing like a shadow. lt is said that when a perso n accused of a crime commits sui cide. it i s paramount to a confession o f guilt. So, when one runs away rather than stand a simple test to prove hi s ow n innocence, there i:; likewi se good reason for believing that the ac.cusc.d k nows conviction to bt inevitable. So it was w i th opinion in the case of Brayles j o ckey. "h's a pretty trick if it i sn't w o rked too strong," said S am to one of the judges who qu es tioned him. "But Lanky m11de a bungle of it. Yon see, he had a s mall electric batte ry attached to his belt, out of sight. Wires ran from that down each leg to his spurs. He could touch the horse with one spur at a time and the horse would feel only the prick of the points But let him touch with both Spurs together and there you get a circuit. And the 'juice puts the colt on his mettle in fine shape! I've heard of race s being won by that trick!" "But this one was lost How wa s that?" "Too strong a battery. A little electricity may be go o d, but you don't want to send a lightnin' bolt through him!" "How about Wildfire to-morrow?" asked Sam of hi s employer, after the late race and their own success had been di sc u sse d in all its a s pects. Mr. Ragsdale had already given the boy a check for $1,000. ;,We must wait and see," said he, with a frown. "This race has saved you from the trouble yon was afraid o(?" 'Yes At least, I have now got money enough. But we have made our enemy more bitter .than ever. It might be best for us t q move on-for me, at ieast-and to lie low. He may find a way to trouble us." The next morning found Talway Tripp better. But he was very .pale, and the attending doctor declared that he had unmis takably been dosed with some nauseous drug. Sam stayed with him for an hour. and the eccentric jockey was enthusiastic over our hero's success. ''Ragsdale woo't have any more use for me now," he said. "Don't be so sure of that," Sam returned. "You needn't think I feel bad about it. You know I expected to get the 'sack' after the race, anyway. I'll get even with Bam ford Brayles for that dosing, see if I don't. And you hetter look out. He'll put you under the weather before he gets through, if you give him a chance." Sam went to the track in the forenoon, although l\fr decided that he had better not put Wildfire on trial. His attention was attracted at once by a seedy-looking in dividual who had a tough-looking nag hitched to a sulky, and was spinning around the track in a jerky, grotesque .to the great amusement of boys and idlers who were on hand to ob$crve the free show obtainable when racers ar/ being, tried before the race.

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. I BRA VE ANnl BOLD. The stranger had a sulky of the latest pattern, pneumatic tired, and, what was more noticeable still, his nag seemed to have some capacity in the w a y of speed After goin g tw o o r three times around the track, the stranger drew off and s e e med on the point of driving away. But Sam det a ined him. The boy noticed that the horse was lame in a peculiar way, of wh i ch he believ e d he could detect the cause He would go at a sple ndid trot for a short distance, and then ..yould "break," apparently on account of the lameness. "This outfit for sale?" Sam asked, as he allowed his han ds to glide down the slim leg s of the horse, in a critical way. The man, who h a d hay-colored h air and whiskers, and small, twinkling eyes sh o ok his head, showing his teeth in a mute grin "Why not?" the boy persisted. "I'll sell t he sulky. The hoss I'm bound ter knock in the head,'' the man replied, in strong nasal tones. "How is that?" "Ag reed to do it. Ruthe r, I swore I'd knock the critter dead with an ax, and da'sent go back on my oath!" A broad e r grin parted the hay-colored whiskers when this state ment wa s s poken. Sam s cent e d a countryman's joke of some sort. "He i sn't old-not much more than a colt, by his teeth," was Sam' s comment "Five yea r t o a m onth," said the other. "Broke for trott i g ?" Y as. If 'twa s for plowin' or haulin' stun I'd let the critter live. But I can'f a bide a h o ss that'll run with a plow plum over a stun wall ancf a: hi ck'ry s tump. Can't lick him inter a walk with anythin g heavier than thi s 'ere sulky behind him!". "Not much of a beast for farm w ork if th at's the case," said Sam. "Cours e not. Ye see, I tuck the critter for a d ebt from a French Canu ck. H e s aid the h o s s had trotted in two-twenty, and would better it if he wa s n t lam e He Jaid suthin' was the matter with hi s huffs I 'low e d him ninety dollars for him. He hated like time to settle with me, but after it was done he d e clared the critte r wa n t fit for crow-meat. Said nothin' in all creation would cure his lamen e ss, and that Old Nick couldn't make the hoss work haulin' He swore he wouldn't haul a feather-bed d o wn hill. I guessed I knew better. And so I swore I'd cure the cri tter's lam e ne ss and make him work inside of a month, or knock him in the head with an ax. But the Frenchman was right. And I'm g o in hum to whack out the beast's brains I" Sam's eyes glistened "Give you fifty d o llars for him!" he exclaimed. "Dead?" queried the other. "No; just as he s tands.'' "Can't do it Lay me right tn a lie, ye see, since I sw<'>re I'd kill him Sam caught the rumble of wheds down the road. He saw a bug gy approaching, with Bamford Brayles and a policeman in the scat. Let me try the beast, won't you?" he hurriedly asked. The farmer grinned, relinquished the seat and reins to the boy jockey, and the latter moved at a swift, noiseless pace up the smooth, level road. CHAPTER XV. SAM AND THE TOUGH-LOOKING NAC>. The farmer with the hay-colored whiskers was an eccentric and well-known citizen, who lived on a Connecticut River farm, between the two cities of Springfield and Holyoke. His name wa s L e ander Lovell. He prided himself upon his oddities; he was reputed to be wealthy, and m a de himself prominent in all the country fairs and ho1'Se races in that part of the county. He had reco g nized Sam as the plucky young rider of Jilly in the e x citing race of the day b e fore. He divined that, as the winner of a race, the boy must have been well paid, and would there fore be in a p o sit i on to buy the lame horse. "He thinks h e knows all about 'em, same as I did," was the re flection of the farmer. I han't deceived him none If he wants th e beast he can have him at a fair figger, and takes him with his eyes open. But jest now he wanted to git out of the way of the c1,.ps comin' yonder-I see through that. That's why he was in sich a hurry to try the ho ss I han't nothin' agin' the youn g ster, and if my nag will help him git away from that hossy New Yorker, let em whizz !" Boy and lame trotter were out of sight when Bamford Brayles and the policeman came up Lovell was sauntering toward the park entra nce, but paused as they halted beside him. "Who w a s that who just drove off in your sulky, Leander?" the policeman demanded. "Dunno what his name is. One of them jockeys," was the indiffer ent re to rt. "The on e th a t rode the winning horse y esterday?" "Yas I guess twas. Didn't particular." "Where has he g o n e?" "Dunno. Wanted to try my nag and I told him he might drive him clean to Schod ac k if h e wa nted ter I" "''C o ming ri gh,t back, isn't he?" "Tell ye I don't know. But if you're wantin' of him pretty bad, I w o uldn't s e t my h eart on his c o min around punctual, for h e seen y e c omin and won t be likely to run right inter yer arms as 'twe re !" Brayles did not know the eccentric farmer, nor his importance in the communi t y and was on the point of launching a sharp remark at the l a tter, but was checked by the officer. "You don't w ant to treat that chap as a hayseed,'' said the policeman, in an undertone. "If you've any authority, can't you make him tell you where the boy ha s gone?" Brayles demanded. "He may not know, as he says. We had better go easy, since we hav e n t b e en able to make out a very dark case against the boy. He'll com e back in due time, and then we can take him in custody. But Leander Lovell isn t a man to be bulldozed!" "I' d better drive in purrnit, hadn't I? If he turn about to return we 'll .meet him ; if not, we can overtake him." This was spoken loud enough for Lovell to hear. Immediately the latter began to scrutinize the horse hitched to the buggy, particularly about the animal' s shoulders. "What're you looking at?" Brayles impatiently asked. "Oh, jest to see if that critter had a pair o' wings tucked a.way anywhere, that's all!" "What do you mean?" "Nothin', only if your critter can't fly, there ain't no sense in yer tryin' to ketch that h o ss of mine. A buggy with your heft in side of it an't no busin e ss cha s in' a pneumatic tire, with a Canuck trotter haulin' of it, and an up-to-date youngster drivin' !" "Better let him alone, Mr. Brayles," laughed the officer, "Leander is loaded to the muzzle, every time. We will wait a while before we take charge of the boy. Our warrant will keep, and there is no use fretting. But, about the man? You said something about giving information against Ragsdale, the owner of the winning horse yesterday If your story is true, it is impor-

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20 BRA VE AND BOLD. tant that we consult with the chief of police, and have the gent detained till we hear from New York." Brayles made a savage grimace that indicated emotions which it would not 1:ave been prudent then to express. But he turned the team around and drove back toward the city without uttering any response. Lovell watched them out of sight, chuckling A little later he was driving up the road in the direction taken by Sam with another tc:am which he had stabled nearby. At the end of two miles he met Sam with the lame colt, com ing at a cautious pace back towa r d the park. Both halted. "Think I had decamped with your ?" Sam asked "Not a bit of it I I see through it all-you wanted to git outt*' the way of that hossy chap and the officer. Ye needn't go any furder, for ther've gone back to the city. Jest keep yer eyes peeled and be a little shy, and ye'll be all right. The policeman don't keer 11;0thin' about ye, and if you run, he won't break his neck to foller." '"Do you know what sort of a charge Brayles had trumped up against me?" asked Sam. "Don't know nothin about it. But-say-what d'ye think of the colt? Limps wuss'n a three-legged saw-horse, don't he?" "Pretty bad." Sam alighted and examined the off hindfoot of the animal in a critical way, and then the nigh forefoot. "Who shod him the last time?" Sam asked. "Holyoke blacksmith-best one in Hampden County, too!" "Did he think he could fix 'em so he wouldn't limp?" "Yas. And I felt sure on't myself. That's what I thought ailed the hoss. That"s where I found that the Canuck knew what he was talkin' about, while I didn't." "Tried more than one smith?" "Yas-three. Bossed the job myself. Land, I've shod bosses, and could do it myself as well as anybody if I had the tools. No good, though, with that critter. That's why I'm so sot on whackin' out his "You don't mean it, Mr. Lovell. You say the horse stands you ninety dollars. Now, I expect to leave these parts pretty soon, and I don't want to ride in the cars if I can go any other way I'll give you ninety, cash, for the horse, and what you say for the sulky." "And lay me right in a lie!" grinned Lovell. "Your conscience will let you off easy on that score, I guess," laughed Sam. "No it won't. I've said what I d do, and there's no way of gettin' out on't, onless the hoss ups and dies a natural death." A bright thought occurred to Sam. There must be some way of overcoming the ridiculous obstinacy of the farmer. "You didn't say when you would kill the horse, did you?" Sam asked. "I didn't set no partic'lar time." "Then sell me the colt, and I'll give you a written agreement to return the animal to you when he becomes useless to me, or to the future owner. Then you can carry out your threat to kill the colt." "No, that won't do. I said I wouldn't sell, and I'll be blessed if I'm goin' to. But-see here!" Leander Lovell seemed to have thought of a loophole of escape from the pledges which he had give11 as to the disposition of the l ame colt. "Well what is it?" Sam dema n ded. "I r eckon we can fix it, after all." "How?" "I'll lease ye t:e colt for ninety-nine years. At the end of that period, if the critter still holds the fort, you're to return him to me, to be knocked in the head as agreed! vVhat do you say to that?" Sam looked at the farmer sharply, to see if he were in earnest in the ridiculous proposition. Not a sign of humor showed through the hay-colored beard of Mr. Lovell. Sam promptly said: "I'll take a lease of the colt, if you make the consideration low enough. Name the money." "Ninety-nine dollars-payable in advance!" "Do you guarantee the horse to live till the end of the term?" ''No; but I'll guarantee that he'll limp as long as he breathes. Come_..:.what d'ye say?" '"It is a bargain. And the sooner the papers are made out, the sooner you will finger the money." '"D'ye want to drive back to Springfield?" Sam remembered that Bamford Brayles might have planne
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BRA VE AND BOLD. 2I shop-much as a boy will do ith a new pair of s._hoes on that feel a little stiff. Still. at a slow walk, the old limp did not appear: Sam took heart, the blacksmith stared. Again hitched t o the sulky, Sam drove mp was gone. After paying the blacksmiih liberally Sam I CHAPTER XVI. "TliEY HAVE; STOLEN MY "By all the powers!" gas ped Sam, staring at the grotesque figure and haggard ice of his employer. "Keep a sharp l oo kout, Sam, and tell me if yo1,1 see 1tn1body coming," the strang& yomig man exclaimed, with a 11.ervous glance up and down the levd road. The road seemed to be deserted. Clouds were gathering along the ho1fiw11, avd there was tht indi cation of coming rain in the air. "What tu the nam. e of wonder his happened, Mr. Ragsdale? You look
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22 BRA VE AND BOLD. "And you don't even know but I'm just as bad as my enemies try to make me out," the other continued. "That's your affair, not mine, unless I know it to be true." "Is that animal sound, and equal to steady work every day for a month?" "That's what I want to find out. He is a Canada chap him self, and will think he is going home if we drive in that direction." "Good 1-a Canada horse is the best for our purpose. And you say he Calj trot. Well, Sam, I would to have you with me, but I don't want to pull you into trouble. So far as money is con cerned, I will make it worth your while. We must have a heavier vehicle than that, as you say. Go straight to my stable-Jack Gardner is still there-and get my wagon. Be quiet about it-slip away easy-Jack will help you-and for goodness' sake, Jose no time!" While the man was speaking there was the rumble of wheels, and without another word Ragsdale slipped back into the thicket from which he had emerged. Sam could hardly realize that this cringing, slinking person was his late employer. Mr. Ragsdale had ordinarily the airs of a self reliant gentleman. Yet there he was slying in and out of the bushes, and muffled up like a thief. Our hero Jost no time in driving to the cottage and stable which had been the headquarters of the hors eman. The team which they heard coming belonged to a countryman going home from the races. The driver gave Sam only a passing glance. The boy-jockey drew up at the stable, but found a youth of his own age instead of Jack Gardner in charge. "Where is Mr. Ragsdale's man?" Sam demanded, after giving the stranger a searching scrutiny. "Gone into the city," was the reply. "When will he be back?" "Half an hour, so he said." "I can't wait so long as that; and we don't know each other, so we've got to make some kind of a trade;'' said Sam. l The other grinned. "You're the feller that rode the winnin' boss in the race yesterday-so I knows you,'' he declared. ''.All right-then we needn't have any trouble." And Sam briefly stated what he had come after, without entering into any explanations. "That's all right-Gardner told me what to do and what not to do,'' said the youth. And without further question he began to back out the wagon which Sam had called for. The young jockey had not the slightest reason to suspect anything to be wrong, and as he might nqt have another opportunity for some time to see Genie North, he ran into the cottage, leaving the stable-boy fo make the change of vehicles. Genie met hitn with her face aglow with deliglit. He told her briefly of what he was about to do, and of his purchase of the Canadian trotter. They talked very fast, and neither had any idea how swiftly the minutes flew. "I have found emplojrment in the city,'' the girl declared, "and so, when you come back this way, as I suppose you will some day, it will not be very hard foryou to find me." "You may count on my coming back-and maybe next time I will enter a horse of my own for the races." "I'm sure you will win if you do I" said Genie, with her bright est smile. As she spoke, they heard a sound outside as of approaching footsteps. Sam ran to a window, which was open, and thrust out his head. In the act he met with one of the completest snrprises of his life. For there was some one crouching underneath the window outside, who at the same instant happened to be raising his head to peer cautiously into the room. The consequence was that Sam's head collided with force with that of the eavesdropper. "Jerusalem!" ga ped Sam, while myriad stars danced before his vision. An even more forcible expression came fr o m the one outside, followed by the sound of hurriedly retreating footsteps. The young jockey looked out again as soon ashe could recover his wits. As he did so he heard a shout from the direction of the stable. Genie, in the meantime, had opened the door and ran out upon the step. She returned with whitening cheeks. "Quick, Sam !-somebody is driving off with your horse and sulky!" she cried. Even as she gave the alarm the boy saw his team whirl past the house in a cloud of d!st. He did not recognize the form upon the seat. At a bound the young jockey was out of the cottage, and with a single glance after the retreating team, he ran furiously to the stable. There stood the wagon just as the unknown youth had backed it out. The youth himself was gone. "It is a trick !-they have stolen my h o r se !" For a moment Sam was stunne d by th e startling di s covery. Then he sprang to a stall, flung saddl e and bridle onto the oc cupant, led tli latter forth and mounted He hM cho s en W i ldfire-the "wild h o r s e h e had tamed. Away they thundered in pursuit of the unknown thief. CHAPTER XVII. 6 ... A HOT CHASE. As Bk1e and White Sam sped past the cottage he beheld Genie North standing in the doorway. She made a hurried signal to him with her hand, accompany ing the gesture with an exclamation of which he did n o t cat c h the But he soon was made to understand what she in tended to convey. As he sped down the road, he felt a slight mist upon his face. It was about to rain. It still lacked two hours to sunset, yet a grayish dusk was settling upon the land s cape. He had not procc!'eded a hundred yards before he saw something lying in the road a short distance ahead. He pulled up be side the object. At the same time the latter res p lved itself into the form of a boy, who was in the act of struggling painfully to his feet. "Hello-.--.it's the young jockey, is it?" exclaimed the one upon the ground. And Sam recognized him as the boy whom he had left to hitch the horse the wagon in Mr. Ragsdale's stable. He was bruised and bleeding about the face, and his clothes looked as if he had been dragged in the road. "Where is my horse-Max and the sulky? No fooling, ngw, unless you want me to ride over ye!" Max was the name that had been given to the "Canuck" trotter, It was Blue and White Sam who spoke, and so excited was he that he shook his clinched hand in the face of the prostrate youth, while the latter be,_wilderedly wiped the blood and dirt from his cheeks. 1 "Gone-that way;" the other Answered, with a wave of his hand down the cross-road. ... -t I ..

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BRA VE AND BOLD. "Thrbwed you out, did he? Good enough, for playing that kind of a trick." "I wa'n't in it at all, I tell ye. A feller jumped in before I seen what he was up to, and whipped up. That animal scooted off like a rocket1 but I made a jump Jtnd caught onto the back of the team and hung on lik e a l obste r while w e went spinning down the road. I yelled enough to scare a Chinaman so't you'd hear. ''Then it was you that shouted the alarm that brought me out of the house-at1d it was somebo dy else who ha s stolen Max? T ha t begins to clear up things. And you tried to stop him?" 'Qf course I did. But I might as well tried to stop a comet by ketc;hing onto the tail I Tl1e man kept laying on t e licks_, and after we had got out of the barn he turned and told me to drop or he'd some l ead inter me!" \i\' ho was the man?" Sam asked, aft:r a moment's reflecti6n, during which he swiftly tnrned ove r all the recent events in his mind. "I don't know who h e was." "\Vhat is your n.'1me? It looks as if you tried to do the right thing by me, and 1'11 make it right with yo u if you will help me get back my horse." y name is Steve Hooper. Jack Gardner is my uncle." This information gave Sam a sense of relief, for it was a guarantee of the faithfulness of the youth whom he had been at fir s t inclined to distrust. f Ragsdale's ho stler was faithful as the s un, although he was far from being brilliant Sam wa s not thinking alone of his own horse, for if this youth had been a s py in the employ of1 Bamford 'Brayles, Mr. Ragsdale's property certainly was not safe. "Did yo u ever see the man that ran off with my horse before to-day?" the boy jockey pursued. "Yes, two or three times." 'Who he with when you noticed him at the track yesterday?" "With that New York horsey-looking man-Brayles, I believe they call him." I Sam compressed his lips. staring down the road which would soo n be enshrouded in twilight gloom. He had no longer any doubt as to the identity of the one who had sto len his horse, and the brief descripti o n which he proceeded to draw forth vom Steve Hooper only confirmed wha t he was almost certain of before. The thief was the bulldog villain, the companion of. Bamford Brayles-Cashin. Sam mounted Wildfire, and Steve Hooper saw him again speed ing down the lonely wad. For half an hour Blue and Sam rode swiftly onward. Tnen he behetd the glimmer of a Tight aHead and slackened his pace. Dismounting, he led the steed slowly forward until his .eye;; were greeted by the sight of a small house from a window of which the light s h one. . I Beyond the dwelling S\vept the broad current of Connecticut River, aero s which 3 barge wa being propelled. Sam Talbot stoop on the bank of the river and stare d at the and its cargo. Despite the deepening gloom h e could see that the latter con s isted of two men, a h o r se and sulky, the latte.r tilted up for la c k of room. The men were working a pair of oars for all they were worth, and the barge was making slow headway diagonally across the current. "My horse, and my sulky!" exclaimed Sam. He glanced up and down the rivet bank in quest of another barge. But n one was in sight, nor even a rowboat. "Here, you l" he shouted at the: top of his voice. "Fetch back that team! You'll get into trouble if you don't!" The barge was not so far distant but tbe occupants could have heard every word. He saw one of the men falter with his oar for a moment, but he soo n fell to again with increa sed cinergy. He tethered Wildfire to a tree and kno10ked on the door of the dwelling. vVhil e he waited for an answer to his summons he kept glancing impatiently toward the receding barge. The door was opened by a woman, who glared at him sus piciou sly. "Do you ferry pe ople across the river here?" Sam inquired; He assumed an air of cltlmness which he did not feel. ''Hank does, when he 's to hum," was the answer. And the old woman's eyes twinkled behind her spectacles as though she cov. 'etecl the fee. ''On the other side of the river is he?" "I expect so. Can t ye wait?" "Haven't you another barge?" "No. One man can't paddle more'n one at a time, and it don't pay to hire." :rs the river deep along here?" "Deep enough to drown a dozen like you, on<; on top o' t'other Ye might swim, if ye an't afeard of gittin' wet l" And the woman s howed her gums in a mirthless grin. Sam took some money from a pocket and held it up for her to see. "I've got a l o n g journey to take alone," he said, "and I want to buy something to replace a lost weapon. A pistol of any kl'nd will do, and I'll pay a good price. And quick about it, with a dollar extra!" The woman's eyes twinkled 15reedily, yet she hisitated. "I da'sent ye a pistol I" she said. "Why not?" "Hank will jaw me if I do l" "Let him_,.jaw !" "And I ain't got only one. He's got t'other." "One's enough, my woman. But don't Quaker about it all night. Give me something that will shoo t, if it's a dynamite cartridge. Fiftten dollars-say the word!" "1'wenty." whispered the woman. "Fi-ve to stop Hank's growljn' !" "All right. Trot out the gun, with something to foad it with. I'm in the biggest kind of a hurry." The woman disappeared with alacrity, and soon returned with a revolver which Sam htJrriedly examined. It seemed to be a new one, and th e box of cartridges which she handed him had not been opened. ''It's loaded-\hirty-two bore-bran-fired new!" s he declared, as he handed he.r the r.1\Jney. It was a good price to pay, but San\ had a feeling tl : iat it might a good ii;,vestment for him in the end. He did not w a it to bid the woman good-night, but hurrying out to wh;-e he h ad tied Wildfire, looked to see if the barge had gotten across the river. It had just touched the o pp os ite bank, and one of the lllen was io the act of leading Ma;.; ashore. The river at that point was someth ing Jess than four hundred yards wide. Samclose to the ground, and then shouted, at the top of hi s voice: "Fetch back that team! I'll find a way to stop if you don't!" The one who had started to lead the horse ashore was seen to

PAGE 25

24 BRA VE AND BOLD. pau s e while the other stood at th1e stern of the barge, as though waiting for orders. But no reply came back. Even at that distance Sam could see which was Cashin. It was the latter who h ad Max by the head. "You hear what I sa y?" Sam shouted again. diately. For he saw the footprints of a horse, fr eshiy" made, and leading up to the deserted dw e lling The boy jockey led Wildfire into an adjacent thicket and care fully tethered the animal. Then he apprpached the old h ouse. He stepped in and stood listl(ning f6r a moment. No sound came froni with in. All was dark and still. This time Cashin gave an order of some sort to the ferryman, and proceeded to lead the horse ashore. Sam took out his new pistol, cocked the weapoo, and fir ed a shot in the air. Of course he did not int e nd to shoot toward the horse-thief, for in doing so there was a greater probability of hitting the horse than the man, and he did not wish to do violence to either. The l ante rn was not light ed, and Sam decid e d to re connoiter the barn before searching the interior of the house. He accora ingly closed the door, and made his way toward the outbuildings. As has been a l ready hinted the latter were not in so good re pair as the house. The old barn was ventilated upon all sides with l oose battens, which kept flapping noisily in the night wind. The great doors were half off their hinges, and one of them stood But the flash of the weapon, with the s piteful report, which sent its echoes startlingly along the beautiful valley, lent a sort of emphasis to the b oy's threa t. And Cashin evidently he s itated, at a l oss whether to take the risk of carrying out his bold under taking. The ferryman had a lantern, a nd by its light Sam could observe their movements with absolute distinctness. The darkness was de e pening momentarily. The jockey realized that the chances of Cashin's escape were greatly ass isted by this fact. Sam grew more desperate every instant. He saw Cashin hitch ing Max to the sulky. The ferryman stepped upon his barge a nd began slowly to propel the craft in a homeward direction. "Fetch your boat over here lively!" Sam c a lled to him, m spired by a h o p e of being conveyed across the river, so as to re sume the pursuit before the thief could get far. "Want to cross?" the man asked, as he accelerated the speed of the boat. "Yes; and it will be big money for you to accommodate me. That isn't all-if you help tha t thief to get away you'll have some constables onto you within twenty i four hours. So put in the licks with that oar!" "Hank" seemed to be impressed by the double inducement pro posed by the young jockey Probably Cashin had not taken him into h i s confidence, and he did not know that it was a boy instead of a man with whom he had to deal. The ferryman quickly reached the spot where S a m was standing. By this time Wildfire w:is in a highly n e rvous condition, and it was with that the boy could persuape the animal to go aboard the barge. And once aboard, our hero had his hands full to restrain the colt from jumping overboard. However, the transit was made in safety. Sam landed and mounted Wildfire, whose confidence in her young master increased the longer they were together. Hank gave the boy jockey directions conc e rning the road s in the vicinity, and made several suggestions which might aid in the pursuit of the thief Then our hero rode away upon a lonely stretch of road that r;n in a course nearly parallel with the river while the rain beat in his face and the darkness settled like a pall over the landscape. Half an hour later he dpied an old farmhouse, setting well back from the road, and which presented a deserted, appearance. _The hour was not yet late, yet no light gleamed from the win d ows of the dwelling. The night was cool and damp but no white wreath of smoke curled upward from the throat of the great chimney. A tumble-down barn stood near the house The premises were those of one of the "deserted farms" which one may find h ere and there even in the most prosperous sections of New England. . Again Sam ll'loked for tracks, but this time he took care to shie l d the li iht from observation, and to extinguish it immeajar. Sam approached it and0 thrust recoiled with a low ejaculation to his weapon. his face up to the opening. He of dis1 '\)', while his hand flew A tall form stepped halfway out and stood fully revealed. And in the rear ,of this figure another face was thrust out from the darkness of the interior of the barn. Sam drew his pistol but thrust if out of sight in the same instant, for he recognized both the form, which stood fully revealed, and the face peering out from beyond. "Ragsdale and Talway Tripp!" broke from the astounded lips of the boy jockey. In_ the same breat h he was grasping the outstretched hand of hi s employer, who gave him a hurried pull that drew him within the building. "Say it softly, my boy!" Mr. Ragsdale exclaimed, in a low voice. At the same time Tripp touched our hero on the arm in a friendly way, say ing : ""We're mighty glad it's you, and I guess you're rather tickled that we're us-eh?" And Tripp chuckled good-humoredly "It is a surprise party for me, anyhow," said Sam. "And if you would be kind enough to let a little light on the subject, I'.11 return the favor iu the same line." "We don't want too much light here just now," Tripp r eplied. "You see," he continued, "we are just watching the course of ev e nts, and we don't care to have the p eo ple over yonder know what we're at." This speech only made Sam's mystification the morldense, and he turned to Mr. Ragsda l e for an explanation. A suspicion that he had misse d the trail of Cashin, after all, and that he had struck that of Ragsdale and Tripp instead, dawned upon the troubled mind of our hero. For the moment he felt almost as though his friends were responsible for a blunder that might end in the loss of his horse and the escape of the ruffian who had stolen it. t "Itis a short story I have to tell, Sam," said Mr. Rag s dale, in his quiet way "After you left 01e, agreeing to r et urn with a t ea m and give me a lift. on my journey toward the Canada line, I waited rather im patiently, and at la st started out cautiously in the hope of IT/eeting you. I had gone bu a little way when I met Tripp here, with a horse and buggy. As he told me that Steve, the nephew of Jack Gardner, met him a few minutes !fefore and to l d him of the trick played upon you by that wolfish follower of Bamford Brayles, and that you had started in pursuit of the scoundrel with Wild Of course I didn't blame you, under the circ;umstances; and Tripp, here being in '.I ventures o me mood, propo sed that we fol low on and be ready to help you out if it came to a pinch. finding the on duty we kept on up stream to the briqge and crossed there. Tripp says he knows the country about here like a book."

PAGE 26

BRA VE AND BOLD. 25 "Then perhaps he knows something about this old house," said Sam, who was relieved to find that he had not been following the wrong trail. "I happen to know that it has been the of a blooming Jot of tramps at one time and another," Tripp replied. "The barn seems to be covering a pretty line crowd of them now," remarked Ragsdale, whose spirits seemed to be rev1vmg under the stress of his misfortunes. ;\'\'hat I want to know most if, if my horse is here, and if the thief is in the house yonder?" was Sams query. "I fancy your horse isn't far off," Tripp replied. "And as for Cashin, we're sure that he is hiding in the h ouse. That isn't the whole story, though. We h ave rea sq n to think he has some body with him. It looks as if he steered straight for this place whe n he left the stable with your nag." "Then it'll be a fight for me to get my team, and a hot one, too," said Sam. He lighted his lantern and flung its rays about the interior of the great barn. 'Moldy hay, an o ld pitchfork, a scythesnath and two wagon spokes !" he remarked, taking a rapid inventory of the visible con tents of the building. "Got any pi stols?" he inquired of his companions. Ragsdale nodded, but Tripj> shrngged his shoulders with a humorous twist of his lips. Sam examined his pistol, .an d turning the wick of his lantern low, he secured the latter under his jacket, so that it could be brought into use at short notice if n eed be. With a parting warning "to be careful," ringing in his ears, he sallied forth ft:om the barn, and by a short detour approached the ell of the house. There was a wide door in the ell. This was closed, but like the other whic;h he had tried, Sam found it unfastened. Pausing to listen, he next softly opened the door-or tried to d pen it softly, for like the other, the hinges gave out a startling piercingsqueak. He stepped boldly in, leaving the door open. As he did so ears were g ree ted by a sound that filled him with a stronger determination than ever It was the whinny of a h o r se, from a point close at hand. Such an appeal from any animal of the equine race h a d the power to arouse Sam at any time. Sam took two or three hurrie d rapid strides in the direction whence the sound had come. He was brought to a stand by a collision with another human figure which was coming with equal speed and noiselessness toward him. The uns e en enemy uttered a gruff imprecation and attem/ted to grapple with the boy jockey. The latter, however, slipped out of the man's grasp with the nimbleness of an eel. and with swift, silent strides, approached the spot whe r e the stolen trotter was standing. Sam's outst r etched hand touched fhe horse. At a he reached the animal's back, and before the one who had attacked him could divine what was occu rring, Max was walking toward the ex it, with his young owner leaning forward upon his neck. CHAPTER XVIII. IN THE DESERTED FARMHOUSE. It was so dark that Blue an d White Sam h a d to trust entirely to the instincts of his h o rse to lead him to the door. If the animal were at fault, or uncertain of what his young master required, failure in the bold attempt would be sure. "Halt!" commanded a vo1ice just ahead. Sam drew hi s revolver and now he silently held the weapon in readin ess to resist interferenc e P ee ring ahead, his eyes p erceive d the open door, for a grayish gloom instead of the intense blackne ss within prevailed outside. Instantly he gave the horse a s ilent signal that caused the animal to spring fleetly toward the door, h1s iron-shod hoofs making a great clatter along the floor, and echoing through the empty ro o ms. It was a bold stroke. Sam's heart seemed to beat almost as audibly as the ho o f-strokes of the h o rse He knew that the un seen foe might quickly win the day by shooting Max, for such a generous mark could hardly be missed, even in the dark. Yet that were a hazardous stroke for eve a horse-thief to perpetrate. C ashi n was unquesti onably a brutal villain, capable of any rascality. But he was not a fool, and of course he would taki;! care to protect himself with a measure of ordinary prudence. The horse was nearly to the door, and Sam felt that a iireat feat was almost as good as accomplished Then the boy felt a powerful hand seize his leg. There was a sudden wrench, with the horse pull4ng forward and Sam digging his knees into the animal's sides to keep from losing his seat. Then son! et hing struck him a dizzying blow in the face, and he dropped to the floor as if he had been shot. A harsh s hout sounded in the ears of the young jockey, mingled with the rapid clatter of horse's f eet "Stop 'em-stop 'em!" yelled the voice of Cashin There was an answering shout which Sam did not understand, and then he heard the sound of hurrying footsteps, the banging of a door, and l astly, the r eport o f a revolv e r. All this followed so rapidly that the boy had not time to com prehend what had happ ened. His brain whirled from the blow he had received, and numberless stars seemed to be dancing before his vision. Throug h it alJ, however, he realized that he was still in the old house, and that Max was not in his pos session. And as he struggled to his feet, and found himself enshrouded in darkness, it occurred to him that the stroke he had received had not be e n fr o m his enemy. In the struggle to maint ai n his seat upon Max's un saddled back, with the man dragging at his leg, Sam had .raised himself just as the horse was through the doorway. By this involuntary act his forehead was brought forcibly in collision with the top of the door casing. This was the blow which so nearly stunned him, flinginghim from the back of th e hjrse. Once more upon his feet. Sam groped for the door, which had evidently been shut during the momentary interval of partial un consciousness which h e had suffered He found the latch of the wide door, but after fumbling with it for a moment, he undei;stood that it had been fastened in some manner. He then felt for the lantern, whiGh he h a d so carefully attached to his suspender, under his jacket. At the same time he noticed the strong odor of burned wool, and his hand came in contact with something that burned. In a flash he had torn open his jacket. As he did so a warm smudge arose to his nostrils, and there was the rattle of broken glass falling upon the floor. In his fall the glass globe o f the lantern had been broken, and som e of the oil spilled upon his clothing. The wick, turned low, was burning, and thus his oil-saturated jacket had been ignited upon the ir.r.er side. Being buttoned so tightly around him, the fire had little chance

PAGE 27

I BRA VE AND BOLD. to spread, and he now quickly extingui s hed what there was flf it They were certainly "birds o f a feather.'' by Pubbing it vigorously together The boy likewise recalled what Genie had said concerning her All this occupied but a mpment of time; but it was a vexatious guardian, that the e was so mu ch plotting going on in which h e delay all the same. And it was sufficient to give his enemy time to see'med to have a share, that she was afraid for h e r own !if!';. regain the advantage which he had lost. "Cashin was a pesky fool to fetch that b oss here in the fust In falling, also, he had dropped his revolver, and he had to place!" Burton as he reached the foot of the stairs. grope about upon the floor to recover that. "That's so," ne 0 the others. "If h e had a grudge to At this moment he heard tlie slamming of a door somewhere in work out against the youngstei:i on his own account or anybody that part of the house, and a thin column of light flashed through else's, he had no business tq ring us into it. Hosses is big I\ creviee, showing him dimly the charactc;r of his surroundings. plunder-too big to handle in our line." The of two or tl1fee m e n were approaching, and there "Too big to hide in a chist," returned Burton, with a chuckle. was not q rno111ent to be lo st. These last words sent a vague, startling suspicio n to the brain He again trie;:q 10 opw the largi: door. There was not light of the boy jockey. cnqugh to show )lim J 1ow it was fastened, and was 110 tim e "This i s a chest." he swiftly r easo n ed, "and I 'll go some{hing to lle b elievllcd that Max h n d trotted out of doors big that there's s01111;thing in it besides me and the malt!" when he W<\S fro111 the horse's back and Cashin had The few utterances of Caleb Burton and hi s companions which followl'!d to !'CC.Over th, a11iprnl. he had overheard, take 4 1 in connection with the other signs of I{ this were thfl Slim co11lJ o nly hope to regain possession lawlessness, told the young jockey that he h ad st umbled up on the of his property by rem a ining, upon th e premise{>
PAGE 28

BRA VE AND BOLD. T Without hesitati on he hurriedly covered the cask with the malt as he had found it and then groped his towa\d the side of the cellar where the men had been digging. His purpose was to locate the hiding place which was being prepared for the mysterious cask which Burton and his com panions seemed to value so highly. "Whether the th ing is. full of gold, l ea d or old junk, we're going to see the inside of .it before we're many days older," Sam declared, as he cautiously struck a match. Two large stones had been r emoved from the cellar wall, and an excavation about four feet in depth was made horizontally in the earth. Evidently this was about as far as they intended to dig, and that it was their purpose to place the cask in the remotest end of the opening, and fill it with the earth which had been removed, replacing the stones of the wall last. This, af er the building had! been burned, and the debris fallen into the cellar, would make as perfect a hiding place as human ingenuity could conceive of. The wisdom of Burton's crafty sug gestions was apparent to Blue and White Sam. "Now for Max, and a skip for liberty!" said the latter, extinguishing the match and thrusting the remains into a p ock et so that it sho uld not'betray him. There were plenty of sounds audible above, and Sam knew that l:he most" hazardqus part of his un ertaking was before him. He silently ascended the stairs, reach e d the pa ssage which Jed from the entrance to the ell, to the main part of the house, which was now lighted by a reflector lamp, attached to the wall. He was not sure that the horse had been taken into the hous e this time. Indeed, he had heard no sounds to indi cate the animal's presence. By the light Sam could see how to unfaste n the outside door. The fastening proved to be a simple wooden button over the iron latch, and this h e hurried ly turned so that the door might be flung ope n without an instantls loss of time when he was ready for flight. He then made his way al6rtg the corridor to the side room in which he had chanced to find Max an hour before. The horse was not there. T h e door stood ajar, and the light from t h e hall rendered objects visible. "The horse is outside this time," he reasoned "That is, if Cashin got him back And it l ooks as if this was a fine time for me to go out and drink in t h e fre s h air." He turned o the exit, opened it and stepped forth At the same time h e heard t h e stamping of a horse close at hand He noticed a small shed :it the end o f the house. A few strides carried him thither; and there stood Max, hitched to the sulky. The horse was tied by a weight. Sam's knife cut the tie-rein; he sprang into the sulky and took the reins with a thrill of tri umph; but simul aneously a man arose out of the darkness and exclaimed: "Stir from that seat, and I'll shoot your horse!" CHAPTER XIX. THE FIGHT AT THE The threat of the man who evidently had been lying in wait for our h e r o was effectual, for the moment at least. II'ad his own life been threatened, Sam would not have hesitated to draw his ow n weapon and take th e risk of an exchange of shots. But the fear 0 injury to Max held the young jockey to the seat as if he had been glued there. "Thought you had the nag sure this time, didn't ye?" the man excl aimed, as Sam remained silent and motionless in the sulky. "Well, I don't seem to be letting go of him very lively, do I?" Sam retorted. A r The latter only wished to gain time-to catch the other off his guard. His hand was upon his revolver under his jacket, and while he did not wish to do any killing, he was ready to cripple his man if need be At the same time he was anxious to signal to his friends in the barn. They mus t have been concerned about his safety all this while, and h e wondered that they had taken no action. to !ind how he had fared in the bold attempt which he had dared to make alone. It had ceased raining outside and Sam judged that the night must be well advanced in the small hours. "You better be getting out of that sulky, boy,H said the man, who appeared to be waiting to see if Sam would make a rash attempt of som sort. "What if I stay where I am?" Sam asked. "It ain't a matter of your choice,'' waa the reply. "And I'll give ye that the slickest way for ye to git out of your pres ent pickle is by mindin' what you're told to do, and makin' use of your sense instead of your cheek Do ye see the.p'lnt ?" "If I does what you tell me to, then what?" Sam put the query so mildly that the other was convinced of his own ability in quelling the spirit of a plucky youth. "Wall," drawle d the other, "if ye git out of the sulky and are willin' to submit to the 'thority of yer elders in a matter that ye'll know all about when I tell ye, I guess yc'll come of the scrape with a whole head and more wisdom inside of it than ye sta r ted with." "That's hand so me, sure ," said Sam, whose wits more liv e l y than his tongue just then. Now that he had betrayed the man into a fit of talking, the other had abandoned his effor t to dis g uise his speech, and he spoke with the Yankee drawl, wh i ch betrayed his identity. "It's Bu r ton himself!" thought Sam. "He thinks he is such a crafty old coon, and so much sharper than Cashin and everybody else, that he laid this littl e trap fo r me on his own acc o unt. Likely he thought I slipped out of the h ouse the same time the horse did, and that I was hanging around here waiting for Cash i n to bring the horse back: But as it happens, there is an idea in my n odd le that Caleb the wise hasn't caught onto yet." "You g it oute r the sulky and quit the man ordered, in a more imperative tone "All right-jest as you say, not as I care," S ai:n retorted, imitat-. ing the ot h e r s drawl. So saying, Sam slow ly alighted from the vehicle, while Burton, eying him like a hawk, advanceu with pistol held in readiness for instant use. "Y e've got a re vo lv e r there, h ain' t ye? he d e manded. "Supposing I have?" "Ye must give it uo "Right off this minute?" "Quick as ye can git it outer your fingers." The weapon was already in Sam's grasp, and now, as if he were in mortal fear' of Burton, he slipped it from under his jacket and let it drop to the ground. In doing so, however, he allowed it to be discharged as it fell, seemin gly by accident His object was to signal his friends whom he supposed to be waiting in th e barn. Burton, startled and angry, sprang forward to pick up the pistol th;:it lay at S am's feet. The young jockey expected this, and as the man stooped in front of him he made an agile spring, alighting up o n Burton's rounded shoulders, and clasping his arms tightly around the ruffian's neck Burton, in early life at least, had been trained in the hard toil

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BRA VE AND BOLD. of fatm 1ife, and was possessed of a powerful, though somewhat clumsy body. Could he have grappled with Sam fairly, the latte!' would have received some rough handling. It would have been like falling into the en1brace of a furious bear. But as it was, Burton wPithed and s hook his pow e rful frame, striving vainly to twist his arms around so as to seize the nimDJe fortn that was clinging like a leech to his back. "Yah_:_yah l" he roared, forgetting prudence and everything else in the desperation of the moment. "Lef go ye scamp! 'Let go, or I'll twi s t yer head o ff'n ye l D'ye hear me?" "Twist awiy th!!'n. and qi1it gassi111 !" mimicked Sam. There was a sound of hurrietl\y approaching 'ootsteps. The light of a lantern gli mm e r e d outside. Sam was not elated at the sight of the approaching light, since it indicat e d that Bnrton. ins t ead of him self, was about to rec eive reinforcements. The man, bending under the burden upon his back, staggered forth from the sl1ed. At the same time Sam s harply cried: "Hi, Max !-back sh-back-sh-back!" The comma11d reached the se n sit ive eats of the horse and the well-trained a nimal imm ediately began to back with the sulky fro'll under the shed. Sam, still clinging to the neck of his enemy, a nd digging his knees, jockey fashion into the m an's sides, saw that hi s horse was obeying, and h e nerved him self for a spr ing into th e sulky He realized that in making such a move there would be great risk to th e horse for Burton wa s in a mood to seek revenge by a shot at Max the moment he was free. In the struggle how ever, the man had dropped his pistol, and both weapons lay up o n the ground, Burton's just outside of the shed and in plain sight. Sam was all r eady for the jump. It was a critical moment. Two m e n were running toward th e m from the house, and one was Cashin. The other, upon whom the light of the lantern fell in fitful flashes, was tall, slender, and w ith a face that caused Sam to sta r e almost forgetting the excit ing struggle in which he was so closely engage d Xn the midst o f his b ew ild ere d astonishment he h eard another sho ut ani:l this time it was the 1 oice of,Talway Tripp. He beheld the latter hurrying around from the r ear ofthe s hed, pitchfork in h a nd. ''Ragsdale! What are you afraid of? It is Sam-your Sam! \"/hat's the matter with you?" The instant that our hero uttered that name the other sent one quick' backward glance at the boy jockey a nd then broke in t o a prebpitate run which carried him into the de se r ted farmhouse and out of sight. "A traitor-thief!" mutte red Sam, in a bitter tone, as he saw Cashin follow the other into the hou se, while Tripp dashed by closely pursuing Caleb Burton. The latter made an attempt to stand hi s ground at the door, but there was a flash and a report from Tripp's weapon, followed by a savage exclamation from the farmer, and the latter limped hurriedly into the house, slamming the door after him. "Now for Max. quick, before they cripple him with a sho from a window!" cried Sam. He dropped the pitchfork, sprang into the sulky, told Tripp to "catch on," and in anothu moment they were speeding toward the highway over th e soggy ground. No shot came from the house. Talway Tripp clung as best h e might to the back of the sulky. Not a word was exchanged until Sam drew up at the thicket where he had l e ft Wildfire . The latter greeted them with a l o w neigh of delight. The colt had spent so many lonely hours there by the r oadside that s he evinced almost human pleasure over the return of the bo y who had curbed h e r proud s pirits. "It is Wildfire," said Sam. breaking the silence. "And you had better mount her, and T will keep a grip o n my h o r se now that I have one Tripp mounted, and the colt was as docile as could be des i red Not until then did Sam l ook up at the eccentric jockey and ask, in a low, impressive "Tripp, where i s Ragsda le? Tell me that!" CHAPTER XX. THE MYSTERY OF MR. RAGSDALE. A rosy light flu shing the dull clouds along t he horizon proclaimed the near approach of dawn. S omething of this flu s h lighted the faces of Blue White Sam and Talway Tripp as they l ooked searc h i n gly at each other. Wildfire smote thi:: g;ound impatiently with her dainty hoof s while Max, drooping head and h alf -cl osed eyes, pres ented an almost ludicrou,s contrasf to the highsp irited colt. Tripp took in the situation in a second. Seeing the revolv .er on the ground, he flung down the pitchfork and se ized the weapon. At the same instant Sam gave Burton a parting dig with his knees, and a tremendous hug with his strong young arms, and then r e leased frant;c foe. 1 A casual observer would h ave said that Sam's p ossess ioi1 be long e d before a plow, rather than with a pneumatic-tired sulky on the racecourse. Cashin was almost upon him and he snatched the pirthfork from the ground. Holding it at his s id e in a firm grasp, he yelled, at the top of hi' voice: "l<:harge bayonets\ The words were accompanied by a headlong dash upon Cashin. The latter, taken Q.y surprise, hurrie dly discharged a pistol, and then beat a precipitate retreat, hotly pursued by Sam. "Drive the others, Tripp I Give 'e m a shot if tl\ey don't use their legs!" he shbuted. In Cashin l e d Sam nearer to the third mao, who had halted in the background. as if he were loath to take part in the fight. Sam, bent U.Pon obtaining a closer view of t\1is. person and wondering that Tripp had come to his re scue alone, shouted quickly, as the third man abruptly wheeled and hurried toward the t:;use: "Where i s Rags d'.lle, Tripp?'' Sam r epeated, as the other made no reply to the first uttered query; "I don't know, Sam. I "'ish to blazes that I did!" said Tripp. !'Well, I can tel\ you '' "Bave you .!;een him?" I "There's s .omething tbe matter with my eyes if I haven't l" "Your eyes seen1 most generally to see straight, Sam. So it is for you to s_a;y w\1e.re Ragsdale is." . "I saw h11n go mto that h o use Jest ahead of Cashm I saw him fair and squari.' in the face, and h olle r ed his name, but he_ cuf and run as if I had been a gorilla! What do you say to fhat, Tripp?" / t "I'm not much suqrrised-at least, he ha s surprised me so many times in one way or another that I'm r eady to believe a lm ost anything queer -about him." "But t)1e cr'vd in that hou se are a prec iou s crew of what the police i11 the big cities call crMks. I've been watching them and listen'ing to their talk. arid I k11qw." "I don't doubt it, Sam," said Tripp. ,,''Then, if Ragsdale trains with them in that way, and skips out

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VE AND BOLD. of our way just when we need him, and while we have been ready to do what we could to save him from trouble, he is worse than any ordinary crook! It's worse than a crime to play the sneak against your friends l" "You're hiftin' the bull's-eye, Sam." "Yet I hate like blazes to think that of him, after he has given me the first chance in the world that I ever had. He used me white as any m an could, Tripp!" "Me, Sam. To tell the truth," Tripp continued, with more earnestness than the eccentric jockey often threw into his speech, '1 would have been in the soup, this precious minute, but for Rags dale. When I first met him I was under arrest for a bit of a tiff with a cop in the city of Trenton. Of co\.1rse, whiskey made me sassy, but I guzzled the whiskey, and so I was held respon sible. It turned out that I had done two or three measly things that the cop could come down on me for. and he made the most of the chance. Ragsdale happened along, he needed a jockey, and took a fancy to me. What does he do but put up the money needed to get me out of the s crape, and hire me at a salary on the spot. I've been with him about ever since. So you see I have even more reason to like him than you have. And yet I've known for a goo d while that his record wouldn't bear too close looking into." "But why does h e go back on us like thi6 now?" Sam demanded, as be started Ma.x at a leisurrly gait along the road. Tripp rode close to the sulky with Wildfire, so that they could con tinue their talk. ay had fairly dawned by this time. The clouds were clearing away, and the sun came out upon the scene. About a nearb y farmhouse th e re were sigi1s of animation, and the' jockeys Jost no time in applying for breakfast for themselves and feed for their h o r ses. B ot h were readily granted, Sam paid the bill, and they were soon ready to return to Springfield. They had scarcely started upon the road, however, ere they met a carriage containing two men, one of whom wore a badge o f authority. The strangers halted and signalrd for the jockeys to do the same. A few di screet questions were put by the former and answered. One of the men was a c o nstable. The latter said: "I ha ve a warrant for the arrest of one Rufus L. Ragsdale, for theft of a horse. And you'll tell us where he is hiding!" Blue and White Sam exchanged glances with Talway Tripp. "You have a l e vel he a d. Sam," said the other, in a low voice, "and I'll let you do the talking.'' "Come ," exclaim ed the stranger who was in the carriage with the officer "why don't you m ake them talk to you instead of lettin g them mumble together and so agree on a yarn before hand?" This speaker had a shRrp, crisp voice., and keen, bright eyes mentally set him down as a detective from one of the great cities. "You see m to be pretty sure that I know where Mr. Ragsdale is, a nd I uppose you'll make me telJ whether I know or not," said Sam, quietly. 1'\e kno'v that you started out to carry the man across the line into Canada,'' a id the constable. "And knowing so much to start with, it looks likely that you can tell us what we want to know." "Well, you're mistaken. I don't know where Mr. Ragsdale is at the present minute, and I never expect to know, unle ss it is by chance." "You deny agreeing to carry him to Canada. then?" "l did agree to do it, and I would have kept the agreement if my horse hadn't been stolen." And Sam gave a brief but truthful account of the stealing of Max, and hi s pursuit of the thief._ He om_itted as related to i\Ir. Ragsdale, and t6 his own d1scovenes w1thm the deserted '' l was informed of the theft," remarked the constable. "I in tended t(l. pull in the thief while I was about It on this trip, and so kill two birds with one stone You're a mere boy, and they say you rode an honest race at the track the other day, besides showing \IP the fraud of another jockey. I've against you, only that you pledged yourself to stand by your empl 9 yer, who turns out to be a Jersey City crook. That is all. I 6hink you know more than you have told me." Sam hesitated. felt that Ragsdale had ill-requited the risk he had undertaken in the man' s behalf; he could not bring himself to puni s h him for his treac:hery. "I tell you the truth when I say that I don't know where you will find Ragsdale," he declared. "You saw him last night?" "Yes, and not many hours ago. He was with me for a short time while I was looking for my horse. I left him, expecting to find him t here when I came back; but he skipped somewhere, and I tell you the truth when I say I don't know where he went, nor why." Sam's assertion was too frankly spoken for the constable to doubt it. He held a brief consultation with his companion. The latter, with a wider experience among criminals, was less easy to convince that one who had pledged himself to aid the fugiti ve would now tell all he knew about the latter without co1i1pulsion. "Better take the boy along with us, and then, if we have trouble finding our man, we c;in squeeze a little more information out of him," said the detective-for such the stranger was in reality. "I don't like to make him trouble if he js really all right," said the more kind-hearted constable. The latter, indeed, had been a witness of the exciting race at the track. He couldn't quite bring himself to persecute a young fellow who could win such a race. The two discussed the matter in a low voice. Sam looked at Tripp-made a furtive but significant gesture, to which the elder jockey n o dded assent. Sam drew upon the reins, and Max took the hint. Tripp did the same, and Wildfire broke Into a run with a suddenness which took the officers by surprise. Both the sulky and the saddle horse were quickly speeding along the road, leaving the officers to stare after them. The constable was seen to turn his team about, and a feeble attempt was made to pursue. At the same time the two men shouted for the runaways to h a lt. "I guess not ," said Sam. "That detective is too mighty anxi ous to get on familiar terms with me, and our time is money in these days. Ah !-the scoundrel!" Sam's last exclamation was elicited by the sharp report of a rev o lv e r in the hand of the detective!" "If he puts a bullet into Max1 he'll pay for it!" cried Sam, a flush of indignation coming into his face. "He didn't aim within a rod of us sa id Tripp. "He just did it for a bluff. And if they want to try a race with us along here they'll h.ave a pretty chance to see the kind of horse meat we do business with !" The shot was not repeated. As Tripp declared, it was fired for a scare, in the hope of "bringing them to." Nor did the officers continue the pursuit, which would mani festly result in an overwhelming defeat. Sam saw them turn back and drive away at a rattling pace, soon di sappearing around a bend in the road. Sam and his companion kept on at a fair pace for a quarter of an hour. At the end of that time they entered a strip of woods. where the branches of the trees overhung the road. Suddenly \Vildfir e shied and began to rear with a suddenness that nearly unseated her rider. Max showed no fear of anything. Indeed, unless there were signs of a race at hand, the trotter bore all the outward signs of a confirmed "plow-jogger." A clump of shrnbbery just ahead of theni gave forth a rustling and' snapping as of some one trying to push a way hastily through it. And to the intense. amaz!'ment of Sarn, who was the first to the sounds, a m a n stepped forth, holding up his hands in a peculiar way. "Ragsdale!" gasped Sam and Tripp, in the same breath. The young m;in a<}vanced, a faint smile wre11thing his lips. "I turn up in unexpected places," he said, "and in unlooked for ways. I suppose you 111et those officers who think they need somebody of my name?" "We met them," said_ Sam. "And 1 did you the favor to let them hunt for their own clews Now I guess you had better do us the favor to Jet us kno\v as little about you as you can. Next time I'm going to tell all I know if I'm asked about one R L. Ragsdale!" Sam's employer continued to smile, although there was a somewhat sad expression behind the attempt to appear -cheerful. He came tip to the sulky and laid one hand on Sam's knee. "So you think I've proven myself unworthy of your confi. den cc r" he asked, .in his low, cairn tones.

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BRA VE AND BOLD. "It begin s t0 look that way, Mr. Ragsda le." "And yon IX'r;in to believe that Bamford Brayles was in the right and I in the wrong?" ''No, nut that. Brayles is a villain, and he played an underhanded game. I ain't sorry I helped you win that race, and to get thr best of him "B'cause I p2id you for it, I suppose?" re turned Ragsdale, re proachfully. "You are glad I gave you a chance to sta rt in life, even t hou gh I'm a black sheep myself! I see. And n ow that there seems to be a poor sho.v for your gaining anything by stand ing up for me, you'll turn in with my enemy and help him to do to me what he has been phttinq; to d ) for vro-,> No, n o cried Sam. "I d on't mean that. I don't si t e n ed Roger. H .1fus L. and L. are a great deal alike in sound and l ooks, but Roger doesn't like to a nswer for all of the sins of Rufus. But you neecln't lxlie,e me. You said once that you woulci help mr to get to Canada. I cio not wish to go there But I do wish t o keep clear of tho>e officers a short time l o n ger. You may stand by me n ow or n ot. according to the amount of truth yo u think I have told you in the present ca se \Vhat do y0u say?" A gleam of the tn:th came like a rift of light into the mind of Blue and White Sam "I'll stand hy my agreement." h!' declared. "And if you're fooling me, then so much the worse for you." In the hurried discussion whic:1 followed Tripp took part. It wa, decided th:it a buggy should be purchased if possible at a hous e nearby, and that Sam should drive with Ragsdak wherever the latter wishl"d to go. The vehicle was readily procured, and they separated from Tal\.vay Tripp, the latter returning with Wildfire to Springfield. "Now where do you want to go?" Sam asked, when he was alone with his employer. "Back to the farmhouse where you you saw me this morning," was the quiet command. 1 "That is where the officers went to look for you!" Sam exclaim e d, bewildered by the sudden turn of affairs. "We can't help that. It is where I }Vant to go. You have a nag that will enable us to keep ahead of anything on the road. We don't want to come to close quarters with the constable and his friend, and we must keep a sharp lookout. But back to the old farmhous e we go!" Mr. Ragsdale talked frankly about the mystery surrounding his own career as they rode swiftly along. They soon drew near the place where Sam had met with such thrilling adventures in recovering his horse. Looking toward the point where the deserted buildings were sitt;ated, both Sam and his companion uttered ejaculations of di smay. Upward from the spot rolled a black volume of smoke, with tongues of red flame shooting upward through it. Sam reca lled what he had overheard while hiding in the cellar of the old house. ''The house is on fire! he exclaimed. "They're burning it up h ide their tree.5t.1re !" Scarcely had the words pa ssed his lips when they heard the sound o f running footsteps, and the sharp crack, crack of a rapidly-discharged revolver rang out upon the morning air l CHAPTER XXL A STRUGGLE AND AN ARREST. Sam and his employer were yet a goodly distance from the driveway which led from the road up to the old farm buildings when the startling sounds smote their ears. "We had better be getting out of sight!" Ragsdale exclaimecl. And S a m hmricdly drove i11to an opening through the lin e of broken-down fence a nd fringe of trees. This brought them out up on an open field whrch was evidently under cultivation. Intervening trees cut off their view of the burning house but they could obtain a fair glimpse of the highway which they had just abandoned. ''If they come this way." Ragsda le said, a tremor'of excitement in his voice, "then we shall see who they are, aud what i s done. But if they go the other--" 'rhen we'll miss the picnic," supplied Sam, as the other paused. Both alighted. There was no need o f hitching Max. There was more lik e lihood of the latter falling asleep than there was vf hi s running away. Returning to the fence, they stood li stening and waiting. They soo n he;ird the rapid tramp of men run.i;iing. In another moment a tall, slender man, without e'ther hat or shoes, das h e d into view, and wheelin g suddenly, ran diiectly toward the point where Sam and Mr. Ragsdale were standing. The fu gitive had nearly reached the gap in t h e fence when another man sprang into view, and with a mighty leap that showed him to be a trained athlete. cleared the space betwixt road and fence, and cut off the flight of the one he was pursuing. T h e latter. wheeled and stood at bay. In a second he was grap pling with the pursuer. Blue and White Sam witnessed so much with bre;ithless, silent int e re st Had his employer not been at his side all the while, he would have felt sure that the desperate fogitive who had been brought to bay by the detec tiv e was Roger Rzgsdale. He knew now."11owever, that what his employer had told him was true-that it was the brother of his friend whom he had seen at the des erted house. And it was this l aw les& brother who was at that moment making a desperate fight for his liberty with the relentless officer who had fdllowed him so far. Sam ,could see that the face of his companion had grown deathly pale. and Chat he trembled from h ea d to foot. Officer and fugitive confronted each other wit h locked arms, th eir forms swaying to and fro. Then, by an mo,e ment, the fugitive flung his antagonist backward, causing him t o trip upon a stone and fall upon his back. Then the vag_abond quickly drew a pistol and took quick aim at his fallen enemy. "Hold, Rufe! No murder here!" It was Mr. Ragsdale's voice that uttered the startling command. He sprang forward, struck up the threatening weapot.. and the bullet hurtled upward through a treetop. At this moment Sam saw the detective regain his feet, and in his hand gleamed a revolver. In the confusion of the m o m ent, the officer saw only the one whose opportune interference had saved his own life, and he naturally mistook him forthe one he had been trying to secure. Laboring under this mistake, he was on the point of firing a hasty and deadly shot. But a youthful form sprang upon him as he pulled the trigger. Again the detective went down, with Sam Talbot's sturdy arms encircling his waist. The shot was fired, but the aim was broken. Yet Roger Ragsdale staggered against the fence with a groan. The fugitive brother caught him, and for an instant they gazed into each other's faces.

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 31 "You-here!" exclaimed the fugitive. "Yes, and in time to save you from committing a worse crime, I hope, than you have against your record." .. Take this. Roger-I don't dare to keep it!" the other said, placing his weapon in his brother's hand. "You were hit by the officer's shot?" he added, with suddrn solicitude He seeme d to have been calmed by th e turn of event s and to have abandoned all attempt to escape. i.\Ir. Ragsdale raised hi s left arm, and there was blood oozing through his sleeve. "It doesn't matter," he said. "I kept the bullet fr o m doing worse work. It will let out a little of the bad blood which I have in l}le, r hope-that is all." In the meantime, h aving accomplished his purpose in diverting th e shot aimed by mistake at his friend, Sam nimbly avoided the angry Of the detective. who had probably never been taken more completely off his guard than he had been by the boy. In the brief struggle the cletcctiYc had dropped the pistol. Sam snatched the weapon from the ground, and as the officer at tempted to seize it, it was quickly to sse d over the fence and well out of his r each. The d etect ive naturally s upposed our hero to be a confederate of the one he was trying to arrest. But there was no time then to bother with confederates, when the principal was almost in his hands. In another instant his hand was on the arm of the fugitive, who now mad e no resistance. "I subm it," said the culprit, who had fallen into a subdued state. I know you have :10 authori ty to lay hands on me here but I'm tired of the fight. Bring on your constable and I will s ubmit in clue form." At first the detective thought that the man must be trying to play a trick of some sort. But the fugitive held out his hands, aying: "Put the brace.lets on me before the fever to run away gets the better of me aga in. The innocent have suffered e nough on my account, and now want to face the music and let others hav e a rest;! The handcuffs. closed with an ominous click. Then the officer turned t o stare at the other Rags dale. At the same time he took a ph otograph from his pocket and glanced from that o the face s of his pri soner and Roger Ragsdale. Well/' e xcla imed with a puzzled look, "I'm not sure this bles se d minute bu 1've got the wrong one of you-although the r e i s a lo ok about you, after all. You, sir, are the man wh o had a wmn ing h o r se at the Springfield races the other day?" 'J am Roger Ragsdale," was the quiet reply. ''A brother of my prisoner?" "Yes. He i s two years older than I." "Th e re must be a mistake somewhere," said the officer. "I re c e ived a telegram at Jersey City, s aying that the man I was look ing for-Rufus Ragsdale-was in Springfield entering horses for a rac e Being out o f to w n when th e message arrived. I was de layed in coming, and o got here too late to see my man at the race I saw t-he o ne who telegraphed, however, and he said that if I would lie Jow he would find a way to decoy y o u into my hands. I su pp ose h e meant your brother, here, though I rllore than half feel that I may be mistaken even now." While the detective w as speak ing, the constable who had ac- companied hiu1 in the quest of the fugitie drove up with the team Explanations were in order. and while Sam's employer did n ot enter into the details of his o wn history, it was m a de clear to th office r that they had been purposely set pan the trail of the innocent brother. I knew tha t my brother wa s in this locality," Roger Rag s dale d ecla red. in con;;l11s1on. "and while I did not wish to suffer the p e nalty for his mi sdoing-s, neither di
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