The life of the school, or, Out for fun and fortune

Citation
The life of the school, or, Out for fun and fortune

Material Information

Title:
The life of the school, or, Out for fun and fortune
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
The Bicycle Boys of Blueville
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Detective and mystery fiction ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028875978 ( ALEPH )
07232015 ( OCLC )
B15-00028 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.28 ( USFLDC Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
Added automatically
Brave and Bold

Postcard Information

Format:
serial

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

Lou struck out at one of his assailants, and had the extreme satisfaction of seeing him tumble to the floor.

PAGE 2

BRA EBOLD .ll Different Complete Story Every Week Iuiud Wu"ly By Subscription /11.50 j>er year. Entered gccording to Act o.f Congress in the year zqo3, in tlw Office o.f the Librarian of Congress. Washington, D. C. STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. No. 35. NEW YORK, August 22, 1903. Price Five Cents. THI: Lift: Of THE SCHOOL: OR, Out for Fun and Fortune. By the, author of "THE BICYCLE BOYS OF BLUEVILLE." CHAPTER I. THE TWO WILLS, "Lou, I am going to send you to boarding school." "Send me to boarding school! Why, I thought you told me only last week that my school days were over." "So I did, but I've c h anged my mind I think it will be necessary for you to spen d a year at some good school and then go to college." The speakers-a man of sixty and a boy of sixteen-gazed at each other in silence for a mom en t, and then the former went on: "I find, by reading one of your father's last letters, that it was his wish that you should be well educated before you entered our I office, and so I have made arrangements to place you under the charge of Prof. Haggard, of the Benley Academy, Benley, Mas sachusetts." A look of pleasure shone from the eyes of Lou Ashfield-for that was the boy's nam,,-as he heard these words He had thought it strange s i x weeks before when his uncle advised him to come to the office of his banking house and learn the business under his tuition. Lou's father had been ,buried a short time before this, and_ as his mother had died when he was but an infant, he was an orphan -placed under the guardianship of his uncle, Theodore J ohnson, at his father's request. The boy's father had died a, rich man, and Lou's interests were all in the hands of his Uncle Theodore. He was the only child, and when he became twenty-one he would be the p osse ssor of over a million. No wonder he thought it strange, then, that his uncle should advise him to leave school and come into the office as a clerk. But Lou had not objected to thjs, and for six weeks he had r egularly put in six hours a day at a desk. At the time our story opens the office was just about to close for the day, and Lou was in the act of putting on his coat and hat when the started. "I am glad you desire me to go to a boarding school in order to fit me fbr a college course, uncle," said the boy. "Just suits you, then?" returned his uncle, rubbing his hands and showing signs of great satisfaction. "You can start as soon as you like, Lou, as all the arrangements are made." "Very well; I will go on Monday morning." "Purchase whatever you need, and don t be afraid to ask for enough money to carry you through. "Thank you, uncle." The two now parted, Lou going out into the street, and Theodore Johnson remaining in the office of the banking house, saying he had a n important paper to examine Soon all the bo okkeepers and clerks were gone, and then Johns on was alone in his office. He was seated with his back to the huge safe, which was si:iH open. Suddenly he turned around, and producing a: key, unlocked a drawer in the safe. From this he took two legal-looking documents, and held them 'lp before him. \

PAGE 3

2 BRA VE AND BOLD. Bo .th bore the same inscription, which was as follows : "LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF R.IciIARD ASHFIELD."' "The original and the one I forged," muttered Johnson. "Peo ple little dream that Richard Ashfi e ld desired Jacob Borden' to be the guardian of his son, and that I forged a appoint ing myself They are also not aware of the fact that, according to the will I fixed up, my son will become heir to his property in case Lou Ashfield dies without issue. The original will, which Ashfield made in his right mind a year ago, is now in my hand, and so is the forged one. The genuine article should be destroyed a t once, and I guess I will do it now, or something might turn up to spoil my neat little plot." Johnson opened the documents, and making sure which was the one he intended to destroy, lighted a match Before he could touch the flame to the document, however, the janitor of the building hurried in, with a stranger close at his heels. "Mr. Johnson," said the janitor, "here is a gentleman who wants to see you on important business. He insisted on coming straight to your office." The bank e r quickly thrust the two documents in the pocket of his coat, and picking up the stump of a cigar from his desk, used the burning match to light it. Then he put out his hand and shook that of the stranger warmly. "You can go, Jarvis, said he to the janitor. The moment the two men were alone the banker closed and locked the door. "Sit down, Hamilton." The stranger obeyed. "Have you seen the boy?" "I have. I followed him a hlock, and studied him carefully. I could pick him out of a thousand boys of his a ge and size." "Well, here is the school he is going to. You know your duty; he is never to return alive As Johnson spoke he hand ed the man called Hamilton a card containing the name and address of the b oa rding school Lou Ashfield was to start for on Monday. "I kn o w what to do exactly," returned the stranger, with a smile of the utmost confidence. "The boy is in your way, and while at school he will die a n at ural death, or else he will be ac cidentally drowned in a lake, o r perhaps he will fall out of a tree and break his neck. Know my duty! I guess I do. Ha, ha, ha!" "Not so loud, Hamilton!" cried the banker, uneasily. "That is all right," said the villain, coolly. "This will not be the first piece of dirty work I've done for you. Hand over five hundred as a sort of retainer Without a word Johnso n turned and knelt before the open safe, and, as he did so, the real will and the forged document dropped from his pocket to the floor of the office With a catlike movement Hamilton stepped forward and picked them up, and while Johnson was counting out the five hundred dollars to satisfy his d e mand he opened them and hastily scanned their contents. As he was in l eag ue with J o hnson, he, of course, knew something of hi s business, and it took him but an instant to see ho1w it was that Lou A s hfield's un tie came to be his guardian. With the quickness of a professional pickp ocke t he placed the forged will on J o hn so n 's de sk, and thrust the genuine one in his own pocket! He had scarcely succeeded in doing this when the banker turned with a roll of bills in his hand. "Here you are, Hamilton!" he hoarsely exclaimed. "For God's sake, do your work well I will put you in the way of becoming a rich man if you do." "Have no fear, Mr. J ohnson," replied Hamilton, stroking his heavy brown mustache coniplacently. "Thanks for the r etainer. I must be oft' now. Before the end of next week I will be in the immediate neighborhood of Benley Academy. S o long!" The hired tool of the plotting scoundrel bowed with a sort of mock politeness, and, without troubling the banker, unlocked the office door and passed 'out. A few lllinutes later he was seated at a table in the corner of a saloon, busily engaged in reading the document he had so neatly stolen. Carefully he read i t over, word for word, and at the conclusion he n o dded his head in a sati sfied manner and exclaimed : "So the will of Ri chard Ashfield that J ohnson is working und e r is a forged one, is it? Well, this was a lucky find for me! I have the genuine will, and after I have di spose d of the boy I will hold this to make the old man plank down a five hundred whenever I want it. Here's success to the whole scheme I" CHAPTER II. THE ARRIVAL AT THE SCHOOL. On the Monday morning following the interview with his uncle, Lou Ashfield set out for the Benley Academy. The distance neces s itated a journe y by rail of eight or nine hours, and a fifteen minutes' ride in the school stage. It was in early September, and the weather was balmy and pleasant. When our hero took his seat in one of the railway coaches he felt very happy He anticipated a pleasant time at Benley, for from the descrip tion it was a fir st -cl ass school, situated in one of the most beau tiful and healthful parts of the State. The majority of the passengers in the coach were adults, but the boy soon sighted a young fellow about his own age, seated in the rear end of the car, who h a d a traveling satchel and a number of bundles stowed n ea r him. Before ten miles h ad been covered the two were conversing as though they had known each other a long time. Much to L o u 's satisfaction, he found that the boy was bound for the same place as himself, and was going to attend the Ben ley Academy. His name was Harry Hitcher, and one look at his face was enough to convince any one that he was possessed of an honest and manly disposition. As the conversation progressecl + e boys found that tLeir tastes and desires ran in about the sam nannel, for both were fond of their books, as well as athletic sports. Both of them might have been taken to be two years older than they were, for they were large for their age, and as stout and well built as any two young fellows that could be sightc:d in a day 's travel. It was well toward nightfall when the train slowed up and came to a standstill at the depot in the little village of Benley. There were few passengers to get off besides the two boys, and when they stepped upon the platform with their satchels and bundles, they were almost immediQtely accosted by a stout, redfaced man who wore a wide-brimmed felt hat and carried a whip "This way, young gentlemen, if you are goin' ter ther Benley 'Cademy !" he exclaimed. ''I'll look after your trunks."

PAGE 4

BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 "Thank you," returned Lou, slipping a quarter in his hand. "See that everything is all right, will you?" The feilow tipped his hat and the n darted off toward the bag gage car, leaving them sta n ding on t h e platform. "That is a comical-looking fellow," observed Harry Hitcher, as the two waited up on the platform. "I'll bet lots of fun can Le had out of him. "I guess you are right," retorted Lou. "My! but be is a pow erful man, th ough!" The driver of the academy stage was approaching, carrying a trunk on each shoulder, whe re they had been pl ace d by the baggage men. And when he deposited them near the waiting stage he did it as easily as though they were but a couple of small baskets. The next minute he had placed the trunks upon the vehicle, and the n our hero a nd Harry Hitcher got inside and the horses set off at a rap i d trot down a dusty road. The sun was just setting Lehind a piece of pictur.e s que wood land when the driver brought the horses to a halt in front of a l a rge stone building that had an octagon tower running up from its east end. Not a human being came in sight until the two boys had alighted from the vehicle, a nd then one of the ma ssive do o rs in the center of the building opene d, and an old man, who was as straight as an a rrow, and whose hair and beard were as white as snow, came out. "Welcome to Benley Academy!" said he, putting on his glasses and waving his hands after the fashion of some great after dinn e r speaker. "Young gentlemen, I am Prof. Haggard." Lou and Harry bowed p ol itely and then introduced themselves. The professor led the way insi d e the building to the reception room, and afte r a five-minutes' speech, being solel y up o n the good qualities of hi s sc hool, he called a servant and had them shown to their s l eeping quarters. Up to the top story they were conducted, and then along a narrow passage till they came to a door with No. 43 painted on its surface. Unlike the majority of schools. the Benley Academy did not have dormitories for the pupils to sleep in. Prof. Haggard thought they would get along better by putting two in a room. There was in the n eig hb o rhood of a hundred rooms in the building, which were divided from eac h other by thin board par titi ons that did not r each to within two feet of the ceiling. The profesrnr nev e r so much as thought that the boys c o uld easily climb to the top of the partitions, and go from one room to the other if lhey d esi red And this they did, too, liking the arrangement much better than dormitories. "Here's where you young gentlem e n are to stop," observed the servant, opening the door. "Your trunks and things will be bi:ought right up. The professor says you are to wash and come down to supper." "Did you say supper?" asked Lou. "Of course he did. That's what we have every night-breakfast at seven in the morning, dinner at twelve and supper at six in the evening ." ' "Oh, that is how it is? Well, you can tell the professor we will right down." As soon as they were alone the boys looked at each other in a questioning manner. "What do you think of it?" asked Harry. "Not much," replied Lou. "It strikes me that my governor made a mistake in sending me to this school." "You can hardly tell yet." "That's so; but I wouldn't be afraid to wager a cent that the professo r is a regular hog in manners, and that he don t know any more t han he ought to." L o u shrugged his shoulders. "l must conf ess that I am of the same opinion as you," said he. '"'vVell, let's wash up and go down. That was pretty good in the servant t elling us to wash ourselves-just as if we didn't know enough to do it." "Probably they have some dirty customers here A minute lat e r Lou was busy with the washbowl and pitcher, H arry having signified his desire to wait until his companion got through. The room was about twelve by nine, and contained two beds, two closets, two chairs and a washstand. It was not particularly inviting, but the boys did not mind this much. Fiftee n minutes later they started downstairs to see about getting the supper they had be e n promised. As they reach ed the lower hallway they passed a door marked "Private," which was nearly half open. They could not help seeing part of the interior of the apartm e nt, and the instant they did so the boys came to a stand. And no wonder! They beheld Prof. Haggard bending over their trunks, which he had opened in some manner. One by one he sorted over their contents and then placed them back. The(! he turned his attention to the satch e ls bundles. In one of these Lou had a box of choice candy, and, to his surprise and dismay, he saw the professor open it, taste the contents, and then place the box in a drawer of his desk. "The old thief!" exclaimed Harry H i tcher, in a whisper. ''I'll fix him," said Lou, with a mi schievo us twinkle in his eyes. He produced an orange from his pocket, and taking aim, hurled it at the old man with all his might. It struck him squarely in the back of the neck, and caused him to topple over h ead first into one of the open trunks. Then L o u and Harry ran noiselessly to the other end of the h a llw a y a nd walked leisurely into an apartment, which they found to be the dining-room. CHAPTER III. HAZED. "Help! Murder 1 Thieves!" It was Prof. Haggard who uttered the cry. The orange being a trifle more than ripe, the skin had bursted when it struck him, and the pulp spread over th e back of pis neck sdhle of it going down his shirt collar. When he felt this and found himself head downward in the op e n trunk he thought it was really a burglar who had entered the room and struck him with a club. "Save me!" he screamed; "I am mo'rtally wounded, for I can feel the blood trickling down my back. Murder-murder!" The next minute a servant rushed in, followed by a crowd of boys, who had been gathered in the rear of the building. With the swoop of an avalanch e they shot into the professor's priv<1te study, whence the cries came. Then a shout of laughter went up as they beheld the old gentle m a n standing on his head in the trunk. Lou and Harry from the door of the dining-room heard it, and immediately ran back to see the fun

PAGE 5

4 BRA VE AND BOLD. When they arrived they saw the servant who had conducted them to their room in the act of pulling the old candy thief from ihe trunk. It was just about dusk, and they mixed with the crowd of schoolboys without being recognized as newcomers. When the professor got upon his feet and r ealized that he was not hurt, but the victim of a practical joke, he seized a cane from the rack and went into the boys right and left. Our two young friends scampered away with the rest, and a few minutes later they were calmly seated at a table in the dining room, eating a cold lunch the cook provided them with. \il/hile thus engaged the professor entered. He had undergone a wash and wore a clean collar, but his feelings were still somewhat ruffled. "Boys," said he, "as soon as you are through with the supper you can go direct to your rooms, and stay there until to-morrow morning at six o'clock, when the bell will ring. This is a general order to-night, and you newcomers will hav<; to abide by the rule." "When will our trunks and baggage be sent up?" questioned Lou, with a twinkle in his eyes. "There are some things m our trunks we will need before we retire for the night." "Your baggage has gone up to your room long ago." With these words the old man started to leave the room. "One moment, profe5sor," exclaimed Lou; "I have a box of choice candy in my baggage, and I should like to offer it to you as a token of the good feelings I have toward you. Will you allow me to go and get the box?" "I do not eat candy !" was the stern rejoinder, and the face of the speaker turned several colors in as many seconds. "Here, Daggs, conduct Masters Ashfield and Hitcher to their room at once!" Though the boys bad scarcely finished the frugal repast set be fore them, they were forced to get up from the table when the man called Daggs approached. "Come, young gentlemen, move!" he said, jerking his thumb toward the door. When Lou and Harry reached Room 43 they fo1.1nd their trunks and baggage there, looking as though they had never been tam pered with. "Here you are," observed Daggs, depositing a lighted lamp on the dusty shelf that posed a mantelpiece; "remember that all lights must be out when the clock strikes nine." "All right," said Harry; "you go out, now, please." The servant made no reply, but with a grin stepped out into the passageway, and, closing the door with a bang, locked it from the outside. "I guess we will have to stay here till six o'clock whether we want to or not," remarked Lou. "Yes; I don t fancy this sort of treatment, especially when we have not been an hour in the place," responded Hairy. "Perhaps we will like it more after we become better ac qua inted. I have no doubt we will find some very good fellows among the scholars." "And some bad ones, too." "Oh, of cour se; everything can't run along smoothly. \il/e have got to take the bitter with the sweet." "So long as the '5wee t' is in the majority I shall not kick;" and producing a key, Harry bent over his trunk to unlock it. He was close to the partition at the t ime and b efo re he could get the key into the lock he was drenched to the skin by a pail of water. "Whew I" gasped the astonished boy springing to his feet and looking wildly about him. "Who did that?" A burst of subdued laughter from the next room followed his remark, and then both boys knew where the water came from. The inmates of the school were having some fun with them. Lou was forced to laugh at his dripping companion, but the next minute he changed his tune. A sponge soaked with red ink struck him squarely on the bosom of his shirt and spattered all over him. "I say, there I" he called out, angrily, "fun is fun, but don t ruin a fellow's clothes." Lou had lost his temper, and this was evidently just what their tormentors wanted, for in a remarkably short space of time a dozen boys came scrambling over the partition and dro pped lightly to the floor. Their faces were covered with white masks to conceal their identity, and each carried something in his hand. Some had stuffed clubs, others wet rags and sponges, and two of them had boxing gloves on their hands The min1,1te they got into the little room they began buffeting Lou and Harry about right and left, and the place being crowded with their disguised tormentors, the two boys had little chance to dodge the blows. Biff !-bi ff! Eoff !-boff they were getting it so hard that they finally lost their tempers in spite of themselves. The two boys of the hazing party who wore the boxing gloves were slightly taller than either Lou or Harry, and it was they who were kicking up the most of the unpleasantness. They were pelting the new arrivals unmercifully. Harry's nose was bleeding profusely and Lou felt sure he would have a l5lack eye in the morning. "Let up now or I'l! hit back!" exclaimed the latter, as he re ceived a heavy blow under the chin that sent him against the wall with a bang. A roar of laughter followed the boy's remark as the hazers realized how absurd the threat was. But, anyhow, Lou st ruck out at one of his assailants, and had the extreme satisfaction of seeing him tumble to the floor. Harry followed his example, and the other fellow who was manipulating the boxing glove s so readily w oot down. Just then two pail s of water were handed over from1-an ad joining room, and before our friends could dodge their contents struck them i;quarely in their faces, and, gasping and sputtering, they staggered and fell to the floor. Half blinded, they arose to their feet, and then tb.ey observed their tormentors clambering over the partition like sq. many ca.ts. Enraged, Lou and Harry made a dash to grab some of them At that moment the door opened and Prof. Haggard and one of his assistants rus hed into the room. Neither Lou nor Harry recognized them, and with remarkable quickness they sprang upon thi: newcomers and began raining heavy blows upon them CHAPTER lV. JN THE PLAYGROUND. Whack! whack! The two boys were pounding the newcomers with all the power they could command, and, taken completely by s urprise, the and his assistant made no resistance. For the space of several seconds this continued, and then, with a cry of rag e, the professor seized Harry by the collar. "You murderous young hounds!" he cried, "do you mean to kill us? I promi s e you you will suffer for this in the morning!" "Professor, I believe my nose is bleeding," spoke up the as sistant.

PAGE 6

BRAVE AND BOLD. s "And mine, too," returned his superior. "Boys, put that light out and "(et into bed!" As quitjdy as they had entered the two men took their de parture, not even asking what had caused all the noise and con fusion a f'!w minutes before. "Things are growing worse instead of better," observed Lou. "I had no idea it was t he professor we were pounding. I sup pose we will catch it in the morning." "It is pretty early, but I suppose we will have to turn in and wait developments," said Harry. "I don't believe the hazers will bother us any more to-night." Lou glanced at his watch and saw that it was near nine o clock. Just as they were going to put out the light they heard a noise on the other side 'of the partition. Looking up, they beheld two boys leaning over it and peering at them "Say! yo u two are what we call bang-up fellow s !" exclaimed one of them in a loud whisp e r. "You are right," added the other. "My! didn t you soak it into old Hag and Lemons, though! It did us good We didn't know you were such good fellows or we'd have let up a littleon the hazing." These remarks put Lou and Harry i n excellent humor. A few minutes later they were engaged in a whispered conver sation with the occupants of the next room They learned that their names were Scofield and Dixon, and became convinced they were good fellows. While they were talking the clock in the tower tolled the hour of nine. "Out with tl1e light!'' exclaimed Scofield; "good-nig ht, We'll meet in the morning!" A minute later ocr young friends were in their cots, and total darkness reigned. Owing to their new surroundings and the unpleasant occur rences of the night before, Lou and Harry did not sleep well. They were up some time before Daggs, the servant, came around and unlocked the doors, so the scholars cot,1ld come down stairs. "You must have been raisin' ther dickins in here last night," remarked the man, as he into the room. "\Vhat is that to you?" asked Lou. "Don't get impudent," said Daggs. I suppose I've got a right to ask a question." "Ask yourself to mind your own business, then," spoke up Harry, who chipped in to help Lou worry the servant a little, and take some of the freshness out of him. "Yem fellers hav e got too much for new boys. If you don't treat me right I'll r eport you," and Daggs held up his fingtr to add strl'ss to his remark. "Get out of here!" exclaimed Lou, throwing a pillow and shik ing him in the face with it. "That's it!" and Harry let another one drive. Daggs no longer ling ered. He was a big, burly man, but a coward withal; and besides, he dared not lay hands o p one o f the scholars. The boys threw the pillows i{ack into the room and then made their way downstairs. They went out of rear door when they reached the ground floor, and found themselves in the playground of the academy. A number of boys were already gath ered them, and when our hero and his friend appeared they instantly crowded around them. "The new boys!" exclaimed half a dozen in a breath. They stood the looks that were cast at them unflinchingly, and after a couple of minutes' silence .Lou exclaimed: "Well, what do you fellows think of us?" "Not much," replied a tall boy, whose eye was blackened and whose face was badly swollen. Our hero was just about to make a reply when the bell rang to assemble the scholars in the chapel for prayers. Lou and Harry followed the rest, and when the short service was over the boys made a rush for the dining-room. After breakfast Prof. Haggard sent for the two new scholars, saying he desired to talk to them in his study. "Mebbe you'll catch it now," said Daggs, who was the one who bore the me:::sage. "If you don't keep your mouth shut, you will catch it," replied Lou, throwing the piece of a crust of bread into the servant"-> open mouth. Then the two boys hurried to the professor's study. The door was ajar, so they walked boldly in. "Good-morning, professor!" both exclaimed, as if in one voice. A scowl was the only reply they got. Finally the professor cleared his throat and said: "I had my mind made up to puni s h you for your extraordinary conduct last night, but, as you are fresh arrivals, I will remit it. However, I want to say a few words to you in reference to the rules and regulations of the academy, and the instant you violate any of them you will be liable to a severe punishment." He then proceeded to explain in detail just what they would have to abide by while they were inmates of the school, and when he had finished told th e m they might go to the playground. Lou and Harry walked out, well satisfied that the profes.sor, or "Hag," as the boys called him, was a peculiar sort of man. When they got into the playground they were immediately ac costed by two boys, one o f whom was the fellow who said he did not think much of them a short time before. "Well, what can we do for you fellows?" questioned Harry. "I'll tell you what you can't do for us," replied the boy with the black "you knock e d me down last night when we were hazing you, but you can t do it now." "No," spoke up the other fellow. "If you think you can, toss up a cent to see who ls to have the first trial." "A fight-a fight!" yelled the crowd of youngsters. "The Haddock brothers are going to do up the new boys!" "If we have got to fight I suppose \ye must, said Harry, coolly. "That is the way to taik !" excla im ed Lou, throwing off his coat. CHAPTER V. TWO FIGHTS. The Haddock brothers, Tom and Will were the bullies of the Benley School. Aged sixteen and seventeen, re s pectively, they were big, muscular and raw-boned. Neither of them was very handsome, and the head of eac h was crowned with a crop of sandy red hair. There was not a boy among the scholars of the academy who did not fear them wh e n it came to a game of fisticuffs, ana no wonder the crowd became excited and intere st ed when the two new boys showed their will\ngne!IS to stand up before them. Tom, who sported the black eye and swollen c ou ntenance, was nearly half a h e ad taller than Lou Ashfield, and not quite so heavy, while his brother Will was more stocky and heavier than Harry Hitcher. There was hardly a boy in the crowd who did not expect to sec the new arrivals get a good thras hing at the hands of the bullies, an d some of them even went so far as to make pitying remarks. It was very quickly d ec ided that the bout between Lou and Tom

PAGE 7

\ 6 BRAVE AND BOLD. Haddock should take place first, so a ring was immediately formed. With their coats and hats off, the two boys fac e d each other. There was a confident smile on the face of the bully, while our hero looked almost as pale as dea t h. The crowd thought this signified that he was afraid, and a murmur went up to that effect. But Lou was not the least bit afraid. There was not a drop of cowardly blood in him, and he resolved either to subdue Tom Haddock or take a thrashing without compl a ining "Are you ready?" exclaimed the other Haddock boy, who had appointed himself master of ceremonies. "Yes I" came the reply from both boys. "Go ahead, then I" / The bully made a dive for Lou, evidently with the intention of wiping him out in one rush. But he made a grand mistake. Loil stepped nimbly aside and atruck him a heavy blow on the side of the head as he passed. Down went Tom Haddock flat upon the ground. A low murmur of surprise went up from the academy boys, while Harry Hitcher emitted an exclamation of satisfaction. Our hero now felt sure that he could handle his opponent, and, with unchanged countenance, he waited for him to get upon his feet. Daz ed and confounded, the bully scrambled to an upright position. "Go for him, Tom I" cried his brother; "that was only a chance blow he gave you. Let him know where you live!" With a cry like that of a savage bull, Tom did go for Lou, but again he missed. "Stand up and fight like a man!" he hissed; "this is no sprint ing match." Lou made no reply, but, suddenly changing his tactics, he forced the fighting, landing three blows upon the bully's face and neck, one after the other. "Whew!" exclaimed Scofield to Dixon, his roommate, "I guess the H;:.ddocks have met their Waterloo this day." "One of them has, beyond the question of a doubt. My 1 there he goes to the dust again." This was true. For the second time Lou sent the bully reeling to the ground. As yet our brave young fri end had only re c eived one bl o w on the face, and t hat h a d been but a glanc ing on e He was just as fresh as he was at the start, too, while his op ponent was getting very badly us e d up. But Tom Haddo ck was not alt o g ether a coward. He meant to do his very be s t to keep the honors h e h a d held for the past few months, and though this was the toughe s t fight he had ever experienced, he h a d h o pes of winning yet. He resolved to go in 1t rough-and-tumble when he scrambled to his feet the second tim e and, lowerin g his h e ad, he made a rush at Lou, intending to butt him in the stomach. Then it was that something happened which caused the crowd to break into a shout of applause. his oppon e nt's foul intention Lou leaped high into the air, his feet landing fairly upon Tom Haddock's back when he came down. With crushing force the bully went dov>(n, plowing the earth with his nose as he did so. As he did not off e r to get up, his brother hastened to his ass is tance. "Are you hurt, Tom?" he asked. "Yes, Will; I can't fight any more to-day. He was assisted to his feet, and then, fixing his eyes upon our hero, he said : "You got the best of me this time, but I'll get even-see if I don 't!" "If you are going to hold the grudge I can't help it," replied Lou. "I am sure it is al!1 your own fault." "Never you mind; the next time I tackle you it will be different." Tom was led off to the pump, and then his brother pulled off his coat and hat. "I am ready to try you," said he, looking at Harry. "I'll see if I can't have a little better luck than my brother did." "If you 'are anxious for a thrashing I believe I am capable of giving it to you, unless you are a much better fighter than your brother," was Harry's cool rejoinder. Half a minute later they stepited into the center of the ring. Lou gave the word and they started in. Will was a much better fighter than his brother, but he was not so plucky. He gave Harry a couple of good ones before he got hit on the nose and sent t6 the ground. Then he cried "enough!" while the schoolboys howled in derision. At this juncture Mr. Humber, the head teacher, appeared on the scene. "This is disgraceful !" he shouted. "Stop it instantly l" "It is all over, sir; you were a trifle too late," said Lou, taking Harry by the arm and leading him toward the pump. "Do not be insolent, young man," observed the teacher. "If it were not that you are a new boy I would report you to the pro fess or. As it is, I shall repor t you as one of the principals in this di s graceful fight. Our two friends washed themselves at the pump, and then put on their coats and hats. The defeated Haddock brothers walked off with some of their sympathizing but the majority of the boys hung about Lou and Harry, quite anxious to become better acquainted with them. Both boys were of the kind that make friends very quickly, and as Seo.field and Dixon offered to introduce them, they were soon busy shaking hands with their schoolfellows. "Can you fellows play ball?" Scofield. "A little,' r e plied Lou. ';I used to pitch a pretty fair game. "And I was captain of a nine in Boston," added Harry. "What position did you play?" questioned Dixon. "Catch e r, mostly "Good!" excl a imed Scofield. "You two are just the fellows we want to complete the Benley nine. Hurrah, fellows! if :Ash field and Hitcher can play ball as well as they can put Ul?, their dukes, w e will be able to win back the two games we lost from the Fentons befor-e the season is over." While the boys were talking ove r the matter the school bell rang. I CHAPTER VI. CANDIES AND SNUFF. As the boys filed into the schoolroom after the ringing of the bell, Lou and Harry were met by Prof. Haggard, who informed th e m that they were to step into the examination room. The y followed him into a little apartment just off the school room, and sat down. A moment later Mr. Humber, or, as the boys him, Lemons, came in.

PAGE 8

BRA VE AND BOLD. 7 "I wish you would examine these boys and place them in their proper classes," observed professor. "Very well, sir," returned the head teacher; "I will proceed at once." The examination lasted nearly an hour, and when it was com pleted the boys were satisfied that Lemons was smarter than he looked. In fact, they concluded that he knew just about four times as much as the professor. A few minutes later they were marched i nto the big school room, and being pretty well advanced in their studies, they were placed in one of the higher classes. And so their school days at Benley had now fairly begun. When the time came for the dismissal for the dinner hour the professor arose and said: "Thomas and William Haddock and Ashfield and Hitcher will remain seated until the others have gone out." The little bell tinkled and two minutes later the professor and the four boys he had named were alone in the room. "Masters Haddock, once more I am compelled to punish you for your disgraceful conduct. Fighting appears to be your principal enjoyment. This time I am going to punish you more severely than I t:ver did before. You will not be allowed on the playground during this week!" As Prof. Haggard spoke these words he brought his fist down upon his desk to emphasize them "Masters Ashfield and Hitcher, you are excused, as it is your first offense." Our two young friends immediately got up from their seats, noticing as they did so tQat the Haddock brothers were scowling fiercely at them. 1 Acting according to the discipline of the academy, they bowed to the professor and passed out. A crowd pf the scholars were clustered around waiting for the dinner bell, and when it rang, a minbte or so later, Lou and Harry joined them in their rush for the dining-room. They were not overfed, but the food furnished them was pure and \yholesome, so as yet neither Harry nor Lou had any real cause for complaint. After dinner they spent the rest of the noon hour in a practice game of ball, and so well did Lou and Harry pitch and catch that Scofield, the captain of the team, went into ecstasies. ''We are right 'in it' now!" he exclaimed; "we will challenge the Fentons for a game Saturday." "Who did the pitch mg for you at the last game?" asked Lou. "Tom Haddock," was the reply; "he got knocked completely out of the box, and he has made but two base-hits this season." "It seems rather strange that I am to take the place of that fellow. He will hate me worse than ever now." .. r believe he will attempt to thrash you again very soon." "''You bet he won't!" cried a number of the boys. Owing to the Haddocks being kept out of the playground, Lo: and Harry saw very little of them daring the balance of the week. The professor gave his consent to the school nine ro pla) a game with the Fentons on Sa.,turday afternoon, so all the ilcces sary arrangements were made: It was to be played Qn the grounds of the latter club, wliic!; were situated in the very heart of Fenton, a pleasant little village on the bank of a picturesque river. Fenton was but three miles from the Benley Academy, and as it was a little too far "to walk, Lou was selected to go and ask the professor to let Daggs take them down in the stage. This was on Saturday morning, and, anxious to please his constituents, our hero boldly made his way to the door of the professor's study. He knocked gently, and was told to come in The minute he opened the door and discovered Prof. Haggard Seated at his desk, with the box of candy he had stolen before him. The old man was mincing at a French chocolate cream, and when he saw who his visitor was he swallowed the whole of it at a single gulp and hastily threw a newspaper over the box. Lou did not by word or look show that he saw what the old man had been doing, but, hat in hand, and in a respectful manner, he asked if the nine could have the stage to convey them to and from Fenton that afternoon. "Certainly, Ashfield-certainly!" exclaimed the professor. "Daggs has nothin15 whatever to 9o this afternoon I hope you will win the game and keep up the reputation of Benley. By the way, I received a letter from your uncle this morning. Let me see; where is it? Ah, I know! I left it on the mantel in the dining-room. I'll go and get it, as there is something in it that greatly concerns you. Sit down, Ashfield ." The old m,;m hurried from the room, and the moment he was out of sight Lou stepped to his desk. "The mean old hypocrite," he muttered. "He has not finished my candies yet. Hanged if I don't make him sick of them!" A silver snuff box lay near the box of candy, and in a twinkling the boy opened it and sprinkled a goodly quantity of the snuff over the chocolates. This done, he placed things just as he had found them, and sat" down. In a minute or two the professcr returned with au open letter in his hand. "Here is what I want to call your attention to, Ashfield," said he. "Listen to this paragraph in your uncle s letter: 'Above all things, I desire you to make my nephew conform strictly to the rules and regulations of the academy, and in case he does ndt I desire him to be punished I want him to be educated for a business man, and discipline is an essential quality in a person who hopes to make a success in business.' How is that, young man?" "That is right, I suppose, sir." "Of course it is right. See to it that you do as your uncl e desires you to." "I will do my best, professor." "Very well, Ashfield. You can go now. I will call Daggs and tell him about the stage." Lou passed out, thinking very little about his unc1e's lett er. He thought it quite natural that he should write that way, as any parent or guardian would be liable to express in the same manner. There was a merry twinkle in his eye as he thought of the trick he had played on the professor and he hastened to Harry Hitcher to tell him about it. The boys were waiting for him, and when he told them that the stage would be ready for them after dinner they broke into a cheer. A few minutes later, just as he had finished telling Harry about the box of candy and the snuff, Daggs, the servant, came running out of the hou se in an excited manner. He was running :for the stable when the boys intercepted him. "What's the matter, Daggs?" asked Lou. "I'm off for ther doctor," was the reply. "Ther professor is awful sick; he's taken with a vomitin' fit!" The boys exchanged glances, and when the servant was out of hearing they broke into a hearty laugh. "I am getting square on him for stea ling my candies," observed our hero. "Well, it serves him right."

PAGE 9

.. 8 BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER VII. HAMILTON APPEARS. By the time Daggs succeeded in getting a physician Prof. Haggard had recovered from his attack, and he had also discovered the cause of his sudden sickness. He went into a dreadful rage when he found that his stolen sweets had been beautifully sprinkled with the contents of his 6nuff box. Of course he knew pretty well who did it, but it would not be policy to punish the boy for his mischievous act, because the box of candy was his property. Tired and feeble from his short but pronounced spell of sick ness, the professor allowed the physician to feel of his pulse and prescribe for him. He did not want to tell him the cause of the trouble, so he was forced to take two cathartic pills then and there, and promise to repeat the dose that night. The wise doctor received his fee and took his departure, and then the professor got up from the lounge he had been reclining on and drank a glass of water. This made him feel better, and, with an exclamation of dis gust he threw the rest of the pills into the cuspidor. "Confound that Ashfield boy," he muttered. "He knows I took the candy from his baggage, and he is doing all he can to square the account with me. I wisli I had not touched anything that be longed to him, for somehow I am under the impression that he will put me to no end of trouble during his stay here." Having delivered himself of these thoughts, the old man walked out on the veranda. He was just in time to witness the departure of the baseball nine in the stage, and when the boys caught sight of him they gave a hearty cheer. The professor had half a mind to call them back, just for the sake of punishing Lou, but he thought better of it, and answered their cheer by waving his hand. When the enthusiastic crowd of boys had disappeared in the distance the professor turned to go into his study for the purpose of drinking a glass of sherry to his nerves. At that moment two boys approached him from the hallway. They were Tom and Will Haddock. "What are you doing here, boys?" the old man demanded. "Ple ase, sir," replied Tom, "we came to ask you if you would suspend our sentence of punishment and allow us to go and see the ball game "Yes, you may go !" The words were spoken so quickly that the Haddock brothers could scarcely believe their senses. "Thank you, sir," they managed to say; and then they hurried off. Five minutes later the two bullies who had lost their laurelsif we may use the expression-were walking rapidly in the direc tion of Fenton. It was rather a long walk, but they were very anxious to get there, and, boylike, they did not mind it. "We will see what the Rew pitcher and catcher will do," observed Will as they walked along. "If that Ashfield pitches any better game than I can he must be a professional replied Tom. "There is only one thing I wish, and that is that he loses the game for them." "And I hope Hitcher has more passed balls than anything else." "Yes; and I'd like to see Ashfield get hit in the stomach with a liner, and get knocked out so he c0uldn't play again this season." "Well," admitted Will, after a minute's thought, "if Ashfield and Hitcher can play ball as well as they can handle their fists, they will put up a good game." This remark caused his brother to grow angry. "Do you mean to say Ashfield whipped me square?" he de manded. "Well, no, not exactly; but he got the best of you all right." t"W ell, Hitcher got the best of you, didn't he?" "Yes; but he wouldn't have if I hadn't seen Lemons coming and stopped fighting." Tom laughed in a sneering manner. "A good excuse," said he. "Never mind," retorted his brother, ''I am going to thrash Harry Hitcher within an inch of his life before he is many days older." "And I will get square with Lou Ashfield if it takes me as long as I live to do it?" "Get square with whom, boy?" The two young ascals started as though a dynamite bomb had exploded near them. A man, aged about thirty, with a heavy, dark mustache, stood before them. He had been standing against a tree at the side of the road, and they had been so deeply interested in their conversation that they had failed to notice him until he spoke. "Wh-ho-who are you?" stammered Tom Haddock, while his brother simply gave a gasp of astonishment. "My name is Myers," the man returned, with a smile that was reassuring. "I am a stranger in these parts. I happened to hear you mention the name of Ashfield. I am slightly acquainted with a boy of that name, who is at school somewhere in this vicinity." "Is-is he a friend of yours?" ventured \Viii. "Not much he isn't," was the quick reply. The Haddocks breathed a sigh of relief, and, noticing this, the man, who was no other han the villain Hamilton, who had contracted to put Lou Ashfield out of the way, continued : "He doesn't like me, either, so I simply want to see him without being seen. His uncle sent me down here to learn how he is behaving himself. Can you tell me where I can find him?" "Yes," exclaimed Tom, "he is going to pitch in a game of ball this afternoon. If you will go along with us you will see him." "Thank you I will be glad to go along. How far is it?" "Oh, not very far. We can get there in minutes from here." The Haddocks, with their new acquaintance, started off down the road. Myers, as he chose to call himself, soon got them to like him very much. He treated them to cigars and asked them all about the game of baseball, and they were only too willing to give him all the information he desired. Finally they told him how Lou and Harry Hitcher had given them a thrashing, and they were encouraged in their desire to get satisfaction. Hamilton carefully studied the two characters he had fallen in with, and just before the ball field was reached he decided to make Tom Haddock his tool. He called him aside, and in a whisper said: "See here, you don't want to see Ashfield win game for Benley, do you?" "No, sir, I don't!" retprted the boy, vindictively. "I have a piece of chewing gum in my pocket, which, if he chews, will make him so dull and sleepy that he will not be able to pitch anything like a good game. In fact, if he chewed the gum long enough it might--"-

PAGE 10

f BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 "I don't care if it kills hi!Jl !" interrupted Tom. "Give it to me; I 'll see that he gets it." "If he sh o uld die during the game it would not be from the effect of the chewing gum-it would be heart disease. He is subject to that, as I happen to know." Give me the chewing gum !" "Here it is, and here is twenty dollars to bet against the B e n ley nin e Now do your part, and don't say a word about it, even to your brother." "All r i ght, sir, and with a triumphant glitter in his evil eyes, '\ Tom pocketed the drugged gum and the money. CHAPTER VIII. THE G AME. Daggs delivered his load at the F enton ball grounds at pre'cisely two o'clock. As the game was adve rti se d to take place at three, both teams had ample time for practice. Fifteen minutes after their arrival the Benley nine was in the fie ld, and one of them was batting the ball about the field for the benefit of the fielders. After a few minutes of this sort of work Lou and Harry g o t off to one side, and with another ball proceeded to get themselv es in proper shape for the. game. The Fento n boys watched them sharP,ly, for, as they were new members of the academy team, they attracted considerable at t e ntion. At length they gave up the field to their opponents, and then Scofield gave out his batting li s t to the scorers Promptly at three o clock the game was ready to start. An umpire from the village was selected, to the satisfaction of both teams and the bal! was tossed to the pitcher's box. The F e ntons were lucky enough to win the toss, and they, of c:ourse, took the field. The first man at the bat went out on a foul, and the second made a base hit and succelded in reaching first. The next to follow was Dixon, and he had the -'bad luck to strike out. This made it two out, with small chance of getting a run in. Capt. Scofield was the next to follow, and, to the joy of his followers, he sent a beautiful fly toward left field. Away. he sped for first base and just as he reached it a howl went up fr o m the throats of the villagers. The left fielder of the Fentons had caught the ball. The B e nley's half ?f the inning was over, and they had not scored. A l a rge crowd had collected to witness the g
PAGE 11

IO BRA VE AND BOLD. CHAPTER IX. BENLEY WINS. "One strike! .. Lou had delivered the ball, and the batsman struck at it and mi ssed The v ill ain, Hamilton, expected to see him stagger and faJI to the ground before he could pitch another ball ; and Torn Had dock was looking tb see something happen, though he knew n o t what. Artd our hero was certainly chewing gum. Again he pitched, a )all called on hih1. "He is getting wild," thought Hamilton; "the poison is be ginning to work." The next ball the batsman hit and settt it soaring straight up ward. A hush came over the crowd as the pitther of the Benleys ran lightly to the spot where the ball would be apt to fall. Not one of his friends doubted but he would catch it. But Hamilton did; he felt sure that Lou had swallowed ertough saliva from the poisoned gum to make him groggy, especially when he strained his neck to look upward. "Bet that he misses it!" he whi s pered to Tom Haddock. The rascally boy caught on immediately. "Ten dollars it is a muff! he called out. I'll take you!" re s pond e d one of the villagers, and then the ball cam e down-plump into our h e r o's hands. And h e held it. A wild cry went up from the excited throng, and, with a bow, Lou stepped back to the pitcher's box. "Th at's two out!" observed the fellow who h ad won the ten dollars, as he stepped up to get his money. "Young fellow, I 'll bet you another ten that the next man fans out." "I'll have to go you," said Tom, as he handed over half the money Hamilton had given him to bet with. You are certainly giving me a good show to come out square." Hamilton, his face livid with rage and disappointment, stood watching every move Lou Ashfield made The boy was just as cool and collected when the third man stepped to the plate as he had been before he put the chewing gum in his mouth. And he wore such a smile of confidertce on his face that the Fenton batsman got "rattled." "One strike!" called out the umpire, as the first ball was pitched. The striker had n ot moved his bat, but as the ball came squarely over the plate he had missed his first opportunity. But the next b all he meant to hit, for the jeers of the crowd were ringing in his ears He gritted hard upon his teeth artd swung the bat around with enough force to knock the ball into half a dozen pieces. But he did not come within two feet of it. Lou had him at his mercy, and he knew it. "Give it up!" yelled the Benley rooters. Whizz The next ball carrte over the plate, and the umpire threw off his mask and called out: "Three strikes and out!" "Three cheers for o ld Benl ey and Ashfield, the pitcher!" cried the enthusiastic admirers of the academy nine. The cheers wete given heartily. Meanwhile L o u became the center of an admiring crowd. Being anxic;us tff see if the poisoned gum was going to get it s work in, Hamilton forced his way through the crowd to catch a glimpse of the boy. Much crestfallen at having lost twenty dollars, a1rd hating Lou worse than ever, Tom Haddock followed him. "The poison is a humbug, or else the boy never chewed that gum!" This was the thought of Hamilton when he got close enoug-h to see his condition. And Tom Haddock muttered to hims.elf: Lou A s hfield must have an awful strong constitution to sta11d the drugged chewing gum. There can be no fake about it, for Myers w o uldn't give me twenty dollar s to bet oh the game if there was. I might better have kept the money a'hd had a good ti'me with it. If I could get the. chance I d cut Ashfield's heart out for winning th e game. He is my rival, and we shall be rivals to the death!" Pretty soon the crowd began to di sperse, and Haddock started to follow Hamilton 1 But somehow the villain eluded him, and the young rascal was forced to seek the companionship of his brother. ''I wonder if they'll let us ride home in the stage with them?" asked Will Haddock. "It isn't likely," returned Tom. I ust then the Benley ball team passed them on the way to the building they were to change their uniforms for their ordinary' apparel. Lou was among them, arid as Tom looked at him with darken ing brow he saw the young pitcher take a packet of chewing gum from his pocket and toss it to a barefooted urchin. "Here, Johnny, try your teeth on this!" he said; "I don't l1se it very often, and I've part ,of another package left." As the urchin eagerly tore the wrapper from the little packet the face of Tom Haddock turned as pale as a sheet. It instantly occurred to him that Loq had nc t used the packet he had giv en him and that this was the one. And if the barefooted little fellow chewed it he was liable to die With a single bound the young rascal sprang forward and tore the gum fr o m the urchin s hand. mine!" he gasped; here 's a nickel for yau to buy Scofield, the captain, noticed this action, but he said nothing ab o ut it just then. When the stage was ready to start for home Daggs was ap proached by the Haddock brothers, who asked him if they could ride with the rest. As there was jtrst room for them, and they had as much right to tide as any of the scholars, he granted their request. The majority of the boys in the stage had not noticed the Haddocks on the ball ground, and they were much surprised to see them there. "Well, Tom, what do you think of our new pitcher?" asked Scofield. "First-rate," returned the guilty boy, with reddening face "Are you satisfied now with the chartge we made?" "See hete, Scofield!" spoke up WiII Haddock, rising and point ing his finger at the baseball captain, "you ate orlly talking like that to make fun oi us, because you thihk you have got Ashfield and Hitcher to back you. You know I whipped you Once, and I can do it again!" "That is what is the matter," chimed in his brother; "we ai111t afraid of any ofie of our size." The boy scow led at Loti as he s poke. "vVhy, how is this?" QL1estioned ()ur hero "How about the che wing gum, and what you said about being friends witji rne ?" Chewing gum!" echoed Scofield. "Why, he thought so much of what you had in your ptrcket that he grabbed it away from the little fellow you tossed it to, and then gave him a to keep him from crying

PAGE 12

BRA VE AND BOLD. .II Tom made no reply to this, but the expression on his face showed that he felt anything but comfortable. A shade of suspicion suddenly flashed across the mind of Lou Ashfield. Springing to his feet, he faced Tom Haddock and exclaimed : "I have changed my mind about that packet of gum; hand it over, please." "Never!" almost screamed the guilty young rascal. "Tom Haddock, you gave it to me and urged me to use it, but as I had some of my own that had been opened, I did not do it. I believe you put pepper on what you wanted me to or something else that would make me the victim of a dirty trick. Now, then, I want the identical packet of chewing gum that you gave me, and then took from the boy I" "I haven't got it," returned Haddock; "I threw it away before I got in the stage." Lou was satisfied that this was a falsehood, for he had noticed Haddock put his hand in his pocket in an uneasy manner. "If you don't give it to me I'll take it from you !" he cried, and as Tom did not make a move, he seized him by the collar. CHAPTER X. HAMILTON'S NEW SCHEME. Hamilton slunk away from the ball ground in a disgusted frame of mind. Many of the villagers were in a similar state, but they were disgusted because their nine had been beaten by the Benley boys, and not because the pitcher had failed to drop dead in the box. "Let me see," mused the villain, "I believe those boys said the Benley Academy was about two miles from this place. I think I shall put up at a hotel for a day or two, or until something can be done to put young Ashfield out of the way." By inquiring he soon found that the Fenton Hotel was the best in the village, and that he could get excellent accommodations there at the rate of two dollars per day. Putting on the air of a drummer, he entered the barroom, and after purchasing a drink, engaged a room. As he had no baggage save a small hand satchel, he was re quested to pay in advance, which he did-four dollars for two days. "I'm a circus agent," said Hamilton, in response to the clerk's inquisitive query as to what sort of business he was in. "You don't mean it!" gasped the man behind the bar. "But I don't think this is much of a town for a circus. One came here about seven years ago, and I guess it was glad to get away. The boys from the Benley Academy 'busted' the show before it was half over. Them boys are a pretty hard set when they get a-going, I can tell you, sir I" "I guess they are," said Hamilton. "They play a pretty good game of ball1 though." "They played pretty good to-day, but that is because they have a new pitcher and catcher. Our boys in the village are not slow at sports. Fenton is only a little place, but we have a baseball nine, a football eleven, a rowing team, and, in fact, a regular athletic club, which i, supported by all our best citizens, who have caught onto the spirit of the thing watching the Benley boys at their various sports." "A rowing team, you said? Is this the river they practice and race on?" and Hamilton pointed to a winding stream that could be seen from the window. "Yes; half a mile below here it is pretty wide and straight, and it is that way all the way to Benley, which is a little over three miles, by water, from here.,. "I should like to get a rowboat and go down as far as the academy to-morrow afternoon-just to see what it looks like." "You can hire a boat easily enough for a quarter, or for half a dollar you can get a boy to go along and do the rowing." "Much obliged for your information," said Hamilton. "How about something to eat-I am rather hungry?" "Right away, sir." "I must see that Haddock boy and get him to arrange it so Lou Ashfield will be on the river after dark to-morrow night," mused the villain, as .he made his way to the hotel dining-room. After eating a hearty meal Hamilton lighted a cigar and made his way to the barroom, where the usual crowd of loungers that hang about country hotels had already begun to gather. Picking up a paper, he carelessly proceeded to look it over. But a minute later he no longer took any interest in the paper, but was listening to the conversation of the loungers. "Yes, they do say there is a gang of thieves located somewhere in this county," he heard one of them say. "I see in this week's paper that they robbed the bank at Fernville Thursday night. This makes nineteen robberies in the county in one month." "I wouldn't be surprised if they were located in the Haunted Woods," said another. "It would be jist ther place for 'em," observed an old farmer. "That piece o' woodland is jist wild an' lonesome enough ter give' a fellor ther creeps when he goes through it." "You're right!" the whole lot chimed in. "How far is the Haunted Woods from here?" asked Hamilton, a while. "It commences 'bout a mile outside ther village an' runs five or six miles to the north," was the reply. "It is a wonder that the sheriff don't hunt the robbers out." "T t v are a-goin' ter try. it; but I reckon they'll have a time of it. Ther Haunted Woods are one of ther wildest pieces of country in this State. It are full of swamps an' quagmires, an' there is only one road that goes through it. Why, if a stranger was ter git a few rods off ther road he'd like as not walk inter a swamp an' stick there till doomsday l" Hamilton said no more. But it occurred to him that in case all -Gther ways failed, it would be a good thing to get Lou Ash field in the Haunted Woods and do away with him there. That the man was a heartless scoundrel the reader can easily judge. Hamilton remained up late that night, and being fond of a spree occasionally, he spent several dollars at the bar. The hotel loungers voted him a "bully" fellow, and advised him not to bring a circuit to Fenton, on account of the schoolboys at Benley. Before retiring he made arrangements for one of them to row him down the river as far as the academy the next day, which was Sunday, so the first part of his second scheme was laid. It was late when the villain arose the next morning, and after eating a rather light breakfast he sought out the villager who had promised to take him out in a boat. He was not long in finding him, and half an hour later the two were seated in a light rowboat, while the villager pulled with lusty stroke down the river. When about a mile had been covered Hamilton's companion pointed out a road that ran oblique with the stream, and said: "There is ther road that leads through ther Woods." "Is that so ?" asked the villain. "Yes; it switches off jist this side of ther Benley school, and fallers ther river till right here it runs off in another direction. It's a lonely road, an' ain't used much nowadays/' The scheming scoundrel, who meant to take the life of an in-

PAGE 13

12 BRAVE AND BOLD. nocent boy, was learning something of interest to him all the time, and he was careful to learn just where the lonely highway started, and how far it was to the quagmires in the woods. As the boat had the current with it they were not Jong in coming in sight of Prof. Haggard's great academy for boys, and l'!:amilton ordered the villager to cease rowing and allow the boat to drift past. Presently Hamilton observed one of the scholars coming down the hill toward the bank of the river. He gave a start of surprise, and then a muttered exclamation of satisfaction came from his lips. The approaching boy was no other than Tom Haddock. "Set me ashore here for a few minutes," said the villain. "I want to take a look about the place. You can go on down the river for a little distance, and then come back after me." "AU right," returned his companion, not the least bit surprised at this remark; and a minute later he caused the prow of the boat tci grate upon the pebbly beach. Hamilton sprang out, and pushing his way through a cluster of bushes, came fa<:e to face with the boy who hated Lou Ashfield. CHAPTER XI. A DARING RESCUE. With a mighty effort Tom Haddock tore himself loose from our hero's grasp, and with a headlong rush made his escape from the stage. Lou darted after him, but too late. Haddock hurled the packet of poisoned chewing gum far into the environs of a neighbor ing swamp. "Now I defy you to get it!" he almost screamed, i a sort of fiendish joy. "Tom Haddock, I've a notion to--" Lou checked himself and then hastily added: "You are a cowardly sneak, and not worth bothering with!" As our hero turned to enter the stage a demoniacal gleam shot from Haddock's eyes, and picking up a stone, he hurled it with all his might at Lou's head. "Look out, Lou-drop!" shouted those in the waiting vehicle. With great presence of mind he obeyed, and the stone, which was as large as a baseball, went shooting over him, striking a tree on the side of the road with such force as to split the bark from it. As Lou sprang to his feet and realized what would have been the consequence if he had not dropped, his temper got the better of him .. He resolved to punish Haddock for his dastardly action. Springing forward with a bound, he started after the vengeful boy, who was now .running down the road. Lou was the better runner by far, and iii less than five minutes he overtook him. Tom turned before he got near enough to lay hands on him and, with a muttered oath, he drew his knife. "Let me alone, Lou Ashfield !" he cried; "if you don't I'll kill you!" But our hero did not allow himself to be checked by any such threat as that. With a quick movement he darted forward and seized the young villain by the wrist, striking him a blow on the forehead at the same time. Tom had expected to see his pursuer halt at the sight of his knife, a'.nd Lou's action was entirely unexpected. Dazed and confused from the blow he received, he easily allowed the knife to be wrenched from his hand. Lo\.! coolly pocketed it, and then exclaimed : "Now, Tom Haddock, I am going to punish you for trying to kill me! Stand up like a man !" Haddock did so, preparing to make a fight for it. There were but a few passes, and then the revengeful boy was knocked down. Lou waited for him to get up and renew the fight, but Had dock had enough of it, and started to crawl away on his hands and knees. With a cry of disgust Lou administered a couple of kicks to him, causing him to rise to his feet and run like the unprincipled sneak he was. By this time the stage had reach ed the spot, and our hero was cheered for his action. Will Haddock, who had been forced to remain in the stage by Harry Hitcher, was now allowed to get out and follow his brother to the academy on foot. On the way back the boys promised Lou to say nothing to the professor about what had taken place. Like our hero, they believed it would only make Tom Haddock worse to have him punished. Daggs also agreed not to mention it, and so the professor did not hear of it when they returned. T h e next day being Sunday, the boys had little to do but to attend the services in the chapel. They of course were not allowed to indulge in their sports on this day, but the rules did not prohibit them from taking a stroll, if they felt so disposed. About ten o'clock Lou, Harry and Scofield set out for a walk to the village. Benley was a much smaller place than Fenton; still it was a very pretty little village. It was a pleasant morning in September, and as the highway was shaded by trees the most of the way, the walk was a treat to the boys. They chatted gayly over the past, present and future, and were enjoying themselves as only boys can. Presently a pleasi'1g sight caught their eyes, and they halted for a moment. Coming down a crossroad were two young people on bicycles. Whi1e our three young friends were watching them turn the corner into the road-very nearly where they were standing-they heard the thud of horses' hoofs A single glance showed them a runaway team coming directly for them, not over fifty yards from the cyclists. The boys saw the team first, and Lou quickly shouted to the young c;ouple and told them to look out. To attempt to pass a runaway team with a bicycle is a danger ous thing to do, and the boy on the wheel evidently knew this, for he quickly dismounted and called to his fair companion to do the same. Just then her wheel ran into a: bed of sand, and the next instant she was thrown heavily into the middle of the road. And the maddened horses were not over forty feet distant. Lou .and his companions expected to see the boy rush to the rescue, but instead he stood as though petrified, his face as white as marble. "The girl will be kill ed !" cried Harry Hitcher. "No, she won't," replied Lou; and like an antelope he bounded to the spot. The girl's dress had become entangled in her bicycle, and, half dazed from her fall, she was vainly endeavoring to rise to her feet. Our hero reached her at about the same time the horses did,

PAGE 14

BRAVE AND BOLD. and, thinking he was too late, Harry and Scofield turned their heads to shut out the sickening sight. They expected the fair cyclist would be mangled by the cruel iron hoofs of the maddened team. But no such thing occurred. L o u seized th e girl's arm and pulled her aside just in the nick of time. The bicycle was smashed into pieces, but the life of its fair rider was saved In a fainting condition our hero carried her to a mossy bank. Without paying any attention to the runaway team, which continued on its way d ow n the road, Harry and Scofield hurried t o the spot. As if he had just awakened, the boy with the bicycle also ap proached. "Are you-aw-hurt, Hazel?" he asked, in a dudish tone of voice. His question seemed to arou!e her and, arising to her feet, she returned: "No, Reginald, I am not hurt; but I cannot tharlk you for being alive. You had plenty of time to drag both me and my bicycle from the road, but you stood there and waited for this brave young gentleman to come to my rescue. I was not so badly scared but that I know pretty well what took place. Thank you ever so much!" The last stntence was spoken to Lou, who responded by tipping his hat. "We were on our way to church," went on the girl, whose fright had almost subsided, "and I did not see my danger until he-Reginald Munsey, and a brave young man he is !-called out to me to dismount. I tried to, but you saw what happened." "It was my duty to save you if I could," responded our hero. "I am sorry I was not in time to keep your bicycle from being run over, too." Meanwhile the face of the boy called &ginald Munsey was cov ered by an angry flush. Evidently he was not pleased with the way the girl spoke of him. CHAPTER XII. AN EVENTFUL MORNING. Reginald Munsey felt like kicking himself because be did not spring forward and save Hazel Cleverton from the horses' hoofs instead of allowing our hero to do it. He was mad at himself and mad at eve rybody and everything; a11d when his fair companion spoke in such a sarcastic tone he Jost his temper entirely. "Baw Jove!" he exclaimed; "Hal!el, what do you want to stand and talk to these-aw-schoolboys for? The f e llow saved youaw-from being hurt, which I could have done if--" "If you had thought of it, Reginald,'' interrupted the girl. "You should be very thankful that things turned out as they have. Be good enough to pick my poor bicycle up and carry it h ome for me; perhaps it is not beyond repair." "I suppose your father will send the fellow a check," said the angry young dude, without noticing her remark. "He is but wait ing for you to say as much." Lou's face n!ddened at this insult, but in as cool a tone as he could command he exclaimed: "I want you to understand, sir, that in all probability you need a check fully as much as I do I ran to th e young lady's assist ance because I saw she was in danger; you showed yourself a coward by staying away!" "What!" almost screamed Munsey; "you call me a coward? Take that!" He made a slap at Lou's face, but it did not reach, for the boy was altogether too quick for one of the dude's sort. "I will chastise you now, anyhow!" the enraged dude shrieked, and he followed our hero up and endeavor@ to slap hitn again. L o u thought it about time to do something now so with a quick movement, he seized his aggressor by the nose and gave it a sharp twist, which brought him to his knees. Hazel Cleverton laugh e d heartily at this performance, and Harry and Scofield also joined in. When Munsey scrambled to his feet he did not make another rush at Lou, but shaking his fist, he cried: "I will have satisfaction for this l \Ve will see who is the coward--you or I I" Then he turned on his heel, and picking up the wreck of the young lady's bicycle, swung it over his shoulder and started down the road. 11 thank you again for your brave action," said Hazel Cleverton, "and now wish you good-morning." Lou and his two companions tipped their hats and responded, and then the fair young girl, who had come within an ace of losing her life a few minutes before, took charge of the dude's wheel and pushed it along while she walked in his wake. "I am always meeting with some sort of an adventure, it seems," observed our hero, as he brushed and straightetied out his clothes. "Now I have made another enemy." "Not a very dangerous one, I guess," laughed Harry Hitcher. "I should say not," spoke up Scofield. "Well, shall 0wt go on down to the village?" "Yes, we might strikt! a little more excitement." "Ah!" exclaimed Lou suddenly, as he looked up the road and saw two men approaching; "here are the victims of the runaway, no doubt." The boy was right; the appearance of the men was enough to show that. Hatless, and with their clothing torn, they were hurrying in pursuit of the team Our three friends gave them '.Ill the information they could, which was simply that the runaway had continued on the straight road and not turned the corner, and the two luckless individuals hurried on. The boys then walked on to the village, and shortly aher they got there they beheld the runaway team, hiJthed to a badly bat tered wagon, drive up to the livery stable. "They will have a nice little bill to settle, I guess," remarked Scofield. "You bet!" repli ed Harry. At that moment the atte11tion of the three was attracted by a couple o f elderly men, who, in spite of the fact that it day, had been imbibing altogethc:too freely. "Here i s a chance for some fun," sai d Lou, with a merry twinkle in hi s eyes. "Let's brace them o n the subject of in temperance." His companions nodded, and wit h broad grins on their faces followed our hero The two men saw the boys befor e they got to them, and before Lou could get a chance to speak a word o ne of them bawled out: "Where you gain', boys-church?" "You have hit it exactly, sir," returned the young pitcher of the nine. "Will you kindly inform us where you got your load?" "vVha-a-t !" gasped the other fellow. "Boy, you are-hie-

PAGE 15

.. 14 BRA VE AND BOLD. insultin'. Load I Why, we ain't-hie-half loaded yet, are we, pard ?" "Guess not," was the emphatic rejoinder. "Here, boys, have a drink I" He pulled a fl.ask from his pocket, and in a friendly manner ten dered it to the boys. ""' The next instant something happened that broke up all the fun our friends contemplated having The village c o nstable arrived upon the scene and took charge of the intoxicated pair. And that was not all eith e r. The instant he recognized the boys as beloging to the Benley Academy he arrested them also The village authorities were strongly prejudiced against Prof. Haggard's scholars. and the constable took it for grantea that the three boys had been the means of getting the men drunk, and were having a lark with them. Consequently he considered it his duty to arrest them. And he did, but he did not succeed in taking them to the lockup. Lou made a dive between the constable's legs and upset him; and, wishing to imitate their leader's example as nearly as they could, Harry and Scofield acted upon the intoxicated men in a similar manner. The result was that there was a tangled mass of humanity on the ground, and the three B e nley boys were scudding across Jots in the direction of the academy. "I shouldn't :illow a village constable to take me-no matter what I had done!" panted Scofi e ld, as they came down to a walk at the outskirts of the place. "They are altogether too officious, and the majority of them know no more about law than a child five years of age A village constable is the most important personage-;-in his own mind-that resides in a township." "I guess the fellow I sent to grass don t feel quite as important as he did when he arrested us," said Lou. "What time is it?" asked Scofield. "Eleven o'clock," returned Hitcher. "Let's go in the woods here and see if the chestnuts aren't pretty nearly ripe; we've Jots of time yet." This suggestion suited Lou and Harry to a T, and the next moment all three vaulted over the old-fashioned rail fence at the side of the road and entered the woods. The undergrowth was pretty thick, and it took them some time to reach the group of chestnut trees. "they ain't ready to drop yet," observed Scofield, as he peered above him "There hasn't been a good frost yet. When it does come, then look out! You can pick up chestnuts by the bushel in these woods." As he finished speaking he stepped back without looking and came in contact _with a cluster of briars. Somehow he Jost his balance and sat down right into the bushes. The boy's companions laughed, and then assisted him from his uncomfortable seat. As they did so Lou's foot struck something that gave forth a metallic ring. Curious to see what it was, he knelt and pulled the bushes aside, and a canvas sack was disclosed. "What's this r our hero exclaimed. as he dragged it out of the bushes. "Open it and see," suggested Harry. "That's it,'' nodded Scofield; and in the twinkling of an eye he untied the knot that held the mouth of the together. A curious assortment of tools came to their view as they peered iruiido. There were hammers and saws of all sizes, a huge bunch of keys and a host of other things "Do you know what we have found?" asked Lou, excitedly. "What?" gasped his companions "A kit of burglars' tools!" Before th) astonished boys could make a reply they heard the sounds of approaching footsteps. "'S-h-h-h !" whi s pered Lou; "let us hide!" Placing the sack where they had found it, they crept noiselessly into the bushes. CHAPTER XIII. HADDOCK IMPROVES IN VILLAINY. Tom Haddock gave a violent start when he beheld Hamilton on the river bank. "You here?" he gasped. "Yes; I came down the river purposely to see you. Are we alone here?" "Yes," answered the boy. "You are not mad with me because the chewing gum did not work, are you? I will tell you all about it, and then you will know that I did the best I could." "I have no doubt you did the best you could," said Hamilton, patronizingly, as he led the way close to the edge of the water. The scheming scoundrel and his willing tool sat down on a rotk that o"\terhung the placid surface of the river, and in a low voice Hamilton told what he wanted. "I cannot induce Ashfield to come out on the river,'' said Haddock, shaking his head deci s ively. "He would not listen to anything I said. He thinks less than ever of me since the ball game, and I hate him worse than I did before." The last was spoken with a sort of hiss, and the eyes of Hamilton sparkled. He now b e lieved that he could fully trust the boy. "See here!" he exclaimed, placing his hand on Tom's shoulder, "have you told any one about what I said or gave to you?" "No," was the truthful reply; "not even my brother." "Do you intend to mention it?" -"Never! It would do me an injury to do it." "Suppose I should go to the professor and tell him I heard you talking of getting square with Lou Ashfield, even if you had to kill him? Suppose I should add that I gave you a piece of chewing gum, stating that it contained poison, and that you it your business to give it to Ashfield, just to revenge yourself upon him? What then?" The face of the boy turned pale, and he shifted his feet uneasily. "I should be expelleq from the academy,'' he answered slowly, "and-well, what would happen to you in such a case?" "Nothing." "Why not?" "You say you threw the chewing gum into a swamp when Ashfield started to chase you. Suppose I should say the gum was just the s;!me as any other kind, and that I did it just to sec how bad you were?" "But I am sure it was poisoned all right." "So am I, but suppose I should say it wasn't? Where is the proof?" "I see,'' said Tom, "you are putting these 'ifs' and 'ands' in to try me. Don't worry, Mr. Myers; I should never tell if I saw you stab Lou Ashfield through the heart! I know you want to get him out of the way, and I help you, because I hate him!" Hamilton winced at these words, but a feeling of satisfaction came over him at the same time.

PAGE 16

B:B.A VE AND BOLD. 15 He was now well satisfied that he could trust the boy to do any thing, and in a very few words he told him. of his idea of get ting Lou into the quicksands of the Haunted Woods. Haddock rcm:iined silent for a moment, and then, with the air of a person who carefully weighs what he is going to say, took Hamilton by the arm, "You have good ideas, Mr. Myers. Either the river or the quicksands will do. But look hem I" and he lowered his voice to a hoarse whisper; "what do I get when the thing is ac (" Hamilton shrugged his shoulders. "You are to take a business view of it," observed he. "I thought your h:itred was enough to spur you on. I haven't a great deal of money, as you may understand." "Perhaps you haven't, but somebody else has. I am not as green as I look, and I consider I ought to have a fair share of what you are going to receive, if I do my part of the business." The boy was now talking' with the air of a hardened criminl, and his coolness evP.n astonished tJ{e villain before him. Hamilton thought a moment, and then replied: "I'll give you two hundred dollars if the business is settled in one week from to-day. Is that satisfactory?" "It is," exclaimed Haddock, with a greedy look m his dull, gray eyes. Two hundred dollars! That was a large sum to him, for though his parents were wealthy, they allowed him very little spending m o ney. Two hund:-_d dollars to commit a murder. A moment ""later Hamilton saw his boat coming toward the shore. "The minu1e you get things right come to Fenton and let me know. I shall be at the Fenton H ote l until the thing is over." "Very well ," r e plied Tom Haddock. "Good-day." "Good-day!" And the two villainous plotters parted, Hamilton going up the river in the boat, and Haddock walking along the ri,ver bank until he came to the boathouse belonging to the academy. "I think I'll takP a little row myself," he "I don't feel like eating anything jus t yet, and if I miss a meal it will suit old Hag." He soon had a little bateau afloat, and getting in, he rowed with an easy, swinging stroke down the river. Haddock was certainly a fine oarsman. He was a member of the academy crew, and he had always acquitted himself finely when they rowed a race. On he kept for over a mile, and then, observing a monster wild grape vine on the right bank of the river, he sent the boat ashore and sprang out to gather some of the fruit. They were so plentiftil that Tom soon had the stern-sheets of the boat pretty well covered with them. "I'll take some to Will and the other fellows," he thought. Just as he was about to step back into the boat two men sud denly burst through the bushes a few feet from him. They were coarse-looking and very roughly dressed, and one of them carried a canvas sack. "Say, boy, set u s across the river, will you?" exclaimed one of them. "Certainly," replied Haddock; "but as my boat is pretty small I'll have to take one of you at a time." "All right, and the fellow with the sack got in. If Haddock had not felt inclined to accommodate them he would have ha rdly dared refuse on account of their "tough'; ap pearance. As the distance across the river was not great, he soon had the first one across, and then came back after the other. When he was landed on the other side the man tossed Tom a quarter, and without a word followed his companion into the bushes. "I wonder what those fellows are up to?" mused the boy. "They look like a pair of thieves." He pushed the boat off and slowly for the center of the ri ver. Just as he had pointed the prow in the direction of' the acad emy he heard somt> one calling to him. He turned and beheld three boys standing on the bank, in the same spot he had taken the two men from. He gave a start when he beheld them, for one of them was his hated rival, Lou Ashfield, and the others were Hitcher and Scofield. "Say, Haddock!" called out Lou, "have you seen two strange men around here?" "No I" retorted the young rascal, telling a lie for no cause whatever. "That is funny," spoke up Scofield; "we've been following thell\. for the past few minutes, and they came direct for the river bank. They are thieves, and have robbed the hou se of Mr. Cleverton this morning I" "Haven't seen a sign of a human being," said Haddock, shak ing his head and starting to row up the river. CHAPTER XIV. THE ROBBERS. Our 1hree young friends had scarcely concealed themselves in the clump of busj1es when two men came in sight beneath the chestnut trees. Lou and hi s cornpanions were where they c ou ld see without being seen and so Jong as they remained perfectly quiet there was littl e danger of their being discovered The two m e n were tough l ooking customers, and to judge from their exultant talk they had just returned from a successful enterprise. "'vVell, Hank, we were in luck ter git hold of ther s tuff afore the r gal an' that fool of a feller got back with the broken bicycle," one of them observed, as he patted a bulky' portion of his coat in an affectionate manner. "Yes, Mike," was the rejoinder, "we are what I calls lucky dogs. So much for me havin' a sweetheart that works in old Cleverton's house. Now we want ter git across ther river an' git to our hangout in ther swamps as soon as "I'm goin' ter have a swig of this wine afore I go. It ought ter be somethin' fine." The rascal produced a bottle from his pocket and proceeded to draw the cork. "My! but that is fine!" he exclaimed, smacking his lips. "Try it, Mike." Mike did so, and promptly agreed with his companion's opinion. A couple of "swigs" of the liquor made them careless about leaving very soon, and they sat d ow n on the ground and prepared to drain the bottle With bated breath the three boys waited for them to depart. "If we only h a d a revdlver apiece we could capture those fel lows," said Lou 111 a low whisper. "That is so; but as we haven t we have got to keep still as mice;'' returned Harry in the same tone "Anyhow, when they go we will follow them and endeavor to

PAGE 17

16 BRAVE AND BOLD. locate their headquarters," observed Scofield. "Then we can report to the officers of the law and have them arrested." It was over half an hour before the men arose to their feet and threw the empty bottle aside. One of them seized the sack, which was dangerously near the concealed boys, and, without noticing that it had been opened, deposited two or three queer-looking instruments into it, and then swung it over his shoulder. "Now we will be off!" he exclaimed. "The girl said it was not lik ely they would discover the house had been robbed till to m O'rrow morning. Smart girl that!" Tfie next minu te the thieves, who were now about half in toxicated, started through the woods. As soon as they were a hundred yards away Lou and his two friend s emerged from the bushes and followed them. The occasio n a l cracking of a twig told them the direction in which the men were going, and in a manner that would have done credit to a trio of Indian scouts they followed. At the expiration of fifteen minutes they lost track of the rob bers, and not knowing what else to do, they cautiously pro eeeded on straight ahead. Two minutes later they came upon the bank of the riv e r and saw Tom Haddock in the b oat, as has already been described. "It is strange where they could h a ve gone," observed Lou, as th ey gazed at the rapidly r eceding boat. "I wonder--Ah! here are some tracks. They have certainly been here, and--" "Tom Haddock has set them across the river," interrupted Harry. "But if he dtd w y did be want to tell a lie about it?" spoke up Scofi eld, scratching his he a d in a puzzl ed manner. "He hates me so that in all probability he would not give us the satisfaction of know ing what he saw or did,'' returned Lou, strikin g the nail exactly on the head. "Well, he certainly did take them across, for here are the prin ts of rubber-soled shoes, and also those of large, heavy boots. Haddock wears rubber-s ole d shoes the biggest part of the time I think there is no doubt that he not only saw them, but set them across." His companions were compelled to believe this to be the correct solution of the matter, but as they had no way of getting across the stream, they were compelled to turn their steps in the. direction of the academy. It was past the hour when they arrived, but they made their way direct to the professo r 's office and reported what they had learned The old gentleman sent t hem to the dining-room, and then
PAGE 18

I BRA VE AND BOLD. When they reached the road, Torn said: "We will cut across lots here and go up through the woods near Fenton. I want to stop there to get some cigarettes and a plug of tobacco, and you can wait for me in the edge of the woods." "All right," returned his brother. "\Vhile you are in Fenton you might as well get a quarter's worth of whiskey; it will do us good, I think, and help us to make the chase a long one." Tom agreed. Young as they were, both were addicted to the rum and tobacco habit, though they dared not let the professor or any of the teachers know it. On they hurried, leaving a winding trail over hills, down gullies and through intricate mazes of undergrowth. Both boys possessed good wind, and in a remarkably short time they came in sight of the village of Fenton. "You stay right here until I come back," said Tom. "vVe have plenty of time, and we will be off again before they start from the asademy." "Don't forget the whiskey!" exclaimed Will, as he fished a quarter from his Pocket and handed it over. "You bet I won't!" and his brother hastened in the direction of the village, leaving his sack of paper bits behind. Tom Haddock had a double purpose in going to Fenton. He wanted the cigarettes and tobacco, but he desired to see Hamilton, or Myers, as he kne w him, more than anything else. He had made up his mind that the paper chase would terminate Lou Ashfield's earthly career, and he wanted to let the man most interested know what he proposed to do. In ten minutes' time the young villain reached the Fenton Hotel. He observed Hamiltoii" seated on the stoop, his legs cocked up at an angle of forty-five degrees, and a cigar in his mouth. "How are you, Mr. Myers?" said Tom, in a mild tone of voice, as he leaned with foot on the""9tep. "Hello!" exclaimed Hamilton, with a start; "ho are you? What's up-anything?" :'It won't do to talk here," and Haddock nodded apprehensively. "\\Tell, I'll take a walk with you in the direction of the fields." "All right. I've got to buy something in the barroom; by that time you will be ready." The country hotel kept the things he wanted, and five minutes later Tom Haddock had purchased them. Then he started slowly back to the spot where he had left his brother, Hamilton following a few yards behind. Halfway to the edge of the woods Tom halted and leaned against a rail fence. "Well," said Hamilton, pausing before him, "have you got things right?" "Yes," was the reply; "we've got him dead to rights now !" "Tell me about it, but don't talk too loud." In a low tone the boy told him of the paper chase, and how he expected to lead our hero into one of the swamps. "Do you know where these dangerous quagmires are?" asked Hamilton. "Yes, I've been in the Haunted Woods more than once, and I've had them pointed out to me." "I'll take a walk that way myself just to see how things go. Remember, the thing must be done right, and when it is you get the money." There was a glitter of triumph in Tom's eyes as he assured the villain that he would not fail. Then they parted, the boy hurrying to the place where he had left his brother, and the man making his way leisurely in the direction of the Haunted Woods. "You've been gone long enough, Tom!" exclaimed Will Had-dock as Tom arrived. "If we dGm't hurry they'll catch us before we get very far." "Couldn't help it," panted the boy. "Here is your whiskey; drink it!" Will took a good pull at the flask and smacked his lips after tm fashion of an old sailor. Then his brother took barely a taste of it and lighted a cigarette. "I guess we'll go now," he observed as he swung the sack over his shoulder. "Will, don't drink too much of that stuff, or you'll give out before we get through." "Never mind me," was the reply; "you like cigarettes better than rum, but I don't. I could drink all there is in this flask and it wouldn't hurt me a bit!" "I'll bet you half a dollar you can't!" said Tom, as a thought struck him that it would be a good plan to let his brother get drunk so he would know nothing of the murderous scheme he had in view. "I'll take you-that is, if you don't want any of the whiskey." "I shan't touch any o f it. I think I can run faster without it." "And I can run faster with it Will, as he took another drink. "In les s than an hour from now you can hand me over the half dollar." On the two boys scattering the bits of paper behind them as they went. Tom manag e d to induce Will to a chew from the plug of tobacco between drinks, and this helped matters along con siderably. At length the l:rrothers reached the confines of the Haunted Woods. \/Viii was now in a hilarious state. He kept singing snatches of songs and thro.:ing handfuls of paper in every direction. At length he had imbibed the entire contents of the bottle, and then he concluded to go no farther for a while. Tom succeeded in getting him into some bushes, and a few moments later he was lying in a drunken slumb e r. "There! now I can do the business that will put an end to Lou Ashfield's career." muttered the young scotmdrel. "There is a dangerous quagmire a few hundred feet from here, I guess I--" He was cut short in his meditations, for at that moment two men suddenly appeared before him. "Hello!" excl'aimed Tom; and then he gave a gasp of aston ishment. The men were those he had conveyed across the river the day before. "Hello, yourself," answered one of the robbers. "Why, Mike, / if it ain't ther boy that did us a mighty good turn yesterday, I'm ther son of a millionaire! What are you doin', boy, a-throwin' all this paper around here?" "I'm leading a paper chase from the academy," returned Haddock, with just a tinge of fear in his voice. "Oh! you're makin' a trail for ther rest of ther boys to follow, are you? Well, you take my advice an' git out of this place. If you don't some of you will get fast in the quagmire; won't they, Mike?" "That's just what they will, Hank!" was the reply. "Say!" said Tom, lowering his voice to a whisper, "you had better look out! the whole town is looking for you fellows. Three of the boys at our school saw you in the woods and heard you talking about having robbed Col. Cleverton's house. They fol lowed you to the river, and got there just after I had set you across. They asked me if 1 had seen two strange men, and I told them no, just because one of the boys is my sworn enemy." "Whc:w !" exclaimed the robbers, in a breath. "Boy, a.re you tellin' the truth?"

PAGE 19

18 BRA VE AND BOLD. "I am. Why should I lie to you without an,y cause?" "That's so. Well, much obliged to you. We might be able to do you a good turn some day, if you d on t let on that you met us to -day. Look out for the quagmires, boy. So l ong!" "The next minute the two m e n took a hasty departure, and ran almost int o the arms of Hamilton, who had a cocked revolver in his hand. "Hands up, gentlemen!" said the villaih, calmly. "If you want to save yourselves from being arrested you will do exactly as I say!" CHAPTER XVI. MU!tDER A devilish smile of satisfaction lit up the countenance of Hamilton as he realized that he held the two robbers in his p o wer. He had been hidden not ten feet away, and had heard every word of the cohversation between them and Tom Haddock. The robbers, Hank and Mike, were taken completely by surprise, and the revolver'1T!ade them feel anything but comfortable. "Wha-a-at do you us to do?" one of the villains finally gasped. "Lead me to your headquarters and let me become a member of the gang you belong to," said Hamilton, coolly. "Who are you anyway?" "It matters not who I am. You can call me Myers," was the reply. "Now, th e n, this boy ha s got a little job o n hand pretty soon, and if he fails I want to take another boy to your head quarters and fix him so he will never see the outside of thes e woods again. Do you und e rstand what sort of a man I am now?" "The boy he refers to is one of those who hearo and saw you in the woods after you committed the r o bbery," s poke up Tom Haddock, who had remained standing in his track ever since the appearance of Hamilton. "This are mighty curious business," observed the villain called Hank. "Take your pistol out of range of my head, mister; we'll do as you say 1 "Say, you ain't a detective, are you?" asked Mike, as Hamilton lowered his weapon "Hardly," was the retort. "Aren't you satisfied with what I have told you?" "He is all again spoke up Tom Haddock. "I know Mr. Myers pretty well." "I would;i't be surprised if all four of us are genuine rogues," said Hank, with a grin. "If you think you can teach me anything in the line of villainy you are welcome to try," and as Hamilton spoke he drew himself up proudly. "And I guess I'm not slow, either," put in Haddock; "even if I am rather young "Oh, you'll do," returned Hamilton. "Any one who hates a per son enough to kill him, and is perfectly willing to try it, is all right." The boy's eyes flashed. ,. Lou Ashfield ':"ill die to-day!" he exclaimed. "I know enough of him to feel satisfied that he will be ahead of the rest in the chase. He must pitch headforemost into the quagmire some where around here Show me where there is a good place, will you?" The question was addressed to the two robbers, who stood in their tracks, almost speechless at the boy's cool way of speaking of committing a murder. Before they could reply the shouting of boys could be heard in the distance. "Here they come!" exclaimed Haddock; "they arc hot upon the paper trail. Show me tht> quagmire." "Come on," said one of the men; "I'll show you." Hamilton and Tom followed the two men through the bushesthe latter dropping the paper bits as he went. In les s than two miuutes they came to the edge of the marsh, which wa screened from view by a thick belt of undergrowth. "There," observed pointing to the treacherous place, "if a fellow once falls in there it is all up with him, unless he has somebody handy by to git him out:" "Well, Lou AshfieJd must go in there head first, then I'll be sure that he won't get out!" As Haddock uttered the words he gritted hard upon his teeth. "They are getting nearer all the time," observed Hamilton. "You want to make sure that Ashfield is ahead." "He is ahead in everything he undertakes, so it is not likely this will prove an excepti o rt," said the young villain, as he bent a twig low to the grou nd and fastened it so it would trip a person. "You three hide right here," he went on. "I am going to see if Ashfield is really ahead of the rest. If he is, which will surely be the scrape some leaves over these papers here after he tumbles in, and I will go on with the trail back to the road again." "But how will we know whether he is ahead or not?" asked Hamilton. "I won't allow any one else to come this way, for I will show myself so they will chase me, instead of following the trail here. In that case you must cover up the bits of paper anyhow, so some other person will not fall into the trap." The nerve the boy possessed fairly took Hamilton's breath away. "If that fellow lives long enough he will make a king among scoundre ls," he thought. "Do you understand?" asked Haddol'l< impatiently, as the cries of the Benley boys came nearer .... "Yes!" r esponded the three. Away darted the boy to the road. He happened to strike a portion of it that ran nearl y straight for about three hundred yards, and he cautiously peered in the direction the boys would come from Almost instantly his heart gave a jump. There was only one boy in sight, and that, sure enough, was Lou A shfield. Like a rabbit Tom Haddock bounded back into the bushes and hurried to the edge of the marsh. "Ashfield is ahead!" he hoarsely, though he could not see hi s hiding accomplices. "All right," replied the voice of Hamilton. Then the boy who had murder in his heart began to tremble for the first time. A strange fear came over him, and he, too, crawled into the bushes out of sight. A minute passed. It seemed that Lou Ashfield should have re.ached the spot by this time. But suddenly the hiding four heard footsteps. Not one of them rai sed their head to p eer through the foliage. Half a minute later there was a crash in the bushes, followed by a dt1ll splash. It was all over. Not a sound came from the victim, which showed that he had fallen in head first. Pale and trembling, Tom Haddock arose with the word murderer stamped on his brow. "Cover the trail!" he whispered, hoarsely; "I will make a new one!"

PAGE 20

BRA VE AND BOLD. 19 Hamilton and the two robbers quickly obeyed as the boy's form shot in the direction of the road. Handful after handful. The boy scattered the bits of paper so there could be no mistaking the trail now. And he kept on running like a frightened hare. Meanwhile Hamilton and his new friends were making their way slowly through the mazes o.f the woods. Hank and had agreed to take him to the headquarters of the gang they belonged to and make him one of them. They were satisfied that he was as much of a villain as they could ever hope to be. And Hamilton felt that he was in duty bound to cast his lot with the robber band. The part he had played in the murder was enough to give the men a hold upon him. Besides, he was satis fied that his superior education would place him at the head of the gang eventually, and there would be money in that. "It are dangerous travelin' here," said Hank. "If you don't know the way through here you'd like as not stumble an' fall in some place, like ther boy did." "How far is your hang-out from here?" asked Hamilton, shrugging his shoulders uneasily. Tot far; but jist far enough to keep all ther officers in creation from findin' it." At that moment they heard a era hing in the bushes near them, and the next m o ment Tom Haddock appeared before them. "I'm going with you!" panted the boy. "I can't go back to the school now." CHAPTER XVII. THE RESULT OF THE PAPER CHASE. Lou and Harry had kept up with the foremost boys in the paper chase. Like the rest of them, they desired to win the prize, if possible, and each felt that they had a good show. There were plenty of good runners in the crowd, but the majority of them got tired before three miles of the trail had been covered-Many of them dropped out altogether before the Haunted Woods was reached, some because they were tired, and others be cause they were afraid to risk going near the quagmires. Our two young friends made a spurt shortly after entering the woods, and in three minutes' time they were far ahead of their shouting companions. Harry soon began to lag, however, and a few seconds later slackened his speed. "There is no use in me s1>Urting with you, Lou," said he. "Go ahead and win the gold medal; I'll try to come in for the silver one. They can't be very far ahead of us now ." Lou continued running for about an eighth of a mile, when he suddenly came upon Will Haddock, who was just emerging from a clump of bushes in an apparently dazed manner. "Hello, there!" exclaimed our hero, and then he made a grab for the boy with the sack of paper. But his foot caught in the root of a tree at that instant and he fell heavily to the ground, the fall stunning him. When he opened his eyes a couple of minutes later Harry Hitcher was bending over him. "What is the matter?" questioned his friend. "Are you hurt, Lou?" "No, but I had a bad fall though. I tripped just as I was going to lay hands upon Will Haddock. We are closer to them than I e,xpected. Go and catch them; never mind me." "Not much I We will go together. Come on]" Lou staggered to his feet and started over the trail again. He was pretty well shaken up from the faH, but otherwise was ar as ever. / The two followed the trail a little distance from the road, and then back upon it. Once they caught sight of a fleeing figure ahead of them, which. they knitw must be on e of lhe Haddocks. A dozen or more s, under the lead of Scofield, were now pretty close behind them, and they were making the welkin ring with their shouts. "\Ve have got to move lively," panted our hero. "If Scofield should happen to make a good spurt now he will get there ahead of us. I--Great Jupiter! \ Vhat does this mean?" The two boys came to halt and gazed blankly at each other. And no wonder! The trail had come to an end right in the middle of the road. "Tom and Will Haddock have played a mce trick upon us," growled Harry. "Rather than allow us to win the prizes, they have stopped throwing out the pap e r." "That is just about the size of it," assented Lou. "Well, we were the first to reach the end of the trail, anyhow." There was no use of going any farther, so, seating themselves on a fallen tree at the side of the road, they waited for the rest to come up. The next minute Scofield and his crowd arrived, and when they saw how matters stood there was a general feeling of disgust among them. "Well, we may as well go back to the academy and r eport to old Hag," said one of the boys. "The Haddocks are, no doubt, somewhere in the bush>!s laughing at us, and we won't give them the satisfaction of hunting them up. / The boys agreed to this, and without further argument they started slowly homeward. It was past five o clock when they arrived at the academy, and the professor was on the porch to meet them "Well, who won thj! prizes?" he asked, as he glanced at the tired throng of scholars. "No one," responded Scofield. "Ashfield and Hitcher would have been the winners if the Haddocks had not quit throwing out the paper. They gave us a chase away into the Haunted Woods, and then made fools of us." "Is this true, boys?" questioned the old man, gazing at them keenly "It is!" came the unanimous rejoinder. "So Thomas and William Haddoc'l< have spoiled the paper chase, have they.? Well, I shall call them to account when they return." With these words the professor entered the house in a very angry frame of mind. He had appointed the Haddocks to make the trail just because they had been dropped from the ball nine, and he thought this would appease them somewhat. But now they had spoiled the whole thing-out of spite, jt seemed to him-and he resolved to punish them severely. I When supper time came the Haddocks had not arrived, and Prof. Haggard's temper did not improve any. Shortly after the evening meal a team drove up to the academy, and a note was sent in to the professor requesting that he allow the three boys who had seen the robbers in the woods to come to the house of Col. Cleverton. Of course the old man was willing to do this. Anything that would give his school a little not o riety just suited him, so he promptly notified the boys to get ready to make the call. A few minutes later Lou. Harry and Scofield were seated in

PAGE 21

20 BRA VE AND BOLD. Col. Cleverton's barouche, while it whirled in the direction of its owner's handsome country residence. When they g o t th e re th e y l earned that th e col o nel had hired a detective to hunt down the robber s and that he wanted them to give a descripti o n of the two men. This they did a s minutely as the y could, and then the y were ready to r eturn to the academy. Before they could leave, h o wever, Hazel leverton appeared on the scene, and taking Lou by the hand ; introduced him to her father as the brave young man who had s av e d her life. "You're a lucky fell o w Ashfield said $cofield as they were on their way back. "If that pretty girl has n o t fall e n dead in l o ve with y o u I don't kn o w my own name "That is just what. the matter is!" chimed in Harry. !" exclaimed our hero; you fell o ws don't know what you are talking about." Of course they tea s ed him more or less all the way homeward, but Lou took it good-naturedly. When they entered the academy they learned that the Haddock brothers had not arrive d yet. And so it was the nexf morning. The professor's anger had now turned to alarm, and he con cluded to send out a searching party for the missing boys. But before he could do this one of the Haddocks arrived. It was T o m, He was pale and haggard, and a frightened look shone from his eyes. "Where is your brother, Thomas?" demanded the professor. "He is dead faltered the boy. "He fell into the quagmire of the Haunted Woods I" CHAPTER XVIII. THE SWAMP ANGELS. The two robbers had led Hamilton and Tom Haddock along a dartgerous path for perhaj:>s a mile. Then they came to a swamp, in the center of which was a littfe island with a dense growth of shrubbery upon it. Hank and Mike jumped nimbly from bog to bog, and their compart'ions followed them clo s ely "Step exactly in our tracks, or you'll be a gone g oose!" observed Mike. of our fellers fell in here onct, an' afore we could turn ter give him a hand he was sucked under." Tom trembled at this, remark. He was thinking of the horrible fate of the boy he had lured to his death a few short min utes before. "Brace up!" exclaimed Hamilton, who notic e d the young villain's uneasiness; "you did the thing nicely, and when we get where we are bound for, I'll fix matters up with you." "All right," was the rather feeble rejoinder. A rrtinttte the four stepped upon solid ground, and a unanimous sigh of relief went up. "It ain't sich an awful job to git here after all, is it?" said Hank, with a grin. ''I don't know about that," replied Hamilton. "I shouldn't like to attempt it alone. "You could make it all right after you was showed twice, if you \Vas car'eiu!," spoke up Mike "Now, then, you fellers wait right here a couple of minutes till we go an' tell our gang that we've got a couple with us that are j ist as bad as we are. Hamilton winced slightly at this. He was more of a scoundrel than either of fhe robbers, but he did not like to boast of it. And Tom. Haddock, in a state of nervous fright, scarcely noticed what Mike said at all. While the two robbers were gone, Hamilton hastily took a roll of bills from his p o cket. "Here is the money he whispered; and, true to his word, he handed Tom the amount. The boy took the blood money and placed it in his p o cket jus t in time to escape being seen by Hank and Mike, who came through the bushes the next moment. "It are all right!" exclaimed one of the villains; "come on an' join ther Swamp Angels." Hamilton nodde<;I, and then they proceeded through an open ing in the bushes and came in sight of a goods i ze d log cabin. Half a dozen rough-looking tnen were standing in front of it in an expectant manner. "Here are ther new recruits!" sang out H a nk. Swamp Angels, Mike an' me knows that they are the of stuff." "Goo d enough!" growled one of the men. "Brother right kind Hamilton came forward and shook each of the men by the hand in a familiar way and the n proceeded to relate a story of his career of crooked business in the city. "There is no longer any room for me where I was," he went on, lying as often as he told the truth; "so, as I accidentally cam e upon two of your men, it occurred to me that I might be of some benefit to your gang, and, at the same time, get in the way .:ii making some good money for myself "We are in nee d of a shrewd feller ter go around an' locate ther places for us to haul, so I guess you'll do; but what about ther boy?" As the leader of the Swamp Angels spoke he fixed his ey e s upon Tom Haddock. "Oh, he will be handy to have around in case you want to put anybody out of the way," returned Hiimilton. "Young a5 he is, he is the best I ever saw at the business Haddock did not appear to be pleased with this compliment, but he said nothing. "Well, come inside," said the leader, after a pause, during which he was studying the countenances of the two strangers. Hamilton boldly followed the men through the doon\:ay, and, as a matter of course, Tom went with him. One of the gang produced a jug and some glasses, and soon each of the party had a stiff horn of whi s key in hand. Haddock d;ained his at a single gulp, and his courage began to return. When he had tosS'ed off another drink he felt more like himself, and he grew quite talkative. "I like a good drink oi whiskey now and then," said he; "and I am not like my brother, who cannot drink a quarter' s worth without getting drunk." "By the way," interposed Hamilton, "what did you do with Will?" "Left him lying in the woods, so clrunk that he couldn't move. Perhaps th.e paper chase fellows arous ed him And caught him; and if they didn't he will know enough to go back to the academy when he up and finds he is alone. Ha, ha, ha! getting drunk on half a pint of whiskey! Why, I could drink a quart, I believe." "Have some more," observed Hank, as he passed the jug. Tom took another. Then each of the villains insisted on his drinking with them. He managed to go the round, and then, in spite of his boast of a few minutes before, he tumbled to the ground in fully as bad a state as he had left his brother. The Swamp Angels dragged him into a corner, and then a couple of packs of cards were brought out.

PAGE 22

BRAVE AND BOLD. 2! Hamilton was delighted at this move. He was an adept in the art' of gambling, i'f such a thing can be called an art. It was late into the night when the men put away the cards, with Hamilton a heavy winner. All were intoxicated, and one by one they lay down and went to sleep. Believing in the time-honored saying that "there is honor among thieves," Hamilton followed their example. The first to stir shortly after the break of day was Tom Haddock. With swollen face and a terrible headache, he staggered to his feet. In his befuddled state it took him a minute or two to realize where he was. At length it all came to him, and then, in a feverish state, he began searching for a drink of water. He made so much noise that he aroused one of the men, who, seeing that it was daylight, awakened the others." After the whiskey had been passed around one of them started a fire, and proceedeCI to cook breakfast: When Haddock had put away a can of coffee he expressed a desire to go back to the academy. "I will tell them I got lost in the swamp," said he. "And be sure that you don t say where you stopped all night," added Hank. ''No fear of that!" exclaimed the boy; "you know too much about me." Mike agreed to conduct him saf!'!lY across the bogs, so they set out. "When we want you for anything we'll let you know," said he, as they parted near the spot where the murder had been com mitted. Haddock waited until Mike's foot steps had died out, and then, curious to see if there was any sign of the body of his victim, he crept to the edge of the quagmire. With trembling hands he pulled the bushes aside: And then a gurgling cry left his lips and he fell back in a faint. And no wonder. Lying upon the surface of the slimy ooze was his brother's hat and the ba.g of paper he had carried. It was Will Haddock who had met his death in the quagmire, and not Lou Ashfield. It was fully ten minutes be'fore Tom @Ile to, and then, wit.h one more look at the articles he recognized so well, he started on a run for the Benley Academy. How he managed to get there he never knew, but he did, and made the startling announcement that his brother had perished in the quagmirl! of the Haunted Woods, CHAPTER XIX. LOU MAKES SCOFIELD HAJ'.PY. A shade of gloom came over the scholars of Benley Academy as Tom Haddock made the startling announcement that his brother Will had perished. It occurred to them that they had judged the brothers too harshly, and they were sorry for it. Even the face of Prof. Haggard turned pale. "How did it happen, Thomas?" he asked, after a period of deathly silence. "I don't know how," was the reply. "I got lost and could not find my way out till dayligh this mo.ming. I accidentally came across poor Will's hat and the bag he carried in the paper chase. He's dead! he's dead! Oh, my!" '. The boy broke into a fit of weeping, and at that moment there was not a person in the room who did not sympathize with him. Haddock refused to be comforted., and asked permission to go to his room. The professor granted this request readily enough, and when Daggs went up at noon he found him in a raging fever. The Benley boys did not feel in a sportive hulnor that day. The result of the paper chase had cast a temporary gloom upon them. The death of Will Haddqck was reported to the village au thorities, but the body could not be recovered, though they tried hard enough, and his relatives were notified. Tom, who was suffering with a severe attack of brain fever, knew not11ing of what was taking place; in fact, the P.hysician would not allow him to be ren1oved from his room in the academy. His father, who had been sent for, engaged a competent nurse for him, and went on back to his business in his native town. There was nothing very strange in this action, as he was not very wealthy and was pretty well bossed by his second wife. Things went along quietly for a week. The v-illains who had robbed Col. Cleverton had not been captured, and even the de tective who had been put on the case acknowledged himself com pletely baffled. Hamil to a must have to bide his time after discover ing that the wrong boy had been murdered in the swamp; or else he was waiting for Tom Haddock to recover before making another attempt upon the life of our hero. Meantime the bicycle craze" struck the Benley Academy, and about of the boys became possessors of wheels. Of course the sporting fraternity of Fenton were not going to be behind, and, realizing that the academy would most likely de velop some crack racers, they put their best men in training and arranged for a grand bicycle race to take place on election day in November. Both Lou and Harry had new wQeels as a matter o.f .. course, and they soon became the leading fast riders of the school. S1XJfield was less fortunate than the majority of the boys. Fffs father could not very well afford to buY, him a bicycle, though he wanted one badly enough. t -Qne day after he came m from a spin on Lou's wheel be pulled a circular from h.is pocket and e.-cla imed: "Lou, if I co4ld ride like you I wouWn't be without a wheel. Look /t this!" 1 Our hem took the handb,ill, and saw it annQunced the bicycle races the Fenton people had arranged to take pla,ce. Tl1e fi<$t prize was a high-grade bicycle, the second a of inferior quality, and the third a, shotgun. The contest was open to all, so it read. Of course there were lots oi other I\lces set minor prizes being offered to the winners. But the principal raco was a five-mile ,Our hero read the contents of the hand bill, and then, piaclng his hand on Scofield's shoulder, said: "Old fellow, I'll win one of those bicycles, and if I do it shall .. be yours I" "What!" cried the young captain of the ball nine; "do you mean that, Lou Ashfield?" ;,I certainly do. Go and find Hitcher and tell him I want to. sec him at once." With tears of joy glistening on his cheeks, Srofielq started qn his errand. He had such confidence in Lou's riding that he could already see himself the owner of the prize wheel, and picturea to himself how he would look riding it.

PAGE 23

22 BRA VE AND BOLD. He soon found Harry and delivered Lou's message. "What is it, old man?" asked Hitcher, as he approached our hero. "Get your wheel; I want you to ride over to Fenton with me." "Certainly. Anything up?" "Yes; I am going to enter the five-mile bicycle race, and I want you to do the same." "By Jove! I am with you. What are the prizes?" "Bicycles-a hi g h and low grade-for first and second place, and a shotgun for third." "One of us ought to stand a good show of winning." "That's just it. I've promised Scofield to him a present of first prize, if I win it." "If you win first, I'll come in sec o nd. You know you only beat me by a length the other day when we made the five miles." "Yes, and our time was less than fourteen minutes, over a rough road at that. Have confid ence, old fellow, and Scofield will be riding a wheel of his own this day week." Lou glanced at his watch and saw that they could easily get to Fenton and back by six o'clock. Harry got his bicycle and the two mounted and rode off. They reached their destination in good time, and had no trouble in finding the secretary of the Fenton Athletic Club. He seemed' pleased to have them enter as contestants for the five-mile race, and coaxed Lou to go in on the one-mile handicap. After a while the boy consented and then the secretary was doubly pleased, as he knew the Benley boys would draw a big. crowd when it became known that some of them were to compete in the races. The club was under a heavy expense, and, of course, they de sired to take in all the gate money they could. On the way back the boys overtook Col. Cleverton, his wife and their daughter Hazel, who were enjoying a drive. The consequence was that a stop was made and a few min utes' conversation followed. Lou told them Harry and himself had entered in the bicycle races, and that he hoped to see them all there. "We will be there, never fear," said the pretty Hazel. "My cousin Reginald is to be one of the contestants also, and he feels sure of winning the first prize in the five-mile race "Yes, you will have to look out for him, for, to use the 'vulgar term, he is quite a scorcher," added the colonel. "Well, if either Harry or I are lucky enough to come in first or second we bave agreed to give the prize to a whose father cannot afford to buy a wheel for him!" retorted Lou. "I hope you will win it, Lou!" exclaimed Hazel, as they parted company. "Reginald says if he captures the bicycle he is going to sell it to a young man in Fenton for fifty dollars." "Reginald is quite a financier," observed her father, with a smile. "Well, boys, make it a contest worth driving down to see.H "We will do our best, sir," said ihe two boys in a breath. so the dude is going to ride, eh?" observed Hitcher, as they turned down the road leading to the academy. "I shouldn't be aurpri!led if he can put up a pretty good gait." HWe will try his mettle," replied his companion . "I suppose he would d!allke me worse than ever if I should beat him. N CHAPTER XX. THB BICYCLB JI.ACK. The day for the great race at Fenton soon came, and nearly every person for rnile5 around was on the tiptoe of excitement. Lou and Harry were in excellent shape and felt confident of uccesa. The programme showed seven entries for the five-mile two from Benley, Reginald Munsey, three from Fenton and a11 unknown. The latter was no other than Hamilton. He was quite an expert at wheeling, and when the craze struck that part of the country he purchased a bicycle. 'He divided his time between going about the country picking out houses and stores for the Swamp Angels to rob, and hanging about Fenton. About once a week he would pay a visit to the little island In the swamp, and every time he did he came back well supplied with money. The villain entered the bicycle contest, not with the idea of win ning, but for the express purpose of colliding with our hero, with the intention of killing him. Hamilton did not blame Tom Haddock for the mistake he had made, but he did get tired of waiting for the young murderer to get well. Consequently he conciuded to finish the job hi,.niself. Being affable and polite, the villain had a great many friends in Fenton, and some of these expected to see him win the race. The whole Benley contingent came to see the affair, even to the professor and his assistants. Half an hour before the first event the seats near the track were prett'y well filled, and everybody was in good humor. The first race was a half mile, which was won by Reginald Munsey, who was entered for thtee races besides the five-mile. The dude rode with such ease that Lou and Harry could but admire his style. "He is going to give us a good rub for the prize bicycle," re marked our hero. "I don't think so," replied Hitcher. "I have an idea that his wind is only good for a couple of miles." Which of the two was right will be seen later on. The second event was for boys of thirteen or under, and after this came the five-mile race. The boys' race created no little amusement for the spectators, but when the next and principal event was announced a hush came over them. Lou Ashfield was the favorite among the Benley crowd, and a young fellow named Walton was the idol of the Fenton Athletic Club. The rest of the contestants had more or less admirers and backers, and each boy hoped to come in at least second. Toll} Haddock was there under the special charge of the pro fessor. It was the first time he had been off the academy grounds since his illness, and he looked wan and pale. The young rascal was thunderstruck when he saw that the unknown was Hamilton, or Myers, as he knew him. "What does he mean?" he thought. '!He must be here to put an end to Ashfield. Well, I hope he does; it will save me the trouble, then." Haddock's 1ickness had not served to make a better boy of him. On the contrary, he hated our hero worse than ever, if possible. The seven racers got ready and the pistol cracked. "They're off I" shouted the crowd. And so they were, Fenton's favorite leading from the start. Lou dropped in just ahead of Reginald Munsey, who waa well in the rear. It was a third-of-a-mile track, and when two miles had been covered there were but four in the race. These were Lou, Harry, Munsey and Walton.

PAGE 24

BRA AND BOLD. Itamilton had been foiled In his attempt te collide with out hero, not being able to catch him 01t the start. But tile villttin was rehdered desperate, and he meant do something before the race was over, if it 'Wefe possible ft;>r to do it without being detected. Walton still had the lelld, with Hatty Hit<'.her a close second. Ltlu had allowed Munsey tb drop in thitd place; and hti up the rear. Round and round the track the riders sped, keeping their posi tions the last time around. Then Reginald Mun ey made a magnificent spurt and shot to the front. A deafening shout went up at this; but a moment later the crowd became as silent as a mouse. Lou Ashfield w;:s creeping to the front like a whirlwind. Whize:-whirr The spinning wheels of his bicycle made sweet music to his ears, and, gritting hard upon his teeth, he pressed the pedals as he had neYer done before. Munsey tried to hold his own, but it was no use. Lou shot past him and gained a lead of fully ten feet. Harry Hitcher tried his best to follow the ex.ample set by his friend, but he could do no better than to R'ain third position. All four settled down to do their best, but they finished just as they were. When Scofield saw our hero across the line an easy winner he led the Benley beys in a cheer that awoke the echoes for miles around. Then, unable to restrain himself, he jumped down upon the track and embraced Lou. Hamilton and Tom Haddock were gnashipg their teeth in rage at the result, and Reginald Munsey was in a not much better humor. "I've been balked in every idea I've had to-day," muttered Hamilton; "but there is one more thing to try. The prize shot gun!" A devilish scheme had come into his head. He knew the prizes would be given out as soon as the winners had cooled off, and in a sneaking manrier he made his way to the place where he, knew the gun could be found. As i happenetl was nobody there at that moment, and opening the bolto of tartridges that went with the prize gun, he took two and thrust them into the breech, snapping it into place again. "Now, then, when the winners and their friends are examining the that gun must go off, with its muzzle pointed directly at Lou breast I" he thought, as he sneaked out into the crowd again. A few minutes later he was standing on the track as one of the seven contestants who had been called there by the manager of the. race. 'the high-grade bicyde was h1rned over to Lou, Regirtald Murl sey the low-grade machine, and the g-un was handed to Harry Hitcher. Of course all of the contestants desired to examine the prizes, and at it tame Hamilton's tutn to get the gun in his hands. He contrived to get its muzzle leveled directly at our heto's heart, not two fret from him, and thet1 he asked the manager if J it was loaded. "No; not," was the reply. Without ane>ther word the villaih [)tessc:d both triggers. CHAPTER XXL HAMILTON IS FOIL!D. As Hamilton pressed the triggers of the guQ with intent, no report, or even a tlick, followed. ' vVhat is the matter with the Jocks?" asked the maftager of the races, and before the v i llain knew it the prize shotgun was taken from his hands. A feeling of rage and disappointment came Giver t e Woeseasion 6f tile second Wit"tl. as good grace as pos5ible, but it was quite evident that" he felt very sore. Unlike the rest of the contestants, he did not congratulate wi111,er of the first prize but walked away with the low-grade bkycle as 1hough he did not care \vhether he it or riot. MeanwHile Hamilton moved away ftom tile crowd, and, urrable to resist the tempLfttion of speaking to him, Tom Haddock his way,,to vill2.in's You here! excl:umed Hamrlton. I dtd not know you wete out of bed yet. I am glad to see you, though, I am sure."

PAGE 25

24 BRA AND BOLD. "Oh, Mr. Myers, it was an awful mistake that I made that day!" began Tom. But Hamilton interrupted him. "Don' t speak of that here," said he. "How are you getting along, anyhow? You appear to be rather feeble." "So I am, but in a couple of weeks from now I hope to be all right again. And then, Mr. Myers"-the boy lowered his voice to a whisper-"and then I'll finish the job I undertook." "Ashfield has more lives than a cat," retorted Hamilton, in a low tone, 'j)et he must be settled, even if I have to stay around here till Christmas. I have sent for more money, and when the job is done I'll whack up some of it with you. Ah! another race is about to start. It is the one-mile handicap, and Ashfield is scratch man. He is just lucky enough to win it." "Of course," and a gleam of hate shot from Haddock's eyes, "of course he'll win. He is first in everything he undertakes." After promising to meet Hamilton a week from that day, Tom Haddock made his way back from the grand stand, while the baffled villain left the grounds, satisfied that there was no use in makiqg another that day. When Haddock got back to his seat the race had started. He watched it with a black look on his face, because he saw Lou Ashfield rapidly drawing near the bunch of riders ahead of him. Lou overtook them at the two-third mark and kept close to the leader until a hundred yards fro m the finish. Then his legs began to work like the piston rods of a flying locomotive, and he darted ahead. Fifteen feet ahead of the second man he crossed the line, and a cheer went up for the "scratch" Lou received a gold medal for winning this event, and he was more than satisfied with the result of his entering the races. Harry Hitcher had expected to come in second in the five mile race, but he took his defeat gracefully, saying that Regi nald Munsey was a faster rider than he was. The manager promised to have the gun put in proper shape and sent to him, and Harry contented himself with the thought of going squirrel hunting on Saturday. Wfien the races were over the Benley boys immediately started for home, Scofield riding the prize wheel past the envious crowd of Fenton boys with a feeling of pride. He rode it to the academy, along with the rest of the "bikers," and when he dismounted he declared the wheel to be a genuine "daisy." That evening Prof. Haggard received a visit from Reginald Munsey. The dude introduced himself as the nephew of Col. Cleverton, and the winner of the second prize in the five-mile race. "Professor," said he, "I-aw-came down to inform you that I would-aw-like to present the-aw-wheel I won to one of your-aw-scholars who is not fortunate enough to possess one. I am the-aw-son of a rich man, and therefore have no-awuse for a bicycle of inferior make." The professor was just the sort of a man to appreciate this kind of talk, and he very eloquently thanked him for his gen erosity. In truth, it was not generosity ori the part of Munsey. He was in love with his fair cousin, and he had got tired of hearing her praise Lou Ashfield for his kindness in giving the bicycle he won to a poor academy boy. So he concluded to show her that he could do the same. and that was why he drove over to make the present. / "Let me see," mused the professor, after Munsey had taken his dep.u-ture, "what particular boy shall I give the bicycle to? Ah, there is poor Thomas Haddock. Heshall have it if he will accept it. : Su;e enough, the next day Haddock became the possessor of the wheel, and it was given out that Reginald Munsey was the donor. It is needless to say that Hazel Cleverton did not think any more of her cousin for his act, as she knew he was but trying to imitate the example of Lou Ashfield. CHAPTER XXII. THE DETECTIVE STRIKES A CLEW. Two weeks passed. Everything went along smoothly at Ben ley Academy Lou and Harry improved their time and kept up in their studies. Scofield employed all his spare moments riding his bicycle, and Tom Haddock was just able to ride his. But bad weather was now. It was just the middle of November, and the bicycles had to be laid aside for the winter. The boys now began to think of skating. Already ice had frozen thick enough to bear the weight of a man, but they were waiting for the river to close up solid. A cold wave struck that section of country, and their desire was gratified much sooner than they expected. Thanksgiving Day the river was pronounced safe, and the boys got ready for a day of genuine sport. Lou, Harry, Scofield and Dixon had constructed an ice boat according to the plans and diagrams laid out in a book they had purchased. They put a little of their own ideas in the building of it, and when it was ready for trial the boat was pronounced to be a beauty. Lou got permission of Hazel Cleverton to name it after her, so the pretty little craft was called the Hazel. Of course there were more or less ice boat,S at Fenton. The frozen river offered such an inducement tha:t ice boating and skating were the principal sports during the winter months. As a natural consequence there were two or three "flyers" among them, and when the quartet who owned the Hazel boarded their craft early Thanksgiving morning to take a run up to Fenton, they meant to have a brush with some one, if possible. There was a brisk breeze from the northwest, and the Ha.ill scudded along like a thing of life. When they had made about half the distance to Fenton they met one of the crack flyers owned by the Fenton Athletic Club, which immediately luffed and came upon the windward side of them, evidently with the intention of giving them a brush. Lou had the tiller, and with glowing cheeks he entered into the spirit of the thing and let the Hazel out. A way sped the two racers, all the other boats and the few skaters who were taking advantage of an early morning spin getting out of their way. For the first mile it was nip and tuck, and then the Hazel be. gan to slowly draw ahead. Harry threw out a piece of rope in a tantalizing manner, as though he was offering to give the other boat a tow, and those aboard took it with apparent good humor. When Fenton was reached the Hazel was twenty yards ahead, and the other boat gave up the race. "This will mean a challenge from the club, if they have a better boat," said our hero, as he brought the craft around and started back for Benley. "Sure t" echoed his three companions. As they neared their destination they saw Tom Haddock skat-

PAGE 26

BRA VE AND BOLD. ing with a man, whom they quickly recognized as the one who had been in the bicycle race. "I wonder who that man is?" said Lou. ''It seems to me that I have seen him somewhere before I came to the academy. Some how I don't like his looks. What can Haddock be talking so earnestly to him for?" "For no good, I'll wager,'' returned Hitcher. "See! they arc sneaking away, as though they were afraid we will see them." This was indeed the case. Hamilton, for it was he, sure enough,' caught Haddock by the arm the instant he saw the four boys looking at them, and the pair then skated up the river. In order to learn what new plan they were devising, we will follow them. "That was Ashfield aboard the ice boat, wasn't it?" asked Hamilton, when they had rounded a curve in the river. "Yes," returned Tom; "he 1s one of the owners of the boat; he and the three with him built it thelll'Selves. I suppose it will be the fastest on the river, for Ashfield is ahead in everything he undertakes. He has even proved himself too much for us, so far." "He could be done away with easy enough, but the job must be done so there will be no cause of suspicion against any one," said the villain who had been hired to put our hero out of the way by his uncle. "With, one exception, I think everybody is friendly toward him save us; and I cannot understand why it is. I never saw anything about Lou Ashfield to admire." "Of course not,'' retorted Hamilton. "He is nothing but a fresh young upstart, who has more luck than brains. By the way, who is the other person who does not like him?" "Reginald Munsey, the dude who is at Col. Cleverton's more than half his time. Ashfield is a little sweet on the fair Hazel, and Munsey hates him worse than poison for it." "I suppose we could blow the infernal young hound's head off and let the blame rest upon the dude,'' exclaimed Hamilton, in his usual heartless manner. Bad as he was, Haddock did not approve of this. "That would0 not be right," said he. "Right!" echoed his companion. "Do such as you and I be lieve in things that are right? What should we care, so long as we gain our point? You are getting good, it seems. You must come over to the hut in the swamp.this afternoon and get coached a little. You needn't be afraid of the quagmire now. Every thing is frozen as hard as a rock." "I can't come over very well to-day,'' faltered Haddock, with a shrug of his shoulders. "You must, and when I say must I mean it. Now will you come?" "Ye-es," was the reply. "Well, don't forget, then. We will arrange to have the job done to-night. Don't fail, if you value your good reputation." Tom winced at this remark, but promised to be there without fail. A minute later the two parted company, Hamilton skating in the direction of Fenton, and the villainous boy making for the academy. They had scarcely disappeared around the curve when a man skated from behind a pile of bushes and struck out leisurely up the river. It was the detective Col. Cleverton had engaged to hunt down the robbers. The colonel was a peculiar man, and he meant to have the thieves brought to justice if it took a year to do it, re gardless of the cost. The detective, who went by the name of Hunt, had been on the trail of Hamilton for a week or more because he had learned that on some occasions he would have plenty of money, and at oth e rs be without a cent. He figured that it was just possihte that this man was one of the thieves who were supposed to be located somewhere in the county, but up to this time he had been unable to obtain a single clew that would come anywhere near sub s tantiating his belief. Hunt had reached the pile of bushes just in time to hear Tom Haddock agree to pay a visit to the hut in the swamp, and there was an expression of extreme satisfaction on his face. "I have struck the right clew at last,'' he muttered, as his skates clicked over the ice. "I know it, for something tells me so. This boy whose brother was lost in the quagmire, is in with the gang, is he? Well, when he reaches the hut in the swamp, wherever it may be, I won't be many feet behind him. I'll bring matters to a focus, and then I guess my boss will be satisfied with having paid me fifty dollars a week since I have been here." The detective was an adept at disguises, and shortly after the noon hour he was skating up and down the river in front of the academy, made up like a countryman. His sharp eyes were on the watch continually, and shortly after one o'clock he saw Tom Haddock come down to the river and put on his skates. "Now for the hut in the woods," thought the detective. "Thia is going to be an unpleasant Thanksgiving Day rr somebody." CHAPTER XXIII. A COUPLE OF PRANKS. "Turkey and pumpkin pie to-day!" exclaimed Daggs, as he met our four young friends, after they had put their ice boat away for the morning. "Do you like that kind of feed ?" asked Lou, addressing the man-of-all-work. "Do I?" and Daggs rolled his eyes and stroked his stomach in an affectionate manner; "why, I wish Thanksgiving came twice every week! But, if it did ther professor couldn't afford it. He'd have to charge more for boarding you young gentlemen." A desire to have a little fun sudd e nly came upon Lou. "Let us play a joke on Daggs," he whispered to his companions, as the man walked away. "What shall we do?" asked Scofield. "Leave it to me; I ll think up something in a few minutes." "If you can fix it up so the professor will come in for a share, I'll go in with you, heart and soul," observed Harry Hitcher. "I guess we can arrange it. Come on We will go around to the kitchen and see the Wondering what he was up to, Lou's three companions fol lowed him around to the rear of the building, where the kitchen was located. "How an; you, cookey?" said he. "Going to give us something good for dinner to-day?" "Law sakes, Master Ashfield l How you did startle me!" ex claimed the cook. "Don't you know that you boys ain't allowed in the kitchen?" "Oh, that's all right my fair one We can come in and look around, can't we?" and he tossed a quarter to her as he spoke. Well, I s'pose you kin come in. But the professor must not know it." "Surely not." A m i nute later the four were busily engaged in watching the cook at work. Presently Lou's eyes lighted upon a mouse trap that contained a live mouse.

PAGE 27

BRA VE AND BOLD. "What are you saving this fellow for coo key?" questioned he. "Law, Master Ashfield, I was waitin' for ther cat to come in ." "May I have the mouse? "Why, what do you want it for?" "Makes no difference. Can I have it?" 1'Yes, if you won't let it out in ther kitchen "Oh, I won't let it out here never fear." Picking up the trap, Lou bade his companions wait until he came back, and then he opened the door that led into the dining room The room was unoccupied, but the tables were s pread with the necessary crockery for dinner. Our hero !mew exactl y where the professo r always sat and without hesit a ti o n he hurried to the place In the twinkling of an eye he had th e mou s e out of the trap, and und e r the professor's plate "There,' he chuckled "when the old 111an goes to turn his plate over to get hi s soup he'll be gre atly s urprised. The cook will hardly give me away, because she had no right to allow us in the kitchen ." "VV'hat did you do with th e mouse?" asked Lou's three wait ing companions when he returned with the empty trap: "Just wait until dinner time and s e e was all the reply lie gave them. In vain did they que s tion him; he invariably changed the subject. At length he fis hed out an e111pty win e b o ttle fr o m behind the cupboard. "Now, we'll go for Daggs. I'll s how you how to make him 'swear off' drinking for a day of two "What are you up to. Master Ashfield ? asked the cook, as Lou seized the big vinegar jug and began filling the bottle from it. "Nothing, cookey; jus t give m e about an ounce of red pepp e r now, and don't you ever think o f mentioning that we were in the kitchen 'Don't worry, I shan't and s he him the article he wanted. The red pepper was soon poured into the bottle of vinegar, and all three of q,qr hero s companion s began to grin. They had an idea of what was likely to occur if Daggs under took to drink the supposed wine in the bottle. "Well shaken before taken!" exclaimed Lou. "Come on, fellows-but wait. Give me the cork on the table, and then hand that towel here so I can wipe the bottle. Ah! now we are ready The four now left the kitchen and walked slowly in the direc tion of the stable, where Daggs was looking after the wants of the horses. I "Hello, Daggs I" said our' hero "Where have you been? Col. Cleverton's coachman has just been here asking for you. He was in a dreadful hurry, and when he could not find you he handed us this bottle of wine, instructing us to tell you to take it to the professor, with tAe compliments of the colonel." "It's funny I didn't see him," replied Daggs, as he took the bottle and looked at it affectionately. "I don't know where I could have been I'll take it right in, young gentlemen." "All right, Daggs; we are going down to the river to take an other spin on our ice boat before dinner." But instead of going to the river the four made their way softly to the rear of the barn, where there was an open window. Peering inside, they beheld Daggs standing near one of the stalls. with the bottle in his hand "I wonder if I dare ta s te of thi s?" they heard him mutter. Then he began fooling with the cork and a moment later had it out. The next minute he placed the bottle to his mouth and took three or four big swallow s An expres sion of the m o st profound astonishment came over his face, which was quickly followed by a howl. The bottle fell from his h a nd s and wa s s hattered, while Daggs lay down and proceeded to roll about in agony. 'Tm pizened !" he yelled, and then, during a lull, a shout of laughter came to his ears That settled it. Daggs knew it all now, and he bore the ter rible burning sen s ati o n without a nother "Serves him right, remarked Lou as the boys made their way into the academy building to get warm. "He won't dare to tell the profe s sor of the trick we played on him, so we can have the laugh on him ev e ry tim e we meet him." The boys loung e d about the warm s cho o lro o m until t he b ell rang for dinner. and then, full o f expectancy they hurried in and took their place s The tables were spread with a genuine old-fashioned Thanksgi v ing dinner, and, with m o uth s th a t f
PAGE 28

BRAVE AND BOLD. "I wonder why it is that Myers insisted so strongly on me going to the hut in the swamp? he thought, as a cold shiver ran down his spine at the recollection of the death ef his brother in the treacherous quagmire. "I suppose I have got to do as he wants me, so there is no use in kicking. Anyway, Myers cannot very well refuse any favor I ask of him. We are both in the same ooat." By the time Haddock arrived at the place where he had to take off his skates his mind was pretty well at ease, and the thought of keeping his appointment was no longer obnoxious to him. He glanced up and down the river to see if anybody was in sight before thi> ice, and observing but one soli tary skater going in the direct10n of Fenton, he gave a muttered exclamation of satisfaction. Thrusting a skate in each of his coat pockets, he walked up the sloping bank and hurried to the road. He knew the way wdl enough, and in due time he was at the spot where the secret path through the swamp began. It mattered little where he walked now, as eve9thing was frozen solid, or hard enough to bear the weight of a dozen like him. "Poor Will's gr::ive is around here somewhere," muttered the boy, "and it is Lou Ashfield's fault, and no one else's under the sun I If ever any one longed for revenge it is I!" Through the tangled mazes of the dreary woods he pressed, and presently he came in sight of the little island that was in habited by the Swamp Angels. He sprang lightly from one fra.zen bog to another, and at length stood upon the solid ground ag in. Then he boldly started for the hut. Just as he reached it the door opened and Hamilton came out. "So you've got here?" observed the villain, with a smile. ''I am glad you are one of the punctual kind, Tom. Step inside; you must be pretty cold." "I am not very cold ; the exercise I had in getting here warmed me considerably," r eplied Haddock, coolly, as though he was merely calling o n a friend to play a game of chess, or something of the sort. "Well, come in, anyhow. The rest of the gang are there. I told them you were coming, so you need not be bashful in their presence." Haddock laughed. The idea of him being bashful struck him as rather humorous. It occurred to him that he was as bold and daring as any of the Swamp Angels, and he was bound to make them think so. So he followed Hamilton into the hut and shook hands in a cordial manner with the villains who arose to greet him. "Glad to see that you've got all right ag'in," said Hank. "So am I," addec! Mike. "You muster had a putty bad spell." "I was pretty bad, but there was no danger of my dying; I'll never go under until I have settled accounts with Lou Ashfield." "Talks like a weteran, don't he, cap?" asked Mike. "Yes," returned Hamilton, much to Tom's surprise. "How is it you answer to the name of 'cap' now?" asked the boy. "Oh, the gang wanted me for leader, and I couldn't refuse," was the reply. "That are right, my boy,'' spoke up the former captain. "It ain't the right thing for an uneddicated cuss like me ter have charge of a gang like this, when there's one who is more capable." Haddock thought there was just the least tinge of bitterness in the man 's tone, but he paid no further attention to him, as Hamilton produceii a jug of rum and some glasses. Tom joined the men in taking a drink of the fiery stuff, and tbien Hamilton lighted a cigar and got down to business. "Haddock," said he, "business has been pretty poor with us for the past few weeks, and we have made up our minds that we have got to make a good haul somewhere to-night. I have thought it over since our conversation this morning, and it strikes me that we can make a haul and fix Ashfield at the same stroke. How much money does Prof. Haggard keep in the house?" "What-what do you mean?" gasped the boy, as it dawned upon him that the Swamp Angels meant to rob the academy. "Just what I say-how much money does Prof. Haggard keep in the house?" "I don't know." "Does he run a bank account?" "I am not sure, but I think I have heard the professor say he did not believe in banks. "So much the bett e r for us, then,'' and Hamilton grinned satisfactorily. "We will strike an excellent pot there, no doubt. Now then, you have Ot to find where 'he keeps his money, and let us into the house.' "I?" cried Tom. "Yes, you. Why, you are no better to do it than any one else, are you?" "N-no," was the faltering reply. "But how am I to do it?" "You will find a way, never fear. After we get hold of the swag you must contrive to arouse Lou Ashfield and let him know that there' are robbers around. The instant he shows up one of us will shoot him in his tracks. Is it not a good scheme?" "Yes, it is. I'll do my part!" and Haddock's eyes blazed with hate as he thought of our hero. "But suppose I do not succeed in arousing Ashfield-what then?" "We will have to postpone his death a day or two and lay the blal)1e upon Reginald Munsey." 1'om shrugged his shoulders. He had accepted a bicycle from Munsey, and he hardly liked the idea of having him accused of a crime he never committed. Yet there was only one way out of it, in c ase their intend e d victim failed to appear that night. "Very well," said he, after a pause. "What time do you propose to be at the academy?" "Between twelve and one." "I'll see that you get into the room where the professor's safe is? It is on the ground floor." "What think you of t he plan, men?" asked Hamilton, rising to his feet and looking from one to the other. "Good!" came the unanimous response. Their villainous leader then passed the jug around again, and all hands r a ised their glasses. But before they could swallow any of the stuff, a startling thing occurred. There was a crashing sound, and a man fell tnrough the roof of the hut, right into the midst of the lawless crowd. It was Hunt, the detective. CHAPTER XXV. LOU IS SURP!tISED. Lou was not a little humiliated at being led away to his room, but he said not a word to th e assi stant teacher. While he felt sure that Tom Haddo ck threw the knife at him, and with no intention of hitting th e mouse, he knew it would be an utter impossibility to make the professor believe it. "So I am to remain in my room the balance of the day, just because I threatened to give Haddock a thra s hing. Well, I guess not. This is a holiday, and the professor had no righf to sen tence me to such punishment." The boy had not been in his room over five minutes when a servant came up with his dinn er. The professor had changed his mind about making him wait till the rest had finished, and, b e ing hungry, Lou acc epte d the food, which was the same as the other boys 'Were eating in the dining-ro om, and sat down to it. The servant closed and lock e d the door after him, but he did not shut it quick enough to escape being hit on the ear by a turkey leg Lou threw at him. "I hope ther m a ster'll keep you there a week," he bellowed while our hero grinned, in spite of the of his being prisoner . Prisoner? As Lou thought of the word he broke into a laugh nearly choked himself with the cranberry sauce he was put ting away He meant to leave the room, and building as well, as soon as he had finished his dinner, and he swallowed the food almost without chewing it, in order to hasten the time. At length his appetite was satisfied, and, rising to his feet, he approached the window. His room was at the rear of the building, and the window open e d directly over the roof of the kitchen, which \vas slanting and not over twelve feet from the ground at the outer edge. It was no more trouble for a boy like Lou to leave by that way than it was to go by the ordinary outlet. Putting on his coat and bat, he picked up his skates and raised the window.

PAGE 29

28 BRA VE AN D BOLD "Now, if I can get as far as the river without being seen by some one who will give me away I ll be all right," he muttered. But just then it occurred to him that the servant would soon be b11ck after the tray containing the rem na nts of his dinner, and he would surely not!fy the professor of his absence. ''I'll mak e him believe I am asl ee p in bed, thought the boy, and quii;kly rolling up the bedclothes, he deposited the bundle lengthwise and spread the oute r covering over it. The bed look ed, for all the world, as it was occupied by a sleeping person, and, with an exclamation of satisfaction, Lou crept out of the window, not forgetting to lower it after him. Softly he slid down the roof and then dropped lightly to the ground. Just as he l anded the cook came out. "Law!" s he exclaimed; ''what did you put that mouse in the dining-room for Master Ashfield?" Never mind the mou se cookey," returned Lou. "Don't say Y\IU saw me-do you hear? I am suppose d to be locked in my ro1:>m.P "I shan't mention it," said the woman. looking at him with di s tended eyes, as though s h e could hardly believe he would have cookey !" The next instant he was running rapidly in the directi o n of the riv er. He haci n 6 sooner reached the boathou se than he heard the sound of approaching footst eps, and not wishing to be seen, he crouched behind the structure. A moment later he beheld Tom Haddock approach the nver and put on his skates. "I wonder where he i s going, all alone?" thought our h e ro. "By Jove! J think I'll fo!Iow the mean rasca l and see where he is going." Lou put on his skates, and aftet Hadc;lock had gone a safe dis tance from the boathouse he followed in the same direction. He had not proceeded any great distance when he noticed a man, who was a stranger to him, going that way, too As it was the noon hour there was n o one on the ice except these three. As the reader may suppose, the stranger was no other than Hunt, th<: detective Our hero kept on skating, hugging the shore pretty close, so Haddock would not be apt to observe him. At the end of five 111inutes it struck Lou that the stranger was also following Haddock. "It seem s to me that something is up ," he mi1ttered. ''.H;i.ddock acts iS though ht: was off on some errand of my ster y and that countryman appears to be followirlg him. r am going to see this thing through, and find out what it all means." Lou managed to keep the two in s ight all the way up the rivf'r. V/hen HaodQck halted and removed his ska tes he, like the de tective, behind a convenient clump of bushes. "Now the countryman is going to follow Haddock, so I will follow the countryi'.an," he thought, as he saw the boy start in the direction of the Haunted Woods. Lou waited until the detective started on the trail, and then he took off his skates and followed. -T)1e fu "rther he proceeded the more puzzled he 'became What it ali meant he could n o t conjecture. On through the Haunted Woods he mad e his way, not being able to see Haddock at all; but keeping the man he supposed to be a countryman well in sight. Over the frozen swampy ground he went, thinking of the paper chase, and what happened to the unlucky Will Haddock. When the detective hailed, so did he, man11ging it so well that he was not discovered Great was his surprise when he reached the little piectt of solid ground in the midst of the quagmires, and beheld the sh anty that was hidden sight by the dense growth of trees and bushes. He was not over thirty feet from the detective when he aw it, and full of wonder he watched his movements. "H e acts like a greenhorn," was Lou's thought. "I wouldn't be surprised if he is a detectrve in disguise." From his position he was unable to see the front of the hut, and, of course, his gaze did not fall upon Hamilton when he con ducted Tom Haddock inside. He was compelled to lie in the bushe s as quiet as a mouse, and the air was very cold, his excitement kept him warm. After a while he saw the detective crawl away and disappear, and a few minutes later he was astounded to see him clamber ing noiselessly upon thf' roof of the hut. '"What in the world is going to happen now?" exclaimed Lou, under his breath. "I have had several adventures since 1 came to Benley, but, thus iar, this beats them all. I never heard of there being a shanty i11 these woods, and yet this one seems to have been built a Jong time. If that fellow on the roof don't look out he will get int0 trouble; that roof don't look as though it will bear much of a weight. There! he is listening now. I guess I'll get--Great Jupiter! I thought so!" The roof had given way, and the detective was no longer in sight. CHAPTER XXVI. LOL" DOES THE DETECTIVE: A GOOD TURN. It would be hard to say who were the most surprised, the de tective or the Swamp Angels, when the roof gave way. Hunt hlid not reckoned on this, and the robbers had no idea of anybody, ave Tom Haddock and themselves, being in the vicinity. The detective realized the dangerous position in which he was placed, and in the twinkling of an ye he had bounded to his feet and drawn a revolver. "Hands up-every one of you!" he exclaimed, in as cool a tone as he could command. The villains obeyed to a m n, dropping their glasses as they did so. Tom Haddock was rendered desperate at the thought of being captured along with a lot of thieves, and he resolved to escape, or die. He no sooner thre w his hands up than he made a dive straight between the daring detective 's legs. Hunt l ost his balance and went to the floor with a thump. Be fore he could fire a single shot from his revolver Hamilton was upon him and had his hands pinioned. "Get a rope l" panted the villain, whose face was as pale as a sheet. "Some of you go outside and see if there are any out A rope was soon produced, and then, while the unfortunate de t"ective was being tied hand and foot, Haddock and a co u ple of the Swall:1P Angels went outside and made a hasty search of the premises. Five minutes later they returned, satisfied that the man had been alone. "That was a lucky move you made, Tom," said Hamilton, pat ting Had(,lock on the shoulder, "You ought to have been sharp enough not to allow the hound of the law to follow you here; bt yo yot1rself when you upset him. Pour out some rum, boys! We have hatj a narrow escape.'' Lou Ashfield outside, concealed in the thick branches of <1 tree, heard every word the villain said, .and he shrugged his shoulders uneasily as he thought what his fate \VOtrld be if he fell into the power of the gang. And had Tom Haddock but known that he was there, the height of his ambition would have been reached . Meantime Hamilton ordered one of the me'n to patch the broken roof. and Lou watched him from his position in the tree, He was now beg inning to suffer from the cold, but he dared not descend for fear of being discovered. At length the roof was repaired and the man went inside. "What are you gojn' ter do with this feller, cap?" asked Hank. "Kill him, as soon as I get a little more time," was the cool reply 'It wou l dn t do to let him go. We'll keep him tied here until we get through our job tQ-night. Haddock and I will be off now; I am going to Fenton on some business. and he can go home and made arrangements for our visit to the academy to night. The rest of you must meet me at the outskirts of Fenton to-night at seven. I will have skates for all hands, so we can go down to the academy on the river. Bring the safe-cracking tools Having delivered these Hamilton left the hut, Had dock following him. Our hero watched them until they had disap.peared, and then he softly slid from the tree in order to get hi s blood circulating more freely. He walked away to a safe distance and beat his hands until the desired result was attained. Then he went back to the near

PAGE 30

BRA VE AND BOLD. vicinity of the hut and sat down to wait the departure of the men. The hours dragged slowly by, and Lou's patience was sorely tried; but at length the shades of night began to gather, and a few minutes later the Swamp Angels came out and started in the direction Hamilton and Tom Haddock had gone some time before. By their conversation our hero became satisfied that the de tective was alone in the hut. He waited fifteen minutes, so as to be sure the villains had gone for good, and then, crawling from his place of concealment, made for the door. It was not locked, so he pushed it open and boldly entered It was now quite dark, and the smoldering fire in the rough fireplace made little or no light. The boy struck a match, and. holding it above his head, dis cerned the form of the detective lying in a corner "Hello!" exclaimed L ou; I have come to set you free ." Bending over the man, he saw that he was not only bound but gagged. Out came his pocket knife, and two minutes later Hunt was free. "Thank you," sa id he. "How came you here?" Lou told him in a very few words. '"You were m e successful in trailing your man than I, it seems. I arn glad you came, for if you had not the chances are it would have been the end of me. I suppose you recognize me by my voice?" "Yes; you are the detective I met at Col. Cleverton's," re-torted Lou. I am, sure enough. Are you armed?" "No." "Well, we will hunt around the shanty; perhaps we can find something." Lighting a lantern that hung from a nail, they made a seareh. There were ple nty of weapons in a closet, and they soon selected what they wanted. "Now we will be off to prevent the robbery at the academy," said Hunt. "We will let them enter the building, and theh capture the whole lot, that rascal of a boy included." I did not know Tom Haddock was as as he is," observed our h ero. "I know he hates me enough to kill me, but I hardly believed he would. league himself with a lot of cutthroats." ''The chances are that he will spend a few of his years in the penitentiary, and that may do him good." Once out of the swamp the two made all possible speed for the river, and, putting on their skates at this point, started "for the village of Benley "I'll have to get a couple of constables to help us," said Hunt. "Then we will go straight to the academy and notify Prof. Haggard, without letting young Haddock know anyt ing about it." "You know what is best to do," replied Lou. It was a little late when they_reached the village, on account of Hunt skating into an air hole and nearly getting drowned. If it had not be e n for our hero, in fact. he would surely have peri;;.hed. This ai:cident nece ss itated a delay for the detective was com pelled to go to the house of the colonel for dry clothes. It was after eleven o'clock when the two were ready to accompany them to the academy, and Lou }Vas afraid they miirht be !'l:>o late. "We'll git there in time, never fear," said one of the con stables, who was driving the horse was hitched to the rickecy spring wagon they were in. "Robbets don't do business afore twelve o'clock." Luck seemed to be against them, for the wagon broke down half a mile from the academy. and they were forced to get out and 1 walk. ''It is twelve o'clock!" exclaimed Hunt; "we have got to hurry, if we are going to catch the gang." The four their pace into a run. CH PTER XXVII. WHAT HADDOCK DID. Tom Haddock made his way back to the academy, feeling that the time for his revenge was close at hand. The more he thought over it the more determined he became that Lou Ashfield should die that night. When he reached his room he sat down and began to study out an improvem e nt on Hamilton's plan. At length he arose, and, with flushed face and clinched teeth, he muttered: "If Hitchtr did not room wi t h Ashfield i t would be easy enough I could then s n ea k in and sta b my e n e my, and the deed would be laid to the robbers. By Jove! I ne ver thot1ght of it. Ashfield was sent to his room to stay all day! I wonder if he 1s there yet? Maybe the professor ha s let up on him, and he is out now. Anyhow, I didn't see him on the river, or m the schoolroom when I came back. I guess I'll take a look over the p artition." Like a snake creeping upon its prey, the young villain clambered over the partition and dropped noiselessly into the next r oom. The next was the one occupied by our hero and Harry Hitcher, and, placing a chair in position, he cautiously peered over into the room. To his great jo) ', he beheld what appeared to be a human figure asleep in one of the beds. "Ee ha s got tired of his solitude and gone to sleep," thought the wicked boy. "Now, if I only dared, I creep in there and finish him. By gracious! I will never have a b ette r chance than this. I must do it!" Drawing fr om his pocket a wicked-looking knife which had been given to him by Hank, the robber, he ope ned the blade and te ste d its sharp ness. An exultant exclamation, which sounded as though it might have c ome from a fiend, l eft his lips. "I can't l ose this oppo rtuni ty," he muttered. "If Lou Ashfield remains asleep until I r eac h his bedside my revenge will be ac complished, and Myers will get the re s t of the money and divide with me. Here goes anyhow!" Drawing himself up as silently as a cat could have d o ne it, he rea ched the top of the partition, and then, with bated breath, low ered him self into our hero's r oom. Once there the would-be murderer began to tremble like a leaf His teeth chattered, an d a feeling of faintness came over him. He was about to stab to the heart one who, by odds, was the favorite of the school. By an extraordinary effort he shook off the feeling and started on tiptoe for the bedside. He could hear nothing save the beating o.f his own heart as he opened the blade and clinched the handle of the murderous weapon ti g htly in his hand Fixing his eyes upon the spot where Lou's heart ought to be, he nerved himself to c om mit the deed. The next instant the knife darted downward with all the he could command. With a subdued cry of fear h e left it sticking there, and with a bound, scrambled over the partition. He did not stop till he reached hiR own room, and then, throw ini;r himself o n the floor, he 'hid his face in his hands. For several minutes h e rem a ined thus, when with great of perspiq1.tion gathered on his brow, he sttugg Ied t o a chair. The awful nature o f the crime he had committed partially dazPd him, and it was fully half an hour before Tom Haddock felt anything lik e him self again. "I must have killed him instantly," he muttered. "Now. I mu s t no longer remain ;m inmate of the academy, for there are those h ere who will lay the murder to me, and it will be hard to prove my innocence. I will stick it out until the professor is robbed to night, a nd then I will leave with the Swamp Angels and cast my lot with them. Anyhow, the death of my poor brother .is now As the young villain uttered th
PAGE 31

30 BRA VE AND BOLD He knew the murder would not be discovered until the servant went up with Lou's supper, and even then it might not become known unless he tned to arouse the boy, as it would be quite dark by that time. Haddock did not get back to the academy until a minute or two before the bell for supper rang. He had imbibed enough whiskey at Fenton to nerve him for anything that might happen, and when he he ard the professor order Lou's supper taken up to him he showed not the least concern. It was not much that he ate, however, until the servant returned and reported that Ashfield was lying in bed, and refused to say whether h e wanted his supper or n ot. '.'If he is sulking, let him remain where he is morning," said Prof. Hagga rd. "Hitcher, you can sleep in one of the empt y rooms to-night. If I hear of any of you climbing over the par titions into his room I'll puni s h you severely." "I am all right now ," thought Haddock, and he felt so easy that he cracked a joke with the boy next to him. The hours passed slowly enough a-fter the evening meal, and after he retired there was no danger in H3ddock falling asleep and failing to do as he had promised the robbers eleven dclock he arose and made his way softly down stairs. He had discovered that key to his ro o m fitted the Jock on the door of the professor's private office, and with the stealth of an old burglar he unlocked the door and w e nt in. It was as dark as pitch, and Haddock took the ri s k of striking a match. The professor slept in the room directly overhead, and the least noi se might awaken him. Like a cat the boy made his way to the safe in the corner. "I can't see hciw they are going to open this thing v6ry quickly" he thought, as he placed his hand on the knob of the heavy door. Great was his surprise when the door swung open. Prof. Haggard had forgotten to J ock it. "Whew!" he exclaimed under his breath. "Hank and Mike will have an easy thing of it. I wonder how much money the old man has in here, anyhow?" The boy knelt an d was aboilf"to rifle the cont e nts of the safe when it occurred to him that there was a possibility of his being caught. He gave up the idea immedi ately and softly left the room. Carefully unlocking the front door of the building, he went-out into the darkness of the night. There was not a particle of wind blowing, and it was mod erating. "A forerunner of r ain," muttere d Tom. "We ll. let it come." Buttoning coat tightly about him and pulling his cap well down over his face, he started down the hill jn the ilirection of the boathouse. He sat down in the shadow of the building, and indulging in a chew of tobacco prepared to await the coming of his fri en ds. Twenty minutes pas se d and the of skates on the ice cam f to his ears. "They are or time!" he exclaimed, rising to his f ee t. "Now for the robbery !" A minute lati:r a nd Hamilton and the gang of Swamp Angels met him at the bank. CHAPTER XXVIII. FOILED! "Hello, Tom!" Hamilton whispered; "is everything afl right?" "Yes," was the reply, "things could not be in a better shape. Even the safe is open for you and Lou Ashfield is dead!" "What!" gasped the astonished villain; "do you mean that, Tom Haddock?" "I .certainly do; but hush; it makes me shudder to think of it." "You settled his hash, th.en?" "I did. There was no mistake about it this time," and the youthful villain spoke with an air of satisfaction. . "You are certainly a good one, Tom!" exclaimed Hamilton, as he slapped the boy on the back. "But come! we must attend to the business that brought us here." After five minutes had1 been spent in whispered instructions the robbers and their young accomplice began sneaking softly to-ward tJle academy. ".I am going to leave with you," observed Tom Haddock, in a whisper, as he made his way along at Hamilton's side. "If you do suspicion will 5urely rest upon you for killing Ash field, returned the villain, in the same tone. } don't care about that; I am going, anyway." A s you please, then. l have no doubt but that you will make a good one in our business." Hamilton stationed a man at each corner of the building, and then deputized Hank and Mike to fol low Haddock inside and make the haul. Eve rything worked nicely. Not a sound broke the stillness of the ni g ht. In less th arr fifteen minutes the robbers had ransacked the safe taking several thousand dol l a rs from it, which the professor had saved s mce paymg off the mortagage his property had been in cumber e d with at first. J ust as Tom Haddock got out of the door with the villains a sta rtling thing occurred. A stern voice ordered them to throw up their hands and re main stock still in their tracks. It was Detective Hunt who gave the command. He and our h ero had arrived but five minutes before, with the constables, and durmg that short time they had made prisoners of the four men who were on guard at each corner of the build. g. There was a leveled revolver in the hand of the bold detective faced H ad dock and his two Swamp Angel friends, and at 111s side stood Lou Ashfie l d he also with a revolver. Tom gazed at the boy he thought to be lying a corpse in his oom for the space of ten seconjs, and then, with a sc ream of terror that sounded like a cry ,snh as a wild man might make he took to his heels in the direction of the river. That it was the ghost of our h e ro he thought without a doubt and his one desire was to get away from the spot. Ht never once thought of the weapons that had been leveled at him. The muzzle of a revolver was nothing compared to the ghost of the boy he had mm;dered a few hours before and for the ti.me being, he forgot everything-in fact, he ha;dly knew that he existed. On he ran until-Plump! He landed squarely into the arms of Hamilton on the riier bank. "What's up?" asked the villain. in a voice of alarm. "I-I-I saw a-a-a ghost!" stammered Haddock. "It--" At that moment a pistol shot rang out. "Come, put on your skates!" exclaimed Hamilton. "It was no ghost that fired that shot. The boys are in trouble. If you want to escape with me, hurry!" V..Tith nervous haste the pair clamped on their skates and went skimming over the frozen surface. Crack! crack! Two ipore shots were fired. "They have been caught I" cried Hamilton. ves, I know," faltered Haddock, who was partially tegaining his senses. "You know!" echoed his companion. "What do you mean, Haddock?" "Don't say any more till we get safe away. All I know is that the g-host of L ou Ashfield and a man are after u s." The ring of steel striking the ice prevented anything more f be ing said. A skater was approaching. The two prepared to make a spurt, when the voice of Mike, the robber, called to them : "Don't leave me, cap. Ther rest are bagged, an' it'll be some little time afore ther officers kin git skates to faller us on ther ice. A bad night's work, cap I kin tell you." "How did it happen anyhow?" asked the captain, in a tone that showed he felt anything but happy. "It was ther boy that Haddock claims to have settled that did the most of ther business. He is ther liveliest corpse I ever tackled. He knocked Hank senseless thi;i;: minute Haddock started to run, an' then I managed ups<;t ther man with him an' light out. Ther rest of our gang is gobbled, for I heard one of ther officers say, 'at! but three,' an' then they fired at me two or three times. The re's about a dozen officers there, an' Lou Ashfield is at their head." Tom Haddock could not believe it was any other than Lou's ghost he saw, but he did not stop to argue the question there. At length they reached the spot where they were compelled to take off their skates, and then, like frightened foxes, they made for the hidden shanty.

PAGE 32

BRA VE AND BOLD. When they reached it they were almost breathless, and sank down upon the floor to recover. After a while Hamilton arose and lighted a match. The jug of whiskey was the fir s t thing his eyes lighted upon, and in a twinkling he seized it. Mike and Haddock quickly scrambled to their feet, and then three bumper were p oured 01.1t. I feel better now, said Hamilton, smacking his lips. "Now, to get square on what has happened to us this night, we will carve the fellow we left tied up in the corner." A simultan eou s cry of dismay came from the lips of the villains as they gazed into the corner. As the reader knows, Hunt was not there. CHAPTER XXIX. THE PROFESSOR 15 DECORA TED. It was a lucky thing that there were to be no more studies at the academy that week. The boys were too much excited over what had taken place to put their minds up o n their books. It was quite late Friday morning when the b ell rang for break fast, and when the scholars filechoolroom to procure the artieles. In a very short time they returned with them. Lou had eaten all he desired by this time, and taking the ink, he approached the sleeping man. In a quiet, off-handed manner he proceeded to dot the pro fess o r's balrl head with red and black spots. Then he siarted on his forehead, and did not cease until he had his entire face covered with spots the size of the corks of the bottles. "It will come off easily enough," said he. 'No. when he awakes, don't any of you laugh." But the victim of our hero's joke did not appear to be in a hurry to awake The truth of the matter was that he had not been in bed since the robbers were captured. He f e lt so elated at saving his money, when he was awakened by the uproar and told what had happened, that he called his assistants to his office to h;:ve a glass of wine with him. The first glass was not enough, so they had some more, and still more, until finally daylight was at hand. Shortly the breakfast bell rang the assistants dropped off to sleep on the floor, and straig'htening himself the best he could, the profe-ssor put on a dignified look and repaired to the dining'-room. And now he, too was fast asleep. The boys did their best to arouse him, but it was no use. After a while they desisted and left the room. Lou and Hitcher went out of
PAGE 33

BRA VE AND BOLD. Lou and one of the constables turned their attention to the box in the corner. It appeared to be empty, save a few torn newspapers, but as the boy removed t hese h e found a huge red leather pock et book lying in the bottom. "That belonged to ther captain," spoke up Hank, as our hero took the article out. "He mus t have dropped it 'thout knowin' it, for I've heerd him say there was a valuable paper in it." "We will see what there is in it when we get back to Benley," observedJ,ou. "How are you making out, Mr. Hunt? Anything more under the floor?" "Not a thing," was the reply "I am quite satisfied at finding this silver plate. The colonel will have his mind at ease now." They rummaged about for half an hour l on ger, but could fi,nd no t hing that amounted to anything sa,e the silver plate and the p oc ketbook. "I' think we'd bet te r set fire ter this shanty, so it will never harbor another gang of thieves," said one of the constables, with a questioning g l : mce at th e d etec tive. "As you ple ase was the retort. The man set to work with a will, and in five minutes had pil e d enough paper and other combustible matter in a corner to do the bu s iness. A match was then applied to it, and then all hands went out into the storm. It was noon when Lou was landed at the academy, and when he got inside he was promptly met by Harry Hitcher, Sco eld and Dixon. "How did you make out?" they asked in concert. "Pretty fair," was the reply. "Hunt found Col. Cleverton's stole n silver plate, an d I discovered the pocketbook of the captain of the Swamp Angels, which I turned over to the detective. That was all there was to be found, and before we came away the constables set fire to t he shanty." "Well," said Hitcher, "there has been some fun here while you were gone. The professo r got sobered up and went into his private office where he found Lemons and the other teachers stretched out on the floor sound asleep. He kicked them till they were forced to get upon their feet, and then d i s charged them for getting drunk and setting a bad example for the sc holars. They haven't gone yet, th ough, and he may change his mind ." "How about the ink?" Oh, he found that out, too, and laid it to the teachers. That is one reason why he discharged them." "I will see him an d tell him 2bo11t it, so he will relent on the assistants and re-engage them," said Lou. "It was great fun, wasn't it?" exclaimed Scofield "I don't know what we would do if you were to leave schoo l Lou." "It isn't likely that I s h;.tll l eave o ld Benley until I graduate. B ut how abo ut dinner? I am as hun gry as a bear!" "The cook promised to save something for you," said Hitcher. "I gave her a quarter, so don't tip her again." Lou laughed, and then m a de his way to the dining-room. CHAPTER XXX. CONCLUSION. Lou tried to gyt an audience with Prof. Haggard after he had finish e d his diuner, but the old man refused him admission Toward .}light the rai n ceased falling, a nd as Lou put on his coat to go out he was surprised to receive notice that t h e coach of Col. Cleverton was i n waiting to drive him to the house of the colonel. Daggs informed him of this, and then handed him a note. It was from Hunt, and the contents were bri ef, and as follows : "Come at once; a surprise awaits you." Our hero got into the coach without asking permi ssio n of the profess o r, and he was quickly whirled to the colonel's handsome residence. He was met by Hunt and Hazel Cleverton the latter welcom ing him with a, sweet smile. The detective hurrie d him to the library, where the colonel was s ea ted, smoking a cigar. "I have startling news for you ," observed Hunt. "In the first place, Tom Haddock and the two thieves are dead--" "What!" gasped the boy; "dead, did you say?" "Yes; they were killed in a railroad smash-up this morning. They were stealing a ride to Boston on a freight train, which came in collision with an express, and, strange to say, they were the only ones killed. I went over to the morgue and identified them myself." This hardly seemed possible, and Lou could not realize j:hat it was true for some minutes. But it was true, nevertheless, and thus the wicked Hamilton and h is young pupil had met a just reward, along with their ignorant associate, Mike, the Swamp Angel. Hunt accepted the cigar the colonel tendered him, and then produ ced th e p oc ketb oo k Lou had fo ,md in the box in the shanty. "Ashfield," said he, "did you ever see the will your father made?" "Yes/' returned the boy, much mystifi e d at the question. "Did you ever think it peculiar that he should place Theodore Johnson, your uncle, as your guardian?" "Well, yes; father and he were not on the best of terms before h e died. But I suppose it mn st be all ri g ht." "Well. it isn't all right. Your father never made the will Johnson holds; here is the wiil he m a de. The other was a forgery!" With distended eyes Lou listened to the r eading of the genuine document, which the reader knows had been stolen from his uncl e's office by Hamilton. "My uncle Theodore must be a villain!" he managed to say, after a while. "I should think he was a villain. It was he who hired this scoundrel, Hamiiton, to come here a nd make way with you. H e re are the papers that prove it. They we re found in the pocketbook you took from the box in the old shanty ." Our hero was s taggered when he heard all this, but he was forced to believe it. "According to the forged will, if you were to die before you became twenty-one your uncle would come in for your property. Can you see it now, my boy?" asked the colonel. "I can!" exc l aimed Lou. "I shall leave for home at once, and when I have my claim I will give my uncle forty eight hours to get out of the c o untry." "It will hardly he n ecessa ry for vou to do all that, since I have already sent a telegram, and it is quite probable that your uncle is und e r arrest by this time. It is my business to look after evil doers, you kn ow. "And I have telegraphed to the gentleman who is your guardi a n and who is a warm friend of mine, that you and I will meet him at his office Monday morning," added the colonel. "Thank you for your kindness," was all our hero could say But little more remains to be to ld. Suffice it to say that the wrong Lou's uncle had done him was qui ckly ri ghted. and that scheming scoundrel committed suicide while awaiting trial. Hank, the robber. was sent to prison along with the rest of the Angels, but his sentence was a much lighter one, owing to the interference of Detective Hunt. Tom H addock's rema ins were buried in the cemetery near the vill age of at his father's requ es t, but the grave has never b ee n marked by a stone. R eg inald Munsey became friendly toward Lou, and no longer aspired to the h a nd of the fair H aze l Cleverton. Prof. Haggard kept his assistants in his employ, and put his money in the h u nk ever after. Harry Hitcher graduated at the sa me time Lou did and when the two l e ft Benley Acad e my to go to Yale it was with feelings of regret. They had many warm friends then!, but n one warmer than Scofield and Di xo n. ,; Daggs, t he man of all work, fairly cried when the boys left, but a couple of pieces of sil ve r soon p acifie d him Probably some day you may read in the papers of the marria ge of Lou and H:a' <:leverton, for last renorts thev were engaged. THE END. Next week's issue No. 36, will con tain "Tom Hamlin Mesmerist; or, The Boy with the Iroh Will ," by Matt Royal. A strange sto ry of a strange boy A fight between a big boy and a small one stopped-the big boy hypnotized. That's how the story opens. Then it goes on to tell of the wonderful adventures of a boy who could make any one do his bidding by simply looking him in the eye.

PAGE 34

. '-one Buffalo Bill Stories ADVENTURES .AMONG THE REDSKINS .................................................................. Price, Five Cents Thirty-two Large Sized Pages 6 a Clear Type Handsome Colored Covers BUFFALO BILL, as the Hon. William F. Cody is commonly called, is one of the brave men who made Western coloni zation a possibility. The Indians, ever jealous of the ad vancing civilization, showed their ill-feeling by plundering and killing the poor white settlers who had come to wrest a living from. the virgin soil, under adverse circumstances. For a time their horrible crimes were unavenged ; but soon Buffalo Bill and his brave scouts arrived upon the scene, and matters assumed a differ ent aspect. He taught the Indians that it was both wrong and unprofitable for them to molest the whites. It took the savage a long time to learn the lesson, and the adventures that Buffalo Bill had in subduing them, are related in a very interesting manner in these stories. Each one teems with life and excitement. We are the only publishers authorized by Buffalo Bill to ptint the narra tives of his life's adventures. Boys, do not fail to read them. They're a treat. A great competition is open in this paper, and the lucky boys will receive handsome baseball outfits. Try for them, boys. Send a two-cent stamp for a colored cover catalogue of all our five-cent libraries. The following is a list of the latest issues of the Buffalo Bill Stories: J06. Buffa1o Bill on a Renegade's Trail; or, The White Queen of t he Mandans. J07.-Buffa1o Bill's Balloon Trip; or, Fo i ling the Apaches. J08. Buffalo Bill's Drop; or, Dead Shot Ned, the Kansas Kid. t09.-Buffa1o Bill s Lasso Throwers ; or, Shadow Sam' s Short Stop. HO. Buffa1o Bi11's Relentless or, The Unknown Slayer of the Black Cavalry j j J.-Buffalo Bill and Silent Sam; or, The Woman of the Iron Hand. Curren t and preceding issues may be purchased f'ro;.. all newsdealers at FIVE CENTS PER I COPY, or will be sent, postpaid, by the publishers, upon receipt ot price. .D Street C&l Smith, 238 William St., New York l


printinsert_linkshareget_appmore_horiz

Download Options

close
Choose Size
Choose file type
Cite this item close

APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.