Into unknown lands, or, The secret of the enchanted diamond


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Into unknown lands, or, The secret of the enchanted diamond

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Title:
Into unknown lands, or, The secret of the enchanted diamond
Series Title:
Brave & Bold
Creator:
Shea, Cornelius
Place of Publication:
New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (29 p.) 29 cm.: ;

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Dime novels. ( rbgenr )
Detective and mystery fiction ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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028877180 ( ALEPH )
07232042 ( OCLC )
B15-00035 ( USFLDC DOI )
b15.35 ( USFLDC Handle )

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University of South Florida
Brave and Bold

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or The Suddenly Royal stumbled and fell to the ground. Frank rushed a few yards further and then an agonized cry came to his ears. Turninai. the boy beheld makintr off with th,e

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BRA VE -BOLD A: Different Complete Story Every Week By Std>s&rJtio" l..so pw year. Enln-ed accordinr lo Act of Conrreu in llM y1ar rQ
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BRA VE AND BOLD. she died. It from some wealthy cousin, I believe, who took enough interest in the old lady to provide for her while she lived.'' "She left no valuables, or papers, then?" "Yes, she did; and that is why I am so downcast and gloomy. Frank, old fellow, you are the best friend I have in the world, now; and I am going to show what she left besides the little cash." Royal tore the paper from a box, which Frank had looked at when his chum jirst came in, expecting that it contained fifty choice cigars. There was nothing strange in this, since it was just about the size and shape of a cigar box. But when the was removed, Frank Mercer gave a low whistle of surprise. It was the most curious box he had ever seen, for it appeared to be made out of the horn or tusk of some monster animal. It was engraved on all sides with peculiar, outlandish figures, and looked odd and mysterious in the extreme. "That," said Royal, "my aunt gave me a short time' before she died. She said that it might bring me good, but more possibly evil. She showed me the manner of opening the box, and bade me not to examine its contents until after her death." "That's curious!" exclaimed Frank. "It seems that I am on the eve of some mystery." "You are," returned his companion, quietly. "A won derful mystery, I think." He pressed on the side of the box, and the lid flew back, disclosing a small roll of parchment and a little leather tobacco / pouch. Unrolling the parchment, he handed it to his chum to read. / The words on it had evidently been written a century before, but the writing was plait\ and legible. Frank read the following: 'READ THIS, YE WHO ARE IN SEARCH OF FAME AND FORTUNE: "'I, John Gaul, in my right mind, and of my own free will and accord, do claim and make known that there exists a place within this great and good earth, where wonders and marvels neve;: cease. I have been there, and know whereof I speak. 'In this place, which is surely enchanted, men live who ;ived before the time of Noah, and who are yet young and in the prime of life. In this place are to be found beasts and birds such as mankind never dreamed of. In this ;iar,e are untold riches. In this place lives the father ef. all magic and everything that is wonderful. I will say no more; but if ye would go to find whether I lie or not, take the course that I have laid out on the map bel ow and go to Russian America. '\Vhen ye shail come to the encl of the marked route, where the star is, you will surely find a thin piece of crystal before you. Take the diamond, which is en chanted, from the tobacco pouch, where I have placed it, and draw it across the crystal. Then shall ye find the entrance to this most wonderf1,1l place "'January ro, 1795. JOHN GAUL.'" That was all there was of the writing, but directly be neath it was a rude map of Russian America, or Alaska, as it is now called. A black-dotted line led to a point within fifty miles of the seacoast, and hem a star was marked. Frank Mercer read this peculiar document with dis tended eyes, and then mechanically picked the tobacco pouch from the box. He opened it, and a diamond, whose luster was so great that it fairly dazzled his eyes, fell into his open palm. It was nearly octagon in shape, and was about the size of a robin's egg. "That is the enchanted diamond," said Royal. "\Vhat do you think of the whole thing, Frank?" "What do I think of it? Why, in the first place, old fellow, that stone is worth a small fortune!" "An.cl in the second place?'; "Well, in the second place, if what John Gaul has writ ten there is true, you are the luckiest fellow in the world to-day!" "John Gaul was my great-grandfather, and that writ ing is surely his. It is either the truth, or else he was crazy when he wrote it." "How is it that 110 one has attempted the journey long tidore this?" asked Frank, with a puzzled air. "Decause," returned Frank, "my aunt informed me that she was cautioned,
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) BRA VE AND BOLD. 3 "That's so," mused Royal. 'Well, I should be glad to have you accompany me on this wonderful mission, above any one else in the world, only I don't like to be dependent on you for my expenses." "Don't let tbat worry you. Things are already fixed for this journey. My father has promised me a thousand dollars to defray my expenses in a trip to California and Mexico, the first of July, and mstead of going there we will go to Alaska. The first of July is only three weeks off, too. So we will begin to make preparations at once." Royal seized his chum by the hand, and gave it a hearty shake. "I really believe there is something in it," said he. "My great-grandfather is said to have had a shade of m ystery connected with his life. He was also thought to be dead but after an absence of years he turned up alive, and very rich. You may depend upon it that some such place as he describes really existed at that time, though I hardly believe that the diamond is enchanted "Vv e will find out all about it, old fellow," said Frank, whose adventurous spirit was raised to the top notch. CHAPTER II. THE DIAMOND IS PUT TO THE TEST. Royal Henderson and Frank Mercer arrived at Port Townsend, Washington, any particular adven ture. Frank was well supplied with funds, so they were finely equipped for the i r undertaking. Almost the first thing they did on reaching Port Townsend was to look about for a vessel that was bound to some in Alaska. They w e re lucky enough to find a whaling schooner that had touched at that port for supplies, and was bound for the Behring Sea. For a reasonable sum the captain agreed to land Royal and Frank at Kingogun, a small town on the extreme western point of the Cape Prince of Wales. TI1e schooner was to sail on Saturday, and as it was Thursday when the two chums arrived at Port Town send, the y did not have a great while to wait. After securing passa ge. th e boy s r e turned to the hotel they had concluded to stop at during their stay in the place, and did not go out again till the next day. The weather was balmy and pleasant, and after break fasting they took a stroll about the town to see what it looked like. But they soon found there was not much to see, and after a couple of hours started back for the hotel. A knock came at the door of their room, and a thin, wiry lad of about seventeen appeared. He had been a bell boy in the hotel, and had attracted both the boys' at-tention by his pleasant, wining manners. He now had a tale of woe. He had been discharged. "So you are out of a job, eh?" said Frank. "Ye s, son, I am." "Ho w would you like to go with us to Alaska?" "Bedad l I would like ter go any place with two sich fine young gintlemen as yourselves." "Stop your blarney, now. What is your name?" "Danny Bu t ler, sorr." "You would be just the fellow to go with us, providing you would be willing to work for your board and clothes, and risk your life in a strange country." "I am willing, sorr." "We leave to-morrow morning at eight o'clock. Can you get read:y: in that time?" asked Royal, who was he a rtil y glad that Frank had asked the Irish lad to go with them. I am ready now, sorr. All that I h3;ve in the world is tied up in my pocket hanqkerchief." "\Vell," said Frank, after a moment of thou g ht, "if you want to go with us you must take a note down to the captain of the whaling schooner St. Nicholas, which lies at the wharf." "Are we to go on a ship, sorr ?" asked Danny Butler. "We are. You must take a note to the captain, whicl1 I will write, telling him that there will be t.1-Iree of us to go in s tead of two." "Wroi te it sorr, an' I'll go roight away, bedad !" Frank hastily penned the necessary note, and Danny took it, and thrust it carefully in his pocket. Royal a n d Frank boarded the schooner a few minutes before the time she was to sail. Danny can1e out of the cabin as the boys walked aft. He had be e n sent down early in the morning with the luggage that Royal and Frank could not very well carry. "We have another passenger, bedad !" said the Irish lad, as he Jed the way to a stateroom contai:iing four berths. "Another passenger!" echoed our frien?s. "Who is it, Danny?" "A foine old gintlemen by ther name of Profissor gles. He is bound for ther same port as we are. He is to meet a number of friends there, so he says." At this moment a lanky, good-natured looking man of probably sixty years of age entered the cabin. "Good-morning, gentlemen," said he. "As we are to be fellow-passengers, we might as well get acquainted at once. I am Prof. Juggles. I am going to Alaska strictly in the interest of science. I expect to meet a party of friends at Kingogun, who will accompany me on an ex pedition through the wildest part of the territory." The chums replied by giving their nan1es, and stating that their destination in Alaska was but a short from Kingoguu.

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4 BRA VE AND BOLD. "I hope you will make up your minds to join my party, and go farther," said the professor. "That all depends upon the result of our trip to the place we are bound for," returned Royal. "Well," observed Frank Mercer, after a pause, "there are four of us to occupy four berths in this little stateroom, so suppose we settle where each one is to sleep." "A good idea," nodded Prof. Juggles. "If you have no objections, I will take one of the lower berths, as I am not much used to climbing." "Certainly, replied the chums. Five minu tes later everything was settled to the satis faction of all hands. Royal and Frank took possession of the two berths on the right, and the professor and Danny Butler took the other two, the Irishman being as signed the upper one. The four now made their way on deck, and were just in time to see the schooner push off from the dock. When she had cleared, the few vessels that were lying at anchor, her sails were hoisted, and the voyage to Alaska was begun. Our friends found the professor to be a fine old gen tleman, and they grew to like him better every day Passengers on a whaling schooner do not have a very enjoyable time of it, neither are their accommodations and fare much of a luxury, and skipping over the details of the voyage, we will say that our friends were heartily glad when the schooner arrived at the little town of Kingogun one day, just as the shades of night were be ginning to gather. The captain concluded to anchor there till the next morning, and kindly offered his passengers the accommo Jq.tions of his vessel until then they, one and all, refused his offer, saying they were anxious to get upon land as soon as possible. It was just about dark when they clambered over the schooner's side into a boat that was waiting to take them ashore, and with a hearty farewell to the captain and his crew, they were rowed ashore. The four who hticl bidden farewell to the schooner walked along for ab o ut ten minutes, and then came to a halt in front of a low, one-storied building, which was covered by a thatched roof. It was a public place kept by a half-breed Indian. After scrutinizing the place for a while, Prof. J ugglcs exclaimed: "This is the place where I was to meet my com panions. Let us go in, and see if they are here." Pushing open the door, the four entered. A greasy-looking, dark-skinned man arose and politely asked them, in fair English, how he could serve them. The professor promptly asked for his friends. "They are dead!" was the blunt reply. "\Vhat !" gasped the astonished professor. "The white men you ask for are dead," went on the half-breed. "The bad Indians killed them up m the mountains three months ago." "Then my mission here amounts to nothing," groaned the professor, his face pale as a sheet. The chums felt sorry for the man. His actions showed that the sad news of the death of his friends was a heavy blow to him. "I'll tell you what you can do, professor," said Royal, after a mornent's thought. :'You can go with us on one of the strangest missions man ever set out upon." In spite of his grief, the old man became interested. 'Tl! tell you all about it," went on Royal, "as soon as we engage a night's lodging and get some supper." The half-breed said he could accommodate them, and promptly had supper prepared. The meal was not of the best, but there was plenty of fresh reindeer meat, and as they had nothing but salt meats for some time, it was quite a luxury. After supper they were ushered into a small apartment, which had half a dozen bunks in it, after the fashion of what they had been used to on shipboard. The host said they might have the room all to them selves, as there were on other guests at his hotel. As soon as the four were left to themselves, R oyal ex plained the reason of Frank and himself comin g to Alaska. when the professor had seen the diamond, and thor oughly examined the document and map, he could scarcely contain himself. "The most wonderful thing I ever heard of," said he. "You boys must put a good deal of faith in the truth fulness of this or you would never have come so far." Royal kept nothing from him, but related every cir cumstance connected with the affair. When the professor was asked a second time to go with them, he arose to his feet, and quickly exclaimed: "Go? Why, certainly, I'll go." That settled it. The next morning our friends were up before day lit;ht. After breakfast the half-breed was kind enough to take them to a dealer in horses, and they were not long in purchasing four stout, sure-footed ponies. Then each, being well armed and equipped, set out over the moss-covered waste of land in the direction of the star old John Gaul had marked in his chart. The they rode were much better than they expected to obtain, and they covered the ground at a good gait. They kept on until about the middle of the afternoon without meeting ari adventure.

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BRAVE AND BOLD. 5 Then, according to the compass, which told the direc tion they had been traveling, Royal estimated that they must be somewhere in the neighborhood of where they wanted to go. A huge mound of rocks was supposed to be at the point where the star was marked on the chart. Suddenly, as they rounded a bend, they came in sight of a mound that about answered the description. Royal began to grow excited. Two minutes later they came to a halt. The chums sprang from the backs of their horses. In the side of the huge mound was a wide-mouthed cave. Naturally the boys peered into this. Almost the first thing they saw was a glittering patch of crystal upon the rear wall of the cave Royal pointed to the crystal, which lay tight against the wall of rock behind it, and with a voice that trembled slightly, exclaimed: "\Vhat my great-grandfather wrote on the parchmel'lt has proved true, thus far! Now for the test!" He took the diamond from his pocket, and after hesitating a moment, drew it quickly across the surface of the crystal. 111e moment he did so there was a loud report, followed by a violent crash, and the back of the cave fell out before their very eyes I CHAPTER III. JOHN GAUL'S KN!FE. Though it was true that Royal Henderson expected some remarkable thing to occur when he drew the dia mond across the crystal, he was not prepared for what followed. A cry of ming-led fear and surprise left his lips, and he staggered back against his chum, Frank Mercer, who was also badly frightened. "My God!" cried Prof. Juggles, from the mouth of the cave. "What terrible thing has happened?" "Murther !" yelled the Irish lad; "ther avil one is afther bein' in there. Let's git back to ther ship roight away!" As these remarks came to their ears Royal and Frank recovered themselves. "There is no cause for alarm," spoke up the former. "We have discovered the entrance that will lead us to the place where wonders and marvels never cease Pro fessor, do not be surprised at anything; and Danny, you brace up, and stop acting as though you had seen a ghost. Just stick to us, and you will be alt right. "That's it," exclaimed Frank. "Royal acted according to the directions written by his great-grandfather, and thus far the truth of the document has been proven. I move that we proceed into the passage that has opened for us without further delay!" "I second the motion,'' cried Ws chum. "I am heartily in favor of it," the professor hastened to say. "I have cast my lot with you two young men, and it will not be my fault if I do not stick by you through thick and thin." Danny had nothing to say on the subject, but when the two boys mounted their horses and rode them into the cave he was as quick as the professor to follow them. The passageway our hero had opened, by the diamond across the crystal, was wide enough to admit two horsemep, side by side, and was about fifteen feet from ground to roof. Consequently there was no neecl' of their pursuing their way on foot. "Stop just a moment I" exclaimed the professor, a.s they passed from the cave into the passage that led from the rear of it ; "there is one thing that I would like to know before we proceed farther." "\Vhat is that?" asked Frank. "I want to know what caused this place to open when you cut the glass, or crystal, with the diamond "That is so," said Frank. "vVe might as well look into that a bit." Dismounting, they began to carefully examine the place, and soon discovered that two gigantic bowlders had fallen back on either side, thus causing the opening. At their feet lay the fragments of the patch of crystal, which was no thicker than an ordinary pane of glass, and a few flecks of brownish dust that smelled like sulphur. That was all there was to explain the mystery! "My theory is," said the professor, "that the bowlders were fastened together by means of the piece of crystal and some powerful cement that was lasting. Wli.-.n the .:r.>. mond cut the crystal the weight of the bowlders cau"Secl them to fall aside." "Yes," returned Frank, ; "but what cauf'ed the ex plosion?" "That I cannot conjecture." "There is no use in worrying ourselves over the mat ter," spoke up Royal. "The enchanted diamond has ac complished just what my ancestor wrote it would do. Thus far his statement is true, and if the rest proves to be so, we will have so many strange mysteries to solve, that if we attempt to unravel them, it \Vil! take us the best part of a hundred years to finish our journey." "I hardly agree with you," replied Frahk, with a shake of his head. "I think we ought to find out what we can as we gu along." "Yes, if we can possibly do so," added the professor. "I think we had better be afther lavin' ther place en toirely," spoke up the Irish lad. "There mus' certainly

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6 BRA VE AND BOLD. be witches somewhere about; an' where they be no man should go." This sally caused a laugh from Danny's companions, so he said no more. "My idea," said Royal, "is that we follow this passage until we reach the wonderful place we are in search of, or else find that we can go no farther for some good reason, and marvel at nothing that we have to contend with. If this place is full of mysteries, there must cer tainly be a reason for them all, and when he have once found that reason, they will be explained to us without a doubt." The remarks of our hero suited Frank and the pro fessor, and with one accord they expressed their desire that he should be the 6eader, and they his followers. This being settled, the four adventurers mounted their horses again. Then it occurred to them that they must have a light if they wished to proceed farther. They each had a strong lantern, and, lighting one of them, they set out through the underground passage that, according to the statement of the departed John Gaul, led to the most wonderful place man ever dreamed of. Not knowing exactly what they might have to en counter, our friends kept their weapons ready for in stant use. When they had proceeded a couple of hundred yards, they found they were going down a gradual descent. "Is it possible that we are going to find people living underground?" observed Prof. Juggles. -"It surely is possible, professor; but whether it is the fact or not we will find out in due time," returned Frank. Royal did not venture a remark on the subject. He was busy with his own thoughts, wonde1;ng if they were really going to find the wonderful place his greatgrandfather wrote about. For the next half hour they rode along in silence, and then Danny remarked it was pretty near supper time. This was a reminder to all hands that their stomachs were about empty; so. a few minutes later, when they reached a part of the passage where it widened con siderably, they came to a halt and dismounted. Frank quickly discovered a stream of clear water tric kling down the left side of the passage, and, as soon as all had refreshed themselves with a drink, a two-pound tin of canned beef was opened. They had bought half a dozen cans before leaving Port Townsend, and this was the first they had opened. This, and a small bag of sea biscuit, was all they had v.ith them in the line of eatables; but, as they were hun e:ry, the food tasted very good. For their horses they had nothing but a small bale of some sort of dried moss, which they had purchased with the animals. This queer fodder seemed to be very nutritious, a few handftHs to each horse being enough to satisfy him. About twenty minutes after eating they again mounted, and started on their way-down, as it appeared, toward the c e nter of the earth. Royal had made up his mind to proceed as far as thi:ir limited supply of food would allow them to go in case they failed to come across anything that was good to ca.t. They kept on for three hours. Prof. Juggles estimated that they must be at least half a mil e below the surface of the ground now, and yet there seem e d to be a plentiful supply of pure air. "\Ve will keep on till midnight, and then halt for a few homs' r est," said our hero. As the minutes flitted by all hands began to grow wear y They were not used to being in the saddle, else they would not have minded it so much. A few minutes before the hour of midnight, Royal, who was in advance with the lantern, suddenly brought his horse to a stop. Much surprised at his action, his companions followed his example. Before a question could be put to him, he pointed ahead of him, and exclaimed: "Look!" He directed the rays of the !:intern on an ohject that was lying on the ground. It was a human skeleton, well preserved and whitened by time l Danny Butler nearly 'had a fit at sight of the grewsome object, hut instead of being frightened, his companions became serious. So much so, in fact, that they dis mounted to get a closer view of the ghastly relic of humanity. As they bent over it, with the light of the lantern shining full npon it, a simultaneous cry of !!urprise ca.me from their lips. And no wonder l Between the fleshless ribs a knife w:is sticking! The handle was made of horn, and as Royal and his companions inspected it with distended eyes, they became aware of the fact that it had two letters carved on the handle. They were "J. G." "My great-grandfather's knife!" exclaimed Royal, in a solemn tone; and then, with the utmost cooli.1ess, he seized the weapon, and drew it from the ribs of the skeleton, where, in all probability, it had rested for a century.

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BRAVE AND BOLD. 7 Then the rays of the iantern happened to strike upon the wall of the passage near the skeleton. It was a sort of soft sandstone, and upon it a, number of letters were carved. Time had done nothing to deface them, and it took our friends but a short time to make out the following words: "Here is the spot where I was compelled to kill a man to keep the enchanted diamond in my possession. "Ye who would seek what I now leave, Go on ten miles-my story believe. "]oHN GAuL." "vVonderful !" exclaimed the professor. "Let us go on by all means." With one accord they mounted their horses, Royal keeping the knife he had plucked from the ribs of the skeleton. CHAPTER IV. IN THE LAND OF WONDER. Royal and his companions left the skeleton and the in scription on the wall behind them, and started down the passage. "We may as well go ten miles farther before we take a rest," said he. "vVhen we travel that far we w0ill be somewhere in the neighborhood of Kingogun, only nearly a mile under it," observed the professor. "According to my compass, we have been traveling due west ever since we entered the passage." "Then the chances are that our journey is nearly ended, for if we keep on going we will fetch up in the waters of Behring Straits," returned Frank. "Not necessarily. Suppose the passage proceeds under it?" said Royal. "You must remember that we are far below the surface of the earth, Frank." "I think we had better be a:fther turnin' back; but as I have no say in ther matther, I will not spake me moind," exclaimed Danny Butler. This remark caused a laugh, and then, for the next fifteen minutes, nothing but the clatter of horses' hoofs broke the somber stillness The passage continued on in an unbroken, gradual de scent, and the tired horses kept covering the ground at a sharp trot. \i\Then an hour had passed since their leavin g the skel eton, it struck all bands they had about made the ten miles, and they prepared themselves for some sort of a surprise. Suddenly, without the least warning, a brilliant light flashed in their faces, and they saw that they had entered a cavern, which was so vast in extent they could not con jecture as to how large it really was. The extraordinary light caused the horses to prance about, and utter loud snorts of terror. Before our friends could recover from their astonish ment, there came a deafening crash, and then all was shrouded in darkness, even the lantern in Royal's hand going out. An interval of ten seconds elapsed, and then the light flashed up again. The four adventurers rubbed their eyes, and gave a gasp. Within a dozen feet of them stood a score of men. Each one wore a beard which touched the ground, and all were scantily attired in a garb manufactured from the skins of animals The complexion of the strange people was a sickly yellow-like that of a person suffering with a severe attack of jaundice-and their features showed they belonged to the intelligent order of human beings. The horses ridden by our friends stood stock-still in their tracks, and trembled violently. Presently one of the strange race of people advanced toward them, speaking in a loud and distinct voice in some language unknown to them. Resolving to make the best of the peculiar, not to say startling, situation, Royal bowed politely, and exclaimed: "We are friends !',. These words seemed to have a startling effect upon the strange men; they began conversing among themselves in a hurried manner. After a period of perhaps a minute, he who had ad vanced toward them spoke again In good English he said : "You speak the language taught us by one who left here many years ago. Who are you ? Are you anything to him?" With great presence of mind, Royal drew the enchanted diamond from his pocket, and held it out; and as the light struck it the jewel glittered like a star in the blue canopy of the heavens. "By this we ask permission!" were the words that came from our hero's lips in a clear, ringing tone that echoed through the cavern. "Then you must be of him who went away a century ago, strangers ; you yet have the power to turn back whence you came." "We do not care to go retorted Royal; wwc seek to visit the land of your people, and learn its mys teries." "Then go back you never wiil i" As these words rungout our four whisked from the backs of their horses as hands, and then their senses left them. friends were if b;Y invjsible The best part of an hour must passed beiore niey

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8 BRA VE AND BOLD. returned to consciousness, and when they did so they found themselves reclining on soft couches in a spacious, well-lighted apartment. That they had been drugged in some mysterious man ner was evident, as they all awoke together at the sharp tinkle of a bell. Much dazed and befuddled, the four adventurers raised themselves to a sitting posture, and gazed about them. The Irish lad was the first to find the use of his tongue. "Bedad !" said he, "I. believe we are afther bein' in a palace!" "It is rather strange how we got here," observed the professor, as he rubbed his eyes in a sleepy manner. "I remember being jerked from the back of my horse, and after that I knew nothing till a moment ago." "I guess we were all treated that way," replied Royal. "Anyhow, I know I wa:s." "So was I," chimed in Frank. "Me, too, bedad !" exclaimed Danny. "I wonder where our poor bastes are afther bein' ?" "If they are taken care of as good as we have been they ought to be perfectly satisfied," said the professor. Their c onversation was cut short at this moment by the sound of approaching footsteps. The next moment a curtain of skins was thrown aside, and four maidens entered, bearing trays filled with eat ables. The girls were fairly good-looking, and were all attired in fawn-colored skirts and bodices. They wore sandals instead of shoes, and their heads were simply covered with heavy braids of their own \Vithout a word they deposited the trays on the ground in front of each of the four, and then took their de parture. "I didn't know I was hungry until I saw that load of food come in," observed Frank. "I feel now as though I hadn't eaten anything in a week." "We will see what it is like, anyhow," ventured Royal. "It is meant for us, I suppose." "Fresh meat !" exclaimed the professor; "and very good at that. And, by Jove wine, too !" "An' peraties !" added Danny. "Bedad I I knew we were in a palace !" Though they did not know to a certainty what they were eating, our friends proceeded to devour the con tents of the trays with a relish. The professor went so far as to drink all his wine, and then throw out a hint for Royal and Frank to pass over what they did not want. They did this, and when he had finished it the profes bec omin g a trifle mellow, arose to his feet, and be-gan to a speech on the beauties and glories of the mysterious land they were visiting. \Ve say began to make a speech, for before he had uttered twenty words he was interrupted by the arrival of half a dozen men, who promptly motioned our friends to follow them. What they had alread y passed through was enough to make them show an obedient disposition, and out they went through the curtained entrance of the apartment, behind the strange inhabitants of the underground place. \Vhen they got outside, they found that they had been in a building of stone, and also that there were several more of the same sort within the limits of their vision. Though it was certainly a vast cavern that they were in, they could neither see top nor sides, although it was lighted with a glare that was almost as bright as the noonday sun. While Royal and his companions gazed about them in mute surprise, their horses were brought to them, and they were ordered to mount by the man who had first spoken to them on their arrival. They were not long in getting into the saddle, and then the rumbling of wheels was heard. The next minute a strange-looking animal, which looked to be half elephant, half rhinoceros, appeared be fore them, hitched to a long vehicle resembling a flat car. A dozen men sprang upon this, and one of them seized the reins attached to a bit in the queer-looking animal's mouth. "Follow where we lead!" exclaimed the man who ap peared to be in charge. "You will now be taken before the ruler of all that is great and wonderful !" "All right," replied Royal; "we are ready!" Tl;ten the huge vehicle started, and our friends followed. CHAPTER V. BEFORE THE KING. How long it was our friends did not !:now, but it seemed that for several hours th e y traversed over the level floor of the vast cavern, and at length came to a halt in front of a strange but beautiful scene. On a slight eminence of ground stood a building mod eled after the style of some ancient temple of Biblical times. Around this in a perfect circle was a chasm, containing a mass of living fire that flowed like a stream of water about twenty feet from the edges. During the journey the visitors to the strange place had learned that the man who had been the only one to address them in their own language, was named Sandis. He now told them that the temple was the home of the king of the Rabanos country, which the underground

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 9 place \ll/'a.S called, and that he was also the father of all magic and everything that was wonderful. "The king will show you some of his mystic power be fore you have been long in his presence," went on Sandis. "He speaks your language as well as I do. He learned it from him of whom you claim to be relatives, many years ago." 'Why, how old is the king?" asked Frank. "Old? He is not old at all, neither is he young. He has lived since the formation of this place, and will con tinue to live to the end of time." "That is pretty good," thought Frank. "I can take in some of the things I have been told, but that is a little too much. There is a big fraud connected with this pe culiar country and if I am permitted to stay here long enough, I'll ferret it out." Danny Butler was the most affected by the remarkable assertion of Sandis, and he became so badly frightened that he had to gasp for breath. "Think of it!" he exclaimed, with chattering teeth; "a man that has niver doicd aven once in his whole loife. Bedad its crazy I 'll be afther bein' if I iver heard ther loikes before !" "What I say is the truth," repeated Sandis, noticing that his remarks did not appear to affect the other three to any great degree. "You will be forced to believe it later on." "'Ne have not said we doubted it," returned Royal, coolly. "Lead on! we would like to see the king." "That is it," and Sandis smiled with an air of satis faction. "I am glad that you believe me." Then he drew a small ball from a pocket in his skin garment, and cast it into the flowing fire in the circular chasm. The instant it touched the seething flames the ball ex ploded with a thunderous report. The echoes had scarcely died out when a bridge shot across the chasm, causing a low mummr of surprise to come from the lips of the four adventurers, in spite of themselves. Even Frank Mercer, who was the least affected of the four, felt a cold shiver run down his spinal column. The whole thing was so weird and mysterious that he became more uneasy at that moment than at any time since he had entered the underground passage. The bridge appeared to be a very strong affair, and the material of which it was constructed glistened like a !lheen of silver in the supernatural light that illumined the place. It had scarcely settled in its place when Sandis gave the command to proceed, and then the queer draught ani mal pulled the vehicle over, followed by the four on horseback. The moment they were over the bridge, a large door in the temple-like structure opened, and a gorgeously attired man, apparently aged about thirty, stepped out to meet the party. The natives made a profound bow, and, following their example, our friends bent their heads to their horses' necks. Then followed a rather lengthy conversation between Sandis and the gorgeously attired man, which wound up by his being introduced to the strangers as king of the Rabanos country. Frank, being rather blunt in his way, offered his hand to his majesty. This seemed to please him rather than otherwise, for he gras ped it in a manner that was cordial. The other three followed the example set by their com panion, and then the king, in good English, demanded to know which of the strangers was of kin to him who had visited and lived in the land of the Rabanos a century before. "I am the party you ask for," spoke up Royal, in a tone of respect. "That being so, you must have something with you to prove the truthfulness of your assertion." "I have in my possession a precious stone that my great grandfather, John Gaul, brought from this cow1try, and will e d to his first male descendant. I being the first, it came into my possession, together with a document re lating to this country, and a chart giving a description how to reach it," said Royal. "'Tis well. It is the enchanted diamond that you have. Produce it." As Royal put his hand in the pocket where he had placed the ptecious stone, after showing it to the men they had first met, a look of blank amazement came into h.is face. It was gone! "What is the matter, Royal?" asked Frank. "The diamond is not in my possession," was the reply. "It must be. I saw you put it in your pocket just before we were rendered unconscious." "But it is not there now. I have lost it." \Vith a pale face our hero looked at the king, and said : "Your majesty, I have lost the diamond!" "\Vhat !" and the king's brow grew as black as a thun dercloud. "Da:-e you trifle with one who has lived since the beginning of time, and who is the father of all magic? Produce the enchanted stone at once!" In vain did Royal search his pockets. The diamond was gone, that was certain. "I cannot produce it unless I can go back to the spot where your people first met us, and find it." "I have been trifled with. and you four fools from the earth's surface shall die for it I"

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IO BRA VE AND BOLD. As the king spoke these words, he struck the staff he carried upon the ground. A loud gong sounded, and then the four were en veloped in a cloud of smoke. When this had cleared away the king had vanished, but a hideous-looking monster stooa in his place. It was fully as large as a bull, aRd had a horn pro jecting from its snout, with a point that was as sharp as a needle. \i\Tith distended jaws this und e r grou nd monster rushed upon them. Neither Royal nor Frank were made of the sort of stuff to allow themselves to be slain without a struggle Simultaneously they raised their rifles, and taking aim at the horrible creature's eyes, pulled the triggers. The reports of their weapons blended into one, and the hideous underground denizen rolled over upon the g round in the agonies ot' death. "Hurrah I" yelled Danny Butler. "We are-" He did not finish what he was going to say, for at that instant a crowd of the natives, with Sa. ndis at their head, surrounded Royal and his friends. "Kill them on the spot I" cried Sandis. "They have slain our great and good king I" "Hold !" exclaimed the rich, musical voice of a female. They have not slain the king It is the evil spirit of the Rabanos country lies before you in the agonies of death I All hail to the strangers !" As our four adventurous friends caught sight of the speaker, they could scarcely believe their senses. A girl, the perfect figure of grace and beauty, attired in a flowing gown of crimson, stood before them. In her right hand she grasped a flaming sword, with which she held the natives at bay. CHAPTER VI. THE CHILD OF SUNLIGHT "Stand back I stand back, even the great king of the Rabanos country I I am Media, the child of sunlight, an d though my powers are limited, I will exercise them to their g reatest extent I" Thus spoke the beauteous female who so suddenly ap peared upon the scene as Royal Henderson and his com panions were about to be attacked by Sandis and the na4ves at his back. The flaming sword the girl waved above her I1eaa burned with a strange, unnatural glow, and as our friends gazed at it they could not imagine what caused the metal blade to burn. Sandis and his men cowered at the appearance of the girl. One by one they fell back, and came to a halt at a respectable distance. "Follow me, friends from a strange country!" ex claimed she who called herself Media, the child of sun light; "I will conduct you to the inside of the Temple of Mystery, as the building before us is called. Once wit11in its walls you are forever safe. Come!" The four did not hesitate about accepting t11e invita ti on They were quite satisfied to leave the spot where the mon ste r they had slain still lay, and also to get beyond the reach of Sandis and his men what had ;,. e come of the king they knew not, and they marveled greatly at his disappearance as they rode behind the girl to the massive doorway of the temple. A summons from Medfa brought two servants upon the scene, and at a command from her lips they promptly took the horses of our friends in charge, and led t11em to the rear of the imposing structure. "Come on, and have no fear!" exclaimed the girl, in her rich, musical voice. And then she conducted them into a broad 1'1llway, and thence into a magnificently furnished apartment, which reminded our friends of the stories they had read of the East in ancient times. With a wave of her hand, Media bade tpem be seated, and then, in some mysterious m<;inner, caused the flames that still came from her sword to become extinguished. There was not a chair in the room, but here and there up o n the richly carpeted floor were cushions, gorgeous in color and inviting in appearance. Not knowing what else to do under the circumstances, Frank Mercer sat down on one of these. When they saw that this was wha t was required of them his companions immediately followed his example. A moment later the girl produced a curious-looking in strument from a curtained corner, and took a seat before them. It was a stringed musical instrument, gre?-tly resembling a harp, only much smaller, and after striking a few chords Media began singing a plaintive melody in sm:h an entrancing voice that the four adventurers sat as though they had become rooted to the spot, and listened in rapt amazement . While that son g lasted it seemed to them that they were in a fairy dreamland, and it was at least a minute after the last note had died out before they recovered them selves and realized where they were. Then Media laid the instrument down, and drawing her cushioned sea t nearer to them, said: ''Strangers, w ill you kindly tell me who yciu are, and what brought you to this underground country?" "Certainly !" replied Royal; and then he proceeded to r elate the whole circumstance, from b eg inning to end. The beautiful girl li s tened with market! attention until he was through, and seemed to be very much interested.

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. BRA VE. AND BOLD. 'I I "I will now tell you something about m y self," said she, "for I suppose you wonder who and what I am. As you have already heard me say, I am Media, the child of sunlight. Unlike y ou, I came to this underground coun try against my will." "You are not a native of the Rabanos country, then?" observed Royal, in iiurprise. "No, I am n o t. I be!Qng to the land of sunlight, like yoursel ves; onl y not in the same latitude, I guess. I have liv ed in this place for nearly two years-against my will, I might add. My country is a long journey from here; but thank God I the sun shines upon it, which it cannot do here. I am a perfe ct type of my people, so you will sec that they are not like the natives here." "Your people must be very beautiful," ventured Royal. "They arc. That is why they are bothered once every five y e ars by the inh a bitants of this strange country. To expl a in what I mean, I will state that every time the five y ea rs ha\'e elapsed the king of the Rabanos countr y with an army of m e n, pays a vi s it to the land of my birth, for the express purpose of selecting a v,ffe." "He chooses a young and beautiful girl, and then comes back here with his army, bringing her with him. My people do not object to this treatment, as they are not only a p e aceful set, but are really under the government of the m:.1.11 who has lived since the commencement of time, an
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12 BRA VE AND BOLD. I wake up in Princeton presently, and find that I have been dreaming." "The most difficult thing in getting away from the t e mple will be in crossing the chasm of fire," went on Media. 'The bridge is an invent i on of the king, and he a lone knows how to work it." "How is it that you speak our language so fluently?" asked our hero, changing the subject. "I was taught to speak it here in the temple. The language was first introduced by your gre a t-grandfather, a long time ago. A great many of the unde r ground people speak it, and the king always addresses me in your tongue." "Would you mind e x plaining some of the mysteries of this place?" asked Frank. "I will, as far as I dare to at present. Some day I will explain all I know, if we are successful in getting away from here." "Well, then, the first thing I want to know is why the diamond Royal has in his possession is called the en chanted diamond?" "Because it is supposed to be the keystone of the mys teries of the Rabanos country. As near as I can tell, it was lost about a hundred and fifty years ago, and the king made it known among his people that the p e rson who found it should have granted any two requests he might choose to ask. John Gaul was a ?risoner here at that time, or some time shortly after, he having reached this place by chance. He had a cert a in limit in which to go about, and he set about to find the lost diamond. "After nearly twenty years' s e arch he succ e eded in finding it, and when he held it up before the king, his majesty, without first taking possession of the precious stone, told him to make the two requests he most de sired, and they should be granted to him without delay. "The king naturally supposed that the first r e qu est the man would make would be for his liberty, but in this he was mistal< en. The first thing John Gaul asked for was the enchant e d diamond! "The king was horrorstruck at this demand, but he had n e ver b e en kn o wn t o a promise, and John Gaul was allowed to keep the precious stone. "The second thing he asked for was his liberty, and this was promptly granted to him. Then, as he prepared to start to his own land, the late prisoner made a speech, which, as near as I can tell, went something like this: "'Your majesty, I will take the enchanted diamond to my home beneath the blue sky; and I will will it to my first male issue, who will come to this place some time and pre sent it to you. But you shall be the first of your people to lay hands upon it, otherwise you will never touch it, and in time you will die, like the rest of the men that are born. Remember what I say I Farewell, ye who have lived since the beginning of time, and who are the father 'of all magic I' "As he was leaving, the king requested him to seal the entrance of the passage that led to this country, and John Gaul promised to do so, saying that when the seal was broken it would be done by the diamond. You have the history of the enchanted diamond, and that is all I can tell you at present." "A wonderful story!" exclaimed the professor. "I can S\vallow all it c::x:cept one thing," observed Frank. "And what is that?" asked Media. "The part where you say this is the same king who lost the diamond one hundred and fifty years ago," was the reply, "According to your story, and what Sandis told us, the king is a blamed sight older than Methuselah would be if he were living now, Such a yarn as that will not go down with any intelligent American." ''Nor Irishman, either, bedad !" quickly added Danny Butler. ''I do not beli e ve that ther king is afther bein' as old as ther profissor, bedad !" "\Yell never mind about that part of it," said Royal. "Media is only telling us tl1e story as she has heard it. The best thing for us to do is to listen to everything that we hear, and see all we can, and then keep quiet, and believe what we have a mind to." "By Jove! Royal is right, as he always is," exclaimed Frank. "I shall not utter another word of a doubting nature if some one tells me that Danny is my grand m other!' "I think we had better g e t away as soon as possible," spoke up the professor ; "if the king takes it in his head, he might make things very bad for us." "After we have had a good sleep we will talk the matter over," said Royal. "Like Frank, I am anxious to find out some of the secrets of this place." "You will find sleeping apartments in the next room," observed Media. "I know you have not slept in many hours, and you must be in need of it. When you awaken yon will be served with a breakfast of meat and vegetables that abound, in this underground country. Take good care of the enchanted diamond, and good care shall be ta.ken of vou!" \\T ith these words the beautiful girl left the room, and our friends sought their couches. CHAPTER VIII. INTERVIEWING THE KING. After a sleep of eight hours our hero and his com panions felt much refreshed. When they arose from their couch e s tl1ey mad:: their toilets, and then repaired to the adjoining room. All hands felt exceedingly hungry, and noticing a button protruding from a pillar in the center of the apartment, Royal promptly pressed it. As he expected, a servant quickly appeared. "We want our breakfast," said Frank, pointing to his mouth, and then rubbing his stomach, as if to impress the servant with the fact that it was empty. He was understood, and with a bow the servant retired fro m the room. Seated on the soft ottomans that were scattered about, our friends awaited the coming of their breakfast. Presently they heard footsteps approaching through the passage outside. The next moment the door opened, and in walked Media. "I have come to brealdast with vou," said the girl. "Your meal is being prepared now:" "You are welcome, I am sure," returned Royal. "Sit down, Media, and tell us if there is anything new." "I have learned from one of the servants that the king is fast asleep, and has been for some hours."

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BRA VE AND BOLD. "I mu.st have a talk with him before we go," said Royal, in a thoughtful manner. "I will go with you, and while you are talking to him I will endeavor to get hold of that book which contains the secrets of this place," returned Frank, alluding to a book which Media had told them of. "Don't do anything that would excite him to wrath," Media suggested. "The king fears me, and if we can only keep him in that frame of mind all will be well." As the girl ceased speaking, a servant entered bearing a huge tray, upon which was a steaming repast. This was set upon a stone table at one side of the apartment, and as the four adventurers stepped to it at an invitation from Media, they saw five plates, each con taining a brace of what appeared to be juicy mutton chops. On a large plate was a loaf of dark-looking bread. "The meat of the underground goat," said Media, noticing the looks of inquiry that were cast upon her. "The bread is also made of grain that grows here." "How does anything grow here when there is no sun shine to make it grow?" asked the professor. "The strange light that infuses this place acts similar to the sun," was the rej0inder. "As it shines always, the growing plants are covered with a screen for a few hours out of every twenty-four. Though a trifle different in taste, what is grown here is fully as good as that which abounds in my own country of sunlight. Eat before the chops get cold; other things will be brought presently." Being extremely hungry, they obeyed her, and before they had finished what was before them the servant again appeared, bearing another tray. This contained vegetables resembling yams, some broiled steak, and five steaming vessels of a spicy-smelling liquid, not entirely unlike coffee. "I guess we can be afther makin' a very dacent meal," exclaimed Danny Butler. "This grub is much better than I was used ter atin' home in ther old country. They may be queer people in this big cave, but, bedad I they know what good livin' is !" During the meal Media talked in a manner that showed that it was her desire to set out for the land of her people as soon as possible. "Your horses have been well taken care of, and have had a good rest," said she, "so there is nothing to keep us here." "Have you a horse, or do you propose to journey by means of the peculiar animals that pulled the long, car like vehicle here ahead of us?" questioned the professor. "I have horses in plenty," was the reply. "They are smaller, but fully as strong as you r own. I will take two extra ones with me to carry away what I desire to take with me. Shall I get the animals ready?" "Yes," returned Royal, "and while you are attending to it, we will make a call on the king." "Be careful of the enchanted diamond," cautioned the girl. "If you get into any trouble or danger while you are out of my sight, draw it across the first piece of crystal that you see." "All right," rejoined our hero, and then. afte r she had shown them the way, they set out to pay a visit to t11e king. Reaching the door of his majesty's private ch:11nbc.r, Royal boidly knocked. "What is the matter now?" exclaimed a sleepy voice from within. "Come in, and let's hear what is wanted." Pushing the door open, the four entered. The king had half risen from a couch, and as his eyes rested upon his callers he sprang to his feet. "Easy, now!" exclaimed Royal. "We have not come here to harm or offend you ; we simply want a few minutes' conversation with you." "If that is the case, all right," returned the king. "See here," said Royal, "I have got the diamond, and I am going to keep it. If you persist on getting possession of the diamond I will produce it, and test its qualities be fore your very eyes-probably to your sorrow, too." "You talk as though you had as much power here as I have." "I think I have." "\Ve shall see." The king made a move to press a knob on a slab of marble at one corner of the room. "Hold on I" cried Royal, covering the man with his revolver. "I don't believe that you are bullet-proof, are you?" The king came to a halt with a scared look on his face. What prompted him to do it Royal scarcely knew, but, drawing the enchanted diamond from his pocket, he started for the marble slab the king had moved for. Upon the slab was a row of little knobs, and near them a tri
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14 BRA VE AND BOLD. Frank did not hesitate to walk into the alcove, and examine the book. He saw that it was just what he wanted, and without Frank rolled up the book, and thrust it in his pocket. When he left the alcove, the king was just coming to. When he had strength enough to rise to a sitting posture, he exclaimed : "I don't want your enchanted diamond! Take it, and leG.ve the place as soon as you have a to. The in.:. staut you caused that r:msic to play I felt as if I had a thousand n..:edles sticking throulf,h the back of wy neck. Don't practice with it any more. "As you say," rdnrned Royal. "VJe will leave you for .a while, then. So long]" The king of the Rabanos country nodded, and tl:e four left his presence. "I have got the boolr," whispered Frank, a-: they got into the passage outside. "It can't be very large, since yo11 h-.ive it in your pod"ct," said Royal. "Only twenty or hirty pager. of pard1rnent," the reply. When ti ey .cached thf r00m thev h:id xcuri;e
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.. BRA VE AND BOLD. 15 "Half a mile farther and we shall have reached the point where the roof that covers this country is within our touch,' said Media. They continued on until this distance was nearly cov ered, when they found that they could no longer see. Frank lighted a lantern, but Media quickly eclipsed this by producing the sword she held in her hand when they first saw her, and causing a bright flame to burst from it. The flaming swore! was not such a wonder to them when she informed them that the blade and hilt were hol low, and filled with a powerful mineral oil. 1 For some time they proceeded along in silence, and then Royal suddenly gave a cry, and pointed ahead. At the same time Media extinguished her Jig-ht, and then our friends could scarcely believe their senses. Through a glass-like covering over their heads they beheld the faint gleam of daylight! CHAPTER X. THE UNDERGROUND FOREST. "Daylight?" cried Royal Henderson, questioningly; "it can't be, and yet-great Scott! it is, sure enough!" "You are right," returned Media. "It is the light of day that you see. Advance a little farther, and you will be more astonished than ever.'' Full of wonder and curiosity, they walked their horses full into the rays of light, which gave the atmosphere a tinge not unlike that of a foggy morning in the outside world. Royal came to a halt, and reaching above his head, touched a smooth, glassy surface, through which the dull daylight came. "This looks like a big window pane," said he. "It is-a natural one; look out, and see what is in view," replied Media. 1ne four stared above them in a manner of deep i11terest, and presently the Irish lad gave a start, and yelled out: "A fish, bedad I sec a fish, as sure as I am aloive !" "So do I!" echoed Frank. "Look l there are several of them." "What are we looking into-the bottom of an acquarium ?" asked Royal, turning to Media. "You are looking into the sea," was the calm retort. "111e Rabanos country is not only far under the ground, but beneath the sea as well. At this point the water is the deepest, and the only thing that prevents it from rushing in and filling this underground country is a layer of crystal, which, I have been told, is not over a score of inches in thickness." "Wonderful! wonderful!" exclaimed Prof. J ugglcs, rolling his eyes in an ecstasy of delight. "We have made enough discoveries on this trip to fill a book. It is worth ten years of a man' s life to see what we have seen!" "The light we have here,'' went on the fair child of sun light, "is caused by the rays of the sun, which penetrate the vast body of water over our heads." At that moment it became so dark that they could scarce! y see. "\i\That is the matter now?" exclaimed Frank. "T.b.e sun has 1Wne under a cloud. or else a floe of ice has drifted in range of us upon the surface of the sea," said the girl. "Let's be afther proceedin'," spoke up Danny, who was pretty badly worked up at what he saw and heard. "I will not be afther restin' easy till I stroike ther top of ther ground once more." Danny, we will go on, if it is only to please you," said our hero, and the little party again started. A t the end of fifteen minutes they had passed beyond the daylight, and entered a passage that was not over a dozen feet in width. Media's flaming sword lighted the way for them, but at the expiration of an hour they no longer needed tl1is, for the same mysterious light that pervaded the vast cavern they had left behind them, shone upon them here. "vVe are now about to enter the underground forests," exclaimed Media. "We must be on the lookout for dan wild beasts." The four adventurers unslung their rifles to be in readi ness for anything that might turn up, and kept a sharp lookout about them. They had scarcely entered the forest when they were startled by hearing a series of explosions coming from a point back into the tangled maze of vegetation. "A party of hunters. no doubt,'' said Media. "They make regular trips to the forest to obtain the meat they use. We must try and avoid them, if possible, for the probabilities are that Sandis is one of their number. We might not be able to get rid of him as easily as we did of the rest." She had scarcely ceased speaking when a chorus of shouts came to their ears, intermingled with the angry roaring of some wild beasts, and the next instant they be held a startling scene. Rushing toward them at a frightful pace was a huge animal \\hich s omewh a t resembled an ox. and behind it came a score or more of the natives of the Rabanos country. The natives were hurling their explosives at the animal, but so great was its spe e d that they could not reach it. Acting on a sudden impulse, Royal and Frank simul taneously drew their rifles to tbeir shoulders, and taking aim at the creature's eyes, fired. One of the shots certainly took effect, for the huge beast floundered about for a moment, and then fell to the ground in the agonies of death. A yell of satisfaction went up from the pursuing natives, and rushing upon the fallen animal, one of their number quickly cut its throat so the blood could pour from its body. Our friends immediately recognized this man as Sandis, who promptly arose, and approached them after he had finished his job. He seemed to be greatly snrprised at seeing our friends traveling in that direction, and asked whither they \vere going. 'We are going to see how far this underground country extends," replied Royal. "\Ve have the permission of the king." "How is it that the fair chjld of sunlight is with you?" question e d Sa.ndis, turning a look of inquiry upon the girl. "Bl! 1.he oermission of the father of all macic. and mT

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16 BRA VE AND BOLD. own power, I go with the strangers from the outside world returned Media. "What proof have you that this you say is true?" ''Here is our passport!" exclaimed our hero, producing the enchanted dia m o nd, and thmsting it before the eyes of Sandis. "Is t hat not enough proof?" "It is,'' w a s the reply. "I would not stop your way without an order from the king." The nati ves drew asliJe, and at a sharp trot the little p arty passed on, waving a mute farewell to them as they went. Once out of sight of Sandis and his men, Media breathed a sig h of relief. A narrow path led through the forest in a sort of trail like fashion, and it was this that our friends were fol lowing. when the y had be e n traveling for eight long hours, the profes sor sugg ested that they should halt for rest refre s hment. All hands were willing to do this and they be g an l oo k i n g ab o ut for a suitable sp o t to pitch their camp. Dtiring the tim e since they had left Sandis the y had met but few o f t h e denizens of the underground forest, a n d these h;id fle d at their approach. Consequently th e y were all in excellent spirits wh'"n they di s moun t ed near a perp e ndic.ilar wall of roc k and rnarle r e ady t o f eed their animals and themselves. D a nn y bu ilt a fire from <>O rne dried. wood-like s ta n.:-_., 11 1fn plen tifully se a t t e r e d a bout and J\1 dia .. ""t' .fr,m o n e o f the packs the poni e s had utrried, and procee ded to cook di n ner, as they chose to t enn the meal. \\'hen their hun grr had been satisfied they prepared to t a ke things e a sy for an hour or two, wh e n they pro posed to resnme their journey to the land of sunlight. CHAPTER XI. ROY AL IS CARRIED OFF BY A MONSTER. Royal and Frank did not remain seated long after they had finish e d their meal. It occurred to them that it wonld be a good idea for them to take a little scout through the forest, and endeavor to shoot something for their next m eal. Media advised them n o t to stray far from the camp and then picking up their rifles they set out. See here observed Frank, as they got beyond the hearing of those in camp, "this thing is growing mo notonous ; it lias been an hour or two since we have met with any sort of an adventure. We will have to hunt up something to stir us up." Roval smiled : "V v e have met with a few adventures since we left old Princeton," said he; "and we ought to be very thankful th
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BRA VE AND BOLD. 17 Royal Henderson firmly grasped in one of its huge claws. A shudder came over Frank, and, sick ;rt heart at the dreadful fate of his chum, he fell back against a rock in a faint. How long he remained in that condition he could hardly conjecture, but it could not have b e en many m i m1tes before he to his feet and rubbed his eyes in a dazed manner. "My Go
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1& BRAVE AND BOLD. Crack! As Royal pulled the trigger the unearthly looking thing relaxed its hold upon its opponent, and began struggling in the throes of death. As quick as a flash the muzzle of1iis weapon was turned upon the other. Again he fired. But he missed his mark, for the bullet struck a hard, shell-like substance about two inches above the creature's left eye. \i\Tith a wild roar it turned upon him. Before our hero could fire another shot, a lurid flame fl.ashed before his eyes, which was instantly followed by a deafening report, and he was thrown to the ground. He regained his feet as quickly as he could, an
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BRA VE AND BOLD. 19 were upon a small island, which appeared to be composed entirely of rocks; on all sides of which was a body .of dark-green water, dotte
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20 BRA VE AND BOLD. The passage led downward, and the farther they pro ceeded the warmer the air became. "We will go on for four hours, and then halt for a rest," said Media. "This passage leads directly to my country, and there are no more dangers to encounter on the way, since no human beings or beasts live here." "I am glad of that, bedad !" exclaimed the Irish lad. Four hours was quite a long while to journey, when it is taken into consideration that they had already been a long time in the saddle; but all were anxious to get to their destination. Billy Yamble was completely "knocked out," as he put it, by what he h ea rd ab ou t the wonderful underground country, and he was continually making quaint remarks as they proceeded on their way. When the four hours were up they were no longer going downward, but were traversing a level stretch. Reaching a part of the passage that was a little wider than they had yet seen, they came to a halt. Food for man and beast was served out, and then, there being no need of keeping watch, all hands sought the seclusion of their blankets and went to sleep. Six hours later they arose, and after eating, again re sun\ed their journey. This is the way they kept it up, and finally, after a long, weary journey, they came in sight of the light of "At last!" cried Media, her cheeks glowing with ex citement. "After two long years I see my native place. Push on, friends You will be welcome among my people I" "This country must lie very low," mused the profes sor. "I cannot see that we have ascended a slope since we came down from the island of rock. I should judge that we must now be at least half a mile below the level of the sea." His meditations were suddenly cut short by a wild shout from those who preceded him. He was the last to come forth from the mouth of the passage, and the sight that lay before him caused a feeling of exhilaration to shoot through his frame. They had emerged into a vast valley that appeared like a stretch of country in the North Temperate Zone. Luxuriant vegetation could 9e seen on every hand, and the bright sun, which shone upon it in all his splendor and glory, made a scene long to be remembered to each and every one in the party of six "This is my country!" proudly exclaimed the child of sunlight. "It is from here that I was taken two years ago by the king of the Rabanos country, who is now dead, in spite of the fact that he claimed to have lived since the beginning of time. In the name of my people, I welcome you to the land of sunlight l" CHAPTER XIV. FRANK'S TERRIBLE MISHAP. It was indeed a glorious picture that lay befor e our friends, and as Media ceased speaking they turned their eyes upon it, and with one accord breathed a long-drawn sigh of relief. "We have just left a wonderful underground country that is twenty years of a man's life to see; but, after all, there is nothing like the outside world, with its green foliage and the blue canopy of the heavens over head," observed the professor, in a voice of profound solemnity. "You are right, professor," replied Royal. "And now, Media, as you say we are welcome to this sunny land, will you lea d us to your people ?". "I surely will," exclaimed the girl. "Do you see that grand forest ove r there?" She pointed to a luxuriant growth of trees about four miles from the spot where they had emerged into the valley, and all hands quickly acknowledged that they saw it. "Beyond that lies my home," she went on. "There is nothing peculiar or mysterious there; my people are pure, simple-minded folks, and that is why they have long al lowed themselves to live und e r the tyranny of the under ground king. The passage through which we have just come is the only outlet to this beautiful valley, and my p eople know of no other human beings than the in habi tants of the Rabanos country and themselves." "In what part of the world are we, anyway?" asked Frank. "I do not know," ret orted Media. "What little I l ea rned of the great world we live in while an inmate of the temple in the undergrou:{d country, did not give me knowledge of any of the divisions of land. I only know that the country of the Rabanos, for the most part, is not only underground, but beneath a vast body of water as well. When you first entered the underground world you were on the other side of the icy water, now you are on this." "We are in Asia!" exclaimed the professor. "At the North Pole, more likely ," rejoined Frank. "No; I agree with the professor; we are in Asia," spoke up our hero. "We have been traveling almost due west ever since we started." "Then we have journeyed from Alaska to Asia on hors e back?" "We certainly have." "It would never do to have that published in the pa pers when we get home; the people would not believe it," said Royal, with a laugh. "It is true, nevertheless," reaffirmed the professor. "Bedad, I belave, if we were afther stroikin' one more und e r g round passage, we would fetch up in Ireland l" exclaimed Danny. "This is the only pas sag e that leads to or from this valley," said Media, quickly. "Come, Royal! I will con duct you to the home I was torn away from two years ago." Urging their horses forward, they started through the valley. The animals seemed to be endowed with new life, and though they must certainly h ave been pretty well tired out, they started forward as fr eshly as though they had just been saddled and bridled, after a long rest. Media and Royal led the way over a wide trail, which l ooked as th oug h it had not trave rsed in a long while. As they rode along hares aR.d other small animals darted across their path, and gay ly plumaged birds flitted from tree to tree as they were disturbed by the party.

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BRA VE AND BOLD. 2r In half an hour's time they had reached the forest, and were nearly through it. "In five minutes we will come in sight of the habita tions of my people," said Media. "But in order to reach them a narrow path must be traversed, which runs by the side of a steep bluff on one hand, and a lake on the oth e r. It is plenty wide enough for ou r horses to pro ceed in double file; but we must be careful. as the lake is bot t omless, and the water is so p e culiar that a person is unable to swim in it. Several of my people have fallen in the lake, and none of them ever came to the surface after once disappearing from view.'" "I think there is s o mething a trifle mysterious about vour country, after all," returned our hero "That lake inust certai1ily be a queer body of water." "V.f e will see it presently. Ahl look ahead l there is the home of my people.'' They had re a ched the edge of the forest, and following the direction Media's outstretched hand indicated, they beheld a vast collection of thatch-roofed, one-story houses. The village, or city, as it might be called, was built on the side of a gentle slope, and though it had not been laid out with any degree of exactness, it looked pretty, and even grand to the eyes of the party of adventurers. "Tha t town looks ter be comfortable enough," observed Billy Yamble, who had not ventured to speak in a long while. "Ther place looks from here as though it ll'ight be a sort of wind-up place for fellows that has worked hard all their liYes. I reckon if that town is what I imagine it is, I'll never le a ve it. I've had enough of travelin' under ther ground." Our friends cast a look of surprise at the sailor. They had not expected to hear such sentiments from him. For though he spoke very plainly, there was a depth of meaning in his tone, as though his soul had already reached the distant city. With their eves fixed on the home of the fair child of sunlight, whichwas yet over a mile distant, the little party pressed on. Presently they came in sight of the lake Media had spoken about, and all h a nds became very curious. It was an expanse of water covering probably five or six hundred square feet, and was quite natural in ap pearance. As they neared the narrow path that ran along its edge Media again cautioned them to be very careful and not allow their horses to miss their footing. The dangerous place did not extend over three hundred feet, and all hands felt equal to the task of getting over it in safety. But Media must have had grave fears on this point, for wh e n they reached the commencement of the narrow place she dismounted, and asked her companions to
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22 BRA VE AND BOLD. ,, But a_ strange, irresistible force seemed to drag him from the spot, all the while holding him down. A feeling of horror shot through him as he realized this fact, and what Med ia had said regarding the lake fl.ashed through his mind. "But I must not die this way!" he thought, and then, with a superhuman effort, he slowly forced his way toward the surface. Vvhen he once got _started it seemed to be easier, ;ind in a very few seconds his head emerged from the water. But, to his astonishment and dismay, he found himself in total darkness I Fortunately he could bre athe and that was the main consideration. Encumbered as he was with his and the rifle slung upon his batk, Frank had all he could do to keep his head above water. But an exclamation of relief soon left his lips, for, after swimming a few strokes, his hand suddenly came in contact with a rock. Making a g-rab upward, he succeeded in getting Hold of the rock, and then, after a short rest, he gradually drew himself upon it. "So far, so good," he muttered. "But where, in the name of everything wonderful, am I?" After a moment's thought, he concluded to investigate. Drawing bis waterproof match safe from his pocket, he produced a match, and struck it. As the flame flared up, he saw that he was seated on a ledge of rock which was not over ten feet wide and thirty feet long. But that was not all that he saw! As his eyes pierced the gloom beyond the radins of light, he beheld a human skeleton sitting bolt upright on the ledge of rock, with its spinal column resting against a wall. Frank was so startled by this unexpected sight that the match dropped from his hand, and was extinguished. "Great heavens!" he ejaculated. "Am J to come to such a fate as that?" \Vhen he had sufficiently regained his composure he lighted another match, and arose to his feet. A second look soon showed him that the skeleton that had so startled him was not alone. Stretched on either side of it were several more, and as Frank surveyed them by the flickering light the match made, a shudder ran over him. "What a fate!" he muttered. "These are the remains of some of the people who have fallen in the lake, I have no doubt They were drawn into this cave by a strong under -current, like myself. vVell, if they remained here on the ledge until they died of starvation, I shall not, a.nyway. I am going to try and get out of here, and that 11.t once." As the boy ceased speaking a blank look came upon his face. He was going to try and get out, but how should he begin? He knew it was impossible for him to swim out of the blind cave, and yet, how else could he get out? / It occurred to Frank that he had better sit down, anJ think over his situation. Dropping down upon the portion of rock where he stood, he struck another match. "Pshaw I" he exclaimed, quickly extinguishing it ; "it is better to be in the darkness than to have those horrible relics of humanity before my eyes I For the space of half an hour he remained seated there in the Stygian darkness. Then he arose to his feet. He had fonned a resolve, and was going to try and carry it out. Without further ado he stripped off the most of his clothing, and deposited the articles on the ledge. He was now attired in his trousers and shirt only. "I must swim against that current, or die I" he muttered, setting his teeth hard together. "Herc goes!" 'With a mighty spring, he dove into the depths of the black waters, and began swimming away from the ledge w'.th all his might, Be succeeded in gaining a few feet, and then be strove to reach the surface But his efforts were b vain. Though he strnggleJ manfolly, in less than half a minutehe was back against the ledge in the cave. As his head emerged from the waler, he gave a groan of despair. "I am doomed to die, after all!" he crir:'d. "But I will make one more effort, for while there is life there is hope." Clambering out npon the ledge again, he took a short rest, and then donned his clothes. "I will try and dig myself out of here," he thought. Picking up his rifle, he began sounding the wall the skeleton was leaning against. For the most part it was of solid rock, and he failed to gain any encouragement by his experiment. But suddenly he struck a spot-right near the seated skeleton, too-that was of earth, and gave forth a hollow sound. An exultant cry came from the boy's lips, and utilizing the stock of his ritle as a battering-ram, he began pound ing upon the spot as hard as he could. After a while the wall of earth gave way witb a crash. The moment it did so, the cave was flooded with a stream of clay light I CHAPTER XVI. AT MEDIA'S HOME. It was with sad hearts that the party continued on their way to the city. Not a word was spoken until they came in sight of some people dressed in modern garments, and quite civilized in appearance. The moment they beheld the five strangers riding toward them the natives made a move to retire, appearing to be quite frightened. "We will keep right on," said M eclia. "Not a man will offer to harm us; they fear us, instead." "'Where do you propose to stop at?" asked Royal. "I am going direct to the house of mv father," was the reply. "J will tell my story to him, and he, in turn, will inform the people of the city. That will be the quick est way of letting them know all about us." "That is so," nodded the professor. Once into the little city they canie in contact with many people, none of whom attempted to stop their progre.ss.

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BRA VE AND BOLD 23 The inhabitants of the land of sunlight, as Media chose to call it, seemed to regard the strangers in about the same way as a flock of school children take in a circus procession. At length Media drew rein before one of the houses. She had scarcely done so when there was a cry, and an elderly woman dashed from the house, and caught the girl in her arms. It was her mother! Royal and his companions remained silent until the two females got through embracing, and then they dis mounted. "Come, R o y a l," s airl l\ [eclia, "I have told my good mother all, and I will introduce you "As your intended husband," exclaimed our hero. "Don't be bashful about it, l\Iedia." With a blushing face the fair girl managed to get through with it, and then the others were made acquainted wit h her mother. '"What did your mother say when you told her you was going to be my wife?" asked Royal, when they had en tered the house. "That you are a thousand times better than the great k ingof the underground cmmtry ." "I am glad she thinks well of me. But, say, Media, where is your father?" "Alas! my mother that he died soon after I was taken from here; and the only brother I had is dead also." "Then your mother has been occupying the house alone?" "Probably she could take us in as boarders, then; I am sure we have enough money to stop here a few we eks." ''Money is unknown in this country-as much so as it is in the Rabanos country. You will all stop here as long as you sec fit." The afternoon was well advanced when they arrived at the strange city, and by the time the necessary ex planations had been made, the shades of night were upon them. \\Then they got up from a table, after eating a sub stantial meal, it was quite dark. "Now, observed Royal, "if Frank was only here I should feel happy and contented." A look of sadness came over the faces of his com panions. "We must try and find his body, and give it decent interment," said the professor, after a pause. "Yes, to-morrow morning that shall be our first duty." "You will take some experienced men with you, then," spoke up Media. "The lake is too dangerous for you to venture near without some one to guide you." As the girl ceased speaking there came a sudden knock on the door. It was promptly opened by her mother, and the next instant Frank l\Iercer burst into the room! The shout of joy that left the lips of our friends when t hey beheld their companion alive and well really aston ished the natives that were within hearing distance. In order to explain Frank's appearance we will go back to the point where we left him in the cave. A5 the stream of daylight flooded the cave, Frank could scarcely believe his senses. The hole had been forced through so easily that he could hardly bring him self to believe that he had done it. For a moment he remained motionless in his tracks, and then with a wild bound he sprang forward, and peered through the hole. The sight he saw vvas a pleasant one, for before him stretched a ravine that was truly picturesque and beautiful. Through the bottom of the ravine a good-sized stream flowed, and Frank at once came to the conclusion that i t was the outlet of the lake he had faJlen into. The sun was not much over an hour high, and casting a last look at the grewsome objects in the cave, the boy forced himself through the hole. Once outside he saw that he had emerged from the side of the ridge of ground, and that he was now in a place that appeared as though it might be difficult to get out of. "I'll follow the course of the stream for a little dis tance, and maybe I'll find an easy way to leave this ra vine," muttered Frank, and he accordingly started. After five minutes' walk he rounded a bend in the ra vine, and saw an easy, sloping ascent to his right. "I guess I am all right now," he muttered. "I won der what has become of the rest? They think I am dead, I suppose, since I failed to rise to the surface of the lake. Well, I'll surprise them shortly." In a very short time Frank had reached the level ground above, and, without any hesitation, he made his way back to the ledge he had fallen from. His horse was nowhere to be seen, so he was forced to strike out for the city on foot. As the boy neared it he met severa l of the natives, from whom he reamed by signs that his friends had preceded him. It tool} him some time, however, to find the house they were stopping at; but he finally did, and entered it in the manner already described. "You escaped from the lake!" exclaimed Media, in astonishment. "It seems impossible. Tell us what hap pened to you." "I will, with pleasure," returned Frank. "When I slipped and fell into the Jake I met with about as strange an adventure as I have encountered since leaving college. I am also able to explain why it is that a person who falls into the lake from the narrow path never comes up ag-c1.in. There is nothing very mysterious about it. after all." The boy then proceeded to relate what had happened to him, and, when he had finished, all hands voted him a hero. "Do you know," observed the professor, after Frank had eaten his supper, "that we are the luckiest mortals on the face of the globe?" "Something like that, I guess," r eturned Frank. "Here we are in some part of Asia," went on the man of learning; "but exactly what part I don't know. We have journeyed from Alaska to Asia on horseback, and passed through a wonderful underground country that is as full of mystery as an egg is full of meat. Now, I want to make a suggestion."

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BRA VE AND BOLD. "What is it, professor?" asked Royal. "It is that we explore this valley, and find a way to get out of it, so that we may be able to discover where we are." "No explorin' for me!" exclaimed Billy Yamble. "This place are good enough for me, an' I don't intind ter lave it if I can get anythin' to do here." "You are master of yourself," said the professor, "and can
PAGE 26

BRA VE AND BOLD. leave the country and go to America, the land of the free!" exclaimed Royal. "It does not seem possible that such horrible things can really happen, but yet they are true, for I have often read of in the daily papers." "And when a man who has been exiled to Siberia re lates his experiences it seems more horrible than reading an account of some such thing," adde
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26 BRAVE AND BOLD. "According to my mind, the young men took a south easterly direction," said Mazouvitch. "Hurry up, then," was the reply. With the fierce wind and the blinding snow beating upon them, the two men started. But they soon found that the snow was so deep they could proceed but slowly. The professor soon grew disheartened, and gave vent to exclamations of despair at almost every step they took. But not so with the Russian. Old as he was, he was powerful, and his endurance was something wonderful. Clutching his companion by the shoulder, he fairly dragged him through the snow, which was growing deeper every moment. Presently an exclamation of joy left the Russian's lips. He beheld the faint vestige of tracks in the snow. "We have struck the trail !" he shouted in the professor's ear, in order to make himself heard. "We must hurry and follow them before the wind wipes the tracks out." The tracks must have been made but a very short time before; as they certainly would have been obliterated by the fierce wind in ten minutes A moment later came a gust more violent than any that had preceded it, and then there was no more tracks to be seen. But the Russian did not become discouraged. Dragging his well-nigh exhausted companion along, he kept floundering through the snow. An hour had now passed since the storm begun, and brave and determined as he was, Mazouvitch felt that they could proceed n o farther. "We must go back," he hoarsely shouted in the pro fessor's ear. "Even now we have only one chance in ten of reaching safety." A wail of grief and despair was all the reply he got. But suddenly the professor's manner altered. "There is still a chance of finding them !" he exclaimed. "They cannot hear us when we shout, but they might hear the report of a rifle." lVIazouvitch gave a start. "You are right," said he. "Discharge your gun at once!" At that moment a brief lull came, and pointing the muzzle of his rifle to the sky, the professor pressed the trigger. The report rang out in a strangely muffled way, and then, beyond the roaring of the storm, naught broke the stillness of the snowbound waste. * * * Horrified at their situation, Royal and his companions sank down )n the shelter of the pile of rocks. Though they wc;re shi e lded somewhat from the fury of the storm, the air was piercing cold. "We are surely bound to freeze to death!" said Frank, with chattering teeth. "If we remain still long, that is bound to happen," returned Royal. "An' if we go away from here we 'll be afther freezin' jist ther same," spoke up the Irish lad. "Oh, why did we not stay down there where it is warm? I niver want ter see it snow ag'in as long as I live!" "The chances are that you won't," retorted Royal. "But, anyhow--" He was suddenly interrupted by the discharge of a rifle, very close at hand, it seemed. A delirium of joy came over the three, and almost simultaneously they raised their weapons and fired an swering shots. Then, with newborn strength they forced their way tl\rough the drifting snow, and ran plump into the arms of the professor and Mazouvitch, who had halted within ten feet of the spot where the three had sank down to rest. The professor cried for joy, and the sudden reunion of the five raised their spirits to such a pitch that they felt equal to the task of getting out of the snowddfts. "Come!" exclaimed the Russian. "If we would save ourselves we must hmTy. Every minute but makes it worse for us." Taking the compass from the professor's trembling hands, Mazouvitch laid the course for their starting point, and then the battle for life or death began. In many places the snow was up to their necks, and yet it 'had been storming but a trifle over an hour. Slowly but surely they forced their way through, and at length the Russian encouraged his companions by saying that he was satisfied they had made more than half the distance. On they struggled, until at length the bleak-lookin g gray rocks that skirted the brink of. the desolate waste that overlooked the valley confronted them . A cry of joy came from the lips of the wearied ad venturers. They were saved at last! But just then a fierce growl came to their ears, and the next instant the body of a huge aHimal reared up before them. "A bear!" exclaimed Mazouvitch. "Look out for him, friends!" Before the words had died from his lips the animal plunged forward and knocked the professor down with a blow from one of its huge paws. It was now close enough for them to see that it was gaunt and hungry-looking, and in their exhausted con dition a feeling of dismay came upon them. "Shoot it!" screamed the Russian. "Kill the bear at once, or we are lost!" These words seemed to bring Royal and Frank to their senses. Just as the animal was about to pounce upon the fallen prof.essor they thrust the muzzles of their rifles to within an inch of its fiery eyes and fired so nearly togeth e r that the reports almost blended into one. With a blood-curdling roar the bear fell forward upon the prostrate professor and, after a few struggles, lay still. "He is dead !" exclaimed Royal; "but I am afraid the professor is hurt." Together they seized the carcass and rolled it over. The professor, who was completely buried in the snow, was dragged forth in an unconscious condition Exerting all their remaining strength in one mighty effort, they dragged him to the other side of the rock and then began descending toward the valley below.

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BRA VE AND BOLD. They did not halt until they had gone a hundred feet or more, and then, coming upon a dry, sheltered cave, they crept in to recover their breath CI:IAPTER XIX. BACK TO AKARN. It was several minutes before the professor was -re stored to consciousness, and when he opened his eyes and saw his friends bending over him, a long-drawn sigh of r elief escaped his lips. The Russian carried a flask containing a stimulant not unlike brandy, and this served to put all hands in petter "()irits. As soon as they had rested themselves, Frank and Danny crept out of the cave in search of something to make a fire with They were not long in discovering a huge evergreen tree that had been blown down by some furious vvind of the past, and lay there ready to be utilized as fuel. 'With their knives they cut off a couple of armfuls of the smaller b r anches and started a fire near the mouth of the cave. Then all hands waded through the snow and dragged the tree to the fire. "I guess we can make out for a while," observed Frank, as he warmed his hands over 1 the comforting blaze. "As night is coming on, I don't think we can better ourselves much by going any farther down till morning," said Royal. '"We have enough provisions for three good meals yet, and this tree will easily keep the fire going all night." "I agree with you," replied the professor. "I don't f eel equal to the task of going any farther to-day. What \Ve have recent l y passed through has upset me com pletely." All hands were satisfied to remain where they were until morning, so they settled down to make the1nselves comfortable "Our late adventure has taught us that it will not be good policy for us to leave the valley of sunlight by any other way than the underground passage," remarked our hero. "It certainlv has," retun1ed Frank. "Then, before we get back home we will be afthcr goin amongst ther haythens that live under ther ground ?" asked the Insh lad. "Yes." "\Veli, bedad l that is better than freezin' ter death in her snow an' bein' ate up by bears." As soon as darkness set in the party divided them selves into watches and prepared to pass the night as best they could. It seemed to be a Jong time before day but it did after a while: and tl1,en, after eating a meal of dried meat and a loaf of dark bread they had brought from the oity, they prepared to make the descent to the valIev below. 'It was still snowing, but as their way led downward, it was comparatively easy traveling. Leaving the fire still s moldering in front of the cave, they set out. In an hour's time they were beyond the reach of the snowstorm, but it was raining steadily. They scarcely made a halt until they reached the val ley, which, owing to the roundabout course they had been forced to take, took them until noon. "Now for the city of Akarn !" exclaimed Royal. "No more Siberian snowstorms for me." 1So say we all," returned Frank. The Russian smiled . "I am glad you are satisfied with the country above fois valley," said he. "It was nothing short of a miracle that I reached this place after escaping from the mines and journeying, as I did, hundreds of miles over a snowcovered waste." "How did you manage to subsist so long?" asked the professor. "I had firearms, which I stole from the guards, and a flint and steel. I would kill a bear or a wolf, or anything, and cook them as best I could. Many times, when I had nothing to build a fire with, I have eaten raw flesh Once I went to sleep rolled up in the skin of a bear I had just slain, and when I awok e there was six feet of snow on top of me." The professor shrugged his shoulders. "None of it for me," said he. The journey to the city was made without anything out of the ordinary happening. Media welcomed her lover with all the affection a young fellow's sweetheart could possibly show. When she heard the story of his adventure in the snow storm, she told him that he must never leave the valley again unless she went with him. Royal promised that he would not, and the maiden was satisfied. The next day Frank and Royal t<;>gether, and after c arefully reading over the manuscnpt book, they gleaned the following, which vve will sum up briefly: In the neighborhood of about a hundred and twenty years ago a man supposed to be a Russian was wrecked on an island of rocks somewhere in Behring Straits. He was a scientific man, and a magician as well, and was one of an exploring party who had set out from China a year before. He was the only one who escaped death, and as he wandered about the rocks he suddenly came upon an opening in the ground. He at once entered it, and found that it was but the beginning of an undergrbund passage. 'With nothing but the apparatus of a magician of over a century ago, which was all he had saved from the wreck, he set out to explore the passage. Being a resolute man, he kept on, until finally he c.amc upon a settlement of human beings in a vast cavern under. the earth and beneath the waters of the ocean I The people were very and rushed upon him to kill him; but as they spoke he saw that their language was so much like his own that he could readily under stand it. He waved them back, and exclaimed that he was the king of their race, and that he had lived since the com mencement of time, and would live forever! Then he performed a marvelous sleight-of-hand trick, and they fell to the ground, ready to do his bidding /

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BRAVE AND BOLD. That was the beginning of the mysteries of the underground country. As there were ample materials and resources in the underground place, the Russian caused the temple to be erected, after he had devised a means to get over the circular chasm, which was but a freak of nature caused by some volcanic eruption. It was this man who built all the peculiar contrivances and the intricate mechanism of the temple and its sur roundings. He took one of the native women as a wife, and a son was born him. When he died the son took his place, according to the instructions of his father, and the natives were none the wiser. The son was king when John Gaul visited the place, and got posse ss ion of the enchanted diamond. He lived to be of great age, and shortly before he died he made a journey to the island of rocks. Here he came upon a party of shipwrecked English men, and as the king did not have a son. he d ete rmined that one of these men should succeed him. He watched his chance, and when one had taken him self s lightly apart from the others he slew them by means of an explosive ball. Then he induced the remaining fellow, who was but a boy of sixteen, to go with him to the temple in the underground country. This fellow became king in due time, and was the one now reigning. CHAPTER XX. WHAT BEFELL SANDIS. After the escape of our friends from the Rabanos country, there was a revolt at the weakness of the king in allowing the diamond to be take11 The king was deposed and imprisoned and San(;.'\ lS declared ruler. He at once put himself at the heacI of an, army and "1'12.fched tQ"vard the Land of Sunligt1 .... led his army with the air o ... mqueror. He anticipated an easy victory over the inhabitants of the Land of Sunlight, for the reason that they had never offered any resistance when the king paid visits to the place. According to what one of the men, who had made the journey several times before, told him, it would take about three hundred and fifty hours to cover the distance on foot. Eis informant was called the Ox, because of his great size and strength, and of all the men under Sandis, this fellow was the only jealous one. He reasoned to himself that Sandis had no more right than he to proclaim himself ruler of the people. And Sandis was a little suspicious of the Ox, too, for he kept ever at his side and endeavored to be as friendly as possible. The Ox kept up considerable thinking as the army wend ed its way in the direction of the Land of Sunlight, and long before they reached there he came to the con clusion that he was more fitted to be king than Sa.ndis. When he had settled this point finnly in his mind, he began talking to his friends in secret, and the result of it was that he soon had about half the army on his side. One thing about the queer underground people was that they never imparted anything that was communi cated to them as a secret. This fact showed that there was bound to be serious trouble between Sandis and the Ox before long. During the long journey to the Land of Sunlight everything went as harmoniously as one could wish for, and when they finally emerged from the passage into the valley, Sandis led his army in a prolonged cheer. As it was near nightfall when they got here, they went into camp in order to get a good rest before marching upon the city of Akarn. Sandis felt that as our friends were among the people of the valley, they might have some lit tle trouble in taking possession of the city and doing as they pleased. On the other hand, the Ox was too thick-headed, by far, to give this a thought. He had be en to the place on more than one occasion, and as there had never been any re sistance sh own, he took it for granted that it would be the same this time. He was very cunning, however, and had alreadv formed a plan to get rid of Sandis. Then it would be plain sailing for him, as he imagined. The next morning every man was up with the sun, and Sandis gave the order to move upon the city and take its inhabitants by surprise. When they re ac hed the commencement of the narrow path that led along the edge of the lake, Sandis called upon the Ox to assist him in conducting the men over. This was the ver y the big nativ e desired He promptly took his posi tio n at the side of the self proclaimed king and passed the word to the army to proceed in single file. When halfway over th e dangerous place he called a halt. "Men," said he, in a bull. like voice, "are you satisfied that San dis shall be your king?" Like the burst of a tempest those of his friends who were in hearing of his voice, c ried out: "No!" Astonished and enraged, Sandis turned upon the Ox, and exclaimed : "What me a ns this?" "It means," retorted the burly native, "that the majority of our people do not want you to rule them." "Who, then, do they want?" "They want me-the Ox! He who is all powerful and a friend to them." sandis was thunderstruck when he heard this decla ration. He stood as if rooted to the spot, for he was taken completely by surprise. "Look you in the waters of the lake, Sandis," went on the Ox, his hoarse voice sounding like the blast of a doz e n trumpets. "When a man once plunges into its depths he is never seen again. Jt is just as bad for him to fall into the fiery chasm in our own land as it is for him to plunge into that mysterious water." "I have been told that this is true," r eturne d Sandis, his face pale with fear1 and an expression of horror gleaming from his eyes. "Ay you have been told so j and now you shall know it is so !"

PAGE 30

BRA VE AND BOLD. 29 The next instant the giant savage seized him about the body and raised him above his head. There was a death! y silence for the space of a few seconds, and then Saudis went whirling through the air far out into the lake. There was a loud splash and then he disappeared. A pent-up howl of rage left the lips of the doomed man's friends when they saw that his body did not come to the surface. War was now declared between the two factions But, without a leader, Saudis' followers were loath to begin. On the other hand, the Ox gave the command for those who were in favor of him to follow him over the danger ou_<> path. They obeyed quickly enough, and nearly all of them were over before the other faction had found a man to lead them. Then a fight started and a score or more were killed on both sides by the explosive balls. Several tumbled into the lake, too, but at the end of an hour the giant had all of his men on the other side, with the exception, of course, of those who had perished one way or the other. tnstead of proceeding on to Akarn, the Ox went into camp with his men near the shore of the lake. Then he gave it out that all those on the other side who wished to cast their lot with him, had the pdvilege of so doing. About a hundred accepted the invitation, but the others refused in a very dogged manner. They meant to fight for the cause of their lost king until they died. Barbarous as they were, they had their .ideas of right and wrong. They judged that the Ox was a pig-headed fool, who had no more idea of governing a people than the animal from which he took his name. And they were right, too, for j:he giant had taken the step that was soon to bring ruin upon the underground countrv and its inhabitants. The. Ox waited for over an hour, and then, se e in g that no more of the men were going to join him, he gave the order for the army to proceed to the city of the Land of Sunlight. / On they marched until they were within half a mile of the city, their leader elated at his recent success. Bnt they were destined to have a big surprise before they were many minutes older. CHAPTER XXL THE PROFESSOR BECOMES A BENEDICT. As Saudis sank beneath the waters of the lake a feeling of horror came over him, for he thought he was going to a certain death. Down he was dragged in exactly the same manner as Frank Mercer had been. He made powerful efforts to reach the surface, and when he finally succeeded in doing so he was in the cave with the skeletons. Almost exhausted, Sand.is yet managed to drag him self out of the water upon the ledge. Then, as his staring eyes rested upon the skeletons, a cry left bis lips, and he fell in a swoon on the rock. Many minutes passed before the man returned to con sciousness, and when he did so he staggered to his feet in a
PAGE 31

BRA VE AND BOI.:.D. His words had good effect, and the majority of the inhabit."l.Ilts of the Land of Sunlight began armin.g them selves so a.s to be in readiness. Under. the supervision of Royal Henderson a factory was esh.blished for the manufacture of spears and other rude weapons of war. This factory was in full blast or a week or two, and then our hero became satisfied that they had all the weapons they could possibly need. They had now nothing to do but to wait for the ap proach of the enemy. All our friends were certain that they would come, and in order that they might not be taken by surprise, a couple of men were stationed near the narrow path by the side of the lake to keep watch and appraise them of the coming of Sandis and his men. Things were in this state when Prof. Juggles startled Royal and Frank with the announcement that he was going to be married. Media's mother was the lucky woman, and the wedding was to take place on the same day that the professor made it known to his friends and companions. The chums had long had a suspicion that such a thing might happen some time, but they had no idea of it tal
PAGE 32

BRAVE AND BOLD. When ten minutes had passed, the tramp of the ap proaching horde of underground people could be heard plainly. A breathless silence reigned about the locality of the waiting army. One-two-three minutes passed, and then the Ox and his followers appeared on the scene. With a wild yell they mshed for the few men who were in sight, and those immediately fled in genuine terror. Bang I bang! bang I The Rabanos men began to hurl their explosive balls after them. Then. a mighty roar was heard, and the waiting army dashed full into their midst, using their spears with telling effect. The Ox was so badly surprised that it was fully a min ute before he was capable of giving a single order. Then he endeavored to rally his men and force his way into the city. But the moment a move was made in their direction the rifles of our friends began cracking, and the barbarians commenced falling like grain before the sickle. vVith the short clubs t}:iey were armed with the attacking crowd could not put up much of a battle against the spears of the inhabitants of the valley, and they dared not throw any of the explosive balls for fear of killing some of their own number. Then, again, the firearms of Royal and his companions were too much for them, so there was only one thing left for the Ox to do, and that was to make an effort to retreat. Frantically the giant yelled to his men to fall back, and gradually they did so. But the men of the Land of Sunlight were now fully aroused to what they deemed their sense of duty, and though this was the first time they had ever offered re sistance to their enemies, they went at it like demons. When the attacking army began to retreat they speared them right and left as they fled, and when the last man had got beyond their lines the Ox had left fully half his followers dead and wounded upon the greensward of the beautiful valley. "My!" exclaimed Frank. "Did you ever see anything like it? These people can fight like demons when they are once aroused It is a wonder to me how they ever allowed the underground savages to impose upon them like they have for generations. Why, one of these people can whip four of those fellows." "The underground people are but getting their just de serts," returned Royal. "Say, Frank, old fellow, do you know, I have been doing a deal of thinking the past few minutes?" "What have you been thinking about?" "I have been thinking that we will never have a better opportunity than now to make a start to get back home." "By Jove! you are right, I guess." "Bedad I am afther thinkin' so, too," spoke up Danny Butler. "My wife and I are ready to go at any time," said the professor. "That was the understanding when I married her." "Well," exclaimed Royal, "we will leave right away, then. I hate to leave these good people in such a sneaking way, but it must be done if we expect to get through the underground country in safety." Leaving the aroused inhabitants pursuing the retreating army, they hastened to the house of the professor's wife. It did not take long to explain matters to the women folks, and in less than half an hour their horses, and enough to supply the wants of the party, were in read mess. Billy Yamble, the sailor, refused point-blank to leave the place, saying that he was going to stay where he wa:> as long as he lived. There was no use in nrging him, so, mounting thei, waiting steeds, they set out by a circular course, so as not to come upon the fighting forces, for the narrow path at the side of the lake. The party consisted of Royal, Frank, the professor, Danny Butler, Media and the professor's wife. They were all mounted on good animals, and had suffi cient provender with them to last a number of days. There were tears in the eyes of the females as they turned their backs upon the beautiful city of Akam, in the Land of Sunlight, for they realized that it was quite probable that they would never see it again .. But, like brave women, they had cast their lots with the ones they loved, and not a word of complaint left their lips. As the party neared the lake they were astonished to see a fierce battle raging near its shore. The two factions of the underground people had met and were each other with their clubs an
PAGE 33

BRA VE AND BOLD. b'! upon the shores of my country, which, I have reason to you "ill lea:n to love as much as you do 'our ovn. For. with the enchanted diamond in my posses sion, 1 will lead you there in safety!" CHAPTER XXIII. CONCLUSION. Our friends reached the temple of the tmderground country without mishap, and witJ1out being overtaken by the remnant's of Sandis' armv. Nearly all the people they s.aw ii i the were females, a .id these, nor the few men they met, did not offer to b mn them. The bridge was across the chasm, and upon investig-a ti')n it was found that some of the mysterious machinery tl at controlled it was broken so that it could not be n oved. At the suggestion of Royal they went inside of tl1e huge C < lifice and explored its many rooms. They succeeded in finding thr;ee more diamonds, which Featly resembled the enchanted stone, though not quite as brge. Beyond this they found nothing ne\v, and when they tt: rned ilieir backs upon the temple they could but marvel a t the ingennity of the man who had constructed it years b fore. Though ilie mysteries concerning it had all been exp > tined, the greatest wonder of all was the man himself. n1e professor said he certainly must ha,e been more ti.an human or he could never have brought about what b''. did. Roval did not deem it a
PAGE 34

THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES 32 Large Sized Pages Clear T7pe 5c. Handsome Colored Covers Buffalo Bill is one of the brave men who undertook to punish the Indians of our western states for their misdeeds. His adventures are related in a most interesting manner. Each one teems with life and excitement. Every boy wants to know about the habits of the Indian and library gives him the opportunity. LA.TEST TITLES 123-Buff.alo Bill's Helping Hand; or, The Secret of Kid Glove Kate. 124-Buffalo Bill's Boy Pard; or, Cap'n Hyena and His R.ed Angels. 125-Buffalo Bill's Sacrifice; or, Waneta, the Indian Queen. 126-Buffalo Bill's R.ed or, The Unmasking of Cap'n Hyena. 127-Buffalo Bill's Death Deal; or, The Wandering Jew of the West. 128-Buffalo Bill's Double; or, The False Guide. 129-Buffalo Bill at Advance City; or, The Wolves of the Mountains. 130-Buffalo Bill and the Black Trailers;. or, White Coyote the Renegade Chief. 131-Buffalo Bill's Dead Shot Dragoon; or, The Man Killer of Perdition City. 132-Buffalo Bill's Trump Card; or, The Indian Heiress. To be had from all newsdealers, or sent upon receipt of price, Sc., b7 the publishers STREET CU SMITH. 258 William St., New York I I


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