Diamond Dick's vengeance, or, The defeat of the destroying angel


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Diamond Dick's vengeance, or, The defeat of the destroying angel

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Title:
Diamond Dick's vengeance, or, The defeat of the destroying angel
Series Title:
Diamond Dick, Jr.
Creator:
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 26 cm.: ;

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Adventure stories. ( lcsh )
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Western stories. ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
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.
Resource Identifier:
030971372 ( ALEPH )
07327847 ( OCLC )
D21-00003 ( USFLDC DOI )
d21.3 ( USFLDC Handle )

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University of South Florida
Diamond Dick Jr.

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issued /+'eddy. B y subscripticm $2.50 per year. Etttered as Second -etas.< .Jf,rtter at tile N. Y. Post Office, by STREET & S)tiTH, 79 89 Seven tit Ave. N. Y. Entered according to Act of" Congress i n tlteyear lWS, in the OJiceof tile Librarian of Congress, /Vaslli11gton, D C. No.598 NEW YORK, MARCH Z8, 1908. "You see what has happened to him," cried Dick pointing to the mys teriously-stricken man. "It will be so with all of you if you lay a hand on any of these wagons."

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Issued Weekly By subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second-cla ss Matter at tlte N. Y. Post Office, by STREET & SMITH, 79-89 Severrt h Ave., N. Y. E ntered accordi n!f to Act o f Cong-ress in the yea r 1908, in tile Office of the Librarian of Cong-ress, Wasltin,srton, D C. No 598. NEW YORK M arch 28, 1 9 08 Price Five Cents. Diamond Dick's Verigeance; THE DEFEAT OF THE DESTROYING ANOEL I By th e author of #'DIAMOND DICK. I CHAPTER I. THE OVERLAND TRAIL. "Halt!" The s harp command was repeated again and again down the straggl ing wagon-train. "Halt! H,lt! Halt!" "What's the matter?" timidly asked a woman. "Silence !" "Is there danger?" "Don't know yet Keep quiet ." The woman, who held a bab y in her arms, drew back behind the canvas cover and s9ught to still the wailing of the infant. As the wife of a p r ospector she was to obeying the men p th ou t question There were seven wagons i n the traii1, of the kind known as "prairie-schooners," their tops enclosed in sail cloth drawn over semicircular hoops, and fastened, cur tainwise, at back and f r ont alkali wastes, on their way to the Nevada gold and si l ve r mines. They were s trictly 111atter of fact as became pro s pectors willing to face all hard s hips for the sake of win ning a glorious golden victory at la st. The nian who h ad given the order to halt was o n th e leading wagon. His cowhide boots Were ru s ty, while the trousers tucked into them were of blue jean, bearin g many s igns of wear, which description also applies to his brown s ack coat and broad-brimmed soft hat. Like all the men in the party, this prospector, Simon Garvin, carried a .44-caliber Colt six-shooter hanging a belt, with a hunting-kn i fe in its s h eat h o n t he ot h e?\side. He was a fine spec i men of. America n manho o d i n t h e rough, as he stood defiantly on the foot-boa r d of t h e wag
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2 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. ,A king his head. "But aon't say nothin', so's ter scare the women." "I won't." Simon and Luke Garvin were twins, nearly forty-five years of age, who were journeying together from their old home in Michigan toward the setting sun, as so many sturdy workers had done before them. Simon's wife, Mary, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Bettina, and the wife of a former Michigander, Jake Lawler, who had done well in Nevada, and who wanted his wife and bab y to join him, were in this first wagon. It was Mrs Helen Lawler, with her nine-month s boy in her arms who had peeped from the interior and asked if there was any danger. Simon and Luke had undertaken to get her to Nevada, t'o her husband, and it was on her account, more than anything else, that Simon was so agitated when he saw peril looming up ahead. Luke was a bachelor, but a maiden sister-thirty-five year s old, with a red no s e and shrewish t emper-was traveling in the second wagon with him, whence she man aged, with dignity, the domestic economy of the whole Garvin: family. The only difficulty she experienced was in making Bettina und e rstand that the niece of eig hteen mu s t defer to the aunt of nearly double her years. Bettirta had a will of her own. Where 's Tilly?" a s ked Simon. "In the wagon, boiling coffee on the oils tove." "Correct! Let her s tay there. If once she suspect s that there i s likely to be trouble with them suspicious fellers ahead, she 'll want to get out that old mu s ket of hers I'm alwa y s afeard it will bust every tim e it goes off. Tilly is a right good sister, but I wish some one would pinch her fifty-year-old muzzle-loader." "Here come the boys Simon," said Luke. Five men whose general was that of the Garvin brothers came up from the other wagons, anx ious to know what was the cau s e of th e halt. "Keep quiet, boy s ," whi s pered Luke. "Come down from the wagon Simon, and let's go into committee." Simon jumped from the foot-board, and the whole seven moved off into a clump of bu s hes among the rocks, where they could talk without being overheard the women and children in the wagons. "It's all in a nutshell, began Simon. "Up there, in that ravine, where we have to go through, there s eems to be about a dozen ugly-looking cusses, waiting to bushwhack us." "Ambush, eh ?" remarked a dried-up specimen of hu manity, who had come with the others. His reputation was that he feared nothing on earth, in spite of his small size, and he looked as if the pros pect of a scrap d e lighted him "Call it that if you like, Judge," answered Simon. "I reckon they are them Destroying Angels from the mountains-the toughest gang of hold-ups in all Utah. "I'll destroy em, if ever I begin to shoot," snapped the little man, who was known as Judge Clark. "I'll give them destroying angel. We chew up such chaps in Lansing, the town I come from. If they had ever been brought before me when I was justice of the peace, I'd have sent them up for thirty days apiece just on their looks, and held them for trial afterward." "Order, Judge!" put in Luke. "Don't make too man y loud breaks. My sister, Tilly, has sharp ears. Beside s some of the other women may hear. We have to get through without trouble from screams, and all that sort of thing, if we can." "Your point of order is well taken," conceded Judge Clark, with the dignity that he had always maintained when he wa s "on the bench," as he generally de s cribed his justice of the peace experience. "The best thing to do is to drive ahead a s if we wer e not afraid, I should say, was the sugge s tion of a fat m a n from Detroit, named Jack Jolly, who always loo_!
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 3 boys ez knowed her back in Michigan he wants her to come to him." For a momet?-t Judge Clark did not know what to say, but his mind moved quickly, and he replied, as if the order had been nothing unusual : "We'll bring her along. We are on our way to the Nevada border, and we will leave her with your friend when we get there." "Oh, yer will eh ?" With an oath, the man rushed his horse toward the little lawyer, evidently with the intention of riding him down before he could offer any resistance. Judge Clark blazed away with his six-shooter, but he was not familiar with the weapon-accurate pistol-shooting not being a common accomplishment in Lansing, Michigan-so that he missed his target with the three shots he fired. There seemed little hope for Judge Clark for tho:! stranger was a skilful horseman, and he turned the ani mal directly toward his intended victim with pitiless insistence. The small lawyer, nothing dismayed however let fly with another s hot, and then poised his pistol to hurl it at the head of his enemy, yelling steadily the while: "You big s c a lawag! I'm Judge Clark from Lansing and we never take a bluff in that town Get your horse away from me, or I'll--" But the front hoofs of the animal were alread y close to him, and, a s the y knocked him over to one s ide the fellow in the s addle tried to bring them down on his chest a s he la y But at thi s moment there wa s s ome one else in the fray. From the rock s far over t o th e right came darting a young cowboy, with long yellow hair flo wing over hi s shoulders, and mounted on a splendid hor se. At the same instant the ma s ked 1ruffian who was about to trample Judge Clark to death reeled in his saddle and pitched headlong to earth There had b e en no sh o t, but s ome my s teriou s stroke had killed him The other mas ked men in th e draw l e t fly with their revo lvers at the young fellow in hi s flannel shirt and buckskin "chaps,': who was riding so gallantly toward the wagon. They associated him with th e downfall of their pal al though they had not s een him do an y thing, and certainly he had .. _no weapon in his hand. The pistol-shots of the were all ineffective, and the cowboy rode on until he reached Judge Clark, who was scrambling to his feet, covered with dust and as mad :1.8 a wet tom-cat. "Hurt, Judge?" asked the cowboy dol eerily. "Hello Diamond D i ck! No I ain't hurt. But some of th ose s coundrel s with the ma s k s o n will think they have been through a bargain-counter rush before I get through with them !" Diamond Dick gave a hand to the irate little lawyer, and lifted him, by main strength, to the front of hi s saddle. They dashed across the open, leaving the dead man lying by the side of his horse, until they reached the group of men gathered about the wagons, from which the white faces of women peered, wondering what the firing was about. Running his horse behind the first vehicle, to be shel tered from the shots of the enemy if they should keep on firing, Dick crawled into the wagon at the rear, telling all the other men to follow. "What's the idee, Dick_?" asked Simon. "If they attack us, we must have our fighting force massed. That is all answered Dick. "The women and are safer in the rear "Then shall Mary and I and Helen and the baby go into one of the other wagons?" asked a pretty girl, with blond hair and dark-blue eyes, who was standing in the first one, gazing inquiringly at Dick. "No, Bettina. You will be safer here," put in the lawyer. "Most of this racket is about you, and we want y ou where we can see what you are doing-or, rather, make sure those pestilent creatures over there are not harming you in any way." "You are right, Judge," agreed Dick. "I am going in front to parley with the enemy." "Mind they don t plug you, Dick warned Simon. "No fear of that, replied Dick careles s ly, as he p11shed the front curtains apart and stepped upon the foot-board The eight masked horsemen had reined up some dis tance away, but near enou g h to hear his voice in the still a ir of the e vening. Stay where you are, shouted Dick, ashe came into view his hands down by his s ide a s if he disdained to threaten the men with a weapon. "Who are you?" demanded one of the strangers. "I am Diamond Dick. You are Hezekiah Pine, leader of the Destroying Angels, replied Dick, quick as a flash Ther, e was a movement among the horsemen, as they turned their heads toward each other which assured Dick that his shot had told, anathat he had guessed correctly. "We have been appointed to find something belonging to us, now in the possession of one Simon Garvin. We are going to make an investigation said the individual whom Dick had named as Hezekiah Pine. "Do not in terfere, if you value your life." It was noticed that Pine used good language and spoke in a rather refined tone. He rode forward a few yards, but stopped, as he saw Dick' s hand move to the butt of the six-shooter in his holster. I / I

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, 4 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. "Don't you dare!" warned the masked leader. "Dare?" cried Dick s cornfully, as he pointed to the mysteriously stricken man lying by the side of his horse. "You see what has happened to him. It will be so with all your band if you lay a hand on any of these wagons." CHAPTER II. AN OLD FRIEND REAPPEARS Dick waited a moment to see whether the men would continue to advance, and then, as they did not move, he called softly to those within the wagons to be ready with their rifles, and to pour in a volley as the masked mea came on-if they did charge. But his threat seemed to have frightened the enemy. The leader did not speak to Dick again, but, sitting mo tionless while apparently he considered the situation, he waved the white flag once more, and galloped back to his comrades. "What do you think that means?"' queried the little lawyer, peering between the curtains. "I don't know yet." "Scared, ain't they?" "I don't think so. They are only waiting to maKe up their minds what to do. Ah! Here is Hezekiah riding forward again." Judge Clark now had a Marlin rifle in his hand, while the other men were all armed, but they kept out of sight. Diamond Dick, on the foot-board, was the only person to be seen by the Destroyers, and he stood there, steady as a rock, waiting to be addressed. "Diamond Dick !" cried Hezekiah. "What is it?" "We want to pick up our pard, lying over there." "Very well. But don't try any treachery, or I will give the signal, and the silent death from the rocks which struck him will visit you. Don't make any mis take." "All right," answered Hezekiah, waving his arms to his men in the rear to join him. "Only three must come," warned DicK. "All right!" The masked stranger made a certain sign with his fin gers, and all of his band except three remained motion less, while the trio selected galloped to the place where the horse stood by the side of his dead rider. Skilfully the four strangers picked up the remains of the man who had been killed in so unusual a manner and laid them across the saddle, tying them securely with the riata that hung coiled at the saddle-horn. Dick watcld the proceedings quietly, alert for any treachery. Having secured the body on the horse, the four men started the animal toward the pass, where their four associates were waiting. Five minutes later the whole party-eight live men and one dead one-had vanished through the opening in the mountains, just as the gray gloom of night settled over the valley. Judge Clark-whose appearance was distinct from t?at of all the other travelers, by reason of the black frock coat and open waistcoat which he could not bring himself to discard, although the remainder of his attire was like that of the others, even to the belt, with its six-shooter and bowie-knife-joined Dick on the foot-board. "What do you think, Dick? Have we driven them off?" asked the little lawyer. "No." "No? You think they wiii come back again?" "Judge, did you ever hear of these so-called Destroy ing Angels,giving up a scheme of villainy they had once formed? We dare not go any farther to-night, or we shall certainly pe set upon." "And if we remain where we are?" "We can at least fight with some chance on our side," answered Dick, turning to the interior of the wagon. He found everybody waiting for a report from him I as to the situation, but all confident that he would be able to take them through safely. "How did you kill that rascal over there, Dick? I did not see you shoot him." "I did not shoot him," answered Dick calmly. "But you seemed to have something to do with it," remarked Luke. "I had." "It's a queer thing. I you'd explain. I'm losing flesh trying to figure it out," declared the fat Jack J oily. "I will explain," laughed Dick. "There is no danger just now, so you may as well come out of the wagon and let the ladies prepare supper. Then I'll tell you all about it." There was a hasty piiing out of all the men at the back, except Judge Clark and Dick, who made their exit in front. A{ they mJt by the side of the wagon, each man, with the exception of Diamond Dick, armed with the Winchester he had picked up inside the wagon, the general attention was attracted to a small individual, on a large hammer-headed white horse, who was galloping toward them from the rocks on the right whence Dick had come a short time before. "Billy Doo !" explained Dick, as if introducing the newcomer. "What? Billy Doo, from Lame Dog?" asked Simon Garvin eagerly. "The same," answered Dick. "I left word at Lame Dog that he and my other pard, Handsome Harry, :were

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 5 to get on our trail as soon as they arrived in town, and I am glad to say they are here." "Hi, Dick W ot's de game? Where's dem guys wit' de hoodwinks on ?" It was Billy Doo, the fifteen-year-old lad who had been Diamond Dick's companion through many a perilous ad venture, but who had been East with Handsome Harry for some weeks, on business, and had just returned. A word of description of Billy Doo, for the benefit of those who do not know him, may not be amiss. He was a chunky lad, with sharp black eyes, a turnedup nose, and curly black hair, on which set rakishly a white "Stetson." Billy Doo dressed exactly like Diamond Dick, the dashing young scout, cowboy, and United States marshal, and his ambition was to be like Dick in every possible way. His hammer-headed horse was an angular creature, with a temper to match, and Billy Doo had named him Tammany. "Come on, Billy," shouted as the boy swept up to the group. "Tell us what killed that rascal who has just been carried away." "Dis !" answered the lad, as he held up a small con trivance of leather and two thick rubber bands. "Dis is de joker dat stopped his clock. I kin do it nine times out o' ten, an' never toin a hair." "What is it, my lad?" asked Judge Clark patronizingly. "Aw I Fergit it wit' 'my lad,' Jedge," squeaked Billy. "My name's Billy Doo-or William Doolittle, when I signs me full John Hancock on checks an' udder important dockyments. Nix wit' 'my lad,' ef youse wants ter stand in wit' your'n trooly." "I beg your pardon, Billy," responded Judge Clark', rather pleased that Billy had recognized him as a "judge." "De 'pology is all ter de cur lin' -irons," said Billy. "Don't say no more. On'y it gits on me noives when a guy don't call me right. Ez fer dat mug wot passed it up over dere, why, I kin do any one wit' de joker. Look here an' make a note." Billy had slipped from his horse, and was holding up his implement, which proved to be an exceedingly powerful cq.tapult. Placing in it a good-sized stone, he pulled the rubber bands to their utmost and let go. There was a twang, and the stone sped away so fast that it could not be seen. "Dat's wot," observed Billy, in a satisfied tone. "It's gittin' dark now, but in de daylight, I kin hit de head of a nail in a barn door at eighty yards, jest ez troo ez I kin wit' a bullet f'um my gun." "I begin to see now," declared the lawyer. "Dat's a good t'ing. \Vot wuz it youse wuz tryin' ter make out?" asked Billy solicitously. "I wondered what had killed that man in the mask." "It was Billy's catapult," interposed Diamond Dick. "I saw the fellows riding on, evidently nearing to attack the wagons, and I directed to let fly at him when I gave him a certain signal." "Dat's wot. I got de sign f'um Dick, an' de sharp stone wot I'd picked out fer de work caught Mr. Mask right in de temple. Dat wuz al l dey wuz ter dat," added Billy. "It ain't many kids as can use one of those slung-shots so sure as that, I'm thinking," remarked Luke. "Dey's on'y one, an' I'm him," was Billy Doc's asser tion, as he cinched up Tammanis saddle. "Where is Handsome Harry ?" asked Dick, turning to the boy. "De Sarp? He's over dere behind de rocks, waitin' till youse send fer him. Poor ol' guy I told him dat ef he come snoopin' over here afore he wuz told he w'u'cl be sure ter sp'il wotever game you wuz woikin', an' he's jest lingerin' like a lily on de stem fer--" "Call him over, Billy," interrupted Dick. "Sure!" Billy Doo mounted his white horse again, and galloped off in a cloud of dust toward the rocks from wh.ch he had emerged. "Didn't that boy call Handsome Harry Sarp? What did he mean?" asked Judge Clark. Diamond Dick laughed. "It's a nickname. You'll probably understand why it is used when you see Handsome Harry." There was a call to supper from the interior of the second wagon, where Tilly Garvin had been busy with her coffee and ham and eggs during all the bustle, and everybody except Dick and the Garvin twins made a bolt for the other wagons, where they expected to find their own meals prepared. Dick, Simon, and Luke in the habit of eating their meals together under Aunt Tilly's supervision, gether with Helen Lawler, her baby, and Mary Garvin, Bettina's mother. Hardly had the party got fairly settled in the wagon, which was furnished with a long bench down either side, and a portable table in the middle on which the meal was set, when there came a whooping outside that Diamond Dick knew proceeded from the lungs of his young pard, Billy Doo. "What is it, Billy?" shouted Dick, opening the front curtains. "Dem guys in de masks hez got de Sarp !" answered Billy excitedly. "What's that?" asked Judge Oark, appearing suddenly from one of the rear wagons. "It seems as if those scalawags have captured Handsome Harry," replied Dick s avagely, through his set teeth.

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6 I DIAMOND. DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. I CHAPTER III. ROBBERS IN CAMP AT NIGHT. "Tell me all about it, Billy," ordered Dick, as Billy Doo came surging up on his white horse. "Well, dey ain't much ter tell, Dick," answered Billy. 1'Me an' Tam went ter de place wher' we'd left de Sarp, wit' dat roan horse o' his'n, expectin' ter find him smokin' one o' dem long Mexican cigarros wot he likes--" "Who was smoking the cigarros-the horse?" asked Jack J ally, with a wide grin. Billy Doo turned upon the facetious gentleman from Detroit a took of intense scorn, as he admonished him severely: "Aw! Cut it out! Nix fer de comic relief. Dis ain t no time fer gittin' off bum jokes." "Go on Billy," requested Dick impatiently. "Well, de Sarp-Handsome Harry-wasn't dere. Dat's all about it, on'y when I give him de long yell, he come back at me wit' a whoop dat told me he wuz on de fritz somewhere, an' I made Tam hike along over de boulders fer nigh a quarter of a mile." "Then?" "Den I seed dem guys wit' de disgoozes on dem swingin' lanterns an' drivin' de Sarp among 'em." "Was he tied or held down in any way?" "No. Dat's de cur'ous part o' de play," answered Billy. "He wuz ridin' his roan in de middle o' de bunch wit'out sayin' nuttin, aldough dey had no ropes on him nor nuttin'." "I suppose they were covering him with their guns," suggested Judge Clark. "Wot would de Sarp car' fer dat ?" sniffed Billy. "Youse don't know Handsome Harry. He. ain't de duck ter let no one git de best o' him jest 'cause dey wuz a gun in question-not none." "Where dld tliey go?" asked Dick. "Dey seemed to be makin' to'ard de west." ou could not make out for s ure, could you, Billy?" "Not altergedder. Youse kin see it's gittin' dark, an' it ain't easy ter make out t'ings, even if de su n hezn't 1 gone out o' sight entirely. But, so fur ez I c'u'd mek out, by de light o' dem lanterns, dey wuz makin purty good time in dat direction." "Why have they ligh;ed' lanterns I wonder," muttered Dick. "Some trick, of course." "Wot's dat ?" asked Billy. "They did not seem to be hurting the Sarpint in any way, nor to be threatening him?" asked Dick, ignoring the boy's question. "I c'u'dn't tell dat, on account o' bein' so fur away an' it gittin' dusk. B'ut f'um wot I c'u'd 111ake out o' de Sarp's movements, I sh'u'd say he wuz givin' dem a piece o' hi s mi!1d, an' dat dey wuz all listenin wit' due respect. 'It didn't look ter me ez ef de Sarp wuz gittin' oe woist o' it, 'cept dat dey wuz takin' him along wit' 'em." "Come and get your supper, Billy," called out Tilly Garvin, the spinster sister, who had been listening to the conversation from an opening in the canvas cover, and who address d the lad as if she had known him all her life, although she never had seen him before "Sure!" answered Biiiy. Then, as he saw the red nose and pinched features of the lady, he pretended to fall into a rapture of admiration, as he exclaimed sentiment ally: "It is she-de light o' me soul! Gee! Wot grace! Wot love1iness! Ifs me fer de altar wit' youse! Take me! I'm your'n! Wow !" "Shut up!" growled Luke menacingly. "Don't get too fresh with ladies of my family." Billy was leading his hammer-headed white horse to the rear, where he had noticed there was a quantity of hay in a box, with feed in bags, and he was more inter ested in seeing that Tamrdany would get proper sus tenance th .ari in tl)e scolding tof Luke Garvin. "I don t see why you should talk like that to the boy, said Tilly Garvin, with a tos s of her head. "If ht.. ad mires me, what harm is there in that?" "Great guns!" muttered Luke. Billy Doo soon came back to the wagon, after leaving his horse in the care of a lad of his own age, belonging to the prospecting-party, who had general charge of the stock. "Would you like some buckwheat cakes Billy?" asked Tilly, with her sweetest smile. "Would I?" squeaked Billy. It was not much Billy sai d but it was enough, and in two minutes he was seated before a pile of smoking buckwheats, piling in with knife and fork as if he had not eaten anything for a week, while Bettina, Mrs. Law ler, the baby, and Bettina's mother, Mary Garvin, looked on in silent astonishment. B y the time s upper was over it was quite dark, and Diamond Dick prepared to make camp for the ni g ht. Under his direction-for he had been tacitl y accepted as leader of the wagon-train since he had joined it-the vehicles were formed into a barricade, with the horses and people in the middle. Dick decided that it would not be safe to sleep in the wagons, now that the out laws were almost certain to pay them a nocturnal visit, but that every one must lie on the ground or improvised cots, wrapped in blankets, in the center of the protected camp. There was plenty of work to be done. Cots for the women and children were formed of boxes and other contents of the wagons, and piles of blanket were brought forth, so that no one would suffer from cold. The nights in thi s region are chilly, usually, although the days are warm in the s pring, summer, and fall, and

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 7 it was well understood that bed-covering was an impor tant adjunct to the camp outfit. At last all was finished, and the wotl)en and children retired, while the men walked about inside the wagons, keeping a sharp lookout, as well as the darkness would allow them, for an attack by the enemy that probably was lurking in the vicinity. Winchesters were staked in the very center of the small space inside the circle of wagons, and in open boxes there was ammunition enough to stand off an army. It was a starlight night, but there was no moon. Dick was glad it was not too light. "Dick," whispered Simon Garvin, stepping up to the side of the young scout when there happened to be no one else near: "Yes?" "You ain't going to let those brutes take my girl, are you?" "No't if it can be helped, and I think it can. We will keep these miserable wretches away from the inside of camp, I have no doubt. But they might get hold of Bettina in the melee, you know." "What is to be done, then?" "You stand guard over your replied Dick. "But I may be wanted to s hoot at the Destroyers if they attack the camp, as you think they will," objected Simon. "We will get along without you," was Dick's response. "There are plenty of u s to guard the wagons, but you are the person to see that no one touches Bettina." "I suppose you are right. Though I should like to take a shot or two at those rascal s ." "You'd better go to Bettina and see that she i s safe, Simon," suggested Dick. "I will." "Wot am I ter do, Dick?" asked Billy Doo, coming up to the young scout, six-shooter in hand. "Keep with me, Billy." "Sure. Dat's wot I wants ter do. But, say, Dick, dat Tilly is a peacherino." "Miss Tilly Garvin is a nice young woman. I have thought that from the beginning of my acquaintance with her." "An' dem buckwheat cakes s he to ins out is all ter de good, too. I got away wit' twenty-eight of 'em . declared Billy, with a grin of satisfaction at the recollection. "And how do you feel?" a s ked Dick, s omewhat anxiously. "Out o' sight." "No heaviness in your-your-chest?" "Nary a heaviness." "Billy, you are a wonder!" Dick smiled, as he looked about him, to see that all was sate, when suddenly there came a combined shout from what seemed to lie twenty men, minglea with a girl's scream. ''This way, Billy!" s houted Dick, as he rushed toward the place where Bettina's cot could be made out dimly in the starlight. He had not reached it when Simon Garvin staggered toward him, and, as he dropped helpless to the ground, groaned: "They've got her!" "Who?" demanded Billy Doo. "My daughter! My Bettina!" CHAPTER IV. DICK Pe>INTS OUT THE WAY. There was no time to talk, for the galloping of norses could be heard olttside the barrier of wagons, and every one in camp had possessed himself of a rifle, waiting for an order to fire. '-But Dkk realized that the cunning of the men who had sto len Bettina would prevent an immediate attack upon them. Counting eight men dashing away on horseback, he saw that each one had a long white sheet or garment stream ing over his left arm. These sheets might have oeen wrapped around the s lim form of a young girl for all that Dick could determine in the g l oom, and evidently the purpose of the marauders was to make him and his comrades hesitate to fire at them, for fear they might shoot the girl. "There is only one thing to do, and that is to chase them on horseback. Where is your mount, Billy?" .. "Right here, wit' your'n. Bot' on 'em air ready sad dled. Dat's de way I took care ter have 'em, 'cause I nachalJy had a bunch dat dey might be a run fer us." The lad brought forward .t he horses as he spoke, and truly never had there been a sharper contrast between the appearance of two animals than was apparent when Tam many, the raw-boned, hammer-headed white steed, stood by the side of Diamond Dick's magnificent black thor oughbred, Major. "I'm going with you !" put in a weak voice, as Simon Garvin, still staggering, came toward them. "How was it, Simon?'' asked Dick kindly. "I was just walking over to the place where they were all lying down, after my talk with you," answered Simon, "when I saw three big felJows, their faces covered by black masks and carrying white sheets on their arms, crawling from one of the wagons. They had climbed up on the other side and hidden themselves under the canvas. Then they came out at the front, let themselves down from the foot-board without noise, and darted toward Bettina." .I

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I 8 DIAMOND DICK JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. "\\'e ll?" "I mad e a jump t o g e t there first ; but I was too late. "How wa s that ? "One o f the m s truck me on the head with a rock or s omething and d own I went. Then I h eard Bettina scream. "He r e' s th e h o r ses, Di ck interposed Bill y Doo. ''I'm g oin g t oo," s houted S imon. You are going to foll o w th e m I s u p p ose?" "That depends o n circumstance s," an s w e red Dick, a s he m o ved one o f th e w ag on s aside, to make room for the pa s sage of the ho r s es. Hardly had Dick don e thi s a very tall individ ual, who, even in the dim light of the stars, wa s s een to be dressed in the attire of a cattleman with a bushy beard and lon g hair, s talked thro ugh the gap. "Hully ch e e ga s p e d Bill y Doo. "Handsome Harry?" cried Dick. "Shore!" an s wer e d the big newcomg. "In co' s e I'm Handsome Harry, ther ol' Sarpint o' Si s ki you, wi' se ven teen rattles an' a button! Mo r e over, I'm aimin t e r mek them thar co yo tes, wi' th e r bla ck thin gs o n thar f ac e s, recognize ther fact thet I'm th e r g reat h e g rizzl y o th e r Uintah Mountains wi d eat h in m y gaze a n e ve rla s tin perdition in ther weight o m y arm! Thar i s o n 'y one thing I need s afor e I k in feel p e rfect pea ce, an th e t i s t e r crack ther he a d s o all th e m e ight tat;rapin s b y kn o ckin them tergether in two s Arte r th et--Lo o k h yar, y er grinnin' ape!" he r o ared s uddenly to Bill y Do o, "gi m e a drink o' wat e r, or I'll s hore s trike fire wi' m y te e th agin' ther roof o' m y rriouth I m so dry!" At any other time Bill y D o o would have re se nted thi s kind of addres s from Handsom e Harry; but now h e s aw that his big friend was overwrou ght b y s ome e x perience through which he had just passed and h e mad e no com ment on the exceedingly impolite language in which he had been addressed. "Here's de juice, Sarp, he s aid a s h e brou g ht a tin mug full of water from one o f the barre l s in w hich the refreshing liquid was carried b y the pil g rim s "Cool yerse'f down." Hands ome Harry was six feet four inches in his boot s and wide in proportion, and he had a voice like the roar of the Bull of Bashan e s peciall y when excited. His large beard and long hair were a fie r y r ed, which may have had something to do with the violence of his temper when aroused. "How did you come to with tho s e rascals, Sarpint ? asked Dick, when his gigantic pard had quenched his thirst. "I wuz cause they lied ter me, answered Handsome Harry. "They run up ter whar I wuz, covered me wi' thar guns, an' said thet they heel you a prisoner, an' thet they wuz tekin' yer ter ther camp." "Go on." "They said thet ef I w'uld go thar an' s,y'ar you wuz ther original Di'mond Dick, ther United States marshal, they would let yer go an' 'pologize ez waal." }What did they mean?" "They insinooated thet you wuz a imposter purtendin ter be Di'mon' Dick when yer wuzn't, an'--" "But why don't we go after them? broke in Sim o n Garvin. "They are taking girl away while we are talking here." The father was nearly be s ide himsalf with grief and terror over the carry ing off of Bettina and Dick placed his hand soothingly on Simon s arm. "Be patient Simon. The Sarpint can give us informa tion which will help us to get her back. Let us hear him first." "But, my child I--" "Thet's so, said Hands ome Harry, s ympathy trembling in his big voice. "But we ll hev ter go about it keerfull y pard. Thar's no use in u s gents tekin' it on ther run. Let me finish m y y arn At ther s ame time, I 'll gi' y er my word e z a sp o' t an a cow gent thet we ain't wa s tin n o time whut c u d b e p r ofitably u sed tc r re s coo this hyar l ovely maiden whut yo u is luck y enough ter be ther father o Savv y?" "Back up Sarp p ut in Billy Doo "Plug up dat g a s pip e an let 's h ave so m e t'in fresh an i nv i g r a t i n f um youse In udder w ords, d on't b e a s.toop id o l woman.' Billy prudentl y got out o f range when h e offer e d thi s advice, and th e Sarpint n o tin g that Bill y was to o far t o be reached ea sily let the affront go b y, and continued: \ "I fell fer ther blu ff th e m g ent s put up, an ' lowed m ys e f ter be corrall e d b y ther hardest lot o' citizen s ez ever defaced ther surface o this hyar beautiful coun try "Ho w wa s that?" a s ked Dick. "\i'Vhen they d g ot m e s o's I c u 'dn't do nothin' ef fecti v e ther conditions fer thar wuz eight .44's p intin' clo s e ter wl1ar I k e ep s m y idee s-they med me ride a w a y w i 'em till th ey h eel m e rin ge d arou nd wi' rocks in a dry arroyo Then they pa sse d a couple o riatas keerl ess l y aroun m e an m y h o's e Towzer, an' ad d ed t e r ther indignit y b y hitchin Towzer ter a pine tree ." Gee! e x claimed B ill y D o o deepl y intere s ted "Yes ," went on Hands ome Harry. "In co se ez I wuz all tan g led up in them rop es, I c u 'dn't he'p Towzer-not at first. "But you got away at la st?" "Thet's apparant, Dick. Ef I hedn t got away, I w u'dn t be hyar, fer them ball y hoos meant me ter sta y thar till mornin', an y how They didn't arg e y thet I mought twist one o' m y hand s around enough ter git at m y bowie--" "Ah! I see!" interjected Dick. "Shore yer sees Dick. It's ther kind o' caper you d 1 1 \ \ I ,,

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l i I I.' l,i DIAMOND DICK, JR.-TTHE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 9 try, I'm thinkin', ef yer wuz ter find yerseif in sech a predookyment. Waal, anyhow, I got my knife out of its sheath, an' ther rest wuz easy. Thet's how I cojne ter be ridin' down hyar ter ee whut I c'u'd do." "Why didn't you get here before and warn us?" de manded Tilly, the maiden sister, sharply. "Which I re-moves my hat in ther presence o' ther. fa'r sex," answered Handsome Harry gallantly. "I didn't git hyar airlier 'cause I wuzn t out o' ther ropes in time. But whut I wants ter say is this hyar: 1 Them spo'ts ez hez carried off thet gal is among ther cunningest ter be found in all the West, which means thet thar ain't no greater bluffs this side of--" The Sarpint pointed downward significantly. "They are waiting to ambu s h us over there m the draw, I suppose, Sarpint," remarked Dick. "Which they shorely air," agreed the Sarpint. .Whut's more, ther spo'ts wJmt's waitin' over yonder in ther pass ter bushwhack yer ain't ther same whut hez ther gal." "What do you mean?" demanded Simon anxiously. "I mean thet ther ol' sinner who wants ter git this gal hez paid these rascals enough ter purvide fer two separate parties. Ef yer'll put onder ther guid ance o' Di mon' Dick, he kin tek yer ter whar ther gal is. In ther meantime, we don't hev ter go through ther pass at all." "Is that so, Dick?" asked Judge Clark, who had been listening intere s tedly to the conversation without speak ing. "Can you lead us to where the girl is hidden-or to be hidden ? "I think I can. Although, if the Sarpint had not in sisted on telling you, I should have preferred to let my actions s peak for themselves, instead of announcing be forehand what I intended to do. "Dey s nuttin' s low bout Di mon' Dick," confided Billy Doo, privately, to Luke Garvin. "Which way s hall we go Dick?" asked Simon eagerly. Diamond Dick pointed to the mountain s far over to the left, where outlined sharpl y against th starry sky, could be made out, on the top of a precipice the figures of three men on horseback, the lead r of which was carrying across the pommel of hi s saddle s omething that every one in the camp could see was the form of a girl. "We will go that wa y, Simon, said Dick quietly. \ CHAPTER V. THE VOICE IN THE GORGE. In less than three tninutes six men and a J:>oy were riding hard toward the high mountain range where the three horsemen and their captive had been seen. The vision hac! been there only for a few moments, but Diamo\ld Dick knew the mounta.ins so well that he was confident he could pick up the trail and follow it to the end without difficulty. Diamond Dick had no mi-sgivings over leaving the women and children in the camp with practically rro male protection. There were one or two men and the boy who looked after the horses, before referred to, but if the marauders clescencled upon the camp again they would find no effective opposition. ''They have got the girl, and that is all they seemed to want," remarked Judge Clark. "Shore! them thar mavericks know whut they are after, an' they don' t waste thar time on nothin' else," said Handsome Harry. Dick did not know whether the men who hac! captured Bettina were aware that they were pursued or not, but he was almost certain that the other rascals, who had hoped to decoy him and his frienqs into the narrow gorge in the mountains, knew that he was going the other way. "Ride hard, boys!" ortlered Dick. The party swept along at a gallop, widening the gap between them s elves and the gorge where the Destroyers had been lying in ambush, but were now convinced that their scheme had That the intention was to do away with Diamond Dick and Simon Garvin, as the two persons most likely to seek vengeance for the stealing of Bettina, Dick was assured. As for the other members of the wagon-train, th y might be killed, or they might not. It would depend on whether they showed an inclination to fight. "What do you suppose will be the end of all this?'' asked Judge Clark a s he rode close by Dick's side. "One tliing will be the rescuing of Bettina Garvin, and another the punishment of Hezekiah Pine and his gang," replied Dick s hortl y "You know it is Hezekiah Pine, then?" "Yes." "Did y ou see his face?" "It is not nece ss ary always to see a man's face to be sure of him," said Dick. "At lea s t, not on the plains or in the mountain s It would be a difficult j o b to trail any one if we had to see his feature s before recognizing him." "Thet's right," coincided Handsome Harry gravely. Dick rode a little ahead of his party till he found him self in the mountains, riding through a narrow gorge, which ascended gradually till it came to the ridge along which he had seen moving the three horsemen with their captive. "It is here they may be waiting for us," thol.tght Dick. "I reckon we shall have to go without noise if we want to make this expedition a success." He turned in his saddle to look for the others Not one of them could he see, not could he detect t' sound of their horses' hoofs on the rocks. "H'm! I see what is the matter. They have taken

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IO DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKL. the wrong road in the darkness. The draw branches off in two directions not more than half a mile back, and they must have gone to the left instead of the right. Well, if they keep on, they will come out at the point where I expect to find myself some three miles ahead. It is just as well that they are not with me. This is the kind of thing I can do etter by myself." He was riding slowly, every sense on the alert, gazing at the narrow 'strip of starlit sky far above, which was all could be made out between the vast walls of mountain. It was a split, this gorge, as if it had oeen cut open by a convulsion of Nature. But over the rough boulders it was possible to work steadily to the top, wheFe_it led to a long ridge, with an awful precipice on either side, until the side of a moun tain was reached, where there was a wall on the one hand, but still the terrific drop on the other. All this Dick was familiar with for he had ridden through the Uintah Mountain range man y times, and there were not many parts of it where he would be lost Dick was looking about him a s well as he could in the darkness, for he did not know how near an enem y might be, when he was startled by a low cry, which seemed to be in feminine tones. r "Help!" The young scout reined up his thoroughbred sharply 1 and listened intentl y for a repetition of the cry. Soon it came-low, but insistent: "Help!" Prepared for the sound thi s time Dick was able to determine on the instant that it came from over his head, and he looked up quickly. Nothing was to be seen but the great rocky walls, rearing five hundred feet and mor e into th e air. The y were a s s t eep as t h e s id e s of two gigantic "skyscraper s in a cit y sep arate d b y a s pace of not more than ten feet which appear e d to be much les s as Dick gazed upward. "It came from above, I am sure ," thou ght Dick. "It was a girl's voice, too. Of cour se, it i s Bettina. That fellow, Hezekiah has got her in some plac e where h e i s going to keep her till he can carry her s afely to her destination, wherever it ma:y be." If there had been a moon, Dick mi g ht have been able to discern the figure of the girl who wa s pra y ing for help in her sore e;x:tremity, but, as it was, wa s to be made out but the frowning masse s of g ranite s o close together that he could almost touch them both s imultane ously by s tretching forth his arms. "If they would only get out of these mountains, I should be prepared to give Hezekiah a surpri s e, I be lieve," went on Dick, to himself. "I kno\Y where these Destroyers, as they call tnemselves, nave their hiding place." "Help!" The cry came for the third time, and, as Dick was looking straight up to the place vihence the sound came he wa s able to make out, this time, where the girl stood. She was on a narrow ledge of rock, a little more than half-way up the wall-that is, about three hundred feet above the valley, and two hundred feet from the summit of the mountain. Bettina !" cried Dick. "Help!" It s eemed a s if the girl were so paralyzed by terror that she could not think of anything else to say than this on e word. "Is there any one with you?" asked Dicl<. No. Is that Diamond Dick? "Yes Keep up your courage," he replied cheerily. But th e r e i s no way for any one to get at me. That is what he told m e when he left me here." Who told y ou?" "The man in the masl<." "Where is he now "Gone.' "Can't you go the same way?" "No. He and the others let me down by a rope from above. They are coming back for me in an hour, they told me." "Kind of them ," commented Dick. Can you stay there for t e n minute s while I come to y ou?' "Can you do it?' "Yes, an s wered Diamond Dick simply. CHAPTER VI. DICK' S HAND OVER HAND. Dick k n e w th a t h e h a d promi s ed to do something which wo uld not be ea s y o f acc o mpli s hment. "So l ong as it i s not impossible I don't mind the trouble," h e mtirmured, a s h e s et about his preparation s H e lis t e n e d carefully, with his ear to the ground, f o r a few moments, to discover whether any of his com pani o n s fr o m camp were approaching. No he s aid to him s elf, a s he arose. "They have t a ken that other trail be y ond que s tion. I s hall have to do thi s b y myself which i s all the Stand s till, Major!" The thoroughbred hardly needed this hint for he wa s in th e habit o f k e epin g quiet till hi:> ma s ter told him what to do, but Dick uttered the adjuration as a precautionary mea s ure. The girl, far up on :1er giddy perch, where she evi dently had no room to moye about1 was leaning

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I I' 1. It 1 : > DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOXS' BEST WEEKLY. . I I against the wall, out the flutter of her garments could be made out from time to time. Dick examined the flat surface below her, but he could not find a place anywhere which would give him the slightest chance of a handhold. The wall was as smooth as if it had been planed, although Dick looked at it for a hundred yards up and clown the gorge. "Help!" Bettina was in such a state of nervous excitement that she felt obliged to give utterance to a cry for aid once in a while, just to relieve the ten s ion on her mind. "All right, Bettina!" responded Dick encouragingly. "I shall be with you soon." /l Bettina would have liked to ask Dick about her father, Simon Garvin but she felt that it would be unwise to trouble the young fellow just now, when he was exerting himself so desperately on her behalf. "Well, that wall i s just about a ba.ffler," muttered Dick as he passed his hand over its smoot h expanse. He out his bowie-knife and tried the point of it on the rock, to see whether there was any possibility of cutting niches. But the mountain was of the hardest kind of stone, and Dick realized that his knife would be usele,ss. He was not disheartened, hard as the ta s k of reaching Bettina threatened to be but he realized that he must think up so me plan different from any he had heretofore conceived. Thoughtfully he stepped to the opposite wall of the ten foot gorge and passed his hand over the He started, hopefully as he noted that it was rough, and that there were niches and projections scattered numerously about. He examined it more close-ly, and then pulled himself up a few feet, to find out how it was above. The unevenne ss seemed to extend all the way up-at least as far as Q,e could see and feel. "Bettina !" he cried out. "Yes!" came the eager re s ponse from the girl. "Keep your courage up." "I am trying; to do so." Dick talked lightly for he felt that that would be the better way in which to keep Bettina 's mind from grasping the full awfulness of her situation. Taking the riata from his saddle-horn-a new rope as tough as wire, which would bear much more strain than he intended to place upon it-Dick hung it over his left shoulder, as he glanced up the wall he intended to scale. "Bettina!" he called out. "Yes." "I am coming up the other side of the cafion. Is there not a place large enough for me to s tand on opposite the ledge under you ?" "Yes How did you know tha ?" / Dick laughed to himself, as he replied: "I did not know. I only gue5.2ed." The fact was that Dick had had many opportunities of studying the phenomena of seismic disturbances-as scientific men call earthquakes-and he knew that when there came a gigantic rift like this through which he had been riding, the opposite sides of the split must bear a close relation to each other. ; If there was a ledge projecting from one side, there must be a corresponding opening on the other, where ledge once had its resting-place. It was the same principle on which one breaks two loaves of bread apart, finding a hole on the side of one loaf, and an extra mass of bread on the other which originally had filled the hole. It i s necessary to keep this in mind to comprehend what sort of task Diamond Dick had undertaken. ';There is a large space in the rock oppo s ite me,""),ent on Bettina. "Two or three persons could stand there, and even move about, without falling into the ravine." "Good! Now, keep quiet till I come up. I shall have no opportunity to talk," said Dick. His riding-boots fitted him well, and his clothes in gen e ral were snug uppn his lithe form, so that there was nothing likely to get in his way as he climbed. After one final iook up and down the draw, which as sured him that no one was near, Diamond Dick be g an the ascent. Only one who has struggled up three hundred fert along; the face of a precipice can realize entirely what Dick had to do. I For the fir s t flfty feet he went up with comparatiY e ease. "If it is like this all the way, I shall not have much trouble in getting to that place where Bettina tells me I can move about," he muttered to himself. It was just as he made this observation that he found himself in difficulties. There was a smoo th space all about him-above and on either side-as far as he could reach. He was st anding on a small protuberance, holding to another which afforded him a fair grip, so that he could recover his breath and relieve his muscles a little as he gazed around. His back was toward .the opposite side of the divide, of course, so that he could not see the girL I She was trying to make out where h e was, but in the darkness of the hollow that was impossible, and she dis covered his whereabouts only by the hard breathing which he could not help. "Are you all right,. Dick?" she asked. "Yes. But I can't talk," he replied. "I won't ask you to talk," she responded. "But I wanted you to know that I was waiting for you without making any fuss."

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I2 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-TIIE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Dick was gratified at this assurance that Bettina was not likely to give way to any hysterical outbreak, and he renewed his endeavors to find a means of ascending. At last he found that, by stretching his arm to its utmost, he could get his fingers into a horizontal crevice, with a sharp edge, which would give him a secure grip. This would not have been a solution of the difficulty if Dick had not possessed tremendous muscular power in each arm, so that he could bear his entire weight hold ing on with one. It was his right hand that was in the crevice, and as soon as he had sa tisfied himself that there was no danger of his fingers slipping, he braced his arm for a supreme effort and gradually pulled himself up. His feet were of no use to him, for the absolutely smooth surface gave him no assistance. ) Diamond Dick was fully aware that a slip or a failure of his muscles would send him in a heap into the canon, and that the fall of fifty feet must disable, even if it did not kill, him. But he was not going to fall, and he knew it. Any one else would have known it, too, if it had been possible for a spectator of the firm mouth and contracted brows to be there. Diamond Dick was of the type of young Americans who "do things." When he had drawn himself up to the crevice which his fingers gripped so determinedly, he found a place for his other band, and then he got his toes into little pockets, as well. "Whew! That was a tough place! Reckon I'll rest a while!" He felt above him as he rested, and was pleased to find that it was rough for some distance over his head, at least, whatever it might turn out to be farther away. Up the wall he went, climbing with catlike facility, and taking advantage of every inequality. He came to three other places like that which had caused him difficulty on the completion of his first fifty feet, but, having had experience with the first, he knew what J1e had to expect, and was thus better able to deal with the new obstacles. It cannot be denied that Dick was glad when he found himself sitting in the niche, opposite Bettina, taking a well-earned rest of a minute or so. Then he looked at the awful chasm between himself and the girl-ten feet wide and three hundred feet deep -and he realized that the most difficult part of work was yet to come. CHAPTER VII. BY THE ROPE ROUTE. "You do not hear any one coming above, do you, Bet tina?" asked Dick, more for the sake of making conversation and keeping up her courage than anything else. "No. They said they would be back in an hour. It is not much more than half an hour since they went away, is it?" "Maybe not." Dick was afraid it was nearer an hour than a half, for the work of scaling the perpendicular cliff seemed to have occupied him a very long time. He did not say this to Bettina, however; all he wanted was to keep her nerve up to concert pitch. Unslinging the coil of rope from his shoulder, Dick began to run it through his hands, in the endeavor to take some of the stiffness out, and thus render it more convenient for use. : Bettina called out to say that she had the rope with her, by means of which she had been lowered to the ledge. "What is the condition of that rope, Bettina?" he asked. "It is nearly new, I think," she answered, picking up the rope, which lay in a heap at her feet "I do not see any part of it that looks weak." "Glad of it, since that may have to get us out of this trouble," was Dick's rejoinder. He stood considering for a few moments, for it was not quite clear to him 1 how he should let the girl down even when he was on the same side of the chasm. "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it," was his de CISIOn, as he looped one end of his own rope over a crag that he had observed as soon as he reached the niche. "That is as firm as if it were an iron hook made on purpose for it," he muttered. "Perhaps firmer, for iron hooks pull out sometimes, and that rock never can be stirred-until another earthquake comes along." "What shall I do, Dick?" asked Bettina. "I can put the end of this rope into a crack under my feet which will hold it perfectly secure, especially if I tie a big knot in it." "That's right, Bettina. You catch the idea," said Dick. "Where did you learn so much about mountain climbing? There are no' mountains in Michigan, so far as I remember." "Perhaps not. But there are plenty of big trees, and I have often gone to the tops of high ones, hunting for hickory-nuts, when I was a little girl-and even since I have been a big one." "That was good practise for what you have to do now," observed Dick. "Hickory-trees are pretty tall, as a rule." "And the best nuts are at the very top," added Bet tina. "I never got dizzy, however. That will help me now if we have to go down to the bottom of the canon by ropes."

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. "I don't know that we shall even have ropes," an swered Dick. 'tBut if that knot is firm on your side, suppose you throw the other end of the rope to me." The girl obeyed, and Dick secured it at his end by the side of the new riata he had brought with him. Then he tossed the end of the latter to Bettina, diredting her to fasten it in the crevice with the other. She took it all as a matter of course, proud that Diamond Dick depended on her in anything at all. "All right?" asked Dick. Without any more parley, Dick swung himself on the sagging ropes, and worked rapidly to the other side. Bettina impulsively gave him her hand as he reached the ledge whereon she stood. "I know we are all right, now," she said. "We shall be, unless I am much mistaken," answered Dick. "I came over here for two reasons. One was that I wanted to make sure the ropes would hold at your end--" "I knew they would hold," she interrupted, with some thing like a pout. "Of course. But I didn't, you know. \ The other rea son was some one must loosen the ends after you have passed over." "Why?" "I want to use them to get you down, you know." "I had forgotten that," confessed Bettina. "Now, do you think you can pull yourself along over those two riatas ?" "I have done worse than that in for hickorynuts." \ "All right, then. Come here!" Dick showed her how to rest herself with her right arm over the ropes, while using her left hand to haul herself along, and she dropped into the correct without difficulty. In five minutes Bettina was safe in the niche, on .the other side of the ten-foot gap. "Now, what are you going to do?" she asked. "I'll show yotr in a moment." He lifted the two ropes Otlit of the crevice after a series of sharp tugs, remarking, with a little laugh of approval: "You certainly gave these cords a good tight hold, Bettina. They never would have pulled out." "I didn't intend they should." Having at last removed the ropes from the crevice, Dick advanced to the very brink of the precipice, twi!ltiPlg the ropes around his hands ;md arms. "I shall have to come carefully, so that the bottom of my feet will that wall first," he remarked, as he pre pared for his plunge. "If I slam my knees against the rock, I am afraid it will make them ache." Bettina was watching him in the gloom so closely that _I Dick warned her to step back, Jest she were fall over. Measuring his distance carefully, Dick Jet himself go, and so skilfully that his struck the rock with a resounding slap ere he hung below the niche where Bettina was waiting for him. "Here I am!" he exclaimed, laughing, as he hauled himself up the rope and stood by the girl's side. "It was not much of a thing to do. What we have to accomplish now is the business that will draw upon our strength and courage, Bettina." It was the natural delicacy of Dick's nature that made him say "our" strength and courage. As a matter of fact, he had no doubt of his own, but he knew that the girl would feel hurt if he threw any doubt on her will ingness or ability to climb down to the bottom of. the canon. "How a11e going to do it, Dick ?" she asked. He was examining the two riatas thoughtfully. "The two, fastened together, will not reach half-way down the hole," he remarked, as he passed the ropes through his hands and then tied the two into one with a knot that he new would never slip. "Then we .shall have to go as far as we can, and scram ble down the rocks without them for the remainder of the distance, eh ?" Dick could not help patting her on the shoulder, for he admired her simple bravery. "How do you know we can find a place which will be easy enough for you to get down?" he asked. "One must take some chances," slie laughed. "I feel as if I do not care for anything so long as I am out of reach of those awful men in the black masks." The girl took the rope in her hands and twisted it about as her companion did, to make it as pliable as might be. Dick seemed to come to a decision, as he fastened the end of the long rope, made up of the two lariats, to the rock that had held it before, when they were crossing the chasm. Then he showed the girl a wide loop, which he placed over her head and under her arms. She made no comment, but allowed him to dispose the rope at his pleasure, until he asked her if she \\las ready to go down. "At any moment," was her reply. "Then, listen. When you get to the full lery.gth of the rope, you must call out to me." "Yes. But where will you be? Up here?" "Of course. I must stay till you are down, so as to unfasten the rope. We shall want it again." "Oh !" said Bettina, who did not follow the young scout's reasoning altogether clearly. "What then?" "When you have called to me that you are at the end of the rope, you must--" "Slip the loop off?"

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J I4 DIAMOND DICK. JR.THE BOYS' BEST WEEE?L Y "No, Bettina. Keep the rope where it ts. Let me explain." "I beg your pardon for interrupting." "You must let the loop remain around you, but take your weight off it by clinging to the rocks as soon as you find projections that will support you. Understand?" "I see." "When you can keep yourself there without the aid of the rope, tell me. Then I will loosen it at the top and climb down with it. When I can find a good place to secure it to the face of the cliff I will give you warn ing, and you can continue to descend." "You want to keep the riata attached, in case I should slip. Is that the idea, Dick?" "That is it, exactly." "I shall not slip," said the girl quietly, as she began the dangerous trip over the precipice. Dick carefully paying out the rope, smiled to himself. This was the kind of comrade. to have, girl as she was! CHAPTER VIII, THE SHADOW IN THE CANON. That an hour must have passed, or very nearly, since the masked scoundrels left Bettina on that ledge Dick felt sure, and he--was glad when the girl vanished below the edge, going down bravely, as he paid out the rope, inch by inch. "I am glad she used to pick hickory-nuts," muttered the young scout. "I don't suppose she ever thought, while she was hanging to a limb on a tree in Michigan, that the practise would help to save her from a fearful fate in the Uintah Mountains out West." "Dick !" called out Bettina. ''Well?" "It's easy," she cried. "I can go faster, if you will let the rope move freer." "No. You are going fast enough. You will get toa place where you will have to sw ing loose, perhaps. Don't get flustered if you cannot find anywh ere to rest your foot. I have you all right." Dick's prediction came true almost immediately, and he found him s elf sustaining the entire weight of the girl, who had slipped, and would have gone headlong into the abyss but for hi s steady hold. The difficulty was soon over, however, and when s he had regained her position on the rugged surface of the rock, she remained still for at least a minute to recover f her nerve. "All serene?" asked Dick, as if nothing unusual had happened. "Everything is all right," she replied. "I am in an easy place. But I am glad there is a rope around my waist." Dick said nothing, but he kept a careful grip on the rope, paying it out with more deliberation than before. Not a sound of any stranger had there been since Dick1 began to climb the three hundred feet until now, and the young scout began to believe that he would get Bet tina back to camp without so very much difficulty, after all." "When I do we will drive the wagons through that pass antcl make our way to the open, where there will be no chance of a surprise," decided Dick. "As for the Sarpint, Billy Doo, and the rest, they will rejoin us farther along. The main thing is to get away from these Destroying Angels, as they call themselves." Bettina accomplished the remainder ; f the journey to the end of the long rope without incident, and then, as Dick could not give her any more, he told her that that was the full length of the line. "Can you find a place to stand where you are?" he asked. "Yes There is a ledge almost as large as a door s tep under m y feet, and plent y of projections for my hands. I couldn't be in a better spot," was her reply. Now s;ame the tickli s h part of the work. Dick' f 6osened the rope from the crag which had held it, and coiling up a s much of it a s he could, he began to descend into the cha s m, taking up more of the slack as he went down. He had descended a hundred feet before he decided to look for a spot wher e he might hope to attach the 'line so that it would hold His s earch was in vain, and he made up his mind that he mu s t depend on his own strength to support Bettina if s he s hould lose her grip at any moment in the latter half of the journey. Soon h e stood be s ide her on what she had described as a door-step. It was some distance to the right of the place where he had climbed upward, and, in the darkness, he had, of course, not been able to see it. "This i s exceedingly conv e nient, Bettina," observed Diamond Di ck, with his customary coolness. "Now, are you ready for the rest of this trip?" "Quite. "Go ahead, then." The young girl had s hown herself so entirely equal to the occasion that Dick did not worry when she went cautiously down from the step, talking all the way to prove that s he wa s progressing smoothly. He kept the rope firml y in his hand, however, letting it go only when assured that Bettina had reached another secure place after leaving the one she had previously occupied. So wide >vas Dick' s foothold that he needed only one hand to keep himself from toppling over backward, leav .. ing the other free to manipulate the line. ..

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Bettina had gone about fifty feet when there came such a sharp tug that Dick was obliged to exert all his strength to save himself from a fall. The girl was swinging to the rope, having lost her hold of the rock entirely. I can't find a place for my feet, Dick," she called out to him, as she swung. "I'll let you down a "All right!" Dick suited the action to the word, allowing her to about ten feet before she told him she was all right again. "I'm glad of it," muttered Dick to himself. "It1is not an easy thing to hold a hundred-and-forty-pound girl at the end of a half-inch rope, with nothing but this ledge to stand on, and not much of a hold for your hands. J hope Bettina won't do that again." Indeed Dick had been nearer to death than he cared to acknowledge to himself, while, as for Bettina, s he never did know what a narrow escape she had had. Slowly went Bettina down into the deep shadows of the chasm, with Dick carefully paying out the rope, and hoping the adventure would end successfully. "I don't see how it can finish any other way now, however," he told himself. "She is near the bottom, for the rope is almost out. As for myself, I am satisfied that I can get down all right." Just then a cheery cry came from the girl. "Hello, Dick!" "Well?" "I am at the bottom." "Quite?" "Quite." "Capital he s houted. Take off th e rope. Look out! I am going to throw it down. "Let it come." Down came the rope, and a tew minute s later Dick : was by the side of the g irl in th e bottom o f the cha s m "How can I thank yon Dick? a s k e d the g irl a s she took his band and pre ss ed it gratefully. "By saying nothing about it But we are not out of our difficulty yet, remember. We mu s t make our way back to camp, and even then we do not know what the De s troyers will be doing. "You can keep them off, I am s ure," said 'Bettina, and l1er tone indicated that s he had every confidence in the da s hing young plainsman. "I must keep them off if the y come," responded Dick, who was too sincere to pretend that he doubted his own ability. He whistled to Major, who came ambling to him in the darkness, guided by the sound that he knew came from his master. "Now, Bettina, you rode into this place in front of Hezekiah Pine. I suppose you will not mind going back on the pommel of my saddle." "With a blanket on, I hope," she laughed. "The pom mel of a Mexican saddle needs some padding, to make it comfortable." "I have a thick blanket strapped to the back of the saddle," answered Dick. "I will transfer it to the front, and you will have as pleasant a seat as I can arrange under the drcumstances." It was very dark in this narrow gorge-which seemed much narrower than its ten feet after being up so highand the breeze rushing through it with a long moan gave an uncanny feeling to the girl, as she waited for Dick to place the blanket on his saddle. The young scout went about the task in a businesslike way characteristic of him. First he untied the two riatas and slung them both, separately, upon the saddle-horn. Then he removed the blanket from the cantle. He stopped and called to Bettina: "What did you say?" "Nothing." "You spoke, didn't you?" "No." "Didn't you cough, or make some sound ?" asked Dick, puzzled. "No. I didn't cough nor speak, Dick. Did you think you heard me?" Dick placed the banket on the of the saddle, and fastened it s ecurel y b e fore he re s ponded carelessly: "I thought y ou s poke, but it was the rushing of the :wind. I hear it again. Come along!" With a quick movement he s eized l her hand and whis pered in her ear, as he helped her to a s eat on the blanket: "Hold tight to the s addle-horn and tak f no notice of an y thing that may h a ppen. Bettina Gar vin wa s a bright young girl, who could tak e a hint quicker than mo s t p e r s ons, and s he knew s omething strange wa s go ing on, eve n before Dick threw him s elf int o th e sa ddl e and s tarted M ajor on the jump, with a whi s p e r e d word and ju s t a touch of the spur. The black thor o u g hbred had not tak e n more than two or three bound s when something loom e d up squarely in his path filling up th e whole s pace of ten feet between the m o untain wall s a s a fierc e voice growled: "Halt! It ain t no good Di'mon Dick! We air goin' ter keep yer right hyar CHAPTER IX. DICK HELPS HIS PARDS. "I don't think you are," was Diamond Dick's defiant rejoinder, as he put spurs to his horse and again whis pered to him in the tone Major never disobeyed.

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1'-l l l i r6 DJ.I\MOND DICK. JR. TilE DOYS' BEST WEEKLY ./'" Dick had seen that there were two men on horseback immediately in front of him, and still another farther along. Even before he had finished questioning Bettina as to the noise he had heard, he knew that it was an involuntary cough by one of the three men who had captured the girl and left her on that high ledge, \vhere they sup posed she would be absolutely beyond the possibility of rescue. That they had come back to look for her, expecting to find her dead among the rocks at the bottom, was clear enough. Now had come their surprise, when they discovered that she was not only unhurt, but in the care of the intrepid young United States mars hal who had struck terror into the hearts of the lawle s s element of the Hole in-the-Wall community more than once in the past. "Sit firm, Bettina!" said Dick quietly, as he tightened the grasp of his left ann about the girl. "Have you an extra pis tol, Dick ?'1 "Yes. Take mine. I will use the \i\Tincl1ester." He was pleased that she showed such a di s position to take part in the fight that was inevitable and as he broug!
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DIAMOND JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. I7, ing along over the open plain, with the foot-hills of the mountains on their left. "Which way are we going, Dick?" asked the girl, as the thoroughbred slackened his speed, in picking his way among the rough stones. They had completely outdistanced the three masked men, so that Dick was glad to ea s e his horse a little. "We will make the regular trail, to the left, and ride o n until we are safe from possible ambush," observed Dick quietly. "The rascals will watch the wagons, doubt less, so that it will be better to keep away from them for the present. It was as well that those ruffians were in the gorge, to prevent our riding out that way." Bettina was quite content to do whatever Diamond Dick propo s ed, having entire confidence in him. They chanced to in a hollow when Dick reined up for a moment, to adjust some portion of his horse's equip ment, so that he could not have seen very far about him, even if it had been daylight. If he had been on an eminence, instead, possibly he might have had some premonition of what was to follow, for there seemed to be a regular army of horsemen sur rounding him on the instant yelling and shooting as if they were trying how much noise theY, could make. It was a startling surprise. "Down, Bettina!"-.. whispered Dick, as he leaped to the ground, dragging the girl with him. Pulling at the bridle of hi s thoroughbred Dick caused the sagacious creature to drop to his knees, crouching as low as he could, so that, in the gloom, he might easily have been mistaken for a large boulder embedded in the earth. It was a trick Dick had taught the horse long before, and which h d proved useful more than once when he had been beset by enemies, with no one to give him help. The wisdom of the move was s hown a moment later, when two ma s ked m e n through the hollow, on either side of the hor se, with Dick and Bettina l y ing so clo s e against that they might have been part of the same huge stone. The men were evidt:ntly part of Hezekiah Pine's bat i d, for they wore the rough garb and slouch-hats affected by all of them, while the black ma s ks would have indicated their connection, had here been nothing else. The roar of six-shooters continued, mingled wilth yells and counter-yells from all sides. Suddenly a voice that recognized bellowed through the din. "Wow Whar air yer I'm ther ol' Sarpint o' Sis kiyou, wi' seventeen rattles an' a button! I'm primed fer war, an' I want ter chaw up ther hull commoonity! Hyar I am, wi' my teeth all full o' pizen! Come on, yer coyotes, an' drop dead afore me! Wough-h-h-h-h-h !" It was Handsome Harry, and it did not take Diamond Dick long to understand that his pard was surrounded by the ruffians who had been trying to steal Bettina, and were willing to destroy the whole camp in the effort. Before he had more than risen to his teet, pistol in hand, to jump to the a,ssistance of the Sarpint, Handsome Han;y, on his roarl, and Billy Doo, with his white horse, Tammany, came bounding into the hollow, chasing two of the masked men. But only for a moment were Handsome Harry and Billy Doo the pursuers. Four others of the scoundrels piled into the hollow, keeping away instinctively from the supposed boulder composed of Major, Dick, and Bettina, and charged directly at Handsome Harry and the boy. Vvith enemies in front-for the two men they had been chasing wheeled around when they heard their com rades following-as well as beh]nd, the Sarpint and Billy were in a tight place, fight as hard as they would. "Bully chee Sarp Plug some o' these here guys, or we's goin' ter git it in de neck!" squeaked Billy Doo. One of the four men behind them swung a rifle over the lad's head and was about to bring it down with a murderous smash, when there was a bang, and, as the fellow fell to the ground headlong, Diamond E>ick, pistol in hand, rose in the midst of the. melee! I I CHAPTER X. FOXES RUN TO EARTH. The surprise for the outlaws was so great, that Dick had time to get a good hold on the wounded ruffian's horse before the others could return to the attack. There wa s a general mix-up, for, in the darkness, no one knew exactly where the shot had come from that sent the ruffian into the "Here I am, Sarp s aid Dick, in a low tone, as he caught the brid'ie of the riderless horse. "Ride ahead as hard as you can, with the girl. I will stand off the others." "I don't savvy," answerd the Sarpint hurriedly. "vVait a moment!" Dick stooped to the girl and whispered to her to ride with Handsome Harry, explaining to her in a few words that she must ha!1g to the saddle as well as she could. "All right, Dick," was her response. He lifted her sideways upon the saddle'of the disabled fellow's horse, and the Sarpint, saw what he was to do. It was a well-managed feat, 1for tire girl and Hand some Harry had dashed out of the hollow almost before the five remaining rascals knew who had shot their comrade. f "Now, Billy!" cried Dick, as, astride of his own thor oughbred, he thrust two of the men G>Ut of the way and hastened after the Sarpint and his fair charge. )

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I! r8 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. "Whee! Dis is where we frames up a neat little game dat will make dem guys lose, unless I'm 'way off de guess," squeaked Billy Doo, as he raced behind some Harry. The whole proceeding had not taken more than a minute from the time Dick had heard the shouts and revolvers until he and Billy were riding hard toward the Uintah Mountains on the left, where ran th<\ trail which would bring them eventually to Nevada. The six outlaws recovered themselves quickly, but were obliged to stop with their wounded associate for a few moments, finding that he had received a bullet through his leg. He was howling with pain, for he did not know how badly he was injured, and he seemed to think it wise to make as much fuss as he could, so that his pards would stay with him. None of the six masked men seemed to belong to the party that had pursued Dick and Bettina through the gorge. "What shall we do with this fellow?" asked one of them, in a disgusted tone. "Vve shall have to stay with him until we find some way of moving him over to the house," answered an other. "The chief would never forgive us if we left him. You know it is against order s to leave a wounded com rade, for fear some one might find him and learn a secret." "All right! Get some water from that spring over there. I will tear up my handkerchief into strips. We'll fix his leg so that it will not get any worse. Then I suppose we'd better take him to the house. It is not more than a mile a half." The six men, all of whom spoke in fairly well-chosen terms, indicating that they were not of the laboring class, ministered to their wounded companion, who howled through the operation perseveringly. Meanwhile, Dick hastened after his two pards and 13ettina. They were out of sight in the darkness, but he could hear the clatter of hoofs, so that he knew they were still on the way, although a considerable distance ahead. He could have reduced the gap materially had he chosen, but it was the idea of Dick that it would be better to stay behind, in case of an attempt of the fellows he had left in the hollow riding after them. "We have taken their horse, too," thought Dick. "That will give the man excuse for branding us as horsethieves-although I do not think they feel that they need any excuse for falling up6n us if they can." Diamond Dick had no compunction about having shot down the man in the hollow. Indeed, he believed it would be better for the world if all of these ra scals and hired murderers were swept off the face of the earth. .. "I shall be glad when we get them out of this neighborhood, thought Dfck. "I wonder where the others are." Indeed Dick had been so occupied in getting the girl out of the hollow on the horse of the fellow he had shot down that 1\e had not thought to inquire as to the where abouts of the four prospectors who had been riding with them. "Simon and Luke Garvin, Judge Clark, and Jack Jolly," said Dick to himself, counting the names. "Where can they be?" The answer to this question would come later, but just then Dick had to trust to the future to tell him. He was not sure whether any of them had been con nected with the affray into which he had been projected so unexpectedly, but he did not think so, or 'he would have seen or heard something of them before the Sarp and Billy Doo galloped away with Bettina. It was not likely that Simon Garvin would have kept quiet when he knew that there was something strange going on in that hollow, especially as the voiceof his daughter had been raised more than once before she rode off with her two protectors. Dick kept on at a steady canter, so that Major did not feel the exertion, but he soon noticed that the rattle of hoofs in front had gathered in volume. He reined up his horse for a moment to listen. "There are more than three horses there," he mut tered. "The noise sounds to me as if there were six, at least." He listened a moment or two longer, and his well trained hearing enabled him to say positively that there were something like twenty-four hoofs beating the rocky trail. "Yes; there are six horses. That is certain," he said to himself. "I reckon I'll hurry a little." Dick had conjectured instantly that the three men he had left behind him in the ravine had caught his pards and the girl, having come some other way, and his con jecture was correct. There were so many paths through the mountain s, b y which it was possible to reach given points, and some of them were shorter than others. The route originally taken by Dick and Bettina had been fairly direct, but there was another, followed by Hezekiah Pine, Doctor Eleischman and Nathan Moser' the third of the trio-which had brought them out to the open plain before the marshal even reached the hollow where the battle took place . Hezekiah had heard the shots and yelling over by the hollow, and calmly waited 'to see what would be the re sult of the disturbance. Then he had heard three horses dash away, and caught \ ;

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS.' BEST WEEKLY. r 19 enough of what Dick and Billy Doo said to understand the situation. ''Let's what you can do, Major, whispered Dick to his horse, as he shook the bridle. The thoroughbred, understanding at once that extra exertion was demanded of him, shot forward with his usual smooth action, and Dick felt that he was rapidly lessening the between himself and the six per sons riding in front. He felt in his holster, to assure himself that his six shooter was there, and then allowed his hand to steal to the rifle in its sheath by the side of the saddle. "I may not have to use them but one never knows. I am quite sure that if there is another attempt to take Bet tina away there will be some excitement," he remarked to himself. On through the rough masses of rocks in the foot-hills of the Uintah Mountains plunged Dick on his thorough bred, and ever he could distinguish the irritating clatter of hoofs in front-seemingly not s o very far away, but never close enough for him to make out who was in the party, 1or what they were doing. The clear air of the mounntains allows sounds to travel a long way, and Dick who had passed all his life in the West, understood this perfectly. He was on the alert, however, for the presence of an enemy, in case one should appear at his very elbow. It was not an uncommon experience for one on the war-trail to find a foe close to him who was supposed to be a mile or two away, and Diamond Dick knew that it was not safe to take too much for when in an enemy's country.' Suddenly the rocks that had impeded Dick's view on the left came to an end, and he found himself gazing throtwh an opening upon a level stretch of plain, sloping downward to a river, on the brink of which was a large house whose size was outlined by several windows in which a strong light shone. As Dick looked, he s aw the shadows of several horse men pass one of the illuminated windows and the next moment <;aught the halfs tifled voice of Bettina Garvin, as she screamed in terror. "Wow l Whar air yer ?" roared Handsome Harry, somewhere, followed by Billy Doo with "Back up, Sarp l Don't shoot! Dey's got u s all snaked up, an' we can't do nuttin'." This was followed by a number of hoarse voices, utter ing oaths and threats, and then the banging of doors for several moments. Diamond Dick dashed down slope toward the house, but pulled up his thoroughbred only just in to avoid a fence of_ barbed wire stretched across the road way, and into which he would have rushed had not some observation or instinct warned him in time. CHAPTER XI. DICK USES T;HE TELEPliONE. "This is one of their tricks for keeping off undesired visitors, eh ?" muttered Dick. "I saw those posts, and I suspected something of this kind. It was considerate in them to paint their fences white, or I might have been caught." He dismounted, and discovered that the wire had been hastily looped over a post at sme end. "Sl10ws they came through in a hurry," he commented to himself. "Pity they were not a little longer fixing this fence. Then I might have caught them outside the house." He stood still, reflecting, with Major's soft nose close to his cheek. He saw that there were only two windows lighted up nu,w, although there had been five a few minutes before. Even as he watched, one of the two lights on the upper floor was evidently by some one closing a shutter, and almost imrnediately the last one went dark, too. "If I needed anything to tell me there is mischief over in that house," muttered Dick, "that shutting up of the windows would do it. If I am not much mistaken, that is the where old Doctor Fleischman lives when he is not in his town place. I never saw it before, but the description fits exactly." It was a puzzling situation for Diamond Dick, and he hardly knew how to proceed. If it had been a plain, straight fight that faced him he would not have hesitated; but the deadly cunning of these rascals was something to be dreaded. There was a clump of pine-trees near where he stood, and he led his horse over to them silently, watching the house meanwhile, and on the lookout for any spies who might be abroad. Having placed Major in the shadow, with a whispered admonition to stand still, Dick stepped from beneath the trees, and-caught bY. the throat a burly fellow, in a black mask, who had been crouching by the side of the fence post ever since Dick had arrived. "What's this you--." gurgled the masked man, as Dick, his two hands about his neck, forced him backward to the ground. "Keep quiet, or I'll kill you!" answered D!tK, in low, fierce tone;; The other did not doubt that Dick meant what he said; for there could be no mistaking his sincerity. "How many men are in that house?" demanded Dick. His prisoner writhed and twisted, but could not utter a sound, although apparently he was endeavoring to an swer the query. "Oh, I see!" said Dick, with a grim smile, as he loos ened his hands a little about the man's throat. "Now,

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20 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. how many are there in that house? I asked you that be fore." "I-I-don't know." "Don't try to dodge the truth. How many do you think?" "Waal, I sh'u'd they yvuz--" began the ras cal slowly, evidently aiming to gain time. Dick cut him short by compressing his hands, and snatched the mask from the face of his captive. It was too dark to m'ake out exactly what he looked like, but the stars enabled Dick to see that there was a heavy mustache, and that the left cheek bore a long scar. "H'm! Nathan Moser, eh ?" "No. Thet thar ain't my name," insisted the ruffian, as Dick. involuntarily loosened his hold. "Keep quiet," commanded Dick sternly. "If you speak again, except in reply to a I'll choke you in real earnest. You know enough about me to be convinced that I will keep my word." Nathan Moser did know and he listened in respectful 11ilence to what furthel," Diamond Dick had to say. "In the first place, Nathan, how many more are there around this post and barbed wire? You may speak." "None." "I don't believe you. If I find there are any more, I'll cut your throat before anything else is done," replied Dick. \ "Waal, yer kin, ef yer like. But it's ther trooth. I wuz ter come over hyar an' gi' a signal e thar wuz any one aroun'." "What signal ?" The fellow was silent until Dick squeezed him to loosen his tongue. Then he blurted out: "Telephone." "Where is it?" It required a number of choking pressures to make Nathan tell where the instrument was through which he had been able to communicate with the house from this spot, nearly a mile away. "I'll throttle you to death first, and then find the tele phone without you," threatened the young scout, at last. "Hold on!" I Nathan Moser was just able to get this request from between his blue lips, and Dick allowed him to con tinue: "Look at ther bottom o' this hyar post nigh me." Without letting go of his prisoner's neck, Dick stooped and fclund one of those combination telephone receivers and transmitters, all in one piece, which since have become so common everywhere. A hasty examination, almost entirely by the sense of touch, since it was too dark to see what it all looked like, Dick found that the instrument was attached to a wire fastened to the barbed-wire fence. I "I see," muttered Dick. "The fence goes all the way down to the house by a roundabout course, so that there is no need for poles or a special stringing of the tele phone connection. An ingenious affair.....-just what one might expect in th e home of a man with the scientific knowledge of old Doc Fleischman." "You see how she works?" asked Nathan. "Perfectly!" Dick had been holding his captive with one hand, but so tightly that there was no disposition on ti-e part of Nathan to attempt any treachery. Now, however, when Dick meant to find his way into the house by strategy, in the course of which he might need both his hands, he took tl1e precaution to search his ruffianly companion for weapons. A six-shooter and bowie-knife were his harvest, and he placed both weapons in his own belt, with the remark: "Don't misbehave yourself, Nathan, unless you want to be shot or stabbed with these implements you have been kind enough to bring with you. I have a very nervous finger on the trigger, as perhaps you know already." Placing the telephone-instrument in Nathan's hand, he drew his six-shooter and held the muzzle close to the ear of the trembling wretch, as he ordered him to call up the house. Nathan pressed a button on the instrument which rang a bell in Doctor Fleischman's study. Dick took the instrument and placed the receiver to his own ear, until he heard Doctor Fleischman's voice in quiring whether that was Nathan talking. "Yes," growled _r>iJk, imitating the coarse tones of Moser to perfection. "Everything all right?" asked the Doctor. "Yes," replied Dick. "What about Diamond Dick?" "He's off ther trail," was Dick's response, in Nathan's ton es and general style. "He's ridin' off ez fast ez he kin. I seed him a while ago. He ain't nowhar nigh hyar now." A chuckle came over the wire, and Dick knew that Doctor Fleischman had not suspected that it was at1y one but Nathan talking to him. / "Well, stay there for another half-hour, to make sure no one is around. Then you may come to the house and take a sleep. I suppose you are ready to turn in." Dick yawned in front of the transmitter, but at once cut off the sot.t!ld, as if trying to hide it from the chemist in the house. "Look here, Nathan," said Doctor Fleischman. "Yes," responded Dick. "You can come in now, if you like. We have the girl and those two partners of Diamond Dick's, and there is nothing more to fear. It will be easy to keep them out of sight, even if any one does come. I'll see that the wagons pass along to Nevada. That's all."

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-TIIE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 2! The exultant tones of Doctor Fleischman over the phone told Dick that the cunning rascal could hardly contain his triumph over the success of his maneuvers, and it made the young scout's blood seethe in his veins. "All right. I'll come in," he replied, in Nathan Moser's as he laid the instrument in its secre t corner. Dick's resolve was soon made. "Take off your hat, Nathan." The rascal obeyed wonderingly, and Dick, removing his own, put on the big slouch article Nathan Moser had been wearing, tucking his yellow hair inside. "Your hair and mine are about the same color, Moser," remarked Dick. "The only difference is that mine is long, and yours is not. I dare say I can pass for you, especially with a mask on." Dick put on the black mask, after observing that Nathan's general attire was like his own, consisting of buckskin "chaps" over his trousers an
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22 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST "Billy Doo !" cried Dick, going to the lad's assistance, and taking Nathan Moser away with a whirl that made the villain's head swim. "I didn't know you till you were nearly here." Billy Doo chuckled. "Dat's right, Dick. An' I'm glad my disgooze wuz good enough to fool youse, 'cause den it will be easy ter put it on de eye o' dem guys down de joint over dere." "Is Bettina there?" asked Dick hastily. "Sure she is." "Is the girl all nght ?" "Sure she's all right. She's got a room ter herse'f, all fixed up wit' silk cooshions, an' gold lamps, an candy in gold boxes, an' t'ings like dat. Den dey' s a bed all gold -'cept de covers, in co'se. Dey's s ilk an' velvet, I should say, f'um wot I c'u'd see, an' dey's soft carpet on de floor, an' a picter o' old Flei s chman, in a big gold frame, on de wall, an' mirrors an' s tattoos all about." "Must be handsome, B illy remark e d Dick unable to repress a smile at the vivid description. "How did you come to see it?'' "De door wuz open, an' I moseyed up dere when I found dat no one wuz keepin' tab s on me. Den I seed ol' Doc lead Bettina in dere, an' tell her she shouldn't want fer nuttin', an' ter keep still an' not try ter open de win der, 'cause it wuz charged w?t 'lectricity." "The scoundrel !" murmured Dick. "Den he did sqmet'in' ter some push-button, or switch, or s9met'in', an' dey wuz a big flash o' fire come out o' de winder-shutter, an' he laughed when he seen how skeered she wuz. But he told her it wouldn't hoit her none ef she didn't try ter open de winder. Den he come out an' shet de door, an' I hid behind some curtains in de upper hall." "Where was the Sarpint all this time?" asked Dick. "Up de hill, I s'pose. Dere's a cellar in dat wit' nuttin' but narrer slits fer winders, an' dat's where dey wanted ter land me." "How was it they 1 didn't put you down there?" "'Cause I slipped away f'um dem jest ez we got ter de door, an' dey wuzn't wise, fer dey wuz tellin' each udder dat I'd beat it fer de mountains, an' dey all be lieved it." "And where were you?" "In de house, a-laughin' at dem. Wot made dem t'ink all de more dat I wuz outside wuz de way ol' Tammany behaved. Dat ho'se hez more sense dan all de hold-ups in de kentry, Dick." "Indeed." "Sure! When Tam seen me sneaK inter de door wit'out lettin' any o' dem mugs know, he piped off de right t'ing fer him ter do wit'out waitin' a minute. He jest nachally bruk loose f'um de guy wot wuz holdin' him, kicked up his heels, an' went away f'um dere. Dat made 'em all t'ink I wuz callin' ter him or somet'in'. Gee! I'm gain' ter give ol' Tam de best feed o' oats an' corn de foist chancet I gits dat ever he stuck his teet' inter sence he wuz a ho'se." While Billy was relating his experiences, Dick had been considering what to do with Nathan Moser. He had determined that he must get into the house and rescue Bettina, but it was not clear to him how he could dispose of his prisoner in the meantime. On the other hand, he could not delay much longer in going to the house in the guise of Nathan, or there might be suspicions. "Dick!" whispered Billy Doo eagerly, as he pointed into the gloom toward the mountains. Well?" I kin see somet'in' mavin'. Looks like ho'ses an' men on deir backs. It ain't no more o' dem outlaws, is it?"' Diamond Dick allowed the direction of Billy's pointin g finger for a moment or two, and thenanswered coolly: "No, Billy. Those are not enemies. That fir s t one is Simon Garvin, and I have no doubt that the others are Luke, Judge Clark, and Jack Jolly." "Oat' s who dey must be," agreed Billy, after a short in s pection, as the party came nearer. "Shall I go an' meet 'et"V ?" "Yes. But tell them to come on cautiously. We don't know who may be on the watch." In less than ten minutes the whole party stood at the fence-post, as they exchanged news of their doings, every body keeping a sh arp eye on Nathan Moser the while. By Dick's orders, they tied him hand and foot. The wretched being had about a s much chance of es cape as a rat ,surrounded by half a dozen wide-awake Diamond Dick laid his plans in as few words as pos sible. "You will all stay here," he began, "with the exception of Billy, who will--" A faint ringing almost under their feet made Judge Clark and Jack J oily jump aside, as if each had trodden on a nail. Dick smiled, as he took the telephone-instrument-in his hand, and, in the gruff tones of Nathan, responded: "Hello!" There was a pause, as Dick listened to the message coming from the house, and then he answered aloud : "I'm comin' right along. I wuzn't quite shore thet ev'rythin' wuz right wi 'out I went around some ter see. Now I've come back, an' thar a _in't no one in sight. What's thet? No; I ain't seen nothin' o' thet kid nor his white cayuse, nuther. Good-by. I'm comin' right down thar." "Say, Dick," squeaked Billy Doo. "I wisht youse wouldn't call Tam a cayuse. He's a t'oroughbred, jest ez much ez your Major. It hoits my feel in's when any

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. one puts it over poor ol' Tam by callin' him a cayuse, or pinto, or any names like dat." Twenty minutes later, Dick, disguised as Nathan Moser, black mask and all, gave a peculiar rap at one of the side doors of Doctor Fleischman's big house, while Billy Doo lurked in the s hadows, a few yards away. CHAPTER XIII. IN THE TIGER'S LAIR. It was with some little anxiety that Dick waited 1for a response to hi s knocking, although he was not worried on his own personal account. The only fear he had in connection with the possibility of his identity being discovered was that it might pre vent the rescue of Bettina. He knew that he was the only person who had the key to her prison, by possessing the means of entering the house in disguise, and it was essential that he should reach the inside of this strange mansion-for it was a mansion-if the girl was to be delivered. He knocked three times before any one came, and when at last the door opened h e was glad to see that the person inside wore his black mask, because that gave him an excuse for keeping on his own. ''Number?" asked the man inside. "Number Ten," replied Dick, in a surly growl, having gained considerable information from the real Nathan. "All right!" With these two words the other departed into the dark ne ss of a long hall with a faint light at the other end, leaving Dick to shut the door. The young marshal would have called Billy to him, only that he feared he might be watched-as he learn ed after ward actually was the case. ''Bully chee! He's inside!" observed Billy Doo to himself, as the door closed. "I. wisht I wuz in wit' him. Hows'ever, he give me de tip ter be ready, an' I re,ckons I'll have ter obey orders. Hello! Who's clat over clere ?" He ran clown toward. the river, but some distance from th e side of the house, and fairly his arms around the neck of his white horse, Tammany, calmly drinking from the stream. Tammany was glad to meet his master again, as he showed, in his ungainly way, by poking hi s nose into the boy's face and kicking up hi s heels, while Billy responded with a slap on the horse's flank that he never would have taken from any one else. "Dis may be a useful t'ing if Dick gits de goil out in a hurry, an' dey ain't time ter run her up ter fence where de bunch i s waitin';'' said Billy to himself as he led Tammany a little farther from the house. "We kin put her on ol' Tam, an' dey ain't no animile ever c'u'd ketch her." Billy's belief in his hammer-headed horse was almost pathetic. Diamond Dick, when he found himself alone in the long, dark hall, made up his mind that boldness was the only thing for him and he marched to where he had noted the dim light. He found that there was a goodly-sized apartment, in which were six men dressed like himself, and all of whom he had seen outside during the night as members of Hezekiah Pine's band. One of them was nursing a disabled leg, carefully bandaged, and Dick recognized the gentleman who car ried his bullet. Hezekiah Pine did not seem to be in the room. There was not much conversation, for every one was stretched on blankets, either asleep or very near it. Diamond Dick judged it to be the hour before the dawn, which is genen!lly admitted to be the darkest of the night, and al s o the coldest. Dropping on an unoccupied pallet near the door, which he supposed was Nathan's, Dick lay still, thinking of his next move. He get up to Bettina's room before daylight, or the chances of taking her away from this place would be remote. Although there were only half a dozen men in the room where he was, and one of them disabled, Dick knew there were more than a dozen others about the premises. The reputation of thi s strange place was well known to most people in that region, and Dick had made him self familiar with the habits of its occupant, as a matter of business. He was an officer of the law, in his capacity of United States marshal, and, although hi s official authority would not avail him much in thi s lawle ss district, he took care to know all that was going on there, so far as he could. "My only chance is to get her outside, and let the wagon-train march into Nevada, guarding it closely against attack," he told himself, as he lay on his blankets, blinkin g throu g h the eye-holes of the black mask. For ten minutes he lay quiet. Then, believing the others were asleep, including the individual with the in jured leg, he go t to his feet and st retched his arms, keeping a close watch on his companions. None of them s tirred and Dick coolly stepped out to the dark hall; lis tening intently. No movement occurred in the room he had left, and, like a cat, he stepped lightly up the wide staircase, until he the upper hall, which was the same length as that on the ground floor, with two windows, each shrouded by heavy curtains. Doubtless it was behind one of these curtains that Billy Doo had hidden after peeping intp Bettina's golden boudoir. Dick made a careful examination of the hall before trying to approach Bettina. At one end was a large door, which he knew led to Doctor Fleischman's study, while next to it was another

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. that gave into his private sitting-room, where he slept on a sofa when he stayed in the house all night. The Doctor considered that his home was in the city, and it was there that he alway s gave his address, for his country-place was understood to be devoted to his experiments in chemistry and electricity, and not to be open to every one. As for the men who spent their time there, they were supposed to be his assistants in building the strange de vices, governed by electricity, which he gave to the world occasionally. It> was understood to be a fad o: his that no one shou ld be aware of the identity of these assistants. Moreover, his experiments often were dangerous, and it is a usual thing for scientific men to wear masks of various kinds__:asbestos and what not-to protect their faces, when engaged in researches of an uncertain nature. Many ;1 valuable life has been saved by the use of an asbestos mask in a laboratory, to say nothing of sight. So Doctor Nile Fleischman, being a talented scientist, as well as a very wealthy man, was permitted to do what he pleased without any particular comment, especially as, in such a lonely neighborho od, many strange things took place which might have provoked inquiry elsewhere. Dick went to the door of Doctor Fleischman and lis tened. There was a strange rhythmical thumping inside, as if an engine of some kind were working, while heavy foot steps could be made out, as if some one were walking up and down on a thinly carpeted floor. "Experimenting, I suppose. Though it is strange that he should occupy himself in that way when he has as prisoner a girl whom he intends to make his wife to morrow," muttered Dick. Then he considered further, and decided that it was not so very strange, after all, since men who are deeply inter ested in scientific studies seldom can keep away from their beloved experiment s for long, no matter what other schemes they may have on hand. "Perhaps he has something nearly accomplished-or thinks he has-in his laboratory, and, being unable to sleep for excitement, feels that the time might as well be spent in study as anything else." Reaching this conclu sion, Dick went to the door, which he knew, from Billy Doo's description, must be that of Bettina's chamber, and tried the knob gently. It did not surpr.ise him that he could not open the door; indeed, it would have aston i shed him if it had yielded. "She's fastened in, I suppo s e," he murmured. "There is not even a keyhole. Old Fleischman is too cunning for that. He knows that, given a keyhole, anybody, with the merest fragment of mechanical ability, can insert a piece of wire and turn the lock." For a few moments Dick cogitated, takin g the pre caution to slip behind one of the window-curtains, in case any one should happen to come along the hall and see him if he remained in the open. The hall was not quite dark, for there was a small transom over the door of the _laboratory, through the very dirty glass of which streamed a yellow light from the room. Of course this illumination was hardly worthy of the name, but it relieved what otherwise would have been black darkness. The chug-chug of the machine, whatever it was, in the / study, continued, and arways there was the trampling of feet on the carpeted floor. 'I suppose the best thing to do would be to cut a hole in the panel of her door," said Dick to himself. "Bettina is too sensible to scream or make any other noise, even if she notices it. If once I can manage to speak to her, most of the difficulty will be over." He had already stepped to the door, bowie-knife in hand when the creaking of a lock in the study made him dart back to the shelter of the curtlin. He was only just in time, for Doctor Feleischman came out and walked to the other end of the hall, re flectively, his hands behind him. He had on neither hat nor mask, and it was plain that he was thinking deeply over something that puzzled him. As he approached the other end of the hall, a sudden thought came to Dick, and like lightning he slipped into the laboratory, and through the arched doorway to the sitti ng-room hiding behind the portieres that almost filled the arch. Hardly had Dick found a place in which to secrete himself, in case the doctor saw fit t0 stroll into the si tting room, when that lean1ed gentleman returned to his lab-oratory, closing and locking the door. 1 "Well, I'm in for it now," muttered Dick, with a feel ing of satisfaction that he and the doctor would be only man to man, no matter what might happen. CHAPTER XIV. THE SECRET OF THE BOOKCASE. Diamond Dick had a set purpose in making his way to Doctor Fleischman's private apartmehts. He believed the room occupied by Bettina adjoined Doctor Fleischman's sitting-room. Peering behind the portiere into the doctor's study, Dick saw that there was a curious contrivance of polished wheels and levers, with a heavy mass of iron, bound tightly with red cords, close to it. The latter machine he knew to be a dynamo, especially when 1-je saw that there were sparks of blue flame emitted perpetually. In a large glass jar some liquid was boiling, changing its color as it did so, frpm clear white, to blue, to purple, to orange, and to dark-brown, out always working and bubbling. as if it longed to send the glass flying into a million atoms, so that it might scatter itself all over the room. The doctor, his hands behind him, stood contemplating the bubbling fluid steadily, as if there were nothing else on his mind. "Good thing that he can be so wrapped up in his studies," thought Dick. 'Til try what I can do toward reaching Bettina." On tiptoe he made his way to the wall of the sitting room, where a large bookcase, packed with books, occu pied nearly the whole space. not discourage him, for he had had experience with bookcases too often in his <).reer to take them always for what they seemed to be, and he knew that one may often get to the heart of a mystery by investigating some of the books in a certain way. The only light in the sitting-room came from the Jab-I 1

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 25 (')ratory, filtering between the half-closed portieres, but it was enough for his purpose, since it was shed full upon the books in the case. Dick felt carefully over the backs of the volumes, and a smile flitted over his countenance as his hand rested upon one certain large book on the middle shelf. "A dummy," he muttered. "Just what I suspected." He had discovered that one book, at least, was noth ing but an empty space, save for the highly ornamented back, heavy with gilding and suggesting much interesting reading within. Having found out this much, it did not take Diamond Dick very long to get his fingers on a small nail upon the shelf where the book would have rested, had it been a book, instead Qf a pretense. There were no books on the whole shelf, except or four at either end, the intervening space being en closed as if it were a box with the gilded backs of vol umes in front, and a plain wooden partition behind. Pressing the nail, Dick felt the whole bookcase tremble, and a: tug caused it to swing silently outward, disclosing a door in the wall. "It would be awkwarcf if the doctor were to come in here just now," thought Dick. "More. awkward for him than far me, however, fot I should surely shoot him dead, no matter what the consequences might be. He tried the door, but it was tightly shut and fastened. There was no keyhole vis ible. He shook the door slightly, as he grasped the handle, and noticed that it was not so heavy as the outer door of what he believed to be the same aoartment. Dick glanced toward the study, but Doctor Fleischman was in the same attitude, his hands behind him, gazing at the dynamo and bubbling liquid, as if he were en tranced. He heard nothing but the chugging dynamo, and saw nothing but the boiling liquid. "Desperate situations demand desperate remedies muttered Dick. "Here goes." With the sharp point of his heavy bowie-knife, he at tacked the panel of the door separating him from the girl's room, and soon had a hole large enough for him to speak through. Placing his lips to the orifice, he said, in a whisper: "Bettina!" "Dick !" she responded, her voice trembling with joy. "Hush! Don't speak my name. Can you open this door?" "Yes. But-->where is that awful doctor?" "Never mind. I'll attend to him. Open the door," said Dick. There was the low grating of a bolt at the bottom of the door, and another at the top. Tl;len the door opened. Dick stepped into the gilded room described so graphic ally by Billy Doo, pullipg the bookcase into place as he did so. "I knew you would come," were the first low words of the girl, as the opening was hidden by the swinging shelves. .__ .._ "I intended to come, if I could," smiled Dick. "Btit it was anything but clear to me how that was to be ac complished. Billy Doo told me where you were, but if Doctor Fleischman had not kindlv made a road for me by walking out to the hallway to think, because lhe room was not big enough for all of his cogitations, I am thinking I should still be trying to get that other door of yours open." He pointed to the portal leading to the hallway, and Bettina shook her head doubtfully. "It is very thick and heavy, and it would have taken a long while to get it open," she said. "But how are we to get out? I am afraid of that man. He declares he will marry me to-morrow, and that there will be no portunity for me to break away after that." Dick went to one of the threw open the casement, and attacked the iron-lined wooden shutter. As he half-expected; he received an electric shock that hurled him backward to the middle of the apartment. "The doctor would hardly neglect such a simple pre caution as that," he said to himself. "He is too familiar with the use of electric currents not to guard the shutters with one." If Dick had had time, he would undoubtedly have dis covered how the current had been applioo to the iron of the shutter, and have found a means of rendering it harmless. But it would be daylight in about half an hour, and it was incumbent op him to do something quickly, if he meant to get Bettina out of the toils of the' strange indi vidual bending over his dynamo and boiling fluid in the adjoining Dick had his revolver, as well as his bowie-knife, but he could not use a firearm while so many of the willing creature s of Doctor Fleischman were in the house, ready to fly to his aid. Looking about the handsome room, which was as luxurious as Billy Doo had described, t11e scout sought some weapon that could be used in case of coming to close quarters with the doctor. He saw, in the brass fender of the open fireplace, a heavy poker of the same metal, Which looked business like. "Could you swing this implement, if occasion required, Bettina?" he asked, as he placed the poker in her hand. She twirled it about almost as skilfully as a fencingmaster would flourish a rapier. "I can do anything with this, I think, Dick," she an swered. "I did so many things on the farm, including thrashing out grain with an old-fashioned flail, that I am sure I could give a good account of myself with a trifle like this poker." "If you have used a flail without knocking yourself down with it, I am sure you could," laughed Dick. "The old-time article for thrashing, before the introduction of thrashing-machines, was one of the most awkward con trivances that man ever made, I do believe." For the benefit of those wh0 may never have seen a flail, it is composed of two heavy clubs, or pieces of scant1ing, each about three feet in length, which are joined by a piece of leather. Taking one of these sticks in your hand, you swing the loose one, bringing it down with a thump upon the wheat or oats, and knock out the grain. The novice is pretty sure to crack himself on the head with the loose end of the flail many times before he learns the round-arm swing which is acquired by long practise. Dick had used a flail occasionally, and was familiar with it, so that he judged rightly that if the girl could give a good account of herself with one, she would not be overweighted by a brass poker. "What did Doctor .Fleischman tell you he put

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26 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. you in this room?" asked Dick, as he stood in the center and admired the rich furnishings and decorations. "He said I must stay here until to-morrow afternoon, and then he would come in and talk to me about the wedding, meaning that it would take piace about that time. My bedroom is in that little room over there." She lifted a pair of portieres and showed him the bed chamber, which was as luxurious as the sitting-room. "Well, we shall have to interfere with his kind inten tions, I am afraid, Bettina," observed Dick, as he opened the door behind the bookcase in the doctor's apartments. "What shall I do now, Dick?" she whispered. "Turn out all the lights in the room," was 'his answer. She turned a and all the electric lamps went out, leaving only the red glow of the dying fire in the grate to relieve the gloom. Cautiously Dick pressed the brass nail in the book case, which he could get at easily from where he stood, and the clumsy affair moved slowly outward. Doctor Feischman still gazed steadfastly at his boiling chemicals, oblivious of everything else. CHAPTER XV. DICK FOOLS THEM ALL. Dick could .not help wondeting at the absorption of the chemist in his studies when he knew that he was threatened by avenger s who would s pare no effort to rescue the girl he had made prisoner. "I can only suppose that he considers himself so well guarded in this house that he can afford to leave the details to others," thought Dick "Besides, a studentand that he certainly is, with all his wickedness-geQ erally regards his researches in the realms of science or philosophy as more important than anything else." "What are we going to do, Dick?" whispered the girl. "Get out of this." The confidence expressed in Dick's terse reply ex tended itself to her, and she smiled as her companion, taking her hand, drew her into the room and pushed the bookcase back into place. They were in for it now, and Bettina grasped her poker with a determined hand, as they behind one of the portieres between the two apartments. Dick wanted a few moments to consider how to pro ceed. That he could hope to get the girl out of the laboratory without attracting the attention of the doctor seemed hopeless, almost, but Dick meant to do that if there was any way at all in which it might be accomplished. As he stood behind the curtain, peeping at the uncon scious rascal who was as in a day-dream over his ap paratus, Dick s tretchfid his arms to relieve a slight cramp, when his hand came in contact with a small gong, in a corner, over his head. "Here's a bell," he whispered. "That is the bell connecting with my rooms," said the girl. "I was instructed to press a button if I needed anything." "Did you ever use it?" "Once, when I demanded that he should let me out, thinking that if J had an opportnnity to talk to him even there might be some loophole of escape." "Did the bell make much ?" "Yes. It is very loud." Dick considered for a moment, and then, with his pen knife, n1anipulated the wires near to the gong so that the electric circuit was closed. Instantly the bell began to clang as if it were bewitched, s o loudly that the girl involuntarily clapped one hand over her ear, and wouJd have put up the otner hand also, only that it held the poker. Dick held her clns e inside the curtain. At the first sound of the bell Doctor Fleischman seemed to awake from his reverie, and then, in the next instant, he had swept through the archway and was fumbling at the bookcase. Dick put his hand to the wires and stopped the ring \ ing, arguing that the girl would not be likely to keep her hand on the push-button indefinitely, and that there was no need for a continunce of the alarm now that it had called the doctor to the other room. In coming through the bookcase, Dick had pushed the brass nail a little out of place with the point of his bowie, so that it should not be easy for any one to open the hidden portal. He wished he had not done so now, for it was keeping the doctor in the room when he might have passed tht:ough to Bettina's apartments. "Come on, Bettina!" he whispered, as he slipped cau tiou s ly behind the curtains to the laboratory, jus t as Doctor Fleischman managed to swing the bookcase aside and dart through the door tO the gi lded boudoir. Reaching the outer door of the laboratory, Dick tried to open it after s hooting back two of the bolts. But that was not enough. There was still the lock, and the key was not there "S tand still, Bettina!" he told her, in a low tone. "Very well!" "But keep your poker ready." "It is ready." bick smiled approvingly, for Bettina was as cool as if iu the wagon, taking supper with her father and Aunt Tilly. Where was the key? Dick could not answer the ques tion, but he much feared it was somew here about the person of Doctor Fleischman; but, di s covering it on the table he soon had it in his possession. He had reached the door, and was in the very act of ins erting the key, when a cry from Bettina made him turn. Doctor Fleischman was standing near the table, glaring at him with the ferocity of an irritated cobra "Hello, doctor!" cried Dick cheerfully, as he continued to force the key into the lock. The scow l on the scoundrel's face changed to a leer of mali g nant triumph, as he replied, in a mild tone which was more menacing than if he had thundered the word s : "Good morning!" "Good m01:ning to you, doctor. We are going out for a little fresh air, if you don t mind." "Why should I mind?" asked the doctor, fumbling at his table, while the fluid in the glass vessel bubbled up more fiercely than ever, as the dynamo continued it s chugging. "Go out for some fresh air, by all means You are taking the lady with you, I see." "Yes. Sl1e finds it a little clo se in the house. We are going to take a walk first, and then ride to Nevada."

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Bettina, Ealancing her brass poker, could not understand this badinage, but she feared the doctor had some sinister intention which would mean their undoing, if she read his expression aright. ''You do not anticipate any difficulty in opening that door, do you, Diamond Dick?" asked Doctor Fleischman, still in those mild tones which threatened so much. "No. Although it is a little awkward," responded Dick. "Ah !" "The lock needs oil, I th'ink," was Dick's next remarl<. As he spoke, he managed to get the key fairly into place, and, with a quick turn, he had shot back the bolt and thrown the door open. Just as he did so, there -was a flash of blue fire from the lock, and Bettina, wlwse hand had been on the door, fe!l, with a slight cry, into the l arms of Dick, uncon scious. Doctor Fleischman gave utterance to a laugh, as he kept his finger in a certain position on the table. Dick understood immediately that there was an elec tric connection with the door, and that the doctor had turned on the current in the hope of catching the young marshal. "Bettina!" whispered Dick. The girl gave signs of coming to herself, but, picking her up in his arms, Dick darted down the dim corridor toward the staircase "Stop them!" roared Doctor Fleischman, as he sped along the hallway after them. "Confound that fellow! He will alarm the whole house," muttered Dick. "I shall have to make him hold his tongue." Just as the doctor caught Dick, near the top of the stairs, the scout dropped his fair burden upon the floor, and, drawing back his left fist for a good stroke, let fly at the scoundrelly scientist, catching him in the chest and sending him spinning half the length of the corridor. "Now, Bettina! Hurry!" whispered Dick, seeing that she had practically recovered. He took her by the hand. and they ran down the stairs -plump into the arms of Hezekiah Pine! "Hello! What's this?" demanded Hezekiah, who, in the dim light, supposed Dick was one of the band of rascals, especially as he still wore the black mask. "Go up-stairs and see ther doc," growled Dick. imitating Nathan Moser's harsh tones. "He's hurt hisself." "How?" "I dunno. I seen him fall back'ard jest ez I came along ''"i' this hyar girl. He gi' me orders ter git her outside an' rush her over ter town." "Why?" asked Hezekiah suspiciously. "How sh'u'd I know? Ther boss don't tek me inter his confidence. I kin on'y obey orders," replied Dick, more gruffly than before. "Go up an' see him, an' let me do whut he says, afore he gits mad an' bats me over ther head wi' his gun." Diamond Dick's seeming impatience and fear of the vengeance of Doctor Fleischman if he did not at once do what he had been told deceived Hezekiah, and he began to ascend the stairs. "Now for the door, Bettina!'' There had been several of the masked men listening to the between him and Hezekiah, but, as everything seemed straight, tl cy did not attempt to interfere with Dick, who reached the outer door and swung it wide open, practically all in one movement. As he did so, Doctor Fleischman regained his voice, after the thump from Dick 's fist, and roared frantically: "Stop him! Don't let ther_n get away!" But Dick was already outside, with the girl, and he slammed the door behind them, as he raised his voice in a long howl, like the cry of a hungry coyote. It was his signal to Billy Doo that he wanted aid. CHAPTER XVI. HOW THE VENGEANCE WAS WORKED. "This way, Bettina!" cried Dick, as he ran the girl toward the river, whence had come an answering signal like his own. Darting through the gloom, he was stopped by the sudden appearance of several men whose general cut did not sugge t the Destroying Angels. With his right hand on the pistol in its holster, Dick waited for an attack. Bettina still held her brass poker, and it was with a thrill of satisfaction that the scout saw how thoroughly he could depend on the girl to assist if there should be a fight. But it was not more than a few seconds before Dick made out the identity of the strange rs and, with a shout of ''Hello, Simon! Luke! aello, is that you, Judge C:lark ?" he rushed forward. \ The girl was in her father's arms before Dick would have thought it possible for her to get there, while the others indulged in an Indian war-dance, expressive of joy. "Look out, Dick! Dey's onter youse !" It was Billy Doo shouting almost into Dick's ear, as lie took his station by the side of his pard, and pointed to where a dozen masked men were coming toward them from the house. "Now, Billy Bluff will gb here! Understand?" whispered Dick hurriedly. "You fire your pistol in the direction of the road leading up to the fence-post where the telephone is. I will join the rascals, and see if I can my hands on that doctor. I want to make him a prisoner and carry him along to the wilderness be tween here and the mines in Nevada, just for my own satisfaction." "Dat's right, Dick!" responded Billy. "Youse is all ter de glowin' hot coals!" As he spoke, the lad fired three shots up the hill, as if in pursuit of the men who had taken Bettina from Dick. It was a ruse that deceived all the masked men ex cept one. As his comrades dashed up the slope in the directioo of the fence-posts and barbed wire where the telephone had been used to such good effect by Dick earlier in the night, the one who did not follow the rest turned on Dick and tore the mask from his face. "Diamond Dick, eh ?" he snarled. Dick, in turn, snatched the mask from his assailant's countenance, at the same time forcing him backward by a powerful grasp on the s inewy throat. "Hezekiah Pine!" shouted Dick. "I knew it! Get back into that house, and stay there, or, as sure as I am here: I

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE J:30YS' BEST WEEKLY. I'll kill you before you can count five! We have Bettina, and we are going to keep her. Moreover, we have your place surrounded by men who shoot straight. That emigrant-train was not unprotected, if you thought it was .. It was a bluff, as Dick had said to Billy Doo, but, judging by the rapidity with whi ch Hezekiah made for the house, it would be effective. Dick was covering the rascal with his Colt, and Heze kiah knew it, or he might have tried to get at his own weapon. Meanwhile, Doctor Fleischman was shouting contra dictory orders within the house, so that Hezekiah would not have known what to do if Dick bad not settled his uncertainty by compelling him to go inside. Dick's idea was to get Hezekiah, Doctor Fleischman, and the fellow whose disabled leg, from the scout's own shot, kept him out of the fray, while Simon and the others carried Bettina too far away for there to be any danger of immediate recapture. The day was breaking, and Dick that in the day light the ruffians would not dare attack the wagons, now that every man with them was prepared, with Winchesters and six-shooters, and practically unlimited ammunition, to repell any foe. Billy Doo was close by, waiting till Dick should give him instructions, and inCidentally wondering what had become of Handsome Harry. "Billy!" called Dick. "Hello! Wot ?" responded Billy. But before Dick could say another word there was a roar and a thunderous crash, which threw both Dick and Billy flat upon their faces. The house had blown up Something had exploded within, and what had been a handsome country residence just before was in a few moments converted into a shapeless mass of brick and blazing timbers, with a fierce fire devouring all that was left to tell what it qnce had been. Dick ran to the river, whence he could see that a num ber of smaller explosions were taking place, as the fire reached various chemicals used by Doctor Fleischman in his studies. "W ot is it, Dick ?" Billy Doo, unhurt, but decidedly shaken as to his nerves by the unlocked-for catastrophe, was close to him. "Doctor Fleischman has died in his laboratory, and his villainies are all over, Billy," answered Dick solemnly. "Wow! Whar's my pard? Bring him out, or, by ther great horn spoon, I'll t'ar up ther hull Wow! I'm ther howlin' grizzly o' Mountains, an' I'm achin' ter chaw up ther black-faced mavericks ez hev blowed up my pard! W ough-h-h-h-h !" "Aw! Back up, Sarp !" squeaked Billy Doo. "vVhar air youse ?" "Wow! Is thet you, Billy?" Handsome Harry, on his roan horse, came galloping into the circle of light cast by the blazing ruins, and, jumping to the ground, threw his arms around Dick and fairly hugged him. "Where did you come from, Sarpint ?" "Up ther hill, whar I wuz waitin' fer you. Then I heerd this explosion, an' I wuz half-afeard thet you mought be in it, though I never reely believed ez yer would allow yerse'f ter be caught thet way. Whar's ther gal?" "Safe with her father," replied Dick. "An' thet thar Doctor Fleischman an' Hezekiah Pine? Whar air they, do yer s 'pose, Dick?" The young plainsman pointed to the ruins, where the flames rose higher and higher toward the heavens. * * * Nothing was ever recovered of the bodies of Doctor Fleischman, Hezekiah Pine, or the man with the disabled leg. It was supposed lhat they were all killed in the first explosion and then burned to ashes. The members of the band who had run up the bill, seeking to bring back Bettina, took fright when the house blew up, and, removing their masks, made their way, by ones, twos, and threes, to their retreat in the mountains. As for Nathan Moser, Dick-decided he was insignificant enough to be allowed to go. . In due time the wagon-tram formed agam, and the vehicles, with their occupants, reached the mining-dis trict for which they had been bound when they left far l away Michigan. Diamond Dick and his two pards, Billy Doo and Handsome Harry, went twenty miles or so with the wagontrain, until there was no danger of molestation from any other rascals. Indeed, with the destruction of Doctor Fleischman and Hezekiah Pine, the peril had passed, for was not enough money in all the wagons to tempt cially when they knew they would have Dtamond Dtck leading the force against them. It was among the mountains of Nevada, after seeing a long Jine of wagons winding their way westward, that Dick said good-by to his two pards, ere they returned to Lame Dog, while he bent his horse's steps the other way. 1 ''Waal, Dick, ef yer goin' up toward Vancouver, I hope yer won't fergit ter come back soon," said Handsome Harry, shaking his hand. "Dat's wot I say," added Billy Doo, shaking Dick's hand in his turn. "We air goin' ter miss yer, Dick, especially if youse is goin' up dere inter Canady." "That's where I expect to go," answered Dick. "How ever, it will not be for long. One thing is certain, and that is that I sha 'n't soon forget the excitement we three have just passed through together, in saving that girl from a horrible fate, by accomplishing The Defeat of the Destroying Angels. THE END. Diamond Dick went up to Vancouver, as he had told his old friends he intended. He met with some startling adventures on the way, too. What they were you will learn when you read No. 599, "Diamond Dick's Master Stroke; or, The Unmasking of Seattle Sim." This splen did story will be published next week. It deals with new scenes and characters, and the dashing young Western hero finds a call upon all his nerve and strength to carry him through in his determination to punish a rascal. There was a plot among some of the ruffians who hang about in the dark places of cities everywhere, East as well as North, to take possession unlawfully of a large sum of money which was as carefully guarded as seemed possible. The men who resolved to steal it put into operation a daring scheme, and it is doubtful any one but Diamond Dick could have frustrated their designs. How he did it you will learn when you read this thrilling tale. It is well named, indeed, "Diamond Dick's Master-stroke."

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DIA.M'OND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. NEW YORK, March 28, 1908. TO DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY MAIL (Posta,ye Free.) Single Copies or Back Numbers, 5<:. Each. 3 months ....................... 65c. I One year ....................... $2.50 4 months ....................... 85e. 2 copies one year .............. 4.00 6 months ...................... $1.25 1 copy two years .............. 4.00 How to Send Money-By post-office or express money order, registered letter, bank check or draft, at our risk. At your own risk it sent by currency, coin, or postage stamps in ordinary letter. Receipts-Receipt of your remittance is aclrncwlcdged by proper change of number on your label. It not correct you have not been properly credited, and should let us know at once. ORMOND G. SMITH, t GaoRGB C. 5Mirn, f Proprulors. &: SMITH, Publishers, 19 Seventh Avenue, New York City, STRANGE HAPPENINGS. I DIVERS' THRILLING EXPERIENCES. Not for the rich spoils of a wreck did Diver Leverett, whose pluck has entitled him to a place among the world's heroes, risk his life in the English Channel recently. A comrade's life was in danger. While working in twenty-five fathoms of water the latter's air-pipe and breast-line became entangled. To stay at such a depth under water for more than half an hour was to court death. And yet Leverett, in his anxiety to release his comrade, went down and remained be low for two hours, ultimately bringing his mate to the surface, but not until he himself was completely exhausted. Unfortunately the sequel to this splendid feat of heroism was a somewhat sad one; for Trapnell, the rescued diver, who had been five and a half hours in the water, succumbed to the shock a day or two later. No better example,. however, of the pluck and comradeship which exist between men en gaged in this dangerous calling could be found than that furnished by Leverett's bravery. To Captain Mattson, of the Swedish barque Flora, all credit is due for his ingenuity and courage. While in the Bay of Biscay the vessel sprang a leak, necessitating repairs from the outside. This the skipper successfully undertook, clothed in an improvised diving-suit, consisting of a large bag, sixteen feet long and two feet in diameter, made of sail cloth. This, which was kept in shape by metal rings and provided with arm-holes, sleeves, and a small window, was with its occupant lowered over the vessel's side. The gallant captain soon located the damage, and, despite the proximity of a shark and the fact that he narrowly escaped drowning by the inrush of water through a small hole, accomplished his hazardous task in workmanlike fashion. I The dramatic episode in Victor Hugo's romance, "The Toilers of the Sea," was reenacted in real life when a diver named Palmer, in the employ of the Cape Town Harbor I Board, descended to a depth of thirty-five feet to examine into the damage done by the DttnJ!cgan Castle when she col lided with the South Arm Pier. The water was clear, and the diver thought to proceed with his work under favorable conditions, when, suddenly, from behind a dislodged block of concrete shot a hideous tentacle that caught him by the leg. The next moment his arm was gripped, and an octopus, emerging from its lurking-place, flung its other feelers around its luckless victim, who, having no knife,twas at the mercy of his pitil_ess assailant. Pal er ke_pt his pres ence of mmd; he pulled the stgnal-cord, nd hts comrades above commenced to haul him up. Slowly he rose to the surface, whence he emerged with the sea-monster still enfolding him in its gruesome Relief, in the form o knife and axe, was promptly at hand, and the creature was cut and chopped from its prey. When subsequently measured it W
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30 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. r only just in time, for he was at deat s door when hauled up. until the government would pay a large ransom for their Three days, however, in Haslar Hospital comp\etely restored release; thus bringing the government into an acknowlhim, and the two submarine duellists subsequently worked edgment of the power of those villains who secretly in together in the greatest harmony. fest the dark, cavernous recesses of long mountain THE REWARD OF PATIENCE. A tollgate-keeper at Wytham, near Oxford, England, has some strange pets, which he exhibits. He places a piece of bread cin the toe of his boot and whistles in a peculiar way. Instantly a dozen or more wild rats emerge from the bushes, eat the bread, and at another whistle go back to their holes. The man places a piece qf bread on his shoulder, whistles again, and this time numerous sparrows and finches appear. The' gatekeeper says that the obedience of his feathered and furry pets is solely due to patience and kindness. A Ni:ght' s Adventure in Japan. BY THEO. D. C. MILLER. The first gray streaks of dawn called us from the rude couch on which we had passed an almost wretched night's repose, and after a hasty toilet, one far better than most of the Japanese hotels can afford, we assem bled in the dining-room to partake of the scanty repast so uninvitingly spread out before us. There were but five in our little company, and we had traveled thousands of miles-even crossed the deep blue sea;'to witness the land that had but recently permitted foreigners to visit those classic shores. Our repast being finished, we ordered the groom to bring our horses to the door and in a few moments our fiery steeds were gayly cantering along the highway leading to Kangawha. It was a beautiful morning; the sun was smiling with all its Oriental loveliness; the flowers were scattering their sweetest perfume to the passing breezes; the fairy, sparkling brooks were leaping and foaming in their onward course to the sea; the state ly forest trees were casting their inviting shadows around; the playful lambs were sporting with their dams, and the tuneful feathered warblers were caroling their mo s t bewitching melodies. It was, indeed, one of the most delightful s cenes we had ever witnessed, and many and loud were the exclamations of prai se we bestowed upon the inspiring landscape. As we rode leisurely along, our guide, who was one of the most intelligent native s with whom we chanced to meet, related many incidents of the country, and we took great delight in listening to various tales. He would tell of horrible outrages perpetrated upon unsu spect in g travelers by the mountain robbers who, he declared were of vast number s, and everywhere present; the thieves had spies infesting all localities, obtaining various kinds of information for their unprincipled and daring chieftain, who was another Claude Duval in his various escapes from the stern arm of justice. He was greatly feared by the honest Japanese; having, at various times, captured high officials, and either put them to death by the most cruel torture, or kept them in durance vile chain that, like a huge anaconda, stars the beautiful and fertile valleys of long-imprisoned Japan, and lend s a ten-fold grandeur to its majestic loveliness. The many country roughs held clandestine meetings with this noted robber, anti it was broadly hinted that many large sums of gold they received Jor the secret information they con veyed to the blood-thirsty s coundrels who feared no law, neither hesitated to commit any crime however cruel and barbarous it might be. We jogged along in a pleasant mood laughing at va rious incidents; but, at times, the horrid tales related by our guide would cause our imaginations some little uneasiness; however, we were inclined to treat nis not overplea sant yarns as somewhat exaggerated. Still his honest-looking countenance and the rather solemn style in which he related the terrible adventures of l:he moun tain brigands, seemed to stamp our guide as a truthful man. The day passed pleasantly away, and the scenery was so delightful that none of our pleasure-party thought of returning to Kangawha-we having left the main road to visit some of the celebrated mountain passes, sit uated beside the sparkling Laswanna, and now being far beyond our place of destination, as the guide in formed us-until the shades of night began to settle over the earth, shutting out the Oriental light of day, and closing the busy din of labor. Then we longed for the quiet inn's retreat, so, turning our steeds in the oppo site direction, we were soon sauntering merrily along. By the advice of our guide, we took the cross-road leading through the gloomy pa ss of the lofty Kagosima, it being the nearest way to reach the city of our de st ina tion. Without a dissenting voice, we turned into the dark lane, and silel'ltly pursued our way. The moon shed her pale light upon the lonesome scenery, and the twin kling stars came forth in sm iling grandeur, their glan cing loveliness almost dispelling the gloomy thoughts that were harass ing our souls. Oh! the deep, heartfelt loneliness of that moment pen cannot portray. At length we reached the dim shadows of the haughty Kagosima, and my heart almost stopped beating as I beheld its solemn grandeur, its awful gloom, so harmoni ously yet painfully, intermingled. It seeme d as though we were entering the valley of death; yet with all its uninviting gloom there seemed to be an equal portion of alluring light-a somet hing leading into thi s mysterious cavern. "What a horrid place!" I ejaculated in one breath: "yet how resplendant !" my next exclamation would be. I never before had experienced the feeling that then possessed me; the dark, gloomy thoughts; the bright, alluring prospects. With a s hudder one moment, and an exclamation of delight the-' next, we entered the lon e bridle-path leading through the dismal vale, and no more pale Luna's refreshing light, or the bright, gust ing ray s of tl1e beautiful stars-those orbs that had su sweet ly lightened our night's journey over hill and through vale. We had penetrated to the center of this solemn pass, and were fording a rippling stream that flowed in un equaled grandeur along the pebbled dell, when a strange sound fell upon our ears, causing us aU to check our

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 3I steeds, and listen with amazement. Our guide, who, for us, and our yearning for food was almost unbearable. the past, had been as solemn as a newly hooded monk, But no food was given us, and thus, in the agony of knew the meaning of that mysterious sound, and his hunger, the hours passed s lowly away. blanched cheeks and sunken eyeballs told us that fear Again the chief visited us, and again we were com had taken possession of his soul. His face was as white pelled to listen to his savage threats-threats that would as the pure, virgin snow, and the beating of his heart almost still the beatings of our very hearts. Once more could be distinctly heard by his no less fearing followers. he went away, and left us to our own bitter, agonizing In a voice choked with fear and emotion he cried: reflections. "The bandit! the bandit! Oh, the blood-thirsty robOh, how painfully the moments passed away! how hers of the Kagosima are upon u and no living man anxiously we longed for our guide's return with the ever escapes from their cruel grasp, unless he gives them promised ransom, or the expected aid. But hours passed his whole fortune as a ransom!" 1 and he came not. Must we pass another lonely night "Peace!" shouted one of our number, who had almost within this dreary prison? was the thought of each heart, laughingly witnessed the native's fear and trembling; as we shuddered with fear. Oh, heartrending thought! "be still, and let us reason the matter. In short, is there most painful in the extreme. no means of escape?" We could hear the din and confusion made by the "None that I know of," replied the guide. "These robcarousing robbers as they were preparing for their bloody hers have fiery steeds, and should we turn our backs to work; and we groaned in anguish, little believing that them and attempt to escape, they would, in the end, overwe should ever enter the home of civilization, or behold take us, and then our doom is sealed. There is no steed loved friends again. but my own that can outfly those of the bandjt, so it Time continued, and we fell into an uneasy slumber, would be useless to attempt to escape. But if we are from which we were suddenly awakened by the sound captured now, with no friends having the means to ran-of voices within our room. Upon opening our eyes we som us, death, in lingering torment, will surely be our beheld the grim countenance of Chaomina, and, behind lot. But, friends, if it meets your approbation, I will him, but a few paces, the pleasant, well-known featu,res take what money you possess, make my escape, get as-of our guide. Then we shduld be saved at last! Oh, sistance, come back, and procure your ransom, or fight happy thought! And it was almost impossible to re for your freedom. What do you say?" rain from crying with joy at the expectation of such Being in a fix, and not liking to make a bad matter unmistakable bliss. But we were finally aroused at the worse, we quickly consented, and, giving him our money, great, important interview penC!ing that moment. The we hurried him off, with many a wish for speedy reguide was parleying for our ransom-vainly interceding turn. \ for our release. He had hardly passed from sight when again the mys"I have given you my final answer," said the chief, in terious sound was heard, and shortly after a score of answer to our guide's pleading; "the sum is announced, r tnen, with gleaming blades, sprang from the thicket and 1 and I will not accept one cent less. .You must bring me surrounded us. We had scarcely time to breathe a s iml. five thousand dollars before to-morrow's meridian, or pie prayer when our bridles were rudely seized, and we their lifeless forms will be thrown down yon precipice, a were rapidly borne over rocky cliffs and through tanprey to the wild forest denizens." gled underbrush. How long we were compelled to conThen we felt that liberty was not for us; for the united tinue t'his dreary march I know not; but finally a halt sums of money that we had given the guide would not was ordered, and we were taken from our steeds, each procure the ransom of one-half our number; and it was by two strong men, and conveyed into a strong, dark with a bleeding heart that we saw our friend depart, cave, where we were securely imprisoned, not knowing, without even recognizing us. We thought that all was but secretly dreading the horrid doom that awaited us. over--death would surely be our lot. Toward La tong. Chaomina, the ci:ieftain, a A painful and sorrowing hour was passed in tearf_ul man, made hts appearprayers, and our feelings were getting somewhat calmed, ance, and as hts eye fell upon me, I illervously when a crashing sound was heard, followed by 1.the loud shrank away !rotn hts gaze. He was fol!owed by two discharges of muskets, rifles and revolvers. Deathlike desperate-lookmg characters, who mto the room groans followed; then all was confusion, tumult, uproar. brutal oaths most fiendtsh We listened in breathless anxiety as the moments passed; Sea_rch the dogs, my men! satd the _fiery and our hearts leaped with joy when the door was burst chteftam, stnkmg one of o_ur wtth a open, and our guide rushed in, followed by a sco re o cane he earned. And look ye, foretgners, tf one word his countrymen. e s capes your lips, death, tormenting death shall be your "My friends you are saved !" said he, as he ran to portion! Quickly, men! obey your chieftain's orders; embrace us. and one-half of the gold you find concealed upon the And we praised the noble fellow who had bepersons of the foreign dogs shall be your portion." friended us. With a fiendish laugh the chieftain sat down, while his "Come!" said he; "you are now at liberty-let us go!" rough companions began to search our pockets for the And as we passed out of that dreary cave we saw the expected gold. But vain their efforts, for not a penny bodies of the bandits strewn thickly around, while to our could be found. Their wrath wa kindled, and Chaomina eager questions the guide informed us that all of the savagely swore that unless a large sum was speedily paid band had perished. for our ransom, the dark glen would soon contain our Thus Latong Chaomina and his cruel bravos had met lifeless bodies. With another fiendish laugh our captors the fate they so richly deserved : went away, and we were left in happy solitude. We reached Kangawha without any further incidents Hunger at length began to sway its scepter over of interest transpiring.

PAGE 33

trLATESTISSUES,._ THE TIP TOP WEEKLY The most popular publication for boys. The adventures of Frank and Dick Merriwdl can be had only in this weekly. HIGH ART COLORED COVERS. 32 BIG PAGES. PRICE 5 CENTS. 6J6-Dick Merriwell in Mystery Valley; or, Burie
PAGE 34

DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY ISSUED EVERY THURSDAY. BEAUTIFUL COLORED COVERS D iamond Dic. k and his son, Bertie a re true 1nen of th e W est ern pl a ins. They are nobl e-he arte d fello w s w ho don t impose on the wea ker man and who don' t let a n y one else do it if the y can help it. You ott ght to re a d how they cle a n up a mining cam p o f the di s h o nest gam b l e r s and oth e r tou g hs w ho usually pre y on t he unedu ca t ed m1ners. PRICE FIVE CENTS PER COPY For sale by a!! newsdealers, or sent, by the publishers to any address upon receipt of price in money o r postage slamps HERE ARE THE LATEST TITLES: 567-Diamond Dick's Cut-off; o r The Eastern Invasion of Lame Dog. 568-Diamond Dick Across the Border; or, From Rob ber's Roost to Regina. 569-Diamoncl Dick as a Hero; or, The C laim Jumpers from the Bad Hills. 57o---Diamond Dick's Northwest Trail; or, The Lone Hunter of H uclson Bay 571-Diamoncl Dick's Hardest Test; or, The Strange Beauty of Cariboo. 572-Diamoncl D i ck's Finger of Fate; o r A Fight in the Name of the Law. 573-Diamond Dick's Sleig h t of Hanel; o r Fooling the Slick Man From Denver. 574-Diamond Dick Holds the \1\lires; or The :Mac! Lineman of Death Pass. 575-Diamond Dick's Demon Wheel; or, A Sharp Sur prise for the Reclskins 576--Diamond Dick's Hardest Ride; o r The i\f azeppa of the Sierras. 577-Diamond Dick's Secret Play; or, The "Sarpint'' in a New Role. 578-Diamond Dick's Hazard; or, The lVfarkecl ]\fan of "Littl e Bird." 579-Diamond Dick Hand-to-Hand; or. A Test of Cour age in the Dark. 58o-Diamond Dick's yendetta; o r, The Duel in Death Valley 58r-Diamond Dick's Friendly Foe; or, .'v\That the Mad Horse Did. 582-Diamond Dick's Desert Pard; or, Jack S inn's Last Sho t. 583-Diamond Dick's Queer Debtor; or, The Skeleton Horseman's Penance. 584-Diamoncl Dick's Judgment; or, The CmYboys an(l Poker Nell. 585-Diamond Dick's New Pard; or, The Boy Tende r foot from Iowa. 586--Diamond Dick's \ 1\larn ing Shot; or, The Renegade of Wind River. sS;Diamond Dick on a Lone Trai l ; or, $ioux Sam's Midnight A mbu sh. 588-Diamoncl. Dick's Short Order; or, How Jack Sinn Settled Up. 589-Diamond Dick's Green Ghost; or, A Dattle for Millions in Montana. 590-Diamond Dick's Swing Duel ; or. The Bad Man of High Falls. 591-Diamond Dick's Border Battle; o r !\Ieeting J\fok Wah's Little Game. 592-Diamond Dick's C l ose Shave; or. Knife t o Knife with the Yellow Peril. 593-Diamoncl Dick's Sure Scent; o r The Marke d ]\[an f'rom Chicago. 594-Diamond Dick's o r Running a New Brand in A rizona . 595-Diamond Dick's High Sign; or, The Secr e t of the Adobe Cast le. 596--Diamoncl Dick' s Bo ldes t Move; or. The W e dding Bells of Buck Price. 597-Diamoncl Dick 's Great Railroad Feat; or, P utting Her Thro ugh On Time. 598-Diamond Dick' s Vengeance; or. The Defea t of the Destroying Angel. 599-Diamond Dick' s Mast erstroke: o r. The l-nm ask ing of Seattle Sim. 6oo---Diamoncl Dick's Slashing Blow: or, A C lc"e Call in the Big Ditcb. If you want a n y b a c k numbers o f t his p u b li c a ti on and c anno t procure them from yo u r news d ea ler, they c a n be ob t a ined f rom t his office direc t. Pos t age s t amps taken the same as mone y. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 79 Seventh Avenue, N.W YORK


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