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Diamond Dick, Jr.'s daring drift; or, Under water through Devil's Gulch

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Title:
Diamond Dick, Jr.'s daring drift; or, Under water through Devil's Gulch
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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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
030810552 ( ALEPH )
15931077 ( OCLC )
D21-00004 ( USFLDC DOI )
d21.4 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
Diamond Dick Jr.

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Serial

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By Sub "cription$2.50 per year. E11Ured"" S econd Ola. Mal.te1 N. Y. Post 01/l
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Diamond Dick, Jr.' A WEEKLY L IBRARY. brnr
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2 DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DitIF'f. turned pale as he saw the flash of the keen where I was nursing him, and tore hirn eyes just behind the threatening tubes. away from me to hang him! Oh, sir!" 'Here you are taking a man out to turning t o Diamond Dick, Jr., "defend hang him upon a mere supposition him with your life, for my sake!" hatched in your own brain," Diamond "That's what I'm here for," said BerDick, Jr., continued, "without giving him tie, as cool as ice. "He don't go up unless h alf a chance to defend himse lf. And h e I first go down.'' i s more than half dead, already, from "Then you'll go down!" cried the hardship and exposure." mayor. "Well, what business is that of yours, "And yon," said B ertie. anyhow?" roared the mayor. "I reckon Not for an instant did he remove the to opine that I am boss of these hyer dig-bead he had drawn upon the mayor's gins, not you!" breast. "Then show yourself a man and give "David Gibbons, spare his life," the this poor devil a chance!" young woman pleaded. "Spare him, and "But we have found him guilty, durn I will marry you. I will become your wife et!'' as y ou have desired.'' "And I have heard him declare that he "You will do that?" eagerly. is innocent, and beg for his life and a "No, she never shall!" ch an ce to defend himself and prove what The voice was that of the prisoner, and he asserts. I happe n ed in here just in though weak, it rang out high and sharp time to hear him implore some one to in-in the now silent room. terpose in his behalf, and that was where "For your sake, H enry," said the girl, I chipped in. I say that man has got to in despair. have a square deal, or the game don't "No, not for m y sake. My miserable go on!" lif e is not worthy the sacrifice. It shall "Look hyer, who the mischief are yo u, never be!" anyhow?" "But your life is dear to me--" "Men call me Diamond Dick, Jr., "It is mine, n o t yours, and I will not where I am best known, a name that I am accept it at such a cost. No, no, let them not ashamed of.'' do their worst with me; my days are few, "And you think that you are goin' to anyhow; but you-never, never marry take hold of the lines and run tl1is hyer David Gibbons!" town to suit your ideas, do ye? We'll see The girl turned an appealing glance a bout that!" upon Diamond Dick, Jr. tears streaming "For God's sake, spare that man! H e from her handsome eyes. is my brother!" "I have only one request to make," It was a woman's cry. said the prisoner, forth er, "then let them A dark-faced, rather good-looking do their worst. I am innocent, bnt I can young woman was striving. to push her die but once way through the throng in the direction "What is it, brother?" cried t h e girl, of where the prisoner was held. looking again in his direction. She was clad in semi-Mexican garb, "Diamond Dick, Jr., it is to you,'' the with the usual short skirt. Her feet were prisoner addressed Bertie. "I have one in cased in a pair of American-make dying favor to ask.'' shoes,. stout and serviceable, and her legs "Yon are not dying yet," said Bertie, in Indian leggings. with eyes g lued to the man he held under She bore resemblance to the prisoner, cover, "but make it if you want to, and in that both were dark, but he was so if it be anything in my power I will grant thin and gaunt that it could hardly b e it. carried further. ''How came she here?'' thundered David Gibbons. "I am here to beg my brother's life," the young woman cried. ''They came to my cabin, where he was sick in bed, and "It i s this: Be a brother t o my s i ster, in my stead, when I am gone. She h as no one, no one, in all the world, but me )) "And m e!" Another voice, strong, sturdy, near a

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DIHIOND DICK, JR.'S DAHING DRIFT. 3 window, c1ose by the table on which Dia-Dan Long, that went with him to hunt mond Dick, Jr., was standing. for the ton of gold! Bertie did not dare glance in that di rec"What proof have you of that?" tion, for he knew that the removal of his "Proof? Why, durn et, don't it stand fixed gaze for one instant from the ento reason? Wasn't they jist as good men raged mayor of the town might cost the as him, and wouldn>t they#stand jist as advantage he held. much chance of com in' back hyer alive? "Infernio !grated David Gibbons, as "That's it?" roared the crowd. "What his eyes turned in that direction. proof kin he show that he didn't do it? "Yef', and you," the prisoner added, "That's ther question!" quickly "Thank God you are here, to "Hang him!>' lend her protection, Elmer." "That>s right! Hooray! "But what is the matter here? deOf a sudden tl1ere was a great shock to mantl ed the man at the window. "You the table on which Diamond Dick, Jr., are not going to hang Henry Naylor, and his lone backe1 were standing, and Dave Gibbons? Are you mad?" down they came, with a crash, to the "That is what we are,,, growled the. floor. mayor. "We are mad through and The young woman uttered a piercing through, f e r it is a plain case, and we are shriek at the same moment, the loud not goin' to let him Jive another hour. voice of the mayor was heard in laughter, He has got to die!,, there was one wild, hoarse shout, and the "But the charge, what is the charge? rough denizens of Tulip rushed wildly "It is murder!" out of doors, carrying their prisoner with them. "Henry Naylor a murderer? Never! Henry, what have you to say to all this?" ''That I am innocent, as innocent as you are, Elmer. But I am too weak to talk; I cannot defend myself. Let them do their worst and then avenge me upon them.'> "No, this shall not be; it shall not go on!'' There was a quick scramble, the man was in through the window in a trice, and the next instant he was up onto the same table with Diamond Dick, Jr. ''You are in a dangerous place here,'' Bertie said to him, in low tone, but withon t removing his eyes from his man. "No more so than yourself," was the r e sponse. There was no time to say more, and scant time for even that. All that has been quoted and described had taken place in two minutes' time. With a rope around his neck, with half a dozen heavy hands on his person, the prisoner>s life hung in the balance. The young woman was wringing her hands, and her gaze was now fixed upon this new-comer, who had no sooner re sponded to Bertie than he called aloud to the mayor: "Yon say Henry Naylor is a murderer; who has he killed?" "Who but his pards, Ben Wilson and CHAPTER II. THE HANGING AND A DEFIANCE. Out rushed the maddened throng, and the night was made hideous with their cnes. Having decided that Henry Naylor should be hanged, they were for the time being insane with desire for his life, and hardly accountable, as a whole, for their mad act. The one man responsible, more than any other; was David Gibbons, the mayor. He was actuated by more than a desire for justice. "Where to?" cried the men who had the prisoner in oharge. "Where to, Gibbons?" "To that tree thar by' the creek, and yank him up to it jist as quick as ye can, too!" the mayor ordered. Away they went, with whoop and yell, and away went the crowd after them, pell mell, all shouting like demons of darknes:;. Some few of them had brought torches hurriedly improvised, and the red flare of these made the scene one never to be forgotten. Reaching the tree, the rope was quickly thrown over a limb, and no less than a score of hands seized the rope and pulled with their might.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. The prisoner was jerked clear of the His own life would pay the forfeit if he ground and carried to the limb with a did resist. rush, where the stop was so sudden that The burning eyes that bent above him the rope broke, and he dropped to the told him that, and by this time it was too ground, a distance of not less than sixlate, even bad he been gifted with the teen feet power of a hundred men. "Try et again!" some one in the mob The mad shouting of the mob came to shouted. his ears, then the fusillades of pistol shots, "Yes, finish the job!" cried another. and the young woman uttered one last "That>s what, you bet!" despairing cry, and fell to the floor in a Their victim was already dead; the im-faint. pact had broken his neck. "Well, it is all over," said Bertie, "so But what cared they for that? They y ou may as well let me up. I can't do the were beside themselves, they were drunk poor fellow any good now." with desire for a life. "Precaber!" cried the fellow who had Again the rope was adjusted, aga111 Bertie foul. "If you make any more thrown over the limb, and this time a trouble here, you will follow him. Take little less force was exerted m the warning." hanging. The other man had ceased to struggle. As the bod y rose and swayed in air the Now, however, seeing a possible chance, crack of revolvers began to punctuate the he began again, and one of the men who rough jests that were being uttered on had been holding him was hurled backevery h a nd, and the body was riddled ward against the Mexican, who w a s with bullets. kneeling on Diamond Dick, Jr. >s breast. Meanwhile, what of Diamond Dick, Jr., and the man who had attempted to stand by him? Bertie tried to save himself as the table went down, but it was of no use, so qmck and unexpected was the shock. Down he went, and down went the other man squarely on top of him, and, for the moment, Bertie was knocked speech less, if not indeed senseless. And no sooner down, scarcely, than a knee was on Bertie's breast and a pistol was pressed against his head. "Cascaras!" was the exclamation, in Spanish, hissed close to his ear. "If you move you are a dead man '' This was said in English, but with a strong accent. Others had, at the same time, seized the man who had come to Bertie's assist ance, and both were helpless for the time being. And high above all could be heard the piercing shrieks of the sister of the doomed man, as she ran up ans assistant. "Steady P > Bertie cried, as he saw them reaching for their guns. "I will drop the first man of you that tries to pull a pop. Let go there, you dog, or down you go!'' This to the one who was still trying to hold the new comer down. He took the warni1ig, and the newcomer was quickly up and had his weapons in hand the same as Bertie. "Juan Domingo," he cried, "I am tempted to end your miserable life here and now, for the cowardly part you have played this night!'> iTake care!" h e was cautioned. "You can do it, but what would your lif e be worth afterward? You would be hanged within the minute, and riddled with bullets !>1 "He is right," whispered Bertie. "Quick, save the g irl and let us retreat." "Yes, you are right." "Hold! Elmer Stanley."

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DIAMOND DICK, JR. 'S DARING DRIFT. 5 It was the voice of Dave Gibbons, as "What is the use of your 'posin' me he sprang in at the door. hyer ?" asked the mayo r. "You seen how "You touch that gal at yo u peril!" the we banged that chap, in spite of ye." mayor add ed "She belongs to me, not "Well, there is no use of it, now," said to you." B e rtie. "I am willing to call quits, if you "And yo u throw up your hands," are, but you don't want to think that shouted Bertie, "or I will plant a bullet yo u can dump me if I agree to a truce." so squarely between your eyes you will "Then put up yer gun." never feel it!" "No, wait till the crowd comes in, and Gibbons was just in the act of drawing then yo u can tell them just how it is, and a gun, but this deterred him for a second, it will be my treat.'' and in that second he lost the chance he "All right, I'll do that, fer you are might have had for a snap shot at one of clean b e at, we hanged him in spite of ye. them. Hyer they come, and I'll hold ye to yer "Curse it! you?" h e g rated word to treat ther gang." "As you see," answered Bertie, still as "My word is my bond," said Bertie. cool as ever. "Quick, Stanley, now is "Hello!" cried the foremost of the your chance!" mob, stopping short. "What's this hyer?" Diamond Dick, Jr., h eld the four cov"Your mayor and I are only having a ered with his revolvers, and Elmer Stan-little stand-off,'' answered Diamond Dick, ley sprang forward and snatched the inJr. "He will tell you about it." sensible girl up in his arms. "It is to be all right, now that we have "Out the rear way," Bertie directed. got the best of the rooster and finished "I will cover your retreat and you will our job," said the mayor. "We are to have a few minutes' grace." call et off, and he is to treat the crowd." "And I'll owe you an obligation I can't "Hooray! Bully fer the bantam!" repay," was the response, as he took the "Waltz right up and take your swill," advice and ran for the door. said Bertie. ''It is my treat, and we are to "Never mind about that," Bertie called bury the hatchet." afte r him. There was a rousing cheer at that, the Stanley was out and away, and Dia-word was passed from lip to lip, as others mond Dick, Jr., held the mayor and the came in, and there was a surging throng others at bay. around the bar in no time. "Curs e you! but you shall answer for this!" the mayor cried. Bertie was playing a double hand, so "I expect to," was the defiant return. to say. "And you will wish you had never been Not only was he gaining time for his born!" friend, Stanley, in which to enable him "I am taking my chances of that. to get safely away with the girl, but he Don't you move or you will be just as was ingratiating himself in the favor of badly off as if you hadn't ever been born. the rough denizens of the "burg." I don't want to spill any blood here in He had an eye out for Gibbons and the your camp, but if you force me to it I Mexican, on the sly. won't hesitate about it." In a few moments, he saw them to-And he meant j ust what he said gether, talking ear:iestly,, and saw that He had a corner, and evidently he knew e:'ery now and agam their glances shot how to keep it. For the time being he 111s way. was boss of the situation. But he paid no attention to them, And there was no chance for the same seemingly. mishap occurring a second time. He had tossed a couple of coins to the They had hurled the table from under man at the bar and the crowd was busy. him before, but it would be impossible Presently he' saw the Mexican moving them to jerk the saloon from under his way, and Diamond Dick, Jr., rightly his feet. guessed that trouble was brewing for him. By this time the mob was h eard return-He was all alone there, so far as help ing from their "hanging-bee." was concerned, and he f elt of his guns, to

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6 DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIF'l'. ascertain that they were in proper condition for further business, if needed. Finding that they were, and that they could leap to his grasp as quick as a wink, if necessary, he struck an easy pose, and waited for Mr. Juan Domingo to come forward and declare himself. And the Mexican was coming, with an easy swing. CHAPTER III. DISPLAY OF NERVE AND MUSCLE. As the Mexican approached, he held out his hand to Bertie. "What!" he exclaimed, ''you do not drink anything? That is not doiri'g honor to yourself." "I seldom drink," said Bertie, letting the fellow take his hand, and he instantly saw that he did not mean to let go of it immediately. "You don't drink?" shaking the hand with undue warmth. "Mz"lagro! is it possible? But you do not mean, senor, that you never drink. If not on your own treat, you will drink with me?" "Nit! I have too much regard' for sound muscle and nerve to tamper with such lightning or forty-rod." "But you are going to drink with me!" It had all taken place in less than half a minute, and the Mexican evidently be lieved that he had Bertie's right hand in limbo. As he spoke he closed down even tighter upon that member, and with his own left hand pulled a gun from his belt, but he was not half quick enough for the man he had thought to overcome. Diamond Dick, Jr. 's hand closed upon that of the Mexican like an instrument of torture, so strong was his grip, and at the same instant his left seized the left wrist of the Mexican and the pistol was sent flying over the heads of the crowd. The Mexican was howling with pain, for Bertie was twisting his arms without mercy, big fellow though Domingo was. "Durnation !" cried one fellow, who was just leaving th.e bar. ''What does this h ye r mean?'' "It means that this chap is my mut ton," cried the mayor, who had by this time pushed his way to where the two stood grappled. As he spoke, he seized Bertie by the shoulder and drew a gun. Spat! Quicker than a wink, Bertie had dropped the Mexican, and his right fist took the big, burly mayor squarely in the mouth. Over went Mr. Gibbons, sliding under a table flat on his back, and the Mexican was powerless for the moment to play further his little part, owing to the pain in his arms. He was swearing in Spanish at a terrific rate. "There is treachery for you, my friends,'' cried Bertie, appealing to the crowd. "That's what's the matter," some of those around him shouted. ''I had agreed to terms of peace, you were enjoying m y treat; seeing that I had played a losing hand, and here your mayor and his Mexican sneak tried to take me unawares." "We'll have none of that," several of the rough fellows called out as one man. "Mayor, we'll have none of that!" "You want to hang that fellow!" the mayor roared. "Nary hang, Gibbons. He's all right; he is the stuff, you bet '' "Bet yer life he is!" supported others, and Bertie saw that he had plenty of backers now. He set sail accordingly. "That was hardly a fair deal, mayor," he said, ''after I met you more than half way for peace, but, still, I'll let it drop if you are willing. What do you say?'' "I' 11 see you later, curse you," Gibbons growled, savagely. "All right, just as you please. And how is it with yo u, Domingo? I g1:1ess you thought you had got hold of a giant electric battery, didn't you? When you tackle me yo u want to do it when I am asleep. See? Ta-ta!'' Bertie had been edging toward a window, while speaking, and as he con eluded he vaulted lightly out and was gone. He was under cover of the friendl y shadows almost instantly. "\Vhew but that was a hornet's nest," he said to himself. "I never thought I would come out of that den with a whole skin, yet here I am. It is war to the

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DIAMOND DICK JR.'8 DARING DRIFT. 7 teeth, now however, and I must get on a gait and make read y for the fray." He haste ned away among the darke ned shanties and wickiups, wondering where he would fall in again with Stanley. Presently he saw one s h anty where there was a light. He went to that. Peering in throug h a chink, h e saw the same young woman sitting o n a low s t oo l rocking h e r self to and fro and moaning. Stanley was not there, and, in a n instant, it flashed to Bertie's mind where he must be. He t2.pped at the door lightly. The young woman was upon her f ee t instantly. "Who is there?" she asked. "It is I, your friend of the saloon," answered Bertie. ''I am afraid to open the door to you, '' she said. "Why are you afraid?" he inquired. I am afraid that it may be some one trying to deceiv e me." "Well, well, you are a girl of caution, anyway. But where is your friend Stanley?'' ''He bas gone to get some friends and rescue Diamond Dick.'' "I thought so. Well, I will go and look him up, and then will come back with him. You will know his voice when he comes.'' "And I will open the door to you, for now I recognize yours. '' "No, no, never mind, for I 111 ust go and look up your friend. He may be in need of my aid, by this time, instead of I in n ee d of his. Keep your door barred till we come. '' "I inte11d to do that." And then, in lower tone, "oh, my brother, my poor brother!" Bertie pitied the girl, and resolved that he would aid her in wreaking a just vengeance upon those who had so ruthlessly slain her invalid brother. He was eager, too, to hear the whol e of that matter, for, as yet, he had only an inkling of it. And then the mention of the ''ton of gold," he had heard of that before. He went back the way he had come, and approached t h e Cosmopolitan from another direction. The windows of the saloon were all open, and he stepped to one of these and looked in. Just as he did so, he saw Elmer Stanley and two others enter by the front door and saw Stanley cast a searching glance around the room. Bertie stood ready to give him a sign, but b efore his gaze came that way be was accosted by the mayor. "Hello! hyer ye are, hey?" the mayor cried. "Yes, here I am," was Stanley's response. "Wull, what d'ye want? Air ye lookin' fer satisfaction?'' I am looking for that young man who tried t o prevent your doing that murder." "Murder! You call thet 'ar a murder?" "It was nothing short of it, and a most heinous murder, at that,' was the fearl ess rnjoinder. Diamond Dick, Jr. liked the style of Stanley. Here was proof that h e had that quality of intrepidity commonly denominated ''san d .'' Bertie then and there made up his mind that h e would pair with him for the work in hand, if bis offer would be accepted. "Well you had better hold a civil tongue in yer head,'' the mayor grated, savagely, "or there may be more trouble of the same sort, hyer, and you may be in et." "I did not come into quarrel with you, sir, but to look for that brave young fellow .'' "Brave? Ha, ha, ha!" "What do you mean?" "If you had seen him light through that winder over thar a spell ago, ye wouldn't call him brave." "He was only one against you all." Stanley was turning to go when he caught sight of Bertie, and received a signal. Berti e disappeared from the window at once, and passed around near the front and waited, and after a word or two more with Gibbons, Stanley came out and joined him, being joined by two others, who bad just come up. "Give me your hand," Stanley cried, as he came up. "I owe you a debt of gratitude."

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8 DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. "And the quickest way to pay it is to agree not to mention it again," said Bertie, as they shook hands. "I will not promise that. So you are Daimond Dick, Jr?" "That is my handle, Mr. Stanley." "I have heard of you. Let me introduce t wo trusted pards of mine, Mort Briscow and Zach Tern ple. '' ''Pleased to know you, gentlemen,'' said Bertie, shaking hands with each in turn. ''So, you were out looking for me, eh? I had skedadled to go look for you. '' "But you didn't run away, I'll bet on that; you are nof that kind.'' "Not exactly," declared Bertie "You see I had another hook-up with the mayor and that Mexican black-and-tan of his, and after I had broken that I thought it was about time for me to dust out. But where are you going?" "To Lenora's cabin-that is, Miss Naylor's; that is her name. "I have just been there, that is how I knew you were looking for me. Well, lead the way, for I want to have a chat with you and her." "All right, come along. Will you go, Mort and Zach?'' "No, I guess you don't need us any more,'' answered Mort. ''If ye want us, though, you know where to find us .'' "And you won't have to call twice, either," added Zach ''All right, and good night to you boys .'' "Good-night, Stanley." They went off, and Stanley led the way to the Naylor cabin. CHAPTER IV. '!'HE LEGEND OF '!'HE '!'ON OF GOLD. Arriving at their destination, Stanley gave a signal knock on the door, and it was immediately opened to them. The girl's eyes were red wit h weeping, and she asked, immediately: "Did they do it, Elmer, did they--" But his look was the answer, and he took her to bis breas t as she burst out sobbing afresh "There, there," he said, soothingly, "do not take it so hard, Lenora. Henry is past all suffering now, and is, perhaps, better off than any o f us here.'' "I know, I know," she sobbed; "but to think that he was innocent, that they came and dragged him from his sick bed, and that they-they hanged him! Oh! it was terrible, it was terrible!" "Yes, it was indeed terrible, but they shall answer for it if there is a God in Heaven!" Stanley spoke with intense earnestness. "Yes, yes," cried the girl, looking up and lifting her hand above her head. "Before high Heaven I vow that he shall be avenged, even at the cost of my own life!" "Yes, I swear it," said Stanley. "And you can just count me into this thing," said Bertie. "Here is a hand to each of you on it. I will give you my aid till the matter is brought to a finish, if you will accept the offer.'' "Yes, yes, for I know you are true," said the girl, clinging to the hand he gave her. "You tried to save him, you would have saved him, but you were only one against so many. Oh! the wretch! I can never be happy till my own hand has plunged a knife into the heart of Dave Gibbons!" Bertie was surprised at so much deci sion in the girl. It was plain that the mayor of Tulip had a foe of whom he might, with reason, stand in awe. "Well, let's sit down," Bertie suggested. "I want to talk this thing over and get a better understanding of it." They took seats. "Now, just why did David Gibbons w ant to hang your brother, Miss Naylor?" he inquired. "One reason, because he loved me and hated Henry for protecting me from his attentions. And then, because Henry would not tell him the secret of the ton of gold.'' "Let me have the particulars of that, will you, please?'' "Certainly, as I must, if you are going to aid me in my vengeance against that wretch.'' "You l;ave heard what my determina-tion is." "Yes, yes, and I cannot doubt you. You have heard of the ton of gold before?'' "Yes." ''It is an old story, one that is well known among miners and prospectors.''

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DIAl\IOND DICK, JR.'S DAHI T G DRIFT. 9 "Yes, and more men than one have sacrificed their lives in trying to rediscover the bonanza. But let us hear it your own way, Miss Naylor. "The story, as my poor brother heard it, was this: Long ago some Mexican prospectors set out from Santa Fe to explore some of the wildest portions of the San Jan Mountains. "Somewhere away up in the heart of these mountains, they discovered a cave, and in that cave a wonderful wealth in pure gold. They had already gathered up a hundred pounds or more of nuggets, and were ready to return, when the cave and its treasure were discovered unexpetedly. "Only one of those Mexicans returned alive, the same as my poor brother was the only one of his party who lived to tell the tale. He described the cave as large enough to hold a hundred persons, and said that several skeletons, with some cooking utensils and Indian weapons, were found on the floor At the rear of the cave was the ton of gold. "It was all in pure nuggets, of every size and shape, he said, and must have weighed a ton at the very least. He brought back in proof of it several nuggets that weighed nearly a pound each, and his story was believed in every particular. Prospectors went wild, and they only waited for the lone survivor of the party to gain strength to lead them back to the wonderful cave. But that he never did. The hardships and privations through which he had passed had been too severe, and he died. "Well, when my poor brother heard this story, nothing could dissuade him from undertaking to rediscover that cave and its great treasure. He found two men who were willing to accompany him, Ben Wilson and Dan Long, by name, and they set upon their perilous mis ion. "And it is of their adventures and achievements that I am particularly anxious to hear,,, said Bertie. "I have heard all the rest before, substantially as you have told it now.,, "There is little to tell, sir. My brother left me in the care of an old half-caste squaw, who died while he was gone, and with the men I have named set out upon his dangerous expedition. When he re-turned he came alone, and he was more dead than alive, and nearly out of his mind. "Meantime, Dave Gibbons had begun paying.attentions to me, and I was keeping him at a distance the best I could, hoping that each coming day would witness my brother's arrival. When he did come, he had hot words with Gibbons, and forbade him the cabin, even though Gibbons tried to make peace with him. I think my brother must have known some terrible secret of l1is->' "That would account for his determination to hang l1im, then,,, Bertie interrupted. "Yes, I think so, agreed Stanley, "together with his love for Miss Naylor and his chagrin at not being able to get the secret of the mountain cave and the ton of gold from Henry. ,, ''He tried hard to get that secret,'' the young woman continued, "and all the harder when it became apparent that my brother was not likely ever to get well. But Henry would not yield, and so Gibbons began to threaten. Then, at last, he made accusations. "''He threw out dark hints that my brother must have murdered his two com panions, in order to have all the wealth for himself, and so wrought upon the minds of the people that, finally, he made them think as he wanted them to think, and then came the terrible tragedy you know all about. Only an hour before it happened he was here for the last time, and was for the last time denied and re fused, and he went away with terrible threats on his tongue.'' "The scoundrel! cried Bertie. "He deserves the. worst fate that we can bring upon him. ,, "And that is the fate he shall have,,, declared Stanley. "1'hat is mv vow,,, said Lenora. "But, Miss Naylor,,, sa i d Bertie, "you have not told us all.'> "Yes, that is all, sir." "How is that? Your brother must have told you, privately, more than he would tell any one else .>> "Oh, now I understan d. Yes, h e d i d tell me many thi ngs, butl fear thy are of little moment, n ow that h e is gone. Oh,

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10 DIAMOND DICK, JR.'8 DARING DRIFT. if he cou ld only have lived and got well "You take a needless risk," said Bertie. "I. will return to you at once." "Since he did not, you have a duty to "You forget that I have not seen my perform, a duty that you owe to yourself.'' brother since-since it happened, and that "The duty of ve ngeance." he must be given decent burial. Besides, "More than that. The duty of claiming that will be our excuse; we have come to this gold that was rightfully your bury him. '' brother's." "Let me go in your stead," said Stan-" His, and his companions'. Henry said ley. "We will bring the body here to that if be was ever able to go back and vou get it, their people should have the share "But I want to go." of it that would have rightfully been "Think of the sight, think of the shock theirs." it will be to you, Lenora." "And yet this scoundrel could say that "Yes, yes I think of all that, and still he had murdered them." I say I want to go, I must go. I must "Which h e never did, sir. If yo u see and know the worst, that my hand could have seen how he mourned for may not lack courage when the hour of them. They had become like brothers, vengeance comes.'' and on two occasions they saved my "Very well, we will not oppose you brother's life.'' further, we will all go together and bring "Well, what information did he leave the bod y here. They have done their with you? Surely he told yo u the location worst and can have no further use for it o f that wonderful cavern?'' now. We were not able to prevent the "Yes, yes, h e did, he did ; but, can I crime, but you know we did all in our remember what he said?." power." "If h e had only drawn a plan--" The girl was instantly on her feet. CHAPTER V. "What is it?" asked Bertie and Stan-CUTTHROATS EXCHANGE CONFIDENCES. ley as one, their bands dropping to their g uns. "The map!" "What map?" "The map he drew." "Then there was a map?" asked Bertie. "Yes, yes, he drew it at times, as he was able, and he had it on bis person ''Then that map must be recovered, if not too late," said Bertie. "I take it that h e had it ju one of his pockets?" "Yes, yes You see, he would not lay off his dothes for good; he would not admit how sick he was; the map was in the inside pocket of his vest the last I knew of it." "At;1d yon did not think of it--" "Not till you said what you did, and reminded me of it.'' "I will go out and find it," said Bertie, "if it has not a lread y fallen into the hands of Gibbons." "And if it has," suggested Stanley. "If it has, we must have it anyhow. But if he knew nothing about it I may find it on the body." "And I am gomg with you," sai d Lenora. Meantime, David Gibbons had not been altogether idle. He had just entered into a private dis cussion with the Mexican, Juan Domingo, when Elmer Stanley entered the Cosmo politan After Stanley's departure that discus-sion was resumed. 1 '' Diablol'' exclaimed the Mexican. "Then you really intend to hunt for that ton of gold?'' "Really intend it? That has been my sc heme all along, and I want you to g o with me. What do yo u say to that, my gall u s cavalier?" "Por Dzosl I say that I am with you, heart and sou l,'' was the prompt response. "But, we cannot go alone, us two; we mus t have a company, picked and trusted followers .'' "And they are to be had, all we want of them . Juan, that ton of gold is ours!" "Yes, it is ours-all ours!" cried the Mexican. "You will go with me, for I may have need of one who can talk your tong ue, and when we discover the treasure a quarter of it shall be yours.''

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DIA.1110ND DICK, JR. '8 DARING DRIFT. 11 "Then you will not give me half?" gold-that has been planned and arranged "Do you demand half?" so that failure will be next to impossible." "Am I not to take half the toil and "You have counted the risks, senor?" danger, senor?" "Put them against the reward, if snc"Well, a half, then, my dear Juan. cess is ours. And it ought to be easy, if Even that will be more than we can spend that map can be got hold of." in a lifetime." "Ah, the map. We must have that, "Por Dz.os! yes!" senor." "And we will lose no time about it, "And one other thing, Juan." either." "vVhat is that?" "When do we start?" "This fellow who chipped in here to" Just as soon as we can make ready." night-he is a bad block in our way to "But do you know where to go? Did success, and he must be removed. Do you you get anything out of that fellow you und,erstand ?'' hanged?'' ''Si, senor; yo comprendar. '' "No, cuss him, I didn't. That is, not "Hang your Spanish! If you savvy say in life, but I will now. I knew whatI was so in plain United States." about, you bet." "I understand, senor." "What do you mean, senor?'' "Good enough. He has got to be re"I did not pry and spy around that moved, I say, and that other fellow, too, cabin for nothing. There are chinks in either now or later on, for my happiness the walls, and. I have sharp eyes and ears, with the wildcat will not be assured while Juan Domingo." he is in the field." "Ah-ha!" The Mexican laughed. "I saw him drawing a map-saw it not "It is nothing to me," he said, with a only once, but several times, and that map shrug. ''But take care, for I have reason I am going to have. We will cut the body to know that fellow is no child." down as soon as we will not attract "The very reason why he must be re notice--" moved. And I will not delay about mak" You think it is on the body?" ing sure of him, either; I will attend to "Yes, l have every reason to believe that, now, at once, before we go any that it is. If not, I know where to find it.'' further.'' "Where?" "You yourself, senor? Have a care!" "In the keeping of that wench-"My men will do it, and there is the Hai I must not forget her; what the map man I want. Ho! Cactus!" may not reveal, she can make up to me, A villainous-looking ruffian looked for the fellow must have told her many around on hearing his name called, and things." rose and came to where Gibbons was "But what can you do with her, Senor seated. Gibbons?" "What yer want, cap'n ?" he mquired. "What can I do with her?" "Is your knife sharp, Cactus?" "Yes, for she will defy and scorn you, The fellow grinned. and now more than b efore." "Ef et ain't I kin soon sharpen et," he "What can I do with her? I will show said. you. I am going to have her, in spite of "Well, see that it is in prime order, for herself P' there is a little job I want you to do." "Well, I wish you joy of her, anyhow. "All right, what is the job?" If you think you can tame a she wildcat, "That young rooster that calls himself such as she is likely to prove if you at Diamond Dick, Jr., has got to be sent tempt it, go ahead." below." "I will tame her or I will kill her!" "Is that all?" "A nzz" qu e m e z"mporta; or, as you say "That is enough, at once, I guess. here, I don't care; go ahead, it is your Can you attend to him?" own funeral." "Wu11, now I should grin if I couldn't. "That is my intention. But, first and A bat on the head, a slit in the neck and foremost, the expedition for the ton of the thing is done."

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12 DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. "I leave it all to you. If he is not to be found in the morning when the su n ri ses, nobody will mourn for him. You know what I mean That is all for the present.'' ((All right, cap'n." "And say, Cactus." ((Wull, what?" "I am not in this, you understand." "That's all right, cap'n; I understand all 'bout that. ((And if anything slips, and you get caught, don't look to me to get you out." I ain't gettin' caught, cap'n." ''That is all right, but if you should On the other hand, you will wake up some morning with a hundred in your pocket, where you never knew you had it.)) The fellow grinned broadly. "Yer kin trust me," he said ((Yes, I know I can, or I wouldn't. I have only go t to mention--" "Which yer needn't mention hyer," the fellow quickly interrupted, with a nervous look around. ''I am yours to command. '' "Yes, I know you are. Well, get out with you now. C actus moved away, and rejoined two fellows with whom h e had been talking, men as evi l in appearance as himself, and they went out. "You have got a good dog there, senor,'' said the Mexican. "And one that knows I hold the whip, too,'' was the rejoinder. ((You dare trust him, but how is it yo u d are speak out before me?. I am not much less than a stranger to yo u yet.'' ''A stranger to me? Ha, ha! But, yes, you are a s tran ge r, that i s to say, yo u w e r e when yo u came here Juan Domingo is not the man who killed Don Escribano )) In an in stant the Mexican was as pale as his swarthy complexion would admit of He laid his hand on Gibbons' arm with a frantic clutch. "Clzz"to!" he hissed. that here, you devil! me?'' ''Not a word of Would you ruin "Ha, h a, ha! Not at all, m y dear fel low," was the repl y, "but I want you to see that I pick men with established r e pu t a ti ons, when I want work done." The Mexican looked at him searchingly, as if h e would read his innermost thoughts, bnt finally shook his head. In fac t the other had made the better succe s at that game. "It is no use, my dear fellow," he said, ((you can't penetrate the mask. Just know me for what I am, Dave Gibbons, the mayor of Tulip.'' "And you have taken me because you want work done, rather than owing to any friendly regard for me," the Mexican observed. ''As I told you, I take men I can trust. I can trust you, because you dare not betray me." "And if we are successful, you will keep your word?'' "That you are to have half the find?" ''Yes.'' "I will, I promise you that. But first we must get hold of that map--Come, we will go for it now." Gibbons rose and led the way out of the saloon The Mexican followed him with a look on his dark face, a puzzled express10n ((Enjoyin' yerse lv es, aire ye, boys?" the mayor saluted, as he passed through the crowd about the bar and door. ((Wull, that's right; take a drink to my health while ye are about it." He tossed a coin to the man behind the bar as h e spoke. H e went right out, and the Mexican joined him immediately, and they bent their steps in the direction of the tree where Henry Naylor had been hanged. As they came near they saw shadowy forms under the tree, the mayor clutched the Mexican 's arm as a measure o f precaution, and they advanced more silently until they reached the spot. Those under the tree, needless to say, were Diamond Di 'ck, Jr., with Elmer Stanley and Lenora Naylor. They had just cut the body down, and Bertie was f ee lin g in the for the map. He found it, and drew it forth, but just as he rose to his feet the two men made their presence know n. CHAPTER VI. SIERRA MADRE CHIPS IN. ((Drop that paper!" The order was sharp and peremptory.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR. 'S DARI 'G DRIFT. 13 Gibbons had whispered a word into his companion's ear, and Domingo was ready to back him and shar e the risks. With a leap aside, as quickly as the first word of the command had been uttered, Bertie shoved the paper into his pocket and whipped out his pair of guns. Even in that short time Gibbons had fired, following up his order with a strong argument in its favor, but the bullet missed its mark, and before he could shoot again at Bertie, Stanley had taken a shy at him in the same manner. It was too dark there under the tree, with only the starlight and the distant rays from the saloon to reveal objects, for any of them to aim with accuracy. Lenora had uttered a scream at the first shot, and that, with the shooting, drew the attention of the crowd at the saloon Out they came, with a rush, to learn what was amiss. ''Curse you! will you drop that paper?'' Gibbons shouted again, as he fired another shot. ''That for your answer '' And the "that" came in the form of another flash and report from the direction of "Little Lightning." Stanley and Domingo were having it in about the same fashion, and of a sudden a new actor rushed upon the scene, unmindful of the flying bullets. He could not be seen distinctly. With a run, he passed between the Mexican and Stanley, and on to the spot where Lenora was standing. Silently, without a word, he caught the girl up in his arms and continued his flight. Lenora screamed once, but once only, for the next attempt ended in a muffled sound, her captor having claspped a hand over her mouth. Stanley sprang in purs uit, the moment he saw what had happened, but h e d id not dare fir e of course "Stop!" he shouted. "Stop! or it will be your death!'' There came no response. At that moment the Mexican fired another shot and Stanley went to the ground headlong, simulta n eous l y with the flas h and r e port. The action was quicker tha n the reader can follow these descriptive words Again was the night hideous with whoops and cries as the wild denizens of Tulip came rushing to the :;;cene. The mayor and Diamond Dick, Jr., had made yet another exchange of compliment s The last fire had called forth a second howl from Gibbons. "All of you after that cuss!" he cri ed ''Don't let him get away! I will give a hundreQ. dollars to the man that brings him back here dead or alive l After him!" There came a laugh of defiance from the direction Bertie had taken, and he was seen n o more. Stanley l ay where he had fallen. Many of the crowd sprang to obey Gibbons' command, eager to finger the reward he had promised. To the remainder he gave another order to find the missing young woman. "Which way did she go?" asked one "I don't know, I didn't see," said the mayor. ''Search and find her; she can't be far off. '' "Let's go to her cabin," shouted another. "Ten to one she has dug out fer thar, seein' how ther fight wur a-goin'." "Yes, that's so And off went some more of them in that direction. "Who is this laid out hyer?" some one else demanded, touching Stanley with his foot. "It is that fool, Elmer Stanley," an swered Gibbons, with a s n arl. "I gave him plenty of warning, and l1e had only himse lf to blame if he go t it. ''Cascaras!'' shouted Domingo, who just then ran up, having led in the pursni t a ft e r Diamond Dick, Jr., for a distance "We a r e balked on every hand, S enor Gibbons." "Ye:;;, but we will soo n be on top again, Juan.': "I don't know; the paper gone and now the girl, too--Why are you not after her?" ''The bo ys have gone to her cabin )) ''To h e r c a b in! Do y ou not know that she was carried off while we were fight ing?" ''The deuce y ou say '' "Yes; a man came between us and car-

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DIAMOND DICK, JH..'8 DAB.IN G DlUF'l'. ried her off just out." befor e I laid Stanley H e looked around bewiklered. All a l one, the camp apparently asleep or "Who was it?" '' Carramba! how can deserted, he knew not how long he had I tell yo u that, been there in that con di ti on. dark as it was?" "Which way did h e go?" "That way. '""rh e n why did you not go instead of wasting time--'' Now, hearing voic e s i n the direction of Lenora's cabin, and having ber in mind as the first important obj ct of search, after her, he turned that way and staggered forward. "Zamacuco! Was not the pa per of more value than the nzoz u e la? Is she worth a ton of gold?'' Curse you! yo u have more thought for that gold than for my interests! Lead t h e way in the direction yo u aw her taken; others will recover the paper." ''Corne on.'' The Mexican s tarted off in haste, and Gibbons ordered the remainder of the men s t anding around to follow him. TJp the gulch, and a l so down, 11e h eard the murmur of other voices, and it all served onl y to bewilder him the more He had taken but a few steps when he staggered against two m en. They were coming his way. "Stanley!" o n e exclaimed. "Thank God!" the other. "We thought you were dead, old man." "Where-where is she?" Stanley gasped, inquiringly. "Who?" And don't come back without her, if "Lenora. you value your lives!" he shouted after "There is bad news for you, but brace them. up against it, old fell ow We w ill aid you All were soon lost in the darkness, and to find her." the mayor stood there alone. "Then Gibbons--" Curse him! He would have that paper "No, no, not Gibbons, but Sierra for himse lf, I believe. I must be watchful Madre J i m. o f that treacherous cutthroat. We11, yo u "Great h eave ns!" a r e one out of the way, anyhow," spurn-These two men were Stanley's pards, ing Stanley with his foot. "You were a Briscow and Temple. fool t o trust tha t young devil; h e has ''The worst of the pair, if anything,'' played you the same trick Domingo would sa id Briscow, "but don't give up to play me.'' despair.'' With more muttered curses he followed ''We'll have her, or we'll give our in the direction t aken by the men who live s tryin' to get her for ye," encouraged had gone after Bertie. Temple up against it, old man." H e had bee n gone perhaps a minute, "Thunder!" suddenl y cried Bri scow, when Elmer Stanley moaned and sat up. "he's shot!" Domingo's bullet had had nothing to "No, no. it was a fall," said Sta nl ey do with his fall. "I'll be all right soon, pards, and then At the moment the Mexican fired, we have work to do." Stanley had caught his to e under a prouYes, yo u are right, we h ave go t work jecting splinter of rock, which unques to do," cried T emple, "more than ye tionably saved him from the bullet, for figger on, mebby, o ld man; but we mean that shot was at short range. to stand by ye to the end Come away to I n falling\ his h e ad had come int o v10our shanty.'' lent contact with a s t o n e, and he was "No, no; I mus t find her." rende r e d insensible "That i s no u se now, if Gibbons and He rubbe d his forehead 111 a dazed a ll hi s gan g ca n t find her--'' 1nanner. It was some moments b efo r e 11e could recall where he was and what had taken place. Whe n the recoll e cti on came to him it came like a flas h, and h e s taggered to his feet, at firs t hardly ab l e to stand. "But, in the power of Sierra Madre Jim! M y Goel! we mus t find h er, I can not rest till s h e is recovered out of his hands .'' "Come with us, Elmer, i t is the only thing to be done now. We know his game, and we will play t o trump his trick

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.' S DARING DlUFT. 15 b e fore he is half do n e with it, yo u bet! "Well, I should snicker if I ain't," Come. tha t villain chuckled. "Why, ye ding-They pulled h im away in the direction basted diamond dude, ye couldn't a' of their shanty, just as the baffled mayor pleased me better if y e had w illed me yer .returning at the head of hi s band of pile a n d kicked ther bucket!'' m1mons ''What do you want with me?'' cried Things were assuming dramat i c shape Bertie. there at the town of Tulip. "What do we want with ye?" --"Yes. R elease me instantly!" CHAPTER VII. "Wull, I reckon not, m y daisy. We BEGINS BERT1E'S DARING DRIFT. are goin' to make cold meat of ye first.,, "You mean to kill me?" Diamond Dick, Jr. 's last shot at Dave "That's what we d o. ,, Gibbons was not fired with the good in"What for?" tention of killin2' that worthy. He might "For a coo l hundred; ha, ha, ha!" be needed later on, and so the bullet did no fatal damage. "And you do not mean to give m e a chance for my life?'' Seeing the mob at hand, and knowing "Wull, hardly a chance, you bet. We that capture would mean instant hanging, are goin' to do ye up so brown that ye B ertie ran off in the darkness, knowing that he could be of more use to his friends won't never croak again.'' alive than dead. Even while they were speaking they He had seen the abduction of Lenora were binding him. and the fall of Stanley. To struggle was useless. The latter he believed had been killed. "But what is my death to you?" Bertie persisted. It was his intention to get on the trail of the man who had run off with the girl, He wanted to get at the bottom of it, and rescue her or give his life in her and learn just who had put them up to it. defense. He believed that it had been Dave He held sacred the promise he had Gibbons, of course, since one of the felgi ven Henry Naylor, and resolved that lows had mentioned a reward of a hunnot only would he save Lenora, but that, dred he was to get for the work. if possible, he would restore to her the "Oh, et ain't nothin' to us, answered ton of gold her brother had found. the Cactus. With these thoughts in mind he "Then can't I buy off?" asked Bertie. doubled on his trail by dodging around "vVull, I opine not. If y e have got the first shanty he came to. anything about ye to buy with, we will Thu;; his pursuers were thrown off the relieve ye of that fer good luck and good track. measure. '' Having turned, he sped away 111 the "You won't find anything on me," direction the abductor of the girl had said Bertie. I always cache my dough taken. before I venture into such a den of cut-Not far had he gone, yet far e nough to throats as this town of Tulip. You are be out of immediate earshot of Gibbons welcome to all you get." and his yelling horde, when he ran head-It was a bluff, of course. long into a group of three men. But it had its effect, and they cursed "Thund eration !" cried one of these their luck. "What have we got hyer?" "Wull, got anything more t o say be-Bertie made a move to defend himse lf, fore we gag ye?" demanded Cactus. but in the instant and before he coul d "If yo u will spare my life, I will te ll recover from the shock, they seized him you as near as I can where my stuff is and h eld him fast. hid." "Durn me if et ain't the very chap!" "Ye will do that?" cried another. "Yes. "Not Diamond Dick, Jr. ?" "It i s a bargain, b y thunder! "The sam e, by thunder!" "vVe wur goin' to cut yer throat, that "Cactus, ye are in luck." I won't deny."

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16 DIAMOND DICK, ,J.R.'S DARING DRIFT. "Aud what will you do if I keep my "Yes, I to see. Go on; I am in-word with you?" terested. But, you will have to be lively "Durn if I know jist what we will do," or somebody will happen this way and the Cactus had to admit. spo il your plans, and you will not get a "Maybe you will cut 'my throat all the whack at the thousand or two I have same, and laugh at me for a fool." cached. You see, they are spreading out "No, we won't do that,,,. protested the to look for me." other two fellows. "That's so; come, pards, let's hustle "What proof have I that you won't do off to the crick with him before Dave kin it?" interfere." "Wull, ye will have to take our word "All right, that's sense." fur et, we reckon, seein' that is all we And away they went, silently like have got to give ye.'' shadows, in the direction of the creek "And I suppose that is worth about a that dashed along down through the gulch tinker's damn per volume," said Bertie, about an eighth of a mile below the inclined to be facetious in spite of his camp's centre. peril. No more was said till they reached "We had no real desire to slit yer purty the creek's bank. white throat anyhow, if we could find There they stopped. some other way that would answer the "Now, then, ye want to know the rest purpose jist as well. These hyer two of et?'' asked the Cactus. chickens wur against cuttin' yer neck." "Yes, I am eager to hear it all," said "I appreciate their goodness," said Bertie, who had accomplished one point, Bertie. "I had just as lief take my that of getting out of the immediate reach chances some uther way, if it is all the of the mayor of Tulip. "If I decide to same to you. Why not fling me into the have my throat cut in preference, I will creek?" let you know." "We thought of wuss'n that," said "Which I reckon ye will," said cut-assistant No. I. throat No. I. ''How was that?'' asked Bertie. ''And we reckon that ye would beg us to cut yer throat as a favor instead.'' "See hyer," suddenly interposed the Cactus, "I'll give ye yer choice of them thar two things, on condition that ye tell us whur yer pile is at.'' "I'll do it," said DiamoudDick,Jr., promptly. "Even though ye ain't heard what t'other fate is to be," reminded assistant cutthroat No. 2. "I understand that it is to be a chance for my life,'' said Bertie. "Ha, ha! Yes, a chance-jist about one in ten million.'' "All right, I accept it; I see that you mean business.'' "Then tell us ye r secret," said the Cactus. "First tell me what this slim chance is to be,'' said Bertie. "Well, it is this: This hyer crick runs down into Devil's Gulch, and no tellin' whur Devil's Gulch runs, fer no man has ever explored it. No man has ever dared do et. See?'' "Well, give us yer 'tention," said the Cactus. "We ain't go t no time to monkey away with ye, and it won't make a cent's worth of difference to the cap'n anyhow." "I am all a tten ti on; go ahead "As I told ye, nobody knows anything about Devil's Gulch crick," the Cactus resumed. "It goes down and down, until it takes a dive underground straight under San Juan Moun tains-ther crick, I mean, and that is as fur as any livin' mortal knows about it.'' ''And you mean to send m e to explore it?" "I see you begin to git th er drift of it,'' laughed the Cactus. "And a sorry drift it will be fer him," said Assistant No. 2. "Ther darin 'est drift any mortal man ever took!" "That is sar:tin, n agreed the Cactus. "Ye see, youngster, we have a boat hyer, and not a slouch of a boat, either-worth mor'n your life and carcass together, and et seems a durn shame to destroy et on your account, but you have our word. Now, we will put ye into that 'ar boat, bound jist as ye are, and se nd ye adrift

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. 1 7 down this hyer crick, or we'll cut yer throat and fling ye to ther fishes, jist as ye have a mind to elect." Diamond Dick, Jr., was eager to accept this one chance for his life That they meant to kill him, and that they had been hired to do it, there was not the ghost of a doubt. He had to play the hand with care for the one chance in a thousand, as it really appeared to be. "I don't know but what I'll back out, after all,'' he remarked. ''Ha, ha, ha!'' laughed the two assi t an ts. "We thought ye would, by jingo!" "Then yer won't accept et, hey?" criec:l the Cactus. "Wull, then, I will make short work of ye I give ye jist ten seconds to decide!" He whipped a bowie from his boot, as he spoke, and placed its keen edge against Diamond Dick, Jr. 's neck, and there could he no doubting that he would be as good as his word. ''Hold on,'' Bertie called out, ''I guess I will take the other way; I wouldn't make a pretty corpse with my throat cut." This struck the three as being so de cidedly funny that they all had to laugh. As if good looks could make any difference to a dead man. "Well, spit out yer secret, then," cried Cactus, as soon as he recovered from his fit of risibility. "You will keep your word with me?" Bertie asked, again. "Yes, yes, honest Injun. We'll do just what we said, fer it don't matter a darn to us which way you die. One way is sure, and the other can't be any surer." "All right, then, it's a bargain." Bertie thereupon told a piece of clever fiction respecting a place where he pretended to have hidden his money be fore venturing into Tulip, and he told it in such a way and with such minute directions that they swallowed the pill whole without winking at it. "Good enough exclaimed the Cactus. "A blind man had orter be able to find that.'' "You will have no trouble abou t it," said Bertie, "if you follow my directions to the letter. Now, then, send me to my fate, since you are determined to do i t." But Mr. Cactus still fingered that big bowie knife, as if debating within his own mind what he would do about it. "Durn me if I know," said he. "Ther captain's orders wur to cut yer throat." "That ain't no fair, Cactus," inter posed one of his assistants. "No et ain't," chimed in the other. "He took ye at yer word and now ye want to keep yer word with him. We hadn't no heart fer cuttin' his t)lroat, anyhow." "That's what we hadn't, Cac t us Be as good as yer word, and let's git the business off our hands." "And don't ye go ter balk abou t et either," said No. r, pulling a gun. "That's what's the matter," said the other, following h i s example. "Oh, well, it don't make a bit of difference," snarled Cactus. "He will be jist as dead one way as t'other, anyhow." "Then git yer boat while we guard him," suggested No. r, who evidently did not feel inclined to trust Cactus very far in the matter. We '11 soon secure him in et and let him go.'' "Keep him kivered w ith yer guns, said Cactus, as he went off to get the boat. ''Bet yer life we wull, and you, too,'' grated No. 2 under his breath. "You kin thank us fer this one slim chance ye have got, youngster," he added, speaking to Bertie. "Yes, I guess you are right," Bertie agreed. "I didn't trust him much, anyhow, but I hardly thought he would go back on his word when it could make so little difference to him.'' "You don't know Caotus, you don't. "Say," Bertie whispered, "if you will free my hands before you put me into that boat, I will give you a pointer." "What is yer pointer?" "Will ye do it?" "We'll see. Come, be quick about et." "You are two to one against the C ac -tus; what is the matter w ith your having that pile of min e to yourselves.'' ''Don't y o u fool yourself by thinkin' we are asle e p( my young rooster, don't ye do et," said the fellow. "We h a ve g o t that thought i n our n ood le s, and we ain't goin' to take no chances b y freein' your hands, e i t her. S hu t ye r h ead, n o w or it

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18 DIAMOND DICK, J R. 'S DARING DIUF'f. will be a bullet instead of either knife or She would wait. boat. ,, At last the top was reached, and the Bertie realized that they were three of prisoner knew then where she was a kind, that he had no chance at all save There was a ledge trail just above the the one last desperate chance the boat camp, on one side of the gulch in which afforded, and wisely he held his peace. the camp was situated, and she believed In a few minutes more Cactus was she had been carried to this. there with the boat, and called out for his She was not mistaken. assistants to hand in the victim. In a few moments her suspicion was They carried Bertie down the rugged confirmed by hearing the sound of stampway to where Cactus was holding the ing horses and then by the low voices of boat, and deposited him in the stern of men. the craft on his back. That done, they She was immediately seized with horstepped out and shoved the boat off, and ror, for she guessed that they intended to it was soon caught by the current and carry her away, another guess in which carried swiftly away. she was not mistaken, as she was speedily ---shown. CHAPTER VIII. "Got ther gal?" one of the men whis-LENORA's FATE AND STANLEY'S GRIT. pered. 'When Lenora Naylor was seized, as "You bet I have got her," was the redescribed, and carried off, at the time of sponse. "Don't s'pose I would come the scrimmage under the tree where her without her, do ye?" brother had been hanged, she made a Lenora had heard that voice before. desperate struggle. "Wull, let me have her while ye It was altogether futile, however, for mount, Sierra Madre Jim, and then--" her strength was as nothing compared to At mention of that name Lenora ut-that of her captor. t e red a scream. His hand was quickly over her mouth. No more terrible name could have been She was held as closely as if in the em-spoken, and to think that she was in the brace of a bear, almost, and thus he sped power of this monster. away with her, swiftly, silently. Sierra Madre Jim was an outlaw, cut-Fi nding how useless it was to struggle, throat, in fact everything that was vile, a she succumbed to the inevitable, and lay desperado without a spark of honor, one passive in his arms, while her brain was who looked upon womankind as of le s s busy with trying to invent some scheme value than horse s. by which to outwit him. "Yon wench!" he cried, giving her She lay so still that he believed that mouth a severe cuff with his open hand. she had swooned, and he relaxed just a "You try that once more, and you will little the pressure with which he had first be sorry for it. Give me a gag one of you clasped her. fellows, and quick about it.,, Feeling this, and guessing his thought, "Spare me," Lenora pleaded, in a low she carried on the deception and lay lifetone. less. "Yes, I'll spare you," was the grated She had no idea who the man was. answer. "You just yaup once more, and At first he ran like a deer, un ti] he was I will show you how I will spare ye!" ''ell out of reach, when he reduced his "But why have you carried me away? pace, and continued at a quick walk, What do you intend doing with me?', h eavily panting. "That is a fool question. Here, op e n Presently he came to a steep place, up your jaws. You won't, eh!" which he labored with difficulty, and The gag was rudely forced into her I,enora thought of coming suddenly to, mouth and secured behind her head, and and causing him to lose his balance and Lenora regretted now, when too late, that fall. she had allowed the mention of this man's The thought of a broken neck if she name to betray her into screamdid, however, deterred her from making rng. the experiment. gagged, she was lifted up 012 Q'1C

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DIAMOND nICK, JR. '8 DARING DUIF'l'. 19 of the horses, where a man held her in front of him, and they rode away at a walk, in silence. No word was spoken until they had passed beyond sight of the camp even by daylight. "Now, wildcat,,, said Sierra Madre Jim, then, "I will enlighten you a trifle regarding your fate, if you want to know it.)) She could not respond of course. ''Oh you are gagged ; I forgot that for the moment. Well, I am goin' after that ton of gold your brother talked so much about after he got back, and I mean to use you to help me find it.,, Lenora gave a start, and would have responded had she been at liberty to do so. "The fact of the business is," Sierra Madre Jim went on to say, "I know that your brother must have told you all he knew about that cavern where the ton of gold is, and I know that Dave Gibbons meant to make use of you jist the same as I am
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'!: DIAMOND DIC K JR. 'S DARING DRIFT. have to tell .me? We mus t be up and a t work!" "Well, hyer it is in a nutshell:. Dave Gibbins is goin' to se t out to-mght to find that cave, and Juan Domin go :vith him. But that ain't all of it yet. Sierra Madre Jim i s goin' to balk him, and get there first, and I suppose that is why he has stolen the gal.'' "Mycurse upon him! But, he shall suffer for it if one hair of her head is harmed, I swear it!" "But we ought to find that new pard of yours, Stanley." "Yes he must lie found. He has pledged' his word that he will aid Lenora in recovering that lost fortune.'' "And we can't find him stvppin' here. Let's get ready, and set out on J?ave Gibbons' trail soon as he starts. Sierra Madre Jim will stop him some'rs, and then will be our chance to chip in.'' "That is a good plan," agreed Stanl ey. ''Make ready as soon as possible, and get the horses. '' And so it was that in less than an hour these three men rode silentl y out of Tulip, following the general windings of Devil's Gulch. Dave Gibbons and his four chozen comrades had preceded them, and al.I heading for the one general obJectlve point, the secret cave where the ton of gold lay awaiting claimants . It was to be a desperate undertaking, for not only were there natural difficulties to be overcome, but the way to the treasure trove was guarded by a band of renecrade Apache Indians, at whose h ands the two companions of Henry Naylor had met their death. The two rival expeditions, that of Dave Gibbons and hi s Mexican ally, and tha t of Sierra Madre Jim and his band, had not been h astily formed; they had preparing for the expedition for days m advance They were armed to the t eeth, and h ad provisions in plenty, and were well prepared to force their way into the very h ear t of the mounta in wilds. Whic h of these would come off victors? And a gainst them, what chance had Elmer Stanley and his two pards? CHAPTER IX. THE DRIFT THROUGH DEVIL'S GULCH. Diamond Dick, Jr., nerved himself for his fate. When the boat was shoved off, and when he felt the current of the creek seize upon it, he knew that his life hung by the slenderest thread. . He regretted the tementy and desire for danger and tha_t led him to place his m the hon s as it were, by commg alone and unaided to this town of Tulip. Diamond Dick, his father, would will ingly have joined him the un.dertaken, had Bertie wired lum ; or 111s fnend and pard of many an adventure, Handsome Harry, would have b een glad of the opportunity; but Bertie had taken up with the idea suddenly, and as suddenly acted upon it. And the idea? What was 1 t? The hunting down and bringing to justice the badly wanted Edward Andrews, ahas-well, he had no end of other names. His latest offense had been against the Government and there was a reward of ) $2 ooo hanging over his head. For six the Government officials had been working hard to apprehend him. . Bertie had by chance gotten an mklmg of his whereabouts, and having been idle for a time the desire was strong within him to at once into something that would stir up his blood, and he had succeeded, almost beyond his wildest expectations. It had been his intention to visit this town of Tulip, away up in foothills of the San Juan, and there qmetly work. up the clew that had by chance fallen to him; but fate had so ordered things that at almost the very moment of his arrival, he was plunged at once i_nto a_ vortex of furiou s excitement, of which his present predicament had been the culmination. No wonder that h e felt some regret for his venture. But, then, how was h e to know the thing was going to ''go off' so suddenly? As the water of the creek caught the boat in i ts embrace, Bertie felt it rock and turn first this way and then that, and tl1en came a stea d y, gliding motion that w as rather pleasant.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. 21 Overhead the stars winked and blinked scrape on the rock tha t held it, and he with peaceful unconcern, and, but for the was afraid it would slip off again. uncel'tainty of the termination of the "That won't do," he decided. "I have voyage, Diamond Dick, Jr., might have got to keep mighty still here, or my bark wished a continuance of the peaceful will be off on the bounding billows again, motion for an indefinite period. But it sure pop." was soon rudely broken. He was in a dilemma. Of a sudden the boat struck a rock, If he move d he was in danger of send was whirled around and nearly capsized, ing the boat on its journey, and if he reand its helpless passenger was banged mained inactive he was likely to remain about mercilessly. a pnsoner. "Well, the performance has com-After due deliberation, he decided to menced, it seems,'' said Diamond Dick, await the coming of daylight before doing Jr., to himself. "Now I wonder just how anything. It would be a most uncommany minutes of life I have got left? I fortabl<: night, bound and with his arms wonder whether I made a mistake in not behind his back, but the re was no help electing to have my throat cut instead of for it. taking this daring drift?'' So he settled down carefully and closed The creek was a swift one, and its his eyes, making himseli as comfortable water was high just at this particular as circumstances would allow. time. How long he remained that way he For a little while, after that first never knew. shock, the boat g lid ed on with only a It was long enough, at all events, for rocking and. bobbing motion, as soon as him t o fall asleep, for he awoke with a the effect of the shock had pdssed away. start. Bertie was afraid that a hole had heen His arms were tingling sharply, for stove in the bottom, but as no water the circulation was impeded, and as he touched him, after a considerable lapse of awoke he f elt the boat give a long, rasptime, he concluded that such had not ing sound, and in another moment it was been the case. on its way again. That, he believe
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22 DICl{, JR.'8 DAUING DRIFT. pearing. A sullen, deep-mouthed roar rock, with here and there grim shafts and was heard. steeples of basalt, time-worn and stately. Diamond Dick, Jr., knew what was this gulch the morning sun w as com111g now. just peering down, giving a touch of He braced l1imself for it as well as he splendor to its corrugated walb. could, and waited; lw had no choice. But the the creek, the boat, the con-With his legs under the middle seat of stant dangers-these were too real to adthe boat, and with his tied hands clutch-mit of doubt. ing the stearn seat as he lay there on his I The creek was here more swift and back, he was reasonably secure. turbulent than at any other point along That is to say, he was secure so long the route, and the dangers were, of course, as the boat remained right-side up. just so much increased. Another moment, and all the stars were Now and again a grim splinter of rock gone. would claim Bertie's attention as the boat A great, gaunt blackness seemed falling shot past it in dangerous proximity, down upon the gorge, to blot it out for-showing him the speed at which he was ever. being carried on into the wilderness. That deep roar was growing deeper, Now and then there would be a shocl< the boat seemed to be gliding more swiftly and a grating sound, then a thump and as it rushed to its doom, and then of a bump, \hen perchance a thud that would sudden came-the end. cause the boat to veer and careen almost A great, hollow, horrible something to the point of overturing, and the helpseemed to swallow the boat and its occuless passenger could not but wonder that pant at a gulp, that roar became a sonor-he had so long escaped disaster. ous rumble, such as is heard when two But the end came at last. There was a big shells are held over the ears, but a shock, the boat seemed to be lifted thousand times magnified. clear of the water for a moment, then it All around was Stygian darkness. fell and turned, whirled around for a mo-Bertie knew full well what had hap-ment, struck again, capsized, there was a pened, and it is no discredit to him to say grating, rasping sound, and then the that a cold perspiration had broken out gulch seemed of a sudden to stand still upon his face. while the waters rushed on their way He had been carried under the moun-with mad naste. tains, and what fate now awaited him he did not dare imagine. He simply lay there, waiting, waiting, and as he waited he made his peace with God. But the end came not. It seemed an hour; it seemed a nightay, it seemed an age that he was borne on, and on, and ever on. At last the heavy pall of gloom seemed to lift a little. Bertie thought at first that it was a trick his eyes were playing him, but no, it was true. The darkness was less intense, light was permeating it from somewhere, the shadows could now be seen rather than felt, and finally came a glorious burst of heaven's sunlight. Never in his life before had Diamond Dick, Jr., so fully appreciated the beau.ties of old Sol. He was again in a narrow gulch. High alJuve towered great walls of CHAPTER X. THE WORK OF FIENDS. "Steady, now! Put up yer hands!" The command was one not to be idly disregarded. Elmer Stanley and his two pards were fairly caught in a trap, and were forced to submit. It was high noon of the day following their departure from the town of Tulip, and they had been pushing straight on into the mountain fastness with 'scarcely a stop All three were keen-eyed men, well used to the wilds, and they had been able to follow the trail without a balk, thus far. The iron-shod hoofs had left their marks even on the hardest rock. The command quoted was uttered by Dave Gibbons, and he stood covering the trio with a Winchester at bis shoulder.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR. 'S DARING DRIFT. 23 Nor was he alone; behind him were his men, every one with rifle unslung and ready for action, and the little company of three had no choice in the matter. "Now, see whar ye are?" cried Gibbons. "Men of your hoss sense should have known better." "We cannot discount fate," said Stan ley, sadly. "Neither kin ye discount me," declared Gibbons, with his rough dialect prominent. "Do ye know what is goin' to become of ye now?'' "I suppose we will be foully murdered,'' said Stanley. Gibbons laughed. "Now ye wouldn't take us fer men of that stamp, would ye?" he asked, with a leer. "We don't intend to do nothin' of the kind, unless ye resist and force us to et.'' "We are in no situation to resist," said Stanley. "It don't look as lf we wur, anyhow," added Mort Briscow. "Then ye mean to give us a show?" queried Zach Temple. "Yes, I am goi n' to give you two a chance fer yer lives," said Gibbons. "And what about our pard ?" demanded Mort. "He has got to die!" This was said with fierce emphasis. "Then ye might jist as well kill us, too," said Zach. "We stick to our pard, through and thin "You had better think twice about that," said Gibbons. "Et ain't necessary; them 's my sentiments, too,'' spoke up Mort. <
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24 DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DlUFT. Still higher rose the walls of rock, Briscow was silent, and submitted sor-barren and desolate, while down below rowfully. rushed a mountain stream that poured its It would have been more than folly for waters into a great, broad pool of inky him to resist; it would have been to throw blackness. his life away. Into this pool the body of poor Temple He submitted without a protest, but in had fallen. his heart was the resolve that Dave GibStanley dismounted on the right-hand side of his horse, nearest the edge of the yawning chasm. bons should die by his hand before he was many hours older. The extra horses having been secured, the party went on their way. "That was a good piece of business on your part, Cactus,'' the ringleader complimented, as they rode along, "discover and ing that Stanley and his pards wur on our trail. '' He took a step or two forward in the direction of Briscow, and no one could guess the purpose he had in mind before it was reveled by his action. Of a sudden he gave a spring, dived headlong from the cliff to frightful depths. the Cactus grinned. Crack! Bang! The rifles spoke quickly, but not quickly enough, for the action had been so sudden that there was no time for aim. A volley followed instantly after the two shots, and bullets went pinging into the dark pool below, but they were impotent, since now the man could no longer be seen. "Well, I be darn !'' "They don't foolish Cactus a whole lot, now I'm tellin' ye," he stoutly averred. "When they do they have got to git up early, you bet." "And you still think that Sierra Madre Jim is ahead of us?" "I am jist as sure of it as if I had seen him with my own eyes,'' was the reply. "Then he must have got around the Apaches by some trail that we don't know a "nything about." "That's what he's done, cap'n, havin' So ejaculated Dave Gibbons. '' Vz"ndz"cta !'' cried his Mexican "Who would have thought it?" 11 that gal with him, and mebby the map a y. her brother made besides. And that ain't all, nu th er." "Well, it makes no great difference to me, if he preferred that manner of death,'' said Gibbons. "He, haw, haw!" laughed cutthroat Cactus, who was one of the band. "He has gone to jine Diamond Dick, Jr.!" At that they all laughed, yet never spoke man truer words. Cactus had reported to Gibbons concerning the fate he had consigned Bertie to, and had received the mayor's approval. There was only one regret he expressed when told about it, and that was that a good boat had been sacrificed for so use less a purpose. "Yes, he will jine him in the hot place,'' Gibbons agreed. And then he added : "We ll, no 11se tarryin' hyer; disarm that feller till he is needed to fight Apaches, and then I reckon he will fight fe r his life and we kin trust him with his g u ns ' T h i s was accordingly done. "Not all ?" "No." "What more?" "My private opine is that he is in cahoots with them 'ar same Apache devils, and that when we fight them we will be fightin' Sierra Madre Jim as well, mebby as their leader." "Thunder! I never thought of that." "Don't ye see how plain et is?" "Yes, it is as plain as the on yer face, when ye see it," the captain agreed. "I tell you thar is goin' to be music in the air before we git done with this business,'' Cactus further declared. '' Carramba, yes!'' agreed the Mexican ally. "But, with a ton of gold for our reward, Vz"ndiCta I we must be demons, not men, with such a prize for the winning.'' He had no intention of speaking facetiously, but to attain that degree meant but a slight remove from what they actually were at their best.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR. s DARING DRIF'r. 25 They pressed forward, until presently The chief soon came forward and shook their further advance was challenged, hands. when the struggle began in good and "What good wind brings my white deadly earnest; and the tug of war was at brother here?'' he asked in his nat ive hand. language. --"I have come to warn my brother of CHAPTER XI. danger," said Jim, telling his lie with an SIERRA MADRE JIM'S DOUBLE HAND.. Sierra Madre Jim and his men, with their captive, continued pusl1ing straight on into the mountains, as we left them. It was a long, weary ride for Lenora, but she bore up bravely, with the hope high in her heart 1 hat sooner or later would come the chance for her to escape. If not, if there was no escape, then she would have it in her power to take her life, and that she would do rather than live to shame and suffering. At daylight a brief halt was called. A hasty breakfast was made, it was as eaten, and they were soon in the saddles and on their way once more. Few men had a better knowledge of the Sierra Madre than Sierra Madre Jim. Yet even he had never penetrated to the region that was r eputed to guard the cavern and the ton of gold. That region was held by a band of renegade Apaches, as we have elsewhere state d, Indians who had never made peace with the Government, and could not be induced to do so. But Sierra.Madre Jim had an advantage over David Gibbons and his ally, in that he knew the chief of this band of Apaches. He had made his acquaintance two or three years before the of our story. Able to talk in the Apache tongue, he had made friends with him. He meant to seek him out now. Having a general idea where he would find the band encamped, he bore in that direction. Finally he was rewarded. He came upon the Indians in a spot in the howling wilds that was partly wooded and partly fertile. At sight of the whites, the Indians made ready to attack them, but Sierra Madre Jim riding forward alone, making a sign of peace, was recognized and speedily made welcome. His men remained apart until Jim had a chance to acquaint the chief with the purpose of the visit. air of solemn earnest. "You have been my friend; I am your friend "Good," grunted the Apache. "And what is the danger?" "You and your tribe guard the way to the hidden place where much gold is,'' said Jim. "The way is guarded," the Indian gave assent. "Well, a band of bad white men are coming to force their way into that place, and I am here to lend you aid in keeping them out, if you will accept the offer." "Another?" asked the Indian. "Not long ago we killed two white men and sent another back to his people as a warning not to come here more. We must this time teach them a lesson they will remember." "That is what I have warned you for," said Jim. "But, my white brother is not all unselfishness," the wily Apache said further. "You want a reward." "I want a favor, but I have not asked it first. I have warned you; you have it in your power to grant my request or refuse it." "And if I refuse it?" ''I will accept the refusal and go away; I will prove t.>hat I am a friend whose friendship is above rewards.'' The Indian gave a series of grunts while he reflected upon t11is. "Let me hear my brother's request," he presently asked. "You know where a cave is, and in it much gold .'' The Indian gave a nod in answer. "You will notice that I have with me a young woman.'' The Indian looked, and nodded again. "Her mind is turned," said Jim, touching his forehead. "It was her brother you sent back to his people, of the three men who tried to penetrate to the place of treasure.'' This caused the Indian a look and grunt of surprise.

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!16 DIAMO N D DI C K, JR.'8 DARING DRl: FT. ''She loved m e, but now is turne d a gai n s t me, h e r mind being clo u ded ,'' the ra scal c ontinue d to lie. The life of h e r brother i s in d a nger for he is a p ri s o n e r and hi s p eop l e threaten to hang him, thinking he foun d the treasure and mur d e r e d his t wo co m pa n io ns. '' The India n gave attention, watching the spea ker close l y but Jim was equal to the scrutiny. H e did not flinch. Now, to clear her brother," he went on, "sh e m u s t see this place of treasure w i t h her own eyes, and must take back proof that her brother did not murder his c ompanions. And you, chief, are the only man who can g i ve her this proof. '' "And what wonld you?" "I would have this girl's mind restored, her brother's life saved, and my own happiness assured .'' Rather a clever lie, as a whole. "So shall it be.," said the chief. "I w i ll aid you if you w i ll also aid me.'' "In what manner?" ''Against these men who would invade my domain and wrest from me this gold of which you have heard. '' "I am more than willing to do that, chief. I have something more at stake in that direction, as you shall hear." ''Let me know everything.'' "I have a rival for the hand of this flower 0 the foothills. He is the leader of the band I have told you about. I seek to remove him from my path." "Ha! I thought I should find the selfish motive at last," said the chief. Sierra Madre Jim saw that he had gone a step too far. Yet he did not show it. "May not a man have more than one horse?" he demanded. "May he not have more than one blanket? More than one gun? And yet may he not be a true and loyal friend?'' "Then you do not want the heap of gold?" "Are my shoulders so strong that I could carry a ton? Are yon so weak that I could wrest it from you, or so blind that you could not see me carrying it? I seek nothing hut what I have told you. Aid me or refuse me, we are still friends the san1e '' The Indian held out his hand. "Your ton g u e is n o t crooked," he r e marked. "I will grant a ll you have asked o f me. Now, where a r e these men?" "They e ntered the hills by the Devil's Gulch." "And you came in by the high ledge trail." "Yes." "An d where are they now?" "They are still following the gulch, the one w here the swift water runs.'' "It is the same one. Are they far ahead?" "Not far." "Then hearken. We can cut them off, secrete ourselves in the great gorge, and lie i n ambush for them to approach There you can s lay your rival, and I can destroy those who would defy me." "Your hand on it, chief." "Here is my hand. They shook hands, and the first part of Sierra Madre Jim's scheme had been per-., fected. It remained now to be seer; whether he would be able to carry out the second part, when the time came, and get away with the ton of gold. The compact made, Sierra Madre Jim signaled to his men to come forward, and all were soon as friendly as if they were of one race and one language. An Indian buck came running to his chief, out of breath and excited. He was one who had been sent out from the ambush to spy upon the in vaders, and he announced their approach. "It is well," said the chief, with gravity. "Our warriors have grown tired of waiting to drink their blood. How near are they?" "They are only around the double bend now, chief," was the reply. "Good! We are ready." ''And we will give them more than they have bargained for,'' declared Sierra Madre Jim. "We will wipe them off the face of the earth.'' The chief gave some ha ty instructions to his men, and they posted themselves at every possible point of advantage along the face of the cliffs above the trail. But abuut that time Cactus returned to his party from a little scouting excursion. "Thunder is ter pay," he broke out. ''In what way?" asked Dave Gibbons.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. 2 7 ((Ther way is blocked." her, fe eling that she was secure enough ((Blocked?'' and needed little watching. ((Yes, by about fifty 'Paches, more or The fight lasted two hours, at the end less." of which time the Indians refused to fight ''Blazes! Then we might as well throw lonaer and their chief had to draw them up the sponge, I reckon, if there's as off.I:> About a ronnd dozen of their many as that.'' had be e n picked off, while they had not "Not by a big sight, cap'n." been able to kill a single man of the in"Then you have got a plan?" vaders, and they had had enough of it. ((You bet." And when the chief and Sierra Madre ((What is it?" Jim returned to the point where Jim's ((We'll stop right hyer and let 'em prisoner had been left, the girl was not 'tack us. We couldn't get a better place, there. and ten to one we'll drive 'em off.'' "Then they are in ambush?" ((Yes, and would 'a 'et us all up ef we had got into their trap. But you take my 'vice and stop hyer, and we'll win ther fight.)) So it was arranged, and they awaited the attack. In similar manner, Sierra Madre Jim and his allies awaited their coming into the ambush. One of the most interested ones of them all was Lenora Naylor, who had a full understanding of all that was going on Having been cared for from infancy by a squaw, she knew more or less of the Indian tongue. As time passed, and the little band of whites did not appear, the chief sent out other scouts to see what was the matter. When these returned they reported the situation. ''That means that we have got to attack, chief,'' said Sierra Madre Jim. ((Well, we are strong enough, if they are so few," said the chief. "We will begin it at once, and their scalps will soon be at our belts." To all of this Lenora listened, praying that chance would be given her to make her escape while the fight was going on. She cared little whither she went, so long as she got out of the power of Sierra Madre Jim. Her heart sank, however, when she found that she was to be bound and left under guard while the fight was in pro gress, and it sank more when this was carried out. One of Sierra Madre Jim's men and an Indian were left to that duty, and these, knowing that the prisoner was bound, gave more attention to the fight than to CHAPTER XII. THE DARING DRIFT RESUMED. Diamond Dick, Jr., finding that be was still alive, after the rough tumbling he had received, looked around him. He found himself lying upon a sloping rock, around which the water went surging with mad fury. At his feet lay the boat, bottom-side up, and apparently uninjured. It was half out of the water and half in, and the dividing of the current around the rock kept it evenly ba l anced in i t s position. He saw where the boat had tumbled over a natural dam some six feet high which had been the cause of the turning over and of the spiling he had got at the same time. Strange to say, he had fallen upon the rock high and dry out of the water. Just below him was a great black pool where the wa t ers went surging around and around in endless motion, as if some giant hand were stirring the pool with an invisible paddle. Hiah on every hand rose the rock walls of gulch, and it looked to Diamond Dick, Jr., as if he had been at last de posited in a place wbre be must slowly die of starvation, for there did not seem to be a possible avenue of escape. But, there was the boat, there was the rushing stream If he had come thus far bound and helpless, surely 11e would dare to venture to continue the daring drift farther, once he could get free of the cords that bound him and have the use of his legs and arms. But there was the sticking point. How was he to get rid of the bonds? It looked an impossible task, at first.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. Bertie was not the chap to say die, He b eard no voices; he could see no however. He bad gotten out of many a one. fix before, and he would get out of this But of a sudden a human form came one-somehow. into sight, as if the man had been thrown When he had thought for a time, he out from some invisible crevice in the worked his way to the edge of the rock rock. on which he lay, and throwing his legs Down, down, he came, arm s and l egs over a corner of it, be ga n to move them wildly spread at fir s t, but presently drawup and down, bringing the cord s into fric-ing in until the bod y was as s traight as an tion over a sharp angle. arrow, and came with similar swiftn ess In a little while he was rewarded The Then the reports of the rifles, then the cord s gave way and his f ee t were fr eed v oll ey, and Bertie heard the bullets ping It was little trouble, then, to ge t upon into the water. his feet and find a place whe re a similar This man, whoever he was, was alive. plan could be operated for the freeing of Down and down, s tead y and stra ight, his hands. and then the fri ghtful plunge into the At last he was fre e deep, dark pool! "Now, this is something like it, he Bertie was keenly alive with interest said to himself. I am glad I declined now, needless to say He leaned over the the generous offe r of Mr. Cactus t o cut dark water and almost m y throa t. But, I am in a pretty bad fix awaited the reappearance of the daring none the less. Ha! what is that?'' man. He thought he heard a rifle shot. The moments seemed hours. Starting and looking around, someVJ'ould the man never appear? Had he thing caught his eye. been killed on some hidden rock? It was the body of Zach Temple fall in g Perhaps the horrible vortex had sucked down the face of the high wall s traight him down into its em brace so that there for the dark, surgin g pool. could be no breaking. Ah! The body struck the wat er, disappeared, Up shot the head and half the body out presently reappeared again, and was carof the water, and then began a battle ried around the dark basin in the rapid for life. current, turning this way and that. The man was near the rock wall and can .that be, I wonder?" said tried frantically to find some to Bertie, filled with horror, for the moment. which he could clinofast but there was ''A murder has been done, that is plain.'' I none. As the body came around to where he His back was toward Bertie. stood, he leaned. fo.rward to get a good He was trying to face the current rathe r look at the face, if 1t happened for a mo-than swim with it. ment to turn toward him. As he was carried near the rock on Nearer nearer the body cam;, but which Bertie was standing, Bertie saw 1 t looked as 1f he would not be given a that he must pass close to it. chance to see the face, but of a sudden, To think was to act with him. just as the current was bearing it past it He threw himself down ou his face, turned. hooking his feet over a projection. "My God!" cri ed Bertie, at the sigh t. Thus he waited with his head, arms "It is one o f Stanley's pards, as I live!" and shoulders hanging just over the Eagerly he turned his gaze up toward surface of the dark water, and in a few the point whence it had come. minutes the struggling man was near at He could see nothing save the bare hand. wall of rock. Was he within reach? Would Bertie From his position, not even the locabe able to save him after all? tion of the plateau trail was discernible. Another moment would prove. All the rocks were seamed with the It came. finger-marks of time, and if he saw w h ere Bertie made a sudden thrust with his the plateau was it was not distinguishable arms, reaching to the utmost limit at the from one of these same time.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. 29 His right fingers came in contact with the man's shoulder, slipped, but had the effect to throw the man's equilibrium in that direction. Another grab, this time with the left hand, and the fingers clutched the collar of his coat, and once a hold was had, Bertie held on like grim death and drew the man to the rock. "Diamond Dick, Jr.!" ''Stanley!'' That their surprise was genuine needs no attesting. After a few moments of resting, Stanley, with Bertie's aid, drew himself out upon the rock. And then there was an exchange of experiences, which, needless to say, was listened to with keenest interest by each. It looked, as Stanley remarked, as if Providence was enlisted on their side in the unequal contest, and he believed that they would yet win if they persevered. Their experiences having been related, they applied their minds to the problem before them. "The first thing," said Bertie, "is to get out of here, and there is only one way." "The boat." "Exactly. We shall have to continue this daring drift until we can find a place to land." "Ha! by the way, did you get that map all right?" "Glad you mentioned it; it had slipped my mind. Yes, I got it, and here it is.,, "It may be the means of leading us out of here, if it is a map of the region we are in. And it may lead us to the treasure. '' "You are right. Here, sit down and we will study it together." And they did. The sun was looking straight down into the gulch, and lighted up tl1e reek on which they were stranded. Bertie spread out the map on the rock, and they lay down and began to study it with an interest such as their situation and hopes called forth. "We are on the right trail," said Bertie, presently. "See here is a creek flowin g through a deep gulch, which mus t be the very one we are in. And here is a dark spot that may indicate this very pool.'' "Yes, yes, I believe you are right," said Stanley, excitedly. "I am sure of it. See, it is a place all cut up with canons, and here is indicated a great circle, or basin. And these arrow heads, they must point the way to the cave. We are above that great basin, Stanley; we must drift down to it.'' "It will be at the risk of our lives, Diamond Dick, Jr.'' "It is sure death to remain here." "Well, I am with you." "Then let us right the boat and be on our way.'' This they did, and examination proved that the boat had sustained no disabling injury. It was righted, pulled over the sloping rock and launched in the whirlpool, and the two daring spirits got in and pushed off, without oar or paddle with which to guide their craft. They were swiftly carried around the basin, and at the opposite side the dis covery was made that the continuation of the creek was over a natural dam where was a fall of some feet, a difficulty they would have to overcome before they could proceed. Needless to dwell upon the point; they got the boat over the dam and down the falls, and launching it again in the water below, they were speeding on their way into an unknown region, and perhaps to an unknown fate. For an hour or longer they were borne on and on, using every effort for the preservation of their boat from accident, till at last, of a sudden, a startling command broke upon their ears: "Up with yer hands, thar, you sons of varmints ' At the instant their boat was in a most dangerous rapids, with dangerous rocks on every hand. / It was requiring their best effort to keep her from striking, and now this startling order rendered their position ten times more perilous. They glanced up, and there, partly behind a ledge of rock on their right, stood Dave Gi.bbons, with a rifle in one hand and revolver in the other, and a look of ashen surprise on his countenance.

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3!l DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DAlUN(; DRIFT. Before they could return their gaze to their work, and even before the man on the rocks could shoot at them, they ran upon one of the mentioned rocks, and as the boat struck the rock it capsized, throwing the two men into the torrent. It had all happened in a fraction of a minute, and Dave Gibbons, looking down from his place of vantage, saw nothing more of the two men, and the boat, presently dislodging, swung around with the current and was carried on its way empty. CHAPTER XIII. DISCOVERY AND DISASTER. That was a close call, Stanley." That's what it was, Diamond Dick, Jr. I don't care for another as close.'' And only for our playing the underwater dodge that fiend would have picked us off. We are a pair of lucky dogs." It was some time later, and they were standing on a sheltered shelf along the edge of the creek, trying to repair the damages to their boat in order to resume their daring drift down the dismal canon. They had secured the boat, after much difficulty. While they were working and talking a slight sound caught Bertie's quick ears, and he wheeled instantly with a gun in hand. There was instantly a glad, Joyous cry. It was Lenora. Lenora!" Elmer! Elmer!" They were instantly 111 each ot!1er's embrace. Questions and answers were thick and fast, and the girl told of her escape from Sierra Madre Jim {vhile the fight was on, and of her subsequent wander-111gs. It was a joyous meeting. Bnt it did not stop the work in hand winch was pnshed forward with all haste. At last r epairs had been made as well as possible, and it was decided that they shonld press on their way as lona as it 0 \Yas light encugh for them to see. They entered the boat, and the flow of the creek being here less rapid and turbulent, the water being nearer a level, they proceeded without further mishaps. Just when it was getting too dark for them to go farther with safety, they came ont into a great, broad basin. This is the place," said Bertie, immediately. Not a doubt of it," agreed Stanley, and now we need only daylight to dis cover the caveru and the ton of gold." The boat was drawn out of the water, and Lenora was made as comfortable as possible in it for the night, Bertie and Stanley tbrowing themselves clown on the rock near at hand. On the morrow they were early astir, and by that time the pangs of hmJger were becoming well-nigh insufferable. Bertie proposed going out in quest of something to eat, as the first business of the day, no matter what it might be, and the others were to await his return. He started, crossing the ba s in in the boat, and took the first trail, rather opening, for of trails there were none. He presently found himself a mile or more from his point of starting. He was on a ledge at some height about the basin, when of a sudden he heard the report of a rifle and a bullet whizzed past his face. Almost before he could take action, another report was heard and another bullet sped even nearer than the first, and he started and ran along the ledge to get out of range. The ledge was narrow, and he had to hug close to the wall to keep his footing while he sought shelter from the unseen attack. Shouts told him that he was being pursued, and presently a friendly niche in the wall presenting a place for him to stop and defend himself, he entered it. He had no sooner passed the entrance than he found he was in a cavern of con siderable size, but there was no time then for him to look around. One of his pur suers was close at hand. Looking out, he saw Cactus coming toward the entrance, and with a cool aim he sent him rollina down into the narrow gorge that yawned below to receive him. This calle
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DIAMOND DIC K JR. 8 DARING DHIFT. 31 around his eyes took in the picture that perfidy having become apparent t o the had in all probability l as t been seen by chief of the band, and he was bent upon Henry Naylor and his companions. There wiping out every man of both parti es was the ton o f gold, in a beautiful ye ll ow Diamond Dick, Jr., reached the bo a t in pyramid that would have sent the average safe t y, and, with his h a t fer a paddl e h e prospector almost insane with jo y. For quickly crossed the basin and landed at the moment Bertie for go t his hunger, for-the p l a c e where Stanley and the girl were got the outlaws, and f eas ted his e yes upon awaiting him. the stor e of wealth. It contained nugget s ((Did yo u get grub?" Stanley asked. from the s i ze of a bullet to the s i ze of his ((What was all the firing about?" fist, and for a full quarter of an hour ((We feared you had been killed," said Ber t ie reve l ed in the delight s of imagina-the girl. tion. ((No, I have n't go t grub, yet," an -In the fore part of the cavern were the swered Bertie, "but I got this!" bones of men, together with broken imH e h eld up the n :ugge t, and exclamaplements and weapons These m e n had tion s of _surprise burst from the lips of his no doubt died g u ardi n g the treasure their compamon s hands had heaped up. It must have taken "You have found the cavern?" cried them months, perhaps years, t o ac cumu-Stanley. late such a store. "Yes, and we have only got to li e low Voices without recalled Diamond Dick, until the outlaws and the Apaches fight Jr., to the perils of the moment, and it out, and then we can play onr little seizing one fine nugget that must have trump and scoop the pile.'' weighed full sixty ounces, h e put it in "But meantime we shall starve," r e -his jacket pocket and sprang to the en-minded Lenora. trance. "We must take o u r chances of that," It was the only specimen of the vast said Bertie. "Here we are, and we have treasure that any human would ever carry got to fight it out. But both parties had away from that cavern, as swift coming ample provisi ons, and we have got to events proved outwit the Indians and secure some of it. Dave Gibbons and his crew were on the And we can
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32 DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S DARING DRIFT. It was a shock and a surprise, but there will be ample when I land that rascal was the terrible fact. A space perhaps where he belongs.'' two hundred feet wide, reaching afar up It was accepted, and Bertie and Stanley th.e sloping mountain side, had been then set about rescuing the helpless man scooped out clean and denuded of every-from his living tomb. He was securely thing movable, and the whole had been bound, as soon as his arms had been precipitated to the gorge below, burying freed, and it was found that he had esalike outlaws and Indians under its terricaped without any broken bones. He was ble mass, and forever closing up the cave. forced to tell where his horses and pro-Thousands upon thousands of tons of visions had been left, and these were debris now blocked the way to the presently found. Further search likewise treasure. discovered the horses and supplies that While the trio stood there, awestruck, had been brought there by Sierra Madre they heard a moan. Jim and his men, and with all these the Looking in the direction whence it homeward journey was begun. came, they saw the head and shoulders of Nothing more was seen of either Indians a man protr1iding from the mass of debris or outlaws, and it was safe to conclude at one side. that all had perished miserably under the "It is Dave Gibbons!" cried Lenora. great landslide that had taken place. ''And I will soon cut his life short,', Bertie and his two friends reached the cried Stanley; but Bertie checked him. town of Tulip in safety, and when their "Hold!" he cried. "That man is worth story was told it made a sensation. The two thousand dollars, and I will give him body of Henry Naylor had by that time a fate worse than your bullet. Leave him been buried, and most of the men who to me. ', had taken part in his hanging were sorry "You say he is worth two thousand enough for the part they had played. dollars to you?', cried Stanley, lowering There was a general exodus of undesirhis Winchester. able characters, and Diamond Dick, Jr., ''How can that be?'' queried Lenora. "Because he is none other than Edward Andrews, the very man I came here in search of. Leave him to me, and if I am right I will see to it that he gets his just deserts, and that Henry Naylor is avenged.,, "But," said Lenora, "I had vowed that a knife in my hand should find his heart. Think of what my brother suffered at his hands, sir." "And it is for a greater punishment than a swift and sudden death that his life has been spared here,'' said Bertie, impressively. "Leave him to me, and while you are happy you can think of him as wearing out his life at hard labor in prison.'' "Perhaps you are right,,, she said finally. "And here, before we go farther," said Bertie, ''I want you to accept this nugget. It is no doubt worth from thirteen to fifteen hundred dollars, and it will go toward providing you with a comfortable loiome. It is yours rather than mine, and I will accept no refusa1. My own reward was given an ovation by those citizens whose desire was to lead and lawabiding lives in the future. Finally, Bertie took leave 0f them, taking his prisoner with him, whom he finally landed in prison, and for whose apprehension he received not only the promised reward, but great praise besides. His father heard of the matter, and wired him hearty congratulations. Bertie re sponded, and having another urgent call at once, he set forth for another singlehanded adventure, the particulars of which will be given next week in a story entitled "Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Diamond Clew; or, The Duke of Pokeropolis. '' [THE END.]

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Stories of the most fascinating Western romance in which this hero is the leading character can only be found in the Diamond Dick, Jr., A Weekly Library. This library will continue to be the cheapest and handsomest library published. Thirty-two pages, and bound in a graphically illustrated cover, printed in colors. CATALOGUE. 1.-Diamond DicK, Jr. 's, Marked Bulle t ; or The Wreck of the Fast Mail. By W. B. Lawson. 2.-Diamond Dick, Jr., On His Metal; or Fighting an All-Star Combination. By W. B. Lawson. 3.-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's, Run of Luck ; or, The Twist-Up at Terrib l e By W. B. Lawson. 4.Diamond Dick, Jr.'s, Black Box; or, The Mystery of Half a Million. By W. B Lawson. 5.-Diamond Dick, Jr., On th e Stage; or, The Do-Up at Dangerfield. By W. B. Lawson. 6.-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's, Big Wager; or, The Tiger of the M e sa. By W. B. Lawson. 7.-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s, Trump Card; o r Th e M o nte Sharp from Poker Flat. By W. B. Lawson. 8.-Diamond Dick, Jr., Daring Drift; o r Under Water Throu g h Devil's Gulch. By W. B. L awson 9.-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's, Diamond Clue ; o r The Duke of Pokeropolis. By W. B. Lawson. 1 o.-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's, Ride for Life ; or, The Hobos of Hunnewell. By W. B. Lawson. STREET & SMITH, PUBLISHERS, NEW YORK. For Sale by all Newsdealers. Price Five Cents.