Diamond Dick at Full-Hand Ferry; or, Rough work on Rapid River


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Diamond Dick at Full-Hand Ferry; or, Rough work on Rapid River

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Title:
Diamond Dick at Full-Hand Ferry; or, Rough work on Rapid River
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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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
030819235 ( ALEPH )
17750483 ( OCLC )
D21-00009 ( USFLDC DOI )
d21.9 ( USFLDC Handle )

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BOY$ BEST i ssue d Weekly. By Subsc r iption $2.5oper year. E1ltered as Second Class Matte r ac New York P ost Office by STREET & SMITH, 2.]8 W illiam St., N. Y. No.288. Price, Five Cents / I AS BEIHfE SPl\ANG TO THI GIRL'S RESCUE, DICK TtTHNED HIS ATTKNTION TO TAE RUFFIAN.

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' Issued Weekly. By Subscription ta so per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at tM N. Y. Post Office, l>y STREET & SMITH, UB William St., N. Y. Entered according to Act of Congress in tlie year u;o2, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Was/ring-ton, D. C. No. 288. NEW YORK, April 1 .9, 190.2. Price Five Cents. :'t Diamond Dick at Full=Hand Ferry; OR, R0UGH WE)RK E)N R1\VID RIVER. By the author of "DIAMOND DICK." CHAPTER I. THE MEXICAN "TIENDA." "Clickity-clack-clack, clickity-clack-clack," went the castanets. "Zoom, zoo111, zoom," came the deep strains of the bass viol. And over and through these sounds could be heard the tinkling tones of the guitar, but it was no Spau ish air the instruments were playiug, although the dance was going forward in a Mexican "tieuda" at Dos Cabezas. Half a dozen "adobes" comprised the settlement of Dos Cabezas, and of these half-dozen houses, the tienda was the largest and best. Bnt that was not saying much. The tienda was a long, low building, fringed about with palms and shrubs. In the front part of the establishment you could buy anything from pulque to sewing machines, aud in the rearyou could either dance or play monte, as pleased you. These Mexican tiendas all have names, and tl!is one at Dos Cabezas sporte d a Spanish snperlative which, interpreted, meant "The Place of 'l'hings." When we ring np the curtain it is evening, a d:mce i s in progress, and through the open windows stream glares of light and come the sounds indicated above. But those are not the only sounds. Listen: "S'lute yer podners. Fust fonr for'ard an' back. Ladies' ch
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2 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-:-THE BEST WEEKLY an' sp'ilin' the figgers! Fust for for'ard ag'in an' pass right through. S'lute yer podners. None o' yer lip, Dutch, or I'll turn loose with m y hardware an' they'll hev ter rustle another man fer thet set.'' A litl1e forin; approaching noiselessly and swiftly toward one of the windows through the brus h heard the raucous tones of the "caIJer-of.f." Reaching the window, he looked in and saw a score of people, Mexi can senoritas and caballeros, American women and cowbo ys, mixing indiscriminately and all bent on having a good time. As the dark figure stood peering into the room, a second form, like an evil shadow, skulke d out of the thicket and moved forward in crnuching attitud e and with c a t-1ike softn ess What sounds tl1e sec o n d man unavoidably made were drowned b y the noise in the d a nce hall. When within a few ya rds of the form at the win dow, the second man upstarted, a knife flashing in his hand in the light that came from the tiend a "Curse y ou, Nixon! You'll never li v e to foll o w the trail you've started 011 The man at the wind o w turned He was yonng, he had hair that fell about his shoulders, a nd from the looped-up bri m of his som brero and from other points about 11is natty Mexican c ostume flashed the many-hued gleams of brilliants. The man with the knife paused as though spell bonud, the blade uprai s ed. He was full in t!Je light, and showed himself to be coarsely featt1red, and to be clad in the leather chaparre jos and flannel shirt of a cowboy. But he had not the b o w e d le g s and roll i n g gait which the true puncher acquires on the hurricane deck of his bronk. So tbis man may have been a pretender. "You' re shy a few chips this deal, stranger," said the youth in the Mexican get-up. "If it's Nixon you want to knife you 're up against the wrong proposi tion. Easy with that blade! Poised though it is, could put a bullet through your heart before it could fall.,, "Diamond Dick L" exclaimed the man with the knife, breathlessly. "Diamond Dick, Jr.," corrected the youth. "Beg y ore parding, Diamond Dick, Jr.," mumbled the man, putting up his bowie with a shamefaced air. "I could a' sworn ye was H ank Nixon. Hank has cut m e out with my gal, an' I'm a goin' ter do him ef he don't do me fust." Turning, the man slouched off into the darkness, and a low lau g h fell from the youn g sport's lips. A moment later a quick, sharp whistle ech o ed from behind a hedge of pomegranates. Bertie returned it as he advanced, and presently met a tall form which p a rted the bushes and stepped out in front of him. "Diamond Dick!" exclaimed Bertie. "You got my m es s a ge all right?" returned the old veteran. "Two-Spot d elive r e d it to me not more than three hours a go.'' "Whe re i s the New York kid now?" "I left liim at Gidcling's rancho. Have you come on from Ouray with onl y Two-Spot?" "HanJsome Harry accompanied me." "Where is he?" "Down in the arroy o with his h o r s e and mine." "I was s uTpris e d to get your message, Di amond Dick. Wlrnt's to pa y ?t' "I don' t kn ow, a s y et. I rec e ived a note fr o m Nixon, a S a n Francisco sleuth, a sking me t o mee t him h e re, at this ti enda in Dos C a bezos, at this hour.'' ''Nixon!" e x claimed the young s port, recalling the w o r d s of the rna11 who h a d attempted to u se the knife. "Yes, Henry Nixon." ''Go on,'' said young Diamond Dick. "That' s all," replied the old veteran. "Here we are and now all that remains for us to do is to find Nixon." "Haven't you any idea what Nixon wants of us?" "No, except that there's a desperate game of

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLYo kind on. The word he sent me came from Tangle-was in no condition to return at once to Dos Cabe z as, foot.'' 'l'hereupon the young sport narrated the incident of the man with the bowie. "Well!" murmured Diamond Dick. "That is an interesting starter and speaks much for the desperate character of tbe work Nixon has got on hand." "\Vhy are we mixing up in it?" "Nix0n says our railroad is concerned 111 some wa y." "I wish he had been a little more explicit." "He's a man who doesn't shy at trifles, Bertie." "So I ve h eard." "And he's a tip-top good fellow, into the bargain. If he's in the dance hall we will find him and soon learn all that he has to tell us. Come on." The Dicks at once sta rted for the entranc e to the tienda. the young sport left 11irn at Giddings', and the boy was to come on as soon as he thought advisable to do so. As they walked slowly toward the dance hall old Diamond Dick a s ked the young sport about his suc cess over in the Mon2ollon district. Bertie replied briefly with the details. ''Who are the men back of the attempted swin_ die?" Diamond Dick asked. "A _villain who ca l ls himself Ken ch Lattimer i s one of Bertie answered, "but the names of t11e others I do not know." "I've heard of Kench. He hasn't a ver y savory reputation in these parts." B y that time the Diamond Dicks were so close to the tieud a that the mus ic, the scnffiing of feet and the high voices in the dance hall made it impo s s ible Young Diamond Dick h a d left Oura y three or for them to conver se. four days previous to this meeting with the veteran in Dos Cabe z o s and had gone to look at a mine in the Mogollon Mountains. An E ast e rn s yndicate had reque s ted him to do this and to give an expert report as to the mine's valu e What the young sport hadn't learned about mines from his own experience and from old Diamond Dick's, was hardly worth knowing, and it had take n him les s than two hours to discover that a company of loc a l sharpers were trying to fleece the Easterne r s out of their m o ney. Disgusted and indignant, Diamond Dick, Jr., had expressed himself in no very gentle terms to the sharpers, and th e reupon they had offered him several t housand dollars to make a false report. The young sp ort's answer wa s emphatic and t o the point. He said nothing, but knocked down the man who had tried to subsidize him and returned to Gidding's rancho, where he had made his headquarters. On arriving at the rapch he had found Two-Spot Peters waiting for him with the message from D i a mond Dick. "Hey, tar, you, Petie of the J-0 !" yelled the c a ller-off, high above the medley of other sounds. "A gent ain't got no bu s iness on the floor when he's so_ foll he kain't travel through the grand, right-anleft Now, then-promernade all au'---" The caller-off was interrupted b y the sharp, inci siv e crack of a revolver. Instantly the music, the loud laughter t l ;e scuffling of feet became stilled as if by magic. T h ere fell a deep silence of tragic import-a silence th a t prevailed for a fraction of a minute only. Then came the screams of women and the. fierce aud angry cries of the men. "Nixon's got it!" "Andy Newcomer turned lo o se with his fort y four. '' "Grab Andy! Kill him! Don't let him git away!" These, among other shouts, were heard by the Dicks above the sudden turmoil and confu s ion now in the d ance hall. "That fellow who tackled you must have turned a gun on Nixon in the building there," said the old As Two-Spot had made a long and his horse veteran, increasing his gait to a run. "And the.re r

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DIAMOND DICK, Bovs BEST WEEKLY. isn't any woman at the bottom of it. It's a play of Nixon's enemies to get him out of their road." Diamond Dick, Jr .. was close after old Diamond Dick as the latter dashed through the front part of the tienda and burst into the dance hall. CHAPTER II. NIXON, In the long, low-ceiled room where the me.rrymaking had been going on there was the wildest kind of exci tern en t. Women were talking in high and frantic voices, and the men, gathered in knots, were discussing the in hoarse and impassioned tones. Some of the dancers were standing around a in the front end of the hall, while others were grouped about a door in the rear. "How did this happen?" asked old Diamond Dick. The Dicks Wt:re immediately recognized, if not by their faces, then by the clothes they wore, for their renown had spread all through that section of the country. "Andy Newcomer tried ter make a killin', Dimun Dick,'' answered a long-haired puncher who wore a rattlesnake band around bis hat. "Be stood right up thar in the middle of the floor an' shot Nixon of ole Nogales, as we useter call him, although he now hails frotn 'Frisco." "Who is this Newcomer?" "He's lately arrived on this rodeo, which is why the boys spotted him with thet thar label." "Why did he shoot Nixoi1 ?" "Thet's a cornundrnm. Nixon wasn't dancin ', hasn't swapped half a dozen words with any horn bre sence he's been in the hall, an' was jest settin' in a chair an' Jookin' on. Ef we kin git Newcomer out o' thet back room we'll give him a dance in the air at the end o' six feet o' rope." "Ont of what roC>m ?" "See thet door back thar ?" 'l'he puncher waved his baud toward the tear door in front of which some of the dancers were collected. "I see the door," said Diamond Dick. "Wall, thet door leads inter a room which ain't got no windows an' no other doors aside from the one ye're lookin' at. Newcomer's in thar. He made a rush an' dodged in right arter the when everyone was kinder in a trance like. Andy has got' his gttns an 1 be swears he'll kill the fust half-dozen thet try ter git him." "Was Nixon killed?" "Nary, but badly hurt." "Where is he?" "Over that on the bench." "Can he talk?" "Sure." Diamond Dick started toward the bench, but halted before he had gone more than four or five steps. "Watch that door and see that Newcomer doesn't come ottt. 1'11 be there in a few moments, and take care of him." "What?" Diamond Dick repeated his words. "Consarn it, Dinrnn Dick!" exclaimed the puncher. "When ye open the door ye'll be plum in the light, Andy'll be in the dark, an' 11e'll riddle ye.'' "I'll chance it." The old veteran went on to the bench and the young sport followed him. Nixon, a lithe, spare-built, middle-aged man, was stretched out otl the bench, a rolled-up coat under his head. His wound was in the left shoulder, well above the heart, and had been bound by one of the women. He was in great pain, but not a sigh or a whimper escaped his lips. At sight of the Dicks his face lighted up and he stretched out his right band to the old veteran and the young sport in turn. "I knew yo11'd come," S<:1id "but it's tough luck that yon tt'nd me like this, a deadhead in the enterprise ta to follow."

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DiJ\MOND JRo-THE BOYS9 BEST WEEKLYo 5 "It's hard lines, Nixon, as you say. How's the injury?" "Bad enough, but I've only kicked at the bucket and not upset it." A grim smile overspread the strong, pallid face of the detective. "Is this N ewcoruer one of the gang you are after?" "Yes." ''Then, after you recover) you can take the field against the outfit." "No," returned Nixon, faintly; "the work must b e taken up at once. The iron is hot and now is the time to strike. 'rhis is a critical moment with the affairs of the g ang, and that is the reason this bold move was made to get me ont of the wa y." "Did Newcomer know that you were to meet us here to-night?" "I think not." "What's the deal you have on hand?" Nix on started to speak, but 11oticing the curious faces of the men and women who surrounded the bench, he paused and waved his hand. They understood the gesture and moved away out of earshot, leaving Nixon alone with t11e Dicks. \ "Your road, Dick, is as s isting in a scheme to de_ fraud the United States Governmeut." "How?" The question came from both the old veteran and the young sport. "By hauling opium that nev e r paid a cent of duty to Uncle Sam." "We have hauled no opium, said Diamond Dick, astonished at the detective's statement. ''It is b_illed out as assayers' slag and con s igned to the Nortl1 Pacific Smelti11g Company, San Francbco. There's no such smelting company, l'lnd Chinamen clahn the supposed aud u s e it in the opium "How does it get to Tanglefoot?" put 1n Diamond Dick. "It comes across the border somehow, and is smuggled to the station 011 your line. This makes the shipment look all right." "Do you know anything about the gang?" "Not a thing, except that the ore is ostensibly shipped by the Grubstake Mining Company, and that this Newcomer makes the shipmen ts from Tangle foot. '' "How did you discover that?" "I had my suspicions aroused and succeeded in covertly examining a consignment in San Francisco, before it was called for. After my examination, the opium was boxed up again. The Chinamen who called for it are being watched and I came on to Tanglefoot and saw Newcomer bring in a lot of the stuff. ''I could have arrested the fellow then and there, but I resolved to play a waiting game and corner the whole of his gang, if p o ssible. Before leaving Tan glefoot I sent you word to meet me at Dos Cabe z os, for this place, as I learned, is the one to which New comer was going. "I did not expect to meet Newcomer in this dance hall, and when he came, for once in m.y life. I was caught napping. He must have learned in some way that I was on his trail. "You ran down a lot of smugglers over by Ft. Miles, Diamond Dick, and your success in that job .led me to think you could help me success in this." "Tho5e Ft. Miles smugglers were engaged in running Chinamen into the country in defiance of the exclusion l aws.'' "They were smugglers, all the same. I thought you could help me, as I sa y but i1ow it is up to you to do the trick alone. Will you and Diamond Dick, joints of Chinatown. This opium is the prepared Jr., try it?" article, you understand, and the duty 1s $ 6 a pound." "From what point is it consigned?" asked Dia mond Dick, Jr. "From the station at Tanglefoot, above Ouray." "Of course. Tbey were using the T. N. and P Railroad, and rings us in on the dei!l." "What will be your first move?" !The capture of Newcom et, n

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DIAMOND DICKo JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKL 'Y. A sparkle leaped into the detective's e y es. "I could have sworn tha t that Vfould be your an swer!" he exclaimed. Diamond Dick started away, b11t w1iirled and came back. "It do for yon to remainhere, Nixon," said he. "T know that, and I am to be taken to the house of Caspar Del Ray, a Greaser who is a good friend of mine. I will be well cared for and protected-if it comes to that.'' "Then, if we wish to communicate with you, we will come to Del Ray's house?" "Yes.'' The Dicks then left the detective and walked toward the room at the rear. "We must get hold of this Newcomer," said Diamond Dick to Bertie. "It's a delicate preposition to handle," rem arked. the young sport. "There'll be a fight. in the dark--'' "Certainly," interrupted the old veteran, giving young Diamond Dick a quick look, "but can you don bt the resn l t ?" "No," Bertie replied. CHAPTER III. THE FIGHT IN THE DARK. 'rhere were brave men there in the dance hall, 'but there was not one of the cowboys who wished to court death by opening the door of the rear room and -attempting the capture of a desperate man armed with two reovlvers and a knife. The long-haired punci1er had told of Diamond Dick's intention to make the capture single-handed, and the idea, by some, was looked upon as harebrained; but others, who knew Diamond Dick better, had more confidence in the outcome. As the veteran chew close, the group parted from before the door. Dick knocked on the panels. The answer to the summons was an oath. 1 Newcomer," said Diamond Dick, "you 're at the end of your rope. Will you surrender peaceably?" "I'll neve r surrender! Ef I'm taken, it'll be with my boots on.'' "That's the way you'll be taken, then." "Who's thet torkin' ?" 'Diamond Dick, of Ouray." Newcomer muttered something which could not be distinguished b y those on the other side of the d o or. Then he said: "I'm up ag'ihst it, I know thet well enough, but I've got the lives of half a dozen right in my fists. Try ter take me, Dimun Dick, an' I'll snuff yer candle too quick." "Come over this way, gentlemen," said the old veteran, stepping back a few feet from the door and motioning the crowd to move away. "I want to couns el w ith you as to the easiest method of capturing this man.'' The crowd was surprised at the old veteran' s words. But Diamond Dick, Jr., was not. He read Diamond Dick's purp ose clearly, and drew the cro w d several yards a way from the door of the re a r ro0m. Then, noisel e ssly, old Diamond Dick approache d the entrance to the n ;ar chamber. A second later and he had hurled ope n the door, placed himsel'f on the other side of it and slammed it shut. It was all done with a rapidi ty which was well-nigh inco11ceivable a n d the old v eteran's purpose in summoning the crowd apart for "counsel" was instantly apparent. It was a trick to take Newcome r off his guard Bertie and the others could not tell, of c o urse, jus t how far the old veteran liad succeeded '!'here was a quick shot at the identical moment the door was closed, evidently fired by Newco mer. And it was c ertain that this shot was without I for the reason that two men could be heard movrng around in the roon1. Presently more shots were fired, there came ti1 e

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7 JR.-THE BOYSP BEST WEEKLY. soui1d of a scuffle, hoarse words from Newcomer, a fall, then silence. Those in the dance hall were listening breathl essly. They heard notl1i11g more, and the seconds dragged by like minutes. Then, unable fo stand the suspense any longer, the young sport threw ope n the door and peered into the darkness. The smell of burnt powder which assailed his nostrils was stifling. Nor could he se e anything, and the same deathly stillness reigned in the small apartment. "Bring a light,,, said Diamond Dick, Jr., stepping across the threshold. Some one brought a lamp, and many of the cowboys and a few of the women crowded into the room. It was empty! Exclamations of wonder went up from every one. "The devil's back 01 this,'' solemnly averred the long-haired puncher. "Nonsense!" exclaimed the yonng sport. "There was some means of getting out. Newcomer found the way and Diamond Dick took after him.,, "Thar ain't no way getting in or out e xcept through thet thar door!" averred the long-haired man. "You're mistaken, my friend,,, returned B e rtie. "Who owns q1is tiencla ?" ''Old Bart Garcia.' 1 "Bring him here.,, Several went t o perform t he w or k, bnt old B a rt was not to be found. In the front part of the building there was a clerk, and this clerk s 2 id he hadn't any idea where Garcia had gone, but that he had left at about the time old Diamond Dick went into the back room tu capture Newcomer. Bertie, meanwhile, had been examining the ruom. It was about ten feet square, and was used as a storeroom for old Bart's supply of liquor. Three large barrels lay with their ends against tl1e rear wall, two side by side, and the third on top. "Ah, ha!" murmured Bertie, after a few moments spent in examining the barreh:. "If y o u will all step out into the other room,,, said lie, turning to the men and women around him, "I'll do the vanishing act myself.'' The curious crowd filed out aud closed the door. Then th e yonng sport stooped, pushed his head against the top barrel in the pile of three. The end of the barrel gave beneath the push and he was able to crawl in and through the barrel, and out at the other encl. The other end was a gainst a hole in the adobe wall, and when Bertie finished crawling he was outside of the house. The hole in the w a ll was masked by a vit1e. It was a very ingenious arrangement. While Diamond Dick, Jr., stood outside, examining the contrivance and wondering what use old Bart could have made of it, he heard the cowboys enter and give vent to their exclamations of astonishment. The young sport, anxious to learn what had be come of old Diamond Dick, did not pause to explain the m ystery to tho'5e in the tienda, but hurried away through the brush, 11ow and again whistling a signal which, if heard by the veteran, would have been instantly answered. But no answer was returned. As a last resort, Bertie made his wa y to the house of Caspar Del Ray A knock brought Del Ray himself to the door. The Mexi cau wore a smile as ;;e shielded with one hand the lamp which he was carrying aud fixed his eyes on the young sport. "Yon are young Diamond Dick, s enor?" "Yes,' 1 replied B ertie. "Is Henry Nixon he.re?" 1 He is, seno r Enter.'' Bertie went i u, and, to his surprise, found not ouly Nixon bnt old Diamond Dick, as well-the latter seated at the head of the cot on which the detective was lying. "Astonished, Bertie ?11 smiled the old veteran, who, so far as the young sport could see, had not s o mucb

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Dlt\MOND DICKo JR.-THE BOYS BEST \YEEl{LYo as a scratch to show for his recent encounter with Newcomer. "I'm astonished at finding you here, Diamond Dick," Bertie replied. "As for the way yon and Newcomer got out of the room, I was not long in discovering that. In fact, I crawled through the barrel myself. A singnlar contrivance to find in a place like tha t tienda !" "Old Bart is as crooked a stick as there is in the conn try," put in Nixon. "When monte is played for high stakes the game sometimes comes off in that little back room. Many a man, as I've heard, has gone into a game in that den, lost consciousness, and finally came to himself several miles from Dos Cabezos, minus money an uuderstanding of what had been done to him.,, "Why isn't old Bart arrested?" "It's impossible to fasten a ny crime onto him. He's a sly old fox." "I'll bet a hundred he helped Newcomer.out of that room!" exclaimed Bertie, and explained old Bart had proved t o be missing when sent for. "I shouldn't wonder," said Nixon; "b11t to prove it is the next thing.'' "What happened to Newcomer, Diamond Dick?" Bertie asked, turning to the old veteran. "I didn't want to take him with his bo ots 011," replied Dick, ''so I only wounded him. It was difficult to shoot accu rately iu the blank darkness, and Newcomer was popping away in all directions to get me. "But I was flat on the floor, and before I fired, the sound of his shooter had loc ated him pretty well. I winged him, I think, and the11 I caught him by the feet and downed him. "Right there is where a third m a n took a hand, and possibly this third man wa s old Bart, as you call him. 11 'The top barrel, Aucly,' I heard a voice say. "Then I was rapped on the liea d with a gooci deal of force, the feet were pulled out of m y hands, and Newcomer and the other fellow began to slide out. "The blow I had received made me a trifle dizzy, and I was not able to intercept either of the two men. I followed them, however, aud when I dropped out of the hole in the end wall of the house I could see one of them making in the direction of the arroyo where Harry was w aiting. "Newcomer-for when we got clear of the brush the moonlight showed me that the man I was following was the one I wanted-also had a horse in that section. ''As he leaped into the saddle and darted away, Handsome Harry rode up. "Harry had heard the shootiug in the tienda and you can imagine, Bertie, in what a state of mind he was. "I did not answer any of Harry's questions, but pointed to Newcomer as he and his horse topped a nse. 'Follow that f e llow, old pard, but don't let him know y ou are on his trail if yon can help it. Find out where he's going and send wor d to m e at the house o f Caspar Del Ray. "That was enough for the old Serpent. He pointed 11is horse in the direction taken b y Newcomer and was off at full speed. "My horse was further back in the arroyo, and I left the animal there to come back here and have a word with Nixon." "What was your reason for spariug Newcomer?'' young Diamond Dick asked. "Dead men tell no t a les, you know, Bertie," Diamond Dick answered. "I wanted to capture Newcomer so that I might force some information from him. But it is better a s it i s He might have proved obstinate, if captured, a11d refused to say a word. Now he will lead Handsome Harry toward the rendez v o us of the opi mn smugglers, and I am sure we may expect important developments very soon." "No doubt of it," put in the detective. Nixon's wound had been dressed by Del Ray, who was something of a physician, and he was feeling much better. After a few minutes' talk with Nixon, the Dicks were about to leave and seek quarters for the night; but Del Ray insisted that they rem ai n at his house, and Diamond Dick was not slow t o accept the invi-t-a tion. Any report which Handsome Harry might send was to come there, and be11ce it was best that the old veteran and the young sport should be where they could receiv e such a report without los s of a moment's time. B e rti e went to the arroyo and got Diamond Dick's l 1orse and, on his way b a ck, picked up bis own mount and put both animals in Del Ray's stable.

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DBJ\MOND DICK9 JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 9 Then he went into the house and bunked on the floor of the sitting-room with his saddle for a pillow. Diamond Dick was already on, a lounge and sleeping as soundly as though any moment might not bring him a summo11s for a wild ride and desperate work. The summons came, but not until morning, and while the Dicks and Del Ray were at breakfast. A loud rap fell on the door, and Del Ray's wife went to find out what was wanted. "Is Diamond.Dick here?'' cried an excited voice, immediately recognized by the Dicks. "The New York kid!" exclaimed Bertie. "Come in, 'l'wo"Spot !" called the old veteran. .The Bowery boy pushed past the Mexican woman and ran into the room. "Gee! but this is luck!" exclaimed the boy. "If I hadn't connected with one of you at least, I'd have been all balled up." ''When did you leave Giclding's rancho?', asked Bertie. "I can throw that into you later, Bertie, but just now, if you two want to be in the cast, you've got to get a gait." "What's doing?" "It's the Red-Top One, this time. He c11t into a raw deal and got the gaff before he ),new the other dubs were next to him.', "vVhat's the matter with Harry?" This from old Diamond Dick as he leaped up from the table. ''Trapped.'' "Where?" "]ust this side the ferry on Rapid River." ('Which ferry?" asked Nixon from his cot. .'Flaherty's or Full-Hand ?11 "Full-Hand. It's a case of ride, Diamond Dick, and hit nothing but the high places." There was no time for talk just then. Diamond Dick, Jr., already had his saddle under his arm and was racing for the door. The old veteran followed quickly, and Two-Spot lingered only to grab a couple of tortillas off the table, and then he, too, made off at a run. His horse stood at the door and he was mounted and waiting when the Dicks, riding Nick-o'-tlie Night and Bear.Paw, came careering around the end of the barn. Two-Spot joined them and away they went, headed for Rapid River. CHAPTER IV. BEGINNING THE ROUGH WORK. The New York kid galloped along behind the Dicks, eating the tortillas as he rode. The trfl.il was wide and Diamond Dick drew apart from Bertie and motioned for Two-Spot to ride in between. The boy did so. "When did you leave Giddings' rancho?'' inquired the old veteran. "About three in the morning, Diamond Dick.'' ''That was a queer .time to start, Two-Spot,'' remarked Bertie. "That's right, too. But I got tired doing the hamresting act. Besides, I knew that Diamond Dick and Handsome Harry had taken their corners for some sort of a set-to, and I wanted to be in the vicinity when tlie go was pulled off. The horse had had a good feed and several hours' rest, so I climbed into the saddle and used the quirt. "You know how that trail that leads to Giddings' rauch follows the river for a m'.le or two, Bertie. Well, I hadn't much more tha1i struck that part of it when I got the jolt of my life. ''Some one took to usin' their hard ware off to the left in the timber, and I was about to push in that directio11, and what was doing, when a girl, on horseback, broke through the brush. "She put up a hollar when she piped me off, and I thonght she would throw a fit before I could convince her that I wasn't such a to ugh proposition as I looked. "We had no difficulty in using our gig-lamps. It was getting aloug toward sunup, by then, and when the girlerino had spent a couple of minutes sizin' me up, she asked where I was pointed for, and I told her. "Then she fired a shot that nearly took me out of the saddle. '' 'Do you know a man called Diamond Dick?' ''I replied that I was one of Diamond Dick's pards, and she acted as though tickled to death. "What she told me, after that, took several minutes, and the gist of it was this: "A cove call in' himself Handsome Harry had come to her father's shanty, a little while before, and offered a tenner to the old man to take a message to Diamond Dick, who could be foiund iu Dos Cabezas, and more than likely at the house of Caspar Del Ra)! -

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I 10 DBJ\MOND DICKo JR.-THE BOYS9 BEST "The old man had rheumatism and couldn't go, so the girl h ad ofie(ed. Harry told her to tell Diamond Dick that the iang he was after was rounded up somewhere beyond Full-Hand Ferry, on Rapid River. "The girlerino went out to saddie her horse, and jui;;t as she was about to pull her freight an attack was made on the house by a dozen men, and that was when the shooting I had heard was brought about. ''The girl was at the barn, some distance from the house, and she managed to slip away into the timber unseen, and thus meet up with me in the trail. "Just as she finished her talk, we heard a thump of hoofs and backed into the timber where we would be out of sight. "A mi11\1te more and the gang galloped past with the old Serpeut tied to the back of a horse. They were leadin' two nags with empty saddles and a couple of the gun-fauners bad th,eir arms tied up, so I knew that they had had a time of it getting Harry on the mat. "When they had slid by, the girl suggested that I ride on to Dos Cabezos and carry Harry's message while she trailt:d along to see what was done with him. "I couldn't think of anything better, so I hiked for town." The old veteran listened to Two-Spot's report in silence, a grave expression on his face. "Newcomer must have fouud out that Harry was following him,,, said Diamond Dick, Jr., ''and when Harry went to that house to get some one to carry word to town, the gang followed him." "That's the way of it," returned the old veteran; "and Harry wasn't captured until he had done for two of his enemies and wounded two. They'll even up by putting Harry out of the game, unless--" The old veteran paused. "Unless we can get him away before they attempt to carry out their finished Bertie. "That's it," replied Diamond Dick. "Did the i-,:irl say anything about where she would meet yon?'> asked Two-Spot. "She didn't say a thing about meeting me," replied the New York kid, "but I think I can take yon straight to the place where she lives." "That's where we want to go,'' went on Diamond Dick. "Whatever we do we mi1st do in a h11rry. Our old pardls life is at stake." With this thought uppermost iu their minds, they pushed their horses to even a faster gait and were soon galloping along the trail at the point where it paralleled Rapid River. They found, much to their satisfaction, that it was not necessary for to go to the girl's home for she pushed out of the chaparral at the poi11t where she had met Two-Spot earlier in the morning. "There she is!" exclaim et:"! the New York kid, drawing rein. The girl was .about sixteen, Diamond. Dick judged, aud was poorly dressed. "I'\'e brought 'em," said Two-Spot. "'l'his is the old himself, si11, and son Bertie, a chip off the old block. Did yon find out where they took Hand some Harry r' "I've found out all about where they took him," the girl replied, giving the old veteran a critical look and then turning her eyes on the young sport. "Where is he?" asked Diamond Dick, Jr. "Over in the old lumber camp acrost the river. But you won't be able ter go on yer bosses. They kin be left up to tl1e house." 'r:be girl herself was on foot, and, as she spoke, she jerked her head backward to iudicate the direction of her home. "Why is it necessary to leave 011r ho.rses?" asked Diamond Dick. 'Kase we ha'{e ter climb a hill that's too steep fer anythin' on hoofs. An' I've found out somethin' else," the girl went 011. "What's that?'' Diamond Dick returned, as he swung himself down from the saddle. 'Bout a mile above the ferry there's a big boat, an' the fellers that captured Han'sbme Harry left their critters there when they took him acrost the river." "'fhey took him across the river in the big boat?" "Nary, Dimun Dick. The big boat's fnll o' somethin', but they had another boat handy-a rowboat -an' they used that." "What is your name?" Bertie illquired. "Nauce Hawkins. Dad useter work in tl1e lumber camp till he got the rheumatism, but now he's laid up an' kain't do a tlnng. All we live ou is what I kin shoot. But yon better hustle. There ain't no time ter fool awa y if ye '!'ant ter save Han'sum. Harry." The Dicks agreed with the girl fully. "Yo11 take the horses up to .the house, Two-Spot," said Diam0ud Dick.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYSP BEST WEEKLY, "Then what?" queried the New York kid. "Then Y,OU can do as you please, only keep your eyes open and be on the lookout for trouble. We're liable to have rough work, and there's a big gang against us.'' The Dicks and Nance Hawkins went away, and Two-Spot, riding his own horse and leading Nick-o'the-N igh t and Bear-Paw, was not a little disC1ppointed as he pushed his way through the chaparral. But, nevertheless, fate had reserved a good share in the "rough work" for the New York kid. CHA P'l'ER V. A LIVELY TIME ON" THE FERRYBOAT. The Full-Hand Ferry, which Nance Hawkins and the Dicks within a quarter of an hour after parting from Two-Spot, was a very priinitive affair. A rope was stretched from bauk to bank, and along tl1is rope tl :e ferryman pulled the old scow which did service as a ferryboat. Just before they got to the ferry, Nance had halted in frout of a log cabin and given a yell. A slatternly woman appeared in the dcorway. "Where's Neb, Mis' Hosmer?" cried Nance. "IIe's go11e clown ter the ferry, Nance, ter take a man acrost." "How long since?" "Not more'n five rninits. Hurry an' ye kin ketch the boat afore it leaves. That' ll save Neb makin' two trips. '' So, for the remaining hundred rods of the way, the giri and her two companions made good speed. When they came. in sight of the boat, Neb Hosmer was pulling his passenger across the river and was several yards from the shore. '!'lie passenger was a tough-looking scoundrel, in cowboy equipment, but without a horse, and whe n Hosmer started to draw the boat back, he laid a rough hand on Hosmer' s arm and spoke sharply to him. It seemed as though the cowboy was trying to persuade Hosmer to go on and then come back after the Dicks and the girl. But the current of the river was swift, and to stem its tide required the outlay of considerable muscle, so Hosmer did not seem inclined to yield to his passenger's desire. Stauding at the edge of the water, the Dicks saw the cowboy look toward the shore, and Bertie muttered an exclamation. "What is it?" asked the old veteran. "That fellow is Kench Lattimer" Diamond Dick, Jr., answered in au undertone. "The man who tried to hire you to give a false report on that mine?" '
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12 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKL't'.,' "I know what I'm talkin' about!" went on Hos mer. "Ye knocked the gal overboard-I seen ye!" "If all I hear of him is true," said the old veteran, beginning a wary advance upon Lattimer, "he's capable of such work." "Keep yer distance, Dimt10 Dick!" cried the scoundrel, threateningly, jerking a revolver from his belt. But the threat might as well have been thrown to the winds, for, as Bertie sprang to the girl's rescue, Diamond Dick gave his attention to the ruffian. The young sport had left his mark on Lattimer's forehead, and now the old veteran, before the revolver could figure in the set-to, landed heavily on the point of his chin. Lattimer dropped his shooter and fell like a log. "Good enough fer him," grunted Neb Hosmer. At that juncture a cry from Bertie claimed the at tention of Hosmer and Diamond Dick. The young sport had caught the firl and was swimming and supporting her head above the water. The current was carrying them downstream and they were almost under tlfe hawser "Throw us a rope if you've got one," shouted young Diamond Dick. "Ain't got no rope," said Neb. "Press down on that hawser," said Dick, throwing himself down on the rope and forcing it toward the surface of the river. This incident had taken place almost in midstream, and the weight of the cable caused it to sag duwn ward. As Bertie was swept under, he reached up and caught the hawser. "Now," went on Dick, "let's draw the scow to ward him and take him aboard.'' "Thet"s the thing ter do," replied Hosmer, and he and the old veteran applied their united strength to the hawser. Steadily, foot by foot, they came closer to Bertie and the girl. Going to the enci of the boat, Diamond Dick knelt down and had almost Bertie when something happened and happened with extreme suddenness. The old veteran had supposed that Lattimer would be some time recovering, put a good part of the villain's apparent condition had been merely a sham. He was cornered, and preferred to remain in seem-ing unconsciousness until he had thought of some method of escape. 'rhe young sport's situation gave him the idea for which he was waiting, and, while Hosmer and Dia mond Dick had their backs to him, engaged in the work of rescue, Lattimer arose to his knees and whipped out his knife. Then he slashed at the cable. When it parted, the scow swept downstream and the severed ends of the ropes also floated off with the current, but drew toward the respective banks to whieh they' were fastened. In this way old and young Diamond Dick were whirled away from each other; when the veteran, realizing who responsible for tlie mishap, leaped toward the spot where Lattimer had been lying, he discovered that the rascal had taken to the river and was hanging to the other half of the cable. 'rhe scow, unrestrained in any manner, was spin. ning around and around in dizzy circles, and Neb Hosmer, mad as a hornet, was jumping up and down on the deck an'.i swearing like a pirate. "That doesn't help matters any," said old Dia mond Dick, out of patience. "Isn't there anything you can do to get the boat to shore?'' Thus admonished, Hosmer gave over his imitation of the army in Flanders, dropped down on the deck and opened a hatch. After groping about in the darkness for a space, he pulled out a heavy oar and dropped it into an oar lock at the stern. Then he began sculling, and quickly got the boat steady. "Blast that Lattimer!" he fumed. "Next time I see him I'll turn loose at him with a forty-five!" "I don't care what you do to him," said the old veteran. "Get us ashore as quick as you can." Hosmer was far from being able to do as he wanted to with the unwieldy scow. Diamond Dick would have preferred landing on the shore toward which Bertie and Nance Hawkins had been swept, but that was out of the question; it was neces sa ry for them to make for the other bank, which was nearest. And e.ven to gain this ba11k required a great deal of and the strength of two pairs of arms. After the scow had been grounded, Diamond Dick scanned the other side of the river for some trace of the young sport, but without avail. He called to Bertie at the top of his voice, but no answer was wafted back.

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DIAMOND DICK, BEST WEEKLY. 13 "Do ye reckon he an' the gal hev been drown ed?" aiked Hosmer. "It isn't possible," the veteran answered. "Young I)iamond Dick is one of the best swimmers I ever saw.'' "'.But the gal might hev pulled him down." "She couldn t have done that." fo spite of Diamond Dick's prof essed confiden,ce, there was an anxious look 011 his face as he turned his attention to the steep bank where they had groui1ded the scow. The banlr, at that point, was rocky a11d wooded and almost as perpendicula r as a wall. To effe c t a )anding was quite impossible. -Farther down, however, as the old veteran c o u l d see, there was a break in the timber, and a straight up and down course which lo o ked like a path. "What's that, Hosmer?" Diamoud Dick asked, pointing. "Thet's a lo g chute," repl ie d th e ferr y man. "They cut a lot o' timber in the lumber camp up abov e a u s hoot it inter t11 e river." "Aren't the lumberme1l working 110..y ?" "They're workin' further back.'' "And they're not using the chute?" "l'J'o." "Then that's the way we must take to get up the bank." "I c an't g o no further w i th ye, Di mun Dick, arter I git y e to the foo t o' the chute. I got ter go back an' splice thet hawser an' git the ferr y in some kind o' shape: ''Very well.'' 'l'he old veteran r e membered wh a t Nance Hawkins had s a id about the smugglers nsin a small boat to take them across the river, and he wa s looking for that boat all the time the scow was being worked to the foot Qf tlle log chute. If he could find the boat, he would go on a hunt for Diamond Dfok, Jr., aud the girl, aud until he did find it he could do nothing in that. direction. When close to the cl.1ute, Diamond Dick leaped ashore and started for the
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14 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLYo certed move from both sides of the chute and ten men, instead of eight, appeared. There were eight of the rank and file, with rifles drawing a bead on Diamond Dick's heart, and then there were Lattimer and Andy Newcomer. Lattimer was as wet as a drowned rat, and New comer bad a piece of cloth tied around his neck and in this sling his bandaged right arm was supported. Both men had suffered at the old veteran >s hands, and the looks they cast at him were foll of distrust and hate. "Unbuckle your belt," commanded Lattimer, "and throw it to the side of the chute." There was nothing for the old veteran to do but to obey, and he did so, at once. But, all the while, his eyes were traveling about him, and his brain was actively at work. The outlook, however, was discouraging. No avenne of escape showed itself. The river was behind, the steep log chute and the overwhelming force Qf smugglers in front, and Diamond Dick was, as might be said, between the devil and the deep sea. Yet, in spite of all this, he did not despair. Luck woujd not desert him, for Wade luck was something which could be depended upon. But, at that moment, old Diamond Dick could not imagine how help was to reach him. The thing for him to do was to gain time, and about t11e o nly way to gain time was by talk. "We :e t again, Mr. Newcomer," said Dick, grimly. "Au' tlle sarcumstan c es aire mighty differeut, '' grunted Newcomer. "Ye come mighty near hevin' things yer own way, at the dance hall. Reckon ye'd hev took me but fer ole Bart." "Old Bart was the fellow who helped you out, then, was he?" Diamond Dick returned, quickly. "Glad to know that. When I get back to Dos Cabe z os old Bart will be taken care of.'' "Ye'll' never git back ter Dos Cabezas, so the information ain't goin' ter do ye any good." Diamond Dick could see, from the deferen c e with which Kench Lattimer was treated, that he was the chief of the smugglers. And, from the way Lattimer treated Newcomer, the latter must have been the chief's right-hand man. "Where's my old pard, Handsome Harry?" queried Diamond Dick. "He's whar you'll be in a brace o' shakes." "Where's that?" "Across the divide,'' put in Lattimer. "You mean that you have killed Handsome Harry?" "Those are the orders I gave, and it's about time the job was pulled off." "I can't believe it! But, if what you say is true," and Diamond Dick fixed his steel-like gaze on Lattimer's face, "1'11 see you on the gallows for it." ''You'll see nobody anywhere," fumed the irate Lattimer. "You and that whipper-snapper son of yours are on my blacklist, along with Handsome Harry. The old Serpent will be put out of the Wat because he knows too much, but as for you aud the young sport-Well, no man ever yet struck me without paying the penalty." 1'he old veteran gave the smuggler chief a steady glance and his mustached lip curled in a tantalizing smile. "Do yot1 remember that old recipe for cooking a hare, Lattimer?" he asked. "Confound the recipe! What do I care for it? What has it to do with this case?" "A good deal. It b egins something like this: 'First catch your hare.' '' '"Well, we've caught Handsome Harry and you." "Young Diamond Dick is at large, yet, and you haven't got me so fast as you seem to think." ''Curse you! You'll find out." "What's the use of monkeyin' with him, Kenc11 ?" broke i11 Newcomer, augrily. "Let him hev it an' git it over. He's onter us an' he's about the only enemy we hev ter fear, now thet Nixon is laid up. Do fer him an' we>Jl kerry this big job through without a hitch, an' kin give up the bizness. Now's yer time.,, The cool, nervy way in which the old veteran car ried himself was irritating to Lattimer, and the chief was more than ready to be persuaded by his lieutenant. Taking off his hat, Lattimer raised it above his head. "Wlie11 I drop this hat, men," he cr-ied, I want every one of yon to pull the trigger. If Diamond Dick lives, he'll call our game and we'll be out several thousand apiece, and, mayhap, spend a time in the pen. If he's p11t out of the v,:ay--" "You>Jl all swing," cut in Dick. "Fire wheu I drop my hat!" said Lattimer.

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE aovs BEST WEEKLY. 15 The hiat was hc:ld at l:\rtn's length, the smuggler chief1 Newcomer and 11.10::;t of his men standing in the log chute, directly in front of old Diamond Dick. It was a critical moment; in fact, never in the veterao1s peril-sown career had the i::;sue of life aud death beeu so mauifest. Iu the slight pause that followed Lattimer's tragic words, the eight ruffians kept sight _of the hat out of the t ails of their eyes. But the bat did not fall as anticipated. Just as the muscle s of Lattimer's uplifted h;ind began to relax, a wild whoop came boomit1g down froiu the top of the bluff. 11 Dod g e fer yer life, Dick! Whoop-ya l The old Sarpint has struck tl:er slide.'' The veteran was electrified. It was Handsome H arry's voice, and it carried consternation into the ranks of the murderous smug glers Following the shot came the burring sound of a log slipping at cannonb all s peed down the chute. It ploughed into the crowd of smugglers, s cattering them on a11 sid es aud apparently crushing two of them. Diamond Dick, as he leaped to one side, caught a glimpse of the log, throwing up a fine dust like smoke as it tore aloug, and Handsome Harry down on his hands and knees clinging to it for dear life. In a flash log was past and into the rive r, the old Serpent1s voice ecboiug out behind: "Gle-ory ter snakes an' greased li ghtnin' !" 'rhe Californian had made a one-star play that was as daring as it was successful. CHAPTER VII. HA.RR.Y'S ONE-STAR PLAY. WlJen Diatuoud Dick had left the Serpent of Sisldyou in the arroy o with the horses, the big CaliforniPn felt as though he bad been sidetracked; but; as it was to prove with Two-Spot, being switched off in this way was; to lead ttp to a share iq the rou};:h work cihead. Whel1 the revolvers began to pop in the tienda, Harry hitched Diamond Dick's horse to au ironwood tree and spurred forward. Some one ran past him and dodged across the arroyo. 'The Californian instantly drew his forty-four. "Dick.!" he shouted, Bt1t the man was llOt the old veteran, and Harry did not consider that he had any excuse for shooting\ Presently, however, Diamond Dick and asked for bis horse. Harry told him the horse was back in the ravine, a11d then Dick gave his old pard the cue that sent him off on the trail of Newcomer. The was not a difficult one to follow, for it was a moonlight night, and the old Serpent could. ride a long wa y behind and yet keep the dusky forms of horse and rider in direct rauge of his eyes. The pace was not at a 2allop all the way, and two or three stops, _each of considerable length, were made, at as many houses aloug the road. During these stops, Harry dismounted and rested h is horse; and, at the last stop, he crept close enough to the house which Newcomer had entered, to peer through a window and see his man in animated conversation with anothe r. 'l'his other-although, of course, Harry did uot know him--was Kench Lattimer. Both Kench and Newcomer were excited over something; and they were angry, too, if the way they thumped the table and the angry buzz of their voices could be taken as an indic<1tion. Harry could 11o t hear w l 1at tbey said, and therein lay a great disappointment for hi1i1. At last, when Newcomer jumped up and hurried out o f the house, Lattimer ran to the door. "The round-up of the gang will be across the river, beyond Full-Hand Ferry," he called. "Meet me there. You know the place.'' Sure." Newcomer was still around the corner of the house, and he had to rush across in front, after had closed the door, swing astride his own mount and after Newcomer. Lattimer hea.rd the clatter of the second set of hoofs, and looked out again. Instantly his suspicions were aroused, and he flew to the stable, mounted a horse bareback and took after Harry. So a pretty situation was, in this manner, devel oped. Hand-owe Harry was fol lowing Newcomer, and Lattimer was following Handsome Harry. The upshot of it was that the old Serpent got him self into a box. Dawn was at hand when the stretch of trail along

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16 DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLYo the river was reached and more caution was neces sary. Harry, proceeding warily, saw several men join Newcomer and the gang came to a halt iu the trail. Harry also was obliged to halt; and when he a beat of galloping hoofs behind him he found it necessary to take to the woods. He had secured information of importance, and was anxious for some means to communicate with Diamond Dick, at Dos Cabezos. As he pushed through the timber he came upon the house where Nance Hawki1v> lived and went in and secured the services of the girl as a messenger. The girl 'hurried out to get her horse and then came tht attack, as sudden as it was unexpected. Handsome Harry barricaded t!Je doors and swung to the heavy oak shutters at the windows, and he might have stood off the smugglers until doomsday had they not resorted to a trick. Lattimer was in comtnand, and he was as resonrce ful a .man as any who ever set the law at defiance. One of his men had been shot down and anotltt!r wouuded, while charging against the barricaded old war-horse, and Lattimer sent a man post-haste to Hosmer's house for a pound of sulphur. Mrs. Hosmer was a basketmakcr and she used sulphur for bleaching the wythes used in her work. The suli;;ihur was quickly secured, aud the whole of it was dropped dowu the stove pipe of the house and into the stove on which Nance had been cooking the morning meal. Instantly the st o ve was turne d into the worst enemy that the big Californian numbered against hin'l. A board over the top of the chimney threw all the suffocating fumes into the oue room the adobe hut contained, and the stove gave off th e t e rrible vapor at every crack and cranny. It was something that humau endurance could not put up with, and Harry was obliged to burst open the door and make a nm, revolver in each hand. Another man fell and another was wounded before the smugglers got him, but ultimately he was cap tured, roped to a horse and carried away. blinded by the fumes of sulphur, he was unable to see where he was being taken, and had been loaded into a boat, carried across the river and dragged up a steep hill to a log cabin before he was able to realize much of what was taking place around him. After reaching the cabin, bis feet had been tied, and he was thrown to the floor, and then the. door was closed on him and he was left to himself and his refiectious. It may well be surmised that Harry's reflections were not of the rosiest. He had been sent to trail Newcomer, and he had been captured; true, he had done all that any man could do, but that fact did not alter the result. 1,he only satisfaction he had was in the thought that Nance Hawkins was no doubt well on the way toward Dos Cabezos, and that the Dicks would soon take a hand. For a long time, two or three hours at least, the Californian lay in the cabin, straining at the ropes which bound his thick wrists and doing his utmost to free himself. He had not succeeded in loose up to the time that two of his captors entered the room. They were not the two who had engineered matters at the time of Harry's capture, the prisoner made sure of that. "Ef ye got auy" prayers ter say," remarked one of the men, gruffiy, drawing a knife from his belt, "ye better be sayin' of 'em for'ards, back'ards an' side ways." "Kase why?" inquired Harry. "Kase ye're close to a finish." The man advanced with his knife, and Harry, thinking that was to figure in the ''finish,,. made ready to resist, bound though he was. The knife was used, but not in the way the old Serpent had expecte
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 17 pile, lay a huge oak tree tn:nk, trimmed and ready for its slide into the waters below, and a subsequent journey downstream to the "boom.,, As the prisouer was marched across the cleared space, a dare-devil scheme flashed through his bra1n. Five men with rifles in their hands were standing grimly abreast waiting for Harry to be placed iu position. These five, as the old Serpent believed, were the shooting squad. On reaching the log pile, Harry was ordered to turn around and put his back against it. "What' s yer plan ?11 qnca:ied the Californian, mak: ing ready the steel-like muscles of his arms for the desperate deed to come. "We've planned a quick trip for ye ter kingdom come," said the first ruffian "Them five boys with guns ary one of 'em kin pick out a squirrel's e y e at fifty yards, so I don't reckon it's any wa y s likely they'll miss ye." "I'm ter 9e shot, hey?" "Thct's the idee. 11 "Not this mornin' !" Then, before the ruffian could bat an eye, Harry put the effort of his life into his arms. The ropes, already weakened by his previous attempts to free himself, gave way 1111der the tremendous force he exerted. His arms fle w out from behind him, and then, li'ke li ghtning, his fists shot to lef t and right, and the two smugglers who wer e s t a nd i n g on either side went heels over h e ad This was tbe fin1t step in Hands ome Harry's plan, and it was well ta k en. Bnt the t11g of war was to come. A s tounded a t the dash for fre e dom, the five s11111g glers with the rifle s s tood for a few seconds without lifting a weapon And the Californi a n m ade the m o st of thes e few seconds Leaping to the log beside the chute, he rolled it into the depressi o n, gave it a strong push and jumped upon it. Before the smugglers could fire, log aud man were over the brow of the bluff and plunging for the river. killed himself!" shouted one of the armed men. "An' saved us the trouble,". added a second, and immediately all five hurried to the top of the slide and looked down. What Handsome Harry saw, as the log began the descent, made his blood leap through bis veins. Old Diamond Dick was below, in the center of the slide, apparently in the hands of his foes. Then. Harry roared out the words chronicled in the preceding chapter and directly afterwards he was tearin2 through the crowd of sm u:2lers, flattened out agains t the and to it like a leech. It seemed no mo re than a couple of seconds from the start of that terrific ride until he reached the finish and plunged into the river with a force that sent up a spurt of water ten feet high. CHAPTER VIII. '!'HE SET-'l'O ON '!'HR CHUTE. The sudden advent of the log carried panic into the midst of the smugglers who were threatening the life of old Diamond Dick. Lattimer hopped his hat, but he did so as he sprang to place himself out of the way of the rushin2 demon ef death. The smugglersdropped their rifles and threw themselves in every direction. I 'rwo were caught and the lives crushed out of them, and one of these was Newcomer. Lattimer slipped on the rounded edge of the chute and fell back, the front end of the oak trunk striking him and hurlin.g him for a do z en feet into the brush. The r e m aining s e ven got entirely clear, but they w ere a badl y d em ora l i z ed seven. The ir Wincheste r s were gone, s everal lying in the bottom of the chute, twi s ted and broken wrecks. Two, tminjured, were lying on the side of the slide where ol
PAGE 19

18 DIAMOND DICK. JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. The rifle was lifted and thrown, at Diamond Dick's feet. Thiio Dick three, all the gum; left i'n tl1e outfit. But the five men from above were coming down to their comrades. The grewsome spectacle presented by the mangled bodies of their two corprades in the slide had sapped the nerve of the seven, and they huddled together like sheep. But tlle five1 who were slipping and stumbling down the hill, had their wits about tbem and were liable, befoi:e many momeuts, to be very much in evidence. However, aid was also coming for Diamond Dick. Handsome Harry had separated himseJf from the log, had paddled ashore, and was n o w climbing up ward 'and m .aking slow work of it on account of a game leg. "Hold ther varmints off, pardy !" bellowed the old Serpent; "Jill be with ye in erbout sixty howlin' seconds, an' we'll make ther kibosb complete! Wake up, reptiles, an' tune barps 'rork about yer ha 'r-.. raisin' rides! I've had a trip this mornin' thet will live inmeq1'ry! Hold. ther fort, Dicky! I'm a-comin' as fast as this byer wrenched piu o' mine 'll me." I The "sixty how Jin' seconds" specified by Harry had no more tlian elapsed when he reached Diamqnd Dick's side. I "Take two of those rifles, Harry," said the old l veteran, "and help me drag tbat fellow back into the where we can make a stand." "You git inter yore revolver belt, pard," Harry flung back, waking for the place where Lattimer was spra1Vled out unconscious, "an' I'll snakethis hyer hombre iuter the tall an' uncut
PAGE 20

DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 19 Bullets began to fly thickly, coming from invisible foe s The give7and-take was sharp, but, being a blind fight, the wrought was not serious. The veteran w a s listening for the sound of the popping guns an\1 the direction from which sounds c a me g uided him in his shooting. Suddenly he became aware of sowethiug of the utmost importanoe. rn1e reports of the enemy's guns indicated that a movement had b e en inaugurated, further up the steep l1ill si de, with the evident purpos e of taking Dick and H arry in the fl.auk and rushing them from a sid e w here there wa s no tree trunk to shelter them. "If a miracle doesn't happeH," Dick said, between his teeth, "they'll us, Harry!" The unexpected happened, at the critical mom ent, but it was far from being a miracle. Some one crashed through the brush from below, in the direction of the riv er. "They're surrounding us!" exclaimed Diamond Dick, and Harry lifted his gmi and bl az ed away, down hill. He was about to shoot a .gain when the form of young Diamond Dick pushed into sight. "That's enou!;!h of that, H.irry," cried Bertie. "Your first bullet only missed me by a hair. Put up your rifle and com e this way-quick!" "J um pin' sand hills!" cried the Californian. "Shootin' at the son of his dad, or I'm a maverick! Ef I'd downed ye, lad, I'd he v turne d a shooter a g'ius t myself, a11'--" "Let it slide for now," cut iu Diamond Dick, Jr. "Come this way." "What is there over in that wa y Bertie?" asked Diamond Dick. "A boat. Hustle or those chaps will get the lot of u s before we cau reach it." CHAPTER IX. ON THE RIVER. It will be remembered that Nance had told of a rowboat, made use of b y the smugglers to get thems elves and Handsome Harry across the river after the old Serpent had been captured. This rowboat w a s the one which the old veteran l o oked for, but in vain, a fter N eb Hosmer had landed h i m from the scow. There was a very good reason why Diamond Dick could not find the boat, and that was this: One of the smugglers had rowed the boat back after his comrades had got off. Bertie, when the hawser was severed by Lattimer, clung to it and was drawn toward the oppnsite bank. He hung onto the rope by one hand and supported Nance Hawkins with the other. Nance had lost her head entirely, and, in spite of Bertie's a djurations to be calm, she struggled wildly. The girl's struggles made it necessary for Bertie either to let go of her or to let go of 1'hosc who k11ow .the young sport will surmise at once which horn of the dilemma he took. He droppe d the rope, 'took a on the girl which would in s ure him the freedom of one arm, and finally gained the shore some little distance below the place where Diamond D i ck lauded on the oppo site bank. This will e xplain why the old veteran could not see Bertie, ;ind wh y Bertie could not hear his voice w hen he called. The bank where the young sport landed with Nance sloped gently to the water's edge, and they w e re both tired and when they dropped down on solid earth in their dripping gar111ent s "I reckon I made a fool o' myself,'1 mumbled Nance, tho water out of her eyes and giving Bertie a sheepish look. "That's all right, my girl," young Dia111011d Dick ans w e red, y ou
PAGE 21

DIAM. ONO DICK. JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. you any way? We might get horses and swim them over.'' "But the bosses would be no on t'other side. You remember what I told y abol.lt that scow?" "Yes." go until we git to it. If we can't use that ter \lS oyer, mebby we111 find Neb Hosmer an' he can get acro!!t in the ferryboat without usin' the cable." "Do you feel rested enoug l.J to start right out?" "S11re l1m as strong as auy man I ever see. Come on.'' They immediately began pushing up stream, walk iug as near the edge of the bank as they could. They saw uothii'g of Nc;b Hosmer, nor did they witness Harry1s ligbtniug clash down the hill on the log, but they heard the sounds of battle iu the chaparral which covered the high bank opposite. "We must get across!" cried Bertie, desperatdy. "If I can't do any better I'll swim it." "You're in good shape ter swim," said 1\ance looking at tbe llthe form of the young sp ort admiringly, "but you ain't in no shape ter'tight. n "'rhat's so," returnecl Bertie, in a disappoin tecl tone. He recalled, then, that he was minus his coat, liat and revolver belt, all three of whicb had been left on the ferryboat. "But it won't be necessary fer ye ter swim," said Nance, suddeuly. "By ginger, there's tbe rowboat tbet the gang used in ta.kin' Han'some Harry over. I thought they'd left it ou the other side." The boat, with oars in the oarlocks was secured to a tree by a rope. is great luck!" exclaimed Bertie. "Tumble i11, Nance, and we'll start across without any more delay thau we catl help.'' Prese11tly they were out iu the river and Bertie's sinewy anus were the boat broadside on through the strong curreut. The of tirearmi; i!Uided them, and Diamond Dick, laid the craft 'along tlie opposite shore, directly under the where the battle was being fought. "You mind the skiff, Nance1 said Bertie, leaping out, "imd I'll climb up and investigate." "Ye won't need ter investigate much ter find out tbet old Dimun Dick is in a pl1rty bad holet" .rrauce "Take my advice an' bring hiru right down here so's we can get him acrost the rivet an' out of trouble. "We can't desert Handsome Harry1 n said Diamond Dick, Jr., and pushed out of sight up the steep bill. 'l'he climb was difficult, :Bertie, however, made use of the br11sh and pulled himself from point to point, the unexpected shot from Harry appri:;ing him of the fact that he had finally come close to the scene of the battle. A. moment more and he was in sight of tbe fallen tree which sheltered the two beleagnered fighters, and thereu'pon followed the rapid-fire conversation already set forth. The retreat was at once beg11n, Diamond Dick carrying Harry's two rifles, and the old Serpent, in spite of his game leg, bearing the prisoner in his arms. When the found out that their foes were getti11g away, a charge wns made. Tlie charge was not made qnick e11011gh, however, for the Dicks, Handsome Harry and the prisoner were in the skiff and the skiff was several lengths from the shore, when the smugglers got to the watei:'s ed ge. Yells of rage and defiance went up from the outlaws, and not a few shots were fired at the skiff and its passengers. Bertie was at the oars and Diamond Dick and Harry ret11rned the fire of the smugglers to such Ood advantage that they were forced to retire up the bank. But this did not end the battle'. The smugglers ran along the steep hillside and continued their slJ()oting. "Down into tlie .bottorn of the boat, Nance!" cried Diamond Dick, Jr. "Sb ucks !" answered the girl. "I ain't afeared." "Drop down behind the bulwarks, anyway," urgo=d Bertie. But the girl only tossed her bead and remained sittiug where sbe w::ii. "They're i:cttiug tbe ruuge in good shape," said Diamoud Dick, as a bullet plumped against the stock of tlie rifle lie was holding. "Sit up1 Latti mer," Dick weut Oil, addressing the chief of the gang, who was lying flat Oil his back with his o=yes wide open. "'rhe sigbt of you may induce your friends to go a little slow." Lattimer declined the veteran's invitation, and Harry, who was uear him, raised him by 111ain force.

PAGE 22

DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY 21 The view of their leader, thus given the smugglers, rather dampened their ardor, and the shooting from the bank was perceptibly lessened. Lattimer wore a black scowl. The tables had been turned on him aud his com panions so suddenly and completeiy that he was fairly crazed with pent-up rage. While in this condition he saw an opportunity, by the possible sacrifice of himself, to even np scores with the Dicki and he did not hesitate to take advautagc of it. All at once be lifted himself and threw all his weigbt 011 the boat's side. Over the craft went, without a moment's warning, spilling its load into the water and riding bottom u p 011 the surface. Bertie and Harry did not mind the upset very much, s o far as the danger from the water was concerned. They and the girl had been 1ducked once before tha t morning. The danger, however, was not from the water itself, but from the shore. A shrill yell greeted the .mishap and when Dick and his friends bobbed up, one b y one, and caught hold of the boat, the bullets began to spatter about them in a lively manner. "Where's Lattimer?" asked Diamond Dick. "I'm hangin' ter him, pard," replied the Cali-forniau. "Don't let l o o s e of him, Harry." "Ef he goes do\vn I go with b im." "rhe predicament of the Dicks and their compan ions was perilous in the extreme. Their rifles were at the bottom of the river, they could not return the fire cf their enemies and there was 110 telling how soon one of them w ould b e picked off Suddenly there came a wild howl from Harry. ''Gle-ory ter snakes! Look wha t's comin' !" At this momentous juncture a big punt, heavily loaded with boxes of merchandise, came racing to w ard them. On the stern of the ungainly craft sat Two-Spot, manipulating a steering oar. "Grab on with your lunch-hooks!" shouted the New York kid, shrilly. "I'm coming right in among you!" "Catamounts a n hyeners!" spnttere d Harry. "It's Deuce Peters, by thunder! An' wha r in Sam Hill did he rustle thet catamaran?" CHAPTER X. TWO-SPOT'S WORK. As has already been stated, the York kid was destined to mingle in the lively times which charac terized this pursuit of the opium smugglers. His part of it began about half au hour after Dicks had left him to remove the horses to the Hawkin 's house. Two-Spot did not stop to pass any words with Nance'" father, but made off as soon as the three animals were safely tethered. He had a scheme in his ht!acl and was anxious to be about it. His objective point was the scow mentioned by Nance as l ying above the ferry. The btiy found it and without very much difficulty. It was a punt-sl111ped craft, heavily loaded with pack ing cases and moored to t11e bank with a stout rope. It la y in a sort of natural cove, or arm of the river -a place selected, as it seemed to t'he boy, with a view to secrecy. As the New Yorl.: kid stood at the edge of the bank, sizing up the punt aud its cargo, be became suddenly aware'that there was a man aboard. 'fhe man w a s lying on a blanket, spread over some of the boxes, just under tlte gunwale. He was busy with a Chinese opium pipe, whiffing at it languidly. Two revolvers lay on a box jll s t back of his head, removed, probably, s o that they might not interfere with the comfort of his r eclining posture. Two-Spot in the situation in a flash. And in another flash he had evolved a plan for capturing the boat. Lowering himself to his knees, he began a stealthy advance ou all fours. When he w a s within a yard of the puut>s bow, the opium sm oker heard him and aroused languidly. "What do you want? the m a n asked, fixing his bleared e \ es upo11 the boy. "These and 'l'wo-Spot made a jump and secured the w eapo11s The man w as lyi n g on hi:, elbow, and made a half. start to get up 011 his feet. The drug he had been smoking, however, had be numbed his bod y brains and muscles, and he was logy in his movements. "No, you don't, cull," cried Two-Spot. "Down with y ou, once more." ''Who a re you?'' mum bled the other. "I'm the smalles t cart have far to drive you, neither." "Want to buy the cargo, Prince?"

PAGE 23

22 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. The man settled back comfortably and resumed his smoking. The opium, it was plain, had got into his head and raised havoc \vith )iis reason. "I might go you one on the cargo, Duke,,, returned Two-Spot. "What have you got aboard?" "One thousand pounds of prepared opium, your highness." Two-Spot gave a jim1p. ''G'wan, yon 're stringin' me.'' "Nay, I give it to yon straight, my liege. In Chinatown 'tis worth $16 the po11nd. One thousand pounds at $1i a pound means $16,000. Dost follow me?'' "I dost. Where did you get all this stuff, Duke?" "I helped friend Lattimer smuggle it over the border.'' "Friencl Lattimer is the main squeeze?" "He is 9 the s1uugglers." "Then this opium never paid duty." "Uncle Sm :r;it not a red. vVan t to buy it?" "I'll it under consideration." "Then kiudly allow me to smoke m yself. to sleep while you1re considering." "Go ahead, Duke. Smoke up. Don't let 111e bother you.,, Two-Spot sat t .here watchiug the :man like a hawk until the pipe fell from his his bead dropped back, and be took bis little trip to the opium fiend's paradise. It req11ired some tiu1e for this re5ult to be brougl1t abont, and while it was coming on there were all kinds of 110ises wafted from down the river. B11t the principal noise, and the one which stirred the New York kid the most, was the co11ti11uecl firing. He heaved a loug breath of relief when the Duke lost his senses. "Now, Duke," muttered Two-Spo t, softly from the punt an
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