Diamond Dick, Jr.'s black box, or, The secret of half a million

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Diamond Dick, Jr.'s black box, or, The secret of half a million

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Title:
Diamond Dick, Jr.'s black box, or, The secret of half a million
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:
030819449 ( ALEPH )
17750550 ( OCLC )
D21-00017 ( USFLDC DOI )
d21.17 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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issued W eek l y By Subscrzptinn $2.50 pe r yea r E11f e,-e d as S econ d Class Matte,r a t Nae. Pq9j. Office by SrREE T & SMITH, ;J38 IPit!Uztn St., N. Y. No.297. / --; ,,. ./, Price. Five Cents. < BEFORE THll: OUTLAW O ULD SEE WHAT BIS MEN WERE SHOUTING ABOUT A FIST STRUCK HIM SQUARELY ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD, AND HE WENT DOWN f ,IKE A LOG.

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Iswed Wuflly. By Suhscri'jtio,n $2.50 year Entered a s Second Class Matter at 111.d N. Y. Post /Jy STREET & SMITH, zy8 William St. N. Y. Entred ac cordinz lo Ac,/ o f Co111rress i n tire y ear rqoa, in Offi c e o / tlu Libra riatz of C onpess W aslzi11t1m, ]). C. No. J.97. .NEW YORK, June 21, 190.i. Price F ive Cents. DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S, BLACK BOX; OR, The Secret of Half a Million By the author o f "DIAMOND DICK.'' CHAPTER I. SCHEMERS A N D SCHUUES. av y ure ch 'atin' now, y e bla 'guard, ye!" \Vlio i s cheating? There i s m y b et; call me .jf y on want t o Money talks." "Be g orra it i s bltrffin me ye m ay be, but Oi have n t
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i DIAMOND DICK, JR.-TtiE BEST WEEKLY attention to any one, but w e re thoroughly enjoying their game of poker. One of tbese a handsome youtb, nattily attired. His companion was a young Irishman. 'rwo other men occupied a table adjoining, and, w i th a bottle between them, seemed to be earnestly engaged in conversation. Of these, the one neares t the t able first mentioned was a dark man of cunning countenance. The other, a thick-set, bearded feliow, looked the utter. villain. 'fhe first mentioned w ere Diamond Dick, Jr., and o ne Pat O'Dale, Bertie's friend a..nd a ssistant. While they seemed to be absorbed with their play yet they were ther e for a purpose. Bertie's cars, almos t abnormally k e en, were catching nearly every word that wa s be.ing s aid b y the two men. at the table adjoining. "But how am I to know that I can trust you, Buggs Terrell?" he of the cunning countenance was sa y ing. "This is a big game, and I don't want it to miscarry." Y ou will simply have to take my word, if y ou w;rnt my help, Mr. Weatherbee--" "Hist! No llames here!" with a look around. "Then wh y did you mention mine? But, no matter, no one can hear; all eyes are upon those young chaps behind y ou. A s I was going to sa y men like me c an't give gilt-edge references " A ll I ask is your word that you stand true to me." "At1d tha:t yott have got." "It is a play for a cool half million.,, "So you said, and when you get it I am to have my slice of a hundred thousand.'' "That is the arrangement." "Then you can trust me, clear down to bed roc k I arp yours for that sum, soul and body. "All right, I'll have to take your word in the absence of your bond, and as I have got to have help anyhow I had rather trust you than any one I know of.'' 'Nufi said: ''And now for the scheme.'' "'That is ne:xt in order: Let me hav e thel1ull layout." "You know who I am--" "You heard me say a minnit ago." "! know, hut my business here--" "Oh, yes, I know you aie one of that gang of
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' B.EST WEEKLYo "Plain case." "Yes, but here comes in the nepl1ew, Simon Bris to"l'l1, son of their sister. He is dead in love with Luella but she scorns him, and lie has taken it into his head to do her out of her half a million." "Ah! now you are talking." "And that is not all." "Go on, then." "The girl has a lover, a11d he happens to be a de-tective in the employ of the Government.'' "Oh-ho!" "Getting scared?" "Well, it won't be a dead easy game, perhaps." ''Oh! yes, it will, for the little scheme I have in mind is bound to work successfully." Diamond Dick, Jr., and his companion were playing earnestly and almost in silence now, giving no heed to anything bnt their betting. "Go on," said Terrell. "Well, Simon Bristow got the black box away from the girl before she had a chance to get at its contents, but she still holds the key to it, and he did not dare break it open for fear of destroying the con ten ts--' "Don't you think that's all a fake?" "What?" "About destroying its contents by opening it any other way?'' "Well, I don't know, and I don't want to run the risk by trying it when the key will be easy to be had." "I thought yon were only givi11g me a steer, to keep me from tampering with it." "Oh, 110; you will find that caution inscribed 011 the lid.'' "'J'hat is a hoss of auother color, then." "Well, Bristow got the box, as I said, and the girl put her lover on his trail, and they have followed him here to Drummond. He is one of the rainmakers, you know.'' "So yuu say. "Now, the thing down fine is this: Bristow was afraid to carry the thing any further, knowing that Trnsedale-that is the detective's n<1me, Henry Trusedale-was on his track, and so he took me into partnership with him about the same as I am taking you. See?" "I begin to see. "I am supposed to have the black box safely hid away in my baggage, and so I have, but to.morrow I want to transfer it t9 your keeping until such time as we can meet to make use of it. Meantime, I will get bold of the key, and then it will be easy going." "But how are you going to get tbe box into my hands?" "Now, that is where you will see the touch of my fine Italian hand in the game. To-morrow, wheu I make the first ascent for the purpose of taking ob servations for the captain in charge of our opera tions, I will take the black box ith me along with the instruments. You will note the way the wind is blowing and station yourself about half a mile from the balloon's anchorage, to the leeward, of course. Just have a red handkercllief tied to a and the stick stuck in the ground about where you want the box dropped, and I'll drop it so it will fall within a rod or so of the spot.'' i;But you'll break it all to pieces!" "No, I'll wrap it in a coat or blanket, aud it will make the drop all right." "Well, you know best about that." "I will take all the chances. I can see whether you get it or not, and I will meet you here again to morrow night for further discussion respecting our scheme. "All right. "But in case you have any reason to believe that you have been seen with it, or that you are suspected, you 11ad better take to the hills and dispose of it in a safe place at once, where we can get it again at our leisure, weeks or mo1iths hence, as may be neces sary." '' '' "You see, I am trnsting you, and I expect a fair deal from you.'' "That's what I mean to give ye, you bet." "If you do not, it will be an easy matter to put the authorities on the track of Buggs Terrell, alias Captain Calibre, the outlaw." 'Sh!" with an apprehensive look him. "Would you spoil it by maJ.:ing known here who I am? Have a care.'' "No danger; I only wanted to show you that I have a little string to that is all." "You will have no reason .to pull it; I mean you fair." "I believe you do, but I wanted to warn you not to try on any trick that isn't square and aboveboard.'' "Well, is that all?''

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4 DIAMOND DICK, J R.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. ''That is about the main part of it, for the present. Of course, I have another iron in the fire besides--" "You might as well go the whole boss, now that you are about it. I can be all the more use to you b y knowing your whole scheme than by knowing it only in part." "I don t know but that stands to reason. You see, I am somewhat smitten with the charms of Luella Monckton myself." "Oh-ho!" "Yes, that's the fact, and I have the good inten_ tion of making her marry me. Of course, that means the removal of Henry T.rusedale, but that is by no means impossible, out here in this wilderness." "I can't give yon any help in that matter." "You don't underst;nd me; I do not mean to dye my hands in blood; oh, no; but he can turn up missing--" "Enough said; I understand." "Or; there can be a brush with outlaws, say, for instance, Captain Calibre and his band, and in the melee this fellow can be given his quietus. But that will come later." "Yes, one thing at a time is enough. Hello! I guess Irish there has gone broke. '' They turned and gave their attention to the two players near them. "Begorra, it is all' Oi have left," the young Irishman was saying, as he held up his empty pocketbook and shook it to prove that he had lost his last cent. "Will any mon give me a dollar, enough to give me somethin' wid which to call dhis spalpeen, and have a show fur dhe pot?" "Put the wallet on the pile," said Diamond Dick, Jr. "I will allow you a dollar on it against my last bet. I don't want to be unfair with you, afLer yot1r hard run of luck." "Dhere ye are, dhen, and now phat have ye got? It reminds me av a shtory me Uncle Owen used to tell about a moo who was so poor dhat at last he offered a frying pan for salty, about dhe last article he had in his shanty, and his wife and childher gathered around him wailin' to know pwhy he would be partin' wid a t'ing loike thot. 'Och hone, och hone, said dhe mon, 'Oi would niver be afther selliu' it but fur dhe sake av dhe little money to get something to put in it, me darlint.' And so wid me pocketbook. But, show down yure hand, and let me see phwat ye have dhere. '' 'rhe idlers 's story, and Bertie laid down the cards he held. He had only a small pair, and Pat O'Dale had won. "Whoop! hooray!" cried Pat, jerking his l1at from his head and swinging it wildly. "Sure, me luk has turned at last, and Oi'll not play another hand dhe noight fur fear Oi'll spboil it. Oi dare ye to tbry it again to-morrow noight, me hearty!" "Very well, if nothing happens," agreed Bertie, and they rose from the table, and so ended their little horseplay for the time being. Diamond Dick, Jr., had accomplished his purpose. CHAPTER II. A LIVELY LIT'rLE GO. Meantime, two of the onlookers had drawn a little apart from the circle around the table. One of these was about as tough-looking a customer as can be imagined. The other looked more respectable, but even he had a hard visage. "What is it?" asked the latter. "1'11 tell ye what et is, Yank Thomas," was the response, ''that young feller thar is Diamond Dick, Jr.,, "What of that, Jeff? Who is Diamond Dick, Jr.?" "Who is he? Who but the worst infernal detective that ever struck the Southwest!" "Is that so?" "Yes, that's so, and if your pard thar and mine have been talk in' over a11ything in p'tic'lar, ten to one that cuss has got onto it, every word." ''Get out! Why, he has been dead up to his ears in that game, cheatin' that young Irishman out of his du-dads." "Mebby so, but all the same I am goin' to put the bo s s onto him.'' Weatherbee and 'Terrell had stepped to the bar, and were taking a parting drink to seal the compact just made. This fellow Jeff was Captain Calibre's lieutenant or right-hand man, and he and Weatherbee's assistant had jnst come into the place a few miuutes be fore. His full namt! was Jeff Hoga n. He went forward to the bar and caught Terrell by the arm. "Know that chap yender?" he demanded. He pointed. "No; do you?" "Yes ; I do, you bet., what of it? Who is he?"

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DiJ\MOND JR.-THE BOYS9 BEST WEEKLY. 5 "Nobody but Diamond Dick, Jr., that's all.,, "Thunder!" "What's up?" asked \Veatlierbee. ''That youngster over there is a detective, one of the shrewdest on deck, too." "What is that to us?" "Nothing, unless he was there with a purpose1 un he was spying upon us and heard what we said.'' "Impossible. We talked in low tones, and he and that wild Irishman were m aking an uproar most of the time. Well, I'll be going, old fellow; don't you forget.'' "Trust me for that." 'Veatherbee passed 011t, and 'l'errell a nd hi s bower talked together. "You are s ure of him?" Terrell asked. Sure of him! Of course I am sure of him. Didn't I see him down there at Dallas?" "That's so but what can he be doing here?" Tl1at is the qnestion. What are we doing here? I tell ye, captain, I don't like the looks of things." "Well, go and n111 up against him, then, and lay him out. I will be on hand to chip in on your side if it gets hotter than you can stand. He is our game, you know.'' "You bet." Hogan sauntered off and approache
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6 DIAMON D DICK, JR.-THE B O YS' BEST WEEKLY. to defend himself, but the instant he did that Bertie cut loose at him. Biff! clip! First one fist, and then the other right after it, and over went Jeff Hogan as if he had been fired out of a catapult. The crowd aronnd laughed, some of them ventured to start a cheer, and Pat O'Dale started to tell of some similar event in the life of his Unc]e Owen, but found no listeners. 'rhe excitement was on. About the time that Hogan went over Bertie felt something cold against his neck. "Enough of this sort of thing here," said a voice. "Maybe you want to take a baud in it." Bertie had dodged back, with a movement like lightning, and while he knocked the other man's weapon aside with his right hand he pulled a gun with his left and covered him. It looked as if a little whirlwind had been let there in the usually quiet saloon. "Thunder!" ejaculated the new participant. "And lightning, too, if you say so," said Bertie, coolly. "What did you chip in here for?" "Because that man is a friend of mine, that's what. 11 "Then you had better take him away before he gets hurt, that's all, not to give you a word of caution yourself at the same time.'' Hogan was now up and roaring again, and he made a rush at Diamond Dick, Jr., in a way that meant business, but he soon ran up against a snag that brought him to a stop. "Back, ye omadhaun !" It was Pat O'Dale who had placed his back to Bertie's and was ready for the ruffian with a gun limbered for action. "What is this to you?" roared Hogan. "Begorra, it is not seein' a square man turned down Oi'd be," answered Pat. "He is a card sharp, and was cheating you out of your eyeteeth. '' "Dhe same back into ynre own teeth fur dbe loie it !" "You don't believe." "No more Oi do. Sure, he gave me a square dale every toime, so he did, and as Oi am after wantin' to get aven wid him to-morrow night, it is not seeing him harmed Oi would be." "Come, what are you going to do about it?"' cried Bertie. "If you want any more, say so; if not, up with your guns and git!" 'We'll meet again," grated Terrell, shoving his gun out of sight and wheeling about on his heel. "Yes, I believe we will," said Bertie, calmly. "And bad cess to yez but it wilf be a meeting dhat ye won't relish, Oi am H1inkin'." The two men slunk away, liaving picked up more than their match in the young detective. "That was well done," said a voice near Bertie. Diamond Dick, Jr., looked around. ''Ha! you?" "Yes, and that was about as near lightning as I ever saw, for action, I tell you.'' "Pshaw! that was nothing," said Bertie. "They were too slow, that was all." "Yes, I know that was all, but they would havt! had to be more than lightning to be quicker than you were. I never saw anything like it. But come with me. 11 "All right." 1.'hey passed out from the saloon, Pat O'Dale following them at a little distance. "What is it?" asked Bertie, when they were out. "Miss Monckton would like to see you." "A 11 right, I am agreea hie to that. What does she want?" "That is something that I do not know; I came for you at her request.'' "Well, we'll s o on know. By the way, I have got a wedge in the log now, and if we don't split it from end to end it will be queer. "Then you heard something ?11 "You bet I heard something. n Bertie told briefly of the scheme that was on foot. "The _;;<:onndrel !" cried his companion, who, by the way, was Henry Trusedale. "I will report him to the officer in charge of the experiments--'' "No, not yet," said Bertie. "Let him go bis length, for we are too many for them, and they have no chance of getting away with that box. We'll be on hand to-morrow." "They may change the plan, knowing now who you are.'' "No fear of it; they would not believe that I over heard their talk if I were to swear to it." "Well, I am willing to trust your judgment in the matter. Would not have sent for you, if I could not do that. What is your scheme to checkmate their moves?"

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DIJ\MOND DICK, JRo-TH E BOY S' BEST WEf:t{LY. "l "Wily, I will apply for permission to make the ascent with Weatherbee in the morning, and will a]J pear at the last moment when it will be too late for him to make any change in his plans, and I'll secnre the black box when we come down again.,, "Goud! .Aud meantime I will have an eye on that fellow Terrell and be ready to pounce down upon him in the event Weatherbee does cast the box out of the balloon. But what is the matter with making a raid on \Veatherbee at once and making him disgorge? But I see-I understand; Captain Calibre is 110 doubt here in force and ready to make i t hot for us at Weatherbee's sig11a1. ,, CHAPTER III. 'l'HE BATTLE FOR THE BOX IN TllF, For several days the booming mid thuncleri11g of high explosives had awakened the curiosity of the uatives far aud near. Some, o f course, were aware what was going 0 11, that it was the Government's ex periments at rainmaking, b11t to many more it was a m ystery, aud they were crazy to learn what it meant. Hence, many had set out to travel in the direction of the war-like rumblings, and on the morning of tl1e fourth day of the experime11ts the little towu o f Drummond was full of strangers of every stripe a11d stamp, almost, from the cowboy to the Indian. The balloo n w as a great attraction for them, and a s the preparations were under way for tlie first ascent of the day, they stood around tbe swayiug object of their curiosity with months agape. The aeronaut and his assistant \\'ere busy at work; getting ready, and were getting their instruments together in the wicker basket. 'rhe balloon was tngging its moori n gs, swayed by a gentle breeze out of the 11orth. At last everything was about ready. \Veatherbee was about to cast off the key rope that chained the balloon to its anchorage, when two persons ra11 forward from the crowd and sprang into the car with him and his man. They were Diamond Dick, .Jr., aud Pat 01 Dale. "\\"hat does this ll!Lan ?"'cried \\ieatherbee, glaring at them furiously. "\Vhat d o yon want here? Out of this lx1sket i11sta11tly !1 "Hardly, said Bertie, calmly. "\Ve had too sharp a run to get in to think of getting out again. C11t her loose and let h e r go; we are going up with ) OU. 11 "The ginger you are!" . "Well, about as hot as that, 111:1ybe_ liotter. -1 "I guess it will be as 1 say about th-at, ''roared \Veatherbee. "Get out of her e, both of ) ie>u !>' "Cool off,,, said Bertie. "Will yon get out?" ".:\ o. ,, "Yank, throw that Irishman out; I will do the same for this fell uw." "Begorra and ye lay wan finger on me it is Dinnfs yer name will be, do ye moi11d thot '1 cried P;it. _.\ud ifyo11 to11ch me this asc1ent will haveto be macle without you to _-day," s aid Bertie to Weather bee. ''Yo11 are getting hot in the collar for nothing, old fellow.,' "But by "hat clo you get this car?n "By the right of having asked peqnissio? of the officer in cl1arge of thes:: experiments,,, atfswered Bertie. "And he h as granted it?'1 "He has." "'l'hunder !" "What i s the m atter?1 "I w o n t go up, that's what." At thal moment a soldier in officer's uniform ca111e forward Lo the basl,et. "'.\lr. \\"eatherbee,,, he said, ."this is l\Ir. \V ,ade and his man. He has a sked permiss ion to go ug with you, and as it is a mild clay I liave granted it.,, "But this is not an excursion balloon--" "I am in charge here, sir. If you are read)', ca s t off and make the observations.,, That settled it. With muttered oaths, \Veatherbec freed the ropes, and the ballobn shot 11pward toward the bright morn ing sky like an arrow from the bow. "\\' h 11rrrn !" gasped Pat O'Dale, as tlie peculiar sensation of the swift almost overcame him. "Oi wouder phwat me lJncle Owen would say, an' h e was wid me dhis minute!" "Be thankful if you ever reach the earth alive,,, growled the ''and never mind you r uucle." "\\"c will take our chances with you,,, said Bertie. "Yo11 may wish yon had never come." ""We'll see about that.,, "Fur dhe Jove av liivvin sor,'i said Pat, begin ning to get pale as the swift motion continued,-a11d 'he ground below appeared to be running a:vay from

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8 DIAMON D DICKo JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLYo them and leave them hanging in space.; "shut off dl1e stame ,,, "Hold fast, Pat," cried Bertie. "You will be all right in a minute or so." "Sure, Oi am reminded av a shtory me Uncle Owen used to tell about two men dhat were at work in a quarry, 'l.Vhin wan av thim fell into a dape hole and was nigh killed. Dhe other, froightened half out av his wits, ran to dhe hole and shouted out, 'Pat, is it mangled cntoirely ye are? An' if ye are dead, spake!' And dhe other he says, says he, 'No, Mike, it is not dead Oi am, but knocked spachless.' Dhat's phwat's the mattber wid me." This caused the aeronai1t's assistant to laugh, and some of the ill-will toward the unweloome passengers appeared to be a11ayed. Up, and still up, the balloon rose, until the shouts of the throng below could hardly be heard. Bertie was looking down over the side of the car. Suddenly he espied what he was lo oking for, the red handkerchief -en the stick, as agreed upon. It was iu an open space in the midst of a clump oi chaparral, on the distant side of which a number of horses were seen, with a similar 11um ber of n1eu near them. About the same time Weatherbee grabbed up a folded blanket from the bottom of the car. Bertie s
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DHJ\MOND DiCK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. "Curse you He shoved his knife out of sight. "Yon see we are all in the same boat," said Bertie, "and yon have got to take her safely down in order to preserve your own precious neck.'' "Well, curse you, you dfrln't accomplish your object, anyhow, and if you breathe one word of this matter it will cost you yonr life. You 11ave the best hand just now, but tlie tables will turn." "You have done a fine stroke of business to-day," said Bertie, as they regained the basket. "\\'hat do you mean?" ''You were a fool to trnst such a. man as Captain Calibre.'' "\Vhy was I?" ''Because the chances are yo n will never see yo11r black box again in th is world." "An
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10 DIAMON D D ICK, JR.-THE BOYS9 BEST After that interview Bertie and Henry had pfotllled fnrther their for the morrow. At an early hour Trnsedale ascertained the direction of the wind, and a line in the same course, from the balloon, he went away to the chaparral and penetrated it. There. was a path near the point where he ap proached, and rather than try tu force his way through, he t"ok the path. This path, while winding, continued on in his general course. In a little while he came out into an open glade. Just as he came out into this g.lade from one direc tion, a man made his appearance from the other. There was a friendly clump of scrub at hand, and 'l'ruseda1e sprang to cover behind that before he was seen, and watched. 'l'he, other man came on, and presently stopped and looked well around him. No one was in sight. Trusedale knew him, of course. 1t was Buggs Terrell, or Captain Calibre. The dett:ctive knew what he was there for, thanks to Diamond Dick, Jr. Terrell came 011, satisfied that no one was around, and stopped to cut a spront. Thi& trimmed off, sharpened the big end, and to the other end attached his red handkerchief, and the stick up in the ground. He placed it about in the center of the glade, or may be a little south from .the center, and having so done, retired the way be had come. The detective waited. At the end of five minutes, no one having been seen, 11e made his. way around the glade the point where Captain Calibre had appeared and disappeared. Here he concealed himself . Some little time passed, and voices could be heard from the direction of the rainmakers' camp. They were a cons1derable distance out fron the town, of course, on a piece of almost uninhabited sand plain, where their high explosives could do no harm . The voices became u1ore and more numerous, and presently a great shout arose. The balloon had been freed. 'l'rusedale and in_ the same moment he caught sight of the big silk as it shot upward. It could be that it was leaning to.ward the chaparral, even thougl1 it was yet a considerable distance away. \Yhile the detective watched, he heard a step near at hand. It was Buggs Terrell. A clump of the thick growth of scrub separated the two men. Captain Calibre, too, stopped and watched the bal loon, as it rose swiftly lip and in the clear air. Presently an exclamation escaped him. Trusedale looked to the balloon, for at the moment he was watching the ontlaw. A thrilling spectacle caused him to start. There was a commotion in the basket, or car, of the balloou, as if a struggle were in progress. The balloon was nearly overhead by this time, and was at a considerable altitude. Of a sudden a man was seen to leave the basket and climb up into the netting. After him went another. "Thunder!" cried Captain Calibre. ''Is the game to be spoiled? ls that infernal young Diamond Dick, Jr., going to prevent him?" The balloon reached the point overhead, passed it and still the black box had not been cast out. 'l'he outlaw was excited, and was following the balloon with eager gaze. "It will be lost!" he cried, in rage. "It will drop in the thick of the chaparral and never be found! Confound that meddling fellow! I will settle with him for his interference." Trusedale was scarcely less excited than Terrell. In turning, eager uot to lose sight of the balloon, he made a noise that the other heard. As quick as a wink, Terrell wheeled and faced him. And as he turned he whipped out a gun, 'l'rusedale doing the same, and they glared at each other fiercely. "\\'ho are you?" Terrell denrnnded. "I am Henry 'rrusedale, Government detective," was the cool .response made. "'r11e deuce you say! \\hat are you doi11g here?" "I came here to see what yon were doing." "You were spying npon me?" "Yes.'' "What far?" "I have told you." "\\'ell, curse yo111 up with your hands!" "Easy I If you lift your gun arm an inch I will Jet go at you. It is about an even thing between us."

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-----=""""'""""""""" DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYSP BEST WEEKLY, 11 "Curse you, you have cheated met>' yelled Terrell. "You have drawn my attention from the balloon, and now--11 "And now the black box is somewhere in the chaparral; I saw it cast out just as you looked at me." "You did r1 "I did.,, "And that was what you were here for?" "Well, yes, I admit it. I happened to know about yonr scheme.'' "Curse you! yon will never live to tell of it." "Have a care. I can probably shoot as quick as you can. If it.is to be a tight come out here in the open.11 "And if not a fight?" "Then you are my prisoner "Not by a big sight!" Crack! Almost with his words, Terrell fired from his hip. 1'he bullet came within an ace of Trusedale's head, but he did not flinch. He was made of the right material. A fitting comrade for Diamond Dick, Jr., he wonld prove. Crack again. It was bt1t the fraction of a second after the report of the outlaw's weapon. Terrell was seen to start, and a tuft of cloth was cliJ..>ped from his shonlder. "Up with your hands!" No sooner had the detective fired than his right arm came up to level, and he had a The start the bullet had caused Captain Calibre, had cost him the advantage of the "drop," and he was cornered. A smile played around his lips, howevc:r. He held up his hands, as ordered, high over his, head. "'I' hat was a clo s e call for both of us," said Truse clale, coolly. "Yes, curse you, and now thaf you have cornered me, what are yon going to do about it?" ''I am going to take you to Drummond.'. "You are, ?" "Yes." ''.I'll bet yon a hu11dred to ten that you don't." "Don't be a fool. Drop your gun, now, but still keep up your hands, and I will adorn vour wrists with a pair of bracelets." "TlJe deuce you will P' "Ha! ha! ha!" Of a sudden the cold tubes of two revolvers had been thrust into the detective's ears. And at the same time the words were spoken Cap tain Calibre gave a hearty laugh. 'fwo of his men had appeared upon the scene. They had come upon the two men unawares, and taking in the sitnation, had 'crept quietly up behind Trusedale. "If yon move an inch you are a dead man, 11 one of his captors gave warning. "And if you do not release me instantly, your captain is a dead man," was the cool response. Trusedale still held Captain Calibre covered with liis weapon. Terrell paled. There was a momentary hitch in the proceedings. But it was only momentary, for, with oaths, the two men jerked Trusedale backward. In an instant he was flat on his back on t he ground, and the two fellows had their hands at his throat and their guns at his temples. "Shall we blow his durn head off?" one asked. "Don't kill him here," said their captain. "Why not?" "Too near the camp, and the scheme is known. It would be traced to us.'' "Yes, bnt we kin be miles before he is found. Come, what say? \i\'c kin spatter his brains all over the open hyar !" "No, I say!" "0. K., you're the boss." "What, then?" asked the other. "He has got handcuffs on him somewhere," said Terrell. ''Find them and snap them onto his wrists.'' "You bet!" One of the men still kept his pistol to the detec tive's temple, and the other proceeded to make a search through his pockets for the handcuffs. They were speedily fmmd. "Hyer we air!" cried the fellow. By this time Terrell, too, was upon the hapless de tective, and, with his help, the handcuffs were q_uickly put on, in spite of Trusedale's struggling. "And there he is, curse him!" cried Captain Cali bre, spurning his prisoner with his foot. "Maybe you will not cross my path again in a hurry, confourld you!'' Having disarmed the prisoner, they got up. "Goin' to leave him hyer ?" asked one of the ll!en.

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12 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKL't.1 "Yes, but he ought to be secnred." "Et would be a good tliing to secure l1im with a rope around his cussed neck:!" "And his feet about six inches clear of the ground!" "No, I tell you, not th
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 13 eagerly, her face still pale with suppressed excite ment. "That villain shall be made to answer for his rascally work." Putting the glasses in their case, that swung by a strap from her shoulder, she quickly descended to the interior, closely followed by her maid. They sought their rooms at once. "You are goin', then?" asked Kittie. "To be sure we are going. No doubt Mr. Truse dale wants me to meet the captain in charge of the experiments and make my complaint to him." "But you say they did throw the box out of dhe car l'' "Yes, yes, Kittie." "Then dhe chances are it 1s lost to ye, Miss Monckton." "Yes, l fear it is, but "'' e will 111 ake every to recover it. I trust Henry for that." They made all haste, and in a few minutes made their appearance on the hotel piazza. There were three horses awaiting, on one of which a man was mounted. He touched his hat at their appearance. ":\Iiss Mon ck ton?' i he inquired. ''Yes, sir," said Luella. "My name is Jones," said the man. "Mr. Truse dale desires me to conduct you out to the camp. "Then you are one of the rainmakers?'' "Yes." Luella tripped lightly down the steps, followed as nimbly by. her maid, and they were .quickly assisted to mount. In another moment they were off at a quick gallop in the direction of the camp. Their conductor set the pace. Little was said, only between mistress and maid. ,.hey chatted as they galloped along, and Luella found no fault with the pace. She was eager to reach her lover as quickly as pos sible. Ere long the very iast of the houses of the town had been left behind, and at last also the most remote of the adjoining farmhouses. Ahead, theu, lay tbe semi-desert place in which the rainmaking experiments were being carried on. There was some timber, patches of chaparral here and there, and much sand, Ere long they descended into a timbered ravine. "\\'e will turn to the left here," said their con dnctor, when they reached the bottom. "Isn't this the trnil, straight ahead?" asked Luella. The trail was too plainly marked to be mistaken, where all the baggage of the experimenters bad been carted, and where the people of the town had traveled back and forth. "Yes, but it is blocked,'' said the man. "How far that way have we got to go?" "Only a little distance." He rode on, as if taking it for granted that they would follow, and, after a moment's hesitation, this they did. His man11er had reassured them. rrhe farther they proceeded, however, the deeper became the ravine and the darker their surroundings. At last Luella drew rein. "I am going no farther this way, sir," she said, decisively. ".No, you need not, fair cousin, for this is far enough," said a voice so near at liand that it caused her to scream. Out from the thick undergrowth stepped Simon Bristow. At the same time two other fellows leaped out and caught the horses by the head, and the rascally con ductor laughed. "Ha, ha, ha!" his voice rang out. "How was that, boss?" "You have done well," approved Bristow, "and you shall have your price for the work." "What is the meaning of this?" demanded Luella, pale to the lips. "It means tliat you are now mine, whether you will or not, cousin," was the leering response. "You knave!" ''Oh! call me anything you like, it does not mat, .ter; you will, ere long, call me husband.'' "Never!" "We'll see about that, my dear." Luella made a move as if to thrust her hand into lier pocket, but she was prevented. "No, you don't," said her ca pt?r. "l w.ill see that you do not play me any tricks. Here, you, come and help me disarm the pair of them." This to the man who had lured them there. He was promptly at hand. "Ye murtherin' villains!" cried Kittie Kelly, boiling over with indignation. "It is scratchi11' dhe eyes out av dhe lot av yez Oi would be!" In her excitement her fine native brogue came out

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\ 14 DIAMOND DICK. JR.-THE BOYS' 'BEST WEEKLY" "Not a doubt of it," said Bristow, "but we are not going to give you the chance." "What do you inknd doing with us?" asked Luella. She was ready to cry with vexation. "Why, I am l;!Oing to take the best of care of you, to be .sure," was the reply. "I demand that you let us go instantly, and allow us to re urn to the town, sir. '' "Or go on out to the camp and.meet your lover, eh?" "You wretch!" "That is all right, I can stand it. You were quick to respond when you thought it was Trusedale had for you, but it was I. Before I will allow you to wed him I will kill you '' He spoke vengefully. "Have you not done me wrong enough, robbing me of my fortune?" the girl cried. She had been deprived of her pistol, and was powerless to do them harm. It had been found that Kittje had no weapon. "I care more for you than your fortune," cried Bristow. "I did not think so till I saw you come here in the company of that fellow, and then I vowed that he should never wed you." Luella covered her face with her hands in despair. "Shame on ye, ye skunk!" cried E..ittie, her indig uation knowing 110 bounds. "You lave us go, or, by dhe powers, av Oi don't screech in a way dhat will make dhe rainmakers' rackd a baby's rattle in com parison! Oi will have dhe whole town av Drnmmond about yure ears I" "Scream all you want to, my beauty," sneered Bristow. "By the way, you will make a fine wife for my friend here, if he will undertake to tame you." "Ha, ha, ha!" laughed the accomplice. "Are they to be tied fast?" asked oneof the other men. ''That will depend on their conduct," answered Bristow. "Get your horses and mine.,, "In Heaven's name, what do you intend doing with us?" cried Luella. "Have I not told you?" "Only your terrible threat, and I will never marry you-no, never!" "At any rate, I am going to take you away to a safe place and see to it that you marry no one else." "Have m ercy aud let us return." "After all the pains I have been to get you here in my power? Oh, no." "I will yield all claim to the black box-the for tune--'' "Ha, ha! When is already in my possession, or, at any rate, under my control? I have got both you and your fortune.', ''And you will not let us return?'' "Decidedly not. And it rests with you whether yon will be tied, as my man has suggested, or remain free." ''Do not tie us, I beg of you. '' "Then do you promise not to try to escape fro m me?" "Yes, yes, "Very well, but at the first balk you make I will order you tied and will treat you with mighty little cousideration after that.'' Seeing that they were in a bad fix, anyhow, the girls thought best to make the best of it. Luella did not believe that she would receive actual harm at the hands of lier cousin. .She did net think as evil of him as that, .ind she hoped chance would offer for her aud Kittie to make their escape. The horses having been fetched, the men mounted, and the rascal who had led the young women into the trap continued to conduct party down through the ravine. At s ome time in the past no cloubt a stream had flowed there. Be that as it might, the ravine ran on and on, at some points cleared of its timber, and while there was no trail there, yet the bottom was comparatively good footing for the animals. At last, after some miles had been traversed, it began to grow soggy, and the guide turned out to the upland. Here they stopped for a few minutes. Bristow and the guide consulted, a little apart from the others, and while they were thus engaged the sndden thud of hoofs was heard. Instantly came a yell from the other two men of the party, a11d Bristow and his rascally tool looking quickly in their direction, they saw the two prisoners dashing away. "After them t" yelled Bristow, giving his own horse a dig with his heels and starting. "Shall we shoot after 'em?" one man asked. "No, no! You might hit one of them!"

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-il-lE BEST WEEKLY. 15 "I mean th er critters." "No, no! Catch them!" Away they went, pursuers and pursued, with all the speed of which their animals were capable. There was here a level stretch of plain, with goocl footing, and as the horses had been coming at a walk all tht:: way d o wn lhe ravine they were in good con dition for the race. And with the girls it was a race fur very life. They knew not what course they w e re t nking, whether they were running toward their friends or further away from them; they had in mind but one thought of e scaping from the mi serable scoundrels into whose hands they had fallell. CHAPTER VI. GREA1.' RISKS IN THE BALLOON. "Curse you, why did you do that?" So cried the 1 11ou1ent Diamond Dick, Jr., lrnd severed the rope above his hand. "To prevent you from carrying out yonr threat, of course,'' answered Bertie, as cool as ice. '' r have no desire to take such a drop as yon proposed.'' "Yon have rendered me powerless to control the balloon!" "Your own fault; do the best you can." ""We'll all go to perdition!" "That is where you purposed sending us, anyhow, so w11at's the difference?" "I was only fooling." '''l'hen it was a mighty poor way to fool, is all' I have to say about it. But do the best you can; I know you will have regard for your own 11eck; and l will 111ine. where you risk yours." "I mu'.;t get hold pf that rope again." "No, no," cried out Yank 'rhomas, his ass i .stant: ''Hold your tongue, fool.'' "He means to rip the bag, that is what he intends, and I don't want to be killed, even if he does." 1Can you manage the balloon, do you think?" asked Bertie. "Yes, I think l can." "'!'hen do it." As he spoke, Bertie covered Weatherbee with a gtlll." he shall ,not touch a rope!" cried \Veatherbee. "You sit down there aud.keep guiet or .I wiH save you the trouble_ of suicide," said _Bertie. He drew a beat! at the uum ':s forehead. It was a thrilling situation, floating in the air hun dreds of feet above the gronrtd. Diamond Dick, Jr., spoke in a way that carried the conviction that he meant business, and the aeronaut cowered down i11 one corner of the basket. "And stay there," Bertie added. "Now, YOU take to Yank. 'l'his that worthy proceeded to do. '' Bedad, Oi will be glad euough to get me feet upon mither. earth wanst more,'' muttered Pat O'Dale. "A.11d if ever Oi get ont av_ this fix aloive you can bet y.ure bottom dol.lar dhat Oi will never get nieself in another loiK e it!" "I don't blame Y
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f 6 DIAMOND DICK, BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. by a fringe of timber, and 011 the other hemmed in by hills more or less rugged. To the east was fertility and tl1riving farms and villages, to the south were vast ranges, far to the north was timber, while on the west lay what ap peared to be a howling wilderness. But Bertie's eyes sought the chaparral where the red signal had been displayed to show the aeronaut where to drop the black box. He found it, but objects there were indistinct. After studying the topography of the scene for a few moments . Bertie turned his attention again to the interior of the car. He saw that Thomas had lm Anxious look. "What's the matter?" he demanded. "I can't take her dow11. '' "Why not?" "'rhe valve line is out of reach." "Can't we get it?" "I don't see how; look where it hangs." By some means it had become caught far up 111 the netting. It would be hardly safe for one t o venture to climb to it, and yet there was no other wa y to get it. "Have yon g o t to have it?" Bertie asked. "Yes, or fl.oat here all day." "'IJ1en I will get it." "Begorra, would ye l 'ave me here wid two to wan against me?,, cried out Pat. ''. Well, then, yon climb up and get the rope, and I will manage things here while you are about it," Bertie invited. "Wurroo!" cried the Irishman. "Beclad, Oi think Oi will stay where Oi am. Go ahead wid ye, Diamond Dick, Jr., and Oi will kape h o use dbe while ye are gone. '' "You can do it. Shoot if they make a move toward you.n "Needn't be afraid of me," said Ynnk. So Bertie took a firm hold upon the netting and began to climb np in the direction of the line, and at last he came where he could grasp it with his teeth. It was ticklish work, for he had climbed so high t!Jat there was but scant hold for _hands and feet. Having secured the rope, he descended. He had barely stepped safely down into the basket when a strong gust of caught the balloon and made it careen. Arid before it could right itself and stronger gust c a me, and it. looked as if tlie mcmstcr of silk would tear itself loose from the car. The:men had to hold on for life. "Let me up, or you are lost!" cried Weatherbee. He wns pale. "Do yon mea11 fair, or treachery?" demanded Bertie. "I mean you fair now. This blow will be enough to account to the captain for everything that is amiss.'' "Well, it looks as if it will be death if we don't trust you, so I will take the chances on your natural desire to li\e as long as yon can. Get up an
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 17 pelled, for their lives, to lie down and hug the bottom of the car with all their might. It lasted an hotir, and at the end of that time it subsided almost as suddenly as it had sprung up. And immediately afterward the wind and blew from the opp0site directiou. Bertie looked over the edge of the car. The balloon was perceptibly lower than it had been at the time of the beginning of the blow. It '";as now going nor'thward, as the compass in the car indicated; as if intent upon returning to its start ing point after its recent wild flirtation with the ele ments. Some of the netting ropes were broken, and another hour of such wild tossingmust have been disastrous. Weatherbee was dogged, saying little. While Bertie was taking another look over the side of the car something about the scene below seemed familiar to him. Yes, sure enough, yonder was the stretch of tim ber, yonder wss Drnmmond, there were the hills on the west-surely, the balloon had been in a rotating cnrrent, after all. And as he looked he saw somethiug more. Out from the of the line of timber were two horses, with riders, going at a furious pace. Not far behind them "'ere four more, as if in pur suit, and even as Bertie was watching them he saw puffs of smoke fr o m the pursuers that told of shots being fired. Diamond Dick, Jr., was eager in a moment to lend a hand to the weaker side. And, could it be? yes-110-yes, they were women! He leaped to his feet. "Weatherbee, we must descend here!" "I d';m 't see how we are_ going to do it," was the snarl. "There is no way of working that valve?" "No." "A11d the other rope?" "'rhat would let us down with a rush," cried Thomas. "What would be the effect of a bullet puncture the machine, then?" "Tl1at wouldlet us down, sir." Bertie whipped out a gun and sent a bullet through the great silken bag, and instantly a sound of whistling was heard The balloon began to drop perceptibiy. Bertie had taken a risk, but he was not thinking of his own safety at the moment, but of others. Looking over the side again, he watched with in terest the chhse that was going on, and noted that the balloon was descending all too slowly. He sent another bullet searching for the first. "What are yon doing?" cried Weatherbee. "You will kill us all with your foolishness." "I am taking my chances of that," said Bertie. "I want'to get to the ground." "Don't do it again," whispered Yank. "All right, I guess two holes will do." The balloon wasnow descending quite rapidly a?lli:l Weatherbee was alarmed. -He grabbed up a sandbag to burl it out of the oar, but Bertie grabbed his arm and checked him. "Not 011 your life!" he cried. His gun in hand enforced the order. "But you will kill us all!" "No.ta bit of it. I'll take chances. I tell you we have got to land, and that as quick as posiible." "What is your hurry about it?" "Look down and yon will see." 'rl1e other three looked, and saw what was goi ,ng Oil. "Begorra, but we want to lend a hand dhere!" cried Pat O'Dale. "Oi never see b'cauty in distfeis, but Oi want to pitch in and lend a helping hand. And it reminds me av a shtpry--" "Never mind the story now," interrupted Bertie. ''Every man of yon take up a sandbag, and the minute we get about the heigllt of a house from th'e ground fire them all out and that will check descent so that we won't get our necks broken. 11 Weatherbee, as well as the others, obeyed the order, and all stood ready, while Bertie stood with gnu in hand to check them if tb_ey made a move to throw out the bqgs too soon. The descent was becoming more rapid each moment, thongh it was not dangerously swift, as yet. CHAP'rER VII. PLAYING A LOSING HAND. "Throw out!" At last came the order, clear and sharp. The balloon had come about as alose to the 1'ound ::is Bertie cared to risk his neck witbout an effort to check it.

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' r 18 DIAMOND DICK. BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Out wenfJhe bags a 'nd the downward progress was instantly, though no't stopped. more!'' cried Be rtie. He was obeyed. 'The hal. loon was then within twenty-five feet of the Its .:fall was further checked, but it continued and the basket struck the ground with considerable force. iJ1he h1en were all throw'tl off their feet, and Pat O'D.ale was tumbled over backward and deposited on the ground, where Bertie 'joined him as quickly as he could recover and leap out. '.U.hat much relieved, the ba1loc'.>'n rose in air aga.in, carrying. Weatherbee and his assistant with it. More sandbags wete thrown out, and the balloon drifted away: ''Save us! oh, save us!" Bertie and Pat were upon their feet instantly. The two fleeing horsewomen were close at hand, and their pursuers were close upon them. "Stimd firu1, Pat"!I' "You bet!" They had their gllml in hand, and they faced the coming 'horsemen. :As the women came np they parted and passed the two ..1young men, one on each side, and as soon as they ha.d passed, Bertie sang out: "Hold up, here!" His own leveled guns and those of -his eompanion spoke louder than words. deuce do you tnean ?" "Business l" With furious
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 19 "Not another step, or you die!" Bertie warned. 1'Ha, ba, ba !" laughed Terrel. ''What do you two chap11 expect to do against all of us?" he de manded. "That is one thing we will do, and if you don't believe it, try it on," retorted Bertie. ''We demand that these ladies be allowed to go on their way un molested." "Well, what's hinderin' 'em?" wrhese four men have been preventing it, and it looks as if you intended to aid them if you could." "Well, wlrat of it?" "You will find out if they are not allowed to go on! You're too many for us we have to admit, but at the same time we have got the big call on you.'' "Why, WC are e11ough to eat you up!" "Maybe, but some of you could not be in condi tion to do any eating by the time you got us prepared to serve.'' "What are ye go in' to do about et?" "I'll make a proposition to you." "What is et?" "You let these ladies ride away in the direction of Drummond and them thirty minutes' start, and I and my pard will surrender to yon without a shot fired.'' "We won't do.it!" cried Bristow. "Then you'll take the consequences," cried Bertie. It was a peculiar situation, and one from which they did not by any means see their way out. The two young women had ridden close up to them, and Bertie was sighting his 2uns over the flanks of Miss Moucl;.ton's horse, while Pat was doi ng the same over the one Kittie rode. Bertie was covering Captain Calibre, and Pat had a bead ou Bristow. "Begorra, it remoinds 111e av a shtory me Uncle Owen used to tell," declared Pat, unmindful, for the instant, of the danger he was i1;1. "He said--" "Never mind that now, Pat," checked Bertie. "h:eep your tim on tha t fellow s heart." 'It is that same Oi am doing." Of a sudden Captain Calibre's men gave a yell and dashed away in two directions 011 a nm. Terrell stood still since he could not do otherwise without great risk, and with whoops and yells the others began to circle around and around the two defenders like wild Indians. Bertie saw that it was useless to try to it out, now, for the odds were too great. "Phwat's to be done?" aslled Pat. "It looks like a bad job for us," said Bertie. "And we have been the cause of getting you into trouble," said Miss Monckton. "Don't mention it," said Bertie. ''We would have been worse than cowards not to have chipped in." "Sure, it is killed entoirely we'll be!" cried Kittie Kelly. "Thin, begob, dhere will be two of us," declared Pat. "Oi will lay down me loife in yure defince !" Kittie's bright eyes gave him a look that made him forever prisoner to her charms. But there was scant time for even hurried words. "Put up them 'arguns!" yelled the circlinghorso men. "Thar is no salvashun fer ye!" '' Y 011 had better surrender,'' said Captain Calibre. "Say, do you value your life?" demanded Bertie, calling out in a loud voice. He still had a bead on 'I'erre:ll. "Because if yon do," Diamond Dick, Jr., went on to say, "you had better call off your cutthroats and give us a chance." Terrell went pale. "Yon fool!" he raged, "a do:.::cn of my meu hav. e their guns leveled at you this instant!" "And I have got mine leveled at you. They dare not fire for fear of strikiug one of the ladies, while I have got a clear range at you. See?" "And the same to you, ye gossoon I" So called out Pat to Simon Bristow. Bertie banded one of his peerless poppers to Miss Monckton. "Here," he said, "take this and defend yourself, for this corner has got to give way soon.,, Pat saw this, and be, too, having a brace of guns, offered one of them to Kittie Kelly. "Light av me soul," he said, "take dhis, and av Oi doy Oi want ye to know that Pat O'Dale loved ye at sight, ochone !" Seconds were soon n1inutes. "What will y.011 do?" demanded Bertie of Captain Calibre. "Will you surrender or shall I order my men ti> fire?" conuter-demanded Terrell. "I give you two seconds to order them to fall back!" The keen eye that glanced along the tube of revolver decided the outlaw. He did not dare take the risk of Diamond DiQk,

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20 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. .Jr. 'snot s11ooting; he kbew that if he did shoot it would be certain death. He gave a signal. His men stopped their circling and whooping and each drew a bead on either Bertie or Pat. "Oh!'' cried Miss Monckton, "they will kill you! You had better surrender, since it is impossible for you to defend us further, sir!" "We'll see about that," said Bertie. "But, all are aimingat you!" "And I have got as pretty a bead on their captain as he ever had on him in the world. One little twitch of my finger and out goes his light!" "Put up that gun," cried Terrell, "or I order my men to shoot!" 1 'And if they shoot they kill me!" So cried Luella, and she leaned over Bertie, partly shielding him with her body. Kittie Kelly was quick to see this move on the part of her mistress, and took the same action with respect to Pat O'Dale. others had secured the two young women and dis armed them. Diamond Dick, Jr., and his pard had made a bold stand, but with the odds so terribly against them the result was almost inevitable. They were speedily disarmed and made prisoners. CHAPTER VIII. 'l'RUSEDALJ!; ALARMED. Relieved of the weight of the sandbags and of two of its passengers, the balloon. meantime, had risen to a considerable height and was drifting away in the direction of its starting point. The wind had changed since the ascent, and was now from the south instead of from the north. "Good riddance," said \Veatherbee to his assistant, as soon as the balloon rose. I "You are right," agreed Thomas. "No p1ore s.uch passengers wanted." "You bet. Cur3e their interference, anyhow!" "They balked yonr game." Pat was so nearly overcome that he almost forgot the business o f the moment, and for an instant closed his eyes and allowed his senses to swim with delight. "Not quite, for I got rid of the box, but the chances are a bon t ten to one that 'l'errell never "Begorra, Oi can die happy this minute!" he cried. But all was actiou, rapid action, and the little details we have given took place with lightning rapidity. Of a sudden came the end, even before the two seconds' time Bert'ie had given Captain Calibre had elapsed. The m oment after the two girls leaned over their intrepid defenders, two of the horsemen made a dash forward. There was a sharp collision, and the horses the gii:ls were on began to rear and plunge. Jn the confusion, Captain Calibre and Simon Bris tow tumbled out of their saddles, and the corner was broken. "At them!" So cried Terrell. Others had rushed in on the instant, even before the word. Bertie and Pat were seized by arms and legs, and before a safe shot could be fired they were on their backs. Knees were upon their breasts, and revolvers .were pressed against their heads, and at the same time found it." But in that he was mistaken. After making Truseclale secure, in the ma11ner shown, 'rerreli and the brace of rascals with him had made haste to rejoin their comrades. Accordini: to what the men had said, Terrell rightly concluded that the black box had probably fallen clear of the chaparral, and so he led the way along the path to the open. By the time he reached thei;e the box had been re covered out of the sand, where it had dropped, and it was found to be intact. "Mighty lucky drop," said Terrell. "W 11 II, yon are jist tight," agreed one of the find ers. "Thar was a rock ontcroppin' not a dozen yards from whar we picked et up." The box had suffered no damage further than that one corner was a little bruised and scratched. Its lid was secure, and it was evidently as sound as ever. Captain Calibre secured it in front of the horn of his saddle, and that done, mounted and led his band away to the south. But to return to the man whom they had left prisoner.

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DIAMOND DICK. JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 21 Tlie detecti\; e felt glad he was in 110 worse a situation, and was thankful that he was a1ive. He might have canse to regret even that, however, he reflected, if no one chanc ed to pass that way for several days, unless he could make himself heard at the camp. He believed that it would be useless to shout be fore night, when all would be quiet. l\ evertheless, he shouted at intervals. It was useless for him to try to release his wrists, for his handcuffs were not such as could be slipped at pleasure. He did m a k e every effort to free his feet, though, but at the end of an hour he came to the conclusion that he had been left there to stay, and about gave it up. He had tried every plan that his brain conlcl in vent, but all to no purpose. The sun beat down upon l1im with fierce heat, and he had to shelter his face with his arms the best lie could. It would be hours before the bushes would be any protection. He continued shouting at intervals, bnt othenvise relllained quiet. At la s t he heard a voice. He roused up instantly and looked all round, but no one was in sight anywhere. He called. ::\'o ans wer. The voice, howeve r, heard again, and another, and now nearer than before. Then, of a sudden, came the explanation, whe n a huge black body came floating over the chaparral-it was the balloon. It was so low that the car.was dragging among the s crubs, and Trnsedale saw that it was coming directly toward the place where he was, and as he looked the anchor was flung on t. Down it came, and not a rod from where he lay. It slipped aud jumpe d along, caught, slipped again, then caught under the roots of the very scrubs to which the detective's feet were tied! The moment the rope p11lled tant the balloon careened a11d the basket bumped the sand in the open space that has been mentionecl before, and \Veather bee and h1s ass i stant leaped out. It was only the work of a 1110111ent, then, for the aeron: .rnt to find the ripline and deflate the huge bladder. Trusedale called again for help. "Who. is that?" asked Weatherbee, as both lis tened. "Give it up," '1nswerec1 his man Yank. "Here, this way," called the detective. "For Hea ve11 's sake, come and ml ease me." Filled with cnriosity, the two men ran in the direction of the voice, and Trusedale was discovered. "How the mischief did yon come here?" cried Weatherbee. "I was set upon by some cutthroats and left 11ere iu this fashion," the prisoner explained. Weatherbee and his man exchanged a look. "What were you doing here?'' the aeronaut further inq 11irecl. "I had walked here," was answer. "But, come, yon are ho11est men, at any rate, so release 1ne '' There was nothing el s e for the rascally aeronaut to do, though he rightly gues sed who Trnsedale was and what h a d brought him there. He knew tha t, aud he knew that 'I'rnsedale knew of his part in the affair, bnt it was now to his inter e s t to play the innocent a11d set his sails for another breeze. "Certainly we'll releas e yuu," he cried, drawing a knife :lllCl quickly severing the cords that held the man' s feet. He did not dare refose, even was his will good enough, for help would soon be there from tha c :nnp to take core of t11' e balloon, and discovery would follow, anyhow. '"fhere you are," he cried, when the last cord had b een cut. ''And now let us help you up." He and his man lent a hand, and Truseda]e was on his feet. "Don't reckon we cau get those things off for ye, though," said Y 211k Thomas. "If you will j11st feel in my vest pocket you will find a key with which you can unlock them," tht cletecti ve directed. This Weatherbee did, and Trusedale's hands wete speedily released from their unwelcome bondage. "You have done me a great favor." said Truse clale, as he returned the bracelets and key to his pockets. "And one I hope you are grateful for," said Weatherbee. "Yes, I am that.'' "How mnch so?" "You want a reward?"

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22 D IAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. "See here, let's you and me understand each other," said Weatherbee, throwing aside all reserve. "Well, speak out,,, Trusedale invited. ''I know who you are and you know who I am. If I didn't know you are a detective, I would know it now by your havin' the key to these handcuffs with ye." "Well, what more ?11 "And, being a detective, I know what yon are out here for. Now, the business is right here: Am I goin' to trtist you?" "That is for you to say." "Do you mean to keep your head shut, or are you goin' to split out to the captain?" "We might as well talk plainly," said Trusedale. "That's right." "If you had put this question before you released me, you would have held a stronger hand.'' "I released you because I wanted to deal square with you.,, "Well, taking your word for that, will you promise to aid me in recovering that black box if I promise you that I will say nothing of what I know to your captain in charge?', "Agreed!" "Well, what of the box?" "It is lost in this chaparral somewhere." "You swear to that?" "Yes." "Ha! that reminds me; where are the two men who went up with you?" "They left the balloon when we touched ground some miles from here, having 11ad all they wanted of that sort of thing." "Are you telling the truth now?" ''Of course I am.'' "Well, their reappearance will prove that. For the present I will keep your secret for you, with the understanding that you are to try to aid me in the recovery of that box." "But you know others are searching for it." "And you will know whether they find it or not." "\V ell, yes. "Then it will be easy for you to post me. And, even if so, that is the only way you can redeem your self by aiding me in its recovery." "Say no more about it. Keep your head shut regarding what you know, and I'll make it right with you." Trusedale did not believe the fellow meant it, bnt there was just the shadow of a doubt in his favor, and so he gave him the benefit of it. Leaving him, he set out to return to the camp of the rainmakers. -On the way he found some of the soldiers running aloug the path in the direction in which they had seen the balloon drop. "Seen that balloon?" one asked. "Yes, you will find it in a glade farther along this path," answered the detective. "You ain't the chap went up in it?" "No." "Thought not." They ran on, and Trusedale continued toward the camp. He was met by the captain in charge. He had made his acqt1aintance on the previous evening :.st Drummond. "Ah! it is you, Mr. rl'rnsedale? I took you at first for that young man who asked permission to make the ascent with Weatherbee this morning. Did you see the balloon?'' Trusedale told abont its alighting in the glade. "And a 11 hands are safe?" "Well, your men are; the others are not with them--" "Not with them!" "Your man says they got out where the balloon touched ground once before." "Ah! I see. That accounts for its further flight, theu. Looking for your ladies-I mean Miss Monckton and her maid?'' "No, they are at the hotel." "At the hotel? A person who was here just now inquiring for them, said yoi..1 had sent horses for them to come out here." gave a start. "Who was the person?" he asked. "Why, Mrs. Garrels, the widow wl10 IS boarding at the hotel." "She is here?" "Yes." "I m 11st see her at once." "What is wrong? You had not sent for them?" nor thought of doing it. They were to view the ascent from the cupola." "Then something is wrong, for they left the hotel on horseback with a man who said he was to guide them here. '' "Your pardon, captain, bnt I must find that woman immediately." Trusedale left the captain, and hastened into the crowd t u find the lady whose name had been men frmed. She w a s a boarder at the hotel, whos e acqnaintance Miss l\Ionckton iiad marle, and who had appeared to take somewhat of an interest in the young lady. The detective had been introduced to her. He soon fonnd lier. "What is this I hear?" he asked, hurriedly. "l\Iiss left the hotel to come out here?'' "Yes; did yon not send for her?" The answer to that question filled the woman with alarm. "'l'el! me all you can about it," urged Trusedale, hurriedly. "I must lose no time iu looking for them.''

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY 23 "Yott think harm has come to them?" <:r don't know what to think, Mrs. Garrels. Cer tain it is that I did not send for them to come out here, and they had 110 intention of coming." "What will you clo ?,, "1 must r.,et some tidings of them immediately. I mnst have a horse and reach tl1e hotel in all haste." 'l'aking hurried leave of the woman, Trusedale set about finding a horse, and at last fouud one that he might have the use of for the purpose he explained. The trail into the village was so plain that i10 one could miss it, and he rau tl1e horse hard all the way lll. At the hotel he pressed his i)1quiries. 'rhere he learned all that could be told about the departure of the two young women, and securing the services of a plaiusman and fresh horses, the detect ive set ont to pick up the trail. The absence of Simon Bristow aroused his s11s picion against that worthy, and woe betide him if they chanced to meet. CHAPTER IX. TURNING THE 'l'ABf. ES. In the confusion attending the capture of Diamorid Dick, ,lr., and his friend and assistant, the two yonng women were for the mome11t overlooked. lt all took place in so brief a time that no clrnnce was given for thought. The voice of Captain Calibre aroused their wits. "Stop that girl!" At the same moment he laid hold upon the bridle of Luella's l10rse. Kittie Kelly was in the next mome11t clear of the group, and dashing away for life across the plain. "You bet we'll stop her!,, cried .Jeff Hogan, digging his heels iuto his horse's ftauJ.:s. "1 want that gal for llly own wigwam!" "Ba
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24 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. All eyes were turned toward the spot where the daring young Irish lass :vas bravely defending herself with the pistol with which Pat O'Dalc had sup plied her. Hogan's companions had come to a stop, as said, and they were evidently debating the situation. "A couple more of you ride out there," ordered Terrell. "That shall not get away after what she has done. Two more started for the They separated, and made a circuit in order to come up with the young woman from the opposite direction. Without a horse, Kittie could not hope to escnpe them now, and even with a horse she could not have
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 25 By itoon they were well into the hi] ls, and a halt was call ed. After a brief rest, they were on their way again, and the whole afternoon saw them penetrating farther and farther into the wilderness. For the most part, silence had been observed, save when occasionally Pat O'Dale broke out to relate some story of his Uncle Owen, or some experience that had befallen him. At night they encamped on the bauk of a creek, in a sort of natural rock basin. Not far distant was a place where the horses could browse. When sentinels had been stationed, the two girls were given the freedom of the camp for an hour. A campfire was made, and a scant supper of dried meat was provided, the captain of the outlaws offer ing apology to Miss Monckton for such fare. "In .a day or two you shall live on the fat of the land, 11 be promised her. "I care not whether I live or not, if there is to be no escape out of your hands," was her dejected response. "There will be no escape for you, but I will use you so well that you will be glad to remain, and then when we gather in this half million of yours--" "You will never see it, sir. 11 "What do you mean? I have the black box, in which the secret of it is contained." "Said to be contained." "Yon do not believe what is engraved on the lid, then?" "I don't know anything about it. 11 "I see, y ou would like to make me doubt, but you can't do that. Ha! but this game has played well into my hands.'' "'Vhat do you mean?" ''Why here I was asked to assist in getting away with the black box, with the promis e of a slice of the fortni1e, a11d here the whole fortune has com e my way and its h eil'ess with it. Ha, ha ha!" "Bad l uck to ye!" cried Pat O'Dale, "may dhe ould divil fly away wid ye bdore ye have a chance to open dhe box at all, at all." "Thank y ou for that suggestion," said Terrell, \vitb mock politeness. "Not respecting the old gentleman, but tlie box. Yon have that key with you, no do!!bt, l\Iiss Monckton?" "Xo, I have not, sir. You are cheated there." "I believe \ 'Oll have "On m y I have uot, sir." '"L:nder the circmnstances, I cannot take yo ur "'ord, but must search you." "No, do not, pray do not; do not come near me; I detest you; I tell yon the key is not on my person. Mr. Trusedale has it." Terrell ripped out an oath. "You don t mean it." "I do mee1n itI swear it." "You will have to pardon me for disbelieving you, but l cannot accept your bare word." The scoundrel ran and seized the girl, thereupon, and was about to carry out his threat of searching her for the key to the black box, when a cry from his men caused him to turn. A shadow came between him and the firelight, and just as he turned his bead to see what his men were shouting about a fist struck him squarely on the side of his neck, and he went over like a log. That shadow-though rather substantial to be so called, was no other than Diamond Dick, Jr., and under his arm, as be ran on, v,:as the coveted black box: With a shout of defiance, he knocked down yet another man who tried to block bis way, and leaped boldly into the creek. CHAPTER X. DEFENSE-RESCUJt-VIC'l'OllY\. Diamond Dick, Jr., had not been idle. All during tl;,at long ride he bad been quietly working away af the b onds that held his wrists. This lie had doing on the sly, and at. last had the .satisfaction ot9'knowing he could free his bands at any moment he chose to do so, and only waited an opportune time. It came with the attempt of Captain Calibre to search Miss Monckton for the key to the black box. Terrell had taken up the box while speaking. When he rose to search the young lady for the key, he laid it on the round. All the band were looking at their leader at the moment, and did not observe Bertie as he freed his wrists and cut the cords that bound his feet. The first was when they saw him leap forward and pounce upon the black box, and they gave a yell and whipped out their guns, but they did not dare fire at him at the instant. Their captain and his fair captive were in range. 4nother leap, and then occurred what we have described, and Diamond Dick, Jr., was gone. "After him!" screamed Captain Calibre. He himself whipped out a gun and fired at the spot where Bertie had disappeared. The others followed his example, and a shower o: bullets spattered the water all around the place where it had closed over Bertie's head. 'I'he wonder was that lie could escape them all. !'After him!" 'ferrell again tlnmdered. ''A thousand dollars to the man who takes him alive! He was tlie prize of the lot, to say nothing of the box he has carried off!" They rau down along the bank of the creek, eagerly searchiug, and no attention was paid for the moment to the other prirnners. Diamond Dick, Jr., had not thought of his own safety only.

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26 DIAMOND DICK, JR. -THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Previously to freeing himself, that is to say, his feet, as l a s t show' n, he had freed Pat O'Dale. He h a d cautioned him, however, to remain a s if boitnd ui1til he g a ve him th<; word for action, aud Pat' had played the part to perfection. Now as Bertie was about to leap and run, he whis pered: "Pat, your cliauce \Vhile they are after me, yon t ake til e girls, if you can get their attention, and escape in the other direction.'' And so it was that the pistols were popping and spattering the water of the creek in every direction, Pat 0' Dale leaped his feet free and ran and caught Kittie I.Zelly by the arm. "''Come, darlint he \vhi spered. "Folly me, and run loike dhe onld bo y was after ye 1 She gave a start, at his touch, and w a s inclined to scream, but at the souud of his voice she checked that tende n c y. l\Iiss l\Ionckton w as o nl y a step farther away, hands clasped in terror and her gaz e riveted upon the place where Bertie Wade had last been seen. Pat touched her arm, she turned her head, and his earnes t motioning, and th01t of h e r m aid, plainly told the young wourn n what was wanted, aud she fol lowed after them. In passing the fire, Vat stooped a n d snatched up a c ouple of Winchester rifles that lay there. 'l'hen they ran for life It had all take n place in a space of ten brief se conds, 110 more. Pat' w a s ahead at fir s t, but he quickly slackened his pace and allowed the two young women to pas s him. "Rm1 !"lie cried, iu a whis p e r. "Rnn fur qhe loives av ye! Go straight np dhe crick, and go a s fast as iver y ure legs stip it! Oi will prntict yez wid me loife!" In the mea ntime Simon Bristow, himself a prisoner, had beeu yelli11g at the top of his voice to apprise Captain Calibre of what had taken p l ace. H u t in the general uproar, he was not understood; all were too intent upon retaking Diamond Dick, ,Tr. Of a s11dden there came a s l 1arp command to halt lt was the sentinel statione d at the t o p of the ba si11 in which they had encampe d. Crack! 1t was Pat O>Dale with one of the \Vinchesters, a n d the b n l let took the sentinel squarely in the middle of t h e breast, and he dropped like a log. On the trio ran, but that shot had c al led the attention of those at the camp. and now they gave heed to what Bristow was shouting about, and there was another uproar immediately. "Which way?" cried Captain Calibre. "Straight ahead!" shouted Simon Bris to\\' J\pd away they went, pell mell, every m a n of in hot pursuit. Finding himself aloue, Bristow sat up and looked about him, and tugged furiously at his bonds. Bt1t it was of no t1se then, he had w asted the day in which D iamond Dick, Jr., had bee11 at work, and coul d n o t accomplish in a minute wha t Bertie had gained only after honrs of patie11c e "Curse my 1nck !" the fellow grated. ''l am playing the losing haud, all around!" And he was. On went the outlaws np t o the bas in toward the narrow part where the sentinel had been s t ationed. There, of a sudden, the man in the van stumbled o ve r the dead man, and w ent sprawling headlong, and two or three m ore w ent clown on top of him in the mad rns h. It was dark, aud this h appened b efore they kne w wl1at was the matter. But they were quick to di scove r wha t was wrong, and Captain Calibre's oaths w ere blood-chilling to hea r. He ordered his m e n 011, now l eading the way hims elf, but in the dark it was n o joke, for the way seemed to grow narro w e r a t every s tep. Here the cree k r a n through a narrow gor g e, clas h ing al ong ''liith a gurgle aud swish a s it poured ove r and arol1ncl the bowlde r s that lay iu its bed, and in a few moments more men went tumbling into it. It was a u seless chase About the time they were coming to realize this a voice called out to them from a point just a head. "Shtop phwere y e arc, ye spalpeen !" w a s the cry. "An' if ye don't, b y dhe powers av Oi don' t pour lead into yez till ye can't rest a z y "'l'here they are!" roare d Captain Calibre. "At them, my boys!" 'l'bere w as a shout, in the mids t of which came a flas h and a report, aucl 011e of the men tumbled into t h e cree k with a death h owl. phwere yez are, Oi tell ye!" cried Pat O'Dale. "As me ( Tncle Owen u sed to say, clhere i s "Das t yourl'ncleOwen!"bellowed Terrell. "Fire a t him, m en! Heave him w11 fro m there!" 'l'here was a rattling volley the flashe s lighting up the s cene for a brief m omeut, but the only result was a laugh of defiance from the Irishman. 'l'hen Pat fired a gain, and another yell aud anothe r tumble into the creek was the res urt. Surpris ed at hi s own goo d luck, Pat calkd out t o th em : "Git b ack fr c m dhere, ye spalpeens 1 Sure O i c a n see in dhe dark, and by dlie powers Ui ill pick yez off wan after anothe r until dhere will not be a m a n left standing dhere 1 There was anothe r v o lley in the direction of his voi c e but the only r esult was another laugh, a nd another sho t from P a t made them b ea t a r etreat. Pat li stened till they were out u f l1earing:, whc:11 li e

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 27 stooped and whispered t o the two young women who were crouching behind the "Now, me d a rlints, we must make thracks out av d!Jis before dhey come afther us again. Go on wid care, and Oi will folly yez." Meantime, Henry Trusedale had been active. With A be Arnold-that being the name of the old plainsman whose services he had engaged, he had tracked the missing girls down through the ravine and out to where they had been finally captured by Captain Calibre. Here Abe Arnold made a study of the signs, finally reporting that it would be useless for him a11d Truse dale to go on against the band without re-enforce ments, and proposed that Henry ride back to the camp of the rainmakers and get the soldiers. This was done without dela y Henry sought out the captain in charge and made kno wn the situation to him, and he did not appeal in vain. For that day the rainmaking experiments were abandoned, and the soldiers were sent forth to the rescue of the two young women, with a lieutenant in command, and with Abe Arnold as their guide. Trus edale led the soldiers back to where Abe Arnold was waiting for him, and there the trail was taken up, and they pressed forward to the i:escue with all possible speed. Diamond Dick, Jr., knew what he was about when he shouted defiance to the outlaws and leaped into the creek. He wanted t o call attention to him s elf, in order t-o give Pat a chance to carry out his part of the programme if possible. Bertie had taken partic11lar n o tice of the formation along the creek, and knew that the waters had scooped out quite a space under the soft rock of the banks. No sooner had he leaped into the water than he was under and out of sight, and he immediately got under shelter of the bank. There was plenty of room for him to lift his head above the surface, and feeli11g around, with his hand he made a discovery. There was a hollow space leading back from the water's edge, and he worked his way into it, taking care that the footing was secure at each step he ventured. The farther he advanced, the niore shallow became the water, though he had to proceed in a stooping position. It had been his intention to make his way down the creek under the bank. Presently he came to a place where the roof of the little cavern was higher, and there was a correspond ing rise of the floor, so that be was so o n out of the water. "Talk abo11t luck,'' said Bertie to himself, "isn't this a slice of it? I wonder how Pat is making out? I am afraid he will not succeed1 but there wa s a chance worth trying. Now1 I wonder where this hole is leading me to? I must use great caution.'' And he did. He felt every step of the way. The ground continued to slope upward, and at last Bertie caught a breath of open air, and saw the stars twin-kling merrily overhead. In a few minutes more he was out and he took a hurried survey of his location to learn "where he was at.'' He was on a rock plateau, and down below he saw the campfire. "Eureka!" he exclaimed. But the camp was deserted, and he listened to learn where the band bad gone. He was soon told, hearing their voices in the gorge to the west of the pocket. They were coming and Bertie waited to learn the result of their chase, for he knew that Pat O'Dale had succeeded in getting out of the camp, and no doubt with the two young women since they were not to be seen. There was only one man in sight, and that was Bristow. Back they came, cursing roundly at their luck, and Diamond Dick, Jr., was delighted to learn that Pat and the girls had eluded their pursuers. They resumed search for Bertie, but soon gave it up, and Bertie heard them planning further search for both him and Pat at the very first peep of daylight. He resolved that, fortune favoring him, he would put a spoke in their wheel before morning. The stars gave sufficient light for bis guidance, and he made his way to the westward along the plateau, taking care, of course, to make no sound that would betray his presence. At length, he en tered the darkened gorge, and proceeded carefully and cautiously along, with the noise of the creek to gllide him, till it seemed to him that he had gone a mile at least, and he was wondering where Pat could be when he was suddenly challenged. "Hould on, ye omadbaun !"cried a familiar voice. "Wan shtep more, and begorra it is a dead mon ye are!" ''Don't shoot, Pat,' 1 cried Bertie, joyfully. "Thank Heaven, I have found you." Immediately joyful feminine exclamations were heard, and in .a moment more Luella and Kittie were almost embracing their hero. It was a happy reunion, and the young women were for putting distance between themselves and their foes without delay. That, however, Bertie op posed, with reason. They were too far from home to think of returning without horses, and they were so greatly out numbered that they could not hope to escape, anyhow, after daylight came, for they would be searched for i11 every direction. He proposed another ,J;>lan. They listened to him, and while it involvcCl great risk to him, yet they recognized the force of his argument. He conducted them back the way he bad .. '-

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DIAMON D DICK, JR. THE B O YS B E ST WEEKLY come, till they were. on the plateau above the camp, where they stopped and waited. It was a loug, weary wait, but at last not a man in the camp was and theu Bertie crept silently around among the sleeping men, stopping a few moments by each one, anq the fire was burning so low that he could hardly be seen by his friends on the cliff At last his mission w a s accomplished, ;rnd he was stealing back to cliff, when a sound caught his ears. It was the sound of many hoof strokes, and presently, away to the east side of the basin, came a challenge immediately followed by pistol shots. 'ViL h yells, the guardsman came nmning int o camp, hot)y pmsned by the soldiers 011 horseback, leJ by Abe Arnolcl and Henry 'l'rusedale, a11cl in another moment the c,n tlaws "ere upon their fee'., full ot alarm ancl wild dis111ay. Bettie heard t h e click, click of their weapons as ti:e i 1alllrners fell 11pon empty chambers, a nd before t 1 1ey hardly knew wl :at lad happened t11 e mounted soldiers had s .urrouncled tlieu1, and they were called u po n to smrenqer. A s t le ontl:i.ws I ad 110.t fired, t h e soldiers withl ;elc\ t i eir fire, and tLe truth of tlie sitnatiop soon realize!. Captain Calibre anc l his men were soon made prisoners, and Bertie a11d Pat t hen 111arle known their location with a hearty ''By dl1e po\'>ers, but tliot was foine !" cried Pat. "Snre, it remoi11 d s 111e av 111e l Jncle Owen--" "That will kee1'l, Pat," interrupted Bertie. "You l 1clp Miss Kittie." ''\\'id all 111e heart, yon bet!" 'l'liey \\ere soon do\\'n from t11 e plateau, and mean time, tl : e campfire Laving been stirred up and replen ished, \\ere able to see one anotl1er, and Luella soon fonncl l 1erself in l :er lover's arms. Congratulations anti explanations followed, and as all were tir-ed it as decil lerl to remain there till morning before s'.arti11g on t h e l:omeward trail. Bertie, meantime, had restored fre bla.ck box to its proper O\rner, Miss l\'Ionckton. At at1 early l 1our they broke camp and set out. In due time, '"eary and exhausted, they reache d the camp of the rni11n1akers, \\here they were cordially welcomed by the captain in charge, who, by w!!y, was in a state of perturbation. Harris Weatherbee, the aeronaut, and Yank ,.rl10111as, his assistant, had disappeared, and could not be found. Inquiries at Drummond had thro\Yll light upon the matter, :and the captain was at a loss to account for their conduct. A few words from Be 'rtie, ho\\ever, cast light upon the mystery. The two men were not seen again. Alarmed for the consequence of the part they had played in the chapter of villainy, they had taken leg bail. After a rest and sornethiug to cat, the party con-titrned. on to the hotel at Drummond, where Simon Bristow was handed over to the local authorities. The outlaws 11ad been left under guard at the camp of the soldiers. There Miss Mbuckton decided to open the mysterious biack box, not only to gratify curiosity, but to reward her faithful rescuers and at the same time jnsure her inherited fortune against foss by further risking the secret to the keeping pf the box. It has been mentioned that Benjamin and Zacha riah Monckton were misers. 'l'hey had not, however, con 2ealed their g old in unlikely places, hut h a d iuvested it in securities at interest, and the black box coutainec;l merely a list of these, and tbe places of deposit, so that the heir might get them. Had the b o x been l ost, it wollld have peen a serious lo s s to the heires s, perhaps, a11d certainly would have fitecl nobody else. Miss l\Io11ckton w anted to reward but he not hear of it. Pat 0' Dale, however, was eagerto clai111 a reward for the part he had played, and the reward he asked was tlie hand of Miss Kittie Kell{ And he did n o t beat about the bush, either. He came right ont with his request, and while he W H S n o t accepte d at such short notice, neither was he blankly refused for all time, for Kittie's drooping head shy manner spoke more loudly than words. Miss Monckto n and Henry Trusedale were married there at Drnmmond, and Pat engaged himself to Trusedale as his valet. ''Bnt," said Bertie, "I thought you would n o t marry best woman in the world, Pat?" "Begorra," said Pat, "Oi had no idea pwhat a darlint the best woman in the wurreld was, till Oi saw her, and Oi have changed me moind entoirely !" Bertie bade adieu to them all and returned to the camp of the rainmakers, where, later ou, he turm. d his priso11ers over to Government officers who had been summoned to take charge of them, for Captain Calibre and his crew were badly wanted men. 'l'HE END. Next week's issue (No. 298) will cotltai111 "Diamond Dick, Jr., on the Stage; or, The Do-Up at Dangerfield.'' Bertie ran a show once before, with Handsome Harry and the rest of the bunch, in the cast. You remember it, don't you, boys. He went into this new theatrical ve11ture single-hatided, but he found even more excitement than in the former one.

PAGE 30

AMATEUR.. "Bellee fine contest. Me send entlu-win prizee-catch fishee." That's what Bung Loo said when he heard of this contest. He's on a vacation just at present, and he's thinking seriously of writing up some of his own adventures in pidgeon English. Don't let any grass grow under your feet, boys. Gd into the contest quick, if you're not in it already. Full particulars on page 3 l. Two Runaway Boys' Adventures. ( By James Halibut, Pa.) We left a small town in Pennsylvania abot1t six o'clock in the morning on a Lake Shore Railroad freight train and rode about five miles beyond Cleveland, where two tramps attacked us and took all the money we bad away from us. At a small watering station the two gentlemen of the road made us get off with them, they tied us, and one left to go to Cleveland to send a message to our parents to demand money to let us go. The one who bad been left to guard us went to sleep. My chum, whose first name was .Harry, had worked his hands loose and was untying the rope about his feet when we beard the one who bad gone to the city returning. Harry was just setting me free when the one who bad been sleeping yawned, but as my bands and feet were now untied, we got up and started to run away. After running about two minutes we heard the two hoboes yelling to beat the baud. \Ve ran all the way to Cleve land where we went to the police station and told them who we were They sent us home, where we became acquainted with a nice long blacksnake whip. I sign this standing up in remembrance of that time. Running away from home is not all its cracked up to be. White and Black War. ( By Foster Edwards, Texarkana.) The negroes of Texarkana u s ed to be a bully set. Whenever they caught a white boy out by himself they would jump on him, beat him up and take everything be had. The white's school was in the central part of town, and had about 500 pupils, of which number 200 were large enough to fight. The nigger' s school was two blocks below the white school on Swampoodle Creek and they numbered about 250 fighting bucks. Here is the story. A crowd of us boys were iu the habit of catching street cars. The cars run by both schools. Que morning at rt:cess five of us boys got on a car and rode to the bridge over the creek by the negro school. The driver put us off at the bridge, iio we went under the bridge to 'IVait for the car to come back, but a gang of niggers came down 011 us with rocks and slung shots. They out uumbered us three to one, so we had to retreat. We got back to our school with a few brnised beads, and as mad as we could be. I told the boys I would get even with the negroes. I was made captain or chief of the whites, so I went among the boys and told them to be ready at noon. The same day l appointed officers, and at noon we were ready, 200 strong, besides the officers. I marched the little army four abreast down on the negro school. When we reached the creek the negroes were ready for us. The niggers on the west bank and we whites on the east bank. We lined out along the creek and the fight was on.' We fought for an hour, and the fight was fierce. One white boy was hurt and two or three niggers were knocked down. We were fighting with rocks. We were winning the battle when the negro professor rang for books, and the negroes broke for the house. We hurrahed and marched back to school covered with victory. The fight was called: "The Battle of Swampoodle Creek." The leader of the negroes was a mean-looking boy of nineteen. One day be caught a small white boy out of town and nearly beat him to death. Well, I swore vengeance on the black race. I called the boys together, and told them my plans. They were to go in gangs of from ten to twenty, so we could pro tect ourselves. I was tired of the way tbe blacks were treating the small white boys and girls, so I went boine aud got my revolver-a .38-and put it in my pocket, for I meant business. I got three boys to go with me. My pard'$ was Tom Fulton, and it was his brother the blacks had hurt. The four of us got on the road the 1'egro leader

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30 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. and his friends had to take. 'l'he black leader' s name was Baty Nickles. We met hii;n and ran him and his gang of half a dozeu to an ally between State and Pine streest, and be and his gang went between two houses. We charged the house to the rigbt. He wa s n t in there, so I told two of my pards, Tom Fulton and Leo Vaughan, to watch the outside and I, with the other boys, went inside. I threw a brick through the door of the house to the left, aud we heard s ome one in the house. It was the black leader. He came to the door while the door was shut, and asked us not to bother him. We told him to step to the window and we would tal. k it over. He came to the window and swore if we would let him off he never wonld touch another white boy, rn I agreed and told Jim Perry to let him out. Jim was the boy that went in with me. There was a crowd of niggers in the yard by this time, but I thought the fight was over. We were surrounded by the blacks and we were in. a bad fix. Batty Nickles made for Jim Perry with a l!:nife in his band and a negro mau made for me. Jim was unarmed and be rau. The bucks crowded me, so I pulled m y revolver a11d fired two shots. The first shot I fired at Batty Nickles It passed to his head and I turned just in time t o meet the negro man who bad a knife in his hand. He made a leap for me and the other uegroes were closing on me. l had one shot left so I raised my pistol and fired a into the man. He dropped. The negroes didn't make another move toward me. I slepped ,outside and walked up the alley toward the front, where I found a crowd of people who were attracted by the shot. I saw Batty Nickles in the yard. I started to s lioot him and then changed ruy mind. Batty said to me: "You killed my friend and I am going to kill y ou if it is the last thing I ev e r do.'' I told him to go ahead with the killing. I would be tbere when it was. done. It has been two years since I killed the negro and Nickles hasn't killed me yet. I was a boy of fourteen years when I had this trouble in 'l'exarkana. They carried it to court in New Boston, Bowie County. I fought the case two years and it was dismissed from A Thrilling Adventure. (By John Matte, Hancock, Mich.) One day a fi:iend of mine, called George Payne, and myself proposed to go bunting the next day. The next day came and we started out, takiug with us our twentytwo rifles. We walked about four miles, without seeing any game, but when we arrived to Mud Lake cliff it being called that name because there was a small lake at the foot of the cliff, wbiah was mostly all mud, we met with a good adventure. We climbed the cliff and walked for about a quarter of a mile when all of a sudden out of the bushes dar!ed a large bear. It made straight for us. Of course we didn't know what to do, for we had uo intention of meeting such big game. We had no time to lose for be was upon us. We raised our rifles and fired at the bear, but it only m a d dened it worse. It checked the bear a little, so we turned around a11d rau back as fast as we could. M y friend was more fortunate than I was, for be climbed a tree and I kept on running, for I didn' t have time to climb the tree. The bear ran afte\_me. I wasn't thinking of the cliff I dashed out at the very edge. The bear was coming on maddened by the pain it endured. I wa s so frightened I didn' t know what to do. Ther e wa s a large limb that was sticking out of the cliff below me. I lowered myself off the cliff and reached the limb just in time for the bear had come up. He looked over the cliff at me for a few moments. All at once the bear turned aronnd, lowered himself over the cliff and bung with his forefeet. I turned pale, (pr I knew that the brauch '\Vouldn t bold the both of us, and I didn' t fancy having a bear as a companion. If the branch would break we would surely be killed, for the cliff was over fifty feet high. I didn' t have time to do anything for the bear let go his hold and dropped on the branch. It re s i s ted for a second and all at once it gave way. I gave a wild scream and dropped down down to the rock below but no. I landed right in the mud, and was buried up to my neck. That mud saved my life, for if I had fallen a few f eet further to the right where the bear fell I would have been dashed to death on rock. Meanwhile my friend haviug heard the scream hur ried down to where I was and by bis help I was enabled to get out. We took the bear' s skin and his two hams and went home, having had enongh for one day. My Story. ( By Bernard Sandblom, Ill.) One mowing as I was through the pasture, at our little village of Chadwick, Mo., I was startled b y a y ell and turning around I saw a steer making for m e Some meu were talking about the steer and while look ing at its sore h o of it tore itself loo s e and dashed dowu the street toward me. It seemed to have picked me out of the other people and did uot mind the others, but dashed along after me. I s aw him, aud started down the street to the vill!J.ge. I ran as I never ran before but for all that the steer was soon clo s e behind. I did not want to go up on the sidewalk for fear of the other people gettiug hurt. A iittle way down the street, I saw some men with a coil of wirt!. One end of it was tied to a post, and as I came nearer a man told me to get under the wire. I did so just in the nick of time, for tile steer was close upou me, and a s I passed the wire tbe steer tripped and fell within a few feet of me. It never bad a chance to go after me again, for it wa s bound as soon as it fell.

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' .. DO evou: WANl A COMPLETE llSHING ASSORTMENf ? LOOK ON THE BACK COVER OP No. 293 FOR A PICfURE AND DESCRJPTION OF ONE. .. . If you this contest you wilt have a chance for the finest and .. most assortmen( o!, Fishing Tackle ever offered. . Seven Complete Assortments Given AWijy ... ' : .. ... : By winning a prize you fit .yourseU out a s a deaier in fishing. supplies...... ; .. : The seven boys who send jn the seven best contributions in this .... .. ;,; ;. . : .. I AMATEUR J .OURNALISI .CONTEST; f r:iJ' will each receive a Famous Fishing Tackle Assortment. Watch for a photO: graph and description of one on the back cover. Of course you want to own one. Then get into this contest without delay. .,1 SEVEN COMPLETE. OUTFl.TS .GIVEN .. ., HERE ARE PULL D .IRECTIONS: ,: ... Tak e any i n ciden t you can think of. I t may )>11 a a rnnaway, an accident, an adventure, or e ven a murder. It doesni t matt e r w h et)ler you wer e ther e or n o t. Write it graphically as you can, mak e it full of "action," and send It to us. The artlcle shoul d n o t be o v e r 500 words in length. The Contest 9loees September 1st. Send in yt:>ur at onc e, boys. All the bes t ones will be P fiblis h e d during the proirres s o f the contest. Remember, whether your story 'vine a prize or not, it stands a good chance of being published, together with your name. COUPON Cut OU\ the accompanying c oupon, send it, with your to the Dr.t\MOND. l)rcK. WERK.LY, Ca r e of STREST & SivIITH, 238 Willi!!m Street, New York. Oiarnond Dick Weekly Amateur Journalism ContesHfo. 4 Name ........... ...... .............. .... ..... . : .............. .......... .. Street and Number .................. ............ .................... ;. ; City or Town ...... . : ........ : ... : ...... ............. : .. : .. ...... ;.:..... .,,, No contribution with which a Coupon is not State .......... .... . . ......... ....... ......... ; ....... .. ., ....... ,. . .. encl o sed w ill be con sidere d. Title of-Story ...... ........................ : ...... : ...... : ........ ; .. ... .. .. '' '-!, .... . f ... ... .. "''.' "." .. '!\. . ;. ': ..... ......

PAGE 33

I I i I I .. I ol M t I I I I I I I+++ I I I I I l I I !.+ l -1 +-I-++:+H-+-i--N++ +++of-I1 '1-hl M.+++++++++++ l r i : l I DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY I i C LARGE SIZE.) The most Unique and Fascinating Tales of Western Romance. I T t 264-Diamond Dick and the Backers of San Simon; or, A Terrible Prophecy :Fulfilled. T :z65-Dia m ond Dick's Rival and the Bogus Troopers; or, The Plot Against the Governor. f 266--Diamond Dick' Anti-Gun Crusade; or, In the Hands of the Poker Flat SwindJers. :f. 2 6 7 D i amond Dick's Helping Hand; or, The Battle of Apache Hill. 26 8 -Diamond Dick's Play to Win; or, Up Against the Min e Brokers. :i: 269-Diamond Dick on the Trail of the Smugglers; or, Two-Spot and the K i d from NO f where. f 2 7 0-Diamond Dick and the Brothers of the Bowie; or, The Fight for the Rich "Pocket." ..!.. 271-Diamond Dick's Blacklist; or, Branded as Traitors. + 2 7 2-Diamond Dick's Railroad Dec.l ; or. The Message from Midnight Pass. t 273-Diarnond Dick's Set-to with the Keever Gang; or, The Trouble with No. :r 274-Diamond Dick and the Hannibal County Desperadoes; o r, Against Judge and Jury. .t 275-Diamond Dick's Moonlig''ht Attack; or, The Freight Thieves of the T. N & P. Railroad. :j: 276-Diaf11ond Dick1s Deadly Charge; or, The Cattle Rustler's Ambush. 277-D iamond Dick on the Bean Trail ; or, Black Bill's Doom. I 278-Diamond Dick in C hicago; or, A Bold Game in the Metropolis. Ii 27 9-Diarnond Dick's Quick Action; or, The Fastest Fight on Record. 280-Dia m o nd Dick's Fair Enemy; or, The Plot of the Mexican Girl. i Dick and the Express Robbers; or, Tornado Kate' s Ten Strike. -1: i" 2 82-Diamond Dick's Four of a Kind; or, The Set-to at Secret Pass. :i: 2 83 -Diam o nd Dick's Four-footed Pard; or, 'Winning a Game Hands Down. I Dick's Cannon-Ball Sp e cial; or, Handsome Harry's Finest. J 285-D i a m ond D ick's Flying Swi tch ; or, Trapping the T ough-Nut Terrors. + 286-D i arnond D i ck's Rush Orders; or, A Quick Windup at the Post. t 287-Diamond D i ck's Dutch Puzzle; or, the "Hot Tamale's" Hard Lucic / f. t 288-Diamoncl Dick at Full-Hanel Ferry; or, Rough \Nork on Rapid River. I 28sr--Diam oncl D ick and the _;Black Dwarf; or, Hot \Vork for Uncle Sam. t t 290-Dia m o nd Dick and the 1 in-.ber Thieves; or, A Close Call jn Cust.ers Canon. :i: *. 291-Diamond Dick's Mid-Air Fight; or, At Odds with the Circus Crooks. 292-Diamoncl Dick in the Oil Fields; or, A Lively "Go" at the Big "Gusher." t T :293-Diamond Dick's Border Drama; or, !\Scene Not Down on the Bills. :i: i 294-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s l\Iarked Bullet; or, The \Vreck of the Fas t Mail. :t:f,:. 295-Diamond Dick. Jr.'s Mind Reader; or, Fighting An All-Star Combination. 296-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s, Run of Luck; or. The Twist-Gp at Terrible. ,. 297-Diamond Dick, J r.'s. Black Box; or. The Secret of Half a + 298-Diamoncl Dick. Jr .. on the Stage: or. The Do-"Cp at I All of the above numbers alw a y s on hand. If you cannot get them from your news t five cents a copy will bring them to you b y mail, postpaid.

PAGE 34

,., $500.00 . IN GOLD. TO BE GIVEN AWAY TO Readers of" Boys of America" Only R...eaaers of BOYS OF .IJMER.._IC.IJ can w i n this money. . T hi s Mo ney Will b e Pai d t o th e Bo ys W ho S en d U s t he Best O p in i o n s of t h e S t ories that Appear i n this Pap er. Now, boys, you will not have t o go t o the Klondike to strike a gold mine. Yo u all know that BOYS OF AMERICA (sixteen page boys' publication) is worth its weight in gold, and we are just going to give you some of its weight in the precious yellow metal itself Nothing is quite so good as pure gold, boys, it's the standard money nf the world, and that is what we are going to give away in lumps of $20.00 to every "inning contestant. Twen.ty=f ive cash prizes of $20.00 each1 abs. o l u t elyi given away. READ THESE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY: Commencing with No. 31, out April 17th, and ending with No. 43 (inclusive) out July 3d next, w ill be published in BOYS OF AMER1CA a s<::ries of rattling, up-4>-date stories, written by some of the best-kno w n writers in the country. Send Us Your Opin ion of .Any O n e of these Stories. The 26 B oys who S end i n the B est W1ittcn Opinions lVill Win t/Jc Gol d. Is there any easier way to win five hundred gold dollars? ... \ You can write about any story that appears in BOYS OF AMERICa between these numbers, 1\o 31 and No. 4:3 You send in as many opinions as .. ; you like, bu:t only one opinion of each coupon pnnted on page IS must be sent witli tlie opinion. Atly reader of BOYS OF AMERICA can compete for this golden prize. Do not write mor e ,tl>.an. 300 words about any o ne story. ; .... Each o f the'Tw,enty-five Winners Will R e ceive $20. 0 0 i n S o li d G o l d This offer is a golden opportunity for you. We are going to give away this money in solid gold, Uncle Sam's best coin. The names of the boys who receive it will be published in BoYS OF AMERICA How easy it is to write an Opinion. It is just as easy 1to w i n $20.00. Why should this gold 11:ot go to you ? Se'nd in your opinion at once I . . I ... l I 1 1 .; ..................................... 111!111 ..................... Address all letters t o I BOYS OP AMERICA t Care of STREET SMITH. 238 Williatn Street, New York


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