Diamond Dick, Jr.'s big wager, or, The tiger of the mesa


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Diamond Dick, Jr.'s big wager, or, The tiger of the mesa

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Title:
Diamond Dick, Jr.'s big wager, or, The tiger of the mesa
Series Title:
Diamond Dick, Jr.
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Lawson, W. B.
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New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 26 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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030819458 ( ALEPH )
17750559 ( OCLC )
D21-00018 ( USFLDC DOI )
d21.18 ( USFLDC Handle )

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iss u e d Weekly. No.299. Cents. DIAMOND DICK, JR.1 WAS TIAVTNO A BATTLE WITH GANZ UPON AS INSECURE A FOOTHOI,D AS C'OULD POSSIBLY BE.

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,. Ji ...,;, . : Issued Weekly. By SubscYijJtion ta.so jJey yeay. Entend as Second Clas s Mattey at the N. Y. Post Offict, by STRJ>ET & SMITH, a38 Wr1/iam St., N. Y. Ent eyed accor di1w to Act of Con!{Yess in tile year 1Q02, in tile Office of t/Je Librarian of Conllress, W ashin!llon, .D. C. No. 299. NEW YORK, July 5, 1902. Pri" Fi ve Cents DIAMOND DICK, JR.'S, 816 W AUER; OR, The Tige r of t he Mesa. f By the author of "DIAMOND D ICK." CHAPTER I. 'l'HE 'l'RAGEDY AT THE FANDANGO. Old Carlos Pitero tossed off abo11t three fingers of pulque and then leaned back in his chair and looked at Tadeo Romero, who sat opposite him at the Through the open door c:ime a ratt1e of castanets, a jingling of tambourines, and a twanging of guitars, accompanying a rhythmic shuffle of feet and shonts of merry voices. Old Carlos and Romero were alone rn the little room. "Carramba but they are having a gay time," cried Pitero, "and it's well they should. My son, Juan, get married every day in the year, and this fandango should be the gayest we have had." "But why do you invite your enemies ; to it?" asked Romero, carelessly. "My enemies? Que! And neither do I. T1iis is a place for friends, uot enemies.'' "Nevertheless, one of your most bitter enemies is yonder, in the ballroom." "His name?" "Enrique Guardinas." Old Carlos' face fairly livid. "Impossi. ble !" he returned, bringing his fist down on the table with terrific force. "I have met him face to face," said quietly. "He is disguised, but I knew him the mo ment I set eyes on him." "Why should he come here? He knows that the Gtiardinas and the Piteros face each other only with daggers drawn and murder in their hearts. The risk Guardinas would have to run in coming here is so greJt that surely you nrnst be mistaken."

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2 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BEST WEEKLY.'. "I have spoken the truth."' 1'Then, Dio !" cried the old man, starting up and shaking his clinched fist in the air, "he shall not leave this house alive." For an instant Pitero stood there looking his anger into the eyes of Romero, bnt before he could make a move to carry out his rurpose a hoarse cry echoed through the rooms, bringing the music to. a quick stop and causing the dancers to pause the 11tid t of their revelry. It was a wild cry of "Murper!" Had some of the. already pierced the dis guise of the rash youth, Enrique Guardinas, and de manded the penalty of his life? "There!" old Carlos, "son;ie one has saved me a bad job. Let us go and see about it." Romero followed the old man out through the gayly-bedecked ballroom and on into a chamber open ing off it to the left. There a terrible scene met tiieir eyes. It was not E nriqne Guardinas who lay stretched upon the floor, but Juan Pitero Above the prostrate form stood a stal wart youth holding a blood-stained knife in his hand. Surrounding these two stood a little group stricken to silence and inaction b y the terrible affair that had just happened. Against the wall in one corner, his arms folded across his b r east, leaned the motionless figure of a young man watching all that took place with the eye of a hawk. "Juan!" cried old Pitero, dropping on his knees beside his son. With trembling fingers the llged Mexican felt about his son's neck. "He is dead!" he muttered, _drawing back, "and the talisman is go-ne _He could never have been slain while that talisman was upol1 his person." For a moment Carlos Pitero seemed overcome with grief; then, with a waveri11g cry of fury, he leaped up, sprang at the youth who was holding the knife, an? tore from his face the false beard that partially covered it. '-'Enrique Guardinas !" "Guardinas, Guardinas !" echoed the crowd. "He murdered my son!" screamed old Pitero, "and I will kill him! Blood for blood! His life for Juan's!" Piteru held a na'J.::ed knife in his grasp and would have used it had not the motionless figure in the corner become suddenly imbued with action and, rushing forward, knocked the knife from his hand. "Stop! he did not murder your son !" The old man recoiled. "Who did, then?" 'l'he oung fellow dropped on one knee beside the dead man arltl lifted one of his stiffening hand s O ne of the fingers was deformed, so that the nail grew over it and curved downward, like a talon of some bird of prey. Beneath the talon-like nail w a s a triangular piece of dark skin that had evidently been raked from the face or hands of the murderer by Juan, in his death struggle. The young fellow explained this, called attention to the fairness of Enrique's skin and defied those present to find a scratch upon him. "Did you see the murder committed?" asked Pitero. "No. "Then why do you state that the murderer is not Guardinas ?'' ''There is not a vicious line in Guardinas' face. He is incapable of committing such a deed." All eyes were turned upon the youth from whose face old Pitero had torn the disguise. There was horror in his e y es and an appalled ex pression on his countenance, but there was little of fear to be detected 111 his demeanor. On the contrary, he looked around on those about him with the bewildered air of one who seemed to be in a trance. "Whose knife is that?" queried the young fellow who had championed the cause of the supposed mur' derer.

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) Dl/\MOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 3 'Romero picked up th' e knife that had fallen from Guardinas' grasp, and examined it carefully. Shaking his head, he passed it to the father of the murdered man. Old Carlos shuddered slightly as he took the bloody weapon. "I uever saw this before." "Give it to me!" The knife was handed to the young fellow who raised it aloft. ''Have any of you ever seen this blade before?" No answer from the little group of spectators. "Do none of you recognize it?" Still no answer. The young fellow flung the knife toward the wall, and it struck point first and clung quivering to the planks. "Some one unknown to you must have committed the deed.'' "No!" cried Pitero; "it was that scoundrel yonder who murdered my son. The knife is his! Let him deny it if he will!" Guardinas' eyes had been wandering about the room iu a vague way, and they now rested on tl1e door. He seemed to take absoluteJy no interest in what was going on about him. "I will stake my life on this young man's inno cence," cried the champion; "I know an honest man when I see oue, and I tell you that Guardinas is incapable of committing a cold-blooded murder such as has been committed here to-night!" "This is child' s p lay !"cried old Carlos. "Are you my frieiids that you stand here withholding vengeance from my son's murderer?" ''Who raises a hand against him, raises a hand against me! It is my business to revenge him, and revenge him I will. Stand aside!" Simultaneously with the voicing of these words, a beautiful girl, white as death, ran into the room. Stooping, she picked up the knife that Pitero bad dropped and faced Guardinas. As Guardinas' eyes rested upon those of the girl, Juan's widowed bride, all his courage oqzed out at his finger tips. His cheek grew pale, and he tried to speak, but his voice choked, and he could say nothing. "Away from this, Monica!" cried Pitero; "this is no place for you. Leave us to deal with him!" At these words those present shook off the lethargy that had held them as in a spell. With wild shouts, they rushed toward Guardinas. Seeing his great danger, the youth turned, ran across the room an d sprang through a do?r, which he closed after him. Fitero and his people would have followed, but the young fellow who had sought to reason with those present, proved doubly the suspected youth's protector now. Throwing himself in front of the door, he drew two revolvers and his blue eyes peered resolutely across the sights. he cried, in ringing tones. "You shall 11ol kill an innocent man!'' As it was aqsolutely certain that the young fellow meant business, the pursuers came to an abrupt standsti 11. "You shall not cheat us out of our vengeance!" shouted old Carlos. ''I have no wish to do that. Although old Carias Pitero would take the law into his own hands, an throughout this section of Arizona he is known as a. just and honest man. Let him throw his prejudices aside and consider the proposition I have to make him.'' For a brief interval there was deep silence; then Pitero asked: "vVhat is your propositi c n ?" "I will wager my life aijF!inst that of your s on's murderer. In other w o rds, if within three days I d o not bring the murderer to you, I, myself, will c ome forward to bear the penalty." It took some time for this singular propositi(Jn t o filter its way thr1nigh the minds of the Mexicans; when, finally, they did understand it, a few of them shrngged sh o lders and laughed derisively.

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4 DlhMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLYo "Who are you?" asked Pi'tero; "and why have you c o me to this fandango unbidden ?1' "Bertie Wade is my name," replied the blue-eyed youth; "I am also known as Diamond Dick, Jr. It may be that you have heard of me? If so, my word ought to be as good as my bond. '1 "Not in this instance," said Pitero "Get away from that door or the consequences fall upon your own head!" Diamond Dick, Jr., smiled slightly. "You are welcome to enter this room," said he, "but it will avail you nothing. Guardinas made his way through a window, mounted his horse and got safely off some time ago. But to the other matter: wm you consider my proposition?'' "Impossible!" said Romero. "Why?" "In making a wager, it is customary to place the stakes in the hands of a third person. A man's life is something that cannot be so placed." "Wrong. Romero!" said Pitero, and thereupon he whispered in his {riend's ear. "Carraca !" muttered Romero, with flashing eyes; "perhaps this strange bet may be made to serve after al I." Pitero turned to Diamond Dick, Jr. "The difficulty may be ov.ercome. Even by coming to this fandango Guardinas, in my estimation, has forfeited his life, as there is a feud between his family and ours. But I wonld know who has been diabolical enough to come here and murder my son in his own home. You say it was not Guard in as and offer to wager your life against that of the real murderer. I accept the bet. Y-0u can puc up your part of the stakes." "I must be free to come and go wherever I will," returned Bertie. "It shall be so. 1 Placing his fingers to his lips, Pitero blew a shrill whistle. The crowd dropped back expectantly. All eyes were fixed ou a door that communicated with the little plaza around which the Me:xicau's house was built. They had not long to wait. Very shortly the door was burst open, and a creat ure who seemed more beast than human, sprang into the room. Presumably a man from the fact that he walked erect, the stooJ over six feet in height and wore merely a pair of trousers, girdled about the waist with a piece of horsehair rope. His bared breast and back were covered with hair, like a coyote, and his beard was so thick and covered his face so completely that the only features to be seen were his eyes, which were small, black and glaring. Hair dark as a raven's wing fell over his neck in tangled masses. His arms were long, almost to deformity, while his bared feet were of immense size. Stopping at old Pitero's side, this creature spoke, or, rather, growled, somHhing which he, alone, understood. "For three days," replied Pitero, looking at the queer form before him, but motioning in Diamond Dick, Jr. 's direction, "you are to hold this young fellow's life in your hands. Follow him everywhere, let not a move of his escape you. If, at the end of the third day, he comes not back here with the murderer of my son, Juan, you are to ldll him!" The creature glared at Diamond Dick, Jr., and grinned, showing two yellow, tusk-like teeth through his matted beard as he did so. Bertie merely gave him a look of contemptuous disgust. "Diamond Dick, Jr.," went on Pitero, "you say Guardinas is innocent where we all believe him guilty. If you are bluffing, if you wish to withdraw your wager and not accede to the disagreeable teri.J1s of this contract, you have but to say the word!" "My wager stands r' was Bertie's quiet reply. "Then I give you, for three days, into the keeping of 'the Tiger of the Mesa! You are free to go." Without a word, Diamond Dick, Jr.J turned aud

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DiAMOND DICK9 JR.-THE BEST WEEKLYo 5 left Pitero's house, followed by the creature who, for three days, was to be his shadow-ptrhaps would attempt to be his slayer. CHAPTER II. DIAMONb DICK, JR. 's, When Bertie left old Pitero's house he sought out his own horse from the many that were tied in front and rode off through tl;e 111oonlight. After him, joggil1g along the trail at a dog-trot, came the "Tiger of the Mesa," as he was termed. O ccasionally Bertie glanced backward over his shoulder at the huge form swinging along hl his trail. Once the youth muttered: "It must 1'.le! I can't be deceived. But there are others, a11d he m nst be made to tell me who his coto say that, in attempting to befriend me, you have placed yourself fo great peril." A smile curled Diamond Dick, Jr. 'slip. "You think me in danger from--" ''The Tiger." "You remained long enough to hear that part of it, then?" "I did, and I desire to tell you this: If you are not successful in finding the real murderer within the three days given yon, not you, but I, will pay the wager.'' "I beg yuu 11ot to worry about either of us being called upon to make good such a tragic bet. There is one thing, however, which I would like to ask you. What do you know about this creature who is fancifully termed 'The Tiger of the Mesa'?" ''Very little, e:kcept that he is all, and more, than his name implies. I believe he would commit murder for the sheer delight of shedding human blood. He conspirators are." set upon my father while he was crossing the For some time Bertie did not look back. desert, and but for the arrival of timely assistance When he did, he discovered that the Tiger of the would have slain him. Since then be seems to have Mesa had vanished. Close upon the heels of this discovery the form of a man stepped out into the trail from behind a frfoge of bushes at the roadside and halted the youth's horse by tossing his arms above his head. ''Who are you?', asked Bertie, his alert hand creeping toward his revolver belt. 1 "Enrique Guardiuas was the answer. "Very good; you are just the tnan I wish to see." "I could not allow you to pass, senor, without stopping you!" Bertie dismounted, gave a swift glance down the road over which he had corne1 and t!1e11 turned to Guard in as. "I wish no tba11ks," returned he, "for saving the life of an innocent man." "But you have taken a terrible load upon your shoulders. Listen, Diamond Dick, Jr. ; I did not leave Pitero's house at once upon entering that room. I heard distinctly all that passed between you and those who would have had my life, and I wish borne a special grudge against all of our family." "He seems to be very friendly with tlle Piteros." "He loves old Carlos as a dog foves his master." "This seems strange in a man who appears to have lost well-nigh all the mental qualities as well as the physical attributes of a human being." "It is strange, senor, but it is true." "What is there between your people and the Piteros ?" "A feud of long standing that has claimed many victims on both sides. I made no explanation be cause I knew it would be useless." "\Vil! you explain to me?" Certainly. "Then why did you put your head in the lion's mouth, as it were, by visitil1g the fandango?" Guardinas hesitated a moment and it was plain t o Bertie tl1at he was somewhat embarrassed. "Well," he finally replied, "both Juan and I courted M.6nica Juan won the_ Vrize, and I

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6 DJJ\MQND DiCK0 JR.-THE BOYS9 BEST' WEEKLY. went there, disguised, to seize and bear her awa y the moment. Si, si You wer e clever, ind e e d The fro m under the ver y noses of the Pie eros--" murderer's skin must have been dark." ''Whether she would or no?'' Bertie could scarce restrain a smile. "You do n o t know these Mexican girls, senor," replied Guardinas, passionatel y "Nine-tenths of them do not know their own minds-but enough of that. I found that the wedding had taken place the day before the fandango, and I was defeated. While seeking exit from the house I heard that cry of murder. It was almost at my elbow. I turned a nd saw only Juan lying on the floor, almost at his last gasp. I forgot that he was my bitter enemy, forgot what the consequences to m y self might be, and rushed to bis side and withdrew the knife. Then the people came in, and what happened after that was like a dream. But the saints sent me you for a protector, and, by Our Lady, I shall never forget the service you have done me this night." As he finished, Guardinas grasped Bertie's hand and pressed it. Enrique Guardinas wa s a blue-e y ed Spaniard; his skin was fair, and his hair was light. While talking, his voice was musical a nd hi s gestures graceful, and at the end of the explanation Bertie wrung his hand with genial warmth. "Although everything seems to be against you, Enrique," said Diamond Dick, Jr., "I admire your nerve and believe fully in your i nnocence. I read your character in the look of horror that came into your eyes as y ou stood over Juan with that_ blood y knife in your hand." "Thank you, senor. But you-did you see the murder committed? Do y ou know who the real mur derer is?'' Bertie shook his head. I "The alarm that called you to the scene also called me. If you were in the room, did you not hear what I said about Juan's crooked finger and talon-like nail?" "Ah, that was before I fled. The events of this night have been so exciting that I had forgotten for ''Exactly .'' "I will leave you no w ami g o mio, but I warn you that I shall watch your ever y move. If you are not successful in finding the murderer, I pay the debt." Diamond Dick, Jr., laughed. "We will talk of that later. Don't go just yet. Wait." The y outh again looked down the trail. "Now that you have told me what brought you to the fandango, I will b e equall y frank in telling you what took me there. You are acquainted with the section of couutry jus t over the border, if I am not mistaken, and might hear or see something which could be turned to my advantage. "Two days ago a freighter named trans porting goods from the Southern Pacific to the town of O kotea, was set upon and murdered--the most of his goo d s being stolen. "I came upon the sc e ne a da y later. At t11at ti m e the ruin of the freighter's outfit was complete, Robin s on himself l ying dead in the wagon with a sh o t through the lungs "I had but two clews to guide me in s eeking to run down the perpetrators of this outrage-for I could not leave the country content with simply turning the matter over to the sheriff. "11he clew s I allude t o were these: Tlie footprint s of the men who were guilty and the fact that the final struggle taking place in the wagon, a large bottle of sulphate of silver in a box of druggists' sup plies was broken and must have left marks on the hands or fac e s of at least two of the murderers "Of course, those who attacked the freighter came to the scene in a wagon, but they were all on the ground when the atta ck t o ok place." Bertie paused long enough to reach into one of his saqdlebags and draw out what seemed to be the rough model of a ponderous human foot. ',One of the imprints w a s made by a foot like this, he went on. "In tile wet, clayey soil the im press was lield and the morning sun baked the clay

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Dll\MOND DICK. JR.-THE BUYS' BEST WEEKLY .. and left almost a perfect matrix. From the box of drnggists' supplies I secured a small quantity of pla!l ter of Paris, and here is the result. "From other sources I learned that probably the ouly foot in the conntry resembling most this plaster model belonged to the Tiger of the Mesa, who with old Carlos Pi tero, on his ranch. this reason I went there to investigate and dropped in quietly now, that 1 suspect the two men, that those marks might have been left by the freighter's fingers .and thumb." ".That's possible," broke in Bertie. "Robinson's right hand was covered with the sulphate." "Then, taking the fact that they were gone at about the time tlie murder was committed, all this begins to look rat.her dark for Ganz and Hillner. I while the fandango was on. '!'he tragedy which ocasked them where they had been, when they got back, curred did not afford me time to complete my inves-and they answered that they had been to Okotca, tigations, but I fully believe I am on the right track." had gambled snccessfuliy, and had bought themselves "I think you are, senor," said Guardinas, gazing at the plaster cast witli mingled wonder and surprise. "Certainly your ingenuity deser, es success. I heard of the freighter being murdered, buL had no idea who the men might be that committed the deed. You say th was more than one in the job?" "Yes; there were t\\'o others." ".A.nd what kind of a mark would sulphate of sil ver leave?" "It would stain the skin black." Guardinas was siient for a moment; then he went on, musingly: "Can it be possible that Ganz or Hillner had anything to do with this murder? It may be; it is possi ble." "Have you any clews to offer me?" queried Bertie. "I believe I have, senor. I am superintending the construction of some railroad ,11ork about twenty miles from here. The work consists in putting in stone abutments for a bridge over Carter's Creek. Carter's Creek is dry, except in rainy seasons, when it flows a veritable torrent. '!'he creek is higl1er now than it l : as been before for years, and we are ptusuing our work nuder some difficulties. There are two rnen on the job whose 11a111es are Ganz and Hillner. They came to me with rather shady reputations, but, as they are good workmen, I kept them. Some tfuee days ago they went away abruptly and when they came back each man Imel on a suit of new clothes, and Hiilner's left hand was swatLed in a bandage and hung ii1 a sling from about his 11eck. On Ganz's cheek were five black i11arks1 and it seems to .me1 some new clothes. I noticed that Ganz seemed auxiotts to keep turned from me that side of his face which bore the black stains. Hillner explained his bandaged hand by stating that he ha d gotten into a fight and hnd been injured in that way, At that time I had no reason to think that these rnen had had a hand in t\:e killing of so I se t t':em to work. Hillner, wh') is something of an engineer, I set to running the engine that operates the derrick l1oist, for he can do that very well with one hand. It is a singular coincidence that, in all probability, I I.ave bee11 able to show you where th$ two men you are looking for may be found." "That is true, 11 replied Bertie, "and I shall call and see you to-morrow, at Carter's Creek. I will be disguised-I c an't say how, or in what way, as that will depend t1pon circumstances." "Will you bring the T -iger with you?" "Not if I ca11 shake him temporarily." "I should think yo u would shake him altogether.,, "He is not a very agreeable companion, but, for purposes of my own, I wish to have him under my observation." "\Natch him well and be on your guard co11tinu ally. He might take it into his head to kill y-011." "I am able to protect myself.,, "But the 'l'i'ger has the of a Hercules; he is quick as lightning, a dead shot, and one of the most skilled manipulators of the bowie knife 1 liave ever seen. If you--" At that moment, with a snarl of rage, the Tiger

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8 Dll\MON.O DICK9 JR.-TiiE BOYS' BEST WEEKLVo himself came rolling out fr o m the dark bushes, sprang upright and started for G11ardinas. The Spaniard recoiled s1ightly as the terrible creature advanced toward him. Quick as a flash Bertie sprang between them. "Stand where you are!" he said, sternly. Out of my way!" was the rejoinder, in a voice that sounded like a muffled "Man or devil, whatever you are," returned Bertie, "lf you attempt an attack upon this y outh, Guar dinas, you shall suffer for it!" ''Not at your hands. '' "Yes, at mine!" The Tiger of the Mesa gave vent to a snarling laugh and shook his huge body. "Have a care, young bantam! You're only a mouse, and X'm a tiger! Don't tempt me to put y ou out of the way before the three days are qp. ''. '"rake no chances on my account, Diamond Dick, Jr.," broke in Guardi11as, trying to force his way past Bertie. The Spaniard had a long, keen poniard in his hand. "Back!" said Be"rtie, sternly. The youth wished to convince him s elf of the mu s cular prowess o f the strange being whom Carlos Pitero had set to Fatch over him. Springing he launched out with his right fist and caught the Tiger in the shoulder. It was a terrific b1ow, and would have knocked most men off their feet, for Bertie' s muscles were lik e .. iron, and he knew how t
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PIJ\MOND DICK9 -JR.-THE BOYSP BEST WEEKLY. 9 did not ride many miles until he came within sight of a num her of shadowy buildings, set on the left of the trail. This was Parker's Rancho, a station that, at this time, was very much by prospectors, cat tlemen, and travelers of all descriptions. Riding up to the door, Bertie pounded on the panels with the butt of his revolver. A light soon appeared and Parker open the door. "What's wanted, pi1grim ?" "Accommodations for the night." 'How many is they of ye?" "Myself alone." "Object ter sleepin' in the same room with some body else?" "No; if there are two beds in the room." "Ye see, I'm expectin' a cowboy, an; I've prom ised to reserve a cot fer him. 'We're full chuck up, an' you git the last cot. Turn yer hoss inter the corral an' come in.'' Bertie rode out to the corral, rubbed his horse down thoroughly, watered him, gave him a good feed, and then came back to the house. Before passing t11ro11gh the door he looked around a11xio11sly, but saw no trace of the 'figer. .Joe Park. r, of Parker's Rancho, was a mnn of renown throughout that section of Ari7.011a. He hailed originally from Kentucky, stood over six feet in his socks, and was muscled like an ox. As a fighter he was supposed to be invincible. "\Vant a bite to eat?" he asked, as Diamond Dick, Jr., came in. "No," said Bertie, "all I care for now is a place to sleep.,, "Set down a minit while the ole woman fixes up the room. ''fain't often we git lodgers in at this time o' niglit. Been over to Pitero's fandanger?" "I came from that direction." "While we're waitin' fer the room ter be fixed up, I'd like ter swap a few words with ye Has that feJ;er ever been done up yet?" As he spoke he waved his hand toward the opposite wall. Bertie glanced in the direction indicated and saw a Polce Gazette picture of Jeffries tacked on the wall. "No," he said; "he is still the champion." "Not if I know it, he ain't. Looky yere! Gaze!" P34ker got up and turned slowly around so that Bertie could look him over. "Dou 't ye think I could put up. a purty good fight?" "If muscle counts for anythingyon ought to be irresistible.'' "Science, too! Blast it all, I'm chuck full of science. Say, I'm the champion of this country! It ain't Jeffries by a long shot! On the q. t., I'm tryin' ter pull off a match with that feller. I'm goin' ter write the Gazette an' put up ten thousand dollars. That's the kind of a duck I am! Why, I've licked everythin' in Arizony from the fightin' kangaroo to the Tiger of Tenderfoot Flat, an' I'm pinin' fer somebody that's my size." "I guess Mr. Jeffries can fill the bill." ''Think he wo11 't disapp'int me, do ye?'' "I think not." Parker heaved a great sigh of relief. "That's a load off my mind. I've been worryin' fer fear he wasu't all he was cracked up ter be." Just then a womau stuck her head in at the door and beckoned to Parker. He left the room, but came back in a few minutes and picked up tht:: candle. "'It' s all right," he said. "Come this way." Parker led the way with a lighted candle. Bertie followed him up a flight of stairs and into a large, Jow-ceiled room that contained two cots. 'Thar ye are," said Parker, setting down the can dle, "an' if ye want ter git any sleep before sun-up ye'd better be at it, kase it's late." Bertie locked the door, dropped down on the cot, and was sound asleep almost as soon as his head touched the pillow. He was awakened by hearing Parker's voice, just outside the door.

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iO DIAMOND DICK11 JRo-THE BOYS9 BEST WEEKLY; "What you doin' here, you human conundrum? Git out of this or I'll throw ye through the window. Start yerself This was the siguai for the beginning of a thunderous racket in the hall. It seemed for a motneut as tho11gh the whole house was coming down. t Bertie sprang up aud started fof the door, but be fore 'he could reach it it was burst open, and the form of a man came tumbling head Over heels across the threshold. Then the racket ceased, the man lay silent and sti11 iri the middle of the floor, and Bertie made haste to light the candle. "Wow!" exclaimed a voice. Bertie looked around and saw Parker leaning against the side of the doorway. He was rubbing his head and had a dazed, bewil dered look on his face. "That critter is a steam engine, his fists work like a brace of pile drivers." "What critter? Who are you talk111g about?" "Oh, that's so-ye don't understand. Well. as I brought the cowboy up to occupy that other cot we saw somethin' curled 11p outside tl1is yere door tliat looked more like a hum an hyener than anythin' else. l invited the thing ter chase itself an' give it a kick. Well, arter that I hardly know what happened. I was knocked one way, and \'awcob, thar, was knocked the other, an'-:--" "Py dunder I vas knocked clear into der middle of next veek, tind it must haf b e en a cyclone vat did der pizness '' Something in the cowboy's voice struck Bertie as being familiar, and he turned,and looked at the man on the floor. Yawcob had partially ri s en, and, although he had a bandage tied o.ver one side of his face, Bertie recog nized him at once. "Yawcob, my boy, bow are you?" "Diamond Dick, Jr., oder I vas a grazy Dutchman, by yiminy How you vas, anyhow?" Yawc0b was an old frietJd of Bertie's, and i t is possible some uf my readers may remember him. "Oh," said Parker, "you fellers know each other, eh? vVh!le ye're talkin', I'll go gunnin' fer that crit. ter that knocked me off 111Y feet-which is somethin that nobody else in these parts ever done afore." Parker weut away and, for several moments Bertie aud Yawcob chatted over old times. "What's the matter with your face, Y a wcob ?" "Nodding now. I got scratched mit a palo cristi thorn vile drivin' dose cattle, aber it vas all righdt now." He pulled off the cloth as he spoke and thre. w it to one side. "I bed you I nefer got such a knock as I did about two meenits ago. Vat it vas, eh? ,It looked like von of dose-dose ring-i-tings-und, donuer-wetter how it shtruck out mit its two fists!" "Did yon ever hear of the 'l'iger of the J.Vlesa, Vawcob ?'' asked Bertie. "Yon bed my life! Vas dot id?" "Yes." "Den I'm glad I v a s liviu' already. V'y, dot Tiger can run yoost so fast as nefer va s I tole you dot! I vas shased PY him vonce, nncl, mein Gott i n Himmel! my hair shtuck right oop so, u11d dot cold perspiration busted to my body all ofer und I t'onght, 'Yawcob, you vas deadt, sure.' Yah, dot's vat I t'ought." "Yon ran onto the Tiger suddenly, did you?" "Mein Gott, 110 Run onto him? I runs avay from him so fast like der tevil vas pehind me! I vas on a horse,
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLYo 1 1 "Stronger as den men-dot's der gosbel trut'." "Have you heard anything about the Tiger?11 "He's der bugaboo vat vimlllen shkares deir babies mit. 'Look out,' say dose vimmen; 'der comes der Tiger alretty-pe goat!' und dey vas goot. He vas a killer from dot town of Killersville. I bed you, I vaut 110 druck mit him. He can go von vay ttnd I vill go some oders, und pe habby." Bertie had to laugh at the Dutchman in spite of himself. It w a s plain he had a wholesome horror of the Tiger of the Mesa. "Id vas all righdt for you to laugh, but vait. Mebby yon won't laugh so much vone of dose days." "It's a very serious Yawcob." "l bed you! But vat vas der Tiger doin' here?" "Watching me." ''You? Dot vas some shokes, ain't 'id?'' ''No, it is true,'' and Bertie theren pon told enough of his story so that Yawcob could 11ndershnd his position. "I wish to do a little work in the 111orn i11g," went on Bertie, after finishing his explanation, "and I don't want the Tiger to follow me. With your aid I can get away fro1n him for a few hours.'' "Yust mention vat it vas, my poy, und I vas your lmckleberry." "All right-I'll tell you in the morning. Good night, Yawcob. It's long after time to turn in." Bertie dropped down on his cot once more, and Yawcob to u k a long and anxious look down the hall, a nd then closed and secured the door by shoving his cot in front of it. Then he went to sleep with a revolver in each haud. "If he comes back I'll make him some droubles, you bet my life," was the Dutchman's last thought, as he dozed off. Bertie awoke at daylight. Y awcob was snoring away like a steam engine, and had to be shaken long and hard before he opened his eyes. "Git off my pack git off my pack!" he cried, starting up to a sitting posture. "Ach, I vos havin' von of dose nighdt horses und I t'ought I vas fightin' mit dot Tiger. Vat it vas, Diamond Dick, Jr.?" "You remember that last night you saicl you would help me to shake the Tiger for a few hours this morning." "Un
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" DIAMOND DICK. JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKL\"., a month, an' call myself a muel-I will so. Git off that fence or be knocked off!" The Tiger was right in line for a fight. He made one jump, threw out his long, hairy arms and Parker was hurled backward, heels over head; then, had not Mrs. Parker come to the rescue with an ax, there is telling to what an extent the strange creature would not have proceeded. While Christina marched her husband off, the Tigeor calmly climbed back on the fence. "That w ex claimed Parker. "What are you in that rig for ? "No time to explaiu. Keep mum and let Yawcob tell you." Parker gazed in wonder a s Di amond Diuk, Jr. passed out of the door and on tow ard the corral directly under the sharp, glaring e y es of the Tiger. Opening the gate of the corral, Bertie walked into the enclosure, saddled and bridled the white horse, got on the animaJ>s back and galloped away. The Tiger of the Mesa still sat on the fence gazing up at the window of the room which 'Rertie had occupied the night before. CHAPTER IV. THE FIGH'f ON 'fHE SWINGING ROCK. Everything was going smoothly at Carter's Cre e k Fifteen or twenty men were busily at work. The shouts of the foremen and the answering replies of the men mingled with the blows of hammers upon iron .chisels and the "choo, choo, choo," of the sputtering engine at the hoisting It was quite an undertaking, the building of thes e stone abutmeuts for the bridge across Carter's Creek.

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.) J DIAMOND DICK, JRo-THE BOYSP BEST WEEKLY. 13 Many of the stones going into the work were more than a yard square. The abutment upon which the men were laboring was already some fifteen or twenty feet high. On one side of it raged and swirled aud eddied the fitful waters of Carter's Creek. On the other side of the stream blasting was going on preparatory to rearing the second abutment. The foreman from the other side had just rowed across in a skiff and had made his way to the spot where Guardinas, the superintendent, was standing. "We need a few more cartridges," said he, "for another blast.'' "Very well," replied Guardiuas. "l will get them.'' Making his way to t)le box where the explosives \vere kept, GMrdinas unlocked it and took 0(1t half a dozen giant powder cartridges. With tbt:se he returned to the foreman. "Five are enough, said the foreman. "Very well." The odd cartridge Cuardinas dropped into his pocket, intending, at the first convenient opportunity, to return it to the box. "Yes." "Then post your man thoroughly. I'm going to have look at Ganz, and will take him and turn him over to the sheriff after I settle one point." is that, senor?" "The sulphate of silver was on Robinson's right hand. I believe I can tell if the marks on Ganz's face were made by the fingers of a right or left hand. If by the former, I shall act with out delay.'' "Very well. I shall see that Hillner is taken care of." "Thank you." Bertie made his way over the piles of rock to the place where Ganz was making fast the wire cable to the stone blocks. He was a little wiry man, nervous 0 action, and as quick as a cat in his movements. Some distance behind Diamond Dick, Jr., was the end of a spur track, on which was standing a row of "flat" cars loaded with stone. Under these cars, a baleful glare in his eyes and a long, wicked-looking knife between his teeth, crept the Tiger. No one saw him. "Got room for another hand, boss?" asked a voice Shortly after Diamond Dick, Jr., had left Parker's at Guar.dinas' elbow. The superintendent looked around. ''You had better stick to punching .steers,'' he an swered, for the man who had spoken wa s evidently a cowboy. "We have all the men we need." "You'll be shy a couple before night." "How so?" "The two who killed the freighter--" "Diamond Dick, .Jr., is that you?" "Exactly, but do not pronounce that name quite so loud. Is that Hillner, at the engine ?" "Yes." "Where is Ganz?" "He is over there _fastening the wire cable to the blocks of stone.'' .. "I see him. Have you a mau of 'nerve who you can trust to capture Hillner when I make the a.ttempt to take Ganz?'' Ranch had discovered the. trick, .and then, with the instinct of a bloodhound and the speed of a stag, he had taken up the trail of the white horse and had followed it. The stone was to the cable by a patented device which made but one hole necessary-this in the center of the block. As Bertie lounged forward and leaned against a pile of timbers, Ganz was just making ready to secure the cable. As he bent down lie gave Diamond Dick, Jr., a qujck, suspicious glance. The Tiger was still crawling steadily forward. Only one man was at work anywhere near him. This was a man who was facing up some stone in a cut at the side of the track. His work placed him out of sight of the rest of the, laborers, but where he was able to see if be chanced I

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14 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLYo to look up from his work, the hairy form crawling along beneath the cars. The Tiger kept his eyes as much on the mason as he did upon Diamond Dick, Jr., for he realized that the overtnrning of a stone, the snapping of a twig or any 'other slight noise would rouse the man's curiosity and lead to an alarm. Although the Tiger writhed his way forward as noiselessly as a serpent might have crawled over the same path, and did nothing to attract the attention of the man in the cut, yet the mason happened to look up. His eyes fell on the Tiger-their glances met. The mason opened his lips to cry out, but the strange appea:ance of the creature had startled him, and the cry faded away upon his lips. In an instant the 'figer had crawled out from be tween the car wheels and was bounding down the slope. The mason realized his peril and started to run, dropping his heavy mallet and chisel on the stone upon which he was working. The Tiger pursued hiin, catching up the mallet Those stains had been left by some person's right hand. Ganz suddenly raised up and lifted his arm above his head. "Hoist away!" he shouted. The broad, flat stone began moving slowly upward. Bertie started toward Ganz, intending to make him a prisoner. "Look out!'' came a hoarse, warning shout from directly behind the youth. Bertie turned and saw the Tiger bounding toward him . He faced about to discover that Ganz had mounted the block of stone, and was being borne upward with it. Diamond Dick, Jr., paused not an instant. Rushi'ng forward, he gave a terrific leap and landed on the stone directly beside Ganz. The impetus of his leap set the stone to swinging, and when the Tiger reached the stone and sprang to catch it, it struck his head, momentarily stunning him; but lie clung to it with his great, strong hands, and gradually began climbing upward. from the stone as he passed. As fate would have it, at this critical jullcture, It did not take him long to come up with the> G11ardiuas was on the top of the abutment, overlookmason, and one blow of the mallet sent the man, and bleeding, to the earth. It is difficult to understand why the Tiger did not use his knife in this emergency. Once more he crawled back up the embankment and began creeping forward. The struggle with the mason had been brief, much briefer than it takes to tell of it. "Pretty hard work, isn't it?" asked Bertie 6f Ganz. "It might be harder," replied Ganz, as he turned around so as to bring the other side of his face to ward Bertie. But he did not turn quick enough. Diamond Dick, Jr., had seen the five black marks -his sharp eye being easily able to distinguish the thumb mark as well as the marks made by the other four digits. ing the work ,of the masons. As soon as he saw what was taking place he turned in the direction of the engine. ''Hillner !''he shouted; ''lower away! lower away; man, 1 tell you!'' In front of Hillner, .separating him from the abutment, was a pile of debris. So far from heedfog the command of the superintendent he dropped down behind this breastwork and allowed the stone to its upward journey. Guardinas drew a revolver and muttered an imprecation when he found he could not use it upon Hillner. "Grant," he yelled, "why don't you take that man as I told you to do?'' It was Grant who was to capture Hllner when Bertie made his hostile move toward Ganz. "I can't," shouted Grant; "he is using his baud-

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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 15 aged hand to run the engine, and has me covered with a six-shooter!" Guardinas swore, in a mild way; and turned to ward the swinging stolle. A terrible sight met his eyes. Diamond Dick, Jr., was having a fierce battle with Ganz. It was a fight with knives, in midair, upon as inse cure a foothold as could possibly be. Creeping up from below, writhing like some huge snake over tJi.e sharp corner of the stone, was the 'I'iger of the Mesa In a110ther moment Bertie would be at the mercy of two of his enemies. Guardinas turned his revolver upon the ill-0111ened form of the Tiger. Before he conld fire, Hillner had caused the boom to swing around in such a manner that Guardinas was o n that side of the swinging stone opposite the Tiger, with Diamond Dick, Jr., between the super intendent and his intended victim. The boom swung around over the raging current < f the creek. This caused a s light jerk, which threw the Tiger farther down over the edge of the stone and almost flung Diamo11d Dick, Jr., from its top. "Yield!" cried Bertie, quickly recovering himself and clutching b y the wrist. was the grim reply, and then, by some peculiar accident, the fastening gave way and the stone, with those upon it, was dropped with a mighty splash into the waters of Carter's Creek. A p art of the hoisting tackle struck Diamon
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. .. .. DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. pushing rapidly along in the direction taken by Gan z and Guardinas. The trail was not difficult to follow, as Guardinas bad dropped the cards at frequent intervals, and Bertie's quick eye was not slow in finding them. After passi11g through the arroyo the trail followed the creek for a short distance, and then broke abruptly away from and into some rotky hills. On leaving the hills it entered a P l\ tch of timber a nd then came out on a kind of rocky As Bertie emerged from the timber he s aw something that caused him to pull in his horse and pro ceed more cautiously. Ahead of him, perhaps a hundred yard s he cou l d see a man lying on the rocks As he approached clo s er, he disc ov ered tha t this man was Ganz. He was perfectly motionless, and was lying, sprawled out,, on his back. What could have happened? was the question that instantly sped through mind. Had any harw befallen Guardinas? If not, why was he not within sight? Bertie took in the surroundi n gs with a quick eye. There was nothing to excite his suspicions, and he sp urred hi s horse forw a rd dismounting when within a few feet of Gan z As he reached the murderer's side and bent over him, he suddenly sprang up. ''Ah,'' cried Bertie, a revolver instantly finding its way into his hand, ''playing 'possurn, we re you? Hands up!" "Don't shoot!" cried Ganz, tossing up his arms; ''you have got the drop 011 me, and I cave, of COUJiSe. ' "Where's Guardinas ?" ''I don't know.'' "Don't lie to me!" said Bertie, threateningly. "I'm not lying to you "Didn't you know that Guardinas was following you?'' "No." "Why were y ou lying on the "My horse threw me and ran away." f "I don't seem to be to get you to tell .the truth, and I might as well stop trying. You 're my prisoner, Ganz.'' "Why do you make me a prisoner?" "I am going to turn y ou over to the sheriff to be tried for the murder of Hank Robinson, the freighter." I bad nothing to do with that job." "How did y ou get thos e marks on your face? "They're powder marks." ''There, y on needn't s a y anything more. You __ ,, Jus t then a pair of hairy arms encircled D i a,mond Dick, Jr., from behind, and he wa s held as in a vi s e He strugglied to fre e himelf, but in vain. He was in the grasp of that strange creatu r e, the Tiger of thl! Mesa, whom Bertie had thought to be in thl! bottom of Carter's Creek Our hero realized, now what wonderful strength the Tiger possessed. Had he so willed, the Tiger could have :flung the y outh headforemost upon' the rock s and dashed ou t his life. 'rhat he did not do so was a surpri s e to Bertie. "Ganz,'! cried the Tiger, with a hoarse chuckle, "om little trick worked to perfection Bring a rope and we'll tie him. He squirms like an eel." G anz appeared with a ropf! without del ay and 1 Bertie was bound while the Tiger held him. This done, he w a s dropped on the rock s a prisoner CHAPTE R VI. A LITTLE G.IANT POWDER. "You didn't e x p ect this m y little bantam, did you?'' queried the Tiger, looking down at Berti e with a n ugly gleam in hi s ey e s "1 expected a n ything a nd e v e rything at y ou r hand s.'' I'hen y ou will not b e surpris ed a t anything I may do.'' "No." "That' s plea sant and s a v e s a good deal o f argu-

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DIAMOND DICK. JR.-THE BEST WEEKLY. 11 ment. The fact i s Diamond Dick, Jr., you know al together too much for your own good." "Too much for your good, too.'' I "Don't worry about 1111. We'll take care of our s elves. You're in 1:11Y power now, and I could have cru:;hed you a moment ago a s though y on had been an eggs.hell." "You and Ganz and Hillner murdered that freighter," mid Bertie, looking straight into the Tiger's little black eye s "So we did, and how yon ever found it out i s a conundrum to me." "Well, I found it out, and it i s not necessary for me to explain how." Bertie had carried on his part 111 this conversati o n for the purpos e of obtaining some of a guilty knowledge of the freighter's murder from the Tiger. He had been more than st1cces:-;ful in this respect. "You s ee how it i s Ganz," said the Tiger, sav agely. "He knows all about it." "He doc s now, if he didn't before," returned G anz, rnurl y "The proper thing to do i s to s ilence him." And to make ameuable for another murder, eh? You think nothing of kilLing people. If it hadn't been for yon, Rob;n s on wouldn't have been killed." Nevertheless, he wa s k i lled, and the only way we c a n save our. elve .,; i s by getting deeper in. Look ye! I wa s to follow Diamond D i ck, Jr. and kill him in three day s I can do the j ob, s tay in the woo d s for two days longer an d then g o back to old Pitero." "You won't do anything of the kind while I'm able to prevent you." "'l'hen what do you propo s e to do?" "Get out of the country." "Diamond Dick, Jr., would have you nabbed be fore you fairly got s tarted. "What's the matter with leaving Diamond Dick, Jr., in the wood s t:ed up, while we get out of the wa y?" "The coyote s would g e t him." -"P trhap3.,, "The thing to do i s to put him out of the way uow ,, "I don't agree with you." "Your old camp is in this vicinity somewhere, isn't it?" "Yes. 11 "Well, I'm dev:li s h hungry. Let's go to the camp. get a mea l and dec i de after that what we will do w ; th the prisoner. "That suits me." "'rhen lead the way. I'll bring him and come right beh i nd you." The Tiger stooped down and picked up Bertie as though h e had been a child. G a nz .led off between the bowlders with which the mesa wa s strewn a nd finally came to a ravine. At one sid e of this ravine a ledge of rock projected several feet; beneath the ledge were signs of a habitat: on, and it was here that Ganz came to a halt. The Tiger dropped Bertie just under the ledge and the youth looked about him curiously. At one s : de, some distance away, was a small camp stove made of sheet iron; on a rocky shelf stooci a coffee-p o t and frying-pan, and against one of the walls hung a box w i th leather hinges. "So is the place where y ou and Hillner hung out while you were prospecting, eh?" queried the Tiger, looking about him "Yes." "It's not bad. When I lived on the mesa I was sati sfied with a hole in the ground. I didn't need a cook stove, then, for I ate my meat raw, and as for coffee-bah! I was a vampire--I drank blood. But all that is past now. Since I've lived with the Piteros I've learned to eat tortillas and chili concarne. I'm quite civilized, you see. What's ou the bill of fare, Ganz?'' Ganz opened the box that hung against the wall. "Bacon and coffee is all there is in the grub-box." "Well, dish it up, dish it up. I'm hungry." There were some pieces of wood by the stove, and Ganz put them in and lighted the fire.

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18 DIAMOND DICK. JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. In a f ew moments it was blazing brilJi ;ntly "That looks cheerful, at all events," said the Tiger, getting up and approaching closer to the stove. At that p articular moment, as Ganz 11ad turned to the grub box to get out the bacon there c:1me a tremendous explosion, and the air was filled with sand and d e bris As Bertie lay helplessly by, w ondering what had l1appened, he heard s ome one call his name. "Hello!" he r eturned, "who is iU" "Guardinas," was the reply, as tlie Spaniard ap peared through the s m oky mis t. "Is this your work, Guardinas ?" "Yes Your situa ti o n was desperate, and I was obliged to resort to de s p erate measures I hope they are not killed." "Who?" "Ganz and the Tiger. I would not like to ro b the la;v of its victims. But h ere-let me release you." It took but a few moments to free Bertie of his bonds, and he finall y stood up beside his friend, a free man once more. By this time the smoke had cleared away and the dust had settled so that the interior of the camp could be clearly seen. It was a queer sight that met the eyes of the two friends. CHAPTER VIL THE TALISMAN. Close to the spot where the stove had bE;en l a y the perfectly motionle ss. A ,short distance away lay Ganz, where h e had fallen upon his face with the piece of bacon, which he had just taken from tlre grub-box, in his hand. 1'They are stunned by the explosion, that's all," said Guardinas, after giving the two unconscious men a hasty "What caused the explosion?" "Giant-powder. I had thrust a cartridge in the stove. As soon as the fire reached it, of course it ex ploded.'' "I. followed our playing-card trail," went on Bertie, "but I didn't find you." "No, I found it to make m y self scarce for a while. When that stot1e fell into the river, I thought that it had been the death of the Tiger, but l found out very soon that it had not. While I was hurrying along in pursuit of Ganz, I t11onght I caught a glimpse of some one following me. At last I made sure of it and found that the man bel1ind was the Tiger, who was chasing -after me on foot, with the s peed of a deer. Now, there was no doubt in my mind but that you were pegging along some distance behind the 1 i'ger, but, as the Tiger was screening himself from obs ervation as much as possible, I did 11ot know bnt that yoll wonld come on withont see ing him, and that he would do you an injury in some way. "In order to this, if pos sible, I broke off from the trail I was following, aud made off in an .other direction, hoping the Tiger would follo w me, but he didn't. When I crept back, shortly afterward, to reconnoitre, I found that you had been captured, and overheard something of the c onversation that passed between the Tiger and Ganz. In their cold-blooded way, the two villains bad d e cided to eat something they concluded what they should do with y ou. For this purpose, the Tiger h a d suggested going to a camp, which, I took it, was somewhere near. "No w, in breaking from Gauz's trail I had pas sed up a narrow ravine and gone directly past this place, so it at once struck me that this was the camp to which they intended to come. I hurrie d back here ahead of them, dropped that gi ant-powder cartridge in the stove and got out of sight.,, "It was fortunate for 111e tha t you had that giant powder with you. '' ''I happened to have it 011ly by the merest acc1-den t." Bertie, walked to the side of the Tig er. "Do you not think his foot resembles tha t pl;ister model?" Diamond Dick, Jr. "It is a perfect fac-sim ile," returned iniis "There is no d oubt of the complicity of all three

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Dlf\.MOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 19 of our suspects in the murder of Robinson. Hello! what's this?" The Tiger's shirt was torn about the throat, and through the reut could be seen a small golden cross encircled by a hoop of the same metal. Around the golden hoop was engraved an inscrip tion i11 Spanish. 'I protect my owner from all harm,'" said Guadinas, translating the in s cription. "Why," he added, "that is a talisman!'. Bertie caught his friend by the arm and whispered in his ear: "Was it not a talisman that was stolen from Juan Pitero on the night he was murdered?" Guardinas gave Bertie a strange look. "Yes," he replied. Bertie drew his knife, stooped dowu an:'! cut the cord that secured the trinket about the Tiger's neck. "I will take possession of this," said he. Then he turned the unconscious Tige,r upon his side and swept away the dark hair from tlre back of his neck. "The youth gave one look and uttered an exclamati0n of satisfaction. "What is it?" asked Guardinas.' "Nothing," returned Bertie, quietly. "What's to be done now, senor?" Bertie picked up the rope that Guardinas had removeu from his wrists and ankles. "We will secure Gan7. and you may take him back to Carter's Creek to keep Hillner company." "You will go with me?" "No.,, "Why not?" "I have some business to transact with our friend, the Tiger." "Are you not going to tie him up?" Bertie shook his head. "From now on, senor," said Guardinas, warn in1llY, "you must beware of the Tiger. He knows that you hold his life your hands, and he will not hesitate to resort to desperate measures should opportunity present. '' "The opportu11ity will not present itself," replied Bertie, as he stooped down and bound the rope about Ganz's wrists and ankles. "Bring your horse, Guardiuas." The Spaniard went up the ravine a short dista nce and soon returned, leading his horse by the bridle. rrlie horse that Gan z rode must be somewhere near the place wliere I w ,1s set upon by the Tiger," said Bertie, "so we will throw the prisoner across yo11r hors e and you can pick up the other animal farther down." "Very good," said Guardinas; "however, I dislike to leave you ahme with that creature yonder--" "Nonsense! It is yonr duty to go back with Ganz.'' "But why not tie up the Tiger?" "I prefer to leave him as he is." "All right, senor; then I will go. Adios !" "Good-by," said Bertie. Guardinas disappeared down the ravine, and when Bertie turned once more in the Tiger's direction he found him sitting up with a vague, bewildered look in his eyes. "Is that yon, Ganz?" "No; I am Diamond Dick, Jr." "That can't be. Diamond Dick, Jr., was a prisoner, and you seem t o be free enough. Where's Ganz, I asked you?" ''Ganz is a prisoner and bas been sent back to Car ter's Creek." "Where's the Duke?'' This question startled Bertie. Could it b e possible that the explosion had, in any way unbalanced tl;e mind? ''What Duke?" "The Duke of Hoboken, of course. He bossed the Sing Sing prison when I escaped." ''Yon lived in Sing Sing, then?" ''Lived there! Lived there? Why, that's where I die! Ha, ha, ha! I adopted murder for a profession, in that hole. I became a thug, a blood-sucker, a ghoul! It was there I metamorphosed myself into a beast. How many degrees higher than a brute is a man? Let him strip off the garments of civilization,

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... 20 DIAMOND DICI(, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. live in a burrow in the hillside, capture his game and eat it raw-he will quickly degenerate into a brute." Be:.-tie listened to this incoherent harangue, and his wonderment grew upon him Could it be that this strange. creature was rehearsing a portion of his past history? "What crime did you commit that sent you to Sing Sing?" "Murder! That first taste of blood whetted my .appetite for human life." Suddenly pausing, he laid his hand upon his head; then, clutching his matted locks, he t11ri1ed his bloodshot e y es upward. "What's this? I never felt tliis way before. What's been done to me?" He looked toward Diamond Dick, Jr. "Where's Ganz?" he asked again, and this time he seemed more rational. "Ganz has been c aptured and taken aw ay." "Captured, captured!" For several minutes the Tiger sat on the grouud, mumbling to himself. "What was in the stove? he asked, finally. "Giant }Juwder." "Who pn t it there?" ''Guardinas." "Oh, he had a 11a11d in t'l1is, did he? I ought to have killed that fellow before. I'll do it yet. As for you, Diamond Dick, Jr., I told y ou some time ago that you knew too much. Ganz is n o t around to prevent me from doing with you as I see fit. Look out for yourself.'' Clutching his long, wicked-_looking knife in his right hand the Tiger threw himself on his knees an i began creeping toward Diamo'ud Dick, Jr. "Come another foot in this direction," Bertie, sighting across the barrels of his .44's, "and I fir e :rhe Tiger langhed in his chuckling, brute-like way. "I have a hide like an alligator," he sai d ; "it will turn yonr bullets as .though, they were mud-balls. If you d o not believe what I say, shoot and see. Bertie's forefingers were just flexing upon the triggers when the Tiger abruptly paused in his creeping aclvance an1 clutcl1eJ at his neck; then with a wild y ell he leapei. to his feet. "It's gone,'' lie sho11ted1 "gone!" and before Bertie c o uld make a move he had c'arted away and vallishecl am ong the r o cks. CHAPTER VIII. YAWCOB PLAYS A LONE HAND. Y.awcob was very much elated when lie saw Diamond Dick, Jr., ride off rigJit under the eyes of the 'l'iger without exciting a suspicion in the Tiger's mind. "You bed my life dot vas a mighdy shleek piz ness," muttered the Dutchman, as he put on Bertie's sombrero and looked out of the window for the fiftieth time. "Ya, ya, ya! Dot Dia111011d Dick, Jr., vas some great shakes, und don't you forged it!" Vawcob left the window again, sat down, laughed a little and then got up to h'3.ve another lookout. When he reached tl?e window, what was his surprise to find the Tiger looking in at him, not two feet away. The surprise clepicted in the faces of the men was intense. The Tiger had climbed up the a9ol.ie walls of the rauch building for a closer inspection of Diamond Dick, Jr. 's room. Realizing that he was being tricked, he dropped down and lJJade off at a run. "Donnerwetter!" growled Yawcob; "der shig vas all oop, now!" Kicking open the door, the Dutchman rushed downstairs and made for the corral. It took him but a moment to throw his saddle on Diamond Dick, Jr. 's horse, and away he galloped in the direction taken by the Tiger. But he might as well 11ave tried to follow a bird as to follow any trail left by the Tiger-for no trail was left. Yawcob proceeded by guess, and as he rode alo11g, expecting every mon1eut to come within sight of the Tige r, he was sudddenly stopped by a couple of men, who sprang into the trail directly in front of his J1orse. "Halt, senor!" cried one of the men, making a threatening gestnre with his drawn revolver. "Tousand tuyfels !" cried Yawcob. "Vat vas der madder mit you fell o ws, anyhow? Look oudt I'll run ofer yon yust so sure as I vas a foot high!" As the Dutchman showed fight, one of the men caught his bridle just as several more men filed out into the road from places of concealment among the bnshes. Yawcob was dumfounded.

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. DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 21 "Vat haf I done, eh? You vant to hold me oop, is dot id?'' "No," returned one of the men who had just come out of the bushes, "we don't want to hold you up, Diamond Dick, Jr. We want you for something else. We are Carlos Pitero's men. "Den you vas misdaken in der brand, my friends," replied Yawcob; "I am no more Diamond Dick, Jr., dan I am der Czar of Russia." "That's Diamond Dick, Jr. 's horse,'' said one of the men. "And I'd swear to those clothes anywhere," put in another. "He's trying to fool ns," said a third. "He's Diamond Dick, Jr., all right enongh." "I dell you dere vas some grand mishdakes," broke in Yawcob. "A suit of clothes uncl a horse don'd make me Diamond Dick, Jr.'' "Perhaps not," returned the spokesman, "but they are sufficient to put a noose around your neck." "Aber it ain'd enough to stretch der rope at der oder end of dot uoose, py yeeminy !" "We'll see about that. Carlos!" "Si, senor." "The riata !" Quick as a flash a noose was cast ab:)ut the Dutch man's ueck an0 pulled taut. Yawcob struggled to free himself of the encircling rope, but in vaiu. One of the stalwart Mexicans leaped up on his horse behind him and pinioned his arms to his sides. "Veil," panted YawcJb, "yo u fellers seem to ho1d der yoker und all der oder cards i11 der pack, and I t'row oop my hand. But look at dis-dose dree days vasn't oop, yet, efe11 if I vas Diamond Dick, Jr." "We h a ve an idea that you killed Juan Pitero, yourself.'' "Now you vas makin' some muels of yoursel_ ves. V'y should Diamond Dick, Jr., kill Juan Pitero, or anybody else, eh?" Nobody answered this question, and i11 the brief silence that followed, the hoofbeats of horses were heard alo11g the road. "It's Pitero coming!" said the spokesma11. The words were hardly uttered wheu two horsemen rode into sight, and gradually approached the little group in the trail. They were Carlos Pitero aud Romero. "W l iat are you doing" cried Pitero, pulling up his horse. "We have capture1 Diamond Dick, Jr." Where is he?" ''Here, on this horse." Pitero laughed grimly. "It is well we happened along just as we did. Otherwise yon might have hung an innoceut man." "Isn't this the fellow?" ''No," replied Romero. ''Release him," said Pitero. The stalwart Mexican who had been holdi11g Yaw cob in his arms .sprang to the ground. The Dutchman tossed the noose off his neck, and spurred his 0 1 alo11g the trail. When he arri: ved opposite Pitero he came to a stop. "Yo11 vas goiu' to get into more as a bushel of droubles," said he, "if you dry to treat Diamond Dick, Jr., as you vas goin' to treat me. He yo11't J1af it, und more clan like as not he viii vipe you all oudt-so don't dake any shances." Havi11g thus delive red himself, Yawcob set off at a gallop . As soon as he was out of sigbt of t':e Mexicans he stopped, drew a silver dollar from his pocket and held it betw een his thumb aucl forefinger. "Vich vay I ought to go, I don't kuow," he tered, "aber I bed you I dou't vant any more giose shances like I bad yust 11ow. Here goes-heads I keep on und dails I back.'' coin \ \ eut spi1111ing into the air and Yawcob canght it in his palm. "Heads, py yiminy Dot meaus keep on." He put spnrs to his horse, and c ontinued along th.:! dimly-de fined trail. while Yawcob's brain might been a trifle dull concerning some tliiugs, h e had an acute eaf, aud he, had 11ot gone far before he heard sounds ahead of him that ca11sed him to pull up rath.e<1: abruptly. He w a s traveliug through a patch of mesquite and palo-verde with a s pri 11 kling of greasewood bushes. Not a great distance ahead of him the trail made a slnrp angle and Yawcob WgS iu ignorance of what was takiug place on the other side of the tum. "Now," lie muttered, "I vi sh I vas cross-eyed, so I could se e around dot c orner.'' Riding off the trail, he dismounted, fastened the to a tree, and advanced cautiously on foot. On reaching the bend iu the trail, he carefully parted the bushe;; aud peered through. One glance sufficed him. \

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I 22 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. Springing up, he started back toward his horse at a run. The riata was attached to the saddlebow. He quickly unleased it and retraced his steps toward the bend in the trail. He did not return to the place where he had stood before, but advanced along the road. Reaching the turn, he whirled the noose of the riata about his head and then let it fly. CHAPTER IX. FINE WORK. Hillner was a clever rogue, but he allowed himself and his partner to make a mistake by coming back to their work on the bridge wearing clothes that had been stolen from the dead freighter's load. When Grapt finally succeeded in capturing him at the time the block of stone fell into the river, he was securely bound hand and foot, and carried 'to the toolhouse; here a man with a Winchester rifle was set to watch him, for Grant did not propose to take any chances and allow his man to get away. No sooner was Hillner landed in the toolhouse than his active mind began to cast about for some means of escaping. The toolhouse was small, probably six feet by ten, and was filled with hammers, chisels, picks, shovels, trowels. and everything els e that was of service on the work. Hillner lay close to one of the frame walls. Near him was a mason's trowel, a nd his thoughts at once centered upon that sharp-edged, diamond-shaped tool. It should give him his freedom. Billner's guard sat close to the door upon an up turned keg. He held his rifle across his knees, and studiousl y refrained from holding any conversation whatever with the prisoner. He glanced toward Hillner occasion a lly, but that was all. An hour or two of this kind of work made the guard a little weary. He wanted some way to pass the time, and drew a voluminous letter from his pocket a ud began reading it. This was Hillner's opportunity. He managed to work the trowel under him, with his arms, and to slip it into a crack s o that a portion of the sharp edge remained abov
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DIAMOND DICK. JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 23 grimly.t "lf I do a little fine work now, I 'can get Ganz out of that fellow's clutches." Hillner waited quietly in 'the brush until Guardinas rode past; he then stepped noiselessly into the road a11d atte111pted to l'ift Ganz from the horse His design was a daring one. Had he succeeded in it, Guardinas might Jrnve ridden for some without suspecting that his prisone r was anywhere else than on the led horse. But Gans was tied to the hors e, and as Hillner lrnd no knife, he was compelled to forego his purpose. In order to work unhampered, he had stood his rifle agains t a tree beside the trail. Thinking he heard a sound of labored breathing behind him, Guardinas tnrued hastily in his saddle. Seeing his danger, Hillner cleared the distance that separated him from hi s gun at a bound. .Crack, crack, crack! Guardiuas ready revolver was in his hand rn a jiffy, and th_ree bullets pierced the murderer's clothing, but left him unscathed. "Carraca !" growled the Spa11iard; "only one revolver, and three shots wa sted." Meantime Hillner had lost not a moment in placing himself behind a tree. From this point of vantage, he could threate11 Guardinas with his Winches ter, and run very little risk himself. "Come out, Hillner!" cried Gtiardinas. "You see, I know you, and it is impossible for yon to hide from me. ' I am not hidi11g from you. I got behind this tree simply to g e t out of range of your confounded bullets. "You might as well come out and give yourself up.'' "Never!" I kuow you had a hand in the murder of Robinson, the freighter, and are just as guilty as Ganz here.'' "And you tell me this, and then expect that I will come out and give myself up!" "Certainly." "The murder of that freighter is a job that some-b ody will swing for." "Exactly." "\Veil, I'd rather be shot than hanged, any day." "Take your choice. "Look here, Guardinas! You act as though you held the drop 011 this situation, but you're mistaken. I've got a Winchester here, and--" Crack, crack, crack Just then Hill11er injudiciously exposed a portion of his body, and the wary Guardinas fired his last three shots. The 111 urtlcrer a stinging wound in the \vri s t, that made him almost furious. "I had 110 wish to deal harshly with you, Guar di11as, but you have forced me to. Ride on down the road and leave Ganz where he i s." "Not much." "Ride on d own the road, I tell you, or J drop yon ant of your saddle." "Then ao your dropping! When I ride off down the road Ganz g o es with me." "It's none of my husiness if you make a fool of yourself. If you 're not around that bend in the trail by the time I count three I shall fire!" Guardinas mar1e no answer, and Hillner began to count. "One! two! 'l'his is yom last chance, Guardi11as A t that juncture, the noose of Yawcob's riata swirling through the air, and settled about Hillner's shoulders. A second later, and the murderer was lying on his back 011 tl1e ground. Yawcob11os t no time in rushing forward and dropping down with his knee on the fellow's breast. CHAPTER X. 'l'HE Tf\BLES TURNED RrtTURNED . "Who are you?' asked Guardinas. "I'm a Dutchman, und my name vas Yawcob. Who yon vas yourself?'' M y name is Guardinas--" "Py dunder How many dimes ve do dings ven ve don'd kuow vat ve're doing already. Dot vas my fix yust now.'' "I don't understand you "V'y, it vas just so blain as mud. You vas Guardi 11as, hey?" ''Yes.'' "Vell, I vas Yawcob-see? Und dere you vas! Gif me some rope und I vill die dis man oop pooty quick.'' Hillner was quickly bound aud dragged out into the trail. t

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.. 24 Dlf\.MOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. ''If I am not mistaken," remarked Guardinas, "you are wearing Diamond Dick, Jr. 's clothes." I "So I vas; und I vant to dell you von ding-dose clothes vas a hoodoo. Ven you get into dose clothes you get into more as a bushel of droubles-yah, dot is so, you bed my life." "You are acquainted with Dimnpnd Dick, Jr.?" "Vell, I should shmile dot I vas. He told me 'pout you, und I reckon if I hadn't got here veu I did, I might yust as vell not have come, eh?" "That man wouldn't have dared to kill me!" "He looked like pizness, anyhow. Vat I vas goin' to say, v,as dis-haf you seen Diamond Dick, Jr., lately?" "I left him about an hour ago.'' "Vas he alone?" "No; the Tiger was with him." "Donnerwetter Vouldn't I like--" Yawcob didn't finish that sentence. He was interrupted by a demoniacal howl, simul taneously with which the rriger of the Mesa leaped out into the trail, whirling a club about his head. "Look out!" shouted Guardinas. Yawcob attempted to draw a revolver, but the club descended on bis head, and he dropped like a log to the ground. At that instant Diamond Dick, Jr., tore around the bend in the trail, his horse at full speed. The youth took in the sitnation at a glance, and pulled in his panting steed just as the Tiger started for Gnardinas. "There is not a cartridge left in my revolver, Dia mond Dick, Jr.," said Gnardinas, quietly. Bertie dropped his bridle reins and was on the point of drawing his weapons when the 'l'iger threw his club-straight at him. The youth was almost unseated. Before he could recover himself the Tiger had drawn his long knife and was rushing toward Yaw cob. The Dutchman had recovered his senses. He was sitting on the ground, and when he saw the Tiger advancing toward him with murder glittering in his little black eyes, he drew his revolver and fired. The Tiger staggered. Again Yawcob fired, and this time the Tiger threw up his hands and fell on his face in the trail. "Dot's vat I call shootin' in self-defense," said Yawcob, dropping his revolver and rubbing his head. "You did exactly right, Yawcob," said Bertie, dismounting and examining the Tiger. ''This creature wris a bloodthirsty wretch and deserved death." "Is he really dead?" queried Hillner. "Yes." "Tell me, has he a circle of gold about his neck, with a cross in the center of it?" ''Is this what you mean?" asked Bertie, drawing the talisman from his pocket. "I guess so-I never saw it. After the Tiger killed Robinson he swore he would get a talisman that would save him from the responsibility of the crime. He said that no one would be able to harm him while he wore it." Bertie smiled contemptuously. "Did he say where he intended to get his talisman ?11 "No." Dropping the talisman into his pocket, Bertie turned to the Dutchman. "How came yon here, Yawcob ?" Yawcob explained, with now and then a word from Guardinas. r "So Hillner must have given your man Grant the slip, Gnardinas," said Bertie, turning to the Spaniard. "It looks like it. 'But how did yon happen to get here as you did?'' "Shortly after yon left me in the ravine the Tiger was preparing to attack me, but suddenly discovering that his talisman w a s gone, he sprang 11p and darted away. I thought he might follow you and make yon some trouble, su I secnred my horse as quickly as I could, and started atter him. That's all there is to tell. Yon know the rest." Bertie stopped abruptly, and bent his head. "What's the matter?" askt!d Guardinas. "There's a party of men coming tllis w ay. I can heard the hoofbeats of their horses as well as the sound of their voices.'' "So can I! \I\/ ho are they?" "That's a conundrum which it wollld be pretty hard to answer, at this particular moment." "Py yiminy, I know! It vas der Piteros-dey're comin' dis vay; shkin oudt, poys, shkin oudt!" Yawcob started down the road to secure his horse. As he reacht!d the bend in the trail he halted, turned around and ran back. "What's the matter?'' queried Bertie. "It's der Piteros, dot's vat's der madder." "They will hurt nobody."

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Dlf\MOND DICK9 JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 25 "Don't you fool yotirsclf! Dey're after you, al ready. Git oudt, I dell yon! Shkip so quick as nefer vas !" "Too late, Yawcob. At that instant the Hll!re they are!" Piteros dashed around the bend. As s oon as they saw the little party in the trail ahead of them, they gave vent to a louj yell. CHAPTER XI. CONCLUSION Bertie, Yawcob, and Gua.rdinas stood side by side in the center of the trail. The two former held revolvers in their hands, and Guardinas had possessed himself of the Winchester c arried by Hillner. Although small in numbers, they preseuted a for midable appearance, and Pitero and his followers brought their h o rses to a stand. For a moment deep silence settled over the two opposing Old Carlos Pitero was taking note of the situation. Two prisoners whom he did not know, and the Tiger, wo11nd<;(l or dead! "Diamond !:>ick, Jr.," spoke up Pitero, "what about that of yours?" "The three days are not up." "You couldn't do the work you have laid out for yourself in thirty days-or thirty years, for that matter.,, "I beg your pardon, senor. I have accomplished it already.'' An inc red 1tlo11s la11gh went up from the Piteros. "Diamond Dick, Jr.," said Pitero, stopping the c ommotion in his ranks with a gesture of the hand, s ince the fandango grave doubts concerni11g your good intentions have sugges ted themselves to us.'' As he spoke Pitero kept a wary, expecta11t eye on the motionless figure of the Tiger. "There is no doubt at all of my good intentions," returned Diamond Dick, Jr. "What object would I have in mixing myself up in this matter except to save an innocent man from death?" "On the night my s o11 was murdered I asked you a question and you did not answer it." "Then it was an oversight on my part. Why did 011 not ask the q u estion a second time?" "The exciting nat11re o f the events mus t be my excuse. Since the fandango I have had oppor tunity to think the matter over." "What was the question?" asked Bertie, impatiently. "I asked you why yo11 had come to the fandango without havi11g been invited." "And I did not auswed" "Y 011 did not." "Well, I will answer it now. Understa Cling that the Tiger of the Mesa lived at your ranch I went there to see him. It happened that the fandango was on at the time I arrived. I went into the house with the intention of announcing myself to you and pro claim ng my m = ssi o n. Before I could do so, the tragedy had taken place." "Romero!" called out P i tero. Romero rode to the old man's side, and for some time they talked together in low tones. At last Pitero turned toward Diamond Dick, Jr. "'vVe have come to the conclusion," said he, "that we can't accept your st<1tement." "What moti ve would I have in making a mis statement?,' "To shield yourself. We think it possible that you, yourself, murdered Juan." At this remark Bert:e could not refrain from giving vent to a low laugh. "What would my motive be?" he asked. "We didn't look for any motive," returned old Carlos, very much angered by Bertie's laughter; "we simply take the ev!dence as it stands .,, "The ev i dence a gainst me," broke in Guardinas, "is stronger than it is against him." ''You will meet your deserts in due time," growled Piteru "I can set this matter at rest without a moment's delay,'' sa i d Bertie; "the man that murdered your son Pitero, lies tbere !" Bertie pointed toward the prostrate form of the Tiger. "What! The Tiger of the Mesa?" "Yes." "Is he dead?" "He is." "Who killed him?" "Py y 1miny, I did,,, spoke up Yawcob, "und don't you forget dot, eider." A fierce, resolute look cap1e into the faces of all the Mexicans.

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26 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOY.5' BEST WEEKLYo "The Tiger;,\ as killed-shot by Yawcob here, in self-defense.'' "And now you lay upon him the murder of my son.'' "I do!" "Ca11 you prove what you say?" "Certainly." Diamond Dick, Jr., took fr u m h:s pocket the gold talisman. At sight of it au iuvoluntary exclamation dropped froii1 old Pitero's lips. "My son's ta! ism an Where did you oet it?" "' "From the Tiger. It was tied about his neck. If I am not mistake11, you missed it from your sou's body hut a few moments after he ''as murdered." ''I will trouble you for that, senor." "I have no right to keep it from you." Bertie tl:e trinket to Romero, who deftly caught it, and handed it to Pitero. ''You have other proofs?'' queried the latter. "Yes." Advancing t.o the Tigers' side, Bertie th re .1 the matted hair from his ueck. At this phice the thick hair had protected the skin from sunburn, and it was n o t so dark ns that of the rest of his body. On the back of the 11eck was a \:-shaped sc:1r. "'You will remember," went 011 Bertle, "that 011 tl1e night of the tragedy I called your attention to Juan Pitero's deformed finger and the talon-like nail which had dug horn the body of thie murderer, who ever he small piece of d
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DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 27 Bertie and hi s fri e nds returned it-all with no Bertie's quick eye took in the revolver which he c a sualties on either side. held in his hand; the weapon was clutched by the W hen they c ame close enough, the Mexicans threw barrel, and Romero }Vas dotJbtkss intending to use thems elve s from their horses and brought the fight the stock upon our hero's head. to clos e quarters. "Ah! that's your game, is it?11 muttered the youth, Old Car los and Romero made for Bertie. drawing one oi his own revolvers and cl .utching it in Carlo s was in the lead. a like manner. "You infernal Americana !11 he shouted; "we Romero essayed to catch Diamond Dick, Jr., about have you now. \;\!'ill y ou surrender? Will you--" the waist. Pitero had struck at Bertie's face with his clinched The latter understood his purpose, and waited fist. until he had come quite close, then leaped high into In a twinkling the youth parried tlle bl o w and the air and gave the hand that held the revolver a deftly tripped Pitero b ackward over his e x tended terrific kick. foot The revolver dropped from Romero's grasp. ''You can treat him that way because he i s an old Again alighting on his feet, Bertie followed up his man," hi s sed Romero, "but I'll show you a trick temporary advantage with su ch a blow from the worth two of that." clubbed weapon in his hand that the Mexican was "Because he was an old man,'' returned Bertie, "I tumbled in the trail, completely knocked out. Jet him off easil y As for you, look out for yourself." "The fight is ours," cried Bertie, exultantly, and Romero launched out with a blow straight from hardly had the words left his lips when a party of the shoulder, horsemen came into sight around the bend in the Had it fall e n as he had intended it should fall, trail. Diamond Jr., would have gone down like a They were Grant and a number of picked men steer under the butcher's hammer. from the bridge, half a dozen, all told. B ertie, howev e r, dropped on his knee, and the Yawcob had seated himself on a rock and was fill M e xican s fis t passed over his head. ing a pipe preparatory to taking a bit of comfort Romero had put so much force into the blow that after his hard struggle. he was thrown viol e ntl y forward. Guardinas was looking after the safety of the pris-Springing up quickly, Bertie caught him under oners, and Bertie was waiting for Grant and his men. the chin with a knockout bl ow. "What' s the matter here?" asked Grant. Romero was doubled up and hurled backw a rd off "Der madder vas come und gone ag'in," replied his feet. Yawcob. "Ve're vaitin' for more Greasers." For a brief space he lay where he had fallen, and "We've had a bit of a scrimmage," said Bertie, Bertie had time t o help Yaw c ob out of a bad "but its' all over with now." with a couple of antagonists, and to return in time "Thunderation I this Jooks like a pattlefield." to meet Romero, once more. Guardinas now came forward. "How goes it, Guardinas?" cried Bertie. "How did Hillner manage to escape from you, "Two do wn!" Grant?" asked the Spaniard. "Good; so have I!" "That's something that nob ody seems to know." "I haf von oop," y elled Yawcob, "und dot's me!" "You had him properly ?" At least seven Mexicans had gone into the fight, "Yes; we "put him in the toolhouse and I set and there were now not more than four more to be Gormley to watch him." dealt with. "Gormley's a good man Was he armed?" Had Pitero and his friends used their weapons "He had a Winchester." there is no doubt what the outcome of such an un"What d o es Gormley have to say?" even battle would have been ; but your average Mexi-''Nothing; but the last thing he remembers was can 15 a poor man with his fists, and men reading a letter. When he came to himself he found proved no exception that he was tied and gagged, and that Hillner was "One more try at you!" gritted Romero, rushing gone. Just as soon as we discovered the prisoner's towar d Bertie. escape I picked up all the available horses we could

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I 2& DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. find ai1d started in pursuit. I see you have Hillne,r over there?" "Yes; he came along this toad, anq tried to do a little work and got captured for his pains;" "You have Girnz, too?" ''Yes; and the 1'iger. Have two of your men take the prisoners up in front of them on their horses." "Whal's to be done with the Tiger?'' "I want him, senor." It was old Carlos who voiced the words, and he was very meek and humble. "I am glad to see," replied Bertie, "that you have been thrashed into a better spirit. But you are not through with me yet. You said a short time ago that you thought I had murdered your son, Juan. \Vas that a lie or not?'' Bertie 100,,ked the old man squarely in the eyes. "It-it-was a lie." "I thought so. Now, before all these people, t e ll me who it was that really killed your son?" "The Tiger of the Mesa." "Am1 Eririque Guardinas had nothing to do with it?" "Nothing at all." "Now, the11, have I, or have I not, won my bet?" "You have wou." "Very well-that's all I want of yon. Take your people and get out of here-ci.uick !" Old Carlos was thorougl11y subdued, and he and his people lost 110 time in starting down the trail. 'l'hey cRr1'i"ed the dead 15ody of the Tiger with them. Guarclinas suddenly whirled about and caught Bertie by the hand. . "I shall never forget what you have done for me, amigo; mio." "Tush! It was only what one man, with any sand at all, would have d o ne for another." That night Bertie and Yawcob parted with Guardinas, and rode into Tucson and turned their two prisoners over to the sheriff of Pima County. Of that strange creature, known as the Tiger of tile Mesa, a true account of whose taking off I have endeavored to give in this brief chrotiicle, stories are still extant iu southern Arizona and northern Mexico Whet his real name was and where he originally came from are mysteries that will never be solved. His partners in crime, Ganz and Hillner, were duly tried for the murder of Robinson1 the freigbtt:r. Through evidence which Dia111ond Dick, Jr., was able to put into the prosecuting attorney's hands, .their guilt was clearly proved; but as it develope d that the Tiger had done the killing, the other two being concerned in the robbery merely, they were sent to Yuma for a long term, and did not receive the extreme penalty of the law. A few weeks after he l eft Tucso11, Diamond Dick, Jr., heard that Juan Pitero's widow, with all the inconsistency that distinguishes her sex, h a d quietly fled from the Piteros and placed her life and happiness in the hands of Enrique Guardinas. "Yawcob," said Bbrtie, as they stood in the dep o t waiting for the train that was, as our hero. thought, to take him out of Arizona, "how about that little Dutch girl you told me about wl1en I saw you last?'' "She vas Mrs. Yawcob alretty, und she shtays py Maricopa vile I drive shteers und make money var dot leetle home ve vas gain' to buy vou of dose days, eh?'' Bertie shook the Dutchman's hand. "You're a nervy fellow, Yawcob, a11d l hope you will have all the success that you deserve. I trust we shall meet again.'' "Me, too, you bed you. G oot-pye, Bertie." And so they separated, Yawc o b to go back to his cattle driving on the mesa s and Bertie to continue his adventurous wanderings. THE END. Next week's issue ( No .)OO) will contain "Dia mond Dick, Jr. 's Daring (Drift; or, Under Water Through Devil's Gulch." That drift was as brave a I deed as the young hero was ever called upon to perform. How brave it was you cannot appreciate unlt! s s you read all about it in the thrilling story to be printed next week.

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. / "W hoopu Clar ther road! Look out in front thar It's a comin' like a cyclone!" "What's a comin'?" "Ther new contest, of course. Wake up, ye varmints, and sound yer rattles fer a close contest." So spoke Handsome Harry the other day. The old Serpent was pretty near right, too, wasn't he? Look on page 3l, if you don't know what a dandy prize you have a chance for. The Capture of Red Mike, the Bank Burglar. (By Harry Aldrich, Ill.) I had bought a new automobile and I did not know bow to ruu it. It was the first automobile owned in Richmond, Illinois. A man it1 the crowd volunteered to show me how to do it. He rau the automobile arouud in a circle a few times, and suddenly a man ot1t of the crowd yelle d that the mau in the automobile was Reel Mike the bnn k burglar. He started the automobile south. The detective found a horse already saddled, and be jumped on and chased the automobile. The detective was gaining slo wly on him. The detective shouted for him to bait. But he wou1d not. Red Mike talked kindly to me. We had just reached a stretch of timber when Red Mike made ready to jump. Just as be jumped I stuck my foot out and tripped and tben jumped on him and pinned him to the ground. I couldn't have h e l d him much longer, but the detective came and put handcuffs on him. We rode back to towu. I found that after watching Red Mike run t11e automobile I knew how myself. Red Mike was turned over to officers and sentenced to twenty years in Joliet. There was a reward of $5,000 for the capture of Red I taking half and the detective the other. I was quite a hero for a long time. A Fight With a Tramp. (By Ed Snell, Colo.) One day in July, I gor, I went out hunting with my dog Frisky. I had a new breech-loading shotgun and an horse pistol. As I was crawling under a fence to get into a field.' I heard a voice call to me to stop from the road behind me. Looking back into the road, I saw an ugly and dirtylooking tramp looking at me. "What do you want?" I said, noting that be was not very big if it came to a fight. ''That gun and p i s tol of yours," he said, coolly. I turned and ran for the creek which was not very far away, and Frisky gave. a bark and followed me . My father was working by the creek, aud I ran for him as fast as I could go, forgetting that I had a gun and pistol with me. The tramp started after me and soon caught up to me. He grasped me by the collar and said: "Hold on, young fellow," and threw me on the ground. I have been learning to box for some time and I alll also a good wres tler. I turned over under him, and with my pocket-knife in my fist I struck him on the forehead and dazed him. I called to my father as loud as I could aud then crawled out from under the tramp who seized me and we began to fight. I struck him with my fist, with my pocketknife in it several times. Then I saw my father coming and called to him. The tramp pulled my pisto l from my belt, and hit me with the butt end, and I was knocked senseless. When I came to my senses again I saw the tramp lying on the ground with his hands tied together with bis suspenders, which were made of rope. I was in bed for a week, and the tramp was taken to jail. I think it was a pretty ex-citing time, don't you? When the Guard Slept. (By Henry P. Farley, Texas.) In the spring of 1773, just as the last rays of the setting sun were gilding the loftiest peaks of Laurel Ridge -a range of mountains in the northwest portion of what is now known as the State of Virginia-a party of way: farers halted on the summit of one of the lower hills of the chain and immediately set about preparations for encamping for the night. 'rhe party alluded to numbered ten persons, counting greal and small, black and white. The leading person age of this number was a large, stoutly-built man, about thirty-five years of age, with rather strongly marked features, characterized by a frank, manly, honest expression. He was accompanied by bis wife, three children, bis wife's sister and four negro servants. Besides the in dividuals mentioned, there were ten horses, on five of which, when the party came to a halt, were mounted the

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.. 4' .... . .. I .. . .30 DIAMOND DICK, JR.-THE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. \-vlfe, 11.er s ister t: e three children. and two female si!rwntsof the negro race. The other horses were loaded with provisions and such articles a s were indispensable to a family about to settle in a new country. The fire was soon made, and supper soon got under way. After eating supper, the party being tired they soon retired to rest-all but one of the male neg roe s whose duty was to sit up and guard a gainst Indians half the night, then the other :-,al up tl : e rest But.along about ten o'clock, being sle epy, be sl ept. About twelve o'clock Indians could be seen c reeping along to\\'ard tbe camp-as they came up behind the guard who was asleep one o f them brained him with his tomahawk, but as bis body fell it woke up the man'ey wife, who quickly woke her husband and woke up the other negro. They got their rifles and raised the tent flap easily and looked out. They fired at the India n s and shot three of them. The two men bounded out on the re maining Indians and killed them with the butts of the heavy rifles and b oth stood guard the balance of the nig h t. No m u re Indians appeared, s o they buried the black the next morniug, glad that i t was no wor s e and moved on their way. How I Caught a Thief. ( By Albert Schien Georgia.) One Saturday night, as I was walking up the street I noticed a large crowd of people, mo s tly negroes, running up the street and yelling as loud as they could. I ran up a n d mingle d w ith the crowd. It did not take me loug t o find out what the troubl e w a s A raggedlydressed negro boy about si x teen or seveuteen years old had stolen a watch from a jew elry s tore, and oue of the clerk s was at the head of the crowd, about four feet behind the fugi tive, yelling: ''Stop thief!" with all his might. A few polic e men h a d joined in the chase, but could not keep up with the crowd . Just then something happe n e d The negro suddenly wheeled 'around and with an upraise d knife jumped on the clerk, who was right at hi s h e e ls, and cut a long gash acros s his left c heek. With a groan, the unfortunate clerk dropped face down w ard upon the side\rnlk. All this had happened in a n in stant. The clerk was carried to a drug store, and the c rowd which had kept increasing, started after the n egro The hundreds of people were running around yelling more like a b and of esc a ped lun a tics. Just the n t w o poli c emen, who were w alking down the s treet, s aw the 11egro running toward them, and h earing the peopl e yelling, "Stop thief!" and, "Kill the nigger!" they both pulled out their clubs and getting oirectly in front of the negro, one of the p o licemen dealt t h e n egro a blow across his head, and he f e ll to the ground with a groa n But while the p e opl e w e re rushing up to s ee the "1egro they wer e as' onish t d to sec him jump up and rush into a ne a rby rest aurant. Immediately the place was sur rounded ; a bout a do z en p ol i c emen enter ed the place, while two remained outside to kee p the crowd from ru s h ing in. I was n o w s tanding a lit tle b ack from the crowd when I heard a slight nois e a bov e m y head, and looking up I beheH the negro raising a win dow about twelve feet from the g1 ound. Looking down a moment to s e e if he was watched, he l e t himself o ,ut of t :e window and jumped to the ground. I bad a Jong, b a,y stick with me and as the negro got up to run, I pushed tl::\e stick between his legs and he fell to the ground. I pounce d upon him and several people who saw me catch him came to help rue In a minute he was haudc uffed by a policeman an d taken to jail. Lost in a Mine. ( B y Philbert Truj ello, Col.) In the y ear I901 I was w Jrking in a coal mine four miles west o f Trinidad. As I was ne w to the job, I couldn't tell one place from the other. I wa s sent to. tell the track-layers to come down an 1 lay some tr\lcks on the tunnel. The place where I had to go was C4. I went on and eutered C3, an ol d entry where there was not a hum: m being. I walke d about fift y yards and went in a short cut and then in an other olrl entry, wh e re if my l ight had been blown out I could never have g o t out in all the clays of m y life. I mean tl 1at I woulrln t be out aliv e, for if I had whistle d or halloed a s loud a s m y l11ngs would hav e helped me nobody would have heard me, only mice, which were very nume rous the re. So I walked in that old entry'' to and fr o and couldn t find any place to go out. I found the place at la s t and went out through the short cut into C3, when my lamp was out of oil. I got it out of my c ap. It :-,lipped from m y hand and uropped. But by thi s time men w e r e l ooking a ll o ver the mine for me for it h a d b e en about three since I had left the bos s and I was a bout b r eaking my bea d of the b lows I bad r e ceive d 011 the w a lls try m g t o get out in the dark, but at l as t I wa s sitting do w n re sting, for I had lost all hop e of getting out. Suddenly I heard some ste p s I straighte ned up an d s aw a li g ht. I kep t still, thinking that I w o uld excite or scare who ever it was He was walking very fas t. He was a bout ten feet from me, then I knelt down in front of him and shouted as loud a s I could, but he was scared. He wanted to run, but be couldn t. for I had grabbed )Jim by the legs I found out that he w a s lo o kiu g for me Jf it bad1\'t beeu for him I wouldn't be writing this incident., Around the World in Five Minutes. A T ALE R EVEALING THR SWIFT WORKINGS OF THE BRAIN. ( By Geo. G. Allen. N. Y.) "Just n ine o'clock." A man as b e n111ttered these words blew out the light and rolled into bed. He was a bard-working man, aud conseqnen t ly in a f e w se c ond s was in tbe land of nod What happened there? Pernse In a far Western tow n this man wa s standing on a hotel piazza w hen a voice called out, "Da nce, t ender foot!" trnd crack! followed a pi s tol shot. Next he fo1111d hims elf on the bigl: es t p eak in the Rock es wres tling wit h an Indian, o f w l : om h e g a i ned maste r y ancl p i tche d i nto the Mi s s i s s ippi River. From there he w alked into 'Fris co, where he boarded a steamer bound for J a pan,

PAGE 32

. ,. .. .. DIJ\MOND DICK. JR."-TtlE BOYS' BEST WEEKLY. 31 bidding au revoir ,to America. Tom (we call him) was next a ware of being iu a strange land where yellow dwarfs all around wore 'trolleys" (pigtails). He now began to feel pretty hungry when a fellow tourist from the United States also, appeared and gave him a chew of tobacco to reliev'e that cravi ug and became Tom's compagno n de VOJ'agc Of course, this was China, and our two dreaming pards continued their trave ls into Siberia, north of there, where hey were captured by Cossacks and thrown into the prison mines, where they had to work h a rd or get a t1ouncing. "Nihilists!" tney heard a mfln mutter. "Tried to kill the Czar, eh?" By some means, it is uot known, Tom and his pard es c aped from there and next had to con tend with a pack of hungry wolv es, in the driving snows, the beasts crawling over one another to get at the hu mans and eat em up. It wa s hotter tha n an amateur journalism contest by fi}r. Our two pards now m a de a jump, that would be a t Sam Patch a number of miles (one of the strange caprices of the laud of nod), an d landed in Mos cow, Russi a where they b e h e ld themselves striking the great bell and yell ing, ''Bring the cow s from pa sture, boys. No matter if they are mo ss -cows they give g ood milk." Tom thinking it the Am e rican Independence bell of ' '76,' shouted: 'Ring out, oh, bell, and soimd Liberty forever Here for some myste ri o us re aso n, Tom's pard left him and Tom continued his jout!ney do\Vn the steppes of Russ ia to the ''City of the D ogb," Turkey, where he said he wa s going to tell the Sultan abont the nature of the streets that the latter thought were cleau, when they w e re not. But s ome oue s topp e d him, s aying: ''Hold! you have nothiug against us now, for Miss Stone has been released, and is tod a y 011 her way to the United States." At .last Tom arrived iu London, Eng land, where he was arrested and e scaped again, the cau s e being for knocking down a nobleman who ins ulted him. Another fanciful freak of the land of 11od is that Tom managed to cross the ocean without seeing a bit of water, it may have been by wireless telegraphy. Any way, he woke up in New York City, his terminal, and found himself lying ou the floor instead of the bed. He jumpe d up a11d lighted a lamp, and thinking it near morning, he gazed at the clock on the mantel. But, be hold! Instead it was 9 :05 p. m. "Great Scott!" he cried. "I've been around the world in five minutes." Moral-There are two sides to every life, but the aver age people know but one. LETTER FROM A PRIZE WINNER . Providence, R. I., May 28, 1902. Messrs Street & SmithG .entlemen: Pleas e accept my thauks for the three books which I won in a contest conducted by the DrA:r.,:OND DrcK WEEJ{LY. I enjoy reading them very much. Yours truly, Enw W. Ev:.1uiso?1. Do You Want ... .. A COMPLETE . FIS6IN6 ASSORTMENT? Look on the Back Cover of No. 293 for a Picture and Descrlptiofl of One . If you enter this contest you will have a chanc e for the finest and most complete assortment of Fishing Tackle ever offered. 1 COMPLETE ASSORrMENTS 7 CIVEN AWAY By winning a prize you c a n fit yomself out as a de aler in fishin g supplies. The seven boy s who s end i n the seven best contribu tio ns in this new Amateur Journalism CONTEST will each receive a Famo u s Fishing Tackle Assortment. Of course you want to own one. Then get into this contest without delay. 7-COMPLETE OUTFITS GIVEN AWAY-7 HERE ARE FULL DIRECTIONS: Take a n y incident you can think of. It may b e a fire, a runaway, an acciden t au adventure, or even a murder. It doesn't m atter whether you w e r e there or n o t. Write It up a s as you c11n, make it full of "aqtion," and send i t t o u s. l'he articl e s h ould not be o v e r 500 w ords ;n l e n gth. The
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. ....... . / ,... 1 DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY'. I CLARGE SIZE.) t The most Unique and Fascinating Tales of Western Romance. t + f 264-Diamond Dick aml the Backers of San Simon; or, A Terrible Prophecy Fulfilled. I :j: :i: :z65-Diamond Dick's Rival ar.d the Bogus Troopers; or, The Plot Against the Governor. j. 266-Diamond Dick s Anti-Gun Crusade, or, In the Hands of the Poker Flat Swindlers. .,: :i: ... 267-Diamoncl Dick's Helping Hand; or, The Battle of Apache Hill. :I: t :z68-Dia..mond Dick's Play to Win; Up Against the Mine Brokers. + :i: 269-Diamond Dick on the Trail of the Smugglers; or, Two-Spot and the Kid from No:c + :j: where. i: -' 270-Diamond Dick and the Brothers of the Bowie; or. The Fight for the Rich "Pocket." t 271-Diamoncl Dick's Blacklist; or, Branded as Traitors. 'f' 272-Diamond Dick' s Railroad Dec.I; or, The Message from Midnieht Pass. t 273-Diamond Dick s Set-to with the Keever Gang; or, The Trouble with No. 7. :f :f. 274-Diamond Dick and the Hannibal County Despetadoes; or, Against Judge and Jury. + '.t 275-Diamond Dick's J\!Ioonlight Attack; or, The Freight Thieves of the T. N. & P. Railroad. :f: :!: 276-Dia.mond Dick's Deadly Charge; or, The Cattle R _ustler's Ambush. + 277-Diamond Dick on the Bean Trail; or, Bia.ck Bill's Doom. I t 278-Diamond Dick in Chicago; or, A Bold Game in the Metropolis. t t 279-Diamond Dick's Quick Action; or, The Fastest Fight on Record. :E 280-Diamond Dick's Fair Enemy; or, The Plot of the Mexican Girl. t :i: 281-Diamond Dick ancl. the Express Robbers; or, Tornado Kate's Ten Strike. :i.: t 282-Diamond Dick's Four of a Kind; or, The Set-to at Secret Pass. :j: t z83-Dia.mond Dick's Four-footed Pa.rd; or. Winning a Game Hands Down. f :t 284-Diamond Dick's Cannon-Ball Special; or, Handsome Harry's Finest. J. + 285-Diamond Dick's Flying Switch; or, Trapping the Tough-Nut Terrors. i f 286-Diamond Dick s Rush Orders; or, A Quick Windup at the Post. i T T j'. 287-Diamoncl Dick's. Dutch Puzzle; or, the ''Hot Tamale's" Hard Luck. ... 288-Dia.mond Dick at Full-Hand Ferry; or, Rough Work on Rapid River. 289-Diamond Dick and the Black Dwarf; or, Hot Work for Uncle Sam. j; 290-Diamond Dick and the Timber Thieves; or. A Close Call in Custer's Cafion. l 291-Diamond Dick's Mid-Air Fignt ; or, At O
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. . .... i i ARE PUBLISHED IN J The Medal Library I Among the many writers found in this library may be mentioned the names of Oliver Optic Horatio Alger, Jr. Lieut. Lounsberry Gilbert Patten Leor:i Lewis G. A. Henty "" James Otis Edward S. Ellis Jules Verne Capt. Marryat Geo. Manville Fenn Arthur Sewall Gordon Stables Cuthbert Bede Matthew White, Jr. Frank H. Converse W. H. G. Kingston Capt. Mayne Reid Wm. Murray Graydon Brooks McCormick These books are full size. Bound in handsome illuminated covers. The authors of the stories published in the MEDAL LIBRARY hold first place in the hearts of the youth of our land. Price, 10 Cents. All Newsdealers. i STREET & SMITH, PUBLISHERS, 238 WILLIAM ST., NEW YORK.


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