Old Avalanche, the great annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the girl brigand


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Old Avalanche, the great annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the girl brigand

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Title:
Old Avalanche, the great annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the girl brigand
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
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Wheeler, Edward L. (Edward Lytton) 1854 or 5-1885
Place of Publication:
Cleveland, Ohio
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Arthur Westbrook Co.
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English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 20 cm.: ;

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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Adventure 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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026002151 ( ALEPH )
76920293 ( OCLC )
D22-00011 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.11 ( USFLDC Handle )

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:Opyrlght 1879-1885, by Beadl e & Adams. Ente r e d at P os t o m oe N e w Y ork, N Y ., a s econ d class matter !tar. 1 5, 1 897 No. 8 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. Cleve l and, Ohio Vol. I -BY EDWARD L. WHEEL}:JR. AtJTHOR OP' DEADwOOD D IC&," 'THE ETO,.. .ETC

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pyright 1881 -1888, by Beadle & Adams. Entered at Po t Offi<'e. Now York, N. Y. as second class matter. nar. Jl', 1 8 No.8 THE '.ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. Cleveland, Ohio Vol.I OLD THE GREAT ANNIHILATOR: .Wiiiiiiiliiiiiilliiiiiiiiii.iiii.iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimUmiliiiiiliiiiiiiil..:'9 Or: Wild Edna, th11 Girl Bril!'and:_ _ ......,_ ..,__ __ BY EDWARD L. WHEELER, AUTH OR OF u D EADWOOD nlCK," "THE DOUBLE DAGGERS," ETC.: E'l.

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_,.., OJd Avala.nene. O l d Avalanche, T h e GREAT ANNIHILATOR; O B WilCe in frnnt of them was about fifty feet in width by one hundred in length-a naturally formed shaft extencling far down int' the bow e ls of the earth. Directly across 03 the western side, and c.byss, earing thou!\'htfnlly down into tt1a black dpths. "Curse him I" he muttere.d, g!lawing; at hfll 1nustache, savage1y1 "how l hate him. I Joine d htl'l in his confouadea waaderings, and still I ha'ftl' not ;.. accomplished the object I had In vt e w .men I c )M so. 'l'Wo long ye1trs we have traveled Migether and t!'tv1e f that not many days distant, too. when Sir Henry and I will part company, and forever!" He rejoined the party at the fire, and seated h i m self to partake of the dried Tenison a.ad roasted bear meat which t h e other two men had prtlpared. They were odd-looking specimens of the frontier, and plainly not persons of culture or educa>ion like Sir Henry and Milburn, The younger and more noticeable of the twain, evidently a Canadian, was about nineteen years of age, He was swarthy in complexion yet not unprepossessing, and pos_qessed a form marked in its mUSoi.lar development. rt) SPconvolvers, knife, tomahawk and Spenc .. r rifl e "Darned bacl hoel," he to Sir Henry, mo tionio i; toward th" abys., and at t'ie same time tak in g a hui;e bite of bear-meat. "Nevyar see' d ther beet on't, only once afore, in my life." "When was that?" as!
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01lled the guide. \ .There were seTen of the pack, out only us three klim up byar, ther o her tour remainin' at ther place whar we camped last night." "Row long ago was ftf" rit"h1i!'o years, three months an' seven days, ter?. How Jong did you stay here!" "Only over nit.e uv the day we arriv'. 'Twas un comfort'ble cold up hyar, them times, so we soon dug cmt for warmer climates. Fremont named yon boo ther Death Gulch. becawae his spanyel dorg tum bled off inter etkan' CJari;on called tflis the r Flat Butte; then we hue led on ouM:ttmor, an' marched, marched away." "I wish I had kDown of this some time ago." said the fire, the evening pipes were brought f orth, and while the quartette putfed away thereat, the guide related some int<>rt'6tlng details ot the f onner exp!orinl!' expedition unde r the great Fn>mont. Sir Henry listened eagerly, but Milburn and the young Canadian Wf.T6 n o t so much interested aud presently withdrew to tbe edi?e or tbe abyss to have a little conversation by themselvPs. Alva Lanch watched them secretly, as he told his story, unde r cover of his shaggy eyebrows, but said nothinl!' bearing upon them. Finally the time nrrived when It was <'Ies h-a hi e that all bands should turn in, as an early start was proposed o n the following morning; therefore Sir Henry calleci in bis companions, and bade them prepare for "Thar'll b e v ter be rum' more cones lug"ged up from ther second peal<, below," .fer daylil?ht for my clam lx>ring over the mountains. Let rn-e fir e go out, if it wants to. 1 guess we won't ......... "Then you won't demanded Lancb. "No; I am quitP. comfortable," replied the youth, wrapping P.imselt in his blanket, and giving vent to anotner smile. "If you are so fond ot starlight rambles, Mister Lanch, perhaps it would be weU. to go, yourself." Beret here! Ralefghl" exclaimed Sir Henry, anrrilY. let's have no more words of bandy. Will you ro fOI' ihe f u eU,, "No replied he doggedly-" n o t to-night I "Thi m I shall at' once discharg you from my ser lce." W ill 7ou, thoughf" bi!lled the fellow savagely, l>la dark TI8age growing still darker. "Very well; Just u y o D plea&e, sir." And rolling o-.er h e made pretense o f aeeldng re-'tm hen' hill own w ay," said Lanch taking up a large baa. which J a y among the other effects that u .. party had bronJ>;ht aloni;. I'll elide dowu f e r P.e r oonea in a jill'.y. Ter-morrer I'll wallup tha fer hls imperdence." Be at o nce descended from the plateau by clam bering dow n from ledge to ledge and was soon lost from vl e w in the pall o t inky b l ackne.s that envel op ed the mountain-top. "You can lie down, Sir Henry, If you likei" said Milburn, as he lit a fresh pip!' of tobacco, 'tor I know you must be fatigued, from our long ascent, to-day. nnd need rest. As for me, I'll smoke awhile longer, yet, and await Alva s return." The baronet ncquteeced Jn thls proposition, ana leaving Milburn half-reclining in the light of the dv ing embers puffln,o: away at his import!'d meer schaum, Sir Henry rolled himself in his blanket, and quickly was in sound and 1 efresbing slumber. Milburn, however, became momentarily more restless, until he trembled with suppressed excite ment, as he glanced toward Sir Henry. Halt an hour wore away. and the loud respira tions of the baronet proclaiml'd that he was scund asleep. wberupon Milburn rose dtealthily to bis fet, and stol e tor.,ard, ,3imultaaeously tbe y oung Can adia n did. likew ise. "Are :;'vu ready ? be demamled. In a "hisper. "Ayl' replieud glare at the two villains in utter "Hal ha!" lamrbed Milburn, with a grim cbnckle; "you are surprised. eh?" A nod of the head signifi e d assent. "I thought so, resumed I.he villain; ''but that Is not bing strange, a we are liabl e to surprises. Do :rou recognize me. Sir Henry, as any one you remember of evP r having sef'n ?" Another hendsbnke, in the negative. "Don't! Weil, probably not. I mu"t admit m;ir disguise is one hard to p e netrate. This hair, tb1s beard and the"e g arments are all fore ign to your recollection. Yet they hide the man Sir H enry, whose life bas been devoted, since childhood to the sole attainment of an object-an object which must be patent in forever removing/au from my path. Lis'en!" Then be bent low au whispered a few words in the priS(>ner's ear, at which tbe baronet ut t eroo a loud, agortized groan aod pale and agitated. "It is true resumed Milburn, with a triumphant leer, "nod I have followed tbe course of your move ments ever since you left New York, for the purpose of removing you. I do not wlsb to HU you. Murder on tbe handl! of an English noWeman is not at all deolrable, and therefore I simply wish to put you aside fl'Om my path. You admire America; I love England, native soil. Then, i s It not well that I should live m England, wlule you remain here In quiet, peace aud plenty I Yes I-doubly yes. I have found a cage In which I can confine you, and run no risk of ever beiug troubled by you again. Raleigh, ';iring your coil o t rope, and fasten one end about till baronet. Work lively, now, for we must be well awal' from here, ere that ferret-eyed guide returns. Once we are Afely in St. Joe, and our explorer lies at the bottom of Death Gulch, a thoU861ld gold dollars Rhall he yours, my boy!" The Canadian obeyed with and from among the of the expeditkm produced a. large coil C'f stout hal f-in c h rop0 r.n C'r.cl C'f which he ananged into a noose and shirred about the hara nPt's waist. This done, Milburn proceP d0rl t o <1PlihPr,tclv rifle the prisoner's person of cf -in !ne sn.ve 1 is firr:1s nnd ammunition, w11ich he did not touch. He t n whisryered for several n'omcnts in Si? Henry's car, after which be rose to his feet

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Old A v a.Ia.pcbe. "You ma.:v Ditch a.11 that o'lfer Into the abyss, first, R.a.'leigh he said, settmg a.n example by pitching over blankets, etc., "for In our flight, you see, we shall not be able to carry aught save our weapons, and I do not mean that A.Iva. Lanch shall d erive any benefit from these tools and traps!" everything save ::ie two villa.ins' rifles an munition was h .. hldd over into the can-yon-a 1 picks, blankets, pots. kettles, Sir H e nry's and Lancb's rifles, surveying instruments, and so forth, i u turn, until the plateau was swept of all except the two men and their prisoner. H e too, wns then dragged forward to the brink of the frightful gulf, and the low ering began. In vain did Sir Henry endeavor t o shriek out a. h e lp, or burst the crue l bonds that bound All to no avail. Swiftly the two men on the table-land above al lowed the rope to slip through theit fingers, a.ud let the h P lpl ess victim of a. fiendish plot descend into the bowels of the mountains. Presently they had a.ll o,ved all but a.bout a yard of tbe death-cord to slip away. "Shall we let him go?" asked Raleigh in a hollow, sea.re j tone. replied Milburn, white and ghastly let h P r slide He's probably to the bottom be fore this; and if he's not, he ain't far from it. Lt go!" The next instant they r e leased the rope from their grasp: then, turning like the two guilty wretches they were they seized their rifles, left the plateau, and hurriedly skurried off down into the black mountainous depths. __ CHAPTER II. THE PLEASURE PARTY-FIGHTING ODDS. DowN a.cross the great savannas of the Northwest, bo<:>mlng along in front of a. giant volume of wind which spread its arms out a.far, r o lle d a. thick clou I of dust, In whose depths ll'a.llop e d a party of six persons, a.II mounted on spll'ited, thoroughbred ani mals Two of the six were l a dies, attired in 1ich but unattractive garments; but the fact that they wore diamonds of marvelous size and luste r, evid enced the supposition tha.t they were p ersons of wealth a.n..d Wgh social r a nk. Tli e gentlemen were tastefullv accoutered, save it be with one exception-the guide or the party and b o r e the undemabl e impress of refinement. One, who was evidently chlef iu command, was a ta.II, athletic young fellow, with clea.rly-eut fea, tures, dark-blue eyes, and hair of a cbelltnut color, while in form he was a mode l of grace and RVmmetry. rhe second of the four males was a slender, dark'1sa.ged gentleman, verging on forty :vears, who was evidently a Spaniard, or of some foreign descent. The third was of a far different type and his hair was sprinkled freely with lines of gray. He was of immense girth. and sat bis horse much mnre clum sily than his companions; and in his general ap pearance reminded one of the stern old lords or dukes or ancient times. The ladies vidently were mother and daughter. The elde r wa a woman who har l seen not a little trouble, for her brow was furrowed deeply and her hair of a silvery white. Still she showed many traces or former beauty, and was :yet really pre possessing, dPspite the weary yearmng expression that eve r haunted Iler sad face The da.u!\'hter was a repetition of what the mother had be e n in h e r youthful days-a l:>right vivacious little body, just nea1 ing tLe portals of a glorious womanhood, with laughing eyes, soft blonde !mfr, that blew unconfin ed to the prairie breeze and a complexion that matcher/ W311 with both hair and eyes. Such w ere the party, exclusive of the guide. He was a stalwart backwoodsman .of au uncertain age and as rough and uncouth as are the maforiW 'Ol those ever-moving spirits, the Princes of the Ti-aiL His name was Dan Coggswell aud ha had been engaged at Dakota City to l end his assistance to the pleasure-party, for such the cavalcade was, during their stay in the West. Now, we see them spurring madly down from the northwest. across a mammoth savaru1a or plain1 and hugll'ing close to tihe giant column or cloud oc dust, which the brisk northern breeze wafts steadily in front of them. Their horses are fiecked with foam, evidencing the fact that a. long and rapid ride has ta.ken place: and stm on, on, over the savanna they the breeze that It is mid-afternoon, and the sun that hangs like a golden ball in the azure blue sky. lights up.allobj ects beneath its rays with a mellow distinctness Across to the west loom up the gray uninviting range of mountains that are. clesclibed as b eing the rendezvous of nume r o u s bands of red-skins and out laws; to east, coitiug its course through barren prairies, runs Au J a q ues or Dakota river, in the even tenor of its exis tence, until it debouches, milos below, into the mad Missouri; to the south and sou'eaststretcbesoneof tboce monotonous savannas or grazing plains of Dakotahfamous as the home of the deer and the bull'alc>, t e paradise of hunters and trappers; whil e t o north and nor'west--hat here the deepens, and thP cause of the undue haste on the part of the pleasure-seeker s, becomes apparent. Sweeping down in their rear, and only a couple of miles distant, are a bodv of horsemen, who, as one glances over them, look like a small army, so strong are they m numbers. And, too, their horses are fresh and fleet, and they a r e gaining slowly but surely on the party in advance. That they are Indians is evidenced by their wild riding, their semi-nude dress. and the occasional war-whoops that float faintly forward on the breeze Sioux 1s their tribe (for it is a rare oecurrence to meet a war-party of any other t1ibe in Northern Dakota), and that they ar0 determined to overtakl' the fugitives is only too plainly shown by the manner with which they urge on their ponies. Dan was in the rear of his party, hurr,i:ing them along as well as he could, and at the same time acting as a rear guard in case the foe shoul d get near enough to pour in a fire with their rifles, for all were s e e n, through the gtide's fie ld gla.ss, to be well armed. On. on, on, the pursued whites dashed, desperate ly dPtermine d to escape if such a thing w ere possi bl e, but a.s a. half-hour fle w by, and the horsPs began to lag and the Indians to gain, Coggswell shook Ws head doubtfully. "We can't hold out at this rate much longer," he said, as he galloped ahead and joined the young commander; "for them Soos ain't goin' to give us the slip, y e can bet yer eyes; and our hosse8 a.re loosin' all their breath, too. I opine we mought a.s well fOme to a halt, an' try a.n' persuade 'em not to cum f orninst us, a.s the Irishman sez1 with our ri6.es. What's your views on't. Sir Harryr" "What! stop here and let the devil s come up and murder us at their leisure? Never! We mul't do something, guide. Do you hear? we must do some thin11; to get my mother and sister out of danger. ls there no other direction we can take to escape these h e ll hound?" "Yas," replied Coggswell, reflectively thar is two on 'e1n.'' "Then, in Heaven's name, why not take them?,, "Wal, I reckon 'twouldn't be o' no sorter use, Sir Harry. One's tow'rd Dakota river. Go that way, an' the varmints 'II head us off afore we git thar, or at furthes t will drive us into the stream w'ot toa deep a nd wid 3 to s";'ll."

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Old Avalanehe. "The other, then?" "The t'other? Wal, that's t ow'rds them mount ings, off yande r. They're chock full e r o' tbe r red beethan an' white outlaws, than the Black Hills themse l ves." "Bnt can we not flnd temporary shelter there, in some canyon or g ulch, where we can fight these rascals. and In due time steal off?" "Hardly proba ble. S oos nin't on tbe r give-up, nowadays. when they scent a prize they're the lads as hes got as much bang-ona-tiveness as ther next ont". Howsomede v e r, if ye say tbe wor2.,. we'll shy off fur them hills an' run our chances w e kin bleech in tber as well as any other place." "How far a r e they distant? Can we reach hem before our horses givP out?" "Reckon i!O, if we ride full spurt." "Very well, 1 hen lead nhead, anJ we will follow." The course of the fleeing caV'llleade was instantly changed, sharpl y to 1he right, and the spurs used with more vehemence. Already the savages had gained one of the two miles, and threatened every moment to gain a position in the chase ,...ithin rifle-shot. On-on sped tbe fugitives. lik e the hurricane wind. Dan Cogg,well keeping sli!!'.htly in the lead, .and usin!!' bis tleld g lass now and then to define the route which pr.omised to take them nearest to a place of retreat. The ladies, although much fatigued, were eagerlr. urginlj' on their animal s and putting their implicit trust m the skill and sagacity of Dan. Had i t not been for the Impending danger, they wonld have enjoyed the wild ride immense ly, for they were true EnglisbwomPn, and having chased many a fox down the moorlands of thei r native i s l e, they bad become masters in the Paddle, as well as mistresses in the social circle and household. But a hundred grim and bloodLbirsty savages, hringing up the rear, with the desire to rob or murder them, took from the situatio n all its romance. Oa-on, over the green savanna they swept, and in hot pursuit came the red slaye rs. "I think I know about the spot where a canyon opens into them hills," said the guide, peering straight ahead, "or at least, heerd Old Avalanche, who traps, hunts an' annihilates Tnjuns up hyarabouts, say that tbar war a p lace o tber kind d'rect east from Flat Butte peak. 'l'fuu's off yonder I" He pointed straight ahead, and off afar through the hazy distance loomed up the frowning awful pile of rock whose snmmft was hnndrnds of feet hir,ber than the surrounding ,veaks. Flat Butte, did v= say? exclaimed the elderly lady excitedl y-- Flat Bui te?" "Yes, ma'nm. thRt's what I said." Ob I Sfr Fleming," she gas\'ed, turningto the gentleman of the great girth, 'is that the place? Is that the spot where my d ear husband met his death?" Her voice was full of sorrow and angaish; her bad grown a shade paler, and her bands were clasped besePching-ly. '' J think not, Hetty,'' repli ed he, r ather:nervous ly, as he tonk the irlass "If yon peak i s christened Flat Butte, it is not the one from which Sir Henry flung himself, tlfteen years ago. That one is. if I remember "right further south and east." "Beg yn pardinl\', sir, but I rPc'ons how r,ou're mistook. This I.Jutte are the only one's you 11 find 11p nor1. byar, in this purticular rPgion, 'cept it be Pmnpkin Butte in the Hills said old Dan. "No. I am nnt mistaken,!. was the haughty reply. "However, let's drop the subject, and turn our ?yes a round us, lest we be surprised." A glance went to prove that the pursuers had come within arrow r n ge ; and were preparing for a final spurt. "On!" crier! Cogg-swell, sternly, and the jaded steeds were lashed into further speed. "They must not git in a. wipe o' them arrers on us, or son1e u us 'll be troubled wi' chronick rewmatism !" On. desperately on they dashed, hotly chased by the painted man-hunters, whose y e lls were now in creased both in volume and hideousness. On. and the y were nearing tbe mountain range which rose so frowningly out of tbe almost l eve l savanna, when Cogg>;we ll suddenl y shouted: "Look l there is the mouth of the canyon. of which I pea.Ired. If we kin git inter it, we kin fight th!! p'izen varmints at our l eisure. 11 He pointed to a black angular o'Pening in t h e through which gurgled A c heer rose from the lips of Sir Harry a nd was answered by a perfect pandemonium of yells from the savages. They las hed their ponies furicusl y, and sent cloud after c loud of arrows and volley after vo lley of bul lets in pursuit of their intended victims. But a ll to no avail. In five moments Dan Coggswe ll led bis party between the towering walls nf the canyon, and order in g the ladies to ri0e on into the iiepbs, he com manded the men to dismount and prepare to defend themselves. On came the Sioux in a rush, with the idea that they could break into the canyon, but they were mis taken, there. T he horses bad bPen wheeled broadside across the entrance, anu as the savage enemy came pouring into view, four we ll-directed hullets from the little party's r e peating rifles. unhorsed as many reds. Again tile repeaters spoke, and eight instead of fou r warriors went sprawling to ground. At ., first the Indians were confu5e11; and. half t errified, beat a hasty retreat out of rlfle range, to bold a short consultation. Soon they came fierc e ly on in another rush, only to be met with a perfect stream of fire from the wond erful repeatmg rifles. that swept away half a dozen braves from their ranks. Agam they withdrew a shor t distance, and leaving a post of two-score to watch the fu!l1tives, the main body separated and swerved to either side of the canyon. Thei r purpose at once became evident. They were going to scale the mountains and entt:r the gulch from the r ea r. CHAPTER Ill. TWO REMARK.ABLE VISITORS. "THEY are !'Oingto assail us from some other point," said Sir Fleming, as he with tho others watched the division of the savages. "Is there rnother end to this canron, gu!de, through which we cnn mnke our "W'al now, that's a question that only time can solve. P'rar, s tbar' s an outlet umwbar more or Jes; than five thousand miles from here an' ag'in, p'raps thar ain't. Tbesecnnyons ar' as fuii o' crooks, curlyquews a n, cut ious freaks 01 natur' as a mule's bind fut. If tbar's an encl to this purtick'lar one ye can bet yer s hin e rs 1 hat it ar' fur from this-cl'ar t hrn on t'other side o' tber mountings. That's true gospuJ!" "And do yon think the woo just rode away contemplate climbing the mountains and get ting into Ibis canyon in our rf'ar?" asked Sir Harry 1. I hain't 1her least doubt o it:" "Then. in God's name, what ought we to do-what must we do?" "That's w'at I'm cog-itatin' on, but ain't made up my mind, yet. Give me room an' time 10 tbink." Then he relapsed into s ilen ce, and while the others were watchin>( tbe movements of the remainder of the Indians Dan racked bis brain for some possible plan by which be could extricate the party from the impendi ng danger. The guard left ontsi
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6 O.l.d A v a lancbe. W e wHI :.p where we are," hQ said, at l a.st, "an' do tne best we can. 1Twon,t do to v entur' in tm ther depths o' ther mountings too for, fer w e mought lik e's not git caged thar. Sir Brace, ye'd better trot off up the canyon, an' recall Lady M ;J. burn an' Ladr, Maude, an' we'll camp right hyar f e r the r present. Sir Bruce obeye d w ith a l a crity, and in hn.lf an hour retumG d wi l h the ladies, and a camp was pitched on the spot. This consisted of a couple of portable teats which bad been b1tght a long for the use of the f emaie s and the gen t J.,men; and soon a fire was built, and Coggswe ll prepared some dried venison for the whole party. By this time it was sunset, and the shadows of ni;zht settle d d ark and somber over the earth. Sir Harry volunteered to stand guard the fore part of the ni giot, and Dan the latter ; s o the night passed away and another day dawned bright and rosy, without sight or sound of hostile movement f rom the enemy. After breakfast Dan put the camp in charge of Sir Harryhand shou!Jering his rifle and his horse off up the canyon to make observations, as he sai d The canyon soon proved Itself to be similar to many others of its kind in this wild region. In places it was not over a hundred feet wide, anil ,.ailed in by such mammoth towers of rock that all was d e nse l y black at the bottom, which was grassy and watered by an infant stream. Then further on it would widen sQmewhat and become lighter, though tbe sides were still hi g h a n d perpendicular. For milt>s it stretched away between giant peaks, whose crests were capped with snow the year around, and wound its way like a forsaken freak of nature througll the silent northern wilder ness of rock and wood. Far away still in the dim distance, loomed np the Flat Butte like a frownin.!\' monster, as it reared its summit ht1ughtily above those or its nei !!:hbors, and seemed to discountenance human approa<:h. Coggsw e ll had never explored the range. but he had heard much concerning it, and did nGt v e n ture v ery far into its dpths for fear he "i'ight arouse an other gang of red-skins. S o after assuring himself that tne canyon extended at least t. s far as tbe Flat Butte, he turned his horse's bead toward camp. As he retraced the route ov e r which he had come, he minutely scanned tbe walls on either side of him, to see if there was any chance for the enemy tu penetrate the gorge. No; there was no opening in the great mass of rock, that would admit of passage. Jr tbey got tn at al! it would be b y lowering each other with l as soes lrom the pinnacles above, whithe r they would have to c llmb. that such was the true state of affairs, and that davs if D' weeks must elapse ne such an entrance coutd h b ; ffected. Cog'l"swell rode back to the camp. H e r e h e found matters as h e had lert them. a.mi that there were no of trouble from the twenty reds who had camped out side the m outh of the canvon. Sir Harry l\iilburn waq loungin:? on ftnarrl just out of riS e anr l Sir Fleming and Sir Bruce wero in t'1eir ten t c leaningtheir weapcms. "Whal rli 1 yot1 make out?" asked Sir !Jarry as the <:ui l cj0ined him "Oh, nuthiu' much. I dnn't 'spect any troublPright off, tbo' it's w e!! enuff t., b e on the r l oo kout f e r it,'' was t:1e r eply. u Any stir among the Jnjines?n "No, not to snP.'1k. 0f 'T'-.pr F\0em to be loun.,.ing and laying aroimJ, t'!.t t!:l0ir uw. 1 as you.;:) s ee the m ' 'Humph! A.11' n11 w'ib they'rf" plauntn' sum clevilm e nt,, ye ca. n U0t ,Yf'r flip. HowsumdevPr, we're powPrl "S<:j to nm vent it. All we kin do ar' ter lay low. an' wait further dewcllopments." The day passed without i ncident., and night w i t h her somber mantl e overshadowed the mountain canyon, and plain. Sir Bruce was detailed to keep the first vigil, and Dan the last. Accordilll\ l y, they change d oft' at midnight, and the guide went 011 duty. 'rhere was no moon, a n d. though a f ew pale stars t w i nkled u p &la.r in heaven's b lue vault, the shadow o f the towering bluffs cast over tile camp a pall of i: Ioom. No fir e was kept burnmg, for the guide we ll knew t hat the e nemy woul d take &p near to PY upon them, and thereby offer a target !or half a score o f rifles. But in this t h fierce wretch"s were foilt>d. Dan ws:s to() wise to nose around,, i n their vi c inity. Sti!I he did not allow his watchfulness to decrebl!e, l;mt, on the contrary, kept his eyes and ears even more alert than o n the foregoing night. He felt that occur but what it was he The hours wei::i. slowl y by, and as morning's dawn the uigllt grew blacker and stille r. The guide bad just returned from a trip around 'the camp and was tarting off toward fhe Sioux camp, when a suspicious sound arrested his atten tion. It came from the direction of ths entrance, and sound<(d like stealthy footsteps in ,the rustling g-rass. Cocking his repeater, Dan peered straight aheacl, his eyes sharply searchin g every object in the pass. At fir s t he could m a k e out nothin
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Old Avalanche.. '1 o' annihilation w'ot continerally sweeps down thr'u' these b oreal lattytudesl" -"Good I I'm as glad to see ye, old man, as a coyote is to smell dead hoss, arter a severe winter. But, whar in ther name o' Israe l Putnam, did y e cum frurn?" "Cum from? "11ar'i I gush forth from, d'y wan ter kno' I 0 1 nowhar In purtickylar. I smelt the savory odor o' Injun down this way, so I got aboard o' a veritagable tbunt\lerstarm o' demolish< n, under the conjluctorashun o' 0' Ror,Y Borey Alice, au' war wafftecf over inte r thes deestnct fer ihe r purpuss o' annihilatin' a couple a-bnndred Sooks. See ye'vc n regimint o' ther same acting as yer body-guard out ha.yr." "Oh yes. The divils have f:"Ot us penned up byar, an' thar's no t cllin' bow we're g oin' to git out. What kind o' a beest cl'ye cnll this feller?" "Tbatl Why, crceat.iou hnin't ye novyer heerd tell o' tbet anymilcf Thet's my half-my best-half, end a j 'int o' therdestrnctive Avalanche. Tbat. 'ar's a he goat, w'at navyf:" aits under ther app!e;ition o' Florence Nioht-in-a-gal e l'm the h e-qoat-ee. w'ot floats tbrougC the a< mospher e urnkr thcr o ,-nomcn o' Old Ave.lancbe, lnjnn im' lia's my pa.rd Ye observe et allus t a k e s I ,, at the r most indetrynit.e calkylation, to make a bargain, nn' sumtimes three. Wal, sich bein' ther statu8o' erfAirs, 1 an' Florence ar' two, nn' w'en tber third feller cums in wi' his say 'bout things in gine r a l, we two consoli date an' win \be bargi'n by demolishen tber third party I we ar' one an' always wins when it comes to fight, or rodde r. or fun." "Haw! bawl bawl" laughed Dan, really happy, now that h e had met one c f !us O\'l'n type of pien. I see ye 're's full o' sass as ever, old man. B, _, tell me. how did you git in here?" How did 1 git hayar? How did the mighty avalanche o demolishen git here? Wby, b'yee, bow does this g reat ackcheevemuut allus work its as toundin' miracles? How doe s the whirl.vgig o' d e struction all us swee p down like a grasshopper bliJr. and prancing delightedly about; that's ther pedigree o' F.orence Night-in a-gale. Kim hyar, Florence, ye onmannerly rapscallion. Don' ye kuo' no better'n to buck one o yer own color? l\lv b 'yet>, ye shod allus remember thet ye ar' only crrlled. upon tew butt I }uns-tew lr'nd yer head-geer tcw the heethan. Nevyar, 11ei;'{,ar l..t me cotch ye buckin one o' yer own color erg in, or rn wallc p )'er red!" Sir Fleming aroee with evident trepidation. and, clasping bis hands over liis abused paunch, made for his tmt with ii:roans and muttered curses. Morning dawned clear and warrri, and in the first rosy light, tte imprisone d party was enabled to vi e w fort he first time a genuine northern mountain man ror such was Old A \ 'alancbe-from deerskin l ege:ings Pnd beaded meccaslns, to his fringed skin bunting shirt and bearskin cap. He was of medium stature, with a muscularly d"veloped form, a11d clea n, wiry limbs, and looked to be a person uf uncommon strength. Though well along in years, h e was still supplP and active as a man of forty. His skin was tanne d to a dark brown, and bis wbole face and appearance was as grizzly a s gri zzly couls o ther Injun creeashun. If a feller gits inte r Jnjun ernbar rassments1 it's mor'o Rrob'le be won't git out o' em, wi'out los rn' bis wig, less be happens to be a hail star111 o' demoli s h e n: 1ike nse fer 1 nst ance." "But there cPrtainly must be some way by wb.lcb to escape from here. Does not this canyon have a& opening at son1e point?" /

PAGE 9

Old Ava1anche. "Ye've got ther Avalanche thar, b'yee, f e r sart'in, day, that he apprehended no trouble for several ca'se I don't, egg<1actly kno'. Ye seP, L nevyar days yet. splored it any fu'tber'n the Flat Butte, whose base ma'am," was the Annihilator's answer, as ar' 'bout twenty miJPS from hayr. Thar mought be be seated himself on a convenient bow Ider, "that's another eend to et, then ag'in thar moughtn't. all to one's way o' t.hinkin'. As J'v" ob.larved sev These canyons ar' worse nor a dose o' pills f e r erial times behind, it ginneraley takes two or more pbizzickin' a feller's ijees an' calkylasbuns. Sum'parsons to make a barga in. Now, then. I an' my they'JJ run fer miles as purty an' natcberal jin't, byar, Florence Ni?ht-in-a-gale, bev been com like as a volcaner o' dest ruckshion: then1 ergain, parin' not es, to-day, an w e 'v e arriv' at tber univer ye'll p'r'aps foller one for a mile or two guae ernuff1 sal conklusion thet we're goin' to expeerience thun when ye'U can slap-dab up ag'iu' a mounten o deru h o t times, pirl.y so on, near's we kin jedgel" r?ck.' What's that!' asked Sir Harry, coming, up. "ludeed How far westward does this range ex"Have you mad11 any alarming discoveries, scout?" tend!" "Alarmin'I Wal, that's jes' as ye Juk e at the More or l ess'n a hundred mileR. It's cl'artwenty thing. Y o u mought call 'em alarmin', while I call on 'em to tiler fut o' ole Flat Butte, an' thet ar'n't a ed 'em simply bot.' Howsmnde ver, I've satisfied sarcumsta.nc e ter w'ot's beyond." my ij ees, thet ef we wait 'ti! ye escape thru th.at "Humph I We are indeed in a trap, then. I al, boel yander, wi' the r assurity that ye git safe away most despair of ever getting back within the bounds wi'out git tin' yer ba'r dressed by Injin barbe rs, ye'll <>f civilizatJon. he's gray's ole Job's hen-turkey. Ther pererarey Ye mustn't ;;"t.IV up so easy." ar' j e s' swarmin wi' r ed-skins an' they're preparin "And 1vhy hope, pray!" to drive us back inte r the r mountains. See bal'.r 0111 fer numerous reason I'll b e t a cart-load folkses, thars one thing'w'at puzzils me. Ev ry ll' b'ar-mat that ran' my j 'iut 'II get you out o consarned lnjun out tha r k erries the r calkylashun this, afope l ong! 'bout him, thet when they iret you-'uns they'll git ., Y our j1Llt?" swads on swads o' n1oney an' dimunds rn' J ewels "Egg-sactly-my f!nt--my h lf-an'-halfl" an' skh lik e Thar's white devils 'mong 'em w'at's "I fajl to comprehend." s ee n ye up at Dakota City-Idaho Bill an' Red Bill, 0 Eh? Don't see tbr'u' W a l that's quare. for ins t ance, who ar' two o' the wu'st cut-throats Ye observe thet my goat tlHr, ar' a i1int o' the g-reat this side o perdishe n. an' they're a-urgin' on the tbunclerstarm o' an' cons e kentred niggurs by tellin' e:n w'at lots o spondulixye've ty. he s a j'tnt o' tber famtis3Avalanche, w'ieh same got. Now, is this so, or i s et sumo' thtw threw him self on the ground an l w;g,led off full saddled, packed and m ountec l, and th n, when toward the entrance. c losely and silently followeu all was in r eadiness. the cav1 lc ,de dashed off up the by h!\l remarkable goat.. gorge, n'lde r the guidance of Co ggswc ll. l caviag Old The grass in the mouth of the canyon was nearly A va1anche and Florence sol e tenauts of the deserted waist high, in consequence of the grnu:id at t!iis camp. s;iot bein!:( somewhttt manh1 so th"'t move -For hours they rode npil!y on T!1e bottom of ments of the Avalanche were not observed by thtl the canyo n was compttr.-itilcly l ,vel, watchful savages outsiere absent a greater share of the day Ni!:(ht fell dark and dense over the grand old and those in c1mp were to grow fearful mountains, for the skylwas overcast with menacing that their stand-by bad either dese r te d the m or he0n black clouds; and still the fug itives urged their captured, wh e n bP, quietly reappeared among them, stcerls through the g loom oft.he irmat canyon which odd.ed upwa.rd

PAGE 10

')ld A vala.nche. ioward the peak-.. ther Butte, up yander. au' tber only pile o' mounting o' tbat name in all Dakota; in fact1 tbar ain't ernutber llat butte !lhort o' ther Bia.ck Hills or tber Rockies." "Ob, Sir Fleming f" exclaimed the lady: the n you must be mistaken. 'l'bis must be tbe mountain I am in search of. Ob I sir, do not tell me I am wrong. I must, I wiJl know the truth, and have a search made for my poor, lost Henry's bones. A.y, I ";ll, sir, if we have to search the country over I" "Non sense. Hetty; you are getting crazy over this subject. I have told you once that this is 1 .otthe "Flat Butte I mean. Is not that enoug-b ? "Nol it is not enough!" cried Sir Harry, sternly. now fully this to be the peak. "Take caret 1oung man, bow you speak to me, :your better. r ou forge." "No, I fo11?et nothing: nor do I fear you. If my mother wish!' rearcb made it hu ll be made I L e t that be unde r stood." "It shall not, withut my consent. Who com mands this party, pray?" I do-my sha r e of it I was the retort of the de cided young nob l eman. "And what do you claim as your part?" sneere d Sir Fl eming. "My rnotber and si ster, s i r, and our guide, I trust, Sir Tyrant. As to !:-ir BrucP Lrnquirl<. I thers. '' "Very well," bowe d the hanghty your.g p eer, coolly; "just as y o u like Your room is of more account t ban y our soci ety." Sir Fleming laug hed, < villy. "I think by the rig-hts of a hus b ard and guardian, also h a v e ihc lac!i l S und e r my c ontrol!" lle chuc kl ed Sir TIr w a i s t was bri stling with weapons o f the b e s t p attern and fini s h a s was the rifl e t hat was slung acro0s h P r saddl e bows She was mounted upo n a supnio r bl ack c h argE'r, adorned ";th gay a nd e legan t trappi n gs. and s u t h e r tfhee Coggswe ll a ncl s;r Henry utte r e d excl a m a ti ons o f wonder and ad miratio n. "Beautiful I said th e l atte r to bis pretty s i s t e r who w a s riding b y h is side. "She is j us t 111y i d e c l of what w oman can be.,, "Yo u think h e r pr etty? ,, "Ay !-\\"ha t g race! wh a t stre n gth. wha t c om mand I She i s magnificen t I H e y, guide do y o u know h e r?., "Recko n s o ; at l e a s t I"e hee" l t e ll on h e r, but h e r l;ya!', n o n1ore'n I would "But, who i s it?-who nr e th e y?'' f emnye l is Wild Edna, the Girl Bandit, an' tbem others ar' her backers-a wild an' fearless a set o' devils as ever cha wed le1d I,, "What! a girl-bandit? tbat beauteous girl a ban dit? Impossible, sir!"' h No, et ain t nuthin' o' the kind. Jes' wait-:;. bit u.n' ye'll see fer yerself.'' At the gui.ed admiratio n. "By the Inuian, eh? Well, that i no un c ommon occurr e nce. f e r we ofte n fieA 1 ;art i e s of hunters, trappe r s anti explorers caged in this same trap. I suppoe it i s your d esire to pas s on t hrough the canyon and get out of thtse mountains, is it not?" "Mos t assuredly, if there i s poss ibility .of such an e s c ap e .'' "Yo u are then, d oubtlee s, prepare d t o pay the toll wilhout d elay, so that y c u c a n t a k e your d e parture'?'' 0 The toll ?0 "The t o ll. E;ery who the Fl a t Butte by the gat e way c f the Devil's Cauro n i r e q uire d to puy a t oll. tJ,e same b e m g any amount I may see fit to exa ct. On c ou.iderati< m of its p ayment in g old o r ack s. m y foll o w ers s e e that y o u a r e p-u a rded s 2 f e l y c n ti; r ough the m ount cins a nti s t a rted e rou t i c r t Le nearest p o s t of c ivilization.,, "By tl10 g r owled S ir Fif'm in g in a rag e. u y o u have the t n o s t i:;uUlimc cl,eek it l::as evf'r b ee n my l o t to b e h o ld. \\"hy. chi l d do .vo u imagine we will t o l erate nny such i'lterrupt i o n as you probably w ill seC'i< I o pl a c e iu our l'atll 1 l"ll s h oot you for y o u I' in1pu :e nce.,, u N o y 0 u will do nothingso was Wild Edna1s cool a n s w er. "One fi ngP r J a i d u11on me in a ngPr, o r a hand upra i s ed agains t m e wo ul d seal y our r a tE>. 1\Iy mPn are all s o rn to o h e y a nd pro tect m e and a v c ng-c m e h ould I fo ll. G c d pi t tile man wh o incurs thei r enmity I His death w ould be t e r r iblt>. n Sil" Fleming cm..-cr e d unde r the fir e thct h one fron1 lwr 0 : 1 d r o u s eyl'S "\\"h a t t oll d o y o..i r equire," a s k e d Eir Harry, b e f o r e you paRs us o n?': "\Ve a, th a t d c p<'n d s Let m e see-the r e are six or y o n, and I see that a ll o f y o u e .a v e the F por t c1inm o nds-a fact that t ells m e your wealth i s great, Of what n a ti o n ality ar e y o u ? ,, "All. e xcept two. are Englis:1. Sir Bruce here, IS a F r en c h Canac i a n, n.nd the g-uide a Y a n k I" ' V ery w e ll. The toll, th e n shall be Bi.JJ thousand dollais--0ne_thousand a h ead I" CHAPTER V. OLD A.VALA.T\C U E ON THE RAMPAGE. AFTER til e c a v :' Ica d e was out of si ght up th& ravine or canyon, Old Avalanche began to fix things

PAGE 11

tO Old Avala n che. around in ca.mp, In such a manner as would lead the savages to suppose 811 the party were still there. He found several blankets m the tents, and wrapping these about suitable broken limbs that were strewn about, he manufactured some quite credit abla dummies, which were put in position near the mouth of the gorge. After arranging everything quite to his satisfaction, he stationed the goat near the entrance to watch. while he threw himself upon the ground and was soon otl' In a sound and refresh ing slumbe r. ft'om which h e did not waken until the silndows of night bad enveloped the earth. Thea, after in Florence by a shrill he ate a f e w hits of dMed bear-meat, after wh1ch he was ready for t'ie war-path. Out on the prairie h e coul1 s e o the glow of many camp-tires, and from thee he guesse d that the reds were not to attack the camp that night, or, IC at all, not until a late hour. The reflection of the fires against the clouded sky enabled the shrewd old scJut to ascertain their num ber, for each tire cast a distinct glow from the othe rs, where they were n o t too contiguous, which not the case, n ow. There were e leven and from their scatrered positions, the Annihilator conclnclewn their horses by the lig-ht of the fbminc: torch, 1w?,"e share, and a few convinc ed the scout that he had met more thnn his equal The red-skin was gradu ally W3rming up to his work, nn
PAGE 12

Old Avalanche. 11 "H" mil, hey? H e 'll sl o p right ove r "i' j o y w 'Pn CHAPTER VI. he see-s ther volcanic snow-slid e o' annihilati on, will A F:PECT ER ON THE SUMMIT. he? We.I, j es' tel egraf tew him not tew slobbe r1 j es' ALL, eve n C oggswe ll the l!Uide p u t up their l.and!f yitl T ell him ter adjern his feelin's o' funnym s 'til in astonishment at the amount demanded by the h e's g o t yar 'umble sarvent fu st." Girl Ban dit. The y had imagined her toll would not "Ugh I" grinne d the C:emon, "let the No-E a r exceed a f e w do'lars, consequentl y t h e sum named list.en. The white chi e f Is eoming, and h e will h elp seemed almost an i n c redib l e f ee Ante lope bind his pri80n e r "Zounds!" c ri e d Sir Fleming; "c1o you imaghH> Old Anwi n c he's hear t n o w snnk within him, for w e a r e ma.de o f m o n ey? Y our impudence is astoun h e h eard the tramp of many feet and t h e l oud mur-ding I Had I a suitab l e whip I wou l d chastise you." mur o f approaching voices tha t told him lclabo BiU A m erry pea l p f-lau ghtP r fro m I I ild Edna showed! and his companio n s w e r e coming up. O n c e 11ore how t h is littl e speec h afi' ecte d h e r. E vidently s h e h e stmggl e d fiercely to free h i m self, but all in v a in. was as f earless as s h e w n s b eautiful. Running Antelope had him where h e could h o l d him "'\"ho a r e y o u, l a dy?" aske d S i r Harry, respect fir m l y fully. "We s e ldo m see f e males o f y our surpassing "Ug h I h e chuckl ed-" c an't no git away. B u t lov e liness the mas t e r of suc h a dangerou s and r ob e p o k e n o t the tmth, then. m a n tic situation." Scarce l y had the w o r ds l eft his lips whe n there "Tme S i r lnqui itiv e ncss; but w h o I am and came upon his hearinit the s b1ill b l eat o f a goat, and what are my antecedents, concerns y o u not, that I the n ext in stant the f orm o f Florence Nightin gale s ee. My bus kes h e r e i s t o c o ll ect the toll for sho t m P teor-lik e throu;::h the air. a n d the An t.elop e passi n g thro u g h this canyo n a nd not Iv divulge my becam e the r eci pi e n t of a tremen do u s bunt i n tbe secr e t s and hi story to utte r stra ngers back t h a t shut h i m up lik e a jac k knife, and w1'o lly H e r v oice was n o w c o ld and h a u g hty. broke his hold upon the scout. Sir H arry flusred c. trifl e a n d bit his lip to keep Old Av a lanche l ea p e d t o h is feet wi t h n lacri t y nncl back a h o t r e pl y H e r r e t o r t b a d d ampe n e d his d arted mvay into the darkness, for the redsldn'8 ardo r m o r e tha n h e w o u l d have dare d to own. h o w l s instantly brough t a swarm o f his comr ncles S h arp-eyed lit t l e L ar l y Maud e had n o ti ce d the to the s p o t ; and >twas no t safet.:> lin ge r thereab outs efi'ect h oweve r and r;ave h im a s i s t e rl y littl nudge. l o nger Flo rence m eekly f ollo we d, a n d in c. (c w "Faint heart neve r w o n fai r lady, you kn owi" she m o m e nts t b e two w e r e out of the reach o f imm edi whisper e d, and t h e n burst into a. gay, ringi n g a u gh. ate dange r. that c:msecl m 0 r e c f c c l o r t o go darting H e r e the o l d man hal te d and t ook i n l1is bear inl'S, '.le r brnt'ier's handsome face. afte r which h e sta r te d o ff i n tf-ie d irC'ction of t he 0 .Uahl" h e g row l e d w i th a fro wn. The n turning c orral, w b i c h lay s o m o two miles di sLan t t o the half-s1,a.gely upon tbe Gir l Bandit., b e continue d : n o rtheast u\Vul, w hat a re you wu i t ing fo1 ?,, In order t o r e a c h it h e w a s o bliged to m a k e a cir" l"o r cix tbonsand d ollars, wa s the c oo l, uncon-cuit o r the entire oamp, t h a t w a s n o w awakened and fused a nswer. o n the al e 1 t for by the magic system of I n Gian I ndc c d l :;.: o u can t h e n, f o r you w ill g e t n o t e legr aphy ti1e news had b ee n tra n sm itted to every s uch n s u m out. o f me'" camp fir e o f the scout's <'Scr.pe. R u t t o a man as Y o n fo r?et, my lorr l. I on l v o n e sixth of thorou g hl y experi e nced as the An nihila t o r t h i s the toll from y o u -the remairn .. e r f1 om your com was merely p lay, and in the course o f half a n hour 'Janions." h e SIJd his faithful j"iut" we r e c lose in the "J u t lltey will n o t :;-ivc i t n o more w n I So you of the co rral. T h i s wns abou t fifty rods rro m any can go." camp-fire, and the nnimn!s wer e g u a rded b y fou r .. rlny I presume t o i nqui re, then, w l-.at 1d'l do? m o unted b raves, each well a rmP-d. c a n ro no in t h i s d irectio n witLout pay T h e neans t to where O l d Avala n c h e and Ing t h e toll." Flo r ence were crouching. was a stalwar t roung ' 1 !n: ::crgct w e are armed, anrl <'rtpnY...J e o f fiP"ht wanioi", and was mo u nted upo n a c lean limbed, it1"j o u r way t hro u g h!" ven ture d Sir Bruce, snt:e r fiery T exan h o.-se of a j ett.v b lack col o r i::i-Jy. Both horse aui rider were motionle"s, fo r the Scarcel y through such odds as my r"nd. t l a tter's atten tio n was nowdil"ve e ntered t h e sand dollars. I r e fuse to pay yo11 a Ringl e dolla r!" Anni hilator's mi nrl. L ikewise I i' g r owlfd Si r Fle ming. Ile wo uld o b tai11 possess'on o f that a n imal o r "And I !" from Sir Harry. som e t h ing more than a common '' E:criminage" "And IP' g1inned o l d D a n. "This c hicken' s bin w o ul d prove a f ailure. With i t, and lie o n its back, bankrupt these five years." i t w ou l d be no t ric k at a11 to clas h hack in i o tho \>'Ny well If r his i s your fina l decision f?e ntl e D e vil' s Clln yo n from whence h e would f ollow and men, I s uppose it in c ludes y our ladi e s as we ll as j oin t h e a.clvancing party. yoursPlves." Bidd ing F lo rence to lie th<' scout cra" led "It d oes. stealthily fo r wa r d throurh ti.Je i::r a,s, a n d afte r I "The n I will bi d yo u adie u. Make n o attem p t t<> som e time reached a pos i t io n directly behh ld the go further up the canyon, o r you w ill be ri d dl e d g u a r d s steed and. s o c lose that he cc r u l d 11ouch its with bullets. These are stern l aws, but t hey are l ta u ..,,bes with his hnml. T h e n Ile rn;:e softly to h is $UCh as b i nd the banditti o f D e 1 i l'sCanyon together f ee t 1'be braY O was still u um i nd fu! of the p r e -You have to pay t h e t oll. T o-morrow next sence tan enemy. J day, nnd tile next f wi1l v isit .rou and r equest it s Ilis atte n t io n was cast upon the movement s o f payment. If :vou refuse each time, you w ill n o t b e t h os e in camp. dunned again!" For several m0mP n 3 Old A v a lanche oftl y s t ro kPd In deed T hen I s uppose yo u will adopt hars h e r the h a il y haunches f r th o to q uiet him for, 011 meast!rei::;?" the ElOOltt's ririn.:t h e hoc\ appeareu r "stiv<'. Th Pn "YPs. The Jaws 0f the h r rt.her h ood will the n p l acingh i s t.wo J-nn ,ls fin n l v o n t h e s.nim a J's bipR, he grant you ten days to escape from the canyon h b y m ad e an agil e n1>rl l arniP d n n) ll h i s the r o ute _you ca.me, i f you c1n fif!ht thro u g a. back heh irnl t h P srnl i n "I, arouu.I who m h e flung h i s legi o n o r r e d-8k i n s. On the morn o f !he e l e v e n t h i n n e-1h ra{"P, dny the flood-ates Q f L a k e Ti en, n shet o f wat e r i n T he horse rf>ared, 1111tl snnrt.erl w i th terr or, a n d thcl peaks of tl'us ao,l conn ect ing-\\ith Dev il's t h!' n f'\a.sliP 1 R\\ v wih.lly, OOar in g straigllli dO\Yll Ca n .von, w ill be r e move d and ils w ill swee. irto the swarrniu g eamp. a ll t h a t blocks i t s )Ja l ll. in tu is place, a way !"

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Old Avalanche. w :By Heaven!" gasped Sir Harry," I believe you are an incarnate fi endess !" "Nay, my young sir, you are wrong. I have no more power to avert this catastrophe than I have t o move the s e mountains. It is true I am the captai 1. of yon band of m en. but when parties r efuse to pay the t o ll, m.v power ceases, and anoth P r than I, sees that the terrib le laws the order are enforced. I am bound and a h e'pless captive whil e the work of destruction goes o n I "Horrible!" cried both Lady Milburn and her daughte r in a breath. .. Outr&.geous1', gruw1ed Sir Fleming. "True; but I must not tarry. You still refuse to pay the toll?" You will not lower the figure?' u I will not,,, That is all, then. We r efuse." Without a word the beautiful commandet"'"turned her horse's head, touched him witl1 her jeweled whip. galloped back to thP. band. a short consultation they oon all dahe d away up the yon and quickly disappeared among its numerous c urv es. After they were out of sight Sir Harry turned to Co?gswell. Well, it is done with now, I suppose. What are your views or. the subject, old m"n?" Dan shook his head dub10usly "Ye've got me." he replied, slowly. "l don't lrnow n o more what t0r do n o r does a n e w b orn l:>abe!" "Then there i s no wP,.V we can gPt out of here ex cept by r etreating or going ahead, .eh?'' 0 None:s I knows on. l opine w e 'd b e tt e r camp down hyar, 'c or din' te r Av!lrlanche s ord e r s an' wait fer him tew come up." Yes, I believe you are ri ght. We are securely 1Penned up, for and may as well make the best of our situation. With r ed d ev ils at our back and white fiends in our front, we cannot hopa to escape, that I see!" Dan nodded, and then dismounted. while the others followed bis exampl-.. "Tbe canyon was c a r pete d with an abundance of grass at this point, and .afte r the animal s were picketed out to graze, the guide set about arranging the camp. As but one hour's sunlight p enetrate d bottom, it was quite chilly even in midday, so a roaring fire was kindled out of cones and brush wood. Out of a few r emaining b l an1eamp as a han Isome trophy. steaks from .voung bruin were roasted over t he fir e and made a very palatable dish to the hungry fugiti ves. Their camp was directl.v at the base ann as aaailr its to fling a stone So ar gued Sir Fblan.ing, and r.,.quested that the camp be removed further up the gorge. The guide went off to se how near w ere WUd Edna's guards, and soon r.;turned with the n ewq that a single guard was posted a mile further up the '.)anyon. "But I II wager thar's slathers more on 'em cluss h e said by way of conclusion. The camp was accordingly transferred several hundred yards to the western side of the mountain, and out of sucb danger as Sir Fleming had appre bended. At last night fell over the peaks, and prepa rations we.re made to" turn in All were more or less anxious about the non-ap p earance of O ld Avalanche, except Sir Fleming and Sir Brnce. They were apparently unconcerne1, or at le9.st, they did not seem to care whethe r he returned or not. "It is p,ossibl e b e m:iy have captured by the Jndians1 suggested Latly 111a'1de, the y all stooi g roupea aronnd the crackling camp fir e "Ya-s, et's possible an' that's erbout all. I t e ll ye it takes a r ed-skin wi' a cast-iron he'd t e r take ther Annihilator, all alonP. l'n !mowed ov his es capin' from ther r e d warmints w'en they hed him all ready t o roast-I h ev, by gum. Ile's jes' as slip pery as a n an' hes got as many liv e s as er spot ted tom-cat." And as much tongue as a bayou allig-ator," put i:J. Si r Bruce spitefully. "Wal, to be sure, be ar' troub!P d wi' too much spcch, but et.ar' natternl fer him." "How did be lose bis etJrs?" asked Sir Harry. 0 Oh! tbe t ar' a. m atte r 0 yeers age... "\V'en tbe r ol d man war a boy. t.e.; h u ll family w a r tuk by an lnjun raldin' expedi tion, an' all killed but two Avalanche an' his twin brot h e r Tber Iat,er war sol d to a ll1isoury rancher a song, w'ile the forme r war h e ld for t ortnr<' W'en the day o' ture a rriv', tbe lad's ears war shave d off by th!> chief's son, Crazy H ors e a n anoth e r young br ave named Idaho Bill. As Avalancile dic n't squeal n o r sq ua.rm in the operation they, out o' Inj un respee k, permitted him to g0 free. Since then h e's made y e can bet." "Dunno. Old Avalanrlte bain't never heerd from him s ence thet t imo 'cept that h e learnPd from the ranche r the t he'd starte d out in the world on his own hook. H e m o u ght be dead, or he moughtn't, j esg as it happens. Aftb r :l few mo1c wod o the rctir0d t o their tent, the nob lemen threw themse lves down near the fire to sleep, and Dan went on guard. He mad<> a tour up and down the canvo n but failed to discover any signs of prowlers. Doubt>css the Indians had not yet penetrated the gorge, and as fo r the bandits, t h e y probably meditated no mis chief; S"l nil safe f o r the present R3turning to camp the faithful f ellow seated him s elf n<1ar the flr a to p o nrt e r over the strange position into which he hncl been thro1rn. But bis eyes grew hPn.v.v, anr \ de,pite bis e!!orts to ke<'p awake h o soon fell fast asleep. T:-te hon1s rolbc l by. The c_amp-flr o l.111rnr l J o w and the canyon was mt' 1 den'e s'1arlo..-:s. In h0r t ent, L:idy l\Iil bru was re t lrq an I wa':e:nt Ifrr thoughts were nf snrh a tb'l.t she cou\rl not r'T')Se. Lady l a v beside h er, sleeping swPetl.v, but my la 1v con! 1 not t h e smn 3 pe:-1eeful bl essinJ!. "I have a of com in;-sbtt mnrmured as s h e at, I n s t arose to a h:ilf sltting p0sit ion, arirt p Pred arounr l h{'f', "'I W6Dde r it means? C.1.n the I ndians b e creeping u po n n s!11 nn nnPrture in the a faint glimme r o f light frorn the expiring flre s!ione into the tent. Instinctiv? l y mv heh drew h e r j e wcl c J watch fro m its place in '!'h e hour wa t .'10 c:imp a!lcl t'1e awful m o u nta in w e r e huc:;.bed in sh 1m'lCI'. Castiug a shawl her and risine;' t(!) her feet, ste stepped from the t ent and stood in the ope n air . All of the men lay prone upon the grass, sound asleep, save old Dan; for, though be was l 'o. i n rm consciousr::ess he retaine:I an upright, sittin';: posi

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Old Avalanche. 1 8 Non, his knotty bands clasped over the muzzle ')f bli pet rifle. So peace1'ully was be sleP.ping that Lady Milburn could not bear to disturb him. "Poor fellow," she murmured, sympathetically, .. let him enjoy himself. He Is fatigued, I'll warrant." She shivered a trifle at the crisp mountain air, and drew closer to the fire. Then, involuntarily, she raised her eyes toward the top of the frowning Flat Butte. As she did so, she gave a l ow, stifled cireat Heaven I What was this she saw? Was she dreaming, or was It reality? The summit was illuminated by a mighty bonfire. which lit up the northern skv to a blood-red glow. Standing at the edge ove rlooking the canyon was a tall, spectral figure, clothe d in snowy white, with a beard of the same color that reached nearly to his feet. In his hand be held an instrument resembling a mton, and be was wildly wavi n g this to and fro, while faintly downward on the bree;i;e floated the itrains of a w eird chant. With dilated eyes, Lady Milburn watched and listen ed. 'l'ben suddenly the spectral figure seemed to see her, for be ceased his song and p cinted on e Jong menacing finger down toward her, as if in t e r rible anger. She grew dentbly faint and endeavored l;o collect her s e nses. But her bead swam wildly, h e r limbs refused to.support h e r, and with an aw ful, eiercing shriek she sunk upon the ground, in sensible. CHAPTER VIL l"an TBUNDitRSTARlll O' nESTFring to get bis enemy's knife into a fatal spot, the savage desperately writhing and twisting to get free. Finally, however, he ll"ave a gurgling gasp, and leaned back in the scouts arms. He was dead. The Annihilator had touched him i11 the fatal spot; h e gave up without a cry. Skillfully disengaging his feet from t h e stirruris, Old Avalanche permitted him to topple off inl;o the grass, and then he was master of the horse. By this time he was right in the camp, and as It would be usdess to attempt retreat, he urged on the flying steed by prickin!l' it with his knife-point, and away they rushed straight down through campfires and clumps of Indians like a hurricane wind. Shrieks or surprise and anger went up from a hun dred throats, and high above all roared the sten torian voice of the dauntless scout. "Kerwboopl hayr we klm-ther great an' artul Norweegjan snow-slide o' de"tructlon, and the fewU rious errupsbun o' deomoJishen an' subversion. Cl'ar de track, ye ondecent imps o' stove-black; git out o' the r track o' ther boreal breeze o' annihilation, or by ther bosom-studs o' Generale Washing ton, I'll bumfusticate ye lik e all natur' J" On-on, dashed the spirited horse and hiA more spirited ridor-on llJrn the wind. and stiJJ the surg ing swarm of red-f!kins grew denser and thicker. Suddenly Old Avalanche made & discovery that had hitherto escaped his notice. A roaring campfuoe was in the entrance t-0 the canyon. Forms. tall and grim, stood in its light, and be knew they were Indians. Still, he was determined to break through their ranks, if such an act were possible, and gain the gorge beyond. On he sped, through the heart of the camp, and, et.range to say, as soon as the wily red-men became connnced that he was heading f o r the canyon, not a lraDd. was raised to stop him. Instead, the screaming .. cl<>Sed in after him, and f o llowed, yelling at his bm .... e,s hee ls. 4t fuJt l:P. t ;a s unable to comprehend their :notive, but not long, however, was be to be left In a state of doubt. As he approached the entrance he made the start ling discov ery that the mouth of the canyon Wa irg up," ef the y tak(I avalanche wi' out bis knowm' et, He set bis teeth together rritl. a click, &nd repl ac in g the knife In his belt, dtvvr and c ocked h is t wa hm\dsome r evolvers one of which h e h eld ready Ir. each band, for Instant usfl. Nearer and near e r trotted tbe savages. They wel! knew the desperate chari
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,, 14 Old Avalanche. 11elf, easily this, else he wot1ld have been shot down before. But it they <:1mnted on an easy victory, they. were greatly mistaken. No sooner was the fi&ah of a pistol to be seen than the Annihilator commenced a destructive fire to the right, left and in front, and for every shot he aimed, an Indian fell. It required but the space of a few to emptv the chambers of both revolvers, and then a deafening howl of triumph went up from the red skins, for they realized that the scout had nothing now left fer uoe but his knife and rifle. On they toward their r,nze, making the night ring a voice from the backgrounss the features of the Annihilator, as he heard these worrls No sooner had he emptied the chambers of his r e vol ver>, than, by a deft -movement, be e:rfracte, l them, a ncl re ptacerl them by duplica!e cham 'eis, fil.l0potamus. '1'ake thetl" He buried his knife in the nake d bosom, and the next instant had leaped to bis feet and was away through the darkness. The whole horde were now swarming after him in mad pursuit. He must have a horse, or vain would be the attempt to escape. The enemy could chase him down ere be could run half a mile. So he shaped his course toward the corral, whither the horse s guarded. The savages anticipated him, and before he wa& scarcelv aware of it, be beheld a dvzeu sweeping dawn upon hlm. Had they discovered him? He did not, wait to see, but threw bimself in the tall grass and crephl.with greut alacrity out of their path, With beating heart be awaited the result. Would they pasq by? N'o I they had s e Pn him, and W!'re once more their toward where he was crouching He cpuld hear their P.xcitediately followed bv Sfr H arry, Bruce and Fleming. The inse nsibl e woman was borne to the li'. parently lifeless fvrm, she burst into a tlood o t tears ile quiet," said Sir Harry, soothingly. "lltothel' has only fainted. Something bas frightened her!" Afte r several appJications of water, her ladvshlp gave signs of retun1ing consciousness, and tllen with a sudde n spasm and gasp, she gave vent to a. stifled cry, and sat bolt upright. Her face \Vas very pale and her eyes wild and burnini>: with an unnatural fire. The moment she was fully awakened to the knowledge of her situa tion, she shuddere'1 violently, and to thA crest of the mio:My Flat Butte turned h e r horrified gaze. Great Heaven I it was qone l\o longe r was the soectrnl fl"'.Ure at the edge o f the precipice; all tn<'PS of t'.1.e bloNl-re' l honfir e hacl disapp'arecl, an'1 t'ie summlt was en vc'op e d i11 its mantle of imnenetrabl e ''Obi H e n y, why did you come back to haunt me-to d!"ive .me almost mad with despair1"

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Old Avalanche. l& "My dear," said Sir Fleming, what Larly Milburn gazed at h e r noble-looking and mantrave you atl'right? What caused you to famt?" ly son, sorrowfully. She shuddered, as he laid his hand upon her shoul"Oh I Harry. are youl too, losing faith In me-you der. too turn from me n this h our of need f" she "What did I see?" she repeated, turning on him groRned piteous tf'ars s tanding in h e r eyes. almost savagely-" what did T see, to c ause me to "No, d earect, swootest moth e r, no I" he cried, swoon a w ay? I will tell you. On the crest of yon clasping h e r impulsively to his breast. "I will not mountain-to p, wrapped in a halo of glory I saw the desert c r disbelieve in you. I will do all a son can srint. o f your victim-of my poor, long-lost husbandi do, to aid in t:i.e last sad rites due rr.y poor lost Sir Henry. I begin to understand you more than father. If it be within the power of man, I will re did at fln;t-to comprehend your ba.;eness and treacover the bones that have been bleaching In Death chery. You told me t his was not tb.e mountain-top Gulch these twenty years. and inter them in the from which Sir Henry fell. You lied! His accusing ancient vaults of Lynn wood spirit came back to give proof of your lie!" "Do this, my own tme son," sobbed ladyship! Sir Fleming turned red and white by turns. but fl"and I will bless ,YOU-God will bless you. I sbal nall.v managed to emit a harsh, sarcastic laug h. then be ready t die "You are deme nted, Hetty," he replied, with a du-The remainder of the night paRSecl away rapidly; bious shake of his head. "I was a fool for ever per-Sir Fleming and his confidant. Sir Bruce. were 1alk mitting you to come out on this wild-goose chase. ing, apart, to themselv es, as also were Lad y Mil Each na.v is increasing your mania, and by the time burn and her chilc!Jen. we g e t back t.:> England, if we erer do, you will have About day-dawn, old Dan returned and reported to go into a private asylum I that the r e were n o signs of Indian intruders to be Again she turned toward him, her dark eyes bls.zdis co vered yet. The canyon w a s clear as far as be in" with indignation. had able to penetrate. n And you will place me ther ?" Wh e n Sir Harry r.late d to him the story told by "J will place you there t" Lady Jllilburn, h e nodded hi s old shaggy head com"Youwill 11ot !"cried Sir Harry, pushinl? the bar-prehensively, and went on about preparing tb'l one t back and standin g between bim and L ad y Mil-breakfast making no comment on it. burn. "You forget that I am here to defend her!" After breakfast he took an ax and bade Sir Harry "No, ycung man, I forget nothing. But. mind y o u, foll ow him. H e l e d the way down the cru1yo n for 1 am master of that woman, so step aside, or it will about a mile, after which h e came to a halt, and be the worso for you." pointed upward into thP precinitous wall of rock, on But Sir Harry f o lded his hancl s proudly across his the northern sid e of the gorge. F a r up. t .herld a baton, yander. You must the n plug e rway at him, full and while he "kept time with it, he chanted a terribl e tilt. Ef ye don't tumble him over most Ii kc's not song. Suddenly h e seem e d t o see me, for h e pointhe'll bounce down at .ve. Whe n he do, ye turn t ail, ed one finger down at me, as if in anger. A deathly an' bght f e r camp, an'I'll knock ther star spanyi eled faintness came over me, and I swooned awa v. A3 ha:mers out o' him wi' my little hatchet." you s ee, the terrible appadtion has vnni s b ed. l "Very well. G o ahead." "But, mother, you have imag ined all this. You Advancing to the roe!.:, the guide gave three or tnust have been walking in your sleep and dreamed f ou r resounding whacks upon it with the ax; then all this absurdity." back from beneath the hole. "It ls not absurd, my son; nothing but the trut h. i The next instant there was a S&T Se growl, and I was a.q wide awake as you are now, and beheld thu Bruin came lumbering to the mouth of bis retreat, specer as clearly as I now beho l d you." to ascertain the cause of the disturbance. "This seems incredible," said Sir Harry, shP.kiD6 Sir Harry fir e d simultaneously with bis appear bis bead doubtfully. "There is no such a tt.;n& its ance, and s ent a well-directed bullet square into the ghosts and specters, you know-a fact wilicL pli.m'y l eft eye. goes to show that you were Qe<>eiv e d dear, Good I cried Dan, as the monster came tumb-do ;.ou k21ow I have sometimes been forced to doubt down to the ground iuite dead. :your sanity, !,""ou in venturin g "Thet was a. fine shot. into thid "''.;d Paa iow i:o g m e rely for The bear proved to be a male, and as soon as he the sake of gat!Y,?ing tJ>P, o! my poor lost could be conveye d back t o camp, Dan ana lyzed Di.ls father7" stomach, and found sufficient ev idence to Slltl&fy

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16 Old Avalanche. him that the mountain cave was furnished with ooth water, grass ancl bushes, bearing green food About noon, Wild Edna was seen coming down the canyon at a l eisure ly gallop, and drew up at the camp-fire around which all of the occupants were sitting. As tbey gazed at the fresh young beauty-so per f ec t in face a nd form, and so easy of carriage and speech, not one could deny that she was the most magnificent type of woman they had ever seen. She was attired in a s uperb silk riding-habit\ re lieved here and there by lace and spark ing diamonds, and confesse dly, she looked m o r e like a countess or a quee n than did either of the ladies Milburn, for all they had been born, bred and cul tured in r oya l society Her amile was lik e a burst or snnshlne, h e r bow o f r ecognition a model of sauciness; and her general manner, viva c i o us and pleasing... ascinating .. Good-morning she said. as she surveyed the group critically, whil e her fair h and toyed with her horse's mane I hope this sunrise finds you all well and enjoying yourselv es. "All wel'," repli e d Sir Harry. smiling rather grimly. but hardly in a moo d for enjoyment. Our situation is not co n ducive to pleasure." "Probably n o t. That, however, is not my fault. Y ou should pay your toll and leave for p arts more agreeable." We should not submit to s uch an impositionmore, 1rUl not,,, "Ob I of course you have a perfect right to con sult your own notion about that. If you value the superfluous stock of money you bave. and the dia monds you wear, m o r e than you dn your lif e, so be it. I would not seil m11 lif e l'm sure, for all the wealth on the continent!" "Yet you are periling i t for money I "No, I am not. I am jus t as free from danger of death as can be imagined." "H.ow so!" Because no one will dare to insure their own d eatb, by taking my life!" "Sol Well, for instance. suppose that I were to shoot you, now, or otherwise make way with you, wbat would be the result!" "If I did not return to m y home inside of an hour, my men are given to unde rstand that harm bas befallen me. They would mount, sweep down upon you, and hac k you to pieces-tear you limb from limb. They would not even stop to question you as to what had become of me, so great would be their rage "They must be a pack of d e mons, the n I" "I hope tbey will never have to attack you and thereby prove tbemsel ves such.' "Probably tbey neve r have." After a little furthe r talk, Wild Edn'\ said: You then still refuse to p!!.y the t olll" "Yes-a thousand times, yes Unrterstatd me, lady. that it is not the greed for gold that causes this refusal, but a sense of h ono r and proper regard for what is due to law and principle As gentlemen w e must refuse I" "Very 1vell. P ermit me to say, howe v e r that no matte r how keen your s ense of honor and justioe may b e now, I am confident that the 'eleventh hour will bring you around to a1mit our demands fully-" Entertain no hones In that direction. Y o u will be doome d to disappointment, I fear." "If I am doomed to disappointment, sir," said Wild Edna, as she gathered up her bridl ereins, "you will be doomP.J y could do to better their situation. so the y concluded it policy to take things as easr. as circumstances would pennit. In all probability, Old Avalanche bad d'eserted them, and they bad nothing to hope for from any quarte r About an hour before sunset, a ll were aroused by the sound of a voice, s inging a jangling snatch of o utlandish song, and the tramp of horses' feet; tben, gazing up the canyou toward the banditti's r etreat_ it at once was perceivable tbat they w e r e about to have a visitor-and such a vi sitor I A scrawny, vicious-looking mule was leisur ely ap proaching camp on whose bony back sat a lon g lank a nd lean individual, whose general appearance mi ght have provoked a smile amon..: the most sober crowd of spectators. He was undPniably a mixlure of th!) old school or Yankees and Kentuckians, with a sprinklin g o f both Texas and Missouri in his m ake-up. His exceeding length and lankiness, to whi c h was adde d a face or grim, humorous and angular contour. adorned by tallow-hued Burnside$, and tnned and freckled sbockiugly. His hair was not unlike the Burnsides in color, and, since some a nci ent date, had apparent ly not made the ncquaintance of a comb. His eyea were decided ly "auburn," and his nose as decidedly Roman. His attire consisted of a variety of gar ments, ranging all the way from the soiled checker ed pantaloons and heavy brogans to the untanned wolf-skin snirt and squirrel-skin cap. A tlaming yellow neck-t ie encircled his throat, and a gay red white-and-blue sash about his waist contBined an enormous pair of horse-pistols and a bowie of for midable dimensions. These, with a huge muske$ strappe
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Old Avalanche. "Purty hevy, at yer sarvlce. How's yersel', Cbris t/!m f" replied old Dan. "Waal, I'm on em average. Jedge ye bain't got no 'jection ef a feller war ter squat down among ye, hex'" Nary a 'jection. Cum a long up an' let's inspeck y e." "Oh I gallant n ite o' chivalry I'll hasten ter Embrace this oppertunitchy," sung the stranger, and giving the mule a dig In the ribs, he continued: .. on, Prudence, ont Charge, Cordelia, charge!" As Shakespeer sed to ther preecher RS they 'proached tb e r beer s aloon:0 Our toilsome jernney ar' ended I" Jn a moment more the camp was reach<:>d, and raisin g a Jong leg over the mule's back the stranger stood upon the ground. When standing he was about six feet six, and as comical a l ooking human, as the spectators had ever been so unlucky as to me<-t. By thunder, ye're a sight, you ire!" said D a n, as he finished his inspection 'Who in Cain are ye, o le hossf" "That, m.v Chri,tian frie nd, I am fortunately able to tell Y" l flourish unde r therholt o' Josiah \\" illiam Hogg, E sq., at yer sarvice-Hogg spelt wi' tew G's ef ve'd j e s' 's l' eve. ,, ,t An' why wi' two G's?" "Becawse et hes bin' ther_ priveledges o' my ancestors ter call themselves Hogg, fer w'ich I ain't ter b lame. Fustly they spelt it H-o-g, Hog. But, as, ef a feller's goin' ter b e a hog at tall he may's well go et "bull bog or none," I konkluded tew adopt tew G's I" u Ye're travelin' or goin' sun?Whar. I take it." "Yas, I guess so. My p r ofl'essyun Jeeds me every wbar. Sir, I am a rioet-a descendant from ther g reat an' immortail Shakespeer-a secont cuzz"? o' Longfeller an' an an' t ter Byron o'Linn; lam Josiah B illiam Rogg, esquire, atyer sarvice;-Hogg wi' two G's!" __ CHAPTER IX. THE POET O THE NOR'WEST-GONE! A GENERAL laugh followed and Josiah Hogg was f o rthwith made welcome to the camp. ''Much 'quainte d 'bout these diggm'sf" asked old D an, as he helped 1 he visitor to a huge silice of bear-meat. "Waal, v-a-s;-'bout on an average. Ye recom m embe r this 'ere division o' the r erquaitor ar' re n owued f ur ets po'-!try o' grace an' motjon, so I've tuk more'n ordinary pains ter cultyvate a thorough knowledge o' et. Every darn thing ye see or meet w i', out hayr is ch'">ck-full o' poetr;rNow, fur in stance, hayr's th!)Se big beep o rock, vu lgarly c alled mounting. sumtbin' sublime an1 cow inspiring erbout tbet upheevyal o' granite an' lavy. As Milton sed tew old Jonas Snatcher, w'en the y war killin' H-o-g-g -s-but H-o-g-e; as Milton war saym': "Frie nd, thee o Jonas Snatcher "ilt thou berum a watcherf Jist behold thet i;rand.fnale Ther poet r y iu thet porker's tail." "Whar kin ye beet th et, now? Jlst obsarve tber path-boss in the t rine. I allus sed Milton war three sideso' a s l ab-fence on composin' poetry, but w'en he scribbled them lines, I war reddy t e r sw 'ar f e r him. "What is thar this sida o' ther River Jordan more poetic than the vibrating an' graceful motion o' a pork e r's tail? Echo ans'crs wllat?" You are a brainless idiot I" grunted Sir Fleming In d!s;;ust, while tho others were laughing, heartily. have n o more poetry about you than a "A Crow Tnjun? Waal thet's jes' RS one tlggers 1t. Darn my socks, ef I ain't smarter nor a Crow thie f. ye can baptize me in a Hog-trougb;-not a H-o-g g, Hog-trough, tho'. I am ther boss popt o' ther Nor'wcst-tber great sublime rm:pancer o' the r Powd e r river range. Wawkeen Miller 'hain't a S11rcumstance ter me. I'm a descendant o' old Jim Shakespeer, a secont cuzzin o Longfeller1 an' a maiden a'nt 9' Byron O'Lynn, say nutbin 'bout my inter-relashun ter M o ar. Burnjn; I Webster sed to the settin' goo8e: "' y., she d n evye r digres t 'Yhile confiued ter yer nest. 'l'hnts thA cnse wi' you. Ye shed nevyer disgred n o r (1-iversiry i s the Cus3 o' creashun l" "Bu t you havea't arRwcrcd my <;uestion y et. Hou, di1 l .ro u r;ct tb.o l:r.-:-s of tbc outlaws?" H Pm'ty r;ood t b.fs ,, t.bc r 0e t CV<'.Sively, t akbG" 11 huge mouthful O f "the c\eli, cio u s fooU. "Seo h e: e I" n ow y cl!ccl Sir Bri.;ce, a, thoroughly l1c c:u :chrcl h'.s vi::-i tor by tile t11ou1clcr; u I wnnt r.ioro of th:s t rifling. T ell me passed through the liu es c f Wild J os iah Rcriltched h'.s "ha:;;:y h e:id f o r moment, thOC!i1, tfulJy. "Yc"re suro ye ain't .;,;l'r.: c razx, eh?0 ha another unb !u!illing cive at the

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18 Old Avalanche. Sir Bruce grew fairly livid, and those around the fire burst into another flt of immoderate laugb ter. "Curse you!" he howl ed, imprisoning Josiah's l ong, crane-like neck in his two hands; "do you want me to choke tbe life out of you? U not, answer me at once "Ye wanter kno' ef I klm thr'u' ther canyon an' see'tl a 0Ye1; goon!" "Waal, I didn't see a livln' banditter-shave me wl' a b&na shoYel ef I did I" "lmpo11&iblel You could not have come through th:r been stoppe d by them." "Dldn t coma throu g h f How then? " I 11'ct 008r /" "How do you make that out?" "Why, I an' PNdence COt"l:lelia thar rid down on a streak o' grMSed lightnin'." Sir Bruce iurllE'd away in He had exhausted his pa.tleuce aod failed with a man, who, it was pla.in to s.-.e, WlMi n obody's fool." It began to be pretty eddent that the visitor was not so green as be aptien was posted on guard, and the rest lay down nbnut tbe fire and went to sl eep, with the exception of the ladies, who retired to their t ent. The night p&Ssed without incident, and morning dawned onoe more. Josiah was up with the c:imp, and appeared per fectly at home. Breakfast had been d one away with and n il were J ,.,nnging around on the grl\ss, when a horseman was seen coming down the canyo n from the directio n of the bandits' retreat. A single glance suffic e d to show that it was not Wild Euna, but instead, a hand some young f e llow of two-and-twenty, who resembled her somewba.t He was lithe and graceful of f orm, with a purely Spanish complexion, hair of the raven's hue. and drooping mustache of the same shade. His attire was semi-Mexican, and fitted him neatly, bis bead being Cl"OIVned hy a. jatJnty sombre ro, whil e a sash at bis waist c ontained n small arsenal of polished wea.pons. As he rode ul> be doffed his hat politely. "You come n t he place of Wild E ina, if I mis take not," said Sir Harry, returning the salutation, coldly. "I do, se nor. The Girl Bandit b eing a trifle indls posed this n1orning, she commissioned me to wait upon you in her absence, to learn if you have changed your decision i n regard to the toll." "Then you can r eturn to your Girl mistress, and tell her that we shall nev r come to her terms I" "As you like, senor. 'fo-morrow y o u wi11 receive tlls last vlSit from us and if you lose that chance ef a.oceding to our terms, your fate will b e sealed. Oft the eleventh da.y, the n, after to-morrow-which wtU be the thirty-first of this month-the floodgatPs t4 Lake Tice will be rruse :I, and a d e luge of water d sweep through D e vil Canyon. lf you are In it yenr fate you can well imagine. We shall not bold -!es responsible for your death, having given ""these chances for life and liberty, and ten days to elfect escape in." "But. God will, young fellow, put in Josiah, im pressively. .. As Jim Sbakesoeer sed to Sam Skin ner, w'en Sam g9t boozy on hal"d cider, an' blamed ther cider-maker fer it-as Sbakespeer sed: " Doa.n't use the name o' God in vain In tippsiness or pain. Fer yer own misdeeds yer ter blameGod 'II hold ye responsible all ther same. "Now tbar's dubble distilled essence o' truth' an' rellgyum In the m varses, tha.r is. "Many's tber time I've heard Sbnkespeer say logical things, but be never put tber reel truth an' path-hoss inte r flggers like be did In them lines. Another o' his antidotes o' wisdom war thi: "' Allus bold yersell responsible fer all yer c 13, an' then ef ye're counted out at tber g re11.t ekc.1 '" ye won't be much disapp'inted I'" "6ou are truly'a great m oralizer," said tha ban. dit,witb a. shrug, "but we feel justifle_d in demand ing toll, and enforcmg its payment. Consequently we cannot keep as close within the law as would perhaps be consistent with regard to our welfare i1 the Kreat Hereaft<>r." "You,r name-what l s it?" said Slr Fleming, who had ordPred Dan and Sir Bruce to cover the outlaw with their rifles. 0 Nevada Sam, a.t your service." "Very well, Nevada Sam; please consider yourself my_ prisoner. Dismount,and deliv e r up your arms. Nevada Sam smiled, but did not off e r to obey. "You are a fool," be said coo lly. "DiJ not my sis ter tell you what woulrl b e fall you should you offe r to molest her, on her former vlsit?" "Your Sibterf" "llly s ister. or Wild Ednn., as you know her." "Yes, I believe she threatened us with some non sense a.bout what might happen. ,, "Very well. I reply likewis e Off e r me the leat hindrance and you will h'1.sten your own death!" "Who.ti do you dare to threaten me? Haven care sir knave I She was a woman but you are 1101, and i do not fear to shoot you. Dism ount I" "I will dismount, if you so order," replied Nevada Sam, grimly; "but, recollect that if I uo, your death i s a c ertainty within an hour." Sir Fleming quailed a trifle, and hesitated. You a r e at perfect Ii berty to go a.nd come as yon please!" cried Sir H'lrry, at this juncture. "That man does not command, h ere; consequently he ba.s no authority, whel" e I h old swoy." "Thanks," smil'd the bandit. "You are wis"', I se':l. No Rood could possibly c ome of holding nc a prisoner. Then, nodding to the men and raising his ha.t courteously to the ladle's-particularly to L:i.cly Maude, he wheel e d bi s horse and dashed away. "Now, sir," cried Sir FlPrning, quit e infuriated, as he confronte d Sir Harry, "what r,1ve you to say for your conduct, just no\v't" Sir Harry laughed-laughed in bis cool, tantalizfag wav. "Because I thought your wings needed cropping again." he r el)lied "You were getting o n too fast, ancl quite ignoring the fact that I was master." "But you are 1101 maste r I" shrieked Sir Fleming, white with passion, while Llis tremendous corporosity seemed to swell to twice its customary size, with In dignation. "You are 1101, I say, and to teach you that I will endure your insolence no longer, I ll teach you who ;s, after this fashion!" And raising a stout, gold-beaded cane, which, since their camping in the canyon, bad been hls constant companio n, h e struck Sir Harry a heavy blow upon the head, felling him to the ground, in sensible. Ladies l\1ilburn Instantly began to scream In alarm, and while Sir Fleming and Sir Bruce assumed a defensive position, old Dan Coggswell and Josiah Hogg sprung forward in an offensive attitude. "Ye durned skunk!" yelled the guide, "ain't ye ashamed o' this? I've half a nosliuu tew knock a star-spangled banyer out o' ye." "Bully fer you, pa.rd I" chimed Josiah, his long atms rapidly. "Let's giv' 'em n tannin, the ornery heethun. As Jim Shakes peer uster say: "A knockin' sort o' skrimmage At punchin' uther's image, Ar' only justy-flab le-Et makes the body pliable.

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Old Avalanche. 19 "And as I feel kinder stiff', now, I proPQse we snn'lnt our j'inta by walloppin' them ondecent "1.ckers." "Nol no!" cried Sir Harry, crawling to hie feet, at this juncture-" Jet them alone. l '11 settle both of t h e m, b..tore I am many SUil!I older." And with a flasbing eye, the young nobleman sauntered otf to the littl e stream to wash the blood from bis bruisej cranium; for the cane had cut open the scalp. During the remainder of the Y, Sir Fleming ana his ally kept aloo f from the rest, and whiled away thei r nme in conversation and smoking. Night fell dark and threateeing. J\1asseg of black cloudg filled the heavens, and the atmosphere was decidedly rainy. Afte r tile evl e to keep track of his whereabouts, except when they would catck a sound t o guide them. Presently it was inferred b.f the deep s ilence Scarlet Blade had halted in bis search. "Hey I" shouted Idaho Bill with an oath, "w'ar ye goin\ y e red imp? w'at ar' ye at so lottg?" "What diff..-ence it make to you?" leered Crazy Horse. "Let Injun alone." "Ugh I" cried the rough voi"0 of Scarlet Bladt>, from 'the center of the circl e, "Injun keep much still. Scarlet Blade f ound trail, Injun sit still on hoss. Scarle t Blade trail white dog under bosses bell:vl" A0moment later Crazy Horse was c onscious that somebody or something was n ear him, and he made a vain attempt to peer dt'wn into the grass. "'Vbo dar?" he demanded, suspiciously. "Dat yon Scarlet Blade?" "Um I" "as the brief reply. and the rm:t\ing in the grass proclaimed that the chief was creepini; away. Full ten moments passed; then a figure leaped froll' the grass, and onto the back of the riderl ess hors, of SCsclet Blade. White dog no dar," said the disappointed voice o' the chif'f. "He gone, an' Sca1ict Blad e git up'." A derisive yell went up from the Indians in gen eral. Scarlet Blade is a dog!" cried Crazy Horse, with contempt. Then turning in his sacttl l e be shouted, in Sioux: "Away! away! all of you, except a hundred, who will go to the canyon mouth, where the others are! Wait for us l Scatter I" The order wasinstatly obe:ved. All of theswarmi:Jg gang. except Crazy Horse, immediatel y spread out over the prairie. and began to scour about for the escaped Annihilator. The chief then set out for the entrance to D evil' s Canyon, followed by his detachment of braves. Under the command of Idaho Bill, the savanna was thoroughly SParclJe d for n distance of four o r five miles, in <"ither dirPction; but not a trace of tba much-feared nud mo11e bate& Avalanche was to b0 found. He hacl undoubtedly made good bis escape Into the mouutains. At last the blare of a trumpe t caused the savage s to ""f"l iuqu i s h the search. and turn Pnck t owal' d camp. Iua Lo Rill was amoug the last L o co this.

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90 Old Avalanche and as he turned his animal's head he saw the horse of Scarlet Blade p,assing to his right. "Hallo, there! he shouted, "is that you, Injun imp!" Ugh ais Scarlet Blade was the and t'be horse came forward. "You Idaho Bill?' "Ya. et's me \..,um along, ef you're a-goin' inter camp." The outlawgave his horse the spur, and was about dashlng away, when a lasso, one end of which was secured to Scarlet Blade's saddl e fell g-racefull,Y around him and drew taut, thereby pimoning his arms to his side. T he next instant be was jerked from his saddle, and 1.10 sooner did he reach the ground than the fii:ure of OJd Avalanch, the Annthilalor, was upon bun. Scar1et Blade had perished in that circle search, and the alert scout had donned his bead-dress, transrerre u ovill<' of the Sioux's paint to his own face, and took of the horse. It was a darinll" act, but his despe1at e pMition had Inspired him wibn the determination to accomplish it, aud he had succeeded admirably. Thither and hither over the savanna he had among the other savages, huneing for him8 f'lf, aq it were, and. wtlenever ne co1 lld a smtable chance, driving his knife i nto thA heart of a red companion. And onl7 by cha.nee was it that he bad !alien in with Idah() Bill. Old Avalanche was uoon him I To <>fi the outlaw's yells was but the work ot a moment. and In short order he lay u;>0n th" green carpet of the savanna, a helpless prisoner, bound band and foot, and gagged. "Thar I" grunted the Annihilator. as hA flnfsh'ld his work, sarve et allus tew an' sometimes three, tew make a barg'in. Hey. Jderbo Billiam, ain't them yerldees? Don't 'preeshatetbervirtues o' thergrate, roa.rin' Norweegjan Avala.ache? Wal, I ken't help my bulrush o' Moses. !'m's powerless to re leevl ye o' yer aaiixyuns, as a cat ar tew .let go onter a rat, arter sbe'sexed her fangs inter bi s rib-steak. Axident threw ye inter tber way o' my lassy, an' now nuthin's moar established tbun thet 1e've got ter ackumpenny a verita.geble wblrlygfg o rantank erousness t e w hes stopping -place-thet ye've got ter assoshat e wi' a ginnywine Norweegjan snow slide. ' A groan from Idaho Bill was the only answe r He had sufficient cause to dread the Avalanche-to fear his veng eance. Old Avalanche headed toward the northwest, and struck off into a gallop. carrying his prisone r with him. hours he rode on, and at the blush of dawn, arew r ein close in under cover o the towering mountaina. at a spot where snade. Nater and grai,s were ple nty. 'l'he outlaw was placed upon tbe ground, and tethering his horse out to graze, he 1et about finding food for Wmself and prisoner .He soon succeeded in catching a few fat frogs from a stagnant buffalo wallow. and building a fire of buffalo-" chips," be roasted the luscious hind legs, thereby a very palatable meal. As soon as all was m readiness, the Annihilator removed the gag from the 0utlaw's mouth, and tendered him a portion o f the food, which was readily accepte l and devoured b e fore the scout had scarcel v begun on bis. The breakfast was rlis patcbed in silence, and when h e had fini shed Old Avalanche climbed up into a neighboring crag to take observatio ns. As near as be could judge, be was 110mething more than ten miles distant from the Sioux camp, and hy the c lear light C)f the morning that had now fullydawned, be could s ee that the camp was astir. Smoke from m any ca.mp-fires rose in spi ral col umns toward the smiling blue skies, and a gen eral u.ct1vity and bus t l e w e re notice3.h1e. A score or or horses w e re b e ing fr o m the corral, and this told the sceut that the Indians, or at least a portion of them, were going on the trail. That trail was his own, and as he had taken no pains to hid e it, h e was aware how easy it would be for them to hunt him down. "Yas, thet ar' w'at they're a-going tew do, or tew try to do," he muttered. Part on 'em's took persession o' ther gorge mouth. an' t'other pn.rt ar' seeriously refleckt1n on takin' o' tber grate Avalanche. They've got it rnd entyured inter tbe'r noddles. thet they'd like ter intervie w a v e ri lageabl e eppyclamic o' e x tarminasben; but seem's thar mought be a terrufeck exploshen o' confined terrificossity, ef the y war tew enc ounte r t ne. sayin' nutliin' erbnut an arful Joss Injun population, I deem it ther nat<'beral co nse quence o' ful ehardine ss to tarry here; so I'll per ceed to abscorcbulate." The sC'out turned and clambered down toward hill own camp As he diJ so his ears were greeted with hoarse anf frightene d y e lls, eviJently coming fl'om Idaho Bill. TWs quickened bis move!D.P.nts, and in a few mo ments, b e had gaine d the l e vel ground, close to camp. Here bis eyes fell upon a scene both unex pected and ludic r ous. During the Annihilator's absence the prison..,. evidently had been trying to climb to the back Ok' the horse aud make lus escape, but bad been sur prised by an unexpected enemv. This was no otb(; r ths. n the scout's wonJerful "j'it;t," Florence Nl.,l:tingale, who ha.d opP"rtunely arrivw, and attack.!d vheoutlaw. At the time of the Annihilator's eTJtree upon LhB sce?Je. the goat h!ld succeeded in do,vning his vict;ui, and wa.q bunting him without mercy, rolling bio" over and ov<1r at 1wery lun g e while Idaho k"lll" shrieks of pain and rage made the w e lkin ring. Old Avalanche gave a yell of ecstasy an!l ;v,t do1Vn to watch the SPOrt. tdaho Bill now sa..w hil 1, and a torrent of blasphemous curses and oaths, bmke from hiR lip8 Still Old Avalanche sat upon the ground, watch ing. and with a grim smile upon hi s forrowed coun t enance This was sweet revenge for him-ven geance for previous injuries. At last, however. he perce ived that the outlaw was nearly insensible, and with a whistl e h e called the vicious hi1ly from hi s work of torture. "Thet'll d o fer the present, boyee," was the An nihilat<>r's ejaculation as he patted the animal at!ectionatly. "Ye stud ter ye r work nobly an' ari desarvin' o' thanks fer et, I think, tho' I'll tend tew Mr. Idaho Billlam, myself, now." Wi t h these words h e rose to bis feet. drew hi knife, and approached the outl'lw, wh'.l l .iy groan ing upon the grass. A ssistin g him to a slttlnll' position, he seat.et seen ye for years. I were a young pappoose wbe!l yon were first brought t o the Sioux camp. So wag Crazy Horse. We c.it your ears off at the torture stalw. u "True," replied Old Avalanche a twinire of pai111 visible on bis wrinkled brow-" shaver! 'em of! clusser norther beerd frum a boyee's face. But. the best o' et .. n, Bill, ye k en't brag the t I eveu ftinch ed." "No, o ld man. ye stud et like a lamb, an' I'll guY ye credit fur it." "What l>eeam of them flappers?" asked the Ail nihilato r, huskily. "Do n't kno' what Crney Horse rt one wi' 1,i wore Jnine fur a charm; on a o t.iR !t

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Old Avalanche 21 got dried up, like a piece of pasteboard. when I tbrowed it away." Tears stood in the old scout's eyes. "Too bad, 11 he sighed. u I war in hopes o' get tin' souse bac k sumtime or otber, an' gettin' 'em astered on erg' in. Too bad." Then, as if he sud enJy recollected himself, he b<>gan to sharpen his knife faster upon his moccasin-top." Idaho Bill watched him somewhat nervously, growing a shade paler each moment. He could not -intsnnderstand the meaning in tbis. It meant deiitb to him! AftP r a while the edge of the weapon seemed sat lsfactoray sharp to the touch of the Avalanche's thumb, for he said: "Do ye kno' ther border code, Billi am?' he asked, slowly. "I know," was the shuddering reply, "an eye for an eye, ana a tooth fot a tooth." "Yes, thet's it-eye fer eye an' tooth fer tooth. But tbet ba.iu't tbe code T shell 'f von'll show m e the cl I Inc1i:m path that leatls thr'u' ihese mounklins, or ove r 1e111 rurller, tew ther Flat Butte peak, au' tew ther D eath Gulch yo shall hev liberty nn' yer decapitated eers." Jdaho Bnl groaned and shuddered. "Go on'." be white a '1 I agree. Take my ears an'i it over,, You know tile over-mountain "Ay, ayl" -"And will go thr'u' w1' yer jab wi 'out attemptin' no !'1 "Yes-I s\v enr it!" Without furfrer words in Jess time than it takes to tell it, the poor wretch was ,ood in the Stygia.n gloom. undecide d what to do. I've had a. premona shun as he wa.rn't ,b uv e si.rspeckshun. "Yes; but whither has he gone?" cried Sir Harry, ang_rily "Oh! the dastard, the traltor! How my ache to get at his throat I" I oplnP ho's gone back tiler way he klm, per v:idin' he ain't gone t'other way. My ar' that he's interlinked with the canyon bandits.' "Good heaven I yon don't mea.n to say that my darling s ister is in the power of those heartless wretches?11 "Wouldn't want.fer ter sw'a.r tew et; but I m thinkiu' et smells stT'Ongly way." L ook to the quick, and see if the mule i11 gone. then I That will tell the story." Dan obeyed, with alacrity, and soon returned with the inteJligence that the mule and Lady Maude's horse were both missing. Ob I God!" groaned Lady Milburn, who had all tho lime teen weeping violently, I sba1l never see my child again." "Yas ye will, mum," replied the guide, doffing his hat, respectfully. "Take old Dan Coggswe ll's word f e r it Lady Maude will not he harmed, and '11 be restored tew _yew afore long. I've heerd consid er'ble of this Girl Bendit, an' believe her te_w be 'bout as fair-tew-average sort o' feline as evyer did n't chaw terbaccer. She won't hurt yer darter, an', afore tbe bii; tlo
PAGE 23

Old Ava l a n che, politely, to which Wild Edna responded with a smile. "You have come, I perceive, fo r the third time," said Sir Harry.l." to request the toll payment." Exactly I This is the l 1st call. You now still have a chance for life and liberty, and If you do not accept, y our fate b e on your own heads: Would to Uod I could aid you, or avert the impending doom, but I eannot. Did any of you see an apparition on the top .l the Flat Butte at midnight two nights ago?" I did! I did I" screamed L '.tdy ll1ilbura, rushing forward and clasping the Girl Bandit's j ewele d hand, "I saw it. Ohl girl, t e ll me-tell me for the lnv e of G od, was that an apparition, or was it h um m r" She trembled in evmy limb, and her e.ves burned an unnatural tire-a yenming, half-expec tant g lare "Te ll me, t e ll me!" she continued, as Wild Edna hesitated, "for I m-us t know I" / "I can tell you not.him; my lady," was the p : ty ing r e ply. "I am bo!lli 1 by a solemn pleJge to r;i veal nothing b e vond the Hmits of our band. Th) specter on tne Flat But t e will appear again, jus t be fore daybreak of the e leven t h day from now as you saw aim, m y lady. His appearance v;ill b e the s i g nal to r a ise the floodg ates of the terribl e Lake Tico. Fear not, howe v e r, dear lady. for you will not be allowed to p e ri s h with the rest!" "But, my daught e r Maude, where is she?" "Safe and sound, and enjoying a refreshing g leep whe n w e left h e r I t was out of pity, tl1at I bad h e r spirited away. Y'Ou will soon follo w her!" "Girl !11 cried Sir Fleming, advan c in g, '"ar'3 you a p erfect demoness? Will you see us men, wao 11.:tve n ever raised a finge r to harm you, muid e,eJ outrif'1'h1 ?" Wild Ednafius h e d, angrilv. "I will see nothing of the kind. A s I have told you once befor e, I cannot avert the flood I have tried to persuade you to pay the toll, but you have r e fused. Here my work ceases. On my return to the ban.dit retreat, I will be cast into a stron g cell, by the order s o f rrn,ther, and confined there o n e month for mv failure in extortin g the toll from you." 'Who i" t .his other?-your gay Ne"ada Sam? No-indee d, n o He is my brother, and as true and brave a man as any of you. Like myse lf, h e tou will be confined. and suffer on your account,,, She spoke so bitter.y that Sir Harry s susceptible heart at once w ent out toward her I am sorr.v for you," h e said, walking np to her animal's sid e r e ally, truly sorry but I do not care to yield. 111ayb6'\vben 't;,>ee L a k e Tico's waters bowling down upon m e I II hasten to change my mind!" And be made an attempt to l a u g h gayly. "It will be 100 la'e, then!" s'.l.id Wild Edna, sadly; once the Uood-gates are raised, notbfog possessed of life PXCP.pt t rees. can liv e in Devil's Canyon." "Well. if this b t h e case, I can con s ider mys elf a doomed rnan.'1 "You refuse to pay the toll, then?" u I d o most emphatically!" Alas! the n you are indee d doomed l" She shot him a !!lanc e from her beautiful eyes-a g lance in whic h wa'-' min g led pity, sorrow a n d w lrnt? 'l'h e fa'tl'cating heart of the young nobleman tol d him it was more than the light and g low a n r l interest of a common nature-and his own fa ce flushed at the thought ciid this beaute'.lus vision of the wilder ness '""I' him? lt was a thought that filled him witll ex-pr sc:.i1111less joy. 'l'le G irl Hand it, howe ver, quickl y inte rl'Up ued his s u dd e nly conceived Will th e P"\' '.r"'" toll, and be allo w e d to go o n in frPeclom ? ' '"I think not." rc:>J.htetl Str Flemin g, who had been conferring w"th Sir Drn.::P ; Bor, n t leas'. n o t at prese nt. lf' we d<:-cide tr p:iy the tnll for o ur s e l vesJ will it no t be e no11t;h tu al y chiseled features-a blus h more of pleasure tha n confusion. "You must not flatter," she said. quicklv releasing the h and he h a d taken. "I am not used to it-I am not used to the great world you liv e in, or its people. I s h ould n o t lis t e n to praises from those who could n e v e r be aught to me." Sir Hart y felt his heart b ound in a suspiciousl y ex c ited manner, but he refrained from speaking the words of p'.tSsionate love I .hat rose to his lips. What d i d a ll this mean? \Vas h e actually in love wi t h this flow e r o f the mountain-this femal e bri-gand? 1 >0llN'Otrn t fnrthatcleuced bobbing about o f hectr : lJ 1t bah l the idea o f wedding such a bridc.--b0 aristocratic n ob leman, of a no ble house and the of a title. I t could n o t be-never. H e was thus reflectin g and rnnsaclut await tt,,; issue o f impending ev e nts. Escape was impossib l e. for old D a n bad ascertain ed tlrn.t th e savazes had t:ik 'n o f tho eastern tern1inatio11 of rhe <'1.nyon, they se-Pmf'd in no hurry t o nclvanc-e. l th ink." sai d Sir Harry to Sir Fleming on the third morn i ng, as all snt a.roun d the cn.mp-firf"' I thin I' 1 hat b etween us we h ad lit->t ,ter p !t v t lh. to!L at l12st f o r mother, anJ her, alonJ? with I1t'tdy 1\laude, to (J' PPdvm. Tl wid no1 be rig-ht n l e t lier j'.1:-;t. wu a.1.J Oi.J.Jti;1ate .\ r& f,:_e to p:ty ti., t o -1."

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Old Avalanche. 23 Sir Fleming sneered. "I quite disagree with you," he replied, sarcastically. "I am of the opinion that se!f'preservution Is first to be considered,_ before lookmg to the welfare of others. Lady .ttetty will probably be released by the bandittl: but, even if she is not, I cannot see that her life is so preciously valuable tolme." 'To you-no!" cried Sir Harry, sternly. "\Vere she dead, you accursed plotter, hnrich est,s .te of Ferndale, you, as a husband, could claim. Were I and Lady Maude dead, all of the old family possessions of the great name of Arriscourt would be yours. Think not, Sir Fleming 111ilburn, that I am blind to your schemes and machinations. I can read you lik e a book. "Years ago m father, Sir Henry, came to America to exp\ore this wilderness. By somP mPans unknown to us, you, an outlawed relation, joined him in his expedition, and traveled with him until his death-from the top of yonder peak. No sooner was be dead than you returne d to England with the sad Intelligenc e. bearing papers purporting to have been given you by Sir Henry, previous lo his death, which bade my poor mother I'a::u, for Lady Tetty's hand, previous to her union with my father, and, under the circumstances, she f elt it her duty to obey the mandaie of one wliom death had overtaken in a remote land. "So, after making you promise to b1 ing hPr here to this wil the words of the speaker caused Sir Fleming to 1?row a trifle pale and ex change a glance with Sir Bruce. "We will not continue this conversation. at pre sent,,, he said, flushing with rage, as he rose arid sauntered away. "You will tempt me to kill you, Pome of these times, by pursuing this in sulting be.havior." "I fear you not!" retorted Sir H an-y. "You have already made half a Rcore of attPn1pts upon roy lif e. without success and I believe I shall liv e to see the justice you deserve meted out to you." The morning dragged away, and a hot noon-day sun at last shone straight down into Devil's Canyon. It was al.oout this time that old Dan Coggswtll came stridin g hurriedly into camp. He had gone down the canyon. a few hours previous. in qnest of game, and bad promised to be back b.v sunset. Con Eequently, his early return wal'lled Sir Harry that somethin g of importance bad occurred. 0 What i s he asked anxiously, "\\"hy are you back so "I jedge thar's need on't," replied the 11:uide with a dubious shake of his bead. "Ef we don1 ketch Jessie o' ther shirt afore Lhis time, ter-morrer .l'm e1 hod-carrier." "Indeed I What is wrong?" 0 /njuns-copperous-cull o r'd Soos. Thar 's more'n a cummin' up this derection, to pay us their respecks !" Good I-Jp.aven I Is this tru"? Then we must pre pare to flght them I" I rathe r guess so, ef we've ther least inclinashnn ter keepin' our kerpillery persesshuns. Go wake up tll.er uther fellers, an' git yer pop-guns in reddy ness ter use. I'm goiu' ter thro' up er obstickel tew their progress." Sir Harry Immediately hurried otT, whi l e the guide proceeded to perform bis part of the work. Among the effects in the outfit were a pick a n d which every wise western traveler is Taking these he proceeded a short distance down the canyon, to a spot where the bottom was formed of soft sandy soil. Here h e paused and began to throw up a barricade of dirt from wail to wall, occasionally dislodgin;1: large flakes of rock from above and adding this to the pile. For hours the guide labored steadily. and at last, he paused and surveyed his comJJleted work. The ba1Ticade, constructed mainly of dirt, was breasthigb across the c a nyon, the top being covered with heavy rocks that Dao had detache d from the mighty wall; while aa abatis of sharpened limbs protruded beyond as a defense against scaling the parapet. Altogethe r. it was an admirable' piece of work, and in case o f attack, would, while it concealed the defenders, prevent a rush from the enemy. The barricade donP, Dan proceeded to call Sir Harry. As soon as the baronet beheld t be result of the afternoon's labor, he uttered an exclamation of surprisP. "Just the thing!" he exclaimed. as bP carefully examined the defense. Wil h our repeating rifles and r e v o lvers, I am confident we can hold our own for awhiJe, at least." '"Yes. replied Dan, grimly. "I speculate we kin guv 'em a purty big rub, ef the r Lord's willin'. Now, then, ye git back tew camp. an' snatch w 'at grub an' morph"ns ye kin, an' I'll stand guard. Ef ye beer me screech 'Soos.' ye jis t kim a-hoopin' down hayr, f e r thar'll be need o' ye. Bring yPr fel lers too!" Tlier e was no call from Coggswell until about midnight, when be skulked into camp and aroused the sleepers with the news that the r eds w ere com ing. Leaving Lady Milburn alone, the four men crept down to the barricade, rifles in hand, and posted themselves on the defenGive. "I do not see any savages!" said Sir Harry, peer ing over into the canyon b eyond, "and I doubt ittlwnde1 /" An a1Tow grazed the young nobleman's cheek, as he was speaking. "Ye'll feel 'em. et ye don' sre 'em I" sa id old Dan with a grim chuckle, "perwiden' ye make yer pate a targit fer t h eir arrers. But look I-ready a11d.fi're !" A motley gang of savages could now be distin guished, through the pall of ink y darkness, as they came sknrrying silently toward the barricade. 'Fire-once, two, an' t.hree times!" hissed the guide, and four rifles cracked. sending s harp echoe& up the mountain-side. while deadly Jillssiles went hurtling in to the Sioux ranks, cansin"t shrieks of pain and death. Ai?"ain and again the terrible repeating rifles belch ed forth streams of luril flame, and, taken wholly by >urprise the o;avpges tul'lled anrl fle d. "Quick! Now's yer time ter reload I" cried old Dan, and tlw discharged cartridges were quickly r "l) l aced with fresh ones. But no i:ed-skins put in an appearance again that night, although all o f the dPfenders 1mtched till the sunlight kissed the pPak of Flat Butte. Sir Harry volunteered to stand guard while the others went inside camp an
PAGE 25

24 Old Avalanche. A nother-the fifth-morning da.wned,'and still no sign of the Sioux. u It's curi1us1 sa.id Coggswell. as he nnd Sir Harry stood at the bap-icade-" dantd curi'u s. I never kne\V'd Soos ter act up in this shape afore, sure as I'm a masficater o' tenderl'ins. Ef thar ain't sum oncommon devilment ahind all o' this holdin' off, et's beyant my cumpass o' reckonin'." H It do es seem From what littl e I have heard anc l see n, these retl rascals are not g-enerally so tardy in at.tacking a repli ed S i r Harry, Right. But I je1 lge I've suat,ched their ijee this t ime. Knnw in' we're s111n on shootin', an' not keerin' te1v lose enny more braves than possybu l, g-oin' tor clim' us." \.Vba.t do you mean?" Why ye see sumo' 'em Jver tbe mountings, an' '11 sooner !lr later g'it down inter t.lle r can yon atwee n us an' b anditte rs. art r w'ich both divisbus 'll give us a nud5e fnun each eeud. at tlitr sam P tim0." "You believe that Is their "I tl'>n' make much doubt o' e t Ye see. Soos kin cli tnb l ike all natur', an' et'll b e no s'\rcumstaoce fer 'em tew scoot these mouutings, e f ye'll give 'em time That nig-ht the savages In the canvon ma l e a rush down on tbd barri cade i11 numhe 1 .:.:;. but Dan was r dady f u r them, a.nd. t 1e incpssunt aud dea llv tlre from the fo 1r rift s m:ide such fearful havoc, that the reds kins agah r P tre::ited, much d ec r ease d in numbers. and howling witb rag-e. Tne succee rliug day passe d, and th" n ext, and the n ext, a n l still the n ext. without furthe r deve l opment.;; At last the niorht nf the t ent.b darf'e ll over the mou 1tain:;;, but it only two in the D evil's c 1ny o n at the C'tmp Sir and Sir Brnce had Jong s in ce ri Ide n off up the gorge to pay their troll, an l b e saved from the tl >O m e nti.,oecl Tbe y had been con structed by the banjitti, and when lifted from their roc ky fast e 1ling ., tbe waters of the lake coulc! easi l v pour out in a mammoth vo lume into the gorge b e low These g-ates were r!Lised out of a g-roove in the rock by a great w oo d e n l ever, which could only be mwed by a. score of m e n, and v.-ere so deeply sunken that the whole of L a k e Tico's waters c>uld be plunged into the canyon iu ten seconrls' The r etreat of the banditt i was in suc h a. position tt.at the cou1cl not reach it, although de.shiug direc tly by. Half a mil e above the base of the Flat Butte, where the camp of our party had been, was a. break in the mightv w a ll of the canyon. At this post two armed sentinPIS nlways stood. The break m qu stion was a round black h o l e in the wall some what resem h lin g a s e we r outle'-, only not so small. A horse could easily pass thro u 2 h this aperture with a p erso n s itting-er ec t on its back. This natural tunn e l ran in a s e mi-cu1 ving and zig-zag shape for perhaps a q 1arter Of a mil e, descending a tritling grade, when it m a d e a n a.brupt turn in the bow els of th<' mountains, and proceeded due east. wl1ere, before its conrse !av in a north by easterly direc tion, At the place where occurre d t b e break in the walls of the canyon, the little stream whi c h ran down its entire had it" sou r ce the flood-gates ofL'.l.k e Tico being directl y overhead, and emitting a constant wastage or water, through crevices i n the rock. By following the tunnel b eyond the turn, for an other quarte r of a mile, you debouched fro m Stygian d arkness int o semi-Ug-ht. You we r e at the bott.om of Death's Gulch, and on a levf"l with the Great L a kes. Yon are a'. the bottom oe Droth Gulch. And such a bottom I It is a n atura l i;:ard e n or paradise-an oasis in a vast moun t ain d e sert.. T wo acres area, iu all, f e nced in by those majestk rocky m onste rs, the mounta ins: green with \1el vety #'(rass and redolent with p erfum" fro m a hund red tlo weringtrees and pl a nts, it i s a most astonishing and wondrous sight. Water from a cascade a thr mse.n d feet above is transformed into a mist that trickles down the rug ged wall. until it gath ers into a littl e rivul e t in the r oc k y y e t grassy bottom In the cente r o f the gul c h i s a l a rg-e, harn-lik A edi fice thatched \vitb fir-branches and S">1. and hniltof rock. Around this, nume r011s b eds o f wil r l-fl o w e rs a r in a state of careful cultivuti on : h ere and there are scat.tAred rude settees o n whi c h men are reclin ing, indolP.ntl.v, and smoking. Although the hour is past mirlnight, they are thus The remarkable tunne l unde r the mountains is an e>:istin g freak of natura person!llly explore d by the a:.itl>or,

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Old Avalanche. engaired, for tbere Is work for tbem to do, presently, and tbey1wou ld be ewnke. The gulch i s lit dimly with flaring torches, thrust In neigb boring crevicts. Soon a door of the erlifice is openosrpone tile awful crime until to-morrow, or next clay, that those two dese rted men may h a v e a chance mo1 e for life I" "Ha.I ha! ha! ha!" yellerl the othe r, sh ri eking and gesticul:tting wit h mad l auA"hter. Ha! ha! You woulc! have 1ne spare my sacrificin.l off!'rings to the Royal Mountaiu Goel anrl h i Divine Powers. Hal ba! !lillu a fool, Zerama-a bliud, idiotic foo l. J;ack to thy Yirgin coach, before I curse t}JPe!" He raised bis baton ns ir to strike, but with a frightened cry she darted back into the cabin. Summoning a n of th0se rnrn vho Wf'l' e lounging on the settees, by a wave of his hand, the man cried In tones of nnger: "Awn.kc, yon <'ro\\sy f oo l s. awoke! Dost not remember tbat. tbis i s the hour of sacrifice-the g l o ri ous hour wh0u the waters of Tico shall sweep a patb of <'.e,truct i n .hrough the canyon of the D rvil? Awakf", T say!" Tbe rr.en Fpru n g to t h<'ir feet obedient to his call, anrl. rifl e in bnnrl. former l in line. yonr sai1 one. who was evidentl y n Jientennnt, nre quit e ready "Good! That is w e ll. Now awav to the floodgat"'s, anrl prepa re to answer my signal from the pectk top!" The men bowed low, the n turned on their h ee l, and file d away to the tunnel. As soon as they had gnne. the sttanA"e commamler turn!' reor 0f tl:e cabin, where. upon th e gronnre at laet r P wnrclftl by feeling tbe ropo ti ght basket hart reached 1 h e top. In the mean time the other bandltti had passed throug h the tunnel, and by way of tl1e r ck:o stair case r<>ached the shore of the lake and grn,ped tioe fatal lever that was t o he thP. means of carr.,ing rleath nud destru<"tlon clown through Devil's Can yon. 'l'here were full three-score of the m. and it would bP no fP!lt of strengl h for them to hoi s t the gates. All rhat was now wauting was the sic-na from the Flat Butte, whithe r all eyes were turned in attention. Full tf"n minutes passed when a faint flash redtened the sky, then followed a pistol r eport, ant!!' fire whos e colo r was blood red flared fiercely on high from the top Gf the peak. In tbP bright lig ht stood that tall, spectral white enveloped figur e, whos<> beard swept the gleami ng girdle at his waist, and in wbose hand waved to and fro the terrible baton. First, h e approached the portion of the plateau overlooki01g !be canyon, and glaring r.own intn it s depths, A'ave vent to a series of w il d, horrible shrie ks; then, he wheeled abruptly and advanced to the edge, overlooking the Death Gulch, and Lake Tico far bPyond. Halting on the brink of the frightful prec ipic e lie raised both arms aloft. In e.ccordance with plans understood among them, one of t h e bandits theu sprinkled a sack of some strange s m elling powdPr o n the shor e near to the great lever and applied a matc!J to i t. Instantly a flam e similar to the one o n the Flat Butte sprung up and illumined the scen e Every surrounding object was plainl y r evea l ed. All eyes were turned upon the spectral figure-for the fatal s iA"nal. Once he rai,ed the bato n o n high, swung it around his head and I< t it fall back by bis side. Oneel Then after a lause of several moments of dea a fearful venture. I 'Jl admit, 1_ ... nt I mu qt sa' ethos.'=' rnrn. If I never C(me back, f ion ls, G o d pro pe: y )tit,, As of one nccu 1 cl, they kisserl her hand in silent <'1Pvoti0n. then gathe1ing the frr.il craft in their arm,, the:o pl ungocl it forcibly the sheet ot falling waters, and into the mnd rapids beyond. The boat neither swamped not capsized, but danc ed down ov r the fur.vlash<>d floo d with startling velocity. fhe depth of the ePthiug waters could be safely estimate!ainst hop e iu breast that by some strange chance. she would see the ynung nobleman and his guide still clinging to a project in g
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Old Avala.ncha. CHAPTER XIV. RETURN TO DEATH GULCH. SWEPI' away A sudden wave of sadness stole ove r the beau teous face of the Girl Bandit as she realized this, and tears filled h e r eyes-tears of bitter anguish, for she l oved Sir Harrr,. this wild flower of the m ountain-loved him with all the intense power of h e r m ai d e n n ntur&--ha.d loved him from the mo of her first meeting with him. He so ui;>ri.J?:ht and royally grand to ber nnd she could no t h elp it that her loyal little hearl had go n e out to him in ;1;c ;veat wealth of affecti o n Ancl cou ld she doubt that ue too held h e r in high esteem? N o l H e had snid she wac tho nearPst to womanly p er fection, or to that efl'ect, and h 3 had looked so earnestly, so yParningly and pleadine:ly i nto h e r face, with his wondr afore yer skoonyer gits too f a r down-stream l" With a strength that surprised her. Wild Edna gave a f e w powerful strokes at the paddle that sent the bo a t spinning a cross t0warcl the aperture, whose mouth she could now j us t define, ahead in the curve. Nearer and nearer she approached, and at last, as the boa t went crashing against the rocky wall, she made a leap and Old Dan Coggswell caue:ht h e r ir hi s arms and pulle d h e r into the bear's cave I was the >ame one from which the guide aud Sir Har1 :y h\d tumbled the big Bruin, a few days prev io u s. "Thar year'. daisy,'' be said, depositing the brave girl on h e r f eL-t u s::tfo an' sound's o. shellbark "But, the other!" gasped \Yil d Edna, shivering wi t h apprehension-" wh ere i s he?" "Ye mean ther b oss Sir Harry? Y as, I see\:! you l eant thct way. W::t1, m iss, l'1n darnashun sorry, b:it I'm nfe:o.r::I Sir Harry hes gone under, fer good Ye kin seo f o r yersel'. h oweve r, as h e lays o v e r thar in thc r corner, limp an' l oose as an unsturched shirt,,, The Girl Bandit did not wait for him to llnish the sentence but hnsti:y her \:c:.y to where the body of s: r Harry by 111sensibl e \vith a ragged gasb ov e r bis trmpl e I Wild Edna took bis 1 1Pad iu h e r lap, and with skillful baud dres>ed the wound, old Dan assistlu; as well as h e knew how. 'I t b in k 'tain't no kin:..1er use tew," llo s:iid. shak in g his grizz l e d bead as the m oments fled by and sti! l the baronet Jay like one in death. 0 o, the contra1T, I th in\{ be 1f'it t r ec"'t'e r,,, w :is the repl y "This i; an u g l y bruise. bat I uc: iev"it I.as only stunned him. ])ring me a little water in your hat, >tnm !hem-id wa1!ers bel ow him. "Yes,,, was thei repl_v, "but not w i th v e ry good g r ac.,. They, with the two l adles, are now lodged in the bawhts' cabin in Death Gulch. Day after to morrow, the y w ill be conducted on throngl;l the can yon. to an Inrlian fort beyond the mountains, where they cRn easily catch an overland train." An' w' a t o' bev we got t e r stay behind?" "I cann o t answer you that questio n yet, s i r. I have made u p ml mind to leave these mountainsmy brothPr anrl -and if I cannot arranl!e it so you can go with your party, I will take you both along, when I go. I have a few trusted follo,.-ers amone; the banilitti, who are as eager as I t o quit this wild lawle$S life." Sir Harry now began to show signs of returning consci o usnes,, and soo n, to the JOY of both, h e gave a i!'asp and opened his eyes. Ugh I,, h e groaned, staring a.round, until his eyes lit upo n the sweetly beautifnl face of W!ld

PAGE 28

O l d Avalanch e 2 7 e primitive stvle of the Far West, and witli. appointments of the rudest description. On the floor in one corner was a couch'o( skins. on which lay a figure apparently in great mental or pbysical pain; for his groans were l oud and horrible to hear. By bis bed side kn elt Lady Milburn and her daughte r, sobbing in the depths of their handker chiefs, while at thei r side stood the tall commanding figure of Neveda Sam. In another corner of the room lay two more figures, bound hand and fcot, whom the reader will have no dif!knlty in as the redoubta ble Old Ava lanche, and Idato Bill. I t was old Avalanche who tad fired the uuerring bullet which dropped the spectral figure on the Flat Butte, the night of the flood. After do .ys of tortuous climbing through a wild. awful mountain wilderness, he bad arrived too late to avert the flood. At the oprosite side or the r oom, all the bandits w ere formed in a compact line a Nl direc tly before t t<' m stood two priso n e r s-Sir and Sir Bruce. On the furthe r sid e cf the b e d from N evada Sam, stood a rough old bordere>r, w l vocntion it was to deal out medicine and pills to a ny wh o might reqn!re his services. This was tbe situation of aff1ir< a 1Yild EJna en t e red the room, accompanir'.: by s:r H orry. Dan, rrnd th e guards. The lc.tt r r near the donr, wi t h the J?Uicle, and E dna led her bctrotLcd f o rward to the couch. ''Sir Ilarry," sv.id N'evaCa Sam, touchin g .his som brcro repectfully, you have arrived t o o late to hear the dying Rtory 0f the man l,, i ng b rfore you, but I am i:::o Wf'11 acqun i nted with it, and with his past lifo, that, if you will lis t e n I will t e ll you all." Sir Har17 i nclined h is h eat!, as he studied the features o tho b:rnho were the pride of his poss e s s io n s. "Years b efo r e Lady Hel!y h:'.d had another suito r, in the p e r o n cf one of Sir Henr y's r elatives Si r Fleming Milburn by name, but in consequence <'f some disg race he had \Jce n forced t o quit Eni; l an d and r e linqui s h tbe fiel d t o Sir H enry, wh o soon nfter wedded tile adv of hi s "No sooner did sr Henry reach A mericn n s oil, than, secure l y disguised, his rim! offe red him hi3 services for a s mnll and nn engage ment was effected, after w h ich t bo two trave led Wl'Stward. It was Si r H enry s h.ir..hest ambition to do the hftics t in E"'!iS sectTot:, .. _;; c he rrocee ded fur Lhcr and for that purpo;e he secured a Canadian

PAGE 29

es Old Avalanche . guide. but he proving incapable, another fellow was adderl to the staff." "Thet warm.!" shouted Old Avalanche, from his comer-u me. ther great snow-slide o' destruction; ther borea l breeze o' demolishen, an' ther whirly gig o'"annihilation I Thet war me, by all ther ele tants!" ''Darn 1ny socks!" ejaculatf! r l a voice, and a m a n leaped from among the ban litti; 'see yere. ole hoss, kinder 'ears ter me I've heerd the r squeek o' yer vocality afore, ain't I? I onc't bed a bruther wi' thet precise same wahble in his v'ice, but ther Sooks got him, w' il e I war, as SiJakespeer sed. "Grafted inter ther army. "Now, I say. my Chrlstyen fr'e nd. h ain't yer 11ame Hogg-sp?lt wi, tew G's? 'Peers Ler me ye luke a p o w erful measnre li ke the ohi family o' Hoggs. w'ot live ov e r in Slinktown, afore the r inhomnan r e d-skins bumt e t?" "Yas, my appe-llate rva a' H)gO"," replie d Old Avalanche, excitedly-" Alva Lan cb Hugg, t:>eavers hev twins.,. "The n a ll ow m eter inte rdoo ce mvself as ver bro ther, J os iah Billiam Hog-1?-Hogg spelt wi .two G's -the g rate Poet o' ther N or'west, n.n' ther fa.muse romancer o' tber Powder River R'lng e. ,, The r e wa s a glad cry of delight; the .Annihilator's bonds were cu and the c exr. instar:t the two lost brot bers were locked in a b e ar-lik e hug. AH this tim e Nevada S 1 m was speak ing "After the s econ d guide was added, the expe di t ion plunged cl b een t h e r e "While campingon the Sir Fleming and his s0cret acco mpJi co, R 1 l e igh, the Canadian guid e. form3cl a hllish plan, a n d executed it. 0 The elder g uitl a was s e n t down the m'lunta in .siUe for con es, and during h is Sir H enry was lowered over p recipice a nti dropped down into this, the De1th Gulch." Si!' rL.1.tTV u ttere l a horrifi e d c ry "Toe f all did n:>t kiU your f ather," "f<)l' the rop 3 by whi c h th ey low e red hi111 reach ell wi hi n ten feet of the bottom, hut. in droppiuS!' hi s h.'.!ad sruck a s pur auj f ractur3d tha s kull cau .... in .g-i 113anity, from which h e h1s r ,co vere !. I n Death Gu l c h b e found a ban l of outlaws, and ever since that night, twent.Y years ago. he has their chi ef. S't' FlP,rning '.\iilbun teturne l to l have l earned fro n your ther and -wt:lll, you know the r est "Now. on e mo1e matter and I have done. 0 1 t h 9 of th9 floo d this dyiuz mi. n receiv l his death-wound at the ban 'l of .von scout, O I Avalanche-the 1na.n who i s the onl y one n o:v living an l capab1e of who can b ear thats;,. is g uilty of a n attempt on your fath0rs lif e. The i s : i s pu n ishment to b e mmctell on the scou t ? H e says b e fir e d the fatal shot to prevent tl rn sig-nal from bein g g-iv e n that was i:ltQud e c l to cause the raisin g of the flood gates of L1ke Tico." Sir H'Lrry was about to reply, when, by a m ighty effort, tlw dying :n:l.n sat no o n his conch o f "Set Alva L anch he sa iri, i I a husl\:y whis per. 'He is not guiJb of int e ntional mnrder, and I thank him for r ... me from a lif e of pai11, t "lrtur; and misery. I freely forg-ivf'> him a:; l hop e Go I will forg-ive m e Sam-where is he?" N e vad a S-im advanced to the side of the couch, with b owed anr! tearful e;r.es. Good said 8ir H nry. 'My boy. you haw' been as 2'0orl as a so n to me. anis been one of purity and goodness and whose pedigree is of the best in our Ame rican land.' "You mean Wild Edna?" I d o thy son, I do. , "Then rest easy o n that point. She and I have l earned the l esson of l ove, and she is to be mine." "Thank (>od. I am now satisfied and would be content to die. w ere it not for parting from thee, my dearly love d wife." "Wee p not for m e, husband," sobbed Lady Hetty, "fot perllapR G od will soon summon m e to join you in that B'reat and better world! H e k1s."6d her, the n sunk bac k on the conch, a smile of glory ov erspreading his b earded face and ere long h e to breathe. A f e w hours late r Sir Bruce and Sir Fleming wem to the mouth of the tunnel by a squad of the b a nditti, and placed upon s t rong, swift-limb e d mustangs N ev a.Ia S1m t old them that half an hour's start would b e g i ven them down the can.von and the u the flood-gates of L"ke Ti co would b?. opened. Acc o rdingly. the two fug-it, ives plungerl theirspurs into their seeds' flesh anli dashe d furio usly away d o wn the canyo: 1 Whe n the halfhonr was up, the !hod-gates were raised anrt Tico'g w n t')t"S fl e w down t.re D e vil's Canyon on its missio n o f death and destruc Cc-IAPTEU XVI coxcr.us I ')X. THE boJy of S i r Henry was boxed and prepar e d for tr a n s 1Jortati o u but at t h0 I ns t n1oment, i t was d ec id e d to bury him in the gnl ch, rnther than to at tempt the d ifllcuity of b m'in g him back t o E'lg lanct. Accord in g l y N 'vacl'.t reacl an Eni,copal funeral service over bi s coffin. and the lif e l ess clay o f the was consiqucd Lo a rocky &rave Aft e r thi s last sarl rite wa ove r. a consnltation was beM witb t e b1;,g-ancls. which resultPd in a r e so l ve on their part to quit thA scnne of th -ir late OJl"ra ti o n s and t'' ente r the Black Hills country. F o r a s1nall conipe no..:.ation tltey agreed t o conctuct o u r friends o u t tlir o ug-h the c anvon, to the tn dia n fort wh P re they could join a tr;:iin via the Uppe r Ga., to Fort Dakota Th e st;lrt wns m:-vi.e on the fnllowine'morninr?, and all exce pt Old Ava l anPhe n.narch ine: fo r hi s rnaste1 since h aving losL h im during the pi.:!rilous trip over the f t laho Bill w"nt with the Jan
PAGE 30

Old Av8!la.nche. Lady Milburn died on the voyage t o England, and was happy in the knowledge that she was going to her husband, iti heaven. Old Avalanche and Josiah Hogg still make the far Nor'west th eir home, and It is the sole ambition of the former to get even with the Sioux demon, Crazy Horse. who, I am sorry to say, ;i:et li ves. Nevada and his vivacious wife have returned to American soil, to reside, and Sir Harry and Lady Edna are at present ooing the West in search of a beautiful spot to build themselves a home on. Dan Coggswell guide was shot and killed, in a late skirmi&h with the Sioux, and his remains w ere interred in the prairie, a mile out from Chevenne. THE END. The Best ot Po1rnl11r, Entertain Ing and U11ef'I! f.fterature Pub lished tn America! !ts Unrivaled Corps of Contributors, almost a.JI of whom write errclusi1'ety for Its P'Jh!isbers-embraces following authors ot world '6ide repute-Colonel .Prentiss Inp:raham. W. Aiken, <'apt. Fred. Capt. Wilton. Joseph E. Badger, J-r .. Edward L. "-hel't,er, Charles Morris, 011 Coomes, 0. Dunning Clark, Buffalo Bill, White Be!l-ver Bucksld n Sam, Majol' Dangerfield Burr, T. 0. Harbaugh, Philip R. Warnt, William R. Eyster, Anthony P. Morris, Launce Poyntz. Each and all of wLom give to BEADLE'S WEEKLY very best productions in all the varied fields of Border and Wild West R omance-Adventure Exploration and Sport-Cl.ty Life Character, Courts and WaysDetective and Shadow' Revelations Stories of the Great Deep, etc., etc. So that each and e very number ls overfiowing with reading of the most interesting and exciting nature; while in its Special Departments, covering all the n ee ds, and adding to the general interest a11d of the popular journal, BEADLE'S WEEKLY is the paper of all others for your weekly reading and entertainment. Beadle.s 'Veckly ls PnbUshed at the Follo,v_lng Rates: F o r Four Months.. ........................... $1.00 For One Year... ......... 8.IJO l'w o Copies for One Year ..................... 5.00 :Sing1e Copies ..... ................. ...... 6 cents Supp:ied by all Newsdealers. BEADLE AND ADAll1S, PUBLISHERS, !JS W illiam street, New York, Half Dime Library 1 WHOA, E!lrMA I and 59 other Songs. 2 0APTAl1' CuFF and 57 other Songs. 3 THE GAHl6BORo' HAT and 62 other Songs. 4 JOHNNY MORGAN and 60 other Songs. 5 I'LL You WITH A FEATHER and 62 others. 6 GEORGE TEE CHARMER and 56 other Songs. 7 THE BELLE OF ROCKAWAY and 52 oiber Songs. 8 Yomm FELLAH; You'RE Too FRESH and 60 others 9 SHY Yomm GIRL and 65 othe r Songs. 10 I'M THE GO"\. 'ERNoa's ONLY SoN anc\ 58 other Songs. 11 MY FAN and 65 other Sougs. 12 CoMIN' THRO' TUE RYE and 55 other Songs. 13 THE ROLLICKING IRISHMAN and 59 other Songs 14 OLD Doo TRAY and 62 other Songs. 15 WaoA. CHARLIE aud 59 other Son gs. 16 IN THIS WHEAT BY AND BY and 62 other Songs. 17 NANCY LEE and.58 other Songs. 18 I'M THE BOY TBA.T's Bomm TO BLAZE and 57 others. 19 THE Two ORPHANS and 59 other Songs. 20 WHAT ARE THE WILD WAVES SAYING, SISTJl:J'.,f and 59 other Songs. 2 1 INDIGNANT POLLY Woo and 59 other Songs. 22 '!'BE OLD ARM-CaAm and 58 other Songs. 0>1 CONEY ISLAND BEACH and 58 other Songs. 24 0Ln SIMON, THE HOT-CORN MAN and 60 othern. 25 I'M JN LovE and 56 other Songs. 26 PARADE OF THE GnJ .RDS and 56 other Songs. 27 Yo, HEAVE, Ho! and60 other Songs. 28 'TWILL NEVER DO TO Gm IT UP So and 60 others. 2\1 BLUE BONNETS OvER THE BORDER and 54 others, 30 THE l\1Ei!.RY LAUGHING MAN and 56 other Songs. 3 1 SwEET FoRGJtT-MENoT and 55 other Songs. 32 LEETLE BABY MINE and 53 other Songs: 33 De BAN.JO AM DE INSTRUMENT FOR 111E and 53 others. 34 TAFFY and 50 other Songs. 35 JUST TO PLEASE THE BOYS and 52 other Songs. 36 SKATING ON ONE IN THE GUTTER and 52 others. 37 KoLORED KRANKS and 59 other 38 N1L DESPEH.ANDUM and 53 other Songs. 39 THE GIRL I LEFT BEH1'1D ME and 50 other ::l
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Deadw00d Dick Library e LATEST AND BEST. HANDSOME TRI-COLORED COVERS. 32 Pages. Boy One and You Will Buy the Rest! Per Sample ()ever See 8cber lld. DEADWOOD DICK LIBRARY. 1 Dead wood D ick, the Prince of the Road f The Dou b l e Daggers; o r Deadwood Dick's Defiance I The Buffalo Demon; o r The Border Vultures 4 Buffa lo B en, Prince of the Pistol II Wild Iva n, the Boy Claude Duval I D e ath-Face, the Detective 7 The Phantom Miner; or, Deadwood Dick's Bonanza 8 Ol d Ava lanche, the Great Annihil ator; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brigand 9 Bob Woolf, the Border Ruffian 10 Omaha 011, the Masked Terror; or, Deadwood Dick In Dan .. er 11 Jim Bludsoe, J r ., the Boy Phenix; or, Through to Death 1 2 Deadwood Dick's Eagles; or, The Parde of Flood Bar 1 3 Buckhorn Bill; or, The Red Rifle Team J4 Go l d Rifle, the Sharpshooter 1 5 Deadwood Dick on Deck; o r Calamity Jane 1 6 Corduroy Charlie, the Boy Bravo 1 7 Rosebud Rob; or, Nugget Ned, the Knight of the Gulch L B ldy l the Girl Miner; or, Rosebud Rob on Hand 19 Photograph Phil; or, Rosebud Rob's Reappearance 20 W atch-Eye, the Shadow lit Deadwood Dick's Device; or, The Sign of the Double Cross 112 Canada Chet, the Counterfeiter Chief 28 Dea dwood Dick In Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke for-Liberty 24 Deadwood Dick as Detective 25 Dick 26 Bonanza Bill. the Man-Tracker; or, The Secret Twelve Z7 Chip, the Girl Sport 28 Jack Hoyle's Lead; ort..The Road to Fortune 29 Boss Bob, the King of .1>ootblacks -80 Deadwood Di ck's Double; or, The Ghost of Gorgon's Gu lch 31 Bl on d e B ill ; or. D e a dwood Dick's Home Base 32 Soli d Sam, the Bo y Ro a d-A g e n t 33 Tony Fox, the Ferret; or, Boss Bob's Boss J ob 34 A Game of Gold; or, Deadwo o d Dick's Big Strike 35 Deadwood Dick or Deadwood ; or, The Picked Party 36 New York Nell, the Roy-Girl Detective 37 Nobb.v Nick of Nevada; or, The Scamps of the Sierra11 38 Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo 39 Deadwood Dick's Doom; or, Calam'.ty Jane's Last Adventure 40 D e adwood Dick's Dream; or, The Rivals of the Road 41 D e adwood Dick's Ward; or, The Black Hills Jezebel 42 'fhe Arab Detective; or, Snoozer, the Boy Sharp 43 The Ventriloquist Detective. A Romance of Rogues 44 Detective Josh Grim; or, The Young Gladiator's Game 45 The Frontier Detective; or, Sierra Sam's Scheme 46 The Jim town Sport; o r Gypsy Jaci< In Colorado 47 The Miner Sport; o;, Sugar-Coated Sam's Claim 4!! Dick Drew, the Miner's Son; or, Apollo Bill, the Road-Agent 49 Sierra Sam, the Dete c tive 50 Si erra Sam's Doub le; o r, The Three Female Detect. ives 51 Sierra Sam's Sentence; or, Little Luck at Ro u g h Ranch 52 The Girl Sport; or, Jumbo Joe's Disguise 53 Denver Doll's Device; or, 'l'he Detective Queen 54 D e nv e r Doll as DAtective 55 D envn Doll's Partner; or, Big nuckskin the Sport 56 Denver Doll's Min e ; or, Little Bill's Big Loss 57 Deadwood Dick Trapped 58 Buck Hawk, Detective ; or, The Messenger Boy's Fortune 59 D e adwood Dick's Disgu ise ; or, Wild Walt, the Sport 60 Dumb Dick's Pard; or, Eliza Jane, the Gold Miner 61 Deadwood Dick's Mission 62 Spotter Fritz: or, The t:Jtore -Detective's Deco7 63 The D etective Road-Agent; or, The Miners o Sassa fras City 64 Colorado Charlie's Detective Dash ; o r, The C att.le Kings


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