Omaha Oll, the masked terror; or, Deadwood Dick in danger


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Omaha Oll, the masked terror; or, Deadwood Dick in danger

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Title:
Omaha Oll, the masked terror; or, Deadwood Dick in danger
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
Creator:
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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026002180 ( ALEPH )
76927287 ( OCLC )
D22-00013 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.13 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Cop7rl9bl 18'1&-lSM, by Beadle .t Adame Ente r e d at Poet omce, New Yorlt N Y .. as secono. class matter. Mar .111, 1811 No.10 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. Cleveland, Ohio Vol.r OMAHA OLL The Masked Terror; or, Deadwood Dick in Danger. BY EDWARD L. \VDEELEQ.

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... 1879-1884, by Beadle & Adams Entered et Post omoe, New York, N. Y., as second olaes matter. Mar.11!, 18111& I THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK 'CO. Cleveland, Ohio !No . '.10 DEADWOOD DICK DECOUD. _J) .'

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Omaha. 011, the Masked Terror. Omaha 011, THE MASKED TERROR; OR, Deadw .-d Dick 1n Danger. llY EDiV" ARD L. WHEELER, 'ivrB'OR OF ''DEADWOOD DICK," "DOUttLE DAGGERS, n ''BUFFALO BEN," ETC.t ETC. CHAPTER I. DYL :NORTE I-THE WONDERFUL EL GAMIN. Dm:.NoRT E I The Monaco of Arneric,,,. The liveliest lit t l e town of its size in Southern Col vrado. It is situated upon the south hank of the Rio Grande river, n eal' where it turns out of the San Luis valley from its eastward course, and runs nearly direct south through New 111exico. It was only started a few yeal's ago, in conse quenoe of being on the Overland route to the Rookies and is not much of a place-probably con tains between nine hundred and a thousand soulswith a of citizens made up of all nationalities, nearly, although Spanish blood predominates. Not much or a place for commerce is this Del Norte, nor Is gold to b e found within fifty miles of the locality Yet it is undeniably a fast, lively place. Constant emigration Into the Rockies, which al'EI fast becoming settled, su,tains D e l Nor10, it) a measure1 while its gambling repute a ttracts ndv entul'ers ana rascals in large numbe rs. Its population is of this restl es s type, who are ever wandering from place to place, seeing what there Is to see. These D e l Norteans are not naturally inhospitable to strangers. but among the gambling fraternity, who at tim es rule the town, there is a ruffianly set of bummers, and h 2rders from the immense cattle nnche.; that abound upon the fifty-by-twenty-mile pr'l.irie imme;liately back of the little town, who are bl'utish and cruel; r ec! des> devils who shoo t and kill often upon little or no provocation. From D e l Norte, which stan ls partly upon a rive r i:llut'f. a beautiful vi > w or the herding prairies, as they stretch in gentle billows away towarJ the filmy moun:aiDS, whose hoary peaks are snow-capped the year around, can be obtained. Here are dwellin g s -mostly haciendas or Mexicrn farmbouses; there, great h erds o! cattle are gr. In the event that "double Gix" i not drawn, nnr l you1 opponent has the n ext largest double, which is" be s-ts it. anc1 connt!'1 t(:'n, and you arB r e quir e d to give him one of your 0ten ,, che:oks In a few moments, it may chance tnar you make fifteen or twenty, and worth of checks from your contestant. In cas<> h e blocks the game which Is one of the points" of it, and you are obliged to draw the re maining b lock, whatever the count be upon those dominoes, be it twenty-five, sixty-five or elght.v, you are to give to hiil,l in checks, fat in his larder. he being the and you having to "'Y him

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Oma.ha. OU, the Masked Te1>ror. a for more t?hecu, In case you wish nnotl1pr game. This game in Del Norte they call loi1t In Philaclcl phia it is more simplified and less exciting. thre" dollar stakes more generally taking the place of three hundreo. This description may pcssihly prove interesting to some of my readers, and is destined in the future to gain in popularity ns a fair and honest gambling game, 'l'.'lth few chances to cheat in it. Captain Monte was a large smooth-faced maa, dark in complexion, wilb a low, beetling foreheau1 piercing black eyes, and a habilnal expression or evil cunning wolll upon his face. Next to Wild Bl!! Hickox, he was concerle1l to L e the best revolver shot upon the" middle" border, and not unlike 'Wild Bill,* once be learned of his master-accomplishments in that lin e. and that tile people f eated him, be m11.de a rnffian of himself at every opportuuity. Around Monte's ( loire table this evening, a crowd bad collected, watching the wonderful game of luck and science. l\Ionte sat upon bis side of the table, coolly winning the game at every deal, and fleecing an impetuous Southern youth, a membe r of the caravan, by the way, out of his la>tsbilling. The man played straight forward and unhesitatingly; he had made t e n thousand dollars at bis game, and what if be did los e oc casiona1!y? He could soon back. At last the Southerner arose from the table, a des perate expression upon his haggard face-a wild gleam in his eyes, that strong drink bad rendered bloodshot. "You have me of my last penny, you devil I" he hissed, betwee n bis clinched teeth, "but I've not bad enough yet. I'll r ob my wife of h e r money and stake it, but what I w ill get back that which I have lost. Then, if I win, I'll put a bullet through your sknll 1 Monte smile d, and nodded, as the youth, whose creol e blood bad been fired, shook his ana strode av;!"took out for a snlclcle clirectly I" be l aughecl grimly. "Any gentleman got confid ence enough in bis dominoistic abilities to take a game!'' "There isl" a voice immediately replied, and a young man of handsome figure and stately carriage, pushed forward through the crowd. "I have just cleaned out the heaviest faro bank in the establish meat, and if you've J!Ot any m.;ney to lose, now is your chance to lose it!" And the stranger folded bis arms across bis chest and gazed coolly at Bill Monte. No one had seen him in D e l Norte before; that he w: with bold, regular feature3, and al'l eye of. jet, o.s cool and unwavering as could well be. His hair, worn long, in under a Spanish herder's liat, fell in waves over his shoulclers, and he wore a slight mustache and Imperial His attire was American, although a Spanish serape, fringed witb a chain of pure gold, was wrrn over his athletic shoulders. "And you think you can clean me out just as easily as you cleaned out the faro bank, eh?" Bill Monte chuckled, as he dextermsly mixed the dom inoes. "Do you understand the game we play?" "Perfectly, sir," the other replied, counting out a number ot b1Us from a huge wall e t "My name is El Gamin, if you want to know with whom you are to nlay." El Gamin deposited three hundred dollars upon the stack-board at one end of the table, and Monte covered it, after which a package of checks was Wild Bill has been made a haro In story and UJJOD the stage, and now that he is dead, perhaps it Is best not to haul him o.er the fire, but tlie western border never knew of a man that more deserved a rope and the limb, than he, despite the fact that he made good scouts, before he became what be was, when Jack McCi.JI aveuged bis brother's death, lu Deadwood-a dissolute bra'l'O and cut-throat. d!'alt El Gamin, and the same number retained h:ll' Monte. The game then OO?an. Monte set tlie double-six, per rule, and El Gamin six-tray, which counted fifteen, for which be r e ceived ivori es. Six bouts were played! with the most game on Montes sid!J1 but then E Gamin blocked It upon deuces, and lllOnte was forced to rake ill the uncirawn Therefore El Gamin got the game-ceunt, and bis own d eposit money, with checks enough for "'second horse." T,1ese checks are redeemed for their face value at the end of the game. Once more tbe bones were shuffled, and played, and aglilII E l Gamin blocked tho game upon ills op ponent, and r ece iv e d a Leavy count. which put out the game, besides leaving birn "Ith ove r three bun clted dollars' worth of checks, above investment. These he r!'taiuecl for a new game. And, amid applause, be won the 11ame, at the end of wbicb be got two hundred dollars worth of checks cashed, aside from enough to continue. Again the game began. be won! Not only once, but ten times; ten straight gamPs1 at the end of wnich he came off twenty-fiv e buuared dollars ahead of inveb'tlllent. Bill Monte was by this iame turious with rage at bis ill -l uck. "You are a devil he cried;" youbave infatuated these bone s. But you shall either lose o r win all. I have eight thousand dollars in the Denver Bank,and it is the last I have in the world, for you've cleaned me; and l '11 bet that eight thousand dollars I win the next game I" I acooptl" said El Gamin, almost unconcernedly. CHAPTER Il. THE HOJllE OJI' THE HARRISEO--A STRANGE MESSAGE. GREAT excitement now prevailed. The news spread like wildfire through the palaee gambling-house: crowds smged around tbe eWire table; all other games were s uspended, and the gam bling-tables loaded down with eager men and wo. men. who wished to get a glimpse at this wonderfu l dominomonareb, El Gamin, wbo was to play Bill Monte for all he was worth. And half a hundred of Bill Monte's backers, who were herdsmen ru1J of the most ruffianly type of men, stood close at hand, ready to climb" this uew li gbt in the gaming arena should Bill Monte give the word. And as many o r more Del Norteans stood, with bands resting upon r evolvers ready to back El Gam in, if necessary, for Bill Monte was hat!'d and feared by all, and the De l Norteans held a grudge against b1m worth wiping oat. So that, from all standpoints, the situation within that great gas-lit edific e. looked peculiarly interestin g. The bands upon the balcony far above were play in g in concert a grand operatic melody a strange hushed murmur ran riot; everybody was breathless l y expectant. Bill Monte was going to stake his last dollar against the same amount put up by tbis unknowu,bandsome El Gamin that he would win the game. Eight thousand dollars! A c0mfortable fortune, and though it was above the regular line of bettir.g in Del Norte, at Monaco It would ofttimes be considered an in,ignitlcant sum, w here princely fortunes are risked upoll a single game of chance. As the game was of so large a figure no checks were purchased on dPposit money; lllonte gratuitous l y furnished these, and game bega11. "And the game ran: Mont e led with double five! making ten: IJ;l Gamin blank-five-als o ten: Montes x-flve.: E l Gamin blank six; Monte drew e ight dominoes, and playe d tray five; and RO ran the game, El Gamin eventually t""'Ung the game on blanks. -wore like a trooper, and as If to intimidate

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.. Oma.ha OU. the Masked Teri-or his drew a six-shooter and laid It upon the tabl6. El Gamin stared a moment; then repeated this bis revolver being a heavy Der ringe r, o r hrg e b e less boastful and defiant, and held their own in the Palace. Ready were these rough cattle-men to uphold their leader, with money or with fie;ht, for a large percentage of them feared him, by rJ$h. of a semet, which we shall deve lop in the progress of our story. Bitte1 was tbe disappointment then, among them to finrl that El Gamin had escaped, for uot only did tbey wisb to avenge the death of their com rades, but to re-establish Bill Monte bl business aga1u, and restore bim bis money. Down tbe beautiful San L uis vall ey, a.bOut ten miles from D e l Norte, and upon the banks of the Rio Grande. was a pretty little homestead, consisting of an ancient l\Iexican hacienda, built of adobes, and a number of out-buildings, all set down upon a prairie plot of gre en, which was guarded on three sides by a white pick e t fence, and sloped gently down to the water's edge Back f r om the building rolled mile after mile of gentle. undul a tino; prairie, a large portion of It devote d to stock g razmg, while h ere and there were patches of g rain and corn, showing that agriculture was not n e glec e d Upo n these herding-plains, each man has bis own lnrlividual trac t, g enerally square in shape, with each corner marked oft witb a tall pole; and it means war to trespass upon those grounds belong ing to anothe r, eveu if only stepping across a line, uriless you have a passageway bargained for. Thus, in the San Luis valley, lanterns are hoisted upon thP, tops of th ese claim-marking poles of vari ous colors of l'ght, presenting a strange appearance if seen upon a particulariy dark night, or in a clear one. Two men and a pack of well -trained l\Iexican shep herd dogs are all that is generally required to watch !L herd, bne change going on at noon and comb1g otI at midnight, and vtce v 'rsa. The dogs soon learn limits alfowed for grazing, and need few direct! to keep the herds within tbeir proper bounds. Tile principal foes of the herders of the Sau valley are th e few strolling, wandering Indians w b still hunt Southern Colorado, being for the m part vagabond Navajoes. The homestead we have described was handsom Y l o cated, in sight o! Del Norte-indeed there we no neighbors nearer. except one family further do the valley, the larger share of the herders living f ther inland And to this seq.uestered spo!,_ Rio Grande D Norte's; murmunng waters, .lW.ward Harris h come, when in b i s balloon he had sailed away fro Eure ka, up in Idaho. It is Ulieless perhap, to tell the reader ot this BRA.RY who Edward Harris for as Deadwood Di e he is now well known to many thousands of reade1 Deadwood Dick, the prince or road-agents, one but now a reformed man, leading tbe honest life cattle -herder. Once when still a road-agent, he had come d o Into this valley, hearing of Its great beauty and ture we
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Omaha. OU, the Ma.sited Terror .. "Nothing I know of yet., clear husband," she re lied, nestling f 0ndly in his arms. "But I got t,o hinking what if we should b e separated, when we e so happy?" "It "'"ulrl be a bitter blow indeed, my peerless; t we w ill not think of such a thing. H e r e we have ii that !wart can desire, except neighbors, which f ew and far between, and of rathe r an undesira le quality. I don't know about tha.t family down he river. as I have not yet penetrated that far into h e valley. And, Leone, I feel that we need appre end no danger-not even discovery, from our ene i es, for a long time ta. come. is not oming from the North, but from the J!\ast "Ab 1 Eddie, you know not what moment that 'th Stone may come, for she is your lif e -long Do you really believe that she is crazy, Dick nodded his bead s lo wly, as h e re"I do, Leone-I can beline nothing else, for I do ot thinK she was so evi_I of heart, b efore." "Oh 1 but you cannot tell. She may have been, ithout your knowledge. Women always bear the t appearance on the outside, you know;" with a y nudge. Besid es there w ere both her uncl e and ousin, of a villainous turn, which may have affecte d er." "Possibly," Dick replied, gazing thoughtfully at aground. "And, dear, who is that str:'. nge female horseman saw spurring over the plain, U1is morning, from y chamber window?" ''Eb? you saw thPn? W e ll, the herders call er the Prairie Patrol-Lesti e, her name is But I annot ma.k e head nor tail out of it. I'll be clashed trange occupation for a yonng woman, to be roam. g over the plains. without apparent ooject." At this juncture there were footgt eps heard, and a wiry little old m a n accompanied by a billy-goat, of the ugliest of countena nces, came striding up, from tbe prairie, rifl e in I::and. He was clad in a hunting suit of buckskin, with p boots and herder's slouch hat; yet w e have no ifficulty in r ecog niziog our friend of bygone days, Old A vaianche. Both Dic k and L eone smiled their welcom e as htl veteran Ann i 'iilator approached, and caught 'ttle i\Iaster Dick up in his arms, and tosse d him up n his slloukler, for a hoss -back" rid e, while orence Nightingale rubbed jealousl y against his egs. and shook his sledge-hammer head, in evident ispleasure that his master should take a new pet. "Be still, Flor'nce, ye dasted ornery o l d critter i behave y e r stilf, afore r giv' ye ther condoocive encl or y numbe r e lev e n co whid e Durnedest old b e ast is bat goat, sir, thet evyer war death ter grass. l'm tellin' ye. Wby, tbar war ther time, up in N e ada, Rt Carson City, when I war tryin' ter court up the \"iclder Washi n ;;-ton--one e' GPorge s floc k. That sky goat wou\ ,lu't hev it, ertall, sir. H e 'rt j es t cum an rom hi" rammifications ther side o' her hou se, ontel ye'cl suppose au 'arthqnake b e d lied over. Great hysterical ham-bon e 1 he got so ad one nig h t wh'" n I war squeezin' kisses out o' her widdPr. thet wi' a b elie r li e cum tearin' right thru a windy, au' smashed things generally." "Yes. a great goat that, and a great master, too," replied Dick, with an amused smile. "A w e ll tnatched team." 'Where have you been, to-day, uncle?" asked Leone, for that was what she and Dic k often called the o la scout, he seemed so near to them; "roaming on the plains. I suppose?" 'Yas, out a tryin' n1y new 'ossJ...ma'am; but he ain't no seech anymile as my old .l:'rudence Corde liar war, I tell you. Prude nce k ert sling off a shoe an' hit a red nigger wi' the utmost sanq f1id ye ever see'd. By tber way, Dickey, b9yee, here's queer little message tbet ther gal they call the Prairie Patrol sent ter ye thru yer 'umble servant;" and the old man, after considerable fnmblisg in his a&ii hand "Hello 1 what does this mean?" the ex-Prince exclaimed in surprise, as be tore the wrappe r. Seel it is directed Leone grew white instantly, for slle believed that a t e rrible blow was impendin g The message read as follows : "Deadwood Dick, you are in deadly danger. You need counsel wbicn I cannot give y o u o n paper. Keep out of bet Nortf'; you 1 1ave two hundred e n e mies there, and among the herders. Meet me down the river, at the ruined ranch, to-ni11ht, at moon rise LESTIE, l'RAmIE PATROL." CHAPTE R ITI. THE SPECTACLE IN THE GLADE THE ARKANSAS TOOTBPIClt.'' THAT night was beautiful ia the extreme, in the picturesq u e m ountains 9.nd o n the grazing prairies of Southern Colorado. soft moonlight striking here and there upon littl e Seanisb-American towns o! adobe, o r an occasional village of Navajoes in some wi l d l one l y spot. i Several mil es up the San Luis valley from the h ome of the Harrise s was a large tract of timber extending from the ri ve r wbicb rolled sullenly through the centn cf the valley, across a southern r-razing prairie, finally connecting with tbe mount ains, mi!Ps in the hazy distance. This timber seem ed to form a sort of chain a ttntde..

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b Oma.ha 011 the Maaked Apparently a8tonlahea te find himself out of the timber tangle, he leaned back in the saddle and pulled with all bis strength upon the reins, succeed mg finally in b<1nging 11is steed\ a very ugly-tempered and obstinate mule, to a ha t. "Whoar-rl" tbe8traugersungout, with a peculiar nasal twang. succeeded in fetching the beast to a standstill-" wboa-r-r, ye ungodly beast., while we take in a comprehensive view 01 tber surroundings." A. stra.nge pair were this stranger and his muleas od i in apparance as one is often likely to meet on the Overland trail. The mau was a seven-footer If he was an inch in hight, and as lank and gaunt as a prairie-wolf after a severe winter. EvideriLly there was not a spare pound of flesh ab'.>ut him. and if be bad been accustomed to good living, it bad in no way afl'ec1ed him as to corpulency. He was rather illy proportiomd, too, for the longest portion of bis person was his legs, his trunk 01 body being strangely dwarfed, and his neck long and crane-like. Upon this latter was perched a bead almost twice the size or that of all ordinary mortal, covered with a stra.gii:ling. matted shock of sandy hair. that fell half way down to bis waist. Bis arms were equally long with bis legs; and bis face was covered to the eyes with a red, shaggy beard. which almost touched his b elt. His eyes wern black and magnetic, and shaded by a broad-brim brder's bat, with the rim turned down; while bis remaining habiliments consisted of a suit of corduroy and tov-ooots. Jn his belt he carried both revolvers, kmfe and lasso, while a handsome rifle was slung at his back. "A bein!Z' strange, Guess if you can The mystery of 'l'his toothpick man." A being strange, he was ludicrous, certainly, as he sat astride the mule, an animal of exceeding mulish aspect, and ugly countenance, and undersized, at that, to that extent which made it necessary for the rider to lock bis Ion!!' legs under the animal's belly, to keep them from A fact it was that he could sit in the saddle, and walk upon tbe ground, of such exceeding length were those th;lls of h;.s. "Wh)ar-rl" repeated this strange individual, for the third time, though the mule was stationary for the time b eing-" whoa-a-r-r, consarn ye, an' let yer lord-an'-master make an observatory o' thes leetle place. Hullo I darn my old sow's last litter o' pigs! what in all creat'on aire thet hangin' ter yander Umb-a m
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Omaha 011, the Maske d Terror, ., wer-e wealthyhand he had traveled in the West be fore-it was e in fact, who hart located the new colony which the caravan were about to start. Dean Redwood ,vas a good fellow in bis way, but one of those \\'horn you have 1 o get thoroughly used to ere rou can say that you lik e them. He was a native of l\1ontana, he stated; had joined the train only a few days' travel beyond Del Norte, with the expresseu intention of making one of the colony. And these two young men now met upon the dark ott.er, with savage "At last we are alone, Dean Redwood!" young Arlington cried, in a ring:iug voi ce, tbat betrayed ho intense \VhS liis bitterness and hatred alone and safely out of hearing, where no one will interfere." I believe so," Redwood asseated, with a nod and a glance about. "Your invitation out here was at first a matter of surprise, but after due r etie c t ion, I concluded it was caused by your jealousy toward me for having a few words to say to your affianced, l\11s Ada Belldon." "That for one reason, you dog. You have in stilled poison into her mind, or infatuated h er, the devil only knows wWch. Do not think I do not recoi?nize you, sir, for I do. \.Ve have met befor e ." we have met before," Redwood r eplied, grimly, "and the recollectiouR I have of you are none too pleasing, I assure you. When I think of the loving girl y o u enticed from me and betrayed to death. I felt like catcWng you by the throat and choking the life out of you. "No doubt you joined the train for some such a purpose i' sneered Arlington. "No matter about my object in joinin;>; the cara van.'' replied Redwood. "I saw the lovely girl you were trying to entrap, as you would have entrapped poor Lena Alden, bad n o t death first interfe red. And, now sir, I confess I warne d h e r o f your past history. and to look out f o r you as she would for snakes. "Yes, I know you did, and by so doing, made it :aecessa.ry for me to call this interestinJ m t.!!)g." 0 What do you want?" .'Your life-and vou want n1ine!'' No, I have no desire in that direction. 'hI> .,.reat hereafter will be time enough to avenge Lena .Alden's wrongs. I do not want your life." "But I want yours, and will have it, or die as I would bave you die ''Very well. If you will risk your life in trying to kill m<>, your fate b e upon your own head. ShaU it be revolvers?" "Ye; as well end the work with them as any other weapons I" Then there in the first light of the moon that was shoving her forehead over the horizon, the two fops measured off a proper and took their places. "We will count in conC'ert, and fiie at the word three. Are you ready?" from Redw<>0cl. "Perfectly!" Arlington repli ed as with a trem bling hand h e raise d a r evolver on R. line with his face, which was deathlv pale. H All right then-1ne ?" In which Arlington j oi n ed. T ll'O frnm both. in sternly inging voices Then came-, '' Thr e Fite!" CHAPTER IV. THE PRAIRIE PATRCJL. GR!tAT was the surprise of De>idW! Id Dick, at the contents of the strange message())( l>.valanche had brought him, coming as it did from the mysterious Patrol of the Prairies. And he had ompany in his wonderment, for the great A nniblt'l or and Leone shared it with him. 0 What can it in ean? Who word, enemies? Can it be that II 'Oeadwood liavd tl'!liled me, eveo F l old foei;, '!om c ?" the young ex-road-agent said, gazing thonghtfullv at thP pa per. ''Or is this some trap to decoy me to death 1 By Heaven I I'd g ive a deal to hrve this riddle solved What kind of a looking female, Alva?" "Great ham-bone thet paralyzed old Joner w; electricity I I ham' t ther least ijeer, Dickey, my b'yee. See'd her, ter be sure, but she war forty yards off. an' a-sailin' along like a veritable tbundersturm o' demolition, an' afore I got ready ter screw my vision enter her, she sumwhars else. Beauchifully sba1 ed, however, an' et's likely thet she's ther persessor c,f a scientific p'ysiogno my I'' "What I you were not nearer than forty yards to .her, and yet you say she sent this message with you!" Zebulom Zack, yes!" and the old man laid back upon the grass, and for the space of several minutes was convulsed with laughter. "So she did but ye orter see'd her. She tuk a. bow an' arrer from her belt. an' tnkin' aim. sir, fer an actooal fact, wi'out breahin' ther cori er off m ther ten commandments, he-stuck thet arr..r plum inter ther tail o' Anna my new 'oss. Moses in ther scriptural bull-1 ushes I ye orter seen thet poor anamile, then, Dkkty-ye jest. or e r see'd berl Ham-bone frum ther w 'n le thet < Id Jc,ner st wed away I she jrst giv e a yell like a bloodtbirstf Comanche, or a Settin' l3ull, an' fainted clean away -fact, by grncious. An' I found thes rnre tied ter ther tale o' the r arrer. Z ebu lom Za ckana her! ef thet bed been old Prudence Ccrdeliari now, she wouldn't 'a' fainted-ob! no. She'd jests ung a cast-iron boss-shoe at that Prairie Gadder, in most skientitlc fashion. See'd her shampoo the skulp of a. noble r e d devil up in Montana, once, in thet man ner. But I'm tellin' Je thar's leaps o' virtue an' l'arnin' about Anna Dickinson barrin' ther fac' thet Prudence C<>rdelia r war the l i keliest beast thet ever figger e d in the r his1crical evc-Jutions o' thcr great A nnihilation-ther great boreal disease 'o these se ques1ered ncrthein lattytndes, efwe want ter know it. "Anna kin brush a fly off'm h e r l eft ear wi' her ri ght 'un, in astonishin' Etyle, an' wh e n ye cum ter paciu' wi' a mad Texan steer, w'at's got ast1ay from thcr herd. she's tltr11', btt yn pile on that." "Oh I Dick I" L eone exclaimed. "1 fear that, as I said, our hume is to b e bi oken up-that we arP to be separated. Don't go to meet this strange '1oman, whose designs you knnw not.,, "Ah I my dear. but I must go. If I were to let tills warning g'.l t:nheeded it might b e the means of the cleath of a l cf us. No! I s l all !?O, but w ell prepared to let Greek meet Greek. A rnlanche, "ill you order rnr, horse please f" Yes, Dickey, b'yeP. But let me advise ye ter take this great boreal disease a on!l' wi' ye. Thar's beeps o' fun in the r Annihilation, lt thar is but two remaining 1nember5'; a n ef tbar,.s plPnty o' Injuns ter inoculate ther great devaslatin' disearn inter" "No. scout, you l acl b< st n main hHe. and guard Leone and my boy, for the i e is no foretelling what may happen. at any rncme11t "e a r e alone and in a land of strangers, and undesirable o n es, too. for these S n anish-Mcxican cattl e -herders are but a band of border-ruffians-men who'd as soon fight as eatt1' "All right, b'yee: I'll stay and do guard duty. aa' ef ennything happen", you can calcylate trat Ava l anche didn't go down wi'out fightin' fn your dar lin'sl" and then the Anniuilato r turned away, wip ing a suspicious moisture out of rb e corner of his eyes. For he J ovecl the Harrises, clid that grim old v e t eran, whose life had been given up lo bcrderbattle-they were neare r to his rough but kind old heart than others had ever been and h e felt he could willingly shed his last drop of blood in their cause. After he had gone, Deadwood Dick arose and paced moodily to and fro across the lawn, l is brows knitted, and a sigh occasionally escaped bis lips; while, with Master Dick :Z.. ber arms, Leone sat upon

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8 Omaha. OU, theMa.sked Terror. the grass, watching her handsome pr!noe, with proud, te&rful Deadwood Diel< was half-undecided wliat to do. He had some doubts as to this strange woman, Prairie Patrol; su.qplcions that all might not be meant well for him would force themselves upon him. Yet she might be a friend, and by some way have learn ed of danger that was threatening him, and wished to apprise him of it. These wel'e the two phases of the matter be con templated. At last he turned to L eone, none of the moody ex pression gone from his brow. Cheer up. lit1Ie woman, and trust in Avalanche to protect yoa while l'm gone. He will do it as well as I could, if not better. The ride is but six miles, and I may not be gone over three hours. Adieu, now!" He bent over and kissed h e r and the babe re peatedly; the n vaulted upon the back of a hand some black: horso which a peon had brought and was dashing away, waving his bat back Jn farewell part ing. The sun was just sinking upon the edge of the horizon, and he knew it would be close on to night ere he reacbeJ the ruined ranch, so he urged 11is steed into a gallop, and dashed on over the prairi0, keeping near to the river shore. A spl e ndid rider he was; road-agent-lif e in the Black Hills had perfected him in the art of equestrianism, if it can be justly termed au art, and be sat the saddle witb a grace rarely equal ed. Not stiff, bu'; in a swinging, easy motion pecllliar to til e hnrse n1an of the western prairiPS AnEasterneques'rian will, on first seeing their Western brothers ride, bo consider;,bly amusec!\.. no doubt, at the motions iii saddle; but1 put the west against the world for wild, reckless ana graceful riding. Deadwood Dick pushed steadily on, not allowing bis well-bottom e d anim'11 to leave a gallop for the first three miles of the journey. Then, as he perceiv ed that he could mak: o the Black Woods ere night fell, he drew rein to a walk, and allowed his noble steed to profit b ) tbe cool bi;ceze that was wafting over the billowv prairie. The sun haJ hal1' sunk out of sight below a horizon of green and y e llow; the last rays "f gold w ere shootingovPr the b eautiful landscape, and as Dead wood Dick glrnce d around him, a glow of SJlthusi asm swept ov cr hi3 "'"fis i?rand !" he mused-" grand beyond even my appreciation of the be1utiful. Suell a noble location for comfortable homes; how happy I and Leone might be, here, if my foes would only keep away! Ah I curse them I b elie ve tbey intend to hunt mo down to dea th. But, ere Ion)!: patience and endurance will cease to be a virtue, and I shall be driven back into that olJ, wild life-the p1st which bas so. bitter a sting. But surely a great Mt a surprise, If possiblt1, ..,;nry few steps he paused to listen, and sharply around him, at every object which he thought might dissolve into a human form. The spectral moonlight sifting down through the tree-tops cast strange shadows, and the young man was several times fooled mto believing .hese to he ambushed e n e mies. At last, after full h alf an hour of stealthy prow ling, he reached the g lad e in front of the hacienda, and paused on the edge. Before him was tbe old ruin, l ooking weird and ghostly; but that ghastl y sight which tue A1!
PAGE 10

Omaha OU, the M asked Terror. 9 mistakes for this El Gamin! By heaven! I believe 1 have solvP.d the mystery. She bas decoyed me here, to murder me, and while I am here, this Bill Monte and the Prairie League' of whom she speaks, are attacking my home and slaughtering my wife and chiW.1" An awful horror seized upon the ex-road-agent, and for the space of several moments, he was too appalled to move or speak. But in the mean time the strange woman, Prairie Patrol, was speaking: "Yes, they shall a ll diA1 curse them, to avenge the ruined life of Wild Lestie. El Gamin dead, there are but two more to follow ere the record of ven geance is complete. Hal ha! Fred Arlington, you, the basest villain of the lot, dead first, but not by my band. Dean Redwood should have died just the same as you, but he was spared. He m cst follow, also! Hal I will lynch Fre d Arlington even tho' he is no longer of the living and can not fee l the tor ture. H e r resolve was apparent. She held the body evenly balanced across the horse's neck, and then uncoil e d a lon g Jasso fro m about the saddlebow. One encl she dcxtrously formed into a slipping noose, and shirred about tl1e neck of the corpse: the n she tossed the othe r over the nearest limb above her. It w ent over and came down, and the n with a dis play of considerable strength, slie drew the dead colonist up into mid-air, and fastened tberope about his arm-pit" so that h e was steurely hung. "Hal ha! there you are, Fred Ai1ington, an illus tratio n of the just end of such as follow in your footsteps through life You !tre the first to bead the list of Leslie's vengeance, hut by no means the last!" upon sudden impulse, apparenlly, h e plungea the spurs into the animal's flanhs, and dashed out of the glade. But Deadwood Dick had preceded her, and mounted upon his own fleet steed, was dashing over lihe prairies at a mad rate of speed. l<'or an nnntura l g low r eflected against the eastern sky told him that there was need of him at the ranch -that trouble was occurring there! CHAPTER V. A N1GHT OF DEA.TH. AFTER the departur e of Deadwood Dick, (>.u _1a lanche joined Leone Harris upon the lawn, where she still sat, weepin(l oftly over her babe. "Cheer up, my li ttle tbe grim veteran said, comfortmgly, "for thar s al\us a calm after er squall, tbey ay. Great ham-bone lhet dis located ther jaw of old ... Toner! w'at ye c r.vin at, ann.vhow? Cryin' are a bad habit, I've hearn tell. It dries up one's blood, and wharever a tear o' salt brine falls onter a hlade o' grass. that eyedentycal blade ar' de'\'astated as ef by a contagious dis,ase. Knew a J?alleon onc't, prit1 y as a picter. who cried her eyes out -ind had ter !;O it blind ther rest of her natter a l jays, fer weepm' after a lost set o f a ls e teeth-like *1er man thet bought a case o' chip hats; thort ther 1asn't any more ever goin' t.er be inade. "Ohl you are kind, sir, in your attempt.s to cheer, .. ut I cannot help weeping, for I h a v e a premonition )f danger; an awful fear me, that peril great'1" than we suspect, surrounds u s. Ohl Dick! why did you go? We shall never meet again I" "Tut! tut!" poohed the Annihilator, but with less j oviality than before, for s01)1ehow he had b eco m e possessed of this strange foreboding-'tnt! tut! cbildt don't cry err.uther bit. I'll warrant Dickey'll cum oack. He's not ther boy ter desert a friend long, when it is possible to help it. Cum inte r ther house, ma'am, and in th!\r ye won't fee l so lonesome, I'll bet; eh! junior Dick?" .And the Annihila tor cau!!;ht the crowing infant in his arms, and bounded gayl y away toward the hacienda. Leone arose to her feet, with a sigh, and in their wake. She had rAsolved to boye f-Or the best, though s h e could but fee l that Dick bad gone into danger-perhaps death. She went within the hacienda, which was furnisi,ed fter a fastidious Spanish taste, and betook herself to tbe parlor overlooking the great where the sounds of boisterous laughter announced that Avalanche and master Dick had prece1 eel her. She found the old scout trotting the child upon bis knee, and. singing, laughing and whistling, alternate ly to it, like some great overgrown sc boolboy. He seen:ed to have found a new real ization of life and comfort. in carin!; fo r and amusing the 1 al e of his friend. Perhaps 1t was becaue a ripe old age was fast nearing him toward his second c h i : c lbov d. But, brave o l d vete ran, whme llbrt '' as pure as crystal \ though l.Jidden unc!H a 1 ough Utl(;outh covering, ne'll have to di&-as we all s. all have to contribute our mite toward p aying o ff the great eternal debt. But when d ies one from our n'iidst, whose goodness to his friends and dt votion t his country have been a sole objec t in his life. "e mGurn that l oss, ellen though we be but strongers. And little did the Annihil ator of Le o n e dream of the neai approach of death, as he plPyed with Leone's child-Deadwood Dick ; but c-f whom be regarded as his grandchildren, and lovtd acccrding ly. Littl e either of them thought of danger as such a close neighbor, until it came. Leone first discGvered it-a glnvinl! red light out upon the prairie, too lo w for one of tbe poledclaim handmarlis, and yet a light shiuing with such bril liancy as to reflect against the moonlit s ky, appa rently growi11g steadily in size. Sh e called the Annihilator's at.tent ion to it, with a startled scream. "Look I l oo k I see yonde r light upon the prai ri e? What does it mean? Oh I heaven, can it mean that our enemiPs have-" She paused and watche d the face of the old rnout for her answe r Re stood just without the "indow, and gazfd fix edly at tne light, bis eyes reachi ng f orth with Learly as rr
PAGE 11

----.---.,, Iv Oma.ha 011, the Masked Terror, boat, evidently long gone into disuse, although It was still stanch and stout .it had occurred to the old man upon instant thought, that this was thf'. very thing they must use \J' they hoped to make their escape. The river was wide and deep enongh for the navi gation of so shallow a boat, and they could on the swift current Del Norte much than by horse, and stand less chance of discovery by their unknown enemies. t Tearing aside the vines that had grGwn upon the boat, he was about to attempt to drag it towarJ the river, he heard a shout, and saw three men rush around the corner of the barn, with drawn pis tols. "Thar the old badger is; shoot him down!" yelled one, flting even as he spoke, and before the Annihi lator could draw a weapon. The bull e t took effect in the old man's chest, an:! he dropped upon one knee with a pitiful moan. He knew by thA seusatiou of that wound, and the blood that spurted from it, that his hours on earth must be numbered, with a mark. But, hero to the verge of death, as he was, he was triumphant expression noon his grim, stubbly, sun burnt face Had the old hero caught a glimpse of K eep off!" he yelled, and the n his revvlver crackPd spitefully, and the n two of the border ruffians w ent down. But the next instant a band of half a score swarmed around from behind the barn, and upon them clid the brave oid scout fire. until his last cartridge was gone, and a fifth bullet in his budy caused him to drop hack, in exhaustion and inse nsible. Poor f e llow? IIis days of usefulness -were they over? Ab I that was a ride for life wm1 Deadwood Di c k, after h e left the Hlack Woods and saw the refl ec tion of fire lighting up the eastern sky. He did not stop to a s k of himself the meaning, now; ha knew f>.lll Wbll it m eant dangeL' and p erhaps death -death to bis lov e d ones; for had not Prairie Pa trol in b a r strange soliloquy seated that B i ll Monte and the Prairie League would descend upon the ranch, and destroy thuse whom they snpposed to be the lov e d ones of El Gamin, the gambler, against whom they held a d eo:irlly grudge? On-on bod1vood Dick urged his animal at the top of its speed,-on-on, over prairie hill and prairie vall e y, sparing neither spur nol' lash I He bent forward in the s tddle. his eyes rivetP d upon tbe course ahead of him and upon the flames that were now heavenward and fterc ly towarJ his pra irie home. The whole p laL1 was now as light as day; the heavens reflected a lurid light. and great of black smoke and cind""'rs swept through the air. A terri .. hie horror the flying horseman, as, when be was yet thre e mil e s away, b e sa v the awful fterv gpectacle in gulf his pretty homesaw the barn anrl outbuilding s ignite and adJ to the conflagration. Tlle hacienda was outwardly imperishable, being built of well-laid adobes. Were L e one, Avalanche and his babe in this awful hell of fir e-or had they escaped? '!'his was tbe tor turing quastion, aJFl it fairly him when he remem!Jere d Leone's entreaties f o r him to re him when his thoughts centerej upon the mysterious Prairie Patrol, and h e r infernal decoy. On-on-on fle w t.he black stei.d wbn?e fieetness of foot aroused the ex-road-agent's enthusiasm, even unde r the cir"umsta n ces of tue trying hour, for everv leap tnok him half a length nP arer. On-on, closer and closer the wild horseman draws to the track of the flames, thoo he jerks his steed back upon its haunches suddenl y M an apparition r ises out of the grass aaead 0\. llim-a wl]d. l ookiol!', hatless man, with b lood-besmeared f;arb. "GrP.at God I is that yon, Avalanche. old boy?" burst from Deadwood Dick's lips; but the next In staflt the figure staggered-fell-went down in the grass again out of sight. With an exclamation, and a in bis heart. Harris threw himself oil' his horse and ran forward. He found the old Annibilator stretched upon the ground just wbere he had fallen, with v!'ry little o f life in him. In some unaccountable way the brave old hero had crawled ott the track of the fire, i n time to escape a fiery death. D ead wood Dick knelt by his side, and clasped one of the veteran's horny old yalms in his own. "!IIv God. Avalanche, this is awful!" he g-asped, as be n oted by the aid of the light of the fire the awful g-rayish pallor that was stealing over the o l d man's features. 'Are you very badly wounded, dear friend?" A faint smile played about the old scout's mou t h for a moment; then he slowly opened his eyes. "Yes, I'm donfll for sure, Dickey, b'yee, an' no mustal.:e," was the faint reply. "They cum onter, me too fat, an' I couldn't play a trump every time, ag'in' their deal. They put five bullets inter me. an' I'm gettili' too old ter stan' more'n three atone time, ye kno'. Gness thes aire tber Annihilation's last trail tergether, ontil ther great eternal 'un Some how, I've bed a notion ever seuce we cum frum thet' nor', that these war onhealthy lsttytudes an' loney toads f e r me; an' then, bu'stin' tber great Annhila tion, in l eavin' Prudeuee up at Eureka l<:inder seemed ter wear onte r me, fer we cl bin friends so long, an' et appeared like one o' us hed made a vacancy, by d eath. Nor, I don't think I d 'a' wme. Dickey, b'yee, onl y thet I c'u'dn't b 'ar ter leave thet littl e baby o' yuurn. It seemP d ter hev a holt outer me, by his bnocence and purity w'at couldn't be broke. liLtle boy; God took the old man, and the babe too, to keep him company!" "What! Merciful God! do not t P\1 me my child is d ead I" Deadwood Dick crie d, r eeling back, blinded by tears which had come as he watched the old hero fast sinking-away. uYes, b'yeP; hard, I kno', but et's h etter'n ef he war ter grow up an' sin. H e 'll little angt'l. I hope I'm g oin' t e r s e e him ag'in, Dick ey; r don't tbinl< Goll will refuse me admission ter his kingdom, although I h e v been a pretty rough customer, an' give tb0 r evcrlastin' !end-off t e r heaps o' red-skinsl an' the m as wasn't ftt ter pP.opl e ize thes beautifu earth!" "Ha--e no ff'ars, olrl frie nrl. but clie with faith in Jesus!" was young H 'trris's hoarse reply "But, t e ll m e of my wife and child, I pray, ere it is too late, A lva!'' "Ye-s!" the o l d martyr replie d, dreamily, the clammy sweat from his forehe nd. "I 'II try ter, tho' thar aint much winrt in ine, any morel '!'h e r baby is dead. I fainted after t .he heathen herders shot me, hnt ind t ears <'Olll"'Pd down his furrowed cheeks ; while Deadwood Dick with bowed head, went as men seldom weep-wept. with a hPartfull o f bitterness and anguish-agony such as only the loss of loverl ones hy denth can produce. Presentl.Y the Annihilator summoned all his strepztll anrl spoke again, though is words were gasped and hardly audible: "She had water for a cl-oice trum the flames, b'yee: 'twas a better death, at least. You'll finll

PAGE 12

Omaha OU, the Mas k e d Terror. ll your little angel boy lying in ther !'ras, yonder, where I laid im to rst. Good-by, Di c key, don't grieve but trust in Je>us and-and-avenll'e usl God will help you do it. Can ye pray, boyee!' With tears streaming down from bis eyes and both the dying hero's bands in his Dead wood Dick raised bis face to the lurid tire-lit heaven above, and prayed with all bis soul and voiceprayed for those loved ones who were dead and d ving, and for life, strength and help to avenge their fates. An earnest, e loquent prayer, touching and pitifully sweet, in memory of the dead. \\ hen he finished, and gazed at the old man, life's last pulses were just ebbiug out I CHAPTER VI. HAWK HARRING'fON'S RIDE-OMAHA OLL BACK to Del Norte's city of gambling we will go some two weeks after the events just na1Tated, and witn ess a scene amongcharacters, who are to tak11 an active part in our story. The borne of the Harringtons was situated on the eastern side of D e l Norte and upon the bank of the rive r, near debouches from the S a n Luis valley and rushes due southward. The Harringtons were an eastern family, natives of New Hampshire, who bad come into this country among tle earliest of tbe settlers, and took up land then belonging to the Government, upon which they l1ad settled, and now had, m addition to an excelle1. t herding-ranch, a well-tilled farm, and a beautiful borne, in the grim old Spanish bacirnda, rambling and odd-shaped, which bad stood by the ere they came. There w ere five of the family, two s o ns, one daughter, and the parents, both bard-working, honest people, of mature age. The daughter, Ella, was a young lady of nineteen. very pretty, as the word goes, with a faco in which purity and goodness shone, and a form that was pleasingly modeled. She was the pride of her parents, and esteemed by all who knew her. Of the two sons, one was christened Hawk and the other Philip. The former received bis name for his sharpness of glance, when yet but a boy. He was now a man of sev en-and-twenty years, strong and stalwart, with a thorough knowledge of the prairie and herding, and all the matters apper taining thereto; was a great favorite among the rough herders, and was rather the "boss" of the family. He was rou1?h and some'imes brutal-bad no re11pect for cloth, as the word goes, and was little at home. Somehow, be bad but f Pw friends among the few intelligent and r e fined people of D e l Norte and its surroundings. It bad been whispered Lhat he was not all as g()ocl abe might be, but whethe r there was any truth in this rumor, we shall soon endeavor to show. Philip was a dedded opposite of his hrother, lo nP.arly every particular. He was more slight of build, and less rough and unfeeling, and bis temperament was mild and affa ble. Hr was universally admired, for he was as brave as a tion, and was one wh o would not screen the even though guilL existed in his own family. H e believed in the word "justice,,, and in seeing justice enforced under all circumstances. He, with bis father, tilled the farm, a. a general thing, while Hawk was away looking after the bPrds upon the prairie. ,, One evening toward the middle of December, when a cold, raw north wind was blowing in across the plain, Hawk Harrington came riding mad Ir in toward the hacienda upon the back of his charger. which was ftecked with foam, results of a. lonJ.(, bard ride. There was a avage, desperate expression upon the face of the riderthat was d1Lrk and cruel, with fierce o;;es, hafi', and heavy sweeping mustache-an expression of rage and o f deflancPJ as occasionally he would gl&nce over bis shoulder at a group of a dozen horsemen that were bugging in his rear. Masked and graceful riders were these men, and mountPd upon well-bot tomed steeds, as was evidenced by the fact that they kept about the same distance from the fugitive, whcse h orse was r eputed the fastest in the valley, without gaining or losinir. Young"Harrington was wounded in half a dozen places, and blood sported from these wounds at every JOit; but be was a man of indomitable will and ruirged constitution, which was all that kept him in the saddle. "Curses o n the hounds of Satan!" be rave&, as be plunged the cruel Spanish srurs into the flanks of his nobly-striving ammal. n, Rocketon, or we are lost! another b ull e t like those las t two will drop me, if put in the sa1r1e nPighborhood. Fur ies take the accursed irangl who can they be?" On-on da>ohed the har.drnme brown racer over the yielding twf. anG on came the pursuers with report o f two rifles, :utd a bullet whizzed b y each s id e of bis !wad. Hal ha I" the fugitive cded, 1-:'itb tl,, It seemed [IS though the r.oble steed wasdning the. Yery utmost within bis 1ower, but every sell of the hnc\er seemed to urge l Jn to rrreaLer efforts. An<" on they went through the raw chiU 1'ight-the first foreshadow of coming ,., inter in this l a nd of beauty -on, on, every leap bringing the fHgitiv e nearer to safety. Ping! again a rifle crack
PAGE 13

12 c:>:ina.ha. 011, the ra:a.sked Terror. laps be b arl only a susnicion of it; anyhow, hl;mesman, coming-lllong and up nll the -would not converse on the subject; would simplt cards upon tbe board. "Who'll have 'lem, gentleutter a curse and turn nway when allusion was men?11 niade to his wild ride for life "Hey; hallo! put my card back herlJl" cried the -youn<; gentleman in mask. "If you know whe n it's On tbe we lead tbegentlereader healthy for you, you won't kilo& up my keerds till I '()nee more into that 11otor10us den of gambling, the tell you to I" n the crowd. rim of the wheel on the lower side, there is hollow. The game-wheel ha l been revolving steadily for "And the n in that hollow space I'll wage r my life au hour, with ready sal e for the cards, and a young against a c ent you'll fin d a greater ot less quantity man lounging against the railing had been watching o f ballast, probabl y buckshot. I've been watching jt n
PAGE 14

Oaaaha. Oll the Ma.sked Terror. 13 no ln.()lef!tatllon 1':>r they were not too dumb to eee that this quan-el, or what threatened to b e a quarrel, bad been made as much in their behalf as in that o r the maskPd stranger, and it would be more than treac herous for them to i nterfere. Yet there was one brawny border-giant among the crowd, immense and muscula.r of tn1nk nnd limb, standing six-foot-six in his boots, who seemed to take it upon himself to exert bis energies in behalf of the gamesters. for be elbowed bis way through the crowd, and slapped bis great human paw down upo n Omaha Oil's shoulder, with a force that made the young man flinch. A man less upon his guard than be constan tly wa$, would have gone down. u Hillo 11' the giant roar e d, a t erribJe eAJ)ressio n upon his great unshave n, stubbly face-" Hillo I y e young jackanapes. What d'ye say?" "I say, ke e p yer paws to homer' replied be from Omaha,, quickly squirming out of the other's g-rasp, and dealing him a deft blow in the pit of the stomach. which double d Mr. Bully up like a jack-knife. "That' s what I say you big, overgrown elephant; so put it in yer pouch an' smoke it fer terbac' I" A roar like that from a small-sized lion escaped the giant, and with anns outstretched and eyes glaring, J 1 e rushe d upon the youth as if he would annihilate him. But at this instant there was a timely intervention, which was probably the luckiest thing that could have happened for the Masked Bravo, as h e stood a small chance of victory in a war-bug with the burly bully of D e l Norte-Old Jim Duffer was bis name and h e wits Lhe undisputable "boss whereve r he roamed. For at this juncture, when the giant sprung forward, intent upon crushing bis adversary, the crowd parted, an iron-like hand seized b!m by th& collar, and be was jerked back upon the floor quick enough to cause him to forget all of his past history. "Tbaire !" exclaimed a voice, and the whole of the attacking individual f orce d a passage into the ring, which bad been formed-" tbrure ye be, pilgrim, jest next time, won't ye-sum'tbin' o' my st.alri:e o.n' ftgger, f e r ins tance!" Bruised and enraged, Duffer crawled back to his feet, and eyed the ne .... -comer savagely. "Jem Murray!" he growled. "The Arkansas Tootht?ick I" assented the other politiily raising his bat. Et seems ye ain't fergot yer old friend, Jimsy, In tber days that bev dissolved Inter sence w e war rivals up In Little Yucatan, in Cafamonnt Gulch. Apparently yer m emory hesn't suffered a collapse I" "You ter --1" leered old Duff er, naming a place notoroiusly remarkable for i t s torrid temperature. "Guess I don't owe you nu thin ',_do I? R eckon ye stuck yer finger Inter tber 'rong pie, ye long-geared baboon!" "Shol ye ain't got over yer bad hablto'callin' bad names, yit, Jimsyl" commented tbe seven-foot Toothpick, glancing scornfully down at bis adver sary. Ner haln't growed none. either. Ye're a Lilliputian banty, Jimsy-a reg'lar leetle barkin' w'ilfet, w'at never bites, onless he ken snap at sum smalle r fry than himself. W'y, Jimsy, w'at ever stunted yer growth? Y e're no more'n...a mouthful!" "When a posS<'sses sech a gol-durned trap like yourn I" retorred Dulfer, angriJi. "Don't compare birds ,.,.p beasts!" "Ob I o' course not .. Jimsy-especially birds wat wears white feather!" ''Hey I w'at ye s o y?" bellowed the other begin ning to prance about like an exciterl colt. "\vhar's ther man tbtt durst BAY Jem Duffer ever showed the r white feathe r. Wbar's thet ornery galoot? Show bim ter m e thet I may manufacture him inter koyote fodder!" Ye needn't lnck fur, Jlmsy-ye needn't trave l acrose ther continent ter thet festive nymph, belo-ted Minnesota GoDhn spoke the man from Arkansas, grimly, "fer he's byar, in theP blood an' ftesh-Jem Murray, Toothpick and traveler!" "Y(nt/-you durst call me wbite-featherite. ye durnecl, l ong-geared Barnum's Wbat is-it? You durst tell me l m a gopher an' a wbite-featherite?" Solemnlyi respectfully, fee lin g l y and humanely, denr Jimsy. do announce thet I durst I" "Then, I'm goin' ter smash ;i:e-stomp ye, punch ye, an' mutilate ye ontil ye cant stand alone! cried the Del Norte bully, and drawing himsel f together, be made a violent lunge at the Toothpic k. They met-they clinched in a grasp of hatred-a. bug of death. Both Wflre m e n of oost-iron strength, with each muscle properly developed-men whose build and constitution fitted them for battle, and men who were in their hi ghest e lement when engaged in a pitched combat. They clit1cbed, and then the contet of strength and resolve began, amid much excitement. Nearly all games were thrown up. and the votaries thereof swarmed around, eudeav01 ing to get a. peep into the ring where the two giants Wdl'e battling The two bands struck up a !iv< ly air, peculiar to the Spanish bull-fighting arenas; lights were turned higher; an. intense silence prevailed, only broken by the scuff ling of the two men. Clinched close to each other in a J:,ear-like bull" they weaved to and fro, using all the feints in their power to trip one another, and thus bling the strug gle to tbe flo or. Although tbe Arkansas Toothpick was full half a fo o t taller than old Duffer, be wae possessed of but little, if any more strength-in fact the two were as n early equal In this respect as you could have found MmTay was Jong of limb and neck, and short of trunk, while Duffer was just the opposit&-wlth 8hort I.hick limbs, as hard aE a rock, long body, and a hull-like neck. Back and forward weaved the twe men, locked vise-like in each other's embrace; now lurching heavily to one Fide; now dragging each other fiercely; lifting, tripping and f einting: it was a mar giants baffie each other "Ob I r,e p'izen sarpint-ye beastly human rhinos cerhoss I roared the Toothpick. as "Duffer lodged a. cleverly-aimed squirt of tobacco-juice in bis face and "I'll show ye, ye r ept;r.le-ye nngodlr, son ova gopherl Spit in my face will ye! Hnrrabl' and the man from Arkansas bent down and grabbed one of the Del Nortean's hu11re ears between bis sharp teeth, and buried those fangs In the fles h until the smaller giant w a s forced to howl outright from pain. "Ohl howl will ye-howll" roared Toothpick, re laxing bis bola Jong enough to give vent to bis overloaded stock of feelings. "I like ter beer it; et's aweet music in my ears. Ob l ye vamp\re-ye sneakin' grassb0pperl Wait tel I git w armed up, an' I'll show ye ther kind o' sblnplasters they m1tke down in old Arkansas. No remonetization tbar, I'm tellin' ye; n0 anti-silver thar; no nothin' tbar but men o' sterling squnlificationsl" Back, forward. sidewise, they lurched, the Tooth pick's t-0ngue vibrating inces80Dtly in companion sbi_P with hie body. Duffe r was" mum," f o r it re qmred all bis attention to 't<>nd to bis "knitting. and prevent b eing thrown to the f\o.1r. As the case etood now ,_neither could do the other any material damage. .isut o nce the hug was broken, there prom i "ed to be banged Pyes and broken parts, on one side o r the other. And tbiswas what the breathless, ex,.ited crowd were engerly watching for. Omaha Oil, who b r d ben in a measure the cause of a ll istnrbance, stood by the counter in the samP position of cool indifference he had occupied all along. enjoying the tussle full as much as any of the others. "Hug him as ef he war yer sweetbeart. Tootho

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14 Omaha. 011. the Ma.eked Terror. pHlk r he cried, In a clear, rin!\lng voice. "If you want any help, just call on me. "Ohl I'll squeeze him!" replied the Arkansas man. giving an extra spurt of strength about the bully's waist, until that unlucky individual gave a grunt. "Oh I 1'11 show him circus-tricks enough ter stock a hippodrome!" At last the bully made a misstep, lllurray caught him on it, and bo h went down to the floor with a crash. Fortunately for him, Duffer s head struck hard enough to r e nd e r him momentarily insensible; otherwise his countenance would probably have vn dergone the customary battering, which the Arkan sas kindly dispensed with, when he saw that his adversary was done with. But he instantly rose to his feet, and glimced around at the sea of face s, with a broad grin. "Hurra! thre0 cheers for the Arkansas Toothpick!" cri e d Omaha 011, springing ?n top a table, and lus slouch hat. Hip! and three long cheers rose from the great surgrng crowd for the long-legged, lanky, ludicrous man from Arkansas. In the tumult som e overjoyed individual cmpt.i e d the contents of his sixshooters ceilingward, c ausmg a loud roar to go echoing through the .&eat buildiug. Omaha Oil uttered a curse upon the action. and clinched his hands about a pair of pistolbutts. "Fly! fly!" he y e ll ed, his stern, clear voice reach every oorner of the Palace "1?ome accursed fool. by firing off that revolver! bas signaled for my men, the Black Av e ng ers. F1yl fl.vi a ll you that would save .vour lives, for it will be useless for you to trv to resist I" Th.en 'vith an agile leap Into midnight air, the Masked T error went like a rocket over the heads of the electrified assemblage, struck the door, bounded through an open casement, and was gone. And with his departure a motley crowd, number ing upward of a hundre d black-clad, masked horse men burst into the great gambling palace through windows. doors, and every accessible ground en tranre and from their revolvers came flash after ftash, ;eport .after report, until a pandemonium.of prevailed, and the room was clouded with smoke. Screams of affrie;bt from the females and fearful curses from the Del Norteans arose on either side; dead and dying were lying unde r foot; in the gamblers hurled chairs and table s aside, and the \ights were extinguished, leaving darkness reigning .supreme. TWs proved the salvation of those within the great ball, to a large extent, for under cover of darkness they were able to escape, and but very few of the Blaok Avengers: bullets made a count. In ftve minutes after the lights were extinguished not a soul oft.be living were within the Palace, for the outlaws bad a l so taken their departure. That was the fir s t direct attack by prairie rovers that Del Norte's inhabitants had eve r expe rienced, althou1>:b al'frays and othn ruffianly melees among the herders were common occurrences. .A.nd after that night a terrible dread of the Masked Terror and bis Avenger!! prevailed in the little city by Rio Grande's sullen waters. Many were afraiJ to stir out after dark for fear of en countering the scourge, and the gambling Palace was not nearly as full as usual. The D e J Nor$eans k evt more within their own doors, and the herders mvariabl,v went and came in squads, for they f eared the outlaw alliance full more than he gamble1s, for they had cause. Upon every lin&-pole of the valleyherding plains for miles in either direction, was pasted a printed notice, couched in the following words: "NoTrcE: To all whom it ma; concern! The lo.tA fire upon the prairie, which d ctroyed tbe ol.J El Grunin ranc h and outbuildings, wa.i attended b.v a massarre at the said '"3nch. and three-an old ml\n, a mother a n l b r baby boy, were the victims. This crime was committed by the Prairie League, ri. band of ruffian herders, who, leagued together, are the thirty herders and ruffians belonging to said League. all of whom were concerned in this latesl outrage upon innocent herders and settlers, nre mark d. and we the Avengers and Regulators of the. Rio Grande de! Norte, shall do our duty until every dog has bee n hUllJ\" or shot. The leaders' names are here 1>:iven: Captain Bill Monte, old Jim Duffer, Dresden La J\1onte, Hawk Harrington and Hank Murdock. The names of the otbPrs are all and each shall meet his fate. The Red CrOils will signify the band of the Black Avengers. u0MAHA0LL.n No wonder then that there was a f c elint? of dre.ad n.mong the herders and also amongc rrt:tiu ones of Del Norte's cit iz ens for some thPr o w re o f thePl who w e re connected with the Prairi e L e ague. Just below the above notice was invariably posted another notice of less importance to some, and of more to othe rs. It was penned in a big, sprawling hand, nnd contained the following; WANTED: Information of a man calkylated ter abound in these 'ere immeget v"ici.nity, whose calli!l aire tbet uv a gambler-war one time a Leften'!-nt m Cortina 's l ;a.nd-and whose name rure El Gamin, or sum sich like. Would lik e ter oee this iuterestin' iu dervidual fer about six min nits an' twel>e seconds on important bizness. Address or hunt up-JElll MURRAY, Arkansas Toothpick. To be contin1A,nd the carpets, and the grand pictures upon the ceiled walls. Everywhere a fine taste of was dis played an?d girl, free-spirited, welle
PAGE 16

Oma.ha OU, the Maskea .l'error. 11 How sbe ever escaped death when bo -d lier from that clltt to the gulch bottom, a undred feet below, J can neve r imag-ine." At tbl juncture there was an audible footstep, ll;Dd Hawk Hl\rrington came striding into the room. Red wood instantly arose from bis seat upon tbe sofa, and tbe gaze of tbe two men met., unflinching ly. Harrington evidently had not expected to find his enemy there, for be started, then muttered an oath. "Where is Ella?" he demanded, gruflly. "I do not know," R e uwood replied, watching the herder narrowly. "She has doubtlessly stepped out somewhere, and will soon return "Are you waiting for her?,, "lam." uwbatfor?" "None of your business, sir. I came to talk with her-not you." "Oh I you needn't give us any oflour slack!" he 11:rowled bac k, fiercely. "I'm boss o tbis ranch, and for two bits I d tumble you out. "Oh I uould you?" etorte d Redwood! as fiercely .as his enemy. "Maybe i t would be hea t.L1y for you to try it. You will flnd me no saintkl'll warrant you. If you begin the battle,..! shall stri e to kill!" growled some muttered imprecation, and Sl!rung forward, with a long, dangerous-looking knife m bis grasp. The villain meant murder. But Redwood was not to be cut down without a struggle. He had roughed it iu the early part of his life in tbe mines; was a Hercules in strength, a mas ter in all athletic sports, and a dangerous man to mee t with the knife or pistol. He was now, however, as you may say, at the mercy of his antagonist, for he was unarmed, wbile In addmou to his knife, Hawk Harrington ca1Tied a small arsenal of revolve!'s in his b elt. But Redwood was on the watch for him as he came forwardhand clinching the upraise d arm of thP rnfllan, wbic gl'asped the knife, he threw his other arm about the waist, a.11d tl"ipped him to the tloor. B oth men went down together, and in the fall Red wood received -an ugly cut in the breast from the knife. But in an instant more he had the blade in his possession. Now, beg, curse you I" be cried, holding the young herder down as easily as though he had been a baby. "Ileg, and promise to mend your wayd, or ['II plunge this knife into your heart. You know I bold the power to hang you, and I marvel that you dare provoke me, Jest I exert it." "I will uot beg; nor will I tell you that which you wish to know!" the herder growled, savagely. "'l'i'hat do you mean 1 What i s there which you know that wou Id benefit me, had I the possession of that knowled?.e?" Redwood demanded. "Bah I don t think I'm a fool becanse I've got you down upon the enemy list, my sharpy. Thought no one knew why you came to D e l Norte, didn't you? But there's where you ma.de the mistake. We knew of your coming, long ago, and closed up the holes, like g-rouud-mice do. in the winter Yon may search e>. lifetime, and you'll not find the place you seek tbe head-quarters of the Prairie League I" Red wood started, and a grim expression ettled upon his face. "You are mistaken!" he ventured. "You lie-Tam not mistaken I" Hawk Harrington replied, triumphantly. "You are Dean RedwocXl, alias Cunning Cass Camer on, the ex-Government Spy. Oh I you needn't feign astonishment, nor you needn't attempt to leave Del Norte, for you will be met by a party of gentlemen, who will boost YC!U half-way up to a. limbf and h o ld you there by the aid of a tow-string unti a reaction occurs and your spirit flies away." "Shol you don't sari" "You'll find out, i you at.tempt to sneak out and fetch reinforcements. Stay here in Del Norte, a good, honest, l aw-abiding citizen, and rn guara.utee you'll be all right!" "Humph I you'll guarantee, you say. Perhaps yon are one of the ringleaders of this Prabie League whos
PAGE 17

18 Omaha. 011. the Masked Terror. Evil genius I" sneered the bro her. "Your pro fessed lover no doubt, until he has sufficientlvblind ed you for his devilisn then it wilf be dif ferent. Whoa.I up, thar, 'my gay Lothario! Don't be in so much of a nurr.v to take leave." "Well1 sir, what can I do for you?" Duane asked, turning oack and fac ing his enemy. Though I am unarme_ported her upon his strong arm, and they made their way toward the hacienda. When they reached it, and disappeared from view, the Spy turned upon-not El Gamin, but noth ingl The card-sharp had as sllll.den)y and mysierlous'f1 disappeared as though he had been sw&llowed up in the earth! Evidently, he was a coward! CHAPTER IX. THE :MASK.ED TEltROR EQUALS HIS NAME--TBit PLOT OF THE LEAGUE-OFF ON SCENT. ON the following da_ v an emigrant trah passed through Del Norte. They were l>nund for Santa Sina, further up the valley, where tlie y proposed to go into winter quarters, and wait the coming of before coutinuing their journey. Thei:e were but four wagons. and the caravan was evidently rather a poverty-stricken one But an hour's halt was made in Doi N orte; then the train continuer! on over the weJl-he l ten trail through the beautiful vall ey-the trail ov. r which more emigration to the Rockies has passed than lly 'most any other routt>. Three miles out from Del Norte, while the wagons were hidden from vie w in the hollow o a prairie wave, they were surpris"d by a banrl of masked horsemen, who rod e down and surrounded them without an instant1s notice. There were fifty of them, at least, mounted upon powerful animals. and armed with polished-barrel repeating-rifles; desperate-loolting meni generally, who ha( rnughe d ii upon the border all their lives. In adv:i.nce was the Mask e d .,f the valley Omaha Oil, the young R egulator, both of which he waq, The emigrants were about to defend themselves and open a battle, but the clear voice of Omaha Oil ringing out like a bugle. bade them desi;t. "Hold I fire not, unless you would se..-il your own doom I" be cried, "for we mean you no harm. We simply come for the traitor-vi!lain who i s trying to escape his doom by going with you. Haul lilm out and deliver him up, and I'll guarantee you no trouble will be necessar.v. La Mort-Dresden La Mort, one of the rinE:lAaders of the Prairie League, Is the man I want, sir!" "There is no such man In our caravan. sir!" stout ly averred one of the emigrants. "I kin give ye all ther names of our party, ef ye llk.e; we're all from one town in Iowa." "Bah I you cannot deceive me, old man. The fellow is known to be secreted in one of your fout wagons. The sooner you haul him out the better it will be ror you... "Iu our wagons? Impossible, sir!" Quite possible. old man, although you may not be aware of the fact. I s not the last vehicle, yon der a ?" "It is, though I don't see how you guessed it, as all the sides are closed down," was the reply. "I knew it all the same, Oma.be. Oll assured. Be kinrl enou.o:h to t.ake a peep into that wagon. anrl you wiU no rloubt find the 1nan we want -thP double-dyed villain and ruffi:in you are harbor tnr;." 'All right, ir. Tf there is such a party in our company, u nknown. and he is such a vlllain a.a you r Ppr esent. you arn welcome to him, des(lite the fact that your authority in demanding him 1s quell' tionable." "Not at a ll questionable, sir. We are a band of Av e n
PAGE 18

Oma.ha. OU. hie Maaked Tenor. 17 earan.n. was a. gruff but bonest old fRrmer, and it W8JI not bis purpose to shelter a fugitive scoundrel be It even from death. So he headed his compan ions, and they advanced upon the 'bind wagon, which was drivet\ by the fat Texan, named Sam. Omaha Oil and bis men were drawn up on their horses on the left side or the train, the clt> liverance of a subject whom it was their mtentm'n to punish with death, as a retribut'.on for his numberlei;s crimes. But, ere tbe covers at thP rear or front end of the "schooner,, could be raised, there was a s uccession of sharp pistol reports and Hendricks and two of his compunions fell backward badly w o unrled. The ti&"er in his cage h a d clawed at his en e mies. But this did not d eter the other men from doing their duty; they leaped forward, tore aside the vas coverings, and hauled the stowaway out upon the ground. Omaha OH rode forward. a triumpbant laugh There is the outlaw of half a score of brutal border outrages, gentle men I" he said. "Dresden La Mort is his a worse character is hard to find Knights of ven geance, you see the vib \>Tetch who has struck each of you a blow or more through tbe agency of the Prairie League. Take him and do your duty." The Avengers rode forward, and dismounted, a number of them seizing the unlucky J,a l\Iort, and S@Curely binding him. Then he was borne off to a lone prairie tree, but a few ;rards distant, and pre parations were made for bis final launching mto eternity. A rope of good1 stout material was shirred about his neck, and tne remaining end thrown over a branch overhead. Then he was r aised to a standing liands seized the pulling end of But they did not "boost" him. tbese Prairie A vengers, but w&ited until Omaha Oil addressed the doomed outlaw, as appeared to be his After l!azineat La l\Iort a moment m silence, the :roung Masked TPrror spoke: "Dresden La M ort, you are nbont to pay the pen a lty of your crimes I" lie said, sternl y. "You have thrown away !}le life that God gave you-wasted your worth and manliness until you tire a low, de graded wretch, of the vilest order. Your career bas been one of unblushing crirue, and crime, too, of the moRt repulsive character. In this day or discussion <>n the possibilities of there being such a place as h ell, It is not for me to say as to your fate after death: but I should not cart to stand in your tracks. Therefore it behooveR you to repent-to ask forgive ness of your God erti it is too late. Also, I want you to tell me of the location of the stronghold of the Lelll\'ue, and if .vou know aught of the wife of myof Deadwood Dick!" "I'll tell you nothingl" growled La Mort, fiercely. "You cannot turn me into a traitor; I'll betray no secret of the League; so go on and lynch me as soon as l,OU can. I am not afraid to die." Then it will be so much the easier for you I" Oil s aid grimly. waving his hand to tT1e e x ecutioners . "Up with him, boys I" There was a long pull and a strong pull at the rope, and Dresden La Mort was swing ;ng in mid air. Night upon the prairies of San Luis valley, through the wandering waters of Rio Grande Night, in December, with tbe warmth of late 11pring-with the soft balmy breezes and sounds of nature peculiar to the time-to the bour. Rolling down from the herdingplains comes the bawl of cattle and the blare of trumpets; on the plains, over which an impenetrable gloom has falfen, faintly the "line" lamps perched upon their signal posts Uke diminutive hgbt-houses scattered upon an ocean's wavy e:qw.nse. Birds of night are in tbe a.i.r, !lotltl send up their weird nol!!es; two pe150ns af out )lPOn the prairie, enveloped In tire ,;loom eng&&9d m unguarded conversation. One a man, tall and brawny and ev:lli of face and feature, roughly dressed, and armed to the teeth with be1t weapons and rifle. The other was a woman, attired in a trailing white wrapper, while over her head was a filmy mass of silken lace-work. She was very beautiful, both in face and form, and stood close to the man, one arm resting lovingly over the bowed bead of a superb "'.bite stallion and the remaining hand grasping a rifle. It was a strange tableau, In thz gloom of the coDl' mgm1OD his return to tbe stronghol d without sus pectrng that he was observed. But such, however, was the case. Not a dozen yards from the spot where occurred the interview between the Prairie Patrol and tile messenger, was crouching in the deep grass that grew in a aamp bufi'alo bed. a horrn and a man. Both Jay perfectly quiet during the conversation of the twain, the man eagerly listening to catch every word. Then wheR Pedrillo and Le$tie separated and started off in clif ferent directions, the man rose cautiously to his feet, and bade his sagacious animal do likewise. "Now, Clipper, we are npou the scentl" the spy muttered, patting the black upon his arching neck, and then vaulting into the saddle. "We have but to follow the messenger to find what's up." Tbe speaker was the Masked Te1Torl Like a. phantom of the night he had st.al en up and overheard the conversation of t,befepui,le l'atrol and the me8'

PAGE 19

Oma.ha. OU.. the Masked Terror. 1f911gW-, wWeh was of a nature to lead him to suppose that something of importance was on the tapis, which conoerned the Prairie League. Accordingly, with no thought of fear, the young Regulator set off in pursuit of the messenger-not in hot pursuit, but in a creeping, stealthy pursuit, Ws steed moving along with tbe carefulness of a cat. "On, Clipper, old boy I Hug Wm close. but do>i't give him of your coming. If I can get close eno 1gh to cast a lasso over him, l mean to learn the contents of those dispatches h e is bearing. But it was a d e licate joh to approach suffic iently near to achie-re a success without being discovere d by 1 h3 messenger, who could easily escape by plung ing into the tall prairie grass, and crawling a.way. On tha M1sked Terror urged his faithful steed, and the animal seemed to understand that lipeea and caution were required of it. But P cd rillo wa.; wi le a.wake, and the fiash of a and the of a bullet warned Omaha Vil that he had been dis1over e d. Bnt in that fiash ue had caught a glimpse of the m ess en!\'er's form only a few yards ahead, and quickly drawlilg his re volver, he jiscba.rged three barre ls in rapid succes sion. The result was more t'.1an expected. There was a great yell of pain, and the sound of a heavy body fallin,f to the ground; then, on riding on, the Regulator lJttnd his vic tim outstretched in the grass. He dismounted and bent over the man, and found that h e was dead. One of the bullets had eot.:red his ear, anothe r through his left side, plowing into his heart, and producing in taut death. A shore search discover<)([ the papers Pedrillo had received from Prairie Patrol There were two dil ferent dvcaments, tbe first reading as follows: ,, CHIEF OF PRAIRIE miners' train from the Rockies will come down the valley tomorrow night. amount of gohl in their posses !lion; so you'd best lay for it. "LEsTIB The other paper read as follows: "Pass forty-fifth linP-pole; twentv horse-lengths dne south-west; h e ll b elow; heaven above!" Which enrted that strange communica.Uon It's a clew to the of the Prairie League I" muttered Omaha Oll, grlmlr "I am on the scent at last, and must pursue it. Leaving the m esse ngedying where he had fa.lien, he sprung upon Clipper's bac k, and dashed away. CITA?TETI X FIGHTING RUFFIANS. OMARA OLL, as the reader may already have guessed, was no less a person than the ex-road agent. Dead woo I Dic k, whom we left by the side of the dying Annihilator. We ended his acquaintance there rather abruptly. Let us go back for a moment, and review his past since then. Leaving O d Avalanche lying. as he su>poseil., stark and stiff in d"atb, the Prince of the Road tqrned toward the ruins of his cosey home, to pro cure some sharp instmment with which to chg a grave, for he would not leave the spot without glvina the old scout a decent burial. On 'tis way h e ca.me upon the lifeless body of his Infant son, and sca n:Iing tbere aud gazing upon the beautiful child be ha.d so idolized, next to his darling Leone, he raised his clinched right Land toward the fireHt_sky, and registered an oath of vengeance be, fore God-an oath to avenge his triple loss. thou;zh the consummation of, that vengeance absorbed the remainder of his natural life. He went back tben and la.id the babe beside the scout, after wbich be retraced his steps toward the ruined hacienda, In search of a. shovel or spade, with which to dig a grave. After wandering about for halt an hour, lu the black track left by the fire, he found the imJ?lementa required, aud hastened baok upon the praine to form his last ghastly labor for the dead. But great was Ws astonishment on arrivlng at the spot where he bad left. th., bodies, to find that they had both strangely disappeared I Gone, but where? They were nowhere rn the immediate neighbor hood. as a clos e search proved; yet they were gone, question Had the sneaking coyotes come and dragged them away, or had the Pra;rie League dragged them oft to perpetrate more indignities upon their persons? The thought was maddening to Deadwood Dick yet he was po" erless to help himself. He could only curse the fate tbat had ever pursued him . At la.st when morning was near at hand, he turn eel his back upon tlie ruined hacienda, and strode away. Fur twe ntv-eig-ht hours, he prowled about in the vicinity of Del Norte. without food or rest. The n he fell in with a band of valley settlers, who, under the title of Avengers,, and Re,,.ulators," organizing for a campaign ai::ainst the "Prai rie League," and the y bad chosen him their leader, well knowing of dauntlessness from report. Thus, unde r the name of Oil, and in deep disguise. the former road-agent of Bl..ick Hill notorit!ty had become a Regulator. In LlS new comrades he found a set of men who had 11early all received injury at the hands of the valley outlaws, and wer;, ea<;er to revenge them selves; men whv were inured to border warfare and would face death a hundred fold to accomplish their aims. And they found in Omaha Oil, as we shall still con tinue to call him, a leade r who was brave and dar ing to a fault; who n eve r shirked duty at the ap !>roach of dano;er; who held as little fear of hi& fel ow-men as a.giant would of a pigmy. An1 thus l'aving shown how Deadwood Dick be came a Regulator chief, we will resume the thread of onr narrative, and pursue it to the end, with as little digression as possible. We left Omaha Oll dashing "'""" across the prairie, after obtainln!J the dispatches from the out law messenger, Pedriho. "The den of this League of Evil must be twenty horss's lengths from the fortyfifth line-pole!" he muttered, as he sped along, sitting In his saddle as bound there; "or els3 what is the meaning or this m essage? I would give a half-year of my to be able to pounce in upon those outJaws, and show them what is the ven\'(eance of a wronged man. But, the idea. of following up this clew must now be dispelled. Here is another duty-to get to gether my men, and prepare to aid this train of miners. A year ago I should have been a.swilling to have relieved them of their spoils as I am now to assist them." He rode swiftly on through the moonlit night, for' that luminary bad just raised its face above the ho riz on. looking guilty at its own tardiness in rising. His horse he had recently purchased of an old Spaniard, who was finishing training him for the circus, and a handsome beast he was, with black glossy coat and limbs like polished steel, together with an arching neck and mane. Broad of chest and thin of flank he was a fieet traveler as Omaha Oil had proven on more than one occasion. And yet he was to be given another chance, for a wild piercing cry welled up piteously upon thP night-a woman's scream, fraught with keeeest terror and indignation. It reached the ears of Ot:Q
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Omaha Oll the 'Masked Terror. "It's a woman in trouble at least I" be muttered, gathering the reins tl11:hter, and throwing his feet out of the stirrups. "Now, Clipper, away, and let It not be said that you or your master hesitated to strike in thtl of a woman. Away I" And ofl' ,at the Masked T error's command bounded tbe black charger, at a wild rate of speed, with head stretched out on an even with its back, and mane and tail s t reaming back ieracefully. And Omaba Oil rode hterally with the horse, bis motion anti graceful movemeut corresponding ex actly with that of the steed. On-on; it took bnt a few moments to prove that they were gaining, although the fugitive's horse was one of no ordinary speed and endurance. And a dark scowl was upon the face of the fugitive, as he not-ed bow rapidl1 his pursuer was gaining. "Curse the luck!' he g rowle<).. gazing alternately toward the on-coming Masked Terror, and into the fair white face of the captive he carried in his arms, "that fellow is hound to overhau1 me, and give me trouble. I wish I had left the girl in her home: wo men have ever been a curse t.o me, yet I cannot let them alone. And that chap is Omaha Oil the M asked Terror, too. "hat can he want of me?" What, indeed, but to rescue a female captive, whose cry h a d appeal<>d to his heart and hearing. 0 On, Clipper? We are g-aining as one wave gains upQn another in the surf I" Omaha 011 sa.id, urging on his noble charger. His bat and mask w ere now off and in the saddl!'bags; his handsome face was illuminated with a glow of pleasurable excitement; his dark magnetic eyes gleamed sharpt.v, and bis long, hair blew back in a cloud upo n the night brePze. Iti his hand he held coiled a lasso ready for instant use, one end of it b eing secured to his saddle-bow. Nearer and neare r be drew to the fugitive, Clipper seeming to realize just what was required o f him. On-on; the tnud, thud of horse's feet beat a strange tattoo upon the prairie sod the late moon looked down serenely; the stars twinkled In heaven's mighty dome ; the prairie-clogs barked; 1 irds uttered shrill cries at being disturbed from their peace ful slumbers; on dashed the pursued and the pur suer; animal spirits were at rivalry, while those of the two men were hopeful and d e fiant. But closer-closer they grew-both men could see each otber distinctly, now; both were somewha t amazed, for the resemblance between them was startling. Deadwood Dick's cast of countenance was given each, and in form they werd not unlike. Omalia OU instantly made up his mind as to tpe identity of the fugitive. It was the El Gamin, at whom the Prairie League bad struck, when they killed Avalanche, Leone, and the babe, and destroy ed his pretty home upon the banks of the Rie> Grande Del Norte. El Gamin, the great Gambler Prince. On-on-nearer, until Clipner's nose was brushed b y the tail of the fugitive's horse-then Omaha OU spoke. "Hold! Why continue t11 is race, Sir Gambler? .Alre'.l.dy I have run you down; it will require but the work of a moment to unseat you from you. saddle, by using my lasso. So you may as well :,ull In." What do you <"ant?" El Gamin d emanded turn Ing in his saddle. fiercely. "Why have .fOU dogged tne in this way?" "Because ;i woman's scream arypealellow-mEn, and deerve n othing m o r e than & good stout limb with a rope and your neck attached to it1 "Ah I do you really think so? We won't dispute. about tbat, for no matter what my past has teen, my present J am faithfully trying to improve. You say you are my enemy. ''bat do you p1opose to do that you may work off the strength of your towering f,assi o n ?,, f:fpt if you dare Do you know how to "Well, I rovicling you set a plate of uncut venison before me, I be al>Je to handle one end of such an instrument I the Regulntor replied, with a cool composure that annoyed the gamhTer. But if you say razor, razor it is!" And out of the saddle the young man vaulted. Shall I assist your charge to the ground, Sir Gambler?" "You may fay her upon the grass until we settle this mattert" El Gamm assented, yielding up bis captive, who was bound band and foot. "We will fight in the saddle!" As well that way as any othe r I" Omaha 011 replied, la:ving the girl upon the grass, and with ning Cflerity severing her bonds. "Now, n1iss, 'in au uudert-0ne "when we get to fighting briskly, vou creep awa.y, at a safe distance, an
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Omalui;-:-ou, the Masked Terror. hls attention to front. Of the horsemen there were at least thirty, all ar111ed with rifies, who carried 11 arms,'' as they rode. Ahead of them, barking and quarreling among themse lves, were a pack of T exan cattle-dogs* and Omaha Oil uttered an exclamation fraught with doubt, as he beheld them. He knew them to be savage and stubborn in bat tle-knew they were more to be feared than the human w olves behind them, is it?" El Gamin asked, laying his revolvers before him, and grasping his repeating rille, firmly. ''You tnink we-" Will have business to attend to, if we want to get out of this alive I" Omaha OU replied, grimly. "The:e are twelve dogs that must first, and then nearly three times that number of outlaws to follow Get ready! One, two, three!" Then the two defenders' ritles rung out spite fully, and though the distance was against them, two of the dogs went, down. But, still, with wild exultant yells the outlaws came rushing on. Now, they were but five hundred yards away I CHAPTER XI. FIGHTING BRuTES-'rHE MINERS' CAMP ON-on they came like a charging army, their ex ulting yells making strauge echoes resound over the rolling expanse of prairie, upon which the old moon threw a pale, sickly radiance. Yetl"ghtenough wae there-to enabl e things to he seen distinctly at some distance, and Omaha 011 and El Gamin, the Gambler Prince, could see the savage jubilance expressed in the hard, grim faces of the oncoming outlaws. "Ready! Fire agl\inl We must not lose a mo ment, or we are dead men, and to a horrible fate, ten times worse than ordinary death I" the young Regulator cried, again bringing his rifle to bear. "Seel tbev are clrawin<: rein and setting on the dogs to do the work of des)ruction, while they look on aml laugh. Ready, comrade. One! two! make your bullets count, and send them iu quick succession I three and fire!" It was indeed as Oil had said. The outlaws bad drawn rein just out of close ritle shot and while they sat in their saddles, were setting on the savage calvortis,t or cattle-dogs. And the brutes knew just what was expected of them apparently, for the.v came on, howling and barkb:ig, and quarreling over which was to be in at the death, first At Omaha's word "fire," beth his gun and that of El Gamin rung forth, sharply, and unerring were the bull e ts, for two of the remaining ten dogs went to the ground lifeless; yet on came: the rest nearer and ne,.rer at every leap-in two minutes they .. ould be at hand, savage and ferocious, thirsting for human blood. One monster brute in the lead see m e d to be the commander of the gang, and he was anp1trently im pregnable; for six times did Omaha 011 fire at. him, in quick succession, but without effect. On the fierce brute came, bis eyes gleaming, and froth dripping from his distended jaws. By heaven, comrade, bullets are wasted on that beastl" the young Chief of Regulators cried, desper>itely. "We must pick oft' the remaining ones." Crack I crack 1 rung both ritles and pistols, and ec.no after echo rung over the prairie with weird re sult. And when the last bullets of the two men were spent, there were yet three of the angered brutes to contend with-three, and they were not thirty yards between bull-dog and bleodho1,md Ex herders, but ferocious and unmanageable, at times. 'l Apaehe Indian name for large eanlnea. ,.,__ away. With brutes' persevemtl), they we not to give up till the last. Quick I your knife I It is our lust resort I" Omaha on cried, drawing his owu trusty blade, and brae ing back preparatory against the onslaught. "Stand an yonr guard, and strike as you value life?" El Gamin nodded. H e too, was on the guard, with his hunting-Im.He clinched between his teeth, and his hands free to clutch the enemy on ap proach. On they came, side by side-the big leader. and two well matching him in size and strength. Three or four more leaps, and they would be upen the de fenders. A great yell of triumph arose from the throats of the outlaws, and they lashe d their horses nearer, that they might watch the deatb-strug{'.'les. For, though the loss of a herd of dogs was a heavy one the ruffianlr-tastes of th" outlaws were ap p eased by watching the sufferings of a'! enemy-a sort of compensation for their loss. "Ready.'"El Gamin?" Omaha asked, without tum ing bis head. His black, magnetic eyes were rivet ed upon the big dog; he was trying to exert his powers of mesmerism over the brute. But to no avail. He eould not CtJ.tch the howling animal's el7:-Ready I" El Gamin had just time to say; then came the onslaught. With roars not unlike those of an infant lion, the three dogs leaped upon the horses as they lay pros trate, and then upon El Gamin and the young Regn lator. The largest one singled out Omaha, while his two companions attacked the gambler. But one soo n withdrew, and putting his nose to the prairie, sprung away witn a series of howls fearful to hear. He had struck upon the trail of Emilyhthe gambler's cap tive, who, becoming terrified, ad crept away un noticed by the two 11\en. .. God help her! on muttered, as, at a glance, h e comJ?reheuded how matters stoi>d. "Her life is fa immrnent jeopardy, and how can we aid her nowY" He turned .. nd hurled off the savage brutefrom him with all his force, but on it came again, with eyes blazing and jaws distended. Braced back and watchful, the Masked Terror re ceived him, and deep bis knife sunk into the back of the monster's neck. With almost a human sbriek, the dog fell back, and bled out bis life upon the moonlit p lain. Omaha Oil then darted a glance a t the and perceived that the dog was gett!Dg the worst or it. "El Gamin is all right; bal the othP.r has found the girl. I must oft' to It.er rescue!" And the next moment Omaha Oil had sprung upon bis horse. the animal was upon its feet. and they were dashing away like the wind over the prairies. So quick had been his action that he was some away ere the outlaws bm suf!lc!ently com prehended to start in pursuit. "On, Clipper-o,, like the lightning flash!" cried Omaha, as he '*ain beard piteous cries ahead o f him. in wbich direction the girl had g"one. "The brute will tear h e r to pieces ere I can reach her!" The captive had run nearly a mile from the battle ground, and hy the time the voung Regulator had reachecl h e r side, the ferocious had torn her so nParly up that life had h ecome ext:no1i. lt was a frightful, t?ha stly sight, as viewed under the light of the pale moon. anil n sensation of unut terable horror swept over M hP beheld the terrible destmction. It wa3 beyond even his nerves of st el. Ano h. Wtth a chuekie, Omaha 011 came to Clipperil &..<>-

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Omaha Oll, the Maske d Terror. 21 ststance. aml dispatched the ferocious brute nndUllrled it to the ground. ThP.!l be glanced around him for the first time since his fiight. The outlaws had divided into two l!&J 1irWShot, and he saw that they meant to bring him oown, dead or alive. This resolved him as to his course. With a last shuddering glance at the corpse of the girl, he beaded Clipper northwest, toward Del Norte, a11d tucked on the sp_urs. Then he threw himself alongside, like an Indian, and rode thus, which prevented bis being shot by the outlaws. But soon a new calamity came. There were loud rifle-reports in his rear, and a bullet struck noble Clipper in the flank, plowing a deep wound. Instantly the poor animal began to go lame, and Omaha 011 sa"' with regret, that he must depend upon something else than horseflesh to extricate him from the pursuing danger. Patting the limping horse kindly, he spurred him faster; then dropped off in tbe"grass, and crept rapidly out of the track of the approaching horse men. But his action bad been observed by the sharp eyed members of the League, as was evidenced by a chorus of triumphant yells, and peering carefwJy ahove and over the tops of tt.e tall wiry grass, he perce ived that they were spreading out and sur rounding bim. "Hal curse them: they are bound to haul me in if poss ible. Poor had the y n o t wounded him. I could have shook my heel at them. As it is, matters lo o k rather dubious. Confound it, why didn't I think of this befor e ? I believe the sound will carry!" Lying upon his back in the grass be hastily de tach>u from his belt a small silver bug le, artistically chased "ith gold mountings, and set with several flashing jewels. It was a magnificent affair, which he, as Dead wood Dick, had once upon a time won from an old JelV pawnbroker, in Deadwood City. Placing the tube to his lips, be blew a sharp, long echoing blast, that rung far and wide over the }llain. 111 consternation the outlaws stopped, and liste n e d to the qua,ering ;-everberations, while their lead e r sm:pt the surrounding country with his powel"ful field-glass. Soon he uttered a "-hoop of defianc e, for away to tho east be beheld a large band of Regulator loom up over the crest of a prairie billow, whi c h was bright. ly bathed in yellow moonlight, ond coming swooping do\' n to the of their lead"r. Then like whinped curs the outlaws wheeled their nnrl tlerl. fm-thP Re1mlators greatly 0tnumbere'l them annemies r e tillatingo, Omaha arose to bis fe et, and sent a mocking yell after them; then turnecl and waited for his own mf'n to come up. which they soon did, bringing wounded Clipper with them. ('arefnl <>xamination wns mltile, to which the noble animal patienrlv submitted. and Omaha was overjoyerl to learn that his favorite Rteed was not seriously in.i11r<>rl. 1 the animal se<>nwd great ly relieved "hen the hullet was extracted, and once titore renrlv for busiDPSS, u \Ve heard vou cqJl. ca.ptnin," RDid Fnwclon, the lieutenant in Command, ''and made 11aste this way; :for we felt you were not the one to summon usslst ance unless It was absolutely necessary .... "You were abroad, then, lieutenant?' "Yes. Went over to D l l Norte, but found all quiet there. Not much atLTaction at the l'alace toni?;htl" 'Probably not. The Del Nortcans are tyin g low, in waiting for the fat miners' 1 rain tbat comes into the valley to-morrow. And. my h earties, it must be our duty to see -that train safely through to Del Norte for between here and there lies danger for them, that has death in it." 0Ha.ltl'' Clear and stern the challenge of the sentry rung out. and ominous ritle-clcks were there to back the command. It looked as if the little band of masked horsemen who had stopped at the edge of a little glade in the heart of a prairie motte, were not too welcom6 comers, at the darkest hour of the night before day dawn. Thirty or forty there were of these statue like, black-clothed, black-masked riders, mounted upon thoroughbred animhls, and armed with weapous of superior worth. Beyond whence came the sentry's challenge, In the lo ve l y little hemlock fringed glade, a dozen wagons were corraled, and here and there wer., camp-fires bun:ing l ow, and casting a faint flicker ingo hgbt upon the scene. Up m the blue western hravens the pale, listl ess moon bung-as though feebly suspended in mid-air. Around the campflr<>s in the glade w ere stretched the forms of perhaps a dozen men; the wom e n of the party were quartered within the canvas-covered "schooners ," no doubt, for tht: nights w.ere growing chill and frosty. "Halt I" Clear and decisive the warning rung out and the 11orsemen who were following the lead of the 111aske d Terror drew instant rein. Judging from the speaker's tone of voice, be was no amateur at giYing the orcl<>r for the n e w-comer to bait. "Halt it is!" Omaha 011 returned grimly. "What '11 you have?" "We'll have you And your rottcl-agents keep a proper distance. Mr. D ead wood Dick!" was the re tort. "You cant play Black Hills games down here!" The ex-road-agent leader of the Del Norte Regula tors utterNl an exclamation of astonishment. What dirl this mean 1 Who was in the miners' caravan that had known him in the Black Hills? The voice "as unfamiliar, and for the life of him, Dead wood Di ck or Omaha, could not tell who was the are you that knows aught of De adwoo d Dick?" h e rtlieless I t:as in Deadwood during your notori ous reign, and r ecog nized you by your voice the mo ment you spoke. So, Sir Road -agent,} ou may as well go elsewhere for plunder, for you cannot have ours." ''Nor do w e want it, Sir Sentry. You mistake our calling I am Omaha 011, and these are my men two-score in cou nt. W e ar<> not road-aye11ts, but Regulators, and having warning of your coming, we have come to offer you our services as p1:otectors against the Prairie League, a band of merc1l<>ss ruf flan h e rrl e rs, who will at.tack you before you make Del Norte Accept of us. fearless ly, and we promise :vou our assistance, for at the. ti1;Jrn we help )'.OU we are aJso furthering our own m1ss10n, by breakrng up this infamous league of ruffian herders." For several moments there was no reply, during which time the Av engers waite d impatiently, for they had ridden hard, and needed rest, preparatory to what was iu prospect for them. Then the sentry again spoke. "We accept of your story, sir; but are you not In truth Deadwood Dick?" "r was in the Black Hllls; hE>re, I am Omaha on, the Masked Terror and Then ride forward. Bir. and we will trtlSt yO'll-, fO!

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Oma.ha. 011, the Masked Terror, I never beard of Deadwo:>d Dick going back upon his pledge or promise. Come into camp, and you will be welcome I'' the sentry replied. CHAPTER XII. TWO ECOENTR'IQ3 IN A FIX. "GoL darn ye I" "Consarn yer sugar-coated mug!" "I'll bn.ste ye over tber mouth e f I eve!' git loose!" <>Id Jone r, I'll transmo?yfy ye inter a petrified clam. Once know'd a feller w'at got petri ed. up in Co lorado. H e attemvteJ ter steal up behind an' kiss a gal 'arter dark, an kum ter found out et war his u gly 11tepmother. Great needle that threaderl Cleopatra 1 tber spontaneous s hock generated thnihissystemat ical constitoochin by thet consternatural discovery .var so strained an' e lectric, thet he war subjected Inter ther spasmodics, uv which he finally died, an' bis petrified karkass war stud up over bis g rave fer a tombstun', memorial uv all !us noble virtues and vice s!'' The above conversation occurred between two m en, who, out in. mid-prail"ie, several miles D e l Norte, were rolling about upon the grass, m c lose proximity to each other, and both of them securely bound, hand and foot. No other signs of human presence were to be seen in the vicinity. Which made their situation seem strange, and ludicrous . The more so because of the appearance of the two unlucky individuals concerned. One was that long, lanky. seven-foot. mysterious individua l whom we noticed in the first part of this\ st.ory, as the Arkansas Toothpick. Like a great squirming human serpent looked he, as he lay outstretched, witll his tremendous length of limb, and -reat hairy visage. A strange being, wi t h much about him that was :>dd and Tue other unfo1tunate was literally the dead re turned to !if" f.Jr no less a personage was he than the o l d Annillilator, whom many of the readers have doubtless supposed to ba dead. Ye! Old Avalanche alive, but though exceedingly live y and himself again, be was not well of hi s wounds, received on that tarrlble night when the H.iris home bad fallen prey to the prairie tin.mes. How the old man escaped, shall be known anon. And these two odd shoep of the flock ba1 no appa rent love for each other, judg-ing from the above eonversation, given as they lay facineach other. "Ye're ther sucker thet ary man ever see'd !" g r owled the Arkansas Toothpick, making a contemptuous face at his puny opposite- actooal ly tber humbliest noeared baboon I ever see'd '"An' ye're a beauty. !I "l are!" Avalanche retort ed, returning the in g lorious grin:iace. ". Ye're jest ther sweetest suggar-coated pill outs id e uv an apothecary's shop. Lord 1 it's a wonder ye don't attract morewimmenan'lesstlies. Beauchifull guess so. Ye're supeeryer ter a bunch o su 1-fiowers an' p eoni e s. Fn.ct by gracious. Wonde r some eddicated an intPrlectuat an' skient"fic tlorist don't plant ye, an' let ye go to seed; tho' how h e'd ever c limb up to g e t at ther seed, aire a wuss mystery than peipetnal mo hun." "tla a ah !" mockei the other in contempt. "Ye puny little runt o' humanity; ef T ever war t r git my arm< at .. Juncl ye, I'd tlatten ye like a pancake griddle!" "Oh I yP would, h ey? Great notorious ham-bone thet did olrl Jouer tantalize-ef I war ter clap my paw onJe, ve'd anuth e r H ell-Gat b ed bu'st ed 1 ye' s1v'or ye'd been struck w1' ther b ttend uv a great, roarln1 N rwegian avalanche o' a11nlhila tion. Ye'd think ye war encompassed wi'in ther toils nv a great tumultno(lf whtr:pool o' demolition -a rlevasr.attn' pppydemre o.' ther 'bwe&l lattytude11 end Jongytoi.ds." "Pooh I hear the banty crow 1 Why, old ouran't outang, l ked decapitat. c ye so quic!r, ye wouldn t bear about it ontil sometime next year. Oh I but Pd like ter chaw off yer nose. o r gouge yer eyes out!" "Wbich.-Oelig-htfut performance I'd love ter ope rate onter ye, ye J onglegged, big-headed elephant. Got-dang my pins, but I'd liKll ter step inter tbet rnsy-lipped suggar r efinery o' yern, an' smash in thr rn ivories, so they'd grow 'way out o' yer toes! Moses o f bull-rush fame 1 I'd give my 01d j'i11.t, Flor'nce Night-in-a-gale, I do b e li eve, jes' fer a chance ter sock you a dah on ther proboscis!" u An' Pd give all my future interests i n Kingdom Come, ef I ked get my claw> inter yer ugly face l" roared tbe Tootllpick, making strong exer t ions to break bis bonds Bur. giant though he was, he could not burst them, which was vexatious in the greatest degree. 'Whoa! January; don't get a m onth ahead o' yerself!" chuckled Avalanche, watcllin_g the seven footer's efforts. "Don't rend them huffier cords inter infinity, beloved hive of honey." "Ohl go soak yer head, you baboon. Ef I can't bu'st 'em you can't, an' we'll both rot here, ter getller. "Great arithmetical barn-bone, nol I ain't goin' ter make land-fertilizer plaster, yet, old long-legs 1 not muchly. I died, or putty nigh it, t'other day, an expect ter malre a positive flop afore manr years. But I'll be dasted ef thes o ld eppydemic mre goin' ter scatter bis ashes wi' any sich an ornery long legged, J anLernja\9ed hippopotamus as you." ''Might be glad o' tber honer uv sicb a thing, old baboon!" Aud thus the eccentric twain ha.d it backward and forwa rd, until both ha.d exhausted epithets and ac cusations to hurl at eaeb other, and could only Jay and war with eyes instead of tongues. Night was on, and when darkness set in, the y were in i mllllllent danger fron1 the prowling wolves. The way they had come in this unrelishahle posi tion is easily explaine d. Both were out upon th" prairie, in companinnhip, when they had encountered astmlling band of Nava jo Indians, wbo were abroad in search of sport and game. They approached the two scouts, and in an unexP"Cted moment took them prisoners, and aftPr bind lll!l" them left them on the grass and went tbeir way r eJoicing over their "much big" joke. Tile Toot':!pick avowed that it was the fact of Avalanche's having no ears that harl caused tba joke; and the Annillilator was positive that the Navajoes had taken offense at them, because of the Ar kansas man's ill proportions; from which word passed to wor'i, until the twain were in reality mad and b e lligerent. Avalanche knew little about Mr. J em exC!"Pt that he was n o slouch iu a fight. They bad ac cidentall y met, and as their uncouthness, J?enerally, was somewhat alike, they bad roamP,rl togethPr. Avalanche bad an objP.ct and a mission to fulfill, and so, evidently, had the orig-inal" Toothp" c k. But what it was no one would ever learn, by waiting for enlightenment from him, p e r,; nall.v. He was unco1n municative in matters reJat!ng to his business in the San Luis valley; Avalanche more than once suspected him of b eing more than he ap peared, but what r This was the qestion which even he could not answer Deadwood Dicr he had neither seen or heard from si nce the night of the mass1cre; not even a suspicion that Omaha Oil, the drearlPd Masked T err or, and Deadwood Dick were identical, ever enter ed the old Annihilator's head. The question of bow they were ever to get free, now, was not one of pla.ln solution. Certain it was that neither o f the prisoners bad strength sufficient to burst their bonds. which left it impossible to es until thP.y had some assistance. '\Ven, my sugar-coated pill o' tlzzle, w'at alre yet

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Omaha. 011, the Ma.sked Terror .tews on remalnln' hayr an night?"' AvalanchP at last questi oned, rolling over toward Mr. Jem Murray, the Toothpick "'Sp<>ct you nePdn't be nohow afeard o' wolves, fer they'd scorn ter whet their cl, :;;..s on sich an ornery galoot as you." "See bayr, ye runt, aire ye not thru wi' yer blar ney?" was the reply. "Fer my part I feel mvre lik e cha win' ye up fer fodder, than t alkin' so long about et. J est roll over hayr, an' let m e utiliz e yet.er sum good purpussl" "Willt till I get free, an' I'll come fer yse in camr to awak e, as h e did so, and behind him Omaha 01 and bis men fo ll owtd on h c>rseback. And a wild-looking set of fellows they were too, witb their picturesque herder habits, s l ouch hats, and tilack masks, anti the slePpy-headed miners regarded them with suspicion, until the man Dore assured them that a ll was right, and safe. The men rekindled the camp-fires and began to show a hospitable dispoition by set ting forth food1 and drink while the females of the CJl.ravan peerea dlstrnstfuhy from the canvas-coverings of the long rakish schooners. Use d as they were to rough llfe ill mines, they were none too eager to make the

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Omaha 011 the M asked Terror. acquaintance of the a lmoet world-notorious DeadwoOd Dick, who a.s road-agent, dare-devil and gal lant had no equal in the wide West. Wbile the mmers wne preparing food for them, Omaha and jlis men betook themsel ves to one side, and stretched tbemselves out for an hour' s sleep of which all were in sore need. At the end ot that time, they were awakened, and summoned to the repast, which, though humble was most refreshingjy tempting. After the meal had been dispatched, Boss Breck, the commander-in charge of the caravan. made his appeo.rance, and was introduce d to the Regulators and Omaha, their youthful coromauder. With the "captain," as Breck was called, Omaha w e lleducated and intelli gent, for all his rough miner's exterior, and dialect. As a miner, he was of course in favor with the favor ite law of Ju lge Lynch; believ e d that no punishment was too g:ood for outlawry and rufl'la n ism, and hoped that the Government would take nctive measurt>s to every tramp and ruffian on the f'1ce of tile earth. He was married and had a remnrkablv p1-et y daughter-a young maiden of seventeen summers, thP. very impersonation of health, ruvl a gay viva cious little creatW'e, whom no one could see without admiring. Qmaha received an introduct ion to h e r but tried to avoid her as muc h as possible for, when in the males, bis mind wou l d go back to his life with Le &-to his happy pros p ects, and how bitterly they had been blighted-frostbiLten in the very springtime of their youthCnl existence, am\ then he would become sullen and gloomy. Ab I bow that b oy-roa n often wished for the old life they had lived, ere the first blow had been st111ck ll.t their happiness, by the corning of Edith Stone. He was a road-ageat then, Lo be sure, and not only against the laws of God and man, but running his neck into constant peril; still, those clays at his "Castle" in the Black Hills were the h!tppiest of his whole lif esuch an eventful life, too, since then. Thoughts like these were running in his mind, as he sat in the edge of the glade, with his eyes upturn ed to the blue slry, where morning's light was just hres. If ws had less gold and less whisky, we would have more hcnest, sober m e n "Very truly spoken, sir. Whisky and mone:r in the overplus, are the cu!-ses of our country to-da y. Do away \vith the whisky, and make no more money, and you will see a satisfactory change in affairs. Hal are not those our eaemi s, now?" The miner pointed to where the head of horse and horseman were jus t clisappParin<.{ from view bebind a prairie swell, som" two mil es ahead. N tone man out of ten would have noticed tho important fact, at such a distance. "It i s either the whole band the r e bebinrl the hill, or e lse a spy posted to give we.ruingof the con 1ing of tbe train," Omaha r eplied, bringin:i; his gbsR to bear, but without effect. "I will soon ascertain, however, for there to onr right is o. swell mnch higher than any other within the scope of two m!les1 and from there I can see, and signal you to proceeu in the event of danger. For if the rnffinns are there, we may as well keep right on. until they make the attack. This will disarm any suspicion they may h ave that you are I" So S9ying, the handsome young Regulator wheeled his borse and galloped back to the rear oC the tmin; standing ready for instant duty were the minc1-s, at the word of warning. u Keep your weapons out of view, but have them where you can grab then1 in an ii1stant, boys!" wa.s the encouragi ng cry of the l\Iasked Terror, Cor masked was th'2' young avenger, and a griml ooking rid er, wbom no one conld rclis!1 to as a foe. Then, with a word of warning to his own men, he swiftly away over the prairie toward tho billow he ha
PAGE 26

Omaha. OJI, the Masked Terror. next minute be b!l.d ordered Clipper up, was upo1>. his back, and dashing down t.be slope "Thet move tells ter ..:orral our wagons, an' prepare fer battle I" cried Breck. as he watched the voung Regulator, anxiously. See I here he comes now, like a thunder-gust. To work, men I lively, now, and swing the wagons inter a circle Unhitch ther mules, quicker'n ye ever did afore!" The commands were obeyed, with alacrity. The miners knew that they we1 e working to save their gold, and also their lives, and they sprung to work with a will. It was but the work of a few moments to swing the long white-covered schooners into a circle and unhitch the draught-horses and mules and put. them insid e the circle. Within the space the miners and their families were also taking refuge, when Omaha dashf!d up, his horse panting and fle ckoo with foam, while be himself was pretty well blown. "Good I It i s lucky you comprehended my mean ing, for the band of the Prairie League are so large ly our superior in numbers tbat it would be rash to attempt to rid e through their midst. Hal get ready, for there the?j come, now!" He pointed to the eastward, where a large band of armed horsemen were just coming into view ove.r a prairie crest. here were at least three-score a nd a half of them, well mounted, and nt a g lance, would have been pronounced reckless fighters, for their rough, devil-may-care grace in the saddle was ad mirable, and among the cattle herdsmen of the far West you will inevitably find a pretty card set of customers to h.andle. "We've got work before us, I tell ycu !"Omaha declared, jumping Clipp -r over into the corral, and then proceeding from une wagon to another to give his men courage. "You've got. to fight lik e sons-of or you'll get licked lik e blazes; so make every shot empty a saddle, an I if the rascals get too close use your revolvers, as you well know how. Don't give up while there'san ounce of blood in your bodies to shed in the defense of the train!" Then Omaha leaped over into the corral, where the miners ,;ad their families and the horses were a ll crowded in Breck stood with rifle in hand watchin,r the approaching ruffian band anxiousl y. "You are too crowded in here !" on cried, taking iu the ituation at a glance. Here!" an cl he raised up a wagon-tongue-" drive out my horses. and let them shift for themselves; I'll risk their going The Regulators' animals were accordingly all driven out, and the gap reclosed. This l eft more fighting room within the inclosure, and marte it bet ter altogether. In the mean time the outlaws were seen to be coming madly ou at 1 he best speed of their wiry mustangs, and in their lead rode the tloiro man of Del Norte Bill Monte, and the mys t erious Prairi0 Patrol, whose conne ction with the outlaws made her a repulsive object, even though she was beautiful in face and form. That \\" ild Hill Monte was commander-in-chief of the League, Omaha bad not a doubt now and re solved was the young leader of the Regulators to destroy both the League and its chief. Just ant of gunshot tue came to a halt, while Wile! Bill and Prairie Patrol rocle for ward, with white rags held aloft on the muzzles of their rifles for a truce. "Shall we let them approach?" asked Bo s Breck, turning to the Masked Terror. "Not close euough to l earn anvthingl" on replied, leaping U\JOn Clipper's back.,_ "'11 go out and hear their say.' '" And laying his trusty Evans's rifle across his sad dle-bow, the daring ex-road-agent rode fearlessly forth upon the prairie unaccompanied, and evident ly careless as to the consequencer:. l!e hastened bis horse, however, for he ""red not to have the tiwo t;roe&bearers apJ>roach near enough to discover the slitted canvas Sides of .schoon-ers," lest they suspect the presence of a concealed battery. Wild Bill nodded, and drew rein ao Omaha ap proached, then spoke: "Are you in charge of yonder train, young feller?" he demanded 11:ruffiy. "At present I am. Why do you ask, Sir Gambl e r and Robber?" the Masked Terror answered "Because I wanted ter see the gineral in com mand," the outlaw said, with a chucklP, as he thought, no doubt, of the easy victory in stor e for him. "We're the Prairie Leagueo'therSan Luisvailf'y, as ye've doubtless heerd of, an' we demand an untrain as toll fer passage "Humph I ls tkis all you come out here to say?" sneered Omaha, in contempt. "If it is, you may as not surrender "But hold! You hain't no idear o' how we ll slaughter ye, an' git the l!Old b e aide, if ye don't cave!" Monte prot e sted. ")V e're five dozen ten, ter one dozen o' you, an' et'!' take about t e n minnits fer us ter wipe eve.y mother's son o' ye out o' exist encel" "All right. Go ahead nd wipe as much as you please. We're ready to receive you with open arms I" 1 etorl ed the Regulator, wheeling his animal and gal loring back toward camp. Monte cursed furiously, and he and Prairie Patrol rode back to the outlaw's lin es, where a short con sultation wns h e ld. Evidentl y they were a little sus picious; but soon it was apparent that their greed for gold had overmastered their fears, for with loud cries they spurred their horse; on to do the opening charge. A battle was now a certainty I CHAPI'ER XIV. GREEK MEETS GREEK-LURKING DANGER. 0 came the enemy at full tilt, presenting rather an impo sing aspect. Ornaba 011 bad resumed bis position within the corral, and stood among the miners, cheering them with words and example. Nearer and nearer came tbe ruffian herders. until they were within easy gun shot; then, at a blare from Omaha's silver trumpet, the miners, twe lve in number, opened up with a deadly volley that empti ed as many saddles as shots were fired. But, evidently such a dE>fense the outlaws bad ap prchended, for they renewed their cries of triumph and urged their mustangs bard er. while they poured in a rattling volley upon the train. This die! more harm to the Regulators in the wagons, than to the miners behind them, for several of the former were wounded more or less severely. But enough out of their was left to re taliate with a deadly fusilade. which, to the utter conslernntion of the herders. swept full half of their front men nway, aurl utter confusion reigned. Among those who fell was Wile! Hill l\fonte. Dml seeing him go down. Prairie Patro l quickly galloped to the front. and in Spanish r ulliecl the men auout her, and they came on with drawn rPYolvers. See ing which Omaha gave the ringing order: "Re volvers all I Courage, comrades; there are only thirty more I" Revolvers were drawn, and the moment range was gained, a volley from either side tore like electric hail through the air, rnme rlamage to the mi ners, and emptying several more of the outlaws' sarl. dies. Seeing which they whirle1l shout and beat a pre cipitate retreat, for the distance of half a mile, when they halted and dismounted, evidently for a rest. "Vctry well dtme!" as Captain Breck advanced witli beam!iig f:i.ce and extended hand.

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Omaha. OU, the I'.lasked Terrol". "I appreh.ended more loss o n our side. How many are wounded of our party, lieutenant?" udJressiui; the Regulator, who had just completed an exam1-nnti \ll of the wagons. "Only two seriously, and six slightly, captain," was the reply. None of the lot are unable to ride!" "Good I then we'll take leave of the train, fil"esent clear out, which I be eve is "I find that our loss has not been as severe as yours," said Breck. Altogether, it has been what i call a lucky termination of a battle against odJs. You doa't think they'll attack us again, then, young man?1' "I can better answer that question after awhile!" Omahu replied, grimly. "Neve r put any fixed con struction upon what are the intentions of a villain1 and you'll avoid disappointment. Two-thirds or those unhorsed men are but Alightl.v wounded, and will be ready for work inside of a week." "Then why not make u charge and wipe 'em out, fer good?" 'No I I will not strike a man when he Is down. Otlly ruffians and savages do tbat. L e t them go; we will finish this job soon. Iliich up your horses and get the train in motiou. Li eutenant you may catch our horses, and we will rile ou to Norte with tbe train. I thmk we have little to fear from yon human 'twixt here and there!" Accordingly the min ers set to work and geared the draught horses to the wagons, Om:!ha 011's horses were ca11;:ht, and In half an hour the caravan was again toiling away o ver tbe dun prairie. At a safe (listance the League, in ils depletion of numbers, follo\ved. Perhps a score of the disabled outlaws had beenremo mted, and sent off southward b y east to their stronghold. Wild Bi\1111onte was with the party who were fol the train, he and Prairie Patrol riding in ad vance. The ruffian had b ee n only slightly s'unned by the bullet, and was now among the fiercest of thosevho pursued the miners' caravan, their object b e ing to obtain bootv and revenge. Omaha Oil and a division of his Regulators rode in advance of the tr,1in, whil e another division brought up the rear. And thus, makinf? a peculiarly pictur esque spectacle, they rut movea along through the cold December's afternoon sunlight. As he wished to make D e l Norte before camping for the night, Captuin Breck had the train push steadily on and as r a pidly as the nature of the route would admit. The following outlaws kept on about the same distance, makin!l" no attempt at further molest.ationindeed, it would have been foolhardiness to havt> made an attack where thern were now more of those with the train, ttlan of the League, who were infighting trim. "Wis h I hed a gud howitzer!" Brec k saU, riding ahead and joining Omaha, an I'd soon scatter them loggin' devils in promisc'ous shape. Onc e served vi' light mtillery in the war, an' hev au' idea I ken ip'ile a f ew c.' tbem Junki es. andsnm Wbatdo you they're foll owin' us for?"' D011'r, know. untesS thev'vc anothP.r o r pards in D I Norte, a nd intei:id to attack you Del Norre you know, Ins very fmv respected law' o r law-makers, and tho11gh there is probably a fAw h A n est souls in the p'ace, the evil el e m ent greatlv nv r balances the good. Consequently a lawless tat" oE affairs exists, as would be natural in any place w he m the poouiatiou i s controll ed bv ruffians." "Then you con sider it unsrife to enter the town?,' Breck demanded. in alarm and anxiety. "No, not ex'lctlv. Not that the inhabitants as a genenl are too good to hesitate at the eommission of any crime. but I do not think molestation would be given your train, except hy the outlaws. for the simple reason that the Del Norteans stand in awe of threatened invasion from the. governme11t militia to suppress tbe high-handed and whisky distilJinti which is going on ther "T e n D e l Norte bas illicit distilleries, eh?" "So I understand. But that is nothing. Com17"r ativ.,Jy few of the Western towns of note that do not have tllese in secret operation -some of them boldly." T hus they convE1r .ed, while the afternoon wore away. At sunset D e l Norte Jay in sight, In the dfa tance, but it was yet nine or ten miles away, and there were no roads on which tbe wagons could be drawn rapidlv. wbich made it promise to be well to warcl midnight ere the y reached the town. Lea vin g affairs at the train in charge of his llenten ant, Omaha Oil started on ahead at a sharp gallop. It w s hi s purpose to visit D e l Norte, and see how the land !av then rjde back and report. He was not im presse d wi : h thesa Dd Nortea s i n a favor a ble Ii ht, and h e had more apprehensions o f dan:{er at th"l town than h e bad betrayed to Captain Breck. At full speed h e dashed along over the prairie, through the dying sunligh_t, his t11ougbts cly r o v e c t inj! to the nature of lu s errand, tor in sach momPnt3 as these only one p r rson occupied his thoughts, a.u more s lack. Accordingly, several b outs were plaved, Omaha, with his luck, inning eve r y time. Th? n, when tired of sport, h e arose a n s1untered out of the bull .in g a perplexed expr ession upon bis face. "I am puzzled," b e muttered, when he was alone. "The Palace 1 s strnngely deserted, ancl I can put no other construction on the fact than 1hat these absent gamblers are layini;t for the approaching miners' train. ()onfound it, I wish I knew what to do." Springing into the saddle, he fTa!Jope c l to the wPst ern s ide of the town, looking off toward the caravan. It was now out of sigbt, probably hidden in the depth of a prairie wave. '"I see no other way than to l e t them come up. Better to fight it out here in town tl.Jan to tnke the chance s o f an open !lrairie attack, in Styg"ian darknes s; for t'e sky wa n ow overcast with somber t.1.1! I lanche, just about now. His old head had an over stock or inl!enuity in it, and I think he could see the w:ly through.,. ' ba.m-bone th et exorcised th er hog-gobhlin' 11v n ld Jone1: M oses who became famuss fer his bull-rushin' proclivities!" exclaimed a familiar voice, at hand; "ef a 11 ye want aire Avalanc'1c-ther gre:it clPvastci..tin' dise11!=Je o' ther h ePr is thet awesum ruffi.e uv a hunican e. an' and all." And from the bushes. close at hand, tbo vNe ran Annihilator, sure enough I f o llowecl by l'iS eccentric companion, the i:ont. Omaba 011 sarted, violently, and his f::i.ce an incredulous ex pression as he behel' l the old scout .. You.' Avalanchf'!" be excla.imed-"you, alive! I th<>ught you dead." I Cnlh.-ylate so; but all ther same-ther old

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.. Oma.ha. Oil, the Ma.shed Terror. eontagious t.ppydemlc ain't gone over the dam, yet. Barn-bon{l that sanctified Joner. 110 !" "But how, in the name of all that is wond erful, does It come that you a> alive?" Omaha demanded, with increasine; amazement. "Whe n I left you, co i,l'O in search of tools with which to dig your grave, 1 believed you gone-quite dead. Whe n I returned, oome one or something had removed your body and of my child." u Yas; et war th e P e rarer Patrol, or whatever-yel!lttll-he r. She tuk us ter ther ruin e d haciender in the r Black Woods, an' berry'd ther babe, w'ile she nursed me back.. ter lif e. Dunno why; shenever even spoke ter me, ter 'splain which uer t'otber. Arter I war well enuff ter sliiftfer myse lf, she sbow'd me the doo r, and sed 'git;' an' I got, in ginnywine style, bet yer good life on that.'' Then my child was really dead, too, eh?" souls!" Omaha Oil made no r eply. His eyes were riveted upon the ground; a dark, revengeful lie;ht shone from them, and ttickeringly illuminated his dusky count enance For SPveral moments he remained in silence; then be r elated his experience since the night of the mas sacre, including his late d e fens e of the miners' car avan, agaillst the attack of the ruffian herders, and bis present missio n to D e l Norte. "Yas, I argue ye'll hev troubulous times ter git I .bet k erryva n thru, ef they've got much gold a\Joard. 'ff am-b o ne ttiet p e t rifl e d old J oner! Why t hes., f el ters 'd run sixteen miles er minnit, now, ter git a. 0cmell 01 tber giunrwine ariferous." "We ll, if there 1 s to b e more battl e, h e r e's what is ioing to take a hand in it!" Om aha said, grimly. "My mood is all right for battle, and so I shall go Ln." "An' thes great d es tructive comet o' contagion, too. Moses o' buU-ru s b notoriety! Wait till tbe r great Annihilation g-its ter runnin'. nicely, an' ye'll see fuu-buydoodles uv et, I t e ll ye. Tnar's old Prudence absent. ter be sure, but wi' two sich con solidated eppydemics as Florence Night-in-a-gale an' myself. I'll te durned ef things ain't a-goin' ter smoke!" "('an I depend upnn you to assist me in getting this train safely through beyond D P Nortt>P After that they will not n eed onr protection." old Florence Night-in-a-gale sed ter a Y ankton judge, when she give h im a whack wi' h e r h e'd gea r ." "Very w ell. You remain h e r e and keep a watch upon the town, while I ride back to the train and report. Look out f o r us toward midnight, and let us know if there ArPany host.i1e demonstrations." Saying which Omaha galloped back to the train, which by this ttme'had gainerl a couple of miles in their slow travel, rendered doubly slow by the dark 11ess, and by caution necessary. "Well, wh a t a r e tbe prospects?" demanded Breck, as the Regulator rode up, after a swift Mde from r .be valley town. "Doubtfuli" Om aha replied blie fiy. "Be pre pared to fight, anyhow. .Are the outlaws still dog ging?,, "Yes. are not far behind; only the dark ness bines them from view." "We ll, then we may expect more unpleasant work. before th., night is through! was the reply, 11s the young Regulator rod e on to join bis men at t be rear of the train. And the caravan toilerl on, until D e l Norte lay just In front-gloomy and silent. --= CHAPTER XV. THE GAMBLER'S TRAIL OF BLOOD. ._ AT this same nour of tbe caravan's approach to D e l Norte, something was occurring at the homest.ead or the Harrlngtons, worthy of-mention, antl though the characte rs are merelr, incidental to the. story, whos e bas i s ie tbestrang-ehfe-historyof Dead w oo d Dick, we will h e r e narrate them. In t h e g r a nd old Spanish parlm of the t.acienda. three p e rsons were gathered. Tw o were men; the third retty Ella Harrington. Sbe was neat11 attir ed, and clutched in one band a Spanish guitar, on whi c h she had evidently just b ee n playing. All three were in a standing attitude; tbe tw4 E' Gamin and Ella, bad evidently jus t arisen upon the entrance of the third party, who was no other than tbe ex-Government Spy, Cunning Cass Cameron, who stood with bat in band, near the door. The r e wns an evil expr ess i o n upon the Spy's face. as he stood and gaze d at the two lov ers-for sucn the two were-and a glitter iu his bold, blaant a m enace. El Gamin flushed a trifle and the lady of bis choice tre mbled viol e n1ly "Well!" Cameron said at last dwelling slightly interrogatively upon t be opening word, "this looks mutually interesting. doesn't it? How lon g had your billing and cooing bee n going on? Pray, Miss Har rington, Le seated, and do not let m e inte1TUpt your singing." And laying bis bat upon a stand, Cameron b etoo k himself to a sea upon an ottoman. Ella sunk back upon a sofa; El Gamin still remained standing, bi s gaze turned fiercely upon the Government Spy. "Sit down; do not tire y ourself, in addition t<> making yourself ridiculous!" Cameron said, with a. mochingsmile. "You.remind me of Booth's Ham let, wberP h e beholds the ghost." El Gamin t oo k a t e p nearer. Leave the room!" b e commanded, hoarsely, point in!\ toward the door. "Leave! Go!'' Oh I no not yet, my b e lov e d fliend. I have not Intervie wed my sweet lady fri e nd, here, yet. If your presenc is obnoxiqus you may step out I" C urse you!" El Gamin cried; u why do you com& h e r e? Go. I say I Yon lady is my betrotl1ed wif e You !Jave no claim upon h e r. Go, o r l will cur; your tlack beart out. and give it to the clogs!" Oh! is tbat so? You are getting beUigerent, ebP Don't sling m.r l,'oor heart at the dogs, f o r I want the cats to h a ve it. Evidently the Spy was using bis best efforts to madden the Prince uf Gamblers. El Gamin dirt not reply but dre w from bis belt a. pair of )Jistols. o n e o which b e banded to Cameron. "Ohl don't fight! don't fight! you will be killed!" screamed Ella, rushing in between them, franti cally. "Get out of the way!" El Gamin cried, fiercely. "We 'll s ttle this a ffair in blood." draw." Involuntarily tba eyes of the two m e n turned upon Ella Harrington. Choose!" El Gamin said. hoarsely. "I choose Mr. Redwooo !"was rh e girl's rAply, as she adv ance d t oward the Spy. "1 tliougbt I oared for you, but I lik e him better!" "But you shall not have him, you d ceitful cat?" the Spaniard hi ssed, his face flaming redly. You have trifl ed witb my a ffection; you might better have played with a tiger! Stand ready, Sir Rival. You can only have the senora if you win b e r by my death!" Cameron saw that the Gambler Prince was deeply in earnest; ant1 a maddened Spaniard iii perhaps the fiercest of furious m en. So the Sry nrdded, and examined bis revolver. .Be found it a ll right. and then faced the gambler. "One! two! th'ree!,, El Gamin co un ted, a nd then fired, as di 1 Cameron, instantly. Both bullets pi e rced fiesb y parts of the contestants' bodies, causing pain ful but not dange r us wounds. Ae-ain the pistols came to a and a flash and sharp double report echoed through the room. This time Cameron dropped upon one knee, but did

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28 Omaha 011, the Maske d Terror. give utterance to a sounci, as for the third time the pistols came to bear. B a n g I a gain the weapons of death rung out their spiteful warning and whil e the infuriated gambler darted back at tne sting of ab unerrin(( bullet, poor Came r o n sunk back npon the floo r, lif e l ess. A shrie k of terror burst from the lips o f Ella Harrington, as she saw the Spy fall, and s a w El Gamin turn upon h e r, with a gfare of d emoniac joy in his eyes. "Keep back. monster I" she gaspe d. r etreating toward the door. "Ha I ha I I have you n o w, and y o u shall b e m i n e, willingl y o r unwillin g ly, y o u ca'tJJS but the Spania rd foll o we d ]}e r, p e rsevering l y a w il d terrible light in h io eyes. Then h e made a n othe r deadl y thrust, whi c h with the skill of an experienced swordsman s h e p arried and l a id his left a r m bar e to the bone. With a h ow l of pain an! r age, becam e o n once m ore, li!;:e an b ull of the a r e n a leap s a t the tornwnti ng 1nntarlo r e H e made a th rust, a n d s h e attempted to p arry b11t he ca'lE;ht her blade at a fau l t witl1 b is o w n, a n d h m l ed i t from her grnsp. T he next instan t his own blade was buri er to the hilt through h e r hear t, and s h P fell back to floor, dea,11 Withdr a w ing h is sword, the wretch s tagger e d back aghast at hi s sicke n ing crime; b u t with au iron will b e the next moment n11ste recl himself, a n d a l o w chuck lingl augh escaped hi m "She thought to take m e at a d isadvantage wit h t hi s bhde. and kill me to avenge yon Government S py!" he m u ttered w i p ingaway t h'3 p e rspir ation from his brow; but I was too m u c h f o r h e r, thou.Eth it i s ten years s i nee last I fought w i t h a swo r d Then my father was at t h e encl of m y bl:i.d e and feH H a el diah l o ."' H e l eap:d lnck in surpri se. as a youn g m a n stal w a r t o.nrl l eape
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Oma.ha 011, the Masked wtll. wtll ye?" came back the answer, and e.illently Toothpick had come to a halt. "Ye'll blow ther 'hole top o' my head ot'f, will ye! I wish I ked cum an' hug ye oncet f e r ter show my ai:>pre shiation UY yer philanthropic offer, ye black plum. If ye want ter l ;iss therpaw uv an .A.merykan Vessu vious. just cum up an' l e t me gaze onter ye. l 'm Jem Murray, the r i>:reat Toothpick o' Arkansas-an absolute terror ter ther hoss-tlueves an' m oonsh iners uv thet g elorious State. Shute, ye Babalonian I shute!11 And tbe next moment a great bulk y body came shooting meteor-like through thP. air, and E l G amin could not leap aside quick enough to avofd being struck, and knocked to the ground. Tbe next mo m en t the two men had clinched in a desperate bat tle-bug, for the Toothpick bad now recog-nized his bitterest foe in the gambler,and be bent all bis ener gies in the attempt to crush the life out of his sary. But it was v ai n attempt. Ill Gamin seemed litA rally boneles -he squirme d about: over and over roll e d the tw men, without a word, but their gleam in g eyes expressing the rancor in their bosoms, toward each othf'r. El Gamin was nearly equal in strength to the Toothpick. despite the latter's giant proportions, and he worked like a beaver for the victory. Over and over1 strain, twist, jerk they wenr, and at last the gamoler broke loose. Then with tne quickness of a llghtningf!Mh-with that swift dexterity peculiar to a Spaniard, the villain whipped a knife from his belt, and plunged it once I twice I thrice into the giant's breast. llnrray runic back, without a 11:roan, and the twice-cTouble murderer sprung to his f eet with a wild cry. "Victory again I Furies, I believe I am growing mad for blood I" and he laughed demoniacally. On toward Del Norte be ejled, bis hat otr, b s long hair waving in the breeze, his appearance truly more tliat of a madman than a sane person. On-on be msbed, straight into the town, yelling and brandlsh, And that victim was lacking. CHAPTER XVI. l!IOMltors grasped their guns; but this was useless, o r course for the mili tia outnumbered them three or four to one. "In God's name, hat does this mean?" demanded Breck. in great excitement. ''Why are we thus ;;topped by the soldiers, and in this place?" "We h a ve yet that to learn!" Omaha Oil replied. "Ther' is a screw Joos""', and if we re main silent, I baTe no doubt we shall soon learn the reaSOR.'' Silence was accordingly enjoined throughout the train-all, as it were, were waiting to hear their senteqee pronounced. Tbe "Ql'depe arom," a ilm'h M11'l'll fte cavalry also drew rein. Then tbe Sllllle OOl!llntUle. Inf: voice was beard, again: Hello! there; train ahoy!" "Well, what's wanted!" demanded Bredr:, from his position on one of the wagons. "Why in thunde r do you thus stop an honest miners' caravan?" By that power veste d in us by the G overnment to apprehend and arrest all t hi:>se engaf;\'ed in th6 production and transportation of illicit whi.ky !"was the ringing response. You have forty barrels of untaxed whis1.-y in your so-called 'honest miners' trai n, 1 and we oommand you to surre nd e r, or take the consequences of a charge. Alsq, w e want the yonnl!' desperado you are harborin.g with the dei u sion that he is a Regulator, he havi\Jg allied himself with a band of roughs of that orc' e r. Bis name is Omaha Oil, a lias IJeaduoo d IJick As may well be ima(;\'ined, these words caused a sensation among those m the train. An exclamation of hearty indignation escaped the miners, at the sus picion of their b e inf; smug?lers or illicit whisky. And the Regulators uttered a growl, as the words against their leader issued from the officer's lips. "Your charge is insultin ',yon durned blue -coated loafer I" shouted Breck, from the wagon-top, "and if I bad you here, I'd durned soon break your bead. Thar's not half the whisky in thii; train thar is in :r,er bill; gullet, an' I '11 a thonsan' in pure dust if you ll find a !l'allon o' juice about our traps." . "\\"hat! ls it possible that rou deny having illicit liquors In your wagons, sir?' shouted theomcer. Can we have made so great a n1istak e !,, "Reckon yer fer sure," returned l!reck. "Leastwise, ye won't find no j ice in this kerryvan. We're goin' ter camp f e r a couple o' days, hyar in town, an' ef re'll wait till daylight, ye can examine our waJ?ons.' "From where do you h ail, Sir Miner?" "From Dnnbury 81 lit, in ther Rockies, ef it's any o' your bizness. B'en tbar now nigh six year." "Well, there ls wmethin!;\' strange here indeed I" said the officer, l eaving his command, and riding close to tbe train. "My name is Fullerton, and it is my business to look to this whisky business. I received warning to meet a smuggllllg train here, to-night, and thus, if we have made a misake, you see how it is. But we know thlit Deadwood Dick is with you, and we demand his surrender. His Regu lators we do not want. They have, In realit,r. done the San Luis valley a service by warring agamst the Prairie League, and also praise is due to Deadwood Dick for his evident reformation. But his work up at D eadwood was too criminal to allow of bis going about a free man, and it is our duty as soldiers to arrest him, according to lRw I" "I've nothin' ter say about that!" Boss Breck re plied, "only that be saved our lives an' money, an' ef be wants muscle an' backbone ter defend hisself with. we'd be brutes not ter stick by him. Ye'd bet ter cl'ar out an' let tber young feller alone. ossifer, fer hen make ye trnbble afore you g i t him I" "No I he' ll makeno trouble l" was Omaha Oll'B response, in a clear, voice. "'I'll nob imperil the rest o f you by resistance, but 11ill SU1"7ender Com e forward, Sir Offic e r, if you want me!" "Don't surrender! We'll stand by you with our lives!" cri e d both miners and Regulators. in a voioe. "You'll only be strung up if you surrender!" "Let 'em string!" was the rec kl ess reply. "I've nothing to Jive for. My wife and child have both been im1ocently murdered. and the r e is nothing to ruffians of the Prairie League I" Colonel Fullerton now rode up, accompanied b y half a dozen dismounted privates, and, true to his promise, Omaha delivered hlmselr, and was hand cuffed. Then, after bidding adieu to the Regulators and miners, he was marched away to the camp of the military, which was pitched on the prairie, soutla oft.he t
PAGE 31

80 Oma.ha 011, the Masked Terror. ested in the welfare of Deadwood Dick. To them he had endeared himself by his gentle manly courage and skill; that he must die seemed a shame-an outrage. And they meant to be with him at the last. Omaha was th ro1vn into a tent by himself, and left alone; but a cordon of guards were set around his prison, without, for Colon e l Fullerton w a s bound that the cl are-devil of the Black Hills sho Id not es cape him, as he had many times escaped his captors in tile past. Dick was not clown-hearted, but tookthingscoollyl He sat in bis prison, now, whistling a song that haa been a favorite with Leone, and reflecting upon what was to come. In the morning, he ca.iculated, a court-martial trial would be given him, and he would be convicted, and shot. He thought of Avalanche aud wondered where the old scout was keeping himself. Surely if be wera in Del Norte, he must have been attracted by the confusion, and learned of his capture. For a couple of hours Dick lay thus, his. mind busied with the past and present; then he dropped off Into a sound sleep, for he was much fatigued. When he.awoke it was with a start. A cold hand bad touched his face,and aroused him. Who could it be? Wi bin the tent all was Stygian darkness. 'Outside was heard the monGtonous tramp of the sentinels. u 'Sh.'" cn.utioned a voice, in a shrill whisp 3 r; make no noise. I am a friend come to save you. I am El Gamin." Why have you come here?" Dick demanded r aising himself to a sitting posture. "I do not want to escape. Your effort ls u seless I"' "What! do you mean to say you do not care or life and liberty? that you \viii refuse to escape rom certain d0ath when I have periled my life in our behalf?"' the Spaniard demanded, in astonisb1ent. "Ay, I mean just that I" was the firm reply of the r isoner. "I want to die. I am weary of this unted life. For the last two years I have been an utcast upon the face of the earth. I have no home ow, nor friends here upon earth, and I do not care o stay. Un in the keeping of God I have a d:trling e and child, and I hope for a place \vith them, if can die now 1 El Gamin was strangely affected. He sat beside e prisoner, buried in deep thought. "I wish that l might hope for a place up there th you," he replied, but I am too irretrievabl y Then you won't accept of liberty?" "No, thanking you all the same." "Well, then, good-by. I admired you, and ibat is by I ventured here. If die you will, be brave, and member that, base wretch and murderer though is, you have a friend in El Gamin." Then the gambler glided away, and that was the t DeadwooJ Dick ever saw of him. Without difficulty El Gamin managed to escape m the prison-tent, ann bis face and upon h!S garments, and he was suffering from many wounds and from fatigue. "God fol"l?ive me I" he murmured, staring thought fully heavenward. "I \vish I might hop. for a phce up there, where Dead wood Die'< is so confident of on his execution. But it is not for such as From among th llo\ving El Gamin' s visit, Deadwood Dick was Jed forth from his tent, by a guard of soldiers, to the village plaz ', whicb was in the center of the town. Here the military and tQwnspeople were all assembled, to witness the mereir formal trial of the daring ex-outlaw. Curious eye3 were bent upon the young man, fo r some signs of agitation were apprebencl ecl, but In this all were disappointed. Not a tremor passed over Harris's face, as be was placed upon the wit ness stand, confronted by the multitude; but he smiled ancl put out one released hand, as there was a parting in the crowd, and Old Avalanche came up, followed by his goat. "Great ham-bone thet Joner gnawed on I" was the old scout's greatly surprised excla'llatlon. "Old Moses who at tber rushes and bulls dicl sw'ar. How? which-how dicl ye git inter this tarnal predicka ment, boyee?'' Dea" l wood Dick l aughed one of his peen liar ex pressive little laughs. "WPll. I Jl"Ot caught by these l aw-abiding emissa ries of Uncle 8am, Alva, and they made bold to as sert that they wanted me, which assertion I coul d not gainsay: so, accordingly, I gave up, and let 'em take me into custody I" "Wbicb showed what a d urn blasted fule ye aire. Gre'.tt Jerusalumm I I wouldn't 'a' thort it vou p

PAGE 32

Omaha. OU the 1asked Terror. "But, ;row know, old frleud, that I have nothing to I've far. The faster pass the days, the more I want to tie with Leone and my boy." "Oh I !.e'll git thar, no doubt I" Avalanche replied grimly, 'ef ye Jet these durued scullions hev their way erbout it. Let me jest put A, lively flea inter yer oigans o, bearing." Saying which, the Annihilator whispered a few words in the prisoner's ear, tbat caused him to start violently and grow white "Not dead -Le-1m.o 1u1 t t1ead, you say?" he gasped, a wild, joyful, hopeful light shining from his eyes. "I sect et. l reckon r' tbe veteran scout re.Plied ; "leastwise, thes 'ere paper luks ruther suspiciously like It. Read," and he held a small strip of up 11<> that Dick could sec. These were tbe words inscribed: Am a prisoner-for God's sake, rescue me from a horrible captivity. My captor's name is Hawk Harrington. Search for fne in the Black Hills, whither he is taking me. LEONE HARRIS." "Oh I Heaven, I am to die, l eaving h e r a prisoner I" Deadwood Dick groaned. "Don't be ttr sure o' thet, Dickey, boy. Thar's many a slip 'twixt the tarantler juice an' ther lip uv an absorber o' moisture, as hes often heen proven, an' 'tatnt sworn to tbet ye're bound ter swing, yet. An' ef ye do, I ll find yer wife, an' take g ud e l:!Deadwood Dick, and as Deadwood Dick had r :chly merited death a hundred times be was now summarily order d to be shot. The s entence, as prooounced b y Fullerton was: "I sentence you to death one hour hence You sball be shot by six long-range rifl es, in the hands of my sharp-shooters, at a d1etance of two hundred yards.11 With th ese words the trial was ended, and the crowd gradual! v dispersed, e vidently greatly pleased at the idea of this long range practice on a human bod,v. Dick was taken back to his prisont ent, and left There chanced to be an ex-chaplain with tbe com mand, and be visited the prisone r and ..iffered conso lation, which Dick gratefully accepted. It seemed strange to him to be for eternity. An hour .ago he had rejoiced at the prospect of meeting Leone; now that she was living he yearned to Hve but it was too late. His sentence had been passed, and he would have no chance to es ape. Death stared him in the face, and he could but meet it. But, naturally, be wondered where Old Avalanche was a ll this time. What mischief was the old King of Rangers planning? 'l'bat he was staying in the ba ckground without some purpose Dick was unwillingto think, and a ftrong hope arose in his breast that perhaps the old i;cout was planning for hi s escape. But this hope was dissipate,1, when the soldiers eame to lead him out to hi s Pxecution. Nothing, now, thought h e, could save him from death. He was led through camp, and two hundred yards out upou the l ree n wintry prairie, wberea staln said, gravely. "It is a pity to see a young 'ltt1.ll llke you shot when life is so precious." "Oh! you nee.dn't be. I don't after your sorrow, nor your words of condolence I" Dick 1' plied coolly. "Probably, if I were to come to life after you end my days, I should be just mean enough to drop you o ff of the lis t of the living." "I guess yon won't do any one any harm in the future I" was the grim attempt at satire of the col onel. "Will you have your eyes blindfolded?" No. I 1rant to see the maehi11ti work!'' Accordingly Dick was left alone, tied to the sta,,,o, while the soldiers and tbs colon e l retired to the shooting-line, full two bundre
PAGE 33

' -6============================ BEADLE'S FRONTIER SERIES 15c. Per Copy. 1. The Shawnee's Foe. 2. The Young Mountaineer. 3. \Vild Jim. 4. Hawk-Eye, the Hunter. 5. Tbe Boy Gulde. 6. T\'nr Tiger of the Modocs 7. The Red lUodoce. 8. Iron Hund. 9. Shadow Bill, the Scout. 10. Wnpawknncta, or the Rang.,rs of tbc Oneida. 11. Da''Y Crockett's Boy Hunter. lZ. Tbe Forest Avenger. 13. Old Jack's Frontier Cabin. 14. On tbe Deep, 15. Sharp Snout. 16. The Mountain Demon. 17. \.Vild Tom of Wyoming. 18. The Brave Boy Hunter of Kentucky. '19. The Fearlc"" Ranger. 20. The Haunted Trnp1er. 21. JUadman of the Colorado. 22. Tbe Panther Demon. 23. Slnsbnwny, the Fearle'" 24 Pine Tree Jack. 25. Indian Jim. 26. Navajo Nick. 27. The Tuscarora's Vow. 28. Dendwood Dick, Jr. 29. A New York Boy Among the Indians. 30 Deadwood Dick's Big Deni. 31. Hank, the Gulde. 32. Deadwooll Dick's Dozen. 33. Squntty Dick. 34. The Hunter's Secret. 35. The \Vomnn Trapper. 36. The Cbief of the JUlnml. 37. Gunpowder Jim. 38. Mad Anthony's Captain. 39. 'I'he Ilnnger Boy's Career. 40 Old Nick of the Swamp. 41 The Shadow Scout. 42. J.antern-.Jawe<1 Bob. 4 3 The Masked Hunter. 44 Jlrhnstone Joke. 45. The Irish Bunter. 46. Dn, e Dunker. 47. Tl1e Shn,vnec Witch. 48. Big Brave. 49. S1lder-Legs. 50. Harry Ilardskull. 51. Jllndmnn of the Oconto. 62 Slim Jim. 53. Tiger-Eye. 54. The Red Star of the " Seminoles. 55 Trnp1cr Joe. 6 6. The Indian Qneen' Revenge. 57. Engle-Eyed Zeke. 68. )!car-Cheek, the Wild 0 Half-Breed. 59. Red Jllen of the Woods. 60. 'I'usenloosa Snm. 61. The Bully of the Wood8. 62. The 'I'rnpper''" Bride. 63. Red Rattlesnake, The Pnwnce. 64. The Scout of Tippecanoe 65. Old IUt, The Scout. 66. The Doy Scouts. 67. Hiding To111. 68. Roving Dick, Hunter. 69. Hickory Jack. 70. llla
PAGE 34

Deadw00d Dick Library e LATEST AND BEST. ff At DSOME TRI-COLORED COVERS. 32 Pages. B1, y One and You Wilt nny th e Restl Por Sample Cove r See 0 1loe &Ide. DEADWOOD DICK LIBRARY. l Deadwood Di c k the Prince of the Road I The Double Daggers; o r Deadwood Dick's Defiance II 'fhe Butfalo D emon; or. The Border V ultures 4 Butfal o Ben, Prince or the Pistol 15 Wild Ivan, the Boy Claude Duval 8 DPnth-Face, the DetectivA 7 The Phantom Min er; or, DPadwood Dick's Bonanza 8 Old Ava lanche, the Great Annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brigand 9 Bob Woolf the Border Ruffian 10 Omaha 011, the Masked Terror; or, Deadwood Dick in Danee r Jim Blndsoe, Jr. the Doy Phenix; or. Through to D eath 12 Dead wood Dick s Eagles; or, The Pards of Flood Bar 1 3 Bnckooro Bill; or, The Red Rffl e T eam 1 4 G o ld Ritle, the Sitarphooter 1 5 Deadwoo, t lte Girl Sport 28 Jack Hoyle's Lead; or, The Road to Fortune 29 Boss Bob, the King of Bootblacks 30 Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost of G;id Dic k's \., 01', The Black Hills Jezeoei 42 The Arab Detective; or, Sooozer, th" Boy Shar p 43 The :Crra Sam's Double; or, The Three Female Detect. ives 51 Sierra Sam's Sentence; or, Little Luck at Rough Ranch !i2 The Girl Sport: o r Jumbo Disg u ise 53 Denver lloll's l:-evice; or, 'J'he Detective Quee n 54 Denve r Doll RR 55 DPnvPr Doll's o r B ig 11u ckskln the Sport 56 l>t>nver Doll's Mint or, L ittle Bill s Big Loss 57 Dt>adwood Dick Trai.ped 58 Buck Hawk Detectl"Oe; or, The Messenger Bo y a Fortune Ml DPadwond Dick's Disguise; or, Wild Wal t, the Sport 60 Dumb Dick's Pard; or. Eliza Jane, the Gold M iner 61 Deadwood Dick's Mission 62 8pottPr Fritz: or, The l:ltore-Detective's Dec o y 63 The DPtecti v e Road-Agent; or, The Mine r s of Sasse fras City 64 Co l urndo Charlie's Detectiv e D"sh; o r The Catt.le K ings


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