Gilt-edged Dick, the sport detective, or, The road-agent's daughter


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Gilt-edged Dick, the sport detective, or, The road-agent's daughter

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Title:
Gilt-edged Dick, the sport detective, or, The road-agent's daughter
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
Creator:
Wheeler, Edward L. (Edward Lytton) 1854 or 5-1885
Place of Publication:
Cleveland, Ohio
Publisher:
Arthur Westbrook Co.
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (30 p.) 20 cm.: ;

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
026004488 ( ALEPH )
13236658 ( OCLC )
D22-00026 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.26 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Copyright 1879-1885, by Beadle & Adams. Entered at Pos t umce, New Y ork, N. Y., as second class matter. Mar. 15, 1899. No. 25 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK C O Cleveland, Ohio Vol. I I Gilt-Edged the Sport-Detective. BY EDWARD L .... COOL AS AN ICEBERG APl-eAREO GILTEDG E D DICK. JUST A Jo.dNT TRltrLE O F A L O'RXTNG HIS. Ul'S A.8 THE llLUOR STRUGGLEll TO ms FEET,

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.IJ<>pyrlght 1879-1885, by Beadle & Adams. Entere
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Gilt-E4ged Dick, the-Sport-Detective. Gilt-Edged Dick, Unfortunately for him, these were not nu merous, for since his debut in Leadville's e lec tric town the major had achieved the repute of being an excellent borrowing medium, but a THE SPORT. DETECTIVE poor" returning board," except when h e was clerk of elections OR, To the c olonel had th1> major finally appealed, this morning, for a l oan, after having l ost hi s pile at a faro bank the previous night. The R oad-Ai:ent's D augh ter, BY EDWARD L. WHEELER, AUTHOR OF "DEAD .WOOD DICK,'' "ROSEBUD ROB,"" JACK HOYLE,'' ETC., ETC. But the good-natured German manager of the T o n tine shook his head. "I don'd vas got any money, mine friend," he said. with a comical 11ttcmpt at serio usn ess I don'd vas got so much ash ha1f er von ollar. I vas clean gon' de'tproke." CHAPTER I "Bahl that is a p oo r excuse to get out of THE GIRL FROM IDAHO. loanin g me a few," the major r e plied, his calm LEADVILLE, Colorado-the Mecca of the nessunruffl e d. "Now, see hern,Jacob,Iknow miner, the gambler, the ruffian, and the gen er-you've got of money, and why can't yo u ally adventurous class to be found in every accommodate me fo r a C'Ouple of week'b_ until minino--town I can draw on my New York bankers? !JO you e l ectric city of the Far West suppose I'd wriggle out of an honest debt?" -the carbon town, nestling down in the Rocky "I don'd Yas dink ash you would, m ajor, put Mountains, far up near the timber belt. LeadI dells you dat I don'd vas got so much money ville with its many rude cabins and shanties, ash von half tollar bathed in the happy spring sunlight, and two "Th en of conrso I cannot borrow it o f you,;, men standing on the veranda of the Tontine the major said, stroking his huge mustach:i House, engaged in s;:iirited conversation-two rather impati ently. "Don't know where I cou ld m e n so different in appear a n ce as to attract at-bol'row a sum, do you? Of course my electioll tention from a k ee n obs erve r. over Fulton is a certainty, but I r eckon it Th e taller of the twain-the blonde-haired, wouldn't be ar..y h arm to s h ove a f e w do1ia. s in fair-faced German, with imme nse ci.rcumfer -to the pockets of certain individuals to clinch e nce of waist, was Colonel "Jacob S chwartz, their votes for me." a politician, a restaurateur, and a mine-owner, "Colonel I" Schwartz laughed oddly. to some small extent. "Yo u pees von pig fool, majori" he said, witb The second party was a dark-visaged little a knowing nod "whE!n you t'irur as how you m11.n of uncertain age, b etween thirty and forty, git to p e sheriff. I'll bet you swi glasses of lager con;;picuous for the monstrous size of his mus -ag'in' a belt mit der smeller d o t you vas l ef t tache, which hid a sensua l mouth, and for the clear out mit d e r shade trees. You d'ink you rich quality of his attire, which was cut in the ish p(Jpular, but Fulton-he will see you, and go lateot styl e and as a who l e outfit, taken together you ten or twenty better, yust like rolling off of with the diamond pin, ring and 11:old chain h e von beer keg." wore, was extraordinarily nobby" for the Ha! ha! you will be deceived the n, my good mines. friend, for the contest at the polls this morning ajor Dudl e y Doud, this gentleman was is not spirited, and is all going for me." registered at the Tontin c, but then, nearly "Ve viii see apout dot. Look ofer dar, an' eve r y man was dubbed" Major"" Colon el:;" or tell me if you see dot girl a-goin' down ther "Captain," con>equently it was hard to tell who street?" deserved the title of rank. The major did l ook, but did not seem to see Major Doud's antecedents were wholly 'Uuany one but m e n. known to the people, yet h e held a share of 1 I see no girl nor any one having a r esem popular est imation among them-was profuse blance to a girl, except that young wrig of a with his money, and this liberality of course chap ove r there who l ooks like a sport. r eac hed to the hearts of the middle and lower Yaw I dat ish de on e, the co l one l nodded, classes of the peo l e. his eyes twinkling! "dot ish Idaho Kit, dot pe-A politician was the major, clear to the. back-Idaho Katrina, fer l on g -and shri's yust sailed bone. A n ew sheriff was to be sup plied to the into town ter attend der election." town of L e adville, to fill the vacancy mad& by T-Oe Illajor to gaze at the personage a the roadagents of the mountains, and right seC'ond ready and willing and eage r was the major to -If a girl it was sne was attired in the garments step into bis preiece3Sor's shoes For an of the opposite sex, and stylishly clothed, too, like that of sheriff was not to be despised, in the from patent-l eather cavalry hoots that r e ached carbon region, wh ere there are ways that are to the knees, to the jaunty, narrow-rimmed dark, and /1;ricks that m-e vain, so far as the sporting hat up on a h ead of wavy h air. little matter of making money is coneerued. In addition to her othe r garments she wore a B t 1t at time s ,...in the politica l career of the "b' iled" shirt and vest, while a belt at her waist maior. it came to pass that h e was teetotally cont>i ined a single pistol. "strapP!'d" of this worM''I filthy and h e "With a pecilliar, independent swagger G:iis ha
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Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. 8 set meerschaum holder, between her pearly white teeth. The eyes of Major Dudley Doud sparkled greedily as he watched her pass along on the op posite side of the street. Leadvill e boasted of perhaps as many eccen tric females as any other mining-town, but among them all, tbPre was none who could bear compison with this new-co m er-this Idaho Kit, as Colonel Schwartz bad named her. Certainly there was none more y:retty in form -none who could equal the rare grace and sprightliness of movement. And when a glance was taken at the fair, piq.uant face-the perfectly-molded1 yet mis cb1evous-exi;>ressioned face, with its dancing blue eyes, it;s sweetly-tempting mouth, that could be firm with resolution, or relaxed in smiles, in an instant of time; the well-poised head, and it;s wealth of wavy brown hair that fell over the rounded shoulders-such a pic ture did the major contemplate from the "stoop. or veranda in front of the Ton tine. "By St. Christopher! the girl's as pretty as a picture he said, turning t.o tbe girtby, good German. It is a decided relief to see one handsome woman. Who is she, friend Schwartz?" Idaho Kit, or Kate, youst as you blease, maJOr. I don'd vas know so much apoud her as a pin's bead, only vat reaches me py hear say. Better ash bow you keep away from her, mv friendt." ?
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Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Ddective. l y rt is an ho norable title that was conferred upon me in the Union army." "You were in the army, then!" I was1 certainly. "Ever m a battle!" "Ohl yes-in' a great many bloody engage ments." I suppose you ran, when ther began to fight'!'' Idaho K'.lb suggested, sarcastically. The major now for the first time perceived that he ":as being took in," and a volley of profanity from bis lips was the result. "Sae here, you little vixen!" he growled, looking as sav.:ige as he knew how, "I want to know what y JU mean! "Do you! Well, I can't say, for my part," the girt replied, coolly. "While you were speaking I was in a reverie-thought I could see a jackass-and when I come to awaken, it seems to me I am purty near right." A few snickers from the bystanders attested to the fact that they were enjoying the matter hugely, which fact seemed doubly to incense the major. "Blast me! if your i nsolence isn't intolerable!" he cried, funo usly. "It is evident that your bringing up has been sadly neglected, girl!" "That is your opine, eh!" Idaho Kit r e plied, with a laugh. "We ll, all I've got to say is that if you knew as much in one year as a coyote knows in a minuto; the small space which nature left for brains in your skull would be tenanted for the first time since your birth. And-now you look heer: I want to warn you that if you come fooling around m e 1 you'll git yourself into trouble. Mebbe I don t look no bigge r nor a pint o' cider, ner as f e rocious as a cinnamon b'ar, but I'm hyar all the same, and don't you forgit it! My handle's Idaho Kit, and I don't allow no pilgrim to crowd on me, n e r talk about me, if I do wear breec hes!" A slight scowl darkened the major's forehead; the bystanders increased in number, and stood open-mouthed, ready to witness the row if any was to occur. Lovers, to a man, were they of anything savored of a fight. "Curs3 you!" the major growled. "Just as if I were afraid of a chit like you. If you were wise, or respectable, I'd advise you to go home, instead of coming nut here in breeches "Ju5t you swaller a part o' that back, blame you!" th2 girl from Idaho cried, h e r blue eyes fiastrin g, and out came the pistol from h e r belt with a clic k I click I as it was leveled upon the major. I don't allow any two-footed galoot to iminuations at me, and ef I do wear breech es, I paid for 'em an' I kin prove it!" "Put down your shootin-iron!" the major snarled. "I hain't said you were not respectable, n o r am I going to say sol" "Verv w ell; you'd better haul in your slack," the girl cried, lowering her weapon to her belt. :I don't take none o' the article from any pilgrim, be he president, guvynor or Gil pin. I reckon this is a free country, and ef a gal wants to wear breeches, breeches she is goin' ter wear, an' ef she wants ter wear petticoats, et's her ekal privilege. And ef s h e wants to vote, vote she will, every day in the weekand twice on Sunday. without no pilgrim stickin'his :fist inter ther pie. And here's the very e:n.l who is goin ter cast a vote for Fred Fulton!" CHAPTER II. THE GILT-EDGED GENTLEMAN. AND straight toward the polls the eccentric Girl Sport made her way. Major Dudley Doud then swore roundly, and followed h e r. "I'll be blowed if you'll vote I" ho hissed, lay ing a hand upon her shoulder. This 1s a fair election, and we don't allow no foreigners to vote, who have not been naturalized." Then do ye call me a fureigner!" Idaho Kit demanded, with a contemptuous laug h. Fer ef ye do; I kin p,r ove thet I ain't, and lick you in the bargain. You are a blustering brag, like all the rest of your type!" the major retorted. "Barring you may be an American citizen. Lead ville is not your place of abode and you can't vote here." I ll bet you a quarter ag'in' a drink of wet groceries, thet I do vote, right hyar, and you ner no other galoot can't st.op me. Come, ef you've got any sand, either put up, or shut up!" And again the plucky girl pushed her way to ward the polls. Major Dudley Doud followed h e r. He regarded the occasion as highly propi tio u s to cqsplay his authority and make an im pression, and besides, his bull-dog determination that the Girl Sport should not vote urged him on. And made him themoreridiculo u s Asiclahn Kit d eposited her vote upon the ballot box, the major stepped up, grim enough to have annihi laten his shoulder, and be was jerked back upon the floor so quickly that he could but gasp in surprise. 'No baby fall did the major get either, but a. s o lid clashing descent that made the dust :fly. A cheer w ent up from the crowd. This was the first time they bad ever see n the major upon hi s back-moreover, it was the first time they had ever seen the stranger, under whose hands he had fallen. For the man was a stranger, no Leadville-ite was he, with all his elegant mako-up-no citi zen of the boss town of the Colorados, with his b'iled shirt, and polished boot5 A man of' stalwart muscular frame, he was, whose age might possibly have been between thirty and thirty-five, although he looked eve n younger to gaze upon. He was well proportioned in every limb and muscle, with a broad, deep chest, a.nd a pair of shoulde r s that looked as if molded in iron. In face you behe l d a man whose passions slumbereda strangely calm and pass ive f ace it was, unruftled and unwrinkleda thoroughly

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Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. I blonde face, with soft-tinted complexion, and hair, mustache and side whiskers of the veriest sandy hue. Especially were the side whiskers notidlable for their luxuriance and length. A firm mouth hovered in under the blonde mustache, whose expression now appeared slightly infected with resentment. The attire of the stranger was perhaps more striking than himself, for it consisted of white duck trowsers, and jacket, white shirt and cav alry top-boots, all of which were fringed with gold gilb g imp, giving to the garments and the wearer a simrula.r appearance. A white s1ouc h hat upon his head was also fringed iu a like manner which completed the outfit of the "gilt-edged" stranger, save it was a serviceable riifing-whip he carried in his right hand. Not alone came this nobby stranger, for by the left baud he l e d o. little girlof seven years -a sweet, sunny-faced little thing she was, neat ly clad, and the very image of the man who held her by the hand-who stoo d towering over the fallen major, who measured his l ength upon the plank sidewalk in front of the polls. AS cool as an iceberg appeared this stranger, just a faint trifle of a smile lurking upon his lips as the major struggled to his feet, spitting out a mouthful of dust which be had r ooted up. "Curse you! what do you mean?" he howled glaring at the coo l stranger. May be you did that on purpose, my g il t-edged friend?" "I shouldn't be sw-prised if you were correct," the other responded. I saw you interfering in what was none of your business, and took th!) liberty to remove you from this lady's pa.th," and the Sport glanced toward Iduho Kit, 'who was gazing on in evident fiUrprise. "That lady!" the major grunted, contemptuously-" that lady?'' "Exactly, sir-that lady. Do you dare to Ila{. she is not a lady?" 'As far as the daring goest I should not h es i tate to say so, were I so inaiscreet as to lower the woman's reputation any furtheri" the would be sheriff replied, sneeringl y. n this town of Leadville. I judge, and judge correctly, that the popular verdict of honesty and vjrtue does not cling to the class of females who wear breeches." \ "See beer, just you close up, now," Idaho Kit crie.d,_ her face flushing, and her blue eyes glowing aarker. Ef you don't want me to climb yo u and gouge yow out, you'd bet ter rope in your flack. I don't want to go to no expense fer funerals, but I shall ce :-ta.inly have to get you measured for a pine box unless you git out on a run. Mebbe I don't l ook as ef I could do it, but I opine ha.yr's what can lick this hull burg, I git my mad up." "You shut up, and I'll attend to your ca9!1 when I have leisure,'' Doud g rowled, savagely. For the present, I happen to feel lik e dealing with this vain popinjay of a Sport who has in sulted me!" "Insulted you? Ha! ha! ha! that's the best joke yet-insulted a jack mule! Ha.I ha.I ha.I" And the ringing laughter of the Girl Sport rung clear and musical, and put the of whom there were -many. in a better humor. The situation was growing more and more interespng, with the threatened approach of a duel. I The major bit his lip and scowled darkly at Kit's thrust, while he cursed fwiously under his breath. This was the first woman, he flattered him self, who had ever .dared to brave his angerwbo had eve r got the be..nthusiastica.lly. 'I know what the major wants, I do-I've seen severial galoots jest like him, heretofore. He wants to buck bi s brains out ag'in' an earthquake, and he'll EOOn have a cha.nee, you bet." "My name, or nickname, is Gilt-Edged Dick!" the stranger answered, calmly. "If tbe major wishes satisfaction, he has but to name his tools." "Whoop her up, 'Liza Jane! Thet's tber kinder talk ter cum frum a Christyun I" ex claimed a big mule-driver, who stood near by, whip in band. "Thet's t.ber preci se language as greets my big ears with sootbin' efl'eck, Eure's my name's Horrible Hank Hopkins, artistic bull-driver. Right down from Adelaide City I cum, pilgrims, every day in a week an' twice o' Sunday, an' ef every hocrran critter l oved a fight, hayr's bis dooplicate, frum tooth ter toe-nail. Cum. J?.OW, major, set yer rnnd pumpS to work, and Jack up yer courare. Ttet gilt-edged galoot hez advicd ye ter ncmynate ye1 tools, and we, yer representative citirrns do na.ttera.Jly expect ycu to do ther squar" thing by us. No commo n everday dog-fight mus t this mutual settlement be, but a bull-souled entertainment-a. novelty, ye parseeve!" "Better git the muleteer ter help ye, majm!" Ida.bd Kit suggested "I ask no assistance-no advice at all," the eandidate replied, fiercely. "When I call for it, it will be time enougb. l But ye haven't nominated yer weepons, yet,'' adinouished one of the bystanders, who was eager to see the battle be!Pn. The n I'll do so. My choice is knives, upcn

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e Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. horseback!" the major announced, triumphantly. "As you choose,'' Gilt-Edged Dick replied, coolly. "I happen to have my animal with me, and can accommodate you with pleasure." At this the major stared a little, for he bad calculated to mount the stranger upon a poor animal, and thus have the odds of a thoroughbred saddle horse against him. But there was no backing now, and the battle must come off. News had spread all along the 'crowded main street of the town, of the impending duel be tween the gilt-edged stranger and the sherifl' candidate, consequently the crowd increased each moment, for it was known that the major was a dead-shot, an excellent knife duelist, and as good a horseman as ever rode the streets of Lea:dville's metropolis. And the anticipated result was that the gilt edged individual would g e t carved into steaks by the candidate for election. At his direction, a miner went for the major's h orse but none was sent for the Sport's. Instead, he gave vent to a shrill whistle, that echoed and re.ec hoed along the streets. Soon there came au answer in the shape of a whinny, and a superb bay saddle-horse came trotting up the street to where the Sport stood A handsomer animal the crowd had never seen in the carbon city, as was evidenced by sundry admiring' exclamations; indeed he was s. fine creature, with a round supple body-dean, perfectly-contoured limbs, and an eye which possessed something of the smoldering fire that lurked in the eye of the master. Already sad dled and stirruped was the h orse, but the fact that he wo.re no bridle seemed to indicate that such an ornament was unnecessary. Raisin"' the little in his left arm GiltEdged D'ick vaulted mto the saddle with the greatest of ease, apparently, and sat gazing over the c rowd as coolly as if nothing of any importance were about to happen, wbile the major paced to and fro, excited l y. Though a great duelist, he was beginning to lose faith in himself, and regard the Sport with suspicion. It had never been his luck to meet a man before who was quite so coo l and indiffer ent in the face of an str11ggle for life, and the coolness of his opponent seemed to act a...damper to the major's spirits. Ratber.doubtful was he as to how the duel would end; perhaps it would be the challenger instead o f the challen"'ed who would fall I The crowd grew d'enser and larger, excited politicians cus3ed and discUSSral timef; proven1 and it reguired a fair man to handle her m a fignt. So SBJ.d those who knew, and the reP?rt had gained general credence.

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Gilt-Ed1ted Dick, the Sport-Detective. 7 1 arrangements for the duel progressed. I Nearer-nearer; then the animal of the Sport Jo Dewolf, a worthy citizen of the town, of-reared upon its hind lei?-', and advanced thieat fered to act as third man, or referee, and ac-eningly toward the maJer. 'Ere he could escape cordingly ordered the center of the street from the saddle down came the heavy, ironcleared, for some distance, in order to give the shod feet of the horse upon the head and shoul duelists a starting ground. ders of his own beast, literaJly driving it to the They then rode off to their posts, from whence ground. they were to start. Cheer after cheer 'Went UJ? from the crowd, Gilt Edged Dick was quietly cool and self-for never had they seen anything to equal this. possessed, with the utmost mdifl' erence ex-It was a new pha;:e of d u eling, and a new phase pressed upon his face. H e had raised the little of equestrian battling. girl upon his l eg, and e ncircled her with his left Game, tho u gh, was the major. Extricating arm, to prevent her from falling while in hims elf from the saddl e he r ose to his feet, and his right hand he h eld a comm c m sheatn knifetaking aim, bul'led his knife straight at the apparently n o t a Damascus blade, like the ma-h eart of the Sport. jor's. A tremor of horror ran through the crowd, "You'd better l e t some one take care of the for so expert a thrower was the major that it child, Sir Sport," one of the bystanders said, Reemed as if the Sport's life was greatly endanadvisingly. It i s simply foolhardiness to im-gered. peril the life of that innocen t little girl." Whiz I flew the deadly missile through the "She will not be harmed," Gilt-Edged Dick air-to be cleverly caught by tho frur hand of replied with a smile. the blonde Sport when within two inches of his "Rnady there!" J o D ewolf shouted, from the heart! center of the street. This act elicited another yell of surprise frc m "Ready!" the Sport answered, promptly. the crow d while the major stood upon tho "And you, Doud'I turning in the direction of ground fairlywhite with rage. the major. Glad was h e that he had not been crushed ty "All right-go ahead," was the signal from the falling horse; but his defeat was bumiliat-tbe major. ing all the same, and he had lost a valuable "Bully fer Maryl Both m e n are ready. Not animal in the bargain. gentlemen, when I say-one, two, three-andneClear it was, too, that the people were beginglect to add 'the rooster crows an' 'way She ning to side with the cool Sport, for the chee1s goes,' ye'll know I mean bizness, and ther quickseemed to indicate something of the extent of er ye go through each other, the l ess you're their good feeling toward him. liable to spile the hilarity o' tiler game. .Are you satisfied, major?" Jo D ewolf asked, ready, now-one-two-three!" as the would-be sheriff stood glaring around. It was the starter. "Hev ye fot yer fill'I" The major dug the spurs into the fib..iliS of his Yes; am satisfied for the present, I guess,'' fiery animal; the Sport sinlply gavE' his horse was the savage r ep ly. "I' ll settle with this the go" and then both animaJs shot out torascal some other time." ward each other, swiftly. "Better do it now," I
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18' 'Gilt-Edged Dlek-;-the Sport-Detective. with all classes of humanity of the sterner sex, but po row ever occurred to mar the good repute of the house. Miners gathered here to smoke and chat over t heir work; speculators were eve r present, working up their plans gamblers, sharps and ruffians hung out here to 1 spot" their victims, although they were careful not to attempt any games withir.. the Tontine's walls. A special reserve of officers were always on the watch for these gentlemen who lived by villainy; ready were they to ''bounce them at the least provocation. Therefore the aforesaid gentlemen order. On the evening after the street scene just re corded, the lounging room of the Tontine was crowded as usual, and the sonuds of human voices made a bum that was monotonous. No loud talking was there-all seemed to converse in an undertone as if secrets were being exchanged and dark plans batc hed. ,An aged well-dressed, with long white hair and fuu beard, sauntel'ed about among the crowd, apparently without object more than to familiar ize himself with the scene and the acting figures thereof-a man with a hump upo n bis back, painful to behold, and a pair of green goggles fitted closely to his eyes. He walked with a cane, and limped perceptibly. Evidently hi s best days were over and he was fast nearing the grave. For an hour he mingled with the crowd, and then, seeming to b e laboring from fatigue, be took possession of a stall, that had been vacated, and proceeded to load and light a capacious but handsomely wrought m eerschaum pipe. He had not b ee n seated more than ten minutes, when a m:i.n p9.us ed before the door of the stall; the n, with a nod of r ecognitio n, entered and became seared, as if the meeting w ere not m e r ely by chance. A tall brawny individual, with long, bristling, blac k beard, and an ugly look about his eyes, which were of the sam9 hue as the hair-a man clad in g reasy buckskin breec he s and jacket, stoga boots, and slouch hat-such was the new-com e r. "I thought you'd given me the slip," he said with a brutal chuckle, as he drew a flask of liquor from an inne r pocket, and set it upon the table. "Drink sumo' tbet p'izen, an' et'll clear yer windpipe out." "No, I thank r.ou," the old man replied, shak ing bis head. Whe n I drink at all, I want to get dead drunk, which is not practicable, now. Eh?" "Not by a hanged sight, ef you've got any news. What have you got to tell'I" Lots," the other replied Oliver Staple ton, the financier, bas a daughter, you know1 Well, she is going to join him, here." Ab I H as been off to school, eh?" "Yes, I b e lieve so." "Well, what else1" "A new Sport has come to town, and licked Major Dudley Doud, the first thlng. He carries a little girl with him, and calls himself GiltEdged Dick." "Indeed!" the b l ack-whiskered man muttered. If he was deeply interested in this info rmation, he did not bfitray the fact in b i s looks. Yes," the old man continued. The Sport unhorsed the major as easy as rollin' off of a loo-. He took the part o' tbet gal Idaho Kit, wf:o be the sassiest, and mos t independent little piece in the town. I'd as lieve feed an elephant a cud of tobaccy as to tread on hm toes. I -reckon ther result would be about equal." T he other smiled. She's a hn.rd little caynss ter manage, thet's true," he said, with a chuckle. "Did she take a shine to Gilt-Edged Dick?" I r eckon so. She looked all the timeas if his style jest suited her." "I reckoned that would be the case. Curse the fellow, why did he come here, just now 1 I don't want tJ kick up an open war with h m but I see no alternative. I'd as soon have a bloodhound get after me, as he. When is the Stap!eton gal expectNl to arrive!" To-morrow, on the evening stage, I believe. She comes in by the way of the Webster and Fairplay stages." "Very well. Keep your eyes around j:ou, on the outlook for d e velopments, and you will, see me again, probal.oly when you least expoct me" And with these directions the man of the black whi3kers arose and left the stall, and quitted the restaurant. The white-whiskered individual with the green goggl es also l eft the and hied himself to the notorious gambling aen known as the Bonanza saloon. This was kept by one Jacob Sleeper, a few hundred yards up Chestnut street, and was so low and ill-looking a building as to impress the idea upon an observer that it was one of the poores t dens of its class. Yet such was not the case. The iurerior was neat and clean, and supplied with a well-stocked bar and other fixtures, and filled with men whose pleasure it was to risk their money and ofttinles their lives upon games of chance. The patrons comprised every type of character to be found in Leadville, from the most aristocratic citizen to the veriest wretch. On every handgames of all kinds of chance went on; men ventured and lost every cent they possessed in the world, while others won, of course; men grew desperate and sought con solatipi in the flowin g bowl; swindlers and sharp. fleeced the unwary at every turn; quarrels were of frequent occurrence, wberPin r evo l vers, knives or gla."5es and lon g-necked bottles took active p arts. Such was the scene, eblivened with bacchana lian songs, and the hilarious laughter of the victorious or the drunke n. The old man with the green goggles entered the saloon. and gazed arpund him with the air of one who was taking a m ental inventory o f the assembled crowd. He then limped forward to the bar and ordered a bottle of ale, which h e soon finished with greatest apparent r e li s h. All eyes were occasionally cPDtered upon him, but he seemed to pay no
PAGE 10

Gilt.Edged Dick. the Sport-Detective. m ount one of the tables as if about to deliver a speech. Instant attention was given him. Ready were these Leadville-ites to hear and learn, if thereby any pecuniary or adventuresome ad vantage could be gained. Straight upon the table stood the old man1 and gazed around him; then iu clear distinct tones he cried: Behold you in me, all assembled John Smith, the greatest card sharp m the West, and the man who is willing to wager ten thousand dollars against ten thousand dollars on a square game of poker1 with any similar fellow mortal present. Wnere is he now? let him step forward!" CHAPTER IV. ANOTHER OF Lli:ADVILLE'S STREET SCENES .ABOUT this same hour, whe n John Smith dared the crowd of the Bonanza saloon, another crowd, simila r in its types of characted, wa!'\ as sembled in the main thoroughfare of the town, and a scene was presented, peculiar to those rough wild mining towns of the Far West, where men adhere to no style except the very roughest -who, as a rule dig out their money in carbonates or gold, and spend it for whisky at night. In the center of Chestnut street stood a wagon to which was attached a horse, and in each corner what is familiarly known as the demo crat were fixed two standards, bearing a lamp apiece, and these were lighted. Standing upright in the wagon, with the seat in front of h e r as a counter, was the somewhat eccentric character whom we have seen-Idaho Kit the Girl Sport. She it was, and no In the wagon or rattier upon the improvised counter, were three or four boxes a couple of feet square in s ize. Two of these contained an ill assorted lot of envelopes, pen holders, pencils, and miscellaneous articles of stationer:y and brass jewelry. The third box contained full a half-bushel of silver coins-genuine ones, too, ranging in siw and value from quarters to silver dollars. Also upon the seat lay a large package of extra-sized yellbw envelopes, such as are used mostly to seal up contracts and official papers. This was one of the scenes. Further down the street a horrible brass band was playing in front of a variety theater, in another place an auctioneer was crying his wares in ear-SJ'litting tones; everywhere was confusion nnd bustle and jostle such as might be seen upon Broadway, only of a different phase of noi ses and people. Around the stand of the Girl Sport the crowd grew thickest, for many had a curiosity to know I what kind of a game she was up to. Clad with unscrupulous care was she in her I semi-maJ e suit, and looking as royally pretty as ever before lllldP.r the light of tbe lamp, together with the effulgence of the full moon. Restless grew her audience-so restless, that she at lafit caused the arrangement of her wares, and began to look around. After a searching scrutiny of those assembled, she beiran: "Feller-citizens : It becomes me as the pro-prietor of this coiicern to git up here and tell you what I am going to do-how I am going to fleece you rtght out of your ducats. You be hold in me a gal o' the period-good-looking vir tuous, cheeky, and likewise, to scme tongub. Take n in a literal sense, I'm a hara crowd. That I am 1;he bigge s t cheat, fraud and humbu(> abroad, all of you will admit when I'm done with you. I warn you all of this in the send-off. Don't go and exJ?.0Ct to git rich out of me, for you will surely fail-you will get beat so sure's my handle is Idaho Kit. That's my business-to swindle and gouge y o u right before your eyes, and give you leave to find out how I do it. No rmderhand wcrk about this now-it is a simple sch eme of artistic roguery, as plain as the nose on your face, an' ef you'll stand up hyar and let me pick the ducats right away from you because I'm pretty, why, you mustn't grumble when you find y ou've got smas hed Thar never was a woman who warn't a tempter, an' the greater fraud she i s the more at tractive, ge nerally speaking. And it's just so with me. "What do you open-mouthed, grinning pilgrims know about me? How do you know but what I've spent the best part of my time in prison, or that I am not connected with the worst gang of thieves in seven counties? Why, of course you don't know nothing about menothing at all. You've seen me a few times and heer'd me called Idaho Kit, an' here you are ready ter lay down for'me yer very lives. But I don't want 'em; all I want's yer money( and have it I'm going to; and the wisest mail in the crowd is he who waltzes up and Jays down his every ducat before me, for he will be relieved of the curiosity of wanting to invest, by the knowledge that he hasn't a r ed cent; and he can laugh in his s l eeve because he was not swin dl ed "Now, then, rub your eyes, open tbem wide, and watch the sharpest y<>u know, and see how rm going to cheat you. Seel I take up one of these large envel opes, open it wide in the mouth -like a Dutchman when he is getting ready to drink his lager-and hold it at nearly arm's length in my left band. Then with my right han
    tc-to any goose here 's a handsome sixteen-karat ring, recorr{mended to be genuine brass. Now we have some pens, lik ew ise a few pins, a shirt button-you may've lost one, you know-ha! here is a brand-new one-dollar note, I find c ruisin g around m my museum, and I'll chuck that in, in the bargain. Now the n, who'll give me twenty-ay. fiftePn, ten or .fi'l:e dollars for the Jot-five dollars for the l o t. Where's the rilgrim that wants to throw away five dol lars in excha n ge for fifty dollars worth of mermore o r J ess? Tbe r e is none? Well. I might have known better, that I couldn't cheat' s u c h an intelligent audience-the veriest

    PAGE 11

    10 Dick, the Sport-Detective. set of gaup-heads I ever see'd in m;y: life. Cheat you P Waal, I opine a pilgrim will hev to get UP. in the morning. But to make the game hilarious you, my festive and go you some better on the venture. Only don't be deceived in regard to the worth of the articles in that envelope. "With the exception of the dollar bill, the rest of the stuff cost me about ten cents, a .nd before I get through with _you1 I'm going to make you J>4" five of Uncle Sams dollars for it, and be glad to get more. Yes, that's jest my little game. Now, see here-glue your optics upon me. Here in this box are silver coins. quarters1 halves, and dollars. Now watch me sharp, ana see that I don't cheat you before your eyes, for I'm a hard citizen, and don't you forget it. Now. here I select out a silver dollar, and toss it into the air, and down it comes into the envelope-you all saw it, didn't you? Oh! of course you did. Well, that's one dollar; here goes another-that's two; then follows still another making three. But I ain't no hog-here goes four quarters in succession that makes fo ur; two fifties you, see going in, now, making five. Pshaw! don't get tired of waitino-, pil ?ims, for I ain't done, yet; four more dollars will I toss up for your edification-one, two three, four. There-five and four makes nine and the one dollar bill in the package makes ten dollars. Now, 1 will seal up this package there! now is there ary galoot in the audience with more money than brains who will step up and give me five dollars for the lot? Whm:e's the man? Let him step forward and show himself. Cheat? Ot course it's a cheat. Why, didn't you see me toss the coins into the pack age? Come; does any one want the lot?" There was hesitation in the crowd. Amazed were they-suspicious, too. To be sure they were confident that they had seen every one go into the enve l ope; yet the mystery of the Girl Sharp's giving away ten dollars for five was something passing strange. Either she was a lunatichor else there was some game under all beyond t eir comprehension. Excited were they to a great pitch, yet too suspiciqus to nibble at the offered bait. Idaho Kit saw this, with a chuckle, and after lightinoa cigarette, she resumed: "Well, I'll be hanged ef this ain't a curious world. An old snoozer here to my right believes et's a bona fide offer, an' thet I'm givin' away my cash to influence votes for next election when I'm to run fer sheriff on ther WO man's Sufferage ticket. Ha! ha! that man no doubt means well, but is a bigger fool than I should be, were I to part with my cash so free ly. Of course I can't blame you for not buying the package, pilgrims. You didn't want to pay five dollars for ten cents' worth of trash, and you are wise To show you how badly you would have been cheated had you invested, I will simply turn the contents out in a little pasteboard tray I have here, and let you see This she did. and held the tray in such a po sition that they cquld view the contents. Then there arose upon the lips of the spectators exclamations of surprise, fo r there wer e the coins among the other articles. "&y, 'thar,' I'll give you fivedollarsforthat pan now!" Horrible Hank, the mule-driver, an "IlOunced, stepping forward. "Yes, you wi111 in a pig's eye," Idaho Kit re plied, with a gnm laugh. I'm goin' to put back the hull business in the envelope, just as I did before, and before I get through with you, you will willingly admit that I am the king, or rather the queen of frauds." And according to her word the girl sharper did as she promised, restoring first the paper and other articles to a fresh envelope, and then tossing up the coins and causing them to fall into the same receptacle. She then sealed the envelope and stood gazing around her with a strange cynical smile which none could interpret. "Who grabs the bonanza this time, for five dollars, with the warning that they are getting unmercifully fleeced-where's the man?" "Gim'me ther pot!" cried Horrible Hank, excitedly, as he forked up a five-dollar note. "I'H run ther risk o' losin', an'll bet I'm a V ahead!" "I'll bet you a hundred dollars you ain't!" Idaho Kit cried, as she received the note. "Will you bet!" Cuss ye, no. Ef I'm beat I kin lose et, I reckon. Give me the package." The order was obeyed, and tearing it open the mule-driver emptied the contents into his hat. And there among the other articles were the identical coins, or ten dollars in all. A murmur of excited amazement ran through the crowd. This was beyond their comprehension. "There, you see you've got no sand at all," the Sport said, laughing. u If you'd have bet with me you'd have won." "Durn my foolish pelt, yes," the mule-driver muttered, somewhat crestfallen. I'm five ahead, though." ''"Yes, that means one more drunk on the market, I silppose," Idaho replied, grimly. "Now, pilgrims, I'm going to do less talking and more work. I'm goin!!" to fill one hundred envelopes inside of ten minutes. I want you all to watch lest I should cheat you by neglecting to put in the coins, for I've repeatedly told you I'm up to all such fraudulent tricks. When I get the requisite number of packages done, I shall sell them off for five dollars apiece; so those who want to invest must have their V's ready I" Then to work she went with nimble fingers, first filling the envelopes with her stock in trade, and then tossing the coins into the air so that they seemed to descend into the same receptacle. 'Eagerly the crowd watched for some sign that would expoS:0 a clieat, but none could they see. Evidently this eccentric girl doing just as she bad done before-was parting with her money on the receipt of less than half its value. It was strange, but. what tbeiI' eyes had beheld they must credit, even though it was something miraculous. As a people they became greatly excited, and by the time Idaho Kit bad filled her hundred pac kages, every man in the crowd he l d a five dollar note in his upraised fi..'1;s, ready to claim

    PAGE 12

    Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. 11 one of the bonanza "pans" of which Idaho Kit was the dispenser. Ef Horrible Hank can double his ducats, so ken we," said one pilgrim; and the crowd universally agreed with fiim. "Now, then," Idaho said, pushing back her hat, and wiping the perspiration from her brow -"now, then I intend to work just five minutes in selling out these packages, after which I shall a-djourn the sale. Rearly, now; who's the first lucky pilgrim as wants me to swindle him? Let him step up and sacrifice his V, like a man, and learn a lesson!" While the crowd seemed momentarily to draw back and hesitate, one pilgrim had the courage to reach up his last five-dollar note, and receive in payment therefore one of the sealed packages. Eagerly did the crowd watch him open the package, and when he poured out ten silver dollars into his hand, they no longer doubted, but rushed forward, frantic with excitement, to claim a piece of this wonderful bonanza gift. As fast as her hands could fly did Idaho Kit receive the bills and band out the packages. warning the eager :purchasers with every breath that they were getting beat. But believe this they evidently could not, after what they had Been, and accordingly they tendered their greenbacks and received the envelopes until every one was sold. Then came a general opening and a general discovery, which elicited yells of surprise and indignation. Of all the packages not one contained a silver piece, out of the whole batch of a hundred, except the one that had started the sale. Only a few old coppers supplied the place of what l!hould have been coins. True to her word Idaho Kit had swindled them; and now she sat comfortably perched up on the seat of her wagon, as cool as the reputed friP,dity of the much abused cucumber. I told you so," she nodded, with a reckless laugh as the crowd turned toward her with dark iooks. I give ye a .II fair warnin' thet I was a-goin' to peel you, and I've done it to the tune of some four hundred and eighty dollars in my pocket Much obliged? Of course I am. You thought your eyes were smarter than my hands, and you got terribly sucked in, my pilgrims. Go you home, my flock of disconsolates, and remember that when an ordinary galoot gets ahead of Idaho Kit, he's got _to set his alarm-clock fer two, A. M., an' get up with his eyes open." CHAPTER v.t THE WOMAN AT THE CABIN. ONE of the component parts of Leadville is Stray Horse Gulch, with its host of tributary cabins, "turnpike" road, and its toll-gates. Further on, as it runs northward, it becomes deeper and more gloomy-narrow and rocky and tortuous, while the light of the day rarely penetrates to its rough pebbly bottom, along which courses for a distance an infantstreamlet. From the outskirts of the town all the way thither are strung occasional cabins or shanties, tenanted by such people as had squatted here in preference to going mto town and paying ex orbitant rents. In one of these cabins a woman lay upon a bed, composed of a straw mattress and a blanket -lay there in evident great pain and suffering, for her features were contorted, and her eyes wild and glaring. By the light of a candle that burned dimly upon the only furniture in the room except the bed-one could see that she had once been as fair as women ever are in the heyday of their ripening bloom, but long yeB.I'S had passed over her head since then, and left mdelible traces of suffering and trouble in the painful furrows and wrinkles upon the face. She was evidently five and forty years of age. The bed was a most mis<'rable affair; there was no stove in the room; the housewas bare and desolate enough. '' Isaac!" the woman called, suddenly sitting bolt upright in bed and glaring fiercely around. "Isaac!" Y es'm !" came the response, and out from under the table craw led a great strapping fellow, clad in rags and as filthy as could be. He was between the &ge of youth and manhood, evidently, although fully deve loped and as strong as a grizzly. But there was a strange vacant stare in his eyes, and a stranger t silly grin upon his features, which pronouncea him to be a fool. He was now smoking the stub of a clay pipe. "Ahl you, Ike!" the invalid cried, sharply, "what have you been doing? There was no reply from the fellow except by finger talk. "Ohl been layin' on the floor, eh ? the woman snapped, angrily, "when I'm dying here for wan of attendance. Give me that black bottle on the table." The idiot obeyed, and stood watching the sick woman gulp down the contents, enviously. "Ohl you can't have none, Isaac!" she said, his glance. "I ve drained the bottle of every drop. Now tell me again when he said be would come." "After dark," the idiot replied, by bis finger telegraph. "It's after dark...Eow-long after dark!" the woman fretted. why don't be come, if be in tep.ds to come at am What time is it, boy?" "Midnight, nearly," the mute replied, as before. Curse him 1 Perhaps be does not intend to come! Maybe be dare not. You Ike get into a corner and lay there-I hear his footsteps now. If you are asked any questions, remember you are deaf, dumb and a fool." The youth seemed to fear this strange w
    PAGE 13

    Gllt-EcJced Dick. the Sport-Detective. broadcloth which had seen its best days1 the trowsers being tucked in the legs of a pair of knee boots, a wide-brim hat s louched over his forehead, and t h e remainder of bis face bidden behind a mask. A "scaly-looking" man to meet in a dark place was he, for his belt contained a smali sized arsenal, and a cocked revolver was held in his hand. . This be restored to his belt now! however, and approached the bedside in a stealthy fasb. ion, as if he were afraid of the woman upon the mattress. Marie, is this indeed you?" he asked, in a husky voice. "I thought you were del\d-long ago." "And hoped so, no doubt; but you see I am not!" the invalid replied. "I have been hunting after you from town to town for fifteen loug, weary years, and at last recognized you in tho streets of Leadville. If I had not been one of the merciful, I should have shot you down in your tracks, but I prefei"I"ed to track you to your lair. I then retwned here and penned the note which brought you here. Tb.e man was s il ent for a few moments. Then he spoke: "What do you want of me, woman? I am nothing to you or yon to me. We parted enemies; the hand of time has smoothed over the graves of all early love s, hopes and ambi tions; why recall the past or-" "StOpl" s he cried. "We ll may you.tremble to hear the past recalled. You d eserte d me and l ef t me with the foo l, while you took my other child. B ehold your son lying yonder in the corner. H e i s tb.e image of you, no doubt, were you unmaskecl. H e is deaf, dumb, and an idiot, and you are his father. Are you not proud of hiln. ?" "Hush! for God's sake!" the man gasped n ervomly, "or you will betray me to him and foreve r ruin my prospects." H a ha! what care I, do you suppose, whethe r your prospects are blighted, or not? You are nothing to me, more than the bartJ word hu sband impli es. I am dying, and possi blf; shall not live the night out." ; I am sorry for you," the man in the mask replied-" truly sorry. I am aware that l you by desertion, but you had s u c h an irasciole temper that I could n o t stand it." You li e, -you wretch, I had no temper at a.II, and that's where you took advantage of me. You married me for my money, and after you bad squandered all you could get hold of, you ended the matter by desertin?" me " Don't be hard on me, Marie. If I was at fault then, I am wHling to do what is right, now," the man said, buttoning up his coat, as if to depart. "Ohl r.ou are, eli?" the woman cried, with a sneer. 'You are Nilling to r em ove me and Ike to your hom e ancl jutroduce u s into society, and let us have acce 3 to your mon e y pots? Oh! yes; you're such a dear, gene ro11 s soul, I know you'll do all this and even morel" There was a ring; of righteous contempt in the woman's soeech, that caused the man to bite his li.ps bene11.t b h i s mask, until the blood came. Really I could not do this, Marie. You are not a ble to be moved and were you, you would fee l ill at ease in my elegant mansion. You had best' remain h ere, a n d keep t h e boy here1 and I will send you such necessaries as will maxe you comfortable-" "Not a thing, sir-not a thing! Don't you dare to," the woman cried,-excitedly. "All I wan)\ of you is a thou5and dollars to give to Ike, so tliat he will not be penniless, after I am dead." "A thousand dollars, womanl Impossible! I have no such amount to give away, nor would I if I had. You must be mad to think of such a thing. The boy has no claim upon me." "Ahl but you'll discover quite to the contrary, curse you! 1 have brought the idiot up to hate you more than the cougar hates the hunter. I have taught him a fearful oath of vengeance upon you, and he says it as a prayer, night and morning. At times he i s rational: then it is that you have cause to fear him, for it is then when he r e membe1:s the wrong you have done him-lmows how, when he was a babe, you struck him a tilow from which he never rtieovered Now he is a fool; were I to s ignal to him that you were his father it would not arouse his interest. But never fear; he will find you, when you are off your guard, and avenge both our wrongs." "I'll see that he does no harm," the man re plied calmly. "Good-by, Marie, for I am off. I wish you a pleasant journey to the other land. You'll QQ doubt see me there in a few years, if nothing happens I" And th'll'n, with a cruel la::igh, the man left thei house, mounted his horse and galloped furiously away toward Leadville. As he quitted tho cabin, the idiot rose upon his elbo w and stared after him, as if taking a m ental inventory of his appearance. He then dropped back and went to sleep. The announcement of John Sinith in the Bo nanza saloon of cowse created a sensa tion. Any pilgrim who had confidence enough in his ability to risk ten thousand dollars on a g,ame fjf cards, was indeed a distinguished individual in the eyes bf these feverish Leadvillains. Cool as the muc h abused cucumber is reputed to be was the gray-haired old man, as he stood upon the table and surveyed his audience, seek ing a man who had an amount of cheek and ducats equal to his own. But not one was there who seemed to possess the requisite "8*nd," until the door opened and in sauntered tlfe Sport, Gilt-Edged Dick, the cool blonde individual whose reputation had al ready spread over the town since his encounter with Major Doud. Ah! there's the style of pilgrim who is not afraid to win a few or risk a few, I tell you!" J ohn Smith cried, pointing to the Sport. "He's got sand he has, and don't you fergit it. T e n thousand dollars, now, ag'in' ten thousand, thet I can beat any man in the room at a square game of p o k er. Try me a whirl, Sport." ' I reckon," Gilt-Edged Dic k replied, laconi ca !ly. "Anything to make it interesting. Ten thousand dollars, did you say, sir?" "Ten thousand, yes, my lord," the venerable

    PAGE 14

    Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-peteetlve. 18 John Smith a.SSured, droppin? from the table into the chair with alacrity. I believe in havinf. a good stiff 'pan 'when playing for profit." 'Exactly the Sport replied, calmly, and drawing a huge wallet from his pocket, he laid twenty bills down upon the table, each bill be ing of the denomination of half a thousand dol lars. "The more the merrier, to the man who wins. Plank, and produce, sir." John Smith obeyed readily. He planked his stake and produced a bran new pack of cards1 which were cut, shuftled and dealt in a scientific manner, which betrayed that this deseendant of the great Smith family was an adept in the art of manipulating the The table where the two sat was surrounded by a crowd of men eager to see which would win. Every confidence had they in the !$ilt edged gentleman1 yet this man Smith exhibited so many of the mfallible signs of being a pro fessional gamester that part of the public opin ion sided for him. This difference in opinion as to the luck of the players led to the consummation of large bets on every hand between men of capital. The first game was begun, and played through and 'John Smith won! Won fairly, as the Sport. admitted. Far ahead had tlie gambler seen, and planked his cards in the right shape every time. "I believe that gives me the 'pan,' he said, coolly, raking in the pile 'Do you want anothe r twist?" "Of course, I have a to call for revenge," Gilt-Edged Dick replied, as coolly as if his loss had only been ten cents. I shall win this time, and quit." The crowd waited expectantly. The cards were shuffled. The game was played. And Gilt-Edged Dick won. "Good! I am glad of it," John Smith said, counting out twe nty" five-hundred dollar bills from his purse, and handing them to the Sport. "Your luck will give you confidence to play with me again, some other time." And then bowfog, he betook himself from the saloon, to be followeh?" the Sport asked. "I r eckon n ".And why1" "Oh 1 hE'<'"""0 tht.?t major's a malicious devil an' bein' s y e u' P wrnncled hiR local pride. he don't love you better than some whole families." "You think notY" "You bet! On account o' yer bein' sech a handsome sort o' galoot, I tuk pains to inquire around, an' I found as how the major hes sed he'd run you out of the town, either by force or by disgrace-an' I reckon he'll keep his word "A savage-dispositioned cuss, this majOI', then?" Gilt-Edged Dick observed, a peculiar ex pression hovering about his firm mouth. "Oh! yes-a regular spitz poodle. 'Tain't the harm he'll do a person in front of his face, but behind one's back." "Well, let him go ahead. I'll think of what you have said." "Con-ect! Look out for a pilgrim they call Horrible Hank. An' beware, for I reckon they m ean harm to your little gal." A dark look gathered about the1Sport's fore head at this juncture. "They d better look out how they make at tempts on her," he replied1 sternly. "Your daughter I take it?" Idaho Kit queried, by way of keeping up the conversation. For plain it was that she was enamored of the Sport. "Exactly, my daughter," was t.b.e reply. "Widower, then, eh?" came next. "To this I'd rather not answer," he said, smil ing. Good night to you." And bowing p1easantly this thorough bred man of the world turned, and Slluntered into the restamant. I.dabo Kit gazed after him a moment and then samtered along up the street, the polls, where a crowd was anxiously awaiting the returns of the election. "Was that a cut direct, or a polite invita tion to mind my own business?" sne muttered. I reckon it was the latter. H e's got a secn;t." As the Sport entered the restaurant a man pushed by him and came out; then, as if invol untarily, the two men turned around and gazed at each other through the open door! CHAPTER VI. CAPTAIN CARTER STOPS THE STAGE. EVIDENT it was that the two men had me.t be fore, or thought they had, for they both turned as if by mutual. recognitio1;11 and stood gazing at each other in a manner uiat indicated that neither was highly pleased. The man who had passed the Sport, and emerged into the street, was known in Lead ville circles as Mr. Oliver Stapleton. He was a tall, thinnish individuill, with haugh ty bearing; a face was his that, bereft of beard of any style, was of a grayish pallor which was n o t pleasant to see when associated with heavy wrinkles and furrows, and the habitual col
    PAGE 15

    Gilt-Edged Dlek. the Sport-Detective. wln1e Oliver Stapleton, Esq., continued along up the street, in a of thought. I cannot be nnstaken I' he muttered, shut ting bis teeth tightly While Dick said nothing, whatever were his thoughts. Close-mouthed was he with all his secrets. After smoking a cigar in the lounging room, he ordered his hoi:se, and was seen, later,_gal loping out of the town. Major Dudley Doud saw him too, as with the ruffim, Horrible Hank, he stood before a saloon in the neighborhood of the Theater Comique. H e rides like as if he war a fu'st-class road agent," the mule-driver said, screwing his face into a grin. "You're a fine horsem .n, m&jor, but no match for him." Curse him,'' Dudley JJoud gritted. He'll never get the b es t of me again. But your words have armed me, Hopkins-armed me with weapons of power. We can charge this giltedged devil with being Jabez Carter the roadagent, and we're two to one ag'in' him. If we make the thing work, he's elected to favor the Lead villains with a tigh+rrope performance. Indeed, I candidly b elieve that he is the road agent." "So do I," the mule-driver declared, emphatically, "but you j es t leave it to me, and I'll m tercept that cuss, and drap him so quick as evyer a muskeeter sed his pravers. I will, you bet-sure's my name is Hank Hopkins, with the prefix of Horrible." __ dad, an' slipped her hand into tha pocket av me coat an' stole ivery rid cent I had. An' didn't I s'arch the hull city over 'thout findin' hide or hair av h e r1'' "Served you right. No busilless to l e t women pull wool over your eyes," the man with the black whiskers said. Divil a bit av wool was thar about it, sure, yer honor. She robbed me whin my eyes were open ontirely." "So much the bigger fool, you. By-the way, who have you for passengers to-night?" Gradually the man was approacning a point in the conversation more interesting to him. "Who have I aboard, is it?" Billyreplied, with an extra flourish of his long whip, surnamed the rib-tickler." Ah I it's a fine crowd I carry-as fine a crowd as iver wore a sprig av a shillelah over his pate, after a St. Patrick day's parade. Thar's the mon they call Professor Peabody, w'at is a rale blood of a gintleman; thin thar's Mike Malley and Dinnis McCarty, jist arrived over from the ould sodj thin there's a preacher, and a trapper, and a leady, your honor." "Ahl a lady, ehl''the stranger said1 elevating his shaggy eyebrows. "Young and nandsom e I dare say1" "Yis, sur, as as a pictur', but as cold as a slice av i ceberg. "Going to Leadville?" "Yis, sur: mebbe yez might know her, surMr. Stapleton's daughter." "No, I am -not personally acquainted with the The night following was a beautiful one, with family," the stranger replied, and then r elapsed starlit heavens, and the great full moon soaring into silence. through the clear sky, and casting her mellow Not so with Billv. rad!a n ce down among the m ountains and In a voice not wholly unmusical, h e sung gulches. snatches of popular Irish songs, and bad time to Through one of these gulches, upon either side crack his whip and curse the horses roundly in of which were mighty walls of mountain rock, the intervals. studded by tall, rak;ish pines, that l ooked spec-Away through the gloomy, rugged gulch-road tral, phantom-like in the moonlight, tore the in-sped the stage, the horses to a stiff trot, coming Leadville stage from Webster, the ho rses no matter how rough the trail might be in cer responding to the-crack of Jehu's whip, with tain places. snorts and leaps, that rocked and jolted the Woe be to those passengers on the inside who vehicle terribly. were of nervous temperament, for now the stage Billy M cGee was the driver of this and tore along over rocks and through ruts, some an expert linesman, too, but afllicted with too times threatening to capsize, when balanced, as great a gift of gab for his own good, said those it frequently was, on two wheels. who knew him. Not a whit cared Billy McCann for the com" Ob 1 wurra me darlint ll!ary, fort of his passengers, so long as h e harvested a A sister's n<>me waz Sarai., f air crop of their ducats in payment for the Her fayther kiJ?t a ferry. ride. And these h e always wisely demanded An' she roamed Mike McCann." in advance, as it was uncertain if the passengers sung Billy, right merrily, as h e cracked his long-would have a cent to their names when they lashed whip, and "tickled" the ear of the fore-got to the end of their route, because of the most off-horse of his six-in-hand. "Ahl b!fd freguent invitations of road-agents to give up luck to me same silf; I oughtto be rich, indade, their wealth. instead av dhrivin' stage ivery day." For road-agents there were-poiite, deft"You bad, e h1'' asked tho black-whiskered fingered gents of the trail, who rarely failed to stranger, in the serape and slouch hat, who sat stop the stages, and demand whatever valuables beside Billy upon the bsx. "What chance have might be aboard. I you ever bad to make a Billy knew them by heart-lrnew them in all "Oehl a divil of a question ye ask, now, yer their phases of character, and likewise knew honor. Sure didn't I work five years in Ny that it was advisable for him to stop the stage York at carryin' the hod, an' it was three dollars at their demand, rather than to ret a solid shot a day I saved and put in me empthy stockin'. I of leads.omewhere in his systeru. But, bad 'cess to me, thin along cum tha little Experience had taught him this wisdom, and darlint of a widder wid her blarney, an' she therefore when the black-whiskered strt.nger in whispered Iuv inter me ear, an' hugged me-bethe serape touched him firmly upon the shoul

    PAGE 16

    Gilt-Edged Dick. the Sport-Detective. der, and said "Halt I'' Billy had reason to be lieve "business was brewing." "Halt I" the stranger repea1;e purely AnglcrSaxon, but as purely white as marble ; her eyes were dark, and h e r brur of the same hue. She was richly attired; and/was an uncommon personage to be seen in the streets of the carbonate metropolis. "What b.rought him here'!'' she demanded, lips compressed. I do not know," the financier r e plied. "He has come at any rate and has elready estab lished his r eputation, by taking the pa.rt of a female street vagabond, knocking down Major Dudley Doud, and afterward fighting a street duel with him. Since the n I l P,arn that h e bas won t e n thousand dollars at cards in a single game." "Indeed!" '' Yes, and reportthas it that be was up look ing at the Vulture mine, this afternoon, with the view of purchasing it himself." "He must have become mor& flush of stamps of late than he was when-when" "When YO\l made a fool of yourself," Oliver Stapleton finished, sourly. "He is evidently rich, now. and if you had waited-" -"Bahl I'd rather b e excused," Miss Stapleton repli e d, with a sarcastic sneer. "Is the child with him!" "Yes. She is a smart little thing-bright and pretty as a d o ll " I care not. Are w e not 'most bome1 I am tired and sick of traveling and prefer to rest before agitating this questio n any further." "Yes-here is my hotel. Our rooms are upon the second floor, front, to the right of the hall. Shall I send you up some supper and wine'!'' "A glass of sherry, if you please. I do nt>t care for supper."

    PAGE 17

    J8 Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. And then Miss Stapleron s wept up the broad staircase, leaving her progenioor 1;o order the wine. Once in the elegantly appointed parlor of the financier's suit.a, she burst inoo a low, sarcastic laugh, which had in it the spice of venom. "Richard Webst.er here in Leadville! Hal ha! What a charming occurrence, to be sure, that we should meet again! And Dudley Doud is here, too-Dudley Doud, as evil-disposed a man as lives-yet I can twist him around my finr,:r, when I choose Then, there is poor, confiding papa1 who, although he has been a graduat.e in villainy, in his day, is too confiding 1;o live in this age. Little he dreams that his own daught.er can be a great.er villain than himself. Ahl Dick Webst.er, your divorced wife has come 1;o Leadville-not 1;o coitrt your favor, but 1.o renew the feud -to trample you beneath my feet and crush you. And there are marry way s 1;o d o it-many ways you do not dream of, perhaps. One is through the doll-faced child, whom I bat.a as cordially as if she were some vagrant's brat inst.ead of being my own flesh and blood. I will not kill her-no, I could not do that, but through her I will wring Dick W ebst.er's heart, until his very hair from gold to white. Gilt-Edged Dick, indeeal I wonder where he caught that name1 Hal ha! he will need to be gilt-edged, to turn aside my assault. Dudl e y Doud snail be my agent, roo-for what would he not do for me1 Poor, miserable fold! He adores the ground I walk upon-even calls me a beautiful-'' "Devil! exactly. A beautiful devil!" a cool voice exclaimed, and with a cold, i:p.ock.ing smile, the major st.epped into the parlor and confronted Miss Stapleton. CHAPTER VII. THE TIGRESS AND TIGER UNITE;}, YES, Dudley Doud it was, attired in the hight of fashion, and looking exceedingly dan dified. No man in Leadville pret.ended to wear fin e r clothes than the major when he was flush of wealth. Beautiful Devil!" he repeated, advancing into the parlor, where Miss Stapleton was standing. "Forgive me, my dear Louise, but I acc id entally overheard your soliloquy, and th:mght I'd st.ep in-and perhaps we could strike a bargain at 011ce. I am desperat.ely in need of funds, and you know a desperate man stops not at trifles." "Don't, eh1" Miss Stapleton replied, pushing him a chair. "Well, as I have seldom had the pleasure of seeing men despe1'ate, I cannot say. I am glad you have come, however. I want to test your old feelings for me-" Oh! my Louise, let me assure you that they are the same. The weakness for you has not faded, in the least, nor bas any othe r woman suf!Planted you in my afl'ections. glad. I am sure of you on my side, then." "Against the Gilt-Edged Sport, yes. B u t tell me, what is the myst.ery betwee n you and him, Louise?" "There is n o myst.ery," Miss Stapleton replied, laying aside her wraps, and becoming seated. Richard W ebst.er was once my hus band, but frocired a divorce from me. It is no secret-care not if all the world sh all know it." You then are the mother of the child?" "I am; but I hate the child even as I hate th e father." "You do!" "Idol" And it is your wish 1;o strike this Spori; a. blow 1 "Ay'l I shall strike him, and he shall find that it will be Iio baby blow. First, however, I intend to extort money from him, and you Dudley Doud, must help me in all my plots and schemes, and shall share equally with me in the sp0ils." You swear this'I'' "I do-and more: After I am satisfied with my vengeance upon Gilt-Edged Dick, I will marry vou, providing you can prove yourself as rich asl." It's a bargain. I will d evote my entire efforts to your servicei,. and to accruing a for tune, in order that .L may claim thee, my Louise. For my only hope in life is merged in you, and I care not what stands in my way, I will overcome the obstacle that I may claim you." You talk like a hero, Dudley Doud, and i f you faithfully execute my commands, you shall receive a just reward. I want to torture-Rich ard W ebst.er in every way that I can that is excruciating to him. I want 1;o rend his heart first, 1tnd then kill him afterward." "Ay, yes; I see You will kill the girl'I'' "No; I want none of h e r innocent blood upon my hands-not I. I will have her abducted, and place h e r where she will be as securely hid d e n as is Charley Ro;s. "And then extort money from the Gilt-Edged Sport'I'' Of course. H e shall pay handsom ely if he ever looks upon the fac e of the child again, once I 9et h e r in my power." Good! There are other ways to inflict tor ture, too,'' the major suggested, with an evil chucklll. "But leave them to me. I've a grudge against the Sport myself, and if I do r:ot make things hot for him, you may put me down as a failure. I will now bid you adieu and when you want m e, I am mos t generally to be found around the T ontine restaurant," '' V ery well; when I am ready to begin action you tvill be apprised ," Mi ss Stapleton said, bow mg him out in her cool, haughty way. The majo r went back 1;o the Tontine, took bis nightly ration of brandy, and then sought his lodgin gs f o r the night. In the morning he was up with the sun, and met HoITible Hank in front of the United States. The ruffian l y mnle-driver bad been upon a nocturnal spree, and looked consid erably the worse for it, one eye being bandaged, and a gash from his mouth to the left ear being covered with court-plast.er. In no amiable mood was the giant either, judging from the wayin which he paced to and ft v his fists doubled u p and hil forehead adorned with a scow l

    PAGE 18

    Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Def'ectlve. 17 Hello I" the major sal uted, as be saw the giant. "Who's been carving you1" "Thunder 'n' dtivils! who d'ye suppose the mule-driv e r gasped, bis uninjured optic flaming r e dly. "Who dye suppose, ye fool!" "Well, to be ca ndid, I haven't the slightest idea, Henry. I supposed you were too big to Jet uny one gou g e ye up in this shape "Big-1 Great H e llen Blazes! Major, thar's nary a male mortu l on ther face o' ther yeut'th, as kin wrassle wi' thcr great premium muleteer frum Webster City, an' I'll bet hi" h on't." a m I to understand that it was a woman inst.end of a man, who p ee led youP' "Yes, sir-ce, c t war a petticoater, and thet same petticoater who flayed you, major-she w'at calls herself Idaho Kit, cuss h er." "Inde ed! The girl 11ppears to be a very ti gress. How did you come to g e t into her claws!" "Oh I I followed her, the mule-driver grunt ed, rathe r sheepishly. "Sum galoot bet me I dassen't k etc h on te::ther gal and kiss her. Waal, neow ldon'tginerallyblufl', wu'th a cent, so I gambols oil' arter ther gal, an' w'en I over took her, I j es t daccntly asked her to l e t me samp)., ther ambrosial sweetness o her mug." '' Well, did she acquiesce to your demand ? " Great llelle u Blazes, no I she jest give a screech like a red-bot tarrant'ler, an' she clumb me like a streak o' lightnin' goin' up a telegrafl' pole, an' ther fu'st I knowed I didn't know noth m'. Results o' ther l?ame-an enlargement o' ther mouth f e r me, an one sp'iled eye!" "Why didn't')"ou shoot the vagabond!" "Shoot nothin' I She shot my senses out o' l!lle afore I had time ter say Jack Robinson. Thunder, but she's a tearer." So it would seem. I shall have to attend to 1the case, m1,self Where i s Sport, Gilt 'Edped Dick!' In ther bar-room, over at ther Vulcan sa loon reading the morning paper." The n come along. I am going to strike a blow at him, that will affect hi s popularity among these LeadviUains if a c hance offers. l think I have my cue all right. 1 will go ahead, and you may follow after me. Remember, yo u a.re to substantiate everything I say." Horrible Hank nodded Heunderst.ood perfectly what was expected of him, and reildy was he to engage in any piece of villainY.Jiack of which was a prospect of cash, or a of wh.lliky. The major strode down the street, until he came to a saloon known as the United States, when b e opened the door, and entered. Th0ugh early in the morning, the saloon was well-filled with miners and adventurers, and sitting at a tahle1 engaged in the perusal of a '(>aper, as he a cigar, was the Sport, Hilt-Edged Dick. Th e major saw him, and scowled darkly, but said nothing. Waiting a ch11nce was he to r.01>Dce upon the Sport, for he bad a score of ach .. mes 'ready in his mind, some of which he was sure must work. And a trap soon was opened. A. prominent speculator of the town entered liae sal oon and approached the tar. "Ocm you let me have a five-hundred-dollar note1 in exchange for five one hundreds, Malden! h e asked of the p roprietor. "Sorry, but I hain't any of that denomination," the sal oo nkeepe r replied. "But there's the Sport over there, who is pretty flush of stamp,s. Maybe h e can acco=odate you, general!' "Yes. I r ecko n I can," Gilt-Edged Di c k re p li ed, having overheard the conversatio n1 and from his vest-pocket he took a huge roll of oills, and extracted one from the l ot. This he hand ed to the spec ulator, who in turn gave him five one-hundred-dollar no tes. \ He was about hurrying from the sli.loon when Major Doud stepped forward and intercepted him. "Hold up, Mr. Pratt," he said. "Maybe this isn't any of my business, and again maybe I can be of some service to you, if you will let me see that note." "You may see it, certainly,'' the speculator replied, in eviden t rurprise. I trust it is all right." The major took the bill, gave it a glance, and then nodded knowingly as he handed it back. "Yes, Ws all right, maybe, if you are not sharp eno ugh to detect it-but the bill is feit I" -"Counterfeit!" the speculator echoed. Yes, counterfeit," the major assured. I had a bill that was a very duplicate to that, a short time ago." "What's this?" Gilt-Edged Dick asked, coming forward. Who says the bill I gave that gentleman is c
    PAGE 19

    18 Gilt-Ecl,r:ed Dick, the Sport-Detective. throwing the m u pon t he floor, and grinding them beneath his hee l fiercely. I have been swindled out o f ten thousand dollars and ac knowledge myself beat!" A murmur of astonishment ran through the crowd that had collected. The Sport stood gazing at the mass of crumpled bills upon the floor, a strange, deadly glit ter in his eyes. Major Dudley Doud took the cigar from his mouth, and blew a c loud of smoke into the air. You see how it is, gentlemen," he said, with quiet malice in his tone. This sportive individual did i:cidentally discover some more of the queer in his possession, and it strikes me that the very fact has a suspicious savol'I" "Waal, neow, ef it don't I'll nevyer lambaste another mule," Horrible Hank agreed. "Et 'pears kinder ter me like's if ther gilt-edged cuss warn't unaware o' thei: kind o' rhino he ker ried." "See here!" Gilt-Edged Dick said, quickly: I want no more of these insinuations. If the r e are those in. the crowd who believe that I am a professiona l counterfeit-shover, I want them to say so outright, and also want them to step out here and let me get one whack at them. I'll allow I came into this town to mind my own business, and to play a straight game, and I won't allow no man to run over me, or sling out hints he cannot back!" Oho! W ell1 maybe you think beca'se Y"' flopped ther maJOr ontf>r his back thet ther hull .town is afeard on ye Horrible Hank growled, with an ugly leer. ,! Mebbe ye calcylate thar ar' sum men as can't lick ye, or is afeard ter call ye a counterfeiter. " I am waiting for some individual to call me that!" the Sport replied coolly, as he drew a re vol ver from a sling upon his hip and deliberately cocked it. I had just as soon make business for the undertaker now as at any other time, providinothe timbel' is furnished me. I am not at""1tll particular as to who the man is, either." "I believe you intend that hint for me!" the major said, with a scowl; "but I do not grasp at it. I am too wise to accuse a man of anything that cannot be proven. The circumstance of your finding yourself in possession of so much bogus wealth certainly must be regarded as suspicious, and until we find you not guilty of an attempt to swindle our citizens, I r&om mend that you surrender yourself to the cus tody of the jail-keeper." "Keerectl thet's a fair an' square shake, an' ef ye kin prove thet ye're a reg'lar calendar saint, an' unguilty o' ther C@eer, we, ther representatives o' ther town, will amend <>ID' constitoochinal by-laws and have you released. "I think not!" Gilt-Edge replied calmly. In the first place, I have not surrendered yet, nor do I intend to, until some more forcible argument be brought to bear on me. I perceive that it is the ooinion of you two rascals that I am guilty of fotentionally passing counterfeit money, although you are too cowardly to admit it openly. Now, I do not care if you do think me guilty, or if the whole town thinks me guilty. I declare my innocence to one and all, and I'll dro p the first man dead in h is tracks who offers to raise-a hand against me. Carry the news to Mary, for I mean business, and if you doubt it, begin to spill yourselves onto me j ust as quick as you please." The situation was now exceedingly interest ing. The blonde Sport stood with his back against the rear wall of the saloonhwith two cocked revol vers instead ef one in is hands, and both of them leveled upon the crowd, who stood agape, with Major Dudley Doud and Horrible Hank as relieffigures in the front of the rest. There the crowd sto<>d, some of them scow ling while others looked uncertain. No love bad these Leadvillites for men who shoved the queer, or who were light-fingered, or still less compassion had the y for a horse thief. And now that they stood in front of a coun terfeiter:, was their will to fall upon him and destroy nim. But the prevailing will appeared uot to be backed by the requisite courage. To venture into the jaw$ of death did not seem to bo an enticing thing to these sons of carbon, and there fore they hesitatod "Come on!" Gilt-Edged Di c k called out "don't stand there wanting to, but' yet afraid: As I r emarked before, I'll shoot the first man dead in bis tracks who off PJrs to raise a band against me." CHAPTER vm. THE MAJOR'S EVIL ATTEMPT-SHOT! "YES, come on I Are you all cowards that r.ou hesitate to do your duty?" the major cried. 'Go, take the Sport, you citizens of the town, as becomes men of your stamp, and hold him in custody until be can prove that h e did not in tentionally attempt to pass tho counterfeit bill." "Y as I waltz right up ter him, like a flock o' hornets, an' tickle him under the ribs-use persuasive language emanating from the r muzzle of a six-shooter, an' inwite him ter a festival over yonder in ther jail!" assented the mule.. driver, in delight. Strong as were these suggestions, they had not the effect to advance the smoldering, angry elements. The cold steel tubes of Gilt. Edge d Dick's revolvers were calibered for twelve deaths, and some of those who ventmed forward to capture the blonde Sport, were bound Ui intercept some of these flying bullets; they baa. no heroic desire to court martyrdom and therefore they hesitatedwere literally heid at baJ by one man. 'Gentlemen," Mr. Pratt, the speculator, said, :looking over the crowd, calmly, "I think you have no cause for this sudden hostility against the Sport. To my positive knowledge he did play a game of cards for ten thousand dollars a side, with one John Smith, a few nights since, and got beat, and Smith raked in his stakes, leaving bis own upon the board. Another game was played, and the Sport won, and I distinctly remember that-Smith shoved Web ster over his stake, so that there was a mutual interchange of money . I saw all this Ill:Yself, or I should be in favor of arresting the Sport,.

    PAGE 20

    Gilt-Eciged Dick, the Sport-Detective. 19 myself. As the matter stands I have no charge t,o make against him." "You are a fool!" Major Doud growl ed, sav agely, seeing that he had no chance no'I!.> to catch his enemy. "If I had my say, this u-iltEdged individual should prO'Ve beyond perad venture how he came into posses:;ion of the counterfeit money. I do not believe in letting .criminals escape unpunished!" Then, am I to understand that you consider me a criminaH" Dick d emanded, approaching, coolly. "Yes! curse you, you arti a criminal a coun terfeit-shover, and moreover, in all llke lihood you are Jabez Carter the road-agent. There, now-refute the charges, if you dare!" Well, I do r efute them, by pronouncing you an unmitigated liar!" the Elport r eplied stern ly. "It is evident you have not got your fill of satisfaction from me, my pilgrim, and I will give you more rope t o work in." And raising his arm, the blonde i ceberg," as some one had nicknamed him1 slapped the major fairly across the mouth with the flat of his hand-a terrible blow it was, that sent the candidate staggering back t.o the floor. With out pausing to note the effec t of his act, the Sport then stepped to the bar, relit his cigar, and sauntered leisurely from the saloon as i f nothing had happened, for not a band was raised t.o hinder his exit. Straight to the Tontine the Sport went, and to the sectio n of rooms which he liad secured for his accommodation, consisting of a little parlor and two small bedchambers. Little Pearl was seated at a window, idly thrumming upon a handsome guitar, but laid it aside and StJrung to the Sport's embrace, as he entered. "Papal papal I am so glad you have come," she said, throwing her arms about bi s neck, as the stalwart Sport r aised her in his own strong arms. I got so frightened, while you were out-so scared." "What! my little pet get frightened? What at, pray? I supposed she was as brave as the bravest!" And the Sport sat down upon the mfa with the little maiden upon his knee, and softly stroked her beautiful hair. Tell me, dea1:.,_ what was it that frightened you?" "uh! papa! it was a woman-a nice-dressed, stylish-looking woman, such as I have often dreamed was my mamma. She came along down the sidewalk on the other side of the street, and when she got opposite our rooms s h e paused, looked up, and shook her fist at me." Pshaw I You only imagined the fist-shaking part did you not, my child1'' "No! papal indeed I did not. I saw h e r do it, and she scow led at me in a.n angry manner." "We ll! what then?" "Then she went on down the street, I don't know where." Gilt-Edged Dic k was silent, a shadow lurking upon his forehead. Evidently h e had recog n ized the woman by Little Pearl's description; the gleam that now shot into his eyes was sim ple assurance that he <'Ould be defiant. The woman is evidently an old enemy of mine, dear," he said, stroking the child's hair, softly-" a bitter enemy, with ingemrlty enottgh in scheming for a brace of arch-devils. B1lt she cannotharm Y0"-'1Y little Pearl, if you are brave and regard the instructions I have often given you. Have you your pistol with you, pet?" "Yes, papa!" And from a pocket in her dress the child brought a small gold-m ounted revolver, whose sights j'Vere set with diamonds. "Here it i!!." Very good. Yonder upon the door-case crawls a fly. Let me see if you have forgotten how to brush i t off." The little maiden smiled up into bis eyes, confidently i then turning she cocked her tiny wea pon, ana fired wi h astonishing quic kness. Rising, Gilt-Edged Dick crossed the r oom. and found the fly lying upon the carpet, minus one of its wings. "Well done," he said, catching the child aga.in in his embrace and kissing her raptur. ously. You are a better marksman than I, P ea rl. And if any one offers to do you harm, you must serve him or her the same as you did the fly. Above all, look out for the woman who shcok her fist at you. Remain c l osely your r oom, and you will not be harmed. I wm. see that the security of the house i5 extended you." "Yo u are not going to leave me, papa?" "Yes, my child, for a short time I must leave you here to look out for yourself. I have business to attend to which demands my whole attention, and I may be absent some days. But you will not be afraid, my pet, will you?" "No papa! I will be very brave, and trust in the Llrd. He will helpme through." Right, little one. H e will watch over the innocent." And then kissing hEr again and again, the Sport took his departme. Descending first to the restaurant underneath, h e gave the courteous proprietor some instruc tions in regard to littlePearl; then he-lit a cigar and went out upon the street. By a previou s order a hostl e r had aheady brought around his superb horse, and leaping into the saddle the Sport galloped away toward California gulch l eisu r e ly, exciting many complimentary re marks from spectators who admired bis saddle pose. Away he dashed, entering the deep gulc h which was a wing of the town, and following along its rufi:ged bottom until c ivilizati o n had been left behmd, and he found himself in a wild, mountainous country, where solitude reigned supreme. Here b e dismounted, and secured bis horse to a strong sapling; then changed his rifle from the saddle-bow to his shoulder, and continued on. On up the mountain side with sweeping strides, following a well-beaten trail and keep ing his gaze roving on either side, went the Sport. Evident it was that b e was in search of something, but what, one could not determine by any move or act of his. For s everal hours h e continued on, w inding up and around the mountain through pine and brush, as if endeavoring to reach the extreme

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    90 Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. At last he emerged upon a. narrow ledge of rock, and paused to get a brya.th of the pure :tlower-;;cented a.ir that wafted down from the nor'west. As he did so1 there came the sharp twang of a rifle, and he staggered back a pace, a stinging sensation in the breast. Before he could collect his senses, the rifle cracked again, and a bulle t glanced across his temple, and h e f ell -to the ground inse nsibl e the blood spurting from the w o unds in Lreast and forehead. Evidently the assassin had aimed to kill, and had n o t come far short of bis mark. For a n h our the Sport lay upon the very edge of the l edge as still as though h e were dead; then foot steps came down tlie m ountain, and later a woman glided onto the plateau with a little cry of horror. She was pretty of form,_and _young in years evidently, for her step posSessed elasticity, and her form the roundness of y o uth. She was clad in a serviceable costume of buckskin, the skirt reaching to a prett y pair 1 of anklei; and f ee tl which w ere inca.sed in buckskin leggings a.nu moccasins. H e r face was covered with a full mask; a slouch ha.t upon her head finishing h e r cos tumE\. Evidently she had s ee n the Sport from above for she ran forward, and knelt by his sid e with a low cry of anxiety. "Thank IS n o t dea:d!" she murmured, after placing her ear to his breast, but he i s wounded, and cannot long survive unless the :tlow of blood is stanche d. I wonde r if I can carry him?" Stooping she raised the inse nsibl e Sport bodily in her arms, and. staggered across the ledg e to an aperture in the roc ks, whic h pro v a d to be the entrance to a cave. Into it she m a d e h e r stag gering way, bravely, the great w eight o f her burden causing h e r to pant. The cavern proved to b e a large one of con siderable width, and great l e n g th. Evidently it was one of the w onders of nature' s hand, for surely no huma n had ever wrought out the great apartment in the heart of the mountain. Back through the who le l ength of the cavern did the girl carry the inse nsible Sport, until she came to an op ening similar to that which she had first entere d. The cavern a t this point was turned into an abode, evidently, for there was a couch of skins, som e cooking utens il s and sto o ls. The masked m aide n laid the Sport upon the couch, and darting out of the cavern was gone for a f e w moments returning finally with a basin of w ater. This she applied to the Sport's forehead, and to his wounds, whic h had by this time nearly stopped bleeding. The wound in h i s l eft breast was not dangerous but the
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    Dlek, the Sport-Detective. "Perhaps not. But mark me, I shall bit,e back, yet. I do not often allow a pilgrim to get ahead of me. You know my mission in this country-cannot we strike a bargain by which you are to give up the road-agent and counter feiting gang? You evidently have no love for Jabez Cart.er, and the r e are enough rewards afloat to make you rich, besides allowing me a liberal compensation for my trouble." Coral Carter shook h e r head, quickly. "Nn, sir, you can make no such bargain with me. Although I am a firm believer in justice, and an enemy of all criminals, I am bound by a t.errible oath never to betray my father or any member of his gang, and I never break my word You will have to seek anothe r to aid in your mission, than me." CHAPTER IX. IDIOT IKE ON \OHE WAR-PATH. "VERY :well, lady. I will not att,empt to persuade you against your will. I might have known you would refuse to betray your father, be be eve r so crue l a parent," Gilt-Edged Dick said considerat.el)'. "Were it not for my oath, I should not hesitate to betray Jabez Cart.er and bis gang, and aid in their delivery to justice," the masked maiden declared. H e has no claim upon me that I honor, except my oath. He is a heart less wretch, equally cruel to every one, even bis own tools who serve him. Were be a thousand times my father, and engaged in unlaw ful business, I would betray him to justice, but for my oath. That I cannot break." "Nor will I ask you to, l ady. I am satisfied that you would aid me were it in your power. I believe you to be a friend to honesty and jus tice, and accordingly you are my friend. Let me ask you one more you live in the outlaws' stronghold!'' "Part of the time-a very small part, too, for I am ever roving about." "But you have free access to the r etreat?" "Yes-I come and go as I please. T he money which Smith swind!ed you out of I will en deavor to restore to you. That I can do with ut breaking my oath." "Do so, a d it shall pay you well, for your reward shall not be small, lady. Although by no means beggared by the loss of so large a sum, I felt it ke enly," the Sport said, bowing. "Now, if you will show me way Lead ville lies, I will thank you for your kindness to me, and endeavor to get hack to my hotel." "No, I cannot allow that yet. You are wound ed, and it is not safe for you to attempt to reach Leadville until you are sutficietly re Etored. You must remain here, and yov shall have tlttbest care I can bestow upon you." I will remain a short time if you insist, but it cannot be lon g I have other business to att.end to in Leadville, and must get to work as soon as possible." Coral Carter now moved about, and from various nic h es in the cavern wall brought forth coffee and roasted meat, and placed them at the Sport's disposal. Then bidding him remain quiet until shti returnea she left the and Dick saw no more of her for several hours. But 1\e c11ncl11ded that she had gone to the road-agent stronii;hold1 probably in searc h of the gambler Smim, with a view to regaining p()!IS0SSion of the Sport's money. This was only a conjecture, however, and Dick waited impatiently for her return. The woman of the little cabi.n in Stray Horse Gulch had died A few miners and their wives fro;i;n the ad joining cabins, had dropped in wh e n apprised of the fact by the sniveling, idio t ic creature who people had said was her son . The y found a stiffening, rigid form surmount ed by a distorted face; evident it was the woman had died in great pain. Poverty and distress were everywhere present in the cabin; so the miners set to work and nailed up a coffin shaped pine box, and the miners wives laid out the stiffened form. At sunset it was buried, n ear the cabhl, only a little knot of neighbors being present, for nothing co uld be found or had been seen of Idiot I ke since morning. H e bad last been see n upon the mountain, with his rifle upon his shoulder, acting in a wild mamaer, and some one had prophesied that he would soon end his miserable existe nce. But they reckoned wrongly. That night Idiot Ike was roving about the streets of Leadville, with a burning glitter m his eye, having no apparent object in his move ments more than to watch the mass of humanity that su r ged to and fro. This seemmg indifference, however, was de ceptive. With the eyes of a hawk he scrutinized every face sharply, as if trying to recog nize the man he so u ght. All the evening he lounged about the street, first in one place and then in another, watch ing and waiting with the patience of a fox hound. Nobody paid him the attention, for he was not at all an attractive personage, with bis great head covered by a shock of reddish hair, his wild staiing eyes, and contorted mouth. No one knew or cared for him, consequently he was not noticed, particularly. Until ten o'clock at night h e lingered in the street, when his eyes suddenly emitted a ; enom ous sparkle as he saw Miss Stapleton, the finan cier's daughter, pass along. Evidently she was the one h e had been wat<'h ing for, for his teeth shut with a strange click, and h e l eaned forward, with a frightful scow l upon his face. After she h a d proceeded some distance up the street, he stole silently after her, but carrying himself in s uch a way that no one mightsuspect his de sign. If Miss Stapleton walked fast he walked fast-if she walked slowly, h e fohowed her exampl e in that respect, k eeping at a regular distance in her rear. At last she reac-he
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    Jal Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. ing before the mirror removing her hat. With a chuckle, he pushed the door further ajar, and darted in, closing and loCting it behind him. Miss Stapleteu wheeled around from her position before the mirror, and uttered a little scream of horror when she saw him, her face turning even whiter than was its natural tint. "Mercy I Who are lou? What do you want! What do you mean'I' she gasped, trembling with fear and apprehension. Idiot Ike grinned maliciously, and drew a long-bladed knife from his boot-leg, in a sug gestive fashion, and whetteditdeliberatelyur;on his instep. "You be old Stapleton's gal, not?" he de manded, when he had sharpened the blade to his satisfaction. "You be old Stapleton's gal, what is rich as Crcesus or sum other cuss!" Yes, I am Louise Stapleton. Surely you do not mean me harm!" the financier's daughter said ready to faint with terror. "I reckon," the idiot replied, with a foolish grin. "You be old Stapleton's darter, an' I be old Stapleton's son. My mammy is dead. She told me to hate you and old Stapleton, be cause you deserted us. I'm goin' to cut off your head and use it for a foot-ball. Ho! ho!" "Ohl mercy! m ercy! Spare me! spare me! I never harmed you, sir-I never hurt you-I do not even know who you are.'! "But I know who you are-you're old Stapleton's gal, and you be my sister, an' I hate ye," was the reply. u I come and kill you just for fun. Then I kill old Stapleton, too, for mammy said so." And with a chuckle the idiot glided nearer, flourishin g the gleaming blade and grinning horribly. With loud screams Miss Stapleton retreated, step by step, h e r terror knowing no bounds. To be murdered thus in cold blood was a horrible thought, and murder, evidently, was the idiot's intention. But the crime was destined not to be committed, for the door was burst open, and Major Dudley Doud leaped into the room. Evidently he had heard Miss Stapleton's screams, and instantly comprehending the situation, he seized the idiot by the collar and jerked him to the floor. Then springing upon him, he held him down where he had fallen. "Let me up I let me up I" the idiot growled, savagely. "Let me up, or I'll cut your heart out." "No you won't,'' the major assured, triumphantly. "I've got you down, and I'm going to hold you until you are safely bound. Miss Stanleton can you procure a rope and assist me!1 The financier's daughter assented by procuring straps from an adjoining room, and binding the feet and wrists of her assailant. In a few minutes the idiot was safely secured. "Cus.5 ye I" he gritted glaring first from one to the other: I'll be the death o' ye, yet. I'll cutyourheartsoutand use 'em for fox-bait. He! he! foxbiteatheart bait, you bet. He! he! he!" We'll see about that, directly," the major said. "Miss Louie, my dear, do you know who the C'reature is'I'' "No more than that he is evidently demented, and asserts that he is my brother," Milll Stapleton replied. "Hal ha! now that's pretty good. Your brother, eh? Why the chap must certainly be crazy, or else you have neglected to mention this member of your family to me." "I'm not crazy.'....I m a fool!" Ike announced. "Idon'tknowanything-I'manidiot. He! he!" "So I should judge. Louie, my dear, what do you propose to do with the fellow! He is evidently a dangerous person to be abroad." "I don't know, just at present. Gag him and leave him in the other room. My father can attend to him when he comes I was jwst out upon the street looking for you. I have busi ness I" Good. I never was in more readiness than now." Well, the Sport, Gilt-Edged Dick, is missing -has not been seen sinl)e morning. Do yon know what bas become of him!" "No, I do not." Well, he is gone, and the child is yet at; the Ton tine. Now is our best chance to abduct her I" "Howl Give's the twig, ana I'm ready.n Easy You go and disguise. your self and inqrure at the hotel for Gilt-Edged Dick's daughter. When she is produced you can explain that you were sent for her by Dick, who is dying at a cabin up in Stray Horse Gulch. This will effectually ward off suspicion, and the child will accompany you, until you meet me in Stray Horse. I will then determine what shall be done with her." The major bowed, and after a few more words1 hauled the idiot into an adjoining room, ana then took his departure. To his own lodgin gs he went, and soon suc ceeded in effectually disguising himself by the addition of false beard and wig, and an ex change of c lothing. He then took himself to the Tontine1 and sought out the proprietor, whom he found m the bar-room. "Good-evening,n the disguised villain said. "I am in search of a little girl who was left in yourcharge bya fellownamed Gilt-Edged Dkk. He told me I would find h e r in your care." "Yes, I have such a child in my care, but 1 also have orders from Gilt-Edged Dick not to l e t her leave the hotel under any pretext," the pro prietor replied I know-he told me so, but at that time the poor fellow did not calculate upon being hurt and he told me to tell you it would be all right if you gave the little one over into my charge." "Hurt, did you say'I'' "Yes. He was up where they were at the Redowa mine to-day, and a tilly piece of rock entered his breast from the blast. Ther cool galoot didn't say much, but sunk to ther ground, and on examieation we found thet he war bleedin' like a stuck pig. We finally got. ther flow checked, but he told us it wotV.in't do no good, as he war bleedin' internally. So we carried him over to my shanty, and he tolcl. me ter cum an' fetch ther little 'un, a. .he wanted ter soo her afore he died. I reckon .,. ..s paper's what'll explain." And the disiroised major handed tb0proprietor

    PAGE 24

    GHt-lldged Dick, the Sport-Detective. 13 of the Tontine a scrap of paper1 which he had t:l)oughtfully provided himself with before start ing out on his villainous mission. It was a ragged scrawl, meant to imitate the ba11dwriting of a man whose nerves were un steady, and read as follows: "DEAR Sm:-1 run wounded-dying, I guess, and I want to see my little daughter. Give her in charge of the bearer of this note, and it will be all right. H Gn..T-EDGED DICK." The restaurant proprietQr read it over several times, and the n gazed at the disguised major keenly. "I don't know about this,'' be said, thought fully. It is an entirely different style of chirography from that used by the Sport when he registered here. And the fact that I have heard nothing of the reported a.ccident makes me be liev e that there is some villainy back of all this. What is your name, sir?" "William Wallace, I reckon. By occupation, I am a miner." The proprietor paced across the room and back thoughtfully, Dudley Doud watching narrowly. "I have decided not to let the child go," the proprietor answered, finally. I was ordered not to let her go under any preUlxt, and by keeping her until the Sport calls for her, I shall only be following his instructions." Very well. If this is your deci s ion, I am not to blame as I have fulfilled my mission. The Sport wili :probably never see his child, as be was fast nearmg death when l came away." And with the words, the foiled villain turned as if to leave the room. He calculated that perhaps his last words would move the proprietor and cause him to r.ivoke his decision. And h e had calcu lated c9rrectly, for the pro prietor did change his mind, and called him back just as he was about to leave room. Hold on I've about made up my mind that you can take the child if she is willing to go. I scarcely know what to believe Perhaps the instinct of the child will be keen e r than mine, and if so she will refuse to go, and I shall gratify her wishes by k eeping h er." Calling a waiter, h e dispatched him for Little Pearl-G'.ilt-Edge's child. The major was triumphant, for he felt sure that his plot, or rather that of Miss Stapleton, was about to prosper. The servant soon r eturned, l eading Pearl by the band, and gave her to the proprietor, who r aised h e r upon bis knee, admiringly. "Little girl, this man,'' pointing to the dis guised Dudley Doud, has come, he says, to take yo u to your papa, who he says was badly hurt to-day, and wants to see you. Do you want to go with him.1" Pearl's big blue eyes gazed straight at the villain, searchingl y and stRadily, until he was force d to flin ch. She saw his evident agitation, and shivered. "No! no! I do not want to go with him. He is a bad, wicked man!" sbe said. "But you shall go, my girl!" the major suddenly hissed in a passion, and springing forward he dealt the proprietor a blow in the face, of stunning force, seized the child in bis arms, and leaped toward the door. Ere any one could stop him, he was in the street, which at this 'late hour was quite de serted. A saddled horse stood in front of the Tontine; into the saddle h e vaul ted, and a mo ment later was speeding madly down the street at the top of the animal's speed CHAPTER X. THE SPORT TO THE RESCUE. BULLET after bullet was fired at him, but withot apparent effect; then some of the bolder ones pocmed horses, and set out in pursuit. But this, too, was uselellS1 foi: by the time they were ready to start the disguised major and bis captive were far away. A few miles from town in the dark depths of Stray Horse Gulch, he met Miss Stapleton, by which time poor little P earl had fainted from sheer affright. The financier's daughter was well mounted, and wrapped in a heavy c loak, with a vail drawn ove r her face to conceal her identity. ".Ahl you've got her, eh?" she demanded, as Dudley Doud rode up. Yes, by stealing her at the risk of my life. You needn't say now that I will do nothing m your cause." "!'heard the firing, and concluded that yo u were having trouble. Did you get burtP' "No, although some of the bullets flew pretty c l ose to my bead. What are you going to do with this brat?" "I scarcely know. The people I bad hoped to leave her with are gone. Do you not kno w of some safe retreat wher e I can hide It.er forever from the world?" "Hardly from the world, for civilization strides rapidly oni and encroaches upon all nooks and hiding-p aces. There is an old hag above here, who is partially demented-perhaps you might make terms w1th her." "Then, lead on, and I will bargain with her. Is the child in a faint?" Yes, I reckon she got skeered purty badly." Without further words Dudley Doud led the way, Miss Stapleton following close behind him. The patience of Gilt-Edgect Dick was about. exhausted when finally he heard a footstep, and to his surprise, the Girl Sport, Idaho Kit, came bounding into tbe cavern-the same cool character in whose behalf he bad once intercededthe same bnndoome sharp who bad fleeced the Leadvillites out of their ducats, by the sin1ple twist of the wrist and the nimblenPss of hPr fin gers, combined perhaps with the nimbleness o f her tongue. Her face was now flushed, and even prettier than before, and her eyes flashed excited l y. You must get out o' beer,'' she said The captain has discovered by spying around thet you're beer, an' he's climbin' up b ee r like two forty on the half-shell!" ''You mean Cart.er, the r oad-agent?'' "Yes, tbetsameidentical cuss. Obi hedon'i; luv ye more than S()me bull families, I reckon and your hest bolt is to p u ckacbee!" "But tbe girl-Coral Carter!" Dic k said-" I was waiting for her. She was to bring me back the cash, out of which I was swindled, in Leadville."

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    Gilt-Edged D ick, the Sport-Detective. Idaho Kit laghed. "No use waitfu.' fer her, as she is as uncertain as &'town-clock. Ef she said she'd come back, ye can about calculate she won t do nothin' o' the kind. H e llo! you're wounded, eh!" Yes, slightly; but am yet bett.er than two dead men Do you know the way out of this place'I'' "Yes, I reckon so. If you've got any shoot in'-irons, ye'd better pull 'em out, and look at 'em, fer most likely we'll git a blaze at the agents, afore we git out o' ther wilderness. W'at ever fetched you out into the mountains!" "A desire to capture this road-agent, Jabez Carter, and bring him to justice," the Moun tain Sport and D etective confessed. Some one shot me on my way hither, and the roadagent's daughter brought m e in here and cared for me." "Do you know who salivated you!" "No. I only wish I did." "We ll, I can accommodate you with a little information on the subject. I recently saw the ruffian, Horrible Hank, lurking in the vicinity and reckon it was him." Very likely. H e probably was dogging me at the instigation of the man called Major Doud. I shall endeavor to effec t a permanent settlement with them both. I am ready to go, now." Idaho Kit nodded and led the way out of the cavern by the same route by which Dick had first entere d L eaving the cavern, they descended the mountain-s id e, the Girl Sport l eadi n g the way care fully, and cautiously As light and graceful of step as a fawn was she, and just fitted for the wild, rollicking life of a mountain guide. An hour of toil broue;ht them among the footing s, and they shortly reached the gulch bottom, where Gilt-Edge found his horse still tethered. "I will bid you good-by, here," Idaho Kit said, extending her hand, and see you later in Leadville. I guess you can do the distance betwi'!'t h ere and there without any danger." "I r eckon. I thank you for your trouble; when you need h e lo of auy kind, come to me." The n Gilt-Edge:l Di ck mounted and galloped away toward L aadville, arriving there late in the night, as it was dark when he left Idaho Kit. Before the T ontiue he stoppad, and dismount ing, entered the restaurant. On entering, the first man he encountered was the proprietor, who lo oked suddenly guilty as he saw the Sport. "You've heard about it!" h e inquired stopping the Sport, h esitatin gly-" you've heard about it!" Heard about what! I have heard of n oth ing-came straight from the m ountains here. What do you mean!" Webster demanded, some lik e a suspicion of the truth entering his mind. "Why-whv-your child-your little girl has been abducted." "Been abducted!" Gilt-Edged Dick fairly yelled. "Man, do not tell me a lie about this!" "Indeed. I am not lying," the proprietor as-sured. And then, as best he could, he relat.ed the facts of the capture of little Pearl. Gilt-Edged Dick heard him through With a face that had turned suddenly white, but was as. outwardly calm as the stoical Sport himself. Whatever were his emotions, he evidently did not choose to make a display of them in public, for a score or more had gathered around to note the effect of the n ews upon him. There was, however, a gleam in his eyes that betokened no good to the offender. I think I know the agfmcy of the abduction of my child,'' he said, coo lly. "Was not the abductor about like this Major Doud you have here, in size and e:ait!" "Pe rhaps, yes, ;r the restaurateur replied; "but surely you would not suspect the major of such a hand!" As quickly as I would suspect a cat of catch ing a robin.._ had she a fair chance," Gilt-Edge r ep lied l s the major in town now! If you can find him, I'll forfeit a gold eagle." And Gilt-Edge41 Dick turned and left the saloon. On the porch o f the Tontine he paused and gazed up and down the street. Louise is in town, and this is her accursed work. although I am satisfied that Doud was the abductor," he muttered to himself. ''Poor little Pearl! If s h e has fallen into the merciless hands of Louise Sta_pleton, there is no telling what indignities she may suffer, although I do n o t believe they would kill h e r. No doubt the abduction i s part of a plan to extort money from me. But they shall fail, curse themlthey shall find that I can beat them both at their own game. If Louise Stapleton is in her lod gings; I must see h er. She shall give me up my chila or I 'vill tear out her heart and tread upon it with my feet!" The decision made, h e ordered his horse taken care of, and then se t off up the street toward the h ote l where the Stapletons stopped, for he had previously taken pams to acquamt himself with this item of knowledge. Arrived at the hotel, he did not enter the waiting-room, but a scended the staircase to the first landing, where he was fortunate enough to meet a chambermaid, who, in consideration of a quarter, condescended to point out the rooms occ upied by the Leadville finan c i e r and his Without invitatio n or ceremony, the Sport enter ed the parlor of the suit, to find it in darkn ess, and empty, at that. With matches he soon lighted a lamp, however, and proceeded to investigate. Th e parlor being tenantles, h e entered one of the s l eeo in g only to find that empty also. The next one visited, however, offered a di sc:losure. Upon the floor, h e lpl essly bound and gagged, lity Idiot I ke, where h e had been left by Dudley Doud. "Hello! what does this mean?" Gilt-Edged Dick muttered. There has been foul play h e r e, evidentl y. I wonder who this inclividual is, anyhow, and how h e cam e in this fix'I'' A couple of sweeps of the Sport's knife freed tb.e idiot of his bonds and gag, and at once he was upon his feet.

    PAGE 26

    Gilt-Edged Dlek. the Sport-Detective ' He gave the Sport a grateful g l a n ce, and w ould have darted from the room, only t hat Dick interrupted him. "Hol d on," he said firmly, drawing a revolver, and confronting the idiot. "Don't:OO in a hurry. If you don't mind, I'd like to intervJ.ew you as to how you came in-here, in such a fiX." The iwot looked suddenly sullen. "I cum here ter see my sister, and she an' an other galoot held ther most trumps, an' won, he replied, with a grin. Your sister?-not Miss Stapleton?" "Yas, old Stapleton's gal. He be my daddy, and I be bis gal's brother. They deserted me an' mammy, an' I kill e m, yet. Gilt-Edge immeiliately saw pretty near how matters stood. Years before when, in a blind moment, he v had wedded Louis e Stapleton, he had learned \ t:hat there was a s keleton in the family closet, I but just what was its nature h e had not been able to ascertain. This idiot then was a di so wned offspring of Oliver Stapleton I Richard Webster gave vent to a low whistle of surprise at the discovery. "Then your siste r turned against you?" Yes, cuss h e r "Who was with her?" A man came in and attacke d me from be-hind " OQ.I What was bis name?'' She called him Dudl ey D oud." "Ah! The tiger and the tigress have formed a partnership, then? What is your name, young man?" "I'm Idiot Ike, fer short; I'm a fool!" and the speak er's face s uddeilly assumed a broad "Ohl vou're a fool, eh?" Gilt-Edged DJCk r e plierl, d1:yly. "Perhaps; but I s h o uld not be surprised if those who think you a r e afool arE1 the greatest fools. Where did this worthy sister of yours go?" "Why do you want to know?" Ike d em anded, \ a little so urly. "Beca u se s h e has don e me a great wrmag, and I wish to find her." Then ye ain't h e r friend?" D "No-more her enemy than h e r friend, J: V reckon." The n I'm vow friend. I'm a fool, but mebbe I kin be o' sum service to you. The gal an' Dl5ud l eft me layin' here, and Doud went furst, an' the gal afterward. Th ey were goin' to st;eal some little girl, an' take her o ff into the mountains, I r eckon, fTom what I could under stand." "Exactly," Dick srud. quietly. "The little girl was my c hild, and they have s u cceeded in capturing h e r. Did you bear them speak of e x torting money from Gilt-Edged Dick?" Yes. I beard 'em say sumtbing like it. ting all you can down to memory. When you' learn anything that you think will be interest-j ing to me, report, at the Tontine, where you will probably find me." All right. When I get hungry-what then 1" "Oh! as to that, here is gold-ten dollars. When you get hungry, sneak cautiousl y out1 and get you something to eat. Then, sneak oack again. Do you understand? Y e s. I will h elp you, because you hate my enemies. I will h elp you to crush them, like a worm beneath your feet." "And crush them I will!" Gilt-Edged Dick said, fiercely, as he turned and left the room. After he had gone Ike Stapleton extinguished the light, 'and sat down upon a cfiair in the darkness, his head bowed upon his hands. "Yes, so will I crush' them,'' he muttered, hoarsely. "I am a fool, and have always been a fool, and shall always be a fool, but I still know enough to fight my enemies. Ha I ha, yes-when I am mad I am most Eane and sensi ble. I am mad now, and I'll serve Gilt-Edged Sport and likE)wise serve myself I have not forgotten the oath tha t mammy taught me-the vengeful oath t o kill Oliver Stapleton who deserted her, and left her upo n the cruei merciPS of the world. Ho! ho! how I will triumph, wheia I run the game down to the death!" The whole appearance of the idiot seemed to have undergone a sudden change. The vacant stare was t,,one from bi s eyes; his form appear ed po ssessea of more than usual strength; his muscles worked as if he were in the act of be ginning a pitch e d battle with somebody. F o r some time he r e mained in this condition; then the sound of footsteps ascending the stairs seemed to arouse bjm fro m a reverie and he s kulked from the parlor into the bedroom. A moment later Oliv e r Stapleton entere d the r oom, and after a considerable furn bling around, and a good deal of swearing, h e succeeded in lighting a lamp. "Where can Louis e have gone?" h e grow1ed1 on glancing into either s leeping apartment and not discoverinj!; h er. It is apprcaching morning, and s h e s h o uld be in h e r bed Con found the gi rl I s upp ose I sha ll have to wait for her. Off with that Dudley Doud, no doubt, the Lord on l y knows where." The Leadvi ll e financie r bad evidently been imbibing the ardent too freely, and the effec t was extreme n ervo u sness, for be g l anced around him sharply before seating him se lf. Evrn after be bad lighted a cigar, and took up an evening paper, be orca!'-icnally g l anced arr.und a s if not quite satisfied-as if taving a rrcmonition of approachmg danv.er. And perh aps bis intuitkn was correct-per haps, we say, for in the mid s t o f nn article o n mining, over which be was rartially drrnmi11g, be was s-uddenly arouse
    PAGE 27

    26 Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. around, a horrible grin upon his face, as he pressed ihe muzzle of a cocked revolver against the other's cheek. "Merciful Heaven! It is the idiot!" Oliver Stapleton gasped, instantly recalling the scene at the lone-cabin in Stray Horse Gulch, and the words of Marie his long-desert;ed wife. "Yes, it's ther idiot!" Ike replied, with a chuckle-" et's ther fool sure enough, pappy Stapleton. Tho't you'd recogniw me, if I camel" "Go away! Take that weapon! What do you want?" the financier demanded tho roughly frightened. "Why do you come here!" Because I want to,'' Ike r e plied doggedly "I reckon I don't have to ask nobody whether I can or not. I came down here to see you, be cause you are my pap, and I want;ed a fair squint at you." "I ;v-our father! Impossible, sir!" and the financier turned fairly purple with rage. "You have struck the wrong lead, young man." "Oh I you bet I ain't,'' I ke exclaimed. "Mammy point;ed you out to m e one day, and then, besides tbat1 yer name's Stapleton which be my own, an' I oe yer offspring, an' ye know it!" "Curse you!" Oliver .Stapleton breathed, half between fear and rage. What do you want?" "I want money, for one thing," the idiot answered yromptly, still keeping the financi e r covered with his weapon. "I want ioney, an.1 I know you'd just as lieve give it to me as not. Eh, daddy?'' "Not a cent, you devil! I owe you nothing, nor will I pay you a cent. If that is what bro uaht you hereLyou had bett.er go." "I' won't go!" Ike cried, fiercely. "Not till I get ready, at least. Mammy made me swear ter kill ye, an' I'm goin' to do it. I'm a fool, but I know my p's and q's, sometimes. If you'll pay me well, I'll give you a short reprieve; if not, I'll kill you now!" "And hang for it within the next hour!" "Bab I I care not, after I have execut;ed my vengeance-after I have killed you. I had as soon die as live then, for I am only a fool, and of no particular use in the world!" And the idiot laughed wildly in anticipation of the triumph be should have, while the financier groaned, for this was exceedin g gall .and wormwood to hls proud spirit. But the pistol still continued l eve led in the idiot's band, and there could be no doubt but that he meant to do just h e bad declared "How much will you ask to leave the room and never bother me be demanded, turning st.ernly upon the iaiot. Nothing I" was the evasive reply. "Nothing?" the speculator interrogated. "Nothing!" Ike r epeated. "You cannot buy me off tbet way. I'll take a thousand dollars now, and more when I think I need et. Come! I am not going to wait long fer ye ter pro duce it." Oliv e r Stapleton immediately took a large walle t from his pocket and counted out ten one hundred-dollar bills, and handed them to the idiot. "There now, It is the last you Will ever get from me I' he growled, pointing toward the door. With a grin the fool obeyed, and soon was upon the street. Yet Ike, the faithful sleuth that he was1 never quitted the vicinity, but hung arouna with dol'ged determination, awaiting the return of Lowse Stapleto n and Dudley Doud from their nocturnal mission. Gilt-Edged Dick, on leaving the idiot, had gone back to the 'fontine, and to his own suit of rooms, to calmly await the issue. He was confident that it would not be long ere he should see or hear from his divorced wife, who would propose terms, if ransom was her game. He was not a man to become unduly excited, or to allow any excitement to betray itself in his appearance. Calmness in a storm was a decided characteristic of his make-up. Long experience in dealing with the rough and evil characters of the mountain mines, had tau$"ht him that coolness was a necessary qualification for a man to possess who proposed to hold his own against any and all odds. In battle he was as cool as out, and in this matter of the abduction he was equally cool. For since he bad learned that it was Louise Stapleton's plan to extort money from him, he bad no fear that she would do Little Pearl anv particular harm-at least, not until she had found that her was fruitless, by which time the Sport hoped to be able to counterplot suc cessfully. In bis room once again, he threw himself upon a couch, and dropped off into a light refreshing doze-a thing many another man could not have done. When he awoke it was to find the light ot another day shining in at his window. Springing to his feet h e hastily made bis toilet, and was about to leave the room, when two things lying upon the center-table attract;ed his attention. One was a neat package about four inches square-the other was a sealed envelope, ad dressed to Dick. In great curiosity the Sport picked up the package, and on tearing off the wrapper beheld lying in his hands a number of neatly-folded five-hundred-dollar notes-twenty, altogether, and the same evidently tbatne had lost in the game with the gambler, Smith. Along with the bills was a note which read as follows: "MR. GILTEDGED Inclosed find the mon ey that John Smith won from you. T prbcured it at the ri s k o f my life, but that is notbin"', for I would risk it many times to help you. I did not find you In the cavern, <;<> I bring it to you. Look out f o r Carter, for be is in town and will shooi ;vou, o r provoke you to a quarrel. at Whe n you need mf', you will find me on but o disguised that you will not recog nize me, unless yo u have sharp eyes. "I am ever your true fri end, 0oRAL CARTER." Gilt-Edged Dick gave vent to a low whistle ot :mrprise, but did not immediately speak his thoughts. Instead, he tore open the sealed en-

    PAGE 28

    Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. 27 vt!iope, and took a letter., which, on examination, be found to be from Idaho Kit. It read as follows: "SmSPORT:-Look out for breakers a.head. Tber's g'Oln' ter be a final etfort a.g'in' ye, an' ye hev three or more ter look o.ut fer. Brace up, and count strong on l<1a.ho Kit, ef et cums ter bizness. Luk out fer J. Bez Carter-be's a cuss on wheels. an' then thar's two others gittin' reddy fer tber war-path. I opine they calkylate ter b'ist ye out o' town, but freeze to it, like gnm death to a nigger, an' I'll be thar. .. Truly, In.I.HO Krr ... Gilt-Edged Dicksmiled as be read the note, penned as it was in a neat, feminimi band, but characteristic of just such a wild, barum-scarum girl as was Idaho Kit. "She is a clipper, is that Kitt" bis thoughts ran, "and I believe we have taken a mutual Ii.king to each other. If she were not quite so rougli in language, and bad not been so long a world-waif, I should-but bah! is not one venture of the kind enougb1 I should want to try my hand again? I tnink so I wonder how the money and the letter came here. Evidently I bave had nocturnal visitors, or else they were sent up by a servant. A little inquiry into this matter may disclose a revelation." the letter and the money into bis pocket, Dick lit a cigar and sauntered down into the restaurant The genial proprietor was thJl first man he en countered. "If you have a spare moment I'll borrow it," be said, coolly "Did you send a letter and package to my room during the nigllt!" I did not. Whyr' "Oh I both of tho articles were on my table this morning, and I did not know how they came there, so I thought I would inquire if you sent them up." "Don't r emember of having done so Saw Idaho Kit leave the hotel-perhaps it might have been she who left them. "Are you sure no othe r man or woman came up or down the s.tairs after I retired?" sure, sir." "Very well. Sorry to trouble you t and the n the Sport betook himself to the crowaed eating rooms, where be breakfasted leiswely. He then sauntered out upon the street to do a second morning cigar. But, seeing Louise Stapleton coming up the street, he turned back to the hotel and ascended to bis room. He calculated she would give him a call, and was not mistaken. She was shown up by a servant, and entered without ceremony, to find the Sport ensconced in one easy-chair, with his heels elevated upon the top of another, engaged in smoking and reading. He glanced up as Miss Stapleton entered, ali.d then resumed bis paper, saying: "Ohl it's you, is it? I told your mother my washing would not be ready until one to-day. You are ahead of time." "Sir!" Miss Stapleton exclaimed, flushing an gply. "What do you mean!" I mean that you cannot get my wash until one P. lll.," the Sport r eP.lied, coolly, without raising bis eyes, It will greatly please me if you will wait until then, as I am very busy nowr' "Indeed!" Miss Stapleton bneered, hotly; whom do you take me forl'' "I believe you are Miss Muckalee, the washerwoman's errand girl, if I am not greatly mistaken," Webster averred, another survey of the intruder through bis gold-rimmed glasses. "No I I am not Miss Muckalee, nor any otber Biddy I" the financier's daughter snapped, angrily. You need not pretend that you don't. know me, Richard Webster, for you do." "Well, now, I am sure I have not the bonor of your acquaintance, if I am so deceived in. your being the washerwoman's girl. Perbaps you will favor me with your name, "My name, sir, is Louise Staple ton. Once it: was LOuise Webster-" "But the cruel formalities of the great and'. comprehensive Jaw caused a radical meta. morpbosis, I believe," the Sport replied. coolly taking the cigar from his lips, and blowing a cloud of perfumed smoke mto tbe air. "There is a chair, Miss Stnpleton, if you choose to occupy it. Did your trip of last even in?, agree with you?" 'Yes, I believe it did," Louise responded with biting sarcasm. I enjoyed it, amazingly." The more, perhaps because you supF,sed you were striking me a blow, I dare say,' Gilt. Edpe suggested quietly. Undoubtedly. Will you tell me bow you learned so much? Surely it was not a talent: for guessing." "Ohl no. I never claimed to be as transparently bright as some people that I have metyou for one. Still, I am not a fool to be overpowered by one weak woman and a man, and cast into a bedroom, bound and gagged. I presume you have overestimated your strength, Miss Stapleton." cc Not in the least, Dick W e bster. Since you seem to know a great deal, perhaps we can come totermsr' Perhaps not. I am not in a mood for bargains, at present. You will do better to call some time in the future." "Then you are not anxious about the child?" "Not in the l eaRt . You have left her in safe bands, and I know she will be well taken care of." "Bab! you don't know where she is!" "I dare say not!" Dick r e plied with a peculiar smile. _But it will not take me long to find her." "When you find her she will be dead!" the financier's daughter Wssed sudden fierce ness. cc Do not think to trifle with me, Dick Webster, for you will fail. I bold the best band, and the iargest number of tricks, and unless you disgorge handsomely, the brat shall die, and he buried where you can n ever look upon her face I swear it, by all I h old sacred." "Humph I your oath is of but little account, but were it of j!;I'eat value, I should not heed it any the more," Gilt-Edge replied, calmly. "I have no fear of you, woman, although I believe you so evil as not to hesitate at any crime. I have no fear for my child, and as to yourself, if you go to ambling around me too freely, you'll ge$ hurt. I never harmed a wOIDllLI, yet, but it

    PAGE 29

    18 Gilt-Edged Dick, the Sport-Detective. will not require a great deal of provocation on your part to cause me to get up and eject you -from the room. There is the door yonder-you will favor me if you will use it!" "Then you won't come down, in order to se cure the child's release" "Not a cent's worth, my woman. You are playing a desperate game, but you have encountered at least one breaker in your path." Then the brat shall die I" the tigress cried, 'Savagely. "I will see to it myself, that you never l ook upon her face again. And turning, the financier's daughter swept from the room, with a m<><;king laugh. After she had gone, Gilt-Edged Dick gazed f deviltry was afoot. And this suspicion was confirmed when Dudley D oud sprung upon the platform, crying: "Hwrah I hurrah! S eize him, boys I This ;man is Jabe z Cart.er, the road-agent!" ( CHAPTER XII. THE SPORT'S ARREST-IDAHO KIT'S REVELATION. SIMULTANEOUS with the major's order, five <>f his companions sprung forward, and ere Gilt Edged Dick could pull a weapon, they were .grappling with him. A man of prodigious strength, he endeavored to hurl them off, but their number$ were too many for bim, and he was forced to succumb. A crowd had instantly collected, upon the major's cry, and many curious eyes were fas tened upon the Sport. But they were dis1ppointe in their expectation to see him rave. As cool, literally, as an iceberg, was he, a sardonic smile hovering beneath his heavy blonde mustache. "Perhaps yo11 will condescend to explain the meaning of this assault, my beauty," he said1 addressing the major, when they had succeedea in securing his arms behind his bac k. "Humph I The meaning is that you ha. v e played the last card in your pack, and are gomg to swing!" the major answererl. "Your last little robbery of the Leadville stage, early this morning, was the straw that broke the
    PAGE 30

    Gilt-Edged Dick. the Sport-Detective. 89 ter hev it. So, march along now, ter the court house, or wherever ye hold yer funerals, and I'll keep yer covered Ther first sign o' shenanigan thet I see, I'll, salt ye so thet ye'll keep till o l d Gabriel blows his fish-horn One-two-three-march/" And they did march. Not one was there who did not fear the Girl Sport-not one who did not believe that she would salivate them according to h e r promi<;e, should they disobey her. So they marched down the street before h e r l ooking sheep ish enou g h, while the crowd brought up the rear, yelling and hooting in de risi on. Gilt-Edged Dick walked silently beside the Girl Sport wondering what would be the issu e He realized that he was in a tight situation, and could see no immediate way o f escape from it, if they refu.<;ed to his detective certificate from the Governor of the State. What was the game of this eccentric Girl Sport, he could not imagine, but he had confi dence that she would-in some way clear him. It was a rare spectacle to see a single woman -and a mere girl at that-marching a pack of rough, lawless men through the main street of "the electric city "-it was a side scene in the drama of wild life in the mines, and the people cheered vociferously. The only court-boUSfl the town then afforded was an empty store, and into this Idaho Kit marched h e r posse, and placed them UEOn the stand, ready to be sworn. The n it was half an hour before the judge and State's attorney could be found, the former individual being highly intoxicated. He wasa Californian of herc ulea.n proportions, and was not choice of the language he med, which was exactly suited to the town, over which he held sway as supreme "magistrat& and bis name was J oe Slum. By th<" time everything was in readiness for the t1ial, the little room was packed full o f people, and the street outside was proportionateiy packed with spectators. No little amount of interest was there excited ih the case of the Gilt-Edged Sport, who had in his short stay i n Leadville aroused a feeling of admiration for himself, at least among a large class of the citizens. No man quite so coo l bad they ever see n except it was the Road Prince, Deadwood DiCk -and this Gilt-Edged Sport was as brave as be was cool Therefore they were interesW. A brave man riveted their attention and admiration, eve n though he might be the greatest villain. It bad been proven that he was no coward, and the sympathies of the people were strong toward him, be be road-agent or not. And then, a great majority believed in his innocence. When everything was in readiness, the judge arose from his seat atod glanced over his audience "Ahem I" be said, with a clever judicial state liness and a drunken hie." If thar's any cuss as wants justice, let him state his case and plank a V., an' I'll render a decision. No tick bare." Then he sat abruptly down. "I'll ope)l this yere case, et ye please," Idaho Kit said, rising. Tber gilt-edged galoot yon der ar' accused o' bein' Jabez Carter, ther roadagent, an' I, fer one, want ter hear ther testymony, an' then offe r a l eetle myself." Keerect I Who's ther plamtiff?" the judge grunted, nearly pitching from his judicial pul pit so full was he. ,1 I am," Dudley Doud said, rising. "I wish to offer that the defendant in this case is the same notorious road-agent, Jabez Carter by name, who last night robbed the Leadville stage. For proof of this I offer one of Carter's own band, Jenkins by name, who has turned State's evidence, and is willing to swear that this same Gilt-Edged Dick is none other than his commander, Jabe z in disguise." "Keerect!" the Judge growled, turnmg his back to the audience and taking a nip from a pocket-bottle L e t ther son of a sea-cook rise an' be sweared." A villainQus-looking ruffian arose and was duly sworn, and after hesitating under the stern gaze of the judge, he began: "I am Thomas J enki ns, and for ove a year, until to-day, have been a m embe r of Jabl"z Car ter's band Last night I helped Car ter rob the stage, an' whe n I went to camp my conscience beginned to smite me, an' I suffered like a man wi' ther j im-jams. This mornin' I pulled out fro m camp, resolved ter lead a Chris tyan life an' meetin' ther major, I offered to turn Spate's evidence an' b etray Carter, ef h e would see that I got off free So we cum inter town.an' found Carter in tbe r dis g uis e o' Gilt Edge d Dick. I swear to his identity as tber same Carter who has all along been cur captain." ,; Enough!" the judge grunted. "Send thet f eller ter jail, ter await my decision. Let some one else testify." "That's all I have to offer," the major said. I think it is ccnclusive evidence." "I think not!" Idaho Kit spoke up. "Ef you please, your honor, I happn to know that the testimony just offered is a lie and that the witness never was a member of Jabez Car tPr's notorious tand of outlaws. There, now I" "Hunah (hie) fer ther gal!" his judgeship hiC'coughed; for be it kno" n the judge was a widower, and an ardent admirer of female l oveliness, suc h as was combined in the Girl Sport. T ell us beer how ye know et's a lie, bloomin' beauty." "Yes! prove your stout assertion, yonng woman!" the major demanded, beginning to fear that his cause was lost-that his second attempt against Gilt-Edged Dick was a failure. "Of course I will!" Kit answered, 1mabashed "I r ecko n when I l aunc h inter a thing I sail tbr'u' it fur k eeps. In ther first place, I know that are a detective an' a sleut h. Mebbe he ain't well known to ye b ee r but go up Nor'west further, and you'll find by inquiry that he has made his mark and left a spotless reputation in many a mining-town. That he isn't Jabez Carter, I aJso know, for the very thing that brought him down into the carbonate regions was to look up this notorious J abez Car ter and"bring him to justice-a thing that thus he has not been successful in doing."

    PAGE 31

    30 Gilt-Edged D ick. the Sport-Detective. "But what proof have we of this1'' Dudley D oud demanded, savagely. "The proof is sure enough," Kit replied, with a cool le.ugh-" for I am Jabez Carter's daugh-ter I" A murmur of astonishment ran through the audi e n ce at this announcement; even the GiltEdged Sport gave vent to a low whistle indicative of surprise. ''Enough I" the judge yelled, descending from his stand. Ther court is out, an' I'm dry. Who se z likk er? Ther Gilt-Edged Sport is free1 an' so's whisky, ter them as bas got plenty o wealth. By-by, boys! Call ag'in." And then the big Californian wended his way out of the building, intent upon finding a saloon wherein to procure liquid consolation to slake the inordinate thirst of bis inner man. Dudl ey Doud turned to Gilt-Edge, a mali cious expression u pon his face. "Twice, and I :have failed, my gay cavalier. Look out for the third. I'll put you below ground, then." "Oh! you will1 eh1'' Di c k r eplied, calmly. "Look out that it is not three times, and out with you." "No, ye won't tech thet Sport, Dudley Doud, ye cussed ruff!" Idaho declared, stepping up, and shaking her pretty fist under the nose of the major. "No ye won't, I say. I constitute myself the r natteral guardian an' protector o' this Gilt-Ed ged, an' when ye propogate his funeral, ye'v e got ter arrano-e for mine, too, I tell ye. Comet slide off with ye, ef ye don't want me ter salivate ye fer all ye're wu'th. I've a notion to, as it is!" And up came a cocked revolver in her hand to a l evel with the major's breast. And the major, with a sullen curse, moved off. H e probably saw the be3t reason for so doing, in the fact that the Girl Sport meant business. With him also dispersed the crowd, until Kit and Gilt-Edged Di c k were the only ones left standin!?; in the court-room. The n it was that the blond e Sport turned to the dare-devil, and took her hand in his, press inft it warmly. 'Kit, my g-irl, I thank you more than I can eve r express m words, for the aid you have lent me on these se7era l o ccas ions, and if you will name a reward, no matter how big, if I can I will pay it!" he said, earnestly, gratefully. "Not a cent do I want!" was the r e ply. "Per haps I shall yet call upo n you to fight for me, as in coming h ere to-day to rescue you, I have broken faith with my fatJ:i.e r, and incurred his .bitter, life-long hate. Even now he is in this town, searching fot me, no doubt, with murderous intent!" "FP.ar not, then, my dear girl, for he shall not harm you while I am around. Com e let us go to the Tontino, and I will speak to the proprieto r that you have r ooms where you will not be disturbed." "No! no! I co uld not do that. My reputation is not enviab l e no3 although, God knows, it is without cause. were T to even glance at the uotel where you stop a thousand tongues would quickiy attack me. No, I must not do that, al though I arr: grateful for your o ffer of protec tion. I have yet one more missi o n her abouts, and then I am going to pull out-I know netl where, but anywhere to escape the vengeance of the man who calls himself my father." "I, too, am going to leave-going_ back int.o the mines of the Northwest," Gilt-Edged Dick said, thoughtfully. "Now, if you must go1 I will not detain you, but I want you to promise mo one thing-that you will see me again before you leave for good. I wish to have a l onger talk with you, than has yet been my priv il ege." A faint blush sto le upon the girl's cheek, and h e r eyes assumed a happy expression as she glanced into his own. "I promise you that,'' she said; then turning, 1eft the court-room. CHAPTER XIIL CONCLUSION. IN the mean time, the rea,l Jabez Carter was elsewhere. He had come into the town previous to the an-est of Gilt-Edged Dick, and had gone to the hotel where Oliv e r Stapleton stopped A few inquiries put him on the track, and later he entered the financier's r oom, without the cus tomary ceremony of knocking, to find Oliver Stapleto n a.nu his daughter seated at a late breakfast. J Sir, what mean you by this intrusion?" the financier exclaimed haughtily, rising from his seat. Oh! pray, do n o t let me disturb you," the r oadalfent said politely, helping himself to a chair. 'Finish your repast, a n d then we'll have a sociable little talk." I am finished already. Proceed with what you have to say, and make it very brief, as I have my time occ upied by business of much more importance." "Oh, you have, eh? Well, I ll try to make this as important as possible. First of all, do you rncognize me as any one you have known in former years?" I do not. M.y memory is not at all r etentive of or events Perhaps you remember that you once had a foster-brother named Guy Malvern "Guy Malvern I" the specu lator exclaimed, with a start-" yo u Guy Malvern, sir? Impos sible!" By no means impossible I am indeed Guy Malvern, and the same foster-brother whom you used to hate, and who us ed to hate you, so cordially P erhaps as J abez Carter, the road agent, I am changed, but you all the same." I have heard of you, and heard no good. What brings you here?" I come to make a revelation that will star tle you. That young woman yonder, is not your daughter I" "Not my daught.er, sir? What do you mean?" the financier cried I mean what I say; that young woman is not your daughter. Let me explain: Many years ago, you and. I were of the same family, and both loved the same maicfon1 whose name was Marie Melton. On account or this rivalry in love, we grew to hat.a eachotilar. Of course you were the handsomer of the two-

    PAGE 32

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    PAGE 33

    Oeadw00d Dick Library LATEST AND BEST. HANDSOME TRI-COLORED COVERS. 32 Pages. B U J O ne an d You Will Bu y th.e Restl P e r S a mple Ceer See 8 tbe1 te. DEADWOO D DICK LIBRARY. l Deadwood Dick, the Prince of the Road : The Double Daggers; or, Deadwood Dick's Defiance 8 'fhe Buffalo Demon; or, The Border Vultures 4 Buffalo Ben, Prince of the Pistol II Wild Ivan, the Boy Claude Duval 8 D eath-Face, the Detective 7 The Phantom Min er; or, Deadwood Dick's Bonanza 8 Old Avalanche, the Great Annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brigand 9 Bob Woolf, the Border Ruffian 1 0 Omaha 011, the Masked Terror; or, Deadwood Dick in Dan1?er 11 Jim Bludsoe, Jr. tbe Boy Phenix; or, Through to Death 12 Deadwood Dick's Eagles; or, The Pards of Flood Bar 18 Buckhorn Bill; or, The Red Rltle Team 14 Gold Riffe, the Sharpshooter 15 Deadwood Dick on Deck; or, Calamity Jane 16 Corduroy Charlie, the Boy Bravo 17 Rosebud R ob; or, Nugget Ned, the Knight of the Gulch 8 Idyl, the Girl Miner; or, Rosebud Rob on Hand 19 Photograph Phil: or, Uosebud Rob's Reappearance 20 WatchE y e the Shadow 21 Deadwood Dick s Device; or, The Sign of the Double Cross l!2 Canada Chet, the Counterrelter Chief 28 Deadwood Dick In Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke for Liberty 24 Deadwood Di c k as Detective 25 Gilt-Edged Dick 26 Bonanza Bill, the Man-Tracker; or, The Secret Twelve 27 Chip, the Girl Sport 28 Jack Hoyle's Lead; or, The Road to Fortune 29 Boss Bob, the King o f Bootblacks SO Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost of Gorgon s Gulch 31 Bl onde Bill; or, Deadwood Dick's Home Base 82 Solid Sam, the Boy Road-Agent 83 Tony Fox, the Ferret: or, Boss Bob'a Bosa J ob 84 A Game of Gold; or, Deadwood Dick's Big Strike 85 D e adwood Dick or Deadwood; or, The Picked Party 86 New York Nell, the Boy Girl Detective 87 N ob by Nick of Nevada; or, The Scamps of theSlerr&1 88 Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo 89 Deadwood Dick's Doom; or, Calamity Jane's Last Adventure 40 Deadwood Dick's Dream; or, The Rlvalsof the Road 41 Deadw o od Dick's Ward; or, The Black Hills Jezebel 42 'fhe Arab Detective; or, S noozer, the Boy Sharp 43 The Ventriloquist Detective. A Romance of Rogues 44 D e tecti ve Josh Grim; or, The Young Glad iator's Game 45 The Frontier Detective; or, Sie rra Sam's Scheme 46 The Jim town Sport; or, Gypsy J ac1< In Colo r arlo 47 The Miner Sport; or, Sugar-Coated Sam' s Chim 48 Dick Drew, the Miner's Son; or, Apollo Bill, the Road-Agent 49 Sierra Sam, the D e tective 50 Sierra Sam's Double; or, The Three Femal e Detect, ives 51 Sierra Sam's Sentence; or, Little Luck at Rough Ranch 52 The Girl Sport; or, Jumbo Joe's Disguise 53 Denver Doll's D ev ice; or, 'l'he Detective Queen 54 Denver Doll as DPtective 55 D enver Doll's Partoer; or, Big Ruckskin the Sport 56 D eave r D o ll's Mine; or, Little Bill's Big LoSB 57 D e adwood Dick Trapped 58 Bu c k Hawk, Detective; or, The Messenger Boy'I F ortune 59 D e adwood D ick's Disguise; or, Wild Walt, the S port 60 Dumb Dick s Pard; or, Eliza J a ne, the Gold Miner 61 Deadwood Dick's Mission 62 Spotter Fritz; or, The Sto re-Detective's Deco7 68 The Detective Road-Agent; or, The Mloers o Sassa fras City 64 Colorado Charlie's Detective Dash; o r, The Catt!<> Kio gs


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