Bonanza Bill, the man tracker, or, The secret twelve


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Bonanza Bill, the man tracker, or, The secret twelve

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Title:
Bonanza Bill, the man tracker, or, The secret twelve
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.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (30 p.) 20 cm.: ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
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
Rights Management:
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:
026004517 ( ALEPH )
13236660 ( OCLC )
D22-00027 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.27 ( USFLDC Handle )

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('o u y r g11t 1 S :91S85. b y B e utl l 1 & Ana111s. Ent1 red at N P w Y .. ns c lass matt e r :Mar.15, 1899 No.26 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. C lev ela n d Ohio Vol. II 'W1Tll 'qi& DOC1IX1r.!l'1' tli BlS BANDS, B O N A..'
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>pyr ght 1879-1885, by Beadl e & Adame Entered at Pos t omce, N e w York, N Y., as s econd class m a tter. Mar. 15, 189: No.2 6 THE ARTHUR WEST B ROOK CO. C levelan d Ohio WlTll T.W: J)Q Cl1Ml!l!T Ill Jll8 BANDS, BONANZA BILL MOUNTED ONE OF THE BOXES :mAJ\ THE GRATED WINDOW Vol. II

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Bonanz a Bill. the Man B onanza Bill, THE MAN TRACKER; OR T H E SEC RET TWELVE BY EDWARD L. WHEELER, AUTHOR OF "DEADWOOD 'DICK," "ROSEBUD ROB,'' "GILT-EDGED DICK," ETC., ETC. CHAPTER I. A MIDNIGHT ATTACK-SECRET OF AN OLD CEL LAR IN TIIE CHINESE QUARTER-A STRANGE DOCUMENT THAT CAME FROM A COFFIN flAN FRANCISCO! Toward the close of a bfoak, rainy November in the year of 187-, a man was wending his way through the streets of San Francisco without apparent object or aim, for his head was bowod upon his breast, and one would have saio:l that he was not conscious : should er3'. face was devoid of hirsute appendage, an::l m looks he appeared not over two and twenty years of age. A b elt around his waist containe d his weap ons, which consisted of a_pair of heavy Colt's revolvers an:i a hunting-knife, an.d iu his rio-ht hand h e carried a small leathern vali..;;e that comiderably the worse for wear. Up one st,,eet and down another the man aimle3sly wan:ereo;ent confused opinion. His ent,ance at once attracted attention as w_as evidenced by a shower of glances him, and a young woman rose from ber Reat at one the tables and glided toward hii..,-a magruficently-formed creature, of tht> hight of women, an
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Bonanza Bill, the Ma.n Tracker. 3 bined silk, velvet and laces, with diamonds in her ears, at her throat and upon her fair fin as a picture in face, with a temptmg mouth, dusky but magnetic eyes, and a con fusion of puffed and frizzed brown bair. A fascinating appejlrfng creature she ap peared, such as is capable of winning the notice of everyr man who comes along and then scorning him when she had exhausted his monev. "Welcome, pard," she said, pleasantly, put ting out a fair, jeweled hand. "l'm glad you've come, H there's any fun in you. "The crowd to-day is dull and stupid-no fun in them." "I's'er werry funny, (hie) sometimes!" Barclay assured, with a7 tipsy chuckle--" werry funny {hie). Have'r drink wi' me!" "Of course I will, you dai;ling, if you've got any rocks," the girl assured, taking hi'Nl,rm and leading him to the bar. You re the first decent pilgrim I've captured to-day. Mvname is Edna Earle, the Diamond Queen-also the Queen of Hearts. Give us your attachment, my daisy." "Ohl I'm Bill Barclay, miner, right down from Leop,ard Lode (hie) I" the other replied, 'Volubly. 'An' I's'er got ther r ocks, Wt rich up in the mines, I presume!" the Diamond Queen suggested, inquisitively. "Nozzer 'zactly rich," the miner replied thoughtfully-"gozzer much as I want, tho','\ and he hefted bis valise, satisfaction beaming from bis fiery eyes Gozzer all in thar (hic)gozzer more, too; vallyble papers {hie) as'ser provo all's 'bout it-zer son ov er lord-old England-wu'th er million&--y-you bet yer boots!" And off the miner went into some incoherent mutterings that could not be defined. The eyes of the Diamond Queen, however, gleamed with interested animation; she appear, ed suddenly to have grown nervous and excited, but put forth every effort to keep the fact from the notice of the man from the interior. This was not a bard matter, for bis eyes were getting heavy and bis mental faculties dull. "Come! come! wake up!" the siren of the Crimson Palace said, striking him on the shoulder. Can't you be entertaining and gay Here's the now. Drink a glass and it will enliven you. ' 1 0' course'r will I" Barclay muttered straight ening up, perceptibly. 11 Wuzzer wi' you as'ser any ozzer girl, you bet. You'ser brick you'sii,r beauty I" Yes, I'm a brick I" the young woman re plied, sarcastically, 11 and a goose1 too, per, haps, to fall in l ove with a tipsy pilgrim like you." 11 W'asser zat!" Barclay demllllded, brighten inf. up. "You'ser love me'I'' 'Sh! not so lud-yes, I love you with all my heart!" was the reply. 11 I am all alone in the world, and rich, too, and you are just taking to my eye. I'd marry you in a minnit, if I bad the chance1" "You'ser would'?'' the miner muttered, sur her with drunlien interest. 1 Of course I would. I could soon cure you of your appetite for drink, and I am sure we should gl':t along nicely together. Don't you think so, Billy!'' 11 Riizzer reckon you'ser (hie) right. You'ser brick, you be, an' purty as'ser polecat. G?esser couldn't get a better 'un." 11 What! you don't mean that you will take me as your wife!" the scheming girl said, in pre tended surprise. "0' course'r will," was the reply. 11 Then, I am happy. When shall we go and get married!" J esser soon'ser ready!" Barclay decided, with tipsy promptness. "I'ser ready now." '"I will be in a moment!" the young wo man said, rising hastily. 11 I will get my wraps, and take you to my father's house in the Chi nese quarter. There we will send for a minister, who will marry us at once. While I am getting ready, you may finish the bottle of cbam, pagne." The young miner from the interior needed n<1. second invitation, and accordingly tackled the bottle, as the Diamond Queen glided away. No pilgrim was he t. quail at tackling a half

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4 !"lonanza. BilJ, the Man Tracker. a bottl e ot' cnampagtle, anc1 consequ ently the h e l a y still upon his back, and recalled what liquor had disappeared lon g ere Edna Earle r e -had happenedi as w ell as he was able up to the appeared, which was i n a f e w moments. She timo wh e n he ost all cons c iousn e ss. was now enve loped in a w a ter-proof cloak and ".Bili Barclay; you've been on a big drunk!" hat, and a vail was tie d down ove r h e r face, evi-9is fh'S t :;-.;li..Loquized conclus ion "You've d ently t o b.ide h e r identity. b ee n upon a tear, s u c h a s you n e v e r before inShe fou n d Barclay going off into a d o z e dul ged in. And the n ext thing b efore ther proThA l a rge quantity o f bug-juice h e had im-bate c ourt is wh e r e and h o w a r e you? bibed togethe r with the c h ampagne hW. comerawling to an elbow r est, h e peered around bined to n early d o f or" him. him. Com e I Dia m ond Quee n said, shaking The fir s t glance disclosM the fact that he was him b y t h e a rm. "Rouse up and' co m e with lying upon the bottom of a d amp, r eeking ce l m e I am r e a d y." lar, in whic h was store d se v e r a l varieties of Barclay o beye d, accepting h e r arm as s upd ecaying vegetables and also s om e b o xes in a port a s h e co uld not have walked alone His furt h e r corner, and a f e w empty barr e ls. volubility h a d vanis hed, inasmuch as the cham-The pla c e was lighted by a few gray rays of pagne had thic k e n e d his tongue b eyond utter-light coming through grating that evidentl y ance opened onto the street. Many curious glanc es were turned upon the No othe r mode of access to or egress from the Diamond Quee n and h e r tipsy companio n as she c ellar was vis ible, so far as the mine r was able led him into the street, by the inmates of the to discove r from hi s position. Crimson Palace but no t a word was utter e d, r e -"I wonde r how I came in here? he mutter ed, garding h e r. r efi.ective ly. "I c ertainly was too drunk to And more curious glances were l e v e l e d at crawl throug h that grating, and there don't her as she conducted h e r charge t h e appear to b e a n y other way to g e t in. And street, although it i s no uncommon sight m the too wha t becam e of the gal who called herself fast city of Frisco, to see women piloting a l (mg the Diam.J ud Qneen ? We was to get married, intoxicated m e n I r e m e m b e r but if this is the way she serves A group of young men stood upon the corne r h e r b ridegroomt I opine I'll cancel dates. The of Bush street as the Diamond Quee n passed by, soft sid e of a s1ab lS better than an old cellar and from one the r e escaped a sarcastic laug h. bottom, I opine. " Look I boys," he said, in cynical tone-Feeling of himself to see if he was all intact, "yonder is the Diamond Quee n and she's made the mine r rose to his feet, and proceeded to a haul, by Jovel Lucky d og, t hat bummer, make an investigation sure's my name is Grafton!" The result was to find n o othe r place of en-Barcla y heard the words, and, drunke n sot trance to tqe c ellar, save the grating. And as though h e was, h e whee led around wit h a grow l, the h o le covereQ. by the said grating was not and struc k the speaker a heavy blmv full in the ovp r on e foot and a half by two, in size, he was face. satisfie d that h e did not come in through that 'rhe n Edna Earle pulled him on. way. They so o n reached and entered theChinese The onl y conclusion left him was that h e was district-th!Lt black spot in the r eputation of the still in a King City of the American Pacific.. If any eXIt or entrance there was, other than I t was now d.:;.rk, and the bleak November through the grated aperture, it :gi.ust be a secret rain drizzl e d down e v e n faster. one in one of three directions-through the bot-The street throug h which the y went was nar-tom of the c ellar, through therough stone walls, row, filthy and ills:nelJino-, and lined on eithe r or throug h the board ceilmg overhe ad. The latside by low dingy hous e s, 'from whic h emanated ter, Barelay conc luded, was the mos t possibl e of strange and sounds not calculated to all the places Y e t he cou l d not, with what light favorably inspire a l isten e r. was afforded by the littl e window, discover any Edna howe v er, s ee med to pay no at-sign of a trap or an opening. tentionto the s o unds or si ghts, but k ept on, and "Waal, I'll be hanged; !'don't see how thf'y as for Bill Barclay hi s he a d and b rain were too got m e in h e r e or how I am going to i.e t out," mudd l e d t o notice anything. h e s oliloquized, moving about in the g l oom. His f e e t m ove d more fro m m echanical un' H e llo! I wonde r in these boxes1 steadine s s tha n from inclination to go, and he Maybe I shall find an outlet by tearing them was so v ery t i psy that h e was not sure whethe r away. he was afoo t or on horsebac k nor did h e care Strong w ere the arms of the miner, and act which. H is po1v e r of comprehens ion of course ing upon impulse he began to tumble away the gre w m o m entarily dUll er, until he absolutely boxes one by one toward the opposite side o f kne w n othing the c'3llar. They had some day been dry goods H e was co n sc iou s of being assisted down a boxes, but w ere now moldy and damp. A half preci pi to u s fli ght of stairs, b u t that was all. dozen of them Bill Barclay rushed out of his His sens e o f things utt;P,rly forsook him, and h e way; then he stopped short with an exclamation kne w n o more. of surprise. B e fore him, protruding from beFor hours h e was dead drunk! Then grad-tween two boxes, was the end of a coffin bcix! A ually slumbe r diss ipate
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Bonanza. Bili, the Man Tracher. heerd say that a nose that can distinguish good bug-juice from bad, can smell anything, and I've had a notion this old ranch smelled rather unhealthy. Reckon some galoot was so all-fired homely that be stowed hisself back in here, where no one would be apt to find his corpus. Hang me if I don't take a peep at his old system, anyhow, since I'm first man to discover the bonanza." But few men who would not have been timid about disturbing a box of human remains, but Bill Barclay hesitated not. He pulled the coffin box out from between the other boxes, and pried off the lid with the bladttof his sheathknife. On raising the lid he found that the r.:mgh box was but the overcoat to a finer coffin, which was also screwed shut. Lifting the coffin from the box, Barclay opened it. Inside lay a skeleton, devoid of all flesh-that of a man, evidently, of dwarfed proportions. Judging by appearances, Barcla.v concluded that it must have reposed in the coffin for many years. He was about to replace the lid on the coffin, when he caught sight of a piece of white pape r protruding from the lining of the coffin, and droppmg the lid be graspoo it, with curiosity. On pulling it from its concealment, he found it to be a sheet of foolscap, closely written on two sides, and it was moldy and rotten. With it in his bands be mounted one of the boxes near the grated window, and set himself at the task of deciphering thecrampedandnearly illeP"ibl e chirography. It was evidently the dying revelation of the man whose skeleton Barclay bad found in the coffin, and ran as follows: "SAN FRANCISCO, 187--. Tn all ,,. h mn U may concl'1"n :"Know ye that I, J areck i Armstrong, murderer, thief. 'ocean pirate, poisoner1 forger, counterfeiter, burglar, incendiary and vill!J,in-at large, am narrowing down to the end of my carder. AJ'ter a strangely eventful life in the service of tbe devil, one of whose brightest stars I was, I have ar rived at the age of seventy-five years, and death stares me in the face-death by consumption! which I had for over a score of yearir. In. ooking back over my past life to-day, the imJ?Ulsehas seized me to take a pen, and jot down a few items of my life history, for the edificat ion of whoever may this inasmuch as I have been one of the most wick ed men in the world. I sprung from a grea't EnJ?lish family, and at t.he aJ?e of twe nty-two when the lord of mighty es tates, and the possessor of a :voung wife and child, the devi) got hold of me, and I was forced to flee for the crime of murder. I was apprehended however, and sent to Van Dieman's land for lif e. I speedily escaped, h o wever, and took to the Southern seas as a pirate. "For ten years I was one ot;the most bloody-hand ed and n otorious buccaneers known to the \vorld, sailinJ? under various names. At age of thirtv two I became cracksman and murderer in the city of London, a nd haunted that city until I was fifty years of age, when I came to Western America to renew my career of crime. / "All my life. my sole dPlight has been to do some thing devilish and wicked. The greater the crime more it pleas ed me. "The first teu years of my life in America I d&voted to every phase of. crime defined in the diction-ary. I was a tire fipnd in Cbicao. a forger in Cheyenne, a road-agent in Oregon, a cut-throat in Montana, a connterfeiter-ay, i was everything evil you" can imagine. And now, before paying the final debt of nature, I have prep.iire.d and put into motion tbe grandest criminal achievement of the whole of my life-the League of Twelve. For over a year I have been seeking women of a will to serve me and the devil, and have them at last collected. Each on e bas a fascination for one particular sin, and has takl'n an awful oath to make that sin the consuming fire of her lif&--that sin to be her constant crime by which to bring/old into the coffers of the League, who are all boun together as one, until sufficient gold has been collected to build a monument over my grave of solid gold, the lettering to be of priceless dia monds. "The League is to be commanded by one of the most beautiful women in the world, of tender age. I have fitly named her as Madam Mystery. She it is who carries all my papers, all my gold, all my love. In b ehalf of the League. she is forger. No. 2 Is the strangler; No. 3 is the burglar; No. 4, the robber; No. 5, the pickpocketj_No. 6. the counterfeiter.; No. 7, the grave-robber; .No, 8, the No. v, the gambler; No. 10 tbe lib elist; No 11, the torturerci and No. 12 tbe tras e r and d ecoy. No effort to tin t.hem will be availing, for tbey are bidden away where the starpest eyes would not think of looking for them. Ha I ba it is a grand scheme. "But I must stop. My life is ebbing out, me thinks. "The L eague of Tw e lve, Who dig and delv e In the service of the devil, Shall reach tbe acme of their hopes And find the highway l e vel. HSigned, 4 JARECKI ARMSTRONG, "The Man of a Thousand Aliases." That was all. The singular document ended as strangely as it had begun, and Bill Barclay stood in the old cellar, pondering over the strange revelation that bad been made to him. CHAPTER II. ONE YEAR LATER. RUIN I disaster! disgrace stares me in t:he face. Oh, God! that I could arrh e at the truth of the matter-that I could only discover the agent of the conspiracy that is sapping away my financial strength, that I might tear out his heart!" The scene was in the magnificently' appointed library of one of San Francisco's greatst bank ers, whose true name let us hide for the sake of personality, and substitute that of Bernard Havens. The characters of the scene were the wealthy banker, who paced up and down the r oom, with nervous tread and pale, agitateU face; bis pret ty daughter Z oe, who reclined in an easy-chair, and Sydney Seelyice, the son of the banker's second wife. Right here l e t us pause a moment, to describe, rathe r than later. Bernard Havens was a. portly man of medi um hight, with a face that the hand of time had somewhat wrinkled, but which was not yet whollr homely. His hair and slight Burnsides' were iron-gray, and his eyes, as well as his face, were dark and gloomy as he paced to anct fro across his sumptuous parlor-library.

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8 Bon"'a.nza. BQ.1. the Ma.n Tracker his hands folded behind his back, and head bowed. -Sydney Seelyice was a dapper little snob of effeminate appearance, with a sallow' sickly com plexion, and eyes, mustache and hair of the same hue, while his attire was characteristic of his own idea of himself-very nobby. Zoe Havens was one of those plain girls who are most pretty. She possessed a handsome form, and a clear, well-chiseled face, with eyes of deepest hazel, and hair tinted a dusky brown. Many a critic would no doubt have pronounced her homely, because she was not over gay and a votary of the very lates t fashions. Her attire was rich but not" loud;" her move ments were graceful but notdashing; her S\:>eech was sound, interesting and characteristic of education and but not voluble or addicted to fashionable slang. No "flash" maiden was Zoe Havens, but a "level "-headed girl, whose eighteen years had not been spent without bringing to her those most indispensable qualities in wom en-quiet grace, quiet beauty, and quie t knowledge of ;,;ie world-at-large, and the moving characters thereof. An lxpre3Sion of anxiety now mantled her face, however, and tears stood in her eyes causing them to glisten like diamonds ; Seelyice, smoking a in an arm-chair a f e w feet away, thought he had never seen her look so pretty as now. "But is there no way to detect tbe thief and check the drain, d ear papa?" Zoe asked, in reply to the banker's words. Can no trap be set that will t'ie robber?'' "No, no, d ear; you do not underst.a.id. It is not in the burglar form that I am being robbed, but entirely by another system. Fo:>:ged c9-ecks and forged drafts and forged notes are what is doing tlie mischief. They are pouring in every day. Only this morning a note was presented against m'3 by th9 --Bank for five .thousand dollars, b e1ring m y signature-I could have sworn it was mina-and b eing several days overdu'3, I, of course, was obliged to pay it, or let it go to protest, ancl thereby sacrifice my honor as a prompt bus iness man. If these drains continue, I sh1ll be psnniless within three months. "I'm afraid so, too, daddy," See lyice said, with a yawn. "Youcertainly ought to have an in vestigation made among your emoloyees." "Ahl my bov, you talk foolishly. There's not a m11.n within my bank whom I could not trust with any amount, or unde r any circum No, no; it is not there I have to look, for it is outside ,Parties who. are working the evil." "Put som e goo:l detective on the track, naps .. You will n e v e r detec t the criminals until you do," Z oe-said, advisingly, as she rose and to'.lk the banker's arm and looked pityingly up into his fac e. the banker said, with a sudde n sneer-" bah I l'< l not truqt the pick of them; they're all a set of meOme Bohemians. living on their wits, and a five-doHar note would buy the best of them over to the service of the d evil." Bnt 9-eerge Graftou, papa-he is a trusty gentleman, and th.ey say a very exper t tracer1" Z oo suggested, an expression of sunny hope creeping into her demure eyes. "Bahl a m i se rabl e B o hemian loaferl whom your girl ish fancy has pictured a he r o, he chanced to save you from a hoodlum mob, Zoe, you must dispe l all thoughts of that fellow ; he is not worthy of your notice. "Daddy is right," Seelyice accorded, shooting Z oe a triumphant glance. The fellow, Graf ton, is a consummate rascal-a gambler am). a Bohemian bummer, and I am sure ma belle can make a better choice." "No doubt you may believe I might get so desperate as to accept you!" the banker's daughter snapped, her lip slightly curling with cont.empt. "Ahl there is always hope as as there is life," the young man replied, witn a bland smile. I am sure daddy would not object to such a match." "It matters not!'' Zoe replied, very decided-1.. "Whoever I marry, if -i marry at all, you may rest a ssured that you will not be the man." "Ahl do not say so, my fair step-sister. The minds of people so often, as well as cir cumstances, that one may always hope when their chance s seem most slim," Seelyice laughed, coolly, as he arose and sauntered from the room. After he had gone Bernard Havens turned to his daught.er, an anxious expression u pon his face . "You should not thus discourage the boy, Zoe. He will eventually be a rich an1 popular man, as his little gold-mine, up near Cres cent, is gradually growing more profitable, and I beliove he would make you a good husband." "Don't think of such a thing, papa, dear," Zoe repliedi earnestly. Sooner than marry Sydney S'ee yice, I'd remain an old maid, all my life. I do not like him. He is soft, shallow and effeminate, and, I suspe c t, has a disposition to be 'treacherous. When I m!UTy, I want a man whom I can respect and look up to, as brave and fearless. That, Sydney Seelyice is not, noi: ever can be. "We ll, wei l l I will not argue with you, my dear, fol' I have truly !?;feater troubles to w'orry me, but I trust you will treat Sydney with rnore favor. I must now go to the bank, for a few hours, and see what is to be done." "Oh! papal if you would but consent to lay your case before Mr. Grafton, I am sure-so sure, he could and would help you. He is young, keen of perception. sharp in invention, and quick to draw correct conclusions I am sure he would ferret-.out the whole mystery, and thuq check your losses." "Well, well, pet!" and the b!l.nker smiled fonrlly rlown uoon her-" your faith in the fel low is certainlv ver:v abundant, and they say a wom'tll's faith is muc h to be depP.nded upon; so I will consider your appeal, and perhaos call upon him. And, now, a kiss, and I will be gQWI." The kiss was re!tdily given, and t hen the banker left bis handsome mansion, and walked towar d the business part of the .city, i n prefel" ence to riding.

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Bonanza: Bill, the Man Tracker. ., The bank of which he was sole prop1ietor and director, was one of those many fine structures that do credit to the city of Frisco, and he s.oon arrived there and entered, proceeding at once to his private offict'l upon the second floor. Several letters lay upou the desk awaiting ex amination, and laying aside bis hat and coat, he seated himself to peruse them. They were mainly bus iness letters from other banking institutions, but there was one that Bernard Havens held in h:is band and regarded in curi osity, before opening it. It was inclosed in a yellow envelope, ar.d di rected in a bad hand, with poor ink. I wonder who can be the author of this rude scrawH" he mused, reflectivelr,. "Surely none of my regular correspond e nts. He finally tore it open and glanced over the contents, bis face gradually a ssuming a hard, grim look. The missive was tlly written, mis spelled, and dirty. It ran as follows: .. MISTER BERNARD' HAVENS:-.. I rit e this f ew tines ter Jet ye no th e t tber lime o' mv purchased silen c e bez exp ir e d tu-day an' I a:n goin' te r make yu hump, like blazes. yu bet. l've got tb e ga l. yet-le1tstways sh1"s in Frisco-an' bP b e z growed up t e r be a smasbin' yung woman, an' you'll finrl ber all rie. Now, :ve've ter oust out tl!er utb e r gal, an' put_ my gal MabPI rn ber plac e or you'll git w'at ye doan't want The gal nos e she's yer darter, an' th0r air te r t hem biaes tat es over in Ingland, an' she'll call o n ye purt y quick te r take persession o' th e r premises. M e bbe !"II <'.'llm down an' see bow matters jibe purty soon, an' ti! -;e r sPe me, I r ema ne youre obedient ''JAKE McDowr.:-. "P. S. Doan'tgetonyure ar, buto,_:;,,,.>;+.tertber inevi tab l e ." ... bap.dsome boyish face-my son-my Jong-Jost boy." And, overcome with emotion, the banker bow. eel his head forward upon the desk, and wept silantly. H e finally straightened up, h owever, and brushed the tears from his eyes I am Wt:ak," b e mutte1'lld, huskily. '"It nearly prostrates me to recall the past. But I must not weaken now. All my strength shall be required to battle with mine enem i es I will take Zoe's advice and go and see the fellow Grafton. P erhaps h e may be able to h elp me in some way, and I sha ll need the counsd and aid of some trusty pers9n." Donning his coat, Bernard Havens seized his bat and quitted the bank. He remembered of noticing a dingy little office on Coast street, once, bearing the sign of George Grafton, and thither be n o"l. wended bis way, to finq that the dingy office bad recently been replace d by a new brick one, of about the same size, but l ooking much better than its pri,i decessor. The door was open, and the bankff entered, to find the inter:i_or furuisbed with simple but neat taste, and a young man seated in an easy chair, with h eels elevated upo n his desk, en gaged in smoking a cigar and r eading a news paper. H e was three or four and twenty years of age, well formed and not unhandsome in face, "ith a fine mustache and curling hair, and a brown eye, whose keenness was penetrating. '!he heels and paper came down with a jerk, as the banker entffed, and be was bandrd an [ cast,-<'bair with a cordial "Good-day, sir." As h e finished the epistle, the barn< :er leaned Thank you," be rnidkbecC'ming "I back in his chair! and groaned alo,,,i. called to have a little ta! with G e m ge Grafton, My God I I ooped the villa:h:. iieac! :" the detective. I s h e in?" burst fr<>m bis lips. "But he is still alive, and That i s my namt'," the detective said, bow determined. Would to Heaven I bad proof, but inf. "Any1hingl can do for_you ? I have none. Zoe must know the worst--yet I 'Yes, perhaps there is. I was r efer r e d to had hoped t-0 keep all from h er. It would break you by my daughter, wbo appears to know you, her h.eallt to know that she is not my daughter, or of you. My name is Havf'ns buttbeofl'springof the man McDowel. She is "Ah! yes," Grafton said, nodding; "I my child-I will n e v er, never believe diff e rent. thought your face was familiar, having see n The other is an impostor foi<:ted. u pon m e by you severa l tirr. es Your estimable daughter I McDowel. Yet oh! H eaven! how can I prove have bad the pleasure of meeting on severa l ocitf The arch villain is ready to swear that bis casi ons, and am pleased that she should remem claimant is my da ughter-sbe whom h e stole ber me. If there is anything I could do fo1 you, fro m h e r cradl e when a babe and spirited away, I am sure I sha ll takefleasure in doing it." leaving bis own child in qer stead. No! no! it "Very well, sir. suppose you have bad is a lie-a damnable scheme on bis part to make some exp erience in your line of business \ bis child the h eiress to the great inh eritance. "Yes, sir; I flatter myself tLat I have bad Yet how can !prove this? Alasi in no way! I considerable experienc e and success in my call am without weapons qf defense. But Z oe must iug. Nearly every week I get something to do not know it yf>t-she must live on in the even in the way of ferreting out criminals aud tenor of her life, ignorant of all the l1Tf'at imcrimes." pending trouble, until in wuie mnnner I can re"Then I will briefly state my CM<'," the m ove it. I muq t aunr!L i c h tbi Mabel McDowel banker said, which he did, relating in detail and I.my; bP.r off unt\l 'I C'nn iret to work-until bow be had b ee n troubled with forged Checks, I can get proof of f als itv-until in some n otes and draf1';. way, if I have to ove rthrow heaven and earth, Wbeu be had finished, George Grafton took 1 can save th0 H ave,.,R in b eiitance for ZOf'; or-" out a memorandum-book, and j c.tted down the and a dark cloud cam<' o v P r t hc banki>r's face, substance of what he bad heard. as b e abnmtly lo oked at the h andsome l y-fra med portrait of a boyish f Pce that bung on the wall above his desk-" or for him, who bas for fifteen long years bPen a-a-God k'1owR what! ,Ohl Rayl Rayl where are you, as I look upon your CHAPTER III. AN ALLIANCE-A WARNING. "You are not the only one thus affiicted,"' the detective said, "althoug],i you perhaps.

PAGE 9

8 Bonanza Bill, the Man Tracker. have been bled a little the strongest. I have bad my attention called to the case befoce1 but have been able to make no discovery or the robbers. The depredations are committed, I should judge, by an organized gang of thorough rascals, to whom may also be laid a ip-eat share of what is at present known in thIS city as a reign of crime-strange murders, burglaries, incendiarisms and bank robberies .. "You are undoubtedly right," the banker said approvingly, "and if you can bring the offenders to justice it will be a great help to you.'' I shall work to accomplish that end, most certainly," Grafton said, "and I shall give your case particular notice, as you are the heaviest loser. By the way, before you go, I have a few questions to put j;hat we detectives always use -some of t'aem very impudent, perhaps, but yet n ecessary to us in order that we may know just where to begin, without beating around the bush. -The first one is, are you married to a second wife?" "I have been married, but my second wife died shQrtly after marriage." You are sure of this?" Certainly." Grafton paused to jot down something on his memorandum; then continued: "Have you any confidants in your business other than your daughter?" "None," was the reply. You have a stap-son?" "I have." D oes he not know anything concerning your business ? "Very little, sir, as I never him into my co:afidenc e." "Have you a".ly a cquaintance whatever with 1'1wt m e n or women, Mr. Havens? ''None, sir." "ls there any party of smpi cious character, in the city, who has a sample of your chirbgra phy and I hardly know. I do considerable corres pondence with business and banking hav:e a separate signature that I use in filling out banking business. There is only one other person that has been able to master it." Who is that?" "His name is Barrister, and lie is my cashier "A man of unblemished character, I presume?" Most assuredly. He has been in my employ for many years." "Very well. You may lea ye your signature with me, if you please, as it may be of u se to me." This the banker did, writing upon a card in a 1 very odd style, and handing it to George Grafton. "Is.there else!'' One thing, yet-IS there any woman in the city for whom you have a fancy, or to whom you have b ee n paying attentions with a view to matrimony?" I must decline answer that question, sir, as it can have no 15earing upon the easel" the banker 8aid, stjffiy, as he rose and buttoned his eoat, preparatory to departing. Oh! all right-no offense, I trust, sir, as the question is one of our formula." "No offense,'' was the reply. "If{ou discover and bring the culprits to justice, will band you five thousand dollars as my recognition of your services." And then bowing haughtily, the wealthy banker donned his hat, seized his cane, and strode from the office. George Grafton whistled a few lillatches from the opera of La Somnambula,'' and trimmed his finger-nails with scrupulous care, before he allowed his thoughts to mergo into comment. I hit closer than I supposed I was going to," he muttered, glancing through the window after the stately banker, who was jru.i; turning a distant corner. "So Miss Zoe's mode l papa is negotiating for a new Mrs. Havensi:eh? Well, well-perhaps he has a right to. t won't he amiss for me to find out whether it's a miss that he's after. As for this wholesale forging busi ness that is going on, I must set my wits to work, and get at the bottom of it. It appears to me that the city is overstocked with crimi or else all the deviltry is rested by a few devils consolidated into a league." "Waal, I opine, stranger, you've hit the nail squar' on the head; thar is a gang of the hell i ons known as the League of Twelve, an' you an' i ar' pilgrims as mus t ferret out ther easel" It was a d ee p, cool voice that uttered the words, and George Grafton gazed around with a start, to behold a stalwart stranger standing in the No common appearing personage-a young man of handsome features and an equally handsome figure-with face browned by exposure to the sun, eyes dusky and pene trating in their expression, and lon g hair 11.Ud graceful mustache-ac man whose appearance was more extraordinary on account of his dress, which consisted of a suit of handsomely tanned buc)cskin, with human hair, evidently; top-boots of tne cavalry pattern, but of the fine s t leather, and a wide-rimmed slouch hat of white felt turned up one s ide and fastened by a gold-hilted feathe.and pin. In the belt about his waist was a heavy r evolver and a sheathed-knife. Seldom in the latter days of Frisco are armed men Seen upon the streets, but here was one dashing stranger who boldly stalke d about with weapons displayed, in defiance of the city ordi nancesi George Grafton madP. a quick inventory o f him, and at once decided that he was what the people of the Far West term a" bummer." I pre?ume you were addressing your re marks to me," the detective said, rising and wheeling forward a chair. "I opin'l yes," the dashing stranger r eplied, entering the office and apcepting proffered seat. I was passilig by when I chancE!d to get a view of your pbiz, and remembering it, con cluded to cast anchor, which I did, in time to hear a portion of your soliloquy." Just so," Grab am replied.; "but you have the best of me; I cannot sav that I know you." "Think not? Well, perhaps your memory' ain't as retenti e as mine. R eflect, however; don'tye remember something .that occurred ju& one year ago to-day!''

PAGE 10

Bonanza Bill, the Man Tracker. 9 I have a safer memory than tb&t given me by nature," the detective replied, with a smHe, and he turned to a large diary that lay upon bis desk. Ah! one event of a year ago to-day was not particularly to me. I was knocked down by a dnmken pHgrim, whom a certain female gambler of this city had in tow. And that drunken pHgrinl was I," the visitor said, with a !luiet laugh. "You made some r emark that di!ln't strike me favorably, and my right arm spasmodically went out like the l e\l of a burro. To-day I remembered your face Grafton smiled, rather grimly. '"You have considerable cheek to come h ere and tell me of it," he said. Of cow"Se,'' the other replied. Cheek is one of the component parts of my composition. Without it, I could not exist. I trust you cher ish no malice toward me because of the little affair o f a year ago?" "Well, no, I guess not. You were drunk at the time, and a drunke: man :.i hardly. responsible for what he does." "Karectl and I offer you all the apology in the world. I opine I was pretty drunk that day. It was my first and last visit to Frisco, until to day, when I've come back to raise a breeze. Your name is George Grafton-mine Bonanza Bill Barclay, frwn the interior. You are a de tective; I propose to engage in a little of the same line, myself, and so suggest that w e unite." "For the purpose of investigating-what?''. The forgery busine s s you were so liloquizin g about. I bold a valuable key. Read)" And taking from an inner pocket a sheet c:if stained paper, Barclay banded it to the detec tive, forthwith. George Grafton read it, a quiet gleam of en thusia sm enteri n g his eyes. "By Jove! it is the very thing!" h e exclaim ed, slapping Bonanza Bill upon the shoulder as he finished. It is worth thousands of dollars, that document I have suspected the existence of some such l eague of crime, but have had no proof of it. Tell me where yo u found this piece of evidence." Barclay obeyed by relating bow he bad dis covered the document in the coffin that he h a d unearthed in the old ceilat in the Chinese quarter. And,'' he added in conclusion, one of the persons I am nqw anxious to encounter, is the young woman whom you saw leading me from the Crimson Palace. She l ed me into the Chinese quarter, and then my senses fled. When I awoke I found> myself in the cellar, as I have related I made my escape through a trap that opened into an empty room above; the who l e building then being tenantless Th e Diamond Queen must have taken me to the cellar, and the n fled with a valise which I bad brought along, as I failed to find any trace of it. The valise contained gold and greemacks to the amount of over eight hundred dollars, besides valuable papers that I would not have lost for all the gold in California. It is for those papers that I am now iv. searc h. I must find tbem4 will find them, if I have to search heaven ana earth!" The miner bad grown greatly excited, and now smote the table by which be sat with a blow that caused it to jingle. Did you search for the Diamond Queen after your escape from the cellar?" Grafton asked. "Yes; about a week I spent in endeavoring to find h er, which was as long as I co uld beat tbe restaurants out of my board. I then was obliged to hoof it back to the mines to r ecoor-erate my finances." "You had the valise when you entere d the Chinese district?'' "Yes; the woman was carrying"it. t I think." "Then she was undoubtedly the tnief. And it occurs to me, that this samo woman may be one of this League of Twelve, since you found yourself in tile cellar where the corpse of the old outlaw was concealed. Don't you think so!" Yes, I hae thought of the same thing, as there is a significance in it. The first thing is to find the Diamond Queen." "Hardly. She is not at the Crimson Palace any more, and I don't know where she is. Be sides, ifi indeed, she be a member of the League of Twe ve, the stolen valise was undoubtedly 'turned over into the bands of Madam Mystery, the forger, who, according to tho document here, is chief cook and bottle-washer of the gang. So to h e r you will have to look to find your papers, it's my opinion," Perhaps you are right,'' Barclay admitted. Somebody must hash up the spoils. I am not particular who it is." I trust we shall find them," Grafton saitl, thoughtfully. Our first study must be to find out the bead-quarters of this League of Twelve. Women though they are, they are a fie r ce set; and I'd ten times rather tackle a despwate ,m.an than a d esperate woman. And they say that women are the best hiders, too, and it will be sharp work to distinguish those whom we want from those we don't want." "All of which is l good sense," Bonanza Bill asi;ented; but we must bunt the trail like the Coman c hes do. If wo can but once spot a single member of the l eague, we are all right. I never yet struck a l ead without tracing it up nnd finding a bonanza at the end of it. That's why they ca ll me Bonanza Bill. I ll place yo u in the l ead, and when you want me, I'll be tbar!" "Very well. I will visit the various banks this afternoon yet, and Eee what the reward prospects are, and then j o in yo u this evening ready for business. We will make a r ound of the most notorious gambling s aloons and watch for a c l ew. If we fail to fi.nd any we will l ook elsewhere. I will be at the Crimson .Pal ace at seven to-night in dis guise, but will speedily l e t Y,OU know w ho I am. Fro m the Crimso n Palace 'we will go to W o l f's Ranch, which is perhaps the worst den of thieves and cut-throats in the city, located in the heart of the Chinese district." ''Agreed; and, DOW, as we are going" snucks' in this game, l et's shake bands, that shake being the sea l of a silent vow on our parts of fidelity, l eague and alliance, until the League of Twelve is bu'sted."

PAGE 11

10 B o :iansa. B i 1, t h e M:an Tracke r ..-With all my heart!" Graft.on said, hearti:ly and rising, the two men grasped hands firmly .. Then, after a. few more words, Bonanza Bill Barclay left the detective's office, and strode away. Through the streets he w ent with firm step, so much in contrast with the gait he had carried a year before, and his dashig attracted many curious glances, and more than one pGli ceman forward with intent to arrest the bold stranger who defied the city laws by carrying exposed weapons, but, on catching a glance from his eagle eye, these ser vants of the law as quickly stepped back, and allowed him to pass, for reasons best known perhaps t.o themselves To a principal hotel where he had previously engaged accommodations the mine r went, and upon the center-tahfein his apartment he folll).d a letter addressed t.o him. Tearing it open, he read the following, with a low w histle of sur-prise: "Sra:-Your mission here is known, and unless you leave thti city before night. yorl are a drv>ml man! M.rn.&M UYSTERY." CHAPTER IV. THE NEW CANDIDATE. No uncertain sound had this warning of Frisco's outlaw queen-it was terse, emphatic, and meant business." And Bonanza Bill scratc'ned his head, as he read and re-read it several times I reck o n that mean s me," hest. Stowin" t h e m essage away in his pocket, the miner run'i for a waiter, fro:n whom h e hter received a bountiful supper in his room, and d i d full ju>tice to it. He then lim;arad about.the hotel until dark ness had envelop3d the city, when h e s3t out for the Crim>on Palace. On it h e enter ed, without ceremony. He had pair! tha place a visit earlier the same day, but ha:i foun:i nothing of E:lna Eade, the Diamond Queen. Nor co uld h e dis cove r ht;'r now. The r oom was p1rtly fill ed with sporting men and most of whom were gamblers by pro fession, a f''lw loun"ers and variety performers from the sta<:;"e comprising the remainder. Many eyes w ere turned noon Bonanza Bill, as ha entered, and about among the tables, watching the various games. No common appearing pilgrim was he, but one of the cool characters of j;he mi:nes whom eve n a brave man he.sit'!.tes to tackle. Even the tamale gamblers did not light onto Barclay, with the usual avidity. That cool, critical gleam in his eye they were afraid of. As for the dashing miner, he paid but little attention t.o the games, as one would have in ferred by his close scrutiny of the parties in the room. He was endeavoring to find which of the lot was George Graft.on, but at last gave u p. No one present was there whom he believed to be the detective, and when an hour had passed he came'tO the conclusion that ,perhaps Graft.on had been detaine d and could not meet his engagement. H e had about concluded to leave for his hotel, when the door opened and a new .character entered. A little old man, with a painful hump on his back, and a st::iop that rende r e d him very nearly a dwarf, as he hobbled along on one crutch-a man VI ith straggling, unkempt beard and hair of purest white, and a face that, where not cov ered with hair, was a fiery color1 as though in flamed by a too excessive use of liquor. His garments, boots and hat were also n ;mch the worse for wear. "That mus t be Grafton," Barclay eoncluded, when he had taken a good survey of the new comer. "It i s a clever clisguise, if a disguise it is, anyhow." On entering the saloon the old hump-back.. took off his battered hat in his ri;;ht hand, and began passing-it around in hope of gettin g stray p ennies, but was unsuccessf ul. No time or dis position had these gamblei:s to part with their small change in the behalf of m e rcy or charity ; co nsequ ently the veteran fared slimly in the Crimson Palace A half-dime from Bonanza Bill, and a rusty copper from the barkeeper was the amount of his co llected treasure;. Eno u g h was it, however, for one purpose, and up t.o the bar hobbled the veteran, and planked his six cents upon the couuter'twith a suggestive smack of his lips and the sing e order of '.English savoring: "H'ale!" The drink was readily seTVed to him, and af ter pouring it down at a gulp, h e turne d and watched the game with qUlet satisfaction Gradually, however, he worked around to where Bonanza Bill had seated himse lf. Come," he said in a low tone, it is no t.o linge r here as nothing will be gained. We will go t.o W oll's Ranch, in the Chinr se district. Perhaps we may be able t.o strike a t rail there, if anywhere." "You are Graft.on?" 'Barclay demanded. Of course. I s my disguise so deep a s to baflle your sharp eyes?" was the r e ply. Ct is certainly perfect," the miner Good. It will need t.o be perfect, for I am widely known in Frisco, and as George Grafton I am not esteemed anv too high in the black haunts sacred to the Chinese slum. Come. I will lead, and you can follow a few moments be hind ne, to avoid susp i c ion. Look ont for yom self when we get in the quarter, for danger l ur ks ther.e in every shadow.

PAGE 12

Bonanza. B ill, the Man 'I'racktcr. 11 "Correct. Go ahead; I'll keep you in sight!" With a nod and a grunt the old hump-back h obbled awaY:\.and soon left the saloon. Bonanza Bill then lit a fresh cigar, and fol lowed in his wake out into tbe street. Waiting until the hump-back was severa l rods in advance, he sauntered along in pursuit. Street after street they traversed, until finally they entered the Chinese quarter by one of its narrowest, darkest thoroughfares. People were hurrying to and fro-people of all nations and callings, the Celestials predominating in numerical count. A hard-looking crowd of citizens wero these nocturnal peram bulators1 and, though no coward he was, Bonanza Bill Barclay kept one hand conveniently near his revolver. Enough of the wild phases cf western life had he seen to thoroughly believe the saying-" a man don't allus need a weapon, but when he wants it. he wants it powerful bad." The hump-back still hobbled on, and Barclay followed. He had received instructions to do so, and h e d epe nded much upon the .shrewdness and !/ood sense of Grafton, whom he had se.t down as 'no slouch." And, leaving the twain through the dark unenviable district of Celestials and crime, we will turn to another scene of our romance which calls our attention for the present. After leaving the detective's office, Bernard Havens hastened toward his own magnificent r esidtin'ce on B--street. On coming in sight of it he saw a stylishly attired young woman standing upon the steps, in the act of ringing the bell. With a muttered curse he bounded forward, and in a moment was bt>side her. "Stop!" he his sed, jerking her hand from the bell knob, "Who are you1 Speak! tell me1" I am Mabel McDowel I" the young woman rep,lied-" or, still better, I am Zoe Havens!" 'You are an impostor I" the banker breathed, savagely. "But, come with me; I must have a few words with you, in private." He opened the door and entered, the woman Aollowing him. She was young..._rretty, graceful-far from his expectations .tl e r eyes were ll.usky brown, and magnetic in their glanceher hair was of the same hue and beautifully puffed and frizred-her features were finely molded and pretty, the mouth wearing a win niil_g expression Her dress, wrappings and bat were ati rich in appearance. No s u ch woman had the banker expected to see\ and he led the-way to his private study, witn feelings of surprise. When they were seated, facing each otber, the new claimant Sf>?ke: You were evidently expecting me, dear papa?" she said, interrogatively, as she removed her gloves. Yes, I was you, bu only since an hoey ago, when I received a noto from Jake McDowel." "Exactly; I had him write.._ so that you would be prepared to r ece ive me. l suppose you are g l ad that kind Providence has restored you your child, after so many years I" '' You are not my child-you are some schem ing adventwess grown up from pauperdom, whom Jake McDowel has designed to foist upon me. You are no child of mine, I say!" "But, can you prove this assertion, siri" Miss McDowel asked, w1th unrutHed calmness. "I really think not. McDow e l claims to have srolen me from your house, when I was but an infant, his own child in my place. To this end he is willirig to take his oath." Bernard H avens groaned, inwardly. He foresaw that McDowel h eld tho winning hand -knew that as for himself he was without weapons of defense. "And you believe that ycu are my daugh ter?" he demanded, gazing at her keenly. "I presume I do," was the decided reply "at any rate, I am not averse to occupying the position." "But have you no feelings for her who always been a loving daugl:.ter to me1 Would you willingl;y: deprive h e r of h e r p ositio n and send her adrift nnmele ssi" She i s nothing to m e," the girl claimant re plied, with the same t ormenting, independent coolness. She is usurping my rights, and must, of course, step out. As for bl>ing nameless, perhaps she could negotiate with McDowel for a. share of his name and fatherly protection; or. if your royal nibs thinks it too hummating t out o f my place, I am sure." Girl! you are a heartless wretch-the same in spirit as your ruffianly colleague. You are. no daughter of mine, and I will r.ot countenance> you as s u ch -at l east, not at present. Y cu ca r & not a fig for me-you have not even a tithe of resfi'.ct for me. T ell me-is this net soi" Undoubtedly it is quite correct." And your main obJect, therefore, must bet() attain wealth and position "You are right again." "I thought so. To be my daughter i s no ob j ect, so long as your position and money are in. sured. Now, I will make you a proposition. J want one month's reprieve-one month in which to establish proof that you are not my daugh ter. In the mean time, you are to remain beret my guest, but are to keep your mouth sealoo and your bands literally chained, or in other words, you are not to, in any word, manner or act let a suspicion escape thr.t you a.re other thau my niece, just over from England. You sha ll have the h ospita lity of my .home, and I will pay you. a hundred dollars, down now. During the coming montb, I will set to work, to establish the proof I want. If I prove to you beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are not my daughter, you are tc> accept five thousand dollars from me and honorably retire from the field binding yourself) never to put forth a c laim on me egam. If1l to establish this proof witbin thirty days after to-day, I am to publicly acknowledg-e yo u my daughter, and rPmove the present Z oo Have ns from the position she now occupies. There! you have my only terms-the treaty or a. desperate man. Refu5e to accept, and I will

PAGE 13

Bonanza Bill, the Man Tra.cker. see that yo u n ever g o out of this househ except as a corpse This room is voi c e-ti ght, t e walls being double and padded. I will murde r you, and then-Jake M:cDow e l's de,Yfils4 plot for gold will be baffled, at least!" There was a wild, d etermined gleam in the banker's e y es as he fini shed speaking, and a -perspiratio n stood upon his forehead, evidenc .mg h o w muc h in earnes t h e was. Mabel M c D o w e l heard him through as calmly as though s h e had been listening to a l ecture of uo ordinary interes t, or a sl eepy sermon. "I will a c c ept!" she said, quietly. "I am 'Satisfied that y o u can prove and there fore don't mind giving y o u a months breathing s pell, during whic h I can be a lady from Eng land. But if McDow e l comes-" "I will attend to his case. Have you a pho -tofiraph of him' /" 'No. H" n e v e r had one taken." It m atters not. I will h ave my door servant admit no one of hi s name.'' That -will do. H e will probably Jaunt you -up h o w e v er, as the ten thousand d ollars y o u gave him as hush-mone y are exhaust:.ed, and h e still co nsid ers m e m o n e y to hill. N o w, if y o u please you m a y show m e my fair rival, as I am anxio u s to vi e w h e r "You s hall see h e r but, mind you, d on't dare to hint a suspi cion to h er. A pure r h earted girl neve r Ii v e d." "Ohl n o d oubtoftha t MissMabelMc D o w e l 58.id, with biting sarcasm a s s h e arose and fol l o wed the banker fro m the r oom After t hey had bee n gon e from the study, som e few m o m e n ts, the d oo r of a g reat b ook -case swung o p e n a n d Sydney S eelyice stepped into the r oom a pec uliar siniste r smile upon his :Sallow f eatures. CHAPTER V S EELYICE SHOWS HIS FANGS. NOT a half-h our a fter Bonanza Bill and the <>Id hump-back l eft the C r imso n Palace saloo n, -Oeorge Grafton, u ndis,,"Uised, but a r med to the teeth e ntered i t. On g l a ncin g around t h e r oom, and not per -ceiving B a r c lay a mo n g those gathe red the r e h e uttered a l o w excl a m atio n o f disappoint m ent. I tho u g ht,, s h o ul d miss h i m becau se o f being detained so late a t t h e office,' h e m utter ed "He has probably gone back to hi s h ote l now." Afte r taking a second glance to r eass ure him "Self that Bar c lay was not t h ere, t h e d etective stepp ed u p to t h e bar and called fo r a cigar. "Did n't see a f ellow i n h e r e, a short time a g o dressed i n buc k s k in, fringed with hair hdid y o u?" h e ask ed o f t h e b a r kee p e r as h e Jig ted 'his c h e root. "Yes, thar wassecb a feller in b ee t I r ec k o n ," was t h e reply. "Wor e l ong h a'r, a n' bed gol d buttons on hiS rig, didn't he!" "Yes." / "Waal he was b ee r a bit ago, but went out directly. D unno w h a r he went." Did h e go a l o n e!" "Waal, I rut h e r guess not; l eas t w i se I see'd him talki n w ith sum pilgrim who we r e m a d e up like a b eggar, a n d I opine they wGlllt out c lu ss ter each oth er." "Then, by Heaven, he has beeii tricked!' Grafton gasped, in unde r his breath. Some enemy of his, or perhaps 8.n agent of the ac cursed League has decoyed him, pretending to he me. But how did the party know of our appoinmient, or my intention to come disguised! We must have had eavesJroppers at our interview to-day." Leaving the saloon, the d etective went ouli upon the street. He was quite at loss what to do: Undoubtedly the dashing mine r had been de. coyed, but to what part of Frisco's great city it was no eas y matter to determine. Hundreds of criminal d ens abounded within the city limits, and to any one of these Barclay mi?ht have been lured. There is work for me nop, to find this mine r1 whom I have joined hands with as a pard, Grafton muttered, as he pushed along throug h the dark by.o;treet toward Bus h stree t "I must unearth him, be h e in the blackest retreat in the city. If he has bee n CRptured by Madam Mystery and h e r gan g I mus t r escue him. I n e v e r w ent back on a pardne r y e t, and I r eckon I shall not o n this dashing mine r First of a ll, I will visit W olf's Ranc h, and make obse 1vations. But, befo r e goin gt I must disguise myself and leav e a trace benind s o that should I g e t trapped the r e will be no cliffi culty in d etermining as to m y fate." M aking his w a y rapidly toward Coa s t street, h e soon arrived at his office. Unlocking the .doo r h e entered and the n c l osed it behind him. Lig h ting the gas, h e firs t seated him self at his d e sk, with ink, pen and paper before him, and in a few m o m e nts h e fra med the following : "SAN FRAN0 1 s co Nov. -, 187-. "DEAR Mrs s Z o E : Sin c e l as t w e met'I h a v e had th e h o nor of a call fr o m your estimab l e fath er a nd am ab out to ass i s t him if in m y power I am a l s o goi ng to t a k e h o ld o f anoth e r case, a n d m ust n ecessa rily v e n ture i nt o t he dark haunts of t hi s city. T o nigh t I a m going1 dis guised, i nto the C h i n ese district. i n search o r crim inals an d crimi n a l evide n ce I sh all of course run so m e b u t r eckon I can figh t m y own way If, l1o wever, yo n do n ot find me at my offic e t omo r row m o rning, yo u may ca l cul
PAGE 14

Bonanza. the Man Tracker. 13 'Miss Mabel McDowel to the grand parlor upon the first floor. . Here, all in.the line of elegant decoration, furniture and adornment, that a lavish expenditure of money could procure, was on exhibition, and the banker could with pride boast of one of the most magnificent parlors in the Pacific city of Frisco. Miss McDowel surveyed the appointments with evident admiration. 11 You have a grand place, uncle," she said in a mocking tone. 11 x c u must be very rioh to count rour appointments in so ex a manner.' 11 Were I poor, I should not have the honor of this visit from you," the banker replied, with t:harp sarcasm. At this moment the door opened, and Zoe en tered. She was attired in a plain but rich drawing-room costume, and in the place of j e w elry, wore a little knot of delicate flowei'Sat her throat. Quietly pretty she lookesl, but hers was the contrasting beauty to the flash appearance of Miss McDowel. A critic o n second thought would have sefocted Zoe as the most faithful beauty. 11 Zoe, this is Lady McDow e l, my niece, from London, the banker said, by way of introduction. 11 I trust you will like each other." 11 'Chat your daughter, dear uncle!" Miss McPoweisaid in pretende d amazement. "Why, how vcrypiain she is, and-and different from what I expected!" There was just a tithe of bitter irony in her tones, and Zoe felt it keenly, a critnson flush suffusing h e r forehead. Bernard Havens frowned. 11 You are too critical, my dear Lady Mab e l!" h e said, reprovingly. 11 Zoe is pltin in dress, from no choice but her own, but in other respects I believe h e r appearance compares favorably with the prettiest young ladies in Frisco." "Perhaps, dear uncle; you know the more we see of a person, the better grows the impression. Will you come and kiss me, my cousin!" 11 If you choose to arise, madam, I will shake hands with you!" Zoe replied, with becoming spirit. It was now Miss McDowel's turn to flush, and an angry glitter entered h e r eyes. It was mortifying to her to have her decided snub thus returned. Oh! certainly," she replied, rising and sweeping forward, gracefully. I expect to make a share of the advances." Th e two young women touched hands and then returned to their seats. Bernard Havens felt compelled to break the silence that ens ued. ''I trust you bad' a pleasant trip across the water, Lady McDowel,'' he said. 11 These ocean trips in autumn are so often fraught with peril as to render that incde of traveling un pleasant." "Ob 1 I bad a delightful trip a ll the way from Lon don here,'j was tbe reply. 11 The O<'!'an was orderly, and the ;ionrncy across the States hr.s been most pleasant." Desultorr conversation followed, and finally Miss McDowel asked to be shown to her room. After she bad gone Zoe turned to the banker, with a pale face and great agitation. 11 Papa! who is that woman, and what brings her here!" 11 She is your-your cousin, my dear, and has come to pay us a visit,'' the banker li e d, not without perceptible agitaticn. "Nol no! sbe is not! You are deceiving me by this pretense! I am well satisfied that she is no way related to us. You never mentioned the name of McDow e l in my presence; and I know this woman is not what yo u wouJd have me beli e ve. Tell me, truthfully, wby is she here!" "I cannot!" Bernard Havens sa id, shaking his head. "I have t o ld you all I can, at pres ent. She is h ere, and you must treat her respectfully Ere long, perhaps, I can explain all ro your satisfaction." "Tell m e, now-I must know. Can you have any secrets from me !" "I cannot tell you," the banker replied firm y. "I have a seeret, and it is n ecessary that yen should not know its import at presen t. Be a good girl now, and do not seek that which would only make you miserable to know. All in due time you shall know, when the threatening cloud that now menaces us bas blown over. It may not be wrong, how e ver, for me to tell you that the woman is my foe, but I must bide my enmity under a cloak of hypocrisy. There, now, run away, and be a good girl, and be as you have always been,_my trusting, loving daughter." And, kissing her gently upon the forehead, the banker l ef t the parlor and ascended to his study. On entering he found Sidney &elyice comfortably seated in an an:n"cbair, with bis heels elevated at a dangerous angle, upon the nearest desk, while he puffed demurely at a fragrant cigar. The banke r frowned as be saw him, but refrained from speaking bis surprise at finding bis step-son in his private office, a place which he held sacred to bis business relations. Of late Seelyice bad manifested more than usual assurance, and bad taken greater liberty both in word and action, and this the banker had but bad said notbinFj. At the death of his secona wife, he had promised her that he would ofl'er Sidney a home as long as be should behave himself as a gentleman, and he had kept bis promise-more, had on more than one oc casion loaned him money in considerable sums, which tbe dutiful step-son had in each case forgotten to pay back. 11 Good-evening, daddy," Seelyice said, as the banker entered; "excuse my intrusion, here, but you see Ilve been spooking around in your library for a good book to read, and failing to find one, I next espied a box cf cigars, and thought I'd smoke. I see you have lady visi tors." "Yes-Lady McDowel, from London," Havens briefly replied, as he seate d himself at bis desk. "Alias Miss Zoe Havens, the new claimant for the Havens inheritance," Seelyice observed coolly.

PAGE 15

14 Bonanza Bill, the Man Tracker. The banker started and whit;ened. "What do you know about that?" he gasped. Oh. I know a considerablei" the dutiful step-And w;ith a cool the tallow-faced, ef feminat;e step-son, took his hat and left the room. "Yes, yes! when you do get Zoe, it will be all in the family,'' Havens mutt;ered, aft;er he had gone. "I have had my eyes opened to your defects, my fine fellow, and I had as lief fight you as the other rascals who are besieging me. Ah, Heaven! how l ong will I be able to hold out against the overwhelming odd!.1" 150n rep1ied, _triumphantly. chanced to be in this room during your int;erview with her to day. Hearing your approach, and the sound of an unfamiliar female voice, I naturally felt timid, and secreted myself in yonder capacious bookcase. Therefore, you perceive, I was forced to be an unwilling eavesdropper." Confound you, what business here, in the CHAPrER VI. first place! NOW the devil's to pay I" the banker FORGET ME, IN THE LOVE OF THE OTHER." growled. i ZOE HAVENS passed a most,!lliserable night. "No, I wouldn't pay the devil anything, as When in her bed she lay and thought over tha he Isn't in the case," Seelyice laughed, coolly. situation, and the result was a copious outburst "What spare cash you have to dispense with of tears; tears prompted more by anxiety for you can give to me." her father than fears for herself. "Then you think I will buy your silence?" Neve : before, to her knowledge, had he with-Havens his brow growing dark with held from her any of his secrets, but had always rising anger. made her his confidante and counsel, seeming to "Ob, yes; I am confident that you will come put much reliance in her woman's down right handsomely. You can afford to do But there had come a change now. It n eeded so, rather than to have me go unburden myself no second sugl'lestion to convince her of that. In to Miss Zoe." addition to his other troubles, her father was "Would you be so ungrateful, after all I have carrying a '80cret concerning the strange young done for you!" woman whom he had brought home with him. "Oh, certainly. You see, it is not oft;en that A secret it was, and Zoe felt sure that it was one gains an advantage in this world, and. once a great one, or he would not keep it from h er. gained, he is the fool who does not hang on to it. In vain she tried to arrive at a correct conclu Besides, my dear daddy, I have another trifling sion of what hold this insolent stranger held claim upon you-bought it of a drunken miner upon her father, though she puzzled hei""f>rett} a few mghts ago, or rather, won it at a game head until it ached. of cards." The worry over the matt;er precluded all pos. "A c laim, sir-what do you mean!" sibility of sleep, until a lat;e hour; consequently "A note, drawn by you in favor of John Zoe did not arise until time for breakfast. Shields, miner, for $5,000, and by him transOn descending to the J,!arlor, she found the ferred to me I" Seelyice replied, coolly. "'But bogus Lady Mablein the act of finishing read you needn't fret about it, ybu know, for I shall in?. a l ett;er, and inclosing itin an envelope. not push the matter, but r eserve the not;e until me, my dear cousin," the claimant it has accrue d some interest." said, 'laJing the missive down upon the ma_rl;>le Bernard H fair sister," a cynical ana, if I should get Zoe, you see, ft woald voice said, and Sydney r:1eelyioo stepped from a be al.I in the family." cty:'tained al.cove, with bis usual cat-like tread.

PAGE 16

Bona.nsa Bill, the Man 'Tracker. ?:oe turned upon him with a start. "Yon are ever hlrking where you can overhear what concerns you not, sir!" she said, haughti-l y ... Oh I you do me an injustice, now, by saying that, my dear. I happened to be in there watching the people go by this most pleasant morning, beina too deuced lazy to crawl out myself. But, 'Zoe, my girl, you do not seem in the least disturbed by the-the-weU-the situation of affairs 1" "I do not understand you, Sydney Seelyice; what do you mean?" "Ahl then our model papa has not apprised you of the existing state of affairs, eh 1" "He has told me notbing, sir I" the banker's daughter rephed, with quivering lip. "Tbat is wrong. He should have told you, first. But I suppose he wanted to kee p the trouble from you as long as possible." "Tell me wbat you mean-what this trouble is-what the secre t is between my fathe r and the stranger he brought here last nighti Tell me, Sydney Seelyica, for the love of heav en I" "On one condition, Miss Zoe. Soon/on will be cast upon the world, penniless an friendless, and will need a strong arm to protect you. I wi,l.l not ask you to marry me yet-I simply ask your true friendship. Grant me that, and I will tell you what brings Mabel Mc Dowel 1" "Sydney Seelyice, when you prove beyond a doubt that you a.re an earnest and unselfish friend, you shall have my friendship, and not until then I" Zoe replie d, haughtily. Then I will already consider myseH in your respect, for I shall prove to you that I am your friend, and the only one{ou have in San Francisco. The information am about to give you will doubtless astonish you, but it is probably true, nevertbelP.ss. Yon are not Berria.rd Havens's daughter!" Not his daughter ? Zoe had arisen, but she now reeled back aghast, and clutched a chair for support, her face grown as white as alabaster. "Not his daughter, Sydney Seelyice? What do t,o u m ean?" Precisely what I said-that you are not Bernard Havens' s daughter. This Mabel Mc Dowel bas come here, claiming to have proofs to the effect that she, instead of you, right fully holds that position. Years ago, it seems, when -your father reigned at Havens Heath, and when you were an infant, an English rascal, nameci McDowel. made a change of children, by abducting Havens's own child, and placing hi s in its place, there being at the time F, decided r esemb l a n ce between the babes. "Years ago, this M c Dowel wrote and explained the case to Bernard Havens. and threat ened to put forward the rightful claimant for the Havens inheritance. My dutiful step-dad was, of course, strong in his belief, despite Mc Dowe l's evide n ce, that you were his own child, and to avoid a sensation and to avert a family disgrace, he> forwarded McDowel hushmoney to silence him for a stat;ed term of years, which have now expired, and Miss Mabel Mc .Vowel has come forward to take her position as the real Zoe Havens. To save you :(rom the knowledge of your fall, however, Havens arranged with the McDowel to keep still for a month, by appearing as his niec e, during which time he intends to arrange, benevolently, for your future welfare I believe That is the long and s h ort of the matter, and my sympathy was so great for you that I could not avoid telling you, althouy,h Havens attempted to bribe me mto silence. Zoe stood like a rigid statue, with co lorless face and wild eyes and hen.rd him throug h, word for word. Then a l ow moan escaped her-she sunk upon the C}:iair and pillowed her face upon h e r arm, as it rested on the chairback. For several minutes Seelyice saw her form tremble and quiver with emotion but when she finally raised her head, her eyes were tearless. "Then, if what you say i s true, I am occupy ing a false position?" she said, with a wonderful calmness, born of a courageous, proud nature. "It would seem so," Seelyice replied. "But there is one chance in a thousand for yon yet, as Havens has a month.in which be will atteml?tto prove that the McDowel claimant has no nght to the position." You do not for a moment suppose that he will succeed, do you!" "Candidly, I have no hopes in that direction. McDowel is ready to swear to the kidnapping and exchange, and a court would recognize you as not.Havens's child or he:y. and Havens having no rnbutting evidence to offer, Mabel McDowel would no doubt win the day. " The case shall not bi contRsted," Zoe said, calmly. I thank you, Mr. Seelyice, for what you have told me. until you are better paid." Then turning, she swept from the r oo m. g8:zed after her, with a gloating expression m his eyes -"By St. Christopher! I'd give my soul to pos sess that grand girl! She is such a woman as would change a devil into a saint. I must scheme to obtain her. I think I have taken an initial step in the right direction. She will not r emain h ere-her proud spirit will start her out upon the world. My plan will then be to keep traclr of her until I find her_in desperateneed,.and then urge my case until I win her. And as for the Havens inheritance-we ll, we shall see. P erhaps I may have a finger in that pie, if things work right." Seelyice bad not guessed at fault, when he concluded that Z oe would leave the banker's hou se after what she had heard. Sbe was a brave, courageous girl, but too in dependent to live upon the bounty of any one upon whom she had no natural claim. She knew how to work, and it was with the deliber ately formed resolve t,o leave Bernard Havens's house, and seek her own living upon the world, tbat she left Seelyice, and ascended to h e r own rooms. She was perfectly calm, despite her new de termination. To be sure, she was not aware just bow she was going to turn, but with a brave heart, she felt that she could get a living by work, and

PAGE 17

18 Bonanza. Bill, Ma.n Tracker. even lJ, meage r existence now would be preferable tO be a dependent upon the bounty of Ber narQ. Havens. Seating herself at a small writing-desk, she tOok forth ink, pen and paper, _and wrote in a pretty hand, the letter as follows: "DEAR PAPA:-By the time you receive this, I shall b e a 1 absent e e yo11r hou s e hold. A rev elation ha.< come t o me that I have bem occupying a fal se position here and as I do not wish to usurp an other 's right, I make room, chterfully, with a bless ing upon your bead for your kind care and protec tion o f me in the past. Do not worry about me-I am young and strong. and have abundant faith that I can care for myself. witb God's aid You did to kee p the real Z < n Hav e ns thus long out o f her rightful position, and I hope she may be blessed with your fatherly interest, as I h a v e always been. Forget me, in the Jove of the other. "ZOE.,, That was all, but it seemed tO satisfy her, for she inclosed it in an envelope, and took it to the banker's office, where she left it. The n, donning her wraps, and taking h e r purse, she left the Havens mansion for the pitiless streets of San About the same hour phat Zoe set out upon the streets, Bernard Havens left his banking establishment, and hailing a cab, he entered, and was whirled rapidly away into one of most aristocratic avenues of the city. After a short ride he was dropped in front of a handsome stone residence, and mounting the steps, he rung the bell. A servant soon !j-ppeared and showed him into ah elegantly-appointed reception-room; then taking bis card, disappeared. H e soon reappea red, however, and the banker was shown to a modest private parlor upon the second floor There were no o ccupants when the banker entered, but he bad been seated but a few minutes when a lady entered frQ{ll an adjoining room a woman of the mo3t commanding beauty of face and form, attired in an elegant costume of gray silk, trimmed with"the most costly of ported laces A woman of not over two-andtwenty years of age, stately of figure and fair of face, with marvelously pretty features, a pleasant pair of brown eyes, and a great profus ion of golden hair, stylishly arranged-a woman whos e throat was encircled by a necklace of diamonds, and who also wore these valuable jewels upon her fin:gers and in her hair. Bernard Havens arose from his chair, and greeted her warmly. "Miss Stul-devant, you are looking yom best to-day," he said, as he resumed his seat, "and your fascinating appearance bids me hope that the important answer I came for is to be favorable." The beautiful woman smiled, winningly, at his speech I am glad if my appearance pleases you, Mr. Havens," she said. "I like to be fair in your eyes, you know. What very pleasant days we are having now." "Very true; the weather is most desirable. But laying aside the ordinary topics, permit me to exhibit a little loverly impatience, my dear, and beg you tO let me know my fate. Suspense is what drives a man frantic!" Then you should never court that dangerous conditionh" Mis.5 Sturdevant replied, with a musical lang "As to my answer, dear Mr. Havens, I must disappoint you, I fear, as I really cannot decide at present. When I bade you come to-day for a r eply tO your highly flat tering proposal, I supposed 1 should be ready tO make a d eci3ion in your favor, but I have been so busy since then tbat I could scarcely give a tbonp;ht to your case." "But-but this is twice you have fooled me in this way, Lucille. How am I to know that I will ever get an answer!" the banke r protested, evidently anything pleased with the disap pointment. "Oh, by faith, of course. Faith and perseverance, you know, win the crown." "But why can you not decide now as well as later? I am very wealthy, and can offer you a magnificent home, the company of myself and a charming daughter, and b etter than all, even a better grade of society than you now enjoy. What else can you want more than this, except the love of a warm-hearted man, which I have already cast at your feet?" "I wlint time to r eflect and consider, sir. A woman bas much to take into consideration be fore accepting a proposal of marriage, and, although I love you, Bernard, and shall probably eventually marry you, I could not think ot promising you without mature deliberation, Your ric hes, I may add, are only a secondar)'. consideration, as I have considerable wealth or my own." Thiin you will give me no definite answer?" "Not now, Mr. Havens. At another time ] may, and when you get the answe r it will prob ably be an encouraging one. Until that time take from the knowledge that I l.Jve you." I will endeavor tO do so. But there is one question I would ask: What is my step-son tO you? I saw you talking .tO him, a few days ago, as I passed by. You were standing on the steps." Oh, Sydney Q.as been a devoted suitor for my hand for a long time, but, poor fellow, I never can gi'<'e him the least encouragement. So you have no cause tO be jealous, Mr. Ha vens." And so thE' banl,:er took his departure, fully satisfied that she was an angel, although rathe r a provoking one. He had fallen in love with her at firot sight, and for several IDOJ'.lths past had courted her, unknown tO Z oe with the view of taking her home as his bride. And the woman! A 8ilvery, sarcastic laugh escaped her pretty, tempting lips, after the banker was safely out of hearing The poor fool!" she said rising and survey. irig her beautiful self in the great pier-glass that 0rnamented one end of the room; "as if I could lo'lie him, an old man, while I am so young and beautiful! To be sure I might be tempted to marry him, but it would only be for the sake of fingering his money-bags, al ready too full tO hold all his wealth. Ha! ha! perhaps I shall marry him. yet, and then deSOJ't him after awhile for niy darling S-ydney.

PAGE 18

Bonanza Bill, the Man Tracke_r. 11 A h! he is the one I Jove-the only one who ever thrilled me .by touch, word or action. Rich, reckless, beautiful though I am1 with the power of bleeding the world, I woula marry Sydner, Seelyice, to-day, were he to make me an offer CHAPTER VII. 'BARODA Y'S "FIX." LET the reader not s uppose that the notorious Chinese quarter of San Francisco is wholly made up of small anCl filthy habitations. Indeed 'there are some pretentious structurns that 1ival those in the other parts of the city and t.hese are mainly occupied by a class of the Chinese who have set themselves above their brethren on account of having gathered around them a greater amount of sheltels. It was to one of these mansions that the humpback led the way and Bonanza Bill fol l owed. Not a s uspicion bad entered his mind that all was not right, or that be wasnotfollowing George Grafton, until he bad followed the dwarf into the ball of the big mansion, and heard the door swing shut, with a click. The n be beheld the humpback confronting him with a l eveled r evolver. "You are my prisoner, William Barclay," a f eminine voice announced. You r e fused to leave the tow1 r, as ordered by the Madam, and I was sent to decoy you hithe r You stand now in the retreat of'the League of Twelve." Bill gave a low whistle of surprise. "And, you ain't George Grafton at all?" he interrogated, grimly. "Of cow"Se not," the decoy declared, with a musical laugh. I am one of the League of Twelve I have brought you here in order that Madrun Mystery can talk twkey to you." Blame it, then show m e this wo;nderful madame," Bill said, undauntedly. "She's the v ery old h eifer I want to see, and all the other old maid.5, too." "Ha! ha! out of the whole twelve, pardner you wou l d only find three pretty women -that 18, Madam Mystery, Edna Earle, and myself." "Ohl you're pretty, then, with that disguise off?" "Just a little, they sav." "Where is this Edna Earl e!' ? She bas been abEmt severa l days." "We ll, the n, take me to Madam Mystery, for I want to see her. When she gits tbru with me, I wanttose.iyou ag'in, and have a chat with you. T he d eco y bowed, and led the way up the richly carpeted staircase into another grandly frescood ball and along that until thi>y came to a pair of folding doors, which she pushed open, and entered a magnificently furnis hed library, containing after case of books, magazines and Bonanza Bill into this apartment, the humpback quickly retired, closing the door behind her. Standing in the center of the room, with bis bands thrust into his pockets, the miner-sharp from the Leopard Lode, proceeded to observe his surroundings with the coolest indifference After taking in the general appointments of the room, be turned and nodded to a masked woman who bad just entered-a handsomelyformed creature, attired in a stylis h su,it ot corn-co lored silk, trimmed with lace, and having a great trail; with diamonds upon her fin. gers, at her throat, a !ld upon her hair, which was abundant, golden hued and prettil y arranged. The mask she wore only covered h e r eyes, and Barclay could see that she was wondrousl y pretty of face, as well as of form. "Good-mornin', ma'am," be Eaid, d o ffing b i s hat, with a twitch. I r ec k o n m ebbe you're the one they call Madam Myst e ry!" "I am, indeed, Madam Mystery. And who are you?" the woman pausing a few feet from him, and surveying him criticall y Well, I reckon I'm r eg istered as Bonan za Bill Barclay when I'm t6 home," the miner answered. They sed as bow you wanted to tork turkey to me, an' so I waltzed over ter see ye. "If you are Bill Barclay, you are indeed the man I wish to see," Madam Mystery eaid, bow ing. Pray be seated." She wheeled forward two easy-chairs, and mot.ioned Barcllly to occupy the one, while she t ook possession of the other. "Will you have some wine with me, before we converse!" the Queen of the Twelve asked. "No ma'am I rathe r reckon not" Bill re plied, frrmly. '"I don't indulge, a year ago, when one of your tools flee<'ed me out o f some valuable r;csse ssions while I was drunk.'' The Madam augbed. Ha! ha! one little J oss shou l d not d i sco urage you. However, I will not ask you to drink. I t 1s of that matter of one year ago that I would spe.ak. It seems that you have surmis e d that Edna Earle was a mem l:er of my band, and now you have joined bands w i t h George Grafton, de tective, in an effort to find and break up the League of Twelve. Tell me your object in this move." "Humph! need you ask! My motive is that of an honest man, who would see crime and rascality eternally wiped out.'' "Bu t you have never suffered at the bands of the League!" "You lie! The woman, Edna Earle, robbed me of gold, and of papers that were very valuable only to me!" "Ahl y es I remember now that she handed me a bundle of parers, and I put the m away in my safe, where 'they have remained s ince. As to the money I never rnw-any." "Then she kept it herself. But that is only a secondary ccnsid ation. The papers I want more than aught else." I presume rn, and undoubtedly we can make arrangemi>nts for their delivery. But, first, tell me, bow you came to know aught of the League of Twelve!" Barclay reflected a moment. "I don't know as there will be any harm in tellin' you." be said, after a moment. '' I found an old coffin in the cellar where the Diamond Queen left me, one year ago. On opening it, I discovered a skeleton, and also a docum ent, purporting to have been written by Jarecki Armstrong, an. old outlaw, who had been engaged i n every phase of crime. The docum ent also told of bis last scheme, befug the organization of the League of Twelve, with you the Queen."

PAGE 19

Bon ... nu. Bill. t'ne M a n Tracker. J knew nothing of the existence of such a document;_or it should have been destroyed!" Madam Mystery sai d, earnestly. "Jarecki Armstrong was my husband. I married him upon h is death-bed." "You must h a ve tho u ght a heap of his cadav er," B a r clay declared, "to have chucked it away in a cellar." That was his r.!!r, I will give you twenty thousand dollars to leave this country forever, and n ever betray the secrets that have come into your possession Which proposition will you acce pt?'' "Neithe r!" Bonan za Bill r eplied firmly. As I told you before, you cannot b u y m e ; no r can you make terms with me, in any way or manner-not for a fortune My D!l,Jlle is Bill Barclay, an' when I make u my mind to a thing you can't move m e no more than you can move a of the Sierras. " The n your doom is sealed. You shall never leave this place alive. I have offered you every proposition that was tempting, and now if yon r e fus e y o u have brought a fate upon yourself. And ris ing, the F e mal e Forger touched a bell; th0 ""or opened, admitting a half doz e n masked persons in men's garb, but who were in rea1ity wom e n. They were armed with revolvers and

PAGE 20

Bonanza Bill, the Man Tracker 19 the moment they ent.ered, they .1:overed Bonanza Bill. "Take this man away, and incarcerate him in the dunf?eon !" Madam Mystery commandedii sternly. Let him be chained to prevent a possibility of escape and fed twice a day on bread and water I" The band of masked tools advanced, and threw themselves pon the miner, and though he struggled they were too much for him; he was finally overpowered and bis bands secured be hind him. Then at a motion from the Female Forger, they led him from the room, and down the stairs to the second floor; thence through the lower ball and through a series of elegantly furnished rooms, until they arrived in a small room in the r ear, barren of furniture 0r ornaments. H e r e they formed in a circle, and pushed the miner into the center of the circle. One of the masked outlaws stepped beside him. Suddenly a section of the floor began to sink, and the twain gradually disappeared below the floor. Down-down the y went out of sight; downdown into the depths of the earth below that palace of crime in the Chinese district. Barclay, with bis arms pinioned, could in no way or manner r e sist. He was heip l ess in the power of the criminal league of the Pacific city1 and all he could do was to remain inactive, ana suffer himself to be borne down into the earth, he knew not how far. As they descended they were in Stygian darkness, but he concluded by the closeness of the air that they w ere descending into a pit, or sort of well. Down, down they went, slowly, but still down, until last the platform on which they stood grated upon a bottom. Then be beard bis masked companion fumbling about, and finally she struc k a match, and lit a candle in a niche in the rocky wall that surrounded them. By the light diffused be was able to look around him. The through which they descended was an immense well, probably very very deep, and the sides were very steep. At the bottom, where they bad baited, a grated iron door opened into the wall, and .with a huge iron key his companion unlocked and opened this and motioned him to enter. Knowing no better way than to obey, be entered, and she steppe d after him to the threshold "Fear no1; Mr. Ba.r elay she said, in a musi cal voi ce that h e thought he bad heard before. Although your prospects may a.pp-ear anything but charming, they are not t,o be quite so bad as .they may seem I will see you a.gain, when I am not watched." "Who a.re you?" be demanded, in surprise. "The same membe r who de coyed you. My name is R ose Lawton. Be of brave h eart now, until you see me a.gain." Then she c losed the door, and locked it from the outside, and a moment later be beard the platform glide rapidly upward. But for that w0man I am liable to rot in this damp 4ungeon," tb. e mine r m1:1ttered. "Will she come again, and will b e r commg do me any particular good? God grant it may be so, for my only bepe is 11.ow centered ill. her!" CHAPTER VII. IN TIGHT QUARTERS. ONE week lat.er. A peri.od ?f tim!l in a great, bustling. ever-movmg city like Frisco; yet some old philosopher has characteristically remarked that a. world can be built in a week, with one day to spare, so that one nee d not r emark at great changes in a week's time. Durmg this e lapse, George Grafton bad thoroughly ransacked the more important dens in the Chinese district, but without success in his mission. N owbere could he st:tike the trail of the miss ing minell.i... nowhere could be learn any tidings of him. .t1.e had completely dropped out of the world, as it were, and the detective finally gave up all hope of finding him. Still something caused him to haunt the Chi nese district. He was watching for some clew that might lead to bis gaining knowledge concerning the League of Twe lve, in whose custody he had no doubt Bonanza Bill was held. As sharp of eye as a lynx, and as patient as & cat on the watch for its prey,. the detective waited and watched, spending the larger share of his time at tbevile haunt known as the Wolf's Rauch. A clever actor be was in addition to his other gifts, and he sustained his cbar.acter of Sandy Morse so cleverly that his disguise was never' suspected. Wolf's Ranch was situ4ted upon a wretched street in a wretched part of the Chinese section, and was a one-storied building of considerab l e width and length, but dingy and smoky in ap-pearance. ID.side the condition was not much better. The building was partitioned off into four rooms, the first, on t:ntering, containing the bar, tbt> second was devoted to gambling, and the third was a lunch-room The last, consequently, w a s a kitchen. The walls of all these apartments were soiled and smoked, and everywhere were the dents of bullet-boles and suspicious stains, which told of many a bloody brawl. Here, at this den, nightly-and daily, for that matter-congregated scores of the worst cbar a.ct.ers in the city of San Francisco-men wbo had figured in every phase of terrible crimemen who rob for money-men who murdered for money: gamblers, bruisers, villains and ruffians at large, whose vile natures were mir rored in their dark, sinister faces. No saintly crowd for an honest man to among, as well may be guesse d, and yet, m bis disguise of the bullwba.cker, George Grafton boldly entered into this den of danger, and mingled with its inmates. No man was he to hesitate because danger lay in bis path. He pushed ahead first and consider ed the danger afterward. The evening one w ee k from the night be bad set out in search of Barclay found him loung mg in the gamblingroom of Wolf's Ranch, pre tending t.o watch the various games, but in reality using his eyes for a different purpose. The Ranch was well filled with its ha. bitues, and a hubbub of noises prevailed t .bat was at times nea.rly deafening. Some wera

PAGE 21

90 Bona.naa BW, the l!lan Tracker. drunk and noisy; others were quarreling over If.lied, not offering to take the proffered hand.. the games, and knOw, an' I'll Very little concerning this Chinese quarter allow ye're a cussed fraud! did they knovy, or care to know, and the detec -Grafton scowled-not so much because of his tive voted it a discredit to the authorities who anger toward the miner, but because he had unheld the managerial reins of the city, that they wittingly committed himself. did not clean out the vile section, and rid it of Previously he had strictly adhered to the rude its nest of cri'minals. language peculiar to the citizens of the Amon.,. the motle y gang collected to-night, mines and he now saw that he had made a big noticeabYe for his boisterousness and quarrelnoticeable even to the half-drunken some disposition, was a strapping fellow from ruffian. the mines, dirty.and slou.;!hy of dress, and dark It was a thing he had never done before, in and evil of countenance-his face with it:.s rough his experience as a detective. stubble of black beard and its gleaming: blood"I say y'u're a d urned fraud!" McDowel again shot eyes, being very .sinister and repulsive to cried, after waiting a moment for Grafton to reply, "an' ef ye want to take et up, jest tread He was armed with a beltful of weapons, and on my toes, and I'll pounce onter ye and yank the way in which he waltzed about the saloon ther starch outen you quicker'n a cat can chaw seemed to indicate that )le was full of "p'izen," mice. the style of a hairpin I am!" and ripe for a brawl with auy one that came "I'd advise you to go along erbout rer biz-along. ness, pard !" Grafton replied, coolly. I ain't Several times he had attempted to pick a owin' ye nothin', I allow, an' ye'll find et yer quarrel with various but they were evi-best plan ter git right up an' git, afore ye suddently not desirous G1' tacKting him, and passed denly git hurt." over the insu lts as good-naturedly as possible "Ohl ho! afore I git hurt eh? Who in thun-Upon the opposite side of the room from where der's gain' ter hurt me1 Nary a man1 ye redGrafton was lounging a new-comer had station-haired galoot. Thar ain't a person as ltin tech ed himself-a m ediumsized individual, arrayed ooe side o' me, I ruther allow. McDowel is rqy in a full suit of black broadcloth, and wearing name an' I've licked ther pick o' ev'ry tbwn a black mask over the upper portion of his feafrom Denver ter F1isco, I hev, an' don't ye fer t u res, where it was met by a stylish silk hat. git it. Oh I I'm a hull circus part o' a caryT he lowe r portion of his face which was visible, yan, ye miserabl e rooste r ; an' mebbe I don't was of an olive hue, and a heavy, pointed black look like a full-blooded fightin'-cock, but I dast mustache adorned his lip. declare an' a.'lSeverate thet I can maul thunder His hands were gloved with kids of a hue carout of ary man in Frisco I" responding with the remainder of his make-up, And to add emphasis to his declaration, the ana he carried a stout rosewood cane. tough brought his hand down with no slight Between this dark stranger and the noisy rough force upon Grafton's shoulder. who frequently vouchsafed the information to The next instant the detective had hurled him the crowd that his cognomen was Black Jake, back iu no gentle manner, and drawn and Grafton alt3rnated his gaze. He could not have cocked a revolver. told ju5t why, but these two persons, in particu"Now you keep off!" he cried, sternly, or lar, impresse:l him strangely. I'll riddle you. If yo u think to pick on me, The black stranger was not the only masked you've struck the wrong man, BJld it won't take person n the room, a5 many of those assembled only about one ounce of lead, well sent, to lay wore full or half masks. This, Graftonconclnd-you out!" ed, was so in case of a raid upon the den, M c Dowel growled savagely. they would not be recognized. Others were Cuss ye!" gritted, fiercely. "So ye're there, so reckless as to have no fear of the con-ready wi' yer tools, eh1 I know'd ye was a sequences, be what they might. cowardly shyster, fer no brave pil!pim eve:rr Black Jake continued to prance about in a pulls a popgun, when he kin use his fists tosettl. promiscuous mauner, pausing at the bar in the a funeral with. Hello! wake up, boys, an' saloon, occasionally, to further test his storage lookee lieer. I've cornered a ginnywine pesticapacity for liquid lightning. Jenee here-an' p'r-'aps cotched a polecat! Who Suddenly, during one of his perambulations knows?" through the gaming-room, he seemed to have, The gamblers began to grow curious, and one for the first time, spied Grafton. A moment he by oue a crowd collected. paused and glared at him with his evil, swollen "What ye up to;>' one of the ringleaders deeyes; then he approached with broad strides. manded, grufliy. "Why don't ye lilt thP r f eller "See hyarl cuss my eyes ef I don't b'lieve I alone, Jake1'' know you, o l d boss!" he cried, thrusting out a "'Cause I don't want U>rl" McDowel declared. horny hand. "You're old Jim Lufkins, frum I reckon, boys, thet we'se all a band o' brethup in ther Yuba deestrict?" ern hyar, au' it's fer our int.erest to luk ont the1i ''I rather reckon not, stranger," we don't git spotted by ther p'leece an' detec-

PAGE 22

Bonanza Bill, tJte Man Tracker. tives. Now, 'twixt you an' m e, fe ll e r-citizen s, I Rllow I recko n this consarned galoot hain't w'ot h e seems, an' I'm fer makin' him show his true co l ors!" A murmur of approval went the round of the crowd. On course," the ringleader assented. "Ef ther chap as calls hisself Sandy Morse ain't ther pure quill, we don't want him beer. Come! old hoss, Show U\), now, whether ye're tru9 to natur'. or aire d i sguised "iJ'll show nothing!" George replied, seeing that he must face the music. I warn yo u to k eep off from the start. My name is George G r afton, and I am a detective. I came here to mind my own business, and you will do well to mind yo u rs. If you don't, and attemft to dis turb me, I'll bet a gold eagle some o you will bite t h e dust before I give up I The disappearance of Z oe Havens was not known outside of the family circle, although it had been nearly a week since she had left. Bernard Havens had fo und her letter on his return from his '('isit to Miss Sturdevant, and although h e was deeply grieved, he made no attempt to find ber, believing it not his best -policy to discover and bring her back, until he should }lave proven her right in the family as his daughter. In the interim, Mabel McDowel bad presided in Zoe's place. But by no means had she aptly filled it. She sat in the grand parlor and read, or went shopping the whole of her time during each day, where Zoe bad busied herself in the supervision of the hou seho ld, and at night she was absent until twelve o'clock, and often later, but where at the banker could not ascertain. She treated him often with sarcastic contempt, and even iudeness, but he bore this treatment withnut remark, r esolved to put up with it until be should know for certain whethe r she was his own child, or not. Aud whim should h e know this? It was a conundrum be could not solve, nor could he see any futwe hope of its solution. Seelyice, too, was overbearing arid insulting and althoug h the banker accused him of in forming Zoe, he bravely d e ni ed it. He did not see m to take muc}l of a liking to the n ew claimant, and the y scarcely ever spoke together. Seelyice was not idle H e bad himself lost track of Zoe' s where abouts, and dail y took a stroll about the city, and its shops and stores, in hop e of stumbling across her, but bis efforts were unsucc essf ul. On the evening of the sixth day after Zoe's departure, which, by t h e way, w11s identical with the night that George Grafton h el d the outlaws at bay. i n the Wolf's Ranch, Seelyice left the bankr's mansion, and set out on foot l;oward the Chinese quartf>r In a half hour he arrived at the mansion oc cupied by the League of Twelve, and moup.ting the steps h e rung the bell. A plain-looking girl of nineteen or twenty years of age, soon answered the to whom Seelyice'..,_said somet hing in French, at which she nodd e u, and he ente r ed. Without waiting for instructions ho ascended the stairs, which evide n ced the fact that be was no stranger t h ere. Upon arriving at the first landing, be directed bis footsteps to the door of Madam :Mystery's private parlor, u pon whiCh be gave a delicate little rap, and coughed slightly, several times. The door immediately opened, nnd Madam Myste r y welcomed the banker's btei;-rnn with a winning sonile. She was attiretl in a charming costwne, with l ow neck and short sleeves, and, with the mask absent from l.er face, was most rblally beautiful. "We.come, Mr. Seelyice,'' she said, as be en tered. "You are quite a stranger." Well, yes, but none the l ess glad t o see yo u dear L ucille-I mean, Madam Mystery,'' and a peculiar smile flitted across b i s sa l low face. "I trust yoy nre g lad to see me. " Eve1 glad to see you. Sydney she said, linking her arm through h ist.Jlnd ieading the way to a luxurious sgfa. vv h e n you come, Madam Myst ery the Female Forger is bidden under the charming exterior of Lucille Sturdevant, lady,'' he finished 'Sb yo u should Ilot utter the name aloud!" she sa id, quickly Even ears are said to exist in walls!" Pooh! I don't take stock in such nonsense. The old gent called on you since OUJ' last meet ing, did he not?" "Yes-at my boarding-place "Well, I suppcse you gave him an answer? "Of course not. I have toyed with hi about l ong enough, and s hall shake him, direct ly. "As will the world Matters threaten to r eac h a c risis him e r e Irany wet ks go by. Th e forge d yaper is pouring in upon him, fast, and that cursed b cno r of bis will not allow it to go to protest. It "cn't take l ong to drain his money-bags You are dealing him a bard blQ w, Lncille-te ll me why it is so?" "To gain a fortune, is one reason-to keep a vow made by a dying bedside, is a n other," the beautiful woman replied, a strang<', moody ex pression for a moment flitting acros s her coun tenance. "Well, I ne e d n o t complain, as l ong as it is not me you are bleeding Can yon POt do the handsome tbipg by me, to-night Lucille?-that is, to write me out a twenty-five thvUSEmd-
PAGE 23

91 Bonanza.Bill, the M a n T ra.cke r, CHAPTER IX. A RUFFIAN'S END-BARCLAY'S .AID. I T was a striking tableau-that which presented in the gambling apartment of Wolf's Ranch, and one that savored of imminent peril to those concerned. Grafton, in his disguise of Sandy Morse, stood with bis back against a cigar-counter, and a pair of cocked Colt's revolvers in bis grasp, ready for business. The gang of Jtabitues of the d en, headed by Black Jake M c Dow e l, had come to a halt a few yards away, and stood glaring at their game, sa-vagely, with weapons drawn. They h esitated to advance furthe r in front of gaze of the detecti ve' s l eve led six-shots, for all over Frisco had George Grafton the repute of being a dead shot, and a man who was a wildcat to handle when cornered. "Come! ye'd better surrender, cuss ye!" Black Jake cried, savagely. "We don't allow no cussed spies in the Ranch, I reckon, an' we're to boost ye. Ye needn't think we ken't do it, fer we're fifty ter one, when we all club tergether, au' we generally make things howl!" "Come on, if you want to!" Grafton replied, m e nacingly. "The invitation is open to any of you that want to get salivated. I come here with no intention of disturbing any of you, and if you l e t m e alone, I will take my departure as quietly and innoffen sively as I came If, however, you are thirsting for a row, and have selected m e a.s the subject, just sail right in, and I'll guarantee you a r edh o t reception." "Thet ain't our leetl e game, sirdetective,"the ri11gleaderrepli ed, whose name was Dugan. -we fellers ar' a sort o' Protective Brotherhood, ye see, an' death on all servants o' the law, an' when we ketch a customer like you, we giuerally do fer him. So ye may as well throw down yer tools, an' give up peac&bly." When I do, just apprise m e of the fa.ct!" Grafton replied, coolly If I a:n to turn up my toes, I propose to do it in game style So if you want m e come along, and you are welcome to all you get." The gang o f ruffians exchanged glances, and hesitated. Evident it was that they feared the conseci,uences of an open attack upon the bold detective. As for Grafton, he was outwardly cool, and really but little excited. This was no new position for him to occupy; twice b efore in bis de tecti ve experience had h e b ee n placed in a s imilar fix:. and on each occasion had fought bis way out without scarcely a scratch t o tell of bis struggle. the present_ case he saw that a struggle was agam b6fore him, but he would rathe r have avoided it, as there were fifty or more to one against him-a fearful odds, that any man must hesitate to tac kle. Y e t to tackle it was the detective's resolvt>, if they advanced a further, which he had no doubt they would do. And he was not mistaken. Bitter were tbe9El ha/Jitues of Wolf's Rall.ch against the sons of the law and justice, and they never allowed one to escape them if it could be 111"0Vented. Oome, boys, aire we ter be held at bay by one consarned galoot1" McDowel cried, fiercely, Aire we goin' ter let et be sed thet Grafton ther detective, cum ter Wolf's Ranch an' dared ther hull crowd o' us? Not much we ain't, ef we know ourselvPs, an' we ruther reckon we do. Git ready, now, an' when ye hear me yell One, Two, jest sail right in, an' take the cuss alive. We kin do et, my pilgrims, you bet an' w'e n we git the catamount caged we1h make him howl. Ready! n ;iw-onel two! three!" Ready were they I The word bad no more than been given when two-score or more of the devils rushed forward toward the cornered detective. Then ensued a scene of which little could be said, except that it was a mass of struggling humanity-a band of men fighting like wolves for the mastery. Not two score against one man, as had at first appeared, but men m e n, the forces mixed, and nearly equally di yided. What was the meaning? Were ruffians fighting their own mates in the d efe nse of the bold detective?" It would have seemed so. On each instant was heard the sharp report of r evolvers the clash of knives with an accompaniment of d ee p groans and fierce deathyells. Men dropped, bruised and bleeding, only to be trodde n under foot. It was a fierce, tefrible affray-a battle of desperate m e n "Ou, boys, on!" a deep-toned voice was heard to shout-the familiar and unmistakable voice of Frisco's Chief of Police; on, I say I Let's save Grafton, and clean out this de n of cut-throats, or die in the attempt!" And there was a wild r esponding roar of voices, and the battle waged hotter and with redoubled fury between both parties. In the mean time, the blac k-clad, blackmasked stranger, whom Grafton had noticOO., began to exJlted, where he had previously been paSS1ve. Z e detective will be killed I" hP muttered, excitedly. "Ze ruffians are too many for him. Zounds! zat must not be; I will put out ze lights! And, drawing bis revolver, h e cocked it, and in rapid succession sent bullet after bullet through the chinmeys of the lamps, the draugl>t caused by the lightning flight of the leaden missile in each instarlce extinguishing the flame. He then plunged into the struggling mass, Imife in hi;md, and the blackness hid him from view. On-on waged the battle, amid a pandemonium of frightful yells, curses and reports. It was one of the bloodiest affrays that had ever occurred in the notorious criminal den, Wolf's Ranch. At last, nearly blood-blinded, 1ttid bleeding from a dozen wounds, Grafton fought himself a way out of the mob, and rau for the door, de termined, if possible. to escape with his life be fore his loss of blood should render him too weak. McDowel, however, saw him, and with an oath sprung in pursuit, and thus the two men i:,ushed from the Ranch into the narrow, dark, deserted street, and behind them, in hot pursui1o,

PAGE 24

Bonaosa Bill, the Man Tracker. 23 came the black-masked stranger, who, with his r evolver, had put o u t the lights in the saloon "Halt! cuss ye!" McDowel roared, hoarsely, as he le&ped on after the detective. "Halt! or I'll plug ye I" "Plug away!" the gritty tracer shouted. "When you take me you'll get my dead body I" At this juncture there was a h eavy fall upon the pavement, and a bellowing sort of groan. Grafton looked around, and Eaw thatMcDowel bad fallen prostrate. The masked stranger was rushing up! He stood a moment undecided what course to pursue. "Stop!" the masked man cried. "You have nothing to fear from me. This race is run, and I want you to carry me to my shanty, on Ching Ling's Alley." Grafton was buman. He saw that the bullying miner was helpless-that the masked stranger was evidently not a foe, and therefore he re solved to respond to the appeal. I haven't got more than a cart-load of life >left in me," the detective said; ; but I guess I can tote one end of the poor cuss Black Jake was insensible when they picked him up and hurried away through the dark street-dead, perhaps, as he gave no signs of life Grafton was dizzyi weak, faint, b u t staggered .on, carrying the bee s of the outlaw. Finally they left the narrow street for a still narrower alley or court, UJ?On which several dingy brick dwellings were Situated. Iii.to one of these .they carried McDowel and laid him upon a couch, after which the masked stranger locked the door, and closed the shutters. You must remain here with me until I see whether this ruffian recovers or not," he saidf addressing Grafton. "Wait a moment and will get a light and attend to your wounds." He soon succeeded in lighting a. lamp, and placed it on a mantle, where it threw illumination into every part of the dingy, rudely-furnished room "Now, if you will tell me where you are hit, I will endeavor to dress your wounds," he saiJ turning to the detective, who had sunk into a chair. This has been a bloody night's work, but I trust the Chief of Police will clean out the den. Did you suspect that he was in the room, previous to McDowel's creating a disturbance?" Yes. I suspected something of the kind, or I should hardly have ventured a row with the ruffians. I caught a glimpse of a brass star, and that gave me an idea that I was not alone. As to the wounds, I guess none are dangerous. There's one on the side of my bead, one through a fleshy part of my right side, one in my right arm, another in my left and one in the calf of my leg. I marvel I was not riddl ed, for the btinets pattered around me like ha1L What is your name, may I ask!" "You may call me La Pierre. I know you although you may never have heard of me," the man replied, as he removed his gloves, and prenared to dress the detective's wounds. With his soft white bands he went gently 'and yet skillfully to work, and soon bad Grafton feeling a great deal better, what with his wounds dressed and the b l ood washed from his ia.ce Attent i o n was the n turned to the insensib l e ruffian McDowel. He had r eceived a wound from a bullet, in the forehead, and also a knife-thrust in the side, which did not bleed externally. "He is not dead yet," Grafton said after feeling around the region of his heart, "but he won't hold forth m uch longer. Have you any stimulant1" No I but I will soon get some," ana seizing his hat, La Pierre hun-ied frcm the bouE e He was &"one on l y a few mim,ites when he returned w1tn a bottle of brandy. A few drops were poured down McDowel's throat, and his head was liberally bathed with it. 'fhe effect was magical. With a long-drawn breath he gaspe d ; a shudder shook his frame, and he Opf'ne d his eyes. Then he made e n attempt to rise, but fell buck, exhausted, his hand creeping toward.his belt, as he saw Grafton. But La Pierre had thoughtfully remc ed his weapons. A faint curs e esc11ped him, as lie discove ed that they were gone. "Ohl you're rafely on your back, old man," La Pierre announced, "and what's more. I d on't believe you'll g e t off fro m it again, very s o on. You've got an ugly jab in your side, that l ias touched mighty close to the vitals." "Y-yes, I know," the miner r e plied, hoarse ly. "Dugan struck me, thinkin' et was the detective yonder. Et was dark, ye see." "Yes, it was darker than Stygia, tut not half so dark as it will be for you, old rrnn; when you get out of this w01ld," Grafto n rng gested. "If you've got nny praying to d(J, or atly confessions fo make, you'd better gtt at 'em, for I opine your wmd won't hold out a great while longer." "No, I guess not, nuther," was the reply. "I'm goin' ter pass in my chips, mighty quick, I expect? an' s'pect I might as well make a clean bre'st o it. Ef ye'll leave me be a bit, I'll consider w'at I've got ter confess." Accordmt;ly La Pierre lllld Grafton withdrew to an inner room Here the masked man lighted another lamp, and they seated themselves to wait. A great deal depends now upon the con fession of that man," La Pierre resumed. "He has been a great criminal, and an arch schemer, and could reveal much of :importance, did he choose." The waiting was long and tedious, hut fina ll y there was a faint call, and they re-entered the room where the ontlaw lay. "Send the detective out, and l will say what I have to say to you," the miner gro wled, glaring fierce l y at Grafton, who accordingly wen t back into the inner room, and closed the door. With paper and pencil, La Pierre s eated himself beside the sick man, and took down, word for word, the life confession of .Jake McDowf'l. It was a sta.rtling revelation of a criminal life and at times the masked man shuddered for the f uture of the wretch who narrated. At last the confession was ended, and with the last word, Jake Mc D owel expired.

PAGE 25

Bonanza. Bill. the M a n Tracker .. When La Pierre called Grafton in, be pointed to the stiffening form upon the couch, and said: He is dead. Peace to bis ashes. You may go now, as I shall not need your services further. I will see that the poor misguided wretch hlM!, a decent burial at_ my own expense." CHAPTER X. BONANZA IN NEW PERIL. SIIE is a strange P.iece," Barclay exclaimed, after she had gone, but most fortunately so for me. I am now prepared to fight this Madam Myst.ery, aft.er my own fashion." The paper was the first thing he examined, for it was the key to his safety. By the light of the lantern he was able to de-In the mean time, bow fared Bonanza Bill? cipher the chirography, and its import was as In his dungeon beneath the retreat of the follows: League of Twelve, he had spent six weary days "MR. BARCLAY:-By prying up a large stone that in total darkness, seeing no light, except when a lies in the botrom o f your dungeon, you will ftnd the brutal-looking Irishman came, at morning and end of a rope that runs underground. Pull this night, to b1ing him his rations of dry bread and rope, and tbe door of your cell will fly open, and water. the trap will glide dowii to receive you. Step Every day, accompany;n.,. the frugal meal, on, and the tr p will bear you up into a rooJfl, ...., above. From tliere yon must manage your own es -came a delicately-perfumed note from Madam cape. Re careful, however, not to leave your dun Mystery, asking him if he had concluded to acgeon until you judge that it is at least midnight, or cept her terms yet. And the answer he invari-later, for fear you may encounte1 some of the mem-ably sent back by the jailer was" No." bers of the League. Remember me. Of the No. 12 of the league he had seen noth"RosE LAWTON." ing since she bad accompanied him to the dun-It was with impatience that Barclay waited goon. What had becomo of h e r, or why she had for the day to merge int-0 another when failed to pay him a visit, was more than he he could work. By glancing at his watch, knew, but he concluded that she had been de-which had not been take n from him, he learned tained from coming by the female tigress and that he had twelve hours or more to wait, so he beauty, Madam M y stery. turned down his lantern and secreted it, along But upon the seventh day of; bis confinement, with the other things, under bis cot. not long after he bad been served with bis He then threw his jacket over them, to keep morning meal1 he heard the trap gliding down-the light from b eing seen by the Irishman when ward; s oon tne door of bis dungeon was un-he came with the food. locked; somebody open e d it and stepped inside. The day passed drearily e nough. At six in In the Stygian darkness he could not see the evening th.J Irishman appeared with the who. custo'.Ilary repast of bread and waller, but soon "'Sh I don't m ake a noise," a l o w voice canleft. tioned. "I am Rose Lawton, and I bavo finally When he bad gone, Barclay munche d a f e w got to see you." mouthfuls of the stale bread, and drank a swalTh e u ext instant tho li ght of a bull's-eye Ian-low of the water. H e the n lay down t-0 finish tern s h one within the duugeo n, and with some the waiting. Whe n h e thought i1; was in the surprise B a r clay sawn e ighborhood of midni ght, h e arose and made Not the o ld humpback, but a pretty young Pl"eparationsfor the work before him. Aglance lady, whose face was fair, whose form was shape-at his watch apprised him that it was half-past ly, and whose ey!l!l shone brilliantly. eleven. She was enve loped in a long water-proof S ecreting the r evolve r and the c bl orororm cloak, but wo r e n o hat o r head covering, her upon his person, b e then took the lantern in his hair falling in a wave over h e r shoulders. band, ready for use. "Don't interrupt met" she said, as Bill was Prying up the laro-e flat stone that f ormed a about to speak. "I two minutes to part of the floor of hls dungeon, he discovered stay, 11-nd speak quickly. Here are the the end of a two-inch pipe protruding from the lante a bottle of chloroform, and direc tions ground, and out of the pipe the knotted end o f how t o escape. I've been ordered to leave, and a piece of cabl e just as Rose Lawton had fore came here first, unknown to Madam Mystery. told. Some time in the future I may see you, as I S etting bis lantern upon the ground, he seized have fallen in lov e with you a't sight. I have the cable and gave it a vigorous pull. no time to think of that, however, now. Here The next instant the door of the dungeon flew is a revolver, also. You may need to use it. open, and he beard the trap gliding swiftly The Madam's safe, where your papers are, is in downward, from above the office, on the first floor, to the l ef t of the The moment it grated upon the bottom, ha ball. Duplicate keys to every door or lock in leaped throug h the door 'upon it, and not a mo the hou se are bung unde r a bat, n ear the e n-ment too soon, e ither, for it instantly began to trance to the office. There! I must go now-ascend. Up-up he went rapidly, and when good-by." j he stopped, the platform on which b e stood She sprun!I; forward, threw her arms around 1 formed a part of the floor of a large unfurnished bis n eck, and kissed him; the n turned abruptly, room. hurried from the cell, and a moment later, H e remembered it as the apa"tment from Barclay b eard the trap g lidin g rapidly upward. I which fie bad been entrapped into the pit and B ehind her she bad left the lantern, the chlodungeon. roform, a piece of paper, and a loaded six1 Turning on the full light of bis bull's-eye, be shooter-the requisites to iret. Bill Barclay out I flashed it aroand the room, only to perceive of the den cif the League of Twelve. that it was deserted. He then st.epped from the

PAGE 26

Bon anza. B ill: the M p n Tracker. 251 trap upon the floor, and paused, in order to de termine which way to go. There were several doors leading from the and he scarcely knew which to take. SOme migut lead him to safety, while others were likely to lead him into the danger of an encounter with some of the members of the LeaguE'. H e finally decided upon the first left-hand entrance as the best to adopt, and after pulling off his crept stealthily forward. On opening the dcor the first thing he disoovered was a magnificent hall; and the second was a woman's hat h a nging to a rack upon the wall. The words of R ose Lawton instantly flashed across his mind, a n d raising the hat, he fonnd a bnnch of skeleton k eys unde r it. Ha! I am now doubly armed," be muttered, with satisfaction. "If I cannot turn a trump now, I don't know the r eMon why. First of all, I must chloroform every person in the housel myself excepted-then I can work nn mole5ted.' This threatened to be no easy job, but he did not hesitate on that account. He was resolved to go through with the matter, if it cost)lim his liberty again. To be sure h e was unacquainted with the hou se but he was confident that he could succeed. Up in the Yuba mines he bad several times figured with success, as a detective, and he now was determined that be would do the stronghold ,of the League c f Twelve in goo d shape. Standing in the ball, be lis tened for some time to hear if any were astir, but all was silent. Evidently the h o use was wrapped in slumber. Creeping up the stairs be finally reacheu the room udtcre be had first seen Madam Mystmy. Trying the door, he fonnd it unlocke (l, and stealthily openin g it, be entered. All was darkness and silence, within, but this .did not deter him from action. Turning on the light from his lantern, he gazed around him to find exactly what be hc.d expected-that the room was unoccupied. She is gone-the vm:y one I most wanted to captu.re-nnless she i,, in the next room," he muttered. "It will do no harm to take a peep in here anyhow." A door opened from the parlor into the mentioned apartment, and steali g forward, he opened it anrl peered into the ro01u. It was empty! The lights were turnE'd low, and the bed nn occupied. Madam Mystery was not at home. Bonanza Bill uttered a n impatient exclamation as he noted the fact. It would !:'e{'m that these female outlaws have deserted thied. Humph l At this rate, I ve !fOt things my own way," the miner thought. 'The syringe consumes my chloroform too fast, and I shall have to arm myself with a sponge." This article he fonnd in a a shstand drawer -then went on on his tour of the other r ooms In the next five rooms visited he found a woman in each, and so stealthy was he in his movements, that they were not aroused from their s lumbers until too deeply nnder the influ ence of tb,ii chloroform to resi s t. From. one roor.; to another he went, swiftly, but softly, nntil nine f "mal es and one male had been overpowered ::m the second and third floors, the man being the Irish jailer. That leaves Madam Myste7 and two members of the League missing. Barclay muttered, as he stood in the lower hall, after having visited. every room in the house but one, and that one tte room that Rore Lawton had averred contained the safe and tho spoils of the League of Twelve. I reckon I won't be troubled now, if I attempt to dissect this nest. It must not ta'Fe me l ong, however, for I have n eed to get out of this cursed Chinese yet to-ni ght, in order to set George Grafton and the police down upon the place." Opening the door he entered the office, to find.it brilliantl y by a pendent chande li er, but tenantless. It was a large apartment, containing a great desk, reaching to the ceiling, a m ons t e r snfe nearly as high, and luxurious easy-chairs, while the floor was richly carpeted, and the walls hung with rare pictures. The safe first demande d Barclay's attention, and he knelt beside it, eagerly, for he had little doubt that it contained the papers, which were more valuable to him than money. The safo was furnisbed with a combination I l ock, and he was well awa:rf that be could not open it unleES h e should bli!:tder upon the right number. Still he was resolved to make a try o f it, and if be c ould not open it, he could wait until he could obtain the aid of the police. But as goc d fortune wculd have it. he bit up on the combination and in five minutest. be pon derous doo r of the grea t was or:cn, and the view o f tl: e intPrior was reveakcl. One g r eat drawer was nearly filled with bank bills ranging i n value from one to one hundred d ollar" each. Then there ere numerous pigeon -h oles, containing raperl'. and these Barclay hauled out upon the floor, for exami nation. Among th1> first that came to b aud, were bis own sto len documents, all intact, and neatly tied in a little roll. With satisfaction he stored these away in his pocket, and then proceeded with his examination. The larger portion of the pupers were o f no particular importance. hut there was 0ne document that attracted the minPr's nttention, the chirography being exactly like that upon the paper he bad found in the coffin of old J a r ccki Armstrong. With no littk curiosity Barclal. bore the paper to the li ght and p erused i

PAGE 27

28 Bonanza. B ill, the Man Tracker. eagerly. It was headed, "Last Words," and ran as follows: "A few days ago, I penned a document reviewing a ponion of my p:ist life, and on furt.11er reflection tb.ere are a few things I would add, before departing this life. In my previous paper, I neglected to state that Jarecki Armstrong rrot my original name, but one l assumed iu conjunction wit 1 numerous other aliases, during my crimini career. I was born of a proud and titled family, in England, and at an early age came into possession, by entailment, of tb.e family wealtb. and the title or L ord Henry Havens. I married, soon after and immediately started out upon my criminal car;,er. I nev e r saw Lady Havens, after the first six montb.s of m:y new departure, but learned that she glive birth, m due time, to a male heir to the Havens inheritance. Soon after, she died and the boy was reared to ear l y manhool by the rector who resided upon "the es tate. This boy wa s christene1 Bernard Havens At an early he married a L o ndon actress of consid erable not e and two children were born them. After several yea.rs had J?assed, L841y Isabel again resorted to the stage, against Lo"d Bernard's will. The act resulted in rais;ng a barrier between them, and Lorj forbade her ever entering hio home, again. LW.y Isabel then stole her boy away, and hid him until h<" was a lad of twelve when she furnished liim with money. and started him for America, to look out for him s elf. Soon afcer she sailed for Australia to phy au engage ment, and the ship was captured by my seq,rovers, and she my guest for a month. when I sent lier on to Melbourne, where I have since learned she died. Of the boy, I have never been able to find a trace. My son, BernarJh lives here in Frisco, now a man of wealt and popularity Un known to him, I b'l.ve often looked upon his face, with pride, for he is a good and noble man. The woman. M Ml.am Myst e ry, whom I have v.Iaced in command of the League of 'rwelve, is my wife-or one of my wives, rather, as I have s e veral of them, in various portions of the globe. My life has not b3en entirely barren. I have from time to time gathered l arge fortunes, and buried them where human hands cannot easil v reach them. But, not in North .America. Who finds the treasnr('I keeps it Oae man, named ZJsoe, holds the map, ignorant of its value. H Signed, JARECKI ARMSTRONG.'' An exclamation ekaped the lips of Bill Bar clay, as he finished reading, folded the document, and put it in his pocket But that was all. If the story of the dead pirate's buried wealth had amazed him, he did not betray it in his looks, but went calmly on, examining the re mainder of the papers. They proved to be of no p.rtance-a blank check-book, a book cpntain the signatures of many prominent business m 3 n1 ani a book n1me> of thos who had oeen "bled" by the League of Twelve. These, together with the bank notes, he crammed into an old sachel which he found in a closet; then, stuffing all the papers back into the safe, he locked it, and was ready to take his deP.arture. 'Now for the poli02, to pull the house while the femiile devils are he muttered. "This adventure is not tm;nmg out so bad, after all. I have not only regainerl my papers, but have captured the treasure, and can gain some repute by df-livering the members of the League up to jU11tice. This money I will also deal out to those who have been bled, in proportion to their losses. But, hold! I must not risk losing these papers that have como into my possession agaiu. I must secrete them, and there is but one plac e to do it." He sat down and pulled off one of his boots, and then, with his pen-knife ripped the lining sufficiently to allow him to slip the thin docu ments between. after placing them in this re ceptacle, he pulled on the boot and was ready to leave. To make all doubly sure, however, he searched through the lower part or the house until he had found a sufficient quantity of rope for his purpose; then he ascended the stairs, and proceeded to bind the hands and feet of those whom -he had previously chloroformed. He found them all apparently in deep stupe factioh, and the binding job was easy. After he had completed it, he once more descended the stairs, and unlocking the front door, left the house. He had scarcely stepped upon the street wheJ) he suddenly found himself in the grasp of a half dozen men, who had darted out of the shadows, and in a jiffy he was handcuffed. "What in thunder do you mean, pilgrims!" he demanded, in surprise. I reckon you've got the wrong man this time !" "Ohl no we haven't!" one of the men replied, with a chuckle "We detectives don't gener ally make mistakes. We've been shadowing this ranch for nigh a week and you're tho first exit, you're our man. Please accept the in vitation to waltz down and see his Honor." Aud at this juncture all hands, save B:ll, lauo-hed. He did not laugh, but whistled. -"Off! I see," he said. "You cat.ch me in t!:!e act of leaving an outlaw retreat, and naturallv spot me for one of the gant-;-. Well, I don't know as you are to blame for that. But you've tackled the wrong pig by the ear, as I can soon prove when you take me up." "Ohl no doubt it will beall righti'' the leader of the party said, with a sarcastic laugh, in which the others joined. "Come! trot along with you." _ CHAPTER XI. WHERE IS LA PIERRE 1 01" Barclay could do no better than to obey. Handcuffed as he was, and surrounded by full half a dozen armed men, resistance or explanations were useless. Therefore he march ed along, feeling confident that he would be acquitted when his testimony should be beard. It was a night of dense darkness, and he was glad of it, for few people were abroad t.o see him in custody. Upon reaching the city jail, he was locked up in a cell, and apprised that he could be granted no hearing until morning. . This was not contrary to his expectation, and he accordingly threw himself upon the cot, and prepared to spend the night as pleasantly as ci'.cllI!lstances and his surroundings would per He had become inured to rough usage in his life in the mines, and took whatever happened him with the quiet confidence to him.

PAGE 28

Tracker. 'Morning dawned at last, nnd b e was led from me jail to the poli ce court. His dasmng appearance, and the fact that b e was in charge of an officer, created curiosjty, -,nd quite a crowd followed him to the court .Ooom, to learn the nature of the offense for -which be was to be heard. All in due timo be was arraigned before the Judge, who was a surly-looking, gray-eyed man, that one wonld have pronounced unmerc iful, to say the least. In answer to the formal inquiries, Detective Duncan, the chief of the party who bad arrested Barclay, said: The prisoner at the bar was arrested just after emerging fro m a 'spotted' h o us e in the 'Jbinese quarter. Do not know the prisoner; do l'\Ot think I ever saw him b efo re. The house bas 'r>een suspocted as the abode o f a band of coun Qerfeiters and forgers. We were set to sila dow by Grafton, the detective. Prisoner is the first person to emerg-e from the place in three dttl.s-tbat s, by the front entrarn;_e." 'What i : your name, sir?" the judge asked, turning to the :erisoner. Bonanza Bill Barclay, I allow," the miner replied, not in the least disconcerted by the bit: in?; tones of bis Honor. 'Barclay, eh1,,-tbe judge said;-perceiving at oncA the kind of a customer be bad to deal with. "Where do you live!" "I opine Lode, Californy, bolds the better share of my anatomy, when I'm to hom e," was Bill's answer. "What is your occupation, sir"!" "We ll, I reckoh at present, I'm occupying the prisoner's b ox. Whe n I'm np in the Yuba deestrict, I generally make myself purty lively at slingin' the pick an' pan." Oh! you are a miner?" "That's about the fit fer it; yes." Well, sir, you are charged with having : emerged from a house that is suspected to be a den of forgers and criminals. What have you to say to that?" I say "that the boss that told ye so, could brush a dynamite concern wi'out t echin' it, he's bit so stra:gbt." "The n you acknowledge you came from the place ? "You bet!" And also admit that it is such a den as it is susnected of being?" tDon't ye fergit it!" "And you also will not deny but that you are a member of the gang that infests this place?" the judge d emanded. "I opine I will!" Barclay assured gl-imly. "I ain't in the least way connected wi' the gang. P'r'aps yP've b eerd o' George Grafton, bain't ye?" That is promjnently -known, sir.n Well, ef want any furthe r lip then I want ter give ye, jest tackle him. l'm tbll:c 'Q<>ssum as found tber League of fyelve all uoout 'Which you mav have beerd. W e ll, I an' Grafton went in snucks in the matter, aud I got 11abbed an' hev bin sbet up f e r a week. I was just escapin', last night, when tber det.eCtives grabbed me. Ef ye don't believe me, just go back ter the house, an' ask 'em where Bill Bar ela?'. is." Yourtestimony is weak," the judge said, dryly, "and I shall have to commit you back to jail, until Graftc n can be found, and his testimony taken. If h e vouches for you, all right . You shall be frocd." And according to bis H onor's decision, Barclay was taken back to the jug" and locked up. It was not quite to bis satisfaction, for be bad expecte d that Grafton would be present to vouch for him, and the r e b y procure his r e lease. H e kne w, h o w ever, that if Grafton was to be found, hi s speedy release was a certainty. Two days passe d, but no Grafton was to be found. So said the jaile r. It was r eported that b e had las t b ee n seen in search o f Mis s Z oe Havens the banker's daughter, who was missing. On the third day after bis hearing, Barclay was surprised to r ece ive fro m the jailer a large frnsted calre upon a plate. "A vaile d Jeddy fetched it, an' wanted I s h ould give it to you," the man sai
PAGE 29

28 Bona nza. Bi' 1 t h e Man Tracker. the brother-detectives clasped hands in a cordial "shake." "By order from his Honor, you're free." "And I owe this liberation to you," Barclay said wringing Grafton's hand warmly. hon' t mention it," the detective replied. "You know we leagued ourselves together as brothers, and it was but natural I should come to rour aid." Well mebbe the tables-may be turned some time. How about matters-has anything been done I" Yes, I think the league is broken up for the p r esent, or, at least, it has been .scattered to -0the r quarters. A raid was made the chief t.ells me, upon thethouse in the Chbese q uarter but no captures made The inmates had ail scattered, and nothing of importance could be discovered." Barclay shook his head grimly. "They were too fast," he said, bis brows knitting in a frown. "They should have waited until the matter had blown over a little, and the league would not have s l oped. As it is, they <:an probably never be trapped. I heard that you were searching for a missing party, Zoe Havens, by name Did you find h e r?" No. I could find no trace of her " Was she the daughter of Bernard Havens, the banker?" "She was. What do you know about Bernard Havens?" Only a few p'ints What are the facts of the caso? Did s he abscond, or was she abducted I" Come along with m e and I will tell you as we go" Grafoon said, and they accordingly q uit tad the jail for the street. "It appears, aci!o 'rJin; to Mr. Havens's statement, that a scheming English villain, named McDowel, has put fonvard a young woman as h e ir-claimant t o the Haveni inn.,,ritance, said M c Dowelclaim ing that Mis> Zo e was not Havens's own child, he having changed the children in their infancy, substitumg his own daughter and taking pos session of the then barnnot's child, for speculative purpo3 a s A few years ago he made known this sec ret to Have ns, and threate ned to produce the r eal h eir. Havens was loth to b elieve it, and havin g b ecome attached to Z oe, and be li ev in g that she was his own child, and that McDo\vers game was base villainy, he gave him a large sum of mon e y to keep still for a stated number of yea r s The time expired a few days ago, and McDowel sent his claimant forward. Zoe, by some meam, got wind of the m attQl;, poor girl, and h as sloped-the Lord only knows where I cannot find the least trace of h er." Barc lay whistled meditatively. "And so this n ew chimant occupies her place?" he asked. "Yes. She has taken up h e r position at thfl banker's house, and they say she is bossing things around pretty much to suit h erse lf. But the banker does not b e lieve her his child, and has a matter of a couple of weeks yet to work on, before publicly acknowledging her as his daughter. And by the eternal. it must be prove':! that Zoe is rightful heir. She is my betrothed, you see, and no adventuress shlill:I usurp her place, if I can help it." "WU.at have you got to work on1" I am hopeful that I have a big lead,' but it -will require our unit.ed efforts to Jlllearth ill: This man, Jake McDowel, was killed in a brawl at Wolf's Ranch a few nights since At the time, I was there searching for you, and xot into a row. I finally escaped, pursued by .oo.c Dowel, b u t he fell, soon, and I assisted: a fellow, named L a Pierre to carry him to a house in alley. This La PieITe took the ruffian's dymg confession, but, being in an adjoining r oom, I beard nothing of it. Indeed, at thi s time, I knew nothing relative to McDowel or the events I have been narrating. After McDowel's death, La PieITe dismissed me, and I left t h e Chinese quarter. Now, I am in hopes, that, in tl::e dying confession of McDowel, he threw some light upon this case." "It is barel y possible that you may be La PieITe, then, is the man most desirable Just now?" ''He is." Then we will search for him. Have you seen the new claimant1'' No, but they say she is a beauty." "Doubtless!" the miner from Yuba said "I have noticed that beauty and badness often go hand in hand. But come. Let's go to :vour of fice and prepare for the new campaign." Sydney Seelyice was closeted with Madam Mystery in the parlor of a private boarding house, about the same time that Bill Barclay was released from jail. The Female Forger was COTT,)fortable seated iu a luxurious chair, engaged at puffing at a cigar ette, as she watched Seelyice, who was pacing impatiently up and down the room, a frown up on his usually placid face. "You might loan me the money, at least, if you will n o t give it to m e,' he said, half-pleading ly. "You see I've got to have money, or go to jail. Money would soon jump m e out of the city, but having none I'm liable to arrest under the that I am a member of the disconcerted Leagu e." Why don't you pass some of those not.es you have that I gave you?" Madam Mystery asked. "Bah I they are worthless now, since the League business has r eceived v e ntilation. Havens won't honor them nor will any one e lse. Havens has changed h is style of signature, and i s very chary about letting any one else soo it. You've lost your h old on him." "Perhaps not!" the beautiful woman said, with a peculiar smile. I think I shall marry him!" The deu ce you say!" "Oh! y-0u need not b e astonishod. You have no claim upon my affe ctio ns or admiration since I saw Bill Barclay. I regard you as a prin cess may h e r pet poodle. Of course I won't whip you, if ".YOU persist in raving about me. Indeed, as Mrs. Havens, you will 'hav e a chance to regain caste in your step-father's house, and so long as I remain the re, you may." But I dare not l ouger remain in the cicy, you see." ... As to that, I'll give you enough to get to Sacramento." "Good! You are not stingy, Lucille. By the

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Bonansa B ill, .aie Man Tracker. 29 way1 you have perhaps heard of the new claimant oo the banker's property?" "Yes, and have seen her, too. She was one of the members of the League." "Ob! by Jove! I thought her face was not unfamiliar. How will you agree? Perhaps two beauties in one hlll"em won't jibe?" "Ob! that can be settled. The new claimant is yet bound to me by oath, and I shall make her share her wealth, of course Don't fear for that." All i ight. How l ong will you ramain Mrs. Bernard Havens?" Ab I that is a question. Perhaps onl y a year or so, until 1 can get his cash under my thumb. Then I'll slope. Here's your money, now-fifty dollars. Don't give me away." "There's no danger I'll give you away such a gold mine as you are," Seelyice said, with a laugh, as be took the cash and also his d eparture. your affection. How soon is this interesting marriage going to come off, pray? I am anxious to witness it." The banker did not reply, but glanced at the letter which be still held in his band. It was penned in a tasteful hand, and ran as follows: "DEAR MR. HAVENS:-. Upon more deliberate reflection I have decided. favorably in your case, and will give you mv band in marriage whenever you come to claic it. Ever your darling. n LucILLE.,, Sweet, isn't it!" Miss McDowel said, sarcastically, W!I be' finish e d, and thrust it into bis pocket. I dare say you will name an early da;r?'' I shall, most assuredly. I must have an anl?el in my home to help me fight a devil!" Thank you, Your good sense is abunC!ant. I should certainly prefer a liv ely body like this Lucille to a sour old chap like you." .The marriage will take place in the parlor, at noon, day after to-morrow. At' the same CHAPTER XH. time, I will declare you my heir and daughter, A STARTLING DENOUEMENT. unl ess the rightful one turns up. After our Twq weeks more passed by. To Bernard marriage we start immediately for Europe." Havens they were weeks of torture. "Very well, my dear papa!" Miss McDowel Rapidly was the time approaching, when h" said, mockingly. "I will shop this afternoon, must acknowledge to the world that Mabel Mc-preparatory to the great event." Dowel was his daughter. Nothing could be She did shop, too having first received an proved to the contrary. Although he passed order from the bai'.iker Silks, velvets, laces, many a sleeple ss night in racking his brain in and all the many costly adjuncts to a fashion search of some favorable clew. able woman's toilet w ere purchased, and at last, George Grafton had also worked faithfully in having satisfied her ex1,ravagance for one after bis interest, but when the_ l:tanker would ask the noon, she started for home. re -.ilf4, he simply received a discouraging shake Just as she was alighting from the cab, in of the head. front of the Havens r esi dence1 a man sauntered Nothing could be found of Zoe, or of La along the walk, but stoppea stock still as ba Pierre-no clew could be got of them; nothing caught a glimpse of her face. could be unearthed, that promised to refute the "Hello! by thunder!" was his initial exclama-c laim of the McDowel. tion. "The Diamond Queen, as I live!" S]?.e had evidently taken it for granted f:t:om The man was Bill Barclay. the first, that h e r hold would remain firmi and "Sir?" Miss McDow elcried, haughtily. "You she bad established herself as comfortab e as are mistaken. I am Miss Havens. Move on!" possible under the circumstances. Mebbe I will, and mebbe I won't, now," the She treated the banker with impudenthaute m, miner detective declared I've got an awful and he treated her with cold respectfulness notion that :you're Edna Earle, who lifted some There was no love between the m. financial weight from me a year al?o, and handed One evening on entering his library, Havens it over to Madam Mystery. An ef y.ou're t h e found her there, seated in his fav:orite easy-one that's playin' the game on Havens, I want t hair. frowned, but did not speak his yon to take a little condensed advice: that is, thoughts. He always refrained from doing pack up yer petticoats and skip-slope--puc!l this, when moody, for fear his temper would acheel Ef ye don't you'll find yourself in a box get the better of him. before you know it. "He r e is a letter for you, which I took the And with a grim laug h, he passed on down the liberty to open,'' she said, handing him a sheet the street. that she had been perusing. I learn that you Miss McDowel gazed after him with a wbit.e are about to assume the responsibility of a face. set teeth, and evilly gleaming eyes. third wife." 'J It is he-the same," she muttered, gaSping Havens seizeil. the missi ve, angrily. J ly. "He recognize d me, and I fear him. If he "You are unduly bold, girl, in thus opening should interfere-" m:r; letters. How dare you?" he cried. --'I dare do as I please," Miss M c Dowel deThe parlors of the Havens mansion were clared. "Am I not your daughter, and have I thrown open, and a large assemb lage of fasbionnot a right to share your secrets?" able Friscoans had gathered to witness the nup-"No! you are not my daughter!" the banker tials of the banker and Miss Lucill e Sturdevant. cried, with sudden fierceness. "You are an At one en d of the grand parlor the banker usurper-and although I shallfrobably have to and his betrothed stood, in company with nu tolerate you, I hate the sight o you." me:rnus bridesmen and maids; the ofll.ciatizi;; Oh I l don't care about that. To get into clergyman stood before them, and read the for No. 1 society, and finger a fat purse is my ma! marriage service, until fiually came bis main deske, and I can easily dispense with words:

PAGE 31

Bonanza Bill. the :ntan Tracker. Has any person reason to say why this man and woman shall not be Joined together in the holy bonds of wedlock? If so, let him step forward, or forever hold his peace l" There was a breathless silence in the room, for a few Then, to the surprise of all, George Grafton stepped forward, accompanied. by Bill Barclay and three officers. I forbid the ma1Tiag e l" the detective said, as this woman, Lucill e Sturdevant, alias Madam Mystery, the female forger, is my pris oner!" "Sir l" Bernard Havens roared, springing forward,_ oi;ily to be forced back by Barclay. "Ay it IS God's own truth l" Grafton cried. "You have been taken in by this beautiful fiend, Mr. Havens-the very woman who has been bleeding yo'u with forgeries. We have been waiting to spring this trap upon her for several days!" 'Tis false 1 'tis a lie I" Madam Mystery shrieked, struggling frantically in the grasp of the policeman. "It's a base plot to ruin me!" '' Off with her to the jail," Barclay ordered, 11-nd the three officers half dragged her to the street, where a van was waiting. Into this she was put aud thPn driven away. Grafton and Barclay remained at the banker'li mansion. The sensation created by the arrest was of course great, and it was a long time before quiet could be restored. Then the banker reappeared, leading Miss Mc Dowel by the hand. "Ladies and gentlemen," he said, as I have disappointed you in one way, I will introduce you to mJ. :laughter, Miss Zoe Havens. With your permission, I will explain what may ap pear strange to you." And then he narrated what is already known to the reader, concerning the strange children, aud the appearance of the new heir. When he had finished there was of course an ovation of congratulations offered by the guests, in the midst of which, to the amazement of all, the personage in b l ack, La Pierre, for ward. "Allow me," he said, producing a sheet of paper, "to assert that yonder woman is an im postor, and that the first Zoe Havens was the real daughter of Bernard Havens. I have here the dying confession of Jacob McDowel, the father of yonder impostor, and will read you an ex ract.: "Tell Bernard Havens I have wronged him-that I never changed tb.e children, at all. I only played the game for stai
PAGE 32

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PAGE 33

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