A game of gold, or, Deadwood Dick's big strike


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A game of gold, or, Deadwood Dick's big strike

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Title:
A game of gold, or, Deadwood Dick's big strike
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
Creator:
Wheeler, Edward L. (Edward Lytton) 1854 or 5-1885
Place of Publication:
Cleveland, Ohio
Publisher:
Arthur Westbrook Co.
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English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 20 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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026007060 ( ALEPH )
07325302 ( OCLC )
D22-00035 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.35 ( USFLDC Handle )

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l:opyrlgh t 1880-1886, by Bead l e & Adams. Ente red at Pos t omc e, N e w Y o r k:.N. Y ., a. seco n d c lass matter M a r 1 5 1899, No.34 THE ARTHU R W ESTBROOK CO. Cleveland, Ohio Vol. III "II.I.Cit, FRANlt FOSTER," PERCIVAL ORDERED, "OR I'LL Jl'INISH THE JOB l>E.x>WOOl> LU'1' 'CP IN Tlm ML."
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pyright 1880-tSSG, hy Beadle & Adams. Entered at Post Office, New-York N. Y ., a second class matter. J\1eP, \81 No.34 \ I THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. C !cv elan lJNFINISBEJl. tlP IN TBE HINES."

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.I. Game ot Gold. A G a m e of Gold ; OR, D eadwood Dick's Big Stl"ike. BY ED.WARD L. WHEELER, AUTliUi! OF '' DIM.DWOOD DICK," "ROSEBUD R0:S.' GILT=EDGED DICK," "B0NANZA BILL,'.? ETC., E'fC. CHAPTER I. A SERMON INTERRUPTED AT BIG BONANZA. SUNNY and bright was the morning in springtime and of nature seemed smilin g with joyousness. Th e grass, the foliage, and the forests w.ere green, birds sung in the chapar 'fal their m erriest note s aud insects droned lazily through the air, but everything else seemed pushed in the arms of smiling Nature. Industry and thrift had ceased at Big Bonan za, for the time and the jingling of a small bell in the hands of a little urchin who paraded up and down the one m ain street, s eem ed to point to the fact that it was Sabbath in Big Bonanza, when all goodly disposed pilgrims were invited t o gather at the church, and listen to the r e ligion propounded by the Revere nd Cinn amon Charle_y, from Dog City;--0r when all evil-minded galoots were pri vile ge d to retire to saloons innumerable to engage.Jn a q u iet game of'" seven up." It was a strictly mora l town, gene r a ll y speaking-was Big B : manza. Some score of families composed the p o pulation of the little settlement on the save i t be a f e w transient com 9 rs or goer3, and these families were ne!lrly all. "white "-to use the vernacular of the mines. The mines at Big Bonanza paid all a very moderate remune ration, and that was all that could be said. There was nO' particular margin fo r spe:iulation, and cons eq uently Big Bonanza i:an\_ed with hundreds of other little strikes o f jus t its kind It had its stores, post-office, and also its cabin-chur ch, and asked for n o more, with ii. large eXj)ElCta.tion of getting it. And when Sabbath mad e ilq p3riodic visits, t h e with a few exceptions. turned out to hear the R e verend Cinn a mon Charles dispense spiritual advice and consolation -to the poor and w:-edy. To-day, we notice a large turnout, and the rn1e ansvl'.erin"' as a place of worship, was packed pretty full of pilgrims who had no better employment than to hear the Rev. Charles. M e n there were, as rough and unkempt as the wildest mountain-trapper-miners in stogy boots, r e d shirts with s l eeves rolled up to the elbows, and various styles of unruly looki"ng head-gear. Women there were none Not only in chrch, b u t in the town as well ; not one of the gentler sex was there in Bie; Bonanza, or bad ever be e n there, within the recollection of the olde s t inbabitant-nor was there a vrospect of any ever llOming the re. in the bargain. Some of the miners had families, but they '?'l0re all boys, who s e mothers w'ilre dead. or had deserted, and it l eft Bi g B o nanza. li te rally male town. B eing ou a main stage li ne the floating pop u lation was conside rablP., but no woman or girl ever risked setting foot on the soil of Big Bo nanza. But the stagehto:day, brought a stranger into the town, and e gathered With the other pilgrims at the "meetin g-'ouse,"' to listen to the di sco urse of the R eve r en d Cinnamon. H e was a handsom e ly-built fellow of some eight and twenty years, with a full, round face, Silt off to advantage by eyes of steely gray, a heavy browu mustache, and a rathe r pleasa.ut mouth, while long brown hair fell over his shoulders. He was dresse d ill a stone-colored suit of clothes, with top-boots upon his f eet, and a round hat upon his head, with a broad brim H e was also well armed; but then that was nothin g, for every c i tizen of Big Bonanza a r med to the teeth, even to the minister The fir s t impression of this stranger waj apt to be favorable, but, at the second au impression of something dark and siniste r and unrelishable would take possession of the mind. Ou l eaving the stage, he saunter ed up the main street of the town, and entered the c h urch to take a seat near the pulpit. As soon as the congregation had all assemb led, the Rev. Cinnamon Charley arose and gave ou t the t ext, and began his discourse, which proved that he was b etter capabl e of crying for a side than preaching the Gospe l. But he. elicited frequent applause w h enever he h i t t h e risibilities of the crowd, and that was about all that was required by t h e tastes of t he Big Bonanzians. B u t though for many kindred Sabbath days Charl es had d ispe nsed Gospe l truths without molestat ion he was not a l ways to enjoy that peaceful privil ege, and to-day vroved to be t h e exception to the monotonous rule. Halfway buried in the depths of biplicalex position had his reverence got when the doo r o f the meetin g-'o u se was unceremonio u s l y thrown open.. and a band of masked men poure d in, headed by a person in b l ack, from top to toe incl u ding the cowl that shielded from view the upoe r portio n of his face. Stop I" this leader cried, cocking a handsom e pair of revo lvers which he h eld in his grasp. Please to l e t u p with your sermon, Cap, until we reiuce the size of your congregation. Frank Foster, if you are h e re, you will do well to corn!! fo rward and surrender." "Tbar's nary a galoot beer, by that name, my friend," the Revereni Charley d ec l ared 111.ying a pair of pistols on the Bible that oma mented his pulpit, and following this act by taking a huge chew of tobacco. Verily, stran ger, thou hast struck the wrong trail." "No we have not,'' the first masked man re plied, coolly. There is a man in thi s congre gation, by the name of Foster, whom we hav e been in pursuit of, for ove1 a week and whom we are sure of now, as he was seen to enter this As soon as we get him you can go on w ith your sermon, and maybe you'll have a chance to nreach a fune ral dial ogue, 'fore thl day is o ut."

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A Game of Geld. 3 11Well that's bizness, anyhow, and ef the PJoot's beer1 you shall have him," Big Bonanza's ministerial light announced, promptly. "Ahl mebbe the. stranger who cum on the stage is "'l:>urman." "The very chap," the masked leade r said, approaching the seat where the strange r was seated, accompanied by his men. "Ahl Foster, you find yourself hunted down, at last." The strange r arose to his fe et, a perceptible pallor creeping over bis face--tt. baffied curse escaping his lips. "What do you mean?" he demanded, sternly. "'What would you do?" "We would put you where by treachery you 110nt ten of your companions," the leade r replied, fiercely. Then, turning to the staring congre-gation, he continued: ''Gentlemen, it will not take me long to ex plain this matter to your entire satisfaction, I think. I am the lead e r of this band of mon, who are known as the Rough-and-Readys-a band whose aim it is to protect themselv e s and their own interests from the tyranny of the law. I scarcely need mention myownnam&-you have, many of you, doubtless seen and heard of me. My handle is Deadwood Dick I" A strange, startled murmur ran through the crowd of assembled Bonanzias, and more than one hand crept involuntarily to a ;:.-istol butt. Deadwood Diak saw this, and smiled faintly. "Oh! you needn't pull your complunenters," be demurred, lightly, '' for I mean yon no harm, and besides, my gang mnbers larger by half than your own. What I am after is this traitor here, whose name is Foster. Until about two Wel'ks ago I supposed him to be one ef the most faithful members of my gang, but I finally awoke to his t:eacherousness when I found that he had led a squad of my men into the hands of Judge Lynch, for the consideration of two hundred gold dolbrs. Through. his treachery my com rades were strung up, in spite of me, and you may imagine I promised to hunt the faithless miscreant down to death! Laying aside all prejudices you may or may not have against Deadwood Dick, gentlemen, do you consider that I am censurable for tracking the traitor, thit would betray his own comrades, down to death?'' "No! no!" agreed a chorus o f voices, coming from Big Bonanza's leaaine; citizens. "Of course not." Rev. Cinnamon Charles re plied, with an approving nod. "Death is the only doom fit for a traitor, and I recommend it, whether be be a traitor to humanity or to the Church of Israel." I see I've struck one sensible crowd, at least," and Deadwood Dick laughed ple asantly. "Come, Sir Traitor I I would not s ettle with you in a place of worship, but outside, in the free air. Surrender, promptly, for it will avail you nothing to r e fus e or waste words." "This is infamous:" the stranger crioo shrink back. "You are mistaken in your man. I Know you not, nor have I ever known you. Gentlemen, I appeal to you for protection. I am .Donald McFergus, of New York, and not thel'.llf.Ln tbeseoutlawsclaim. A Bab I you lie!" Dood wood Dick replied, sterns. "Don't think to escape in that shabby way, Frank Foster, for it's uselees. I know you-the boys know you, to a man. Think you that ever a man served under the flag of Ned Harris whom he did not knowl hiin, boys, and take him to the tavern!" The order was promptly obeyed. 'l'be traitor was seized by a half-dozen pairs of willing band& and led from the church into the street, follow ed by the other outlaws, Deadwood Dick bring ing np the r ear. "Go ahead with your sermon, parson," he said, as he reached the door, "and pardon my interruption." Church is adjourned till ter-night, boyees, '1 Rev. Cinnamon Cbariey announced. "I'm goin' ter see tber fun !" This seemed to suit the congregation as well as the parson, and out of the church poured thf crowd, bent on "seeing the thing through." Big Bonanza's chief place of liquid refresh ment was the" Tavern," and thither Deadwood Dick's mfn led the traitor, Foster, followed by their chief, and the Big Bonanzians, too, until the large bar-room of said tavern was packed full, to tbti door. Then, Deadwood Dick mounted on a cha.if near the bar, addressed the audience: "Gentlemen, I told you the crime of which Frank Foster is guilty, and I need not add tbal it is my privilege and J;X'.rhaps my duty tll shoot him on the spot, without mercy, But, this is not my lay. As long as I have been a socalled outlaw, I have, I think, never been guilt:)I of killing even a prairie dog without giving him a chance for his life and liberty; consequent ly, I propose to give this traitor a like chane&-a. thing he did not give his comrades when be sold them to Judge Lynch. But, in doing this, I d
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A Game or Gold. tnany voices la one. .. All bail to our com mander! Three cheers for Deadwood Dick I" Deadwood Dick then turned to Foster, who was beld i.u dure.. close by. "Frank Fost.er, traitor, you have beard the two chances I you for your life and liberty. What th have you to ofl'erf' "None!'' the betfay41r replied, with a scowt "I am ready to accept your proposition, but do not f ee l inclined to thank you for a liberty I &hall fail to gain." If I were yon, I 1hould feel grat.eful for even so small a chance," Deadwood Dick reulied. "But oomel I have no time to waste in talk. Barkeeper, be kind enough to set out the dic e, and we will d ecide this matter as quickly as possible." The dice and cup were placed upon the count.er, and the two contestants took their places. "What will yoa have itf' Harris demanded, pushing the cup to the traitor. "I leave you to make the choice. "One flop, with will suit me very well," Foster repliecl. ava.gely. Shall I lead ofl'!" "Yes, ff yoa lfke. I a:m not at all particular." With a perceptible nervousness Foster seized the CUJ;> and shook the dice to and fro in a short qick Jerk, a strange pallor upon his face and a wild, hopeful glitter hi his eyes. To and fro-to and fro seeming to have a fear of the result of his ftrst throw. The crowd rurged near, breathlwith eagel" suspense. Rut-tut-tut! The box came down upol! the counter, and the dice rolled out. Two aces and a pair of deuces, and a tray! "Two pair to beat:" Deadwood Dic k said, cupping the dice, shaking them, and then spill In[ them out upon the counter. two of a kind! A murmur of surprise swept the ".l'Owd. C oo lly the Road l:tocket re-cupped the dice, and threw them, no trace of fear upon hi s face. Five fours, this time, lay upon the counter, A curse escaped Foster, as he receive;l the cup, gathered up the dice, shook the m and threw four deuc es. "A horse a.p!ece. N o,v, it's mine or yours," he hi ssed, the dice again and throwing th3m. "Ah! Five fiv<1s. Beat it, curse you, if you can I' "I have every faith that I can," D eadwood Dic k r e pliea, as he scooped the dice into the cup, and shook them. the crowd-miners and outlaws mingled to/1,'etber,all with a consum ing; ea11;erue ss to kno w the re'lult. D e lib erately D aadwood Dick spilled the Ivorie s out uoon the counter and there were Ji'ive aces! He had won. CHAPTER II. A TRAITOR'S FA.TE-DEADWOOD DICK IN DENVER. IT was a thrilling, excitable moment, and a murmur of surprise stirred the crowd as the re sult of the last throw was made known. Gentleme n, the traitor has lost the victory," D eadwo:x.I Dick announced, calmly. "Although he did some fair throwing;, I was so fortunate a s k be able to better it, By the terms of my proposal, Foster, you have yet one chance in fAmfor your life-in walking the cable across Bonanza Gulch. If you fail, so be it. If you succeed in reaching the further side, your liberty is your own, and your debt to the Rough-and-R.ea.dys is canceled Come I let's test the matter at once. Boys, remove the deserter." .Foster was a.gain take n in charge by several of the road-agents, and u shered from the bllild ing into the street, Deadwood Dick leading the way. The town was built upon the eastern bank of a frightful abyss, which split the mountains for many miles, and was a black, terrible-l ooking chasm in the face of nature, descending almost straight downward into the face of the earth, a n d of unknown depth. From bank to bank it was about three hun dred feet acrqss, and this distance was spanned by a two-inch wire cable, drawn taut, and fast ened to trees fifty feet inland from each bank. Over this cabl e a pulley was tracked, and to that a. largfl iron bucket was fastened, with ropes attached to it, so that the bucket and pul ley could be pulled from one side of the abyss to the other. It was used for conveying ore from the opposite hills, over to the Big Crushing Mill With firm step Deadwood Dick led the 'Waf. through the mining camp, to this wild spot, to lowed by his masked comrades and the heft of Big Bonanza's population, who 'bad cloaked any moral scruples they may have had, under a d esire to witness the novelty of the death-walk. For it seemed a natural impossibility for a man to walk across the a.by10S on the cable, without any balancing power save the motion of bis body. Foster, although he had proven himself an arch traitor, was a man of great nerve and eon troi over his emotions, and, except for an un natural pallor upon his cheeks, he took things as calmly as a stoio and measured the distance over the abyss with a keen eye. Did he have any h ope of being able to reach the further side alive. he did not betray the fact. "Bind his hands behind his back, Orderly, and remove his feet covering," Deadwood Dick commanded, when a halt was made, at the brink of the chasm. I'll give ihe traitor what mercy I can." The command was .pt'omptly executed, and the d eserte r was soon in readiness for the life-o!'o death task before him. For life or death it was, certainly. It was life and liberty to successfully cross the chasm u pon the cable and reach the other side in safety, or it was a. frightful death to fail, and go plunging down into the depths of the abyss. "All is ready, n ow, Frank Foster, so take advantage of the means offered you to escape. Your hfe is now in your own bands, to win OI' lose and you may thank me that .you escaped instant death, at the hands of your comrades, here. Go! now, and may the Almighty guide your footsteps into the trail of a. better life, Deadwood Dick said.Jn stern, ringing tones. Yes, I will go," .11oster replied, fierceness in his tone; "but you would b e more merciful t
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A Game of Aold. weod Dick, ff eve r I d o escape l ook out f or me! I shall not fo rget your kindness of to-day, ex cept at t h e muzz l e of t h e r evo lver. I go, nowprobab l y to a grave i n t h e botto m of the abyss, but, die t hough I m ay, the spirit o f Frank Fos ter will haunt you and pursue you with the co n stancy o f a r esistless fiend." Al!. rig h t I shall be pleased to wrestl e with your g h ost, as soonas it p uts in an'appearance,'' the Road King laughed. The n there was a silence. Every man stood w ith bated b reath, and gaze riv e ted upon t h e traitor, awaiting the issue It was a momentof terrible s u spense, i n whic h a huma n life was hel d o n t h e finest thread o f tissue, as it were. Withou t further parley, F os t e r stepped upon the r ope, above the bank on-whlc h the multitude was assembled, and balanced himself Then he stood still., and measured the line over whic h he was to venture, with a calculating g lance-the two-inch trail between time and eternity. Then, seeming to gather all bis powers under control, he stepped fo rward over t h e cable-out over the yawning gulf, that seemed waiting with distended jaws, to swallow him u p. Carefully 1 yet steadily and rapidly he moved forward, eacn footstep being p lanted with precision Never an instant did he waver or falter until within a hundred feet of the oppo-1 site s i de, when be was seen s u dden l y to sway to and fro, and with a yell of horror went p lunging ma,dly down! down! down! into the depths of t h e yawning unfathomable abyss. Denver, Colorado. It was midnight, the bell in a neighboring steeple having but recently tolled the hour of twelve. The streetc; of the State Capital were pretty well deserted, at this hour, only an occasional wayfarer heing abroad. Over all objects the mellow radiance of a soaring full moon shed the m
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8 A Game ot Gold. liberal offer1 ;e shall wait with1 all patience until we get a chance to slip a knife between your ribs, when you are not on your guard. D iscretion is the better part of valor, you know. Hal ha!" "But delays are dangerous, you know,'' Percival warned "No time like the present to settle. if you are willing. "Which w e are not,'' Foster returned, fierce;;, ly. "Don't think we do not 1.-now you or that we shall leave of!' trailing you till death." Then turning, they hurried back down the street, as rapidly as they could walk, finally vanishing around a corner. Captain Percival gazed after them, until they had disappeared, a stern, half-puzzled expression upon his face. "Can it be true that they have really pene trated my disl?uise, and that it was really Frank Foster, m under that mask and cloak?'' he muttered, as he resbeatbed his sword, aud continued on his way. "Can it be possible that he escaped after that fall into the abyss at Big Bonanza1 It seems incredible-yet it was his voice that spoke-his form, and mus t have been he in fl.esu and blood. How he could have escaped certain death is a mystery that surpasses my understanding. And if it is he, and he bas penetrated this disguise, it's not a safe place for you in Denver, Deadwood Dic k, old boy. But, why need I be surprised, or fear? Tracked! discovered! hounded from place to place, I always manage to keep on dec k. Hal ha! it's wearing on me, though, and 1 am heart ily sick of it. What tempted me down here to Denver, away from Calamity and the boys, I scarcely know-yet, here I am, and in jeopardy too, if the meeting just now has any signifi cance. But I will not r etreat. I'll face the mu sio, yet, and see what turns up." 'Threading several of the prominent streets of D enver, disguis e d D eai wood Dick at last came to a saloon that was still lit up, despite the late ness of the hour, and snunds of voices came from the inside. Over the entre.nce a creaking sign bore the inscription: "STOCK EXCHA.NGE-M. MOSHER." Impelled by a curiosity to know what was go in.; on within, Percival, as we shall still con tinue to call him, opened tile door aud entered. fortably positioned himself, and ma.de sions of into a sound snooze. He had notlong been seated thus, when two Qtber men entered and took seats by a table near him; and some instinct told him that they were Foster and his companion. He bad only to open and shut his eyes, slyly, to confirm this suspicion; but they were seated on the fur ther side of a stove, and had evidently not seen him. Foster's companion was a Missourian, with a hook-nose, small, bead-like eyes, and a greedy, avaricious expression of countenance. He was tall, lank, and toughly dresSed,' and as Foster addressed him as Mosher, Percival set him down as the proprietor of the saloon. "Yes, there's a deiJp secret connected with the man," Mosher was saying, "which means mil lions of money, and we must find it out. One thing is plain: he is an inveterate gambler, and one of those men who, once they get the taste of whisky on tc>p of a loss, never know when to put on the brakes, till they're whipped of every ducat they possess. That's the correct analysis cf the man who calls himself Jackson Bird." I am anxious to see him," Fo ter said. Did you say he bas been losing h eavy?" Yes. He has l ef t some fifty or sixty thou sand dollars in Denver, to-day, just through cards, and brags that he has more to win it back. He has drank like a fish, and an expert can easily win from him. He'll soon be in again. Ah! I told you. There he comes, now." Percival peeped through his balf--0losed eye lashes, ands W a man with unsteady gait enter the room He was of commanding figure and richly attired, with a bearded face dark eyes, e.nd sweeping hair that fell over bis shoulde r s. The luster of the end of his nose, and the wild blood-shot appearance of bis eyes, however, seemed to point to 'the fact that he was a hard drinker, a fact that was betrayed in his walk. As soon as he entered the room. Mosher led Frank Foster forward. "Mr. Bird, I h1tve the honor of introducing to you Sir Roger Stanwix, an old English friend of lnine, who is passionately fond of a social game." Social (hie) game, d'ye the gambler hiccougbed, with a stare. (Hie) I never pla;r (hie) 'cept it's for money." Ah: that w 0uld suit me still better," Foster said, rubbing his hands together delightedly. "It gives interest to the game, you know." The inteiior was dingy and dirty, and far from prepossessing, with a thick fol? of foul smelling tobacco-smoke nearly obsc.urmg all ob jects. An ill-stock e d bar o ccupied one part of the room; a stove stood near the center, aud CHAPTER III. around this a meu were seated, a l-DICK TO THE RESCUE. beit there was no fire in th!l stove PERCIVAL cloed his eyes again, and feigned A door near one end of the bar opened into an slumber, as he saw the trio take seats at a table inner apartment, which was larger, better but a few feet from him. lig hted and furmshed with card-tables, around Foste r bad not yet discovered him, and as which a numbe r of men were collected. soon as they were once engros..<;ed in the game Without pausing in the bar-room, Deadwood the disguised ex-road-agent formed one of the Dick entered the inner apartment, and seated group that gathered near to watch Jack Bird himself. part with bis gold. The men around the tables were mostly prom-Directly in the rear of the traitor did Captain inent men of Denver, who had sought this re-Percival stand, so that Foster could not notice treat to smoke, talk and drink. him without looking: square around. A few were engaged in some game, but not I B-boysl I am Jackson Bird, if you don't all. know me, an' I've bucked the tiger, an' the Lighting a cigar, the pseudo-Percival com-tiger's bucked me, for nigh twenty (hie) yelll'llt

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A Ga.me or Gold an' it's bard 1;o tell wbinb bas com& (bic) out abead. Guess'er (hie) I'm a l eetle tbe most bucked jest now. Lost fifty tbousan' since sun 'Tain't notbin', tho', gents-'tnin't notbin'. Tbere's pl:nty of more go ld up at Secret City, an' it's all mine So ye want to play wi' me, do you Jobn Bull?" "i111 take a hand, yes," Foster r eplied with a crafty glitter in bis eyes providing the stakes are not too higb." "Ten thousan' is my pile-the last I have to my name," the gambler replied. ;See me terl if you dare. Ten I have-ten to bet on a sim ple game of the pasteboards. Where's tbe man who wants to see me!" I,'' Foster replied, and from bis )J?Cket he drew a purse of plethoric siz) and laid it upon t;he table. There is just that amount in the purse." "Oho! you have money, then, if not wisdom," the gamble r chuckled "Well! well! I care not, so l ong as I retrieve my l osses." He took a check-book from his pocket and wrote out a check on a prominent Denver bank for the amount of the wager, and thm tore it from the book, and placed it on Foster's pile. "There! that is the last of a fortune," he said, hoarsely. If I lose that, I shudder fo r the consequences. Shuffi e the cards, man, and see that you make no mismoves, or you'll find that I can look out for No. 1, even with a headach e caused by Denver whisky. Go on, I say." Foster accordingly sbuffied the cards-then they were dealt, and the game bep.:an. The c rowd near, and watched with :r;;."'llish interest. Both players were excited to a high ptwh, but neither spokP, until Frank Foste r tb.."Elw down the card which him to be the winner, and raked in the stakes with a triumphant laugh. "Lost, by heaven!" Bird gasr.;d, sink in g back, a terribl e glare in bis eyes 'Gentlemen, after _years of life at the table, I am obliged to come down to the acknowledgment that I am broke. It is something I have never experienced or I shou ld not mentlon it. Every dollar I nave in the wide world is gone-to the devil. Hal ha! yes to the devil. But bark ye -not the m eans of getting more-ob I no! Down in a certain mining di5trict I yet own an entire city of gold-Secret City, 'tis called, and only a limited few, who are my friends know where to find it. C enturies might it lay undiscovered, a mining claim valued at millions, did I refuse to betray its lo cation Ha! ha! what would not you avaricious sharks give to know where to swoop down and find this bonanza of mine, with its invaluable quartz and place r mines, its trained and faithful regiment of Chinese minersand above all its beauteous misti:ess, my queenly dalighter, Lola! Ab! could you but see her, you'd believe me that all other women are but untamed squaws, in comparis on. Fair as a lily is my queen Lola, but none of you shall have her, even though I tempt you with a chance!" "What yarn i s this you are spinning us, now, Bird !" Mosher demande d. You surely have DO such a secret bonanza as you boast of." "But I have, though!" the gambler cried, hoarsely, "ancl l y it, I am going to win back what I hwe l ost. In the inne r pocket of my coat, there i s o. small map, pointing the tr&il that l eads to 1 :iy secret city of Without it, no human being can eve r hop e to find itwith it, the road is as plain as the face of nature V(j_ll allow. I am
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A Game of Gold. "Agreed. We have been chums for years, and may as well continue the same way. Give me the swagi an' I'll tackle the c uss." "But bola!" Moober said, in a low tone. "' Mind that you win. or we are both be:sgars. Once you get the paper in your band, and the secret of the whereabouts of Secret City, and we're made." Perhaps the devil is fooling u s, and has no such paper?" "Then we ll knife him," the saloon proprietor growled, savagely. "But, I reckon Jack Bird knows better'n to fool that way with Max Mosher. Go 'head. The money's in this package." And as he finishe.l speaking, the saloon-keeper placed a large sealed envelope in the ex-roadagent's hands, and the two men returned to the table. Bird was watching them, impatiently, through his shaggy lashes. "Well, are ye ter play? he demanded, as Foster seated hims elf. I am," was the reply and I'm going to win old man fairly." "We shali see about that," Bird retorted. "Mosher, you man, fetch a fresh deck of. cards." The cards were produced, and Bird went care fully over them in order to ascertain that they were all there, and new and unmarked. The crowd in the gamblin g saloon had by this time to nearly one hundred people, among which were a m ass of the rougher ele ment, as well as the more refined. AU crowded as near the table as possi'.:':le, to watch the game of such unusual risk. It was no commbn occurrence in Denver for men to riiik fifty thousand dollars on the chances con tained in a pack of cards. Therefore the inter est tbe contest excited, was great. Bird allowed Foster to cut the cards; then s huffl ed and dealt 'th;im himself, iu a manner that b etrayed experience. Then, the game began. eith e r of the game sters speaking, but their faces delineating their .eager expectation. In breathless suspense those of the crowd who could not see the table, waited, and waited im patiently, for the result; not that, as a crnwd, they bad any particular c hoi ce as to who should win, but because of a natural desire to have one party win, and then watch the discomfiture of the other. At last, there was a cry of desperation, and, a band struck the table heavily. It was Jackson Bird who uttered the cry.:.it was the hand of Frank Foster that struck the table, even as he gave vent to a laug h wherein was expressed the most malicious triumph-for he, Fosoor, bad won! "Hal ha! and so it comes to pass that even youth and beauty of the land shall conquer old age," he cried, rising from the table, with an affected yawn. "Come, 'pardner, dish over yo11r stake, and I'll retire to my hotel. I'm most devilish sleepy." "Yes, you have won," Bird muttered, hoarseJy, his eyes riveted upon the floor-" won, and I am a beggar-an accursed wortble!s wretch 1 a&i what matters it? Gold has ever been the curse of my li fe and when I've put an end to that life, gold and the gaming-tiiob l e will have lost a point. Ahl" with a glaring glance at Foster; "you're waiting for the map are Curse you-shall I be fool enough to yield it to you1 and thus place you in possession of all I bola dear upon this earth? Tell me, man-have you the heart to demand that paper, knowing that it not only makes me a beggar and more of a wretch than I am, but tears from me my own daughter, Queen Lola-the only redeeming hope of my wild and reckless existence1 Speak -tell me, man I" The gambler had risen to his f eet, terribly ex cited, his votce trembling, and a strange, wild glitter to his fiery eyes. Foster, Mosher and several kindred spirits had involuntarily rested a hand upon a weapon i n their respective belts, and this fact seemed to evidence that the tide of human symt>athy was against the unlucky gambler. Heart is something out of my line, pard," Foster respondefl., with a grin. "Fifty thou sand dollars' worth of heart is a surfeit, and I don't take any stock in it. The game was fair ly won by me, and I'll now accept of the paper., if 1/0'U. please !" 1 And if I d on't ploose-" Bird queried. Then I shall take the liberty of making you please, or shall make you ready for the first hearse that comes along. In other and shorter words, you'll have to fork over the paper or re linquish your life grip of this earthly'atmospherel" On course It's no time to p lay shenani gun now," Mosher put in. "You'd better pony up the paper, Bird, and save unpleasant trouble. To be sure we are in the States, here in Denver, bnt we don't stand long on legal ceremonies when a feller shows the black flag." And the crowd nodded their approval of this bit of logic-among them men who to the out side daily world graced the toned business cir cles of the town. "Yes, y.esl I suppose it is my duty in honor to give up the paper," Bird murmured, his gaze reverting to the floor-=-' but, God in Heaven guard and watch over my )JOOr child! H e re, man," and his right hand sought an inner pocket, "is the-Ahl Heaven! what is this1 Gone l -the paper lost 1 Then I too, am lost!" "What! what is this you say'I'' Foster advancing with a furious oath. "Do you mean to tell me that you have been fooling m<:', after all-that you have not the paper you claime d to have'!'' "No; I have not been fooling. I had the paper, not three hours ago, in my inner pocket, and supposed I still had it the re, to this minute. But it is gQne. Either I have been robbed, or have lost it while on the street." "Liar!" Fo:;ter fairly yelled, his face dark with aroused passion; "your excuses will avail you not. You have cheated me, and the conse quences be on your own bead!" Tue next instant the r e was a sharp flash and a report, and Jackso n Bird threw up his hand and staggered back-to be caught in the arm1 of Captain Percival, who had all the time stootl rear. And with one strong arm support-

PAGE 10

A Game of Gold. t ing the gambler, Percival drew a. r evolve r with bis other hand. "Back, there!" he ordered, his eyes flashing fire, and his weapon on a level with Foster's breast, as the villain would have sprung upon his victim to finish the deadly job he had inau back, Frank Foster, or I ll finish the Job Deadwood Dick left unfinished up in the mines. You know what I mean-so git out of m:r; sight, or you're a dead man!" 'Ha I you b e re1" the traitor leaping back, as h e for the first time noticed hi s former captain. "Curse you! curse you! this is a. pleasant surprise, for I now can kill two birds with one s tone, and obtain my promised ven geance. Hal be.I you are mine now, even ns I was yours in that little rope-walking scrape up at Big Bonanza. Boys, look at the precious pilgrim-does he not l ook like a thorougbbrede. regular ourang-outang7 That's a road-agent, boys, and none other than the noto rious individual called Dead wood Dick I" "Ayl I am D eadwood Di c k, and they have all heard from me-now, if never befo r e! the yqung man cried in a stern, ringing tone, while bis eyes flashed a glance of defiance You ,;eed not draw yow weapons, gents, for I am no /l1eat of yours. I am going to assist this gambler nere to a place whe r e he can die in peace, as I see h e is mortally wouuded. If you mind your own affairs and let me take my departure without interruption, all will be well; but if you attempt to prevent me from carrying out my int.ention, the past record of Deadwood Dick shall be a guarantee of what will follow. Remember! I am but one man, and alone, but when forced to it, I can do the deadly work of a half a score!" And half-carrying, half-dragging the wounded gambler upon bis left arm, and keeping the revolver in bis right hand leveled at the crowd, the brave ex-outlaw retreated step by step to ward the door. Involuntaril:v the crowd moved after him, but paused. "!"hen Mosher l!tepped in front of them, and cried: "Back, boys! It's certain death ..,o some of you to follow that man, who's filled more graveyards than the devil himsell'. Foster, come back!" "When I do, it will be with the heart of Dealwood Dick in my band!" the traitor re turned, ferociously. "Stand there like a pack of cowardly coyotes, if you choose. I am not afraid to face the tiger. Ah!" He had no tiger t;J face, for, with an unexpected suddPnness, Deadwood Dick had leaped through a window, with his charge, and was los t to view-an action so quickly executed that it bad freed him from the crowd! CHAPTER IV. EXIT BffiD-ROBBED. ONCE in the street, Deadwood Dick lifted the wounded man more upon his shoulder, and sped along in the night, beneath its great soaring moon and starry dome. Not far bad be gone, when be beard a shout, and turning and looking back, be saw the crowd pouring from saloon. Quickly, then, be dodged into an alley, or bystreet, at hi$ right, in time to escape discovery, and hurried up its course between rows of but dingy habitations, for the most part inhabit ed by Chinese. .l:Ie finally came to a building, however, on the door of which was posted a "To Rent" placard, and mounting the steps.aud trying the door, he found it unlocked The next instant he bore Bird into the dwell ing, which proved to be tenantless, and barred the door behind him. A heap of refuse and old worn-out carpets were the only things that told that the place had ever been inhabited before, excep t for the dust and cobwebs strewn around. Qui ckly arranging the carpets and rags about into the sli'ape of a bed, D eadwood Dick deposit ed the gambler upon them, as tenderly 11s possi ble, and propped !IP bis h ead He was very white, and also weak from a copious loss of blood, some of which had stained the garments of the ex-Prince of the Road. "Who are your' Bird asked, as Dick knelt by bis side, and endeavored to stanch the flow of blood. Whoever you are, I thank you and my Lord that I have yet life in my worthless carcass, for there is yet something I would sa:r;" Then confide whatever secrets you ma:l/ d ee m best to my care, 11nd l?ll not betray yom: confi dence My name is Edward Harris-or at l eas t that bas always been the name I claimed alle giance to-my nom de vlume however, is Dead wood Dick l" -"Ah! yes-Foster called you that, and I have heard of it before. You have been a roadagentr' "Yes-so-called. Be it said to my c redit however, I have never been guilty of one -half of the misdeeds shouldered upon me. But, your wound-that is of the most importance now. Can you remain alone while I seek a physician?'' "Nol no! It is no use to seek medical aid, for I am past all help. I feel the grip of death alr1JS.dY fastened upon me and I've but a few minutes yet on earth. Stiil, I am not afraid to makejllly last journey t o my Maker's home, for, gambler aud reckless man though I have been, I have ever bePn honest in my dealings ..... and have been guilty of no heinous crime. .tlark I are thel, not coming?" No; I hear nothing," Dick replied, after lis tening. "Your fancy is leading you ofl' traC'k, Go on, and fear nothing, for I flatter myself I cleverly eluded them." The light of the suaring moon shone through a window upon the face of the dying gambler1 whose gaze rested steadfastly upon the grea; luminary. "It is of the map I would speak," he said slowly. "It was not my design to cheat my opponent, and I supposed the paper was in my pocket until I sought for it there and found it gone. What became of it I have not 'the slig htest idea, but I am glad that it is lost, in hoJlEl that if it ever is found, it will fall into the hands of some, better pavty than Frank F oste r!" Rest at ease, then, for I undoubtedly baTf'

PAGE 11

10 A Game of Gold. the very document," Deadwood Dick said, pro ducing the pstper he bad found upon the street earlier the same evening. Bird gave vent to an utterance of j o y as be saw it. "Yes, yes! That is the paper. God be praised that it is found. Where did you get it, sirT' D eadwood Dick_explained in a few words; then added as he listened inteutly: "You had best intrust it to my care again, for I thiuk I beard footsteps outside1 and Foster or some of his men may be spying aoout. "Yes! take it, you ng man, and keep it. I k now you will be as good a fe ll ow as I can intrust it to, for I have heard that, though an outlaw, you are a man of honor. Surely you would take no meau advantage over the fatherless, motherless girl whom that paper consigns to your powAr." "No!" Deadwood -Dick said, proudly. "I will bunt up this girl and give her her liberty and this paper. I am no villain, to take of my power over the weaker sex, nor even over my own sex, unless they drive me to it." "Good! Your words cauRe me to feel easi e r. Another thing-these two blood-hounds, Foster and Mosher, may attempt to ferret out my Secret City, and succeP.d. Should they do so, my daughter will be at their mercy. Can I hope that you will strike a blow in her de fense?" "Ay! you can rely upon it. I will guard her and her interests." Then all became silence in the room. Jackson Bird lay p eacefully upo n bis rude but easy bed. His gaze continued fixed upon the moon, wbich gleamed throug h the window, and his lips were parted, as thoug h he were in silent prayer. Ani thus he continued, until bis eyes slowly c l osed, a peculiar, deathly pallor stole over his countenance, his bosom ceased to h e was dead. It did not seem that h e bad more than fallen asleep, yet Deadwood Dick was aware, without investigation, that his spirit had passed into the realms wh1cb no earthly bein<; can penetrate until summoned by the hanrl of tbe Almighty. To make sure, he placed his ear over the gambler's heart, but his first conclusion was only verified, for tbs heart had cease'.!. to b ea t Care fully covering tha bo:ly with some of tbe old carpet, Dic k once m ore rose to his f eet, and stepped toward the door, b en t on leaving the place. and sending an undertaker to care for the remains As he did so, a hand was laid upon his arm, and a voice said, in a l ow, warning.tone: "'Sh! don't venture out that way, or you are l ost. Foster and Mosher are waiting for you, backed by s;:ime of the latter's pals, and the dep uty sheriff In surprise Dick turned to discover that his accost.er was a fair-skinn ed beardless youth, and of fine form, while bis attire consisted of toP.;boots, buckskin breecbPs and bunting-shirt, with a slouch bat upon his bead. A. mask was worn over the upper portion of bJs face including the eyes which gloomed sharply through h o l es m a d e for t hei r accommo dation. "'Who are your the ex-o utlaw demanded, stepping backhand surveying the new-come r sharply. "W at brings you herer I am Toothpick -Little Toothpick t hey call me I came to warn you of danger, and assis t you out of it, was the reply. "And why? What good turn have I ever done you, that you should wish to favor me?" was the query; for seldom, in bis life experi ence, thus far, bad Deadwood Dick met with favors that had not in some way been be stowed. "No turn at all, Sir Stranger, but I was in the saloon a bit ago, and saw how matters went, and so took sides with you. Besides, I have often heard of you as a man whose cause i t would be an honor to-espouse-a brave, fearless, faithful man, who was ever a friend to friends, and foe to foes, without exception." "Well, then, I am glad to meet you," Dead wood Dick said, extending bis hand to shake with the strnnger. "Toothpick, you said your name is?" "Yes-Little Toothpick, you may call me. Another name once belonged to me, but a bank defalcation o ccurred, and the crime was pointed to m e although God knows I was innocent. But, in order to escape ten years behind prison bars, I was forced to skin out, and bide my indentity in a disguise You see me now. I am an outlaw and an outcast. I have to skulk about at night, and lielow in day. I h eard of you and saw you. I watched and waited, and saw an opportunity to a.."Sist you. H ere I am, ready to do it." "Ahl exactly. And after you r e lease me from a tight place, I suppose it will be in order for you to want a compensation for your trou ble," Dick said, endeavoring to study the fellow in a thorough way '' No, pard yon mistake me. That is not my lay-out at ;;Ji, If we succeed in escaping from tliis nest, my only hope hall be that you may see fit to let me remain with you as a valet, o r servant." "And why tbusP' Be c ause, there is power in union, and I would be among those who could fight for me, if n ee ded, and whom I could fight for, in r bturn." Then you may accompany me, until I fin d you untrusty," the young chief said. "Treach ery is punishable with death-'-SO b eware. You sar. the front is guarded?" 'Yes doubly guarded. Y our ouly hope o t rescue lies in following me. Comet" Motioning for Dick to follow Little Tooth pick led the way back through a rear hall that fina]ly opened into a sort of walled yard or court, fro m whence led a nanow alley, in a northerly cour;e. Following this route. they entered one of the principal streets of Denver, and soon after C'ame to the hotel where the ex-Prince of the Road was registe r e d We won't stop here. he said, b u t will seek anothe r p l ace, in order to avoid discovery I fortunately have several disguises about my clothes, and can baffle the best of them."

PAGE 12

A Game of Gold. Another large bot.el soon loomed uP.and, as it was open, Dick announced his intention of turning m for the remainder of the night. "Then I will bid you good-night, until I can go and remove my mask, and sufficiently disjWise myself, so that I can join you," Little Toothpick said. I may not be able to joiu you soon, and again I may; but do not be con cerned if you do not see me again before you leave the ci-ty." Very well. I shall pull out of Denver, before another evening probably." He then entered tbe hotel, and secured an apartment,,and was soon by himself. His room contained a bed, centre-table and chairs, of a pretty appearance, and every ap pointment was neat an\l cleanly, in the extreme. Turning on the gas, and seatinis himself Deadwood Dick took the map of Secret City from bis pocket, and glanced it over, closely, marking with bis sharp eye, every feature of it, es r,;nciled out by its former owner. No Secret City is marked down here, that I ean see," be muttered, at length, unless the star is meant to indicate the location of the place. Ah! even so!" He had chanced to bold thf' paper betwPen him and the light, and the secret was revealed. Stamped in water color just across the star, were tbe words. "Secret City." Above is a fac-simile of the map that Dead wood Dick bad received from Jackson Bird. "The golden camp lies somewhere between the two Canadians," Dick mused, l'but it is hard to tell just where, without following tbe dotted line, whlch is probably meant to repre-1ent a. wagon trail, or Indian route. But from Denver there must be a shorter way of reach ing it than going down into New Mexico hunt up the trail. This map ls really of no ac tual value; yet it occurs to me that it will b6 well enough to make a copy, in case I should lose this, or it should be stolen. If 1 mistake not, Foster will not give up the hope of on track of what so neatly slipped from his grasp, and in that case it will be advisable to be prepared for him. It did not take many minutes for him to pen an exact copy of the map, as cleverly as though he were used to such work. Folding the original document neatly, be placed it inside the linill". of his bat, and threw the latter carnlessly on the floor. The other paper he thrust into a. vest pocket, carelessly. There. If I lose one I bav:e a duplicate. IJ1P case an attempt is made to rob me, they ma,. find the copy, but not the original. Now, tbPn, for a snoo7b-Sometbing I have not had for th& last forty-eight hours." He threw himself upon the bed, and was soon ofl' in a heavy sleep-the first, as he bad said, that had visited him for over two days an?; nights. It was broad daylight, when he awoke, and the sun was shining in through a wfadow, uI;on. his face. Ab! I have overslept myself he said.. rising, and preparing to make his tohet. "Abt I wonder if the papers are all right'?'' Slipping bis finger into his vest pocket, he felt the paper still there, and as his hat still lay where be bad thrown it upon the floor, he thought no more of the matter at the ti>ue. After washing and combing, he toolr e, parcat from one of bis pockets and untied it.

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.18 A Game or Gold. It pro\Ted to be a jet-black wig and long false beard and mustache, and removing the mus tache he wore, he donned the disguise in short order, the change being most strikingly artistic and complete. "Ha! ha I I can pass friends or foes, now, without risking discovery," he mutt.ered, as he surveyed himself in the glass. "I look like a veritable Black Donald of modern days." He next stripped off his soldier's i:;arb, and underneath was revealed a tasty suit of black. Removing the military trimmings from his hat, be stood transformed from Captain Percival, U. S A., to Deadwood Dick, of Deadwood. It was while removing the trimmings from his hat, that he made the startling discovery that the lining was gone from his bat, and the map also! Hastily thrusting his hand into his pocket, he drew forth the other paper, which was sim ply a blank piecel He bad been robbed while sleeping! There was no two ways about this, .and he gave vent to a cry of vexation. "Euchered, as I'm a man!" he gasped-". and by whom? Some one smarter than 1 credited, anyhow. But, n eve I' mind. If Frank Foster bas got the p a pers, it does not signify who will win this little llame. I have a faint idea that l'll be the man!' __ CHAPTER V. ANGEL. SUNSET. Soft blue skies, with a hazy horizon of east .. l mountalils, into which the red luminary of day was dipping its lower crest, while into a wild, bowlderous valle y, silvered by a rushing mountain streamlet, the first shadowy harbin gers of night were creeping. It was a rugged, wild scene, this valley, running northward and southward, as the crow tlies, and its width of two miles one vast broken tract of rocks and bowlders, with a few tree s scattered here and the re. Along down the bank of the stream a wagon track ran1 but it not use d much, evidently, judging oy tht fact that grass grew in the tl'ack as if there was no track at" a!L Hist! a voice! A sweet, melodious voice, too, breaking out in a snatch of weird song, the words of which cease, as the singer strides into view, and the echo goes detonating on down the valley. I s it a girl-or is it a man1 Thus wonders a m!l.n, at least, who, half re clining upon the grass, beside the stream, gazes at the approaching person in surprise and ad-miration. A medium-sized fellow, this stranger, with a browned yet hand ome face, anJ a figure which, as it stretche d out, d enote d strength, endurance and activity. A dark mustache, with broad, wavy ends graced his lip, and partly shaded a resolute but pleasant mouth, and hA.ir of the same hue. waved back from his forehead and fell upon his shoulders. Hfa fe e t were incased in knee-boot!', which were in turn met by buckskin breeches and hunting-shirt, both nicely fringed and em broidered, and a <:ark cape about his shoulders. .His hat lay upon the grass by his side, and the cool evening breeze fanned hi11 brow. A rifle also lay upon the ground near his hat, and a pair of silver-plated revolvers in his belt spoke of the fact that he was not unarmed. And the girl-this creature coming down the disused wagon-trail! If beauty ever the face and form of woman, she certainly had a goodly share of both. Of medium hight of women, she possessed a rarely curved and symmetrically proportioned form that appeared to advantage in the neatly fitting garb she wore-a costume of Indian tanned buckskin, consisting of breeches and hunting-shirt, the latter belted at the waist, and touching nearly to the patent-leather knee boots she wore. A hat upon the jauntily-poised head and a single revolver in her belt com pleted h e r costume. As for the face of this sylph, it was in one de fined word "handsome." Every feature was perfectly chiseled and prettily outiined; the mouth wore a habitual winuing expression, with lips tempting enough to kiss: the cheeks were suffused with a heaith ful tint; the eyes spoke forth a glance just bold enough to suggest cou f\ge and will, even while they shone with the &Wile fascinating expression of winsomeness that characterized the mouth. An abundance of golden hair was tossed about her shoulders from beneath her jaunty hat, its color corresponding harmoniously with some of the r eflections of the hazy sunset hori zon. As h e gazed at h er, there came a strange ex pression over the face of the man lounging by the stream. "Like Calamity Jane, and yet not like her," he muttered, thoughtfully. '' Who in blazes can it be, I wonder, roaming in this wild spot1 Not Jackson Bird's daughter, I fancy, even though she lacks nt>t beauty. Guess she does not sBe me yet. Perhaps I may learn from her whether or not I am any.,,here near the goal of my ambition-Secret City." The man, as the reader has probably sur mised, was none other than D eadwood Dick, the ex-road-agent. Nearly three weeks before he had set out from Denver in search of the goldeu camp that had once b e longed to Jackson Bird, but until now he had journeyed through the Indian Territory, un successful m his mission and meeting with ad venturs that would have appalled many a man less brave than the ex<:hief. Without tlie maps he had found that he could only depend upon guesswork and patient search, and it was some bad g)lessing he had made. The young woman came nearer and and was almost upon him before she discover;J. him. To J es5en h e r alarm he feigned to be doz ing, until her sharp exclamation aroused her to SUet di stant and surveying bim in a way that evidenced surprise but not alarn. "Well," she said, with husiUE'6S-like precision, as Dick and bowed, "who are you?'' At your 'iiervice. Edward Harris, miss-

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A Game of Gola. 18 uiore commonly called Deadwood Dick,,. was the courteous reply. "And may I be so bold ;as to reverse the interrogation, and ask you wh;,; .. sely reclused. 'Spect somethmg has hapP,ened to old gambler Jack, the miserable old sot and card-sharp." "Ay. Something bas happened to him,,. Dead wood Dick replied, "some tiling irrepara ble for he is de!ld l" ,/Dead!" The girl staggered back at the words, as though she had been dealt a blow. Jac kson Bird dead 1" "Yes, miss. I was with him to the last. He got into a row over a wag e r he could not pay1 and Foster shot him in the breast. He livea scarcely an hour afterward." "Ahl I see then what brings you to Secret; City. He sent you. "Yes. You've heard, probably1 of the map he possessed, and how, at his deatn, the mines and the daughter all reverted to the party who was so fortunate as to inherit the map." Yes. Only the day before the man Foster came, Lola was telling me about it, and trembling WJth fear lest the map should fall into the hands of some unscrupulous who would use the power be held over her. i:i<> you have the map, have you!'' "No, I had it, but it was stolen from me, and I was left unarmed, without the least clew to guide me to the secret except my memory of what I bad seen upon the map. Be lieving that either Foster or Mosher had obtained possession of the map, I resolved to work my way hither, in hopes of Miss Bird first, telling my story, and thus ba1Hmg the precious pair of scoundrels. But I am too late." "Yes, I reckon you are. They must have had the dockEents, or the Queen wouldn't never have let em take charge of matters. Suppose they're not werry soft on you eh 1" I presume not," Dick replled, with a smile, inasmuch as I made Foster meet the reward of treachery not long ago." Probably that was the reason of Foster's posting a placard at all the principal approaches tQ the camp, warning strangers to turn back and avoid unseen perils that lurked in the wilderness, which had encompassed a band of sturdy emigrants a week since." "Ha I ha l a clev e r way of keeping back the tide of immigration, no doubt, but I'll vouch that it was not meant for me, for Foster knows me well enou g h to be positive nothing could scare me off, once I set out to reach a certain point. Not even death has ever turned me back." "Well, I admire your grit, anyhow, and if you want any assistance or advice just ca.II on me. I'm a particular friend to Queen Birdie, but not to the fellow Foster or his villainous looking colleague. Going to town? " W e ll, that is something I cannot answer just now, as I have y e t to learn where this g o ld e n camp is lo c .at e d. "Ob, that's it; eh1 W e ll, I can e nlighten you, though you're tne first pilgrim as ever learned

PAGE 15

A Game ol Gold. where Secret City was through my instrumentality. Follow the trail up the stream. and just around that bend you'll find all there is of the camp." Then, turning abruptly, the girl Jehu wandered on down the trail without looking back, her pretty lips emitting a flow of wild, peculiar 1I1elody, as weird and strange as the wilderness around her. Dead wood Dick watched her until mighty rocks had bidden her figure from view; then he sat down once more upon the bank of the little stream, and gazed thoughtfully into the rushing waters. A queer character, that girl-but, then, the whol e world is made up of queer characters. I wonder if I had best venture into the town, and look into matters? Yes, that is my duty, for I promised Bird I would look after bis child, and to back out, because two men have got ahead of mei would not be according to my principles. If .L mitsake not, there will be warm times here about yet." Angel Arnot in the mean time, continued on down the trail which followed the serpentine curvings of the stream, h e r voice awaking the echoes from many a rocky fastness of the wild ruo-ged valley. That. she was happy, and utterly fearless, ap peared evident, for such was her appearance, even as the sun died entirely out of sight be hind the western range, and dusky shadows crept phantom-like, over all objects in the valley-shadows piled upon shadows1 behind which a countless horde of silent lurkmg foes might easily find concealment. Still she kept bravely on without quailing or apparent hesitation until-A man stepped from behind a huge black bowlder, and stood in her path, just as the moon raised its upper crest above the eastern horizon-a man wrapped in a heavy oll.-oloth coat that reached to his boot-tGps, and wore a slouc h black hat upon his head-a man whose beard of a jetty c o lor nearly hid all the shape of hi s fe .atures and corresponded with the color of his lon g shaggy hair. Angel Arnot had evidently been expecting him, for she s topped, without betraying either surprise or alarm, and put out h e r fair hand, which the dark man grasped and shook warmly. "So you"ve come, eh?" he said, in a hoarse, unnatural voice. "Well, I'm glad of it. I thought you was lying to me whe n you said you'd come!" "Bah! Jeb you did not think any thiug of the kind, or you would not have come twenty mil es You know, that Angel Arnot mikes no practice of lying." "Waal, that's so, gal. I guess you're purty straight, as fur as that is concerned. But the gold-did you fetch it?'' I did;" and she drew a small leathern bag from her pocket, as she spoke. "There it isall I have got in the wide world." "What! what.iR this, Angel-I don't und" T sta.nd-" "Stop!" tile girl said, imperatively-" stop, Jeb M cKandlass It is your gold now-it was m y goM before. Underst:mrl me, mine. You are Jeb McKandlass, a bold, Lad, designing man-more, a trusted Indian agent of the U. S. Government, you claim. You discover a secret miner's camp here in Indian territory, which is forbidden ground to the pale-faces. You know I have some interest in the camp, and tberefoI">' you come to me and propose to silence yollf' honest scruples with a hundred dollars, and lei the Secret City exist as such. There is th11 hundred dollars-now, what more have you the face to demand?" "Hal ha! as for the face Miss Angel, l reckon Jeb McKandla,ss has face eno ugh for tu demand a million. But ye kno' there's som41 lettl e sense o' honor in every dorg, be he a cur or a mastiff, an' I'll allow I ain't any exception, The swag is satisfactory, an' ye can depend Olli it I'll keep mum fer a while. But et's leak out, bound to leak out, an' don't ye forgit it." "How do you mean?" the girl demanded, startled expression flitting across her pretJ;-9 face, betraying the anxiety she f e lt. CHAPTER VL AT BAY. McKANDLASS paused a moment, as ff weigh ing his words before answering. "I mean," he said, finally, "that J am not the only outsider who knows of the existence of this mining-camp hidden away h ere in the heai1 of this r eserved Indian land. Old Scowler and his braves-or, at least, a trusted few of themknow of the camp and its location, and being as tough a &ang o' red-skins as ever salted a scalp, and havmg no particular love for the white race, it looks altogether likely that there'll be a big jamboree soon." "But there mus t not!" Ange l cried, anxious ly. "You have the power, Jeb McKandlass to hold these red furies in check, and you mus' do it." "Humph! a fellow might as well try t.er hold a double condensed tornarlo in check, miss, as ter stop a pack o' Injuns, once they get their mind sot on anything. I've l'arned thet long ago, an' fixed my mind ou ther fact that as l ong's a feller ain't got but one scalp, he'd better h ang to it." The n you won't int.erf ere for me in behalf of -the town yonder?" the girl demanded, her eyes wandering up the valley toward Secret City. R eckon not, gal; 'twouldn't do ho special good, for S cow ler ain't of a coaxitive disposi tion was the reply. "But still I declare that you must not allow him to raise his hand agamst aught in Secret City. Listen, Jeb McKandlass! There is that in yonder camp, so dear to me, that I would sacrifice a hundred human lives, rather than harm sho uld come to it. It matters not what it is, to you; but my reason for wishing the town to stand is one of the stron({est of my life Say no more of that, then. You are, you claim, Jeb McKandlass, an Indian agent, appointed by the Government. You have known me or of the existence of Secret City but three months, yet1 in that time I have r esc ued you from death a.i; the hands of a grizzly. Can you stand tbera and foM m!', then, sir, and roll me that you will allow Old S cowler, the Sioux, to descend In hia

PAGE 16

A 0.-e ot Gold. vengeance on thls town without an fnt.ervention on your part'1" W ali.l, I dunno. I ain't a werry hard cuss t,er deal with, tho' thar's some dark streaks been wiped ag'in' my cha.meter, Miss Angel. I've kinder tulr er notion ter lou, who ar' tl:ier only woman 'cept the mother had, years ago, w'ot e'\'er thought me worth noticin'. I'm all alone in ther world, too; an' now:, ef I was to slip a knife sci e ntifi cally and sysl:Pmatically into Old Scowlor'shumen pulsometer, would you-would you-blame .it, would y o u marry me? "Nol" the girl r e pli e d ; with stern emphasis. "You're a fool to imagine I'd have suc h a man as you, J e b. Nothing but a lord or a duke will ever g e t me I Why, I should dig vour eye s out before we'd beeu marrie d a "e ekl'1 "Then you can marry your duke; I'll J?ass." McKandlass said, in his quick, grim way. 'I've hed one d os e o' the m same kind o' cattymount women, an' I ain't pmtickler aboutbein"'wisited wi' another dose-no, I'll Le cursed if I am!" "Hal ha! I thou11:ht you wouldn't. You're a m1m of good. sense," Angel laughed. "Old Kit Carson used to say a mad woman is m ore dangerous tban a mad-a mad musketo, an' I believe it. But I must not be tarrying here. Night is in, and it is time I were in my shanty. Pronuse at least one .thing, Jeb MoK11,ndlass--that is, when you learn of any pro posed attack of the Indians upon the town, you will warn me as soon as possible beforehand." "Y as. gal, I'll do that, anyhow, on my own hook. Thar, now, run erlong back to camp, afore spooks get hold of you--0r shall I accompany you? "Ohl no, you need not put yomself to that trouble," Angel answered, as she tmned and bun-ied away. McKandlass gazed after he r a strange gleam In his eyes. "What the devil has that girl got in the mining-camp, that she's so afraid and particular 1tbout'1" ne muttered. "lt must be a mighty big secret, or she wouldn't care whether the blamed place went to the dogs or not. But, it won't make no difference ter Old Scowler. If he takes a notion to light down on the place, why nothin' couldn't stop him." And a strange chuckle, as if there were 1ometbmg entertaining in the fact he bad utt.ered, the Indian agent strode back down the gulch, and was soon lost to view among the rocks. Secret City was not much of a place, taken all fn all. There was a grocerv, hardware and dry goods gtore combined, two saloons, in one of which was located the pest-offic e ; a smithy and some f!'ftytents and shanties. Thiscampwbicb JackBOn Bird had been the originator of, was located in a portion of tbe rugged valley where a soft sandy bottom took the place of the'rocky one, and being locked in on ill sides except one, by mighty mountain walls, the elfect of a glance over the little collection of habitations from an elevated point, wns decidedly picturesque. The principal saloon and hostelry bore the sign of the" Red-Eye," painlied ove l' its doorway, and a very fat DutCbman holding a glus of lager in hill hand. As a miner-in rough patched pants and shirt, heavy boots and battered hat, and his face and head disguised with a shaggy, grizzled wig and beard-Deadwood Dick entered tbe town early in the evening after his interview with tbe girl stage-drive r1 and the Red-Eye being the fir s t place of bus mei;s on hill way up the irregula r street, be dropped in, with a curi osity to learn wbat was-going on indoors, as he had as yet been able to discover only a couple of Chinamen out of doors. Within the salo o n, the aspect of affairs was entirely differ ent, The rude little apartment u s ed as a bar-room was crowded with a mixture of dark-haired, villainous-looking m e n, and flatf a c ed, almond e y e d s ons of Confucius, the numbers of eithe r se t of humans about c o rresponding. All were talking, drinking and smoking; some w ere gambling at the bar, with dice, for tbe drinks others were sleeping off theefl'ects of too many potations in chairs, or cmled up in the corners of the ioom. Tbey were an set, these black harred, bearded men, without exception. Strong, overruling passions, and hardened, brutal natmes Be{:med photographed in every face; and their well-stocked belts of weapons told bett>r than words the kiml of men they were-who had as lief fi@it as eat. All eyes were tm'Iled rnquiringly upon D eadwood Dick, as be entered the saloon, and the general run of expressions were not friendly. "I say, hello, pilgrim," one miner said, step ping forward, importantly. "Gu ess you're on tber wrong tack, ain't ye?" that I am aware of, sir," was the calm reply, and the keen eyes of the ex-road-agent fired a searching glance at his inquisitor. "In what way am I on the wrong tack, sirl" "Oh! you're a stranger in town, an' as it ain't allowable ter hev strangers, we bev ter order 'em ter take French l eave by direction of the kin ." "Is t1tatso?"Deadwood Dick inquired. "Who is this man king, pray?" "The king of this golden valley, old boss, iE Frank Foster, and a bad man he is, too. H e io high hoss, an' when he wants his say, he giner alfy gits it, or t'other p_arty gits inwited ter a funeral. 'Tain't long the 1."ing's been high, beer, but he's got the cemetery in a flourishing con dition, I tell you." Oh I well, if he don't want me here, I'll take my departure as soon as lgetready,"wasDick's retort, as he walked up to tbe bar and called for a C'igar "Smoke, gentlem e n?" Tbe crowd looked surprised, and shook thei1. head s to a man. "Obi you needn't, if you don't feel inclined. S'pose you trot around your king and let me get a peep at him." "That's precisely what we're going to do we're going to trot you around to the king, that he can have the privilege of passin' sen tence upon you," tbe first speaker said, with a savage laugh. Comet throw up your hand s and surrender." l'm in no particular hurry about that," Dick

PAGE 17

18 A Ga.me of Gold. replied, as he calmly backed against the wall "Not the slightest-indeed, I don't believe and laid his hand upon a pair of revolvers. "f you will find it advisable to attempt to do any generally go about when and where I please, thing with me," was Dick's calm answer in a without dictation from any one, and if you don't disguised voice. '''Yonder on the floor lie five believe i.I;, why perhaps you' d better attempt to specimens of my handiwork. In case of proT<>' take me." cation, I m good for ten times /is many. It is "Obi you think you can bluff us, do ye? the not murder I have done-it is killing in self. sook esman cried, angr ily. "Well, my pilgrim d e fense. The y forced themselves upon me, after o' Plymouth R ock, ye can't do et fer a cent. I hnd warned tbem to desist, and I accommo We've seen sech bantys as you, before, we hev; dated them wit& just what the y got. lf ther& learned h o w to tame 'em, too. My. name is are any more anxious for like treatment, I'll Skuffy, and the b'yees heer will tell ye that I hang out my shingle and make a business stand ain't no saint." right h ere. " I'll take tba liberty to presume not-A. saint Co'll were the words of the man-cooler was would blush toresembleyou," the ex-road-age:it the tone and nonchalance of their d e livPry. replied, sarcastically. "But be you saint or sin-No party to get flustered at any ..:ier1 I'd advise lou not to crowd me, or I shall ment was he-a calm, calculating, self-posses5ed \le rorced to ad another dark spot to the face of individual, on the contrary, to whom fear was a dark past. I warn you, fairly, that I am not a stranger, and enemie > were merely nominal harming any one, and will not surrender to any obstacles. one man's will-or that of a hun
PAGE 18

A & ame or Gold. "What I the devil you ,sayi" "Well, no; not tbat dusky gentleman himself, but a d evotee of bis cause, say the ones who set themselves up a s wise-acres!" "Curse you-not D e adwood Dick?" "Yes, old boy, D eadwood Di ck, at your s ervice, and off ,cam e the false beard, and thA keen, clear-cut face o f th1o> ex-outlaw was r e vealed. "Hal ha! Frank Foster. Met again, face to fac e l" "A thousand furies I" the villain cried, s te pping back. You here I' But it is w e ll. The time for niy v e n geance has arrived. Seize him, boJs, I command y ou!" Stop, pil grims I command you I" Dick cried,. sternly. "I'm alone but for all that I fear you not-a hundred times no. Come on if you darfl--if you dare, mind you, and attempt to lay a hand on me, and as true as my name is Edward Harris I'll fill your cowardly carcasses so full of l ead that a dozen rubber ballo ons tied to your bac k w on't k ee p you afloat as you cross the eternal river. Ready now I-come and see me! CHAPTER VII, TO GO, OR STAY!-UP A TREE, THIS time there was no precipitate.rush. Dauntless and fearle ss, Deadwood Dick stood facing them, the cynical smile that shot fJ:om his eyes and lurked about his mouth, corresponding with the deadly glitter reflecting from his polished weapons, held firinly in either hand, and leveled unwaveringly at the crowd. There was no movement at all among the roughs over whom Frank Foster claimed to hold sway. They stood there, held at bay,. by the will of or.e man. "At hiJr I at him, curse you I" Foster roared, infuriated at the hesitation of his tools. That man is the outlaw and Deadwood Dickt and a bitter enemy of mme, and I commana you to take him alive." "Hal ha! yes, come and see met" Deadwood Dick lauirhed. "I'll do the very best I can for you, boys." But, even this enticement seemed to hold no charms for the ruffians. 11 I guess ye better let out ther job o' takin' that salamander to some one else, kin?l:" one .of the party said, shal>ing his head. 've seen some of his work, and I don't care to go the same way Slrufi'y did." "Npr II" agreed another. / '' Nor I I" chimed in a chorus of voices, emanating from the larger part of the men in the bar-room. Indeed, this sentiment seemed gen eral. "What! by the gods, am I to be disobeyed by my own men? At the outlaw, I say!" Foster fairly screamed, in a passion. "The first man who refuses I'll blow his brains out!" And out ca.n1'l a revolve r at full-cock, in a significant way, that caused the roughs to exchange glances. "Hold on, Frank have the kindness to restore your weapon to its belt!" D eadwood Dick orde red sternly. "You have evidently forgotten that 'r havJl the honor of holding the dro p! Attempt to blow out the brains of any of the m e n who refuse to wrestle with an earthquake, and off goes your spirit on an eter nal flight. Ohl you need not doubt me, I think you know quite well that Deadwood Dick is a. man of his word!" Foster stood glaring about him, white with rage. He was bitffied at every turn, and knew not what to say or do except give vent to a tor1ent of fearful oaths. "Now, if you comrrebend that I bold tbe game, Frank Foster 'll talk bus iness to you," tho ox-road chief said, calmly. "Weare enemies -that is flat. M o reover, we are opponents in a little game of gold and you hold the greatest numbe r of tricks. But this sh,l not be so I've come hereto clean you out, and I shall do it systematically, unless fates are against me. By that I mean, we will toss U{l coppers to decide matters. Heads up, I remam in Secret City so long as it may please me; tails up, I immediately and forever take my departure1 promising to keep my lips sealed in regard to tne existence of the place. As you cannot drive me out nor buy me out, I dare say you will see the good sellll0 of accepting my offer!" Curse you I curse you I curse you r' Foster gritted, savagely. 11 If I could get at you, I'd crush the life out of your worthless car cas.5." :But r,ou can't, ;Y:
PAGE 19

18 A Game of Gola. the copper struck the ceiling with a ring, then fell to -the floor and rolled directly in front of Deadwood Dick, and stopped. It took but a g1imce 'to apprise the ex-road agent tbat he bad-woul For t b e head sid e of the copper was facing upward! A murmur o f astonishment escaped the crowd while fie r ce curses broke from the lips of both Carling a n d F r ank Foster. "Thank s t o your kinduP ss frieud Carling," D eadwood Di c k said, triumphantly. "The first t i m e I fin d a nick e l r olling up hill, I'll make you a prese n t of i t as a r eward of m erit. Hal ha! ha! B y the way, King Foster, am I to have my undisputed libert:y!" "Until y o u stic k your nose in my business yes," was the r e ply. "I always do as I agree.'\ "That i s a lie ; but then, l e t it pass As f o r protruding m y nasal appendage mto your affairs, I s h all con sult m y own n o tion.11.bont that. If the aforesaid appendage h owever, sh ould blockade your passage, I advise that you attempt to spurn it aside by the administration of a pair of fists." Foster turned a w a y without a reply, and called for whisky, at the b ar. He was be aten, and chose evidently to bear it es best h e could. Restoring his revolvers to his belt, Deadwood Dick saunoor e d about the saloon, a while, and then quitted it, for the street-or t h e space be twee n the shanties and tents which might have been m eant for a public thoroughfare. As he did so, he came face to face with Angel Arnot, who was walking hurriedly along. She s t opped, with a startled exclamation, as a h e saw him. "You h e r e and not disguised?" she articulat ed, in surprise. "Exactly," he replied. "I've conquered the lion, and w o n my freedom-that is, I tosse d copper with Frank Foster to see whether I was to stay, or go, and the result is-I am going to star,." Good! I am glad," Angel replied, eagerly. "A few su c h m e n as you in Secre t Citv would bring about b etter order. There is going to be musi c directly, howe v e r." "How do you m ean!" I m ean that ere many suns rise and s e t there'll be a b and of miners in here who will not recoa niz e F oste r as b oss." "Ah! say you s01 The n I am glad, for perhaps I can find frienrls among the m. But, if you will tell m e w h e r e I'll find Miss Lol a Bird, I'll not d e t ain you!" "You are going t o see h erP' "Yes if I d o not fin d too many obstacles in the way." "Look out f o r F oste r It he were to catch you there h P'd kill you." "Oh I would he! W e ll, I am not so sure of tha t I was n ever killed but once-then I got hun g. But, I r eco v ered, shortly afterward. The r esidence of Mi ss Bird, is yonde r eh!-in t he m ost pretentious of all the shanties!" "Yes. " I thought as much. You can generally l ook to fln d a fllle bird in a good cage. Good-evening lil>70u." "Good-evaning," t h e girl said, as she hunfed away. Dick gazed after her, until she had vanished in the darkness; the n h e sauntered down the stree t and out of the village on tbe northern side I scar cely know wh ptbe1 better attempt to see the girl, to-night or not. May be now is my bes t chance anamay be it isn't I s h ouldn't like to spoil Fos oor' s h ead, whi c h I should have to do, if it came to a m eeting, and a row." Jus t outside of .the town, h e stopped in under the shade o f a larg e tree, and sat d own, to think -for h e was not the old-tim e D eadwood Dick, with a ready f und of lightning thought, to night. F o r som e time he sat, absorbed in d ee p r everie, until h e was aroused b y a hoar se d ee p v o i ce in the n eighborhood. The v o i ce was not far off, either, and called, in9iu iringly: H e llo! S cowler-are you thereP W a g h !" It' guttural voice r e plied, from an opp6site direction-evidently that of an Indian. The n Deadwood Dick heard footsteps approaching from both points of the compass, and concluded that the twain would m ee t just in unde r the tree where he was sitting. "This won't do," he muttered. "Either I've got to vam oose, or be w scove r e d I've a kind of a c uriosity to know what t h ese two parties are meeting for at this late hour. So I believe I'll shin the tree1 and commit the atroci o u s sin of playing eavesaropper." To act was to follow t hought, with Deadwood Dick, and jumping u p and catching hol d of a lower limb, he drew himself u p into the tree, with the greatest of ease. H e was scarcely comfortabl y e n sconced, w h e n the new-comers m11.t beneath the tree, and shook hands One was a burly b lack-whiskered individual; the othe r an Indian decorated in war-pain t and attired in a suit of b uckskin, w hile his h ead gear consisted of a tuft of hair stuck full of wild turkey-feathers. That the two had met before was evident. After shaking ban d s each took a swig from a loug -n ecke d bottl e that the.hlack-whiskeredman produ c e d, and then seated the ms e lves o n the grass, b eneath t h e o utreaching branches of the tree A small moon soared in the blu e dome of H eaven, and cast a faint, spe ctral li ght upon the earth, and upon the two c r o u ching figures. B y this light, Dead wood Dic k was enabled t.o see the m from his 1)lace o f ensconce m ent, as well as thoug h h e had been upo n the ground. "Well, S cowler, what's the word'I" the blackwhiskered man queried, as h e lit his pipe. "How has things w ent since I saw y o u las t 1 " Bad I the Indian .r eplied, in unbroke n Eng lish. The r e s been nothing to k ee p a felle r awake, in camp. The braves are getting ugl y from an impatience to get hold of a victim on whom to do barhP.r work. Have you seen the girl stag e-rl r iv erP' "Yes-to-night." And got the swag'I" Yes-all she had, so she said." "Howmuch1"

PAGE 20

A Game ot Gold. 19 "A hundred dollars!" "Bah! a paltry sum." "Bes t I could do, tho'. When ye can't git no more whisky outen a bar'!, what ye goin' to do?" "Squeeze it," the red -man said! laconically. Then both men laughed h oa rsely. "I'm afeard a feller'd git hold of a cattymo1mt ef he was ter try squeeziu' the Angel,'' the white man averred, grimly. .. yet l've made up my mind to make her the queen of my wigwam," the chief declared1 with a nod of his feathered h ead "She'd mrurn an ornament to my lodg e, McKaudlass:' "Jest like you'll make an ornament fer a pine box, some fine mornin', if ye get her,'' the ruffian chuckled. "Better let h e r alone, Scowler. I've seen more o' her than you, an' I tell ye she's an earthquake all by herself WhyJ 'twasn't only about a week ago she plugged im Lake through the check, 'cause he winked at her, an' only yesterday she slapped Max Mosher across the mouth fer offerin' to ki!'s her-slapped him right off his feet, wi' one blow, jest as purty as ye please. Oh I you can have 'r ef ye want h e r -I don't. l know what it is, orter, anyhow, when mywife, Sal, us'ter black my eyes once a week, reg'lar. You bet!" Scowler uttered a guttural grunt of disap-proval. -"You were a fool," he said; 'f I am not. I can soon tame the gal, once I get her to camp. And as for the mining-town yonder, my praves only want a minute's notice to pounce down an' make sausage-meat of it." I don't believe it'll be best to do it," McKandlass said, thoughtfully. The mines are pannin' out rich, but not so rich as they will, bymeby, when they get 'em thoroughly o pened. As none of the filthy leaves the 'town, I don't see why we should be in a hurry, as it's all ours, in the long run." "Yes, thet's so; but ef there should h appen wind of it to git outside, you'd see an inflation of miners. Then we'd have to fight, and like as not git licked in the bargain. Now, it's all easy enough to butche r what few there is Deadwood Dick as be listened. Such a straightforward exhibition of heartless ness be bad never seen or heard equaled. "I'll risk the inflation," McK.andlass said, knocking the ashes out of his pipe, and refilling and lighting it. Fer my part, I don't keer a cuss how soon the folk are sculped an' got rid of1 'cept for the gal, Angel. She's got a secret tucked away in her buzzom, or else it's up at the shanty where she hangs out, and she's fearful anxious that no harm don't cum 'to the town. Tbet's bow she cum to fork over the filthy." What is the secret?" Cussed ef I know; ner hev I got any idea. Sumtbin' big, er s he wouldnt keer a cuss bow thinj:(S went, I r ec kon." Humph. Find out what the secret is. I've got a notion to know." "Then all you've got to do is go find out for yourself; I'm no waiter." Bah I curb your temper. We can't afford t.o be enemies, although I allow it would do us a heap of good to cut each other's throats, to try the temper of our knives By the way, what bas become o' Jack Bird! "Gone to glory, I reckon,'' was the laconic r ef. ly. Anyhow, be hasn't turned up The feller Foster is runnin' things pretty much bis own way, an' the miners tow around b etter fer him than they do fer Bird." "What's become of the gal?" "Twixt yo u an' me, Scowler I don't know. Thar's a critter housed up in Bird's shebang, but ef she's the same 'un as allus u se d tcr ride thru the gulch wi' Bird, on bo ssb ack, I've lost m:r; reckonin'." 'What! you don't think there's been a change, Jeb?" "Waal, I do!" the black-whiskered man averred. "My old optics ar' gettin' along in years, I'll allow, but they ain't easy fooled .on a gal." "But, what do you think! Has there been shenanigun?" That's my ideA.. Et looks to me as if Bird's gal .bad be e n smuggled off, and this new smuggled in. An' ef sech is the case, byar s what'll go a hull beat, in two-forty, in seein' things sot back shipshape." "And, that's precisely my fix, pilgrims I" The two men leaped to their feet, with ejacu lations of surprise From out of the branches of the tree a figure had dropped, and Deadwood Dick stood smilingly before them. "Tbem's my sentiments, to a capital 'T,' gentlemen," be continued, '' and if you want to shake hands on it, give us a paw, without claws!" --, -CHAPTER VIII. UNWILLING SLA. VES-LITTLE TOOTHPICK. THE sudden descent of Deadwood Dick had thoroughly startled the r ed-skin and the white ruffian, and their hands flew, by force of habit, to their belts, in quest of weapons." "Oh! you needn't trouble yourselves,'' Dick as sured, coolly. "Wearions won't do me any harm, I'll guarantee. Why, my dear friends, you've not got a chunk of lead about your effects strong enough to force an entrance into my system." "Humph! we'll see about that!" McKandlass cried, sourly "Jest stand whar you ar', and gi.ve 's your handle." Correct. My handle is Deadwood Dick." "Deadwood Dick?" "That's what I said-Deadwood Dick." "But, surely, you ain't ther same frisky cuss who used to perambulate up in the Black. Hills?" "Guess I am the ha'rpin," Dick replied, with a smile. "Leastway, I've bad all the credit of it, and the discredit, too." "Well, w'ot ye doin' down this country?" McKandlass demanded, gruffly "Et ain't a healthy locale fer boss-thieves and road agents." "How is it you two precious rascals are salu briatin'sofine h ere, then?" Dick retorted. "But, laying aside all by talk-I've come down here on business. A few weeks ago, I met a f e llow in

PAGE 21

A Game ot GolcL Denver, named Jackson Bird-or, at ieast, such he claimed was his name. "He gambled excessively; he had a !ile e.nd lost it. Then, in a lit of deSIX'.ration, h olfeiod to wager a paper against a sum of mo ey-tbe paper was a guide to the Secret City yonder, and it was also understood that the paper mort gaged a.way all right and title to these mines and everything in the locate even to Bird's own daughter, to whomsoever should present the paJr;:r after Bird's death. The game was played between Bird and one Frank Foster who formerly had belonged to my band of road-agents, and Foster won-by a sly trick, which he thought rra one had observed But I bad seen it. "When Bird came to look for his paper, it was gone. Then there was a row1 and Bird was shot. I escaped with him, and oore him to a deserted house near by where he died. Before his death, however, I told him that I had found the missing paper, in the street, a few hours be fore, and he bade me k ee p it, and come here and take the place it assigned to me, rather than that Foster should do so. I consented, all except to marrying the girl, whom I proposed to give as much liberty as she had always enjoyed. After Bird was dead I went to my hotel, intend ing to start the next morning for Secret City, on my errand. During the night, howeveri my papers were stolen, and I was disarmed o my power to find this place. I came on, however, and have succeeded in finding it after a long hunt.'' "But what is all this, to us?" McKandlass de manded, impatiently. "Ef ye got beat, it's none o' our bizness." "Of course not, but, I've !?ot some proposi tions to offer, just the same,' Des.dwood Dic k replied. "I overheard you in your conversa tion a bit ago, remark that you did not believe the girl at the Bird cabin is the canary of Jackson Bird's rearing. Now, Just such an idea popped into my head not long ago, and without any cause whatever. But the more I think about it. the more I believe that Foster has put the real heiress out of the way, and sub stituted another to fill the position more to his satisfaction. Therefore, we must give the mat t e r proper investigation, and if we have been correct in our sqrmises, we must oust the im postor an'.i fiu:l the real heiress, and restore her to her position." "Wei' McKanrllass ejaculated. "Wei" Scowler growled. Yes, you; ourselves combined. Don't argue against my will, for it's use l ess. I'm kingyou're only a pair of knaves, who must do my bidding." Both men haw-hawed outright. To them the idea was preposteMus. / The idea of their playing seeond fiddle to the lead of Deadwood Dick was something they had never thought of-something tboy regarded as ridiculous . "Well, if you ain't the cheekiest feller I'll lose my guess." McKandlass chuckled. w ny, how in thunder, man, kin you make us do as you want ag'in' our will!'' "Ohl tb;i:t is Deadwood Dick taid, confidetly. I 'll explain what may seem a mystery tO you. As a mortal J was gifte1! by my Maker with a magnetic eye. Indeed, I have conceit to believe that no other human be!ng can compare with m e in that respect. While we have been speaking, I have mesmer ized y-ou both to a certain extent, without your knowledge, and so that you are under my con trol. It has all been d one with the aid of my eyes.i... and power of my mind over yours." "J:Sabl" McKandlass growled, a startled ex pression coming over his faC(I. "You lie, you cuss!" Do I?" Dick r eplied, coolll. "Well, may be I do. Better try and see i you can move your hands." More surprised than ever, the ruffian and bis painted companion did try, and curses of rage and astonishmeht escaped them when they dis covered, true enough, hat they were powerless to move a muscle or stir either hand or arm. "Ahl why don't you strike outP' the ex-road agent prince comment9d, with a provoking laugh. "Find yourselves as inoffensive as a pair of chickensJ. don't you? Thought you would. Can't walK, eith er, can you1" No, they couldn't stir a foot, try though as they would. By the same mysterious power that Deadwood Dick bad rendered their hands powerless, he bad also chained their lower limbs fast. "Well, I'll be cussed," cKandlass "You're possessed of the devil, pilgrim. lf the thought is consoling to you, I shall not gainsay it. Indeed, maybe the old gent and I are related-there's no telling. Now, what do you think about matters, my worthy subjectsf Looks as if I held a full hand, don't it1" "Yas1 you've got the game now, but, cuss ye, jest wait till I get free, an' I'll soon spring a leak in your system, w'at'll fix you all right, fer a .voyage." Bahl I see you are ignorant," Dick repliod. "Why, man, after I throw you out of this mes meric state, you are even more in my power than before. One glance from my eye will then be sufficient to stop you stock-stilt and hold you a prisoner, until I choose to wave my band and set you again in motion. If I see you fifty yards away, and catch a glanc8 of your eye, that is all that is required. By my request you will find it convenient to lie down in the dirt, creep on all-fours, or do whatsoever I may di rect. Utterly in my power, you sooner or later realize that I am iu truth your master." The two villains gazed at each bther in adu bious, doubtful way. The red-skin was more composed than the In dian agent, but, there was a gleam of alarm in his eyes Well, what do you want of us!'' Mc Kand lass dPmanded, surlily. "If you ain't lyin' to us, I s'po se we'll have to knuckle. under. But, mind, we'll slip a knife b etween your ribs, the first opportunity we git." "Ohl that will be all right. If you catch me off my guard, you a r e welcome to do your worst. Look l do you see this? Both men uttered cries of astonishment. Deadwood Dick held in bis hand a nugget of J?ure g old, as big Q.S a goose egg l

PAGE 22

A Ga.me of. Gold. 2 1 Thunder and lightning I" McKandlass gasped Whar ye git thaM" "None of your business," Deapwood Dick r e plied. I found it, where there is more of the same kind. This nugget weighs eighteen ounces, pure gol d. Now, then, I'll tell you what I'll do. You are a pair of unprincipled scoundrels, with hearts of l ess measure than the ruost savage brute; still I am going to make you an offer. You are to both enter my service, body and sou l and work for my sole inter '*!ts, and precise l y as I may direct, for the next four months. You are to do nothing on your own account or for yourselves-you are to commit no crimes do no villainy, whatever, but adhere to my directions and consider your time no one else's but mine. If you will do all this, and faithfully follow such directions as I shall give you, at the expiration of the time named, I will d eliver to you the directions where to find the place in which I discovered this nugget1 and wm also give you two hundred dollars ap1e<'4l." "You sw'ar to this?" "Yes, a doz e n times, if necessary, if you perform your parts. "What d'ye want us ter do?" One thing-I want you to assist me in finding Miss Bird and restoring her to her rightful position, and ousting the party who now usurps her place-another, you are to 1).e;ht for me, and in my b e half, if necessary, and leave tbe girl Angel Arnot alone without attempting to mo lest her, or attempt to pry into any secrets she may have!" "Haiu't you goiu' to give a feller a chance to spill a little gore, just to keep his hand in?" Mc Kandlass demanded, with a wolfish grin. "Nol you infernal ruffian. No blood shall be s p illed, unless it is in defense of life. Come, what do you say1 I have no time to parley." "Dunno about it," tbe Indian-agent replied, dubiou s l y. "'i'Vhat tnd of bowling reds upon you, an' see if you can mesmerize them, afore t.hey get a grip ou your scalp.'' "You need not fear," Deadw00<1 11ick replied. "I always k ee p my promises. Now, then, I must be going To-morrow I will inter view the Bird whom Frank FoJter has in lli.s cage, and ef i t don't strike me that she i s the right bi r d fo r the position, we'll hunt up the right one. You'll find me at one of the hote l s to-morrow night." "All right. We'll be thar." Then Deadwood Dick waved hi s hand and backed out of the presence of the two ruffians until he lost sight of them, when be turned his fook""teps back toward Secret City. "Maybe I'll get foo l ed, in bavicg anything to do with those umul y cusses, but I've an idea I can make them work," be "If I can sufficiently interest the.rn i..i i 1: y behalf, by the promis e of 'gold, I am all right. And now fo r somewhere to lay my head till morning, w hen I'll pay the bogus Bird a visit, and see what kind of a song she'll sing. Ahl Frank Foster, this is a bold game you are playing, but if you a r e not sharper than I think you a re, you'll get beat!" The hotel accommodations of Secret City were not extensive, consisting of two saloons, w)lich furnished board and lodging to their pa trons, up-stairs, providing said J?B-trons had a $3.00 per day with which to liquidate. No second Leadville was this secluded golden cainp, yet, but its prices were high as though it was that metropolis Not fancyirig the idea of putting up at the establishment where he had had the row with the miners, Deadwood D ick hied him self to the other saloon, and was about to enter his name in the register upon the bar-counter, when the keeper, a red-nosed Hibernian, inter posed "Whist, now I Would ye b e afther lettin' the book alone, bad luck to yez1" h e said, insolent ly, as h e stood facing Dick on the opposite side of the bar. "Phat cheek yez have, sure, enny how, to be writhin' yer name forninst another man's books." "Ohl excuse fieadwood Dick said, apolog etically, "but ;J16u see I took that for the r eflister." 'An' so it is tha registar, but phat in the divil would-you be puttin' your name down there for1" "Wby, I want to be accommodated with lodging and breakfast, sir." "Divil a bit of aither will ye be afther gettin' here, shure." "Ah! full, eh'!'' "Bad luck to your impudence-I never git full, at all." "I mean, is your house full 1 "Divil a won in it, mesilf an' me ould woman ixcepted." "Tbe n, confound it, man, why is it, you can not take me in, and give me lodginE and break fasM" Dick d e manded. "Oehl howly Moses! Phat for would I be breakin' the king's orders, shure1 Didn't he coome to tha !ikes o' mesilf, an' be after sayin': 'Denn is, ye divil, ef a stranger do coome an' apply for anything in your line, do ye refuse 'im, an' give 'im a bounce, or I'll come down au' cut yer cussed head outirely off.' An' may I see St. Patrick's spirit in me nixt glass o' redeye if I don't obey orders." Deadwood Dick gave a whistle of surprise. "So Foster is showing his cloven foot, e b P he muttered, with a frown. "Well, i t is noth

PAGE 23

88 A Game of Gold. ing new for him. But, I say, old Emerald, supposing I was to slip a ten-dollar gol d-piece into your /?8"w-could,n t you store me away fo r the night'!' "Divil a time, yer honor. You see n.s how the king be the boss, an' we hev tu go by his or ders." "All right, You're not to blatn'l, for being a fool, maybe. I'll try on sat upo n the rock, just in front of him, gazing down upon him, curiously-a man, evidently, but the possessor of a girlish figure in male attire, witb a slouch hat upon his head, and a mask upon the face, through which a pair of eyes gleamed, piercingly. And this was tbe person who had rescued Deadwood Dick from the old house in one of the of Denver-Little Toothpick. CHAPTER IX. MISS BIRD. "You here?" exclaimed Dick, springing to his feet, in surprise. I seem to be," was the reply. "Is there any thing surprising in the fact." "To ms, yes. I left you in Denver." And I follow ed yo:i here, not far in the dis tance. "Humph! If you m e t with the same expe riences I did, I mus t admire your pluck and perseverance. Why did you come'!'' Because I chose. As your valet, I presume I wouldn't b e of much use to you-I in Denver and you here." "Well, I dare say not. But I really have no use for a valet, under present circumstances, and encompassed as I am by danger, constantly, it is not safe for-a girl here in Secret City, and I advise your return to D eaver." A girl, you say?" "Yes, a girl, for s uch I am satisfied you are, attempting to pass yourself off for a boy. It won't work, however." "What right have you to think that I am not what I appear'!'' was the next query. Oh, as to that, I had a dream that you were a girl in disguise. B es ides, your whole appear ance betrays femininity." "Ha! ha! that is the first time I ever heard any one say that. Maybe I'd better adorn my self in feminine attire, if I'd make a betterlooking girl than I do a boy. Don t you think so, eh? But don't for a moment think me a girl, or you'll be awfully fooled. If you don't want a valet, why, it is immaterial to me, as I can get other positions. By-by. I'll see you some other time." Aud dropping to the ground, the Toothpick sauntered leisure l y toward the town. Deadwood Dick did not immediately follow. He sat upon the ground and watched Little Toothpick, a studious expression upon his hand some face. "Maybe I'm wrong," he said, "but it strike!! me mighty strong that yonder p:irty is a girl, despite the denial. There is a mystery about him-Qr her, whichever it is-too, that I cannot quite solve. By Jovel I don't want to get too many mysteries aboard my craft, or there'll be a swamp-j)ollapse for sure! The n ext important thing to do is to get an interview with the Bird whom I believe to be usurping another bird's cage. Just how I shall accomplish my desire I cannot quite see, but a way will soon turn up, doubtless. Awhile later, he made his way into the camp, and strolled about l eisure ly, but independentlyi as though the place were his own individua.1 property. Tbe miners who were at work regarded him with curious glances, and more than one scowled at his approach, but scowled in vain, as he paid them not the least attention. During his strolling, tbe ex-road chief kept a. close watch upon the shanty habitation which had formerly been the residence of the ill-fated gambler, Jackson Bird. It was a rough barn-like, battered-frame two. story buildiug, with a front and side entrance below, and several windows Yet though rougll it was, it was much the superior in appearance of any of the other buildings in Secret City. But, watch he did, Deadwood Dick saw nothing of particular moment, or anything that interested him. About noon, as he was standing near the first saloon, where he had previously been refused lod$iag. Frank Foster left the Bird mansion, itna walked rapidly down the street. He stopped, with a frown, as he came opposite the cool ex-road-agent. Ah I you here yet? Have yon not seen enough so that yon can afford to get out?" "Ob I Dick replied, tantalizingly. I am so taken up with what I have see n of the secret camp, that I have ha!! a notion to take up my permanent abode h e re. I so admire the hote l accommodations." ''Ohl' I had no doabt you would," Foster re plied, maliciously. "I planned so that your visit should prove one of pleasure But, laying aside joking, I want to know what you intend to do?" Oh I just as I please, as a matter of course. You know that i s second nature to me." "But that isn't a-going to work here, and I'll tell you for your own good, and laying aside all enmity on my part. that you'd better skip out while you've got your freedom." "You don't mean to say that ) 6 u are really so philanthropic as to make that suggestion for mr. b enefit?" Dick e:xiclaimed, sarcastically. For your benefit alone. It matters not in particular, to me, whether yon remain or not, as you cannot do me any harm. But my boys1 -and a queer lot of boys they are, too-haven' s

PAGE 24

A Game of Gold. taken any notion to you, .and are studying mis chief, and if you do not make yourself scarce soon, I anticipate that they will find it nooessary to invite you to a lynch picnic, or neck-tie party, in which instance I cannot interfere. I merely make these remarks for your personal welfare-not that I am at all interes ted, understand you; oh, no! Good-day, sir, good-day!" And with a villainou& laugh he hurrie d on. "Exactly-good-day, Mr. Foster," Deadwood :Vick muttered, gazing aft.>r him "Many thanks ,for your warning. One would say you are more concArned for my welfare than I am But, you can't d eceive me-not in the least. I nave be e n a student of human character too long, to get badly taken in hy a pilgrim of your denomination I wonder where you are aiming for1" Foster soon left the camp, and Deno wood Dick's eyes trailed him until he entered a viece of timber, beyond the town. Then with a chuckle of satisfaction, Dick sauntered up the street toward the Bird shanty. "Now is my time," he muttered "to seek an interview with whatsoever female I may find in the place, be she a dragon, Venus, or Cleopatra. Wonder how l'm going to get in1" Hardly ever at fault, he now quickly hit .nprm a plan of attack. QIDckening his footsteps, he walked br{skly toward the B.i.rd shanty, as Foster might have done had he been in a hurry, and mounting the stepst two at a time, he tried the door and found it loc1rnd. "Let me in, cuss it!" be cried, shaking the door fiercely. "D'ye hear, you lazybones!" There was a moment of Silence-then foot steps were audible within, and the door was un baITed and flung wide open. Without awaiting an invitation, Deadwood Dick boldly entered the shanty and closed the door behind him, placing his back against it. For he stood in the presence of the v ery person he had come to see, evidently-a fairhaired young girl of seventeen or eighteen years, who was the possessor of some beauty of face aud form, but was far from the beautiful creature Jackson Bird had declared his daught.er to be. She was attired in a dark plain dress, and her hair was combed back and fell in an unconfined wave over her shoulders. "Sir!" she exclaimed, her eyes flashing with indignation as she saw the action of Deadwood Dick-" what means this intrusion!" "Oh, I've been watching my ebance to get an interview with you when Foster was absent, and have embraced this opportunity. Don't be alarmed, as I come from yorir father I" "My father, sir?" "That's what I said, I believe " But my father is dead.'' "Exactly. No one ought to be better aware of the fact than I, since I happened to be the only party who was with him in his last mo meuts." "You-you!" the girl cried, in evident excite ment. "Oh, are you telling the truth1 "I am speaking the truth, miss, aud it was by JOur father's request that I am here.'' "Oh, sir, then you are welcome-doubly we!come l Be seated, please, and t.ell me of my father-my poor, erring father!" And the pretty face became buried in the handkerchief in her hands. "You mourn his absence, then1'' Dick asked, seating himself. "Oh, so muC'h l He was ever good and kind to me." "Well, 1'11 relate what I ha..-e to relate in a very few words," Dick said, ''and you will see why I am here.'' He accordingly did relate the substance of what is already known to the reader, in as few words as possible. "So you see the man, Foster, by tlieft got here before I did, and the deuce knows what he has not done in the way of villainy.'' "Sir, I cannot credit this Miss Bird said, gazing thoughtfully at the floor "It seems impossible to me. Mr. Foster came to me with papers which, by an understanding between me and my father, I rccogllized as a mortgage of everything in Secret City, mcluding myoolf, to the bearer of the said paper. As to your stat.ement, I cannot believe that you ever had possession of this paper, but should quicker believe that you, som e how, obtained a clew of the matter and proposed to run a little game of yeur own." "Humph! a very complimentary opinion to have of a I must confess;" Deadwood Dick said, dryly. "But, then, it cnances to be about equal to the one I bold of you-namely, that you are not the real Lola Bird, but are the impostor whom I believe Frank Foster bas sub stituted in place of thegenuinl'. There! to use the vernacular slang, you are at liberty to put that in your pipe and smoke it." Sir! you shall repent for this insult. You shall be severely punished for it I" the girl cried, st.ernly her face flushing with anger. "Perhaps-perhaps not," Dick coolly replied. It takes a man to punish me. But, maybe you've got some men here in Secret City capable of doing the job up brown, but I've yet to get a glimpse of them. As for your villainous champion, Foster, if you want to see him prepared for a photograph of a vanquished prize fighter, send him around, and I'll do a good job, or not charge a cent's worth of satisfaction.'' Sir! you are the most impudent person l ever met. Leave my house, or I shall call for assistance.'' When I enter your house, and am ordered out, I will go," was the ex-road-agent's calm answer. "At present, I am in the house of Miss Lola Bird, and here by her father's orders, and shall not leave until l am ready." And you still dare to insinuate that I am not myself?" Oh I no. You are yourself, ;oc
PAGE 25

14 A Game ot Gold. / man, but yon shall not cheat me out of what is riahtfully my own.'r "'I have no desire to cheat Miss Bird of a farthing, my dear lady; indeed, I came here tot.en der her any assistanc e she might need1 and it was my intention to d eliver up to her tne strange paper that had fallen into my possession, and thereby ren'ler her sole heiress, and bound to no one. But, I am impressed with the idea that I have not seen Miss Bird, and believing that there has be a n foul work here, I propose to make an investigation. If you are wise, you will throw up a bad ga.me, and make a clear confe ssion1 which will r estore the rightful heiress to belonc;s to her." "Never! n e v er! I am Lola Bird, and have nothing to confess You think to drive me, but you will b e disappointed. I shall inform Mr. Foster about you, when he returns." .!'Do so. State to him that by c alling, I hoped to have the opportunity to pull his nose, but if he will ca)l on me, at any sea so nabl e hour, I will punch it for him. Good-t b e done Hello! Yonde r is the Angel!" H e S '1 W h e r a s he glance d toward a n eighbor ing sh'l nty. She was sitting upon the s te ps, in p erusing a book, but the instant she saw nim, s h e arose and hurriedly entere d the shanty and c lo se d the door b ehind her. Whic h act gave Dic k a se cond surprise. "So I've got anothe r cut, eh? W ell, I'll ge t used to this thing b y and by, and not mind it. I think I ll unde r s t a nd..this thing after a whil e Angel Arnot, as s h e calls h erself, has a secre t in that cabin or s h anty, and s h e guards it c los e ly. Soone r or late r ho wever, it will lea k out." The afternoo n was w arm and breathles s in the little valley. The sky w a s unc loud e d, and the sun p oure d d own with inten sity. Even the miners were lazy at their work as the y toiled in the s
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A Game ot Gold. tr. we happen to find the gal, shall we fetch her to y o u'I" By all means; but, hold her o u tside of town1 8.J;ld one of you come and inform me. I woula not have her l)rought here yet; it might be bad for her sa'ety." The n, the ex-Prince of the Road passed out. As be gained the street, a person-touched him on the arm. A glance proved it to be the masked creature. girl or boy-Little Tooth pick. Stop!" he said. "Don't interrupt me. What is the girl, Angel Arnot, to you 1" "Nothing that I am aware of," Dick replied, in surprise. "Whyl" "Because, she is in trouble. Look yonder." He did look toward the girl Jehu's shanty, !illd saw a crowd of nien, women and children 'before it-a rough, boistero u s, clamorous mob of irate humanity. Angel Arnot was at an open window, up stairs, gazing down upon the assemblage, with a determined look upon her fair face, and a pair of six-shooters in her grasp. With rapid steps D eadwood Di c k hurried toward the spot, to ascertain what was the mat,. ter, for he knew that something unusual was transpiring. He was soon near enough to ascertain that J.?rank Foster was at the head of the znob, and was evidently the leader. D'ye head" Foster cried. Come rand the door, or we'll break it down for you, 9.nd save you the trouble." Just you try it if you think it healthy, mv lad! '' Angel repli;;J. "About the time in my door, I 'll be srnasbin' your skull in with a chunk of lead no bigger than a pea." "Bahl don't talk to me that way, girl, o r fou'll be SOITY for it. I'm boss of this town, '11 have you to know, and intend to have my own way about things. Suspicions are against you, hard, my girl, and the people want to lrno-v what it is you've got in your ranch tHat you're so afraid some one will see. That's what we're after, and what we are going to find out!" "You are, eh?" the girl cried, her pretty face !lushing, and her eyes flashing. "Well, go ahead and try on your little game and see how it will fit; I am all alone and hav,1 no one to defend me, but you'll learn before you get through with me, that Angel Arnot can defend herself! I've got twelve lives or deaths right in my grasp here, and a half a dozen more six-shooters Within reach, and I'll put an e lectric shook into the system of every man, woman, or child that tries to enter my shanty, against my will. It is my shanty, and I'll protect it. Jackson Bird made me a present of it, long ere you and your foul rabble came here." "Can't help that, young woman-every thing In this town now belongs to me," Foster declar: d. Every body and soul here is my yourself inc:luded, therefore, I am tr be obeyea, when I corrlmand. It will be to your advantage to obey. You are shadowed with JU.Spicion. A hundred rumors concerning you, !lre aflOOt, none of which are flattering. You lteep your shanty constantly locked, and allow oo one to enter. 'What are we to 1ihink of this? D oes it not indicate something wrong' Then, again, a few nights ago some of my men were passing your place when they heard peculiar cries, and heard you singing as if husbing a baby to sleep. Now, what have you to say to that?'' "Nothlng! If I were hushing twenty babies to sleep, instead_pf one, it i s none of your busi ness, or any one else's!" was the contRmptuous reply. "I suppose you will all die, yet, out of sheer cur iosity, if you do not root out my oocret or secrets, but you are at perfect liberty to drop away as 'rapidly as may suit your convenience, as you'll not get possession of any of them, as long as I can pull a trigger. What secrets I may have, is none of your business. I am a re spectable woman, and gener.ally try to live a Christian life, unless I sin in the nature of my attir&--but that is a matter of my own choice, and my own business. That is all the explana tion I shall offer, and I simply request you to go away and attend to your own affairs. If you do not, I shall not beg of you-that is a?,;ainst my principles-but I'll show you that a grrl can be a gi rl, and a man too, so far as de f ending one's rights is concerned." "Miss Arnot is right," D eadwood Dick said, pushrng forward, and it is no one's business but her own what her secrets may be; and I for oue will spend my bullets in her defe nse." "Ay! and so will I! The child shall not be hurt or disturbed, while there is a whole bone in my body!" The speake r pu.;ned forward, and stood beside D eadwood Dick. He was a new-comer in tbe town, evidently, as all eyes were turned upon bim with glance.! of surprise. And considering that he was quj.te a curiosity, it was no wonder. In form be was bent and decrepit, and walk ed with tottering steps, supported by a gnarled cane. His face was nearly all covered with a sweep ing white beard and mustache and Jong whit.a hair, only bill nose, eyes ar.d a portion of bis forehead bemg visible. His beard in particular was of extreme length, rooching to his belt. His attire con s isted of long-legged rubber hip-boots, met by roughly patched trowsers and red woolen shirt belted at the waist and worn through at the elbows. A broad-rim slouch hat upon bis head and a heavy cavalry-pistol and knife in his belt completed his personal appearance, as well as could be described-and a very singular looking individual it made him, too. And the way the old pilgrim stood up beside D eadwood Dick evidenced that, though aged, he was yet able and read to strike for the right. A fierce oath escaped Frank Il'c ste r as Le saw the pair of opponents. "You'd better have the good sense net k> meddle in this matter, Deadwood Dick!" the king cried, "for if you do, your famous career will come to an unpleasant end. And as for that old r'lck-a-bones beside you, I'll smash his head if I bear another peep from him." "Ohl will you!" the old man c ried, shaking his cane threateningly. "Maybe you'd betwr come right ove r and try it! Maybe you think

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28 A Game or Gold. I'm some superannuated graveyard-but you'll get tuk down on that. My h a ndle's Seth Wickham, from Arizona, an' e f I'm gittin' alon g in years, I kin lick a hull crowd of suc h miserabl e skunks as you, any day." "Hurrah l that's the talk for you, old cove y I You've got sand and so bas Deadwood Dic k With such a pair of d e f enders I ain't afeard but what I can lic k the who le United States Angel cried, from h e r perc h. How are you, Foster!" Curse you!" the villain cried. I do not fear a trio whe n I have a doubl e s core to b ack me. Once, and for the last time I co=anrl you to come down and ope n that do o r Refuse to comply with my request, and I will have this shanty torn down over your head. The n, curse you, we will discover the secret you guard so cl osely I " And onc e more and for the last time I d e liberately r1>fuse, and burl my defi a n ce at you l the girl cried. Move one foot to disturb me or my shanty, Frank'Foster, and I'll send a bullet throug h your black heart." And D eadwoo d Dic k cocking a pair o f r e v o lvers added: "bn the who l e my d ear F oster, you' d better drop the j o b jus t h e r e and bac k out wi t h y our life. Sba'n' t urge y o u at all, but your death is a matter of ce rtainty if you proceed to execute your threat." "Ye s, you'd better clo s e up like a jac k-knife and wait for a better opportunity to prosec ute your villainous little game my dear king," Angel a ssured sarcastically. "An"i so I will!" Foste r gritted, his dusky face nearly blac k with passion. I'll bide m y time as you su gges t. But, mind you, I'll y e t know what s ecret you have hou se d in tha t sha.ntri that you a.re so afraid to disclo se-yes even u have to wade throug h human blood to find out. And as for you, Sir Road-robber, although you have the liberty to r emain in my town, look out that you don't w a k e up some morning and find yourself attending y our own funeral. You will the n realize that I have not forgotten the little event up at Big Bonanza." And, turning upon bis heel, be strode rapidly a.way. The crowd rapidly dispersed, but D e ad wood Dic k wa.itdd unt.n the y were a.11 gon e wh e n be tipped his hat to angel, and walked .back down the gulch toward tbe Red-Eye. The old pilgrim who had given bis name as Seth Wickham, was standing the saloon, evidently awaiting the ex-ro a d agent' s approach, for h e m o ti o n e d to him, with his gnarled cane "We ll, unc le, what is it! Dic k d e m ande d, with a sm1l e "We settled the hash, down yonde r didn' t we'?'' "We did, in truth. young man, and w e r e part ly the means of checking what might b a v e b ee n a bloody affr.a y I wish to thank you for taking sides with the girl a gains t such odds. I am interes ted by c h a n ce in the child, and wish that no ha.rm sha.11 come to her. "No n e ed to thank m e, pardner, for I should have done the same, had it bee n a negr.e woman instead of a lovely white girl, who was being 'Q0rBeCU ted." That's right, my boy l There's the right metal in you, that' s clear. But do you know who the girl is?" "No-no more than that she calls herself Ange l Arno t, dres se s in ma.le attire, and is as cool and inde p endent a creature as I ever met." '' Ab! y es s o I : hould say. Do you suspe c t what b e r sec r e t i s!" "I have bad no cause to. But from what wau said, to-d a y, by Foster, I should infer that there may possibly b e a ba.ndl e of infanc y in the cabin. Who it belon g s to, h o w e ..-er, is quite another ques tion, which I shall not make it my business to inqure into:" Nor I. I came here for another purpose. I came to find an old friend of my youth, whose n a m e is J acksou Bird." "Obi y oudid!" '' Y es I l earned that be and bis daughter livn h ere, and came to visit them." "The n I fear you will b e badly disappointed old g ent, for Bird .hims elf is dead, and hill daug h te r is n o t t o b e found! "No t to be fo und, sir! What d o you m ean! "Precise l y what my w o r ds w o ul d see m to c on vey-Miss Lola Bird i s not in Secr e t Cit y, and can't find any t"a ce o f h er." "But I understood h y inquiry tha t sh e s till lives in h e r fat h er's shanty y onde r fro m a man I a s k ed." "Yes the r e i s a y oung wornnn there, bang m o ir I b elie v e it is the ori ginal." "Ahl sa y you so! What do y ou think b<1.S: become of the real L o l a Bird, tbe u!'1 "Heav e n only kno w s-I d o n o t. My suspi. cion s ho wever, a.r e that F oste r bas b n d h e r sec r etlyre moverl, and the impo sto r sub stitute d." "How did this Fo ster c om e to be h e re, and in pos sess ion of what I suppo sed b e lon ged to my friend, Bird? Wickham asked in surprise. If you care to listen, I will tell you,'' Dick said, and he accordingly r elated what is already known. "It i s v ery strange," Wickham said, "and these villains fro m D enve r sha ll n o t prosper. I can s oo n tell whethe r the w oman at the shanty i s Jac kson Bird' s daughter or not, if I can g e t a glimpse o f h e r. I saw h er, not a great many w eeks s inc e and would not be a.pt to forget how she l ooks-oh, no!" "Sbe i s beautiful then! "Ay l beautiful as a gazelle-as a fairy. In deed, sir, I do not think there is another as beautiful a woman in the whol e w orld." W e ll, the n, I'll guarantee it is not the girl up at the s h anty yonde r She is moderately pretty, bnt I'll be banged if she is what you make out." "Doubtless it is an impo stor. But for the sake of m y friend Bird, I s hall look into the matter. In his behalf, too, I mus t thank you gratefully for what you have don e, and if Lola i s e v e r found you may reasonably expect a handsom e remuneration for your se rvices, for they're a queer family, the se Birds-a queeJ fa.rnilv." And then the old fellow stumped along up the street, cane in hand, giving vent to some unin telliJril>le mutt.ering. "Yes, they're a queer family," Deadwood Dick thought, "and you a.re as queer as the rest

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A Game or Gold. of them, old man. I wonder who and what you are1 I bad a notion a moment ago-but pshaw! it was ridiculous And as for the really beautiful original Lola Bird, I have a desire to see her." As he was cogitating thus a littlo boy approached and handed him an un5'ealed note, which on oprning he found to be penned in small, neat chlrography, and signed "Little Toothpick." It ran as follows: "' "If you wish to learn something of importance, come, to-night, to the first dead pine tree down the southern wagon trail, and call Toothpick.' I bave to communicate that may prove interest ing to you." CHAPTER XI. A STRANGE WARNING AND A GLIMPSE OF A. 'IOURI. THAT was all the note containea. "I wonder what she can want of me, or can have to tell?" Dick muttered. "Must lie some thing of importance, or she would not write. Well, l'U saunter that way, when darkness comes, and see what she has to say for herself." Once during the forenoon be chanced to be passing in the neighborhood, when he be ard hls name called, and saw Angel Arnot beckoning to him from the steps of her shanty home, where she was sitting. He accordingly approached her, and tipped his hat respectfully. "You called to m e, lady!" "Yes, sir. I wished to extend you my sin cere thanks for your braveness in taking my part, awhile ago. It was a favor I shall never orget." "Don't speak of it, pray. I simply fol lowed the dictates of duty in coming to your rescue "Then praised be your sense of honor," the girl said. But there is somethlng I am eager to ask you-what have you made out abput Lola Bird?" "Nothlng, miss, except that she is gone!" "Gone!" "Yes, that is, the original. The girl up at the shanty, yonder, is not Lola no more than am!." "How do you know!'' I do not know-I merely surmised.'" "And rightly too, I think. I have believed the same thlng ever since she has k ept herself housed up. Ohl sir, what can have become of Miss Lola! She was one of the loveliest, sweetest of girls, and we were the greatest of friends until Frank Foster came here: then I was refused admittance to the shanty." "I didn't wait for a refusal," Deadwood Dick said with a laugh. Then1 after a few more wor':ls, he went on down tne street. Frank Foster also received a w:..rning by mail day, whlcb a teamster brought in from a New Mexico supply station. It was penned in handsome chirography, and ran as follows: "FRANK FosTER, Sm:-By the time you receiv0 this. my spirit shall be on its way t
PAGE 29

88 .& Game ot UCNd. "Well, what's to be done?" he demanded. "Curse me if I know. What do you make of it, anyhow'!'' .. That Bird is alive and coming ha.ck." "Furies! it shall not bet It would be disastrous to us." "Even so, but we have a choice left." "Flight'!'' hYes." "Never! I will play the game to the bitter end before I'll yield." "i:iut will get beat, I'm afraid: Bird is a bad man to buck against. What did he mean about a lake?" "Cursed if I know. Merely bosh, probably." "I doubt that. He may know more than we do about the place." "Hut, tht> men-me back, and I ll wager my life every mother's son of tbem will go over to him." "Then, what a:ce we to do1" That must be a study 1 on our part. Scheme the very best we know how, must we, if we hope to carry through the game elf gold we are p?ying, to a successful end. Lola Bird must die!" "Ohl not" F oste r crie. l firing up. "Sbe is mine, and shall be my bride sooner or later!" "But, bold! Not so fast. Perhaps you don't Temember tbat there is a certain agreement-tle tween you and me." You refer to my promise to marry your daughter, eh! "Ex:actlv." "Ob! well, as to that, It was merely a verbal tiromise, and is not binding. Maybe if I do n o t conclude to take the real Bird, I 'll take the im postor." "Ah! that is your.game, eh? Well, go ahead with it; but, mind you, if you do not keep ... your promise to my daughtet", your life shall answer for it. We have assisted you in your infernal schemos, but sball hold up a bit, in order to see how this matter is coming out." "Just as you please," Foster replied, with a sneer. "I am not afraid of what you can do, klt all. I shall remain here as lon g as I s e e any chance for retainjpg the mastery-tbe ci, with the queen beauty of tbe world, I'll seek foreign part>, and live on the laurels I've won here. Hal ha!" And with a derisive laugh tho villain left the cabin. Deadwood Dick went to the first dead pine tree by the southern gulch trail that night, just as dusk was m erging into darkness. Little Toothpick was not yet there, but soon came tripping along, failing in an attempt to whistle. "It won't work," Dick declared with a smile, as she came up. Try though you may, y0tt c1,1.nnot make yourself seem less than a girl in bo(.'s clothes." 'Oh, is that so? W ell, if it suits you any better to know it, I am a girl in boy's clothes Tberel there! don't faint-let me take your hat and get some water," and the strange ereature gave vent to a sarcastic laugh. "You needn't mind," Dick assured, in return. "I never get scared at scarecrows-or milliner's I'm glad of that. Also that you came here, for I wanted to talk with you." "So you said in your note; so go ahead. My of hearing are in a prime condition." Well, to begin with, I want 7ou to acknowl edge that you are in love with that young woman down at yonder shanty, whomjhey call Angel Arnot." "What! acknowledge what is untrue? I never thought of such a thing as being iI1 love with her, You swear to this'!'' "If I deemed it requisite," was the reply. And will you swear that you love no one woman on the face of the earth-that is, as a lover should lov ,e1" "Ayl there is one I am fond of," Deadwood Dick responded. I do not know how it can matter to you, however. "Yet it does matter, as you shall learn to your satisfaction, h ereaft.,r. Who is this or woman you Jove-the said-to-be-beautiful queen of the mines, eh1-the missing link, as it were1" / "No-far from being her. If you wish to know, there are but two women in all the world who car e for me or whom I love-a sister, up in Deadwood country, and a wild dare-devil of a girl, up about Leadville, whom I have known for several years." This 19.tter personage is called Calamity J ane, eb1" Yes. How did you know?" "Oh! her notoriety has a wide circulation, such as it is," sarcastically. "Stop!" Dick cried, st.ern ly. "Cast no slur upon her character, or you will make me forget that I am a man and you a weak woman. What the may have been concerns you not; a siugle misstep need not c urse her for eternity. Please to understand in speaking of her that she is betrothed to become my wife when I return to her, and she is all in all to me." "Oh I" Miss Toothpick said, her tone denoting doubt. Then, after a moment of silence, she added, "And you are confident that the fascination and influence of no other woman could draw you from this Calamity Janel" Very positive." "Ha! ha! you have not yet seen the beauti ful Lola Bird. Once you feast your eyes on her magnificent beauty, you will 1uickly forget your rough Leadville sweetheart. "No fear. My he84 is not easilf turned, albeit I have been marrie d s everal times. Have you then seen this Lola Bird?" "Ayl I saw her but an hour ago." "Ah! then at ,last I am on the right track. Quick, girl-you must tell me where to find her!" "Ah! must H No, I think not. What de you want of her!" I want to restore her to her rights here, in the place of the girl down at the Bird shanty, and I want to thwart Frank Foster and Mosher at their little game. I want to keep my pl-omise to the dying father." "Trouble yourself not. The girl is safely out of the place .where Fost.er had her conftned, and

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A Game or Go14. is in my charge. It is not necessary for you to take charge of her, for I shall place her in the care of him who joined you in interfering for the girl at the shanty. He will care for her already knows where she is, through me. .tlut, if you wish to look at her, ;md will promise not to look at or speak to her in a loving or admiring way, and will come back when I request, you shall see her." I cheerfully promise that," Dick responded, eagerly, "for I have a desire to look upon this girl. Not that the sight of her could attract me from my as you seem to infer but from a natural curiosity to see a woman who is pronounced so beautiful." Then permit me to blindfold you and bind your hands, and I shall be ready to conduct you to her." Deadwood Dick was thoughtful a minute, but finally decided to acquiesce. She first secured his hands with a strong cord, and then doubled a handkerchief and tied it tightly around his bead, over bis eyes. "There! now come on. Follow close at my heels," she said, when she bad finished. "I guess you'll do."' She t hen led ofl', and be followed as she bad directed. Remembering the positions they bad stood in before starting, he knew their course lay down the gulch. But after the first half-hour's walk, be was unable to arrive at any decision what way they were going, except that they were ascending over a rough and rocky surface, among trees and brush. A full two hours the tramp went on, and then they-came to a halt in what Dick concluded was a cavern. 'Sh I make no noise," Toothpick said. She is asleep, and I do not wish to disturb her." She then removed the handkerchief from be fore his eyes and pointed ahead,. They were indeed in a small, natural cavern, and just on the opposite side, in front of them, a young lady was reclining in a graceful position upon a couch of skins. One Deadwood Dick got of her, then Toothpick returned the bandage before his eyes, with a chuckle. "Quite enough," she said, sarcastically. "I do not want to carry your heart back to Secret Citt, in pieces. Was she not beautiful!" More beautiful than I ever a human being could be," Deadwood Dick replied. The sight of her could not help but stir the pulses of an anchorite." "Ahl then Calamity Jane is nowhere in comparison, eM" "Calamity Jane is pretty-yonder girl beautiful. Calamity Jane is dear to me; yonder girl nothing to me. Indeed, I would not care to own such a creature fo'r a wife, for fear I should some time awake to find it all a terrible delusion and mockery. Come; let's go. I am satisfied." In all his after life, Deadwood Dick could never describe the appearance of Lola Bird as he saw her-no language within his power was adequate. All the meaning that could possibly be associated with the word bee.utiful failed to touch tile CMe, and all he could do was to remember the picture, a single glance of which had thrilled his very being with a sensation he had never before experienced. Toothpick once more led the way, and they took their departure. Not till they once more neared the town did she remove the bandage from bis eyes, and the cords t4at bound his wrists. There. You may direct your own course," she announced. "You have seen the most beautiful woman in the world; now go your way in peace. But, look out for yourself I Extraordinary events are about to transpire, and I warn yot!., by direction of another, that the mountain top is safer than the gulch bottom." Then, turning, she fled rapidly away into the darkne$S, leaving Deadwood Dick t.> pursue his way back to the town, which he did, in a strange frame of mind. Matters wereterminating, evidently-hut how or by what means, was yet to be seen. CHAPTER XII. & \,/RAND DISSOLVING SCENE. THE next morning, there was great excitement in Secret City. D\U'ing the night there had been posted upon the door of every business establishment, and many of the dwellings, huge placards, bearing the following notice, printed in large letters, with red ink and black. "WARNING. "To All Whom it May OoneN1:-Be it understood, that o n thiS day, I, Jackson Bird, the original owner and founder of the mining camp known as Secret City, have returned from a journey into the grave and the mysterious eternity beyond, to find my home and'possessions occupied by usurpers and the charm of my past rule b1oken. Even my cbild, the hand somest woman in the world, hath been spirited away and my servants have served the of my kingdom menials. Therefore, witH my heart in flamed with dissatisfaction, I have taken anger and offense, and decided that the days of Secret City shall be short. Take warning, then, and fiv from the gulch, all you who would escape with llte for within the next twenty-four hours, tLe place where now exists the mining-camp, shall be transformed into a boiling lake, in which the wicked shall finil a foretaste of what there awaits them In the next world. For such shall be the vengeange of "JACKSON BIRD, 'THE V AKPIRE." Crowds collected to read these notices and discuss their import; men grew excited, and cursed and swore; women cried in alarm. Some scoffed at the idea; others were serious and doubtful. On the whole, there was a general agitation and all work was left to care for itself, while the miners stood here and there;-in groups, and discussed the probabilities or improbabilities of the consummation of the tbreat. Gradually the main crowd gathered around one burly black-whiskered individual who seemed to be a leader in public opinion. "I tell ye what it is, feller-pilgrims, it's a dead open and shut," he argued, fiourishinJi himself, from the top of an up-turned barrel. Most of ye hev served under Jack Bird, an' know he's as good's his word, every day in a week.

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30 A Ga.me ot Gold. He's put it right plain afore yer nose. thf!-t he's goin' ter bu's t up matters, and sech pilgnms as don't skip, is t e r git bu'sted. Knowin' Birdy as I do, 1 in goin' ter-JSing my songs no more but s eek a healthie r locality." "Just m y fix, exactly," another mine r agreed. "I'm goin' t o pull out at on ce f e r when Jack Bird sez a thing y e c a n count the t et's g oin's ter c o m e-an' I allus did say h e was leagued wittl the d evil-he an' hi s purty daug hter too." This opinio n seemed prevalent. Foster and M os h e r m oved about among the men, and urge d the m to go to work and pa';! no attention to what the y called the malicious device of som e pe rson." But all their talking proved unavailing, for the men w e re, as a rule, disposed to a c t a ccording to their own f ee lings in the m atter. And whe n M organ, the leading spirit among saddle d and pac k e d his horse and rode away out of town it was the signal for som e twenty others to fol..tow his example, during the course of the day. The few who r emained were comp o sed of the new-com ers of the rougher and bolde r class, who w e r e thoroughly allied to Foster's rule. Even the y refuse d to work, and stood around doubtfully. Deadwood Dick watched matters, quietly, until t h e sun began to sink below the horizon; then he l eft the Red-Eye saloon, and started to leave the town as he had no d esire longer to r e-main. As h e was passing Angel Arnot's shanty s h e came out and closed the door b ehind her. "Are you quitting the gulch'!'' she queried, ea?.erly. 'Yes. I thought it best to take the warning, if it was meant for me," h e replied. "You are wise. I bid you goo d -by thflll if I should not see you What I are you gomg to remain?" No! but I shall wait till after dark. Come in and s ee my baby girl!" Your baby? "Ohl yes; that was the secret I had uoused up;" and with a laugh she led the w a y into the s hanty. A three-months old babe was sle eping peace f u lly in its little crib, and Dick noted that it looked lik e Angel Arnot. I'll confid e my secret to vou," sh e said. I am J ackson Bird's wife We have b ee n married a year but a short time after our marriage, our certificate was lo s t Lola would not be lieve that we were legally married, until w e could produce the certificate. My husband, as you may have s urmised, is at times very strange. Some say h e is crazy-but b e is e v e r good to thos e h e l o v es In one o f his w ild s pe lls, he lost the ce r t ificate, and it happened b e for e we had announced our legal union. The mini s '6r died soon after our marriage, and so y o u see we were wfthout the proo f n ecessary to co n vin ce any one of our marriage. Hoping the eertificate might b e found, soon e r or later, w e d ecided to k ee p the mat t .i r a secre t and live apart, until it was found. Three months a go IJllY babe was born, witho ut. any a c knowl er lged Not knowing what else to do, I k ept .,.,,,..----t h e matter a sec ret and you if.re the second per son I have ever told of it. But thank Heaven, I am now out of the fog of suspi c ion The certi ficate was found and returned to me last night. Ah !-listen!" Loud yells, curses and pisto l-shots were heard outsid e togethe r with horse s footfalls. Diclt sprung to the door, foll o wed by Ang el. Down the stree t u po n horseback, anJ the h o rse running at that, rushed the old whit.e beard, Wickham I In the r ear followed wha t was l eft of Secret City' s populatio n h o wlin g and yelling, and firing at the fleeing stranger. "Stop him! sto p him, d ead or alive!" Frank Foster crie d. "It is Bird, the Vampire Five hundred dollars to the man who takes him, dead or alive!" "That man J ackson Bird!" Deadwood Dick asked turning to Angel. Y e s, that is him. Ha I ha I the y waste their bullets on him you may r es t a ssured. Bullets don't go through padde d buffaloskins." On-Gn dashed Bird, and the crowd followed determinedly, but coula n o t effect a capture. After they had gone by, Angel turned to Dick. "You had better go now, or they may retirrn and seek to wreak vengeance on you." Bah! I fea r them not. I prefer to remain, a n d see that they offer you no mol estation H e had not long to wait. They soon returned and passed b y without even l ooking at the shanty. Soon after Deadwood Dic k took his departura, and left the town. As he arrived at t h e out.'!kirts, h e met McKandl ass and Old Scowler, both of w hom greet ed him with a friendly hand-shake. "We was just corning to see you the forme r said. We wanted to ax you if you could get along withou t us?" Ah I what now? Getting tired o f l e ading a good life ? "Not by a long shot, old boy. O n t h e con trary, we've found it a hanged sight more com fortable, an' decided ter pull out fer the East, where we've both got families w'ot we've been away frum for years. So ef ye'll let us out, we'll pull fer the East an' j'ine thelll w'ot's bee n waitin' f e r us a lon g time. " Are you in earnest, McKandlass?-do you really contemplate r e form!" Dick asked, earn estly. Shoot me ef we don't mean thet same Cap, an' w e thank you, from the souls o' our boots f e r startin' us in the right path. We be brothe rs, me an' S c owler, an' w e've roughed it fer a heap loug time, an' I 'spect that w e've got more black stripes o n the Big Book than thar's ha'rs on o u r heads. But, then, we've concluded sin c e yon induces! ns to go straight, the t mebbe by sincere r epentance an' livin' as we orter. we will stand a small show in the hereafter, an' so w e're goin' ter brus h up and l e t no future sin darken o u r already clar k prospects "And m a y God strengthen you in your pur pose, my friends," Dick said, grasping them cordially by the hand, a moisture in his eyes. "You are free to go, and if I have been the caus e of you r propos ed reformation, I have mf

PAGE 32

A Ga.me Gold. rnward, amply, in the that in wild career I have at least been mstrumental m ooing some good. Go, and may the ble ssings and encouragement of all hon est m e n be with you. But hold l have y o u mone y !'' "Not much, c,.p-onlv ubout. a hundred, apiece " That is insuffici ent to get you Eas t to say 11othing about s t arting y o u in au h o n es t way. I have s o m e quee r little g old e n rule s of my own, you see, and a m o n g the m i s o n e tha t it's hard!\r for a man to break from villainy into an h o n es t existenc e without cash tha n it i s fo r a burro to be made to understand that gra v e l is s h e lled corn. Herel"-and t h e exroad prince took a pouc h o f coin fro m his pock et. I will g ive you a little lift. I have a small m i n e up near Leadville that turns out a few hundred a m onth, w ffich I have no particular u s e for. There are twenty twentydollar g old piece s in this pouch, and the y are yours. Take the m and leave this gulGh at once for it is not safe here." ".Ma y God ble ss you, Deadwood Dick," Mc Kandlass said, in a choked voice. We shall never forget y ou." Then the y turned and walked down the gulch and disappeare d fro m view. Dick took &n opposite course, and ascended 1he mountai.r: 'Night clo s ed in dark and c l o udy. A stor m was brewing, the fact being evident b y t h e rumbling muttering of thunder along the h o ri zon Half-way up the mountain Deadwood Dick stopped and seated himself upon a r ock, where he could overlook the town bel ow, with its few gleaming lights glowing like stars in a midnight sky. Louder grew the rumblirg a long the horizon -darker grew the night; t h e storm was gathering volume before breaking. Theoccasional glares of lightning lit u p the night vividly1 causing a spe ctral effect upon the rugged face or nature. For an hour Deadwood D ick sat gazing down i nto tbe dark valley, then a strange drowsiness came over him and he droppe d asleep. When he awoke it was with a start. The earth and roc k in unde r him shook as by an ea rthquake, and there was a report like a hundre d canno n s In vain he struggk.d to move1 but found that he wa.S bound hand aud foot, anu blindfolded. In astonishment he waited 111.e result of-he knew not what. Half an hour passed; then to "1.is Joy h e lootsteps approaching B e th .. of friend or foe, the y had a w e l come to unn. Later came an exclamat10n, as some person approache d, an, I was as you found me. What noise that awhile ago! " The bottom of the gulch bas all been blown ..-u:t by a t.errifi c explosion, It was a terrible s ight the earth and flames nearly reaching ,;o the sky." "Ahl it was then the work of Jackson Bird1" l< Yes even s o. But see-here lies a paper some one bas l eft. What i s it?" Dic k receive d it, but could make nothing out. H e a ccordingly a fe w dry fagots, for it h a d not y e t rame d, and ignited them. By the li ght fro m the fir e he was enabled to d eciphe r the writi n g It r a n a s follows: "DEADWOOD DICK, Sm:-B y the t ime you will !,.ave re gai n e d y our lib e r t y an d p eruse d this. a ll that was i s no m ore-I m ean wh e r e s t o c d the t own of S ecre t C i t y I h a v e bl o wn up the pla ce and had my g e an ce Nothin g no w r e m ains but a s he e t of water About a year ago I m ade a d i s c o v ery tha t directly b e neath the town !:i und e r th e gro und was a r reat she e t o f wat e r. By r esea r c h I l e arn e d that' this und ergro und lake was f e d by a n und e r g round stream wh i ch flowe d t!!rou g b a m ountaincave. Expe riment t a u ght me that the g round was about a foot above the wa te r, leaving a vac uum or space. "The surface of the W a t e r w a s oily, and in this vacuum, the water and the e a rth, a great vo lume o f gas coll e c ted some of which found exi t from a seam in the oppo s ite mountains Yeste r even ; ng I plugg e d this v e in or s eam up and laid a train of powder to the m o untain cave, which is also filled with this natural gas. To-night, ere you r e ceive this, I shall have fir e d the powder It will com municate with and fire the gas in the cave. The fire will fo ll ow the oil and gas in under g r ound, and a terrible expl osion w ill follow, and death to those who failed to h e ed the warning of Jackson BU;d. A s for yourself and the person called Littl e T oothp i c k we heartily thank yo u for what you have done fo r us-:you in particular, having shown an boni>st ban d and m reward for your s e rvic e s you will find, behi nd the rock o n wh i ch you fe ll asleep, a bag of g o lde n n uggets which is yours to take !tnd keep b e ing a gift from my wife and daughter for we have p le n t y more In a cano e l ad e n w ith the gold of Secret C it y w e sai l across 1 h e lak e, and plun g e d e eper into t h e wilderness l ost to the world, forever and ever. "JACKSON B IRD As. be finished r eading, Dick turned to--'.no t Little Toothpi ck, the masked, to Calamity Jane the unmasked, w h o stood him with a roguish smile. ''Yes, it's me," she said, in answer to h is ex c lamation of astonishment. I followed you, to tes t your loyalty to me, and am satisfied. Come, h e r e is the bag of nuggets-a good thirty pounds or m ore. Let's leave this God-forsaken spot, for you took hand in a game of gold, a n d have made a hit by getting the joker. Les t your luc k forsake you, l et's go at once." "I am willing," Dick said, embracing her. "Come." Another sunrise found' them far from the wlld spot, which had lived and expired at thewill of Jackson Bird, the so-called vampfre. Side by side they rode through the wild nie!l"f bound for other wild and exciting scenes: mighty West. THE END,

PAGE 33

BEADLE'S FRONTIER SERIES 15c. Per Copy. 1. The Shawnee's Foe. 2. The Young Mountplneer. 3. Wild Jim. 4. Ilawk-:f.Jye, the Hunter. 5. 'l'he Boy Gulde. 6. War Tiger of the Modocs 7. The Red lllodocs. 8. Iron Hand. 9. shadow Bill, the Scout. 10. Wapawkaneta, o r the Rangers of the Oneida. 11. Da''Y Crockett's B o 7 Hunter. 1!. Forest Avenger. 13. Old Jack's Frontier Cabin. 14. On the Deep. 15. Sharp Snout. 16. The Mountain Demon. 17. "\Vlld Tom of Wyoming. 18. The Qrave Boy Hunter of Kentucky. 19. The Fearless Ranger. 20. The Haunted Trapper. 21. llladman of the Colorad ... 22. The Panther Demon. 23. Slashaway, the Fearleaa. 24. Pine Tree Jack. 25. Indian Jim. 26. Navajo Nick. 27. The Tuscarora ... Vow. 28. Deadwood Dick, Jr. 29. A New York Boy Among the Indians. 30. Deadwood Dick's Big Deal. 31. Dank, the Gulde. 32. Deadwood Dick's Dozen. 33. Squatty Dick. 34. The Hunter's Secret. 35. The Woman Trapper. 36. The Chief of the Miami. 37. Gunpowder Jim. 38. Mad Anthony's Captain. 39. The Ranger Boy's Career. 40. Old Nick of the Swamp. 41. The Shaclow Scout. 42. Lantern-Jawed Bob. 43. The llla,.ked Hunter. 44. Brimstone Jake. 45. The Irlsll Bunter. 46. Dnve Dunker. 47. Tl1e Sluiwnce Witch. 48 . Big Brave. 49. Spider-Legs. 50. Barry Hard01kul1. 51. Madman of the Oconto. 52. Slim Jim. 53. TlgerEye. 54. The Red Star of the Seminoles. 55. Trnpper Joe. 56. The Indian Q,ueen' Revenge. 57. Engle-Eyed Zeke. 58. Senr-Cheek, the Wild Half-Breed. 59. Red lllen of the Woods 60. Tuscnloosa Sam. 61. The Dully of the Woods. 62. The Trapper's Bride. 63. Red Rattlesnake, The Pawnee. 64. The Scout of Tippecanoe 65. Old IGt, The Scout 66. The Boy Scouts. 67. Hiding Tom. 68. Roving Dick, Hunter. 69. IDckpry Jack. 70. M.nd Mike. 71. Snake-Eye. 72. Big-Hearted Joe. 73. The Blazing Arrow. 7 4. The Hunter Scout. 75. The Scout of Long bland. 76. Turkey-Foot. 77. The Death Rangers. 78. Bullet Head. 79. The Indian Spirit. 80, 'llhe Tnin Trappers. 81. Lightfoot the Scout. 82. Grim Hick. 83. The Wooden-Legged ST 84. The Silent Trapper. 85, Ugly Ike. 86. Fire Cloud. 87. Hank Jasper. 88. The Scout of the Sciota. 89. Black Samson. 90. Dilly Bowlegs. 91. The Bloody Footprint. 92. Marksman the Hunter. 93 The Demon Crnfl1er. 94. Hunters and Redskins. 95. Panther Jack. 9 6. Old 7:eke. 97. The Panther Palef111?e 98. The Seont of the St. Lawrenee, 99. Bloody Drook. 100. Long Bob of ICentueky. BEADLE'S FRONTIER SERIES are alwars in print and for sale by all Newsdealers; or will be sent postpaid to any adlkess: Single copies, I 5c. ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. CLEVELAND, OHIO ================================ ..... ...

PAGE 34

DeadW00d Dick Library LATES'l' AND BEST. HANDSOME TRI-COLORED COVERS. 32 Pages. Bar One and You Will Buy tile Best! Per Sample Cover See ihller Ide. DEADWOOD DICK LIBRARY. l Deadwood Dick, the Prince of the Road f The Double Daggers; or, Deadwood Dick's Defiance II 'fhe ButTalo Demon; or. The Border Vultures 4 Buffalo Ben, Prince of the Pistol II Wild Ivan, the Boy Claude Duval 8 Death-Face, the Detective 7 The Phantom Miner; or, Deadwood Dick's Bonanza 8 Old Avalanche, the Great Annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brigand 9 Bob Woolf, the Border Ruffian 10 Omaha Oil, the Masked Terror; or, Deadwood Dick In Dane:er l1 Jim Bludsoe, Jr., the Boy Phenix; or, Through to Death 12 Deadwood Dick's Eagles; or, The Parda of Flood Bar 18 Buckhorn Bill; or, The Red Rifle Team 14 Gold Rifle, the Sharpshooter 15 Deadwood Dick on Deck; or, Calamity Jane 16 Corduroy Charlie, the Boy Bravo 17 Rosebud Rob; or, Nugget Ned, the Knight of the Guieb JS Idyl, the Girl Miner; or, Rosebud Rob on Hand 19 Pho t o g raph Phil; or, Rosebud Rob's Reappearance 20 Watch-Ere. the Shadow 21 Dead wood Dick's Device; or, The Sign of the Double Cross 22 Canada Chet, the Counterrelter Chief 23 Deadwood Dick in Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke for Liberty '4 Deadwood Di c k as Detective 25 Gilt-Edged Dick 26 Bonanza Bill. the Man-Tracker; or, The Secret Twelve 27 Chip, the Gir l Sport 28 Jack Hoyle's Lead; or, The Road to Fortune 29 Boss Bob, the King of Bootblacks 80 Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost of Gorgon's Gulc.h 81 Blonde Bill; or, Deadwood Dick's Home Base 82 Solid Sam, the Boy Road-Agent 83 Tony Fox, the Ferret; or, Boss Bob's Boss Job 84 A Game of Gold; or, Deadwood Dick's Big Strike 85 Deadwood Dick or Deadwood; or, The Picked PartJ 86 New York Nell, the Hoy-Girl Detective 87 Nobby Nick of Nevada; or, The Scamps of the Sierras 88 Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo 89 Deadwood Dick's Doom; or, Calamity Jane's Last Adventure 40 Deadwood Dick's Dream; or, The Rivals of the Road 41 DeadwoQd Dick's Ward; or, The Black Hills Jezebel 42 The Arab Detective; or, Snoozer the Boy Sharp 48 The Ventriloquist Detective. A Romance of Rogues 44 Detective Josh Grim; or, The Young Gladiator's Game 45 The Frontier Detective; or, Sierra Sam's Scheme 46 The Jimtown Sport; or, Gypsy JacK in Colorado

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