Nobby Nick of Nevada, or, The scamps of the Sierras


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Nobby Nick of Nevada, or, The scamps of the Sierras

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Title:
Nobby Nick of Nevada, or, The scamps of the Sierras
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
Creator:
Wheeler, Edward L. (Edward Lytton) 1854 or 5-1885
Place of Publication:
Cleveland, Ohio
Publisher:
Arthur Westbrook Co.
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Language:
English
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1 online resource (31 p.) 20 cm.: ;

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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026007265 ( ALEPH )
07325349 ( OCLC )
D22-00038 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.38 ( USFLDC Handle )

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I 'U,\T ghL IS8J-LS86, by R eap If"&: Adams. Entered at Pos t Ot'Mce N e w Y ork, N Y., as s e c o n d c l ass matter. Mar. 1 5 1899. THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO . C l e velan
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)opyrlght 189J-1886, hy B eadle & Adnms. Entered at Post Office, New York, N. Y., as second cla.s matter. 15, 189\l THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. Cleveland, Ohio Vol. '.III!

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Nobby Nl9k of Nevada. ------------------------------------N bb N k f N d I tinguish whether her face was maaoullne or 0 y IC 0 eva a; tho Bearded Brother s know forcerOR, 1 tain, although they 1J.1lowed she was a woman, THE SCAMPS O F THE SIERRA S judging by h e r voice, and she had given t h e n"-!Ile of Marie the Ui:iknown. She was seated at a rude table in one corner, BY EDWARD L WHEELER, in writing, and looking over a pile of manscript in front of her. At .&.UTHOR OF" DEADWOOD DICK" NOVELS, "ROSJjluer right, upon tbe table, was a t.elegraph in-. BUD ROB NOVELS, strument, to which was connected a wire that ran a chink between the logs of the CHAPTER I wall, provmg that these strange beings in this Jone mountain i etreat had electric conununica-THE OLD HUT AMONG THE ORA.GS. t ion with the l'Uts1de world. NIGHT has spread wintry mantle over the Anothe r noticeaule thing about the Bearded Sierras. From the c r est of tbe highest peak to Brothers was, that eac h man was numbered althe bottom of the deepest ch11Sm the cod gray phabeticaily w1tb a brass letter pinned upou the gloom prevailed, whil e the bleak north wind bore shirt-frovt. The man wl;io had c-ommented upon on its icy breath fine flaky particles of purest the weather. wore the letter B, and the other white, that alighted wit h ease on every obstacle, fl ve respectfully C, D, E, F and G. Letthr A covering it with a feathery coat of snow. wa-; ab.;ent. It was the first snow of in the Sierra 11-be drear shrieks of the wind outside c-aused a Nevadas and coming late in Nov9m! : m-, as n g l oomy silence to pervade the but and the six did, when all nature seemed h oused and premenpuff,d awayattheirpip2suntiltLethatcbed 'bared for winter, it presaged the winter at ceiling was l ost f r om view in a dense cloud of .aand smoke. In a remote n'.lrt of the north range of the "I don't see why A doos not come," Letter B snow-capped hills, anJ far up tbe c 1 aggy moungrowled, as he knocked the ash e 5 from his old tain-side, securely biddeu ta a shelv in g plateau brierwood, preparatory'-to refilling. "Don't dell,-fringed by weird, gauntrlooking pines and 'pear ter m e as ef thar's enny great at.traction ponderous ror.ks, was an old, tumble-jown hut. down tew Deviltry, to-night." I t had evidently been built years ago by some "Mebbe trouble," G su11:gested, ominous ly. venturesome miner, as decay and m oss were "Ye know H hasn't showed up fer two days. everywhere visible about the black lolf-1 and Mebbe Grim Goblin hes come down heera thatched roC)f. It wa5 built the race of bouts." a huge cliff that forme1 one s ide of the p l ateau, As of one accord there was a general exchange and boasted of but a single slab door and a of glances, and shrugging of shoulder s sruiJ.11 window2 u p near the e!l.ves, from which a The name of Grim Goblin seemed to have a bar of white ltg:ht streamed out upon the bleak, startling effect upon the gang. wintry night. "No> the t>ussed scourge has not struck this 'Ebe door Was opened and the bushy head of a district yet," and Letter B a UPrvous man appeared; the eyes took a hasty glance toward the. do or. "He's been workin' around, then the b ead was withdrawn, and the the mischief up around Bard Pan, And down at door slammed to with a vengeance. Blue Oanyon. Any new reports, Marie?" "Ugh! et's a cussed tough night outside," the "None siuce yesterday," the Unknown ro-fu11n s:tid, as h e strode to the fireplace where a plied. "There were th<>n but four of the league bright fire was burning, a n d around which sev-left at Hard Pan, and six at Blue Canyon. All eral men were seated on camp-stoo ls engaged the rest have fallen prey to the v e ngeance of the in smoking grimy pipes. "A cussed tough mysterious Grim Gobliu, as he styles bimself." night, an' I reckon t h e capt'in '11 flrnl it out, 'fore A s ullen murmur passed the Bearded he rises the mountain. Et's a-snowin' and aBrothers, and Letter B smote his knee heavily blowin' like thunder, outside, and ten tew one with his c lin ched fist. the gulch '11 be full to-morrow." "I'm cusse'.<;l. ef I don't believe it's our only The five men on the camp;stools nodded withsalvation to shut up shop and scatter. This un ent looking up from the cheery blaze, and went known. unseen foe is a-pickin' off the gang one on smoking in utter disregard of what had been by one, day by day, ye can bet _ye1 boots we said won't esc-ape, no more'n the rest o' the boys. I A strange collection was the inmates of the fer one &in'.t favor1tble ter havin' my heart cnt hut, at the best. All we r e 1itti r ed in Yed flann"l out by this bloodthirsty avenger." shirts, mudsnlshed pantaloons thrust in knee "Yon a"P. coward lv, B," the Unknown said, boots, with slouched wool hats, and waist belts sternly. "Jf the eaptain was to hear you say containing we:tpons. ::"io masks, but immense that, he'd ettle with vou in shnrt orde r." black beards concea l ed all of their faces except "I didn't mean I'd a nntinn to dPsPrt." B the tip of the nose and thP. eyes, their hair being growled. I onlv mPant w e'd all better throw banged dC\Wll ove r their foreheads so as to con-up ther sponge and shift, ruther'a t.er git our ceal even that fe
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,!lobby Nick ot Nevada. 8 Yes; but I'll be blll.Illed ef we've seen much above our venison an' whisky, awhile back, hev we, boys!" The five men shook their heaas in the nega tive. That is because business has been at a standstill. The travel has been small, and the paper has been watched narrowly. I reckon L will negotiate a fat documeqt soon, and thA r esult will set every man on his taps. Ab I hark I" The Brothers spruug to their feet, and stood in an attitude of listening, with their hands upon their weapons. Out in the night, above the bowl of the wind came the m.lffle d sound of horses' feet upon a rocky road, and a moment later the sound became hushe,d. "It's A," Letter B declared, whereupon all hands dropped back upon their stools again. "He's in bad temper, for he rode up the trail at a mad gallop." A few moments later there were heavy foot steps without, anJ the door was flung open, admitting a tall, brawny man to the hut-another of the Brotherhood evidently, for he was beard ed the same, and attired the same, with the exception of a heavy cloak worn about the shoul deni. With a keen glance about the hut, he shut the door, threw his gloves upon the floor, and striding to tbe fire-place warmed his hands over the dancing blaz e -"Well, what's the news at Deviltry!" Letter B inquired drawing slowly at his pipe. Tbe captain grunted some unintelligible sentence before replying, might or mi3ht not have been a curse. -"No news at all," he finally said, brushing the snow from his whiskers. Summed up in a nutshell-snow, poker and whisky the three rul ing elements." "No news of H, I, or J, yeti" "None They are doubtless laying low. The town i s stirred up considerable because of a check old Porcupine paid out of the Miners' Club fund. They say it's a forgery, and have withdrawn their sand from the bank." A pecmiar laugh escaped the Bearded Brotberbood, in which even the Unknown participated." Tbis is the sevPnth thing of the kind tbat bas happened within two months, and the min-. ers andcitizens generally are mad as horne ts. To make matters worse, a min e r came over from Hard Pan to-day, with a like report. So it bas become generally surmiaed that a gang._of forgers are in the Vicinity. and every one is on the alert, watching bis or h e r nei ghbor with suspicion It would not be beaJt.hy for one of the shovers' to be caught just now." Anrl the captain laug hed. A silence ef a few minutes followed, within the hut, while the wintry blasts without made weird music among the mountain crags. Then a sudden click of the telegraph instrument, brought every man to his feet. "Sit down!" the Unknown said, sharply, and her command was obeyed, although every man bent forward in his seat, as if over e11.g91" to e;rasp the every meaning of the electric clicks. Then, turning, Marie seized a paper and pen cil and waited. &;;;n there came more clicks of the instru ment, now slow and measured-then a perfect tattoo of sounds. It was all Greek to the bearded men who sat in eager waiting, but it was apparently plain enough to the Unknown, for her pencil moved upon the paper nearly as fast as came the sounds. / Finally there was a cessation of the clicks and the message lay upon the table. "Read it!" Letter A Eaid, huskily. "Let's know the best or worst, at once." "The news is a mixture of good and bad," Marie said, taking up the paper. "Here it is; so judge for yourself." "HARD PAN, November 20tb:-Look out for old gent coming to D eviltry-Name Gen ArlingtonLot's of money-Look out for Grim G o blin-Also for the Sharp, Nobby Nick-suspicious cbaracl erLook out for spy in employ of Government, bunt ing for us-Trouble brewing your way-Tap man Arlington." Captain A uttere d a fierce curse. "We mus t be, o n _our if ever. This Nobby Nick, I bave hearCI of before. He bears the r epute of a thoroughbred, but will find that he's struck the wrong n est, in Deviltry. As for the Grim Goblin, our only salvation is to Jay him out. In order to do this we mut knife every suspicious new-comer. As to this man Arlington, he's our pie!" "And good pie, too," Marie added with a light laugh. I chance ta..jrnow this General Arlington, and his signature is as familiar to me as my own." "It is well. We will have no diffi culty then in drawing on him. And, now, since the reception of this news. I sball go back to town. B, C, D and E may follow at a late r or rather an earlier hour of the morning. While you, fair Unknown, will of course remain the guRrdian angel of our mountain aerie!" the captain said, gallantly raising his hat: "Didst ever miss me from my post!" the Un known d e manded. "Truthfully I can ray no!" Captain A re plied, raising h e r gloved hand to bis lips. You came among u s unknown, as a sort of queen, and have ruled right royally to our pecuniary interests. Mn.y you long continue in the same way. And now, my au revoir! Be careful in leaving the nest that them are no observers around." Tb en, taking a l ong pull at a brown jug whicll occupied a chimney corner, the lead e r of the Bearded Brothers wrapped his c loak well around him, and set forth into the wild November night Captain A was not tbe only storm-traveler abroad tbat night. At the base-of the range, amon1r whose gaunt pines was pitched the hut of the Beardecl Brotherhood, ran a deep, wide gulch l:)etween two continuous chains of mountains, whos e towering peaks shut out all but a limited view of th1o cold, gray sky. Snow had fallen to considerable depth, render-

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4 Nobby ?ilck of .Nevada. ing everything white, and lessening the gloom handle is not Nobby Nick. A full bushel of of the wild, blustering night. corn shall you have the next moment aft.er we Plodding industriously through the snow set foot in the estimable town of Deviltry, came a horse, or rather a superannuated little wherever that may be. Hello, Injun! I opine donkey, bestriding which was a snow-covered they was crowdin' on you 'ruther close about figure of stalwart proportions. the time I arriv', weren't they, now1 Canaan The donkey was evidently the l east tired of and Jerusalem didn't seem more'n a mile off, the two for it shied at every suspicious obstacle, eh!'' while tbe rider dozed and nodded in his saddle1 "Stern Face was not frightened," the Indian r egardless of the capers of his long-earea replied, with stoical calmness. Old age has charger. frosted his hai r and caused bis band to tremble, He was finally aroused by curses fierce and but bis arm is yet stroug and heart brave." lou d, which came from around a bend just "Good f e r you, Injunl I like your grit. ahead of him. Who was them chaps who were tryin' to knife A sharp chirrup to the donkey caused it to ye!" canter ahead a liye.y rate, soon bringing tbe "Wa.ghl bad miners. Jealous of Stern Face storm-traveler to the spot whence came the because he has gold. 'T-ick him once, twice, curses. three times. Git lick ebbery time." And an exciting scene it was. "That's business! Glad my old donkey took With his back planted firmly against a rocky sides with you. She's a snort.er, i> my Doxy, <'liff single stalwart Indian, fighting off an' kin clean out ary crowd she tackles. SO a half-dozen able-bodied m en, with the simple give us yer P.aw, Injun, an' we'll be joggin' on aid of his clubbed rifie, while thA whites in ques-toward Deviltry, wherever that may be. My tion were trying to get at him with their hunt-name's Nobby Nick, right down from Nevada." ing-knives. The old Indian put out his hand, warmly. '! his, however, was hard to accomplish, as "Pale-face good,'' he said. "Stern Face rewas amply evidenced by a glance at three bleed-member Nick. Tell W tld Flower about him. ing figures that lay outstretched upon the white Good by." snow. "Good-by, Injunl Hang onto yer hair," A fourth assailant received a tremendous Nobby Nick replied, in his jolly way. blow beside tbe head, from the rifle of the In-Then he threw himself mto the saddle, and dian, just as the storm-traveler rode into view, Doxy cantered away down the stormy gulc h. and took a place not too gracefully beside those "White pale-face-true heart,'' Stern Face who had.gone beforA him. Said, watehing after the eccentric couple as they The man on the donkey drew rein at once, and. died from view. "Stern Face like. Tell Wild took a glance at the situation, as-if" sizing" the Flow'er; Wild Flowe r like him too. Make him crowd before taking a hand. presents, Watch over him-ugh I Nick hep One Injun-five whites," he mused, drawing good pale-face." a pair of glaaminp: revolvers from his belt, and. And thus the man from Nevada had formed cocking them. Good-looking Jnjun-whites. one fast friend. tough-lookin' customers, I'll drop my lines on the red spot, an' give the whites a chance to get a free passage to the next station after Life His arrival had been unnoticed but he sprung to the ground, and took hlS steed by the left ear in a patronizing manner. "Now, see here, Doxy; he said, solemnly, "I'm goin' fer to help clean out the white gang, and I want you t o take a hand also. Mind, if you earn 'em, it's a bushel of corn for you, when we strike Deviltry. The donkey was capable of understanding, evidently, for he shot away into the midst of the fight1 with a vicious squeal, and s u c h biting and ki ckmg as he did was a caution for the hu man race never to despise a donkey. Take n utterly by surprise, the whites were thrown into a st<\te of consternation, and what of their number did not get a dig from Doxy's heels, took leg bail for secrtrity. nearly fright ened out oE their wits. And of these there were but two, Doxy having made short work of the remaining three. The storm-traveler s ent a couple of random bullets after the fleeing roughs, then, with a chuckle, sauntered up to where his donkey was 'standing meekly before the Indian, wiggling it.a huge ears as if in pride over the victory of the battle. "Well, well, Doxy, you did right well, CHAPTER Il. DEVILTRY-BIJE GREEN'S TA.VERN, DEVILTRY! What a name for a place, and yet such w11.s the portentous appellation of the little mining town down in the heart of the Sierra N evadas, be tween two ranges of snow-ca"lped mo:mtains. The postal station, I believe, is called Surrey, but among the inhabitants, and for miles around, the town itself was called Deviltry. Why the title nobody seemed to know, unless it sprung from the fact that plenty of deviltry was always in session in the town. In a broad, deep gulch botto m nestled the scat tering shanties npon a sandy and rocky surface, some two hundred all told, only about two thirds of which were used for dwelling pur poses, and some of these were but mere hut.a and t".ents. Still, they answered the purpose of habitations better than none at all. A swift running stream, some twenty yards in width, rushed its channel in the center of the gulch, dividing the village into two parts. On the eastern shore was the main street where the stores, saloons, and business hoUlle& were located, together with a few dwelling!!; acrOPs the creek were more shanties and an oreo rill for refining quartz.

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Nobby Nick Nevacla. Of t h e business places were several stor es a half-dozen saloons, and Bije Green's Tavern. This large two-story log edifice was one of the landmarks of that particular region, having been built long before the discovery of gold caused a few sanguine mortals to start what was now the prosperou s town of D eviltry. Abijah Gree n had been the landlord from the start, and often remarked that it was his in tentio n to continue as long as the auriferous was found within' the lonesome precincts of Hard Pan Gulc h. The tavern of which Bijah was the ho s t was a monstrous affair for the far Western mining towns, having no end of rooms, and quee r out of-the-way clo sets up-stairs while the whole of. the one floor below was one great apartment, wherein was k ept a bar, a p ost-office-which by the way was partitioned off by itself, having a wicket opening into the main apartment; a dining-counter ranged along one side of the room, and the C'enter was occupi e d by chairs and tables. Mr. Bijah Gree n was a little m a n of only medium stature, with r emarkably thi n legs and wrinkled face end w o r e a perpetnally hungry expre ssion about hi s mout h M oreover, the end of bis nose was v ery red, bi s h ead w a s totally barren of hirsute v e g etation, and he wore The se fac ts, taken togethe r with bis pecuhar attire, which consisted of a long swallow-tailed coat, and a broad-brim battered plug hat, so large that it rested upo n his ears, gave hjm a most e c c entric appearanc e Bijah Gree n g enerally pres ided at the pos t office, and but little could eve r be of him except his superannuate d visage throug h the postal wind o w One r e ason this lay in the fact that Bijah was a m ost pitiable coward, and d are nQt circ ul ate about the town, for the roug h e r class of the r e sid ents learne d of his w eak ness, too k e v ery opportumty to annoy him in all sorts o f ridicul ous way. Mrs Bijah, however, was the man of the hous e literally speaking, for what she didn't ove rsee and boss did not need boss ing. Leaving Bijah to attend to the few duties d evolvi.J;Jg on a postmaste r at Deviltry, she ran the r es t of the estkblishm ent h e r s elf, with the assi stance of a couple of Chinamen, she generaily attending to the bar in rerso n A big strapping woman was Mrs. Bijeh Green, of som e two hundre d end fifty pounds' wei ght, with a superahundance of grit and musc l e a squarely molded red face, and red hair to match, and the r e w e r e those who avowe d that she c ould clean out two men in the town in a square stand-up li ght. The day following the s ce nes las t di-s c ribed, was but a continuation of the wild Novembe r storm. The wind had fallen a little at sunrise but the sno"' came down cease l essly all day. until, when darkness once more hovere d over the little settle ment, several fe e t of pure snow lay V;'<>n the surface of Mothe r Earth. I t was a quie t day in the p l ace. Placer mming was o u t of q u estioL, a n d only t h ose who had employment in the q uartz drifts made bol d to crawl forth to their work. Such h olidays were not every day, and the maj ority o f the idl e h a nd s and citize n s made Bijah O:reen's tavern their objective point, fo r Mrs. Bijah always kept a roaring fire m cold weather, and something eL5e of an excellent quality be hind the counter to warm the inner man. And the amount of beverage consu m ed on that snowy day was astonishing, yet the II}Otley crowd kept very good-natured, although 1t was noticeable that the y be gan to grow more boisterous .as the night drew on. Mrs. Bijah looked grim, t coka pair of s e rvice able r e volv ers from a dra)"er, and laid them upo n a shelf behind the bar. '!he crowd noted the movem ent, and the noise decreased for a time, but soon b egan to increase again. One of the l eading spirits of the gang, and one upon whom the liqui d spirits seemed to be having c o nsiderable effect, was a burly, broad shou ldered ruffian, who bore the title of Evil Eph-and an appropriaj;e handle i t was, for he was a swarthy, evil lo oking pilgrim, with long, unkempt black hair, and full beard t o match, while bis fac e was literally a mas s of seers. His attire too, was greasy and rough, and he was an unsavory appearing customer at the b est. "I t e ll ye. b yees, thar's no cussed use o' hev in' a spree 'thout y e h e v a spree, in rlead earnest," he y e ll e d clambering on top of a deal 1 able and swmging his ol.d hat a hove his head. So f etch along s o m e more mrnn e asylum ter drink, ol e elerfantl It's my treat this time, fer I fe e l's ef I c ould smash all creation inter pumice in a red-hot seckont." "See hyar I" Mrs. Bijah cried, in a peremp tory manne r "Jest y o u get down off that table or I ll cum over the r e an' pitch ye right plum out ov d oors, Eph Saunde rs! Ef ye want lick er, what I want is to see the tin afore I lose sight(;.>: the beverage. Whisky is whisky, nowadays. "Yas wha. t ain't water," growled Evil Eph. "Ef it hadn't bin fer the r wate r ye put in our tonick, o l d woman, me an' the r boys' d bin fat t e n e d up, ready fer con g r essme n or s enators, long ere this. Ef ye w ant mon e y, I'm yer huckle b erry! Hyar's a brick w e i ghin' twenty ounces-wu'th three hundre d an' twe nty d o llars, e f a c enj;. Giv e the r boyees sumthin' to drink, and h e sure an' giv e m e back the r chang-e. And taking a g o ld "bric k fro m bi s inn e r poc k et, t h e ruffi a n burle d it at M rs. Bi.jab's h ea d, regard k ss of what the c o nseque n c es might h ave b e en, had it reac h e d its intende d m ark. I But it did not, for tbA strong-arme d proprit> tress caught it grace fully, and slipp e d it qilitfl as gracefully into a stro ng-box, before she pro ce e ded to serve the drink-s. "I say burra f e r tber old w oman, Green." Evil Eph cried as he r ece iv e d hi s liquo r. Ef ye wasn't quite so old an' u g ly, Mrs. Bijab, cuss my boots e f I wouldn't break my n eck b u t what l'd ki s s y e " Oh! ye would, would ye, you disgusting brute Ii' Mrs. B ijah answHed, putting ber arms akimbo, and glaring at 'Saunders. "Oh I you human grizzly I Ef it wasn't fer leavin' ther bar unprotected, I'd j ump right over thar and mop the floor with you so I wo ul d I"

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Nobby Nick or Nevada.. Evil Eph w e ll kne w s h e n o v e r said the word she couldn't sus taill, s o h e backed off, wit h a muttered curse. Whereat a g e n eral laug h ensuerl which cut him to the qui c k "Hurra Evil Eph's bluffed down,'' cried one "Dursen't kiss Bije's old woman." H e s no sand,'' anothe r roug h r e marked. I 'll b e t a t e n-oun ce bric k h e dursen' t step up an' kis s any f emale in town. " You lie ; I durst,'' Eph roared, in a rage. "Hl go y eanot b erbrickyedursen't," a.second miner cried. "So e f you've got any sand, put up and we'll have some fun. The ruffian too k a glance a.round him, and saw that he either h a d to b etorfiunk, in whi c h latter case he fore v e r forfeited the regard of h is r o u g h companions So, drawing a walle t fro m his p oc k e t be counted out three h u n red and t wenty d ollars, in bill s and planked them on the tal>le. H e r e s the w orth o' two ten oun ce brick s w'ot says I kiss the first fema l e who a xes f e r m a il at the post-office ter-ni ght !" h e cried, determmation in lus tone. "Who h o l d s the r stakes!" "I will!" Mrs. Bijah cri e d. "It allus h e s bin prive l ege sin ce I run this shanty!" If ye please ma'am, you f a iled to m entio n the t I'm the propri11to1\" interposed Bi jab, thrustinr. his head throug h tne p ostal window. I 'll show y o u who owns the place if you don't get out of sight," r etorted Mrs. BiJab, seizing an empty b o t t le and hurling it at his head. "You kin prepare yourself for a good sound spankin', to-night, Bijah Green!" At this the crowd che ered, and Bijah became immediately invisible From the earliest days o f D eviltry Mrs. B1;JS.h Gree n had been the man" who h eld the stakes of all b e ts, b eca u s e she was square in dealing, no matter w h om she had to settle with. The stakes w ere a ccordingly depo sited in her keeping1 l\_nd Evil Eph sauntered about the room with the villainous smile of anticipation upon his face. The crowd, too, became less noisy, and kept a close watch l es t they should miss the impend-ing sport. Very f e-v w omen ever entered the tavern, and the f e w who d i d w e r e suc h as had no one to send for their m a il, which n ecessitated their coming for it in perso h. It was seldom, h owever, tha t t h 9y w ere off ered insult by the rough gang w ho freq u ented the tavern, for, rough thoug h those m e n w e r e the y s eemed to have some r esppc t for unprotected femininity. To-n ig h t ho weve r, the case was destined to be an exceptio n Half a n h our had n o t e l a p sed ere the door wns o pene d, a u d 'l. young maide n, with a shawl throw n partly o ve r h e r h oo d and should e r s entered tbe tavern, a nrl made her way toward the postal "'indovv, without noticing any of the men wh o were !oungin g about, awaiting t h e denou e m e nt. The young woman was s omewh e r e about seven tee n years of al'e In stature she was a trifle below the medmm bight of won1en, but round and plump as a peach, y e t light and gni.ceful of mov e m ent. !n face she was remarkably bright and pretty. with a fair, h ealth-tinted compl e xion, dancing blu e eyes abd g olde n hair, whieh flowed in fine gloss y ripples down over h e r s houlders. She was clad, however, in a plain calico dress, apron, and the shawl whic h covered the head and shoulders. A murmur ran through the crowd as she passed a c ross the fl oo r to the pos tal-window, and the interpretation of that murmur was the name--" Sandy Sue I" All e yes w ere instantly turne d toward Evil Epb, who was conv ersing with a mine r. H e saw the look, and w ell kne w wh a t was expected of him; a ccording l y (trod e up to the p ostal wi c k e t1 whe r e Sandy Sue was in the a c t u f inquiring r o r maiL "No tbar ain' t notbin' f e r y e, Mi ss .Sandy Sue ," the ruffian said, laying a hand familiarly upon h e r should e r. "But y e see as bow I've got suthin' f e r ye." "You somethin g f o r m e sir!' the said, turnmg about, and casting hi s hand quick ly fro m h e r shoulder. "Pray how come s it that anything of mine should be in your care!" "W aal, y e see gal, it ain't, exactly-not yet. but it's goin' to be. Y e s ee as how the r bo;rs made a b e t with me aboutsuthin' Tbatsutbin' was to ther eff ect that I Evil Epbl. ther Bold Lion o' the mines dursen't kiss ther nrst female woman who entered thei: post-offi s ter-night. I tuk the r bet and put up three hundred dollars an' ove r thet I could and w ould do it, -an' you bein' ther first g a l wh o's come in sinc e the r bet, it naterally falls ter yer lot ter be kissed So on course, y o u ll submit, an' not force m e ter steal whe n I kin git a thing in an h onest wav." "Ruffian!" She cried, indignantly, pushing him back, "do n t dare to touc h m e or I'll C'all for assistanc e !" "But thet won't do no good Ther's durned few in thls town as will take y e r partag'in'Evil Epb, an' you know it. S o the purties t thing -you kin do is ter pucker up yer lips an' l e t me kiss e m, an' earn my mone y. The n ye kin go, an' not till then. Come, now, give m e the smack, little one. It'll be all o v e r in a jiff y. "Never! you mise r able loafer-never! Stand back, and don't dare to lay a hand on m e Gentleme n! I appeal to you. Will you :.it there and see this bully insult a respectable woman?" "You bet your boots the y will Evil Eph de clare d with a horrible grin. "They're all a laffin' up their shirt-sl ee ve s a-tbinkin' I dursen't kiss you. But the y shall durned quic k find out. Ef ye won' t give m e a kiss my litt l e brick-top, then hy thunde r I'm the lad that's going to take it, 'thout l eave or lice nse. S o h e r e g oes-one, two three and a kiss, you see I And with a wild chuc kl e t h e roug h l eaped for ward and s e ized h e r i n his strong embrace hold ing h e r arms so sh e c o ul d n o t r es i s t. But. for all this, the p lucky girl struggled like a young tigress, a nd Saunde r s found the j o b of g etting the kiss w a s not s o easy as he an ticipate d, as it required all his efforts to keep her from breaking away. The crowd cheered vociferously and Evil Eph swore roundly. Help I h elp I" Sa11d shriekp,d.

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Nobby N ick ot Nevacla. ., "eirrse you I" the bully gritt.ed; some one gag her for me." But :t;10 one seemed to proffer this assistance. "Help! help! help!" Sue, again. "Ht>lp I will no one save met" "No, thar won't, an' I'll cut yer cussed weas and, soon"s I kin git hold o' my knife," the ruffian raved. A wild shout and a clatter of hoofs was at this instant heard without the tavern, while the inmates of t .be bar-room sprung to their feet, with startled glances. Then th.re came a tremendous crash, and a donkey and its venturesome rider came through one of the front windows and landed half-way in the middle of tbe bar-room. It ell occurred in an as it were, and when the astonished i;poota.tors natl time to col lect their scattered senses, they saw a young man astride a scrawny donkey1 with a pa.fr of cocked sixshooters leveled straight upon E-il Eph. "That's quite sufficient, my presuming friend," the new-comer in a slow but .re solute tone. I'll bother you to release that young woman, whoever she may be, "nd let her go her way." "I'll be cussed ef I will," Evil Rph growled, holding his victim tightly, "I've > ; .,, wager up that I'd kiss the first gal who Imm to ther post-offis to-night, an' I'm goin' ter do it." "No, you are not. If you Clare to pollute that young lady's lips against her will, I'll agree you won't be able to munch your buffalo-meat to morrow-not if I'm any judge. Release her in stantly, or, as sure as my n11.me is Nubby Nick of Nevada, I'll let candle-light through your cowardly carcass!" Eph looked the young stranger straight in the eye, and saw that he meant business; then he released Sue, with a baffled oath. Glad to escape, the terrified girl turned and fled from the tavern. After she had gone, Nobby Nick dismounted. "And, now, by the way," he s::iid, brushing llhe snow from his long wolfskin overcoat, "if I have ruflled any one's feelings by this little pro ceeding, I am ready to render satisfaction by, the car-load I" CHAPTER III. A NEV ADIAN'S PROWESS. HAD a meteor fallen down in the bar-room of Bije Green's tavern it probably woul d not have caused a greater state of confusion than did the arrival of Nobby Nick of Nevada. Not but what as cool and daring men as he appeared to be had walked the planks in the floor of the old ta. vern-not that tllese rude and lawless men of Deviltry were inclined to be bluffed by a single man, but there was an inex plicable something in the of the young stranger, added to the reports of his darmg deeds, wbich had reached the town long be fore him, which caused the crowd to gaze on him in some awe. Nobby Nick was a stalwart young fellow, of handsome limb and well-developed body, and was lithe and agile as a panther .Ubis move ments. I n years he did not appear to be over twenty, for his face was fresh and youthful in its expressionrthough indic ating much {irmness Eyes of midmght black, hair of the color of the raven's wing, in c l ose-clinging cmls about bis head, and a smoot h, handsome face, and yo11 had the photograph of Nobby Nick, except his costume, which consisted of a pair of buckskin breeches and a fringed hunting-shirt, top boots, slouch hat pinned up on the left side, and a. heavy wolf-skin overc>oat, witr tbe furry side out. A ligbt sporting rifle slung at his back, and the pair of revolvers, constituted his weapons A murmur of astonishmeht esceped the crowd at the NPvadian's bold challenge, and hands were laid upon the hilts of weap<..ns by a majority of the spectators. "Oh I that's right," Nick said, noting the movement; "I me: n business, and am gfad to see that you are not inclined to be facetious. Perhaps my precipitate entrance into this Bacchanalian sanetuary has given offense ro somebody, and if so, 1m ready to fight, drink, or gamble with the offended one, as to whichever direction his inclinations may lead. Fight can I from sunris e to sunset, on an empty stomach, when occasion demands; drink can I all tbe prime old liquid of nature you will furnish-pure and sparkling water; gamble will I with a n y pilgrim here in any way, shape, or manner, for any amount from a niGkel to fifty or a hundred thournnrl dollars. And that's my lay-out, right fresh from old Nevada. I'm a prize package, I am, and if any one wants to invest, let him amble forward at once, or forever afterward hold his peace." And with an air of utter unconcern. the young stranger folded his arms across his breast and stood gazing around. A hush pervaded the room; then one by one the miners dropped into chairs, or formed into httle knots, and conversed in smothered tonEs. Full five m inutes Nobby Nick m11intained his attitude; then seeing no motion was made to ward hostilities, he took off his coat and hung it up on a nail in the wall. Acting upon this as a fact that they wera ro remain, the donkey betook himself to a comfortable position near the fire-place, and squatted upon his haunches dogfashion, and closed his eyes wearily. The move elicited a laugh from several of th& bystanders, but not from Mrs Bijah Green, wh() sailed out froi:n behind her bar, in high dud geon ''See heer, young feller, d'ya know what I want ye to do?" she exclaimed, striding up to Nobby N1Gk, -and shaking her formidable under his nose. "D'ye know what you've got to do, or git lickec'. by a puppy?" "Well, no, grandmotbP.r," replied Nick gaz. inf. at her with a smile; "I can't say as I do." 'Well, I'll inform you then," Mn:. Bijah de clared, witll arms akimho. '' You kin jest fork over a fifty-dollar note for breakin' tbet windy, yonder-ten dollars for cleanin' up ther muss, an' fifteen dollars fer disgracin' my place by b ringin' a mule into it. An' what's more, yt jest lead that animal right straigbt out-doors, or I'll m ighty quick do it for ye." "Pshaw! you wouldn't be so cruel as thatl'

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Nobby Nick or Nevada. Nick said, ooa.xing l y. Doxy he enjoys a fire just as well a s you or I." "Can't. help that. I won't have no nasty mule iD. my hotel-no, sir-ool" "Ohl so this is a hotel, is it?" 11 On course it is." "How much d 'ye charge a day, then? "Five dollars-cash in advanc e, afore ye git a mouthful." "All right. H ere's ten dollars for myself and my donkey. A loaf of bread, a pie a few potatoes and some cheese will answer for Doxy, while a little rare antelope steak will answe r ma." "But I won't have no mule in my establish ment, I say!" vo cifemted M:rs. Bijab. "But, I sa y y es, Nick p e r s isted. "Where I stay that donkey always stays t-00, and I'm going to put up here to-night. So if you don't want Doxy to remain, you'll have to speak to him about it. "See h e r e old WOJilan, ef ye want thet mule put out, I'll do it fer y e interposed Evil Eph, coming forward, 11 an' ail I'll ax ye is a drink o' bee nz een." ."You put the critter out, and I'll give ye the whisky," Mrs. Bij a h a ssented. "I'll treat the crowd if the bumme r is success ful,') called out Nobby Nic k, v aulting to a seat on one end qf the bar, and lighting a cigar. 11 I'll allow he'll earn his bitters, for once in his' life." Evil Epb evidently did not think so. Doxy still squatted dog-fashion near the fire aP.par e nt'ly fast aslee p for his ears no longe r vibrated bac k and forth-and a truly laughable picture h e made and on e not encountered every day. Securing a strong lariat, Evi!Eph forme d on e e nd into a noose, and the n, rope in hand, he c r ept stealthily toward the s eemingly uns uspe c ting donk e y H e had gained a positio n within ten f eet of the anima l wh e n, all of a sudde n, D oxy sprung upon all four f ee t, ope n e d his mouth wide, and gave v ent to an ear-splitting scream-tha t startle d Evil Eph and frightened him nearly out of bis wits The n ext instant Doxy made for him, with glaring eyes and distende d jaws, the v ery pic -ture of fury incarnate. The spectators sprung from their seats and rushed bac k with cries of consternation, while, with a horrifi e d y e ll, Evil Eph bounde d toward the broke n window. Luckily for him, he gained the opening first, and leaped out into the snowy night, a frenzied howl of terror pealiug from his lips, for h e ex the infuriated beas t to foll o w h i m. But in this h e was agreeably mistaken. Doxy only gave chase to the broke n window, evidently content with s caring the ruffian from the tavern; and giving two loud, triumphant brays through the open case m ent, he returned demurely to the position he had first occupied, and apparently w ent off into a doze again. Nobby Nick sat upon the bar, nearly con vuls'ed with laughter while the larger portion the orowd seemed disposed to regard the af-fair g_ood-naturedly. wen, granny, what d'Ye think about p utting the mule ou t?" he inquired, dryl y. "Looks as ef the donk knew his biZ a l ootle better'n any of you don't it'!" "Ob! you miserabl e blackleg-you scamp!" Mrs. Bijah cried, stamping her foot, in a rage. "I'll even with you yet, mark my word! I'll skin,you the first chance I "Be mild, my dear, be mild, came the sepul chral voice of Bijah, from the postal window. "Oh yes! I'll be mild with you when I catch you," Mrs. Btjah scree ched. "Now l ookee b ee r young feller, my name is Abbicai Green, an' I'm the proprietress and boss o' this taverI\ as e v ery one kno ws, an'" "Tain't so-I'm the proprietor," squeaked Bijah from the offic e . W ill you shut up I" y e lled Mrs. Bijah, hurl ing a poker toward the window of the U. S. de partment. "I'll see who's boss. As I was saym'. youn!\: fellow, either you r emove that long eared critter from my estaillishment, or you don't g e t n ary a mouthful o' vittles. Now take y e r c hoice." "We ll, as I had supper down at a miner's cabin b e low here I'm not at all hungry, and so c h o ose to l e t the d onkey r emain undisturbed," Nic k a n swe r e d with provoking calmnes s He the n dismounted from his p eroj:t on the bar, a n d e ns conce d himself in a c o rhfortabl!' chair beside the donke y, aud bflgan the perusal of a n e w spape r which h e pulled from a breast p oc k e t. The crowd findin g the fun" over resumed their various games and e v e D .Mrs Bijah see m e d unwilliug-to disturb the p e a ce And by a nd by the N evadian's chin dropped forward upo n his breas t and the n h eavy breathing pronounc ed him to b e a s l ee p Evil Eph now r ejoined the crowd, but took care t o keep at a safe distance frQJll the donkey. Eph and some of his b oo n companions cast grum glance s at the sleeper as he r e posed com poser!ly-in his chair. Wearie d by l ong and tedious rides N obby Nick did n o t find it muc h trouble to s leep, even .in so noisy a place as Bije Green's tavern, and he was in the midst of a pleasant dream when a loud bray from the d onkey brought him to his f eet qui c k as a flashbhis r e volv e r s in his grasp. And the cause o f oxy' s signal of alarm became apparent to him at a g litn ce . A score or more of t h e mos t ruffianly-looking inmates of the bar-room, head erl by Evil Eph, were drawn up in linfl b e f o r e him. and the man Eph was armed with a grappling h oo k fastened to th e en
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Nobb;:v Nick or Nevada.. B ut ye don't understand," Saunders replied, grutny. ''Ye soo, some of the mining dee strict.s hyar in tber Sierras o' late hev been hevin' heaps o' trouble wi' a skulkin' assassin who claims to be an avenger, 8lld calls bisself Grim Goblin. He spots out a town an' ef it suits bis notion, be goes ter picki:q.' off ther citi zens one at a time, like as ef it was no more ac count than sbutin' buzzards. '<.:J.'he thing's run along more'n a year now, an' it's gittin' high tin1e suthin' was did. All sorts o' traps has been set fer him, an' yet be ain't never bin caught, till now, an' now we reckon as how we've got him." "Pshaw, you don't mean to tell me you've r eally caught the jest what we allow, pardner, an' you're tbe man." "What! I the cut-throat, Gritn Goblin!" "Perzactly. Me an' tber boys bes put this an' that tergether,. an' them's tber facts we've riv' at, you bet." "Well, well, you've made a most positive blunder, that's certain. Why, ola man, I never even heard of this Avenger, until I struck the mining-camp called Hard Pan, 11couple of weeks ago. "Get out! It won't be no use fer you ter lie, fe r we're convinced that you're our man; an' won1t cut out any more white men's hearts." When I surrender as Grim Goblin the Avenger, whic h I swear I am not, it will be when my weapons have lost their powers of ready speech!" Nobby Nick retorted, in ringing tones. "So if you want me, come along, and I'll make more than one deg of you bite the dust before you get me." Iuvoluntarily the men fell back a pace, and exchanged glances. I allow we better wait till we can nab him, unawares," one of the gang suggested, "or else give up takin' him alive, an' sboot him on the spot." "No. We want bim alive or not at all," Saunders snorted. ""\Ve'll cut out his durned heart like be did Jim Granger's up at Hard Pan. Ef ye're all afeard, I ain't, not by a long shot. Providin' he'll agree not to use no weapons, 'cept natteral ones, I'm the very lad as can sail right in an' <'apter him, an' hev him bound hand an' foot inside o' five minits." "That hits me right away," Nobby Nick re sponded with a smilmg face Providin' it's a distinct and honorabl e understandin' that I use no wennons. you use no weapons, nor the crowd ofl'er any interference, I'll give you all the chance yvu can get to takA me a or lick me-you to take whatever knocks you get, all in 11:ood part. If you succeed in capturing me, you can take me out to the nearest tree, and me up. If you get worsted, I'll extend a standing invitation for the rest of the crowd to step in anrl fill your place, one at a time. Is t h is a fair offer!" "Waal, I ooine it'll boys?" Evil Eph chuckled. "Ef I can't take the cuss tbar's en u ff of us to tire him out. But I'm the bold bully o' th<' mines w'ot kin lay him' on his back before "{e kin count a hundred. So we all agree fair an squar' ter yer proposition, young fe ll er. Eh boys-ain't it so!" Ay! ayt" wastbe r espo nse, to a man. "You hear D oxy," Nic k said, turning to tba donk ey. I'm 3 oin' ter clean out this un heal thy crowd. So ef ye see 'em pitch or.to me faste r than that, or see any pilgrim' draw a weapo n jest you sai l in and make tbti fur fly D'ye mind now?" The sagacious animal actually n odded h is head, and gave vent to an affirmative bray, as Nick began to strip. With a pleasant expression upon his face, and tbe utmost apparent unconcern, the ;roung pil grim from Nevp.cla threw off Jacket and shirt, removed bis boots, and stood ready for tha struggle. More than one murmur of astonishment es caped the crowd ns the y gazed upon his broad knotted trunk, with its deep chest, and upon his trim clean arms and their tremendous muscu lar developm ent. No man was there in the crowd who could boast of such a pair of arms. Evil Eph did not strip, but spat upon his hands, and gave vent to a gruff l augh. "Now, ef ye ever did see any fun, an' wanter see sumthin' ter dubblil discount iJ!i '.jest watch me sail in an' gobble up ther Grii\l uoblin. Ohl I'll show ye sumthin' great!" he cried, with a ugly grin of anticipation. Then. in a half-squatting posture, ho stole stealthily forward toward Nevada Nick, with a cat-like tread, and a sinister gl}tter in his blood shot eye which well befitted his evil name. Nearer and nearer he crept, and Nobby Nick stood with coolly folded arms, watching him sharply with his eagle eyes. Never a move be made until Evil Eph was but little more than an arm's length awaywhen, with lightning quickness, he dropped o n his knees, seized tbe ruffian by the ankles and jerked him down to the floor. As Evil Eph went down the young athlete regained his feet, still grasping his adversary's ankles, and then, by the wond erful power of his knotted arms, he began to swing the ruffian around and around, above his own head. Around and around the bully was swung b;r the .heels, then the athlete suddenly let iro his grasp, and Saunders went flying to the further end of the bar-room1 where he struck against the wall with cru shing rorce. CHAPTER IV. GRIM GOBLIN'S NOTICE. A WILD shout of consternation went up from the crowd, for Evil Eph rolled out u pon the floor, a senseless mass of crushed and bleeding humanity. While with folded arrus, the_young gladiator stood firmly erect, with h is right fo9t apace, a faint flush upon his cheeks, a steadfastunwaveriug gleam in his dark eyes. "One!" he calmly. "What rare o l d the 1uffian mad e by me! I s therP a substitute for me t-0 play with?' "Hurrah!" one of the miners shouted. "Hee r comes Colonel Bill Travers, the famous fightin' cockolorum of the Sierras! He' ll cut yer spurfl !er ye, you young bantam."

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10 Nobby Nick of Nevada. "All right; trot forward your royal r oo ster, and l et m e g et a squint at him," Ni ck replied, eage rl y . The entrance of a bro ad-shouldered, w e ll proportioned six--footer had occa s ioned the shout of the miner, and the new-com e r came quickly forward. Rather a handsome man was the colonel, as compared with hi s r ough comrade3, for he boasted of a full round face a c lear, deadly eye and long bla c k h air whi c h f e ll b e low his shoul ders. His mustac h e too, f airly touch e d his breast, and gave him a decidedly brigandish ap pearance. "Well, what's the row here!" he d e manded, pausine: and surveying the scene with a flashing eye. (Who's hurt!'' "Evil Eph has got the first dose," a roug h by name of Alaska Joe r e plied. Ye see, the chap yonder he's ready ter lick the r hull crowd ef they come f e r him without w eapo ns, one at a time. So Eph sailed in an' yond e r be lays, tee totally smas h ed up. The Grim Goblin jest slung him un ag'in' the wall lik e as ef he wasn't nothin' more'n a muskra t by thunder!" "The Grim Goblin!" C o lonel Bill ejac ulated, with a black scowl. "Yas-that's him, yonder, wi'out any shirt on. He sail e d in h ee r t e r-night, a-callin' his jags Nobby Nick, or somethin' o' the kind, an' the boys put this an' that tergether, an' w e made up our minds that he was ther Avenger. So we jest told him ter surrender, an' he showed fight. but sed if ary man in the r town could take him single-handed, without usin' weapons, he was willin' ter be tuk." "Oho I So this bold assassin has come down to dare us, eh!'' Travers growled. ".By my soul, he has a hanged sight of assurance. But he must not es c ape, now that we have him I" "Whe n you g e t him, I wouldn't l et him escape, if I were you," sugge sted Ni ck, with a sarcastic laugh. For if you are in search of Grim Gob lin, you will have to look furthe r as I am not your man." "That's n o t for me to say," Travers replied. "The boys her e hav e be e n the jury, and render ed a verdic t. All b e in g sensible fellows, I dare sax it is as they have dec ided." 'Ob w ellj h a v e it to suit you," thaman from Nevada r e plied. "Grim Goblin, or no Grim Goblin, if you want me your chance is op e n to com e and take m e and I'll venture to agree tha t you'll earn all o f me that you can g et, if you com e for m e f a irly, on e at a time." Travers uttered an oath. "Cuss m e e f 7 o u ain't got plenty of gall," h e muttered. "E ye meant that fer a chall enge -young m 'l n, I a c c ept. Er ye have cleanOO. out one o tbe best fightin'-m e n in the town, you ain't cleaned out the b es t, by a lon g shot." Off came the coat of the fighting man of the Sierras and up w ent his s leeves, exposing a finely contoured pair of arms. "Re a dy," the colonel oried, promptly, a mo ment later. And steo.oin!!: he aimed a sudd e n well directed blow at Ni k's faoo. But, w e ll aimed thou!!;b iit was, it was as neatly parried; at thA same instant the Nevadian got in a slap upon the .flgbl:lng man's jaw which made his teeth chatter, and elicited a giggle fro111 not a f e w of the spectators. Box one t" called out Nick, tauntingly. Travers uttered a smothere d curS'3. but stood his ground .. nd aimed his blows thick and fast1 and m a way which showed that this was not his first fight. But it was his fir s t attempt at boxing with such a man as this from the districts of N evada, for, while Nobby Ni c k received not the first bruise the colonel's fac e began to a ssume many of the diff e r ent sh a d es of the rainbow, and blood was visible in more than one place Nor was the young gladiator in tbe least con c erned, apparently, seeming to put in bis blows in a m ec hanical sort of way, with the utmost sangfroid. N o t so with the Fighting Man of the Sierras. Infuriated over his defeat at every move, he lookAd more like an enraged wild beast than a. human, as h e made lung e after lunge only to his further personal injury. cuss yet cuss y e !" he bowled, spitting blood from between his swoll e n lips "Give me a. knife, som ebody-a knife I say!" "The one V7ho draws a btlfe might as well go speak for bis coffin!" Nick said, sternly. "And as for you, my friend, a knife would not avail you!" Even as he spoke, the Nevadian leaped forward, and seizing his antagonist by the throat and belt, raised him high above his head by the marv<'lous strength of his iron-like Then, stepping forward to the front of the building, h e hurled the colon e l from him with all his strength, and be went crashing through a window, carrying sash and all out into the stormy Nov ember night. Turning, this wondrous native of Nevada walke d back t o his first position and folded his arms serenely across his breast, not betraying the l east excitement or fatigue even in his breathing. "Next!" he call e d, glancing at the c1ock above the bar. Don't keep the audience waiting." But the next man did not appear. Evident it was that courage was the thing Jacking at thiR prec ise moment. I reck o n none of us want a bite, pilgrimt .Ala ska J oe responded, scratching his h eaa, "le a s twi se them's my sentiments, and I allow the r es t o' the cr owd is about the same way o' my thinkin'. Y o u 're ther toug h es t m eat w'ot eve r struc k this town or I'm a fu'st-class liar." "Well, if y o u are all of a di s po sitio p to'mind your own busines s, why all right. If, how ever, any o f you h as got an itc-hing to sail in and wipe m e on t, I m still open for bus in e ss, was Nick's satisfaC'tory assurance "No on e anxious eh? Well, then, if the land lady c a n accommodate m e with a r oo m, I think I'll r etire, as I'm mo s t d e u cedly drowsy from riding all day in the wind. B y tbe way, if y our feelin gs are .humane toward those f e ll ows who attempted to play with me to-ni g ht, I'd advise you to scra{le together what's saving of them, and carry it to a doctor. He maybe able Vi use it in hP.half of science, if nothirur more. Hat ha! hal"

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N"bhy Nick of Nevada. ll Then, bis apparel which b e bad re moved at the commencement of the struggle, be followed Mrs. Bijab Green up-stairs-for the good hc.stess bad come to the wise conclusion that the gent from Nevada was a customer who was in the habit of having bis own way, and the likeliest thing she could do was humor him When they arrived at the bead of th stairs, however, she turned, facing him, and Rhook a long bony finger admonishingly in face. "See beer, young feller, et's all very plain. You're right pert, an' as ?ood as yer ekal, enny day," she r:.aid grimly, but you jest take the advice of an old woman who knows a few things, and keep yer watch eye open. Ef ye don't, tbar's them byar in Deviltry who'll make it snug fer you, when ye ain't on yer guard. 'Sh l mum's the word. Life's cheap, heerahouts, sometimes I" About this same hour, the weekly mail was nearing Deviltry. Once a week was as often as the citizens of the little min"ng towns in the Sierras bad communication with the outside, and in all probability this would not have been afforded them, had not pious Pete Travers started a Pony Express and mail route, charging a smart per cent. on all matter to pay him for bis trouble. A slow, ea.y-going mortal was Pete, who bad never been known to swear lie, drink or steal, nor to harm even a fly, and he bad the entire confidence of every one, and jogged along into Deviltry every Thursday, as regular as Thurs daycame, and jogged out again on Friday, bringing in mail and taking out mail for ten cents apieceheach letter or package. To-night e rode down through the snowy gulch upon bis stont, able-bodied horse, not in the best of spirits, de5\)ite the fact that be was considered extremly pious. The snow bad delayed him badly, and where he should have reached Deviltry in the morning, be found himself still a round dozen miles from his destination at eleven o'clock at night. "Drat the snow l G'lang, Dobbin!" he growl ed occasionally, casting an eye at bis surroundings suspiciously. Et's high time we wa.q ter town, for these mountings have a pesky bad reputation, they say. More n one man's bin robbed beer. Goodness kno'.WS how many rob bers may be layin' for !Jle, anywbere's along beer." The thought seemed to make him nervous, for 'ie urged bis steed into a gallop, something, by the way, quite unusual with him. bis cheek;, and opened bJs eyes to bebold a tall form standing bebide him, entirely wrapped ill a black gown, which covered the face and bead as well as the body, with the exception of a slit to breathe through, and a pair of eye-holes. This uncanny object held a rifle m its grasp1 And it was the muzzle of this which toucbea Pious Peter's cheek, and sent chill after chill of t.error coursing down his spinal column. "Stop your y e lling," the figure said, "or you shall die like a dog I" "Ohl yes, yes, yes-I'll stop-I'll beg-I'll beg,'' Peter declared, with chattering teeth. "Don't shoot, an' I'll do anything you a sk." "You are wise. I am one who always am obeyed. I am Grim Goblin, the Avenger." "Ohl good Heavingsl" Peter gasped-" obt obi" "Silence I" the Avenge r ordered, sternly. "You need have no fear that I shall bm t you if you do as I direct. See, here is a roll of papers," and as be spoke be drew a roll from beneath his cloak, and cast the m upon P eter's breast. Ttey are posters or placards printed in blood of mine enemies. Take them; mount your horse, and pursue your journey. Y o u will arrive in the town of Deviltry at tbe dead of night. When you get there I want you to post one of these posters upon the door of every saloon in the place. You can do this with out being ob served, and at the same tim1l oblige me. Promiso me faithfully to do this, and I will let you go. Refuse, and I'll blow your brains out where you lay." "Ohl Lordy a'migbty, yes-I promise-I promise anything," Peter gaSped-, wildly. Very well; I'll learn if you have done my bidding," Grim Gobhn said, "and if you have not it won't be many days before you'll be a riJ?:l subject for a funeral." 'Then, with a wild laugh be bounded away, and ere Peter had regained bis feet had disap peared from view. It is unnecessary to add that the pious mail man did not pause to make any particular search for his visitor. Instead, he gained his saddle as quickly as pos sibl e, put spurs to bis animal, and tore madly away down the gulch. N eitber right nor left did he look until the lit tle camp hove in and then he uttered a prayer of tbanksgivrng for bis escape. When the town awoke the following morning, upon the door of every saloon and gambling bouse, Bijah Green's tavern included, was tack ed a sheet of paper, inscribed in red ink or blood, of which the following is a fac-simile: "S'posin' s ome o' the pesky rascals should git it into their bends that I've got money aboard NOTICE. to-nkjyj' ht?" was his next tbouglit. "I s'pose I'd g "Take warning all ye sinners of be ed and scalped right here." .be camp called Deviltry, for Grim Tbe words in thought bad scarcely occurred Goblin, the Avenger. is in your midst, to him wh e n he dashed into a dark shadow cast and death sball follow where this bor,110 was hurled back upon bis haunches so sudh a nds are d_yed m blood or Innocent by overhanging r ocks and the next instant bis notice is posted-:--deat h to all whose denly Pious Peter found himself keeling GIWl GosLllf, backward mto the snow. ".A ,, Frightened nearly out of bis wits, be made no f!enger. att.empt to arise but lay upon his back in tha I Such was the notice that was read and re-read mow and yelled' at the top of bis lungs for asby startled groups, and sent a thrill of terror t-0 11istance, untilmany a miner's beart. Until he felt something -0f icy coldness touch It wasn't an hour befo"l'e the town was thor

PAGE 13

II Nick otNevada. oughly aroused, and the street filled with an ex-men of the t;own never lost sight of him, as he cited populace wqo came to read for themselves could see them following, whenever be looked the terrible warning of the Avenger, a being back. They were hardly ever the same men whose very name was an i.l.1-omen in more than when hl) looked, but this did not deceive him ht one of the Sierra Nevadamiuing districts. the fact that he was watched. Nobby Nick came down from bis room, look-But Nick did not take the matter to heart as ing fresh and wide-awake after his night's remany would have done under the circumstances. pose, and took a look at the posters, while he Instead, he sauntered leisurely about the settle smoked a cigar. ment, puffing away at a cigar and inspecting "I must see if I can't trap this Grim Goblin," everything of interest as he went. he muttered, more to himself than for other In the early part of morn, just before dawn, ears. 'He'd be quite a prize to capture. I one of those sudden bad taken place wonder if a reward bas been offered for him!" which are peculiar to this particular region. "You bet thar has, young feller," a voice at The mercury bad risen rapidly, and the Rnow his elbow said, and be turned to behold storm turned into a drenching rain, which by near him a little dried-up specimen of bumam-day-dawn bad cleared the valley of its winding ty, bow-legged and humpbacked, a!id positively sheet of white. ugly of being, Then the sun rose warmly above. the moun with stubby beard, long iron-gray hair and a iain-tops, and tre air was balmy like an-Indian game eye, who might or might not have been su=er day. The miners went to work on the pronounced a human, according to the peculiar placer claims, and a scene of general activity ideas of the observer. "You b e t thar has, my was everywhere. larky," this shriveled-up individual continued, One thing rather puzzled Nobby Nick. He with a grimace, "an' you kin bet also thet could neither hear nor see anything of the two 'spicion ain't cl'ar from yer shoulders, yet. men he had disposed of so effectually the pre. They've got an eye on ye, bev ther people, vious evening. They were not abroad, that was watchin' fer somethm' tar confirm the 'spicion. c&tain, nor did any one seem to know of their Why, you didn't know et, my boy, but, 'twixt whereabouts, for inquires were general. you an' I yer room was gnarclad all .last night." During the course of his rambles he crossed "Pshaw, you don't mean it!" Nick exclaimed, the narrow foot-bridge that bad been built over re?.arding tbe old with a smile. the stream from bauk to bank, and was strolling 'Yas I do, sure's my name's Old Porcu'pinl'I, along the opposite shore when he beard a foot an' I'm a sinner. Ob I ye'd better keep yer step and felt a bai;id laid softly upon his arm. peepers on 'em, fer they're bitte r toward Turning, he beheld the maiden to whose rescue that is, the tougher class. Another thing while he had come the previous evel'.liug at the tavern. I'm tellin' ye, ye'd better uot venture out o' She was attired in a pretty pink calico dress, sie:ht till they are convinced who ye be." witlf b\aded slippers upon her feet, and wore ''And why not!" her hair in a rippling wave down over her "Because I've h earn it sed thet ye couldn't shoulders. leave tha villa<;e alive, till et was fairly proven And v ery pretty she look .id with the sunlight you weren't Grim Goblin." resting warmly upon her pretty face. Oho! so this is the lay, eh!" Nick said "I was told that you were the gentleman whQ scratching his head. "We ll I'm much oblil}"ed came so bravely to my rescue last night," she for the warning, uncle. What's yer handle!' said, flushing with besitd.tiou, "and I came to "Old Porcupina at yer sarvice ," the old man thank you for you r bra"Ve act. I trust I am not said, doffing his hat. "Ye see as bow I ke e ps bold for so presuming to address you.'.' the bank a cross the bridge ou 'tother side the Most a ssuredly not," Nick replied, strearn--'-me au' my 'dopted darter, Sue. Et bis hat gallantly. "Indeed, I was just mediwas Sue ye reskied from the miserable rough, tating ou calling on you, and thanking you for Evil Eph." the opportunity afffir-ded me to save so pretty a "Oh! it was?" with a stare of surprise; young lady from "Yas, an' she sed as how I should tell ye she "Pshaw! you are!linclined to flattery," Sandy was mighty thankful to ye. I must be goiu' Sue said. That i s out of place, as I am not now, or the folks 'cuse m e o' connivin' wi' ye. even good looking; and I should th.ink you Good-day to ye! Keep yer eye out. Ef ye would hate me for you into trouble." haRpen 'cross stream, drap iu." "Hal ha! that's notbing. I'm always in I dare say I shall," Nick muttered, as the trouble with some one," Nick replied, smilmgly. little old man limpe d away. "But I shall keep "Ten to one if I hadn't heard your appeal for my eyes about me, all the same accordin' to assistance, I should have made ml entree to the your advice. If this is a nest of hornets they'll tavern in the same way I did, as have a pecuftnd they have the additio11of a bumble-bee, I liar idea that dashing aud independent first immaybe. __ pressions rule the day." "Perhaps; but, even though you may deem CHAPTER V. yourself safe, you had best look out." Sue warned, candidly. "You are feared by the majority of the citizens of the camp as a bold bravo while the suspicion that you are the dread scourge, Grim Goblin, cause s the people to re gard you with aversion. You are watched at evyry turn, and should the least thing arille to eonflrm this suspicion, it would not be au hour DOGGED FOOTSTEPS. As tne day progres'led, and he sauntered about the little mining town, Nobby Nick be came more fully aware that he was the center of observation for all eyes-and another thing Qid not escape his keen notice: One or more

PAGE 14

Nobby lllck of NeT&da. 18 ere the whole populace would be turned into a mob." "With yourself included?" he queried. "No, indeed! I'll stick by you. When others are bitter against you, I shall defend you!" "Then you do not believe me to be the avengerP' "No. You have tvo honest a face." "I thank you for your Nick said, warmly. Things do begin to 10ok rather squally for me, but I allow I'll wriggle out somP how. One thing is certain-if they take NobbT. Nick alive1 have to do it when he don t know anyming about it." "'Sh! Talk lower," Sue said, looking straight in his face. "Don't look around yet. By and by glance carelessly toward the b1idge. You will see two men there Jeaning on the railing." "Well-1" "The;ybave been shaking their fists at me as a warnmg that I bave no business to talk with you. If I J>rovoke them it may be the won:e for us both, so I will bid. you good-day." Good-day I Accept my sincere thanks for your interest in my behalf, for I feel I have in you at least one friend among a host of foes. Shall I see you again1 " When comes, and I can do so safely. I will find you,' Sandy Sue replied. Then, with a nod, she crossed tbe street and entered a well-built log cabin, over the door of which there was a little sign bearing the inscrip tion: "JOHN FALCONER, BANKER AND BROKER." "Falconer," Nick muttered, reading the sign and then turning and retracing his steps toward the That must be the name of my young friend." The two red-shirted, stogy-booted miners who had been lounging on the bridge also turned toward thti other side of the stream, when they saw Nick coming, but be bailed them in an authoritative tone. "Hello! slow up there a bit," be said, com mandingly, whereat they paused, hesitatingly. "What's your hurrf.1 I want to see you!" "W aal, what dye want?" oue of the pair demanded, gnlffly. "Reckon ye don't know us!" "An' I reckon 1 haven't any particular hank erin' after yer acquaintance, either," the Neva dian retorted, with n provoking laugh. "But I'd like to inquire what satisfaction you get from dogging my footsteps!" "We ain't bin doin' notbin' o' the sort." You lie I My movements are under constant surveillance, and you were watching me while I conversed with the young lady back yonder." "Et don't matter. ThPm's our orders, an' we've got ter stick by 'em," the second man ad mitted, "an' ef. you don t like 'em, why ye can chaw 'em." "I'll chaw you, if you gfre me mu<'h of your tongue," the champion r epli<> l Mys is ia w. bvar-abouts, an' thar Mu't no man, woman or child as'll say he ain't boss. You'll find it out, too, when he gits ready; to square up accountB with you." "So be hasn't got enough yet, ehP' "Guess not. A broken arm an' a smashed head won't bother tber colonel much, an' ef ye want any Jetterin' done on yer tombstone, ye'd better let out fuer job, ter oncet." "Many thanks for your unselfish advice," Nick r etorted. "When I need a tombstone I'll have time to import one from tbe East. March along, now, before I am seized with a notion t.o tumble you over into the river." The men obeyed without urging, for neither, after what they bad seen of the Nevadian's prowess1 cared to court a scrimmage with him. Nick rollowed them back to the tavern, which be entered, and sought his room. To his surprise, be found the door unlocked, and on entering found that bis apartment had another occupant than himself. Not a man, but a woman,_young and pretty, dres.<;ed in men's clothing-top boot.s, breeches, vest, white shirt and tie; jaunty jacket, plumed sloucli bat, all complete. She was seat.)
PAGE 15

N obb;r Nick of Nevada. me in a emoke. I haven't an extra one myself. I see you've got yourself in an unenvia ble situa tion since your arrival h ere." "If so, I am quite able to get myself out," Nick ret.orted, not alt.ogether pleased with the " of his visitor. Don't be so sure about that. I have reason to have serious doubts of your ever getting out of the place. You barked up the wrong tree when you took hold of Colonel Bill Travers. He's a bad man." SG am I when you fool around me too much. So you are a friend of. this border ruffian eh?" "By no means But, who, or what I am to you, it-matters not. ToJou I would be a friend -more, a bene factor. possess the power to get you out of,town and to a plac e of safety." But, ain't yon a little fast1 I am not half ready to shake hands with Deviltry, yet, if I recollect myself." "But stop! If you do not take advantage the of opportunity and escape, ere five suns have come and gone, there will not be so much as a bone of yon left to teil yon were ever h ere. "Hal ha! ha! Your imagination would do credit to a novel writer Nick "I fancy I shall know spmething in regard to this wholesale di5secting business about the time it is transpiring. "Humph! you may be facetious now, but I fancy yon will know more than yon want to, of it, later," she returned with a faint sneer. Still, if yon desire to take the consequences o f your fool-hardiness, it is not my lookout." "Decidedly. Supposing, however, I were to engage your servic e ; to conduct me to a place of !>ltfety-what remuneration would yon ex pect?" "Three species, namely: five hundred dollars which yon carry in a belt beneath your hnntmg shirt; your hand joined with mine in marriage; and last but not least, the secret of the exact location and entrance to the old Indian mine I'' As she spoke the woman l eaned forward and gazed searchingly int.a the Nevadian's face, expecting to n ote some great change nr start in his. manner, and her countenance fell when she noted none. Perfectly composed was this man of strength, no surprise even depicted upon his countenance. "As to the money, no. As to marrying an unknown adventwess, empb.atically no. A.nd, as to the secret connected with some old Indian mine1 you've tackled the wrong dictionary for a solution, I can tell you." You are lying to me. You and you alone, Ralph Arlingtou, hold the secret!" the woman cried, rising to her feet, a wild glare in her eyes "Deny it yon dare not." Still no expression of surprise upon the face of the pilgrim from Nevada. "I can deny it with the greatest of ease," was Nick's calm answer. "I know not who or what you are, madame, nor do I care. Your attempt to pump me of any knowledge you may wish to possess, is utrerly without avail, and the sooner you take your leave, the greater will be my ob ligation to yon. Your name I would, however, like to know. "You may call me Moll McGregor, but that is not my name I" and she rose to depart. "What ever my true name is, it does not matter to you; suffice to say that I am one who knows you well, and your past, and shall never lose sight of/on, until I get possession of the key the ol In dian minl' "If yon wait that long, your hair will be snowy white!" "By no m e ans. If yon will not have me as a friend, you shall have me as an enemy. I will plan to get yon in my power, and then tear the secret from yon, or tear out your heart." "Very well That will do for the present, and I'll excuse yon now I" Nick said, pointing toward the door. "Go, now, anr have stayed awar from this place ,' he confessed scratching his h ead, "as it appears that I am between several fires-one the populace who have set me down a.s an assassin-the other that eccentric female who apparently knows more about than I know myself. I am fogged about h er, for I cannot remember that I have ever met h e r." He sat for over an hour, buried in deep thought, his brow wrinkled in a half-scowl as though the nature of his meditations were not pleasant. Finally his eyes closed, wearily, and he slept. It was some hours ere he awoke-at least the light in his room was dull and gloomy, and he concluded that it was nightfall. He awoke with a start, caused by a hubbub of noises without-the sound of voices and barks of Rismg !\nd gomg to the window, he gazed down into the street below. And here his e:fes fell upon a sight which thrill ed him in spite of himself. The street was filled with the townspeople, who were talking clamorously, and pointing to ward an object upon the extreme top of a pole carried by a burly miner. This object, horrible to relate, was a man's head, detached from thE_l body-a ghastly, bloody trophy, with distended jaws and protruding eyes-yet Nick knew he had seen the beartled face before, in the hotel disturbance.-Straight towiw.d the hotel the trophy-bearer came, c losely fdilowed by the yelling crowd, with weapons drawn. What did it mean, the young Nevadian asked himsem Was this a victim of Grim Goblin'fl vengeancel And were they coming for him, Nick, to an swer for the crime1 It was a horrible thought. CHAPTER VI. UPRISING OF A. POPULA.CB. I AM in a position that necessitates my do ing something for my country, I should opine, if that crowd is any prognostication of coming

PAGE 16

Robby N i c lf of Nevada. 11 event.," he said, grimly. "I would like to ered mounted on top of the pole, just out of the know for certain if they are coming fo r me. U villafe in the cent.er of the gulch. so, they'll not find me-that's certain. Their Al this was, of course, int.eresting to Nick, hand is illlcidedly too flush for me to att.empt to and be was resolved to learn everything possiraise it, and so I'll pass. Th e next important ble before be was forced to "light out" for libquestion is-where will I pass to'I" erty. lt was an important question with him to For half an h ou r or more the hubbub contin-know bow he was to get out of the dilemma ued, and during that time it was evident that that stared him ominous l y in the face. con idernble whisky changed hands judging by Outside was the h ooting, howlin'1i crowd, 'lnd the rattle of glasses. he did not want any firm e r conviction than that Finally there was a fearful racket made by of h is own senses, that they sought for him. pounding upon a tin pan, and all becnme quiet, He took another glance from the window. proclaiming that a m eeting was called. The fun had gone down behind the bills, and a With all attention, Nobby Nick l eaned fordusky gloom was creeping rapidly through the ward to bear what was said. From his position valle y. he commanded a view of a portion of the scene A look at the ghastly head perched on top of below, and could see the speaker, who proved to the pole-then Nobby Nick shut bis t.eeth tobe Col onel Bill Travers, mounted upon an empty gether with a snap6rus eyes flashed resolutely, flour baITel. and he buckled hi s elt a notch tight.er. A sorryl ooking orator he made, ( however. "I wonder where Doxy is?" he mused, g lanc-His left le g was bandaged, h is left arm was in a in g at bis revolvers, to see that they were all sling, bis right eye was tied up, and his face was riyht and slinging his rifle to his back. bruised and raw in a dozen places. 'U she was down there I'd se t her on the mob. H e t oo k the stand, and gazed around with I'll bet a cracker she'd make some of 'em dust the glare of a hungry wolf in bis eyes ere he their l eatber." spok e He was now ready for escape, as soon as he he finally said, savagely, should find the avenue thereto. I don't reckon l'm called on to say m u ch. -:-oing to the door of his room he listened in-You all know thet Grim Goblin, the c u ssed cuttently, but could hear no one in the hall outside. throat, is among us, an' thet we've jest found Thts hall ran the whole length of the upper one bloody evidence of the fact to-night. You story of the groo t cabin, and was intersected by are a ll well satisfied, the young puppy numerous small e r passageways leadin g to side who calls himself Nobby is none other than rooms The stairway leadin g to the bar-room the veritable Grim Goblin, and so what remains below was located at tl:!e eastern end of the hall, for us to do but capture the cuss an' make him while at the western end was a window looking suffer for his crimes?" out upon the gulch stream. "Hurrah! that's ther tic k e t to vote!" shouted Leaving, bis room Ni c k stood for a moment Alaska Joe, who now calculated h e was second ;partly und ecided which direc tion to go. Finaltboroufihbred cf til e tow n since Evil Epb was ...f, however, he r eso lved to creep to the head of s ick. 'Ef Nobby Nick is tber <'hap, Grim G-ob-ae stairs and listen to what was going on belin, why, et's our saintly duty ter clean him out. low An' ef he ain't, I opine as how be ain't no pil -He therefore stole stealthily along for a few grim as will do any purtick l e r credit to our steps-then suddenly paused and retraced bis moral town, an' et would not do any hurt ter steps rapidly, and went to the western end of us e his uone-dust fer fertilizin' purposes." the hall. A thou gh t had occurro to him in "See beer, Alaska, you'd better shet yer which there was reason. yawpl" Colo ne l Bill growled. __ Ef ye eve.r stick He would r e move the window s;,,sh from its m yer blab when I'm address1n' a meetm' likli frame-then, in case of necessity, be could make this ag'in, I'll be cussed ef I don't slip my knife a run along the hall and jump from the window int.er yer juggle r v e in. I say, Nobby Nick is into the gulch stream, which o nl y ran about ten the self same Grim Goblin, or else an em issary feet from that end of the tavern. of him, an' I fer one propose we don't parley The work of removing the window only occu-any longer, but sai l rigrt in and capture him. pied a couple of minutes; then, drawing one of Arter that, we kin hold a meetin' an' devise a his revolvers and cocking it, he crept cautiously plan o' puttiJ;t' him to death. All in favor of toward the opposite end of the hall. this motion make manifest by saying I I" Without incid ent he reached the head of the A genera l yell of" I!" was the answer stairs, and stood silently in the dark in a listen"As I Colonel Bill said with a grin ing_attitude. of approbation. 1 You all lik e this chap about Up fro m the bar below came an!ITy voic es as much as I do. Now the n ex t thing is to get profane shouts and the clinking of gYasses and him. Ef I'm elected captain of the thing, if he had had any doubts before as to the mission I'll give ye plans by which ye kin take the If the arouse d populac e, he had now, for cuss!" more than onc e h e heard the narne of Nobby "Hurrah I huITab !" f h o u ted the crowd. "ColNick and Grim G o blin m e ntioned in connection, onel Bill is t.er be ther boss.'' and gathered from snatches of conversation, "Then, first of.all, let twenty a bl e -bodied men that the murdered man was one Hank Long, surround the building on all side s with weapons and had been killed by the Avenger, Grim Gob-I ready for use," Travers said. "lf our man is in Jin as was known by a familiar cross s l ashed I the shebang and makes an attempt to escape, wiih a knife upon the forehead. Th e body had fire upon him; do not Jet him get away if you oot yet been found-the head had been discov have to kill him."

PAGE 17

Nobby Nick, of Nevada. The order was executed, some two score of the crowd swarmiLg to the outside of the building. "Next, bt two men cree p cautiously up stairs, and to the door of the Avenger's room, and l isten there. If you hear anything of him c o m e ani r port. If not, give the alarm, and there sh all oo a g e n eral search of the premises." Two burl y miners immediately signified their readiness tO make the reconnoissance, and put fregb c artridges in their revolvers, prePfl'atory for b attle, i f nece ssary. T he n they came to the foot of the stairs, and began to a s c end ther in a stealthy manner. -Crouching behind a back-set in the wall, at tbe bead of the stairs, Nobby Nick waited for them, bis eyes gleaming IJ;e was resolved to hold hi s own as long as practicable, and then make a bold leap for libertv. One of the m e n paused upon the steps, halfway up, to tighten his belt-the other came steadily on, and gained the landing. The n ext instant he found himself in the iro n grasp of the modern H e rcules, and ere hec ould defend himself was raised in the air above his bead, like a helple s s child. The n w {thout warning, he suddenly hurled the vie tim of bis surprise dow n the stairway agai?Jst the second miner. and the two went crashing headlong to the bottom, mid cries of constern& tion from the crowd in the bar-room. Uttering a yell of d e fiance, and without waitr ing to note the eff ect of his bold d ee d, Nobby Nfok turned and ran swiftly through the hall toward the western end of the building, intent upon leaping through the open casement 'into the gulch stream. But, this plan was.suddenly foi1ed, for he bad only gone about half the distance to the win dow when he tripped upon a wireorropestrun{! acros8 the floor, and fell with stunning s e v erity, and, before he could even make the attempt ta regain his feet, a figur e darted forward, sprung upon him and bore him back, and e1 e he fully regaine d his wir s his wr:st.s were handcuffef and a bandage tie d over bis eyes. Now rise to your f eet, quickl'T. a voicf spok e close to his ear-a femininL voice, at that. "Do not attempt to run, but come with me, and I'll g tit you away from the m o b. Lis ten I they are coming. This way, now, lively I" S he g111sped him b y the arm and l e d the way, rapidly; a ud be followed, not too willingly, for he kne w n o t wh e t he r he was going out of the fue o r d eeper i nto i t She l e d the way for perhaps fifteen paces "i:hrcugl;i the m ain ball-the n made a sharp turn cin d he knew that the r oute lay through one of i\e several narrower passages. Another turn yas soon made this tirr. 3 into a room1 evidently, lor h e heard her cl o s e a door b ehind tbe m. "Stop h ere a moment," she said, "while I procure a light. ''We will be safe until I take 'T OU to a still safer place. He obeyed, while he listened to her as she moved about the apartment. Her step was light, soft1 Wbo was she, he asked nimself1 Moll McGregor, perhaps! No, not she, he deliberated, for the voice waa .of a different tone-softer and more Rhe soon succeeded in striking a ligh'C, ant the n came forward and removed the bandage from his It was a d e cided relief, for he w a s eager to know whom he had to thankfoi! his r e scue from the mob. And h e saw standing before him not a whitfl girl-not Sandy Sue, as he bad half a n Indian girl of some sixteen or sevenf.een SUDlo m ers-a well-formed maiden of medium higM of women, with a face n early aa white as a tive pale-face1 regUJar and remarkably attractl ive features, aark eyes who se power of exprt'I!! sion was d11zzllng, and hair black as a wing and worn down h e r back in two braids. She was attired in buckskin reachis::I above the knee, and m e t by a neat-fiiting hum ing-shirt belte d at the which '!Vas also 1 bucks kin, and all of which was w:::i the down o f the eag le, colored or painted .i thEI many shade s of the rainbow. Beaded casins upo n h e r feet, and a jaunty rou.ndfurc;: upo n h e r b ea d c ompleted a v ery tasty costmr which contributfd to make her a very pre7;l girl. But for the dusky.expression of lier e?! a.1d the f aint tinge ef brown to her skin, would not have su s p e cted that she was an ': d1nn, for her features were of an t:ype. f A s he gazed at h ei; in mute surprise an4 ll;!JI mirationt a thought fla shed across the :Nev a,J an's mina. Of the tbrP.e pretty females he had met si:1 coming to Deviltry,whic h was the Indian maiden, Sandy Sue, or Moll McGreger ; And he was not. prepared to answer, fo-c / ( 1 thre e wererretty to a fault. __ "I nm Wild Flow e r the daughter of Face, the b a nish e d Sioux," she said, brea.Jo ; the sil e nce. You save d my fathe r fro m r...:, v e ngea n ce of the gulch mine rs, an'd. h e lfr you. H e dreampt you w e r e in and R." -. me t o h elp you e cepe." .,, "For whic h I th&nk !OU heartily," Nick!!l' ..... e x t ending his b end. I did give the old er. a lift, or rather, my old mule, Doxy did, bt:. d id n t r eckon the r e' d be any chance o the f avor s o soon .. Wild Flowe r h esitated a momen' o 1 seized his l eft hand, and examined t h e ",:_ close l y . A s suddenly then did sbe drop .lt anr bac k a s h ade of p allo r c r ossing her zounre'l:! and h e r o w n shapel y right band drop'!;>ing;;..' ; but t o f a r e volver whic h s h e ca.-ried i.n .be!.:' "Ho l d on-what's th e m atter, N i.::_ i manrl ed, in surprise. "What's th;; m y ftst tha t y o u are so a ff ected ? " 'Shi Y our life i s in d e adly Face see s that hand," she gasped. "No:..', the f a v o r you did him would sava J ")Ur Jif:r>..' t "And w h y I'll be shot H 1 .. ... ;. for o n ce i111 my life. -"Perhaps. Maybe you are ignorant 6.t eecF e t that envelo ps your life but I a m Dtd y o u e v e r study the v eins Ol your left -..: -not v eins that blood circulates through'; marks t h a t set:m to have been seared tliei., the hand of nature and which look like a. .' Jinth of trails on a prairie 1"

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Nobby Nick or Nevada. H I:n truth I have studied my marked palm, -y times in curiosity, but never allowed there was ?ny particular meaning connected ,;herewith," Nick reJillied. There is a however," Wild Flower :tBSUred, "and one which I can well understand. >:ly that marked hand I know who yon are, your vhole antecedents, and that you are the last of race of peorle who know the secret of the old ndi1m mine.' You are mistaken. I know nothing con :erning any Indian mine." Maybe not, but the trail l eading to that 'line is engraven upon band, and there are 1mdreds who would give their right hands to am l'.)OSseSSi.on of the secret I" .men she stopped short and listened intently. :;.oarp though were the ears of tbe Nevadian, could hear no outside sound, for the room w""lapparently without doors or windows, none emg visible. Vild Flower heard hostile rnunds, however, '.:l:!'!ler big eyes grew du8kier, and she repro" ood !'he bandage which had previously served .::i .. !Jlindfold. We must e5eape further, lest they scent us nt;." she announced. ''We are safe nless they ..tnnx of one thing. Colonel Travers has a bl00d""1md,_ and if he were to set it on our trail ii; ,.;outd oe bad. Come!" Where1" t matters not to you, just yet. I will blind :i1d you and l;J the way-a long and tedious > i.e. it will seem. By and by we will pause to '"3t. and Wild Flower will tell you something of, tbemysterythat surrounds 1u. Come!" tJe bandaged his eyes, and taking him by the :m led him forward. rew paces thus; then they began to descend ,.E>,ce which his senses of smelling and feeling .i1a Wm was a subterraneym passage. CHAPTER VII. THE BANK BESIBGED. '4-!!EDIATELY after the two miners came .... ,. .. ,,m emost down into the bar-room, pro -jlJitber by the mighty power of Nobby --a-rtble arms, there was a loud yell of goo..nce and fully a hundred rough and men sprung up tbe armed ;., 'i"f.wn revolvers, and lighted by burning ::-"Oti!'...,J:rlch they had grabbed from the fire'>,i.10 1.1onei. Bill Travers was too lime to lead the "'!
PAGE 19

18 Nobb7 Nick of Nevada. Datter away!" Sue replied, firmly. "I gtlEl!IB it will reqtiire a deal of pains for you t.o Ket in here, and even when successful in so a oing, you'll fail to find the object of your search. I warn you fairly not to attack this cabin. If you d o I'll shoot every man I get a glinlpse of sure as I am Sandy Sue." 1'0hl we ain't afeard o' ye! We've-heerd squaws talk, before." Presently the tramp of feet announced that the hearers of th3 battering-ram were returning, as did a Babel of discordant voices. "Come, now, the hoarse voice of Colonel Bill shouted, e f ye're goin to open up, do soef ye ain't say so, and we'll make pudding of yer old cabin." "I have told you repeatedly I shall not open the door," Sue r e turned. "If you resort to vio lence you do so at your peril." A yell of defuLnce came from the outside; then was a tre m e ndous thump the stout oake n door. whb h shook the r.abm from roof to foundati o n : But the door did not yield Taking d ow n a light repeating rifle, of the Wincheste r pattern, Sue stationed herself at a loop-h o l e m the wall, and waited, resolved tha t as the c a b i n was attacked, she would show in dead earnest The cabin w a s admirably adapted for standing a siege, til e w a ll s being built of three thicknesses of logs, and t he roof doubly boarded and very steep, making it impossible for any one to stand upon it. Wi t hin i t W M divided into two rooms belowcl the do o r by w b:0h entrance could be gaine op e nin g into tile bank, while from that a lioor opened into a s id e room which w.as used for kitche n a nd dinin g -room Sla epin g apartments were up-stail' s under the roof. The windo w s of the c a b i n were well protec ted by stout iron shutte r s a nd a ltogether it was a snug little fort. Surro u n d e d as she was by thes e formidable barrien, Sandy Sue felt little or no fear as to what the fin a l !: esult would be, for with h e r fathe r sh e b a d s ettled here when a m ere child, and wh e n [mlians were hostile, and she could reme mb e r m o r e than one occasion when the stanch little e difice bad withstood the ingeni o us attac k o f the wily savages, for days. Co cking the rifle she levi;iled the weapon thro u g h the l oophole. The next instant the r e a flash a sharp rtiport-and a yell. The yell told that the shot had taken eff ec t, and bowl s o f rage among the self-styled Regu lators pro v ed i t. "Open t be r door, you she-wildcat!" Colon e l flill d e m!l.n
PAGE 20

Nobby Nick of Nevada. 19 r..nd as a result, both doors w ere flung wide open. -"Gone sure enough!" the captain growled, flashing the light of a bull' s-eye lantern within t h e v e hicle. 11 Cuss the luck, the ni g g e r is 'Done tole y o u so P ompey de clared, tri umphantly. dis nigy,er knows when h e s tellin' d e gospel trufe or not. "What's ter be did1" one of the men demand ed, whose arms ached from holding the snorting horses by the bits. 11 Shall we let him go on or not?'' 11 Yes, cuss him, let loose the borseR and leave him go on!" Captain A growled. "We've got in our bid too late to-ni ght." The horse s were accordingly released, and the carriage rolled away toward Deviltry. And then it was that a pane l in the front part of the interior of the cab was shot asid e and a t.all white-whiskered man stepped forth fro m a secret compartment wh erein be bad been hiding with a satisfied smil e upo n his face. At the rush of the R egulators into the bank or cabi n home of Sandy Sue tbe brave girl brought the steel barre l d own upon tbe beads of those who d arted forward to se cure b e r1 bnt a score of bands seized b e r as in a grasp of iron. Resistance was ont o f tbe ques tion, and nothing was l eft f o r h e r but t o s u b mit. 11 Bind h e r securely and t a k e h e r to the jail cabin," Colon e l Bill crdered slapping ber rough ly besid e the b ea d. Ef w e d o n' t stre t c h h e r purty throat in the mornin'J'm n liar!" The orde r w a s obe yed, and Sue take n to a strong cabin o n thP. o pposite s i d e of t h e stream, wh e r e s h e was l oc ked UJ? in a c h eerless r oo m with gratings ove r the wmdo w and l eft alo ne. At the bank part of the crowd bus ied the m selves in carmg f o r those who bad bee n wounded by the o f the brave girl, while the othe r s made a tho r o u g h sear c h of the premises with o f co u rse disco v ering anything of Nobby NicK. N o r was b e found e lsewhere by the othe r searc h e r s, and i t bad t o be given up that h e bad made g ood bi s esc a pe. About midni g h t C o lonel Bill and five of his comrades l eft t h e tOwn o n horseback, d eclaring their intentio n to sear c h the m ountains but the y returne d about d aylight without their m a n The settl e m ent was tho r o u ghly aroused a gain by sunrise, f o r it was unde rstood tha t Sandy Sue was to have a hasty trial, and tha t in all probability s h e w ould be lynched for tbP crime of killing two of the citizens who had j o ined in the attac k upo n the cabin. A large c r o wd assembled upon a square n ear the rive r whe r e all public trials w e r e usually held1 and about t w o h ours afte r sunrise the maiae n was place d u pon the stand, along "th a lawyer and Co l o n e l Bill Tra v ers. Tliis lawye r was a ruffian a s w e ll a s Trave rs, and things l oo ked dark fo r the girl, for not a friendly expre ssi o n was the r e upon the sea of faces that surrounded h erhaud she c ould not 11ee even the r ough visAge o f e r guardian and pr<> tector, P o r cupine P e te. Colonel Bill arose pompously. 11 Ladies and gentlemen1 I have the honor of opening this court," he said. "The case is one of murder, committed upon two of our most re spectabl e citizens by a m ere chit of a girl, here. We are aSSflmbled here to try he r for the crime. No particular trial is required. She openly re fused us admittance to h e r cabin, when in the name of the law we sought for a notorious criminal, and boldly killed two o f our m e n when we took m easure s for obeying the mandates of the law. Now if there is any law to protect her, let us bear it!" II There is no Jaw on the side of the prisoner in such a case," D eviltry's discipl e of Blackstone declare d, 11 and I make no hesitation in pr
PAGE 21

/ Nobby Niek of Nevada. posing I should be able to pursue my calling without trouble." You come on a good mission, and I am glad. These forgers do exist in this section, and I can give you considerable information concerning them. They un1oubtedly exist in a party of outlaws known as the Bearded Brothers, and whose ruling spirit is a woman, unknown by real name to them, who always keeps her face maskt:d. She. I believe, is the author of the forge ries, and these Bearded Brothers pursue a double calling of disposing of the forgeries and attacking lone mountain wayfarers for the purpose of robbing them." Ha I this is good news to me. Where are the(. located? Where is their retreat?'' That I do not care fo tell. I stumbled upon it one night, and-saw enough to convince me of what I have told you. They caught me, how ever, and would have cut my threat had I not promised never to revelll the whereabouts of their den to any human being. They made the clause, and I agreed to it." "Then, in order to possession of the knowl I have to comrmt matrimony, eh1" 1t would seem so, if you hoped to get your news of me." "Well! welll I shall have to think this mat ter over seriously It may not be a bad plan anyhow, providing the party of the second part is willing. But now, tell me what is the secret of my branded hand, and why would your father be angry were he to see it1'' Wild Flower was silent a few moments-then she went on to relate: "Years ago sir to begin with, my father Stern Face, a half-breed, and your father, John Falconer, became acquainted in Texas, and formed a partnership to come to this section of country and explore for gold. Thej came hither and explored and found gold, sure enough. They built a cabin and lived together, mined together, hunted together, and were tlie best of friends. Finally, Stern Face signified his intention of building him a cabin and bringing his wife and child hither. And his decision proved identical. with one Falconer had formed, and so both the pards journeye:l hence and brought back their familie s-Stern Face, his pale-face wife and little daughter, and John Falconer, a little son and mother having died while en route from the East. 1 "A ye!tr passed by. The tw9 pards were growing rich, and settlers began to string in,, one by one, forming the of a little mining city, when one day Stern Face discovered some writings upon the stone-that lay over an Indian mound, which disclosed to him the secret of an ancient subterranean Indian gold-mine, which secret had been writtkn on the stone ind igns and had remained unkno'wn since the Ininan's death. My father unearthed the mine, explored it, and founli it to be one of the riches t this country ever had known. "In the spirit of his loyalty to John Falconer, he took him into the secret and as a partner in the new fo,rtune. It was then they 1ook anoath that the secret of the whereabouts of the mine should never go belyond their present family. and sealed that th with a tiist.e of blood. They then branded their left hands and those of their family with a die made by Stern Face, which marked out the topography of the surrounding country, and the secret entrance to the Indian mine. This was done as a sort of link binding the two fami lies together. "Well, in thA due course of time they had taken out really more weal1h than they cared to have lying around loose, lest it arouse sus picion; so, as the town began to increase, John Falconer built a bank and started a general banking business-more as an objE'Ct to secrete the gold of the Indian mine than anything else, untjJ he and Stern Face should come to some decision how to invest their wealth; and while Falconer attended the bank and guarded the gold Stern Face mined it. "One day John Falconer took a trip to an Eastern town, and when he returned brought back a wife-a mere girl of sixteen, with a pretty. babyish face and snaky, bead-like eyes. Stern Face did not like her, as he read treachery in her eyes, and so he warned John Fakonernot to let her into the secret of the mine, and a promise was given. "They did not agree together, Stern Face is, John and his new wife, and 'bis home knew not the peace it did before. John was often despondent and moody and strange. One night Stern Face returned to his cabin, to find his little fir! crying bitterly, saying 'mam ma had gone. In surprise he went over to .Fal coner's, and there found his little girl in the same condition, she, too, saying that her mam ma had gone. Search revealed that John Falconer had left that afternoon for the East, ac companied by his young son, and that his wife and Stern Face's wife had not long after taken the same trail on horseback. St>arching the banki Stern Face found all gone-his own gold, John Falconer's gold and the gold that had been deposited by miners-gone I and who had taken itl "He could form but one conclusion. John Falconer had sloped with tbe gold, accompanied by his wife and my mother, as accessories to the crime. It maddened the honest old chief be yond comparison. He did not take the trail in pursuit, but registered an oath to have the life's blood of every one whose left hand bore the branded key to the secret mine. H e, however, excepted me, his own child, and the innocent little one John Falconer had left behind. Over her he appointed Old Porcupine, a scout1 as guardian; then took me and our hou se hold mt.o the Indian mine. H ere he has since lived, watching and waiting for the timE' when some of the guilty ones should return to this vicin ity." "Then my name is Falconer, and not Arli:n.e: ton, and I am the brothe r of tbe young lacfy they call Sandy Suel" Nick exclaimed, excit edly. "You are Did you suppose your name was Arlin ton1" "es-or rather I was called Nobby Nick over at the fort in Nevada, my first re collections date back to, when I was &ged ten years. From that time on, to the pnsent. I shifted for myself aronnd through territories, knowing little or nothing to my antecedents,

PAGE 22

Nobby Nick and earing less. That's my history in a nutshell" "You are Nick Falconer; I knew that the minute I saw your hand," Wild Flower declared. "And so when we were little shavers we used to play together? Well, well! stranger things have happened to be sure. So you th"nk your stern old father would be likely to feel scalpishly disposed toward me were he to find out my identity?" In truth he would. His anger even I could not stay." "Well, the n, I've got to keep this left fist out of his rea ch." "You have. But I think I can manage it. He thinks tl.Je world of you as Nobby Nick his rescuer, and bade n:-i secure you and make you a guest of the Indian mine, first sealing your lips with a terrible oath binding yourself to sec rPc y This oath I have not demanded of you, because I trusted in you implicitly." And you can bet your life that your trust shall not be misplaced l" Nick a ssured, warmly. The sin of the parent shall not follow the son!" "Bravely spoken-words that fill Wild Flower's heart with gladness and lov e for you. Stern Face shall not harm you. Wild Flower will fix your hand in a sling for the present, &nd Stern Face wili see that it has been lmrt, and ask .no questions. Let Nick remain here a few min utes, till I return with some bandages." SM the n Skipped lightly away, and was absent a few minutes, when she returned with spme strips of cloth and bound .up bis left hand in a sling, as if it had been wounded. "I have just been wondering," Ni<'k remarked, wben s'fie had finished, "where you get all your education and refined manners, living as you always have in the wilds here, away from schools and society. Stern Face is a man of some culture. Though a half-breed, he received an excellent education, and then his wife, my mother, was an American lady of intelligence and good breeding. M.Y father bas been my instructor, and to him I owe such knowled ge as I have not learned from experience and reading. Though the taint of Indian blood is in my veins, my heart is as white and my education nearly as perfeet A S that of my white sister." So I pe1'Ce ive. But tell me one thing:-do you know who i s this Avenger who styles him self Grim Goblin, and for whom I have been mistaken iu this mining town?" "I often have suspicions, but sometimes be lieve them wrong. I neither give them credence nor publicity. Who Grim Goblin is, is destined to r emain unknown. He is undoubtedly some person who bas been de eply wronged by the ruffian element upon whom, be ever preys. H e has never be;in known to attack any of our peaceably-disposed citizens of the mines. It has always been that class whom dissipation or evil natures had transformed into wretches of the worst order. But CtJme now, and we will go on to the end of our journey." "She linked her arm in his, and led the way along through the subterranean passage, which, by its formation, Nick judged had one day been an underground water-course. She had r emoved the bandage from his eyes, yet the darkness was so intense that he could not see his hand before his face. One entrance to this mine is then through the he inquired, as they went along. "Yes. One of the queer gables supposed to be solid, is in reality hollow, and contains a room and spiral staircase, descendin,g to old water-course, whi ch conne cts with Phosphorus Cave, which ii:t the main chamber of the old Indian mine." They soon emerged into what was ev idently the very cave. It was a huge subterranPan chamber, with high rocky walls and vaulted ceiling, with rugged, uneven bottcm, and these rocky walls seemed to emit a peculiar bluishwhite glow, which had the effect of lighting the cavern throughout. The center of the bottom sloped off into a narrow ravine, through which a fittle rivulet of water gurgled along, entering through a black, tunnel-like fissure at one side of the cave, and disappearing 'through a similar one on the opposite side There was faJI enoug h in tne stream so that an admirable system of sluice boxes and cradles had been arranged in its course, making the washing of minerals an easy matter. On tbe opposite side of the ravine was a portable engine apd an ore mill or crusher, all in working order. On tbe side of the ravine where they had paused there was little but rock and sand. Down in the ravine three Indian lodg es had been built, uot over half a dozen yards apart, and before one of these a fire of nine cones was burning, and an Indian was engaged in roasting some meat. One thing puzzled N obby 'Nick; how had the engine and crmher ever been conveyed to this secret avenue? H e asked the question of Wild Flower, and she laughed gayly. "Ob l they had it here at Deviltry before the Indian mine was discovered and after discovery made pretense Of selling but in reality re moved ithither, by another r o ute. Come; Stern Face is yonder preparing supper." She led the way down a rocky path into the ravine, and Nick followed, watching lier grace ful figure, admiringly. H e was beginning to feel a keen interest in her, short though bad been their a cquai ntance. Stern Face strode forwt.rd when he saw approachin?, and put out his hand, which Nick accepted 'Stern Face is glad to see pale-frcfl 'brave," he said!}Dotioning ]'fick to a seat on a camp-stool. "He is glad to see Nick come with Wild Flower. Nick brave man-Wild Flower good Injun girl. Ni c k and Wild Flower make good match-then Stern Face give 'em all his gold-big heap like mountain. Go East den lib like nabobs. Stern Face like that-like to live in Washington an' be big man like President!" / And Nick's spoken thoughts were "I would n't mind that, myself." CHAPTER IX. THE HAN FROll DENVER, Al!OUT the 1
PAGE 23

Nobby Nick of Nevada. trial of Susie Falconer was occmTing in th town of Deviltry, Evil Eph had a visitor. The ruffian made his home in an old tumble down cabin, down the gulch, where the pines grew dark and gloomy, and to this cabfn he had kept closely since his rough usage at the bands ofNobby Nick. In his terrible fall thatnighthe had sustained such injuries as a fractured shoul der-blade, a broken rib, a badly bruised head, and a dislocated knee, and was now yet unable tio more than crawl about his cabin and get what food and medicine be actually needed. He had partly risen, this moroing, u pon his elbow on the couch, and was puffing away at his pipe when there came a rude knock on the door that made it rattle. He started upright with an oath, but sunk quickly hack with pain. The knock was immediately repeated with a peremptoriness that spoke o! the knocker's im patience. Come in, cuss ye I" Saunders growled, reach ing for his revolver, but, failing to find it in its accustomed place. The door opened, and a man entered. Or at least a person of rather small stature, with an immense beard that fell down over the breast, and which hid a view of all of the face except the nose and eres and forehead. His belt fairly bnstled with weapons, too, and, taken as a whole, he was not a person of prepossessing appearance . Evil. Eph did not seem to recognize him, either, for he ?ave vent io a snort of rage at sight of him. 'Who 'r" you an' what the devil d'ye want1" he c fomand ed. "I am Grim Goblin, the Avenger, and l se,,,k your money and your lifo," was the s+.l.'anger's matter-of fact reply, Saunders uttered a gasp of alarm. "You lie!" he gritted. "You are not the bloody Avenger." "He, and none other!" the man replied, seat ing himself near the door, with a drawn revol ver. "I rejoice in the honor of being that noted person who seldom appears in public, yet quite often makes his presence felt. You being one of the alloted few in this town, who happen tio be entered upon my Death Register, I thought I'd call around and s ettle up with you. -Where is your gold concealed1" "All I've got's in my pocket, an' thar ain't but cussed little o' that," Evil Eph growled. "Ohl it won't avail' you to lie to me." Grim Goblin assured. "I know you have upward of ten thousand in greenbacks and gold, else I should not have asked you." The next instant, without any warning whatever, he raised the revolver and fired upon the border ruffian. One bollet;-that was enough. It had pierced the forehead of Evil Eph, and be sunk back upon the couch with only a gii.sp dead. With a horrible laugh the Avenger the revolver to his belt; then he began a search of the cabin, overhauling such things and ransacking such place!i as were likely to contain hidden wealth. In one corner a huge stuft'ed wolf stood with ilistended jaws and glassy eyes. It had been Eph's pride, this animal. Gazing at the brute a moment, a thought seemed to strike Grim Goblin, and he thrust bis hand down the wolf's throat. He then uttered a cry of joy, and throwing the stuft'cd 8.nimal upon the floor, slashed open its hide with his knife. Then through the aperture, he hauled out handful after handful of'bank-notesandcoinand dust, and transferred the same to his own pockets. Whan t>Jl was secured he hurried from lbE' cabin. To return to the village and the scene therein, in which Sandy Sue was a prominent figure. A murmur of surprise escaped the crowd at the words of the stranger, whose fine garment.Ii, silk hat and jewelry seemed to indicate that ha was well able to buy several prisoners. A black scowl came upon the face of Colonel Bill Travers, for be scent.ad in the new-comer a powerful adversary. Who are you?" he grufHy "Evi dently some snob or ye'd know we don't turn trials into auctions up in this hyar country." "My name is General Joseph Arlington at your service, a noted Denver financier!" was the reply, whereat there was more than one in the crowd who started. I just atTived, and finding the young h.dy yonder in trouble, I pro pose to extricate her by purchasing her liberty, and making her a present of it. What price do you set upon her head?" 'A cussed sight more'n you kin pay, I'll al low,'' Travers replied, with a sneer. "The price upon her head is the Jives of two men whom she last night, when we was tryin' 1;er git inter her cabin to search it." "Humph!" the Easterner said, shiting a pair of gold-rimmed glasses 1;() his nose, and taking out a no1;e-book and pencil. "I s'pose these fellows, like you, were worth their weight in gold." On course they were I" Colonel Bill replied, gruffly. They was bully fellows, an' we don't purpose to let ary female or hemale mor tal stan' up an' ther population of this hyar town, like Sandy Sue has been doin'." "What was the aggregate weight of theseo two ruffians1" the general demanded, poising his pencil. "Cuss you, what's it your business1" Traveris roared, getting mad. S'pose they w e ighed 'bout three fifty but I don't reckon you'd better stick in. yer blab around here if you don't want to ?it knifed." I shall take care of myself, never your fear,"' the general repliedh calmly t and at the same time figured with is pencil. The aggregat.. weight of these men you say was three. hundred and fifty pounds. Let me see: gold is sixteen dollars a Troy ounce, or one hundred and ninety-two dollars a Troy pound. The se men's lives, counting them worth their weight in gold.. would be in the region of thirty-six thousand dollars each, or seventy odd thousand, all told. I have a fifty thousand dollar draft in my pocket on an Eastern bank, which I will give for the young lady's releR.o;e." "Ohl no! not gir, do not do I beg of your' she cried, imploringly. Keep your

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Nobby Nick of Neva.cla. as money and let them do their worst. I am not wortli so much money." "No, ner ye wouldn't escape death, gal, ef he was ter offer a hundred thousand for you I" Colonel Bill growled. "Ye may as well shet up, old white whiskers, fer yer stamps is out of place in this crowd." "Not sol" General Arlington replied "It appears evident that you have rnn the town heretofore, my friPnd, hut I'll allow your days are over. -I'll divide ten thousand dollars among the firsL fifty able-bodied men who will step forward and back me, and help me clean out this domineering, ruffianly, one side element, and releas e the girl, who it appears wae but act mg on the natural principles of self-defense. These men are to also back me in making this an orderly and hle t-0wn-not a den for cut-throats and robbers:" The fifty men asked for were forthcoming in a twinkling-honest, well-thinking fellows who longed to see the town ruled by a better spirit than Colonel Bill Travers. Immediately the women and children, and another parcel of miners crossed over, and but a few roughs .were left on the side of Travers. There, you see that your power is only in your insolence, don't you1" the general said, mockingly. "Where money goes, it must always wins the day. Boys, draw your weapons and fire upon the ruffians, if they offer molestation, while I assist the young lady to the ground. Jie then strode forward to the stand where Susie and Travers were, and assisted her to the ground. Cuss ye, I'll have your hPart out for this!" Colonel Bill roared. "You'll have a chance to pay me a debt of gratitude soon-ye'll hev ter fight or fiuuk." "Though I am not a fighting character, I dare to presume I could master you," the general returned, with a s iff bow. "Come, my dear child, and I will conduct you to the hotel." "Ohl no! no! I do not want to go there," Sue cried. I will go back to my own cabin." "Very well," the old man said, kindly. "I will have a watch kept to see that you are not further molested by those ruffians." They crossed the bridge and paused before the battered door of the hank. General Arlingtori started as he saw the sign above the door, but Sue did not notice the fact. "So, this is your home, eh1' be said. "Well I well! they bave been givmg the nlace a pretty rough usage, I declare. When John Falconer used to keep here, that door was mighty strong." Did you ever know him?" Sue demanded, turning her great lustrous eyes upon him. "Ay, quite well. It's heen many years, however, since I looked upon bis face." "How long?-where was he. when you saw him last? Pray excuse my eagerness, but he was my father." Indeed I Well, I last si;,w Falconer at Omaha, a matter of fourteen years ago. He was bound for the East, to settle up the matter of a herit age which had come to him." "Were there two ladies with himf'' "No. He was alone. He was very much troubled by a report that had reached him, from here, to the effect that he had carried oft the bank prooeeds. I am ready to swear in his behalf that he was guiltless of any such mis doing." "Thank God for that!" Susie Eaid, fervently. Though every one in Deviltry except me be liewid him guilty, I never could, but laid the deed to mv step-mother, and the wife of Stern Face who disappeared the same day." "Undoubtedly they were the culprits," the general declared. "Then you think it would not be advisable for John Falconer ever to come back here?" "No. I hope he may never come-not bu$ what I should dearly love to see hrm, but be cause his life would not be safe were bis identity known. The miners are very bit.ter against. him, and have never really trusted me. Then there is an old Indian called Stem Face, who has sworn to kill him if he ever returned to this country. Thus you see bis life wuuld be in douhle peril." So it appears. Well, be will probably never return, as the heritage in the East netted him a matter of about a million dollar , which sum be bas more than doubled in successful specula tions. Good-day to you child. If you need as sistance, send for me. When you get your hank .in running order again, I wish to make a deposit in it." Then, tipping his bat tl:e old gent turned away and sauntered back toward the hotel. "What a nice old man," Sne commented, watching him from the doorwny. "He is just nice, and I owe him an everlasting debt of gratitude for saving me from so l;c .r1 ible a fate. Oh' I wonder if the money is all right yet!" She hurriedly turned and e!ltered the cabin and approached the safe which stood in a niche behind the counter. A brief examination proved to her that, al though it had been tampered with, it had net been opened. This was one relief. at least; and h e r spirits rose accordingly. Securing tbe services of a carpenter, she soon bad the demolished door of the cabin replaced with a more substantial new onP, and thinr;s put in order g enerally. General Arlington returne d about noon, with a package in hand, which he placed upon the count.er. "There is a hundred thousand dollars in that package, in t6ousand-dollar notes," he s aid. "I will leave it in your care for a tew days. I may give out checks on some of it; so I will order you to pay such orders as bear my signature." Seizing a pen and piece of paper, he wrote out his name in a full, P,;raceful hand, enhanced by well-arrangPd flourishes. There. Every check bearing rn exact sem blance of that sij!"llature is mine," be added. "J do not belleve there is a penman in America who can counterfeit it without a deal of prao tice." He then took bis departure and returned to Bije GrPen's tavern. Some of the men who boo taken sides with him were the re, and also crowd of Colonel Bill's confederates, Bill himself the center of the group, and the cause of. collSlderable noioo and blasph emy. "Yas, I'm goin' to make mince-meat out of

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Nol>by Nick of Nevada.. that 'ar old white-whiskered galoot, an' don't you ferget it I" he cried, flourishing a long-necked bottle over his head and occasionally taking a drink of its conrents. I've got about six inches uv old red-eye down my throat, an' by ther time I git six more I kin lick ary man from J oner down to Methusl er's time. "You better leave the Easterner alone, colo nel," Wolverine Mike said. "You know ye got orfully fooled on the Nevada chap, an' this white-whisk ers may be one of the same style." "Bahl I'll ris k it," the ruffian r e plied, glaring at the general, who was now eating his supper at the lunch counter. "I ain't_..afeard o' ary Eastern snoozer, no matter ef he does sling on more style than a country peacock. I'm not a-goin' ter let et be said thet enny pilgrim ever cum hyar to D eviltry an' clipped off the spurs of Colonel Bill Travers. N e r I ain't a-goin' ter play mop for ary floor ag'in; I'm goin' ter make the Easterner fight or flunk!"' "I'll bet a cent he don't flunk at all," a miner protested. "He don't look like that style of a hairpin." "Oho! Ye think he's game 'cause he's got money and style, do ye!" the ruffian snarled. "No, I don't; but I'll allow still waters ginerally run deep," the miner r etorted. "Yes, an' so does whisky!" the colonel snort ed taking another lon g swig from the bottle. Whisky i s what sets a _pilgrim on his taps, every day in a "aJOOk. Now then, ye chickenhearted duffers, I'm ter sail m an' show ye I'm high-co ckolorum uv this burg yet, lam! I'm jest goin' ter challenge that hightoned cus3 ter fight a duel, ef he dare." "WeJI, I dare, you bet!" the general said, advancing from the counter with a huge piece of cilstard pie in bis hands. I accordingly chal leoge you, first, to meet me in a duel to tbe death, and I make this a seal to the challenge I" As h e spoke he stepped quickly up to the bully, and slapped the pie ce of soft pie full in his face. A howi of laughter escaped the crowd, while Travers spat, sputtered, swore and dug the stuff from his eyes, in a terrible rage; "Come!" the general cried, promptly. no time for a waste of words. If you want my life, name your tools and the c-ondi tions, and we'll get to work. I neve r like to put a duel off, but like to see one or the other get killed." CHAPTERX. A STRANGE DUEL. Tmrn, cuss ye. vou shall gi t all you want," Travers cried. "I'll choose rifles a1 the weap ons, an' show yer tber position outside." H e accordingly led the way into the street, and was followed by the crowd, includin g the old general, who seemed possessed of all the vir.or of a twenty years younger. 'Thera I You soe the twm cliffs!" Travers said; "they are r elative positions." The cliffs, or crags, in question were down where the gulch was narrower, one being on either side, and with a perpendi,oular faC'e to the higb.t of a hundred feet or more, wllile the separating_ them was not over forty yards. Once upon a time in the history of Deviltry, two miners bad stood upon the top of these cliffs and fought a duel with rifles, and since then the,r had been regarded w:(th superstition by a maJorityof the citizens. Hence there was an exclamation of surprise at the words of Col onel Bill. "Oh, I mean it,h he said, with a vicious l ook. "I purpose this: We each take a position on a clifi-, with our backs to each other, leve l our rifles across our right should er, sight by aid of a piece of and then blaze away until ohe or the other dies in his boots. H a ha1 ha! How d'ye like the flavor of that, you ola crow-bait!" If you address that query to me, I r espond, bully!" the general answe red. "It is an excellent plan. Only neithe r is to fire until one man h ere below gives the signal by firing a pis tol. An equal number of men on either side is t o see fair play. If eithe r of us try to use foul play, we are to be shot down like dogs." A cheer followed this speech. It was evident that the general was gaining friends in tbe town, by his bluff and independent ways. Ye'r' cussed purticler!" Colonel Bill declared. But ef you're satisfied, I am. Git yer shootin'irou and piece o' lookin'-glass, an' git up on one cliff or the other, where I can blaze away at ye. "Yes, hurry up with yer shoot; fer you're keepin' the boys away from their toddy!" Mrs. Bijah Green cried, with an eye to business. Ef you want any one to give the signal, I'm the one fer the biz, every day in a week!" General Arlington soon succeeded in b orrowing a handsome Winchester rifl e from one of the miners and also a piece of mirror, after which he clambered up the mountain-side to the rfght-hand cli.fl', Travers having set out for the left one. In five minutes both men had assumed their relative positions upon the cliff, with backs to ward each other, rifles over right s houlders, and gaze fixed upon the mirror by whose r eflect ion they were t o obtain their aim; then they awaited the signal to fire. B elow in the gulch the m en, women and children of the mining-camp waited in susp e nse. '' God save the old gentl!'man," Susie Falconer murmured, as s h e nervously watched from the door of the bank The olu cuss is doomed!" was the tone of the comments among the crowd. 'Colo nel Bill unierstands his biz. you bet, an' the old 'un is goin' to git scooped!" To the two antagonists awaiting the s ignal, this was of coure all side-talk; to which they were not listetlers. The colonel was n ervous and inclined to blasphemy, as h e grew angry with impatience. The general, by far the cooler of the two, did not appear the least alarmed as to his personal safety. "Cum, old womqn, ef ye're a-goin' to shoot, go ahead," some of the miners exclaimed, impa tiently. We want to see the fun." Bang went the old horse-pistol in. the bands of

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llre. Bijah, the next minute, causing a report loud enough for a small-sized cannon. Bang! Bang! This time it was from the twin cliffs that two reports echoed, and little wreaths of smoke curled up toward the sunlit sky. Neither man stirred, and the inference was that neither was hurt. "Once, an' nary a thing done!" Mrs .Bijah announced. "Here s h e goes ag'in l" The pistol went off a second time, and bang 1 bang l again from the cliffs. This time there was a manifest result. Colonel Bill uttered a frightful yell, threw up his arms and fell over the edge of the cliff. A sbujder passed through the crowd of spec tators. He would be killed, they thought. But, luckily for him, the gulch stream ran at the base of the clift', nnd he struck in the water. Ready hands soon_ pulled bil out, and found that he yet lived. He bad only received a 1leshwound. The wound to his bullying pride was evidently the greatest, for soon afterward he mounted his mustang and rode away down the gulch. The following morning saw crowds of people gathered around two posters which bad, during tne night, been tacked up against one side of Bijah Green's tavern. Sam Peterson, a Chinese laundryman, had first discovered them, IJ.nd called tue attention of the crowd to them, after which they were read and r eread by every one in the miningcamp. One of them was printed irr crimson letters with a marking-brush and bore thll insignia o f the Grim Goblin-a skull and cross bones. Tbe following message was conveyed by means of the poster: "NoTICE.-lt having come to my hearing that :you, the people of D e viltry. have acc u ed a man calling himself Nobhy Nick of being Grim Goblin, the Aven ger, I wish to e mphatically d e ny the charge. I will allow no mortal to hear my noble name and noto riety. If you want further evidencP of my work, go to tb e cabin of E vil Eph. But never again accuse Nohhy Nick of being Grim Goblin. Until I get in an-other vote on you I am "Humbly yom ''Gant GoeLIN." And this explanation should have convinced the most stubborn that they had wronged Nob by Nick, but it was evidence wbich those stubborn ones would not admit. The other poster was printed with a brush, but in black ink, and read as follows: "NoT!CE.-lt having come to mv notlee that I was suspected of having stoleti and absconded with the in my bank fourteen years ago. I hereby d<'ny the charge, and !a v the crime uwn my wife, who left shortly after my clepnrture. Having prosJ>ered in the East, and not wisbing any o n e to suffer through the mi,doings of mr family, I shall to-night rid e down the g ulch Into the town. and bring a pack age of mon e y. If I am rlot molested. I will give this monev over to mv da u g hter who bas a r e cord of what mon ey was missing years ago. and who it b e longed to. She will pay oil' suc h rightful claim ants as are Jivinl". or as l'av e h eirs Jiving. v-itb prin cipal and interest If I am molested I will turn aml ride away, and you will see no more of me. Re-member, I am but a sp'rit, having died four Jl8Sl'J ago. You maytrytocaptureme, but your grasp will rest upon-nothing. JOHN FALCo:N&R." We will return to the old Indian mine. While Nobby Nick became seated, Wild Flower around and assisted Stern Face in pre paring the evening meal, her every movement watched by the admiring eyes of the young Nevadian. She brought a little rude to.hi e and placed it before Nick, and then served him with some rare bits of antelope steak, 'Yith accompanying dishes of corn-bread and coffee, which tasted very relishable to him. Why don't sou sit by and eat in company with me?" Nick asked, seeing that Wild Flower remained standing near his elbow, and Sterr1 Face_ squatted on a log on the opposite side of the fire and puffed away at his pipe. "Wild Flowe r rathe r wait upcn the pale-face brave," the girl r e plied, with shining eyes. '' She lik es to serve him very much." "Well I canat least remark that I have no serious objections to that," Nick replied, with a smile. H e finished his supper, finally ; and signified his willingness to turn in, for he was in truth fatiiroed. "White bra'\'e sleep in three wigwam," Stern Face designating the third one from the camp-Ji.re. "Skins there, and tobacco." Ni c k accordingly sought the wigwam, and found it carpeted with bear-skins, ann furnished with a bear-skin couch, and a rude _stand containing a lantern and box of tobacco. Not car.ing to s moke, Nick threw himself upon the couch iid -was soon asleep, fe eling a sense of security in this subterranean abode that he would scarcely have acknowledged in the town just above it, in the outer world. After his retirement, it was not long ere Wild from the camp-fire to seek her own The face of Wild Flower is bright," St.ern Face said, in the Sioux t ongue. "Her thoughts must be of a pleasant nature." "Wild Flower is happier than ever before in her life," the maiden admitted, gazing down ward, with a flush u po n her cheek. "Becau se she loves the pale-face brave," Stern Face SU[7geste d. "The eyes of the old chi e f ar(l'""" s harp, and they can read. It is w e ll. Let the Wild Flower seek her couch and dream. Her choice i s wi s<:-unless-" H e added the "uuless" just afte r had vani she d within tl>e w:igwam, end there came to his cold gray eJPS a glitter tbat "as terrible in ib> uninterprctl"d meaning. For hours h e SRt refore the hlazin11: ramp-fire, with a g loomy expression of countenance, and smoked pipeful after p ;peful of t o l"acro, until a great mantle of smoke hoered cloud-like above him. Then like a noisP l ess shadow he ro&i to bis feet and craned his neck forwari:l as thoug h be were listening. Several minutes he stood thus. never a muscle moving. Theu he circled cautiowly around the camp-

PAGE 27

Nobby Nick of' Nevada, fl.re, and erept in a half-crouching position toward the wigwams. Ins t ead of pausi n g at bis own, he glided by it, and also past the one oc cupied by Wild Flcwe r. In front vf the third wigwam be paused! Like a grim statue he stood erect, h i s every sense on the alert. From within the wigwam came heavy breathing, whic h be opoke the fac t that NoQJ:>y Nic k slept. This sound did not see m to satisfy the old chief, entirely, for, st.epping to the opening, he softly parted the skins and peered within. Nick was lying outstretched upon the cou c h with eyes clo s e d There could te no doubt that he was slumbe ring. For several minnb s the old chief stood as if in hesitation-the n parting i;he curtains st ill further, he stepped within the wigwam. With catlike tread he the n approached tbe sleeper, his eyes fixed searchingly upon the young N e vadi ans features. Whe n h 9 had reached tbe b e d or couch side, he knelt upon his knees and studied the face of the sleeper int.entl y. "The face i s that of John Fakoner, fifteen summers a g o," he muse:l with darkening brow. "The mouth, the forehead, the expression are nearly the same. Ugh! the hand is bandagese several s ec ond'l, allowing him to inhale the strong fumes arising 'there from. "Be sleep sound now," the chief mutt.ered. Devil no wake him for an hour. St.ern Face see that hand now." A cautious rod-skin was the Siot..x minerthat was plain in all his actions. Before leaping he always lo o k e d. Arising from the N evadian's he l eft the wigwam and care fully approl.chel th'!.t of Wild Flower. Parting the skins, he p ee r e d within and saw her lying upo n h e r co uch of skin s a p pa rentl7 asle e p. With a grunt of aporov 'tl h e r aturne d t'J th:i other wigw am, and a k een-edge i h unt ing-knife from hi s b e lt, to c rtt aw!iv th1 bandage s th>tt cov e r e d Nobbv Nick's scarre i hand, ming g reat c a:iti o n n o t to pri c k the flesh. It was but the w ork of a f e w seconds ere the hand was b a re. A growl of e s c'l.ue i His suspic i o n s had not b ee n without v eritl.P-a tion, for the r 'l w11s the p eculiar brand upon the palm of the N e v a di au's hand. "Nobby Ni<'k h F a k.on er's s on!" the old chi e f said, risinz to his and f o ldin'l: his arms across his bre S tern Face will remember his oath. H e kill him!' He n are r to the couch and raised the k:Dife, ready to strike the deadly blow, which would score hi s first link of vengeance against .Tobn Falconer. But the blow remained unstrnck. There was a quick, wild cry, and St.era Face found his arm in a vise-like grasp. "Stop! What would Stern Face do?" the voice of Wild Flower exclaimod, sharply. What would Stern Face kill the pale-face brave for? " W agh I H e snake in the grass J" St.era Face r e plied. S ee scar-brand on his hand. He J ohn Falcone r s He come here to steal g o ld of S ioux Mm e like his treacherous father. Stern Face kill. him "Nol no! Pale-face brave is Wild Flower's lover." "Stern Face care not. He snake. He come with covered hand, fearing the vengeance of Stern Face. Stern Face no fool-ho smell rat. He know him. He prove him-now he kill him.11 "No, no, I say!" Wild Flower cried, stamp ing her foot impetuously. "St.ern Face is wild. He is not wise. Nic k did not come here for mischief. He knew not the secret of the s carred band, or anything of bis own or his parents' history, until told by Wild Flower. He came to this country to break up the forgers. He did not bind hi s hand-Wild Flower bound it, fearing to have St.ern Face see it lest he get anlfry." Wild Flower lie I" the chief cried, angrily. She snake like Nick!" H e wrested his arm from her grasp and struck h e r a c ross the face With a faint cry, she f ell back insensible upon the bear-s kins Then, again grasping his gleaming knife, the revengeful chief turned toward the helpless Nevwan. CHAPTER XI. A. FOUGH RECEPTION, THE date of J ohn Falconer's coming drew nigh at hanJ. People swarmed in the streets of Deviltr. v in expectancy-;-men, women and childre n. The p o st.er had lit.erally set the town wild and y et, it would have take n a sharp gue sser to t.ell what the reception of the longabsent mine r would be. Little or nothing was said to indic: ate whethe r the y were in favor of reclaiming J@hn Falconer as a fre e and loyal c itizen or driving him forth again an outcast. Sandv Sue was b ehind the count.er in her little bank, en g aged in figuring up some deposits for the dav. and the m npon the ledger, whe n a burlv. mud-snatmre d in slouch hat, red shirt. overalls and stogy boots, came st.rirling into the b anka seedv-looking indi with h eavy redrlih beard and hair, and e vo $ that wP.re d ee o and hlack. "He llo!" h e saluted, a huge chew of. tobacc o from a wuc h a.nd thrusting it into his mout.h. e ven as h e spoke Is ther boss of this ranch in?" "Ye s, I'm the bos. 11 Sue responded, not too ple
PAGE 28

, Nobby Nick of Nevadu.. "Oh, ye aire, aire ye1 Waal, neow, I'll be onssed ef ye ain't rutber a good-lookin' boss, t.oo. But, I say, neow, hev ye seen a feller round this town, a-callin' hisself Generii.l Arlington-a gallus sort o' galoot with stove-pipe hat and white whiskcrs1" "General Arlington was in town this morn ing," Sue replied. ''You will find him at Bije Green's tavern, uncloubt.edly." Oh I I ain't .'bout seein' him," the man replied. "It's bis cash I'm arter, you bet! My handle is Jim Tuc ker, by gum, an' I'm jist down from Painter Flats. The Genril he guv me a leetle paper byar, and sed as bow when I presented it beer, I'd git my cash fer ther Poker mine w'ot he bought of me." And Tucker pro ceeded to fish out a soiled slip of paper from his pockets, and slapped it down upon tbe counter with a business-like emphasis. Sue t.ook the order and examined it closelythen went to a desk and compared it with the chirography of General Arlington. When she again approached the count.er it was with a shake of her pretty head. You will have to furnish re iable identification before I can pay that order," sbe said "So many forgeries have been presented larely, that I require all persons not personally known to me to b e id entified." ,z The devil you say I" the miner grunt.ad. "So ye don't know me, ebil 'an' won'1. pay that order for five thousand do arsi till I'm indenrerfied afore ye1 Well, I'm_ olasted. 'Spect how you'll bein' callin' the order bogus, directly." "I have my d0ubts as to its Sue re plied. "Sit down a moment-my tea-kettle is hoiling over," she added, darting into the kitch en. She
PAGE 29

Nobby Nick of.Nevada. iiafle sliover" of the Bearded Brothers, to the marshal's bee.dquerters, but, they were the r&'lipients of no particular satisfaction, for Blue Bill was put in a marquee, and a strong guard lJO!lted around his prison. The marshal was reticent as to what disposal !le propoeed to make of his prisoner. Before "Bije Green's tavern the crowd grew l!lteadily more d e nse and black. The sun went down, so that even the topmost peaks reflected none 6 f its radiating beams, and in the valley below the dusk of 6Vening crept on apace. Facing the northern opening of the gulch the crowd stood with silent bearing; weapons be gan to appe'!lr in more than one hand and they had their own significance No friendly aspect, at least for the man tl;iey were all waiting for, .and that man was J ohn Falconer. He had said he would come at dusk, and the hour was at band for his arrival. Colonel Bill Travers was at the front of the erowd1 pacing to and fro with the impatience of an ammal at bay. N o t a word he uttered, but "the baleful glitter in his eyes spoke the same meaning as tbe grim sil e nce among the crowd. Hal a faint murmur v.asses among the;waiters-a general stiris visible. A man has just hove in sight up the gloomr. gulch, on h orseback-a man 9lad in citizens garb, except a steel cap with visor, which surmounts his head. He comes riding nearer at a cantar, se eming to have no fear, and carries in front of him upon the saddle pommel a package several inches in dimension. Nearer-nearer he approaches, until Qpposite the Falconer cabin, across the stream-then draws rein. Susio is standing in the doorway, anrl starts "to rush forth iu greeting, but h e waves her baek, peremptorily. H e sees a m ove ment a:nong the crowd that arouses his b"Uspicion of foul play; it is the aiming of two-score or qiore <>f rifles and revolvers at his person. A laug h of defiance escapes him, and he throws bis arms and liands behind him. "Surrender!" Colonel Bill yell$, at the top of bis voice, at the same time advancing toward the bridge, followed by the citizem, with wea pons l eveled. "You are our prisoner." "You are mistaken!" a c l ear, deep voice re plied. "I came here expecting no molestation. .Am I to understand you propose to take and treat me as a prisoner?" "You c;in bet we're a-going to take y e, and make ye bump fer what ye did fourteen years ago," Travers shouted. "Ef ye budge a bair's breadth we'll riddle ye fer certain." "Then riddle away!" Falconer cried. "Pve offered to do more than a fair thing by you, and now that you spurn that offer, you must l ose your gama Ta! tat" H e whe e led bis horse like a flash, and dashed _away up the gulch. "F!ref" howled the co l onel; "shoot the thief ilbrough the back!'' .And 11. deafening explosion of powder answered the "mmant. "Ha! ha.I your bullets are but little Mil stonesl" Falcone r shouted back. "You had best save your ammunition, while I will save the gold you have scorned to receive. Hal ha!" "Stop! stop!" Travers shouted, infuriated at the apparent defeat, for no part of the bullet fired at the ex-miner had seemed to take effect. "Shoot hitw, I tell you, somebody." Ap.other volley was accordingly fl.t-ed, but without effect, for Falcone r dashed on, waving his hand back, occasionally, in defiance. Once more the enraged citizens fired, and this time scored a hit. The horse that Falcone r rode uttered an a l most human scream, and fell for ward to the ground heavily. Falconer had 111.nded upon bis feet first, how ever, and darted on at a greater speed than when on horseback, soon disappearing from view up the gulch. A figure stood upon one of the Twin Clitfs viewing the scene below. The person was garb ed as a man, but the face and form were unmis takably feminine. .And upon the face !ihere was a strav_ge, exultant expression, as she saw Fal cone r ef :..-pe. "Goo I He is now left tor me," she said, turning 1 way "What Travers haslost, I have won!" The d-dfeated citizens of Deviltry, generally, adjourned to Bije Green's tavern for refresh ments after watching their contemplated victim escape. All except Colonel Bill. Re lounged around until be thought he was not obse r ved and the n crosse d the bridge and hurried up the gulch to where Falconer's horse had fallen. The neighborhood was deserted. The poor animal was quite dead, having been riddled by a dozen bullets. Travers uttered an exclamation of delight as h e noted that the package was still strapped to the pommel of the saddle. "Mine I" be said, as he cut it loose and hefted it. "This i s what Falconer offered to give to the ones he robbed. But for my influence the cussed fools would ha-ve been foolish to have accepted it. Hal ha! it's mine now.' He di.i not pause t-0 opeu it, but hurried on up the gulch. On ce or twice he halted, nervously, fancying he heard footsteps, but could see no signs of human presence through the gloom that surrounded him In the course of half an hour h e cam0 to a halt in the depths of a heavy pine forest tbat e nveloped the gulch l\ottom, and listened again. Not a $OUnd could he hear denoting human pre sence in that vicinity. It will be as good a place as any to examine my prize he muttered. "Ha I ba I you've struck a bonanza, Bill Tr11.T ers, and you'll be a fool if you ever whack up with your brethren." He scraped together some leaves and dry twigs, aI)d soon bad a bright fire blazing be neath the forest cover. Then, seating himself upon 11. fallen log, he proceeded to untie the pacltage. ., "Thar must be a fat stake in here,'' be chuek

PAGE 30

. Nobby Nick of Nevada. 18 "and if thar is; East I go ter set up as a finlt.class nabob." "Your ill-gott.en gains will avail you not, Bill Travers for you are ano1iher of Grim Gob lin's men I" a sharp, G.eep voic e cried, and the following instant there was the vivid :fl.ash and ringing report of a rifle Travers gasped an
PAGE 31

30 N obby Nick Nevada.. miner of J obn Falconer. You are J obn Fal coner, beneath your long beard-same thief who ran away, fourteen years ago. Stern Face know you -never forget you! He swore to kill you and yours, for treacherous snakes. He no kill Sunny Hair. He capture you and your boy. He kill you both, if Wild Flower no bring proof of yo qr innocence." Then not waiting .;o note the effect of bis words, he threw a blanket over the lead and face of John Falc oner, a> we shall continue to call him hereafter, and again lifting him in bis arms, descended through the trap that had served as a mode of escape for Nick and Wil d F l ow e r not many hours before. Moll McGregor, otherwise the faithless second wife of John Falconer, lay for hours in the closet unable to rid herself of the gag and bonds that bound h e r limbs. Desperately and determinedly, however, did she writhe anrl struggle, untll, after several hours of effort, she succeeded in getting her hands tree. The remaining work of liberating herself was but short, and she soon stood out in the upper ball. Here she disguised h erself with a sandy wig, and beard, and went boldly down into the bar-room and oqt into the street. Two m e n "immediately left their position at the bar, where they had been drinking, and fol lowed her out into tbe night. Both were roughly-dressad, common-looking miners, but were armed to the teeth. Sandy Sue was seated that same evening in her cabin, en'.{aged in sewing, when there came a knock at the door. b a r work she sprung hastily to open it, fcfr she expected that it was her father's knock. S he had b ea n watching and waiting with nil ea.i;erness for him to come back{ and her heart beat fast as she turned the knob and opened the door. But di>appointment flew into h e r face as she beheld shntllng without-not John Falconer, but Wild Flower I "Let m e come in," the half-breed girl said, quickly. ''I have bad news for Sandy Sue, and we work "What is it-tell me, quickly," Sue cried, admitting b a r, and hrnding her a "I'll t ell you if you listen," Wild Flower said. Yo'r fathe r, John Falconer, an<'I your brother, Nobby Nic k, are both captives in the power of Stern Face Sue u t t 9 r e d a horrifi e d exclamation. She well knew of Stern Face's vengeful oath, and the peril of those who were dear to her instant ly flasb ed Mros s h e r mind. "My brotbe r1 you say-is Nobby Nick my brothe r?" asKed. "Yes, h e is your He and John Falconer are both in Stern Face's power, and it de pends on us whether they Jive or die. Wild Flower is in love with Sandy Sue's brother; she would fight through fire for his sake. She pleaded with Stern Face, and he conse nted not to kW them until two s u nrises, and if in that time w e can prove t hat John Falconer did not steal. the money, Stern Face will rel ease them." "Ohl Wild Flower, you area brave, nobl e girl But it will be impossible for us to produce the required lltoof. My mother, or rather step mother, was undoubtedly the culprit, and she only could furnish the desired proof by confessing." "Exactly. And she must be made to give a confession." But, how? Where can we find her?" "Wild Flower will find her, in a few hours. She bas long s u spected who sho was, and if Sandy Sue will arm herself, and follow the Indian girl's lead1 the game will be cornered ere another sunrise Then you can rely on me," Sue said, brave ly. I am no coward, and will help you all I can to trail this woman down and extort from her a confession of her misdeeds." Then prepare at once. Arm yourself with revolvers, and dress in men's clotlling,as itwill facilitate our speed in getting through among the rocks. Sue hastened to obey, and ere many minutes elapsed they were both en route, like sleuths of the night, on the search for the faithless wife of John Falconer. 1'hev w ere not the only ones. The two men who had followed the tigress from the tavern gained on her, as she hurried away up the gulch, and made their pursuit &.: nois e less as possible Two m ore miners might have been seen bringing up their rear in the same cautious manner, making it altogether a night chase of a very interesting nature. The first pursuers were soon near enough to make aim certain, and halting, they leveled their revolvers at the figure ahead, and cried: "Halt! Face about, or you are a dead man!" And there was no the meaning of their order-it was life or death. Moll McGregor seemed to recognize their voices, for she wheeled about abruptly, and ad vanced toward them. There I there I Put up your tools. and don't try to play highway tricks on me," she said, with a grim laugh. "It's I-Marie!" "Ob, yes, so we are aware, one of the m e n re plied. And you are the very one we want." Ob I" the woman said, sbovin(?; her hands down into h e r jacket pockets, and giving vent to a whistle of surprise. What, may I inquire, do you want of ma?" "We want you for your funny little pranks of late, mum-in fact, we've found out that you are the one who has been laving up Grim Gob lin, the Avenger. Ho I h o J you start, you she wolf, but not so hard as you will when you're yanked ur to a limb." "Yes, start, for I thought my secret in my own keeping," she replied. "But you shall not take me---ohl no!" Even as she finished speaking she whipped a pair of revolvers from her jacket poc!cets, and fired upon them, dropping both of them as though by magic. Then she t urned and fled.

PAGE 32

Nobby NICk of Nevada. 31 Loud yells came from the rear, and the sound of rapid footfalls. Sbe was pursued by others of the desperate gang of Bearded Brothers, whose queen and literal leader she h a d been for many years; tbey trusted her implicitly1 when, all the while, she had abused their trusi;, and now that they h a d l earned of her treachery and were pursuing h er, sbe knew too surely that her escape was a matter of skill and nerve. Summoning r ll her strength she sped along up the gulch as fast as she could run, but, try h e r best, sbe could not get out of the sound of the pursuing footfalls_ To follow her through the tortuous windings and over the crooks and turns of the route she chose would necessitate a d escription of an almost unflagging run. For hours she sped on, h e r strength fat leaving her, and h e r footsteps slower and more un certain, from sbeer fatigue. At last she entered a long, narrow chasm or fissure between two mountains, into which the light of early dawn was jmt creeping. "If I can get tbrough tills, I am safe among the caves beyond," she muttered, a wild, haggard expression in her eyes. !fl It is a word that inte rroo.es between full many a s u ccess of this world, and brings death and disaster to the front. If she could get through the chasm unmolested, the way lay open for her escape I But she did not. She had not gone fifty yards into the chasm when she h eard the Bearded Brothers in her rear, near the mout h of the pass, yelling and cursing, and saw step out across her paih, in front, two persons, who leveled cocked revolvers full upon her. "Stop!" c:ried the voice of Wild Flower, for tt was s h e and Sandy Sue who had lain in wait for the female f!9ure, on not finding her a t the rPndezv ous. r ou are our prisoner. Throw up your bands, or I'll fire!" So exhauste d was the fugitive that she did not try to disobey, 'and the girls bound her in a iiffy. Quick I Take me out of this place, or they will get me," the forgeress said, with a nervous glance. We w ill r escue you only on one condition," Wild Flower sa id, in a stern, ringing tone. "What is that?" Marie demanded, eagerly, "It is this," Wild Flower r eplied "When we take you before my father, Stern Face, yon are to confess to him that it was you imtead of John Falconer who robbed the bank, fourttien years a.go. Swear that you will do this, and t.ben take yom departure from this s ection of the country, and we will take you direct to Stern Face "And if I refuse?" We will bind yonr feet and leave you lying h ere at the m ercy of the B;:?a.rded Bro thers." Marie shuddered. Too wen she knew the rough men who were se eking her life, not to lmow that her fate would ro .. a. hoITi ble one. I swea r by my h ope of r edemption in the to do as you wish," she cried. "1 will do anything rather than fall inw the hands of those human welves on my trail." "We shall be doing according as you have don\l by otbersl-. did we leave you to their t.ender mercy r Wild J!"lower dec lared. Come!" She blindfolded the captive with a sc;arf -tben she and Sue seized her, each by an arm, and hurried on through the passage As soon as they were able to find a secure hiding-place tbe y came to a stop and waited for darkness to again fall. Tbe remainder may be briefly told in a few words. When night once more :fell, the two brave girls s e t sut for the old Indian mine, where they arrived in safety, and, true to her promise, Marie confessed before Stern Face that it was she who had stol e n the money fourteen years previous. When questioned as to what she bi.d done with the wife of Stern Face, she Sllid she had gone back to the South. Sbe was reticent or.. all other points; but Stern Face's doubts were satisfied, and he instruct.3d Wild Flow e r to con duct h e r from the mine and set her at liberty. John Falconer and bi s son were then released, and a. joyous reunion and r econciliation took place within the mine. Marie, released, disappeared; none could tell where or whence A woman in sex yet in heart and hand a devil incarnate, she had lived a wilder life than manv a. b urde ned renegade and ruffian. But nev er, in all those years -of vicious indulgence in the frenzy of excite ment bad she permitted any intimacy that c ould taint h e r woman's h ono r l She was, in d eed, a. strange compound of evil and good, the explanation of whose career was to be measurably found in the huma n e suppositi o n of a spec i es of insanity that goaded her to do and dare the very worst that a human arm and will could do -as if in revenge for the firs1 rash act that made h e r a. thief and outcast. Even John Falconer, while he could only shudder a t the thought that s h e bad been and still was bis wife, yet had not the hem t to wish her punish ed for h e r crimes, arid so, with bi s full assent she passed into the world again to be known n o more as the thing she bad bf.en, but with the millions at her e<>mmand which-her crime stained hands had won-what pa.rt was it not for her to pla y in a new sphere or in another continent1 Most of the Brothers were later capture d by the U. S. Ma.rsbal, assisted by Nevada Nick, and ta.ken to the fo r t for trial and condemnation. EJaving Amassed the equivalent of a dozen fortunes the friends abandoned the bidden mine aiitl separated, Nic k and Wild Flower going to D enve r where they W<'re marri ed. John Falcone r and Susie to Ch ic ago, w here they now live but Stern Face true to h is lov e for the wilderneks passed into the Northwes t to the bunting region of bis people, the Sioux-among whom be r e i gns as Peacemaker, Father aJP.@ Great .Medicine. THE END.

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PAGE 34

Deadw00d D ick Library LATEST AND BEST. HANDSOME TRI-COLORED COVERS. 32 Pages. Bay One a nd Y ou Will Buy tke Re&U r 8ample Cever 8ee 8l11er & ... DEAD WOOD D I C K LIBRARY. Dead w ood Dick, the Prince of the Road t The Double Daggers; or, D eadwood D i ck's Defiance I T he. Buffalo Demon: or. The Border Vultures 4 Buffalo Ben, Prince of the Pistol II Wild Ivan, the Bo y Claude Duval I Death-Face, the D etective 7 The Phantom Min er; or, D eadwood Di ck's Bonanza 8 Ol d Avalanche, the Great Annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brie:and 11 Bob Woolf, t h e Border Ruffian 10 O m aha 011, the Mask e d Terror; or, Deadwood Dick inDane:e r 11 Jim Blndsoe, Jr. the Boy Phenix; or, Throug h to 1 Death 1 2 Deadwood Di ck's or, The Pards of Flood Bar 1 3 B uckhorn B ill ; or, The Red Rifle Team 1 4 Go l d R i fle, the Sharpshoote r 1 5 Deadwood Dick on Deck; or, Calamity Jane 16 Co rduroy Charlie, the B o y Bravo 1 7 Rosebu d Rob; or, Nugge t N e d, the Knight of the Uu lch J 8 ldyl the Girl Miner; or, Rosebud Rob on Hand 19 :....l1otograph Phil; or, Rosebud Rob's Reappearance 20 Watch-Eye the Shadow I 21 Deadwood Dick' s Devic e ; or, The Sign o f the Double C ro s s 22 Canada Chet, the Counterfeiter Chief 23 Deadwood D ick in Leadville; or, A. Strange Stroke for Liberty 24 Deadwood Di c k as Detective 25 Gilt-Edged Di c k 26 Bone,nza Bill, the Man-Tracker; or, The Secret Twelve I 27 Chip, the Gi rl Spor t f 28 Jack Hoyle's L ead; or, The Road to Fortune 29 Boss Bob, the King of B ootblacks 80 Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost of Gorgon' s Gu l c h 81 Bl on d e B ill ; or, D e a dwood D ick' s Home Base 82 Solid S am, the Boy Ro a d-Age n t 83 Tony Fox, the Ferret: or, Boss Bob's Boss J o b 34 A Game of Gold; or, Deadwo od Dick's Big Strike 35 D eadwoo d Dick of Dead wood; o r The Picked Part' 86 Ne w Y ork Nell. the Boy Girl Detective 87 Nobby Nick of Nevada; or, The Scamps of theSierraa 38 Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo 39 Deadwoo d Di c k s D oom; or, Calamity Jane's Last Adventure I 40 D e a<1wood Dick's Dream' or, The Rivals of thP Road 41 D eadwood Dick's W ard; or, The Black Hills Jezebel 42 T h e Ara b D etective; or, Snooz er, the B o y Shar p 43 The V entriloquist Detective. A Romance of Rogues 44 Detective Josh Grim; or, The Young Gladiator's Game 45 The Frontier Detective; or, Sierra Sam's Schece 46 The Jim town Sport; or, G ypsy Jaci< In Co lorado 47 The 111iner Sport; or, Sugar -Coated Sam' s C laim 48 Di c k Drew the Miner's S on; or, Apollo B ill t he Road-Agent 4 9 Sierra Sam, the D etectiv e :;o Si Prra Sam's Double: or, The Three Femal e Detect. ives 51 Si erra Sam's Senreo,,-e; or, Littl e Luck a t Rou g h Ranch 52 The Girl Sport: or Jumbo Joe's Disguise 53 D enve r D oll's D eice ; or, The Detective Queen 54 Denver Doll as D etective 55 D envPr D"ll's Partner; or. Big nuckskin the Sport 56 D enve r D o ll's Min e ; or, Little Bill's Big Loss D eadwood Dick Trapped 58 Buc k Hawlt, Detective; or, The Messenger Boy's F ortune 59 D eadwood Dick's Disguise; or, Wild Walt, the S port 60 Dumb Di r tr s Pard; or, Eliza Jan e the Gold Miner 61 Deadw

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