Sierra Sam's sentence, or, Little luck at Rough Ranch

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Sierra Sam's sentence, or, Little luck at Rough Ranch

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Title:
Sierra Sam's sentence, or, Little luck at Rough Ranch
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
Creator:
Wheeler, Edward L. (Edward Lytton) 1854 or 5-1885
Place of Publication:
Cleveland, Ohio
Publisher:
Arthur Westbrook Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 20 cm.: ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Adventure stories. ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
026008800 ( ALEPH )
07327368 ( OCLC )
D22-00050 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.50 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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Oopyrlght 1882-1888, by Beadle&; I.dams. Entered at Post omce, New York, N. Y., as second c lass matter. Mar. 15, 1899. No.51 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. Cleveland, Ohio Vol. IV &UIIRZ O:til'PL"Et> WITH lllK. ANO AS. SA.II WA ct UNPREPA'Rlt:D Ft>B SUCH AN .A&r. "1IJY .......) DOWN TB& STEEP STEPS. IN1'0 THB STREET Bltt.oW.

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Copy ri g h t 1882-1388, hy Read l e & A d ams, Entered at Post Office, N e w Y ork, N. Y., as second Class matter. Mar. 15, 189!1 Issued Weekl y THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK co. Price 5 Cents. : u01 IV Cleveland, Ohio $2.50 a Year a' RA.MIRZ G R APPLED WfTH ATM AND A S SAM UNPREPARE D FOR S UCH AN AOT1 THEY ROLLED DOWN THE STEEP STEPS. INTO THE STREET BKWW.

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Sierra. Sams Sentence. Sierra Sam's Sentence; OR, Little Luck at Rough Ranch. BY EDWARD L. WHEELER, A'1THOR OF" DEADWOOD DICK 11 NOVELS. ":llOSEBOD ROB'' NOVELS, u SIER.HA. ).3.l...ll" NClvELS, ETC., ETC., ETC. CHAPTER r. SIERRA SAM, YOU ARE WANTED." RAMIRZ, a little settlement, not many dozeng of miles fro .. Tucso:1. Arizona, had in a measur" caugbt tl1e Fever," for gold bad been found in and abuut tbn town in sufficient quan tity to warrant san<;uiue hopes that "Rough Ranch," as the place was more familinrlyknown, would soon "kick the dust" in Leuok after their own accommodation. It in this way tbat tbe ricb Don obtained a good deal of notoriety for his hospitality-for his board was furnished with the best luxuries afforded in that primitive region-and always had a servant awaitir:g the arrival of the stage, to conduct well-dressed and well-appearing par ties to his handsome stone mansion. When the Tucson stage rolled down Into Rough Ranch one summer evening, just at sun aet, and came to a halt in front of the post omce, two passengers alighted. One was a young fad v wbose garments were eovered by a gray duster, and whose face was partly screened from view by a white vail, which was arranged about her hat. The man was a handsome, graceful fello w clad in genteel garments, all except tbe broad brimmed slouched sombrero upon his head, cov ering a wealth of dark-brown hair which fell in a wavy upon his shouluers. In facto be was handsome, with a graceful mustache and imperial, piereing dark eyes, and a firm, but pleaant mouth, denoting decided decision of character. Few men of bis type ever set foot in Rough Ra ucb ; consequently, he became the target for many glances Sierra Sam was this new-comer-the well known sleuth-hound and ferret of the Sierra Nevadas; and the young lady was sbe who bad formerly been Angel of Big Vista, but now Sam's bride. The interesting ceremony had taken place in Tucson tbe day before tbeir arrival in Rough Ranch. "Hera we are at last," Sam said, as he assist ed Stella to alight. "The next thing is to find a good hotel." "If you senor," a smooth-faced young Spanish-American said, "I have the honor, by orders from Don R!l.mon de Ra:nirz, to invite yourself and the senora to the hospitality of the mansion." But is there no hotel I" E.am asked, "There is no hotel, snnor, and that is why the Don extends to you the hospitality of bis estab lishment," the servant "Then lead on," and offering his arm to Stella, they followed the servant up the main street of the town, soon coming to the De Ramirz mansion. It was a large, rambling, ancient sort of strueture, built of stone from the surrounding mountains, and more resembled some old Castilian castle tban a modern 1 esidence Turrets ran up at each corner, fronting the street, and were overrun by clinging ivy. A broad, arched entrance led into the" court," or plaza, from which balls branched off in different directions, the floors being covered with bright rugs and the walls bung >Vith pictures. Hello I I guess we have found a king's palace in the wilderness!" Sam remarked, in a low to n e to Stella as tbey were about entering. "Ugh! I do not like tbe looks of the place, deart the bride replied, with a shiver, "lt re minas me of a grim old castle prison [ once re'ld of iu an English novel." "Pooh! -You'll quickly get over your disli':e, no donbt. As soon as I find what l: want he'll, we will set out for the East, Providence perrr itting. "But, Sammy, I fear some evil will befall us whilo we are in this town I'' "Ohl I guess not. I'll keep my weather-eye sharp optn and look out for breakers." They entered one of the great balls, and were thence conducted into a large, magnificently furnis:ted salon-parlor, where they were request ed to be seated, and were asked for their cards. Sam smiled at this. In the social sphere in wbiC'b he bad for some time movfld he bad not needoo cards, t"' playing pack, so he drew an ace of hearts frJlll his pocket, and wrote upon. the face of iv-" Sl. erra Sam."

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Sierra. Sam's Sentence< With a bow the servant receiv.cd it and took bis departure, while Sam and Stella devoted their attention to looking a round. Everything in the furnishings of the room was of rich, oriental style, a nd to import and bring to this far-n way place must ha "e cost a large fortune. Rare pictures, rich C'arpets, mats and draperies, fine piec es of statuary, exquisite ornaments and graod furnitura all met the gaze -the light of a great lamp chandulier throwing 1 a mellow radiance over all. "This is too beautiful a place for a rambling spirit like me." S!Lm declared, with a low laugh. I should fee l out of place bertJ." "Ob! it's grand-just such a place as.I would like to C'all my borne!" Stella said, enthusiasti cally. l'nd yet it seems like a prison to me." At this juncture a portly, dark-faced but not ill-l ooking man entered the room, and by his dress Sam judged that he was the Don. u You are wel come, seno r and senorita,,.. he accosted the guests, advancing with a pleasant smile. "Americans are always welcom e to the hospitality of Ramon de Ramirz. Newly wedrled, eh1" and he glanced first from Sam to Stella. "Yes--yesterday, at Tue.on," Sam replied, rising and shaking the Don's proffered hand. "We thought we'd stop over a few stages in Ramirz, but did not know there was no hotel." It is my wish that there should be none, as it gives me a chance to extend my hospitality to all strangers coming her1>, which otherwise J should not feel so free to do. Now, while Ferro shows you to your room, I will order sup per." He rung a bell, and the man-servant reap peared. "Ferro, show the guests to white chamber and be in waiting in the ball outside, to escort them to the supper-room, as soon as they have made their toilets," the Don commanded. Ferro bowed and conducted f'!am and Stella up a curious flight of stone stairs to the next floor; thence along a narrow, dimly-lighted corridor, to a room overlooking the street. He admitte d tbem to the room, the walls of which were hung with white satin, with furniture to match, and retired. "What do you think of the Don1'' Sam asked, when they were alone. "Oh I I am afraid of him," Stella returned, with a shudder. "Although his exterior may seem pleasant enough, I believe he is for all a bold. bad man." "You may, and you may not be Sam responded. I am not favorably impres.'led with him, myself, although I have no cause to be suspicious." Soon after tbey went down to with Ferro iu th .. They dint.: : -ba ll was more plainly furnished, except the table, which was set with silver and likewrse with a most tempting repast. The Don soon joined his guests, accompanied by a beautiful girl of some years, whom he introduced as "my daughter Inez." She soon proved a most vivacious and charming conversationalist, and made herself and those in ber company at ease, by her art'8as, charming manners. B"auty of a rare type she possessed, both in face and figure, and drPssed in a style be coming her personal charms. She at once made friends with StPlla, nnd as soon as supper was over, the w ent for a ramble through the queer mans ion of the m o untains, leaving Sierra Sam and the Don at their wine and cigars. 'I believe I have heard of you," tbe Don was "Let me see-you are a sort of detective, m your way; are you not1 "Rather,'' Sam replied, with a laugh. "I knock about the country, picking up points and putting them to such 11se as I can." "I presume, during your expnience, you have occasionally looked in on games of chance, have you not1 What say you? Shall we run over to the Casino and l ook on!" "I have no objections," Sam responded; and accordingly they scon left the mansion. Going down the rugged, shanty-lined street, until they came to the Casino saloon, they entered, to find themselves in such a scene as Sam bad in many times before-a floor covered with chairs and tablas, with a bar at one end of the room, and a collection of dirt besplasbed miners, better dressed gamblers and adventurers as acting figures in the scene. A goOre Spanish-ArnPricans: dark-faced and treacherous looking. Here and there, how ever, could be singled out a German, Yankee or Irishman, and in one in stance, a negro and a Chinaman, the latter two being enga-ged in a game of poker, and the sable individual evi tlently getting the best of the game, jndgmg by uis hugP. guffaws, As the Don and Sierra Sam entered, all eyes were turned upon them, for the dashing ap pearance of the ferret excited no little curiosity among the habitues of the place. This is the place w herP. fortunes often change hands," tbe Don explained. I've won and lost several bere myself!" "And have plenty to spare yet, I dare my,'' Sam observed. "Well, no. I am by no means a millionaire, although not a beggar. I have enough for my current wants and no more. By the way, I see a party I wish to speak ''ith prirntely and I will leave you to yourself a tew miuutes." He strode away then to v n otbPr part of the room, where h e engaged in convH>ati on with a younger man, who was duskyfaced, hHd piercing black eyes, and hair, mustache and goatee to match. Sam took a l oo k at him, so as to memorize him; then sauntered at-out the room, lookin g down on the various games that were going on. At one table one gambler was throwing tbree card monte, and Sam instantly perceived that he was an adeut at the business. The victim was a rugged, lonr-;--grnre d but good-natured Yankee, of past tbe mi<'ldle age, who frequently gave Vl'nt to the cry" hoop-Jal" which evi<'lently was a favorite expres3ion with him. Sam stopped, an<'I looked on with curiosity. "There tbey are. tbP. gambler nied, dexterously flipping three new C'ards dowu

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Sierra. Sam's Sentence. upon the table, backs upward-" tl1& aees of When they arrived at the mansion j;he Don hearts, diamonds, aud spades, respectively anr! Sam alone entered, the former locking the The aces of hearts wins ten dollars! Buy your others oub. chips, and place 'em on your choice of two Io the parlor they found Inez de Ramirz in "Hoop-Jal durn my skin ef I don't go ye teal's, anuth!'r whirl," the Yankee responded, purcbas-"Oh, Mr. Slocum!" sbe cried hysterically," I ing ten dollars' worth of cl.lips, at.:d eo\'eriugone could not help it-indeed I could not!" of the cards. "That' ttier be .. uy, tbrn W bat do you mean! Explain yourself!" sure sart'in." S a m demanded, sternly. "What do yon mean "Any one else want to make or lo se a for-::..where is my wife?'' tune!" the gambler cleman 1eu, bis gaze .,auder-"I do uot know-oll 1 I do not know, sir! ing from face to face, ana finally dwelling for 1 I left your lady, for a moment, to come down an instant upon Sierra Sim's. stairs for a glass of wine for her, as sbe said she A miner soon put ten dollars upon a second felt faint, and on my return she was gone, from caJ"d, and the garnblr,r covered tb;; other-the blue chamber where I left her. I hastily which, of course, was the winning card, and he called the servants and had the house searched1 raked in the chips. fl'om top to bottom, but cou ld find no trace or "Durn my luck! I'm bu'sted, bv thunder!" her. Ohl dear, what can I do-what can be Hoop-la cried, with a grimace. "Sixty dollars done, toward finding her!" hev I lost, jest as simple as A, B, C, an' I ain't Sam heard her through, patiently, his face got \Wen ther wherewithal to buy a drink of whiter than usual, and his eyes emitting a wild, with." strange glance "Ary other gent got any confidence in the "Well, I do not see what more yon can do, shre ;vdness of their eyes?" Dandy Dell, the if all is as you say I'' he replied, "but if Stella gambler, asked, with a sarcastic grin. "Watch this mansion, some one surely, would me close now!" have seen her! I do not believe that she is And he dexterously threw the cards. outside of these wall s,'' he declared with some "Pretty flip at the game, I see," Sam said, beat. advancing to the table. "Sir, you speak as though you questioned my "None better in the country than I,'' the daughter's words!" De Ramirz cried, stepping gambler r eplied boastingly. quickly forward, in a white rage. "Apologize, "And yet you are very bad,'' Sam retorted. or I'll throw you out of my house I" "I can pick out your ace of hearts, nine times "I'm afraid you'll find that rather a hard out of ten, for money." act to perform," Sam retorted, significantly. Tbe gambler laughed scornfully. "As soon as I am allowed the privilege of ex" Wbat do you want to bet?" he sneered, pre>amiuing your house, I shall be pleased to seek ducing fres h cards. safer bospitahty." "Anything that is agreeable to you," Sam "Then you refuse to apologize!" replied, nonchalantly. "Say a thousand do!"Why, certainly! Sorry if I have hurt your Jars." daughter's feelmgs, but, you see it is a privilege Humph! You must be flush. However, arn.:lng all detectives, to suspect whomsoever I'll go you." thev please, regardless of personality." Once. He threw the cards. Sam picked up "It is not your pri>'ilege to cast unjust im-the ace of hearts with a smile putations upon my daughter, and I tolerate no Nine times more, in quick succession, were insult to me or mine. Ferro!" the cards thrown, and as many times the ace The man-s ervant qu:ckly appeared, in answer of hearts was instantly picked up by the Calito the call. fornian. Ferro.'' the Don repeated, "show this man "Your thousand he said, when he through the house. Wben you have satisfied had won. "Fork over!" him that his wife is not in the mansion, turn "I'll be cursed if I will!" the gambler re-about and kick him out of it! Come, Inez, plied, leaping to his feet aud drawing a re-dear,'' and taking her by the a91, the Spaniard volver. l ed the way into anothe r room. Just then, however, Don Ramon rushed up. Sierra Sam laughed mockingly after them, "Sierra Sam, you are wanted!" he cried, ex-and turned to Ferro. citedly. 11 Your wife is missing!" "Lead ou, my Christian friend,'' he said, grimly. I will see what manifold secrets this hospitable resort has to disclose, and then, CHAPTER II. you can throw me out of doors, if you can." "I do not propose to measure strength with SEARCHING. a man of your evident caliber," Ferro replied, SAM turned upon the Don fiercely. sh owing two rows of ivories, in a knowing What is this you tell me!" he demanded, grin. The Don is hot in one minute and cool sternly-" my wife is missing?" in another. He'll ask you to stay, before you "Ay, missing!" De Ramirz replied, wringing go, no doubt." his hands in evident despair. 11 Come quickly They went up-stairs, and made a thorough to the mansion." &xamination of every room, hall and alcove, He turned and fled from the saloon then, and until every spot had been visited; but it was all Sierra Sam followed closely at his heAls, and a without avail. large portion of the habitues of the salooa be-No trace of the Californian's missing bride hind him. be fouud-nothing in the way of a clew, to

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Sierra Sam's Sentence. 5 give indication of her whereabouts, except that her wraps still remained iu the white chamber, where sbe bad taken the m off. "There is evidently nothing to be gained by search mg here," Sam averred ; Jet us go below." "They went down-stairs, accordingly, and Sam looked through the lower room". When he had finished bis truitless and was about leaving tbe mansion, the D u n strode out into the hall. "We111" he mterrngated, gruffly. "Well," Sam ans wered sternly, "I have found nothing of my wife and s nail bold you re sponsil.,le for her b ss That yon or your daugh ter must know somethin g C()ucennng her where seems but natural to me, and I will give you only a necessary length of time to find her. I am ready to be tllrown out, sir!" "Ferro! thrust that fellow into the street!" Ramirz roared, his rage increasing. "Say to the men of Rough Ranch that I have ordered them to mob him out of town.". Ferro grinned. "I have no desire to die instantly, your Honor," be declared. "Tbe long-haired gen tleman will go without being forced out, I know." "Rigbt you are!" Sam assen ted. "I wm go, glad to get into a purer atmosphere than I think this p'.ace boasts of. Ramon de Ramirz, I com maud ycu to return me my bride I If you do not, I'll make this place accursed." Then, as Ferro opened the door, the Califor nian passed into tbe street, where the larger share of the camp's population were gathered abput in groups, discussing the current report that the wife of the long-haired, dashing stranger was missing. No sooner did be appear, than he was besieged by this crowd of curious ones, and plied with inquiries in regard t o the missing bride. With bis usual coolness, in spite of the painful circ 1mstances Sam related all that he knew about the matter, and rig1dly questioned the rough audience, but no acknowledgment could be !;-"et out of them that they !!ad seen anything of 8tella, except at the time of the arrival of the stage. Soon after, Joe Flanders, the proprietor of the Casino, called Sierra Sam to one side. Flanders was an open-faced, keen-eyed fel low, of American parentage, whom every one knew only to respect, for bis manly qualities were many. Sam took a mental inventory of him in an instant. and made up bis mind that he was a man who could be trusted. "See here stranger," Flanders said, when they were out of ear-shot, away from the crowd. do you know what's what?" "Well it depends on what what you bave :refereuce to, Sam answered, with a smile. "I mean, do you know tbat you have tumbl e d down h e r e into a hornets' nest?" "Well, I reckon I'm rather on to that con clusion," Sam confessed, "I am glad of it. H you knew all that I know, you'cl never have come here, I would that I could tell you more, but my lips are sealed by an oath, the breaking of which, would l ose to me something I hold dearer than my own life." "Ab I but you can tell me one thing which will he service to me-is my wife within the camp?" "She is not a thousand miles away," Flanders r e plied. "Tbat is all I Cdn tell you, more tbau to look out for yoursel f. Mistrust and distrust everything and everybody, or you'll find yourself in a bad tix, This to you simply as a friend." Flanders turned and walked away, leaving Sam to his own reflections. It was some time before Sam was able to form any plan ot action, and in the mean time he waudered up and down the street in deep meditation, his face flushed with the indignation he could not help feeling at the los s of bis bride. He was positive that Ramirz was in some way conneQted with her disappearnnce, or at least knew something about it, and it was not often that a decided suspicion took possession of the Californian's mind which proved entirely groundless, so keen were bis perceptions-so quick hi& judgment. "If Ramirz is or is not guilty of complicity in this evident abduction, be is at least henceforth my enemy, and no doubt, judging by the fellow's tell, who just put me ou guard, an allpowerful personage among these dusky-skinned miners. Probably I could banlly gain the footin11: here that I got over in Big Vista. He was prPtty well satisfied that no amount of inquiry could elicit any information of Stella's whereabouts, and so be did not say much more on the subject to any one, Rough Ranch was wide-awake the better share of the night, midnight bringin11: no noticeable tbiuning in tbe people abroad; but Sam, with bis ever-watchful eyes, could not fail to notice one thing. There was a Ramon de Ramirz element at work among tbem, and that element was embodied in the individuality of two persons--one, the man whom De Ramirz bad talked with in the saloon; the "tber tbe gambler, Dandy Dell. Witll great industry did those parties go from person to person nnd engage them in conversation, and Sam guessed that they were arousing a agai?1st him in the interest of Ramon de Ram1rz. "Let 'em go a bead I" he said, a resolute light in his eyes. "If they contemplate warring with Sam'!, tbAy may take just a step too far I" The more he watched the movements of the two m e n, the firmer became bis conviction that bis supposition was correct, for, after being talked to, the majority of the men turned anything but friendly glances toward tbe Califor nian. "Wait till it comes bandy for me to encounter that gambler!" Sam muttered, "1'11 show him some Sierra science." Tl:\e chance C'ame sooner than be bad expected, for Dandy Dell came sauntering along pomp ously toward where Sam was standing in front of the post-office, engaged in a cigar. Just as he came oposite, Sam stepped forward and confronted him. "Hello! wbat tbe dence do you wantt" the gambler demanded savagely.

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"" Sierra Sam's Sentence.' .. Exactly ODA thousand dollars!" was Sam's Seating himself at a vacant table, be lit a cigai peremptory auswer. "I presume that, if you and busied in observing what was going: are a geotlaman, when you make b ets you pay on around him. them when you loSA." Shortly aftenvard a man burst into the saloon, "If I like, I do-otherwise not. Get out of w!Jich, the instant afteward, echoed with a roar my way, you fool; or I'll m o p the street with that fairly mado tho windows shake and eman-you I'' ated from the new-comer's lusty pair of lungs. "I think not!" Sam cried, and the next in-Was this Baudol1 gtant bis ii;on grasp was upon tho card-sharp. Sam concluded so, and knew from the moment Picking him up as though he we e but a babe, that if such were the case, be bad a desperate Sam burled him from him fully f v fee t through character to contend witb, for the man was a the air, when he fell to the ground .vitb a heavy very giant iu size, armed to his teeth, and, more thau all e lae, was a raving maniac! F o r several seconds be lay without a quiver, One gL1ucci at his fiery eyes showed th1tt. nnd a crowd quickly collected with threatening "Hooray fer h rnpipes an' huckleberry pies exclamat ions. ferever!" the giant roared, prancing areund But Sam did not stir out of his tracks. among the chairs and tables, the rneu being careftil to make room for him. "Once more do I, King George, breathe the pure air o' freedom. Turned loose once more to slay one of my mortal foes, ere I am again remanded back to my gloomy dungeon. Where is be1-oh I let me gaze uoon him, this milk-faced vampire I am to ex terminate I" CHAPTER III. BANDEL. HE knew that the storm which had been gaLhering was about to b:mt, and hoped it would come at once and keep him froru sus pense, for be was in the spirit to meet it. The r;ambler was picked up by some of bis friends, but was too unconscious to stand, and -w:as carried to his shanty some distance away. The crowd, however, hovered near, and the black-mustached man with tbe goatee, with whom Sam had see n the Don conversing, soon approached the Californian, bis :lusky face by no rneaus plBA.Sant in its expressililn. "So you are inclined t o create a rumpus here, are you!" be demande d, grnffiy. Yes, w b e n I percei ve that tbere is a treacherous unrlercurrent working aga in s t me," Sam answered, n othing dauntPd. ff you r efe r to the card cull, I bave only to say it is a pity I t go over and lisp it gently in your rn 1ster';; ear that when Bierra Sam gats rearly to l e :tve Rougb R anch, h e will do so, and not bef,,re; and, furthermore, say that I will come anrl go when it pleases me, regardless of any blustering t hreats that be or his tools may ru'll.ke." "We sball see about that. Pll turn Randel loose on you as sure as my name's Frocar
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Siel'l'a Sam's Sentence. 'i then turning, be shoved the muzzle of a cocked r9volver in under Bandel's nose and held it there menacingly. "Move an inch and I'll give you the contents I" he cried, sternly. The maniac evidently thought so, too. If crazy, he had enough se nse to remain perfectly quiet, no douht having as great a terror of grim death as any one ele. "Do you know what I've a notion to do with you, you big overgrown tool of Ramon de Ramirz'!'' he demanded. "Kill me!" Bandel replied, with a sneer. "That's right. If you don't kill me when I'm down, I'll kill you when I get up!" "I never take advantage of&. man, when he is down I" Sam retorted; so rise to your feetJ and go your way in peace, remembering that l am your master, and you dare not harm me'" He spoke in a tone and manner that were authoritative. Bandel a.rose to bis feet. He wore a puzzled, hesitating air. "Hal ha! strange! strange I did uot know you before. Why you are Nero-yes, Nero of old! Why I would not harm you for worlds!" he cried, wildly. "Nero! glor10us Nero; no monarch to equal you. Give me your fist, and I am your friend forever I" "Glad you have changed your tune," Sam said dryly, allowing the giant to grap bis hand. Better run back now and let old Ramirz .::age you, hadn't you?" A cunning grin came upon the maniac's fac e "Maybe I should, my noble N e ro, if I hadn't met you, but now, I say no! Two kings and monarchs sb11ll we be, and more dungeon fare will I see. I am freel free! free at last!" The last words were roared forth in a stentorian voice that fairly made the house tremble, after which the giant struck out for the door. With alarmed cries a number of the Spanish Americans, pres"lnt, attempted to check him, but all to no purpose; in an instant, be was gone from the saloon. A number of the crowd gave chase-it seemed evident that they were afraid to allow the lunatic to escape. Probably they also were tools and subJects of Ramirz, Sam reaso ned. I'll het I'vo struck a friend in the maniac, though," he muttered, "as long as his hallucination that I am Nero, continues. And if I mis take not a friend indeed is a friend needed in this bell-bole." Attention was now turned from him, and be expected no immediate trouble. So he procured several sheets of white paper and a marking-pot from Flanders, and proceed ed to paint some reward notices, which, when finished read as follows: "$000 REWARD! To rlwm it mQy concern:- My wife, Estelle Slocum, having been abducted by a party or parti es unknown, (said abduction hav ing taken placfl at the house of onA Ramon de Riimirz) and believing that she is Hill within the limits of this camp, I will pay the above sum of money to th e first person who shall give me positive information of her whe.-bnut and the whereabouts of her a uctor and SAK.,, Then, procuring some tacks and a b!lIDruer, he went forth from the saloon, and posted the bills up in conspicuous places. Passing the Ramirz mansion, a spirit of devilment caused him to pause, then be mountkd the steps, and in a moment more had one of his notices tacked upon the front door l Th" e door suddenly opened, and Ramon Ramirz appeared. Sam laughed, and the Spnniard uttered an oath expresive-or meant to be-of his great astonisbmen t. Well I What the deuce do you mean by posting bills on my front door?'' he demanded. "Why, I had such a circus here, and you keep such a stock of wild beasts around yon, that I thought it would be a good bill-board r Sam retorted. "Better read it and see if you cau't profit by it." And he pointe d to the sign. Instead, Ramirz grappled with him, and, as Sam was unprepare d for such an act, they rolled down tbe fteep steps, into the street, to gether. Here, for the space of sevPral moments, they rolled over and over, neither of them gaining the top; for the Don wes a far stronger and more agile man than Sam bad at first estimated him to be. At last Sam gained .the top, and it is doubtful what tbe result w o uld have been, baci not, at this instant, several of the D o n's men, includ ing Ferro, dashed up. end pounced upon Sam, overpoweriug a11d 1J1akt.ig him a captive in short order, althottirh he struggled desoerately to preserve his liberty I CHAP1ER IV. A FOUND FRIEND. Now that he was a pi iso,..cr, Sam was marched do" n the 'treet, under <-..,:ie guard, the Don taking the lead quite de spite tbe fact that tl:Je skin bad been pretty severely "barked" from bis nose. When the vicinity of the post- population. "But I C'an expect none the more mercy for that fact!" Sam argued to himself. And he was right, fiS u s ual. "Sierra Sam!" thP man mid, weighing his word carefully as he spoke th Pm-" Sierra Sam, do you know that you ar!> occupying a very unenviable posit10n at prffcnt!" "Yas, I'm a ware tbat this tre:e end I were not made for one another, Sam r espo nded. "But you don't catch my meaning," persisted the spokesman. I mean to impress upon your mind that you have, literally speaking, ventured into the jaws of death, and the jaws threaten to close on you."

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8 Sierra Sam's Sentence. J' Well, let them close," retorted Sam, apparently in no way disconcerted by the frightful prospect. "I haven't been chewed up and swallowed by a whale in some t1me.11 "See here! this is uonsense,11 Don Ramon cried, sternly, "and yon may as well sanely. Your presence in this place 1s regarded by every one as an intrusion, and we wish to ask you as a hody of citizens-will you oeacefully take your departure aud never return bere again, if we give you your liberty?'' "No, I will not!" Sim responded, promptly. You'll find I'm a stayer, right from the old school. Wheu you product> her whom you stole awa.v from me-then I wifl be only too happy to bid you an affectionate and tearful adieu. But, until you do rP.store to me my wife, I'll make this town a place of terror in the annals of Western bistory-ancl don't you forget that!" "We ,hall see about th.at," R1mirz decl:lred, gruffiy. 'If you will not go of your own accord we will yo11 to go-and hear me swear it-if you ever return again, I'll give a thousand dollars to the man who shoots you down like a dog!" Then turning to Ferro, he ordered: :Oi:ing the wild horse, Ferro 111 A murmur of something like horror ran through the cnwd they heard the order, and comprehencled the meaning. Sam heard it, too, and was not at a loss to comprehend. He was to be hitche l at th.e heels of an untamed horse, and in this manner dragged out of town int0 the rough and rocky labyrinths of the monatains. Little wonder that a chill crept down his spine, but be threw off what might have been to others a feeling of horror, by assuming a de fiant glance. "Yes, bring on your horse, if you like!" he cried, his tones defiant and ringing; "but do not fail to 1emember that henceforth the curse of Sierra Sam is upon this town, and for all time!" "Your cursunts to but little," Ramirz assured him, with a laugh. When you find yourself being trailed through the mountme thirty feet in length, was then tied to Sie,.ra Sam's feet, and the other end of it noosed abont the stallion's breast. A fine specimen of the equine race was the animal, being of unusual size and graceful pro portion, with a flowing mane and tail, and a haughtily poised head, and flashing, fiery eyes. What's the matter' !" Ramil'z demanded, angrily. "I should think you'd be praying, instead of laughing 111 "Maybe you'd like that privilege, tool" Sam retorted, with sarcasm. As I happen to run my own bnsines;, I presume I shall alternate pr .. yer and laughter at times to suit myself not to please you. I was just wondering where you got holI of my horse!" "Of your horse!" tbe Don ejaculated ia amazement. Why of course! I was forced to leave bini once, in the eastern part of tbis territory, and have never seen bim since. ro prove to you what I say, I'll speak to him, and then give you leave to start me off upon my journey. Ranger!" He uttered tbe last wo d sharply, as he lay upcn the ground-for he had been unfastened from the tree. The horse pricked up his ears, and turned quickly around with a whinny, knocking down several of the men that were holding him. The fiery eyes roved from-face to face nntil they rested upon the prostrate Californianthen an expres>ion of almost human intelligence ber.ame visible upon the wild steed's face. Another whinny of recognition escaped the horse; no one wbo gazed upon the man and the brute could doubt that Sierra Sam bad found a friend among strangers. "Ranger!" he called again, and the sagacious animal with a glad whinny, walked forward and smelled of the captive ferret, liclking his clothing as a dog might have done. That's all, gentlemen!" Sam said, co the astonished crowd. I have found a friend among a corral of wolves, and your ruffianly plan is frustrated. If you want t0 kill me now, I'll garantee this noble brute will avenge me!" "We'll see about that!" Ramirz gritted, a devilish gleam entering his eyes, as he drew a knife, "R!l.ngerl Quick!" yelled Sam, and with a sudden movement the animal wheeled around like a top, biting and kicking in every direction. Ramirz got a kick in the stomach that doubled him up like a jackknife, and several others got severely bit or kicked, all in the space of a minute. Those lucky enough to escape, were not slow in getting at a safe distance from the infuriated horse. While the crowd stood gaping anrl irresolute, Sam managed to get upon his feet and then clamber upon the back of the steed. In another instant, at his command, the horse was dashing furion,ly up the gulch street. Turning so that be could look back, the daring Californian cried : "Beware! The curse of Sierra Sam rests upon Rough Rancb When I come it shall be, to introduce death into your midst, until you give me up my bride!" A moment more and a bend in the gulch hid him from view. His color was a jl'lt black, and Sierra Sam Weeks wPnt hy. seemed to be greatly surpriserl at sight of him, Rough Ranch now waxed famous, be!'an for he gave vent to a peculiar laugh. 1.._new and valuable gold mines, had lJeen Ull

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I. Sierra Sam's Sentence. 9 earthed, wbirli Ramon de Ru.mirz did not own I you will give me that woman as mr wife, I will or control, but which miners had I do all tbat I have proposed to you.' located and staked out for themselve5, "Bah I what puts sucb foolish ideas in your This discovery called iu a new cla s of people head, Carlos? I know nothing whatever of Si pecu!iar to tbe average mining settlement, such erra Sam's lost bride, nor do I want to. As spectators, thieves, gamblers and knaves at nothing bas been beard from him lately, I pre Jarge, who Jived by their wits, in preference to sume he has found her and cleared out." doing manual labor. "Don't be too sanguine on that core. He In fa('t, Rough R:lncb grew and prospered. may drop in on you at any time. As for the What sin, crime or like similar excitement woman, I am not yet convinced but what you could not be found therein, was not worth have ber secreted somewh ere." speaking of, and the citizens of the boommg "Think whatever yon choose-I know best. lnountain town looked down on its smaller sisThere is my daughter, lnPz, too, whom you have ter camps with great contempt. been p11ying attentions tv. Bette r look sha1p "Now that the influx was largely composed of l es t she becomes jealous and Jets ber passion get sturdy Ramon de Ramirz became the best of her. She is a fury then." day by day a person of less importance and of Carlos laughed. le.._<:S influence, which was galling to him, in the "Fear not. We are not l overs," be said. extreme. "Your amiable daughter bas gone off a-loving And not to him alone, but to those of his a far bandomer man than I." l:'lpanisb subjects, who upheld him. "Who?" tbe Dou demanded, quickly. To have the Yankee element take control of "Sierra Sam, I believe!" was Meiro's laconic the town and run things pretty murh to suit answer. themselves, was altogether against bis incliua"The devil! I'll see to tbi:t! She must be tions and wishes. crazy." One night Ramirz and a dashing young Not a Lit of it. She knows her business. Spaniard, named Carlos Meiro, sat in the Don's But bow about the other matter? Give me my ?Jrivate parlor, engaged in smoking and drinkprice, and the good work shall begin." ing, when the topic of conversation tun:ed upon "Should I be able to get bold of the girl, I'll the power which the Yankees werti gaining in give her to you, but cannot do so when 1 know the place. nothing about her." "They have already fairly obtained control "WPJJ, I suppose I shall have to take your of the camp, and we have JittlP or nothing to word tor it. So I will have proceedings begun, say in our own town," Carlos said, candidly. wbereh:v you will resume your bosE-ship of "I am not dead to the fa('t," Don Ramon Rough R anch ." replied, bis dusky face assuming au ugly scowl. "Do so, and you shall not lose by it, I "' Tbe influx of miners bas wrought the change, promise you," Dou Ramon asseverated, soon and weakened my power. They're already two after which Carlos Meiro, or Black Carlos, as to our one, and more coming by every stage. be was more familiarly known, took bis depar It is but a matter of a short time when they ture. will have entire control of everything in Rough A compact bad been made that opened up one RanlierraSam's v e ng eance against Rough Ranch and its citizens. The r e ign of terror bas just begun. Sierra Sam came to your place a stranger. and you turne t l upon him and stole his bride. Some one of you i s iniilt.v look among yourselves and find out! Restore the lost bride, and the r eig n of terror shall cease. Otherwise, I'll turn all Rough Ranch i u to a graveyard I SIERRA SAM." CHAPTER V. THE MAN FROM YUMA AND HJS LITTLE PARD. LITTLE wonder that Rough Ranch was in a red-bot condition the next fe" days, after the terrible warning. Day and night almost, groups of men stood about the street, in consultation; purses were raised and rewards offer!'d for tbe capture nf the vengeful son of the Sierras, whose wrath

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Sierra Sam's Sentence. was declared against the citizens of the mountain metropolis. "nd on two more occ'1lsions was a dead man founu upon the street. A band of Vigilantes were organized in secrecy, and posted in various parts of tlle camp, to kP.eit RIJ a watcb incessant, end every newcomer, wbet1er he c!l.me in on foot, horseback or on stage, was given a rigid examination, lest be be tt1c. dread aveng?r in disguise. One morning J oe Breck, the sturdy, keeneyed rhief of ti.le Vigilante> was found dead in front of tbe Casino, wbere be had been seen the uigbt befo r e, in full health and spirits. It was literally tbe hst straw which broke the r11mel's back, and t be people fairly howl ed tbeir ludiguat.iou. Tue street swarmed with the excited populace, and terrible maledictions were hurled upon the uame o S!l.m Slocum. Breck had been stabbed in the back. Some one was wanted to fill bis place, and a eonference was h eld among tbe principal citi z ens to determine upon another. 'Wbile tbe discu ss ion was in progress, a wellbuilt but dirty, sbabb1Iy-dressed pilgrim crowded forward-a man with a dusky countenance, tbe better sbare of wbich was covered with a jetty black beard and b11ir. He wore a greasy slouch bat; his revolvers were baaut10s in point of size and finish; when h e spoke bis voice was like a roll of thunder. "Hello! I say bjar, gents-I'm yer huckle berry fer ter th.. Breck'3 place, ef ye want a man what's sharper than the blow-end uv a razzer, stronger than old Hercules, braver than ther roariu'est lion uv Asia. Did yer ever beer of .Jake Yuma, boyees1" Had tbey1 These excited ilgrimsof Rough Ranch rather thought they bad. A fame, throughout that part of Arizona, bad Yuma, lik e unto George Wasbiugton, from the fact that he was credited with h a vin g pitched into and killed some twenty members of old Miguel's outlaw once upon a time, and still lived to t e ll of the wonderful exploit. So that many curious glances were leveled up0u tile man from Yuma, whof:e prowess so confessed; but he laughed in his deep, thunderous tones. Don't git skeart acause I wor.,ted them passal o' Mai-agents, U[l nor', _'ca'se I'm jest as calm a s a C.i.r'lina an' wouldn't hurt ye for a tea-cent e d e fick elty tber tow11 bas got into, I th:irt mebba I might be o' some sar vic'! !" "Well, wh11.t d'ye think abGut itT' Joe Flanders asked, lo oking the over inquiringly. Y e've about <>,Ji beard t e ll al'>out Jake Yuma. Ef ye wat a fu'st-class fighter and a man who'll die game wi' his boot 3 on, jest say so." "Does the man uudel'\,"and the easel" a prominent llliner inquired, who bad lost a brother m one of the r ecent visitations of the avenger, I've got it all down, pat as pat can be," Yuma replied, with a nod. Ter begin with, ye clrov" a galoot named Sierra from yer town, an' he swore vengeance-arn't that sor' "Correct," Flanders assented, et war Ramirz who instigated the movement. "Perzactlyl" noddeai;o an' steel t iffy, while yer Sierra Sam is g1ttin all tber credit fer et. Neverthe less, ef ye want to collectively gather inter yer net the chap S!lm'l, why I'll jest tell ye what l'll do. I'll take er trail of !kn days, an' ef I don't fetch tber galoot ter Limerick ye kin jest lay my tbrut across handies t log au' chop my pericranium off!" "Fair euougb, tbatl" assented Flanders. "What d'ye say, boys!" The majority o f the crowd signified their ap proval, and Yuma was forthwith declared chief of tbe Vigilantes. "Now, then, I'll pick out my own men I" be said, "just as I happen ter cum across sum feller w'ot I j edge ter be sharp. Jest bold yer bosses, though, au' I'll si1ow ye rny gal, Sal Slick. She's a bull host in herself I' He took a wooden whistle from bis pocket and blew a shrill blast. A moment later a scrawny, dwarfed mule came trotting down the street, upon whose back sat a young girl-a mere child of nine or ten years, who was dressed in boy costume from boots to sombrero. About as pert a looking miss was she as is often encountered, h e r face being saucily pretty, with a roguish mouth, dancing brown eyes, and tbe whole partly framed by a wealth of curling brown hair. In figure she was petite, yet and wae altoo-etber a most attractive child. "Hello! Whoa, Thunderbolt!" sbe cried, al!> she esp ied Ynrna. the racket, daddy!"' "Bizness Sal-bizuessl" Yuma answered, ad vancing. "Make ye 'quaint wi' tber representative citizens o' Roug h R ancb, wi' whom we've got a dicker. I've jest tuck tbe r job o' capterin' a cut-throat wbo's named Siena Sam, au' ef I don't succeed wi'in ten days ye'll be l ef t an orphiut, 'case I've went my head on tbo r ginerale result." "Bully boy, daddy I Jest count on Little Sal ter lend ye a lift. But, I say, who is goiu' ter provide ther chuck! I'm as hungry as a b'ar w'ot can't eat." "Well, come along to the Casino, and I'll do the agreeable,'' Flanders said. "Probably you wouldn't like Ramirz's hospitality1" "Waal, I should snort negative ly, you bet!" Yuma replied, wiLb a shrug, wbicb pretty plain ly expressed bis opinion of the Dou and bis place. From that hour Yuma and bis child became prime favorites among the Yankee element of Rough Ranch. Sally may have been a just cause of part of this liking, for she was always as pleasant as a streak of sunshine, port and saucy, and at the same time apparently able to tuke care of her self. Yuma, after bis first introduction, gradually became more staid, anrl. had less to say, although he oecasionally allowed his outlandish peculiari-

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Sierra. Sam's Sentence. 1l ties to have Pnougb scope to show that by nature You needn't take any more alack than you be was somewhat of a wag. like, I'm sure," be remarked, in his dry way. While be studied those with whom be came in Ir you. feel like getting hurt, I can accomcontact, narrowly, be was also studied hy tbe modate you any time. You are a sneaking people, who somehow did not seem to have as puppy, and the sooner you're utilized as a street. full confidence in him as they should, con8idermop the sooner you'll be settled gracefully mto ing bis position. your right position I" This was perhaps in a measure owing to the I The Spaniard's faci. fairly flamed n itb rage. fact that a powerful opponent was cautiously "You're au infernal coward and craven, and working against him, in the person of Carlos you've got to figllt me!'' be yelled, savagely. Meiro. Yuma uttered a deep roar and, with rnov&-Supplied with large amouuts of money, by rnent of astonishing celarity, leaped upon Black Ramon de Ramirz, the crafty young Spaniard Carlos, aud bore him to the floor, heavily. was spending freely among all classes, he bim-The ArizoniantbPn seized tbe hapless Spaniard self the while simulating to be on a Lu'st!" to by ,tbe long hair of bis bead, and dragged him use a famihar phrase. from the saloon into tbe street, where he jerked Bnt to a close observer, it would have become him irlto a mud puddle. at once apparent that bis semi-intoxication was "Now, sirr' he roared "the next time you all put ou, and that his sole purpose of extrava-or nny other mnn cal ls Jake Yuma a coward, gance was to draw over to the Ramirz side, the you'll get something besides mud to swallow, major part of the population. bet yer boots!" There was one man, however, -who was tbor-Tte Cl'Ow
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Sierra Sam's Sentence. "Don't ye try it, or I'll yE>r eyes out, and pull all them bangs out of your bead I" Sally cried, resolutelv. "I offered fair, and I'll fight before I'll be crowded on, you bet!" "Dear! dear! I shall have to call for my father!" Miss De Ramirz gasped, white with pasgion. "I'll double dare you to!" Sal rejoined. "If that old cove pokes bis nose outside the door, I'll shoot it off, as sure as pre.lcbi .' !" Tbe senorita uttered a Spa!lisb ')ath, great was ber rage, and sprung towara ber youthful tormentor, at tbe same time drawing a silver mounted stiletto from her dress. But, ere sbe could use it, a rifle-shot rung cut, and a whizzing bullet struck the glittering instrument of death, anj tore it from her grasp I CHAPTER VI. A LETTER FROM SAM1L. WHO b!td fired the shot that bad struck Miss De Ramirz's stiletto no one seemed to know; a crowd gathered immediately, at the head. of wbom loomed up old Jake Tuma and Ramon de Ram1rz. What is the matter here? Did yon dare to fire at my daughter!" the Don roared, glaring fiercely at Sally Slick. "No, she didn't!" Yuma cried, pushing him aside. Mr, gal knows her biz, you bet, an' byar's what II back her. How is it, Sal!" "JAst like this: I met this highfalutin' hornet ou ther street beer, an' as I see she wasu 't agoiu' ter turn out, I didn't nuther, and as a natteral consequence we bad ter halt. I offered ter see her half, but she wouldn't budge, an' drawed the stiletter on me, w'ot ye see lyin' on the ground yonder. Jest then come a bullet, zip I and knocked it out of her nand quicker'n tlash!" "Is this true, dearr' Ramirz asked, turning to Inez. She nodded, bot did not speak. Her face was ashen white. "My daughter was right, and it is lucky for you that you attempted, to do ber no harm!" the Don declared, speaking to Sally. "Tbe next tiwe you meet a lady on the street, especially my daughter, yoa had best be polite. Come, Inez, dear, let's get out of this street rabble!" See beer, old R amrod!" Sal cried, with sudden childish ferocity, as she s tepped in front of him an
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Sierra Sam's Sentence. 13 member one thing: look iu your own lDidst for mur derers. for vou'll find 'em not among the 'Seven,' u where ye may, by nig-lit or day, '"From your velvet gr1p we'll k eep away With due respects, &c .. '"SIERRA SAM I" That was what placards had to offer for the edification of t .be open-mouthed citizens of Rough Rauch that morning. But. this was not the worst. In live different places were notices posted, which read thus: "Revenge I sweet revenge. As a people ye drove Siena Sam from ye, after stealing his bride and he cursed ye. Behold! the fruits of your action are cropping out. Flv I fly! for none of ye shall escape! I'll make of Rough Ranch a graveyard wherein to bury you I Hal bal Beware! S.S. Here was another pretty little souvenir for the denizens of the young metropolis to read and ponder over. Needless to say the notices created tremendous excitement. The men who bad been down were all recent arrivels except one, who was a brother of Joe Flanders, of the Casino. After having the body removed to bis shanty, Flanders sought out old Yuma, and found that worthy and the bnllwbacker, Hoop-la, engaged in reading the notice concerning the organized Sierra Sam's Seven. "Well?" Flanders said, his face white because bis terrible emotion was held in check; "what do you think of the situation 1" Yuma scuwled. "It looks just as "i hinted, don't et," he groaned, "when I j'ined ye1 Sierra Sam hain't got not bin' ter do wi' this butcberin' business; right byar's his prospectlls," "I've read it; also found my brother Tom dead. Now, this thing bas got to be investigated, I say, and th'l town's with me. You've tuk the job, and you're looked to to stir around." "Humph! look out that you don't get too fast as you did in Sierra Sam's easel" was the reply of the Arizonian. "If I don't come to time in ten days, you know what I told you." "But the whole town may be massacred in that time!" "Obi I gui>ss not. I have no fears on that score. I'll tell you what's what, though; the sooner you arouse an indignation meeting, and clean every bit of Spanish blood out of the town, the surer you'll be not to have so many dead men lymg aroung loose!" "Ab! then you think that Ramirz is at the head of the matter, do you1" Flanders queried. Most assuredly I do. About as nigh as I kin jedge, Ramirz don't like it because the Yan kee element aire gittin' so strong hyarahouts, an' he can't be boS!'.Looks like ter me a ef be warn't too good fer to do enuy crime--he an' that Spaniard Meiro-tbat would help him ter run thi s town." "!_lfoybe not I" Flanders said, reflective l y aa he walked away. "I've set him to thinking, at least, whether !t d oes any good o r not," Yuma muttered, also moving off coward the Casino. "Almost be lieve I h'l.ve p lanliild the kemel wbal' 'it'll iilto a c om&IW." The day passed rather wildly monotonous. Everywhere was every person excited to a great pitch, and it was lucky that the perpetrators of the murders, whoever they might chance to be, were not around, for lynching would surely have been their fate. There was not a little comment clisparagllig to the Arizonian, Jake Yuma. because be did not, to use one miner's words, make more of a. splurge" toward sitting the matter tbroug;1 to the bottvrn. On several occasions tbe remarks became of such a bitt;er character that violence was threat. ened against him. But it did not come to pass. Perhaps this was partly owing to the fact that! Sally Slick was constantly here, there and everywhere among the men, chatting, sassing and as merry as a lark, precludi-ng all possibility of any one disliking her for any great length of time. So that on her account might have been at tributed the fact that no outbrPak occurred against Yuma, who kept himself pretty well indoors, at the Casino, with his irimy pipe as his chief solace. The veteran hordPrman, Hoop-Ia, was, the while, not far away, a sort of friendly intimacy seemingly having spri;ing. up between them. Yuma was in no wise ignorant of the feelmg1 against him among the major part of citizens, for Sally kept him advis ed, and l:e re-1 ceived the reports with stolid i n ti;C e1ence. 1 Finally he suddenly seemc, to change bis tacti<',s I Going to the b l', he ordere
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. Sierra. Sa.m's Sentence pairs of eyes followed him until be was out of !!light-particularly that of Carlos Meiro. So that's his cage, is it1" hti muttered, glanc ing at the sky and perceiving that it was about sunset. "He will sleep well to-night, ani there will be no danger in payiug him a visit. I must notify tbe Don, at'd a t the same time not forget to draw on him for another tbousand. I am getting fat out of working bim. Ha! ha! a thousand a day to buy these bum miners over with, wbt!n in reality I don't wastl) over fifty on 'em. It's a soft snap, H e went at once t o tlie R a mirz mansion, and fnund Don just in the act of finishing a bottle of wme. "Weil, what news, Carlos!" was bis gruff query. ,;;" Good news, yon cith het !" the scoundrel said, with a chuckle. "The game from Arizona, north. is packe d away snugly in bis cage, sound asleep, and with his boiler full of bug juice. So be ready at two P. M. tt.-night, aud there'll be another opportunity for the undertaker to-morrow. Come well armeri, and be careful lest some accident should betray your identity!" Wben darkness bad enveloped Rough Ranch oilce more in its somber shroud, and muttering tbuurier around the horizon added to tho aspect nf night, to11;ether with drizzling r a in, a man skulked alon!!; the deserted street until be came to the post-offi ce Envelope d in a long oil-Cloth coat was he, with a full mask of tbe same material over bis face, and a slouch black bat upon bis head. Cautiously unlocking a front door, he entered, anri was gone several minutes. When be returned, be gave vent to a low laugh: "So far, so gnod!" he mnttere
PAGE 16

Sierra Sam's Sentence. either anger or shame at this-Sam did not know which. "Very well I will not tempt you to despera tion, because i have not even yet given you up. You sball be mine, even if I force you down to your death-bed and the n marry you. Come! the hou se is deserted, and I will sbow you out." She led the way from the room into an upper ball, thence down a broad staircase to the front of the house. While des cending the stairs behind her, Sam carefully extracted the cartridges from the re volvers, and when they reached the door he banded the barmless weapons to ber. '' I will not keep your man-killers," be said, with a smile2 as you may want to use them on me at some ruture time." "You need not have been so careful to extract the load"," she flashed back. "I love you too much to do you harm." "However that may be, I'd hate to let you have a good shot at me," Sam assured, sal'<'as tically, putting on his mas k. "Ah! thank you -au revoir !"-as she opened the door. He darted out, down the stei;s, across tbe stregt, and was gone. The next mornine; opene-:l up with a series of startling discoveries. The local Express Office, which was also made a place of banking for those who bed any super fluous money they did not need to use, was found to have been entered during the night end plundered of all money contained in the safe. Not a copper had been left in the place, and upon the wall was painted with a marking brush: "Yours, With Gratitude, Sierra Sam." The town seemed turned into a literal pande monium over tl:lis event. One, for himself, bad Samuel of the Sierras neatlv S<'ored, in bis role of retaliatio n, and theo worst of it was that the sufferers bad nothing to tio but star e the fact in the face and whistle. Again the topic of conversation turne d toward Jake Yuma, in a spirit of dissatisfaction. "1'11 be darned ef I'll stand it!" one miner cried, wbo bad been a heavy loser. "I pro pose we take that galoot, Yuma, and give bim the penalty be proposed hims elf." "Hurrah I tbat's the ticket!" several sympathizers choru,:;ed. He ain't no good, an' orter not tried ter stick bisself in." "It won't do ter tech bim, till his ten days is up!" Joe Flanders d"mnrred, and Joe was accepted of late as pretty good autbority on general matters. "He's got bis own way o' doin' things, and may pop Mr. Sierra Sam around before we like it!' "I allow Flanders is right," Hart, the owner of one of the new mines, "And I perist tl:lat he is not!" Don Ramon cried, who had until now been simply a listener. "This Sierra Sam is a rcely. I was at home in hed, and although my daughter did at first cry for help, I did not hear her. This is all I have to say on the matter. If yo11 choose to take this black-bearded loafer's word in preference to mine, you are, I sur,pose at liberty to do so. C'll bid you good-day. And he turned to go. But the figure of Yuma loomed up before him. "Seepyar, Ramrod!" he observed, a peculiar grin upqn hi s face, "I hope ye don't think you're going jest yet, do yel"

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Sierra. Sam's Sentence, "Why not?" the Don demanded, tryi.>:1g to About the same time, or may be an hour make haughtiness cover his alarm. after, Sierra Sam had left the mansion of "Ob, w'ot a question! Sorte r off in yer Ramirz, after bis visit to the D on's daught.er, a memory, aiu't ye1 Didn't li sp somethin', about vailed woman, wrapped in a waterproof, a certain black-whiskered loafer, did ye, jes t a dod ged along through the darker portion of the bit ago?" I mining-camp tutil she came to a drift in the "Wbat if I did? I always say what I please side of the mountain. and mean what I say!" During the early days of Rough Ranch's gold" Th e n, by tbe r holey polekats, you've got ter 1 fever, this drift had been worked for several apologiz e-yas, sir-Be-apologize bev you got ter hundred feet into the mountain, aud a track right ter me, or I'll t.each ye what fer sort o 1 even laid for a car with which to haul out the loafer Yuma is." quartz rock; but, as no gold wasfouud, the drift "Ge t out of my path, man. Don't you pre-had been abandoned. sume to Jay a finger's weight on me," the Don Entering the gloomy place with no apparent cried. timidity, she followed it with rapid steP", as it "Then you won't apologize!" d e scended into the bowels of th& eortb. ErP "No, never!" long she came to where the wnrk O'l "the drif!,. The Arizonian leaped forward with a t.errible bad b ee n abandoned, in the face or ctn under. yell, and threw himself upo n the Don with such ground stream of water of size. force that both went to the ground together which flo wed gently along tbro'lg h its tim& heavily. worn subterranean tunnei. Yuma was on top, howev er, and his grasp at Pausing here tbe woman prured a whola once encircled the Spaniard's throat. rubher snit, for wading purposes, it "H&lp l help! a thousand dollars for help!" for her own attire, stowing tb11\. away behmd a the Don managed t o roar, before Yuma's gr:i.sp rock, where she bad first found tbe rubber suit. got so tight tbat it shut off bis wind. She tben stepped into th" which was Apologize or die!" Yuma cried, sternly. belt deep, and followed it.d course, as it ran to Quick!" the left, with careful But the Don's offer was too l>ig money to lose The channel that high '-itters had worn out, by simply standing by and looking on; couseabnve her head, was ba,.e!y of sufficient hight quently a doz e n burly fellows piled upon the to admit of her walkinp. erect, and in many inArizonian and jerked him off, allowing Ramirz stances sbe was obliged to bend so low that her to rise. face nearly touched tb.i waters. In doing so, howev.ir to their astonishment Following the course of the str eam fc.r fully and tbat of all .other bystanders, the y lulled t.en minutes, the space overhead suddenly in off a complete false beard, mustache an wig creased, greatly, aud she st.epped from the and Sierra Sam's handsome face was once more stream into a large cavern, the saudy floor of seen I which covG!'ed consirlerable space, Th e great number of expressions and excla-The sides and ceiling of this strange place m a ti o n s that followed was something amusing. were of rugged rooky formation, and the air "Well, by all that's wonderful!" Joe Flanders was clOSruiser of "I shall likely consult my own ideas on the Big Butte. That's me!" matter," the vailed woman replied. "It is not CHAPTER VIIL SAM'S SENTENCE. LET us change the scene of our narrative for a few minutes. for me to be dictated to, when I hold the reins. You can have your liberty at any time, as you full well know--0n conrlitions." "Conditions, indeed! I would die here before I would promise, on leaving this place, to go tJo

PAGE 18

Sierra Sam's Sentence. .,. some distant part of the country and nevu see my husband again." -"Poor child I bow I do pity you," the vailed woruan said. "Once I was like you-loving end true to him; .but after I found him out to be n bigamist end a heartless wretch, I swore that, so far as I could prevent, none other should ever be aught to him." "I do not believe you," Stella cried "Noth ing you could ever say would c c nvince me that my busband is uutrutbfnl and false." "So said I when I DJliITied him, my dear. But I found bow utterly wrong was my opinion. You may not think it my but I cannot allow you to wreck your young life upon such a man es Sierra Sam. Only when you promise to put a thousand mi!P.s of distance between yourself end hi'll w1ll I grant you a release from captivity. Persist in your refusal to come to terms, and you are doomed to live and die in this plaC'e, in under the ground. "Better so than to come to your terms," ,Stella replied, firmly. "I have great faith that \!DY husband will sooner or later come to my and woe be toyorrif he finds out who you ere: Tbe vailed jaileress laughed tauntingly. "Your faith will die like a freshly-set J?lant urnder the scorching rays of a summer sun, sbti 1;;aid, with sarcasm, when you wait and wait .... d 'he cometh not,' she said. Why, only :tast night I saw him climb by ladder into the Ramirz mansion, undoubtedly to see the fair Inez!" "Bah! that lie does not dampen my ardor a !hit," Stella retorted, bravely. "In fact, as I have told you repeatedly, nothing you can say will hake my faith in my husband." Ob, well, if you will be stubborn, I am not to blame. In trying to do for your personal good, I am su_,i no one could censure me." She took the lantern then and left the little prison, being careful to qmckly close and lock the door behind her. "I'll send you some food to-morrow," she said. "I forgot to bring it to-night. You won't starve on love, I guess." "Your great kindness merits reward," Stella answered. Tbeu sbe beard her vailed enemy move away, and soon the light was extinguished, by which sbti judged that the woman had left the cavern. "Ob, that wicked fury!" the imprisoned bride breathed, as a sense or loneliness stole over her. Why is it she keeps me shut up here, and brings me evil reports of my husband! Does she want to kill me or drive me crazy? Does she want me to go far away from bim, in order that she may have a chance to win him?" A footstep on the sand outside interrupted her reverie, and sent a thrill of terror through her frame. Who was coming? Some one surely, for the footsteps became plainer to her heuring, and were commg toward her cell. Nearer and nearer! Then she saw a pair of fiery g leaming eyes peering through the cracks at her. With a scream of lierror she sprung into the fsrthe r corner o f the apartment; and when she heard the door wrenched fiercely open, all 'her senses left her, and she fell to the floor in a deep swoon, from whicb she did not awaken for a Jong time. The individual who thrust himself forward with the introductory conclusion of" that's me!" was a burly, black bearded pilgrim, but he did not very closely resemble the recently disguised Sam'! of the S1e1-ras. "I reckon this is your man," Joe Flanders assumed1 pointing first to Sierra Sam and then to tbe aisgmse, which lay upon the ground. We jest relieved this feller of some superfluous hair." "Hello! Why, great snortin' snakes, this feller is Sam Slocum, tber detective!" the genuine Yuma ejaculated. "Alias Sierra Sam, tbe robber!" Don Remirz sneered. "Oho! Bin up ter that racket, bas he! Waal, neow, gents, l tell ye what. A feller ken't kick tber tenderest part o' my shins, an' hurt me half so bad as he kin by felloniously approprietin' my individuality an' infringin' on my reputation. When a galoot does that, be jest r'iles me cl'ar np ter ther horns, an' he's got ter fight. Tbarfore, jest let that feller loose, an' I'll show ye bow I dusted out a hull pack of severial thousan' road-agents, single-banded. Set loose yer rob ber, I say, an' 1'11 assist h1m ter climb up Cal in ther jerk of a lamb's tail." Sorry for you, my friend," Flanders replied, but we shall have to give this man a trrnl first; thPn, should he be sentenced to bang, end the boys say it's right I've no objections to his standing up and giving you satisfaction." "Hurrah! that's tber talk! Honor bev you got cl'ar down to tber bole in yersocks!" Yuma the original declared, enthusiastically C'apering about in high glee. "Hurry up wi' yer trial, feller-citizens, su thet I can git in my work on tbis son of a gun who durst wantonly desecrate my satin-finished name an' fame by eppropri atm' it to hisself." "You may get more than you bargain for I" Sam observed, quietly. "Oho! Heer that, wull ye!'' Yuma roared. "Ther bogus chap torks famuss. Why, ye leetlei pigmy, ef ye kin but git in one squar' sockdolager on tber surface o' my senmtive smeller, durn me ef I don't git down on my knees an' pray ter tbee byar noble-hearted citizens o' Rough Ranch ter set, ye at liberty." Sam smiled, and his eyes twinkted merrily. He was evidently not at all alarmed; he could take care of himself in case of a scrimmage with the man he had counterfeited. "Enough of this!" Flanders commanded We will at once proceed to give this man an informal trial, on the facts of the case. I will undertake the responsibility of counsel for the people, and Slocum can choose for himself, tboug8I dare say he'll have a hard time of se curin_g counsel." "Not at all," a stranger said, stepping for ward. "I will act for Sierra Sam." He was well dressed, wore a heavy reddi s h beard and mustache, and bis hair was of the samei color crowned by a jaunty sombrero In appearance he was 1omewho.t a cross be-

PAGE 19

Sierra Sams Sentence. tween a Southern plante r and a card-sharp, suob as frequently are see n on the Missi ss ippi Rivar packets-men who were seemingly not designed f o r any partic ul a r manual labor. His g a ze did not waver when it m e t that of Flanders and the othe r s "Who are you!' Flandera demanded, eying him s ternly. "Jae'< R a c er, from New Orleans, if it is any of your bu in ess," w a s the p ert reply. "I'm a stranger in your burg, but know the prisoner by dete c tiv e note, and shall help him all 1 can." "You'.11 lose y our case ,11 Joa ass erted, st;ernly "Yonde r comes the stage, full of strangers. I'll and select twe lve disinterested parties as Jurors-then we'll g e t down to busine ss." He soon came b ack with a dozen strangers, some well dressed, llnd others in working clothes. The trial then began, in a sort of way. Flanders opened the pros ecution by stating the case as it stood: How Sierra Sam had come to Rough Ranch; how his bride had turned up missing; the circumstances of flight and his threat; the murders and the notices; the recent robbery, and the discovery of the man, disguised. Seven! witnesses were called and corroborated these stateme nts. 'rbe defense then made a1,1 appeal, arguing that it was but natura.1 that the prisoner should feel hard toward the town; stated that Sam had publi cly announced his willingness to withdraw hostilities, when his bride should be r e stored to him, he b e lieving that she was im prisoned in the town, and he having no liberty therein, to s earch for her. The Southerner's def e nse was eloquent and to the point, and created some impression amnng the jurymen. Would it prove suffi c ient? Sam decided negati vely. He also, while watching Racer, had discovered that the eloqu ent d e fense was uttered in a. dis!!;uised voice. Who was this He had no way of Judging, as Racer kept his face a verood. "Haveyou anything to say1" Flanders asked, tuming to S am. was the answer. "Mr. Racer has stated the case go()d enough io suit m e." "Very well. G Pntlemen of the jury, you bave beard bo t h sid e s of the case, nod it now remains for you t o say whether Sforra Sam shall or g o free !" The men aro3 e au1 walked off to a short distance, a.n. dollar I am 111 the Arizonian replied, with a horrible sort of grin. 1 want t e r mutilate ye sumw'at as an example fer other men never to steal my thunder!" "Well, as I am tbe offende1', I suppose I must honor you," Sam said, smilingly. "In what way do you propose to celebrate? " With these ornaments what nature bequ&atbed us-sluggers!" Yuma tragically cried, exhibiting a huge pair of fists. "All I want is git one diff at ye wi' these sledg e-hammers, an' ye'll think a pocke t edition uv ther millennium has struck ye!" "All right! Get yourself into position, and fire away. Ef y o n get bruised, ye mustn't cry 9,Uarter, fer this is a row of your own instiga tion." "Never you worry. Et take s a deal ter make me squeal," poetically declared Yuma. The two m e n got into position, facing each other. The crowd formed a ring, and all adja cent places of observation were quickly occu pied by those who were anxious to see if the original Yuma wa:s as good as he claimed to be -which a few regarded as extremely doubtful. "Ready!" Sam said. "Ready!" responded Yuma; then they step ped a pace nearer, and began sparring lightly and carefully, or, in other words, "feeling" each other. At this juncture who should push her wa: forward but Sally Slick--<>r Little Luck, as she was known in a former'Sierra Sam romance. "Wboopee !" she exclaimed, when she took i1l the situation at a glance. "My old man got ketcbed at bis racket, dirln't he? Told him be would T'other fellow can't lick him, tho'-bet money-on it! I say some 01 you fellers better bring a w11sh-tub o' water, kase Yuma will want ter give bis nose a bath arter Sammy gits in a couple of raps." The crowd laughed, and the next minute laughed a!!:aia, for, just then, whack! Sierra Sam's fist shot out, and hit the Arizonian square on the nose with such force that the vic tim went to earth in a decided hurry. He quickly assumed a sitting position, how-

PAGE 20

Sierra. Sa.m's Sentence. 19 ever, and felt of his 80tnewhat flattened nasal lt was in an evidently disguised hand and ran .appendage dolefully. as follows: "Ohl lordy, what a. sockdologer that was!" "Sr RRA SAM:be gasped, hoarsely, "Ef I war guilty of own Y o u are iUJail, helpless, and with death staring. iu'a mule as could kick as hard as that, I'd you in the face : at sunrise vou are to shoot him for buzzard food. But, tbet warn't be shot, unless rescued. I am the o "IY on e who has no fair sliake-no, siree. I made a the power to help you; also I can re,tcre your b r ide S 1 Sli to you when you are free. It was I who d e f e nded "And bu'sted yer lip!" chimed in a! Y 'ck, you at the trial. At the immin ent risk o f my owi. with a grin. Take an urchin's advice, and let life 1 am willing to do this--rescuA a"d r eso r e your Sammy alone, uncle, or your eyes '11 be in wife to you-but of course I naturally expPct c om mournin' fer a wee)i:." pensation for my services. It w a s for mon ey, which "Durn my luck, no! I'm goin' ter knock l knew you had a plenty of, that I a bducted y our blazes out of him!" Yuma roared, regaining his bride. and it is only by payfog m o n e y that you will feet and rushin"' ferociously at the Californian. ever be abl e to set ey < s o n her. 'The r e fore if you .., ag-re e to give me two thousand dollars ni::on being A number ol blowR were exchanged, and alrelased, you shall have both y our rel e a se and your though Siena Sam did not get bit once, Yuma's hride npon payrnrnt tf said sum. If you agr e e to face looked more like a pumice than anything this, cry out 'All right,' in a loud voice, and to else, when he finally fell to the ground senseless, night you will be rescued. UNKNOWN." from the stunning effect of Sam's parting sboulSierra Sam burst into a loud laugh as be fin der-bit. ished reading. A tremendous cheer wont up as the Arizonian Your game won't work!" he shouted, in a went down, and Sie1Ta Sam re-atTanged his loud voice. I'm going to swing or be shot, necktie. and don't want my liberty. Bring my bride to "Most honorable body," he said, with great the killing-b e e to-morrow, and give her her lib sarcasm, "you can put up your popguns, as I erty then, anrl yon shall be paid for it." surrender myself to your most tender mercies!" Through tbe grates a scornful laugh came "Take him to the strong cabin, bind him in as the answer, and he heard a person walk band and foot, lock him in, and station a guard away. outside!" were Joe Flanders's orders. "A very clever dodge to lij!;bten my purse "Where's the young kid-I want berf' without being of advantage to me," Sam mutBut Miss Sally Sliclr was not to be seen just tcred. "I wonder who I am indebted to for then; she had vanished as quietly as she had this kindness? Ah, yes; the racy Racer, who come. so eloquently defended me during the trial! Sam was marched to the jail, followed by the Enough of the womanly in my counsel's figure pupulace. and speech for me to recognize the fair Inez in This jail, or strong cabin, adjoined the Ramirz the RaC'er. Hat ha! it's a cold daI when you mansion. When Rough Rancb was an infant find me blind, my fair friend, and shall now c:nmp, as compared with its present size, it bad know for a certainty to whom I am indebted heen built as a place of safe-keeping for rough for the abduction of my bride." <'haracteN that frequently pounced down upon Night drew on, anrl the prisoner saw the t he town. stars appear one by one in the heavens, as be Tile main structure was of logs, while the door lay gazing upward between the grates of the was of tliple thickness of oaken planks. wrndow. The only window was grated with heavy iron "Should think I'd get some word from bars, so that any one unlucky enough to get Sally," he mused; "for if I am not greatly locked witbi the \)lace, could not well make his mistaken, some of wy men were about town escape without assistance. to-day." Into the jail Sierra Sam was conducted and It was a couple of hours, however, bt>fore he bound hand and foot. He was then left lymg heard a tap at the window, and, lo oking up, upon the ground, which served in lieu of other saw the face of Sally Slick peering through the flooring, the place was cleared of the crowd, and gratings to which she partly clung. the door locked upon him. "'Shl'l she said, shaking her bead in a warn-Sam was well Ratisfied that be was not desin?, way. t.ined to bang, for be knew that bis six followers It'll be all right, by'reeby. Some one lost a would he apprised of bis capture, by Sally, quart bottle o' whisky, and the guard on t'other and would make a strQng effort to secure bis side is gittin' de.ad drunk on it. The fellers will liberty. be beer time I guess; so hold yer bosses So be felt little concern about himself; his and be cucumber.' main worry was about Stella. She dropptd out of sight then, but soon reWhat was her situation-her fate? appeared. It had been a source of constant anxiety to "I've got an idea," she sa id. "Your hands him because be could learn nothing definite es are fastened with rope. Jest hold 'em up above to her whereabouts. That be should some time your bead, an' stretch 'cm as fur apart as le kin, hear from her captors, he bad little doubt, and and I'll cut 'em loose, an' then skedaddle. be was not wrong; it came sooner than be exSam looked surprised. pected. "How?" be asked. A sheet of paper was tbr11st in through the "Thusly!" and she thrust her hnnd through grating of the window, nod fluttered to the the grating. It contained in its grasp a large? ground airectly in front of him, so lhat he was I handsome longr1rnge revolver, which wascockM e nabied to see what was writ.ten thereon with-and ready for use. out changh1g positious. &m shook bis head dubiouslv.

PAGE 21

Sierra SI'S.m's Senteillce. "I'm rathe r afraid you are not equal to that emergency, my child!" he said. "lt's a ticklish feat." Did my aim ever faiH" Sal replied, tersely. "'.Up with your hands, and holcl 'em steady!' With some hesitation the Californian obeyed. Out went her little arm; her kE*>n eye ran along the barrel of the weapon i then there was a sharp report, and Sam bela up bis hands, their bonds. The bullet had cut the rope neatly in twain. Well done!" he said, looking toward the window--but Sally was gone! When the town was quiet, and few people were abroad, that night, a dozen hard-looking customers, headed by Yuma, assembled in the vicinity of the jail. "We' ll fix things now," the Arizonian said. "As I told ye before, ef we war ter leave that feller in jail till mornin', ten ter one he wouldn't be tbar, an' tharfore I head this movement ter give him a quiet boost ter 01;1ce and make sure. Is this tter understanding, my larkiesr The m e n assented. "The n come along-let's move on the bastile at once!" With stealthy tread they approached thE> jail I CHAPTER X. ALMOST A LYNCHING. IT looked as if Sierra Sam was a doomed man, 11s Yuma and his ruffians moved down upon the jail. Sam heard their approach and knew it was not bis own followers. -It needed no hard guessing for him to suspect the character of the raid. They were coming to lynch him I He quickly lay down upon the ground and rewound the thongs about bis feat and hands, to have the appearance_ of being bound. I'll try 'em a whack before they pack me off" he muttered. By this time the would-he lynchers had reached the door, wbich was savagely shaken. "I guess the cuss is asleep; don't make much noise," the voice of Yuma was heard saying. "We want no alarm now." Sam then heard a file working rapidly, and concluded that they were filing off the hasp, which in conjunction with the padlock held the door fastened shut. It was not long ere he heard a grunt of approval, and the following instant saw the door swing open, and the men pour into the jail, Yuma iu the leaC.. Half a dozan of the men forward and lifted Sam to a standing position. As they did so, his hands became quickly dis engaged, and he seized a pair of revolvers from the belt of one of the rougbs-self-cockers they were, tool "Back! back, you hell-hound s!" the Califor nian cried, firing right 1lnd left. "Lynch Sierra Sam, will ye! Out of tbis jail, O!" I'll kill every one of you!" But the ruffians rushed upon their enemy with savage yells, he clubbing them back and firing, whilfl Yuma roared: "Take him alive! Hurra! we'll string the rascal up!" The noiSE> of the battle soon brought Flanders and fifty others '1.own upon tbe jail, and they soon quelled the fight by hauling off tbose of the lynchers who were not already disabled or stone dead by shots from Sam's terrible pist o ls. When the r einforcements came he threw down the weapons and submitted to be rebound. What the devil is the meaning of this fracas!" Flanders demanded of the Californian. "It means that gang under Yuma came after me to invite me to a lynch picnic, and found tbe Cyclone to home, you bet!" Sam rP plied. "They pitched onto me, an\]. I slic.uld judge, got the worst of it." "Which they richly deserved," the proprietor of the Casioo averred. "I'll see to it.that you will not be disturbed until sunrise." The cabin was cleared of all except the pris oner, wbo was locked in, and once more left to his own refl ections Morning dawned, bright and clear, with a fres h breeze blowing down from the mountains, l ade n with the exquisite perfume of pine and wild grape. The town was early astir, i.n anticipation of the first l y nching-bee that had occurred there; aud while the minera' wives put their hair in -papers, in honor of the occasion, the miners themselves r esorted to the Casino to lubricate" and talk over the coming event. A party was ranged along the bar, imbibing "family disturbance," when there was a cras h of glass, and an arrow' buried itself iu the mirror behind the bar. To the shaft of it was wrapped a paper, which Flanders quickly secured. In penciled chirography were these words: "Beware! If one hair of Sierra Sam's head Is hurt to day, or any attempt made upon his life, the minin!!"Camp of ROugb Ranch is doom ed I SAM' S SEVEN. n "Hello! the dul'lled skunk's awake," he ejac ulated, as be peroeived that Sam was awake. "Humph!" Flanders saicl, after reading the "We war unnecessarily cautious. I say, ye admonition aloud. "We'll see about that. iron-fisted galnot, d'ye know what we're goin' We'll see if the town is to be run by mob law. ter do wi' ye'f1 Look! the sun is just coming uo. Let's get to "Dunno!" answere
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Sierra Sam's Sentenc .... Sh. met their gaze wbicb caused them to start back, aghast. St.retched out upon tbe ground, in bis owo blood, lay the body of Sierra Sam, all but the head! That had been cut off and was nowhere to be fouud within the jail. There c ould be no doubt that it was the body of Sierra Sam, for there was bis clothing, bis top boots and s ombrero, and even his !Jand some gold watch aud chain. A search of his pockets also revealed a rn!l of money aggre g ating abolJt fifty dollars, but no papers or anything else to betray who were his executioners. The discoverers' cries of t error, brought others to the scene, and many were the cries of astonishment. "We've b een cheated out of our vengeance, by thunder!" one miner cried, angrily. "That's true as preachm'!" Joe Flanders assented, scratching bis head. Some one's stole a march on us. Who is it?" Who tried it last another citizen suggested, significantly. Flanders swore, roundly, which was something unusual with him. "If that cussed galoot, Yuma, is at the bot tom of this, be shall swing for it!" he cried, fiercely. "I gave him fair warning, after attempted lynching. Where is bet" A search was made, and Yuma was seen running in the direction or the stables beyond the Casino. He was bent on escape. "That settles it," Flanders cried, seizing a rifle from a miner's baud. "I'll show him what he bas brought upon himself!" He raised the weapon and fired, and Yuma dropped like a log. "Throw carcass into tbe creek for the fishes!" Joe Flanders commanded. I'll run this town hereafter, and see if we can have law and order." A deafening cheer greeted this declaration, which struck the majority of the crowd iu a tender Attention was then turned to the "stiff" of the unfortunate Californian. "What shall be done witll it'I'' was the query of several. "It shall have a decent burial!" Flanders de clared decidedly. "Through us the fellow has suffered an even more horrible fate than we would have awarded him, and I shall respect his peJson enough to give it a civilized burial." At tbis juncture Sally Slick pushed forward. "I say, hello!" she cried, glancing askance at the headless body of the murdered man. "I hear mv old man has met with a sort of diffickulty. Is that him?" "Yes-what's left of him!" Flanders ananswered. "That's too bad!" Sa 11. v said, giving vent to a whistle of sympathy. "He was jest as squar' as an eight-day clock, Sammy was. S'pose you've no objections to deliverin' the body up t.o me, seein' as we war pards?" "Well, I rather opine I have!" Joe replied gruflly. It happens that you're jest about the man I WR.nt to Sl'>&-Or rather, tbe gal!" "Git out! What do you want of mer' "Obi simply a little information, that's aD. You see we're anxious to investigate the case ur Sierra Sam's other six cherubs, who have threat ened us witll t<>tal annbilation." "Humph! You better not go a-fisbin' after them fellers!" Sal warned, "for, if yon do you'll come out at the little end of the horn, I tell you. As fer m e ye can't prove nothin' by me, no more'n you can make a dumb man sing! ' "We'll test the matter!" Flanders gritted, and at a motion from him Sally was seized. 'l'be body of the unfortunate Cahfornian was then hauled out of tbe jail, and Sally thrust in and the door locked on her. "There!' Flanders shouted. "That's where you'll stay till you get ready to tell us where Sierra Sam's pals are to be found!" 11 Bet you tcu cents ag'iu' a ciollar I won't!" Sal fir'!d back, defiantly. "I'll get out of here, and when I do, ef I don't sp'ile your purty mus tache, ye can call me a liar!" Flanders winced at this, and swore, as he walked away. His mustaC'be was one of bis greatest prideG. for it was c ertainly a handsome affair, both on account of its great size, and also on account of its blonde color and graceful curve, as it stretched across either clleek. Sally laughed wickedly after be was gone, and put in the better share of the de 7 iu. sleep. When her supper of bread and water had been partaken of, and darkness had settled ovs:. the town, she began work. Taking a knife from ber dress, she began to dig clown into the ground, close to the rear wall, and as fast as the dirt was loosened, she scooped it out with her bands. Like a beaver did she toil until the tion trickled down over her face. But she stuck grittily at the work for five hours with scarcely a pause. At the expiration of that time she stood with out the jail, a triumphant expression upon her dirty face. "Now for the mustache and rlVenge," she said, speeding away. CHAPTER XT. FLANDERS LOSES, ON the following morning when Jooj!'landers emerged upon the street his friends burst into a roar of laughter. "What in blazes are you laughing at'I'' Joe demanded, gruffiy. 11 Fergot sutbiu'bav'n't ye'f'' a minor observed, or bin hevin' a family disturbance with your wife, eh'!'' Flanders clapped bis band suddenly to bis upper lip, 'l"lith an oath. His handsome mus tache was gone! Sally Slick had kept her promise, by shearing the handsome appendage off so close to bis lip that but a stubble remained. That cussed little vixen said she'd fix me, and she's done it. Oh I blast her; if I ketch her sho shall pay dearly for this!" Joe cried, m hill hot anger, and rushed toward tho jail, ifilowl>d l)y the crowd.

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Sierra. Sa.m's &enience. "'l'be dug out, and it wasn't my fault I means lessening. So you were after Sierra got beat!" Joe growled, betaking himself back Sam, eb1 Female detective!" to the Casino. "Perhaps-perhaps.not," was the brief reply. The day passed quietly. Buttbat was sufficient. From that minute it ThP body of the beheaded man was decently went out that Mlle. Marie was a detective, and buried near the jail, a large crowd turning out bad come to Roug h Ranch to arrest Sam for to witne ss the interment. some criminal offense, arriving j':ISt too late to Every one armed, for it was feared that secure him. there would be an attack from the road-agents; Then some one started the report that Sierra bot none was made. Sam was not gone at all to "that other place," '!'hat night about nine o'clock a frame shanty 'but still existPd in life end flesh. was discovered on fire, and was quickly con-After closing bus in ess at Casino tbai; sumed nigbt, tbe new-comer, Marie, b etook herself tCl This tire h!td hut fairly begun when two otbPr tbe Ramirz mansion, and rapped at the door. shanties in diff erent parts of the town were dis-Several minutes later the summons was an-coveretl on fire. swered by. Don Ramon hims Pir, who surveyed Tlli s fad, as soon as it became known, I tbe mas!rntl stranger in great surprise. considerable consternation among the "Good-evening, Marie saluted, iu a prompt, And for the second timE> in the history of husio ess-like way. "Allow me to introduce R ough R!tn c h a Vigilance Committee was or-myself. I am Mademoiselle Marie, private de ganized and the members scattere d throug h the tective of N ew Orlean." camp. "Well, what d oes that concern me?" the Don But the incendiaries were n o t to be f ouocl; dema!lded, coldly. "I am not aware that I am they had done their work quietly but surely, inter<>st e d in any c!Pte<'tive case." and made good their escape Perhaps not, but I have a rlesire to talk with Nearly a week after the fire a strange c b arac -you on a subject of importance." ter appeitred in R o ugh R !tnch, rented a table in "That you can no right here, if you like," tbe Casino aod for busine3S. Ramirz said, not offering to admit h e r within She was evidently a young womsn, judging c!oo rs. by tbs graceful contour of her which Marie gave vent to a "humph" of disgust, was neatly clad; but whether beautiful or other-but pi:ocePded: wise was n o t for curious ones to know as h 2 r "I came to ak in regard to a certain Westface was bidden b ebind a blac k tbieik vai!, ern iodividnal by tbP name of Sierra Sam. Do which bad two eyeho l es cut in it for h e r two you know where b e is1" snarp eyes to peer through. The Don l aughed coarsely. Tl!at '.twas !'.ler desire to conc eal h e r identity "From hi; r ecord, I infe r that be has emi-was evid ent; but sbe at once attrac:.ed a deal grated t l a land where the tempernture is ex of attention, and was not Ion!!; in starting up a ceedingly warm." game, in which sbe "skinned" a bevy of miners "Sierra S f1:u i s n o t dead. You know it and oat of their lu c r e in a ve1y short space of time I lmol\' it. I want to know what bas b ecome of and with the sang froid of an experienced Sierra Sam-for money l" Marie persisted gambler. "In whi c h case you will have to go anedly fair pt oc Mademoiselle Marie, as she an"You are telling me a lie! the woman said, nouuced h e r sel f as she de scended the steps to the street. Joe was h!tr
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Sierra Sa1n's Sentence. beat her at poker, casino, monte and old and got "left" so far, that they retired with little bravado, and many dollars out of pooket. Ever quiet, modest and pleasant, the Unknown still bad enough dignity to command respect and, by a stern glance, to check insult. All day long was the Casino crowded and all day long mon!'y changed into Marie's bands, and was complacently pocketed. So that when night came the reputation of Mademoiselle Marie was something immense. She had beaten the town at cards, and added several thousand dol lars to her <'.apital. Among the "lucky" spirits of Rough Ranch, it was a c knowl e dge'.! that nobody stood a ghost of a show at cards, alongside Don Ramon de Ramirz. So far as cards were concerned, be wa.q alleged to be a second-sight se er, and bad never been known to lose a game wh ere any great amount of money was up. So, when be beard of Mlle. achieve ments be resolved to see for himself if she really was so great an expert a" reported. Arming himself with all the ready cash in bis posses s ion, and dressing himself in his hest, be resorted to the Casino, ti;> btoard the lioness in her den," as he expressed it. CHAPTER XII. A GAME OF POKER. STRAIGHT to the Casino did the Don proceed, to find her disengaged. The chair on the oppo site sirle of the table was unoc cupied; be slipped into it with a suave smile, while a crowd imme diately gathered around. Ahem I I bear you are getting a big name for card-playing!" the Don said, surveying the vail e d Unknown sharply. "Ob! Because I've had a streak of luck in winning a few games, I need not b e classed as an exp ert!" Mlle. Marie replied, calmly. Don Ramon smiled. "Jus t so," Lle a ssented; so I I would call around and in case you were to beg leave to have the honor of changmg your luck as you call it." Marie uttered a peculiar little laugh. If monsieur d esir<>s to show bis proficiency, let him put up a goodly sum of money; I will not play for a trifl e." Of course I will play you for any sum you may wish, to the limit of that pile!" Ramirz answered, t akmg a roll of bills from his pock et, and laying it upon the table. "How much1" Marie asked, with apparent carelPssness. "Five thousand dollars!" Ramirz said, tri umpbantly. "To accommodate your means I shall have to divide it, eh?'' "Not at all!" the vailed lady replied, produc a roll of greenbacks, and counting ten crisp bills, of five hundred dollars each. "Phew! you must bav& bee n strikink it rich!" the Don sneered "I can put up dollar for dollar with you, or any other man in Rough Ranch!" M arie retorted. So put your stamps in tbe landlord's here, if you are anxious to lose 'em." "You'll see howl will lose,"the Don returned, sharply, putting his money in Flanders's bands, as Jid Marie-making morE> moneythanJoe bad handled for many a day. Poker was the chosen game, and the play at once commenced, with a new pack of cards. Dense grew the crowd about the table, to watch with eager interest the turning of the game that was to decide who was entitled to the ten thousand dollars. "If I win thi, do you propose to call for revenge?" Mlle. Marie asked, as the game pro pressed very nearly evenly. "If I lose, I e":l still game, providing my mines are any govd. I never met the p erson yet who could beat m e at cards-consequently I am not greatly worried." But be was w0rried shortly after, when the turning of a single card decidPd the game, and Joe Flanders handed over the stakes to the Mademoiselle. Eternal curses on your luck I" the Don gasp ed, growing livid with rage. "You cheated, and I demand my mon e y back!" "If I cheated, let the crowd unanimously say so, and I will rnfund the money which I have fairly won from you." "You needn't kick, Ramirz." Joe Flanders interposed, for you w e r e beaten fairly. 'l'be gal did it square, and all you can do is grin and bear it." I'll he cursed if I will !" the Don roared. "I'll Jose all or nothing. Where i s tbe person who will loan me not five thousand m ore but fifty thousand dollars, for a few minutes, and take a mongage on my entire mining estate!" "What is the value of the whole business!" Mlle. Marie asked calmly. Exactly the sum I named." "Theu draw up a mortgage, and I'll go you half the amount _you name," Marie said. "That is as much as any broker would g ive you." Ramirz knew this well enough, and instantly turne d to FlandPr> "Send for Giles, the lawyer," be ordered. "I'll either win .back all or J ose ev,.rytbing." Giles, the lawyer. carre soon, and drew up a mortgage for $25,000, which, if not paid in seven da ys, would vest the title to all the property named in Mlle. Marie. As soon as this instrument was properly exe ruted, the veiled woman sport pairl o>Pr into Ramil"z's bands the full sum il1dicated, "bicb he in turn banded over to Flanders. Marie then covered it apd a new pack of cards Wf're produced, shuffl e d, CUt and dealt. By this time the salo o n was crowded to sufl'O ratio n, and a perfect Babel of voices were mak. ing the night hideous with betting, cursing and baccbanaEan songs. Many of tbe Spanish Plement of the town were by this timi: present, and of course bet high up. on the Don, hut th e majority of the wagers were made u no n Mlle. Marie's success. The game began. Then a hush pervaded the Casino so that "carcely anything could be beard, except the flip of the pasteboards. The Don, for a man of dark complexion, was very pale, and exceedin!!:ly n e rvous, showing that from tbe first, evidently, h e had felt it in his bones that be was to be beaten. Maries face being covered, no one eculd de-

PAGE 25

Sierra. Sac's Sentence. termine whethe r she wru. affected or n o t, but, judging by h e r d e lib erate and easy t he impre ssi o n c onv eyed was that she was p erfectly confid eut of winning. And sh e did. By exactly the s a me hand that h a d won h e r the firRt gam e did she win the s ec ond, wbil e thunders o f applause m a d e the room ecbo and re-e c h o Don Ramo n arose from the table with a vi c i o u s oath, as Fla nd e rs banded ovei the imme n s e stakes to Marie and made his w a y out of t he saloon-no longer rich nor powe 3ul, but !tteral ly a paupe r, as compare d with form e r p re tige and m ea n s Straight to bis o wn mans i,,u h o too k h imself, hh1 dusky visage a sc en e of many e vil tho u ghts and pa ss ion a t e expre ssion s "I am ruined! I am ruined!" h e muttere d, as he ran up the steps; "but it sha ll not b e long. vb, n o!" the m a n s ion, b e sought out tbe Senorita Inez, and found b 0th h e r a n d t he rasout my claim! You are ind ebted to me over two thousand dol lars you will plea'!a remember." "it matters not. I have not a cent in the world, and can pay no debts." Carlos scowled: "Supposing you were well heeled, and d e siring to have a home of my own, I have bePn t 11king love to the fair Inez, but sh e repul se1 me at every word. Had she accllpted m e your debt.;to me would be canceled. But under the cirl'ulliStances, somtithing must be don e and done at once, too." "Bahl YO" are a fool. My child could never accept a m'l.:1 'lf your stamp-neither can I pay you." "I will die b e fore I will m11rry you!" Inez de clared, h e r ti yes flashing. "1 shall marry one man only." "And tb11t man living somewhere in your cus tody, would not d e ie:n to wipe his f eet on you!" Carlos declared, with mocking triumph. "How ever, you are the priceless jewel I covet, and mine you s hall be. or I'll lay you in your grave irith my own "Blatant bombast!" the Don growled. "You dare do nothing." "Wait and s e e!" Carlos warned, rising. "I will give you forty-eigbt hours to accede to my terms. If you refuse, I'll not only make it e x cee din g ly w arm for yon, but I will als o make five th o u sa nd d ollars r e w a rd by e xposing the wh e r eabouts of a c ertaiu advertise d-for pers o n." "Yon are talking nonsense ," R amirz averred. "Alt hough it is not i mposs i b l e t bat we may co m e t o term<, I am p e r fectly satisfie d that you c a nn o t l oca t e the m a n yo n !' e fer t o." "We ll, t h a t r e main s to o e t o ltl," Carlm; re torted t a king his h a t and leaving th e room. A:ft e r he w a s gon e Don R 'lmirz and his d a u g ht e r stood gazing at eac h othet', until C arlos was heard to l eave tho hous e ; then the Dou It i s as I expe c te d M atters are approach iu g a c ri s is. IC s o m e m o v o is not made at once, w e are n o t only irretrievably ruined, ltut will n e v e r escape fro m this town. Wha t shall be don e! Ine z was silent for a f e w minutes then an swe ret.l: "Yon s a y Mll e MRrie has got all?'' "Everything-all; m o n e y and mortgage. Nothing r emains b e longing to us but this hou se." And you say she off ers a reward for Sierra Sam!" "Yes, of five tbonsand dollars." "And has all this money about herr' "She did, a short time ago." "Then wait!" Sile sat clown at a table, and hastily wrote the following: "MLLE MAruE'.-You offer five thousand dollars rewa1J to any p e rs o n who wlll d e liv e r Sierra Sam into your charge If you will meet me at the Curve a mil e b elow town, I will give .vou the key that wi!> unl o ck the dungeon that h o lds him. Bring thG mon e y. Y. Z. &." CHAPTER XIIL BAFFLED. "THERE," the s enorita said, reading it aloud to her father. se e that this paper. reaches the woman, Marie, at once, before the Casino closes for the night. Sile will then, likely, come totbe appointed place of meeting, with all her mone.v with her. We will be there in disguise. While you engage her in conversation, I will steal up behind her, throw my arms about hPr, and thus hold her until you can bind her. Then we will rob her at leisure, and also sea what face is con cealed behind that vail." "Your plan is excellent," the Don cried, enthusiastically. "I did not know you were so courageous and capable. We should feel flat, however, it she should not have her with her." "Well, in that case, we shall have to apply a remedy befitting her. Her mon e y we must have-then I think the sooner we leave here, the better." "You are right But rlo you not be liev e we can get some money out of Sierra Sam?'' "No. He remains as stubborn itnd obstinat.e as a mule. He says he will die where be is be fore he will yield." "Well, we will see after we J'tlt ready to leave. Perhaps he will come t.o terms then. If not, we can do no more than let him go.

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Sierra Sam's Sentence. Carlvs may give us trouble unless vrn acced e to his terms." Bah! bo will do nothing, I believe. If be does all tbat is n ecessary is to g1 vo bim a dose of arse nic in a glass of wine. That will quiet him effectually. As to bis knowing the whereabouts of Sierra Sam, that is all fud g e." "Probably. Well, I will go, now, and SPe that Mlle. Marie receives this note immedi ately." That even in g 's sport was not all over. After Rarnirz bat.I left the saloon, Marie be came even more a center of attraction than before, but she caught no other customer, for exceedingly shy were the habitues of the Cas ino, of a woman who bad such phenomenal luck Late in the eve ning, the stage arrived, and the driver reported tbat the con veyauce bad been stopped, scarcely a mile from town, and botb the treasure-hox and the passengers r obbed of everything of v a lue and one man, who had attempted r es istance, bad been haul ed off the coa ch and shot. Tbis created a new excitement, ancl tbe Sien-a Sam subject r eceived plenty of discussion ov every hand. I t ell you w bat!" Joe Flanders cried, mount ing the bar; this tbing must be stopped. We are fools to calmly to b eing rohbecJ by a pack of m ountain roughs, who cloak uurler the pretense of avenging the possible death of their former pal, Sierra Sam. Some of you don't believe the <'USS is clead, at all, and C am not positive, myself. The r efo re, I propose that it no more than fair that an in ves t1gation be made. to learn wbo is who, here in_ Rnugh Ranch. Th e re's one or more suspicious characters about town, who might be able to inform us if Si erra Sam is alive or not." During this speech a man entered and banded Marie a letter, which she read and pocketed. When Flanders finished she arose quickly, a shining revolv e r in her hand. "If you mean me, sir," she cried, "in your reference to su3picious persons, I have to inform you that you will not profit by waging war against me. I am prepared to defend my self." "So I perce iv e. Flanders responded, "but I trust you will kindly remove the mask and 1Jhow us your face." "Then yo u trust in vain, for I will not show {.tat all!" M arie cried, d e fiantly. "I came here to mind my ow!l business, and the first one who to mind it for me, will have cause to regret it"' So candidly did she speak that there could be no doubt about h e r sincerity, and the crowd stoorl izazing at ber in 1espec t and wonder. Joe Flanders did n o t f ee l proud at this, and he sprun?; down off the counter toward her. If he contemplated tearing the vail from ber face, as was evident, he was not destin e d to be sucCPSsful, for jus t th e n there was a yell of rage, and Bandel, the madman, darted b etwee n th e m, and dealt Flanders a terrible blow in the fac e that dropped him. Then, without uttering a word, dashed the strange protector again from the saloon. Flanders was but stuuued by the blow, and s l owly picked himself up and rubbed bis nose dolefully. No one else offering her any further molesta tion, Marie l eft the saloon. Once outs ide, she hurried up the gu lch toward what was known as the Dovil' s Curve. Her rapid footsteps soon brought her to the placo, which was the one appointed in Inez' s letter. She presently beard footsteps approacbing, and soou after a man made bis appearance around tho curve. As soon as he came near enough to be dis cernible, Marie perceived that he was wrapped in a lon g rubbe r coat and C&icombined, and the cowl of \he latter being pulled down over his face, bir' from view. When hti was "ithin R few pnces of ber, Marie raised her hand, and motioned him not to advance further. Stop!" she crier!. I prefer that you re main at a proper distance. Are you Y. Z. &1" "I am!" the man repli e d, in a grufl' voice, evidently disguised. "Have you comti to deal witb me, for the releas e of SieITa Sam?" "I have, when you prove to my satisfaction that Sierra Sam is alive and in your power." "I suppose you'd like to have me bring him out where you can see him, eh?" "Prec isely! I will pay, when I get that which I pay fur. If you want the money, proSierra Sarni" "I am more cautious than that. Give me the money, and 1 pledge my word of honor, to turn Sierra Sam over into your keeping, within the hour." "If you think me green in treating with men of your stamp, Don Ramon, you are doomed tc> disappointment,'' she "Only wben you produce Sierra Sam alive and well will I pay you your price." Ramirz (for as the reader is a ware it was be) uttered au oath. "You are very careful. Have you the money with you?" 'I'd be a fool to bring it here," Marie re pli e d, "where I could easily be robbed of it. WhP n you produce the prisoner, however, the mon e y is ready for you." Bab! this is monotonous!" Rar.:irz declared. "You have all tbe money and tlte mortgage you robbed me of about your person. Deliver it up, or I will leave your corpse for the wolves to )ick to-night." "I am not at all alarmed I" Marie retorted. "I hav e a r evo lv e r bearing on your heart, as you doubtless know, and if you make a move toward ha1ming me, you are a dead man!" But at this in stant she was seized from behind. CHAPTER XIV. UNSUCCESSFUL. THE person wbo had seized Marie from behin,.. bad thrown a strong pair of arms around her. thus pinioning her arms firmly. The Don at the same time sprung forward to aid in securing the prisoner, hut before be could lay a hll:Jld upon this vailed mademoiselle, a

PAGE 27

Sierra Sam's Sentence. pistol-shot rung out, and one of his armo; dropped limp and useless to his side. An instant later Sally Slick dashed forward, a pair of cocked six-shooters in ber grasp. "Let up there, you robbers!" she cried, firing again and sending a bullet so close tn tbe dis guised Don's ear, tllat he jumped violently aside. "Re l ease that l>tdy, or I will make you so sick of yer little job that yer won't never live to tackle a no th er." The person who held Marie and who, the reader is probably aware, was Senorita Inez in male attire, at once obeyed the command, and hastened to the Don's side, while tbe weapons of Sally Slick still kept a bearing upon them. Your scheme bas failed, and you had better take a'vantage of the ;:hance and clear out while you can. I suspected your game, and came prepared, as I have my money where you could never fini it. I'll givil you ten days to produce and deliver up Siena Sam; if you fail, we will see what can be done with you." Then, without another word, sbe turned and hastened clown tbe gulch toward the camp. Wtien sbe gone the Don and bis da11ghter turned to where Sally had stood "' minute be fore, but sbe too was gone. ruined!" Ramirz hissed "We, too, may as well go borne." Inez sneered .. You are an old fool!" she said. If you had bad plenty of help here, no one would have interfered. Now yon can go home without your money, and ten to one you'll never get another chance to secure it." "Well, we won't givil up, yet!" the Don re plied, sullenly. "We will pay a visit to Sierra Sam, and talk with him." In that case she must tell what she knows, or we'll make her, that's all!" "But how you going to get at her? She is hard to reach, as you've cause to know." "Yes, so I am aware, but we must put our heads together and devis e a plan, whereby to effect her capture. Tben, if she does not come to time she shall be killed, thus ridding the community of one curse at least, if not more." The plotters thereupou did put their heads together, and secretly arranged a campaign against Mlle. Marie, which boded her no good, should she fall into their trap. But, with her usual independence, she WM to be found at her table in the Casino, at the usual h0ur in the ready to play with any one who bad anything to risk on cards. During the forenoon after the late robbery, Black Carlos dropped into the saloon and en gaged her in couversation. To his surprise he found her quite amiable and talkative, and he soon found himself very much intereted in her, a fact of wh1cb she was well aware, as she r edoubled her efforts to please. Gradually their conversation turned to the suOject of the doubt existing as to whether Sierra S:tm was dead or not. "I see you have been offering a reward for Sierra Sam," tbe Spaniard said. "Do you sup pose be is alive?" "Most assuredly. You know he is, too, sir." "No, I do not know it. I merely infer it." "You do know," Marie persisted, with a great daal of spirit. "You know as well as I that Sierra Sam is alive and in the power ol Ramirz." / "WelH" '' You can earn tbe reward by revealing the S.,ill later, that night, Rough Ranch was hiding-place of SiPrra Sam and delivering him awakened from its slumber by a wild, weird to me. Why don't you do so!" chorus of song, with an accompaniment made "Perhaps I might were there sufficient induce-by the elater of horses' hoofs. ment. I believe it would not take me to Those who ventured to thrust their heads from ferret out the place where Sierra Sam is confined, windows to learn the cause, saw a small party if so be he is alive. of masked horsemPn dashing down through the "Pray wh:l.t inducement could you ask further main street of tne town, and knew that they than wbat I have offered already?" were Sierra Sam's Seven, for seven there were "Humph! the money is not su'fficient to tempt in the party, the persou in the lead being none me, for one thing. If Sierra Sam is worth a other than the child-bravo, Sally Slick. cent to you, be is worth a good deal more than So quiclfly did tbe party dash through and the reward you offer. I faucv I know who you out of the to N n, that no one thought of giving are and why you want the bolri sport. You are pursuit, until tlley were gone the lost bride, Stella Slocum!" The next m orning brought to light another Marie laughed sarcastically. annoying discovery. "You would not make a fortune at guessin!i During the night, live business places in the or you'd kuow b etter than that. If Sie1-ra Sams town had been entered, and money and other wife I should not ho apt to hide my face. Who valuables taken therefrom; wbile in each place or what I am does not in the least concern you a visiting-card, in the shape of a full sheet or any one but mvself. I am wil:ing to pay the poster bad been left on which was written sum of five thousand dollars to 11ny one who will ' ,, set Sierra Sam at liberty, outside the town, but SIERRA. SA.Ms SEVEN. not one cent more. That is a big sum of money Joe Flanders picked out four trusty miners, j to pay, and only strong motives could cause me and they held a private c0ns ul tation. to give away so much." "It's a matter of no further doubt in my ill' Then I don't believe we can make terms. mind but what these accursed outlaws have a Twenty thousand would be my very lowest fig go-between in this very camp!" he said "and ure, and then I sh.:mld want you to marry me, who more likely than tbe vailed woman, Marie? and givf' me control of your affairs." She, perhaI13. is also the lost bride of Sierra Mlle. Marie fairly gasped with amazement at &mt" the preposterous proposition. Then she laughed "WelU" llllrdonically.

PAGE 28

Sierra Sam's Sentence. Wby r.ou have no end of assurance!" sbe averred. 'I forgive you, however. Were I in the matrimonial market you would be the last person I could imagine as the object of my choice. Your price, too, is most unreasonable and I could not dream of paying it." "Sad am I to declare that I cannot exert my self in your behalf," the villain sneered, arising from the table and taking bis departure. "Better so, perhaps," Marie murmured. Later that day Joe FlanJers met the Inez upon tbe street, and bail e d ber, She waited for him to approach, in consider able surprise, for he bad never paid much attention to her, rarely ever speaking to ber. Excuse me, senorita," be said, doffing his bat with a gallantry not usual with him, "but I have something of importance to say to you." "Well, say it!"' the lady respo nded, coldly, "but please be as brief as possible, as I am in a hurry." Well, it is this. That woman, Mlle Marie, who gambles over at my place, has been telling some pretty hard stories about lou, and if I were you I wouldn't stand it. Wed some of us remonstrate with ber, but are afraid to touch her until we find out wbo she really is That's what we most desir11 to do, and if w e find, as we suspect, that she is Sierra Sam's wife, she's got to s urrender. "Well, what bas this to do with me1 What do you want of me!" "Simply this : Go over to the Casino, enter it, and approach Marie on the sly. When within reach of her, spring forward and tear the vail fro m her face I and a dozen others will be near at band, and be ready to qui ckly cover her with weapons, so that she will eithe r have to surrender or die I" Aud what am I to get for tbis'!'' why, the satisfaction of triumphing over your enemy, of course " Humph! I will not be made a tool of for nothing. If you choose to restore to me thn money that she robbed from my father, it will be more of an object." 1 will do this," Flanders assertetl. "I will r esto r e to you whatever amount is found on her person at the time she is captured. If this is satiEfactory, wby go ahead." "Very well; I will do as you say within half an hour. Promptly at the appointed time, Inez de Ramirz entered tbe Casino and stole stealthily u p be hind Mlle Marie, wbo was deeply engrossed in a game of poker with a miner. When sufficiently close the senorita reached quick l y forward and tore the covering from tbe mademoiselle's face, while at the same instant Fla nders and a dozen others leaped forward. CHAPTER XV. Sol.M'S DECISION. A FEW hours before InP,z tore the vail from the face of Mademoiselle Marie, Ferr o delivered t h e D o n a n envel ope as the latter sat in the par lor of his mansion A fter Ferro was gone be tor e open the mes sage and read: "RAMON D E Srn:-You are hereby noti.fled th a t the m embers of Sierra Sam's Seven have firmly decided, by ca r e ful observation, that Sierra Sam still Jives, and that he also i s m your custody. Therefore, this is to in form you that we have placed the seal of doom upon your head, which nothing can lift therefrom except your surrender and that of our captain. At tempt not to leave the town, as every avenue of es cape is gua.rded with trusty men. Until to morrow at midnight will you be given to set Sierra Sam at liberty, outside of Rough Ranch. u SIERRA s.ut:'s SEVEN.,, Tho Don read this over, h i s features growing dark and hard in their expr ess i on. "Curse them!" he growled savagely. T he;r mean to hound me down to a dog's death yet, 1 t would seem. But they shall find me game to the Jastl I will at once pay a visit to Sierra. Sain, whom we so cleverly extracted from the jail, and replaced with a headless <'adaver. If I can get a reasonable sum of money from tte Sport, we will lenve this place behind-Inez. aud I-and try for better luck in some strange place." Leaving thtJ parlor, he entered a sort of ante room; whe r e he procured and ligbted a lantl'rn. an captive was all rigbt. Sam h eard the laugh, and his eyes glittered witb set resolve "Well, what brings you here a!!:ain1" Sam demand e d. "l have nothing to say to you." "But I have to you," tbe Don declared, with a taunting smile. "I have come to inform yoU: that our pleasant bminess arrangements m ust be brought to a <:lose'a t once." I ndeed I Well, proceed to say what you de Eire to What terms do yon propose to de mand "Just what I should <'onside r my life worth to me were it at stake. I know you have mouey in plenty, wbile I have been robbed of everything I have. So I'll Jet up light o n you. Pay me fifty thousand dolla r s and I will release you, and furnish yo n with a disguise in w h ic h t o escape from the town. If you do not comp l y with my terms, I w ill wall up the entrance to thisdnngeon and bury you alive!" "You a r e so considerate and genero u s tha t you a l mos t make m e cry," was Sam's sarcastic

PAGE 29

Sierra. Sam's Sentence. rejoinder. Rad I a thousanQ. bank accounts, I would not accede to your terms. So go ahead and wall me in. Not one continental cent will I give you." The Don looked puzzled. You are a strange man!" he said. You must value life very lightly." "So lightly that I would for bis life's sake; but when be refused Ramirz's demand, be was well assured that it woulr:I be not long ere be would be released, whether he was walled in or not. That assurance came to him thus: While Ramirz stood within the door speaking, Sam saw a petite figure slyly step to the door, peer through the gratings, and then as noiselessly disappear. He immediately recogn ized ber as his child pard, Sally Slick, alias Little Luck, and he felt confident that it was as good as certainty that his escape was impending. With great patience be waited. An hour passed b.v. Then be saw the stones begin to move from the top of the door. In ten minute s a sufficient number had been removed to admit of a voice speaking through the grates from the outside. "Say, pard, aire ye tbar1" "You bet I am here," Sam responded. "lit that you, Sally!" "You bet it is, pard! Just hold your horse, and I'll have you rqsurrected afore ye know it!" A silence then followed, except the noise made by Sally as she tore down the wall. In much less time than it took to lay it, was it leveloo to the ground. So fur, so good," Sally said, pausing to survey her work. Now then for the lock." It was a common affair, and producing a bunch of keys, she soon had it fitted, and the door unlocked. After that it was a comparatively small job to release Sierra Sam. When he was freed, he caught Sally up in bis arms and kissed her, after which she said: "Come! follow me, now, and I will show you -'I

PAGE 30

Sierra Sam's Sentenca. "how to get out of this house, and out of the town. Don't fret about Stella. ShB is at liberty and will join us, as soon as she knows that l have found you." "Lead on, brave girl I only want the chance to turn my face from this town, with my brave ones with me,'' Sam said, in a tone of gladness. Ten minutes later they stood in tbe rear yard, adjoining the Ramirz mans10n, mounted upon the two best horse s in the Don's stable, while at the gate stood Fe!TO, tae Don's servant. "No thanks are require d he said. "I am not a hrute nor a villam, and knowiug Ramirz and the Senorita Inez to be gu'. lty of many crimes, I am g lad to assist in your escape, But look! they are dragging a woman from the Casino! Ah!itisMarie!" "Stella! Stella!" screamed Sally. "For God's sake quick, ope n the gates!" Opo n went the gates, and out and down the Street dashed Sierra Sam and S ally, furiously firing with their revolvers a.s they went! Fiercely through the crowd Sam led on, and bending in his saddle tore Stell>\ from the arms of her captors. Then away and on they swept, followed by a few harmless bullets, and the town was left be hind I SfoJTa Sam, nor Sierra Sam's Seven, were ever beard of thereafter. Up in a lone mountain valley, be shortly after struck a paying 'lead,' and he, Stella and Sally there settled down, thankful for peace and quiet. And Bandel, the maniac, was there with them, but perfectly harmless. The Don Ramirz soon after got into dispute with Black Carlos. A duel was the result, and both received wounds th>lt used them up. Tbe senorita drifted away from Rough Rancb, and among the few who yet try to keep order in the hard ltttle mountain town, Joe Flanders may be c lassed as ahead! THE END. DIME HAND-BOOKS. B&ADLE's DmE HANDBooKs FOR YoUNG PEoPLm cover a wide range of subjects, and are :ispecially adaptea to tlleir end. Young People's Series. Ladies' Letter-Writer. Gents' Letter->Vriter Book of Etiquette. B ook of Verses. Book of Dreams. I Book of Garnes. Fortune-Teller Lovers' Casket. I Ball-room Companiou Book of Beauty. Manuals for Housewives. t, Recip e Book. 5. Dressmaking and Mil-1 Cook Book. 4. Family Physician. s, Housekeeper's Guide. linery. The above publications are ror sale by all ne11!8 dealers or will be sent, post-paid, on receipt of price, ten cents each, by BEADLE A.NJ') A.DAMS, $3 WILLUJ( Y. BEADLE AND ADAMS' STANDARD DIME PUBLICATIONS Speahers. Each volume contains 100 large pages, printed from clear, open type, comprising the best collec tion of Dialogues, Dramas and Recitations. The Dime Sneakers embrace twenty-five volume viz.: 1. American Speaker. Hi. Komikal Sp eaker. 2. Nationa l Speaker. 16. Youtl1 's Spea ker. 3 Pat riotic Speaker. 17. Eloquent Speaker. 4. Comic Speaker 18. Hail Columbia Spoo k 5. Elocutionist. er. 6. Humorou s Speaker 19. SerioComic Speaker, 7. Standard Speaker. 20. Select Speaker. 8. Stump Speaker. 21. Funny Speaker. 9. Juvenile Spea ker. 22. J oily Speaker. 10. Spread-Eagle Speaker 123. Dial ect Speaker. 11. Dime Debater. 24. Recitati ons and Read 12 . Exhibition Speaker. ings. 13. School Speaker. 125. Burlesque Speaker 14 Ludicrous Speaker. These books are replete with choice pieces for tb& School-room, the Ex!Hbition. for Homes, etc 75 to 100 Declamations and Recitations in each book. Dialoguei;, The Dime Dialogues. each volume 100 pages, em 1 brace thirty-five books, viz.: Dialogues No. One. Dialogues No. Eighteen. Dialogneg No. Two. Dialogues No. Nineteen. Dialogues No. Three. Dialogues No. Twenty. Dia.logues No. Fonr. Dialoi:tnes Ko. Twentyone. Dialogues No. Five. Dialog ues No. Twenty-t.wo. Dial0g11es No. Six Dialoi:tues No. Twenty-three. Dinlogues No. Heven. Dialogues No. Twenty-four. Dialo gues No. Eight. Dialogues No. Twemy-flve, Dialogi;es No. Nine. Dialogues No. T"e11ty-six Dialogue s No. Ten. Dialoi:tnes!\o Twenty-seven, Dialogues No. Eleven. Dialogues No. Twenty-eight. Dialogues No. Tw e lve. Dialogues No. Twenty-nine. Dialogues No. Thirteen. Dialogues No. Thirty. Dialogues No. Fourteen. Dialogues No. Thirtyone. Dialogues No. Fifteen. Dialogues K o Thirty-two. Dial ogues No. Sixte en. Dialogues No. Thirty-three. Dialogues No.Seventeen Dialogues No. Thirty-four Dialogues No. Thirty-five, 15 to 25 Dialogues and Dramas in each book. Hand-Bookrs of Games. Handbook ef Summer Spo1ts Chess Instructor. Riding and Driving. Book of I Yachting and Rowing, Cricket and Football. Book of Pedestrianism, Guide to Swimming. Handbook of Winter Sports-Skating, etc, Lives of Great Americans, !.-George Washington. I VIII.-Israel Putnam. II.-John Paul Jones. X.-Tecumseh. TII.-MadAntbonyWayne XI.-Abraham Lincoln, JV.-Etha n Allen. XII.-Pontiac. V.-Marquis de Lafayette XIII.-Ulysses S. Grant, above books are sold by newsdealers e v erywhe r e, O! will se nt, post-paid to any ad dress, on receipt of price. ten cents BEADtil AND ADAM.S, Publishers, 98 William s t ., N. Y

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DeadWiiOd Dick e Library LATEST AND BEST. HAN11_30ME TRI-COLORED COVERS. 82 Pages. Boy One and You Will Buy the llestl For Sample Cover See Otbe1 Side. DEADWOOD DICK LIBRARY. I Deadwood Dick, the Prince o f the Road :r The Double Daggers; or, Di ck's Defiance II 'fhe Buffalo Demon; or. The Border Vultures 4 Buffalo Ben, Prince of the P istol I! Wild Ivan, the Boy Claude Duval 6 Death-Face, the Detective 7 The Phantom Min er; or, D eadwood Dick's Bonanza 8 Old Avalanche, the Great Annihilator; or, Wild Edna, the Girl Brigand 9 Bob Woolf, the Border Ruffian 10 Omaha Oil, the Masked Terror; or, Deadwood Dick in Daneer 11 Jlm Bludsoe, Jr., the Boy Phenix; or, Through to Death 12 Deadwood Dick's Eagles; or, The Parda of Flood Bar 18 Buckhorn Bill; c r, The Red Rifl e Team 14 Gold Rifle, the Sharpshoote r 15 Deadwood Dick on Deck; or, Calamity Jane 16 Corduroy Chai-lie, the B o y Bravo 17 Rosebud Rob; or, Nugge t Ned, the Knight of the Gul c h 18 Idyl, the Girl Miner; or, Rosebud Rob on Hand 19 Photograph Phil; or, Rosebud Rob's Reappearance 20 Watch-Eye, the Shadow 21 Deadwood Dick's Devic e ; or, The Sign of the Double Cross 22 Canada Chet, the Counterfeiter Chief 28 Deadwood Dick iu Leadville; or, A Strange Stroke for Liberty :U Deadwood Dick as Detective 25 Gilt-Edged Dick 26 Bonanza Bill. the Mao-Tracker; or, The Secret Twelve 'J!1 Chip, the Girl Sport 28 Jack Hoyle's Lead; ori.. The Road to Fortune 2ll Boas Bob, the King of i>ootbiacks 30 Deadwood Dick's Double; or, The Ghost of Gorgon' s Gulch 81 Blonde Biii; or, Deadwood Dick's Home Base 82 Solid Sam, the Boy Road-Agent 83 Tony F ox, the Ferret; or, Boss Bob's Bose Job 34 A Game of Gold; or, Deadwood Dick's Big Strike 35 D eadwoo d Di c k or Deadwood ; or, The Picked Party 86 N e w York Nell. the BoyGirl 87 N obby Nick of Nevada; or, The Scamps of the Si erras 88 Wild Frank, the Buckskin Bravo 89 Deadwoo d Dick's Doom; or, Calamity Jane' s Last Adv enture 411 D eadwood Dick' s Dream; or, The Rivals of the Road 41 D eadwood Di ck's Ward; or, The Blac k Hills Jezebel 42 'fhe Arab Detective; or, S n o oz er. the B o y Sharp 43 The V entriloquist Detective. A Romane" o f R ogues 44 D etective Josh Grim; or, The Young Gladiator's G ame 45 'rhe Frontier Detective; or, Sierra Sam's Scheme 46 The J i m tow n Sport; or, G ypsy JacK lo C o l orado 47 The Miner Sport; or, Sugar-Coated Sam' s Claim 48 Dick D rew, the Miner's Son; or, Apollo Bill, the R oad-Agent 49 Sierra Sam, the Detective 50 Sierra Sam's Double; or, The Three Female Detect. ives 51 Si erra Sam's Sentence; or, Little Luck at Rougb Ranch 52 The Girl Sport; or, Jumbo Joe's Disguise 53 D enve r fJoll's Devic e ; or, 'l'he Detective Queen 54 D enver Doll as D "tective 55 D e nv e r Doll's Partner; or, Big Ruckskin the Sport 56 D e nv e r D oll's Mine; or, Little Bill's Big Loss 57 D eadwood Dick Trapped 58 Buck Hawk, Detective; or, The Messenger Boy's Fortune 59 D eadwoo d Dick s Disguis e ; or, Wild Walt, the Sport 60 Dumb Dick's Pard; or. Eliza Jane, the Gold Miner 61 Deadwoo d Dick's Missi o n 62 Spotter Fritz; or, The 8to r e -Det.ective's Decoy 63 The D etective Road-Agent; or, The Miners of Sassa fras City 64 Colorado Charlie' s Detectl'l'e Dash; or, The Cattle Kings


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