Dumb Dick's pard, or, 'Liza Jane, the girl miner

Dumb Dick's pard, or, 'Liza Jane, the girl miner

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Dumb Dick's pard, or, 'Liza Jane, the girl miner
Series Title:
The Deadwood Dick Library
Wheeler, Edward L. (Edward Lytton) 1854 or 5-1885
Place of Publication:
Cleveland, Ohio
Arthur Westbrook Co.
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 20 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Adventure stories. ( lcsh )
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:
026009108 ( ALEPH )
07327404 ( OCLC )
D22-00059 ( USFLDC DOI )
d22.59 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Copyright 1SS:H889, b y B eadle & Adams. Ente r e d at Pos t omce, N e w York, N. Y., as secon d class m atter irar.15, 1899. No. 60 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK C O C le v eland, O hio V ol. V


)op yrtght 1888-1889, by Beadle & Adams. Entere d at Post Office, New YQrk, N. Y.,as secondolasamattei'.,Diar .15, 1$99. N o. 6 0 THE ARTHUR WESTBROOK CO. Cleveland, Ohio Vol. v; :fllE SPORT XNOCKE.D CARMEN A CONSIDERABLE DISTANCE OUT IN'J'O TH& WATEB.


Dumb Diek'11 Pa.N. -------------.,---------------tiumb Dick's Pard; OR, 'Liza Jane, the Girl Miner. BYE. L. WHEELER, AUTHOR OF 11 DEADWOOD DICK" NOTIJ:LS, I ROSEBUD ROB 11 NOVBLS1 DE!fVEB DOLL 11 JllOYKLS, BTC., llTC, CHAPTER I. 'IRE PERI OF THJI GU"LCH P AR'.t.DIU. "u'LANQ1 lebetible, yon lazy beast, or we'll not get to our jon ney'1 end to-day. Consarn yon. behave yer 1uitchin'. Thera a tlv near yfl. bot 'On $Ile other llide o Jordan, In the l"ee* fields oC-" "Jerusalem! Can it be poNibJe l'' The lone traveler reinL'urney lity throug h a narrow gulch, walled in at the rigilt Rnd left by precipitous; heigblll, upon whfoh "lung only an occasi :mal shrub or tuft o{ vae;e\.u.tifln, A gmgling little atrear:> ran the 11:ul.cb, frequently Cl'Oiiling the aeldom-traveleci mule trail. lt was just after rounding an abrupt head in the gulch, tbat tbe m!lu aod bis steed came to a halt, and tbe oause of tba wayfarer's 1urpriM was readily apparent. Facing tbe mule-trail, at tbe mou.th of tbis glen. stooJ a small but strong cabin. with a ve1anda in front. A chair wa5 placed upon this veranda; a hammock was swung in under tbe shade of a 11Lrge lire&, wb08e limbs reached out to tbe cabin roof; a bad or tlowers bloomed ju1t beside tbe path leadinl{ trow the trail to the steps. It was e. pretty and picturesque spot, and there was something "'> refreshing about the fact, to PariKm Priggins, tbl\t he was excusable for drawing rein in 8urpri&e. He saw more than we bave described, too-e. syste1n of sluioe boxee, that bad their beginning somewhere up in the 1le11, and running down past tbe cs bin, emptied their muddy wat,ers 111to tbe little st!'Mrnlet; be saw a young end pretty gll'l near the shanty, engaged in shoveling a 1t11all heap of dirt into one of the sluice-ways, and working tho "cradle" in a very business-like mannar, as if she were no less than a time-tried nteran at the profession of Parson Prisi;gius was only thirty, good-lookmg, after a. meek fashion, uLmarried, fairly educated, and bad a snug little "nest in the wallet which be invariably oarried 111 his insic!e vest pocket. The:refore, no wonder bis heart beat a little faster, as bis gaza wandered from the C060y cabin to the cosier little piece of femininity working at the c1adle. She wi:, possibly, nineteen years of age, tlaougb h&r fresh face looked even younger; she waa a trifle below llhe medium sSature womee, t.ut perfectly molded in filtl'.U'e. She w&>1 d..-1 in a liomeapuu wals\ and akiri, the latter no' reaching qnik $<> the anklee; bel' tee were inc-1 in a daint:r pair of leather-top boots; a broad-rim 1louclt hat wu 5et back upon her bead, and a belt abou\ her waisi oonteined a pair of eold mounted reolvers. TbU much.,. Panon Piiggins, without being -by the da1hinit Girl Miner; then, hia ourioolty iiettiui: the better of him, be u1-sed the lmrro \uward thi JlllTdise of tha gulch. G'laJI&, M:ebetl.ble, you beast! At last, it we have t.he boundaries of c1vilization." Tbe footfalls of the animal soon r011cbed the girl'& ba&riog, and 1be butily !>llized a Tille, which was leaning againsi a bowlder, bnt laid it down age.in, when abe noted lhe ministerial aspect of the new-comer. "No tough tbarl'"he commended. "Looks as if ha might hev jeat fell out of a CWDp-meetin'." And a moment lat.er, Pricgins drew rein, and doft'ed bis beaver, in true Che11terfieldia11 style. "Goodafterooon, sis I" he luted. "HJwdy do, er name! Mine's Jim Priggins." 11 Arnl mine is 'Liza Jan&!" "'Liza Janet Jerusalem I I us'ter court old Gilroy's gal, who was called 'Liza Jane. What's yer other name!'' "Give it up!" 11 Ye diJ That' queer I WhAr's the oid fol.ks -don't BOO any of 'em abon"" "Good reason. Thar &in't none.'' "Phew! Ye don't mean to S&1 ye Jin at alone hyer, yerself, in this lonesome coun try1" That's the ea11e." "Sbo! You must be nervy, ef I do say it." 11 P'rhaps I amt" The girl spoke in a dry, way, that teemed habitual with her. Gu..,. :ron1l"tl a preacher, ain't yet" she added a tinkle it> her .,ye. "Why!'' and Priggins tared. Ob I I tU8pected Yoo don't sw'arl" "Grea\ 11;uul Is that how ye t.e!H Why, uJl at li!o'odgrass C',ornel'll, nobody swears." "All preachers, eM" "No, but they all knows the commandment.s, Ye see my father aire deacon o' the church, ar.' he i;ot me to study up ministry." Well, how did you make outr


Dumb Dick' P-.rcl. 8 "Porty well. Ye I got along well, till I J wbere-r11g11lar nobs, ye see, tackled praachin', fer I us'ter do the marryin' up in silks an' broadcloth. 1 bat's why I 11flow brown. But one day !Ut.hin' happened an' dad maybe a country cou6ill wouldn't bll weloome." l&id I better take a vacation fer aw bil e." Prit;gina Wail suent a m oment. "Indeed." Hi eJes were riveted upon the ground, and "Yea; you eee o ld man B yle' wanted bis 130U the peculiar expreeiiion on his face uo t <'as y J"ook to do the preacbin', 'cal,lse \he c o llecti o n to interpret. wa811'$ no muill peony of a Sunday. But it I understand what yon mMn. h e Mid made Byles awful mad when I stepped in. So "but I don't keer a durned ef I'm w e Ico n rill s bat e me. "Thinl6 a gentlewan1 and I will consent to yon bet. If you've got lots of wealth to part a ccompany y o u, o n conditi o ns." with, g o ;;here." "Name t hem," b e i;aid, quietly. "Not much! I w1mt yer to guide me to "Very w e ll. Firstly, I have a mortna curi uncle'8. I'll pay ye fer it." os ity to explore the Weth e rill manei o n, and i f I "You'll have to e x c u se m e I do not care to go with you I t-0 d o it wbilt1 the c e r e -go there." m o o y is t.akin g place. In this a c tion I s h a ll ex" Git out! Ef ye go with.Jim Priggins it will poot you will not give me away." be all right. 11 It i s se ttled. Go on." The girl eyed him steadily. Tb se cond c o ndition is that you perform "You're all right," she eaid, "but if I was the marriage ceremony!" 'Liza Jam sai d em-you I wouldn't g o there!" pbatically. "ThunI mean J e rusalem . Why notf" He l oo ked at her in !nrprise that be made no "You don't kn o w e m, They're a stiff lot. attempt todisgui!le Like ae not y ou'd gt-t mubbed." "Why do y ou wi 8 b tbatf" be d e manded. Tbe young pars on's e yes enapped. I declin e to anawer, sir." "Kinder l oo k meek an' preacberfied is why "We ll, it's all tbe Sllme anyhow. It is settle d ;srr>biak I'll take snubbin's,eb!"besaid. "Well, that if Tbeo Wetherill gits spliced, I'm g oin' 1;o an right. Ye don't know me." do tbs j o b. S o ever. ytbing being eettlet.i, let's "Maybe not. But, it I were you, I'd wait till be off as soon ail p

Dumb Dick's Pard. gold she bad washed out that day, and led the way to the cabin. Within everything was in the rutgon, to-night." CHAPTER II. THUNDERBOLT 1 TAKES A HAND. 1 'LIZA JANE flung an oilski11 cloak about her shoulders-for the heavens offered evidence of a storm's approach-and, then, seizing her rifle, she and Prilo\gins left the cabin. "Don't ve lock up?" he asked, seeing that she left the door wide open. "Ha! ba! no. Little fear any one will enter my palace, during my absence!" She tben to o k a silver whistle from ber pocket and blew a peculiar blast upon it, which was directly answered, for an unbridled and un saddled horse came dashing down out of the glen. It was a handsome snowy-white, clean-limbed and spirited creature, and Priggins could but look ruefully at bis own serene burro, which was browsing near by. "'Liza Jane sprung nimbly to her steed's back as it paused near by her, taking no heed of proffered assistance, Lo'lk out for yourself, parson. I can look out f e r 'Lira Jane," sbe advised, "But, I ain't ye goin' ter put on n6 bridle an' s a dale, young lady1'' "Nary! Thunderbolt wouldn't bear one. We knows our P s an' Q's don't we, beautyl Come, parson!" And she was dashing away down the gulct, nearly out of sight, ere the parson could get his sorry beast under way. The Girl Miller, however, finally waited for him to come up, her eye dancing with mischief. "You'd do well to chase a road-agent-that is, so far as the agent was interested," she laug-hed. "Tbun1 mean, tbar aint no road-agents n thes e parts?" be pufl'ed, the ungably canter of the burro having bounced him up a goo:l deal. "Ob I you bet!" 'Liza assured. "They're tbicker'n flies on a Denver dorg. Never was to Denver, eb1 More dorgs tbar than people. An' road-agents1 Why, we've got lots of 'em, around h e re! Some gallus, hang-up fellers, tool Nigh every mau in Pukerville bas bad experi ence at the business." "Jerusalem! Ye ain't goin' that way1'' "You bet I Want to stop at the post-office, for a cigar." Priggins looked horrified. "You dou't smoke?" be faintly articulated. "Bet I dot Hav,e to, now an' then, 'cause I've got to do sutbiu' to keep my to11gue still." About dusk they cantered down into Poker ville which was located in the mouth of the gulch, and looked out over a vast expause of rolling prairie or bottom-lands, which stretched to the westward. Pokerville was practically a mining-camp of three-score of inhab1taDts, though It was, at the same time, a supply-station, and a herders' or cvwboys' r e ndezvQus, so that its population was made up of m any i;;rades of human beinp


Dumb Dick's Pard. -a beter<>genuus mob of tbe rougher various races and nationalities, i n which tue r oystering rough of the mines was 111ost prumi nent. Few well-disposed people lived there al tbougb the surrounciing country was fairly well populated with a more estimable c)ass of citi zens. Tbere was but one street. and all the shanties, cabins and tents faced upon this, tbe business part of the town being al:Jout the Demijolrn, a combination of drinking-saloon and hotel, by old Blood Bixby, tbe richest man iu the camp. Across from the D emi john was the grocery store and post-office, adjoining which was Hem lock Harry's gambling" palace," known as the "Four Aces." Then there were several other stores and saloons, and the dwellings, which made up the camp. At posto ffice they drew refa, and 'Liza Jane left the parson to mind the horses w bile she ran in for tbR m ai l. Sbe bad tardly disappeared within tbe gro cery, when a burJy.Jonking roug h came striding down the street, with a confident swagger, and panS6d to stare at tbe parson, as he drew near. "B.illq, tbar, me piou s-lukin' tenderfoot, whar did ye cum from1" be demanded, gruffly, evi dently calculating to awe tbe parson, from the start. "Comet com e chit-;> nut, lively I" "None of your busmess, wbere I came from!" Priggins r ep lied, w1tb coolness scarce ly in keep ing witb his pious aspect. And S corpion Sam, the" bad man" of Poker villP was rnrprised. "Did I unde rstani ye right!" be demanded, bis fuce getting m o r e fiery as be s t epped close to the side of tbe parson's burro. "Did ye ven ture to remark anytbing jist then 1" And be le ered insinuatingly, while a crowd gathered in anticipation of a "funeral," wbicb Scorpion k:lam had the reputation of being able to arrange on sbort notic e "I did rPmark, I believe!" the pa1.,o n said, quietly, that it was none of your buein ess and I furthe r venture to emphasize t .. at rem11.rk !" Tbeu there was a detonating spat, which was too quickly given to be tPadily romprehended by tile bystanders, and Mr. Scorpion Sam drop ped seren ely upon the ground, rolled partly and was quiet. Parson Priggins co uld not claim all the glory, however, if so disposed, for, seemmg to notice a long-lon ged-for opportunity, 'Liza Jone's fiery steed gave a snort and wb eeling upon its bind feet, dropped its bead forward, seized Scorpion Sam by tbe seat of bis trowse r s, and raismg him by the grip of its strong teeth, started nff up tl'ie gulch at a dead run, amid excited s h outs from the asse m Wed spectators. Half a mile-perhaps a little further-from Pokerville was tbe residence of Colonel Henrv Wetherill, within tbe boundaries of bis valuable rauch of a thousand acres. This ranch bad been located, and this resi dence built, some three years before, when Pokerville was not in existence, consequently it was not known just bow Colone l w etb !lrill cam e by the magnificent estate. Tt e residence itself was o f block g raystone, a valuable quarry of whicb was upon the estate. The house covered a large area of ground, and was like unto some of the old Spanish castles half-arsenal and half-monaste1y, with towers, battlements, strange gables, and great central court, with dark cellared apartments under the who l e structure. TbHe were numberless rooms, so numerous, said those wbo ought to know, that many were never used or entered hy the Wetberills. Then too, a rumor bad somehow got out that there were no one knew of, and that spirits were wont to haunt these, s ometimes appearing a t the top of the turrets at the dead of night. These rumors, however, were genera Uy valued for uhout what idle rumors usually are. At eny rate, 'twas not to be denied that with in doors tbe Elms was a near to a palace, in the way of luxurious furniture and arlornm ents, as a millionaire's purse well could make it. Tben there wer" fine outbuildings, -a well-kept lawn, a larg-e natural pond, with tbe more digi;iified name of Lake Theo; a grave1ed carriage-dnve to PokervillP, and, in fact, everything that could conduce to the happiness of a home Tbe colonel w a s a man of means, 'twas said; anyhow be Ii ved in the best sty le, bad distin guished visitors, in whose honor be gave grand r ec eptions; was lavish with bis money at the camp; bad his grand baroucbe and retinue of servants; owr:ed a tboi;sand h ea d of cattle and many sheep and horses, and bad the help to look after them; yet there were but the two-father and daughter. A IJalf-tip s y miner, at P o kerville, nae night, bad said that there were more W etherills than two, wb en tbe raneb changed hands; but, as be had "died with bis boots ou ," tbe same hour, n() one felt dispo,ed to believe him. Henry W etberill was not over well liked by the Pokervillians; but as Henry Wetberill's hired help numbered a small r egiment of the hardest fighting cbarscters in tbat section, no one d a r ed to try a rumpus wilh the "Nabob," as be wa;; called. He was a man of forty od

Dun:b Dfc'k9s Pard. Epb, the stage-driv.,r, boasterl of baviog more "big :e, and all she had to do, when she wanted a busband, was to ''nominate her cboice." Suse would imbibe, occasionally, however, and drop up into camp to fill ber .bottle, at snClh times as she didn't care to go to the Wetherill wine-vault, On such occasions sbe would be a little newsy, an l tben, only, the Pokervillians could. learo much of the goings-on at the castle. Henry Wetherill kept bis ready cash at the Elm>, evir ed l e 1 s11raly up the sbaded drive lea. Though young in years-for not over twenty-five bad passed over bis head-bis I wbole pnysique was tbat of a mac constantly inured to tbe tJardsnips and perils natural to the exi od L or' hre;;s u s, what a name! 'Spects de boss isn't at liherty, sail I H o u se done chuck full vis' tors, sah-big-bugs, 8ab I" Neve r you mind about tbem, m:v good woman. You say to the colonel, that Iron-Nerve Nat wants t o see him on iinporta.nt bus iness." Aul tbe sport slipped a quarter-eagle into ber ebony hands, wbicb had the eff6ct to cause Suse's instant disappe!llance down the grand but gloomy hall. As she left the door ajar, Iroa:Nerve entered tbe ball, and as be spied anotbElr door to his right partly open, anrl presumed it leJ into a parlor, b e stepped within. It was indeed a parlor-one of the gran

uumb Dick's Pard. ., "I presume not" Nat replied, coolly, as b" Henry 'Vetberill, I came to see you, oo business became seated "Mr. Wetherill will Join rue, -not t e dude! Let's retire to tbe open airdirectly-1 will await bim h ere." tbe utmospllere bere is decidedly t<;>0 sweet tor "You will finrl the reception-parlor on the me. C"1mP!" opposite side of tbe hall, sir. B e !dud enough He stepped from tbe parlor and out upon the to step that way," Miss WctberiU demanded. veranda wbere "ere several chairs. Tbar.'':!u. I am quite comro1u1ble bere," I Tbe Nabob followed him, and both hecam" was tb provokiugly cool dissent. "Do not let seated. IDA interrupt your tete a-tete in tbe l east." 1 Tbe pallor bad not left the former's face, and uattnally rPd face assumed an apo-1 be seemed to be laboring under a hard attack o( plectic bu e and b e took a couple of steps fornervous agitation. ward, in great anger. "Sorry to bav" harmed the Greasers, but I "Will you leav e tllis riioml" be demanded in could uot get around it," Iron-Nerve remarked, b igll anger. as be lit" cigar. "Directly-after tbe colone l comes," with im-1 "No consequence. State your business!" Colperturbable noncbalanc,,, onel Wetberill rejoined, coldly. "But, I say now I" Carmen roared, bi s rage "Correct. I just drcpped down into this now at a boiling-point. "If you don't leave country lately, and wbile at a camp up here I this room at once, I'll throw you out, you ill-r.ame acrvss a reward-notice with your name at bred rnlil : rn !" the bottom of it." "You haven't got the murnle to do it," Iron"Well1" Nerve smil e d. BF! s eated sir, or you are liable "Well, beiag without much to occupy my to be t!lk e u sick, and won't be able to play bridetime at present, I thought I'd ruu down and see groom to-nigbt!" wbat terms we couM come tu in tbe matter." The words seemed to im11ly a threat, and the "None, sir. The mystery of tbe dragon can-sport's band dropped significantly to tbe butt of not b e solved, or else it woula havo been long a revolv e r. before tb is." Miss Wetherill screamed. Poba w you've never bad the right galoot Carmen caught hold of a "1Jld gav;i at tb reins." it a j e rk. "Have you seen itT' "We'll see!'" hA gritted. "l bave. It paid a visit to the vicinity of my The following instant, a narrow iloo r wnich a camp, up-prairie, last nigbt." large pier mirror bad hidde n from view, swung "Wern inward, and two treacherous Mexican peons "You'd sleep easier if the thing was laid, I glid ed :nto tbe room bear1" Their very appearance was a certificate of "Wbo t o ld yon so>" their evil natures, and what their duties were at "Heard so up at tbe camp." the Elms. Tbe Nahob was s ilmt for a moment. iron-Nerve started a little, at their sudden ap"Yes, I'll admit tbat the aceursed tbing is the pearance, but bis face expressed no surprise or horror of my hfe,11 be finally sairt, hoarsely. "I fear. can never know any peace of mind as lon g as it "At bim, Gila, Pipo!" Carmen llissed, savagethe Elms and tbe surrounding countr y, ly. "Pitch bim out of tiJ., house!" as y o u may w e ll suppo se." Instantly tbe two peons started for the sport, "Has any one eve r been harmed by itr' their black e y es g leamin g hke tbose of a ser-"Not to my knowledge, though dead men pent. bavfl been frequently found with n o mark upon 'l'bey stopped suddenly, however, for therA them to tPJI how tbey met their death." were two rnpi. J shotH, and the tools 'lf Clinton "Humpb I merely a co incidenc e likely. The Carmen we1e wl!irled balf around m tbeir trac!red There's not a man in this section but what's out. I didn't feel dispo sed to am: .;be failed to capture tbe DAvil Don and bis dragon. dude, yonder, set the two Greasers on me. Ask up in Pokerville, and lie convinced."


8 ;Dumb Dlck9s Pard. .. From a rough estimate I should .judge tbe re I A half-jackass and a balf-kangaroo, sir!" isn't stamina enough iu tbe wh o le crJwd to ' lfr. Carn>Pn is a gentleman I" scotch a rattler. "Is Le? Ob I WP.II, times change, and I sup-"Get them down on you, and y ou'll likely po s e peo,.le uo. I'm off, now. Good-ev011ing, ihink otherwise," with a slight sn eer. "But I sir." I'll tell you what I will rto. You seem to have And leaping into the $addle, the sport galloped a great amount of self -assurance, which i8 all away down tbe drive, upon tile '1ack of his band well enough, providing you can back it. Y u u some black ste ed. mentione d wagering ten tllonsand tbnt yon can The Nabo b watche d him ride away with a capture the D e vil Don and bi s dragon witbin ten peculiar expre s ion of count.enan,,.,, days. I'll bet you two to one yon can11ot do it. CHAPTER IV. "Tbat is-twenty thousand against tenr THE STREET DUEL-" IT IS A DEVIL." "Exactly." To say tbat ti.Jere was excirement in Poker It's a Are you ready!" viJl e just about tbe time of tbe. starthng acci" As soon as necessary. To-nigllt the mar-d ent to Scorpion Sam, would be" drawing it riage of my d augbter will take place. If yon mild." will pres e n t youraelf, after tbe ceremony, I will Tbe bystanders shouted and swore, aud some have a c ontract rlrawn up, an i you can dp osit even ran swiftly in pursuit of tbe white st.eed your m o n ey in banJs of -any one of my diswhi e b was makin' g off up the gulch at a gue%s, aud go to work-" swift g a llop, still holding Sam in his powerful "You will d o tbe same1" jaws. "If you r Equire, although my reputation is ,,. 'Liza Jane hearing the commotion. dashed out good." of the p:i s t-offi ce and one glance suffi c ed for ber "I am not d e alin g with sir. But to c ompn: b eurl the situatio n. we c a n d o uot.l e s < fiX:it a ll l'igh t '!'her e is another "Sto p yer ho ss l Sto p yer bos s Jane, or SHm thing inip ortant to know." will he kill e d!" several of the S c orion's eronies "Well1" yelled. "Am I to have freedom of the Elms in "Do him good. tile brute!" wns the Girl Min-pursuing m y i n ves tigatio ns?" er's r etort. "He 'll know b etter'n to go m eddlin' "Certa inl y n o t. Th e re is no connection bewi' niy h o ss n ext time e h, parson!" tween t he c ase a nd my residenc e." Priggin s 's fac e was pale rand anxio u s : he evi" On t:J.e coatrarv 1 l earu the dragon has cleutly f earing that he was tbe direct cause of been seen upo n tbe turret-to p at nights." the bully's rleat b. "No u se,,se-pos 1t1ve n o nseine. T b e stairway "Stop tbe horse, Mis s 'Liz elf strictly to yourse lf. S AID gra lu qlly gatbP r ecl himse lf up into a But, l e t m e tP ll you, t 'iat y o u will ev entually be s t anding p os i t ion, and g J q r erl from one. to tbe m o r e m o n > y i<1 p oc k e t by abandoning the ven othe r in a rlnz e d way, as if at a lo ss bow to b egin ture, at t h e o u tset." t o express b is injure d fee lings. Iron-Nrve smile d, "Well, wb i t 's the m atte r, S ammy?" tbe Girl W e s b a ll s e e! be s:aid. "I do not propose Miner a"ked. Be e n fnolin' around my Ara to sp e culate with 1 ou alo n e as there are "tbns bi a n ag'in, b a v e yP1 H o w often b A ve i told wb o w o ul d like t o ba v e t he m .vstery ventilated. y e t hat b wouldn't he v no oue fus sin' around l will b e o n lrnn c \ t'.l-n igbt at--" him1' "Te n o'clock." H Cuss:; y e r pictel', I wasn't doln' n otbln' to tba "very w e ll. You'll havP your s ervants aph oss-leave it to tbe h o y e f I was," S1m be1-pris ed of m y free d o m abont the exterior of tbe l o wed. "I w A r j es t waltzin' up tRr bu_kP, bands Elms n r t h e r e'll h e m ore ears shot off." \ wi' tbe stran!!;er tbar, an' W P l cum lli m ter our "I'll se e to it. camp, wb'en he up an' hit m e a Wate rloo right ''Ob, y es s 0m ething I forgot. That was your plum in the e ye, r.n' I stuhherl my t-oe an' fell. i n sid e! T he n yer c u ssed b east g oubl e d m e up, au' made u off." Sbe ; s going to marry the durlP1" "Ce rtainl.y. Served you right. Next time a "Ir you refer to Clinton CArmen, strange r comes to town, you'll know enough But, pardon me, what is a dud.el" to Jet him alone, eh!"


Dumb Dick's Pard. 9 "Wull 11 Gue>s ye d on't know who I am, do yer, ga!Y" "Yes, I do, rigut c ute, Sam Sligo, au' more'n that, I r<<:kon you an' every otber galoot in Pokerville knows who at: d wbat I am I" tbe girl retortea rored, "me, wbo s e boss-power is more'n f'fi14iy-'Jeven "No; I am not afraid of you I" was the r e ply. "You're a. bi g ovPrgrown, good -for-nothing loa f e r, nnd can't s care me, if y o u can otbP r s "You'r e more, S a m Sligo-you're a hang -dog villain. Ever s inc e I located up the g ulch, you've trie d t o injure m e by hinting various unsavory things of, me. You've trie d t o turn t\:te people against me. You've done all y ou c o uld to creat e an unfavnrable and s u s pi c ious irnpre;; sion of me. I burl it in your teeth, y o u d ogyou dare n6t d eny it!' The S co rpion'R face reddened, and i> malicious gleam entere d bis vic i o u s e y es. R eckon e v ery o n e s a right to his own opin ion," h e ;row l e d, witb a. wink at his pal s "'Ta.in't 'cord in' ter reason ti.Jet y e'r' a saint, nohow. Gu es s every on e a ll o w s y e a in'r. gittin' rich out o' tbet claim; an' no on e w'u'd liv e iu Dragon Gnl r h what hadn' t s o m e i;ec r e t r easo n hid thar. F act i s g el, ye'r' ruthP r u 'sp i c ious character, an' tbe r f e ll e r s aire 'bout 'gr ee d that it's fair tbno y e 'splRin se v eria l things !" "Wh11t ? The Girl Miner's e yPs glittered like diamoutls as slie l oo ked him in the fac e. "Ob! it d on't matter j es t nnw; w e 'll s ettle that som P otbP r time Dra11:ons an' si c h like kin be to! Prated, but tb111"s tli e m a s s p ec ts as bow a sploratio n mi;bt a tale unfold. A gal stayin' all alon e in s ec b a plac e ain't accordin' ter tbe Jaw s o' natter a l history, an' w e la" a.bidin' citize ns d on't k ee r about livin' fo ther neighborhood o' k erric t p 1s whose exact hizuess sta.nrlin' ain't known. Mr.-" "Stop!" 'Li z a JHn me betune tho ey es, like as if be war gain' to sp'ile my entire l andsc ape, ye kin jest be t r.e r b oots that aire very stool-oigeon bas got ter o logiz o or fight '' -And tbe bully gla red at Parson Priggios. 'Liza Jane als o turne d toward him to note that his fac e expre ssed not the least conr.ern. 'You hea1-, parsou1" she said. "The d electable, sw e ets c P nted Sam'! demands an apology. Can you accommodate bimr" For r e ply the young man slid from the back or bi s burro to the ground. "I pre s:ime so," be sa.1d. "What way shall it be, U 'ayor1'' '' Wbat-wh-!" S a m blus t e r e d. How will y o u bave iU" Prigg ins clemandeEI, sati s fa c tion y o u de sire Shall I administer it straight from tbe should e r or will y o u have it by ;;!icin g o r in the l ea d e n style?" "Ye won't apolo g iz e the n?" Most a s suredly n ot. I h ave nothing to apolog1z for, a s I a c t e d in s e lf-d e fens e You mu t eithe r fight o r crawfis b, you great, whisky sh o p J oa f er!" 'Liza J a u e wa s surprised. L i k e wi se was the c rowd. Tne mePk express i o n h a d vanished from the parso n's fac e, and it look e d decid edly as if be intende d t o push the matte r to a. climax. "Yo u b e t I'll figbt l S co r p i o n Sam growled, uoderstandink at o nce that b e c o uld n o t bluff the stranger. Cl'a r a way to the s idPs o the street, b oy s an' make a pistol-rang e. K er-scat! but w on't I d o it up l:lea u cbiful f e r this saintmany fact e r erl" "Pis t o ls e h?" Priggins s aid. "Waal, I once shot a h e n -hawk over at the C orners: gue s s I m ought b i t a m ark as y o u be. Pardner, lend m e o n e o' ver little guns." "You bet!" 'Liza JanP a s sente d. "Jos t y o u plug til e t o u g h rigbt whar be liv e s, an' I'll buy yen 11:o lrl 111erla l as big a s a bar'J h ead." "Mf bh e you'd bette r try i t !" S e orpion Sam ;ritted, prP p aring for the duel. "If vou don't sw a ll e r a h ea-p o' y e r sl a ck, curse me ef I don't mak e a j o b fer tbe I'll take y e r word for it, Sammy. Every on e s rlP arl l oads afeard o' you!" aud she laughed scorntully. Tbe uowt.l had been cleared to one side, and


1 0 D umb Dlcka Pard. twenty paces marked off io the middle of the dusty street. Tb e two m e n then took their places witbout furtber ce r e m o ny. The parson wu s a trifle flu s hed in the face, but otherwis e perfectly cool. Sc o rpion S a m, w1tb bis u sual appearance of t:iicl not s ee m much alarmed. "Gt>t r eady, g e nts, I will act for the parson in t h e fnuerall" 'Liz a Jane anno unced, as sbe took a c ommanding position. "And if n o o ne b a s any objections, I will act for tbe otbe r man," a v oice cried, aDd Iron Nerve Nat rode up, mounted upon his ebon sLP.ed. All eyes turned upo n bim in curious inquiry for an instant; the n Jane said: "Very w e ll, sir. F air pl ay's the w ord. The duelists raised tbeir weapon s to a level, and took what appeare d to be deliberate aim. "One!" "Two ' "Three!" shouted 'Liza Jane, C rack! Both w ea pons spo k e simultaneously N either man dropped Tile parson s tood wipin g a tiny be a d of blood fro m tbe side of hi s fac e, cansed by the wind of the bulle t. Scorpi o n Sam, how ever, with bi s right baud claspfld to bis left elbow, was dancing about frantically and b o wlin g a t t b e top of bis v:>ice "Ob, jumpin' J e bOepbat! Ohl oh! oh! my crazy.b o a m y crnzy b o n el" b e ye lled, f o r th e bull e t fro m the p a r son s w ea p o n h a d struck tna t sen sitive Plac e upo n th e e lbow c ommonly designated as tbe crazy b o ne. Th e c row d roar e d witb laughter, which so infuriated t h e r uffia n t h at, forg etting his p a in in hi s rag e, b e r a i sed hi s revo lv e r and proc eeded to pour a v o lley into their midst, thereby scat t ering tb em p r o m iscu ously. P a1son Priggi as, howev e r, and the two sec ond s kept their a n d w h e n the bully c e ased fir i n g L iza J a.ne call e d o u t : "Tim o H ev yclll got e n o u g h, Scorpi o nl" "Fe r to-day!" w a s the grim answe r. "I' ll see ye a ll l a t e r An d with that b e s huffi e d off t o w ard t h e "Four Aces. .. Put up ynu r pop par son," 'Liza Jane or d e red.-" the b liz z 1d air"l o v e r f o r t h e prese n t." Iron Ne v p wlJo harl di smo un te d, approached. "Tllis i3 P .1nnn Pl'ige;ius a tend erfoo t from '1o n te-p e e l wr," 'Liz:i. Jane e x plaine d, as the y walke I t i>ward t h e gaming p a l ace. As fe r my s elf, I'm a pPp pe rpod hY. n a m e 'Liza J a n e." ''Arn i I am kn ow n a s h o n N erve Nat, s o m e tim es Iro nNerve f o r sao r t Tb e y Gbeu enterer! t b e phu e 'L1zi Jane awl IronN erve stood chatting f o 1 a fe w mi nutes s e e min g to have take n a lik ing to each o tb e1-, ))' in c ll y Iro n N erve r e m arked: "If yo11've nothi n g more pres sin g l et's have a g a m a of c a rrl s." Y o u will e x.:u se me s he said, but w e mus t b e off f o r the It is already g etting dark." Iron-Nerve started. "Excuse m e," h e sa id, bnt might I inquire the nature of you!" errand tb g re1" Certainly. 'fbis gentleman, Mr. Priggin s. is a relative of the Wetberills, and he being a. stramrer hereabouts 1 v enture d to act as bis guide, Come, parson we will tJe bff." And without giving Iron-Nerve -further op portumty for ques t ioning, the Girl Miner bowed herself out of bis presence, and she and the par son quitted the gambling JJalace followed b y more tban one curious glance. Iron-Nerve noted this fact, as he seated him self at a tab!P. "Here's a likely girl, occupyiniz rather a questi onable po s ition," he mused, liste ning to toe clinking of glasses, and other sounds in the room. "A miner, I judge, yet something about her indicates that she's too sbrewd to adopt s u c h a life without some other motive than mone y Qu ee r, wbat id eas will g < t into a fel low's mind. Well, anyhow, the Girl Miner is a. b eauty, and I'll try to k ee p her acquaintance, if for nothing m o re, to drive away tbe b l u es Heigh ho! I wonder what will he th e result of m y jragou venture1 It will be a d e vil, indeed, if I fail to f e tch it to time I" It is a d e vil !" The words came to bis ear, in a shrill whisper, With an e x c l a mation, he leaped to hi;; feet, and g lared about him. No on e was l oo kin g at himno one was standing_wi t hin a dozen f eet of him. What inferna l mystery was this? That was what be wonderingly asked him-self, over and over. CHAPTER V. A NIGHT OF SURPRISES. THE Elm s was lite r a ll y a blaz e of light. Almos t eve r v i ndow in the grim structure, was lit witb ..-.ax can d l es and wreathed and fe s to o n ed w ith evergr ee ns. The great arc h e d d oorway and tbe v eranda w e r e similarly serve d, while from tho bra nch es o f m any a tree in the state l y p ark, w ere sus pe nded m yriads e f C hine se lante rns. N o expen se h a d b ee n spared by C o lon e l W etbe rill to m a k e t b e e vent o f his daugbter' s m arriage o n e l o n g t o h e r e m emhe r ed A s m any of the c1ti z '::is min e rs, a nd ranch me u b ad b?eu invited, nume r o us t a bl es were out on t h e l awn, and Cbrnese waite r s glid e d abo u t to furnish the g uests with fruit auj drinks. Wit bin the m a n s i o n t b e m orecnlture d e lem ent was a sse m h l e c l, tbe m ajci ri t y h e i ng co mposed of t he g uen asked to tbe ce r e m ony. The t h r ee g r a n d communicating parlo rs, with th eir dazzling li ghts and hand so111e furnishing s w e re throw n into on e vast a p artment, a nd with t he w e ll-dressE'

Dumb Dick's Pa.rd. u. few minutes later; then returned, followed by I When there was an ear-piercing, "tho 'Squire," ruddy-faced, aud benignly smil-1 blood-curdling shriek. iag. It was more the shriek of some demoniac Be was a m ee k-looking little man, with sta(t-monster, than that of a human being-it fairly ling red hair and whiskers, and a game eye. stilled the bloo some rare jewels. The the wbite-rob!'d, white-haired eorpse-like figuregroom was also elegantly dressed, and looked as of a man, wliose E:yes were cl ose d and wboseif be bad quite exhausted the tailor's art. bands, which were crosse ceed, yet, for into the parlor strode no l ess a fall, heavily to tbe floor. personage than P a r so n Jim Priggins, who apTbe others remaine d equally like statues, for proached C o lonel wetberill. severs! moments, and only when the y were con" Waal, by gum!" hfl putting scions tha t the was gone, did tbey re forth bi s hand; "bow do yPou do, Uncle Hank1 cover from tbe shock, Wetherill and the parsoB Gosh hang it, shake! R ain't seen ye since ye recovering first. used t e r run tbe gritmill on Snake H o llo w up "Curses se i ze the infernal thing!" the Nabob> iu N e w Bamphire. 'Sc use me fer iuterruptin' g asped, advancing to tbe window, and pulling; the cetemony, hut I'm g o sh all-fired glad t o see down tbe curtains. "Ring yonder bell, Prig-y.e." gin"l!, and order water." "Sir!" Wetherill cried, drawing back. "Are The parson oheyecl. yon mad, man?" S eve r a l o f the ladies had fainted, and for half' Doggone it, no/ I'm ye'r' nephey, Jim an h our tbe excitement was terrible. Priggins, nn' ye know it. So don't go to lettin' S oliciting Priggins's assistan ce however, th& on that y e don't kn'lw it. I don't k ee r a durned colonel finall y got matters somewhat quieted ef ye aire ric b an' stuck-up: y e can't go hack on down among bis guests yer blood r e l atio n s. Say, 'Squire, you git! I'm As none of those on the law u i.rJ front o f tb& a reg'lar ordained preacher, an' I'm goin' t o do house had seen the dragon, no r eport of the af this e p li c:-i b i zness fer my own cousin' tbar, fair was b ll owed to disturb t beir hilarity. snre's you'r'.l born!" Wetherill explained a ll that w a s known abou t This i s a disgrace end an outrage," tbe co l e -the monster, Hnd t h en, urging bi s guests to bave n e l c r i.,d "Ladies and gentlemen, if you w ill no further fear of it, be proposed tuat the wedkindly have patience, we will summarily disding shou ld be consummated, s o Theo having p oso of thi s l out." the bridal coupl e again too k tbe il "You w ill, will ye!" Priggins retorted, his places, Prigg i us proceeded once more, and final face flashing and his eyes gleaming, while he Jy pronoaocPd them man aud wife. whipped a pair of revolvers from bis pocket. The words had scarcely been s p oke n and th& "Now see here, folks; I don't want to turn this cong ratulati ons made, whe n a door opened and blessed weddin' inter a funeral, but that's wbat IronN erve Nat sta lk e d into the r o om. I'll do. ef ye try to come it too promisc'us over Tbe si ght of him caused tbe co l onel t o utt,er me. Unde H auk, ye might as well give in. I a n exclamation, while Clmton Garmen smoth kim out h e r e a -visitin', and since I got here in ere d au oath. time fer til e weddin', wuy I'm gqin' t e r hev tbe Col o n e l Wetherill, I am here!" the Sport; 'Job, bey? I know ye don't wanter-'' said in bis clear t one. whic h penPtrated !'very "Enough I" tbe nabob interrupted, b is face part of the room. "Are you ready?'' white and red by turns "I recognize yo u, sir. "I am, sir! Ladies anfl gentlemen you wil}) Ladi es ancl gentlemen, this is a nPpbew of m in e me, but I have a little business matter to James, you a r e at liberty to perform tbe mararrange." :l"iage servke. .Squire. you a r e excm; e d I" "It can b e done h e r e, before witn esses," Iron-Tbe <'Olone l's words were i ci l y spoken. Nerve announ ced, coolly, as he saw it was theH e then introduced the parson to Carme n and Nabob's purpo se t o leave tberoom. "In fact, 1 'l.'beo and the parson t ook out bis h ook. cboos13 to bavfl i t done h ere!" A h u su preva1lecl, when Priggins C'leared hi s "VPry .,-e lJ, sir, Wetherill a Eilentrd, biting: thrnat, anri hf'g11n to r ead the marriage s ervice. bis lip with vexa tion "Bat, pray, sir, bQ1v-' Hi o co un t rifi !'d m311nu had for the moment I cam.e you by tliese scratches upon your face?" vauishecl, Rnrl i n a cleep, impressive voi c e be [was poun ce d upou by a brace o( frll ows proC'ecdPcl with bi task. wbo wantPri my rhoney or my :i fe. As I couldn t; .He bad got 11s far as askinl;:(: convPn i Pntly spare either, ) . tat pre se nt, I got "Has an.r nrnn o r woman 11ugbt t c sav why I tbe c ratches in tbP struggit>." these two people b e fore mP, sbRll not be j o in ed I "Serve'1 the rasc a l s right, sir," the NP.hobo in the banns of h o l y wedlock-1" said, briefly bow about t be contract?"


Dumb Dick's Parfl. "None is neceo;sary, Put up your money-I will do tbe ssrne." But the gtakeholder1" "Your relative, thar, Parson Priggins. He will fill the> bill!" "I am afraid not. Thirty thousand dollars is a large sum t.o iotrust iu any man's hands.I" Wetherill sneered. I presume some of your honorable guests will feel elaood at your bewildering trust in mankind," Iron-NArve suggested, dryly. "Oh I no-n0 I I made no reference to my guests!" ibe Nhob stammered. "See beer, Unc le Hank, ain't I a minister, an' every iucb as good as ary one o' yer guests1" l'riggins demanded, advancing toward tbe colonel threateningly. "I w ant ve t o know I don't knock unde r to no o ue. I'll bold the m stakes, jest as t'othe r fellPr said. I'm honest as the pen dulum ov a c l ock I" "You'll hold the s t akes !'' W etherill gritted, his face ftaming with h a filxl "I'll hold the stakes an' do it squar't" was the emphatic r ep ly, given in a way which pretty plainly s ignified that the parso n propos e d t o have 'his way rn the matter. "Very welll" a ssented the Nabob, but in a manne r that betrayerl bis wish to throttle his nephe w then and t be re. H e tnrr.e d to the guests, then, with 11 face wonder fully calm. "Exc u se me pray" he remarked "but l will explain what strange to you all. It concerns you somewhat, too. "To begin with, thi3 character, calling him self Iron-Nerve-a. way o f creating a big im pression, odd titles-came to me a f e w bours ago. He is a p erfect stranger to me, but evidl'otl y having heard of the seve r a l failures to capture tbe dragon, he prop Jse d to-bet me ten thou,and dollars against an eq u a l a1nonnt-" "Begpard ool" Iron-Nerve interru pted "You <>fl'ered to bet me twenty against ten I" "Well, I was to that!" the colonel scowl ed. The man bets me ten thousanrl dollars he can capture the dragon within t1m days. Since he seems so flush, and as it is worth a great den! to m.Y pen.ca of mind t o havP the capture m ade, I h 1ve agreed to put twenty thousand dollars agaimt his ten. If he succeeds, Priggins fa to g i ve him the thirty tbonsand. Othenvi'6, it is mioP. The ten days begin at midnight t o night. I s this correct, sir1" "I bel ia v e so. Have you your money, sir?" "I will write you a check in a moment." "That will n o t do. It. i s the cah l want to see put up." Wethe rill frowner How often, that evening, bad his will baffl e d. H e was wondering what opinion his guests were begiooing tq form of him. "Yo u are cle vili,;h particular!" he growled. "Mv is as good as the U.S. Mint." "Not tom?. I have h e r e ten one tbousans ready to put up, the Sport sair l grimly, as he took a nea t roll from bi s vest pocket. "If you haven't the amount, p erhaps 1lll, tbey got it straight when tbey trie d to rob mP. I ain't aucommo dating the whims of strolling footpads as much as I u se d t o be!" And the Sport showed his pearly teeth in a. tlefi aot smile didn't try t<>r rnb ye. They war goia' hack to camp, an' ye sho t 'em down like dogs!" "You li e like a thief I" Iron-Nerve r etorted. "Mr. Wetherill, I belie7e, can m a ke an expla nation tc> you in regard to the matter!" '' B:ow am I to know but what you have lied to me?" the c"Jooe l r eplied, coldly It i s not in my line of business t o rlefeod "Does any one knnw what your lin e of busi ness i s anyhow?" tbe Spr.rt askerl, significautly; then hll ad "I didn't mention employing you to c!efend .mP. Indeed you'd be working against yourself. in doing so, bo t h pecuniarily and otber--ise." "The c unn e l hain't got no say in tnis, no how 111 Scorpion Sam spoke up. "We're the la.di These aire pards o' Stokes an'


Dumb Dick's Pard. 18 meel, w'ot ye killed, an' they perpose ter inwite ye ter a little neck-tie party. Tlmre's no use o' Irickin'; ki.Jlin' is murder, an' murder is punishable accordin' tew the laws o' bemp. So sur render, wi'out parley I" Iron-Nerve looked the crowd over, with a defiant smile. "Twelve of you, eb'I" be said "Mr. Wether ill, have you boards enough about tbe premises to make stretchers out of, on which to carry these fvols back to their homesP' "No, sir, I wash my bands of the matter. If they choose to bang you, it's noue of my busi ness. You bad better surrender!" "When I do, it will be when these beautiful carpets are dyed red with human blood, sir. I am not the man to be taken without resistance," was the defiant assurance. "No, don't sp'ile tbe carpets, uncle," put in Parson Priggins. "lt's not right tobang a mor tal, so order those fellows away." "What! you dictate to Wetherill yelled, growing livid with rage. "You have done too much of this-". "Calmly, cal:nly, uncle! Don't never exas peratt> a preacher, for he who teacheth that which is good hath a power-" H ell and furies seize you I" the colonel roare

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