The Liberty Boys' warm work!, or, Showing the Redcoats how to fight

The Liberty Boys' warm work!, or, Showing the Redcoats how to fight

Material Information

The Liberty Boys' warm work!, or, Showing the Redcoats how to fight
Series Title:
Liberty Boys of "76"
Moore, Harry
Place of Publication:
New York
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (29 p.) 28 cm.: ;


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
History -- United States -- Revolution, 1775-1783 ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

Record Information

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:
025106612 ( ALEPH )
68680467 ( OCLC )
L20-00066 ( USFLDC DOI )
l20.66 ( USFLDC Handle )

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THE LmERTY BOYS .OF '76. A Weekly Magazine Containing Stories of the American Revolution Issued Weekly-By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at the New York, N. Y., Post Office, Febru.a111 4, 1901. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1902, in the otrice of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C., bl/ Frank Tousey, 24 Union Square, New York. No. 56. NEW YORK, JANUARY 24, 1902. P rice 5 Cents. CHAPTER I. A SHOT FROM THE ROADSIDE. man was almost a giant in size, being at least six and a half feet tall and large in proportion, while his face was that of a villain, if ever a man had one He was dressed in the Mdinary hunter's costume, consisting of a buckskin coat One lovely afternoon in the early Fall of the year 1781 and leggins antl a coonskin cap. In the man's hand wa8" a horseman was riding along a road leading southward, toa long rifle from the muzzle of which a thin wreath of blue ward Charleston, South Carolina. He was at a point about smoke was still curling, proving that it was from the muz midway between the Santee River and the city. zle of this weapon that the bullet which came so near endThe rider was a handsome, manly looking fellow, with ing the days of Dick Slater had come. keen gray eyes, :firm chin, and long, brownish He sat When the man was within ten feet of Dick the youth on his horse like a Centaur. He was dressed in the ordinleaped to his feet, and, pistol in hand, confronted the fel ury citizen's clothes of the period, and displayed no wea low. pons, though it is probable that if an examination had "HelloF' greeted Dick coolly. "Aren't you just a little been made it would have been found that he had some hit careless about where you shoot, stranger?" pistols underneath the coat, for these were troub lous times, and scarcely any one went unarmed. When we say that the horseman was the famous scout, spy and captain of the company of "Liberty Boys. of '76," Dick Slater, the readers will not have any doubt that l',e was armed. Dick was down in South Carolina on important business. General Greene had sent him to find Marion, the "Swamp Fox," and deliver a message to him. Marion wa::s to be found in the swamps abounding in that part of the coun try, but just whereabouts in the swamps he was it would be difficult to say. Suddenly the sharp report of a rifle rang out, and Dick's hat was knocked off his head. The bullet just grazed the youth's head; an inch lower a'nd he would ne..-er have de livered the message to General Marion. Dick Slater an exceedingly shrewd and quick-witted youth. As the shot rang out, and he felt his hat leave his head, he half fell, half threw himself off the horse and dropped to the ground, where he lay still. This was a trick for the purpose of trying to draw his unknown enemy out of his ambush and it worked first rate. The imtant the youth fell a man rushed out of the timber at one side of the road and approached his supposed victim. Dick's hon:e had moved onward a few paces, and then stopped, so the youth was enabled to get a good view of the newcomer. He was not very favorably impressed. The "Waal, by thunder!" almost gasped the giant, stopping euddenly and staring at Dick in open-mouthed amazement. "I didn't miss ye, did I?" "About an inch." "I missed ye an inch?" "Yes, you missed me, but you put a bullet through my bat." The man stared at Dick wonderingly, and then held up his rifle and looked at it, after which he shook his head dubiously. "I don't unnerstan' et," he declared. "Don't understand what?" "W'y missin' uv ye. I never done sech a thing afore." A peculiar glint appeared in Dick Slater's eyes. "Oh, then you are in the habit of shooting people down from the roadside, are you?" he said coldly. The man shook his head. "No, I didn't mean thet," he hastened to explain; "I meant thet I never missed afore when shootin' at turkeys an' everything like thet ." "Oh, that's what you meant, eh?" "Yas." \.nd you never shot anybody down from the roadside?" "Nope." "Humph! Why did you shoot at me, then?" The man hesitated It was evident that he didn't like the question. He fidgeted from one foot to the other, and


THE LIBERTY BOYS' WARM WOHK. it was evident to Dick, who was a good judge of expresiug to l et you get any closer, and if you take another that the fellow was tryjng to think of some lie to tell forward I shall put a bullet through that thick head of that would sound plausible. yours." "Are going to answer?" Dick asked, after waiting It was evident that the giant was angry and disgusted. a few moments. "This heer is jest terrible!" he growled. "The idee uv "Um-ah-w'y-ye see, I saw ye ridin' erlong, an-'-I me, Wolf Blodgett, er-bcin' talked to in sech er fashion by jes' ups and shoots at ye without thinkin'," stammered the er youngster without enny whiskers on his face is almost rascal, ancl then he drew a long breath of relief and tried unbearable!" to look honest. "Oh, but you'll have to grin and bear it, whether you To his surprise, the youth whom he had tried to murlike it. or not." tler burst into a laugh. '.But I'm er wolf, I tell ye-a great, hig, howlin' wolf "Say, do you know what I think?" asked Dick. an'--" "No; whut?" "Shut up, or I'll make you howl!" ordered Dick, shak "That you are about the most original and, cheerful liar ing his pistol threateningly. "You're not half as big a that I ever saw." wolf as you think you are, and before I get through with An angry look appeared on the giant's face. you will be willing to acknowledge that you come much "Whut's thet!" he growled threateningly, taking a step nearer being a meek and inoffensive rabbit than a howling forward. "Do ye darst tell me I'm er liar?" "Why, yes. I don't think it takes much daring to talk to you in that fashion." "Oh, ye don't, hey?" "No." "Thet's kase ye don't know me, young feller. My name's .. .Toe Blodgett. Ever hear uv me?" Dick shook his head. "I can truthfully say that I never have heard of you, Mr. Blodgett." The giant looked amazed. "Ye heven't?" he almost gasped. "No." "Most people call me "Wolf" Blodgett-'kase I'm sech er wolf when I git er-goin', ye know-an' mebbe ye've heerd uv me by thet name." Again Dick shook his head. ''No, l'Ye never heard of you by that name, either; but that is neither here nor there; and doesn't matter. I don't

THE LIBER'rY BOYS' WARM WORK. Dick hardly knew what to think. He was a pretty good would cum erlong ther roac1 beer some time this arterjudge, and decided that the man was telling the truth: It noon, an' thet she would give me two pounds ter lay in was a very mysterious affair, however. Who could the wowait fur ther feller an' shoot 'im, an' I sed I'd do et; thet's man be? Why should she wis11 him killed? These quesall I know er bout et." tions flashed through his mind, and he decided to question Dick was amazed. Blodgett closely in the hop!) that he might get some clew "Did she say the person she wanted killed was named that would unravel the mystery. Dick Slater i"' he asked. "Where did you see this woman?" he asked. "At my cabin." "At your cabin, eh?" "Yas." "Where is your cabin?" Over heer in ther timber, erbout er mile erway." "And this woman came to your cabin, you say?" "Yas." ""When?" "Las' night, jes' arter dark." "And you say she was masked ?" "Thet's whut she said." 'rbis deepened the mystery. How had this mysterious. woman learned his name and that he was coming down into this part of the country. These were questions which Dick could not answer. He bad supposed that his com ing was unknown to any one in that region anc1 he had not told his name to a soul in South Carolina, but had given. a fictitious name everywhere along the route. How, then,. had this woman learned his name ? In the hope that he might learn something which would giYe him some clew to work upon, Dick continued his. "Yas; she hed er kind uv er white cloth thing pulled questioning. down over her head an' shoulders with holes cut inter et 'You ha\'C Jived in this vicinity a number of years,. whur her eyes an' mouth wuz." ba1' e you!'" he asked. "Humph! and you didn't see her faee at all?" "Yas; l\ e lived heer more'n twenty years.'' ""Nope." "I suppose you know nearly everybody in this part of" "Wlrnt about her voice? Did it sound like that of a the country?" woman?" "Yas." "Yon are sure of that?" "y as; et wa'n't 110 man s voice." "And this woman paid you to shoot me?" "Thefs whut she did." "You're right about thet, young feller." 'So I judged; well, now, I'm going to ask you if there was anything in the Yoice or manner of this woman which would enable you to give a guess regarding her identity? Think, now; and when you answer, be sure that you tell the truth." "What did she give you?" Blod_gett was silent a few moments, seemingly pondering,. ''Two pounds in gold." and then he replied: "Humph! you work cheap, don't you?" "Nope; I c'uldn't give er guess ter who ther woman "Waal, two pounds is er good deal uv money," was wuz." BlodgeU's cold-blooded reply; "I'd hev ler kill er lot uv Dick was silent a few moments, and then asked: wild game to bring in thet much." "Were you to see her again and let her know whether It was quite evident that the cold-blooded wretch lookor not you had killed me?" ed upon the affair from a business standpoint. He was a Blodgett shook his !1ead. hunter, used to killing wild game and selling it for money, "Nope," he said; "I tole her I couldn't miss ye, an'" and when this mysferious woman came to him and asked thet ye wuz ez good ez dead, an' she seemed ter be him to kill a human being in return for two pounds in gold, he was quite willing to do it. Dick saw that it would do no good to put his contempt for the fellow into words, so he smothered his feelings and went ahead with his questions. "Did this woman say why she wished me killed?" he asked. "Nope." "She didn't say a 1rord or giYe a hint regarding this?" "X npr; she Fnicl ez how t>r f ellrr named Dick Slater fied." "But you failed, just the same. I judge the woman would be somewhat disappointed if she knew it.;, "T s'pose so." "Now what shall I do with you?" asked Dick, abruptly. "I dunno," was the reply. "By rights I ought to put a bullet through your head,. don't you think?" "Not much, I don't so! I didn't hurt ye, an' I don' see w'y ye sh'd wauter hurt me."


4 THE LIBERTY BOYS' WARM WORK. "But you tried to kill me; that you didn't succeed is f These questions were all posers, and the more Dick only an accident." thought of the matter the mixed he became. But as The man nodded his head and a sober, almost frightened he kept on thinking his desire to solve the mystery and look appeared on his face as he said: learn who and what the woman was, grew stronger and "I don' unnerstan' et. I never missed afore in my life; :::tronger. This was only natural, of course, and any one I take et thet et meens thet ye air not fur me ter 1..ill, similarly situatell would have been influenced the same an' I wouldn't shoot at ye erg'in fur all ther gold King George hez got. I'd be afeerd sumthin' terrible w'uld hap pen ter me." "And something terrible certainly would happen to you -if you missed I" said Dick, grimly. "I would blow the top of your head off!" way. The young "Liberty Boy" was somewhat worried, too. If this mysterious woman knew who he was, and that he was coming down into South Carolina, might she not know also what was bringing him to the region? In that case it might be possible that her purpose in trying to "Oh, I'd miss all right; I hed ez good er chance ter accomplish his death was to prevent him from findin g shoo.t ye ez I'd ever want, an' I missed. Thet settles et; General Marion and giving him the message from General I'd do ther same thing erg'in, an' ye may be shore I won't never try anuther shot at ye." Dick thought a few moments. Although the fellow had Greene. However, it was idle to make surmises, and finally the yonth dismissed the matter from his mind and urged his tried to kill him, the youth did not feel like shooting him horse forward at a gallop. down in cold blood, and if he could feel at all sure the It was quite late in the afternoon, and so when, ten man would not make another attempt, he would be glad minutes later, Dick came to a farmhouse, he paused and to let the fellow go, and Dick decided that it would be sat his horse and looked irresolutely on down the road safe to do this. Blodgett was ignorant and superstitious, and was so impressed by his failure to kill the youth at the firRt attempt that he would not be likely to try it again. "I'm going to let you go," said Dick; "but I gfre you fair warning that if you make another attempt to harm me I will kill you!" "Ye needn't be afeerd; I won't try et erg'in," said Blodgett; "kin I go, now?" "Ye:>, you may go." "All right; so long!" and throwing his rifle over his shoulder, Blodgett turned on his heel and strode away, quickly disappearing in the timber. and then at the house. "It is within three-quarters of an hour of sundown," the youfl1 thought; "and I may not find another house for miles. I have a good mind to put up here for the night that is, if they will let me stay, and I am not much afraid on that score for the Southerners are certainly hospilable." He hesitated a few moments longer, and then rode up close to the house and called out: "Hello!" 'rhe door was opened presently and a rather good-look ing, buxom woman o.E perhaps forty years appeared. "Good-evening, lady!" said Dick, pleasantly, doffing his Then Dick mounted his horse and rode slowly onward bat and bowing; "I am a traveler and would like to redown the road. main over night, if agreeable." "My husband is out at the stable, sir," the woman re plied; "you had better see him." CHAPTER IL "Thank you; I will do so." Then Dick rode around the house and back to the .A. BIG BL.A.CK BEAR. yard, where a man was engaged in milking Dick dismounted and leaping the fence approached the Dirk rode slowly, for he wished to think over what had man. just taken place, and he could not ride fast and think "Good evening!" he greeted. dearly at the same time. Who was the mysterious, masked woman who had hired Blodgett to 1..ill him? "Good evening, sir!" the man replied. Dick repeated the statement he had made to the woman, that he was a traveler and wished to remain over night, Why had she done it? Why did she wish him out of and the man said he was welcome to do so. the way ? "It will never be said of Joe Thompson that he lacked And how had she learned that he was coming down into hospitality," he declared; have never yet refused to South Carolina?" keep any one who has applied."


'l'HE LIBERTY BOYS' WARM WORK. 5 "Thank you," said Dick; "I am giad to hear you say I the top of her speed, was a girl, and right h:r and that. I will put my horse in the stable and feed him." not fifteen feet distant was a huge, black bear! "Wait just a minute," was the reply; "I am almost through and will go with you." The man finished milking the cow, and then set the pail down by the fence and went with Dick, the latter leading his horse into the stable. They placed the feed It was no wonder that the girl was frightened and had called for help. The bear was a monster, and was un doubtedly very hungry; otherwise he would never have chased a human being in such a fashion. "Help! Help! Oh, save me, save me!" the girl cried in the manger and then went to the house, Mr. Thompson again as she saw the two approaching. getting his milk-pail on the way. "Never fear, we'll save you, miss!" called out Dick, "Lucy, this is a young man who wishes to stay over encouragingly. "Keep right on going and we will stop night with us," explained the man; "let's see, what did the bear." you say your name was, sir?" As he spoke he drew a pistol and cocked it. He kept "Thomas Stone, sir," was the reply. This was the running till he met the girl, and then as soon as she name Dick had given everywhere along the road, while pas sed him he paused and took aim at the onrushing bear. coming southward. 'rhe instant he was sure of his aim he pulled the trigger. "_jfr_ Stone is welcome," said Mrs. Thompson, pleasantly. Crack! went the weapon, and with a fierce growl of pain "'J.'his is Tom," said Mr. Thompson, indicating a boy and rage the animal reared up upon its hindlegs and came of about Len years. directly toward the dauntless youth. Dick greeted the boy pleasantly, and then the mari said: "Where is Nettie, Lucy ?" "I don't know," replied hi s wife; "she stepped out a few minutes ago. I guess she'll be back directly." "Nettie is our daughter," explained Mr. Thompson. "Look out!" yelled Mr. Thompson; "he's wounded and dangerous Dick had seen more than one bear before this one, and killed them, too, and he knew just what to do. Thrusting the empty pistol back into his belt he leaped Then he told Dick to make himself at home, which the asid e letting the animal rush past him, at the same time youth proceeded to do. "11rs. Thompson busied herself getting the evening meal, and from time to time she spoke of the prolonged absence of NeLtie, and wondered what could be keeping her. "Perhaps she has wandered into the timber and gotten lost," suggested Dick. But Mr. and Mrs. Thompson and the boy laughed at this idea. ''She knows every tree within five miles of here," said M:r. Thompson; "and there is no danger of her getting lost.,., At last supper was ready, and all were just sitting up to the table when they were rotartled by a scream and a wild cry for help. "That is Nettie's voice!" cried Mrs. 'rhompson. ''Run, quick, Joe, and see what is the matter!" l\fr. 'rhompson leaped up and ran out of doors, but Dick was ahead of him. The scream had come from the drawing another pistol. Bruin saw that he had been tricked by the nimble footed human enemy, and, stopping as quickly as he could, whirled and rushed at the youth with wide-open mouth and clawing front paws. Dick was not alarmed, however. He waited till the black nose was almost against the muzzle of the pistol, ancl then fired. He had taken aim at the animal's eye, this time, and his shot was true; the bear going down with a bullet in its brain. "That's the time you fetched him!" cried Mr. Thompson, in delight; "you are a splendid shot, young man, and one of the bravest fellows I ever saw!" "Oh, that wasn't much to do," replied Dick, modestly; "I knew I could g(lt out of his way before he could get his paws on me." "Not many would have the cool nerve to stand up and stick a pistol almost into a bear's face before shooting," said the man. "I hope the young lady isn't injured," said Dick. direction of the rear of the house, and they had emerged "Oh, no, sir; not at all," replied the girl for herself, by way of the back door. having paused and come back as soon as she saw that It was dark, but the moon was shining brightly, it havibe bear had gone down. "I was frightened, that is all." ing come up at the same time the sun went down, and Dick regarded the girl curiously, and could see, even by Dick and l\fr. Thompson saw a sight which caused them 1 tl .1e faint moonlight, that she was very beautiful. He to dart forward at full speed. imagined she looked rather searchingly at him as well. Fifty yards distant, and running toward the house at "This is my daughter Nettie," said Mr. Thompson.


6 TlIE LIBERTY BOYS' WARM WORK. "Nettie, this is Mr. Stone, who is traveling through the her eyes, nothing o.f which escaped the kee n eyes of the country and wished to remain over night with us." youth. "I am glad to make your acquaintance, Miss ThompThe girl explained that she had gone out for a walk, and son,'' said Dick, bowing and extending his hand. had gone farther than she intended, a .nd that while hurry" And I-am glad-to make your acquaintance, Mr.-ing homeward, and when only about a quarter of a mile Stone," said the girl, somewhat stammeringly and in from 1.he house, had been given chase to by the bear. She trembling tones. She started to take Dick's hand, then had run with all her might, but was almost exhausted, paused and drew back her band, uttering a rnuffied sort and would ha e been overtaken by tlie brute b e fore she of cry. c ould haye reached the house, she declared. "I-thank you-for-saving my life,'' she said, and "H it hadn't been for the coolness and bravery of Mr. then without another word turned and hastened 1.oward the Stone I don't know what would have happened," said Mr. house, where she was taken in her mother's arms and kissed Thompson; "I had no weapon, and could not h1.w e and hugged. the bear, or if I had done so he would h ttYe Mr. Thompson could not help feeling that his young made an end of me mighty quick. One lhing is certain, we guest must be surprised by the queer actions of the girl, owe either Nettie's life or mine to this brave young man!" and said, in an apologetic voice: Dick blushed like a girl, and said that he had not done "You will please excuse her, Mr. Stone? She once had rnnch, and that they would have escaped, He a twin brother, Ned; he went to the war, joining Cornglanced at Nettie, and was puzzled by the look on her face. wallis' army, and was killed about a year ago. Ever since She sE)emed struggling with conflicting emotions. Looks then Nettie has-acted queer at times. You will--excuse of pleasure and of sorrow as well seemed commingled upon her?" her countenance. Dick grasped the man's hand and pressed it warmly and sympathetically. '"rhere is nothing to excuse, Mr. Thompson," he said, softly. "Lost her twin brother-poor girl!" CHAPTER III. Then he turned to where the bear lay and took a look at Bruin. THE )fASlt:ED WOllIAN. "He is a big fellow, isn't he?" he exi:;J.aimed. "Yes, indeed. And his hams will be good eating. I'll When Joe, alias "Wolf"Blodgett was p ermitted to leave, skin him at once and cut him up and then drag the rest after having made the unsuccessful attempt to kill Dick, of the carcass down back of the barn lot and bury it." he strode throughthe timber at a lively pace. After a walk "I'll help you,'' said Dick. of .fifteen minutes he came to a log cabin standing right Mr. Thompson demurred, but the youth would not listen on the bank of a little stream. to any objections. Perhaps the man thought his guest Blodgett entered without ceremony and looked about him. would not be able to render him any great assistance, any-The one room of the cabin was vacant. He started to place way; if so, he was badly mistaken, for Dick quickly proved his rifle in the corner, and then stopped and began, instead, that he knew as much about such work as any one could to load the weapon. know, and the two of them made quick work or it. They "I don' see whut's ther matter uv me," he muttered; "I soon had the skin off and the hams cut out, and then these never went thct fur in my life afore without my rifle bein' were carried to the house. "We'll let the carcass lie where it is till after supper,'' said Mr. Thompson; "supper's on the table, you know." Dick did not offer any objections to this way of doing, and as soon as they had washed their hands, all sat down to the table. Dick took a good look at Nettie Thompson, loaded. I guess the missin' uv thet youngster a w'ile ergo hez completely upset me." He finished loading the weapon and stood it up in the corner, and then he sat down and remained quiet for a quarter of an hour or more. His head was dropped, his eyes on the floor, and he seemed to be thinking of somebeing careful, of course, not to let the fact be known, and thing very unpleasant, for there was a dark frown on bis was surprised to see what a wonderfully beautiful girl she face. vas. He said to himself that he had never seen a more After a while he got up, placed some bread and meat beautiful one in all his life. There was a sad look on on a slab table at one side of the room and proceeded to her face, however, and at times a peculiar expression in eat his sup:p_er. He finished this, replaced wlint food was


THE LIBERTY BOYS' WARM WORK. 7 left in a cupboard at one encl of the room and then sat were so sure you woulJ have no trouble in disposing of clown and fell to pondering again. He was sitting there in this position when suddenly he le1tped to his feet with a muttered exclamation. him." "I didn't 'xpect ter hev enny trubble, mum; but ye see, I didn't ]mow whut kin' uv er cuss ther feller wuz. He "Thet's her!" he murmured. but I wish she hedn't !" "I thort she'd come-hain't no common scrub, he hain't. He's er way-up yander feller, an' a man takes his life in his hands when he goes The next moment there came a knock on the door. arter thct chap!" "Come in!" called out Blodgett. "And you let him escape you?" There was sorrow and The door opened and a woman entered. At any rate, disappointment in the tone. the person \lore a woman's dress, but the face of the Yisitor was hidden by a white cloth down over the heacl anJ shoulc1ers. In front were two holes for the eyes and one for the mouth, but not a glimpse of the features was it possible to get. It was undoubtedly the mysterious woman Blodgett had told Dick about-the one who had hired him to shoot Dick Slater: The man pointed to a stool. "Set down!" he invited. The woman shook her head. "I hcd ter, mum. He hed me at his mercy, an' I couldn't do nothin' on'y jes' whut he tole me ter." "And what did he tell you to do?" Blodgett hesitated and fidgeted from one foot to the other. "Oh, nothin' in purtickler," he mumbled. But the woman seemed gifted With almost supernatural powers of perception. ''He made you tell why you had tried to kill him!" she exclaimed, with such positiveness that Joe could not make "No," was the reply, in a sweet, musical voice; "I aP attempt at denial. haven't time. I came to hear your report. Did you kill "W aal, et wuz tell er git my brains blowed out," the him?" man growled; "a,n' I guess thar wuz on'y one thing ter There was a trembling eagerness in the tones, which do unner sech sarkumstances." showed the speaker to be strongly moved. "What did you tell him?" This was in a tone of Blodgett hesitated. He did not know what to say; he commancl, sharp, clear and decisive. hated io acknowledge that he had failed. Dou,btless he feared the woman would want the gold back. "You failed!" cried the woman, quickly. Intuitively she guessed from the man's demeanor that he had made a failure. "I don' unnerstan' et, mum," mumbled Joe; "I hid by ther side uv ther road an' waited till he come erlong, and then I took good aim and let drive, but-I missed 'im. "I tole 'im-waal, all I lmowed. "Which was to the effect that--" "Thet I wuz hired by er woman ter kill 'im." "That is what you told him?" "Yas, thet's whut I tole 'im." "Bnt of course you could not tell him who the woman was." Blodgett shook his head. "No, I couldn't tell 'im thet; 1 never done sech er thing afore in my life, an' ez I say, fur I didn't an' don' know." I don' unnerstan' et." "Diel he ask you to try to guess who the woman might "But why did you not fire again-with your pistols?" be?" the woman cried, disappointment and anger in her tones. "Waal-yas, I b'leeve he did ax me sumthin' like thet." '"i\ny did you give up after one shot?" "And did you try to make a guess regarding my "I hed ter give et up, mum." ''Had to?" "Yaf;." identity?" There was a threat in the woman's voice. Blodgett shook his head. "Why "No, I didn't try ter make enny guess," he said; "I "W aal, ye see, et wuz this way: W'en I shot, ther feltole 'itn et would be onposserable ter guess at et; thet I Jer tumbled off'n his hoss, an' I wuz shore I hed killed 'im. hedn't enny idee whutever erbout who ye wuz." I run out ter whur he wuz a-layin', on'y ter find 'im on "Humph! You are sure you are telling the truth?" his feet quicker'n ye kin say 'scat!' an' with er pistol leveled "So help me, I am!" .tt my head. He hed me whur I couldn't he'p myse'f, an' "And what did he do then?" I hed ter clo jes' ez he said." "Then he let me go." The woman stamped her foot in anger and impatience. "After you had tried to kill him, and he had you at So you let him trick you!" she exclaimed. "And you' his mercy?"


8 THE LIBER'l'Y BOYS' w ARM wonK. "Yas; he said ez how ef I'd promus never ter try ter harm 'im erg'in, he'd let me go free." "And you promised?" "Uv course I did. I didn't wanter git my head blowed off by refoosin'." The woman was silent for a few moments, and then said: "Are you going to keep your promise?" Blodgett looked nervous. "Thet I won't try ter harm' im, ye mean?" "Yes." "Thar hain't no use fur me fer foller ye," he muttered; fur I think I know who ye air, ennyhow." CHAPTER IV. llfllS. HANNAH MUGGS. When the Thompsons and Dick Slater had finished their "Ye jes' bet I'm ergoin' ter keep et, mum! No more uv supper Dick accompanied his host and the boy Tom out thet fur me." to where the carcass of the bear lay, and the three dragged "But you W'ould succeed next time. If you will make it around back oI the barn lot, and digging a hole in the another attempt I will give you five pounds of gold!" ground buried what was left of Bruin. 'l'he woman's voice was eager, almost entreating. 'l'his done, they started back to the house, but Mr. Blodgett shook his head decidedly. Thompson happened to think of something that had to be "Not fur ten poun's, mum," he said. "Ter tell ye ther done at the stable, and stopped there, telling Dick and trootb, I wouldn't hev tried et erg'in ef ther cuss hedn't Tom not to wait for him. made me promus, fur et hain't down in ther books thet I'm ter kill him." ''What makes you think that?" They walked onward toward the house, and had gone only a few paces when there came the sharp, whip-like erack of a rifle, and a bullet whistled past Dick's head, so "W'y becos I hed ez purty er chance ter take aim at 'im close, indeed, that he could feel the cold rush of the night ez I ever hed at ennything in my life, an' I missed 'im slick air in the wake of the bullet. an' clean. I never done sech er thing afore in all my life, an' I know frum thet thet et hain't intended thet I'm ter "Somebody's shooting at us!" cried Tom. ''Whoever he is, he is in the edge of the timber yonder," kill 'im, an' I wouldn't try erg'in fur er hundred poun's." cried Dick, and he bounded in that direction. As he ran,. "But that is folly," said the woman, evidently vexed. he leaped first one way, then the other, thus going in an er"You would not miss a second time. Try again." "Not much I won't; no, siree!" and Joe shook his head decidedly. ratic, zigzag fashion that would cause an enemy a great deal of trouble in trying to take aim, and it did not take so a runner as long to reach the timber. No The masked woman seemed to realize that Blodgett shot had been fired, which surprised the youth meant what he said, so did not again try to persuade him somewhat, but he determined to find the would-be asto make another attempt on the life of Dick Slater, but i:;assin if such a thing were possible, and he darted in after a few moments of silence, she said: among the trees, and, pistol in hand, began a search for "How am I to know that you made any attempt to kill the skulker. him?" He looked long and carefully, but could .find no sign of "Wal," said Blodgett, "I guess ye'll hev ter take my any one or anything to indicate that any one had been word fur et, onless ye kin run ercross ther cuss 'imself, an' At last he gave up the search, and made his way ax 'im. Ef ye c'u'd see his hat, ye'd lmow I've tole ye ther back to where 'l'om stood. Mr. Thompson joined them just trooth, fur ye'd fin' er hole right through ther top uv et." then, and was surprised when told of the attempt that had "I suppose you have told me the truth," said the masked been made on Dick's life. woman, with a sigh. "Well, I must be going." Then she "That is the second attempt that has been made on my walked to the door, opened it, and pausing, looked back Jife within the past three hours," said Dick, and then he over her shoulder. told of ho\V some one had fired upon him from the road-"Don't try to follow me," she said. "If you do, I will side, though for some reason, scarcely clear to himsel.f, he know it, for I am as good a woodsman as you are. Good said nothing about the identity of the man who had made night." Then the door closed, and she was gone. the attempt, or of the masked woman. A peculiar half smile appeared on the face of Joe DlodWhen they entered the house and told Mrs. 'rhompson gett. and Nettie of what had just occurred the two were amazed.


'l'HE LIBERTY BOYS' WARM WORK. 9 "That is a very strange occurrence," said 11'.!rs. Thompson. d "Yes, indeed!" coincided Nettie. "And you searched for the would-be assassin and failed to find any one?" .. Yes, I made a thorough search," said Dick. "The fel low, whoever he was, must have fired the shot, and then fled instantly." Dick and the members of the Thompson family took seats in the big sitting room, and talked for perhaps half an hour, and then they were startled by a loud knocking cm the door. The youth was studying the woman's face closely and searchingly without seeming to do so. Somehow, he be lieved he had seen her before somewhere-though he could not think where. The voice, too, sounded familiar, but he could not remember who it was he had known as possess ing such a voice. Then a sudden, disconcerting thought struck the youth. Was this the masked woman, who had hired Blodgett to kill him? He began to suspect that such was the case. He could not think of any one who would be the woman in question, if this were not she. One thing was certain, the 1\Ir. Thompson hastened to open the door, and all were masked woman must have some very great grudge against surprised to see a woman standing there. The woman was him, to go to such lengths to have him put out of the way, dressed in black, and wore a poke-bonnet which so shaded and it was possible that this was the very woman, and that her face as to make it invisible except when the she was following him for vengeance. light shone fair into the mouth of the bonnet. 'l'he glimpThis was not a pleasant thought, but met the issue ses which the spectators got of the woman's face were suffi''rith perfect calmness and philosophy. He would take dent to show them that the owner was not by any means matters coolly, and try to get at the bottom of the mystery, a beauty. The face was long,., lean and angular, and the if possible; at the same time he would be careful not to cheekbones were prominent, the nose long and hooked, give the woman another chance at him, for if she was the the chin almost pointed; the eyes gleamed queerly. mysterious enemy, then it was she who had fired at him "How d'ye do?" greeted the newcomer. lone woman git ter stay here over night?" "Kin a pore, from the edge of the timber, as he and Tom were coming "Most assuredly," replied Mr. Thompson. "Come in." "But I've a horse out here. Whut'll I do with 'im?" the woman wished to know. "I'll take care of the horse; come in." to the house, after having buried the carcass of the bear. Mr. Thompson returned presently, and told the woman that he had given her horse a place in the stable, and plenty of food. "Oh, thank ye, sir; thank ye!" she said. obleeged ter ye." "I'm much Then Mrs. Thompson asked her if she had had any supper, and on receiving the reply from Mrs. Muggs that she had as yet had no supper the good woman went into sick darter whut married a wuthless, no-'count 'xcuse llV t.he kitchen and placed food on the table, and invited the er rebel man, an' I'm on my way back hum. I'm right Yisitor to partake. The women obeyed, and ducking her head m such a way as to indicate all present, said: "How d'ye do, folks. 11y name's Hanner Muggs, an' I live down ter Charles ion. I've bc'n up on ther Santee a-takin' keer uv my pore glad ter know ye." "My name is Thompson," replied the wife of the host, ri8ing and offering the visitor a chair. "Take a seat, and fake o:II your bonnet." "Don't keer ef I do, M:issus Thompson," was the reply, and the woman took off the bonnet and handed it to her hostess. Then she looked curiously around at Nettie, Tom and Dick. Mrs. Muggs was only too glad to do so, and ate like one. nho had been fasting for some time. "I r'ally b'leeve I wuz hungry," she said naively, when she had :finished. Mrs. Thompson thought her guest was telling the truth when she made this statement. They had not much more than gotten back into the "Be these all your children, Missus Thompson?" she sitting room before there came a knock on the door, and ::is soon as Mr. T11ompson opened it a man rushed into the asked. aN 0 ; only these two," indicating Nettie and 'l'om. room. He was greatly excited, and was panting, as if he l h t had run far and fast. This gentleman, Mr. Stone, is a trave er w o is s oppmg owr night with us." The strange-looking woman bowed to Dick, and said: J 'm glad ter know ye, Mister Stone." "The pleasure is mutual, I am s1ire," replied Dick, po litely. "Quick!" he gasped. "Leave the house and flee! The Whig Band is coming, and they threaten that they will burn a dozen Tory homes before morning! Flee, "hile you have time, for they may take it into their heads to kill f'ome of our people!"


10 THE LIB.1HTY DOY:::l' W.AlUI \YUHK. "Say you so, Jac kson?" exclaimed lifr. Thompson, who i s tepped up, and taking Morton by the a rm pulled him seemed to be somewhat frightened. toward th e doorway, saying, in a low voice: ''Yes, yes! And they are close at hand! You will hav e "Com e out of doors; I wish to have a talk with you." to huny!" "Who are you?" Morton asked, hanging back and e ; iMrs. Thompson had uttered a cry of terror, when the dently not relishing the interruption. man first entered, but Nettie and Tom had not said any"0<'.lme outside and I will tell you." thing, though both looked somewhat pale. Hannah There was a tone of command in the youth's voice, and liluggs, the strange woman, looked eager and curious. Morton accompanied Dick out, and to a little distance "Who and what are the of this 'Whig Band,' where they halted. as you call it?" asked Dick. "They are our neighbors, who are rebels," explained Mr. Thompson. "They have threatened to do us damage at various times, but they never _put their threats into effect, and we got so we paid no attention to them." "But they mean to put their threats into execution to night, neighbor Thompson!" declared the man addresseti as Jackson; "and if you will take my advice you will flee to the woads, and stay there till they get through." Whether or not the Thompsons would have done this will never be known, for at this moment a man stuck his }mad in through the open doorway, and said: "Hello, there, Thompson! Just take your folks and clear out at once; we are going to burn your house down!" "Hello, yourself, Morton," replied Thompson." "Surely "Now what do you want?" the man asked, somewhat arrogantly, for he was now surrounded by a dozen or more of his men. "I want you to give up your idea of burning the houses," was the. reply. "You want us to give up the idea of burning the houses?" Morton exclaimed, impatiently and half angrily. "Yes." Dick spoke calmly, but decidedly. "Humph! Who are you that you should talk to us in that fashion?" "Who am I?" "Yes." "I am, like yourselves, a patriot." "Ob, you are?" "Yes." you don't mean that!" The n why obj e ct to the burning of the houses of the "Surely I do! You had better not lose any time, but Torie s ?" get out as quick as We are going to make a clean "For the reason that it is not brave or honorable to make sweep of the house of every Tory in this neighborhood towar on women and children. If you wish to strike a blow night, and we haven't any time to lose." at the British, I say for you to go ahead and do so, but "But," protested Thompson, "why should you do that? this thing of burning homes and turning women and We have never injured you folks in any way." children out into the open air, without reofs to shelter "No, I don't know that you have; but, my dear friends, them, is very poor business and I don't think you are the the redcoats have burned the homes of several Whigs, and men to do it. I should be sorry if I should be forced to you sympathize with the redcoats, so are as bad as they, witne s s such an act by men who are adherents of the and would do the same if there were enough of you. Get great cause of Liberty." out, and hurry about it." "Oh, see here, Morton, you mustn t do that!" half entreated Thompson; "it isn't right. I can't think that you mean what you say." "But I do! You must get out of here, and in a hurry, too. Some of the boys will set fire to the house in a 11 minute, and the quicker you go the better it will be for you and your women folks." o "But look here, Morton, you have a family of your own, and surely you cannot have the heart to turn my family out of doors in such a fashion!" "We have made up our minds/ was the dogged reply; "you had better get out." Dick, who had listened to the conversation with con siderable interest, now thought it time to interfere. He "Who are you, anyway?" asked Morton. "Yes, yes; who are you?" cried several of the men. "I will tell you if you will promise not to tell any one," said Dick. "We promise, we promise!" was the cry. Dick glanced toward the house, and then seeing that Mr. Thompson and his wife and ;the strange woman, Hannah Muggs, were standing in the doorway, he lowered his voice and whispered his name in Morton's ear. The man had heard of Dick Slater, and quickly made bis way about among the men, of whom there were nearly a score, and told them who Dick was. They seemed greatly impressed, and while some had been murmuring at first when the youth was talking to Morton, they now were silent and had nothing to say. They looked at one another


THE LIBERTY BOYS' W AUU WORK. blankly, however; doubtless they felt somewhat ashamed that they should have been caught at such work as they had intended doing. "Thank you for your kindness," said Dick; "and I will take up my quarters in your house to-morrow. I will sti1y here over night, for if I were to go away they would Dick now led the way out to the road and held a long feel hurt and might, moreover, suspect that I was a patriot conversation with the men. He argued with them and spy ana send word to the British at Charleston." soon succeeded in convincing them that they would be "Won't they suspect, anyway?" asked Mr. Morton. doing wrong in burning the homes of the Tories. "They will wonder how it happened that you were able to "If only the men would be affected, it would not be so persuade us out of the notion of burning the houses." bad," said Dick; "but you see how it is-the woman and "I'll explain that," said Dick; "l will tell them that I children would be made homeless and that would be terargued with you and convinced you that you were not rible." ,.-"Some of the women are as rabid Tories as their hus Lands, though," said one of the men. "Of course; and it is tl;ieir right to be," said Dick. doing right in wishing to burn the homes of the Tories." After a little further talk the men took their depar'ture and Dick went back to the house and entered it. "Have they gone?" asked Mr. Thompson. ''They are non-combatants, and their ideas don't count. "Yes," replied Dick; "I argued the case with them and They would be very much lacking if they did not think they finally came to the conclusion that they wouldn't be as their husbands think-that is, up to a certain point. doing right in burning the houses of their neighbors and It is only natural that they should do so. Your wives they have gone back to their own homes." think as you do about this matter, do they not?" "Oh, thank goodness for that exclaimed Mrs. Thomp"Yes, they do," the men acknowledged. son, with a sigh of relief; "just think how terrible it "And you would be angry if the Tories were to persewould have been had they burned our home!" cute or injure your wives and children for thinking as you "Again you have placed us under obligations to you, do, wouldn't you?" Mr. Stone," said Mr. Thompson; "first, you saved Nettie's "Yes, we would," was the reply. life, and now you have saved our home. I don't know "Exactly; then you must not burn the homes of your how we shall ever be able to cancel our indebtedness to 'rory neighbors." you." "We won't!" was the unanimous cry. "We won't do it, "Just consider it canceled now," said Dick, with a now!" smile; "l want no pay for what I have done; I am happy This matter being settled, Dick proceeded to tell the in having bwn able to do those things and that is pay men why he was in that part of the country, and asked enough." them i.f they could give him any information regarding They conversed for nearly an hour longer, and Dick the whereabouts of General Marion. The men said that took notice that the strange woman, Hannah Muggs, watch they could not tell him just where to look for the "Swamp ed him closely, while pretending not to pay much attention :Fox," but all were saying that they thought to what was going on. Dick would find him as quickly by remaining in this Tile youth tried, again and again, to recall where he neighborhood as by going farther on in the direction of had seen the w;oman, but could not; and at last dismissed Charleston. the matter from his mind. "Perhaps I am mistaken," he "The 'Swamp Fox' has struck several blows in this thought; "it may be that I have seen some one who looked vicinity," said Mr. Morton; "and has killed and captured something like her, but I hardly think I have ever seen nearly all the members of half a dozen different parties her before." of redcoats during the last month or so. He is hiding Finally he said he would go to bed, and Mr. Thompin the swamps in this vicinity, but doesn't stay long in one son lighted a candle and went with the youth and showed place." Dick secured all the information possible and told the men that he would make his headquarters in this settlehim upstairs and into a good-sized, cozy-looking bedroom. "I guess you will be comfortable here," said Mr. Thompson as he set the candle on a stand and turned to leave ment and make incursions into the swamps of the vicinity the room; "good-night." in search of General Marion. "Good-night," replied Dick; "yes, this will be solid "That'll be as good a plan as any," said :Mr. Morton; comfort." "but you won't want to stay here at Joe Thompson's, for he's a rank Tory; you'd better come home with me." He was soon in bed and was just dozing off to sleep when he heard the trampling of feet in the hall and then


, .1.2 THE LlnEH.'l'Y HU :'r. b' \\A.10\1 OltK. a door opened just across the hall from his room. He heard the high-pitched, querulous voice of Hannah Muggs, and understood, the matter. She was going to bed and had the room across the hall. This turned the youth's thoughts to the strange woman, and while thinking d her, and wondering whether or not she was the masked woman who had hired Blodgett to try to kill him, he fell asleep. How long he slept he had no means of knowing, but it must have been away past midnight when he was awakened by some noise, and after listening a few moments he realized that there was some one in his room! CHAPTER V. IN THE SW AMPS. It was dark in the room, of course, Dick having ex tinguished the light on going to bed, and he could not see anything. Ile had to trust entirely to his hearing. After way ancl distance to Mr. Morton's house, of that gentleman himself, the night before, and did not anticipate having any trouble in finding his way. The youth was scarcely more than around the first bend in the road, a distance of a quarter of a mile from the house, before the woman traveler, Hannah Muggs, declared that she must go. Mr. Thompsqn got her horse out of lhe stable and the strange woman mounted and rode away, going in the same direction Dick had gone. rt was only about a mile and a half to the home of J\Ir. ::\Iorton, and the youth soon reached there. Mr. Morton 1ras out in the yard and saw and recognized the newcomer, and greeted him pleasantly. "Good morning; glad to see you, Mr. Slater!" he greet ed. "Been to breakfast? If not, jump off and go in the house and my wife will give you something to eat. I'll look after the horse." "I've been to breakfast, thanks," said Dick. "I'll gd with you the stable." Mr. Morton led the way, ancl when they reached the stable Dick alighted and lctl the horse inside and to 3 vacant stall. Some hay was placed in the manger by the listening intently for a few moments he came to the conman, while Dick unbridled and unsaddled the horse, and clusion that there was only one intruder. then both emerged and went to the house, where Dick was Who could it be? Dick asked himself this question, introduced to the different members of the family, conbut, of course, could not answer it. '11he person, whoever it was, approached the bed and the }Onth was sure that the intruder was feeling in the pockets of his clothing. Dick did not fancy this, and made up his mind to put a stop to it. "Who is ?" be asked, in a quiet, but grim voice. Instantly there was a rush of feet and the intruder was out of the room and the door pulled shut. Dick leaped out of bed, ran to the door, opened it and looked out, sisting of Mrs. J\forton, two daughters sixteen and filgbteen yt::ars of age, and named Daisy and espectively, and Sam, a boy of ten years. Of course, here, Dick was in l.roducecl under his own as it was known who be was-. The girls were both pretty and were bright and lively, and it would haYe been evident to any one who was any thing of an observer that they were very favorably im p1essed with Dick's appearance. "Oh, Mr. Slater, Father has told us all about how you talked him and the rest of the men <;mt of the notion of but could see or hear nothing. All was still, just as if burning the Tory homes!" exclaimed A "We think it every soul in the house was plunged in siu.mber. was just splendid of you, and we were so glad you did so; "That's queer," thought the youth; "where did the for we didn't want father to go, in the first place, did rascal go, I wonder?" As he was unable to answer the question, Dick went to work and did the next best thing-fastened the door as we, mother ?" "No, indeed," was the reply; "and I for one thank J\Ir. Slater for having persuaded them to not do it." seourely as possible, so as to keep any one else from en"And so am I, now!" declared :Mr. Morton. "I know, tering, or the same person from entering again. now, that I should have felt very small and mean if we Then he lay down once more, thought over the strange had gone ahead and burned the homes of the 'l'ories, as we circumstances a few moments and was asleep. started out to do." Dick said nothing to any one next morning, regarding "I'm glad I was on hand to enter a protest," said Dick; his having been disturbed during the night. He thought ''I have seen a great deal of such work, and must acit would worry Mr. and Mrs. Thompson for no purpose. knowledge that the Tories are much worse for it than the After breakfast he bade all good-by, and, mounting his 1 \Vhigs, but that is no reason why the Whigs should do ,horse rode away toward the south. He had asked the such things. Two wrongs do not make one right."


THE LIDEHTY ROYS' \VORK. 1 .. "True," agreed Mrs. Morton; "and it is the women The girls hastened to get ready, and appeared a few and children who suffer the most." minutes later dressed for the trip through the timber and "Oh, it was just grand of you to persuade them not to swamps. They started out at once, Dick being eager to do it, Mr. Slater!" said Daisy, who was inclined to gush get to 'lt'Qrk. a bit, on occasion. Mrs. Morton had made up three packages of food, as it Dick changed the conversation, as he was a modest would likely be inconvenient for them to return or din fellow, and was never very much pleased by hearing himu e r, and thus equipped they set out, disappearing in the self praised. After remaining in the house for perhaps timber lay to the west of the house. an hour-until he had become quite well acquainted with rrhe girls walked briskly. Doubtless they wished Dick 1.he different members of the household, indeed, he said to know that they were not to be a clog to him in getting that he must get to work. along at good speed. "I must find General Marion," he declared, "and so "Don't exert yourselves too greatly, girls," said Dick. I will set out in search of him at once." "Go at an easy pace, and don't hurry." "I wish that I had nothing that required attention so "Oh, we can walk as fast, and as far, as any man!" re-that I could go along with you," said Mr. Morton; "but pli "We can go as fast as you wish to go, and there is work in the field for both Sam and myself, and keep it up all day." it must be attended to. I can, however, tell you in which "I am glad to know that," said Dick "Still there is no direction the swamps lie, and you will not have much need of going at a pace tliat will tire you out." trouble in finding them. The only difficulty i s that you arc apt to become lost, as they are regular labyrinths, and one who is not u s ed to their ins and outs is liable to find that be can get in, but can t get out again." Dick noticed a peculiar, eager look on the fac e of each of the girls. "Oh, father, let and I go with Mr. Slater!" cried Daisy, her eye!'"1hining. "We know every crook and turn of the swan/ps, ana know every entran and where the solid ground is and everything. We can guide Mr. Slater. Please let us go!" "Yes, yes; do, father exclaimed"'llML "No, no!" cried Dick; "I wouldn t your daughters to such trouQle. I will b e able to get along very nicely, I am sure." But Mrs. Morton seemed to f lr::.tting the g.ifls go. They walked onward for perhaps a mile, and then they came to a swamp. "Now, if we were not with you," said Daisy, "you would uot know how to enter this swamp at all, but would prob a b ly g e t mired in the mud. With u t .'.llong it will be differ e nt, for we know the entrance and all[ the paths, and the location or all the islands, and ju t h'. l, ch them." "Yes, indeed," r 1 ..:i.s11e.,;. "We ha>1; b. uL through these S' amps many times." "I am glad you girls are along," said Dick. "I begin to realize now that I would have had great difficulty in making my way through these swamps." "Oh, you could not have done it at all," declared Daisy. "But with us to show you the way you will have no difficulty "You do not know our swamps, 11r. Slater," she said; "they are something terrible, an y u being from the "This way," saidQ111;;;;:, "The entrance is up here a North can have no idea regarding them. If you were to little ways." become lost in one of them you would to death. At this instant there came the sharp report of a rifle, The girls know every crook and turn il). all the swamps of and a bullet whistled within an inch of Dick's nose. the neighborhood, and will be excellent guides. Father A scream escaped the girls. and I shall be glad to pave them go with you) and you "Who fired that shot?" will do well to accept of their company and &nidance." "And why?" from Daisy. "Yes, they had better go with Mr. Slater," agreed Mr. "I don't know, but I'll try to find out," said Dick, and Morton; "otherwise he would be almost certain to get lost." he bounded away in the direction from which the shot ''Oh, goody!" cried Daisy. "We're going! We're gohad sounded. ing!" The g irls so delighted by the thought of accom panying him that Dick that it would be discourte ous to refuse to let them go. Then, too, he realized that they would be oi great benefit to him, as they knew the swamps w e ll, while he did not. "That bullet must have been intended for Dick, don't "Of course; nobody would shoot at us." "Goodness! What if the bullet had hit him!" "In that case he would have been killed or wounded replied the more practicalllWllmllli..


---Tlrn Ll.Bbjl{TY BOYS' WARM woRK. "Oh, that would have been terrible! He is so handsome and swallowed her. Dick was nonplussed and somewhat and noble!" vexed "! do believe you're in love with him, Daisy Morton!" "Well, this beats anything I have ever run up against!" -cried a tinge of jealousy in her tones. he murmured. "This mysterious woman is getting me "No, m not in love with him," denied Daisy; "but more and more mixed all the time. She seems to be able I-I-like him. I guess you love him yourself." to disappear at will. I'll make a thorough search for her, "No," replied mockingly, "I-I-just. like him, though, and maybe I'll find her after all." the same as you do." But he didn't He looked everywhere, and even ran on-The girls eyed each other suspiciously and somewhat ward another hundred yards, and still he saw nothiNg of -0.ngrily. It was evident that Dick stood high in the the fugitive. He .finally gave it up, and made his way -esteem of both. .' back toward the spot where he had left the girls. Meanwhile the youth was making the best possible speed "Did you see who it was that shot at you?" asked Daisy through the timber in the direction from which the shot eagerly. had sound'ed. "Yes, I saw her,'' replied Dick. He kept a sharp lookout as he ran, but failed to see any one, or anything to indicate the presence of any one in "Saw 'her!'" exclaimed both girls in unison. "Yes." the vicinity He could net even see or smell the snioke of "You don't mean to say that it was a woman who shot the firearm. It was as quiet as if no one save himself had at you!" almost gasped set foot in the timber. Dick ran onward, however, and kept a sharp lookout. He thought that he would surely be able to discover some sign his unseen enemy. He was soon out 01' sight of the girls, and suddenly an exclamation escaped him: '' Y by Jove, it's a woman!" "Yes, it was a woman." "Was she young or old?" asked Daisy eagerly. "I couldn't tell. I wasn't close enough, and then, too, she had her face hidden by a mask." "Iler face hidden by a mask?" The exclamation burst from the girls m unison, they .,.gtared at Dick in open-mouthed amazement. and -The youth could not help smiling. "Yes, her face was Nearly a hundred yards ahead, -i'-1.m.ning at a swift pace, hidden by a mask," he replied; "so I could not tell whether was a woman, and Dick could just make out that there was a white cloth thing pulled down over the head of the fugitive. "It is the mysterious masked woman who hired Joe Blodgett to try to kill me," thought Dick. "I must catch her, if possible. I have a great curiosity to see who she is, and I would like to learn why she wishes my death." Dick raced onward at the best speed of which he was capable, but, to his surprise, found that he was not gain ing fast, i.f, indeed, he was gaining at all. "Whoever she is, she can run!" he thought; "but I won't be beaten by a woman I'll overtake her, or know the reason why!" He ran his very best, and seemed to be gaining some what, but when he .. had lessened the distance between them to about seventy-five yards he suddenly lost sight of the she was old or young." "And you couldn't catch her?" from "No. I tried my best, and was gaining on her, when suddenly she disappeared, and although I looked high and low for her I could not again get sight of her." "How strange!" murmured Daisy. "I never heard of rnch a thing in my life." "Nor I," fro ":Uy! how I would like to know who the woman is!" "And so should I," said Dick. "I would like to know who she is, and why she wishes my death. This is the third 'time an attempt has been made on my life since I reached this neighborhood, and is becomtng rather try ing on my nerves." "The third timet' exclaimed Daisy, interrogatively. "Yes." And then Dick told of his encounter with Joe fugitive. He ran onward, however, thinking he would come Blodgett, and all about the masked woman, and how he l in sight of her again soon. had been shot at while out near the barn lot at Mr. Thomp-In this he was disappointed, and when he reached the son's He also told regarding the strange woman, Hannah k spot where she had been when she disappeared Dick stopMuggs, and gave it as his suspicion that she was the masked ped and looked around him. woman. It was no use. The woman was nowhere to be seen. She The girls looked at each other, and Dick saw from the g had disappeared as mysteriously as if the earth had opened expression on their faces that they had their doubts re-


TH.t; LlHEH'l'Y BOD:l' WAH.l\l WOHK. l.> garding this, and also that they had a suspicion regarding the itlenlity of the masked woman. 'What do you think about it?" he asked. "Have you any suspicion regarding the identity of the masked wo man?" ''lladn' t we better turn back'.-' \\'e must Le a long way from your home?" "Y cs, we are quite a ways from home," replie ;. ''but we don't need to turn back, as we can take a round about and finally get back, after having described "Oh, we'd rather not say anything, one way or the other, almost a circle." just now," said hastily. It was evident that she was "That will be all right, then, and will be better than afraid Dai s y w{)uld speak out, and tell who they suspected. going hack over the same gTOund we have already tra"Oh, very well," said Dick. "I don't want you to do so, unless you really wish to." "But what harm can it do, f" asked Daisy, who evidently wished to tell whom they suspected. "We may be wrong, Daisy," her sister replied; "and it would be bad if we were to direct suspicion where it does not belong." "'l'ruc," agreed Dick. "Don't say a word, if you don't wish to." Daisy was dissatisfied, but as Dick himself had said that it would be best for them to say nothing, at present, she accepted the situation, though it was evidently hard for her to do w. versed." "Oh, yes much better," said Daisy. "We. may suc Ct'ed in finding General Marion somewhere before we get back." rrhe girls took a circuitous route now, and Dick could not help marveling at their perfect knowledge of the paths. He deqided that suc h knowledge could only have been ac quired by years of familiarity, and be asked how it hap pened that the girls were so well posted with the ins and outs of the swamps. "We have lived here all our lives," was Daisy's reply; "and often some of the stock breaks out, and strays away Naturally they make for the swamps, and we girls have always been in the habit of helping father to hunt for "Lead the way into the swamp, girls," said Dick. "We have lost considerable time already." them. That is how we have come to know paths so well." The girls at once moved forward, and at a point a hun-clred yards away turned aside and entered the swamp. Dick followed, and was surprised to find that they were following a narrow path which was of solid earth, though on both sides lay mu

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