The young rough rider's bitterest foe, or, The challenge of Captain Nemo

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The young rough rider's bitterest foe, or, The challenge of Captain Nemo
Series Title:
Young rough riders weekly
Taylor, Edward C.
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New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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025569581 ( ALEPH )
17906211 ( OCLC )
R16-00006 ( USFLDC DOI )
r16.6 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Dime Novel Collection
Young Rough Riders Weekly

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Before the young Rough Rider was half way across the swinging bridge, Captain Nemo and two followers rode down opposite. Ted jumped off his horse and leveled his rifle.


Issued Wee k l y By S11bscript i on per year. Entered accordingto Act of Congress,.,, tM yea 1qo5, in Office of tlu Librarian of ConpeM, Washingto n, D. C., b y STREET & SMITH, 238 William St. N Y. Applicatio n made at t M New York Post Office jor entry as S e condclass Matter. NEW Y O RK, A,Pril 8, 1905. Price Fiv e Cents. The Young Rough Rider's B itter est Foe; .OR, T H E C HALLEN GE O F C APTAIN NEMO. .. CHAPTER I. THE MAN IN THE M IRAGE. The rising sun was throwing long bars of gold across the broad, unfurrowed plain from between two high mountains on the east, which rose like the massive pill a rs of a might y gateway in the loft y highland,s, as thre e horsemen riding single file came to an abrupt halt. "Jumpin' sa ndhills exclaimed the o n e in the r e ar, "look y ond e r, boy s if you to see the pootiest sight yer e ver clap e y es on. "It's the t ow n for s ure," said he, riding in the center of the little cavalcade. S k itt y m o unt s h o re s thund e r," supplement e d th e fir s t speake r. "Wh o op her up, bo ys!. we 'll get there in the shake o' a goat's t a il." "Shortest t went y miles I eve r ro de, declared t he second. "Shore, Ben. We ain t b e e n out from camp more n ten m in nit s a n d the lazy pace we ve rid don t me a n more n two miles. Jumpin' sandhills as good as eight een miles l o pped off at o n e cli p o th e ey e s." Did you e ve r hear of old Dave Crockett?" asked t he third and younger member o f the party his lips parting w ith a smil e displa y in g two rows of p e arl-white teeth bet w een. Shore captain. He l e d Fremont 'cross the plains, and got snarled up the wussest k i nd among the R ap ah o s. "Off your base a g ain, Bud Showin g such ignoran c e in r ega rd t o the author the effect of what I was about to qu o t e fr o m him is l os t up o n you ." "P'r a p s Be n h e re can preciate it ," said the crestfallen ridfilr. The n ex t m o ment his ex uberance o f s pirit s ov e rc a m e his mom e n ta r y di s ap po int ment, and h e s h oute d w hile be s wun g his cap hi g h in the air: "Ther e she l ooms, p l a in e r n ever. J u m pin sandhills I b lieve she s comin ri ght down to us."


2 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. "Well it might, Bud, for that is no real town." "No real town?" asked his companions, in the same breath. "As true as you are sitting here, lads. When you said 'loom,' Bud, you spoke nearer the truth than you realized That is a phantom town." "A what?" asked the one called Bud. "A make-believe town?" asked the third, lifting his big body lazily upward so that he :might get a better view of the strange sight. "It is only a mirage," declared the foremost. "It may be the picture of Skittymount thrown by the pencil of the sun upon the walls of space, but the real town is still no nearer than twenty miles." Bud managed to give expression to his favorite byword, but his larger companion was content to watch more closely than before the singular sight, witli a n interest equaled only by their leader. The three riders, mounted upon little Western horses, as sure of foot as the mountain goat, and as swift almost as the prairie wind, presented a striking appearance. The and calmest of the trio, was a boy as we measure life by the number of years, and yet with a manliness of form and figure that made him appear older than what he really was. His perfect figure, both in height and build, was set off with the best effect imaginable by a close-fitting suit, cut in military style, and made of khaki cloth, his trousers met by brown leggins, fitting closely about his ankles. His waist was girthed about with a broad web belt, from which protruded the butt of a forty-four Colts re volver, and th e brass heads of a row of cartridges. A light, but serviceable, rifle was slung across his shoulder, while a lasso was curled about the horn of his saddle. His well-shaped head, covered with a wavy mass of fine brown hair, was shielded by a broad sombrero, like his khaki suit, of a deep brown. This hat he had lifted now so as to get a better view of the distant scene, so his handsome, clear-cut features were plainly revealed in all their wealth of beauty, firm ness and good health. It was a countenance the friend would look to for succor and the enemy for punishment. He sat his saddle as if a part of the plucky little beast corner of country, not a few, had they been abroad this fair morning, would have hesitated to add1ess him as the chief o f the young rough riders, Ted Strong. Such was, indeed, his name. The companions beside him were two of his most trusty comrades. The smaller was none other than Bud Morgan, as boisterous at times as ever, and as brave and faithful always. If short of figure, and slight, he was as nimble as a fox, more than making up by his suppleness of action what he may seem to have lacked in size. He so far imitated Western style, that his yellow hair fell about his shoul ders with a profusion Texas Jack might have envie?, or the gallant Custer worn with pride. As has been remarked, the third of the little part/ was large of form, and sluggish of movement. His broad shoulders and muscular limbs told of prodigious strength, and the resistless energy of the lion when aroused. If sleepy and good-natured in appearance, Ben Tre mont had won a fame in the Eastern colleges for athletic feats which had preceded him into the West, and stood him i1' good stead in more tight corners than you could count upon your fingers. Great, good-hearted Ben was a host in himself, as his young leader knew and often confessed. This twain, of such difference in bodily make-)-lp, were clad in the same khaki uniform of their chief. "It does appear to be sort of dwindling away," said Ben, at last. "Shore's sin and--" began Bud, to be stopped by the Yroung rough rider, who exclaimed with more than common earnestness : "Look to the left, lads. Just beyond that clump of trees. Do see anything unusual there?" His companions lost no time in obeying. Then, as Bud Morgan turned his gaze upon this new scene, he cried : "] urnpin' sandhills there be something wuth ther lookin'." What the three watched during the next minute was in deed a sight to stir the blood of natures less easily aroused. Three times Bud lifted his rifle halfway to his shoul beneath him, which now stood patiently awaiting the next ders, to lower it the qext moment, muttering: wish of its master. Danged if I know if it can be done or not. Looks In the country to the e;;ist and south he would have needed no introduction, .and even in this, to him, new I - like it, and then ag'in it don't." At the Ted Strong called the attention I


' THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 3 of his companions to the new sight, the three s aw plainl y a c o uple o f p e r so n s upon the backs of two stout-limberi horses, riding leisurely in the direction of the town. They could see with sufficient c!earness to know, that the one in advance was a man past middle life, with long, flow in g beard, and a figure above the medium in height and weight. In fact the young rough rid e r saw that he was above the average figure, being fully six feet tall. He saw, with that keen, quick precision of his, which enabled him to take in an object at a glance, and to fix it indelibly upon his mind, that he was dressed in the fashion of a man from the East, and he judged him to be one of those well-to-do men from that section of the country, who either for pleasure or health was making a trip through the West. His companion was a woman, and in s tantly concluding in his own mind that she was a daughter of the other, Ted decided she was both young and beautiful. Of course this may have been the rapid appreciation of his warm and youthful nature. Attired in a close-fitting, natty suit, it was certainly no figure of his imagination which convinced him she was of that divine form given to a perfect woman. The couple were advancing at a moderate gait, as if enjo ying their early morning ride ; father turning to speak, ever and anon to his daughter, whom he must have loveu with the devotion of a fond parent. She in order to converse more easily with him, spurred her horse forward so as to ride beside him. Their attention absorbed in each other, neither seemed to discover the approach of a single horseman from their front, he having re,cently left the border of the clump of trees already mentioned. At the same time three riders were following them in rapid pursuit, though it was possible the soft grass so muffied the hoof strokes of their animals that their ad vance was made in comparative silence. At any rate, it might as well have been as far as catching the attention of the father and daughter. The young rough rider did not give the pursuing horsemen more than a passing glance, noting that they were such men as were to be among the settle ments of that country. His gaze had become fixed closely upon the single rider and his lips moved sli g htl y as he had begun to give expre ssion to his thoughts, and then relapsed into silence. As he sat in his saddle, with the ease of one used to riding upon horseback, he showed that hi s b o d y w

4 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. riding whip she carried, dealt the murderer a smart blow across the face. It must have been a stinging blow, for he actually fell back, and seemed about to drop to the earth. She had wheeled her horse, and was starting in pur suit of the animal which was dragging the body of her poor father away from the ill-fated scene. Just then the three riders in the rear dashed up. The foremost caught the rein of the runaway horse, and quickly brought it to a standstill. The second seized the bridle of the creature ridden by the woman, and stopped that, too. The slayer of the man now came forward, pressing close beside the hapless girl. For a little spell the watchers trembled lest he meant to shoot her. But such proved not to be his intentions. The third of his accomplices, dismounting, quickly bound her: in the saddle. While he was doing this the leader slipped to the ground, ai;d began to rifle the pockets of the dead man. miles away? How was it about this shooting affair we think we have witnessed?" "In the same situation. One is as much of an illusion as the other." "So yer don't believe neither?" asked Bud. "On the contrary, I believe both. The shooting took place only a short distance out of Skittymount." "And you think we could see twenty miles away, one man shoot another, and carry off a woman." "Though the actual scene took place twenty miles, more or less, distant, the reflection of the sun's rays brought it actually within plain distance of us. You saw each feature of the tableau clearly, did you not?" "Even to the shape of his nos'e, which I observed had a peculiar twist to it." "And the mark of that girl's whip across his mug," added Bud. "Exactly," replied Ted. "It was all plain enough for me to recognize the villain." "J umpin' sandhills who might he be?" The entire scene had not occupied more than three min"He might be a better man. As it is, he is Capt. utes, but in that brief perio

I THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 5 Nemo, I half expect we shall, it may give us lively times." "Whoop, hooray!" shouted Bud, "that's the talk fer me. On to Skittymount, I say." "Are you sure you have not been mistaken, Ted?" asked the more skeptical Ben. "Wasn' t that whole affair an illusion ?" "In a certain sense, yes," acknowledged the young rough rider. "But, on the whole, it was very real. I have heard Jim Butterworth, and Jim was never known to lie when truth would serve him best, that he had been somewhere in this vicini.ty, and looked on an exact counterpart of Carson City, more than twenty miles away. "I am just as sure that what we have seen this morn ing is an exact reproduction of some tragedy which has been enacted in the vicinity of Skittymount. What do you say, boys? We may be losing valuable time." "On to Skittymount," replied Ben; "even if it takes us / into the path of Capt. Nemo." "I intend it shall, in order to save that poor girl borne off before our eyes to his rendezvous in the mountains." "Yer ain't to!' us what Dave Crockett said," spoke up Bud. "He said : 'Be sure you are right, and then go ahead.' "Hurrah fer Davy! and here's a pony to take me to Skittymount, an' here's hand fer Cap'en Nemo. 'Be sure yer right, an' then go ahead.' I'm there root hog or bust.'' Without further delay the trio resumed their onward course, heading now in the direction they were certain Skittymount was situated in, soon leaving the long, lofty range of highlands which they had mounted a quarter of an hour before and wl1.ich ran nearly parallel to that other backbone over which Capt. N emo had ridden to commit that dastardly crime, which had been witnessed by those so far away. Between these ridges lay the great sand plains form ing the sink of the Carson River, where, after a tortuous journey of nearly two hundred miles, its waters are sud denly drunk by the porous earth, made up of great reed swamps. CHAPTER III. LOST TO REASON. "Lynch him !" "Run im up !" "Give him plenty of rope!" "Let me have hold of the end of it!" Cries similar to these, varied in many forms of ex pression as individual thought shaped them, rang on the clear mountain air from a rabble of men lost to reason. It does seem strange that intelligent man should be so easily turned from what he knows to be the path of common sense into the wild maze of overmastering ex citement, when he becomes as untamed as the brute. The men gathered here just apart from the main street of that stirring town of Skittymount, were no worse than those who help to make the slim and substance of the world's inhabitants. In a certain sense it was a humane intention which now ran riot in their brain, but such a riot as drove them wild. A man, though a stranger to most of them, had been murdered in cold blood only a short distance frorn town, and his pockets rifled of their contents. The evil-doer, not overwise or overcautious, it would seem, had been discovered by the sheriff of Skittymount only a moment after he had committed the terrible deed. Ay, it was the boast of that lively town, as well as of himself, that no wrongdoer escaped the swift vengeance of Manton Marks, who had been sheriff of the town now for over a year. It is true a certain high-handed outlaw, disturber of the peace and sort of all-round desperado, had so far eluded the cunning Marks, but the latter had sworn to bring him down yet, and his oath was believed by the majority to fix the doom of the daring robber. After seizing the slayer of the gray-hbded man, whose name had been given out as John Maxfield, Sheriff Marks had dragged his victim into town, when a crowd was quickly called together. Straight to the gallows tree of Skittymount was the unwilling prisoner borne, for it was the practice carried out here to deal summary punishment. This was the policy of Marks, and to that it was believed was due the certain sort of peace which had fallen upon Skittymount since he had become its guardian of j ustic'e. The prisoner this time was different frqm the majority -in fact, unlike nine out of ten who had been taken to thi ill-omened spot. He was a young man, well dressed, who would have passed in any crowd as a respectable citizen, as far as fooks were concerned. He improved every lull in the confusing outcries to declare himself innocent of any crime, and that he had


6 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. found the man dead before he had reached the place where he had been stricken down. He even claimed he was a friend to the other, whom he had known in the home where he had come from in the East, for like the . other he was an Eastern man. But his appeals fell upon deaf ears. Such cries as have been quoted, as some of the more decent ones, made the air hideous with their babel of sounds. Sherift Marks, mounted upon his magnificent bay horse, brandishing his Smith & Wesson revolver over his head, did not try to hush the mob. Such scenes seemed to delight his warlike nature. His restive steed prancing about, causing the excited sp ectators to fall back in a hurry wherever he rode, Marks had pointed to the pine whose lightning-riven top gave it the appearance of a spectral tree fitted to such wild deeds as had been committed beneath its branches. It has been claimed that no number of hangings has ever been performed beneath a tree which did not wither and fall under the blight of death. It is possible trees have hearts that feel, after all. W hat a horrible tale this pine, once a tall, stately mon arch of this locality, could have told had its language been understood by men! Now this young stranger, whose name was unknown to the spectators, was dragged underneath its form, which stood drool?ing and listless in the still at mosphere of that fair day. Willing hands fastened about his neck one end of a long rope, fashioning with remarkable skill, considering the clumsiness of the fingers used to hard work, the han g man's noose. The free end of the line was tossed dexterously over the lower limb of the pine, which had been worn smooth at one place where many another rope had been run in times gone by. Men who seemed impatient to mingle in the affair caught upon the disengaged cord, and stood in readines5 to carry out the order of the sheriff. This officer, swinging his fiery horse about so as to face the scene, waved his hand, with a look of exultation upon his features, that were not bad-looking except for a deep flesh wound extending across his left cheek. This had started to bleed afresh, and the blood was trickling down the skin in half a dozen tiny streams. His words were superfluous. but h e evid ent1y found relief from his pent-up feelings by shouting: "Run him up, boys We must show the world that Skittymount does not sanction such cold-handed murders as this brute has committed." "Hangin's too good fer him," some one cried from the mob. "Give him a good fire." "The rope's more sartin," declared another. Though the men tugging at the rope did not heed the sounds, at that moment the clatter of horses hoofs broke upon the scene. In his excitement and exultation Sheriff Marks did not discover the approach of newcomers upon the scene. But those of the crowd who were cursing themselves because they had missed getting to the front, and thus having obtained a better view of the taking of a life for a life, now found something else to attract their attention. The keenest of perception quickly felt that possibly they were about to be close witnesses of something pos sibly as interesting as the scene in fi;ont. They saw three horsemen bearing down upon them like the wind that swept up at intervals from the salt plain below. They were coming in single file. In truth the foremost, mounted upon a noble-looking black horse, was several rods in advance of his nearest companion, while the third was as far behind this second. The black steed seemed to be hugging the very ground, though his feet scarce touched the earth flung out on either side in clouds of dust by its iron heels. The nos trils were expanded, the head outstretched, the mane and tail streaming in the air, while its dark sides were streaked with foam, showing that it had come far and fast. I ts rider, sitting in his seat with the ease and grace of a born horseman, had dropped the reins upon the horn of his saddle, and was guiding the flying animal by knee pressure. TI1e wind created by his flight lifting back the wide rim of his sombrero, a youthful countenance was dis closed, fixed and firm set now. His eye was turned fixedly toward the scene under the pine. He had unslung from his back his rifle, which he held in his hands ready for instant action. The second of the oncoming riders was of slighter build; the yellow locks flying in the air proved him to be Bud Morgan. Behind him, both horse and man puffing like a por poise, came Ben Tremont. Before this time it is understood that the leader was


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 7 the young rough rider, who had ridden twenty miles in a little more than an hour, that he might reach this scene. With all his haste he had arrived none too soon. Finding that he showed no disposition to stop outside of the ring formed by them, the spectators retreated with wild cries, while Ted Strong urged his trembling horse into their very midst. / "Jumpin' sandhills !" yelled Bud Morgan, spurring his jaded animal forward in the track of his young leader, "this is what I call cavortin '--" But Bud did not finish his sentence. His overworked horse staggered as it followed be tween the human walls behind the young rough rider, and then, with a gasp almost human in its expression, reeled to and fro "Th' critter's goin' to tumble!" cried a bystander. Bud sprang lightly to the ground, but scarcely quicker than the horse dropped at his feet. CHAPTER IV. BIDDING DEFIANCE. "Hold!" thundered the young rough rider, sweeping the exciting scene with his eagle gaze, addressing the men at the rope. Already the victim had been lifted from the earth, and his face was fast assuming the ghastly hue belonging to one strangled. It seemed at first glance that Ted Strong had come too late. But his sharp command was followed by a yet sharper report of his rifle, and before the would-be hangmen could slacken their hold on the line had they been dis posed, it parted where it wouhd over the branch of the pine with a loud snap. The unfortunate young man drqpped instantly in a heap at the foot of the tree. The men tugging upon the other end of the rope, sud denly relieved of their burden, went headlong into a heap. Leaving them recover themselves as they might, the young rough rider swept the onlookers with his gaze, until his eyes rested upon the stalwari figure of Sheriff Marks. His lips parted with a smile at sight of this officer, while he said under his breath:' "It is he." Sheriff Marks quickl y recovered his self-possession, which had been slightl y rattled at the abrupt appearance of this new horseman. In a tone of thunder he cried : "What meddler are you who breaks m up o n h one t men in this unheard-of manner?" "The friend of justice," replied Ted, in a cle ar, rin g ing tone The cries of the crowd had become hushed as h e das h e d upon the scene, and the spectators now stared upon him in silent wonder. "Meddler!" shrieked Marks "Beware how you int e r fere with the work of justice. You have spoiled the b e st bit of rope in Skittymount. But it is still long enough for the neck of such an upstart as you." "I have saved an innocent life "You have played into the hands of a murderer. Men, he i s an accomplice of the prisoner; seize him." "The first man who moves falls in his tracks!" cried the deep bass of Ben Tremont, who had urged his over driven horse close to the side of his leader. The crowd remained quiet, with wide-opened mouths and ears. "Fire and furies!" snorted the officer, "how many more are there of them?" Ben had brought his firearm so as to cover the crowd to the back of the young rough rider, while the latter swept those in front of him. For the time being the newcomers indeed seemed to be masters of the exciting situation. Sheriff Marks glowered upon the audacious young stranger, but for the time seemed to have lost his faculty of speech. He gazed upon the young rough rider in what ap peared to be a dazed manner. Twice he lifted his hands to his eyes as if he would brush away something which had come between hi s vision and the object seated so calmly upon the black horse flecked with foam, and which stood quivering from its recent exertions. "You know me, Marcus Nerrio?'' demanded Ted Strong, enjoying the utter amazement of the other. His words aroused the officer, who exclaimed: "The young rough rider!" "At your service, Capt Nemo." "Liar!' fairly hissed the sheriff, "I am not the man you claim I am "You are," retorted Ted, firmly. .. "I chall e nge you to prove it." "By the right hand of justice, Marcus Nemo, I will prov e "I defy you to do it." I --


I e 8 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. "More than that," went on the young rough rider, "I will prove you guilty of the crime for which you wete hanging this young man." "Fool!" retorted the sheriff. "I may be a fool, but I will outwit you." The young rough rider was no boaster, and he showed that he meant every word he said now. I The effect of this brief dialogue upon the cr-0wd, fo l.lowing upon the sudden appearance of these st,rangers, was manifested in various ways. Some looked askance at them but remained silent. Others nodded their heads in approval, but the great majority watched and waited for a cue from Sheriff Marks to guide them in their action. "Up and at them, men!" cried the latter. "I know them of old as two of the worst bandits that ever in fested the country. See they do not escape, and our !ittle exercises this morning will have a treble interest." It was evident the sheriff had not seen the arrival of Bud Morgan, who, somehow, did not seem to be very active just then, when it would appear as if he was needed most. As the officer began to utter his bombastic command the spectators appeared as if they were about to obey, but the muzzles of those ominous rifles, in hands that showed they were capable of using them to a purpose, awed them into inactivity. By this time the young prisoner was beginning to rally, though his limbs were fastened so he could not rise to his feet. I "What is the charge against this young man?" demanded Ted, indicating the captive. "He killed a man just out of the city this morning." "An old man riding in company of his daughter?" Ted saw that the other started at this speech. "I know nothing of a daughter. But I caught him in the act of rifling the pockets of his vietim." "Then you did not see him kill this man?" "\Vhy, of course I did." "I am sorry to be obliged to contradict you, but you did not." "What do you know about it ?'1 "I saw the whole affair from the moment you rode upon the scene until you came back from the side--" "Up and at him, the dog!" fairly yelled the officer. "I never saw anything like this. I, Manton Marks, sheriff of this county insulted in this outrageous manner Shoot him, boys, if yo u can't do anything else I command it." "Why don't you do it yourself?" aoked Ted, coolly. The sheriff knew only too well that the slightest ment on his part would sign his doom. Worse than that, he feared the same fate if one of his men should be caught in the act of obeying his own command. Never had he been in a tighter place, when all the conditions, save one were in his favor That condition was the presence of that daring twain, who feared nothing. He felt confident he had the sympathy of the crowd, almost to a man. "How did you come by that gash upon your cheek ?" demanded Ted. "I-I got it from the branch of a tree as I rode through the forest this morning," stammered the other. "You will get something worse than that pretty soon if you do not surrender without further parley." Without relinquishing his "cover" of their leader, the young rough rider addressed the spectators in a loud, authoritative tone: "Citizens of Skittymount, you have been most wickedly deceived This man whom you have trusted and elected as your chief officer toward keeping the peace, is the worst enemy you have in the world. He is that infamous outlaw of Black Falls, Capt. Nemo !" This bold declaration, which the accused attempted to drown with his own words, was received with looks of incredulity. No doubt there were those present who disliked the sheriff, and were ready to accept the accusation of this youthful stranger at first hand, but they were in the minority, and thus remained silent. "I should like to know who you are?" said a tall, lan tern-jawed man near by. "I am Ted Strong, the young rough rider. You may have heard of me." Before any response could be made to this stalement on the part of the principal there was a sharp whirring sotind, while a dark object came flying through the air. For a moment it seemed to quiver over the head of the young rough rider, but before he could dodge its descent it settled about his shoulders, swiftly pinning his arms to his sides. Then, a furious jerk upon the line snatched him from his seat, and he was pulled to the earth in the twinkling of an eye


...:..Wtpt.; .. ; THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 9 CHAPTER V. THE CHALLENGE TO A DUEL. The announcement made by Ted Strong of his identity was robbed of the effect it would otherwise have had by this sudden attack bound him like a captive. The lasso had been thrown from behind him, and thus he had not seen the maneuver of the captor until too late. Ben Tremont had discovered the intention of the las soer, but his cry of warning to his comrade had come at the same moment of the bold movement, and thus did not save the young rough rider. Another person had meditated making the same sort of an attack upon Ben, but he suddenly found himself hurled forcibly to the ground, and his rope was dragged in the dust, while a shrill voice cried out: "Jumpin' sandhills hyur's a game two can play at. Down with yer homely mug afore I drive it into yer ugly head." Himself escaping the fate of his leader, Ben Tremont roused himself, and he began to thrash those around him with the fury of a cyclone. In a moment the giant had cleared a circle, and he had reached the side of Ted before the astonished inhabit ants of Skittymount could beat him back. Never had the; seen such an exhibition of skill and strength combined. A single blow from his sledge hammer fist would send an interfering assailant sprawl ing upon the ground. With eager strength he lifted others from his pathway as if they were babes. But so thick and fast did the aroused men push down upon him, that Ben soon found himself wedged in between living walls, and just as he had reached Ted, he was over powered. It seemed as if he must be crushed to a jelly, so furi ously did the mob fall upon him. A minute later both Ted and Ben were securely bound as prisoners. The cries of' Bud heard only a few moments before, as he fought tooth and nail on the edge of the crowd, had now become silent. From this the young rough rider judged he, too, had been taken a prisoner. "It looks as if I had blundered," he said to himself, ruefully, while he calmly surveyed his captors, who seemed intent on pulling him limb from limb. In truth I am not sure but tliis would have been done, while Sheriff Marks, or Capt. Nemo, looked down from his horse with a triumphant chuckle in his low laugh. I He showed no disposition to check the onsets of the spectators. "Reckon he won't be quite so bold in fooling me again," he muttered. "Hello! what's up now?" In the midst of this exciting scene a newcomer had !ap peared. He was a middle-aged man, of stout frame, and a reso. lute look upon his countenance. It was Mayor Lummy. "Stand back there, every one of you," commanded the mayor, pushing his powerful form forward through the crowd. Reluctantly the men fell back, so as to allow the speaker the privilege of reaching the prisoners. Sheriff Marks now addressed the mayor, who listened to his brief account of the appearance of the strangers, giving such a color to his story as suited his purpose, of course. "In my opinion," concluded the sheriff, "the only proper course for us to follow is to string them both up in company with the wretch I captured this morning." "Such proceedings may do in the case of the mur derer," replied Mayor Lummy, "but it <:an hardly do to hang two men on such slight suspicions as you hold, Marks." "Slight suspicions!" repeated the officer, with a toss of his head. "I pappen to know this precious pair, and a bigger couple of rascals haven't escaped the hemp." "Who are they, Marks? This one seems more like a boy than a man of the stamp you describe." "He's old enough to be the very incarnation of deviltry. He's the young rough rider, who has raided more towns than you can shake a stick at in half a day." "Kept himself pretty busy, then," remarked the mayor, while he continued to look closely at the prisoners. "He doesn't look like such a dyed-in-the-wool enemy of the peace. I never heard the young rough rider spoken of in such terms, though I am quite familiar with his name. "Let us go slow and safe in this matter, Marks. You may put him in the 'pen,' but he must not be treated to the rope until he has had a fair chance to show himself in his true light." Sheriff Marks uttered something under his bre ath only those near him heard, but consented to have Ted and Ben taken to the little stronghold where the inhabitants of Skittymount were wont to place their prisoners await ing trial. What became of them after trial is not so certain, foi::


IO THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. none of them ever returned here. But that is another story The young rough rider and his companions deemed it wise to remain silent, except that the former asked that he be allowed an interview with Mayor Lummy. He believed the mayor to be a man of honor. Some of the men, under charge of the mayor, were bearing the prisoners to their jail, when suddenly a great uproar was raised. This hue and cry was started by the discovery that, in the confusion arising from the appearance of the rough riders, the young man condemned to be hung had disappeared! 1 The short pieces of rope with which he had been bound were lying on the ground under the pine, but he had vanished. "The thongs were cut by a sharp knife," declared one, examining the fragments of the ligatures. "That shows he had help!" cried another. "Jades and witches!" fairly roared Sheriff Marks, "where have you idiots been? He must not, he shall not, escape. He can't be far off. Hunt him down or some of you shall hang in his stead." The sheriff urged his horse furiously through the crowd until he was under the pine, as if he was not satisfied with what the others had said. "It all comes of that infernal Ted Strong. By all the fires that ever burned, he shall never leave Skittymount alive!" A wild search for the missing man had already been started, but look where they might no trace of the young man could be found. Had the earth opened and swallowed him up he could not have disappeared more quickly or beyond the finding. Neither was Bud Morgan to be seen \Vhere it had stopped at the end of its long race lay his horse as it had fallen, never to rise again. The black mare ridden by the young rough rider, and the sorrel which had borne the heavy figure of Ben Tremont to Skittymount, had quietly slipped away, and were now peacefully clipping the short grass a short distance away. As the search for the missing man grew wider and proportionately hopeless, Sheriff Marks grew more furi ous in his rage. Finally he sought an interview with Mayor Lummy, to see if he coi.1ld not get that worthy's consent to letting the two prisoners hang, in place of him who had flown. But he found the mayor determined to stand by his first intention though he did promise that they should be put on trial early in the afternoon. Then the sheriff resolved to take matters into his own hands, but being careful not to oppose the mayor, whom he feared, though for what reason he could hardly tell. An hour later the young rough rider, while he sat upon a block in the center of his "pen thinking upon his situation, and wondering what would follow, he was visited by a coarsely dressed man, of a decidedly un favorable appearance. "From the sheriff," he grunted, handing Ted a slip of paper. This the young rough rider soon found contained a challenege to a duel. It was from Marks, couched in the briefest terms possible. At first thought Ted was inclined to treat the matter with contempt, unable to comprehend what such a chal' lenge at this time meant. Ben was confined in a separate apartment, but some prisoner in the past had managed to chip a hole through the log wall, and the big rough rider's eye was glued to this aperture now. "What is it, Ted?" he asked. "A challenge to a duel upon horseback from Capt. Nemo." "With rifles?" "No, revolvers." "Don't consider it, Ted." "I have half a mind to, Ben. It will let me out of this hole, and I am tired of staying here already" "Well, do as you think best." "Good! I am in for it." Turning to the messenger, he said: "Tell Capt. Nemo I am ready for him whenever he sends for me, only I am to have my own revolvers, which he was so kind as to take away from me a short time since." The man left the "pen" without a word, when our friends became curious to know how this new twist in affairs was to affect them. "Capt. Nemo is a dead shot," declared Ben, "and as quick as lightning with the trigger." "It will be my loss if I am not quicker," replied the young rough rider.


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. I1 CHAPTER VI. THE DUEL ON HORSEBACK. The suspense was of shorter duration than Ted /ad e: pected pefore half a dozen stout men came to escort him out to the single-handed combat. Sheriff Marks had evidently taken particular pains to spread the news of his anticipated duel with the young rough rider, for it seemed as if every inhabitant C'f Skit tymount had gathered in the clearing just abo,t the prison. With the coarsely dressed, unkempt men, were many women, and not a few children. These latter showed as much interest as their parents. Slightly apart from the crowd the sheriff, mounted upon his powerful bay, looked down with cool contempt upon the scene. The mayor met Ted at the door, saying to him: "Marks was determined to have his way, and he de clared there was a personal consideration to be settled between you and he," said Lummy. "There is," replied the young rough rider, "and if I have not lost the cunning of my hand this country will soon be rid of one of the worst cutthroats that ever in fested it. If I fall, for your own welfare, I want you to remember that that miscreant is none other than Capt. Nemo, your most dreaded enemy." "I heard you say so before," acknowledged the mayor . "A friend of mine has spoken of you as the sou} of hon esty, I do not know what to make of such a statement. I am free to confess that I have my suspicions in rt;gard to the honesty of Marks, as he calls himself. Look sharp to yourself, for he is no mean shot, and he rides the best trained horse in this country." "Where is my horse, good Black Bess?" "Not far away. I thought you might want her, as this is to be a duel on horseback, so I have sent a man to bring her in." "No stranger can do that," declared Ted. "However, Bess will not fail me." "How long are you going to dally there?" called out the sheriff from the distance. "I have got other business to look after, and cannot fritter away my valuable time upon this little affair." "Where are my revolvers and belt?" demanded the I young rough rider. "My time, too, is valuable. My duty is to look after the safety of that young lady car ried off by the miscreants of this Capt. N emo." The sheriff scowled, but made no reply to this bold speech. "Here are your weapons," said a red-shirted miner, elbowing his way through the crowd until he had reached the side of Ted, handing him his and belt. "They are jess as ye left 'em." The young rough rider took the articles from the hand of the other, and quickly girthed the belt about his body. He was in the act of doing this when a prolonged shriek came from the outside of the mob, and a great hubbub instantl:y arose. "Th' de'il take th' blamed brute!" cried a hoarse oice. I "I can't get near the onery creetur, let erlone bringin' her in. Ef she ain't broke my ankle, I've got a clincher thet'll lame me fer a month." The young rough rider looked up from a hasty examin ation of his revolver to see in the distance the dark form of Black Bess, feeding as quietly as though nothing un usual had happened. He gave a short whistle, sharp and clear, and before its note had finished the mare threw up her head, to come down toward tHe crowd at the top of her speed. Upon finding that she showed no signs of slackening her head long gait, the frightened spectators broke and fled either way with wild confusion, leaving an open path for Bess to swe(:p down to the side of her young master. With a shrill neigh of delight, she stopped abruptly beside him, to lay her soft head against his, while her lips moved, as if she was intent upon kissing his cheek. Her bridle had slipped from her head, but the saddle re mained upon her back. "Good Bess," said Ted, stroking her fine hair, "you would not desert your master." The noble horse whinnied her soft reply, which was un mistakably in the affirmative. The bonds had been taken from Ted's ankles before he had been removed from the prison, and now he sprang lightly into the seat upon the back of Black J&ess. "I am ready whenever you are," he cried, looking to ward the sheriff. will get you a bridle for your horse," offered Mayor Lummy. "Black Bess is easily managed without one," replied the young rough rider. "Are you ready, Capt. Nemo ?" "To the death!" gritted the other. "Fall back there, boys, but look sharp the young reprobate does not give you the slip. He is a tricky dog."


12 THE YOU N G ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. I T hen the young rough rider spoke what was upper most in his mind : "I wish to know, Mr. Sheriff, what is to become of me in case I come out first best in this duel? It is not of my seeking, and I demand my freedom in that case." "Which is perfectly fair," said the mayor. "B ah! That does riot matter to me! retorted the officer. "You have insulted me, and I have given this challenge that I might personally wipe out the words you have so impud e ntl y flung in my face. I ask no unfair advanta ge of you, and am willing to take my chances in a sq'14are stand-up fig ht. I am tired of;this delay." "I shall look to you, Mayor Lummy, for protection, in case I am successful in this fight," said Ted. "It is to be no boy's play." "Clear the way for us! cri ed out the sheriff. "Too much time has already been lost. I have a lon g ride be fore me." "You will n eed no horse to take you there," said the young rough rid e r under his breath. "Now, Bess, be have your prettiest." In reply, the intelligent mare laid her slender ears back upon her head, and turned lier soft, large eyes upon him for a moment. The crowd was beginning to fall away, and as a path was cleared for th em, the duelists rode a sllort distance toward the open country, where there was plenty of room for them to move. One of the spectators stepped forward, saying: "Youngster, you are to ride along the ridge there while the sheriff will stat io11 hisself off to the right. You are to sit on yottr horses, back to each other, wheel about face at the word 'three,' as I coun t and immediately-begin to fire. Each man is to keep up his fire until his game falls, or his cartrid ges give out. Do you understand?" "I do, even to the fac t that my position will bring me directly in the range of the sun." "Reckon th' sun ain't bad fer ye as will be th' sheriff's bullet. Git int e r posish, boys." The last sentence was spoken in a loud, authoritative tone, and Capt. N emo, as I prefer to call him, dashed forward to the posi tion selected for him. If he moved with less appa r ent haste the young rough one of them, had fallen awa y to a considerable distance, and now s t ood anxiously awaiting the result. As has been indicated it was now past noon, a beautiful afternoon, while the sun shone upon one of the most rugged scenes to be found in the West. On one hand rose an irregular range of mountains, broken at intervals by huge rents between the massive columns, rising to ward the blue dome o verhead, "gigantic sentinels, dis c ours in g to the sky." On the other hand, at the base of this picturesque town of Skittymount la y the salt plain described, while beyond, rising like a shadowy levi a than of the mid air stre tched a long line of highlands, the southern extremity completing idea of its being ,a mighty creature at repose there by having the s hape and abrupt termination of a massive head, while the opposite end helped to make up this illusi o n by ha ving the single ridge of mountains divided and spreading out like the tails of a pictured mon ster. The town now presented a deserted appearance, only an occasional pedestrian being seen upon its long main street, with here and there some person looking out of an open door of the buildings, as if he was trying to get a view of the stirring scene being enacted upon the duel' ing ground. He who seemed to have taken it upon himself to act as second in the affair, though he had been selected sometime since b y Capt. N emo for that purpose, had stationed himself at what he considered a safe distance, and stood ready to give the signal. "Both ready?" he called out. "Ready?" r ep lied Capt. N emo. I "Ready!" re spo nded the young rough rider, in a clear, ringing voice, which cut the air like a two-edged sword, and was heard to the furth es t limits of the grounds. As distinctly as he spoke, another clear voice suddenly rang out, following closely upon his words: "Look sharp, Ted! The bullet has been taken from yer cartridge !" It was Bud Morgan who spoke, and he shook his right arm excitedly as he shouted the warning. If Ted heard him, he did not display any such knowledge. The man who seemed to be running the duel had begun rider was at bis post before his rival. As he had fore -to count off the fateful numbers: seen, he was brou g ht directly into th e focus of the westering sun Howev er, he said nothing of this The by standers, fearing that some strny shot might hit "One--two--" "] umpin' sandhills He's a goner!" cried Bud, run ning toward the scene of the combat wildly.


0 I THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. A breathless silence hung over the s pe c tat o rs C a pt. N emo held a tig ht rein upon hi s nervous horse with one hand, while the at.her grasped tightly the deadl y revolver. Those who were near enough to get a good view of his dark features saw that they were overspread with a grim smile. Bud Morgan' s startling exclamation caused him t o glance anxiously in that direction, but he was quickly on his guard again. The young rough rider at in his seat, erect arn ; l calm, while Black Bess quivered in every limb, as she seemed to realize that something desperate was to be expected of her in a moment. Ted' s knees rested lightly again s t her sides. With a slow, measured tone, the counter went on-"Three!" CHAPTER VII. A WILD RID E FOR LIFE. The fatal word fell upon a d ead silence. And its closing sound had not died away before the young rough rider touched the right side of his faithful mare. Had she been standing upon a pivot, she could not have turned about quicker. The bay ridden by Capt. Nemo less nimble ca m e into positi o n a moment late r, thou g h he had started to wheel about face of Ted. In fact, he had started before the counter had half spoken the last word. Confident that he had his contestant at odds, he moved then with more leisure than he mi ght otherwise have done. As it was, in the flash of an eye the powerful bay was rushing toward the young rough rider. With mighty bounds, Black Bess was leaping to meet him, Ted holding his fire until he was near enough to feel sure of his shot. On toward each other SP.ed th two

14 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. ti on, realized that the words of the terse vivid speaker carried great weight with the spectators, whom, it could be seen, had a strong friendship for the outlaw 1 who had so shrewdly imposed upon them. The speaker, whose name proved to be Sparks, claimed that the young rough rider had fired before Marks, which was quite true, owing to his quicker motion But when he said Ted had done this before he had begun to count his third number, he knew he lied. It was possible the crowd, in its excitement, did not know this. At any rate, those who were behind the young rough rider advanced closer about him, so in a moment he was quickly surrounded. As Ted glanced over the rough-visaged, unfriendly faces upturned to him, he comprehended his danger, still he gave no thought to retreat. He was sure that if he should escape, as he felt confident that he could, Ben Tremont would suffer the consequence. Rather than let his friend do this, he would remain a prisoner if neces sa ry, and abide his time. Mayor Lummy had disappeared, but for all that he felt confident that the latter would see that fair play was given him. Thus, as the men to come nearer with threat ening movements, he cried out sternly: "Hold where you are. If I have killed the man you call Marks, I did it in fair fig ht. But I do not believe he is dead, or even seriously injured. If my ears did not de ceive me, my bullet struck a hard surface a steel plate worn by your big boaster. "But, if you will promise me fair treatment, I will sur render without resistance. What do you say?" "Give the younker a chance !" some one cried "Give him all the fair play he shall want!" said an other. Sparks added his agreement to what the others said. Without waiting for further words, the nearest of the citizens of Skittymount pushed forward to finish their capture. "I do this only upon the condition that I am allowed fair treatment, declared Ted, as he let the man take him into custody. He had dismounted from Black Bess, and stood beside her, when the lead e rs of the mob seized him with un neces sa ry violence, to lead him away. A couple of the gang, seeing such a fine-looking horse standin g quietly where her master just left her, stepped forward to take possession of so valuable an animal. But the hand of the foremost was only reaching for her head, when the agile creature reared and struck at the men with such force and precision that they were sent heels over head a rod away. Then her heels swept the scene on the opposite quarter, and half a dozen men were sent to the g round in a huddle. Before either of the parties could rall y sufficiently to stop her the black mare sped from the scene a furious pace, quickly getting beyond the reach of the crowd A dozen shots were fired at her retreating form, but she escaped them all, and a moment later was beyond danger. "Let her go," said one. "She's an ugly brute, anyway." The young rider smiled as he witnessed the feat of his faithful mare, but did not speak to check her flight. So Ted Strong was taken back to his prison without any forcible resistance on his part. As he was thrust into the small apartment, and the heavy door closed behind him, he saw the face of Ben pressed against the small aperture between the rooms "What, back again?" asked Ben, in surprise. "For the time, Ben." CHAPTER VIII. E X C I T I N G S C E N E S. Of course, Ben was anxious to know what had hap pened to his friend since they had separated, and Ted related, in a few words, which was his practice when speaking of his actions the particulars of his duel with Capt. Nemo. "It would be a blessing to this community if you killed the reckless hound." "I am well convinced I did not, Ben. Still, I do not think that was any fault of mine, for I took good aim. He had on a steel plate, I am sure, for I could hear the bullet when it struck. Possiliily I sort of stunned him, but by this time he is up again." "And the deep-dyed rascal had extracted every bullet from your weapons, Ted?" "Every one; but I never take any chances in such a game. I had barely time to exchange one cartridge. You know, I always carry a reserve supply tucked away where it would be least likel y to be found." "Many a good turn has this forethought served you, too, Ted. Ah, you are a deep one. I have profited by


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. I5 some of your cunning, I flatter myself. But; as long as the duel was on the square, as far as you were cdncerned, why have you been rearrested?" "Some of the inhabitants of this precious town; which is about as mixed up an affair as ever I ran against, claimed I had fired before the signal." "Theman was one of Capt. Nemo's followers." "Of course. I expect he has many of th em in town. They think to make a muss of this matter until they have run you and I to earth. The mayor seems to be a likely sort of a man, arid I based my dependence on him in giving myself up again. I thou ght it would be better than trying to get away, especially as I had got tb leave you here to their mercy. I have always noticed that this running away is about the weakest thing a man can do." "That's so. .Do you suppose this infernal captain will come out to lead the rabble on?" "No; I think his plan will be to keep in the background until we are out of the way." "Just so. Where do you think Bud is?" "Lying low somewhere. I'll warrant you he isn't far away." "And that young man we managed to save from the halter'' "Probably with Bud. That is, if he is a person with any sand in him." "What connection do you think he had with the old man and his daughter?" "A friend, perhaps-perhal)s a stranger to them, who happened along at a most inopportune time for him. "Hark! What means that commotion outside?" Both of the prisoners had noticed during their con versation that there was a growing tumult around the prison pen. The heavy tread of men on sentry duty, walking back and forth, one on either side of the build ing, had now been drowned by the louder outcries of the crowd. There was one window m his room of the "pen," set high up in the rough wall, and hither Ted hastened. By thrusting his toes sharply in between the crevices in the woodwork, he managed to pull himself up so as to get a view of the surrounding scene. It was an exciting scene upon which he gazed. In the short int e rval the inhabitants of this half-wild town had rallied about the place, some of them drawn hither by an insane desire to wreak vengeance upon this bold stranger who had s hot down their leader. Others came; as men will, to become witnesses of such warlike scenes as have too often disgraced the world's history, when intelligent men, led on by those of greater brutal instincts have committed deeds of lawlessness in the fancied belief that they were meting out the aims of justice. was now the acknowledged leader of the mob, and he was addressing those around him with inflammabl e words of passion against the prisoners. his t erse, swordlike pointedness, he told them how the young rough-rider had taken advantage of the sheriff, and shot him down in cold blood. His words were received ith wild cheers from those in sympathy with him. But Ted Strong heard some one from the rear call out: ''iMayor Lummy promised the chaps a fair trial!" Then another in the distance replied : "The mayor has been shot!" "Then it was done by one of the friends of this pair of desperadoes!" cried Sparks, boldly, prompt to take advantage of any twist in affairs that might redound to the benefit of his untlertaking. "No doubt the town is surrounded by such despera does!" This startling suggestion ran over the mob like a flash of fire. The young rough rider and his companion, for Ben had climbed to a window in his apartment and was watching the scene with intense interest1 realized at once that they were in deadly peril. "Our only safety is to finish this pair as quick as we can, and then fortify the town," declared Sparks, though how he was going to do the last he did not stop to ex plain. "We must get out of this, Ted," said Ben, leaving his outlook, and returning to the little opening in the wall between them. "Right, old fellow, and it must be done speedily, too. "I am glad now I did what I thought might be a mis take," said. Ben. "What was that?" "Well, while you were out fighting that one-sided duel, I began to dig down under these timbers that make this wa ll, when I found an ax imbedded in the dirt. No d oub t it was left by some one who was a prisoner before we came. "At any rate, I u sed it to such good advantage that I have cut away the wood around the iron bars across my window, and they only _hang by little shreds of wood.


16 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. You see, I was getting ready to leave this place as quickly as possible in case anything happened to you. "Now I will pass this ax through this hole, so you can s e rve your fortifications in the same way." "Goo d Ben. Send along the ax. It was a wise fore thou ght on your part." A little later the young rough rider grasped the t o ol with a firm hand, believing it would prove ;i. powerful in strument toward their escape. Then, while the noi s e and confusion outside continued to increase, he began his work of cutting away the iron bars, whose ends were imbellded in the woodwork form ing the frame of th,e window. He worked as silently as he could, not caring to let the crowd know what he was doing. But the wood was hard, and he made slow progress in his undertakin g The height of the window, too, made it difficult for him to give a square blow. While he was doing this, Ben kept a watch upon the movements of the mob. "Don't spare the ax!" he cri e d in a little while: "They are getting ready to bring us out. Some of the hounds have brought forward a coupl e of mules. They have got plent y of rope-enough to halter the whole abominable gang. I would like to have hold of the end of a rope that was hitched to half of them. That sharp talker has got them fired up to white heat. How are you coming on, Ted?" "Got one bar free; another nearly so, and the third will soon be loose. "Go od! They are starting for the door." "Do you see anything of Black Bess?" asked the young rough rider, as the second bar fell away from its socket and dropped at his feet. A moment later, Ben replied: "No; she s nowhere to be seen. Here come the hot headed fools I have wrenched away the bars across my window, and I shall rap over the head every man who tri e s to enter here let him be who he will." The young rough rider plied his blows with renewed e n e r gy, regardle ss of an y s o und he mi ght make. "It ma y h ave been better if I had tried the door," he thou g ht, as the third bar showed signs of loosening. At that moment a furious pounding came upon the door. "They are coming in cried Ben. He had barel y finished this brief announcement, when the third bar dropped at Ted's feet. Only one remained. "Great Scott!" exclaimed Ben. "I do believe there is Bud Morgan in the distance. I should know that dancing among ten thousand." "Bud never failed us yet," said the young rough rider, though he spoke more to himself th a n his companion, he bent every purpose of his toward clearin g the window. "They don t seem to have the key to the door," cri e d Ben, who was kept about as busy as it was possible with watching the proceedings "Yes, it is Bud, and he has some one with him, but he can never get near enough to help us out of this fix. By Jove, Ted I believe it will be our last! "Ha! here comes a man with a key. "Jingo! how Bud swings his hat, and jumps about. He is trying to signal to us. Ha! I read it. "Black Bess is somewhere there, near him. So is my horse. I think he wants you to call to her ." Just then the last bar fell away from the window above the young rough rider s head. If busy every moment, not a word from Ben had es. caped his ear. Now he caught upon the rough ledge of the window and pulled himself up, so his head appeared at the aper ture. As he did this, he gave utterance to the clear, sharp whistle with which he had called his faithful steed to him during critical occasions in the past. As he did this, his eye swept the wild scene with a swift, comprehensive glance, discovering in the distance the active Bud Morgan and two loose horses near b y At that moment the sharp click of a key turning in the lock came to his strained sense of hearing. Then another sound fraught with far more pleasure, came to both of the anxious listeners. It was the thrice-welcome reply of the noble black steed, in response to the call of her master. Who can describe the scene that followed that shrill neigh, human in its intonation, and the depth of its thrill ing accents ? Never had Skittymount witnessed such an unexpected and exciting experience. Never will it be repeated in that rugged hamlet, where it is still talked over and com mented upon. Those upon the outside of the mob have yet a faint comprehension of hearin g the clatter of hoofs shod wit h steel; of seeing a dark form rise beside them ; of feeling


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. sharp b lows up o n their h e ads and b o die s ; of being furi ou s l y da s h e d as ide, as if an av a lan c he h a d struck th e m Some s a y Black Bess rose like a meteor and sprang c o m p l e tel y ov e r the outside of th e human wall. Striking th e ground in the midst of the crowd she kept on knock i n g those asi d e l ik e cobwebs who were not quick enough t o clea r h e r w a y It may b e so. Certa i n l y s h e m owe d a w i de s w a t h from the extreme outside dow n t o the p ri so n wall, and s h e did it in s o s h ort a ti m e t ha t th e ma n w restin g a t t he doo r h a d no t r e m ove d th e key fro m i ts socke t b efo r e h e found him s elf con fr o n te d by t h e foa min g, s n orting, liv in g e n g in e of wrath and destructi o n. He sudd e nl y c eas ed hi s e ffort s, and retreated with the: terrified rabble. Close upon the heels of Black Bc;!ss followed the power ful hor s e bel o n g in g to Ben, it s head lift e d hi g h in th e air, w hile it gave vent to wild s norts of fie ndish delight under the swa y of mad excitement. Now, Ben to horse! shouted the young rough rider. As he uttered the words, he raised himself to the win dow and half of his bod y was thrust through the aperture before his speech was ended. The next moment hi s agile fig ure dropped down upon the broad back of his black steed, that had stopped di rectl y beneath. Black Bess tossed her head, guiltl e ss o f a bridle in glad recognition of her beloved master, and it did not need the sli ght touch of the latter s kn e es a g ainst her quiver in g sides to urge her to leave the dangerous place. Sparks had been overturned b y the wil d onset of his follo w ers as they surged back out of the pathway of the oncoming horse, but he had recovered himself by this time. Seeing that his v ictim was likel y to escape, he shouted: "Don' t let him get away! Shoot him as you would a dog!". A dozen shots were fired which endangered the spectators more in reality than they did the fugitive. "Up and at him!" y elled the infuriated ruffian. "Shoot, every man of you! Riddle him with lead!" This appeal was more effecti v e than the other, inas much as a volle y of bullets stormed the wall o f the prison some of them barel y missin g the young r o ugh rid e r, who had pull ed a pai r o f de rringer s fr om hi s b oo t l egs and wav ed the se ove r hi s h e ad If Ted Strong had been so successful, Ben Tremont was in a tight place. A tight place in more wa y s than one! It proved that he had. mi s c a lculated upon the size of the aperture, or that o f h i s pow e rful b o dy, for b e for e he wa s halfwa y through the o pening h e found himself held fast and firm. Strug gl e as h e mi g ht, h e could not get throu g h Amon g th e s ho we r o f bull e t s sent again s t the wall of the build i n g, several struck unco mfor t abl y near to him. One cut a way a l o ck o f his h air, a nd another clipped the low e r p art o f hi s e a r, so th e bl oo d trickled down his neck. Lookin g back o ver th e exciting s c e ne, the young rough rider quickl y s a w the pre dic a m e nt of his friend. Without he s itation he w heeled Black Bess with a touch of hi s k nee, an d d as h e d s m a rtl y upon the scene. Before his furi o us advanc e the m o b a g ain fell back in spite o f the frantic cries o f it s madd e ned leader. A t th a t m o m ent, t oo, new act o r s we r e ru shing upon the sc e ne, adding to the excitement of the babel of cries and tumult. In the confusing outcri e s rang the familiar exclama ti o n Jumpin s andhill s and ove r th e h e ads o f th e fri ghte ned s pectat o r s stre am e d in the air the long, yellow hair of Bud Morg an, lik e th e m a n e o f a lio n. B d held in either hand one of hi s formidable Colts, ( and the ringing report of th ose d ea dl y we ap o n s ran g on the air. In the path of this dou ghty rou g h rid e r followed a stranger, a young man with cle a r-cut f eatu r e s, an d an air of victory in the li ght of his count e nance and th e movements of his body and limbs. He, too, was mounted and armed a nd together the twain rode a whirlwind upon the g round. "Back, Ben, and out of the do or!" cried the y oun g rough rider. "It is unlocked now. We will hold the mob at bay." CHAPTER IX. A RIDE FOR LIFE' S SAKE. B y this tim e Bu d and hi s c o mpanion were at hand. J umpin s an d hill s !" cri ed th e firs t. Isn t t h is like old times? Come o n y e r h ow l i n wo l v es, we"re onl y t o o gl a d to m e e t ye r: Wal k ri ght up an' take yer me dicine like men. T his a in t e n y ha l fway s h ow, bu t it wa lk s right o ve r enny th i n g Buffie r :8ill u ndertook. H ow' s thet for s hoot i n ?" Bud accompanied his w ord s with a shot which flew


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. through the headgear of Sparks, and caused that re doubtable villain to jump so high in the air that if he had performed the feat an instant before he would have swallowed a bit of lead that might have finished him. In the meantime, Ben was following the advice of the young rough rider, and was doing his level best to wrig gle back out of the hole j nto which he climbed with such high hopes of escape. By dint of hard effort, he soon managed to b.reak away from the jaws holding him like the jaws of a vise. Taus, before the temporary lull in the scene had been broken by another outburst of the volcanic element ruling the mob, he dropped upon the earth floor in a heap. Quickly rallying, knowing every moment was valuable, he reached the door and flung it open His appearance there was the signal for the onlookers to awaken to the situation, and another series of outcries awoke the silence of the moment, ringing far and wide over the town. Ben's horse had not left the scene, and with an agility one might not have looked for in his stout figure, Ben Tremont swung himself into the saddle of his horse. Picking up the reins lying upon the animal's withers, he prepared to follow in the tracks of his young leader. Seeing there was no need of longer delay, the y iung rough rider spoke a single word of command to his..4aith ful steed. Black Bess, pricking up her ears, neighed softly in reply. The next moment her dark form straightened, and sh' shot forward with the speed of an arrow sent from a huge bow. Close upon her heels followed the 11.orse rid den by strong Ben Tremont, who had snatched a pair of derringers from his boot legs artd was holding them over his head, as he turned half backward to face the crowd, as they retreated. Behind him came Bud Morgan, mounted upon a fleet footed gray horse he had up since He had parte1d with his friends. In his 1lar rode the stranger, well mounted, and ncit in the least intimidated by the danger environing them. Volley after volley from the amazed mob sped after them, and a hot pursuit was begun. But the bullets failed to strike the targets for which they were intended, and the wild commands of Sparks failed to the pursuers to impor tance of their work that he felt. The crowd parted before the wild pace of Black Bess, and Ted Strong, who really had no desire to shoot among those where he knew were many innocent lives, refrained from shooting as as he felt he could safely do so. Soon the stragglers of the were pa ssed, and, striking into the open country, the bold young rough rider breathed with renewed joy to find that the danger was over for the time. Still, he allowed his noble steed to keep on and on, though he did slacken her mad gallop to that easy lope so characteristic to her, and which en abled her to move ahead at a swift gait without any apparent effort. Ted's companions followed close behind him, no one offering to speak, those in the rear waiting for their leader to make the first remark. Soon after leav ing Skittymount, the young rough rider found himself in the valley of a small mountain stream running toward the east of the town. Crossing this narrow stream, he soon began to climb one of the first of the tieries of benches of the 'country that led to the ridge of highlands overlooking the plains. The sure-footed Black Bess ascended this broken way with easy pace, and when, a minute later, she reached the level p.ath leading along in a parallel course to the valley, she continued her journey with evident delight. Under the shadows of a clump of trees growing above the fringe skirting the descent at their feet, the young rough rider drew rein. From the holster of his saddle he had before this taken a pair of Colts, to replace those still in the hands of Sparks and his confederates, a smile lighting his counte nance as he heJi:l the trusty weapons in his grip. "Seems good to be armed like a man again," he remarked to Ben, who reined up beside him. "These derringers are all right in case of an emer gency, and I am not going to at them, after the serv ice they have done me. But in the work ahea I prefer to have them out of sight, and something more in hand. "How do you feel, Ben?" "A little sore around the ribs, where I got purtctured by that narrow opening they called a window. What in the name of humanity they want to build such a little opening that disgraces the name of window." "Or a hulky body, that' was irttended to crawl through the needle's eye," said the young rough rider, laughingly. "Jumpin' sandhills !" ejaculated Bud joining


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 19 his companions. "I never see sich an up an' down beast "Then you are willing to try and help me save her?" as this. 'Tain't much like the leetle boss I rid over the asked Burroughs, eagerly. salt plain on. Poor creetur twere too much fer it." "We are always ready to lend a helping hand where it "You seem as chipper as ever, Bud," greeted Ted. "Great buffiers !" he bega:J, but it does me good is needed. So you have no clew in regard to her fate?" "Not so m uch as you know. I believe that officer to be to see yer two safe and sound ag'in. Onc't I give in thet a villain of the darkest kind." yer was a-goners." "You are not far from right," said Ted Strong, with a "Where have you kept yourself, Bud?" smile. "Hangin' round, to be handy when I was wanted. "Mr. Morgan has told me who you are, Mr. Rough Reckon I weren't fur behind the lighter." Rider, and I wish to say that I have heard you spoken of "No; Bud; I can always count on you. Who is this in the highest terms. I--" you have with you?" indicating the young man, who now overtook the others, and halted in front of them. "The s ame chap we found in the halter. I pulled him away, when the crowd was busy introducin' itself to you 'uns. He seems like a respectful sort of a chap and I'm not very much ashamed to train with him. He's got a leetle yarn to spin, when yer feel like hearin' it." "Thanks !" broke in the young rough rider, modestly; let us talk business. There is a subject quite as interest ing, pointing toward the valley at their feet, as he spoke. CHAPTER X ON THE TRAIL OF THE FOE. "Does it concern the old man and his daughter, w ho were so foully dealt with this morning?" The companions of the young rough rider were sur I "It does, sir," replied the young man, addressing the young rough rider. "My name is Sumner Burroughs, and the gentleman killed by that red-handed sheriff was John Jameson, the father of my affianced wife, Gertrude Jameson. "They were on their way to Skittymount, where I was to meet them. Getting impatient over their comin g, I went out this morning to meet them, only to find Mr. Jameson lying on the ground dead, .and his daughter no where to be found. "While I was bending over him, trying to find out if there was not some life left in his body that sheriff rode up and arrested me for killing the last man on earth I would harm. "Of course, I tried to prove my innocence of the crime, but I was among comparative strangers, and nothing I could say had any weight against what the officer said. The result was they dragged me under that tree, and but for your opportune arrival and interference I sho uld have been put to death. It was a terrible ordeal. "But what could have becomt of Gertrude? 1\1r. Mor gan here has told me how you all witnessed the killing far off, and that you saw her taken away b y some horse men. "Vv e did," replied the young rough rider. "It was to go in her quest that I steered in this direc tion, when we might have escaped more easily by going to the south." prised to discover the forms of a body of horsemen com, ing up the valley at a swinging pace. There were at lea s t halt a dozen in the squad, and it could be see n that the lead e r was following a gait that puzzled his followers to maintain. "My hat against a pin," said Ted Strong, "that the foremost rider is Capt. Nemo." "Your most bitter foe," sai d Ben Tremont, a closer gaze upon the approaching rider. "J umpin' sandhills Ted's always right, declared Bud, beginning to unsling a firearm from his back. Handing thi s to his leader he said: "Mebbe ye'll need it by-'m-by." The heart of the young rough rid e r beat with mon fervor, as he was thus uncer emo niously present ed with his own rifle which had been taken from him at Skittymount, and which he had never expected to see again. "I picked it up for you," declared Bud, simply, without entering into the account of a fierce struggle and a risky adventt'.1re he had b een through in order to recover the prized weapon. "You are a whole t eam, and a hor se to boot," said the youn g rough rider, glad l y accepting the rifle and sling ing it across his back, while he held his revolvers in readiness for use. During this orief dialogue he had not allowed his gaze to leave the approaching horsemen, who n_ow ;within plain view, and sweeping ahead at a rattling pace. --l.


20 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. "They evidently have no idea that we are in this vicin ity," said Ted. "It is Capt. Nemo. Do you suppose he is going to his mountain den?" asked Ben. "That would be a natural conclusion. It is fortunate we took the upper bench. I could see the other was more traveled." Then, in silence, the four watched the approach of the outlaws, for such they were beyond doubt. Capt. Nemo, finding his ruse had not worked, had rallied sud denly, and, taking with him half a dozen of his most trusty followers, had ridden out of town upon the claim that they were going in search of the escaped strangers. Nearer and nearer came the party, until they were rid in g directly below our friends, who continued their watch faithfully. "How easily we could pick them off," said Ben, be ginning to finger his weapons significantly. "Better let them go their way now," answered "The hour of reckoning is not far distant. They seem to be steering directly toward the base of the lower moun tains. "1 do not believe we can do any bett;r than to keep along on this ridge, near enough to see where they mean to stop." Without waiting longer, the young rough rider moved ahead, Black Bess picking her way with a care which seemed to denote that even she realized the need of cau tion to be taken in their advance. Ted Strong's companions followed 111 his footsteps, though it was not possible for them to move with the ex treme caution which marked his course. Still, the distance down to the lower trail followed by Capt. Nemo was too great to give cause for any alarm over their presence being discovered from the soun d of their advance. The danger lay rather in the fact that at intervals! where the hedge of small growth was broken away, or had found too scanty sustenance to grow to any height, they were likely to be seen. Even this became largely removed from the fact that the outlaws moved with so much more haste that they were soon half a mile ahead of the four following in their course "It looks to me as if it were going to be a long road," declared the young rough rider. "In that case, it stands us _in hand to keep them in sight, though their trail may be easy to follow." "What harm would follow if we should get down to their path?' asked Ben. "This way is growing more and more difficult." "I have been thinking as you do. We will watch our chances, but I do not believe there is any haste in making the change." Without further conversation, the little party moved cautiously forward, with what speed they could, though it soon became apparent that they must lose sight of their object. This did not disconcert the young rough rider, who had allowed Black Bess to take her own gait in picking her way onward. But the faithful mare could not have moved with greater speed, under the condition of the route, had she been urged to her utmost. So the others often found it difficult to keep up, and twice Ted felt obliged to stop, in order that they might come up with him. In this manner was the journey continued, while the afternoon waxed and waned, until long shadows were thrown by the high mountains, and twilight settled upon the plains. An hour before sunset the young rough rider, finding a suitable place, descended to the smoother and wider trail, which had been followed by Capt. Nemo and his band. "I am afraid we have missed them," said Sumner Burroughs, in his impatience, feeling an unrest he could not shake off, lest they should reach their destination too late to accomplish the purpose upon whirl-i they were bent. "Capt. Nemo's hauf)ts must lie beyond here," replied Teel. "It is m y opinion we shall not have to ride as far as we have come to reach it, however." "God grant we shall not," murmured young Bur-roughs. 1 For another hour the four continued their ride, the mountains now drawing nearer to them, so that the valley presented the shape of a huge fetter V laid upon the land scape in an inverted position. -The stars were now thickly jeweling the sky, while there was the shimmer of light breaking over the moun tain tops, which is the forerunner of the-moon. But it was too dark to anything distinctly, and the black steed, ridden by their young leader, looked to the others like a moving shadow, leading them on into some unknown fate.


, THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 21 _/' Then this shadow stopped very suddenly, and it sniffed the air in a low but significant manne:-. Wondering what it meant, the others pushed forward beside the form of the young rough rider. "There is an ambush laid just above here," he whis pered "For us?" asked Burroughs. "It will be for us, if we run into it," replied Ted Strong. "Black Bess scented the fellows, or I might have been caught off my base." "It is probable then we are near the rendezvous of the outlaws," declared Ben. "No doubt of it. Now I am going to leave Bess with you, while I do a little reconnoitering." Slipping from the saddle, Ted lost no time in carrying out his intentions, while his companions remained per fectly motionless, to await his return. The young rough rider had not gone far before he found that he was coming to a broken place in the valley, where the rocks were covered wit? a stunted growth, the whole scene as dark as it could be without a moon. Used to such adventures as this during his experiences in the Philippines and Cuba, the young rough rider, carrying his weapons in hand, crept silently forward past rock and bush, and across gullies, until he judged he was near the spot where the outlaws were lurking, if he had not been mistaken in expecting them. Creeping now upon his hands and knees, he slowly approached the densest of the retreat, to stop in a moment at the sound of a human voice, saying: "D'ye hear enny o' 'em comin', Mike?" "Nary a click o' the nail. Mebbe they've turneCl back." "That would not be the young rough rider. No, they'll be 'long soon 'nough." "I hope they won't keep us waiting much longer. I'm hungry's a b'ar. "Better stop yer yop, or ye'll git a supper o' lead from the dogs we're waitin' fer. The young rough riders hev ears that can hear a mile away, I've been to!'," spoke up another. "Bah! Don't ye think, Gus Skinner, we kin hear their hoofbeats afore they git near 'nough to find us? Oh the young rough der is goin' to git ketched like a b 'ar atween th' jaws o' a steei trap, when he bucks up against Capt. N emo." "Mebbe so. But it looked blamed foolish to me fer him to send thet gal up hyur. An' why ain't he hyur to lead us?" "Courtin' the smile o' thet gal, I s'pose. She's harm some as a picter. 'Twas lucky the cap'n diskivered the ripscallions as he come erlong." "Well, I wish we were out'n this job, fair and square." "Shet yer jaw, Jake. Ain't ye got enny sand. 'Member thet time on the Divide--" "Silence, every man of you !" ordered a voice in the dis tance. "I believe they are coming." The young rough rider felt that it was time for him to return to his companions, though in doing so he made a detour, to find that it was possible fo( them to go around the ambuscade, so as not to give any suspicion to the others of their presence. Ted found his friends anxiously awaiting him, and when he told what he had learned they unanimously agreed {_o follow him around the outlaws, lying in am bush. .f-.11 dismounting now, _the men led their animals slowly forward upon this dangerous way, where they knew they were liable to be beset by the followers of Captain Nemo at any moment. CHAPTER XI. THE TIGER IN HIS LAIR. Five, ten minutes were consumed in this perilous ad vance, during which time the young rough rider had not spoken a word, nor any mishap occurred to check their orlward movements. Ted had calculated so well on the distance to go that they had not discovered any signs of the presence of an enemy. Under cover of the forest, where it was too dark to see any distance, their greatest danger had been from arousing their foes from some noise or disturbance they were likely to make. Fortunately for their object, the forest was clear of undergrowth, and the surface com paratively smooth. Now the young rough rider halted, standing by the side of Black Bess, while he tried to pierce the shadows ahead. "I think there is a clearing a short distance up the val ley," he whispered to Ben, who paused close to him. "Seems to me I catch the reflection of moonlight through the lower branches of the trees," said the latter. "Come on," ordered Ted, resuming his advance, his companions losing no time in imitating his example. In less than five minutes more the young rough rider again halted, and this time he stood under the edge of the forest, with a good-sized OEening ahead.


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. The scene he looked out upon, while his friends stood beside him in deep wonder, was one calculated to bring an exrression of surprise, if no stronger emotion, from the unguarded onlooker. It was nothing less than a collection of rude dwellings, looking more like border blockhouses than common lowed, as before, by his companions, who had explicit faith to think that he would carry out the most feasible plan possible. Not one of the quartet stoppe d to the odds against which they were pitting themselves, should it prove that the girl was a captive among them. houses, grouped here in this hidden retreat. This maneuver required half an hour's time, as it had Near the center of this odd collection of buildings to be done with extreme caution. But a spot to suit the making up a little hamlet under the mountain was one young rough rider was finally found, where the horses larger the others, and more pretentious, being of two stories and having glass windows. In the doorway of this abode stood the figure of a tall, clean-shaven man, a long rifle by his side, while he seemed to be occupied in watching and listening for some one. The muscles upon the beardless face of the young rough rider contracted slightly, as he whispered in a low tone to his companions : "Capt. Nemo !" "Do you suppose that this is his rendezvous?" asked Ben Tremont. "Looks like it," replied Ted. "It is a strongly built house, and those other buildings look as if they might prove strong defenses in case of an attack. "My faith, but the place is well hemmed in, and an ideal spot for such purposes as his." "I think this is Glimmerton, of which I have heard mention," said Burroughs. "Can it be possible that Gertrude is in this infamous den?" "We shall soon know," said Ted. "I think just now Mr. Nemo is looking for some sign of the work of his men. See how anxious he looks. It's too bad to disap point him of his sport. Perhaps it isn't the first time he has been disappointed." A deathlike stillness hung over the isolated village, though glimmering lights twinkled like stars from the different buildings, telling that they were occupied. "What next?" asked Bud Morgan, who was fingering nervously the stock of his firearm, while he gazed alter nately upon the stalwart figure of the outlaw in the open door. "I think we will leave the horses just back of here, under the care of Burroughs, while the rest of us recon noiter. a little, so as to get a better understanding of the situation. I think Nemo must have quite a force here, according to appearances." No sooner had the young Jugh rider given his direc tions than began to move into the deeper forest, folwere left in deep seciusion near the bank of the mountain river. A thick hedge of undergrowth skirted three sides, the fourth flanked by the steep bank of the gorge, at the bed of which flowed the torrent in uproarious glee. The yot1ng rough rider reasoned that by this time the party in ambush must have returned, and that the out laws would think they had failed to find their way so far up the valley. "No doubt they will keep a sharp lookout, but they will be less cautious here in their stronghold," declared Ted. "But that does not warrant us in relaxing our vigilance. "Remember, boys, we are about to enter the lair of the tiger himself-the worst desperado in these parts, if half they tell of him is true, and he has not lost some of his fierceness since last I met him. "Let us separate here. Ben, you follow closer down to the river. Bud, you keep in t?e deeper forest above here. I will take the center line of advance, and we will meet somewhere near the big house of the captain of this in famous band." The companions of the young rough rider lost no time in starting upon their respective routes, leaving him to advance stealthily toward the center of the small town, if the collection of half a dozen houses deserves such a name. Before he had gone far, Ted Strong heard the steady tread of a person moving slowly back and forth, like a sentinel on duty. Dropping silently upon his knees and hands, he crept along under the shadow of a low-walled building running out from the upper end of the main house, until he could hear the measured footsteps very distinctly. The man was marching slowly to and fro in the rear of the dwelling, from which came the sound of many voices blending in some noisy demonstration. Once the young rough rider was sure he heard a woman's voice, in a tone of supplication. He immediately became anxious to get within the build ing, in order to accomplish the purpose in his mind.


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 23 While he lay there in the darkness'? the tall, broad shouldered figure of the sentry loomed above him close at hand, as the man moved somewhat outside of his regular beat. The most conspicuous feature about him was an old army coat, with cape, that he wore, while his head was covered with a black, slouched hat. A minute later, as he stepped forward into better light, while he seemed to be looking hungrily in the direction of the building, Ted saw that, even if he wore a coat more than a third of a century old, he was a young man, his chin and cheeks covered with a prodigious growth of tawny beard. "Confounded strange," he muttered, "that Billy don't wh o sprang swiftl y forward with the a g ility o f a cat, and the next moment had borne the startled sentinel to the ground. Before he could give an outcry Ted's hand closed over his mouth. "Not a word or a move if you value your life!" hissed the y oung captor in the ear of his prisoner. "I shall not harm you if you offer no resistance, though I may have to handle you a little rough." The man seemed to understand, for he gave no further resistance, while Ted begai: to consider some means by which he could secure his victim. In this respect he was extremely fortunate, as the pris oner himself was provided with the very instrument decome. I'm 's hungry as a bear. I s'pose the rest are sired. feasting great." While the speaker was giving expression to his dis content, the young rough rider formulated his plan of action. This was nothing less than the bold p.roject of overpowering the man, adopting his role, and when the relief should come, go into the house in his disguise. To assist him in this purpose, he had in his pocket a set of false whiskers, which he believed ould pass in the night. The old army coat, which no doubt the sentinel had at some time taken from some old veteran of the Civil War, put on over his suit, would complete his outfit. With this purpose in mind, the young rough rider waited for the outlaw to turn his back, when he crept close down to the place where he had stood a moment before. There the young scout lay in readiness for his victim as soon as he should return from the lower end of his beat. It was not more than three or four minutes before the man in the faded coat of blue came slowly back to his former position, unconscious of the figure crouching in the shadows ready to spring upon him the instant his back should be turned. "Billy must come soon,'' he declared, under his breath, and then, as if to feast with hungry eyes upon the imaginary scene within the house, he wheeled about with the precision of an old soldier. This was the opportunity of the young rough rider, -Upon havin? him remove the army coat, the young rough rider found a stout cord in one of the pockets, which the outlaw carried for this purpose, though he hac\ expected to be the captor rather than the captive. With this Ted speedily bound him hands and feet. Then he fastened his handkerchief over his mouth to be sure he would not give an outcry. He had barely accomplished this work, when he heard some one approaching, whom he rightfully judged to be the relief expected by his prisoner. Hastily drawing on the old army coat his khaki sui and replacing his sombrero with the slouched hat wor:n by the outlaw, he took up his long, heavy gun. and began to pace back and forth. He had also been careful to drag his victim back into the shadows out of sight of any chance passer-by. "Hello, Dalton!" greeted the newcomer, as he ap proached, "get tired of waiting for me. Deuced great ti1J1e in the hall, and I was durned loath to leave, I will 'low. But your turn has come." Muttering over an inaudible speech, the young rough rider quickly accepted the liberty given him, and without further ado stalked slowly in the course from whence the other had come. Soon coming to the doorway, the door being slightly ajar, he stopped to look within the building .


24 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. He found that the whole interior of the structure on the ground floor seemed to be in one great room, that desig nated by the outlaw he had just left as "the hall." I --CHAPTER XII. A HARD CROWD. The young rough rider quickl y counted twenty men seated along the sides of a rough table piled with coarse viands, mainly the products of some recent hunt. At the head of the crowd sat the evil genius, Capt N emo, looking fiendi s h than ever before. Taken from him to his most decent looking follower, it was a hard crowd, not a man of whom would hesitate to cut a throat or betray a friend if personal safety de manded it. "Just in season, Dalton," commented the latter, with a nod toward him. "Now, Jones and Pluffer, bring in the queen of thi s feast, and the exercises shall not be delayed longer. I am as hungry as a beaver, and I know the rest of you must have good appetites by this time." At command a couple of the men near the lower end of the table left the hall ostensibly on the errand commanded by their leader. The young rough rider noticed that the chief was fre quently looking toward the opposite door, and he was beginning to speculate upon the meaning, when one of the gang shambled into the room. "Any news, Holt?" demanded Nemo. "Nope." "Any sign of the young rough ril:ler and his com-The room was poorly furnished, there only a few panions ?" plain stools, which were occupied now by the men lined "Nope." along the table. "Mighty queer where they could have gone. Has Not far from the outlaw chief was one empty, while near the foot of the row were two or three others still empty. Without caring to be brought into too close proximity to Capt. N emo at the outset, the young rough rider was about to enter and go to one of the chairs at the foot of Stanyari and his men gone to look after them?" "Yep." "And Steelyard is on guard at the ambush?" "Yep." 'Well, I don t know as we need to let the young rep rob9te spoil our supper by his absence. We'll find him the table, when he was surprised to see a big, hulking fel sure to-morrow. Ha! here comes the houri." low come stumbling in, to drop lazily into one of the Though carefully disguised, Ted was not long in rec ognizing in this newcomer his stanch friend, Ben Tre-_ montl had the true-hearted Ben become seated be fore another entered, reeling from side to side as he reached another empty seat, and sank into it with a mut tered exclamation of satisfaction Small of figure, but compactly built, his disguise did not conceal his identity from Ted. He was Bud Morgan. "The never fail to be on hand, though this is an -f. unexpected treat," thought the young rough rider. yYith these reflections Ted strode carelessly into the hali, and dropped upon the empty stool not far from : N eh10. The young rough rider only did what the others did when he glanced toward the lower end of the hall. Jones and Pluffer were returning, bearing between them a young woman of surpassing beauty whom Ted instantly recognized as Gertrude Jameson. She showed that she had been weeping, and now the two men had to almost entirely bear her weight, as she came with lln willingness into the midst of this motley company. At sight of her Capt. Nemo cried out: "Brace up there hussy. This is no time for tears. See the feast is spread, and you are an honored guest. Here, take a seat at my right, and cursed be the man who dares to lay a finger on you! Come, dry those eyes, for we want no whimpering kittens here." Jone s and Pluff er led her forward to the seat desig nated, and then returned to their former positions.


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 25 Capt. Nemo then seized one of the black bottles, of which there were several on the table. Knockin g cork from its long neck, he drained long and deep of the fiery contents. His men lost no time in following his ex ample, and it is safe to say more than one thirsty throat was made glad. O f course the young rough rider and his disguised c o mpanions had to do as the outlaws did in appearance, though they were careful none of the vile stuff passed down their throats. "Now lay to, hearties, and eat," commanded Capt. Nemo. "Let them say what they may over to Skitty mount of us they can t deny that we are good feeders. "Fire and furies I wonder how they are getting along without me. Then they must miss the genial mayor, poor fool! Tom fixed him at one lick, though I'm afraid the shot weren t the kind that kills. That's what I told Tom to deal out to him. At any rate, it answered a purpose for the time being. Just as soon as I get hold of the blamed young rough rider I'll be back among them in hi g her standing than ever. It's an ill wind that blows no body good." Capt. Nemo's followers were already busy devouring the food, our three rough riders finding this an easier task than drinlcing the black liquor, for neither of them had tasted food for twenty-four hours. But if the men could eat of the coarse viands, the beautiful captive, seated beside her captor, could not touch a morsel. Finall y Capt. Nemo discovered this fact, and with a l oo k o f ra g e upon his features, he shouted, using an oath not fit to be given here: "What are you sitting in idleness for?" "I cannot eat sir. Oh, take me back to the side of my r p o or, murdered father. I--" "Who talks of murdered fathers here?" demanded the "I cannot eat--" "Can t eat, eh? I'll \earn you how, if you never learned,'' and catching up a handful of the meat Capt. Nemo leaned over, to seize het about the body with his strong right arm, while he prepared to fill her mouth with the food. "Spare me-help!" shrieked the unfortunate woman, struggling to break away from his hold. A wild, uproarious laugh came from the amused spec tators, who stopped their eating to enjoy the "fun." The young rough rider had witnessed all he could in silence, and though his action was going to precipitate a crisis a little sooner than he had intended, it would not matter much. Springing to his feet he cried : "Unhand that girl, captain!" But Capt. Nemo paid no heed to this bold interfer ence, and he renewed his attempt to thrust the food into the captive's mouth. Without further delay Ted Stropg leaped forward, and with a well-directed blow fellec Capt. Nemo to the floor. Then wheeling smartly about, displaying a Colts re volver in either hand, he thundered: "The first man who lifts a finger falls in his tracks. Up and at work, boys !" In a moment Ben and Bud were on their feet, both armed like their young leader, the latter crying: "J um pin' sandhills this looks like bizness. Hi, there! Mister Coon, don't git yer head so high s to be in the way o' my bullets. I claim the hull upper half of this hall." One of the outlaws had attempted to gain his feet, but the shot from Bud made him change mind, so he lay down upon the floor. The y oung rough rider was already retreating toward o utlaw leader. "I tell you to eat. That's what we are the door, ai:id his companions fairly brushing aside the here for, not to bury carrion." "Sir--" Stop right where you are, miss. I want you to know th at I am master h e re, and I allow no man to brook my ;wo rd, l e t alo ne a woman." outlaws like so many flies, covered his retreat. Ted bore in his strong left arm the amazed and be wildered young woman, while with the other he contin?ed to threaten his enemies. So quickly was this daring maneuver performed, that


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. Capt. Nemo had not regained his feet before the young rough rider was out of tfie building, and Ben and Bud close behind him. "Up and after them!" yelled Capt. Nemo. "It is the young rough rider and his hell hounds. Shoot them." A volley of shots was fired, but the brave trio and their fair charge were beyond their range. In the midst of his flight Ted ran up against the sen try, who first challenged him, and then brought his rifle to bear upon him. So close was the outlaw upon them that it seemed certain either girl or her rescuer must fall. But Ted was too quick for the man. Clubbing his own weapon he sent the other reeling to the earth, where he was likly to lie for a good spell, though he was not killed. "They are upon our heels!" panted Ben, reaching the side of the young rough rider at this moment. "Back into the deeper forest," said Ted. "Faster, miss, if you want to get away from that crowd. We

THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. Miss Jameson was indeed reviving, and a few minutes later she was talking with her lover and new-found friends freely. "I can never forget that blow dealt poor father," she exclaimed. "Oh, that bad, cruel man, how I hate him !" "You knew him before you and your father came West?" asked the young rough rider. "Oh, yes ; I knew him in home near St. Louis, after we had come on from New York. He wanted me to marry him, but I refused him. I fairly loathed him then, and now I hate him. "A few day; ago, while in a small town twenty miles to the east of here, I was startled to meet him. He sp0ke civilly enough, and asked us where we were going. Be fore I could check father he had told him our plans, so he knew we were expecting to reach Skittymovnt at the time we intended this morning. "I can see now that he was planning that attack upon us for the double purpose of robbing father, and of carrying me off here. Alas! he succeeded only too well." "Only too well!" echoed Sumner Burroughs. "But you have me with you, and I will see that no further harm befalls you. If I had only been a few minutes earlier this morning I might have saved all." "Or fallen a victim yourself, for you know this terrible Nemo had three others to help him." "Let us not talk of that, dearest, but place our trust in these brave men, who I have no doubt will help us out of this trouble." The young rough rider decided that it would be best for them to remain in their concealment until the outlaws should become more quiet again. "I am quite sure they will not find us here. If they do we will show them the mettle of our arms. Lest we shall be taken unawares, I am going to look about a bit. Do not be alarmed if I am gone some time. In case I stumble upon danger I will signal to you with the cry of the cat." Without saymg any more Ted Strong, having cast the old army coat as of no further use to him at present, and put the false beard away in one of his pockets for another possible use in the future, started out upon his perilous mission. "You .had better catch a nap, Bud," said Ben, as soon as their young leader had left them. "I will take my turn by and by. I tell you no man can keep up forever without sleep." Without objecting Bud lay down upon the earth, and inside of three minutes was sound asleep. Sumner Burroughs begged of Gertrude to try and sleep but she declared nothing was further from her. She could not sleep. So, with the arm of her lover about her, while he whispered in a low tone such words of comfort and love as he felt, she in a measure forgot her situation and replied in the same cautious tone. In this manner, the silence of the night broken only by the voices of nature, the little party watched and waited for the return of their leader. He was so long in coming that Bud awoke, and Ben took his turn at napping. Sumner Burroughs and his sweetheart grew nervous over the long absence of the young rough rider, and wanted to leave the p lace, to see if they could not find their way s

THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. Burroughs and his companion going next. Behind them Ben and Bud were to follow. This was to be the plan until they had succeeded in clearing the here. But as soon as the river was crossed it was intended that the three rough riders should go ahead, as Ted feared the attack of a party of outlaws that he knew was abroad somewhere in that direction. Slowly and cautiously the little band of riders moved through the growth, keeping a good distance away from the hamlet of robbers, but so shaping their course that they would come out near the narrow bridge spanning the turbid mountain stream. So carefully did they carry out this portion of their plan, that the bridge was reached just as the clear light of day began to flood the valley "Hark)" whispered the young rough rider, "they are coming! Something has alarmed them. "Keep on across the river, and ride straight up the road.'.' The bridge was made of logs that were supported by stout chains, the whole a shaky affair and barely wide enough for a sure-footed horse to follow. More than fifty feet below tossed and foamed anci roared the turbid river its bed filled with huge bowlders, and its banks riven with seams and fissures. Altogether it was a wild spot, and a timid rider would be prett y sure to grow dizzy did he stop to look down. "Come on!" shouted Ted, as the cries of the outlaws rang louder louder. Gallant Black Bess caught the wild spirit of the occa sion, and her nostrils expanded and tail streaming in the air, she bounded clown toward the swinging, narrow structure spanning the deep gorge. Before the young rough rider was halfway across the swinging bridge, Capt. Nemo and two followers rode down on the opposite side! Black Bess stopped in the midst of the pas sage and Ted was off her back, and had leveled his rifle in an instant. It was a moment and a situation the fugitives would never forget. With the enemies rushing down upon them from the rear, and. their way blocked at this narrow, dangerous crossing by Capt Nemo himself, they truly seemed lost. But Ted Strong, the brave young rough rider, never flinched. As his most bitter enemy calling to his confederates to press down from the other side, drew his revolver to cover him, the young rough rider took quick aim wit h h i s rifle, held over the back of his black mare, and fired. Capt Nemo reeled back in his seat. Then, rallying somewhat, he fell forward with his arms hanging down beside the neck of his horse. This animal, seeing the path stopped ahead, wheeled with a snort of terror, and bounded up the road from whence it had just been driven, carrying the unconscious form of its master upon its back. "Follow me!" cried Ted, exu l tingly, springing into the saddle and spurring Black Bess forward, so she clea r ed the bridge at another bound. Before the amazed companions of Capt. N emo c o u ld recover their terror enough to defend t h emse l ves, t he young rough rider sent two shots into them, and the n sped up the road at a furious pace, l ooking back as he did S? to see if his friends were following him. Sumner Burroughs, so quick l y had t h e young ro u g h rider dismounted and regained his seat, had barely s l ac k ened the gait of his horse, and now rode bo l dly over the bridge, feeling the arms of the brave girl instinctive l y close smartly abovt him as they rode over the r ough flooring. But they were soon safely over, and Ben and Bud, after firing a few shots into the ranks of the outlaws i n pursuit, followed upon their heels. Disconcerted by t he fate of t h eir leader, the out l aws at the rendezvous did not give any very energetic pu r su it. In fact, as far as the fugit i ves knew, they did not fol low at all. Thus, two hours later, the little party rode into the town of Wiseacre with a feeling of safety. The young rough rider was disappointed in not finding any trace of Capt. Nemo, whether living or dead Though he had urged Black Bess on as fast as he dared, he did not think it prudent to outricle his companions, and so the big bay ridden by the outlaw escaped him. If Capt. Nemo lived or not, it was certain his vengeance had been averted for a time, and Sumner Burroughs and Miss Gertrrtde Jameson, finding a justice at Wiseacre, were married, and left their friends the next day with conside r ab l e reluctance. THE END. Next week's issue (52) will conta i n "The Young Rough Rider's Great Play; or, The Mad Ally of a V il lain." In it you will learn how the young rough riders encountered a band known as the Mojave Terro r s, and what came of it. ,.


.. . YOUNfi ROUfiH RIDERS WEEKLY 1-Ted Strong's Rough Riders; or, The Boys of Black Mountain. 2-Ted Strong's Friends; or, The Trial of Ben Tremont. 3-Ted Strong's War Path; or, The Secret of the Red Cliffs. 4-Ted Strong's Stratagem; or, Saving a Boy's Honor. 5-Ted Strong's Ride for Life; or, Caught in the Circle. 6-Ted Strong on the Trail; or, The Cattle Men of Salt Licks. 7-Ted Strong in Montana; or, Trouble at the Blackfoot Agency. 8-Ted Strong's Nerve; or, Wild West Sport at Black Mountain . Strong's Rival; or, The Cowboys of Sunset Ranch. 1e>-Ted Strong's Peril; or, Saved by a Girl. 11-Ted Strong's Gold Mine; or, The Duel at Rocky Ford. u-Ted Strong's Lawsuit; or, Right Against Might. 13-Ted Strong's Railway Trip; or, An Unsolved Mystery. 14-Ted Strong's Mission; or, Taming a Tender foot. 15-Ted Strong's Might; or, The Cross Against the Sword. 16-Ted Strong's Puzzle; or, The Golden Mesa. 17-TedStrong in the Chaparral; or, The Hunt at Las Animas. 18-Ted Strong's Forethought; or, King of the Mesa. Strong in the Land of Little Rain; or, Bud Morgan's Vengeance. 2e>-Ted Strong's \,Yater Sign; or, In Shoshone Land. 21-Ted Strong's Steadiness; or, The Cattle Rustlers of Ceriso. 22-Ted Strong's Land Boom; or, The Rush for a Homestead. 23-Ted Strong's Indian Trap; or, Matching Craft with Craft. 24-Ted Strong's Signal; or, Racing with Death. 25-Ted Strong's Stamp Mill; or, The Woman in Black. 26-Ted Strong's Recruit; or, A Hidden Foe. 27-Ted Strong's Discovery; or, The Rival Miners. 28-Ted Strong's Chase; or, The Young Rough Riders on the Trail. Strong's Enemy; or, An Uninvited Guest. 3e>-Ted Strong's Triumph; or, The End of the Contest. 31-Ted Strong in Nebraska; or, The Trail to Fremont. 32-Ted Strong in Kansas City; or, The Last of the Herd. 33-The Rough Riders in Missouri; or, In the Hands of His Enemy. 34-The Young Rough Riders in St. Louis; or, The League of the Camorra. 35-The Young Rough Riders in Indiana; or, The Vengeance of the Camorra. 36-The Young Rough Riders in Chicago; or, Bud Morgan's Day Off. 37-The Young Rough Riders in Kansas; or, The Trail of the Outlaw. 38-The Young Rough Riders in the Rockies ; or, Fighting in Mid Air. 39-The Young Rough Rider's Foray; or, The Mad Horse of Raven Hill. 40-The Young Rough Rider's .Fight to the Death; or, The Mad Hermit of Bear's Hole. 41-The Young Rough Rider's Indian Trail; or, Okanaga, the Cheyenne. 42-The Young Rough Rider's Double; or, Un-. m a sking a Sham. 43-The Young Rough Rider's Vendetta; or, The House of the Sorceress. FIVE 0:13(.NT& AT ALL OR FRO.l\cl'. .STREET en SMITH, 238 William Street, NEW YORK.


1 -Biii I I Containing the Most Thrilling Adventures of the Celebrated i I Government Scout "BUFFALO BILL" (Hon. Williain f. Cody.) I I 158-Buffalo Bill'' Cold Ch.,e; o,, Running 177-Buffalo Bill in Mo,.nci; o,, The Cat of the I Down Redskins on Ice. Copper Crag. 15<}--Buffalo Bill and the Timber Thieves; or, 178-Buffalo Bill's Dead Drop; or.The GhostThe Camp of the Secret Clan. Scout of Colorado. 16o-Buffalo Bill's Long Drop; or, Drawing 17

NICK CARTER WEEKLY THE BEST DETECTIVE STORI .ES IN THE WORLD 383-Kiduaped in Broad Daylight; or, Nick Carter on His Own Trail. 384-The Little Giant's Double; or, The World's Two Strongest Men. 385-The Secret Order of Associated Crooks; or, The Confederated Criminal Trust. 386-When Aces Were Trumps; or, A Hard Game to Play. 387-The Gambler s Last Hand; or, The Little Giant Wins Out. 388---The Murder at Linden Fells; or, The Mys tery of the Cadillac Needle. 389"-Mercedes Danton's Double; or, A Plot for Many Millions. 390-The Millionaire's Nemesis; or, Paul Roger's Oath of Vengeance. 391-A Princess of the Underworld; or, The Mysteril(US Burglary at Lakeview. 392 A Queen of Her Kind; or, A Beautiful Woman's Nerve. 393-Isabel Benton's Trump Card; or, Desperate Play to Win. 394-A Princess of Hades; or, The Reappear ance of Dazaar, the Fiend. 395-A Compact with Dazaar; or, The Devil I Worshiper's Den. 3g6-In the Shadow of Dazaar; or, At the Mercy of Vampires. 397-The Crime of a Money-King; or, The Bat tle of the Magnates. 3g8-The Terrible Game of Millions; or, Track-ing Down the Plotters. 1 399"-A Dead Man's Power; or, The Mystery of a Telephone Number. 4(JO-The Secrets of an Old House; or, The Crime of Washington Heights. 401-The House with the Open Door; or, The Double Crime of Madison Avenue. 402-The Society of Assassination; or, The De tective's Double Disguise. 403-The Brotherhood of the Crossed Swords; or, The Little Giant's Mighty Task. 404-The Trail of the Vampire; or, The Mys terious Crimes of Prospect Park. 405-The Demons of the Night; or, The Terrors of the Idol's Cavern. 406-The Captain of the Vampire; or, Smugglers of the Deep Sea. 407-A Bankt President's Plot; or, Three Vil lains of a Stripe. 4o8--The Master Criminal; or, With the Devil in His Eye. 409"-The Carruthers Puzzle; or, Nick Carter'SI Best Disguise. 410-Inez, the Mysterious; or, The Master Crim .. inal's Mascot. 4n-The Criminal Queen's Oath; or, The Diff e rence Between Two. 412-The Point ,of a Dagger; or, The Criminal Queen's Madness. 413-Doctor Quartz, the Second; or, The Great Freight Car Mystery. 414-Doctor Quartz, the Second, at Bay; or, A Man of Iron Nerve. 415-The Great Hotel Murders; or, Doctor Quartz's Quick Move. 416-Zanoni, the Woman Wizard; or, The Wa!id of Doctor Quartz. 417-The Woman Wizard's Hate; or, A Danger ous Foe. 418-The Prison Demon; or, The Ghost of Dr. Quartz. 419"-Nick Carter and the Hangman's Noose; or, Dr. Quartz on Earth Again. 420-Dr. Quartz's Last Play; or, A Hand with a Royal Flush. 421-Zanoni, the Transfigured; or, Nick Car ter's Phantom Mascot. 422-By Command of the Czar; or, Nick Car ter's Boldest Defiance. The Conspiracy of an Empire; or, Nick Car ter's Bravest Act. 424-A Queen of Vengeance; or, Nick Carter's Beautiful Nemesis. 425-aring Dan, the Human Mystery; or, Nick Carter's Smoothest Foe. 426-Dan Derrington's Double; or, Nick Carter's Terrible Test. 427-The Great Gold Swindle; or The Little Giant's Masterpiece. 428-An East River Mystery; or, Nick Carter's Daring Leap. All of the above numbers always on hand. If you cannot get them from your newsdealer, live cents 11er co11y : will bring them to you by mail11 postpaid. STRT & SMITH, Publishers, 238 William' Street, YORK ..


-Dia mond Dick Weekly CONTAINING TFlS MOST UNIQUE AND FASC INATING Of WSTRN ROMANCE 397-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s, Stratagem; or, Ferreting Out th e L a nd Thie ves. 398--Diamond Dick ; Jr., D e c e iv ed; or, G e ntleman Joe s Sister. Dick, Jr.'s, Queerest Case; or The Lions of Lod e stone. 400-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s, Closest Call; or, The S t rike at the Anaconda 4or-Diamond Dick Jr.' s Abduction; or, The Mix-Up at Peaceful Pocket. 402-Diamond Dick, Jr., in the Ozark Hills; or, The Vendetta of Death. 403-Diamond Dick, Jr., and the Moonshiners; or, The Pirate s of Big Stone Bend. 404-Diamond Dick Jr., in Arkansas; or, Fight ing the Flatb o atmen. 405-Diamond Dick, J r .' s, Clean Score ; o r Beating the N a bob of Buckskin Bar. 406-Diamond Dick, Jr., and the Wreckers; or, The New R e cruit fr o m Call-Down 407-Diamond Dick, Jr., and the River Thieves; or, The House-Boat Mystery. 4o8--Diamond Dick Jr., and the Showman; or, Handsome Harry' s Circus. Dick Jr., and the Haunted H o u s e ; or, The G hosts of Quivaro. 4ro-Diamond Dick Jr.'s, Long Shot; or, A Mis pla y at T o nto Pas s 4rr-Diamo nd Dic k Jr. a nd the C ircus Sharps ; or, Cro o ked W o rk at Flushvill e 412-Diamond Dick s Bla c k Fl yer; or, The Raid of the Tickabo T erro rs. 413-Diamo nd Dick 's Treas ure Train; o r R u n Do w n on the Trestl e 414-Diamond Dick Jr.'s, N i ght Ride; o r. The Fight for the "Way -up-in-G "t\Iine. 415-Diamond Dick 's Si gnal; or, The S y mpath y Stri k e at Skiplap. 416-Diamo nd Dick and the Sandbaggers ; or Queer W o rk in th e Pri vate C a r. 4r7-Diamo nd Di c k, Jr.'s, Dutch Mascot; o r W e t Goods at Tickabo. Dick, Jr., and the Serpent Queen ; or, The Secret of the Peso-la-ki. Dick's Specter; or, The Phantom that Won Out. 420-Diamo nd Dick s Pay Car; or ; Foiling the HatchetBoys. 421-Diamond Dick in Grubstake; or, How the Trappers Were Trapped. 422-Diamond Dick and the Bond Thieves; or, Handsome Harry' s Barrel of Trouble. 423-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s, Mid-Air Battle; 0t, The Death Trail of Lightning-that Strikes. 424-Diamond Dick, Jr., and the Black-Hands; or, On the Trail of the Freebooters. 425-Diamond Dick's Lone Hand; or, A Game of Tag at the Tin Cup Ranch. 426-Diamond Dick, Jr., and the "Knock Down" Men; or, A Mix-Up at Forty Miles an Hour. 427-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s, Switch-off; or, A Close Shave at Razor Gap. 428--Diamond Dick s Christmas Gift; or, A Full House at Pocomo. Dick Among the Mail Bags; or, A Round with the Postal Grafters. 430-Handsome Harry' s Hard Fight; or The Queer Mystery of the Five Ace Gang. 431-Handsome Harry on the wolf's Trail; or, The Train Robber's Ambush. 432-Handsome Harry' s Strang le Hold ; or, The Pretty Demon of tbe Rockies 433-Handsome Harry's QuiFkest Shot; or, the Sting from a Gila. 434-Handsome Harry's Trump Card; or The Bad Man from Texas. 435-Handsome Harry's Li ghtning Stroke; or, The Mutineers of Misery Gulch. 436-Handsome Harry's Fierce Game; or, The Moonshiner '!; Oath. 437-Handsome Harry in Chinatown; or, The Highbinders' Crimson Compact. 438--Handsome Harry in the Bad Lands; or, A Fight for Life in the Bandit B e lt. Dick, Jr.'s, Castle in the Air; or, The Deadly Due l with Riatas. All of the above numbers always on hand. If you c annot _get them fro m y our newsdealer11 five cents per copy will bring them to you by mall11 postpaid. STREET & SM ITH, Publishers, 238 William Street, NEW YORK


TIP TOP ALBUM Containing Water Color Reproductions. together with Character Sketches of' the Following Characters : F RANK MERRIWELL DICK MERRIWELL, BRAD B U C K HAR T, JOE CROWFOOT AND CAP N WILEY These reproductions are from water color paintings. They are detach able and can be taken out of the book and framed. The character sketches were written by Mr. Standish himself and give a true outline of each character. Every Tip Top reader should have a set of thes e pictur e s.' together with a copy of the beautiful album they come m Will be sent postpaid on receipt of 1 5 cents STREET SMITH, 238 WILLIAM ST., NEW YORK Ot T HESE are the first au then ti c pic tures ever published of Frank Merriwell and his friends. They are suitable for framing. The edition is limited, and you should get your order in soon.