The young rough rider's long ride, or, Life against life

The young rough rider's long ride, or, Life against life

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The young rough rider's long ride, or, Life against life
Series Title:
Young rough riders weekly
Taylor, Edward C.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
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1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
025569820 ( ALEPH )
13112704 ( OCLC )
R16-00010 ( USFLDC DOI )
r16.10 ( USFLDC Handle )

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When Black Bess was speeding like an arrow through the air, a dozen armed men sprang into Ted's pathway, commanding him to sto


issued Weekly. By S ubsC1'tption $11,50 per year. Entered accordinglo Act of Cong-ress in tlze year 1005, in tlze Offic e of tlze Librarian of Cong-ress, Washington, D. C., by STREET & SMl'J'H, 7q-8r) Seventh A vmue, N Y. Application made at tlze N. Y. Post 01/ice for entry as S e cond-cla s s Matter. No. 56. NEW YORK, May 13, 1905. Price Five Cents. The Young Rough Rider's Long Ride; OR, LIFE ACAINST LIFE. CHAPTER I. CRIME AND MYSTERY. The great pine which stood at the entrance to So s oon Valle y, like a giant sentinel long up o n duty there, had st o od m o tionle s s for more than an hour. The creatures that came and w e nt in and out of the thick growth skirting the road at the foot of this forest king had likewi s e dropped into silence and inactivit y Even the song o f the nois y brook, brawling over its rocky course had seemed to become subdued in its mirth, as if that, too had fallen under the spell of the quiet autumn afternoon Up at the little mountain hamlet, within s ight no one was astir. For a brief while the big sig n of River Rube, with its faded letters, try in g vainl y t o t ell th e s tran ger that this was a haven where he might find rest and solace from the v fati g ue s of travel, ceased to give forth its melancholy call, und e r the ceaseless s wa y of the wes t wind c o n s t a ntly rushing up tl \ e narrow p ass. It was t o ld around the camp fir e s for many a year that the wind and the devil had once m e t there and fall ing int o a dis cu ss i o n e ach had d a red the o th e r to g o further up the valle y where it was said dwelt the spirit of the spotle s s soul, believed in b y the red man The devil laughingly accepted th e challenge upon the condition that the wind wait for him until he should re turn. This the wind promise<;! to do, and the devi l started up the valley whistling merrily, it was said, to keep up his courage. Upo n his wa y he came to River Rube s saloon an d tavern o nl y it wa s kept b y some other Rub e and, b e ing v e r y thir s t y, he w e nt in for a drink to cheer him u p o n his way.


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. Either the liquor found here was too strong for him or he found the company so enjoyable that he could not break from it, for the devil never came out. So the west wind still waits and watches for him at Sosoon Pass, whistling to keep up its own courage during its long service. Bt\t at last, for a little while at least, it had been caught "Hank is ahead of time to-day," declared a bearded, red-shirted miner, looking pleased at the thought of what was to come. "Well he might, driving at that terrible rate," said an other . "Hank's never driv in like thet but onc't, and thet was when he'd been hild up at the Crossin' and Jim Peters napping. Not a breath lingered among the old familiar knocked out." scenes. Inside his hospice River Rube was napping, too. But this was nothing unusual for him so there could have been no connection in the matter between him and the wind He, knew Hank Webber was soon due with his stage from Shooter's Bluff. and that there be a busy half hour for him then. The inhabitants of this mining settlem ent also kn ew this, and possib l y they, too, were waiting patiently for the mon1ent to come when excitement should begin its brief rei gn. "Hank's 'bout to Bliffer's Bend," remarked old Joe "'Pears 's 'f he wuz comin faster 'n' faster!" remark ed a fourth, his mouth so full of his favorite chew that he could not articulate half of the sounds of speech. When first heard, the stage must have been a mile away, but inside of two minutes the sounds of its mad advance had become so clear and distinct that the eager listeners looked for its appearance in sight at any moment. The street was now thronged with excited, expectant spectators, who were looking for what t ;1ey could not foretell. That there was reason for all that unusual clatter not one did doubt. While Hank Webber was noted for his ability to make l\IcQuestion, consulting his big, battered timekeeper. "I good time, and on two or three occasions had shown that hope he won t fergit thet terbacker." Though unnoticed by a living soul in Sosoon, at that moment, the pine lifted one of its dark green fingers, for all the world as a human being would when about to ad monish silence. The west wind suddenly awoke, or perhaps it had awakened before, and, like a schoolboy who abruptly re members that he has forgotten to do the errand intrusted to him, shook its invisible hand in the direction his satanic majesty had taken so long ago. But if the wind and the pine were unheeded, another element-the element of sound-aroused every soul in Sosoon. It was the clatter of rr1any hoofs ringing up the valley, as if a body of horse was sweeping upon the scene at a terrific pace. The transformation of the picture was instantaneous. Men and women suddenly appeared upon the streets, which only a moment before had been barren of any signs of life. Faces appeared at the little windows of the rough cabins lining either side of the street, and eyes framed in countenances of white and bronze looked anxiously down the road. River Rube quickly started up an

THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 3 But the noise and the thunder of its oncoming was now so loud that it could not be far away. A moment later and an indistinct form came from out of the dust-laden space. It was the expected stage It was still gaining upon time. "Must be the horses hev got away from Hank," spoke up a bystander. "Nope. There's Hank on his seat as peart as a young rooster. No hoss is goin' to gin Hank the break-away." Others saw that the speaker was right, and while cer tain ones felt a feeling of relief to know that the driver was there safe, this fact removed largely the interest in the matter. "Likely 'nough Hank has taken a drop too much. Guess we've got s'cited over nothin'." Still the crowd continued to watch the approach of the stage, the four stout horses drawing it, plunging ahead at a terrific gait. Erect in his seat sat the driver, but, as the onlookers were sc-0n to discover, the reins streamed out in the air, untouched by hand of his. Ay, he sat there as composed as a mummy. had driver driven into Sosoon under such a manner. 'Pears like he don't pay any heed to th' hosses." ''Jumpin' gewhillikins !" cried another, "he ain't got foot on brake nor hand on rein." "Hank's playin' some joke. Mebbe he wants to show us th' bosses can go without his hand." "There's something wrong. Hank ain't in his right min'." "Mebbe he's gone mad, and don't keer fer matters." 'Tain't thet !" But the last offered no solution to the mystery. Unmindful of all the excitement and wonder they were causing, the maddened horses continued to sweep on their sides covered with sweat and foam, and their nostrils aquiver with excitement. Straight up the street they leaped, the clumsy coach swaying from side to side as if it would be overturned at every bound of the steeds. "Zounds! glad I ain't a-ridin' in th' concern," ejaculated one. Hank Webber never failed to stop at River Rube's tavern, and now, with an abruptness startling to witness, the hor s es drew up in front of this building, snorting, puffing like so many engines letting off' surplus steam. The spectators now made a wild dash forward, each anxious to be first upon the spot, as if this was their divine right. Hank Webber maintained his seat, turning neither to the right or left, nor deigning to look down upon the amazed crowd. One, more prompt of action than the rest, quickly climbed up beside the grizzled driver. At sight of the cold eyes which looked down into his, and the touch of the clammy hand which rested limp by his side, the bold adventurer uttered an exclamation of horror, managing to add : "Hank's dead as a stone!" CHAPTER II. A DYING MAN'S CONFESSION. The startling announcement, which had been antici pated by many of those pre sent, brought forth murmurs of horror. ,. "Air ye sure, Ben?" asked one, loath to believe the truth. "He sets monstrous straight fer a dead ma11." "See! he's tied to th' seat," explained anothen \ "Hank's run into a nest o' road agents!" This was certainly a natural conclusion to reach. Yet none of the daring desperadoes who had been infesting the country had ever taken the pains to perform such a strange act. "Cut away the ropes and bring Hank inter my shebang," spoke up River Rube. "I never had a better cus tomer n Hank. He always brought the trade my way." Now that the first impression of horror had somewhat passed, some of the bystanders cut away the cords that bound the dead driver so firmly to his seat, and the limp form was lowered down from its high perch with such feelings of as a stranger might not have looked for from those rough exteriors. "Hank was white," declared one. "Never went back on a friend," said another. "He was true blue," added a third. "It'll be har,t to find his equal." "Don't 'pear to be any galoots in th' hearse," remarked a fourth, crowding himself forward so as to look inside the coach. "Uv coarse there ain't. Road agent!:! don't ginerally leave so much as a ghost fer thet bizness." "By chimbly rock on the Platte!" cried a tall, brawny


4 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. miner, whose great height enabled him to look over the shoulders of the others, "there is some one in th' hearse. He looks like a cops, too." Then the spectators fell back, so as to allow the big bearer of the silent figure to pass into the tavern. 'Pears like," said Jim, while be laid with almost womanly tenderness the form of the stranger up on a bench brought forward, "there's a leetle warmth in his This announcement, perhaps more than the discovery of the death of the driver, stirred the onlookers and awak ened their excitement to such a pitch that there was a furious rush to get nearer, so as to see if the truth had been spoken. In the mid s t of this rush and bustle, a clear, ringing voice rang upon the scene : "Stand back there and give those in front a chance to investigate the matter." The sound of this voice instantly changed the scene. The crowd glanced up to find that h orsemen had ridd e n upon the scene without having attracted the at tention of anyone. It was the leader who had spoken, and, mounted upon a coal-black steed, he presented a striking appearance, though a youth in years. He was dres sed in a natty uniform of khaki cloth, g irthed about the waist with a web belt, the receptacle for a pair of Colt revolvers, and a row of cartridges. Over his back was slung a serviceable repeating rifle. with a calmness that was a part of his nature he sa t in his seat in the spirit of a born leader. Some one recognized him, and he cried out: "It's Ted Strong, the young rough rider!" This was very true, the young rid er h aving just reached Sosoon, with the intention of spending a few days here before going to the south, where other interests called for bis attention. With him were bis faithful friends and companions, stout, hon est Ben Tremont and nimble, strong-hearted Bud Morgan. Like their young leader this twain vvere clothed in uni forms of khaki cloth, and like him were well mounted. Ben in particular bestrode a powerful horse of a bloodbay color, which promised great speed as well as a ca pacity to endure a long and hard journey. The command of the young rough rider was obeyed with respectful orde r, and th en t he door of the stage was opened. The tall mmer reached into the coach and wound his long, strong arms about the silent passenger, who lay upon the bottom of the vehicle apparently lifeless. "Reckon Jim don t need n o help," said o ne of those who had stepped forward to assist in the care of the body o f the unfortun a te man. I "He lives!" cried ai:iother. "He is not dead !" supplemented a companion. Ted Strong had dismounted from Black Bess and pushed his way into the building, the crowd giving way cheerfully to the young rough rider. Taking one of the stranger's hands in bis, Ted quickly made an examination of the injured man, who was a per son past middle life, with a countenance that s howed h e had seen his share of the hardships of a life on the fron tier. "There is a little spark of vitality left," said the young rough rider. "Give me a little spirits. It is possible he may revive enough to tell us what has taken place below here. Then Ted moistened the lips and bathed the brow of the unconscious man, who soon began to show signs of 'te turning life. Soon the lids of his eyes were seen to quiver, and then they lifted, when he looked up with a dazed exp ression on his countenance, as his gaze met that of the young rough rider. "Where am I?" he asked, in a husky tone. "Safe from harm, sir," replied Ted." You have reach ed Sosoon." "I am almost home," he murmured. "How long can I live?" "Not long, my friend,'' said Ted, who was busy exam ining his injuries. "You have got a bad bullet wound here in the left side, and another nearer your heart. Either would be sufficient to finish you, I am sorry to say." "No need to be sorry for me, mister. I to ok life into my hands, and I must pay the penalty, I suppose. But I must not waste the little strength I have. Lift my head a little higher." T ed did as he was requested, and made the sufferer as comfortable as he could. "That'll do, mister. Was Hank killed?" "Yes," answered T ed. "I'm sorry for him. Hank was true blue, and he did the best he could for me. But Black Dave was too smart for both of us. Say, have you seen anything of the girl?" ..


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 5 "No, sir Explain the situation Tell us all you can in as few words as possible." The young rough rider could see that the power of speech would not long be given the man. He was nearly done with this life. "I will do as you say, sir. But first I want you to get a justice of the peace as soon as you can." "I am a justice, and can transact any business you wish." Turning to River Rube he said : "Get me pen, ink and paper as soon as possible." "Who are you ? asked the dying man. ''Teel Strong, better known, perhaps, as the young rough rider." ''I have heard him speak of you. There is no man in the world I should rather meet at this time than you, though a week ago I might have told a different story. But a little while often makes a great change." "I would advise you to use your strength Sparingly. What is your name?" "Guy Stoneman, Teel Strong. I have been a tough character in my day. But I have no time to speak now of more than one of my many crimes. There is one I must speak of even if it is to curse my memory." "Go on," encouraged Ted. "And who is it you have heard speak of me?" ''His name is Arthur Blake, and at this moment he is under sentence of death for a crime I committed." "I know him well as a true, noble fri end. Where is Arthur Blake now?" "Behind prison bars, in Sacramento, convicted of mur der." "But Arthur Blake is not a murderer. Go on with y our confession. I have paper, and will write it down as y ou talk." The young rough rider had no wish to allow any delay that should rob him of the result of what he half antici pated was to follow. "It wa s a miserable scheme, and Black Dave Ansell was at the b otto m of it. He wanted old man Brookhouse's m o ney, and what made us more trouble than this, he : wanted his adopted daughter, also. "She and Arthur, who were brother and sister, were really a niece and nephew of the old man, and were ex pected to share his money together when he was gone. "But Dave laid the darkest plot you ever knew to ge t her and the money. He brought ahout a quarrel, by tell-ing a string of lies, between the old man and Arthur. and then hired me to kill him. "Drunk with the whisky he' had given me, I con s en t c l upon the payment of a thousand dollars. "One dark night I went to old man's home, and while he slept struck the terrible blow. "It happened so that before I could get out of the house Arthur came, as I now believe to ask the old man's for giveness for his hasty words. Finding that he had re tired, he sought him in his chamber, to find him before his body was cold "I managed to arouse the household and, with others, to surprise Arthur while he was in the act of drawing the knife from the wound that I had driven home with a demon's power. "Then he was dragged into court; the quarrel he had had with the old man was brough up and, in spite of all he could say, through my statements and the others he was convicted of the crime. "In time Dave sought Clara Blake to renew his woo ing. But she, half believing, I suspect, the truth, fully refused him. Seeing he could not get her by fair means, he r esorted to foul. Again I was made his tool. On the payment of another thousand I abducted her and left for a place of concealment, expecting s h e would con sent to marry him upon finding that she was in his power. "But he counted with his game left out. He ordered her removed to more distant quarters, and I was intrusted with her charge. "The man who can bougl1t to do one crime can be persuaded to do another, or to undo in part what he has done. So it was with me. I finally took pity on poor Clara Blake and tried to save her. I took her in a dif ferent direction from that laid out by Dave. "He must have suspected me, for it was not long before he was hot on my trail. In vain did I try to throw him off, and at la st I found myself, with Miss Blake, on our way through the mountains i.1p here. Knowing that the clay o f Arthur' s sentence was drawing near, she was wild with grief. "I could not hope to save him, with Dave Ansell still hot on my track. vVe did get to Blind Man's Acre, and started upon the stage with Hank Webber for this place. "Less than an hour ago, while we were passing a lonely spot on the road, when I supposed Dave and his tools were a hundred miles away, they pounced down upon us. Hank Webber was shot clown like a dog at the outset, and I fell doing my best to defend Miss Blake. Let that be


I Iii... ( 6 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. said to my credit. But it was useless. After killing me, as he believed, Dave decamped with her a captive. "His men, as a huge joke, fixed up Hank as you found him and sent the horses flying on their homeward journey. I fainted, and so know nothing of that terrible ridemy last this side ofthe grave." Here the speaker paused, completely worn out. "Give me a little more whisky," said the young rough rider. "He must liv e to sign this paper and give me a few more particulars." Guy Stoneman opened his eyes as Ted spoke, and upon swallowing a good draught of the liquor revived some what. "Yes, give me the pen," he said feebly. "I must sign it; for it will clear an honest man s name of the stigma of a crime he never committed.'" Then he wrote in a trembling, wandering hand his sig nature. "Some of you witness this, appealed Ted to the spec tators. "You have heard what he has said, and if called upon will be expected to swear to it in court." Half a dozen gladly affixed their names to the dying man's confession. CHAPTER III. A FIVE-HUNDRED-MILE RIDE. "When does Arthur Blake's senten

THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 7 "I thank you for your interest, but you can do me more good by remaining to look after Miss Blake. "But this will not do. Every moment is precious. Look around boys, and see what you can find for horses, while I make such preparations as I can for the jour' ney. I must start inside of half an hour." "Looks like the man wants to say sumthin' to ye," re marked a bystander, referring to the dying man. Ben and Bud immediately began to look after horses for their companion's long ride, while he turned to the side of Stoneman. "You'll do your best to save her?" he asked. "It was for her I did this. She is good and beautiful. I loved her, and if she had looked with more favor on me I would have forsaken everything else for her. But this is all I can do, giving my life for her. I think Dave took the back trail after he captured her, but he'll run to cover the moment he finds he is pursued." "Anything more to say of her brother?" "Only that he is innocent. I have done all I could for him. I am sorry he must die so." "Regrets are vain. Tell me the best way to reach Ben son's Landing, said Ted. "Do you think of going there? Black Bess, on whom he must depend for one of his steeds was quietly feeding by the side of the street. "Corne here, Bess," he called. The obedient i;i1are quickly obeyed, and as she laid h e r head against him he said, softly : "I am sorry, my queen, that I must put you to such a test, but it is life for life. I must save Arthur Blake, though I shall have to sacrifice you, the best friend I ever had." She whinnied softly, as if she understood and acqw esced in what he had said. "God bless you murmured her young master. "If I had two more as good as you, I would risk my chances." Ted then looked to his trappings, removing everything that he. could possibly spare, and saw that the girths were firm and strong. "It is fortunate you have not been driven far or fast to-day, my dear," talking to her as he might have done to a sweetheart. "Hello, Ben; what success?" "None to boast of, Ted. I have got on track of two good horses, but not extraordinary ones. No common horse is going to do for you. Bud has gone to see one that is highly recommended, but it is not believed the "Answer my question, Guy Stoneman. I haven t a moowner will part with it." ment to lose." "The best' way for you to go is to follow down Sosoon Valley as far as Painter's Lick, then cross over the divide into Lone Ranch Range, and follow the river for fifty miles, but be sure to keep to the right. The left will lead you into a wilderness of desert. The other is hilly, but it is better. That will be the hardest part of your trip, but when you strike the Carson trail you will have one hundred miles as straight as the nose on your fa ce, and smooth as a floor. Then you'll come to Gat's Claim, and if you don't keep a clear head you'll get tangled up, I--" Here the speaker was taken with a coughing fit which nearly strangled him. "See that he has good care, and is properly buried," said Ted. "I must be getting ready to start." "We' ll look arter hini," volunteered River Rube. "Say, rough rider, the best boss in Sosoon is owned by Boston Caci, but he won't part with him for love nor money." "Thank you, and the young rough rider left the tavern to prepare for the work before him. "Let no money consideration stand between us if you think the animal is what I need." "Ted, I have been thinking about my horse. He's a good one-not as good as Bess, but I' do not think you can find his equal in this ,place. You are welcome to him, Ted. One of those we can pick up will do for me, you know." "I had thought of that, Ben. Perhaps we had better count the bay as one. He is used to long, hard drives, and if there is a horse besides Bess that can go one hun dred and fifty miles a day for three days, it is yours." "Take him, Ted. You cannot do better." It now remained to find only one horse for Ted. But it proved that even this could not be secured-such a h o rse as would do for the young rough rider to take: Bud's iron-gray was better than any animal that >vas in Sosoon, and thus Ted decided to taI.e him along. Both Ben and Bud found animals that were and which they were glad to obtain under the circumstances. \Vith Guy Stoneman's dying confession placed safely in one of his pockets, the young rough rider swung him self into the saddle of Black Bess and headed down the .valley upon the first stage of his long ride.


.. 8 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. At f that moment the self-confessed murderer was breathing his la st. There was nothing to keep \ them l onger in Sosoon, and Ben and Bud prepared t o start with Ted, intending to keep along with him until they should reach the place where Black Dave Ansell and his gang had way l aid the s ta ge. "Good luck to ye, Ted Strong!" called out one of the bystanders. "May ye live to get through to Benson!" said another. "Can't be done," said half a dozen in the same breath. But the hardy inhabitants of Sosoon liked the display of pluck exhibited by these youthful strangers, who had com e and gone out of their lives so suddenly, and a storm of hats was flung high into the air. Loud cheers rang out, giving inspiration to the bold riders as they swept down the mountain road. The three turned back to answer the welcoming cries, and the next moment they vanished from the sight of the crowd. CHAPTER IV. A WOMAN'S WILD RIDE. The young rough rider led the way, closely followed b y his extra horses. Behind these followed Ben, and then Bud. On account of the narrowness of the road it was not thought best to ride abreast. Then there was another reason for moving in single file. While Ted had no intention of pushing his horses at the outset, and thus exhausting them before his long journey was complete, it was soon apparent that the h aifses ridden by Ben and Bud would not be able to keep up with those in front very long. There was really no need that they should do this, and the young rough rider had resolved to bend every energy toward accomplishing his Herculean feat. Benson must' be reached before Friday at nine o'clock, at all sacrifices in other directions. He had alfeady calculated upon his chances, and men tally laid his plallf. He felt confident that his horses would be able to make twelve miles an hour for twelve and one-half hours a day. This would give them six hours this afternoon, cover ing a distance of seventy -fiv e mile s That night they would be allowed nine hours of rest and recuperation. Then, by starting early in the morning, they could make seventy-five mi l es the following forenoon, and re s t during midday for three hours. This plan was to be followed until the end of the trip, as nearly as it could on account of circu mstances. He had decided to change horses every hour, thus at no stage of his ride to overdo an animal. "If I meet with no serious delay I can make it ," he thought as he swept on at his flying gait. He was now riding Black Bess, and never it seemed to him did she seem in better spirits. "Ah, my queen," he said, patting her neck, "for your sake I wish it was the last instead of the first stage. But I will treat you as best I can." Glancing back, he saw that he was alread y leavin g hi s friends behind. "It would be folly for them to try to keep up with me, and more foolish for m e to allow them to do so.'' Then, waving hi s hand t o them, he touched Black Bess lightly, when the flee t-footed mare settled down to earnest work. The next rni. nute he lost sight of them th e last that he saw being a farewell wave of the hand from Ben. "Nobl e fellows, h e thought; "they will do all in their power to save the girl. I co n ld not leave 11er fate in b e t ter hands. "The young rough rider was now fairly started upon his tremendous ride. So far he had found the way comparatively smoot h with a descendent grade, broken at intervals b y slight elevations. As he kept on, the valley broaden ed, as the mountains moved further and further away, trending off so as to form a mighty V o n the lanclscape. Two tributary streams had joined the noisy littl e river runnin g through Sosoon, and now it could claim the dig nity of being an important waterway. On the left hand, as he rode on and on, stretched a belt of plain, growing broader and broader as he kept ahead, the road following closer to the mountains. In fact at the end of an hour he had so far left the bal'lk of the river that he could no longer hear the grumbling of its rapids He had begun _upon his second hour out from Sosoon and he had exchanged Black Bess for the bay, when he came upon a b e nd in the road where overhanging cliffs frowned clown upo n him. t o discover certain indications of a recent struggle having taken .elace here,


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIC.ERS WEEKLY. 9 "'i\There Black Dave held up the stage," he thought, slackening the speed of his horse, so as to note more par ticularly the ground marks. "As Stoneman said, they headed down the valley after accomplishing their purpose. They are ahead of me. But that must not deter us from keeping on at our best, brave Charley .. "On, my boy, faster-faster! That little time lost must be regained." The gallant bay needed little urging, and the next mo ment he had returned to his former pace, sweeping along at a terrific rate. The road was now winding nearer the mountains, while the plain grew wider on his left. After a few miles he reached a small village, cluster ing under the rim of mountains, apparently at peace with all the world. It did not seem possible that it eould know that such a big world lay beyond its narrow orbit of view. No doubt attracted by the noise of his rapid oncoming, before he had fairly entered this town its inhabitants began to rush out to see what was coming. One man in his excitement, got almost in the way of the young rough rider. "Seen any horsemen pass this way?" "Half a dozen, riding like the wind." "How long ago?" "An hour. Be you after them?" Ted had no time to reply to this for before it was com pleted he was rods away. Looking back, he saw the man standing there with up lifted hands, wondering, no doubt, what would come next. He had not moved when Ted vanished from the scene, th e dust kicked up by his steeds leaving a trail behind for a long distance. Five miles below this village the young rough rider came upon another town, its houses straggled along for two or three miles. At every dwelling, as he sped past, the occupants would rush out to see if an army had come to sack the place. Kear one of these houses a little dog, with more cour age than judgment, rushed into the roadway and set up I a boisterous demonstration of his dislike of the newcomer. Unfortunately for the energetic barker, he got in the way of the flying bay, and a yelp of pain followed, while the dog limped painfully back to his place by the dour, a sorrier if not a wiser canine. Beyond this town the road wound over a spur of the highlands, as if it had been easier to find passage here than over the smooth and level plain. But all things work to our good, and upon reaching t i 1 e summit of this crossing Ted discovered a body 1 of hors e men in the distance. At first he thought they were moving in the same direc tion as he was, and it quickly flashed into his mind that the riders might be Black Dave's band Still, he did not think this possible, though he continued to keep a close watch upon them He was certainly moving at a more rapid rate than they, but, entering lower country, in a short time he lost sight 0f the party. When he rose on another elevation, he saw them in the distance, and considerably nearer than before. He was near enough now to distinguish the fluttering robes of a vvoman among the riders. The young rough rider instantly concluded she was Clara Blake He had just shifted from the back of Charley upon that of the iron-gray, which belonged to Bud Morgan. This horse, whose name was Captain, was smaller than the bay but a clean-limbed animal of light step. Giving the Captain a hint of what he wanted, the irongray immediately settled down to work, bearing its young rider on, more swiftly than he had ridden before, toward the party ahead. Watching these riders closely, Ted soon saw one of them break away frop1 the others. It was the woman! Her horse, its flight cut off in either direction of the road, leaped out over the plain at a furious gait. Three of the men quickly gave pursuit, while three others remained in the road, no doubt expecting their companions would speedily overtake the fugitive. She shaped her course in a diagonal direction over th e plain, so that she was coming back toward the young rough rider. At least, if she did not swerve from her course she would eventually reach the road a little abov e him. The three horsemen who did not give pursuit began t o move up the road, as if intending to cut off this flight if their companions failed in their purpose. Seeing that the woman was likely to be overtaken by her enemies, Ted quickly headed his horse toward the


IO THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. plain, taking a course whii:h would enable him to intercept the fugitive before the three behiud could overtake her. It was a three-cornered race. Black Bess and Charley followed closely upon the heels of Captain and his young rider. Thus half a mile had been passed over, when Ted saw the pursuers of the woman suddenly check their horses, to soon come to a standstill. Then he heard them shouting to her to stop, while they waved their arms frantically. They seemed to be warning her of some danger, rather than threatening her. For a moment the young rough rider was puzzled to know what this action meant. Then the truth flashed upon him. Ahead o f the flying woman a white mist rose against the light of the western sun. It seemed to start from below the surface of the plain! Beyond no landscape met his view I It looked to him as if the land had suddenly come to an end there. Such, in truth, it had! The part of the plain over which they were riding formed an upper section of one of those prairie benches, so' common in some parts of the West. Unconscious .of her danger, the brave woman, riding for life, was rushing into greater peril by being carried upon the brink of a cut-off, where she was sure to meet d e ath upon the rocks, a hundred feet below! For a moment, brave Ted Strong felt his senses reel at the realization of her peril. Her enemies continued to watch her in awe and heip lessness. It was a situation never to be forgotten l CHAPTER V. DARING FEATS. Would the fleeing fugitive see her danger in season to avert her doom? Her white face was turned backward, as slae sought to meast1re with her eye her possibilities of escape. If she wondered at the abrupt check in the pursuit of her foes, she felt a feeling of relief and rode on at re doubled speed in order to improve the temporary respite in the chase. Her horse was sweeping over the plain at such a tremendous pace that the limit had seemed to pass when he could be stopped in season to save her life. These thou g hts flew very rapidly through the mind of the brave young rough rider, while he continued to ad vance at a swinging gait. It mattered not to him if the woman was a stranger. She was a human being in deadly danger-such danger, only the most daring and prompt action could turn aside. He was not at a loss to decide upon his course of rescue. There was but one way, and that was fraught with great peril to himself, and so hazardous that only the most skillful rider could hope to accomplish it. However, he sped on and on, into the pathway of the fair rider. He guided the faithful iron-gray, that was putting forth its best efforts in the gallant work, so as to intercept the other horse; just where it would reach the brink of the cut-off. He could not have reached it earlier if he had wished. He was approaching her upon the left, the choice of situations, had he been able to choose. This allowed him his left hand to control the course of his horse, while his right arm was free to carry out his stern purpose. Alike unconscious of the deadly danger yawning in her pathway and of the tremendous effort being put forth by another to save her, the brave fugitive sped ahead at breathless speed. Then suddenly she saw the precipice in her path, With a wild scream of terror upon her lips, she pulled upon the rein of her horse. The noble animal did try to stop, to turn aside, but1 it was too late The mighty impetus it had gained from its furious bounds carried it on, in spite of its frightened efforts to stop; Its hoofs scraping upon the earth, tearing up great sods of greensward, while, with a shrill snort and quiveriag form, it shot over the brink and was quickly lost to sight. At the same ipstant this occurred, for the whole adventure was begun and over in a short space of time, the young rider dashed alongside of the woman_. The iron-gray was not allowed to check its own head long pace for a moment. But, gu iding it onward so its sides would barely brush against that of the doomed horse, Ted Strong reached out over that other animal and, his powerful right arm closing about the waist of the fair rider, he lifted her up,


THE ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. IT free from her saddle, upon the withers of the gallant Cap"l:::eep quiet here a few minutes, and I will see if I cantain. not introduce myself to them in a way that will cause them The shock and the fearful excitement of the scene to go their path alone." caused her to fall back in his hold helpless for the time ., "On, good Captain!" cried the young rough rider, encouragingly, shaping the course of his horse now so as to reach the road, some distance beyond the enemies of the girl whose life he had saved. The of this daring and thrilling maneuver seemed to be spellbound for some moments Then they rallied, and their leader urged them ahead in pursuit. But Ted had gained too great an advantage by this time, and his fleet-footed steed had borne him back to the highway, well toward Sosoon, before the enemies of his fair charge had entered into an earnest pursuit. She had recovered before this, and was looking thank fully into his honest countenance, when she exclaimed with a voice of joy: ''Why, Ted Strong! can this be you?" He turned from looking after her enemies to note care fully for the first time her features. He expressed his joyful recognition in two words-her name: "Clara Blake!" "Yes," she replied. "I did not expect to meet you here, much more under such terrible circumstances. You have saved my life, Mr. Strong." "We will not speak of that now, Miss Blake. I was "' "Dut, see!., she cried, with new alarm. "Black Day e has rallied his gang. He will stop you-kill you!" "Not if I know it, l\fiss Blake Here, I will leave you one of my horses. If you need it, ride on to meet my friends as fast as you can. But give me five minutes with them first Then the bold young rough rider dashed clown the road at the top of Captain's speed, Black Bess keeping close beside him. The girl watched him with intense interest. Ted knew he was taking the odds into his hands. There were six of the outlaws-six to one! He had always found that a quick, sharp, bold attack would win where one made with hesitation was sure to become a losing venture. He counted now upon routing Black Dave and his fol lowers before they could concentrate themselves enough to resist him as a body. He knew, too, that Black Bess was worth apy two men in a close struggle, where her iron-shod hoofs could be brought into such deadly action. He drew his heavy revolvers, preferring them t o his rifle, in the hand-to-hand battle he anticipated. Nor did the young rough rider miscalculate his chances. Before the three foremost of the outlaws could come glad to have been of assistance to you. Are yonder men, to understand that a single-handed foeman was attacking who were in pursuit of you, under a desperado known as Black Dave Ansell?" "Yes, Ted; and he is my worst enemy. He has sent my poor brother to the death of a criminal, for a crime he never committed, and he would have--" "Pardon me, Miss Clara, but I know all that. I have seen Guy Stoneman within two hours. When does your brother's sentence expire?., "Friday, at ten o'clock. Oh, Ted! can qothing be done to save him?" "I am on my way now to get a reprieve. I hope to reach Sacramento in season to save him." "Then I must not delay you. Every moment 1s pre, cious to him, and to me. Fly, Ted Strong, and may you get there in season. I will look after myself." "You are brave, Miss Blake, but you forget yonder de s peradoes." S he turned pale. '"What shall we do?" she asked. them he was upon them. Crack crack crack rang out the reports of his fire arms, two speaking at ohce Almost simultaneously, the three riders toppled from their saddles and went headforemost to the ground With neighs of fright their horses kept on up the road, but they carried no burdens Black Dave was one of the remaining three, but even he could not prepare for the onset before the rider of the iron-gray was confronting him "Hold up your hands, Dave Ansell, or you are a dead man!" commanded the young rough rider,1 covering the cowering leader with one revolver, while the other was aimed at his confederates Like the majority of desperadoes, he was 111 reality a coward. He trembled 111 front of that deadly weapon, wh ose hair-trigger needed but the slightest pressure to send its leaden bullet through his brain.


12 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. "I surrender!'' he faltered. "You have got the drop on me, whoever you are." The outlaw lifted his hands over his head as he spoke. "I am the young rough rider of the Southern ranges," declared Ted. "Up with your hands, every man of you, or I will give you the same sort of supper I have given those comrades of yours yonder." Black Dave's companions quickly obeyed the order. "Now look carefully that you do not try to play any tricks on me. I am the last person to be trifled with. Do you understand?" The precious trio bowed their heads together. "I am glad you look at this matter right." Then the young rough rider beckoned for Miss Blake to ride down to where he was. This the brave girl did. "Take this revolver," said Ted, handing her a weapon, "and shoot the first rhan who so much as lifts a finger. I am going to put this dark scamp upon one of my horses for a short canter with me." Then Black Dave Ansell was made to mount Captain, where Ted securely bound him. Another of the outlaws was lashed to the saddle of the bay. / The third was served in the same manner upon the horse recently ridden by Ansell. "There; thank you, Miss Blake, for your firmness. You have assisted me materially. I see no fault with the job," viewing with a critical eye the cords that bound the pris oners. "I should like to know what this means," muttered An sell. "It is the most infamous act I ever knew. Ybu will have to suffer for it before I am done with you. It was for that reason I did not resist you. Why, we might have overcome you easily." "No doubt you may think so, and a poor reason is better than no reason, but that does not seem to affect the sit uation," replied Ted. "Now, Miss Blake, you can take your choice of the ani mals of this party and go ahead as I told you. I am s orry I cannot offer you a different saddle, but yours is lost beyond recovery at present. "Never mind me, Mr. Strong. You are very kind, and my only prayer is that you may reach Sacramento in sea son to save Arthur." A minute later she was moving slowly up the valley, while Ted prepared to resume his journey. "Black Dave Ansell, I have a question to ask you. How far is it to the next town?" "Five miles," replied one of Dave's confederates, before he could stop him. Smothering an oath under his breath, Dave exclaimed: "It's much you know about the distance to Chat's Bridge. It's 'twenty miles it's a rod." "Five or twenty, here goes. Come on, boys a!_ld girls!" speaking encouragingly to his companions. He had rtow placed Black Bess in advance, with the bay next, and himself upon the iron-gray in the rear. He did not intend to let his captives play any sharp scheme on him. So the young rough rider resumed his long ride under such circumstances as gave him extreme pleasure, though it had cost him a little delay and burdened his horses with extra weight for a time. CHAPTER VI. A HAUNTED TOWN. The young rough rider found the country growing more broken as he rode on with his prisoners. The road led down steep declivities, while ascents of corresponding sharpness had to be made. Still, the intelligent Black Bess led the way onward with unflinching speed, uphill and down. Now and then a lone cabin was passed, where some adventurous fortune seeker had tried to found what he deluded himself into believing was a home. The swift coming and going of the strange little caval cade was sure to bring half a dozen curious faces to the little openings that answered for windows. And as the clatter of hoofs grew fainter down the road, the occupants of these huts would rush out into the middle of the high way, to gaze Jong and earnestly after the departing fig ures. No doubt they were the subjects for a "nine days' won der" to these simple people. The wonder was many times increased, according to the numbers who witnessed his advent upon the scene, at Chat's Bridge, when the young rough rider rode into tliat noisy little town. It consisted of a mere huddle of huts, with one or two "I will if that lies in my power. Let me help you buildings boasting of greater pretensions. These were mount." the post office and village tavern.


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. r3 'fed drew rem m front of the first. Then, as a crowd quickly gathered about him, he asked for the sheriff. Presently a tall, lantern-jawed individual, with a red beard and long, black hair, pushed his way forward, say ing: "I reckon, stranger, I can claim that honor, seeing no other man durst take the place for a good two year. I'm Bill Boxer; who air ye?" I am Ted Strong, the young rough rider from the Southern ranges." "Ye don't say," clearing his mouth of a huge cud of to bacco. "I've heerd of ye, Ted Strong. What d'ye want of Bill Boxer?" "To take these birds into your cage, and keep them there till called for." Coming nearer, the sheriff bent a piercing gaze upon th e captives, exclaiming, after his brief examination: "Thomas Washin'ton 'f that galoot aside of ye ain't Black Dave Ansell, I 'll eat him r i w." "You will have to look elsewhere your supper, Sheriff Boxer, for you have hit the nail on the head the Now he rode the blood-bay, that sped with light over the broken way, as if proud of the work it was doing. Then he bestrode again the iron-gray Captain, as sure of foot and as fleet as when he bore his young master down to the very brink of the cut-off and saved, as if by a miracle, the life of beautiful Clara Blake. And now he was once more in the saddle of bonnie Black Bess, whose untiring feet bore him on and on into the strange country banded together with five hundred links, each a mile long. The sun sank behind a mass of mountains in the west, and long shadows fell across his pathway. These mingled and became the deeper gloom of night. He passed through three small towns, as a meteor might sweep on its way through space, and once again he was threading a wide territory of forest, bidding defiance to the woodsman s ax. Once the baleful eyes of a panther glowered out from the thicket upon this human invader of its domains. Then a huge cinnamon bear, moving clumsily across the narrow pathway, failed to escape the iron heel of Bess, which brought from the big brute an angry growl; but before it could lift a paw in its defense the horseman and first time. Can I trust him in your hands for a day or his three steeds had vanished from the scene, as fled the two?" hosts of yesterday. "Bet yer bottom dollar on thet. I never let er cuss slip 'tween my fingers yet." "Good for you, Bill. As I have but little time to waste here, I shall shift them all upon you at once. While you are taking them in hand I will explain how they came into my power. In a few words the young rough rider then gave an account, as far as he felt it was necessary for him to go into d e tails, of his capture of the noted desperado. He then wrote a hasty order to be given to Ben and Bud should they come that way, advising them to take Ansell along with them. "Better stay with us till yer friends come erlong," said the officer. Ted shook his head to this invitation. He had three hours of hard riding before him ei;_e he wished to stop for the night. Ted hoped to reach Painter's Lick before nightfall, and, with that thought in his mind he swept on mile after mile. There i s an inspiration in such a ride as that under taken by the young rou g h nider. There was an exhilara ti o n in the mountain air as he was carried on by his faith ful st e eds, which had e ntered into the spirit of the wild race with almost human interest. The six hours were now spun out, and the young rough rider was beginning to look with increasing interest for that isolated mountain hamlet, bearing the rather dismal name of Painter's Lick. "It must be in this vicinity," he thought, "yet I can see no light in the distance, though I seem to be out of the forest." He had indeed passed the lower limit of the woods, and the valley widened here to what appeared in the darkness to be a fertile tract of bottom land. In the midst of his speculations, when he was begin ning to think he should have to look around for a camping place for the night, not caring to ride his horses much further, he found that he was passing one house after another, though there was no sign of life about them. Not a light glimmered at one of.the windows, and not a sound fell upon his ears. "Can this be Painter's Lick?" he thought. "It looks like a deserted town." Near what he judged t o be the c e nt e r of the settl e ment, without an inhabitant now, he came in front of a lar ger house than h e had seen-a twos tory structure, weather beaten and lonesome in its apP,earance.


14 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS \VEEKL Y. The adjoining sheds and buildings attached to this main house, if nothing else, showed to the young rough rider that it had been formerly a tavern for the accommodation Ted told him hi s n ame, and his o bject in stopping, fol lowing with the inquiry: "What has become of the people who built these of man and beast. Had it been light enough for him to houses?" have read it, a storm-stained sign resting against the sill of the building would have told him that it was the Painter's Lick Home. "I can do n o better than to stop here for the night," said Ted to himself. Perhaps b y looking around a bit I can find something for the horse s I wonder what has hap pened to this place? Looks as if ever y body had taken French leave. Dismounting, he prepared to carry out his intentions, but he had bar e l y removed th e saddle from Black Bess before a drawling, nasal voice called out from the hedge, a little to one side : "Who in durnation be ye?" It may not be admitting too much to say that Ted was slightly surprised at this abrupt and most-unexpect e d in quiry, though he never allowed himself to be caught at any serious disadvantage. Prepared now for any attack that might b e made, he replied with caution: "A fri e ndly traveler, who feels disposed to stop here to-night . "Crotched heml o ck! stop in Painter's Lick all night! Ye ca n t, stranger."' "Who is ther e to object? You are the first person I have seen in town. "I'm th' only one hyur, mister ," was the sorrowful reply. "And who are you?" "I'm Shanty Sam too shiftless to git erway or I'd be a goner, too. Reckon th" ghosts don t want enny sich poor truck, either. "Come out here and let me look at you, Shanty Sam, c o mmanded th e young rough rider "Won't shoot stranger?" "Not if you act on the square Shanty Sam. Come out of your corner ." The sound of some one movin g slowly and with sham bling steps came from the bush es, and th e n as uncouth a specimen of manhood as he had ever seen appeared on the scene, leaning heavil y o n a crooked, oake n stick that r ea ched two or three feet above his head. His whole b ody shook as he faced th e newc ome r. "Who be you?"' he asked, hi s v o ice s inking to a whis per before he had completed the short sentence. Gone away;" was the mournful reply. "Where?" "Dunno." "Why did they leave here?" "Couldn't stand it enn y longer. "Stand what?" 'The ghosts and spirits an sich creeturs thet hang round hyur." Explain yourself more fully, Shanty Sam." This i s a ha' nted town mister." "Haunted! Shanty Sam, what do you m ean?" Jess wot I speak, mister," was the sorrowful reply. "I tell ye I feel 's bad 's ye do. "What haunts it?" "Spooks, an' sounds, an' critters sich 's no mortal ever put peeper on an' lived to tell on't." "Have you seen any of them, Shanty Sam?" "I has, mister." "But yo u seem to be con s iderably alive. "Too shiftless to die, mister. An' I'se th man who dis kivered this town afore it was one an' gin it a name. Here the tall stooping figure s uddenly lift e d until Shanty Sam stood for a moment with something o f his former importance of manner appearing in his fallen greatness. "Try and make your meaning m o re cl ea r, Sam. I may be a little thick-headed, but I must confess I cannot understand all you are saying, or try ing to say." "VVull, ye see, mister I wus th fust creetur with o nly two f eet t o poke up this ere way, an' gettin' tired arter a long da y's tramp, I laid down to snooze an' re s t a bit. I wus ri g ht in th h o llerda y o' th' sweetest dream ever cum to mortal thinkin' I wus t o hum with th ol' folks ea tin rye cak es an' h o ney, when, ma y I be durned blowed, f sumthin' wet an rough didn t begin to lick my b a n'." H e r e Shanty Sam h e ld up his ri ght hand as if t o prove that it h ad b ee n treated as h e claimed, but the thi ck coat in g o f g rease and grime c ove rin g him caus ed him to ex claim: "Can't prove it, miste r but it 's true mount'in hi gh. It wus a monstrous big p3.inter, wot had crept to me an' wus washi n my h:rncl, meb be to fin' out 'f I wus white. "I had sense 'nough oh, I weren "t born a fool t o lay


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 15 parfec tl y still .an' l e t th' durned critter slobber over my "So they packed up their duds an' slid out o' town, hand till I could hev sworn th' next 'tweren:t a leavin' me hym all erlo ne." mate to my t'other. "When the critter had got sort o' tired o'

I 16 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. ''Thet makes it sound business-like. Shanty Sam ain't rough rider tu rned his face away from the speaker, and a no stingy galoot, an' he'll treat ye white's foam an' stick moment later he was sound asleep. to ye like pitch." Ted had not slept long, for it had been well on .tow

THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 17 fore the last stanza was finished ne 2"r oaning in his ''I've a mind to try their mettle ," he said, in a low tone anguish. to his companion. "Great horned prophet! Reckon ye don t think I gal "Bullit wus never made to fetch blood on 'em, cos vinated now, Mister Strong." speerits don t hev enny spare blood." "It is the wildest concert I ever listened to," acknowl "Watch and see what a shot will do/' replied the young edged Ted. rough rider. "Th' most onnateral, ye mean. It can't be beat this side o' Tophet. D'ye wonder th' folks jess s lid out'n town by mornin' light?'' "There must be some explanation to it." Splanation? Ain't I been 's plainin ever sence ye sot huf in Painter's Lick?" Ted made no reply to this, knowing it would be useless. But, as he continued to listen wild melody of voices grew wilder, if that was possible. Then, suddenly, Shanty Sam grasped him b y the arm, and, pointing up the lonel y street, dimly lighted by the stars and the struggling beams of the moon that seemed to have got lodged in the clouds. "They air com in' th speerit band!" exclaimed Sam. "I can hear their footsteps like buffiers knockin' 'long a stony path." The young rough rider had heard the sounds of march ing men as Sam had said, breakin g npoh fhe night scene with the rattling noise of feet shod with iron. Then, as h e waited and list e n ed, he discovered a train of white-robed coming slowly along the street, the one at the head beating a snare drum. At that moment the unseen singers began to sing m unison the Dead Man's March." So regularl y was this change made from the mixed melody of a minute before that it seemed as if the musi cians must have had some signal to unite in their efforts. Slowly the uncanny train cam e down the darkened street, looking weird and ghostly in the semidarkness. "Ain' t it all jess 'as I to!' yer ?" stuttered Sam. Ted made no reply. The head s of all of the marching men were surmounted by high peaked caps, as spotless as their raiment, which reached to their feet and trailed upon the ground as they moved solemnly ahead. "Don t do it! gasped Shanty Sam. "It'll make 'em madder n hornets, an' I opine a mad speer-it is wuss nor a hull swarm o' hornets." U nheeding this remonstrance Ted took aim with one of hi s revolvers at the foremost of these marching figures. so that the bullet should pierce the conelike cap close t o the head of the wearer but not to harm him. The effect was magical. It was startling. A yell that would have done credit to a Pawnee brave rang from the lips of the ghostly drunimer and he at th e top of bis speed toward the lower end of the town. Ted followed his opening shot with three or four others, all fired with the intention to frighten and not to kill. The consequence was that inside of a minute a dozen white-clad figures were rushing madly a way, without any regard to the time the y kept to the song of the "March of the Dead," which was not yet completed. "That shows the nature of your 'spooks,' declared the young rough rider with a low laugh. Shanty Sam shook from bead to foot again,.. but this time it was with outbursts of laughter. "Boomin' beetles!" he roared "thet beats all natur'. I'm a licked painter 'f I ain't dumwizzled." "I'm going now to look after the singers," said Ted, starting toward the old tavern. "Don't go thar !" cried Sam, catching him by the arm. But the young rough rider was not to be deterred from his purpose, and followed closely by the trembling miner, he entered the unfastened door of the deserted building Guided by the sounds of th e un see n singer, be crossed first one creaking floor and then another, until he found himself in a rear chamber, where he knew the singer must be. There was no person in the room. The moon, riding out from behind a cloud, sent its


' 18 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. mellow light upon the rough floor, penetrating into two of the four corners, so as to make them nearly as plainly seen as by daylight. The singing came from one of these. Placed there near the open window was a g raphophone The mystery was solved The young rough rider was putting the saddle on the back of the bay, when Shanty Sam awoke to find that his visitor was leaving him. "Why didn't ye shake me out?" he asked. "Wus ye gain' off without sayin' good-by to th' ol' man. Mebbe I'll go with ye 's fur 's Rock Bottom. I'm feelin poorty "We need not look further," said Ted. "It was inanxious to tell em down there whut kind o' spooks ha'nt struments like this which did the singing, and the men in their sheets did tlie rest." For once the loquacious Sam was silent. "If you have any 1 doubt about it, come with me," said Ted, simply. Then he led the way down to-where another of the musical instruments was just starting in upon a new song. Shanty Sam looked down upon this and then upon his c ompanion, managing to ejaculate at last: "Jeems Hover! An' 'em air th' spooks o' Painter's Lick?" "Exactly, Sam. Now, with your P!':rmission, I am go ing back to finish my sleep. I have one hundred and fifty miles to ride to-morrow. "Won't 'em spooks-I mean galoots 111 their night clothes cum back, mebbe ?" "I will let you watch for them, Sam. I'm sleepy." So the young rough rider went back to his rude couch, and five minutes1later was sleeping as soundly as if danger unknown, and despite the fact that four hundred miles of hard riding lay before him, to be accomplished in a little more than two days. Shanty Sam did begin to watch but in less than half an hour his gray head drooped, and from the loud out bursts that came from his nasal organ, it was quite cer tain he was keeping his lookout in dreams. Ted Strong was astir by the break of day, and looking t o the welfare of his horses. These he found, to his delight, showed no signs of their hard driving of the previous day. Feeding them generously of Sam's corn, and a foddering of dried grass, he prepared himself a breakfast of m eat and corn bread, washed down with the cool spring wate r. Painter's Lick." "I am afraid cannot keep up with me. And where's Y

THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 19 town, who had been frightened away in the manner de scribed by Sam, upon l earning the hoax that had been played up on them, all came back. Bnt Painter's Lick had no further interest for Ted Strong at this time. His face was resolutely set forward toward Sacra mento. CHAPTER VIII. A HUNDRED MILES OF DESERT. The young rough rider, who had questioned Shanty Sam in regard to the best course for him to follow, knew he was n ow approaching Lone Ranch Range, which he hoped to reach by noon, where he would find resting place for himself and h o rses. Then he would have fift y miles to reach Buncher's Bench, where Stoneman had charged him to keep to the right. With good courage happy in the thought that he h ad saved Clara Blake from her enemies and captured Black Dave Ansell, who he knew would be an important factor in clearing Arthur Blake, he kept on at a rattling good pace. Three times he shifted from the back of each horse into the saddle o f another. The noble creatures were holdi11g up finely while they measured, with their iron heels, mile after mile of the long journey. The forenoon passed without adventure. In truth, Ted did not see a human being from the mo ment lie lost sight of Shanty Sam until he drew nea.r to the solita ry cabin standing on the dividing ridge, b etwee n the upper valley and Buncher's Bench. I It la cked a little of noon then an hour or more. His arrival caused no little commotion, and it was evi dent few travelers stopped there. He found plenty o f feed for his horses which were still sumed his journey, with the hearty godspeed of the peo pie there. All that afternoon he rode in the eye of the western sun and within sight and sound of a murmuring stream, whose constant song seemed to afford a tune for his horse 's feet as they flew along the way. This was the easiest section of his long trip. The rapidity with which these fifty miles were meas ured by his advance gave him new-found courage, and h e was looking hopefully forward to his stopping place for the night, when half of his ride would be over. But before sunset he began to notice a haze on the western sky, which he felt foreboded a stqrm. This grew darker and darker, until the sun was ob scured by it. It had a peculiar yellowish hue, which puzzled him. "I am afraid it is going to be a tornado," he thought ; "a regular norther, as they would call it down in Texas; a cyclone on the Kansas plain." Black Bess was already sniffing the air. She s h owed signs of fear, which was quickly shared by her mates. "I wonder what' is up now? he thought. In a moment it was plain to him. It was a fire! He knew from the extent and denseness of the smoke that it must be a conflagration reaching for many miles. What if it crossed his path? For the first time since he had left Sosoon the young rough rider felt something like fear. "If it crosses my path I shall not get there!" he ex claimed aloud. I\ This dread continued to increase as he advanced. The conflagration seemed to cover a vast extent of territory toward the north and west. It was miles and miles broad, licking up everything in its pathway! Great clouds of black smoke were wafted overhead, carrying themselves exceedingly well, and one-third of making the cl os ing day as dark as night. the distance was now traversed. Ted had no alternative! He must keep on at all hazards. After three hours of at Lone Ranch the young rough rider again seated himself in the saddle, and re-Hoping against fate, he watched, with strained vision,


20 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. the front of this great avalanche of flames, while Black Bess bore him as he had never ridden before. His sole hope lay in passing the line of this conflagra tion before it came down upon his path. But fifteen minutes later he realized that there was no possible chance for him to reach the Carson Trail, spoken of by Stoneman. This left him a fearful course; as he knew only too It meant that his 0nly way of keeping on was by the D e ath Plain, one hundred miles in width-a hundred n ; i les where there was neither water nor grass for his h o rses! Brave Ted Strong trembled at the thought of meeting this. "It is life against life," he murmured. Fortunately, the conflagration had not yet come near enough to the old wagon trail he was following to give him any real danger for an hour or more. Still it was sweeping down toward him with the speed of a race horse, and he knew if he had been but a little later he must have been swallowed up in its fiery folds. Something like five miles was passed in fifteen minutes, when the young rough rider began to realize that he was approaching the dread plain, which had been the grave of The y oung rough rider, with such gloomy prospects ahead, then prepared to rest himself, though he had only a little dried meat to eat. This would be sufficient for him. Thus an hour wore away, and all the time the fire was coming nearer. It is true the main body was passing to the north, but the great, black wing swooping down in that direction was enough to destroy everything it could cover. "Come, Bess, Charley and Captain, we must be up and away." The obedient animals, at the sound of his voice, an mediately stopped their feeding and came to his side. Three minutes later he was once more in the saddle. Night had now fairly set in, but it was lighted far and wide with a heat, capped with black clouds of smoke hanging like palls of impenetrable gloom. Never sure he pursuing the most direct course, the young rough rider now entered upon that stage of his long ride which he will never forget. The plain before him was not vast in extent in the full meaning of that expression, still he knew, turn whither he would, but backward-and that would be to run a gantlet of fire-he must ride nearly a hundred miles-a hundred miles bare of vegetation and arid of water. so many travelers trying to cross its waste. For the first hou!' he found pebbles and bowlders strewn "I shall have to ride all night," he thought. "The along his path, while he always seemed to be nearing a horses can never do it, in addition to their afternoon's work. I must give them a rest, even if they get no food." He "vas more fortunate than he had (!xpected. Half a mile further on he came upon a fertile spot where considerable grass was growing around a spring of water. Though now m the very pathway of the oncoming flames, he did not hesitate to stop. "I will stay here just as long as it is possible, then I will mount and begin the passage of the desert." So he leaped lightly to the ground and turned his ani mals loose to feed and slake their thirst at the spring, being careful to see that they did not drink to their injury. range of black and purple mountains. Patches of qunch grass for a few miles dotted the for bidden landscape, when even these disappeared. Then a gateway opened in the mountains like the jaws of some huge leviathan, and he found himself among dunes and large hills of clean, white sand. There was every appearance of water, but not a drop of that precious liquid to be found. There was an aridness to the atmosphere which parched his lips, and made his throat dry and husky. The moon had now risen, but as it climbed the pathle s s hill of the eastern sky, it looked down upon the solitary rider and his weary bearers with a sickly light. To add to the impressiveness of this lonely course, there


THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 21 were scattered along the route the skeletons of men and In spite of his strong self-control, the young rough rider horses, ill-fated travelers who had fallen by the way upon grew despondent, and his jade

. 22 THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. \i\Tith this brief delay, the young rough rider resumed his journey and a moment later wa' m ov in g sw iftl y and silerttly over the white sand, which muffled the ho o fstrokes qf the horses and made his flight seem more unnatural than it would otherwise have been. The captain who was bearing up nobly under the strain, followed dutifull y in the steps of Black Bess. Behind these, the gap rapidl y widening, with a painful limp, came the galfant bay. "Poor fellow I cried Ted, "come on, if you can, to the l next station. I wil1 speaK: for extra rations for you. Good-by ' :('' The horse whinnied shrilly, showing manifest sorrow at this separation. Five minutes later he was not to be se en, and with an added burden at his he)ll.rt, the brave young rough rider rode on. He changed horses during this stage, every thirty minutes, and he ms constantly dreading les t the animals should bre0ak clown entirely. With what feelings of gladness he saw the new day breaking in the east may be imagined. But with this joy came a weight of sadness The third day was fast coming, and only a little more than twenty-four hours hence the fate of Arthur Blake would be sealed. Was there no end to this dreary plain of solitude and desolation? Only one who has been in such a situation can under stand it. No language can describe it. While the morning light grew brighter in the east, to his unbounded joy, Ted Strong saw a gradual change coming over the landscape. His horses saw it, and increased their pace without urg ing. Black Bess, now carrying him, showed her delight with short neighs. I "Hurrah!" cried the young rough rider, in the exuber ance of his new-found hope, "at last! at last!" So the great plain of death was passed at last. Its horrors were a memory, but such a memory. s hould fee l better if Charley w ere on ly here." thou ght Ted. "I wonder, too, what the boys will d o when they reach the edge of this hundred-mile desert?'' How refreshing the country looked after the dreary scene just left behind! In less than half an hour, the sight of man and beast was further gladdened by the view of a settlement to be seen in the near distance. This proved to be the little frontier village of Hard Luck; whose appearance was sure to bear out the aptness of the name. Despite this fact, the young rough rider hailed its collection of cabins with unfeigned pleasure, and the cordial greeting of the people was appreciated to its fullest extent. As near as he could tell Teel had ridden, s111ce the previous morning, over two hundr e d miles-two hundred and twenty-five, he believed, and so it afterward proved. The time was really a littl e more than a full clay, but less than thirty hours. What made the feat more surprising was that it ha

THE YOUNG ROUGH RID-ERS WEEKLY. d o ne for him and also for caring for Charley should he "Not unless you answer my questions civill y I hav e reach there, as pe believed the horse would, the young a long ride ahead of me, and I need all the strength my rough rider sprang into his seat. spare horse has to help out the other." Black Bess moved on with her old-time lightness of "I ain't more'n a skeeter on a hoss' back," and the imfoot, and Ted waved back his farewell to Hard Luck pudent speaker made a feint to mount the iron-gray. with a light heart. "I am sorry, but I can't afford to accommodate you to-It would not be interesting to follow too closely the day. Have you far to go?" flight for this long afternoon through a country that was broken into n1any defiles and rough valleys. The road at times wound over sharp hillsides and anon down corresponding declivities. Frequently the way was strewn with loose stones that were a constant source of (!nnoyance to the h!)rses. But the y managed to save themselves from harm, and their young rider felt his spirits rise as he saw ahead a smoother country. The course he was following seemed to dip into the upper end of a narrow valley, and he anticipated he was entering ;m stage of his journey. He occasionally passed small villages, and one town of c o nsid e rable importance. He stopped here for half an hour to allow his horses a breathing spell, and to give them an extra feeding of grain. They missed the assistance of the bay. Soon after leaving this place he overtook a man afoot who hailed -him for a ride upon his spare horse. Had this request come at any other spo..t, he might have i g nored the demand entirely As it was he felt obliged to speak to the stranger from the fact that he had come unexpectedly upon a fork in the road, where the highway split into two such eve n parts that he was unable to decide which one to follow. "I am bound to Benson, sir. Will you kindly tell me which road to take?" "If you take either, mister, you'll be sorry for it." "But which is the more direct way?" "Neither ain't direct, mister, as I reckon it. Gin me a ride?" does this road lead to?" "Leads to houses, mister. Gin me a boost on thet spare of yours." "I want to go to Benson, mister. We'll be comp'ny." "But I must get there before q'clock to-morro w morning." "That'd suit me to a T. Here goes, mister." , !, -. r c "Let that horse alone, sir. If I thought it was essent ial for you to I vyoul91 try a!ild accommodate you. Un der the circumstances I cannot. You have declined to answer my questions; good-day." Before the amazed man could offer further resistance, Ted had started ahead, taking the right-hand road. Then th e stranger shouted after him: "Ye can't get tlm;iugh to Beason that way, mister. The Wildcat Bridge is gone !" "Can I go the other way any better?" "No; it goes on the other side of the mountain. That's your only way." Without longer delay, the young rough rider sped down the mountain road. For an h clt r he pursued the even tenor of his ride, when suddenly he swung around a sharp curve in the road, where it overhung a noisy river. He could look down the valley for half a mile. But less than that distance ahead he saw where the road swung around sharply to the right, and crossed over to the other side of the stream. This was Wildcat River. Yonder he believed must be the bridge, which the stranger had said was gone. He was riding Black Bess now, with the iron-gray still behind. It is safe to say his gaze did not leave the turn in the I road where it the river until he was near to see the startling truth. The bridge was gone l


THE YOU:-JG ROUGII RIDERS WEEKLY. CHAPTER X. TED REACHES BENSON AT LAST . r\ ever was there a more precarious situation. Never was a danger more bravely met. t Bonnie Black Bess was sweep ing on at her u s ual rate Knowing that a moment's hesitation then meant d e ath o f speed\ to him and his steed, Ted Strong spoke clearly to hi s In a mom en t he would be down to the site of the lost hors e to keep on. bridge. He snatched his Colt revolver from his belt in readin ess The yo un g rough rider glanced ove r th e sce ne, to n o te if there was any other way for him to cross the mountain stream. There was no possible way or place for him to ford the stream. j t Fl It ran between rock walls o f n ea rl y fift y fee t in height, while its bed was covered with hu ge bowlders. Its course marked an ugly rent in the rugged passway. At la st his journey had come t ? an end Here was a barrier, greater and more fearful t o con t emp l a t e than eve n the h orrors of the Death Plain. H e was deciding that he mu st c h eck the onward rush of Black Bess before she s h ould be carried w ith the forc e of her sw ift advance ove r the chasm yaw nin g across t h e way. A wild thought-ris ing to hope-flashed through his mind. Might he not, trusting to Bo nni e Bess, leap the chasm, and thus be able to pursue hi s way? He knew it was a h aza rd o u s feat. He had made many of th e m in hi s life. -ro stop short of it meant defeat, after all hi s efforts so far. Given but a moment which t o decide, he d e termined to risk all upon the hazard "Bonnie Bess,, now for th e trial your brave lif e The n ex t instant the brave mare came down to the edge of the chasm and quiv e r ed for a moment upon its brink. "On Bess!" said h e r rid e r boldly. The nobl e s t eed obeyed without flinching. T h en, without slackening h e r speed, th e young rough ri:ler urged his faithful steed alo n g the narrow path,

THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. when, at last, the animal had gained sure footing, he gave expression to a low exclamation of joy. 'Come on, old boy! You did that nobly!" Then he again took up his ride, and it was not long before the outlaws listened in vain for the sound of his flight. Before he stopped that night, Ted had covered another section of seventy-five miles, and he halted at a pretty, little hamlet environed by fertile meadows, framed in by 1 mountain ranges. Here he learned he would have a direct road to Benson, which was calculated to be about eighty miles distant. Some thought it was not more than seventy miles. And Ted, in his hopefulness, was inclil'led to accept the latter estimate. "I shall find it long enough at that," he thought. As his horses appeared to be in better trim than he had expected, he resolved to take an earlier start from this place than he had originally intended, in the hope of reach ing Benson sooner than nine o "clock. This part of his Jong ride was uneventful. In the cool morning air of that important Friday he sped on past hamlet after hamlet, leaving the surprised inhabitants gazing long and curiously after him. He continued to change horses often, and consulted his watch frequently, gaining courage every time. He should be there as soon as he had planned-ay, earlier, if no accident befell him. Earlier it was by two hours. The town clock was striking seven when he rode over the bridge spanning the river, flowing beside this enter prising place. "\V ell done, Bess, Captain !" he commented. "A better pair of horses never came into Benson." He had good reasons for saying this. Since Tuesday afternoon they had borne him, with the assistance of the bay, who had fallen by the way, fully four hundred and fifty miles. The young rough rider had made a record that had never been beaten. Fremont's ride of eight hundred miles 111 eight days, taking two for rest. .was not its egual. :!'\either was Aubrey"s famous exploit performed by frequent changes of horses, stationed so he could have a fresh animal as often as he needed it. Nor has history among its many historic riders g1vsn one to outdo it. With a triumphant expression upon his handsome countenance, the young rough rider rode into this town, which he fondly believed 'as to prove the end of his l ong ride. He had already seen the little station building, where a single-track road came into town. He naturally concluded he would find the telegraph office there, and thither he hastened with what speed he could. His appearance brought to the door half a dozen per sons who looked upon him with unfeigned wonder. "Geewhiz !" ejaculated one, ''I'll bet he's done some tall ridin' to get here." "I want to see the operator," said Ted, springing to the ground, stiff and lame from his long drive, though still active. 'Twon't do any good to see me," replied one of the crowd. "That is if you want to send a message. The wire s down, and it'll take till night to get it into shape." CHAPTER XI. THE RIDE THAT TOLD. Nothing that the young rough rider had heard spoken since he had left Sosoon gave him such a' shock as the simple statement of the operator in his matter-of-fact tone. "Is there no line by which I can get a message through to Sacramento?" "Not from Benson." "It is a matter of life and death." "I am sorry, but the line is completely useless here. Some one has been tampering with it, and the sheriff and his posse are out now hunting them down." "That does not help me. When does the next train run out from this place?" "Not till twelve o'clock. Oh! we are slow here." ,,


...... THE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. "How far is it to the next station, where I would be likely to get the line?" "I suppose Linmount would be about as near as any place. It is ten miles to that town." "Remarkable, sir, remarkable; never heard of its equal." The young rough rider was already turning to the door. "If jaded he said, still thinking of h d horses, "they are well seasoned to work. I cannot do better than to "An hour's hard ride! Have you a good horse here in take them. Good-day." Benson?" "Good-day, Ted Strong," replied the operator, "and "I presume so, though none to boast on. You must may you reach Linmount in season to save your friend. have important business on hand." Wish I could help you more." Ted believed it would be good policy for him to make a Ted was in the saddle of Black Bess before the man confidant of the operator, so, leavin g his horses to shift had finished his sentence. for themselves, he asked to s

, THE YOU!'\G ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. 27 How Ted would liked to have known how near he was to Linmount. He judged it could not be two miles-he hoped not more than one. But when it lacked but sixteen minutes of eight, and only a margin of sixty seconds was left, he began to lose heart. He prayed now that the train might be late-five min utes, he felt, would turn the tide in his favor. Hark there sounds the whistle He is not in sight of the town, but he must be near Or did the track run close to the road for some distance before coming to the town? It was a quarter of eight! At that moment he came m sight of the town, lying almost at his feet! A sudden turn in the road brought him in sight of the railroad station Also of the train! The bell was ringing-the cars were moving out of the depot! He was too late CHAPTER XII. THE \\IELL-"'9'0N REPRIEVE. The young rough rider, now riding Black Bess, waved his hand, and shouted for the train to stop. But no one seemed to notice his wild approach. l\Iust he give up? Never! "On, faster, faster, Bess!'' he shouted. Thus, a man here and there springing excitedly out of his pathway, without checking the speed of his brave, black steed, now white and yellow with foam and dust, he rode up o n the station platform. The door to the baggage car was open. There was no indication that lhe train was going to stop. He resolved upon a bold, desperate venture. Guiding Black with unerring hand, he dashed madly toward the moving car Understanding what was required of her, the gallant mare raced alongside the swiftly moving train. Reaching the baggage car, Ted sprang from her back straight through the open door of the car. The train was now fairly under way, but it little mat tered to the young rough rider, so long as he was a passenger. ever see the beat of that!" cried a bystander. "Went clean on board the car when she movmg. Must wanted to go bad." "His hoss looks like he had ridden a long ride." "And his other hoss looks jess as bad. The feller looked honest. ru warrant you there's some big hunt afoot." I ''These hosses ought to have good care. If they was my hosses I'd pay somebuddy good to look arter 'em. Dy crimpers Joe Davy ain t one to let a good boss want for care. I'm going to take these in So Bess and Captain were fortunate in the hands that caret! for then1; while their master was borne on toward Sacramento behind the iron horse. The ordeal over, Ted Strong leaned against the side of the baggage car to recover something of his self-posses sion, knowing that he had accomplished his purpose. The half dozen men in the car were too amazed to speak except to utter exclamations of terror, and then of surprise. "Can any of you ten me if the governor 1s on the train?" asked the young rough rider. ''He is," replied the baggage master. "But who m thunder are you, and where did you come from?" ''I will explain that later on. Just now I must see the governor." "He is in the second car." "Good! If you will kindly allow me to pass, I will soon return." Ted then passed into the passenger car, and from the first to the second, where he found the governor reading the morning paper, and, it so hal'Jpened, the particulars of the corning execution. ..Pardon me, g overnor," said the young rough rider, ''but I have an important communication bearing upon that matter."


" tlE YOUNG ROUGH RIDERS WEEKLY. "Who are you, sir?" demanded that official, laying aside his paper. In his terse manner Ted quickly informed the governor of his errand, and enough of his tremendous ride for that official to understand something of the effort he had put forth to save a friend. "Zounds!" he cried; "you have well won a reprieve for your friend. Let me see this con\ession of Stone man's. I know something of him, and I have heard of Dave AnseH, nothing to his good." Then the governor critically examined the document handed him by the young rough rider \ saying, at last: "This is indeed sufficient cause for a delay in the exe cution. I am heartily glad of it, too. Rrom what I have been able to learn, this Blake has not b rl1e himself like a criminal." "He is an innocent man," said Ted. "You say you captured this Ansell, Mr. Strong?" "Yes, your excellency; and if my plifs do not miscarry, we will have him in Sacramento inside of ten days." "You like a hustler, young rtian. I have heard of O you, and am glad to meet you. Mr. Blake sl1all have a reprieve." "Thank you, sir. I do not feel tl' I have made my long ride m vain. I suppose we ought to telegraph .. at the first station w.e come to, that a reprieve is on the ..... way." Arthur Blake was saved from the gallows, not only for that day, but for life. There was not even the neces s ity of a new trial when the chief conspirator in the dark plot was put on trial for his life, as he was in due course of time. About ten days after the arrival of Ted at Benson, Ben, Bud and Miss Blake, with the little company o f pris one rs, reached the place. They were a tired party of travelers, but all their hardships and vicissitudes were forgotten in the happy e nd ing of their work. "Jurnpin' sandhills !" exclaimed Bud Morgan, "but that was a circus-half a dozen ground into one! The only poor thing about it was that Ted did all the work and left nothing fer the rest of us. But we might hev expected it and we made our mistake when we let him go it alone." "Could you help that, Bud?" "Nary a help, so Jong's he got our bosses. Thet's the beginnin' of our mistake. But so long as it 's Ted we won't stand out like b'ars. Th' best part for me is the fact the Captain was there." "And never horse did better work, unle ss it was Black Bess," d e clared Ted. "I shan't let you leave out Charley, who came limping into Hard Luck, and who is going to get over it in good shape," said good-naturedly Such was indeed the case, and the other two steeds al"I agree with you. Yes, we will do so. In the meanready quite from the effects of the long and time I will write a reprieve." Then and there with paper upon his knee, the gover nor of the great State of Ca!ifbrnia wrote that reprieve which meant so much, and was a happy reward for the great undertaking of Ted Strong. At the first station the governor himself sent a message to the sheriff to stay the execution until he could get ,then:-that a reprieve was orf the way. With a light heart, the young rough rider seated him self in the car to enjoy a rest after his long and terri ble ride. Ted's great ride over, J md his rnission accomplished, nothing remains to be tolii?. save a few words of explana tion and description of that followed. trying experience, Arthur Blake safe and his sister happy, there were many reasons for rejoicing over the young rough rider's long ride. THE END. Next week's issue, No. 57, will contain "The Young Rough Rider's Silent Foe; or, The Hermit of Satan's Gulch." This story will tell of how a strange, but cun-. ning man-a hermit-succeeded in keeping a valuable mine closed for several years, of ingenious devices he used to frighten away who attempted to work it and of how Ted Strong, after facing serious clangers, finally brought the hermit to terms. The scene is laid in a .part of the West heretofore not described in this library


YOUNfi ROU6H RIDERS WEEKLY 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. 9-Ted Strong's Rival; or, The Cowboys of Sunset Ranch. 10-Ted Strong' s Peril ; or, Saved by a Girl. II-Ted Strong' s Gold Mine;. or, The Due l at Rocky Ford. 12-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 Tenderfoot. 15-Ted Strong's Might; or, The Cross Against the Sword. 16-Ted Strong)s Puzzle; or, The Golden Mesa 17-Ted Strong in the Chaparral; or, The Hunt at Las Animas. 18--Ted Strong's Forethought; or, King of the Mesa. .I9-Ted Stro n g in the Land of Little Rain; or, Bud Morgan' s V e n g eance. 20-T ed Strong's Water 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. Strong' s Indian Trap; or, Matching Craft with Craft. 2 4-Te d Strong 's Si gnal; or, Racing with Death. 25-Ted Stron g 's Stamp Mill; or, The Woman in Black. 26-Ted Strong's Recruit; or, A Hidde n P oe. 27-Te d Strong's Discovery; or, The Rival Miners. 28--Ted Strong's Chase; or, The Young Rou g h Riders on the Trail. 29-Ted Strong's Enemy; or, An Uninvited Guest. 30-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, ln 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 masking a Sham. 43-The Young Rough Rider's Vendetta; or, The House of the Sorceress. 44-Ted Strong in Old Mexico; or, The Haunted Hacienda. 45-Th,e Young Rou g h Rider in California; or, The Owls of San Pablo. 46-The Young Rough Rider's Silver Mine; or, The Texas Giant. 47-The Young Rough Rider's Wildest Ride ; or, Cleaning Out a Whole Town. 48--The Young Rough Rider:.S Girl Guide; or, The Maid of the Mountains. 49-The Young Rough Rider's Handicap; or, Fighting the Mormon Kidnapers. 50-The Young Rough Rider' s Daring Climb; or, The Treasure of Copper Crag. 51-The Young Rough Rider s Bitterest Foe; or, The Challenge of Capt. Nemo. 52-The Young Rough Rider's Great Play; orr The Mad Ally of a Villain. 53-The Young Rough Rider Trapped; or, A Villain's Desperate Play All of the above numbers always on hand. If you cannot get them from you,. newsdealer, five cents per copy will bring them to you by mail, postpaid STREET & SMITH. Publishers, 238 William Street, NEW YORK f I


NICK CARTER WEEKLY7 1==T==H==E====B==E==ST====D==E==T==E==CT==l==V==E==S==T==O===R==IE==S==l==N==T==-H-E--==W==O==R==L==D===I 383-Kidnaped 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 S ecret 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 M urder a t Linden Fells; or, The Mys tery of the Cadillac N eedle. 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 Mysterious 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. Princess of Hades; or. The Reappear ance of Dazaar, the Fiend. 395-A Compact with Dazaar; or, The Devil Worshiper s Den. 39()-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. 398-The Terrible Game of Millions; or, Track ing Down the Plotters. Dead Man's Power; or The Mystery of a Telephone Number. 400--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 Detective's Double Disguise. 403-The Brotherhood of the Crossed Swords; 1 or, The Little Giant's Mighty Task. 404-The Trail of the Vampire; or, The Mysterious Crimes of Prospect Park. 405-The Demons of the Night; or, The Terrors of the Idol's Cavern. 4o6---The Captain of the Vampire; or, Smuggler,s of the Deep Sea. 407-A Bank President's Plot; o r Three Vil lains of a Stripe. 4o8-The Master Criminal; or, With the Devil in His Eye. 409-The Carruthers Puzzle; or, Nic k Carter's Best Disguise. 410--Inez, the Mysterious; or, The Master Crim inal's Mascot. 4u-The Criminal Queen's Oath; or, The ference Between Two 412-The Point ,of a Dagger; or, The Criminal Queen's Madness. 413-Doctor Quartz, the Second; or, The Great Freight Car Mys tery. 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; o r, The Ward of Doctor Quartz. 417-The woma n Wizard' s Hate; or, A Dangerous Foe. 418-The Prison Demon; or. The Ghost of Dr. Quartz. Carter and the Hangman' s Noose; or, Dr. Quartz on Earth Agai n 420--Dr. Quartz's Last Play; or, A Hand with a Royal Flush. 421-Zanoni, the Transfi gured; or, Nick Car ter's Phantom Mascot. 422-By Command of the Czar; or, Nick Carter's Boldest Defiance. 423-The Conspiracy of an Empire; or, Nick Car ter's Bravest Act. 424-A Queen of Vengeance; or, Nick Carter's Beautiful Nemesis. 425-Daring Dan, the Human Mystery ; or, Nick Carter's Smoothest Foe. 42&-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 got them from your ne,,vsdealer!# five cents per copy will bring "!&genD to yo111 by mall!# postpaid. i I STRT & SMITH, Publishers, 238 \VuHiam Street, NEW YORK 1 /


BRA VE AND BOLD Cont a ins t l1e Biggest and Best Storios o' All Descriptions. A Different C omplete story Each W e ek. FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF THE LATEST ISSUES : 61-Backed by an Unkno wn ; o r Dick Darrell's H u stle for a L iving. By C o rneliu s Shea. 62 ---All A board ; or, Life o n the L ake. B y O l i v e r O ptic. 6 3-Ph i l t h e Fi ddler; or, T he Sto ry of a Y o ung S t reet M u sic ian B y Horatio Alge r J r 64--nick Halladay s Pranks; o r Fun at Strykerv i lle Ac a demy. By W L. James, Jr. 6 5 Slow and Sure; or, F ro m the Street to the Sh o p By Hora tio Al ger, Jr. C6Little by Li t tle ; or, The Cruise of the Flya w ay. B y O liv et' O ptic. 67-B e y o nd the Frozen Seas ; or, The Land of the Pigmi e s By C o rnelius S h ea. 1 68-The Young A c robat ; or, The Gr e at North Ameri can Cir c us By Horat i o A lger J r fr o m the Gallow s ; or, T he Rescue o f Charlie Armi ta g e By M at t R oyal. 70--Che c kma te d by a Ca det ; or, Conquered by Chance By Har r i e Irving H ancoc k. 71-Nuggets and Nerve; or, The Two Boy Miners By Frank Sheri dan 7;1-Mile a-M inute T o m ; or, The YouneEngineer of Pine Va lley B y C o rnel i us Sh ea 73-Seared W i th Iron; o r, The Barid of Skel e t o n Bar. By Cornelius Shea 74-The Deuce and the Kineof Diamonds ; or, Two S outhern B o ys in S o uth Afri ca. By the autlaor of "Among the Malays." 75-Now or Never ; or, "The Adventures of Bobby Bright. By Oliver Optic 76-Blue-Bloo ded B e n ; or, Two Princeton Pals By the author of "Hal Larkin 77-Checkere-Th ro u g h T hi c k a n d T hin ; o r F o es to the Last. B y Walter J N e wt o n 91-In Ru ss i a 's Power; or, How Two B oys Outwit te d the C zar. By Matt R oyal. 92-J o n a h M ud d, t h e Masco t o f Hoodooville ; o r Which Was Whi c h ? B y Fred T h o rpe 93Fighting the Sem i n o les; o r Harr y Emers on's R e d Fri e nd By Ma j Herb ert H C ly de. 94-The Young Outl a w ; o r, Adrift in th e Streets By Hor a tio Al ge r Jr. 95-The Pass of Gho sts ; o r, A Y an k e e B o y in the Far W est. By C o rn e l i us Sh ea -The For tu n es o f a Foundling; o r, D ic k the Out ca st. By R a l p h R a n ge r 97-The Hun t fo r the Talisman; o r The F o r t unes of th e G o l d G rab Mine By J. M. Merr ill. gS-Mystic I s l a nd T he T ale o f a H i d d e n T r easure By t h e auth o r o f "The W r ec k o f t h e G loucus." 91)--C a p t S t art!'; or, T he Terror o f the Black Range B y C o rnelius Shea . 100--Jul iu s the Street Boy ; or, A W a if's R ise from P o vert y By H orati o Alger, Jr. 101-Shanghaied ; or, A Wanderer Against His Will By H C. Emmet 103--Lu k e Jepson's Treachery; o r T he Dwarfs of the Pacific. By the author of "The W re e k of t he Glaucus lOJ-Tangle d Trails; or, The Mystery of the Manville F ortu ne By Cli fford Park. 104-Jamea, Langle y & C o.; or, T he B1)y Min er s of Salt River By the au t h o r of "Capt S tartle. 105-Ben Barcl a y s C ou rage ; o r T h e Fortunes of a Stor e B oy. By Hor atio Alger Jr. 1o6--Fred Desmond s Miss i o n ; o r The Cruise of the "Explorer. By C o rnelius Shea. u17-Tom Pinkn ey s F ortu ne ; or, A roun d the W o rld w it h Nell i e Bly. B y Lieut C l y de. 1o8--Detc ctive C link et's Inv e s ti ga tions; o r The M y s tery of the Sc v eiwl H a nd B y C liff ord P a rk. 109--In t h e Depths of t\e Dark C ontinent; or, T he Vengeance of Van Vi ncent. By the author of "The Wreck of the IIO--Barr, the Detect iv e ; or, The Peril of Lucy Grave&. By Thomas P Mon tfo rt. nr-A B a nd it o f C o sta R ica; or, The Story of a Stranded Circus. By C o rnelius Sh e a I 1,__Dacey D e arb o rn s D iffic u lties; o r The S t ruggle of the R iv al D ete cti ves By Cliff ord P ark. IIJBen Fols o m s C o urage ; o r H o w Pluck Won Out. By Fre d T h o rpe II4-Daring Dic k Goo d lo e s Apprenti ceship; or, The For tu n e s o f a Yo un g Newspaper Rep o rter. By Phil Will o ug hby. usB o w e ry B ill, the Wharf R a t ; o r The Young Street Arab's V o w By Ed. S Whee l er. II6-A F i ght for a S weethe art; or, The Romance of Yo11n g Dave Man sa rd B y C o rnelius Shea II7-Col. My s teria ; or, The T ra cking of a Criminal to His Grave. By Launce Poyntz. All of the above numbe,.. !ways on hand. If -you cannot get t h e m from -yoiaa newsdealer11 five oents per copy will bring them to -you by mall11 pastpald. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 238 W illiam Street, NEW YORK 1 1 I


YOUNG ROVt:R LIBRARY Adventure,s of THE AMERICAN NARKA WAY j THE unflagging interest taken in the fortunes of the immortal Jack Harkaway by young boys, and old boys as well, has for thirty years been one of the marvels o f the publi shing world These stories seem to be just as eage rly sought after and devoured to-day as when first issued, and myriads of readers Idolize the B old and Unconquered Jack in much the same spirit as they do good old Robinson Crusoe. In fact it has become a hous ehold n ame. And yet, there has always been something like a spirit of keen dis appointment among American lads because this hero happ e ned to be a Britisher. At last b e lieving the time is ripe tQ remedy this one defect we now take ple asure in presenting a new s e ries, in which, from week to week will be chronicled the wondeiful adventures and madcap pranks of a genuine Yankee l ad, who certainly bids fair to out-Harkaway the famous original of this.type, !lief.he energetic and restless Link Rover a -unique character has been cr ea ted, so bold and striking that we confidently expect < his name : to presently become quite as familiar among our American boys as those of Frank M e rriwell or Buffalo Bill. These Stories of and Frolic at school and abroad are written especially for this series by Gal e Richards, who ia under exclusive contr(lct to deY,ote his whole time and attention to this fascinating work. There is not a dull line from beginning to end, because Link Rover belfove.s ft: is his especial duty and privilege to keep things constantly "humming." So be fairly warned that to commence readlnj f f his strange ia to acquire the "Rover habit," which clings to one like a leech and ia very hard to shake off. ,., .. . i 1 : t"'1 ., 'J ( J?ollowla1 I fut of the aumbers already Issued .or la press: 1-Link Rover, the Scapegrace; or, The Black Sheep of the Family. 2-Link Rover at School Abroad; or, Lively Times at Old Swindon. 3-Link Rover as a Wizard; or, The Yankee Firebrand in an English School. 4-Link Rover's Balloon Voyage; or, Fun and Adventure Among the Clouds. 5-Link Rover Among the Carlists; or, Playing a Bold Game with the Dons. 6-Link Rover Adrift; or, Pranks -and Perils on the Mediterranean. 7-Link Rover in Algiers; or, Waking Up a Sleepy Oriental City. 8--Link Rover's Strange Legacy; or, The Auda cious Lark at Malta. 9:--Link Rover's Chase; or, A Yankee Innocent Along the Nile. lo-Link Rover's Menagerie; or, Lively Times with the Scapegrace. II-Link Rover, the Wonder-Worker; or, Sur prising the Hindoo Jugglers. 12-Link Rover's Jumping Idol; or, Mad Pranks in a Chinese Temple. 13-Link Rover's Pirate Junk; or, The Strange Cruise of the Howling Ghost. 14-Link Ro;;rer in America; or, In Search of Fun at the "Golden Gate." 15-Link Rover's Wager; or, Mixing Them Up on the Limited. 16-Link Rover Among the Mormons; or, A Madcap Frolic in Old Salt Lake City. 17-Link Rover's Warning; or, The Ghastly Sell on Sheriff Bowie. 18-Link Rover's Glorious Lark; or, Making a Holy Show of the Train Rlobbers. 19--Link Rover Stranded; or, Finding Fun on the Road. 20-Link Rover's Camp Fires; or, A Jolly Journey with the Hoboes. 21-Link Rover on Guard; or, Tricks Played on Travelers. 22-Link Rover's Discovery; or, A Very Hot Time at Denver. 23-Link Rover Trapped; or, The Bursting of a Bubble. 24-Link Rover and the Mqney Makers; or, Something Not Down on the Bills. 25-Link Rover in Chicago; or, Making Things Fairly Hum. 26-Link Rover's Strategy; or, Smoking Out an Old Enemy. 27-Link Rover Among the Shanty Boatmen; or, A Roaring Voyage Down the Miss issippi. 28-Link Flying Wedge; or, Footba11 Tactics on a River Steamboat. 29--Link Rover's Crusoe Island; or, A Campaign of Humor in the Flood. 30--Link Rover's Surprise; or, The Mischief to Pay. 31-Link Rover Among the Cotton Pickers; or, Hustling for Fun Down in Dixie Land. 32-Link Rover's Tame Scarecrow ; or, The As tounding Racket "Daddy" Played. A new number every week. Price, FIVE CNTS, at all newsdealers : by sending direct to the publishers. ,\ ':-.,. STREET &. SMITH, ,;!38 William New York I l" i "'.,,


BE A R001-:ER Root For a Record in the National Qame and for Tip Top Prizes T I p T 0 u p A ... 'S L N L A c T 0 I N 0 T N E A s L T Do You Want to Try for the Pennant? Do You Want a Fine Outfit for Your Team? Do You Want to Score High in the National Game ? HERE IS YOUR OHANOE Root for the Famous Tip Top Prizes and Pennant . P .LAY BALL_ Watch Every Number 'or Further Announcements -' .......... -.


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