-Iasued Weekly=-1111 S11bscription $2.5o per' year."7;:Ent. ered Pos t -O.tfice,by Frank 1'ousey : !"" I No. t NEW YORK JANUARY 27, 1 899. Price 5 Cents.' 'C, : ..._ / I '-Old King Brady, the_worldfamed detective, giving instructions_to_his faithful assist1mt / "Young King ;Brady.
OLD AND YOUNG KING BRADY., DETECTIVES. Issued Weekly-By Subscriptin n $2 .50 per r0r. Entered Second Clas. Ma.tter a_t the New Y01k N Y ., Post Office. Ente? cd according to .-1et of Congre s s in the year 1899, in the o.f/ice of the Librarian of Congre s s, Washington, IJ. u .. by Fra1tk Touse y, 29 West 26th Street, New York. No. 1 New York, January 27, 1899. Price 5 Cents. -HE/ BAN-D; I OR, I The Tw.o Biradys Against a aaird Gang. AN INTERESTING DETECTIVE STORY. B Y A NEW YORK DETECTIVE. CHAPTER I. THE MARBLE MANOR. ALL the world knows Old King Brady. That astute master of detective skill, shrewd, eccen ic and peerless in the mastery of any mysterious se, has carried terror to the heart of many an evil er, overthrown countless villainous machinations, d written his name above all others on the scroll of me; Along Park Row in the great of New York, his aint figure has long been familiar. To every poli cian, barroom bummer, and confidence man loung g in that vicinity, the sight of Old King Brady olds a species of awe commingled with fear. For he is the man who never fails. No matter how difficult the case, how shrewd the ystery, how dangerous and wily the gang, he is sure o subserve the ends of justice-as sure as that the un will rise and set each day of our natural lives. Tall, but by no means slender of frame, with strong atures beneath the wide brim of his white felt hat, ith his blue coat tightly buttoned about him up to e high white collar, with its old fashi o ned stock, he an impi;essi've figure, and when once seen not easily rgotten. This is Old King Brady. But in a few m oments in he corner of some dark alley, a lightning meta orphosis, the few changes in coat, hat and wig, nd you have quite another character, whose identity ith the prince o f detectives you would never dream f. Old King Brady's features were of the type fa iliar to the stage a rtist as "versatile." That is t o say they were capable of any make up, from youth to the various types of old 1 a .ge. Against such a man, the crooks of the country stood scant chance When once he got upon their scent, though the route might be a devious and long one, it was sure to meet with one common end, disaster to the evil doer Thus we have known Old King Brady for many years. It had ever been his custom to work alone. Never in his detective experiences had he co-operated to any great extent with another sleuthhound But now he had seen fit to deviate from this custom to certain extent. With him at times was seen a stropg-framed and remarkable-lookingyoung man. He was not quite so tall as Old King Brady, nor were his features as strong. But it soon be came known that as a detective he was scarcely ill' ferior to his teacher. For this young man was Old King Brady's pupil. He had been taken into the confidence of the old detective, and given a schooling such as no ever had before. While his name was also Brady, he was no blood relation of Old King Brady. Strong and well knit but not tall, Harry Brady's features were also of that versatile type which en abled him to easily disguise himself. He affected a modification of Old King Brady's styl e o f dress. He wore a slouch felt hat, but not quite so wide of bllim His coat was buttoned up closely to the neck and was of the same material, but of a little better quality and showed the natural van-
2 1.'HE BLAOK BAND. ity of youth in its immaculate-smoothness and cleandows, devastated the shrubbery, and raised Cain ge1 liness. erally. In all of Old King Brady' s cases now, this pupil of From bad to worse it went. his .figured. Then there went forth reports which at least prove They were well known at detective headquarters, a half protection. but n eithe r h a d any acquaintances outside. Reserve Credulous people reported strange happenings; a'nd terseness of speech characterized both. ni&ht there. Only it was .noted that the pupil had a few tastes The fl.ashing of red lights. which differed from Old King Brady's, Of these we White al)d shadowy figures. will speak more anon. Blue fire, unearthly groans a .nd shriek_s, and tb It was not long before the name of Young King usual a
THE BLACK BAND. 3 few pennies as relentlessly as they would tap the till "Upon the package of letters was the superscrip of the merchant or pick the pocket of the millionaire. tion of James Whittridge, a prominent New York It was a clean sweep every time. banker. Mr. Whittridge has been mysteriously miss-They had derived their designation of the Black ing for two months. Band from their uniform appearance. "Also a broken gold ring bearing his name was They wore masks and black cloaks, and wherever found. But no trace of the bod)' w as discovered. they appeared to their victims-always after dark-Neither could any clew be gained as to its disposi the impression was instantly created that Dick Tur-tion by t'lie murderers. No trace of them or their pin and his gang had come back to !'larth. identity was gained. Against this hard gang the two King Bradys had "All is thus far .a complete mystery, motive for been working. murder unknown. of murderers not re-They had not met with very great success thus far, vealed." The gang had proved singularly elusive, and the Such was the case at the Marble Manor. Old King best efforts of the two smart detectives had been for Brady finished reading it, and was silent. naught. Young King Brady had been an absorbed listener. So the answer which Old King Brady made to the For somewhile no one spoke. Then the chief finally chief was not encouraging. I broke the silence. "On more than one account I am glad you came "Well, Brady, what do you think of it?" in," said the chief. "We have here a case which has The man is not dead baffled all our detectives. Now, I feel sure that the "What?',. two Bradys can fathom it. Do you know I have a "There has been no murder." lurking suspicion that the Black Band are in some The chief was astonished. way responsibleforthatcrimeat the Marble Manor." "No murder?" he ejaculated'. "The Marbble Manor!" ejaculated Old King "No!" Brady. 'rhen he exchanged glances with the younger "You surprise me. Is there not very evidence of I detective. "Why, we have just come from there!" it?" The chief was astounded. "I see no evidence," replied the astute old detect" Not direct?" he asked. ive. Young King Brady nodded his head in acquies"Well, no," admitted the old detective, "but we were there yesterday morning. We looked for a clew but were disappointed." "The crime was enacted last night," said the chief, impressively. "News reached me this morning. Here is a full account of it in my journal." cence. "But the blood--" "Bah!" said Old King Brady, coolly. "Blood does not always tell. In this case it is misleading. You may be sure that James Whittridge, the banker, is alive." The chief drummed on the table. CHAPTER II. "Hang you for a non-committal rogue, Old King c LE v ER w o R K Brady," he sa. id, impatiently. "Why will you not OLD KING BRADY took the chief's journal and beexplain yourself?" gan to read it. But the chief said : "Young man," said the old detective, turning to "I beg your pardon Were you chasing the Black Young King Brady, "you and I are going back to Band when you visited the Marble Mano Tarrytown." "A slight clew led us thither," said Old King "I'm your candidate," said Harry Brady, rather Brady. slangily. "Was it a good one ?" Now," said the elde r detective, turning to the "No We found nothing at the manor to warrant chief, "I am going to 'tell you one thing: If a mur any belief that it was the hiding place of the hard der bad been committed, the body would have been gang." found." Old King Brady now proceeded to read aloud the "l hardly see why." chief's notes of the Marble Manor mystery. "Did you ever know the Black Band to spirit away Thus it read: I the bodies of any of their victims? Again, if they "A dispatch from Tarrytown early on the morning had intended to hide the body, they would have re of the 7th, notified us that traces of a fearful crime moved the traces of the crime." had been found at the Marble Manor. The philosophy of this assertion at once dawned "At once Detectives J udkins, Morse and Bent, upon the chief of detectives with lightning force. with Officers Cody, Clark, and Smith, six men, were He drew a deep breath. dispatched thither. "Brady, you are keen," he said. "I can see your "Arrived at the manor they found a number of expoint, and you are right." cited villagers and the local constable. "Instead," pursued the old detective, "they were "Investigation disclosed shreds of clothing, a very careful not t.o' remove those traces of blood, package of letters and a great pool of blood at the which shows 1ihat they wished to convey the imfoot of a long flight of marble stairs. pression that the man was murdered."
4 THE BL.A.OK BAND. The chief was spellbound. "Aw, yes, thank you," he said, with the English "Therefore, the man James Whittridge is alive. drawl. "I'm new in America, you see, but I'm getMoreover, that old manor is the den of that gang of ting on to your ways vastly." hard characters.'' "Good," said the chief. "I suppose1you have a You believe it ?" chase over here. Now we will be very gld d to assist "I know it!" you," The chief of detectives gasped. I "No, aw-tha11-ks !" replied Ladd. You see it "By the. great hornspoon, Brady!" he cried, isn't that way quite. I got tired of Scotland Yard, "you've got further en the case already than all the to tell the truth,_ and I'm over here on my own hook other men. Take hold of this case; you will win it." -aw!" The detective nodded dreamily. The chief stared. Young King Brady whistled a tune and began 1 "Yes!" he said; quietly, trying to analyze the man making efforts to brush dust specks from his coat; before him. It was this which brought the old detective out of his ''I thought I would run in and see if you could do reverie. anything for ine." Stop your primping, you young dude," he said, "Well, I am sorry," replied the chief. "There is sharply. "Before we get out of that manor again no vacancy at present on the force." you will think of practical sense and less of "Thought as much. But l'm willing ;;o go it alone dandyism," with which he rose and started for tt.e 1-aw, if you could post me. Great case this Marble door. Manor--" "Heigho !" exclaimed the chief, "are yoti off?" You will hear from us again-some time,'' re plied the old detective. "Come, Harry, we must move along. Good-day, chief." Good-day." The door closed and the two King Bradys were gone. Creak, whish, creak The door of the office swung open. Both men turned in their chairs. On the threshold stood '" miserable-looking old beggar. His bent form and hideous features were enough to shock one's senses. Before the chief could arise he had ambled into the the chief o detectives was to see them office with extended hand. again some exceedingly thrilling events were to hap"Givea de poor Italiano bread," he whimpered. pen. "Givea de penny! Helpa de poor!" For some while after the two detectives vanished "Look here, you unadulterated essence of gal;. the chief of detectives of the Secret Service paced the How did you get off the Island?" began the chief. room thoughtfully. Then he checked hi.rrlself. He puffed and chewed at a cigar alternately. At 1 The beggar's appearance was really pitiful. times he whistled. The chief's hand went into his pocket, and out came "I'll bet Old King Brady knows more about that I a silver quarter. He tossed it to mendicant, who case than he told me be muttered. "One thing is j eagerly sprawled on the floor for 1t. certain. If he fails it be the first time, and the Then the chief turned his back, and Ladd did the Black Band have a man against them they will not same. easily defeat." Creak, swish, creaik. Rat, tat, tat. The door closed. Once the chief glanced casually A rap on the door. over his sho ulder. The beggar 'vas gone "Come in," said the chief. "Well, Ladd," he said, brusquely, "of course it is The door swung open. a free field. You can go on with the manor case on On the threshold stood a tall young man, with your own responsibility." rather florid face and mutton-chop whiskers. He "But can you not aid me? Give me a cle.w to work was dressed in a flashy plaid suit. on?" The chief looked at him inquiringly. "I am afraid I cannot." "Well, sir?" he inquired. "Then none of your men have a clew yet?" The visitor bowed. "Not to my knowledge." "Is this the chief of the Secret Service?" he asked. "One "It is." "Well?" "My name is Ladd-Anthony Ladd. I am one of "I hear much of two smart t;nen over hel\e. Aw, the profession. My card." they call them, I think, the two King Bradys." The chief took the card and read : "Yes," replied the chief. They are crackerjacks. "ANTHONY LADD, "Scotland Yard Detective." I "Ah!" he exclaimed. "From across the water, eh? Please to meet you, Mr. Ladd. Have a chair." The visitor sank into a chair. too!" "Um!" said the Scotland Yard man, in a queer, significant way. "Are they-aw, on this same case?" "I believe they are!" "And they have no clew?"
THE BLACK BAND. "I cannot say!" "His name is Ladd." "Where are they at present?" The old detective chuckled. "I am not at liberty to s a y J.'' "He is the man who knows more about James Ladd puckered his mouth and gave a low whistle. Whittridge's fate than any other living person. His The chi e f looked up in a h a lf vexed way at this bit of J disguise was clever, but not clever enough for me. impudence. He is Melburne Jayne, the nephew of the missing "Is there no more I can do for you, Mr. Ladd?" banker, and I am possessed of the information, bona he asked, shortly 1 fide, that he is in league with the Black Band." "I-a\v-am mucb indebted," replied Ladd, rising. "Great guns!" gasped the chief. "This is a day "I hope I have not bored you." of days What is his reason for getting rid of his "Oh, no!" replied the chief. uncle?" "I may come again?" "He means to compel him to sign a will which "At your pleasure !" give all his millions to him, Jayne. After that-shvr!i "By the way?" shift for the old man." Yes ?" The chief was aghast. "If I hit on any important clew would you be glad "But what induced him to come here in such a dis-to have me turn it over to you?" guise? His purpose?" -The chief stare d. The old detective made a grimace. "That is unusual," he said. "It would be of more "As plain as the nose on your face." v a lue to you." "That is a riddle." "Well, I wish to make a return for the favor you "I will be plain. It was his purpose to draw you have shown me, in giving me full and free permission out and learn if possible if we had any of us the to undertake this manor case on my own responsi-slightest inkling as to the real fate of Whittridge. bility." In the guise of a detective thought you would be "You are impudent!" said the chief, hotly. L add was now at the door. "Au r ev oir, sir," he said, and .was gone. If ever the chief of detectives was surprised in his lif e, h e was now. "Well, I'm blowed h e e jaculated; "that is the c ool est pi e ce of humanity I've met m many a day. Anthony Ladd, of Scotland Yard! Well, if he was on my force I'd have him disciplined." confid ential." "The infernal rogue!" "Yes, that's what he is!" .., But, why do you let him slip away now? Why tlon't you shadow him? I would not lose his track." Old King Brady coolly took a bite of a rich plug of tobacco. "That's all provided for," he said. "How ?" asked the chief. The. chief turned in a startled manner. A curious grating sound came to his hearing. ca me from b ehind his desk. "Young King Brady will attend to that," said the It old detective, as he proceeded to doff his disguise. In a stride he was there. To his amazement, he saw a ragged figure lyfog on the carpet. A grotesque swollen face looked up a t his. It was the mendicant. 1 CHAPTER III. WORKING IN THE DARK. THE scene of our story must now change. We will take the reader without preliminaries to the Marble Manor. Fire fla3h e d in the chief s eyes. That structure has been described in a previous "You cantankerous rapscallion !" he yelled; "get chapter, so it is not necessary to do it here. out of here before I boot you out I gave you money. It was a dark night. \Vhat are you doing here?" There was no moon, and the clouds hung heavy in ",HfLve de mercy, Americano Good signor, mucha the heavenly canopy. kind to poor Italiano." To the casual observer the manor house would have The nondescript scrambled to his feet. seemed a single black pile, outlined dimly against the He turned his back to the chief and made some blackness of the night. queer passes with his hands across his face. When But to a man lying low in a clump of shrubbery, h e turned again the chief gave an astounded cry. fifty yards from the manor, it was at times the source "Old King Brady!" 1 of a peculiar glimmering light. It was the famous d e t ective. It was.this same manifestation which had given the How he chuckled and grinned. old mansion to the superstitious the reputation of "You know me ?" he s a id. being haunted. / "!\now you!" gasped the chief. ."Well, of all dis-But the man in the shrubbery was not of the kind g uis e s But what brought you back? Are you I to fear the supernatural. He remained there watch-working a joke on me?" ing and listening. "Not a joke," said the old detective. Again and again the light glimmered, and gleamed "What then?" in a desultory way. Several times the listener "Did you not know that f ellow?" thought he heard a low, dull murmur like voices
6 THE BLA CK. B AND. Then the light seemed to vanish entirely. All was I After what seemed an interminable period they blackness. came to a door. This led into a corridor beyond. With this the watcher rose swiftly and King Brady knew that it of no use to waste He drew back from his hiding place and placed two 1 time m the part of the mans10n. fingers between his lips. r The gang, if anywhere, were far underground. So The cry of a night owl went mournfully up on the down these marble stairs the two sleuths crept. night air. At the bottom they paused and again the dumb That was all. alphabet with the hands was used. There was no reply to the apparent signal, nor did "What now?" asked Young King Brady. "We must separate." he seem to expect one. He, however, crept boldly up to the corner of the "Really ?" ( I "Y Marble Manor nearest. Here he stood a moment. es. "B t And as he stood, there came gliding along in the u --' gloom toward him another figure "No but about it. You take one of these passages, They came up to each other, and each pre\sed the I I take the other. Between now and morn-other's hand. mg we will meet at the 6ld oak dow1! by the river. B t t d k d .bl 1 Be there before sunrise or we may be spotted." u no a wor was spo en au I y. I "All ht ,, d y K B d Though a conversation was carried on and in an Th rtihg agrete d oung mg ra Y l f h Th. th th fi d 1 en ey separa e unusua as ion. is was w1 e ngers an pa ms L t f ll Old K. B d f th h d e us o ow mg ra y. 0 e an s The old detective proceeded along the passage Each understood the other. "They are here!" said the larger man. "You saw the light?" "Yes." "Where are they now?" "They have gone below." "Shall we enter?" "Yes." which he had chosen. For some distance he kept on cautiously. Then he came to another flight of marble stairs. Down these he crept, and was now in the fungi cel lars of the mansion. All this while he had heard or seen nothing. An hour passed. The detective had conducted his explorations stead ily and carefully. He was not altogether sangui rn of success. Others had essayed this same thing and had failed Smart detectives had shadowed the mansion by day In a few moments they reached a window from and night without success. This was the conversation-just this and nothing more. Old King Brady and Young King Brady, for they were the two prowlers, now boldly crept along the side of the mansion. which a sash had long been absent. But there was a chance of securing a clew, and 01J Young King Brady grasped the ledge and skillfully King Brady was looking for his chance. pulled himself up over it and into the blackness be-1 Another hour passed. yond. He was lying, in a passageway connecting with one Old King Brady followed. of the fungi rooms. The ground beneath him was They were now in-the haunted house. cold and damp. It made his rheumatism twinge. All was pitcby darkness about them. It is said that everything comes to those who They stood quite still for some while and listened, wait. but no sound came to their ears. Old King Brady was no exception to this rule. In this move they had been as silent as death. Something did come bis way. This was nece.ssary Suddenly his keen ears caught a peculiar sound. After awhile Old King Brady drew something from It might have been the slight passage of a current his pocket. It was a small and peculiar lantern. of air through the passage. It might have the Held to the marble floor, it illumined only that passage of a bat winging its way through the cor space beneath it, and was not visible to anybody but ridors. the holder of the lantern. But it was not either of these things to Old King This enabled the detectives to cree p along 'the floor Brady's best belief. without the danger of stepping into some pitfall or It was the swish and soft footfall of sqme person colliding with some object. traversing the passage ahead. In an instant the old Slowly the course over the marble floor was begun. detective was keenly on the alert. Ever and anon they plac ed their ears to the floors Down he sank with his ear pressed to 1lhe ground. and listened. Then they kept on. He listened well, and for a long while. Both knew the of the utmost caution Then like a cat he was upon his feet and crept for-and stealth. ward. His passage was absolutely noisel e ss. They were against a hard gang, a clique of ferrets, His hands came in contact with the blank wall and the methods employed to corner them must be of some distance from where he had started. the keenest. He felt along the stone surface. His senses had
THE BLACK BAND. 7 not deceived him. His fingers encountered what felt like a small steel hook projecting from the wall. "Eureka!" he muttered, "I have it." He pressed on the fiook, and a section of }he "'.all moved back. An aperture large enough to admit the passage of a man's body was created. Old King Brady's keen ears had heard things which led him unerringly to this discovery. The swishing sound and the light footfalls had pro eeeded to this point. Then they ceased, and he heard the slight grating of the marble block as it moved beneath the metallic springs. His intuition had led directly to. the spot. He had passed one goal post on his route to c}iscovery, which itll other detectives had not been able to gain. It was but a moment's work for him to drop through the aperture. He needed no light. His sense of touch.guided him infallibly, and in a few moments he was creeping along a secret passage which he felt sure would lead him to the goal of his desires. Cunning Old King Brady The evil doers little reckoned upon the success of this invincible man. He was against a hard gang, it was true,. but this did not disconcert him. Along the passage he crept. And now he heard the hum of voices. His keen delight was beyond comparison. He kept along beside the wall, and then crouched down to listen. He had arrived at the dividing of the ways. One of these passages turned to the left; and the other to the right. Which should he take?" For a moment Old King Brady was in doubt. Then he became conscious of a thrilling fact. Some being, unseen and unknown, and for aught he knew, mtangible, was close by his side. While thus undecided, an incident occurred which changed. the face of matters, and at once endowed him with a new determination. Suddenly a coarse laugh and jest was p.eard fal" down the right hand corridor. A flash of light was seen, and a tall figure came hurrying through the passage. f[e passed so near t() Old K _ing Brady that his clothes actually brushed him. That it was one of the Black Band there was n' doubt. But even in that moment of supreme peril, a startling fact dawned upon the old detective 'l'he othe'r occupant of the passage, the unknown of whom he had stood in fear, had also shrunk from contact with the passing member of the gang. This made it at once patent tQ Old King Brady that the unknown was not one of the hard gang. In that case he would have at once called on his compatriot and exposed the detective then and there. InsteaO., he seemed in as grea. t fear of exposing himself a Old King Brady. A hundred startling thoughts flashed through the detective's brain. What could it mean ? Who was the unknown? He decided to find out at once. He crept silently ahead a little and listened. Then he felt a shadow over him and strong fingers gripped his throat. He was pinioned to the cavern floor. Old King Brady was a strong man, but he had been taken just at the right moment. For the instant he was helpless. A sudden startling thought came to him. Even while the fingers of the unknown were reducrng him to silent insensibility, he made several touches with his hands upon the ha.nds of his captor which he had grip,ned. A::; he expected in an instant the grip on his throat relaxed. CHAPTER IV. Instead strong young arms embraced him a mo-THE DEN OF -ROBBERS. ment. Then his captor's hands seized his and telel'T is !hardly necessary to dilate upon the sensations graphed : experienced by the prince of de tee ti ves. "Whew? this is a close call. I did not think of He .remained just as motionless and silent as death. you." He knew that a great peril threatened him. "You young scamp;" Old King Brady telegraphed He could feel it in his nerves, could sense it, but back: "You nearly ended me !" still could not see nor hear anything. It was Young King Brady. Only the sense of intuition told him that something Secretly the old man was pleased. the young de-was by his side. Had Old King Brady been othh tective had shown unparalleled skill, and had actually than a fearless man he might have felt his grow gotteh the best of his teacher. chill. It was a fortunate outcome, for one might have But fear was not a part of his system. He had killed the other in that dark encounter. As it was,. fac e d death in too many forms too many times. however, no harm was done. But he knew that the unknown also knew of his "How on earth did you get here?" telegraphed presence. Old King Brady. There must be a collision sooner or later. The passage brought me to a hole in the wall,. That the unknown was a foe, and
'l'HE BLACK BAND. when we separated must have come right "back into mine." "Just so !" It was easy to see that the younger detective had reached the secret entrance, just in the rear of the older. Of course, he took the scent and kept it as we have seen. "At any rate we have made a gain," telegraphed Old King Brady. "I think we shall be right on the gang in a few moments." "We are in luck!" "Indeed we are!" "What shall we do now?" Go ahead " Of course. You lead the way." "All right!" I Old King Brady proceeded to do this. Every mo-ment sound of voices grew nearer. In a few moments they saw an aperture in the wall. Through this cam:e a glimmer of light. Nearer the two detectives .crept and then gazed in upon the startling scene. A large square room was revealed. In the middlb of the earthern floor was a huge oil stove, and on this meats were cqoking:' A case of liquor stood against the wall. Glasses were on a large box. About the stove were grouped Wbittridge's face instantly lit up and his lips moved, but an admonishing gesture from the old detective restrained what might otherwise have been an outburst. Only an instant did Old King Brady venture to reveal But this was sufficient. Whittridge was another. man. He saw that an effort was being made to rescue him, and that hfs rescuers were even near at hand. Only those who have been imprisoned as the banker. was now can realize what such a ray of hope means. Old King Brady shrank back into the gloom. at once sought Young King Brady's hand and telegraphed : "I want you leave here at once." "Well?" "Take the first telegraph station and wire the chief of the Secret Service in cipher." "Yes." Tell him to send forty men here at once and sur round this house. It must be done silently and quickly." \ But you--" I am going to stay here "The risk !(' began Young King Brady. ''That is not to be considered. Somebody has got to be here to let the men into the place. I can do that." fully a score of the toughest looking men either de" If you are discovered--" tective had ever seen. "I've had my day, young man. I am ready to die, They were truly a hard gang. but you have a future before you. Go and make Every one was dressed in black, with the black it." sho.ulder cloaks. They wore masks across their eyes. "If anything should happen to you I'd quit the It was the Black Band. profession." The chamber was illumined by a huge oil lamp sus"Pshaw! Don't be soft," replied Old King Brady, pended from the ceiling. nevertheless giving the young detective's hand a But the interest of the detectives instantly became warm pressure. centered upon another object. It would look as if the two detectives were upon the Against the wall, and chained to it by the ankles, eve of a great victory. was a man whose bloodshot eyes and pallid face were I Certainly they had the villains placed, and it only .evidence that he had suffered extremely. remained to skillfully cor:ral them. It was James Whittridge, the banker. But the best laid plans of detectives as well as of That he had been the victim of great suffering was mice, go "aft aglee," arid so it was now .apparent. ]'or, before Young King Brady could upon His features were drawn and pinched and his frame his mission a shrill whistle resounded through the attenuated. There were bloodstains on his person. passage. In an irtstq,nt every man in the chamber Old King Brady felt of his companion's hand. was on his feet. '"We've got them!" The two detectives had barely time to crouch b e Sure!" hmd the stone door. The Black Band, Eke veritable Looks bad, don't he?" wolves, came rushing out. H Inde e d, yes!" In a n instant they bo,unded down the corridor. "If we don't clean this gang out now we are fool-Excited voices were heard. ish. I would like to encourage that poor fellow." "What's the matter, .Ted Dune?'; The shadow was such in the entrance that old King "Did you give the alarm?" Brady could stand there and not be seen by the gang, "I did!" while the prisoner could see him. ' "What's the matter?" Of course it was risky, but old King Brady knew "Matter enough. We're betrayed!'' the importance of giving the prisoner hope. "What?" So be stood in the aperture,p,nd revealed himself to "Can't you see? The secret, entrance is wide the prisoner. open."
THE BLACK BAND. 9 A chorus of excited cries went. up. Old King Brady remembered that he had not been able to close it behind him. But this wa :because he had not been able to find the spring on the other side. "Who came in last?" roared a. savage voice. "Muggie Mansur!" "You're a liar, Jake Sunda !" "You call me a liar? You'll die ?" A scuffle was heard, blows and the sound of falling bodies. Then the sa111e savage voice roared: "Back, every dog of ye Thar's no time to fight now. Ther man who came in last was the man who left it open. Mebbe 'that's all there is to it "Good for you, Ike Partland !" roared the crowd. "But fer all that, every corner of this place must be searched. Close the entrance, and if there are any rats in this trap we want 'em." A cheer went up. " Dead men tell no tales." And .down through the passa.ge came the blood thirsty gang. The two Bradys had heard every word. They knew that they were in a trap. The sensation was a thrilling one. For a moment their faces blanched. Both knew what it meant full well to fall into the hands of the Black Band. DetectiYes were the lawful prey of these wretches, and death, swift and certain, must be the result. CHAPTER V. OFF THE SCENT. DOWN the passage came the bloodthirsty crew. Of course the two King Bradys did not stand still and take the knife like oxen in the shambles. They meant to make an effort for their lives, and if driven to it a most desperate fight. The odds were against them twelve to one. That is to say, it was one man against twelve. But superior mental force sometimes whittles such mighty odds down to nothing. The two detectives did not remain where they were. Instead, they made a dive into the recesses of another passage. But the one exit was all that was known to the Black Band. Therefore, they did not count on any interlopers escaping by any other way. But chance favored the det'ectiYes. They presently felt their way into another chamber. Here they had resolved a stand. The Black Band had stored in this place many of their effects and much of their plunder. It was in fact a sort. of storehouse. Old King Brady flashed his lantern upon the scene and took in the situation. He made a dive for some barrels. "Get in here, Harry," he said, hurriedly. "They will make a barricade for us. We can pick off every man as he comes in at the door." And old King Brady set his lantern's rays towards. the door, and at the same time pulled his revolvers. For it was a case of life or death. lt was the lives of the detectives against those of the Black Band. It is not difficult to assume which was the most valuable. Old King Brady was resolved to give the hard gang a lively battle, anyway. Down the detectives sank upon the floor of the chamber. They could hear shouts and curses of the searchers. In a few moments they must reach the store cham ber and see old King Brady's lantern. The climax would then have been reached. What followed would depend upon the outlaws alone. But suddenly Young King Brady gave an exclam ation. "By Jove!" he cried. "There is a hole here. One of my legs has broken through the floor of this place." "What!" exclaimed Old King Brady, and flashed his lantern upon the spot. Sure enough, beneath Young King Brady there was an aperture in the earthen floor. The dirt had yielded and the young detective had sunk to his waist. "By ginger!" exclaimed Old King Brady. "Crawl out, Harry, and see what that is." The young detective complied. The aperture was deep indeed. Old King Brady was not able to reach the bottom of it with his arm. He did not hesitate, but flashed the rays of his lantern down into it. He gave an exclamatfon of sur prise. "Harry!" he said, sharply3 "we are saved!" The deuce you say !" "It is true !" "But--" "What?" How do you make it out ?" "Look down here You see the brick arch of a. passageway. It was doubtless a large drain built by the owner of this man Qr for the purpose of carrying off any deposit uf water which might invade his mushroom cellars." "It looks like it," admitted r the young detective. "But drains are not usually made as large." "This is a big one. It is large enough to afford us an avenue of escape anyway." The old detective slid down : into the passage. He saw that it was sufficiently high to enable him to make his way with ease on hands and knees. This was enough. An avenue of escape was offered. Fate had decided in their favor. But before pursuing his way through the drain, Old King Brady directed Young King Brady to slide a barrel over the aperture. All trace was now removed of their method of es1 cape.
10 THE BLACK BAND. Along the drain they crept. The light of q1d King Brady's lantern showed them the way with ease. After a while the drain trended rapidly down ward. It seemed as if they had been in the place for a week, when suddenly Old King Brady grasped the hand of the younger detective. "Look!" he said. Far abeard was a of light. It was not that of a lantern or any artificial sort. It was the light of day. A moment more and they emerged from the long underground passage. They were under the brow of a high bank. At their feet rolled the waters of the Hudson river. It was just sunrise and all Nature was' in bloom. The birds were singing, and the breeze wafted the perfume of blossoming trees down to their nostrils. They glanced instinctively back to the eminence full a quarter of a mile away, on which sat the Marble Manor. Too bad we were discovered," said Young King Brady. "We made good progress there for a time." "You are right,11 agreed the old detective. "It was tough, and no mistake; but we must atone for it." "Shall I go down to New York?" Old King Brady hesitated. "That would take time," he said. "While you are gone the birds may fly away." "But if they search the cellars and do not find us, will not their fears be allayed ?" "Oh, I fear not," said the old detective. "These rascals are as shrewd as can well be imagined. It will not take very much to frighten them away; at least for a time." "Well," said Young King Brady, positively, "they cannot have gone yet." "Do not be too sure. If they have taken the alarm at all, they are gone by this time, young man." "I don't agree with you." The old detective smiled grimly. "We don't agree on all points," he said. "That may be all right. Stick to your convictions. At the same time you don't care if I stick to mine?" "Not a whit!" laughed the younger detective "But what shall we do?" The old detective was thoughtful. Then he said bluntly: Boy, those ra. scals are ndt up there-." "Not up there?" exclaimed Young King Brady. "What makes you think so?" "There is no sign of them?" The young detective was amazed. Did you expect to see any sign of thef ?" he asked. Old King Brady said impressively : "You may be sure that gang was in earnest in that search. They would not confine their quest to those cellars alone. Not a part of the manor or the grounds and even the river shore, but would have been searched." Do you think so ?" "}am sure of it." The young detective was abashed. "I wilt," he said, readily. You are more than right. I can see the point. Then you think tlJ.ey dis covered traces of our presence there ?" "I do !" "Whew !" exclaimed Young King Brady. "That is too bad." "1nde.ed, it is a reverse of fortunes for us, for it may lead to very serious results." "In what respect?" "Well," said the elder detective, slowly, "Part land and his gang may be driven to desperation and take the life of their prisoner. Of course, they know that their hiding place is exposed." Young King Brady started up the hill. "Where are you going?" asked the old detective "I am going up there to investigate." "Then you are satisfied that my theory is right, and that they are gone ?" "Of course I am. If I had such foresight as yours I would have seen it at a glance." Old King Brady followed young detective up the slope. As they approached the manor, it looked more de serted and dilapidated than ever. The two detectives entered the place boldly. So well assured were they that the gang had fled that neither hesitated to descend to the mushroom cellars. 4-nd there Old King Brady found the secret spring and opened the door to the outlaws' den. It was utterly deserted. The gang had really taken the alarm fled. Their stores and provisions yet remained in the place. The leave taking was of course merely a blind to l'earn if their hiding place was known, and if they had reason to believe it was not, doubtless they would return at some future time. So neither of the detectives touched anything. They were satisfied with passing through the place. Now," said Young King Brady, as they finally emerged, "the question is, where have they gone?" "That is what we must find out," replied the older detective. "How?" "We must take the next train back to New York." The young detective looked at him penetratingly, but Old King Brady was inscrutable. I think I see your line of. action," said Young King Brady, finally. The old detective bent his head. "What is it?" he asked, astutely. "You believe the next clew can only be obtained in New York?" "Yes." "And you have selected the man Melburne Jayne as the victim of our labors now."
THE BLACK BAND. 11 "Good !" agre,ed Old King Brady. "You have I Old King Brady saw him coasting through Madidone well, young man." son Square in a handsome cab. Of course the shrewd-detective knew that Partland With him was one of bis followers, and they both and his Black Band beyond his reach by tbis. looked rakish enough. With cigars in their mouths It would be like trying to pull down the moon to lo-and their cheeks flushed with wine, it was evident that cate the new retreat to which they had gone. they were "rushing it." For the Black Band had a score of retreats. Young Jayne was doubtless building on his antici-The Marble Manor was only one of many. It was pations of future wealth, when he should succeed in not likely they would ever return to it. getting control of his uncle's millions. The ordinary sleuth might have wasted his time And, indeed, it looked greatly in his favor that he trying to track the gang from the manor by footwould succeed in doing so. prints and other unreliable clews. For only to tbe King Bradys, outside the Black But Old King Brady knew that this would be the Band, was it known that he wa;s even alive. quintessence of folly. Old King Brady watched the cab. New York City was now to be his resort for the He followed behind it, and saw it stop before the next. lead . and Melburne was the man he j Hoffman House. wanted. The occupants leaped out. They entered the1 magnificent barroom of that CHAPTER VI. noted hostelry. THE TWO KING BRADYS PLAY A BLUFF HAND. AND now let us shift the scene of our narrative back to the metropolis. Thither our detectives were gone. To be sure, they had been at first a trifle chagrined at their failure at the Marble Manor. Then Old King Brady glanced across the street. A very swagger young man, with a checked suit and fine silk hat and cane, with a monocle stuck in his eye was walking leisurely along. His gaze met Old King Brady's. It was evident that they were acquainted. For there was just the slightest interchange of nods, then the young swell also entered the barroom. But pretty soon Old King Brady began to see that he had only made a beginning in the unraveling of this case. Old King Brady sauntered leisurely into the side Constant street and entered by another door. In this tangle there were many threads. t developments were bringing these to light. He did not visit headquarters of the Secret Service, as Young King Brady tried to induce him. The old detective shook his head and said: Not yet, man. When I get something worth reporting, then the will hear from menot until then." "But the chief may have some clew," said the young detective. "Humph!" and Old King Brady shrugged hi shoulders. The younger detective knew that it was of no use to continue the subject further, so be dropped it. He saw Jayne and his friend drinking at the bar. The swell young man, who seemed of their ilk stood near them lighting a cigar. Old King Brady walked toward hirn. Now the old detective was a familiar figure any where in New York. Almost everybody knew that tall figure, with its strong face and the iron gray hair and white felt hat with its enormous broad brim. The young swell ceased lighting his cigar and glared at Old King Brady. What are you dogging me for ?" he said sharply and angrily. A few days passed. Melburne Jayne had been reported out of the city. Everybody in the barroom heard bis voice and curiOld King Brady was waiting patiently for him to ous glances were turned thither. return. "You are likely to find out in due time, Mr. Hector Reid, forger!" said the old detective sharpiy. He knew that be would be back surely by the 14th of the month. For on that date Jayne was to spread snapped the swell. "You dare to cail himself as a host among his buncombe friends. me a forger?" These were of a class which the ordinary respect"I will yet have the privilege of branding you such able young man would have fought shy of. before t.he public." They belonged to the rake or fast class, and were a Perhaps the most startled and interested of the bar-much besotted gang. room's occupants, were Melburne Jayne and his com-At Sherry's, the young reprubate dining panion. I these friends. A private banquet hall and some vaude-They turned sharply and stared at Old King Brady ville artists had been secured. and young Hector Reid. So Old King Brady knew that the best thing he The detective did not seem to see them. could do was to wait patiently until the 14th, when His whole attention seemed concentrated upon he believed that he could do some effective work. young Reid. The latter was the victim of ugly tem-True to the old detective's predilections Melburne I per. Jayne showed up in New York about "You consumma .te old scoundrel! he hissed,
12 THE BLACK BA.ND. agely, "take that for your impudence! Don't you "Reid-hie-I like you, dang me, if I don't I'm dare dog my footsteps further!" going to bring you into our gang. It's death to the He drew his glove sharply and smartly across Old King Bradys. Will you join?" King Brady's face. Reid smiled in a peculiar way and replied: The report could be heard through the room. It "Of course I will." made the old dotedive's cheek livid. "Good! We're the Black Band. Everybody Everybody looked for retaliation. knows us; but we're whoopers, we are we'v e The old detective was big and strong enough to fooled the country. I tell you Ike Partland, our eat two like the dandy Hector. leader, is a peach. Then there's Muggie Mansur. His tall form towered aloft and quivered like an I Muggie is a dandy, I tell you! We're going to divid e aspen. up and break up next year. There'll be a fortune for It seemed for a moment as if he really meant to reall of us-hie-you're one of us !" turn the blow, but he did not. "Sure!" said Reid, heartily. "When will I take Instead he turned his head and swept the entire the initiation?" room with a lofty, contemptuous gaze. "Hie-hang it, you don't need any. You're all Then he turned on his hlj01 and strode away. His right jest as ye are. I'll swear by you. Here's my tall figure passed througll the door and out into the hand." street. They gripped bands. Hector Reid se.nt a jeering laugh after him. Then "Was ye ever in Westchester County?" whispered he turned and saw Jayne and his companion looking Jayne. eagerly at him. Reid was all attention. "The old hound!" he cried, triumphantly. "'I "Yes," he replied. gave him a dose that time, and he richly deserved it. Do ye-hie-know White Plains?" Do you know him?" "Yes." "Well," said Jayne, with a deep breath, "yes, "There's an. old tavern there, kept by Jed Dune . slightly." He's one of us. That' s our rendezvous just now. He and his companion exchanged glances. Hector Got the old man there-hie-all tied up. He's got. Reid gave them an astute glance. to settle big, and then I'll slit his weazen and get it "I see," he said, in an undertone. "You're all all." right. Have something to drink ?" "Elegant !" said Reid, with a tremor. "He's your "Thanks," replied Jayne, "we have just inuncle?" dulged." "Yes!" At least smoke with me." I've heard of the mysterious disappearance of "All right." James Whittridge." Cigars were lit and Reid seemed to grow very "That's the chap. !!J.t I've another rich lay on communicative. He in fact seemed to hit Jayne's hand now." fanoy. Reid was interested. In a few moments they were as bon co-mardde as "Ah," he said, quietly, "what is it?" one could imagine. Then Reid with seeming in;ipru-"D'ye know-hie-I'm in love." dence indulged in the recounting of all sorts of esca"Eh?" pades, which soon convinced Jayne and his com pan"Ha, ha-hie, funny, ain't it? But I'm dea,d stuck ion, whose name was Victor Hall, that Reid was one on the prettiest society girl in New York. She is of the boys. Miss Janet Pell. Ah, she's queen, I tell you!" The result was that Reid joined forces with Jayne "And you intend to have her?" and Hall. The three the n set out, in vulgar par"Do I? Why shouldn't I?" lance, "to paint the town red." "Is she willing ?" Jayne and Hall got rather tipsy. "Willing? Hie! She's a regular spitfire. Set From place to place they went and finally rounded down on me like a load of bricks. No, I can't get her up at a joint in the Tenderloin. It was rather a low cons ent. But I'll get her just the same." barroom. "Elegant! You're a whooper, Jayne." Here Hall slid under the table. Jayne was maud"Am I? Well, you bet! Don't you reckon Mellin, but strange to say Reid was as sober as a clock. burne Jayne, nephew of James Whittridge, is good The truth was, he had not drank a drop of liquor. enough for Miss Janet Pell? Imagine society item! When it was passed to him he always contrived to Married: Mr. Melburne Jayne to Miss Janet Pell. No drop the glass, and empty the liquor ma cuspidor or cards! Ahem! long life and happiness!" into the sawdust under the table. "But how do you expect to consummate your But all this while he had been engaged in telling ends." escapades to Jayne, and listening to stories by the Jayne gave a frightful scowl. latter. "Haven't I got the Black Band at my shoulder f" Finally Jayne reached a hand across the table and he said. whispe.red. Good for you I What cC111ld be more romantic
THE BLACK BAND. 13 than an abduction. Quite cavalier-hke. A real touch "When shall I meet with the Black Band?" of old Spain. Ob, yqu brigand, I admire you. "To-morrow night!" replied Jayne. "Eleven "And I'm dead stuck on you, Reid. H-ang it, come o'clock, No.-Hester street. Go in by basement to my banquet the fourteenth at Sherry's." door. Say nothing." "Delighted, Pm sure!" Reid bowed and dep;:i,rted. Here's a card. Be there and we'll make things The next night, at a little before eleven, a young howl. You're one of us!" man carelessly turned into Hester street. "You bet!" Before a certain basement door he pattsed. He "Now," said Jayne, thickly, "I think I'll go home. looked up and down the street. Will you call a carriage?" Nobody was observing him. u Certainly!" It was a proper moment, 'and he slid down into the Ten minutes later a closed brougham was carrying basement. He opened the door and entered. Jayne and Hall to their homes in a state of maudlin All was pitchy dark. inepriety. Just ahead, however, he saw a glimmer of light. It But Hector Reid walked away with the light step came from a crack under a closed door. of the sober man. In a qui e t corner of a dark alley Hector Reid hesitated for a moi;nent. he removed the incipient mustache and the wig. Then he remembered Jayne's directions. As he emerged again into daylight despite his trig "It must be all right," he thought. "I will go attire he was easily recognizable to a man across the ahead." street who beckoned to him. I And he did so. "Harry," said Old King Brady as he came up. He reached the door and waited a moment, listen" What success did you have?" ing. All was as silent as the grave. "Far beyond my wildest hopes!" replied Young Not a sound came from the room. King Brady. "Our bluff in the Hoffman House bar-What did it mean? room worked like a charm. Jayne now reckons It seemed odd to Hector Reid that nobody was there Hector Reid amongst his dearest pals and has made to welcome him. At first a faint misgiving seized him a m ember of the Black Band." him. The old detective gasped. But the next moment he put it aside resolutely. "He's easy," he said slangily. "What else did He pushed against the door. y ou learn ?" It yielded, and with a creak swung open. "The gang are at Dune's tavern at White Plains. A square cellarlike compartment was before him. There's also another dark scheme afoot concerning But not an occupant was there. Miss Janet Pell." An oil lamp burned on the top of a cask in one corOld King Brady listened attentively to the young ner. Twenty-four kegs were arranged in a semicircle detective's thrilling story. in the center of t he earthen floor. Then he whistled, screwed up bis weather-beaten H ector Reid took all this in with a queer thrill. features, took a bite out of a big hunk of tobacco, Then he noted a coil of rope lying across the kegs. and said : Also against the wall was posted a spreading notice "Harry, this is the best day's work we've done as follows: yet I" "No traitor can hope .to gain entrance to the ranks of the Black Band. Death to detectives! Death to CHAPTER VII. the spy!" l WALKING INTO A TRAP. In spite of his hardihood, Hector Reid felt a cold THE night of the great spread at came at shiver along his backbone. last. All the boon companions of Melburne Jayne "Whew!" he thought. "That comes pretty close were on hand. home. Can they possibly mean that for me?" Among them was the handsome figure of Hector It odd, indeed, to him, that he should meet Reid. with such a peculiar reception. Wine fl.owed and toasts were given. Until a late Where was Jayne, who had been so cordial with hour the festivities went on. him? Had he_ forgotten his compact? Two-thirds of the party were carried home in cabs Then with a chill Reid remembered that this had in the morning hours. been made while in a stat.e of drunkenness. Melburne Jayne was not so drunk as not to be able Perhaps he had since repented. to keep his equilibrium, nor were any of the others It was well known that the Black Band welcomed for that matter, for such things are not permitted at no newcomers to their ranks. That they should acSherry's. cept Reid on such short acquaintance was indeed But all bad a surfeit of wine. odd. All except one. Reid tnought of all this. This was Hector Reid. But he remembered that be who hesitates is lost. This young man was as cool and collected as could He had crossed the Rubicon and was now prepared to be. As the party broke up he whispered to. J a yn e : stand by his chances.
THE BLACK BAND. So boldly and with extreme sang froid he entered I detective. For a moment he was taken almost off his the cellar and glanced carelessly about. guard. Everything was taken in in that moment by his "Eh?" he exclaimed. "That's all dod-rottad keen glance, despite his suspicion of evil. He coolly foolishness. What's the use of asking such queswalked to one of the kegs and down. tions ?" Then he beard something which sounded like a But even as Young King Brady said this, he saw chuckle. Then the distant echo of footsteps. the light in Jayne's eyes which told him that he was A moment later from over his head he heard a lost. scraping sound. It was like the dragging of some heavy body along the floor above. Then there was a groaning of wood and clanking of iron, and directly over him a huge trapdoor opened. Reid looked up curiously, but as cool as could be. In this trapdoor a number of grinning faces were framed. Then ft ve or six of the Black Band dropped down almost upon him. One of these was Jayne. Hello, Reid he said. "Hello !" responded the disguised detective, coolly. "Is this one of the forms of initiation?" At this the Black Band roared. Jayne grinned evilly. "Enough!" he cried. "Fill the circle! Let us get down to business." A whistle was beard, and then through the door came others of the hard gang. They were in the usual fashion over the eyes and brow. Reid knew Jayne only by his bow legs. Each outlaw found a seaton a keg. Thisleft Jayne and Reid standing. The former raised his hand, and then all was silence. "Comrades !" he said, "I have to-night to pro pose a new member." "Ay !" was the reply in chorus. know the usual test to which he must be subjected!" "Ay !" "If it be discovered that he is a traitor--" "Death!" "Or a detective in disguise?" Hisses filled the air. "Death!" "You hear," said Jayne, coolly, turning to Reid. Are you willinli' to stand the test ?" "Certainly!" replied Reid. "I'll stand the initiation." / "Good! Now what proof have you to give us that your sympathies are with us?" "Haven't I given you that already?" "That don't answer the question. But I will ask another. Are you prepared to make war upon the King Bradys to the death?" "Why not upon all detectives?" asked Reid. ""7" ell, allow that Now again, what proof have you to offer that you are not Young King Brady in disguise?" The question came like a thunderclap to the young He was known to the gang. How they had probed his disguise he could not even hazard a guess. Yet that it was so was certain. In that moment a sense of fearful desperation came to Young King Brady. He saw that his situation was fearful. They did not mean that be should go out of the place alive. Yet not for a moment did the daring de tective lose his nerve To the last he-affected his cool sang froi d, but there came a moment when it failed. "Come," said Jayne, impatiently, "if you must become one of us, you must stand the test !" "If standing the test means insulting me," said Reid, affecting anger, "then I don't want to join your gang." "That don't answer my question. What proof have you to offer that you are not Young King Brady in disguise ?" any fool can see that!" sputtered Reid "Do I look like him? Do I act like him?" Jayne turned to his followers. "What do ou say, boys?" he asked. "Does he look like Young King Brady ?" "Ay !" went up the roar. "Do you think he is that dog of a detective in disguise?" "Ay !" You see," said Jayne, with a mocking smile, the verdict is against you." "I did not come here to be treated in such a man ner as this !" expostulated Reid. But Jayne with a lightning movement grasped one of his mutton-chop whiskers. It came off in his hand. Young King Brady saw that the game was up. He had been led into a veritable trap. He was not sure but that the villain Jayne had known him from the first. He had never given Jayne credit for such shrewd ness. He had proved himself even shrewder than either of the Bradys. As for Young King Brady he was never so dumfounded and outwitted in bis life. For a moment he could not speak or think or act. He simply stood like one in a daze before his foes. They jeered and jibed ind laughed at him. "Ha, ha, ha!" roared Jayne. "You thought you had us, didn't you? Never dreamed that we were dead onto you all t,he time ?" Young King Brady could not speak. He was wholly taken aback. He had never dreamed of this turn in affairs.
THE BLACK. BAND. 15 But he quickly recovered. All the tiger7like courage of his nature asserted itself. Face to face with a score of sworn foes, death staril1g him in the face, he would not flinch. Otherwise it might not have occurred to him to visit the place. He cast a swift glance about for a method of esSo it happened that one dark evening there came a resounding rap on the door of Dune's tavern. In the main room of the place sat the proprietor cape. himself with four or f.ive hard-looking characters. But even in. that moment he saw it was too late. They had been smoking and talking. The outlaws were upon him like a pack of wolves. In less time than it takes to tell it, he was bound and a helpless prisoner. Young King Brady was in the power of his foes, and the most desperate, hardened men in Gotham. The raps on the door were not of the gentlest sort. "Who's there ?" roared Dune. "Go on your way and don't come here disturbing the peace." "Ahoy!" a rough voice was.. heard. "Open up! I want a bed for the night." "Oh, you do, eh ?" chuckled Dune. Well, gi> CHAPTER VIII. make it yourself." DUNE HAS A VISITOR. Open before I kick the door in." BUT what of Old King Brady? Du.ne's face grew apoplectic. The old d etective had left Young King Brady to "Bless my soul !" he gasped. Kick the door in! pursue his entente with Jayne, suspecting no treach-Kick my door, and live to tell of it! Well, what ery, while he had embarked upon quite another enter-manner of man can that be, I'd like to know?" pris e. Furious blows came on the door. This was.a trip to White Plains. Dune's pulled out wicked-looking knives, H e was anxious to follow up the gang which held and one of them said : James Whitt ridge a prisoner. He believed now that "Say the word and we'll do him for ye, Dune !" Jayne was in New York that a good chance would "Hold on!" said Jed, with an oath. "I've acuri-be offered to rescue Whittridge. osity to see the cuss." And this he meant to do. With which he stepped up and unbarred the door. It would seem like killing two birds with one stone. It was slammed baclt directly in his face, and a huge He had sufficient faith in Young King Brady's abil-form brushed him away like a. fly. ity to deal with Jayne and his gang. A man of remarkable appearance burst into the He did not dream for a moment that the gang were tavern. a.lready aware of Hector Reid's identity with Young He had great heavy eyebrows and bushy beard and King Brady. hair. His eyes were diamond like in their If he had been aware of this, his course would have brightness. been altogether different. He was dressed in rough and somewhat ragged So he set out for White Plains. garments, with a heavy pack hung over his shoulder. The tavern kept by Jed Dune in that part of West-Into the room he strode, and threw his pack into chester County was an old relic of Colonial days. the middle of the floQr with a clatter. It was said that it had once been the military head-It contained cheap tinware. quarters of Washington, thus adding another to the He glared about the room. long list of these notable spots. "Fine idea, to turn a m .an away such a night as However this was, Dune's tavern was a queer old this!" he roared. "What do ye keep tavern fer?" crib. Jed Dune was fazed. lt was certainly not kept open for the sake of enter-He stared at the uncouth and daring individual,. taining summer guests, and as for the travel-that who had thus ventured to invade his den. was light. Then he looked at his cronies. No, rumor bad it that Dune solicited no patronage They were equally astonished. of that kind. That his place was tavern in name "What!" Dune began, fiercely. "Do ye know only. what tree ye're barkin' up?" But certain it was that large gangs of men were "I'll show ye in half a jiffy if ye don't get me some seen to go there at different times. provender !" roared the strange guest. "My name's. Also, report had it that cocking mains, dog fights, Jack Hemstraw and my money is just as good as any and even fistic encounters were carried off on the quiet body's else." at this resort. "But this ain't a tavern," insinuated Dune, weakly. It was also whispered that Dune was connected "It ain't a tavern?" roared Hemstraw, pulling a with the Black Band of robbers, and that some of the couple of dangerous looking revolvers out of his boot stolen spoil was at times to be found at his place. legs. "It ain't, eh? Wall, then, I'll make it one Somewhat singularly detectives had heretofore with your permission." overlooked Dune and his place. In all their lives Dune and his gang had never been Even now Old King Brady was induced to go I so taken aback. thither wholly by the report gained that Whittridge Hard gang as they were, this Jack Hemstraw had was confined there. instant.ly won their respect and fear.
16 THE BLACK BAND. Instinctively they r1,1cognized in him a master. His revolvers looke ugly and Dune hastened to compro mise. "All right, neighbor?" he cried. "Ye can have s _uthin' to eat, but I don't make a bizness of it. Where in the name of Moses did you cum from?" Hemstraw returned his revolvers and laughed in a croaking way. "Wall, if I told ye; ye'd know. I'm from any where and nowhere. But I'm Hemstraw and that's enough." l'hen, in a mysterious manner he shook a finger in Dune's face, and whispered: "You'd sell yer soul for a copper cent, and I'll bet my ducats on it. I can see it in yer foxy face!" Dune .flushed angrily. "Take care!" he gritted. "We're a dozen to one!" "I don't keer a farthing if you are You won't hurt me and I won .'t hurt you. We're birds of a feather. See? Mebbe I could show you how to pinch a comfort;able ten thousand some time." Dune's face cleared. His cronies muttered approval. "That's right,'' cried one of them: "We kain't quarrel with our own kind." "Then it's understood?" asked the visitor. "We travel on ther same tr9lley ?" "All right,'' agreed Dune. A slatternly woman now brought in some food. Hemstraw devoured it in a ravenous manner. When he had glutted himself, he said: "Mates, I ain't a mean man. Thar's some liquid stuff in my pack, and I've got some dust. See?" He held up a huge handful of banknotes. The eyes of the ruffians glittered. [ struck a good haul, and I'll give ye a chance to win some of it; bring on yer keerds; what do ye sav ?" with ye !" cried Dune. "1 say,'' shouted one of the gang, "you're the liveliest one to strike this ranch in many a day." Hemstraw only guffawed. "If we'd known ye was of this sort of timber we wouldn't have barred ye out in the first place,'' said Dune. "Thet's all right,'' said Hemstraw. "I got lines on this place back here in the town. I knew I'd hit my quality here." "'Bout what part of the kentry did ye come from, anyway ?" asked one of the ruffians. Hemstraw placed his arms akimbo .and stroked his heavy -beard thoughtfully for a moment. "I'd answer that question if it wouldn't take too long,'' he said. ye come to enumerate that I'm from all over the ken try, yew kin understand." "Then ye're a traveler?" "Wall, I've set foot on pooty nigh every -part of the United States." "Allus peddle that stuff?" indicating the tinware. Hemstraw's lip curled. "Humph !" he sa. id. "A man has got carry a blind in this cursed kentry. Thar's so many con founded detectives dogging him "Ye're right!" chimed in all. "Hang 'em, if they'd let me alone I could make an honest living. I used to work the fiim-fiam game pooty }Yell. But that's busted now. Every shop keeper has fiim-flam pasted in his hat." The crowd roared. "Theer's one son of his mother that I'm after," said Hemstraw, viciously. "And if I ever get a paw on him, it's all over with Old King Brady." Even Dune joined in the approving shout. "But we've got a layout for him now," cried Dune. Our boss has worked up a fine card. You kin bet Old King Brady won't dog us no more." "He won't, eh?" growled Hemstraw. "I'd like to bet ye on it !" "I'll go ye I" "A new hat on it." "Done and done !" Hemstraw puffed and blowed, and then interro-gated: "What sort of a go is it ?" Dune nodded knowingly. Never you mind," he said, craftily ; I'll be wearing that new hat on you all but whar's our card game ?" "Hold on !" roared Hemstraw. "I want to know how ye're goin' to work to do up Old King Brady?" "You do, eh?'"' "Yes." "Well, ye ain't go in' to." Hemstraw glowered at Dune. Then he reached for ward and picked him up by the waist, as a cat lifts a kitten. Bending him over the table, he roared: "Tell me now, or by Jumbo, I'll take yer gizzard right outen ye! Out with it! How are ye goin' to do Old King Brady ?" Dune puffed and stewed, and tried to free himself. The other members of the gang looked threatening till Hemstraw gave them a prodigious wink . This gave them the impression tha. t it was all a big joke, and they only grfnned and looked on. "Yes, yes, confound ye, let go of me,'' begged Dune. "I'll tell ye_ all right." Hemstraw lowered the little vill:tin :md said: "Now, don't ye give me no manner of a lie, for if ye do it's all up with ye. I want to know the truth.n "All right !" sputtered Dune. "We've made up a decoy." "A decoy? Ha, ha That won't work !" won't, eh?" "Naw. You can't decoy Old King Brady, he's too sharp." "Don't ye fool yourself," said Dl!lne, cunningly. ''He won't be too sharp for this decoy,. you can bet." "What is it?"
THE BLACK BAND. "Wall, I don't even know tavern keeper. "It's a game of our gang." myself," replied the And with that a strange hilarity seemed to seize rigged by Jayne, one the gang. "Jayne-a young dude?" "Yas." "Hum!" exclaimed Hemstraw. "I've heerd of him. All right, we'll talk it over later. Bring up your cards." CHAPTER IX. HEMSTRAW PLAYS HIS GAME. ALL seemed relieved that the altercation was at an end. One thing Hemstraw had gained, and that was the fe a r and respect of this ruffianly crew. It wl\'s only by posing for a greater villain and des perado 'than any of them that he had done this, how ever. In a few moments the card game was in full swing. Hemstraw piled great heaps of greenbacks on the board and bet recklessly. he won, but more often he lost. But he paid his losses promptly, pushing the crisp new bills across the board as if glad to be rid of them. "Hang me P' shouted Dune, "you seem to be rot ten with money. Where did you strike such a wind fall ?" "That's my affair," retorted Hemstraw. "Play cards and win if ye can." Then the big peddler seemed to get out of patience with the c ards. "Confound such luck l" he cried, savagely. "It won't come my way." Dune was grinning gleefully, as were the others. Each had a goodly store of green backs by' his pile of chips. Surely, it looked as if they had found a sucker of a very large species. Hemstraw was being badly fleeced But he grew more reckless than ever. "Thar's moret whar this cum from,"' he yelled. "Play up I'll keep my end up with ye yet !" But after a while he flung his cards down and yelled:. "I know what's ther matter. I'll change ther luck now!" Dune and his associates were in high spirits. Surely, it was a run of luck which had brought this man Hemstraw so opportunely to their door. 1 And they shivered when they remembered how near they had come to turning him away. Hemstraw, meanwhile, had opened his pack. From it he drew a demijohn jug, with a big labe1 on its side. "Heigho !" he shouted. "What do ye say to that? It'tl warm the eockles of yer hearts." In a moment Dune had furnished glasses, and the liquor was poured out. It was the finest of old rum. Dune chuckled and drained his glass. Hemstraiw's was already em'pty. The others of the gang drank. Several began to shout and sing, and finally one of them fell over in a doze. "Jericho!" gasped Dune, running a hand across his brow. "That's mighty strong liquor, mate. It' goes to yer head !" "It's keen stuff," agreed Hemstraw, with a signifi cant smile. Then Dune yawned and laid his head on the table. He did not raise it again. One after another of the gang stretched out in maudlin slumber. Hemstraw watched them. Then he laughed softly and rose to his feet. He looked furtively about the room. Besides the door t:p.rough which he had entered there was another which led into the next room. He opened this, and saw that it contained a bed and chairs. Beyond this was another just the, same. Then he entered the kitchen of the place. The slatternly woman, who was evidently Dune's housekeeper, sat crooning by the fire. "Here, old woman," said Hemstraw, extending her a glass; "here's some cordial for ye." The hag took the glass, smelled the contents, and then emptied them down her capacious throat. H etnstraw chuckled and went back. "The coast is clear," he said. He moved Dune's prostrate body aside and lifted a tra p in the floor. I A flight of rickety steps was revealed. He took one of the lamps and descended these. He found himself in what was apparently a vegetable ce\lar. For a long time he examin e d the walls, passing his hand over every inch of the!':' . Then he gavg an exclamation of satisfaction. He had found a small hook in the masonry ; he pressed on this and part of the granite wall moved back. The underground retreat of the Dune tavern was revealed. Here many a criminal had hid from justice, many valuable stores secured by theft had been deposited. Hemstraw passed mto this passage. He had not gone far when he heard a stifled groan. "Prisoner," he exclaimed, in a loud, clear voice, "where are you? I am a friend come to save you." A joyful exclamation was heard, mingled with a hasty pra)'er; then a voice shouted in rerly: "Heaven be praised Is it a friend come to deliver me?" "It is none else!" declared Hemstraw. "Where y01.J. ?" "In a C':lll off the main passage." Guided by the voice, Hemstraw kept on. It was but a few moments before he turned and entered a narrow cell door. His light flashed upon the figure of a man fastened to the wall with iron chains.
18 'l'HE BLACK BAND. Thin and haggard and pallid was the unfortunate wretch. It seemed as if death had almost set its im press on his features. "James Whittridge !" exclaimed Hcmstraw. Whittridge looked at the rough man before him a moment witl: something like distrust. But Hemstraw made a quick upward motion with bis right hand, and swept away beard, wig and all. His smooth and strong-set features were revealed. "Old King Brady !" cried Whittridge, with intense joy. "Oh, I am saved, saved!" "Yes," replied !:.he famous old detective. ''You are if I can only cut those chains before those rascals come out from the influence of that drug." 'l'he detective drew a bunch of keys from his pocket. He inspected the lock, and found to his joy that it was only a common padlock. He was an adept in the picking of locks. It was an easy matter, therefore, for him to pick this one. In a few moments, as a result, the chains were re moved and Whittridgc was free. He literally fell into the arms of the detective. "Oh, you shall be well paid for this!" he cried. Your reward shall be great." "Wait until we have made our escape sure," pro tested Old King Brady. "Is there any doubt?" There are chances against us. But I think we will make it all right. Of course, this is headquarters of the gang. At any moment others may arrive--" The old detective ceased speaking. A chill fell upon both. A distant sound had come to their hearing. 1 It was a loud pounding as if someone were clamoring for admittance. Old King Brady clutched Whittridge's arm. "Come!" he said. "We have a bare chance. Some of the gang have returned." "Do you believe it ?" "I do !" Whittridge said no more but followed the old detective. Old King Brady led the way into the cellar. He listened an instant at the trap and then doused the light. This left them in total darkness. "Eh, what's that for?" asked Whittridge. "They haven't got in yet. All is dark up there, and they can't see the true state of affairs. To be caught in this cellar is death for us. We must trust to luck in getting out by them in the dark." "All right !" Up the ladder they went, Old King Brady leading The new arrivals were yet pounding at the door. ."Wake up, Dune." "Let us in !" "He sleeps like the Seven Sleepers. These were the cries. But Old King Brady and Whittridge were now up out of the cellar. The detective quickly and silently closed the trap. Then he paused in doubt. Whither should they go? They certainly could not unbar the door and hope to pass out by the gang. No window was available. What was more some 0f the gang had already got in by a back entrance. They were coming in from the kitchen with a light. In another moment our fugitives would be revealed. But Old King Brady made the best of the desper ate situation. "This way, Whittridge," he whi pered. He remembered locating a closet just across the room. He reached this, opened the door, pushed Whittridge in and followed himself. They were not a moment too soon. The gang from the kitchen came in. The light showed the prostrate forms on the floor. "By Jericho!" cried the leader, "they're all drunk as fish." "Been playing cards, too!" "Look at ther money!" "Heaps of it !" At this one of the prostrate men stirred. Then another did the same. They were coming out from the effects of the drug. Dune opened his eyes and looked about him in a dazed way. He scratnbled to his feet and stared about him. "By Jove, that was keen liquor," he said. "It made me drunk. Where have I been?" "Drunk, Dune?" cried one of the newcomers. "We thought ye were all dead when ye didn't answer." "Been playin' too, eh ?" All of the drugged gang now were sitting up. They recovered quickly. "Playing?" cried one, "wall, you'd ought to have seen the money." "Whar did ye git so much?" "Hemstraw, he's the chap i WJ.iar's IIemstraw ?" roared Dune. I'll be ti he's drunker than any of us "Hemstraw !" ejaculated one of the newcomers. "Who's he?" "Oh, he's a chap dropped in here a short while ago, an' we did him up to the queen's taste. Eh, boys?" "You bet !" chorused the others. "Whar's he now ?" "Ain't he here?" "I say!" cried one of the newcomers, with a hoarse laugh. Is this the kind of stuff ye won otien him?" He held up a handful of the bills. "In course it was," cried Dune. "What of it?" "N uthin, only it's green goods!" There was an instant silence. "Green goods!" then was chorused. "Look fer yerself !"
THE BLACK BAND. 19 With an oath Dune grabbed up some of the bank notes. He examined them, and saw that they wer e counterfeit. Treachery !" he cried. "TheTe's been a devil among us. Guard the doors Search the place !" CHAPTER X. OLD KING BRADY IS WORRI D ABOUT YOUNG KING BRADY. THE excitement over this discovery was beyond de scription. For a moment a panic reigned in the robbers' stronghold. All had dawned upon Dune in a flash. He could see now all too late how he had been duped. Savage oaths :rolled from his lips. "Find that Hemstraw !" he roared. "He's here somewhere." "He's probably miles from here," ventured one of the gang. Then a thought occurred to Dune. "Down cellar !" he cried. "Into the secret passage. The prisoner See if he is there. We're lost if he is gone." No second bidding was required. Up flew the trap. That very act saved Old King Brady and Whitt ridge, for the first point of exploration might have been the closet. But all that Dune could think of was the possibility of the release of the prisoner. Down into the cellar the outlaws went. A loud yell of discovery came up. It was plain that they had found the entrance to the inner passage open. J Old King Brady knew that his chance had come. He whispered to Whittridge: "When I open the. door," he said, "you make a break for the outer door1 Never mind me or what happens. Go!" Back swung the door. Whittridge dftshed out, and Old King Brady after him. Three of the outlaws were yet in the room. So astounded were they by the break, that for a moment they could not act. This was in Old King Brady's favor. Quick as a flash he picked up a chair and hurled it at the nearest. 'fhe fellow went down like a log. The second sprang for him, and the third drew a revolver. Old King Brady hurled the second man over the table, which went down with a crash. Whittridge was now outside. Crack l The bullet just grazed the detective's head. He had reached the door and had pulled his own revolver. Crack! The outlaw's arm 'fell, and the pistol dropped armless. Old King Brady was a dead shot. 'l'he bullet had shattered the villain's wrist. Then a commotion ensued, but the coast was clear. Out the door Old King Brady sprung. Whittridge was far away in the gloom. It is easy to imagine that a man who had been in limbo as long as Whittridge and had got his freedom would make good use of the opportunity. He would not be easily overtaken. But Old King Brady was close behind him. "Hold on!" he shouted. "It's all right. They can't catch us now." Whittridge slackened his pace. They were now some distance down the highway. A short ways fr.om the road wais the railroad track. The light of dawn was already breaking in the east. Old King Brady struck down a path leading to the track. It was not a great distance to the next station, and there he knew that he could get an early train for New York. The outlaws would not dare to follow them far. They were now sure of escape. The joy of Whittridge was beyond expression. "It all the work of that devil of a nephew of mine," he declared. "He shall be punished for it." "You mean Melburne Jayne?" "Yes!" "He is a bad fellow!" "I should say so. Only think of his treat,ing his own uncle in such a way, and I meant to leave him a legacy, anyhow.'' "He wanted to anticipate your demise, or rather to hasten it," said the detective. "l should say so. Well, ho has cost me a lot of suffering. I suppose everybody thinks I am dead?" "You are among the missing. Some few fancy that you are alive!" "They will find that I am very much alive!'' "I trust this is the end of your trou b.les." "So do I. But I mean that Melburne shall have punishment." "He may be already in limbo." "Ah?" "Yes, my pa.rtner, Harry Brady, is close on his track!" "Young King Brady! I have heard glowing re ports of him. l hope that he will succeed." I think he will ; but this is not the only affair of abduction in which young Jayne is concerned." "Indeed!" "It is true." "But who else can he possibly think of abducting? His mania must be of that sort." "Indeed, yes I Well this new object of bis covetousness is Miss Janet Pell, the society actress." "Whew! You don't mean it." "It is true." "But \vhat is his motive?" "She is .an heiress. She has refused to marry h}m, and he will try and compel her. He thinks he is sure of his game with the Black Band behind him." "This gang of thugs should be driven from exist ence."
20 THE BLACK BAND. "They shall be !" He had seen nothing of Young King Brady, nor I "Good for you!" had he heard from him. "This very deal is their last," said Old King Brady, I He knew that the young detective had a good ca.se firmly. I in hand, and he believed that he ought to have bagged "I trust you are a prophet." his birds before this. "You shall see!" Old King Brady even ventured to visit the' office of By this time they had reached the railroad station. the Chief of the Secret Service. It was now daylight. That worthy denied having heard a word from the Even as they stepped onto the platform, the dis-young detective. tan!; whistle of a train was heard. "It is very queer," said the old detective. "I can It came puffing up presently and they boarded it. hardly it." In less than an hou:rethey were in the Grand. Central Do you think harm can have come to him?" asked Depot. the chief. Whittridge's condition precluded any of his friends The old detective's features hardened. from recognizing him. "If so," he said, bitterly, "woe to Jayne and the He was stared at by many, and they wondered whole gang. Not one shall be spared. I will hunt where he was going with Old King Brady the detect1 them down like the human wolves they are." ive. I "Let us hope for the best, though !" said the chief. But a cab was quickly found, and the rest was easy. "Harry Brady is too good a man to lose. He is prob Whittridge was driven to his home, and there ably keeping dark for some purpose or other." found affairs in a state. At that moment the telephone bell rang violently. Jayne had turned the house upside down. He had The chief went to the transmitter. assumed to be master and had discharged the old serv"Hello!" he shouted. ants and hired new. "Is that you, Secret Service?" Even the plate on the front door had-been removed I "Yes." and Jayne's name substituted. "Well, this is Police Headquarters. There is work 'l'he banker was dumfounded. for your men." Old King Brady laughed. "What is it?" asked the chief. 'He evidently thought the game won," he said. "A big case in high life. Miss Janet Pell, the "Would he not be surprised to come in here now." heiress is missing. No clew can be found. Some "I wish he might," said the banker, devoutly. think suicide and some foul play." I share that is the latter." How would it do to rig a trap for him. Let him "You think so ?" walk in and--" yes." "No use!" said Old King Brady. "Well, put your men on the case.h "Why ?" I will." "He has been informed before this of your escape. "Good-day!" He will not show up around here again right away." The chief hung up the 'phope. He turned, much Mr. Wbittridge took hold of affairs in his house exci t ed, to Old King Brady. now. Officers were called to enforce his rights. "There is work for you," he said. The sway of Jayne was overthrown. The new serv"What?" ants were promptly discharged. "Janet Pell has disappeared." Some of the old servants were found and were glad A gasping cry escaped Old King Brady. to come back. Then the report went out with start"Then harm has come to Harry," he cried. "They ling force of the return of the missing banker. have killed him." Reporters besieged the house. "What?" gasped the chief. "What has that to They tried hard to get the details of the story. But do with it?" Old King Brady had warned Mr. Whittridge .and he "Harry was to prevent that very act of abduction. kept silent. He has failed, and he would not have done so if it had All yet to the outside world remained a mys-not been for foul play." tery. For a few moments the chief and Old King Brady Of course, there was an inkling that Jayne was at looked at each other. the bottom of aAl. The nephew was no longer seen in Then the chief asked : the circle of fast young men with whom he had been "So you knew that the abduction of Janet Pell was such a crony. premeditated?" Nor was he seen anywhere. "Yes." It was reported that the police were on the lookout "And the abductor?" for him. It was known that a warrant was out for "ls Melburne Jayne." his arrest. "What is to be done?" Old King Brady was puzzled and had even begun to The old detective rose to his feet. Something al-grow alarmed. most like a sob escaped his lips.
THE BLACK BAND. He turyed at the qoor. j "Hello, the Sarah Ann!" returned Jayne, running "Whed you hear from me again," he said with to the edge of the wharf. "Are you come for us?" force, "the Black Band will have ceased to exist "I reckon," replied the man with tbe boat hook. and Young King Brady will be avenged, or I shall be "All right, Captain Ham, we'll step right aboard." dead." The boat came alongside, and the two men on the Then the door closed behind him. Old King Brady wharf stepped into the boat. was against a hard gang truly. Just as they did so, from behind a pile of lumber a tall, gaunt form arose. CHAPTER XI. It went to the edge of the wharf .and listened. Then THE SHADOWER FINDS THAT HE IS SHADOWED. back it ran and disappeared under tbe pier. THE night was .inky black. Heavy clouds obscured A moment later a small boat shot noiselessly out th t from beneath it . '( s ars. Beyond the glimmering rays of a wharf lantern on In the boat was the tall man. a pier jutting into the East river two muffled men Away it raced into the gloom, swiftly, noiselessfy .stood at the hour of midnight. in pursuit. They conversed in low whispers, and seemed to I Out into t)fe river, and suddenly the dim outlines keep a watch on the sluggish current which surged of a vessel rose to view. by them. It was a schooner of the small coastwise class. The "I tell you, Mansur, it's all right. One the girl is first boat ran alongside the gangway. convinced of the utter hopelessness of her case she The small boat remained far enough away to be unwill come to terms. At any rate, we will get a big seen in the gloom. ransom out of her." Over the rail went the visitors aboard the schooner. "I tell ye, Jayne, I ain't afeard to put up any kind In a short while the small boat drifted slowly down of a job on a man; but, condemn it, women is un-under the bow of the schooner. iucky. Ye ka.in't do nothin' with 'em. Ye're sure to It was evident that there was no bow watch on git the worst of it." duty, or the small boat would have been hailed. "Oh, that's all rot There's a hundred thousand As it was, the occupant of the small boat tethered in this job, and you fellows must stand by me. It's a it to one of the anchor chains, and then by that same good thing." chain clambered up and aboard. "All your schemes are good things. Suthin' like The point at which he went over the rail was very the way yer got yer rich uncle's millions." dark. be a fool, Mansur. It was Old King He was not seen. Brady that knocked me out of that. But, confound Along the deck he skulked until he reached the skyhim, I'll square with him some time." light.. Through this it was easy to see the interior of "Wall, what do ye propose to do?" the cabin. fixed the captain of the schooner, all right. There he saw the captain and the two men, Jayne It'll be a nice little cruise to the Big Sandy Key. It and Muggie Mansur. is an island off the Tortugas never visited by any"It's a bargain, mates," the captain said. "You body, and we can keep the gal there safe from Old can bring the gal aboard. I ain't axin' no questions. King Brady or anybody else." It's one thousand dollars cash to land ye on Big Sandy And then ? Key." "I'll bring her to terms. Trust me for that. If '(A bargain?" cried Jayne. she don't come down handsome I'll-well, you can "I dunno!" hesitated Mansut'. guess!" "Oh, don't be a fool, Muggie. "It's the best job "Humph! .It's all right. But I don't like the we ever struck. Mind that." job, though." "All right!" "But you've got to stand with me." "It's settled, Captain Ham. When we bring the "Wall!" girl aboard you'll get your money." "You agree !" "All right '" "What are we waitin' fer here?" With this the compact was closed. "The captain of the schooner is to meet us here. The listener at the skylight slid back over the rail We will go out with him and look the craft over. and his boat drifted away into the gloom. You haven't anything 'gainst that?" A short while later Jayne and Mansur landed on the "All right !" wharf. At this moment the chuck of rowlocks was heard. Not ten feet from them crouched an unseen form. They came from the river current. A moment Both villains might have been taken then. later a boat shot into view in the dimness of the night. But Old King Brady, for he it was, had other plans. Two sailors were at the oars, and in the bow stood Do his best he had been unable to locate the hiding a man with a boat hook. place of the abducted girl, Janet'Pell. "Belay there Starboard, ye lubbers Hillo, the Neither had he been able to learn the deta. ils of the wharf!" fate of Young King Brady.
THE BLACK BAND. He simply knew that the young detective had dis appeared. But that was all. But here was a move which promised to throw the balance of power again into his hands. He was determined that the Sarah Ann should not take the fair prisoner to Big Sandy Key as proposed by Jayne. The old detective hoped then and there to bag the entire party. When Jayne and Mansur left the wharf, therefore, Old King Brady followed them. 1 Both were in close disguise. But as Old King Brady was leaving the wharf he became aware Qf a startling fact. He was befog shadowed himself. What did that mean ? He was not only perplexed but alarmed as well. "It's queer !" he muttered. "I don't it. Why should anybody snadow me? It can't be a detective." Then a horrible thought came to him. Was it one of the Black Band ? Were they closer on his track than he was on theirs? Had they prepared a trap for him even as they had prepared it for Young King Brady ? Truly this was the hardest gang Old King Brady had ever been up against. But he smiled grimly. would fall into no trap. Forewarned is forearmed. He proceeded at once to give as much attention to his shadower as to those he was shadowing. He noted one fact. The man shadowing him, whoever he was, knew his business well. He was certainly no novice. But Old King Brady knew that in the Black Band there were many very sharp men. So he did not wonder long at this. Along the street by the wharves Old King Brady shadowed Jayne and Mansur. Then he saw them turn into an alley. Here a pale blue light gleamed over a doorway. Under it was the sign: "SAILORS' RETREAT. WALK IN." Into this place which the detective at once recog nized as a drinking den the two villains went. Old King Brady here paused. He wished to effect a disguise, but he did not wish the party shadowing hini to see it. He waited a moment. until he c!mld place his shadower. Then he slipped into a patch of darkness. When he came out his own mother would not have known him. He was completely metamorphosed. He was a perfect type of a sailor of the man-o'wars-man type, even to the hat with its fl.uttering ribbon. A long, low bar, with shelves back of it filled with black bottles occupied the room. Beyond was a door leading into what purported to be a dining hall, with curtained slips on either side. One could eat his meal in one of these slips, or sip his beer and be unseen by any other person in the place. As Old King Brady entered, a cursory glance showed him that Jayne and Mansur were not in the place, so far as he could see. But that they were in one of the curtained slips he had no doubt. The detective rolled up to the bar and slapped down a fifty cent piece. "A schooner of ale, messmate!" he said, heavily. "Ay, ay, sir," said the barkeeper, with a shrewd glance at him. "Here's to your best health!" "I'm drinking the same to you, skipper !"replied the pseudo sailor. The barkeeper bowed and pocketed the fifty cent piece. The sailor drank his ale and then looked on the bar for the change. It was not there. "Where's me divvy?" he asked. "Eh?" ejaculated the barkeeper, with a of his thumb. Then he leaned over the bar : "Ye ain't been long ashore, Jack?" "This hour by eight bells !" I see. You're not up to shore ways. Ye've had your grog an' drunk my bealtp. It's shore manners that wipes out the score. See?" The barkeeper leered at Old King in a brutish way. The detective felt like giving that ugly mug a punch with his fist, but he did not. He knew that it would be policy for him to drop the fifty cents and say no more about it. So he said: "All the same, mate. It's a goad v'yage we had and fair pa.y. I've had nothing but salt horse and hard tack for eight months agone. Where'll I .find the mess table?" "Anyone of those slips," said the bartender. "I'll send a duck to wait on ye. Mind ye tip her a dollar, or it's a cold meal ye'll get." "Which is shore ways." "Yes, them's shore ways." "Then it's lucky fer Jack his life's afloat. All right, skipper; let's have the mess." With this, Old King Brady reeled toward one of the slips. He pulled back the curtains. Two men occupied it. The old detective was face to face with Jayne and Muggie Mansur. CHAPTER XII. As he rolled into the Sailors' Retreat his disguise THE SAILOR AND THE LONGSHOREMAN HAVE A TALK. was perfect. BOTH sailors started up in angry surprise at the There was nothing about him in the least suggest-I sailor's intrusion. ive of Old King Brady. I Mansur's hand went to Iiis pistol pocket.
THE BL.A.CK HA.ND. 23 But Jayne restrained him. "Pat one of your boys on a cab. She will come "What do you want?" he asked, glaring at Old along in a half stupor." 1 King Brady. "Oh, yes, that's easy!" The pseudo sailor pulled his fore top' "Now, I think Thursd;:i,y, at nine o'clock, the best "Axin' your pardon, mates. I didn't know this time to leave Spuyten Duyvil." locker had an occupant. Be free and ea!:ly, lads. It's "All right." a mistake." "Let Jerry or Dick, or whoever it is, drive slowly For a moment the two villains glared searchingly down by the Boulevard to West street,. near the at Old King Brady. Pennsylvania: dock. I'll be watching and have a boat Then Mansur said : ready for the rest." "All right, Mel. He's only a sailor." "Then the schooner will come back into the North "It's a mistake, eh." hissed Jayne. "Well, go river?" on your way, you dirty hulk, and don't trouble us "Yes, to-morrow." again." "I say, do you suppose that confounded sailor next "That I'll be glad to do, mate," said the pseudo to us has heard anything ?" sailor, rolling away toward another slip. "I'll take a look at him." He fumbled around with the curtains awhile and Mansur stepped out of his slip and peered through then managed to" slide into the slip next to the one the curtains. Old King Brady was absorbed in his occupied by Jayne and Mansur. cabbage. A dissipated-looking woman came to waiton him. Mansur made a sign to Jayne that it was all right, He gave her the dollar as requested by the barand both villains arose and went to the bar. keeper. Old King Brady watched them through the curtains In return she brought a had-smelling mess of cabof the slip. bage, cornbeef and onion stew. It was a pottage Presently they passed out into the street. vile enough to turn the stomach of a dog. The old detective did not follow. But the detective pretended to fall to, though not a He consulted his watch. morsel passed his lips. "Two o'clock," he muttered. "I'll get some Just at this moment, however, the door of the sleep." place swung open again and a man entered. He rolled out of the slip and started for the door. He was not quite so tall or large as Old King Brady. The man at the bar in the longshoreman's garb, He was a type of longshoreman with patchetl and made an almost imperceptible signal. flushed face and a slouch hat. Old King Brady reeled, and his face for a moment He lounged up to the bar and called for a drink. grew white. But that was all. Old King Brady studied him closely, and then conI The next moment he was as cool and composed as eluded: I ever. "He is not the fellow who was shadowing me. He opened the door and passed out. The bartender That's no disguise." I was busy with his glasses. The old detective paid. no furU1er heed to the longThe longshoreman followed. At a dark corner he shoreman. came upon the old detective 'leaning against a brick He was listening to the half whispered conversawall. tion of Jayne and Mansur. "Harry!" gasped Old King Brady. He made much work with his knife" and fork and "It's nobody else," replied the young detective. with his jaws, but all the while his ear was pressed "I-I gave you up. I thought you were dead!" close to the partition. "Well, I did have a close pinch," replied the young Every word uttered came to him. detective, "and I ought to have let you known the "You think you can trust Ham?" truth before. But it was to my ad vantage to keep "Of course, I can!" dark, and then I did not have a good opportunity to "I don't see the advanta.ge of taking the girl to see you." Big Sandy Key. Why not leave her at the Spuyten Old King Brady was not a man given to sentiuyvil house. She is safe there !" ment. There's no telling how long it will take to bring But if ever he felt glad in his life to see another, er to terms. I want to force her to come to our it w ,as at that moment to see Young King Brady. lans. I cannot do it at. the Spuyten Duyvil house." It seemed to him as if life had suddenly grown more "I see!" valuable to hiJil. "But by taking her a good ways from home to" a "By gracious!" he exclaimed. "I'm glad they esert isle, she will see the futility of further hope didn't do you up, Harry. Come, let's go somewhere nd it "'.ill break her courage." where we can talk it over." "You're a schemer, Jayne." "Come to our room." "Well, perhaps so !" "All right." "We'll nave to drug her to bring her down from A half hour later the two detectives were ensconced puyten Duyvil ?" in a comfortable apartment uptown:
24. THE BLACK BA.ND. Then Young King Brady told his story. I "I believe I'll open a vein and let him slowly bleed At the close of a preceding chapter we left him in a to death," he said. serious predicament indeed. ( There's a better game than that, pard," said one At the mercy of human wolves in the cellar of the of the gang called Peso Pete. "I've seen the Mexi H ester street den, his hopes for escape were slight cans do it down in the Apache country. Take yer indeed. knife and cut slits in his skin. Turn it over the knife That the hard gang meant to take his life was cer-blade and skin him like an eel." tain. A shout of approval went up. There was no reason in their estimation why he Jayne's eyes danced with a devilish light. should be spared. Good !" he gritted. "Nothing could be better In fact save Old King Brady himself, there was no than that. I'm with you. Strip the dog !" one for whose life they felt a greater thirst. Like hounds on the scent
THE BLACK BAND. IJ I and reached it with ease. He grasped the handle and flung it open. crevice was only a long roll of tarred rooffing which had fallen down there. He found himself in a passageway. Behind him was a roar like .that coming from a den of wild beasts. Already men were at his heels. All was darlmess; he could not see, but still he dashed on Suddenly he collided with a blank wall. It came nigh proving fatal to his chances. For he was knocked half senseless. But still he gained his feet and kept on. Then he stumbled up some stairs. The gang was now close behind him. Up and up he went. after flight rose before him. He heard the shout of many voices, and then he saw light above. It was the sky. The next moment, nigh dead with exhaustion, he reached the skylight, and bursting through was upon the roof. It did resemble a man's form in the dim light. But it; was not Young King Brady. The young detective at that moment was fiat on his spent and half senseless, behind the next chidmey not twenty feet away. The bullet had struck him. It had grazed his shoulder blade and caused suffi cient pain to induce faintess. He had been compelled to drop from this and from sheer exhaustion. There he lay, as he believed a\ the mercy of his foes. He would have been, trul had they known that he was there. He heard all that they said and saw them depart, and if ever a fervent prayer of thanks welled from his .breast it did then. Saved! How few know what tremendous force lies in that As far as he could see other roofs extended. He magic word. leaped to the next and ran on. Only those who have been at death's door and then But his pursuers were now close behind him. escaped, can really know the full weight of its mean-J ayne's voice was heard. ing. "Drop him, boys!" 1 Gradually Young King Brady's strength came The crack of a pistol rang out. back. But he had had experience enough for that Young Kimg Brady was just in act of leaping night. to the next roof. He was seen to throw up his arms He made his way down from the roof through one and vanish. of the many skylights. Then he found quiet lodgings The next moment the gang reached the spot. on the east side. There was an' aperture between the two roofs. For days he was quite ill with his wound. When Deep down in this, lodged between the two walls of he ventured forth he had decided upop. a new plan of brick, they saw a dark form. action. "Jericho !" cried Jayne. "He is done for, boys He that his foes believed him dead. He'll never be found and he'll never get out of there He realized that it was greatly to his advantage to alive. Let him stay there, and if he's alive let him allow them to hold this belief. So he wore a close dis die by slow starvation." guise, and did not even reveal himself to Old King A chorus of approval came from the rest of the Brady. gang. But he took a trip to Dune's and found the But at that morlient a distant skylight was seen to place empty. lift, and several bluecoats appeared. He managed to get an inkling of what Old King The pistol shot had been heard. Brady had been doing. The return of James Whitt-The officers were coming to investigate. There ridge he knew did not wind up the case. was no time to lose. The Black Band still existed. "Quick!" whispered Jayne, ''back to the den, It must be rooted out and destroyed. boys !" Moreover the abduction of pretty Janet Pell only Like shadows they flitted away. confirmed his belief that Jayne and his pals had not The officers, looking about, saw no sign of trouble. played their last card. They accordingly descended to the street. He knew that Old King Brady was on the track of But what of Young King Brady? Had he really the abductors. fallen into the narrow space between the buildings, So he proceeded at once to become the old detect and was he thus doomed to a lingering and awful ive's shadow, hoping to become of service at a critical death? moment. It would been such, for the two buildings How the two detectives again met and joined forces were joined at each end of the air space. Therefore, we have seen. he would never have been seen save in the bare Old King Brady listened with interest to this thrill-chance of some one passing over the roofs taking the ing recital from the lips of the young detective. trouble to peer down into the gloom. "Harry," he said with warmth, "you have proved It would have been a horrible death trap. yourself a man. You handled yourself well." But fate had been kinder to our young detective 1 "I tried to emulate mS teacher," said Harry, with than that. The form seen by the pursuers in the a laugh. I
THE BLACK BAND. "I am not sure but that you outclass him. Surely I "He's a poor, weak old man," be said. I ought I couldn't have done better. And you have luck." to have dosed his cordial long ago." "Largely that." "Why didn't ye?" "But that is not all." Well, the deuce of it wa s, he had all his money "Well, what are we to do now?" wilfed to charity and not a penny to me." Old King Brady's eyes gleamed. "Couldn't ye destroy the will?" "We've got them on the hip," be said. "It's held by a law firm. I tried to rnon key with "You think so?" them but it wouldn't work. Luck bas been against "I know it!" me but I guess it' ll change yet." "Well, I you're right." "In course. If you'd only stick to tber legitimate "You'll see that I am. That gang is at the end of yr,'d do all right." its rope. You know, of course, what they intend to "What do you mean?" do with Lbe girl?" "Women Thar's no luck in women. They're the "Tp.ke her to cause of a man's ruin fust and last. You can't beat "Yes." 'em. They'll git you into trouble sooner or later in "That Jayne is a scoundrel." spite of all you can do." "Well, yes. Now, either you or I must visit that Jayne laughed scornfully. Spl:lyten Duyvil house on Thursday." "I'll show you that this .is an except'on," be said. "Yes." By this time the train had reached Spuyten Duyvil. "They will take her from there at ten Thursday The fat German made a great rush for the door. evening. She will be half stupefied with a drug." The two villains grinned, as did everyone else in the "I understand." car. "One of us must drive that cab." "He's fresh from the Rhine," said Muggie. "Drive the cab?" "If I thought be bad a dollar we'd touch him fer "Yes!" it." "But--" "Pshaw! Let him alone. We've got other busi" No but about it. I have it. You take the trail ness." of the schooner's gang, and I will track Jayne and Then they alighted from the train and approached Mansur. I will either ride in that cab or drive it." a cab, which was drawn up at the platform. "It is agreed!" With this the two King Bradys went to bed. It is safe to say that they never slept better in their lives. For a day or two the two King Bradys were quiet. Little was done save to keep close watch of the Black Band Then Thursday came. Early in the day Old King Brady got on track of Jayne and Mansur. The two villains boarded a Harlem railroad train for Spuyten. Duyvil. In the seat behind them was a good-natured German. He had every appearance of just having landed in this country. Jayne and Mansur were in good spirits. "Then ye found the gal more pliable?" asked Mansur. Yes," replied Jayne, "she even tried to negoti ate, but when I named the figure as half a million she wilted." "She probably would marry you sooner than give up the half million," laughed Mansur, coarsely. "It's all the same, for in either case I'd get it," declared Jayne. "You're a corker, Jayne !" "I know it!" You'll be holding the Prince of Wales for ransom yet." "I'm bound to have money. I'm not done with my esteemed uncle yet." "I hear he means to shoot you on sight." Jayne laughed scornfully. CHAPTER XIV. OLD KING BR.ADY KEEPS HIS WORD BUT MEETS WITH .A DIS.APPOINTMENT. THE fellow on the box of the cab looked like a good natured Irishman, no more nor less. He was dressed as all cabmen dress, and gave the two villains a nod of recognition. "All right, Jerry," said Jayne, and be and Mansur leaped into the vehicle. Slam went the door and away went the cab. But hanging on behind, by the baggage rack, was the German. Neither those inside nor the driver noticed him. Up a narrow lane, and. toward what was once Je rome Park the vehicle was driven. After awhile it paused before a small, frame house, some distance back from the street. There was quite a yard in front, shut from the street by .a fence and wicket gate. The German had dropped from the baggage rack as the cab began to draw up. He slipped behind a tree and remained there. So when Jane ltnd Mansur alighted be was not seen. Into the little frame house the two ;villains went. The German watched them attentively. Then he looked carefully about him. A short distance away was a thick hedge. Into it the German disappeared. A few moments later there emerged a rather stout clerical looking man. He walked carelessly down tbe street by the cab.
THE BLACK BAND. 27 He looked up at the driver and said : who it was, had made himself up for a counterpart "Can you tell me the way to the station?" of the sleeping cab by. "The depot, sir? Yes, sir'. Right back and turn Back onto the boxhe leaped and whipped up the st to your left and then right," replied the cabby. horses. "Can you drive .me down there? I want to get In a few moments he was before the door of the litat New York train. I'll give you fixe dollars for tle frame house. It was now quite dusk. e job." Jayne came out on the piazza. The cabby hesitated. "Jerry !" he shouted. Then he looked at his watch. "All right, sir," said the detective, simulating the "They won't be ready for half an hour," he solilo-cabby's voice. ized. "What's the use of VDY sitting here when I 1 "We will be ready to start in fifteen minutes. uld earn an honest penny?" Everything is all right." Again he looked at his watch. . All right, sir !" Then he leane d over the box and said confidentially: "Have you a cold?" "Five dollars did you say, boss 1?" "Yes," replied the clerifal man. "I'll tell ye," said cabby. "I'm to wait here half hour for two coves who are in that house. Now, 1 pretend to be walking my horses around. You et me at that corner down there, hop in, and it'll all right." "That suits me,'' replied the clerical man. few moments later the cab by drove up to the corr hurriedly. f 'Jump in, boss!" he cried. 'I'd rather sit on the box with you," said the cler-1 man, leaping up beside the cabby. 'All right, boss!" own the highway the cab rattled. They turned o a wooded part of the road. No house 'Nas near. he clerica} man drew out a flask, and affected to nk from it. he cabby looked askance. 'Oh, beg pardon," said the clerical man. Scotch isky. Have a nip?" 'Don't care if I do." he cabby tipped the bottle to his lips. He took a p draught. Then with a smack handed it back the owner. 'Hot stuff!" he said. 'Yes, you'll think so in a minute," said the clerman, ironically. "No, sir." "What makes you so hoarse ?" "I dunno, sir." "Well, be ready in fifteen minutes." Old King Brady chuckled. I reckon Harry would stare if he knew how well I am keeping my promise todrive this cab to-n ight," he muttered. And it was. indeed 3.i clever ruse whicb he had. effected. In fifteen minutes it had grown quite dark. This naturally made Old King Brady feel more secure. Thus congratulating himself, he heard the door of the house open. ( The two villains came out. Between them walked with uncertain steps a woman with veiled face. That it was the abducted girl there was no doubt. Down to the carriage door she was led. Old King Brady held it open. She was assisted into the carriage. Then Jayne and Mansur leaped in and pulled the curtains down. "New York-you know where, Jerry," Old King Brady leaped on the box. "Yes, I know where!" he chuckled. Away rolllid the cab. they said. uddenly the cabby's head sank and he reeled in Old King Brady drove across to High Bridge and s eat. The clerical man grabbed the reins and al-Washington Heights, and on down into the city. ed cab by to sink onto the foot board. He had made his plans beforehand. hen he pulled up the horses. He knew that Young King Brady should be waiting abby was in a stupor. for him at the Pennsylvania dock, with officers. h,e clerical man looked up and down. No one was The game should be bagged then and the re. ight. / At least Miss Janet Pell would be rescued, and two Worked like a charm," he muttered. "Knockof the ringleaders of the Black Band be put b ehind drops are the thing." the bars. e laid the reins down and leaped to the ground. The others could be run down later. All looked ckly he lifted cabby from the box, and carried successful to Old King Brady. Thi;i detective was in to a bit of green sward under a tree. high spirits. He'll sleep sweetly and safely there," he said. At times he heard the men in the carriage talking. e won't wake for an hour. Now for the rest." He did not venture to look around for fear of exciting e removed cabby's coat and donn e d it. and took possible suspicion. hat. Tli.en he drew forth a pock e t mirror and It was a Jong drive. etics. Old King Brady pushed the horses along quite a few ")JY skillful manipulation, Old sharp1y. Their coats were quite reeking with sweat g Brady, for of course the reader has guessed and foam.
THE BLACK BAND. It was late when he turned from Riverside drive "Hello !" exclaimed Young King Brady. for he it into the heart of the city. was. "Did you succeed in driving that cab?" Straight downtown he drove. "I did." Soon he turned intQ West street, and made his way The young detective was astonished. toward the Pennsylvania docFs. Of course there were "What?" he gasped. stragglers on the street at that hour. "It is true." But they noted the cab only with idle interest. "But how did you do it? Where are the gang?" They never dreamed of attaching any significance ''They gave me the slip." to it. Old King Brady's keen eyes were on the look"The deuce you say!" out for young King Brady. 1 "It is true." He was not disappointed. I Old King Brady to)d his story. Harry listenec He saw a number of officers at the entrance to the 1 with interest. Tben he said : docks. He drove directly up to them and leaped "Well, the whole game is up." down from his box. "What ?" "Surround this cab, men," he said, authoritatively. "I am old King Brady, the detective, and in that cab are 'two desperate criminals; they must not escape." The detective tore open his coat and showed his star. The officers instantly obeyed. One of them tore open the carriage door. "So far as the schooner is concerned. If Jaym and Mansur had succeeded in getting down here safe ly with their prisoner they would have had their trou ble for their pains." "Why?" "Captain away." Ham has thrown up the job and saile Then a shout went up. CHAPTER XV. "She's em .pty !" AT GRINDLEMAN'S PAVILION. A stroke of lightning from a clear sky could not OLD -KING BRADY was astonished. have been a greater shock to Old King Brady. "Gone away?" he gasped. "Is that straight?" For a moment his tongue hung in his mouth para"It is." lyzed. He rushed to the cab door and looked in. "But-what for?" It was the truth. "Oh, he got frightened. In fact I am partly r The cab was empty. sponsible for that." The birds had fl.own. "You?" But when and where, and how had they taken the "Yes," said the young detective with a smile. alarm. Never in his life had the old detective been so knew it would be easier to bag the game with t cleanly outwitted. schooner safely out of the way." "Great Jericho!" he finally gasped. "Where have "Well?" they gone?" "I sent him a polite note of warning. He instan The police officers stood about grinning. If there ly up sail and fled." is anything that amuses the roundsman it is to see Old King Brady was thoughtful. the wary detective, whom he is accustomed to defer "l wonder if it was possible," he muttered. "N to, get fooled once in awhile. I saw the girl at the Spupten Duyvil house." "They've given ye the slip," Gaid one 40f the force. "Ah, she is not on board the Sarah Ann, be su "Are ye &ure they were in there?" asked another .. of that," said Young King Brady. But Old King Brady paid no more heed to their "You think so?" shafts, than a duck to drops of water falling on its "I do." back. I "How do you suppose they got out of the cab?" "Have you seen Harry Brady?" he a sked. "Jumped out, prot3'bly." "No, sir." I "With the girl?" "Who sent you here?" "Why, certainly. Either could take her in "Orders from the chief of the Secret Service to 1 arms and drop out in a dark spot. That's just t meet you." way of it, and they've taken her to some safe hidi "It was Harry who left that order," said the old pLoce, be sure." detective. "Probably Harry is watching the 1 "Too bad!" said Old King Brady, with disappoi schooner. It will be lively work now to head them ment. off. One of you men take this team to a stable. That "Why, it means that we must do our work all ov is all I need of you." again." And Old King Brady va. nished in the darkness of i "Yes, but it will be harder." the wharves. \ "True!" A small boat was just running in alongside the I "They've fooled us, and they'll be on the look pier. A man leaped out and tethered the light craft. for us now. A subterfuge will not work so easy ne Old King Brady approached him. time." "Harry," he exclaimed, "is that you?" I "I agree with you."
THE BL.ACK BAND. 29 "It is too bad. But and tJ;ie old detective I ';l'ime was destined to bring a full explanation of ulled himself together, "I rather like the looks of tlus, 1 hings after all. We prevented one thing." Turnmg mto the J?owery Partfand slackene.d his "The taking of the girl to Sandy Key?" pace. He entered a liquor saloon and leaned over the "Yes!" bar talking with the bartender. "But--" Presently Old King Brady, who watching "What?" through the glass panel of the door, saw the bar" Why, may they not take her there yet by some keeper give Partland something which looked like a the r method?" key. .. "Well, they have not done it to-night," declared he recogmz ed the bark. eeper. ld King Brady. "Before another night we must His name was Fitch, and he was one of t e Black ake it our business to t .hwart any fur!iher at.t.empt." Band. He been present t1:e Marbl "That's right," agreed Young King Brady. when Old Kmg Brady had his lively expenences 'Have you any plan?" there. . . "We might go back uptown and see if we can The det, ective . trike a clew. But no," rejoined the old detective "That's queer! Whats he given him a key ith sudden.inspiration, "I have a better plan." Why should .co:me away to get it. "What is it?" What new figure is m the case P . But befo:re the detective could even guess at a soluOld Kmg could explam lus plan, tion of the mystery Partland came out of the saloon. hich never was expl;tmed, an unexpected mcident He did not see the dark form flattened in the next cc'.lrred. . doorway. They were at the momentm shadow. Just a t He walked slowly along to the first elevated station. he ftabr endl of thtehwharffal .mgla1tn s form was seen to As he was ascending the stairs a tall man brushed ass roug 1 a pa way o i t h" d d d 1 d tl Even that distance Old King Brady knew him. I pas un an ascen m ong Jumps, evi en Y m a It was Ike I hurry to a tram.. The old detective grasped the situation. 1 did not notice that this man looked back "Ha '" he aid abruptly. "Did you see that at lum through the panel of the door. h ?';ry s He never once suspected that a pursuer would act ap h" f l "y ,, m t is as uon. ,, '\\'hen Partland boarded the uptown train, the un" Did you know lum? known man sat in a seat close beside him. :: I it was Partland." . At One Hundredth street or the station nearest And. S? it was. The ga,ng are still r.angmg that thoroughfare, Partland got out. Down One Hunfor Jayne Mansur to come with.the dredth street he proceeded. irl. Now is our chance. Along the shores of this part of the East river at "What shall we do?" . the time this story deals with, there were a number "I'll take Partland, and if the gang sphts up you of summer gardens mostly owned and kept by Ger-an take .. See? We must not lose trace mans. f them, for it will give us only chance to find out Among the smaller of these was one known as Grin-here they have taken the girl." Pavi1 0n "l '" 'd Y K" B "It. '" ,,. see sa1 oung. mg ra\'Y IS a go Down to the water's edge was a sort of garden, Away the two detectives shd, hke veritable slmdwith swings and rustic seats. ws. . There was also a small wharf, where a few pleasure They separated, and _not agam that. rnght did they bpq.ts were kept for those oarsmen who cared to risk ee each other. Old Kmg Brady easily got track of the turrents and eddies of Hell Gate. artland. Down to the entrance of Grindleman's Pavilion He was loitering alone under a pile of wharfage. Partland went. e had not been there long when two men came across The small bar was open yet, and a fat man sat be-est street. hind it. But the gardens and the pavilion were deA signal was made, they met and there was a hasty serted. onference. . In fact, the gates were closed and locked. Then Partland slid a?ross West street and d1sapOld King Brady was near enough to hear the fat eared strent leadmg to West Broadway. German say,' as Partland entered: Old Kmg Brad.v ha d to make a detour, and trust"Mein Gott Is dot you, Meester Partland? You ng to luck to strike Partland on the corner of West geef mt. von surprise!" / / roadway he up the next street. Partland spoke to the German in a low tone of He ran rap1d:ly. voice . When he reached West Broadway he slackened What he said Old King Brady could not hear. is pace. But the German closed and locked the door, and Luck was with him. then the wo entered the pavilion. 1 The detective was :eartland was jm1t crossing the street. As far as stumped. Canal street the detective followed him. It was necessary that he should follow them, and Through Canal to the Bowery went the shadowed if possible hear what they saying, and at least nd the shadower. see what they did. It was a long walk. But the door was locked. But Old King Brady knew that it would not do to It would not do to pick the lock. lnce lose track of his man. Old King Brady was, however, not one to be long J He had but a very slender thread now to cling to. without ::..n expedient. It had been a reversal of fortunes, much to be de-He proceeded shadow-like along the wall of the pa-1lored, that the villains had escaped from the cab. vil10n. Then at a point where the lattice connected But he hoped soon to atone for this mishap. All with the wall, he silently climbed up. he while he was wondering what the two villains hl!-d Just as he reached the pavilion roof he was obliged one with Pell, on leaving the cab. to halt.
1'HE BLACK BAND. two rogues were coming down to the garden, '"l'hey have l eft her aboard and considjlr her safe," and ma few moments w ere right b eneath him. he muttered. "Oh, if I could only swim!" "You say your yacht, the Gretchen, is here But he was not long in hitting upon an expedient. ?" he heard Partland ask the German. He was determined to gain the deck of the littl 1 Sure it is dot," replied the garden proprietor. yacht if possible. ""'She is moored right avay down at the wharf. She There seemed no way to do it from the w ater side. is all right." The pavilion entrance he deemed the best. H "Well, you see we've got to hide the girl away hastened to make his plan. somewhere until these cursed detectives a:re bliQ6ied. It was not a difficult matter to find a weak spot if we can put her on the Gre t c h e n to-night, to-the lattice. By rneans of gentle pressure the bars o morrow We can ta.ke the yacht up the Sound to a wood were forced apart. small Long Island place where she will be safe. Dune An aperture was made large enough for the detect knows of a lovely den up there." ive to crawl through. The detective's blood tingled. He was now in the garden. Things were playing into his hands again. The It was not far t;o the yacht landing. Silently an two men now walked away out of hearing. shadow-like he crept down toward it. But Old King Brady had heard all he wished. As he reached the little plank he saw a man pacin He did not attempt to enter the pavilion. That the deck of the yacht. was no longer his game. That he was on guard there,. there was no doubt Instead he carefully climbed down and went back He was probably the e1igineer of the yacht and th to the street. Even as he reached it he heard the only man on board. rumble of wheels. The detective studied the situation. A cab came into view rapidly driven. To attempt to cross the plank openly would giv The curtains were pulled close. I the alarm and might cost him his life. Down to the pavilion entrance it went, and into Old King Brady was too shrewd for that. deep shadows at the gate. He had a better p ,lan. The old detective heard a whistle and saw the gate One thing was plain to him. open. Then the dim shadows of some people passing The man on the yacht must be disposed of in som through. way. He was the only barrier to the rescue of Jane The cabman turned and galloped his horses away. Pell. The detective made no effort to stay him. He had "He has got to come," muttered the old detective no use for him. "He is my game." His game was once more .in hand. .. Down to the edge of the plank the detective crep To say that Old King Brady was elated would be a warily. r mild statement. He was here in such shadow that he could not b He made no attempt to intercept those entering the seen. pavilion. Under this end of the plank he slid. Then h This would have been folly. gripped its edges with his fingers. He was only one man against many. To call a He swung off into the air and began working hi squad of police might have done, but Old King Brady way hand over hand along the under' side of th had formed a different plan. plank. He was thus screened from view and hi He was piqued to think that Jayne and his gang fingers were an obje c t too small to be seen. had so cleverly outwitted him. The guard on the deck paced slowly up and down He was determined to retaliate. He did not see that dark figure clinging to the verg "I wish Harry was here!" he said to himself. "I of the yacht's bulwark. When his back was turne need his assistance." cat-like and silent as deatb. that figure went over th But Young King Brady was not within easy reach. rail. It devolved upon the old detective to carry out his Old King Brady crouched in the angle of the cabi plot alone and unaided. superstructure. The guard walked slowly aft. Then he turned and came as slowly back. It w CHAPTER XVI. OLD KING BRADY EFFECTS A DARING RESCUE. THAT Old King Brady was fully equal to this, the reader will not doubt. He laid his plans very skillfully and very carefully. He did not mean to fail this time. He had no doubt but that his failure as driver of the cab was due to the fact that the two villains had gue ssed hi s identity. Certainly it was a kind disposition of fate which had put him on Partland's track. The latter had brought him to the right clew, for a certainty. Old King Brady now took a wide detour, and gained the river sho .re some distance below the pavilion. He could see the shape of the Gretchen outlined by the little wharf. Even as he watched be saw the dim light. of a lan t e rn and then several figures cross the plank to her d e ck. The y have taken her aboard," he muttered. A moment later a dim light shone from the window of the little cabin. It continued to shine steadily. The detective heard voices going up through the garden. Old King Brady's chance. Just as the fellow was opposite him he thrust on long arm out. The strong fingers clutched the guard's windpip In an instant he was prevented from uttering ain ou cry. There was a swift silent struggle. He lay on the deck with Old King Brady's kn on his chest. "Silence, on your life," whispered the old detectiv or you 're a dead man The fellow ceased to struggle. The detective made a gag and thrust it into h" mouth. Then h e bound him securely .hand and fo with a hand line found on the deck. He next carried him into' the cabin and placin him in the nearest stateroom locked him in. Then he looked about him. He was master of the situation. A light burned on the cabin table. Another gli mered over the glass of a stateroom door. Old King Brady advanced and turned the key b in the lock. He swung the door back. A striking scene was revealed to his gaze.
THE BLACK BAND. 31 ==-_.::============================================================= There reclining in a bunk, with white upturned face and drooping eyelids and glassy eyes, was a beautiful young girl. The detectivo saw instantly that she was yet under the influence of the drug. He advanced and took her hand. "Miss Pell,'' he said in a low tone. "Don't get frightened. Don't scream or betray us. I am a de tective come to save you. All is well." A half stifled cry broke from the young girl's lips and she essayed to rise. "Yes, yes. I know. You are drugged,'' said the detective in her ear. "But that will pass away in time. Keep perfectly quiet where you are. I will take care of you." The helpless girl tried to whisper, but abandoned the attempt. Her face, however, showed her joy. Old King Brady went back to the deck. He listened intently. He could hear voices up in the pavilion. But the coast seemed clear. What should he do now ? It was his desire to effect the young girl's rescue. He could take :Q.er from the place and then return. His mind was made up. He would do this. Back into the cabin he went. He lifted her in his powerful arms and stalked back to the deck. Down the plank he boldly walked. In another moment he was in the beer garden. He made his way without trouble to the aperture by which he had entered the place. It was an easy matter to pass out, and then he carried her up the steep bank to a vacant lot above. Only a few yards away was a street and houses. But at that early hour it was deserted and people were in their beds. detective was in a quandary. What should he do with his charge? He was anxious to return to the beer garden. An idea came to him. Carrying the girl in his arms he walked boldly down the street. He had hoped to find a roundsman. But beyond the next corner he saw a blue light burning. "A druggist!" he muttered. "Just the place!" In a few moments he bad reached the door of the drug store. The night clerk was at his desk. The detective opened the door and stalked in. The clerk came out from behind his desk in a hurry. "What's this?" he cried. "Somebody in trouble?" "Look here," said Old King Brady, impressively. "This young lady has got to have help. She is worth millions and you will be well repaid. I want her to have the best of care. Where is your private room?" "This way,'' said the clerk, with alacrity. "I will call up Dr. Smith. A case of the heart?" "No, a stupefying drug. She has been in the hands of villains. Now you will understand how im portant it is for you to keep close guard over this lady. Do you see?" "Y-yes !"stammered the clerk. Old King Brady showed his star. "I am a detective of the Secret Service,'' he said further. "All will be explained later. Keep her.here until I c all for her. My name is James Brady." The cleyk stared. "You are 0 Id King Brady?" "Sometimes I am ca lied that." "You may be sure I'll lool after her,'' declared the clerk. "Have no fear, Mr. Brady. The detective left the drug store hurriedly, Back to the beer garden he went. To him the rest seemed easy. He meant to bag his game that night. How he succeeded we shall see. When he reached the break in the lattice, he has tened to push his way through it. He was quickly in the beer garden All was quiet on the yacht. He could hear voices yet in the pavilion. It was ;plain that the rescue of Janet Pell had not yet been discovered. / "That's all right,'' he muttered. "Nothing could have worked better." Like a shadow he made his wa.y up toward the pa vilion. Passilw into it he saw his game just beyond, in an adjunct of the barroom. There, Jayne, Mansur, and the German Grindle man were engaged in drinking beer and conversing. Partland was not there. "Queer!" thought the detective. "Wonder where he has gone!" He was enlightened later. The conversation of the villains was conducted in a low key, so the old detective was compelled to draw quite near. He reclined .fiat on the floor of the pavilion, and worked his way in the shadows snake-like to the door of the barroom adjuhct. Then at an unobserved moment it was easy for him to slip behind the open door. He was now within twenty feet of the villains, and could almost have heard a whisper. "I think it's the best thing we can do to concentrate and lie low for awhile," Jayne was saying. "Well, I reckon," agreed Mansur. "Ach Himmel, I neber deed hear of any detective like dat Old King Brady,'' asseverated the German. "Well, he'll do us yet,'' said Jayne. "See what a close call we've just had. I knew it wasn't Jerry on the box after we went through that lamp light on Washington Heights. Lucky I looked through the curtain to make sure." "Curse that Jerry! He played us false." "Oh, I don't know. Brady may have hyphotized him." "Pshaw!" "I tell you, that old wolf is equal to anything." Old King Brady smiled at this flattering allusion to his powers. CHAPTER XVil. YOUNG KING BRADY IS ON HAND. "THE best thing we can do is to take the girl aboard the Gretchen as soon as Partland returns with the rest of the gang," Jayne declared. / "I agree with ye,'' said Mansur. f'They to be here pretty quick now." Old King Brady experienced a thrill. He saw the whole game now. lke Partland's absence was explained. He had gone after the rest of the gang. They intended to seek retirement for awhile, for the two Bradys had made the scent hot for them. This convinced the old detective that he must act with swift dispatch. His daring plan was already formed. It must be executed before the gang should show up. If Lot he would be defeated, at least for the time. The old detective's plan was a most daring one. It was bis purpose to, if possible, single handed capture these three crooks who were before him. The German would be easy. But Jayne and 1\fan sur he knew would give savage resistance. But Old
32 '!'HE BLACK BAND. King Brady was not the one to shrink for such a signal also and they had yielded to a literal stampede. reason as this. But they could not escape. He listened carefully to minute detail of From all quarters came the bluecoats. The Black the plans. Then he smiled grimly. The next moment Band were cornered like rats in a trap. One by one he stepped from his concealment. they yielded and were handcuffed. In each hand was a revolver. It was a mighty turning of tables. The career of His sudden appearance was electrifying to the three the hard gang was ended forever. crooks. Grindleman stared stupidly at the detective. Through the crowd Young King Brady's athletic But Jayne and Manspr, with the air of desperate and form was seen, and the next moment he was by Old hunted men, sprang up. King Brady's side. The two detectives met joyfully. "Hands up or or you're dead men!" Young King Brady's story was brief. "Old King Brady!" gasped Mansur. He had easily tracked his men, and was shadow" The game is lost I" hissed Jayne. ing them when Partland's order came for them to '!'hey were obliged to throw up their hands. The concentrate at Grindleman's. At once the young de-grim smile on the old detective's face seemed to para-teetive called a score of police from headquarters and lyze them. planned the grand coup which ensued. Old King Brady covered them carefully a moment Everyone of the band was captured. A short with the revolver, then he threw a pa,ir of handcuffs while later they were in prison. The great case was on the floor. at an end. "Grindleman,'' he said, sternly, "snap those on The two King. Bradys had covered themselves the wrist of each one of those scamps or you die !" with glory. They had rooted out and destroyed the "Ach, mein Gott!" whined the German. "I be hardest gang of toughs New York and vicinity had von honest man. Spare me I" ever known. "Do as I tell you!" As soon as possible Old King Brady. repaired to With alacrity the German obe_yed. The famous old the drug store, where he had left Janet Pell. The detective that he had his game cornered, but young lady had quite come out from the drug, just as he had begun to congratulate himself upon l and was able to ride home \n the care of two phy this score, footsteps sounded outside and the street sicians. The next day all New York knew of th door .vas thrown open. rescue of the abducted girl. Into the place bounded Ike Partland with the other Among the most delighted of all at the breakin members of the Black Band at his shoulders. As-up of the gang, was James Whittridge, tlle banker tounded they halted at the scene spread before them. He sent the Bradys a handsome check as a compli "Saved!" cried Jayne in triumph. "Ike 1 men! mentary acknowledgment of their great ability. Jump on him! Shoot him Kill him If you don't The ringlca.ders of the gang got long sentences we are lost!" Melburne Jayne was sent to Sing Sing for twent. A great hoarse roar went up from the throng of years, but suicide terminated his career within a year ruffians. Dark looks and threatening gestures they The atrocities of the Black Band are remembered i gave the old detective. Old King Brady saw that Gotham to this day. The fame of the Bradys wa his life hung in the balance. greatly increased by their capture. The chief of th But hark! Secret Service rubbed his hands, and said with grea was that? warmth: To the old detective's trained came a peculiar "You can't beat the two King Bradys. They ar whistle. It was heard in the street beyond. It was the greatest detectives in America." answered from the garden and from the river below. And without disputing this statement, let us for th Old King Brady felt a thrill of keenest joy, for he time being, at least, take our leave of the two Kin knew that the game was won. 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vVho ha::: not h2a.rd or,, Okl J.:>rRdy the C<:)]"}\Jrntcd detective, vvho hRS unn1v e led rnorc n1.ysteries than any slcntb c \er hem'd or. L n the series of stori Ps to be published in SECRET SERVICE. he -...11.rill l.)e assisted by o young lnan known ns ''Young JZin.g Brady, "Vvhosc only a i m in lite i s Jo n:-:-cc! Ol.:.l in wod-:ing UF dangerous cases and running the c1in1inal s to 0c:u'th. Hovv .. well h e does so will be full y explained in the following stories publ :shec..' i11 1 The Dlack Ba1id; or, The Two King. Draen Goods l\Ien. Thi:' Opium King; or, The Brarlys' Great Chinatown C:a:;0 The Bradys iu \\'all Street; o r, A Plot to Steal a l\lil li ou. TlJC Girl From Hni'ton; or. Old and Youn g King Brady OP u P<'euliar Ca c. lhe llra;Jyg anse 1 O Held l!t Ha:; o r The Bratlys ou a Baffiing Case. After the o.-. TlH B::ul: s o:; a F::i lM Clew. 11 l\Iyst1 r:;-. th<' (;irl irom Cbicago; or, Old aull Young 30 01,1 anu Yo1a1g i-..i1ii:: Gilt! Jc; or, Hound to '.Viu Kiug Br;10ly on a Dark T rail. 12 Tbc D'.'l'll Game; or, Chasing tl1<' Crooks. Their Case The llr:vlys lla1c 'J'rnek ,Joh; or, Crooked \York Ai.uung 1 3 Hop Lee, liw Chine>;(' Sla\e or, Ol d anJ Yon11g 32 Fo1mt'l in the nn:;": cr, T h0 on a Gren' ;\[11 Ki111-: Brndy an Jlr;:H1y!'\ ill the Dnrl:: s:; on rent'ipt of } )ri\.'t> u cents. /\.ddr .s "-I