The Bradys in the oil country, or, The mystery of the giant gusher


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The Bradys in the oil country, or, The mystery of the giant gusher

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Title:
The Bradys in the oil country, or, The mystery of the giant gusher
Series Title:
Secret service, Old and Young King Brady, detectives
Creator:
Doughty, Francis Worcester d. 1917
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Frank Tousey
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (28 p.) 28 cm.: ;

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Mystery and detective fiction. ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
026725849 ( ALEPH )
145503896 ( OCLC )
S50-00028 ( USFLDC DOI )
s50.28 ( USFLDC Handle )

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serial

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OLD AND YOUNG BRAD"IlETECTIVES. lreeld .11-By S11b:sc ription. $2 5 0 prr year. /!;'11feri!d Srco1ut f'/11s ... Ma.tie r at lite New Y o r k Pol Office.!, M a rch I l8 99. by Frank Towey No. 189. NEW YORK, 5 1902. Pric e :> C e nts. From the undergrowth behind them sprang a dozen men. They surrounded the detectives. "We've got the fiends! yelled Simpson, who was the leader of the party. ..We'll make an example. of the. m !" .. Kill 'em! Hang 'em!" These were the fierce crie s of the exc ited miners. I

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These Books Tell You Everything! A COMPLETE SET IS A REGULAR ENCYCLOPEDIA I Each book consists of sixty-four pages, printed on good paper, in clear type and neatly bound in an attractive, illustrated cover .\lost of the books are also profusely illustrated, and all of the subjects treated upon are explained in such a simple manner that any chil
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SECRET SERVICE. OLD AND YOUNG KING B R.ADY, DETECTIVES. Issued Weekly-By Subscription $2.5 0 per yea1. Entered as Second Class Matter a t the New Yo r k N. Y ., Post Office, March 1, 1899. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1 902, in the ojftce of the Lib r arian of Congress, Washington, D. C., by Frank Tousey, 24 Union Square, New York. No. 189 NEW YORK, SEPT EMBER 5, 1902. Price 5 Cents. The Bradys in the Oil Country; I I OR, THE MYSTERY OF THE GIANT GUSBER. EY A NE'W' YORK DETECTIVE. CHAPTER I. THE MYSTERY. I A man stood before the door an office in Broad Str eet in the city of New York one summer day He was a man tall and well formed, and his dress unmistakably stamped him a native of Texas. T he broad brimmed hat, long coat and boot.s could not be mistaken; yet he was plainly a gentleman. On the g lass door of the office was painted a sign : BURTON BRADCOMBE, Banker and Promoter. The Texan glanced at the name. Then he opened the I 1 door and entered. 1 The office was apparently empty No clerk was at the i high desk. The Texan walked in as if familiar with the place. The door to the private office be,vond was closed. The visitor glanced about, and then sank into a chair. He at there for an hour. ) Then he grew uneasy. I He arose and paced the floor, glancing impatiently at his' watch. "Queer,'' he muttered. "I wonder where Mr. Bradcombe ? He was to meet me here J ust then the door opened. A little, shrewd-faced man with keen eyes ente red. He glanced at ihe Texan, and said : "Beg pardon. can I do anything for you ?" "Yes," replied the Texan '"Tell me when Mr. Brad combe will be in ?" "I am Mr Brad com be." 1 "Ah!" exclaimed the Texan, with a start. I am g lad I have come a good ways to see you, sir." With this the Texan tendered his card. The banker glanced at it. It read: ST.ANLlff SM.A.LL, Beaumont, Texas, President Great Gusher Oil Company Mr. Bradcombe's manner changed He became obsequ i ous at once. "Have a chair, Mr. Small," he said, politely. "I have lcng expected you. The pleasure and honor is great "Of course you know the purpose of my visit?" asked the Texan bluntly. "From your letter I g-ather that you wish me to float i he stock of the Great Gusher Oil Company in Wall Street." "That is it exactl,v." "Well, I am willingto talk with you. What is this Great Gu::;11cr ?" "The mof't valuable oil well in Beaumont," declared the Texan.

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "Indeed "It's capacity is unlimited." "What development?" "We have a tower, storehouses and a branch line 9f rail road. We are all ready for business." "That is encouraging. What is you;r present capitalization ?" "About three millions." Bradcombe looked interested. He shifted his seat. "That is worth handling," he said. "It issurely an ject." "I .felt sure you would regard it as such," said the Texan. "I have come a long ways, and I should regret it much if I were compelled to return without doing business with you "You may b e sure of doing business with me," said the banker, "at l east on my regular terms of commission." "What are they?" The banker arose from his chair and looked about him. Then he said : "Let us go into the private office. It is a bett e r place to talk business." The two m e n arose. The banker placed his hand on the door knob and essayed to open the door. To his surp ris e it would not open. "What's this?" 11e exclaimed. "It is lockeJ. Has that fool of a clerk done that?" Then, with an exclamation, he picked up the key from the floor where it had dropped. The banker inserted it in the lock and turned it. Then he pushed in the door. Right here begins our case o:& crime and mystery, the like of which is seldom told. As Banker Bradcombe pushed open the door he essayed to step into the inner office; but he stopped short. For one moment he stood transfixed, staring at an object on the floor. The Texan gasped with horror. "My1 God! It is murder!" "Murder ? Both men stoo d for a full minute so overcome that they could not speak or act. On the floor lay the object which had been the cause of their remarks. It was the headles s trunk of a man. The interior of the room looked like a butcher's shambles. Blood covered the carpet, was splashe d on the furniture, and was glued in clots to the wall. The trunk was devoid of head and arms. The clothing had been slashed to ribbons by some instrument like a razor. On the desk sat a ghastly object. It was the severed head of the miserable victim. The lifeless eyes stared at the two intruders. The tongue Jolled between pallid lips. The arms severed from the trunk were crossed on the desk before it. Murder certainly had beeit done. But by whom, and who was the victim? owfol question. This was the Bradcombe, sick and .faint, leaned against the door jamb. "Merciful powers l" he ejaculated. "Who has done this awful thing?" The Texan, who seem12d to have more nerve, stepped into the room. He walked to an open window, which l e d out upon a fire escap.e. "The murderer must have escaped here," he said. "No," d e nied the banker; "that could not be." "Why not?" "The door was locked and the key left on the office floor. 'l'he assassin went out and locked the door behind him." "No doubt you are right." "He may have come in by the window.Ii "That is it." "But-who is this victim? How did he come here?" "That is the awful myste ry." "We send for the police. This is a terrible affair." The Texan had advanced ancl peered into the dead face. Then he looked at the hands. Instantly he stiffened with a wild, hoarse, gurgling cry. His face turned the color of a s hes. He clutched at his throat and breathed like an animal at bay. "Oh, my God!" he cried. ".To$eph, my brother! It is my brother!" Then he reeled back, and a cloud came b efo re his vision. He sank half unconsciou s to the :floor. '.J'he banker in his frenzy rushed to the messenger call and rung for the police. Then he ran out into the hall. a Murder I Help!" he yelled. From other oft-ices in the building came clerks and hrok crs. They rushed into the place. But there they paused, aghast. Strong men turned sick and .faint. The Texan had recovered himself, and now regained his feet. He was the color of chalk, but very calm. He gazed into ihe mutilated features of the corpse, and said, tensely: "Joseph, you are gone It is the fate oi the Smalls. I am the last one left. God be with me ancl give me strength, for I mean to devote my life to the avenging of your death." By this time the police had arrived. A line of officers kept out the curious crowd. The cor oner came ne:\.-t. He took charge of the remains pending an inquest. 1:'hen the Texan went back to his quarters at the Waldorf Hotel, and Mr. Bradcombe went to his home. Business was over for the day in the banker's office. The shock was so great that the banker was made ill. The report of the strange murder filled the columns of all the daily papers. There was great excitement. No more mysterious crime had ever occurred in the great. city of New York. All sorts of theories were advanced. But Mr. Bradcombe sent a message to the chief of the Secret Service. "Put your best men on the case," he said. expense "Spare

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. l3 The chief was thoughtful. "If anybody can get at the factl:l in that case, it is the Bradys," he decided. So he sent for these two famous detectives. For years the name of Old King Brady had been a terror to the crooks of Gotham. Of late years this famous sleuth had been seen with a partner. This was a young detective known as Harry Brady. The result was that they soon became known as the two Bradys. They were the peers of their profession. It was for these noted detectives that the chief had sent. When they appeared he laid the facts of the case before them. "A strange murder has been committed," be said. "The question is, who is the assassin and what was his motive?" "There is another mystery," said Old King Brady qui etly. "Ah! What is that?" "What brought the two together in Mr. Bradcombe's private office? What was the bu s iness of either there?" "That is so," agreed the chief. "When you get the solution of the mystery the case is ended." "Save for the capture of the murderer." "That will never be settled until he is captured." "Well, do I understand that you will take the case?" "We will "I wish you good luck." "We shall look for it." The chief looked at the detectives with much curiosity. He said: "I wish I knew just what your first move would be?" "Do you wish to know?" "Yes." "Well," Old King Brady, "I leave it to Harry; he will tell you." The younger detective at once replied: "First. it will be in order to visit Mr. Stanley Small at his hotel." "Very good." '"When we have gathered all the facts we can from him we will go down to the banker's office and look it over." "Enough," said the chief confidently. "You'll have the murderer in a week. I know you will win." "No," said Old King Brady; "not so soon as that. But you may be sure we will fight hard to get him." CHAPTER II. A REM.A.RKAJ3LE FATALITY. Stanley Small paced the floor of his room at the Fifth A venue Hotel. He was nervous and pallid. The affair had been an awful shock to him. It was not easy for him to recover. His brother Joseph had been very dear to him. His loss in this awful manner was a serious matter. Suddenly there was a rap at the door. "Come in!" he called. A servant entered bearing a salver. On it was a card. The Texan read : "The Bradys: Detectives." He turned, and saiQ. : "Show them up." Then a few moments later the two fam9us detectives stood in his pres e nce. He shook hands with them. "Gentlemen," he said, "do you think you can find the :fiend who killed my brother?" Old King Brady said bluntly: "We can, and will." "lf you will I will sacrifice all my interests in the oil country. You shall have all I am worth." "Pshaw!" said Old King Brady, "we don't want it, my friend. Have no fear; we will find the murderer." "I am grateful." "Bnt--" "What?" "We mu s t have from you all the light possible on this mystery." The Texan i::ank into a chair. "Command me," he said. "I am wholly at your dis posal." "Well," said the old detective, "did you expect to :find your brother at Mr. Bradcombe's office?" "No," replied the Texan. "I did not even know he was in New York." "Is he associated in business with you?" "No. He was a merchant in Boston." "Ah! How do you account for his presence in Mr. Brad ccmbe's office?" "I cannot account for it. Of course it must have been a coincidence. Doubtless he came down from Boston to see Mr. Bradcombe the same time I came from Texas." "Have you an enemy?" The Texan was thoughtful. "None that I have ever seen," he said; "but I am assured that I have a secret foe." "A secret foe?" "Yes." "Please explain your meaning?" "In order to do that I must give you a little family his tory." He clear e d his throat, and resumed: "In my mind I can think of only one being and one mo tive. The form e r I have never seen. "But my father and my grandfather, my mother and two brothers all di e d at the hands of a mysterious assassin." The Brady s were astounded. "That is very strange," said Old King Brady. "Do you know who the assassin was?" "No." "Have you no theory?" "Well," said Small, after SOI+l.e moments of thought, "I

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. must admit that I do have a theory; but you might laugh at. motive is. Some strange fiend, insane and devilish, is o it." your track." "I assure you not." The Texari leaned forward. "It may seem absurd." "I believe it," he said. "Mind you, I do not fear for my "N onsep,se Go ahead." self. I am not afraid of the assassin." The Texan then Oit his mustache and after some thought "Do you think this assassin may have been Don En began his story rique ?" "It was tbns," he said. "Thirty years ago my grandshrugged his shoulders father was in Mexico. He was a widower of mature years, "I only know that I heard that Don Enrique lost his but yet eligible and worth a good deal of money." fortune and died. The report was that he died in th "My grandfather made many pleasant acquaintances in desert. It was only a report. He had sworn vengeance Mexico Among them was the family of Don Enrique upon all surviving members of our family." Velasco. He was highly entertained by the Mexican nobil"It was a strange and awful vow." ity. "Yes." "Don En'rique had a beautiful daughter, Inez. My grandfather promptly fell in love with her. He proposed for her hand, but Don Enrique forbade his daughter to marry an American. "In spite of this the lovers met surreptitiously., There were many happy hours until a meddlesome duenna sp?iled it all. "The duenna was hired with gold by a dissolute young Spaniard named Pedro Alvarez. This fellow was in love with Inez. "The result was that Inez decided to elope with my grandfather; but that night she was found with a stiletto in her heart in her garden. "Don Enrique was like a maniac over the loss of his daughter. He swore an awful vow of vengeance. His curse named root and branch of the family. "He was convinced that my grandfather was the murderer of Inez. With the lack of forethought of all Spaniards, he charged the crime up to him. "The result was that my grandfather had to leave Mexico. He went to Ohio where he lived quietly for a time. "Then one day he was found in his room mutilated and dead. The work looked amazingly like this present joo. "The avenging Nemesis pursued the entire family. "My father was found with a stiletto in his heart. My mother next followed; then my brothers. Ah, it was awful!" The Texan paused a moment. His voice had grown emotional, and his eyes were moist. "And now they have taken my brother Joseph! Ab, I suppose they will strike me next; but it must be in an un guarded hour. I am always on the alert." "Do you suppose your brother feared this strange N emesis ?" "No; I think not. He did not know caution. I know that he was decoyed and foully murdered." "Have you ever seen or heard of Don Enrique since then?" "I have not seen him; but I have a number of his pic tures. He is a :fine-looking man; but his black. temper may have made a devil of him." The detectives were flatisfied. "It is all explained," they said. "We can see what the "But all in keeping with the :fiery, inconsistent nature of the Spaniard. Their feud is against all of kin." "I know it." "Now, this secret assassin is Don Enrique or his emis sary. We advise yoll to use all caution!" "I shall do so." "In the meanwhile let matters rest. Go on with your business just the same. We will be at work, and we promise you that sooner or later we will locate your man." "Heaven reward you!" cried Small, warmly. "I shall hope for your success." "We will succeed." The Bradys then took their leave. They now went down to Broad Street to the office of the banker. Very carefully and minutely the detectives looked over the office. Everything was closely examined 'rhcn they made quite an important discovery. Ground into the carpet was a tiny pin with an agate stone. It was of Mexican manufacture. '!'here we have it," said Old King Brady, confidently. "It may seem a small clew, but it's a clew all the same. It proves the Mexican origin of the assassin." "Then you believe the murderer owned this pin?" "It is my belief." The Bradys took care to carefully preserve this bit of a clew. The case was now on. Step by step they pickec1 up the threads, Stanley Small aiding them all he could. Meanwhile the Giant Gusher stock leaped into the market. It was a boomrr for a while. Then set in a reaction. Bradcombe, the aged promotrr, however, knew better than to let the business drop. He kept it up with the b e st of efforts; but in order to do this he was obliged to involve his private fortune. One day a consultation was held in his office. Mr. Bradcombe was quite willing to risk his all in back ing the Giant Gusher. But, on the other hand, Stanley Small, who was honora ble to a fault, said: "My good friend, I am not going to sec you lose yot1ir all. Draw out now, and I will shoulder the load alone." "You will fail," declaxed the banker.

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J THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. I r=:-Well, so be it; but I must not be the means of your .. u.ln. Bradcombe was deeply affected. "We have i:omewhere a persistent enemy," he declared. "All sorts of damaging rumors are set afloat to bear down the stock." Stanley Small smiled in a weary way. "It's the curse of the Smalls," he said. "The deadly Nemesis is on our track. You must not fall under its bane." "If we could only discover that strange foe--" "But you cannot! It is quite impossible. I shall my self fall by his hand. It is so ordered. We are under a c urs e." Mr. Bradcombe was impressed. "It is very strange." "Yes; but the fact remains." "Something can be done." "I doubt it. You will see that it cannot be averted. Do you know, I have always been an eminently practical man." "Yes." "But my nerves are shaken. I faithfully believe that there is a supernatural agency at work." "Pshaw!" exclaimed the banker. "No; listen to me. It is not at all a fallacy. I have experienced the sensation in many ways. I dare not go anywhere in the dark. I believe an invisible grip would throttle me." The Texan spoke with all sincerity. His haggard, care-worn face showed plainly his mental Ji stress. Bradcombe strove to disabuse his partner's mind of this fancy. "It could not be," he said. "There is no such thing as the supernatural on earth. Come, cheer up." "I wish I could; but I see the handwriting on the wall." "It is all the work of a human foe. He is cunning and clever, but sooner or later he will fall." "You are very kind to speak to me these words of cheer; but can you give me certain explanations?" "What?') "If my foe is human, how can he be so intangible, so invisible and deadly? Why do not these most skilled detectives get a clew?" "They will. The car;e is young." "I wish I CQuld believe it." "You must believe it. You shall see that it will be so. The Bradys will :find a correct solution of the mystery, and I will stake my life on it." But the Texan shook his head. He was the victim of most bitter despondency, for which there seemed no relief. CHAPTER III. The utter helplessness of such a position, the dread un certainty is something beyond power of description. The Bradys assumed the case at this most remarkable stage. In all their career they had never assumed one like it. It promised to demand of them their best efforts, and wholly without any certainty of success. They were working in the dark. To them it seemed the safest and surest way to keep the intended victim in sight. The secret assassin must shadow him, and in doing this the detectives believed they would surely get him. "It is our only game," declared Harry. "At least just now." "Very true." They did not base anything upon the supernatural view of the case, as taken by the Texan. To them the assassin was a living flesh and blood reality. This much and nothing more. Stanley Small was residing at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. One day there came to him a queer telegram. It read: BEAUMONT, Texas. "Mr. SJ;anley Small :-If you don't return to Beaumont at once you will lose the Giant Gusher. This is a tip. Take it and act Yours, A FRIEND." At first the Texan was disposed to give little heed to this anonymous message; but the more he thought of it the more deeply it weighed upon his mind. '\ He sent word to the chief of the Secret Service. "Please send your detectives to me at once. I have some thing of When the chief received this message he at once sent for the Bradys. 'They proceeded to the hotel. \ They found Mr. Small pacing the floor in a nervous state of mind. "Ah! I am glad you have come," he said "I was never so nervous in my life." "What is the matter?" was the query. The Texan sat down and ran his fingers through his hair. "Read that message," he said. "Tell me what you think of it." The Bradys did so. Old King Brady looked at E;arry. They were thoughtful a moment. Then the old detective said : "It is certainly a queer thing. There is something un der it." "You think so? You share my opinion?" "Well, yes." THE DOUBLE GAME. "Good I feared you would think it of no value. What It is hard to conceive of anything more terrible and dis-, is your opinion?" tressing than the feeling that death in the shape of a merci) "Well, do you think of any possible harm that could corae unseen foe is dogging one's footsteps. to the Giant Gusher?"

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6 THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "Not the slightest." "It is evident that somebody wants you to come to Beaumont at once. 'I'here is a purpose underneath it." "To be sure." "What can it lJe ?" "That I cannot guess, unless--" "Well?" "It is a plot to entrap me." The Bradys were thoughtful. Finally Old King Brady said: "Are you prepared to follow advice?" "Yes, anything from you." "Then go to Beaumont." The Texan stared. "Do you mean that?" "Well, not literally. Work it this way: Let it be known that you have gone to Beau\nont. In reality you remain here in New York." 'l'he Texan was startled "That is an odd plan," he said. "What is the advan tage?" "Simply this : You will puzzle the plotter, and perhaps throw him off his track. You may then leave rest to us." "Well," said Small, dubiously, "how can I biing about that result?" "Very easily. Simply send personals to the newspapers that Mr. Stanley Small, President 0 the Giant Gusher Company, has returned to Beaumont." "And in the meantime, what am I to do?" ';Be somebody else." "I do not understand." "We will give you a disguise to wear. You can slip out of this hotel easily, walk down the street, and return later and register under another name. I am about your build. I will make up to resemble you. With my partner here I will proceed to Beaumont." The Texan was astounded. "What a game!" he exclaimed. "You dare incur that risk?" "It is just what I want." "But they may murder you!" Old King Brady laughed. "I want to lnre them," he said. "I will risk the result. If I do not trap our cunning secret assassin it will not be ;ny fault." The Texan was deeply impressed. "You are brave men," he said; "but I can see the possibilities of your scheme. It is grand." "Then you are willing to try it?" "I am at your disposal." "Very good," said Old King Brady. "It must be done at once. Just go down to the office and notify them that you start for Texas to-day." "Yes." "Then leave word at the News Bureau that your personal must be inserted in every New York paper." "Exactly." "'I' ell the hotel people that you will reserve your apart ment, and leave your trunks here." "Very good." "Then come here, and we will do the rest." The Texan hastened away to do this. He was gone nearly hal:f an hour. When he returned his face was bright and hi step light. "I have followed your directions," he said. "Do y01 know, I feel as if the bane was already lifted from me." "I think we can carry it with better grace than you," said -Old King Brady. "Oh, if you do deliver me from it I shall ever pray for you," he declared. "I cannot tell you how much better I feel, not that life is so dear to me, either." ""We understand." The Bradys now went to work. They were masters of the art of make-up. It did uo take them long to make the desired changes. Old King Brady sent for a small trunk at his lodgings It arrived safely within tlie hour. Then the work o transformation began. Small was made up for an entirely different type of man When he looked in the glass he did not know himself. Old King Brady gave him a phial of complexion stain. "Apply this every week," he said. "It will then keer good. It is harmless, and will readily yield to an aci when you wish to remove it." "Wonderful! I do not know myself." "No. There is nothing so changes one as the complexion :row, the eyebrows and the lines about the eyes must be re newed every third day." "Yes." "Wig and beard will last as long as you need them. De not qecome intimate with anybody. Keep your distance tc a void suspicion." "I will follow your directions explicitly." "Do so and you are safe." "You think so?" "I know it." The Texan drew a breath of relief. "I would wear this disguise all my life," he said, "if J thought it would give me that much-coveted feeling o: safety and security." "It will not be necessary for you to do it after we returr frorr:. Texas," said Old King Brady. "You are sanguine." "Wait until you see my make-up." The old detective began work. In a few moments he had a complexion to match the usu ally florid one of Small. Then he fitted on a wig like thf 'l'exan's own hair, and made lines at mouth and eyes. Thi features were strangely like the Texan's in contour. This was an aid. Small was the same stature, and Old King Brady coulc wear liis suit. Then he donned the broad white hat. Small was amazed. "Whew!" he exclaimed. "It certainly is me. You are m double."

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. ,'1 The old detective laughed. "That is not all," he said. "I must study your manner lsms a little. Then I must know a little about your busip.ess \ For an hour there was a rehearsal of this sort. Then Old King Brady was satisfied. "It will do," he said "Mr. Small, you are now Julien ,ane. You may take this traveling grip and rug and walk ut of the hotel. Walk back here in an hour and register. e will write you from Beaumont." "Will you?" cried the Texan, eagerly. "Certainly." [ L "Ah, you are wonderful men. Gentlemen, I wish you fortune." "Thank you I Old King Brady opened the door 8Jld look ed out into the otel corridor. CHAPTER IV. UNDER THE SH.A.DOW. The train' sped rapidly southward after leaving Chicago. To St. Louis the travelers were carried, and then west ward. The oil country of Texas was drawing nearer. It was not until they reached St. Louis that the Bradys fell in with any unusual adventure. Then a strange thing happened. It came near costing Old King Brady his life. His berth was midway in the car. He retired as usual at night just after leaving St. Louis. The train was booming along at a fair rate of speed. The passengers were appar e ntly all asleep. The old det e ctive was in the midst of a dream. It speed, "The coast is clear;'' he said. "Slip out while you can." ily assumed the hideous form of a nightmare. Small ilid so. In a few moments he was on the street. He saw again the interior of BradcQmbe's office. To him it was like passing out from under the shadow of On the table was the severed head; but this time the head eath. was his. The old detective gave a start and awoke. Then a strange sensation oppressed him. Life opened new and safe to him. It was lik e a new lease. Old King Brady, on the other hand, had placed himself in be shadow of the awful vendetta. But he did f!O voluntarily and without fear. He believed It was akin to that of hypnotism. It was as if some subtle influence was enchaining his spirit and rendering his body helpless. Then, through what seemed a mist, the old detective saw hat he had the power to trick the secret assassin. the parte d curtains of his berth. A masked face was in When Small had departed Harry next took his leave. the opening. Then Old King Brady, in the guise of the Texan, went 1 t He saw the glittering flash of a steel blade. With a yell e ow s airs. he lurched forward to grapple with the assailant. He stroll e d about the office, leisurely went to the desk Th l l a fl h d b f h. N h d h b d f e l a e as e e ore is eyes. ever a e een n gave a ew orders. Several gentlemen greeted him. d th b f S so near ea e ore. He was tanley Small, the Texan. Th ld d t t th t th d t 1 t The cold steel grazed his neck. E:e had been saved by a e o e eo ive saw a e ecep ion was comp e e. 1 Then he purchased his railroad ticket, and wired the foremiTrahc e. h d j h" . e assassm a misseu ls aim. tnan of the Giant Gusher that he was on his way. Th bl d k d th h. It h th Th h d b e a e san eep m e car cus ion. caug t e re e game a egun. and held. It was to be a most exciting one. Before 'it was played The would-be murderer tried to wrench it free. Old King ut the Bradys were to find it the greatest of all their cases. Brady struck out fiercely with his fist. Harry bought his ticket and occupied another car. The blow took his assailant full between the eyes. The York. He reeled back, and then away down the car aisle. At no time his to the tram: or even after. Old King Brady leaped out of the berth and started after be boarded it, was Old Kmg Brady conscious of anyone him; but he reached the car door first. n his track. He opened and slammed the cloor in the old detective's ( That usual premonition of imch a thing was absent. face. Old King Brad y was bothered a moment by the lock He half felt disposed to blame Small for needless trepidacatching. ion; but when Chicago was reached he changed his mind. When he succeeded in getting the door open the unknown A new lot of passengers got on the train. Every berth in was gone. he car was occupied. The porter, of course, had been asleep in the other end And a strange sensation call1e, to Old King Brady. of the car. The noise of the scuffle had aroused some of the He was no l;ieliever in tbe occult. But it seemed to him as real as life that_ a mysterious hadow was at his shoulder; that a deadly missile hung over is head. A more unpleasant senstition could hardly oe conceived. The old detective now i;ealized to a nicety what the exan's state of mind had been. And he sympathized with im. passengers. \ These now prang up. When Old King Brady returned there was tremendous ex citement. The train hand s and the conductor next arrived. An investigation was in order. That there had been an attempt at murder was very clearly proved. The knife, a dangerous 1dirk, was yet caught in the car cushions. It was a tell-tale bit of evidence.

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8 THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. The passengers and trainmen were horrified. Then be-gan a search for the assassin. But if he was on the train he eould not be identified. "Could you see his face?" Old King Brady was asked. "No," he answered. "He wore a mask. It is my opinion that he leaped from the train." "Then he has gone to his death," said the conductor. "We were running fully fifty miles an hour." "In any event," said Old King Brady, "I will pay a large reward for information leading to his capture." "We cannot run the train back," said the conductor; "but at the next $tation I will wire. If he was killed the section hands will find his body." "I wish you would do so." This was done. Two hundred miles further on there came an answer. It was handed to Old King Brady. It read: For some reason or other there was no attempt made do the oil king harm. He was apparently safe. Yet Old King Brady was not deceived. He knew that the real danger was just as present as ev Not for one moment must he relax eternal vigilance. His position was a dangerous one. He stood in the sh of a doomed man. In doing this he was placing his own life at stake. A week passed and affairs ran along smoothly at B mont. T4.e two detectives met on the street one day, and Har said: "Are we on a blind lead ? I can't see any sign yet." "That is all right," said Old King Brady. "We m wait." "Do you think there can be any danger of our game bei probed?" Old King Brady was thoughtful. "'l'hat would be awful," he !laid. "Stanley Small, on Train No. 16 :-Nobody has been found between Ellis and Portvale. The stranger may have "It would be death to one man and defeat for us." "I cannot believe that it is so. We will not consider it "There is no doubt, though, that the telegram was escaped injury. WARD SMITH, Section Chief." trap." "There it is," muttered the old detective. "The black "Not at all." wretch has escaped. It is just bis kind of luck. An ordin"I have only one faint clew." ary man would have been killed." "What is it?" During the rest of the run to Beaumont the old detective "You know there was mention made of the destruction had no feeling of impending peril. the Giant Gusher. In fact, that was the warning." Beaumont was a typical oil town. It had grown up like "Yes." a mushroom in the desert. "Come with me," said Harry. It was in the throes of the fever of speculation. On "Where?" every face was the drawn look of anxiety and lust for wealth. "Up to the oil well." When Old King Brady reached the place he went at once Old King Brady followed wonderingly. The Giant Gush to the hotel. Here he was assigned to a room. was a few hundred yards away. It did not take long The report that the oil king had arrived created much reach the great shaft. excitement in Beaumont. Here the oil current poured night and day from a tu Owners of adjoining wells and an army of investors and sunk deep in ?he earth. promoters visited the hotel and importuned him. The great tower loomed above every object about. It was necessary for the old detective to resort to much "Now take a look down there," said Harry. "Observ diplomacy. that the Gusher stands on the highest point of land her But bis tact did not fail him. abouts." He played his part well. "Yes." Stanley Small had coached him, and he was able to an"Here are the great storage tanks with thousands o 8Wer all arguments and adjust all questions. gallons in them." After a day or two of this sort of thing Old King Brady "Very true." felt that it was time for him to bear from the author of the "Observe that on either side of us are ridges. The lan mysterious telegram. trends down here into the village street." He visited the Giant Gusher and all the smaller wells. "I see it." But nothing out of the ordinary was noticed. There "Now," continued Harry quietly, "this is only a supposi seemed no reason for a belief or a fear that the Gusher was tion. If the storage tanks should burst, or the well pip in danger. what would be the result?" The output was as strong as ever. In fact, a new vein Old King Brady shivered. had struck which added to the total output. "The town would be deluged with a flood of oil," he said Harry played his part well. "Worse than that," said the young detective. "What i This was to act as a shadow upon Old King Brady. It the oil flood should strike a fire or a blaze anywhere in it was a counterplot to entrap the mysterious assassin. I course?" But he did not show his hand. I "Horrible!" gasped the old detective. "The whole com?

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THE BRADYS IN rIL COUNTRY. unity would go up in one awful blast of flame. Not a mnant would be left to tell the tale." Then, speechless with the enormity of the supposition, the radys stood and looked down into the little town. 1 The awful in all its force was upon them. It made them turn cold at heart and feel sick and faint. At any moment this aw.ful thing might happ e n. That is, the fiend had laid his wires with that end in view. On the other hand, the feat would not be an easy one. It could only be accomplished by the shrewdest of work. he oil well was well and strongly guarded. Of course there was always the poss ibility of its getting re. Oil wells often go up in a cataract of flame. But armed men were always on band to guard again st this ntingency. In fact, it looked to be almost an impossibility for anyone get at the tanks or the well. But the Bradys kn e w that the secret assassin was a per n of resource. They understood the intended trap well .now. This was hy the Texan had been lured to Beaumont. This was why Old King Brady had been free from se ret attack. The moment was not ripe. The fiend was biding his time. He knew that his intended victim dwelt in the little hotel t the foot of the hill. When the flood of death was let ose he would be in that hotel and beyond rescue. The awful horror and fiendishness of the plot appalled e Bradys. They had no doubt that this was a true diagnosis of the ase. Slowly they walked down the hill. As they went on Old ing Brady said: "Harry, there is a great duty before us." "What?" "We must not stand by and see so many lives sacrificed. ven at the cost of losing our man, we must give warning." "Yes." "The innocent lives must be saved." "But we cannot prove that this thing is likely to occur." "Then we must do all we can." "What can we do?" "Take desperate measures. Notify the people of their anger and move the town." "The people will object to that." "I foresee that." "However, as you say, it i.s our only chance. It is hardly ikely that there will be any attempt made to destroy the own to-night. Let us on the mo. rrow search the whole place ver to find, if possible, a trace of the work of the fiend. e must surely leav e some visible trace behind him." CH.APTER V. A FEARFUL POSSIBILITY. "So it would seem," agreed Old King Brady. "Your lan is good." The Bradys went back to the hotel. But they could not feel easy. There was no sleep for them that night. "That settles it," said Old King Brady. "I'm going to do a little shadow work around the oil works." "All right." "Are you agre ea ble?'' "I am." So the detectives crept cautiou s1y up the hill in the dark ness. They hung about in the darkl,less for hours, They could hear the guards as they made their rounds. Once, as a test, Old King Brady advanced to the foot of the shaft. At he was halted by the watchman. "Pshaw!" said Harry. "The only way the thing can be done is by collusion with the gua rds." "That is possible." "Yes, but not probable." The detectives finally tired of their efforts, and meditated a return. Yet Old King Brady would not accept his fears as ground less. He walked clown i.nto the darkness \ some distance on the other side of the ridge. Suddenly he gave a start. Harry uttered a mu.filed exclamation. Both detectives saw a dark figure glide away over the ridge. In another moment .mother followed. They seemed to rise from the ground. Then to the ears of the Bradys came a queer metallic sound. It was like steel striking upon stee1 far in the dis tance. The detectives were puzzled. "What do you make of that?" whispered Old King Brady. "Give it up," said Harry. "It is something odd." The detectives crept along some distance over the ridge. Old King Brady knelt down and. applied his ear to the ground. A distant, faint reverberation greeted his hearing. It was continued for some moments, and then died away. The detectives were puzzled. They made their way slowly back over the ridge. Finally Old King said: "It sounded to me like some one drilling for oil." Harry gave a sharp cry. "Ah, that is it!" he cried. "No doubt it is underground work. Perhaps being unable to reach the Giant Gusher ip any other way they are trying a subterranean excavation." Old King Brady's vision cleared. "Exactly," he cried. "Harry, you have hit the nail on the head." "I think so." "In that case Don Enrique, if it is he, has colleagues." "Yes.". The Bradys were quite overwhelmed with the enormity of this possibility. They knew that it was quite possible to tap the shaft underground. A charge of dynamite would liberate tli.e oil in storage, and the result would be what was desired. Down into Beaumont would rush the awful flood of death.

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10 THE BRADYS IN) THE OIL COUNTRY. The Bradys could not slep that night. They paced the floor of their room. A hundred times they would go to the window and look up at the great tower of the Giant Gusher. When morning came they felt that it was necessary to act. Old King Brady procured a marking pot and brush Then be printed a lot of rough placards. These read as follows : "To the Citizens of Beaumont :-A mass meeting will be held this afternoon at three o'clock on the hillside by the Giant Gusher A matter of very great importance, in fact, involving the lives of all in the town, will be discussed. "Per order, STANLEY SlliALL." It is hardly necessary to say that a tremendous sensa tion was created. The poster both surprised and puzzled the people Hard-working, rough denizens they were all of them. But their homes and their lives were dear to them. It was a surety that all would be on hand. Me: mwhile the Town Committee called on Old King Brady. "Mr. Small," they inquired, "what is the meaning of this notice?" "I will tell you,'' said the pseudo Texan. "The life of every man, woman and child in this town is in deadly dan ger "In danger? From what?" "If you will come with me I will show you." The cdmmittee accompanied Old King Brady to the hill side overlooking the town. He pointed out to them the possibilities as viewed by himself and Harry. The committee, who were rather a st u bborn, short sighted body of men, seemed disposed to take exception. "Pshaw!" said pne. "There is danger everywhere. At any moment Nature may send an earthquake and swallow us Up." "Still," said Old King Bl'ady, "if you knew of a plan to certainly obviate that earthquake you would embrace it, would you not ?" "No. We are in the hands of Providence. When death gets ready to come, it will find us wherever we are." "On the strength of that you would jump into a fire and expect to come out unscathed, for death was not ready for you?" "I might." "That is folly! It is quite possible for us to guard against peril in this life." "I believe ye!" cried one. But the hard-headed committee man would not yield. "Move the town," he sneered. "That is a piece of folly. The Gusher will never give way unless somebody cuts it loose. "You do not consider that a poss i bility?" "Do you?" "It is a poi:tsibil ity." "Oh, nonsense! You have some reason for moving t town. Perhaps you want to sink a well there." "'!'here is no possibility of such a thing/' said Old Ki Brady. "What is your motive, then?" "Simply humanitarian. I do not want to see human li endangered "Well, I'll bet every citizen in the place will vote agai n it." "That settles it, then "You don't st.op to think that most of us have all o savings in our homes there. It would mean a great loss. "Enough,'' said Olcl King Brady desperately "L me give you dire warning. The angel of Death is folding h wings over this valley. Save yourselves while you can." The old detective spoke impressively. The other members of the committee were suddenly i pressed Some of them turned pale with the thought. But Simpson, the obdurate member, still held out. "You are all fools," he mid. "Move a way if you t it best. I'm going to stay That afternoon probably every citizen in the town a tended the mass meeting. The Bradya were there, and Old King Brady stated li views. "I own this well,'' He said; "but you own your own horn in the town. With them you may do as you please; but give you fair warning." "Oh, you do!" cried Simpson. "Who would be to bl if the Giant Gusher should break?" "Certainly not I,'' Old King Brady. "Everythin is done to avert it. I have now warned you of you: dange I can do no more." This was a telling shot. A murmur ran through the"' crowd. One of the townsme asked : "If we move will you reimburse us for our loss?'' "I don't think your loss will be much. The hill is a bett locality I "Move your well, then," cried Simpson ''Put it on tb other side of the slope It is easier for you than for us." Old King Brady grasped the point. "I will do that if you will give me assistance." There was a momentary hush. Then a chorus of voic went up. "We don't work for nothing. That is your l ookout,'' th said. Old King Brady saw that it was of no use to l ong argue the point, so the meeting disbanded and the Brad returned to the hotel. They were chagrined. "Well,'' said Harry, "there is only one course left ope to us." "What?" "We must head off this underground attack on t Gusher." "In order to do that we m u st find the tunnel entrance "Ye
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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL 11 'l The Bradys pondered over the matter well. They were sitive that an attempt was being made to destroy the sher. And now a new side to the question was presented. "When I recall the message of warning," said Old King rady, "it occurs to me that after all it may have been sent l { good faith.n "How so?" "Well, some person may have discovered the plot to deroy the Gusher and wired Small to that effect. In other jords, the warning may have been well meant." "And not a decoy ?" "Exactly." llj The detectives looked at each other. '"That person is no doubt in this town. Perhaps the secret emesis of the Smalls may not be in any way connected th it." "It is possible." "It may be the plot of a rival company, or even of outws, who hope to thus destroy the greatest oil well in the egion." "In any case, we must frustrate the game," declared fiarry. "At any cost." I The Bradys laid their plans. Later in the day they took i trip over the ridge into the other valley. They were heavily armed. 1 They made a close and careful quest. Every thicket, every opse and ledge were examined cl9sely. But no sign whatever was found of the existence 0 a tun t el. No gTOund was broken anywhere. "It is possible," said Old King Brady, "that the tunnel omes from some quite distant point." "Or, what is just as possible, the heart of the village tself." "Exactly." "We surely can :finc1 no trace of it on this side of the hill." "Not the least." "Let us go back to town." "All right." So the detectives gave up the quest for the day. It was heir purpose to return at night to the spot where they had f eard the metallic sound. They were not discouraged. : But they were not disposed to waste time. They started long a path toward the Gusher. i They had covered half the distance when a sharp report ounded behind them. Instantly Old King Brady gave a t!ry: "Oh, Harry! Fm shot I" t The old detective reeled, and then throwing up his arms Blood covered his face. Harry turned like a flash, and saw a wisp of smoke in a L istant thicket. Instantly he opened fire with his revolver; but there was p reply. CHAPTER VI. A FEARFUL DEED. Harry riddled the thicket with pistol shots, but no answer came back. He did not attempt to pursue the craven assassin. He turned and gave his attention to Old King Brady. The old detective lay unconscious on the hillside. covered his face. But an examination gave Harry the joyful discovery that the old detective wafi not mortally wounded. It was merely a scalp wound he had received, and it had stunned but not seriously injured him. A little brandy from a flask brought him to all right. The old detective got upon his feet, dizzy and confused. Harry got water from a small spring near by, and washed his face and dressed the wound "By Jove! That was a close call for me," said the old detective. "The fellow is a good shot.". "So he is," agreed Harry; "but not good enough to accomplish his ends." "Which for me is most fortunate." .: "Indeed, yes." "Where could he have been when he fired that shot?" "In that thicket yonder.'' Old King Brady :rubbed his eyes and stared at the spot. Then he shrugged his shoulders. "It is all right to be playing the part of a condemned man," he said; "but I frankly admit I don't li ke it. If there was any other way to gain our ends I'd draw out of it at once." "We must certainly use more care," declared Harry. "Well," said the old detective, "I don't see that we can gain anything more by staying around here. Let us go back to the town." All right. So back to the town they went. Old King Brady managed to dress his wound so tha.t it would attract but little atten tion. The detectives went to their room at the hotel. They were in a very much distressed and uneasy frame of mind. They could not keep their gaze from the oil tower on the hill. It seemed to them every moment as if the explosion must come and awful holocaust result. And to think that many hundred people lived tlhus under this
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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "In fact, I don't believe it is. I don't believe the assassin tence of sinking a new shaft? We can drive a number has anything to do with this plot." pipes hereabouts, perhaps hit on tunnel, if rea "Who, then, is at the bottom of it?" there is such." "Some rival gang. Perhaps a band of outlaws who hope "A capital plan!" agreed Harry. "Let us mark t to in some way reap a profit." spot." "I fail to see where their profit comes in." "We will find out what is going on here if we have to d "Well, it is a mystery; but still I cling to the theory." up the entire hill." "I am inclined the same way." "Just the idea I am sure if Mr. Small was here "We must thwart them." would sanction it." "Certainly." "Ah! Great heavens What is that?" "It is not going to be an easy task, but it must be done. I Both detectives stood appalled at that moment. If the people of this town will not save themselves we must ground trembled beneath their feet as if with an eart save them." quake. There was an awful roar of thunder. "How would it do to call upon the State for aid? Bring It was as if a thousand parks of artillery had explode the militia here and force the miners to leave.their homes The air seemed in commotion as with a tempest. until an investigation revealed the truth?" In that one swift instant the Bradys had but one thoug "Texas is not the sort of a country to stand for that. They were morally sure that the Giant Gusher was blo There would be bloodshed." and that the fate of was settled. The Bradys were really desperate. With white faces and gasping for breath they gazed What could be done? the hill. There was a possibility that the schemers were yet far from completing their tunnel, and the work of destruction was yet far off. This was the only ray of hope that the Bradys found. They had even thought of telegraphing St. anley for ad-No There stood the great tower intact; but men we seen rushing from the platform. What had happened? The detectives waited no longer. They started up the hil Breathless and staggering they reached the summit. vice. glance was enough. But finally exhausted Nature overcame all else, and they Beyond the main street of the town was the railroad. went to bed and slept even under the shadow of the volAlong this were lines of ta.nk cars. Pipes from a: ma cano. reservoir of oil led to them. A great wall of flame hundre The next morning before sunrise Old King Brady was of feet high had engulfed tanks, railroad and a vast space astir. overflowed region beyond. He awoke Harry. Fortunately the blazing oil had run in another directio "Get up, lad," he said. "I have a plan. There is work than the town. The ground sloped that way. before us." th In some my8terious manner e great storage reserve The young detective sprang up. His first move was to rub his eyes and look at the Giant Gusher. "It is still there," he said; "but what is your plan?" "There is nobody astir in the town yet. Let us change our disguise a, bit and go out." "All right." It did not take the detectives long to do this. They metamorphosed their personal appearance, and then left the hotel quietly. They met a few of the oil men on their way to work. But it was plain that they did not recognize the detec tives. The Bradys carelessly sauntered up the hill and again down the slope beyond. Suddenly Old King Brady said: "Do you detect anything unusual, Harry?" "Yes." "vVhat ?" "There is an odd vibration of the earth. I should say there was work going on under our feet." The detectives looked at each other. Then Old King Brady saic1 : "Suppose we bring a gang of men over here on the prehad caught fire and exploded. Burning oil was scattered for half a mile about. A dozen dwellings in the little town were on fire. T prairie beyond was a sheet of flames. Beaumont was in a paroxysm of awful terror. Peop at that early hour ran half clad from their homes. "My soul!" gasped Harry. "ls not that an awful spect cle ?" "It certainly is." "How fortunate that it is on the other side of the town. "Ugh! That is so." "Will not this be a warning to these misguided people?" "It ought to." "Now the question is, what caused the explosion ?" The two detectives looked at each other. Their face were white. "That may 'never be known," said Old King Brady. "There are many theories." "Yes." "The carelessness of an employee, the premature explc of a boiler, perhaps a spark from a locomotive, or--1 "A malicious plot." "There you are."

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. 13 "It will probably never be known, for no man in or about at spot will be found to speak the trufu." "He would be wiped out of existence "Yes." "Well, we must not dally here It is necessary for us to ve all the assistance we can." Come on." Down into the town the detectives ran. In their disguise cy were not known. The desultory fires among the houses caused by the blaz g oil were now under control. The Br adys, therefore, made their way as near as possible the scene'of the conflagration. It was fortunate that the connections with the tower were osed, otherwise the blaze would have traveled to the hill, d the entire oil plant would have been wiped out. As it was, nothing could be done but to allow the flames exhaust themselves. Gradually, as the oil was licked up by the flames, the fire bsided. But the railroad station and all the cars were completely estroyed. Th ere was nothl.ng l eft but twisted h eaps of old iron. It was hours before anybody could venture near the scene, thoroughly heated was the ground. The Bradys were positive that it had been the work of cendiaries. They were sure that there was a deep-laid and persistent urpose to wipe B eaumont off the map. "The Giant Gusher will be next," said Harry, with a ver The Bradys, with this idea in view, now began to make a lose search of the vicinity. And the result was an astounding discovery. In a thicket ully thr.ee hundred yards beyond the scene of the fire was ound the melted .section of a wire. Following this up the Bradys came upon a small battery laced in the g ro und. The whole game was exposed. The incendiary had made an electric connection with the il tanks and explod ed them, probably by means of dyna ite. The detectives were overwhelmerl with the horror of the hing. "My soul!" exclaimed Old King Brady, "this is the most endish work I ever heard of. No doubt a dozen lives wer e acrificed in this dastardly scheme "We must lo cate the miscreant." But the words were not out of Harry's mouth when a hrilling thing happened. From the undergrowth behind them sprang a dozen men. They surrounded the detectives. "We've got the fiends!" yelled Simpson, who was the eader of the party. "We'll make an example of them." "Kill 'em Hang 'em !" These were the fierce cries of the excited miners. CHAPTER A CHANGE OF SENTIMENT. The Bradys were so surprised by this development thirt for a few moments they could not speak or act. 1'h e n they recalled the fact that they were in disguise, and therefore objects of suspicion to the miners who did not lmow them. It was possible that violence might have bee n done to them t h e n and there, but Old King Brady acted. He pulled off his false beard and revealed himself. "Hold on, Simpson," be cried. "Don' t make a mistake. You know me now." "It's Small himself!" gasped the oil worker. "Yes, it's me," said Old King Brady, "and I think we have found the clew to the blowing up of the tanks." Simpson was an ignorant man, and, as is u sual with ignorant people, inclined to prejudice. "What's that?" he said, in surprise. "We have found traces here of the fiends' work." The old d etec tive pointed to the electric battery and the wires. The oil workers crowded about in interest and wonderment Simpson knelt down and examined the connecti ons. His face grew dark. He looked suspiciously at the detectives; then he stepped .aside and addressed a few words to his colleagues in an un dertone. Harry saw the game at once. "The fool!" h e whispered to Old King Brady. "He s u s pects us." The o ld d etective Rmiled grimly. "Oh, he doefJ, eh? "Do you see ? The o ld cletect ive acte d quickly. H e ste pp e d forward and s aid sha rply: ":Men, I wnnt you to take up this wire and battery and bring it to the office. If possible, I mean to find out who placed it here, and if I do that man's punishment will be severe." Simpson still stood scowling at the ground. The men stood s ull en and indifferent at the comma nd of their employer. "Do you hear me?" said Old King Brady. "What ails you?" At this the men moved slowly forward to obey. Simpson, howPver, shot one searching glance at the Bradys, and started away. "Where are you going, Simpson?" aske d Old King Brady sha rply. "I am going back to town," r eplied the oil worker, doggedly. "Aren't you going to help up the wire?" "No." "You refuse?" "I do."

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THE BRA DYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "Then you are no longer in the employiof this company." '".All right. I don't want the job," retorted Simpson. "There is going to be a change in Beaumont b e fore many days. The people are getting their eyes opened." "What do you mean by that?" demanded Old King Brady. "I mean that the people of Beaumont are not fools. They know that the town is going to be wiped out." "Then they should co-operate with me to prevent it." Simpson's reply was inaudible, and he strode away. The battery and wires were taken up. The Bradys then returned to the town. A scene of great excitement was there. Th denizens of Beaumont stood about in knots. There was an oppressive something in the air which the Bradys at once felt but were at a Joss to understand. They went to the hotel and removed their disguise. Then they sat down to di..scuss the event of the morning. "I wond e r i.f the people will pay heed to our warning now?" said Harry. "What if the big tower is blown up next?" "We must do something," said Old King Brady, des perately. For over an hour th e Bradys discussed the matter and mad e d e ductions. But they were yet in doubt and perplexity whrn an unex pected thing happ ened. There was ,a dull roar from the outside, and then there came a rap on the door. Harry open e d the door. One of the employees of the hotel stood before them "They want you outside, Mr. Small," he said. "Who?'. asked Old King Brady. "The people." The two detectives looked at each other in surprfr:e; but they atlonce descended to the hotel porch. They were surprised to see that the hotel was surrounded by excited men. They gave a yell of rage a..s the Bradys ap peared. "Give it to him, Simpson." "We'll hang him if he's guilty!" "Lynch him "What is the meaning of this?" asked Old King Brad y of the hotel proprietor. "I don't know, sir, but I reckon the people think you had something to do with the blowing up of the big tanks." "Nonsense!" exclaimed Old King Brady hotly. "That is the work of that fool Simpson." At this moment up the steps came four men, Simpson among them. One of them addressed the detectives. "We are a citizens' committee," they said. demand an audience with you." "Certainly," said Old King Brady. "State your wishes." "Well," said the spokesman, "there are things you must C''{p.lain to us." "If they are reasonable I will do so." "In the first place, you want us to move the town site." "You are mistaken," said Old King Brady coolly. "I don't care if you commit suicide. I only advised you : your own good." "There you are!" snapped Simpson. "He wants us move so that he can control all the land this side of i ridge. If we don't, then we will be burned up i n oil." Old King Brady fixed his keen eyes upon the fellow "That is a lie," he said, impressively. "It is easy enough for you to say that," sneered Sinl son "Perhaps you can tell who blowed up the railro tanks?" "No, I cannot." "Well, I think the most of us can guess." "Can you?" said the old detective. "Do givi me the information ?" "What's the use? You know yourself." "I do not." "Well, perhaps you can explain why you and your frie in disguise were found at the electric battery which blew the tank?" Old K;ing Brady saw the point. He laughed scornfully. "You poor fool!" he exclaimed. "Do you think we bl up the tanks?" "It looks against you." "Well, you are an idiot! vVhy should I destroy my o property ?" "You are trying to drive us off this land." Old King Brady was very angry. He saw what sort an obstinate fellow he had to deal with. "Simpson," he said sternly, "you are making a serio c harge against me. Do you know that a dozen lives were lo in that explosion?" "Yes, and all the worse for you." "Take care! Do you think I would commit such a. cri as that, ?" Fact8 speak for themselves." "Well, you are a pig-headed fool! I will tell y some plain facts. I have warned the people in this town vain that they are in great danger in this valley. "For a long time I have suspected that a secret gang h been at work trying to undermine the Giant Gusher. "Secretly my friend and I have tried to detect the mi creants. We have used disguises in ord e r to carry out o plans undetected. We have confined our efforts to the ma we never suspected that harm was intended the rai road tank!.'. "We discovered the traces of the work 0 the villains i.; the shape of the battery and the wire: You have made clear fool of yourself, Simpson. It is up to you to mak hands9me apology. "Now, at once, an effort must be made to locate the tUJJ nel which is intended to undermine the Gusher. This day I shall put gangs at work driving pipes on the norther. slope to find the tunnel. "The purpose of the schemers must be thwarted or th Gusher will be dynamited and the town of Beaumont wipei out off the map."

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. 15 A murmur went up from the committee. Their faces anged. "We couldn't believe you guilty, Mr. Small," said one of No trace of the gang could be found. The passage led to an opening in the bank of a creek many hundred yards away. This was screened by a growth of mesquite. "It is absurd," said Harry. "Why didn't you tell us that at the first meeting?" apped Simpson. "For a very good reason," replied Old King Brady. "The ang would have known th:rl we had their secret and been their guard. CHAPTER VIII. AN CJNExrECTED MESSAGE. "Now the whole thing is out. The gang is placed on their ard, thanks to your fool work, Mr. Simpson. It will difficult to trap them. You will confer a great favor upon s community if you at once depart from it, never to re-It is h"ardly necessary to say that there was a great re vulsion of feeling in Beaumont. Syrtpathy was now wholly with Stanley Small. Sus picion was dead. But now it was in order to find and, if possible, hang Simpson turned somewhat crestfallen though sullenly the fiends who were responsible for this awful plot. way. The committee showed their relief at once. But this was not easy. "But, Mr. Small," said one of them, "how are we assured It was safe to say that they were at that moment com safety? May not the great calamity descend upon us at mingled with the oil workers and listening to the anal.hey moment?" mas hurled at them. "There you are," dC'chired Old King Brady. "Action The plot agaimt the Giant Gusher for a time paralyzed 10uld be taken at once. I would advise everybody to get out I industry in the place. f the town-temporarily at least." It was necessary to move the town site, and the houses "Whose work do you think it is?" were taken down and moved to higher ground. / "That we cannot say. PerhAps the design of a foe of Work was begun on the railroad and the station ine for revenge, or maybe the jealousy of a riv11.l oil com-It. would require some time to rehabilitate the place. The any." Bradys in the meanwhile were on the alert. 'I'he committee now departed in a changed frame of mind. They groped vain for a clew. The report we;nt through the crowd, and there was a A:r..d while thus engaged, once again Old King Brady hange of sentiment. was made conscious of the disadvantage of filling the shoes Old King Brady had carried the day. of a man who was hunted for his life. But it was now the hasty desire of all to get from under One clay a man rode into the town and called at the new he menacing peril. Instantly people began to move. hotel on the hill. The town began to depopulate. "Does Mr. Stanley Small stop here?" he asked at the Tents were e:r:ected on the hillside, dugouts and cabins door. ollowed, and the oil workers moved their goods and chatReceiving an affirmative reply, he gave a card to a ser-els. vant. Only the empty dwellings were left. It was a wonderful "Take this to his room," he said. ransformation. Old King Brady and were just on the point of go-Beaumont in the valley became speedily Beaumont on the ing out. The old detective glanced at the card. ill. Fearful eyes were cast at the great tower. "James Ray, New York City," he read. All work was suspended at the great oil well. A guard "What is this?" exclaimed the old detective in a puzzled f armed men surrounded the place. way. Old King Brady now put his men at driving pipes "\Yho is he?" n the other side of the ridge. "That is the question." For several days they worked without result. Then one The old detective turned to the waiter and said: f the pipes reached an underground cavity. "Show him up." Imtantly a steam shovel was mounted, and work of exca-A few moments later James Ray stood before the Bradys. ation begun. In a few hours a shaft was sunk. He was of rather slight figure, dark complexion, and posAnd there was found the evidence of the work of the de-sessed of CJ.lrious shifting brown eyes. troying fiends. A passage had been mined to within one "I am from New York," he said. undred feet of the main shaft of the Gusher. replied Old King Brady. "In what manner can Fifty feet more and a charge of dynamite would have we serve you?" recked the entire plant and set free the flood of burning "Is this a safe place for a secret and important consultail to destroy the town below. tion ?" As men stood on the brink of the pit and realized tb.e "I believe it is." normity of the thing their blood ran cold. Ra y looked about him furtively. Then he drew a letter It was a horrible thought. from his pocket.

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "This is for you," he said. Old King Brady took the missive. He glanced at it and gave a start. Its contents were a s urprising revelation Thus it read: "Dear Sir:-You will understand who this is from when I mention Room No. -, Fifth Avenue Hot el. Since you left New York I have waited and watched with intere st for the result of your trip. Some startling reports have come to my hearing. There has been a systematic attempt in Wall Street to bear the stock of the Giant Gusher. Mr. Bradcombe has told me i>ome strange things. Y csterl1e ex plosion at the railroad. "We may be sure some secret and power ful influence i s at work to force Gusher stock down to nothing and ruin me. 'l'he bearer of this, Mr. Ray, is very trustworthy. You may confide in him any message to me that you may choose. "When you receiYe this I shall be at Port only twenty miles from you. 1 could bear it no longer and am sure no harm can come from my proximity. I think I can assist you much with advice. Jn some mann er we must overcome the subtle and secret schemer who i;,; working against my fortune and my life. "You may send me any message you choose by Mr. Ray. Will it be safe for me to venture down to Beaumont. am anxious to be on the spot. Yours, anxiously, JULIEN Old King Brady crumpled this letter in his hand and frowned. ,He was certainly surpri8ed and somewhat chagrined at this action on the part of the oil magnate. It seemed ill-advised, even foolhardy. Harry ventured to say: "I fear trouble will come from this." "What report am I to make to Mr. Lane?" asked Ray. "Simply this," said Old King Brady. "Bid him lie low and wait "Is that all?" "Yes." "What do you mean?" "Thi" ra sh action of Small's will beat us. The g will locate him. The Recret assassin will be on his trngain." "Have you noted one fact?" "What?" "The unl nown asf:assin has not been on your trail si we have been in the town Not since the attempt on t train ha s he showed hi s '['he shot I rece i red on the hillside--" "Oh, that may ho.vc come from the gang who were dcrmining the Gush t:r." Old King Brauy saw Harry's point. "You c1o not believe that the assassin is concerned in t attack on the Gu her?" "No." "Well, I had thought of that. It looks to me as if t effort to undermine the Gusher is the work of' financ .-:chemers who hope to force the stock down in wall Stree "And they hav e succeeded to an extent." "So they have." "We care not so much about them as we do the sec a ssassin." "Altogether it is the most baffling of all mysteries." "So it is. We are in the dark. We hav e absolutely n a clew." The detectives paced the floor Suddenly Old King Bra exclaimed with st artling force: "If the assassin has ldt my track he has certairily g back on the old scent, and Small is in greater danger th ever The detectives were worried. They went out and walked slowly up the hill to the well. Workm e n were busy putting the shaft in order so as resume the output at a clay as possible. The d etec tives walked around the big tower and watch the men. Just then a boy came running up to them. He handed Old King Brady a message. Thus it read: The messenger bowed. [ "To Stanley Small, Dear Sir :-I am sure I have got t "I will carry the word," he said. "I can see you are not I c1en of the oil gang located. I am at Cooley's Ranch. Ri pleased witli the action of Mr. Lane." out this evening at ten o'clock. I will meet you there "Well, he is his own master," saic1 Old King Brady; "but we will do some detective work. Yours, for justice, in our opinion he would have done better to have remaine d "ELIAS in New York." Ray gave the detective an odd look. "Do you advise his return?" "That he must judge for himself." Ray bowed and left the room. As went out he said : "You will see me again in a du.y or two." After he had gone the Bradys sat silently l ooking at each o t h e r "What do you make of it?" asked Harry. "We are going to lose." T o lose ?" y 9'1." "Simpson!" exclaimed Harry, eagerly. well. I fancy he writes the truth." Old King Brady's face lit up. "Simpson is a brick," he declared. "We will be there time." The Bradys went back to the hotel. They dressed for t ride and engaged a coupl e of mustangs It was twelve miles to Cooley's Ranch This meant aJ hour and a half of sharp riding. So the Bradys left Beaumont as early as possible . They swung away across the prairie at a sharp gallop.

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. l'l' The moon came up and showered si lver radiance on the plain ll was li.ke a ride in fairyland. Cooley's was situated in a sort of coulee, where the plain rolled and brought one into the depression with its jutting sides quite une xpected ly. The trail led along the base of the cut, ancl as the detc>ctivcs rode on s uddenl y a startling thing happened. The report of a ri:fle rang out. Crack Crack The bullets cut close to Old King Brady's ear. Almost instantly the old detective slid from the saddle, and dragged himself flat on his stomach into the prairie grass Harr y did the same. Th<." ponies dashed madly on toward the ranch. Only ratP presence of mind had saved the Bradys. Crack Crack The bullets flew like hail over them. Old King Brady pulled his revolvers and answered them. He could only :fire at random. As near as possible, he located the foe in a cleft of the roulee. Shot after shot the Bradys poured into the place. Th e foe had ceased firing. But the detectives were not to be deceived. They were too old in the ways of the plains. They did not venture to forsake th eir position for an hour. Then the sound of galloping horses was heard. Along the trail came half a dozen cowboys. "Hello!" was the cry they gave at intervals. "Anybody in trouble?" t "We're all right now, Harry!" cried Old King Brady, ri s ing to hi feet. Then he shouted back: "Hello! Here we are!" A moment later the cowboys pulled rein before them. The foremost, who was Cooley, the ran c hman, hims;M, cried: "What's the matte r, friends? Did ye run into the Apaches?" "I don't know," replied Old King B,rady. "Somebody over yonder tried to drop us." "We re ckoned ye'cl neecl help so we c ame out as quick :i-. we could." ''How did you know about it?" "Yer ponies came in, an' we knew what it meant." "You are very kind, Mr. Cooley, said Old King Brady. "I see you have the ponies there." "Yes; we brought them back to ye." "I hope we may return the kindness some day." "Oh, that's all right. Don't ye know who tackled ye?" "No." "'Ihet's durned queer. There has been a dirty gang of Apaches around here for a few days past." "It may have been them." "Which way was ye riding?" '"l'o your ranch." "Is that so? Waal, come along with us, then. We'll :find somethin' warm ter drink." I Cooley was the most popular ranchman in that part of Texas. He was kno,vn for bis free heart and urbane ways. The detectives mounted and rode on with Cooley and his men. "We have an appointment to meet a friend at your ranch at ten o'clock," said Old King Brady. "Is thet so?" r emarke d Cooley. "Yes. P e rhap s you know Elias Simpson?" "Eli
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18 THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "See here, Tim Briscol," he cried, "air ye tellin' the truth?" "Go out an' see fer yourself." "It is the work of the oil gang," exclaimed Harry, in a dazed way. "They meant to kill us, too." "You are right." Cooley had called for mustangs. In a few moments the ranchman and the detectives were in the saddle and riding for White Creek. It did not take two minutes and half to cover that mile. Briscol had told the truth. On his back lay Simpson, with white, rigid features up turned to the sky. There was a terrible bullet wound in his side. That it was murder there was no sort of doubt. Olrl King Brady bent down over the murdered oil worker. He made a swift examination of him. "He was shot from his horse," he said. "It is the work of the Apaches," declared Cooley. "You can bet on it." Old King Brady, of course, did not agree with this. But he said nothing. He proceeded to make a search of the dead man's pockets. He found that they had not been rifled. This wai> almost proof positive that it was not the work of Indians. They would have stripped the body. In an inner pocket Old King Brady found a letter. In the hope that it might afford a clew, he looked at it. A!1d he was right. It did afford a clew. The old detective read it, and wiit> afforded a niost aston ishing revelation. Ths it read : "To Elias Simpson, Dear .I know you are as anx fious as I am to track down the guilty members of the oil gang. Now, I have a clew which I am sure will lead to their conviction. If you will meet me at Cooley's Ranch to-night at ten o'clock, we (;all bring this eIJd about. I need your assistance. Be sure and Yours, "STANLEY SMAJiL." This was the decoy which led the Bradys into the same trap. But poor Simpson had fallen a victim to the game. Here was proof positive that Simpso14 had IJOt written the letter of appointment. Tho Bradys explained all to Cooley. The ranchman was horrified. "That is awful!" he declared. "Who are these chiips? Can't ye get no clew?" done our best." "Now, look here! We've got a feller up at the ranch who can trail anything. S'posin' I bring him down here?" The Bradys were skeptical. But Old King Brady said: "Very well. It will do no harm." Back to the ranch galloped Cooley. When he returne 1 he had a dark, swarthy fellow with him. "Now, Juan," he said, "put your nose to it and lead us t, the game." The fellow grinned and muttered a reply in the Mexicai tongue. He made a circuit of the dead man. Then he looked at the sky and the ground. He ben down and studied the grass, and sifted the soil in his fingeri For fully ten minutes he searched thus. Then he gave 1 grunt of satisfaction. H e poi'.lted eastward. "Cararnba !" he exclaimed. "Four men. All go tha way." "Good for you, Juan!" cried Cooley. "Let's go afte 'em." The Mexican bent his gaze to the ground. The Brady could see no sign of a trail. But the Mexican evidently did, for he set off to the east ward at a dog trot. Thus he kept on for miles. This led them toward Beau mont. The dptectives ancl Cooley pressed on with the trailer lead ing their horses. Several times Juan came to a halt; but he soon hit th trail again. They were now three miles from the town. They ha1 traveled nine miles. It was near the hour of noon. Suddenly over a swell in the prairie came a couple o horsemen. They were coming from the south. Their course was toward Beaumont. Juan paused and glanced toward them. Then he shoo his head and again took to the trail. On he went at a jog. 'l'he course would lead them acros the path of the oncoming horsemen. Suddenly Harry g::i..ve a start. ''On my word, partner," he exclaimed, 'I do you kp.m those men?" Old King Brady rubbed his eyes. "As I live," he exclaimed, "one of them is James Ray." "And the other?" "Meroy It is Stanley Small." The Bradys were aghast. All this had been spoken in ru undertone. But the surprise of the detectives was so great that were at a loss what to do or say. The appearance of Small on the scene quite disooncerte1 them. T'hey knew th<:: risk incurred. If Small's disguise should be penetrated then all thei efforts would have been in vain. It was not encouraging. Every moment the horsemen drew nearer. When :iJ speaking distance Small suddenly rose in his stirrups ant shouted recognition. The Bradys were disgusted. They made wry faces.

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNT!{.Y. 19 But there was no other way out 0 it, so they pulled up eir horses and saluted the oil magnate in return. "Is that you, Mr. Lane?" cried Old King Brady, with a ort 0 comprehensive gesture. Fortunately Small took the int. "Yes, it is, Mr. Small," he replied. "This is a real !Pleasure." I "Indeed, it is; but what hai;; brought a man of leisure like 1ou into this arduous region?" Small looke d hard at Old King Brady. He would have een blind indeed i he had not seen the disapprobation here. Small's face foll. He glanced at Cooley. Then he said: 'Love of adventure, my dear friend; but you are having om, of sport What game are you trailing?" "Human game." Small gave a great start. For a moment a livid hue suused his face. "Eh?" he exclaimed. "Are you serious?" "Yes." "I am interested. Horse thieves, I suppose?" "No; murderers and incendiaries." "Do you mean the villains who set fire to the oil cars?" "Yes." "That settles it. Let me join you. I shall be glad to do omething to help that good cause along." "Very well." Once again Juan went forward ron the trail. Srriall and ay dismounted and joined the party. Just 'before reaching Beaumont the trail diverged. Just ahead was a house and a miserable dugout used as stable. The trail led right toward this. "Hello!" exclaimed Cooley. '"l'hat's queer. They visted Mother Bender." "Mother Bender?'' exclaimed Harry. "Yes. She is an old fortune teller who travels around the untry at times. Let us see what she has to say." "You are s ure the trail leads here?" "I'll ask Juan." The Mexican was emphatic in his assertion. He went "ght up to Mother Bender's door. There he halted. "Men here," he said. "Caramba I can scent t}\em." Tuan, you're a brick," cried Cooley. "You can bet, entlemen, he is right." Cooley went up to the cabin door. He pounded on it iolently. Not for some while was there an answer. Then the door ened a crack. It framed a visage as repulsive as the Bradys ever saw. A leering hag, with bleary eyes and protruding fangs, ve them an imolent stare. In a whining voice she deanded: "What de ye want? Pm only an honest woman." "Yes, I know, Mother," declared Cooley; "but i you n't tell u s the truth we'll hang ye up to your ridge pole." The hag's bleared eyes blar.ed. "Ugh!" she said, stiffly. "What do ye vant ?" "Where are the four men who have come here?" She looked blank. "None ltave come." "Here, don't you lie to me," cried Cooley. "I know they have. Now, out with it! Where are they?" She grinned until her toothless mouth looked a cavern. "Oh, I know," she said. "They have gone." "No, they haven t," cried Cooley. "If you lie to me again I'll burn your home and you in it." With this he lit a match and held it to the thatch 0 the cabin. rrhe old hag gave a wild, snarling cry. "Curse ye I" she yelled. "The fie nds ahall take ye Don't ye burn it! I'll curse ye forever!" Cooley pa us ed. "Well," he said, in a voice of steel, "where are they?" "They have gone." "Gone?" I said so." "Where, and in what direction?" Mother Bender pointed south; but Cooley knew this was a lie. "Up goes the hous e! he declared, lighting another mat ch. Again Mother Bender flew at him. "No, no!" she screamed. "I'll tell all. They have gone i.o Beaumont!" CHAPTER X. THE SPANIARD. Cooley winked at the Bradys. His method had ):irought the old dame to terms ; but he was not done. "What did they look like?" "I know not, for they all wore masks," declared Mother Bender. Now Juan began to search for a trail supposed to lead to Beaumont; but singularly he could not find it. "H there is such a trail he'll find it," decJared Cooley. "I'll stake my life on it." "Then we are to assume that this old woman is telling us a fal sehood?" aeked Old King Brady "It must be so." "Can we compel her to tell the truth?" "I don't see how." "Nor I. I believe it would be a good plan to search h e r cabin." "Very well. We will do so." It did not take long to carry out this plan. The cabin was closely searched. BJit nothing was round The b e ldam e stood by muttering angry threats and mak ing jeering remarks. "Well," she sneered,' "what did ye make out of it? I'll have the law on ye! Ye're a lot of robb ers !" Cooley now lenprr1 onto hi s hor se's back.

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20 THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "I'm sorry, Mr. Small," he cried, "butrlhisYis as far as I can go. I have duties at the ranch." "I am certainly obliged to you for what you 1lave done," declared Old King Brady. "If I were you," said Cooley, "I'd organize Vigilantes and track the gang down. If you don't they'll wipe Beau mont off the map." "It shall be done." "Well, good-day, and good luck to ye." Cooley and his man Juan galloped away. The Bradys were l eft with Small and Ray in Mother Bender's yard. "Well," said the oil magnate, anxiously, "you have had bad luck, Mr. Brady." "Y cs," replied the old detective; "but I think we shall win out." "That explosion of the oil tanks gave me a great shock." "You would have had a greater one if we had not dis covered the mine under the Giant Gusher." Mr. Small shivered. "It is awful," be said. "Strange that this deadly foe re mains so intangible." "He is shrewd." "Have you suffered an attack from him?" asked the magnate eagerly. "You know I have had no word from you since you l eft New York." Old King Brady th('ll detailed their adventures since leaving New York. Mr. Small listened eagerly and with interest. "Do you think it rash in me in coming here?" he asked "Well," said Old King Brady, "of course there is a risk. I would advise you to use the greatest of care." "I shall do that." "Will you venture to Beaumont?" "That is my desire." The Bradys were not well pleased with this plan; but Small seemed quite determined to accompany them. They now set forth at a swinging gallop It did not take long to ride into Beaumont. When they rode up to the new hotel they gave their ponies to waiting peons ; then they entered the hotel. By the door as they entered stood a slender, dark-fea tured man. His fype was that of the Spaniard. He cast a swift, searching glance at the four men ; then an ocld light shone in his dark eyes. He twirled a bit of cane in his fingers. His gaze seemed fixed on the face of Small. As the dis guised magnate went up to the desk to register the Spaniard was close behind him. When he wrote his name he continued to push up close enough to read it over his shoulder. "Julien Lane, New York City," he read. The Spaniard coolly took a cheroot from his pocket and He twirled his long mustache and coolly blew a cloud of Rmoke across the face of the oil magnate. Small turned quickly. As bi:; gaze caught the Spaniard's every vestige of co left his Eace, and he reeled back lik e a d.nmken man He clutched at the counter, and his eyes seemed starti from th{:ir rnckek The Brauy:; 1rcre astonished. "Enrique Vela.sco !"gasped tbe oil magnate thickly. "Y -here!" The Spaniard's face underwent a curious series of expr sions He flicked th e ashes from his cheroot in well-assurn indifference. 'rhere was a shade of annoyance in his ma ner. "You have the advantage of me, senor," he said, in as voice. In that moment Small saw his mistake. He could h kicked himself. He recovered himself as well as he was forced politeness he said: "Pardon m E You greatly resemble an old acquaint a who is dead." "It is of no moment," said Velasco, in a cool mann "Such mistakes are common." He looked keenly at Small. Then he drew a card fr his pocket. "It is singular, but my name is your friend's. Can th be a mistake?" Small took the card. On it was printed the name DON ENRIQUE DI VELASCO. The position in which the magnate was placed was an easy one. All the horror, all the hatred of his being for the man believed to be the murderer of his relatives rose within bosom almost to suffocation He knew that it was his part to play the game shrewd But standing here in the presence of his deadly foe nerve forsook him. He could not act, he could not simulate, and he could conceal himself. All he could do was to stare fixedly at him with the sa horrible sensation of fascination which one feels for t deadly cobra. The Spaniard was as self-possessed and ingenuous as training could demand. He coolly looked his victim over as if nothing was t matter. He affected not to notice the emotion of Small. The Bradys, stu.pefied by the development, stood by si le s pectators. "Well," said Velasco finally, "you still have the advanta of me, senor." Like one coming out of a spell Small pulled himself gether and said : "Pardon me. I have no card. My name is Julien Lane Very politely the Spaniard bowed. He lit a fresh cigarette. "I am interested, Senor Lane/' he said "Did yr:J, friend, then, so much resemble me? I once heard that I h1 a double."

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''\ ... HE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUN'l'RY. 21 'Yes," replied Small, in a more natural way, and catchOld King Brady's gaze. "The likeness is very striking ave me a shock, for I believed him dead." Quite interesting, really. Pray accept a cheroot, Senor e. Do I detain you?" 1Iy friend s--" 'Ah! I perceive. Glad to have met you, senor. I may see again. I am int e r ested in thi s double of mine, whom -:,ay is dead. The name was the same, too." 'Y cs, the very same." It could not possib ly be me?" 'I can hardly b e lieve it. Don Enrique had a daughter z.'' The very same." 'She was strangely murdered." Ah! That was not my daughter Inez. It was my sMer. father, also Don Enrique di Velasco, lived in the City of xico. M y sister was loved by a rich American When refused him he foully murdered h er." 'Wrong!" dcclar2d Small hotly. "She was murdered Pedro Alvar ez." i Velasco turned lik e a flas h. is burning eyes pierced Small through and through. 'Who are you to tell me this?" he demanded. mall was for a moment nonplu ssed, but he quickly recov-'The American was my friend," he said. "His name Small." Si, senor." I know that he was not guilty. He told me the whole Then he spok e falsely." 'Pardon me. He spoke the truth. Since the n there has n a terribl e vendetta e na cted. 1 you are re sponsible for t may God have mercy on your soul!" i Velai::co smiled in a bitter way. It is the punishm ent of Fate," he said. "Di Velasco alter that." 'Stanley Small is the only one of the family left. His has been attempted." .\nd he will die." 'He is my friend, and he stands here at this moment." i Velasco glanced at Old King Brady and smiled. He a lightly: It is Fate's decree! I must some clay die myself." 'You are wrong in your charge against my gran dfather," lared Small. "He was not guilty of that crime." Your grandfather?" exclaimed th e shrewd Don Enrique. as he also your grandfather?" mall saw that h e was playini.; a thin game He knew t Velasco had p e n et rated his disguise with ease. o he threw off the mask. Yes," he said "He was my grandfather." But your name is l1ane." Yes, for certain purposri::." Oh, I see. You nre masquerading. You fear something. ot this gentleman Mr. Stanley Small?" No," replied Small bluntly. "I am Stanley Small. We may as well come out in our true colors, Velasco. He is a friend who has taken my name and character to mislead the secret assassin who pursues me. Now, Velasco, you know that it is of no use to beat :ibout the bush further. I know you and your purpose." The Spanlard flung away his cigarette. "What do you mean?" he demanded. "I know that you seek my life. "I seek your life ?" "Yes." Di V clasco affected astonishment. "Yon are mad," he said. "Can you prove that allega tion ?" Small was silent. It could not be proved that Di Velasco had killed with his own hand ,Joseph Small or any other member of the family. Di Velasco could walk the streets of B eaumont with im punity. He could snap hi s fingers in the face of the law. Although Small knew him to be guilty h e had no redress. 'rhe re was no evidence. "Velasco_,'' said the mag nate, "you killed my brother." ')1e Spaniard threw up hi s hands. "I killed your brother!" h e excla imed, contemptuously "Now you are mad." "What has brought you h ere?" "It is a flouri s hing community. I seek n e w scenes." "You are a hard e n e d villain, Velasco!" cried Small. "You have murd ered every r e l ative I have, and now you srek my life. Don't lie! You know it i s t rue. T'o be sure, I cannot prove it; but I mean to see you hung ." The two men aced each oth er. Small, pale and accusing, the Mexican, evil and smil ingly defiant. 'I'h e Bradys were intent witnesses. Di Velasco blew a thin wreath of s mok e from his nostrils as he lit another cheroot. Then he laughed in a chuck: ling way. "Go ahead, my friend. Di Velasco is not the worm you i.hink him. Do your worst. I defy you and your American courts. I laugh you to scorn." CHAP'.:'ER XI. THE 11-IAGIOIAN. This was more than Small could stand. His quivering figure suddenly shot forwar .d. His heavy fist fell upon the Mexican's face. Di Velasco went down like a feather before a draught of air. But he was on his feet almost in the same moment. His eyes were lurid in their black hate. It looked for a moment as if he would leap upon Small like a panther, but he did not. With an effort he controlled himself. He turned and picked up his hat.

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Then he made a sweeping bow. in his eyes, ao he said : THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRl. :} "Adios, senor! If there has never been a score between "What do you think of it?" us there is one now. A Di Velasco never forgets." "Shall I tell you!'" asked Old King Brady. He coolly walked out to the porch, and in a moment, as "Yes." unruffied as ever, lit a fresh cigarette. "Well, I think it would be folly." Small, trembling and ashen pale, st9od helplessly before "Pshaw! You don't mean it!" the Bradys. "I do." 'My God!" he said, huskily. "What am I to do? I know "Well, what am I to do?" the murderer of my brother stands there, but I am help"For the present remain very closely in this hotel. Le. less." foe rest to us." Old King Brady drew a deep breath. "What will you do?" "There is only one thing that can be done now," he said. "We shall try and get sight of Velasco again. Then "What?" will never lose sight of him." "Go to the room and change disguises:" "Do you think that easy? I will tell you that he is l "Oh, I see my folly now. You are right. I have ruined fleeting mist. When you think him in your grasp he i everything by coming here." melt into thin air." The Bradys led the way to their room. The Bradys managed finally to induce the oil magnat Then Old King Brady removed his clever disguise. He follow their plans. He agreed to remain in the hotel f was no longer the oil magnate who held sway in Beaumont. few hours. Small took off his disguise and became once more himself. "We will send you word the moment we locate Vela He kept reproaching himself. they said. "After that go and come as freely as you ch "Oh, what a fool I have been," he moaned. "I can Know that we shall not let him out of our sight." s0e it all now. You had the plans well laid. You would With this they took their leave. have trapped this fellow." Small's valet, Ray, remained with him. The Bradys "I think we should," agreed Old King Brady. downstairs. "And I have spoiled it all." l '.Nobody knew them, now that their disguises had bee "Well," said the old detective, "there is no use bemoanmoved. They mingled with the crowd. ing the fact. We muEOt get together and make up the loss." Di Velasco was no longer in the hotel. "How can it be done?" Inquiry at the desk elicited the reply: "Of course it will be difficult. There is a strong hand "He left here not half an hour since. He has taken needed in Beaumont just now." train for San Antonio." "And I am so weak." The Bradys went down to the depot. "Yet you must take it." Inquiry there, however, failed to confirm the story. "And you--" Velasco had not been seen to leave on the train. "We will have to work openly. We will certainly do the "He is yet in the town," said Old King Brady. "He best we can. I trust we may meet with success." man of slippery methods. Doubtless he is hanging a "Di Velasco can play an open hand here." somewhere in disguise." "Yes; and it looks as if that was his purpose," declared "That is the idea." Harry. "If we are smart enough, we will locate him." Stanley Small was quite overcome. He paced the floor "The chance is not bright." like one insane. "No; but there is one consolation." "What a fool I have been," he declared. "If I had only "What?" remained in New York all would have been easy for you." "Nobody knows us in our present dress. We can pla The Bradys now proceeded to acquaint the oil magnate entirely new game." with thr stnte of affairs in the town. The Bradys went back to the hotel. They stood on When they had finished Small said: piazza watching the people as they passed. "I am going to wire Bradcombe to sell every share of Suddenly a man walked out of the office and st-00 stock I own in the oil wells." side them. He was of an appearance which would hav "You are?" tracted attention anywhere. "Yes." He was dressed in dark broadcloth. His trousers "What for?" tightly cut to conform to his shapely legs. His coat w "I am sick of it all. Then I shall take the first steamer the frock pattern and very long. His vest was flowered for Europe. I am going to the farthest ends of the earth. his shirt n1ffied in quaint style. If Di Velasco follows me it will be man against man, and He wore a eilk hat and patent leathel' shoes. A fl.a I will kill him 6n sight." black ti; gave relief to his deep cravat. The Brad ys were silent Altogether his dress was in the sharpest possible

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, THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. t to that 0 the oil workers and the loungers about the he man's face was lean and thin. His eyes quick and tless. is chin was pointed, and a long mustache curled nearly his ears. He advanced and stood near the Bradys. he detectives noted him at once. or some reason they were instantly interested in him. ld King Brady exchanged glances with Harry. The y thing the detective wished for now happened. he fellow rested his gaze on them, hesitated a moment, then walked forward. 'Pardon me," he said. "Are you natives of the place?" 'We are not," replied Harry. 'I thought not. You do not bear the stamp. I am a anger here myself." 'We share the distinction." 'You may, however, know something about the town and people?" 'Wlrnt do you desire to know?" 'I am a legerdemain artist and magician. I want to give entertainment here to-night. Are the oil people kindly posed toward show ?" he detectives were surprised at the question. It seemed sua l. 'So far as we know, they are." 'I can assure you that I know my business well. I am a notist, and a maste r of the art of mind reading. Ah, doubt you are incredulous. I shall prove my words to you night." iA sudden, swift thought came to Old King Brady. he old detective saw great possibilities. 'Look here, my friend," he said. "Perhaps if you have those gifts you can assist us." he hypnofo:t 8miled and bowed. 'I shall be pleased," he said. 'We are deteotives :from New York City looking for a ed murderer in this place." he magician gave a start. 'In what mann e r can I help you?" 'You will draw a large crowd to your performance. Pers our man may be the!e. If possible locat e him for he magician held out his ha,nd. 'I will grant that," he cried. ''In return you will assist ?" 'How?" 'I sh
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' 24 THE BRADYS IN T'1IE OIL COUNTRY. "I see him," said Old King Brady, joyfully; "and he is focussed my power," said the magician. "He will act wh my man!" so will it. In a few moments he will be absolutely u "Good!" said Varley. "Now you will see what I will my control." do with him. Two rows back are four more men whom I Silence mo8t profound was upon the audience. believe are of the oil gang." nerves of all were keyed to the highest tension. Old King Brady located them. Then slowly the Spaniard rose from his seat. Like o He studied their faces carefully. a dream he walked down the aisle to the stage. "How do you fix them?" he asked The hypnotist's eyes were fixed upon him. "By a curious sort of instinct which I cannot explain. Up onto the stage he crept. The crowd, agape wit It is a power given me, as I believe, by the Almighty. Again, citement, watched. they are cynical and not enthusiastic. This would be char"Sit down on the floor," commanded the hypn acteristic of men under a ban or with heavy consciences." "Turn a somersault." Old King Brady was impressed. This was done. The face of Velasco was white and "Varley," he said, "you are a wonder. You ought to be pressionless. He was thoroughly under the wizard's spe a detective." "Stand up,'' he commanded. "Now face the audi "No; I am a simple magician." and tell them the story of the murder you committe "Well, I feel sure you are right as regards those fellows. Banker Bradcombe's office in New York City." We will keep a close watch on them." There was a stir in the audience Four men in the "I think they are worthy of suspicion. Now comes my enth row arose to go out. hypnotic exhibition. Watch me carefully." But the hypnotist turned his gaze in that direction. The viohniats had finished their airs. The magician once "Sit down!" he commanded "I want you later." again stepped forth. He was greeted with applause. The crowd was unable to understand all this Old "Gentlemen," he said, smoothly, "I now bring you to the Brady stepped from behind the scenes. second part of my programme of entertainment. I have Now Varley raised his hand and made a pass slowly demonstrated to you my humble power as a magician. Now, the Spaniard's face. The latter quivered, and then I will give you some illu stration of my ability a& a hypnorolled from his white lips. tist. And while the crowd of rough oil workers listened a "Hypnotism is a faculty possessed by but few and underthe full confession of Joseph Small's murder was given. stood by few. Many possess the gift without knowing it. More than this, the villain named his associates, and I have heard it argued that hypnotism is simply personal fessed that they were under his orders to blow up the magnetism. If it is, then it i s magnetism of the highest Gusher. order. He declared that he was bearing the stock in Wall S "I shall ask the privilege of exercising the power I pos-and hoped to acquire the property. That it was his pu sess upon certain members of this good company whom I to murder Stanley Small at the first opportunity. may select at random. I trust those I select will accept All this the powerful will of the hypnotist drew their fate in all good nature, and those I do not select will him. feel no slight, or that I have made discrimination. Now, to Before tha t mighty crowd of witnesses the myste begin: the Giant Gusher was given out, and Enrique di Ve "First I will run my eye overthe audience. Now among stood self-condemned you I shall find one person. That person sha ll be made to It was a thrilling and tragic climax to an evening of obey my every request so long as I hold him under my influentertainment. The oil workers were stupefied. ence. This is distant work. I do not touch my subject, Now, however, Old King Brady walked down the nor is there any trick. It is purely the s uperior force of and said: will. Now!" "Gentlemen, I have to introduce myself as Old For some moments the hypnotist stood s ilently running Brady, a New York detective. I and my partner a his eye over the audience. Beaumont for the purpose of arresting and convictin Those who have faced a master of this art will undermurderer of Joseph Small. stand the curious thrill which ,ran through the company "We have employed this method of obtaining evi present. against him. Here before you stands the guilty man.' Rough men they were, and able to understand but little of '!'hen a loud roai' went up. this sort of science. "Lynch him!" Slowl y Varley turned bis head and fixed his dilated eyes "Give him a short rope!" lipon Velasco "Take him out!" The Spaniard saw it coming, and half arose; but h e was But Old King Brady held up his hand. too late. "Do not be hasty," he said. "He belongs to the St The hypnotist hacl him. Slowly he sank back into his seat. New York. Full justice will be done him there. H e "as then deacl to the world. I "But I have to say that from to-day life and propert "There is a person in this audience upon whom I have I be safe in Beaumont. The. ringl eader of the oil gan

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. 25 oner. The other members of that gang are in this hall. y cannot escape." an instant i.he whole audience was on its feet. They almost beyond control. It was with the utmost diffi y that Harry and Old King Brady kept them from rush onto the stage. his proved fatal to Varley's full plan. the confusion the four other members of the gang esd. Too bad," declared Varley. "We might have captured as well as not." Never mind," cried Old King Brady. "They will come the net later on. We have got the ringleader, and that e main thing." andcu:ffs were slipped onto the wrists of Di Velasco. hen Varley released him from the hypnotic spell. The niard was furious when he regained his senses. e raved and cursed like a fiend, but this was of no i. he Bradys had no idea of trusting their prisoner out of t. So they took him to the hotel and incarcerated him room next to their own. he windows were barred, and the door firmly bolted. Bradys could hear every movement the prisoner would e. he sensations of Stanley Small can well be imagined n the news was imparted to him. e was like a man brought back from under the shadow of h. e could once more draw a deep breath. He could feel to venture abroad again. So it was Di Velasco after all," he muttered. "It was old vendetta. Ah, I am lucky to sec him in prison." You will see him in the Tombs in a few weeks," said King Brady. "I shall send for extradition papers." Do you think the oil gang will give us further trouble?" I don't believe it." It is all very wonderful." Yes, but we owe nearly all to Mr. Varley. His hypnotic ers are a marvel." Hi:> shall be well rewarded." Kot only have we got the full story from the villain's lips, but we have the names of the oil gang." That is fortunate." Inderd, I think so. We have now only to hunt them You will do that before you leave?" Yes, I think so; hut one of us will need to stand guard the prisoner." I shall be glad to assist you." Thank you We may feel it necessary to call upon he Brad .ys had reason to feel fully elated over the sue of their stratagem. hey did not forget that they owed much to Varley, the i cian. he clever legerdemain artist made a good haul from his show. More than this, Mr. Small placed a large-sized check in his hands. Varley went on to the next town well repaid for his servwes The Bradys could now have started for New York with their prisoner. But the desire to further add to their triumph by the capture of the oil gang prompted them to remain a while longer. And this led to further complications The detectives had the names of the four conspirators. They were bad men and noted toughs well known on the border. It was these rascals who had tried to undermine the Giant Gusher. 1 Had not their plans failed the great oil tower would have fallen and many lives been lost in the destruction of the town. This fact was reason enough in itself for the persistent tracking of the scoundrels They deserved punishment. So the Bradys could not deem the case finished until they had captured the oil gang. So by turns they sallied forth in quest of their men. For several days they worked blindly. Then there came a message which gave them a great start, and put them on a new line. Thus it read: "To the Bradys, Detectives :-This is to give you a tip: Get out of Beaumont as quick as you can. Velasco has friends, and they mean to rescue him. Keep your eyes open! Look out for fire. Yours, fraternally, "A FRIEND." The Bradys at :first were disposed to attach little signifi cance to this message; but the more Harry pondered over it the more impressed he became. "Queer about that last sentence," he mused. 'Look out for .fire!' What can it mean? What danger is there of fire?" "I can think of none unless it is in this hotel," said Old King Brady. "There is scant clanger of that." "Very little." ; The Bradys, however, soon forgot the incident. The prisoner was generally sullen and moody. But on this day his spirits seemed high er. He paced his room with elastic step. The Bradys wondered a little at this change; but they gave little heed. That night, jmt as they were about to retire, an uproar took place in the hotel. Through the hotel corridors came an awful cry : "Fire Fire When the detectives opened their door smoke met them fo a huge volume. Old King Brady saw a burning heap Qf oiled rags at the threshold. He kicked these away aud essayed to rush out into B12 e;orridor.

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. ) CHAPTER XIII. A NEW TRAIL. The old detective's first thought was of the prisoner. He must be looked after at any cost. The hotel had evidently been fired by incendiaries. And in that moment, with the same realization, came the startling suspicion that the thing was a plot to rescue Di Velasco. "Harry," cried Old King Brady, "the place has been set on fire. W c must get Velasco out fir s t of all." "Yes," replied the young detective. "I am with you." Together they rllphecl into the corridor. Just then scuf fling feet sounded and burly forms rushed by the Bradys. There was a sharp report, then another and another. Bullets went crashing into the door, narrowly missing Old King Brady's head. The old detective for 13: moment sprang back. A complete realization dawned upon !-;.im. It was an at tempt to rescue Di Velasco. And, indeed, it looked like success. Only for a moment did Old King Brady shrink back. Then he started for the corridor again. Into the smoke he rushe-0, and reached the door of Ve lasco's room. It was open. All was smoke and darkness, but the old detective rushed into the room and began to feel his way about. It did not require this, however, to tell him that the room was empty. The bird had flown. It was with deep chagrin that the old detective made this discovery; but he was resolved to overtake the escaping prisoner. He should not escape. without an effort at recapture. Down the corridor he staggered, gasping for breath. He heard Harry calling behind him. "Come on, lad," he shouted. "I have found the stairs ." The next moment Harry was by his side. The stairs were before them, but choked with smoke However, the Bradys plunged down to the next floor. Here they were met by a wall of flame. Old King Brady kieked open a door into a side room. A draught of air lifted the smoke and gave them light. i.-\ moment more and they were at the window. It was a light leap to the ground. They escaped injury. An immense crowd surged about the burning hotel. Peo ple were caged in the place to be burned to death like rats in a trap. It was a horrible thing. The detectives, however, knew that it was a calamity beyond their power to prevent. They could think only of recapturing the man wh6 had been responsible for all this trouble. They forced their way through the crowd. r A hand grasped Old King Brady's arm. He looked up into the face of Stanley Small. The nate was pale and fearful. "Brady,'' he cried, "where is Velasco?" "He has escaped." "Escaped?" / "Yes. Thi s is the work of his pals. They have liber him." "My God! This is awful! Can nothing be done?" "Yes. We must overtake them while we can. They 1 not be far away." "What can I do?" "Help us. Call out armed meh. Scour the town and country about It must be done at once. It is our hope." "It shall be done." "Don't forget what it means to you if Velasco is allo to again go at large." Small needed no hint. His face showed that he felt gravity of the situation. He rushed away to carry out Old King Brady's hints. As for the detectives, they did all they could. rushed througfl the crowd and made inquiries in quest clew. But nobody could be found who had seen Velasco or of his men. It was a blind quest. They disappeared as completely as if swallowed up the earth. By this time Small had gathered some mou men. The town was scoured, and bodies of men were sent across the prairie in every direction; but to no purpos No trace of Velasco could be found. When morning came the quest was reluctantly The hotel was a heap of ruins. The town was in a s of great excitement The Bradys were much depressed. They saw all t work undone. It was like begim1ing the case all over again. Stanley Small was sca rc ely less depressed. To hi meant much. "I believe the fellow has the devil on his side," he clared. "It is almost impossible to bring him to justice "That is true," agreed Old King Brady. "But his will come." "You will not give up the quest?" "No, indeed! We are going to see it through if it tak lifetime." "What line will you pursue?" "Well," said Old King Brady, "that is hard to Nobody can say that the villains ha.ve left town. No t of such a fact can be found." "Then you think they may be in hiding in this pl "It may be so." Small paced up arid down ner\rously. "I don't believe Velasco if caught could be catried from here,'' he said, "vVhat do you mean?" asked Old King Brady. "Why, he seems to have a legion of allies. They

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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. 2'?' ging about this hotel just before the fire. Among them I that old dame, Mother Bender.'1 ld King Brady gave a sharp cry. You did?" 'Yes.'' That is iroportant.11 Is it?" Why, of course. It shows that she was concerned in the e. Also, it shows that it is possible Velasco has gone er place.'' By Jove!" exclaimed Small. "That is not a bad clew. y not look there ?" We will go out at once." t did not take long to procur e horses. The Bradys startfor Mother Bender 's. Small begged to go with them. ut across the prairie they ga11oped. t was not long b efore they came in sight of the hut other Bender. they drew r ein before it the old woman hobbled out. he cast a keen glance at the Bradys. t was plain that she recognized them at once. ld King Brady fancied he saw a gleam of triumph in eyes. 'Oh, ye're back ogain, eh?" she croaked. "Who do ye t now? I s uppose ye want to invade my house again?" 'We are after you this time, Moth e r Bender," said Old g Brady, sternly. he tapped the ground with h e r staff. 'Well," she snapped, "what do ye want with this old y?" 'We want you to t ell us all you know about the hotel he old detective fixed a keen, searching glance upon the "Very well," said Old King Brady. "Confess and I'll see that no harm comes to you. If you don't-look out!" The old detective turned to his horse. The old dame was trembling violently. Before Old King Brady could mount s he cried queru lously: "Hold on! Ye say ye'll keep 'em off, and ye won'tlet 'em hurt rne?" "I gave you that promise." "Then I'll tell ye all I know." She hobbled nearer. The n she pointed to the west with her staff. "Ye'll find Black Jack Mead and the whole gang over on Wilson's Butte. It's twenty miles. They'v e got a cav:e there. They set fire to the hotel, an' it was to rescu e Velasco. Now I've told ye all." "Mother B ender," cried Old King Brady, "is that the truth?" "I swear it by the saints." "That is enough ." "Now will ye keep yer word?" "Yes." "An' ye' ll keep the devils away from my place? I want to live here in peace." "I'll do more than that. If we find the villains at the place you name I will pay you a rich reward." The old crone muttered something und er her breath. Then she turned and went into her cabin. Old. King Brady turned to hi s companions. "Come," he cried. "Now we'll trap the wolves in their den." "Wait!" cried Small. "What?" "There are :five or six of them. We are not equal in num-dame. .,. bers." e fancied he detected a slight of_her mus"Oh, that's all right," cried Old King Brady. "We will ; but th. at was all. The same leermg light was rn her stop at Cooley's Ranch and perhaps get reinforcements 'I don't know. anything more than you do aliout it," she ared. there." They now galloped away across the prairie. It was twelve miles to Cooley's. he old detective advanced a step. 'X"ou were in town that night. 'nity of the hotel." Two hours later they drew rein in the ranch yard. The You were seen in the genial ranchman came out to meet them. "Ah, gentlemen," he cried. "I am glad to see you. I 'Was I?" she sneered. "Well, an' what can ye make out hear yon have caught the raecal who is responsible for all that?" 'Look here, my good woman," said the old detective, m not going to force a confession from you, but there is tty good evidence that you know all about that fire. 'Now, you know that the people of Beaumont are in an y frame of mind. The feeling again st you is strong. 'If they should come down here to root you out of your e and burn up your den, like enough hang you up to a more, you'd be glad of a little protection." is shot told. other Bender's lip dropped, and a light of fear came her eyes. I'm only an old woman," sh'e whimpered. "I don't w nothin' about it." the trouble at Beaumont." "You m ea n Velasco ?" "Yes.'' "We caught him," agreed Old King Brady; "but he has slipped the leash." "What do you mean?" "Have you not heard of the hotel fire?" "Fire? No That is nevrn to me." "Well, the hotel has been burned. In the excitement our escaped." Cooley whistled softly. "That is hard luck," he said; "but what do you intend to do out this way ?11 on the track of the gang."

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28 THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. "Did they come this way ?" "Yes. Do you know a place called, I think, Wilson's Butte?" "It is eight miles west 0 here." "Well, we have information that they are there. It seems lo be a rendezvous." Cooley shaded his eyes, and gazed westward. Then he said: "Kow I know what it means. Our boys repdrted seeing Borne strangers riding that way early this morning." CHAPTER XIV. AT THE BUTTE. "No doubt it was the gang," cried Old King Brady. "Were they identified?" "No, I think not. But there were six 0 them in all." "It was them. Now, we must plan to entrap them." "That ought to be easy; but will ye take a bit 0 advice from me?" asked Cooley. "What?" "Don't go near there in daylight." "Oh, no! We will not do that. In fact, we shall use all due caution." "They will fight." "0 course they will." "I think you can surround the place ater dark and bag 1hem all." "Just so. Now, in order to get orce enough to do that we will have to go back to Beaumont." "No, ye won't," cried Cooley. "I've got twenty men here just aching or the job. They'd rather fight than eat." "Do you mean that?" "0 course I do.'' "We will pay or their services." "No, you won't. It is as muoh or my interest as any body's that they shall be wiped out. They are a curse to Texas." "Mr. Cooley," said Old King Brady, warmly, "you are all right." "I try to be." "Now, we will stay her e until nightfall." "Ye're welcotne Come right in and make yoursel at home." The Bradys were royally entertained at the ranch that aternoon. Cooley proved a most genial host. When evening came the ranchman called his men into the yard. "Boys," he addressed them, "there is a gang 0 dirty coyotes in a hole out at Wilson's Butte. The chap that burned the hotel at Beaumont is one 0 'em. "Now, it'll be a risky job, and I don't want ye to take the chance if ye don't want to, but I want twenty men to go out there with us and wipe 'em out." This was enough. A great yell went up. The cowboys cheered wildly. Rough men that they were, nothing could suit them b than an adventure 0 this kind. Ponies were saddled and equipments got ready. It was to be a quick ride by night. The party w swing in a line around the butte, and then close in. rest would depend upon events. Tbey were in the saddle at nine o'clock. The night was propitious, or the moon was obsc by clouds. On they galloped The miles sped away rapidly u the swit eet of the tireless ponies. After an hour had passed directly ahead was seen an ject against the sky. It towered to a height of nearly a thousand feet. T is no more remarkable feature of the western prairie the butte. Rising abrupt and rough against the sky from the 1 of the floor-like plain, the contrast is great. Wilson 's Butte was a high elevation. From its summit a wide view of the plain could be Its substance was a sort of calcareous rock, which Na had cut up into caverns and passages. It had once been a watch tower and strong hold of Apaches. The cowboys first surrounded the butte. Then the gan to close in. No sign of life was seen about thB butte. If the laws were there they kept well out of sight. However, the Bradys were not to be deceived. Cooley gave the orders to lie low in the prairie grass wait. Then he said : "Mr. Brady, I would suggest that you and I try a scouting trip. Are you agreeable?" "I am," said the old detective. "Y
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THE BRADYS IN THE OIL COUNTRY. Is it your belief that we shall :find them inside the ?" I have that idea." he detectives followed Cooley until they had made their fully a hundred yards along the side of the butte. en Old. King Brady stopped. Wait," he said. What is the matter?" asked Cooley. I hear something." You do?" Yes." Then you have better ears than I." e old dekcti ve stooped and pressed his ear to the d. He listened intently for some moments You are right," he declared. "They are inside the Yes." You are a wonder declared the ranchman. "I am of hearing, but I can detect nothing." Id King Brady had taken a course up the side of the uddenly he paused. efore them was a dark orifice in the lime rock. A dist glimmer of light was to be seen. he three men stood quite still for some moments. They w that they had reached the den of the oil gang he coast seemed clear . t would be foolish to say that they were not somewhat ex. Old King Brady whispered: If you will wait here I will venture into that place see what is going on." Wait?" Cooley. "No, that is my job." Well, if you care to venture, we will both go; but per s it woulc1 be well for Harry to remain here, so that he d give the alarm if we should get into trouble." I will stay here," said Harry. o Cooley and Old King Brady glided into the cavern. nee in its arch they could hear the sound of voices. n a few moments they had reached a bend in the cavern. hen a remarkable spectacle burst upon their view. bout a fire of coal sat a half dozen men. One was Don he others were the members of the gang of incendiaries oil workers. They were smoking and conversing. ut in their position Old King Brady and Cooley could r every work spoken. Thar's one thing about it," said a strapping big ruffian, savage voice. "We've run our necks into a noose, and ve got nothin' out of it." 'Thet's right, Lew Wilkins," declared a ruffian at his he keen, black eyes of Di Velasco snapped in a fiery way. It's your own fault," he aid hotly. "I'm not to blame. should have wiped out those detectives." We couldn't," declared Wilkins. y?" "They were too slippery. Then, again, we didn't know they were detectives.'' 111 "You're blind fools! Caramba You have no right to claim anything." "Jest as I thought!" bellowed Wilkins. "Ye're goin' ter back out of it. Ye mean to cheat us out of our money." "You fools! How am I going to give you money when J have non e .;, "Ye lie! Ye have thousands in a New York bank. Ye can't deny it. Haven't ye been buyin' up oil stock fer months past?" "That's it, you idiot! I've lost it!" The oil gang dropped oaths Then Wilkins said again: "Your game won't work, my little bantam Mexican. You'll shell out five thousand apiece, as ye agreed, or we'll cut yer heart out." A sullen roar of approval went up. The Spaniard's face darkened. His eyes gleamed with a strange, lurid light. His lip curled. "So you threaten me," he said, with a soft laugh. "Lots of good it will do you to cut my heart out. You will be likely to get your money then." "I don't keer if we don't! We'll have satisfaction, any way." "I'll tell ye what, Greaser," said a big, broad-shouldered oil man, "we've don e the square thing by ye. Ye know that well. Now we want ye to do it by us." "Have I refus ed?" "Why don't ye do it?" "Why, I tell you you must wait. I'm not out of the woods yet. All my money i s in New York. I can't give it to you until I can get it." "That's all right," declared Wilkins. "We'll go down to New York with ye." "'I'hat we will." "No, you >von't," sa id Velasco, with a ringing snap of his white teeth. "Why not?" asked Wilkins. "You fellows are not such fools. Do you know the re sult?" "'What?" "You would be caught up like flies on a trap. Detectives would spot you in a moment." "Why not you?" "It will be easier for me to conceal my identity." At this Lew Wilkins laugh e d scornfully. "Then ye'll go on there in disguise?" he asked sneer ingly. "T shall." At this all the ruffians laughed jeeringly. The Spaniard's. hand went to hi s bosom. He was silent: Wilkins. who acted as if he had been drinking, seemed in a specially ugly mood. He glared at the Spaniard a moment. The:p. acting upon impulse h e edged over nearer to him. He thrust his leering face into that of the Mexican's and said:

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CONTAINS ALL SORTS OF STORIBS. EVERY S.TORY COMPLETE. D AGES. BEAUTll"ULL Y COLORED COVERS. PRICE 5 C LATEST ISSUES 182 Where? or, Washed Into an Unknown World. By "Nona1111 : 183 Fred l.<'earnaught, the Boy Commander; or, The Wolves 187 !.l'be Farmer's Son; or, A Young Clerk's Downfall. A Story or Sea. By Capt. '.rhos. H. Wilson. Country and City Life. By Howard Austi n. 184 From Cowboy to Congressman; or, The Rise of a Young :B 138 The Old Stone Jug; or, Cards and Rui n. By .Jno. B Dowd. man. By H K. Shackleford. 130 Jack Wright and His Deep Monitor; or, Searching for a Ton 185 Sam Spark, the Brave Fireman; or, Always the of Gold lly "Noname." on Hand. By Ex-Fire Chief Warde n 140 The lllchest Boy In the World: or, The Wonderful Adventures or 186 The Poorest Boy In New York, and How He Became Rich, a Young American. By Allyn Draper. N S. Wood, the Young American Actor. 141 The Haunted Lake. A StranJe Story. Bf All}3n Draper. l 87 Jack Wright, the Boy Inventor; or, Hunting for a St Treasure. By "Noname." 142 In the Frozen North; or, Ten ears In tll,e ce Y Howard Austin. l88 On Time; or, The Young Engineer Rivals. An Exciting 143 Around the World on a Bicycle. A Story of Adventures in Many of Railroading in the Northwest. By Jae. c. Merritt. Lands. By Jas. C. Merritt. H4 Young Captain Rock; or, The First of the White Boys. By Allyn 189 Red Jacket; or, The Boys of the Farmhouse Fort. By A 145 A of Blotting Paper; or, The Adventures or a Young 190 Glass of Wine; or.to The Temptations or City Llf1 Inventor. By Richard R. Montgomery. True 'l'emp erance Story. tiY Jno. B. Dowd. 14G The Diamond Island; oryAstray In a Balloon. By Allan Arnold. 191 The Coral City; or, The Wonderful Cruise of the Yacht 1 I th S ddl f N k t S F I B All D By Richard R. Montgomery. n e a e rom ew or o an ranc sco Y yn raper. 192 Making a MllJlon; or, A Smart Boy's Career In Wall 148 The Haunted Mill on the Marsh. By Howard Austin. H. K. Shackleford. 149 Crusader. A True Temperance Story. By Jno. B. 193 Jack Wright and Hls Electric Turtle; or, Chasing the 150 Th I l d f Fi Th F t f Ml I Shi B All of Spanish Main. By "Noname 0 re; or, e a e 0 a ss ng p Y an 194 Dave, the Boy Jockey; or, Riding the Winner. By 151 The Witc h Hunter' s Ward; or, The Hunted Orphans of Salem. rape r By Richard R. Montgomery. 195 The Twenty Gray Wolves; or, Fighting A Cratty King. 152 The Castaway's Kingdom; or, A Yankee Sailor Boy's Pluck. By Howard Austin. Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. l.96 The Palace of Gold ; or, The Secretof a Lost Race. By RI 153 Worth a Million; or, A Boy's Fight for Justice. By Allyn Draper. R. Montgo m ery. 154 The Drunkard' s Warning; or, The Fruits of the Wine Cup. By 197 Jack Wright' s Submarine Catamaran; or, The PhantQm S Jno. B. Dowd. the Yellow Sea. By "Noname." 155 The Blac k Diver; or, Dick Sherman In the Gulf. By Allan Arnold. 198 A Monte Cristo at 18; or, From Slave to Avenger. By 156 The Haunted Belfry: or, the Mystery of the Old Church Tower. Drape r By Howard Austin. 199 The FloaNng Gold Mine; or, Adrift In an Unknow11 iell, 157 The House with Three Windows. By Richard R. Montgomery. Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. 158 Three Old .Men of the S ea; or, The Boys of Grey Ro c k B each. 200 Moll Pitche r s Boy; or, As Brave as His Mother. By Capt. 'l.'hos. H. Wilson. Jas. A. Gordon. 159 3,000 Years Old; or, The Lost Gold Mine of the Hatchepee HllJs. 201 "We." By Richard R. Montgomery. By Allyn Draper. 202 Jac k Wright and His O cean Racer; or, Around the Wo 160 Lost In the Ice. By Howard Austin. 20 Days. By "Noname." 161 '!:,he Yellow Diamond; or, Groping I n the Dark. By Jas. C. Merritt. 1 203 The Boy Pioneers; or, Tracking an Indian Trl!8.$ure. By 162 'file Land of Gold ; or, Yankee Jac k s Adventure s in Early Aus-Draper. 163 Years In the Wild West. 204 Still Alarm Sam, the Daring Boy Fireman; or, Sure to By an Old Scout. Hand. By Ex-Fire Chief Warden. 164 The cavern of Fire; or, The Thrilling Adventure s of Professor 205 Lost on the O cean; or, Ben Bluft: s Last Voyage. By Capt. Hardcastle and Jack Merton. By Allyn Draper. H Wll$On 165 Water-logged; or, Lost In the Sea of Grass. By Capt. Thos. H 206 Jack Wright and His Electric Canoe; or, Working ID Wilson. R evenue S ervice By "Noname 166 Jack Wright, the Boy Inventor; or, Exploring central Asia in 207 Gi v e Him a Chance; or, How Tom Curtis Won Hls Way. His Magnetic "Hurricane. By "Noname. Howard Austin. 167 Lot 77 ; or, Sold to the Highest Bidder. By Richard R Mont208 Jac k and I; or, The Secrets of King Pharaoh's Caves. gomery. Ri chard R. Montgomery. 168 The Boy canoeist; or, 1,000 Mil e s In a canoe. By J a s c M erritt. 209 Burie d 5,000 Years; or, The Treasure of the Aztecs. By 169 Captain Kidd, Jr.; or, The Treasure Hunters of Long Island. By Draper. Allan Arnold. 210 Jack Wright's Air and Water Cutter; or, Wonderful Adven 170 The Red L eather Bag. A Weird Story of Land and Sea. By on the Wing and Afloat. By "Noname." Howard Austin. 211 '.rhe Broken Bottle; or, A Jolly Good Fellow. A True Te 171 "The Lone Star"; or, The Masked Riders of Texas. By Allyn ance Story. By Jno. B Dowd. Drape r 212 Slippery B e n ; or, The Boy Spy of the Revolution. By 172 A New York Boy out With Stanley; or, A Journey Through Africa. J11s. A Gordon. By Jas. C Merritt. 213 Young Davy Crockett; or, The Hero of Silver Gulch. B 173 Aftoat With Captain Nemo; or, The Mystery of Whirlpool Island. Old S cout. By Capt. Thos. H. Wilson. 214 Jack Wright and His Magnetic Motor; or, The Golden Cl 174 Two Boys' Trip to an Unknown Planet. By Richard R. Mont the Sierras. By "Noname." gomery. 215 Little Mac, 'l.' h e Boy Engineer; or, Bound To Do His Best. 175 The Two Diamonds; or, A Mystery of the South African Mines Jas. C M erritt. By Howard Austin. 216 The Boy Mon e y King; or., Working in Wall Street. A 17!1 Joe. the Gymnast; or, Three Years Among the Japs. By Allan of a Smart New Y ork Boy. By H K. Shackleford. Arnold. 217 "I." A Story of Strange Adventure. By Richard R. 177 Jack Hawthorne, of No Man's Land; or, An UncrownP.d King. gom er)'. By "Nonamc. 218 Jack Wright, The Boy Inventor, and His Under-Water Iron 1711 Gun-Boat Dick; or, Death Before Dishonor. BJ Jas. C Merritt. or, The 'l.'reasure of the Sandy Sea. By "Noname. 179 A Wizard of Wall or, The Career of H enry Care w Boy 2119 Gerald O'Grady's Grit; or, The Branded Irish Lad. By Allyn D Banker. By H K. Shackle f ord. 220 Through Thick and Thin; or, Our Boys Abroad. By Howard A 180 Fifty Riders in Black; or, The Ravens of Rave n Forest, By 221 TQ.e Demon of the Deep; or, Above and Beneath the Sea. By Howard Austin. Thos. H. Wilson. 181 The Boy Rifle Rangers; or, Kit Carson's Three Young Scouts. 222 Jack Wright and His Electric Deers; or, Fighting the By An Old Scout. the Black Hills. By "Noname." 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" Ten-Cent Hand Books, Nos., .. ,, ... ,, .. ........ ...... , , , ........ Name ........... -......... Street and No ... Town .......... State ... . . . . .....

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THE STAGE. o. 41. THE BOYS OF NEW YORK END MEN'S JOKE K.-Containiug a great variety of the latest jokes used by the famous end men. No amateur minstrels is complete without wonderful little book. o. 42. rnE BOYS OF NEW YORK STUMP SPEAKER. taining a varied assortment of stump speeches, Negro, Dutch Irish. Also end men's jokes. Just the thing for home amuseNo. 31. HOW TO BECOME A SPEAKER.-Containing four teen illustrations, giving the different positions requisite to become; a good speaker, reader and elocutionist. containing gems from all the popular authors of prose and poetry; arranged In the simple and c oncise manner possible No. 49. HOW TO DEB.ATE.-Giving rules for conducting d& bates outlines for debates, questions foe discussion, and the bes l sources for procuring information on the questions given. t and amateur shows. SOCIETY. o. 45. THE B9YS OF YORK GUIDE No 3 HOW TO FLIRT-The arts and wiles of tlirt11.tion ar .. JOKE BQOh . new a!ld very .mstruct;ive. Every 1 fully 'explained by this little 0book. Besides the various methods o i obtam th.is as 1t contams full instructions for orhandkerchief, fan, glove, parasol, window. and hat flirtation, coi;i zmg an amatem rr:mstrel troupe. . . tains a full list of the language and sentiment of flowers, which o. 65. MULDOQN S is one the most ongmal interesting to everybody both old and young. You cannot be bapp) ever and 1t 1s bru;nful of wit and humor. It without one. tams a large collect1on of ;iongs, conundr'!ms, .etc., of No. 4. HOW TO DANCE is the title of a new and handsom ence Muldoon, the great humor1st and pra_ctic!11 Joker of little book just i ssue d by Frank Tousey. It contains full instruc Ever,Y boy .who can enJOY a good Joke should tions in the art of dancing etiquette in the ballroom and at parties, Ill !19c0HPY0 W 1mmTed0iatBe!EyC. Ol\:IE AN ACTOR-C t . how to dress, and full for calling off in all popular square; o .. . l . on ammg com dances. e mstructions. how to ID3;ke up for various characters on the No. 5. HOW TO MAKE LOVE.-A complete guide to love .; with the duties of the Stage. Manage r, Prompter, courtship and marriage, giving sensible advice, rules and etiquettci 1c Artist and Property Man. By a promment St!1g.e Manager. to be observed with many curious and interesting things not gen ? 80. GUS WILLIAMS' the lat-erall known. Jokes, anecdotes and funny. stories .of this world-re?owped and. N%. 17. HOW TO DRESS.-Containing full instruction in thll popular comedian. Sixty-four pages handsome art of dressing and appearing well at home and abroad, giving .thCl red cover conta1rung a half-tone photo of the author. sele c tions of colors, material, and how to have them made up. HOUSEKEEPING. o. 16. HOW TO KEEP A WINDOW GARDEN.-Containing instructions for constructing a window garden either in town ountry, and the most approved methods for raising beautiful ers at home. The most complete book of the kind ever pubo.' 30. HOW TO COOK.-One of the most instructive books ooking ever published. It contains recip' e s for cooking meats, game and oysters ; also pies, puddings, cakes and all kinds of y, and a grand collection of recipes by one of our most popular o: 37. HOW TO KEEP HOUSE.-It contains information for ybody, boys, girls, men and women; it will teach you how to e almost anything around the house, such as parlor cmaments, kets, cements, Aeolian harps, and bird lime for catching birds. ELECTRICAL. o. 46. HOW TO MAKE AND USE ELECTRICITY.-A de tion of the wonderful uses of electricity and electro ma11netism; ther with full instructions for making Electric Toys, Batteries, By George Trebel, A. 1\1., 1\1. D. Containing over fifty ii rations. o. 64. HOW TO MAKE ELECTRICAL ing full directions fdr making electrical machines, induction,, s, dynamos, and many novel tays to be worked by electricity. R. A. R. Bennett. Fully illustrated. o. 67. HOW TO DO ELECTRIOAL TRICKS.-Containing a e collection of instructive and liighly amusing electrjcal tricks, ther with illustrations. By A. Anderson. ENTERTAINMENT. o. 9. HOW TO BECOME A VENTRILOQUIST. By Harry edy. The secret given away. Every intelligent boy reading book of instructions, by a practical professor (delighting multi es every night with his wonder,foJ imitations), can master the and create any amount of fun for himself and frien'ds. It is the atest book ever published, and tliere's millions (of fun) in it. o. 20. HOW TO ENTERTAIN AN EVENING PARTY.-A Y valuable litt'e book just published. A complete compendium games, sports, card diversions, comic recitations, etc., suitable parlor or dra\ ing -room entertainment. It contains more for the ey than amy hook published. o. 35. HOW TO PLAY GAl\fES.-A complete &nd useful little k. containing the rules and regulations of billiards, bagatelle, kgammdn, croquet, dominoes, etc. o. 36. HOW TO SOLVE CONUNDRUMS.-Containing all leading conundrums of the day, amusing riddles, curious catches witty sayings. o. 52. HOW TO PLAY CARDS.-A complete and handy little giving the rules and full dfrections for playing Euchre Crib Casino, Rounce, Redro Sancbo, Draw 'Poker, ion Pitch, All Fours and '!1any other POJ?U!ar games of cards. 66. IlOW TO DO PUZZLES.-Contammg over three hun interesting _puzzles a1;1d conundrums with key to same. A Jete book. Fully illustrated. By A. Anderson. ETIQUETTE. o. 13. _!f OW TO DO IT; OR, BOOK OF ETIQUETTE.-It great nfe secret, and one that every young man desires to know about. There's happiness in it. o. 33. HOW TO BERA VE.--Containing the rules and eti te of good society and the easiest and most approved methods pearing to good advantage at parties, balls, the theatre, church in the drawing-room. DECLAMATION. 27. HOW TO RECITE AND BOOK OF REOITATIONS. ntaining the most p()pufa r selections in use, comprising Dutch French dialect, Yankee and Irish dialect pieces, together many etandard readings. No. 18. HOW TO BECOME BEAU'IlIFUL.-One of thll brightest and west valuable little books ever given to the world. Everybody wishes to know how to become beautiful, both male and female. The secret is simp.Je, and almost costless. Read this booh and be convinced how to become beautiful. BIRDS AND ANIMALS. No. 7. HOW TO KEEP BIRDS.-Handsomely illustrated anel containing full instructions for the management and training of th1: canary, mockingbird, boboliqk, blackbird, puroquet, parrot, etc. No. 39. HOW TO RAISE DOGS, POULTRY, PIGEONS AND RABBITS.-A useful and instructive book. Handsomely illus trated. By Ira Drofraw. No. 40. HOW TO MAKE AND SET TRAPS.-Including hintfl on how to catch moles, w ease ls, otter, rats, squirrels and birds. Also how to cure skins. Copiously illustrated. By J. Harringtom Keene. No. 50. HOW TO STUFF BIRDS AND ANIMALS.-A valu able book, giving instructions in collecting, preparing, mountinlJ and preserving birds, animals and insects. No. 54. HOW '1'0 KEEP AND MANAGE PETS.-Giving com plete information as to the manner and method of raising, keepinfR taming, breeding and managing all kinds of pets ; also giving full! instructions for making cages, etc. Fully explained by twenty eight illusj;rations, making it the most complete book of the kindl ever published. MISCELLANEous. No. 8. HOW TO BECOME A SCIENTIST.-A useful and In structive book, giving a complete treatise on chemistry; a.Iso ex periments ill acoustics, mechanics, mathematics, chemistry, and! directions for making fireworks, colored fires and gas balloone., This book cannot be equaled. No. 14. HOW TO MAKE CANDY.-A complete handbook fol!' making all kinds of candy, ice cream, syrups, essences, etc. etc. No. 19. FRANK TOUSEY'S UNITED STATES BISTANCIJ TABLES, POCKET COMPANION AND GUIDE.-Glying thci official distances on all the railroads of the United States and! Canada. Also table of distances by water to foreign ports, l)acli! fares in the principal cities, reports of the census, etc., etc., makinl it one of the most complete and handy books published. No. 38. HOW TO BECOME YOUR 0.WN DOCTOR-A won derfnl book, containing useful and practical information ih thl trea:t;ment of ordinary diseases and ailments common to everr family in useful and effective recipes for general com plaints. No. 55. HOW TO COLLECT STA.MPS AND COINS.-Con taining valuable information regarding the collecting and arrangint of stamps and coins. Handsome l y illustrated. No. 58. HOW TO BE A DETECTlVE.-By Old King Brady, the world-known detective. In which he lays down some valuabl@ and sensible rules for beginners, and also relates some adventurec and experiences of well -kno wn detectives. No. 60. HOW TO BECOME A PHOTOGRAPHER.-Contal111 ing useful information regarding the Camera and how to work it i also how to make Photographic Magic Lantern Slides and othe!<' Transparencies. Handsomely illustrated. By Captain W. De W Abney. No. 62. HOW TO BECOME A WEST POINT CADET.-Containing foll explanations how to gain ad.initfancti, c ourse of Study, Examinati'ons, Staff of Officers, Guard, Police Regulations, Fire Deparfment, and all a boy shou)Gl know to be a Cadet. Compiled and written by Lu Senarens, authol? of "How to Become a Naval Cadet." No. 63. HOW TO BECOME A NAVAL CADET.-Complete iD-> structions of how to gain admission to the Annapolis Naval! Academy. Also containing the course of instruction, descriptiolll of grounds and buildings, historical sketch, and evecythfog a bo:f should know to become an officer in the United States N11.yy. omr pi1ed and written by Lu Senarens, author of "How to Become o West Point Military Cadet." PRICE 10 CENTS EACH, OR 3 FOR 25 CENTS. Addi:osa FRANK TOUSEY, Publisher, 24 Union Square, New York.

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SECRET SERVICE OLD AND YOUNG KING BltAUY, OE'rEcrrIVES. PBICE 5 CTS. 32 PAGES. COLORED COVERS. ISSUED WEEXL Y LATES'l lS'.'!UES: Hl Tl.le Brad.vs aftel' the Pickpockets; or, Keen Work in the Shop '.>ino DistriC't 86 The Bradys on the Hoad: or, The Strauge Case oC a Drummer. H2 Tlie I'lmdys and the Broker: or. The Plot to Steal a U'ortune. 87 The Gil'! in Black: Ol', 'l'be Biadys Tl'U[>piug a Contidence Queen. '4::1 The Bradys as l{eporters: or, Working for a Newspaper. 88 Tbe Bradys in Mulberry Be!ld; or. The Boy Slaves of "Little Italy." l44 The Brad.vs and the Lost Ranche; or, The Strange Case in Texas. 8\J The Bradys Battle fol' Life; Ol', The Keen Detectives Ul'eatcst 1'Ji\ The Bradys and t h e Hignal Boy: or. the Great Trnin Robbery. l'el'il. H6 The Bradys and Hun co Bill; or. The C leverest Crook in !Sew \JO The and the Mad Doctor; Ol', The Haunted Mill in the York. The Bradvs and the Detective; or, Leagued with the \Jl The Hradys on the Hait: ol', A Mystery of t h e Lightuing Express. Customs Inspectors. IJ:! The Bradys and the Spy; o r, "'orking Against the l'olice Depart-J4S The Bradys and the Bank Mystery: or. The Search fol' a Stolen meut. 93 The Bradys' Deep Deal; Ol'. Hand-in-Glove with Crime. 1 !!! The Bradys at Cl' ippt e C reek; or. Kn ocking out the "Bad Men." 94 The Brndys in a 8nare; or, The Worst Case or All. 150 The Brndys and t h e U atbor Gang: or. Sharp Work after Dattc !15 The Bradys B eyond Their Depth: or, The Ureat i:lwamp Mystery. Ui1 Tile Hrndys in Pive l'oints: or. The Skeleton in the Cellar. 96 The Bradys Hopeless Case: o r . st l'laiu I1vidence. l :>2 l <'an To.v. t h e Opium CJueen: or, The Bradys and the Chinese 97 The Bradys at the l:l etm; or, t h e Mystery of the Hiv e r 8teamer. Smugglers. 98 'l'he Bradys in "ashington: or, Working fol' the !'resident. Tbe Brndys' !!oy Pupil: Ol'. Sifting Strange Evidenc-e. 99 ThP. Bradys Duped: or, The Cunnin \\'ork or C t evei Crooks. J ;;4 The Bradys in the Jaws of Death: or, 'l' rat>t >ing the Wire 'l'ap-100 The Bradys in 11aine: or, Sotving"the Great Camp .\lystery. p ets. 101 The Bradys on the Great Lakes; 01-, Tracking the Canalla Gang. l The B1ad.vs and the T.vpew1it er: or. The Office Boy's Secret 102 The Bradys in l\.lontana: or. The Great Copp e r Mine case. 136 and the Bandit King; o r, Chasing the Mounta;n '1?!1e nrad,YS lfen'?med In; O l'. 'l ll eir Case !n .t.\rizo n a. J04 The P.rncl.vs at Sea: or, Allot Chase Ov e r the Ocean. 1;;7 the Drug Slaves: or. The Yellow D e mons or 10!\ 'l'be Girt from [,ondon ; or, The Hrnd.v s After a ConndenS 'l'h,e.,,,eBdisa .. d "S and the Anarchist Queen, or. Running Down tlie 106 The Bradys Among t h e Chinamen; or, The Yellow l'ie11ds of the Opium Joints. J 5n The Brad.vs and the llotel Crooks: or. The Jllyster.v of l{oom 44. ;J.Oi The flrndys and the Pretty i:lhop Girt; or. The Grand Street 1L:O The Bradys and the \\'barf Hats: or. Live ly Work in the lla1-1!ystery. bor. The Uradys and the Gypsies: OI'. Chasing the Child Stealt'rs. 161 The Bradys ancl the House of Mystery: or, A Dark Nigbt'R l '!!l 'l'he. Bractys and the \\'rong Man: or, The Story of a :strange \York .\11stnk e 162 rn1e Ill'aclys' \Yinning Game: or. Pl u.ving Against the Gamble rs. 110 The l!radys Cetrayed; or, In the lla11ds of a 'l'raito1-. 163 The Bradys and the )!ail Thieves: C H'. The in tile Bag. 111 The and 'l'beir lloublcs; 01', A :>trange '!'angle or Crime. 16-1 'l'he Brad,\'S and the Hoatmen; or, The Clew Fouud in the 11.2 The Bradys in the Everglades; 01-, The 8trange Case of a Summer River. Tourist. 16:\ Tlw Rracl.vs aftrr t h e Grafte1s: or. 'l'be M.vstery in the ('ab. 11 3 The Bradys [lc!led : or, The [fa1dest Gang in New York. JG6 The Hrnd,, and the l'rossHoads Gang: or. rne Great in The Bradys in High Life, or, The Great 8ociet.v M.vster.v. Missouri. 115 'l.'he Brnd.VR Among Thieves; or. Hot W ork in the Bowery. 167 The Rradys and i\liss Urnwn: or. The Mysterious Case in So -116 The Hradys and the Sharpers; or. In Darkest :\'ew York. c iet; 117 The Bradys and the Bandits: or. Hunting for a Lost Boy. 168 T h e Bradys and tile l 'actory Girt: or. Tl1e Secret of the l'oisn1ed 118 The Brad; s in Central Park: or. The Mystery of the Mail. Envelope. 119 The Brad;1;s on their Muscle: ot'. S lrnd owing the H e d Lloo k Gang. 1(;() Tbt> nrad.rs and Blonde Hill: or, The Diamond l'hieves of Maiden 120 The Brndys Opium J oint Case: or. l:xposing the Chinese Crooks. Lane. 121 The Brad)s Girl Decoy; or. R ounding Up the t :ast-'idc Crooks. l 7() 'l'he Brad vs and the Opium [ting: or. The Clew in Chinatown. 122 'l'he Bradys Under l'ire: or. Tracking a (;nng of Outlaws. 171 The Brnci vs on the Grand Circnit: or. Tracking the Ligl.J.tl 2:; The B1adys at the Reach: o r The M.vste1 y of t h e Hath !louse. I larnegs' (;nni:. The f:radys and the Lost Gold Miue: or. lfot Work Among the 17'.! The Braclrs and the Black Doctor: or. The Secret of the Old CowlJo ) :s \'autr. 12;:; '!'be Brnctys and the Missing Girl: or. A C'IMv Found in the Dark. The Brml.vs and the Gi1t in Grey: 01. The Queen of the C'Moks. 126 The nradys and t h e Hanker: or. The Myste1.v of a l '1ensure Vault. 114 'l'he Brad.rs and the Juggler: or. Out with a \'ariety. Hl;l<>w. l:.!7 The Hradys and the Hoy Acrobat: or. Tracing up a Tllentrit'al J 7;; The Hr advs aud the :.\loonsbioers; oi. Awuv Do\.--\ n in Tenness{},e-. Case. 1'G The in Radtown: or. The Fight for' a

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