The first gun; or, Hal Maynard's strong command


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The first gun; or, Hal Maynard's strong command

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Title:
The first gun; or, Hal Maynard's strong command
Series Title:
Starry flag weekly
Creator:
Wells, Douglas
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (32 p.) 26 cm.: ;

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Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Spanish-American War, 1898 -- Fiction ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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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.
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025604962 ( ALEPH )
71126049 ( OCLC )
S52-00001 ( USFLDC DOI )
s52.1 ( USFLDC Handle )

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PAGE 1

VOL. 1 NO 3. & SMITH Publishers NEW YORK, MAY 2J, J898

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!OOKS, & a.tionerY, B lank &t Books Books* Exchan,ed. J, FliNOt, No. 590 MILWAUKEE r . ...... \ ./' I",.

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BOOKS, CIGARS, TOBACCO & CANDY. Stationery, Blank & Receipt Books. Boeks & Libraries Exchansed. J. FLINDT, No. 590 MILWAUKEE AVENUE. Starry Flag Weekly l Iss
  • 'l} at theN. Y. Po.!t O.tflc<, STREI
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    2 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. is Lteutenant Maynard; the shorter one is Lieutenant Ramirez." "Officers? What regiment?' "They belong to the Cuban army. Came over here I heard to bring the pi lots that took the fleet ciown to Havana." "They look like good stuff," said the sergeant, frankly. "They probably are, for one of the C uban generals selected them to bring over some important papers, as well as the pilots.'' "They've had better luck than we have, then," sighed the sergeant, "for they've seen action in the field. Are they credited with a big exploits?" "So I ui.1derstand; but not from them. They're not given to blowing their own trumpets. But you can see that they're only boys, and boys don't earn lieuten ant's commissions unless they do somethLHg for them. Inside, the wire was stiii clicking hotly. It was a long message that was coming over. For some minutes the operator wrote busily, at last gathering up the sheets of the dispatch and taking them into the commandant's room. Here, besides that officer, two others were seated in deep, earnest consultation. At the appearance of the operator, however, the talk ceased. Hastily the commandant ran his e y es over the written pages. By the time that he looked up the operator was goue. "It's off," remarked the commandant, frowning. "\Vhat is?" "Albertson's mission to Cuba." "The deuce!" murmured one of the l is t en e rs, while the other whisHed softly. "It looks," said the commandant, dry l y "as if Albertson had been saying a f e w words too much. The newspaper correspondents here got an inkling of his business in Cuba. '1 "I can't believe that Albertson di vulged the secret," protes t ed one of the group. "It wouldn't have leaked out if he had said nothing," retorted the coni mandant, crisply. "The newspaper men know at least that he is going to Cuba, and on an important mission. They have telegraphed their representatives at Washington to get the w!1ole story. One reporter actually harl the cheek to tele graph the Secretary of War, asking per mission to accompany Lieutenant Albert son. That was what set the department up in arms. Here is what the adjutant general has to say: 'An officer who takes the newspaper reporters into his confi dence when starting on a delicate mission is not fit to be trusted with such import ant matters.' And so Albertson is relieved from the duty." "He'II be heartbroken." "I agree with the Washington people that he should have known enough to hold his tongue. But there is something else that is bothering me. The adjutant general asks me to nominate some other officer-one who can hold his tongue and who is as well qualified in other way, as Albertson was Now, whom can I name?" "Cowan?" "He doesn't speak Spanish." "Smithson?" "Too hot-l1eaded." "Clark." "He might talk." "Now how would one of those young men answer the purpose?'' questioned one of the trio, who had risen and walked over to the window. As the commandant joined him he pointed to the two yunng lieutenants who had just been discussed by the sentinel. "CLIF FARADAY UNDER FIRE "-READ TRUE BLUE.

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    STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 3 "They're not officers," objected the commandant, quickly. "But they are Cuban officers, splendid fellows, and ones who can be trusted." ''By Jupiter!" cried the commandant, "I begin to see something in your idea. The Cuban is, of course, out of the ques tion, but Maynard is an American. Now, if he is willing to undertake the work, it wouldn't take two hours, over in Wash ington, to appoint him a second lieuten ant in the United States army. That done, he could handle the mis::.ion better than any of our officers here. Major, what do you think of Maynard? He is brave, certai1Jly." "A !ld cooJ as ice, I believe." ''He speaks Spanish, too." "And knows the Cuban woods." "By Jupiter, he is the very man, if the Washillgton people are satisfied with him." "They are likely to be, since they left the selection of the officer to your discre tioll. '' "I will sound Maynard first. If he says 'yes,' I will telegraph his nomina tion to Washington." "If you wish, sir, I will go out and ask to come in here." "Do so, 1r.ajor. But remember that I wish to see only him." In less than a minnte Hal Maynard stood in the commandant's presence. They were now the only two in the room. "Mr. Maynard," began the commandallt, at the same time looking over the young ma11 with a lollg, penetrating look, "do you feel that you are at liberty to serve in the United States army? I ask that because I take it for granted that yon enlisted in Cuba's forces." "I am at liberty, sir," responded Hal. "When we started in this direction Ramirez and I were told that if circum s t ances or inclination led us to join the American troops, instead of returning to om former posts, we were at liberty to d o so.,, "You are a Cuban lieutenant?" "Yes, sir," came proudly from Hal, as he drew out his commission signed by General Betancourt. "Would you enlist as a private in the United States army?" "Yes, sir." "Despite the fact that you are a com missioned officer in anoth. er service?" "Despite that fact, sir." "Why?" As he fired this brief interrogatory, the commandant looked at Hal more keenly than ever. "I would go as a private i11 the Ameri can army," replied Hal, "because I am an American. While I love the Cubans, the first place for me is under the flag of my own country." "Well spoken," nodded the commq_!ld ant. "Now, if you are willing to enlis a private, I need hardly ask you whether you would serve as a second lieu tenant?'' "What is that, sir?" cried Hal, spring ing to his feet. For a moment his face was suffused with joy, but his look swiftly became one of incredulity. "I mean it," said the commandant, in a way tl1at caused the look of joy to re turn to t11e youth's face. "What is your answer?'' "There can be bnt one answer to such a question. Such an appointment would make me the happiest youngster m America.'' "You would ha"e to go to Cuba." "I expected to, anyway, at the first opportunity." "You would have a long, rough jour_ ney." "I believe I am well seasoned, sir," CLIF FARADAY I N ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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    FLAG WEEKLY. smiled Hal, glancing down at his lithe, wiry, hardened body. "You would be in great danger every instant on the way." "It is there, sir, that one who is used to fighting with the Cubans feels most at home.'' "The greatest results for the United States will depend upon the success of your mission," went on the command ant. "Now," rejoined Hal, "you make me hesitate." "And why?" "Because, sir. if it is such responsible work I cannot but feel that some older, more experienced officer could do bet ter.'' ''I know something of you reputation, Maynard, and I have been studying you since you came into this room. I believe you will perform the mission ex ce1lex1tly for us. If you accept, I will teleraph the proposition to Washington. All will then depend upon the answer which I receive. In the meantime, you will say nothing of our conversation?'' "Certainly not, sir. But I have one question yet to ask you." ''Ask it at once, then. Be brief, for time is precious. "It is about my friend, Juan Ramirez. He and I are comrades. We are pledged to stand together. Whatever luck befalls one must come to both. One does not go where the other does not." "You don't expect him to be appointed a lieutenant in the American army, do you?'' demanded the commandant, look ing annoyed. "I should hesitate to go without Ramirez," spoke up Hal, firmly. "It would be a violation of our comradeship. Nor could I ask him to go with me, except on a footing of equality." "It is impossible," was the answer. "Not being an American citizen, Rami rez could not receive a commission from the president." Disappointed but steadfast, Hal rose as if to take his leave, first inquiring: "Have you anything more to say to me, sir?" "You will not go unless you can take Ramirez on an eqJ.tal footing?'' "I cannot, sir." "Then you guessed rightly. I have nothing more to say. Good-morning, Mr. Maynard.'' CHAP'fER II. THE COMMANDANT CLEARS THE WAY. As Hal, after bowing, stepped across the room, the commandant called after him : "You will say nothing about our inter-view?'' "Certainly not, sir." "Nor give any hints?" "Not a hint, sir. I :1ave promised you that, and I never go back on my word." Once more Hal turned toward the door. -"' "Oh, er-er-er, Maynard, come back a moment." Wheeling around with military precise ness of movement, Hal regained the commandant's side in exactly the same number of steps he had taken to go from there to the door. Trifles count, and this American officer noticed Hal's soldierly amount of method with a sensation of pleasure. "When are you going back to Cuba, Maynard?'' "I am not certain, sir, that I shall go back." "Surely, with all the enthusia::;m that must have led you into their ranks in the first place, you are not now tired of serv ing them?'' A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE SEE TRUE BLUE.

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    STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 5 "No, sir; but I can serve the Cubans equally well either in their own ranks or in those of the United States. The two flags wHl wave side by side. Cuba's cause is Uncle Sam's, just as Uncle Sam's quarrel will always henceforth be Cuba's. But I confess that I would rather serve under my own flag than that of the closest ally." "What, then, of your friend, Ramirez?'' "He will enlist in the United States army with me." "If he is actuated by the same feelings that you are, Maynard, I should think he would want to get back with Gomez." "The case is different, sir. The CnLans are so grateful to th1s country for its friendly support that any Cuban would be as happy serving under the Stars and Stripes as under the Lone Star of Cuba. General"Gomez has himself proclaimed that Cubans who enlist in the American army are serving Cuba as well as if under her own flag. So Ramirez, who knows my feelings, urges me to go in under Old Glory, and he will follow me." "I should like to see this Ramirez, 11 mused the commandant, aloud. "He will be entirely at your service, sir. You saw him three days ago, when we both reported to you, after coming ashore from the fleet just before it sailed." "I did not notice him much then, Maynard. To tell the truth, Maynard, I did not notice you particularly, either. I was interested in you only because you were an American under the Cuban flag. You made me think of the son of a friend of mine, young Osgood,* who died a The young Osgood here referred to was the son of Major H. B. Osgood, U.S. A., and, as the latter has a splendid Indian record, the son came of emphatically good mtlit:uy stock. Young Osgood, who was serving under Gomez at the time of his death, was a splendid gunner, who had, by gallantry, attained the rank of major in the Cuban insurgent army. Editor. hero's death in the Cuban service." Hal bowed, standing at attention as if unde cided whether he was again dismissed or not. Is Ramirez near at hand ?11 continued the commandant. "He is waiting, sir, in the yard out-side.'' "Will you ask him to come in ?11 "Certainly, sir. 11 About face went Hal, and vanished through the doorway. "Just eleven steps," mused the mandant. "He took eleven steps both times before. A real soldier, that lad. 11 Back came Hal, with Juan in tow. "Eleven steps each," pondered the commandant. Then he came at once to Lusiness. "Mr. Ramirez, I have offered your friend the prospect of a commission in the American army. 11 "ls it so ?11 asked Juan, tranquilly: "And he declines." "For a good reason, I am sure," pro tested Raimrez. "Why do you say that?" "Because," was the Cuban's answer, "although my friend is a dashing soldier in action, yet he is so prudent that he never does anything without the best of reasons.'' "Shall I tell you why he declined?" pursued the commandant. "If you will honor me with your con fidence," was the Cuban's deferential response. "But I have no doubt, though, that you can get the information direct from Maynard.'' At this insinuation, which was meant only in the way of quizzing, Hal flushed. Juan's eyes flashed as he drew himself up stiffiy. "Senor Commandante, my friend will B e st N a v al Sto ries for BoysT rue B l ue

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    6 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. tell me nothing, unless you have left him at liberty to do so." "Decidedly," murmured the American officer, "I would like to have both of these young men under me.'' But aloud he said: "Ramirez, I have asked your friend to accept a commission in the United States army because I wished to send him on a mission that can bt. intrnsteci only to an American officer." "Is it a commission of great import ance?'' queried Ramirez. "Of the greatest importance." "Then he will accept, have no fear," replied Juan, placidly. "On the contrary, he has already re fused.'' "I can think of no reason, Senor Com mandante, unless it was on my account." "And there you have hit it, my young Cuban. In short, Maynard has refused the commission because yon cannot hope receive a similar commission.'' "Our compact of friendship was to thdt effect,'' suggested Juan. "Yet, if he would accept, it would be greatly to the benefit of the United States and Cuba.'' "In that -case," quoth Juan, "I will try to persuade him. My friend," turn ing to Hal, "do not refuse on my ac count. When either the United States or Cuba can be benefited by the breaking of our agreement, it is your dUty to break it. When both the United States and Cuba can be benefited, it becomes a para mount duty." Though it was seldom that Hal hesi tated, his face now showed that he was du bions. "Confound us all," ejaculated the commander, impatiently. "Mr. Ramirez is already a lieutenant in Cuba's army. Now, if he goes with you as a Cuban officer-to which there can be no objection-why is he not yom equal, Mr. Maynard?" "That is true," cried Hal, his face brightening. ''And you accept my offer?'' demanded the commandant. "I not only accept, but I thank you heartily for clearing the way for me to accept.'' "And you won't change your mind later?'' "Do I impress you as belonging to that kind of people?'' asked our hero. "No, candidly, you don't, my boy, 11 responded the commandant, rising and shaking hands with each. "Now, take a run outside, for I must get the wires hot. We shall see whether Washington will back up my offer. If Washington approves, I shall send for yon alone, Maynard, for only the officer wl1o goes i n charge can be permitted to know the. nature of the errand.'' In the act of departing, Hal made his best bow, but Juan surpassed him by bending nearly double. "What do you think of the chance?" whispered Hal, as soon as they reached the corridor outside. "It is a glorious opportunity for you. I fear, mi amigo, that you did unwisely to refuse in the first place.'' "It was only because I objected to going unless you went, too, and on an equal footing." "A difficulty which bas been happily obviated." Meanwhile, the wires between Key West and Washington were in incessant use. An orderly sought Hal at the expira tion of two hours. "You are wanted at once at headquar ters," was the message. "Success," whispered Juan, squeezing ARE YOU A PATRIOTIC BOY? READ TRUE BLUE.

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    STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 7 h i s comrade's hand, and patting him, C uban fashion, on the shoulder. "Shall I come in, sir?" asked Hal, p ausing in the doorway of the headquarter's office. "By all means." As Hal walked across the floor to the desk he saw that the American officer was looking up at the ceiling with a thoughtful air. Yet out of the corner of his eyes the commandant was watching our hero, and saw that he again required exactly eleven steps to cross the floor. "Confound you!" grinned the commandant. "Eh ?" queried the boy. "Let us come to business. In the first place, you are appointed second lieutenant in the regular United States army. I have only to swear you in, furnish you with a uniform provided by some subaltern of your own size, and you are ready for the work. '' A lieutenant of United States regulars! That thought sent the blood coursing more swiftly through Hal Maynard's veins, brought the flush of pleasure to his face and the glad tears of patriotism to ids eyes. Turning swiftly, he rose and went over to a window from which he could see the proud bunting of Old Glory floating over the parade ground. With head uncovered, Hal reverently saluted the flag-an action which certainly did not lower him in the older officer's respect. "I am ready for your orders, sir," said Hal, coming baci::. "Here are papers drawn up by me which will explain fully what is needed. But I will say that you are to land at a point a little east of Matanzas. The officer who commands the boat that will take you to Cuba has his orders as to the place of landing. You will have twenty regular cavalrymen under your command, since, though I do not want you to fight i( you can avoid it, yet I do not wish you to be so unprotected that you would be in danger of faHing into Spanish hands. You are to reach General Gomez with the greatest speed. Now, how will you do it?" "If yon leave that part to my discretion, sir, I shall proceed as quickly as possible to the headquarters of General Betancourt, the Cuban officer who commands in Matanzas province. He will tell me exactly where General Gomez is. Betancourt will also provide me with an additional escort, besides sending out mounted scouts ahead of my party, to either flank and at the rear, in order to give me prompt notice of the presence of an:; Spanish force in my path. In that way, yon may be sure that I shall reach General Gomez safely and with the least delay." "You have given me a very clear headed plan, lieutenant. Now pay particular attention to the nature of your mlSSJon. The United States propo'ses to do three things. It will first seize the port of Matanzas, which, as you know, is not far from Havana. It will then use Matal17as, first as a base from which to send arms to General Gomez, so that he can put a larger army of Cubans iu the field. The United States will also send food to stop the starvation of the Cuban pacificos. We shall expect the Cuba army to assist in the distribution of the food. "Now, you will find out from General Gomez just how many rifles and how much ammunition he will need for the new iecrui ts he can raise. You will also find out just what assistance he can give in the distribution of the food. As to further instructions, study thoroughly tl1e papers which I have given you. BEST NAVAL STORIES FOR BOYS -TRUE BLUE.

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    ---I 8 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "Last of all, I will speak as to the '"You have been absorbed, mi amigo," method of reaching the Cuban coast. observed ]nan. "You have shut yourself Ove r in the harbor the navy dispatch boat up ever since we left the harbor of Key Everglade has steam 11p. Aboard of her, West." besides the crew, are twenty United "Pardon me, old chap, but, as you States cavalrymen and their horses. The say, I have been genuinely busy and minute you go aboar d and hand this note could .not help neglecting you. But now to Ensign Howes, he will start the Ever-for a brisk ride though the country. glade for Cuba. Now, my young friend, Though Uncle would not furnish take this other note to my adjutant, who you with a commission, he has furnished will see that you are fitted ont with uniyon with a thoroughbred horse to ride form and sword. Good-by, and remember for the next few days." how much is depending on you." Ahead were grouped the twenty cavAs Hal, after saluting, started to leave alrymen who were now under our hero's the room, Key West's commandant orders for the business in hand. turned his head to look out of the window. He could not endure, this time, to count our hero's footsteps. But as that proud and happy latest commissioned officer in the United States regulars. trod over the floor, his heels j. tapped off a message rlistinctly audible to '-'"the commandant. Eleven! CHA P'l'ER III. AMERICA'S FIRS'f TROOPS IN CUBA. "'fell Mr. Maynard that we are near ing the Cuban coast." Ensign Howes gave this or(ler to a sailor who promptly departed. To those on the deck of the Everglade the vague line of Cuba's coast hills was n o w visible though the darkness. After receiving the summons, our hero did not delay more than two minutes his appearance on deck. Those two minutes were consumed in putting away -about his own person the papers that fully explained the details of his mission teo General Gomez. Those papers he had read and re-read all the way from Key West to Cuba. He had read them until he knew their con tents by heart. Going among them, Hal gave them orders, in a quiet tone, to go down in the hold where their horses were, and pre pare animals to be led ashore. Silently saluting, these splendidly dis ciplined fellows filed below without either hurry or lagging. "Do you land at once, Mr. Maynard?" inquired Ensign Howes, joining them. "That depends somewhat upon your orders,'' answ e red Hal. ''How long can you stay here?" "My orders allow me to suit your con venience, provided only that I get well out at sea before daylight. I must take no risk of capture.'' "You can give me an hour, then?" "Very near twice that length of time, if it will serve you, Mr. Maynard." "It will serve me greatly. With such a small command as I have, and instructions against doing any unnecessary fight ing, I want to be reasonably sure that the road is free of the before debark ing my men." ''Let me be the first to go ashore, then," begged Juan, eagerly. "You volunteer?" asked Hal. "Most certainly." "There is no one who can do tlie work so well as you," replied Hal, lreartily. Are You a P atri ot i c Boy? Rea d T ru e Bl u e

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    S1ARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "If you signal back that the coast 1s clear, I shall not need to hesitate an in stant about ferrying my men ashore." "I shall scout most thoroughly; de pend upon declared Ramirez. "As soon as I am satisfied that all is well, I will reach some elevation of ground and move a light three times up and down. you see that signal, land without fear, but not until then." "Heaven speed you, old p," cried Hal, fervently wringing his chum's hanrl. "Take care of yourself, too. This would be a lonesome campaign for me if I lost your comradeship." Almost without noise & boat had been lowered, and now, with a crew of four men and a coxswain, came alongside the side gangway. Juan stepped over the side, dropping int9 the stern sheets. A push, and the men bent to their oars, soon disappearing in the darkness. After a few minutes the boat came back, without Raimrez. Arm in arm, Hal and the ensign paced the deck, keeping their gaze steadfastly shoreward. "You are quite devoted, you and the Cuban," observed Howes. -"With good cause, at least on my part," responded Hal. "Ramirez saved my life in Havana on the same day that Consul-General Lee sailed away and left me the only real American in Havana." ''You had known him before that day?" "Never saw him before that time. Can you imagine why he risked his own life to sa \XC me?" "Liked your appearance, perhaps." "Possibly, but that wasn't his reason. He served me because I was an Ameri can. You can see how strong the Cuban affection is for the people who have helped them in their struggle." "Wonderful," confessed Howes, pulling vigorously at his cigar. "So I left Havana with him," con tinued Maynard, "and together we struck out for the nearest Cuban camp. All along my heart had been with the Cubans. Next to my own flag I am anx ious to serve them." "Raimrez seems to worship you." "If he does, his feeling for me is no stronger than mine for him. To see him go under would be as bitter as to. lose a brother." Both stopped here to observe a light that twinkled on shore. Up and down it moved, three times. "Ramirez!" cried Hal. "And the coast is clear." "We will debark at once, then, Mr. Howes.'' A quick order, promptly carried _out, resulted in the launching of a flat-bot tomed scow that had been brought along for the purpose. In this craft it was proposed to take the horses, three at a time, to the shore of the little cove at the mouth of which the Everglade now lay. "Sergeant," hailed Hal, in a low voice, as he bent over the hatchway of the hold. "Yes, sir!" "Come on deck with six men." "Yes, sir." In a minute the men stood before their young commander, saluting. "Sergeant, I want you to go ashore in a small boat. Land and throw out your men in such a way as to protect our land ing against possible surprise." "Yes, sir." By the time that the sergeant had re ceived these instructions a small boat was alongside to receive the advance landing party. Then followed busy, even if prosaic, times on board the Ever_ glade. "Remember the Maine!" Read Blue, the New Naval Weekly.

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    10 STARRY l!'LAG WEEl{LY. All hands that could be spared -among the sailors assisted the soldiers in the work of transferring the timorous horses from the vessel's deck to that of the scow. 'Three at a time the animals were sent ashore. With the first three went Hal, after shaking hands with Ensign Howes. "All well, mi amigo," whispered Juan, coming forward eagerly to meet our hero as he stepped .to the beach. "No sign of enemies, eh ?'' "Not near at hand. Of course at Ma tanzas, which is but a few miies to the eastward, there are thousands of Spanish troops.'' "And what we l1ave most to fear," re joined Hal, "is discovery by small bands of patrols." "Bahl" grunted Juan. "With the splendid regulars that you have at your back we could whip a hundred such i}atrol parties.'' "But 1f one man from a patrol got away, and teturned with a sufficient force of the enemy, it would, to say tlie least, be very serious business.'' "Hal"smiled Juan. "If I did not know your splendid courage so well I should think you afraid-you are so cautious.'' "There is a big difference between cowardice and caution," replied Maynard, quietly. ".As splendidly proved by yourself," returned Juan. "Did you see the general orders issued at Key West this morni.ag ?'' smiled Hal. "I did not." "Those orders strictly prohibit all bouquet throwing." Juan looked puzzled for a few moments, before the force of this American slang dawned upon him. "By Jupiter!" thrilled Hal, suddenly, pointing out over the water. that?'' ''It is moving,'' returned whisper. "A11 animal-doubtless a human one." "It's a head." "And of a spy l" Hal was alert in an instant. "That fellow will reach s 1ore in an instant. Thunder! I must head him off. Sergeant, take care of these papers of mine.'' As H::.l spoke, he thrust the packet into Sergeant Brown's hands. His next move carried liim toward one of the horses which stood ready for work. "I will go with you, mi amigo," uttered Juan. "No; stay here." Chug! chug! sounded the hoofs of Hal's mount as that animal pounded the soil. Juan sprang toward another horse, but Sergeant Brown stepped in his way. "Where are you going, sir?" "To the support of my friend." "Did you not hear Lieutenant Maynard's orders to stay here?'' "Pooh! He would keep me out of danger which I would share with him." ''Pardon me, Mr. Ramirez, bnt we are all under the lieutenant's orders." "I am going after him," insisted Ram Irez. "If you attempt it, sir, I shall have to place yon under arrest.'' Very wide indeed did Juan open his eyes at this. He was getting his first personal taste of the strict discipline Qf the United States regulars. Meanwhile, Hal was second man in a furious chase. No sooner had he seen that head moving in a straight line from the Everglade to the shore than he divined that a Span ish spy, having succeeded in stowing REMEMBER THE MAINE I "-READ TRUE BLUE, THE NEW NAVAL WEEKLY.

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    STARHY FLAG WEEKLY. 11 himself away at Key West, was row headed for the shore, bent upon carrying warning to the nearest Spanish military commander. At the first sound of galloping, the man in the water knew that discovery and pursuit were upon him. Hal had some distance to go around the bend of the cove; the Spaniard was not more than a few yards from the beach. How he swam All his strength was now exerted, bringing him to the shore with a few frantic strokes. On his feet-up and off! Like the wind ran that Spaniard, leaving Hal Maynard much more than a hundred yards to the rear. "On, old chap! You've got to go!" breathed Hal Maynard, bending low over his horse's neck. "Uncle Sam's glory lies in the swiftness of your feet!" Man against horse l Not always is the race to the latter, as Maynard soon found. "That rascal must have winged feet!" muttered our hero, digging his spurs in deeper than ever. "Jupiter! how he sprints Looking backward over his shculder, Jhe Spaniard seemed to put on a fresh spurt. Both pursuer and pursued were now headed along a road that led gradually away from the water. Fast as the fugitive went, however, Hal was confident of catching him. "He'll run and get wi 'nded," breathed the young lieutenant. "So will my horse. When that happens, I can jump to the ground and start in fresh. Helloblazes!'' For the road turned, and the Spaniard, still in the lead, was now out of sight. "If he takes to the woods," gritted Ral, "my job will be to guess which way he went. Eh ?" Hal reined up with a yank. Behind a tree lurked the Spaniard, coolly drawing a bead upon our hero. Only the second after discovery he fired. The shot missed Maynard's head by only a couple of inches. Hal's revolver was in his hand, ready. Quick as a flash he raised it. Whizz! Like a boomerang it hurtled through the air. Chug! The bottom of the butt landed forcefully between the fellow's eyes. Down went Spain, vanquished by a trick old to the Cubans. Hal's splendidly trained horse stood still. Out of saddle sprang the young lieu tenant, bending over his fallen foe "Stunned-and hard, too!" gritted the boy. '"Twon 't do to be slack, though." In a jiffy he had the spy's hands lashed together. The feet were done an i11stant later, followed by the in wedging of a gag. Tap-tap! tap-tap! tap-tap! came hie sound from up the road. ''Horsemen? Blazes!" vibrated Hal. It took him but a few second:s to run his horse in well under the trees. Then, sabre and revolver in hand, with the Spaniard's weapon thrust into his belt, Hal waited and watched. On came the enemy, seven in number -a cavalry sergeant followed by six mounteu Spanish soldiers. Squarely in front of Hal, less than thirty feet away, the squad halted. "I can not have been deceived, m u t tered the sergeant, turning to his two foremost men. "It was a shot that we heard. We will ride forwa..rd slowly until we learn the meaning of it.'' But from a trot the horses now moved at a mere amble. There was no fun in being ambushed at night! No man could have been more alert than that Spanish sergeant. TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS.

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    12 S'fARRY FLAG WEEl(LY. Three or four times, in the next same number of minutes, he halted his men. "Oh! Ah! Car-r-r-r-ramba !" suddenly growled the sergeant, halting his squad just within sight of the cove. Though the darkness of the night was not conducive to good vision, the sergeant could see quite enough to startle him. "Car-r-r-r-ramba !" he repeated,._pas sionately. "Queer work is going on here! A steamer, and men landing something from it. I thought the Cuban snakes had abandoned filibustering, now that the Yankee pigs are openly helping them to carry on the war.'' Then, suddenly recollecting his duty in the matter, the sergeant wheeled about. Ere his men could follow him-before the sergeant himself had ridden six feet, there was a sudden commotion in the bushes around them. "Submit, or die!" came the startling in Hal Maynard's ringing l voice-a summons backed up by a dozen riflt-s in the hands of United States regulars. CHAPTER IV. ''REMEMBER THE MAINE!'' "Car-r-r-r-ramba !" uttered the astounded sergeant. "Well," demanded Hal, coolly, "have you surrendered." "Per Bacco! Never!" growled the sergeant. "It is not the way that Spain's sons fight." "Very well," jeered Hal. "Fight, then. He whO' faises his hand to use a weapon dies." The surprise was too complete, the "drop" too perfect for even desperate action. Sullenly the Spanish soldiers slid out of their saddles, one after the other. "Very good," admitted Hal. "Now drop your weapons, and stand under guard.'' It was galling to obey, but death to refuse. Three minutes later Hal marched down upon the beach with his prisoners. Picking out three of his men to accom. pany him, our hero dashed quickly up the road. 'rhe capture of the patrol squad thrilled him with delight, though the young lieu. tenant was forced to admit that, had the Spanish sergeant moved his men more quickly, their capture 111ight not have occurred. To get back in time, Hal had been forced to leave the spy in the woorls. That rascal had not escaped, however, in the interim. He lay just as his captor had left him. Dismounting, Hal severed tl1e lashings around the fellow's feet. "I wonder if you could run fast?". mused Hal aloud, while he lifted the spy to his feet and started toward the road with him. Pierson, hold this fellow a minute.'' While the private grabbed the spy by the collar, Maynard sprang into saddle. Over the pommel a lariat was coilecl. Hal uncoiled this. The spy, facing in another direction, did not witness the proceeding. "Got him headed toward Matanzas, Pierson?" hailed Lieutena11t Hal. "Yes, sir." "I want to see him make good time. Turn him loose!" Though he could hardly believe his ears, the Spaniard gave a leap the instant he felt himself released. His rest ha d not destroyed his sprintmg powers. He flew like a thing of steam. After him pelted Hal. Whish! It was. a clean, swift, straight throw. DAVE Y O U IEAD TRUE BLUE?

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    STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 13 Over the spy's neck the noose fastened, a terrifying omen of what fate held in store for him. So well was it thrown, so skilfully drawn tight, that ti1e spy did not lose his balance, but ha1ted, standing sullenly in the middle of the road. What a world of hate there was in his eyes as he glared at this masterful young lieutenant! "Now listen to me, my man," said Hal, sternly. "You can run well enough when you want to. If you keep up with my horse you '11 travel to the beach on your feet. If you try to drag, you '11 coast on your back, with more or less strain on your neck. Come along!'' Hal started his horse at a trot, the spy keeping at His side, while behind rode the three troopers. In this ordt!r they reached the beach. Hal surveyed the result of his work with a good deal of grim pleasure. "Seven Spanish horses, seven prisoners of war, and one spy," he chuckled. "Not a bad consignment to ship to Uncle Sam, 1 and best of all without a shot fired.'' 1 )I In twenty minutes the last of the horses -1 and prisoners was aboard the Everglade, which lost no time in steaming out to sea. t } "Those soldiers are fortunate," smiled 1 Juan. "They will be well fed, will have no fighting to do, and will go back to Spain, sleek and happy, at the end of the 1 war.'' \ ''I find myself almost pitying that i spy," put in Hal. "He can look forward f to nothing but a hanging." 1 "And now, mi amigo?" questioned Juan. Our work lies before us." "You will want a guide." "And am fortunate to have one in you. Juan, I will ask you to go ahead with two of the men. Whenever the road changes, leave one man at the turn to notify us." Juan saluted, adding: "Thus will your advance be safe. But the rear, mi amigo?" "I shall have two men well at the rear. We shall be safe against all but ambush. Of that we must take our chances." After Juan, accompanied by the two regular troopers had galloped off, Hal waited a full minute before giving the word to start. Meanwhile, he detailed two of the best of his men with these orders: "Give full minute's start. Then follow. At the first sign of the enemy, one of you ride forward to report to 11111, while the other will come on at the speed that dictate." A night of hard riding resulted in cov ering twenty miles before daybreak. At first sign of the dawn Hal halted his command in a sheltered ravine. Breakfast was in order, but first of atl the young lieutenant posted six verlettes at points each two hundred yards from camp. This done, breakfast was eaten with a feeling of security in the heart of the enemy's country. In a half an hour the command went forward again, Juan and the two scouts keeping well to the fore, while another pair safeguarded the rear. Five miles were covered in this fashion when one of the advance guard rode furiously back. "There is a cross-roads just ahead, lieutenant," reported the soldier. "It crosses this road at right angles. On that road a Spanish column is approaching. When I left the head of the column was a quarter of a mile from the junction.'' "The number o f t h e enemy?" de manded Hal. HAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE?

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    14 S'fARRY FLAG WJSEKLY. "About fifty horsemen; probably two hundred infantry." "Ride back. Ask Mr. Ramirez to get under shelter.'' As the soldier rode off, Hal dispatched a man back to the rear guard, then moved his main command forward at a gallop. The junction of the road was not far off. Before the first Spaniard ca me in sight, Hal's corr"mand sat grouped under the trees where they could not be seen from the road. Only Hal and Juan, leaving their horses under the charge of troopers, stole close to the road. Lying flat on the ground, screened by the two boys saw the Spanish cavalry ride into sight. "Careless rascals," w bispered Hal, in his comrade's ear. "They have no ad vance guard ott t." Right behind the cavalry marched tl:]_e 1ufai1t ry. Hal looked into Juan' s eyes, the latter nodding. Both understood the meaning of the scene. Captain General Blanco, now he had the Yankees to fight as well as the Cubans, was moving every detachment of Spanish soldiers from interior points toward the coast. These soldierc; now passing were doubtless bound for Matanzas. "What sport it would be to attack them," whispered J uan. "When they saw Uncle Sam's they would believe that the whole Yankee army was at hand. Panic would give their hearts and their feet the same speed. Try it, mi amigo. It would be rare sport to see a Spanish column run from a score of Yan kee soldiers!" Hal's head swayed a resolute negative. "My orders, you know, Juan. No unnecessary fighting." "Yet you would be sure to win. The Americans you command are brave fellows who would rid e in):o the very jaws of death. But there would be little dan ger this time, for panic would do more than Yankee bullets to set our enemies running." "My orders forbid it," repeated Hal. "There is no danger," insisted Juan. "There will always be dauger," rejoined Maynard, "when American officers learn to disregard their orders." Newest officer of Uncle Sam though he was, the spilit of the United States army spoke in Hal Maynard when he uttered those words. American history would have been different were our officers heedless of their orders. There have been exceptions, it is true, but these exceptions are at the root of what few have been made in our century of campaigns. "Well, the column is past," sighed Juan, as the last Spanish soldier trudged out of sight. "We can go on our way unmolested." "I must wait a few minutes," replied Hal. "These fellows had no ad vance guard, but are we equally sure that they have no men at the rear?'' It was not very long after Hal bad spoken that the roll of wheels was borne to their ears "A carriage?" grunted Juan. "Who can ride over wheels 111 these stirring times?" "Waiting will answer oursmiled Hal. "Here comes the vehicle now." In silence both boys watched. A Spanish soldier sat on the box. In the vehicle itself rode four officers, one of them, on the rear seat, being a colonel_. That worthy, as he rode along, surveyed somt: papers spread on his knee, while the other three officers gave close attention. "General Blanco," smiled the colonel, BEST NAVAL STORIES FOR BOYS-TRUE BLUE.

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    ::>'rARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 15 "will welcome these papers. Our fellow who procured them served three months with the Cuban army. He was a clever r ogue, and well paid, as you may guess." Jupiter!" blazed Hal. "If Blanco wants those pape rs, General Miles might want them, too!" Less than a minute later Lieutenant Hal Maynard's command struck the road a t a sharp trot. Jarring on the air came a thunderous shout of: the Maine!" Second P a r t CHAPTER V. H A L S P R E C I P I C E. "Remember the Maine!" The sternest battle cry that the world has known! As it rang out in that Cuban forest the thunder of hoofs prefaced the storm of Jwstilit y that was soon to break. Eyes flashed, breath came hard. Unc)e Sam's troopers took tighter grip of the l1ilts of their sabres as their horses tore along the road. In those few swift moments a great change came over the occupants of -... carnage. The colonel thrust his delightful papers into this pocket. The captain opposite him leaped to his feet, steadying his hands on the door, for the driver had whipped his horses into a run. A glance told the captain that the squad in pursuit were not Cubans. "The Yankee pigs!" he shouted, starina witl1 eves that threatened to bulge ., from their sockets. "Drive fas ter!" roared the colonel, even before he turned around for a l ook at the pursuers. But the jaded beasts were making the b est speed they were capable of. ''American soldiers?'' gasped the colonel. '' vVe are already invaded then?'' His Spanish mind could not grasp the idea that anything less than an army of Yankees was in Cuba. "My men ahead will run into a snare," he faltered. "Captain, you persuaded me that we did not need an advance and now we are am bushed.'' "There is no firing ahead, as yet," re plied the captain, who was beginning to recover his nerve. "Charge!" shouted Hal, riding at the head of his men. There was a wild hurrah as the Ameri can horses broke into their best speed, then again the ringing shout: "Remember the Maine!" "Now, why can't the accursed Yan kees stop thinking of their growled the Spanish colonel. But Americans never will forget the Maine! flashed in the sunlight as the detachment gained upon the carriage. Not a fire-ann was drawn, so perfect was the discipline of these splendid troopers. "They are not going to fire upon us," cried the major, in the colonel's party. "They do not dare to, the pigs!" jeered the young Spanish lieutenant, who had but lately left his home in sunny Valen cia to join the in Cuba. Hal had his sabre drawn. There was no time to sheath it on that wild ride Catching it between his teeth, he un coiled the lariat that hung at his saddle's pommel. Nearer! Every se c ond saw a foot gained on the carriage. As pursuers closed in upon pursued, Hal swung the lariat. Swish! With unerring pre c ision, Hal Maynard threw the noose over the SpanA NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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    16..-STA.RRY,iFLA..G. !WEEK(LY; :ish colonel's head, just as the fight opened in earnest. Back! Hal's horse stopped short, falling almost on its. haunches. For a second only the raw-hide line strained. It was of too good material to break. Carriage and colonel parted company, the latter performing a by no means graceful curve as he plunged through the air, landing flop upon the ground. All around the heads of the American trooyers a hail of lead passed. Bttt the Spaniards were so badly rattled tha 1ot a shot took serious effect. As for Hal, he halted short with his somewhat distinguished prisoner, the detachment riding to right and left around him and keeping on in chase. Badly shaken up, Hal's prisoner still lay in the road when or hero dismounted and knelt beside him. "You accursed Yankee pig!" grunted captive. ''All the compliments of the season to you," retorted Hal, jeeringly. "And now to business-no, don't try to sit up if you want to live!" For the colonel, while trying to get at the sword that was under him, had also attempted to get upon his feet. He desisted as soon as he found himself glancing down the polished steel tube of a cavalry revolver. "You impudent pig!" he bellowed, but lay down again in the road. "I haven't much to say to you," jibed Hal, "but I want those papers. I mean to have them!" "What papers?" queried the Spaniard, trying to look surprised. "The papers which gave y ou so much pleasure in the anticipation of the delight they would afford General Blanco.'' "I have no such papers. "Don'llie to me. I mean to have them promptly, or I shall blow the top of your head off!'' "And is this the way tlie boastful Yankees treat prisoners of war?'' The colonel .'s tone was triumphant, as if he felt he had scored a point. But he found Hal hard as iron "Submit thoroughly, and you shall have no cause to complain of your treatment. Trifle with me and you do it at your own great coast. For you should know, colonel, that I served with the Cubans before entering the American army." "I have some papers, but did not think them of great value," confessed the prisoner, who, gazing into Hal's face, saw stern lines forming taround the young American's mouth. "Doubtless they are the papers I want," rejoined Hal. "Produce them." "Certainly," cringed the Spaniard. "But may I first sit up, Senor Lieutenant?" ''Yes,'' accorded Hal, briefly. No sooner had his back left the dust than the Spaniard accommodatingly thrust one hand inside his coat. He fumbled there slowly, Hal watching him with lynx-eyed vigilance. "No, none of that!"interposed our hero, swiftly detecting the nature of the move. ''If you handle that knife too quickly, colonel, you will need a new top on your head. Now do the thing properly by drawing the knife out an inch at a time. Lay it carefully on the ground, remembering that I am a pupil of the Cubans in the matter of quick shooting." Fuming, C\l!Sing, the Spaniard obeyed. "Now," persisted relentless Hal, "the papers. Consult your safety by not making any mistake this time." There was much more low-toned cursing before the Spaniard deposited in one CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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    S'l'ARt'R'Y 'FLAG WEEKLY.; 17 two folded ments. "The rest of the papers," ordered May"There are no more." "The rest of them, sir!" "I have no more, I tell you." "You lie!" Under the Spaniard's brown skin the white he a t of anger appea red But Hal remained itinnovable "Come, come, colonel, I hav e alre ad y wasted upon y ou more time than I should give a general. If you treat me with such scant politeness I shall be sorry for my patience. It is a fault that I can quickly remedy. The rest of the p a pers five second s or--" Hal did not fini s h. The slow rising of the hammer of his revolver was eloquent with meaning. The colone1 saw it, knew that his Ilfe now hung by a slender thread. Sweating with fear and humiliation, he thrust hi s hand into his pocket, bringing out two more documents. "Thank you," said Hal, stiffiy. "M. i amigo," softly breathed Juan, who had com e up behind our hero, "how did yon know that this dog had more ?" "I didn't exactly know it," smiled al, signing to two of his returned troop to take charge of the colonel. "I only guessed it. My threat worked however, as you see. '' "Oh, I begin to understand, mi go," smiled Ramirez. "Your threat, n was what you Yankees call a preci, "Well, som ething of the sort," )aughed Hal, though the word we genery employ is 'bluff. Fifty yards away Sergeant Brown had ,.,.. .. "" the d etachment. Without the loss of a man, without so much as a painful wound sustained, Americ a s soldiers had captured the trio of fireeating but poor-shooting Spanish officer s Stripped of their arms, they now lay sullenly back on the cushions of the carriage while beside the Spanish soldierdriver on the box sat one of Hal's men. "Dump this dog in the baggage wagon also," ordered Hal. "Wait a minute, though. Search through a ll of his pockets first. He m ay have more papers.'' Though he curs ed, the Spaniard wa s forced to submit. Still another document was brought to light. ''I called you a Ilar a moment ago,'' said Hal, looking squarely into the coJouel 's eyes. "It is a poor business for the victor to insult his unfortunate foe. Had it not been that yott have proven y ourself a liar twice over, I would feel obliged to apologize to you for my rude ness. As it is, allow me to assure you of my well-grounded contempt." Into the carriage climbed the colonel, while a mounted soldier was placed on either side as guard. Reforming his men, Hal gave the order to move. It was full time that they did so, for the Spanish column ahead, warned by the shots, was now hurrying back over the road. As Hal's men started, the first of the infantry of the enemy appeared in sight. "Stay and give those brave fellows your insults,'' jeered the blazing colonel. But Hal, unheeding him, gave the order to gallop. CHAPTER VI. IN A 'l'RAP. Twenty minutes of hard riding put the Ilttle American command past the danger of being overtaken. True, the Spanish cavalry, by hard TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS.

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    \ j ) 18 :STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. riding, might have come up with the, to them, detested Yankee!:i, but this would take them away from the support of tneir infantry-a proposition that the Spanish captain of horse ap.parently did not care to entertain. With advance and rear guards out once more, Hal now gave the order to slow down to the usual trot of a forced march. After a few minutes, however, our hero, digging spurs into the flanks of his mount, rode forward and overtook Rami rez. "Juan, my dear fellow, how much further do you think we must go before we overtake General Betancourt?'' "He covers the whole province of Ma' tanzas," was the Cuban's answer. "As I am quite well aware, my boy, having served under him. But do you not know of some one in this neighborhood whom you can find and get the informa tion?" Juan slowly shook his head. ''The horses are becoming badly fagged," continued Maynard. "Ten miles more of this work will show their finish. We will wait until the main detachment comes up, and then order a halt for two hours.'' This was done, the horses being eased of their saddles and put out to browse. Yet Hal, accustomed to the battle sur prises of the Cuban woods, did not fail to post half of his men at different points to give timely warning of any arproa' ch. During that halt the Spaniard, who proved to be Colonel Zomaya, spent much of his time by glaring ferociously at the soldier w1JO, with loaded carbine over his shoulder, paced around the carriage. Finally, however, he shifted his regard to Hal. "Come here, you pig," he ordered, insolently. "Speaking to me?" laughed amused by the other's impotent rage. ''Of course,'' was the retort, foll by the sneering addition: "To be I shot)ld have specified which wanted to see." ''Your pleasure, colonel?' 1 asked nard, ignoring the insult that was tended to provoke him. "You are brutal," roughly. "While you rest you do not give the same human beings." "What do you wish?" "We all of us need to riage, that we may walk about and cise our legs.'' "Sergeant," called Hal, came up. "Let these prisoners ten minutes for each. walk just behind the prisoner who ex cises, and instruct him to be vigilant." Brown saluted, and turned to a soldi who stepped up. .. "I refuse, on any such terms," put Zomaya, haugl!tily. "Very well, then," retorted Hal, ing upon his heel. Sergeant Brown followed our saluting and saying, respectfully: "Lieutenant, sir, I wish you'd let discipline that haughty braggart a It's roili11g our boys to see you take much insulting cheap talk." "Does it worry you?" queried good-natnredly. Sergeant Brown's answer was prom and to the point. "It does, lieutenant, and it makes t boys mad. They're gettiug up to boili pitch. I've been an enlisted man in t army for twenty-five years, lieuten and I know wheu the boys are getting the danger point, no matter how qu they ;nay appear on the surface." A NAY AL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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    STARRY FLAG WE!o:KLY 1 9 "Do you know, sergeant. why Zomaya Halting aga1n, they made frantic t alks to me as he does? Let me teli yotl. signals. It's something like the piau the Span-"Danger!" read Hal, from Juan's i ards were discussing a year ago, in the earnest signals. "Sergeant, bri n g the event of war with the United States. detachment along at the same speed tin They were talking about landing an army less I signal you either to hasten forward of twenty thousand men in Florida. or ttfrn and ride back.'' F rom there, their idea was to march As soon as he had issued this order, u pon Washington and capture it." Hal set spurs to his horse. A broad grin appeared on Brown's face. Never did soldier sit with a better seat "Now, sergeant," went on the young in saddle than Lieutenant Maynard did lieutenant, ".lomaya's impertinence is a now. Behind him trailed clouds of dust, piece off the same goods." wbich did not, however, blind his admir"I'm afraid I don't see the point," ing men to the superb horsemanship h e r eplied Brown, slowly, aud scratching his had learned in the Cuban service. h ead. Sergeant Brown, in particular, nodded "Well, the point is right here," quoth his approval. Lieutenant Hal, his eyes twinkling. "I've been a yellov.t leg for twentyfive ''The Spanish don't know any better!'' years,'' he muttered, glancing down at "Lieutenant," cried the sergeant, the broad yellow cavalry stripe that straightening up and saluting with far adorned his trouser's leg, "but I never more than ordinary respect, "you're a served under a likelier youngster, nor do wise young man. I admire you, sir, for I want to." your patience." Ramirez had already dismounted, "If the men are meditating anything handing his bridle to one of the pair of unsoldierly," went on Hal, "talk to them troopers with him. quietly and prevent a disturbance." Flat in the dust at the top of the hill "I'll do better than that, sir, with lay the little Cuban, gazing at what was r permission," chuckled Sergeant beyond with shrewd eyes that lost no n, with another sq.lute. "I'll tell detail. your story." his chum, Hal dismounted, hurrying forward and crouching near Which he did, and with presumably him. d effect, for within two minutes broad "What's wroflg, old chap?" he ns were the fashion in that little camp. queried here was risk in this long halt, yet "Spaniards," whispered Juan. t such rest the command would "They always were wrong," quoth have been unable to go further. Hal, blithely. At the end of the two hours both horses "Mi amigo, this is n o laughing mat d men were in much better condition ter., go forward. "Blazes!" uttered Hal. "When my With the same precautions as before, Cuban friend sees more Spaniards than tenant Hal resumed the march. he wants to, things are rad:cally wrong." Perhaps five miles had been made when ''Look,'' muttered Juan, sententiously. detachment struck a long, sloping Hal glanced over the top of the hill which terminated in a hill. and down the road on the other side. Here, frod! where Hal rode, he could "Thunder!" he exclaimed, a look of both advahce and rear guard. deep anxiety settling on his face. "Thunder!" he suddenly muttered. "We are in a trap, mi amigo." hat's wrong?" "'I h ld bl d H 1 s ou say so, grum e a F or Juan and the two soldiers ahead whitening. r eached the crest of the hill. What he saw was fully six hundred O nly an instant did they loiter there Spanish infantry coming up the hill. turning their horses' heads to ride They bad left the road, deploying into some fifty feet. th e fields i n skirmis hi n g order. Naval Cadet s Torped o Boat Command." See True Blue

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    20 S l'ARl'l.Y FLAG WEEKLY. In either flank, and considerably in advance, were fifty Spanish cavalrymen all riding hard. "They saw the Yankee uniform. They are crazy!" mumbled Ramirez. "Seven hundred men against twenty," discovered Hal making swift estimate of the enemy. "That's tough odds against even Uncle Sam's regulars." Then he up, his eyes flash ing. "Tough as it is," he ejaculated, "we'll do something "Too late to retreat," warned Juan. "The flanking cavalry of the enemy will prevent that." "I've no orders to retreat," flared back Hal. "My orders are to go forward!" "Bueno!" (good) cheered Juan. "There's only a choice between fight and surrender,'' went on Hal Maynard, swiftly. He ran back to his horse mounted rode to the crest of the hill, Juan also return ing to saddle and joining his chum. Up came the regulars on a brisk trot. Hal's uplifted sabre halted them. "My men," cried Hal, pointing ahead, "there are the enemy. They are on our flanks, too. There is only a choice be tween fighting and surrender. To fight means to die; to surrender means months, perhaps, in Spanish dungeons. Which do you chcose ?" Like a peal of thunder came back the cheering answer: "Fight!" "Good! I was sure of you!" Colonel Zomaya and his companions stared hard in utter amazement. Were these Yankees mad, to ride to instant death? "We shall soon change places, senor!" jeered the colonel But Hal paid no attention to him. He was quietly surveying both his own men and the enemy. "Unsling your carbines, he com manded, qneitly. "Be ready for the order to fire. At cl o se range let t he carbines h ang and be ready to draw sabres." Quietly, and with precision of cl ockwork, the men obeyed By this time the battle line of the Spaniards was a quarter of a mile away "Unless they fire," said Hal, "I let them cover up half the distance. they fire, we must open the charge they are still aiming their pieces. "Now, my men, I have someth serious to say to you. Of course we know that we cannot win. Yet it is ble that at least one man will be a ride through the line to the other side. "Sergeant, if I fall, you will take papers, and try to ride on with them. you fall, let the work depend upon man nearest you. Whoever gets thro the Spanish line alive, if one there who does, he must not stop riding he can place the papers in Ge Gomez's hands." Two lines of nodding heads confron Hal. "I can trust every one of you in th scrimmage, I am sure," added Hal. "Shure," growled Corporal Casey, can depind upon regulars to foight at t drop av the handkercher, an' foight until the handkercher covers the dead Spa iard's face!" Quiet and determined sat that score men. When the word came forw3rd, would be to ride to death, but what d they care? The bullet is the soldier's Below the hill on either side the ....... .. ... ish cavalry had now galloped to the of the little American detachment. "They want to ride up behind us smiled Hal. "Too bad! We shan't here when they arrive!" Hal's eyes now told him that the rect distance intervened between his men and the Spanish front. Like pistol shots the young ant's s11arp commands rang out: "Forward! Trot! gallop! Fire at will!" CHAPTER VII. THE STAKES\ OF WAR. With a ringing cheer the men follow Five yards ahead of the sergeant Hal, Juan close at our hero's side. Just before giving the order tc Hal swerved to the right flank, his chu following. Crack! rang the rifles It was w work. There was death in every von BEST NAVAL STORIES FOR BOYS-TRUE BLUE

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    ST.UtRY FLAG WEEKLY. 21 these men of Uncle Sam's, who harl ed thei-r work in Indian campaigns, splendid sharpshooters. Every man fired but one, the private beside the Spanish driver on the the vehicle containing the pris-vehicle kept close behind the of gallopping horsemen, while the on the box sat so that he could equal attention to the driver and the s behind. Not a shot came up the road from the y. The Spanish, bred in different tradifollowed their invariable course a charge of cavalry. Like magic their skirmish line closed With bayonets fixed, they knelt to the hollow square. "Fire at will," was still the orrler with rushing horsellJen. Their magazine carbines were fitted firing twenty shots a minute. B efore the impact many a Spanish ier bit the dust. Behind the hollow square:: a cloud of rose. It came nearer, passed the square. r horses were swiftly detached and led the rear, while a dozen men sprang d the machine thus left in position. "Jupiter!" breathed Hal. e machine now trained on them was .. gun. S wift as thought it went into action, 'ng bullets at the Vankees at the rate sev eral hundred per minute. Chugging the ground, these balls a tremendous cloud of dust, and that was all they did do. nt Brown had led half of the mand to the left, the rest fo11owing to the right. e carriage now alone occupied the in fr ont of the Gatling fire. the box sat the soldier, still with e yes on those directly under his ready like any one of Uncl e s h eroes to die at his post U'llp !'' roared Hal, looking bac k r mind the prisoners.'' t order, sounding above t he Gat-ling's barking, came barely in the nick of time. Without the loss of a second, the private leaped to the -ground. As he sprang, his hat fell behind him. Before it touched the ground, a bullet from the Gatling passed through it. Like clods both horses attached to the carriage fell to the earth. The driver, jumping wildly down, was riddled, expiring before he had time to moan. Through the carriage tore the fire of the devasta6ng Gatling gun. Ere the prisoners in it had time to rise and show their uniforms they were drilled through and through. Nothing lived in path of that fear ful machine gun. Lying straight out on their horses' backs the regulars cuntinued their charge, still firing, still scoring! "Cease firing!" shouted Hal. "Sling carbines! Draw sabres! At them, boys!" Barely a hundred yards now separated the American troopers from the hollow square. "Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" A stirring, rousing American cheer,_ that! It was the same cheer that has often led our men on to brilliar.t victory. It now carried this handful of gritty Americans to no less brilliant death! Hal fell back on the extreme right of his line At his right rose Juan, now standing in his stirrups, swinging his formidable machete. Bang! Between the two lines, fast closing in, flew a sudden deadly fire Fifty rifles must have There was time to fire but a single volley. None save sharpshooters would have dared chance that single volley, for it was fired against the troops of Spain, and Cubans were behind the guns that flashed. "Viva Cuba libre !" White uniforms swarmed o u t of t h e nearest wo o ds as the Cuban patriots' battle cry smote the air. "Viva Cu b a libre !" A hundred throats grew hoa r se with lAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUt

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    22 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. the yell as Uncle Sam's allies sprang into "Save who can I" the fight. That despairing shout set the retreat Back came the answering American motion. slogan: Atta.cked at once on all sides, th "Remember the Maine!" was little choice of direction in which "Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" run. Just back of the now useless but still It was helter-skelter, pellmell flight. barking Gatling, Sergeant Brown led his One company, commanded by a Spa half of the detachment close to Hal's. ish captain of superior courage, refu Once more the command was reunited. to budge. With the valor of a whole troop of cav-Crouching men, with bayonets fixed, alry, this score of riders fell upon the formed the outer line of the hollo'R nearest hollow square, hacking, slashing, square. shooting. Inside, a second line fired fast and furi. Bang! ous over the heads of "their kneeling comUpon the left of the Spaniards another rades. raking volley came. Formiug his men in one, platoon, wit "Viva Cuba libre !" sabre and pistol drawn, Hal led them Out of another patch of woods rushed ward against the nearest side of th another company of Cubans. square. Yet the Spaniards held their ground, Back from the fringe of glistening some firing, some depending upon the bayonets shied the horses. abatis of bayonets provided by the hollow Uncle Sam's regulars were now in square. broken line. Cuban horsemen rushed Up on the crest of the hill appeared the their support. cavalry sent to attack the Americans in In between the blue coats appeared the rear. white coats. Their commander looked down, saw Cuba and Uncle Sam were fighting to. what was happening, and halted his gether at last! men. It was a short, glorious, effective fight. "AI machete!" America's troopers, well supplied with Over all the din of carnage that smote cartridges, speedily broke the hollow the air rose that cry most dreaded by the square line. Spanish troops in Cuba. Sorely pressed, dismayed, the Span "AI machete!" iards raised the despairing shout of: It was the batHe-cry of Cuban cavalry"Save who can 1" men. Despite the frantic appeals of th rca Wherever it is heard, it presages a tain, they broke and ran, only to be c charge of the wildest description. down, in most cases, with their backs It means the touch of cold steel, for the enemy. the Cuban cavalry never fire as they ride, The fight was over, superior tactics and but depend upon the slashing, crushing strategy winning the day for the allied work they can do with their fearful Americans of the United States and machetes. Cuba! Cuban first fighting is all infantry From the top of the hill the Spanish work. Never do the cavalry ride upon cavalry had disappeared, without firing a the scene until the dav is gained for shot or striking a blow. Cuba. Not caring to pursue fleeing foes, Hal It is the task of the cavalry to had rallied his command. and cut down the fugitives of the enemy. It had not escaped unscathed. Four "Al machete!" men were wounded-one terribly, and It is the yell that freezes all the blood that one was Corporal Casey. in a Spanish soldier's veins. "Ye can't do much for mesilf," gasped Nor did they wait, on this occasion, to the corporal, whose every word gave him face the wild rush of Cuban cavalry. intense pain. Clif Faraday Under Fire.'' Read True Blue.

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    STARIW FLAG WEEKLY. 23 Both arms hung limp and useless by his sides, the bones shattered by bullets. A glancmg shot had gouged out one of his eyes, alter breaking the bridge of his nose. Another Mauser bullet had plowed through both cheeks. In his left sine a bullet was imbedded. ''Ye can't do much for me," herepeated, as he saw Hal's pitying look. "The Cubans must have a doctor with them. We'll send for him," replied Hal, rising after resting his hand sympathetically on corporal's forehead. "If there's a saw-bones around," urged Casey, "save him for the fellies he can do some good. This Casey's done for. I,'ve seen enough men go the same way to know, for I've served west for fourteen year: Lieutenant, darling, I'm proud to have served under a dashing felly like yersilf in me lasht foight. Now, will yez be good enough to ask Jim Brown to stip this way?" Hal went himself in search of the sergeant, who promptly answered the summons. "Sergeant," murmured the corporal, whose each succeeding word came more faintly, "ye have me brother Tirince's addriss ?" "I have, Pat Casey, old comrade." "Wroite him, thin. Tell him phwat's happened me, and thot I w.as not a bad soldier. Tell-him-its-his-turn-to '-Come-inme-place-to -enlist_Q_nder-the-Ould Flag!" .Cfeutenant Hal was sobl;>ing. The gurgle in doughty old Sergeant Brown's throat was like a knell. Corporal Casey had paid the stakes of war! Third Part. CHAPTER VIIL SAFE CONDUCT. "My yonng friend, I am delighted to see you!" "And I, under such circumstances." Turning, Hal found both hands grasped by Cuban officers. "Coldnel Ragado !': he cried, in genuine delight. "And Major Alvaredo !" he added, with another thrill of pleasure. These were the Cuban officers under whom he had served, under whom our hero had struck his first valiant blows for Cuba, under whom he had won his pro motion. "You have left our service, I see," smiled Ragado, thinking how handsome Hal Maynard looked in the blue of Uncle Sam "I left to join your allies,, responded Hal. "It was no desertion," protested the colonel. "You have won rank with your own countrymen. It was deserved.'' "We were hovering in ambush about the Spanish column when we saw your heroic charge,'' cried Alvaredo. "W: rubbed our eyes when we saw United States soldiers, for we did not know that any had landed in Cuba." ''These few are the only ones that I know of,'' answered Hal. "Ah It is so? Then may I ask how so small a force came to be ashore?'' "My escort. I am on a special mission to General Gomez.'' "Is it so? But tell us, my brave young friend, how you came to attack such a Spanish force with a score of soldiers. It was heroic, but reckless. When you served with us we found you more pru dent." "Nothing heroic about it," laughed Hal. "Nor reckless, either. We were doomed to be cut in pieces anyway. We preferred to go down while striking a blow rather than while receiving one." "It was heroic, anyway," declared Raga do. "We could not believe your twenty men were all that followed you. We thought there must be more behind. Your charge was so dashing that we did not move into the fielcl for fear of hampering the work of United States soldiers. But as soon as we realized that your twenty were all the Americans on hand, then I gave the order to attack.'' ''And saved us from annihilation,'' re sponded Hal, gratefully. "My dear col onel you have enabled me to survive two great events. 1 had the honor to com mand the firing of the first American gun in Cuba. I had also the honor of being "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" READ TRUE BLUE, THE NEW NAVAL WEEKLY

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    24 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY, the first American Commander who saw his men fight side by side with Cuba's soldiers.'' "Your comrade Ramirez?" broke in Alvaredo. "Did he not come with you?" "Most decidedlv he did." "Here I am," spoke a quiet voice behind the group. "Ah my dear gallant fellow," cried Alvaredo, turning and embracing Juan. "Why did you not sooner show yourself?'' ''I waited, major, until I lteard myself inquired for." Ragado, too, embraced him after the enthusiastic Cuban fashion. "I report back to your command, major," announced Juan saluting. "Yet with your permission I will continue with my friend so long as he needs a guide through these woods." ''In serving Lieutenant Maynard and his mission you are rendering the besi: service to Cuba," rejoined the major. "You will report to me only when Lieutenant Mayard has no further need of your company." "But if you are to find General Gomez," added Ragado, "the surest way will be to go straight to General Betancourt. He will put you in direct communication with our commander-in chief." "It was my plan," acknowledged Hal. "And your mission is from the Unitei States Government? That is, if I am not indiscreet in asking?'' queried Ragado. ''In the most direct way from the United States Goven1ment," promptly acknowledged Hal. "Ah !" "The papers I bear are from the Secre tary of War himself." Ragado's eager eyes showed that he would like to ask more questions, but was deterred by delicacy. "I would gladly tell you all," went on Hal, "but I am forbidden to speak about the matter to any. one but General Gomez "Say no more, my young friend. It is of the greatest importance to Cuba, your mission, or you would not be here under sueh circumstances. Very well, then. You shall see our general as soon as the thing can be done. Permit me to guarar tee it." "You can tell us where to find Gener Gomez?" "I cannot, but perhaps Betancourt ca I will take you to Betancourt." "You?" "I and my men. Oh, my brave youzt American, you shall be famously guarde d .uring the re3t of your march. Walk ride, as you please. Do not bother wit precautions. Never mind if you stro away from your arms. On every side yo shall be flanked by Cuban soldiers. Ou scouts shall hover on your line of marc for a radius of miles. Should a -8panis force appear, you shall be warned whil it is yet miles away. My entire com man will do the scouting, for he who comes t Cuqa in the name of Uncle Sam sha have all Cuba to do his friendly biddin if need be." Ragado was here so affected that h embraced the young Americanlieutenan "One of my men, a corporal, has ju died," broke in Hal, his eyes becomin misty again as Gast; y's heroic end r curred to him "But there are thre others who are less wounded. You hav a surgeon?" "Assuredly, and a fine fellow wh joined l1S after you left." "Will you ask him, as soon as possible to visit my three wounded men?" "Lead me to them," requested Ragado while Alvaredo and Juan brought np tl rear. They had not many steps to go. Hal gave a start of pleasure when h saw the surgeon already at work upor one of the three men. "You see," smiled Ragado, "that n< time has been lost At the request of m own wounded men the surgeon came hen first to attend to the Americans." "Your corporal is the only loss, senor,' spoke the surgeon, looking up at Hal. "These three men, after an hour, will able to remount their horses if they d< not travel too hard. They have bayone, wounds, these two, while the third has E flesh wound from a bullet. Bah! Spaniards no not know either how t< shoot well, or to use their bayonets!" True to his promise, the surgeon, in at "CLIF FARADAY UNDER FIRE." READ TRUE BLUE

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    STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 25 r, had all three men in their saddles, gh Hal, when re-forming his comd, ordered the three to lag at their at the rear. Ragado's men disappeared by tens and 1-.n, .. ,t;, "', Alvaredo's going off in squads four, until only fifty of the Cuban intry and twenty of the C11ban cavalry left with the Amerieans. "For five miles al1ead, the same dis-nee behind and two miles on either nk my men are thrown out," anced the colonel. "It will be odd," added, with twinkling eyes, "if as ch as a Spanish fly can get in through r liues. We are sent here to fight, nor Maynard, but until we have deed you at General Gomez' camp we 1 dodge a fight if the chance for oue es. We can take no risks uutil your on is accomplished.'' It was toward fonr o'clock in the afterwhen General Betancourt was enntered, he also being on the march th his men. "I warmly congratulate you, my young d, cried that noted warrior, wringHal's hand u .ntil it ached. "I must k you for the splendid manner in ich you and Ramirez performed the ission on which I sent you to the United tes. I am delighted that your own overnment has recognized your worth giving you a command. But I must that you will have to be zealous for your friend, Juan, is to made a captain by General Gomez. "Not yet," declared Juan, shaking his positively. "Not until mi amigo is a captain in the United States "N ousense!" greeted H a 1. "It is so," came the stubborn answer. d you not refuse promotion yesterday the same reason?'' "But if," argued Hal, "you can better Cuba in a higher position? What then?'' "Ah! "Then," broke in Hal, "you will take he promotion. If you refused, you would an ingrate to Cuba, and a very silly ow.'' Betanconrt smiled, as did Ragado and Alva redo. Ragaclo was instructed by his superior to continue as he had been avoid all conflict that interfered with the safe conduct of our hero to the headquarters of the commander-in-chief. "But I, l' added Betancourt, signing to his aides, "must be on the march again. The Spaniards, who fear the coming of the Yankees, are flocking to the coast. Everywhere their columns are marching across the island to the nearest sea-ports. It gives us great pleasure to fall 11 pon them from ambush. I p1omise yon, Senqr Maynard, that by the time the first Yankee army gets here it will find less Spaniards to fight than are on the island to-day." With many salutes and loud vivas, the two columns marched by each other. Nearly every one of Hal' troopers wore pinned to his blouse a small Cuban flag. Many of Betancourt's men, on the other hand, wore small copies of the Stars and Stripes. At dark Hal and his Cuban escort halted for the night. Only a word from Colonel Ragado was needed to set forty of the Cubans at work in the forest. Within thirty minutes they had built a small but substantial shelter, covered with the boughs of trees. Here supper was served to Hal and the Cuban officers, and here they spent the night, the American troopers sleeping the whole night through, while Cuban pickets reached, at intervals, for miles. It was at the close of the second day after that, at the end of a long, hard march, that Lieutenant Hal Maynard rode through the camp of General Maxi me Gomez, the commander-in-chief of the Cuban patriots. Did ever general of an army have smaller camp? Until Ragado's men arrived, there were not five hundred Cubans there. "We shall be in sight of the camp in a minute," Ragado had called back to our hero. Hal's eyes had 'Sparkled with anticipation. "It is an epoch in the history of the CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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    I I FLAG WEEKLY. war," our hero murmured delightedly to Juan, who rode beside him. Then the young lieutenant glanced back over his troopers, riding in column of twos. They had heard the news. Like magic they straightened up. Every man was on his mettle. In an instant their alignment became perfect. "Whether they parade or fight, these regulars of ours are the most wonderful fellows in the world," murmured Hal, enthusiastically. Then the column came in sight of the camp, which had already been warned by couriers. What a ye11 of welcome rent the air! "Viva los Estados Unidos !" "Long live the_United States!" Around the little American detachment the day suddenly became dark. Cuban sombreros tossed wildly up, filled the air. They came down to outstetched hands, only to go once more up. Scores of barefooted fellows, decorated with the scars of battle, surged about Hal. "Viva lo s Estados Unidos !" The cry was taken up by five hundred throats with a volume of sound that would not have been looked for from less than five thousand. "Do not force the Yankee officer to ride!" shouted one enthus iastic Cuban. "He should go on our shoulders!" The suggestion spread with the speed of wildfire. Those nearest Lieutenant Hal scram bled and fought good naturedly for the distinction of being first to lay hands upon bini. "No,' no, no!" laughed Hal. "My g o od friends, I am quite comfortable upon my horse." But his refusal seemed only to render them more good-naturedly determined. They surged about, Hal laughingly re pulsing them and urging his horse on ward. ''He can ride only on our shoulders, this American!" shouted many voices at once. Nor did they desist until a deep, sonorus voice called: "How now, my children? Would you unhorse an American soldier?" They had arrived, scrambling, before headquarters. It was General Gomez who spoke. CHAPTER IX. "THE FIRST GRNTLEMAN IN CUBA." Like mist before the sun, the crowd vanished at first sound of that voice. Between Hal and General Gornez-a distance of perhaps ten yards-the ground was clear. Hal had his first view of the first gentleman in Cuba. General Gomez was no longer young. The cares, anxieties and vexations of three years of the noblest fighting since our own civil war, had told upon him. Of slight build, the commander-in chief was wurn down to the bone. Yet his carriage was erect, his eyes bright, his bearing indomitable. He was still a man whom fate could not awe. Dismounting, Hal saluted with deepest respect. Ragado, also dismounting, presented our hero. "You have come to a friend," said Gomez, earnestly, as he clasped May nard's hand between both his own worn hands. "You are welcome both in your own person anci as the messenger of the United ''He has already wielded a matchete for Cuba, my general," interposed o do. "He was one of the brave pair that went on your mission from General Betancourt to Key West." "I know it," answered Gomez, simply. "I had not forgotten the 11ame, nor that of his comrade, Lieutenant Ramirez. And this young man," turning to Juan, who had lingered in the background, "must be Ramirez." "Yes, my general." "You have a lieu tenant's commis sion ?'' "Yes, llJY general." "It shall be changed to a captain's." "Pardon, my general, but not befor my friend is made a captain at Washing ton." Gomez' eyes flashed. "Do you, my young friend, venture t HAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE?

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    STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 27 e me when I say that you shal1 be nade a captain?" Hal managed to catch Juan's eye, flashing an earnest message. "I-I accept, and thank you, my gen eral," faltered Ramirez. "That is well," replied Gomez, simply but firmly. "There can be but one voice d in the army-mine-even' as I obey abso .utely the voice of President Masso and a the cabinet. You will come to me this d t!vening for your commission." Ramirez bowed and stepped back s t "Come inside, Senor Mayn ard," reuested Gomez, going as far as the door f his tent, and holding back the flap for alto enter. "You will come also, my e good Ragado. '' Hal briefly stated his mission, then nhand..ed over the papers entrusted to him et by the commandant at Key West. t, "It is what I had expected," cried the a Cuban leader. "The Govern f ment will furnish our men with rifles." st Ragado uttered an exlamation of de-ight. ed "May I ask how many, my general?" "As many as we can use, up to fifty d d thousand.'' y"We could find, my general, a hundred rn thousand Cuban men who would take the ur 1ifles and use them well." he "Half that number will be enough," ,replied Gomez. "Especially as the am ._te 'munition is to be unlimited. But there is ,.... as good. The United States 1at will send food to feed all our ral starving pacificos. There is only one conI di tion attached to the offer." l y. "And that, my general?" "Is that our forces mus t guarantee the pz. proper delivery of food in the interior." "And can we not do it?" rd, "Every pound of food that the Washington Government sends us," cried Gomez, earnestly, "shall find its way to issome pacifica, or--'' "Well, my general?" "Or the life of a Cuban soldier shall precede the loss of that pound to the ore Spanish. That is the reply I shall make. hg-But in looking over the list of things JWhich the United States offers us with so free a hand, I notice one article missing : to that will be of greatest service to us.'' He paused and looked at Hal. ., "I fancy you have only to speaR:, general, of anything that will be of service to Cuba." "That is true," cried Gomez, and right here Hal saw a sight that few who had stood closest to the commander-in-chief had ever witnessed This Spartan hero, who had heard with dry eyes of the heroic death of his own loved son where Maceo fell, now showed misty eyes as he spoke of the friendship of the g1eat sister republic. ''I shall write in my list a requisition that may surprise your resi 'dent and his advisers," contimted the general, a moment later. ''It will be for fifty miles of b arbed wire." questioning gaze showed his own surpnse. "You cannot understand our need of that?" smiled Gomez. "1 confess, general, that I can't." "Have you ever seen one of the Span ish trochas ?'' "No, general." "I was snre you had not, or you would know the Yalue of the wire. Wherever lines of earthwards are thrown up, and topped with bushes to shield the defenders from view, the wire is stretched behind the. leaves. In many a battle, when our men have assaulted the trocha, they have been totn upon tlie concealed barbs. Very well; we shall need barbed wire for our trochas. Bllt I do not need to detain you, Senor Maynard. I shall be working over these papers for hours. If you care to see the camp, Colonel Raga<'lo will show you through it." "I came near forgetting," spoke Hal, suddenly, "that I had other papers that may interest you." He drew from one of his pockets the documents he had taken from Colonel Zomaya of the Spanish infantry. Briefly Hal recounted how he had gotten posses sion of the papers. General Gomez looked over these captured documents. Then his face became cold, white, hard. "These papers, Senor Maynard," he exclaimed, "will require my first attention, for they concern treachery in camp. A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE. (

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    28 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. They prove that there is infamous treason here somewhere, for they explain fully many of our most valuable military secrets. You say that Colonel Zamaya and his companions are dead?" "I am sure of it, general They were mowed down by fire of a Gatling." "The four officers in the carriage whom you were escorting as prisoners?" asked Ragado, turning to Ha. "The same., "Then have no uneasiness." "You say that?" demanded Gomez. "Yes, my general, for my men reported that they found all four of the officers dead Each was riddled with bullets from the Gatling.,, "Then these secre t s cannot have reached the Spanish lines. For that I thank Heaven. Now, leave me my friends, for I have first the fearful duty of ferreting out the treason here at headquarters.,, "What do you think of our general?" asked Ragado, proudly, as he and Hal quitted headquarters. "Just the man I had expected to seebrave, tireless, pure, just, relentless." ''With those words, Senor Maynard, you have spelleci the name Gomez. All of our men who love Cuba love Gomez The coward dreads him as he does death. The .traitor finds no mercy. The lukewarm wins contempt. But to every real patriot General Gomez is a true father. "There goes an officer toward head quarters," whispered Hal. &
    PAGE 31

    STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 29 "Try. It is tremendously important.'' Juan's forehead wriukled. For some 1
    PAGE 32

    so STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "Yes," once more corroborated Juan. "Well," demanded the prisoner, "may a man not be ashamed of his past? May not a Spaniard desert and serve where his convictions lead him-with the Cubns ?" "Undoubtedly," replied General Gomez, "but should a man who has taken the right course be ashamed of his name?'' The accused did not answer, but hung his head. ''Did you write on this paper for Col onel Ragado ?'' resumed the general. "Y'es." There was not a change in the quiet inflection of General Gomez' voice as he asked his next question: "Did you also write the contents of these papers?" As the Cuban commander-in-chief spoke he brought into sight the docu ments captured from the Spanish. Miguel trembled and reeled as if he would fall. "No!" he screamed. "I never saw those papers before." "You have hardly had time to examine them?" insisted Gomez, coolly. "With out looking at the papers, how can you be so certain?" Miguel was now certainly in dauger of fain ti ug. "I thank you, gentlemen," acknowl edged Gomez, tuming to Hal and Juan, with a signal that told them to withdraw. Ten minutes later Miguel, stripped of his uniform, was led from the tent. His hands bound, he was escorted by two of the guard. He disappeared in the direction of the guard-house. ''General Gomez is more than ever de lighted with both of you," breathed Colonel Ragado, as he rejoined the chums. "He charged me to say so. Miguel has confessed that he wrote the papers." ''And his con federate?'' asked Hal. "He steadfastly refuses to admit that he had one, although of course it is ap parent that he has one. Do you see the priest passing?" ''Yes.'' "He goes to prepare the traitor." ''Then--'' "M1guel is to be hanged within hour," answered the colonel Swift is Cuban justice in the field! "General Gomez invites you to di with him,'' went on Ragado, as if glad change the subject. "But I warn yo that he will not be pleased with au reference to the events which have ju happened." It proved a red-letter night for bot youths. General Gomez, divesting himself his cares, proved a delightful host. Thos e who kn o w him best have fou that the great Cub a n is, in his momen of relaxation, as simple-hearted and ous as a boy. Hardly a whit behind their leader, i this respect, were the officers who gath ered at his table. While the evening was still early, left headquarters to return to his men. Juan lingered behind to rece1ve commission, and also some instruction from the commander-in-chief. Early as the hom was, all of Cubans, except those on guard duty, tu rnect in. Seasoned by more than three years strife for freedom, these veterans did n need tents. They slept wherever th chose on the ground, without even blanket under them. Hal threaded his way through t)e p groups of then reachea.. ...... siderable open space that lay between and the quarters of his detachment c United States regulars. As he skirted a fringe of bushes, hero heard a sound behind him. >(: "Juan?" he called, half turning. Blazing eyes glared into his. A flash o steel passed before Hal's face. "Blazes!" Panting, Hal Maynard sprang back. His assailant leaped after him. There was not time to call out. Hal threw up one arm, parrying th thrust meant for his heart. Slash! The cold stee.l ripped his sl bringing blood. Gathering hiinself, Hal sprang at fellow. lt was a ruse, but "A NAVAL CADET'S TORPEDO BOAT COMMAND"-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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    .. .. ..... S'I'AlUW FLAG WEEKLY. 31 lding the knife's point out for his in ded victim to land upon. ruse well played on our hero's. part, H a l dodging to the other s i de, landed t h all his force u nder t h e 's own like a log went the assassin, but fight was not by any means knocked of him. e still held the knife. ere was ottr hero's chance to dart off, nting the guard, but it was not his y of doing business. nstead, he made a leap, landing with h heels squarely across the fellow's h t arm. "Car-r-r-r-r-r-rajo, you fiend!" howled e wretch, whose arm was broken. "Rough treatn:ent, I know," admitted al, striking the fellow a forceful blow t he face as he endeavored to roll over a t he might reach for the knife with s left hand. "Here is the knife. I'll keep it for u," muttered Maynard, cooll y as he ld the blarle before the fellow's face. ow, did you try to kill me?" I mistook yon for one of your l diers, with whom I had a dispute." 'Yon lie, and I will soon prove it." R aising his voice, Hal shouted: "Pass the woni for Sergeant Brown fhat veteran trooper soon responded, I lliing at top speed. "Sergeant, walk this fellow down to ca Ask our boys if any of them d a dispute with the fellow. They need t be afraid of rebuke. I am anxious to arn the tmth for other 1easons." "Come a long," gruffed the sergeant, f t ing the assassin by the collar and arching him in a way that admitted of r esistance T he troopers were aroused and shown 1 e prisoner. Each and every one of them e n ied having had any dispute with the n lle nloo king fellow. "Yon have lied, as I supposed," cried Hal con temptu ously "Who is he, mi amigo?" asked the quie t voice of Juau, as that Cuban stepped up from the rear of t h e scene. Leading his chum aside, H al w h is pererl : "The partner of Miguel-the traitor who helped Vasquez man to prepare re ports to General Blahco." "You are sure of that, mi amigo?" murmured Ramirez, opening his eyes to their widest. "Sure eno1lgh, I think," responded Hal. "But it is General Gomez who must look for the evidence and deciile. I never saw this scoun{jrel before. He could have no. enmity for me, unless it is because I helped to convict his fellow-plotter. He trieil to stab me with this knife. Now, what do you make of the matter?" Juan's eyes flashed angrily, as here plied: "There can be no doubt, mi amigo. This fellow is the o t her fellow -traitor." A view whic h the circumstances wholly warranted, for, under severe ques tioning at headquarters, the prisoner at last broke down and confessed. He was hanged at sunrise. [THE END. J Another true, stirring story of America's great fight in Cuba will be described in No. 4 of the Starry Flag Weekly, out next week It will be entitled I nto Death's Jaws; or, Defending the S t ars and Stripes," and will be frotu t he fertile pen of that prip.ce of military writers, Douglas Wells. "Into Death 's Jaws" will describe rousing events that have just happened, told by a wealth of local color by one who has visited the camp of Gomez and has seen the C u ban soldiers in action A N AVAL CADET'S TORPEDO BOAT COMMAND" SEE TRUE BLUE.

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    -3 2 F LAG W EEKL Y Nick Carter Quarterly. The earlier iRsues of Nick Carter \Veekly, are now on sale in tbe form of Quarterlies, eRch Including 13 consecutive Issues of tbls fnvorite weekly, together with the 13 original lllumlnntPing The llnnler and Ang ler. The lnleruation:tl Crlekel (l u ide The fomplete Ama.t.cur mul Prof'essio u nl Onrsuutu' Rilling and llrlving. )lanunl. l'oe's oolllnll. COIIIJ>Iele Tl"aining llnlde for A m a teu C:IIIIJlheli'H l 'e u nis. Fencing Jnstru etol'. 'J'he l'oml>lele l :hecker l'lnrer. Cnpl. II' ebb' Swhumln Bnrkgrunmon and Jlngatelle. I nstru c t o r Out Uoor Sjlo rts. Aq uatic l l n i d e; or, l'achtlng ""' T h e \ oung Gymnast Salling. FOR'l'UNETE LL ING Napole on's llook of Dream Book. Cnl>i
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    ( J STORIES BY R wsB GOBBESPOHDEKT ..... CUBA'-........_--...... l I MR. DOUGLAS WELLS TO WRITE A NEW SERIES FROM THE FRONT 1 ''' ''' l ''' ''' ''' r ''' MR D OUG L A S W ELLS. A WELL-KNOWN AND POPULAR AUTHOR ENGAGED BY THE Starry flag Wkly TO DESCRIBE THE ADVENTURES OF AN AMERICAN BOY IN CUBA 0 ---Youn g A m e r i ca n s will do well t o keep th eir e yes o n thi s publicatio n. It will b e in these co lumns they will find the b es t and mos t g r a phi c s t ories o f the w ar. T h e followi n g s t or i es will a ppear in th e ord er given : ====TITLES.==== No r. Under Blanco's Eye; or, H a l M ay n a r d I N o. 3Amo n g t h e C ub a n Ins u rge n ts. No 2 Gomez's Y a nkee Scout ; or, The Blo w I No. 4 Tha t T o ld for C ub a. The F i rst G un ; or Lie ut. Hal Maynard' s Sec. r e t Miss i o n in Cuba. I n t o Death's j a ws; or Def e nding the Stars a n d Strip es. t l


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