Into death's jaws or, Uniting with the reconcentrados


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Into death's jaws or, Uniting with the reconcentrados

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Title:
Into death's jaws or, Uniting with the reconcentrados
Series Title:
Starry flag weekly
Creator:
Wells, Douglas
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New York
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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
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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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025644798 ( ALEPH )
71278087 ( OCLC )
S52-00002 ( USFLDC DOI )
s52.2 ( USFLDC Handle )

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NO 4. STREET & SMITH Publishers NEW YORK, MAY 28, l898

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I o ar, bacc Can Y adfson an Washl Old oolcs and Librarfes In Stock St$. H i StarryF ag J u u .. < d Wetk!y.-By Subcript!on, $Z.50 p e r yror. Enlt1'ed as Second aa .. Matte> at theN. Y Po t Otfk< STREJes, In the y ea>' 1898, i n the Otfk e 0/ the Lilwa> 'ian 0/ C\>ny>eu, Washington, D. 0. No.4. NEW YORK, May 28, 189il. Price Five Cents. .. INTO DEATH'S JAWS. f OR, -uNITING WITH THE REOONOENTRADOS,. By DOUGLAS WELLS. First Part. CHAPTER I. HAL A't GOMEZ'S CAMP. "Will they enlist?" "Nine-tenths of them will. There are few pacificos in Cuba who are not willjpg a11d anxious to help strike the final blow." As the general-in-chief, Maximo Gomez, made this declaration he paused in his wa1k back and forth along the tent's interior to fix the gaze of his burning eyes upon the young American officer who had put the ques6on. "Will the men of Cuba fight?" cried Gomez, after a moment's pause. "My young friend, you are familiar with our Cuban armies. You must know that all that outside of our lines the pacifi cos is the fact that they have not been able to get arms. Let the Government at Washington supply me ten thousand rifles, and I will find ten thousand Cn bans to carry those rifles and use them against spain. Le fifty thousan
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[:)TARl'l.Y FLAG WEEKLY. "Will be ready to-morrow. In the by General Betancourt on a mission from meantime, Senor Lieutenant, nothing would be gained by haste. Your detach ment of cavalrymen will appreciate the rest until then." "I am not impatient, general. Least of all would I be guilty of the impatience that would bungle things. I shall not think of returning until you assure me that your report is complete in all par ticulars. And now I will leave you, general, for I can see that you have much that you want to consider." General Gomez paused in his pacing to shake hands warmly with the young American lieutenant. As Hal passed slowly out of the tent, acknowledging the salute of the sentinel who stood there, Gomez looked out long enough to remark: "Sentinel, Lieutenant Maynard will pass you freely at all times." "Yes, my general." Lieutenant Hal Maynard's recent his tory was a fascinating one. Having been accidentally left behind in Havana on the 9th of Ap,ril, when Consul General Fitzhugh Lee had sailed with, as he supposed, the last of the real American residents of Havana, our hero had two or three times narrow1y escaped death at the hands of the Spaniards be fore he succeeded in getting out of Havana. In his escape he was assisted by a new ly found friend, Juan Ramirez, a young Cuban of about our ltero's own age. Juan was anxious to join the Cuban field forces i11 the ''long grass.'' Hal, seeing nothing else to do, and en raged against the Spaniards, had gone into the "long grass" withJuan. Side by side they had fought spiritedly, soon winning commissions as lieutenants. While the American fleet waited at Key West, Ha! and Juan had been sent General Gomez to the secret insurgent junta, in Havana. From there the daring yonugsters had gone to La Jova, where they met the two pilots assigned by the Havana junta to pilot Admiral Sampson's fleet in Cuban waters. With _the pilots, after some rousing ad ventures, Hal and Juan had reached Key West. At Key West Hal and Juan had re maiued, awaiting the departure of Cuban forces from Florida to the island. It'was while so waiting that the mili taay comlllandant at Key West had picked up Hal as just the one to go to Cuba to find General Gomez, and from him tain just what kind of aid the Cuban commander needed from the United States. Hal's selection was approved by the Washington authorities. He was commis sioned as a second lieutenant in the reg ular army, given command of a detach met of twenty United States cavalry regulars, and landed with them on the coast of Cuba east of Matanas. Juan had accompanied them as guide. Reaching the Cuban headquarters after successfully passing through great peril on the way, our hero had presented the questtons which President McKinley wanted General Gomez to answer. Within his first few hours at head quarters Hal had distinguished himself by detecting two traitors _to Cuba who were serving in Gomez's command. One of these spies had attempted to assassinate the young American Eeuten ant, coming with_iu an ace of succeeding. The conversation described at the open ing of this chapter took place on the morning following the arrival of our hero at Gomez's headquarters in the field. As. Hal left the general, he stepped ...... TRUE BLUE-The Latest Patr iotic Nav al Weekly for Boys

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I STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 3 briskly through the camp to the grove where his own detachment was quartered. As he passed, many of the Cubans turned to gaze after him with admiring comments. It was a great sight for their wistful eyes to see at last the uniform of Uncle Sam in their camp. True, there were as yet but a score of these soldiers, bi1t these were the harbingers o the great army to come to bleeding Cuba's aid. Hal found his troopers, splendid, stal "" wart, muscular fellows, stripped to shirt and trousers. In two long lines the horses were tethered, while the men went over them with brush and curry comb until t.he ani mals' coats were as sleek and shiny as satin. Near by, watching the work of every man with a critical eye, stood Jim Brown, the veteran sergeant of the detachment. "What is the condition of the horses, sergeant?" asked Hal, as he rl:'!ached the side of his next in co1nmand. "Excellent, sir. Couldn't be better. The auimals stand the climate and roads of Cuba better than I would have believed.'' Hal passed between the horses, stopping for a brief of each. two lines of I examination Then, looking at his watch, and finding that the full length of time had been spent on sta hle duty, he gave the order: ''Cease grooming, sergeant.'' This matter of morning routine off his mind, Hal Maynard went in search of his chum, Juan Ramirez, who IJOW held ll captain's commission under Gomez. He had not far to look for the Cuban. Clink-clank! came the sound under a near-by speading tree. There sat Juan, carefully going over the blade of his long machete with a honing stone. "Still sharpening that steel, my com rade ?n laughed Hal. "lt seems to me you make little other use of your leisure.'' Juan looked up with an affectionate smile, stopping the honing only as as his yes were off the work. "A machete gets dull, mi amigo, from resting in its scabbard.". "Yet yours flashed out yesterday, and cut down IWHJY Spaniards." "True, mi amigo; therefore it needs sharpening." "You sharpened it last night." "True also, but it has grown dull since by resting in the scabbard. A Cuban1 mi amigo, must always keep his weapon ready for instant use against the enemy." "And yours," smiled Hal, taking up the weapon and inspecting its keen edge, "would do for shaving if it were not so heavy." "Boven so," said the young Cuban officer proudly, as he took the blade back into his own hands. See!" Plucking a hair from his head, Captain Ramirez swiftJy cut off several pieces by merdy passing the fibre across the steel. "It is in such condition," he smiled, grimly, "that we keep our whetted for Spm1iards." ''Poor Spaniards,'' smiled Maynard. "I've often seen them run in terror from just such .machetes, wielded as only the Cuba11. know how to use the weapon." "And you have often used the machete yourself, mi amigo, with fearful effect, as I know through the service of my own eyes. There is no young man in Cuba who knows more of the use of the machete than you, mi amigo." This was trile enough, but Hal laughingly protested: "No bonquet-throwing, my. comrade." ''CLIF FARADAY UNDER RRF. "-READ TRUE BLUE.

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I 4 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "Gentlemen, I present the compliments of General Gomez to you both." Turning, they beheld one of the generalissimo's aides, who had just reached the spot. "General Gomez .requests that you attend him in his tent." ''At once,'' responded Hal. ".Immediately," quoth Juan, nstng, sheathing his machete, and carefully though hurrie' dly brushing from his uniform the last speck of dirt or dust. Two minutes later they found themselves in presence of the great Cuban. "Senor," pronounced Gomez, slowly, "you have asked me how many of our Cuban paci.ficos would enlist. I have de cided that you shall see for yourself jf you wish.'' "How, general?" "By going among them. You shall question them, for there are three villages near here where, relying on my protec tion, the pacificos have ventured to return to their homes. By questioning these people you shall see how many of them would fight fat Cuba, were they given arms. You have even my authority, if you wish it, to enroll the names of all volunteers who agree to serve as soon as given guns. The day's experience will furnish you with a good idea of the report you are to take back to the.United States." "And shall I go too, my general?" spoke up Juan, eagerly. "Not so," replied Gomez. "You will be needed here to-day, for I have matters in which you can help me." Juan tried hard to conceal his disappointment. It was the first time that he and Hal had been separated in any adventure. And adventure there was to be, though certainly Hal Maynard was as far as General Gomez -himself from imagining the perils that destiny held tn t11e young American lieutenant. CHAPTER II. "PEDRO, THE SPANIARD!" "You wi 11 hardly need an escort, Sen Maynard," declared the Cuban co mander-in -chief. "I had thought of ment.". "Yon will please yourself, of senor, but it will really not be necessary. "Then I won't think of taking th men out. Both the)! and the horses wi be better for a day's rest." "Nor will you need, sepor, to your own norse, which will soon need i strength for the march hack to the coas Any one of our tough Cuban ponies at your dispo s al. You shall have a guid and I will send four of our tro<1pers wi y ou. Since you will be all the whi under the shadow of our army, you wil not need a gr.eater escort, though I wil furnish you with it, should you desire it. "I am content, general, with wha your wisdom suggests," replied H a l bowing. "Now, as to my gtt ide," resume Gomez. "He is one of the stanchest most intelligent fellows I can put at you disposal, despite the fact that he ts Spaniard.'' "ASpaniard?" repeated Hal, in pnse. "Yes; but he is a Cuban at heart. l o ves our cause; he has fought for it. his body are a dozen ugly scars :won the service of Cuba." Raising his voice, Gomez ce.lled: "Paulo!" In the doorway of the tent appeared young man who halted, saluting. "This is Senor Maynard, who will HAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE? I

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/ STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. in your charge. Serve him with your life, Paulo." "With u1y life, cheerfully, general," came the earnest response. "Tell Captain Silva to furnish you witb four of his best men well mounted. And see that Senor Maynard's horse ts worthy of a United States soldier." "Yes, my general." "You will learn much to-day, Senor Maynard, 11 resumed Gomez, after-Paulo had vanished, "concerning the temper of the Cuban pacificos. That there may be no doubts left in your mind, question them as searchingly as you will. 11 Paulo was not one who, when on special duty, allowed any mesquite bushes to grow under his feet. It seemed as if he had hardly left the tent when he reappeared, announcing: ''The horses and troopers are waiting, senor." "Adios, mi amigo," murmured Juan, a trifle sadly, as he grasped his chum's l1and at parting. "It seems odd that for once you should set out alone." "Pooh!" protested Hal. ''This is only a pleasure ride; nevertheless, I am sorry that );OU cannot share the pleasure with me.,, Mounting, the little party trotted through the camp, Hal pausing long enough at the calllp of his detachment to give Sergeant Brown some necessary orders. Then, turning to his guide: "Paulo," requested Ha 1, 'bring on your villages. u "The first one is not five miles distant, senqr. We can go there easily in an hour." To pass time, Maynard decided to draw out his guide. "I am told, Paulo, that you are a Spaniard who loves Cuba better than Castile." "It is true,'' was the grave answe "But I love truth and justice better eve than Cuba. It is because of that that have cast my lot with Cuba. The cowar ice, treachery and cruelty of Spain hav made me renounce the country of m birth." "There are many other Spaniards lik you in t}l.e..Cuban "Many, senor. Several former Spanis officers now obey Gomez. They cam here with ardor and patriotism They saw the dastard part that Spai plays here, and it did not take them Ion to desert to the banners of Cuba 'libre This, senor," added Paulo, pointin proudly to a scar on one cheek, "is badge of my disgust for Spain." "Received in battle against the Span ish?" "Even so, like a dozen other scar which my uniform concea,ls." "If all Spaniards had been like you there would have been no trouble i Cuba.'' "If Spain 11'ad been but half honest half just, senm:, the Cubans wo uld hav been loyal to what we once called th mother country. Whtle many of us sym pathize with Cuba, ninety-nine per cent of the Spanish would see the brav islanaers exterminated. Even my ow brother would go to any lengths to serve Spain. He would go to as great lengths as I, on the other hand, would to serve Cuba.'' "Your brother is here on the island?" "It is to, senor. Though I feel dis graced in saying it, I must denounce him as one of .the most cruel of Span(ards. He is my brother, the same mother nursed us both, yet while I have several tiines nearly died for freedom, he has made his name infamous by the deeds he does in the name of Spain. Sen'Or, II added the with flashing eyes, "I "A NAVAL CADET'S TORPEDO BOAT COMMAND"-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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6 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. could almost hope that I might meet him, face to face, with our weapons m hand!" "His name?" "Pedro, the scoundrel!" "I won't pursue this subject any further," mused Hal. "It isn't pleasant to see brothers hate each other so, even when they have reason to." After that they trotted along in silence for some minutes. Hal and Paulo rode side by side, the --guards coming in behind. "There is the :first village we are to visit, se;or," announced Paulo as the cavalcade trotted out on a plain. Hal gazed on the charred remnants of some fifty houses. "Destroyed by the enemy?" he queried. "Burned the first time that Wey ler sent a column through this section. There were over "forty men, women and children shot in cold blood. Spain's das tardly colonel who commanded the column reported it as a vietory against the Cubans, and claimed that two hundred of the insurgents had been killed in a four hours' battle. Jrah !" growled Paulo. "What lying braggarts and cold-blooded murderers these Spanish colonels are!" Past the charred remains of the village was a little grottlp of a dozen huts, not one of which was larger than a soldier's hut. In each of these lived the family of a Cuban pacifico, or non-combatant. The clatter of horses' hoofs was a sig nal that brought out all the inhabitants of t]le settlement. Women came out bringing babies in "Cubans," cried Paulo, "this officer comes from General Gomez to learn how many of you will enlist under our general as soon as arms can be put into your hands. How many offer themselves?'' Paulo's last few words were drowned out in clamor. Had Hal been less accustoined to the impulsiveness of the Cubans he might have fancied that l1e was in danger of being mobbed. "What way is that to answer?" de4 manded Paulo, sternly. "If you all talk at once, how is the. American officer to understand you. All who agree to serve under Gomez the moment are provided will form in line. Let the first man stand next to my horse.'' Three or four men scram bled f01: the honor of standing :first, but the line was speedily formed. Every one of the dozen men responded. Two boys, not either of whom was over fourteen, brought up th'e rear end of the line. "Urn," murmured Hal. "At your age, I'm afraid--' "In the name of Heaven, senor," pleaded one of the youngsters, i do not say that we may not be men like the rest.'' "I have nothing to say as to who shall be accepted,'' replied Hal, dubiously, ''but it seems to me that boys barely in their teens--" ''There are already many of the same age in the ranks," Interposed Paulo. "Then," replied Hal, "I will enroll your names, and present them to Geperal Gomez." their arms followed by other small chil_ A boy of ten thereupon darted into the dren. Men and boys flocked from the line near-by fields where they were tending "Hold on," expostulated Maynard. the young crops with which they hoped "We must draw the line somewhere to stave off the last pangs of starvation. short of the cradle.'' TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS.

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TARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 7 "When are we to be armed, senor?" eagerly questioned one of the men. "Would you be ready if guns were supplied you this evening?" queried Lieutenant Hal. "Ready in an hour," responded the spokesman. "Do the rest of you say the same?'' They did, responding by acclamation. "Now, listen," said Hal. "When you hear that the guns from the united States have arrived, flock to the camp. Every one whose name is on this roll will be accepted if he is found to be able bodied.'' "Adios, my friends," called Paulo, waving his hand to the villagers. "Be quick to respond when the call comes.'' "Be sure of us!" was the response. After the departing horsemen came a ringing shout of: "Viva Cuba libre !" tcViva los Estados Unidos !" "What do you think of them, senor?" questioned Paulo. "They are ready for the call, certainly. Uncle Sam will make no mistake in send ing them arms and ammunition." "You will find it the same everywhere else." Three more villages were visited through the day In all, a total of fifty four men were seen. From them there were fifty-four offers of enlistmept. There were any boys, too, who insisted upou lleing enrolled. All who appeared to be over fourteen Hal delighted by accepting. It was dark by the time that the rounds of the four villages had been made. "Since we ha vt; not eaten all clay, senor," suggested the guide, "suppose that we halt and eat?'' "A good plan," nodded Hal, with alacrity. "I'm famished." "And our good fellows, senor, have some provisions that they will quickly prepare for us. '' "It can't be too soon ready," uttered Hal, reining up and dismounting. A fire was quickly kindled by the troopers, and in a few minutes the savory odor of coffee filled the air. "That's appetizing,'' clicked Hal, sniffing with satisfaction. "What are the solid edibles, Paulo?" "Some coarse bread, senor, and two small slices of meat." "Not enough," declared Maynard, shaking his head. "None of us will eat, senor, until we have seen you satisfied," protested Paulo. "Oh, yes, you will," retorted Hal. "Each one will eat a sixth part of what there is. But I saw some fruit about a half a mile back. I will ride back and get some; with that we will have a famous supper.'' Springing into the saddle, Maynard went back over the road lately traveled. But in the gathering darkness our hero found that he could not readily locate the trees he had seen before. "I don't like to be stumped," grum bled the young lieutenant. "I will look further.'' He did so, even dismounting and lead ing his horse off the road. But the fruit eluded his search. Before Hal realized an hour had passed in the vain quest. "Jupiter!" Hal, striking a match and getting a look at his watch. "I'll have to hustle, or Paulo will have a bad case of rattles." Springing into the saddle, he rode through the woods, bending over his horse's neck to avoid the low-hanging bushes. Suddenly before him be saw another horseman sitting motionless on his beast. ARE YOU A PATRIOTIC BOY? READ TRUE BLUE. --

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8 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. Like a flash Hal's pistol 'vas out and trained on the stranger. "Give a good account, and quickly, my friend, b'efore I shoot," warned HaL "Would you shoot me, senor?" demanded a laughing voice. "Paulo!" ejaculated Hal, riding nearer and scanning the other. "Who else, senor?" 11 So you were worried? Yon came to seek me?'' "Was it not natural, senor? Have you no idea l1ow long you have been away?" "Yes. I thank yon, Paulo. hope the troopers have eaten ?H "They were obliged to, senor, for they were called away." "C::.lled away "?" "Yes; did yon not the rockets?" "Not a rocket." "That must have been, senor, because you did not look for them. Our soldiers always do, at night.'' "They have been summoned back to camp?" came the quick question from Hal. "Even so, senor." "Then there is something unusual afoot?'' "It must be so, for General Gomez does not permit rockets to be wasted.'' "Good!" quoth Hal. "I would like to see some of the excitement myself. Come, Paulo, let us ride like the wind." "Not quite so fast as that," responded the other. "We would tire our beasts to little purpose. But we must move at a good trot. Do you think, senor, that you could find the way back to headquarters iof I were not with you?" "Hardly. I have taken s o little notice of the way that I confess myself all turned about." "We are fu11y fifteen miles from head quarters. But follow me." Without more ado the guide turned his horse's head about and trotted off. Hal followed him : Mile after mile was traversed, going most of the way at a trot. The guide seldom-spoke. "He's keeping his mind on the way," conjectured HaL Then added aloud : "My friend, you said fifteen miles. I feel as if I had traveled twenty." "We will halt here, senor," called back the guide, directing his steed into a grove. "Why here?" demanded HaL "Why not keep on to headquarters?" The guide did not reply. Stung by a sudden suspicion, Hal rode close up beside the fellow, scanning his face. "Confusion!" roared the young lieutenant. "Paulo had a scar on his cheek. You have none. You are not Paulo." "And if so, senor-what then ?n came the mocking response. "By all that's treacherous," gasped the boy, you are--'' "Pedro, the Spaniard!" Out of the bla<'k depths of the forest came a chorus of jeering CHAPTER III. "BUZZARD'S MEAT!" "Dismount, senor Pedro uttered the command, carelessly, as if he could not conceive the possibility of a refusal. He had never made a greater mistake. "Why should I dismonnt?" demanded Hal. "You are surrounded, and must--" 1 'Surrender?'' "Exactly." Crack! With an incredilby swift movement TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS.

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: I I 1 : STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 9 Hal Maynard drew one of his pistols, sighted as if by instinct, and fired. Out of the saddle toppled Pedro, drilled through the forehead by a bull 's eye shot. Out came the other pistol. Digging knees and heels into the flanks of his steed, Lieutenant Hal Maynard rode forward at a gallop. Crack crack crack Catching sight of dark forms ahead of him, Hal pulled both triggers together. Only three men stood directly in his path. These toppled as had done. One of them, before falling, succeeded in firing a shot at our hero. It missed by a foot, however. "Clear road ahead!" thrilled Maynard. Clear of enemies was what he meant. Urging his beast onward, he trusted to it to pick its own way among the trees. Btit now a tumultuous volley came from behind. The Spaniards who survived, recovering from their astonishment, were in hot pursuit. Wild enough went the first bullets. "Nice people, these Spaniards," muttered Hal, sardonically. "Only one thing about them-they don't know how to shoot.'' Both his own revolvers were empty. He was in the act of re-loading them, when his horse, brought low by a pursuing bullet, stumbled and fell. "Gracious!" muttered the dismayed American for the catastrophe had occurred so suddenly that he narrowly es caped being pinned down under the body of the brute. Escaping this disaster, he leaped to his feet, darting off through the darkness. Hal fled onward at right angles with the course he had been Iiding. Up rode the Spaniards. Counting them as well as he could in the dark, from his post of o.bservation behind !1 tree, Hal judged their number to be twenty. "Too many for me to have any show," he g-ritted. Quicky slipping cartridges into his pis tols, he stood watcliing and waiting. He heard the enemy charge by in the night, heard the beat of thei r animals' hoofs grow fainter and fainter as the distance i ncreased, and fhen, at last, heard nothing but the soft murmur of the night breeze through the trees. "One experre ce like that is enough," grimaced the young lieutenant. "Next time I might run up against better shots. Whew! How much Pedro looked like his honest brother!" But what had become of Paulo and the four troopers? Could it be that they were still waiting for him? From what he knew of the devotion of Cubans to duty, he felt that his quPstion must be answered in the affirmative. "A long wait they'li have," sighed the boy. "I must be thirty miles away from headquarters. Fagged as I am now, with no horse to bear me, it looks like a three day's trip." Feeling utterly disconsolate, Hal sat down to think. In which direction was General Gomez's headquarters? Maynard was weil enough acquainted with the stars to be. able to guide his course by them. The trouble was that, during the day, relying upon the excel lent Paulo, he had not taken the trouble to noyce the course. "The Spaniards must still be run ning," grinned Hal, as his re verted to the foes whom he had so clever ly eluded. "Probably .they think I'm still running. So far as they're. concerned, this will be the safest place for me to Confident that he was tuo wide awake DAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE. I "'

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10 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. to be in any danger of falling asleep, our hero stretched his legs luxuriously on the ground, resting his back against the tree trunk. Fatal confidence! Overcome by fatigue, Maynard slept. It was daylight when he awoke. "Blazes!" he muttered, leaping to his feet. "What a dolt-what an ass-what a sleepy-head I've been! I'm such a lunk1 head that, for all I would have known to the contrary, I might have been captured and taken into Matanzas during the night!" He stared all around him. In every direction, as far as he could see, the forest extended "Will somebody please find me?" grunted the young lieutenant. With a snort of disgust, he got liis bearings then struck out to the eastward. "Gomez ought to be somewhere in this direction, if he hasn't moved," solilo quized the lost one. He walked onward for half an hour, still finding himself in the deep forest. Gradually, however, the trees became I smaller, and further apart. "It looks as if I were coming to a clearing," realized Lieutenant Hal, with a thrill of delight. And a clearing it }Vas, as he discovered at length. ccugh !" muttered the boy, looking up suddenly with a start of abhorrence at a ghastly object swinging from a tree. It was the body of a man, wasted and miserably clad. "Some poor pacifico," choked the sympathetic American. "Probably his only offense was that he was too much of a man to ye.l 'Viva Espana' (long live Spain) as loudly as his captors wanted him to. Very likely he hadn't committed even that much of an offense.'' Fully three yards clear of the ground swung the feet. From the neck itself to the limp above were only some two feet of rope. "The fiends went to a great deal of troi1ble," muttered Hal, savagely. Tightening his belt, the American clasped the trunk, and began to climb. A few moments later he climbed out upon the bough to which the rope had been made fast. Reaching the rope, Hal swung himself downward, holding on by only one hand. With his other hand he touched the strange face. "Dead," shuddered the boy. "He has been dead for bonrs-past all attempts at reviving him.'' Whish! whish! The rapid flight of wings o'erhead orew the boy's gaze up ward "Buzzards!" he gasped. "Oh, Spain has been kind to these ill-omened birds for centuries!" Swinging himself up again on the limb, Hal debated whether to cut down the hapless pacifica and bury him prop erly. "Better not," was his final decision. "Even what the buzzards leave of the poor wretch may serve as some clue to anguished seekers. '' From his perch he had a very good view of the country just ahead. There were some thirty charred buildings, burned almost to the ground by Spanish soldiers at sometime in the past. Only a few of the most insignificant huts had been left standing. "No one living there," murmured Hal. "Hold on, though. There's a child running into that cabin over yonder." Stopping inwardly to debate for only a moment, Hal slid dowp the tree trunk, striking out for the village .with vigorous steps. He threaded his way confidently beBEST NAVAL STORIES FOR BOYS -TRUE BLUE.

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!:!TARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 11 tween the buildings belonging to the past and those of the present, though he did not neglect to slip his two holsters around closer to the front. Halting before the cabin he had seen the child enter, Hal looked inside. "Any one at home?" he called in Spanish. There was 1.1't> answer. Stepping up to the door, Hal knocked sharply. "My friends, if there is any one at home, do not be afraid to come out. 11 Still no answer. "I am not a Spaniard," added the young lieutenant, by way of extra assurance. Even this brought no respot'lse. "Well, when no one is at home, and the door is open," mused Hal, aloud, "there can be no harm in He stepped boldly in, now, looking sharply about him in the semi-gloom. From the further end of the single room the cabin contained, several pairs of unnaturally bright eyes regarded him. As Hal wheeled about on them, sharp screams came from three young children. "Don't be afraid of me," hailed Hal, reassuringly. "I am only a stranger who has lost his way, and comes here to in quire." Slowly, as if still suspicious, a woman of perhaps thirty-five came slowly for ward, looking him a11 over with her piercing black eyes. She was thin and emaciated-looking, this poor creature, l1arefooted, and wearing a single outer garment of the most nondescript kind. "You are a soldier," she faltered, "and not a Cuban. Neither js your uniform that of Spain.'' "Quite right, my dear madam. It is the uniform of Uncle Sam, who lives to tl,le north of Poor Cuba." At this announcement, a girl of eigh te'en left the little group at the other end of the cabin. Gliding forward, she iooked Hal over, the greatest cyriosity bei;g manifest in her soft brown eyes. She, like her mother, showed the signs of the most horrible starvation, the most abject poverty. "You need not fear me," went on Hal, reassuringly. "You are in the presence of a friend. I am an American officer, trying to find the camp of General Gomez. Can you direct me?" "I knew where it was yesterday," faltered the older woman. "But who can c;ay if it is in the same place to-day? Maximo Gomez moves like the hurricane. Yet his camp _yesterday was pitched at a point some thirty miles from here. You could hardly find the way unaided. Since you are an American, ""{e trust you. My daughter Iza will guide you. 11 "Mother,'' whispered the girl, sud denly, her voice quivering with alarm, "I have just peeped through the crack in the back of the cabin. They are coming." "Spanish soldiers?" thrilled Hal. "Worse! The Spanish volunteers. Senor Americana, you must hide. Quick! Follow me!" Going after bis young guide, Hal stepped through the doorway. Outside stood an empty sugar hogs head. Iza pointed silently to this. Nodding, Hal sprang inside, disappearing from sight. CHAPTER IV. THE VOLUNTEER WHO ATE DIRT. Moving swiftly as thought, Iza threw a few l;andfuls of straw over Maynard's head-enough to hide him from casual vtew. A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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. j I 12 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. This done Iza stole back into the cabin. After a few moments Hal heard the tramp of men. Volunteers?He knew them well-the most infamous military bo6ly ever orgat1ized by a supposedly civilized nation. The Spanish volunteers in Cuba are Spanish subJects wno enlist in that body to escape many exactions which are in forced against othe1s. They cannot be tried in the civil courts; the military tribunals of Spain have often acquitted them on the most ,.;r infamous and clearly-proven charges. So long as the volunteers persecuted only Cnhans they were practically exempt from punishment. When they plundered or abnsed, if Cubans were the o ly suffer ers, Spanish justice was not only blind but deaf and dumb. At all times through the insnrrection the volunteers have out-Spaniarded Spain's regular soldiers. Such were the men who now ap proached the cabin. "Here are rebels young and old!" jeered a brutal voice as a half a dozen fellows tramped around to the front of the cabin. Hal stealthily drawing his revolvers gripped them ready for action. "Only scare-crows," laughed another which brought out a mocking chorus of merriment. "Weyler did his work well with these rebels. We shall find nothing in their cabin." "Nothing but kisses," laughed one fat Spaniard, as two of the. rascals trainped inside. ''A kiss from SGare-crows such as these," jeered anoth. er. "Bah It took only a few seconds to search the cabin. There was nothing there but the floor. "These rebels are disgustingly poor," bawled one" of the raiders, coming out. "Why can't they have the sense to die? Now listen, my woman; we shall be coming Gy this way again in a day or two. See to it that you have food enough to fill our bellies, or we shall have to you the way we do all the male rebels we find.'' He made a brutal gesture .about his throat, at which hi. s comra e.s lau "ghed. 1'Come away," he adoed. Off they tramped, all but the fat volun teer. He remained behind, glaring at Iza in a way that made the poor girl shudder as if assailed by ague. "When you had more to eat," he said, insolently, "you must have been a pretty girl: Iza looked at the fellow with loathi_ ng, then, trembling worse than ever, turned to dart inside. But the volunteer caught the girl by one of her slim wrists, growling: ''Per Bacco, you are not so homely now. Your lips have still some color in them. You mnst give me a kiss." Iza shuddered, uttered a low scream, tried to wrench herself free. ''Per Bacco well you know that coy ness makes a maiden more tempting," jeered the volunteer, drawing her irre sistibly toward him. "Mother!" screamed the girl. Like a tigress the oloer woman flew at the miscreant. "Coward! miserable!" she hissed. "So?'' sneered the soldier. He turned upon her, but the enraged mother was not to be daunted. She stood her ground, prepared to use her nails upon that gross, coarse face. "So you are rebels to the. very mar row?" growled the volunteer. "My com rades did wrong to leave you here. I shall take you along Letting go the girl's wrist, reaching REMEMBER THE MAINE "-READ TRUE BLUE, THE NEW NAY AL WEEKLY. f

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STARRY FLAG WEEI{LY. 13 ly out with both I1ands, the rascal ized both women by their flowing .bair. He held on tightly, despite their s, gloating over the manifest terror their faces. ."Come along, you jades!" "Resist him, Iza," screamed the "He can never take us." "Who will hinder me?" jeered the ldier. Like a flash the answer came, as Hal up. "I will, you big Spanish loafer!" Hal's face was white and set, but he eld his pistols with steady hands. Not a particle did those shining tubes ver as he held their muzzles relent y trainec;l on the miscreant. Coward as he WAs, he Spaniard trem ed. "Diablo! Who are you?" he fa1tered. Swift and stern came Hal's answer l "One who is not coward enough to ake war. upon women." "What do you want of me?" "Down upon your knees, you dog!" "Come, come, now," remonstrated the low with an effort at courage. "Don't re to try that upon a volunteer of pain." "Down upon your knees," thundered Hal, "or you will be buzzard's meat in nother second.'' There could be no doubting his sin ty. Trembling in all his fat carcass, the Spaniard flopped. "Now, kiss the feet of these poor women whom yon insulted," insisted Hal Maynard, training his pistols on the volunteer's head. But Iza shrank back as the volunteer would have complied. _"No, no, no!" she protested, turning to Hal, with a gesture of tloathing. "It would be a profanation for him to touch us-the carrion!" "You are right," admitted Hal. ''Ladies, I beg your pardon. Now, then, fellow, you shall do .pennance of another kin d. Yon have profaned the very soil here. Therefore, to take the pollution out of the neighborhood, you shall eat as much of the dirt as you can and take it awa y with you. Begin!" Toward H i d the fellow shot a beseech ing glance. But our hero was as hard as adamant. "Eat!" he insisted. "To hesitate is to die!" Gingerly enough, the scoundrel picked up a grains of earth and passed them inside his mouth. "Now that you have got a taste," jeered the boy, "take a bigger handful and swallow it.. The first time you put too little in your mouth, I warn you that I shall blow your substitute for brains out!" With a groan the Spanish volunteer took up a larger handful of earth, trans ferred it to his mouth, and made a seeming effort to swallow it. Without a sign of pity in their faces, Iza and her mother stood by watching. In the doorway gathered the three young children. All the while making a sad pretense of eating the gravel, the Spaniard let his eyes rove aobut him. Suddenly, as his glance went past Hal, those eyes lighted with delight. Whack! Hal receive(! a savage blow in the head, pitching forward. Five men piled over him, while the dirt-eating. wretch about with wild gesticulations of joy. "It is the gringo's turn," be roared. ''He shall eat all the dirt in the province, and afterward--! Per Bacco, afterward--'' BEST NAVAL STORIES FOR BOYS-TRUE BLUE.

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FLAG WEEKLY. Second Part. CHAPTER V. "TRIED" BY SPAIN'S VOLUNTEERS. As Hal fell, one of his pistols dropped from his clutch. Half dazed by the force of the blow, he tried to rise and fight. But to grapple, in his condition, with a half a dozen men, was more than he could do. ( Slam! went the door of the cabin. 1 Iza had pounced upon the pistol he 1 had dropped. Grasping it tightly, she ru s hed into the house, pushing her mother before f her. "Let go of the Yankee, you cowards!" w a rned the girl. Through a hole near the top of the door protruced the muzzle of the pistol. "Per Bacco !" cried the bully whom Hal had forced to eat dirt. ''The girl is a fiend. Look out, comrades, she will shoot!" "The truth, for once," uttered Iza. Click! went the lock of the pi s tol. Unf able to work the dotible mechanis m with her slim fingers, sbe had cocked the pistol. A hair's pressure would now be sufficient to fire it. "Let the Yankee go, she ordered, sternly, "or one of you will be food for r the buzzards!'' -, "Let him go, theu. Let us hasten away," 11rged the fat volunteer. But his comrades, having at least a grain more of courage, demurred. "If the witch dares to fire growled one of theothers "we will burn the hut over their heads.'' "You will anyway, if you dare," t taunted Iza. ''I am not afraid of you.'' Hal, all this time, had beeu struggling in silent desperation. B y a fearful blow on one of his wrists his enemies bad succeeded in forcing him to give up the pistol. Snap! A of bandcuffs, sprung ovet both placed him out of the fight. "Let me have him," proposed one of the volunteers lFor a Spaniard, he was a sturdily built fellow. It was somewhat on account of his strength that he had been made a lieu tenant. Bending over our hero, he picked him up, carrying the American on his back. I z a delib e r a t e d whether to fire upon the fellow. Her fear of hitting Maynard deterred her. "Get in line ahead of me," dire cted the volunteer lientena nt. N ever was order obe yed more quickly Iza, by n o means a go od shot, now s aw the r etreat of the Spanish cov ered by Hal's bod y She would have sooner died tha n hit this brave American. Afraid to chance a shot that might do injury to h e r late defender, Iza gnashed her teeth at her helplessness. "To the woods," directed the lieutenant, and promptly the line veered in tha t direction. In a jiffy Iza had the door unbaned. Hal, from his uncomfortable p osture on the other's sho11lder, saw her glide out of the hut. H e r fair young face) stern and s et, be trayed her purpose. She w as bent on rushing after him, re sol v ed on firing upon his captors. "Go back, I beg of y ou, Senorita Iza," he called. "Not until I have made those dogs set you at liberty, Senor Americana,'' came the firm answer. "Go back and bar the door. These scoundrels will kill you." "It is what they propose to do with you. I must re scue you!" A NAY AL CADET'S TORPEDO BOAT COMMAND SEE TRUE BLUE. /

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY 1 5 "It is a soldier's business to die, 'but you will make it morebitter for me if you risk yourself. Go back, I beg of you "Curse the witch! We will show her what it means to fool with Spain's sol diers!" growled one of the volunteers. Stepping out of the line, he dropped updn one knee, bringing his rifle to his shoulder. Bang I Crack! Rifle and revolver spoke almost at once. Iza stood unarmed, but from the volunteer carne a roar of pain. Iza's shot had been aimed SG low that her bullet struck him in the foot upon which he rested. His next shot might have brought down the brav e girl, but,_ though he had a repeating rifle, he did not dare use it. "Stop!'' he cried, hoarsely, hobbling back into the demoralized line. "Let us all fire a volle y at the girl," proposed another volunteer. "Between us, we cannot miss her. "No," negatived the lieutenant, still trudging on with Hal on his back. "All take aim at this Yankee brat. Should she fire again, or attempt to follow further, fire at the pig the instant I drop him to the ground." This advice was hailed with murmurs of d elight. It was instantly acted upon, s everal rifles being almos t poked into the boy's face Iza uttered a s o b Admitting her<>elf vanquishe d, she turned and walked slowly toward the hut. Straight into the woods Hal's c a ptors bore l1im, the volunteer who had been struck by Iza 's bullet cursing at every step of the wa y "Tie the gringo to the tre e for safe keeping," ordered the lieutenant, resting our hero upon his feet "Tie him to the tree with his feet two yards from the ground!" jeered one of the fellows. "Not yet," negatived the lieutenant. "He has not been tried yet, this accursed Yankee pig. We will treat ourselves to the fun of a court-martial.'' This idea was hailed with delight. Hal, looking into the evil, griuning faces of his captors, realized t11at they meant to have a c at-and-mouse time with him. "Indians c o u l d not be more bn1 t al or devilishly ingenious than this mob of reprobates will prove," conjectured Hal, not without a shudder. "For the honor of my uniform I must keep up my cour age. They shall never brag that they made this gringo back down." "Before.he is tried,'' spoke up the fat volunteer, "I have a proposition to make." "Speak up," urged the lieutenant. "You all saw the infamous way in which the pig used me'?" "Yes, yes. "He made me eat dirt," growled the f a t one, in an aggrieved voice. ''I, a tleman and volunteer of Spain, actually eat dirt!" "Theinsolent gringo!" cried several. "If he ate the whole island of. Cuba, protested the fat volunteer, "it would hardly wipe out the insult which he in flicted upon a gentleman." "Feed him yourself with all the dirt you will, mi amigo," advised the lieutenant. With a cry of glee, the fat volunteer pulled off his jacket, squatting down upon the ground. Several times he spat upon the same bit of earth, molding this mud into a ball with his hands. "Now we shall see the pig have his breakfast,'' announced the maker of the "Clif Faraday Under Fire.' Read True Blue

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. 16 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. / l!Uld ball; nstng and approaching the spot where Hal stood tied to the tree "He shall eat a dozen more like it," jeered the lieutenant. "Oh, he shall be well fed!" "Open your mouth, beast, "ordered the fat volunteer, holding up hi. s mud ball. But Hal, grinding his teeth, tightly com pressed his lips. "Open your mouth, I tell you," s.c,reamed the wretch. "If you do not obey our comrade," quoth the lieutenant, "I will blow the top off your accursed head He held the muzzle of his rifle within six inches of one of Hal's tem pies. But Maynard faced him defiantly, still compressing his lips. "Open your lips," again ordered the lieutenant, shifting the rifle's muzzle to within two inches of the boy s flesh He might as well have commanded a statue to open its lips. It was a contest of will in which the Spanish lieutenant should have known himself to be defeated. Hal hoped to thus provoke him into inflicting the death wound at once, for this fate our hero believed to be prefer able to the one otherwise in store for him. There were tears of anger in the fat volunteer's eyes as he wailed: "Can't it be done? Can't I force this pig to take the same diet he forced upo n me? He made me eat it, but, alas! he is so stubborn that there is no chance for fair play!" Suddenly the lieutenant let his gun drop. "Josefo," he grunted, y ou are as stupid as you are fat. There is one way that has not occurred to you." !'Y. ou have a good knife at your belt, Josefo. Take it, and pry open his lips with its sharp edge." "Per Bacc_:o, that is splendid advice, my !" J osefo 's steel flash eo in a secon<]. Ruthlessly he thrust the steel between Hals' lips, cutting them so as to draw the blood. In a jiffy, Hal's lips parted. Car-r-r-r-rajo, he will eat!'' roared Jo s efo, delighted. Instantly he poised the mud ball, ready to toss it into our hero's mouth. B1.1t Hal's mouth went shut again, though not so firmly but that J osefo now tried to pry the lips with one of his pudgy fingers. It was the move for which crafty Hal had planned. Darting his head forward, he took finn grip with both rows of teeth ou the fat volunteer's finger. "Oh! ah! oh !" bellowed Josefo, danc ing about with the pain and vainly try ing to extricate his lacerated digit from the vice that now held it. Hal held on relentlessly. 'In the name of Heaven," sobbed the fat volunteer, "make the fiend let go!" The li eutenant and another scoundrel promptly sprang to Josefo's aid By pressing their thumbs firmly under the bo y's jaws, they soon caused such pai n that Ma y nard had to let go "If you've any more breakfasts,'' taunted Hal, a s Josefo tearfully wrapped up the bleeding finger, "brig them on." "There is no need for a court-martial now," declared the lieutenant, glaring at Hal. "This pig has decided his fate for himself. Untie him from the tree, and let him see what we did yesterday after"If it is a sure way to make this gringo noon." eat dirt, name it, my lieutenant, and I In a twinkling they were leading the will remain your debtor for life!'' boy through the woods. They halted ARE YOU A PATRlOTIC BOY? READ Tl\UE BLUE. I

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S'l'ARUY FLAG WEEKLY. 17 dose to the tree from which swung the lifeless body our hero had discovered that morning. "We hung him yesterday afternoon," announced the lieutenant. "He was a Cuban rebel." "Not in the Cuban uniform," snapped Hal. "Oh, no; perhaps not." ''He was a pacifi.co, you cowards. '' "Well, what of that?" challenged the lieutenant. "He was a Cuban, and all Cubans are rebels. We did well to hang him." "It was a murder," insisted Hal, stoutly. "Name it to please yourself, gringo. The same fat will be yours." In spite of himself, Hal paled. "In a few minutes," went on the tor mentor, "you will be swinging a piece of ifeless carrion like that yonder." Hal felt a thrill of terror. In battle, he knew littie fear, but to meet the worst fate in this helpless wa y without a chance to strike back-that struck a chill to his heart. "The rope," commanded the lieutennt. One of the volunteers unrolled the coil om about his waist. "That is as go'od a limb as any," de ed the lieutenant, after staring about The man with the rope climbed the ree, stretching out on the limb desig ated, and lowering the noose. "Have you anything to say?" de_ anded the lieutenant, turning upon the ndem ned prisoner. "Nothing," replieci Hal, "except to you of my deserved contempt for ou as a pack of cowards who could not t a foe in the open." "You have said too much," scowled lieutenant. "Lower the noose." Down it came, and was. quickly ad justed about Hal's throat. "Up with him." With the aid of the man overh ead, two of the volunteers succeeded in raising Mayttard to a standing position upon their shoulders. This accomplished, the man lying out along the limb made the n
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; 18 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "The buzzards are decidedly our debt ors for such a feast of pork," laughed the lieutenant. Crack I Swift as thought the rope parted, let ting Hal's body drop to the ground. Startled be y ond description at this un locked for interference, the Spaniards were some seconds in realizing that a rifle shot had saved the boy's life. ''Who--'' "What--" Their startled queries went no further. Turning in several ways at once, like a flock of frightened sheep, they saw the meaning of the shot. Were the woods alive with troopers? It seemed so. A complete cordon of horsemen was closing in upon them. Every instant the circle grew smaller. Yelling like Indians, the troopers rode down upon the astounded, dismayed scoundrels. Two or three of the Spaniards grabbed up their rifles. They let them go in a hurry, however, when they saw all the cavalry carbines that were trained upon them. "Surrender, you varmints!" rang the sturdy accents of honest old Sergt::ant Jim Brown. Though not one of them understood English, the meaning of that command was not lost upon them. Falling to their knees, throwing their hands up, these Spanish volunteers awaited the next swift events with lively terror. "Make 'em secure prisoners ordered the sergeant. "Don't give up the drop on 'em until you get them away from their guns. The Spanish are tricky as poison. Boys, remember the Maine!" That last adjuration came near costing the volunteers their lives on the spot, for never has any other cry stirred American warriors to such thirst for vengeance. But to the honor of the flag be it said that not a shot was fired in anger at these now helpless wretches. Swiftly enough, however, the Span iards were moved away from their aban doned weapons and made prisoners. Sergeant Brown, the instant he had given his orders, leaped from his horse and bent over the unconscious form of the young lieutenant. "God help the greasers if thev've killed our young ofrlcer !" he groaned, inwardly. There were tears in the honest ser geant's eyes; his hand shook as he fumbled for his flask of brandy. Despite his tremors, however, it was a very few seconds ere Brown had tfle top off the flask, and :sent some of the liquor trickling down Hal's throat. After another dose of the stimulant, and a few moments of chafing, Hal opened his eyes. "Still alive, sir!" was Brown' s joyous greeting. Hal nodded, but did not speak, his mind being still too clouded for him to realize what had happened. "We've got the varmints that tried to do it, sir," chuckled Brown, "and a sorry enough looking lot they are at that!" Now it all came back to Hal with a flood of recollection. His first thought was of Iza and her mother. "There are two women over in one of the cabins yonder," gasped the young lieutenant. "Send over to see if they are safe.'' No sooner did he receive the order than Sergeant Brown sent two of the troopers on the gallop. "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" READ TRUE BLUE, THE NEW NAVAL WEEKLY

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STARHY FLAG WEEKLY. l!i "Feel able to stand, sir?'' queried the sergeant. "I think so,'' nodded Hal. "Lean on me and try it, sir." Hal did so, soon finding himself able to stand alone. "Now I reckon, sir," grinned Brown, "that you're just a-wondering, sir, how we came to be on the ground at the right moment. Well, sir, after you'd been away from Paulo and them other Cubans for quite a spell, sir, they became wor r ied. '!'hey sent all up and down the road looking for you. When they failed to find you-though they didn't give up looking for more 'n an hour-they it out on there turn ior camp as fast as they could make their horses fly. "General Gomez, as soon as he heard the news, was for senaing out several big parties in different directions. But, Lord bless you, sir, I went to Gomez, and I says to him, says I: 'General G., just yon trust an old Indian trailer like Jim Brown to find our young officer without any other help than the United States is prepared to furnish. Just you let that there Paulo take us to where he last saw our lieutenant. We'll do the rest, General G .,' says I. "Now I'm a-telling you, lieutenant, th at General G. is a man with a heap of hard sense. He'd heard about our way of trailing Indians, and be knew it was all r ight. So he says to me, says he: 'Jim' -though I think he called me Jimminy in his queer Spanish lingo-'Jimminy,' says he, 'you just take your boys and go out and find your young officer in your own way. But if you find you need any help,' says he, 'just remember the ad dress of General G.' "So I just made Paulo and the Cuban troopers that had been with you punch the breeze ahead of us nn til they found the place where you'd left 'em. It was pretty near daylight by that time, so, after sending back Paulo and the other Cubans-for their critters was pretty near tuckered out-the boys and me just camped down on that spot daylight came. "Once we had the light, it didn't take us no time at all, sir, to find your critter's trail. When we came to where your dead horse lay, we though at first that you'd 4:Jeen captured by some Spaniards, but one of the boys found your own iudiv'idual foot trail, and we followed that right here. We came along pretty quiet, sir, just as if we were on the trail of ho'3tile Sioux, and so it was we saw what was going on here without giving'the alarm. I made the b oys spread out in a cordon, and just as we were ready charge, I saw you a-swinging, sir. It didn't take me more'n a second to shoot that rope in two. And-but I reckon, sir, you know the rest.'' Then, in turn, Hal gave an account of what had happened to him. Just as he was finishing, the two troop ers who had been sent to tht:cabin, re turned, followed eagerly by Iza and her mother. '!'hey almost fell 11pon Hal's neck in their demonstration of joy. Suddenly Iza caught sight of that other ghastly body, swinging to the breeze since the afternoon before. Her eyes dilated, the last drop of blood receding from her face. She seemed frozen with terror. "Oh, mi padre!" (my father) she moaned, at last sinking to the ground. Then Iza's mother caught sight of the figure of her husband. She fell to the ground i n a dead faint. "Who did it?" wondered Sergeant Brown. "These rascals whom you have as prisCLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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, .. STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. oners,, groaned Hal, as he rushed to the aiel of the two anguished women. "Begging your pardon, sir," rumbled Brown, following Maynard, "are you sure of that?" "The scoundrels boasted to me of their deed,'' replied Hal. "Oh, you dastards tn roared the sergeant, striding over to where the six pris' oners coweted on the ground bet een their guards. But Browtr could not endure to stand ooking at them. He went swiftly back to where Hal and Iza had just succeeded in hringing the newly-made widow back to consciousness. "When did you last see your f11ther alive?" questioned Hal, in a subdued voice for he felt in the presence of terrible grief. -"Yesterday afternoon," came huskily froi'n stony-eyed Iza. ''He left us to go into the woods. There being no food for us, he went in search of fruit and roots. When he did not come back, e thought that perha-ps he had fled into the long grass to join General Gomez, though we wondered at his not telling ns before starting. We never dreamed that my poor father was swinging lifeless from a tree so near us. '' And Iza broke down in a fit of sobbing that mercifully came to her relief. Suddenly she sprang to her feet, her eyes flashing with hate. Drawing from the folds of her dress Hal's pistol, which she still had, she turned to glare at the prisonf!rs. "They did it!" she hissed. "I thank Heaven that I have the means for so vengeance!" But Sergeant Brown caught lightly at her -wrist, depriving her of the "There's no need for you, miss, to do such work," he interjected, in a tone of compassionate respect. ''There's men enough about." Both women began to sob afresh, but Brown drew our hero away to whisper: "Lieutenant, sir, these prisoners aren't entitled to the rights of war. They're murderers clear enough. We could take them to General G., but then again we might have a fight on the way and lose 'em. Now, under the circumstances, sir 1 what do you think we ought to do?" Hal looked into his subordinate's steady blue eyes, read the thought expressed there, and nodded. "I reckon, sergeant, you're right." Iza and her mother were induced to go back to the cabin, after they had been promised that the body of that husband and father should be cut down and properly buried. Six wringing, groveling, protesting spaniards were put upon their trial. It lasted but two minutes. Soon after Iza's father had been buried, following the husky reading of a service from the well-thumbed prayer book in Sergeant Jim's kit, six Spaniards dangled from the ends of S'hort lengths of halter. To the coat of each foul pendulum was pinned a placard bearing this legend: "Spanish Murderers, Hung by Uncle Sam's Soldiers '' CHAPTER VII. THE CHALLENGE. "Sergeant, detail two men to ride two hundred yards ahead.'' "Yeg, sir." "And two more to ride the same distance behind." "Yes, sir." "And let us push to General Gomez's camp with all speed." "Yes, sir."It was three hours later. Command and horses having been well rested, our hero was now anxious to reach Cuban headquarters before dark. Iza, her mother, and the starving children now l1ad food in plenty for two or three days as soon as they should sufficiently recover from their grief to be hungry. Learning of the utter absence of food at the little cabin, Uncle Sam's soldiers had stepped forward to the last man, insisting that these Cubans should have their entire day's rations. Hal's command was now on the march o::.ck, and a rapid march it was, the horses being kept most of the time at a brisk trot. "Lieutenant, sir," began Brown, rid-A NAVAL C A DE T F IRE S E E TRU E BLU E

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 21 alongside, after detailing the advance rear guards, "the boys brought along th them an American flag. It was one was give:p to them at General G.'s quarters. They would like your per to unfnrl it and ride under it. 're just hungry for a sight of Old ." "They couldn't get my permission not unfurl it," replied Hal, so promptly t Sergeant Jim's face fairly beamed. As the glorious bunting shook. to the our hero rode to the side of the lifting his sombrero in salute. "Hurrah yelled the troopers. "H ur-! Hurrah!" "Careful, men," admonished Hal, ly. "We're not in Cuba on a fight g mission, you must remember. It will wisest not to shout too much until we out of the woods." After that there was silence in the ks, though many an earnest, loving was bent upon the Stars and Stripes. With two ha1ts, they had made ten Sergeant Brown, who had learned e way wb11e riding over it earlier in the serving as guide. was during the second one of these that one of the advance guard rode k at a furious gallop. "Lieutenant," he reported, "there are 'sh cavalry ahead." "What?" cried Hal. "They have then, to ventnre within twenty les of General Gomez's camp?" "They are here, sir, on the road ahead. vatc Allston, sir, has waited to watch r approach a minwe longer. Then 1 ride in, sir, to report." S wiftly enough Hal ordered every to horse. Fortuna tel v Brown had ght along an extra beast, so that our was also mounted. A minute went by, bnt Private Allston not ride in. H al began to look worried. "I won't leave one of the boys to meet alone," he muttered to Sergeant n. "Unless we soon hear the step h is horse e'll start after Allston." He's a pretty good man, sir, in my nion, and able to look after himself. f ar, sir, we've heard no shot." "When we do it will be too late. I'll take the first eight men and ride forward." But just at that instant the pit-pat of hoofs was heard ahead. Private Allston cantered into sight, side by side with a man in the uniform of Spain's riders. "Got a. prisoner yes sirree !" chuckled Sergeant Jim. "Hardly,.'' disputed Hal. ''It's a Spanish sergeant, and he's carrying a white handkerchief fastened to his sword point." "Flag of truce from the enemy, sir, I think,' 1 reported Private Allston, rid ing up and saluting. "What does he want?" "Can't make it out, sir; I'm no Span' ish Jingoist.'' "What is it, sir?" hailed Hal, ackowledging the Spaniard's salute. That bronzed trooper spoke in Span ish, our hero listening attentively. "Senor, on the road ahead of you are a body of Spanish horse. Our scouts warned us that you "ere coming. We have heard of yon, and as famous fight ers.'' Smiling grimly, Hal bowed. "We are tired of fighting the Cubans, who dodge into t:ne thick jungle as soon as we open fire upon them,'' went on the Spanish sergeant, plaintively. .''We long to fight with real soldiers. You Yankees have bragged _O much about your soldiers that we of Spain desire to test your mettle. My captain has there fore sent me ahead, under a flag of truce, to bring you his challenge. At the same time, he begs that you will not skulk into the bush, as the Cubans do, and hide so deep in the woods that we cailnot find you." "Did your captain say that?" ques tioned Hal, hotly. ''I am delivering to you his very words. He hopes that, in the fight that is about to come off, you will not show us your backs, and then nothing, as the Cubans do.'' "If your captain said that," retorted Hal, coldly, "he lies. I fought with the Cubans before I entered the United States Army. I am ready to bear witness that the Cubans are brave as any fighters Best Naval Stories for Boys-True Blue.

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I 22 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. in the world. I will support my opinion, tell your captain, at the point of my sword.'' "Then you accept our challenge?" demanded the Spanish sergeant, eagerly. "It is accepted with defiance." "And you will ride at us in the open? -not fight as the Cubans do?" ''You speak of your captain? You have a company of men, then?" "Very nearly," rejoined the sergeant, a peculiar gleam showiug in his crafty eyes. Hal noticed that look, was not de ceived by the fellow's words. "Take back my answer to your cap tain, sergeant. We will try to give him all the fight he desires, But tell him that I will not allow him to dictate the condi tions of the battle." "Ah !" cried the sergeant, contemptu ously. "Then you are cowards. The flag you serve is but a bit of carven's bunting." In a jiffy Lieutenant Hal's face became crimson. ''You are protected by your flag of truce, sergeant. But ride back and let the fight begin. Remember that I shall' seek you. For your disrespectful words about our flag I pledge myself to drive the point of my sabre through your heart!" The sergeant saluted insolently. Hal returned the gesture with one full of grace, out of respect not to the enemy but to his own manly dignity. All hands watched the fellow canter out of sight back down the road. "My men," said Hal, quietly, "I want none of you to give that sergea\}t so much as a scratch when we come together. Even if I do not at once ride at him, remember that he is reserved for me. If I do not kill him, I shall not come alive out of to -day's fight." From tne ranks carne a murmur of deep a pproval. These men were led by a lieutenant whom they loved-whom they would follow into the jaws of death. Though they hardly guessed it, those jaws now yearned for them. "Sergeant," called Hal, beckoning to his next in command. ''And you, too, Corporal Camden.'' As the two non-commissioned rode up to him, Hal whispered: "Sergeant, take six men and ride at once into t he woods on our right flank. Corporal, take four men and ride into the woods on our left. Once you are de tached, use your own discretion, but re member that we must win this fight or go down to the last man.'' Hastily the two non-coms. saluted, next picked out their men and departed. "By twos, forward march," ordered Maynard, leading his remaining com mand down the road. A few moments later he gave the order to trot. With carbines unslung, revolvers handy for instant grasp, and sabre hilts where a second's work would bare those blades, the Yankee troopers trotted ahead. Rounding a turn in the road, Hal iv1ay nard caught a distant view of some sixty Spanish horsemen drawn up in solid ranks. Throwing his men in open order, th young lieutenant commanded his troop ers to begin firing. Four or five of the Spaniards went down at long range. A return volley did no further dam age than to pink the lobe of one of Hal's ears. Crash bang! Two volleys came o of the woods on either side. The Spanish captain, .after desiring au open fight, had deliberately put his force in ambush! It was through of this that Maynard ha. a weakened his force by sending the sergeant and poral into the woods. Both of those valiant non-coms. n justified the trust placed in them. One of Hal's men fell, shot dead from ambush. Hardly bad the volley died away than both Brown and Camden began bangin away at both ambush parties th rear. "Remember the Maine!" "Soak 'em, boys!" A terrible, deadly fire it was that flanking American squads now into the Spanish ambushers. Are You a Patriotic Boy? Rea d T ru e B lue

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 23 Leaping to their feet, not waiting for their horses, those Spaniards who sur vived made a break for the road. They reached it at a point between their own side and Hal's men. And they struck the road, too, just in time to get between the cross fire of Americans and Spanish. soldiers wer:e thus protected from brisk fire by the fugitive ambushers. Assailed thus on all four side, the am ers dwindled swiftly from thirty men half a dozen1 Screaming in their terror, these few ivors fled toward their own comrades in saddle, the Spanish captain discover who they were just in time to avoid 'ng out the last one of them. was a blunder-a terrible one, such no American commander would have been guilty of. Coming in pursuit of the fleeing am bushers, Sergeant Brown and Corporal Camden reached the road at almost the same instant. Reforming his reunited command, Hal gave, swift as thought, these two suc ceeciiug orders: "Gallop! Charge!" And then, as his men rode down upon enemy, came the next stirring order: "Fire at will!" Tempestuous as the crackling volleys they were almost drowned out by ringing hurrahs of Uncle Sam's rs. But the Spanish were firing, too. One of Hal's troopers fell dead. An toppled out of saddle, badly ed. Three or for received slight ds that did not pre\ en t them from ng on. Of a sudden, Hal's teeth clicked to r. Spurring his horse a t its best he outstripped his troopers. He had caught sight, in the front ranks the enemy, of the sergeant whom he promised to kill! Third Part. CHAPTER VIII. DEFENDING THE STARS AND STRIPES. It was deadly work that preceded the clash of the two bodies of cavalry. Under the deadly fire exchanged, au other of Hal's men dropped out of the saddle dead, while two fell wounded. But the Spanish loss was far worse. It was not for nothing that fully one half of Maynard's troopers wore on their collars the badges of sharpshooters! An instant before the impact came 's stirring order: I "Draw sabres!" Spain's me11, too, were ready, steel in hand. Clash clang! clash Sparks flew from the crossed blades as enemies rode their horses at each other, each trying to crowd the foe iuto retreat. Straight at the captain rode Hal. As their swords met, the captain struck down out hero's sword. But that was where Maynard's campaigning with the Cubans came :into play. One of the most dreaded of Cuban machete strokes is delivered under such circumstances. Having struck down Hal's blade, the Spaniard carried his own back to guard. Hal's own blade flew up, but not to meet the foe's. nstead, he delivered an slashing blow that ripped open the enemy's abdomen. Continuing upward as if it had not dallied on the way, Maynard's sharp, crimsoned blade clashed against the Spaniard's. That officer, losing his sabre, reeled from the saddle. He was not dead, but he was effectively out of the fight. "Now for you, sir," cried Hal, turn ing around upon the sergeant who had insulted the Stars and Stripes. Apparently nothing loath for the com bat, the sergeant rode to meet him One of Hal's own men was in the wa..y, but that well-disciplined trooper, remembering the lieutenant's orders, hurriedly backed his horse out of the way. A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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_.....-----STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. I Clash! Hal down the sergeant's blade, confident that the fellow did not know how to deliver the upward machete stroke. Nor was he deceived, but the sergeant, who had witnessed his captain's defeat, did not give our hero any chance to repeat the same method of fighting. So anxious was the fellow, in fact, to avoid striking down our hero's sabre that the latter had abundant opportunities to lay his adversary's head O,Pen. But this would not answer. Having promised to drive the point of his steel into the other's heart, nothing less would satisfy the Amerjcan. A clever feint, a swift stroke, a def t turn of the wrist, and the Spaniard was outplayed. Th. e coast was clear. Hal made a rapid lunge, burying five inches of steel in the heart of the sergeant. A groan that was hardiy more than a gasp came from the man, who was dead a second later. "Car-r-r-r-r-ramba, you Yankee pig!" A Spanish trooper who was within two feet of Hal turned upon our hero the muzzle of his smoking pis_tol. Crack! It was Sergeant Brown who fired first-a left-handed shot, but one that stretched Hal's would-be slayer in the dust. Several moments of terrific fighting, in which Spain's soldiers did most of the taking, just as Uncle Sam's men accom plished most of the giving, demorallzed the enemy. Wheeling their horses about, they fled -fled before what had been a quarter of their number. It was rout, complete and utter, for now not one of the foe turned to fire a shot at the pursuers. "Quarter to all who halt and surren der!" shouted Hal, heading the chase. But not one Spaniard availed himself of the offer. Unable to stand before the Americans, they still preferred being shot through the back to calling out for amnesty. It was a thrilling spectacle of its kind. Unable to face their lesser but superior foe, these little brown fellows preferred what was military suicide to the disgrace, as they regarded it, of <"11rrAt .. dering to the hated Yankee soldiers. For a mile the chase kept up. T that had started in ninety stra was now reduced to a few over a score. All along the ro ad lay bodies, few them belonging to wounded men, Uncle Sam's troopers had done their w too well to leave many of the Spani alive. Suddenly a cheer, hoarse and came from the throats of the fugitives. -Ahead of them, not more than a m away, appeared the head of a marchi column of Spanish infantry. As far back as the eye could see peared the wavering, bobbing lines_ rifles. Hal gave a gasp of dismay. Though he had valiantly attacked, glorious!) defeated more than four ti his number, he was not prepared to tack a regiment of the enemy. "Halt!" he commanded. Brown: "Sergeant, we can't attack There's no disgrace in running. we've left behind at least three wou comrades. First back to get them honest, frank retreat.'' Brown nodded, but without waiting this sign of approval, our hero had the order that wheeled his little d ment about, sending them over the at a canter. The three wounded men were and helped into the saddle. Nor were the two dead comrades by the roadside. They were lifted the pommels of the saddles. -"Jupiter!" thrilled Hal, as the I these bodies was picked up and hung a horse's back w.ith head and heels ing toward the ground. Maynard's quick ears had heard trampling of horses' hoofs. "They're rushing more cavalry to front, confound 'em!" muttered young lieutenant. "We can han dle 'em, maybe," Sergeant Brown's dubious comment. "Perhaps," retorted Hal. "But we are engaged with the cavalry the CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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STARR"X FLAG WEEKL. 25 fantry will come up. That will mean ex-Half a 'Zen of the Spaniards dropped termin ation. '' simultaneo .:s iy. "It looks like it, anyway, sir," was At their leader Hal bad aimed, and Sergeant Jim's cool answer. "If the now had the satisfaction of seeing that enemy's horses are fresher than ours officer fall from saddle an9 lie still under they'll soon overhaul us. Moving on the the trampling hoofs of riderless horses. double quick, it doesn't take infantry Another volley did more disastrous long to come after cavalry." work among the enemy, while the latter Clearly it was either standa nd fight to were still more than a hundred yards the last, or submit to being shot down from the hill-top. uring pursuit. It was more than human nature-Hal's eye roved swiftly about over the Spanish human nature-could stand. seeking some stategetic advan-The third volley was poured into the tage. enemy's ranks jus t as they wheeled ''That hill to the left,'' he gritted. irregularly in flight. "It seems to offer us QUI best chance." "We can make a good stand here, sir, Sergeant Jim nodded. In a twinkling with such sharpshooters as we've got," e squad was wheeled, and galloping ventured Sergeant Brown, saluting and d it. showing a grinning visage. As they neared the top of the hill, the "Yes," clicked Hal. "Sergeant, at ing cavalry, to the number of fifty, once illvestigate and report to me the me in sight. number of rounds of ammunition." "Yes, sir.'' "There they go, the running Yankee gs !" roared a voice. -Each trooper hastily counted the cart-Hal translated the remark to Brown, ridges in his ammunition bet. ho rode at his side, adding: Jim wrote down the figures, "It seems to make very little difference quickly casting up the column and those valiant gentlemen that we are striking an average. h from having whipped a greatly The sergeant's honest, ruddy face perior force of their kind. Say! Eh? showed a little concern as he reported: upite r !" "Lieutenant, I 've got the figmes." ''How many rounds?'' Hal gave a cry of delight as they "Thirty cartridges to a man., the top of the hill. Hal's face lenthened. It seemed like a retreat planned b y "That's e v en worse than I had sup-ature for this last, desper a te
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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY to get the pole and bunting, which he had lashed to the trappings of his saddle. Unfurling it, our hero planted it firmly at the top of the basin. 1 Its beautiful folds flew aut to the breeze, an inspiring sight even to men about to die. "Men," spoke Hal, briskly, "we'll call this place Fort Yankee. With less than one shot apiece for the enemy, we may as well make up our minds to die defending the Stars and Stripes!" CHAPTER IX. DEATH AROUND FORT YANKEE. "Oh, say, do you see, By the dawn's early light--" resistance. But that a score of men would seriously try to resist three battalions of Spain's regulars-bah! the very thought made the regiment's officers grin. "Remember the Maine!" It was Sergeant Jim's voice, low and steady, that sent that message around the little basin. "And also," came from Hal, "remetn ber Bunker Hill!" The mention of patriotic old Boston's glorious fight thrilled the waiting troop ers. The farmers on Bunker Hill had waited .patiently for the order to fire. Uncle Sam's regulars would be not less patient. Nearer came the marching battalions. As yet the order to charge had not issued. What were the Yankees doing? Wer_e Strong and sturdy the song rolled out. they ready to lie down and die under Started by two or three of the troopers, Spain's bayonets? the volume swelled as every throat gave The silence up above caused the smiles f orth lusty sounds. in the Spanish ranks to deepen. Lieutenant Hal was satisfied. Men who It was only a parade, then, after all! could go singing into what they knew to Of a sudden that notion changed. be their last battle, could be depended the edge of the basin came the muzz upon. of less than a score of rifles. "Make every shot tell, boys," l:e mut-There would be some scratches, then, tered, passing along at the rear of the for Spain? waiting troopers. "Aim only at the men But the smile hardly died' in the front ranks. Show them that it is ish faces. death to be in the lead of the charge." "All ready, boys!" Hal's heart swelled with pride in the Hal's steady voice did not reach manly fellows when he saw that not a enemy, a hundred yards away, but hand trembled. troopers heard. Each carbine would be aime d tru?: ''Fire.'' every bullet wo.1ld find its mark! A series of subdued shots rang Below the battalions maneuvred into from the hill's top. position for the attack. The noise was hardly greater Each one of the three was to charge made by the setting off of a paqk of fi separately on three different sides at once. crackers-but the results? Spain's troops had halted for a Spanish soldiers began dropping in moment. The little brown fellows were ranks as if by magic, for each Yan fixing bayonets. soldier had five shots in his magazi "It'll be cold steel, an lots of it-if we and could fire them all in fifteen secon let the pesky varmints get near enough," "Charge!" grimaced Sergeant Jim. The Spanish officers gave that o Forward! The word had been given to prevent the attack of nervousness Wt below. Onward, upward, as steadily as if which the battalions seemed threatened. on p1irade, the battalions advanced. It came too late. It was to be little more than a parade Hal's order to pick off only the -so the Spanish officers reckoned! in the front ranks bore splendid fruit. True, the Yankees might, in their Those in the lead became d desperation, attempt a little faint-hearted Turning, and crowding back HAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE ?

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 27 hose wl1o came behind, the panic was municated to all. Pespite the hoarse orders of their offithe Spaniards fled-fled in fairly order, but nevertheless it was re reat. They left some seventy fallen comrades behind! Few American bullets had wasted. "Boys,'' thrilled Hal,. keep up that splendid work, and who knows but we may win yet?" "We'll do it, sirn came back the steady answer. ''While the cartridges hold out,n voiced Sergeant Jim. "And then, n added Hal, "we'll die, boys, in making the best charge with sabres that we know how to do!" "Hurrah!" ca1fe the deep-throated yell. The cheer was heard below, causing Spain's officers to gnash their teeth. Did those accursed Yankees up yonder 1magine that Spain's veterans were already whipped? After only a bare breathing spell, the battalions were reformed. Again the order was given to go forward-upward. Hal's doughty troopers, with magazines refilled, awaited the next order. Confident of their marksmanship, these en in blue would have preferred to fire at longer range. But Hal, who was considering also the oral effect upon the enemy, waited until foe was at the same distance as re. "Fire !ll Again the magazine rifles spoketalked fast and straight! This time the enemy was prepared. At the firstshot from the hill top one company of each battalion spread out in ish order. Spain returned the fire, se11ding a storm of bullets over the nat mal basin. "Bless their little hearts-they can't hoot a little bit !n chuckled Sergeant im, as, after emptying his magazine, he a second's peer at the enemy. But the Spaniards had suffered again badly as before, with this difference, that now, with their officers behind them, they continued their charge. Each trooper slipped in a fresh clip of cartridges. Without intermission the banging began again. By the time that their magazines were empty, the Spanish were once more in retreat .And now Spain's loss was close to two hundred men. "Well done !ll cried Hal. Yet his face grew long in sp1te of himself. Despite the Spanish loss there were at least a thousand of the enemy left. On the other hand, half of the ammunition with which the Americans entered the battle was gone. A quarter of a mile away the Spaniards were halting to reform. Badly as they had been punished, the officers of the enemy realized that the battle could not end there. To accept defeat from a bare score of Yankee marksmen would be a disgrace worse than death. Yet minute after minute slipped by without any new signs of battle. Hal's men enjoyed that rest to the fu 11. Leaving their rifles, freshly loaded, standing against the natural earthworks, they walked about, working the cramp out of their limbs. But Hal and Sergeant Jim remained vigilant, never removing their gaze from the foe. "Well, by thunder !ll ejaculated Brown. "The Spanish like what they've got so well that they're going to try again.'' It was trne. The troops below were in motion. But it was all maneuvring, as yet. The Spanish companies were marching to their new positions. "They're going to give us a harder nut to crack, ll smiled Hal, grimly. "Right, sir. They're coming in open skirmish order this time." 1Which will make them, perhaps, a little harder to hit." "And they're going to form a cordon, sir. We've got to defend on all sides." Silently, with the unconcern of men "CLIF FARADAY UNDER FIRE." READ TRU BLUE.

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28 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. who have made up their minds to die, the troopers slipped back to their places. Once more they picked up the carbines which had stood them in such good stead that morning. Hal looked on, satisfied. was not yet a single shaking hand on gun barrel or at trigger. Whenever the troopers peered over the natural redoubt, the saw the bodies of those they had slain on the two former charges ., That cheered them. When the end came, they could feel that they had sen t ten or fifteen times their own number ahead of them to destruction. Over their heads swept the skirmish fire of the enemy. Most of the bullets went too high. Not a few struck the ground outside. Though the Americans did not show themselves unnecessarily ; yet when they did peer over not a head suffered in con sequence. As the skirmish lines came nearer; our hero expected to see the enemy run to close formation for a charge. Nothing of the sort took place how ever. The skirmish line came on slowly but und i w n ted I y. "Fire!" As the order rang out the American carbines cracked in unison. At that short range more magnificent work was done. Yet the Spaniards came grimly on. Had not their officers told them that they must either put the Yankees to the bayo net or be too disgraced ever to see Spain again? Therefore, despite their losses, the enemy coutinued to advance. It was necessary to slip in the second clip of cartridges. Not even these five volleys, however, stayed the enemy. Hal, watching through the. smoke, felt that the end was near. Once the Spaniards reached the re doubt, once they got within striking dis tance with their bayonets, the result must be swift and certain. Hal gave the order to slip in the third eli p of cartridges. Almost immediately the firing rebegan. Never was more seen. It told heavily on the' pluck of the tle brown men. They wavered. The last few shots on their nerves. Retreat began o more. As they fired the last cartridges i tile backs of the foe, Lieutenant Hal men rose and cheered lustily. But their was of short dmation. moment later the news ran around little group: "Our last cartridge is gone!" The last, of a certainty, though n had better work been done with so li ammunition, for Spain's total loss in three assaults was near three hundred fifty men and officers. "Boys," said Hal, turning around u his men in blue, "our next move m be the climax. If they charge again, the right instant we will ride down hill, trying to cut our way through weakest point.'' It was all there remained to do. Yet in this plan there was no hope victory-not even of life itself! X. THE MILITARY CLIMAX. For twenty minutes there was further move among the thrice repu Spaniards. That third of an hour was dev"'"'".._ resting their men, to to wounds of some who had received mi hurts. At last the bugle calls sounded. "Their sand isn't all gone," mut Hal, noting the alacrity with which foe sprang to obey their orders. He saw also a change of tactics. Finding tl:at on their last charge cordon of skinpishers had been as defeated as the two former forma the Spaniards now concentrated ?len for a charge in three parallel Ions. "It!s the bayonet this time, su divined Lieutenant Hal. He was right. Up the hill came enemy, in fairly compact masses, TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 29 with bayonets fixed for an assault by moments he had time to think of .his steel. comrade. "Cover them with yo\_\r guns," ordered Time to think of something else, too-Hal. "Let them think you ar merely the grand old American flag which now waiting to repeat your former marksman-waved over his head. ship: That will make the rascals at least For Hal, in his rush, hardly knowing_ apprehensive. But be alert for th e order what he did, had snatched up the flag to horse. When we start, we must do it that had floated for an hour over Fort so suddenly that the enemy will hardly Yankee. ha v e time to understano that we have He bore it aloft, now flaunti .ng it with changed our tactics at dose quarters." his left hand, while in his right he car-He spoke as simply as if merely conried his sabre. versi11g on minor matters. His horse, trF!ined cavalry beast, went His men answered with noels, still without guidance, the bridle hanging keeping their eyes on enemy, their idly on its neck. carbines as much in evidence as if they Seeing the start of the cavalry rush, expecteo every instant to use then1;. not knowing what to make of such an "Sergeant. unexpected move, the Spanish battalions "Yes, sir." han halted, to' be the better able tore"Slip back to the horses. Be ready to ceive the charge. see that; when the order comes, the men "Viva Cuba libre !" are ready to mount without confusion." "Viva los Estados Uuidos !" "Yes, sir." Bang (crash! smash! and the engage" In the charge, I will ride on the ment had begun in another direction. right, you on the left. 1 From the nearest woods, in open order, "Yes, sir. 11 firing as they ran, issued a force of some Drawing his sabre, Hal stood leaning two hundred Cuban infantry. ou it, watchful of every foot the enemy Never had support been more welcome. progressed. Two of the_ Spanish battalions were "Still marching,, he murmured. immediately wheeled to receive the new When will the charge be ordered ?11 attack. He-kept hiseyes on the Spanish This left Hal and his handful of troopcolonel. ers sti1I to face a battalion of the enemy's He now saw that officer call a tnun-infantry. peter to him. Both Cuban and American forces, now "Thirty seconds more, and they'll be in the open, seemed destined to extennicharging," thrilled the boy. "Our nation. moment has come!" But the American troopers rode on with The moment for the splend. id dash-the lighter hearts that a sense of more the rush to certain death! comradeship brings. In a clear, ringing voice he gave the With the help of the Cubans, the regiorder. ment might be cut down by one-half be-Rising, Uncle Sam's troopers made a fore the sharp quarter of an hour's work concerted rush for their horses. should be over. They were in saddle -forward-riding At the rear of the Spaniards came anovPr the top! other sharp crackle of in an try fire. With a wild hurrah they swept down Bringing his men to about face, Hal the hill. led them back fifty yards out of the Hal looked in the direction of the sun, scrimmage, to avoid having them cut shining brightly-the last day of sunlight down by the cross fire of his unexpected he would see. Cuban allies. "I'm glad Juan didn,t come, 11 he mur-As he did so, the earth shook as if with mttred between his hard-set teeth. "He thunder. will live to do better work than this !11 Cavalry were riding to the rescue. On In what he believed to be his last the way the Cuban horsemen stopped ,. Remember the Maine! Read True Blue, the New Naval Weekly I

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30 STARRY FLAG WEEJ{LY. long enough to pay their respects to the catching the American by the should half company of Spanish cavalry, which and interposing his own curly head. had been kept at the rear during the Brave Juan! attacks on Fort Yankee. He faced death smilingly, and death Then onward swept the Cuban cavfled! alry, three hundred strong. For another horseman, riding superbly, Swift demoralization showed itself in saw the same danger. He spurted for the Spanish ranks. ward in the nick of ti111e. As soon as he saw that he could join in A machete flashed, sunk deep in the the engagement without bringing his muscles of the Spanish colonel's sword men under Cuban c1oss-fire, Lieutenant ann. Maynard gave the order. A splendid stroke! It was a race between Uncle Sam and Down came the Spanish sword across Cnba libre to see which could be the first Juan's shoulders; but, robbed of its to reach the Spanish hollow square that forces, it merely fell, glancing to the had now formed to repulse the combined ground. assault. The next blow with that terrible It finished in a dead heat, Cubans rid-machete half severed the colonel's head ing into the open fotmation of Hal's from his shoulders. troopers, and fighting side by side. "They run!" The line was soon broken. Spanish This triumphant yell from the Cubans, rout was threatened. mingling with that despairing wail from In the melee of clashing steel that fol-the beaten Spaniards: lowed, Hal, leaning forward over his "Save who can!" horse's neck, found himself engaged in Bnt who could be saved? sword play with a Spanish captain. ''Almach e !"was the battle cry that For a few moments it was give and sent the Cubans in hot purs11it. take, but at last our hero found the Spanish blood dyed the grass. In the chance for which he had waited. little hollows of the ground it formed His guard knocked down, he threw 11p deep pools. his sabre blade, disemboweling the SpanA disorganized rabble fled down the hill iard with the stroke he had learned side, disappeared under the trees of the among the Cubans. forest, only to be followed and put to the ''Look out, mi amigo!" rang a shrill avenging sword. voice. Hal's men did not follow. It was Juan Ramirez who had called. They had done their share. Now tll Turning swiftly, Hal Maynard saw a dismounted, resting themselves and flash of steel over his head. beasts .. The Spanish colonel, also mounted, Though a few showed scratches or cuts had ridden at our hero while the Iatte:t from the late encounter, every trooper was still engaged with the captain. who had ridden from Fort Yankee was Now he swung his blade aloft, ready alive to tell tile tale-alive and ready for to bring it down before the American more campaigning! could wheel about and come up to guard. Hal had quickly dismounted, to throw Hal's head was in danger. The blow, his arms, Cnban fashion, around Juan. if delivered, would split his skull. "Thank Heaven that a brave young A Ramirez to the rescue! officer is saved both to Cuba and the Yet there was not time for Juan, either, United States!'''. pronounced a grave to interpose a guard of steel. voice. Urging his horse forward at a long Looking up, both saw who their bound, the devoted little Cuban offered cuer was. his own life to save his friet1d's. "General Gomez!" uttered Hal. from saddle as they came "Yes," was the half laughing answer together, Juan sprang into Hal's saddle, "Did you believe the Spanish liars 'A Naval Cadet's Torpedo Boat Command."

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 31 say I am too old to take the field? Well, you llave seen to the contrary." To the contrary, indeed. Though Gomez had ridden twenty miles that morniug, finishing up with a hard charge, he was still as fresh as the young est, strongest officer in his service. "General," cried Hal, saluting, "if you had not arrived as you did, the last American soldier in Cuba would have been wiped out.'' "From what I have seen on the hill slope," smiled the Cuban generali ssimo, "you would have taken to the next world with you enough Spaniards to have made crowoed company. Your troopers must have killed three hundred of the enemy. "Three hundred and fifty, as well as we could judge, sir," answered Hal. "But why that foolish charge against so numerous a foe? Did you know that we were in the neighborhood?" "No, general, but om last cartridge was gone. We felt that it would be easier to die riding than lying on the ground." And Hal briefly recited the l1istory of that morning's work, while General Gomez and his staff, listening attentively) applauded as one man when the tale was finished. "Lieutenant Ma ynard," commented the old general, simply, but with evident warmth, "I am sorry that you left the C uban service. Had you stayed with us, and shown such dash as you have dis played this morning, I should have made you at least a colonel by this time.'' "I am best off, general, where I am," as the respectful, earnest answer "How so, my lieu tenant?" "I am serv ing wl1ere every man should rve, general-under his own ilag. '' "It is true," assented Gomez. "My oung friend, when my scouts brought me at daylight news that this Spanish regiment was marching to tlte coast, I resolved to come out of camp in person and lead the attack. Your devoted com rade, Ramirez, insisted upon coming with me. He must have had a premonition that you would fall in with the regiment which you, unaided, did so much to an nihilate. But make yourself comfortable here, Lieutenant Maynard, for it is here that I shall pitch' my camp for to day, and it is here that the rest of my troops will join me.'' "I shall have one favor to ask you, general.'' "It is granted now, before asking." "Only a few rounds of c;artridges for my men." "They shall be yours-all you will accept.'' General Gomez spoke as freel y as if be had more cartridges than he could use, instead of being wofully short of them. But then, he could refuse nothing to Hal Maynard and his Yankee troopers. [THE END.)" This same young officer and the same Yankee troopers had yet one m o re rous ing set of adventnn::s that should make them famous in annals of America's waragainst dastard Spain. These adventtnes will be told in graphic and thrilling detail in No. 5 of The Starry Flag Weekly, out next week. That number will contain, complete, a superb narra ti v e of American doings in Cuba under the title of "Uncle Sam's Special; or, Hal Maynard's Telegraphic Strategy." No upto-date American boy who wants to keep apace with the happenings of the war can afford to miss "Uncle Sam's Special," as told by that prince of mili tary writers, Douglas Wells. CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE. 1 I

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY Tip Top Quarterly. 'fbe earller Issues of Tip 'l'op Weekly are now on sale in the fol'm of Quarterlies, each including 13 consecutive Issues or this fnvorite weekly, together Wltb tlle 13 original illuminated illustra tious, and an elegant cover in colors. 'l'he price is GO Cents J)er volume, for which sum theY. will be sent by mail post-paid to nuy address in the Unlteu States. No.2, No.3, No.4, No.5, No.6, NOW READY. Nos. 14 to 26 or Tip 'I'op Weekly. Nos. 27 to 39 of 'l'il> Top Weekly. Nos. 40 to 52 of Tip '!'op Weekly. Nos. 53 to 65 or 'l'lp '!'op Weekly. Nos. 66 to 78 of 'l'lp Top Weekly. Jf your Newsdealer bas not got the Quarterlies, remit uirect to the pubJisl.Jers, STREET & Sl\IITB, 81 Fulton St., N, Y. STARRY FLAG BINDERS. 35 Cents. This binder will hold twenty-six copies, and will keep your papers always clean and smooth. No more missing numbers. Handy to refer to and ornamental as well as useful. Sent post-paid to any address on receipt of price. & SMITH, New York City. OUT-DOOR SPORTS. Complete ir.strucUons for playing many or the most popular out of-door games is found in this book. 'fhe games are mustrated and very easily mastere<1. Price ren eenH!I. Address STREET & SMJTH, 2S Rose street, New Yorlri, lllanual Library Department). BOOKS FOR EVERYBODY TEN .CENTS EACH. 'J'he following list of books wtJI be found useful, entertalnlng, and full of iusuuct1v e inforrnatiou for all. l'hey nre handsomely bouud in attractive covers, printed on good quality pnoer, tllua trated, and are marvels of excellence. 'l'hese books have before heen offered at such a low 11gure. 'l'b'e price, 10 each ncludes postage. USEFUL ANI> INSTRUCTIVE INFORMA'J'ION, Album Writer's Assistant, lloys' Omr Jlook or JIOILIB Short lland for J<:verybody. The llook of' Knowledge. llo" to IJo llusines. }j.eryday Cook Book. Amateur's !Iammi of l'hotogr11phy. The Taxidermist !lalllrul. llills' UnierRnl J.ette Writer. Good The llnnter ami Angler. The International Cricket lluide. The l;o mt >lcte Ang ler. Amateur and Professional Oarsman's ltioling aold ))riving. M;anual. l'oe's.J< 'oot-llall. Complete Training Guide for Amateur Camp h ei i'R 1'ennitt. Dunn 'lt Fencing Instructor. The t:omt>lete Checker l'lnyer. Capt. Yebb's Swlmmhotr and Bagatelle. lustructor. Out noor S110rts. Aquatic Guide; or, Y11cht1ng and The roung Gymnast. Sailing. Napoleon's nook of ate. Cupid's Dream Book Zola's Dreant Book. 'l'JUCKS Herman's lllack Art. The \V ar to no !Iagle. lleller's Hand Book or Magic Jferrman's Tricks ultlt Cards. UJWI'l'A'l'IONS AN]) REA.lHNGS. The Peerless Ueciter. Seleet Uecitatlons and Readings. The Young Blocntionlst. 1 he Standard lleclter. 'l'lJcse books will b e sent prepaid upon receipt of 1 0 ctmt8 eneb. '\Vhen ordering, please be pa.rtlculnr to send tbe full title of the books desi r ed, also your full nu.me and adrlress. rrhe books are JO cents each, postage free. Address STREET & Sl\IITH, 25 R.ose St., New York. (111,mna l Library AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY. this is a mistake. Photography is a clean. light, and pleasaut ttC conJ pli!:lhment, within the reach of all. The ca.ll.lera will prove a. friend, reporter, a.ud h e lper. \Vith a ver y inexpensive ca.meru. auy boy or girl can now lear11 not only to take good pictures, bntpictnJ'f'R that there is everywhere a demand for at remunerative prices. A complete guide to this fasclnattng art, entltleO AMATitiJR MANUAL 011' nv will hA sq11t on cents. S1'REET & SMITH, 2S ROse street, New York. lllanual Library Department). H .OW TO DO BUSI.NESS. This book is a guide to success in life emhracing Principles of Business, Choice of Pursuit, .Buyiug a.rul tielliug, ueueral ]\Jo.nM.ge ment, l\Iechauicul 'l'rndes, Mn111rfa.cturiug, llookkeeping, Causes ot Success aud 'Failure, Bus111ess a11d Forms. etc. l c. also contains au apper1cJix of complete hnsiness foru1s and a di ctionary of commercial terms. No young man should be without thle vnln3ble bool.:. It gives complete informatiou about trades. professions and occupatoin in which any young man is interested. Price len ceuts. Acldrcss. & SMTrH, 2:; Jl.ose street New York (Mauual I .. IUrary Depnrtmeut.) WRESl'LING. History tells us that wrestling was tile first form or pastime. Wltbout doubt, it gives strength and firmness, wilh quickness u.ud pHal>illty, to the lltnbs, vigor to coolne86 and discrimination to the head nud to the tem. per, t.be whole formmg an energetic combination of the power to be found iu man. '!'he hook is entitled PROFJCSSOit MuLDOON's WRESTJ.lNG. Jt js fully illustrated, aud will be sent postpaid ou receipt ot' rcn ccnt8 .Address S'l'BEET & SMITH, 2S Rose street, New York. (Manual Library Department) CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE. I

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STORIES BY H IIHB GOBBESPOIDEJI CUBA, MR. DOUGLAS WELLS TO WRITE A \ NEW SERIES FROM THE FRONT MR. DOUGLAS WELLS Young Americans will do well to keep their eyes on this publication. n will be iJt columns they will find the best and most graphic stories of the ar. l'he following stories w11l ap f the order given: ====TI No. 1. Under Blanco's Eye; or, al Maynard Among the Cuban Insurgents. No. 2 Gomez's Yankee Scout; or, The Blow That Told for Cuba. No. 3 The First Gun; or, Hal Maynard's Strong Command, No.4 Into Death's Jaws; or, Uniting tile Reconcentrados.


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