Uncle Sam's special; or, Hal Maynard's telegraphic strategy


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Uncle Sam's special; or, Hal Maynard's telegraphic strategy

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Title:
Uncle Sam's special; or, Hal Maynard's telegraphic strategy
Series Title:
Starry flag weekly
Creator:
Wells, Douglas
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
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Language:
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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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
025644886 ( ALEPH )
71278229 ( OCLC )
S52-00004 ( USFLDC DOI )
s52.4 ( USFLDC Handle )

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0 u e r 7 :J& :JfJ f f f t1 J o 1. 1 b art es rn 81 oo NO Ret. Madisc n & v 1ashingtoll S ts. 4 5 S. HALSTED ST., sTREET & SMITH Publishe r s NEW YORK, JUNE 4, l898 CENTS

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nr.wri;t. GU!f\f/': "'!'f.'.11 G'".'')rs v "n nn:lt (" '""'C lj[ ; ii I !>. ;; ' "-,.in.., .,a. I l.J>.tU\l;.J !\., l n l.1 Ove r 12600 N2w & {;ti Bwks & Lib a;ies tn Stock, Bet, Madisvn & Washington Sts. 45 S. HALSTED ST. Chicago, 11.L Starry Flag W I88d Wukly.-By 8ub8eription, l'J.50 per year. Ji)ntered a. Second Ola .. Matter at the N. Y.Post Office, STREE T & SMITH, 8 1 F'u l ton bt., N. Y. Entered according to Aci 0 1 Cong7'e&S, in the year 1 898, in the Office a/ the Librarian of Oongress, Wahing ton, D. C No. 5. NEW YORK, June 4 r8g8. Price Fi v e Cents. Uncle Sail's Special; OR, Ila/ Maynard' s Telegraphic Strategy. By DOUGLAS WELLS. First Part. CHAPTER I. FAST COMRADES. ''Break ranks, march ' As a squad of Unit ed States regular avalrymen stepped off to their tents, Hal a ynard sheathed his sabre, unhooked 't, scabbard and all, and started for his ent. Mi amigo!" "Eh, Juan, my dear fellow," replied he young lieutenant, exchanging salutes s s oo n as he s aw who had hailed him. The two shook hands as warmly as if he y had not met befor e that day. Juan Ramirez was a c aptain in the uban army, and at present attached to he staff of General Gomez Both youngs ter s h a d sta rted in the uban service but Hal, while at Key est, had been offered a second lieu enant's comm i ssion if he would return o Cuba, escort e d b y only a squad of reg1lar ca v alry, and carry me s sages through he Cuban fore s t s to General Gomezwhich requires a repl y to be de ivered to the authorities a t Washington. That r eply from Gomez, which must nclude e stimates of all the differ ent kinds f supplies which the Cubans nee d ed from the United States, was not yet re a dy Meanwhile our hero and the men under him dallied in their own camp near the Cuban generalissimo's headquarters. "In a day or two, now, the answer will be ready," had been General Gomez' reply. Hal lost no time in idling. Until within the last forty-eight' hours there had been exciting work enough for him to do Now, in the absence of an ything e1se he kept his squad at as steady drill as the climate would permit. "You have something unusual to say?" interrogated Hal, after looking keenly in to his chum' s face. "It is good-bye, perhaps," said Juan, smiling bravely, though Maynard could see that the other was agitated. 'Good-bye?'' "I am g oing off on busin ess." "Ah!" "Pas t the Cu ban lines." ''A dangerous m i ss ion?'' "Mi amigo," replied Juan, laying a hand on Hal's a rm, "I have said a ll tha t I can s a y. ''I a m answered,'' replied Hal, gravely. Military officers, entrusted with im portant duties, do not discuss them, even with their mo s t intimate friends Are You a Patrioti c Boy? Read Tru e Blue. P irp.)

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STARHY FLAG WEEKLY Military movements are m a de with great secrecy. An officer who di s cusses his orders with tbose not included in them commits a breach of etiquette which renders him untrustworthy in the eyes of his superiors. Hence Juan's evasive answer. "I may start back to the coast to morrow. If not then, it will be the da y after," said Hal, musingly "As I said before, mi amigo, this hand-clasp of ours may be good-by." "No; onlyadios," smiled Hal. :'If we do not meet immediately the compaign will not be much older when we shall meet in the field.'' "Heaven knows that I hope so, mi amigo." Both were smiling, yet both felt a tug at the heart-strings. Men who have campaigned together, fought side Ly side, and saved each other from death times almost without numher, grow to feel an affection for each other that is deeper than ordin?.ry friendship. It was such a feeling that existed be tween Lieutenant Maynard and Captain Ramirez. "Juan," cried Hal, suddenly, as each clasped the other's hand again, ''will you wait for me five minutes or so?" "Certainly, mi amigo." "I will not be away longer tban is "I have a few minutes to spare," Juan called after him, while seating himself on the grass. Hal strode swiftly over to General Gomez' tent. The sentinels had orders to admit Lieutenant Maynard at all times, so they merely saluted as our hero stepped past them and through the tent door. General Maximo Gomez sat at a table on which was spread a map of the prov ince, which he was absorbedl y scanning, m aking note s from time to time. His whole mind w as centred on the ta s k, yet he looked up the instant that our hero's form threw a shadow over the table. "Ah, my American friend." "General, l have not come to bother you. I will take but a minute of your time. I have heard that Captain Ramirez is to leave c amp on a m1ss1011. I a m in clined to s u s pect tha t h e is go in g b e yo nd the Cuban zon e of o p era ti o ns. If tha t is true, I have come, sir, to ask your per, mis s ion to go with him. "It is trne that the capt a in is going be yond our theatre of operations. It i s a most important mission, though perhaps not a dangerous oue.'' "I did not inquire about the danger of it, sir. S:ife or risky it is enough for me to be permitted to go with him." "But I am to think somewhat of the risk," replied General Gomez. "When you went out among the reconcentrados you came very near being annihilated with your command. Since I feel responsible for your safe re turn to the United States with my de spatches, when they are ready, I should be reluctant to see you expose yourself to any um1ece s sary danger.'' "But I understood you to say, general, tha t this mi s sion of Captain Ramirez cannot be classed with the dangerous ones.'' "It is more important than dangerous. No, I do not really think it is dangerous, thou g h it will take him within the range of the Spanish movements. But officers who have had such valuable experience as yourself and the captain should be able to easily tr.ke care of y uur selves." "Then I hav e your permission to ac-company Captain Ramirez?" "You have it, if y ou wish it." "I thank you, general. "I shall go." As Hal, saluting, turned to leave the tent, General Gomez detained him by a gesture. "Since y ou are bent upon going, lieutenant, it is as well that I s hould tell you what the errand is. If an ything w ere to happen to Captain Ramitez a t the critical moment, you would doubtless be able to put hi s business through for him." "That is hardly likely, sir," rejoine d Hal. "If Captain Ramirez were to be killed or wounded, l should not leave the field without I had fir s t avenged his mishap by killing all of his enemies." "I am sure that neither would desert the other responded Gomez. "But let me tell what the business is. Thirty miles to the east of here is within ."CLIF FARADAY UNDER FIRE "-READ TRUE BLUE.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 3 lines along which the Spanish troops are moving to the sea-coast. Just about thirty miles from here is the house of Senor Ensenada. He is a Spaniarrl, but he has given life and fortune to the service of Cuba. By not openly doing so he has retained some of the confidence of the Spanish commanders. He has been employed in obtaining information for us. He has some now, relative to the Spanish forces which are moving coast ward. Last night, just as he was about to set out for this camp, he succom bed to sudden illness. He tried to come, but found that he could not. He sent a negro whom he trusts to say th:it his news is so important that he does not dare to trust it to any one less than one of my most trusted officers. Hence I am sending Captain Ramirez to him. If you are to go, too, lieutenant, yon will understand that no escort is to go with you. Two men can move much more easily between the Spanish lines than a body of men could.'' "I thank you general, for your confi dence in me. I shall go with Captain R;:imirez. ;, "And you do not think it foolish to thus expose yourself, where the exposure is not needed in the service of your country?" "On the contrary, general, it is in the service of the United States that I am going. The ride will be through a part of the island with which I am ;:10t acquainted. A knowledge of the landmarks might be of great value to the United States commander when our forces arrive here in Cuba." "If that is the view you take," said General Gomez, slowly. "It is. May J ask if you approve of my idea, general?'' "I think you are justified in going, apart from your desire to be with your sworn comrade.'' "I have your full permission and ap proval?" "Quite so." Saluting, Hal quitted the tent, leaving General Gomez to return to his study of the map. "It's all right, Juan, dear boy," ut tered Hal, gleefully, as he stepped briskly up to his comrade. "Eh!" quoth Juan, looking puzzled. "It's all right, I say. I'm going with you." Juan's face lighted up. He hugged his comrade, Cuban fashion. "Let ns get our horses out at once, mi am1go," urged the Cuban. "Oh, but it is good news to know that you are to ride with me. Myself, I feel able to whip ten Spaniards in any field, but with yon with me we are ready for four times that number." "Your card, Juan?" laughed Hal. "My card, mi amigo. I have not one. We Cuban soldiers in the field cannot encumber ourselves with such useless luxuries." "It is your bnsiness card that I want." "My business card?" "Yes, your card as a florist." "Now, what under the sun do you mean, mi amigo"( I never was a florist. Bah!" "But you must own a few conserva tories. A fellow who throws bouquets as recklessly as you do must have a vast supply of flowers." ''Oh, that is more of your slang, mi amigo," protested Juan. "But I am in earnest in what I say about your skill in disposing of Spaniards. Have not I seen what you can do?' "But to wipe out thirty of themconfess, my dear Juan, that there is something decidedly floral about that. Laughing, the boys went off arm-inarm to order their horses. Five minutes later they galloped out of camp. A mission that was not dangerous? There are few such at the front. Hal and Juan were at the beginning of their most perilous adventure of all! CHAPTER II. WITHIN THE ENEMY'S LINES. Within the Spanish lines! It was not a sudden discovery. Hal and Juan had known, during the last five miles of the way that they were between the lines of march of parallel columnss of Spanish soldiers. They had ridden all day. It was now nearly dark. "CLIF FARADAY UNDER FIRE." READ TRUE BLUE.

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4 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. Sitting in the saddle on their motion less steeds at the top of a hill, they swept with their field glasses as much as was visible of the densely wooded surround ing country. "Ah!" muttered Juan, suddenly. "Mi amigo, look over there. Do yon see that tip of a chimney between the trees?" "Decidedly,'' replied Hal, after sweep ing bis glass a.round. "Unless I studied the map to little pur pose, that is Senor Ensenada's house." "It can not be more than two miles distant." "It is exactly two miles from this hill, if the map was correct." ''And between us and that is the road over which a Spanish regiment is march ing. "Why do you say so?" "What else can the cloud of dust two miles to the southward mean?" ''True,'' nodded wheeling around to look. "And it is infantry, not cavalry. You can tell that much by the way the dust is thrown up." "Isn't it time to move?" suggested Hal. "Quite, if we are to get across the road before the column comes along.'' Digging spurs into their jaded ponies, they set out briskly, cantering down the hill and across the level ground below. As they rode, they slipped their pistol holsters into handier positions. This was not because they expected to meet the infantry column, but soldiers through a hostile country al most invariably send scouts and an ad vance guard ahead. It was the danger of -meeting such parties as these that the American and Cuban officers were preparing against. Half a mile away from the road they began to trot their horses. At a distance more than an eighth of a mile from the highway both riders brought their steeds down to a walk. W bile still out of sight of the road, both noiselessly dismounted. From there on they led their horses toward the point where their own pro gress must cut across tpe line of march of the enemy. The slightest accident might result in their capture. To be captured by the Spanish, within their lines, could have but one meaning. They would be executed as spies. While true soldiers do not fear to die in open battle, the bravest man" in uni. form is filled with dread at thought of being ignominiously hung, and such is the fate meted out to spies. "Ss-sst !" came from Hal, softly, as he held up a warning hand. Juan, just behind him, stopped in stantly. Tramping sounded along the road. Both young officers saw at the same mo. ment, the Spanish advance. It consisted of about thirty men, trudg ing lamely along, under command of a mounted lieutenant. So suddenly had this vision come upon our young friends, that they had not time to hide. For that reason, they stood motionless by their horses, trusting to the shadows of the forest to conceal them in the coming night. For full two minutes, perhaps, this ad vance guard remained in sight. Then it passed out of view. "Ypu are changing, my friend," smiled Hal. so, my friend?" queried Juan, in surprise. "A few weeks ago you wanted to attack t]1at party. timidity, had refused, you sulked the rest of the day. would have If I, in my would have The young Cuban captain smiled in his quiet way. "I still believe, mi amigo, that you and I together could have whipped that rabble." "I'm glad we didn't go to unnecessary pains to find out," said Hal, quietly, as he sprang into saddle. Pistol in hand he rode across the road, Juan coming two paces behind. Once more in the depths of the forest, they struck a trot, holding to it hard for a half a mile. "Better dismount now, mi amigo," advised Juan. Once more on foot, they went cautious ly forward. At every eight or ten paces they halted to listen. HAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE?

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 6 "We cannot be very far fro1n Senor Ensenada's house," murmured Ramirez. "Would it not be better to hide our horses in the near.est tangle of brush, and go forward on foot?' 1 "You are right, decidedly.'' Jn that deep forest it was not difficult to find such a hiding-place for their horses. This matter disposed of, the young officers stole forward. It was now full night, and so dark in the forest that, in order not to lose each other, they touched hands as they walked. "Are you sure we are headed in the right direction?" whispered Hal. "Do you remember a solitary giant palm, in the straight line from the hill?,, "Yes." "Is this it?" Juan placed his hand upon the trunk of a palm, and both looked up to where its top was dimly outlined against the sky. "It is the palm," pronounced Hal. "I agree with you. There was no other tree like it anywhere near. And in that case, we are on the straight line.'' For another hundred yards they stole forward. A familiar sound caused them suddenly to halt-a horse's whinny. "Our beasts?" queried Juan, in a whisper. "I am quite sure not. It came from ahead, rather than from the rear. "There's another whinny.,, "And others." ''All from ahead.'' ''Senor Ensenada would not have so many horses?" qtreried Hal. ''Decidedly not.'' "Then we are coming upon at least a Spanish patrol. More likely a battalion or regiment of cavalry. Since we do not hear the tramp of cavalry, it must be that a Spanish mounted force is camped here for the night. At that rate, they were likely, at any moment, to stumble upon a Spanish vedette, or, what would be more dangerous still, a dismounted sentinel concealed behind shrubbery. It was a trying moment, even for old campaigners. Not to know at what moment one is apt to be fired upon in the dark is trying to the nerves of the bravest soldier. Hal gripped Juan's arm. It was a sig nal to halt. With their mouths close to each other's ears they conferred in whispers. "Had we better move a little apart?" ''Why ?1 counter-questioned Ramirez. ''If one should be shot, the other would want to avenge that shot. Thus, if we move apart, and one is fired upon, the other will be in a better position to send an unlooked-for ball into the Spaniard who does the shooting." "It sounds as if you were right, mi amigo," admitted Juan. "And we will come together every fifty yards.'' "It is agreed, mi amigo." Shaking hands earnestly, they glided away. Calculating his st'ep at twehty-seven inches, our hero kept onward until he had counted sixty-seven steps. Then he wheeled at right angles, going in the direction hi: expected to find Juan. They met, face to face. "We must be very near the house," was Ramirez's opinion. ''Listen.'' They heard, not this time the whinny of horses, but the low, murmuring voices of men. "Decidedly we are near the house," declared Hal. .'Let us separate again, until we come to the edge of the clearing." Once more they parted, stealing off in the darkness. It was barely a hundred steps to the beginning of a clearing. Hal's revolver was now in his left hand. His right clutched at the machete, or Cuban sworn, which, for this trip, he had substituted for his sabre as being the more valuable weapon. If they were near any considerable body of the enemy, it would not be advisible to use the pistol on a chance sentinel in a position where steel would do the work as well. A step at a time, Hal stole northward. TRUE BLUE-The Latest Patriotic Naval Weekly for Boys.

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6 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. He came upon Juau, slightly nearer the edge of the clearing. "Here," whispered Ramirez gripping his shoulder. "Do you see the light yonder?'' "Yes." "It comes from one of the windows of Senor Ensenada's house. Watch it for a moment or two." Hal did so. "I saw a figure pass it, then. And another.'' ''People on the veranda of the house,'' replied Juan. ''Your opinion, then?'' ''I believe that the officers of a cavalry command have seized it for quarters. In that case, the men will be quartered in the grounds." "We cannot go much further then, without stumbling upon a sentinel.,, "Surely," argued Juan, "it was only good fortune that we did not encounter any in the woods. There must be some there, for the Spanlsh officer would be unusually foolish who would take no precaution against a night surprise by Gomez." "And Senor Ensenada ?" "May be entertaining the officers, under compulsion. You know, mi amigo, he pretends to be loyal to Spain. It is in that way that he best serves Cuba. Juan whispered this so softly that Hal, with his ear to the Cuban's mo .... th, barely heard. "And if he is, on the other hand, a prisoner?" J 11an 's eyes flashed. "We must find that out," he replied quickly. Cautiously sheathing their machetes, but still retaining their revolvers, both young officers throw themselves upon the ground. Watching and peering for some mo ments, they wriggled a few yards toward the house. They halted again. Iu line between themselves and the light from the house stood a Spanish sen tinel. He stood leaning upon his gun, but his attitude suggested alertness rather than drowsiness. A few feet more forward, and the bo paused again. Out of the direct line of light, the sentinel was but dimly visible. A f e w yards more, and, owing to th darkness, they could not see him at all. They were past him, now, butane danger quickly menaced. Tramp! tramp! tramp! A dozen so diers of the guard, under command of' sergeant, were going the rounds, relie ing the sentinels. This squad passed within fifteen feet Hal, who was nearer them than bis co rade. Logs could not have lain more still the ground than did the American an Cuban officers. Had the sergeant been looking .abo him, he must have seen them. As it w with eyes ahead, he passed by the lurke to relieve the sentinel whom they h just passed. For another hundred feet the you officers moved forward undisturbed. It was Hai" who suddenly put out h hand to stay Juan. Instantly their heads were clo together. "Danger!" breathed Hal. "There a sleeping men sixty or seventy feet ahea of us." "I can make out their figures," nodd Juan. "Since they are asleep, suppo we try to pass through them?'' "Too risky," objected Hal. "No u taking foolish chances." "We must rnake a detour, then?" "It is better. Five minutes later, after safely passi two more sentinels, our young frien found themselves between the sleeuin men and the house. The nearest point of that building w now some hundred feet away. "Come in here," whispered H urging his friend toward a clump of t flowering bushes. They gained its shelter undetected. Tramp I tramp! sounded footsteps the gravelled path. Tramp I tramp! came some one in t opposite direction. Two Spanish officers met and salut near the bush. ARE YOU A PATRIOTIC BOY? READ Tl\UE BLUE.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 7 "You are vigilant, captain," cried one f them. "Yes, colonel. Making the rounds of he sentinels. It would not pay to have sleepy or dull fellow on post to-night. e are too near that bandit, Gomez.'' "You are right to be vigilant, capain, though I do not bdieve he will ome within miles of us.'' "I have a question to ask you, my olonel, concerning Senor Ensenada." At this, both lurkers in the bushes re ou bled th,eir alertness. CHAPTER III. SENOR ENSENADA1S FATE. "What about that dog?" growled the panish colonel. Hal felt Juan start. "I have had no instructions, my colnel, as to how I am to treat him." "You have him ironed?" nYes, colonel.'' "You are sure that he cannot escape?" "I do not see how he can do it." "Then that is all until morning." "I am not to feed him, then?" "One who is to face a firing squad does ot need a full stomach.'' Juan gave another great start. ''It is all decided, then, colonel t'' "Not absolutely, captain. I may quesion him to-night. His fate will depend pon his answers, and the credence which attach to them. However, I think we ay say that he is a dog, and if that is -well, as officer of the guard you ill be able to furnish a squad of four en who know how to shoot. Make your unds as quickly as you can, captain. e have found a few bottles of wine in enor Ensenada 's cellar, and they will ot last long. You will do well to join s quickly." "I shall be there within fifteen mintes, my colonel.'' "By the way, where is the prisoner?" "In a little room on the second floor, er the library.'' "Adios, captain." "Adios, my colonel." Separating, the two officers continued 1eir respective walks in opposite direc ons. "You are trembling, dear boy," whis pered Hal. "It is for Senor replied Juan. "Mi amigo, his very life is in danger. We m.ust save him." "By all means," coincided Hal. "How we are to do it, I can't imagine, but if the poor fellow has forfeited his chance of life for his loyalty to Cuba, one thing is certain. "And that is--" "That we could never retreat to safety without him as our companion." Juan's hand sought Hal's, giving it. a grateful squeeze. "It is high time for us to begin to reconnoitre,'' suggested Hal. "Will you lead the way, mi amigo?" "If you wish it." "I do, because this is precarious, particular business, and you are the cooler. Lead on, mi amigo." Once more Hal Maynard lay fiat upon the ground. Moving snake fashion he raised his head every few feet to look about him. An inner line of pickets surrounded the house. It took our young friends ten minutes to get past this line, but, thanks to the darkness, they did it safely at last. Another clump of garden bushes gave them temporary safety. They were now in plain view of the house, having also a view of one end of the veranda. Here they saw two or three Spanish officers, sitting on the end, presumably of the regimental party. Corks were popping, wine was flowing freely, and the officers, smoking and sip ping were laughing. "When we fight the Yankees--" be gan 011e of the officers. "When will that be?" demanded a quizzical voice. "Do you believe, cap tain, that the Yankees will dare to come to Cuba." "Oh, of that I am not so sure," began the first speaker. ''But if they do not come here, it is certain that we shall go to the United States. Then the Yankees will have to fight." "Do you think so?" demanded the quizzical one. "Now, let me venture a TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS.

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8 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. prediction. When our glorious Spanish army invades the United States--" Th.e speaker paused until an approving murmur had subsided. "When we invade the United States, I prophesy that the Yankees will all into the interior." "But we can follow, captain. Our hc.rses are rather fleet." "We can never overtake the fleeting Yankees," continued the prophet. "Every Yankee in the United States owns a bicycle; they are a nation of bicycle riders, and their wheels are faster on good roads than our horses. Hence, when we invade the United States, we shall find nothing but absolutely deserted cities." "When yon chaps invade the United States," gritted listening Hal under his breath, "you'll do it as prisoners of war, and yon '11 find whatever you 're led to.'' Juan chuckled softly. "How the sight of my uniform would please them," whispered Hal. "On the contrary," protested Juan, "these Spaniards are such braggarts that the sight might terrify them. Really they do not yet believe that the United States forces are coming to Cuba." "I have hopes of being ennobled," put in the colonel. "If so, I shall beg the queen regent to make me Duke of Flor ida." "Oh, rats!" commented Hal, disgustedly. "Juan, if we listen to their talk much longer you will have a sick comrade on your hands. Let us be moving on our own work.'' Since the lights from the house shed some rays over the ground it was now necessary to move with great caution to avoid being seen. Moving at a little greater distance from the house, our hero worked his way past the side of the building. Of a sudden he halted, waiting for Juan to reach his side. "Look through that window," advised our hero, pointing. "Do you see the book-cases? That must be the library." "Beyond a doubt." "And that window on the story ove-r head must open from Senor Ensenada'a prison. There is a light there, also, you see.'' Juan nodded thoughtfully. ''Follow me around to the rear of the house." "And what then?" "If we do not find something that i favorable, we will try to keep on all th way around the house." "Good!" As they neared the rear, the surround ings became darker, enabling our frien to move with greater freedom. Jerk! Stopping short in his wriggl Hal gave Ramirez a violent kick in th shoulder. It was full time that they stopped Sitting on a small back porch, with thei feet dangling over the edge, were U1r Spanish soldiers. Less than twenty feet away, they ha sat there so slient, and so well conceal by the shadows, that the prowlers ha had no idea oltheir presence. An uneasy move on the part of one o the soldiers, a shifting of positions ha produced a slight noise that instantl caught the sharp hearing of Lientena Maynard. seeing that bis chum now lay quit still, without making signals, or offerin to whisper, Juan, too, lay as still as mouse. Scratch fl.are! One of the soldie struck a match. With his pistol in one hand, the oth hand reaching for the machete hilt, H waited in alarmed suspense. Brighter burned the match, and the flared up even more luminously, as th soldier, holding the flame against the en of a cigarette, drew through the tobac with the effect of a bellows. "'Car-r-r-ramba !" cried one of the so diers, starting to his feet. "There some one crouching on the ground." Hal's heart gave a great thump, Juan heart playing him a similar trick. "What is it?" calmly inquired t cigarette smoker. "By the light of the match, before y threw it away, it looked like the for of two men crouching there.'' "Well,'' spoke up the third. "Su pose that two of our comrades do pref A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 9 o sleep near the house? We do not be ong to the guard, that we should thrust ur noses into the affair." "Wise philosopher, you," commented al, grimly. "It is not two comrades," continued he soldier who had taken alarm, speakng after a few seconds of silence. "And how do you know that?" "Because sleeping men generally snore. ot a sound comes from that direction.'' "Go and investigate, then, and you ill be satisfied." Again Hal's heart began to bump vio-ently. At that moment, a large drop of water lashed on his outsaetched hand. It was followed by another. "Car-r-r-r-r-rajo jerked out the moker. "The rain has put out my igarette. Comrade, if you must, you may go and look at your spectres. I am going to get in the house before this coming rain becomes furious enongh to drown us.'' "And I also," added another. "But I," disputed the one who had first taken alarm, "am going to see just what it was that caught my eye." "And then come in and dry yourself," jeered the smoker. By this time the sudden rain-storm was at its height, the heavens pouring a flood of drenching rain upon all under them. While the other two went into the house, banging the door shut after them, the man who wanted to know stood in hesitation for a few moments. Then, making up his mind, he jumped to the ground, striding swiftly toward the two crouching figures. CHAPTER IV. THE LURKER ON THE THRESHOLD. At the first sound of the soldier's foot touching the gravel, Hal's plan was formed. Letting his revolver rest on the ground beside him, he sat quickly up, stretching his arms. "Comrade," he remarked 'in Spanish to Juan, "if this rain is to continue, we had better seek our captain's tent." This was intended by way of a joke, the cavalry being without field equippage. "Ha!" growled Juan. "If this wet were not so uncomfortable, I would willingly laugh at your remark. But I am in a savage mood to be thus waked out of a sound sleep." The soldier, coming slowly forward, eyed them attentively. It was so dark that he could see little of their faces or uniforms, but their speech made it appear that they were members of the regiment who had undertaken to sleep away from their copmany. Two steps nearer, however, and he clearly perceived the light-colored canvas of Juan's Cuban uniform. Spain's soldier gave a violent start, opening his mouth to sound the alarm. He stood quite near Hal Maynard. Quick as a flash that young officer sprang up, seized the Spaniard by the head with one hand, and with the other shoved the muzzle of his revolver into the fellow1s open mouth. '' Dnn 't try to talk," cautioned Hal. "I'm in a position to shoot the whole top of your head off.'' Even in the dark, rendered intenser by the rain, Hal could see the Spaniard's eyes bulge as if they would pop out of his head. "Don't get yourself into trouble by begging for mercy," added Hal, in the same cautious whisper. "If you do just as you 're told, you 're safe. 11 Shaking like a leaf in the gale, the Spaniard remained mute. ''Put your hands behind you,'' ordered Lieutenant Maynard. No sooner had the captive obeyed than Juan, slipping behind him, deftly lashed the wrists together. "Kneel down," went on Hal, peremptorily, "bnt don't attempt to get your mouth away from the pistol." The Spaniard obeyed, though he trembled so that our hero and Juan were forced to aid him. Next they placed the fellow on his back, in which position Juan substituted a gag for the muzzle of the weapon. "Now, my excellent comrade," resumed Hal, "make as secure a job of the "REMEMBER THE MAINE!" READ TRUE BLUE, THE NEW NAVAL WEEKLY

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10 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY, little sinner's feet, and we shall have him into him the instant we where we can handle him of the corridor." Since our hero spoke in English, the "It will be worse for him, then," mut. soldier could understand him, but his tered Hal, doggedly. trembling increased "Wait till I find the l a y of the land." "That is a good, dark-looking space While Juan stood just in the doorwa under the house," went on Hal. "We'll of the room, Hal lay down flat and wri stow him there.'' gled to the corner of the corridor. And there they put him, so far into the His head close to the floor, he looke shadow that there was no likelihood of past the corner. the fellow being discovered before day-In a twinkling he was up on his fe light. again, darting out of sight. "Shall we try the back door?" asked Juan followed with swift stealth. Juan. was just in time to see Maynard glide u "It is certainly the only way we can behind the sentinel who was pacing i enter the house. But if those two soldiers the same direction, with bis back squarel are standing inside the door--" turned. "It must be worse for them," finished Whack! The butt of Hal's pistol d Juan, laying bis band upon the hilt of scended on the soldier's head with fearf his machete. force. Hal prepared himself similarly. It was a knock-out blow-a terrific on Side by side they stole up the steps, For an instant the soldier reeled. A our hero cautiously turning the knob of be fell, Hal caught him with the door. catching the sentinel's gun That barrier yielded readily enough to other hand. admit them. "Magnificent!" murmured Ramir Inside, a corridor ran from front to gliding up behind his comrade. back door. It was practically dark, the "Here is the door of Ensenada only light coming from the veranda. room," whispered Hal. "Open it. Th "Nobody in the way," whispered Hal, help me to take this fellow in as quick! wistfully eying the nearby staircase that as it can be done.'' red upstairs. Juan sprang to obey. The door open "Chance it," urged Juan. with difficulty. In an instant they ha Hal nodding, they reached the foot of the unconscious sentinel inside and t the stairs without being discovered. door again closed. "A quick, soft dash," murmured our Hal knelt over the Spaniard, prepar hero, hearing sounds on the vernada as if to choke him into silence the second h some of the officers were about to enter. should show signs of regaining his sense With rapid, stealthy movements they Juan gazed swiftly about the apartmen bounded up the stairs. Then a cry of rage escaped him. There was not time to look backward. "We are tricked, mi amigo, or else i Both kept lookout ahead. the wrong room. There is no prison They gained the landing, douged into here.'' an open doorway. Hal looked swiftly round. "This room has been taken by some of "This sentinel was not here guardin the officers,'' whispered Hal, fumbling in an empty he asserted. the dark against saddles and harness piled "But in that case, where is the pri in a heap at one side of the room. oner?" "We are liable to be found here at any There is a closet over there. Look in moment, mi amigo." it." "We must .find the library. It is the At the fourth word Juan started. door past that that leads into Senor En-yanked open the door, looked insid senada's prison." gave a low cry of satisfaction, and disa "There is also a sentinel to find. Do peared into the closet. you hear him walking? We shall run Hal did not dare to leave the sentinel ''A Naval Cadet's Torpedo Boat Command." See True Blu

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 11 did not deem it wise to e.ven look around again, but waited until Juan staggered up to him, depositing a human burden on the floor. It was a man, of middle age apparently, and apparelled like a prosperous planter. Wrists and ankles were securely bound. A gag had been forced between his teeth, wedged in with unnecessary force. "It is Senor Ensenada,'' wnispered uan, instantly beginning to remove the gag. "Yes," acknowledged the prisoner, as oon as he could use his tongue. "In a jiffy more, senor, yon shall be ree. I am the officer sent you by eneral Gomez. '' "Never did a messenger come more pportunely," sighed Ensenada, as Juan eftly slipped the cords from his wrists. 'But your comrade. His uniform is that f--" "Our great Uncle Sam. More of that ater, senor. Now, your feet are free." Hal had taken no part in the conversa ion, had not dared to remove his eyes rom the face of the man over whom he "Is that gag still in good condition?" e asked. "Excellent!" gritted Juan. "Then hand it here, for my prisoner. he cords, too, wiH come handy." While the young officers bound the en tin el, Senor Ensenada stretched his ramped limbs by walking softly back nd forth. His fl.ashing eyes blazed with satisfac ion when he saw them lift the prisoner nd carry him to the closet. ''I am not sorry for the rascal's fate, enors, '' declared Ensenada, as Hal and uan returned to face him. ''And now, senor,'' responded Ramirez, peaking hurrii>dly, "let me advise you o follow us away from here as quickly as ossible. In view of your treatment it ill probably not surprise yon to learn hat yon are to be shot at daylight." "One question first, gentlemen," interosed the planter. "Is there any danger hat we may not succeed in escaping from ere?'' "A very great danger," answered Juan, promptly. "Then before we go, let me whisper to you all the information that I would send to General Gomez. If I do not get away from here, it is possible that yon will. General Gumez must not be deprived of the information that I had fur him." Nodding, Hal stepped away. Juan and the planter conferred in whispers, the Cuban captain taking a few notes. "You will not forget any part of what I have told you?" questioned Ensenada, when he had finished. "Not a word, senor." "That news will be of the utmost importance to General Gomez.'' "I appreciate the fact, senor. Be as sured that if I return to headquarters alive the general shall know all that you have told me." "And now for our escape. I can hardly believe that I am to get away from here." As he wheeled about, Ensenada sud denly turned color. "Diablo !" gasped Juan. For the door had softly opeued, and on the threshold stood the Spanish colonel. Second Part. CHAPTER V. A RED HOT Spain's colonel stood aghast. The scene was so utterly different from what he had expected to see tha. t for an instant he lost his self-possession. In his bewilderment he took three steps into the room. "A Cu ban here in--" be began, but t)1at was as far as he got. Hal Maynard had hid behind the opening door. One step past him, without seeing him, went the Spanish colonel. Thump! A blow from the butt of 's pistol landed on the colonel's cram um. He staggered, reeled, sought to recover himself as our hero made a second spring after him. A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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12 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "Guard! Treachery!" bellowed the colonel, lustily. Whack! Hal's seco11d blow laid him out completely. "Work like lightning," quivered our hero. "Off with that blouse, cape and cap." He helped Juan to strip the fallen foea task that was accomplished in seconds, where minutes might ordinarily have been expended. "The cape, Ensenada !" gritted Hal. "Juan, the cap and blouse!" "But you, mi amigo?" protested Ramirez. "Now don't stop to argue." Juan pulled on the cc lone I's blouse over his own, substituted the cap for his sombrero, which latter he hid under his newly acquired blouse. In the same few seconds Senor Ensenada wrapped himself in the long mili tary cloak. Below was heard the sound of excited voices, then rapid steps on the stairs. "To the window!" thrilled Hal. ''Every second means a life now!'' Pouf With a breath he extinguished the light. Next three bounds carried him to the window. Ramirez, throwing up the sash, sprang through. "You next, Ensenada Without loss of time the Cuban planter sprang through the window. Hal followed, dropping to the ground a dozen feet below. His two comrades were already putting off through the darkness. It was full time, for hardly had Hal cleared the sill when a dozen Spanish officers entered the scene of the late con flict. ''Hardly one show in a dozen to through,;, panted Mayuard, inwardly, as he raced between his fri nds. "Guard!" yelled a stentorian voice from the window. In an instant there was commotion. The rain was still pouring in sheets, causing the wretched Spanish soldiers, sleeping without tents, to huddle in the best sheH:er that could be fotrnd under the bushes. Nearly all of the men were awake. As our three friends dashed along, the saw ahead of them the moving figures o a company of soldiers hastily assembling. "Juan," panted Hal, "you understand You are a Spaniard." "For a minute,'' gritted Ramirez. There was no time to say more, f they were close upon the soldiers. There had not been time to avoid the men, and, had they done so, it woul have invited instant suspicion. Instead, J nan now took the lead, be! lowing as he dashed up to where th nearest men stood: "Who is in charge here?" "I, senor," responded a non-commi sioned officer, leaping forward and salu ing the Spanish uniform that Juan wor "You, sergeant. Very well; lead you company to the house as quickly as yo can. There is a band of Cubans withi the lines. Be quick Aud Juan, who had hardly pause continued to run forward while the Span ish soldiers, believing him to be one their own officers, made way for him. Ensenada's long military cloak fool them into believing him another officer. As for Hal, his dark uniform, so diffe ent from that worn by the Cubans, di not attract attention. He. was with two Spanish office That fact, in itself, would have vouch for him, if these drenched, excited m had paid particular heed to him. Thirty minutes more of hard runni brought them upon the sentinels. "Halt!" came the hai1, simultaneous! from two sentries. "Fools!" roared Juan. "Would y fire upon your own officers? The house being attacked by Cubans. Fall bac upon the house, where you will find t officer of the guard rallying enough you stupid sentries to save the colon from Cuban capture." Halting only long enough to proje t11is information the guards, Ramir and his companions kept on. As for the sentinels, they stood a mi nte undecided. Bnt there was a sound turmoil over at the big hou s e by th time. Plainly, something was wron BEST NAVAL STORIES FOR BOYS-TRUE BLUE.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 13 They set out upon a run to obey the or ders of these supposed Spanish officers. Our three fugitives had now the forest before them, unless there should prove to be videttes posted in the way. "We have certainly kicked up a fine excitement," smiled Juan, showing his white teeth as he turned to Hal. "And it won't take them many seconds more to find it out. Then we can look for trouble." "And give it," retorted Juan. "We are headed in the direction that we left our horses, are we not?'' "Yes." "Then head straight for the thicket, if yon can. But I forgot, Senor Ensenada," added Hal, thrusting his arm through the planter's, "that you are ill." "Was ill," corrected the other. "You feel strong enough to run like this. We are not exhausting you?" "Not in the least," declared the planer, puffing as if every breath indrawn would be his last. "Let me help you also," cried Juan, atching hold of Ensenada's other arm. "Gentlemen,'' puffed the planter, "you re giving yourselves unnecessary rouble.'' Ta-ra-ta-ta-ta pealed a bugle to the ear of them. "\Ve can't lag many moments," utered Hal. "They are calling their men o horse.'' Before the fugitives had run a hundred eet further a thunder of hoofs began be ind them. "If they overtake us," gritted Hal, 'we are done for." A crackling of musketry ounded behind them. "The reckless fools!" vented Hal. 'They are firing even before they know here to look for us.'' "They will soon know," groaned nan, "for another minute will place hem at our heels." "Don't say another word," directed aynard. "We are winding ourselves by alking. Lead the way, Juan, and we will o our best to keep on after you.'' Again came that rattling, irregular voley of musketry. Zipping bullets swept between tpe trees, one going so close to Maynard's ear that he unconsciously dodged. Ensenada, though running bravely, held them back. Had it not been for their determination to save the planter, too, the young officers might have escaped. Now that they, too, were under the trees, the pursuing cavalry came on more slowly. Still they gained gradually upon the fleeing trio. The third volley of bullets whistled all about Hal and his comrades. "Shall we give them a return?" de manded Juan. "No! Run!" Grumbling somewhat under his breath, Juan kept in the lead. "Our thicket!" he gasped, soon after, and dove into it. In plunged Hal after him. Both rode out, mounted. "Up in front of me, senor," quivered Hal. The noise now made by the pursuing squadron's hoofs almost drowned out his words. Ensenada understood, nevertheless, and was up in a twinkling before Hal. "There is a river not far from here Let me guide you to it," urged the planter. "Willingly. Take the bridle." Another crashing fire drowned out Hal's last words. So close were the Spanish riders that the flash of their rifles illumined the woods enough to furnish a dim view of the fugitives. Yet, despite the closeness of the range, not one of the latter was hit. The flash, however, showed the escaping trio just as they were in the act of changing their course. After them, in the new direction, wheeled the trailing squadron. Another volley whizzed harmlessly by. "Confound the rascals!" gritted May nard. "They're firing, now, for the purpose of lighting up the woods." "We are near the river," declared Ensenada. "Another riding, at this pace, will bring us to the bank. We--" "A NAVAL CADET'S TORPEDO BOAT COMMAND"-SEE TRUE BLUE.

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r Ii H STARRl'. FLAG WEEKLY. Crash! Whatever the planter said was inaudible to the youth riding behind him. "Curse the scoundrels!" came hoarsely from Juan. Hal turned just in time to see Ramirez's horse plunge and fall. One of the whistling projectiles had brought down that noble beast. "Stop I" thundered Hal. As quickly as could be, Senor Ensenada pulled the horse down to a trot. Juan, sprinting like a deer, had kept up with them on foot so far. "Ensenada,,, quivered Hal, "I am go ing to dismonnt. Wheel at an angle, and try to escape across the river. Do not dis pute. Ride." Off sprang the horse as Hal, quitting the saddle, struck the earth at Captain Ramirez's side. "Why did you do that?" queried Juan, half angrily. "Comrade, we have never deserted each other yet. To-night woul9 be a bad time to start. Give me your hand." They clasped hands, running side by side. Behind them was the enemy's squadron, coming relentlessly nearer. Suddenly the open appeared before the boys. "The river!" gasped Hal. "In with you, comrade!" Both stood poised for the spring into the water. Before them came a quick flash that made them recoil. An instant after, when too late, they understood the meaning of that flash. It came from the search light of a gunboat moored in the river. "Bah!" growled Hal, blinking. "Jump, old fellow!" But even as he spoke, the cavalry came upon them. Standing as the two boys did, in the fttll glare of that search light, they pre sented a sp!endid mark. Quick as thought, came a Jong range volley from the foremost cavalrymen. Only a second after the sharp volley did the two figures stand thus. Then, throwing up their arms, they reeled forwa-rd and fell. Plash The river water covl'.!red both. CHAPTER VI. UNDER THE SEARCHLIGHT. Glare The irradiating glow ol the search light streamed over the water. A board the gun boat the officer on the bridge had seen the two fugitives fall. That oftlcer now made it his business to learn whether the two fugitives were still alive. Checking their horses just at the water's edge, the cavalrymen their eyes to see the bodies of their vie ti ms. nut the bodies of neither Hal nor Juan appeared on the surface. Though the light flashed back and forth, luminously penetrating every foot of the waters for a quarter of a mile UB and down the stream, not so much as a bead was discovered. "Car-r-r-r-ram bo I" growled a Spanish captain. "It is odd that the dead bodies do not float.'' ''Probably the carcasses are too full oj lead,'' suggested another officer. "' "There is sense in what you say, lieu tenant. I had not thought of that." Nevertheless, despite the precautions taken to find them, Maynard and Ramin:z still liYed. Caught by the fire, yet unharmed by it, their plunge into the stream had been a ruse. For the first hundred yards they swam under water. After that two heads bobbed up close together. "Juan I" "Hal!" "You are hurt?" "Not by so much as a scratch. But you?" "No worse off than yourself." "Bah I" breathed Juan, contemptuous ly, "what these Spaniards need is a drill master who understands shooting. Every ball that passed me went high up over my head." "Duck' old fellow. Here comes the search light.'' As the line of light swept toward them over the water, both sank witlJout leaving so much as a ripple to mark the spot. Hal swam fifty yards just under the CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 15 surface, until, looking upward, he saw that the light no longer illumined that portion of the river. As his head bobbed up, Juan swam close behind him. They were now close to the gun boat, whose black sides loomed up almost in their path. Over the rail, despite the pouring rain, bung many of the Spanish sailors, still scanning the water in whatever direction the light turned. It came toward the two swimmers again, causing both to disappear. When they came up again, they were barely past the gunboat. For some moments they swam as silently as possible. though neither any longer feared detection by the search light since the flare was not being operated from side of the vessel. "They're still using their electric lan tern," chuckled Hal, finally, as he flopped over and began to swim easily on his back. "By t his time,'' grimaced Juan, "they must have come to the conclusion that we are too full of lead to float. They will soon give up the search." Almost instantly the prediction was verified, a bugle blast from the now further shore showing that the cavalrymen were marc.:h ing back to their lately startled camp. Nor did the searchlight continue to plar up and down the stream. "We are dead," mimicked Ramirez-. "Our deaths will soon be published in the Spanish reports. I am curious, mi amigo, to know how many men we shall be considered worth. Doubtless the Spanish bulletins will report a fight with the insurgents in which forty Cubans were killed and sixty wounded." "That gives me an idea," chuckled Lieutenant Maynard. "Now I know the basis on which the Spanish reports are made up as to the number of the enemy killed and wounded in a certain battle. It is simply this: The Spanish comman der ascertains how much ammunition was used, figures how many Cu bans that number of car.tridges ought to have killed and wounded, and sends it in to Havana as a report of fact. ' "They would not take the trouble to make so elaborate a calculation," sneered J u::i.n. "Plain lying is much easier to a Spaniard." "We are nearing the bank. A few good strokes, now, comrade.'' Lusty swimming soon ended in wading. Shaking the water from their clothing, they stepped up on land. "It will do no harm to be quiet," whispered Hal. "Remember that we are still within the probable Spanish lines." "At all events, let us get in motion. That drenching is almost enough to give us the yellow fever." "Ugh! Do not talk about it. I feel contempt for Spaniards, but the very name of yellow jack fills me with terror." Only a dozen steps had they gone for ward when something moving ahead brought them to a stop. Grasping their revolvers, each darted noiselessly behind a tree to await develop ments. "Is that you, senors?" called a voice. "It must be Ensenada," murmured Hal. "It is no other," answered be who had hailed them. "And you--" ''A re your friends,'' replied Hal, unconcernedly, as be stepped out from the tree. "Senor, you must have hurried." "I did, in truth," came the quick an swer . "I was resolved not to miss you. It was about here that I calculated that you would swim ashore." "You seem to have been very confident that we would reach this bank." "Why not?" demanded Senor Ensenada. "I knew your grit and resolution. As for the rest, I trusted to bad Spanish marksmanship. I knew that if those soldiers aimed at you they would miss you." "Ob, come, now," protested Hal. "Not all Spaniards are bad shots. I have been in battles against them where their shooting was much too clever for my com fort. But how did you manage to cross without being detected?" "It was easy enough. After I left you I rode like the wind, for this good beast was fresh. Not until I had gone nearly a mile to the south, I rode this horse into the water and swam over. Then I rode back here, judging your track to be in the "REMEMBER THE MAINE! "-READ TRUE BLUE, THE NEW NAVAL WEEKLY.

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.. 16 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. path of the gunboat, whose light I could see. And here I waited for you." "Now let us push on quickly," urged Hal. "We have some distance to go be fore we are GUt of the Spanish lines. After that we have a long journey to General Gomez, to whom, I believe, we are carrying news that is worth a half a dozen battles." They set out, plodding on doggedly. The rain had ceased by this time, which fact added a little to their comfort. Senor Ensenada, whose recent illness and late exposure had left him weak, was persuaded to keep in the saddle, Hal and Juan plodding on either side of him. For three miles Ensenada kept on without complaint. l'J'ow he halted, explaining plaintively: "Gentlemen, I cannot go much further without a cigarette. Wait until I roll one." "Out of what?" demanded Juan. "I have papers and tobacco with me." "Both of which," retorted Juan, must be nearly as wet as the river itself." "I could dry both quickly if either of you gentlemen have sufficient matches.'' "We have, but unfortunately the matches are as wet as anything else." "That is true," sighed the planter, dis consolately. Ht! started the horse as i f to go on again, but our hero interrupted him. "Wait one moment, senor. If matches are all you need, I can make as many of mine burn as you wish." 1Yes, you can," smiled Juan, as Hal drew out of a pocket a thoroughly soaked lucifer. I( Can't I make that burn? Just watch me.'' Drying the wood as well as he could between his fingers, Maynard next rubbed the soaked brimstone end through his hair with a brisk motion. Scratch! The match flared up, burning freely. "Dia blo n ttered J nan. "Is that witchcraft?" "Not in the least. But my hair has al ready dried. In that hair there is enough electricity to quickly dry the match. It is a trick that never fails. '' ''Senor," came from the delighted Ensenada, "if you will quickly work that trick on a few more matches, I will get everything ready for my cigarette." While Hal was fixing a small handful of matches, Ensenada plucked a few green leaves. On one of these he placed two cigarette papers. 1Now, a little fire beneath this leaf will dry the paper," he suggested. "Juan, my dear fellow," asked Hal, "be kind enough to strike the matches. Then, by the aid of their light, I will ex ... amine a little find of mine." While Juan complied, Hal drew out of an inside pocket a long wallet. "Eh, mi amigo?" insinuated Ramirez. ''Yes,'' grinned the young American, "it belonged to the Spanish colonel. As I struck him, and he fell, this dropped on of one of his pockets. I picked it up, a you may imagine, but not in order to play the thief. It struck me that it might con tain some papers that would be useful t General Gouiez. '' "Look through it quickly," begge the Cuban captain, giving so much of his attention to what Hal was doing that Ensenada was forced to "Captain Ramirez, if you do not use more care you will set my drying paper afire.'' "First of all," discovered Hal, "here is some Spanish paper money. It is pretty worthless stuff, but perhaps it will buy food for some of the starving Cubans in Havana. There appears to be about a thousand pesetas of it. Permit me to pn it in your pocket, Juan, and at your con venience you can find a way to get it int the hands of the Junta at Havana.'' Hal continued his investigation. "A few private papers," he explained. "Mostly unpaid bills contracted in the towns where the colonel and his regimen stopped. Eh-hullo!" Lieutenant Hal's to ne was gleeful. "This is rich," he murmured. "Noth ing more nor less than the key to th cipher code used by Spanish milita commanders in "Eh?" gasped Juan, leaning eagerly forward. "1Now, if we could only ge hold of a few recent military dispatches in that code.'' A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE SEE TRUE BLUE.

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S'fARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 17 "You nave done it, captain!" cried Ensenada, in a rueful voice. "Eh? What--" responded Juan, alf turning to the planter. "You hav e set fire to my cigarette apers, which were all but dry. '1 "Oh, as to that," responded Juan, eartlessly, "let it rest until we have bet er scanned this wonderful code." Without a word of remonstrance, the lanter possessed himself oi some of the atches, proceeding to do his own work f drying while the two young officers, urning other matches, began to look ver the code. "It is a very simple affair," pronounced al. "With an hour's study I could com it it to memory." "All but those telegraph dots and ashes," sighed Juan. "It would make y head ache to learn them.'' "But, you see, I have already done me telegraphy, up on the plantation ith my former employer." "Let us hurry on with this prize, mi migo. Santa Maria! General Gomez ould have given me a colonel's commis on in return for that code if I had been cky enough to find it." "Take it," said Hal, thrusting the allet at Ramirez. "But it was not I who found it, mi igo," exclaimed the Cuban captain, awing back. "It would be of little use to me, since omez can offer me no reward.'' "Thank you, 111i amigo, but I prefer at my promotion should be based on y own actions." This was said so decisively -that Hal laced the wallet in his pocket. "Senors, n declared the planter, in a ice of relief, "I have two cigarettes dy." "Then let us proceed to serve Cuba," iled Juan, with a tinge of mild sarcasm his voice. But the planter was too contented to ort. In the same fashion as before they ged along, covering another three Jes. oming out of the forest for an instant, y found themselves in a narrow road. familiar whirring sound greeted their s. "Telegraph poles and wires-the same that we passed this afternoon, 11 com mented Hal. "I had a thought in mind then," an swered Ramirez, "that upon our return we would cut the wires. This will be an excellent time to do it. 11 "Fully a dozen wires," observed Hal, looking up at the cables that appeared outlined against the now starlit sky. "It "ould take us some time.'' "And be well worth the time, 11 pro tested Ramirez. ''But if there is a telegraph station near, the operator might understand what had happened as soon as the first wire was cut." "Even then ?11 "Suppose that the nearest station is very near, and protected by a large b9dy of troops. They would be upon us in no time." "That is true. Well, then ?11 "Why, what we ought to do is as clear as daylight, 11 pursued Hal. "Senor En senada can ride up the road; you and I will go down the road on foot. After we have gone a half a mile in both direc tions without finding a station, it will be safe to return here and sever every wire." Nodding gravely, Ensenada turned his horse's head in the direction indicated. "He is prompt, mi amigo, that we cannot do better than to imitate him.'' As Hal and Juan stole off in the dark ness both kept their eyes and ears de cidedly on the alert. They had covered about a half mile, and were on the point of wheeling around to return when through the night there came a sonnd that made their faces glow. Click-click clicketty-click click! "The telegraph station," whispered Juan, stealing after Hal, who, on tiptoe, was making swift progress toward the building now dimly discernible down the road. "Come back, mi amigo. It will be safe for us to cut the wires at the point where we had planned." But Hal Maynard, who could now hear the sharp rattle of the busy telegraph sounder, stood transfigured with delight. "Come back," urged Juan, once more. "We'll cut the wires." Best Naval Sto r ies for Boys-True B lue.

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{ 18 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. But May11ard turned on his chum al most indignantly. "No; by Jupiter, you won't!" CHAPTER VII. DE ORTO THE TREACHEROUS. "I thought we were to cut the wires;" insisted Ramirez. "So we were; but I have thought of a better tirck. Perhaps we can use them." "Oh!" exclaimed Juan, without com prehending. "I deciphe::red the message which just went over the wire," went ou Hal. "It read, 'Captain Louis De Orto and his scouts are here. They have important in formation to communicate to Colonel Deseva in cipher as soon as Colonel Dese'ila reaches your office. Send this message to him at '' "Colonel Deseva ?" repeated Ramirez, his eyes shining. "Doubtless he is the rascal whom you knocked on the head with your pistol. 11 "That was my thought. Captain De Orto has doubtless been scouting, and the information he has to send must be out of the usual if he resorts to the cipher code. Therefore we must know what that message is.'! "Are you going to write it down as it ticks off on the sounder, and afterward translate it by the aid of Colonel De seva 's key to the cipher?" "For two seconds that thought was in my mind. But why allow De Orto to send his message at all?" "Better still, mi amigo," approved Juan, eagerly. "Scouts are generally mounted. We can easily judge their number if we can get near enough to count their horses." "Decidedly," thrilied Juan, "this kind of an enterprise is to my liking." "Come on, then, but remember tha the breaking of a twig under our shoes i likely to cost us our lives." No darker place could have been foun out of doors that night. The station it self stood well in the shelter of tall tree On three sides were dense jungle. It would be more good fortune tha anything else that would make it possib l to advance without detection by a se tin el. And good fortune it proved, for the tw young officers, halting suddenly to liste found themselves unexpectedly withi -three feet of such a sentry. Only a bush separated the Spaniar from his foes. Standing with his rifle resting aero the hollow of his left arm, the soldier w vigilantly on the watch, except that was watching in the wrong direction danger. Quivering, Hal paused a second steady himself. Next, his revolver glistened within foot of the soldier's head. "A sound, my man, will cost you yo life At that startling hail, the Spania wheeled about life a flash, in his dism almost dropping his rifle. "No noise, if you would live!" warn Hal, once more. He had a "clean drop'4 on the f None but the most courageous man wou dare disobey such well-backed orders. But the Spaniard proved to be a of just this sort of courage. Instantly as soon as he comprehen the nature of the danger, his lips part Ere he could utter a sound, Ju brought down his machete hilt on soldier's head from behind. Not even a groan came from the pr trate one. A man who received such CLI F FARADAY I N ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY 19 y, forcible blow could be depended to remain silent for some minutes. evertheless, Hal decided to be upon safe side. Watch him, Juan," he counseled. "I do the looking about." ting a fresh grip upon his machete, stood at his post, watching the fel a tiger would its intended prey. ly two minutes passed before Hal back. here are five horses over yonder," he ed. "With this rascal out of the it means four men left to fight, possibly the telegraph operator f you have a handkerchief to spare, migo, tie this fellow's feet together, e I do as mnch for his 1rnnds." his divided task quickly accomplished, n also slipped a gag into the fellow's th. Now, mi amigo, if you know where ther enemies are--'' caught a glimpse of them through pen door," whispered back Hal. en lead me to them.'' our pistol is ready?'' five shots in three seconds, if ry." ery well; but don't use it if you lp it. If it becomes nt!cessary to then shoot as fast as you can, and to kill!" n nodded. Having as good reason bad to hate the Spaniards, such adwas more than welcome. ching the side of the building on the door was situated, Hal threw 1f down upon his knees, creeping d a step at a time. at his heels came Juan. hrough the open door of the station enough light to show them the way. ith his head close to the gro11nd, Lieutenant Maynard reached the centre of the doorway. Inside, almost out of view, sat the oper ator at his table. Back of him paced the Spanish cap tain, De Orto, a young and handsome looking f e llow, who, despite the hard riding he had already done that day, looked almos t as neat as if he had but just emerged from his dressing-room. Near the door, bunched on the floor, were three Spanish privates. Lounging with their backs against the wall they sat smoking, just out of swift reach of their carbines, which lay beyond their feet. While Hal lay thus peering, the instru ment inside began clicking. This message, like the last he had heard, \Vas in every-day Spanish-an in formal message betwt!en two operators. It read, ,translated: "Tell C aptain De Orto that Colonel Deseva has been sent for. It is expected that he will be here within ten minutes." Captain De Orto listened to this mes sage as the operator called it off. "My cipher message is all ready, the instant y ou receive word that my colonel is at the other station,'' spoke the cap tain. He held ttp a sheet of paper. "Mine!" smiled Hal, grimly. "That is, if the row ends my way." The "row" came quicker than he had expected. Glancing around suddenly, De Orto saw two pairs of eager eyes regarding him from near the ground "Car-r-r-rajo To arms like 1ightn111g, my men!" Whipping out bis sword, he pointed to Hal and Juan, now rising swiftly to their knees. "The man who stirs will be dead in one second!" vihated Maynard, hotly, ARE YOU A PATRIOTIC BOY? READ TRUE BLUE. c

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90 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. leveling his revolver at the startled group. "Juan!'' "Yes, mi amigo!" ''If the soldiers move, fire three shots swiftly enough to kill them all.'' "Santa Maria I Won't I, though!" grated the Cuban. But the soldiers did not stir. 'Eying alternately their guns-so near, and yet so far !-they hesitated with commendable prudence to reach for their weapons. "Captain," quivered Lieutenant Hal, "I must ask for your sword. I will not take it directly, though, but will ask you to drop it to the floor." Hal spoke coolly enough. With the three soldiers out of the fight he felt confident of the captain, upon whom he had taken sure aim. But De Orto, after the first moment of dazed surprise, glared angrily and fear lessly at the young American officer. Click I went the telegraph instrument. "Operator,,, warned Hal, coldly, "I give you my word that if you try to send so much as a letter over the wire, I will kill you when we have attended to the others." "Senor," p.xotested the operator, who sat just out of the line of the view, "I did not touch the key. It was the operator at the other statron who started to talk with me, and I shut him off." "Liar!" cried Hal. "I am too familiar with the instrument for you to 1j,rick me thus. Another effort will end your life.'' Captain De Orto here broke in sullenly: '!You have the best of me, senor. I surrender. '' ''If life is sweet, you are a sen:iible man," quoth Hal. "Do not taunt me," was the haughty answer. "I am not taunting. I commend you.'' "What are your orders, senor?" "Drop your sword." Clang! De Orto's blade rang sharplJ against the floor of the station. ''What next, senor?'' "Go to the further end of the room, ordered Hal, advancing nearer to th door. With a stiff military salute, the captait turned as 1 to obey. "Face me, and walk backward," o dered Lieutenant Maynard, sternly. Like a flash Captain De Orto wheele around ag_ain. With a movement swift as thought had drawn his revolver. An evil gleam shot in the Spaniard eyes as he leveled and fired full at ou hero. Third Part. CHAPTER. VIII. UNCLE SAM'S "SPECIAL." As the pistol rang out Hal fell. It was only to his knees, however, f the second before the shot came our he had divined the coming treachery. he remained standing the bull would have passed through his head. Crack! Hal's prompt bullet was aim at De Otto's forehead. Iustead, the missile broke the captai jaw, tearing a hole in his right cheek. "Treachery never pays!" rang Ha passionate voice. It was punctuated by De Orto's seco shot, which cut off a lock of the Ame can's hair, leaving also a narrow track blood along the skin. Hal's secoud shot was almost as quic tearing a hole through .the Spaniar neck. His third followed before De 0 could fire again. -It struck the Spani "Remember the Maine!" Read True Blue, the New Naval Weekly. 0

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. under the nose, inflicting a ghastly ud and bringing forth a smothered of acnte agony. 'ght after De Orto's third shot, ch, owing to blinded aim, struck the post, Hal sent in his fourth shot. struck just where the young Ameri-officer intended it should, drilling a between the Spaniard's eyes, and g him instantly. Uy lowering his pistol, Hal turned uan. bat young Cuban, betraying not the excitement, held his own revolver ch fashion as to effectively cover the e privates. You see, my men," rang Hal's voice; w poorly treachery pays. Had you er kept his word of surrender, he tld now be a1ive, with only a brief tivity to look forward to.'' oing nearer to the men, Bal used one his feet to gradually kick the guns her from them. 'To put you out of the way of fatal ptation," he announced, grimly. ben he turned to see what the opera-was doing. That worthy, displaying kly smile, sat as if glued to his chair, gh trembling in every limb. ou will not make us any trouble, I demanded Hal, jeeringly. 11, senor?'' cried the operator. ''Such urse is very far from my thoughts. I no notion for sharing the fate of the captain, who, may the saints grant peace in the next world, was bullyme only five minutes ago." one eye, notwithstanding, on operator, Hal walked to where CapD De Orto's body lay, and picked up written dispatch which the eaptain dropped just before his fatal attempt treachery. "I will read this at my leisure,'' mused young American. "Juan, dear boy, will you obF horses? Proba. length or two of handy just now." "Certainly, mi am tell me that you have ti. murderous Spain under L revolver." "I have them well covered. Rising, Juan passed quickly outer darkness. He was soon back dragging something after him. It proved to be the sentry whom they had bound. By this time the fellow was conscious again, though he appeared too dazed from the effects of the fearful blow he had received to realize much of what was passing. While Lieutenant Maynard mounted guard, the doughty young Cuban Captain accomplished the tying up. One of the soldier's blouse cut up into strips supplied gags enough to stop the tongues of all bands. Nor did the operator escape the fate of the suldiers. He was permitted to sit in a chair, however, while the privates were forced to rest content with fl.at postures on the floor. "Bah! The Spaniard's eyes, though half-closed, have a treacherous look, even in death," Ramirez, after a brief, disgusted look at what was left of be Orto. "It will give me the blues if he stays here.'' And Juan, finding a closet at the back of the office, dragged the Spanish carcass into it, closing the door on it. "Now, mi amigo, what are you doing?" queried the Cu ban, for Hal, seated at the operator's table, seemed absorbed in work with pen, ink and paper. "Translating the cipher message wbir.h that scoundrel had ready for transmis sion," voiced Hal, without looking up. Picking up one of the captured carHA VE YOU READ TRUE BLUE P c

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 110 1 1 an sauntered to the door, closing eve mg . d d "d "J 1,,mm an stan mg 3ust outs1 e. uan. -"y .>ome m111utes he stood, alert and es "If .ng. swift] .'here is no village within a mile of ",.:," he mused. "Probably e ven that deserted. Nevertheless, it is well to be gra ..treful, for one cannot tell how far the onnd of shots will travel on a still night." He stood at his post until a low signal whistle from Hal called him inside. Hal's eyes were gleaming; his eyes looked hard and stern. "It is well we stopped this message," he announced. "Read the message which I have just deciphered, by the aid of Colont->l Deseva's own code." J nan picked up Hal's translation, his own face taking on an ugly look as be read through the infamous dispatch: "From Captain Luis De Orto to Col onel Deseva: I have the honor to report that I and my scouts have discovered the location of the concealed Cuban field hos pital which you ordered me to fa1d. It is situated in a deep ravine, one mile north east of the main buildings of La Casa Blanca plantation." (Here followed more explicit directions for finding the spot). "It is about ten miles from this station; contains some three hu!1dred wounded in surgents, twelve doctors and twenty nurses, and only twenty-five guards!" ''I am almost glad that I was per mitted to kill the infamous scoundrel," panted Hal, as Juan, with white face and twitching lips put the paper down. "I am sorry," commented Ramirez, huskily, "that you did not do as much for Colonel Deseva when you had the chance.'' "These scouts who still live," spoke Hal, in Englsh, a tongue which probably the Spaniards -did not understand, "know the location of the hospital quite as well as De Orto did. It is too bad, for at t least it means that we must take the with us a s prisoners. And what will b come of them, if our Cubans learn that was they who were to pilot a regiment the enemy to a massacre of wounde men?" While it seems almost too horrible f credence, it was not one or a score of i stances in which Spain's soldiers hav butchered the helpless inmates of Cuba hospitals. Not only the guards, coctors an wounded men have been put to th sword. Cuban women, serving in that holies of capacities, nursing the wounded an dying, have been as relentless] massacred. Cases of this kind are too numerou and too well supported by credib1e tes mony, in the history of the Cuban rev lution, to need more thr.m passing refe ence here. Hal and Juan eyed each other for som moments, the horror which the thoughts caused to two upright, bone natures, being plainly written on th face of each. "It will be too bad, indeed," bur forth Hal, impetuously, "if scoundre who can plan such an outrage are to allowed to go free. After all, had we 11 better make the effort to get these pri oners to the Cuban camp?" "If we do not," replied Juan, spicil "I shall be ashamed to go back myself. Thump l went Hal's fist on the oper tor's table as he sprang up, exclaiming: "Juan, all the regiment that co11te1 such an outrage is equally guilt Why can we not turn the whole comman over to the mercy ? f General Gomez?" "Why, indeed?" cried Juan, his ey sparkling. Then of a sudden his face grew so be r CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE. 0

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 23 it seems impossible. If the Span-start for the coast, it matters not fast we ride. They will be out of the of Gomez before he can get his on the scene. 11 l's eyes were blazing now, like tiny seva1s regiment must not go to the he panted. nd how are we to stop them, mi ? Can we, two officers, hope to a whole regiment ?1 o; but we can decoy them.'' nd how is it to be done?'' r answer Hal pointed to the key aounder. n began to beget a glimmering of dea. You hope to use the Spanish wire in way?" 'lt is not a Spanish wire,'' asserted promptly. pinning a small American flag from blouse, he walked to the doorway, ing up there the tiny edition of Old ming to his comrade, his eyes dancwith the audacity of his plan, he rat swiftly: n, dear comrade, this station has captured by American and Cuban The flag proclaims this to be an 'can possession, and this station is nger Spanish. The telegraph wire has passed under American dominin the code that we borrowed from Col onel Deseva. , And Hal sat down to the desk, first penciling the me s sage that he intended to send. While writing, he frequently consulted his military map of the pro v ince. No sooner was the message ready than he seized the code taken from Deseva, and then began the task of putting the message into cipher. It was finished at last. Mopping his brow, he looked up to smile at Juan. Clicketty-click-click The call had come over the wire from Colonel Deseva 's operator. CHAPTER IX. ''CAPTAIN BRAN011-DARE-DEVIL. "A message for Captain De Orto.,, These were the first words clicked over the wires. With steady hand, Hal wired back: "Captain De Orto is here.,, Now came the message: "Colonel Deseva was injured while doing his duty He will be on the sick list for two or three da y s. ('I'll bet he will J> commented Hal, grimly.) Lieu tenant Colonel Banderio commands the regiment in the interim. He is here, at the office, ready to receive Captain De Orto's cipher message.,, Having clicked off this news, the sounder remained silent. that--1 broke Iy. "Now for the great stroke, 1 mur in Ramirez, mured our hero, tremulously. tThis telegraph wire Seating himself at the captured instru is now Uncle ment, Hal ticked off the message destined 's Special P 1 murrah P1 vented Juan. 'Now,11 begged Hal, "keep your eyes the prisoners, and also on the door As you lo v e me, don't say another d until neces s ar y I shall be ear-deep to lure the Spanish army to disaster. He sent slowly but distinctly. At the other end the operator took the message without a break Back came the message that the dis patch had been properly received. TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS

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24 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY, "Now," muttered Hal, rising from his his squad. But either the captain or 01 chair, "now for the real work of the of his men will be obliged to report ti night!" the regiment at the crossing of the rive Click-click! as it is indispensable to have a prop Bending over, with thumb and finger guide." resting on the key, Hal returned the For Juan's information, onr hero pen signal. cilled this despatch as it ticked from t Now came this message: sounder. "Lieutt!nant Colonel Banderio complL Ramirez read it with a blank face. ments Captain De Orto on his success. "We are as badly off as before," Captain De Orto is hereby ordered, with grunted. his squad, to joiu the regiment on its "It seems like it,,, muttered disa march.,, pointed Hal. Hal uttered an exclamation of disap-But suddenly his face brightened. poiutment. "Hold on I By thunder, I believe w "What is wrong, mi amigo?" de -get them yet!" manded Juan. His hand travelled back to the key. Hal repeated to him the message. This was the message he sent: "That is serious," muttered the Cuban. "I have given them a route," went on Hal, "that will take them by six miles to the south of here. But if Captain De Orto and his men do not join the regiment, Banderio is likely to suspect. The least failure for onr plans is likely to defeat them.'' "Can you not beg off for Captain De Orto?'' proposed Ramirez. ''Assure Ban derio that the captain and his four men are at the point of exhaustion.'' "I'll try it," muttered Hal, once more seating himself at the instrument, and sending this message: "Captain De Orto presents his compli ments to Lieutenant Colonel Banderio. The captain would represent that both his men and their horses are unfit for further travel for hours. Will Lieutenant Colonel Banderio consent to the captain and his squad resting for a few homs ?'' Having sent this, Hal waited anxiously for the answer. It was not long in coming, and read to this effect : "Captain De Orto is begged to use his own best judgment as to the condition of "Captain Brano, of the Valencia n: ment; has escaped with us from confi n ment at the Cuban Hospital. He kn every foot of the way. Having made ( t journey but one way, he is in better c dition than myself or any of my men. begs Lieutenant Colonel Banderio to cept him as a guide. I can thoroug recommend Brano, who is a dashing, telligenc officer. "(Signed) "De Orto.' Hardly had Hal ceased sending, wh this answer came back: "Brano is accepted. Tell him to m us at the fording of the river." "You have some new mischief p ted ?" asked Juan. "Have I?" mimicked Hal, his glowing. "Slightly. I am Brano!" "What?" Juan seemed on the poin exploding with curiosity. "Certainly," laughed Hal. "Am I brown enough to pass for a Spania Yonr Cuban sun has done that much me.'' "But your uniform?" ''I shall entrust to you. '' "And yourself?" CLIF FARADAY IN ACTION-READ TRUE BLUE.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "I shall strip the corpse of De Orto, in e..>nder closet. His Spanish uniform must 1'1ver me to-night. I hate to wear it, but ey need's law." i "He is a shorter man than you, mi nigo. It will be se e n at once that his iform was never made for you." "I will soon show you that you are ong," replied Lieutenant Maynard." Wheeling, he crossed the room to the oset, shuddering, in spite of himself, as : thought ot the ghastly object it con-' in ed. But need respects no laws, as he himself 1d said. With Juan's help, they dragged out 'e body of the dead captain, quiclky deding it of the uniform that had cov" d it. 'Now comes the bitterest part of the 1siness," sighed Hal. "It is hard to 'veto pull off Uncle Sam's uniform in e enemy's country." With Juan's help, our hero arrayed mself in the hated uniform. The trousers legs were five inches too ort. "But wait until the riding boots are quoth Hal, "and who shall know e difference?" The boots on, it was as he had said. Clicketty-click-click "Now what the deuce does that fool at other end want?" grumbled the young erican officer. But, as soon as he had given the sig-1, and the message began to come, our o's face assumed a look of delight. "It must be something good," sugted Juan. is," laughed young Maynard. anderio says that neither he nor any his officers know Captain B;-ano, and t therefore, if he is to guide the regi nt, a description of him must be wired "Excellent!" quivered Juan. "I should say so." Hal's face was a smiling one as he once more seated himself at the table. Click-click! chattered the instrument for two full minutes. "There,,, he muttered, rising, "I think that description of mys elf Brano does me fnli justice. Juan, dear boy, I have given every detail of my personal description that I know myself, even to the details of m y beauty." "And now, mi amigo, since I am sure that the part you have assigned to me is to ride like a whirlwind to General Gomez' camp--" "It is,)) confirmed our hero, nodding. "Therefore I beg you to give me my full orders at once, as every moment on the way that I can gain will count.,' "Here is a translation of the cipher that De Orto was ready to send. That gives the real location of the Cubau hospital camp. Hei:e is a copy, in Spanish, of the message that I sent Banderio in cipher. My message gives a location of the Cuban hospital camp at a spot ten miles from the real one. I have also sent Banderio word, in De Orto's name, that the camp is a big supply depot in which are great stores of arms and ammunition. That will make the Spaniards simply crazy to capture the camp. Take both messages to General Gomez, and tell him how it comes that I am to be a guide to the Spanish." "Good-by, mi amigo," murmured Juan, rather brokenly, as he folded the papers up, placed them in his pocket, and then grasped our hero's baud. "Why good-by?" smiled Hal. "No one now with the regiment has seen me. I shall not be recognized." "I speak advisedly, mi amigo. I had hoped that yon and I would both live through this campaign. But, since you TRUE BLUE-THE LATEST PATRIOTIC NAVAL WEEKLY FOR BOYS.

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26 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. have elected to lead the Spanish troo ps into such a trap, have no hope that they will let you escape alive. I would go my self in the role of Captain Brano, did I not know that, once you have outlined such a plan, it would be impossible to h d ,, get you to c ange your mm . "Quite impossible," spoke Hal, qmetly. "I am going to hog the danger." "That is why I say good-by." "Well, then, good-by, old comrade," spoke Lieutenant Hal, with deep feeling, as he again grasped Ramirez's warm hand. "Heaven bless yon, Juan, but, God willing, we'll mess together again within seven or eight hours." "In all this excitement," suddenly spoke Juan, "we have come near forgetting Senor Ensenada. '' "Here I am, senors," voiced a soft voice at the door, and the planter en tered. "I became worried, when I waited minute after minute without seeing either of ou," explained the planter. "At last, when I could endure the suspense no longer I came cautiously down the road in this direction. I lrave been near the building for some time, but have been reconnoitering. It was only now, when I heard your voices, that I could believe yon were both safe in here. But what has happened?" Click-click rattled the sounder. It was a signal from the other office. Juan held up his hand to enjoin silence upon the planter, while Hal answered the signal. Hal listened to the next message w1th deep satisfaction, then, turning to his friends, remarked: "The Spanish cavalr y has started." "And so have Gomez's messen ge r s! cried Juan, thrusting hi s arm throu g h Ensenada's and dra wing him through the door. QHAPTER X. THE HOSPITAL RAIDERS. Left alone, Hal looked around t room in which the stirring prologue the new drama had been enacted. "Juan did not forget my uniform, murmured the American. "God bless t dear old chap. I hope I shall li v e to him again!" A sound outside told our hero t Ramirez was helping himself to one the Spanish horses. Next, the ringing of hoofs told hi that the captain and Ensenada we off on their hard ride to Gomez's cam For a few minutes Hal busied hims with examining the knots of the co that held the Spanish soldiers and genuine operator prisoners. "They can't get away," he murmur inwardly. "Nevertheless, I won't lea here until the last moment.'' Frequently consulting his watch, hero paced back and forth. "It won't be best to delay any longet he decided, at last. Going outside, he selected one of t remaining horses, leaped into saddle, a rode off at an easy canter. As soon as he struck a better part the road, he increased the animai 's spe to a smart gallop. In as O'OOd time as it could be dom. I:> j covered the six miles to the ford. He w a s none too soon, for, as reached this point along the river, t jingling of accoutrements on the oth side came clearly to his ears across t still water The n a number of wading figures a A NAVAL CADET UNDER FIRE-SEE TRUE BLUE:

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 27 peared, men and horses swimming as they struck the deeper main chanel of the nver. "Hardly a sergeant' s guard of them," mnsed Hal. _'Probably the advance, sent over to make sure that the passage is safe from attack." This proved to be the case, and, in a fow minutes Hal fotlnd himself saluted by a young Spanish lieutenant who waded up to the bank at the head of the soldiers. "Captain Branot" inquired the lieu tenant. "Yes," came from Hal, as he returned the salute. "You have seen no11e of the enemy?" "Not a one." "Then I will so signal to Colonel Ban-Lighting a small lantern, the Spanish ie 1tenant began to signal with it. Hal watched him for a moment, then urned to look at the silent Spanish roopers. It was a curious sensation for the young merican to be thus serving with the nerny, even though that service was nly in the nature of a spy's work, for he purpose of leading the enemy to estruction. But the Spaniards did not appear for a oment to suspect our hero. He was accredited to their colonel, was agerly expected by the latter, and wore Spanish uniform. Why should they spect him? But it might be very different with olonel Bariderio. Hal was well aware that his accent was t of the purest Castilian type. His eech was slightly tinged with, the 1 ban accent. "I'll be more careful how I speak anish to-night than I ever was in my e before," the young American grimly omised himself. It was not long before the main column of cavalry began to move over through the stream. With them came Banderio and his staff. The last of Maynard's trepidation dis appeared when he found himself talking with that officer. "You are well recommended to me, captain," Banderio exclaimed, graciously. "Yet you are young to be a captain." ''I am aware that I look boyish, my colonel. My youthfulness must be due to a clear conscience, since I am twenty-six years eild. '' "Indeed, captain? You surprise me. But ride by my side, for I have many questicns to ask you about this Cuban pest hole that we are to exterminate in the morning." Fortunate, indeed, was the darkness for upon hearing the Spaniard speak so lightly of the dastardly work in hand, om hero could not keep his eyes from flashing angrily. As soon as Maynard could control his voice sufficiently to speak, he gave th!! Spanish colonel a circumstantial account of the supposed Cuban hospital that great ly delighted the commanding officer. Certainly Hal did not forget to "lay it on thickly'' when he spoke of the pre tended arms, ammunition and other sup plies which had been secreted by the Cu bans at the place to be raided. "It will be a glorious morning's work!" cried Banderio, gleefully rubbing his hands. "It surely will," responded our hero, adding under his breatl:: "For the Cubans!" "Is the road a rough one, captain?" ''A very rough one, colonel.'' "You would advise me, then, to move my horses slowly?" ''If you have the animals in any HAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE ?

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28 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. kind of condition, colonel, when you get at the end of the ride." "What speed would you suggest, cap tain, from your knowledge of the country?" ''In places, colonel, the road is very fair, but, on the whole, I would urge you not to make the horses travel at a better gait than three and a half miles an hour." "I shall take your advice, captain, since you have already traveled over the road.'' Hal and Banderio remained chaUing until the entire column had crossed the river. "Ride ou my left, captain," requested the lieutenant-colonel. "And, since you are to be the guide, we will place ourselves at the head of the regiment. Cap tain, a strange thing happened tonight. We had camped at the house of a planter named Ensenada. His conduct made us suspect that he might be willing to aid the Cubans, so Colonel Deseva ordered him under arrest. "Now comes the strange part of it. While Ensenada was in the house, under guard, he was reached by two Cuban spies who set him at liberty. They must have been both audacious and clever ras cals to succeed in getting through our lines.'' ''Audacious, indeed,'' voiced Hal. "These two spies were discovered in the room next to the library by our col onel. Colonel Deseva was badly injured in the encounter that resulted. Ensenada is believed to have utterly escaped, but the two Cubans were followed as far as the bank of the river, where they were shot." "And killed, I hope," suggested Hal, dryly. "Killed, beyond any question. Still, the escape of Ensenada fi11s us with apprehension. He may have very importan news that be is bearing to the enemy. was unfortunate that we could not ove haul him. "There is another curious feature the case, captain. Colonel Deseva declar that one of his assailants-the one wh struck him, in fact-was in the unifor of a United States officer." "Surely," ejaculated Hal, innocent] "there are no United States soldiers the island?'' "On the contrary, captain,'' rejoin Banaerio, with a snort of disgust. seems that there is a Yankee lieutena and a squad of men at the camp Gom61Z. They have come to try our m tle, I suppose, and so far fortune h favored the rascals. I would give muc captain, if I coul
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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 29 shortly the thoroughfare became so narrow that but four men could ride 111 file. "Ugh I It would be a nasty place for an ambush," shuddered Ba;iderio, glanc ing up at the hills, bristling witli bushes and jungle, that" lined the ravine on either side. "We may meet such an ambush, col onel," came quietly from Hal. "What do you say, Captain Brano?" "But it will be a child's affair, since the hospital guards do not num her over twenty-five." "And what sort of men, in your estimation, are these guards?'' "Well," replied Hal, hypocritically, with a shrug of his shoulders, "while they are not cowards, what can twentyfive Cubans do against more than eight hundred Spanish horsemen?" "What, indeed?" jeered Banderio. "Still, I shall be as cautious as possible. How much further, captain, is the hospital?'' "It is less than a mile from here. Following this ravine will bring you straight to it. So, colonel, as I am not needed l1ere any I volunteer my services to you in another way." "Speak, captain." "With your permission, colonel, I will ride ahead, to reconnoitre, and see if the way is quite clear for your brave men." Though Lieutenant Hal appeared cool, ne waited with the greatest anxiety for the Spaniard's reply, on which, he was convinced, his life bnug. "Captain," came the reply, after a mo ment, "I am sebsible of the lo y alty and bravery which prompt your offer. Yet the performance of such a service seems unnece ssary." "And you d e cline, colonel ?n "Not so. I deem y our offer a good one, because your e xa m p l e will t e ach my men what Spanish bra very should mean. You are liable to lose your life, captain, but it will be well lost. Go I'' Saluting, Hal put spurs to his horse and rode forward. He was soon a good ahead of the column, and gaining upon the advance guard of thfrty men. He reached passed it. ._. .. "In a minute m'bre breatlfed Hal A t .. shall be safe!" .... : "Viva Cuba libre ,. The hillsides r;ng with ,that stirring yell. It was followed at once by a crash-' ing volley from the hills on eitfier side. "Now for it!" vented Hql, digging spms into his horse. But Colonel Banderio possessea a quick mind. In a fl.ash, he understood that, in some way, he had been tricked by a spy. "Fire, my men!" he roared. "Fire on that accursed, escaping spy!" The van guard heard. Though heavy fire themselves, they levelt!d their rifles as one man, each taking aim at Lieutenant Hal Maynard. The American's horse fell. His hat was shot from his head. One Mauser bullet tore the skin on the top of his shoulder. All about him Spanish bul lets hissed through the leaves and twigs. But Hal, the instant his horse fell, took to his legs, crouching and running at the same time. Another volley rang out, projectiles thudding the earth all about him. Hal saw a jungle ahead, raced for it. Parti;1g the branches, he darted inside. "Mi amigo!" "Juan, dear bo y!" "Stand aside, mi ami g o The brave fellows with me are about to answer the shots that were fired c.t you." Passing b y some fifty Cubans whom the jungle sheltered, Hal Maynard went to the rear. BEST NAVAL STORIES FOR BOYS-TRUE BLUE.

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30 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. He had done his part. Nor were the Cubans long in emulat ing his example. Led by three of Gomez's best officers, made sbo1t1 decisive work of derio s hospital-hunting regiment. Spanish dead and two was record of . : .: ,,.. :. 1 .. 1- :.,:-_. so.cplllplete was "the last but three or four J t ., ( men. 1 I I .A g1oriotls vfotory Yet a different-far differe11t tale !-would have been told, but. for ti;e heroic work of Lieutenant : Hal Ma y nard, special operator on Uncle Sam's special wire! [THE END.] A story will be told in next week's ;ssue of the Starry Flag, No. 6, entitled, !'The Prisone;: of Matanzas; or, Hal Maynard iM the Enemy's Clutches." This splendid narrative will contain a superb description of the first American' bombardment of a S{1a11ish stronghol The part that Hal Maynard plays in it strong, thrilling and dramatic. As narrative of actual war, "The Prisoner Matanzas" is a masterpiece. You '11 agr with us when you've read it. "Clif Faraday Un.der Fire.'' Read True Blue.

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., STARRY FLAG WEEKLY, 81 ,RfnSlf $ magazittt ]unt SUMMARY Of Contents WHERE BATTLESHIPS ARE BUILT BY Edward Al. BE BLESSED (Short Story.) BY The Atdhor of Quo Vadis." TOJJ:f QUARITCH'S SISTER BY Stanley J. Weyman. THE OMAHA EXPOSITION BY Edmund Stone. THE DUCHY OF DEODONATO BY Anthony Hope. FLOATING HOMES OF NAVAL OFFICERS BY Henry Harrison Lewis. STRATEGY IN JJfODERN WARFARE BY A Grad1tate of West Point. THE RUSH TO CARIBOO BY Frederic R. Marvin. A PAINTER OF TRAVEL BY Theodore Dreiser. CUBA I898 (A Splendid Patriotic Ode) BY Harold R. Vynne, Etc., Etc., Etc. The cover design, entitled "Gomez L eads The Charge," was painted for the magazine, by Matt Morgan, Jr. AINSLEE'S MAGAZINE has three artists and war correspondents now folldtving the trend of and for a pictorial history of our war with Spain, no magazine can offer more accurate and stirring pictur es and letters at so small a price. soc. a Ytar Howard, Ainslee & C-0., 81 Fulton Street, N. Y. BOOKS FOR EVERYBODY TEN CENTS EACH. The following list or books wlll be found useful, eutertalolng, nnd full of iostruottve t11format1ou for all. 'l'hey are hnndsome1y bound In attractive covers, printed ou good quality paner, Illus trated, aud a.re marvels of excellence. 'l'hese books have 11ever before been offered at such a low figure. '!'he price ; IO ce11ls each ncl udes postage. USEFUL AND INS'l RUC'l IVE INFOUlllA I'ION. A.lhum Writer's Assistant. noys' Olfn nook of noats &11ort II and for F.verrbod7. Tlu1,l.)look o f K110" tad re. Ho" to Do llusin es. Everydny Cook nook. A.mateur'.11 illanunl or .Photogra1>l17. -The 1'iti:idermist illanUAI. Jlllls' Unlyersnl J.etter-Writ or Good TiquRekeeplng. The Hunter and Angler. 'l'he hl't e rnntlonal l!rlcket Gulde, The Complete A11gler. A.mnteur anll Professlonnl Oars111an!1 Riding nnd Drivin g. Mnnual. Poe's 'ootllall. Complete '!'raining Gut.de for Arnnteur Ca1111ibo ll's I .awn 1'e1mls. Dunn's Fencing Instructor. The Complete Checker Player. Capt. Webb's Swimming Bnckga mmon and naga t e ll e. Instructor. Out lloor Sports. Aquatic Gulde; or, lachtlng und The Young G7mnast. Snllh1g. FOR1.1UNE0TELLING. Napoleon'11look of Fate. Cupid's Drenm !look Zola's Dream Boot. Herrman's Jllack A.rt. The War to Do Magic. 1.'ltICKS. lleller's Hand nook of Magic. llerrmans 1 ricks 1Tlth Cards. IiECl'l'A'l'IONS AND REAlHNGS. The Peerle ss Ueclter. Tl1e Young Select ltecitatlons and lleadlngs, The Standanl Ueclter. 'These books wlll be sent prepaid upon recelptor1 O cenrs cnch When ordering, be particular to send the full title of t he !looks desired, also your full name and add re..,, The books are IO cen ts each, postage free. Address MANUAL LIBRARY, 25 Rose St., New York. Red, White and Blue Quarterly. The earlier Issues of Bed, White and Blue are now on sale lo the form of Quarterlies, each lncludiug 13 consecutive Issues of this favorite weekly, together with the 13 original Illuminated !llustra tl'lns, and an eleganL cover Io colors. The price Is 50 Cents per volume, for which sum they w111 be sent by mall post paid co any address In the United States. NOW READY. --No. I, Including Nos. I to 13 of Red; White and Blue. No. 2, Nos 14 to 26 or Red, White and Blue. No. 3, Nos. 27 to 39 of Red, White and Blue. Jr your Newsdealer bas not got lhe Quarterlles, remit direct to the publishers, STREET & SMITH, 81 Fulton St., N. Y. HAVE YOU READ TRUE BLUE.

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3 2 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY Tip Top Quarterly. The earller Issues of Tip Top Weekly are now on sale In the orm of Quartel'lles, each iucluding 13 consecutive issues of this favorite week1y, togethe r with tlle 13 original illuminated Ulustra iions, aud an elegant cover in colors. 'l'l1e price is 50 Cents per volume, for which sum they will be sent by mail post-paid to any address in the United States. No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6, NOW REAOY. --Nos. 14 to 26 of Tip Top Weekly. Nos. 27 to 39 of Tip rop Weekly. Nos. 40 to 52 of Tip 'l'op Weekly. Nos. 53 to 65 of 'l'ip '!'op Weekly. Nos. 66 to 78 of 'l'lp Top Weekly. If your Newsdealer has not got the Quarterlies, remit direct tt the publishers, STREET & SMITH, 81 Fulton St., N, Y. STARRY FL.AG BINDERS. 35 Cents. T his binder will hold twenty-six copies, and will keep your papers always clean and smooth No missing numbers. Handy to refer to and ornamental as well as useful. Sent post-paid to any address on receipt of price. STREET & SM I T H New York City OUT-DOOR SPORTS. Complete Instructions for playing many of the most popular odt of-door games Is found In this book. The games are Illustrated and very easily mastered. Price t e n cents. Address STREET & SMJTH, 25 Rose street, New Yori<, :Manual Library Department). AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY. Many people tmaglne that a photographer's cu.mera Is a ditllc11U machine to haudle, aud that tbe work isHOTOARAJ uv will hQ acmt on receipt nf ten cents. STREET & SMITH, 25 Rose street, New York. Manual Library Department). Diamond Dick, Jr., Quarterly. The earlier Issues or Diamond Dick, Jr. are now on sale In the form of Quarterlies, each Including 13 consecutive Issues or this favorite weekly, together with the 13 original Illuminated Illustra tions, and an elegant cover in colors. The price Is 5 0 Cents per volume, for which sum they wlll be sent by mail post-paid to any address in the United States. -NOW REAOY. - No. I, including Nos. 1 to 13 or Diamond Dick, Jr. No. 2, Nos. 14 to 26 or Diamond Dick, Jr. No. 3, Nos. 27 to 39 of Diamond Dick, Jr. I If your Newsdealer bas not got tbe Quarterlies, remit direct t o the publishers, S TREET & Sl'llIT H 81 Fulton St., N Y HOW TO DO BUSINESS. Thi s book Is a guide to success in life, embracing Principles o! Business, Choice of Pursuit, Buying aod Selling, Genera. I Manage ment, Mechanical 'l1rades1 Manufacturing, Bookkeeping, Causes otSuccessand Failure, Business Maxims and Forms. etc. It also contains an appendix or complete business forms aud a dlcUouary of commercial terms. No young man sbould be without this valuable book. It gives complete informatlou abont trades. professions and o ccupatoin I n which any young man is Interested. Price s e n cents. Address STREET & SMITH, 25 .Rose street, :Ne w York ( Manual J,lbrary Dep, artme11t.) WRESTLING. History tells us that wrestling was the first form or atblellG pastime. Without doubt, ft. gives strengtl.J and firmness, combiued wit.h quickness and pliabiHty, to the limbs, vigor to tile body coolness all(.l discl'iminatio11 to the head and el8.8ticlty to tbe teru per, the whole forming an energetic combination of the greatest power to be found in man. '!'he hook is entitled J>ROFJ!:SSOR M.uLDOON's WnESTLTNG. It le fully illustrated, and wil l be seut postpaid on receipt of ce111s. Address STBEE'L' & SMITH, 25 Rose street, New York. (Mauual Library Department). Nick Carter Quarterly. The earUer Issues or Nick Carter Weekly, are now on sale i11 tbe form of Quarterlies, each including 13 consecutive Issues of tllis favorite weekly, together with the 13 original Illuminated tions. a11d an elegant cover lo colol'S. The price Is 5 0 Cents per volume, for wbich sum they will be sent by ma.II rostpatd to an address In tbe United States. NOW REAOY. No. 1, Including Nos. 1 to 13 or Nick Carter Weekly. No. 2, Nos. 14 to 26 or Nick Carter Weekly. No. 3, Nos. 27 to 39 or Nick Carter Weekly. If' your Newsdealer hBB not got the Quarterlies, remit :direct to the publishers, S TREET & Sl'lllTH, 8 1 Eulton St. N Y. "A NAVAL CADET'S TORPEDO BOAT COMMAND SEE TRUE BLUE.

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"Naval Stories by a Naval Officer." TRUE BLUE The Best Naval Library Published T his weekly is devoted to the stirring adventures of Our Boys in Blue. The famous naval author, Ensign Clarke Fitch U. S. N., has been engaged exclusively to write for this Library. Rousing, dashing stories of peril and adventure in block a de and chase with the Spanish fleet told by an eye witness. No. 1-CiifFaraday on the New Y o rk; or, A Naval Cad e t Under Fire. 2-Re memb e r th e Maine; or, Clif Faraday's R a llying Cry. 3-"Well JJu'ne, Porte r!" or, Clif Faraday s Torpedo Boat Command. 4-Clif Faraday Und e r Havana' s Guns; or, Th e Stroke for a Capture. For s ale by all new sdeal e r s, or will be smt o n receipt of price, 5 cents e ach, by the publish e rs, Stre e t & Smith, 81 Fulton Stre e t New York. Tip Top Weekly An Ideal Publication for the American Youth Tales of School Fun, College, T ravel and A dve nt ure. T he h eroes are A m erica ns. The s t ories are wri tt en by the best A merican authors of boys' stories. The ill ustr atio n s are designed by a noted artist a nd print ed i n colors with new and expe n sive mach i n ery procured expressly for our famous l ine of publications. 32 pages, illumi n a t e d cover-5 cents. Titles of the l ates t s t ories: No. 112-Frank Merriwell's Peril; or, The Smugglers of the Border. 111-Frank Merriwell's Guide; or, Sport Around Moosehead Lake. 110-Frank Merriwell's Catch; or, The Canoe Boys of Lake Sebastico u k 109-Frnnk Merriwell's Pursuit; or, The Chase of ihe Stolen Yacht. 108-Frank Merriw ell Ar used; or, The Bicycle Bovs of B e lfast. 107-Fraiik Merriwell's Disappeara,nce; or, The Secret of the Island For sal e b y all newsd e alers or will b e smt 01i receipt of price, 5 ceut s eac h by th e publish e rs, Street Smi th 81 Fulton Street New York. Nick Carter Weekly Diamond Dick, Jr. The Late s t and Best Series o f S t ories of Detec ti ve Work. This series of stories will tell how Nick Carter, the most famous detective i n the world, trains and educates intelligent and worthy young men in the requirements of the profession Every youth that wishes to become a detective or takes any interest in the methods of the profession, will be eager to read these stories. 32 pages illumi n ated cover-5 cents. The latest titles are: No . 75-The Human Fly ; or, Roxy's Message to th e Wide A wake S c ho o l Bo y s 74-The Great Detective Trio; or, Nick Carter s Boys in a New School. 73-Roxy 's Golden De c oy; or, The Girl Detectiv e Plays a Lone Hand 72-Bob Ferret's Password; or, The Chase of the Gold Ship 71-Green Goods; or, A Catch in Bob Ferret' s Rat Trap 70-Shadowing a Shadow, or, A Ghost in Nfok Uarter s Detective School. 69 -The Man from Texas; or, Bob Ferret and Jack Burtou in Double Harness. For sale by all new s dealers or will be sent on receipt oj price, 5 cents e ach by the publishers, Street & Smith, 81 Fulton Stre et New York. The Boys' Best Weekly. Stories of the most fascinating western romance, in which this hero is the leading character, can only be foun d in this weekly library. The Diamon d Dick stories have a snap and go to them that has made them very popular with the youth of our land. 32 pages illuminated cover-5 cents. The latest titles are: No. 86-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Dangerous Bet; or, One Way to Save a Friend. 85-Diamond Dick Jr.'s 'J'ricky Telegrams; or, Th e New Schoolmarm at Sugar 1otch 84-Diamond Dick, Jr's Substitute; or, A Block ade That Was Raised. 83-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Warning; or, A Chip In at the Last Lap. 82-Diamond Dick Jr's Great Old Pard; or, Handsome HHrry's Highest Honor. 81-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Walk Over; or, A Dead Easy Game at Dough Spoon SO-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Texas Trump; or, The Hornets of Hopscotch. 79-Diamond Dick, Jr. and the Hoboes; or, Hands ome Harry in a New Role. For s ale by all 11ewsd.aale rs, or will be sent on receipt of price 5 cmts eac h by the publishers, Street & Smith, 81 Fulton Street, New York.


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