Hal on the skirmish line, or, Fighting for the queen of the Red Cross


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Hal on the skirmish line, or, Fighting for the queen of the Red Cross

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Hal on the skirmish line, or, Fighting for the queen of the Red Cross
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Starry flag weekly Thrilling stories of our victorious army
Creator:
Wells, Douglas
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New York
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Street & Smith
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English
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1 online resource (32 p.) 26 cm.: ;

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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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025647143 ( ALEPH )
71296778 ( OCLC )
S52-00013 ( USFLDC DOI )
s52.13 ( USFLDC Handle )

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.... NEW YORK, AUGUST' 13, 1898 5 CENTS "ESCORT THIS AMERICAN WOMAN TO SAFETY I" ROARED B AL, ABOVE THE SBRIEll. OF SHELL AND DIN OF BATTLE,

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; .; Starry Flag Weekly Im"'d ll'uk!11-B11 8 u bsc7'iptton pt!' ye a?'. Ji )11U1"ed a1 &nO'l'tH, IYaalingto n D 0. No. 14. NEW YORK, August 6, 1898. Price Five Cents. Hal on the Skirmish Line OR, Fighting For the Queen of the Red cross. ----, By DOUGLAS WELLS. First Part. CHAPTER I. A SPY IN CAMP. It was hot-intolerably hot. Outside -the sun beat mercilessly down, not a cloud in the sky suggesting the near approach of the rainy season. .-,,, Within the tent the shade was as intolerable as unprotected heat outside because no breatli of air stirred, and the little room enclosed in canvas became as stifling as a dungeon Such was Cuba in th' e n1onth of June, i898, and such particularly was th(' Province of Santiago, where the Ameri can army of in vasion rested for the mo ment in its onward march. Lieutenant Hal Maynard, for once with out active duty, was trying to write a letter to a friend in the States. He had begun it in the supposed shelter of his tent, and when be found that worse than the open air, he hjd sought to get some protection from the rays of the sun by squatting in the shadow of the tent. -Unhappily there wasn't any shadow. The sun was in the zenith, and not a shadow fell within a rod of bis quarters. The perspiration streamed down bis bronzed face a11d it seemed as if his blood were boiling. He looked about the camp. Here and there soldiers in view, trying like himself to find shelter from the sun. Most of them apparently were content to lie upon the grou11d inside tents, for few were visible. Along the rude r oad that connected with the towns lying in the direction of Santiago were ragged pacificos wending their way painfully into .the camp where they hoped to get of food. 'I' he sight of such miserable human beings had become too familiar to Hal to arouse more than a pa s sing flash of indig nation. He saw what they were and speedily dismissed them from his mind. As he stooa there, stretching his arms and feeling almost drowsy from the ex treme heat, he noticed that a tall palm J REMEMBER THE MAINE AND PAGE 32.

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I STARRY FLAGWEEKLY. growing near gave about a square yard of shade near its trunk. He promptly appropriated that compar atively sheltered spot and with his writing pad on his knees was soon at work again. Seated thus, bis back was toward his tent. He had been busy, he knew uot how long, when his attention was attracted by a 1ight thud behind him and almost immediately afterward a pebble rolled over the ground and struck his thigh. Naturally Hal looked around to see who had thrown the missile. He was just in time to catch sight of a ragged Cuban emerging stealthily from his tent. "Hello there," called Hal starting up, ''what are you about any way?'' "Pardon senor," the Cuban replied with a whine, "I was driven by hunger to look for food in the tent." "That's no place for you," said Hal sharply, "go to the quartermaster." "A thousand pardons, senor, but you know we Cubans are so distressed that we lose sight of our ordi11ary sense of honor. I never stole in my life--" ''Well, then," interrupted Hal, "be off before you yield to temptation. There isn't any food there and I can't J1elp yon to any. Apply to the proper place and you may get relief." 'rhe Cuban slunk away and Hal re sumed his writhlg. His pencil had hardly touched the paper when he heard a sound of scuffiing just beyond his tent mingled with v01ces in angry altercation. Spanish was the la11guage. "Drop it I tell you.' i "Out of my way, dog." "You shall not play the traitor--" "Hound, I will kill you!" Hal had leaped to 11is feet at the first words and was running iu the direction whence they came. Just beyond his .tent be saw two Cubans engaged in a fierce struggle. One of them was the mau whom he had just sent away. The other was a stranger. It was uo ordinary fight they were engaged in, for one seemed to be trying to wrest something from the clutch of the other. Seeing the officer coming, the first Cuban immediately let go and exclaimed: "It is nothing but a struggle for bread, senor. '' ''He lies, senor officer,'' cried the other. "The man is no pacifico or recqn cen trado. He is a spy aiid I know it." The first Cuban had started away on the run the moment he spoke. Hal was after him. The second Cuban cried out to him as he passed: "See what he took from your tent." He he1d up a long brown envelope which might have been used to carry dis patches in. As a matter of fact, there was nothing in it of any consequence, but a spy might have mistaken its purpose. Hal did not stop to look at it or it, but dasbed on after the spy who was making as fast as he could to the country beyond the lines. "Lieutenant Maynard." This call came from an orderly who had come up to Hal's quarters just as he started after the spy. Apparently Hal did not hear him and the orderly raising his voice to its utmost, again shouted: ''Lieutenant Maynard.'' Hal heard the voice evidently, for with a bare glance over his shoulder as he ran he shouted back something which could not be distinctly understood, but which NICK CARTER IS ALWAYS ON HAND.

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STARRY:FLA.G WEE.KJiY. 3 sou1nded something like 'ttotl busy. Can't "Unclou.bkdly, sir, because he made 7 stop now." some kind
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derly calling to me. I was altogether too busy then, sir, to obey, for which I beg leave to present my apology." With this Hal pointed to the cowering Cuban. "A soldier's first duty, 11 said the gen eral slowly, "is ooedience. 11 "I am aware of that," Hal responded, "and I do not think I have usually shown that I am unmindful of that duty. But in this instance I have two excuses." "What are they?" ''First, that the order had not been given; second, that this man is a spy. 11 CHAPTER II. A VOLUNTEER GUIDE. Ever since the American army had landed in the Province of Santiago, it had been beset with spies sent out by the Spanish in the guise of reconcentrados. By their pitiful appearance and loud protestations of joy at the coming of the American troops, these fellows had gained ready access to our lines It was qnly with the greatest difficulty that important information was ke .pt from going to the enemy, and if the whole story of the war could be told it would undoubtedly prove that many a spy managed to escape detection and return tQ his own lines with a budget of whO' had been found struggling with the spy. Asked to account for himself, the Cuban replied : "I am a reconcentrado, Senor General, and until early this morning was at the border of Jaragua. Then i escaped, for I felt that I would rather starve within the American lines-if I could get no food here-than stay to certain starvation among the Spanish. My name is Antonio Vara and I used to cultiv .ate a farm a few miles from here. When I came into camp this I saw that man prowling about.,, He pointed to the spy. "I r ecognized him," continued Vara, "as a Spanish soldier, for I have seen him many times among the troops at Jaragua. I knew at once that he must be here on spying expedition, and I won dered how I could denounce him to the American soldiers. 11 "You could have spoken to the first officer you met, 11 suggested General Shafter. "I suppone so, 11 said Vara, "but I was afraid. I hardly knew what to do, Senor General, I kept the man under my eye, and at length saw him approach a tent near which this officer was writing. 11 Here Vara mdicated Hal. "I saw him sneak within the officer's news. tent," resumed Vara, "and I sought to This matter had been a source of no attract the officer's attention by tossing a little irritation to General Shafter, and pebble toward him. The ruse succeeded when Hal reported that this fellow was a partially, but it seems that the officer spy, he was immediately interested. believed this man when he claimed to be "If what you say is true," be exa pacifico He had stolen something from claimed, .'you have done another service the officer's tent, and I determined to to your country. What is your proof?" prP.vent him from taking it out of the "Partly the word of a pacifico, '' rec
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"There is nothing in it of an : y conse quence, General," said Hal, "though un doubtedly the spy thought it might be a dispatch, or possibly an important Ifiap." General Shafter handed the envelope to Hal without looking at it. "This has been a good thing," he said. "Vara, you have earned a square meal as well as the gratitude of the American army. I will see that you get the square meal if nothing more." Thereupon the general summoned an orderly, and instructed him to bring a guard and another officer. To the officer he said: "This man, Antonio Vara, has per formed a service for our arms that en titles him to unusual consideration. See that he is well cared for .'' Turning to the officer of the guard, the general continued: "This man is a spy. Put him in the guardhouse to await orders.'' With a grateful look toward Hal, Vara withdrew and the guard took away the spy. Then General Shafter said : "I sent for you to give you a new mission." "I am ready, general." "I presumed you would be," said foe general, dryly, "but there isn't going to be any fun in it. However, as you are not out here for fun, I take it that we needn't discuss the dangers of the mis sion, but get right down to business. I must have some scouting done, and I don't think that it should be carried out> by a detachment. You will go alone, or with one man, if in your own opinion you can do better for having a companion. T.he Spaniards are constantly changing the disposition of their troops and utilizing every moment to strengthen their en trenchments. I must know twenty-four hours from now just what their positions G are between here and including Jaragua. I am sure that you will find it as practica ble to go alone as to be accompanied by a company. What do you think?'' "Your opinion is better than mine," Hal responded. "Not necessarily, for I have a good deal of confidence in your judgment." Hal's bronzed face took on a deeper flush, but he said nothing, and gen eral continued: 11There is really nothing more, Mr. Maynard You know perfectly well what is wanted of you, and the sooner you make a start the better." "I go at once, general," Hal responded. He saluted and then paused at the doorway. "Do I understand," he asked, "that I can take one man with me?" "You Lieutenant Smithson and Lieutenant Hal Maynard were the closest of friends. They had been comrades in more than one fierce conflict with the Spaniards, and their loyalty to each other was the subject for considerable comment in the American army. Hal lost no time in looking up his "I want you to take a walk, Smithson,,, he said. "Outside the lines, old chap?" "Exactly. You probably understand what it means.,, "I think I do," said Smithson. "How long will you be gone?'' "I must be back in twenty-four hours. Let"s get a move on at once, for every minu e counts.,, q Without more ado the young men started up the road that lead from the READ THE GREAT PREMIUM OFFER ON LAST PAGE.

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6 STAR.RY FLAG WUKLY. camp in the direction of J aragna. Thev had not gone far before they heard firing in advance. "Ah," said Hal. "There's a skir mish." "Probably," responded Smithson, "it is a between some band of Cubans whoare on their way to join Garda's forces, and au outpost of the enemy." Whatever was the nature of the firing it ceased presently, and the two scouts con tinned on the:ir way. Hal had a map of the district which had been given to him by his commander on the occasion of his first scouting expe di6on hi the vicinity The road they were. travelli11g was a miserable affair, and Hal's Ulind was heavy with anxiety as he saw the difficul ties that woulci beset the Americans in the matter of transporting heavy artillery. The road soon became so bad tJ1at he actually thought be ha9 made a mistake and he co11sulted his map. "You hear something," whispered Smithson. "So did I," A warning "sl1 was Hal's onJy reply. What tJ1ey heard was a rustling of foliage and a crackling as of somebody walking over dead twigs. The undergrowth was too thick just there for them to see into the forest on either hand. It occurred to both of them that they might be in danger of an ambuscade from a party of retreating Spaniards. The resistance offered to the landing had been so slight as to lead them both tv fear that the Spaniards bad really massed a body of troops in the vicinity to fall upon tbe Americans at a favoralbe opportunity. Hal already had his sword in his hand, and Smithson drew a revolver. Together they faced the point from which the noises came. It was quite evident that whoever or whatever was concealed in the underNo, there could be no mistake. Tl1is growth was maki11g no special attempt to was plainly the ronte marked npon the mask his approach. Consequently neither map between the camp and Jaragua, and of the young soldiers dreaded the outcome. yet it was hardly more than a crucie A moment passed, and then the figure not to be dignified by the term cart track. of a man was makiJJg his way It wound with many a sharp twist and rapidly 'through the forest to the road. turn among the trees and was in many Hardly had "he been disc'' ered before he places so narrow that an ordinary wagon was in full view. could not have made its way along with"Gteat Scott!" exclaimed Hal, lower-out great difficulty. ing his sword, and advancing. ''Row is Presently the scouts heard a loud ex-this, Vara?" plosion some distance ahead. "Ah, what good fortune to overtake "That doesn't sound like cannon," you so soon," cried the Cuban, as he said Hal. stepped from the brush into the open "Perhaps," suggested Smithson, "some roadway. vessel in the fleet has dropped a shell into There were a few scratches upon his a Spanish magazine. bands, hut on the whole he appeared to "Our longest range gun," said Hal, have affected bis journey through the "couldn't fin as far as this." b:rusb with t.lJe least possjble damage to Then he stopped suddenly, grasping himself. his companion's arm as he did so, and "I thought yott were going to get a turning his head to one side. square meaJ," said Hal. NICK CARTER IS THE F RINCE OF ALL.

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STARRY FLaG WEEKLY. 7 "I have had it," replied Vara, "and have been eating it on the way." "How did you get out .of camp?" "I slipped .out without being observed," rep.lied Vara, with a smile. "I have lived around here too long not to know many a way that does .not appea!t to the eyes of strangers. I want to do sometbjng for Cuba, senor, and so I beg yo11 to let .me go with you." "I am afraid you put a good deal of responsibility upon me, my friend," re plied Hal, gravely. "You sbonld have remained in camp. I am afraid the gen ernl might not take it kiudly of m.e if 1 should refrain from handing you over to the officer of the gtrnrd. '' "Ah, do not do that, I heg of you," cried Vara. ''Let me shoV1< you how I can win my way to the general's favor. I caught sight of yon just stepping into the forest at the outskirts of the camp. I knew you must be on the way to Jaragtta, -and so I followed by what you Americans caJl a 'short cut.' "And you are skilled in travelling through the brush, too," said Hal. "It is all right, Vara. I did not choose you to go with me, but having found you I shall not send you back. You shall be our guide." CHAPTER III. DESPERATE SPANIARDS. "Where, then, do you want to go?" asked Vara, delighted at Hal's decision. "First to Jaragua, after that, we wiTl "Do you wish to make a shorter cut?" "No, the road will do until we come to the nearest village.'' "T11at is El Mesa, and it is but a short distance from here." Eal warned his companions to proceed with caution, lest their coming be per-ceived by the Spanish garrison that .might still be occupying the place. They had gone but a little way when they were met by a party of Cuban soldiers hurrying toward the beach. Rifles were leveled on the instant, but the Cubans, recognizing HaJ's uniform, promptly lowered them. "What is the situation beyond?" inquired Bal of the commander. "The Spaniards are retreating," was the reply, "we fought them at El Mesa. They are now leaving that town and destroying it as they go." 'urhen that accounts for the e;cplosion we heard a few moments ago?" "Yes, senor. They have set fire to one of their block houses, and the explosion occnrred when the fire reached the magazine.'' "It was a pity,,, said Hal, "to permit them to destroy any property that might be valuable to us." "We did all we could,,, responded the Cuban, "and our orders now are to join the force at the sliore." The squad of Cuban soldiers passed on. "Other detachments of the Cubans," said Vara, "are making to the beac11 through the brnsh." "The11," said Hal, "I suppose we can take it for granted that there will be no more fighting up in this direction until the invading army gets to work." "There is no certaint}1 about that. General Gaicia has many thousand men scattered throughout the country here about, and while they are pushi11 g on to join the Americans, they may t!.ncotmter detachments of Spaniards, in which case th.ere is snre to be a ght.,' A moment later the young men emerged from the forest, and saw before them the houses of El Mesa. Several of them were in flames. RALLY ROUND THE FLAG-WEAR A FLAG .PIN.

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8 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. In the centre of the town were the smok ing ruins of a block house. It was there, undoubtedly, that the ex plosion had taken place which, the scouting party had thought might be the opening up of an attack by Spanish heavy artillery. At the edges of the town some of the inhabitants could be seen looking rue fully on as their dwellings disappeared. Elsewhere, a few were trying to put out the flames. This wai evidence that the Spanish garrison had really left the place. "Which way do you think theyhave gone?" said Hal, turning to Vara. "Undoubtedly to the west," was the reply, "where the first town they will reach is Demajayabo. After that they would come to Jaragua." "Are both of those places fortified by garrisons, do you suppose?'' asked Hal. "Probably, because the Spaniards have fortified every possible approach to San tiago.'' "Well," said Hal, "it is our business to find out how strong their fortificatio11s are, and how heavily they are manned.'. They went on directly to the town, and then Hal paused a moment to make up his mind just which course to take next. There were no Spanish soldiers in sight, but over the tops of the trees to the westward he saw the roof of what ap peared to be a block house. It was apparently about half a mile away at the top of a low hill, and he judged that it constituted one of the line of defences which the enemy had estab lished all along that part of the coast. road, if you can take us to it through the bush.'' "That I certainly can," replied Vara. He led them at once from the road into the forest. If it had not been for the previous experience that Hal had had when he was fighting with the Cuban insurgents in the interior, he would have found the greatest difficulty in making his way along the line taken by his guide. There was not only a constant tangle of creeping undergrowth, every vine of which seemed to be armed with spears, but there was a thick growth of a prickly cactus to be encountered and avoided at nearly every step. Through all this Vara made his way as readily as though he was on a public road, and Hal and Smithson fo1lowed so skilfully that they sustained only the slightest annoyance in the way of scratches. It took but a few minutes to come to a point whence they could see the block house dimJ'y through the foliage. Then they halted, for Hal's attention was atracted by the sound of voices. One was loud and stern. Spanish was the language used. "Stand to your work, dog," it said. "Would you have the Yankee pigs cap ture ammunition which they would use against Spain?'' The reply could not be heard distinct ly, but it was uttered in a protesting voice. "Take that, then." This remark, uttered in a fiendish shout, was followed instantly by the re port of a revolver. Then there was a faint cry, almost like a groan of pain from the same direction. "We'll go there," he said, pointing to it. Hal and his companions looked at each "The regular road," responded Vara, other. "leads directly past it." They guessed what had happened, and "Then we won't go by the regular though death is the most commonplace HOW DO YOU LIKE "THE HUMAN FLY?"

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\I! >l'I-! :lfV\1 : l .... Pi1 vq :i-l\'1'1 STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. affair in war, death under such circuintion to such soldiers as were left within stances sent a chill to their blood. to do the duty which had set for "It1s nothing short of murder,,; hissed them. Smithson. "Much as I hate the Spanish It was less than a second that Hal soldiers, I cannot help a feeling of sorrow paused. 1 for a man who is shot down by his officer. Stepping to the open door, he looked Hal nodded, and immediately began to within. move through the brush toward the block Ranged along the further side of the house, signalling to his comrade to follow room, which took up the entire floor of him in silence. the house, were six Spanish privates. Vara crept up beside him and whisEach stood by a loophole through pered: 'Yhich he was pointing a Mauser rifle. "Have you a spare revolver?" The loop-holes were upon the side of the For reply, Hal drew his aud building that fronted the regular road, handed it to the Cuban. and it was evident from the way in which "Now," Vara, "if it is they kept their eyes in that direction that necessary I can fight to some purpose." they anticipated the approach of the inHal's sword was in his hand, and vading enemy there. Smithson was walking with drawn revol-Two or three paces from them, with ver. his eyes also at a loophole, stood the offi-But two rads away now was the block cer in command of the squad. house within which might be a His drawn sword was in one handt and compan y of Spanish soldiers. in the other was a revolver. Over them, however many there might It was evident from a glance at the sit be, it was certain there was an officer who uation that Hal had done well to aphad been stirred to despeartion, and proach the place by any but the regular from whom, therefore, nothing could be roact. The retreating Spaniards had left expected except the most pitiless attack. this little detachment to watch the way What were the soldiers doing within by which the American invaders were ex-that block house? pected to advance upon Santiago's de-The question was soon to be answered. fences. Moving cautiously, but rapidly, Hal It was perfectly natural that the Span advanced toward the entrance. It was ish commander should have supposed around the corner from the direction in that General Sha(ter would send a reconwhich he had approached. noitering party up the road. Just as he rounded the corner he halted These soldiers were here, then, to give ai1 instant, appalled, in spite of his expe-the warning of the approach of such a rience, at the sight that met his eyes. party, and possibly to delay the advance Just across the doorway, face dowri, of the reconnoisance for a short time. was the body of a Spanish soldier, bleedIt could not mean that they hoped to ing from fresh wounds. make a serious resistance, for their num-It was he who had been killed by the bers were too few. officer's shot. There must be something further then Possibly the man had attempted to dis-in the presence of these men here, and fn obey orders and escape. If so, the fate he their attitude of watchfulness. met would undoubtedly act as an These thoughts flashed through Hal's 11ADMIRAL SAMPSON,, BUTTON FREE-SEE PAGE 32.

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10 STARRY FLAG WIJ1!lXLY. mind in the instant that he stood in the doorway, while at the same time his quick eyes took in another feature of the situation. Over on the side of the room nearest which he stood, and farthest therefore from the soldiers, was an open trap door. Hal could just see the top of the steps that led down t o the cellar. ,He could see, too, that a loose plank had been laid along these steps, as if it had been intended to use it like skids for pushing boxes or other heavy articles to the place below. The same glance that revealed the plank stretching down into the darkness of the cellar showed that it was not placed there for any such ::;imple purpose. An irregular black line lay along the surface of the plank, joining to a black line upon the floor of the block house that extended to tht! very doorway where the Americau soldier stood. It was all horribly clear. The black line was a train of powder, leading down, undoubtedly, to a magazine below the floor. The desperate purpose of this little de tacJ1me.nt, or at least the purpose of its officer, was apparent. The roadway was to be watched for a sign of an American advance. If the reconnoitreing party consisted of merely a handful, perhaps this little squad would endeavor to resist and drive them back. If the num hers of the Americans should but probably destroy hundreds of the enemy as the same time. And the Spanish soldiers? It mattered little to them, for they' were desperately beset1 and the action of the officer in killing one of his own men, showed that he at least was wiljjng to be blown to death with the Americans, if by doing so, he con Id destroy a number of his country's foes. One of the soldiers in the line stirred rest] essl y. "Silence!,, exclaimed the officer, under his breath. "Keep to your posts, every n ian of you. The next one that stirs, or breathes aloud, dies like the dog who dis obeyed me a few minutes ago." So saying, the officer raised his revol ver, and half pointed it toward his men. There was the most determined expression on his that Hal had ever seen. He was an enemy that one would not care to meet iu any kind of combat. The observation of all these details had taken less than a second, and jnst as the officer spoke, Hal's two companions came up and stood beside him. wai. One of them stepped upoil ,; k 1 h k d d -.,. stJc w 11c crac an er ins "it eaic1 .. There was a t:emor :;1te; pigs shoulder oil the lrne' -.i:-x-tld. ,,!;e 1\. The officer started to Jump to Ins and turn around. On the instant, Hal seized the revolver that he had given to Vara, and raising it, fired without apparently taking a}m. The bullet went straight to the intended mark, not 1!he officer's heart, but his pistol hand. The weapon dropped harmlessly to the floor, even as the officer arose, cursing with pain, a nd staring at his bleeding fin gers. prove to be overwhelming, it was undoubtedly the plan of the officer to fire one volley, with t}ie purpose of inducing the Americans to charge the house, and then when the invaders had come near, to fire the train. "Surrender, every man of you,', The explosion of a large magazine shouted Hal. "You are surrounded!" would not only blow the house to atoms, ''A bout face, and shoot them down," READ "THE GREAT DETECTIVE TRIO."

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, ST.A..KRY FLAG W.EEKLY. 11 howled the officer, making with his sword raised. toward Hal The Spanjsb soldll:,,rs, not only stupe"Shoot them, men, if they do.n't drop their weapons," cried Hal, as he passed the Tevolver back to Vara. One of the men in the line at the wall wheeled about at the comma11d, with his rifle at his shoulder. Smithson fired as quickly as Hal bad done, and the soldier dropped lifeless to the floor. The other soldiers, who had also turned about, some with raised weapons, now threw their Jifles down, and held up their h ands in token of surrender. It was a 11 taking place so quickly, that by this time the Spanish officer was only half way across the room. "Ob, you cowardly dogs,,, he cried, halting where he was, "you hoj>e to save your miserable lives by snrrender, do you? 'rhis then will blow you and the Yankee pigs to eternity together.,, Fairly sJirjeking t11ese words, he al lowed his sword to drop to the floor, for now he had .one baud lte could use, and reaching for his pocket, he took out ""hjch he lit, a .n,9 stooped to apply it t What Ahat block q secotad and the train we The questio :r with it would come the rnH : nded explosion. Hal was already leaping through the entrance to grapple with the officer, when Vara fired. The Spanis11 officer fell on his face, without so much as a groan, his outstretched hand, ho1ding the burning match, lying within two inches of the powder train. CHAPTER IV. DISPOSING OF PRISONERS. Smithson, who wa pushing into the room close behind Hal, put his foot upon the b ,urning m a tch. fied by surprise and the death of their commander and a comrade, were almost paralyzed with fear. Every one of them fell upon his knees and raising his hands in a most pitiful way, begged for mercy. ((Spare us, Americanos, spare us!" they whined. As Hal bad not the faintest idea of in juring the soldiers so long as they did not offer resistance, and as be had still less idea wh9t in the world he should do with them, J1e found it bard to refrain from laughing at this appeal. With a sly wink he tu.rued to Smithson and remarked: "Now that we have got them sur rounded and taken, I don't know wl1at to do about it.'' "Of course they are in the way," muttered Smithson, by way of reply, "and as s.oon as t11ey see 110w few they are of us, it's likely they'll run. Why not let them go?'' HaJ shook bjs 11ead. "Now that I have got them," be said, "my P.ride is against letting them get away, to say i1othing of the fact that I don't care to have them go back to the enemy and warn the1JJ that a scout is on the way, almost single handed." "We are not going to hurt you," said Hal, addressing the soliers in Spanish. "If you obey my instructions you will not only be safe, but well fed, too, and that's a good deal better, I take it, than you've been for many a month." "We only ask our miserable lives," said one of the soldiers. Hal uttered an exclamation of disgust, for he could not eudure the abject cowardice displayed by these Spaniards. There was no time to think of it then, but later he realized that there was some excuse for the Spanish soldiers. They WAR BUTTONS AND BADGES FREE-SEE PAGE 32

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U STARRY FLAG 'WEE'.K.LY. were subjected by their own officers to Hal grasped his word more tightly and the severest form of discipline. They muttered. were underfed, treated worse than dogs, "If it comes to the worst, we will fight and on top of that they we1e led to beto the death, even H we have to fire the lieve that the Americans were little short train and destroy the Spaniards as they of devils. It was a part of the army hoped to destroy us." teaching that the Spanish officers were An instant later he saw the muzzle of angels compared with the Americans. a rifle poked out from a thicket at the Moreover, these particular soldiers 'Vere beginning of the forest a few' rods back well aware of the frightful plans that of the block house. their leader bad formed of destroying the "Call to them, senor," whispered first detachment of Americans that should Vara. "It is not Spaniards." approach the block house. Hal already believed that this was the Hal stiJl stood over the dead officer, as case. puzzled as before as to how he should "Viva Cuba Libre," he shouted at the dispose of his prisoners. But a second or top of his voice. two, however, had elapsed since the cap"Cuba Lihre," came in a mighty ture of the place. chorus of voices from the thicket. Vara had darted to the door and Smith. son had followed him. Both were listen ing intently. "What is it?" asked Hal. Vara's keen Cuban ears had distin guished sounds that had escaped him. Smithson raise
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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 18 "But where is the rest of your com mand, colonel?" asked the officer who was in charge of the Cubans. Hal could not repress a smile at the title given him, but he ansW'ered seriously. "This is my entire command that you see here, sir." "These you11g men?" asked the Cuban officer, in renewed astonishment. "These," returned Hal. "Permit me to present Lieutenant Smithson, U. S. Army, aud this is Antonio Vara, insurgent sympathizer, who will doubtless be glad to take the first opportunity to join the Cuban army." The Cuban officer, who looked little different from the men he commanded, was a good deal taken aback by Hal's formality. He saluted imthson with grave respect, and then, evidently feeling that he was called upon to show a military bearing, ]1e drew himself up to his full height of about five feet, squared his shoulders, and said: "I am Major Sanchez, by commis sion of General Garcia, at your service, colonel. I was ordered by my general to bring my battalion to the coast. Knowing that there was a block house here we made up our minds to capture it on our way, but it seems tl1at you have got ahead of us, colonel.'' "Yes, but pardon me, I am not a colonel,'' responded Hal. ''I am Lieutenant Maynard, at your service, major, and shall be highly honored if you will re lieve 1ne of my prisoners on your way to the coast." "I shall be proud to escort them, sir." ''And will you be kind enough to take a note to my general?'' Kind enough The thought of bearing a message to the commander of the American army was enough to give the little major pride for all rest of his days. He was a soldier, and a figl1ter, but like some other men M ]rnd his van ity, it gave him a tremendous sense of importance to be charged with the de livery of these prisoners and a report from the American lieutenant. It was a fortunate way out of ]Ial's difficulty. After cautioning the major that the prisoners must be delivered harmed to the American commander, he wrote a brief note explailli11g the situa tion and announcing that a large quantity of ammunition was stored beneath the block house. This he knew to be the case, because Smithson made an investigation below the floor while he was writing. The powder train had been laid to con nect with a great many kegs that lay on the ground below stairs. When the note was written and the battalion of Cubans was ready to march on, Hal noticed that they were acom panied by a number of pacificos. Most of these were men, and all were dressed in anything but a military cos tu me. An idea occurred to the American, which he was not slow to act upon. It caused a little delay, but when Hal and his comrades set forth again, the American uniform had disappeared and the three looked like unfortunate Cuban peasants, except for the fact that their frames were not worn away by hunger. CALL YOUR FRIENDS ATTENTION TO OUR PREMIUMS-SEE PAGE 32.

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STliUl.Y FLA.G WEEXLY. Second Part. CHAPTER V. P:BIISONERS OF ANOTH'ER KIND. It was uow about the middle of the aftern001a, and for the next four hours the scouters were occupied in making their way circuitously through the forest. It was impossible t0 proceed a single rod by any, regular road or pass, because all such ways were faeld by the SpanisJ1 in larger and lar.ger force the nearer they drew to Santiago. Even Vara, with all his familarity with the district, was often puzzled for a OJ1 the shore near Bamqufri Hal could just make. out the ifl1t1ttering S.ta:rs a1.id Stripes. All these were cheering sights and sounds for the young soldier, but he gave them scant attention. His eyes were more occupied in observ ing the signs of the enemy that lay on the lower r ,idges between him and the sea. From his watching place he <;ould dis cern very clearly many o'f the lines of earthworks that the Spaniards had thrown up to check the American advance, and _!here the earthworks were not visible. i.t was still to distinguish the block li.:rnses and the crude forts that indicated plainly enough the general I.in. es of the enemy's defense. This was a large and vea.-y important part of the information that Genea:al Shafter had sent him to obtain. time as to how they sho?ld proceed to The Jay of the land was firmly fixed iu avoid being observed by Spanish pickets. "his memory, and lie felt that even if he One after another, however, they passed the block houses that guarded the lines and at length, just before sundown, came to the top of a high hill where, by c11mbing a tree, Hal was able to overlook several miles of territory between the spot and the sea. In the distance was the blue of ocean thickly dotted with the American transpoTts. Off to the westward he could hear the dull ooomfog of the wairship's guns. They were still bomban!ling the larger should be forced to return with nothing more gained than .this, he st.ill be able to give the com!lla:tader valuable poiuts in regard to the coming ccrnlict. It need hardy be saicl, however, that HaJ was far from satisfied to return witih this kind of information only. He had spent but a fractimn of the time allo.ved for his expedition, ancl the rest of it must be put in in learning as as possible concerning the number of men behind those miles of intrenchments and the quality of the arms with which they fortifications along the coast near the en-were defended. trance to the Bay of Santiago. Accordingly after be bad remained as The Nick Ca1"ter Weekly Contains The Best Detective St0ries Written.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. 16 long aS-.he ca:red to :in the tree:, he de scended and sketched a rongh map of the <:ountry which he took the precau tion to place in his shoe. Then he told Vara what point he wished to make next. It was a place well within the enemy's lines, and in the neighborhood of Jaragna. At this town, so far as he could see, the heaviest of the ene1ny's forces had been massed. Vara thought a moment, and then de clared that he could lead the way there, still by a ronndabout way, with little or no danger of being intercepted by Spanish pickets. So they set out on a new course. Darkness fell quickly, for evening is short in the tropics, and before they had gone more than two or three miles it was impossible for them to see each other. They were still in the forest and while it had been difficult enough to make progress dtiriug daylight, it was now almost impossible on account of the tangle of briers that beset tbeir feet. The hands and faces of all three were bleeding from tiny but annoying wounds. After a time Hal stoppe,d short. 'This won't do,,, he said, decidedly. ''I am sure that this course will bring us out all right," said Vara, confidently. "I have no doubt of it,,, responded Hal, "but it isn't alone the question of getting to Jaragua that trebles me, as the matter of getting there in such shape that we won't be instantly suspected.,, "Our clothing isn't going to look any better an hour from now than it does at "The disguise, so far as clnthing goes, is all right, ii said Hal, "and our rags might be torn twenty times as badly without endangering us. But my hands are badly scratched and my face feels as if it had been mutilated beyond recognition." "It will be griod enough," declared Smithson, "to go witJ1.in the enemy's lines without being recognized, won't it?'' miss the point, my friend. Ii we go into the enemy's camp with faces and hands bleeding from briar woui1ds, we shall certainly suspicio11, The Spaniards will naturally enough want to know what we were prowling around in the forest for at night." "And we shan't be able to give them a satisfactory answer," said Vara. "Then what are we going to do?" asked Smithson. Hal's reply was another qestion. "How far are we now from Jaragua ?" "Not more than thtee miles in a direct line," answered Vara, "arid perhaps twice as far by the route we shall have to take. When we arrive there we shall come in from the direction of Santiago." "That :is good, and we will enter J aragua after day break." "And betwee11 11ow and then?" in quired Smithson. "We will bivonac 111 best place that Va,ra can find near by. lt will give our scratches time to }1eal and besides that I shall.have a better opportunity of getting the information I want when it iS daylight. this tili{e," suggested Smithson. Neither of Hal's companions were dis Spain in the Claws is Our" Now Will You Be Good n Button-See Page 32,

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16. posed to argue the matter with him, and he spoke in such a decided tone that even if they had felt that hie; plan was unwise, they would not have said so. Accordingly, they moved a little way from where they had halted and found a comparatively bare spot where they threw themselves down to sleep. Hal, of course, did not venture to take this rest unguarded, and he arranged the night into watches, one man keeping guard for two hours at a stretch while the others slept. In this way the night passed unevent fully, and at break of day the three con tinued their journey. Avoiding the cactus and briars as much as possible, they still made rapid progress and at came a cart track which Vara assured them would bring them upon the western side of Jaragua about half a mile further on. His knowledge of the country proved to be perfect, for true to his prophecy they presently saw a number of poor huts in front of them as they rounded a proper to find such shelter as t'hey can out here. "In any case," added Varn, ''they are here to starve. '1 "Not all of them," said Hal, pb'inting to a hut that stood at a distance apart from the rest. Following his gesture, they saw three persons, a man, a woman and a girl, bending over a fire near the hut. It was evident that they were cooking something. ''I am glad some of the poor people have got food," said Vara. "So am I, 11 responded Hal, "and I think it will be safer for us if we make a pretense of being hungry ourselves. We will go over there and play beggars." Both Hal and Smithson had taken with them a small quantity of hard tac k, and most of this, by sharing it with Vara, had been eaten when they took up their march in the mor?ing. A 11 three would have been glad to sit down to a squa::e meal at that moment, although with the of true soldiers turn in the road. they would have been willing to pass the These huts were upon the outskirts of entire day without food if anything could Jaragua farthest from the fortifications, which, of course, were upon the side the American advance. A number of poverty stricken, hope l e ss-looking people were observed in the vicinity of the huts. "They are refugees," said Vara, under breath, while his da .rk cheeks flushed with .indignation. be accomplished by so doing. "There is only one trouble with that scheme," Smithson said. "What is it?11 "Those poor people will be likely to diminish their stock of pr0visions to help us, and we certainly don't want to take any of their food.'' "We will decline to do so on so.me "I suppose," said "that pretext, if they offer us any," replied they are inhabitants of Jaragua who have Hal, "but I think it important to play been driven from their homes in the the part of beggars." "THE UNSEEN EYE" HAS A GIRL DETECTIVE.

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. S'fARRY FLAG WEEKLY, lT I I ,,. .... ,-, I With this plan in view, they started across the field toward the hut. The persons cooking at the fire did not observe their approach, for their atten tion was attracted by several soldiers who came quickly up from an opposite direc tion. They were soldiers, of course, but that fact did not make Hal and his com pan ions pause. It would not do to arouse the enemy's suspicions by appearing to fear the Span iards. The scouters were more than half way across the field wheu the soldiers came up to the people by the fire. Hal and his companions could hear the harsh voices of the soldiers demanding food and the plaintive replies of the refugees declari110 that they had only e11ough for themselves and that they bad hardly eaten anything for days. "Why don't you die then, dogs?" re torted one of the soldiers roughly, as he bent over and seized something that lay on the ground near the fire. It was evidently food of some kind. "Do not take it," the woman pleaded, ''we shall starve.'' With an oath, the soldier not only tore the article from her hands, but struck her so violent a blow in the face witl his fist that she fell moaning to the ground. The man made a movement as if he would interfere to protect his wife, where upon two other soldiers fell upon }tim and began to beat him uhmercifully. "Merciful Heaven!" exclaimed Vara, between set teeth, "but I can't stand that." FREE WAR BADGES. .. With these words he dashed away from Hal and Smithson, and charged full tilt upon the soldiers. As he had but a few paces to go he was U.Pon them before either the man or the woman had had time to rise. Crack, slap, went Vara 's fists, each landing upon a soldier's head and felling him to the ground. ''Here's a fine pickle,'' said Hal in great anxiety, while his indignation, too, rose overpoweringly at sight of the Span iard's barbarity. He began to run. "What are you going to do?" asked Smithson. "Going to pitch in with Vara," re sponded Hal. "It's too late for discre tion, anyway, for we should be identified as Vara's companions." There was 110 time for any further dis cussion of the matter, for the two were even then upon the soldiers, who had turned furiously at unexpected attack. For a moment tf1ere was a sharp con flict with fists. The soldiers had not brought their weapons with them, and of course neither Hal nor his companions ventured to use their revolvers. Although the Spaniards outnumbered the American and his friends, they were no match for them when it came to a battle witl fists. Hal threw himself upon the two largest men, striking out at both of them_. One blow landed effectively, but the other fell short and the man aimed at grappled with Hal and tried to throw him to the ground. SEE LAST PAGE

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'118 STARRY FLAG' WEER.l'..Y. He found speedily that 11e was not tackling a Cuban. Hal pressed his forearm against the soldier's throat and gave him a sharp, short arm blow between the eyes. The soldier staggered away and fell much as if he had be:::n felled by a bullet. Meantime Smithson and Vara were hitting, out right and left were doing good service. How long the fight might have continued cannot be S9:id, for altbough the_ soldiers were clearly outmatched in skill and real strength, they had no idea that they were fighting any but pacificos and therefore might have continued much longer, although Hal from motives of prudence might have thought it best to stop the fighting at a!J early moment. The matter ended, however, when an officer accompanied by four armed soldiers hurried up. At sight of them the soldiers who had attempted to rob the refugees of their food, stopped fighting and began in loud voices to accuse their assail an ts. "You have no business here," said the officer, sternly addressing the soldiers. "Report back to your quarters. As for y{' il, '' turning to Hal and his compan J 'you are prisoners.," ( CHAPTER VI. COVERING A RETREAT. There was nothing for it but to surrender quietly. would have been sure to make matters worse for the scouters. As it was, there could be no doubt that the officer was convil,lced that he had captured, not Americans, necessarily, but spies who had been sent out by American commander. He asked 110 questions, but Hal heard his conversation with another officer whr presently joined him, and from that was clear tbat the three prisoners were likely to be so placed that escape would be impossible. Vara was terribly cast down by what had happened. "It was all my fault," he said, in a low voice. "I onght to have known enough to control my indignation." 'i ( can not see that yon are to be blamed," said Hal, quietly. "Ah, but," protested Vara, "if I had not assaulted the soldiers we s110uld not have been arrested.'' "I am not sure," Hal responded, "that I should have been able to prevent myself from assaulting them. It was enough to make any white man's blood boil." "True 'muttered Smithson, "and three months ago I should not have thought of anything but going to the rescue of those poor people, but now I FIVE CENTS WILL BUY THE NICK CARTER WEEKLY. J

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STARRY FllAG WEEKLY. 19 cannot help fearing the result of it upon your mission, my frieud. You represent the American army at this moment, and with it the salvation of Cuba. I do not know what your mission is, but I can guess it, and whatever happens now, Hal, you must make your way back to the American lines.'' "Yes," said Hal gravely, "you are quite right. The affair is unfortunate, but as you say, I must get back-not for my own sake, but for the sake of what I can carry to the general.'' Vara heard them and. realized as well as did Smithson the importance of doing _everything now to helpHal to escape. "I only hope," he murmured discon solately, "that something will turn up that will enable me to sacrifice myself for you and the cause." Before long they were walking through the main part of Jaragua. All was bustle and activity there. Officers and soldiers were hurrying about in various directions, and on every side could be heard voices of command and the movements of men making ready to resist the expected American advance. Hal kept his eyes open at every turn. Determined as he was to get back some how to the American lines, he filled his mind with every detail possible concern ing the preparations for defense. The route taken by the officer gave him as good a view of the fortifications as he could have got if be had been going unheed e d t!Hough the town At length he was halte
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near the house mounted and rode away with him. Hal and Smithson excha11ged of relief. Turning to them, their captor said; "Go back whence you came, dogs, and if you are found anywhere within this camp you will be shot at sight. You are lucky to get off so well. Hal thought the officer was quite right, but he did11 't venture to say so. Wheeling about at once, he started back along the road down which they had come. "You are not really going to go to Santiago, of course," whispered Vara. "No,>' replied Hal. "I shall take the first opportunity to get through the lines and start for the American position. Any suggestion that you can make, Vara, as to a short way-"If we go just outside the town,,, in terrupted Vara, "and then turn to the eastward a little way beyond the block house you can see there, we shall c0me to a stream thickly woodt!d on each side, down which we may be able to wade, aud thus escape observation by the pickets.,, "We will try it,,, said Hal, resolutely. "All Spanish eyes this morning will be turned in the direction of the American forces, and they will be looki11g so far away that they may not see what goes on right under their noses.,, In accordance with this plan, Hal and his companions turned from the road at about the point where they had had their fight with the thieving soldiers_. At that moment, there were none but the helpless reconcentrados in this viciuity, although 11p the road toward Santiago a cloud of dust showed the approach of a considerable Spanish force. "I sl10uld like to know how many men there are in that detachment," said Hal. After they had gone a little way from the road, he halted and climbed a tree in the edge of the forest where he stayed long enough to make out that the ap proaching detachment numbered about five hundred men. Then he and his companions went on. Still guided by Vka, they succeeded in making their way around the block house that markt..d the northern end of the fortifications at Jaragua without obser vation. When they came to the stream of which Vara had spoken, it was at a place were there was a waterfall. I tcould not be crossed at that point without extreme danger of being carried right over the edge to certain death upon the rocks be low. So Hal lead his companions down to the bottom of the falls and a little way beyond determined to take the chance of fording. The current was very swift and the water apparently deep, but the stream was not wide, and all three bdieved that they should be able to cross in safety. Hal plunged in at once. The current almost threw him over, bnt he struggled on and presently turned in mid-stream to advise his companions about avoiding a slippery rock just under neath the surface. He saw that they were on the point of following him, when, a little way back EVERYONE KNOWS NICK CARTER.

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of them there was the sound of a rifle shot. A bullet splashed in the water beside Hal. "We are discovered," cried Vara. "Do not wait for us. We will fight the pickets as well as we can to cover your retreat." It was the one thing to do. Hal regretted that he could not go back and help his friends who had been so loyal to him, but there was his mission I 11 On the ground at Smithson's feet lay the motionless body of Vara. With a great sinking of the heart at this sight, but ever mindful of his im portant mission, Hal plunged into the forest arid made toward the American line. ; He used .all speed possible, although that did not mean that be went fast on account of the obstacles in the way of briars and tangled underbrush. for the commanding general. More than once he would have missed He believed the information he had obtained was too valuable to be sacrificed on any account, and accordingly he again plunged into the current and made as rapidly as possible for the further shore. Another rifle shot and another bullet splashing into the water uncomfortably close. It looks as if they had got my ranje," thought Hal, "and although they are not good marksmen, some shot may acciden tally hit me." To avoid this he dove beneath the surface, eyes open, and at momentary risk of being dashed to death upon the rocks at the bottom, allowed the current to take him down the stream several rods. At length, believing that he had gone be his course if it had not been that the day was bright and through the foliage be could make out the position of the sun. Guided by this, he proceeded with des perate haste ever eastward until he suddenly emerged upon a beaten path that seemed to wind along in the same direc tion, generally speaking, which he wished to take. He set off down this path on the run, believing that he had now one so far that he was beyond the outermost lines of the Spaniards. He had hardly taken three paces, when he was aware that he was being pursued. Fearful that his mission would be fruitless just as it seemed to be on the yond the point where the pickets were point of succeeding, he rap the faster but firing, he rose to thet surface and after slipping and tumbling for a moment or two, he gained the bank. Halting a moment there and looking he caught just a glimpse of Smith still without being able to entirely lose the sound of pursuing steps. Looking over his shoulder he could not see the pursuer because the path was continually winding and the foliage alson pegging away with his revolver at ways intervened. unseen foes, and at foes, moreover, Once when he looked around thus, he whose exact presence could not be located lost his footing, or tripped upon somebecause they used smokeless powder. thing, and fell full length. GIVE YOUR AN AMERICAN FLAG HAT PIN-SEE PAGE 32. ...

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. "The Spaniard is as good a runner I am," he said to himself, desperately, "and I might as well fight him now while I have a. little breath as to try to run further." He drew his revolver and faced about with one knee on the ground, ready to fire the instant his pursuer should appear. The sound of hurrying steps continued and grew louder and of a sudden around the bend of the path came Smithson. "Ah, old chap," cried Smithson excitedly; "you ran so fast I thought I never should catch you. 11 "Why in thunder didn't you yell?" demrrnded Hal, ac; he lowered his weapon; "then I should have known who it was. As it is, I came pretty near shooting you." "I hadn't breath enough to yell," returned Smithson, "and besides, I wasn't sure it was you." "Well, I never expected to see you alive again." "The Spanish pickets must thought there were a hundred of have U<: said Smithson; "I blazed away till every shot in the revolver was gone without once seeing the enemy, and then I leaped into the stream and crossed as you did." "And Vara?" "Captured." "Wasn't he killed?" hour they came to the American outposts. There, as Hal did not have the countersign, they were obliged to surre11de1 themselves as prisoners, but this lead to no annoyance, for they were conducted speedily to headquarters where Hal made his report. He was highly complimented on the success of his undertaking, and was informed that General Shafter did not rnea11 to keep him idle The forward movement of the anny had begun, and Hal found himself as signed to command a detachment of skirmishers upon the extreme right. His command was already on the way when he received his orders, and he promptly mounted a horse and set out to join them. Third Part. CH APTER VII. THE QUEEN OF THE RED CROSS. The young lieutt:nant cauglJt up with his detachment at a point not far from the place where he had escaped capture and where Vara had been made prisoner. That place was in the forest, and the detachment under temporary command of a second lieutenan. t was making for an open valley a little way to the eastward. On the further side of the valley, "No. Seriously wounded, though, I is, in the direction of Santiago, the think." "Too bad we couldn't have brought him back with us." Even while they were talking they had resumed their way, and within half an ground sloped upward. The summit of the ridge was lined with trees, thus presenting a fine opportunity for the enemy to mask their forces. From his previous oliservakon, Hal NICK CARTER'S BOYS ARE DEVOTED TO HIM

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ST.ARRY FLAG WEEKLY. BS knew that that innocent looking ridge concealed a long trench behind which, if they had followed their plans, lay a considerable body of Spanish infantry, pro tected by a complete battery of artillery. Lieutenant Maynard promptly or_ dered his men to deploy in skirmish order, and lie flat on the ground. The American forces under his command were at that time just within the shelter of the forest near the beginning of the open valley. Regular soldiers as they were, and accustomed by their experience in Indian fighting to this kind of battle, they obeyed .promptly, taking their stations at intervals of about three yards. Hal tethered his horse among the trees and joined his men at about the centre of the lil1e. He then gave the command to move forward, this action to be accomplished without rising. The men were further instructed not to fire without command unless the enemy should open on them. Under such circumstances, the American soldiers were to fire at will. Hardly had the line begu11 to wriggle forward through the grass when there wa> a roar of cannon and the rattle of musketry from the woods at the top of the. ridge. The enemy had discovered the advancing skirmish line. The air fairly hisse
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J. .fil:!il Yr :J L1il"l "lfl.H /\.' ', FLAG WEEKLY, l the intrenchment on the ridge, basing his commands upon what he had discovered during his scouting expedition. It was little enough, that his forces were so few and so exposed to. the enemy's fire, but it was sufficient to enable the soldiers to direct their aim with more certainty. This done, Hal re turned to his place at the middle of the line. His expedition, of course, had called out a still more galling fire, but appar ently it was directed on general princi p les, accor
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' STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. rolled up in a greater volume of sound, and the wnistling of bullets became fiercer. They cut the grass all around the spot where Hal and the nurse stood; they shrieked over their heads, and Miss Shel don even uttered a little gasp of dismay, as she observed that her skirt was torn in many places. ''In Heaven's name," shouted Hal, "are the fiends firing upon the wounded and nurses as well as soldiers?'' This seemed, indeed, to be the fact. Horrible as it was, the experience of our army before Santiago showed again and again that the blood-thirsty Span 'ards had no consideration for the ordi nary rules of civilized warfare. For one instant Miss Sheldon crouched before the withering fire. Then she stood erect and faced it boldly ''They cannot have recognized my pur pose here," she said; "if they see me clearly--'' SJ1e would have concluded by declaring that the Spaniards would not fire at her, but the increasing storm of bullets showed that she was mistaken. Hal turned to the nearest of his soldiers and summoned them to the spot. They obeyed him instantly. 'It was clear even to brave Miss Shel don that her presence on the fighting line was a mistake. Not only her own life was in danger, but her conspicuous dress called forth a hotter fire than otherwise would have been poured by the enemy. She was endangering not only herself but the American soldiers. She, therefore, turned toward the forest from which the skirmishers had come, and her escort accompanied her, firing back as they went at the unseen foe. A fierce shout arose from the Ameri cans on the skirmish line as they observed this episode. Their mad was up. They were not only determined to over come the Spaniards, but every one of them woulc:] have been glad to rise from his place for the sake of forming a solid line around the popular nurse. It was but a moment before the escort had accompanied Miss Sheldon to the line of trees where she was comparatively safe. CHAPTER VIII. A BRILLIANT DASH. to As soon as the nurse had been removed of to a place of safety, Hal gave his whole ''Escort this American womar. safety," roared Hal above the shriek shell and the din of battle. "Every man here will die to cover your retreat." Even as be spoke, a fragment of a bursting shell struck one of the four men whom Hal had detailed as escort to the nurse. attention to the conflict. For a moment he was in doubt as to what course he should pursue, for he knew that nobody would expect him to attempt to carry the ridge by assault. His men were too few for that. and YOU SHOULD HAVE A 11VEWEY" MEDAL

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126 General Shafter himself knew perfectly well that it was a large force that the enemy had massed at that point. On the other hand, by keeping his men as they were Hal was exposing them to a fire that seemed to be unnecessary. What good purpose was to be served by letting the men lie in the grass there to be slowly picked off as they would by the Spaniards who, in
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STAIDW FLAG WEEK1'l. 27 rushed from the forest behind him, bearing all order from tJH; commander. "Withdraw skirmishers, Lieutenant M'ay11ard," was the order. Never was comu:iand rnore unwillingly received. It seemed absolutely unkind on the part of the general to take these men out of the fight just as they had a chance to do something effective in it. "Deploy to the right," added the orderly, "and await orders." Disappointing though it was to obey, Hal made to execute the order. His men, doubtless as much disappointed as he was, obeyed with equal promptness, hastening from their places toward the extreme right of the Hne, and thus giving room for the onward charge of the main divison. At the edge of the forest the voices of officers could be heard, giving the com nrnnd to charge. Hal's blood thrilled at the sound and the sight, in spite of the fact that his heart was a little heavy at the thought that he was not to be in the charge. Meantime, the Spaniards had kept up their uninterrupted fire until this very moment. Then there came a slight pause in the roar of musketry at the top of the ridge. Both divisions of the Americans were charging, one straight across the valley, and the other up the ridge at the eastern end in such a way as to come in behind the enemy. After a slight pause in the Spanish fire there was another rattle of m on the ridge, but it was comparatively feeble and scattered. 11 REMEMBER THE MAINE!" The sound was unmistakable. .The enemy had taken panic at.the flank movement and bad broke11 into retreat. They were not going to make more than a show of resistance to the advancing Americans. By the time the Yankee soldiers got to the ridge, every Spaniard able to travel would be gone. There would be no hand to ha11d con flict, and no chance of taking prisoners. It was all glorious enough to see this triumphant sweep of the American arms, but Hal's soldierly blood rebelled a bit at having so little to show for a victory. To be sure, the intrenchment would be taken, and that was so much gain in the advance on Sanitago, but--A sudden thought occurred to him. He knew the roads hereabout, for this was gronnd that he had traversed with Smithson and Vara on his scouting expedition. Froin the top of that ridge there were three lines of fairly beaten road by which t11e Spaniards could retreat. H they retreated in good order, they would likely take one of these roads which led in a fairly good line to Santiago itself. If, as seemed more likely, they were fleeing in disorder, overcome with panic, they would scatter by the three roads, and some might even take to the woods. It was altogether probable that some of the enei:ny would make a break down the road leading toward the block house near which Vara had been taken prisoner. WEAR A "MAINE" BUTTON.

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18 BTARR't'INFL'A.'G Why not take his men in that direc-Hal heard the officer's excited comtion and intercept the fugitives? mands. He was cursing the pigs of He turned instantly to the men who Yankees and his stricken soldiers had been in the skirmish line in the same breath, calling upon them to "Men," he cried, resolutely, "shall we stand and make a fight for it. turn their 1eft flank?" With no thought at all, but stirred The sunburned faces of the veteran soldiers glowed with interest and many of them grinned broadly. They caught the idea at once, for if their detachment could go around by the only by the excitement of battle, Hal dashed on, flourishing his sword in one hand and his revolver in the other. The first the Spaniards knew of his ap proach was the sound of bis voice. American extreme right and come upon "Throw down your arms, every one of the enemy, it would naturally seem to the you I Throw them down or you'll be shot Spaniards as if the Americans were executing a double flank movement, and that would be likely to intensify the panic. To be sure the skirmishers were only a handful, but-" It is yours to command, sir," said a gray bearded sergeant quietly. "Follow me, then," shouted Hal, leaping away. They followed with a will, but the young officer was more fleet of foot than they, and speedily far outstripped them. Moreover, he knew just what course to take and he had had more experience than they in forcing a way through the tangle of undergrowth. Unconscious of the fact that his soldiers were getting further and further behind him, Hal hastened on until he found himself upon one of the three roads that he knew about. A little way ahead he saw twenty or to pieces. There are two thousand men just behind me, and I shan't be able to hold them back if they see one of you with a weapon in his hands. Surrender if you hope for life.'' That was what the Spaniards heard. What they saw was a blodd-stained American officer in a uniform that was ragged from the piercing of bullets, bare headed because his hat had been torn off by a briar, pushing upon them, his sword raised and revolver leveled, the determi nation of a whole army gleaming from his eyes. The officer in command of the Spanish was the first to throw down his arms. Nearly all his men did likewise. Two or three made a break and tried to run for it. A well-directed shot from Hal's revol ver brought one of them down and that settled the rest of them. They stood still. more Spanish soldiers. A moment later one of Hal's skirmish-They had evidently been in retreat, ers came rushing up and found his young and had just now been halted by an officommander holding a score of men at cer who was attemp'ting to reform them. bay. HA VE YOU BEEN INTRODUCED TO ROXY?

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... WEEKLY;: "Here, my man," cried Hal without moving his eyes from the Spaniards, "take aim at that crowd and drop the first man who moves.,, -The soldier placed himself beside Hal and obeyed orders. In about a second another American arrived, and after him another. Each new arrival received the same command until presently the entire force of skirmishers was on the spot. Then it was a simple thing to advance upon the Spaniards, pick up their ons and set them all marching toward the American line Hal ordered his men to haste, because he wished them to return to the spot from which they had started, for the reason that he had been told to stay there and await orders. He realized now for the first time that in making this brilliant dash he had real ly exceeded his instructions. There was little fear of however, in view of the results for he had not only captured an officer and nearly a score of men, but plainly had prevented the enemy from reforming their line. They had gone but a few paces on way back when Hal turned the command temporarily over to the second lieutenant. "I shall be with you," he said, _'al most as soon as you get there. Without another word, he left the road and made straight through the forest. He was going in the direction of the block house that he had been at such great pains to avoid earlier in the day. This block house was on the enemy's extreme left, and was not directly con nected with the ridge which the Ameri cans were storming. Hal would have liked a commission to capture it, but having none, he ventured to leave his command for the sake of visiting it and accomplishing if possible another result. In a few minutes he had arrived within sight of the house. As he had more than half expected, the Spanish there had been affected by the panic of their comrades on the ridge. Believing that the American forces were about to charge upon the house, they had begun to retreat from it, and going they had applied the torch. The wooden fort was already m flames, and sending up a great cloud of smoke. The last of the Spaniards were just dis appearing in the forest iu the direction qf Jaragua. The moment Hal saw that the building was in flames, he began running toward it at full speed. Two or three Spaniards caught sight of him and fired their rifles, but the shots went wild. Without pausing, Hal banged back of them with his which caused the Spaniards to make all the more haste in disappearing. Breathless he came to the entrance and rushed in. He knew well enough that at any mo ment there would come a terrific explo sion, for the fire, if left to itself, would reach whatever magazine there was theret CUBA LIBRE-GET A CUBAN BUTTON I -

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80 and it might even be that the Spaniards had left a powder train to communicate with it. Rega1dless of this possibility, he dashed ill. The smoke was too dense for him to see clearly. Stooping, he began to feel his way around the sides of the building, hunting for something that he believed to be there. "Vara," he cried, uare you here?" A feeble voice responded to him from a far corner. Quickly Hal was at the wounded man's side. "The scoundrels left you to burn, did they?" exclaimed Hal, lifting the faithful Cuban in his arms. "Yes," replied Vara, weakly, "or to be blown up. And you, my friend, yo1J will be blown up, too, if you don't have a care. Leave me, Seuor Lieutenant, I am not wprth the risk.'' "I shall not leave you," stubbornly responded Hal, ''and if I hurt you in carrying you, remember it is your only chance for life." The smoke was now so dense that he had hardly breath '1.eft to utter these words. Staggering, not so much from the weight of Vara's body as from suffocation, he made his way to the door and so into the open air. It was not until then that he realized how intense the heat was within the block house. The perspiration was running m streams from every pore. There was not a second to Jose. Even where they stood the din of battle filled their ears with a deafening clamor, and yet it could be heard the of the flames as they eagerly devoured the Spanish fort. Any instant and the flames might reach the magazine. Hal was struggling across the ground toward the forest, carrying '(ara and un mindful of what the Cuban was trying to say. About half the distance had been cov ered, when the explosion came. air in front of him seemed to give way while from behind there seemed to come a blow asfrom a giant hand. Hal and his burden were thrown flat upon thPground. For a second they lay there, halfstunned, and all about them burning debris began to fall. The lieutenant was brought to con sciousness by a red hot cinder falling on his hand. He jumped up. "Vara," he cried, "are you still aiiive ?" "Indeed I am, n replied the Cnban. Then Ha1 saw that Vara's hands and legs were bound. ''So,'' he exclaimed, drawing his sword, "they made certain that not even your wounds should prevent you from escaping.'' "My wounds," replied Vara, while Ha! was cutting the thongs that bound him, "are not so bad as those cords. I can walk or run now, if you like.,, NICK CARTER, THE TERROR OF' CRIMINALS.

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STARRY FLAG WEEKLY. Sl "Good, then let's run." Vara could not run fast, but he could make better progress than Hal could while carrying him, aud so presently the two came to the of skirmish ers-at the point to which they had with drawn when ordered out of the battle. The lieutenant had lost nothing by his extra adventure, for it was not until after be resumed command of his detachment that any orders came to him from the commander. Then he was instructed simply to take his men where they could rejoin their own regiment. The ridge had been cap tured, and for the rest of the day that division of the army saw no more fight ing, and Hal's duty consisted merely in making his report to General Shafter. 'l'he general was too busily engaged in directing the advance ol his army to say more than "Well done, lieutenant," but that was sufficient to Hal. (THE END.] Mr. Wells promises his readers one of his best stories for the next issue of this Library to be entitled "The Blockhouse Mystery; or, Hal Maynard's Cuban Romance," which will be published on September rst. Hereafter this publica tion will be issued monthly.

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3 2 STARRY F LAG WEEKL Y HOW TO DO B USINES S Thie book Is a guide to euccees in lire, embracing Principles o f B usiness, Choice or Pursuit, Buying and Selling Geuernl Manage meot, l\Iecha.nical 'l'rndes, Ma1111Cact11ring1 Bookkeeping, Cnuses ofSncceSffaod Failur e Busluess1Jaxjms .nnd Forius etc It nlso contains nn appendix or complete bnsinesS .forms and a di c tionary of commercial terms No young mnn should be without thla valuable book. Jt gives complete information about trades. p ro f essions and occupntoln IJt which any young manle lnteyested Price ten cenu. Address STREET & SMITH, 25 Rose street, New York (Manual J,lbrary Department.) Red, White and Blue Quarterly. 'rbe earlier Issues or Bed, White and Blue are now on sale lo the fo,.m of Quarterlies, each including 13 consecnttve issues or this favorite weekly, together with the 13 original Illuminated 11\0etra tlons "''' an elegant cover In colors The price Is 3 0 Cents per volume for which sum they will be sent by mall post paid to any address in the Volted States. NOW READY. No. I, Including Nos. I to 13 or Red, White and Blue. No. 2, Nos. 14 to 2.6 or Red, White and Blue. No. 3, Nos '1:1 to 39 or Red, White and Blue. No. 4 Nos. 40 to 52 of Red, White and Blue. H your Newsdealer bas uol got the Quarterlies, remit direct to be publlsbere, STREET & SMITH 8 1 Fulto n St., N. Y. AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY. Jl[any people imagine lhat a plJologrnpher's camera Is n dlfll cnll n1achine to handle, u nd that t.l.Je work is dirty a11d, dlsagreeable. All this is a mistake. l.>hotottraphy js n clean. light, and pleasant ac complishment, w i thin the reach or all. 'l lle camera will prove a friend, reporter, nnci helper. \Vith a very inexpensive camera nny boy or girl can now Jea.rn not only to take gooUTEUR MANUAL o r PHorooR4J NY. will h sqnt on receipt of ten cents. STREET & SMITH, 25 Rose street, New York. llabual Library Department). WRESTLING. History tells us that wrestling was the first form or athletic pastime. Without doubt, IL gives strength and firmness, combined wilh quickness and pllablllty, to the Hmbs, vigor to the bqdy coolness and dlscl"imination to the head and elasticity to the tem. per, tbe who l e formmg an energetic combination or the greatest power to be found In man. J 'he book Is entitled PROFESSOR llULDOON'S WRESTLING. It ls l\Jlly lllntrated, and will be sent postpaid O D receipt of ten e t m t11, Addrees STBEET & SMITH, 25 Rose street, New York. (llaoual Library Department) OUT-DOOR SPORTS. Co m plete lnstruct10011 ror playing many o r the mM popular out of-d oo r game Is found In tbls book. The games are llluslrated and very easily mastered. Price ten cenr .,. Ad.drees STREET & SMJTH. 25 Roee street, New York, )laoual Library Department). Show Your eolors! E very American boy should wear a patrio tic emblem to show where his sympathies lie in these stir ring t imes of war M essrs. Stree t & Smi t h have made arrangements to present a patiiotic badge 01 button to eve r y reader ot t heir popular publica t ions for boys. The conditions are easy. Read them. W e publish six .32-page, illumi n ated cover weeklies for boys, retailing for five cents each, as follows: The True Blue, The Starry Flag, The Tip Top Weekly, The Klondike Kit Weekly, The Nick Carter Weekly, The Diamond Dick, Jr. We wish the readers of one series to become acquainted with the entire line On and after the present date the coupon at the foot of this column will be printed in each one of the above-mentioned publications. Three coupons, each clipped from a different publication, mailed to our office, will entitle you to one of the following, sent to your address, post-paid, free of all expense. 1. A merican Flag, embossed on gold ground, button or pin as preferred. 2 Aluminum Medal with Admiral Dewey's por t rait on front, and J?iclure of the Maine on reverse, pendant, from Alummum emblem .3 The American Flag, in metal, embossed in red, white, blue and gold. Three styles-button, scarf pin and ladies' hat pin. State your choice. 4. A mericati'Flag Oil white enamelled button with lever hinge. (Two of these will make a neat pair of cuff buttons.) 5. S i l k Bow, with A merican and Cuban flags combined, or A merican flag a l one, as prefer r ed, 6. Celluloid American Flag on pin. 7 Button 1 1-4 inches in diameter i.11 the following designs: A-A merican Flag. B-Ctman Flag. C-American and Cuban Flags together. D-American and English Flags together E-A dmiral D ewey. Admiral Sampson G-Battleship Maine. H' 'Now, wjll you be good." I-The Iowa. J-The Oregon. K-The Massachusetts L-The Indiana. M-The Brooklyn. N-The Columbia 0-The Texas. P-General Lee (order by letter and num ber, as 7-B., 7-D., etc.) Yon can Reen re as many pins and badges as you desire, provided you send sufficient con pons. 1 hree coupons secure any of the above provided each of t h e o f three ls from a dllfereut publlcatton. ORDER BY NUMBER. Send In your coupon. Remember this ls a purely gratuitous gift on our part, Intended to cail your attention to others or our publica tions besides the ones you .re now purchasing. If you cannot procure what you desire from your newsdealer send ne ten cents and one co11pon, and we will senrl yoL1 by return mail a copy of two othe r publications and the badge which you may select. Address your coupons to S T REET & SMIT H'S PREMIUM DEPT., 81 Fulton Stre et, N e w Yor k b l o c k house. T h e perspiration was stream s fr om eve r y pore. running In Hal was cutting the thongs that him, "are not so bad as those col' can walk or run now, if you like. NIC K CARTER, THE TERROR O F C R I M I NALS.

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"Naval Stories by a Naval Officer." TRUE BLUE The Best Naval Library Published This weekly is <1e1otetl to the stirring adventures of Our Boys !11 .Bhw. 'l'l1e fatuous naval :u1tltor, J<;nsign C laric e Fitch, U.S. N., has 1Jec11 eni:a.ged e::rnlusively to write !o1 Lihra.ry. No. 2-Reme mber the Maine; or, Clif Faraday's Rallying Cry 3-"Well l>une Porter!" or, Clif Faraday's Torpedo Boat Command. 4-Clif Faraday Under Havana's Guns; or, The 8troke for a Capture 5-A Traitor on the Flagship; or, Clif Faraday's Strange Clue 6-A Mysterious Prize; or, Clif Faraday's Thrilling Chase. 7-In the Enemy's Hands; or, Clif Faraday's Eventful Cruise. 8-0ut of Morro Castle; or, Clif Faraday's Escape. 9-Clif Faraday' s Test; or, The Mystery of the Unexploded Shell. 10-The Shot That Won; or, Clif Faraday' s Steady Aim. 11-ln the Face of Death; or, Clif Faraday's Gallantry. 12-Clif Faraday Under Arrest; or, Court-Mar t1alled tor Patriotism. 13-Clif Faraday at Cardenas; or, Hot Shot here It Did Most Good. 14-Caught In A Trap; or. Clif Faraday's Terri ble Set-Back. For by all 11ewsdealers, or wilt be sent on receipt of price, 5 c e nts each, by the publish e r s, Street & Smith, 81 F11lton Street, New York Nick Carter Weekly The Latest and Best Series of Stories of Detective Work. This series of stories will tell how Nick Carter, the most famous detective in the world, trains and educates intelligent and worthy young men in the requirements 0f the pPOfession. 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, illuminated cover-5 cents. The latest titles are: No. 82'-Roxy's Mid Air Rescue; or, A Diamond Min e in a Mummy s Head. 81-The Silver-Plated Mau; or, The Young Tramp Detective. 80-0n the Back of a Turtle; or, Bob Ferret and th e "Big Mitt" Man. 79-Bnff' s Slicle for Life; or, Th e Man Who PlantP.d Money. 78-The Living Target; or, Jack Burto n s Friend for Life. 77-Roxy's Talking Clue; or, The Mystery of the Magic Maze. 76-Boo 'Ferret's Trol1ey Trail; or, The School _Dete ctive's PatchedUp Quarry. 75-'l'he Human Fly; or, Roxy's Message to the Wide Awake School Boys. For sale by all mw.dealers, or will be sent on receipt oj price, 5 cents each, by the publishers, Street & Smith, 81 Fulto11 Street, New York. Tip Top Weekly An Ideal PublicatioJil for the American Youth. Tales of School, Fun, College, Travel and Adventure. The heroes are Americans. The stories are written by the best American authors of boys stories. The illustrations are designed by a noted artist and printed in colors with new and expensive machinery procured expressly for our famous line of publications. 32 pages, illuminated cover-5 cents. No. Titles of the latest stories:. 120-Frank Merriwell's Opportunity; or, The Ghost of Black Gorge. 119-Frank Mel'riwell, Fireman; or, The First Step Upward. 118-Frank Merriwell, Engine Wiper; or, At the Foot of the Ladder. 117-Frank Merriwell's or, The Start on a New Career. 116-Frank Merriwell's Masquerade; or, The Belle of B urricane Island. 115-Frank Merriwell' Fist; or Bound to Know the rruth. 114-Frank Merriwell's Daring, or, Elsie Bell wood's Sacrifice. 113-Frank Merriwell's Drift; or, With The Pen obscot River D1ivers. 112-Frank Merriwell's Peril; or, Tl1e Smugglers of th e Border. For sale b y all 11ewsdealers, or will b e sent 011 receipt of pric e 5 cent s e ach by th e p1tblishcrs, Street & Smith, 81 F11llo11 Street N e w York Diamond Dick, Jr. The Boys' Best Weekly. Stories of the most fascinating western romance, in which this hero is the leading character, can only be found in this weekly library. The Diamond 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. 93-Diamond Dick, Jr s Dynamite Blast; or, A Hole in the Wall at Buzzard Pass. 92-Diamond Dick, Jr.' s Front Seat; or, First Co'11l.e First Served. 91-Diamond Dick, Jr.'s Matchless Mate; or, Two of a Kind Against a Full House. 90-Diamorid Dick, Jr's Puzzling Purchase; or, A Bundle of Rags Well Lined. 89-Diamoud Dick Jr. 's Roll Call; or, A Piece Not in the Programme. 88-Diamond Dick Jr. 's Orders; or, Handsome I-Iany in an Up-to-Date Hold-Up. 87-Diamond l>ick, Jr. as Station Agent; or, Fun and Fight 11t Flush City. 86-Diamond Dick, Jr. 's Da. ngerous Bet; or, One Way to Save a Friend. 85-Diamoud Dick, Jr.'s Tricky Telegrams; or, The New Schoolmarm at Sugar Kotch. For sale by all 11ewsdealers, or will be sent 011 receipt of price 5 cents eac h by the publishers, Street & Smith, 81 Fulto11 Street, New York


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