Frank Merriwell's mission; or, The mystic valley of the Andes

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Frank Merriwell's mission; or, The mystic valley of the Andes
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Tip Top Weekly
Standish, Burt L. 1866-1945
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New York
Street & Smith
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Dime novels ( lcsh )
Adventure fiction ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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026808886 ( ALEPH )
07521579 ( OCLC )
T27-00014 ( USFLDC DOI )
t27.14 ( USFLDC Handle )

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TIP ToP LIBRARY. I33 ttlld lVukly-By Sub.cript-ion per year. l'Jnuwea a& &cond aa., MatU1 at theN, Y. Pot Office. STREET & S.r TTH, 29 Rooe 81., N. Y .J!Jnte'red to Act of Can,[11e ss, in. the Yem96, in the Offic e of the of Ck:m(l'lesg, Wa shington, .D. C. ------October 3, 18. Vol. 1. No. 25. Price Five Cents. FRANK MERRIWELL's MIS SION' OR, The Mystic Valley of th e A ndes. By the Author of "FRANK MERRIWELL." CHAPTER I. FRANK FINDS A MISSION. Bump-thud! One boy had been walking, the other running. They collided at tlre corner of Bush and Battery streets, San Francisco, and both fell heavil y "All down; set 'em on t'other alley!" ''Beg-a de pardon senor. Very great-a mistake! Beg-a de p ardon very much!'' ''Let up! What are you begging my pardon for, old man? I am the one to beg pardon. You w.ere walking-! runningcame to corner-didn't look-biff!-here we are."' The speaker laughed. It was a jolly, free-and-easy, reassuring boy's laugh. The other lad had a sad, dusky face, with big, dark eyes that seemed filled with a haunted fear. His appearance and his language showed he was not a native of the United States. The boy who had been running jumped up. "Here you go, old man," he cried, catching the other by the hand and draw ing him to his feet. "Unfortunate blunder. Very sorry. In a hurry. Must catch a train." He flashed out a handsome watch and glanced at it, whistled softly, then asked: ''How far is it to the Townsend street railway station?" ''I cannot tell, senor,'' was the respect ful reply, although the words seemed to be uttered in a bewildered way. "I do not know what place dis is at all." '' H urn So? Why, this is Bush street, this is Battery, and that is Market, over there.'' ''No, no! I mean I do not know what citee dis is;'' ''How? Come again! Don't know what city this is? Say, what have you been up against, old man?" "I speak de trute, senor," was the humble, almost cringing, protest. "I know not wl1y I be hereI know not where I be." "Whew!" whistled the lad, beginning to look the other boy over with keen interest. "Off your trolley, eh? Why, this is San Francisco, in the State of California, which is one of the most magnificent gems in that glorious, scin tillating collection known as the United States of America A r e you on?'' The dark-eyed lad looked still more be wildered by this spread -eagle manner o f delivering informati o n -\


2 FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. "De United States?" he murmured. close at hand on Market street. Come "I think I must be dere." along." "What? Didn't even know you were "Si, senor." in 'the United States? Well, are you "Don't 'Si, senor' me any more, please sure you're on earth? Jupiter! but you I am no more than a year older than you. interest me !-Wonder if I can catch that My name is Frank M erriwell. Call me train now ?"-Again glancing at h_is Frank. What's your handle?" watch.-"Don't look that way from the "Handale? I do not understand." road. Let her go. Will have to wire pro"Oh, that's a West e rn expression that fessor again. 'Missed train. Did not sta rt. I have picked up. I mean to ask your Try again to-morrow.' How'll that go?'' name.'' "I do not know what you talk-a about, "MatiasJuan Matias." senor., "Good! You'll be Juan; I'll be Frank. "Of course you don't; stupid of me. That goes. Now for something to eat." I'll introduce myself. I am Frank MerriA few minutes later the two lads, who well, a traveler by profession just at pres-had thus strangely met, were seated in a ent. had_ a rich uncle-queer old fellow restaurant, and Frank had ordered a -who died and left me a fortune. In his square meal for Juan, which was quickly will he provided that, in order that I served. The boy with the dark eyes be might increase my knowledge of the gan eating in a way that showed he was world, and broaden my ideas, I should extremely hungry, although he did everytravel. I have been doing so, in company thing with a refinement and grace of manwith my guardian, P...rofessor Orman Tyler ner that told -his breeding had been of the Scotch, generally known as 'Hot Scotch,' best. and some companions. Companions went When Juan's appetite was well satisfied horne; professor was called East on urgent Frank said: business. I wouldn't go until I had seen "Now, partner, for your story. You San Francisco. Ready to start to-day; said it was long. Cut it short as possible sent all my luggage to station, then ran -condense it. We Yankees. believe in over to view Chinatown once more. Took condensations. You're Spanish?" too much time about it, and was sprint"My' father was-or is-a Spaniard." ing for a cab when I collided with you. "Was or is? What do you mean by There you have it in a nutshell. Now, that?'' let drive at me. I am curious to know "Alas! Senor Frank, I know not if my how it happens you don't know where father be living or dead.,,-you ar17 at." "Drop the senor; I'm Frank. Here's a "Can I trust-a you?" mystery! I love mysteries. Get after that "I t4ink sof but I may be somewhat yarn, Juan." stuck on myself." "As you say. I will make is short. My "I think I can. You have-a de good father was born in Spain, of noble an cestors. Az ou see I speak good English face. But I have been fool so many time. when I am not excited. You wonder? I I tell you de story. It is long.'' will explain. My mother was an English "That so? Then we won't stand here. lady. He met her in Paris, while iravel-Where'll we go? You look hungry." ing. She was also travelino-. He saw her "S' h t 1 o 1, senor; ave no eat 111 ong time." admired her, sought her to be properly "Well, we'll fix that. Wonder where presented, and_was fortunate in obtaining the nearest restaurant is? Must be one an introduction. He loved her, and she


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. 3 loved him at first sight. But there were she fall from de saddle! Den she bleed-a difficulties in the way of a marriage-at de nose! My father know to save her difficulties on both sides. He told her of we must go back. Dat we have to do, Spain. A year later they met in Madrid. and we live in the valley again. My They had not lost track of each other in mother-my sweet mother !-she get all that year. In Madrid my also worse and worse, a nd den she die! Oh, met the Marques de la Villa de Villar de senor-oh, Frank, dere we bury her! Den la Aguila. He loved my mother likewise. my father do not want to go away. He My father and the Marques quarreled; stay by her grave, all his life go:1,1e wid they fought a duel. My father think he her.",. _,. have killed the marques, and he :fl.y from The tears were running down Juan's Spain, where next he go to Chili. The face, and his chin was quivering. Frank marques does not die, but he hate my turned away and coughed, which gave father. Fate bring my father and my him an excuse for producing his handker mother together again, they be marchieL tied. One year later my sistare is born; For some minutes there was silence, then, in another year, I am born. In and then.the low, musical voice of Juan Chili my father come to be a great man. began again: He have power and influence in politics, "I make it short, now, Frank. Dere and he grow to be rich. Fifteen years he we stay and stay. My sistare be beautiful live in Chili-Santiago, Valparaiso and -she look like my mother when my other places.. Then the Marques de la mother isa little girl. We live some way Villa del--" -any way. I always fear Black Miguel ''Cut is short, Juan; give us his last find us, but my father seem to have lost name." fear and care. Then-Frank-then my "The Marques Aguila to Chili father he disappear." and find my father. He plot against my "Disappears?" father. The revolutionary war-it come, "\.Ve never know-a where he go-we and my father he in it. When it is over never know what become of-a him. my father have to :fl.y for his life, and to Pepita, my sistare, and I go everywhere leave everything. T n e marques purwes -we hunt, searc.h, but do not find-a him." to capture-to keel-a my father. But my "What next, Juan-what next?" father he escape. We live hid in de moun-''My sistare !" cried the Spanish lad, tains. But always we fear de marques, for clasping his hands-"one day she disap he be rich-a and powerful. ln de mounpear, too! Oh, I be crazee! I wander in tains be de bandits. Black Miguel lead-a de mountain, calling all de time, 'Pepita, dem. De marques offar Black Miguel de Pepita, fepita !' Sometime I think-a I pardone if he will. capture my father. Ha! hear her ansare. I listen. It be de wind what you think of dat?" .in d.e rocks. One time some way, I find "I think your father was in a bad box. myself in a strange valley, near to de Couldn't he get out of the country?" blind valley of Cerillos. I cannot get out; ''I tell you," explained Juan, excitedly. I do not know how I come-a dere. I be "My mother have grow ill-my sweet sick, faint, hungree. I think I must die mother! Father have my sistare and my-there. I call-a to Pepita. Den, senorself, wid mymother. We try to go over den, Frank," cried Juan, rising to his de to Mendoza. My mother be feet, his face working with excitement, weak, and de mountain sickness. take her "I hear her ansare somewhere-some high upon de mountain. She be faint-where in de air! I cannot see her; I see


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. a big-a back hole far up in de rock. I look away. When I look again, I see dat hole no more! It be gone! Den I get crazee! Next I know, many men be round me. Dey must be de men of Black Miguel. I be seize, tied, blindfold! I struggle-a, but no use. Dey feed me, dey carry me away, dey put me on a horse, we travel many qay. Den we be at the sea. I am put on a ship, kept in de dark-a; oh, so long-so long! And den, in the night, I be brought to de land, and left. I find myself in strange place where de English is spoke-a. I walk-a, walk-a. I am afraid; I speak to nobody. De n you run to me, and we fall down. You know the rest.--'' Frank Merriwell's eyes were blazing with excitement. Neither lad heeded that many eyes were on them. "Juan," cried Frank, "you have been wronged With the aid of Providence, your wrong shall be righted!" ''Oh, Frank, I fear never! And my poor little sistare! Look, Frank," tak ing a locket from his bosom and open ing it for the other lad to see, "dis is her picture. Oh, where is shenow?" It was the sweet, innocent face of a girl of sixteen at which Frank Merriwe11 gazed, and he felt his chivalrous nature stirred to the depths. There was a tender pleading in the pictured eyes that he could not resist. "Juan, we will find where she is-we will rescue her!'' "How?" "By going to her! I have money enough, Juan, and I am not going East. I shall send a message to Professor Scotch immediately, and together, you and I, will take the first steamsnip for Valparaiso." "Oh, my good friend, is dat possible?" ''It is possible, and it shall be! It shall be my mission to solve this mystery, to learn your father's fate, to save your sis ter Juan, your hand! We are partners on the box seat-partners till the mission is ended!" Their hands met in the clasp of undy ing friendship. CHAPTER II. OLD FRIENDS MEET. Toward sunset of a beautiful day the steamer California, cleared from San Francisco, dropped anchor in the harbor of Valparaiso. On the forward deck two lads, Frank Merriwell ano Juan Matias, were gazing at the pictures

i FRANK MERRIWELL'S Mlt;SION. 5 : blue, .strolled everywhere. The greater with his back against the wall part of the women wore rebozas and scar-saymg: let sashes, although, to break the bar"Wal, gol ding your picters! I knowed mony of all this, P a risian gowns and bon-you was follerin' me for something that nets were in evidence. There were men wasn't no good. So you want my purse?' wearing vermillion serapes about their "Si senor," bowed one who seemed to shoulders, with wide hats of felt trimmed be the leader. "You geeve-a us dat, we with and breeches of pink buckdo not burt-a you." skin, held together down the sides with "Haow kind! I s'pose yeou kin see silver buttons. But there were other men ere revolver I've got? Wal, she's loaded in English coats and trousers, with silk by_ gum! an' ef yeou don't git aout hats and Picadilly shoes. Some even mighty dad-bimmed lively she'll com twirled their canes, and walked in imitamence to shoot, by thutter! an' I won' t tion of English swells. hold myself responsible ef some of yeou On the streets were piled high fellers git hurt, by ginger!" with sacks of silver ore, or carrying great In a moment Frank Merriwell sprang of water. Spirited horses dashed forward, shouting: along the streets, ridden by men .who sat "That's right, Ephraim! give it to in the saddles as if they were a part of 'em! I'm with you!" the animal. Soldiers were to be seen at Smack l smack! frequent intervals, and, as in Mexico, the Frank struck two blows, and two of the peon was on every hand. ruffians went down. The others took to Suddenly Juan grasped Frank's hatld their heels instantly, and the ones who and drew him quickly round a corner, had been struck scramb led up and fol-' pantarg: lowed, all quickly disappearing. "Queek---=.we must run!" Then Frank turned to the person who "Run? What for?" had been trapped b y the band. Out went "One of Black Miguel's men-Bengo his hand, and he cried: spy, a wretch !-have seen 111e ' "Ephraim Gallup, of Vermont! I'd Juan fled, and Frank followed till he quicker thought of seeing a being from could overtake and stop the frigl1tened lad. Mars!'' "Be sensible, Juan. It is not likely this The other, who was a tall, lank, awk-Bengo recognized you. You are dressed ward boy, somewhat older than Frank, now like a native of the United States." gasped and staggered. "That attracts his attention!" palpi"Frank Merriwell !" he. roared. tated the frightened boy. "He look-a at "Frank Merriwell who was at skule with us both sharp-a. I be sure he know-a us." me at Fardale! Jumpin' jee-whiz! kin After some time Frank succeeded in this ere be possible!" calming J and they proceeded. "I reckon it is," laughed Frank, as he But another adventure awaited them grasped the hand of the Yankee lad . before they reached thehotel. "Come, let's get out of this; it's danger. Juan sought secluded streets and dark ous here. We'll find a hotel, and we can wa) s. Suddenly they were startled by the explain everything to each other's satis sound of voices that came from a little faction there.'' group of dusky figures. One of these fig-Juan proved v'aluable now, for he conures was his back against ducted them to a good hotel, at which he the wall of a building; the others surdid all the business of securing accommo rounded him in a half-circle. The one dations.


'\, 6 FRANK M:BRRIWELL'S MISSION. To Frank and Ephraim the exterior of she wanted Hi to, but dad he said it wuz the hotel did not seem at all inviting, for all gol dern foolislmess, an' I come." it was a one-story adobe building; but, "But you were at school in Fardale. once they were surprised and de-How did you happen t9 leave school?'' lighted to find a series of courtyards, or "Too much fol-de-rol business there. patios, avenues of trellised vines, aviaries, E a feller didn't mind his pucker all the canalized watercourses, and other pleasant time he got the old scratch. I couldn't features. Here and there _fountains played stand it, an' so I jest got aout. Hi sent and the colored lights from swinging money ter pay my passage daown here." lamps-made the place se-em like fairyland "Where is your brother?" to the ship-weary lads. '' Spected to meet him soon's I got The boys ate supper -in the open air, here, but business tuck him or inter the near one of the tinkling fountains. maountings, an' he left word fer me ter "Jove!" exclaimed Frank. "This is stay right here till he got back." great! Now, Ephraim, old man, just ex"Well, I am more than glad to see plain how it happens th,at you are here." you again, Ephraim; but I never expected "Whut, talk an' Clat at ther same time! to meet you down here in South America.,.l-'' Gol--dinged ef I kin do it. Jest you wait Wal, you kin bet I was gol derned till I fill my sack some, an' then I'll tell glad to see yeou when ye found me ye all abaoutit." standin' or them fellers what wanted to rob me, dad-bim urn! An' I never s'pected ter see yeou down here, though I knowed ye was travelin' round. Jest you kinder explain haow it is yeou are here." So they waited, and, finally, when the country boy had satisfied his ravenous ap petite to a certa-in extent, he leaned back in his chair and asked : "Ju ever hear me speak uv my brother Hiram, Frank?'' "I believe I have," nodded Merriwell. "Wal, it's like this: Hi, he's a clanged &mart feller, and be knows haow ter make money an' keep it. When he gits holt of a silyer do!Jar he squeezes it so gol derned hard it makes ther eagle squawk. All ther same, he never wus ther kind ter stay to hum an' be satisfied. He wuz alwus lookin' out fer ther best place ter make a dollar, an' a friend of ourn got him ter come ter Chili. Marm, she didn't want him ter come 'way aout here, but he would do it, an' he done it. Wal, he's bin luckier than a barrel uv apple-sassmade money hand over fist ever sense he's bin here, by gum!" ,. So Frank quickly explained how he came to be in Valparaiso, and Ephraim listened with intense interest. The tale of Juan's woes aroused the warm-hearted Yankee lad, and, at the end, he asked: ''Be yeou fellers goin' right on inter the maountings?" "You bet!" replied Frank. ''We go on to-morrow. No time is to be lost." Ephraim meditated some minutes,. and then cried: "By gum I'm goin' with ye !" "What's that? You going?" "That ere's jest what I be, by jinks! Hiram won't be back here fer ten days, an' I might jest as well be doin' some thin'. Yeou may hev ter fight some, an' yeou know I kin hold up my end, by tJ1lu tter '' "And so you thought you would come here, eh ?" ''You are just the fellow we want,'' declared Frank, with "Juan, "Hi sent fer me-said as haow he'd we'll take him into the combine. This is put me in ther way of gittin' rich. Marm to be a three-cornered partnership, and she d:ldn 't want me to come no more'n here's iuck to it."


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. 7 -When Frank had tired of wa tch_ing the CHAPTER III. girl he looked out at the landscape, but this, also, became tiresome after a little. TRAPPED IN THE MOUNTAIN; Then be turned to Juan. Frank was well pleased to have "We shall leave the railroad at Santa Ephraim accompany them, and the fol-Rosa?'' lowing morning found the 1i ttle party on "Si." the way by rail to s anta Rosa. "We must obtain horses there?" With the exception of their horses, The Spanish lad nodded. they were thoroughly armed and equipped. "Do you think we'll be able to get them It made Frank feel quite at home to without trouble?" find himself traveling on a passenger car "If the money be ready to pay." that had been manufactured in Wilming"Well, I have enough for that. I rather ton, Delaware. think I have enough to last till we get It happened that on this train there did back to Valparaiso. Last night I wrote a not seem to be one of the brigandish men letter to my guardian.J and he will forward with blue-black beards, such as Frank funds as soon as he receives it.'' had expected to see everywhere in Chili. "I know a man in Santa Rosa who will The men and women chatted with a get us the horses," said "He be a certain refreshing freeness. The men were friend of my father, but he keep it quiet. stylishly dressed, to a great extent, and He is Don Honorio Rosende, who have many of the women wore Parisian bonnets. made the quickest time any one ever Frank was disappointed. He had exmade over the mountains be.t,ween Santa pected to see much in the dress and manRosa and Mendoza. He do it in thirty-six ners of the people that was distinctive hour and kill two horses. That way he and characteristic. He expressed his dis-save his brother, who was captured by In -appointment to Juan, who said: dians. '' "It is in the poor people you will see "Well, we will call on Don Honoria. what you look for. They wear the ponclio "Thatls jest what we'll do, by 'gum! and the manta. Rich people they like to We want some gol derned good bosses, do like the English or the French. They too.'' seem 'shamed to dress like the people of "The best we can obtain." the country where they do belong.'' Santa Rosa was reached, and the boys He then called Frank's attention to a went straight to the Hotel del Comercio, pretty girl who was wearing the manta. where they obtained accommodations The girl was sitting near an open window, made inquiries concerning Don and Frank watched her some minutes, Rosende. finally deciding that the manta was de-It happened that the don had been away cidedly becoming. It is always black, and, at Santiago, on business, but was ex in this case, was made of fine material. pected to return that evening The boys The folds around the face of the girl were held a consultation, and it was arranged with a certain piquancy, the pest to wait for his appearance. shape of the coiffure being shown, while After a swimming bath in the hotel, a fascinating curl was allowed-to escape, which delighted and refreshed the lads, apparently by accident. The girl also had they walked out to view the town. a charming way of readjusting the folds Santa Rosa they found su;rounded by of tl-le shawl, which was thrown over the snow-capped mountains, rising in blue ieft shoulder. mys tery on every hand To the west th e /


8 Fl'tANK MERlUWELL'S MISSION. main ridge of the Andes :flung itself high that they had seen all of Santa Rosa they into the sky. desired; and Frank and Ephraim returned 1Which way do we go from here?" to the hotel. asked Frank. Juan, however, sought some of his waving father's friends whom he could trust. "That way," answered Juan, his hand toward the northwest. Frank and Ephraim went out into one "I be gol dinged ef I see haow in of the hotel's patios, where they found two thutteration we're goin' that air way," hammocks strung beneath an arbor of said Ephraini. "We can't git no bosses vines, and there they remained, chatting that kin jump over them hills.'' till they fell asleep. ''We will find a pass through them," Frank was awakened by feeling him-exclaimed Juan. self violently shaken by Juan. "Dad bimmed ef I kin see where!" "What's the matter?" he asked, as he "It be not easy to see from here, but I sat up. find it. You trust me." "We must get away from here ver' \ "All right, Wand. I ruther guess you quick-a!''. panted the Spanish lad. "We know your business, an' we'll stick by must not stop a l1ere." . yeou closer then flies stick ter ther bung"Jupiter! you are pale, and you seem all hole uv a 'larses barrel.'' broken up. Have you seen a ghost?" Santa Rosa proved to be like nearly all "No; but! have seen something worse." Chilian towns. The streets were laid out "What?" rectangularly, dividing the place into "Ben go." squares like a checkerboard. Withvery "Who is Bengo ? few exceptions, the houses were one-story "He is de vera bad cut-a-throat-spy-in height, built of sun-dried bricks, with one devil!" grayish-tiled roofs, and stuccoed walls, "But why should we run away from colored rose, yellow, blue and other him? He is not likely to molest us, is he?" shades. Si, Frank." The streets were ankle deep in dust. "Why should he?" Open channels of water :flowed along the "He belong to Black Miguel's band-a." sides of the streets. The sidewalks were ''And Black Miguel is the outlaw you paved with round pebbles. fear so much-the one who was offered a The boys visited the plaza, or public pardon if he would capture your father?" square, where there were in any benches, '' Si, Frank." and where they found a few citizens ling"Well, ihs not at all likely this Bengo ering in the grateful shadows of the trees. knew you, Juan." In Santa Rosa ponchos were plentiful. '' Ah, he did! I see it when he look-a The poncho is a bl.anket with a hole cut at me. I tell you what I t'ink, Frank." in the middle. The wearer slips his head "Go ahead." through the hole, allowing the blanket to "I t1ink he be set to watch-a us. It'ink hang fr_<;>m his shoulders. he follow us everywhere. We not get Here many of the people wore wide-away from him so easy.'' brimmed white straw hats, held on by "Oh, I don't know about that. I am black strings, tied beneath the chin. inclined to you are frightened ''Never saw folks dress in sech gol-dern over nothing." outrageous styles," declared Ephraim. "Wait!" cried Juan, desperately. "You "It jest beats all natur !'' see! You find I know-a something." It did not take the lads long to feel "Gal dinged ef I don't think it'd be a


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. 9 good plan ter git aout uv ti:town kinder lively an' quiet like," said Ephraim, who had been listening. "It might be a darned sight better fer ther general state uv aour health." So they talked the matter over, and de cided that, if they could obtain the horses, they would slip out of Santa Rosa quietly that very night. Don Rosende returned, and they had no difficulty in obtaining three horses, for which Frank paid Late that evening they rode out of Santa Rosa, and, wi. th Juan as guide, to the northwest. For two days the y journeyed into the mountains, and during all that time Juan was certain they were followed. At length they found themselves in a long, narrow valley-a valley that was almost a ravine. Juan s eemed to have lost h!s bearings for the time, and they finally came to the e nd of the valley, which closed in an im passable wall of bare black rock. "It is the blind valley of Cerillos !" cried Juan. "I know where we be now. We can go no farther; we must turn back.'' Turn back they did but, at that very moment, far down the valley, a band of horsemen came into view, and rode straight toward the thr ee lads. Wild-looking ruffian s they were, with bright-colored serapes and blue-black beards. They were armed with rifles, re volvers, knives and machetes, on which the sunlight glinted, and they set up a wild cry as they saw the ttree boys. At the head of the band rode a dark faced, fierce-looking man, mounted on a coal-black horse. "It is Black Miguel and his band-a!" cried Juan, in terror. "I know we be follov;:ed! They have us in de trap! They come to kill-a us! We will all be mur dare !'' CHAPTER IV. THROUGH THE GAP. The Chilian lad was so overcome with terror that he nearly fell from his horse. Frank and Ephraim were surprised, but they did not become frightened and lose their wits. "Darn tt1y pumpkins, ef this don't look like trouble!" drawled the Vermonter, as he quickly unslung his rifle from his back. "Never used this air kind uv a gun much, but I uster do a darn good job with dad's ole muzzle-loadin' army musket* when I was to hum. Ef I kin git onter ther way this thing jeogerfies, I may be able to hit the side uv a baouse or some-thin'." / "Come on!" cried Frank. "Remember the gap we passed back a short distance. We must reach it ahead of them, and ride in to it. "Won't it be a trap?" ''No more than this is, for we have no shelter here, and we are hemmed in. If we get into the gap, those fellows will have to ride in after us one at a time, and we can shoot them as fast as they come.'' "Go ahead! We're with ye, by gum!" "Come on, Juan!" Frank had also unslung his rifle, and the three lads now charged straight toward the oncom-ing bandits. Juan did not urge his horse into the charge, but the creature kept with the others. The two American boys flourished their rifles above their heads, uttering a great shout of defiance. '"Come on, you cut-throats!" cried Franl:."';'-defiantly. "We'll make it inter-esting for you '' "Come on, yeou gol dern dirty-mugged sons-uv-guns !" yelled Ephraim. ''We'll give ye. hot-shot an' Hail Columbia! We'll give yer a taste uv Yankee lead, ye p'izen sarnips !" To the. bandits it'--must have seemed that the three lads were fierce for a fight,


10 FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. for the trio rode at the outla W':J as if they were utterly reckless and devoid of fear. Black Miguel was seen to fling his horse upon its haunches and make a gesture that brought his followers to a halt. "They ain't goin' 'ter run, be -they?" nervously asked Ephraim, with a queer laugh. "What's the matter?" asked Frank. ''Are you afraid you will not get a crack at them?'' -_ '' Oh, that don't worry me a great deal.'' _"They think we're going t'o charge them, and so--;-" "They're gittin' reddy for us. Where is that gap?" "Almost half way to where the y have halted. See it there on the. right." "It's a gol dem good thing the y stopped. '' "That's right. 't. "Ef they hadn't we cotlldn 't gottuit. ;, "No." ''Naow--'' "To the right!" cried Frank, clearly. "Here is the gap!" _.,.. To the right the lads wheeled. A yell came from the lips o f the bandits. "Ha, hal" laughed Frank. "They have just tumbled to the trick. Bend low There'll be builets in the air in a m o ment." Forward the boys bent uport the neeks of tbeir horses, and then a rattling voll ey of shots came from the outlaws, whi l e bullets whistled all about the lads. ''Never touched me, by gum!" chuckled Ephr a im, who seemed to h ave absorbed some of Frank's (eckles s spitit "Give it to them once more!" panted Merriwell. They were close to the gap, which seemed like a long, narrow crack in the face of the rock y wall. Before dashing i nto it, Frank and Ephraim whirled and fired again. There w a s no time to note the effect of these final / s hot s fot_: the horses requi red ''Get ready tc take a flying shot a t them instant attention. as we whirl into the gap. You go in first, and let Juan follow I will come behind, As they dash e d int o the gap, buil ets and I'll make it hot for them if they were chippi ng off bit s of rock and sending d down pebbles and dust from the face of crow us. h 11 B h h 1 h t e wa y t IS time t ey were c ose upon t e gap and very near to the ban.dits The In they went, one after the latter were waiting, with some doubt for not. one of them all had been the boys to get yet nearer, holding their a bit of lead. other, a nd touched by weapons ready for use. "Well, that's dead lucky!" e x cl a i m e d "Ready!" hissed Frank. Frank, when h e had asked them if th ey The two lads flung up their rifles. were hurt, and they had told him th ey "Fire!" were not. "Those fellows cannot be good The weapons spoke marksmen, or the y were rattled." "Hooray!" bellowed Ephraim, in de"Shall I keep on goin' as fur as I kin? light. "That air's ther way ter give 'em asked the Yankee boy. hot shot ari' Hail Columby !" "Sure; keep right ahead till you have One of outlaws had :flung up his to stop. '' arms and pitched from the saddle to the gap was strewn with bowlders, and ground, while the horse of another had it zag -agged s o they could not ri d e dropped instantly. swiftly, but still they made pretty good For the moment the bandits were flung time, dashing recklessly along. into consternation. Behind them the bandits were uttering


FRANK MERRIWELL' S MISSION. 11 wild cries, and the sounds rascals were in pursuit. indicate d the tion. "It is possible they rna y not b e s o Frank wondered where the gap wou l d lead, and if it would prove anything more than a great fissure in the mountain side. It wound on and on, and it widened in places, while there were places where it contracted till it seemed -that a horse and rider could scarcdy pass through. Still it did not come to an end: Behind the fugitive lads there was a clattering sound and the babel of calling voices, telling that the bandits were com ing as sw,iftl y as possible. Juan said nothing. His eyes were filled with a hunted light, and he seemed quiv ......._"wi tb terror. Ephraim pressed straight onward, while Frank turned now and then to look back. At one place, where the gap was par ticularly narrow, Frank said: "Go on, boys. I ll ov ertake you pretty soon.'' "Whut be yeou goin' ter do?" the Yankee lad. asked "I am going to put a checker on those fellow s Go ahead.'' Frank stopped, holdi n g his read y for use, and sitting sid e wa y s in the sad dle. There was a bend in the walls of the gap so he could not see the pursuers till they reached a certain p oint. He could hear them c oming nearer and nearer, and he knew just when the y ought to appear. rifle rose and the butt was pressed against his should e r The nose and head of a horse came into v1ew. That was all the b oy wi shed to see. The rifle spoke, an d the horse f e ll, flinging its rider headlong against a bowlder. Swinging round in the saddle, Frank urged his horse onward again. "That will cause them to hold up a little," muttered the boy, w ith satisfac-fierce to follow, as the one who is in a d vance will not know but he is liable t o be shot a t moment." Frank knew it was not going to be an easy thing to give Black Miguel the slip, but he also knew he__..need look for no mercy if he should fall into the hands of the bandit. It must be a case of struggle to the end and never surrender. It took him some time to come up with Ephrllim and Juan. The Yankee boy gave a deep sigh of relief when he and saw Frank. "Didn't know, fer sure, that was yeou that done tiler shootin,, he said. "I was ruther afraid 'twas one uv them p'izen skunks wl1at is after us. "No, I did it myself "Whut did ye shute?" ''A horse.'' "A boss ? Why that's a clean waste uv paowder and lead! "Oh, I guess not." "Why didn' t yeou shute one uv them gol dern land pirates?" "I don't like to s hoot a man in that wa y when just as well. I have never fpund any satisfaction in shoot ing at human beings, although I h ave been forced .to do so several times in my life.'' "Y eou 've got a conscience as big as a haouse, Frank.' "Well, there is some satisfaction in hav ing a conscience.)) "Them critters won' t hesitate abaout shootin' at us, au' m e bbe ther very one y eou didn't shute-will be ther one to shute y eou '' "Possibly." "Then I kinder guess yeou '11 be gol dern son-y ye let him go ,'' "Your philosophy is too much for me, Ephraim.'' "W al, it's h oss-sense. ".e They rode onward, and the SOUJ:fds of pursui t did not press them as closely as be -


12 FRANK MEHRIWELL'S lVIISSION. fore, showing the bandits had taken warn-''It run into de tunnel-it go under d e ing. Tl1e boys had expected the gap to ground.:' end at any moment, but it continued, "Well,_I have seen a case like that," and, finally, they came out into a .beautideclared Frank. "It was in the Tenn essee ful valley through which ran a stream of Mountains, ;md the stream was known as water. The valley was surrounded on Lost It sank into the earth and every hand by towering mountains. disappeated. No one knew where it c ame _"Hurrah!" cried Frank, in delight. out." "We were not cornered, after all! This is "Just like a-dis!" cried Juan. what I call great luck." "Wal, it may run in all right," said "We be not corner in de gap," said Ephraim, hastily. "We've gotter git aout Juan, wildly, "out we be corner here!" uv this mighty sudd en, an' I cal' late it'd ''Cornered be re? What do you mean? ' be a good plan ter find haow this w arter "I mean dat zis is de strange vallee gi .ts inter the valley." where I heard Pepita ansare my call-de To this Frank agreed, and they rode vallee where Black Miguel capture me-a! up the stream. We be lost-a!" Juan kept looking up at the high w alls, ---and uttered a cry, pointin g t o the black face of a steep bluff. CHAPTER V. THIN GS MYSTERIOUS. ''Lost? What do you mean by thlt? Why should we be lost here? I should say we have had great luck in.. finding this valley.'' Juan made a gesture of despair. "But we never find-a our way out! Black Miguel be in de pass by which we enter.'' "But there must be some other wa y out of the valley." "I t'ink not. When I come here before I do not know how get in. Now I remember I through dat gap. I find no other way out.'' "But this stream runs through the valley. It must come in somewhere ann go out somewhere., "That's right, by gum!" put in the Vermonter. "Warter kin run daown a maountain, but I be gol derned ef I ever saw any'Tunnin' up hill yit !" "The way it go out it run under de mountain," Juan! "Under the mountain?" "Si, Frank." ''How can that be?'' "Dere," he cried-"dere i s where I see de black hole in de rock when I hear m y sis tare call to m e!" The boys looked with interest, but the face of the bluff seemed unbroken, and Frank said : "You must be mistaken, Jua n, for there is no hole there now." "I see dat bole, den I see it no more. I am not mistake Frank. Dat i s de place. I tell you de hole it disappear-a.'' "I ruther guess yeou was twis t ed, J,uan,"drawledEphriam. ''Yeou thought you saw the hole." ''I no make a mistake-no, no! I t ell you I bear Pepita ansare me when I call to her-I know I hear it." "Yeou hed bin wanderin' raound in the maountains, an' yeou was h a lf crazy. You thought yeou heard her." "No, no, no! I know! I know!" "There is no time to discuss that," cut in Frank. "If those bandits follow u s closely they will--There they come." Hoarse shouts were beard behind the m and, looking back, they saw the band i t s riding out into the valley. The ruffians saw the three lads, and the shouts they uttered were cries of tri urn ph.


FRANK MERRIWELL'i::> 1\'Il:':>SION. 13 I don't like the sound," declared Frank. ''If did not feel sure of bagging us they would not yell like that." "Wal, they'll hev ter fight like thunder before they bag us, by thutteration !" spluttered the boy from Vermont. "We nevar get out, declared Juan, in a disheartened way. The boys rode onward, but the bandits made no immediate effort to follow them, which caused Frank still greater uneasi n e ss ''That s hows, beyond a doubt, that they feel sure they have us," he said. They rode up the v a lley for nearly half a and then came in sight of a water faH: Beyond the w aterfall the stream seemed to pour out of the side of a mighty mountain. The bo y s halted in dismay. "That settles one tl1ing," said Frank "We'll not be able to get out of this valley in this direction See; it closes in there, and there is no outlet. No wonder the bandits were in no hurry to follow u s.'' "I tell-a y ou dat !" cried Juan. "We be in de trap !' Ephraim ground hi s teeth. "Gol dern it all!" h e raged. "Air we goin' ter be cooped up like a lot uv chickens! Let's go back an' fight aour way right out through them ding-blasted bandits." _, "That is a trick we cannot acc_ omplish just now," s aid Frank. "They will be looking for us to come hustling back, as soon as we find this end of the valley is closed.'' "Wall, what be we goin' to do?" Frank looked the situation over and considered, his face very grave and thoughtful. Near the waterfall a mass of bowlders were piled, and he regarded them with q critical eye. "Let's go nearer and look them over," he said. "What for?" asked Ephraim. "To see what sort of a fort they will make. We may h a v e to get into some situation where we can hold off Black Miguel and his band." So they rode nearer, and it was seen that the rocks would afford them shelter if they were oblig.w to defend themselves from the outlaws. "We will stop right here," declared Frank. "It is best to do the thing those bandits will not expect us to do, and they '11 be looking for us to come back. Ten to one we'd be ambushed and shot down like dogs if we did so.'' So they dismounted and led their horses behind a mass of bowlders, where they would be well sheltered in case bullets flew thickly. Frank looked the mass over, and he quickly saw how strong a fort could be made. "Take hold, boys," he directed. "We must roll a-wall of stones together here. Then let Black Miguel come on.'' They like beavers, for 'they did not know how soon the outlaws would come upon them. In the course of an hour they had a wall erected, and the y were ready for the assault. By this time they were all hungry, and they decided to eat from the provisions obtained at their last stopping place_ This supply was small, for Juan had expected to obtain food from the peons who lived amid the mountains. "We'll have to go easy with the rations to-night," said Frank. "It will be better to keep some for to-morrow." "An' haow be we goin' ter git aour next supply?" asked Ephraim. ''Just now that is an unanswe1 able question.'' While they were eating all were startled by a -heavy rumbling explosion that seemed to be somewhere underground. They looked at each other in a bewildered manner, their eyes full of questioning. "What in t11Utteration

14 FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. that was, Frank?" spluttered the boy ledge, and this was distinctly felt to from Vermont. jar. "It was not an earthquake." "Next time she may be hard enough "Wal, not by a jugful!" to knock a corner off one of these air "It sounded like a blast." maountains !" Ephraim, in an "It surely did, by gum Then Juan was appealed to, but he was as much puzzled as the others. "I cannot tell," he said, shaking his head. "This valley is pne place of mystery. That is one of them."" The boys began to feel that there was, in truth, something uncanny about the valley. Even the mountains, which towered grim and ominous on every hand, seemed to shut the place in like mighty as if the spot were forbidden to man. The sun dropped down into the west, and_ shadows began to deepen in the gulches and ravines. With the growing shadows, the uneasiness of the boys in' creased. Although he would not confess it to himself, Frank disliked to spend a night there.' "Darn me!" Ephraim Gallup finally observed, unsteadily. "I feel jest the same's I did one time, when I went, with some other fellers, to stay in Jed Spruce's ha'nted haouse. I wai kainder creepy all over my meat, an' I'm that air way naow." "It would be a relief if the bandits made ;'n attack on us,'' said Frank. "They do that after dark," Juan said. "An' there won't be a gol dern bit uv a moon, will they?'' '' Oh, yes, there will be a faded old moon in the west the first of the night, but it )Ilay not shed much light int o this valley. The last part of the night will be moonless.'' ''Then's when they'll come fer sure." "We will make it hot for them, when-awe-stricken way. "I wonder if that can be anything the bandits are doing?" speculated Frank. "It can't be they are blowing down the walls and blockading the gap?'' After talking this over, it was decided that such a thing was not at all likely, but they arrived at no decided opinion concerning the explosions. Night came on. The sun faded from the,snowy peaks, and the darkness spread and deepened. Star;; came out one by one, and the ghost of a moon seemed-to rest in the hollow between two mountains. During a part of the afternoon the horses had been picketed where the y could feed on grass, but they were brought behind the barrier of rocks. The boys huddled together and talked in whispers. Suddenly, cutting through the night like a keen blade, came a wild cry, chilling the blood. It was full of unutterabl e despair, and it seemed to issue from the lips of a human being. That cry caused the boys to shudder and huddle closer behind the rocks. The waterfall splashed in the wan moonlight. Something caused them all to look at it at once. Out from the falling water a horse and rider seemed to leap. The horse was coal black, and the rider was covered with something that glistened darkly in the moonlight. CHAPTER VI. ever they come." THE STRUGGLE OF PHANTOMS. About an hour later they heard the Three astounded boys crouched behind underground explosion once more, and the rocks and stared at the horse and this time it seemed louder and more disrider. The trio seemed stricken dumb and tinct than before. They w ere upon a motionless with amazement".


4 FRANK MERRIWELI/S MISSION. 1 5 Not a moment did the strange horseman despairingly. "You do not kno w-a Black stop, but straight down the stream he Miguel! He nevare let any one get out de went. trap. He keela for de fun. He like t o Juan muttered a prayer in Spanish, see de-blood run-a-like to hear de v ic tim crossing himself. cry for pain!" "Wal, gol dern ef that don't beat all "Evidently he is an inhuman monster," creation!'' gurgled Ephraim Gallup, as came .quietly from the lips of Frank Merri soon as he could get his breath. "Where well. "That is all the more why in thutteration did they come frum ?" we should die fighting. It is not healthy Frank was silent, being not a little to fall into his hands." puzzled. "Oh, my poor sistare !" sobbed. the The..horseman had seemed utterly in-Chilian boy. "She nevare be save! Poor different to the presence of the boys, or Pepita!" quite unaware that they were there. Then he fell to repeating a prayer once Away he rode, without being challenged. more. The horse scrambled from the bed of the Frank was surprised at Juan's lack of stream, and the clickety-click of its hoofs nerve. The boy had seemed timid in the grew fainter and fainter as it went gallopfirst place, but he ha&thought be would ing down the valley. show more nerve when Chili was reached "What do yeou think uv that, Frank?" and he found himself in his own country. Ephraim demanded. However, on considering the condition "I think it was a horse and rider," said under which Juan had lived-on remem-Frank. bering that his father had been a hunted "A spirit!" whispered Juan. fugitive-Frank did not wonder so much "Git aout with yer gol dern nonsense!" that the dark-faced lad was not very exclaimed the Vermonter, promptly. "I brave. don't take no stock in that air,, yeou bet!" "Perhaps he will show up all right in There was nothing supernatural about a pinch," thought Frank, who was in the horse and rider," Merriwell quietly clined to be liberal. declared. "They were flesh and blood." For a long time they sat and talked of "Ah, Frank," sighed Juan; "how do the surprising appearance of the you explain de way they come-out of de rider. It was plain to all that the head and shoulders of the ridet had been covered "I am not going to try to explain it; by the protecting folds of something, on but I believe it was a trick to frighten us. which the thin moonlight made the water The outlaws are trying to break our glisten.-nerve, so they will have an easy time ''-:l-Ie came aout uv the warter, '' rout when they come in on us.'' tered Ephraim; "but haow in thuttera"Dad-bim urn!" grated Ephraim. tion did he git into it?" ''Dad-bim therskunks! I like this That was a question difficult to answer. air mq,nkey business, but they'll have The early night wore on, and the bard work ter scare me so I can't shute." shadowy moon dropped lower and lower "That's right," nodded Frank, the into the hollow between the two moun dim light failing to show the expression tain peaks. of satisfaction on his face; "keep your The boys spoke of the wild, wailing cry nerve, old man, and we'll make them they had heard, and wondered if it would fight if they get the bes t of us." __ be repeated. They were listening for it ''But we are in de trap-a!'' c ried J uan, when it came.


16 FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. The moon had gone, and darkness mind it to have the S:word poked th r ough heavy in the valley. The cry seemed to him a few doz e n times." float along on the heavy air, and it was "Well, he doesn't seem to m i n d it," expressive of the most unutterable agony. confessed Frank, as the demon jabbed the Then two fiery figures were seen racing skeleton several times. along the black wall to the south, swiftly Juan, heari1lg their voices, lowered his coming nearer the head of the valley, hands, took a look at the awe-inspiring and changing in shape as they cam e battle, then covered his eyes w i th hi s "Santa Maria .!" gasped Juan, and he hands again and resumed praying covered his e yes with his hands. "Oh, shut up with yer jabberin, 11 c ried "What in gol darnation is it?" asked the Yankee lad. Git inter the r g ame the Vermonter, in wonder. here, an' man!" "Look!" directed Frank. "They have "The saints preserva us! palpitated stopped. Well, this is a free show, and Juan, in English no mistake!" "We'll hev ter do a little pres e r vin On the smooth face of the precipice aourselves, they won't stan' b y us,'' two figures had halted. One was a grin snorted Ephraim, in di sgust. ning skeleton, every -bone of which Now the battle the two g lowseemed composed of white fire; the other ing figures became terrific. The demon was a scarlet demon, armed with a flung' aside his sword, and they grap pled. flaming sword. The demon had been purOnce, twice, three times the skeleton was suing the sk e leton, but now the latter, dashed to the ground. When it arose the seemingly driven to bay, faced about to third time it was seen that_ its l e ft arm give battle. had been broken off at the shoulder. "Say, I want to go right back to VarStill the battle raged with unabated mont!" groaned Ephraim Gallup, his fierceness, for the skeleton seemed i n furiteeth chattering. "I can't stan' this, gol ated beyond measure by its injury. It dern my boots ef I kin! It's too much, by hurled itself at the crimson demon w h ich thutter !" it caught with .its remaining h and and T _hen, before the eyes of the boys, a tried to strangle. brief but savage battle took place The The demon writhed and twisted i n i t s skeleton gr a sped the demon b y th e efforts to fling off its relentles s antagonist throat, but was cast off, artd the demon Sometimes both bent close t o the ground, plunged its sword throug h betwe e n the and then they straightened up. A t l ength skereton 's ribs, which did not seem to the skeleton was dash e d dow n and, harm the skeleton in the least. whe n it got up, one leg had f allen off at Ephraim began to forget his fear s-;and the knee. grew "Naow I guess he's aout u v the ring "Say, which way ye bettin', Frank?" fer sure," said Ephraim, regretfully he demanded. "I'll go ye that ther skele-But, no! the skeleton hopped round on ton knocks ther Old Boy out in two one foot as lively as a sparrow. It flung rounds!" itself on the demon, who seemed enra ged "I'll stand you on that," said Frank. beyond measure b y the persistency of its "The demon is bound to do execution fleshless antagonist. with that sword." The battle ended in a tempestuous "Oh, that don't caount, for the skele-struggle, and the demon actually tore the ton ain't got no flesh nor blood. He don't skeleton to pieces,. flung it, a shattered


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. 17 mass, t o the ground, and then, in an tn stant, skeleton and demon vanished. "Great y owling cats !'1 palpitated the Yankee boy That was the gol scrap I ever s ee ! Frank laug hed. "Oar friends, the enemy, seem to be doing everything possible to make it pleasan t f o r us while we remain here. n "What do yeou think, Frank-haow was t h a t done?n "They were spirits!n hissed Juan. "Don t arous e the anger of de spirits!' ''D on't-- "No! Mebbe Black Miguel be be scared aw a y If so, then we git out-per hap. n --" I scarcely think Bl a ck Miguel will be f rightened away so easily. I don't fancy he has been alarmed by anything that has hap p ened.,' For the third time the wild, wailing cry sounded in the valle y dying out into a fai n t moan that was nerve shaking. I don't understand how such a yell as t h a t can come from human lips, yet it see m s like a human cry n said Frank. "It i s a cry from a lost soul P' w his per e d the Chilian boy. "Non sense! I don t take stock in that. You nee d a tonic, Juan; your blood is in a bad condition. n "A.h, Frank, I kno w-a-I know-a!'' "If you think you q o it is useless to argue with you.' "No use to talk-a n "Then I will not try it." "But yeou have go t to acknowledge there has bin some go! dern queer things took place sence we come here,'' said Ephraim. ''Some things rather surprising, but nothing supernatural. ' "That's your idea, hey?" "Yes." "What abaout the boss an' feller that came aout of the waterfall?'' ''Surely there was nothing supernatural about that. It was a trick, and that is all. It was dune to frighten us and shake our nerve, as these other things have been done. When the bandits are satisfied that we are overcome with terror, they will come down on us with a rush. We must keep our nerve about us, or we'll all be killed without striking a blow in our own defense.'' "By gum, yeoure right! But Pd kinder like to know what them critters will do next.'' Barely had the words fallen from Ephraim's lips when a flash of light came down over the waterfall, and a flare of fire ran along the bosom of the stream that flowed through the valley, so the stream itself seemed to be a river of fire! CHAPTER VII. A SHOT IN THE DARK. ''Santa Maria!'' ''Great Scott I'' "Darn my punkins !n Juan, Frank and Ephraim uttered these exclamations in turn, as they crouched behind the rocks and stared in amazement at the river of fire. The entire surface of the stream seemed blazing, and tlte-iight illumined the valley. It was a remarkable spectacle, and one well calculated to paralyze the lads with astonishment and fear The light showed the black rocks, the jagged walls, the frowning precipices, but revealed no living human being to the boys behind the rocks. "This is rather remarkable, I must confess I'' said Frank, staring wonderingly at the fiery stream. "Darned ef I saw warter burn like that air before !n spluttered the Vermont lad. "It is de end of de world-a!" moaned Juan. "Dunno but it is," nodded Ephraim. "When warter gits ter burnin', other


18 FRANK MERRIWELL'b MISSION. things oughter ketch purty gol dern the rope close to the horse's head. Then, with a leap and a swing, be landed on asked thcf' animal's back. soon!'' "What's this smell in the air?" Frank. "Dunno. What is it?" "It seems like burning oil." "So it does. Mebbe that river runs aout uv an oil factory somewhere." "The fire is sinking already." This was true. Near the waterfall it was dying out and floating away on the bosom of the stream, although it seemed to burn as brightly as ever, further down the valley .. Little patches of fire drifted swiftly down the stream and burned themselves out on the surface of the water. soon there was no fire in the vicinity of the waterfall, in a very few minutes there was none anywhere along the s tream. Darkness lay dense and awesome the uncanny valley. Now the boys noticed that the horses were snorting and rearing, apparently greatly terrified by what had t aken place and by their own struggles. "They're liable to break away!" ex claimed Frank, springing up. "We must look out for that.'' "That's so, by gum cried Ephraim. Together they hastened toward the horses. This was an unfortunate move, for, suddenly appearing as they did in the darkness, they completed the work of rendering the animals frantic. ''Whoa! Easy there '' called Frank, hoping to reassure the creatures with his vmce. The horses were making too much noise to hear him. They reared and plunged, and one of them broke away. Despite the fact that he was rather awk ward in appearance, Ephraim was strong and quick. Happening to be near the -"' horse that freed itself, the Vermonter leaped through the air and caught at the bit of broken rope. ''Whoa, gol dern ye!'' he cried, tri umphantly. "Think ye kin git erway rum Ephraim Gallup? E ye do, yeou'll make ther biggest mistake uv yeour life, by thutter!" The horse continued to rear and plun ge while Ephraim was speaking, and th en, all a t once, the creature seemed to realize that it was no longer held by the rope A wild squeal came from the animal's lips, and away it shot down the valley, bearing the boy on its back. "Stop!" shauted Frank. back!" "Com e "Can't!" was the reply. "This gol dernecl hoss is::.....-" That was all Frank could understand, for the horse continued to tear down the valley, bearing the Yankee lad a long. Frank did his be st to quiet th e other animals, and he s ucceeded in a few mo me.9ts. Before he had quieted them to his satis faction, he heard a series of wild yells far down the valley, followed by three or four shots, and sti ll further yelling. ''Hard luck!'' muttered Merriwell, bit terly. "Ten to one Eph has run plumb upon the bandits, and has been killed or captured. Now fate seems dead against us.'' The yell ing died out, but the final cries yvere full of triumph, and Frank's heart was heavy in his bosom. Having pacifie d the horses, he returned to the place where Juan crouched and shivered. ''We be lost, lo st!'' murmured Juan. Frank said nothing, for he was tr ying to think what should be done in this emergency. He had not given up hope, and he knew it was possible Ephraim had escaped, but his sober judgment told him the situation was one of deadly peril, where there did not seem one chance in By the rarest chance, Ephraim grasped a thousand that one of the three lads


Fl=tANK MERR I WEL L'S MISSJ; O N. 19 would ever leave that fateful valley alive. "Young senor, I wish to spea k wi t h If their foes had been aught but the you." most deadly and desperate cut-throats, The words, uttered in a smooth, m u s i creatures who often shed humalJ plood for cal voice, came through the darkness, and the mere pleasure of doit;tg so, the peri l they seemed like an e l ectri c shoc k t o might not have seemed so grave. Juan, who started up with a smothered Frank was much disappointed in Juan, cry. for he had fancied the boy who was seek-Frank was a little surprised, but he im -ing to find his lost sister and rescue her mediately asked: would be brave and daring. Now he did not ''Do you mean that you wish to speak depend on the Chilian boy in the least, with me?'' # ... and he felt that Juan was an incum"Si, senor; you are the one." brance. "Who are you?" But he could not rest without knowing "That can make no difference to you. what had happened to Ephraim, s o he de-At this' time I propose to be your friend, termined to creep down the valley. The if you will let me." outlaws were down there, and he might "My friend? Impossible!" get near enough to them to find out some"Not so, young senor. If you will le t thing. me be your friend, that I will.'' He had turned to tell Juan what move Through Frank's head :fla;hed the he thought of making when he was sur -thought that this was a trick, and he was prised and startled to hear a galloping wary. To his surprise, Juan was kneeling horse approaching. at his side, fingering a rifle, and breath" Dey coming!" palpitated the Chilian ing 'heavily. The Chilian seemed overlad. "Dey coming now to kill-a us!" come with a desire to do some shooting. "Well, we will make it a very interest"Steady!" whispered Frank. "Don't ing job for them!" grated Frank, swingbe in a hurry. watch out that we are not ing his rifle round re a dy for use. "I'll taken by surprise while I talk with that wager something I perforate a few of the man.'' villains!" "That man!" fluttered Juan. "Oh, if I Nearer and nearer came the galloping could see-a heem horse. "I cannot understand why you should "There can be but on .e," muttered offer frieridship," Frank called to the un Frank. "I wonder who that is, and what seen man. "We have no friends here." he wants?" "And you should have no enemies Then his heart gave a great leap of here, young senor. It is the fault of your. hope. own that you come into this trap, from "It may be Ephraim!" he gasped. "If which you can never get away without I it should be--" help you." He stopped short, for the horse had "Why should you help me?" ceased to gallop. The animal was com"Because I do no wish to see you ing forward at a walk, and was now quite killed. You do not belong in Chili, and near. you do come here on a foolish expedition. "Halt, there!" I know all about that. Now you yourself The ringing command came from Frank do find in a bad trap. Black Miguel have Merriwell 'slips, and it was emphasized you very fast, and it is the wish of him to by a double click, as he cocked his rifle. kill you quick and soon. I have induced The horse stopped. him to hold still for a little time.''


20 FRANK MERRIWELL'S Frank was doubtful; he could not be -ster! You be de one dat kill-a my fadare lieve the man was speaking the truth. Be--steala my sistare! You be de Marques hind all this he felt sure there was a plot de ]a Villa del Villar de la Aguila! M ay to deceive them. de saints .direct dis bullet!'' "Why should you induce him to hold There was a flash' of fir e followed b y a on?'' ringing report, and Frank knew the "Why should I wish that you .are Chilian boy had discharged his rifle. killed? You have never harmed me in some way, and against you I have not one thing at all. With Black Miguel I have some influence, and I can get him to let you go away without trouble. I will do it on a certain condition.'' ''Now comes the trap!'' thought Frank; and then he asked to know the "certain condition." After a moment of hesitation, the un seen man said: "With you yon have a boy, Juan Matias by name." "Well?" "You have him ?" ''Yes.'' "There were three of you, but one of you he has become a captive to Black Miguel.'' Frank's heart leaped and swelled with a feeling of relief. So Ephraim still lived. "The loss_ of him leaves you very weak,,; the man went on. "You are but two to many. You have no chance toes cape. If my offer-you do not accept, you will all be killed .'' "Make your offer." "It is this: Your friend who was with yon is not harmed; but he will be killed right away if you do not accept the terms, which are that Juan Matias ybu shall give up to Black Miguel. If Juan you give up, the one who is captured shall be set at freedom, and away you may go without being at all hurt Remember, that it will cost a t once the life of him who is cap tured if Juan Matias you do not give up. What do you answer?'' Then, to Frank's astonishment, Juan screamed: "I ansare dat you be de human moilCHAPTER VIII. "ADIOS!'' This action on the part of Juan h ad been quite unexpected by Frank M erri well, so he was unable to prevent it. The moment it happened, however, he clutched the boy, crying: ''Stop Do not fire again '' Juan laughed wildlY,. "I. hope I have no need to do dat !" he returned. "I hear where his voice sounda, and I shoot toward it. Ha ha! Mebbe I do not miss.'' Frank was astonished, for Juan seemed entirely changed. He no longer crin ged and cowered, but he seemed wrought to madness and despair. The rifle w a s taken from the Chilian boy, and then Frank called : ''Are you injured, sir?'' "Not at was the. calm reply. "The bullet passed within a few inches of my head, but I was not at all touched." This seemed to make Juan frantic. H e raved in Spanish for several minut es, showing he had a passionate nature and a fiery temper. He was qujte changed from the quiet, timid lad of a short time before. "Be quiet!" ordered Frank, sternly. "What is the good of all this bluster an d noise! Keep still'' Juan became silent, but he was heard to grate his teeth occasionally, and hi s restless movements told that he was hold ing himself in check b y a great effort. ''Do you accept my proposal?'' de manded the man in the darkness, impa tiently. "At once you must answer, for I -"""""--


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. J 2 1 care not to remain here and be shot at some 1nore. '' "Is that the only condition you have to offer?'' asked Frank, his heart heavy in his bosom. "Si, senor; the only one.'' "If I give up Juan Matias, you will re lease Ephraim Gallup, and will promise that we shall leave the mountains without being harmed?'' "Si, senor." Juan breathed heavily. He was await ing Frank's decision. Frank had expected he would entreat not to be given up, but he did nothing of the sort. Within himself Frank Merriwell was fighting a battle. Matias was of foreign blood, while Ephraim Gallup, brave and true, was a Yankee, an old schoolmate, a true friend and comrade. Whe n it came to a choice them there could be no hesitation on his part. If Juanwere not given up Ephraim would be killed imm ediately, and there could be little doubt but the bandits would afterward complete their work by slaughtering the other boys. By the sac rifice of the Chilian lad the other twc might escape. Frank thought this all over in a mo ment, and then he despised himself for hesitating. He saw hi s honor blackened, and felt a thrill of shame because he had hesitated an instant. "What do you tell him, Frank?" Juan asKed the question, his voice soft and low. "Tell him!" said Frank, hoarsely; ''There is but one thing to tell him! I took your hand in San Francisco, and swore to be. your partner to the bitter end. Do you think I will go back on my oath! No, no-not even to save Ephraim Gal lup, my old schoolmate!" Then he passed a hand across his fore head, groaning: "Poor Ephraim!" "Come, come!" called the impatient voice in the darkness. "What is to be your ?nswer, young senor. Will you give Juan Matias up to save the other and yourself?'' ''No, never!" The man uttered an exclamation of as tonishment in Spanish. "It cannot be you are very so much the great fool he cried. "Senor Gallup will be killed immediate I carry back your answer. And then you cannot escape. Black Miguel will bring his men and finish the work. All three will fall. Think-think how it can be that you may save yourself and your friend if you but do give up Juan Matias." "I have thought of it. Go ahead with your murderous work! I shall stand by Juan to the end!" "If not of yourself, then of your friend you should think. It is your duty to save him.'' "If this proposal were made to him, I know what his answer would be. He would despise me if I gave up Juan to save him and to save myself. You have had my answer." Juan clutched Frank's arm, and his voice trembled with emotion, as he panted: "T'ank-a you, t'ank-a you! You sure be de true friend-a! But it be not right-a -you must not die for me-a. No, no, no! If you can git away, den I go give-a my self up! I do dat now. My fazare is dead; my sistare is lost; nothing I have to live for! Tell him, Frank-tell him datI give myself up." Frank Merriwell was dazed. Could it be possible this was the cringing, shiver ing, unnerved boy whom he had regarded as a coward a short time ago? Such a thing seemed "Are you in earnest, Juan?" he de manded. "I am, Frank. Tell-a him dat." "No!" cried Merriwell, fiercely. "Ephraim would despise me more when he knew all-and I should hate myself! No! We can make no terms with this villainous marques!" "But, think, Frank, think--" "Juan; the chances are that this is a trick. We have shown them we can fight, and they fear us, boys though we are. If you were given up, and we submitted our selves into the hands of the bandits, all would be murdered in cold blood. There may be no hope for us, but, at least, we can die fighting!" The man in the darkness heard these words, and he flung back: "All right! Your own way you shall have. -The chance you have been given,


I 22 FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. and now I can never be able to save you ''I will. '' some .more. Black Miguel will bring to Frank paused, and then his hand found you your death. Adios." the shoulder of his companion, whom he A moment l a ter the horse was heard had come to respect anew within a few galloping away. minutes. Juan tried to use the rifle once more, ''I may not come back, Juan," he said, wishing to send a shot after the man; but a trifle huskily. "I am going down there Frank would not permit it, as he believed t o give Ephraim a helping hand, if I can . it would be a waste of lead. If he is in danger of being killed, I shall "Ob, Frank!" cried the Cbilian boy; stand by him. The bandits may finish us "you should have let me go. It be no use both. If I do not come back-if we neve r at all, for we all have to be kill-a at last." .. see each other Juan." "Juan, it was a trick-I am satisfied on A sob came from the throat of the that point. Black Miguel is not going to Chilian boy, and, suddenly, he embraced let any of us escape, if he help it. If Frank, clinging to him a moment. I gave you up and surrendered myself '' Adz'os! adzos! adz'os!'' May all the into the power of the bandits, they could saints defend-a you, Frank! While you kill us all without danger to themselves. are gone I will pray, pray, pray. My But, even if they were honest, I could not great sorrow is that I bring-a you here." think of giving you up in order to escape. "Don't let that trouble you, Juan, my I swore to stand by you through thick lad. You did not bring me here-I and thin-I gave you my hand on it. came of my own accord. You have nothFrank Merriwell never breaks his word.'' ing to weigh heavily on your conscience. "Oh, Frank! I think dere never be My regret is that we have stumbled into another boy like-a you! You be so grand!'' this trap so soon-that we have been "Oh, that is nonsense, Juan! I am do-unable to solve the mystery of your ing what any decent fellow would do-father's and sister's disappearance. It was that's all. Don't give me too much fate. Good-by." credit." "Adz'os!" But there was a great fear in Frank's Rifle in hand, Frank crept over the heart. Ephraim was a captive in the rocks and slipped silently away into the hands of the bandits, and it was likely he darkness. would be destroyed without delay. "He will never return!" said Juan, in Was there no way to save him? Spanish. Frank asked himself the question over and over, and then he formed a resolution to do what he could. ''Juan," he said, "I am going down the valley to see if I can find out anything concerning Ephraim.'' Juan said nothing. "I_ want you to stay here," Frank went on. "I want you to watch the horse s and hold this fort, if any one tries to take it." He expected the Chilian boy would re monstrate, and great was his surprise when Juan calml y said: "I will do what I can, Frank. I a m not very much of the fighter." ''Keep cool and listen,'' advised Frank. "When I return I will whistle twice, make a pause, and then whistle once. By that signal you will know me.'' "I will." "If you hear anything suspicious utter a challenge. If you get no answer. fire." ___ CHAPTER IX. FRANK TO THE RESCUE. Slowly Frank made his way down the valley, uncertain as to what moment he might walk into a trap. "At any rate, I will die fighting," he thought. He held his rifle ready for immediate use, and he could work the repeater with astonishing swiftness and accuracy. The darkness seemed to deepen. The stream gurgled faintly, and Frank kept close by it, pausing frequently to listen. It seemed that he had reached the vicinity of the gap by which they had entered the valley when1 of a sudden, high up at one side of the valley a light blazed forth. It seemed that the light was turned upon the boy, and he immediately dropped to the ground.


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. 23 Not a moment too soon. ment near at hand, so he dropped to the Across the valley shot the bar of li ght, ground once more, and lay still. passing directl y over him. Had he been The light of the reflector played over standing he must have been revealed. the, bottorp of the valley. It came nearer "Well, this is interesting!" muttered and nearer to the boy, who clutched his Frank, clutching his rifle in anticipation rifle and thrust it forward, ready to shoot of an attack. "Can those people see in the if forced to do so. dark that they are able to tell some one The light fell on the stream, near is moving down the valley? This is surely which Frank was stretched on the ground, a valley of mysteries." and the boy scarcely restrained an exclaF,..o_r a few seconds the bar of light re-mation of astonishment. mained motionless, and then it moved. The stream had dwindled to a mere Away it traveled to the south, glaring thread, which was trickling arong the broadly on one side of the valley, while it lowest part of its bed. It had been from gleamed out like a fiery eye high up in the thirty to forty feet in width, but now a face of the black wall on the other side. person co11ld step over it with the greatest "That is a powerful ,reflector," mut-ease. tered Frank. "If the light should reach "Another of the remarkable things me, I would be revealed.'' which seem to be constantly taking place All at once the fiery eye seemed to close in this valley,', thought the lad. with a wink, and blank darkness lay in Then a strange fancy came to_him. It the valley once more. was that the stream had been burned up Frank felt sure the persons behind the b h fi reflector had been surveying the valley to Y t e re. see if any one was moving therein,. This thought he im;nediately thrust Some moments after the reflector was aside, regarding it as childish and absurd. shut off another light gleamed out from His attention was once more given to the the wall, showing an opening in the ap-shifting light of the reflector. parently solid rock. .This light finally fell on three persons The light came from a flaring torch, who were crossing the stream a short dis which was beld above the head of a man. tance below where Frank lay. One of the Other men appeared in the opening, and three w-as plainly an Indian. Tbe other the light of the torch showed them swingtwo were half-bloods, and all looked fierce ing out over and descending to the level and formidable. of the valley by means of a rope or a rope "They belong to the bandits," thought ladder. the boy. Frank believed he unqerstood why the When the trio had crossed the stream reflector had been used. The persons who the light from the reflector suddenly van were coming down into the valley wi shed ished again, and all was darkness in the to learn if they were likely to be observed valley of mystery. by enemies. The light had revealed to Frank that "Well, they barely missed me," he was yet a cobsidearble distance above thought the boy. "If I had not dropped the gap by which the valley had been en as if I were shot, they would have seen tered. me.'' He arose to his feet and moved forward Three persons came out of the opening slowly, pausing frequently to listen with and descended the ladder, after which great intentness. the man with the torch retreated and dis-He was expecting that the light froni appeared. the reflector mignt be shot into thetvalley Ten seconds later the reflector suddenly at any moment. shot a light into the valley once more. This, however, did not occur again for ''Great Scott!" gasped Frank who had some time, and he was enabled to find the risen to his feet and moved down the gap without b ei ng in further danger from stream a short distance. "This is getting the light. decidedly warm!" There were sentinels on guard at the There seemed to be no place of conceal. mouth of the gap. He heard them speak..


24 FRANK .!iiERRIWELL'S MISSION. ing to each other in the darkness and had been alarmed, and were expectheard them walking to and fro. ing an attempt would be made to escape At a distance below the gap a light from the valley by passing them. shone out into the valley. The bandits who had been thrown into Frank moved toward this point, and, confusion by Frank's attack recovere d in a short time, he found hirtLself looking swiftly, and they set out after the runnin g into an alcove among the rocks where lads, shouting poarsely and angrily. the bandits were campeCI. Sometimes they fired at random into the His heart leaped into hjs mouth the darkness, hoping to wing one of the boys.' moment he looked in there, for he saw Both youths knew there was dange r the ruffians were preparing to shoot that they might be hit by a chance bullet Ephraim Gallup, who was standing with and they bowed their heads and ran for his back against a small tree, to which he all that was in them. was tied securely. Ephraim had not been given time to The light of a fire revealed the bandits wonder at Frank's unexpected l'l.nd the unfortunate captive, who had All the emotion that he could feel was a -been carried 111to their clutches by a sensation of th. ankfulness at his escape frightened and unruly horse. from what seemed certain death. A line of savage-looking men, with The stream was reached, and Fran k leveled rifles, were standing within ten thought of crossivg over, hoping to de paces of the luckless lad. ceive their pursuers; but, to his great asIn a-moment those rifles would belch tonishment, the channel was once more forth fire and death. bankful with water. With the quickness of thought, Frank Merriwell 's rifle leaped to his shoulder, and he began to work it with such rapidity that there was scarcely a break between the reports. For once in his life, at least, he did not hesitate to shoot at human beings, for he knew it was the only way of saving his friend. Two of the six executioners fell immediately, while a third clasped his side, dropped his rifle, and staggered away. The attack was so sudden and unexpected that the bandits were thrown into the utmost confusion and terror. Frank leaped forward, swinging his rifle from his shoulder by its strap. Out flashed a knife, and he reached the side of Ephraim Gallup. Two swift slashes set the captive free. Frank's hand grasped Ephraim's wrist, and he literally yanked the Vermonter toward the darkness beyond range ofthe fireLight. "Run!" he panted. "Gol dern me ef I don't!" gasped the Yankee lad. ''It will be a hot race for the water fall," said Frank; "but we may be able to make it." "We must make it," grated the other boy. "We'll lose aour skulps ef we don't, an' that's sartin' sure." The sentries at the mouth of the gap Such marvelous chapges took place in the valley that it was not strange he should f eel dazed and bewildered. Up the stream they went. The bandits were making a great noise behind them, but the lads were, holdin g their own, if not gaining. Then came something that cau<>ed Frank to utter an exclamation of anger and dismay. The light from the reflector was flung into the valley again. ''That light will be the ruin of us!'' grated Merriwell. "If it falls on us it will be kept there, and the bandits will be given a chance to shoot us down." "That's right, b'gosh !" gasped Ephraim. ''But what in thutteration be we goin' to do?'' "Stop! I will try something." They stopped, Frank dropped on one knee, leveled his rifle, and took aim at the light. The report o'f the rifle was followed by a distinct crash, and the light went out. "Hooray!" cried Ephraim, in delight. "You done it slick!" "Down!" hissed Frank, catching' hold of the Yankee boy, and yanking him to the ground. Not a second too soon, for the flash of Frank's rifle had been seen, and several r


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. 25 shots were fired toward the spot, the bul lets whistling the prostrate boys. ''Up!'' pan, ted Frank -"up, and away!" Then they spran& up and fled onward toward the waterfall. It was a desperate race for life, but the boys were fleet of foot, and they were not overtaken. The fortress of rocks was reached, and they crouched behind the wall, panting for breath, and ready to de-fend the spot to the end. But the bandits did not press them and, after a time, Frank looked around for Juan. Chilian boy was not at hand, and m vam they called him. He did not answer. The two horses remained in their places, but Juan Matias was gone. shu tin' that has bin goin' on daown below?'' "I do not think so, but he may have been.'' "He didh 't take either one uv the bosses.'' ''No.'' "Mebbe he kinder thought he could git away better 'thout 'em." "I do not believe he would try to get away till he knew what had happened to me-I will noLbelieve it." "Then where has he gone?" "That is more than I can tell." "What'll we do?" "Wait a while and see if he does not turn up.'' So the boys settled behind the rocks and waited. A profound silence seemed to rest over CHA -PTER X. the night-shrouded valley. Some way UNDER THE WATERFALL. there was something ominous in the "Gone!" The boys felt creepy and uneasy. The boys uHered the word in unison "Seems like them critters is craw lin' staring at each other through the_ up on us," whispered the lad from Verness. mont. "Can't hear 'em, kin ye ?" "Gol dern me efi kin understand where "No; I can hear-nothing-except a galhe kin hev gone to!" exclaimed Ephraim. loping horse.'' "Did yeou tell him to stay here?" "Hoss is com in'. "Sure; and h e said he would do so." "That's right." "Can't never put no dependence on the "Who kin be with the critter?" word of a Spaniard." "The Marques Aguila, perhaps." "There is where you are wrong "Com in' here what?" Ephraim. There are Spaniards who "That remains tope seen. Keep still." honest as anybody. It is the half-bloods Nearer and nearer came the galloping you cannot trust." horse, till it was quite close at hand. The "Wal, wasn't Wand a half-blood?" boys held their weapons ready for use, "In_one sense he is, but the mixture is and Frank was on the point of uttering a good-half Spanish and half English. By challenge when the horse was heard to half-bloods I mean the Spanish-Indians. take to the stream. They are treacherous.'' ''Halt, there '' "Wal, Wand didn't hev any nerve." The cry came from Frank's lips. "I don't know about that. I think he There was no answer. The horse condid have nerve." tinned to splash along the stream, being Then Frank told of the proposal made now near at hand. by the Marques Aguila, and how Juan "Halt, or we fire!" had offered to give himself up that the The horse seemed to spring forward, other boys might go free. there was a break in the sound of the "That clean beats mel" acknowledcred waterfall, and then the horse could be Ephraim. "I wouldn't hev believed it ef heard no more. anyboddy but yeou bed tole me." "Great gosh!" gurgled Ephraim. "It is the truth, and I am sure the boy "G.o _ne !" muttered Frank. was in earnest." "Mebbe that's right; but where has the J "Then yeou don't think he was skeered critter gone?'' away from here by the saound of the "Under the waterfall."


26 FRANK MERRIWELL'& MISSION. "Under the waterfall! kin that be?" Git aout! Ht:low will pay if I what. I looking for. I don't mind the wettmg. "The falling water must conceal the mouth of a cave.'' '' Smotherin' smoke! uv that!" He stepped into the stream and waded out a bit. All at once he paused, a low exclamation breaking p-orn his !ips. I never thought "What is it?" asked Ephraim, softly. "A light i" exclaimed Frank. 't you see it shining on the water? It IS beyond the waterfa_ll. '' . Ephraim saw 1t, and 1t gave. h1m an natur, uncanny sensation. He felt as thiiJg cold were creeping along h1s spme. ''What's it mean?'' he hoarsely whis pered. "I thought of it when the horse and rider appeared some time ago, and now I feel almost certain of it.'' "Ef yeou 're right, it beats all that's all!" "I will wager I am right, and I am go ing to prove it.'' ''Haow?'' ''By looking for the cave-by into it." "It means there is somebody in there going with a light," replied Frank, "It means that I was right 111 thmkmg there is a cave beneath this waterfall. It means--The light is gone!" "Haow ye goin' into it?" "Through the waterfall." "Thutter!" "I should not be surprised if it proved to be one of the entrances to the bandit's cave, for I am certain the bandits have a cave near at hand." The Vermonter was silent a moment and then he said: ''Frank.'' ''Well?" "Yeou've got the longest head uv any feller I ever saw, b'gosh! Yeou simply beat all creation!" Frank laughed a bit, softly. "I don't care about beating all crea tion he said. "If I could fool these blco1dthirsty bandits a bit, about now, / I would be well satisfied." ''Fool 'em! Yeou've nigh done better than that already, by gum! Ef yeou didn't lick tl1e hull gang fer a minute, I don't know a gol dern thing." "But we are still tra'pped in this valley. I want to fool them and get out. That's what I am figuring on just now." "vVal, figger erway, an' I hope ye'll figger it aout." A moment later 'Prank directed Ephraim tQ follow, and then climbed over the rocks and started toward the waterfall. Frank had reloaded his rifle, and Ephraim's rifle, which had been left behind the rocks, was recovered and in the possession of its Quick as a Bash Frank plunged through the sheet of falling water. A moment later he came back, shaking the water from his clothes. "Quick!" he gurgled, "give me my rifle! Come on!" "What do you mean to do?" "Go in there." "What did you find?" "A cave, as I thought I should." "Anything else?" "Didn't stop to look for anythmg else, then. Come on." Frank tucked the butt of his revolver up under his an9 plunged through the waterfall agam. Ephraim had waded out into the stream, but he hesitated a moment. Then he set his teeth muttering : "Here goes!" Through he went. It was no more than a thin sheet of water and they were on the other side in a Ephr aim felt himself grasped, and Frank's voice whispered in his ear: "Be still The man who came in here ahead of us is not far away.'' Clinging to each other, they moved forward. The place was very dani p, and the walls dripped moisture, for the .water for ced itself down throuo h cracks 111 the rocks. 0 owner. In a few rniuutes they came to a pomt Frank crept down close to the edge of where a passage led off to tbe left, the waterfall, l?assed his rifle to his com-there they halted abruptly, for, in the dls-panion, and said: tance, gleamed the light of a torch. "I expect to be well drenched, but it That light showed them a man, who


--- FRANK MEltRIWELL'S MISSION. 27 suddenly disappeared as if he bad stepped through a:a open doorway. "Come on!" hissed Frank, and he skurried along that passage, with Ephraim close at his heels. By rare good fortune, they made little noise, and they quickly reached the place where the man had disappeared. There they paused and looked into a large dry chamber, which seemed to be well aired, as if it opened to the outer world some way. At the farther side of this chamber were some rude stalls, and two of these stalls were occupied by horses. In the middle of this chamber, or un derground stable, a man was rubbing the water from another hor s e. Frank knew this was the man who had just ridden into the cavern. Once or twice the man seemed to halt and listen. At length a flight of rude steps, hewn from the solid rock, was reached. Far above them they saw the man climbing upward. The wonders of that undergrour.d place were astounding, but the boys had no time to stop and think of that. As soon as they dared, they started to climb the stairs. The torch vanished, and they knew the man had reached the top. "Be lively!" palpitated Frank, as he scram bled up the steps. They made some noise, and Frank feared the man would hear them ; but noth ing of the kind took place. At last the top of the flight was reached. Far a way the torch gleamed and van ished. Both boys were filled with astonish ment, for of _all the wonderful things they Regardless of any danger that might had beheld since entering the mysterious await them in the dark ness, they rushed valley, this seemed the most remarkable. toward the spot wh7re ithad been seen .. They could not express their feelings The passage Widened, and 1t by words, but Frank's hand gave Eph's tu!ned suddenly and came out mto a arm a pressure that meant much. mJghty chamber. They took goud care not to be seen. Frank clutched Ephra1n:, and the boys The man did his work thoroughly, drystopped abruptly on the bnnk of an un ing the horse well, and then covering the derground lake that lay spread before animal with a warm blanket, after which them. the creature was led into one of the stalls At a distance on the bosom of this lake and fed. a boat. was moving from them. In the When this matter had been attended to boat the flaring torch was set. The man the man picked up the torch, "which had they had followed was paddling the boat beert thrust upright into a rift in th,e away. rocks, and started to !eave the stable. The light of the torch gleamed on the The boys drew back hastily, crouched bosom of the water that lay like a great in an angle of the passage, and prepared pool of ink, covering the entire floor of to meet the man, if he should come upon the cl1am ber. them. "' Overhead was such dense darkness that But he left the stable and turned the the roof could not be seen. other way. They followed keeping within view of the flaring torch. "He will lead us to the hiding place of the bandits,'' whispered Frank. "Sure as preachin' is preachin '," re turned Ephraim. CHAPTER XI. THE STRUGGLE ON THE LAKJ!:. The passage did n ot lead straight ahead, but turned and twisted in many directions, so the boys sometimes lost sight of the torch for a moment. In a moment Frank saw the man in the boat was getting away, for the great body of water would keep them from following him, as no other boat seemed at hand. Frank was desperate. He had believed they would be able to follow the man to the outlaws' den, and he did not._fancy being baffled in such a manner. "I must stop him!" he grated. He dropped on one knee, flinging his rifle to his shoulder. But just as Frank was going to utter a challenge a most sur prising thing took place. A figure suddenly uprose from the bot-


FRANK MER.RIWELL'S MISSION. torn of the boat, grappled with the man, and a fierce battle began. ''Great gosh!" gasped Ephraim Gallup. "What in jee-thutter is ther meanin' uv that?" Frank was no less astonished than the Yankee boy, and he stared in-wonder ment at the struggling forms. The torchlight was such that it did not show them plainly. The boat rocked violently, threatening to upset. Exclamations in Spanish came from the lips of the combatants. All at once there was a sharp cry of pain, and then one of the two toppled backward and struck the surface of the "I am here, and so is Ephraim. Come back.'' Jul':ln dropped the paddle into the water and turned the boat about. Then he pad dled back to the shore, sprang out, and greeted them demonstrations of un speakable joy. "I be 'fraid we' never -;ee each odar any more," he said. "I be ?fraid we. separat e for good.'' "We did not expect to see again," confessed Frank. "We could notconceive what had become of you." "After you go the water-the waterfall -it sJop to run." ''I know that.'' w.ater with a splash, disappearing from "I cannot hear it some more, and so I v1ew. go to see what the matter can be. I The other, with the torchlight show-it has stopped to run." 1t1g a knife clutched in his trembling "Yes, yes?" hand, leaned over the edge of the boat "Then I find the great black hole and peered down into the inky water, as under the place where the -waterfall hav e if waiting for his enemy to rise, that he been. I light some matches, and I see i t might finish the job with another stroke. is the mouth of a cave. Then into it I Frank and Ephraim knew they had bewill go, and so I do. With my matche s held an underground tragedy, and they it is able for me to get along. I find the felt the blood rushing through their veins passage, the horses, the steps, and, last I and their hearts fluttering. find the lake. All this take me very long The one who remained in the boat cried time, for I have to move slow, slow. I d o out something in Spanish, quickly fling-not know how long I_have been here bu t ing down the deadly knife as if he had it seem that I have been two or three day. been seized 'by a sudden horror for it. I know it be not so, for I should have That voice sounded familiar to both starved. But I find the lake at last, and I lads. find the boat. I am afraid to go out o n The boat swung round a bit, and the the Jake-l am afraid I never get back light of the torch shone upon the victor It is pretty bad to be lost on a lake lik e in such a way that they could see him disthis, you must think. I stay here 'lon g tiricfly. time and think on what I had b e tter t o "Go! dern my boots!" gasped the boy do. Then I heard somebod y coming. I from vermont. "Why, that's-that's know not how I can hide. I n the bottom Wand!" of the boat I see one blanket that hav e "It is Juan, sure enough!" exclaimed been left there b y somebody It do e s n ot Frank. -take me long under that to get myself The occupant of_ the boat heard them, and I think perhaps I ma y keep st111 a n d and he suddenly grasped the paddle, start-be taken to the place where I shall find ing to paddle away. Pepita. Ha! The man-the bandit-he "Juan!" called Frank. get mto the boat. Hal I keep all curl up It was the Chilian boy, and he paused, under de blanket. I know h e paddle d e "ith the paddle uplifted. boat out-a. Bimeby pretty s oon he put his "Juan!" foot on my hand, and his boot jam my ''Who call? Dat you, Frank('' fingers flat I can stand it not any longer" Yes. I shall cry with de pain. I get mada ''De saints be p raise! I fear 'it be Black Then I take out my knife, jump. up, aml Miguel! It sound-a like your voice, but I fight with de man. I take him so by de could not think-a you be here." surprise dat I get de best of him. I s trike


., \ FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. 29 him with de knife-he fall over-he sink! are two outlets to this lake, and that the Dat is de end.'' bandits are able to turn the from. Juan had grown very excited toward the one. channel to the other. That would exend qf his story, and he was shuddering pla1n why the stream ceased to run with horror when he had finished. through the valley, for the water had "Gol det:n me.!" cried Ephraim Gallup. in;o the channel." "I kainder thought yeou didn't hev no But 1t won t explam ther fi;e, that run sand but I take it all back by thutter! daown the stream, or the fightm skeler-' ' d Yeou're all right, Wand!" ton an emon. Frank then explained how he had been Frank laughed softly. able to save Ephraim ending by saying: "Those things are easily explained., "It seems to me we have reason to "Then, yeou jest explain urn." hope, for fate has aided us to a great ex. fire was caused by burning oil. tent, and we may yet be able to outwit 01l Will float on the surface of the water, Black Miguel and escape." and a !arge amount must "I nevar go away now till I know poured mto the stream and then 1gmted. sometliing of Pepita declared Juan ."Wal, I gol derned! Never thought fiercely. "Don't stay'with me-go, go'! uv that, an' I smelt oil when she was If you find any way to get out, go! I may bu;?in'. But haow thing?:' die here-! expect dat !" That was a mag1c lantern tnck. It "Juan, we are with you. We will stand hkely you have seen one of these mag1c by each other to the end." lantern shows that travel around through "Gol derned ef we don't!" small country towns?" "You are very good friends-true "Yes, but great jee-thutter! haow friends! I wonder if all American boys be could they do that air trick here? Jest like you?" yeou explain that." "Not all, but most of them." "The persons who worked the Jantern "Down here we have been taught to were hidden in this cave, high up at one hate the Americans. Once we thought side of the valley. There must have been there would be war with America. We an opening in the wall, like a window. think we are able to beat the Americans, From that opening the figures were flung for everybody say they are cowards all. on the opposite wall." If they be :what I have seen of them, ''An' I was scat! Darn my eyes! But what Ch1hans. would be to try to yeou ain't told whut them thunderin' fight them! Amenca would be able to noises was what we heard." heat _little Chili in so very short time that 'They were blasts somewhere in this it would be a g:.reat astonishment." cave. What they were for I cannot say:" will be no the "Wal, hang a fool! It's easy enough Umted States and Ch_lll; but th1s IS no to see through things after they're explace to talk of SU(Ch thmgs. At present plained. I don't know so much as a we must look out for ourselves. What is turkey gobbler!" to done . After a short time it was decided that The den uv, the g?l dern they had better embark on the bosom of on t other s1de uv th1s pond.. the lake and try to find a landing-place That must But. how lar&e 1s on the farther shore. th1s lake? That 1s an mtereshng questwn. Frank took the paddle and the boat The stream that flows the valley was sent skimming over the black water must be the outlet of lake. Can we in the same direction that had been find the proper landmg-place of the chosen by the unfortunate bandit. farther shore?'' Afte1 a pull of about fifteen minutes "We can try." they came to the opposite shore, and be-'' And if we get lost on the lake-fore them, to their satisfaction, they saw what?" / the great opening to a passage. "We'll have to take aour chances on They landed, ancl were about to proceed that." into the passage when Frank stopped "I think you are right. I think there them, saying, quickly:


30 FRANK .!IIERRIWELL'S MISSION. "Be still! Listen!" despair came from the._m when they found They listened, and, from far. along the the boat was not there. passage, sounds of voices came to them. "It be Pepita!" wildly exclaimed Jua n They distinctly heard a muffled shot and -"it be my sistare !" wild cries The sounds became more and One of the men had turned again, snapmore distinct, and the boys looked into ping his revolver, which failed to go. It each other's faces in alarm. was empty! "Out with that torch!" hissed Frank. The pursuers came on with savage yells. "We are likely to be in a heap of trouble "Hold the boat steady," directed Fran k right away! Out with the torch, I say!" Merriwell, calmly. "I am going to do a little shooting. Juan, tell' your sister and her companions to lie dow.n." CHAPTER XII. The Chilian boy did so, speaking in OU'l' TO THE LIGHT OF DAWN. Spanish. The fugitives heard, the girl T -he torch was quickly extinguished. gave a cry of joy, and the three flung The sounds came nearer, and the cries themselves on the ground. were hoarse and fierce. Then Frank Merriwell gave an exhibi-Then there was more shooting, being tion of shooting that was quite astonish-this time a succession of shots. ing. He worked nis rifle swiftly, and "Into the boat!" commanded Frank. every bullet seemed billeted. "We will row out a short distance., Three of the pursuers fell with the first "Gol dern me ef I don't think wed three shots, and the others turned in conbetter row out a th underin' long dis-sternation and fled, bullets whistling tance !" splutt@red Ephraim. about their ears. They quickly entered the boat and "Paddle ashore," directed Frank. rowed out on the lake. ''This boat is large enough to hold three Soon glimmering lights were seen fax more. Do not lose time.'' along passage, and then the lights re-The boat was run into the shore. Ju an vealed running figures. From these figures leaped out and embraced his sister, who little flashes of fire leaped out, followed was nearly overcome with joy. Then one by the reports of firearms. of the men, _the one the girl had helped be they shutin' at?" asked along, grasped the boy, and Juan gave a Ephraim, won?eringly. shout of crying, i;; Spanish : "Somebody 111 advance "rephed Frank. My fafher-lt Js my fa,ther ''See-see those who have no ''Don't waste time,'' swiftly said torches. There are two of them-no Frank Merriwell. "Moments are precious. three! See, one of them fires back! Get into boat. must be away." aim was good, for down goes a torch 1 He burned them mto the boat, and That is a race for life!" they pushed out upon the lake. "Dat be right!" came excitedly from "Where in thuttder be we goin' ?" Juan. "Look-see! One of d e m dat run asked Ephr.aim .. "?f we go back to the away be a girl I believe dat be Pepita" -Yalley we w11l be 111 Jest as bad scrape as "It may be!" cri ed Frank. "Paddle we was." in nearer shore .-' If it should happen to Then the young man who was with be, we must take a hand in that business." Pepita and her father spoke up quickly: He clutched his rifle as he spoke, and ''I know one way to get out. Let me J nan grasped the paddle and moved the have the paddle. Trust to nie." boat toward the shore. ''Yes, trust to Alvarez,'' urged Pepita. Onward came pursued and pursuers, the Frank did not hesitate. girl seeming to run as easily as any of "Tf1ke the paddle," _he.said. "If you them, sometimes giving assistance to one can get us out of this trap, you shall be of the men. Th e other man, who appeared well paid." younger and livelier, now and then turned Alvarez, who was a dark, handsome to shoot at the pprsuers. . young fellow, took the paddle and sent In a few moments the fugJtJVes had the boat forward with powerful strokes. reached the edge of the lake, and a cry of All at he told them to put out the /


FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. Sl torches, and they did so, none too soon, But he had not selected a favorable for two shots rang out and two bullets moment, and the trick had been discovskipped past. ered. Then the bandits pursued, and the Still Alvarez pulled forward through three hurried to the lake, hoping to find the darkness. It seemed that he paddled the boat and get away. The reader knows thus for more than thirty minutes before what followed. be would allow them to light the torches Aided by friends, Senor Matias and the again. little party succeeded in crossing the "There is two channel to the stream mountains into the Argentine Republic. that run from this lake-two stream," But Matias declared that sqme day he Alvarez explained. "One run through the would return and recover his property, valley When that be turned the other which was a rich mine located m the outrun through the channel under the moun-laws' cave. This mine he had originally tain. We must go through channel. discovered, but the outlaws were working It is the only way to get out. We may do it, and it was the sound of their blasts that it all right, but nobody know about that. startled the boys shortly after they entered Nobody ever go through that way." the valley Of mystery. In a short time they came to a strip of "Aguila shall not escape me," declared sandy shore. Here the boat touched, Senor Matias. "I have slipped through Alvarez got out, told them to wait, pasEed his fingers, though he told me a hundred round a point and disappeared. In ten times that I should die a captive in my minutes he came ba 'ck. own mine. I will return, and he shall "I have turn the river into the channel die." ,through the t:rtountain," he said. "Now "I hope somebody will kill Black we try it. We may drown, we may escape. Miguel," grinned Alvarez. "If he ever Anyway, it be better than to fall into the sees me again he wi11 kill me." hand of Black Miguel." Frank Merriwell was well satisfied with They felt a strong current bearing them the result of his trip to Chili. onward. In a short time they came to "We found your sister, Juan,'' he said. where a stream was pouring into a black "We stood by each other through thick opening. Into this opening the boat shot and tl'tin, and now--" on its way to destruction, or to-what? "Now must we part?'' cried the * * Spanish lad. "Oh, Frank, you are like It was morning the sun was shining to a brother to !" and the birds singinO' when the boat "Gol dern my punkins ef I want to "'' 1 '" 'd E h . 11 ''I'd came out where the stream poured from a ye sat P ra1m, exct.tec Y cav e rn opening. The boat contained all hke to travel nght araound wtth ye, and the fugitives, and they with glad-;-;-" , ness when thev saw the hO'ht of day Can t you do so? They had for"' they we;e no "Can't I? Wal, I dunno. I'll about 7 longer within the sdare of the bandits. it. Mebby so. By gum! I will ef I kin!'' They came to the shore, and Alvarez, who knew the country, gu ided them to a place of safety. A-lvarez was in love with Pepita. He had been one of B}ack Miguel's men, but the girl had won his heart, and he bad offered to save her from the outlaws. She had agreed to go with him if he would END.] f -, rescue her father, who was a captive in 7 Miguel's power, the outlaw being paid for keeping him by the Marques Aguila. "FRANK MERRIWELL'S MYSTERIOUS The young bandit had released Senor FoE; or, WILD LIFE ON THE PAMPAS," Matias, choosing his time when he be-by the author of "Frank Merriwell," will lieved the outlaws were giving their en-be published in the next number (26) of tire attention to the boys in the valley. the TIP ToP LIBRARY.


,j 32 FRANK MERRIWELL'S MISSION. ANN ARBOR, MICH., July 27,]896. Messrs. STREET & S1tUTH Publishers TIP 'fop LIBRARY, .New York City. DEAR Snts :-I think everybody likes to know when they do anyt.hing that is appreciated, and 1 suppose you will like to know what some of your boy readers of the TIP !J;OP LIBRARY think of it. My father bt'bught borne the three first copies, and be read them all through; then be gave them to me, and told me if I liked it, I could have it regular. I think it is immense. It bas a good cover, and it bas the nicest printed apppearance of any boys' library published, and the stories are great. I notice m father reads them all just as much as I do. l' hope it will bave a long life. Very truly yours, ARTHUR WRIGHT. EAu CLAJRlt, Wxs., july 17, 189tl. }'u blisbers TIP TOP LIBRARY, New York City. MILLS' LETTER WRITER. This book of over one hundred pages contains complete lnstruc tion In all branches of correspondence, together with samples or letters on every variety of subject-Penmanship, Spelling, Gram mar Punctuation, Use of Capitals, Abbreviations, style; adVICE' to those wbo wr1te for the press, business letters, letters. of introduc tion, application, recommendation, social, love_aud courtship, etc., tbe art of secret writing, business laws and maxiJ?lS, rules of conducting public and all forms of conveymg thought from o n e mind to another through the medium of writt e n language. This valuable book Will be sent postpaid to any address on receipt of ten cenn. Address .MANUAL LIBRARY, 25 Rose street, New York, WRESTLJNG. History tells us that wrestling was the first form of athletic pastime. Without doubt it gives strength and firmness, combmed with quickness and pliability, to the limbs, vigor to the b ody, coolness and disctrmina.tion to the bead and elasticity to the tem per, the whol e f orming an energ e tic combination o f the g r eates t powe r to be found in man. The book is entitled PROFESSOR MULDOON'S >VRESTLINQ, It iS fully illustrated, and will be sent postpaid on receipt o f 11m ctmts .Address MANUAL L IBRARY, 25 Rose street, New York. DEAR SIRS:I want to let you know w bat we think of your fine library, the'fiP ToP. There are about twenty of us boys who read it regular, and we have formed a club called the Tip 'fop Boys, and our meetings are always held the same day the TIP ToP arrives at the dealer's where we buy it. Whenever we meet the first rule is to give t h ree cheers and a tiger TIP ToP AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHY LIBRARY and our cl ub. We have some fine t1mes camping out here. We call the captain of our c lub Frank Merriwell, but his right name is Frank Jackson. He is 1 Many p e ople Imagine that a photogr apher's camera i s a difficult just like the hero of the stories1 and we all have to do what he says. At OUl' last meeting all voted that the complishmeot, w ithin the reach of all. The camera will prove a TIP TOP LIBRARY has the best stones for boys we ever fri e nd, r epo rter, and helper. With a very inex pen sive camera any r"ad, and that we would write and t ell you. boy or g irl ca n now learn uotoulyto take good pictures, but picture s AL WINTERS that tber e is everywhere a demand f o r at remunerativ e prices A ToM ALBRIGHT complete guide toJATEUR MANUAL JOHN FARRADAY. OF BIRllllNGHAIII, Publishers 'fiP TOP LIBRARY. ALA. July 7, 1896. DEAR SIRS :-I have been taking the TIP 'fop ever since the first one came out, and I like it so much I want to tell you about it. 'l.'he stones are fine. I think they are the best stories of adventure I ever read. I'm going to "glue on" to the TIP 'l'oP. Yours truly, ALFJ}ED CONRADY. HUNTER AND ANGLER. Everybody who takes pleasrue in the sports of hun!lng and angling needs tbls book. There i S no sport so well fitted to make n1en of boys as hunting. The fact of being in the ope n nir and exercising Is so evidently benefici a l that it i s surprising tllat the re are not more hunters and anglers. r_rbis book will b e sent to any address on receipt of ten cents. Address. MANUAL LIBRARY, 25 Rose street, New York. The Tip Top""'""'" Quarterly ____ ''''""''''''''''''''''''''' 416 Large Pages FOR Fifty Cents. Nurnbers I to 13 of the famous Frank Merriwell Stories have been bound in one volume including thirteen stories complete and unabridged, and thirteen illuminated photo-engraved illustrations. The Frank Merriwell Stories detail the pranks, trials and bravery of a true-hearted American lad-brave to the core. They have received universal commenda,tion, and the Tip Top Quarterly is issued in response to numerous inquiries for a complete series of the Merriwell stories.


Thirty=two Pages. Price Five Cents. Tlp Top Li THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF FRANK MERRIWELL CAN BE FOUND ONLY IN THE TIP TOP LIBRARY. CATALOGUE 1.-Frank Merriwell: or First Days at FardalP. By 1 :6.-Frauk Merriwell in Arizona: or, TLe M::v.ste ries of Burt L Stawlish. I tue M1ue. By tle Author of' Frank l\:lerriwell." 2.-Frank Merriwell's Foe: o;."Plebe" Life in Barracks. By Burt L. 17.-Frauk Merriwell in Mexico; or, 1he Search for the :!.-Frank M:erriwell's Medal ; or, "Plebe" Life in I Silver Palace. Ry the Author of "Frank Mer-Camp. By the Author of '' Frauk Merri well." riwell.'' 4.-Frauk .Meniwell's Rhal ; or, By Fair Play or! 18.-Frauk Merriwe ll iu New Orlaaus; or, The Qneeu of Foul. By the Author of 'Frank Merriwell." I Flowers. By the Author of "Frank Meniwell." 5.-Frank Merriwell's Fault; or, False Steps aud Foull l9. -Frank Mt'tTiwell's Mercy: or, Th e Phanto111 of tl1e l:lnares By the Author of 'Frauk .Merriwell." 1 Eveiglarle.;. By the Autho r of "Frauk Mer6.-Frank Merriwell's Frolics; o r Fuu and Rivalry at. I riwe ll .. Fardale. By the AutiJOrJ.)f "Frank Merriwell. 7.-Franl< Merriwell's Myst er iou s Ring; or, The Man iu Black. By the Author of "Frauk :riierriwell." 8.-Fran k Meniwell's FAg: or, Fighting for the Weak By tile An thor of "Frauk M erriwell." 9.-Fran l < i\l. I-riw ell's Furlongh: or, The Mystery of the 0 1 < 1 1\Iuusion. By the Autho r o f "Frank M etTi well." 20.-Frank Merri well's Friend: o 1, Muriel the l\loo n-shin er. By the Author of "Frank M erri well." 21.-Frank Merriwell's Don!Jle; or, Fighting for Life and rlonor. By the Author o f "Frank Merri,22.-Frank Merriwell Meshed; or, Th e Last of the 10 -Frank Merriwell on His Met.tle: or, Fi<'l Merri well." 11.-Frauk Merriwt' ll s Fate: or, The Old Sailor's Legacy. By thaAuthorof "Frauk 1 \ lerl'iwell.'' Danites. By the Auth o r of Frank Merriwell. '' Frau!! Merriwell's Fairy: or, The Hermit of Ye! l owstoue Park By the Author of "Frank llleni well.' 24.-Frauk Merriwel!'s Money; or, The Queen o f the "QuPer" Makers. By the Author of "Frank Merriwell." 12.-Frank Merriwell's Motto: or, The Yonug Life Savers. By the Author of "Frank Merriwell. 13.-Frank Merriwell in New York: o t, Fighting an Uuknown Foe. By the Author o f "Frank Merriwell." 25.-Frank :i\Ierriwell's :Mission ; or, The Mystic V alley 14.-Frauk Merriwell in Chicago; or, Meshed by Mys teries. By the Author of "Frank Merriwell of the Andes. By the Author of "Frank Merriwell." 1 5.-Frank Merriwell i n Colorado; o r Trapping the 26.-Frank Merriwell's Mys terious Foe; or, Wild Train Wrecl