Jesse James in Chicago; or, The bandit king's bold play

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Jesse James in Chicago; or, The bandit king's bold play

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Jesse James in Chicago; or, The bandit king's bold play
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
32 p. ; 26 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
028818589 ( ALEPH )
270765037 ( OCLC )
J14-00013 ( USF DOI )
j14.13 ( USF Handle )

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JJsued Weekly. .By Subscription $2.50 per year. Entered as Second Class Matter at the N. Y. Post Office, by STREET & SMITH 238 Wtlliam St. N. Y. ""' Entered acco1ding to Act of Congress in t/..e year 1901, in tlte Office of the Librarian of Conr,rress, Washington, .b. C. No. l3. NEW YORK, August 3, 1901. Price Five Cents. 'Jt:SSE JAMES I .CHICAGO: I OR, By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER I. .ALEXANDER BLACKMORE, BANKER. of Chicago can well be found in South ft, branching off to a portion of State street. inly equals the notorious part of New York h it has been called, when once the night

r 2 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. He is a man of middle age, rath er heavily set, with the appearance of a well-to-do banker. Such I set him down. His face is s moothly shaven, all but an i ron-gray mus. tache, wh i ch h e gnaws in a nervous mann er when ta lking. I like the l ooks of th e gentleman, and feel drawn toward him by some magn e tic power. He advances to me. "Mr. Lawson?" he asks. "William Lawson, detective, at your service," I r ep ly, pu shing a cha ir t oward him, into which h e sinks a trifle wearily. "My mime i s Alexander Blackmore." I r ecognize it as bel onging to a banker who is r eputed to be w orth a million. "Glad to meet yo u, sir. In what way can I serve you?" I a sk, quietly. It is no u se endeav orin g to surmi,,se w hat hi s mission may be--there a r e a doz e n chances to guess atso I wa it. The portly banker turns hi s head-he finds the door tightly closed. "We are quite alone here, Mr. L awso n ?" "Entirely s o sir." "No one can overhear us?". "It is utterly impossible." "Whether you engage to assist me or not, yo u will keep my secr e t professionally?" "I engage to do so, Mr. Blackm ore. He draws a d eep sigh I am unable to determine whether it is relief at m y as surance, or a sort of bracing up of the nerves to the sti ck ing point. Perhaps a little of both influ e nces him. He clears his throat to speak. "Mr. Lawson I have a boy ." Ah I that t e lls the story; his son has gone to th e bad and he desires t o see me in t h e effo rt to reclaim him Well, I hav e acted in that capacity a numb er of times before, sometimes with success, and again being ove r come with t h e tide of sin, l osing the game because the young man is beyond hope. I f ee l sorry for the banker. "I seek yo u in a double sen se, Mr. Lawso n. You will hear m y story patiently?" "Yes, indeed ; proceed, sir." "My son's name i s Robert; h e has grow n to be a young man o f l ate years, and a lth o ugh living in thi s great city, ha s never really been what you would call wild; in fact, Bob is a sple n did fellow-a son any father would b e p roud of. 'Until last night I have never known the first cause of \.\Urry; and then there can1e upon me a hurrican e that .i:..wept m y feet from under me. l __ "Bob sought an interview with me. "He told me he was in love; in fa ct, that he had ask a l ady to b e his wife, and now came to me to beg my dulgence. "She be l onged to the profess ion ; was an actress, fact, but no o n e had eve r dared to cast a s lur upon l spotles name. "Then he told me her name; it is R e be cc a Marsde He speaks the name with a groan. I ani unable comp re h e nd his feelings, for the young lady in que sti ha an env iable reputation, both as an actres s and a p vate pe rson. \.Vhat are your ol?jections to Miss Marsden?" "Objections. H eavens m y clear s ir I ha ve none to t lady, but-you don't know." ----"Of course not; exp l a in." "He s h owe d me her picture, and it settled me. I gan to ask him questions, and l earned the whole s truth." I p r epare for something startling, and am not dis p ointe d in the matter. "Years ago I was divor ce d from my wife. It does matte r what the cause was, but she agreed to a separat i and the child came to me, and has beli e ved his mot! dead. "I l earned afterward that she had married a gain f she was known as a Mrs. Perry. and had a child-a g named R ebec ca." At thi s I gave an exclamati o n The whole thing loo ms up before me, ::ind I see '\Y Alexander Blackmore is troubled. He has good cause to be, since fate has dealt him su a serious blow. "I fduncl ou t that there was no question about th e m t er. Bob described Reb e cca 's mother, and I r ecogmz m y ife-hi s mo the r. "That is s ingular. Does she l n ow him?" "Unquestionably alth o ugh s h e has not revealed h id entity to him. H e says she seems t o think a great d of him a n d watches his every acti o n with the deepest co cern." As he says this he groa ns. I feel Yery sorry for hin:i. "You und e r stand, Law so n, this thing cannot come pass. The gir l he l oves can n e v er be his wife, for she hi s hal f-siste r." "Exactl y But why h as her mother allowed this thi to go so far ?" He s h akes his head. "It is hard for me to believe that s he has descended desire for revenge; that was never a part of Mary's cl acter." c "She may o ot clream of the cons eq u ence, a nd sin]


THE J AMES S TORIES. 3 desires to see her two children fri ends, I sugges t, a s a possible truth. He grm:r:s and presses hi s hands to his head. "It may be so, but it hard on p oo r Bob, and the girl r must suffer, to o ." ''\i\ T hat do you d es ire me to do, sir?" At this he l ooks quickly up. o -His face assumes an expression 1 do not like to see, for ''. 1 is s c rnething of ferocity ab out it-most men haYe a i- little of the tiger in their composition, and this has been (arouse d in Blackmor e by the clanger that r:1enaces h i s darling bo,-. .he( Scpar2. te them, Mr. Lawson; at any cost they must be l \ separ2.ted !" he exclaimed. ''Have you any plan as to th e best n:ethod lo be ernbe'Jloyed in the matter?" sad ,;No; but I leave that lo yo u. Spare my boy, as much t s you can but l et it b e effectual. The girl may be inno sap:ent of wrong intentions, but she must not ruin his life. ? erh2.p s you will have to make him b e lieve a lie-that she ; nots not worthy of bis honest love-and yet I hate to do .tion hat." 2t_ber' \Nhy not t.ell him the truth?" He moves uneasily m his se at. 1, for "There are reasons why I would rather Robert did not girlnow the story of the past. Natur2.11y he would be eeply interested in his mother, and you see it is deucedly vkward for a man to meet the woman who was once 'wh)s wife. The whole story would have to be r aked over gain. and it s unpl easant details brought up. Besides, sucll Y dear feliow, I have always b ee n haunted by a sus icion th2.t I wronged Mary. The evidence was strong mat ainst her, and she would not deny it in court, but alone nize j ith me s he looked in my eyes, and said solemnly, 'I am p1ocent.' : ''Many years have flown. but I have never forgotten l e look o n her face; it will g-o with me to my grave." t de< He shudders. t t I lay my hand on hi s arm, for so mehow this man's co < range story has excited my interest, eve n accustomed 'I am lo peculiar things in this line. .. Pardon me. Mr. Blackmore, but under the c1rcurnme n ces what is to hind e r a complete r eco n c iliation beshe you all? In finding a sister the young man will his swee theart. ' thi \""rt is utterly impo ssi ble." -1How so? You say you are more than half convinced rself of her innocence." cl frue, but with my own ha1:c I have raised a barrier c 1veen us.'' 1 -cic lets his head fall a s if ashamed. s i n :h' n what V'.ray, sir?" have married again. "Oh!" "Only a year or s o ago. while traveling in Missouri, I met and married a young girl. Men will be fools some times, you know. and I sup pose my hour had come for it. "The circumstances under which I met and won the pre sent Mrs. Blackrnore were peculia.r. 1 need say no more beyond the fact that she was the daug!1t e r of a man who kept an inn among the Missouri hills, and that she saYed my life. .. Perhaps gratitude entered into the matter. ''I have mysel f thought so more than once, for the affecti on I feel for Meta is fatherly She i s even younger than B ob, you know." The case is now laid befor e me I ask a few questions and am do11e, my plans being partiaily arranged. Naturally I have decided to see th e banker s divorced wife first, and find out what she .intend s doing in the matter. There is no need of my telling him all-the time for that will be after the work is done I have far more difficult cases than this in the past, and see no reason why the game shouid get ahead of me The banker has recovered in some degree fmrn his emotion, and now sits looking at me as though he would fathom m y tho ughts. ''I will do my best for you, Mr. Blackmore. Possibly I ma y make a report to-morrow," I say. Upon his face I see a muscular contraction as though he suffers from some nervous compiaint. It i s not al ways your thin men who are victims to their nerves. "I say, Lawson!'' "Y es, sir.,, 'If you can possibly arrange it without besmirching the girl's reputation, do so. Only hold on to that as a dernicr ressort "You may be sure I will, sir." "Even to save my darling bo y pain. I hate to throw mud upon a girl's fair n arne and I s in ce rely trust you will find another way of r eaching the same end.'' ''I see a chance of doing it already; but, until I have had an opportunity of putting it into practic e, prefer not to disclose it." He shrugs his s houlders in a French way. "Suit yourse lf my good fellow. Be sure I have looked up your ability b efore coming, for this is a busine ss I \\ouid be unwilling to trnst t o every Tom, Dick and Harry. " I am honored by your patronage. Until to-morrow, then, I will say good-by." "Oh!" he says, smili n gly, "there is another matter


r 4 THE JESSE JAMES which I wish to ask your advice about while I am here, V./c often come across queer things in our banking X Mr. Lawson." CHAPTER II. 'REBECCA'S MOTHER. "I '1Jm read y to hear w 1hait yiou have ito tell me, sir," I m 1afoe answer. "It cpnoerns a mysterious rob bery that took place at my !house." "You have not 1informed ithe police?" "No; from variou s reasons, ohief of w1hich was a ter r iible t'hought 1tJhat ente11ed iruto my mind. I mighit as well admit tha:t .a suspic i on icame ito me t lha:t per'l1aps-hang it, how can I tell you? I even su&pect-ed my Bob." I would be sony i f snoh should prove 1to be the trut11, sir. Still, young men will at times b e thoughtless, and in a moment of otemptabion do things that rcause lifelong regre

\ THE J ESSE JAMES STORIES . , you had an attac k of this kind night before las t-the night of the robbery?" He knit his brows. Evidently he would like to remember something of t h e kind b u t fa i ls to do ''I regret t o say I do not." "That I am sorry for. At the same time you may have done it witho u t leavi n g any ev i dence of the fact behind t yon." s r n "Yes, yes." "You understand, this is only a surmi se on my part, bul I have known just such a case." "If I catch your meaning, you suspect that while wa l k ing in my sleep I took the money out of the safe, and removed it to a hiding-place that seemed more secure?" I desire him to think this way, in o r der to cove r u p another suspicion I entertai n. So I ask more questions in a guarded way. Finally Alexander Blackmore leaves me. It lacks but a few minutes of six; time a regular o l d bachelor lik e myse lf should think of a good, hot supper. Ten minutes lat er finds me in my place of eating; a r estaurant I have frequented for years, on Randolph, near State. \Vhi!e e nj oying the meal set b efo re me, I arrange a th certa i n plan of action. The ;;;ame i s n ew. until l get deeper into it, I cannot expect to under st and ::he details. My first object is to v i s it the mother of the girl, and, 10 having her addre s, I reach the flat at a litt l e after seven. ( It is my hope to find her in as I understand she ac co mpanie s her daugh ter t o the theatre ar In this I am fortunate. The lady re ce i ves m e in her parlor quite a lovely litroom. At first s ight I am impre sse d She seems a fitting O<)icture to the frame, as sweet a lady as I ever set eyes n, with a gentle face, and the most truthful of eyes. No wonder Blackmore declared he could never forget t-hc look she gave him vvhen h e was parting from her for n I know h e m ust hav e wronged her, but tha t i s all in the !eacl past. He cannot come to h e r now because he has \ut a barrier up-Meta, hi s young wik, stands between. t o She looks at me w onderingly. u t "You do n ot know me, Mrs. Perry, but I have busi rr-:ss of importan ce with you, as I wrote upon my card," to say. "Yo u-a detective ," half holding her breath, as if fear of a corning trouble. "Yes! you have a daughter!" t"Rebecca !" How she takes th e a larm! I feel sorry already that I have t o ca u s e her trou b l e and worry, but it cannot be helped "Yes, it is in connection with her that m y v i s i t to you is made." "What is wrong? She has clone noth i n g, I trus t," with her hand pressed upon her b oso m a s if to still the wild throbbing of her heart. "Bless yo u ; no, madam. Allow m e to e x pl ain. Un less I am mistaken, there is a y o u n g m an who v is it s your daughter." "You mean Robert-Mr. Blackmo r e ? g ui ck l y, wit h the blood rushing to her white cheeks, for is he not her ow n boy, and has she not loved him i n secret all t h ese months without be traying the truth. "Yes, he is th e man I mean. He l oves Rebecca." She nods her head silently. "And your child cares for him?' "It is true-it is true "Madam, your name was not always Perr y. 1 At this she is visibly affected. "Before I married-" "You were once Mary Bla c kmore. At this, knowing that I have her sec r e t she b ows her head and will not look up for some time. "I am 1here in the interes t of that you n g m a n s father, Alexander Blackmore." "He sent you?" "Yes." "For what purp ose?" "Madam can vou ask? He has 1earned of h is son's mad knows who you are, and is determined to prevent what d est iny would bring about. T h is thing can never be." "I had even h ope d," she began, and finishes h e r sen t e nce witn a sigh. "This attachment must be broken off "It is l ate to do it. W o unded hearts must follow sucli an act." "Still it can not be helped. The blame rests w ith you, madam, for you know the truth"-she shuddered, and I hated myself for g iving her pain-"ancl we expect y o u to be the one to undo the \.vrong." ')tow can I?" 'I will take Bob in hand if you can cure the girl. Get her to beli eve h e i s unw ort!1y of he:.-, that he has even clo ne something to forfeit his fathers confidence." I cannot find the heart to tell !1er the truth respect in g R obe rt for she is hi s mother. Even as it i s s h e suffe rs exceedingly. "You mean tbat I must :: :-hi':"! a vii l ain. Of all per sons I sho11lcl b e 't!1e rn do I t


6 THE JESSE J AMES STORiES .. is doubly cruel. Truly his revenge has followed me far." "And yet yo u 11ill do it?" "If all other means fail me. Yes, I will eve n do this, since he o r de r s it. I will cause Robert to hate his own mother. Anything to. prove to his father that, !:hough thoughtless in the past, yet I was innocent.'' "I would take this painful task upon myself, but I fear she would not believe me. ''You may be sure she would not. She has the g reatest faith in Robert, and even I may have troubl e in making her believe the story." "lVlauam, you are a brave woman. and I leave thi s task to you with regret. You shoul d have see n vour duty clear b efore; it would have saved yuu and yours much suffering." True. true; but the temptation was strong. I wanted them to lov e each other." I cannot fathom her motives, fo r they see m a littl e cloudy to me; but I believe she is a charming lady, and if her daughter-1\J y'tions at this time are interrupted, for at this moment Rebecca enters. As I look at the radiant yet earnest face I cannot wonder at Robert's infatuation. She is a woman in a thousan d, a n d even an old rus ty bachelor lik e myse lf cannot fai l to see and1 appreciate her charms. "i\Iother, are you nearly ready? Robert w ill soon be here, and you knO\r_:_I beg pardon, I did not see you had company." I get upcn my feet and bow, feeling lik e a guilty creature in her presence. for have I not come here to rob her of her lover. A business friend, child-Mr.--" consulting my card again-''Willi arn Lawson." Again I bow politely. Rebecca l eaves u s with a laugh, telling the elder lady not to be late. I have little more to say, for my heart is already sick of th e whole business ; besides, I have my own share of the work to do. since the act:-e ss' mother has agr eed to only a ccomplish one-half of the affair. So I respectfuliy take my, a ssuring her of my sympathy, and begging that s h e will l oo k upon William Lawson as a well-wisher in case she ever n eeds a friend. CHAPTER III. THE DETECTIV E OPENS Tl!E G.\ME. Next I must see Bob. He is a very important character in the case, and I mean to meet him speedily. the door of the theatre where Rebecca Marsden is playing a very successful engagem ent. in a stock com pany, preparatory to starring it during the comin&" sea so n. I await th eir arrival. Knowing the stage entrance well, l am not misled, an a little before eight see a hack arrive, from which tw ladies and a gentleman alight. These are they whom I seek. As the ladies enter th e theatre, the gentleman linger to speak to the driver. Jus t as he is brushing past me I touch him on the an "Mr. Robert Blackmore." "Ah! what is wanted?" He turns. The light falls full upon his face, and I see a youn man [ love 011 the spot. His countenance is so frank an m a nl y, although not handso me. I would do much to save him. "Can I have a few words with yo u 111 private?" He glances at me, then toward the stage door, throug which his divinity has just passed. "Excus e me, some other time must suffice." "It must be now, sir." "1\I ust be?" h e echoes, frowning; these young chaps not like a necessity. ''My business is of the utmost importance; it concer your self, your father, your reputation, yes, and the gi who has just left you. .tle hears me through and shows onl y surprise until reach the end; at mention of Rebecca he draws near clutches my arm. "\i\That have you to s a y about her. man?" "Muc h that you shoul d hear immediately. More th you dream of hangs upon it. He l ooks about him cautiously. Men jostl e u s in hurrying by. ''This is no place to talk sec rets,'' he says, impress by my manner. "l know a quiet nook just over the way. Will y go there \1i t h me?" indicating a fancy bazaar and ic cream saloon. "Yes; 1 presume it would be better; if you have an thing to tell me, the sooner it is over the better." Does he s uspect anything? 1 am unable to say, and yet f eel that he does. vVe cross over the str eet I \'Iy thoughts have been flying with the rapidity ligl: tning, and already I have changed my contempla mode of attack. T t will never do to tell this man that Rebecca. is \vorthy of hi s love; be w ill kill me if he find s out I ha deceived hirn. Of this I am convinced. What remains t o me?


THE J ES S E JAME S STORIES. I must tell him the whole truth, even though it brings pain to nis father; that will open his eyes to the fact that he must look upon l\.ebecca Marsden as his sister. T h e sooner this of m y business is accomplisheci, fhe qi.ticker I wilt be able to pick up the other thread and disc over who took the banker' s roll of bills from his safe. \Ne enter the bazaa r. In the back rocim we find a quiet corner and are soon served wi t h cream and cake. '"Begin," says Robert, impatiently. Every minute away from his charmer is agony to his mind; I know it all. having been through the mill a dozen o r so times myself. : "In the first plate, m y care!." h He glances at it. tben at me keenly I do not See the l o ok of alarm I half expected. "Ah a detec tive .. "I come to y o u after a painful interview with your father; at least, it was so to him." v.. rhat does he s a y ? ''That your union with Rebecca Marsden is impossible; it is against tl;e laws of nature ., "How so? She i s not a wife?". "Certa inl y n o t. ":\or am I marrie d.' "Not to m y knc wledge, young man," grimly. ''Explain your meaEing, then. 'To do so I am c ompe lled to di s close a secret that be an< I longs to your father; s1\ car to me that you will b e g ui de d in this matte r b y m e a;1d I w ill th e n speak unreservedly." "I promise yo;.1, sir: tha .. fhen lis te n to me. Y o u know Mrs. Perry?" J He starts eagerl y "How i s s h e c onnec t ed \Yi th the matter?" "You slull soon kno1v R o b ert . Since you h a Ye been ess in her have ym1 ever noticed aJ1ything strange m her actions t oward you?" ye "I ,always flattered m y s elf she thought more of me d iclthw I d eserved; that ::;he was a dear, sweet little w oman, whom I regard hi g h \ .. e an "She love s you." "Eh?"' "Devoutedly. And why should she not? R o bert. can it be p o ssible that some inwa::d monitor has never warned you of the trnth ?" dity "The truth-what can you mean?" 11pla "That lady bea r s a sa c red relation to you. Can you ot guess it now?'' is "Good Heavens. man, I am stupefied. Keep it back l I ha10 longer. Vvhat is she to me?" He clutches the tabl e and leaning forward, looks me 11 i n t he e y e. I calmly say: "Your mother!" The words are simple, but the effect proves tremen dous. Robert fairly gasps for breath. 'My mother! Man, she is dead." "You are mistaken. You have been led to believe t hat, but i t is not so. She lives, and in Mary Perry you behold the lady who was once Mary Blackmore, but whom the courts separated from your father many years ago. He is more amazed at the fact and delighted in the thought of finding a mother than a nything else. As yet it has not even entered his poor head what effec t this thing must have upon his love suit, since Rebecca is lost to him. Thus he insists on my telling the whole story, which I do in my most effective way, meaning to make an im pression. Robert drinks all in eagerly. Strange emotions thrill him. He has long had the most powerful affection for his father, and now a new feeling takes pos session of his soul. It is the love for his mother. He believes already in her inn:ocence; I -can 5 e e that plainly, and will make a stout champion her long shado wed c a use. \iVha i t a shame Blackmore married a.g-ain. \\Tith such a combination I bel.ieve it would 1 be possible to bring about a complete reconciliation between the long estrange d ccnple, and how delighted I would be to have a h and in it! I open Robert's eyes genit l y 1with regard to another fact, relating to Rebecca. She rnusit be his half-s:ister. The knowledge stuns him, but he 1 bea!'s up under it manfully. I like him bett e r than ever for i1t. Betwee n us we canv'ass the ma bter t homughly, and decide that there is only one course open to him a s :i1 h o n o rnbl e man. This is to sec Rebecca no more untiil his father gives him permis sion 1 to s eek his mother. 'He promise s to do his ibest ito refrain from telling the young girl his secret. I b e lleve h e c a n be trusted ais far a s any man, bu t do not envy him his feelings. A sister is a 'll g ood enough in her place but what man can delight to hear 1the girl he lov es say she '\viH be such to him? Soon Bob will endure new agony. He has found a sister, lmt J.ost a wi f e So I leave him-for a time.


, 8 THE JESSE JAMES S T ORiES. I a sk h i m to c hange a l a r g e b ill fo r me, w hi c h he d oe s un s-t1spi o i ous' l y A m ong .the ,five s given t o m e I fail to disco ver one wi:th th e r e d let ters o n i t. My .fir s t e ff ort has not 1 b een a s u : c c ess Next 1 s ee k o n e who knows Bob 1 w ell-a man in goo d society, hut inc lin e d to be :wild. \Vit b out arous in g hi s s u s p j c i o n s, I : ma nage to get him started up o n the subject and soon learn a!I he k nows. l:t i s t o Bob s c r e cli

THE J ESS E JAM ES S T O RHES. I have n o t had a g o o d l oo k at hi s fa ce, yet I set him own a s a c o w2.rd. T hi s co m es from hi s act ion A n y m a n w h o wo uld b ull y a wom an. and ta k e mone y rom h e r a s t h i s fellow did mus t b e a di s r eputa bl e char cier Even amon g t h ieves, he wo uld b e l ooke d dow n u po n as s n eak, for they have q1ei r g r ades, o r caste quite a s m nch as people i n t he !bett e r wal k s of l ife J ust as l ex p ect h e m akes fo r th e ce n t r a l part o f the ow n boa rdin g a Madison street car. I m a nage t o get u po n t h e same co n vey an ce. Thus I fina lly look him in the fa ce H e not a mo.n. 1 here is some thing b out hi s exp ress i on t ha t ru bs again st t h e gra in. In a wor d, I do not l ike h im There i s nothing of disa p poi n tme n t to me in t h is, for h a v e no t expecte d anything e l se Indeed i t wou l d 1 av e amazed me exceedingly h a d l d iscove r e d a n y thing o admire i n t he man Crossing the bridge ove r t h e Chicago River t ha t b l ac k vaterway holding so m a n y dark sec r e t s un de r i t s n o i so m e h ro u d we soon r ea c h South C lark street, and h e r e m y an gets u p to leave t h e car. I am b efo r e him. \ Vhcn he lands. I st:rnd on t h e curb and \Vatch h irn lrop from the s t ep H i s w a y of do ing t his g i ves me a po inter. T h e fe l ow is no city-b red m a n bnt see m s so m et hing of a t ranger to st r eet car life. Inst ead of the graceful for '.ard step taken b y those brought np to the true m etho d f l eav ing a st r eet car_ h e steps bo l d l y out, and a lm os t ses hi s b a la n ce. I follow h im. A short time late r h e enters a p l ace n o t far fro m J ack on street w h e r e a gam e i s carrie d on The author i t ies rr1ake a sp a s m o di c atte m p t to r aid, ut. standing in vvit.11 t he m in p olit i ca l matte r s, t h e a mble r s ha ve littl e to fea r I ca n lay my h a n d o n t wenty g a m es, b o l dly a n d d eantl y playe d w ithin h alf a mil e o f th e pol i ce h c ad uarters: but althm;gh th ese facts a r e w e ll kn ow n th e mce r s dare n ot make a r a id. b e in g b o un d han d an d foo t Into thi s place I go. My man. i t see m s, h as a decided p enc h an t fo r gam ling, and this i s th e p l ace where h e com e s t o ri s k the oney j u s t r eceived fro m the h a nd s .of a co wed wom a n. I a m eage r to m a k e a disco v e r y. I f I can only ge t p ossession of o n e o f hi s bills I ca n a ke su !e o f a certain p oint. The b a n k er inform ed m e, th e r eade r will rememb e r at r:;1an y of t he b ills, coming fro m o n e s ource, no doubt ere marke d wit h red ink. Would I find 1the figur es s ix a:nd se v e n on an y b i lls that thi s m an h a ndl ed?' If so, it w o uld conv ict him. In orde r : to aJooomp i s h s u c h a ita s k I must n ec.essa ril y e n te r the g a m e Althoug h n o t pa s s i o n a t e l y fond of gambling-thank H e av e n for i t I c an pla y a fair g a me, with th e a ss i st an ce o f lu c k. H e nc e I a m n o t at all averse t o entering the d ea l w i t h m y q u arry My b acker w ill r ecoup m e for m y lo sses in case suc h occur whil e I a m e n dea voring to di sc ov e r p os i t i ve evi d e n ce lf w h a t I s u spect a t present turns out to b e the trut h, the ba nke r w ill not scrupl e at an y expe n se in orde r t o scree n t he g u i lt y o n e A m em ber of his h ouse h o ld -but n o t B ob. I confess t o a f ee lin g of inte n se satisfact i o n at the though t that Bob i s n o t g uil ty. He ha s w o n my esteem So I watch m y c h ance and ente r th e game, sitti n g by the croupi e r in order t o kee p an eye on t h e m o n ey h e r a k es in. \ N h e n e v e r my m a n t a k es m o r e m o n ey o u t o f hi5 p ocket 1 watc h like a kt

r 10 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. I rise from the table. My place is at once taken, and the game rolls on. Quite a cluster watch the turn of fortune's whee l either too timid to play themselves, or the limit being too high on this night to suit them Only the high rollers are in. I have lodged the little roll of money contammg the marked bills in my t r ousers pocket, and do not mean to risk their loss. My curiosity is excited concerning the nian from whom they came. \ Vho is he? \i\ihat power does he hole\ over the head of a woman in Alexander Blackmore 's household that would make her commit a bold robbery in order to buy his silence? These are things I desire to know. They must come my way before I give the case up, and every part of the matter will be s ift ed to the ve ry dregs. He plays on. Ill-luck haunts him. Again and again he loses; such a remarkable run attracts attention, and many persons watch him with great interest. He at l east proves game. Loss after loss i s made with perfect sang froid. Money that has b een easily gained can be frittered away just as care l ess ly. Some of the lookers-on admire his grit. I know from whence it springs, and can see nothing admirable in his actions Even such a fat roll as the one he possesses must finally collapse under the steady strain. From a thousand dollars his losses creep up to near the double line. At this rate the money the banker lost will soon line the pockets of the major's pets. _I make no sign. Let it go; Blackmore has plenty, and silence is o f more value to him. While I watch my man at his unfortunate play, I am forming my plan of action. The money accursed. It brings n o good luck to him at least When he has managed to unl oad entirely, perhaps he will l eave the place. I mean to follow. A chance will then have arrived for me to put my oar 111. Introducing myself, I can arouse his fears, and force a confession from his lips. All this easy enough, and when I can once get a good sta rt, I expect plain sailing. He play' on As he draws near the bottom of hi pile, he becomes a little more cautious, but it d o cs not seem to se1Te him in the least. The same dem n of hard lu ck pursues him. Had the woman who gave him the money placed her .curse upon it. the c o uld hardly have been more disastrous to the man I can see the end near at hand. It comes in an entirely different way from what I ex p e ct. Although the man has played so steadily and in an apparently coo l manner, his exterior belies the inward state of hi s feelings. He burns with fury. Snch a wo nderful run of hard lu ck seems out cif all comm o n reason, and makes up hi s mind that a combi nation has been formed to fleece him-that all others in the room are set against one man, and that individual himself. This i s a strange idea for him to conceive, but I learn that it does take hold of him. He makes no sign until the end comes. At last he counts the balance of hi s roll. Just fifty dollars left 0f the pile! He tosses this upon the table. "Game 'to the last!" I heatd one miim say. "It will go the same way as the rest." "I don't know. I've seen the last doilar change the luck, and the bank broken." "Well, watch and see." "He deserves some luck, anyho1w." "Who the deuce is he?" "I believe a Califomia gold miner. S om e one gave me that idea." "Sh ouldn't wonder. He doesn t belong m Chicago, that I'm sure of." "There it goes." The game opens and the whispering ceases. I am interested, too. A California gold miner-what authority have they for believing so?" I chance to know where his money comes from. and as to his lo oks, he might be a cowboy from Texas for all of that. Does he win? That wou'1d indeed be a singuhr thing, considering the run of ill-luck that has followed bis trail, and the fact i that his la st stake is out. As u sual, the red wms while he has put his pile on the black. He has lost. When the croupier gently draws his pile away to add


THE JESSE JJ\MES STORI ES. 11 to the snug fortune the bank has made, the man seems I I to a waken. His face is in one way a stron g one, and I ca n see a terrible kJok crossing it now. What will he do? vVhat can one man do when op posed 'by a score of games.ters? I expect him to hasten from the den with curses on. h i s lips, and to find him in a desp erate frame of mind, which I can take advantage of in order to work my own little 1 scheme. of t h e sort occurs. The man looks :1round him. In that scowling face I am reminded of a wildcat I 1 o;nce '\\"OLmdecl, a'lld which tnrnecl at ibay, rea dy to fight to the death. He is a fit representative of that animal. The game was ready to start again; t hi s t ime withou t r the high rolle r who had spent his pile I can see that he comes to a sudden desperate dete rmi \ nat ion Rising to his feet. he calls out in a voi ce h u sky with rage: 'Stop the game!" ''YV ell. what is it, my friend?" asks the dealer. "I hav e 1 been robibed.'' "N. onse nse !" "This game is not conducted on the square; you are all } leagued against me. I haven't had a show all the time, I and I know it ... "You are mi staken, friend." "I know what a square game is; I always p l ay that way. Now, I'm going to havt.: every dollar back.'' "Corne, come, don't be fool i sh." "Yon d o n t knQ!w me, man. I'd as soon kill you as l eat my supper. Dealer, pass that pile along. or I'll mur der vo u in cold blood. You've heard of me before, I I I'm J esse James, of Missouri, and I let no man rob me." CHAPTER V A B 0 L D I M P 0 T 0 R Really thi s i s the most astonishing thing I have ever met with in pne of these gambling dens, and where strange events often come to pass. I Jesse James in Chicago? Such bo l dness, almost surpasses belief. \i\Tith a heavy r eward hanging OYer his head, it seems incredibl y foolish for the man to even visit the great city : /on Lake Michigan; but to thus openly avow his identity is madness. Still, it is just like the man. \ I look sharply at his face kno\ving the King of Bandits fo ""ell having once been his l sone r. The man :ce11tainly l-0oks l ike Jesse James, and yet I thmk I see certain marks of difference. Still. it i s some years since I saw the outl aw. He may have changed in the meantime. As the man b o ldly declares him self, and boldly announces his intention of having every dollar of his money back agai n, he prepares to enforce his demand. \ V here i t co m es from, I am not prepar ed to state, but from some por tion of h is garments there suddenly springs a revolver. Jt is n o n e of your little pop-gun affairs, but a deacllylooking weapon. The man has clone terrible execution with this same seven-shooter i n t i mes past. He levels it. The dealer of the game is an old p layer who has doubtless S een something in his life, and can keep coo l under almost any ordinary danger. when he finds h imself covered by the gun of s u ch a notorious desperado as Jesse James, he turns as white as a sheet I do not blame him. It is no t my policy to interfere, smce I have a game in view. Perhaps somethi n g simi lar t o this thought flashe s into every m i nd. One man keeps his hands off because it i s no affair of his anyhow. A second has some business ahead ; he is following out a set rul e in playing to break the bank, and if h e lets up now it w ill r1in a ll. A third has even a better reas on. His life is heavi l y in snrecl, and be does not see wh.>' he should take the chances of allowing some f e llow to marry his widow for the sake of the small fortune that will come to her at his death. It is so easy to find a n excuse when one's inclina tion runs that way. They are as thick as blackberries in A ugust. Besides, taking it all \ n all, this is none of their affair -the man gives them warning that he will brook no interference. "Gentleme n. I mean you no harm, but I am determined to recover what has been take n from me by fraud. P l ease pay attention to your own business and no one will be hurt. The man who meddles with my affairs, dies." He meant every word of it. No one showed an y signs of meddling, even though the dealer must have had friends am on g those present. They did not court death. As a spectator I watch the scene, and am greatl y in terested in all that occurs.


12. \fHE JESSE JAMES STORRES. Mentally I photograph it on my mind, to be recalled some future time. The man with the revolv er, having effectually cow ed the crowd, can now turn his full attention to the miser able dealer. It is astonishing the change that has over this man in so short a time. Five m'inut es b efo re he sat there in all his pomp and magnificence, the ruler of men 's de st inies hi s voice full of scorn as he announced the rulings of the game-now he cringes there under the eye of the desperado, his hands clutching the arms of his chair in a weak sta te. The other has cowed him wit h his look. "Pass along m y m oney, dealer, or you are a dead man if my finger presses this trigger," says the o utlaw, with force I have !'.larked him down as a coward before, on ac count of his having taken money from a woman w ho is in his pow er. As I see him thus subjugate a whole roomful of men, I confe ss that my i deas on the sub ject are a little mixed decidedly so, in fact. "How much?" The d ealer no l onger clasps the arms of his chair, but his hand s nervously finger the pile of money be fore him. Res i s tance he does not dream of. He r eaiizes that this man holds the balance of power, and that it is death to refuse his d ema nd. So he g ives in to supe ri o r power. I listen for the r eply with more than ordinary eager n ess, for it will give me a clew. "Twenty-three hund r ed," says th e man who b elieves he has been swindled. The dealer begins to toss bills into a small heap. I chuckle softly in the exuberance of my feelings, for I have made a good coru1ection. Twenty-three hundred! Tha t is the exact amount the banker declared h e had in his library safe, and wh i ch so mysteriously: disap peDred I am morally certain th a t I hav e see n every dollar of the stolen mon ey sta k ed upon the game on this green baize table. There are some things in conn ect ion with the affair, however, tha t need th e closest scrutiny, and it is my re solve to give th e m such. The dealer ceases his count. With his littl e rake he shoves the pile in th e direction of the man w h o 1 has cut the claw s of the tiger in his d en. "There is your money We don't do things in this way generally, but it doe s not s uit the house to have a row here. Our customers are usually gentlemen-some-time s they win handsome s ums, but when they get pinched they never squeal and talk of being cheated." The dealer has recovered a little of his nerve, or he would hardly dare speak thus The man who claims to be Jesse James draws the money toward him. 'With one band he doubles it over, making o n e great wad out of it. There i s no time for counting. He does not wholly tru st the dealer, who very prob ably owns a revolver, and may ta k e advantage of an op poruntity to use it. This wad of money the man shoves far dow n in t o one of hi s trousers pockets. The dealer ignores his presence. Rapping upon the table sharply, he says : "Play, gentlemen a ll." I watch the man who has so boldly declared himself to be the Misso uri despe r ado. He steps back from the tab l e The game goes on. Havin g money at stake, th e players see m to enti rel y forget his presence, and pay attention to what is taking place on the board On l y the few spectators-among which I count as one -cast an occasional glance that way. Moodi l y he stands back a short t ime, and watches the game eagerly. I believe h e would lik e to go into it again, but knows all present w o uld refuse to play. A t length he turns. Is he about to l eave? If so, m y time has arri ved. I manage to get out ahead of him and lie in wait be low, for it will be remembered that I formed my plans while he was playing. The fact that my intended victim turns out to be a noto rious man makes little difference in my ideas of how the ra:11paign should be conducted I mean to foll o w him. \i\i' hen the time comes to st rik e home, perhaps Jesse James will learn t hat there i s at least one man in Chi cago who does not fear him. He comes. Having, as he believes, left all his foes behind him in the gaming den, the man does not show much evidence of ca uti o n. Before I can start to foilow him, I am surprised to see a second figm:e leave the h ouse. This party takes after the first. As he unde r a gas lamp I learn that it is not the dealer. It must be so me spectator whom I have paid little attention to.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 13 t To my surprise. he follows my man. t I take after him. e A stra nge proce ss ion we make. passing along the street n o ne, two three order. e There are quite a number of people ab.road at this hour f the night, \Yhen r espectable portions of the Lake City cern deserted. men and women, yes, and even b oys :hro ugh South Clark and State st r eet. The majority are out for no good. They serve a purpose now_ As I follow the men ahead, they do not know the fact; nd the same thing answers in connection with the sec e one! party tracking the first. Where are we going? What business has this second man to ste p in and dis pute my game? That is what I call assurance. ) I endeavor to guess what his motive may be in conpection with the outlaw, and come to the conclusion that e must !be some d e tective who had chanced to be present, and desires to sec ure the large reward offered for the pprehension or death of the man who h as terrorized the s ailroad companies operating in Missouri and in the I '0rthwest. e This is trespassing on my ground. I do not like it. e Perhaps we might join forces, and accomplish more ork that way. This thought comes to me while I am following the wo men down C lark street. We pass Randolph street. It begins to look as though the outlaw were heading or the north side. Lake street. s The bridge over the river is only about a block further n, and he still keeps it up. One place is as good as another to me if I can only get e lny work in. I notice something. The party between the outlaw and myself has crept up e onsiderably on his quarry, and when the bridge is eached is only a short distance b e hind. Thus we are almost in a string, with perhaps twenty eet between each man. 1 Ah! the other quickens his pace, as though he in e :ends overtaking his man. Something is about to drop. e I mean to be in at the death, and therefore also add n impetus to my pace. In the darkness they do not n otice me; we are in t ront of a building that is being erected, and the spot d eems to have been purposely seleded by the second man or his climax He pa sses alongside the other. -Both m e n come to a pause, and, bending down, I creep closer to hear \\.hat passes between them Thus, I am able to catch their words, for they do not dream that an eavesdroppe r hov ers near. "My fri e nd, a few words with you, please," says the unknown follower. I do not know wh e ther he places his hand on the other's arm or not, but imagine so. "Hands off, stranger. I'm loaded to kill, and wou l d just as soo n shoot as not. Now, what d'ye want?" The second man givei a l a u gh. He i s eve n a cooler customer than the first. "I was in that den." "You were, eh?" "I saw and h ea rd all that took place." 1 "Well, I ain't ashamed of it, I reckon. Have you followed me 11ere to say that?" "No; I want sometbing." "Perhaps you 'll get more 'n you want." ''No clanger. You ordered back that money on the strength of a name those gents seemed to fear." 'That's so." "They believe J esse James took that money." "Well, I reckon he did." "Since I've got the name I might as well have the game. Hand over that wad of money, yo u impostor. Y -:i. re a fraud; call you r self by another man's name, will ye! Out with the wad, you shark, or I'll make rnince-imea:t of you. I know you, Tom Travis, and you do me, I reckon." "Death and furies," gasps the other, it's Jesse James !himself!" CHAPTER VI. JESSE JAMES HIMSELF. Really the game grows in interest amazingly. I begin to believe I shall enjoy it after all. It pro mised to be prosaic, but I realize that such i s not the case. There are two Richmoncls in the field, and the one ha s unmasked the other. So it was not Jesse James at all who braved the gamblers, and carried off the money he had lost, but an ordinary, everyday fellow by the name of Tom Travis. It didn't seem to me that it could be Jesse James. The man who cowed the gamblers has met his match. He r ecogn i zes a master. The on Ly and original Jesse James pos sesses a sort of t errorizing influ e n ce over the man who has been playing hi s part. I can see even w ithout e yes that the impostor hangs limp and nerveless.'


1 4 THE JESSE JAMES STORI ES. ''This. is a rum go," he gurgles, "who'd ever suppose you \Vas in Chicago, in that pla ce and at the very hour? 1 m clone for.'' 'You will be prety soon unle ss you compl y with m y demands. I've every reason in the world to lay yon out right here; don't tempt me." "I re c k on I won' t. But, Jesse, thi s ain't treatin' an old pard just squar e.'' ''You t oo k my name; I mnst ha ve the game." ''It's hard on me. Just excuse this one thing. I don't know what tempted me to say it. "You whining cur, you've yourself out to look like me. Don't deny it. Nature made yo u r .esemble Jesse James in lo oks, but s he can't p u t the h eart of a lion into the body of a coyote." "T11ar you've got me. I'm no coward ,,he n it com e s to ordinary men. You saw that with your own eyes to night; but I can't r es i s t you ''The money." "Now, i f you'd only divide, and give me a show to get on, I'd think i t a .squar e go. Say, you take fifteen, < t h en, and leave me eight." There i s pleading i n hi s voice; just s uch a tone a s a s l ave might u se in a mas te r. "Hand over th e wad; I \\ cn't s peak again." Travis groans. He dares not d e fy this man. It would cost .him his iif e I cannot see him do it, but hearing t he other give a satisfied grunt, r e aliz e that it has b een done. "Tell me why yen are h e re?" now asks Jesse James. ''I clcn't mind that. I've got a puil on a certain part y and mean to live in clover. The wad nm\ in your po c ket i s the fixs t instailment." "That's 2.n old game w i t h yo u Tom. ' :\fever h a d cne like this. Recko n I'll get e n o u g h out of he r to la s t me all my life "It's a woman, then?" '\Ve!I, T didn't mean to give it away, but since y ou"v-e guesse d it I mi:.".ht as wel l it it." "That's a l itt l e ciueer. "How so?" "Yon 're beir: g c:1 s11ch a la y and taking my name. It's a woman vvho has brought me to Chicago.'' "Indeed. Hope yon have as good s u ccess as I have found." P erhaps 1 may. though I recko n my work ain't i n the sa m e line as yours. l've clone some devilish things in my life, and seen s o me p r ett y rough experie nces, but I don t b elieve Jesse James every p e rseci1 tecl a woman.'' Somehow I like the g en u ine a r ticle much better than t h e spurious. Like all imitations this l a c ks the principal ingredi e 1 of t !ie ccpiecl article. .He i s cowar dly by nature though reckle s s at tirn and w ill de si:end to an v base depth in order to fill pockets I d espise such a man. lie i s a born rasc::il, and nev e r s e es a higher le ';cl th' self-interes t. Secretl y, Jess e J arnes looks down npon him. too, a; has doubtless gau g ed his make-up in year s gone by. wl; they worked s id e b y s id e "Where are you stopping? I w ould like to k now ca s e J have need cf yo u Travis." .. A t a cat and clog tavern ove r here on \,Y all street, n far from Chicag-o avenu e It's nm b y a fri end of mi named Jarvis Kent." "l know the man and the place You may h ear fro me in case I d ec id e to operate here. "Glad to join you. Don' t forget me. By the wa where d o you pnt u p ? carel essly. I can hear J esse J arnes chuckle. "That's m y sec;-et. Yot'. can have nothing to do w1 m e Good-night, T o m Travis." He turns to l ea ve. "Good-night,'' says the other, s urlily. "Remember, no more wearing my colors. I've q ui enough to bear \\ithout carrying all the deviltry a lot. reck l ess fools would load me with. I killed o n e man f that same thing.'' "I r e mernlx : r h i m w e l l.' T hen t a l : e \ \a r ning." He strid es away, and disappears in the darkness b fore I can pass the other man. I prefer to lose my m rather than be caught foliowing the m b o th. Gla n c in g at my wat ch, I see the h our. Ten minues a f te r e l even. Really, this ni ght promi ses to p a n cut \-;.:;ii so fa r my movement s a r c concerned. I 0 :1ce more h ead for the banker's r esi d ence, desiri1 an interview vvith '11im. It lacks some twenty minutes of midnight \Yhe n finally reach the a late h our for a vis it but w h e n bus in ess is concerned I know nothing to pr vent me from arousing a man fro m s l ee p, even at t,hr in t h e morning. There i s a faint light \ vithin, and, although not at conve r sa nt w i t h the interior arrangem ents of the ban er's h o u se, 1 have an idea i t proceeds from the back pa o r, r:cnera ily u sed as ::l library. Wh:it doe s this in dicate? I s .iVIr. Blackmore out? I am willing to take my chances.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 1 5 No response comes to the pull I give the bell, and I it a second time. ii Then I hear footsteps I They descend th e stairs. I Through the stained glass in the door I dimly see the a gnre of .a man descending-partly dres sed, and h olding lamp. The door partly opens, disclosing not the banker, but a an whom 1 take to be his butl er, clad in s lippers, trous rs and shirt, as though he 1rnd recently jumped out of i ed. \ "I wi h to see Mr. Blackmore." R "He's out sir." n J "How do you know?" "I looked in hi s room as I came down-the door was r' jar, and he wasn't there." This is un expected, and I hardly know what to do or _,_;;ay under the circumstances-hence I am greatly relieved vhen just back of the servant a voice calls out: "What is it, Bertrand?" Is that you. Mr. Blackmore? I was just telling this entleman you were o ut,'' and the butler moves back The bank e r looks into my face. He reco g nize s me. "Ah! it's you, Mr. Lawson. Come in." The butler goes up sta irs again to his bed and I folow the gentleman. He leads me into the library sure enough, and I find the gas turned low. As he raise the flame I notic e him yawning. "You hav e been asleep, sir," I laugh. b He echoes the sound, and nods. "Regular habit to take a doze?" "On the contrary, I seldom do." "Been losing too much sleep lately?" "l\ o, I have s lept well. A strange drowsiness seemed o come over me. I was sitting in my chair at the time, nd laid my head back on the cushion, thinking it would n 0011 pass. Really, I have known nothing from that irne until voices at the door aroused me, and I went out." 'When did yo u go to sleep?" "Really, I can h a rdly say, but it could not have been m c h after eight. My supper vvas not unusually heavy. shall have to give up tea :" "Oh, it was not the t ea that made you sleepy, sir a "You think not." 11 "But something in the tea a He scans me in bewilderment. "You speak in riddles, Mr. Lawson. "Presently you will be declaring I am too frank, sir. re we alone?" "Perfectly so." "No one can hear us?" "Certainly not ." "Please lock the library door." This. he does in a puzzled manner as th o ugh he begins to s u spec t something wrong. Coming back he meet s my eye. "Yo 1 have learned something?" "I have learn ed a great deal, sir. Please be seated and lis ten to what I hav e to say." He sinks into a chair like an automatic machine, wit'h out will !)Ower of his own. "Is it about my-boy, Bob?" he a sks. '"What I have l ea rned abou t him only goes to prove his loyalty-Bob is a young man to b e proud of, and I quite envy yo u his affection." How his face brightens up. "Why. this is an unexpected pleasure-I thought you had discovered him to be guilty." ":t\o, no; he is innocent." "Thank Goel," fervently. "But-I came to bring you pain and shame, Alexander Blackmore-the thief is in your house-is one you love." He turns very white. CHAPTER VII. META. "Go on," he says, hoarsely. "Are you prepared to hear the worst?" "Yes. Better that than to hear my boy is guilty. Speak without reserve, Lawson. Your words can mean but one person." "Your wife." He winces as I say the word. "It is Meta, then. Poor chi l d What co u ld she want to do this for; I have given her all the money she coula use?" "One cannot always fathom the motives of a woman; they sometimes act as does a ship without a rudder, making good time while the wind blows fair, but fail ing when it changes." Tell me all about it, my friend. My regard for Meta is more that of a father than a husband. I am exceed ingly grieved to think she would descend to such a way of getting money; but if this is the extent of it we can cover it over." I shake my head. "I am afraid it is only the beginning, sir. However you shall hear the story." So I begin. He listens intently, and makes no remark until I come to the point where the ma n declares his identity before the gamblers A t t his h e utte rs an excl amation.


16 THE JESSE J/\MES STORIES. "'' I was aware of the fact that she knew Jesse Should he have any papers in his possession this woul and his people in Missonri, bnt never imagined it wou ld reveal the fact. have an influ ence on her connection with me. The vil -I thought of another way of deciding this, and getti lain! I shall--" possessio n of his secret. '"Wait until yo n hear all," I remark. This was to take advantage of hi s love for play. He su b s ide s and l istens. Travis cannot resist the temptati on to gamble. I go o n and t ell the whole business, which interests I believe I can do what T plea se w ith him in that Jin hi m exceedingly. for, although never a profess ional player, the manipu1a Since he knows hi s Bob is innocent, h e can bear up untion of cards seems to come to me quite naturally. cler almost anything. Supposing Travis and I sit clown to a quiet game, h As yet I have not spo ken of my interview with Mrs. b elieving me to be a man with money, and not recognizin Perry, hut having finished the other, I start in to speak th e detective. of tbs. By degrees T can get him excited, allowing him to win He li stens with h e l d breath and bowed h e ad. I hear a groan break from hi s lips, and realize that the mem ories of the past have a hold upon his h ea rt; he has never recovered from the bl ow he r eceived when the law sepa r ated him from his first wife At last all is told. He bears np b ette r than I "You believe s h e drugged me, then?" "'Undot"tbtedly so. This Tom Travis must h ave sent her a note making the app ointmen t, and a large sum as hush money. She had to go, a n d, fearing that you might discover he r absence, she took this means of keeping you in the dark." \i\!hat do you propose doing?" "Letting th e matter go until morning, and t hen visiting thi s Tom Travis at his hotel. I shall have a conver sation with him, endeavor to find out what power he has ove r her. and break it by threats of what we will do.'' ''Good." "After we have sett led with him, you can have an in terview with your wife, and arrange the matter as you plea-s,e. As to


THE JESSE JAMES STOREES. 1 1 1 perhaps he knows Meta's secret, too. e stops. 10 s sure as I live, he mounts the steps; it is positive tlnt means to come in. i\That shall I_ do? he library opens into the drawing-room, being cone, ted by folding doors. hese are ajar. notice that there i s fu s t room enough for an agile per pe to slip thrcmgh. l g s I am that individual, I take advantage of the fact enter tLe library, jus t a s the doorbell i s given a strong br the man w ithout. faving b een in the library before, I feel quite at home r,re, and n ote a corner into which I may retreat in ca s e y o n e thre:iten s to e nter the room t o see if it i s empty. Irr11en I almost clo se the doors, draw a shade or two, in re:]er to darken the room, none too light a t i ts b es t o n ount o f neighboring h o u ses, and decide that I have e all I ca n. hear the gfrl pa ss the door. r oices sound. 'vVait here, plea se, and I wi ll t ell 1\Irs. Blackmore an fri end has called:' says the girl, and I am ready to !are, fro m the tone of h e r v oice, that she has been ed b y the gentleman esse James s its dow n. 'I can see him plainly. o He seems cool enough, as tliough anticipating a pleas t interview am a lit t l e puzzled about th e nature o f hi s mis s ion "' e. \.h I hear the soun d of a woman' s skirts o n the stairs; h e o ne glance I get shO\\s me a handsome \ voman. he comes to a stop, he r eyes fastened on the man, who s to meet h e r. il ).Jeta !' essc James hold s out hi s hand. l:e docs not see it, or else s he scorns t o t a k e it. Is it p oss ibl e you do n ot know me, Meta?" Know you' Onl y too \1e ll, y o u wretch! How dare come openly t o this h o use after givi n g m e a so lemn d rnise ne\"e r tu see me again r' h e man 1 00k s p u zz!ed. r s I g rasp all the and c omprehwd \\hat th ey do a s y et l can understand why he should feel amazed, 1is rec e pti o n. t i s not wh::tt h e exp ects 1eI don't understand what yo u mean; I gave you no 1se. I was in Chicago, and, hay [;ig some news for you, came h ere. I thought yo u would be glad to see a!l old friend, Meta." -------She lo o ks at him uneasilY.:. "You a r e J esse James?" "Certainly "Once my friend?" "I claim t o be st ill." "Yet you have persecuted me; threatened fo ruin me if I refused to do what you demanded. It i s quite a treat for me to see his face. He seems utterly astounded. "Girl you are out of your mind." "It would not b e singular if I were. D o you deny that yo u sent m e a threatening lette r, demanding hush' money?" "I n eve r did. "Do yo u m ean to say tha t you didn't meet me last night, a nd make me hand over a package of bills, that I had t o s t e al from my husband's safe?" "Confusion! No! I repeat it. I have had nothing t o do with this game. I am innocent." S he l eans forward and looks into his face, an expres-sion of intense a n x i ety upon her own. ''You mean that?" she a s k s s lowly 1 "I sv.rea r to it, l'vfeta." "Ca n I have b ee n dreaming?" passing a liand over her fac e, and then shuddering. "No, no, it was real. ,You a r e deceiving me." "I am not; but a thoug'h t has jus t come to m e I am beginning t o see light ahead." "Tell me-what does it m ean?" "This !" and hi s vo i ce i s terrible. I pi ty the man who h:is incurred hi s a nger. "You say yo u have b ee n persecuted by qic. There i s a man in C hicago who has b ee n J esse J a m es. I caught him at it in a gam blin g den, :m d made him g iv e up twenty-three hundred dollars he had forceJ the dealer t o give up o n the strength of my name." The sum m e ntioned excit es h e r. "Twenty-three, yo u say I t i s t h e exa c t amount I gave t o that man l as t night." "AnJ yo n thought it was m e ?" "\.Vhy I not? He had your face, and claimed ta b e J esse James. T h e note h e wrote was signe d with that name, and it was not you ?" "l will prove it. Met a See, thi s i s the r oll o f bills I took from him lt belongs t o yo u. Take it." She chrn s back with a cry. "I could not. It has p assed fro m my hands, and I dare not to u c h i t again! Besides, what u se have I for so rnL:ch money?'' "Put it back where it bel ongs." "Alas! I

18 THE JESSE JAMES S T ORI ES. "You m ea n he has discovered his loss?" "I b e lieve so." ...,. have taken such a decided interest, bui as ye t it is cid ed l y faint. "Yon can open the safe?" "Yes." "Then put it b ack. \i\Then he finds it he will conclude he must have overlooked it or been dreaming. Take the money, Meta. It is yours." She does so, mechanically. "But he will come again. I know it, I feel it." "'vVe will see about that," and his face bodes ill for the man who has represented him; "there is a long account t<;> settle between myself and Tom Travis." CHAPTER VIII. JESSE JAMES' DOUBLE MAKES A PROPOSITION. Jesse James has evidently known Meta in years past. There is a bond of friendship that binds them together, and this wild out law of Missouri has already proven it by handing back to Meta the small fortune he won from Travis at the muzzle of the revolver. It belongs to her, and he gives it up of his own free will. Mentally I score one for Jesse James. The devil is not as black as they paint him. No doubt this man during his dare-devil life has com mitted a great many crimes of which he should be ashamed, and which must blacken his 11ame for eternity. Under the circumstances, however, it gives one re newed faith in his fellow-men to see such a man, bated and despised by the world, capable of performing a good action. As his d-0uble, I would not like to be in the shoes of Tom Travis when they meet again. The expression on the face of Jesse James and the way in which he grinds out his words declare that he means to wreak a heavy reckoning upon the head of the man who has dared to play his part in the drama. I remain very quiet. It is no part of my plan just th e n to let them know of my presence. Somehow, I have not greatly fanc ied Meta She strikes me as rath e r artful. It is evident that she has played her cards well with the banker, and he looks upon her a s an artl ess young woman, trusting h e r fully. Mentally I compare h e r with Mary Perry, and the re sult brings out the calm, peaceful face of the widow far ahead of the pretty one of Meta. Alexander Blackmore's fir st wife possesses noble qual ities that are entirely lacking in his secol).d. I begin to see a glimmer of h-0pe for those in whom I At length Meta b egs her visitor to de a r t. I can plainly see that s he fears her hu s band 's ret u and do es not want them to meet. If in any way the banker should learn that his wife been r ece iving s uch a notorious perso n as Jesse J a during his absence from home, it would be awkward, say th e least. When he has gone, Meta flies to the window and cretly looks out, doubtless under the fear that the ban may be coming and see the man descending the st when she will be under the necessity of deceiving by some subterfuge. Then she l eaves the parlor, probably to go to her 1 r oom above I can hear her give a heavy sigh as she passes me and mutter: "All is not yet los t. The words haunt me. I feel that this girl has a weight npo11 her soul; so thing lies in her past which she dares not let J1ei husb know, and t'his s in, if such it proves to be, is what I h m y faith upon that all may yet come out right betw the banker and h i s divorced wife Mary. All is quiet again. It is time I made a move. The re is no longer any reason that I shou l d see banker 's wife, but I would give something to meet gentleman himself. Perhaps I had better come again. He will be in and the case will have developed a Ii m ore b y that time. Then, again, Meta will have made a move, and this \ advance th e game. The darke ned library has served my purpose ve r y I ri se to m y feet and pass through into the draw i ro om in front. Then I sm i le. i\'Iy hat and g l oves hav e lain on the table during whole interview between l\Ieta and J esse James If eithe r of them n ot iced the fact, it did not ap worthy of mention. All th e same, I am disposed to b e angry at myself s uch a bit 0 carelessness. Picking them up, I turn toward the door and qui l eave the house. Peering np and clown the street, I l ook for the fam outlaw, but he is nowh ere to be see n I go do1Yn to the business part of the South \\'h ere I find Mr. Blackmore's bank He is not in I wait for a while but the cashier gives me to un


THE JESSE J./\MES STORIES. 19 and that he will hardly be in again clay; that some'::l From habit, I glance around to see that all t he Cloors < ing seems to be worrying him, and h e has probably are closed. llle h ome with a heaclaci1e. I cannot forget what 1 1appened in this very room some This i s unfortunate. hours previously-how a conversation was overheard, u It is past the dinner hour, and, a s I feel t h e ne e d o f and by myself. cl. I SJ end half an hour catering to th e wants of the "Do you know, I was just thinking about a certain \Vill : 1 portant inner man Lawson, and wishing he would turn up," said the L This duty accomplished, I start o nce more fo r the banke r, m otio nin:'; m e to a seat. :l, nker"s hOL:se, hoping h e has gone home. I drop into it, but his n e rvousness will Iiot allow thim to Fortune favors me. be seated. l Drawing near th e h ouse, I am su rpri se d td' see a man He continues to the library floor back and fortn out of i t whom I at first take to be Jesse James, but l ike a caged tiger. tel1en he passes me a peculiarity in his w::dk t e lls me I "I have n ews for you," said the banker, at length. h 1 ye made a slight mist:ike "You have had a caller?" It i s J esse James' d o uble. His eyebrows ar.e O\\Vhat brings Tom Travis here? ( "How do you know? Was it you sent him here?" I I shake my h ead t \ Vhom has he seen? A dozen tho u g hts fl.ash guess the truth. "Sorry I can't claim that honor, but I saw him going through my mind, and I try away just now." i./ Has this evil m a n come to see Meta openl y and force 01 r into payi n g more hush money, in order that h e may a ep h e r secret? n stoops to brO\ Ybeating a woman, there is n othing w ill not d escend to in o r de r to get money. 1;other idea bre:iks upon me. This i's to the crcdi 1 t of Travis cu11ning. e H e n ;:iy have believed that Meta would give him no ;-e m o ney, and have come to the banke r to sell his se t. .Perh:ips th i s v i s it o f T o m Travis may blanket me, as h y say in a yatc h race, when one b oat gets between the 1d and a riyal. 5 1evertheless, without turning my h ead to look after Travis, I pass on, going beyond the banker's manw n. for I think it be s t that n o one s h ould noti ce me nd the steps-at least, a party w h o is d eeply in te r ed in the game Vhen I \Yant t o find this man I believe it will b e easy g ugh, since I know wher e h e puts up. If lll e passes out of sight. s there i s n o furthe r reason for d e lay, I ring the be ll the b:rnker s h o use. se rvant tak es my card. minute la ter I am shovvn into the library, and find Blackmore there. e is p:-cing up and do w n the floor n e rvou sly, w ith his ds b eh .. J him. s I e nter h e h ol d s out one h::rnd and says, with a sant smile : Glad t o see you, Lawson." know he means i t. nd "He itriied to mak e a bargain with me. "Tried?" "Yes." "Then he d idn't s ucceed?" The banker shakes his head. I h ave put him off teimipom ril y. The pric e he asks rathe r staggered me. The n, again, what h e gave me to understand h e could prove made me d esire time. to think i t over." "It startl ed "Yes, yes!" "Can yo u believe it to be so?" He eyes me in a curious way "I haven' t mentioned a word of it, Lawso n an"ci yet, b y Jove, you speak as tho u g h you knew the nature of the propositi o n he means to make me." "Perhaps I can g u ess it," quietli. "Let's bear you." I choose my words, for I am dealing with a Clelicate subject n ow. '"This man, then, proposes for a certain sum of money; to prove tha. t yo n are free; that a'1though all this while you have believed Meta t o be you r lawful wife, such is r eally not the case I watch him closely while I spe ak, ready to turn my words into another channel, if I find I have made a great mistake . Jtl Such is not the case. l\tiy words have gon e straight home. The banker shows surprise but neither anger nor in d i g nati o n at my surmise. "Lawso n, you are a wizard." "Oh, no, sir; far from it."


20 THE JESSE JAM ES STORIES. "None but a magician could guess things as you have done." "I simply put two and two together, and the. result proves the analysis to be corre.ct." "It is so in this case. That man offered, if I would pay him ten thousand dollars, to b ring me positive proof that M.eta is not, anching bo see if I look surprised, and seems taken aback b ecause I am not. "Every dollar of it ?" I ask. 'Yes, but with only three of the marked bills 111 the package." "That looks strange to you." "The money is only part of the same that was taken from my safe. One would think the thief, becoming alarmed, had made restitution, but was unable to replace the same bills At this I nod. "You have come pretty close to it, sir." "Lawson, I repeat it, you are a magician. Vlhat I have told just now is no news to you?" "Certainl y not, sir. I knew that money was in your safe before I reached vour house." ''And who put it in -?" "The same person for taking it out." "l\1eta ?" "Y cs." "Exp bin it all. Where did she get it?'' ''From Jesse James 1::mself." "\iVhat ?'' "Part of this thing you already know. The Jesse James. after losing all his money at a gamb den, demanded resti t uti o n, declaring his identi-t' and. cause of the fear that n ame in spi r e d. and the de sir the d ealers to keep an orderly crowd, the money was: turned to him. "Some of the original bill s chanced to be in the That is why you find a few marked ones among them .. \i\Then explanations were entered into between -:\I and the Missourian this morning, h e learned \\here. double had secured the twenty-three hundred dollars,! insisted on Meta accepting it, so that she might rep it.., ''That was kind of him. He took it from his doubl believe." "Yes; since he had the name h e said he might as 1 1 h;:ive the game. But, you see, no one made anything of it, though the entire amount passed through f. hands-the blackmail e r, the gambler, J esse James your-Meta." I cannot say what keeps me from calling her his '\\ but o me-thin g causes me to halt. i Perhaps it is the suspicion I entertain with regar < their sec r et. CHAPTER IX. SPREADING TIIE NET. I soon relate all that happened during my mor visit, and the banker i s deeply interested, as is pef natnral. His love for h i s boy is very strong, and I feel that h3.s turned up makes his affection all the stronger. Certainly Bob has shown up true and strong uncle light brought to b ear upon him. He has passed through the furnace, and been f pure gol d. The banker speaks very te nderly of him, a nd, at r ate, the t r ial has brought t h ese two men close r toge t'l1an ever. In that way it has done good. I indulge in hope that it may eve n go further bring about a reconciiiatio n between B lackmore an former wife, and what grounds I have for this giv courage. \ Vhen finally I leave the banker, I have shaped plans to a great extent. Unless fortune breaks in and changes them for will have the matter in my grasp. My first destinati on is the office w here Bob ma found. I find h i m there. It is four o'clock, and the day draws near a close. I tell h i m of Jesse James' visit and of Meta's ac t Then I bid him to follow me. He joins me, after donning his coat and hat. As we walks along s i de by side, although he doe. ask a question in so many words, his looks do it for I take pity on the young man, and hasten to reliev suspense.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 21 :r ou wonder where 1 am taking yotl ?" es.'' t i s to see the \ridow." frs. Pern ?" ) "'our mother." ,JfVhat i s your motive?" ou must wait and see. I believe T can give you some e acti o n. T r y and be patient." is hard to do it, but I will try, b elieving you mean fo;: the best." deecl I do, Bob I don't wish to arouse false hopes 1 .1ur mind. \Ve will soon be there, and you will learn \ii e represses his feelings and endeavors to appear calm, he effort i s almost tlseles s. ;:,le finally r eac h the hotel where Rebecca and her er have a flat. JI nock o n the door, and the elder lady opens it her, sight of Bob in my company, her face shows sur-[ but she ushers us into h e r parlo r. flen, recognizing in m e the leading spirit, she looks ;rd me inquiringly. "ou wonder what is the catlse of thi s visit, Mrs. v '?" I begin. es." desire to set tl e certain doubts in this young man's i forever. You have known he was your son for time?'' is trtle." id you also kiiow h e loved R ebecca?" e bow s h er head. r es." f emember, I do n ot mean with the love a brother ca n a sister, but a deeper affection, such as a man f ee ls 1e w oman h e would make his wife. Diel you s us his?" :!re drops her head and will not m ee t my eye. is true." nowing thi yo u allowed it to go on." as any m o tiv e of revenge upon man who g-e ast you off that infltl e nC:ed your actions?" glances at m e in a startle d way. eaven knows th e r e was not!" [ hen it was carelessness on your part that allowed two to lov e, kno"ing it would only bring them v hardly that. Perhaps I indulged in a wild hope [d1hmugh their love might come m y forgiveness." !mt is strange." mrealize now how fooli s h it was. It can nev e r be; lwas overcome . rn .. dam, will you answer m e a questio n ? k it. ere is an obstacle to the tlni o n of these two young e. ?" ct obstacle? Yes." II me, is it in surmountable?" : hi s she surveys him. oe. u s h oU'ld know betiter 1than I since it has been years )r ast I saw him. D oes he hate me so bitterly. that v ng I touch is accursed ?" mean s Alexander Blackmore. ":-Jo, no, he does n o t hate you, dear madam; but this obsoacle; what is it ?" "His will a'ione." vVhat d o yo u mean that if Alexander Blackmore gave his consent there wm1.Jcl be no further reason why R eibert should not m arry Rebecca?" Poor Bob, panting, l eans over t o listen. His fa:te hangs in the balance. .It seems to be s uspen 1ded by a single h air, like the fame d sw ord o f Damocl es, and with the next breath that support may be seve r ed. I know o f n one, sir, since the young people are of a mind," s h e ans 1 wers, gravely. "Mrs. Perry, you married again after being separated fro m your husband?" "H i s false, sir!" \ i\fhat your name ?" "Perry m y n a1111e before I married, and I preferred to be kno wn as a widow, h entce I placed the Mrs. be f o r e it." "Not 111arric d--'then R e b ecca-your child--" "She is my adopted child-the daughter of a cousin who took me to liv e with her-Ma1ian Perry." I jump to my feet. Indeed, so buoyant almoS1t my ha1t pleasure. dQes my h eart f ee l that I could into the air l:lnd give a shout of \ As for the truth dawns u pon his mind slowly, and o n thiat account is all :the more forcib1e at it:he e nd. His eyes o p e n r wirde, and as the climax breaks in on h1s befogged brain he wraps his a nrns around his mother in rapture At last I

r .I 22 THE JESSE JAMES STORRES o Should I need assistance a sholl't will bring i t. My wppearance is radically changed, and even the kee n eyes of Tom Travis w ill never be able to se e hi s former taller in .th e present one. As this is an old business with me, I know just how to d o it to perfecition. My name i s Billy Magee. I have made something o f a reputation clow n in St. L ou i s as a bank but the place has grown too de cicled'ly warm fo r my blood; h ence I have migrated to the great rival city on the lake. It i s rnv inrtention to do business there. As a St. L o uis man I am naturally greatly in favor of hta'ting Chicago all I can, and mean to strike a blow ait h e r ibJ.o'aited monopolies before I quit it11at will open people's eyes This is my game. As the1.,e ha really been a pretty well-knQlwn character rwith the name I have as surneicl, I am quite safe in playing th e par:t. I have knawn him, .too. Of late he has disappeared, and it is believed Magee must have been pll't out of the way by some unscrupulo u s companions in one of the !0 1 w dives he was in the habit of frequenting. J t ans1Ye-rs my purpos e well. I can p'lay the parit to perfection. Entering 1the h ouse, I corra l the proprietor, and in an off-hand way present my credentials. He r eceives me warmly, a n d is p11oud to have a man with s u c h a r ep utation unde r hi s roof. I am eX'tremcly doubtful whether he ever heard of Magee, as the man's work w 1 as not of a national char aciter. It ans 1yers my purpose jus t as well, and I d o not care whether he prevaricates or not. So I m:ake myself ait home. A number of men have gathered in the place. They se e m to be in knots or clusters, a s engaged i.n t be the c ase. Where was hi s room? He mav be in it. I learn b y a few ques tions that it is in t h e corner. I stand d ir ectlv below it. while 1rn{1dering over th e matter a sound reaches my tympanum that gives me pleasure. It comes from aibove. I would b e > willing to wager that som e one h as a cci0.enrail y knx ked a chair over. This would indirnte that there is an occupant in the aibove. Unless I have made a mistake in the placing of Tom .T1"' to h is feet. The ci:her man als o gets up, brushing .the

I THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 2 3 { two men in the room are as Eke as hvo peas in a teatures, d r ess and all. is the true, the other a false Travis, d r manner tells me the truth. e J esse James in the man w h o h olds the h and i s a straight flus h and w h o h as s aid "swear 1.'' t f ellow upo n whom h e h as q)ecn seated, and who h imself up off the floor, is the doubl e member ithat I h eard what I took t o b e a chair fallI t mus 1 t have been Travis. :n 'th e Missouri outla 1 w kn oc k h im clown? sihlv so -ay.l)C they had a uffle, and the fall was the ontl l .f It. any ra-te, Travi s has y i e'ldecl, and s hows by his 1 r t hat h e ha s m et h is master. o at are they ta.Jkin g about? nnot m ake it out. m e n in the sal oon 1 b e l ow a : r e unus ually noisy, s ing o ild l aughing. i 'tleadc n s all oth e r so und s. denly h e s hows sig n s o f going. us : t not be disoovered h a thing wou l d bring troable, for the first thought !fiery man like J esse James wou ld b e t o m ake use tl weaoons. : 1 U e l that narmw h a lll re ar. e way s of a voic!i11g it. )oe lies in flight. rnn nt say that I admire being c hased from my y field of operations. eitter scheme pres ents i 1tiseH. s is to cairry 1 the empty rtr-unk back to its forme r n, s ome s i x fee t a:way. ess a light is brought intio .the hall I will run no J,f 'bein g see n rder to make sure af such a thing, ho weve r, it may er f o r me rto hi de C trunk offers the chance. t place i1t down I raise the lid. >t1 ty-yes \ a second i s to be lo s t. s ady the door i s part l y open, and fort un ate l y the 1 ac ks _out, stopping to say a few parting words to urty w i thi n. gives me the c hance I want. m b e r into ith e box trunk and l e t .the lid fall d J esse James hav e notic e d this? 1 1 rdlv l)elieve so, as the men b e l ow are once more Y nd th ei r racket must deaden any sound as slight st i,1 g tumbl e d into the as best I cou l d under umstarnces, 1 am o n my kne es and in a very un table abtitude. n b e eas ily bettered e is f o 1tunately room enough for me to turn and this I proceed to do. ngith I hav e accomplis h ed the foat and am hudin a sitting p ost ure, my kn ees n ea r my chin. n o t a comfortable .position, but preferable to the r hi c h I found my, self at the st?Tt. he g one? I fanc y I s till hear voices How fain tly sounds come to a shut up in a boxevcm th e si n ging of .1the beer drinkers b elow seems far away from me. The s ensatio n i s unpleasant, too. It makes o n e imagin e h e is in a grave-at l e a st that is t he s ingul-ar thought t ha t comes t o m e 1 whi l e I s qua:t in side 1 t l x: tru nk. 'What ca n detain Jesse James? Surely h e must have gone back agai n 1 the room; he w ould n o t s tand thu s at t he ope n doo r and talk of pri v ate affairs. That was not c h a r acteristic of 1.he man. A thought bu1)b l es up il1'to my bra in--1\vha .t is to him:ler me fro m ascertaining? A1ll I hav e 1 to do is to rai se t h e lid a trifl e and take a peep-it w i l l r eveal what I d esire lo kn ow. Quick bo act u po n t hi s suggestion, I brin.g my hand around ito th e prop e r sid e and give a pu s h. Peerin g out, I see -th e door of Trav i s' room closed Evidentl y J esse James h as gone away. Ther e i s still a light over the transom. I can see it plainly through the pe ephO'le I made on the duSJty g la ss. -CouJ.d I nmnage to take a look through that sam e ope n ing, it would be a good thing; but I do not deem [t ab solutely n ecessary Rap, rap, rap! A movement withi n T h e n feet crooss the floor. The bolit is s lowl y withdrawn. A>S th e d oo r opens a liNle, I see a man standing there. At the sight of hi m I cannot >refrain from giving vent to a l ow cry. Have I made a mistake? This i s n o t T o m Travis, but a strange r. Whe r e d-icl h e come from ? Surely t hi s is : th e room where I saiw J esse James and his doubl e have t heir c ir cus . Ca n Travis have departed and a new man already occu pied the apartment? If so, m y adventure of 1the trunk i s apt to prove a costly one to me. "Well, what's wanted?" aisks t h e o ther. He eyes m e s u spic ious.Jy. Something in his vo i ce arouses s u spicio n and I det e r mi n e to sec m o r e of this man. In o rder to pPo l ong the interv iew, I put a ques tio n to the stranger "Are you Col o nel Ben Loomis?" "No." "Do you know what room h e has?" I don'it." "The landlord sa id it was t hi s one." "Then h e 'r\i\Tell, 1 )erhaps I ican do some business With yo u any. ways, frie111d." He growls and tries ito dose the door as one might on a troubl esome hook agent. This h e fai l s to do. T h e cau se is evident. I have thrust my oat forwa. rd in sud1 a way tliat it blocks the game. "What d' ye mean?" h e a;sks, in iH humor.


i 24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIESG "A hrttle .talk with you, Tom Triavis." He starts a t mention of the name. "You've made a mistake." "How 1 so ?" "I'n1 another man." "Are yo u Jesse James?" "Confusion, no!" "Well, I don't care whait y;ou sail under now. You were Toim Travis, :and I'm in r the humor for a talk with you." ;;Fiends take you !" "Open the door." He looks as though tempted to refuse, bnt, thinking bertter of it, o beys. K en:ter the room. Jurcl.ging from the hasty g l ance I cast about me, the rnan bas just about been ready to va cate his apartment. Travis, having dosed the door, looks toward me rather anxiously. I keep him under my eye. Such a unan can only be trusted as far as yon can see him, and he has r ea. c hed the end of his tether now. He is undoubtedly cuPi ous to kn ow the object of my ooming. As I have rnen.ti oned his o wn name wi t h that of Jesse James, fea-r mingles with the other emotions that sway hi m, and he becomes uneasy. "Travis, sit d o\ovn." I push a chair in front of me with my foot. 'Tel rarther stand'," h e replies. ''As our intervieiw promises rt. a be a pn otracted one, I prefer that you should be seated." It is the first confhct :betwee n ou r He gives in. The victory proves jus t 'What I have snspected-th:i. t m inc! conque r ma.tter. "Go on." "You admi't that yo n are Tom Travis?" "Whait's the u se denying it?" "Then I have oome her e to save your life." "You have?" w i th a sneer. "Vvhat dic!1 Jesse J a.mes force you to own up to at the muzzle of th e rev olver?" He l ooks at m e fixedly. 'You knov.r about that?" "I know a good many things, Travis. "Then there's no u se of my telling y .ou." "Do you refuse?" "Yes; it clon' ;tconc ern you." 'I can guess i 1t; 1but that isn"t the matter that brought me here. As I said, I h ave c o me to save your miserable 1life." "The deuce vou say!" "Yon are in dangei-of hanging." "I?" "For murder." He shudders and turns white. You are only trying to scare me." "That i s n o + t so." "\Vhose murder?" I bend for .ward and catch. hi s eye. "The banker Alexander Blackmore." "Is he dead ?" "You have not s een the a!f', post, do you kn ow of any reason why Meta would n; remove her husband?" ''\Nhy do you ask me tha. t ?" ei "To dear you." "How c.ould it do s u c h a thing?" 11 "IndividL1aJly, I am under the that ti the guilty party, but I have been unable to disc over n 1:ive for 1the crime."' r He nods his hea d eage rly. "Then, again'. circ um stances point to you as ha\. hand in the game. 1 res o lved to let yoi 1 have a c 1 to thmw the burden \\here it probably belonged I He looks secretive. ], 'I know nothing,'" he s ays, c!oggec!ly. Poor fool, I must give him another s hake. a s a t7 c t .oe. s the rat. "You lie, Tori1 Travis! Listen to me, man. I ant\ t o arres: t you for the murder of :the hanker unle5i can throw the blame on another. Take your choice. to jail )"Ourself or betray the secre.t you h old. Whid you do?" There is little ne e d of the qL1es tion. S.orn c men w onkl scorn to seek safety for them in b e tra ying a woman's trust, Jmr there are other w o uld give u p their ow11 mother to the clutches c bw if b y so doing they could save their own l ives. Tom Travis fills the latt e r bill to a d ot. I C:esp;se him. All the same I mean to get what I can G L A of th ere casting him away like' an or::i e that has beens dry. His m en.ta st ruggl e is of :::,} ; rt duration. Hae! this bee n gem1ine T wo{ild give l ;im some c hut I know his only regret a b o ut be traying Meta's" arises fr o m the h wt that wit h it goes his chance of m rno'flev He' .. Iiop ed to live upo n this secret. like a sucking the. lif eblood o f the banker's wife. Out upon him for a miserable wr etc h. His indecision is short-l ived. ''I will t ell you all,' h e s::iys. Satisfaction fills my heart. At last I find myself in a pos ition rto learn wha \.iadows Meta's pas t. WiLI it separate her from Alexander Blackmore?


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 rvently hope nothing ivi!l occur to intern1pt our iew until the man on the rac k has ed all he di .. It. oi sh CHAPTER XI. F A C 1: '1' 0 F \ C E lgin operations. u confess thc.t Meta has a secret?" id den)-it but I lied." the strength of Lhat sec ret you forced h er to give ney ?" s." en tr-three hundred dollars at one time?" mething lik e tha t. 11 must be a sec ret of importance to make her pa y out like that." e s hrugged his s h oulders. c, 1ait: i s bu t a dirop 1 n the bucket compared with what ectecl to get. \IVhy man. I counted on a regular in That sec ret was t o b e my stock in trade for years me. ., op e nly boasts of his tyranny, as though it were thing to be proud of. r m a s hamed o f being a man and belonging to the race as this cowa rd. ou seem to forget that a woman's patience wi!l give tv No matter what' lhis secret might be, she .would c tired of paying you, and find a mean s of b eing re-1 of the .' knew all t hat, a nd meant to provide for it; but my i s all doug h n ow," with a mournful s hake of th e hat is the nature of thi s secret?" o about mv business as a doctor might ask que s ti o n s I n !er to diagno se a case s e thi ng leaids to another. : e.,adually I will sink the steel deeper, and probe the c cl to the bottom. concerns Meta's pasit." Missouri?'' n es.'' sefore he met her?" c year before." e saved hi s life?" e got mixe d up \Vith th e moonsh: ners and outlaws with the Jess e Jam es gang in some way. I e the a k him for a revenue spy At anv he hav e L ed onlv for her." s nd he mad e h er is wife through gratitude more anything else?'' shakes his head. *'-h . c 1at I c3n't say, n9ri nowing. She's a likely girl, man ndght feel proud of own ing her.'' 11 looks and speaks as though he were talking of a ome horse. at is according to his ideas of woman. She should ned by her husband. re is no use trying to educate a man like this up to er standard. \Vater seeks its own level always, nor u get it to run up hill. hateve r this secret is, she fears to let him know it." laughs harshly. How it grates on my nerves. i "vVell, it would ruin h er, just." "How so?'' "The old man would cast her out, did I but whi sper m y secre t in his ca r." .. He might dema nd proof." "I could s h ow it in plenty." "She has not b ee n what a wife should be to the banker?'' O h, so far as tbat"s concerned, I reckon he ::iint had an)ithi!1g tD complain c;if, ithongh I had an idea she care d mo-r e for the son than his father. But that don't cou nt. The thing she d re ads happen ed years ago." "Teli me about it.'' "The si mple fact i s, Meta was a marrie d woman whe n she lllet t his banker. " O h my suspicion l1as proved true!" This was what I c o n ce i v ed to h e the case, and yet ne ver dare d breathe my suspicions aloud, becau se 1 had no proof. "She was married b e fore?" "Yes. sec r et!v "And yet took th e place of the banker's wif e while her fir s t hu s band was alive." "Well, she thought he was dead." "Ah! Then she believed herself a widow at the time she met him." "Exactly." "The same old sto ry told over again. Of course t11e first husband was a ra sca l." Jr e winc es '' \ Vhy do YOU a'sumc that?" O n principle t hat a bad p e nn y i s always s ure t o turn up. H e was s upposed to be d ead, but comes up smiling in tim e to ruin her dre ams of h ap piness. Y cs, it' s the sa m e old story." "Yo u s ee m to pity her." "On the contrary. I am oppose d to her, and it i s my in tention to lift the mask she wears. Aiready he kn ows she h as a s ecret, and its nature will be kno wn to him b e fore long. "lfs a matte r o f indifference to me." "Do you kn ow t;1is man?" "You m ea n h e r husband?" "The villain of the play. S u s p ecting th e truth, I score him we!!, rubbing it into th e s kin. Thi s time h e grins. "I've never m e t him face to face." ''Still. you know him." "Better than any living man." "To m Tarvis, are you that party?" The questio n is direct. He cannot evade it. "I r ec k o n I am." "You d e clare that Meta was married to you a year before she saved Blackmore's life?" I do." "And that marriage was n ever annull ed?" ''1\ e ver. "You were thought to be dead?" "Yes; they had me under ground." "That l ets her out of evil intentions, but, all tli'e same, she i s not the banker's wife." "She kno ws it. I tell you she took it hard, but there


26 THE J ESS E JAMES STORI ES. was no getting around th e facts, and s h e was bound to pay me to keep s ilent." "Is that all, Travis?" "Yes, except--" "VVhat ?" "She ha s a littl e child down in Mi ssouri." "Thunder!" child-a fine littl e girl, jus t like her "Of course, she has kept that fact a secret, too." naturally so." "Then s he must r eturn to her former life-she cannot r emain at Blackmore's. He will repudiate her." "Great Scott!" \i\That now ? .. I ask in pretende d surpri'se. "You ha ve deceived m e." "That would be a queer thing." "You t o ld me the banker was dead." "Diel I?" "That h e was murde r ed." "And yo u played right into my hands." "Death and furi es you d evil, you have made me reveal my sec r e t for nothing." "Oh, no it will answer a good purpose." "But I am ruined." "That's nothing new man. Youve been a failure all your life, I r ecko n. Ca n you p o int t o any good that ever marke d your tracks?" 'vVhat's that to you?" "1\ othing, only I want you to understand that in this ga me you've b ee n m et and outplaye d with yonr own tools yo u scoundrel." "I've a notion--,., "To do what ? '' I cry. At the s am e time I spring t ow ard him and thrust my rev olve r into his b ee Ile t urn s deadly white. "To g iv e up the whole curse d business, he finishes, in quit e a differ ent strain "That would be wise seeing that you are unabl e to do anything else ... I might m ake you considerable troubl e "Try it and see wh e r e yo u land. The best thing f o r you to d o is to r et urn to Missouri and ass um e your p osi tion as th e fath e r of Meta's child. Be a man, Tom Travis .'' "Bah! Y ot1 don't know her. She has her c laws sheathe d in v e l ve t now lik e a cat's, but thev ca n scratch once th ey come o ut. after what has occurred Meta hates m e m o re than eve r and s he'd kill me whil e I s lept. "How d id s h e eve r co m e to marry you then?'' He &Tins again. Do yo u know I've ofte n puzzl ed over that m yself. The b est I could make of it was that the girl mistook the feeling o f hate for genuine burning Love. Anyhow it so o n changed to hate. "One thing l e t m e warn you about." "Well?" "Beware of Jesse J :i.mes." He starts uneasily. "I've seen enough of him. Under his orders I've changed my looks After this I don't count as J esse [fa m es' double." "That's a wise resolution T ravis." T h e se words do not proceed from my lips. They come from behind me. Even before I turn I am aware of the pres cnc t e rribl e man in ithe ro(}m. H o w comes he here? Has he b ee n hidden near by all the time? If so, he must have h eard all that has passe can count on him as m y deadly foe, since he is champion, and. it seems to be my fat e to b e h e r e1. l t is m o re rea so n able to beli ev e that h e ha s tered by m eans of the door. I carinot remember Travis locking it and ti ability is he forgot to d o so . This complication is n o t to my hkmg. Just as the plum falls into my hand, i s it to bes; away b y an adverse fate? .' That would be cruel. Obeying the first thought that comes to 1'.1e, I d\ r evolver unde r th e table, as J esse J arnes, 111 ad v : face s us both. "Having it out, are you?" h e says, with so met sarcasm in his tone. "Trvinrr to," I r ep ly, quietly. "If yo u had obeyed me to the letter, Travis, yott have escaped this. "J hurried all I could. Besides. h o w was I t o such a visit?" with a scowl at me. W ell, we can hav e it o u t now.'' As he spea k s th e train straddles a ing hi s arms over the back. ln o n e o f these he carelessly grasps h1s r evo though intending t o u se it: lt looks as t h ough I 1rng h t b e 111 for tro uble. Will h e learn th e truth? The r e is everv indication of it. for when the Y plotte r gets it iri'to his head h e play me turn by informing, I expec t him to JUmp at the r Having it out with Jesse Jam es generally mean\ o n the moon. ,J It is coming; I f ee l it in m y b o n es. "Tr av i s, are you ready fo die?' asks the man i1 r ep utati o n "That's jus t about what h e said. No; I don' t to.give up the ship yet." ..v ''Then you've told him what he wanted to know:, Travis grinds out a s ull e n ''yes," with a glanc that has a deadiy sting. 'So much the worse f o r you, man. He m ea ns the facts against Meta." The ca t i s out of th e bag: Jesse Jam es turns to me. CHAPTER XII. ARREST THA' r :lfAN. \ \ There is the l oo k of a devil in his eye, and I fe h e mean s mi schief. Still I do not rai se the r evolve r. but ke e p it sight, believing I can get it on a lin e wit h his e quick as I w ant it. 'So thi s is the game, is v t ?" "It ha s been played and won, Jesse James ." "You have set yourself against this girl?., "Not at all. I was brought into the case to as whether the banker' s son was guilty, and f r o m one


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 27 nee ;ther, we have gone, until finally it has come to u mean to tell him her secret?" 1iil make my report," I reply, firmly. cl iat will he do then?'' u mean with her?" IS ,, er f H

28 THE J E SSE JAMES STOR I ES. "This way sergeant." The truth strikes me with appalling force, and I remember th:.rt I made an agreement with the police cap t ,ain to raid the hou s e if I did not report b y ten o'clock. I glance at my watch again. I t i s eight minutes pa st the h o ur. This accounts for the no i se. A platoon of polic e ha s enter ed the house, and th e officers are eve n now advancing along the hall. doubtless examining eac h room und e r the impress ion that I have met wi t h f oul play. Per: h ap s they expect to find my body lying in one of the rooms. Others hav e h ea rd the so und s, t oo. J esse James h o lds his h ead in a listening attitude. I am forcibly r e m i nd e d o f a deer 111 t'he woods that ha s h ea rd som e s u spic i o u s so und. Then comes that voice. It gives th e who le thing away. H e turns on m e like a wolf. "Are these your friends?" .he asks hu s kily. "They are tihe officers." Like lightning a rev olve r i s in his hand. H e turns bi s head fr o m 1 'ig-ht to l eft, lik e a stag a t bay. "Let them dare to ente r! I n eve r can forget the picture he presents as he stands thus. D esperado as h e was known to be, he does not fack certai n qualities

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 29 '.tt astoni s hes them now is the fact of his prese nce i I I . ago-a most 111 t 1e1r graEp. . d r, are like men who suddenly discover a gold mrn e _,but \\' hi c h is separa tecl from their eager hands by 1 ss. 1 'L'her I can see astounds them. n .. Tom T r avis was disguising himself at 1 :i; my a r rival, he has dropped the false beard while >LI \ :cl in the interview. < makes him resemble J esse Jame s again. I t vond e r the police stare. :{man who i s p o inted out to them as J esse Jam es tl ,wunterpart i n the party v, ho accuses 1hirn. vVhich i e \ 'y to b eiieve? i 1me s can occur i n a brief space of time. mds w o uld cover the span that has elapsed since c gnouncernent was made 1. ,ting this brief interva l Jesse Jam es has not lo s t h i s : 1 ce of mind. knows hi danger. ce in the hands of the po l ice, his goose will as l v be cooked. i h e give up tamely? er e is no need of asking the ques tion. man has never b ee n known to surrender, and he a ot n ow e the flas h of a revolve r in 'his hand. he m ea n to stand up before half-a-dozen police and e ngage in a duel? n blo o d will speedily flow. mistak e n howe ver. as alwa ys b ee n a policy with this desperate man t o 10 oo1'ish chances. 1 en a way of escape opens to him he does not mean u s 1ain and die-that is about the extent of the matter. 1 ave not been able to comprehend how a man can 'le from this room. but then my life is not in danger. at oiten opens one's eyes. sees the chance. has a desperate o ne, too but what will not a man at t \\' ho sees death bef ore him. there are windows in the room one o.f them to open. a hall. What it means I could n ever J rnt the r e 1t 1s. f turns upon this like a flash. nan see him now as be makes a leap tihrough space, lhe da r e-devil that 1he is. 'len comes a crash \\"indow, frame and aH, is carried through amid a 'ng of glass. ear a heavy fall beyond. as Jesse James paid the penalty of his rashne ss? he lie in the entry below, stunned and bleeding, 1 to fall into the hands of the officers to avoid whom i1 made this leap? captain is the first to recove r rushes to t h e smas hed window 8 o ncl all i darkness. h a cry, he snatches a lamp and thrusts his arm h the yawning opening. ining his eyes, he can see the floor of the hallway but as the light burns feebly it is o n ly faintly that make out the shattered sas h. l\ o human form is there. \Vhateve r has happene d to t'he despera 'do, Ile !has n'Oil: bee n stunned, that is sure. By this time Tom Travis has awakened to the t e r ribfte fact that hi s e n e my ha s escaped. That m ea ns much to h i m. He will not know a comfortable night again In dreams the desperado will haunt him, a nd li'is life be made a torment. He will see Jesse J am es i n every ma n who bJ. looks harder than usual at him This is his reward. Treachery generally brings it. The p o lic e officers glance at each CJ1ther. s hall be d o ne? T he d espe r ado must be followed. Here i s game too royal to be easily given up. ''Barry, climb over here." The captain gives ithe order, and althoug11 the m a n may not lik e the j o b h e dar es not disobey Clambering over the broke n windo w, he hangs bJ. h i s hands. "Drop!" D own goes the o fficer, his hea\ry s hoe s striking the broke n glass below. T he captai n 's next move is to hand him down t 'he lamp. "lf yo u see him, Barry, send a bullet home or he'll you." "Ay, ay ir." The captai n orders another man down, ancL even a third follows. Some one comes back to make a report. "He's gone, captain." "How do you know?" "Sure we found a windy open. B e l ow i s a she d. The man must ha ve sl ip ped down the roof. "That's bad A clea n fortune missed us by J ove." He looks repwachfully at m e "I'll tell you the whole story later o n captain. In the meant ime you might run this fellow in and call h im Jesse James," p ointing to the trembling Tom Travis. V1le decide to turn him loose and l e t t he wretch sh ift for himself. A new terror has laid 11old of his h ea rt. In the future he will have no tim e to go about black-mailing women. The t error that walks by night will pur ue him. The r e is nothing more to keep us he r e Under the i::aptain 's orders. the two counterfeiters have b ee n taken away. \,\Tith them goes the trunk in which I had been an un willing captive. The contents of that ve hicle of tran s p o rtation would a s t onis h Government officials whe n they came to gaze upon them. I am satisefid. On the wh o l e it ha s been a g r ea t night's .work for me, and one I shall l ong remember. The secret which I aimed to get has fallen into my pos sess ion. I can us e it as a l ever to bring happiness once more to the house of Blackmore, the banke r.


f 3.0 THE J E SSE JAMES STOR I ES ad d !Met a mus g o Since Tom Travis lives and he is he r legal husband, she has no business under the banker's roo f; he must be free d from h e r One thing I d read. T.his is the promised interview with Meta. A in tears unmans me, bu t i.t i.s a ste rn nec es sitl:y that compe ls m y seeing her. I sit and 1talk with the captai n at the station for an hour or so over a good c igar. He i s told prett y :much o f everything, 'being an old and h ied friend of mane. W hen I have done :he understan ds wh y I g ave Jesse James :that promise, nor does he blame me in the least for s o doing. 'A secre t alarm has been sounded, and the n ews is sent albroad that rt:he notorious train r obbe 1 : is eve n then in C h ic.ago. l oouJd nort: stop it, even if I would. M y promise was made to go as fa r as m orta l power oould control matters. !A:s it haippens, I d o not have any authority over poii c e ci rcles in t h e cirt:y Thus t hey consider it the i r duty to search for the 'high-p riced desperado. 1 they find b im ? 1I do not 'believe so. Jesse James has friends in tlie t i t y, and they rwill se him until .the chance comes to smuggle him o u t. Altbiou ,gh I have o nce mor e 1been face to face with the desperado, arud have had h is roevolver pointed at my h ea d, as well a < s oovered h im w i t h mine, I do not h anke r after a rep etition o f it. The next time h is finger ma!y give the trigge r a twi t ch, and the res iult prove disas 1 trou s 1 to a certain individual of my de srn:1 ipti-on. Later on I r ead o f h is do ings d own in Miss ouri, and can u ndersba n d t h e fee lings of the passe nger s in the 'trai ns h e bolds u p wi th his band of d esperate followers. W Jith this man it:o speak 'is to be o b eyed T neve r expeot t o hear of T o m Trav is a g ain, !but in a 1Way t h e n ews comes to me la:ter that h e has b ee n brought to .an acoouniting by lt:he man whose iclell'tit y h e assumed. When I bea!r the n ew s I think h e must have been a foo l to go to that courntry. I woul d avoid Missouri lik e a pestil ence if J esse James h a 1 d a gru

T HE JES S E JA MES STORnES. 3 1 ad ques:tions there. down, a.fter shaking hands, and is aibout to in me when I aniticipate him. 11 over, Mr. Blackmore." I do )'Ou mean?'' " 1 1 .an, who pl ayed the par.t of Jesse Jari1es has fled ell esse Jam es himself?" go fuly followed suit." as Travis gone without telling his secret?" ot t me for that, sir. It is really on a:ccount of the n he made me that he flies." lea fession ?" ,,, d his secre t." ncerns Meta?" 1cerns aJ.1 of yo u, but principally Meta." s a 1 .. ,, me w 1ait 1t 1s. _:. you not guess?" ier ire to broach the subjeot genr tly, so as to avoi d a nd ve tried to. The nearest I cou\.d do was to be.Jieve o st at o ne t ime have done something that made na b r le .t'O the law .. is jus1t ab o ut

3 2 T tiE JESSE Jl\MES STORIES "Back to her child, no doubt. 'rt is the only .thing she has Ieft on earth 1bo live for, and in this hour of humilia tion her thoughts will no doubt dra:w her closer to the little girl .. ,. "Y'Ou can find her?" 1 "I have no doubt of it." "Then we w i ll a'rrangc the annuity, and you shall take it 1to h e r later o n." "With pleasure, sir." "Now tell me what ha s happened to you, for I feel sure you have seen some stirring times since our las.t inter view." I am glad to see that he does not mourn after M cta lthat he has never loved her as his wife. lit makes my other 'little scheme possible of success ithe reunion of Alexander and his former wife, whom I believe to be a rndbJ.e woman. When I mention her from 1t i m c l'O time J am careful to s.peak of h e r in such a way as to arouse a decided interest 1within him He Jist e n s breathlessly to my story. It is full of interest to him. 'At its conclusion h e grasps m y hand cordially. "You have done nobly, Lawson. I am satisfied with all your work, and can truly say you have earned your pay twice over." This warms m y heart. It i s 11ice to be appreciated. I am worldly enough to feel that it is doubly pleasant to 1have a nice fat check thrus t int o one's h2nd at the same time By and by, with Bob's help, I manage to bring the long-parted couple face to face. Rebecca d oes it. Meeting Bob's father, she win s his l ove at sight, and he greets her as a daug hter. Then Lhe banker meets his forme r wife Explan2tions fol low. All that I l earn is that he has cruelly wronged her: he tells me this himself, w ith tears in his eyes. She was innocent, but would not defend her self. be cause he believed her guilty. Now she proves her innocence in an manner, and the banker is overpowered. It con:c s out as I have hoped. Two days later they are quietly niarried, and take up the skein of thei r ,Jives where the thread was -broken off years before. Later on Bob and Rebecca are united. Before that occurs I Juve mat:e a trip do,,1:11 into J\'lis soun, and have littl e difficulty in finding the perso n I seek. l\Ieta and her child are living at her moth poverty. She recognizes me somehow and looks though she fears trouble has followed her. \i\Thcn I made known my errand, and what has done, she seems overwhelmed .with his kir cnes. It is soon all arranged, and Meta can be i1 for life. I feel as though I have been engaged in a goc business, and return to Chicago in a rather frame of mind. 'While \\ithin the borders of l\l issouri I ha Ji.ttle fearful lest I shou ld run across J esse Jal whi c h ,,ou ld not be to my liking, for I remetJ he sa id about our meeting the next time as mon I !tavc no -Jc::se Ja17!es' DarcDcYil D ance ; or, B e tr

Jesse Jam:;:s. vVE W:\C th<.! first publisl1c;:s in the world to p1 int the famous stories. of the ] ames Boys, written hy th'.tt remarkab le 111a11, \V. 13. Lawsou, whose 11ame i : a watch word with our boys. vVc haYe h ad mauy imitators, and in order that no one shall be deceived in ac cepting the spurious for the real we shali issne the best stories of the James Boys, by Mr. Lawson, in a New Library entitled "The Jesse James Stories," one of our big five -cei1t libraries, and a sure winner with the boys. The first four issues are: "Jesse James, the Outlaw. A Narrative of the James Boys,'' "Jesse James' Legacy; or, The Border Cyclone," "Jesse James' Dare-Devil Dance; or, Betrayed by One of Them,"" Jesse James' Black Agents; or, The \Vild Raid at Bullion City." STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New Y 9rk... --f f ALO .. BILL STORIES The only publication authorized by the Hon. Wm. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill.) Buffalo Bill. WE were the publish-ers of the first story ever written of the fam ous and world-renowned Buffalo Bill, the great hero who s e life has been one succession of exciting and thrilling inci-dents combined with successes and accompli shments, all of which will be told in a series of grand stories which we shall now place before the American boys. The first of these stories entitled "Buffalo Bill, the Border King," appears in No. I of our new five=cent library entitled The Buf falo Bill Stories." STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York. THE best known detective in the orld is Nick Carter. Stories by th is 11oted s lett th are issued regularly in ''Nick Carter \Veekly" (price five cents), and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the patrons ancl readers of the Nick Carter Series of Detective Stories to know that these famous stories will soon be produced upon the stage;: under unusually elaborate s: Arrangements have just beeu npleted between the publishers Madager F C. Whitney _ty.. present the entir ; e set of Nick Carter stories in dramatic frj)nn. The ,,, first play of the series will be br i0ught out next fall. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New ork. DIAMOND DICK STORIES Diamond Dick. THE celebrated Diamond Dick stories only be found iti "Dia-'. mond Dick, Jr.,The Boys' Best Weekly." Diamond Dick and his son Bertie are the most unique and fascinating heroes i of Western romance. The scenes, and many of the incidents, in these exciting stories are ; taken from real life. Diamond Dick stories are conceded to be the best stories of the West. and are all copprighted by us. The library is the same size and priee as this publicatioL.r with handsome i11uminated cover. Price, five cents. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, NEW York.


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