Jesse James on the Mississippi; or, The duel at midnight

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Jesse James on the Mississippi; or, The duel at midnight

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Jesse James on the Mississippi; or, The duel at midnight
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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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
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:
028818671 ( ALEPH )
07356684 ( OCLC )
J14-00016 ( USF DOI )
j14.16 ( USF Handle )

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ORIGlftAL OF THE JAMES BOYS Issued iVeeldy By Subs"iptioll $2.50 per vea1. Entered as Second Class Malter at New York Post Office by STR F.ET & S'IITH, 238 William St., N. Y. No. 16.-Price, Five Cents. JESSE JAMES AND BIS OPPONENT STOOD THERE CALMLY AWAITING THE SIGNAL THAT MIGHT MEAN DEATH,


lfS. Of THE JAMES BOYS _j fssued 1Veekly. By Subscription $2.Jo p c year. E n tere d a s Sec01zd Class Matter at tke N. Y. Pos t Office b y STREET & SMITH, :ua W il/1itm S t. N. Y Entered according lo Act of C ongress in the year 1901, in the Office of tlu: L ibrarian of Con/[r ess, W ashing-t on JJ. C. No. l6. NE W YORK, Aug ust 2 4 1901. Price Five Cents. Jesse James on the l\iississippi: OR, THE DUEL AT MIDNIGHT. By W B. LAWSON. CHAPTER I D OW N THE MISSISSIPP'>. The good s tcamboait Arka. nsas, bound from St. Lou is to New Orleans, had a heavy l oa d of fre"ighit arnd a go od l y number of pa sse nger s aboard b ou nd for the C r es cent City. I t was jU'st a few days previous to the grand heli

/ THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Colonel Ambrros e Randolph, a connec 1 t ion o f _looked as though Jim Mullane might be a good secon:l th e Vugm1a Rando lphs. .. to the wily Jerrold. Next 1:10 him salt hi:s nephew, Ferdina nd. This about completes the circuit On his otiher hand was his niec e-a brunette, hand-The characters being introdu1 ced, i 1 t is '110W high tini e mme a s Southern girls generally are, and w ith conside1to rmg up the rnrtain. able common sense wrirntrd, some going otutside for a littJ. e wa:Jk in the cool and blacklegs mixed. nio-ht air while 1the majority oathered a t bouit the stoves A fow .among the1 m merit doser a 1 ttenition, 01s il:hey are at"'ei 1ther of :he ca:bin. "' to as.sume a pa:rt o f our story. Tl b NJ t f f v R d 1 h t h 'b 1ey ecame more smce the t n ecessari l y b y expe riernce, but t through obser vation. l Randolph was a deepl y interested J.ooke r on. Unfortunatel y he had once 'been very fond of c2.rds, and altho{1gh for many years this spir it had slnmbe red, it 1 wa s ready to break out when he thought it conquere d foreve r. His niece had retired : to her stateroom, and' knew nothing of wba1 t was going on, else her ir!.fluence rnight have h ad 9011ne re straint U1JClll the old man. . This was i n the beginning. Once he p lunged int0. the fa5c;nating game nothing short of a n emption could drarr 1 0 11111 .a:w1 ay His nephew urged him on. There were cer tain signal s that passed 1 petween this man and the gamblers, showing the existence of some p lot or agreement. The party who sat b cbwee n them at the supper tab-Jelle wiith the 1 -ather lhin face and quiet watching this by-play. He see1ned interested By and by h e ran across Jack Anderson, who was moving through the cabin. "I believe you !mow Colo,n e l Randolph," th e stranger r emarked. Jack l o o ked at him quick ly. "Yes, I d o ." "'Are V'O U interested in his welfare?" \i\!eli in a measure, yes." "I undersitand; he frowns upon yom 1 s uit ; hut h e s the uncle o f the young lad y, and that brings him closer to you." "What does all this concern you, sir?"


T H E JESSE JAMES STORIES. 3 "Not in the least; but I .thought yiou might wish to do .. The stranger's eyes gli : ttered. something the matter." "What matter?" "The colonrel is in danger of being fleeced." "Pshaw! he has played befor r e." "Not with these men." "Wirth o thers, then, just as shrewd." "Perhaps so." "Besides, he can afford to l ose a .few thousands." "Ah! they .will not S'top at that." "But the colonel will." "He has heen drinking just enough.tro heat his blood. Already he gives evidence of sticking to the board to the end." Jaick moved uneasily. "I believe that infernal nephew has had a hand in this business," he mu ttered. The other caught his words. "Your suspicions are not far wrong." "Then you know--" "There is a combination against the c'O'lonel, a pl1t to ruin him, and this is the first s tep in it." "Come, this is s erious." "He will find it so before these men a.Pe done with liim." "vVho are you, sir?" "You can call me John Smith." Evidently any other name would answer jus:t as well for him; at least Jack Anderson took it in that way. "\iVhat interest have y0u in that business?" "Tha't of common humani ty I dislike

4 THE JESSE JAM ES STORIES. The puzzled look on her face giave way to one of pain and sorrow. "He used to love me. Coan he hav e forgotten the affec tion of th e past? But, even at ithe risk of incurring }us anger, I will try to save him." She E"lided down the cabin. Jack passed out, up to the hurricane deck, where, thmngh a partly open sky lighit or transom, he could see and hear that was occm:ring below. The colonel, intenlt on his play, d < id not notice Edith's presence until she laid a hand on his arm. "Ah! good-night, child." He thought she had come to give him the usual affec tionate kiss, not thinking what a difference the presence of these men must make. Instead, she bent over and whispered something The oolonel 's face grew even redd er. "Never mind me, Edith. Go to bed, chi ld." Instea d, she repeated her entreaties. He grew angry. The liquor tha t FePd inand had pressed on him earlier in ing o cert.1taked h eap on t hi s deal, and if he sees u s covering hi s confe erates, perhaps h e may take a notion ro enter the gar also "I'll k eep him ou t." "You are armed, J ack?" "I reckon few men in the South go without a revolv these days." "That i s all right. We'll go below." They had just passed d o wn t he stairs leading to tl main deck when a shadowy figure came out from behin the smoke-stacks The darkness had concealed him and no dou1 bt th party m u st h ave overheard aJ.J that passed lbetiween th tiwo men, since he had been wi. th in five feet of

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 5 He begun to wager large sums. Those who looked on sa:w nothing wrong in the busi ness ; sometimes o ne side won and aga in the other; if the preponderance of success was in fa V'Or of the gam'blers w h y, some on e had to win. There w ere secret signal's given the gamblers, by a con federate and h1ardly a deal passed that both of them did not know exactly what the old planiter held in hand. Besides, with their feet '1-iey let each other understand what cards t h ey held. He, was at their mercy. This confedcrate might h ave pas sed unsuspected by anv one, since h e was n o ne other than the nretended whose face was oontinually frlled with shocked look while he watched t he men play. In the midst of the game, while t he colonel, with a grim that bespoke of his obstinacy, was cou111ting ou t a thousand dolhfrs from his pile to w-ager on his hand, the man who had tol d Jack he was a detective, stepped up to the \\'hiite-hairecl gambler and bending over said something in a liaw tone. Whatever it wa s the judge st ar1ted >and uttered an oa!th as he gfancecl up. His hand was half way back to his pistol pocke:t his eyes came in contact with the gleaming 01i bs of the other. Something about them seemed t o fascinate him. His cager hand fell pulseless at his s id e and all his f emci tv vanished. I:t ":as a most astonishing c hange. \Vhat cou l d have ca'Used this? phase that ordinary men were d e barre'amibler seemed to expostulate. His 111ast13r pressed 0the matter, and would . He had 1 won a round in the fight for Edith, and he r n ot gwe up plotting oousin must realize that t he fates iwere qot all in his favor. an inch. Then the juc\o-e seemed to p l ead. It was u se l ess. The la w was laid clown; h e 1111.\st obey. He glanced from Mullane to his other confederate, as though filled ith a s udd en thought .of resistance against hi fate. .. Don't do i t, j uclge I've g o t friends here, a.nd their rev o lver s are rea dy to fly out act a second's n otice. We' ll make this cahin swim in 'blood. You kn o w me." ' Yes, I know you," muttered t h e other. "Giv e it up t h en. Perhaps I 'll l et you in o n another "You' re determined?" "It's either that o r die " I a in't ready for that yet Well, if I mnst .ther e ain't any help for it" These words were spoke n in 101Y tones, so t hat no one else h eaPd. The judge arose. "Gentlemen, I am sor r y to s ay I must quit the game." "The devil eiaculated :rvtullane. "1'\'onsense. Sit down, judge. I 11t hear of it," de clared the testy colonel. "?\ evertheless, I am com pell eel to do so; I have just heard some news 1 t hat totallv unfit s me for play. You must excuse me. Perhaps some other gentleman wiJI occupy 1111y ipl ace .. :\o one offe r ed to d o so The game, wi1 th its high s hakes had as.sumed suc h a \ V ha t would he do next? Jot would on l y be a short t ime ere Edi. th must oome of age when she co uld sdec'ulars in times gone b y-the w h o l e boat trem bled under the regular pulsati o ns of her great engines. Although the clays of ra cing were pracitica lly ove r '!_t this period-happily so-still a spirit of honest rivalr1 compelled the captains of steamboats to bring their best work, and the trip was generally ma de as rap idlv as possible. J ack, walking to and, with h is knit brOJWS te! oi


6 THE JESSE Jl\M E S STORIES. deep thought, w a s sur prised t o through hi:s own. find an arm His emotions were of a singular ordera medley thoughts flashed through his mind. It was hardly lighrt enough to distinguish features, b ut. he had an idea as to whom this might be. .., "\\!ell, \vhat news no\v, John S mith ?'' he as 'kedi "I h:av, e something to tell you, Mr. Anderson." 1 The voice was that of a \Stranger. I vVho was this man ? What had he to do with the game 1 What was he about to divulge? Jack confessed to considerable impatience with respe to the matter. The stranger led the way to the extreme bow whc no one could he seen. / 14 Here, sheltered behind some freight from the co night breeze, they could talk. CHAPTER PAUL SMITH. Jaicl< Anderson was, of course, somewfiat s-ul'pr iseu ::Now explain your meaning, friend." when he realized this fact. I gave you to understand that 1:his man saved t "I have made a mistake; I thought yo u iwere arrother colonel's money because he has a personal interest i person," he S aid, hastily. the matter. To be brief, he hopes to p ossess that pi "I am here 1to speak to you about that party." 1 himself." "Ar.e y.ou t he friend he mentioned?" ;, "This is startling news." At thfs the unknown laughed. It was a peculiar cachi"There is more to follow." nation, sof t and silky. "Then continue." "Well, hardly. To tell the truth, I don't 'bdieve tha t "You believ e him to be a dete ctive?" Joh11 Smith ha:s a more bitter foe than myself." "Such was my idea-he owned uo to the fact." This fact caused the young planter new surprise. "Of course he did Now, t ell me. the truth that ma "Why do you came to me?." is no more a detective than you are." "To warn you, sir." ,-. "He deceived me, then. "Wh:at of?" -'I "As he has many a person before His life ha "You are treading on d angerous grounid." 1be e n made up of it." Like most young Southerners, Ja ck was hcfthlooded, "You know him?" and quick to resernt a fancied insult. "\i\T ell-yes. It i s pri n cipally on this account I a1 "Be careful of iwhat you say, sfr. T hat m an John on this boat mak, ing the trip to New Orleans Smith, is my friend." "Who are you?" "Had you ever met him 'before you came on boar d this The stranger laughed. sil:eamboat ?" '"John Smith stole m y thunder, and yet I desire to hav "Does that ct>nicern you?" you know the truth. Call me Ketchem." "Not at :a:II; but it affects vour welfare." "The deuce! you claim 1:0 be a detective, too?'' "Then I d on't mind telling you that I never s i aw Hie _"Yes, .I make the claim-you forced it upon him, yo gentleman until he came aboard at Vicksburg, and harl will remember. My case is different; I refe r you t not exchanged a 'Word with him until abouit an hour ago." Captain Lawrence and the first clerk of this boat as t The stranger chuckled. my iden t ity." "I -thought so." "Vv'hat may be your name?" "At the same time I cons i 1 d e r him my friend "It might be John Smith-but i t cha nces I vvas calle "Why s hould you?" Paul by my parents." "He has done :ine a service "Paul Smith?" "You are wrong." "Yes-that and n othing m ore." "In what way, sir?" "Well, thi s i s a queer thing yo u tell me. So I hav ".A:lthough you know it not the obligation was 011 his been tak e n in and clone for by a fraud. Have you an was you who did the service for him ide a vvith regard to the way in which he intends to ro "Nonsense. You saw him save the colonel." the colonel?" "That was determined on before he met you P e rh aps "I have a pretty good outline of the plan. It is a grea I might as t o nis h you by telling you why he routed the affair with some complicatio ns as you will soon learn wily judge and his forces." when it begins to develop." "Then do so." 'The result is the same as though these gamesters had "You are b ecom ing interested, Mr. And erso n." fini shed their scheme?'' "Yes, a little." "Practically-yes, only in this case the colonel's life is "I am glad of that. I want you to b e lieve me, for endangered also." unless I am mistaken I shall ne ed your as sista nc e in order "You don t mean it." to save the colonel's m o ney." ''There may be a duel fought." "Good Heavens! again?" "On board the boat?" "This time from even a m o r e p os itive danger than the "Oh! the captain will a ccom modate or else the men o ne that threatened it before." will t ake advantage of a landing at some spot where "You mystify me, sir." w ood i s taken aboard. There the traged the only thing that urges 7 he plant e r obeyed t his man on P"


f ( T.HE JESSE JAM E S STORIES. "I have an idea there i s something of r evenge about it -'the settling of some grudge that has been standing since the war." -"Ah," with a sigh hav e been far too many such debts to pay off in these year since the close of the war -far too many." "I ai;:ree with you there, for I am a Southern man myself. and fought under Joe Johnston, but I hav e faith to believe time is gradually healing all the wounds, and that we have a wonder fol future befo!c us." ''What can I do for you, Mr. Smith?'' "I will let you know later. Just now I am satisfied to have yo u believe my story. If that man seeks you again, give him no suspici on that you have learned the truth." "Your advice i s sound." "Being forewarned, yo u will be able t o see throu0h their plans and beg off when they wiant to make use of you." "Thanks to you, I shall, and at the same time report what I hear." .. Jack, I see ,,-e are going to be friends." "I like something a bout you, Paul Smith. Come into the light. and let me take a look at you." The other laughed. "vVi\lingly, my friend." They walked back to the engine, and here the lights burning permitted Jack to get a steady view of his com-panion's face. He studied it a minute. 1 Then. in an impulsive man11er, he held out his hand. ''Shake. vVe must be friends." "You sec nothing in my l ooks detrimental to my prnspects of bcinoa good fellow, eh Jack?" 1 "l like you, Paul Smith," was the reply. "Then listen to me. I know your c o ndition, and I shall make an esperial effort to -have your love affair COIT!e a s n ccess." .. Thanks-a thousand thanks!" .. :'.\lincl yon, T have no especial love for the old warhorse. He might be plucked by sharpers and welcome, for all of me: but I am especially here after the man who called himself John mith. In order to nab him I am compelled to save the colonel. Besides, I unde rstand ycur fears that the fortune of his niece may become involved, and that would be a pretty rongh thing." Jack seemed to admire the man more with each passing minute. There 1rns something about him that inspired confidence-a drawing po1Yer in his low voice and earnest manner. ''There is one thing you have neglected to tell me," he said. quietly. "What is th'.'.t ?" "The name of the man who is carrying out this bold scheme." "Ah, yes: you mean Smith." "But his tn1 e name?" "I heard him tell yon it was notorious." "Vias that the truth?'' "It is known in every town, village and hamlet along the Mississippi River-indeed, all over the country. A few admire, most men condemn, his actions; lm t he cares not what is said, going on with his law-breaking all the same; banks and express cars yield him a revenue; men fear him as they would a devil, and he rules his sub jects lik e a king." "Good Heavens, Paul Smith! there is but one man who fills 1hat bill." "Tell me his name. \i\Thisper it low, for even the walls have ears at times. Now." The young planter breathed in his ears: "Jesse James!" Smith nodded his head. "That man here?" and an expressive shrug of the shoulders ended the sentence. .Jesse James often attended the Mardi Gras carnival. Only the year before he had been in New Orleans, engaged in a plot that brought him thousands o.f dollars. "Now you understand my solicitud e," remarked the other, significantly. "Well, rather. /hat deviltry has he in view? Does he mean to make the whole of the passengers stand and deliver? T his heats holding up a train!" "Not so l o ud please, Jack. The man has frifnds on board this boat. They might hear you, and get us into a muddle right away. With regard to you r que ti o n, I don't think he has any such in tention at present, although of course there is no t elling what such a man won't aim at." "It wouldn't be worse than many things equally bold he has done in the past." "You seem to know about him." "\i\Tell, I read the papers, and they have printed many columns about the James boys. I've never met one of them before now." "And you will' probably n ever want to again, my clear fellow. They are ugly customers to handle, T can assure you." \i\Tell, remember I'm in this thing for keeps, and when you want me, call out." "I s hall do so Take my word for it, a startlin g event is o n the bills. Tlhis trin of the old Ar!w11sas will never be forgotten." ''\!\There is this man going?" "You mean Jesse Jam es?" "Yes." "To New Orleans, a nd perhaps to work a little at his trade." "Of relieving men of their money." "That's it." "Very accommodating that. He should be set do1yn as a world's benefactor." "There' a little good he's done." "\i\That's that?" "In relieving the world of a few men about as bad as himself." "That's a fact.., "There's nothing more to say, Jack." "Your last instructi ons are--?" "Possess your soul in patience, and keep your powder dry." "Very good." "Then for the present we part." A hearty handshake, and the two men thus strangely brought together separated. They promised to be great friends. Jack Anderson had received news.


T H E JESSE JA.MES STO R I E S It was of a startling character indeed, and he was not CHAPTER IV. in 111uch danger of going to sleep. f A GREAT UNFOLDED. '. At this time the James boys were in their prime, and . hardly a month passed without some account in the daily 1 While Jack was watchmg the man who had deceived paper s of a bank robbed, or a train held up, all of which h1111 so neatly, he becan:e aware o_f the fact that were laid at their door. the other was makmg a secret s1gna'1 to him. Vvho, then, traveling down the great river on a steam, Evid ently he desired to talk. boat, and learning tha.t Jesse J a.mes was aboard, could Jack: sa:w the m:an saunter down the cabm fail to be excited? mto a chair at a pomt where no one was near. The intelligence was enough to stir up the most slugThis looked like an invitation. gish blood. '" Should he accept? Ja. ck paced the deck above. Wh_at had Smith bat to keep up his His thoughts flew swiftly and furiously. acquaintance w1th the other, 1f the chance offered, Of course he was naturally endeavoring to see how learn what he could. he would be benefrted by this thing-. Now, Jack had nothing of the detective in him, and Could some adion on his part change the feeling with yet he was thrilled at the thought of hunting such great which the old war horse regarded him? game. It was possible. He was something of a sportsman in his way, and he If he valiantly defended the colonel against the lathad frequently shot panther and bear in the wild cane ter's foes, how could the soldier help regarding him. brakes of Louisiana. with feelings other than those he now entertained? This was more dangerous work. These thoughts were pleasant. R e volvers would be trumps should an encounter take They brought new cheer to his heart, which at times place here and revolvers count more than teeth and nails had been close to despair, when watching the game Fer-in a clo s e fight. dinand was evidently p.\aying, and calculating its chance While he stood there irresolute, a voice breathed close of success. to his ear : \i\ T hat strange events the near future might hold! "Why don't you go-he expects you?" 'With suoh a man as Jesse James on board, the boat Turning his head, Jack saw Paul Smith five feet away, carried a fir ebrand that m ight at any moment, given a watching the gamblers. cause, drop into .the magazine ai:id explode it. In passing he had breathed the words. Could all the pass 9ng ers on board know the truth, it They decided J1im. was doubtful whether one of them would have slept a Y es, he would acc ept the invitation, and see what Jes s e 1 wink that night. James had to say. h Forewarned is forearmed. Such appaliing stories of the James boys and t eir 11ad He knew who the other was and beli e ved h e doings had gone abroad that there were many who would en ough gumption about him to pull the wool over the expect to be murdered in cold blood in their berths, man's eyes. the steamboat scuttled, and all on board perish. As he saunter e d down to where the oth e r s tood, he It was a good thing, then, that the awful intelligence c o uld f eel hi s hea r t throb fast e r than was its wont; but was confi ned >to a few persons. his feeling of exc it e m ent he calmed. Sleep would reign .on board the Arkansas. C areles s ly h e sat d o wn. Jes s e James was re ad ing a paper he had pi c ked up, or Jack kept up his walk for some time. making preten s e of it, anyhovv. Finally he ent e red the cabin. He glanced up. A game of cards had been started, in which the judge ''I'm glad you cam e \h l e can pretend to be talking took a hand, but they played for small stakes now, and about something in this pap e r, so that ih> on e may sus muc::h of the interest that had characte'rized the former pect. ?" game was gone. At bhe same time they .gave promise of making a night of it. Jack glanced aro.und. Was Jesse Jam es on hand? He caught sight of the man, and mentally compared his form and with the descriptions he had seen printed of the outlaw of Missouri. Yes, they tallied. There could be no reasonable doubt that all Paul Smith had told him was true. The notorious train: robber was on board, bent upon one of his devilish schemes I "\i\f ell you know m y mission here-such men as those I hunt are always su s pici0us and my actions already tonight ma y have set them to watching me." "Ah! I see." "You wonder why I called you?" "I did. ''It is ea sily t oldI would like to have your assist an ce in a littie gam e I am pl aying."' "Yes." "Perhaps you may think it a strange cornbina1tion but we detectives are ac custom e d to doing things in a way to mystify others You can mark it down as all right, an y way." His a s sttrance \ V as certainly refreshing. Jack felt a cold shiver pass through his frame at the


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. thoqght of how easily he might hav e been taken in and done for, but for the warning fr01n Paul Smith. Only for that, and he might have entered into some villainous scheme, hand in glove with the notorious Jesse James, under the belief that he was serving the ends of justice in some mysterious way. "Tell me what you mean, John Smith!' "It's a long story-you mus t e{{cuse me from going into details. You think you how this old soldier pretty well?" Colonel Randolph?" "Yes. He has a:lways had th e reputation of being a of untarnished reputation!' "I never heard anything to the contrary!' "Just so. In times past his reputation was all that it seemed, but of late th e colonel, being ha.rd up, bas lent his aid to a grand scheme of fraud." "You surprise me." "I'll paralyze you, perhaps, when I giv e you the real facts of the case." "Go on-I'm: prepared." "You saw him play to-night?" "Yes "He seemed to have a large amount of money along with him.'' I know it." "And was very angry at being ba lked in his game; \ you saw that." l "That was natural, for he had already lost, and was d e ep in the excitement." One thing, I war' rant, you didn t see, or if so, paid :i.o attention to!' "\i\That was that?" "The condition of all his money." Jack frowned. 1. I don't catch on to your meaning.' "It : vas in bills." "Yes." "Nearly all tens.'' "Viel!, as nearly as I can recoJI.ect, I believe you right, but I hardly noticed it at the time." "If you had looked as closely as I did, young man, you would have made a note of something else; that every one of those ten-doHa.r bills, though mussed up \ and soiled, had t.he appearance of having come freshly l from the mint." "Perhaps--" "There can be no suppo siti o n about the matter. Those bills were counterfeit." He leaned forward and almost whispered these words; the youngplanter started. "Counterfeit! Great Scott! man, what--" "Hush! not so l o ud, Mr. Anderson, unless you would give the whole bus iness away." 'But what would you insinuate?" "K othing. I bolc\ly affirm that Colonel Ambrose .Randolph is at the h ead of the most gigantic conspiracy to defraud the government ever known in the South or \Vest." "Making bogus money?" "Exactly, and the work is so remarkably well done that it will deceive bank tellers "I am horrified." "Naturally so. The man has been above reproach all his life; his family of the best, his war recotd first-class. It's too bad, but then, you know, it's none of my business. I am hired by the law to run this set of rascals to earth, and I'm bound to do it, no matter who is hnrt." "But is there no chance that he may been deceivedthat this money has been put on him in some way?" The other shook his head. "None ait all. Randolph is at the head of the league. His arrest will break up the wlwle business. I'm sorry, but it can't be helped." "Edith!" muttered Jack. "She is only his niece. Besides, man, you see your chance has come." "Mine?" "Certainly. vY.hen her guardian is caged, she will nat urally look to you for protection, and we may soon ex pect to hear the wedding bells." Jack was astonished. How did this man know of his private affairs, ,,:nd thus make it a point to play upon them. He naturally experienced considerahJ.e astonishment at the sagacity of the individual, but could not understand how such an idea as this great cock-and-bull story concerning the counterfeit money could have come into the brain of Jesse J arnes. How should he act? The first idea was to continue his game of deceit, and allow Jesse James to rest under the belief that he jo.ined with him in his game. It could be easily done. r Jack had never been accustomed to doing such things, bUJt he found the task within his powers. So he went at it. -"We'll let that part of it pass, Mr. Smith. What I am most anxious about just now is the fact of Co.Jone! Randolph descending to the level of common criminals!' He knew this a secret dig at the man before him, and he meant it. "There ar. e .more men in thart: class than the world imagines; men who appear outwardly respectable, but in wardly are ravenous wolves and as bad as the worst ofwell, these rogues you mention." Evidently the words of the young planter had rubbed a sore spot. They forced Jesse James to show his colors. "\Vhat you say is qi1ite true, and I have more respect for the vilest thief whp does not profess to be anything else, than for one of these hypocrites. Still, it is hard to believ e that a man of the colonel's position w o uld descend so low." "It is the curse of money. He loves it, and, having lost so much in some unfortunate speculations, he ha s jumped into this game as the best means for a speedy r ecovery of his wealth." "But the danger of discovery?" "Is very small. These bills are remarka bly well ex-. ecuted, as I said before." "They are counterfeit, though?" "I'm not so sure of that!' "You called them such.'' "Because I have no other name for them; but I have


10. THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. a shrewd suspicion that when the truth is found out, they will prove to be duplicates." "\i\That do you mean?" "It's my impression that in some mysterious manner this gang has secured a set of the original pla tes used by the Government, and that these bills are just as genuine as the originals, only they come from the w.rong source." 'I see. It is astonishing." 'The question is, are you with me?" "Do you want my aid?" "I've taken a notion that way." ''I don't see any objection to joining you, on one con. clition, sir." "What is that?" "You must trust me fully." "Oh, I mean to do so!" "I will not work in the dark, obeying blindly whatever orders you mav choose to give. J e lm Smith pretei1cled to be aggrieved. "Haven't I given yciu good evidence of the trust I plac e in you by telling you about this counterfeit league?" "That is a good beginning." "You want me to keep it up?" "Yes. "\i\Tell, taken a peculiar fancy to you, my young man, and at the same time I think you can be u sefuL to my plans. "I have arranged it in a way that promises great success boat is bound for New Orleans, and we are now below Vicksburg. "Whatever is done, you understand, must be accom plished before we arrive." Jack replied that he supposed so. "Again, you realize that it is of.the utmost impoi 'tance that we prevent the colonel from destroying all evidence his crime?" "Yes-go on." "He carries all his duplicate money in a hand-satchel, which i s kept in his stateroom." "A red Russia-leather bag?" "Yes." "With a silver lock?" "Ah! vou have seen it." "Many a time. The colonel has carried it for years, and it i s about as well known along the river as he is. "Then this bag has fallen into disreputable ways, for, as I said, it is now used to carry pogus money. "Knowing these faots, I have hit upon a scheme to get possession of tflis indiscriminating valise. You know we detectives are up to all sorts of dodges in our profession, Mr. Andenon." "I S L 1ppose so." "You have for a roommate the judge. He will hardly be in hr,; berth to-night, so that you are practically master of the a1_)artrnent. "Directly next to you is the stateroom of Colonel Rand o lph and his nephew. "These rooms are meant to be thrown into one should a party desire it, and a door between serves. as a means of communication. "Now pay a ttention, M r. Anderson, an4 catc h the idea e I advance. It may seem a little odd at first, b u t w h e n hr, you have looked at it from all sid es, as I have do11e, you will grow to like it." "I've no doubt of it, quoth Jack, r ea dily "Then listen." So He had sunk his voice to almost a whi spe r, as though an fearful lest some enemy might ove rhea.r him It is singular how consci 1 cnce makes cowards of men when 1hey are engaged in a black business. They seem to to fear lest the very walls have ears to b etray them. it. Jack was in deep earnest. in He believed tha.t it would be of the utmost importa n c e hi that be should learn the particulars of the plot, for Paul Smith depended on him. Sf At the same time, he would not show this inte n s e eagerness it It might excite anew the suspicions of the man w i t h a whom h e talked. He put his feelings under control, and appeared to g show just the proper amount of interest in \\hat the other was about to say J "You know something of Co l one l Randolph 's ffery character." "He has in times oast been concerned in a number o f duels; and although of late years t his practice has fallen into disrepute, he wo uld just as readily take part in a n affair of honor t o-day, if. the occasion were forced o n him." I mean to persuade him thus ind'L1lge.'.' Jack was surprised, and did not have to assume the expression that came upcn hi s face. 'Fight a duel with Colo n e l Randolph!'' "Yes." "You must be a dead !ihot." "I an1. "'Would you kill him ?" "Oh. no! You d o n t comprehend this matter. I have a goodly number of things to tell yet." "There is more connected w ith the duel. You say yon wil-1.not kil l him. Then he wiil perfortn that kind office for ypu Jesse James laughed, as though he considered this quite a joke. 'Tm willing to take my chances," h e sa id, "particu larl y as there is no clanger.., "How i that?" "! the duel comes to pass, there will be no bullet in his re.volver. I have alread y looked after that part o f the hnsiness." 'I begin to get a scent a t the game." "Only a glimpse, though." 'You h

THE J ESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 He is at the head of this powerful gang, operaJt ingJ, This is often the true secret of success. through the whole of the Mississ ippi Valley." Jesse James had now branched out into quit e another 'You mean that they possess influence? J line. He bent forward, and whispered ho arsely : 1 He was to be a schemer. "This league controls the electio n in man y of the Already w 1 hat had been attempted proved that :he gave Southe rn States, and no man can go to Congress who promise of great success in this line. antagonizes them." He was himself pleased. "Good Heavens! is it so bad as that?" The fact of his rubbing his hands toget he r proved this "Yes, ind eed You hegin to understand what I have conclusively. to contend with here. No wonder I am slow to go about Jack desired to be instructed" as to what part h e was exit. Before I arrest that man I rnust have everything pected to play. in app l e-p i e order, and th e strongest of chains about Already 1 he had receiv e d a skeleton-like outline of the him. "In other words, yo u will n o t dare arrest him without securing that bag of m oney." "Well, when you come right down to it, that is what it amounts to. That would be positive evidence beyond all dispute." "How is it to fall into your hands while you are e n gaged 'in the duel?" '"That i s where I am going to make you useful, Mr. Anderson." "What! you mean that I am to s teal the bag while you draw th e enemy off?" "Would you object to doing it?" "It hardly se ems consistent with m y relationship towarCl the co lon el"s niece, and yet if, as you say, he is such a desperate man and engaged in such a tremendous plot against the peace of t he people. why I suppose I could enter into a game like that without losing my self-re spect." \ Vhy, I dont see how it should affect your honor, man. am an office r of the law and as suoh I cal l up o n you for assistance. A marshal o r sheriff ca n compe l all citizens to assist him in arrestin g a man. I call upon you to be mv deputy; d o you understand?" "And as I can't well resist I'll have to engage with you, Mr. Smith. You can coun t on my help. And now be kind enough to give me the full particulars as to 'Nhat I am expected t o do, as I want to make a good job oi it." Jesse James rubbed his hands together as though greatly pleased at the prospect before him. CHAPTER V. THE PLOT. The Missouri de sperado never l aid claim "to being any t hing of a diplomat. He g e nerally took things as they came, and made the most of them. \ ,\/he n he found what a s ucc ess he was making of this business-apparently-no wond er he was profoundly plea se d. A n ew field seemed to oprn up before him; und reamed of possibilities wer e spread out before him. He had usuall y done the planning for 'his gang when a bank or an express car was to be robbed. The history of t hese events proves the truth of the as se rtions that open this c hapter. They were s impl y planne-d. Much of their success from t he boldness with which they were carried out, and t he fact that his men obeyed orders to the letter. game. He wanted 1 particulars These Jesse James now supplied. "You will hav e n othing to do with the first part of the business. Leave that to me." "The duel you mean?" "Yes." '"Well, suppose you arrange it. The captain will stop the boat so that the affair can come off on some island, or better still, at a wood landing." "Yes." "Such an affair w.ill create some excitement, and most of t he passengers no doubt can be counted on to leave the b oat." "Th e field is open to you." "All that is ne<:essary for you to do is to open that door betwe e n secure the red bag and see that it falls into my hand s." "Ah! but the door." "What of it ?" "How am I to open it?" Something cold touched Jack's hand. 'i A pair of skeleton keys. "Can I us e them?" "I give you credit for being a smart man, Jack, and any one with half a mind can open that door." "Yes." "But I want to warn you about one thing, however." "\i\That's that?" "Don't forget to lock the door afte r you come out." "I will not." "I've got a bag in my vali se which is an exact dupli c ate of the colonel's. Get it and leave it in pbce of the one you take away." 'I ca n do better than that, perhaps." "How so? ' "What if. w hen a search is made, the empty bag is i s found in the <"aptain's cabin?" "That w o uld be very good, indeed. I owe him one for the way he spo k e to me. But don't take any unnecessa r y ri sks about it. "I will not." "Un.l ess you s ee your way clear, better have the bag in place of .the full one; and unfas ten the catch of t he shutter." I see-I see!" "That will take susp1c1on away from you, and make the m b elieve some outsid e r has el'ltered to take the money from t he bag." "What is the idea of l eav ing tihe empty one?" "Just this. It will hold off inquiry. Seeing what he


12. \fHE JESS E JAMES STORI ES. b e liey es to be his bag there, inta ct, the colonel may not open it for some time. Thus it gives me all the chance I want to-well, t o make further arrangements l ooking t o ward the breaking up of thi s gang." 0 f course Jack comprehended. He k l 1ew what th e other really it would giv e him a b etter c han ce to make good his escape with the b o o ty Several po ints were still mudicly..L 'Let us s uppose, teen secured, the b og us one put in it s place. 'On yo ur part, you hav e exchanged fire with the col onel, a nd sat i s fa c tion is ad mitted as b e tween honorable gentlemen. ":Now, how am I to get the spoils of the game into y our hands, and wthat will b e your course?" "Easy e n ough. After the duel I will return to the b o at, and you will let m e have m y valise. I shall pretend to leave the boat -in re a lity it i s only to sec rete the r e d bag where it can be found again when evi d e nce is ne e d e d again st these men." "Ah! very s i harp o f you!" "Then, once m o r e on the boat, I can pla n to have the colonel placed under arrest the moment we arrive at our destinati on." "And if h e find s out his loss before?" "There w ill be a great fuss made, but no trace of the money can be found on the boat." "He might take tihe a larm." "I d on't think so any rate, I shall be on board to watc h 1 him. Make up your mind, he'll never escape my eye.'-' "I b e lieve you." "\tVe11, I m a little b e fogged over one fact. How a r e you going to fix 'his r e v o lv e r so that th e re will b e no dange r of him hitting yo u ? The colonel i s a dead shot, you re1nember "He will fire, but there w ill be no bullet in his i t i s already docto r ed "Who did it?" "Ferdinand." "What his nep hew?" "Yes. "But he is not in with you. "He did it for his own protection, fearing lest his uncle might en deavor to s ho o t -him, or else com1nit suicide upon realizing his great loss." "I begin t o u nderstand. B u t, see here-another littl e t houg 1ht has come to me "Ou t with it." "The c l hanees are ten t o on e Ferdinand will be his u ncle's second in the du e l." "That 1is dead certain." "He knows the colonel's revo l ver is harmless, and what more natural than that he s hould seek to change it or sli' p in some bu l lets ?" "I !have t:hought of that. 'A few wor ds from me will open Ferdinand's eyes to the power I ho l d ov e r him lA.fterward, he will not dare to call his soul 1 his own De :pend upon it, there will be no bullets in the weapon when C olone l Randolph stands up to give and receive fire." "You are a wo n derfu l man, Jdhn Smith. .. Jack meant this, for he could not but admire the way in w hi c h the plot was conceived. Jes se Jame s chuckled at t h e compliment. "Thanks, Jack. I know my business, I r eckon. And I'm bound to break up this te r ribl e gang that 1 holds the Missis s ippi valley by the throat." "You 'll do it, John, you'll do it. I'm r ea dy to bet on you. And when bhe old colonel i s in the t o ils there's a clear field between Edi th an

q'HE JESSE JAMES STORIES. A match was all they needed tci set the magazine off, and that could be easily supplied; indeed Jesse James was ready to strike it. CHAPTER VI. THE DUEL AT JACKSON'S FERRY. The time came. vVben Jack saw the man who pretended to be a detec tive move in the direction of Colonel Randolph, he knew troubl e was at hand. Per haps the scene would be even more desperate in its nature than he had expected. w hat if blood shou ld flow in the cabin? He w .as sorry at the last moment that some other plan could not have been brought inito play, whereby the same end might have been r eac h ed. It was too late now. The time had arrived when action was to be taken. Very simple, in deed, was t he plan adopted by the Missouri outlaw. He pushed hi s way close behind the colonel and, as was natnral, the latter, who had bee n bending forward to see a play in recovering his equilibr ium again stepped on the other' s foot, purposely thrust forward for this purpose. "Confusion take you! that was my favorite corn," half howl ed the man. The colonel was a gentleman. He whirled around with the idea of apolog izing for w 1 hat 1he had done. \Vben he saw who it was he was str. icken dumb, for of all the men on board it galled him to have to say any thing in the shape of an apology to this particular indi vidual. Probably had 1 hc b ee n given time he would even 'have done so. It was not the intention of Jesse James to allow such a thing to happen. His opportunity had arnived, and he meant to im prov e it. "Why don't you apologize, you old sinne r? D on't you know you stepped on my foot? That's offense enough to bring about a rupture even b etwee n friends. Men have d1ed for less, sir." "Indeed," said !:he colonel, growing angry himself at t he offensive tone of th e other. "Do you mean t o apolo g ize, s ir or not?" "I did mean to, but that has passed. You can take the action as an impli ed ins ult or not, as you plea se." The game was stopped. Every man was on his feet now. An affair of this kind meant serious consequences on a Southern boat. l "Then I'll have satisfaction, sir." "You can, fellow." "Here in the presence of these gentlemen you have publicly insulted me." "Well?" "In their pres e nce you sliall atone for it." "I s1mply refuse to apologiz e to a fool." "Then I shall return the insult." Quick as a flash Jesse Jam es had sprung forward and brought his open palm against the cheek of the veteran. T 1 he blow was distin ctly heard all through the boat"s cabin, and men knew it must be followed by ?stirring scene. When first the co lonel stood there, one side of his fa ce white, the other, where he had been s lapp ed showing fiery red. Then, uttering a fierce imprecation, he endeavored to leap at 1 his enemy J asse J ames stood there calmly awaiting him, but hands were laicl1 upon the colonel, and he was held back. "Let me go; let me get at him. I'll teach the hound to s trike a Southern gentleman. R e l ease me, you cowards; why hold me back? cried the old man, struggling to get free. "You're an older man than he is, colonel," said one person in his ear. "And I cannot allow a brawl on board my boat, gentle men remarked the captain; "you will have to settle your differences on shore." "Settle them; yes, I am ready, eager. Will you meet me, you hound, with a revolver?" "When?" asked Jesse James, calmly, a.lth0u g h l he must have been greatly pleased to think how the game was running into his bands. "Anytime we stop; at the next wood yard," the colonel, eagerly, straining to get free from the arms that Q1eld him in check. "I agree to stan d ten paces away and empty a revolver with you. W hether dead, or wounded, or unhu1 rt that to end the affair." The colonel laughed grimly. "Very good. We'll consider that settled. and you may be surfi both of ns will not leave the spot alive." "We shall see; I am no poor shot even if I have t@ fight by torch light," responded th e other. "Captain !" "Here, Colonel Randolph." "\tY.hen do yo u make your next landing?'' "About an hour from now." "Where .is it?" "Only our regular stopping place for wood; a sma ll land ing known as Jackson's Ferry." "How long will yo u remain there?" "Abou t three-quarters of an hour, as we must take on enough wood to se e us t brough. "Ample time, sir. Have you a spade on board?" "A spade? I expect we could find one, colonel. But what in the deuce do you want with it?" "To dig this man 's grave." J ess e James laughed. "I r eckon they better measure yo u for it colonel," he said with perfect sang-froid. Evidently t h e words of the colo nel had not made the imp ressi-on expected. He sauntered away. The passengers were excited. A duel! Many of t i hem hacL n eve r w itnessed such an affair in their liv es. The peculiar circum s tance s attending the case added piquan cy to it. A duel by torchlight might be set down as something her etofo re unheard of.


1 4 THE J ES S E J AMES STOR I ES. The conversation becam e w h o lly of the coming event, ,. contained no bullets went toward making him so careless; and each side seemed to have its advocates, one claiming' "but it was his nature, anyhow. that the co l o nel was right and the oti1er that he sho ul

) I doen a,ave been ficOO m t hat he s h oo ld me e t hi e nd in :h: the se du elist way, so be it. I -I' J Nearl y all o f them thought this sa me way, although the colonel was something o f a .fatalist in his belief, they ma y n ot have expres ed themse l ves. and wit h him what wa s to

b THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. J J<.1Tics \\as more deliberate, knowing the true stat e of affairs so well. A'lthough Randolph had fired point 1 blank at the heart of his advensary, he was astonis hed not to see any res.ult ensue Withou1t stopping to wonder how 1t was he haid made a miss, he pumping out shots. The other had also started to work. A bullet whistled passed the colonel's eaT. 'Then a sec ond cu.t a leaf off just ahove his head. It seemed like hot work. The revolvers kept up a continual rattle for the space of 11e:.!rly half a minu1:e. Those who looked 0'11 expecbed to see one or bo1:h of the duelists drop. They were r almost su re that this mu:it c ome to pass: vV hile the exchange of shots was taking phce, they fairly held their breath, such was the intense interes r t they had 111 the game. All was over. Six shots had ibeen fired on either side. Still the two men stood there, each holding a smoking rev o l .ver in his hand. The spocta 1 tors were astounde d. Gou ld it be possible that 1 they had passed through this hot fire '1.mscathedr? The 1::olonrel could hardly believe his s enses. He had heard the buHets whistling about his head in a manner that brought back o ld war scenes. This convinced him of one thi ng. The revolvers must have been well l oaded, for he had no suspicion hurt :th:ait the same thing had happened to his oppone1'1t. Then why was there no result? Could the weird light thrown upon the scene by the torches have blind1e' d them both so that their shot s went wide of the mark? -This seemed to lbe 1 the only plausible explanation of the strange event. It was a remarkable affiair. J'heiT h onor was cleared a;t any rate. Colone l R:andolph stood there, but his opponent walked up to him. "Colonel, are you s atisfied ?" "Are you, sir?" Hi'S martner impli0ed that he only needed encouragement to load up again and try it over. "Perfeotly." "Then I suppose tha1t ends it, we have carried o ut the exact terms of our contract; but I shall always wonder haw I con-Id ever have missed putting a bullet in your heart." Berhaps he was a little suspicious. "It must have been the peculiar light, co l onel," sug gested some one. The colonel snorted in Taking a visting card from his pocket, he stepped over and pinned it to a tree about :the same di.stance a:wa_v as his opponent had stood. Then he rep l aced the empty s h ells in his revolver with loaded cartridges taken from his pocket. "We'll soon test that theory." The revo lv er lb lazed forth. "Dead centre!,. called out a man. Ano ther shot. "Chipped the card." A third mport. "Close to the centre." "Enough, ge111tlemen. It 1will a lways be a m y stery to me how I mis sed a man at 1that d 1 is.tanoe, not even wing ing him Dut of six shots," said Hie colonel, scowling at his fate opponent. J ess e James laughed. He could meet the emergency. The game was apparently going his way. "It makes quite a difference, colonel, whether you are firing at a mark or a man. Look at my own experience. I missed you c l ean. Fasten up another caro on the it:ree beyond the o n e yoms is arttachecl to." Drnwing another r evolve r Jesse James fired thr ee shots in raoid su1:ces sio;L He haTdly seemed to aim at all, and yet, when one of the amazed spectators brought the card u.p, it was found it:hat ev ery ibullet had strnck the bit of pasteboard near the oentre As they expressed their :astonishment Jesse James chuickl ed au dibly. ''I t onl y goes to sh o w that the best of us will become mttlred under oe11tain circumstances. We can both depend on our shooting when a mark attention, but when facing each other the result i s entirely different." 1 No one could dispute this point. 1 Colonel Randolph, howev er, shopk h1s head as though f the matter remained far from being dear to his. mind. He oould not gm it 1through his head how he had met w ith such poor suocess. 1 The truth did not strike him, but he imaginred hi s ad versary must wear some protecting garment, such a s a shirt o.f mail. Tha1t might in a measure account for the singufar phenomenon, though it musrt ever be a mystery. The clear ed. 1 No one could oall either a coward after this. The colonel sought no means of continuing the affair :but at the same time he would not accept it:he other's_ hand, nor look upon him in the light of a friend. I t was ev ident that the affair burned deeper in his heart than he would have been willing to have admitted. They walked back to the landing. The fu s illa de had been heard 1 by the negroes and sus:: a pecting the truth, they would hav e rushed to the scene in a -body on l y for :the mate, who kept them at their work. When the party crame in sight, all eyes were eagerly turned upon them. Of c ourse, those who were 1gnomnt of the facts of the 1 case could not tell whe ther any one had been l eft on the ground or n ot. D The captain showed surpr.ise at sight of bath men, alive, and apparently untouched. He had mad;e sure that his passenger list w:as to be de creased by two. One o{ the s pecbators started to give him th e particu lars of the strange affair. He lis tened eageny.


THE ,JESSE JAMES STORIES. V\Then, in conclusion, he heard how each man had made u c h remarkabl1 e shots at a visiting card after the affair, he was just as badly rattled as any of them to account for the truth. "Perhaps there were no < bullets in i the weapons," he suggested. "Ah! you wouldn't say th a 1 t if yon had !>tood in the place I occupied. I h ea rd them whistle past, and sa,w a leaf c ut off above the colonel's head," returned the pas senger, who had happened to be the closest to Randolph during the stmnge duel. "'Then I give it really remarkable affair. Indeed, I wish all such could come out as bloodless. I don't fancy this d.uelio," said the !>teamboat captain. "Are we n early rea d y to start?" In about fiv e minu tes or so." The mate was hurrying up the deckhands, and nearly: all o f the wood had been pl.aced on board. Many hands made light work. The passengers, gathered u1 a group, w e re discussing he scene upon which they had so recently gazed It would form a theme for speculation for a long time o come. Who had ever seen the like? The blazing torches, the Spanish moss hanging from he trees in festoons, the two men standing face to face nd firing rapidl y-'Ctll thes1e thiQgs had been stamped pon their memory indelibly, and they would often in the fu:ture speak of the event as the mos1t singufar in all their The colonel, upon r eachi ng the steamboa:t, called hi.s pephew to him. "Ferdinand., yo u examined my rev olver?" The young man seemed to nerve himself for an ordeal. "1 did," he replied. "\Vas it in good oondition ?" Yes, sir." "Then I am more amazed than ever. Really, I must e g-rowing old. Miss a man a:t ten paces, and with six hots! Heavens I ooul d have s worn to have downed irn in the dark." The icolonel shook hi s head. He began to f.ear that age was creeping upon him nand ver hand, and that hi s dueling clays had better be ncirn ered with the p ast. As for Ferdi1ianc!. he had li ed He l o new the r evol ver had n o bullets jn but dc:tred a t br, ea the this fact to a Ii ving soul, for J esse Jam es bad aken the liberty of whis.pering a fe.w wGrds in his ;ar. Vlhartever they w'.:re they had a magica.J effect, and Ferdinand held his peace. Perhaps he did no t folly understand the affai:-, and hay have expected to see his uncle drop in the duel. This would have served his ends in one way, for the lone! was more tr-cmblc to him than he would ha ve red to admit. the duel ended, and no one was hurt, Ferdin:md as stiH more greatly puzzJ.ed, but he had reoeived his e. It would have cost him his lif e to have betrayed the cret. "All aboa:icl." The wood had ibeen taken in, anid they could now pro ceed on their way. Excitement had run high, it was all over now, ancl for the remainder of the trip the passengers 1 would have plenty to talk a.bout. After such a scene they could play no more. Jit would seem roo itame. The du e l had :taken place just :before and when the Arkansas had backed out of her berth she was soon steaming down the current of rthe mighty Missis sippi. A shadow of a once glorious moon pe .eped in over the eastern shore. It looked like a ghost 1at a feast, and came up so slowly that one could easily believe fair Luna wais ashamed to be caught in such a fix. The effect, h a wever, was supenb. Across the s wirling water the pale gleam of soft moonbeams fell making a s ilvery road. An u .p-river steamboat passed rthroug-h this 1broad lane of light, and looked like a phaJ11to1111 boat. Her deep-throated whistle was answered from the 'Arkan.Sas and then each fade d from view. A light fog seemed to come wi


18 THE JES SE JAMES STORfES. Bein g a n 'amateur at tlie art, his fir s t fow a t t e m p ts w e re failur es. Instead o f g i ving up he oril y worke d the h a rder. A sharp turn of the 1 wri s t and h e h a d 'bwi ste d the k e y in t he l oc k. Kothing n o w prevente d h im fro m open i n g
.nkful. Ag-ain the doo r w as d ose d and foc ked What next? At his fee t l ay the reel 'bag giv e n him b y the M issouri tra in robber; a l so t h e v ali se into w hi c h i t so nea t l y fitte d Sho uld h e place the m oney i n t his? T o do so w o uld b e v e r y pl easant to J esse J ames n o

THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. 19 Jack pass ed out into the cabin. N ot a soul was in s ight. Belo w c ould lbe h eard th e t u n e ful voic e of the m ate sw ea r ing a t his hands, a nd t h e stea d y n o i se a s the bill e ts of wood descende d That wa s a ll. J ad: thrust the b row n v alise in th e c orner w h er-e he had b e en dir ect ed t o l eave it. The n h e p asse d out s i de. P a u l w as a m ong the r etu rn e d spect ators. H e c am e direc H y t o t h e s pot wh e r e J ac k a wa:ited him, 1 a c c ording t o prev i o u s arran g e ment. \i\Th e n h e s i g h t e d the yo un g pl a nt e r h e laughed in his o w n qui e t way. T ac k t o ld the d e tective of hi s s uccess P a ul rubbe d hi s h a n ds togethe r. H e s ee m ed imm e n sely pl e a s ed. "And t he m o n e y J ack?" "Here vo u a r e." T he detective r eceive d the package ''Jo v e quite a lit t l e wad o f it eh?" L T oo much t o fall i n to t h e 'hands o f a fre eboote r like J esse J a m es," r e plied J ack. P a ul secreted the m c ney. "He's a foo l if h e doesn't t h in k the world o f y o u after what you' ve d o n e "The n yo u b elie ve h e will loo!,< a t i t 111 that light ?" asked Jack, e agerl y A vi s i o n o f b eauty came b efor e hi m. Edith! If h e gain e d t'he fav o r of the co l o n el a ll oppos i t ion to the ir unio n vani s h ed. "In abou t hal.f an h our or so I w ill j oin you he r e an d we will t a lk it over again." "Goo d ." The d e t e ctive s l i pped away. Undo ubt e d l y hi s design was to have a n i nte r v i ew with the colon el. Jac k r emaine d the r e, l oo k ing out on the moo nlig iht flood. The steamboa t surged o nward, the mon o tonous puff, puff o f th e s team fro m the high-pressure pipes, and the whi rl ing o f her whee l being the on l y s o u n ds tha t could b e h eard. F ro m this reverie t h e young p l ante r was aro used b y fe eling s om e one t o uch his arm. CHA PTER IX. "I'll see that i t falls in t o t h e proper hands," l he re -. 1 quiet y ACCUSE D BY. J ESS E JAMES ' H o w about t h e du e l?" 1 Jac k w as n aturally a n x i o u s t o h ear a ll abou t thi s s ingula r a ffai r Befor e an s w e ring, th e d e t ect i ve wa s oblige d to give free p lay to his f ee l ings in a l augh that see m e d to co m e 5 up fro m 'hi s boots. "It was th e most astoni s hin g s ight that ev e r f e ll to m y l o t ," he decla r e d. T h e n in r espo n se t o the entre a t i es of h is young friend, h e b riefh narra t e d what h a d occ mred. } To all of whi c h J ac k listene d e:ige rl y \i\l'h e n the s t o r y w as d o n e h e f e l t c on s tra i n e d t o laugh l s o It did see m ri d i c ul o u s : the i dea o f tw o m e n bla zing w a Y a t e a ch oth e r six t im es, at o nl y t e n paces, and not rin. gin g a sc ratc h. T o tho se wh o we r e not i n th e secret, t'he affair m u s t eem e v e n more strange I vould have g ive n so m e thin g t o have s e e n t'hat duel, a u l." ' I m sor r y you d i d n o t ; but at th e s ame t ime you've on e a good se rv ice by r e m aining on b oard-o n e that c ur fri end w ill a p p r eciate I'm sure, wh e n h e g l ances at hat p ac ka ge "You m ean J esse J a m es?" r "Ye s. " I m onl y f ea rful th a t he may inve stiga te t o o far, and 11 i s c o v e r the fraud. 'There i s a c ha nc e o f t h at, I admit, b u t onl y o : ne in n " Y D u mean to h and thi s m o n e y ove r t o Cofone] RanoJ.p h soon? "To-night." "And will y o u t ell him abo u t m v part in it?" "He shall know all." r:ll I won der how h e will take it?" P aul gave a grunt. Jack t u rned. H e h a d n o t th e l ea s t doubt in the worl d but t h'at he w ould find h im se lf face to face with J es s e James. Under t h es e cirumstanc es, he made a great effor t to keep hi s fac e straight n ot meaning to betray h i mself in that manner. T o hi s g r eat surpri se, it was an entir ely different i n di v idu a l who stood t h ere. The judge! J ac,:k kn ew the o l d gambl e r to s peak to, but that wa s the furthes t the ir acquainta nce went. He wonde r e d n ow what the man wanted. As the moonlight f e ll upon his fa c e, Ja;k saw a n express i o n o f g r ea t cunning the re. "Mr. Ande r s on, you did not attend t h e due l ?" he sa id, in hi s s u av e way. ''No s ir "ObJect to su c h s ce ne s ?" ".N'o t particul arl y ." "Oth e r fis h to fry eh ?" Jack c o l o r e d but bein g in h i s ow n shadow, thi s aid not g i ve him away P erhaps." "Yo u mi sse d a stran g e sigh t, s i r." ' B y th e w ay judge if I r emember co r r ect l y, y ou were n o t o n e o f thos e I saw r eturning." A t thi s th e gambl e r chuck l e d I th o u ght o f going at first, and the n c onclude d I had b ette r s tay a : w a y." "I see "Both of the m e n inv o lved have someth ing o f a sp i t e a g ain s t m e and a s bullets w ere going to fly about p ro mi s c u o u s l y I w a s afraid one of them mi g h t t h i n k I m a de a goo d mark, D r h aving shot h is man c o nclude to mak e a c omDle t e i o b of it." judge : your wi sdom is asitonishi ng." S o I con clu ded t o remain o n the bG>ait."


20 T H E JESS E JAMES STO RIES. "Yes." "And go to bed." "What?" "Retire to my bunk." Jack stared at him. A dim suspicion of the truth had flashed into his mind j ust then. "Yon did that?'' "Before they got off." "You and I have the same room." "Yes." "See here judge, were you in your bunk when I en t ered a little while ago?" This was putting it to the touch. The judge answered promptly; "I was "In the upper berth?" "Yes." Asleep?" "Partly, at first." "You wat c h e d m e ?" The judge laughed. I couldn't do otherwise." "What did you think?" "T,hat it wias the queerest thing I had ever seen a young g entleman like you do ." Jack had recov e r ed. He was hims elf once more and equa l to the emergency. "That happened because you were not in the game. See here, judge, you are a gamb.Jer by profe ssi on, but you've never be en i n with thieves." "Never, sir." "There is one .man aboard this boat however the prince of robb e r s who seems t o have some sort of a hold ov e r you." "Con fusion! You know this?" "That man is J esse James ." The judge's coontenance was a study. H e seem e d a l armed. "How do know this?" he stammered. Alrea dy the tabl e s had turned, and it was }9-ck who turne d the thumb-screws. "Never mind; I know all about it, e ven to the fac t that th e duel was to be a blood l ess one b eca use the cart r idg e s in the colonel's revolver were blanks." "You do!l't s ay ?" "Now, you must unders tand, judge, that I am working the d etect i ve bu s ine ss What yo u sa w m e do was on ly a portion of a scheme arranged between my part n e r and m yse lf to deceive J ess e Jam es. He is after the colonel's money, as you may have already suspected." "Go on "You are interest ed?' "Decidedly so." "You hate tha:t man yourself?" "I do, indeed !" "Then I ne e d not fear your betraying me. H would be poor policy o n your part, and certain to get you into trouble, because we already know you were in a plot w ith Ferdinand to clean the colonel o u t "Onl y in a legitimate way, M r Anderson," has tily dedared th e gambler; I rob no man." 'Thait is how you chance to l oo k at it At any as you have by a strange c hance seen part o f my actions, I mean to trust yo u that far." "Wa s that the detectiv e who just left you?" 1 ack hesitated. "Yes," he finaJl y admitted. "Is his nam e Paul Smith?" "You know him?" I thought I r ecognized him So he is on the track of J esse J arncs? The man is in clanger when s uch a sha r p officer foJJows the trail. I rather reckon J ess e wiJJ go back in ir o ns." "I hardl y b elieve so. "Eh?" "Because Paul declares hi s mission i s n ot to arrest the outlaw." "Th e n why does he follow him?" "I don't know. It has something to do with a sec ret betwe en them. That is hi s affair, n o t mine T ust at present our busine ss i s to thwart hi s plans regarding the colon e l 's money." At this the gambl e r laughed. "Well, yo un g man, if wha t I saw v as any criterion from which to judge, I r eckon yo u are in a fair way to reali ze vou r ambition." " i s eve n n ow on it s way to the col o nel and the bogus packag-e yo u saw me make up has, no doubt, fallen into the outlaw's hands." "vVhen does the final r oundup take place?" "Excu se me but I do n ot know, nor would I feel as th o ugh I w as doing the right thing t o t ell you, even if I did. Paul Smit h wiJJ shape hi s own plans and bring success." ''Well, I'm g lad I spoke about it. I was mighty curi ous to know what it all m eant. I wo nd e r my eyes didn't pop o ut watching you." "The greatest wonder to me is that I failed to see you at all. I must have been greatly engrossed in my work." "You were, indeed, and in a hurry, too. Now, Mr. Anderson, yo u needn't be afraid that I will betra y you.' There's no iJ11terest for me to do it. On the contrary, my side i s your side-there's something between that man and me which k eeps us always from being friends." "Very good,' judge. Say n o more about it, but kee p a s till tongue, and watc h You may ye t see something come about quite a s inter esting as the s ingu lar duel." "I'll keep my weather eye ope n, sir. Meanwhile, silence i s the word." With that the judge mov ed off. "Next," muttered Jac k It was as t h o u g h h e we r e r eceiving, and visitors stood i n line awaiting his pl easure. Hardly had the gambler faded fr o m view down the haz y deck, than another figure loom e d up. He expected that J ess, e James would be a l ong, a n d glancing at this party as he dre w n e ar, recognize d t he gait of th e man from Missou ri Now th e r e was a part to play. If th e o ther did n o t already suspect the trick that had been palm ed off o n him, he could be eas ily hoodwi n ked. On the co ntrary, if he had discove red the real contents of the packa ge h e ,Jielcl in his bag, trouble rested in th e air. He would soo n know the w o rst. 11 t:


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 21 s, His revolver was handy in case it came to a termina Jn between this man a;.d hims elf J ::ck did not hanker after such an engagement, knowg the other' s prowess by reputation; but he was a iung man who takes things as they come and make the of them. He believed that certain s igns would t ell him what e condition of the other s mind w as-the manner of s approac;p, for instance. J udgi11g from this then, Jesse James idq( t 'he just l eave you?'' "Yes." "I failed to notice him among the spectators." "Nor was he there. It was another party fr-om whom had the facts." "Then you know the judge?" "Slightly. I care to have little to do with him; but n a steamboat voyage all passengers have to be more iendly than o n sho!'e." "That' s a fact. Did t'he juclg e have any particular usines s with you ?" Wh y did he harp upon this sulbject? Could he s u spect? Jack failed to see hmv, but it occu.rred to him th a t erhaps he had better tell what really 1bmught the ambler to his side. "Yes-busin ess that concerned hot' h of us." "Ah, yes, what was it?" "You found that I had succ eeded?" "You made a magnificent job of it, Ja ck. Great edit is due you." I had no trouble. Thanks to you r preparati o n rerything went off as we expected, and in the course i time I managed to bring order out of chaos. I don t the colonel has yet di scovered his l oss." "No ireason he shoul d," d eclared the other, Jack ;oug'ht with rather significant emphasis. "Unless his suspicions were aroused in some way." "Yes, unless his suspicions !\Vere arou sed." "And he examines int io matters beyond a superfic ial lance, yo u know'." "Some people have a faculty fo1 that--,refusing to lieve in outside ap!}earances." Again that strange thrill shot over Jack's frame a t 1 e words of hi1s companion. Was there a oov ert threat beneath them? He could not tell. J esse James was an enigm a to bim. He seemed to be wearing a mask. 'What lay under it? I In ocd" keop the ball

THE JAMES "If you will have it what p iossessed yo u to hid e the Jack spoke in a tone of disgust. counterieit money you found in the colonel's red bag, iii He seemed to be h eartily sick of the w hole business, dt and place a dummy package in m y satchel?" and Jesse Jam es, looking at him as well as he could in n the moonlight, could not detect any insinc e rity in his manner. CHAPTER X. THlt SECOND 'l'IME WILL The cat was out of the bag-. No longer could he doubt what the actions of this man might mean. He kneiw more than Jack had meant should come to his knowledge. His words about s-0me people who are never satis fied with outside appearances, meant himself in par eticular. He had opened the package. No sooner was this clone than the >vhole thing Jay before him. He could see what a hollow mockery it was, and now h e was seeking an explanation. What should Jack say? It was indeed fortunate that instead of being con fused and all broken up by the sudden disclosure, Jack's thoughts seemed to fly like lightning. He formed his plan of action instantly. Upon his face was a look of surprise. "Say that again, John Smith." The other repeated his words as well as he could. "Do you mean that?" "Yes. Explain yourself." "I am Do you mean you opened the package?" "I did." "And it contained--'' "A' lot of waste paper, with a bill neatly tied on either side. Then the whole thing was tied up in a newspaper wrapping, in which a hole 'Was torn on either end to show the bill and make one believe the whole package consisted of money." "Conf usion !" "Did you make that package?" "Y, es." j i '. .... -"Ah! I knew it must be so, but natl an idea you would deny it." "vVhy should I wlien it was a part o f my plan." "Part of your plan, eh?" "Yes, and I considered it the best of all but I mu s t have mixeq up the bags." "How could ym1 do i.t?" "I. marked one of the bags with a postage stamp." "A clever idea." "Very, and then I must have forgotten which one I marked. I thought it was yours, but it begins to look as though it must have been the co.\onel's." "'\i\! ell, about the package?" "'When I saw that the colonel had his money tied up in a package, I thought it would be a splendid idea to l eave a dummy with him." "Then, if he to look in his bag, he would be lieve everything was secure. "I m ad e up that pack e t in a hurry using two from m y own pocket to finish it off, and here the who'le bus iness has faflen through." His manner was so sincere that it served to convince i the other. r e Although a good reader of hum' anity, Jesse James was t i far from being infallible, and he fell by t he waysid e now. 1 He believed Jack m ea n t what he said. I "Nonsense, don't be disheartened aver one little slip 1 like that, friend Jack." 1 Jack brightened up. To see the look of eager anticipation that came over his face one would think a new hope had been kindled in his breast. t "Tlhen my foolis h mistake does not end the game for you?" The man whose past was filled with varied adventures 0 looked Jack in the iace as he said, slowly: "I never was known to give up a thing while a ray of hope remain ed ." I can well believe it, from what I have seen of your aJ character." h "Remember, the next time we are bound to carry the day, and woe to the man w ho stands between me and that which I covet!" His manne r was tigeri s h. v Jack again felt that cold chill come over him, as a though a lump of ice dropped down his back. W o uld he ever stand before this terrible man a s a mor tal foe, and shoot froi;n t : he hip as a m ea ns of ending the 11 game? It was not a pleasant prospect to face. Then came the thought of Paul Smith, and once more g his mind was at ease. The detective would r e lieve him from all the d a nger b emanating from such a source. a H e bent his energies t oward probing the matter, and learning m o re of the other's plans. Jesse James was not ready to speak in detail of fhese 0 a s yet. He agreed to meet Jack an hour later at the same spot, when he would disclose his new plan for gaining possession of the monev that thus far h ad e luded his T2SD. Thus they separate d Tack waited. Vv as his recepti o n over? It seemed that h e must be holding a leve e by the way the oth e rs flo c ked to co n fer with him. No one else appeared. .The time passed. He entered the cabin, to find a f e w of the passengers still l ou ngin g abo ut. AlthC?ug-h i t was p ast the hour of midni g ht, they 1nd not retire d. The reason was obvious. As th e Arkansas could only give stateroom accommo dations to a certain number. and there was quit e a crowd 011 board, some of the men had b ee n left in the matter of berths . One or' two were wise enough to stretch out on sofas, \


THE JESSE J J\MES STORI ES. 23 d just at present seemed to be enjoying a half-way det sleep. Othe r s sat in easy-drnirs. They could doz e h e r e if they lik e d. Jack sat clown. H e wa s feeling tired him self, and, had th e c um stances b ee n indulgent, would hav e been glad to ire to his btmk ancl s leep. The minutes passed. Paul Smith did not appear. Twic e Jack saw J esse James enter the cabin. T h e man s m anner would indicat e that he vvas engaged some weighty busi ne ss Whateve r he was up to, Jac k realiz ed that he h ad gone to it heart and soul. There could be no denying this. Once, seei n g the ymmg. planter watching him he dded his head and smiled. This w as as much a s saying that all was well. \'Vhat eve r h e busied himself about wa s in a fair way r eceiving attention. .. The boat was making good time, and there ,seem e d a ir pros p ec t oi her rea ching the Crescent City within ir tv hours. Stich a n h onr he had never s pent. It seemed drar w n o u t ',ove r ten Not that he fou!'lcl anythin g to worry a b out, bnt there a s muc'h l eft undone, and h e was anxio u s for the c risis come. What ha d th e detective s aid to Randolph? \ Voulcl th e co l o n e l b e disposed t o lo o k more kindly p o n him after this? The thought gave him satisfactio n, not because he had n y oTeat liking for the ex-so ldi e r, but it was as Edith's u artlia n h e t hought of h!m. V./ as s h e n eare r to him? The young man co uld not regret his night's work, if it rought him closer to the object whic h h e had se t d o\Yn s the o n e desire of his lif e It w as dra;wing-_ near rthe time. He n erved hin15eff to m eet the emerge ncy al\cl p ass ver the danger lin e. Beyond la y the harbor. Jack again looked at his watch, and h ea v e d a sig!1 of r eat r elief. 'The time at l9st ri sing, he l eft the cabin. ; .. -CHAPTER XI. COLONEL R \ NDOLPH HEARS NEWS. \V: he n Paul S mith left his confederate i t was with the in te nti on !i seeking Co lonel Randolph. H e had a long s t ory to t<:ll. No doubt the military 1:1an wot1ld b e tre m e nd o u:;l:,r to see what h e l1ad passed through. and learn of the clanger s till thrcatenin;; him. It was the detectiw's idea to w ork in a good word for Jack whenever he co111c: do so with out appearing to d.) so intentionally. He looked around for his man. The col one l had retired to his room. Ferdinand was iii t h e cabin and t'he detective saw that he undoubte dl y m eant t:o v emain there for some time to come. He k!le\ \ the nnmber of the room the uncle a n d n ep liew occupied in common. It adjoined Jack's. \ V h e n l w approached it he sa w th e key in the lock This was proot enough of it s b eing o c cupied. Most men hav e been tim'id about entering an other person's state r oo m uninvited, but Pant Smith wa s not. He open e d the door and s t e pp e d in. A lamp wa s turned down. The colonel hacl r e m ove d hi s s hoes and outer clothes and tumbled into the l o w er be rth. "That yo u Ferd?'' he mutte red, eonsciot1s that some one had entered "Col o n e l it i sn't Ferdinand." At this Rando lph rolled around. '"W h o th e1 deuce are yo u, and \\'hat d'ye want here?" h e demande d fie rcely. ''Col o nel I h ave sought yo u to you son1e of m ost astonishing things you ever "Bah! g e t o ut and l et ine s l ee p. "Th ey co nc ern your w e lfare." "N o n se nse." "I ca n explain wh y you failed to your man the r ecenp blo o dless duel." A t this t h e colonel sat upright, his h ead jus t touching the b erth above. 'Now you're talking. I m ready t o bear that." The d e tective had felt sure all along that he coul d r eac h th e oth e r when he wishe d. Such things did not worry him. There was always a wa y with him. ''In the fir s t place, colonel; l et us prove to you who I am.:'. he s aid. I d o n t care a cent about that; only te ll me what f wanrt b o kn o w and vlQu ma v be the Old Nick himself all of me." I t s ui.ts m y purpose to prove my ident i ty first, and 1 r efuse to speak until that h as be e n dlQne." "Oh very well," carelessly, Co l o nel Rando lph had b eg un to realize that he was in contact with a m a n who had a will of his own. \N'h e n h e learn e d that his visitor was a detective, his in t erest g r ew apace. As Paul co n t inu ed t o spea k and t o )d of th e st range thi n gs that happened o n board the Arkansas, the col oneJ'.s eyes opened wider. There was no trace of sleep in t:hem n ow. H e had nev e r been m o r e thoroughly awake 111 all b i s lif e Paul kept b ac k noth ing. He desired the other to know all that had taken p l ace, eve n t o the dark plan of Ferdinand. When he c ame to the p o int where the identity of his rival in th e duel \.\1as declar ed, the colonel receive d qu i te a shock. J esse Ja mes, you say?" he gaspe d 'No other." "And I have met that notorious m a n in a dueJ.,?" "That is so, and you mig-ht have .Jlon e dt>w n with a &ul ..


24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. let in your brain but that he had it all arranged differ enllv." "Go on with your wonderful stoty." "You are following me?" "To the letter." "Do you believe all I say?" "It sound1s in c redible, but circumstances force me to accept it all." "Very godd." Paul continued his story. T he colonel's interest did not flag. There was enough to occupy his attention in t"he recital. Nor did Paul forget Jack. The colonel reached back in the berth and d r ew the small red hand&ag toward him "You see, it seems to be in perfect condition." "Yes. Open it, colonel." With a key the other did so. T1hen he tumbled the contents out upon t h e berth, and :uttered an exclamation "Mis'Smg, eh?" "Ever dollar of it." '. "Just as I told you." .The colonel looked am .. "ious. "I am glad to remember that you said my money was safe," he said. "Did I state so?" "You certainly did, man." "Now, colonel do you know exact ly liow much you had in that package?" "I can show you the figures in a minute. See, here is the or iginal I :took out ithis aanou nt, and iit: le-ft ex actly eleven thou'Sand t hree hundred." "Rather a large sum to carry with one." "Yes, and I was a fool to do it but ever since I found m yse lf bitten by the failure of t h e Butter Bank I've ha ted to hand over m y money to a corporation. This teaches m e a n othe r lesson, though." "Kindly run over that pile." 'With these words, the detective thrust .iIJtO hi s hands a package of bills. Eagerly the colonel wet his fingers and began to coum -his face was wreathed in smiles as he finis1hed. "Right-to the dollar." "Then see that you don't trust it t o the mercies of the red ba g again." "Now, to return to our mutton." "Meaning ourse lve s." "In a way, yes This man will not give up t he case yet." "Jesse James-well, he ha s the reputation of being a stick e r, and I guess we'll find him in at th e death." "He is afte r my m o ney. That humbug of a duel was onl y arranged to itake me away ." "So his s uppo sed confederate could secure the money." "What will you advise?" I can on-ly say temporarily, as hi'S plans may soon be compl e t ely altered." "Well, advise me." "Fir st of all, let us make a second dummy and put it in th e bag." "Good! I catch the idea." "Ca n you give me material?" "I I "I reckon so." This was soon found, and under the skillful handli n "\u of the detective it assumed the proper shape. "'v\ He borrowed a co upl e of bill s from the colonel for th >two e nds. Then a i:ewspap e r was wrapped about it, secured wit ''Y a stout stnng. Paul tore this cover a little, exposing a bill. "Here, col o nel, figur e out the contents in plain letters '. -jus t as you did before." . Quickly Randolph did so "Will tliat su it ? he asked. ac "Yes, indeed. Vo/hen h e sees that he may take it as an le ind o r sement of t h e con.tents, jus t as a bank tellers' figures "1 on a broken package of bills a r e accepted as exact and or t o the mark." , "What s hall I do with this?" e "Drop it in your bag." The co lon e l did so, h aving previously replaced all of J the o th e r articles. J "Now leek it." a "Don e." "Place it where you had it, and be just as so licitous e J about the safety of the bag as though it contained the m oney you hav e sec ret e d in your pocket." "Thanks. I will do so." Paul left as he came-qui et ly. He had mu c h open bu s ine ss to close up and could not n afford t o waste time The person w ho inte;e s tecl h'im most now was the central figure of thc s-how. what would Jesse J anie-s d o? Perhaps ;he might learn all through Jack, who woulber of things have delayed me ; 1mt n ow, I am pl eased to s ay, everything seems favora:bJ.e tawar d reach ing our goa l s u ci:ess "I h ave made arrangements wher e by the c olonel's bag wit h its counterfeits will fall into my hands at last Did I tell yo u before that there were other men on bqard this boat owing allegiance ;to me?" "You gave me to under stand so


THE J ESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 "I h ave uuited all in a l eague. Our prime object i s t o .Ptur e the evidence of the oo lon el's crime." r.'I undernl'and it so." "Vie men of the laiw, as yo u ca n believe, o ft en find lrselves in a hole, and compelled to use queer m eans in .to effect our purposes." 'Y es, just so, :Mr. Smith." Every nerve was thrill ing wit h eage rn ess ito hear what man had to say, but he dared not show bi s f.eelings 'his manner. r am afraid that if we put the matetr off until we a ch New Orleans our man may slip us or else mana:ge l ose the evide nce of hi s r ime "Under such circumstan oe it behooves me .to work with and dispatch ''He m ust be taken into 1custody before we arrive at le city "I understand what yo u mea n Go o n ." "This boait 1will stop tio let me off an hour befor e day eak. The captain dar es not r efus e me-he knows who a111." The sig:nificance of those words went straight 1o J ack's eart. "He knows who I am. "When we r eac h a point just atbove the landing sor.1e1 ing will occur to cau se an alarm. ''One of the men in charge of the engir;ie is with me, d he will cause a valve 1o blow out, flooding the boat ith steam. ''Good Heavens!" cried "Coo llv. now It will hu1-.t no one, but great a la rm ust ensue. This will Cause a stamp ede of passenge rs sho re as soon as s he to.uches. "If Co l oriel Randolph goes without his red bag we ave it. 'Shoul d he take it with him. our duty i s p l ain l y to ai" est him as h e steps ashore. and carry him off so that h is cllo "-passengers may not re sc ue him if inclined t hat ay. '.;\Vould they de it:'"' "They may refu s e to recognize m e as an office r of the a w." 'And this is your plan, Mr. Smith?" '"Yes.'' \ \That riart ha Ye I in it?" "You m-ust b e r eady to e nter the stateroo m j.f he rushes ut withou t the bag and sec ure it." ''No exch a nge this time?" "I've done with that." "Atbout this steam. \ iVhat does the danger amount o? "There none." ''You a:ssure me of that? "I do, emphati cally." I ask for two reasons. In the first place, I would n o t ike to have a h and in injurin g any o n e on !boar d this oat. Then, again. I do n ot care to figure as a n aerial erfoi-mer in case the hoikr is about to explode." "Nonsen se, Jack. Fear nothing of the kind. I gi,e OU my worthe hi dde n detective who answered. "Come here, please." The detective reached hi s side. "Don't bother telling me what was said, Jack." "'r"ou already know it?" "Yes.'' ,,;ft ; "Hidden near by?" "Over yo nder. The bulkhead a g ain s t which you l eaned hid me from view. H was also an excellent coo dudor of sound." "Wh a t do you think of his schoo1e ?" "Yo u mean the s-tea1111 bath?" "Yes." "A great idea, I declare. lit rather. staggered me at


'26 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. first ,' but I soo n grew to under s tand just h o w s nch thing could be d o ne." '"W o uld it prove a s u cce s s ?" 'It might, only for t h e prese nce o f P S. n ear b y." "Meaning Paul S mith1 of c ourse ." ''That's it. "Do yo u b elieve t h e r e's clang er in it ? a and yourh e lp, I h o pe to get Jes se J am e s in a / ner. ''Are yo u a lig h t s l ee p e r?" added Paul Smith Yes-v e r y "Lie dov v n ready -dre ss e d. so you can make for shore 1\0herl into Paul's mind. you r game from me.'' He 1 1 as in n o hurry. "Eh ? Plent v o f tim e r em ained. "You m ea n t o do some thin g, and h a v e n o t t ol d m e th e e n gi neer got a r ound o n his s i de, an w hat it i s co ntinu e d h i s wo rk . "$pe1a l ( on Pa11l s p o k e t o him p l e a sa ntl y co n c e rnin g so m e of ti "Pl ainly, then you have mad e or int e nd makin g, an m a chine r y The m a n ans11ercc1 w hil e he worke d an arrangement with C o l on e l Ran

THE JESSE STORIES. 27 t s uit e d h i m we ll. e desi red to wa t c h the m a n' s face, as i n that man h e coul d t ell w hethe r h e s poke the trut h b e t te r n in any other way. u ddenly he said: I s your n am e Bob?" Yes," r epl i ed the other. H o b Bai l ey? 'That' s it, mov ing a lit tl e un easily. 'Have you ever b ee n asham e d of that n a m e?" S i r !'' I mean j u s t what I say. Y o u we r e not al w ays an g inee r." '"N o '' "Onc e you fough t in t he wa r. "I was a so l d i e r. And w o re the g r ay?" "Ye s, s i r He se emed som ew h at a l a rmed a s t h o ugh sus p ecting a t his intcrlo c u t o r "might be more t han h e a p peared "Were y o u one o f Q.uant r ell's rough r iders ? " \!\Tho told y o u so?'' I asked )"OU a qu estion B o b." "Ye s Quantrell wa s my l ea d er." "Yo u knew all hi s me n?" ''Pre tty much. "The n y o u m u s t h a v e run ac ros s the James b oys, as h ey w e r e with him. B o b s h uddered. '"Yes, I knew them.'' D i d your acquai n ta n ce wit h t he m co n tinue a f te r th e ar ?" "'I on l y saw them o nce o r t wice," evasive l y ''And that was o n ce too oft e n ." Bob groan ed, a n d his h e ad san k o n h i s breast. C l ea rl y Paul Smi t h had him in th e toils. ''Bail ey, y o u co mmitted an e rror for w h i c h yo u h ave b e e n s o r r y ever s ince. T ell me, a m I right? The man woul d have d e nied i t but co ul d n o t It seemed to 1hi m a s though Paul Smi t h were a j udge and h e sworn to tell t he truth the v h o l e trut h a n d n othi n g but the t ru th."' ''Yes ,' h e groaned, puttin g his hand to his e y es. "You h a v e see n o n e of th o se m e n to-night-here on th i s steamer." Another groan "He ha s o r de r ed you to do a certain littl e pi e c e o f w ork for h i m and rather th a n h ave your sin of the pas t pu blis hed, you have con sente d .'' "Un de r pro t e st." N e ve r mi n d You h av e con s e n ted. Soon after the whistl e b l o ws by some littl e dev i ce k n ow n to, all en gi n e e r s, y o u will start the s t eam g oi n g a s though she \\'aS ab out to bl o w up. '"l-low di d you kn ow?' gasp ed B ail ey, h is k ne es al m o s t knocking togeth er with f e ar. Never mind-I do know-l e t that suffice v Vhat do propos e doin g abo u t thi s bus iness?" ' I will give i t u p " \ N ill y o u be g u i ded b y me?" ''Wh o are you?" A de t ec ti ve o n t h e trac k o f J esse Jam es." ''Good H e a ve ns! I am l os t .' "Not i f you d o as I t ell you I w ill k e ep your se-_s:re t and you s hall s uff e r n o harm.'' "Th e n order m e a s Y'Oll pl e a se.' "You will obey? "To t h e J.eitte r. Already I have s a i d I would r e fuse to d o what h e m ade me swea r t o carry ou t. "And I t ell yo u t.o carry o ut hi s p l ans.'' "Sir?" "Turn 'the s t e am o n a t th e regular time just a s he t ol d you to." "D'O y o u m ea n it?" "Yes, i f th e re is no danger o f an e x pl osio n "Not a b it.' ".N o r o f any o n e b eing injured ?" "It won't b e d e ns e eno u g h for that. The scare se e m s t o b e w hat h e want e d.'' "And it i s the sa me with me." '"As yo u say, s ir. H i s m a n ne r to l d that h e was extre m e l y puz z l e d and could not make o u t w h y the d ete c t i ve r wante d him to c arry o u t J esse J a m e s' plan. It was not Paul s w a y t o lift t h e v ei l t o e ve r y o ne and h e nce h e did n ot both e r e xpla 1ining hi s reas.ons n o w -Bob Bailey was a m e re incicllernt in hi s life, and w o uld be ma d e a regular instrument t oward attaining his end. He h ad learn e d all h e wanted. Before l eaving Baile y he made him solemnly prom ise to carry out his part of t'he compact, and by no wo r d or d ee d to b e tray him. T h is t h e man r e adil y did H e r ecog niz e d th e fact that he was in the hands of a m as t e r. Paul S mith had a fac lty for impressing p eople w ith whom h e ca m e i n contact, with this id e a e s pecially when he exerte d him es lf. Sati sfie d t ha t all wou.Jd be well in this quarter, the d e t ect i ve l ef t t h e v ic init y o f the engine. P aul was not ye t d o ne. He h a d mo r e work t o do. The c o l o n e l m u s t b e se en and matters explai n ed, so that Paul coul d take his place. Only o n e t hin g b o the red him T his w a s Ferdin a nd. Perha ps h e wo uld b e coming in to interrupt them and s poil t h e w h o le bu s ine s s "I'll fix him," s aid Paul, gently W i t h th a t he made a motion, having caught the eye of th e colo n e l s n e p he w Ferdin and arose and approached him. They h a d t h eir h e ads toge ther for time, and wha t e v e r the d ete ctiv e was saying, it seemed to make a decid e d impr ess i o n o n the o ther. He mo v e d un e asi ly. When he s p o k e h e s e em e d to a s k questions, and the answe r s r ece ived did n o t entirely rea ssure him. "You thi nk, then, it w ou.Jd be u:111wise, my going Ito the r oo m?" h e aske d finally "Yes, in hi s p r esent frame of mind it would The col o n e l i s fee ling quite ugly. Everything has gon e a ga inst hi m, you. know.'' "Yes. ves.' "Besi d es yo u can yourself q ui te comforta 'ble lier e in the c a bin.


THE JESS E Jl\MES S TO RI ES. "It is only a few hours until dayhreak, at any rate. Y S, I will take your advice and remain out of his sight until he cools d ow n. It's too bad to think that some oi1e had to betray me." "Oh, he ll be all over i't by morning, and ready to greet you as warmly as ever. Have a little patience." "I'm made up of it-the most patient man y ou ever saw, sir." "Then you're all right, for I've noticed that the patient man usually gets everything in this comes to him who waits." With that Paul left the other. Ferdfo 1and luoked after him and shook his head, as though at a loss to place this party. Whoever he might be, his advice seemed friendly and Ferdinand was reach to take it. Once Ferdinand, looking at hi s 1 watch, found it was just three o 'clock. Ya;wning he arose and pass ed out o n the d eck The fog hung m0;re h eavi ly perhaps, than before, ove r the great river, and at intervals the bell rang, as a warn ing to boats coming up the river. Ferdinand made his way up to the pilot-house, kn ow ing one of the men who held the destinies of the Arka11sas in their hands. Ferd1nand remained iin the piJ.ot honse ftor m-0i-e than ii11 hour. Then he started to leave it. Just as he was at the top of the steep stairs, leading to the mid'dle deck on the port quarter, he was startled by a hoars e whistle from above. No steamboat could be seen, but the fog lifting, re vealed the shore nearby. CHAPTER XIV. THE LAST SCF;NE.. I t was time for the la st scene in the great Mississippi River dra1ma to begin. Hardly had the echoes of the deep-throated whi stle died away over the waste of waters, than the gallant old Arlwnsas headed for the shore. The pilot had his orders. He had been able to keep some track of hi s m oveme n ts in spi 1 te of the fog, and knowing he must be near the landing spoken of by the captain, the boat was run in close t0 the sh o re. A friendly rise in the fog-curtain had enabled him to see the landing. Then came the whistle. Nearer the bank the boat ran. Still there was no sudden burnt of steam from the region

THE JESSE Ji\MES STORIES. 29 Run for the shore-run for you r life man-the boiler ursting," he shouted. natching at the balance of his clothes, he burs t open door of his stateroom. !ready the cabin was pretty well fi'lled wi th the es ing steam. hrough the billowing clouds the passengers could be n lik e dim phantoms, fighting their way toward the J:it. Men :and l"WOl11en 1 a1like, their one 1-hought Was ro reaich e shore in safety. Above 1 the clamor arose piercing sh ri eks. Jack's h eart reproached him for having a hand in this \ 1e when he r eme mbered Ed ith. vVould s he be ver y much alarmed? He had been tempted to slip a n ote under the door her stateroom, in orde r to warn h e r in time, but there tere too many difficulties in the way. Edith mus 1 t suffer with the rest It was for her good. In the end this little adventure which seemed so har s h w, would be the mean of uniting the l ong separated vers. So Jack contented himself with groaning when he I eard that chorus of fem inine scream:;, and once more t hims e lf to the bu s in ess in hand. When w ould the man he wa:s io follow appear? Jack vvas getting nervous Nearly all the p assenge rs had fled. If the colonel, or his r ep res e nta bive, did not soon make n appearance, he would have to give up his part of the i.ffair and fly. 2 Really, th e s t ea m as fast becoming unbearable, and einust soo n conquer him. The statero0i11 door was open, and he co uld see as tnuch as he de s ired. At leng t h what he waited for to pass. From out th e colo n el's stateroom emerged a figure. It was, to all appearance, Randolph himself. He ca rri e d the small, reel handbag. It looked as h e had waited t o complete his _toilet to a certain degree, b efore flying, though his hair 'Was awry, and his manne r wild Jack slipped out. His bu siness was to follow after the other. It was a queer thing to be doing just then, while ex citement reigned around him. To tell a m a n to keep coo l wJ'lile in the mids t of such excitement was lik e a mockery. Jack was burning, but m o re with impati ence than any thing else, thou g h the exc itement must have affected him also. He foll o\\ ed th e colone l t o the cabin door. Through this and down the stairs both of them hasten e d J ac k e ndeav red t o dis cover Edith. The opportunity was too brief. Tt was 9robable that s he must have rea c hed the s h ore with the other wome n p assengers, for the feminine shrieks had ceased. He prayed so. 1 She in his mind almost consta ntly, and 11e could 'lot help 1t. It was for Edith that he took all this risk. The gan gplank was reached. Even here the steam came, and, mingling with the fog, formed a canopy over them. Nearly all the alarmed passen!'e rs had already fl.ed from the boat, where the st. earn demon still hissed and roared by turns. If mighty giant, held in iron chains, could eve r his shackles, the ruin wrought would be terrible, mcleed. No wonder travelers, arous e d at suc h an un ca nny hour of the night by the fearful crash, and finding their rooms delug ed with steam, were wild with fear. The bravest of the brave might well be pardoned for f eeling suc h a spasm under s imilar circumstances. When the colo nel r eac h ed the plank, only one person was upon it. This was a stout Congressman from a Southern State -clad in trousers and shirt, walking the plank after the manner B l ondi n wo uld cms s Niagara on 1 a < tightrope. The colonel caught hold of him in time to prevent his tumbling. Thus they marched ashore. Jack brought up the rear. As though by some preconcer ted signal, no sooner h ad this occ urred, than the rushing sound of escaping steam suddenly ceased. The engineer, undoubtedly, had found a way to s t op th e leak. They were saved. So the frightened travelers thought Perhaps they would yet be making up a purse to re warcl brave Bob Bail ey The passengers had cong regated on the bank, and wer e talking the matt e r over in exci ted tones wlhen the colonel, followed by Jack arr.ived. \Vas any one lost? This que stion confronted them, and many were anxious about their friends. Where was J esse James ? No d o ubt on th e watc h for hi s game, and ready to pu t his plan into executio n Jack's first thought was o f him. He glanced around to discover him, and, in the mean time, did not forget the supposed coloriel. That worthy hung on t o his red satche l with a perti nacity that proved it a valuable affair. J esse J ames was near by. He had not arrange d his c unnin g p l an to have it ruin ed through any inatt ent ion o n his part, and probably he was the m a s t 'Widea'Wake p erson in the criQ'W'd. Several were dripping wet. These were the impulsive mortals who believing the bo ile r was about to explode, had leap e d into the riv er, or else the unfortun ate ones who had fallen from the narrow gangpla nk when endeavoring to r each the shore, So far as a hasty s ummary could tell, they wer e all safe and sound. There had b ee n num ero us narrow escapes, but no ac t ual l oss of life, and tbs was a good thing. Jack saw the man he so ught. . Jes se J arnes had seen the co l one l come hastily over the gangplank, and he made a motion wit>h his arm that told his man the game was r ipe for plucking.


THE JESSE Jl\MES STOR I ES. T oward Jack he looked sign jfi cantly. H e d e p ended on the young planter to h e lp him out, and between the thre e of them, it would be singular if they could not accomplish the object they had starte d out to perfo .m1. They gathered around the colonel. It was like a pack of wolves sur-rounding a wounded !iuffalo. When this had been effected they began to advance, closing in. As yet Randolph did n o t seem to pay an y attention to He could not be expecting d anger, and had but just escaped from a peri l that had threatened to .take hi s He. All seemed r eady. Jesse James, acting his part to perfection, stepped up and clapped his hand! on the shoulder of the cokmel with m air of authority. "Colonel Randolph, I b elieve?" "Yes, sir." "J'hen I arrest you, sir!" 0 CHAPTER XV CCU "Because it contai n s the n otes1 ; all b r w new one s 'N At this th e colonel laughed. hat ''They were handed over to me at the S econd N a t i o up Bank in St. Louis three days a go. If any counterf 1e ing has been done you must see the bank officiaJi s O'h h I am not t o be thrown off the track. You have b c watched a long time, colonel, and now you are brou,,, d ead t o r ights, with t he proof in this bag." v ill 'I tell yo u man, you have made a big mistake." irn "That has nDthing to do w:ith it. d e "I ca n prove i t to yo u if yo u will grant m e five minut If pri vate co nversai t i10n." ic( The pa s6enge r s ha:d crowded around so that they wet .ye complet e ly surrounded. y. This propo ition from the colonel, how ever strang seemed to s uit the s h eriff. 11 He nodded hi s : head ; "1] "I reck o n I can acoommodiate you colone l by steppi 'E a side A.How me to give an order to m y men." "I\tJ:en ?" "Certainly. I am n m here alone yiou may be su1 '1 On eilf:her S ide of you stands a man holding a l oade d volver, and i f you attempt any resistance they have o r d ,j lf:o s hoot you down." 1 WINDING UP. The colonel glan ce d around. These were startling words. H e could see that what the other spoke was u The co l onel, however did n o t appear fo be at all thundoubted ly t h e trut'h. a e r s truck n o r did he ex hibit that degree of alarm which A man stood on the left with a revolver in his han t he othe r expec ted. while an othe r was on his right. \i\Tho are you?" 1 he asked. J ames Cor r y sheriff of this cournty "And what do you arrest m e for?" "On the charge o f counterfe iting." \i\Tith t hese words, J esse J a mes la id 'hold of t-he small, r ed satc hel. The two men stood th ere l ooki n g each other in the eye, o.nd neit h er r e l easi n g his hold. They we r e !ike a couple :if tiger-cats ready to engage in nmrtal comba t The pas s enge rs, aroused to th e fact that somethi11g of inter est was going o n b ega n t o forget t hei r r ecen t troubl es, and crowded around, int ent up on learning the facts. Neither of the two men show ed a n y weapo n alth o u g h it was un:doubtedly true that bot h po ssesse d s u c h requi sites to S ou thern life. "This is a serious bus i ne ss, sir "You are right, colonel. "Hence, you figured on t-he consequences of a mis-take, my man?" I brave done all the figuring nece ssary." ''Why do you hold o n to m y bag? H e seemed h in. "Come l et us move a side. to say to yo u, sher iff. "Agre ed." The crow d 9arte d for them. I have something I wa1 There was plenty of light near b y, for the steambo had a large r eflector at her b o w and seeme d to il!umina t the foggy v icinity. The two men walked some forty feet o r more away and then awa ited the arrival o f the principals who, sti maintaining thei r clutcl1 upon th e r ed bag, ad vanced t the spot. They we r e followed by o n e party. J esse James did n o t notice liim, bein g so wrapped up i the success o f h is plans. "Now, what do yo u propose doing about it?" he aske d as t h cy came t o a stand. "It d epe nds on you r plans. Do you mean to go wit! me to :>!ew Orleans?"' "Not o n the b oat." "Why so?" I have my reasons." "But 1vha:t else c an )iOU do?"


.THE JESSE J/\MES S TORI ES. 81 cure a vehicle at this place-a ride of less than six will take us to the railroad at Dunbar. We can 1 New Orleans before the Arlwnsas arrives, and that h at I want to do." )uppose I r efuse to go?" 1 e pretended s heriff made a, carel ess movement, as gh quite indifferent. Ur tool you made the grandest blunder of yo ur life." Confusion i tak e him ." "As for you r se lf, I h av e a proposition to make yo u." "Go ahead with it." "Tell m e what yo u know of the D exter ca se, and yo u shall hav e your freedom." This was a ca s e of a,1J_ du1ct i on the detective was o n a nd ithat J esse James knew of. At the words the o utla w starte d Dexter case?" "Yes." "So that i s what yo u are after?" I am deeply interested in it, and play your life agail1S't the secret. Will you speak?" "You've got m e in a h ole," g la.ncing ar.ound as he sp o ke, to s ee an o t her man sta nding nerub y as though awaiting oPders "Well, ra t h er." "lf I tel l you what you want, what as su rance d o I have that y o u w ill ke e p you r word." The detective smi l ed grimly. "The on l y assurance I can give yo u is my word, which has n ever been brok e n. "And you expect me t o tell the truth?" "I kno w you will, for I can tell if you get away from it. "Then bend your head here. I swore never ito tell tthis


3 2 T HE JESSE JAMES S TORHES to a E Vling soul, r bu t a man will do a good deal 1 to save his lifo and liberty." "You mean to speak?" "I will tell you something that must astonis' Ju, man, and open your but nro one else must hea it." P aul Smith bent his head, believing the other to be fully .in hi'S power. He had not gauged the nature of Jesse James as well as he might. The other ml'ddenly st.ruck him a violent blow on the side of his hea:d. Paul reele d and fell. At rthe same instant the outlaiw gave a shouit and leaped 01way. A shot soun ded. Paul's follower had fired. Front the haze beyond came back 1a taunting shout of derision, teUing plainly enough that the bullet had failed to find i:ts mark. They sa:w no more o.f Jes'Se James, though qui 1 te a voHey fired in the direction whence the laugh ceeded. Undoubited1y ithe daring outlmv had ma:de good his es cape, and would reach New Orleans before the A r kansas c am e 111. His it:Jool was captured, but they had no use for him, he dedarinr g solemnly that he believed his empl oyer t o be a sheriff, bent on capturing a notorious counter feiter. Under the circumstances they let him go. As the excitement on aCC'ount of the steam escaping was abO'trt over the pas senge rs once more returne d on b oard the boat, and in a short time they wer e pro c e eding down th e mighty river. l\1fo.rning was at h a nd. They had land e d th e pas senger a s he desired aft e r all and fe w o n b oard under s tood the singular s c ene t hey h a d witnessed a s h o r e. Paul Smith h a d p i cked him self up and brus h e d the dust from hi s clo thes. He too k 'his d e feat good-natured l y T o Jac k h e s aid: "That w a s the tim e I got l eft; but I will find m y m a n y e t a nd h e will be luc ky t o pl a y s u c h a game on me a s e co n d t ime This w a s hi s phil oso ph y One failure did n o t disco 'llrage him, but onl y made him the m o re d e termined to succ eed. Col o nel Rando lph h ad a l ong talk w ith Paul. when th e dete c tiv e l eft him h e c ame up t o Jack. "The col one l wo uld lik e to s e e you, s ir. Jack w e n t int o the state r com. Evidently the colonel had made up his mind that tl w as no escaping the d e crees of fat e 1 Fortune had arrange d matters s o that Jack S!OJ se rve him and b eing thu s p l a c e d unde r obligatiors could not r efuse to take tlie young man into his rer J ac k, am I f.orgjven ?" he a s ked, as t'he yi r planter entered. Naturall y Jack was taken aback "Really-I--" "Say no mor,e. Let us shake hands over the bJ. chasm and be friends. You have won h er-wea with great cons id e ration, for between us, young Edith is a jewel." "A thousand thanks, colonel." "Not at all Jack. You hav e earned all you rec As for Ferdinand, I've given him his orders--he sheer off and go his own way unless he wants to irito trouble I've heard all about his baseness." "'vV e owe much of this to Paul Smi th." "The dete c tiv e-ye s, and for m y part I mean to that he is suitably rewarded. I b e lieve him to brave man and deserv ing of more than ordi1 thanks." That ended it so fat as Jac k was concerned. vVhen th e boat dre w up at New Orleans, he JO 1 th e party of Colonel and enjoyed the sp of the carnival s e as o n in compan y with Edith. Once h e ran a c ro s s Paui Smith by the merest cident in the w o rld, and h eard his stmy of e ve nts h pening since the arrival o f the A rka nsas as s t o ry, by the way, as pen ever chronicled. Of course Jack and Edith wer e happily married la on and with t'his usual event our t ale of the Mississi com e s t o a d o s e ; but the planter s peaks at times of trip h e made in c ompany with Jesse Jam es th e midni duel and the strange plan to rorb Colonel Randolph. THE END. Next w e ek' s JESSE JAMES S roRIE S (No. 17) will c tain Jesse James' Cave; or, The Secret of the Dead." T.,.ATEST l 15-Jesse James Sig n al C ode; or, The Outlaw Gaag' s Desperj S t rat e gy. 14-Jessc Jan, e s i n N e w Orlean s ; or, The Man in the Bl D o min o 13-Jess e James in Chkago; or, The Bandit King s Bold Play. ( 1 2-Jess e J a me s Close C all; or, The Outlaw' s L a s t R a lly South e rn W y c m ing I 11 -Jess e J a me s A m o n g th e Moon s hin e r s ; or, The Train R d b e r s' Trail in K entuc k y 10-J ess e James' Double; o r, th e M a n from Mi ss ouri. 9 J essc J a me s at th e Thrott l e ; or, The H o ld-Up at De M a n 's Ditch Back numbers alway s on hand. If you cannot get our publi c ti o n s fro m y o u r new s d ea l e r five c ent s a copy will brirrg them you by mail postpaid.


. Jesse J a mes. WE wer e t1;e p11blis]1crs in the world tn priul LlH famous sto of th c James Buys, L wnUc:11 y ti1 a1 ( llOW publishing the best ;Stor:ies of the J a1JJ;.:s Boys by l\f r. Lawson, i u a New Library entitled" The Jesse James Stories," one of our big five-cent weeklies, au..rit y they hCl\e L"clrcady obtai accl slrn1\s th" br'. '.':-. nm1 i s vc1y in g t,1 1.1 1 publishers. "- '" ""' 1 l 1>1. N "'r) J , ,, .... -''"'-'.ll ll ]:--.... .l l:\V l l l .... T'HF b es t 1rnown lic.tli o11, with h:1udSOl1'.<.:' illnminated covrr. P ricL, five c e uts p t f : r i I


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