The James boys in St. Louis; or, The mysteries of a great city

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The James boys in St. Louis; or, The mysteries of a great city

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The James boys in St. Louis; or, The mysteries of a great city
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
32 p. ; 26 cm.


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Dime novels ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
028819191 ( ALEPH )
741119562 ( OCLC )
J14-00018 ( USF DOI )
j14.18 ( USF Handle )

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ORIGlftAL OF THE JAMES BOTS issued Weekly. By Subscription $250 Y,e year. Entered as Second Class /.fatter at New York Post Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. 1Vo. 18. Price, Five Cents. "DON''f YOU KNOW ME, JEflSE?" CRIED 'fHE DISGUISED FRANK JAMES AS HE FOUND HIMSELF COVERED BY ms BROTHER'S REVOL'.rER.


SE OF Issued By Subscriptin11 $2so per year Entered as Second Class .llfatter at the N. Y. Post Office, by STREET & SM!TP., 238 1Vilham St., N. Y Entded accordin1r to Act 'of Co11gress in tlu: year u;o1, i n t he Office of the Libtaria n of Congress, Waslzit:gton. D. C. No. to. NEW Y ORK, September 7, 1901. Price Five Crnts. THE JAMES BOYS I N ST. LOUIS; OR, THE MYSTERIES OF A CREA T CITYo By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER I. JESSE J AME'.S I N DISGUISE. "Put it thar, stranger! G!ad to see yer R ecko n n ow r'v e heerd of P'isen Eyed J olmson, ain't ye? vVaal, thet thar identical individu al an' ther biggest man ther county, if I do say it! Get down off yer horse hev a bit of refreshmeu1t, wi 1 l0l ye? ' The invitation was emphasized by an offer of a large, scular hand, and then the speake r,. a cu ri ous-looki n g planted himself directly in the path, as if did not intend to allow any refusals. "Much obl iged! Don'.t care if I do! You bet I've rd of you, :\Ir J ohnson, but I'il have to dispute that t assertion for I'm told t hat Jess e Jam es is a r esident this county at present," was the answer, and Leroy Harvey, a Pinkerton detective, dropped from t h e back of his mustang and stood by th e side of the grizzled Co l orado veteran. He had been riding for nearl y twenty-four hours, on'y stopping long enough to eat and feed his horse, so the invit a.tion to refresh himself did not come amiss in spite of the fact tha't he h ad accidentally up c n his entertai n e r at a time when h e least expected t o meet a h uma n being. He was on a dangerous errand, and no one knew it better than hims elf for the farn o u s agency at Cbic:ago had sent him w ith two others to track the outlaw J e s se J amcs, an d captu:c or kill h i m, whichever was ca :'.es'.. Hearing that the great robber had just crozsed t111s "dion of tho counhy, tho thm detoctim '"" h"J


2 THE J ES S E J AMES STORIES. 011 his trail, and this was the first time they had separated beyond hailing distance Having look e d around curiously as h e s lid down frorn his horse and s hook hands perfunctoril y with the girizz l y bearded old be was keenl y alive to an:y thing that savored of suspici o n, and th e old patriarch s app ea ranc e was any.thing but prepossessing. /\. c-ommod ious log c abin with a l ow door and one small windmv, stood ab o ut fo rty feet in front of them, while th e landscape, as far as eye coul d see, seemed an endless forest, rising in tier after tier of hills, until it finall y ended 011 the horizon in a range o f m o untains. At the detective's remark the old f ellow chuckled, but he returned the young man's sharp l ook with a hawklik e glance from under his heav y eye brows. "Haw! haw! I r ecko n now J ess i s a bi gge r man than me, stranger!" h e answ e red good-naturedly, 'b ut ye r 've got it wrong erbout his bei11' in Colorado. J ess an' his gang air a workin' furth er sou th th ey say I i-.eckon now he's givin' Missouri a samp l e of his robbin and 1 plunderin' !" "Then M i ssour i is getting more than h e r s hare, that's all I can say," 1aug0h e d the d etec tive, as h e l e d his h o r se to a spring near by and started to wate r it. "Jess has cleaned Missouri out pretty th orough ly I've been told, but if you are right, then I've had my journe y for nothing for rve come all t h e way from St. Louis to bring Jess a message! "Great Snakes! You don't say so, st ra.nger Now what kind of a message mout it be, I'd like ter know! "How quick he bites!" thought the detective, a s he noticed the eagerness of his companion's tones. "I'll go easy with the old .greaser, I guess! That. pair of eye brows look rather su spicious !" Out l o ud remarked, coolly: "It's a secret message, for one thing, int e nd ed for no ear b u t .the outl aw's, 11lY friend ; sti ll, seeing J ess ain t her.e, and I've had my trouble for n o thing, I don't mind telling you that the message i s from Frank James hi s brother." -"You don't say! Fire ahead! Thet thar's in terest in' news, stranger! I used ter know ther pair of th em ras cals when they was leetle shavers livin in Missouri!" "Is that so? Well Frank i s in St. L ou i s at pres ent, and what's more he's lik e l y ta stay there H e's robbed t wo banks andl corralled a big haul, the bigge s t one he ever made w i thout his brot h e r t o help him but he can get out of the city, fo r the cit izen s ha-ve got wind o h i m, and e very a venue o f esca p e is g ua rded !" '.'T11er devi l yo u say Thar's l uck fer y ou stranger But I reck o n now J ess'll hear o n it some h ow, a111' git hi out er his pickle!" The d e tective raised his mustang's h ead a n d adjuste the brid l e and then discovered that his host's righ t han Jiad wandered to the butt of a fine-looking revolv e r th he wore tucked into 'the belt of his leather breeches. "That's what I'm out her e for, to tel l Jess," he we on, coolly. "Frank's got two of the gang with hi bnt-" "V.n1i ch two be they?" asked the old man, breaking i up o n the sent e nce. Harvey tied his horse to a s apling, and dropped dow upon the ground near hi s beast before he answered. "I'd better n o t t eJ.I that, l roeckon; Frank wouldn lik e it!" he sai d decidedly, and then, as he saw his hos grip hi s weapon tighter, his ow n hand dropped easfl.y t the butt of a revolver. "Bah! H can't do us harm! I reckon now yer ki trus t m e w ith yer errand, stranger, 'speciall:y as I cari' git aw ay, h evin' no horse of any kind and chock full o rh eumat ics. He sat down stiffly on a st one about ten feet from th

THE J ESSE JAMES STORiES. 3 The detective drcpped bc::ck into his original position, and a ss umed an air of perfect indifference. "YcLl're off your fee9, pard I'm n o t hankering to see the crc;;.ture. I thou ght perhaps it might be the thor1 oughbred that I l o st last we e k. She was as black as a cnal and had a white s tar in her for e h e ad. Finest Arabian stock, and an s wered to the name of 'Fleet wind.'" "What ther d e uce! Hold on, stranger! Quit yer jokin'. or it 'll be ther wus s fer yer !" roared the old fel \0\,-, ri s ing. "I reckon now yer ain't lookin' fer trouble, but. if yer be, I kin give it to yer by ther barrel full! Thar ain't no horse in ther country answers ter thet de scription except one owned by Jesse James, an' I reckon now thcr robber hez ther critter with him s01newhars clown in "And I rec k on you're mistaken,'' remarked the de tective, grimly, rising as he spoke. "I happen to know that my horse was a black thoroughbred, with a white star ofl its forehead, and I believe you ve got her hidden behind that shanty! That's why you don't want me to see her! You think I'll claim her!" He drew his revolver as he and put his finger on the trigger, and like a flash the old fellow did the same. Standing ten feet apart with drawn weapons, they glared at each other, and at that very second the horse behind the cabin whinnied again. ''I say it is the thoroughbred! Deny it if you dare!" roared Harvey. "I terI you it's er sick mustang, as gray as my beard, curse you!" growled the other. His eyes glittered with a steely light as he spoke, and at the last words his assumed accent almost deserted him. With one of the keen glances fo r which Harvey was noted in his profession, the clever disguise wl-Nch the old hermit wore was finally penetrated. "Jesse James himself, by thunder!" flashed through the detective's brain; then he forced himself to be as calm as ever. Harvey shoved his revolver back into his belt, as though he had no further use for it, and at the same time the outlaw's hand dropped It was as clear to him now as though some one had told him. Thi:' bewhiske r ed old hermit was the famous outlaw in disguise, while the log cabin was nothing more nor less than one of his many hiding -places. It was a thrilling situation, but a feeling of pleasure shot through Harvey's veins a 3 he realized that at last he was face to face with the man whose body, living or lifeless, was worth ten thousand dollars to the Govern ment. He had been searching Colorado for a month, knowing that the outlaw was there, but although he had traced him fro i n point to point, this was the first glimpse he had had of him, and this was purely accidental. He had stumbled upon the cabin during a search for water, and now that he recognized his quarry, he was at his wits ends how to G

r THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. had giessed that she was Unitah t he g irl from Wyo ming, whose name had been coupled \ v ith the outlaws and who was kn own to b e de sp erately in l o v e with th e famous bandit. A sec o nd Calamit y Jane, and I'll bet on it!" mrnttered Harvey, under his breath "onl y this Gne is a 'ber.uty " Git er move on, stran g er! ordered the o utlaw at that point. "Yer ter be my guest here for a whil.e. Ther gal will see to ther feedin of ther h o r s e an thar's er bite in ther cabin yender fer visitors. I'm er bit par ticklar in my ways y oun g man, I reck o n yer kin se e but bein ez h o w ye' r e m y gues t fer ther time, y er mout ez w ell knuckl e ter the r leetl e peculiarities g ra c eftrll y H e chu c kled as he s p o ke and pointed i:o the do or, so Harvey had n o alt e rnativ e but to proceed in that direc t i o!1, hi s h os t bri ngin g np the r ear with his finger on the trigger of his weapon. A compani o n of the detective's was waiting in the w oods within the sound of a pistol shet, and would come L his aid a t a s ignal but there wa s no wa y o f giving them the signa I, except by allowing the outlaw to use him as a target. Jihe situation was bad, but it was not without interest, and every dro.p of blood in his body tingled as he real ized his danger. With a grim determination in mind to regain his lib erty he walked straight to the door, but at the first glimpse inside his courage waned a little. CHAPTER It. TRE LETTER FOR FRA!lf>K JAMES. Inside of the ca:bin were two men and a woman, the latter being the wife ()f Hank Watrous, one of the worst characters in the James gang, and consequently one of the worst in the country. This woman, who was l6an and haggard from the hard life she had lived with h e r outlaw husba nd, was bending over a kettle of stewed mea;t which hung on a tripod over a fire in one comer. The two men were rifles, and b o th iooked up curiously when Harvey entered, but neither of them spoke until Jesse James filled the doorway with his body . "Hullo, P izen Eye Who's y e r company?" asked L'ank, giving a wink at fo compani<>n. I re c k n yer'll h ev ter ask himself ef yer want t k n ow," was th e surly answer, and Jesse James exchang winks with his men ove r Harvey' s Yer s houldn't be so a' smart, P'izen Ey Y e r'll git to o k in some day, went on Hank, with anoth grin "Who knows but what ther stranger is er memb of ther J arnes gang, an' not er fit associate fer hone people ? Even the w o man grinne d at this, but Harvey saw h opportunity a nd promptly improved it "Suppos e I am one of the cut-throat gang! Wh d ifferen c e does it m a k e? You are onl y a pack of hors thi e ves! h e said co olly "Sna kes! Hark t e r the t thar, will ye! Well I'l'I cursed e f h e ain't g o t narve ,laughed the other fello> who had jus t hung up hi s rifle. H e' s ez full er impudence ez 'er h orn is full of po der," chuckled Jesse Jam es. "He ''lows he' s from S Loui s with er message from Frank James ter Jess Frank hez corraled a rich swag an >they've got him e dodgin' in ther city He can't git erway from ther plac ter enj o y his pickin s." W har's ther stuff, stranger? Did he tell ver the thar ?" a s ked Hank, eagerly. Harvey clropped down upon a pile of s kins about half way across the room and spread out his legs comfontab.J before h e answered: "What's the use of me telling tales ? he asked, dis gustecl'Jy. "You ar e treating me meaner than dirt, wh the c'hances even tha t you're as bad as I am. "Give him a square deal, P izen Eye, s0 long ez y e don t know nothin' ePbo u i t him," said Hank, scowling "Tiher stranger's onl y one ter three, ter say nothin o ther w o men, so thar' s no show fer him doin any par ticklar damag e " You hold y e r jav I'll do ez I please erbout thet thar !" was the prompt answer, as Jesse Jame s sea t ed himse lf in th e do o rway with his fi'nge r still on his 'Weapo n "He thinks I'm, a s Jeuthhound and I think he 's a h o r s e thief ," went on Harvey, grimly. "So it s o nl y natural thait w e should hate each oth e r but there' s one thing in m y favor I don t have to hide m y fa c e." He looked th e outlaw squarely in th e e y e as he spoke, but in a minute he c o uld s e e that his clevernes s in noti c ing the disguise had arou s ed the suspicions of the others.


r :i t THE JESSE J AMES STORIES "I reck n P'izen Eye is right! Ther chap knows too much ," said Hank, after a minute's deliberation. "I low now 't wouldn't do us harm ter go through his pockets H e m o ut hev so m e papers o r er badge or 'Some thing ." "Thet thar's what I wu z expectin' ter do when I got er r o und 1:er it remarke d the outlaw king, taking a chew of tobacco. "I reck'n now he can't prove I ain t P izen Eye Johns on and ef I kin find er paper--" "Go ahead and sea rch, curse you!" grow'led Harvey, assuming to be angry. "I t o ld yo u m y errand h e re, but if you want to prov e it all right, on l y I warn you you'll answer to the James gang if yo u destr oy what you find in m y pockets!'' The words were spoken with so much sin cerity that once m o re the three outlaws g la nced at each ot her and then as t h e \\'Oman began setting b owls for the stew be fore them Hank strode across the room and grabbed Harvey ro u ghly by the collar. A blow from the d e tective's fist, square l y in the eye, staggered him for a m inute and set the others off into roars of lau ghter. "Hold o n yo u old lubl>er Go easy if you want to se ar c h n e !" r oared the detective, savagely. "I sajd yo u wer e welc ome t o loo k at the contents of m y pocket, buit I didn't say you c o uld s hake the breat h o ut of my body while you were d o in g it. Jesse Jam e sprangto his feet, and taking Hank by the sho uld er h e swu n g him a round and then shoved him back to his corn e r with the case of a giant. ''Haw! haw! T h ct thar wuz e r steff right-hander an' and then J esse James je r ked t h e l e t te r from the envelope and turned to his com pan ions. "Th e fellow is telling the truth! The letter i s fr om Frank!. he sa id, in a s uppr esse d tone; "an d I came n ea r riddling him outside ther e "What does h e say?" asked the woman, in the middle of the floor, and putting her hands on her hips. "Shut up you hag!" bellowed h e r husband, but th e woman went on, defiantly, with h e r eyes on the detect ive 's face: "Ther ga l there, Unitah, she d reamt e rbout Frank last nig ht. She dreamt he wuz in troubl e an' er wantin' h elp. She's e r great one fer dreamin U nit a h is an' she said ez h ow we 'd run ercross er blue-eyed s p y in e r day or two, but I reck'n yer can't be him. bein' ez yo u've fetched the l etter." "Let u p will yer, and hear what th e r cap'n hez ter say orde r ed Hank vVati;o us, between two enormou s knifefuls of stew J esse James folded th e paper and put it in the en v e l o pe facing Harvey as he did so. L oo k h e re young man! This is a serious busin ess," he began. "Will y ou swear that this letter was written by my brother? If you can't it will go hard with you, for I will s how yo u no mercy!" 'Are yo u J esse Jam es?" B a rv ey asked the questi o n sharply, at the same time l oo kin g tlie o u t law squarely in the eye as though trying to r ead his features. \i\Tith a d e ft movement, the outlaw detached the fal se no mistak e h e roared, d elightedly. "Curse d ef th e r hair from his face, and straightene d himself up with an f eller ain't got more g rit than I thought! Now, then yo un g feller. g i ve me er l oo k inter them pocekts !'' He had not l o11 erecl his weapon an inc h and, in sp it e o f his laughter. there wa s an ugly loo k in hi s eyes which Harvey had the good se n se to und erstand as m eaning business. A.ssuming a re s e ntful h e drew a l efte r fr o m his pocket and h anded it to the disguis e d o u tlaw, who s tart ed in surprise \\'hen b e s aw th e superscription. "Hold o n there!" yelle d H a rv ey, as t h e ou t law started to tear open the envelope. "What th e devi l do yo u mean by opening another man's l et ter? The outsi de ought to be en ough to s ho11 yo u 'that I'm n ot l ying!" "Shut up! was the answer, in the o utlaw' s own voice, air of self-co n scious ness. "Do I look like him?" he asked, after a minute 's sile nce. "I. don't know; I n eve r saw him, but yo u look like Frank J ames," said the detective, shrewdly, "and I'm willing to ta k e your \vord for it that yo u are the fell ow that ow n s th e lett e r." At tha t second a pistol c ra c ked twic e just outside the shanty. Insta n tly it flashed thro u g h his mind that these t wo s hots, fired by some one, he did not kn ow who, would bring his companions ro hi'S r escue. H a nk Watrou s had b o unded outside at the first crack, and J esse James, without turning his eyes from his cap tive, ye lled out an imprecation: 1


6 T H E JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. "Curs e th e gir'l I t old h e r n ot t o fir e her weapon! VVlho know s how many sneaks may be skulking around! Fetch her in here, Hank, and be quick aibout it!" Unitah dashed into the cabin while he was speaking, with her smoking revol v er in one hand and a jac k ra:bbit in the other. "What's th e harm? I thought we d ne e d this fellow for supper, s h e began but after a look at the outlaw's sh e turn e d a s pale a s a s he s Good Heav e n s What have I don e Jess? The fel low isn't a detective, i s h e ? she cri e d sharply. "I don t know wha t he is-I'm try ing to find out!" gro wled th e o utlaw H e may be a friend, and h e may b e an en e my, but e i t her w a y you o ught to know b etter th a n to fire when w e ar e all inside! Turning quickl y ba c k t o the detecti ve, the outlaw sa!d: "Now th en, young man will you answer my qu e s tion? I wan t you to s w ear that Frank Jam es wnote that letter and I wan t to know exac tly hO'\v it came in your pos s essi o n The outlaw 's v oic e was a rou g h growl now, and Harvey knew tha t thi time he would b e o blig e d to answ e r "Hang y o u! I m no dog to be bulli e d he began. "No, I didn t see Frank J ames wh e n h e wrot e th e l e tter, but yo u v e go t it s af e ly, and m y errand i s done Now i f yo are cur e n o u g h t o sh oo t me, go ahead and do it!" There was the cli c k o f a hammer and a woman s cry, and U nitah f ell h ea vily against the outlaw's arm, send ing his bull e t fly ing, a nd at that ver y s e cond the reports fr o m two othe r w e ap o ns sound e d s imultaneously. Whoop! Lo o k o ut thar, J e ss! Git out n range of t h e r door!" yell e d H ank Watrous, bounding in. "Thar' s s pie s in ther brush y onder and they've shot ther gal! Qui ck, o r th ey'l'l be right on t o p of us! J e sse J a m es act e d with the speed of lightning thereby provin g the qui c kness of thought in emer,gen c ies for which h e was so noted. Grabbing the old woman by the shoulders, he for ce d her in front of him, then, using her body a s a shield he hurri e d out of the b.uilding. N o t fift y y ards away were the two mounted detectives with their r e volvers turned o n the shant y door, but the outlaw held the woman s bod y in a grip o f iron, and w alking backward ma

' '/ THE JES S E JAMES S T O RI ES o there! c ried Stat, _poipting t o t he d ead outlaw in the <;loonvay. "Better tha;1 ):OU think, old man,.. laugbed Harve y. "Your fir s t one winged a girl and saved m y life; s h e s t h e Indian maiden, Unitah Come in and see her!" "Great Scott! Why he' s a she-devil, th ey say," rnut ,tere. d Marcy,. a s .they s.tepped over the body. "She's a broncho-buste r and the best shot in the Rockies!'' Five minutes later the three were o .utside again, tak ing a lo o k at the bushes. 1..Jnit_ah had only stared at tliem sullenl y, while the old woman did not eve n notice them, but they were" too c;oncemcd over the outlaws t O give much thought to their recepti o n. CHAPTER III. HOT ON Tl-IE TRAlL. A n hour later th e detectives were s till outside and the . women inside the s h at1ty, but there was n o s ign o f the outla\1 s returning. collecte d all ti"1e firearms h e co uld find in the cabin. wl:icli-consisted o f two revolvers and a rifl e and the three h; d ragged the dead outlaw's body some distance away a ncl hidden it in tht' bushes rnitah was improvin g slowl y unde r the o ld \\'O;nan's catc, but s h e still kept a sullen sile nc e and only stared at the three )"Ollll?; m e n defiantly when t h ey attempted to talk to her. vVh a t do yo n think o f h e r ? asked Jlarve y as h e finishe d a b o wl of s te\\' w hi ch h e had carr ie d outsid e "She' s a tartar, all right and so i s the o ld woman! l t's you corra \er\ th e ri R es or she 'cl be plugging u s full of bullets. The quest i o n now i s. what are we g o in g to d o wi t h lier? 1yas Star's a n s\\ er. "Leave be: here. of course :\.Larey, promptly. "\Ve' re not in the country t o rescue wi l dcats! There' s n o hope of getting a word of in formation out of either one of them, and s o what's the use o f both ering wi1th them?'' '.'They'd only hamper us, and we're a h o r se short now.'' said Harvey, s l owly. "I'm wondering how we ,are t o go on .. from here. There' s a ranc;h fifteen miles to the east where we might buy a horse--" "Pshaw! The girl is too pretty to leave behind, be-' sides they'll starve to death without. a rifle ,., remarked Star. "Getting sentimental over the littl e half-breed, are you!'' s n ee r ed Marcy. "I'm sorry for her,'' began Star, glumly, "and I'd taine h e r if I conic!, bnt of course bus iness, 1 s business, and--" "And we v e got to get a m qve o n if we expect to capture that robber, for, of course, he)! make tracks for St. L o ui s right a way to rescue his brother." Harvey chuckled as he s p oke, for h e was. thinking of the letter, whic)1 was only a bogus affair, concocted by t h e three detectives. Frank Jame s was really in St. Louis at the date of the letter, and it was reported that he had s t ole n a large amount of specie which was hidde n somewhere in that city ancl whic h h e was try ing in ever y way to ship to a pl ace of safety. The authorit ies at St. Louis had discovered wh o was th e thief, but up to the clay the detectives left they bad noL either the robber or the plunder. They waited several _hours before the shanty, keeping c lose watch ll!)Oll the bushes in ho!1es of the outlaws r eturning, perhaps with r e in fo rcements; then leaving Star behind. Mar cy and Harvey rnar\e a short cut a cross the hills Lo the ranch, 1 v h ere th ey hoped to procure an extra animal. It w:: s a ti c k lish p s sitio11 fo r S.ta r, but h e carried a brace of good pisto ls in his belt, and, besides, there was an extra riAe and ple rity o f ammunition. He h<'. d di scovere d th;l t there was only one way t o enter or tli e shanty, and as the window overlooked the door he coul d easily pick off any one that ap proached. and, thanks to there was plenty o f food in the place if the old woman could be prevaile d upo n to \:oak it. It w as necessary to keep one eye on this female at first, but as Unitah fainted sncldenly and lo o k ed in dange r o f dying, the poor creature f.orgoit her 'loyalty to her brute husband, and b ecame more of a woman-. She t en d e d the girl well, f eeding her broth, a n d pouring orne sort of a linim en t over her wound, and at las t Star won her confid ence to s o m e exte11t and wormed ont of her quite a number of the ouflaw' s secrets. ''Jess hez heerd of Fank s haul,., she said, indi ff:erently. "He wuz er tryi n ter git ter


THE JESSE JAMES 5 TORiES. crit t ers 5ickem d o n him. Fleetwind wuz ther only horse prised him after a little, and, c limbing up into a high l e it, ;-;.n th er th r ee o n e m couldn't ride her-" .. So n1y mu s tang just came in handy?" broke in Harv t'y. I rcckn it di d b e i n ez how Pigeo n Toe wuz s h ot,., w::: : t on the old cr e ature. "Thet thar made t h er deal even, an giv e 'cm e r chance ter bolt. I low th ey're haif-way ter th e r L o ne Injun d iggins by this time. Thet thar s whar Jess wou ld make tracks f e r fust, I r eckn." 'How far is it fr o m her e?" a ske d the de tective, qui ckly tree at the rear of the s h a nty, he was ab'le t o make out the forms of a half-a-d o z e n horsemen approaching elach ot h e r from different directions Dropping from th e tree, he made vigorous strides ba c k and forth t owar d the in seve ral directions, then walking backw a rd and stepping carefully in the tracks th a t l e d from the tree, he climbed once more into the bran c hes. The s ix horsem e n had m et n o w jus t at the summit of "Shut up your m o uth. Nance Watrous! You r e talka knoll and, although the light was fading, he was able in" too mu c h!"' warn e d Unitah, s harply Star, who was a hands01n e fdlow, gave the young gir"l a smi le, and for just a minute h e r lids drooped unea s ily. ' H e's d e serted y o u, my girl, so why should you protect him?" h e ask ed, quickly "Hang the fellow! He d on't know but that I am mu r d eriag you thi s minute!" "] ess wouldn't keer ef you kil"led us both in cold blood, an' neith e r would Hank," said the woman sto lidly Uni tah s er fool t e r keer fer ther cap'n He'll b e er u s in' h e r fer er s hield fer hi s awn carca ss later. "N ever Jess wouldn't do that!" bu rst out th e girl, fiercely; then s h e added, in a s uppres se d voice: "He wouldn "t have to! rd give m y life for his any minute, N ance vVatrou s "Ye're er fool, Uniitah !" said the old woman agam. "Yer'd do well ter take warnin of me an' not put yer faith in ro bbe r s Star had been s itting in the door as they talked and gazing abo ut him uneasi ly, for the sun was a:lmiost down, and th ere was no sign as yet of the return of his com panions. The night was growing chilly, and he wou l d soon be forced to go insid e or else back and forth on the outside all night, which was a thing he did not relish, after a long day in the saddle. The woman cooked the rabbit any ado, and br"ought a portion of it out to the tree stump where he had up his position, after a journey o f inspec. tion around the shanty. to re cogn ize Jesse James, a s well as th e magnificent horse that h e was still riclin.g. ''Hang those two cats! If I was inside of the shan ty I c o uld def y them all ," he muttered as he watched the gang of ro bbe rs. "They're co rning this way! So the old hag was wrong after all!" Ile strained his eyes, and soo n saw the band of out law s s eparate as thot:1 g h they intended to approach the cabi n from different dir ec tions 'Which m ea ns th ey'll get a shot at me from ev ery side, if the y see me,. he th ourg ht anxious ly. Then he crouched in the tree ai1d wait ed, : with one finger on the trigger of Pigeon Toe's weapon. Three long, s hrill whistles almost under-neath him cut the air a m oment later and the y wer e promptly an swe red by so me one inside of the s hanty. Then one of the horsem e n emerged from the shadow of th e trees directly 111 front of t he door, out of range of Star' s pistol bu t in aggravtingly plain hearing. '' Hello inside Hi thar, Unitah !"called a coarse voice, cautiously. '' \i\Thar' s J es1s ?" rdorte d a voice that the de tee ti v e r ec o gniz e d a:s Unitah's. '' Y o u talk first! \ Vhai's them whelp s that chased us, Urnitah? vVho wuz they, anyw ay an' whar b e they er skulkin' ?" "Two of 'e m have gon:e to th e \ i\fatson ranch fer horses," answered the girl, promptly "You needn "t be afraid to help u1s out of here, for the other is a s dead a s vVhile he was eating he caught a glimpse of Unitah' s a door nail, right h ere in the s hanty. Have you brought face at the window, and th en b efore he realize d what us a h o r s e, N ick Perkins?" had happened, t h e old w oman h a d shut the door and Harvey strained his e ars to hea r what would follow padlocked an d h e was l e ft to s pend the nigh t i n the this extraordinary bit of information and a low crackl ing solitude of t h e fore st. . in the bushes showed him that an other h ors eman v.ras ap-\ faint vthi,tle, 'ounding fa< """Y ovM t he-Oil l s _ s u r _ _ p r o ac h i n g ____________________


h -t THE JESSE JAME S STOR!ESo "Ef thet thar"s ther case, you two females wiJ.1 hev ter with foul play, \\hen he heard horses galloping toward take keer of yerselves," said the voice again. "Jess can't afford ter erouncl this hyar s.ecti. on till they've a.ll three teen riddl ed. I'll leave er horse fer yer hyar, an' ef yer d o n 't make g-0od use on him, there ain't no one ter blame but yerselves. I"m off with Jess tcr ther Lone Injin diggin 's." He turned his horse as he spoke, and d ashed away through the bushes, while Star ground his teeth a t not being able to get a shot at him. In a second he was out of the tree and making h i s way around the shanty. The girl had lied for he1-self, no doubt, 'Still he hesita:tecl about taking the hors e which he knew she relied upon to give her her freedom. ''It can't b e hclpccl. Jess will get away if I don't,"' he mut tered . as he grasped tl:e bridle. Instantly a revolver cracked, and his hand dropped to !tis side, while lTnita h' 1 s voice rang out lik e a bugl e : "Touch that bridle again, if you dare! Ha! ha! You thought you h:ld all of the weapons, clidn 't yoc1 ?" She came toward him from the cabin door as s he poke, holding a cocked revolver in her hand, \\'hich the otltlaw had just left near the door, and, before he could recover from th e sting o f the bnllet. she ,, as in the saddle and had turned the horse's l:ead toward the di s tant moun "Gcocl-by, Nance!" she c ried. merrily. as she clashed a11ay. "'Sorry to leave you, but this hor se won't carry two at th e pace I mean to ride him 1 I 'll teJ.l Jess to sen d for yo u when he gets the time! Ha! ha! I've tricked y o u cnce, if you are a detective l"' The last was screamed at Star, who was holding his wris t. The old woman was not indined to take her de se rti o n so calmly. Stc.r shut off her imprecati c:is 1\ith : : m angry order, and then forced her, at the point of his own \\eap on, to bandage his wrist proP. e rly. it was the left hand that had been injured, s-o he 1\"as able to use his weapon, and an hour lat e r found h!m insicle the cabin, with the door securely bolted, and keeping guard n et only of the door. through the medium of the n indO\ V, but also of the old ll'oman' s every look and action. Midnight drew near, a nd yet ther e was not a sign of his friends, and Star was beginning to think the y had met the shanty. The old woman raised her head, and, just ais he \vas about to venture a yell from the window, she suddenly puit her finger to her lips and gave a shriH whisitle It was an.s1Yered instantly, and then a s eries of signa,Js were exchanged, which were too intricate for the de tective to fathom at that minute. One thing he knew, and that wais that it was not his fri e nds \\ho had drawn up before the ch)f, for the old woman's face had grown fairly radiant )vith pleasure Gripping his revolver firmly, he stood close by the win dow and as the woman made a movement tio cross the floor, he muttered a warning. "Touch that door and you are a dead woman Do yoti think I'll a llow you to let those cutthroats in here?" The woman s.Junk back, and just then Hank \Va trous .... kicked heavily agairust the logs and demanded admittance. ''Hello, inside, thar Open the door, Nance!" he bel lowed. "I can't clo it, Hank! Ther stranger's got er bead on me!"' called the w oman. shrilly. A moment's silence foJ.lowecl, and then Hank repoPted the statement to some one who appear .eel to be waiti'ng at a little distance from the shanty. "You see, I told you he was there, Jess!" called' out a woman s voice, and, even in his excitemernt, Star recog niz ed U nitah. Star moved to one side of the window, keeping close to the wall, so that a bullet coul d not touch him, and lis tened to the brief conversation that fol.Jiowed. I tell you I won't go on until those fellows are dead!" roared Jesse James. "Don't you suppose I know they wrote that letter?" "vVhafll we do, then, Jess?" asked another voice. "Shall I smash in ther .door?" "I've got something better than that," was the out law 's answer. "We'll need our bullets, and we d on't ne ed the shanty. Set fire to t h e o l d hut! I g uess that wili rout them both out." "My God! This won't do! You can't be burnt up!" cried Star, as he reaJ.ized their danger. Then, ais qu.ick as a flash, he thrust his revolver out of the window and pulled the trigger. A yell from Hank was accompanied wit:ih a terrific ex plosi on. Then, as the detective diarted back out of the


10 THE JESSE JAMES STOR I ES. way of a volley of b ull ets th a t p ou;e d in at the window a blaze of lig ht l e ap e d up from somewhere and i llum ined ever>" cornC'r of the cabin : One of the bu lle t s struck the cro uching figure of t h e .. woman. and she straightene d ou t upon the s kins w i tho u t a gro:m. Then, as Star heard the dry l ogs cmckling all about him, the r e came the c r ack of fitearms outside and a bedlam o f surpris ed sho u ts and curs e s fr o m the out s. ViThai!: h;:id happened h e did not kno w but he rna d e a quick rush for the doo r and began working at t h e rnsty padlock H e could t ell that the o ut laws had b e e n fir.eel u!)o n a n d t hat a hot fight wa s in progr ess, but the key thait fitt e d the padl o ck was in the dead woma n 's hand and as he turned to w re st it from h e r gras p, was a roar an d a fia. s h and for a s econd it seemed aS though the whole shirnty was s hooting s k yward. CHAPTER IV. THE RIPPLE C REEK BROOK. When Star regained his se ns es he fo und himself u.n

l'HE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 we kin pick 'em off C?asy; thet i s ef w e' re cute enough ter fool old Uncle Ajax.'' "Who th e d e uce is Uncle Ajax? I never heard of him before, and I thou ght I knew most of the celebrities said Harvey l aughing. Pete gav e a sharp glance over the hills, and then low ered his v oice as if he wa s afraid the bushes might hear him a s h e o ffered a somewhat as toundirtg explanation. "Uncle Ajax is er hunter what was killed by ther James gang in '79, or leastwi se, they thought tJ1ey'd killed him when the y left him strung up ter er tree that growed near ther pa s s he be g an, mysiterious ly. "There' s a story hereabouts thet e r caterrnount chawed ther rope in two er tryin' ter git at th e r bod y an' was so sea.rt when it Uncle Ajax walk off ther minute his feet teched ther ground thet he let out er howl and tumbled off n ther limb in a fit." "Thafs a good on e all right," began Harvey, but Star stopped him. "I've heard thait yam before. So the old fellow is still l iving, is he?" "You bet! But ther quare thing erbout it is thet ther James gang don't believe it, and fer thet tha:r reason they hate ther pass! They think Uncle Ajax is er spook, an' J ess, i n particklar, is a.Jl-fired superstitious He's got er n otion in his head that them as he hangs can t possibly come ter life, an' he's mostly kerrect, 'cept jn ther case of Uncle Ajax." "Hello! what have we here?" said Marcy, as he pu.lled up suddenly o n the crest of a ridge and took a sharp look ahead. "Rough country, for one thing, and water of some rnrt,' answered Harvey, drawing r ein alongside of h i m "It's ther Ripple C1'eek brook, s aid the cow puncher, afte r a careful glance. "Ther devil only knows whar thet thar st-ream goes to or what it ever run in this hyar direction fe r anyway! Thar ain t no gettin' nigh ther bank ter water er critter on acc o unt o

12. T H E JESSE JAMES STORIES. they rounded a sharp CO\\'path that they had been fol lowing. Pete pull ed up with a j erk, and o ut a characteristic exdamation. "Thet thar's e r susp1c1ous light, too, in my opinion," he added<. "I l ow something hez happened ter J ess, as thar ain't no one else to be gain' this way this mornin' I" "Then we have got to move easy, or no1: move at a11," said Harvey, quickly "If we knew he was alone it would be one t hing, but we don't. He may have been j oined by a dozen of hi s pals since he left the shanty." Pete dropped fro m his h o rs e and put his ear to the ground. "Thar ain't no h oss an' thet thar's all! want ter know," h said, warily. A moment of consultatio n followed his statement, and t hen Harvey dismo unted from his h o r s e and, a s Pete took a roundabout course over the hill, intending to come up on the oth e r side of the light, he crept softly ahead on foot to reconnoiter. As he stoJ.e along he disco v e red the light was a reflecti o n upon the s hall ow s tr ea m which he could see at interval s through the btlshes, and that the refl ec tion came from a small fire which was burning under a shelv-ing rock which overhung th e st r eam, and was almost hid den among the bu shes Working his way as stealthily as an he got nearly to the rock, but could see no p oss ibl e way of lo o kirug under it. Sti'll the r eflect ion showed that the fi're was blazing merrily, and, kn01wing that it could not have been made wi thout hands, he noi seless ly dropped down upon the ground and listen ed The first sound that greeted his ears was the hiss of fire in the water, as some one kick e d the burning embers into the stream and began stamping on the ashes. "I tell you I won't have it! .You can eat that beast raw or not eat at all !" came in Jesse James' voke. "That light can be seen on the water and yciu heard the signal, didn't you? \iVillen Unitah lets out a screech 1like that it means that I am being followed!" "Where the deuce is this gal ?" "On the hills, G>f course! She' ll be at the pass, that is, if I need her. Get that stuff down quick, for we ve got t o be g-oing I" "What's ther hurry, Jess? W e' ve got till daylii:bt Thet thar freight on the Missouri Pacific don't pass ther cut till ten and it s on ly an easy ride from hyar." "That's got nothing to do with the case, broke in the bandjt king, gruffly. "There will b e three members of the g.ang waiting for me at the diggin's with n ews from Frank, so I'm going o n as fast a s 1 can. Then who knows what may happe n at the pass! I've g o t enemies in Colorado Hank, both liv e ones and dead ones." "But I'm ez tired ez er clog an:' I m cussed ef I can mov e a step from this h ya r spot till I've rested er little. Can't the news from Frank wait? Thar can' t no one git ther dust 'ccpt ther one it's shipped to, an' bein' thet thet thar's you, Jess, thar ai n't no danger of it's strayin'.' "No, it can't wait. Come. on! roared the outlaw, apparently ,getting tired of the harangue. "I r eck 'n I've got ter go ef yo u say so, Jess; 'but you er hard master nO\yadays, an' I'im er gettin' sick of it aH W h1at is th e r in i t fer me, I'd lik e t e r know? I ,ain't had er ounce e r dU's.t fer a fortnigh t." "There'll be dust enough when we get Frank out of his hole, and yo u know the oath o.f th e James gang-once in it there's no quittin'. You've gait to do as I say, whether you like it. or no1:, and just now yolltr play is to ge1t a move on a nd fetch t>he horses. They 've had a half-hour's rest, and that ought to do them!" "My blood be on yer head, J ess, ef t hem sleuths is out side," growled Hank, as he splashed one foot in the water. "'Ah! Those f e llows were wittg e d, both of 'em. 1I plugged 'e m mys e li, and, as for the third, yo u saw Mtn rq asting, didn't you?" "Erlong with ther old woman, yes, I d id, Jess," said the other, sava:geliy. "An I swore right thet thar second I'd be even with yer, J ess Thet's how I com e t e r trip over yer, if ye r remember! I 'lowed yer pistol would fly up and--" Crack! Tlbe outlaw had heard enough, and Hank Watrous gave a h ow! o f terror. He had been re c kless in r daring the outlaw's wrat'h, but he did not believ e that Jess would shoot him. As his body iell heavily in the water it splas-hed the bank for some di tance, but afte r t h e las t rippl e h'ad died out tfr1ere was not a so und or m ove m e nt. Harvey raised his head from the ground and listened


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. j intently, at the same time dra,wing a revolver, which he had secured, from his belt and pbcing one finger on the trigger. He fully expected to hear J esse James l eave his hiding place uncl er the rod.: in a minute, and, taking his oue from t;hat first splas h he kept his glance riveted upon the water. A minute lat er there was a movement .at his side, and Pete dropped from beside him, putting his lips close to his ear and whispering a word of caution: "Thar's some one in ther brook er rod erbove hyar, I reck'n lt's too cussed dark ter fire, an' I 'lowed I'd best not halt 'em !" Harvey sprang to his feet with a growl o f disgust. ''By thunder! Then I've l ost him! He's gone the other way!" he cried as he dashed bac1k to t'he path and then ti ied to find a spot where he could get a glimpse of the stream. "That was J ess him self! He was hiding under that ledge of rock! Quick, Pete! His horse is somewhere near here in the bushes!" He dashed into the thick growth of bush es as h e spoke and choos ing the spot which seemed the thinnest, he broke through a nd waded out into the shallow streaim. Directl y under the overhanging l edge oi rnck he stum bled over Hank's dead body, which was lying face up ,, ard in about a foot of water. He did not wait to examine the cave under the rocks, for the outlaw had already got a good start of him, and he could make but sl0w progress walking in the water. That Jess was trying to hide 11is tracks from whoever might follow was evident by his choosing this route, and, as the detective followed him in the watery tra'il, !he began to wonder what would be the end o f his reckless yenture minutes o f vigorous work, and then into another pool, which made him strike out wit h might 11l'ain and swim for several minutes in what loo ked to be' a placid basin. "There's something wrong 1:1. ere The fell ow has tricked me!" he muttered, as he finally reac hed a spot where 't!he water widened out severa l ieet and the shadows from the bushes made it look like a pool of ink. Th1e low g urgle of uh. e small mountain cataract came to his ears, and then, before he had full y !'Ocated the sound, t0he swish and roar of miniature rapids reached him from another direction To l eave the stream at this po i!llt would mean to plunge into an almost impenetrable forest, while to go on W'Rs ro face clangers h e was ill prepared to meet; so !!here was only one course to pursue, and that to return to the overhanging rock and try to join his party. He hated to do it, but there seemed nothing els e, and, as he stood waist high in the water, he raised his revolver above his head and fired it twice as a s ignal. Instantly two shots were fired from a weapon not far away, but t1he marksman was ahead, and not behind him "It's Jess, curse him!" he under his breath "He's trying to lure me on I There are rapi

14 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. brook where he could go no further, and to his con sternation the bullet that accompanied them came behind and not ahead of him. Harvey shut his teeth firmly and tried to l ocate th e voi'Ce rwhkh 'he finally decided came from the branch es of a tree, the highe s t one on eit h e r bank of the Ripple Creek brook that he had passed so far. Jesse Jame s had allowed him to pass him unmo .Jested, but it was very easy to see his motive in doing so, f.or the roar of the falls showed that they were not a hundred yard,; away and the current was already sucking him slowly in that dir ect i on. When he realized this he forgot everything else and stTiking out for the shore, tried his best to gain a footing. Another bullet skimmed across the water within an inch of his head, and, although the stream was not deep at that point, the suction was so great that he could not make much headway. "Ha! ha!" laughed the ouHaw, again, "you 've got nerve all right! I reckon you're one of those whelps that escaped me up yonder at the shanty! Hank Watrous, curs e the traitor, knocked my arm when I shot, but he's gone to his last account, the same as all of my enemies do, first and last Hello! you've suc ceeded in getting a foothold, r1ave you 1 ?" The question \\a. s followed by a gt>eat crackling of bushes and Harvey, who had really just manage d to find the firm sand of the bank, made a desperate at tempt to gain terra firma before the outlaw reached h i m. "He must have eyes like an owl's," he muttered, as he made a grab for a bush that hung out over the 'W'ater and tri ed to draw himself under cover. Thud! The heavy blade of a knife struck the branch that he had hold of, and, with a piece of bush in his hand, the d etec tive toppled over 1 backward. He wias on his feet in a s econd, and once more making for the ibank. time as he grasped for a bush 'he drew his r evo lver and a bullet went speeding in the direction of the skulking outlaw. A yell of pain was followed b y a v.olley of curses, drawn tight with a jerk, and the next minn t e he \Y:lS g r abbed by the o utlaw and liitecl bodily ove r the bushes. What happened for th e next five minutes he hardly knew, except that hi s face a nd hands were sc ratched by twigs a nd br ambles, and th e lariat o f vines t':1at enci r cled his body, binding his arms close to his sides, seemed to cut deeper and deeper with every movement. "There, ) OU whelp! Now I'll have a look at you and enjoy my revenge!" roared the outlaw as he finally dropped his burden o n the ground und er an oak that covered a dearing with its broad branches. Drawing a match from his pocket he lighted a piece of dry wood, and, standing it where it would throw its rays upon his victim, he proceeded to examine him. "So you're the chap that brought the letter from Frank," he said, afte r pulling the lariat a little tighter and examining the d etec tive 's feature s "\iVell that's the first point I've got to settle with you, and we'll begin with that first; the others will keep until later." He seated himself by Harvey as he spoke, laying a coc ked revolver on his knee, then taking a chief from his pocket, h e bound up a wound in his arm where the detective 's bullet had graze d him. Ha1 rvey shut his lips, and did not repl y, and, after a second, the outlaw relieved him of his weapons. "It ain't often I get a chance to spend a little time chatting with a detective," remarked the outlaw, with a cruel smile. '"I'm usually in a hnrry, but that don't happen to be the case to-night. I'm not 'hank e rin to make the Live Injun Pass before daylight, and it lacks an hour of that, I reckon. "W'h at's the matter with the pass?" asked Harvey "That's not here nor there. If you've got a ny explanations to make, go ahead and make them!" Harvey braced himself up a s well as his bonds would let him, and, looking his capto'l" squarely in the face, he lowered his voice mysteriou:sly. "I reckon it's all right for you to kill me, Jess," he said, 1 slowly. "I'm a superstitious cuss, and I knew my time had come to cash in my checks! Something I saw back there by the cave was--" L. wm

THE JESSE JAMES STO RIES 1 5 gh ost, do yott? -0 ld fellow with long hair artd a rope dangling around his neck--" I reckon I did see that same thing," s aid Harvey, stolidly. "It give m e a turn that I' slid from the saddle, and the next instant the old man let out a yell that made my blood run co ld, and what did my m u stang do but turn tail and bolt like a skyrocket!" He sat up a little st ;algl {te r as he sp oke, and tried to study the outlaw's face, bnt the to rch had nearly burned out, so he could not see it distinctly. "That was a bout three-qLmrt-er s oi hour ago, wasn't it?" asked Jesse James, after a minurt:e. "Then that means that it is roaming hills and .if l had gone straight ahead, I mighthave dodged him." The words were spoken with a deliberateness that r11ade Harvey trem'ble for the success of his ruse, and as the outia w broke off another dfy bough from one of the lar gest bushes atid stripped it of leav e s preparatory to lighting it he watched him anxious ly. At that sern'nd was a tremendous crash in the bushes, followed b y a fie11dis h yell, and J esse James fc'rnnd hiinself pinioned b) ; something t ha t r esembled a humat1 tiger. Hrt shook him se lf free like a flash, and to pull trigger o f hi s but a blow o n : his Wri st sent the btiliet whizzing through the darkness in an othe r directi o n T h en came another hand-to-hand struggle, which Harvey not witness, for som e ohe had c-ome between h im and the contestants, and he co uld feel a kn i fe hacking at the vines that bound him. Two m ore form s er.ashed t h e bushes. and into the clearing, but by thi s time the outlaw had suoceeded in dr a win g another weapon, a nd as his fir s t assai lant \\'ent don with a knif e stic kin g in his h eart, two un erring bullets stru ck th e n e 1 vcome r s and disaibl e d them. Then wit h the quickness o f a deer the outlaw made a dash thr o ugh the bushes, ev id e ntly t'hin k ing that there might be more to f ollow, and Harvey, j erking a pi sto l from th e b elt of o n e of hi s rescuers, darted after him, pull ing hard at the trigger, but without firing a bullet. At the water:s eclge he stood still and listened a min ute, cro uching behind a st un ted tree. so that he would n o t be a targe t for the outlaw's bullets. '.:ltrdtlenh a ark ob j ect sho t acr os s the stream several yards away and a man 's head appeared in the center of it. "A canoe, by thunder A n d Jes s i s in it! h e yelle d, excited l y. "Why the devil don't th i s thing work, I wondet?'" He fing e r ed the weapon carefully, finding every chamber empty and as h e groaned with rage, the canoe wa s lost in the darkness. J esse J am es had gone O'.rer the falls in his fra oik "' craft, l eaving the detective bemoaning his lack of kn-owledge of the country and wondering whe r e wou l d be the prope r place t o look for th e o utlaw's body. Five minutes lat e r he was back under the oa k tree finding th e torch still burning a nd hi s three r ecen t compani o ns sitting glumly around th e d e ad body o f an old man whose featll'res were not unfamiliar. "Thank God we were on time i We had the devil 's own time gettihg here,'' began Marcy, who was nurs ing a bullet wound in his ankle. "Who is this?" asked Harvey, taking a sharp look at the dead man. "It's U ncle Ajax! Yes ; r e ckerlect, I told you he hated J ess exclaimed P ete "Waal, he had h ee rd Jes s : was comtin ', an' he was -out on 1 er still hunt f e r ther rob ber! W e run afou l of hj l m n o t five a-fter yet t-oo k ter t h er st r eam; an' when I t-old him Jes s was ahead thar no stoppin' him so we jest got t h e r critters tergether an' started after ye r "This is th e one I owe you," laughed Harvey, as he lit anoth e r t o rch. "The next on OU'r list t o be rescued is Marcy. Marcy was cutting anrother torch as he sp9ke, and as h e appli e d a match, he siaid: "Well, b oys, it's almost and we must tak e th' i s old fe'llow's body back to th e pass. 1lhe old chap told me c oming al-ong that he had a daughter, and h e made me promi se that if an'.)'thin g happened t o him that we fellows wo u ld protect her. She 's got r e latives in St. L ouis, I believe; but yo u can bet I wouldn t have prom i se d if I 1 h ad exp ecte d fo.r a minute that. t h e old duffer 's care e r was about to close--" "But, having promised, o f course you'll s ti c k ro it, old man!" broke in Star; and, of course, we 'll he l p you to s1hip the girl East. I only hope she'll take our bravely!"


16 THE JESSE JAMES S T ORI ES "I was thinking that suppose Jess sh!'.)Uld reach the pass first," continued Marcy. "He recognized the old man, no doubt, and knows that he is dead! It might be like lhim to vent his spite on his

THE JAMES STOR!ES. 17 mar:ked, soberly. "He was for Jess in the hope of corraling fhat ten and, like many another good man, he fell a victim to the roibber Now, the ques tion to me is, what can Jess want with the girl? If she was a rich man's daughter, the case would be dif ferent; but there's no one at the Lone to offer a ransom for her "Thar's no accountin' fer some of thet thar villain's

18 THE JESSE JAMES SiORIES There was a flash o f light ahd a puff o f smoke' from the ductot, griml y. "If you had only toJ.d me the r 'c:iof of the last car as he spoke, and, as a pis tol cracked, aboard I" hi s own weapon was knocked out of his fingers. Crack! Ctatk C rack! Three s 'hots followed the first o ne in rapid succession, and the outlaw, whose head had been shielded by his own saddle, which he had taken upon the car with him, sud denly sprarng to his feet and drew a nother r evo lver'. Fot full y a second h e stood etect, a splendid target for every weapon in the crowd; the'n, as he em p t i ed o n e revolver and drew another, the trnirnmen suddenly seemed to become aware of their own responsibility in the matter. Not one of the lot knew that the outlaw was on tihe car, as those who saw him took him for a tramp who was s tealin:g a ride across the country, and they nd r.o c.nO of""""'" fo r me,"' sa id the cbn 1iGrea.t snakes! A:s if we tell ye as plain as our pisto1J s could ta lk growled the sheriff, angrily. "Now thet tha.r rabbet liasr got ther laugh o n m e, .as wdl as on every other sheriff in Colorado! I reckorn he's hailf way te r Denver by this 1Jime, at there rate h e waS' g10in' !" H e lo o ked eagerly down the track, where n:othing could be seen n ow blllt a doud' of sm9ke that was dis.aippea ring, and then shook his head as if the d1isgrace wa:s too "much fcr him. The disappointment of the three was intense ; but thete was nothing left for them t'o do bUJt tnove on toward Denvet, so, after another they started off. : iea ving Pete Spencer to go back vv ith the sheriff's The trainmen tapped a teleg1ap : h wire that ran along above t he track, and sent a for 'to the n ea r es t sta ti o n. I-f!ggins will drnp dead when he teads it ,' sai d the gti mly. "I had ter tell him we'd been held up by a sheriff's p osse and that J ess ; am es off with th er engine!" The sher iff hi s back t0 rthe Diggings so'on they were ahJ.e to go, and, although he had Jost James,_ h e was ma

THE JESSE JAMES S T O RI ES. 1 9 ts prowess now to feel sure that he would do it, tmJ.ess they were clever enoll'gh to learn his pkms and outwit him. r ", L I I To this end they b ent all their energies, and were soon in communication with the authorities at St. Louis., bu:t forty-eight hours elaps ed before a clew was forthcoming that told them accurately of the outlaw's movemenit s. CHAPTER VII. THE DETECTIVES IN CLOSE QUAR'l'ERS. At five minutes past twelve oi the third night of their stay in Denver, Harvey and Star made a tour of some of the worst streets in the city. They were holding a low conversation when Star sud denly put his hand on his friend's arm and the next second, without a word, they both darted into a hall \vay. A moment later three men pa ssed them in the darkness, and after they were far enough away for safety, the two detectives shadowed them. ''Tracked at last, by Jove!" muttered Star, delight edly. "That's Dead Shot Bill on the right, and Bink Barrows in the middle. Who is the other fellow?" "Exactly what we must find out! The other two are certainly members of the James gang, so it stands to reason that the third is a rascal of some sort." "They are making straight for Murphy's! I wish Marcy was her e!'' said Star again. "It will take tw1 0 of us to trail that trio, and we need a t'hird to-" ''Hello! They are going to separate! That means that you and I part company here," broke in Harvey, s oftly. ''I'll the two while you shadow the suspect! Good luck, old man! I'll see you later!" Harvey moved away from his friend, and, quicken ing his pa ce, was soon on the track of the two members of the James gang, whos e faces an d forms they had seen in the Rogues' Gallery at Chicago. At the next corner these two rascals were joined by a third man, and as Harvey got a look at him under a gaslamp he g:::ve a gasp of wonder. "Tanner, of the city detective bureau, as true as I live!" he muttered. "There's treachery there all right! No wonder the city can't get information of Jesse James or his pals! The rascals have iound a friend at head quarters!" Slipping his badge int.a his pocket, and altering his appearance a little, the detective slowed up and waited until the three men disappeared behind the swinging door of a miserable saloon which was kno1 wn to be a rendezvous for the worst characters in As he was creeping up to the door to listen a minute before going in, some one touched his arm, and turning, he saw Marcy. "Hello, old man !" said Marcy. "Just in time, I see! I just met Star, and who do you suppose he's after? No one less than an express messenger from t he Union Pacific He told me the fellow had just left Dead Shot Bill--" "And I'm just going to join him," answe r ed Harvey, sharply. "Stay outside till I whistle, o l d man! One at a time won't look so su.spicious!" "Go easy! There's some one spying!" whispered Marcy, catching a glimpse of a dark shadow near' the door. Harvey pulled an old silver watch out of his pocket and looked at it, saying in a careless voice: "Come inside, Pat! Faith, it's Murphy as se!Ls the sthuff ter mak' yer schlape foine A snifter av whisky will do yez good, and we'll be afther gettin' home thin one in the mawnin' !" "Yez can go by yerself, Hinnessey," was the prompt answer, as Marcy lurched off across the street. "Sure it's not Murphy's vile sthuff that I do be after wan tin'!" Harvey promptly assumed a half-drunken gait, and reeled up to the door, but as he had expected the man on guard had vanished. whether he had been deiceived by them or not, he could not tell, but there was nothing to do except take the chances. He opened the door boldly, and staggered in while Marcy walked half-way up the block and then turned back as though he had changed his mind a.bout taking the "snifter." As he reached the building, which was a ramshackle affair, consisting of only two stories, he was just in time to hear Harvey whistle. \Vithout a second thought he dashed into the place, finding himself in a narrow entryway. Opening a door at the further end, he stopped abrouptly upon the threshold, and, in spite of his long experience in strange sights, a whistle escaped him


THE JESSE JAMES STt>RI ES. No l ess tha1 1 twenty men were in th e room, five of whorti wo r e masks, while at least st!Ven m o re were guis ed o ne way o r another. "The James gang, by Jove!" the exclamation that rose to his lips, but it was cut short by his r eceiv ih g a push in the middle of t h e ba<:k which sent him sp ining across the barroom. "Ha! ha! Now b o lt the door, Humpy, and lower the lig hts! ordered a voice that h e recognized at o nce as b elong-ing to J esse James. "That's another of the cursed sneaks! We've bagged a fine brace -0f 'em! !\ow, then, t o business, men! It isn't safe ior us to la g, 11ot even at Murphy's1". "'s 'right, Jess! The police may get wind of ye at "Let's have n o firin urged Murphy, anxiously. "Use yer k nif e, Jess! Musn' t make no noise fer ther p o lic e ter hear," suggested cme of the men. Ma:rcy >Vas near e nough to see th e outlaw whip a knif e out of his belt, and, making a quick spring for ward, the detective plante d h i s fist in hi s eye with so much force that Jesse Jame s reeled backward and would have fallen had not one of his men caught him. Just then a revolver slipped from one of the cu t thPoats belt and, striking squarel y o n the hammer, ex plo

a THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 21 rto the sa l oon, finding no one but Mtlrphy with the ping wound in his breast. Marcy pulled one hand loose b y a tremendous effort, d then whipped out a penknife that the robbers had erlooked, and a minute later the two detectiv e s were ealing o ut of the neighborhood with as stealthy i11ove ents as though they were members ot the gang of ctH roats. "Anothet trick for J James!" growl ed Ha:rv e y, ftly. "It begins to look as if w .e'd never catch him!" "We stand as good a show as any one," wais Marcy's swer; "bu.t oome on, old man, we must get ou' r wi ts toet her I J esse James l eaves Denver on a fr.eight! train in ss than ten minutes!'' They haid been hurrying along they taHced and were a fair 'ly wel l-light e d s ection of the city, and, a mo' ent later a close d carriage pa.ssed them going at a treendous pace. "HeHo what's up?" cried Harvey. "There's a !"Um us going on ins id e there! Whoop her up, old man! 'm sure wer e in for something!" "I've had about enough for one night/' l 1aughed Ma. r cy, s he sporinted ahead ; but, ot course, if there',g trouble head I'm--" "Help! help! Save me!" shrieked a woman's voice at hat minute, the s ound coming from behind the closed oors of the catriag e. "I t old you so! It' s a w o man yel 1 led Harvey. They made an other frantic dive ahead, and, at that nstal1t, the v ehicle stopped sutld{!J11ly, and a man, whom hey saw ottly for a sernnd, da s hed away in the da rk ess. Harvey reached the carriage door in time to catch the ccupant as she came tumbling o ut bri cking at th e t o p f her lungs. and, a.s Marcy help e d him carry her to the idewalk, the y b oth caught a glimps e of a third perso n n the c arriage. "HeNo! it' s the girl, Uuitah cried Marcy. "Hold n there, driver! Don't l e t him go, o ld man! Ten to ne we've got the girl that Jes-se James s t ole--" A burst of shril1 laughter cut short his sentence, and nitah st oo d up in th e carriage a nd sc r e amed a111 order ) her driver The f e llow w o u1ld have refuse d if the click of a pis ) 1 hamm e r within a foot of his head had n o t a c ted as 1 indu c ement, and, wh ipping up his horse s, h e dashed down the leaving Ma. rcy shouting for the police, whiJ.e "ll crowd of pede strians were quickly ga thering from all directions "It's the James gang! Use you r wits now, o ld man !" warned Star, a s he .got his breath after carrying the git! I b o dily Give 'em some sort of a story, an

22 THE JESSE JAM E S S TOR I ES. be willing to bet now she ain "t b e en in civilization fifteen minutes! "And she's half scared to d eath!" broke in Star. "Get ourt of th e way, my friend! Can t yo u s e e that you're only making her worse with staring!" "Wher e the deuce is the officer on this beat, any how! We might as well be o n the prairie," .went on Marcy, angrily. "This is my first visit to D e nver and I hope it will be the last. The place i s rotten!" "It is, hey Reckon yer a tenderfoot what don t know er live town when yer see it!" roared the coars e voice again, and the burly fellow with the slouch hat tried to wedge himself in between the two detectives. "Wall, I r ck n now we'll show yer what kind of er town this 'hyar is! Yer kin let go of thet thar gal, an' b e c ussed quick erbout it!" "That" s rightt Ther chap is

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