Jesse James in disguise; or, The Missouri outlaw as a showman


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Jesse James in disguise; or, The Missouri outlaw as a showman

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Title:
Jesse James in disguise; or, The Missouri outlaw as a showman
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Creator:
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
32 p. ; 26 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Genre:
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:
028819229 ( ALEPH )
07356708 ( OCLC )
J14-00020 ( USF DOI )
j14.20 ( USF Handle )

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serial

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issued }f?eekly. By Subscription $2.JO per year. Entered as Second Class M,tl/ e r at l\' e w York ?.1st Office by STREET & SMIT H 238 1 Villia111 31., X. Y. No. 20. Price, Five Cents. "WITH YOU R KIN D P ERMISS I ON," SAID THE DIRGUISED JESS E JAMES, "SIGNOR VERDI, THE WORLD-RENOWNED LION-TAMER WILL START THE PERFORMANCE.''

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By Subscription $2.so per year. Et
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2 THE JESSE JAMES Under hi s breat h he was sa:ying: "Heavens and t;arth can it be that man, and here? I irerpen:iber my oath. What can he want with me ?J' The party who had caused him such uneasines s m ainecl in the crowd. He had a slouch hat drawn clown over his eyes in such a manner that. his face could not be well seen. In figure he was rather tall and an ,ything but stout, although h i s build indicated strength of the tiger species Darley soon brought his glowing speech to a clo se, and gave up his place to an assistant, who simply took in the mon ey and invit ed the gentlemen to step up. As the professor turned to enter the tent the party who had sig n a led him pressed after and .<:aught hi s arm. "Julius, how are you?" "Bless m y so ul, can it be you, Jesse James?" ''.Hush! don':t breathe nam e a loud." I forgot." "My e ne in ies are here b y the dozen. I have been hotly chas-ed for an btour ba ck "You don't mean it .'' know I a111 here." '.'Jupiter! will they try to take you?" "I reckon so," r ep lied the other, coolly, as the, i n the pas sagew ay between the entrance and the proper. .; tent "You won't give up tamely. It wouldn't be like you, anyho\v." The outlaw of :Missou r i laugh ed hoarsely, and laid his band on tl;e showman's shoulcle r "I don t intend giving up at all, Julius. "They saw you come in?" "Yes." "And wiil watch the d oor?" "r;o doubt of it." "Then have one chance. You can ; slip out the back way. by pas sing under the canvas." The man addresse d shook his head "It won't do, Julius. "\i\Thy not?" "There is a posse aro u nd your tents. They have the p l ace surrounded. Any such attempt would meet with failure." The showman gave an exclamation of disgust. \i\Thiether he was more concerne d over the disa ste r hanging above his show than the danger rnernacing his old friend could not be told. \ ii/hat can be done?" he asked. "You can save me?" returned the other, in the coo l assurance that distinguished h i m even under the hottest fire. "Tell. me .. how." "That's '"'hat I'm here for. Julius, have you forg-ot your oa-th ?" "Never." "The time has come t o redeem it. For a certain p pos e I came to town. 'Th e bloodhot ncls o f the la w wind of it. I know the man who betraye d me and n the y think to make a sure j oo of i t by surrounding t ents and capturing me." "Time flies T ell me what I c an do?" "Are yo u ready to take some risk?. The show man groaned. "I mu st. M y oath binds me. Go on "You ca n r eac h your dressin.g-room with out pass through the crol\vcl ?" "Yes; this passage l eads to it "Then l et's .go the r e." "Follow me." I:oucl voices at the door \\ere heard. "Out of the way, man, and let us in. We are of the law in search of J esse James. I am the sheriff this county." "Begorra, it's the w<;ix figure av Jesse James yees w to arrist. BedaJ, enter an' welcome to yees all. T profes so r will have damages to collect if ye harre m wax works," came the voice of th e doorkeeper. ''Pu s h on, Juliu s ." Although the danger was so near, the outlaw seemed preserve hi s coo l ness. N o one had ever see n him flurried, even when bull w ere flying about him like hail s ton es, and w ounds ca thi ck and fast. His p owe r o f r et aini -ng his ooo l ne ss in 'the face o f cl ger had saved his lif.e on more than one occasion. They reached the professor's dressing-room ki This was a m e re box of a piace. when th e y ente r ed it was empty. "\i\Till we have a few minutes to spare?" asked .ti f h un.te d man. "The performance begins at eight; I have just time d r ess "111en l et me save you the troubl e "Eh?" "For one night I will b e the shovvman The professor looked a g ha st. t: "Great heavens, man! Nero t ear you in piec 1 if you dared entet hi s cage." "Oh, perhaps so I'm not such a fool. In fact I'd so on face the human tigers that lie in w ai t and take chan ces with them. You see, my tal ented assista111t Si nor Verdi will do the lion act." Like a flash i t all passed through the bra. in of the sho111 man. r fe was quick to catch 011.

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THE J E S SE J/\MES STORHE S. ott "It can b e done. I believe," he cried. "Of co u rse it ca n. l\la ke haste and rig m e out. I'll Ptiy and do you credit for one night." g "But the ri s k. no J esse James snapped his fingers. '. t I don't care tbat for it. Hold, you are perhap s thinkg cf yourse lf Julius; I ran a risk for yo u o nce.'' His words o f reproach \\ e n t home. Say no more. See, I s hall c hange your looks so that ur mother w o nlcl'nt !mow you.'' He was as good as his w ords. 6 1t \ Vith ck:ft fingers h e dressed th.e hunted man, who elped hinmdf as w ell a:s h e was ?-ble. The thiP g was done in a miraculously short spa ce of me. As th e prnfessor had declared, such was the c hange in s aP'pearani.:e that his nearest relative would n o t have c 10\'n him. r '"There you are. ?'\ow for yourself. All depe n ds on u whether thi s is a succes'S or faih:re." '"\\'ait and see h o w I manage the business I think I [ as cut out for a showm a n \11 I wanl i s that yo u stand ear to giv e me hints, and take t h e r e in s when t h e team !ks." '"'Ne'll mana g e it, neve r f ear." It was something o f a ri sky undi e rtaking, since the fficer s w o uld be pres ent and lo o kin g eve rywhere for le . d d eir mte n e quarry. 1l111 Few m e n wou l d have dared to undertake it. r h our had arrived when th e p erformance must 1eg111. F ro m the professor the n ew s h owman had gleaned ome hin ts r e lati ve to the order of events. Of co uns e h e m ean t t o b e on his dignity as the master tl f ceroemonies, and let t he genuine s howman d o mos t of 1e talking. As th ey emeged from the dressing-room the larger nt was see n to be fairly wdl fill ed with people. They ga1 ped at the o ld li o n in hi s cage and the c uri os upon the platforms. The .great 2.gg r egah on of wonders was som ething in he order of the dime museums now see n in all the large \;\The n the s h owman, followed by hi s as s istant, bo t h ressed i n their fantastic costumes, entered the main tent atten ti o n o f all p r ese n t was at once directed toward 1he111. ig J esse James played his part well. He clapped hi s hands together. w All nois e ceased. "Ladies and gentlemen all o w me to thank you for your :i11d atrcntio a. vVe will endeavo r to g iv e you your 1oneys worth to-night. You have gazed with kindled eyes upo n the strange curios iti es gath ered u nde r t h is c: rn vas, the greatest aggregation of liv ing w ondns ever brought to Missouri And now, wi1>h your k ind penniss i o n m y talented ass istant, t h e worldr enow ned lio n tamer, Si g nor Verdi. will start the p erformance by enter in g yonder cage and causing the king of to obey hi s orders-a sight that nms t thrill every SFcc tator. I beg that all will keep q u i et whiJ.e h e i s caged with the b e a st. Amid a breathless sile n ce the man sudd e n l y appe:i r e d in th e cage. The a .nimal did not r ecogn iz e him in hi s cha nged attire, and gave s i g n s of u g liness; but a cat of th e whip and a few c ommands in the well-knovvn voice o f hi s master wer-c s ufficien t to bring him to hi'S se n ses During thi s thrilling sce n e eve r y ey e must have b ee n g lued u pon the cage a nd it s inmates; a t l eas t o ne w o u ld t hink this wo u ld b e t he case, but a cer t a i n mdivid ual in the rear of the showman seemed to find more pl easure in staring at him than the exciting in c id ent of the l i o n and hi s master c ould afford. C HAPTER II. DARL8Y's W :\X WORKS. The indi v idual who aippeared to be so d eep l y intercsted in the mock s howman was appa r ently an ordinary m a n. He would not attract atte nti o n anywhere. Quietly dressed and wearing a pair of glasses, h e had the a ppearance o f a Gem1an student in se:arch o f infor matio n. T h e ayes that l ooked thrnugh the were ke e n e nough t o pierce the dis g u ise o f t h e man who had assumed1 th e position o f showman. "I"ve found him at la st. But they dio n 't suspec t it. He mustn' t fall into their hands, at least n o t until I have forced him to tell me that sec ret. I ve hunted for him long, 'Near y m o nths. and1 to t hink I'd him in "Su c h a place, with a s heriff and his p osse around him! 'Will the y di scove r the fraud, I see no ev i dence of it y e t .' Thus muttering, the man who w o re spec t acles m o ved a iitti e cl ose r t o the showman. He cou ld have put out hi s hand and cl.utched the other had he so de sired; but ,:Such a move was contrary t o his thoughts. Through bi s mind strange thoughts were Aying He could1 s ee in imaginatio n the sudden excite 1n ::nt th::it nms t ensnc s h ou ld l 1 e announce h i s d isc ove r y to th e cmwd. Such a picture caused him to chuc k l e and t h en h e be cam-e g rave again for the s h owman was looking into hi s face. Meanwhile the performance in the lion's cage came to a clos e

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4 THE JESSE JAMES STORBES .. Signor Verdi appeared upon the platform beside the snake charmer, and under his direction \She was put throu gh her paces. The man with spectacles n o ticed that s h e I ook ed in a strang e way from the s ignor to the showma n, as though puzzled The reptiles had been returned to their glass case, and he movied toward the girl. H was easy to engage her in convernation, and a few compliments on her performance, skillfully worked in, mad e her pliable. "What do you think of the new arrangement?" th e istranger. "I'm puzzled," she replied. "In what way?" "That man i s a fraud." "You mean th e pPofessor ?" "He calls him se lf so, but Signor Verdi is really the professor." "I thought as much; that's why I asked you how you liked the new arrange ment." ''Who is he, anyhow?" "I reck o n a friend of the professor he's worked in for the bu s iness Ever seen him before?" "Never." Short though thi s conversation with the fair s nak e charmer wais, it appeared to full y satisf y the desire of the man who wore the glasses. He l ost himself in the crowd ag.ain, assuming a posit i o n where he c o uld watch the s h owman, even though in a poor place to see the performance. Jesse J ameis carri ed out his part well. Entering into the spir it of the thing, h e managed to keep the crowd inter este d and amnsed, while the sig11or al so did his part, introducing each performer with a flour ish of trumpets. \Vhile th i s wa going on several men might have been seen com in g fr.om different quarters, as though to con sult. It was evident that they were baffled in something they had endeavored to perform a.'!1d1 in which the y had ex pected an easy sucoess. In all th ere were five o f them. On e was the r ed-faced man who had so bluntl y an noun ced hims e lf to the keeper at the doors as the sheriff of the county. As they c o nsulted, their eyes were fastened upon the showman and his assist.ant. Jeisse James saw them. He affected not to notice their manner, although certain that they were up to some mischief or other. The man who wore glasses also noticed their action, and kcpt watch upon them. Gradually the wonders of the great aggregati on w disposed of. The show would not clo e for some time yet,
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THE J ES S E J AMES STORIES. 5 "Every word. That dev i l is under your canvas, and as we have the place surrounded, he is as good as a goner." 'Ge ntlem e n, I'm with you in thi s business, heart and \ \ I soul. Tell me \Yhat I do, and you may depend upon it, I'll carry out your directions to the l ette r." i 'You're no friend of Jesse James?" ''I'm the fri end of law and order. You'll find me on that side always. In a show like this great aggregation of wonders, a man--" "All right profe sso r, we want you to show us through your tents. ''.You are at liberty--" '"'vVe particularly desire you to lead the way. If there i s any hiding-place a cunning man of his nature could discov er, you will be apt to know of it. Lead on, pl ease." Although the words were soft and silky, there was a metallic rin g in the voice of the sheriff that told plainly enough his determination to be ob.eyed when he s poke. ''With pleasure, gentlemen. Come wit h me." They followed him as he led the /"Vay past the cage of Nero. Darley looke d after them anxiously but did not take any step toward following. He b e lieved the man whom h e hacl sworn to help be cause of a debt in the past, was well able to loo k out for himself. The do o r connecting the two tents was just beyond the l ion s c;;ige. -In the Siecond inclosure tbe light s vvere 1 t urned clown. Still o n e could see around, and the many figures behind the ropes h ad a very weird appearance, representing as they did, the noted persons in history. As soon as the men passed into the tent where the wax figures were arranged they showed their interest. The showman proceeded to turn up the lights. Of course the effect of t his was magical. Various exclamations attested to the manner in which the men received the shock, for it was something stran ge t o find one's self sudden l y surrounded by such fantastic creations. One man made a bad break. He raught the arm of the s heriff in an excited way. "I see him! I see him! Stand still, you devil, or I'll fire ; you i1ear me. The latter part o f t his speech was not di rec ted toward t h e sheriff, but thrown in tl1e direction o.f a figure toward which his attention seeme d to be drawn. At the same time he leveled a revolver so a s to cover the man. The other made no move to escape. Oi course, the attention of the whole company was dra\1n to',:\ard the object of his solicitude, and various exclamations arose. "Ifs him sure enough," said one. ''Jesse James, as I live," breathed another. "Cover him. boy s." It was astonishing to see the readiness with which tne men brought their weapons to bear upon the figure. Still the object of their attention moved not. "Hold!" called out the sheriff. He was just in time to prevent th e m from firing upon t h e outlaw. "vVhere are your eyes? That a in't Jesse J am es. Don't you see the figure is mad e of wax?" The truth burs t U pon them. Some were so s keptical that they would not believe it until the y hac: gone ovwa n d f e lt the body. The n they were convi1:r.ed. The showma n bad chuckled !Jo see their actions all this whiie. He .'.lpp earecl to l o o k on it as a huge joke. "That wa s a compliment, gentl e men. Goes to show how true to nature rl.ly figur es arc. Lucky you held your, fire," he said. "Come, \\"here do yon s upp o se this man can be hidin g ? demanded the sheriff, not a littl e chagrined at the mistake his men had mad e in the matter. "That is a i1ard question to decide We can look around and see." The shmvma n exhi bited the greatest nonchal ence with regard to the matter. Even the sight of the various weapons in the hands of the men d i d not affect him. One would think he was accu stomed to such sc e nes. He the men this way and that. They poked into variou s crevices. and were on the point severnl t i mes o f making great discoveries, but on each occasion it turned o u t to be t he same old story-a fraud. Thus time was consumed and nothing accompiished. The sheriff began to grow angry, and even toward the showman a s though seized with a suspicion that the other was dec eiving him. They sea rc he d unti l weary. 'Come, s how us some other place," demanded the sheriff, gruffly. The show"man pointed out the lion's cage, but here th e sheriff drew the line; he could not be ind need to enter. CHAPTER III. THE WOODEN HORSE. It 1-ooked as though the search must be a failure N'o J esse James was to be foun d although th ey l o')keJ high ancl low The mystery of the disappearance puzzled the sheriff. His suspicions were aroused with regard to the show n1. a 1 that he once suspected the ot h er's

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. THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. identity, but it had entered his mind that the man was deceiving him, :111d had hidden away the object of their search. If t !1is was i nd eed so, how could they find out the trl'.th ? Str ategy was the only 'Nay. "Come, we must be going. He has escaped us, and we' can do no more good lingering here," he said to his men. The sheriff was su re he could see a faint s mile sweep over the face o f the man whom he faced while making t his remark. Why s hould the showman seem pleased if h e had no interest in the game? There were still people in the outer tent, looking at the freaks. The sheriff and his men moved to the door. "'.Jo sooner was he and his men outside than Jesse James quickly sought out Darley and clutched him by the arm. "Lead the way to your dressing-room; quick!" whis rered the outlaw "After me, old man." vVithout the los s of a second of time, they scurried along past the wax figur es. Reaching the canva"s wall, the professor crawled under it at a certain place, and, being closely foHowed by the hunted outlaw, the two found themselves in the small apartment where the showman had his headquarters, and which he dignified by the name of dressing-room. Evidently Jesse James knew what he was about, for he did not waste a seco nd but immediate ly commumcated his idea s to the other. Darley pronounced them good. He was ready to do almost an ything in order to get rid of this man. True, he owed him a debt for se rvices render ed in the past, bu t the presence of the outlaw in his place threat. enecl his slfow with disruption, and the sooner he could get rid of him the better h e would be pleased. Quickly h e threw some fantastic garments over the form of the outlaw, and made an Arab out oJ the teni ble train-robber. This was all very good, but it was not enough; the slwriff and his c men would be suspicious, and no matter what a man look ed like, he must pass an examination before being a!J.owed to depart. Among his other curiosities the pmfessor had the horse that brought about the downfall of ancient Troy. It was a mechanical arrangement, showing dn a small sea.lie how the wooden steed was manipulated until inside the city:.wa:IJ..s1 when the side opened and enough s0ldiers poured out to open the gate s and complete the down fall of the city. A man oould ea;sily hide inside th e h ollow model, an unner ordi n ary circumstances b e free from discovery. Could it be reached? "Step h e re s aid the professor. He raised a flap of the canvas. There stood the wooden ho1-se, and a.t a touch iro1 the profes so r's Jund, the false side dropped, showing th cavity. "In with yo u.' It was probably the greatest experience 111 all the strange life of the train-robber. Without hesitation he scrambled inside The door snapped shut. He was l eft in darkness. Groping around him hi s hands came in contact with the m echa nism by means of which the automatic horse was imp elled. He listened. Sounds came to him from without. He could c atch the murmur of voices, growing more distinct as the persons advanced. The man inside the wooden horse awaited the coming 'f . ot events calmly. , He his presence of mind, and was ready to take advC!.ntage of any event that turned up l\.t the same time he could picture the amazement at:id fury th<1:t must come upon the sheriff when he discovered that he had been defeated and his intended prey was gone. It afforded him .som e amusem. ent. Such games of course brought their share of peril with them, but he was used to that. The searchers were -still threshing about in every cor ner, hoping to find the man who seemed to have a pe c uli:ir factilty for slipping through their fingers in an un accountable manner. If any of them chanced to know about the secret oi the wooden horse it was just as likely that they would take a look inside to satisfy their curiosity. T'he man who crouched there found his position getting cramped. Thinking to better it, he m oved. In doing so his hand came in contact with some sort of lever, and he pressed upon it. To his s urprise and consternation he felt t he wooden horse begin to move. He 'had started the wheels into action, and the great ;:pring that caused the automatic movement of the legs began to get its work in. Of course, Jesse Jam es was annoyed.

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo I-Ls fir s t thought was tha t i t w ould 'give his hicling lJ!ace away. n. He enough about. the working o f the wooden horse to understan d that i ts m o v e ment could b e conmd 1 tro!!e d from :thin. I The re w e r e p eepholes jus t b e y ond him, in the breas t of tli'e s talii o n, an'd throug h these the p erso n in hiding could sec;!. ) I ... One difficu lty. him. How was the 11111 "'lfors e cont;olled? What 1ra h e to d o as a pilot or cln ve r, l e in orde r to tlir cthis s teed? He cra1 led fo r0:ard to the o p::ning. ile was making a circular course. around t h e t ent, the gL!iclI Lookin g throug h this he found that the automaton I ; ing levers h aving evidently been set f o r this purpose. People were g etting out of t h e w::iy It was the mos t s:ngular ride J csse J an1es ever e x p e ri enced. What would it C n d in? \Vhc n the sheriff ::ind bi s posse c a m e upo n the wooden horse, perha p s th eir sus pici o n s w ould b e aroused, and they :ould 1 rant to investigate its i n t erio r. Such a course w ould be fat a l t o h is s af ety. He w o u \cl r es i s t t o the de a t h. i:\ t h o u ght. \ 'Vh y could h e n o t manat: c to n;anipulate hi s w ooden Pegas u s ? There mus t b e a mt:a1: ; of t urning t h e auto mat i c h o rse to the r: ght o r l e f t, ::in d of incre a sing his spee
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THE JESSE Jr'\MES STOfHES. He could 1:ot l:::ar anythi::g of them. But this was not at nll singubr. for the made by th'e machinery irn=ide the w oo den horse \\"as something a st o nishing. T--:ecping a good look o ut a head h e managed to av oid n11111mgover any one. \\' ilcl excite m ent iollowe
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TiiE JESSE ''Is that them turning in above?" "Yes." 'You want to come in?" d : '\Nell, I reckon. I do, or there'll be blood on you-r doorstep before morning." te ''\Vait till I throw o n some and I'll come clown to open the door. "'.\lever mind; I'll came np t o you, na.rton." \Vith that the outlaw seized hold o f the vines growing arotmcl the house under the little balcony that shaded the d oo r. He went up with the agility of a monkey. In a minute he had reached the balcony. He crouched to see th e crowd sweep by. They pres ented a strange appearance, being made up of a variety o f el ements. The sheriff a::d his men were leader s then came a police officer or two. and a numbe r of men who had been in the audience of th e show. Shouting and waving lanterns, the men rushed down the street, nor did one of them seem to pay the slightest attention to the h ouse where the vines clustered around the balcony. When the rag-tag and bob-tail crowd had gone, J es;;e James onc e more entered into the cowideration of hi s future The man he called Barto n was at a vvindow near the balc o ny. H e saw that venturesome outlaw was about to cross over to him. Wait; I'll open that window." '"Correct!" r eplied t he other. \Vhen he found the w2.y clear, h e era wlecl through the opening arid entered a room. All w as darkness Carefully the man dosed the window, drawing clown a 1f,::1de, and even drop.ping heavy curtains on either side. "It's sa fe to strike a match," he announced. 'Here goes then... .rl! ,,. As Jesse drew a match across the carpet, the flame burs t out. Having lighted a tamp, he tlirnecl to survey his com panio n, and laughed at the figure he presented, adorned as he wa s with dressing-gown and a tasseled nightcap. '"\Vell, who's here, ,Barton?" "Frank." 'Good." "And two others, Licldel a11cl :Mason." ''All but one on hand. then ... 'You mean the doctor?" ''Yes:" \ ''He'll be here before long, the land of the living.'' l 'm sure, providing he's in ''\\Tell, I've had my share of adventure for one nighf. I recko n I'll get some rest.'' "They're not apt to ge t on your track again?" "I don't see how they can. You, yourself,. saw them rush by. 1 heard shots {l0\1. n the street later, and I rcck: m they're chasing some poor, frightened devil who imagines they intend cleaning out hi s pockets." '"Come, I'll show a ted." 'Tbanks."-TJ-:.e weary followed Barton into a small room where stood a c ot. '"'There yon are. J cssc." Throwing himself upo n it, th e other y:iwnecl. "This just suit:. me. Good-night, Barton. 1 f the doc-tor comes, wake me up ... "All right." They \\ e r e n:cn of few words. Barton withdrew, and the other composed hims::-lf to sleep with as much composure as though no such thing as danger existed, his controi over his nerves being t o ni sh ing. CHAPTER V. DARTNG PLANS. Time passed. Jesse James was a light sleepe r, and when a hand touched hi s arm, h e seemed to be wide a wake in a mom e nt. ''What is it?" h e asked. The room was wrapped in darkness, and he could s ec no one. but th e idea was forced upon him that a bent over him. .. A re y e n fol I y a wake?' asked a low voice. Of I am." testily: 'is it you, Barton?" A whisper in the affirmative answered hi1n. 'What's up?" he continued. "C \ m 1 e and s ee. He foJI.owecl his g uide without he s itati o n, and s oon entered a r oo m where there \vas a light_ Seated upon a chair was a dust-co vered man. At his .feet lay a pack. He was a peddle r. Jes se James l ooke d at him attentiv e ly as he slowly ad-vanced. Then he held out his hand. The peddler grafspecl it. When the train-robber felt hi s peculiar clutch hi s la st d oubt vanished. "'It's th e doctor. come at last," he said. "Correct, and a hard time I had getting here." cleciared the seeming p eddler, as he stretched himself out iu his chair.

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THE JESSE Jl\MES STORIES. "How so?" "The detectives are as thick as flies in summe r , and I re ckon I ran across a dozen, more or l ess, on the way from Independence here." At this the oth e r clmck l ed. "That's nothing." "It isn't, eh? Well, if you'd gone through my ex perience you w o uld have something tc;> tall ,about,) James."' "Bah! I had forty men at my heels I came into this hous e!'" "\Vhat \Yas it you they chased?" "Yes, how did you know anything about it?" "\Veil, they g o t after me, too." ''The deuce you say .. "I was coming up the street when I h ea rd the rack et, and conceiving the notion that they were after me, turned and ran.'' "How did you get a way? ' "You know I'm something of a fox i11 my way, and mana g ed to double on my trail. At any rate l gave them the s lip, and assuming an o ther 'C!is guise, came here "And right glad I am to see you.""Darton says all are here." "You \ ;ere the only one missing." "Shall I call the oth ers?" asked the man of the house, still wearing his wonderful dressing-gown and nightcap. "Yes, call them in, Barton. The sooner we re ori to this game the better it'!! please me. Calt Frank and the boy s ." The man of the house left them. In five minutes he returned, but not alon e three others accompanying him. One of these was Frank James, the others men who worked under lead just as desperate in their way as h e was, and yet lacking a !mmber of his traits. Six men v.-ere now in the room. After familiar greetings, Jesse James seemed to call the convention to o rder. It was r eally a league of crime. The y were here to plan their daring raids upon the railroad and express companies doing. business in that section of the country. The present raid was one that promised them g r ea t booty; but the m an n er of undertaking it did not d i ffe r in any degree from those v:hich had served as prede cessors. A train was to be stopped. The exp_ress car contained a large s um 1o f money which they coveted. A t a certain station all of them were to get on the train :is strangers to each other. When the express slO\Yed up cros ing a bridg_ej w e re to begin \\ ork. T\\'o of the m would c rawl ove r the e xpressand baggaoe car, reach the tender, and, appearing b e-for e the a s toni she d fireman and engineer, control mat ters as they pleas ed. Meanhile the oth e rs would move forward to the car which held the booty they cov e ted At a signal whistle the enginee r would be forced to make, the couy.ilin g-pi n would be pul led o ut, a1Jd the, train left behind on l y the o n e car shooting ahead with the engine. Some miles away, in a lonely s p o t they would .come to a stand. Ko matter how brave the mess enger. inside the ca r might be, he could not hope to r esist th ese s ix men unaided. They would burn the car or b l ow one end G f it off be-fore they let,him defy them. This was the plan J esse James spread before the !pem bers oi his gang. They eagerly agreed to be with him, knowing that his presence usually in s ured s ucce ss. In the excitemen t of talking ove r what they would acc omi,:ilish, Jesse threw off the incwbus that had been pressing so heavily upon him. work alway s brightened his spirits The. council was dissolved. There was still time to get a good sleep, and when Barton had shown them a l ou n g .e, the leader 9 the trainro b bers cast himself upon it. He was soon asleep CHAPTER VI. A RUNAWAY LOCOMOTIVE. Jesse James slept until th e morning was well advanced, and then awoke just as the clock was beating the 1hour of nine. The gang passed the clay in Barton's house. As night was falling two of them went away . Ten minU't es lat er another couple took their departure from the place. Barton himse l f and Jesse James brought up .the rear. They arrived at the statio n some time befo r e the arrival of th e sm1thb ound exp r ess The r est of them were there, but n one of them pretended to know ead1 other; they passed as strangers, and aroused no suspicions. Min ut es glided by. ,._. The clock marked the time when the train was due, and anxi o u s ey1c5 l ooked up the track. Evidently the express was late.

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THE JES S E JAMES STORIES .. 11 A \\'l ::s: J e sounde d i n the distance. T here she comes!" some one called out, and a light arcunJ a cmvc. l t wa s the express. J esse J c:mes gbnced at the ciock a s t he mass ive engine went pas t slO\'. in g up. Seven minutes late. They woaid m a k e up thi s time before going,.twenty n:.iles, unlcs: somet!1ing happened to delay the m still m o re If the p l a n s of the J ames gang ,. w e re carried out, snch a th111g was sure t o occur. ''All aboard!" TJ:.e outlaw lc::i.der tock a la s t lock t o a ssure himself that his men had gott e n a b oard. He receiv ed a signal wave o f the hand that tol d him all was we ll. The train be gan to move He sprang abcard. Awa;y they went. gaining m ore s p ee d as the engine wh eels gripped the rail s more firmly J esse Jam es entered the smok e r. H 0re his m e n had seated themsel vcs, each apparently engaged in a quiet smo ke. The conductor came amund and t oo k up th eir tick ets one by one. When Le r e a che d the l eade r he glanced at him and ga v e a vi s ibl e sta1 t. Jesse James knew h e had be e n recognized, and he was angry to think he had n o t disguised himself when he had the chanco<'. It was t oo late now. He a ssume d an air of sa11g froid. "How are you, ;.Ja than ?" 'Pretty w ell, I reckon. How is it w ith yourself ?" re sponded th e uneasily. The pre sence of. thi s man on his train made him feel that so:nething was on the ta p i s. ":\fever was better able to jerk lead . I reckon I coul d butto n off your c o a t, Nathan, if you trie d to get out of tha t tkor in a hurry." "The n I w o n t try." "Tha t 's se n s ib le. Sit clown and talk." The o fficial l oo ked! as th o ugh he w ould much rathe r l eave th e ca r. Perhaps he c o uld war n the express mes sengier and at leas t put him o n hi.s guard, even though it wouicl be imp01ssibl e to effect t h e capture of Hie o utlmv. He read a threat unde r the. p olite invitation to he and, unabl e to refuse, dropped down beside his pas senger. They chatted socia bl y for a short time. J<"SH? ,Ta:u co uld be a s as anv man when he All the while he was listening. The conductor saw it. This made him more uneasy than before, as he rightly gues-sed what was impending. Several times h e w o uld have left the other, but Jesse Jam e s touch e d hi s hand o n hi s shoulder and b.egged hi m t o r e mai n seate d. He obey1ed. ;.J early half an h our had thu-s passed when fro m the l ocomoti ve came a kmg whi stle. "What i s t; iat for, N-athan ?" "The big trestle. It is necessary to blow before entering u pon it." 'Ah, yes; I suppo5'ed so. Two men went out of the car. The cond1 uct o r was about ro spring after them in order to warn them that they oould n o t b e allowed upo n the front platform, when he fe l t a nudge act h is s i de "Sit st ill. Those ar e friends of mine, Nathan." L ooking clown the conductor di scove red with a cold chill that it w as a revolv e r he f elt poking him in the r ibs He changed hi s mind and sat still. Prett y soon two m o re men left the car. Things b egan to l oo k ser i o u s. Conductor Nathan w ould have g iv e n a year's salary t o have been at lib erty to do as h e pl ease d H e knew it would cos t him his li fe, h o w e ver, to attempt :my m ove, and that was worth m o re t o him than all else. At last a man in front s t ood up. He made a quick motion with his hand. At the same moment from the engine came a series of s h a r p whistles whic h are generally sounded t o frighten cattle from the track. This was a signal meant for the ears of the n otorious train-robber. It tole! him his men had capture d the l o co mtivc, and that the time had come to seRarat e the express car from the re s t of the train. They were over the lon-g tres tle now, and enteri11g a cut beyond. Jesse James bade the conduc t o r good-night. "We've got a little game o n hand, >Jath an, anC: !:he boys vvant m y assistanae. No n ee d of worrying, i; can't do any good now. Sit where yo u are, and if \Y C leave y ou behind make sure another train doe sn't nm yo:1 d own in the cut. With these comforting wo rds, the outlaw left th e smoker. As he passe d out upo n the platform of the baggage car, the o f t:1e train in th e narr'.lw confi n es of fre e :!: i 't'._ .... 1 t

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t2. THE JESSE JAMES STORIES .. It was evident, however, t .hat they were slackening spe ed. A man stood there. "Come," he said, th e others have gone through the baggage-car." "Then vve'll follow suit .') When they e ntered the bagigage-ca; t h e baggage smfl.sher looked at them in dismay. "Heavens! he ejaculated, two more!" "Yes, and others to follow. Don't you forget it, old man, the train is in our hands, and any attempt at t r each ery will me et with death. Move on, Dick They passed through the car and out at the fo r wa r d e nd. Now only the exp_resscar remained between them se l ves and the engine, a n d it had no p l atform fb hold them. The othens h ad m ounted ro t h e roof and th u s r eac h ed t h e engine. J ess e J ames o r dered his t h ree men fo al so clambe r aloft, whic h they did, lying dow n o n the roof of the express car O n e th ing now r emai n ed to be d o ne. After mounting h im s elf the c hief of the trai n robbe r s l ea 1:ied over and took hold of the be l lcorcl. He held a knife in his other hand, and a piece o i rope wh i ch he had fastened to the coupling-pin below Giving the bell co r d a jerk he sig n a l ed for the e n gineer to s l ow up, in order that he might pull o u t t he pin. This was clone. Then a slash of the knife severed the bell cord; anothe r jerk and the i ncreased speed; the express ca r opened a chasm between itse lf a n d the baggage which was quickly wid e ned. Thu s far success had come to them The main par t of t h e t rain was l ef t behi n d in the cut; w ith th e engine and expr ess ca r they p u t space betw e e n Sudden l y wi th a j erk they l eaped for ward. Faste r and faster thei r speed increased. Even Jesse }arnes began to grow a larm ed. What could it mean? They were making tremendo u s t ime, and it was w ith difficulty that the me n o n t he roof of the express ca r could ho l d on. InsteaGL of dimin i shi n g, their pace grew even more furious. It seemed as tho ugh the l ocomotive must have r un away CHAPTER V H. A DCJOME D E XPRESSCAR Jesse James co u ld stand it n o longer. He must see what it all m eant Laboriously he craw l ed along the flat top of the car, and at length e nd n earest l ocomo t ive The extreme darkn ess made his p os ition seem all the more dangerous. A light n o w came from the engine, however, and he cou l d see that some one had opened the door of the fire box. Two figures were thrown into re lief upon t he rocking, plunging engine. One d"f the se made fran t i c signs to h im But if he s houted, hi s voice was d e afen e d by the rattle and roar of the ir o n horse. Still th e outlaw had sense enough to comprehend what was wanted. His men' needed h e lp. Something not down on th e programme had occurred, and his prese n ce was n eede d to assi st them. Vlithout a moment's delav he scanned the situation, a nd dec i ded on his plan 'of action. A jump was necessary There was rio other m ea ns of r eac h ing the tende r of the lo co motive. Gritting his teeth, h e bent clown, and theru sprang into space. While going at thi s tre m e nd o u s pace, it seemed a dan g e rous move to make, but he kn ew what his chances were. Landing upo n the coal, he rolled over. Beyond a few brui ses he s u stai n ed n o injury, a n d quickly picked h ims eli up. swayed to and fro in a fearful ma n ner, an d seemed on the point of toppling over when they turned a curve. Jesse Jam e s clutched one of the men by the a r m '"vVha t 's wrong?" "The old thing's run away, and we don't know ho w to stop it," shoute d the other. ''\i\l' here 's the driver?" "Jumped overboard j ust after throwing t h e throttle open." "And the stoker?" The man pointed among the coal pi l es. "\Ve had to knock him out; he showed fight." \iVhy clon_ t yo u shut off the throttle?" "\/Ve have, but it ..,,on't work." "Great guns! w e"ll run on until we run into the n orth-bound express at this rate." "You try it." "I will." He the lever anc! threw i t into p!ace, then gradua lly b ega n to dose the throttle Their mad speed 11."ss e necl. "Hurrah! you've d o ne it, Jesse.' "You forgot th e iever, that' s all; but it might have cost us dear

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\ THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 13. he engine s l owed up, but continued running until reached a lon e ly -looking spot, where their evi l rk could be done without any chance o f molestation. "Here we are." With the dexterity of an engineer, J es se Jiames ught engine and express-car to a stand. e Then. with h i s companions, he sprang to the ground d j oined the oth ers who had hastened to descend from e roof. The six men stood before the car. J e sse J a m e s kn0cked o n t h e door. "Hello! there inside!" "\,Yhat's wanted?'' called out a voice, but the messen r made no move tD open. "'vVe've had a wreck o n th e road." "That's bad " .'vVe need h e lp to get the engine on t h e t r ack." "Sorry, but I can't h e lp you, gents." "Op e n the door, then You've got so m e to o l s in there e want. I'm the conductor." "Not much. The only tools in here are a co upl e of xs h ooters, which I am r eady to handle with pleasure." The outl aws we r e growing fu ri ous. Still they believed they had the game i n their hands, nd that it was on l y a matter o f time when they n1ust cc o rnp lish the end they we r e strivin g for. "Come, h ave done with this non s ense, man. I am the onductor of thi s train, and I yo u to open t he oor." "\!Vere yo u a dozen times the conduct<1;r., it would ake n o difference. No o n e has any autho fy over th i s ar but myself. I know what yo u say is a lie. The rest f the train has be e n 1 ft behind. I reckon I'm t alking vith Jesse James." "That's just what you're d oi ng. Now, I admire a rave man but it won't do to carry this too far. You'll et hurt. "So will some of your fellows," answered the un-aunte d m essenge r. J esse Jam es swore like a troo p e r. 'Dhe n h e opened fire upon the ca r. His companio n s followed suit. Their bullets riddled the door o f the car pretty w e ll and it r eally l ooke d as thou g h the r e was a chanc e of the ie sse nger being hit. \i\Thcn they ceased firing a s hot came from inside the car and a bullet scmped the s h o uld e r of the outlaw eader. The 1nessenger was undam1t e d. He could n ot be conquered in this way Some other means must be employed to bring h im to t e rms. J esse J ames cudgeled his brains Various exped ients flas 1 hed before him They might make a frre und e r the car and consume it, but in so doing would a l so burn up that which they coveted. Co uld they sec ure a prop e r boom, by u sing it as a battering r am, the door o f the car could b e broken open, but n o suc h handy tree trunk was l y in g around. What then? A n ax would demolis h the door, and yet s uch a weapon could not be found. True, th ey m i g ht make u se of the hammer used b y the fir ema n to break hi s coal, but at the best this was a p oor affair. Something e lse must b e done. The trainrobber was fertil e in r esmuces, and it matt ered littl e to him who got hurt so long as his affairs were carried out. A thought occurre d to him I t 1 was a brilliant, but c ruel ide a, and one that well b ecame such a man of bl ood He stepped near the car. "Hello, messenger," tapping with hi s revolver on the wooden siding "Hello, Jesse James came th e a n swe r "I'm going t o give yo u o ne cha n ce for your life; if yo u refu'Se to take it, you' r e a s good a:s a dead man.'' "Th anks, awfull y," came the sarcas tic r ep ly. "We are bo und to get at the contents of your car, even if we have to smas h yo u up ." "W ell ?" 'Tm going to run the e n gi ne CJ. quarter of a mile up the road and then let her rush d ow n on you at full spe ed." "The deuce you say ." "As a result, yonr car will be wrecked and no doubt d eat h will come to yo u in the racket." "Very lik e l y ." "You ca n save yourself." "You mean I could." "If yo u are a fool you'll refuse." "Well, I'm :a fool t hen." "Then your death be on your own he.ad, curse you for an idiot." "Go to thunder, J esse James. I rode with you years .ago, but I've been ashame d to ever t ell it. D o your w ors t. I can only die at my post." The train-robbe r was sullen w ith rage. He no l o nger had any consideration for the man's life, but was on ly anxious to disp ose of him in the qu i ckest way p ossib le. Stepping back, he drew his men around him for con sultati o n

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 'To yon mean to carry out you.r idea?'' asked Frank Ja;i:es. "To the le t t er." J have a bett e r one to propose." ''Then out vvith it." "Th e re's a switch a little way back." ''l k!'OW "Runr;ing into a quarry.'' '"Well?' "We could turn it, and send the car in there like a thunderbolt The resuit would b e a smash-up, and after that the boodle must fall into our hands easily "Frank, you're a dandy!" "You like the plan?'' "Yes." "It saves the engine." "In case we vvant to get away in a hurry that would be no small point in our favor." "It shall be clone. Here, Dick!" 'O n deck, Jesse. "Take thi s l:lntern from the engine. Hurry down the track carrying thi s hammer. \iVhen ymt come to the switch break the 19ck, open the switch, and then signal 111e.' "Good." Liddell took the lantern and hurried away. They could see the lig.ht scurrying along as the train wrecker jumped from tie to tie. The switch was about an eighth of a mile away, but he soon reached it. -... Meanwhile Jesse James saw that the coupling-pin was removed so that the engine and car \Voulcl be separated when he reversed his lever. All that had passed between them had be e n spoken in a loud voice, a:s though it was their intenti o n to make the express messenger learn what fate had in store for him He could not have missed it. Still he made no sign. If ever a brave man lived, the fellow who held that car, was of tihat caliber. Even c-ertain death did not daunt him. The train wreckers could not but admire his devotion to duty, even while furious at the extra work it entailed upon them M"ounting the engine, Jesse James bade his men secure seats somewhere about it. Two of them rode upon the cowcatcher. Then leaning out he looked backward :Minutes pas sed The lantern no l onger jogged up and clown, but re mained stationary. Evidently Dick had placed it on the ground while he worked at the switch I Listening attentively, the ot :tlaw could hear strokes of the ,hammer smiting the st ee l and his orders were being obeyed. At the sa me time he heard a d istant faint whistle. gave him some uneasin ess for he feared it meant evil h tihem. Pei-11aps the news had in some way been fl.ashed do1l the road. and thi s engine might be bringing officers tlie scene. Then it occurred to him that it ca me fr.om up the roa in the direction of the stalled train. Before he had time to puzzle over this thing, ihe saw tP lantern waving. it de scribed several distinct circles. This meant come ahead. All was ready. He blew a serjes of sharp whistles. There came no sign fr.om the messenger within ti doomed car. He must have resigned himself to his fate. _''Here we go, boys," called the l eader. Tlaere was a,...hiss of steam. The engine started backward with a sudden. force, a began to speed over the rails. Faster and faster went the motor a.ncl tl-ie express-car: Tl!e men on boa.lei fairl.y h eld their breath Frank lt:t' d his h ead out of tl1e cab window OI s sid6 .... t :>t:d he caught the sudden s'wing o'. the amateur switchman's lantern signifying tihat it wa. time they oft s team and let the car rns h on. {' 1 "Stop he Jesse!'' he baw1ecl. The other instantly obeyed. A gulf appeared between the express-car and the engine, which r
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15 c!e THE JESSIE JAMES STORIES. It sounded as though a small earthquake had broken Thei1 all was still. ii i _or a cry came from th e wreck. Hurryin g along the men overtook the ir comrade who ioi\ arried the lantern. rs Then all advanced in a body. Presently they sighted the wreck of the express car. ro< had come again s t the rocks with tremendous force, nd was s hi ve r ed to pieces. I ti At once they began t o search. Two things they sought-the b ody o f the faithful mes seng e r and hi s littl e iron saie. It may b e surmised, howev e r that th ey were more de e ply interested in the latt e r-indeed they ca r ed very l little ab o ut t h e other so long a s the money box came in t o t . th eir hands. ln Som e h ow o r other th ey did not seem to find eithe r. They w e nt over the w r eck, eve n climbing across the side of t h e car that r e1i1aine d partially uninjured, in the en deav o r to d iscover that which so e ngaged their minds. Still n o trace of it The m e n were pu zz l e d Could it be possi ble that the me sse nger and his safe I were thrown a h ead? Some of th e m, possessed with thi s idea, clambered on upon the rocks. 0 The r esult p.r as just the same r as Anoth e r sh r ewd fellow, taking the lanter:i made his I way under the side of the car. ""' A lt hough he expected to make g reat discoveries ther e I the r esu lt failed to ju stify his hopes. 1e i n One thing st range had struck Jesse Jam es they h a d niot discovered 1 the l east sign of bl ood upon any fragmen t of th e car. This ope n ed hi s eyes He began to suspect that perhaps the m essenge r m ight pot have b een killed. \ Vhe n he mentioned thi s fact to his companions they shook their heads. ot be ing as long sighted as t h eir l e ader, they could not i or the life of the m comprehend horw such a thing d could be. "No man co ul d l ive through such a smash-up; it's out r of the question," d eclared Frank. "Very t rue, but I don t say he liv ed thrnugh it. What I claim is th at possibly the. f ellow was never in it ." t i This stra nge assertion caused his comrades t o open th e ir eyes. It mystified them still more. "How could that be?" "See here. This is the side of the ca r that had the door in i t." .,, .d.l "Both had." "Neve r mind. I want yo u to notic e th e fact that the slidin g door is wide open:" "Yes. "That n eve r occurre d in the collision, for a door coul d n ot be thrown backward." "l see your p o int ," said Liddle. "T b e lieve that fellow th r ew open the s ide doo r just about tl'le time \ve st a rted the car on it s trip, tossed o'ut his little chest, and followed it h ims e lf." H i s companions sa:w the logic of his words. Really th e case seemed plausible. "Let u s go back and look." ".'\a-reed They abandoned the w r eck of the car, s ince n othing o f valu e could be fou nd there. Hastenin g along t h e swi t ch, they soo n came to the main line. Here the searc h began. Some of them went al ong eithe r side, but J esse James with .the lantern in his hand took the bank, which in his mine!, corresponde d 1Y1th the p o sitio n of the side of the car. He Ka s l o okin g for certain s i gns. \i\Then. he had p.assed the engine and almost r e ache d the sp o t where their work had begun, Jess'e James came to a s uddie n s tand. "Here it i s His words announced a discovery The others came crowding around. J esse Jame s kept them back and p o i n t ee! to the ground. Marks were plainly seen. It was easy to. see where a man's heel .shad struck the ground, and back a d10zen feet was a sharp-point e d in dentati on. Here was w h ere t h e small i ron chest had con ; e in co n tact with the e arth, roll in g down the hank. It r eall y looked as though J e sse J ames' theor y might be the cor rect o ne. The others may not have beJi, eved in it before, bnt now they were convinced It was evident that the m esse nger had been a shrew d man as well as a brave one. He understood what they were abo ut t o do, and had for estallecl them. \A/' hat had b ecome of him? Thi s was the po int most interesting to the o utlaw jnst at pres e nt. He believed th e m essenger would h ave to come to tne strong box,. Renee he lo oked for a trai'l; and found it. The i ro n chest had rolled o ut of the car and down th little embankme nt.

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16 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Here where it llad. lain. lt could not be found now. Footprints were plainly seen, a.ind the marks tha-t indi cated the manner in which the little chest was carried away. It began to look like victory again. '"We'll follow the fellow," exclaimed Jesse James, a:s he turned to pu.rsue the tracks. His men were just as eag
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THE JAMES STORIES 17 1-o and likely to come up with him, h e had unlo cked hi s bo,x, e take n o u t its contents, and then once more secured it. The shot h e fir.ed might have accomplished just what it he int ended it for. Darkn ess had come upon the scene and delayed matu ters a little. what co uld be done now? It was to o lat e to think of making a sea r c h for the agent. Covered by darkness, and favored with a fair sta rt, h e had doubtless succeeded in putting some space between >f himself and his enemies. They might as well look for a ne ed l e in a hays ta ck as this tricky man in the darkness. i -i, No wonder t'hey were ugly and mad. I All was lost. V That rattling sound along the rails was drawing closer I all the while. Time was valuabl e now. We must clear out, boy s. Beaten fop once, it's true; but I 'll look for that chap again as sure as my name's Jesse James. vVtho knows his name?" ''It's Aleck Halsey." 'Halsey! I've heard that name before," and a s hiver went through the outlaw's frame as he suddenly reme m bered where it was he had last see n it. Pe rha:ps i 1 t wa s ra fatal name to him. He remember ed the words of Lige Halsey's vow, a detective who had o nce oome very near capturing him, that he would bring Jesse Jam es face to face with the Governor of Mi s souri. One after another th ey scrambled upon the engine. Flight was n ow in order. To save themselves from the clutches of the law meant a good deal to them. All wer e o n board. The fireman sti ll la y where h e had fallen. His face l oo ked ghastly as see n by the light from t he firebox. H e was not dead. On the contrary, a s the engine began to move forward along th e rail s o nce more be opened bis eyes and looked around him. although none of those u po n the motor noticed the fact. The headlight of th e pnrsuing engine gleamed lik e a star o f the first magnitude far down the track . lt was rushing along at a rnpid pace in chase. As their pac e grew faster, the pursuing engine failed to gain upon them. This was encouraging to say the least. Whal prov ed a source of worry was the fact that they did not kn ow what lay ahead of them. _.\t any moment they might da sh into some obstructi0n placed on the track on purpose to wreck t 1 h e m, or else collide with a freight train that barred the_ way. Such a catastrophe w ou ld be fatal. It w o uld no doubt send them one and all into the other w o rld, on a sliding scale. They hated to even think of it. The pursuing engine kept after them, it s blazing headlight l ooking like an evi l eye in the distan ce, never r e ced ing nor advancing, but appearing to .bold it s own. J esse James did n o t lik e the sit uati on He endeavored to conjure up some plan by means of whi ch tho se who follow ed so might be thrown off their track. In vain. H e co uld think of no plan. There was n o time t o sto p and pull up a rail eve n had they poss esse d the appliances for s uch a pi ece o f busin ess A switch would not solve the difficulty. No doubt those on the pursuing engine had already sighted them, and w o uld k eep a close watch. Seeing them making a temporary halt, they would irnagine that something was up, and oome to the placl! slowly. The only thing that promi se d s ucce ss was to abandon their oapt u red locomotive. At any r ate the y woukl s oon be approaching a town and it would be impo ssib l e for them to go any farther than the outskirts. Under t hese circumstances th e outlaw who m a nipu lated the throttle thought it best to shut off, ste am at a certai n point. Hous es \.\'ere n ea r them. A s:nall river ran in the direction of the great Missis sippi. At this point the rail road crossed it on a sort of trestle or bridge. V Vhi le passing over this the engine was siowecl do-. vn, and just on t he other side it came to a full stop. Less than fift y yards a\vay was a st;:.tion Lig hts abounded. The outlaws saw fr eight cars up on th e track and r ealized what they had escapee! Peo ple were also seen in numbers; it l ooked as though the whole town must b e out. What was up? They came nrnhing toward the engine as the six out laws jumped off. 'Halt there! surrender!" "vVhat's the matter with you?" demanded the leader of the outlaws. "Ain't you Jesse James?" asked the foremost man oi the crrnvd. "Not much. I'm a sheriff. These are my men. J esse

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1 8 THE JESSE JAMES STORM E S. James i s c oming o n that engine y onde r, and w e want t o li e i n w a i t fo r him. " .Oh, that's it, eh? R u n y our e n g in e o n the switch h e r e and l e t 'em come into the barricad e calle d out the o t he r. "It 's all a li e He' s Jesse Jam es shrie k e d a v o ice fr o m the engine The fir eman had recovered h i s s e nses and iwas l eaning out o f the cab. H e J.ook e d lik e a fiend his fac e w it h a l t ernate layer s o f bloo d and coal dirt. The jig was up. H oarse c ri es came fr o m the c r ow d Jesse J a mes w a s n o t t o b e intimidate d b y s u c h a small thing. He whippe d o u t two revolv e r s and face d th e crowd that w a s armed with s hotgun s, cl ubs and all manne r of rustic w eapo n s "Stand back, y o u cowards and let us pass," h e roa r e d, savagely / They h eard and oib eye d. Suc h a m a n b acked up b y othe'r s o f the sam e calib e r c o u l d con t r ol a small army T h e s i x trnin-rob b er;s walke d p ast. No o n e dare d m o l es t the m The h a lf-cr a z e d fir e m a n a l o n e s howed s i g n s of r eekl ess braver y. He flun g h uge p ieces of coal aft e r t h e m. I t w a s the only we apon he h::icl. During t his sce n e th e oth e r e n gine h a d covered muc h space. I t was now just at t h e oth e r end o f' the t restle, and slowing u p A nl1mber of m e n we r e on board. They cou ld b e seen e:isily by any o n e who wo uld cast a g l a nce i n t h a t quart e r. No doubt t hey were members o f a s h eriff's p o sse in search of t h e desperate James gang. They would a r r iv e t o o late to do any good unless some leave n o f courage was suddenly p u t into the c r mv d Passin g them by the outlaws h urried on. They onl y thought of escape now. T h e night's escapade bad p2nned o u t poorly, and they were thr <:atened '' it h capture u n less fortune wa kind. when the truth conccrning the wrecked. expr ess-ca r w a s mad e known t h e countr y would probabl y b e on fire lVI en wo ul d hunt ior them in every direction. They had retreats where they could l ie i n hidin g until the st!orm bl e w over, and then, once more i ss uing forth, they wo ul d a.ga in strike a blow a t the corporations agains t w h ic h most of their wo r k seemed to b e directed. Man y p eo pl e have wondered why such desperadoes a s the J arnes boys were s u ffe red t o go free so l o n g The r e were nume r o u s r e asons fo r it. In the frr s t pla ce their b o ld natures c o uld not b e su'b d u e d. The n again, they seld o m made e n emie s amo n g the common p e o plet th eir w ork b eing mainl y d irected a gainst c orpora t i o n s L a s t, but n o t l e a s t they w e r e a lway s r e ady to heip any one who h a d e v e r beet) c onnecte d with the Conf e d e r acy. When robbing a coa c h full of trave l e r s it w as t h e cus t o m o f Jesse J a m es t o r eturn e v e r y t hin g t o them who claime d to h a v e serve d in the Confederate army, and gave t h eir regim e n t and brig a de A s h e declar e d they d i d n o t war upo n w om e n preac h ers o f th e Gosp e l or ex-Confe d erates. Thus they had host s o f fri ends in M i sso uri and could a lways fin d a hi ding-pJa. c e I t had com e t o s u c h a pass, however, that th e ir wor k wa s making a bad n a m e for t h e State a n d k ept cap ital from inves t ing. The not ic e had gone forth tha t the ir es capades m u s t c ease, o r th e giov erno r vvould find so m e w.ay o f p utti n g an e n d t o th e i r career. They p a id littl e attenti o n t o the noti ce This l as t pie c e o f d eviltry o n the i r part w ould s how how lit t l e they c a r .ed for it. Whe n they had succeeded in rus hin g past t h e c ro wd, they plunged into th e T h e seco n d engin e c.am e to a pause dose b y the o the r m oto r. Men jumped fro m it. H urrie d q uestions were a s k e d iand a s h as t i l y a n s wered. T ims a so r t of eX'pi a n a ti o n s ee m e d t o b e g iven b e tw e en the two parti es, an d as t h e crowd gain e d bo l d n ess f.ron1 t h e presence of s uch l e aders they starte d t o ru s h forwar d i n purs uit. It may a lwiay s b e n otice d that whe n s uch a cr.ow d i s e n thus ed with courage they b eco m e w o n de rfull y b o ld a ll at o n ce These men di d. The shouts t h ey gave utt e r a n ce to w ould h ave sent t e r ror to t h e heart o f any o r d in a r y criminal fleeing fr o m t he wrath. Hoarse c ri es s i ounc1ed o n the n i g ht air. as the m o b snatching u p l a n terns a rid torch es, ha'Sioe ned! a fter the lit tle party. J csse James k n ew what h e w a s d o ing. I t was n o t l o n g before ,t h ey wer e h ea ding bac k t o the r ailroad, i n t h e same d i rect i o n fro m whe n ce they bad c01ne. T h ey h a d not doubie d o n their trac k s for nothing. The l i g h ts appear e d ahead T110-s1e wh o foll n w ed, a s th ough di vining tbei r p larns, be a t i 1 \\ t 1 c

PAGE 20

THE JESSE JAMES STORfiES. 19 began to shout out warnings, but t h ey had kept up suc h a clatter all along that their words could not be di s tin.gu ish eel. Hence the outlaws rnshecl upon the engines withont J warnmg. They mounted. the one which had pnrs111ec:J,,rthem. When the e ngineer offe r ed r es i stance h e was thrown from the cab. together with the fireman. Then the l eve r was r eversed, the throttl e pulled open,. and with a bound the motor lea.peel in the direction of the trestle. Angry shoutis sounded. Weapons were discharged. Bullets sung around the cab lik e so many h o rnets but no one was inj ur1 ed, and in lulf a minute they were ou t of range, dashing over t h e trestl e lik e mad. CHAPTER X. BAFFLED. The ni ght's work had been well nigh fruitless, buL it had g i ven them co n s iderable of exc it ement. They could not complai n on that score at l eas t. Here the.y were again. Sopinning along over the rails at a raopidly increasing pace, and headoing in the quarter from whe1:ice they had so Pecently come. Ther e cou l d b e no doubt that t h e s econcl e n gi ne would follow. What then? Wouldi it overtake them? If the steam la sted, J esse James t h ought not. Fire up, b oys," he called oat. A couple of them s tarted to obey The steam gau ge alre ad y ind i cated a pressune, and yet h e meant i to keep it marking more all the while. Such actions showed the re c kl ess natur e of the man better than anything e l se. "They have started," called out Fr.ank, who was sta honed where he could see what waos going on in the rear. By this time the fu g itives had cleared the trestle, and were thundering al ong the track. They wid e n ed the distance between them to a mile. and even more. Theh the e n ginee r o n th e ot h e r motor had succeeded i n getting his machine into good running o rder, and the distance wa s not increased. J ess e James began to consider o nce more ho'.v they could get o ut o f t h e scrape. He had seye ral bole! pl a n s come b e f o re him in r api d rotation. Perha.ps th e most darinr, of th ese was a r eck!ess scheme. 11 hic: 1 might n o t only ruin both fine l o c o motiv. es, bur se1;d sen' r<11 meu to It was n othing m o r e nor less than mnrd.Br. He thought they might stop the engine all leave bu t him self. and before he jumper! he could jerk the throttl e wide open Thus the engines would come together on the same lin e at full speed The r es ult ca n be imagin ed better than describ e d It was a shocking idea. J esse Jam es only ab andoned it because he conceived another idea He thought of the sw itch where they had sent the wrecked express car t o its doom. If one could dro p off there and s end the pursuingj engine after express car it would be well. He made np his mind. They woul d try i t. He bade them keep a sharp lookout fqr the switc h Certain landmarks would betray its presence. Meanwhile he communicated his plan to the ma111 called Mason, who r eadi l y agreed to carry it out. A call was s oon heard. "We are nearing the switch; slow down." The outlaw obeyed. He shut off stea m while Mason swung him s elf out from the ca.oh, r ea dy to drop as soon as the switch was r e ached The wheels would betray this fact to him, even though his eyes failed to catc h a g l impse of it. "Ah!" \ Vith the word Mason was gone. Click! click! went the wheels of the engine, and it was evident tnat they were pas sing the point which had already be e n so import:111t in the busine ss of the night. The engine began to puff again as steam was applied, and th e wheels revolved fast e r. During thi s inte rim the pursuing engine had gaine d until it was not more than a quarter o f a mile away It, too ha d begun to slo w up as though the men on board su speded trickery. Mason swung the sw-itch open. The engine sho t by him. As soon as they passed off the main line th e engi n ee r knew what "vas up 'Turn the brake!" he shouted, as h e slmt off stea m and r eve rsed the l e v e r. An engine can be stopped within a few lengths if not going too fast, as there are no cars to push it on with th eir momentum. All the same th i s macl;ine on l y ca m e to a stop when it crashe d into the debris o f the express-car, and, al th ough n o t exactly demolished, it was r eally placed out of t h e game. As soo n a s :;\l[ason saw t h e e ngine pa ss him. he whip ped the s witch shut, and \r ith a piece of iron b ent

PAGE 21

2 0 THE JESSE JAMES the bar by means of h e av y blows, so that it would b e impos sible to open it again for qu!te a while. Having done his part of the w o rk, he ran d o wn the track, and soon the engine bearing his companions was gained. The y were waiting for 1 him. When he had s crambled upon the cow-catcher, Jesse '.fames called out: "Are you alboan.1 ?" "All here," some one answered. Loud voices were h eard near by. S ome of them from the other engine wer e running toward them. He called out mo cking words as he let on steam, and the engine began to leave them in the lurch. The y answered with shouts and shots, but the outlaws laughed 'at both. They had nothing to fear, having by this time gone far enough away to be out of range of the bullets. A g ain the superior strategy of Jesse James had made itself manifest, and his enemies were left out in the cold He could now deem himself secure, for they had no mean s of chasing hirn. It had been a night of misfortune to the James gang, and yet when he looked back on the numerous narrow escape s that had fallen to their lot, they could not but be t 1 hankful that they had been so lucky. All th e y could do now was to pass into retirement, and await the turn of events. He turned to his companions. All were more or less disguised, so that their real iden tity could not be swor11 to in case they were ever brought up for wrecking the express-car and hindering the mails "It"s no use, boys." "Then we give it up?" "Fo r l'O-night, yes.'; "Vlhat's the word, Jesse?" "Separate." Barton was miles a way from his home. "Are we near the horses?" he asked. "Yes; not two miles away." "Tf1en we can use them.". "I reckon so." "Good!" A hurried conversation ensued. It was decided that they lose no more time. in making a ny attempts to lay hold of the coveted money. The whole country was aroused. Officers would be flocking to th e scene by scores before morning, spurred on by the great incentive that la y in he rnward o ffered by the State and the expre s s c o mpany. R ea lly the ground w o uld be too hot to hold them and the soo n e r th ey were in c ove r th e b et t e r i t w o uld b e for them. Finall y the y se t o ut for th e place whe r e th e h o rs e had been tak e n so m e time pre v io u s T h e ir plans h ad been s impl e e n o u gh. 1 t h e b rge sum t11a t w as in th e ex1) ress -car haJ fall e n int o t h eir unscrupul o u s hancl s it w ould h ave been imme di ate l y divid e d a s s oo n as they r e a c h e d th e h o rses. The n m o unting, they would have gall o p e d away, separating as th ey w e nt. The s a me thing would be their plan now, onl y their tem pe r wa s not improved by the fact that they
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THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. 21 ome time ago, j t:st when the moon was getting out of I seen a man slip into the barn." A.lone?" \Veil, that I can't say. :es and even thought it Yes." I fancied I could hear many might be you and the When I gave the signal there was no answer, so I w this mt1$t be a stranger." Did yo'u see him go away?" I l o. You watched?" 1As well as I could. fost thought was to warn J, for I believed there was a lot of 'em, and that they settin' a trap for you." jesse James became thoughtful. kere was a new predicament. fVhat should be clone? Hope the fellow ain't hamstrung the horses," said the called Ben. he outlaw leader's'l.face grfw dark. There are such devils living,'" he said. his mind the man who would harm a horse was more fiend than one who would commit a murder. 'Come on; we'll soo n know what's in the wind," he resolutely. hey advance toward the barn. II was still in that qiiarter. f the enemy was waiting to get a good show at them v was the time. udclenly Jesse James heard: a sound that gave him a ill of relief. t was the lov\l neigh of a horse. his seemed to indicate that the animals were not only hurt but in the barn. He opened th e door. Ben lighted a lantern. "All h ere?" he said, with grim pleasure. '"Yes, thank goodn ess. But what's this?" A card was pinned to his sa ddle. He held the lantern it, and swore aloud. It bore a name. "Elijah Halsey r' CHAPTER XL JESSE JAMES IN ST. LOUIS. T earing the card into pieces seemed to relieve the out11;.-s mind a little, but h e was worried all the same This man had a facu lt y for getting into places where e would be least e>..-pected. 1l1c ou.tlaws led their horses o ut of the stable. j\fount !"' Each man spranz into the saddle. A few words passed between them re lative to their next meeting. Then they separat ed. Three rode away in a bunch. The others radiated from the common center and aimed for their several homes. After th e raid that had proved such a failure, the. country was apt to be too hot for them, and they would be 1Vis e to be found at home. .. .. The James boysJ w1tu' single c ,6J111panion, rode many miles on this Ere morning came they were among the hills and in a secure den. Here they remained s ome time. The country was at fever heat over the bold attempt to rob the express company, and the destmction of the car. This fast piece of business was the most btazen thing that had ever been attempted by train-robbers on t h e soi l of Missouri. It went to show what desperate men 1 ould do if con fronted by difficulties. There were placards posted at every crossing and each village tav.ern. Y The large rewards offered for the apprehension o r death of the Jam es boys star
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22 THE JESSE Ji\l'-'E:'.:S It wou.Jd not b e the fi r s t time h e had gone to the gre a t city on the Misso uri. Indee d he had m e t with numerous adventure s there in tim e s g o n e b y. It was certainly a strang;e errand th e o u t law was o n This dare-de vil was ab o ut t o undertake one of t h e strangest fancies that e v e r ent e r e d hi s r e ckl e s s head. It was n othing l ess than to b e intro du ce d t o the g ove rnor of Misso uri Jesse James' famous call o n Gov e rn o r C ri t t e nden n o w a matter of histo r y was undertaken a s th e re s ul t o f a wager with one of his g a ng. His companion on that ev entf ul trip wa s a new m e mb e r of his gang, who had been personally acquainted with the g o vernor. His name was Dick F o s t e r At last the city was r e ached. when the train ro1l ed in, darknes s had fall e n over the great beehive. M yriads of lights were to be seen The two outlaws q u i c kly alighte d from th e train, and passing o ut ito the street, the y walke d al ong r apidly. After traversing s ev e ral bl oc ks, they c ame to a dingy street, whi c h th e y turne d down and finall y came t o an hou s e. whi c h the y opened with a k ey. ""Jesse James had evidentl y stopped th ere before. In fact, it wa. s one o f his hiding-place s Two hours later t11e two c o uld have been s e e n talking together in l o w ton es in the d eserted ouse "What time is it?" asked Jesse. His companion glanced up at the clock. "Only eleven. Plenty of time to carry out our plans. The governo r little dreams o f the pleasure in store for him." ''\i\fi!I the horses be in waiting?" "'Ne will make sure o f that before g oing in." The outlaw showed a liking for the game directly from the start. It ;promised excit ement. That c was what he lived on. Besides, there was a chance of more notoriet y and the audacity of the game gave him sati s faction. H e was in it for all the thing was worth. When he was dressed up, Jess e Jame s was a s gen t lemanly a figure as one would wish to see wearing a Prince Albert coat, and wit'h all the accompanim ents nec essary as a passport to the best s oc i et y. "How do I look?" he asked "Here's a mirror; see for y o urself." The other stro de acros s the ro o m and stood before the glasis, surveying himself from head to foo t with inte rest. Finally he laughe d and, grasping hi;; c ompanio n b y the arm, they quitted the r oom. Once on the street, they hailed a passing cab D o :ou k no w whe re L atham's i s?'' asked Je of the c al.J.man. I s h e the c n e wh o is giYing a re ceptio n to the g
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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES 2 3 1ied nook came upon a tethered to the limb of vas rather dark. e o utlaw pattied the animal, and ra:n his 1 1and over uarter s. man in all :viissouri knew more about horses than n o ble brute," sa id he, with enthusiasm. av e you the lin e from the house h e re, so that, n o r what your hurry, you will not mak e an.y n1istake ?" hav e it down pat." cod l\ ovv let me g iv e you th e wa y out." hat is highly important." ou see, after mounting, can cut the hitching with a knife; then head straight o n. A f e w jumps s yo u to this bridge over the creek. Tl'ter e i.s quite le canon under it, and a tumbl e w o uld m ea n a broken Henoe, I have had a Chinese lantern hung there." ou have a co nf e d erate?" h e j uclge's man i s with m e to a ce rtain extent. I been ab l e to arrange all these things by his h e lp rossing the bridge yo u will soo n conie to the gate. un locked." et us make sure of that." kin g h o ld of the structure, the Missouri outJ.a:w cl the latc h and fo und that wha t Di c k had stated ell, what do you think of it?" verything see1'n.s cap i tally arranged. I don't beI'll h ave any troub l e in getting away." hen there is nothing mon: ?" see nothing." Ve can go to the hou se? Nhenever yo u are ready." ha:t' is. now." ''. oti don t inte nd to spring th e surprise on th e com' Consid e r it settled." They walk .eel toward the house. On the way Iess. e James again carefully scrutinized every foot of th e p a th. He die! well to be particular. An h our or so lat e r he would come flying along that path in mad has te, with perhaps a shouting mob behind him. A mistake at such a time would n ot only be serious:_ it might be fatal. vV h e n a m a n 's lif e is in he d oes well t o make s.ure oi th ese small things, and from past experience Jesse Jam es had l e arned the value of trifles. T hey go t o make up the s um of .human t)1e world over. Thus th ey drew near the house. "\V, ait for me here a minute or so," whispered the outlaw to his companion. H1e came back in the time specified. "What have you been doing?" "Examinin g tj1e ground under each open window. If I m ake a f1yir:g jump, as I may have to, I don't want to b e tripped up and p e rhaps have a leg broken.;' "Did yo u find them all right?': "Ever ything i s l ove l y a nd th e go9s e hangs 'high," teturn ed the outlaw, flippantI.Y., ,, Tims the two men entered the pa l atial o f the illu s tri o u s judge CHAPTER XII. JESS E JAMES AT THE SOIREE. The scene was o n e of th e grandest e v e r known in the fashi o n able woTld o f St. Louis. v V ith the gov ernor and o thern o tabl e s present, it can b e se t clown for certain that th e judge had left nothing und o ne. y right away?" Not for an h ou r or so Amuse yourself as se, only try to keep me in s ight. you The r e was a gathering o f fair women a nd brave mencliamo nd s flas h e d in the gaslight fro m ears and fingers, throa t s and hair fortunes in a very s mall compass. \ V ;h:en yo u are about r eady, what s ignal will ?'' you If you see me -yawn and put m y handkerchief t o my as though to conceal the act, that will be the sigh. n1e." All right." I w ill select a time as will give yo u best chance scape." N o t th rough the door-th a t might possibly b e l o : cked h e time." T h ro ugh a window?" Yes-they a r e o nl y s ix f ee t or so fr o m th e _ground. an make a flying leap and th en b olt for the p lace re the ho r se is hidden Perh aps the eyes of the Missouri o utlaw felt watery as he gazed up o n these prec i o u s gems. It was his business in lii e to tak e fro m th e wealthy, unl awi ul of course, and deserving of punishment; but he seldom, if ever, wro n ge d the poo.r. H e was n o hero-it is not t he purpos e of this narrativ e to make him such-but. the re were ti mes when he c er tainly could la')' no claim t o the devili s h nature suc h as the credited him with; h e re sp e c ted woman, kind, a nd had his own p ernliar notions regarding his c o u rse Ofte n he had declared that h e was only th e same old 1.. ...... Confederate, fighting as o f yore against th e Government. H e n eve r knowingly robbed an cx-CGnifeclerate, and

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< 2 4 THE JESSE JAM ES STORIES., ihad been known t o r eturn to a minist e r o f t h e g os p e l wha t w as t a k e n frli>m him. A t t he same time he had been guilty of more than on e cruel murder in the past. Men had.hunted him, and in s o doin g taken their lives in the i r ha n d s More than o ne such had vanished in a mysteri ous fashion. Could the mount ains of Mi s s o uri speak, the y would tell s om e r emarkable storie s oi th i s sing ul a r m a n 's ca r eer . It is .strange how most men go throug h life in a qui e t, ey e n wa y, w hil e others meet with ad venture s by th e wh o le s al e ... These thi ngs are appare ntl y unjus tl y dis tri b u te d \ ,\' e g en e rall y h ea r t h e guilt y o ne s s ighin g io r n ew sce n es and s om et hin g t o break u p t he awful m o n oto n y that make s life a lmo s t unbe araible, w hile, o n th e o th e r ha.n q hurnte d desp e rado, meetin g adve n tures on every side 'Nou d give mu c h t o b e l e t aione. The brilliant scene did not app ear to aff o rd J :James any r e ason for embarrass m e nt. He made himself qui te at ho me. Many p e r so n s noti ce d him He was a s tranger. They wond e r ed w h o he could be In s om e way-th es e rumors have a sour ce, but c a n never be trac e d b a c k i t wa s passe d a ro un d th_it h e was a Dr. D e m o rest a ve r y w e alth y New Yorke r visiti n g St. L o ui s with the inte11tio n o f settling there; that h e wa3 a ba c hel o r wit h such means tha t t h e b elles o f t he East had exhaus t e d t he ir bat te rie s in t h e v a i n atte mpt t o catch him These fact s imm e diat e l y mad e him a h ero i n t h e e yes of the ladie s Mai1y watch e d him with unusua l in terest. Jesse J a mes w as a striking-l ooking m a n t hough har d l y hand some but t h e halo of tha t for t un e made him a ppear a god in th e eye s o f many a young wom a n prese nt. 'R i c h young hu s band s w e re : scarce. The old m e n Iiad a m o n o p o l y t h e r e, a n d in the soc i ety o f to-cla y it i s a sto nish i n g h ow ma n y g i rls sell them5elves t o ri.Ph old m e n. O f c ours e J ess e J a m es could no t but h e comciom of scruti ny h e was .u-nde r He had an-idea 1;egarding th e truth, to o, a n d smi!ed b landl y t o think whrat a grievo u s disa.ppo in t m enit wou ld come upon these maiden s, a nd matron s with
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I ( THE J ES S E JAMES STORI ES. 25 'I beg your pa,rdo n ; governor. Allow me to introe one whom you haYe long desired to meet-Jesse es, of Missouri." hen silence f e ll. bick Jud purpo se!) spoken in quite a voice so t aH those standing n ear mus t have heard bi s \Yords. 11 e y es were instantly riveted u pon the face of the ma:n s introduced. e stood there smiling as though such a thing as dannever entered hi s head. 'Glad to m eet y ou, governor---:-hope your health is a s d as ever. 'Bles s my s oul you are a cool one, Jes e Jam es. n"t y o u know you risk death coming here?" 'It won' t be for the firist time, governor, and I took a i o n to come. I reel-con I can bid y o u good-night now, r etire,' returned the outlaw, with a slignt bow. \i\i ai t." Thank you governor, I'm in somewhat of a hurry, t time .. Seize that man." Good-night.. 'nfortu.nately their succe s s, the governor's staff not come to the entertainment arme d and prepared captnre criminal:>. lie y started forward valiantly, to lay hands on the n-robber. t sight of t he revolver in his hands, however, the ir en' siasm grew cold11.r, and they dare d not attempt to ehim. 1ms Jesse James retreated. e kept his face to the foe. 01ig e x p e rience had taught the value of thi s and he n o t t o b e caught napping. he windo ws i,,vere n ear. f course a s his name flew' around Lhc room, the exc ite1 t became intense. r.en and women craned their nc..:ks for just one npse of t:h e d espernd o o v e r whos e bo ld dcecJ.s the counwas ringing. hi s b eat t h e m q.ll. certain number had foil o w e d him forming a scm1le eage r t o s e i ze upo n t h e fir s t available opportunity u m p up o n him. hus th e si de of t he l arge roo m was r eached. ehind him was a w ind ow. Once more, g ooclnig h t gen t lem e n and ladies. \iiith the woi d;; the made a leap and vani s hed ugh th e openi11g. h e n the silen ce ,\.a s brokc ti. .. ed lam r e i g n e d. Ihm voi ces sc'..rn
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"' 26 THE JESSE J AMES STOR I ES. The whol e pack o f pursue rs was now shouting 'at h is heels, and growing in numbers with each passing second. He must pu1 s h boldly on. The bridge was before him-his. h o r se's h oo fs thun aered upon the planks and the delicate structure trembled ;under: the severe strain. CHAPTER XIII. A HOT CHASE. 'A few leaps took him over the bridge 111 sa f ety, and then he made dire c t for the door in the wall, through which he was to effect hi s escape. The darkness became intense. His previou s knowl e dge of how thmgs lay now serv ed 'him w e ll. Making no mistake he head e d his steed directl y for the spot. The wall was close b y A few onl y serve to take him 1ro it. Ah! the sha d ow l oo m e d up b efo re him blacker even than its surroimdinrgs. He jt1rrip' e d from his seat. The door could o nly be opened in st:ch a manner and h e did n ot begrudge the minute spe n t in such an ope ra tion. Groping around his hand came in contact w i th t he knob He turne d it. what was t)1is-tbe d oo r resisted He bet{t a fierce pressure_ 1.lpon it. There was no result. It flas h ed u pon him that the d oo r mus t b e l oc k ed. Coul-1 it m ea n treachery? T h e though t flashed up o n him. He r emembe r ed a significant fact-the lantern at the hridge was out. Connecting the two it see m ed as though some one mus t have been up to mischief. This was no time for speculati.o n. The. e Qemy all the whi l e were closing 111, and if he wasted -another minute or t\Yo h e would find himself sur reuns:led, As luck would have it he r emembered something just t tJ1is moment. o,omething was an old ax. H ow it cam e to be h e r e p erhaps no o,ne could tell wh e n gropin g aroun d during his for m e r v isi t of inv ' c g-ation his hand had come in contact with it. 'it Could he find it now? ': \ If so th e case w o ul d not b e h ope less. Eagerly he sought t o reach it, and w h e n hi s hand cl upo n vacancy, somet hin g escaped the desperado's lips Had the old ax b ee n removed also? It l ooked lik e a dead sure thing. 'Jhe fates were all against h : m. At any ra te he could turn at bav and face h i s ene l like a tiger. ( Perhaps he might abandon the h 9 rse and lose hin in the garden, It ,\ as l u x u r iant eno ugh to affo rd him some chanc concealment. Whe n the ardor of the chase cooled down he c make his esca p e Before making up hi s mind h e thotwht a last effo1 the s earch fo r the ax might b rin g ab out some tan ( result. In this he \\as c c ;Tcct. H i s hand c a m e in contac t with the articl e whic l \. .' sough t. A w ild. fier ce j o y thrilled him a s he clutche d the to :t He s wu n g it aro und. C r a s h The d esperate bl o w h a d been struck at the spo t w the l ock o f t h e d oor w a s s u p p ose d t o b e in his estima 1 \,Yhct h c r h e strnc k it or n o t h e could have n<) co t ion, n o r w as tl: c time propiti o u s for a n exami natio n n ow. vVith cleaclly earnestness h e rai ned bl ows m)((n dcvot.ecl door. It groaned umler the as s ault. Suf'cly no o r dinary lock cou ld stand such a fie r c e s laught. This o n e must b e broken int6 At len gth h e desisted. The tinic wh i c h h a d been cons'umed s inc e his in g the ax had bee n exceedingly s hort-;-not score of seco nds. He had b ee n e nabl e d ., h owev e r. to do a treme ndous a m ou1. 1 1 l r s

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THE JESSE JAM ES STORIES. 2 7 hell he came to inve stigate he found the door no er resi s ted. s security was gone. ith one eff ort h e fl,ung it wide open and the path was r was time. he voices o f the purs uers smmded dose by, and had n been furth e r dela y ed the chances of his escape t have been consid e rabl y les se n ed. sse J arnes turned to his ho rse ortunately the animal had not l;>een alarmed by the d of the swinging a x coming in contact with the de d door. e stood just wh e re he had been left agerly the daring outlaw swung himself upon the 1al's back. ow let them come. e felt safe. ith a good horse under him Jesse James was able fo his enemies-on foot he 0>ft(lp _felt like a sailor re. hrough the gate he pass ed. e noise behind 'that the whole hborhood was stirred up : .-. s it was a rec e p t ion to the governor, a crowd assembled. here were numerous police officer s on duty near by, rder to control th e people. his was the source of another danger which had not calcu lated on. he excitement was int e n se. eople were rushing thi s way and that, and lights Id b e s een. here he is! me one shouted out the words as the horseman e into view . hoot him d ow n! i1esc were d es p e rate three.ts. bu t t hey might just as have talked of ;,t opping a w hirlwind as the man who burst through th e g 1 rd e n w all'. e scorned thre ats oub1e thi s numbe r w ould 1 rn t ha v e cause d him to c g rasped his bridle b et w .een hi s t e eth arid gave the e another dig in lh e ri b s w ith b o th heels togethe r. From a holster attached to the saddle he had drawn a revo lver of the caval'ry pattern. Jesse James now had a revolve'r 111 either hand, and thus armed dashed at his enemies. They had gathered in front of him, rapidly endeavot"' ing to presen< t a SO'lid front. It was a thrilling scene. The o fficers and citizens thus formed into an im promptu poss e were not to be daunted by mere looks alone They had true grit. The torches borne by a number, snatched from cer tain bonfires built b y boys near by, aided in dispe'lling the darkness. Thus the opposing forces were enabled to see other p'lainly. There could be no concealment. In the course of an eventful life such a s the Missou ri outlaw must have led du.ring the past fifteen years, he had certainly seen times just as dangerous as this. A lucky fortune seemed to be his. He dashed at his enemies with the fury that generally characterized his aggressive movements. H is presenc e inspired them with alarm. Strange as it may seem, men who had been classed as sl1arpshooters-who could hit the head of a nail as far as see11,. generally lost aH control over their powers when in the pre s ence of Jesse James. They often acted as t hough demoralized and this s pecies of "rackets" among his enemies saved the des perado's life more than once. Thus it happened now. Like wild.fire the news had flown fr.om mouth to mouth. "Jesse James is here Eve ry one knew whom t'hey hunted, a n d the first sight th e y had o f him bearing down on them like mad on his charger put electricity into their frames. They saw and trembled .. A great fear came upon nearly all. Had Satan himself horns and all, come bearing down upon them in a c hariot of fire, and breathing brimstone fire s they could hardly have been more terribly alarmed. Sev e ral fled. A fe11 m o re s ought safety by throwing themselves up o n the ground.

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28 THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. If bullets rart:tled
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THE JESSIE JAMES STORIES .. 2 9 H ow did it come that the o utla w m o unted as h e was, i lecl to get beyo nd the ranige of the ir vis i o ns? X o t o n c e had he pas s ecl the lin e of light cast by their r c hes. There could be but one answer. Hi'S h o rse was indeed mortaliy w o und ed, and was arclly abl e t o w a lk a w ay much l ess g o on a fast trot. ''\N e ll h ave him yet,'. s h o u te d one e nthu sias tic pursuer, e sa m e man w ho h ad been co nceal e d b e hind a l o g clur g t h e exc ha nge o f s h o ts. "The h o re i s clo wn. "Rus h io n h im !" Sure e nou g h J esse James had J.o.st hi s splendid mount b e sid e t h e rai iroacl trac k hi s h o rs e had fall en-there he too d at bay with one foot on the dyin g b e ast and a clevil sh determination in his defia:nt attitude. CHAPTER XIV. TERROR-STRUCK. Men never advanced with more enthus iasm than did he poss e up to the time when they discovered the fact bait Jesse James stood at bay. There was that in his attitud e to strike terror into their hearts. The m ast cowardly began to find excuses for failing to advance. They swung forward, but it was in a hesitating sorit of way, 011ly induced by numbers: Such an a s sault seldom carries on to victory. Heroes rush forward with the cletermi111ation to do or to die. That grim figure awaited them. He had alread y half exhaustecl his weapon. There was enough left to do considerable damage among his en e mies, and create something of a panic, if prop e rly placed Who could dispose of these bullets with more disas trous r es ults than this king o f train robbers? His s kill w ith t h e r e v o lver has never been questioned on the b order. F e w w ere hi s equals. Superi o r s h e had n o ne. No matte r what scene of excitem e nt h e was engaged in, his a i m was g e n e rally true and to the p o int. He saw thyse men rushing up o n him. .. ... His fir s t desire was to pick the leaders. Such a crowd is ahvays carried forward by one or two men. Once these go down, the balance detach., ments cap a ble of doing no harm. A wise man, therefore, would seek to make way wit?$ just such leaders. It is often clo ne in battle. More than one game has been won by just such tactics. Men deprived of those they ar. e accustomed to obey .. ing, become a disorganized mass, and a r e driven like; sheep. The train-robber s quick eye picked out t h e man who was the brains of the posse. He immediately clowned him. One shot was enough. The poor wretch went over like a log, gained his k nee$ again, and terribly wounded as he was, called to his merl to push on. There were several others capab l e of holdi n g a pos i tion at the head of the force. I They now assumed this place. "On, men. Down the trainrobber I Avenge the gov ernor. Rush on him!" Such cries arose. Strang e to say, however, the downfall of their leader and the pres e nce of that ma111 at bay seemed rto take much of the vim out of t
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3 0 Jc T H E JESSE JAMES STORI E S He did not seem to care just where his l ead went, so long as he disposed o f it. Others were excited by hi s example into trying the same t!hing. T11 us bullets b ega n bo fly a round the ears of the trainrobber, until it sounded just as though he had stirred up a hornet's nest. He wa s wounded in half-a-dozen places b y thi:S time, lbut paid little attention to thi s. Indeed, bis wounds only se rved to make him feel as though he was being burned b y fire-to irritate him as it twere, and make him fie rce in the desire for reve 1 ige. A third shot he sent. This was wa s t ed. Just as he pulled trigge r rthe man he int e nd e d shoot ing tripped over some object in his way and fell. He arose, cursing heartily and never s usp ec ted that his ilife had b ee n saved by that tumble. Jes se James went to fir e again, he wa s grined to find that the hammer had fallen upon a nipple That revolver was empty. cha bare .. He cast it int o th e crowd wit n a s h o ut and d rew UP.On the other o ne It w-as jus t at thi s tim e that o n e of those strange thing3 occurred, which seldom come to an ordin2ry man, but which see m to have be en brought frequenty in the life of the not o rious trainro bber u. There was a sharp whistle. Then came the sound of a bell. An engine was approaching. The driver, seeing many light s up on r:ir near th e trac:k. b;i.d natura!ly shu t off steam and was slow l y but ste adi l y slo1Ying up. A wild hope flashed into the f e r tile brain o f the m a n at bay. Why should he 110t make u se o f this pi ece of g oorl fortune? It certainly l oo ked as though the locomotive had b ee n guided to the spot for some purpo se, and what was he to b elieve but that this might be but to save him! \iVould i t stop? Even if the driver s low e d up enoug-h for h i m to leap aboard, he could dolllbtless acco111plis : 1 th e wild object that had been so s udd en l y created in his brain. Turning, he ran in the direction of the engine. His enemie's devined his intention. They shouted out wild words. v If the driver had understood there wa s still time f( ": him to have jerked ope11 the throttle and allowed ti engi ne to bound forward at a iurious pace that wou 1 have r e ndered it impossib le for a man to jump aboa cl ithout great risk. 1 The number of vo ices rai sed in that great shout b1 01 fled th e purpose of the s p eake rs. 1 A conglomeration of sounds ensued, alld those on t i a i engine did n o t understand what was up until J esse Jam o was alm os t r e ady to come aboard. 1 Then the driver did what he should have clone in th start. The engine gave a plunge forward. It would gain momentum, until in ten or twenty onds its p ace mus t be si mply t e rrific. Too lat e The outlaw made a leap. He caught the support at the s ide of the cab and be:;a to draw himself in, having secure d a f oo thold The fir eman had pic ked up a heavy sledge-hammc which was us e d to break coal. With this rais e d, h e threatened to brain the intruJe on th e spot. Some men would have l eaped bac k. Kot so Jesse James. His one ;:irm was free. I . I Tha t hand clutched a revol ver >vhic h was thrust mt the fireman s begri m ed face. "Drop that, do you hear? I am Jesse James." T i 1at was enough. There seemed to be mor e magic in the mention of tha name than if he had declared h i ms elf t o be the Pres iden / The firf_'man backed away and let the hammer fall 01 the coal. Jesse James was a board. He crouched there, to avo i d t h e bullets that might b fired. One thing he was sure cf-while they wer e going a this mad pace no person would be foo lhard y en o ugh to even make a n attempt to board the engine. Kor was th e re more than a coup l e of 3hots fir e d, an these were prob;ibly sent at rando m, for they did ll'' ) ha r m

PAGE 32

THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. 81. J esse Jame s instantl y d e t ected th e fact t hat t h e engi ne i ve r h ad slru t off stea m. He at once cove r e d the man h er go fo r all .she's wo rth, h e s aid "Jus t so," r e p lie d th e o th er. L i k e a s e ns i bl e man h e s a w h e co uld not he lp him s elf, d h e n ce o b eyed orde r s They imm ed iately l eft th e crowd b e hind and d arte d ng th e rail s out in t o t h e country. T his w as all ve r y good s o far as it w ent, but th e as tute i n ro bb e r kne w t h e telegraph would be quickly oug ht into pl ay b y hi s e n emies. H e did not m ean to be so ca u g ht. "Ho w far t o the next s tati on?" he a s k e d. "Fbur mil es w as the r e ply. "Is it a te' l egraph sta ti o n? 'No. " W he r e does th e lil,ext one com e in?" -"Three mil es b eyc nd. "All r ight. A t a certa in pl ace I'll g iv e yo u th e shake. ee p u p this s p e ed m eanw hil e S oo n t h ey sped p as t a s t a tion. The n t h ey s hot into the d arknes ? again. J ess e J ames waite d seve ral minutes. H e figured t h a t they had gon e a b o u t two m iks o r so d he n ce t he t e legraph statio n m us t b e o n e m o r e a h ead. "Stop h ere. They we r e in a thick wood. Whe n the e n gine ceased to move lie leaped ro the ground. "Now, as h e c o v e red the engineer with his revolver, "go ba c k ag--ain t o where you came from.'' The r e could be no beating around the bush with this man. He m eant business. So the e ngine we.:nt flying back over the rails, w hi s ... tlin g a s it ran. J esse James phmge d into the woods . He soo11 cam e up o n a farmhouse and with his t11su a l auda. c it y, c o mpe'ile d the farm e r to lend him a horse. M ounte d h e rode aw a y. The wh o l e c ountry around St. Louis w a s am used by hi s dari n g f eat-po ss e s of men s earc hed high and low, but th ey wer e quit e unable to discover him J esse J a me s had fri e nds. The y sec r e t e d him, and by eas y stage he once more rea c h ed h i s m ounta in home A f e w da y s after Dick F oster j oine d him He had e asily made his e s cape a t the r ec eption during th e confus i o n that fo.Uo wed th e disc o v e ry of J es se Jam es. 'I'HE E N D Next w e ek's i ss u e (No. 21 ) will co nt a in the fur th e r a d ve n ture s o f J e s se J a m es, t h e sto r y b e ing e n tit l e d '"Je sse J a mes i n t he Nor thwest." The Jesse James Stories@ LATEST -Jesse James at Bay: or. T h e T r ain R obbe r s Tra il. -The J am es B o y s i n St. L o u i s ; o r T h e l\Iysteri es of a Grea t C i ty. J es s e J am es Ca, e; or. T h e Secre t o f th e D ea d -Jesse J a m e s o n t he M i ss i s sipp i ; o r. The D u e l at M : idni ght. J e s se J ame s' Sign a l Code; o r The Ou t l aw G a n g's D espe r ate S t rateg y -Jesse J ames in N e w Orlea ns; o r The Man in th e Black D o mino. J e ss e J a m e s in Chicago ; o r The Ban d : t King's B old Play. J esse J ame s C l ooe Call; o r T h e O u t l aw s La s t R ally in S outhern Wyo:11i11g. -Jesse J a m es Among t h e Moo n s hin e rs; o r T he Train R o b be r s T r ail i n Ker:t ucky. ISSl.JES. 10 J esse James' D oub le; or, th e Man fr o m M i sso uri 9-Jesse J a me s a t t h e Thro t t l e ; or, The Hold-Up a t Deac\ M a n s Dit c h 8-J es s e J ames' Da r ing Deed ; or, The R aid on the Pine Rid ge J ail. 7-Jcs s e J am es, R ube Burrows & Co. 6-Je s s c J ames i n W yo m i n g ; o r T he D e n in th e Black Hills. 5-Jesse J a m es Oath; or. Tra ck e d to D ea th 4-Jesse J a m es Bl a ck A gents; or, The Wild Raid o n Bullion City. 3-Jesse J a m es' DareDe vil Dance ; or, B etra yed by One o f Them 2 -J esse J a m e s' L egac y ; or, The Bo r der Cycl one 1-Jcsse J a m es, the Outlaw. A Narrativ e of the James Boys. numbers nlwn:vs 011 hnnd. If you cannot get our publications from your newsdealer, five cents a copy will bring them on, by mail, postpaid.

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T,he . authorized by the Hon. \Vm. f CoCly (BUFF'.'AT ..... O BILL) '. , .1 -----THE----' .. . Our New Sc. Weekly A Sure Winner Hon. Wm. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill ) J; We were the publishers of the first story ever written of the famous and w or 1 d renownc i BUFF ALO BILL, the most daring scout, wonderful rifle shot, expert guide, great est Indian trailer ever known, and a popular hero whose life has been one suc cession of exciting and thrilling incidents combined with great successes and accom plishments, all of which will be told in a series of grand stories which we shall now place before the American Boys. These exciting stories will appear regu larly in our new Sc. weekly to be known as READ THE FOLLOWING TITLES 16. Edfalo Bill's Pards i n Gray; or, On the l8. Buffalo Bill at Grave-Yard Gap; or, The Death Trails of the Wild West. Doomed Drivers of the Overland. 17. Buffalo Bill's Deal ; or, The Queen of 19. Buffalo Bill's Death Grapple; or, ShaGold Canyon. dow e d by the Sure Shots. LOOK OUT FOR THE CREAT INDIAN STORIES STREET & SMITH, Publishers, NEW YORK ll

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JESSE JAMES STORIES Jesse James. WE were the :first pub-lishers in the world to print t e famous stories of th Jam es Boys, written b 'that remarkable man, B. Lawson, whose name is a watch word with our' boys. We have had many imitators, and in ord e r that no shall be deceived in accepting the spurious for the real we shall issue the best stories of the James Boys, by Mr. Lawson, in a Library entitled "The Jesse James Stories,'' one of our big five-cent libraries, and a sure winner with the boys. The first four issues are: "Jesse James, the Outlaw. A Narrative of the James Boys,'' "Jesse James' Legacy; or, The Border Cyclone," "Jesse James' Dare-Devil Dance; or, Betrayed by One of Them," "Jesse James' Black Agents; or, The Wild R aid at Bullion Cjty." STREET & SMiTH, Publishers, N ew York. BUFFALO. BILL STORlfS The only publication authorized by the Hon. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill.) Buffalo Bill. WE were the publish ers of the :first story e ver written of the fam ous and world-renbwned Buffalo Bill, the great hero whose life has been one succession of exciting and thrilling inci-depts combined with great successes and accomplishments, all of which wilr be told in a series cf grand stories which we shall now place before the American boys. The first of these stories entitled "Buffalo Bill, the Border King,'' appears in No. I of our new five=cent library entitled The Buf fal o Bill Stories." STREET & .SMITH, Publishers, New York. NICK CARTER STORIES THE best known detec: tive in the world is Nick Carter. Stories by this noted sleuth are i s sued regularly in ''Nick Carter Weekly" ( price five cents), and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the patrons and readers of the Nick Carter Serie s of Detective Stories to know that these famous 'stories will soon be produced upon the under unusually elaborate circumstan es Arrangements have just been com.pl ed between the publishers and M anager' C. W1litney, to present the entire set of Nick Carter stories in dramatic form. The first p1ay of the series will be brought out next fall. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New DIAMOND DICK STORIES THE celebrated Dia, mond Dick stories can only be found in '' Diamond Dick, J r.,The Boys' Best Weekly." Diamond Diamond Dick. Dick and his son B f ie are the most unique and fascinating her,es of Western romance. The scenes, and m4ny of the incidents, in these exciting stories are taken from real life. Diamond stories are conceded to be the best stories of the West. and are all copprighted by us. TP.e libra.ry is the same size and price as this publication, with handsome illuminated cover. Price, :five cents. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, N:aw York.


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