Jesse James' exploits

Citation
Jesse James' exploits

Material Information

Title:
Jesse James' exploits
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.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels ( lcsh )
Criminal investigation ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028820460 ( ALEPH )
08650894 ( OCLC )
J14-00024 ( USF DOI )
j14.24 ( USF Handle )

Postcard Information

Format:
serial

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

., \ \ ' \ --\ SHERIFF! HANDS UP, ROARED THE VOICE OF JESSE JAMES.-(CijAPTER XXXVIII.)

PAGE 2

I AftC5 A weeK.LT DfALlftG WITH; DETECTIOft Of CR'IME Wee.Illy. By S ubscriptio n $2 : 50 per yea r E tel ered as Secon d Class Matier at Ille N. Y P ost Office by S T REET & SMITH, t!J8 WJ7Jiam S t ,N. Y E ntere d accord i n K to Act of C ongress i n Ille year IQOI in t he Offic e of Ille Lil>ror ian o f Congress W askinpon, D. C. No. 24. N E W YORK, October 1 9 1901. Price Five Cents. Jesse James' E xp loits. By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPT E R X XXIII. THE LORD S B URG S T AGE D rop the m lin es l Mov e a muscle a n d you re a d e ader, Pete C ole l Now, the n thro.w u p your hand s and kic k ou t that ca s h-box l I'm J e sse J ames t h e o u t l a\\ and I me a n bu s ine ss !" The order came f rn m a man p e r c hed u p o n a rock jus t at the e ntrance t o a narrow pass o n t he L ordsburg s t age route H e wa s weari n g a w h ite mask, and, o utlin e d again s t the blue A rizona moonlight, he lo o ked lik e a gia nt. P ete C o l e d rive r o f the Lordsburg stage, p r omp tly obe ye d o rd ers kick i n g the W e lls-Fargo box from u nd e r the s eat cle a r a cross six fe e t o f space, an d land<'ld it at t'h e f ee t o f t'he ro b be r. "Frank, take a look i n s ide and s e e if there are an y pa s sengers," we n t on th e outlaw, coolly; ''and y ou, P e t e get d o wn a nd m ake track s fo r that bunc h of m esq uit e y ond e r l L oo k and I'll plug y ou full o f h o l es l I'll dr! v e the sta g e int o L o rdsb urg m y s e lf and no r eflecti o n o n your r eputation ei ther! H e chuckled as he sa id the last words, and as t h e d ri v e r spr ang p r ompt l y fro m his seat with out l o wering his arms an inc h fro m t h e ir: original pos it i o n h e t u rne d a qui c k gla nce up o n th e se c ond o utlaw, w h o h a d hi s h e ad i nside th e stagecoa c h w indciw "How m .an y pa sse n gers, Frank?" Fran k J a m cs, brot he r t>f the farr.o u s baudit, d rew h is h e ad fr o m the w i n dow a s h e r e pli ed: "Onl y on e J e s s and thi s a wo man She's too scared t o m ov e l Sh all I go through he r p o ckets?" No. LeL 11e1 a l o 11e '-1 1 I t I "t .s.1e 1as n a wea p o n s 1e ca11 do a n y d amage, and we m ay a s \ Yell l e t 'her c ontin u e h e r j ou rn ey!" As h e spo k e hi s brot her sp ran g up o n t he ro c k and h e lp e d him smas h the ca s h-b ox Jesse James k ep t one eye upon t he d ri v e r who was strid ing ob e di e ntl y t oward t h e m e squite an d then roare d a p e r empto r y wh o a t o one of the lead ers, tha t was growing r est i ve A seco n d late; lie 'v\: a s on th e b ox o f the stage; and h is bro t h e r a ft e r g a t h ering up a bo ut t w o hundr ed dolla r s i n go ld du st, c r aw l ed insid e o f the o ld vehicl e, whe r e he found t he s olit a r y pa ssenger s till tre mb ling with terro r. "Oh, sir l 'Wha t h a s h a pp e ned ? sh e aske d as J esse J a m es c r acked the l ong whip and ith e coa c h started off wit h a bump and a rattl e "No thing m uch! J esse J ames has held up t h e

PAGE 3

THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. an d corraled the strong-box," was the answer, as the seco1id greatest outlaw in the country hid specie 1dgs somewhere in his capacious pockets. A feminine shriek o f alarm followed this bit of in formation: then the l one passenger suddenly flung back a this minute as you have been an y minute since y ou started! There' s no end of bandits about who hold up Pete Cole, bu1t no on e is likely to bother this cra:ft while Jess is on the b<;>x Tha t white mas k of hi s will strike terror to the soul of every cutthroat in this hea thi ck veil and revea led a face of astonishing peauty. section!" "By t h e eternal! I though t you were an old woman!" "Who are you?" asked the girl, suddenly. blur ted the outlaw, admiringly ; "Hanged if you ain't as "Frank James." we de prntty as a peach, and in your teens, too, I reckon I Y !.iere cl. id you come from and where are you going?" He lean ed forward as he spoke, and another jolt of the coach nearl y cracke d their heads together. "Bow dare you, sir excl a i m ed the young woman, drawi n g back w ith dignity. "How dare you q1Je sti on a l ady. yo u infamous robber!" "Ha! ha! The ma nn ers of a qu een They go well "That man's brother?" Frank Jam es nodded. "Did-did he ki1l the drive'r ?" tlr "No-jus t left him b e hind. He'll have a thirty-fiveas mile walk to get to Lordsburg," chuckled the outla:w. fr "Is that where he is taking the stage?" a Frank James glanced out of the window just as a yell from Jesse James and a sudden lurch of the stage s h owed with your face miss So you don't intend to my that t'hey were rounding a perilous corner. question?" was the r eply in a jovial voice. The woman b i t her lip s a n d did a little thinking, for it had flashed through her mind that she was in a d espera:te positio n Ill-fortune had decreed that she s hould be the one pass e nger i n the stage a t that unluc ky hour, and to be al one with two r eck l ess d esperadoes in one o f t h e lonelies t spots in A ri zo na :m expe rience which call e d for not o nl y courage but cleverness. In her pocket was a package of papers of g r ea t im portance and whic h had been intrusted to her b y n o l ess high an official than t he Uni ted States m a r s hal him self, and which she was expect ed t<> d e liver to certain parties in Lordsburg. Ano th e r l oo k f!t the glaring white ma sk opposite h e r made her set her t eet h w ith d e termination. "He shall i;ot ha ve them!" s he thought. "I'll def y them both! Oh, if I onl y kn ew what te do!" Anot'her look at the ma s k, behind which two not unkindl y e ye s were gazing at her attentively, made h e r change her plan a.. little, and a second later womanlike, she did the very best thing which s he could po ssibly have done under the circum st an ces Removing a p,air of black gloves, and draw ing out. a tin y handkerchi ef, she put her h-:mds before her face and burs t out crying. In a second Fran k Jam es had one o f her han ds in his, and was patting it g ently "There th ere! Don t cry, little girl! You're safe I reckon Jess think s it's t oo far to Lordsburg. He's t1 turned into the D ead Valley route. Don't b e frightened, miss; I said I'd protect you and I can e asy send you to J Lordsburg from D e ad Valley t o-morrow." t "But why do we go to Dead Valley?"' persisted the girl, as the s ta g e k ept up i ts bumping a nd bouncing. Frank Jame s took another look o ut of the window into s the moonli ght, and then b et ra yed a confidence. t "There's swag the valley, l ots of it, and J ess and I have just got wind of it ." "You mean the n1iners' mon ey?" "Yes, th e copper f.ellows. We' ve l earned tha t a month's wages all around came b y Wells-Fargo yest er clay, and a s it wasn't in this stage, ifs sure to b e some wheres else, and that"s the secret we "ve found out. I t's in the co dfish "You mean it s hidd e n in the s upplies for the mine rs?" "Yes. That's the way they transport it from the rail road. Sometimes in bal es of dry goo
PAGE 4

THE JESSE Jl\MES STO R IES. 3 CHAPTER XXXI V : s l THE TWO PRISONERS. s I "What' s the m atter?" asked Frank James, putting h i s shead o u t of t he win dow. A voll e y of oaths from J ess c ame back t o him ; then e was ab l e to make out fonnJS' of two m en, who ve r e hugging the boulders on the right of the p ath in a esperate effo11t to keep o u t of the w a y of the h o r se s "T'h e y say they ve been h e ld up a nd r o bbed of ev e ry th i ng, pi s tols and all," explai ned the o u t l aw o n the b ox, s scon as he h a d his team i n subj.ection They want a free ride to the v alley, Frank. I reckon they're n atives, and the y might give us s ome informa t ion "Who held em up?" ask e d Frank James curi o us l y "A fe'lfow wearin g a whit e mask, chu c kled J e ss e J ames, "I re c k o n it w as Prairie P ete; he s h o uld b e in this section "Let me have a look at e m," said Frank a g ain as he jum p e d fr o m the coa c h and edge d his vv:ay close to t h e two figure s with his fing e r on the of his w e ap o n. "Ye r w o n t s ee n o thin' ter vorry yer much st rangtr," said o n e of th e me n sull enly. "We' re copp e r miners thet's f e ll in with o ne e r the r Jame s gang, an' b e en robb e d o f our p o p s Yer b e l ong ter th e r same cre w yu s elv es I reck o n by th e m thar white rags. \iVaa l cf thar's e nnY'thing l eft o n u s the t's wuth stealin ', yer w e l c01ne t o it Frank Jam e s satisfie d hims e lf that the y wer e weap o n le s s h e an s w e red; the n h e move d b ack t o th e stage and h e ld th e d oo r o p en. On e of yo u can g e t in here, and the other can g o on top ," he s aid gruffl y "Yo u may. be m i ner s and yo u ma y not; w e're not taking any chances, b u t I warn yo u to be car eful of y our lan guage, for there's a l ady a board J ess ca n do all the sw earing that's needed to run t hi s craft, and--" "By ther liv in' etamal The t thar ain t J esse J ames, now i s i t, st ra nge r?" Jest get aboard, gentlemen, and don t k ee p the stage waiting, inte r ruped Fr:mk. "Is there any parti cular s pot where you d like u s t o l eave y ou t w i x t here and D ead V a lley? \ He looked up at his brot her a s he spofoe, but the two / men a p peared n o t notioe it. They 'rel'e a p parently h es itating about trusti n g t hemse l ves iIJ s u ch comp any. J ump u p if you re c o min ', and be qu i ck abou t it!" ordere d J e sse James a s he t o u c h e d th e l e ad e r s "'Dhi s c o ach is running on sch e dul e and ca n t s t a nd an y fooli.n' Y o u re to the. rid e I t w o n t c o st y ou an y thin g T h e men scrambled up, on e t o t h e b ox a nd th e ot he r to t h e step; then the latt e r g a ve a quick cry a nd stoo d in the doorway p eering int o th e ve hicle a t the l one l y f e male. The young gi rl had draw n he r veil o n h e 1 fac e again so he co u ld n o t see h e r f eat ur es, bu t afte r t ha t &rst g lan ce h e recover e d him s elf, and sc r a m bli n g i nt o the stage, took the s ea t di r ectl y o pp os i t e h e r. Frank James w as about t o foll o w him, w h e n th e r ear h o rs es shi e d vio l ently, and he was thro w n to t h e g round, w i th out, howev e r, r e ceivin g any i n j u ry. It w as a min ute b efo r e h e could get bac k and in that n 1i11ute some t hing h a p pe n ed ins i de o f the s t;ig e th a t wo uld have pro duoed serio u s r esu l ts h ad the t wo o u tlaws s e e n it T h e you n g wo m a n pushed :tsi d e he r veil, and th e two occ u p:mts o f t h e stage s t a r e d ha r d a t each ot h e r "You are M rs. \iVill Star! I k new yo u ins ta!'.tly," whi s p e r e d the man. "Yes, and you a r e Mr. B r a nt, fr o m the Pinkerton a ge n cy murmure d t h e g irl prom p t ly. ''Will i s w a i t in g for m e at L or d s bur g, a n d expected you to j oin h im th e r e Thi s i s a dr e adful posi tio n you a r e i n a t t his minu te!'' "It i s a s trange o ne, su re ly. :t\o tw o d etec tiv e s o n t h e t rac k o f J esse Jam es wer e ever i n a m o r e aggra v a ting positi on. \iVe h ave t h ese m e n in o ur p owe r and y et we a r e h e lpl ess T h e r e was no t i m e t o s a y m Dre, for F r:rnk James climbe d in, swe a ring Eke a p ir ate, finding th e two occu pal'lt s of the s t age s hrinking ba c k in \h e ir respective corner s Jes s e J am es cra cke d hi s w hip and onc e more t h e coach b e gan i ts r ocking and bumping, for the path to De:i.d Valle y wa s anythinsbut a s mooth one : To two occupants of the v e hicle th e rid e was the strangest on e on re co rd, for they wer e se ated be s ide the very men w h o m th ey had be e n sent t o that se ction to kill yet n e i the r o f th e ir i nt e nd e d victim s e v e n guesse d their e rrand The young w o m a n. w h o w as th e bri de of a brothe r de t e ctive, kep t h e r w its ab o ut her :rnd did n o t b etra y h e r know l edg e by a w o rd or l ook, and as the outlaws rode o u )

PAGE 5

4 THE JESSE JJ\MES STOR I ES. th e t h r ee an.swe r e d innu me r a b le q ues ti o n s and made t h e1nsel ves a s agr eeab l e traveli n g com panion s as po s sibl e \ V h at Jess e J a mes wo uld do wi t h them when they D ead Valley, o r whe th er th ey were even destined t o arri v e ther e at all, th ey co uld not g uess. Jesse J ames had a reput a ti o n for b eing as cunni n g as h e wa s c ru e l so be neath his outward civility there b e s ome h i deou s sc h e m e lurking. won' t fer g i t t h e r whi t e ma sk gan g soon! I e a pair of g oo d p o p s-it wa s all th e y had about 'em!" "Curse you! One o them w e apon s is mine!" broke i1 the detective on the box, who lo oked like a typica l coppe miner. "Hello! J ess hez overhauled ther two jays and giv 'em er f ree ride! one of the other r iders "Haw h a w! T het thar l ooks like as i f J ess was gettin r e H e h a
PAGE 6

THE JESSE Jl\ME S STORI ES. 5 an' be one of yer if yer'll l et me. I kin handle a shoot in' iron with any of yer If yer don't beli eve it, try me!" "Hla ha! A good bluff, but it don t go! I'm not hankerin' to play targe t just this minute!" said Jesse James, with a keen l ook "I reckon now you'd do wonders with a pop if you had one, wouldn't you?" Brant did n ot relis h the keen look bent upon him; but he replied as indifferently as ever: "Bein' a ri1iner myself, I ain t oo fri end o' ther man thet's layin' f e r ther boys' pay," he said, hones tl y, "but y 1 er've got th e r bulge on me, Jess, an', besides, I'm in want o' monrey Thar's a ga. me on at ther valley termorrer nigh t t h e t I wouldn't miss fer a milli on!" "\t\Thereabouts ?" J esse James asked the ques:tion with a s how of interest. "At Slipp ery Hank's, the nigger's. Thar's a chap thar from Pasadena thet's got'barrel s of ther st uff, an' every man in ther valley is lookin fer him." The eyes of the outlaw snapped, for he was an i n vete r ate gambler, and one of his reasons for coming t o the vall ey was to meet the man from Pasadena, who was another outlaw of the lowest order. "Then you'll take the 9ath ?" he asked, a trifle in credulously. To save himself, Frank Brant could not h e lp glancing at his companion, bu t it was so dark where they stood that he could not catch his expression. "I'll take it if Jim hyar will," he said slowly. "An' I won't do it! Cusse d .ef I will!" blurted out Phil Tyler, th e second detective, impulsively. "I won't take no oath ter help yer rascall y gang! Yer kin blow me ter blazes fust I'm will in t e r die hones-t !" If a bomb had exp loded under their feet the group of outlaws could not have been more astonished, while, as for Brant; h e held hi s breath through sheer concern over his partner's rashne ss "That's a serious decision, stranger," said J ess e James, solemnly. "It means that you'll squeal on the gang the first chance you get, and in this gang there's only one kind of medicine for squealers." "You mean .to shoot me?" "Like a dog, stranger. Dead men tell no tales!" If Brant could have gotten a minute's conversaition with his companion he would hav e tried to influence his decision but a word would only tell the tale of their identity, and two lives instead of one would pay the penalty. "Put him back against the tree, b oys. It's time we were going!!' ordered Jesse James, s harpl y Brant closed his eyes and turne d his ba ck, while Mrs. Star came forward from the stage ancj dropped on her knees before the outlaw. "My God You must not commit a murder!" she whispered shriHy. The only answer was a sonorous "one" in the outlaw 's voice, followed promptly by the click and crack of a re volver. Frank Jam es raise
PAGE 7

6 THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. and up at the white masks that covered their faces, and, remembering his friend's fate, advanced a few paces. A shrill cry from Mrs. Star stopped him. l"rank Jamres clapped his hand over her m,outh and turn e d her head so she could not see the tra.gedy, but he managed at the same time to raise and level his revolver. Jesse Jamres and his men were standing beside their horses at a pa c e fr,om body, and each held a weapon, cocked a nd turned full upon the man whom they were initiatin g Brant r e ach e d th e body and bent over it quickly, and a s h r 1icl so s omething that felt like a thunderboJ t struck hi.in s qu;:u-e l y o n the head and he felt himself pitching for ward into inky darkness. A roar o f bughter from the group brought him to his s e n s e s a minu te l ater but in that short time he had been bo und hand and foot and laid upon anrothc r flat rock, and 1 h e out b w gang w a s bu s y at t h e i r w o rk of rifling his d e ad c o m ; ad e s po ckets. Bra n t o p e ned his e yes l o n g e n o u g h to see his friend's private p a p e r s i n o n e o f th e outlaw' s hand s then clo s ed them with a groan, and tried to f e i g n unconsciousness. "It's all up with me h e tho ught, but ther e was not a tremor o f f ea r for him se lf fo r jus t as h e clos e d his eyes h e h:itl ca u g ht a glimpse of Mrs Star s itting in a heap 1.Jeside h im. He tri e d t o t h i nk o f some w a y o f s a v ing h e r. T h e th o u g h t ca m e l o him l ike a t b s h and set his brain t o w o rking. Jam es h el d the p a p ers i n t h e fading moonlight and trie d t o r e a d the m w hile h i s men crowde d around him almo s t forg e tting the w o man in th e ir excit e m e nt. "He's fr.p m Pink erto n:s, and th e y re on to our lay boys e xplained the outlaw fin;;illy "T-his fellow s name is T y ler, and it's his first trip a fter big game. Guess I'll have t o gi v e the othe r one a double dose to make up for m y hurry! Hello! Whe r e's the gal! She's broke for the bushes There was a genera:! mo v ement t oward Brant who was still l y ing motionless upon th e rock ;;ind then th e outlaws began s earc hing for the gi r l b e hind lbe neighboring boulders. Jes se James put the horses in a group and sto o d by their heads. Just then a S tartled shriek came the young girl's lips and Prairie Pete gave a howl of satisfaction as he bent and jerki e d her violently from a clump of bushes. Brant ground his teeth as another cry followed, then he :listened, for a chorus of shouts only a little distance up the hill answered. "Help! Help! They are murdering me!" yelled Mrs. Star, as Prairie Pete's heavy hand nearly choked the breath from her body. Jesse Jame s did not wait for any 1 thing, but sprang into a saddle, and, as a great clattering of hoofbeats came around the rocks, he took a flying shot at Brant, and then bound e d off into the darkness on the fi."lest horse in the West. The rest of his men attem'pted to foll'O'w, but they were a second too late. Crack! went a rifle, and a bull-et sp e d by Prairie Pete's \ ear. The next second Jonas Green, one of the other highwaymen, reel e d and fell from his saddle, wi th his horse on top of him_ "After e m sheriff! yelled an excited voice. run off with ther gal It's ther 'wJ1ite ma s k gang!'" "They held up their stage an' Whoop! Look out thar, yer sinner! Take tl11et fer yer impudence!" The last was accompanied by a report that awoke the echo e s, but F rank Jame s whose heart had been the target, burst into a roar of laughter, and, sending t w o bullets in return for one disappear e d b e tween the boulders. A voll e y of s hot s follo w ed, with serious re s ult s fo r the outlaw s Two of them were k i lled in s tantly, w hil e t lie third wa s di s abled. The n Sh e riff Waller of Arizona rounded up hi s men finding that only one out of sevien had been injured. "Took 'em unawares, I reckon he chuckled, going over to Brant. "An' jest in time, too! Great snake s T his h yar looks as tho' ther robbers was er contiem platin' murder!" Mrs. Star had fainted, so she could not e xplain but Brant promptly found his and t o ld the whole story. A minute later he was on hi s feet, sho wing them a scratch on his arm, where the outlaw s bullet had grazed it and s tru c k the metal badge in hi s ,,,e s t pocket, s aving his life for him. Pete C o l e the regular driver of th e stage, surveyed the wotmd critically, and then bur s t forth int o a torrent of inv ectives.

PAGE 8

THE Jt::SSE JJ\MES STORf ES. "Jess d i dn t expect you, sh e riff," said Brant, wh o was chafing Mrs Star's hands. "And I'll swear I thought I a goner for fair!" "I'm arter the w hite mask gang, an' Jesse James is the cap 'n of it s aid the sheriff, doggedl y "Ther vanniints hev been r o bbin' and plunderin hereab o uts f e r er month an ef thar's er man in Arizona thet kin ketch ther rascals, I.reckon I'm ther man! Yier know thar' s er re ward for Jess, stranger?" "Of course I know it! The government has off ere d . .. teh thous and dollars for him dead or alive re s ponded Brant. "So_ I'm as anxious to ca 1 tch h i m a s yo u are, sheriff!" The sh e riff m o v e d s o as to bring him se lf directl y in fron t o f the detJecti v e a nd t he n B rant no t i ced, wi.th som e concern, that t h e o th e r m e m bers o f the po ss e wer e sur roundin g him M r s Star ha d e nti rely revi ved and was s ittin g on the g round watching t h e move m ents o f the m e n curi o u s l y. T ; h e s heriff cle a re d his th ro a t, and th e n his hand \ dro pped to the bu tt of his r e v o l v e r as he eye d Brant sternly. "Bein as I'm s h e riff h yar, I r e c k o n theit t ha r reward b e l o n gs to me s tran ge r ," he said gruffly, E r d etective all r i g ht in his p l ace, but t hey a in' t w anted i n Arizon:i. The s h e riff k1n r ege rlate t hin gs, I reck o n wit h o ut a n y of their h e lp l e a s twi s e he m e an s t e r try-do yer k etch o n s t r a n g er ? ' Yo u mean that you want me to qui t th e game?" s a i d the many ras cally officials who held pos iti o ns in the \!V e s t for no other reason t ha n to w 1eed out trespa ssing thieves in order t o s ec ure all th e plun der thems e lv es. If this wa s the case, his positi o n was h qp ele s s for a s h e riff o f t:hat k ind c o uld alwa y s find an excuse for pull ing a trigger, :md bes i des, there w as not a m e mb e r o f his pos s e but w h a t would corrob o rate hi s sfo r y Brant saw the dil emma he was in ins t a ntl y but h e sti-ll hesitated about mounting. Brant gave Mrs, Star a quick look, whid1 s he wa s cle ver enough t o und e r s tand The n as the s heriff w as urging him to hurry hie s pran g int o the saddl e and rode away just as the m oo n d rop p e d b e l o w the horizon and left the rocky wilderness in dark n ess Twent y -four hours later a young man ali g ht e d from a M e xican mu stang befor e an inn a 1 t Lordsburg, and afte r h a nding the h o r s e over to a stable boy, he saunter e d i nto th e pl a c e and order e d refres hm ents A n arrival at th a t h our was a little unusual, bu t th e p ro p r i e t o r of t he i nn, Stum p y Jack ," s o call.e d because o f one wo o d e n leg, rec eive d him as though his app earanc e h a d b e en l ooke d for. The r e was n o on e els e in t he place, s o the s tranger, w h o w a s F r a nk Brant, with o ut an y d i sguise, dropp e d eas i l y i nto a cha ir and b ega n the c o n ve r s ation, "Th e wors t country I ever s truck I've b e en J o st three t i m e s b etwee n Clifto n and Lord s bur g Give me a bracer, b oss an d a b it e to cat, an d s e e th a t m y hor se giets a ru b Bra nt qui ckly H e'll be st iff to-mo rro w if h e does n 't." "Thet th:ir's j e st w hat I w:mt stranger! Gla d y e r v V hat' s yer bu sine ss h yar, s tran ger?" a s k e d the pround e rstand it s o e asy! I 'll sa y ri g ht h yar twon't be best f e r y er
PAGE 9

8 THE J ESSE JAMES STORIES. there's a stage I ine, w h e r e's the stagre? I understand it ,\as due h ere at sundown." St11mpy J ack s crat.::hecl hi s h e ad and cut a slice of b a.:o n before he answe red; then, when he came to the table again, his eyes l ooke d craftier than ever. "Thar's a young ieller stayin' h ya r thet's interested in the t thar question, stranger,". he began. "Hyar he comes thi s minute! He's too oneasy ter sleep, I reckon!" The do o r of the eat ing-room o pened, anid a young man ent e red, and for just a second the two stared at each otber. "Just in t ime, stranger! I always did hate to eat alone!" sa id Brant, r ecovering him self afte r a minute. "Doubl e up on that orde r, landlord and then stir up the fire. l'm stiff with the co ld in spite of your liquor!" Once more the two young men glanced at each other, and th e n, ;-is the landlord's bac k was turned for a minute, a sig nal was exchanged between them. "Speaking about the stage from C liiton, went on B rant, deliberately, I h eard an h our ago that the sheriff h:i.d overhauled it! How's that for a yarn I They say h e c orralecl -the strong box jus t like any highw ayman, and got away with the du st. That d o n t leave much for the white mask ga.pg, if they're still! in thi s se cti on!" "How do y e r know they be?" asked the landlord, set ting a bottle o n th e table. Br;mt shrugged his s houlders and' s _tarte d on hi s bread and bacon. "That's ,r11at they told m e a t Lhe min es b e fore I lef t," h e said, indifferently. "They sa id t h e \iVilcox gang was h aving more tha n i t could do, so J esse James had take n it u p o n himself to visit Arizona." ''Do you r ecko n thet ther whit e masks and ther Jame s gang air o ne and th e r same?" asked Stumpy Jack, breath l ess ly. Brant gave him a quick look and went on with his re past, ther e b y giv in g his companion a cha nc e to ansvver. "Of course, they'11e one and the s ame, Stumpy!" 'Ye r two know er lot fer t e nderfeet," began the l and lord, m o ving away just as a rumbl e of 'Ah ee l s was h eard ther sheriff! Hurrah fer \i\iallie He's the gamest cock in Arizona!" sa _"Hurray echoed Stumpy Jack, as he stumped out toia: m ee t the coa c h, w ith an evident desire to get a word with te the s heriff! w "T11ank God, yvu're safe, Star!" mutte red Brant to his h i companion; then, as rapidly as possibl e, h e related the story o f his adventure, includ ing the villainou s oath which sl had bound his wife to silence. r 1 The next minute Mrs. Star tumbled out of the coach 1: into her husband's arms, and the sheriff and his men, t i who had not recogniz e d Brant, r epaired to the barroo m I a to drink and t alk t h ings over. Brant saw the young couple start off to the sleeping l rooms over head, and then went back t o fini s h h is supper in a room &eparated fr o m the barroom by a t hin wooden parti-tion. N-obody not i ced him apparently, for they were all parched with thirst, but. after a short time a number of low remark s were ejaculated in his direction As h e strained his ears to catch th ese, the outer door opened softly and a burly giant, wearing a white mask, slip pe d in and clo se d th e door softl y b e hind him. Bran l made a m o tion to rise. but the click of a trigge r s t op ped. him .. and h e found him self l ooking down the b a rrel of a bttsinesslike Derringer. L e t o u t s o much a s a peep and I'll blow you to blazes!" whi s per e d the f e llow, h o ars.ely. I want to hear what t h ose rasca l s are saying! You can go o n wit h your grub, if you r e still about it! Brant cursed hi s luck inwardly, but there wa s nothing to b e Clone, and after a seco nd h e bega n to enjoy hi s n ove l position. T.he m en in the barroom were warming up under the influence o f g ood liquor, and it wa s ev id ent that their hos t had told them there was to fear from the dir ec tion of the eating-room, inasmuch as his guest was o nl y a tenderfoot prosp e c t o r from the n eighboring dig gings. "I P ec k o n J es s a nd m e, b etwixt n s h e v rout ed ther last outside The three darted to t he w ind ow and then to of them thar Pinkerton men," ca m e through the parti-the door and were jus t in time to s ee the old s t agecoach roll int o the y a r d preceded b y an outrid er. "Hello, Stumpy! Hyar we are! A lit t l e late, but bet ter bte than never!" bawled Pete Co le, the outriger. "\Ve was h el d up by ther white mask s, an' re scued by tion i n t h e s heriff' s voice "He sent one o n 'em t e r kin g dom come, an I se n t ther tother ter ther b oun
PAGE 10

THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIESo 9 \: "Ther n1ay be more of ther sleuthhounds, \Val lie," said one of the imbib e r s. '"Y e r ca n t never count ther > last o' them fellers! When one i s dead, thar's a dozenr 1 ter ther funeral, bnt I 'Io-.v thet ther feller with t1'le r whi skers was skeered fer fair! He n ever look ed b eh ind him, not even at lhcr 1ro111an "He's e r goin' yet, yer kin bet on it," chuckle d the ) sheriff. "'Now, ef w e kin j est finct out what ther railroad folks has done with thet thar boodle! J css is er layin' fer it, as sure as s ho otin', an' our game is ter wait till he has g o t it!" l At this remark th e w hite mask over the face of the outlaw hiding in Brant's room t'. vitc hed a litt le, and Brant l had no difficulty in guessing that the fellow was laugh-ing. "Set 'em up boys! It's o n me!" came once more in the landlord s voice . then the sound of a wooden leg stumping :icross the floo r made the listenin g ontlaw back slowly to the do o r \ vithout however, changing the aim of hi s weapon. Brant stare d at him curiously, taking pain s t o k ee p his hands above the table, and the next second th e two doors opened and closed s imultaneously. CHAPTER XXXVIII. THE CHALLENGE. "Ther she riff would like ter '.'frape ycr acq u aintance strang c r sa !d Sttmiriy, who h:id entered, half drunk, "an' as he ain't the r kind ter taJ
PAGE 11

1 0 THE JESSE JAMES SiORIES. S imul tan'eou s l y with the r eport, th,e door leading to the e a ting roo m o p e n e d an d three m e n w earing masks, ap pe ared up o n the thresh o ld H an ds up, she riff! Han ds u p all around!" roared the v oioe of J esse J ames. ':Yiuc h obliged, young man, for giving u s o n e l ess t o c o ve r! Now, th en, ge ntlemen, stand as you a r e until we r elieve you o f yo ur w e apons!" T her e was a bre ath les s sile nce for a s econd, whi l e ( v ery man in t he ro om put h i s hands ab ov e his head; h e n S h e riff W alle r deliver e d himself of a few inv ectives. ''By---! It's J e s s himsel f! 'l CHAPTER XXXIX. THE OUTL A W'S TRIC K The dete ctiv e s laugh wa s c ut sh ort b y a curse; th e n, b y so m e trick unknown to th e o th e rs S t ump y Jack put ou t every light in th e barroom l eavi n g the c o nte s tants in t o tal darkness. "Fir e Peppe r 'ern, b oys roared J esse Jam es, pullin g t h e tri gge r of his weapon C ra c k crack w e n t th e p i s to ls, and a wild s c r a mble fol lowe d, a s every man in t h e made a rus h to get be hind th e bar and tab l es Kicks cuffs, curses and s hots at sho r t r a nge g o t badl y mix e d up, but both Star and Brant manage d to avoid seri o us damag e, and each s e cur e d a s afe p o siti o n withi n th e fir s t few s econds It's t'he whit e mask gan g Bolt for it, she r iff!" y e lled a fright e ned v oice, a n d o n e of t h e posse 'leaped t o the cent e r door and succeeded in ope n ing it. F l ash! Ba n g A b ullet struck him s quarely in t he for e h ea d fel ling h i m l ike a n ox, th e n Je sse J a m es leap e d ac ross th e an d fir ed two mo r e s hot s in qui c k s uccession. Ther e was a mom ent of s ilen ce afo e r that, i n which the shooters were trying to locate th eir e n emi es, and the n some o n e opened the doo r and stood on th e thre s h o l d o utl i ned 4gain s t the s k y whi c h was gray wit h the fir s t l ight of morn ing ''.B y J ove I t' s a woman!" mutte r-ed Star, w ho had found Br:mt close by his s i de ; th en, at th e ri s k of his l ife, h e raised his h e a d from b e hind the barre l whi c h had giv e n h i m pro t ect i on. "Father!" The wqrd w a s spok e n m a startl e d voice, and for a second no one answ e red . w l Jess e J ames had dis app e ar-eel b e hind something, so there ,be w as no on e left t o sh oo t at, and ever y man i n .. t!1e room had tak e n t h e precaut i o n t o even st ifle his o "Father! W : here are you? W1hat happened? ' f Then, be l ieving that h e r pa,r ent had be e n the young gi rl ut tered a shri e k of te r ror D ar-ting int o the room, s h e madie her way to the bar, where a candle w a s standing u n lig h ted ; bu t b efore she cou l d find a match t h e door was closed be h ind h er. "Stumpy is all right, miss H e 's sku lking b e hind the bar ," said Jes se J a mes tak ing pai ns as h e spoke to ch a n g e g his l ocation. v Two r evo l ve r s cracked instant ly,. a nd anothe r sh riek \l from th e girl follow red. Then, b elie ving th a t she was i n da ngerous pre mise s sh e d as h e d back a c r os s the room and out of t h e door, slamming it b e hind her. 1Ano th e r p e r i o d of silence follo wed; a n d the su s p e n s e was becom ing unbearabJ. e whe n som ething b egan to mo v e in th e darkest cornet of the barroom. "It' s the bee r barrel Aim l ow! whi s pered Star to Brant. "The th i n g is e mpt y and t h e r a s cal is in s ide of it Two shots follo w ed, both aimed low, and the barne l f e ll w i th a thud. Durin g the confusion that follow ed, J es s e J ame s s lipp e d t o the door a n d was out like a flas h of ligh_tning. Brant darte d afte r him, follow e d by Star. A clat ter of hoofs in the d arkn es s showed that some one was d e pa r t in g It was too dark for t h e d etecti v es to see b u t the so und of m o r e than one h or s e s h oofs l e d them t o b e lie v e tha t the w h o l e gang w as s l ippin g a w a y They d a sh e d i n the <;firecti o n fr o m whi c h the so un d s c am e but they w e re t o o l at e The othe r s had sneak e d out befo r e J esse d i d and they wer e nrow down the road on t h e s h eriff's best h o r ses. "Come said Star turning ba ck. "The r e's an out s ide s tair c a se We'll get Mad ge and Lila can c o m e, t oo She's a be aut y pa rd The n we'll gi ve the s heriff the s lip a;1d ge t afte r J e ss!" Star dar t ed a ro u nd the c orner of the h ouse an d up a pair o f ricke t y st air s as h e s pok e and r eturned in a min ut e w i th t he tw o young w o m en. Si l ent l y the y sto)e to the s table The s h e riff an? his po sse wer e s till i n side, a w aiting ano t h e r a tt a c k from the

PAGE 12

ifHE JESSE JAMES STORIES 11 white mask gang. They had heard the departing hoofthey reached a narrow trail that wound among the h ills, beats, but they suspected a trap. I "There are four horses le ft," said Brant, afte r looking over th e stabl e "Three of 'em are badly fagged, but th e fourth is a dandy!" "That's Pepperpot He's my broncho !" cried the inn k ee per's daughter, as she dragged out a sadd l e As there l were no s i g n s of int err upti o n, the two detectives hastily 1 s addl ed the other horses and then, moving 1\ith great care, th e four stole out of the stables. "I reckon it 's d ea d wrong ter l eave pa this way," be-gan Lila, with a glance ove r her shoulder, "but_ no one : wou ld blame me if they knew the truth. My dad i s in I 1 with ther wust robber in Arizona." I You mean the sheriff?" "Yes. Pa's hi s righ thand man! Thar ain't no tellin' what day h e'll git found out an' chased te r Yuma!" I Th en yo u have every right in th e world to e ave hi,qi A man lik e that doesn't deserve a daughter! stick to us and we'll take care of you!" exclaimed Brant, ad miringly. The young gi rl blushed and tou c hed up her pony and in another minute the inn, with its haH-dnmk e n occu pants, was left b e hind them. There was only a. half a dozen pede strians on the main street of L ordsburg, but a s all knew Lila, they inquired eagerly about the stagecoach. "It was held up b y the w hite mask gang and rescued b y the sheriff," was the girl's prompt an swer. "This hyar lad y an' gent was in her an' thar warn't no one injured. Ther robber s got erway with ther strong box an' e r couple o' hundr ed!" The news was so mild for that section that the answer was quite satisfactory, and Lordsburg, even when it did thoroughl y aw aken took no action in the matter. T1h.e plan to capture the miners' was known onl y to the white lU
printinsert_linkshareget_appmore_horiz

Download Options

close
Choose Size
Choose file type
Cite this item close

APA

Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.

MLA

Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.

CHICAGO

Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.

WIKIPEDIA

Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.