Jesse James' exploits

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Jesse James' exploits

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Jesse James' exploits
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
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32 p. ; 26 cm.


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Dime novels ( lcsh )
Criminal investigation ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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028820460 ( ALEPH )
08650894 ( OCLC )
J14-00026 ( USF DOI )
j14.26 ( USF Handle )

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Entered as Second Class Matter at New York Post Office by SrREET & SMITH, us Wt'lliam St., N. Y. No. 26. Price, Five Cents. ;THE PABlrY Oll' HORSEl4EN WERE FAIRLY UPON THE LYNGlJERS, AND, WITH WILD, SAVAGE YELLS, I l FROM A DOZEN REVOLVERS.-(CHAPTER LVUI.)


.. ,. . A WctKLY ofALlftG WITH' DETECTIOn Of CRIME Iss u e d rVee kly By Suh scnption $2.Jo per year. Htrtered a s Sec ond Class Matter at the N Y. Post Office, by STREET & SMITH, 233 William St., 11'. Y. Entered acco1 din ;: to Act o f i n !lie year 1qo1 in tlte Office of the L ibrarian of Ctmg-ru s Washing-ton, D C No. 26. NEW YORK, November 2, 1901. Price Five Cents. Jesse James' Exploits. By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER LVIII. EVENTS. "Pull away, boys!" "Up with ther cuss!" "Let him swing!" "Send him to th er devil whar he belongs!" Such were some of the exclamations of the excited crowd as they pulled upon a rope which passed over the limb of a tree, the other end being fastened to the neck of a human being, who was struggling, and writhing, and cursing ii1 his son!, if not with his tongue, as the cord tightened 011 his throat and choked him till he grew black in the face It was a little way 11p a rocky h ill that ro s e high and frowning above a mining vill a ge, which, mu s h had sprnug up, so to speak, in a singl e rnglit. The sun, just 011 the point of s etting behind a western p eak, was glinting a cross a rough wilderness and over t he roughly-built village, aud clearl y defiuing the excited inhabita11t s1 as, collected iu a body, to witnes s a rev e n geful aud horrible execution, thev swayed to and fro ou the mountain side, a portion of them bei11g women and childre111 who, if they did not s110ut in their rage as fie rc e ly as the men, certainly made no lond proteo;ts tl1e murderous work b efo re them. Farthest down the hill, however, and near a dwelling of more pretension th au its neighbors, stood a pale, delicate, beautiful girl of twenty years, who was half-supported by the strong, manly arm of a fille l y -formed, handso111e you "ng man, to whom she was, in turn, clinging with trembling eagerness, as if to keep him at her side. ''N o n o Arthur," she said, with ' lips, "yon shall not go; you shall not leave you shall not touch that strangling rope. Yo.ti have done euough in seizing, binding and bringing the man back here for trial and judgment without becoming one of his voluntary e xecntioners." "But remember, Myrn, what the scoundrel did to you-seized and b o re y9u off into the forest, and only ror the providentia l fact that l was out hunting with m y d o g, and that he cros s ed my path, there is 110 telling what would have been your fate." I kno w it, Arthur," she shuddered, "and, thank G o d you w e re there t o s ave me." "But, 11a! look! \i\That is that?" A sharp b e nd of the hill to the right, about 011 a le vel with the s p o t whe re the kidnaper was being l ynche d, shut off the view in tha t direction; so that a party o f half-a-c [ oze n horsemen were able to ap proach the liod y of the crowd without being seen; and the firs t th e p e opl e of lVIineville knew of thei r approach tli:::y w e re fairly npon them, with wild, savage yell s p ouring in a mnrderous fire from a dozen revolve rs, handled. by desperadoes who knew how to make every shot teil. Confusion and consternation Oll the part of the lynchers were the i rni11ediate re s ult. I


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. As the bullets flew into the crowd, killing some rrnd wounding others, the me11, comple tely taken by sttriJr ise, fell back down the hill, with cries of dismay and terror; while the rope over the limb, bei11g free d from the murderous hands that had been pt11li11g o n it, went up with a rush, and the strangling man o n the other end came down with a thud. "Quick, boys!" shouted the leader of the assail a nts, a weII-formed, vigorous-looking man, with a reddish brown beard coming down below his mask, ''up with our man and away before the hell hounds have time to rally against u s." He threw himself from his horse as he spoke, and, darting to the man on the ground, cut the ropt! around _his neck with a long, formidable, glittering knife. He was instantly joined by two. other masks; while the three remaining m oun ted men, facing their horses down the hill, kept up a rapid fire from their revolvers 01t the panic-stricken and ,still flying villagers. "He's not dead-he breathes!" cried. the leader of the assailants, as he bent down and partly lifted the victim of the lynchers. "Quick! up with him and o n to my horse." The two addressed sprang to the work required, :in d in less time than it takes to record the fact, the ly uche d man, still gasping for breath, was put upon the that was to bear him away, and the owner u f the animal was sitting astride of the horse and supporting his charge. ''A close call," he observed, with a grim smile. 'l'liirty seconds more would have been too late. .\way now with coming night to make good our c s c ape." He turned his horse, as he spoke, in the direction iro111 which he had come, blew a clear, shrill whistle, 1i1d the next moment was dashing away over the 1 uug!J ground, with his little bodyguard closely fol Jv,vi11g in single file. '!'lie frightened vi'Jlager s now suddenly tl1eir flight with chagrin and rage depicted on n ear l y c \ery f11ce. It hac;1 all bee i 1 done so suddenly tha t they had not had time to think. '"By the blasts of Satan!" yelled o ttt one, who had not only been foremost in the lynchin g business, bu t in putting space between himself and foes when the assault wa s made, "ef I don't feel je s t now like a cussed co\Vard fool yo u kin s h oo t me for a skunk." "We've all acted like er lot er sneaks to run aw a v from half-a-dozen sho.oting bullraggers, and them to bag om game," cried a second, writhing with the pain of having had two fiugers shot away. It was, in fact, the universa l feeling among the vil lagers that they had conducted themselves in a most pusillanimous mauncr, and each and all were ashamed of the part they had played in flying at once from their assailants, and leaving the latter masters of the grottnd long enough to s natch their victim from tli eir grasp. And ye t it was not real cowardice on their part, but the impttlse of s tartl ed surprise-that sudden in stinct to preserve life which makes the bravest thing that lives spring back at the 'first sight o r shock of danger. And they had had enottgh to startle them, for the desperadoes had come upon them without warning, like a thunderbolt lrnrling down destruction from a clear sky, yelling, firing, wottnding and killing, with no chance for the assailed to know whether their foes nttmbered six, sixty, or six hundred. Surprised in a murderous work, with what seemed a charge of cavalry full upon them, with loud yells and whizzing and stinging bullets, they would have had to be more or less than human not to have given way. And then, too, two men had beep killed outright, and from ten to fifteen others wounded, four of these quite seriously. The men now crawled -together again excitedly. There ensued lamentations and rage, and many swore to have revenge. But on whom aitd where? WlJO were these daring assail an ts? ai1d where were they next to be found? "It looks to me like the daring devilis h work o f the James gang, Jesse and Frank James, and their ungodly crew," exclaimed the clear voice of Arthur Braceland. This h andsome and intelligent young man wa s the private of William Weldon, generally called Squire Weldon, the father of Myra weldon, and the principal owner of the mine and village. Mr. Weldon was a millionaire, over fifty years of age, gray-haired, and a feebl e inva lid, who seldom crossed the threshold of his own dwellirig. He was a widower, and M yra was hi s only hild and heir. Arthur Bracelai1d, hi s private was 1i is c o nfidenti a l business agent and mouthpie ce abroad. The young man was in love with M yra, as every body knew, and, ,\,ith the exc.epti o n of the envious and jealous, everybody predicte d it would soon be a happy match. The kiclnaping of l\Iyra-the capture, snap trial and attempte d l y n c hing of her abductor, culminating in the t errible rescue-were among the most f':xcit iug ii1ciclen t s the littl e vi lla g e had ever know11. Nothing this h ad ever o c currer] t o make the young lad y afraid of venturing out alone, especially to a kind of su111111erhouse, which had b een built at her instigation, ov e r a large, flat rock, with a of clear, cold wate r, tha t bubbled np af its base and tt:ickled awa" down the hill, glistening and glittering in the light a nd snnshipe. like a thread of s ilver. This was a favorite resort for Myra.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 3 And it was here at this resort, while reading a book, on the eventful day our story opens, that Myra had h a d a smothering hat suddenly pressed over her mouth, and been choked and gagged before she could utter one single shriek for help. She had been captured by one man, who had then quickly dragged her to his horse, concealed in some bushes below, and had mounted her in front of him, and ridden avvay without being perceived by any one. Fortunately for the young lady, her kidnaper, in making his way through a thick wood, in which Arthur Braceland was hunting, had rid den directly into his arms, and he had been captured, and she released in the manner already mentioned. When Arthur Bracela11d, as just recorded, an nounced to the excited crowd, mostly of rough miners, who had left their work to hang a villain, that he suspected the James gang of being their murderous assailants, they became excited frantic fury, partly through rage, partly through fear, and partly through cupidity. They were furious at the fact of having been put to flight b y a mere handful of ruffians, whom they might have killed or captured, and been enriched by immense rewards offered for the bandit brothers, dead or alive, and of whose return for further mischief or revenge, they would now have to be in constant dread. "iiVhat makes yer think them war the Jes s e James gang, Mr. Braceland ?'' inquired a rough voice. "Because the attack was like what I've heard of their dare-devil ways,'' an swered the excited young man; ''and becau s e I don't believe there's another deyilish crew in the whole country that would dare what they did with so few men. I counted only six, all told." "And yet th ey mad e us all hump ourselves like slinking cusst:s," growled another voice. "\Vhat's ter be done now?" cried one. "Ef we don't faller 'em, and cut thar pizen black hearts outen 'em, they'll most like ter be er mosing back yere and er ripping out this er willage," shouted another. ''If you want to follow them, I'll j o in you," said Arthur. "Ef you'll lead us, we'll make up a party and start on thar trail at daylight," rejoined a tall, muscular, black-haired, swarthy man of forty, who had had experience as a hunter, and was named Abner Bliss . "I'll lead, if it the will of all, and you shall be m y li eu ten ant," responded Arthur. 1 "Good, good!" cried a chorus of voices. Then the men at once set to 1york aud organized a company of fifteen, to be well armed with guns, revolve::s and bowie knives, to follow the daring scoundrels, and either kill or drive them from that section of the country, and this for fear otherwise of their return for further evil work, perhaps to murder the inhabitants and plunder a1id burn the place. Arthur Braceland had, on the first assault of the bandits hurried his fair companion, Myra Weldon, into her ow n dwelling, and left her with her father. Then he had rnshed forth against her will, leaving her pale and trembling, to act where he might be needed Now he found time to go back to her, to tell her of the new venture in which he was about to engage, and bid her farewell. Hastening back to thos e who were soon to be his fo}lowers, Arthur set to work to organize his little band, and see that every one was properly armed with good weapons and plenty of ammunition. Then tbe horses were selected from those best fit for traveling s ervice, and suitable saddles fitted to their backs. They were to wait until morning, in order to be able to follow the trail. A little before daylight ever ything was ready for a start. 'l'he men were waiting beside their saddled horses for the order to mount, and their leader, Arthur Braceland, was with them, pacing slowly up and down in a grave, thoughtful mood. Suddenly two or three wild shrieks rang out upon the still night. All started in eager alarm. "The so un ds came from the direction of the Wel don mansiou," cried Arthur. "And there is a light as of fire. Follow me, men!" All rushed away i11 that direction. As soon as they came in sight of the handsome dwelling they saw flames of fire bursting from the windows. Then, from a dozen quarters, resounded the cries of "Fire, fire, fire!" With his whole thought and soul concentrated upo n Myra and her worthy father, that they, too, must be saved a t all hazards, Arthur Braceland reached the burning dwelling, burst in the outer door, aud rushed into the blazing, stifling rooms iu search of them. He found bewildered and frightened servants, but 110 Myra, nor could they tell him anything about her. He knew her room, and flew to it, and searched it; but sl1e was not there. He found her invalid father, and helped him to the open air, ju s t in time to save both their lives, for a moment after the roof fell in with a crash. ".Miss Weldon h as perished in the flames!" cried horrified "No," said a voice near him, "she's yonder, being carried off by horsemen.,.,-'"Where? where? for God's sake, where?" "Yonder, yonder! the light of this fire will give you a glimpse of her." .. ;


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "Ob, yes, I see-I see! God's curse on her ab ductors. After the villains! 'I'o horse, men, to horse! Good-by, Mr. Weldon; I'll save her or die!" Five minutes later Arthur Braceland had left the village of l\lineville, at the head of fifteen determined horsemen, and plunged into the darkness of the sur rounding country, in hot pursuit of the one he loved. 'I'he villains, whom he supposed to be the James boys and their desperate gang, h ad succeeded a second time in carrying off the beautiful Myra: CHAPTER LIX. A KIDNAPING PLOT. Arthur Bracelancl was nearly right iu his surmise concerning the assailing desperadoes. They were really some of tl1e James gang of ruffians, aucl were Jed bv Jesse James himself, though Frank James was not with them. Iu their retreat they went back over the ronte they had come. 'l' hi s was a dangerous shelf along tlJOe face of a precipice, in some places so narrow that two horses could not go abreast, with a wall above aud a gulf below, where one misstep would plu11ge beast and rider down to certain death. But few of the bravest would have cared to make the venture which these daring riders did. But their gniding motto was, "Risk and fear, nothing," and no human beings ever more strictly lived np to their dariug principles. As they rode back over this perilous route, the leader, J esse James, s11pporting the limp form of the man he had rescued by literally snatching him fron1 the jaws of death, his followers kept a sharp looko11t behind them, half expecting to be pursued, and really wishing they might be, that they might again empty their reloaded firearms and spill more human bJood with but little risk to themselves. Just as it began to grow dark, they came to a steep, ugly ravine down which they carefully picked their way, coming out upon an almost level plain, a portion of which was covered by a thick wood. Into this wood they went, and finally drew up at an old log building, that looked as if it might have been er_ ected for sheltering cattle in inclement weather. "Here, boys," gruffly spoke Jesse, reining 11p his horse with a blasphemous oatli, "take this infernal fool inside, don't spill him, and stretch him out on the soft side ofa plank. He'd have been served right if he'd swung till the devil got him, but for the honor of our oath and fraternity I couldn't let him go that way just now.'' The fellow had so far revived from his rough treat ment that, as he was lowered to hi s feet, he made an effort to stand a l o ne, and, rubbing his marked nec k with his hands, 1 e grumbled out: "Say, Jesse, what's the matter with you?" "Matter enough, Jim Cummings," was the surly reply "What in blazes were you trying to do, all alone by yourself, that got you into such a scrape?" "Why you see, Jesse-Say! anybody got a flask of whisky along?'' "Here you are," said one of the others, handing him a small bottle. Cummings took a long pull at it, smacked his lips, and, with a satisfied grunt, ob served: "That's the s tuff, and a hanged sight better than cold water every time.'' "Well, now that you've got your again, Jim, let's know what it's all-about," said Jesse. You see, when yo u scoo ted off alone yesterday, yo u a llo wed yo u were going to discover something that would give us a good haul, and I thought you went to see your chances about robbing the bank we were t alking of, and so we waited rou11d for you to come in agaiu. Finding yo n didn't come last night, we be ga n to get a bit uneasy We thought as how you might be in tronble, or el se was giving us away, and--" "Hold there Jesse!" interrupted Cummings, "I h ope yo n haven't s u c h a low opinion of me as to think I'd play traitor?" "Well, I don't know who'll play traitor," returned Jesse, with a terrible oath; "but I know traitor is p la yed sometim es by scamps least suspected; and I know if I !Ja ve a n y good reason to think one of our boys i s going to do that dastard busiuess, I'm going to blow hi s black h eart out of bis vile carca ss, if I'm killed the next minute m yself." "'l'he only safe way for the traitor then would be to kill yo u a minute soo ner, Jesse," rdurned Cummings, with a kiud of chuckling in the tbroat, in teucl ed for a laugh. Quick as .Jesse James whipped out one of hi s revol\'ers, and fairly thrus t its muzzle into the face of the m a n he h acl rescued at the peril of his life. Jim Cumiu111gs s tart ed back in a l!1rm, and one of the others impuls ively seized the arm of the outlaw chief, and drew the weapon aside. At that instant the piece was discharged, but no one was hit. Jim Cummings instinctively thrust down his hand to where bis own revolvers were usually k e pt, and the n r emembered they had been taken away from him at the time of hi s captn::e. Had they been in place, it is just possible the mur derous lead e r of bandits might have m e t his doom there and then. "vVonld yo n murder me for a mere joke, Jesse James?" he then asked. "No, .Tim; but I want to warn you tbat some jokes are aangerous. The thing went off from t :he sudden jerk of m y arm.''


,. THE JESSE JAMES STORIES .. 5 "We ll, I'm no traitor, I want you to k now." "I didn' t think s o, Jim, o r I w ou l dn't have r esc ue d y ou. C o me here's m y h a n d, an d l e t's ca ll i t settled "The re y ou are c aptain." They sho o k h a nds, and the other s b re athe d e as i e r. "The fact is, proceeded J ess e we weren't loo k i n g to find yo u in M i nev i Ile ; for what's up the r e, in tha t dirty little pl ac e with its s m u tty c ro wd w orth goi11g for? Rut your m a n Friday Jake B l osso m here, was out on a s c out, sa w yo u in th e h a nds of the rag .muff s and f e t c hed in word j u s t in time fo r 11s to g e t there b efore yo u k i cked the lrncket. '' "And a tho u sa n d thanks t o y o u, a nd all t h e r es t o f m y brave comrades for your gallant resc u e cri e d CU !11 Ill i II gs "No wfl te ll u s h ow i t wa s." I w ill. "But firs t J e t u s get in a n d h ave so111e g ru b for I m a s h1111g r y as a s t arve d ra t. The o ld log s t rncture w a s t h e pre s ent headquarte r s o f the little band while in t h a t s e c ti o n o f the c onn try where they had co m e to p erfect their pl a n s fo r robbing a bank about fift een miles distant or h old i n g u p a t ra in a mile or two neare r whichever c i r c um s t a nc es m ig h t de t ermine The y w ent i11, and sooil h ad a c o ll a t io11 se t on a rou g h table, around whic h they sa t on rough b e n ch es, a11d the r e Cummings t o l d h is s tory i n hi s own w ay Yo u see, boys," h e began "the way o n t i s tl1is: About s i x m ouths ago, whi l e n osi n g around for wha t I mi ght fin d I s troll e d out h e reaway, a n d s toppe d at a tavern over night in lVlin ev i lle and tho u ght it a m e an miserabl e n as t y p l a c e for a gentl e m a n of m y cloth." "What w a s your cl oth, J i m?" q u es tio ned of the freeb ooters, wi t h a n iron i ca l la u g h ' A s louch l ia t, a farme r's blo u s e a n d cowhid e b oo t s grinne d Ji111. "And yet you w e r e t oo 11ob h y for the grimy s lobs?" "I felt l ike a k itten in a hog s t y This c a u s ed a ro a r o f l a u ghter. "Well get on," s aid Jesse, g rav el y fo r there w as little humor in hi s c0111positi on . "\V eJJ, p roc e e d e d J im I s ta y ed t h e r e o ver 11ight, sweari11g I'd g e t away ea rly in the morni11 g ; but whe n I se t out t o clo so I saw a youn g i acly tha t struck me a ll of a heap-light h a ir b l ue eyes a ro se bud mouth-_.:_' "Oh, cnt it off Jim!" i n terrnpt ed a m a n n a m ed Miller; yo u're getting too h ig h on the s p oo n ey." "Who's t e lling t h is story?" "Ge t on-get Oil. \!Ve'll a ll g i ve i n t h a t t h e gi rl w as a n ange)-in every way goose wings a nd all." "vVe ll, b oys after I'd seen her I d idn't w ant t o l e a v e the v illage unless s he'd go w i t h m e "I soon fouud out she was Squire Weldon' s

6 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "In which case I'll bind myself to give you five tho11sand dollars apiece when I get the old man's money." "Good, good l" cried the others. "Let's make it a go.,, "If she wouldn't marry me, then I'd hold her for ransom, make the old fellow shell, and we'd all divvy up-that is to say, I'll do all this, if you'll all turn in and help me thro11gh." "When do yott want to begin?" "Now! What better time than to-night?" "What! with the village all in an uproar, as we left it?" "Why, yes -just the thing. They've all got some thing to talk about, while getting ready to follow us, as maybe they will, and will not be looking for any more deviltry on our part. By sneaking around the plain, and hiding in the thicket where I hid m y horse before, it will be no great feat to get up to t11e Weldon mansion, and bag the girl before she knows what's hurt her. What do you say, Jesse?" "I say, Jim, where there's money, I'm in. "All right, then. It's a go." "We're with yer," cried the others, and they began at once to make their preparations for the new adventure. CHAPTER LX. THE ABDUCTION AND PURSUl'f. H was considerably past midnight when the little' band of outlaws stationed themselves iu the thicket already mentioned at the foot of the hill below the summerhouse and mansion of Squire \i\lel do u. Securing their horses,' a nd leaving two men in charge, the five others stole up singly to the village to reconnoiter, and then meet for concerted action, just in the rear of the Weldon dwelling. Under the excitement of going in and 011t by the frightened servants, one of the doors of the hous e had been left unfastened, and discovering this, Jim Cum mings and Jake Blossom finally stole into the man sion for exploration, leaving their three companions on guard outs ide. C11111mings had with him a bottle of chloroform, of which he made such good t1se that in le ss thall an hour the whole household was under the 'nfluence of the drug, and he wa s maste r of the situation Then, witho11t removing ::vlyra Weldo n at once h e and J ake proceeded to search the honse for valnables. In an ordinary, old-fashioned safe, which gave them no trouble to open, they found between five and six thousand doll a rs in siher, gold, banb1otes aud Governmen t bo!lds, and jewelry worth, at least, as mnch more, all of wl)ich it is needless to say they seized upon with a scarcely suppressed cry of delight. Uuder the intense excitement of the night, Myra weldon had not retired as usual, but had thrown her-self ou the bed, in the same garments she had worn thro11gh tire clay, had fallen asleep, and in that condi tion had Leen found by her abcl11ctors, and had then been chloroformed into insensibility. Having finished their robberies, the two men now turned to her, threw around her form a handsome wrap of her owu, aud quickly bore her down and out t o their companions. A few words from 'Jim Cummings to Jesse James explained the whole state pf affairs. "And where's the old man?". asked Jesse. "Oh, he's up there, taking a chloroform snooze, like all the rest of 'em. "And why not make a clean job of the whole thing, fire the building and burn them all up together?" "Good!" returned Cummings; "that's au idea worthy of our old leader, Qnantrell, himself. "Then," added .Jesse, "as she's the only chick of the father, she'll come in for his whole fortune, and we' ll be sure to make her pay for ottr trouble before we've done with her.'' So Ji111 and his man Jake, t ransferring their living burden to their companions in crime, to be taken down to the horses, went back, worked fast, and soon had the whole mans ion on fire. One or two of the stupefi ed and frighteued servants recovered consciousness in time to shriek for help, and to thus bring Arthur Braceland aud others upon the sc ene, while the mnrderous scoundrels were mak ing good their with their prize. In a former chapter Braceland was left at the head of his men, movmg forward into the darkness in pursuit of these b andits, a distant glimpse of whom had been see n by the light of the fire. There was no certainty in the pursuit beyond the point where the ruffians had been seen to disappear; and, therefore, on reaching that quarter, it was thought best not to p11sh recklessly forward, but to w ait till daylight, which was now not far off, and s o make snre that they were on the right trail. Arthur groaned, clrnfing like a caged tiger, as he thought of the fe arful condition of Myra, to have to wait here, in this awful suspense, while the murderous scoundre ls were, putting miles betwee n the two part ies, and bearing lVIyra weldon away to some hor-rible doom. With the arrival of daylight the trail was found, and Abner Bliss, as guide, led the way, and followed it at a rapid gait. The trail skirted the base of the hills for some con siderable distance, and then led across au open plain, several miles in extent, to another ridge of hills, which Abner at once declared was the most perilous for mounted men of any in that region. Arthur had bdhought him to bring along a small telescope, and he i1ow made use of this to sweep the whole sce1ie.


THE' JESSE J/\MES .. '1 Away iu the distauce the naked eye could just perceive a small. moviug body; a nd this b o d y when brought unde r the inspection of the g lass, resolved itself into men and horses which be knew to be the OU tla \VS "There they go," he.said; "and if they enter upon the hills, and we keep 011 9ver this ope n plain, they will sprely see us, and, perhaps, lay an ambuscade fur U S." "Yer right," sa id Abner, r eining up his horse, "and ef you takes my advice we'll not go on that way. No doubt they:ve t oo k this er way fer the pur pose of seeing e f they'cl be follered, and if they don't see they're follered some time t o-day they'll most like git off thar guard." "\\ihat, then, do yo n propose?" "Wall, we 111ought scoot along the base of these ye. re hills, eythe r keeping in the bushes, or so clo se to 'em that our beasts won' t be seen, and so work around in t11at way "But the hills b e nd so as to rnor e than double the di s t a nce, said .Arthur. "Yes, that's so. To crawl around the way I says, will make it a good Pftee.i1 or twenty mile." This course they1 to a void being see n b y the kidnapers ; the. ro.ute lo11g, slow and tedious, and b y the time they reached a point n ea r whe r e the outlaws h a d ente re d the wo od, they and their bea s t s ,vere both tired' and He1"e it was thought best to lllake a n oonday l1alt. A little up the hill, off from the plain, a fine spring wa s discovered, aud good grazing all around it. Here the hors e s were watered and tethered, \ -yhik the men .par t qok of s_ome bread and me a t, which the forethought of the scout, Abner Bliss, had provided and bronght along. "Now, cap'n," sa id Abner to Arthur, "ef you'll jest s ta y yere quiet with the 111. cn, I'll scout around to w h a r the m rasca ls .entered the hills a nd see what I ki11 di skiver." In a f ew rnin11t es h e was off, little dreamiug what was de s ti ued t o happen cl hi s abse nce. CHAPTER LXI. PREPARI.NG A SURPRI$ii ; Myra Wel don did not regain h e r sense s until the banc.1its were crossing the plain. Then she ro11sed np in a be wild ered m anner, whic h 15ave her no disti,nct co111prehen s i o u of where she w as a nd what had happeu e d. She was motmtc d o n a hors e in front of Jim Cum mings, whose strong arms were supporting her, and her fir s.t impress i o n wa s that s h e was being h e ld by her lover and borne away from so m e fearful peril.' "Oh, Arthur, what i s it?" she feebly uttered, opening her eyes and glancing aro11nd her, like 011e awaking_ from a troubled dream. ,Where are we? and what has happened? H ave yo u again rescued me from that terrible man?'' "Yes, m y dear, it's all right," returned her captor, with a n inward chuckle, "and I'm j11s t taking yo11 away to a place of safe t y where \ve will have noth ing do but make Jove to one another.'' The strange n ess of hi s voice roused 11p Myra with. a feeling of fresh alarm. Glanciug nervoll sly around at the men and horses, and then up into the hard face, that she could dimly perceive in the light of the stars, she quickly and sharply demanded: "Who are you? What do es this mean?" "Kee p quie t, my dear-I tell you it's all righta nd you are along with one who loves and will protect you. Don't have the least bit of fear ; you are not goiug to be harn1t:d; a nd these parties you see around yo n are all your friends." Oh, m y God! wiJat awful thing is this?" sluieked Myra. "Kt:ep quiet; Miss Weldon, and don't make any di sturbance. It's only a little pleasure excursion,ia good kind of a joke, _and you'll soon understan d all about it." Here Myra, h a lf, fri ghtene d oi_1t of her senses, gave 1ve11t to a piercing ;;hriek. "Stop that busiuess, Jim," called 011t Jesse James "'vVe don't want a n y st1ch kind of fnn out 11ere even if there's nobody t o hear. "Shut u p girl," said Cummings, roughly .clapping h is hand over Myra's mouth. "I told you, if you kept quiet, yo u d n o t be hurt; but if y on go to making a fu ss for nothing, you'll soon find treatment tha t yo u won't like." l\l )Ta g r oa n ed in her t errifie d a n guish, at compre hencling that she was now in the h ands o f these m e n, and that she was entire l y helpless. Then s h e relapsed into si l en c e, and in this condi tiOn was borne forward b y the b andits withot1t giving the m a n y further trouble. They reached the hills we have already meutione

8 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. whid1 c rowne(1 t h e hill a11n commanded a vi e w o f the wbole s urro1111diug country, ann especially o f the wh o l e rnll t e th ey llacl come eve n b ack t o a n d b e y o nd th e village o f Mi u e v i l le H er e t ey di smounted for a res t and t o s c a n t h e whol e sce11e a n d keep a s harp l ooko u t t o s e e if t h e y w e r e followed B:ic k of them a little d i stance o n the hi ll was g o o d grni11g for the i r h orses, and t he r e the l atter w e re se e m ed w i t b l o n g ro pes or lari a t s 'l' he n th e men met for con su lt a t ion. "Now, bo y s s ai d Jim C um mi n gs I think I'v e go t a p l e::isant s u r pri se for y ou." W h c u they liacl a ll gath e r e d around him he c o n tinue d : ,lake Blossorn and I w ent into o l d W eldo n s mans io n w e did n't l ose a n y ti me. \V e jus t bagged ov e r s i x t h ou s a n d d o l l ars i n cash and a lo t o f jewelry w l 1 ich I a m now r ea d y t o divide." "Hmrah for J im Cumm in g s," wa s the ge n e r a l c heer. T hi s di v isio n w hi c h \Vas t he n m a d e put the whole murdero us cre w in the b e s t of good humor and e very one w as w i llin g to swe a r th a t Jim Cummings w a s a t rnmp a nd an a c e at th a t. The co11sulfati o11 w hi c h fo llow ed re sulte d in th e d ecis ion that i f i10 purs uer s were d i sco ve re d t h e day, th ey s h o11ld d e s cend about nightfall, and t a k e t heir fa i r prize to the hou s e of a farmer n a m e d S toke s wh o with hi s w ife a nd daughter, w ere people th ey k11ew they co ul d trus t and w h e re My ra Wel do11 c o ul d be se creted and safel y kept till such t i m e a s a fin a l d isposit io n c o uld b e made of her c ase. Then a lookout was stati oned, w ith a good glass w he r e he c o uld s c an the whole intervening s pace be t w een their pre sen t h alt a nd Mineville. Here th e l o okout sc rn ti u ized the wh o le face of the c o un t ry so cl ose l y th at, n o tw i th s t anding the preca n ti o n s w hi c h A b ne r Bli ss h a d t aken to keep out o f sight of the robbe r s, he and his whole party were es p i ed s lowl y wor king thei r w ay around the base of the hills. When he gav e this information to the others they a ll chuckled at the idea of soon having their pursuers in a trap. The latter, a s we know, halted near the pla ce where the outlaws had left the plain., and s o clo s e under the hills that they c o uld not, they thought, b e seen from the position of the kidnapers, w h o de p uted one of their party to reconnoiter. He soon returned with correct information as to the position and condition o f the purs uers. "That's the kind of talk for me," grinned Jes se James; "and now I propose to give these smart boobies a lesson that they won' t soon forget. While they are waiting there and making their calculations about the big things they are going to do, we ll just give them a lesson they won't soon forget." "What will we do with the girl?" ask e d Cum mings S h a ll we leave her uncle! guard?" n o-we want e very m a n She' ll keep; she won't spo il. T i c her to a tree out there, and let he r watch th e horses .'' "Sh a ll w e gag h e r J es s e?" "We ll, yes I gness it wo1dd be safer-for if s h e d h a p pen t o y e ll out pretty l oud it mi ght put the boob ie s o n their g u a r d .'' This con ve r sati o n was not o verheard b y Myra and J i m C u m m in gs as h e w ent np t o her wbere she was se a t ed on t he roc k her h ead dro opi n g a nd herse lf f e a rfu l ly d q ;iv ; se d i n spirits said i n a quiet tone wi th eith e r real o r mock politen e s s : "Excu s e me, m y dear yo un g l a d y if our ways o f doin g b u s i n e s s ou t here seem a little rou g h ; b u t t h e fact i s we've all got t o l eav e yo u a little while for s ome sport dow n the h i ll ; a nd so, t o make s ure we'll find yo u wh e re w e lea v e y ou, I have to request that yo u ll a llo w u s to put a ha11dJ.;e r chief in your mouth, a nd fas t e n y ou to a tree out yo nder until o u r return, whic h I do n t think w i ll b e a g rea t whilei" I a m in your power, shall be obliged to submit to whatever indigniti es you may see to offe r .'' "Oh we ll m y d ear, y oti mus t r e c o ll ect I don' t do t h i s to i nsult yo u, b e ca u se yo u I've take n a great fancy t o you; and, in fact to t e ll the truth, I'm dead i n lo v e with y ou a n d--" "Stop!" s h e sa id. "If you don't want to insult me, don' t u s e such to me. Bind me, gag me, be a t me, mur d e r me--'' "Hello! So you 're a spunky little devil, with all your sweet yielding manner. Very well, then, we'll work on that tack, and I'll not waste soft word$ w h ere they'll i1ot be of any u se. The truth of the w h o le t h in g in a nutshe ll. i s that you'v e got lots of ti n-or, at lea s t, your father had before he was burned up-and--" "Gracious H eaven!" she exclaimed, with a wil d start. W hat d o y ou m ea n b y that? Burned up, you say? H ave y ou the n murdered m y dear fat. he r?" "Well, we burned the hous e, and I gues s the old m an went with it.' M on ster!" she cri e d ; "the curs e of God be on you all for this devili s h w ork." 1 O h yes, l \'Ii s s Weldon, th a t's a ll very w ell. T h a t's th e ki11d o f t alk we b o ys are used t o We've h eard tha t a g oo d many times b efo r e Bnt it don't amount to shucks e get a lon g j ust as we ll a s that are n t cnrs ed. A n d if. y ou want a curse d hus ba n d tha t s y ou r ow n bnsiuess S ee?" "Ye s c ried M y ra, al m o s t i n a fre n z y "an d I d die a tho u sa nd d eaths s oon e r than m arry y ou. ' "All right no w a nd we'll th a t bus i ness later. I thought from your loo k s I d l ike t o hav e yo u for a wife but a s long as you've got such a sharp, snap-dragon tongue, I don t min d it much, 'and so


THE JESSE Jt\MES STORIES. that you fork over a good smart fortune for us that will do quite as well." "Come, Jim, we are all waitiug," called out Jesse James; "hurry up." "All right. I'll be there in a jiff y Come on, missy. '' He now hurried his fair captive to a tree, and havi11g gagged lier with a handkerchief, using no more force than \Vas n eces sary for his purpose, and having so secure ly bound her t o a sapling that she could not possibly release herself, he reported that he was ready for business. Then the whole party, with Jesse James in the lead, s to le off down the roug h hill, iu a different direction from which tlley had come, and in a manner to take their pursuers by murderous surprise. CHAPTER LXII. THI\ ATTACK A K D RESUr.T. After the departure of Abner Bli ss the party he left behind tried to make themse lves comfortable. Several of them lighted their pipes, and all waite d in a kind of uueasy suspense to hear the report of the 'rhe most anxious one of the number was Artlrnr Braceland. 111 fact, he thought and felt too much to join iu any idle conversatiou, and, being very restless, he gradually strolled off by himself. To him this terrible affair was a matter of more than life and death, for it involved the being that he loved, and for whose re!cue aud restoration to her friends he would not have hesitated a moment to sacrifice his life. Meantime, \vith thoughts of rescue uppermost in his mind, he continued to stroll 011, forgetful of his surroundings till s omethi11g like a quarter of a mile divided him from his men. They in the meanwhile, 11ervously uneasy, began to convers e and speculate 011 the chances of overhauling the robber band, and Squire W eldon's daughter, the pride of the village. "Tell yous what it air, fellers," said o ne, "on le ss we ketch the m e r devils onawares, we'll hev a purty rough time 011 't." I don't like it," r eplied oue of the weakest; "but I ktrows as how we ca11 t be m e n aml hev onr yonng 1eddy took away without doing s o'thi11 g to save her." "Abner Bliss knows a thing o r two," said a third; "he's had .er good deal scouti11g and I feel s snfer with him au I would with a cl'ar g r ee ny." '"\Vhat we wants," observed the first speaker, "ar' to ketch the m short whrn they ain't lo oki!lg for't, and gnv 'em blazes 011 the ftt s t round. Ef tl!em Jameses is along, and I s'ects they er, I tell yer we'H hev to be quick and sarti n with our fust fire, or .... they'll be in our ha'r afore we kin say Jack Robinson.'' They w ere still spt'.:c11lati11g, whe11 sudde!Ily the whole party was startled with a series of the most inferna l yells; aud the seve n bandits, Jess e James in the lead, came dashing in among t hem, revolver s in hand, pouring in a mtirderous fir e, and shooting right and left. '!'here was 110 battleOllly a sla11ghter1 a massacr e -for the frightened rne u h ad 11ot time to draw their weapons and make any d efe n s e before they were shot dow u like s o rnany sheep in a pen. Only some thre e or four, who were the farthest away from the place o f assault, :md 11eare s t the plain, had any chance to escape, which they l os t no time in doing, with the ye ll s of tl!eir demoniac assailants sonnding i11 their ears. Horrible as it is to rela te, seven m e n were sl1ot clown i11 as many seconds, several of them killed outright, while those who were only wonnded at the fir s t fire w ere s oon dispatched withot\ t m e rcy. It was a horrible scene, bloody and gl!a s tl y, and only fit for devils to gloat over. And the d evils ''ere the r e to gloat over it, Jesse James and his six followers, not one of whom had received so m nch as a scratch. "Bully for us!" shouted Jesse James, which was answered in chorus b y his followers. "'Ve're the bo y s to nip them." "You bet we are." some of the whelps have got away," said Jesse, "and in time they'll rouse up the whole country about us. Come now, tumble these clay lumps over, and take all they'H got that is worth having -all their firearms and ammunition, and a pick of their horses, and then we'll bring our own down and be off.'' While tliis plundering was going on, and Jesse James was leaning against a tree, his mask now remov ed, his hat in his hand,'wiping the perspiration from his broad, hard, bearded face, he was never nearer death's door than then. A deadly rifle was sighted upon his heart, and a fin ger was almos t in the act of pressing the trigger, when a sudden thought, a new idea, came into the mind of him who h e l d the weapon, and he sil ently drew b ac k, s t o le off the bushes and glided rapidly away. This daring, unsee11 fox was i10 other than Arthur Brace1ancl. H e h a d been rouse d from his painful reverie by hearing the fierce yells and rapid shots of the bandits, the screams of terror of his owu assailed party, and liad hurried back to join in the fight. Ou the way he had caught a glimpse of three o r four men who had e scaped, and had called to them to halt. They given no heed to his order, however,


1 0 THE J -ESSE JAMES STORIES. being most terribly frightene d and fleeiug for thei r lives. During the wild noi se, e xc it ement and confu s ion, he had draw111near enough to get a sight o f the horrid scene, without having b e en he a rd, se en, or his pre se nce even su s pected. "I' ll end the career of the cnrs ed leade r of thes e outlaws,'' had been his thought, as he cautiously thrust forward his rifle and drew a b ea d 011 the heart of Jesse James. His second thought had c o m e jus t time to save the lives of both; for i f h e h a d the n a nd the r e s h o t the human mon ster his own life w o uld sure ly h av e been the penalty His second thought h a d been tha t while the ban dits were all gathe red here M yra 111 ust necess a rily b e left alone; and if he could onl y 1 fia11ag e t o g e t to h e r in advance of them, he m ight be able to s a ve her. So he had drawn off in the manne r we have stated, uncocked his piece, and, keeping under cover of the bushes, had glided swiftly around to the point where the bandits had fir s t entered u p on the w ild, perilous hills. Though not a professional t railer, he was a good hmite r, and had had con siderable experience in roaming the wo o ds, and t herefore it was not difficult for him to find the tracks and narrow path where the horses had m a de t heir a s cent. Pressing onw a rd and upward, as if for his life, he was not long in reaching the crowning rock where the bandits had made their halt. Here w as e v idence of their late presence, but no sign of Myra Weldon. Thell' his heart bounded at the thought that Abner Bliss might have been here before him, and taken her away during the absence of her captors. Darting farther back, he caught sight of thr ee or four horse s running loose, with a short piece of rope dangling from the neck of each, as if it had been cut from a longer rope. Then a little search showed him some short piece s of rope at the foot of a small tree, as if cut from some person lately bound to it; and there, too, was a knotted handkerchief, which looked as if it might have been used as a gag. "By my soul," he, said to himself, with quivering emotion, "I do believe the old reliable has found Myra, and taken her away. Yes, h e re are footprints that lead away in another direction.'' He followed these till they were lo s t in the track s of trampling horses. "As I live, they mounted horses here and have escaped.,, He looked hurriedly around, and saw some bridle s in a heap. 0He seized one and mounted the nearest beast; and just at that moment there rung out a blasphemous oatb, he felt SOll\ething graz e the top of his hea d, a-nd 11eard th e sharp cr a ck o f a r e v o lv er. 'l'he horse at o nce bon11dec1 aw ay, Arthur darted. to the neare s t cov e rt, aucl, with a wild y ell, the bandit sprang after him in fierce pms nit. CHAP11ER J..,XIII. O N 'l'HE 'TRAIL. Never was there a more astonishe d, e11raged and di sg ust e d set o f human b e in gs than Jes se Jfirnes and hi s murde rous ga11g whe11 they c ame upon the scene where they e x p ected to enjoy their triumph, and found th eir c amp fairly r a ided in their absence. "That's what we' v e got for u o t le aving a guard 11ere," grumble d Jim Cu111111i11gs "The girl and a whole fortune gone at a s in g l e d ash." "Whe r e s 'l'om Collins?" d e m anded J ess e James, a s h e look e d upop bi s gathered followers. "He's th e on e tha t shot off the revolver," answered one of the m e n, "and he's g one off down the hill in ch ase of somebody or something." "One of the raiders do y ou think?" "I reckon so." ' "I h ope he'll c a tch him w .ithout killiug him, so that we c a n make him squeal," said Jesse, with an oath, clutching his together, as if already had the foe in his grasp. I At that mon ent the report of a gun was heard coming up from the dire ction which Arthur Braceland and his pursuer h a d t a keu. "There goe s som e b o dy, and I ho'pe it isn' t Tom," was remarked. A co .uple of the party w e re s ent down to see. "If the thief he purs u e d i sn't d ead," ordered Jesse, "bring him up alive. While these men were away, the rest of the bandits pushed around in ques t of their hors es, which had uot nm any g reat di s t a nce, and were easil y caught. m en all ?Jet again on th. e summit about the same ti111e. The two who had g o ne after their comrade, brought him b ac k, b a dl y w o und e d, a nd in a dying condition, i!1s t ea d o f the foe they h a d hoped to capHe h a d b e en shot through the body, and it wa<; s e e n b y thos e who h a d had experi e nce with gunshot wounds th a t h e could only live a few minutes longer. The y quest io11e d him ca r efull y to g e t a t all the facts of the c ase But though man s e e med iu a mea s ure, to comprehend what they sai d, h e w as t oo far go11e to make hi s repli es o f a11y va lu e t o th e m. 1 In a fe w minute s h e had bre a th e d 11is la st. Then, collectin g e verything o f value from his per s o n, the rai d in g party dug a g rav e and buried him in a lonely spot o n the mounta iu, their cnrses on his


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 slayer, and their savage oaths of revenge being in lien of a Christian funeral service. Then, with the four horses left them, and two more selected from the best of thos e of their pursuers, they set off down the hill on the trail of their foes, swearing the blackes t vengeance against those who had so clis comfitecl them, provided that they could ever overhaul them. Arthnr Braceland had narrowly escaped with his life from the shot of the bandit, and as we know had fled down the hill, taking the pretty clear trail, which the two horses ridden by Abne r Blis s and Myra Welclon had left behind them. As had a few rods the start, and was a very fleet runner, he kept so well ahead of his pursuer that the latter did not appear in sight till he had crossed a little open glade near the foot of the hill, whose descent had not prowd s o difficult and p erilous as 011 the other side, where all the parties had originally ascended. He hacl just cross ed the little glade, and had en tere

. I THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. LXI V FROM ONE PERIL 'l'O ANOTHE R In t h e meantime Abn e r Bli s s w as left on the t rai l of the Ollt laws . :With a broad t ra il befor e him, it" required little skill to follow the vill ai n s u p the a c c li vity; b u t he had t o move with g r e a t c autio n for fear they might have o n e or m o re spi es 011 the w a t c h. S o, tli ei r course a n d s t ealing al o n g 'out s ide of 1t as much as p ossib l e he finally r eached the summit, so o n aft e r they h a d d es c ended to m ake a n attack on their purs u e r s As he d id u o t kuow where they h a d g one, nor fo r what purpo se, and b e i n g f earful o f a n a m b u s cade he fairly craw l ed a round the p l a c e keepi n g a shar; e y e on every tre e bus h a u d q n ivering leaf. In this way he had j ust come in s i ght of the f eeding horses and Myra Weldon, gagg e d and b ound to a tree, whe n a loud yell i u g a n d firi n g of the b audits startled him, and p rocl a imed their p o s i t i o n aud d evil i s h wo r k. "That's yer game, hey?" h e mutte r e d. "l's afe ard o so 'thing li k e that! Poor f e ll e r s I m afeard tha r won't be m a11y on 'em l ef t to t e ll h o w it hap' d. I'm right down sorry about about young Braceland, for he w e r a goo d fell er; and o c ourse he'll g o under. rrhey mus t hev seed us a comi11 0 I wish I'd b er knowed tha t, and that they w a s a going to turn back on u s I'd a staid thar and had thincrs fix ed to hev wiped 'em all out. But it can' t b e h e l p ed now and tha'r's n o use o' crying over spilt milk. The gal' s yere, left all alone, and I'll g i t her off ef I kin, or make a good die.'' Then he boldly hurried up to poor Myra, and said: "I reckon you knows me, Ivlis s weldo n, hey ? and won't be sorry to know tha t I comes yere as yer friend in need?" As he spoke, he rapidly cut the cords that bound her delicate limbs to the tree, and quickly removed the gag from her mouth. She looked up at him, trembled, and burst into tears. "Oh, you are from our v i .llage, are you not? she questioned. "Yes, miss, and my name's Abne r Bliss I know you, and yer fathe r, and--" "Oh, my father, m y father!" she cried, interrupt ing him. "'!'hey tell me he has alre ad y been mur dered, burned to death." ''Who telled ye so?'' "The beast that carried me off and brought me here.'' "The cussed willi 'ns burned your house down; but yer father wer saved-Arthur Braceland saved him." ''Oh, God be thanked l Are you sure?'' "Sartin on 't, for I helped to do it JIJyself." "And Arthur Braceland, what of him?" "Thar i t er, Mi s s W e l don, a nd I don't li k e the looks of it. I m afeared it's a bad go." H o w ?-wha t ? -speak! Tha t firiug? those yells? I s Arthur near? Has h e foilowe d u s ? Is heiu danger? I s h e having a fight with these terribie men?" "I'm afeard it's so'thing like tha t, but I can't tell y e now Yer mustn't w a i fyere to h ea r the story. We mus t up and git while w e've got a chance. I'll bri dl e a c ouple o these er hos s e s aud then we'll be off afore the m iufarna l skunks gits b

l'HE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES and having suffered so much from mental anxiety and exhausting emotions as to seriously weaken her vital powers, especially considering the enervating effects of the chloroform and her previous lo ss of healthful $leep, now found herself in a condition which rendered her scarcely able to sit her horse. This farmhouse too, looked very peaceful and inviting, and therefore wheu Abner, seeing her condi tion, suggested that some rest and refreshme11ts here 1i1ight be of great benefit to herself and the animals, she readily con sented to make the call. But just here a n accident happened which would have mad e the halt imperative, even if there had been no inclination that way. As the two were .descending a steep ba11k into a road, or lane, that ran up past the house, the horse ridden by Myra made a sudden spring, stumbled and fell, tlirowi11g her over his ltead, upon some rough ground, with a force that completely stun11ed her. In a moment the scout was at her side. "Poor little gal!" he muttered, as h e bent down and rai s ed her head, and saw it was cut and bleeding; "this yere's too bad, jes t as yer was gitting nicely away from them er cutthroats The horse that bad stumbled was floundering and groaning, and a .glance at the b eas t showed Abner that he had broken his leg and would have to be killed, thus depriving his wounded ride r of his further assist

14 THE JESSE JJ\.MES STORIES. some-looki11g a d aughter, ouly that we know it seems t o b e a rule of nature to work by c ontrasts. Her m anners w e re c old and s tiff, and she h a d but little t o s::iy at any time She rece i ved the n ew com e r s without a ques t ion, and scarce ly a nod, in a k in d of m atter-of-course m aune r. Then she at once ope ne d and. h e l d the door of an adjoining room, whe r e s h e s il ently p ointed t o a comfortable bed, upo n which l\Iyra w a s ca r e full y laid. The n s h e g o t some c a m p h o r, and held it to h e r nose for a short t ime, a n d the n care full y bath e d h e r h e ad with anothe r lotion. In a f e w m inutes the injure d young lady showe d signs of returning animation, and in less than half-anhour w as a bl e to sit up a nd conve r se "You won't think of going on to-night?" s aid Stokes to Blis s "I'd like ter, but I m a feard we c a n t, ' replied the scout. "Well, don't." "Ef you kin keep u s y c r e a ll safe, o' cours e we' ll thank y e, and p a y yer bes ides. ' "You kno w y ou promise d to t e ll m e all about your selves?" returned the Ji ttle man, stepping around and taking s nuff. "Yes and I 'll do it now," r ejoined Abner. He then proceeded in hi s own way to give a bri e f but cle a r account of all that h a d h appened, a s far a s he kne w from the time of the fir s t abduction of Myra Weldon, down to the time of hi s arrival at the farm. All li stened in sil ent attention to the details of the story. Then the farmer be gan t o question him about the kidnapers and if h e thought the James b o ys w e r e a p art o f the desperadoes and i f he b e lieved they would foll o w ou hi s t ra il. "I don't know for sarti n ef they 's among the scoundrels," ans wered Abuer; "but the whole thi11g er jest li k e thar kin d o' w ork, a n d I m mighty a feard they'll fall e r u s and that they'll come 011 yere ef it don't git dark soo1i enough f e r them to be 011sartin ab ut the r trail." "If they do come," o bserv ed F a rmer Stoke s, "it will be right bad for all of us "Cau't yer conceal us somehow, or, at least, Mi ss Weldon.'' "What! with that dead hors e out there, tha t you took from them, bridle and s addle and all, thus exposing us?" queried Farmer Stokes. "Wall, you kin hide bridle and saddle, hey? and tell them that we both on us went on t'other l10ss ?" "What! with them then finding the boss in the stable?'' "Oh, wall, ef they does come, t'other hoss n eedn' t be thar, for I'll slip out o' the back way, mount him, and scoot off myself." -"And leave Miss Weldon with us, eh?" "No t onless y ou'll agree t e r hide her aud keep her sa f e ti 11 I gi t s back with some friends." "All right, the n, m y man," returned the farme r, "we'll fix things in tha t way. A t this moment Abner chanced to glance toward the farm e r's d aughte r, when he saw an expression on her face that startled him. It was a stauge, peculiar l o ok, and he was at an utte r l oss to know what it meant. S he w as 11o t l ooking a t him, h o w e ver, but rathe r iut o v a cancy, and what he sa w s e e m e d to be the eff ec t of thoughts tha t were p assing through her mind. He glanced at the farmer's wife, and saw that e ve r y th ing the re was quiet, stony and cold. 'I'h e n a fu rtive glance at the farmer's face showed him a satisfied twinkle of the little black eyes as a huge pinc h of snuff w ent up to his nose. A ll thes e things take n togethe r were plainer read ing to Abner B l iss than if they h a d been printed in a b ook. They m eant something-something not pl easant for him to contemplate. They rai s ed a sus picion that all here was not as calm, and peace ful, and innocent as he had hoped to find it. "I'll h e v to be on my guard," he said to himself, "and I wi s h the gal wa s well out o' y ere. But I can' t git 'er ont jes t now, 'caus e she ain't in no con dition to travel. Con f o u nd that er stumbling beast! It a'mos t loo k s as e f he stumbled aud spilt her yere a purpose to plea se lils bloody masters.'' He'glanced at Myra, and she gave him back a look of distress that touched hi s hea rt. But he f elt that there w a s uothing to b e done to better their condition, e xcept to look clo sely to his w eapons and be c o n s t antly o n the w atch. B y this t ime the sun bad s et, and it was alre ad y b e gim1 iug to grow dark. Com e said Stokes "while the wom e n folks get som e s u pper r ea d y for n s we'll go out and put up your horse and regula te t hings the b est way we can do t o w a rd off s uspicion ' This p ro p osition suite d Abner, for h e w ante d t o get out, take-a s h arp su r vey around him, aud feel the freedom o f the open a ir. So the h o r se, w hi c h h a d been t o o badly strained t o go mnch furth e r withou t foo d a n d r est, more e specially if r eq ui re d to carry a d ou b l e load, w a s takeu t o the stable of a barn in the rear of the house, unsad dl e ? rub b e d down, and given a g o od f ee d of hay and grain. "Thre e honrs wili fix hin1 all ri ght for another go," thought Abner; "and e f the cusse d hounds will jest hold off tha t e r lon g and the p o o r g a l gits strong enoug h for the w entur' I ll take 'er off hit or miss and uot wait for no d aylight fer the pizen skunks to come up aud hew us iu."


THE JESSE JAMES 1 5 .It was 110\V gradually growi'11g darker every mo me11t, but was s till light euough to see a ll arbnnd for a considerable distance . This it was easy to do, because the house stood on a slight el_ evatio11, from which the ground sloped away 011 even side. 1t was in o n:: direction that Abuer looked, with all the his keen, bright eyes permitted, aud that was over the trait which he and Myra had left behind them i11 their flight. rrhere was n othing yet Oil this route that he could see to alarn1 hi111, a nd he breathed freer for the fact, and the knowledge that it would soo n b e too

16 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. a furtive lookont on ever y p e r son a11d thi11g arou11d hi lm. H e saw more meaning gla11ces exchanged between his host and hostess, together with so1he peculiar 11oc1s a11d s i g11s. The n lte sort of roused up, with a kind of drunken dig11it y a n cl s a i d, rather thickly : "Scn-'scns e me, sir; hut--somehow-I-I-feels orflli-sleepy I d on't za c tly know h o w it er; "but I -I-'s p e cts a s how ther-ther-ride to-d ay's mad e me more tired than I kuowed on." "Take another nip, and then I'll show you a bed, where you ca11 get a good night's rest," said the gratified farm er. "No, sir-tlia11k'e, s1r--;: --I've got e r-ernuff.,, With this the well-acting Ecout rose clumsil y to his feet, seeming quite heavy, a11d apparently balancing lti111self with great difficult\. "T..,et me show you to your bed,,, said Stokes, al s o ri .si11g, stepping around in his n e rvous way, looking k e enly iuto. his guet's face, tappiug hi s box, and taki11g more snuff. All-all---right! returned Abner, thickly, lool;ing over to wh e re poor Myra was sitti11g in the chair, pale as death, e yiug ltim with a distres sfol alarm; "I -I-wants ter sh e e her-a_:__a-minute-all aloneby my-my-shelf," a11d he pointed at his fair charge with an unsteady motion. "Better iet her rest said Stokes, "aud see her in the morning, when you both will feel better and fresher.,, "No-no yer don't," returned Abner, with a drunken mau 's persistence. "I-I'm er-er-jest a going ter shee her, ter-night, all-all-alone, er die!,, Stokes and his wife now conferred together for a minute or two, and then decided between themselves that it might be better to let the fellow have his way. "It won't amount to anything, Sam," whispered the woman to her husband, "and he may fall asleep while talking to her, and then we have him all the same.'' So he was conducted into another room, staggering as he went. Then Myra was haudt:d a light, and told to go in and talk to her friend, and perstiade him to lie down and get a good rest. She seemed very much frightened and distressed, but complied with the directions so far as to enter the room and close the door behind her. The instant this was done, she saw a sudden change that for a moment startled her. Abner at once straightened himself up, all appearance of intoxication was swept away like a flash, and putting his finger to his lips, as a sign of caution, he said, in a whisper: "Hush and listen! I'm not drunk. That liquor's But I didn't drink any. We' re in bad hands yere. They've planned ter make an end o' me, and the L o rd knows what they want to do with you. We've got to git away somehow." He glanced sharply around the room, while she, ghastly pale, tre111bled in every limb. He saw another door, and quickly glided to it, s lipped the b olts and open e d it. The fre s h air came 11pon hi s heate d face. Looking out, he saw a clust e r of bushes b e low and bright sta rs above "Thank God for this! he s aid. "We kin git away, Miss Weldon, ef yon's able to bear the journey and kin go now.', "Oh, yes-yes!,, she tremblingly answered; "I Catt hear it. Anywhere,. anywhere, to get away from here Iu here, I d on't k11ow wlty_, I am frightened nearly to death." "The why is 'cause thar's death in't fer me, and h e aven kuows wha t thar er fer y on He g l ided back to the other door as he spoke, and looked for bolt s to fas teu it, in order to delav eu trance, in cas e any one should attempt to come fn. There were no bolts to this door, no Jock that he cou l d fa s t e n, and so he quickly brought up some of the furniture aud plac e d it agaiust it. Theu, sei zing Myra's arm, he hurried her out into the open air, and down through a kind of a garden, rnd out through a gak that opened near the barnyard. "Stand yere a minute,,, he said. Then, darting into the stable, he quickly had the bridle and saddle on the horse, and the beast led out to where she was waiting. So far there, was 110 alarm, and he congratulated hi111self on the cunning by which he.hoped to escape without bloodshed. Lifting Myra up iu his strong arms as if she were a child, Abner seated her so .that i1c could mount himself behind her, and support her in the same posi tion she had been borne away from home by her original captor. 'l'hen he quietly walked the horse do\vn to the lane, so as not to make any disturbii1g noise, started him forward and passed the house. "Now, then, we's free! he said, exultingly. He now set forward in a gentle canter, and just at that moment heard loud voices at the dwelling, which showe e that their flight had been discovered. "Good-by, old snuff,,, he grinned, "and drink the rest of yer fiery liquor yerself.,, At that moment his keen ear caught the sounds of tramping hoofs in front of him, which warned him that a body of horsemen was approaching. Sinking his spurs into the flanks of his horse, he dashed into the bushes at one side of the road. '!'hen, as quickly, he reined up his horse, and slipping from its back grasped his horse's nostrils to prevent him from whinneying as the cavalcade swept by. The cavalcade pas s ed within easy shot of where h


THE ILJESSE JAMES STORIES. 17. s tood watching everything with his hawklike eyes but h e had no idea of shooting The y w ent on and entered the house, and he smiled to him se lf a s he fancied what would be the eff ect when his di sappearauce was discov e red. He w as jus t about to and start off again when h is atteutio u wa s attracted t o a dark figure tha t h e s aw riding a long as if cloggiug the s t eps of the ruffian s "Hello!" h e m entally said; "who in thunder er this yere, and what' s ther meaning on't?" At first he did not dream of attracting the n o ti ce of the newcome r. 'Jlhen, as he w a tcl1ed his cautious, skulkiug mo tion s it suddenly occurred to him that the man might be a s p y li k e him himself; and, if so, it won Id be .better that' they should work together than sepa rately. S o he roused up a little, and breathed out a l o w, whi.stling sound. Instantly the figure slid from his saddle aud dropped to the e arth, and Abner felt more. than e ver cert ain that he was an other spy. "Don't be alarmed," he said, in a low, guarded tone. "Ef you' s arter them rascals, I'm with yer, body aud soul.'' "Who speaks?" .came back in the same guarde d tone. "A man that hates hellyuns." "Your name?" "Abner Bliss." "What, i s it you, my dear friend?" The n there w

I 18 THE JESSE JAMES STO R IES. through a rough wilderne s s ; and thoug li she was much stronger for the res t s!Je h a d h a d in b o d y, with comparative e ase of mind, and the c h ee ri11g support of the man she loved, she y e t found the j ourney be-fore her a hard task indeed. Hut they finally came in sight of a log dwelling where it was thought it might b e safe to s t o p, and, i f possible, procure a substantial breakfast. The only occupant of the hut was a woma n and two children, but after dickering with the scout, she agreed to give them a breakfast. She then turned bac k into h e r p oo rl y-furnished dwelling, gave h e r vi s i t 9 r s some rude benches for seats, and proceeded, with c o n s irl.erable a i acrity t o get the mea l required ; which consisted o f com bread, p otatoes, fried s alt: p ork, and rather indifferent coffe e Iu the meantime the child r e n feel the h o rs es It was at leas t .au h our b efore this m e al was pre pared aud eaten ; aud Art!L.i .. h a nd ed h e r a silver dollar, which s ee iued to put the111 in a very good humor "No w, said Arthur, ''sh ow tts the wa y t o Sink. tow n, and t e ll u s h o w fa r it' is." She w.ent out and showe d the m the directi o n, ancl als o a kiud o f h o r se p ath, whic h s h e said w o ul d lead the111 down to the v illage, the d i s t a nce t o which was yet some three or f our miles They bade her g o od -day and r esumed their j ourney ; and in due time they reache d the village of S iuktow n witl1out any fttrther adventure. There was a p r etty good road throu g h this villa ge, over which the s t a g e p ass e d fro m l a rger places, ea s t and west, c arrying p assengers and mail. '!'here was a l s o a n inn where s t a g e co aches stopped on their way t o and fro, a11d thither our party w ent to secure s eats in the .next sta g e going ea stwa rd. Much to the i r di sa ppoint111e11t a11d discomfort, they learned that the c oa ch they w a utecl would not pass through tht! place uutil nea r ni ghtfall, and so they had nothiug bette r to do tha n wait for it. It c ame at last, near sundown, and contained six ?asseugers, four m e n and two wome n. The little p arty boar d e d the c oach. Then away it dashed through the viilage, drawn b y its four spi rite d hors es. Arthur and M yra now f elt lllore at their e as e, believing that a ll dangers were pas sed, a n d tha t they were now safe l y ou their h o m e w a r d route And yet, in the turn o f the wheel of fate thev were really iu g reater peril than they h a d been at any time since the air maiden's e scape from the clutches of the robber fiends On, on, weut the rna il c oach, the spirite d horses steppiug off quickly and. proudly under the inspiritit?g crack of driyer's wl1ip. Night soon came dowu d arkly, with a veil of clouds drawn between the glimmering stars and the earth. Suddenly, while whirling through a belt of wood, in a li t tl e .di1ig le, a ll the passengers were s t artle d b y a cl ea r, co ld, c omma11di11g voic e c alling out the si ngle w ord: "Halt!" Then, as if the l1eads of the lea ding hors e s had b e en s n dcie ul y seized, the c oach s toppe d at 011ce the doo r was j erke d open, a bright light was fla s h e d in upou the frighte n e d passe ngers from a dark l antern, a couple o f r e v o l vers were thrust forward, s o that the light gleamed fro m bright b arrels, aud the s ame c o ld, com11rn11di11g voice, with a blasphemous oath, said : "'f hrow up your hands, e very oue of you, and come out here at once, or we'll blow out. yourbraius !" Though t empted to resist, both Abuer and Arthur had the g oo d se n se t o perce ive tha t resistance under the circumstances wonld b e almost certain death. S o they too, c omplied with the ord er, aud c ame otit with the othe rs, thinking the affair meant per sonal robbery and nothing worse. B y here and tliere a glimmer of the lights, it was seen that the robb e r band n umbered several individ tial s a ll of whom wore masks, through which gleamed s h arp, determine d e yes The whole party o f passe nger s w a s quickly arraugecl in a line; a ,nd the n, while b eing covered with deadl y w eapo n s they w ere silently searched b y one m a n, who too k from the m everything of money j ewelry and weapons. 'l'his m atte r o ccupie d but a very brief t ime, and then, strangely enoug h, Abner, Arthur and M yra were sto od a s ide, while the others were ordered into the stage, and the driver told to throw off the mail bag s. "Got any boxes up there?" was n ext questioned. "Only one," replied the driver. "What's in that?" "I don' t know." "Don't lie now, you cuss. "I don' t know, I tell "Is it heavy?" "Rayther." "Specie or gold dus t, th.en, it's like. Anyhow, tumble it off, and be quick about it." soon came clown with a heavy thi.tcL "Is tha t all?" "Yes." 'I'he robber, as if 11ot fully satisfied, sprang tlp and looked. "All ri ght, u he said, as he jnmped down. "Now drive 011, as if thedevil w a s after you, and don't look back." This .the man did, and coach and hors es were quickly out of sight and hearing. What did this singling out a11d detaining c;if our three friends mean?


"'THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 19 There came over each a fearful suspicion, which caused each heart to sink with dreadful apprehension. CHAPTER LXVIII. THE OUTLA ws AND THEIR FRISONERS. The stage had been held up by Jesse James and his crew. And this 11ot because he had expected to find his late fair prisoner and her friends amon.g the p a s sengers but simply for the purpose of ordmary robbery H'e, of course, knew M yra; and Jjm Cumming s had had good reason to remembe r the lover, who had captured him in his first abduc;tion of M yra and the rough borderman, whose loud m his condemnation at his snap tnal 111 M111ev 1lle, and so they had been detained. The outlaws had left the hous e of Farmer Stokes immediately on hearing of the e scape of M y ra. At that time the robbery of the stag e, between Sinktown and Plainfield, had not been thought of by them. The rifling of the mail produce d a few hundred dollars in ca sh; but the heavy little box, when broke n open, excited a good deal of On examination they supposed 1t to co11ta111 .nothing but bars of lead, aud it was soon pitched aside a s worthless. This was a mistake however, a s the cunning trader who owned it, and who was himself one of the passengers in the coach had placed inside of chunk of lead a large iugot of gold, by first meltmg the lead and dipping into it more v aluable metal. This box thus throw n away a s value le s s was, rn fact no mean fortune in itse lf. Havincr made a fair distribntion of their coll e cti o n b of money and other valuables, the robbe r s now gave their attention to the pris oners They were all three placed in the c enter o f an open space, with the bandits comp l e tel y surrounding them, all their mas k s now removed. No mercy had the two m ale prisouers any reaso.11 to expect from such b l o odthirsty captors, and tins they knew. . Thev belie v ed that death, though 1t 1111ght b e delay ed, as the c a t sometimes plays w ith its prey would 5ure l y come in the e11cl. Jess e James snrnyed Abner and Arthur, while his followers watched his c ountenance wih intense interest. "Well, young man," he said, with a sa;:douic s mile, addressing Arthur Bracelancl, "as of your-courts observe, have you anything to say why sentence of death shoul d not be pronounced n pon you?" Before Arthur conlcl speak Myra Weldon threw herself at the feet of this terrible bandit chief, exclaiming: "For God's sake, spa re him, spare him!" "Take her away," said Jesse James, coldly. Jim Cummings and Jake Blossom sprang forward and seized her, one on each s i de, lifting her to her feet. ''Oh, m y G od!" she c ried, struggling to free herself, "if he is to be murdered, let me die, too-let the same weapon kill us botP.." "The c enter parties stood in a bright light, for the rays of three or four dark l anterns were turned full npou them, s o that the expression of each face there conld be c l ea rl y perceived. Arthur, deadly p a l e stood w ith comp r ess ed lips as one prepa red to meet hi s d oom like a brave man and not a c oward. Abner Bliss had a dark frown 011 his brow, and his sma ll, black e y e s g l eamed s ul lenly but not a siugle 11111scie of l1is strongly-marke d, angular fa c e quivered. J esse turne d hi s c o id, stern e y e from the1n to Myra; and a s his gaze re s ted upon her ghastly, anguished countenance, with its marked expression of noble s elfsacrifice, there wa s a momentary gleam of secret admiration. He was a man, who, with all his cruel crimes could appreciate that comage which come s fro m the soul and \vho utte rl y hate d and d es pi se d the miserable o f a crave n gr0 v eling spirit. But he finallv said: "Though she is properly y our priso11er, Jim, it is m y reques t not only that you d o h e r no h arm, but also tha t you u se h e r wel l. Jesse turned again t o hi s two priso n e r s . "Well, h e said, "now for your a n s w e r, agarn address iu g A rthur B raceland. "Have you a nythi11g to whv sent e n ce o f denth sl1ottld not be pronou n c ed up-on y ou?" . I \VO tdd 11ave 11111ch to say,,, firmly r eplied Arthur, i f I I could speak to one tha t wonld li sten to r eason. "Say on, anyhow. What the d e u ce do you know abont who will listen to re a son?" "1.'hen I would s a y Jess e .James--" 'So vo u kno w 111c, then?" i n t errnpted the other. Befo;e Arthur c ould m a k e a repl y a stern, coLJJmancling voice rang out with startling eff e c t : "Throw up yo u r h a ml s and s11rre1H1er, o r yon a 11 dead men." CHAP11ER LXIX. GONR BEYOND Jes se James a -nd his followers, though 111a11y o r f e w, w ere mostly desperadoes like himself, who carried their lives in their hands and were always ready to meet clan g e r in a n y shape. They were now taken by snrprise on looking around and seeing the glittering barrels of muskets in the hands of uniformed soldie rs.


,J r 20 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES .. But their snrprise was 011ly the instant prelude to action, for the thought of surrender never for a moment entered into their consideration. Drawing their revolvers from their belts, one in each hand, they sprang toward their foes and opened a deadly fire. 1.'he soldiers, startled at so unexpeded an assault, fell a little back; and then, at the word of command, poured forth a volley. "'To horse!" shouted Jesse James' as he shot dow' u two or three of the neares t soldiers, and then bounded away to where the animals were fastened. In less time than it takes us to tell uf it, every bandit was at his horse, for 11ot 011e of them was disabled, and the next moment they were dashing away with yells of defiance. Arthur and Abner had thus been freed from their foes. Myra \Veldon had 110t been s o fortunate and was again carried off by the fkeiug outlaws As the bandits were all mounted, and the soldiers on foot, no attempt was made to follow them. In fact, though they should have IHJ.d the best of the fight, they really had the worst of it. 1.'wo men had been killed outright, and three or four wounded. The lieutenant in command was very mnch chagrined at his failure in c apturing the little band of outlaws. But why Government soldiers there? And how did they get there? When the stage was ordered on, a s has previous l y been stated, it carried among the passengers one Asa Perkins, the owner of the treasure-box which the robbers had cast aside as worthless. He had anticipated s o me s uch action on their part, when they should come to find it apparently only con tained lead instead of more preci ou s metal; and though for a mile or two be rode quietly on with the rest, it was his intention to go back as s oon as he could do so saf e ly, in the hope of recovering his treas ure. On looking from a stage wi?Jd ow be had e spied, a little way off from the main road, the camp o f a co :npa n y of Government s ol diers who were 011 their route to on e of the Western forts Fortunate ly n eithe r Arthur Brn c el a11d nor Abne r Bli s s had been wounded in the brie f skirmis h which had take n place. In fact, the instant the firiug had b egun, knowing that with their hauds bound b ehind the m the y conld take no part in the fight, they had dropped t o the ground. As soon as all was over they w e r e fre e d from their bonds; and then Arthur, wild at the loss of Mvra Weldon, was for setting off' at once in pursuit of i1er captors. "Say, cap, don't be onreasonable," chide d the rnore cool-headed mountaineer. "But Myra Weldon, man, is in the h auds of the s e cursed scoundrels, and she's got to be rescued,'' cried Arthur, excited!)!. ''But they's goue off on bosses, and we bain't got narv one?" After some further talk and consideration, Arthur reluctantly came to the conclusion that be must yield to the good advice of the others. It was a gloomy return for the officer in command. All search for the outlaws had for a time to be given up. Arthur and Abner set off gloomily for home, there to await some news of the whereabouts of the villains whom the y believed would soon communicate with them regarding a ransom for Myra. When day oroke on the morning following the eventful stage robbery and almost miraculous escape of the freebooters, Jesse James was conducting his little band up the rocky defile of a mountain, fifty miles to the northward of the sceue of his last daring exploit It had been a long, hard nights' ride for Myra Weldon, and what with fatigue and grief she was nearly dead. She understood she was to be offered for ransom, and kne w her loving father would redeem his daughter at any cost, and therefore that her life was not in immediate danger; but she a l so believed and no one cared to undeceive her, that her lo\'er had been slain at the time she heard the shoutiug and firing, and life no longet had any charms for her. The mountain they were ascending was in a thinly settle d region; and the few people living in that vicinity, if not actnaUy freeboot ers themselve s, were persons s upposed to wiuk at the crimes of their neighbors. Upon this mouutain there: was a cave of rather large dime n si ons, which had be e n fitted up with c onsiderable care, even luxury, and which was really a rendezvous for not only the few men we have seen, but for a good many others who acknowledged Jesse James as their captain aud controlling spirit. The entrance to the cave was near the summit, from a fla t table rock about one hundred feet square, with a n other rock ri sing perpendicularly above it, the whole crest being on e tremendous rock, having a sheer precipice of from one hundred to two hundred feet on every side with the one exception of the sloping ravine or gulch already me11tioned. Finally the y r.:a!.:hed a sort of table r ock and beyond was the d ark-looking mouth of a ca\'e. Without h esitation, they entered. A ne g ro wom a n na1ned Sally was lighting the lamps as they entere d, and !?h e l ooked to s ee the effect upon the newcom e r o f these gorgeous surrotmdings. M y ra \Vas e \id ently surprised ; but s h e was suffering too much, physically and mentally, to give this grand apartment in the h eart, of a mountain anything more tba11 a p assing glance and thought. She staggered forward, threw berself dowu on a sofa, and gave way to heartbreaking sobs. CHAPTER LXX. THE BLACK SHADOW OF DEATH. S ally w a s k ept bus y for more than an hour in prepar in g breakfas t for the m e n. The n, while they were eating, she made a selection of s u c h edibles as sbe thought her charge might fancy, and with a cup of fine cocoa, took them into Myra. But, to her surprise sh e found Myra rolling on 'the


\ THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 21 oor, with a raging fever, her face now red, and her eyes laring like those of a maniac. As her fever progressed, she raved iu the wildest maner, and her strength so increased as to require three or ur men to hold her. The bandits were much alarmed, fearing she wollld ie on their hands, or become hopelessly insane. When Jesse James was called, he decided that a physiian should see h e r as soon as possible. There was only one, however, within a radius of five iles, that they cmild trust with their secrets; h e was a worn member of their gang, aud, though not openly cting with them, was ready to aid them at any time nd .in any manner. One of the men was instantly dispatc h e d for Dr. Brad haw, and in a couple of hours returned with him. ''Well, doctor?'' queried Jesse, after the patient had een s e eu. "Bad case Cap tain James, a very bad case, indeed." ' Can von save h er?'' "It"is very doubtful. I will do my best. She mus t be led at once. Let her be held as still as possible, while I ndage her arm and open a The blood from one arm not being sufficient to mate-. ally weaken her delirious strength, a vein in the other m was opened, and thlls exci ted natme's Yitality '''as rawn away frolll tile unconscious patieut. Gradllally she grew weaker aud thus calm e r, till the octor him s elf d e cided that no more blood could be ken from her without an almos t certain lo ss of life. "What do you think of the case 110\V, doctor?" asked. esse James, as he conducted him from the cave. ''I am afraid there is very little hope of her recovery." ''I am sorry to hear that." "I am certain," pursued the rnecliCal 111an1 ''that she n never reco ve r without the best of uursing and carf' r more will depend upon those than upon any drugs I n give her." "Yon kn

22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. And they also bad full directions for finding Jesse James' mountain retreat. After a weary tramp of days, during which they mostly camped out at nig!Jt and lived on food they carried with them, with now and then a meal at some lonely log dwelling, our two friends finally entered a region which they knew, from Mrs. Samuels' de scription, to be the locality they were se ekiug. Arthur 'had been told to inquire for the r esidence of Dr. Bradshaw, to visit him and secretly s !Jow him the paper that bad been given him. He bad made the ueces s :ir y inquiries, and, with his companion, Abner, was 011 his way to the do ctor's house, when, in passing through a thick w oo d two mounte d men dashed out of the bushe s in front of them, and commanded them to bait. 'l'bey did so, makiug 110 attempt at r esis tance, and not unprepared for such an interruption to their progress. ''Who the devil are you? and \rhat are you do ing here?" demanded a harsh voice, while two revolvers glittered before their eyes. ''We are seeking Captains Frauk and Jesse James,'' boldly replied Arthur. "Well, a good many before you have done the same thing, and have afterward found them to their cost. What do you want with those notorious robbers ? and why are you seeking them here?" ''I asked for them, b ecause I think they will give us protection, rejoined Arthur. "You do, eh? Protection, eh? Who are you, then? Robbers yourselv es? Do you belong to the infernal gang?" Arthur rightly conjectured that this disparaging language was used to throw them off their guard, iu case they were spies, and lead them to suppose they had rnet enemies of the outlaws instead of friends. A s he was about to answer, there was another loud rustling of the bushes, and two m o r e mounted men ie a ped their hors es into the ro a d b ehind the m. Both Arthur and Abner turned their h e ad s to look at the new arrivals, and at ouce recognized two of their bandit foes, Jim Cummings and Jake Blos s om. <:;'ummings and Blo s som at the same time recognized their former prisoners, and both together uttered ex ciamations of triumph. ''Hello, my beauties! so we've caught you again, have we?'' cried Cummings. ''.Do you know them, Jim?" questioned the ,spokesman of the two who bad stoppe d them. ''I reckon we know them," he auswered, witli a short, harsh laugh. "Eh, Jake?" "Well, I should smile,'' laughed Jake, in return'. ''These are the two sneaking hounds that caught me, hung me, and, after being captured themselves in turn, managed to get away from us, when the --soldiers attacked us, at the time I carried off that rich prize of a girl, who hadn't any better sense than to up and die on our bands,'' said Cummings. "Die?" cried Arthur, in a horrified voice, his fa c e suddenly becoming ghastly. "Well, yes, the fact is out now," rejoiued the h eartless scoundrel, with a grim smile; "but I didn't intend to t ell you till I'd got all out of you I could make for her ransom. You see, I kind of forgot myself, coming on you here so suddenly, haying failed lo find you in Miu ville, where we've beeu seeking you. But no matt now. If we can't get anything out of you worth while we will at least have the pleasure of putting you wlier nobody else will." ''Dead?'' gasped Arthur, scarcely able to stand. ''I Myra Weldon dead?" "Well, yes, dead and that's the Jong and shor of it, responded the ungodly villain, rejoicing in tli terrible m ental agouy which he sal\ his hated foe wa3 undergoing. "Oh, my Cod! my God!" w ailed the poor fello w ''Myra murdered.'' "\\T e ll, murdered or not," frowned Cummings, ''it' enough for all of us to know that she's d ead au

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 23 0!1 fr c m Mrs. San111e l s the mother o f .th e J a m cses It's Cit her name writ to it; and ef tha t er d o n t m ea n n oth g for y ous, then call Old Ab's a sq u a r etoed li a r. "And I t e ll you, boys, Jim Cuu1111ings c om ma11ds h e re nd n o t Mr s Samuel s nor any other ol d woman. And bind and gag thes e fellows at once a nd no more talk rboutit."" The lie sitatiug m e n n o w s t arte d in for thei r work in 1 i uest. ' Now the n," purs ued their l ea d e r with a n oath, take two more r-ope s and fa s t e n ea ch to a c ante l of a ddle, s o that they can k ee p their f ee t and march t o ei r o w n funerals Wh e n this was d o n e h e wh e el ed h is ho rs e a nd bade em follow him Thus, in thi s ignominiou s 1uanner, A rthur and A b ner ere compelled to keep along with the horse s on foot o h ile their captor s rode As they started off on a brisk tro t Arthur, weak an d embling, soon stumbled and fell and wa s dragged oog for a c o n siderable distanc e On seeing his condition, Cummings s l ackened hi s pa ce a walk and Arthur m anaged to gain his fee t. Cumming s did not do this becaus e of any feelin g of mpas sio11, but be ca u se he feared captiv e might di e road b efo r e h e should r e a c h the pl ac e whe r e n cording to hi s o wn hp1g uage ''the r e al fun was t o gin." Aft e r goin g some quar t e r of a m i l e up the road, they m e d off thro u g h a b u shy l o t that led down t o a di smal amp. Here two sap! in gs w e r e sel ected at a short di s t a nc e 11 part, 11nd the pri s oners firml y bound to them so a s to ce their foes Now boys," said Cummings, a s he drew off to a d i s nce of s ome fifteen y a r d s ''let u s a ll s ee ho w w e ll w e n shoot. Suppose we take off their e ars fir s t. And I' 11 n the ball.'' "Bet you a dollar I cai1 b eat you," said J a k e 'Done.'' With that he drew hi s revol ver and to o k a deliberate im at Arthm, w hil e his follower s, rev ol vers in hand, I watched tlie result with inte n se interes t. o e His aim was.prolonged qtiite as much for the purpos e f tantaliz ing hi s vi ctim as for m aking sure of his mark. at Then h e pulled the trigger. A flasli a crack-and m it 1 t t strea k of blood. Th:at s h'is head, not his e a r, and I can b ea t that," Jake Blo ss om. CHAP'fER LXXII. '.\'HE KING O F OUT LAWS. ae Jim Cummings had i ndeed, miss e d his aim. ut It \vas hi s intention to hav e cut off the l ef t ear of rthur Brac e land. but the b a ll h a d s p ed too high, and, : h st g-razin-g the t e m p l e and s ide o f the bea d h a d p a ss e:l l er the top of the ea r. m :Blos s om uow took his p lace for his own sho t. He wa s j ust iu the act of leveling his revolver, when : shout .was ht::ard, and tbe heavy tramping t e -horses. "Hold! exclaimed a well-known voice. E a c h t u rn ed an d loo k e d at the other s and it '\Vas n o ti ce d that Cummings grew very pale. The next minute four riders came dashing up, Jesse J a m e s h i m self in the l ea d ' W e ll what' s a ll this ? he demanded, with an oath, as his c old k een eye took in the whole situation. N o o ue an s w e r e d ins t antly but every one seemed to have a crestfalle n air. J es s e was quickly told the circumstanc es by one of the Ill e n \\Tith h is re v olv e r in his hand, and that fearfu'i e y e fixed s teadil y upon Jim Cummings, Jesse James now q ui e tl y di smounted and strode up to the trembli11g wre t c h who exp e c t e d nothing but instant d eath. ''Whe r e i s that pa pe r n o w?" sternly deman d e d the b audit chief. It w a s well for Cummiugs tha t he h a d 11ot destroyed the pa p e r and he .now produ ced and extended it with a h and tha t t r e mb le d in spite o f hims e lf. J esse J a me s t ook the pape r and deliberately read the ciphe r at the s am e time k e epin g a w a r y glance upo n the four men a ud read y to se n d a bullet through the heart o r brain o f the fir s t one who might ventur e to lift a finger in the way o f muti ny. ''So, with this i n your hand, yon deliberately took the se m e u d<>w n h e r e t o murder them witbout my knowledge,'' h e sa id; an d eve ry word came out distinctly and with a sound that s e e med t o grate upo n their very h earts. ''Ta k e that, yo u sc,ound rel,'" he added, and with the butt of his re v ol ver s truck Cummings a blow in the face tha t f e ll e d hiu like a n ox. Turning the n upon :he t w o ghastly and fel l ows who h ad acc ompani e d C umming s hither, h e ordered them to take away the weap on s of the prostrate man, mount their o wn hors es, ride the m b ack to their enclosure, return t o t h e c ave and await his coming. The n telling o ue o f h is m e n to w a tch Cummings and a lso J a m es Bl ossom . and shoo t them i f they attempted to d isob e y bi s orders h e adva nc e d t o Arthur, who, together with his c o m pa11io1:1, A bn e r h ad b ee n witnesses of tbe w h o l e p roceed in gs, though n either had be e n able to utte r a w ord, beoa u se o f the g a g s in their mouths . : Mer el y g l a n cing a t the s l ight fles h wound of Arthur, and se e iu g tha t it was nothing serious, Jesse cu.t his c o r d s an d r e mo Y e d the gag from his mouth. ''You ca m e hithe r with a pass fr o m my mother, to s ee k me?" obs e r ve d J esse. I did, sir, b u t tha t m a n y o nde r wh o m I s e e you have puni s hed c o m p letel y di s rega r d e d it, and would hav e murde red us b u t fo r your t i m e l y arrival. I thank you, J es s e James for t h i s r e l e a se but more for my fri e nd's sake thau m y o w n : ":. 'And why m ore for his s a k e than yo u r own?" que s-tione d the outla'"'" in some S llrpri se ''Becau se b e desi r es l ife and I do not." 'And why do yo.u i1cit desire life?" Beca u s e t ha t m a11 yo n de r h as ass u r e d me tha t M yra W e l do n is dea d a ud I h av e little d esire to surv i ve her. ' Y ours i's c e r ta i n l y a grea t d e vo t i o u '' r eturned Jess e with a s li ght s o fte n i n g of h is u s u a ll y stern fac e ''Aud bl oo d y bu tc h e r, as n o d o u b t you b e l ieve m e t o b e I unde r stand m o r e o f it thau y o u p r o b ab ly imagiue But e nough of tha t. He t he n turned a way a nd cut the bonds of Abner


24 THE JESSE Jl\MES STORIES. Bli ss, ; vh o expres se d bis thanks in his characteri s ti c way. ''Y o u too, seem to be dodging death like a cat," s aid Jess e with a grim smile "Yes, Cap'in Jee rns, I'v e ben in some pLut y tight fix es in 1ny time, a ud so m e of em war orf ui clo s e skin ning through." ''Well. you and your young fri end have just had anothe r h e re. If it had not been for the precaution of my go od mother, iu se nding m e wo r d b y special me ssen ger, I should not have been on the lookout for you, and your fate might n ever h a ve be e n k nown.'' Then, turning to Arthur, h e qu ietly r esumed: .You w ere to see D r. Bra d s haw, moth e r says?" '"We were on our wa y to his dwe ll i n g w h en stopped." "Had you any importan t bu s in e s s to transact with him ?11 "It w a s only, as I u n d e r s t o od Mrs. Sa lllu e l s, t o be guided to you, s ir." "You wi shed t o see n 1 e e spe ci a ll y in perso n?" Y e s I did for I believe d M y r a Weldo n to be li vi11g., and was authori zed by h e r father to. p ay the ransom y o u had a s k ed, t w o lnmdr::d tho u saud dollars fo r h e r s afe return. "Indeed? I s the fat h e r still l iv ing?" Yes h e w a s saved from the burning h o u se." ''Did Cummings know this?'' ''I do1 11t know_ H e said he had b e en to Mineville to seek me in the hope of securing a rans om for the young l.:i.dy, before I should get knowledge of her death.'' "The infernal scound rel," muttered Jes s e Do e s Cummings now know of the proposition you came to make to me?'' ''I have never told any one before; I did not e ven m ention it to your mothe r. ''Can you keep a s ecret?'' ''Yes.'' "Then swear, b y all you love b y the soul of M yra Wel don that you will not t e ll it to another." ' I so swear." ''Au d your fri e nd h e re?'' "I will v ouch for him with mv life." ''And you two also swear o n your sacred love and honor, that nothing you sh all se e, o r hear, i u this r egion s h a ll Q e m a d e kno wn t o a n y othe r human being; a nd tha t you \Yill n e ither guide in p e r s on nor, in a11y way,. g i v e the lea s t direction b y which a n y living b eing can: find this locality .'' After both m e n h a d b ound themselves b y this o ath A rthur a sked: "And now C aptain James,. may I a s k y ou how l\{yra di e d?" ''She was stricken do w n b y a ragin g fever. I sent for a skillful phy.sician t o prescirbe for her, and for my wife to nurse her. Some three weeks from that time the d oc tor stood be side her bed and pronbunce d her d ead. D o you wi s h for the body?' ''Ob, y es, yes! Squire Weldon will rans om the body of his child.'' ' h has been so preserved that it appears much a s it did before the fatal event. Do you wi s h to se e it? "Yes, gasped Arthur. ' Come with me then, and don't forget your oaths of secrecy. ' CHAPTER LXXIII. WAS IT SORCE RY ? Jus t b efore r eaching the defile tha t l e d up the motm taiu, Art )rnr a 11d Abuer we r e blindfold e d. 'Th ey \\'ere then conducte d to the cav e on foot. The b andages w ere !lo t rem ove d for s ome time; not in fa c t u n t i l th ey had b e en separated and placed i i diff e r ent com pa rtm eu t s Arthur had b ee n alo n e a w 'bile, w beu the d oo r den l y o pen ed, a woman whom he knew at once w a l\Ir s. J a m es ente r e d. S h e t ook a s ea t oppo site Arthur and at on ce ca m e d i r ectly to the subject nea r est to hi heart. She proc e e d e d to tell him of the illness of Jvlyra We d o n, a n d 0f the c on s t ant attention and care she hal rec e i ve d, till the fatal w o rd s had be e n pronounce d h e r physi c i a n : "She i s d ea d." a "Duri11g this illness .continued Mrs. James, "mi hus b and and I, being b y the side o f Miss Weldon nighcl a nd day, tia d come to r egard her with a sincere affeC] tio n ; w e d e c ide d to keep the b o d y in the ca vern till s u c h time as w e might notify ber friends and havi it delivered into their care. ''We a re grate ful a t le as t for this Has such notio ever bee n seut t o Minevi ll e ? "No and for a r e aso n that you may some time under stand." I think I do no w, Mrs. James." "And to what rea so n do you attribute it?" 'The re has probably been no arrangement made ransoming her dead bod y A vast sum--" H e suddenly stop p e d, with a rapid change of colo aud countenance, a s b e caught himself in the act o m aki1: g know n what he had so solemnly arid sacred! s w orn t o J ess e James not t o r ev eal to anothe r 1 i ving soue -namely the large s um of two hundred thousand do U l a r s whic h her fathe r h a d pledg e d himself to pay for hee sa f e r eturn to his lo v in g a rms. ''A va s t s um a s I s aid, may be requited for the tram fer of he r body to h e r friends.' 1 ''I k now nothing of that; that is bu siness for the to settle; but I kno w that that is not the cause of ou k eeping h er h e r e for this length o f time." ''May I ask, the n wh a t it is?" e ''St ra u g e e uough perhaps you will thin k the fac, \\'h e n I tell you s h e bas n e ve r shown s ign s of decay." / Arthm sprang to h is fee t in grecrt excitetnent. "The n he criecl, "sh e ma y yet b e alive. s he's on i y in a catale p t i c state. I've heard of su thi n gs. You h a y e no t bnried her, s h e i s where. s he c breath e fr es h p u re a ir?" " Cert ai nl y w e h a v e 11ot b u ried her, n o t having s e e any c erta in s i g n s o f d e cay. But o n the other hand, ss mus t a ssure yo u tha t s h e i s i n no cataleptic Why, it has bee n we ek s s i n c e the docto r p ronounce d hti d ea d and w h oever heard of a c a t a l eptic s ubj ect r emaix ing we e k s in the dea t h trance?" ''Mada m l e t m e tell yo u t!ia t the r e is uo tirne to these stran g e freilk s of 11a tu rc, aud I.have d a red thiuk it poss ible t hat s h e may yet li ve Lead me to h f at once. \ : She led the way from the room, through a loug, na


. THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 o w d ark, w i n di n g passa g e and at last ca m e tQ a doo r h i c h op e ned into a Yery large room. This w as only lighted now by one la m p a t the far nd and much of it was in shadow. As the. t w o moved s lowl y forward, Arthur e y e s of n x i o u s won de r aud secret hope, they came to the a lco v e, ow clos ed by1 hea v y velvet drapery. The woman d rew aside one of the fol ds, a n d turning Arthur, s om e what drama ti cally ; Look! Behold!" He sprang e agerly forwa r d and t h e next mom ent he aggered b a ck with u praised hands, a nd wi ld glaring e s, that seemed to b e starting fr o m their sockets. Then, from with in the alcov e there came a piercing riek, and a white form ros e up in the bri ght li ght and nk do w n a gain. "Great Heav en!" g a sped Arthur; "it i s the di semie d s pirit o f .Myra Weldon, o r el s e h e r living breathg human s elf. CHAPTER B ACK TO LIF E AND L OV E .It was in truth, her living, b reathing human s e lf. As each thus g a z e d upon the other, both s e em e d for e time paraly z ed. Was it now a reality or a dream? For se-veral minutes neither spoke. A peculiar laugh soon rang in thei7 ea rs, and brought m to. the realitie s of mortal I ife, and l o ok ing u p they D held the blood-stained man of crime standing near '.'Well, young man," he said, "what do you think w? Didn't I tell y ou y o u'd find your sw eetheart look e g much as she' did in life?' u "Jesse James what wonder i s thi s ? "Perhaps you d on't think now tlrnt s he r ea ll y did ? smiled Jes se 1 'i certainly don't understand it. doctor pronounced her d e ad, and w e all be lieve d At len gth, with a s light compre s s io n o f his firm lips a pec-uliar glea m fr o m his u s u a ll y co ld e y e s h e said: 'Youn g a t th e t i111e we separate d i n t h e w i ld e r s w h eti the su d den appe a ra n c e o f h o s t i l e s o l d i e r s s ed me to d epart i n t oo m hast e for formal leaYe in g, I wa s demandin g t wo Jrnmlred thou a s nd doll a r s the safe r eturn of Myra W e l d on to her fr ie nds and e Si nce the n things have so a ltered. that m y mind changed and I n o w 11ecline t o fix a ransom fo r rthur started and turned deadl y pale. M yra cla sped her h ands and sank back, half-fainting. M r s James turned in surprise, and fixed her dark, bright eyes upon the face of her husband. "You will n o t agree to her ransom, Captai11 J ames? gasped Arthur. ' I have said, sir, I will not." "Oh, Jesse!" exclaimed his wife. N o u s e o f further words; you know me." My r a was still weak from her l a te illness. and this shock almo s t ove r p o wered h e r. "No;" pursued the crime-s teepe d leader of outlaws, "I will not permit Myra Weldon t o be ransomed. I have taken a fan c y t o her, and it is 11ot every one I fancy And uo mo ne y co n siderati o n 011 e arth shall ever ind n ee m e to p a 1 1Yith her. Was J es se J allles, ::ifter a ll a h u m a n fiend, t o gloat o ver t h e miser y o f tho s e he cla im ed to lo o k u pon as fr ie nds? ''I hav e said,'' he co n cl u ded ''t h a t 110 mone y consid eration will eve r in d uc e me t o p art w i t h Miss Weldon. But--" and here he m a d e a lon g p a u s e and looked peculiarly at eac h-'-' '-I d i d not say I w o uld not set her free without money and without price." It i s n e edl es s to say that bi s deci si on w a s a s welcome a s u11looked for, a nd that wa s, w e b elieve, one of the very few happy moments in the long caree r of horrid c r i me in tl.Je e v entful life of Jesse James It was necessary, in order to carry out the design of the outlaw chief that there should be a good deal of secret management. There was so on a grand wedding in the rebuilt mansi on of Squire Weldon, and Arthur and M yra were the contracting partie s. The w il d, b l oody caree r of Frank and Jes s e Jame s still went forwa r d, and many a report of their d aring d e eds and cri m e s r eache d the ears of our thre e fri e nd s, w h o had had so much cause to remember o n e of them, and 0who, when they a fterward heard him denounce d a s one of the wors t villains 011 the face of the earth, kept strange ly si l ent. Thoug h no rans om w a s directly paid for the abduct ed h e i r e s s, b oth the w ife and mother of out l a wed J am es s u b se q u ently r e ce ived m o re tha n one present of g r ea t valu e from an unk11o w n sourc e ; A bner a l mo s t fr o m the moment o f hi s return t o inev ill e, foun d h i m se lf put in a financ ia l p o sition beyond all future w o rl d l y w ants. The s e al of s i Jenee placed u pon the lips of Myra Wel don Arthur Braceland and Abner Bli ss, having long s in c e been remov ed, we are now permitted to r eco r d this singular episode in the life of Jess e James TO BE CONTINUED.


YE:>UR 0VINIE)NS 0F F1\M0US MEN. Gran.d Prize Con.test: J 22 VALUABLE PRIZE GIVEN AWAY. H ere is a chance for every 'reader of JESSE JAMES WEEKLY. Boys, you have all heard of the plucky little Hansan \Vho has been maki himself famous on the othe r side of the world. What do you think of him? What characteristics do you see i n his face? What has he done, anyway? What do you think is the best thing he ever did? The boys who can best answer such questions applying to any famous Ame can, known for his brave deeds, will win handsome prizes. Here i s the plan of one of the m os t llo ve l contests ever pl ace d b efore the Arne ri ca u b oys. Look up what i n t eresting fac t s yo u c an fiu d a bout a n y famous America n The n write them out itJ y own words, s t ating y ou r own opi n io n o f h i m hi s a p pearance, and the parti c u la r achi e vemeut which please s the most. The fir s t p r ize w ill b e awarded to t he pers on sending in t he m os t inte r esting and b est w r i article; the next be s t will wiu the second priz e a11d so on It ma k e s n o differ e11ce h ow s hort they are, but no c tribution must be longer than 500 nor ds LOOK A,..J....., 'TI-IE TWO FIRST PRIZES The t w o who send u s the mo s t i11tere stiug a n d bes t writte n arti cles will e ac h receive a first cl ass C a m-era, c omplet e with achromatic l ens and. load e d w i t h s i x expo sures each. A bso lu t el y ready for u se For square pi ctures 3Yz x 3Yz in c hes; c apa c i t y six e x p osures w ithout r e l oad ing; s i z e of ca mera 4Yz x x 5 i tJch es ; we i ght r 5 ou uce s ; w e ll m ade covered with grai n l e a t h e r a n d handsomely finis h ed T h e five w h o send ns the next FIVE SECOND b es t articl e s w ill ea c h re ce ive a PRIZ E S "St e rling" Magi c 'Lan t e rn O n tfit, together with 7 2 admi ss ion tic k e t s an d a l a r g e show bi l l. Eac h la11teru is r o i11c h e s high, 4 in c h es in diam e t e r, with a 1 Yz i11ch p i a no-compl e x c o n de n s in g lens a nd a %'i n c h doubl e co n 1 p lex obj e c t ive l e us. Uses kero s e ne oi l onl y FIVE THIRD PRIZES T he five w ho send u s t he 11ext be s t articles w ill ea c h rec e ive a Han d so m e P e a r l Han dl e d Knife. These knives h av e e ac h fom b l ad es o f t he best Englis h s t ee l h a r d e ne d a nd t e mpe r ed The h a11d l e is pe a rl, the lining brass, aud the bo l s t e r s German si l v e r. F9r ten next b e s t des criptions, t e n sets o f the latest and m os t entertaini n g Puz z l e s and Noveltie s on the m arket, numberi n g thre e p u zz l e s eac h i nclt1di11g U n cle Isaac' s Pawnshop P u zz le; the Magi c Marbl e P u z z l e and th'e Demon Outfit. -This Contest cl oses D ece m b e r r. A ll co ntribution s mus t be in b y t-hat date. SEND IN YOUR ARTICLES AT ONCE, BOY We a r e goin g t o pu b l i s h all of tl1e bes t ones during p ro g r ess of the Contes t. We will h ave t o re serve t o ourselves the right o f j in g w h ic h a r ticl e h a s the mo s t m erit, but our reaf know t hat t h ey d e pe nd u p ou Stree t & Smith, o n their abso lute fairne ss a n d just ice in con d uctiu g t es ts. This on e will b e 110 exception to the rule REMEMBER! W h ether y our contribution wi u s a priz e or n o t : stands a go od 'cha n c e of b e in g p u b li s b e d, togethe r the n a m e o f the writer. T o b e com e a c o n tes t au t for the pri z e yo u mustcug 1 tl 1 e Characte!' Cont est Coupont printe d i n this i ss u e. it ou t prope r l y a n d se nd i t t O JESS E JAM E S o f S t r ee t & Smith, 2 38 Wiil i am Street New Y ork 0 t oget her with your article No contribution w ill beD side r ed tha t do e s n o t ha v e this acco111panyin1 C OUPOX. t "JESSE JAMES WEEKLY" CHARACTER CONTf.ST No.i: 5i Date ...... ........ .... .................. 1 Nan1e . ........ . . .... ............ ....... ,! l City or Town ............ . ......... ................ 1 S t a te ........... .......... . ..... .... ....... . .... . \


CHARACTER PRIZE CONTEST. During the progress of the Prize Character Contest this department will be devoted the publication of the best articles sent in by the contestants. Here are some of the best ones received this week The Naval Hero o f the Civil War. ( By Thos. M urph y, C h icago, Ill.) Farrag ut the n ava l h ero o f the Civil Wa r h a s a l ways en m y favorite E v e r y time I re ad the ac c onnt o f the sa ge of the blockade o n the Mi s si s s i ppi a t the s l ege Vicksburg, it thrills me m o re and m o r e I have been looking i t up again, and will e ncl os e a n ticle about it Soon aft e r the war b e g a n the Government h a d a n im6 rtant proj e ct in hand. 'l'he M i ss i ssi ppi River was gely iu th e coutrol of the C o n f ederacy, and was the u at highway for transport i u g h e r s upplie s. N e w le a ns w a s th e rich es t c i ty of the South, recei ving for pment a t thi s time $g2 o o o,ooo worth of cotto n a n d re than $25, 000,000 ortb of s ugar y e a rl y. If this y coul d b e captured, a n d the rive r c o11troll ed b y the rth, th e So u_th wou ld be s eri o u s l y crippled ut the l ower lvliss is s i ppi w a s g u a rd e d b y the strong fort s, J ac k s on aucl S t. Philip, which mounte d II5 n s, a u d wer e garri s o ne d by I ,500 m e u Abov e th e ts w ere fifteen ves s e l s of t h e C ou federa t e fleet, i uclu dthe ironclad ra m :Ma n as s a s a n d jus t below, a heavy u chl).i n acro s s the r i v e r b o u nd togethe r sco res of r ess l ogs thirty feet l ou g a u d four or fiv e fee t iu m e t e r thu s forrni u g a11 im me n se ob struc ti o n Sharpoters were st a t i o11ed a ll a l o n g the bauks. arragut was c h ose n t o u ndertake the capture o f thi s n g hol d Severa l n;!v al office rs we re c01i sicle r e d but Jes, Secretary of the Navy s a i d, ''Fa rragut he ma1, The s t e a m s l oop-of wa r Hartfor d of 1 ,900 s burden a n d 225 f e e t i o n g, w as made r e ad y as bi s s hi p His i nstruct ion s we re ''Th e ce r t ain ca pture the cit y o f New O r l ean s The D ep artment and the utry require of yo u succe s s . . If successfu l you 11 t he w a y t o th e s e a for the Gre a t \ Ves t n ever in t o be closed Tl!e re b e ll io n w ill b e riven i u th e t e r a ud the flag to w hi c h yo11 have b e eu s o faitliful 1 reco ve r its s u pre m acy in eve ry State. a g rateful heart tha t h e h ad b ee n tho ught fitti n g this hi g h pl ace, and b e li eving i n bi s ability to w in success, a t sixty-one years of age be started on b i s mis s i o n. H e t o o k with him six s l o op s-o f w a r sixteen gun b oats, twen t yo n e sc hoon e r s, and five othe r vess el:s, fortyeight in all, the flee t carryiug over 200 g uns. April I 8, I SG:!, t h ey h ad a ll reached the i r position s a n d we re ready for the s t ru g gl e F o r six d a y s a n d nights the m orta r s kept n p a c onstant fire on Fort Jacks on throwing ne a'rly 6,ooo s h e ll s Ma n y persons were killed, bnt t h e for t d i d not y iel d. The C o ufed erates sent down the ri ver five fire r a ft s flat b oa t s fille d with d r y w oo d, s m e a r e d wi t h t a r a nd turpeuti n e, hopin g t h a t these wou l d make h a vo c amon g F arragut' s s hips; bu t h i s crews t o w e d the m aw a y to s ho r e or l e t t hem dri f t t o se a Farragut llO\\' mad e np his m i?Jcl t o P

28 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. In the darkness, lighted only by the flashes of over 200 guns, the fleet had cut its way to victory, losing 184 in killed and wounded. General Sheridan in the Shenanadoah. (By Charles Krnus, 15 years old, Dushore, Pa.) General Philip H. Sheridan was in command of the Army of the Upper Potomac, consisting of nearly 40,000 men. On the 19th of September he came upon General Early's army at Winchester and defeated them. On the 22d he overtook the defeate d army at Fishers' Hill, assaulted Early in his entrenchments, and gained another victory. Sheridan then turned a bout to ravage the valley. The work was fearfully w e ll done; aud with torch, ax and sword there was nothiug l e ft worth fighting for between the.Blue Ridge and Alleg lrnuies. Sherid0au then posted his army at Cedar Creek and then v vent to W ash ington. Early then rallied his shattered forces, and on the 19th of Octo1-Jer surprise d the Union forces and crip tured the artillery and sent the routed troops .flying toward Winchester. 'fhe Confederates followe d as far as Middletown and stopped. Ou the previous night Sheri-. dan had started back to Winchest e r to rej o in hi s army On his way he heard the firing aud rode twelve miles at full speed and then met his panic -st ricken troops rallied "them with a word, and the y turned u pon the a stonished Confederate s and g ained one of the mos t si g nal victo ri es of the war. Early's army w a s disorganize d and ruined. Such was the end of the strife in the valley of the Shenandoah. On the 22d of February, General Sheridan, who had removed from the Shenandoah, gained a victory over the forces of General Early at Waynesborough and then found the cornmauder-i u-ch ief at Petersburg. Sheridan pressed on by the left bank in the directiou of Deatonsville, up by the way of the South Side Railroad. Lee then fell bayk to Deatonsville, where a battle was fought-in whic h Ewell's division, 6,ooo strong, was captured by Sheridan. The main army, however, escape d to Farmville. Admiral Schley. (By Charles E. Bowers, Hanover, Pa.) Admiral Schle y is lllY greate s t fav orite, from the word go. We hear so much about him these days especially from the Court of Inquiry, where 111e n are trying to dub him as a coward. \:Vhy are the y doing this? This m a n has often shown l1is brave r y during the late y ears, especially during the war with Spain, at the destruction of Admiral Cervera's .fleet, aud during the Civil War, when he was with such brave men as F arragut aud Porter, on the Miss i s si ppi River and at the siege of Port Hudson. Later he was sent to Peru, where be greatly di s ti uguished himself in a fi.ght witb the coolies on the Chi uchia Islands. In 1871, whe n he was a lieutenant-commander, he found himself in a fight with tbe Koreans, who were entrenched in a strongly defended fort. But Schley was the second man on 'the wall which was taken by storm after a great struggle. What did the people of the United States think of Schley the day of the Foutth of July, 1898, the day after that engagement? Why, they went almost wild with enthusiasm and deli.ght at his great accomplishment. That is just a srria11 part of his bravery which he is connected with, and no they are accusing him of cowardice. Why, if that would be the case of Admiral Sr:hley what would character amount to in this world? Why, absolutely nothing. This is enough to say that Schley ought 11ot to be accused as a coward, but as one of our greate s t heroes of 1 901. In 18 8 4 Commander Schley was chosen out of all the officers of the navy to cowmand an expeditiou sent to the Arctic for the r elief of the Greeley expedition. This was the first time he was ever in that region, but he laid the pl ans a nd e quipped his O\Vll expedition, and forc ed his way to Cape Sabine, a month earlier than was ever be fore accomplished. For this exploit Schley was made chie f of the Bmeau of Equipment. In 1891 he was in command of the Baltimore at Valpariso, when several of his men were kille d and others \rnunded in a riot at that pla c e His nerve and coolness save d u s from a war with Chili. Wheu Commodore Schley made his report to Admiral Sampson on July 6, i898, he said, "I have the 'honor' to make the following r eport of that part of the squadron 1111der yonr command, but which came under my o bservation during the engagement with the Spa11ish fleet July 3, 1 89 8 etc. His battleship, the Brooklyn, being in the thickes. t -0\ the fight, showed that he was a man with great rierve a ncl tact. The Friend of the Slaves. (By v\lilliani Stanley Springfield, M11ss.) I hav e often heard my grandfather tell of William Lloyd Garrison, o:;e of thos e brave and who got hooted and jeered and mobbed for speaking against slavery before the Civil War. So I thought I would write you air article about him and become a contestant in your prize contest-. One of the bravest things he e ver did was to put the following motto at the head of his newspaper, Tlze L i berat or. This was at the time when people were commencing to li sten to him and the Southerners to hate him. It was as follows: ''I will be as hflrsh as truth and as uncompromisiug as jt1stice. On this subjec t I n o t w is h to spea k w ith moderation'. I aw in earnest, and I will not equivocate; I will not e xcuse; I will not retreat a single inch-and I w ill b e !tcard." The North w a s bound hand and fo o t by the slave trade almost as effectually a s the Sonth. The great plea was the fear lest the Union would be dissolved.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 29 Some thought it would not be s afe to free the s laves ; that assassinations would be the r e sult. The r e al secret however, was that each slave meant se v eral hundred dol lars, and freedom meant povert y to the masters. Meantime, the Liberator was making its elf felt, despite Garrison's poverty. The Vigilance As sociation of South Carolina offered a reward of $r, 5 0 0 for the ap 'prehe us i on and prosecutiqn of any white person who m ight be detected in disttlbuting or circulating it. Soon Georgfa passed a l a w offerin g $ s,ooo to any per son arresting and bringing to t r ial unde r the laws of the State, and punishing to conv ic ti o n the e ditor or publisher of the L i b e ra tor. W h a t a w o n d e r that so m e ruffian a t midnight did n o t break into the little office in B os ton wh e re he worke d and lived a n d d r ag the y o t m g m a n off to a s l av e ve ss el l y in g clo se by iu the h a rb o r Twelve 'fanatics gathere d on e s torm y night i n the basement of an Afric a n church in B ost on a nd o rga ni zed the N ew England Anti-Slavery S o c iet y in r 8 32. The contest o ver the s la ve r y que s tion was grow in g extremely bitter. Pnd en c e C ra n da ll o f Can t erbury, Conn., a y oung" Qu a k e r lad y, adm i tt e d se v eral colo re d girls to her s chool who came from Bos t o n N e w Y ork and Philadelphia. The people w e re indi gnant a t s u c h a commiugling of races Shopkee per s r efused to sell her atJything; h e r w ell was filled w ith r e fuse and at l as t her hous e was n e arl y torn d o wn b y a midnight mo b. Lane Theolog ic a l Seminary Cincinn a ti ; W es tern Re s er ve Colle g e, Hudson, Ohio, with s o me others, w ere n ea rl y broken up b y the conflict of opinion. Som e antisl ave r y lecture r s w e re tarred and feathe r e d o r t hro w n into prison. In New York, a proslavery m o b b ro k e in the doors and window s of a Presbyter ian church, and laid waste schoolhou s es and dw e llings of c o lored people. In Philadelphia, the riots la s ted three d ay s fort y -four houses o f colored peopl e being nearly or qu i te de s tro y ed. In B os tou a "mos t rn s pecta ble" mob, c ompo s ed s a ys Horace Greeley, ''in g ood part of m erchants,'' d ispe r s ed a compan y of women bel onging to the F e male A11ti Slavery Societ y, while its president w as en g a ged in prayer. Learning that Garriso n was in the ad jo inin g office they shoute d, ' W e mu s t have Garris on Out with him! Lynch him Attempting to esca p e b y the a dvice of the ma yo r wh o was present. h e s ou ght refu ge i11 a carpente r's sh op, bnt the cro w d drew him out, a nd co llin g a ro pe a round hi s bod y, dragge d him b a reheaded alon g the stree t On e man call e d ont, "He s h a n t be hu r t ; h e i s an Am E r i c a n !" a nd thi s prob a bl y s a ve d hi s life thoug h m a n y bl o ws aim e d at hi s h ead, a nd hi s clot hes were nearly torn from hi s b o d y The m ayo r decla ring that h e could onl y b e sav ed b y lodged in j ail, Garriso n 1 pres se d into a hack and w a s driven a s ra pidl y a s p o s s ible to the pri so n the maddened cro w d clinging to the whe e l s, dashing a gainst the doors and sei zing bold of the hors es. At la s t he w a s b ehind the bars and out of their r ea c h. On the walls of his cell he wrote: ''William Llo y d G a rri so n was put into this cell on We dne s da y aft e rnoon, O c tob e r 2r, 1 8 3 5 to s ave him from the violence of a r es pe c t a bl e and influential mob, who sought to de s tro y him for preaching the abominable and d a ngerou s doctrine thr.t 'all men are created equal, and that all oppress i o n is o dio u s i11 the sight of God. Confin e me as a pri so n e r but bind me not as a slave. Pun i s h m e a s a crim i n a l, but hold me not as a chattel. T o r ture m e as a man but drive me not like a beast. D oubt m y sanity, but ack n o wledge my immortality." The r espec t a ble m ob h a d wrought wiser than they k n e w Garrison and his L ibera t o r became more w i dely kn ow n tha n ever. From t h i s tim e t ill 1860 the strnggle b e tween fre e dom a nd s la ve r y was c ontinu o u s Garri so n was op p ose d t o wa r ; bu t after the firing on Sumter, Apri l 12, r86r, i t wa s in ev i ta ble. For two years a fter A bra h am Lincoln's e l ec tion to the Pres idency, G arri son 'rnit ed impatientl y for t h a t p e n s t roke wbicll se t four m i lli o n hum a n bei ngs fr e e. Wbeu the Eman. cip a ti o n P rocl amat io n i ss ue d J anua ry l 1 8 6 3 Gar r ison's lif e work w as a c co mpl is h e d Thirty-five years of untiring, heroic struggle h a d n o t be en in vain. When t w o yea r s later the s t a r s and stripes w e re rai s ed again o ve r F ort Sumte r h e was in v ited by P resident Lincoln, as a g u es t o f the gov ernm ent, to witness the imposing sce n e. Wh e n Mr. Garrison a rri v ed in Charleston the c o lo r ed peop le w ere n ea rl y w i ld with joy. Children sang a nd m e n shouted. A s l ave made an address of welcollle bi s t wo dau g h te r s bear i n g a wr eath of flowers to their grea t b e1Jefac t or. Hobson's Courageous Deed. ( B y Alter, Philadelphia, Pa.) In m y opi nion one tif the most es te e med heroes of the S pani s hA m e ri c an W a r i s Lieute n ant Richmond P earso n H obson. W hen Admiral Sam ps on blocke d up the entrance to Sant iago H a rb o r w h e r e Cer ve ra's flee t w as, Lieutenant Hobs on a yonng officer of the flag ship N ew York, a s ked p e r miss i o n to un dertake an experim ent w h i ch se e m e d to e v e rybod y li ke ru shing i nto the ve r y jaws of death. With th e h e lp of s e e n sa ilor s a s d aring a s him s elf, h e trie d t o s in k the America n c o a l b a r g e Merrimac across t he entrance to Sar.ti ago B ay, b u t he w a s detected by the Spani ards a nd wns fired upo n The ru dde r of the Merri ma c was sh o t a way a ud it fail e d to bl o ck the entrance. H obso n a n d h is followers w e re al s o captured, but were l a ter o n e x ch an ged for S p ani s h pri soners which the Ameri ca n s h a d.


Hunting and Trapping Department This department brimful of information and ideas of intertst to the young trapper and Write us you have ar.y quest i ons to ask concerning these subjects and they will be ansvvered in a special column. Address all communications to the and Trapping Departme,nt." How t o Tra p W ildcats. 'I'h is a ni mal i s one of the m os t w idespre ad s pec i es of the cat t r ib e, beiug found n o t o nl y in America bt1t 'throughout nearly the whole of E u rope, as we ll i n Northern Asia. In man y part s of the U ni ted S t a t es, where the wildca t w as wont t o A o u ris h it h a s beco me exterminated, owing t o c i v ili za ti on and the d estruction of fores t lands.' Mauy naturali sts are of tli e op i11i o n tha t the wildca t i s the original p r o g enitor of o m d om e s ti c cat, but there i s muc h differe nc e of o p in io n in r eg ard t o the subject. Althoug h they b e a r grea t r es e m b lance t o each other, the re a r e several points o f di s t i n ct ion be tw ee n the two on e of t he m os t d ec id e d

THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. 31' Hints on Baiting the Steel Trap. There is a very common and erroneous idta current am0ug amatenr s p ortsmen and others in regarcl to the baitfog of thestee l tra,p, vi z that the pan of the t ra1) js intended for the bait. ,. This was the old custom in the traps of bygone tinies, but no modern trap is intended to be so mis used and would indeed often defeat its object in such a case, wherein it will be easily seen. The object of the profes sional 'trapper is the acquisition of furs; and a prime fur skin should be without break or bruise from nose to .ail. A trap set as above described would of course catch s victim by the head or neck, and the fur would be ore or less injured at the very spot where it should be particularly free fron1 blemish. The true object of the-steel trap i s that it shall take the animal by the leg, thus injuriug the skin only in a part where it is totally valueless. We give, then, this imperative rnle: Never bait a steel trap on the pan. The pan is intended for the foot of the game, and in order to insure capture by this means the bait should be so placed as that the attention of the a ilimal will be drawn away from the trap, the latter b eing in such a position as will cause the victim to step in it when reaching for the tempting allurement. 'I'here are s everal ways of doing this, one of which we here illustrate: A pen of stakes, in the shape of the letter V, is fir s t constructed. The trap is then set in the angle, and the bait attached to the end stake directly over it. How to Trap Rabbits. 'the rabbit, or cottoh tail," a s be i s familiarly termed, is too well-known to need any description h e r e From Maine to Texas our wood s abound with thes e fleet-footed little creatures, o f whi, ch there are se, i eral America n species. They are tbe swiftest o f a ll Ame ri c a n quadruped, a11d have b e en known t o cl ear over twenty f eet in a single leap. They a r e all natural burrowers, althougu they often forego the trouble of e x c a v a ti :ng a home when qne can b e fo'tlnd already made, and which can be easily m odifie d or a d o p ted to their purposes The commou rabbit of N e w England ofte n makes its home or "form" beneath a pile of .brus h or Jogs, or in crevices in rocks. H e re it brings forth its young, of which there are often tl .ire e fpur a year . The creature becomes a pan;nt at a early age a11

/ ;. I 32 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. o f a berry or other fruit, should be s e cure d a nd the further e xtremity of the stick shoul d t hen be r ; tmd e d t o a blunt poi(1t The trap is now ea s il y set. Raise the Jiu and lift1the long stick to a position. the flat end of the bait s t ick ao-ai n s t that of the forme r 0 and allow the pressure o f the l i d 'to be a r agai11st the blunt point of the short s t ick, a s traight dent be i n g m .ade in the co ver to rec e i v e it, as also in the bac k o f the box for the other pie c e If p rop e rl y c o n structe d, this pressure will be sufficient to hold the sticks e11d t o end and the trap i s thus set. The s li ghtest weig h t o n t he false perch thus made will throw the parts asun der, and the cover closes with a snap. The difficulties in coustructiug the tmp will be m the bearings of the bait s t icks, the ends of which mus t be perfectly fia t aud j oin smwly, i n order t o hold themselves together. The box now be sus in a tree b y the a i d of a string at the top. The ?rst bud that. makes bold enough to alight on the perch a sur e captive, and i s secured without harm. If d esued, the elastic may be attached t o the in side o f the cover, extending to the back o f the box.' Bird Lime. This substance s o c all e d which i s s old in our bird m arts uuder name i s a s ti c k y preparation, clo s el y a very thick and gummy varnis h It i s a stonishing l y sticky, and the slightes t quantity. between the fingers will bold the m together with remarkable tenacity. What its effect mus t b e on the feathers of a b ir

\fYE were the fir s t pub-li shers in the wor1d t o print the famous s to ries uf the James Boys, written by that remarkable man, Vl. J3. Lawso n, whos e name is a watchword with our boys. V\' e have had m any imitato1 s, Jesse .lames. and iu order that n o one sha11 be dec accepting the spurious for the real, we are now publishing the best stories of the James Boys, by Mr. L awso n, in a New Library entitled" The Jesse James Stories," one of our big fiv e-ceut weekiies and a stire winner with the boys. A mun ber of issues have already appeared, and t11ese which follow will be equally good; in fact, the best of their kind in the world. STREE'r & Publishers, New York. !Lt The only publication authorized by the Hon. Wm. r. C o dy ( Buffalo Bill) Buffalo 13ill. \V Ewerethe publishers of the firs t story ever written of the famous and world-renowned Buffalo Bill, the great h e ro whose life has been one succession of excit rng and thrilling iuci-dents c ombined with great successes and accomplish meu t s, a ll of which wil1 be told in a series of grn nd which we are uow pbcing b e for e the A m e ric a n Boys. The popularity they h a ve already obta in e d shows whaL the boys want, and i s ve 'ry gr:ltifying to the publishers. STREET & Sl\ITTl-l, Pnhlishcrs, New York. THE best known detec ti ve in the world is Nick Carter. Stories by this noted sleuth are is sued regularly in "Nick C ai-te r Weekly" (price five cents ) and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the p atrons and readers of the Nic k Carter Series of Detective Stories to know tha t thes e fam o n s stories will soon be pro..: uc e d u pPn the stage under unus u ally elaborate c irc umstances. Arrangements have just been completed b etween the publishers and Mmiager F. C. 'Whitney, to present the entire set of Nick Carter stories i n dramatic form The fir s t play of the serie s w ill be brought 0ut next fall. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, NEW YORK . Diamond Dick. THE celebrated Diamond Dick 'stories, /1. r can only be found in" "Diamond Dick, Jr., the Boys' Best Weekly." Diamoud Dic k and his son Bertie are the most nniq1.1e and fasc:ina-. tiug h eroes of W cstern rom an c e The scenes, and many of the incidents in these exciting stories are taken from r ea l life. Diamond Dick stories are con ceded to be the b est stories of the \Vest, and are all copyrighted by u s The weekly i s the same size and price as this publication) with h : m.J some illuminated cowr. Price five: cents. STREE T & S :mn1, l'uhlishers N1.'w York.


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