Jesse James' exploits


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Jesse James' exploits

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

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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028820460 ( ALEPH )
08650894 ( OCLC )
J14-00028 ( USF DOI )
j14.28 ( USF Handle )

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,, sued w eenty. i:Jy ;,,.bscrzptwn $2.Jo per year. Entered as Second Class Mutter at l\"ew York Pvst Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 William St .. N. Y. No. 28. Price, Five Cents. A FREE FIG.IT FOLLOWED, JERRY, THE TOAD, SIDING WITH THE TWO OlJTLAWS, AND FIGHTING LIKE A D!>MON.-(CHAPTER LXLU.)

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-Ismed Weellly. By Subscription l_a.50 per year . E,./,,,-ed as Second Class Matter at Ille N. Y. Post Ojfiu, by STREET &: SMITH, aJ8 William St., N. Y. Entered accord111g to Act of Congress"' the year 1qo1, :n the Office of the L1brar1'an of Cor1gress, Washin,ylon, IJ. C. No. 28. NEW YORK, November 16, 1901. Price Five Cmts. Jesse James' Exploits. By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER LXXXIX. diently, and the n the n'Oto rious bandit sent his voice TREACHERY. ringing through the bushes , "Halt! Another step and you are a dead man!" "Lost him, by thunder! The moonlight makes things boys! The track was a catamount, and its taken to the hills yonder." The order is given in a thrilling whisper, but the terrible words are greeted by a burst of laughter. Then comes the flash and crack of a weapon and the speaker stands weaponless. The bullet from his opponent's forty-two caliber revolver has knocked his weapon from his fingers. "Ha! ha! ha! So you t!:ought you had me cor-nered, did you?" laughed the man with the advantage. The words were spoken hardly above a whisper. "I did, but I see that I am mistaken," said the other. "You are a quick hand at the trigger, Jesse James!" "I to be by this time. Now, then, up with your hands, you whelp! I'll deal with you later when I have explained that shot to our friends yon der." The man who was covered put up his hands obe"Better shoot at a target, pardner came back, in a laughing voice. Then, as th explarf<\tion had been satisfactory, Jesse James smiled grimly at quarry. "You're a clever ::-ascal, Jesse Jam es," said the other, in a low voice. "I wish I had half your nerve." The speaker was a young man with a smooth, handsome face and a pair of dark eyes that were as keen as an eagle's. The other was a man of Herculean proportions, who woie a fierce red goatee and mustache. This man was known and dreaded throughout the en):ire West, for crime and bloodshed always followed his Jesse James once seen could never be mistaken,

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.... 2 THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. ' we r e it not f o r !::;; in disguising both his fo:-111 a n d features. "\'i:iu're d e uce d iy p o iite for a snea k he remarked, l'?e n;c ,tt1 a s t e p nearer. "I r eckon you won't b e it" :i'-i1. you knmv what I am going to do with VOt'.'.' : he young m a n shrugged his s houlders as if in c to his fat e in r e alit y he was only trying ti m e by keeping the outlaw talking. ".!t s an easy guess to know what my fate will be, J e;;s e J a mes. Y off ha\ r e murdered nien b"efo{ e and y o \ 1 will n o t hesitate to sta ih your soul with crime agam. But you dare not shoot me here-of that I am certain." Ee glanced around as be spoke, and' his gaze swept the horizon. In the distance turned the peaks of the Mormon Range Mountains, and near at hand the water of the Moapa River shone in the moon light. The outlaw and his victim, who was a Pinkerton detective, had met accidentally in a prospecting camp and each had become aware. of the other's identity not five minutes before the first words chronicled here were uttered. FHty feet from where th s t ood b e hind a clump of trees the canvas was spread for a party of twenty. It was early in the eighties and the fam o u s Com stock mines were in full cperation, and thes e men were fired with the minin g fever. They were all experienced miners, but their hope \ V as to find a fre s h vein, stake a cla im and be co m e owners, rather tha n empl oy ees for the big c orpora tion. As the detectiv e wf1ose n a m e w a s 'Will Star, sw ept the landscape with his glance, his bra in filled with a peculiar ambition. If he should shout to these men that Jes s e J ames was "in their m.ids.t it woul d probably mean the death of the outlaw. But there wa s o ne obj e cti o n to th is proceed i n g Jesse Jam es still held hi s finger upo n the trigger of pistol, and the fir s t cr y from his lips would send him to eternity. He concluded n.ot to sacrifice his life jus t yet, a i: d once more attempted to take up the outlaw' s atten tion. "Do you know who I am, Jesse James?" h e sa i d "Ha! ha! ha! Why shouldn't I know, wh e n you trailed me all over creation? Your name is \ ill Star, and you're from the Pinkerton agency! N o l the first bloodhound those whelps have put on the track o f Jes se either!" The outlaw was gn;>win g excited in his speech. which wa s just what the detectiv e wanted. He h o p e d to get him s o angry that he wo\tld for g et his cauti o n. Above all things he de sired him to for get to lis ten. \,Y e'll catch you yet, Jess! You can t a l w a ys es :ape The man who puts a bullet throug h your heart will be a public benefactor, to s ay noth in g o f securing that ten tho u sand fr o m t he Go vernme n t The words were spoken s oftly, but with tellin g ef fect. The outlaw' s flashed fire and h is face gre w liv id "Male dict ion s upo n them! They s h all nev er catch me! N o man e ver ye t drew a h ea d on J ess e J a m es and I wo uld di e by m y own h a nd r ather than le t any one im p r iso n me!" There was a crac kling i : th;: bu s hes at these l as t words but, a s the detecti v e had h o ped Jes s e di d not he a r it. "Cu r se the wh e lp s h e went on. "They may trail me all th ey want t o I t onl y means one le ss of the dogs e ieiy t i m e they cross m y track He s tood a s h e spoke, an d for a s e cond it looked t o Star as i f he meant to pull the trigger, yet h e re s t rai n e d his d e sire t o warn the othe r s Jes se Drop t h a t weapon!" ordered a v oice a t th a t instant, and a revoiver and cr a ck e d from be hind the bushes A y ell follmYed and the man in ambush came cra s hin g into the tin y clearing. S c m e one h a d knocke d the weapon in his hand so that the bmllet sped by the outlaw' s he a d without t ouchinghim.

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES.-3 The next second anothu form emerged from the bushes. "Quick, Jess! P epper the fellow and ]:>0lt !" said the newcomer in a low voice. "The camp has just found out who we are, and the whole outfit will side with the detectives!" Star did not wait for t his speech to be finished, but made a lea p to shelter. He was too late to escape the outlaw's bullet, how ever, and a flesh wound i n the shoulder made him groan wit h agony. There was just strength enough left in him to. an swer the cries of the men in the tents, and then began a s c ouring of the bushes. L a wrence Davis, the chum and brother detective of S t ar, dragged himself to his feet and went at once to the aid of his companion . "After him, men! The fellow was Jesse James!" cried Star, faintly. "And the other fellow was his brother, Frank!" added Dav is. "Curse them! We've traveled with them two days and didn't know 'em!" "Honors were even, then, I reckon! seein' as how they didn't know you!" chuckled one of the men. A cry from the banks of the Moapa came over the bushes: "Here he is the rascal! He's swimming for his life! Pepper him, boys! Fill his head with bullets the next time it comes to the surface!" D a vis had bandaged his friend's shoulder and led him to one of the tents, then joined the group of men on the bank of the ri v er. "\Vhere is he now, boys?" was his first question, as he scanned the moonlit water. "Hang it! he's dis a ppe ared! He went down when I yelled! I reckon he s either drowned himself or is playin' possum!" "No fear of his drownin' himself! Jess can swim as well under water as ab o ve it! Take care of my chum, bo ys; I'm going after the scoundrel! If T don' t come back notify the Pinkerfor;i agency, at C:hicago." There was a splash in the water, and the brave detective struck out, holding his pistol between his teeth, so as not to wet it. As he swam away, the group on the bank l ,ooked at each o ther in amazement. They had made two startling discoveries in a min ute. ."Jumpin' sandhillsl who'd 'a' thought it?" exclaimed one of them, after a minute "I reckon we've had a narrer escape, boys! Thet thar robber has been in our company fer forty-eight hours, an' we neveri so much as guessed it! Thet's one on us, an' a good one, tool I reckon we'd better go back an' start over ag'in, pardners Ef we ain't tenderfeet, I'll eat my boots!" "There they go! There's Jes.; in ther lead! I thet's his brother behind hi!]l !" yelled an other, as two forms suddenly emerged from the river upon the opposite bank. At that same instant, the detective elevated his head and shoulders above the water. Crack! Crack! The revol ver in his hands spoke twice, and one of the forms on the opposite bank wa$ seen to stagger. The next second Jesse James wheeled around, and the moonlight flashed on his pistol barrel. Crack! A bullet sped along the surface of the water in a straight line for the detective. There was another splash, and the swimmer disappeared. At the same moment the James brothers were lo3t to view in the bushes upon the opposite bank of the nver. The group of prospectors waited until the moon dropped behind a cloud and the face of the water was bathed in shadow. Then they returned to the tents, shaking their heads solemnly. Star turne. d pale when he heard of his companion's fate; then, as a clear, birdlike whistle came over the .... water, his eyes flashed brightly. "Safe! Davis is safe! He must have ducked!

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4 THE JESSE JAMES sroRtES" He's after Jess, no doubt I I wish to Heaven I was with him!" "Snakes and crocodiles l It was Jess all right, pard. bag! Hanged ii ther rascal ain't stole my specie There \YnS a thousand in .nuggets! A million curses on the hellyu:1 !"' yelled some one. "Mine's too! .A couple of thousand in dust! Curse ther tbid r shouted another. "He's cleaned us out, boys! My gold bar is It was wuth. five thousand!" The men looked at each other this time with grim, detern1ined faces. CHAPTER XC. A M u R D E R E R D E E D. From that minute all thought of further prospect ing was forgotten. Ten thousand dollars reward had been offered by the Government for Jesse James, dead or alive, and this, together w ith the the outlaw had jus t stolen, \vas incl!ntive enough.for the miners to follow him. In an hour the tents were down, acd a horse apiece saddled and bridled. The outla;vs were on foot, so the chances were in their favor, but at the very last minute Blink Carson discovered something. There was not a horse in the camp that was in one o' Squire Wigginses' men--" began Bob, whu: a shrill cry reached ''Help! help! murd.er Help!" The cry was prolonged into a wail and there w as a great crashing in the bushes. "It's a woman! Help her, men!" yelled Star, at the top of his lungs. "Great s n a k es! He's right! It's Squire Wiggins' darter!" shouted Blink jerking his weapon from h is belt, "and, by the dancin' devils, it's a.n Injlin The t\v o riders were in pl ai n sight now, although the semi-darkness distorted their figures, and the girl's spirited horse shied 'and thre v v her. "On, Firefly! On, boy Help! Help!" cried the girl again. The next second she gave a little scream of de light, and then ti;iecl desperately to rein in the mustang .that she was titling. "Let Firefl y go, Meg! You kin come back later!" roared Blink darting out into the nanow trail. "I'll stand between you an' thet yaller rattlesnake!" The girl dashe d on, sawing on her mustang' s bridle and finally bringing it to its haunches, but the Indian who was pursuing her had stopped some distance. behind her. "Come on, you varmint! Let me clap an eye on you!" bawled Blink Carson, excitedly, as he stood in the path, shaking his fist at the redskin. "Are you all right, miss?" asked Star, as soon as the girl came back. condition to travel. The young girl was almost breathless, but her fine They had been dosed with that made black eyes snapped fire as she answered: them useless at the very minute when they were needec;l . "Reckon we'd better pitch tents ag'in, Blink! Thar ain't no tellin' when -\ve'll start now!" said Bob Burnside, an ex-cowboy. "Hark! There's some one coming, men! Look out!" yelled Star, suddeQly. "Thet thar's right, stranger, and thar ain't no grass under their feet, !" said Blink, straining his eyes across the bushes. "No sane hoss ever went like thet It mout be ."He started chasing me at the big rock just at the end of the corral, and this is as near as he has been to me any time. I wasn't afraid of h is Firefly, only I don't know the way, and I knew papa would worry! Are you sure, sir, that he is really an Indian?" "Ef paint and feathers make er redskin, he' s one," broke in Blink. "Cuss the skunk! He's gone back without givin' me a chance at him! Thar he is now, on the knoll, er bendin' his head ter listen!" "Keep him there a minute, till Bob gets neilr him' !"

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 6 said Star, quickly; then he inade a. trumpet of hi s hands and yelled at the fellow: "Whoop! Hi, there! Come back! Me treat to firewater! Scalps Heap much wampum!" There was no answer from the fellow who was outlined against the sky, but in a second he raised his head that was ornamented with feathers. "Hark! A signal!" cried Star, as a shrill cry echoed over the hill and valley. There was not a sound, and after a minute the signal was repeated. Then from the o.n the opposite side of the Moapa t\lere came the same note. It \Vas faint and muffied at first but mhnistakably a signal. "There's a mystery in ti1is," whispered Star, as he listened; "I'll bet my boots he is signaling Jesse James!" '(rack! Bang! There was a flash of light on the knoll and the feathered head suddenly dropped to the saddle. Crack! Crack! The first shot was answered and another followed it, then Bob Burnside let out a whoop that would have done credit to a whole band of Indians. "Hi, thar Hurry up, Blink! 'Tain't an Injun. It's a white man!" he yelled. "I'll tell you who it is," said Star, as he reached the "I'll sec ther lady home if she's willin', spo1;:e up Tom vVetheby, the youngest prospector of the lot. Miss vViggins glanced clown shyly from her saddle and blushed very preUily. "I reckon it's safe for me to go hack alone, gentle men," she began, dernurely. "It's only a mile to the ranch, and no doubt pa will be looking for me." "Thet don't make no ter u s, miss," broke in Carson, grandly; "this hyar's a camp of honest me:1, an' I 'low thet one on us is goin' to take yer home!'' In a second Tom was in the saddle, with the young lady behind him, and the mus t ang started bnck through the bn;;hes "Reckon ther squire'll lcncl yer a horse ter come back on, Tom,'' said Blink. "Any time after daylight will do! nec'ry tc1 hurry!'' He winked at Star as he spoke, and the detective smiled pleasantly. Miss Wiggins was saf e with Torn, and that was all he wanted. The men made their vvay back to the clearing ancl took another look at the horses. They vvere doing all right and wonlcl be oil their feet by daylight. Ten minutes l'ater the tents up agam. A sentry was stationed outside and a guard _was left with the horses. Star's shoulder was rebandagerl and he was made. as coi11fortable as pbssible. Then the balance of the camp turned in .for s'ome slumber. An hour later they were aroused by a cry of alarm. Tom \i\Tetherby was on the knoll, making a tnegaspot in the same saddle vith Miss Wiggins. "It's phone of his hands, and the message he shouted at Black Foot, a half-breed, who belongs to the James them drove all sleep from their 'eye l ids. gang! The fellow escaped from the jail at Aurora last week! That settles it, men! Jesse James is not alone in Nevada! He's!!otboth his brother and his i gang with him." "I reckon this feller won't make much more trouble! He's as dead as a pickled coyote! Thet was a good shot, Burnside!" said Blink, coming up. "Now, then, one on us has got ter see this young lady h9me, an' I 'low will be
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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "They've .made a clean sweep of it, curse 'em!" roared Blink, as the cavalcade of rescuers clatterer! down the last hill and saw the flames bursting from the roofs of the ranchhouse and stables. "That lnjun was at the bottom of this! He give The men now scoured around over the ranch, but saw nothing living; then, beginning with the hoof prints nearest to the stables, they tracked them for a little di s tance. "They've taken to the woods yonder, an' I 'low that thar ;;ignal just to iool us, Blink," said Tom, they' re makin' fer Rattlesnake Trail," said one of the \Vho was before them at the gate. "Jess was back men, coming back to report. t across the river and half-way ter ther ranch afore "Then we'll take ther squire's body over the trail the rascal chased the gal! The. t thar answer ter th<;r as fur as ther cliggin's,'' said Blink Carson, promptly. signal was only an echo!" A rush was made toward the burning buildings, but nothing could be done except to see the place burn to ashes. When the fire commenced to die down, Tom led the whole group back to a dugout in the rocks, where Meg Wiggins was weeping over the dead body of her father. "We got hyar jest in time ter drag him out er ther house yonder," he said, grimly. "But ther young lady says thar was some men on the place, and l reckon thar ain't so much left of ther hull bunch as er woman could put in er silver thimble." "Reckon we'd better take the girl over the hills ter ther Pancake Diggin's-there's women folks thar thet will take care of her," said Blink, thoughtfully. Miss Wiggins.raised her head at these words, and her eyes fl.ashed angrily: "No! Oh, no! I don't want to go to the diggins, Mr. Carson!" she said, quickly. "I want to follow up that scoundrel, Jesse Jam es, and bring him to jus tice! I can ride as well as any of you Do please take me with you !" Blink looked puzzled for a minute, and was shaking his head undecidedly, when Star broke in: "Let her come with us, boys We can take care of her all right! When she is sick of her bargain, she can go to ther diggin's !" The girl gave him a grateful look, and then put her hand in Tom W etherby's. "Tom will take care of me," she said, simply. "There's no one else now "You bet I will, little girl!" was the young man's surprising answer. "The gal will want ter see him buried most likely, and, as it is right on our way, we kin do it easy. "We'd orter have two more horses ter do thet,'' said Tom, reflectively. Star and Bob Burnside settled that question by giving yp their horses and deciding to remain in the dugout until Blink sent some one back for them. Before daylight the party set out for the diggings, and Star and Bob took turns in watching the smoking ash heaps from th' e door of the dugout. An hour before daylight Bob, who was on guard, touched Star upon the arm and at the same time he gave a warning whisper. "Sh! Ther James boys have lost something val uable, and have come back to find it. There's three of 'em skulkin' in the shadows .JOnder." Star was on his feet in a second and peering out 0f the door, and just then the three shadows came a lit tle nearer. "It's Jess and Frank and some other robber," he whispered. "I'd know Jess' anywhere!" "Sh! Listen!" Bob pl.lt. his finger to his lips, and just then Jesse James' voice reached them. He was speaking softly, as if he feared an enemy might be lurking near him "Hold on, Frank! Don't go too near that rock yonder!. There's a dugout over there, and some of the whelps may be in it!" "I don't think so Jess! We killed every man on the premises, and the garig we overhauled in the woods yonder numbered. eighteen, not countirfg the girl or the stiff on the litter."

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. i I THE JESSE Jl\MES STORIESo 7 '.'There should be twenty, not counting sleuths," was Jesse Jam es' ans wer. The cowboy gritted his teeth and clulche d h i s weapon more firmly. "If 'twarn' t fer your shoulder n ow, I'd sa y pepper 'em an' take the chances, he growled savage iy "'vV e've got to d o it, anyway! The dev i ls are comin<; this way!" said Star, quickly. "Quick, B ob! Help me load my weapon! There' s an empty chamber, and my fin gers arc s tiff! Now, Jes se Jam e s Come on, you fiend! If I don' t put a bul!et through your heart, it 'll be because m y skill fails IT. e !" He dropped to one knee as he s p oke and Boh, after loading the empty chamber, took his place be sid.e him. In a s econd more the shado w o f one of the outlaws fell acros s the dugout. Crack! B a n g Thud! CHAPTER X C L A THRILLIN G ENCOU"'TER. A fla s h o f lig h t fr o m the clugon t doo: blin de d fellow and before he c o u ld wheel a bout t wo bullets struck him squa r e l y in t h e temple. The r e w a s a s n ort from hi s m o un t, a n d the anim.1 1 darted a he;id leav in g it s ri der stone
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8 THE JESSE JAMES, of gold that one of the men said was worth fiv e thousand dollars. "I reckon 'tain't wuth so much as that," said Bob, "hefting" it in his hand; "but it's vallyble enough fer Jess ter be mad about losin' it! I 'low Jim Syk e s will be allfired tickled ter know yer've found it!" They started on again, and had just struck into the trail, when the horse g a ve a snort o f fear and shied out into the bu s hes The m orning was a gray one, and there was a k1ze on the bushes, but in a second Star was on .the ground again making a careful in vestigation. :t'arting a thick growth of chap a rral he saw a man lying full length upon the ground, and not ten feet away was the dead body of a mustang. It was the carca s s of the horse tha t his own m o u n t had shied at, but Star busied himself with nothing just then but the body. "After he had got my stuff ne rode off backward, promising to put a bullet into me if I moved a muscle. "He was one of the James gang, and you're a lucky boy," laughed Star. "\Ve're expecting every minut e to come upon the hoclies of our com_ panions." I w a s lucky until my horse fell and broke its leg, and I had to shoot it," said Denny. Then he sud denly .turned to Star, with a curious expression. "Don' t give me away to the boys old man, and I 'll tell you a secret, he said gayly. "I've met my fate since I came to Nevada! I've fallen in love with Miss Margaret 'Wiggins!" Star caught his breath at this startling information and w a s about to reply, when something happened. Tv v o horsemen had appeared before them so s ud denly that it se emed as they had come up Turning it over, so he could see the face, he gav e through the ground, and the two detecti v es and Bob a shout of joy. were staring straight into the mu z zles of three busi-The man was asleep, not dea:d, he had first sup posed. The next second he had re c ognized the fellow as a brother detective. "Thu'nder and lightning! If it ain t Roy Denny!" he cried slapping the fellow s shoulder smartly. With a bound, the detective was on his feet, and had drawn his we a pon. Star had to talk fast to ke ep his slightly dazed friend from blowing a window :n him. Greetings were exchanged, and then Denny told his story. He had been sent to N eva&a to look for Meltoa Sharp, the lone highwayman, and had been held up the night before by a masked road agent, who robbed him of his watch, money and papers, but left him his pistol. ne s slike-iooking shooting -irons. "It' s Jess, curs e him! He' s got us dead to rights this time!" muttered Star, under his breat h "Throw up your hands, afJ. three of you!" inte; rupted Jesse Jam es. He sat erect in his sa d dle, and there was a scornful leer on his face as he spoke, and even in the face of thi s dange r Star notic e d that he had discarded the flamin g goatee and mustache. "Reckon you d on't know me very well if you think I'd leave that gold bar behind me!" went on the outlaw as no one answered him. "'vV e were looking for you, Jess! Unfortunately you appeared when we least expected you, though, and, as usual you have us at 'your m e rcy. If it's the gold bar you want, you can 11ave it, and welcom::-, provided you answer two or three questions sati s fac"He must have been a novice, said Star, pulling toril y the badge out of his pocket. "I killed the fellow at "Confus ion! Listen to the man!" roared Jesse daylight, if I'm not i:nistaken !" Denny grabbed the bad g e and kis s ed it for luck Then he and Star walked ahead beside the horse. "The fell ow was alone, but I judg ed he had an appointment, bv his manner," went on Denny. James, furiously. "He' s bargaining with me when I've got a b ea d on his heart! By the eternal,! Such gall ought t? be rewarded, so curs ed if I atn't going to he a r your que stions!" I thought y ou would." said Star, coolly, as

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo looked the outlaw in the eye. "N O\V, first, dii you meet Blink Carson with Squire Wiggins' body on their way to the diggin's ?" Jesse Jam es stared a minute, and then burst out laughing. Frank James rode up to the cowboy, with his weapon lev eled, and relieved him promptly of his belt and pistols. "Now, go!" ordered Jess, and t h e fellow made off, while Frank James drew a bea
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to THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. were once more aime
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THE JAMES STORIES. 11 they made their way through a thick wood, at befo're the door of a ramshackle old frame building. Three sharp raps upon the rotten door madt> la t ch fly open and the two outlaws stood face tr- (ace with a curi ous-looking creature. This creature was an old man, who d w elt in the m ounta ins, and whose real identit y w a s unknown e ven to his closest acquaintances "Jerry the Toad," as i1e wa s called, wa s a hideous specimen of the human family. He was cruel and vicious, both in appearance and nature. Jess e James gave him a quick look, and then made a low remark, which the old fellow did not hear, c>s he was as deaf as a doorpost. "Jerry's been drinking, Frank! Keep your wits about you! If he were to guess who we w ere, there'd be trouble, I'm thinking." "I'll be careful," was the reply, and Frank stepped behin@ his b.rother. "\Vho comes here?" asked the old fellow, as he blocked up the doorway with his bulky figure, which, with its short legs and big head, had given him his nickname. Jesse James made a trumpet of his h a nds and fairly bellowed in the fellow s ear. "Your friends, Jerry. 'vVe're from S outhern Cali fornia! Reckon you ain't forgot the Carter cousins, have you?" The old fellow's eyes blinked arid he let go of the door, so as to rub his hands together. "We heard you lived here, Jerry, and we ve jest dropped in Reckon, n ow, w e ain t intrudin' on the solitude of th er Nebraska Hermit, be we?" "Jerry, the Toad," let his eyes roll from one to the other and then showed a pair of yellow fangs in his effort to appear good-natured. "The Carter cousin 's, be ye? W aal Waal I reckon ye be! Leave yer guns outside, if ye please, pardners That. thar will tell me more' n yer cio us if we don't!" muttered Jesse Jam es, as he I promptly pulled his revolvers from his belt and i:u ck e d them under the rotten doorstep. Frank did the same and then the two outlaws en tered. They were hardly over the threshold when Jerry cl os ed t he door behind them. This sudden exclusion of the light made the ou la ws bli n k b ehi n d their goggles, and the min ute a heavy ha,ncl was iaid upon Jesse James' sh o ulder. So you are Bill Carter, are yer, and this hyar is yer cou s in! Glad ter see yer. gents I This hyar's er surpri se, but it's one ter my likin' I I'm Sheriff Billk i ns of t his hyar county, a11' I'm on the lookout fo: s call y wags! A roar of laug11ter followed, and then some one !it a pine knot, and the outlaws saw four grim-looking men, with their backs against the wall, and each holding a businesslike-looking revolver. "What the devil's ihe meaning of this?" asked the outlaw, not losing his nerve for a minute. "We're the Carter cou s ins all right, but we wasn't looking fer treachery from one of the Sunset Gang, pardner !" "Reckon now yer wasn't!" chuckled "Jerry, the Toad," with another exhibition of his fangs. "I wouldn t hev asked yer in if them shootin' -irons hadn't been behind me! Ther sheriff hyar give me ther order, an' I hed ter do it, pardner !" "You' re a cur and a knave!" exclaimed Jesse James, forgetting his clanger. "Shet up! \N ords don't do no good in this hyar kind of emergency, Bill Carter!" said the sheriff, brusquely. "I 'lowed if thar was er hoss thief in ther county, he was likely ter drop in at Jerry's, so hyar I be strangers, an' you're the first birds I've bag ged Th er Carter cousins! By thunder. boys! Next ter ther J aples' gang, I 'low these air the preciousest lot of rascals that ever come ter N ebrasky !" The sheriff was so pleased with his cleverness that tongues, I reckon!" he could not stop chuckling for several minutes "We've got to do it 'The olcl fellow 'll get suspi"You're a little over-anxious, sheriff," remarked

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES Jesse James. as he threw bimself into a chair, though he was perfe ctly indifferent to the four sharp shooters. "We was boss thieves once, but thet thar ain't say in' we be now, ; md, besides what done in Cali forny ain't none of your concern." "Thet thar' d be all right, Bill Carter, ef it warn't fer circumstantial evidence," chuckled the sheriff, eheerfully. "I reckon when thar's been nineteen thoroughbreds stole in this hyar county in fortyeight hours, it's my bounded duty ter nab er hoss thief wharever I kin find him, an' hot wait till I see 'em steal the critte"rs The sheriff was ailuding to the horses stolen at the time that Squire vV-ie-giris' ranch was burned. "Thet. thar's gooc.1 arguin' sheriff! growled one of the marksmen, promptly. "Thar's hoss thieves wanted, an' I reckon ye' \ r e got"' eri1 !" "Two at a batch is a good haul, sheriff! .Th et thar orter give yer er long step in ther perlitical direc tion," remarked 'one of the others. ."You ain't got us yet, curse you!" ejaculated Jesse James, suddenly "'vVe aia' t done nothin' in this hya r COt;ntf and we kill prove it! Ther men thet don't know a squat" game when they see it hed better not trifle with ther Carter cousins! This hyar county will be minus a sheriff in about ten minutes, accordin' ter my calculations! Open ther door thar, Jerry! Yer ther boss o' th_is hyar ranch! Ef any one pulls er trigger I 'low he'll do it ter his sorrow!" i He rose as he spoke and &tarted toward the door, and 'just for a second ev .en the sheriff looked aston ished. "Open the door, you sqmit-heacled !" roared Jesse Jam es again. "Jerry, the Toad," had been leaning against the door with his eyes fixed upon the sheriff, and at the words he rolled his beady eyes slo ; vly toward the speaker. Click! The sheriff's hand had dropped l o his belt and a weapon was cocked. "Move a muscle an' I'll blow daylight through you he bellowed. Jerry had started o straighten his squatty form, but he dropped back promptly and that second some one put his shoulder against the door on the outside and sent it crashing into the room: "Halt! \Vho comes hyar roared the sheriff, ,t the top of his lungs. "Blaze away, boys! It's more hoss thieves! Pep per the devils!" yelled one of the marksmen. Three mcf1 had stepped over the thrt;sho_lcl before the door was fairly down, and in less than a seconJ Jesse James was grapplin6 with the first one. Crack wel).t a revolver, and there was a howl of pain, then the sheriff promptly came to his senses. "Hold on, men! Put up your weapons! Thar's er mistake here!" he bawled. "Thet thar's Blink Carson, ez honest er man as thar is in this hyar sec tion! "Then wade inter the Carter cousins, sheriff, fer they're killin ther feller," said one of the men, as he aimed a blow at Frank James that sent him spinning into a corner. The sheriff took the hint and a free fight followed, "Jerry, the Toad," siding with the two outlaws and fighting like a demon. Jesse James felled Blink Carson to the floor and then beat off the second man, who was fighting under great disadvantage, there being a bullet wound m his shoulder which started bleeding profusely. In the very he ight of the scrimmage the out law found himself close to the door, and, making a leap over the rotten steps, he st9oped for his pistol. Four weapons were aimed at his Head before he had succeeded in reaching them, and the sheriff s men, who had succeeded in knocking J crry out, lined up before him in a businesslike manner. "Reckon we'll keep this hyar game in our own hands, Bill Carter!" said one of them, sternly. "Thct thar cousin of yours has given up ther fight an' we' ll jest take the two of ye erlong with us, ef yer ain't no objections!"

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T!-IE JESSE JAMES 13 Jess e James ground his teeth in r3ge for h e s:.t the G overnment's ten thou sand ''Arn! got our c ertificates, in the shape af bnll::'.t holes, be sides." said Will S t ar, g ravely. "That w:1s a [;Oo d disguise J css w o re. Say, I wonder if the y have recognized him or take him for some other outlaw!". 1 The three looked at each othe: s.nd .there was a I moment of siience. then they cr\'pt our into the trail, Davis holding an arm of e;>.ch, a::d be.ga n their slow journey down the hill to the Diggin gs. Davis had trailed Jesse Tames across the river, but him on the opposite. \ Vhen he found the trail again it led him to the squire's demolished ranch and along the Rattlesnake Trail, until he found his injured \.'t)m:ades . They reached jail ten .after Jesse James had been ied into it. -Before they mounted the hill to the jail they heard some news of Miss \i\iiggins. She and Tom 'vVeth erby had left the Diggings an hour before on the backs of powerful horses. Tom had decided to go back to the and had taken his promised wife with him. It was a hard blow to Denny, but the hope of see ing the end of Jess e James offered some cornpens'.l tions. CHAPTER XCIII. BEHIND PRISON BARS. Jesse James had relapsed into silence during the last of the It was the most desperate position he had ever been placed in, yet the nervy outlaw' kept his wits about him.

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14 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. So long as the sheriff took them for the Carter cousins they h a d a: chance for their lives. The outlaw's aim was to get rid of Blink Carson, if possible. Once inside of the jail building, the sheriff allowed his pri soners to s e a t themselves on a wooden bench, but four m e n were r anged a l ong the wall with their weapons in their h a nds, just they same as they had been a t J err.Y's be g an a search ior. a judge and jury to try the men. This wa s not u s ually considered necessary, but :is there was no crime char g ed directly to the prisoners, the s heriff deci d e d that it would be in keeping with the law and order. "' I now you fellers hed better visit the saw bones at ther Diggin's," this official remarked to Dlink after he had placed his guard in position. "The warden of this hyar cage will be responsible fer the prisoners a i1' I'll go myself an' look up Judge New bery !" Blink Carson looked uneasy at this step in the proceedings, but it was not time yet to betray the secret, so he only shook his head soberly. "I 'low we'd better hang around till you git ther judge!" he answered. "Thar's them that won't think there was too many fer four men ter guard, an' the gang from the Diggin' s will be up 'fore long, I reckon!" "Thar they be now!" said the sheriff, starting for the door. "vV e demand your protection, Sheriff Billkins !" said Jesse Jam es, quickly. "See to it, you hound, thet we ain't done no injury!" '.'I reckon it's only curiosity thet's bringin' 'em!" said the sheriff a li t tle anxiously; "tho' I h ear some threats o' lynchin' I'll just step outside an' quiet 'em a little !" He gave another look at his prisoners and the n stepped out of the jail, closing the heavy iron door behind him. This left Blink Carson and his two friends and the sheriff's four men guarding the new prisoners, while Sam Garland, the jail warden, sat on a stool by a grated d oor, through which a h a lf-dozen bruta!looking crimin a l s were pe e rin g It was a tryin g minut e for Blink, with his important secret o n his tong u e s e nd, and his two compan ion s shared hi s nervous n e ss. Outs ide t he y c ould all hear the roar of ang r y voices, threa tenin g v iolence to the .pri s oners, and they knew as they listened t h a t the crowd was momentarily incre as ing. The men from the settlement below were surrounding the jail, a hundred strong, and the sher iff would liave to be an eloquent man, indeed, if he succeeded in calming their excitement. Even Jesse Jam es 100)-:ed excited when a voice sud d enly rose above the crowd, and five, at least in side the jail, recognized it a s belonging to Will the detective The two outlaws stared at each other through their stained goggles and then Jesse Jam es let his glance wander to the grated door. As he did so he gave a start and then controlled himself quickly Behind the gratings he had caught a glimpse of a member of his own and the two almost in stantly exchanged a signal. Another roar from the crowd made even the warden turn pale and then cry after cry from hoarse throats penetrated the heavy walls of the jail. "Let us at him, sheriff; he's a murderer, curse him !" "Fire the jail if you can't get him any other way, boys!" Once more the roar of voices made those inside rise to their feet and turn involuntarily tov, rard the sheet of iron which was between them and the howling mob of miners. There was a rush for the door and the sheriff was overpowered. A key grated in the rusty lock, and Blink Carson joined the warden in giving an order. "Fire on them, men! We must protect our pris oners!" he roared. The weapons of the entire number were turnerl

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THE JESSE JJ\MES STO RIES. f 5 upon the door and at that second the_ grating l ea ding to the pen slid open and the murderous cre w b ehind sprang like cats upon the backs of_ t he m e n w ho were protecting them. "Qui ck\ Dowri. them with a blow and seize their weapons ordered Jes se James, in a low voice. Thud Thud Biff B a n g Thud The blows w e re rained thick and fast and the men wel1t d ow n leav in g the gan g of rascals in full pos s es s i on. \\Then the do o r fina lly gave way there was a yell o f horror, and a dozen members of the mob fell back, mortall y wounded. "Keep it up! Straight a head, boys!'' roared Jes!'.e J as he emptied ever y chamber of his o w n good \:Vea pons which he had jerked from the hands u f Blink Carson and his companions. By the ti m e :i. score of their number had fallen before their fire the miners drew back. They had be e n put to rout b y the recepti o n that had awaited them. At the very first onslau ght the three d etecti v e s had gained a place of safety. They had done what they could to avert t he thi ng, but were too weak and sore to take part in the fig ht. It was fully three minutes before a n"an instd e of the jail recavered from the terrific blo w s tha t the outlaws had given them and w a s able to stagger t(' the .door to see wi1at was happening. By that time the cutthroat crew, with Jess e Jam cs at its head, had driven the miners some di stance frorn the door and were raining bullets into them a s they fled, panic-stricken, to shelter. Not a third had b etm armed, for .they had come from their work in the mines with the full intention of hanging the outlaws so the ruffians were having it all their own way, and Blink and his friends were absolutely powerless The three detectives crouched behind the bush.:s and waited silently; then, as Jess leaped_ into the sa
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16 THE JESSE JAMES STORI ES. condition, ana it was aecided that the three should remain at the Diggings until they heard from the posse. "They've decided to keep Frank James tied to a tree in the jail yard, all night," Davis informed his companions. "He's to be inspected by every man and woman in the Diggings for twenty-four hours and then pep pered witn bullets to-morrO\v nigh t at sundown." "I reckon now thar'll be some good work done on his carcass, if the men haYe their way ," said the saw bones of the D i ggii1 gs. ''Peci < \Vilson is er gain' ter tattoo hi s n a me on ther rascaliS ch e st, an' ther jedge him s eii i s g oin ter put on ther fir!ii;h i n' touches!" The d a y pa ss ed quietly at the Diggings, but it was . an ommous quiet. There \Vas no work d ,one in the mine, but every m a n was lrnsv. ancl, two hours before sunset, the . p o s s e returned in low s pirits. As they drew up before the sh<;riff's offic e in the main theroughfare of the Diggings, groups of sternfacecl men came from all directions. Many of them wore bandages, and they were all armed to the teeth. They were thinking of the comrades who had been killed by outlaw bullets, and who were lying in the various shanties waiting for burial on the morrow. "I reckon Jess has made er break fer ther Com. stock, pardners," 1said the leader of the posse, grimly. "vVe trailed ther rascal ter ther Rainbow Rav;ine aa' then ther tracks was uncertain. Thar's some thet thinks he came back over ther same but I 'low he's gone on ter do more damage. Thar's er' chance ier him ter steal somethin' 'round erbout the Comstock!" "I 'low he come back ther same way he went," said another of the posse. "Which would mean that he intends to rescue his brother," said Star, promptly. "That's just like Jess! He'd risk anything, that fellow! I want you to keep a strict watch for the rascal!" a n d he had several times seen Jesse Jam es accom plish wonders. "I reckon we'd better be movin', sheriff! Thar' s some one signalin' up yonder," spoke up the miner who was to do the tattooing. Star glanced up the bluff to the jail building, and saw a man waving a red flag and making frantic ges tures. "Quick I Get up there, men! There's something wrong!" he said, sharply. "Thar can't be!" growled the sheriff. "I calkulate I fixed thet' thar guard myself! Thar's only nme prisoners, an' thar's nine men on duty!" ,;Neve r theless there's something wrong!" said Denny, promptly. "Lend us some horses, sheriff, and we'll go up and see what it is. You fellows ca:1 wait till sunset if you want to!" The miners were nearly -all mounted, and the re quest was promptly granted, three of the men drop ping from their saddles and edging across the street to a rum shop on the corner. "Yer can wave two flags ef thar's anything wrong," yelled the sheriff after them. "I reckon thet tluir chap up yonder is jest celebratin' a leetle !" The 9etectives were well up the hill long before his remarks were ended, and the majority of the natives disappeared into the various shanties. Not one of them had placed any importance upoa the waving of the flag, although, since the jail was built, this had been a sign of trouble. The extra guard around the jail was the excuse for this se curity but, in spite of their carelessness supper the Diggings was a little hurried that evening. The detectives we1-e nearly at the t9p oi the hill when a shout from the bluff made them rein tp sharpl y "Hi, thar v Vhat's th e r matter down yonder? Help! v V e want help! Ther devil's ter pay up hyar b e llowed some one, in great e x citement. Star wheeled hi s horse sharply, and, with a word of e xplanation, started b a ck d own the hill to arous e Star knew the outlaw better than the se m e n did. the m i ners

PAGE 18

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 17 "It's Jess, no doubt!" he called back, over !iis guards from the prison ers, for the bomb had killed shoulder. "Look out for him, boys!" an equal number of each. A stidden flash of light on the bluff was accomBesides the dead there w e re th re e injm.-ed miners, panied by a roar like thunder, and the man who had who were promptly placed on the hors es and trans-. been waving the flag on the brink of a twenty-foot precipice a second before came hurtling do.wn the steep bank with a pa r t of the iron door of the jail after him. "They've blown up the jail! Ride for it, Star!'' yelled Denny, as he urged his horse upward. Flash! Roar! Bang! Another explo s ion followed the first one promptly and by this time every man in the Diggiugs was in his saddle, staring up at the smoke and flame abov e them. The two detectives had almost gained the top of the hill when they were met b y a cloud of &moke that blinded their horse5, and they were obliged to wheel about and hug the side of the path to windward of the stifling volume. At that second a form was clearly outlined upon the bluff, and this was promptly joined by and another. Instantly a shout went upfrom the miners below. "It's the outlaw, Jesse Tames! Curses on him! He's blown up the jail and rescued his brother!" CHAPTER XCIV. THE OUTLAW'S UOLD PLAN. There was no follmxing the nervy outlaw, and the miners knew it. By climbing the steps behind the jail he could soon lose himself completely in the forests. The two detectives were nearer, but their path was obstructed by the ruins of the jail. Two after the last explosion the smoke had lifted sufficiently for them to view the destruction, but by that time there was no sign of either Jesse or his brother. When the natives came galloping up the hill they found Denny busily engaged separating the dead ported to their shanties Blink Carson was for goin g o n at once after the outlaws, but he was talked out of the idea, and a night was spent in planning. Meanwhile, Jesse James and hi s brother Frank, in company with "Jerry, the Toad," had made their way to the Rainbow Ravine, and were hiding in a dense growth of mesquite, expectin g to be pursued by the miners. .. 1 "The rascals vvill follow us now and with sharp kni v es," chuckled the outiaw. "They're a thick skulled lot, but I reckon I've roused 'em! Too bad we lost so many of the boys, but a dynamite bomb is confoundedly uncertain. You can never figure exactly what the damage will be, but I reckon, n0\1" that the jail will need rebuilding!" ''Ther warn't stic,k nor stone left, pardner," an swered "Jerry, the Toad," who had long since discov ered the identity of the outlaw. "What's the lay, Jess?" asked Frank James, who felt :very grateful toward his brother. "Is there anything worth stealing here at the Rainbow?" Jesse Jam es put his ear to the ground and listened for a minute before he replied. He wished to sa t i sfy himself that the enemy was not approaching. HI wouldn't have come this way if there wasn't something in sight," he answered, crustily. "Keep your eye peeled, Jerry while I'm doing the talking. 'vVe' cl be in bad shape to fight if these curs should drop down on us too sudden." m drew the revolvers from his belt as he spoke, and-examined them carefully; then, as Frank edged a little ne arer to him, he outlined their next ad v entur. e. An hour later, J e rry and Frank were asleep, and the o u t la w was keep ing gua rd. At just midnight he aroused the two, and they all

PAGE 19

18 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. crept out of the bushes into the zigzag path that le
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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 19 Frank James had mounted the bowlder and looked down now excitedly. "Hurry, Jess! They're almost up to us. If you're going to throw the thing, now's the time!" "Quick! Give it to me, you fool! Do you want me to lose this chance?" hissed Jesse Jam es, in the fellow's ear. The crazy man came to his senses suddenly, and, another instant, both fists were doubled up threat-eningly. "I gave you one; you can;t have another! How the devil will I get thcr stuff if you take all ther cart ridges?" Jesse James did not wait to reply, but landed a blow squarely under madman's ear, knocking him down and out in the space of a second. "Now, you idiot, you'll know better next time!" he growled, as he dove into the fellow's pockets. "Hurry, Jess!" said Frank James, again. "Toss the thing ov 'er the rock yonder! \Vait, here' s a m drop through sheer weariness. Another fire was made and some game roasted; the n the outlaws took turns in guarding their camp until daylight. After breakfast the tramp \Vas resumed, Jesse James consulting the sun frequently, and twice during the day the sheriff's posse was sighted. "The hounds have got the scent! They mean to drive us to cover," growled the ouHaw, as he watched the group of riders on a distant hill. They were riding leisurely and looking carefully . over the surrounding country. "They'll wear us out, Jess! 'Ne can't keep up this tramp forever!" said Frank, at last. "Suppose we strike for the Big Walker and make tracks for a railroad, or else get over the border into California?" The outlaw shook his head, and then made a startling announcement. "I'm going to try the loon's plan and visit the "Reckon they'll lay it all to him, and it will serve Comstock," he said, doggedly. "There's millions

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20 THE JESSE JAMES there, and it's the last place on 'earth we'd be expected to visit." "It's a fool's errand, Jess t The Comstock is too well guarded," said his brother, earnestly. "Besides, there'll be nothing left of us after a few days mo1'.e of tramping." "That's where I'm going! Y'Ou can cut loose, if you want to," was the outlaw's answer. "If we only had horses," began Frank, again. "We'll have 'em soon Get out your lariats aml come over behind the mesquite yonder!" "Wild horses, by th er stars I" said Jerry: "There's fun ahead, I reckon, pardners !" The three crept cautiously through the bushes and, in less five minutes, they s aw that Jesse w as right in his conjecture. A half-a-dozen wild mares were grazing on the slope ahead, and, by keeping out of sight in .the bushes, they succeeded in getting near enoug h to swing the lassoo, all three selecting a beast, a s they knew there woti ld be but one chance at the creatures. Swish! went .. the ropes, and the noose of each dropped cleverly over the head for which it was intended. Then, as the others galloped away, snorting with fear, the outlaws braced thems elves and. drew the lariats tighter. After being jerked over the ground for some dis tance, they succeed e d in throwing the frightened bea sts and then began the s tn1ggle for supremacy. The noble anin:als re ared a N l plunged, bit am! kicked, but they we re subdued at l as t to some of tractability. Hours were spent in tra ining the pretty creatures ; then, using their l ariats for bridl es the outlav v s were able to guide them over the mountains This made the long journe y to the Coms t o ck Lode much ri1ore easily accompli s hed, but a new danger awaited the robbers in every county. The news of their pres ence in Esmeralda C ounty was demonstrated when tl 1 e sheriff of that coun ty, followed by a gang cif nineteen men passe d within a hundred yards of where they lay in the bu s hes . "The whole country is af tct us, the kck !" growled Jesse. Jam es. \ V c 'v e ,got t h os e sle1c t hounds to thank for that! T hey int end to heac! u s How the deuce have the whelps bee n abl e t o track us? "I reckon the posse from the Dig-g i n s hav e g i \ e n up the chase," Frcrnk s answer. T h e y' d h11rdl v attempt to follow us on a n y jaunt like this the sheriff has n o ri ght to. c o me o ve r the bor der." '"vVe' v e got to keep m ov ing," wa s the b andit kin g0 ans wer, and once more the trio started on over t h e m ountains and prairies, huggin g the C a liforni a State line a s clo s e l y as p o s s ible for excellent reaso n s A last detour to dodge the railroad brought them in s i ght of Virginia Cit y, and fiv e mile s before the mining camp in the mounta ins was r e ached they had discovered signs of the mine owner' s vigilance Mo un t ed m e n could be seen here and there, but the eagle e y e of the outla w di s co vered them in time, and a wi ld detour o f a h ill always shield e d them from ob ser v ation. \ Vhen the roofs of the reductio n w orks finall y c a me in v iew Jess e James c alle d a halt and waited a little. The Comstoc k Mine was growing rapidly, and e very man in tha t s e cti o n kne w the necessity for . \ caution, for N evada h a d already become a good pas-ture-ground for b a ndits. The meta l s w e re kept under a guard that wJ.s doubled at ni ght, and not infrequently transportation to the railroads w as made under the protectio n of United Sta te s soldiers who were stationed ; t near b y re se rvati o ns. Tha t J ess e James s h o uld ima g ine him s elf capable of stealing s o much a s an ounce of thi s precious m etal se emed the acme of conc eit yet Frank knew him so well tha t h e felt sure he w o uld undertake it. And, as soon as it was dark enough to begin operations, Jesse James gave evidence of putting his pl a n into action. The n e w clangers that confronted him made him forget the old ones completely, so the various

PAGE 22

THE JESSE JAMES STOKiL;'.). 21. sheriffs and detectives were put out of his consid eration. His plan was to surround the reduction works at the mine:, and make way \.vlth some of the bags of gold dust before they were taken to safer quarters. To do this he needed additional forces, so hi s first move was to find some rascab among the who would play tile traitor for a money considera tion. Once more a slight change was made in their co.; tumes, then the three rascals separated, and eaci1 approached the settlement from a different path, after agreeing to meet" at a certain pbce later. The night was dark and they evadec: the easily and were soon mingling with a rottgn crowd in one of the largest buildings in the village. This place was a sort of eating-house with a saloon attachment, and, as strangers frequently stopped there when they had business at the Comstock, there was nothing particular thought of their appearance. Men in rough clothing and wearing hair of a year's growth .were throwing dice at the tables, and every one had a bottle before him containing some sort of liquor. As Jesse J arnes sauntered into the place by one door, Frank; and Jerry entered by another, and Frank made a hasty signal to his brother. In. an instant the clever outlaw glanced sharply at the crowd. There were three men seated at one of the tabl es making a bluff at eating, and, in spite of their clever disguises, Jesse Jam es recognized the three detectives. How many more of the men from the Diggings were in the room he could not tell, for the place was thick with the fumes of bad tobacco. "Keep your eye peeled for the sheriff. I'll look after the sleuths," he mu'ttered, under i1is breath,
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22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. . { with his brother, _fosse James ordered a keg to be opened. "Hanged if the dscal ain't fooled the whole push!" muttered Denny, under his breath. "It's a good one on the sheriffs of this blooming county, but it's rough on us, for there's trouble coming!" "Billkins will know Too bad he ain't here," answered Star, as Jesse James himself rose and set three glasses on their table. "Reckon, now, you'll drink, won't you?" asked the outlaw, with a steely look in his eyes. "Anything ter be agreeable," answered Star, promptly, and, after a keen look at the three the outlaw backed away and seated himself once more in his originf.l position. Five minutes later the scene was one of revelry. Men roared obscene jokes and cursed like pirates. Even Blink Carson, the one man whom the detectives relied on; was in an opposite corner of the room, singillg a maudlin love song. "He's paralyzed!" muttered Star; as Blink's head finally dropped on the table. "So's the Storey sheriff and his brother ofiicial from Esmeralda. They're a healthy lot to be on the track of Jesse James I He'll have the whole lot of 'em under the tables in ten minutes." "I reckon you three chaps air stra11gers in thi s hyar section., same as yours tn'ily," remarked Jesse James, during a lull in the uproar. He had his keen eyes upon Star, so the detective answered promptly: "I i:eckon we be, stranger." A dozen of the drinkers turned and looked at the detectives, and, as Jesse James asked another ques tion, there were wise glances exchanged. "What's yer bizness hyar, ef yer'll allow ther question?" Star did not hesitate a second, but answe;ed, distinctly: "Ther jail in Lincoln County was blowed up a while ago, an' we're hyar helpin' ther sheriff ter bag ther culprit!" "Snakes! Thet thar's ther extr'ordin'ryest'.state... ment I reckon we ever heerd, parclners," remarked one of the men, dryly. "vVhat right hez ther of Lincoln County ter be huntin' jailbirds in Es . meralda? I move th et we find thet thar impudent official, an' chase him back he b'longs I 'lo1v we kin take keer of all ther scamps as come tcrther Comstock!" Star. gave the speaker a sha;p glance and unJc:stood his words :nstantly. The fellow was one of the sharpshooters, wh ose duty it was to guard '. he chests and bags of precious metal. "Yer'H feel diff'rent, pardner, when -I tell yer who 'twas thet blew up ther jail," said Star, curtly. "Let it out, then, an' be quick erbout it!" roared the guard, with a move toward the revolver in his belt. Star let his gaze rest upon the outlaw's face, as he replied: "Th er el. low was Jess e Jam es! Vv e had his brother, Frank, bagged, an' Jess blew up the jail. He has killed er half-a-dozen of ther best men thtt ever set foot in ther Diggin's, ter say nothin' of old Squire Wiggins, way back on tJ-;.er Maopa !" There was an ominous silence after this news had been heard, and nearly every man in the room put a hand on a weapon. "'We've tracked .ther rascal ter ther Comstock," went on Star, coolly "An' ther sheriff is outside givin' ther proper warnin's. Jesse James is somewheres in these hyar diggin's, an' he's fair game fer ennybody, so ther sheriff of Lincoln County has good a right ter chase him as any one, I reckon!" "Yer right, thar, stranger," said the man, raising a rifle from the floor, and giving an eagle glance along the glittering barrel. At that minute two men stepped behind the out law's chair, and Jesse James gave a quick look over his shoulder. In a second the three detectives had weapons in their but the burly form of the last speake1moved between them and their quarry. The two men who had stepped behind Jesse were

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo 23 erry and his brother. There was nothing behind them but a rude bar filled with glasses. This was exactly as good as having his back against the wall and a smile of satisfaction played over the outlaw's features. It was a thrilling situation, and the. three detect ives paled as they realized it. A swerve of the sharpshooter' s body would precipitate trouble, and the victory would lie .with the man quickest qt the trigger. Star half rose from the table, and the click of two weupons followed. Then Fr,ank. James took deliberate aim in Star's di : r\!ction. "I reckon yer' d better remain seated, stranger! Thar ain't no use in gettin' excited!" he said, coolly. Star sank back in his chair ancl the I laid down his rifle. As h i s body bent a little there was a sharp report f from two pistols. Davis and Denny had fired together, but, I tunately, both had aimed at the same man. unfor1 "Jerry, the Toad, was the victim. Jesse Jam es was on his feet in a second, roaring at the guard to stand aside, and, in less than a seconf finding the outlaw, for he had seen him fall; but Jes.:;e James had vanished, and so had his brother. "Cut fer ther stores, boys!" yelled one of the guards, as soon as they were outside. "Ther scoundrel may be there by this time, stealing ther gold!" A break for the building where the bullion was stored was made at once, and this reduced the num ber before the eating-house to about a dozen. In the group were the three much the worse for wear; Blink Carson, as as a clock; two other chaps from the Diggings ahrl the three detectives. "Th er cuss can;t escape! Lo.ok thar !'' yelled Blink. Lights we1e flashing all over the camp, and a score of horses had been saddled, while stern, deten1'1inc t l voices were roaring orders. "Ther manag-er and everybody else is after ther scamp, I reckon! Thar goes afl extry guard, an'

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24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. look ai: thet wom::m VIThat ther deuce is she up said the cowboy, briefly. "I reckon, now, bein' as to?" how you air a detective, yer place is outside, pa rdA woman's figure could be seen in the light of a lantern swinging from a post, and the next second a sweet voice rang out like a bugle: "Quick, men! He's in the tramway! I saw him myself! Hurry and guard the other end cf the Sutro tunnel!" "It's Miss Wiggins, by ginger!" yelled Denny, :who had recognized her voice, and the next minute he sprang toward her, calling, "Margaret! Mar-garet!" "I reckon thet tl::ar is lookin' fer trouble," remarked some one, in a cold voice, and Tom Wetherby suddenly appea red at the shoulder of one of the sheriffs. "Thet will keep Tom If ye know ther way to thet tunnel, take us thar," said Sheriff Billkins, shrilly. "Come on, t.he11," s aid Tom, darting toward a canal in the rear of a row of shanties. Miss Wiggins and Denny had disappeared, but already the men were dividing forces in order to guard every exit to the famous tunnel. As they galloped away, Star was obliged to part from his friends and look for medical assistance and a little nursing. As he made a tour of the camp he could not help noticing the preparations which had been made in the space of less than ten minutes. The guard around the company's stores where the treasure was kept had been promptly trebled, while at the reduction works the doors were closed and a squad of mounted men deployed at all corners. The detective was halted three times before he found a doctor, but at last he reached the door of a comfortable cabin. An exclamation of surprise crossed his lips as he entered and found Margaret Wiggins in posses s ion of the shanty. "I'm the camp's nurse," said the girl, promptly, -"and here's. the settlement doctor. He's a little hard of hearing, but he'll cure you, sir!" An old Indian, with the remnants of feathers still in his hair, came forward as she spoke. Denny had taken Margaret to her cabin after warning her of her danger. As he turned to go 11e came face to face with his stern-browed rival. "Jess is in the tunnel, and every outlet is guarded," ner !" No reference was made to Margaret, and '..Vithout a word, Denny secured a horse at the first corral and joined the first group of guards, who sat in their sad dles before one of the entrances to the mine, with weapons cocked between their fingers. Somewhere in that. subterranean passa 'ge the two were hiding, and Denny forgot his clisap. pointment as he appreciated the situation. Jesse James would be riddled with bullets when he ventured to leave the tunnel, while it sure death to whosoever attempted to follow him. It began to look as if the famous outlaw's clays were numbered, but it also meant a wonderful divi sion. and sub-division of th' e government's ten thousand dollars. CHAPTER XCVI. THE OUTLA w's 'DISAPPEARANCE. In less than an hour_ after Jesse Jam es and his brother vanished from the eating-house, the whole length of the famous tramway was guarded. Davis and Denny had joined the first group, and were helping to cover one of the jagged holes in the side of the mountain vvhich led directly to the tunnel. Outside of the entrance was a pile of loose stones, and the space around was rough and uncertain, b.ut the horses were used to it and maintained a steady footing. All along the inside of the tunn. el, at intervals, were empty tram cars, and here and there was a chest of powder waiting to be conveyed to the lode, deeper in the mountain. The night was dark, but the stars peeped out shyly and made the outlines of the rugged rocks a little less forbidding. The men wore anxious faces, yet they were confi dent of victory. There seemed to be no avenue of escape for the daring outlaw. "I reckon thar's news comin' !" said the sheriff, as a rider galloped up, an
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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 him. Thar was one shot inside, an' thet was all. I 'low Mike's er goner, an' Jess is waitin' fer another." Mike was a fool ter risk it," said one of the mmcrs. Just at that minute they heard another shot echo ing through the tunnel. "Great snakes! Thar's another growled Sheriff Billkins, turning his "I'll jest go down yonder an' put er nonsense!" fool gone !" horse's head. stop ter sech He rode off as he spoke, Pete Hendricks accom panying him and the six miners slid from their sad dles to stretch their legs for a minute. Denny moved a little nearer to the jagged hole in the mountain that formed one entrance to the long tunnel, and put his ear against the rock to hear what was going on in side. A dull roar several sharp reports sounded in stantly, and the detective sprang back with an expression of alarm on his features. "There s a battle going on! The men must have gone into the tunnel to force him out! Hark! There it goes again! That was a guardsman's rifle!" He looked at his companions as he spok;e, and in a second they were back in the saddle. "We'd better go down! I reckon we're needed!" s aid one, glancing along the sloping range of hills. "Ther boys are all-ti .reel reckless ter ri s k thar lives thet way! Come on, pardners The two sleuths kin guard this hyar entrance, bein' as how ther scrimmage is a full quarter of a mile further clown ther tunnel!" "We can cover it all right! Go on!" answered D avis, and the miners put spurs to horses and galloped over the narrow path that skirted the hills in the same direction as the famous subway. "This means that we're out of the game, old man, ' said Davis, as he watched them. "Jess is probably surrounded by this time and will die fighting like a redskin. I'd like to have seen the last struggle of the daring devil !" "Hmv long: is this tunnel anyhow?" asked Denny, turning to back o ver the mountains. Davis started to answer, when another sound in the subterranean pas sage stopped him. Crash after crash was followed by a faint puff of smoke from the exit, and the rumble and roar seemed to g:o on like dista .nt thunder. "Great Scott! I've got it! J css has found powder in the tunnel, and is blO\ving the miners. up!" said Davis, suddenly. "Tha t :rne 1 ns that he'll have to be movin' all the time!" A yell from a dozen throats seemed to answer his remark, and Denny pointed to a group oj the miners who had reappeared in the distance, and were making toward them, waving their hats excitedly. "They've flushed him! Jess is coming this way!" roared Davis, as he comprehended the situation. "Now, then, steady, old man! Keep your finger on the trigger and let her go the mi;:ute you see a head in the gap yonder!" The two bent low in their saddles and raised their, revolvers, and the next second something sped by the exit like a flash of lightning. "It's Jess himself! is in his favor! Davis, excitedly. Crack! Crack! He's on a tram car. and the Blaze away, Denny!" yelled The two weapons spoke simultaneously, but the tram car passed the exit and was out of sight in an instant. Flash! Crack! A bullet sped from the darkness of the tunnel and whizzed past Denny's ear, and a loud laugh was wafted to the ears of the detectives. "It's Jess! Curse him!" roared Davis, pulling the trigger again. "The fellow is running away on one of the tram cars! Quick, Denny! We'll catch him on the next grade! It's our turn to warn the boys up yonder that the scoundrel is coming!" They made a dash down the gentle incline that' was giving the outlaw his speed, and then urged their horses up a grade which led to the next en trance to the tunnel. When they reached the spot they found seven miners on guard, but, after listening intently, they could hear nothing of the outlaws. "Fooled, by" thunder! The cur has turned around and gone back," growled Denny. "Nmv the que s tion is, was he in time to get away? Those fellows were in sight before we chased the tram car!" There was nothing to do but go back to the sp.)t they had left and look for some sign that the our laws had made good use of their opportunity. Th

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26 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. found the miners there talking like parrots, not one of them having a reasonable conjecture to offer. "Ef he come out, he must er crawled like er snail ," said Sheriff Billkins. "Thar ain't nothin' come out er thet thar hole but smoke an' powder! I reckon ther cuss is still in thar !" "I'm goin' in l Thar don't no one need ter try an' stop me, cause they can't!" growled Pete Hendricks. The first discovery of importance was that a bag d nuggets had disappeared. It had been left in a crevice the rocks and was worth ten thousand dollars. The next discovery was more horrible. Two t the miners were found lying in pools of blood, thei throats cut from ear to ear, and their bodies des ti tut of clothing. was picking his way between the rocks to the level This explained how the two outlaws had left th bed of the tramway. The next minute he had slid from his horse and "Whoop t Hi, thar Here' s ther rascal's cartunnel. They had seized and murdered the miner riage !" he yelled a second later. "Ther cuss has in the of the subterranean passage; ther gone on without it!" themselves in their clothing an9 smearin 1 He came out trundling the tram car as he spoke, their faces with mud, they had no dot1bt mingle and the men could that there was an empty ore chest on it. "Frank must have set the car going and it stopped at the grade," said Davis, thoughtfully. where the deuce are the two cutthroats?" It was a serious question, but there was no one to answer it. The entrances were all guarded, and there was no noise inside of the tunnel. If Jesse James was still inside, he was surely plotting a desperate move and the men on guard, knowing this took a last look at their weapons. Suddenly a monstrous bell clanged the hour of four and" a whoop went up from the throats of the miners. "Ther rascals are between ther de vil an' ther deep sea, now, I reckon!" remarked one of the mine own ers, w110 had joined the detectives. "The men are bound to stumble over them on their way out of the lode, but I hate to think of the good fellows I shall lose at the hands of those two ruffians!" "There they come!" shouted Hendricks, as th.! first batch of men appeared. But a surprise of the greatest magnitude was to follow. Not a sign of either outlaw had been seen by the men who came out from the bowels of the moun-with the other miners and passed out in safetJ Once' clear of the guard, they could do as the p}eased, and thus they made good time in ing from the settlement. How they conveyed the nuggets from the tunn1 no one ever knew, although the miners spent a gre: deal of time and energy in conjecturing. Jesse James had proven himself once more to the greatest rascal and his visit to the Con stock was handed down tb !1istory. The various sheriffs went back to their countie sadder and wiser men, and the three detectiv j shook their heads sol emnly over the seemingly h o p less task before them. "We'll stay here till Star gets well and then try again>' Davis decided. "That fellow mttst be p i out of the way, and it's our duty to do it! I'll n .ev1 give up if it takes me a lifetime!" "I'm in it as long as you are. old man," re spond1 Denny. "Ridding tile world of its mo s t vicious cnmrn is a great \vork, my boy," laughed Davis. "If ye wear Jesse James' scalp at your belt every creation will you! I prophesy that success tains. They were d .umfounded when they were tol
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.. Y0UR 0VINl0NS 0F F1\M0US MEN. :ii' 22 Gra1-:i.d Prize Co:ntest :!I VALUABLE GIVEN Pf?IZES A \AY. H ere is a chance for every reader of JESSE JAMES WEEKLY. Boys, you have all heard of the plucky little Kansan who has been making himself famous on the other side of the world. What do you think of him? What characteristics do you see in his face? What has he done, anyway? What do you think is the best thing he ever 'did? The boys who c.::n bes t answe r such questions applying to any famous J\merican, knOWll for his biave deeds, Will win hands9me prizes. Her e is the plan of one of the most no v el contests ever placed before the American boys, Look u p what inte res t ing fac t s y ou can find about any_ famous American. Then write them out in your own w ords stating your o wn opinion of him, his appearance, and the particular achievement which pl e as e s you the most. The first prize will be awarde d to the person sending 'in the most interesting and best written article; the next b e s t will win the second prize, and so on. It makes no difference how short they are, but uo c o n tribution mu s t be l onger than 5 0 0 words A '1"' '1'.E-IE l_=>RIZES. TWO FIRST PRIZES The two who send us the mo s t interesting and b es t writte n articles will e ach re c e i ye a fir s t -class Cam-era, com p le t e with ac hrom a tic l e ns, and loaded with s i x exposi-ires eac h. Absolutely r ea dy for use. For squ a re pi ctures 3Yz x 3Yz inches; cap a c ity six e x posur e s without rel oa djn g ; s ize of camera 4)0 x 4Yz x5 inche s ; weight 15 ounces; w e ll made cov e red with grain l eather and hands omely fini sh e d. FIVE SECOND PRIZES The fiv e wh o send us the next best a rticle s will ea ch r ece i v e a "Sterli11g" Magi c Lautern Olltfit, t o g ether with 7 2 admi ssi on ticke ts and a large show bill. E ach l ante rn is ro in c h es h igh, 4 inches in diam e ter w ith a r Yz inch plano-complex condensi,ng lens and a % -inch d oubl e complex obj ective lens. Uses kerosene oil onl y FIVE THIRD PRIZES The five who se nd us the 11ext bes t articl e s will e ach r e cei v e a H a n d s o me Pearl Handled Kni fe. Thes e kni\'es have e a ch four b lades o f t h e best English steel, hardened and t e mpered. The handle is pearl, the linin g brass and the b olsters Germa n sil v er. For ten next b es t de scriptions, ten s e ts of the lates t and most ent er tainin2: Puzz les and Novelti e s on tl:e market, nuinberin g three puzzl es e a c h, incl udi11g Uncle I s aa c' s Pawn s hop Puzzle; the Magi c Marble Pu z zle aud the Demon Outfit. This Contest clos es De cember. r. All contributions must be iu b y that date SEND IN YOUR ARTICLES AT ONCE, EOYS. We are going to publish all of the best ones during the progress o f the Contest. We will have to re s erve to ourselves the right of jud g ing which article has the most merit, but our readers know that they may depeud upon Street & Smith, on their abs olute fairness and justice iu conducting Con te s t s This one w ill be no e xception to the rule. REMEMBER! Wh ether your contribution wins a prize or not, it sta n d s a good cli a n c e of being publishe d, together with the name of the writer. To b e come a contestant for the prize you must cut out the Character Contest Coupon, printed in this issue Fill it out properly, and send it to J E SSE JAMES WEEKLY, care of Stree t & Smith, 238 William Street, New York City, to gether with your article. No contribution will be con sid e red that does not hav e this coupon accompanying it. COUPON. "JESSE JAMES WEEKLY" CilARACTER CONTEST No. I. Dat e ............. ... 1901 Name . ........ ................. City or Town .......................................... S tate . . ............. .............. ...................

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CHARACTER PRIZE CONTEST. During the progress of the Prize Character Contest this department will be devote( to the publicati'on of the best articles sent in by the Here are some of the best ones received this week. A Martyr of the Revolution. (By Ted Williams, Albany, N. Y.) The case Df Nathan Hale, one of the earliest martyrs of the War of the Revolution, was one of the saddest in the history of the United States. He was a graduate of Yale, and when war broke out he joined the Connecticut troops and hastened to Boston. H e was at the battle of Bunker Hill, and continued vvith the arl!ly und e r the commaud of \Vashin g tou uutil the following year. He took part in the battle near Brooklyn, aud was with tjie American army '''lie n it retreated from Long Island. Hale was. then appointed a captain in a body of sol diers called Congress' Own, that assumed a sort of body gtiarclianship to the com:11and e r-in-chief. While the America1i army was on Harle m Heights and the great body of the British army was still on Long Island, Washington was very anxious to find out the ex. act conditio n of the enellly's forces. He applied to Colonel Knowlton for some one to go as a spy iuto the Briti s h camp. Captain Hale volunteered for the service, and bearing instructions from Washington, he cross e d Long Island Sonne! from the Connecticut shore, visited the British camps, made llOtes and sketches, unsuspected, and was about to embark from Huntington to Connecticut when lit( was discoyered and exposed, it is said, by a Tory relative, and was made a prisoner. He ':':as taken to Sir William Howe's lrnadquarters at Turtle Bay confined in Beekman's green house in the garden until morning, a11d then, without the form of a regular trial, was handed over to the brntal provost marshal in New York for execution as a spy. That "retch would not even allow Hale to have the company of a clergyman, and he even destroyed the let ters which the vic tim had written to his mother and sisters dnring the night. Surrounded by jeerii1g soldiers, he was hanged like a dog upQll an. apple. tree, and his body was buried in a grave beneath -its shadow. Hale's lastwords wer1!: "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country '' The d isgracefol treatment of Hale by tlie British madt more hated than enr. Later, when the British spy, Audre, was captured bJ the Americans, General Washington was appealed to ti spare him from d eath, but Washington then how they hacl treated Nathan Hale, and he said must die. .A11d that order was carried out. George Washington. (By Malcolm Lehmau, Lee, Mass.) George Washington was born at Mt. Vernon, Vii ginia. He was a great hero 011 wate r as well as on land but on land H.e wrote the H conquered Ell gland. of his manceuvers was at Treu ton, N. J., when Cornwa,llis thought that he had hio and said, "We have the old fox and will bag hhir in th morning.'' But Wa shington put wood 011 the fires to deceive th British, and it did. He marched in a roundabout W1! and surprised the British rear guard at Tre:1ton and cap tt1red 3,000 small arms and ammunition and 11000 pri1 oners. Unlike some men, he never got discouraged, and so of course, won. Washington had to see many a poor sd dier among the Contineutals looking with envy on tb fine uniforms of the British and on the happy times tb British were having. But there was a good time comiq for the "Father of his Country." I call .Washington an honorable, beloved and trust hero. People could then and now, even in pictures, st honor, courage and truth in his face. He was a fin believer in God, and when he took the oath of Presidet of the United States he said, "So help me, God." It toi.1ched the hearts of everybody so that. tht cheered, and cheered and cheered for eight minutes. "In his younger days Washington was an expert su veyor, and surveyed over 100 111 i !es uf Lord Fairfax land. He suffered many hardships during his life, but I bore them like a hero. Once he was riding his beloved horse in the battle! "'\

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I Ii J ( THE JESSE JAMES STOR IES. 29 Cmvpen s and it was killed by a bullet. It struck the noble animal be tween the and it reel e d and fell d ead. \\Tasliin g t,011 had a surgeon cut off a .lock.of the hor se s m an e a s a keepsake. W ashington was the greatest hero on land, and saver of th e Union a s Ca ptai n Paul Joues was the saver of tbe na\')( on the !iea . Washington was granted his dying w 1sh, which W-lS to b e buried on the land \vhere he had 5 0 often hunted aud played, aud in si ght of the' old h o m c:;tc a d Commodore H. Perry. ( B y Arthur W att, Chicago, Ill.) I lrn.ve c h o se n Oli\e r P erry for m y s ubj e ct. War with E11gln11<1 had broken out. A flee t com m a ncled by Adm i ral Barcl a y a ve t eran of Trafa lgar was supp o se d to b e in the Gre a t Lak es. P erry buil t v ess el s from trees growing a l o n g t h e s hcres o f Lake E ri e H e ma naged t o arm u i u e ve s s els carrying in all fiftyfom g un s The British fleet with s i x \' e s se l s had sixtyt h ree g un s. Perry h a d n ev e r witne ssed a nav al battle, bllt with trne Y a n k e e pluck engaged the enemy and co111 pel lecl him t o surre nd e r. Perry fought so fie rcel y that th e euemy c on c entra t e d their fir e t1po n his flagship, the L awre nce. E i ght m e n onl y were l e ft a11d calling the s e about h i m he ro w e d to the N ia gara. Sh o t a n d s b e ll rained about the gallan t little baud, but the y reac h e d the Nia gara in s af e t y. A b out h a lf an hour later one of the British ships hauled clown her fla g, and lier example was so o n foll o wed by the others. Perry to General Har ri s on, ''We ha\ e m e t the enemy, and th e y are ours; two ship s t\\'0 brigs, o n e sloop and one Yours \\ .ith respect, 0. H. Perry." A Famous Patriot. (By Charles \Vhite, Toledo, Ohio.) I hav e read of your prize characte r contest and have written an article on Benjamin Frankli i n w h i.ch I e nclo s e. Everybod y knows who B e n jamin F:-an klin w a s But al.though his fame as an American patr.iot during the Revo!Utionary W a r is greater than his fa 1ne a s a writer, him best for bis writings. I think "Poor Rich Almanack is simply fine, and I love 'to r e ad the hoinely maxims aud proverbs which he wrote for it: He knew liow to prove his points, too. I remember reading of the way he proved that lightning was just common electricity. He sent up an iron p ointed kite one day when a thunder storm was coming upaud he Id it by a silk thread, attached to a l ong hempen cone To the silk encl w a s fastened an iron key, a nd when the cloud passed o ver he touched the key with hi s knuckles, a It was a bold but_ ex-periment. He immediately applied the discovery to a \practica l use by showing that pointed iron rods, extendiu g from a distanc e a bove the highest part of a house to the ground, would prevent the house from being struck by lightning by carrying it to the ground. Thus it was that the li ghtning rod n-:ls invented. One time when m y father took me to Philadelphia he showed me the pl a ce where Franklin was buried. It ls in the buri al g roh u d of Christ Church, Philadelphia, and the in scription o n .his tomh was written by Franklin himse lf. It r e ad s just like some of bis other quaint sayings. Follow in g i s the inscription: BENJ AMIN") a nd DEBoR AU J 179 0 The b ody of Benjami1 ; Franklin, Printer, Like tl ie c over o f an old Boo k Its contents torn out, a11d strip p e d cf its lettering and giJd i n g L ies h e re foo d fo r worms But the work s h a ll n ot be i os t For it will (as he believed): a ppe a r o n ce rno: : e, In a n ew m ore elegant ed i t i on, R e v i s ed aud correcte d by Tli:it AUTHOR. I The Life of Washington. ( By George Con so l v o N orfolk, Va.) I s n bmit t o you the foll ow in g artic.Je about George Washing t o n a s he be ing the "F'ather of our Country," I think tha t h e sh o uld b e on e o f the fir s t American hero es written about. At the age o f t wenty-one Wash in g t o n wa s s e lec t e d by Governor Dinw i ddie to vi sit the hostjle Fre nch a nd Ind i ans to t ry alid induce them to withdraw from the frontie r and m a k e teri11s of peace. 'His journey lay throug h a w i l derness infested by wild and savag es. a rrive d a nd returned il1 safety from For t Du Q u e s n c B1tt pe a ce wa s not desired by the r e d men ,and it was to rais e a tro' o p ofsoldier s to repe l the murdero't1s invade r s Geo rge Washington wa s prese nted with the con11iii ss ion of col01iel, he was put in c omm a nd of the troops. i r e marched with the troops t o Great Mea < low s where they e1ected a fort and n a med it F ort Necessity Here reinforcements came, sw elling his little force to 400. Wfrile at the fort the French and Indians to the number of r,500 attacked fort with great fury, but were repuls ed This battle occurred JuI'y 4 1754. A happy prelude to the glorious fourth of 1776. The following year Washington anl a hundred brave Virginians saved the remnants of Braddock's army from total destruction. In June, 1775 ,Washington was appointed Commanderin-Chie f of the American armies. Early in March, 1776, Washington plante d his troopsbefore Boston, where the British troops under the command of Lord Howe were

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30 JESSE Jl\MES STORIES. conc en trated. A few day s l ater he compelled to e vacuate the t o w n. : In July Geueral Howe lande d s e veral miles below New York with 24,000 wen. In the l atter part of Augnst the troops stationed at Brooklyn, under command of General Sullivan, were attacked and d e f eate d. A few days later General Washington effected a retreat and l a nded bis troops in New York. But they were compelled to evacuate soon after and retire to White Plains. Here th e y were attacked by the British, who w e re d ef eate d. On the 25th of December, Washington cros s ed the Delaware amid floating ice to Trenton and defeated the Brit ish, and then pushing on to Princet on, defe a t e d the m there. The British defeated Gene ral Washington in the bat tl es of Brandywine aud Germantown, but they were d e arly bought victories In October, 1781, Washington and his army defeated Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. Thus gaining the victory that gave America her freedom. Washington was elected President and served from 1789 to 1797, and then retired to Mount Ven10n where be died on the 14th of December, n99 First in peace, first in war, first in the hearts of bis countrymen. General Custer's Last Fight. (By Charles A. Draus, Dushore, Pa.) I think General Custer was a very brave man. He was sent forward with the seventh ca v alry to discov e r the whereabouts of the Sioux Indians. He found them encamped in a large villag e extending for 11ear ly thre e miles along the left bank of the Little Horn under their great chieftain, S itting Bull. On the 2 5th of June, G e n eral Custer, without waiting for re i nfor c em ents, charged w ith his di v i s ion into the Ind ian tow n and w as imme diatel y surrounded b y thousands of yelling w a r rio rs. Of the details uf the strugg le that ensu e d ve r y little is known, for G e neral Custer and e ve r y man o f h is command fell in the fight. The c o nflict e qu a l e d, if i t did not surpass in despe ratioh a n d dis as ter, an y other India n battle ever fou ght in America. Of the seventh c a valry, there were 261 killed and fifty-two wounded. :_ .. ..L....-! Perry's Victory. (By Edward Borucki So. Chic a go, Ill.) Oliver Hazard P erry is m y hero. He wa s a man of nerve. It is sa id that h e a n d a g an g of ship builders chopp ed down his t i m b er s in order to build S ome ships Only nine ships were made for the re wa s n t en o u g h wood for more s o Perry named his ship Lawre nce in honor of a gallant Ame rican capta i n who was killed in battle. Then h e sail e d with his fleet in search of the ' British He soon spied them near du sky, Ohr b ... When yet qui te a di!itance be flung "i11 the bre ez e !he blue flag, a n d o n it w a s the order of L awre nce to his men, ''Don't give up the ship." He then sailed to meet the e nem y an d fou ght two l a rg e Briti s h s h i p s till the Lawrence was a wreck The n, w ith his flag in his arms, he jumped in a boat amid s h ots and b uilets. He w a s ro w e d t o the Niagara and OJice on d eck he ag a in attacke d t h e Bri t is h ships, b rok e their li n e a n d captured entire .flee t. We ha v e m e t the em; m y, he s ai d ''and they a r e ours--tw o ships, t w o brigs, on e s ch o on e r aud on e sloop ' Perry's victory was a grand on<:!, for it g a ve him the comma n d of l ak e Eri e a nd e nabled him to c arry Harri son's s oldiers ov er to C?2-nada. Thes e two vic t ori es r e g a in e d e v er ything that had b e en l ost b y the surrender of Hull. At lhe Battle of New ur1eans. (By Geor ge M. H oga n, Marlto n New J e r sey. ) The p ers on o f w h o m I am g o ing t o wr i te ab o ut is An dre w J ac k so n the hero of N e w Orleans. Jackso n had about 5 ,000 m e n and the Britis h had about 8 o oo. When Jackson r ea ch e d New OP!eans, h e saw that if the Britis h ent e r e d t he city the y wo ul d ha v e to cross a d e ep d i tch, s o the me n se t to wo rk digg ing the d i t c h dee per and built a h igh bank on on e s i d e of it. The British tried ag aiu an d ag a i n t o cro s s the ditch, but the Americ ans cut them d ow n like a far m e r cuts his g ra ss with a sc y the. But ju s t b efo r e t he fight b e gan, J a ck so n walked al ong the line a nd s a id, Stand t o your guns. " G ive it t o the m, b oy s, he sa id, as the fight starte d and the b oys di d give it to them. In less than half an hour the b a ttl e w a s o ve r a ud J a cks o n had w on the vic t ory. The Am er i cans l os t e ight k i lled the e nemy l os t t w o thous and. Later, Jackso n w a s m a de President of the Un i ted S tates CONTEST NOTES. Onl y two more weeks boys before the contest closes Have y ou all sent in your articles? The r e is sti ll a c hanc e to win a priz e. Don't miss it. Several of the contestants have s ent in articles about the s ame characte r. They are published s i de by s ide. Pick the winn e r, fioys, by reading each article. The winner's names are going to be published in black t y pe. Wouldn' t you like to see your name among them? You mny if you get your sketch in promptly. A W., Chic a go, Ill.-Please send us ye>ur street address.

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H1.1nting and Trapping Department. This department is brimful of information and ideas of interest to the young trapper :-ind huni:er. V\' rite us if you have any questions to ask concerning these subjects, and tlH y will be answered in a soecial column. Address all communications to the "Hunting und Trapping Dep:irtment." The Humming Bird Trap. One of the most ingcuious uses to which hird lime is said to ha"e applied, with success, is in the capture oi l.1t1111u1ing birds. The lime iu this inst:rnce is made simnly by chewing a few grains of wheat in the mouth until a gum is form e d. It is said tha t by sprca
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32 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "The flock had h ee n circling round over the lake occasionail y making to alight, and finaII y settling down unde' r the woods close t o the w a t e r s edge . ,, 'Must be they're some'r near Will Vic watching them. Yes, there h e g o e s ''The sound of Will's p iece came e choing ;;ie ross the water, followed immedi ately b): a s econd r e p ort in the direction of Jinx. "Vic stood up in the stern of t h e boat, an d, balancing himself with the paddle, looked clown th e lake 'The boys are going in 011 the ir m tts cle I gues s. But they can't git no more shots there till w e drive some .down. I think we'd better go up a ronnd tli e ne x t flo ck, and I shouldn't wonder if they'd c o m e t h i s w ay when we peppered into 'em.' ''I changed places with him at the paddle and steered for a point a litt.le to the right of a large flock nearly a half mile distant, spread out on the water, and looking Hke a low strip of land, so close were they together. As we passed half-a-dozen pairs of 'lightning divers' attracted our attention s\Vim ming around, and busy dressing their feathers in fancied security, a couple of dozen yards from tlie boat. Rex raised his gun. 'You can't hit 'em,' said Vic, decidedly. 'Can't?' echoed Rex, in amazement, 'at that dis tance off? Why?' '' 'Try it,' said Vic, laconically. ''Rex took careful aim and fired, but to his unbounded astouishment, when the charge struck the water the ducks had disappeared! 'No use,' said Vic, shaking his head 'There never was a charge of shot yet they couldn't dodge, blast 'em. Fine rifle powder and a bullet will fix them, though.' "I had tried it before to my satisfaction, and knew that old Vic was right, and, considerably chagrined, Rex reloaded his piece. As we approached the large flock they arose in a solid mass, and Vic and Rex poured in their fire. '' 'Boys! see the feathers fly!' shouted Vic, 'an' see 'em squabble 'round on the water! I'll bet there's half. a-dozen there that ain't hurt a bit, only a wing broke. That's the beauty of takin' 'em as they rise. Here, yon darn'd skunk!' "This last apostrophe was addressed to a huge gray fellow, with a shining head and curled-up tail, which had appeared remarkab ly lively as Vic went to grasp him, and had made a dive under the boat. '''The pesky critter,' said Vic, leaning over and peering under, 'no use paddlin ". He'll come up some'r.' ''We sat still and scanned the water on every side, and in a moment his green shining head appeared a dozen yards distllnt. : 'That's the way of 'em,' said Vic, watching him. 'We might chase him half a day 'thont catchiu' him.' ''He p11lled his revol ver from his belt, le Y eled it and fired and in a minute after the du c k was with the re s t in the boat ''We had bagged a goo d ly 11u111 ber, and from the repeated rep orts on shore, ha d no doubt the boys there had be e n pretty succe s sful, so we pulle d for the outlet. "We had reac h ed the bank aud ente r ed the mouth of the creek to await the boys, whom we had si g naled to b e there, when sucl(lenly we hear d Jinx's voi c e, echoin g under the leaf y arches of the trees at the highest pitch of exasperation: '' 'Confound tlie thing! Here Will, come along and belp me out of this!' "The sound came from merh e ad, and w e looke d around for an explanation of the m y stery. W e bad it. 'Th e re, a bout a dozen ya r ds from wh e re we sat, and sus pen d ed by the s e at of his unmentionables to a broken limb of a tree was Jinx, his long l egs and. flying around 'loose' in t!Je air, aud a d ecidedly o w lish expres s ion o n his face and the u Will appe ared walking along at a swinging pac e with a string of ducks in his hand, and, s e eiu g Jinx, stopped and le aning on his gu11, be g a n singing in a trag ic voice : '' 'There was a lyre, 'tis said, which hung High, waving in the summer air.' with an emphasis on the word lyre which cause d Jinx to give an extra.contortion. '' 'I'll wave you, you mi : ern b le heathen! Pony up there, and h e lp a fellow in cfistress !' 'It's curious,' continued Will musing!) glancing toward us as he spoke, 'what a slight thing will cause suspe nd e d a11irnatio11. Ma k e a sketch of him, Archie, it will illustrate the resistanc e of ---' 'He never fini shed the s eutence. Jinx made a super human effort something tore, and the next instant he was gravitating earthward. He struck on all fours, and, springing up, began a frantic search for a big stick. Finding oue at his hand, j1e reached after Will with such zeal and earnestness that that in
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JESSE JAMES STORIES WE were the first pub-lishers in the wodd to print the famous sto ries of the Jam es Boys, written by that remark able man, W. B. Lawson, whose name is a word with our boys. We have had many imitators, Jesse James. and in order no one shall be deceived in accepting for the real, we are now publishing the best stories of the James Boys, by Mr. Lawson, in a New Library entitled" The Jesse James Stories," one of our big five-cent weeklies, and a sure winner with the boys A number of issues have already appeared, and these which follow will be equally good; in fact, the best of their kind in the world. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York. BUFFALO BILL STORIES The only publication authorized by the Hon. Wm. f. Cody (Buffalo Bill). Buffalo Bill. WE were the publishers of the first story ever written of the famous and world-renowned Buffalo Bill, the great hero whose life has been one succession of exciting and thrilling inci.dents combi1ied with great successes and accomplishments, all of which will be tol d in a series of grnnd stories which we are now placing before the American Boys. The popularity. they have already obtained shows what the boys want, and is very gratifying to the publishers. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York. N1CK CARTER STORIES known t1ve lil the world lS Nick Carter. Stories by this noted sleuth are is sued regularly in "Nick Carter Weekly" (price five cents), and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the patrons and readers of the Nick Carter Series of Detective Stories to know that these famous stories will soon be produced upon the stage under unusually elaborate circumstances. Arrangements have just been completed between the publishers and Manager F. C. Whitney, to present the entire set of Nick Carter stories in dramatic form. The first play of the series will be brought out next fall. STRE E T & SMITH, Publishers, NEw YoRK. DIAMOND DICK STORIES Diamond Dick. THE celebrated Dia mond Dick stories can only be found .-in "Diamond Dick, Jr., the Boys' Best 'Weekly." Diamond Dick and his son Bertie are the. most unique and fascinating heroes of Western romance. The scenes, and many of the incidents, in these exciting stories are taken from real life. Diamond Dick stories are conceded to be the best s tories of the West, and are all copyrighted by us. The weekly is the same size and price as this publication, with hand some illuminated cover. Price; five cents. STRE E T & Sl\11TH, Publishers, New York.


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