Jesse James' exploits

Jesse James' exploits

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


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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028820460 ( ALEPH )
08650894 ( OCLC )
J14-00029 ( USF DOI )
j14.29 ( USF Handle )

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Issued Weekly. By Subscription $ per year. Entered as &cond Class Matter at New York Post Office by STREET & SMITH, 2,J8 Wz1lianz St. N. Y. No. 29. Price, Five Cents. VASQUEZ FOUND HIMSELF CONFHON'f:t:lJ BY TWU .R!!:VO LVERS AND A RIFLI!: IN THE HANDS OF THE JAMES B O Y S AND DICK WRAYBU.RN. (CHAPTER XCVIII. )


ARC5. A WefKLT WITH .THE' DETEmon OF CRIME I s .rued Wu.l:ly. B y Sub scriptu m ta.JO fer y ear. B"ter11d as Se co11d Clas s Matter al tlu N. Y Po# Olc1J. by BTREET A BlllTH, .,, WI/Nil,,. St., N. Y. E11tered accordi11r t o Act o f Q m,rr1ss i n the 1(/Dr, in t/111 Oic1111/ 1/111 L;warlil# of f.:O#p111, Wasln"tvt11,., .D. C No. 29. NEW YORK, November .2J, 1901. Price Five Cents. Jesse J ames' Exploits. By W. B LAW SON. CHAPTER XCVII. "Vasquez is a dangerous rascal. In cunning ancl audacity he h a s h a d no equa l since the knights of the roa d began to do busine ss on this c o a s t s p e aker was a well-to-do farmer. He sat on the veran da of a hotel at Paso Robles Hot Spri n gs, C a liforni a, and hi s remarks were ad dres sed to a c o n s umptive-looking gentleman beside him At the end of the veranda, wit h their heels resting on the railing, \ Vere two othe r pers ons, who s e faces showed signs of recent illn ess. They could n o t help lis tenin g to the c onversatio n between the farm e r and the invalid and the y pres ently found it so interesting that their heels c a me down and they put their he a ds together for a con fidenti a l chat. \i\Th c re does this peculi a r hi g lrn r ay m a n operate?" inquir e d t he consumptiv e All o v er. O n e v;eek you w ill he a r of him rob bin g the min e r s i r ; Si s ki yo u ; the n e x t he will be h olding up s t::iges in L o s A n g eles County He i s a perfect dare -d evil and t he offi c e r s of the State h ave about gi v en up all hope of ever c a tchin g him. An\l yet there is a reward of fifteen tho u s an d d o llars for hi s c apture d e ad or alive. "Has he killed m a ny people?" "No very f ew; bu t t h e o t h e r cla y he c ommitted a m o st atr oc i o n s murde r if reports b e true ." "I w o uld like to h ea r the par ticula rs, for yo u h av e greatl y a rot.i.secl m y c uri os i t y in re s p ec t of thi s lVIexic a n ." H e w ent t o the ranch of a Kentuckia n not twen ty miles from Holli ster, in San Beni t o Coun,.ty, l as t w eek, an d b ec a u s e h e was refu s ed s h elter-the K e ntucki a n knew t he bandit by reputa ti on, but be i n g bra ve .himself, did not fea r him-he delib erate l y shot Colonel Halver so n dead in his doorwa y The two pers o n s at the end of the verand a prick e d u p their ears at t he n a m e o f the murdered Kentuck ian. "And no one k n mvs in wh a t p art of t h e State h e i s n ow, I s upp o s e ?" "It i s b elie, ecl," r eturne d t h e farmer, "that he is n o t far fr o m thi s place. "And ha v e not the offi ce r s of this towns hip gone in p u r suit o f him?" a sk e d t he invalid. No. 'No? i n as t o ni shment. ; ".and wh y not? "Be caus e to s e a r c h for V as que z in the Coas t Ran g e vvoulcl b e lik e lookin g for a n e edle in a hay s t ack. Every Mexican-a n d the woods are full o f the m h e re a b o u ts-is eith e r his friend or s t a nds in wi t h him throug h f e a r whi le the hidin g p laces are innu 'mer able. B u t if I were an officer, and wanted to co rral this rascal, I wo u ld atten d the fandango at Manu el's adob e i n t h e hills be l ow here to-morrow night. "Do you think Vasquez will b e there?"


THE JESSE JJ\MES STQRIES. "I \ VOt!ld gamble a hundred against a postage stamp that he wilt show up with his senorita. He is always ct1tti11g llp sori1e such dare-devil shine as that." "I wish,'' replied the from the effete East, "I were as strong alid active as I was a couple of years ago." ''Do you moan by that you would tackle Vasquez if you were a well man?" "Yes." "The par.ty who :sets out on an expedition of that kind had bettet order his coffin beforehand. I don't want any of it in mine, for one," said the farmer. The cottversation ceased. The far 'mer mounted his horse, which had been tethered to the railing, and rode away. Presently the consumptive left the veranda and returned to his room. The only persons now on the veranda were the two men at the end. "Frank," said o ne, in a deep, low voice, "that Colonel Halverson the granger spoke of as having been murdered by this Vasquez, is our mother':; second cousin." "Yes, Jess, without doubt." "The man wh o put out his light has got to answer to me." "And to me." There was n o mistaking the tones in which words were uttered. They were fraught with deadly meaning. "How is your hip, Frank?" "As well as ever. And how are those lungs of yours coming on?" "They are about as well as they ever will be." "And do you feel strong, Jess? You look as pale as a ghost. "Looks don' t count for anything, Frank, when a man has been cooped up indoors for weeks I feel as strong as a bull, and I'm just aching to take the road and show this devil of a Vasquez, there are two men in California who are not afraid of him." "Whose namS are Frank and Jesse Jam es," said the other, with a smile that meant business as well as pleasantry. The two notorious outlaws, whose deeds of vio lence had made them the terror of the Mississippi Valley, had been for 'ome months resting quietly and "under the rose," at the Paso Robles house, kept by their uncle. They had come to California for their health, having been wounded in the lungs and Frank in the hip during some of their desperate encounters in the border States The story tol'd by the farmer had roused their do1' mant energies, and made them eager to again pm' sue the old reck less life "Frank,': said Jesse, with decision, "I am go'. ::.: t o attend that fandango to-monow night." "I am with you." "Of course you are, and we'll not only kill or capture the Mexican bandit, b u t \ve will collar the reward besides.11 '"Why not? Our identity is not suspected and we will be the Johnson brothers who will d o the trick, and not the terrible J ap1es boys." A few miles from Cholame Valley, in one of the deepest canons of the Coast Range, is a fiat of sev eral acres, covered with a dense growth of man-zanitas. A trail passes through it, by which the Calame may be reached. But very few persons knew of this trail, however. at the time of which we write, and the little fiat, which bore the name of Grizzly Hollow, was never visited, except by occasional hunters. Frank and Jesse Jam es, on their way to the fandango, stumbled onto the trail by accident. They had started from Paso Robles early the fol lowing morning, and, while following one trail, in pursuance of instructions given them by an hostler at the hotel, turned into the one which intersected Grizzly Hollow without knowing that they had made any deviation from the regular route. About noon they halted on the banks of a small stream not one hundred yards distant from the opening into Grizzly Hollow, for the purpose of partaking of a light lunch in the shape of sandwiches and cheese, In order to make u s e of the stream, they' left the trail and rode a few rods through a dense growth of elders. Vlhen they finally dismountecl and prepared for refrshments, they were entirely hidden from the trail. Five minutes passed, and no words had been spoken by either of them since the attack on the sandwiches and had begun, when the sound of horses' hoofs in the near distance caused them hold their breath while they listened. Soo11 a man's voice was heard coming from the direction of the trail. "Say what you will, Manuel, the boss is not giving Bill a square deal. He rrtay be a spy, but I'm gambling that he s \Yhite all the same. Vasquez h2.s put up a job on him, that' s what' s the matter, old stick-in-the-mud." Then another voice spoke, in good English, but with a sli!l'ht Soanish :::ccent : ''No you think, Senor Ricardo. 'fhe has been pronounced, and Bill mt.1st die unle s s he ! as the luck of a coyote and makes the right gucs .;." further conversation ensued betwe 'en the two horsemen w a s lost to the ears of Fra11k and Jesse James.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. \ s The latter, who scented the biggest kind of a sen sation and who let fall a vigorous ejaculation when Vasquez's name was mentioned, crept swiftly and stealthily back to the trail and followed it until he was able to locate the horsemen. When he returned, after some ten minutes, to the impatient but cool-headed Frank, his eyes were gleaming with savage excitement. "They have stopped in a little flat ahead of us. There's a hut of bushes there, and it's a regular stamping-ground for Va, sqttez's gang. There are five of them in the flat, and our Injun is with them." "\T asquez ?" "Y cs." 'Th1:11 let's be going." Experts in woodcraft, the two outlaws left their horse. s in the glade, and glided noiselessly through the bushes until they reached the fiat and had obtained an admirable behind a huge rock not ten feet from the hut of bushes spoken of by Jesse Jam es. The dreaded' Vasquez and his gang were all on hand when the eyes of Frank and Jesse James took in the details of the scene. Lashed to a tree near the hut was a black-bearded man of handsome presence. He was tall, broadshouldered and straight as an arrow, but his face was as pale as death, and, as the unseen spectators regarded him, his dark, piercing eyes, in fear mingled with hate, swept the faces of the quintet in front of him, and then sought the ground. "One chance in five! I am lost!" As the James boys soon learned, he was a detective known as Bronco Bill. "Carmelita!" called Vasquez, in a loud, authoritative tone, and a girl of eighteen, small, lithe and dark, with du5ky braids of hair and large, languishing black eyes that on occasion could burn savagely, stepped quickly forward from the little hut made of bushes, and looked calmly at the outlaw chief. "Bring the rifles." She bowed, turned on her heel, to return in a moment with five rifles, a burden that would have made an ordinary woman of her size stagger and pant with exhaustion. She was muscle and endurance personified, and she bore the weapons of death with perfect ease. Resting the five rifles against a tree, she drew from a silken pouch, secured to a sash tied about her waist, a box of cartridges, and handed it to Vasquez. Her scarlet lips quivered slightly as she met his cold, searching gaze, but there was a peculiar smpe on her face when she turned from him and flashed one quick, meaning glance on Bronco Bill. "I think," said the leader of the bandits, slowly, witli a cruel smi l e, "that on this occasion it will be the .wiser plan to use, not this box of cartridges', Carrnelita niia, but one of my own, this." He held up a box taken from his pocket,. and carelessly tossed the other to the Mexican girl, who, to Bronco Bill's amaaement, caught it with a laugh. "It's ali the same to me, senor," she said, in light, silvery accents, .,and with a scornful toss of her small, shapely head. "But you must not forget," she added, quickly, as Vasquez opened the box, which he held up high for all to view, "that I am to prepare the blank." A close observer might have noticed a slight pallor which crept into her face as she ceased speaking. Frank James nudged Jesse, and whispered: "That girl's a stayer. She's in love with the detective and Vasquez knows it. 1'he cunning rasc2..l, in revenging himself on this Bronco Bill, is inflic ting a mortal wound on her at the same time." "I am just itching to give the cursed greaser a good one in the back of the neck. I could break his spine the first shot." "Vvait, wait, don't be impatient. Our chance will come presently," whispered Frank Jam es. Carmelita took the cartridge which Vasquez now handed to her, and with a penknife quickly removed the bullet. "There," she said, as she placed the blank in his hand, "it is clone, and may the blessed saints speak him." She was off and concealed from observation in the hut before the prisoner could open his lips to speak his gratitude for her sympathy . The critical moment in the affair was now approaching. CHAPTER XCVIII. JESS E JAMES AND VASQU)3Z Vasquez rapidly charged each rifle with one cart-ridge. Bronco Bill saw that one weapon held the blank, but the five were so mixed up a moment later-Vasquez turning his back to the prisoner, and, having the rifles on the ground in front of hjm during the operation-that he knew that he could not identify the one which was meant to be his savior. "Now," said the notorious leader of the outlaws, when all was ready and he stood before Bronco Bill with the five rifles resting against his right arm,'' make your choice." The victim shut his eyes, and a cold shiver passed through his frame. Only one chance in five! Again he told himself that he was lost. "Come," was Vasquez's stern arid contemptltous injunction, as he hesitated, "let's get this little circus as soon as possible; I want to make arrangements to take in the fandango at the, house _ot our friend Manuel to-night."


4 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. .Bronco Bill looked up, stretched out a trembling hand and selected a rifle at random. With an expression of savage exultation on his face, the outlaw chief handed the weapon to one of his followers, the American ca11ed Dick, a tall, rawboned mountaineer, with a thin face, a long, hawk nose, and black, piercing eyes. His name was Richard Wrayburn, but he was never addressed but as "Dick," or "Ricardo." Dick took the rifle in his long, bony hands, and slowly, steadily, and without the quiver of a muscle took deadly aim at the bound prisoner. Frank and Jesse James witnessed this action with hands down. They had resolved to allow the strange sentence to be carried out. But there was a reason for this sudden change in their programme. The reason looked out of the eyes of Carmelita, who had come upon hem from behind, while they were all eyes and ears for the drama in front of them. She had touched Jesse lightly on the arm before he became aware of her presence. With her fingers to her lips, she enjoined silence on the startled Jam es boys. "Do nothing until I give the signal. Senor Barron is in no danger at present." Therefore, the bold outlaws from the Mississippi Valley waited with lowered pistols while Dick prepared to execute the order of Vasquez. The tall bandit took his time to get a good bead on the prisoner. But Bronco Bill saw hini not. Once more were his eyes closed, but his lips moved spasmodically. Click click! A pause of ten seconds, and then:. "Snap! bang! "Dead!" yelled Vasquez, in diabolical glee, as soon as the report had died away, "dead, and our fortune is made, boys !" Bronco Bill's head was bowed upon his breast while the words were being uttered. To the utter consternation of the chief of the out !aws, he looked up when Vasquez 11ad ceased speak lQg. "Your promise," he said, coldly but resolutely, "remember it. ReLease me for I was in luck, you see-I drew the blank." "Not hurt?" gasped his enemy,' in amazement mingled with fear, "why, I--" Before he could complete the sentence the Mexican girl, Carmelita, was at Bron co Bill's side. A knife was in one hand, a revolver in the other. >Juickly cutting the prisoner's bonds, she thrust the pistol into his hand, then turned and rapidly addressed Vasquez : "You gave me your word. He is fr ee to go, is he not?" "Bet yer life, gal," answered Dick \Vraybt.trn. "Ther trick's his'n-'twas a fair deal and now he kin git." "Hold!" commandingly spoke the outlaw leader, "there has been treachery here. The rifle which was used did not contain my blank. Another trial must be made." "Never!" yelled Bronco Bill, with his back to the tree and his pistol cocked and pointed at his e:1emy. "Men," shouted Vasquez, a s he turned and ad dressed his followers, "will you stand by me?" For answer Chavez Manuel and Gonzalez range( themselves by his side. Dick \,Yrayburn withdrew a few paces and looked encouragingly at the detective. "Now, then," said Vasquez, in a voice of triumph, "drop that pistol, Senor Barron, or we 'll fill your carcass full of lead." "Say .that again, will you?" The voice was deep and menacing, and came from behind the outlaw leader. He turned his head with a start. As he did so, Frank and Jesse James, pistols in hand, leaped from the rock and placed themselves beside Dick Wrayburn. "Say that again, you cowardly greaser," said Jesse, in a white heat, "and I'll blow that murdering tongue of yours down your throat." Vasques looked from the speaker to Bronco Bill, and then from Bill to Jesse. Death in front and death at the rear. But the California bandit was a remarkable character. He not the meaning of fear, for e ver since his escape from the State r>rison some years before he had carried his life in his hand. But, if he was fearless he was also cunning, and even in the tickli s h situation in which he now found himself placed, he thought he saw a loophole of es cape. "You may go," he said to Bronco Bill, curtly. "We will settle our differences later." "Don't stir a step," called out Jesse James. Vasquez Scowled. He had not counted on this sort of opposition. From the dress and appearance of the newcomers, he had taken them for hunters, who had come accidentally upon the outlaw's retreat. He had thought to placate them after he should have given Bronco Bill his liberty. But his hopes of escaping from the terrible di lemma were dashed to the ground when Jesse Jam es spoke. In the notorious vVestern outlaw he recognized a spirit reckleps and independent as his own.


THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. (j Bronco Bill the detectiv e retained his positi o n b y the tree. 'Tm wit h 'you m y friend s," he an swered to Jesse J a m es' c omma n ds ' Proc ee d w ith your rat-killing a s q u i ckly as you like ." The bandi t s who sided with V asq u ez-Chav ez G o n za le z a nd Manuel-were armed with rifles, and stood ready t o u s e them at a word fr o m the ir chief. T h e r e was a s h ort p a u s e an d th e n Vasque z s aid t o J ess e J a m es, as he sh o wed his w hite teeth in a s mile tha t c o uld acc o nwan y a murder: I a m sorry gentlemen, tha t yo u s h o uld des ire t o in te rfe re w i t h m y programme." "And wha t i s it?" inquired Frank J a m es. ''To attend the fandango thi s e v enin g, with S enor ita Carin e l i t a as m y partner." The Mexi ca n g irl shrugged h e r p retty sh o uld e r s and then turne d her ba c k t o t h e bandit leader. I a m goin g t o t h e d ance but you w ill not b e there, S e nor Vasq uez ,'' returned Jess e James, ' But I s h all b e there. You mi stake, s enor, as quie tl y repli e d t he oth e r. "The murde r e r o f Co l o n e l H a l ve r so n sh all never lea v e thi s spot alive." The speaker was Frank James. Now, Jes se he cri e d be f ore a move could be made or a word s a id by any o ne, let him hav e it. B efore the s pe e ch was finished, Vas quez dropped like a shot to the ground. Three bullets clo v e the a ir ove r his h e ad. The nex t instant the circu s o p e ne d in earnes t. The Mexicans who supported Vasque z opened fire on the J ames bo ys, and thi s e ngaged their s o le atten tion for a while ; and at the same time Dick W ray burn took a hand, but not in behalf of his old leader. One shot from the rifle he held in his hand put the quietus on G o nzale s who w a s about to take deadly aim at Frank Jam es; and Bronco Bill wa s snapping a u s eless pistol in a violent rage, when Vasquez rose from the ground and fired straight at the detective' s head. Bronco Bill staggered and then fell heav ily to the ground. Carmelita, who had retired into the hut when the firing comme nced, saw her detective lover fall, and with a scream that was e xpres sive of the wilde s t agony and rage, darted forth and would perha p s have met her death at the hands of the now infuriated Vasquez had not Jesse James caught Her by the arm as she was passing him. The fight with the bandit chieftain's three supporters was now over, for the Jam e s boyll, assisted by Dick Wrayburn, had won the victory Gonzales and Chavez lay dead in the gra!l!I, Manuel, with a broken arm, h a d thiown down his rifle and m a de his escape throu3h t h e tre es, "Don' t bother with him ," sa id Jess e James to Carmel ita. "Leav e the greaser to me." T h e g i r l b o wed her he a d and dropped her hands to her s i de Vasque z now found himself covered by two rev o l ve r s and a rifle H e wa s in the. most desperat e situation of his life. Every avenue of e s ca p e seemed to be cut off. Bronc o Bill lay terrib l y wounded, perhaps dead, on the ground at hi s fee t ; and, wilh h i s revolver in his hand Vasque z sto o d at bay, with teeth set h ard a ;1cl no s ign o f terror in his eyes If he di e d then it w o uld be as h e had liv ed, game. "You d o n t de se r ve any mercy at m y h ands s aid .T e ss e Jam e s ste rn y "and yo u won t get it. You hav e j u s t one min ute t o Jive ." S e n o r ," re turne d V asq uez, w it h a n a d m iral;>le as sumpti o n o f hum ility, "'yo u ha y e inde ed, got me in the door B u t I d o n o t d esire to g o t o m y death w it h the tho u ght that you have mi s ju d g e d t ne. I d i d n o t m urder C o lonel Hal ve rson. Ca rmelit a, there, kn ow s tha t h e w as ki lled in a fair fight. Carme lit a nodde d h e r h ead. She n o w h a t e d th e ba n dit w i t h a d ea dl y hate, but s h e w as t o o fai r -mind ed to refuse t o d o him an a ct of j ustic-:: wh e n a s she be l ie v ed he stood in the very valle y o f the s h a d o w of d e a th. J esse J a m es fr o wned "I fou ght a du e l with Co l o n e l H a l v e rs on wea p ons were kni v e s a n d I w as th e vi ctor. "The n you s h all a l so fight a knife duel and wit h me, said Jesse, r eso lutel y "I am a t your serv ice senor." Fran k J a mes e xpostulated wit h hi s brother, but to no purpose. D ick \!Vrayburn a l so urged t h e M i sso uri des pera do t o f o re g o his intenti on . "You will be at a terrible disadvantage," h e s a id, for Vas quez is a 1p.aster of the we apon. He is as quick and active as a cat, and as t re acherous." But J ess e James only smiled in a n s wer He w as no novice himself in the u s e of the knife and Frank, realizing that the h onors were easy at least on the score of proficiency, fin ally c eas e d hi s objections. "Where shall the due l take place? a s ke d Jes se. "If you are not afraid senor," rep lied Vasquez, with a su g egsitve gleam o f his white teeth, let it com e off in the hut, with the door and fast ened on the outside. There is no w ind ow. and 'there won't be m11ch lig-ht. " A nyw he r e in pitch darkness or broad daylight. out in the open or in the smallest hole we can get into-I'm w ith you to the de ath, answe red Jesse Jam es rec kles s ly. And into the hut the two desperate and notorious outlaws went, Vasquez congratulating himself on the tho u ght that he would have an easy vic'to 1 y.


6 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. W hen the duelists had disappeared within the hut, Dick Wrayburn closed and secured the door. Frank James walked around the hut and scruti nized it at every point. Satisfied that the door afforded the only means of egress and ingress, Frank James took up a posi tion beside Vlrayburn and waited with ill-concealed anxiety for the termination of the struggle that must be taking place within. But, though minutes had passed since Vas quez an

THE JESSE JJ\MES STORI ES. 7 Dick \,Yrayburn had discarded his uncouth manner At his earnest invitation the James b o ys accomof speaking ever since he had taken a stand against panied him. the bandit leader. Bronco Bill went to the hotel and mingled with The James boys liked this new companion of the crowd there to pick up information. theirs. He found that no one in the town had received True, he was a detective, and detectives were their any intimation that Vasquez would likely attend the aversion, but Wrayburn was a thoroughbred as far fandango at that evening. as grit and manliness went; and they took to him at For reasons connected with the reward, he did not once. see fit to publish the information he had received as As for Bronco Bill, they had not formed a decided to the dreaded bandit's intentions. opinion as to his merits as yet. \i\Then the trio returned to the flat Bronco Bill was Dick Wrayburn was a widower, and his daughter on his feet. Estelle kept house for him. She was seventeen, but fully developed, and of His head had been bound up by Carmelita, and as tli.e blond type of beauty. a like service had been previously performed for Her melting blue eyes and bewitching smile had Jesse Jam es, the two ''soreheads" greeted each othcr already made sad havoc among the hearts of the with a laugh. Introductions seemed to be in order at this point, eligible young men of the place. and, as the Johnson boys, Frank and Jesse presented Estelle treated them all alike, although if she had themselves to the good opinion of Bill Barron and a preference, it must have been for the good-look-Dick Wrayburn. ing, stalwart, deep-voiced lawyer, Graham Quint. The conversation presently drifted to the subject The vigilantes, so Estelle informed her father and of the fandango. his guests, had arranged to start for the l;iills in quest "If Vasquez appears there to-night," said Jesse of Vasquez and his band on the morrow. James, "I shall either kill him or capture him alive. Wraybum said nothing to his daughter of the I am on his trail for two reasons.:_l want to get even fandango, but when dinner was over, prepared to for his treacherous treatment for me, and I want leave her again. that reward." "Important business up the road," the only 'How about sharing if we stand in with you?" explanation for his departure that he gave her. She quietly suggested Dick Wrayburn. knew that he was a detective, and, being accustomed "A fair and square divvy, of co .urse." to his ways, asked no questions. "vVhen it came time for the party to move, CarBronco Bill rejoined them at the outskirts of the. melita had disappeared. town, and as night was falling they reached the surn"She's all right," explained Bro11co Bill. "She mit of a long hill, at the foot of which, in a small valwill be at the fandango to-night, and she will dance ley, nestled the commodious abode of Manuel, whose with Vasquez." main room with its polished floor of clay was all in He spoke of the matter so coolly that Frank readiness for the fandango. James exclaimed in surprise, mingled with disgust: Bronco Bill, who bestrode the fleetest horse, was "\i\That will you allow her to ft1rther associa: e half-way down the hill and a quarter of a mile in with this villain who tried to murder you?" advance of his companions, when a figure spra11g out "I don't know as I ought to prevent their meet-of the bushes into the road and seized the bridle of ing." his horse. "Why not?" It was that of a woman, and before the horseman "Because she's his wife.' -1 could move or speak she uttered the warning words in a soft, silvery voice: CHAPTER C. A DEED Of' DARKNESS. It was some ten miles from Grizzly Hollow to the ranch of Mannel, where the fandango was to take place. On the way thither F::ink and Jesse James .and their d etectiv'e companions passed through the small '' town of San Y gnacio. Dick w raybu .rn' s home was in San Y gnacio1 and as he had been absent from it for several weeks, he resolved to make a short stop thete "Death awaits you at the turn beyond. Turn, if you ever loved me." "Carmelita!" he exclair11ed, in amazement. "Yes, Carmelita," was her quick reply; "who has sworn-" I know," he hastily interrupted, as if he feared that other ears might hear, "and you can be de. pended upon, for you are as true. as and :1;;; good as gold. But," gazing ahead of him in the semi-darkness, "what is the da,nger? The adobe is scarcely a mile distant. Why are you. h!re? He ''The dange' is from the man who ha3 ma

8 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. lif e a curse," she interrupted, "whose life you now seek to take." "Vasquez?" "Yes." "vVhere is he?" "Below, between here and the adobe. Ah, there are your friends," she exclaimed, in a tone of relief, and upon the words darted into the bushes at the side of the road. "Carmelita!" called Bronco Bill aftel" her. "What is it?" "Shall you be at the fandango?" "Y cs." He said no more, and putting spurs to his horse rode on toward the adobe, thus entirely disregarding the warning he had receiv ed. The sight of \Vrayburn and the James boys may have given him courage, or he may have scouted the idea of danger. vVhatever his reasons were for paying no attention to Carmelita's words, certain it is that he had no opportunity for an explanation, for he had no sooner turned the bend in the road spoken of by the Mex ican girl than a rifle bullet pierced his brain, and he fell from his horse to the roadside, dead. .. Frank James vvas the first to reach the spot where lay the body of the slain detective. Dick Wrayburn was close beside him. The latter shuddered when he gazed down into the dead face of his partner. "That Vasquez is a very devil in his hate! He swore to kill poor Bill, and I knew all the time that he would keep his word. My turn will come next, I suppose, for the 1vlexican must know by this time that I am a detective as well as Bill.'' "This spoils our little game, Frank," sorrowfully remarked Jesse Jam es. "How so?" "vVhy, Vasquez won't dare show up at the adobe after this racket." "Don't worry," put in Dick Wrayburn, with de cision, "for he will be there. He has said it, and if a whoie retrimcnt of Unitecl States soldiers were stationed in of the door to bar his progress, he would keep his word." The bodv of Bronco Bill was lifted to the back of the horse \Vrnyburn had ridden and secured to it by the riata attached to the horn of the saddle. "You will have to take in the fandango without my company, I am afraid," the detective, said, "for my business now is at San Y gnacio." "\Ve ca!l take care oi ourselves," said Jesse. The. brother11 rode on, while vVrayburn, leading the horse which held as a burden the dead body of his partner, walked sorrowfully back to the little town he had left bnt an hour before. CHAPTER CI. A NIGHT OF DESPERATE DEEDS. The horsemen drew rein in front of Manuel's adobe just after sundown. If they had arrived early, there were others who had reached the place earlier, for the veranda of the adobe was filled with men and women, mostly native Californians, when the James boys dismounted from their ani mals and tethered them to one of the manv cottonwoods that grew in the vicinity. The spectacle of so many dark-skinned natives was not an encouraging one, for the probability was that they were either outspoken friends of the out law chief, or else were composed of the large number of his nationality who winked at his crimes and gave him aid and shelter whenever the demand for the same was made. But the two men whose names had been asso ciated with so man'y bloody and dare-devil enterprises in the States throughout the Mississippi Val ley, were not the ones to turn back from their mi3sion of vengeance and enrichment, though Vasquez and his entire band were opposed to them. They were in a nest of vipers, and if they escaped that ni ght with their lives, it would be by some won derful stroke of lt,1ck. They went out into the side room, where the liq uors were kept, and looked into the faces of the crowd to see if there were any Americans among them. Yes, there was one, a man of stalwart form, who had just arrived. He was dressed like a hunter, wore long, yellowish hair, and a beard of the same color covered the larger part of his face. But his eyes were brown and honest, and their keen, piercing gaze was at once directed on the James boys. The drinkers in the room were making so much noise that Jesse did not know that the American de sired to speak to him until cert ain significant g e s ticulations made him press his way through the crowd to the open doorway at the rear, where the man stood. Frank Jam es followed his brother. "Come outside," said the hunter, "where we can converse without fear of interruption." His rich voice in the utterance of English words was pleasant to hear after the foreign jabber that they had been forced to listen to lately. Under a tree at some distance from the adobe, the hunter thus addressed the two Misso:urians: "I have seen Dick vVrayburn, and I know who you are." Jesse started, but the next \Vords of the speaker quieted his fears. "Dick told me you were men who could be de


THE JESSE J/\MES STORIESo pended upon, and to prove hi .swords, describ e d what h a d take n pl a ce this forenoon clow n in Grizzly H ollow. "Where did you s e e him?" a s k e d Frank J a mes. About two mile s from here on the road to S a n Y gna cio. He was on his w a y to town with the de a d body of Bronco Bill. "And what i s your n ame and b usiness?" i nquired J ess e J a m e s "My n a m e i s Graham Quint, a n d I a m a l a w y er. But m y b u s in e s s he r e to-ni ght i s n o t con n ected with m y p rofe ssio n for I a m i q di s g u ise as the a d vanc e run n e r of the v i gi l a ntes. o f San Y g naci o, w hose l e ader I am, a n d w h o have sworn to exterminate V asq ue z and his infamo u s and terr i ble band o f hi g h waymen apd murderer s." "And where a r e your m e n-th e regul a t o rs?" T h ey w ill reach the valle y in si de of a n hour but w ill not m a k e for the abode until they h ear the si g n a l t h e hoot o f a night owl. .And now that I told yo u w h o I a m a n d what m y purpose is, c a n I c o u n t o n y our ass i s tanc e to-night?" "If w e are h e r e when you need assi s t ance, w e will g ive it r ea dily," a n swere d J esse Quint was fo r ced to be satisfied wi t h t hi s assm ance, an d a fter a fe w m ore word s they r eturned to the a d o be. J esse Jam es took t he first opportunity tl<1a t o ffer e d i tself t o speak wit h hi s brother in regar d to the l a w yer' s d e sig n s "Another interference wit h our scheme. I t eil you what, Frank, I a m goin g to. dow n t h a t g r e aser m y s elf. Keep cl os e to me all the evening. for there' s no telling wha t ma.y h a ppen. Soon after this conversation the orchestra, c o n s i s t in g of a v i oli n and a gui tar, each manipulated by a Mexican, started up the music for the first dance. Jess e J ames looked about for Car m elit a, and not knowin g of her presence down the road be for e the murder of Bronco Bill wa s surprised and disap p ointed at not beholding her-pretty face among the many Mexican women p resent. The fact that she was the ".Yife of Vasquez gave him no concern. He was not in lo v e with her, nor did he fe3.r that she wot.1l

10 But he still held the now fast-recovering Vasque z by his slender waist, and might, in spite of his disadvantage, have made his way to the door and Frank had not an arm crooked about his windpipe and made him drop his burden and think only of his own safety. Not a word fell from the lips of his new adversary until a kick against his shins by Jesse with all the force a desperate etnergency <1ould call forth, made him relax his hold about the Missourian's neck and utter a howl of pain. On the instant Jesse set up the old Quantrell yell, and its answer came quickly from the outside. A struggle for life or death followed. Jesse Jam es beset by two vindictive enemies, with but one good arm, fought against the terrible odds with the ferocity of a tiger. A blow from his fist, aimed in the direction where he supposed Vasquez to be, caught that worthy in the pit of the stomach, and sent him sprawling )?ack ward with a howl of agony. Immediately upon the giving of the blow he wheeled and caught the unknown adversary who had shot him, about the waist with his one useful arm, and with an almost superhuman effort, threw him upon the floor. A stinging sensatio n in the shoulder now warned him that Vasquez had again assumed the offensive. Just what happened afterward 'he never could tell He knew that he used his pistol, and that his knife was brought into requisition; that he seemed to be assaulted on all sides; that while he was making terrible lunges with his knife a weight settled on his brain, and consciousness left him. The struggle had ceased when Frank James and Graham Quint burst into the-room. The latter had provided himself with a lantern, and its light disclosed two forms lying side by side near the door of the bedroom. One was Jesse Jam es, wounded and insensible. The other was Manuel, the bandit, whose arm had been broken by Jesse James' bullet at Grizzly Hollow. He was stone dead. Vasquez had escaped. CHAPTER CII. A STRUGGL!t FOR LIF!t. Jesse James' encounter with Vasquez and Manuel left him very near death's door. It was a fortnight before he was able to get up and around. The vigilantes, accompanied by Dick Wr;iyburn, arrived at the abode about half-an-hour after Vas quez's flight. The wounded Mi ssourian was carried to Vira yburn' s hous e in San Y gna c io, where h e was tenderly nursed back to health b y E s t e lle One evening, afte.r the Bandit King had fully re covered hi s strength, Estelle strolled out with Graham Quint. The night w a s pitchy black, anri for that reason they were urged not to stray very far. They w e re standing jus t outside of the door. of the house, havin g returned fr o m their stroll, when Quint uttered a deep groan and fell heavily to the ground. A pO\v erful blow from behind from the clench e e l hand of some person who had come suddenly from the bushes hard by, had effected the young man' s downfall. 1 A shriek from Estelle was quickly stifled by her lover's assailant a \1d she was silently borne away through the bushes. After what seemed an interminably long time she was put down on the bank of a creek in a cross-cafion thickly wooded. Here, in the hollow trunk of a mamrn0th redwood, large enough to serve as a commodious room, Estelle' s captor halted and deposited her form on a couch of bear and panther skins. The tree had one other occupant-a man. He was sitting on a rustic chair, and Estelle shuddered and grew sick at heart when her eyes fell upon him. * * * * It was not through the lenity of the dreaded Mex-ican bandit that Graham Quint had not been killed outright in front of the hut of bushes. His assailant, a powerfully-built member of Vas quez's band, had acted under instructions, and those instructions were to entrap and carry off the girl. The young lawyer's life might have been ended before this but for the presence in the hills of vigi lantes and the scattering of the bandit's forces. As it happened, Quint was on his feet about five minutes after the departure of his assailant a,nd his fair captive. A search for the abducted girl proved fruitless. His face lengthened somewhat when a turn in the road he had been following brought him face to face with Wray burn and Jess e and Frank Jam es. "Where-where is Estelle?" gasped the girl' s father, when he saw that Quint was alone. The alarming story was soon told. Wray burn buried his face In his hands. Estelle' s l over regarded him pityingly. Suddenly the cleteetive s hands fell to his side, and instead of a countenance tearful and expressive of poignant ang ui s h Quint beheld it black and convulsed with murdero,us wrath. "I'll kill him-kill him as I would a mad dog.'i "Who?" "Vasquez." "If there i s an y life in him after I get through with


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 him, you are welcome to take it out," muttered Jesse James, under his breath. "When will you start?" inquired Quint, eagerly. "At once.' "May I go with you?" "Yes," said the outlaw, shortly. The sun was sinking when they left the main road, which, after a sharp descent, followed the windings of one of the tributaries of the creek to whose bank Estelle had been carried a prisoner. After a long tramp \Vrayburn said, gravely: "We are nearing a spot where I expect to obtain help. There is a cave a short distance beyond, which is inhabited b-y a woman. She i s the mother of Carmelita "I !:new her months ago, and she then had the bad taste to fall in love with me. She is not over thirty-five, and, though not as stylish -like as her daughter, is yet quite1good-looking. Now, a Mexi can woman in love is a curious creature. She will go to extremes to assist the object of her affec tions. Queer, isn t it, that such a woman, beautiful, cunning and cruel-she is all three-should lose her heart, and to me." Soon after the cave was reached, and Jovita, the Mexican woman, appeared at the entrance. She was a mature edition of Carmelita, and did not look a day over thirty. Her face was all smiles when she saw Dick Wrayburn. She had no eyes for his companions. Estelle' s father drew her aside and they talked to

I THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. A man was in the act of emerging from the cave. He was dressed in panther skins, a cap of the same material adorned his head, and he might have been an Indian from the color of his skin, for his smooth face was as brown as a berry. But Graham Quint took, but slight notice of the stranger's peculiarities. His eyes were riveted on the long knife carried in the right hand. One thought passed like lightning through his mind. An aJnbush had been laid for him. His murder had been deliberately planned. In the fiendish scheme no account had been taken of the James boys, for the schemers had looked for the appearanc e at the cave of only two persons-the father and the lover of the beautiful Estelle. Who had planned the ambush? No time for reflection on this proposition; time only for action, prompt and decisive. His revolver was out as the assassin leaped for ward, and shot after shot rang out, mingled with groans and cries, and terminating. in a hand-to-hand struggle for life. CHAPTER CIII. THE LAWYER FALLS IN'I'O A TRAP. Graham Quint's finger pressed the trigger of his pistol in the nick of time, and the man with the panther-skin suit dropped his knife-the wrist of tbe hand having been shattered by the bullet-and, re gardless of the danger and of his own disadvantage, thought to throw himself upon the lawyer. But a second report, following closely upon the heels of the first, brought the murderous bandit to his knees. Even then, with a leg useless as weU as an arm, he stubbornly continued to fight. \Vith one arm that could be used, he encircled his about the ankles, and, exerting all his force, lifted Quint off his feet and threw him to the ground. But the advantage thus gained was of little use to the man with the panther-skin suit, for in the physi cal struggle which followed, he proved no match fo: his strong and well-conditioned foe. Not until Quint had his knees on the wounded desperado's chest, and his fingers about his throat, did he open his lips to speak. "Are you satisfied?" was the stern interrogation. "Y es"-faintly-"ease up on my windpipe and I'll quit." Quint removed his fingers, and then picking up his revoiver which had fallen from his hand when he was thrown down, took a seat on a boulder a few feet away, and pointed the muzzle of the weapon at his prostrate enemy. The bandit raised himself on one elbow for a few moments, then sank back fainting and exhausted to his former condition. Up to this moment Estelle's lover 'had given no thought to the possible effects of his shots, but with the fainting of his assailant, he put up his pistol and proceeded quickly and skillfully to bind up the wounds. After his pale, damp face had been bathed with water from a spring close by, the wounded bandit opened his eyes, and began to talk. "Am I done for?" he asked, a wild terror in his eyes . For reasons of his own Quint did not see fit 1 ) state the truth as he viewed it. "I can't tell you, he replied gravely; "for I a m no surgeon." The villain groaned. His fear put the wors t construction on the young man's words. "Curse her! curse 'em all!" he savagely muttered. ''If I had not been a bigger fool than Thompson's colt I would never have run into this snap." "vVho put you up to it?" was Quint's pertinent question. The wounded man glared suspiciously at the questioner until a sharp twinge gave a serious complex ion to his thoughts. "If I live will you prosecute me?" he asked. "Not if you act like a sensible man now," was the reply. "All ri gl'.t, I see the point. Well, then, Jovita put me up to it." "What was her reason for desiring my death?" "You are in her wav." "In her way ?-how?" Graham Quint was surprised beyond measure. "She hopes to marry Dick W rayburn and corral all his money. He's well fixed, I suppose you know." "His pecuniary affairs have never given me the slightest concern," said the young man, coldly. "Well, he is rich, all the same; got a raise lately and told the old gal, the senora, I mean, all about it. Now, if she marries him and he should happen to die while Estelle lived, the clau 'ghter would come in for a big slice of the boodle." "What has all this rigmarole to do with Senora J ovita's hate of me?" "I'll come to that. Jovita is a schemer. She looks ahead, locates the obstacles, then prepares to remove them. Obstacle number one is Estelle Wray burn." "And she is even now a prisoner in the hands of Vasquez," groaned the young lawyer. "Correct for a thousand dollars," said the bandit, "and as Vasquez and the senora are pulling together


THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES no 'you can see that the girl's chances of life are migh t y slim." Quint made no comment, but with clenched hands waited for furtl1er revelations. ''Obstacle number two," the wounded desperado went on, "is yourself, because you are Miss Wrayburn's lover and a strong friend of the old man, the detective. If she should put the girl out of the way, and let you live, she would be under the constant fear that you would exert such influence over Wrayburn as to prevent the marriage. Now, do you see?" "Yes I see." Presently he asked' : "Diel Jovita act alone in this matter?" "No." "Who is with her?" "Carmelita." "When did you see the Mexican girl last?" "A few hours ago." "Did mention my name?" "Yes. She said she hoped her mother would suc ceed in her design of putting you out of the way." Quint's face grew graver. Once he had pitied Carmelita, for he had then looked upon her as a girl of good heart and gener ou s impulses. The death of Br.onco Bill seemed to have entirely changed her disposition. She now lived only for revenge, and Vasquez had put her o'n the wrong scent, and made her regard as deadly enemies those who would be glad to be her friends. Darkness had now fallen, and the moon was ris ing. The wounded outlaw was about to speak agam, when the hoot of a mght owl was heard. Ouint started. fi was the signal of danger suggested by Dick Wray burn. The call was reoeated. The young ma;1 was flying down the canon when the second appeal for aid sounded, and he not in his headlong pace-the brightly shining moon enabling him to see about him distinctly_:._until he came to within a few rods of the mammoth redwood. A deep groan from within the hollow trunk made him again press on. He reached the tree, turned to make for the opening on the farther side, when half a dozen men, who seemed to spring out of the ground, set upon him and soon had him a bound and helpless prisoner. He was carried into the natural apartment, where Estelle had been taken and thrown down without further ceremony. The room was lighted by a lantern, and he could see everything about him plainly. He saw his sweetheart-and a sharp pain seized his heart-and he saw Jovita. But where was Vasquez? And where were the James boys-or the Johnson brothers, as he knew them-and Di

. i I 14 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. for his sweetheart then, he would have noticed that she was deathly pale. The language of the Mexican woman, the vindict iveness toward her lover with which it was charged, not only frightened her, but made her doubt the existence of any good quality, truth least of all, ia Jovita. The latter's manner showed that she enjoyed the confusion into which she had thrown the prisoners. But, after there had been a long silence, she said: "There are \vheels within wheels, and when both of you come to know the reason of to-night's doings you will-" she hesitated, and again that strange smile crept into her face. "We will what?" quickly interrogated Quint, who was intensely interested in her words. "You will understand my position in the affair perfectly." She laughed lightly, showed her white teeth mali ciously, and then turned away. The young man was enraged, and yet at the same time he was devoured by curiosity; but it was a debatable matter whether she would deign to enter into a satisfying explanation. To try her, he "Are you a friend or a foe?" She wheeled quickly and faced him with a sneering smile. "Not your friend you may rest assured,'' she re plied, snappishly. "Are you the friend of this young lady?" She hesitated a -moment, Estelle regarding her in nervous expectancy, and then slowly made answer: "Miss \Vrayburn has been favored with my con fidence to a certain extent, and from what I have told her she must be the judge as to whether I am her friend or her enemy." "Are you the friend of her father?" "Yes," promptly and earnestly. "What do you say, Estelle?" asked her lover. "I don't know what to say," she agitatedly re sponded, her hopes and her sympathies struggling with her doubts. "I want to believe in her. She has given me what I thought but a short time ago were good reasons for my father's absence ; and for her conduct; and yet now that I know how she regards you, now that I believe that your capture was effected by treachery, I am bewildered." "I am not,'' returned Quint, with bold positive ness. "She is the enemy of all of us, your father included. If he returns with his viligantes he will find no one here, unless--" he ceased speaking, and fixed his eyes on Jovita so strapgely that she started and turned pale. "Unless what?" she demanded. "Come here and let me whisper the rest in your ear,'' he said, smiJingly, and with affected careless ness. Surprised at the singularity of the request in the presence of Estelle, Jovita stood still and stared at the young lawyer. "My regard for a certain person, laying peculiar stress upon the last word, and shifting his gaze for an instant from the Mexican woman to his sweetheart, "makes it necessary that what I desire to say shall remain a secret between us for the present." A secret! what woman, high or low, ignorant or intelligent, but what delights in a secret. Jovita's black eyes twinkled in eager anticipation, as she advanced without more ado toward the prostrate prisoner. Not the slightest suspicion of danger entered her head. Quint was bound and helpless, and she was armed and at liberty. Perhaps a malicious satisfaction in being the recipient of a communication from which the loveiy Estelle wa_s debarred, may have contributed to in duce her to comply with Quint' s request. She reached his side, stooped over in order that he might whisper the words of mystery into her ear, when two hands came into view like a flash. One w as placed tightly over her mouth; the other seized her by the waist and forced her over upon the ground . While lying down during the conversation that had followed the departure of his captors, Qt1int had succeeded in freeing his hands. But the battle for liberty was not yet over. His lower limbs were secured at the ankles, and, until the cords that bound them had been removed he could not settle matters satisfactorily with Jovita. The Mexican woman struggled with all her might to free herself but without avail, for there was a giant's power in the hands that held her. Quint looked at Estelle, and was about to speak, when with the quickly uttered words in a low whis per, "I understand," the daughter of the absent de tective crawled from her. couch of panther. skins un til her fingers rested upon the cords that bound her lover's ankles. The work of untying them was slow, for her wrists were bound like her lover's, bu t at la st, with a sigh of thankfulness. she succeeded in her endeavor. Once assured of the free use of his limbs, the young man said : "There is a handkerchief in one of the pockets of my coat. Take it out, and place it over this she devil's face." Estelle did as requested, though it occupied some time on account of her disadvantages, and when the handkerchief was in the de s ired position, Quint re moved his hand quickly from J ovita's mouth; and then, before s he could voice a syllable, she was neatly gagged.


. THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 15 The rest of the work to be performed was easy. C a rmelita's mother was securely bound with the cords that had seen service with t he young lawyer; and Estelle's bonds were removed, all without a sound that would probably awaken suspicion in the minds of the bandits outside. The labor over, Quint with his hands warmly claspingthose of Estelle, listened intently. Not a word could be heard outside but the faint si_ehing of the wind. The camp of Vasquez's followers must be close by, and, if .so, .where were they? The lovers were about to leave the shelter of the mammoth tree and trust to luck in eluding the vigi larice of their enemies, when a pistol shot rang out a few hundred yards up the trail. The shot was followed by another and another, and groans, curses and exultant cries, strangely mingled, were borne to the ears of the excited listen ers. "It's your father and the vigilantes," whispered Quint. "They have met the bandits and a fight is going on. I must have a hand in it." She would have endeavored to restrain him from venturing alone in the wood and running the risk )f being shot by either foe or friend, but he was out of the tree before the last words had been spoken. There were more shots, and then suddenly there ensued a short period of profound silence. It was broken by the rapid approach of a man. He entered the apartment, a wild look in his eyes, and his breath coming in gasps. It was Vasquez. "Come," he said, hoarsely to Estelle, "this is no place for either you or me." He seized her hand and would have dragged her from the tree had not an arm shot forth from be hind, and catching him under the ear sent him stag-gering across the room. 1 The rescuer was Jesse and there was a murderous light in his eye, when he saw the face of the man. he had assaulted. "At last," he cried, in savage triumph, and his trusty revolver was out in a twinkling. The California terror closed his eyes, and gave himself up for lost. Excited shouts from without, and the crack of a pistol, whose bullet grazed the head of the Missouri outlaw, rriade him pause at the very moment when Vasquez's life hung in the balance. Involuntarily Jesse James turned his head, and !t \vas well that he did so, for a tall Mexican was within three feet of him and about to fire bi's seconp shot. There. was no time for deliberation. Dropping his own weapon, Jesse Jam es, with the Quickness of thought, sprangforward and caught the arm just as his fingers pressed the trigger. The bullet flew upward and buried itself in the body of the tree. An exciting scene followed. CHAPTER CV. FRANK JAMES 1'4EE'rS WITH A REVERSE. Jesse James forced his murderous assailant through the doorway to the outer air, at the same time calling to Estelle to follow close after him. The brave girl had picked up the Missouri out law s revolVer as soon as she saw it drop from his hand, and the use she made of it the instant it came into her possession caused Vasquez, who had started forward, knife in hand, to attack his enemy to come to a sudden halt. I t was then that the Mexican bandit gave i1is first serious thought to the condition of Jovita. He was standing over her when she cried out in a hoarse whisper: "Use your knife to cut my bands, can t you?" And he was performing this duty, when Estelle glided out of the door upon the heels of Jesse Jeimes. Outside Vasquez and Jovita could hear the sounds of a mighty struggle, in which the crack of a re volver was quickly followed by a groan or a heavy fall in the dry and crackling underbrush. A yell of .triumph from one of his men decided the of the bandits upon his course of ;rction. With a knife in one hand and a pistol the other: he started for the scene of the conflict. As he reached the doorway a scream of agony from the throat of a woman pierced his brain like a knife. As he stood for a moment, Carmelita, covered with bloqd, staggeretl toward him. The dim light from the lantern within fell upon her face. Death had set his seal upon it, Vasquez caught her in his arms as she was falling, and clasping her tightly dashed around the tree, while the shots and cries beyond announced tbat the fight was still raging, and made good his escape. Estelle had reached the open air, after her exit from the tree and was hesitating as to which way she should go, when her father suddenly He was overjoyed to find her safe. "This place is dangerou!!," he said, "and I must get you out of it at once." As they pu-shed their way beyond the trail into the chaparral that lined the hillside, they came upon an open space and stumbled a nd nearly fell over an ob stacle lying against the bushes. Estelle turned to look at it, and then uttered a cry of horror.


16 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. The obstruction was the body of a man, and 'the man was probably tje a d. Wrayburn shivered as his gaze became riveted upon the motionless form. "\iVho is he?" Estelle asked in a faint voice, and pressing her hands tightly against her heart. The moon w as s hin ing still, but the body was. in de e p shadow. thrown by the tall tree that up d a rkly above the m. "Som e robber, probably," her father returned. I mus t know '.vho he is,., she sai d, faint l y, and, summonins; all her courage to meet the worst. "Then I 'll strike a light," returned Wray burn. His finger s tremble d as he held a lighted match ov e r the p r os trate man's face. The eyes w ere closed and the forehead was bloody, and yet with one look Estelle ga .ve utterance to a cry of joy. The man was not Gra h a m Quint, as she had feared: "I thought it was a bandit; I hoped it was Vas quez s ai d the detective, half-musingly; "but it's no such luck for me. A friend ha::; been stricken clown, one that p erformed valiant service s for the vigilantes to-night?" The man, was Frank James. CHAPTER CV!. JOVITA'S PECUI,IAR ACTIONS. The shots outside the tree had ceased, and all was still as the grave, before Tovita, the Mexican woman, left her position of security. She had not followed Vasquez out of the natural apartment, for dodging bullets was not to her taste, and she had llj>t seen Carmelita, nor knew that she was mortally wounded. There was an expression of savagb vindictiveness on her dark face, as she stepped cautiously forth. "I'll kill him, kill him!" she hissed. "I'll kill him the first time I meet him, though I hang for it the next moment. The wretch, the monster, the cow ard!" She did not stop to consider that she had given Quint great provocation for his harsh measures, and that she had acted in such a manner toward himself and his friends that force for the attainment of the right had become imperative. But her mind reverted to Dick Wrayburn, she smiled softly as she murmured his name in tones that, though not of hate, could scarcely be con-strued into those of admiration. "And Dick's money will be my money. I won der, she mused, "if this cowardly Quint guesses that I want him out of the way because he is too intimate with Diel<. and with his pale-faced daugh ter." Soon she was on her way to the cave. The moonlight fell full upon the entrance, as she came within view of it, and it also shone full in the face of the man whose wife she desired to be. "I have been expecting you," said \iVrayburn, as she approached. His tone was earnest and It was evident that he still trusted her. "Vvhere are your friends, -rhe vigilantes?" she c.sked, curtly. "Scattered far and wide." "Then Vasquez's band were the victors?" 'No. We routed the bandits. The boys scattered for the purpose of capturing the few who escaped." He w a s about to say more, when a suspicious sound in the bushes near at hand made him pause. "Quick-into the cave!" he whispered, commandingly. "I will attend to the fellow, if he be a foe." Jovita glided away silently, leaving the detective to await the arrival of the oncomer. As he crouched behind some low bushes by the cavern' s entrance, a man's hea.d appeared from behind a ,:-1"11oside of which ran the trail down the canon. His features were bloody, and yet were recognizable. Dick Wray burn started violently. For the man was Frank James or his ghost. A moment later and Jesse's brother, or his materialized spirit, stood in front of the cave, and was preparing to enter when the detective arose to his feet to greet him. At this moment and before a word could be spoken, a pistol bullet sped on a bloody mission. The report had not died away before Dick Wrayburn fell forward to the earth. He hi'ld been shot while in the act of extending the hand of friendship to Frank James, and the shot had come from some spot close at hand. As he fell, Jovita rushed from the cave, to be instantly seized by the outlaw from Missouri, who was no ghost, but a live, strong and resolute man. It did not long for Frank James to place the desperate and dangerous Mexica,n woman in a position that rendered her struggles unavailing. He was in the act of binding her wrists when Vasquez stepped into view. He still bqre in his arms the lifeless body of Car melita. Vasquez, with surprising quickness, dropped his burden rudely to the ground, and sprang upon his enemy bmore Frank could remove his hands from the person of Jovita. The latter, upon finding herself at liberty, at once turned lier attention to Dick Wrayburn, being wholly unaware of the fact that her daughter lay



18 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Jovita was not there to greet them, and the ca v e was tenantless. But pinned to a small bus h near the entranc e w:is a sheet of white notepaper. Frank James. lighted a match-the moonlight would not serve his purpos e here-and r ea d a s fo] .. lows: Ma WRAYBURN d a ught er is in m y k eeping. Do n o t s ear ch for h e r,. bnt trus t in rnc. Yot.1 shall h e a r fr o m m e af t e r my daughter's burial. Jovrv They looked about. for the body of Carmel i ta, It was not in the cave, nor in th e open s p a ce in front of it. .'Vasquez has been here a g ain said Frank J amc5 to the sorely-stricken fath e r. "Yes. "Then we'll get him and r e scue your daughter al the same time. Dick Wrayburn l ooked with s ad, incredul ous ey es at the Missouri outl aw. "You don't understand how that do uble game c a n be worked, eh?. Well, I'll show you when d aybrea k comes. When a man packs a wom a n dead or ali ve, for any dist a nce in the hills, throug h bu s h e s a n d bru s h of a night, he le av e s a trail th a t a n ov i ce i:1 w o odcraft could foll ow N ow I'm no no, ice.". The detecti v e' s face bri ghte n e d "Then you believe that you can track the b andit to his lair?" "I do. "I'll w a it pati e n t ly, the n for d ayb r eak." While th ey c or iv e r s ed J ess e J a m es and Graham Quint hove into view. They h ad escaped with out a scratch, but were w orn out with the ir e xert i o n s The .party retired to the c a ve for furthe r con s ulta tion. CH APTER CVII. 'A MURDEROU S ATTACK. The unfortunate h appenings of the night had a mo s t exaspera tin g effect up o n the mind of the young lawy er. His enemi e s had triumphed aft e r all, though the fight down the c a n o n had g one again s t them. E s telle was, no doubt, a prisone.r, for s he was in the hands of Jov it a, a nd J ov it a w a s hi s remor s ele ss en e my, and s he h a d al s o planned to murder hi s sweetheart. He was in no mood for sle e p though phys ically worn out, and after the w ounded fakir had been brought to the cave and an examination by Wray burn, who was something of a surgeon, had shown that the bullet fired fro m Quint's pistol had done but little damage, the four friends sat d o wn on a pile of skirts in a grotto lighted by a lantern, and talked over the matters w hi c h w ere of the g r av e s t interest to them. Bdo re su n rise they w e r e on the move. F r an k J a mes' woodcraft c a m e in t o good play. Li ke a n India n he followed t h e trail l ef t by t h<: Mexican woman, V as qu ez an d t h e ca pti v e girl, un ti l it b ro u g h t the m to the m a mmoth t r e e b y the cree k. And t h e re b y the \ V ; ayburn pi cked up ano t h e r note fr o m J ovi ta addressed t o him a n d stat ing tha t he would find hi s

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 19 Assisted by one of his followers, Vasquez bore her to the deserted mining tunnel. Here in a larg e underground chamber, hollowed out of t.he eatth and propped with timbers, a short distance from the mouth, she passed a sleepless night. When morning came, several bandits-the few who had escaped with their lives after the furious and bloody struggle of the night-looked in upon her, but she saw nothing of the man she mos t dreaded. Jovita was with her, had made her appearance ::i. few moments after Estelle's arrival at the tunnel, and had ne ver left her since. The daughter of the detective had not been re stricted in the use of her limbs since her entrance into the underground chamber, for the outlet was guarded by a bandit . and Jov ita, armed and resolute as a man, was her companion. The Mexican woman had entered into no explanation regarding her conduct. She did not even in form Estelle that Carmelita was dead; but the glances that she cast at the girl from time to time served to deepen the impress ion in the latter's mind that Jovita was an enemy, and a dangerous one. Breakfast had been eaten, and Estelle, with her fine, healthy organism, gained hope and courage after her morning refreshment. She believed that her father and her lover were seeking her, but she resolved not to calmly await their coming, but to make an effort to escape at the first opportunity. Her look of resignation, assumed to deceive Jovita, caused the latter to remark: "You are expecting your father and that fellow Quint, I presume?" Unmindful of the sneer which accompanied these words, Estelle quietly responded: "I am waiting for them, and I believe they wiU find me." Jovita looked at her queerly, but made no reply. Since the death of Carmelita her hate of Estelle had intensified. She had wept but little upon di scovering that her daughter was no more, for she was of a strange ciis position : In her were still waters which ran deep. Presently Jovita arose, and walked toward the mouth of the tun nel. A short time she stood there gazing moodily out at the landscape. Then she turned and once more fixed her dark and somber eyes upon the fair prisoner. Estelle sat with her hands folded, and her head bowed upon her breas t. vVith the low exclamation, "Humph!" Jovita passed out into the sunlight, nodding carelessly fo the guard, and !Cft Estelle alone. "Now," thought the lovely girl, as the color leaped to her cheeks, "now is my opportunity." Near where she sat was a piece of straw matting, about a yard square. Underneath it were planks covering a hole, some twenty feet in depth, which had been dug for ex purposes by the original owner of _the mme. With beating beart Estelle waited silently for some moments, and then, hearing nothing but the occasional movement of the sentinel, arose quickly, and nois e lessly removed the matting from the boards. A plan of e s cape had entered her mind, which might succeed, if Jovita were not near at hand; and if she had but the one bandit outside to contend with. The planks were next removed, and carried to a corner and covered with various articles of cast-off clothing picked up from the floor.' This done, she replaced the matting over the hole. Now, for the experiment which promised so much to her. In her chair, placed directly behind the matting and on a line with the outlet, she seated herself and gave utterance to a series of moans that were meant to indicate the greatest physical distress. The guard, a stout grizzled Mexican, heard the moans and rushed quickly in. He saw Estelle with her hand pressed against h e r heart, and her face contracted, seemingly in intens e pain. Without a thought of treachery or deceit, he dashed forward, struck the matting with his feet and then shot clown out of sight in the twinkling of an eye. Paler than any ghost, but with the light of undying determination in her eyes, Estelle, upon the instant of the guard' s descent, rushed for the open air. She stopped not a minute when she found herself outside the tunnel, she looked neither to the right nor the left, but with the fleetness of a deer sped down the tr-ail which led to the mammoth tree. She had not gone more than a few hundred yards when her absence was discovered. The yells of the trapped bandit in the hole had brought some of his comrades, who had been playing cards in the shade of a tree a short distance away, and upon his excited explanation of what had occurred, a pursuit was instantly undertaken. Estelle heard the threatening shouts behind her, but her fear served to lend wings to her flight. She fairly flew over the ground, and the shots that were fired to scare her only made her clinch her hands and close her lips the more tightly. But she was beginning to feel that she could not run much longer, when to her ineffable joy she saw ahead of her the form of the man she loved, and with ,. ., I (


\1 \\ THE JESSE JAMES sTORiES. him her fath e r and the Johnso n brothe rs, otherwis e the Jam e s boys. -. while her h eart throbbed with happin ess and her eyes, filled with de e p es t lo v e were fix ed u pon the flushed and beaming face of the handsome young lawyer, a shot was fired from one side of the trail, 11p a high bank, which caused Dick Wrayburn to stagger and fall. Estelle looked up on the instant of the report, and so did the James bo y s and Quint, and t he y sa w the s av a gely triumphant face of Vasquez, and clo s e be hind him the p a le and sc a red counte na nc e of Jovita. While the afflicted girl w a s on her k n ees, support in g her father's head, Quint and the J ames boys we re in swift pursuit of the assassin and h i s compan io11s. But they found no trace of them, s o s uddenly and m y steriousl y did they di sap pe a r and they saw not a sin g le bandi t in the hills. They would h a ve con t inu e d the search farther, but the probably serious conditi o n of the wounde d man and the danger that mi ght be set Estelle induced the m to turn b a ck aft e r they h a d g on e about a mil e v Vrayburn' s e y es were open when the trio came up. (Who shot me?" he a ske d fai ntl y of Quint. "Vas quez "I-I thought as much. was h e alone?" "No . That she de vil J ov it a w as with him "Then she is a traitress," he gasped and fain t ed. CHAPTER CVIII. JOVITA MAKES A PROPOSI 'l'ION. A few da y s after the occurre nces rel ated in the last ch apte r, w hil e Quint and J ess e J a me s were sitting in the living-room of Dick Wra y b urn';; cottage, there came a sharp knock a t the door. Estelle opened it, and to her amaz ement confronted Jovita. The Mexit::rn woman, without a word, pushed by her and w a lked in. Utterly i gnoring the pre s ence of the two me n she passed by them and entered the bedroom where the detective lay seriously wounded. He had had a close sha ve for his life, for Vasquez's bullet had miss e d the heart by a hair. Rushing up to the bed, the Mexican woman fell on her knee s, and murmuring Wrayburn' s name, told him between her sobs that he must get well for he1: sake "You think I have deceived you," she cried, loud enough for those in the adjoining room to hear. "YOU wrong me, for I tried to prevent the firing of the shot." Wrayburn appeared to be satisfied with her explanation. my daughter?" he presently said in an anx-ious voice. "You d o not like her. How can I trus t y o u with that feelin g in your h eart?" Get well ," she ansvver e d "and E s telle shall hav e nothing furthe r t o fear from me. G e t well s he re pe at ed for I have a g r ea t surpris e in store for you Jus t the n t h e surgeon c a me in. Jovita rema in ed but a few m oments long er. A s s he r e entered t h e liv in groom, Graham Quint aro s e to hi s fee t for the purpose of preventing her e x it from t h e hou se ' You ne ed not stop me ," she sa id earnestly, for I ha v e bus ine ss with you and with this gentleman," b o wing slig htly t o J esse James, "That busines s," s h e con tinue d a s the yo un g la\vyer looked at her wi t h contemptuous incredulity, relates to Vas qu e z." ''Then you have no liking for him, now?" queried Qnint, experimentally. "I hate hi m!" "Ah!" put in Jesse James. "Then you should not ha v e allowed him to sh oot Dick v V rayburn. "l allo w him! she exc i tedly r e pli e d her bosom heaving with strong emotion. Merciful Heaven! Do you think I had anything to do with that mat ter?" Y o u were by his side when the shot was fired, ans wered Jesse coldl y "After the shotd1ad b e en fired, I was by his side I was not with him before. He is no friend of mine an y more. I sa w him crouched behind some bushes. I divined his purpose, and I tried to re ach him in ti m e to sav e S enor Wrayburn, but fate was against me. Y o u must believe me senors," she cried, pas siona tely. She pause d a moment to recover her breath, and the n earnes tly continue d : I will prove to you tha t I could not have seconded Vasque z in his murderous design, by deliver in g him into your hands ." "'That's bus iness," remarked Jess e Jam es, emphatically '"When can y o u do this?" a sked Qti int, eagerly. "To-morro w I mus t fir s t m ake all neces sarv preparatic ms, so that there may be no hitch in the programme. The vill a in tried to kill my friend, he is respon s ible for the d eath of my daughter, and I care not what puni shment you inflict upon him whe n once you get h i m into your power. Her tones had the ring of truth in them. She took her leave promising to call on the morrow. As soon as she had mounted the horse, which hac 1 brought her to town, and was out of si ght of the house, Jes se James snapped his fingers and said, hurriedly: "That for her promises. I am going to shad. ow her." Quint made no objection, for he liad serious


THE JESSE JAMES STORii.3. 21 doubts himself as to the sincerity of the senora's protestations. The task of following her was an easy for she rode toward tke hills without once looking behind her. Two hours' ride and Jesse Jam es, now on foot, saw her dismount in front of a squatter' s cabin in a small vallev. A masked man appeared at the door to meet her. ''That is Vasquez for a thousand dollars," said Jesse James. ''Now, to pin the .cunning senora to the wall. I must overhear what they say to each otheri before putting in my own oar; so I may he able to tell Dick vVrayburn a story that he will be lieve." He noiselessly started for the cabin, and without betraying his proximity, obtained an excellent posi tion for listening purposes ut'lcler the small window on one side, the upper sash of which was lowered. Vasquez it was, and liis first v10rds were: "Do you think they will bite?" "Yes. I'll have both of them here to-morrow. Now, for this Manton business. Are you sure the paymaster will start clay after to-morrow?" "Yes." "Tell me all you have heard." Paymaster meant money. Je s se Jam es pricked up his ears. His old lawless1 spirit of greed was aroi..1sed, and, forgetting all caution, he raised his head to peer through the glass. As he did so, he encountered the steady gaze ; f his mortal enemv. The Missouri 'outlaw was about to cluck his head when a bullet cut the glass and whizzed past his ear. CHAPTER CIX. JOVI'tA GE:TS THE BETTER OF QUINT. When the bullet sped by Jesse James' head he turned from the window, and, whipping out his revolver, made a dash for the door in front. It wa<> too late to retreat, and he was not that kind of a man, either. He must make a b,old fight for his life, and he was ready for the emergency. The door was open, and Jovita stood upon the threshold. "Too late!" she hissed in her rage, but v'vhether directed toward him or Vasquez, J e!;se could not say. ''He has gone; he flew out of the door before you turned the corner." "Which way did he go?" "This way," pointing '.:.oward some bushes a few feet away. Jesse James. hesitated for one brief moment. Time was of the utmost importance to him, and yet he must do nothing rashly. "Excuse me," he said, coldly, and, pushing his way past her, entered the cabin. Vasquez was not there, Jovita had not lied, then, as to the bandit's flight. But had she told the truth as to the direction he had taken? He found himself in a dilemma, as he rapidly thought the matter over. If he took the route pointed out in pursuit of Vas quez, he might find himself on a wild-goose chase, or, worse still, might be drawn into ambush. Jovita watched him, as he hurried toward the bushes she had indicated, and .then hurriedly made preparations for her own departure from the place. It was late in the afternoon when she turned a corner of the road-she was on horseback-and saw the town of San Y gnacio in the near distance. But she saw something else besides the town. She saw an approaching horseman. As he came near, she ob s erved, with a frown, that it was Graham Quint. He approached and reined up his horse when close by her side. Her own animal had also come to a standstill. "I am very sorry to be obliged to adopt harsh measures toward a woman," he said, gravely; "but you must consider yourself my prisoner." "I will explain she began, tremulously, for she feared the young lawyer as much as she hated him. "You are very good at explaining," he coolly interrupted; "but there are some matters in which I ha'{e taken part which you can never explain to your credit with me as the judge. A jury may accept your story, but I cannot." She made a quick motion toward her side but the muzzle of a pistol was close to her face before she could execute her evident design. "Don't try to oppose me," came the stern, menacing utterance, "or I may forget that you are a wo1nan." Jovita shivered and let the hand that had made the suggestive movement rest on the pommel .::1 her saddle. "\i\Tait a moment," came from her lips, faintly, "and let me .think." She bit her li\) and tried to evolve from her confused brain some scheme that might promise her immunity from arrest. Presently a hopefu l light shone in her dark eyes. "\\That charge do you propose making against me?" she asked. "There are quite a number of offenses that might be successfully laid at your door," he said. "Rob bery, attempted murder, abduction, and conspiracy." "You cannot prove that I ever robbed any one," she retorted, defiantly. ''lt can be proved that the band of which you are


22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. a member has committed robberies almost without number," he replied, "and in law all are alike guilty." To his surprise she seemed relieved at this statement. But in a moment her face grew grave and anx ious. "And abduction? Whom have I abducted?" "Miss Wrayburn, or gave your assistance to the villainous action, which amounts to the same thing." "Miss Wrayburn !' The utterance of the name *8.used Jovita's to clear in an instant. She thGught she saw a way out of her difficulty. "You love the yoWlg lady, do you not?" "Yes, he answered, steadily, "I do love her, and. it is because I love her that her enemies are my ene mies." "Her father has some claim to your respect and consideration, has he not?" "Yes." "Then let me inform you that Richard Wrayburn is my dear friend; that, in fact, he is my affianced husband; that he believes in me fully, and that he knows I am not an enemy of Estelle." "But your conduct toward her? Your expressions of hate to me? No, no, senora, you cannot hoodwink a lawyer, though you may succeed with a layman." "If you arrest me," she cried, desperately, ."you will prevent the capture of Vasquez, for you know I have promised to deliver him into your hands. I cannot explain my past actions now," as she saw that he hesitated; "but before long you shall know my object in remaining with the bandits was not for the purpose of She spoke impetuously, and apparently with the deepest earnestness and feeling. Quint allowed the pistol hand to drop to his side, but, on the moment of this action, Jovita's right hand, whose recent occupation l i e had failed to no tice, came up with something shining and murderously suggestive in it. It was her own revolver, and, like a flash, she flung it at his head. Before Quint could realize her intention, he received a blow which sent him reeling. from the saddle. A wicked, triumphant laugh greeted his ears, as Jovita, quickly wheeling her horse, dashed up the road in the direction of the cabin, which she had left but a short time befqre. ; CHAPTER ex. A BOLD ROBBERY IS PLANNEq. ;' ; Twenty-four hours passed. Jovita did not fulfill her promise to call at Wray burn's house, and outline her plan for delivering the dreaded Mexican bandit into the hands of his enemies. Frank and Jesse James took a walk late in the afternoon. Both were disgusted with the ill-luck they had had in the Vasquez chase. "We wanted that reward, and we may stay here a year and be as far off from getting it as we are now," growled Frank, who was not a growler by na ture. "I've got a scheme," said Jesse, "that will put money in our purses, and at the same time give us a chance to do a little of the old-time business:' "You mean robbery? What is it?" asked his brother, with quickened interest. Jesse was not averse to playing a virtuous role now and then, but he had tired of the part he had been playing lately. True, the detective was a good fellow, but he was a detective after all. "My scheme," replied Jesse, "is neither more nor Jess than the robbery of the paymaster of Joel Manton, the great cattle king of Southern California." The words spoken by Vasquez in the squatters' cabin had given the Missouri outlaw an idea, which he \Vas not slow to act upon when he arrived in San Y gnacio after an unsuccessful search in the hills for the Mexican bandit. By inquiries, c a refully made he learned that Manton' s paymaster would pass through the town two cla ys hence on his way to a cattle camp twenty miles distant. Coupled with this was the ft;trther intelligence th:i.t the paymaster would carry with him over forty thousand dollars in gold and bills, with which to pay off the large number of Manton's employees, who were to assemble at the camp on the day in question. Jesse J :ime s determined to rob the paymaster be fore he reached his destination, and when he broached the scheme to his brother, the latter's comment xvas quick and decisive. "I'm with you to the last ditch." The fact that the custodian of the m "oney would go on his way attended by a guard of five resolute men, l t


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 23 cowboys at t h:lt, cliu not c:.rnse the James boys to shrink from tl 1 e un dertaking-. They were re ady to encounter greater odds thaa that with such a treasure at stake. Jess e Jame s also had ev ery reason to believe that Vasquez meant to attack t he paymster's party, but h e hoped to fo:est;ill the bandit in this enterprise. And h e believed he could effect his pu r pose by fix ing upon a sp o t about tliree miles from San Y gnacio, where the road made a sharp turn around a huge bowlder near the bank of a creek, Concealed behind thi s bowld e r. the Jam es boy s armed to the teeth, would be able, so they hoped, to make such a sudden ons l a ugl-it upon the six men of the treasure party, that res is tance on their part would be practic a lly u s ele ss "Vv e'll stand by the racket, no matter what happens," said Jesse grimly. / The conversation of the t wain had been carried )ll at intervals for over an hour, and when the plan for the bold robbery had been fully arranged, they founrl themselves on the outskirts of the town and at the foot of a long hilL l t was close upo1i. dusk, and they were about to retrace their steps, when, looking up hill, they saw some object crawling painfully in the middle of the road toward them. It was not an animal Jesse James decided, after a kng scrutiny, if it was a human being, it was certainly acting in a n1os t peculiar manner. A& it c<\me nearer, the brothers saw that it was .1 woman; and, as they hurried to meet it, the ghastly countenance of the Mexican woman, Jovita, looked at them from a mass of dust and biood. "Good!" she gasped, when they stopped in front of her, "I've found some one, as I hoped I would, and you "-noclding her head at J esse-"best of all." "What has happened?. y Ott are hurt. vVho did it?" These questions were asked rapidly. Jovita raised herself on an arm, and said with great difficulty: "Vasquez, the cowardly hound who shot Dick vVrayburn-he has mur?cred me-ah!" with a gasp, "I shall not live to tell it." She sank back in the road. Jesse James drew a flask from his pocke t, and poured some of .he strong contents rlown thro;it. As stooped over her, he sa\v that the back of her head \ V as a mass of gclre. The liquor reviv e d the wounded woman, and again sitting u p, she tried to finish her story: ''I reall v me ant to deliver him up to the officers or auy one who \ '\anted him ," she said, "because he s h o t the on l y man l ever loved. Yes, I loved Rich ard \ Vrayburn, though I schemed to put his daughtcr. out of the way in order that she might not take any of the money, \ vhich I desired should belong t0 myself and my husband. Tell him I am sorry for my wickedness, and that I want him to 'think as kindly of me a s he can. She pati sed a few moments to gain breath. "VascJtH.'Z discovered in some way that I intended to betray him, continued, "and, early this afternoon, he taunted me with my treachery. I was in no mood for soft speeches, and I gave him as good .:is he sent. It was when I ca)led him a coward that he shot me h ere"-pressing 11er hand to her left breast and, when I fell, he jumped upon me and kicked me in the body, in the head, everywhere, it seemed, until I lost consciousness. \Vhcn I r ecovered my senses, I crawled to the road, and then kept on crawling until now." Jes se gritted his teeth,and looked at his brother. Frank's brow wa s as black as night. ''And now I want to tell you,'' Jovita painfully went on "that to-morrow Vasquez, with three of his men, will attack Manton's about ten miles from here. If you want to save that money for the men for whom it is intended, and capture the coward and murderer at the same time, the opportunity will be given you. Notify the vigilantes, work cau tiously, and you will not only assist in avenging me, but you will be doing all good people a service." She said but little more, and that was in the way of repetition. The James boys stayed with her until she died, and, after removing tlie body to a spot in the brush, walked slowly back to town. Before they reached vV rayburn's house, where they were staying at the detective s request, they had decided not to n o tify the vigilantes, or to say any thing to anybody co:H:erning Jovita or Vasquez. Their original programme would be carried out, but an addition vvoulcl be made to it. They would attack the paymaster at the localitv pre,iously selected; and then, having secured the


24 THE JESSE JAMES STOIUES. booty, would ride on to the spot where Vasquez, ac cording to Jovita, would be awaiting the arrival of the paymaster, f.nd, falling upon him, "tooth and nail," would forever settle the score, they had laid up against him. The day came on which the robbery was to be attempted. The paymaster arrived in San Y gnacio, as pre idicted, and with him five able-bodied cowboys, well mounted and armed with revolvers and rifle!. The paymaster, a little man of slight frame, but with the grit of a bulldog, rode in a covered wagon, which was his bed by night-for the party had traveled by road all the way from Stockton. Jesse and Frank James were at hotel when the pcirty stopped for breakfast, but when the members had refreshed themsel v es and were ready to resume the journey, the two Missourians were not in the town. Having assured themselves that the way was open for the performance of their lawless and desperate undertaking, they rode swiftly to the ambush by the bowlder at the curve in the road. There were thick woods about them, and found no difficulty in secreting their horses. Comfortably ensconced behind the big rock, they waited calmly for the coming of the paymas ter's party. r An hour passed by, and they were beginning to wonder why their q,uarry was so slow in putting in an appearance, when the crackling of twigs and the low hum of voices across the creek, which flowed a few feet beyond the road in front of them, arrested th7ir attention, and made tl}em conscious of a sudden danger to their nefarious plans. They did not stir from their position of concealment, for the steps came_nearer, the voices became louder and clearer. Soon the head of a man was seen peering through the alders that lined the opposite bank of the creek. Jesse James gave a start that well-nigh betrayed his presence. the ne"vcomer was Vasquez. CHAPTER CXI. THE ATTACK ON THE PAYMASTER. Cattle-king Manton's paymaster was not over five feet in height, and was possessed of but ordinary muscular strength. And yet he had been sheriff of a California county at a time when lawlessness was rampant, and so fear lessly had he discharged the dutit;s of his office that, upon his retirement, he was at once selected. to take the responsible position of paymaster for Joel Manton, whose c attle ranges covered half the southern part of the State, and whose employees were numbered by hundreds. Jim Dash accepted the position, and had held it for several years without Laving met witl;i molestation during any of his periodical journeys. The well-known fact that he was a dead shot, and that fear was a word unknown in his vocabulary, no doubt had a wholesome influence upon the rough spirits with which the lower country abounded. And to make his po s ition wholly secure, his em ployer had for present trip provided him with a bodyguard of cowboys-a quintet of fighters whose reputation was State-wide. But, though the little paymaster had had smooth sailing thus far, the time was soon to come when he was to encounter the worst shock of his life. As the party moved out of the town in the direc tion of the mountains, Jim Dash entertained his cow boys who rode close beside him, with interesting remin i s cences of the locality through which they expected to pass. "There's a high bowlcler a few miles on," he said, "which I never pass without making ready for an ambush. If a gang of robbers wanted to lay for me, I don't know of a better spot than that." "Seems to me I have heard the spot mentioned by a stage driver," said one of the cowboys. "You might," replied the little paymaster, "for a stage was held up there once by Vasquez and his p a rtner. That was several years ago, when the Greaser was new to the plundering and murdering business. He and Jose Castro stopped the stage, without taking the precaution to mask their faces. The disgui s e business doesn't matter to Vasquez now, for there's a price on his head, but it did then. Well, they got away with the racket, corraled Wells . Fargo & Co 's treasure box, and made the passengers jingle up several hundred dollars. No blood was spilled and the robbers made away in high spirits. The very riext day Castro was captured by the sheriff of the county." "He was hanged, of course," aid the cowboy. "Yes, but not in the legal fashion. The vigila:ntes


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 overha"'uled the sheriff on his way to jail took his prisoner away from him, and stretched him up to the nearest tree. Vasquez got wind of the affair in time to skip the county." As the party came in sight of the bowlder, Jim Dash drew his revolver. "Boys," said he, "we might as well be prepared for an attack. I don't know why I should feel queerish just now, but I do. Something is going to happen, as sure as fate." The words were scarcely out of his mouth before a rifle bullet struck him in the pistol arm. The shot did not come from behind or near the bowlder, but from the bushes across the creek, and was followed by a volley which killed the two horses attached to the wagon. Jim Dash, upon the instant, changed his pistol to his left hand, and then leaped from the wagon seat ;.o the ground, dragging the box containing the treasure with him. Then, under cover of the front wheels, he dis charged one chamber of the weapon, and then waited for the qead of a bandit to appear, in order that he might bore a hole in it. But in the fusillade, participated in by cowboys and robbers, which quickly followed, no opportunity was given the little fellow to bring an enemy down. His first impulse was to aim at the bandit, and at once settle his account with the California terror. But cool second thought urged him to pause. It was all very well to avenge a wrong, real or fan cied but it was not business to allow forty thousand dollars to go a as it were. No, he would defer his settlement with the bandit, until after the paymaster's party had been attende1l to. Frank James' low whisper made him start. "Jesse, the greaser's coming is the best stroke of luck that could have happened to us just now." "What do you mean, Frank?" "I meall' that he intends to attack the paymaster at this spot, and that it is to our interest to let him do it." "Ah, I see!" chuckled Jesse. "Yes, yes," and he rubb ed his hands gleefully, "we'll watch him while he blows daylight through the cowboys, and when he has finished his job and is about to sail in and snatch the treasure, we'll come to the center and let daylight through him." "Yes," returned Frank, "that's the ticket, and if it isn't a daisy I don't want a cent." Their fall was greeted by a yell of savage triumph, and then Vasquez and his three Mexican followers leaped into view. For the first time since they had set out on their perilous mis s ion of plunder, they began to feel comforta ble. The risks ran, to their oold minds, amounted to little or nothing. Vasquez and his men would be their cats-paws, and when the chestnuts had been plucked from the fire, they-Frank and Jesse-vvould jump in and eat ;'Now," thought the plucky paymaster, "is my time." Taking good aim at Vasquez while the latter was in the act of drawing bead on one of the remaining cowboys, he was about to press the trigger when a bullet from some quarter unknown to him, struck the weapon and knocked it from his hand . It fell in the dust alongside of one of the dead horses, and he was crawlingforward to reach it when rifles cracked alongside of and beyond him, and ;:i cowboy stagered forward, to fall de .ad upon him and atten him to the earth. The first part of the sanguinary battle was over. CHAPTER CXIL :'!'HE JAMES GET THE TREASURit Jesse James was dumfounded when he saw the ace of Vasquez peering through the opening in the ushes across the creek. them. 1 The su cc e ss of the new "wrinkle" lay in the taking of the Mexicans by surprise, and that they should give their enemies a surprise they would never recover from in this life the brothers had little doubt. They lay concealed from view, from both the paymaster s party and the ambushed bandits across the creek, when the wagon drove up toward the curve. Not a mo v e m ade they until Jim Das h raised his pistol to shoot at Vasquez. Jess e James did not look to ascertain who the target v;as. His present desire was that the Mexicans should .: triumph over the paymaster and his party, and he, therefore, prevented any loss to the bandit's force by promptly shooting the pistol out of Jim Dash's hand.


26 TH JESSE JAMES He might have killed the little fellow, lrnt for the respect h.e entei-tained for his bravery. He would not probably hav e been troubled with any such cot:npunctio11s had he, and not Vasquez, been making the attack at the time. The volley that made the fourth cowboy b ite the dust, and for the time cover the diminutive form of the courageous paymaster, was the cause of the s m ; l den disappearance of the fifth and l ast member of the bodyguard. But he had not been killed. Seeing that further resistance would be u s eles s and believin g that there was but one ch a n c e o f saving the treasure, he dropped to the ground w hcre his comrade fell a.nd close 'beside the box which held the money. Loud shouts notified h i m that the murderous a s s ailants were about to cross the creek. Now was h is opportttnity, for, owing to the depth oi the stream at the point from which the attack had been made. they would be oblige d to go up the bank a short distanc e in order to effe c t a safe and n eyccl o ttt of S a n Y gn2. ci o renni11ed1 and that wa! the paymaster. He had wriggled him s elf fr o m under thvagon for the purOne week later they were in San Fraacisco pose of looting it. guised. The brave cowboy, wh o se mi ssion had failed Graha m Quint married Estelle, and t o c b y he raised himself up painfttlly, just as Vasquez reached one of :he leading lawyers of the Golde n State. the wagon. Dick vVrayburn is still a widower. He was instantly observed, artd a bullet from 'the Neithet knew till years later that they were '.on bandit's rifle ended his life then and there. in league with the notorious Jam es boys. But one live member of the little band 'tliat jour-TO BE CONTINUED.


Y0UR E)F F1\M0US MEN. Grand Con.test I 22 VALUABLE PRIZES GIVEN AWAY. Here 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 he done, anyway? What do you think is the best thing he ever did? 'The boys who can best arnsw e r such questions applying to any famous J\meri can, known for brave deeds, will win handsome prizes. Here i s the plan of one of the most no v el contests ever pl a ced before the American boys Look up what facts y ou can find about any famous American. '!'hen write them out in your own words, statini: your own opinion of him, his appearan ce and the particular achievement which pleases you the most. The first prize will be awarded to the person sending in the most interesting and best written article; the next best will win the second prize, and so on. It makes no difference how short they are, but no con tribution must be longer than 500 words. LOOK A"".r THE PRIZES. TWO FIRST PRIZES The two who send us the most interesting and b est written articles will each receive a fir s t clas s CamSEND IN YOUR ARnCLES AT ONCE, BOYS. We are going to publish all of the best ones during the prog res s of the Contest. We will have to reserve to oursel v es the right of judg ing which article h a s the most merit, but C!>ur readers know that they may depenli upon Street & Smith, and on their absolute fairness and jus t i ce "in conducting Contes ts. This on e w ill b e no exception to the rule. era, complete with achromatic lens, and loaded with six exposures each. Absolutel y ready for use. For squ a re pidures 3Yz x 3Yz inches; capacity six exposures without reloading; size of camera 4Yz x 4Yz xs inches ; weight 15 ounces ; well made, co v ered with grain leather a n d hands omely finished The five who send us the next Wh ether your contribution wins a prize or not, it FIVE SECOND best articles will each receive a stands a go od chance of being publi sh e d togethe r with PRIZES "Sterling" Magic Lantern Outfit the name of the write r. together with 72 admi ssi on tickets To b e com e a contestant for the prize you must cut out and a large show bill. Each lantern is ro i nche s hi g h, the Character Contest C oupon, p rinte d in thi s i ss ue Fill 4 inches in diam e ter, with a 1Yz inch piano-comple x conit out properl y, and send it t o JESSE JAMES WEEKLY care

SEE SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT NEXT WEEK! CHARACTER PRIZE CONTEST. During the progress of the Prize Character Contest this department will be devoted to the publication of the best articles sent in by the contestants. Here are some of the best ones received this week. The Gallantry of General Grant. (By Edward Flyun, Everett, Ma ss.) Of all Americans uoted for their gallant and chhal rous deeds, uone occupy or could occupy a higher pl a ce thau Ulysses S. Grant. In my opinion, he was the abl est general in the Civil War, and the backbone of the Union army. He was born in Ohio in 1 8 22, a nd entered W es t P oint at an early age He ente red the arm y at the outset of the war, and was at once made brigadier-general. Early in 1862 General Grant, with a strong forc e c aptured Fort Henry, on the Tennessee River, after an hour's fighting. The garris on, howe\ er, mad e their esc a pe, and retreated to Fort Donelson GraDt then cros s ed the river and attacke d this strqng fortification The battle lasted three days, but Grant's attack: was so strong and vigorous that the garrison attempted to brt>ak through the lines and escape to .Nashville. Early next morning the Conf e derate g eneral sent a flag of truce to Grant, asking what terms of snrrenrler he would accept. Without hesitation or a moment's delay, he answered, "None but 1 i nco11ditioual surrender." To this laconic r e ply he simply added "I pro pose to move immediately upon your works." After this be was interpre t e d, ''Unconditional Surrender Grant." Bucknor surrendered with r, 500 men, aud the Confederate line of defense was thus broken This capture won for Grant a major-general s hip. General Grant W:lS first s ho w u to the American people as a hero after the battle of Vicksburg. For two months be endeayored to cut a canal across a short bend in the Mississippi, so as to turn its course away from Vicksburg. Finally he moved his army still.farther south, crossed the river, moved northeast, and attacked the stronghold from thecast side : The Confederate Army was under the command of General J.E. Johnston, Lee's most skillful general. .,, Grant Johnston, drpve him eastward beyond Jackson. Grant's next move was to. return baclc and lay siege to tbe town of Vicksburg. Only one result could folJ,Qw, the Confederates starved out; and after six w eeks the entire forc e sllrr e ncler e d In r 86 6, Grant was made a g r a d e which l:acl been pre viousl y held by ouly Washington and Scott. Two years laterin 1 8 6 8 -he was elected President, and served two terms, being the eig hteenth President. President Grant has been usually considered one of the gre:1test generals the world has ever seen. It might be sai9 that Graut vvas truly the ''Hero of the Rebellio11.' On his face ca n be :read determination. ''His d eeds as general his statesmanship as Presfrlent, and his example as an American citizen, have raised his country to a higher position in the civili z ed world." The Father of Our Country. ( By Glen Harper, Elins W. V a. ) The fame of George Washington is know1i all over the w o rld. 'rhc first houorable act of his life which brought him into public notice was his miss ion to the French commander at Veango. He excelled in athletic sports snch as horsemanship, jumping, climbing, etc. At the natural bridge in Virginia the walls of rock rise abou 200 feet in height aud is most difficult to climb. Hi name may still bt: read on those walls of rock H climbed higher than any of his companions, and cut i with his hunting knife. After his mission to Venango he began a small fort south of Fort Du Quesne, called Fort Necessity, but the French came in a large forn and com p elled him to surrender it. On one occasion he was passing a hou s e where be several men jumping. Being a jumper himself, he went in and found the man of the house !Jad offered his girl a! a wife to the one who could jump farthest. Then Wash ington too)': his turn at jumping and beat them all. II was then decided Washit1gton had won He would no accept the girl, but said he jumping for the fun Cl .it and .not for the girl. The second Continental Congress, which met May 1 1775, appointed Washington commander-in-chief. Thi appointment took place on the 15th of June, 1775. H received his four days later. .Early i March, 1776, Washington seized Dorchester Heig11ta


THE JAMES STORIES. 29 \:Vashington then gave Howe his pleasure of withdrawing his forces from town (Boston) or having them battered to pieces. Howe left March 17, St. Patrick's Day, 1776, for Ha!'ifax. Congress rnted Washingto1; a gold medal to commemorate a bloodless victory. Washington entered the presidential chair March 30,1 1789. And held t1Vo terms, ending 1793 He died during Adams' administration, December 14, 1799 The Battle of Princeton. (By George Hoffman, Millville, N. J.) On Christmas night, 1776, Washington crossed the f!elaware Ri\er full of floating ice and marched on Trenton in a furious snow storm, and surprised a body of Hessian soldiers and took them prisoners with a large amount of arms and ammunition, aud never lost a man. Then he outwitted Cornwallis. Cornwallis had left part of his army at Princeton, and had started after Wash ington and found him between Trenton and the Delaware. That. night be went to sleep, thinking Washii1g ton could not escape him, because of his :lrmy being in front of him and the river in back. He told his sold .iers he would bag the old fox in the morning, but while he was asleep Washington, like an old fox, crept aronnd him and got to Princeton. In that battle the American advancing force was driven back. Jt1st then Washington came up. At the head of his army he marched within thirty yards of the British and he stood and fought between two fires and once was covered tip by smoke, and both sides thought he was shot, but when the smoke cleared away he wasthere without a scratc)l to show. Captain John Smith, Who Saved a Colony. (By George Adams, Danbury, Conn.) Captain John Smith was born in England in the year r579. He was an English explorer and was the founder of Virginia. His word was law among the colonists, for if they could not settle a debate among themselves, they always came to him for advice. He had been through so many dangers and bad had such wonderful escapes that they seemed miraculous. The first settlers that landed at Jamestown, Virginia, in the year 1609 were not the kind of people who wo"uld be able to settle an active and prosperous colony, because they were people that not stand hardship and toil. Most of them were gentlemen who had lost their fortunes and had come to America to seek riches: They had been induced by men who were interested in the LoJ1don Company to conie this co1.Jntry for that purpose. Most of the men bad never dm1e any amount of hard work, and they were u11wi, l ,lfog to-learn.' A. If they had not had a man who knew how to govern a colony along with them they would have certainly perished. In their trouble the people asked Captain John Smith to, be their leade.r, and they soon found out that they had selected the right man for such a position. Smith traded with the Indians, and in that way be obtained enough food to supply the colonists. He then made them build their own houses, and cultivate the I d and pla_nt corn. Smith enjoyed roaming about the new anj making discoveries. He was captured by th Indians on one occasion, while out on one of bis exp ions. He was taken before their king, Powhattan, and condemned to die. He was about to be put to death whe the king's daughter, Pocahontas, begged her father to spare him. So his life was spared, and he was sent back to Jamestown. Pocahontas became a friend to the ,\bites and after ward married a young Englishman whose name was John Rolfe. Smith did a great deal of exploring which was ol great value to the people of England, because it taught them more about the new world. A few years after the settle ment of Jamestown, Smith was ;njured by an explosion of gunpowder, and so he returned to England. This was a terrible blow to the colonists, for they.did not do auy work after be was gone; and during the winter most of them died of starvation. On. ly a few were alive when spring came, and they. were about to sail away when some ships, commanded by Lord Delaware, an English officer, arrived with food and new c".lonists, and so the colony was saved. Afterwards the settlers learned to be more industrious and were 110 longer in danger of starving. Captain John 8mith's wisdom had this colony, and they were greatly indebted to him. He died in the year 1631. Colonel Morgan, a Hero of the Revolution. (By Luke O'Malley, Jersey City, N. J.) If we wish to. fiud trne heroes we must go back to the days of our fight for Independence, the war of the Revo-1 ution. From among them I have chosen Daniel Morgan who was considered by General George Washington to be the right arm of the Continental Anny, and I will relate what I know to be the greatest epochs i n his life. He was born in the St::ite of Pennslyvania, in the year 1736, of humble parents, where he lived until he attained the age of 17, and learned the J-ittle Hiat could be learned at a country school at that time. He then wandered south to Virginia, and becilme a dri\1er of a wagon on a large plantation. He owned a ,team at the time foolish Braddock n1arched


I THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. to the fatal b attle with the Indians a t Fort Du Quesue and he accom panied that expediti on a s a bea rer of supplies. One of the officers accu s ed Morgan of in sulting him, and for this alleged insult he was b eaten in a cruel manner, with a hundred lashes though h e rec ei v ed it without murmur or flinching. The officer s o on learned the truth, and publicly apologized to youn g Mo rgan for the treatment he underwent, but ever afterward Morgan n ouris h e d a de e p spirit o f revenge a&"ainst the Bri ti s h and when the c olonies declared war h e wa s fir s t to take u p the sword i n d e fense of his nat ive land. For his military sk111 in 1775 the first A m e ri ca n C o ngress appointed him capta in, and in l es s tha n a w eek ninety-six men w i t h him a s their l eader, marc hed a way to Bo s ton. He joined Arnold a t the Kenne b e c and led tha t ueve rto-be-forgotten expedition to the St. Lawrence, and at the si ege of Que bec it w a s upon his riflemen that Arnold's army de pended for victory when ne a rl y all hopes had fled. At this critic a l rno:u ent, w h e n Arnold fell wounded on the field a n d w h en the battle raged i t s fie rc es t Morgan sprang forward w ith the re mnants of h i s nine t y "six me n to o k command o f the near; y annihiia t e d army and fought d esp erate ly until b e w a s mad e pris o ne r. H e was e x changed s h ortly afte rwaTd and w a s commanding c o l o nel at the b attle o f Cow p en s, in-w h ich he w a s in a d e s p erate hand-to-hand fight a nd infli c t e d a mo s t terrible def ea t upon the British. unde r a niost noted general 11a med T a rl e ton and gaine d what is known as the mo s t decisi've v i c t ory a mon g the hardfou ght b attle s of the Revolutio n F o r this a c t C on g res s a ward ed him the thanks of the n ation and a g old medal.. His health gradually fai le d him a n d be l e ft t h e service and de\ote d himself to his farm until the y e a r 1800 wh e n he remove d to Winchester, Va., and after a ling e ri n g illn es s due to general debility h e di e d in the month of July in 1802, being sixty-six ye a r s of age. A Naval Hero of 1779. (By Herbert E Sliter, Sliters, N. Y ) I uot1ced your prize contes t for the be s t articles on great me. n and I desire to become a contestant. Follo wing is my article: John Paul Jones was the mo s t distinguished naval hero of our Revolutionary war. He wa s the creator of the American navy. He was a s redoubtable upon the ocean as Washington was on land. He had the boldness to follow the enemy to the very seat of power, and the people of many British coast towns trembled at his. name. John Paul-the name of Jones was assu. med long aft er-wa s b orn on the 6th o f July, 1774 at Kirkbe ai;i, Scotlan d H e early embarked in the naval service of t h e United S ta t e s, and was the fir s t to tmft.lrl the banner of the R epublic 011 the Del awa r e. The c apture of sixteen p r i z es in little m ore than si x w e eks prove d his activity aud prowe ss In 1778 he en l a r g ed hi s sphe r e of o peration s and kept -the c oast o f E n g l and and Sco tland in constant ala rm. B o ldl y entering the harbo r of Whitehaven, he t o o k two forts and fir e d the shipping they protec t e d Hurry ing from p o i u t t o point wherever a prize was to be taken o r a d a r i11g d e e d t o b e d on e, h e se e m e d ev e r ywher e p r esent a n d a lways inviu cible Iu Sep t embe r 1779, with the B o n Homme Ric h ard of for ty guns, a c c o mpanied by the Alli a nce and s everal srna ller ve s sels, .To n e s e ncou ntere d off the co as t of Eng land a Britis h flee t r eturning from the Baltic under c o n voy of t w o fri ga t e s. '"l'!Je c ommander of the Sera pis, a fort y -fou r g un frigate, bore down upon the Americans and on e of the mo s t t errib l e a ctions r e c orded in naval hi story fo llow e d So tha t the enemy might have no ad v antag e in the s uperi o r s i ze o f their guns Jones brought h is ve s s e l so cl o s e to t h e Serapis that their sides tonc h ecl. Broadside after broadside was poure d in by both par t i e s The Serap!s was s oon in flam es and the Bon Homme Richard little m o re than a shapeless hull, had mos t o f her guns s il e n ce d 'l'he British attempted to b o a rd tbe latte r, but were The Alliance uo w came u p a nd after first giving her c onsort a broa ds ide b y turned her guns on the en e m y The S e ra p i s strnc k With some diftic 'ulty Jones b rongllt bi s s catte red p ri z e s to the coa s t o f Holland, after which he returned to America in the Ariel a nd arriye d in Phi la delphia, F ebruary 18, I 7 8 I. On the 1 4th of April Congress e xpre ss ed its t h anks to Captain Jones for the s e r vice he had done. A t the e n d of the war h e receiv e d au invitation to ente r the n a val service of Russia, and on hi s arriva l in St. P e tersburg, the Czar conf erred on him the rank of rea r admiral. H e assumed command of the 11aval for c e to operate against the Turks He d ie d in Paris July 17, Ij92, at the a g e of forty-five years. The character of Jones may be summed up in a few words. He was a man of dauntless courage, of great coolness and ability in the midst of danger. His b es t love wa s giv en to America and to the caus e of liberty. Though he afterward served Russia, it was by sion of Congres s, and in pursuance of a r e s tl es s spirit of ad venture. His was the spirit from whi c h heroes are made, and he lacked only means and opportunities to achie ve a s grea t a fame as any warrior in our Revolutionary .war.


I 1r1. 1 r 1Unt1ng and Trapping Department. This department is brimful of information and ideas of interest to the young trapper :md hunter, \".!rite us if you h ave ar.y questions to ask concerning these subjects, and th l y will b e ans\vere d in a special column. Address all communications to the "Hunting and Tr::lppi n g D e partment." Squirrels, and How to Trap Them. There are rnttil.Y sp,:de s o f sqnirte l s found in the tfoite

32 THE JESSE Jl\MES STORIES. Bex traps of vanou s kinds are used in taking the m alive. Following are dire.cti on s for making a good squirrel trap: In appearance it loo k s like an oblong box. The distinguishing f eature i s one end, which is mad e of a piece of board which rise s several inches above the end of the box and ends in the shape of a wedge. These fraps may be made of any si z e. They should be made of bard seasoned wood-oak or chestnut i s the b est -and of slabs about au inch in thickness. The piec e s may be of the following dimensions: the b otto m board be 15x4 in.; side board 15x5 in.; lid board, 14x4 in., and the end piece of lid 3 in. square. The tall end piece should be about 12 inches high by 5 broad: Let this be sharpened on the upper end, and furnished with a slight groove ou the summit, for the reception of the cord. Now to put the pieces together. Nail the two sides to the edge of the bottom board, and fit in between them the high end piece, securing that also with nails through the bottom and side boards. Next nail the lid board on to the small, square end piece, and fit the lid thus made neatly into its place. To make the binge for the lid two small holes should oe bored through the sides of the trap, about four iuches from the tall end, and half an inch from the upper edue of each Let small nails be now driven throu;h the se holes mto the edge of the lid, and it will be found to work freely upon them. The principal part of the trap is now made, but wbat remains to be done is of great importance. The "spindle" is a necessary feature in nearly all traps, aud the box trap is useless without it. In this case it should consist merely of a round stick of about the thickness of a lead pencil, and we will say, 7 or 8 in. in len gth. Ou e end should be pointed and the oth e r should have a small notch cut in it. The spindle b ein g ready, we must bav e some place to put it. Another hol e should be bored the middle of the high end piece and about 4 mches from the bottom. 'l'his hole should be large enough to allow the spindle to p ass easily through it. If our directions have been carefully followed, the re s ult will now show a complete, close fitting trap. In setting the trap the string must be fast e ned to the end of the lid The lid is r.aised and the string is p assed up over the high back piece and then down to a poin t near the "spindle." There. a stick is inserted, one end fittin g i.n the notch of the spmdle and the other end fitti n g u n d e r a nail or plug driven into the wood above the hole. Tie the string to the middle of this stick. When the bait is touched from the inside the stick o r flies out and the lid falls,' se curing its v1cttrn .. It a wise plan to have a fow holes through the trap m different places, to allow for ventilation and it be found necessary to liue the cracks with dn, as sometimes the enclosed creature might otherwise _gua w through and make its escape. If there is cla1wer of the lid not closing tightly when sprung a stone m"'ay be fas tened upon it to insnre that r esult. For squirrels, this tra p should be set in tree s. Th little auima l s may be attracte d by various baits s uch a an apple or a nut. !# Shooting and Poisoning. Until the iutroduction of the stee! trap shootiug was a c o mmon method of t aking fur b earing animals, and eYen t o the present da y it is quite prevalent in some localit1 es Any one \y}10 bas had any experieuce with t h e fu r trade mus t h a ve l ea rned that furs which are1 s h ot" a r e muc h affe c ted i n val n e. S o me furriers will not purchase such skins at any pri ce; and they never meet with any but a very lo w offer. "Trapped furs" 1 "shot furs" a re terms of consi d erable significance, 1ll the fur trade, and any one who wish e s to realize from a profitabl e s a le of his furs should use his gun as little as possibl e A shot graz i n g throughthe fur of an animal cuts the hairs as if with a knife and a sin g le such furrow if] often enough to spoil a skin. It is these ob lique grazing shots which particularly damage the fur, and au a nimal kille d with a shoto-m1 i s seldom worth skinning for the value of its pelt. 0If firearms are u s ed, the rifle is preferable. If the animal chauces to be bit bro a d s ide or by a direct penetrating. bullet, the two small; made may not particularly effect the value of I its skrn, although even then the chances are rather slight. Trappe d furs are of the greatest v alue. 'rhe u s e of poi s on is o bjectionab l e a s a means of cap i.n a n imals especially de s ired for their fur. Strych nme i s the substa nce generally employed, and unless its victim is skinned immediately after death the pelt be c omes considerably injure d by the absorption of the p o i s on It has the effect o f loosening the fur and the hair s h e d s easily The poi s on is principally used in the capture of wolves and animals considered in the light of vermin. For a wolf or fox, the poison is mixed with lard or tallow and spread on pi e c e s o f m eat, or a small amount of the powder is encfosed in an incis ion in the bait. The amount sufficient for a single dose may be easily held on the point of a knife blade, and death ensues in a very few moments after the bait is taken. For a bear the dose should be a half thimbleful, and it should be deposited in the c euter of a piece of honeycomb, the cell s being em ptied of their honey for that purpose. Other ani111als may be taken by proportionate nuantities ?f the poi s on, but for g eneral purp os e s we d iscour age its u s e. EXCHANGE COLUMN. ( Notic e .-This column i s fre e to all our read e r s We canno t b e respon sible for trans&ctions m a d e t h r ol1gh notices in this cohtmn. All must be strictly eJ;:changc off ers and no ".for sale" advertisements or exchanges of explos 1 v e s or danger ous or w orthle s s nrtlcles will b e printed. Ad dress all communications for this column to "Exchange Col1111111. ) Fre d M erline Oconto, Wi sconsin, off ers one large, rare cop p e r c ent elat e d 1820. t o t h e first, one sending him mo mixed Pnu America n Columb t\Hl or On : ni m stumps


JESSE JAMES STORIES WE were the first pub. lishers in the world to print the famous sto ries of the Jam es Boys, written by that remarkable man, W. B. Lawson, whose name is a watch word with our boys. We have had many imitators, Jesse James. and in order that no one shall be deceived in accepting the spurious 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) WE were the publishers of the first story ever written of the famous and world-renowned Buffa lo Bill the great hero whose life has been one succession of excit NICK CARTER STORIES THE best known detec tive in the world is Nick Carter. Stories by this noted sleuth are is sued regularly in "Nick Carter Weekly" (price :five cents), and all bis Nick Carter. work is wri n for us. It may interest the patrons and readers .of the Nick Carter Series of Detective Stories to know that these famous s tories "7ill 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. . STREET & SMITH, Publjshers, NEw YORK. DIAMOND DICK STORIES Diamond Dick. THE celebrated Diamond Dick stories can only be found in '"Dianwnd Dick, Jr., the Boys' Best Weekly." Diamond Dick arid his Buffalo Bill. ing and thrilling in'Ci-rson Bertie are tlie most unig_ue and fascinating heroes of Western romance. The scenes, and many of tb.e incidents, in these dents combined with great successes and accompli shments, all of which will be told in a series of grand stories which we are now placing before the American Boys. The popularity they have obtained shows what the boys want, and is very gratifying to the publishers. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, Nti'.w York. l the best stories 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. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York.


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