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.


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028820460 ( ALEPH )
08650894 ( OCLC )
J14-00030 ( USF DOI )
j14.30 ( USF Handle )

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E.;;tered as Second L1assMatter at New York Post Office by STREET & SMITH, 238 Wz'lliam St., N. Y. No 30. Price, Five Cents "YES, BILL WOODS, I AM JESSE JAMES, AND YOUR LITTLE GAME IS UPI" CRIED THE GREAT OUTLAW AS HE FACED THE ROBBER CHIEF.-(CHAPTER CXVIII. )


-,. -y -A Wf ft\LY DfALlff G WITH DETECTIOft Of CRIME Issued Wee1'1y. By Subscriptwn la. 50 Per year. /ZS Second Class Mattw at Ille N. Y. Foti Office, by STREET a: SIUTH, ;u8 Wil/U.m St., N. Y. Entered according-to Act of Congress in the year upr, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Wasl:inrton, D. C. No. 30. NEW YORK, November 30, 1901. Price Five Centa. James' Exploits . By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER CXIII. THE TRAITOR'S PLOT. "Jesse Jam es is in \Vyoming." "So I have heard." "And you want to capture him, dead or alive?" "There is money for the man who captures him. I am not here for my health." "There is reputation as well as money in the job?" "Yes." "You want reputation, I want money. Suppose we work together." "What do you mean?'"' "That we can capture Jesse Jam es dead or alive." "That is easier said than done. How do you know we can capture him ?" "I will explain, if you agree to my proposition." "\Vhat is your proposition?" "There is a reward of ten thousand dollars for the man who captures Jesse James, dead or alive I want that money. There is a big reputation to be made by the captur.e. \Vork with me, and if we successful you get the reputa tion I get the Is it .a bargain?" "It is. The reputation will re worth more than t u 1 thousanCI dollars to me. You can have wards. Tell me your plan." "You will protect me?" ''.Dick Strong alway; keeps his word. trus t me." "Then I will tell you my plan." Dick Strong had just been e l ected sheri enne, \i\Tyoming. He had opened an c b a ck room of the "Old Pard" saloon, b time the vigilantes and the miners had of all work, except calling in the coron moning jurors ior inq u e sts. His rep officer was yet to be made. Strong had b e en a pros pector, a min and a sa loon-ke e per. In every deal h as a square m an, w hich meant that h u nfai r advantage of any one. He had been a res iden t of the te! and in tha t time h a d "planted" n kiiled them all in de f ense of his ow1 ri g hts. He was known as a dead shot, never flinched in a scrimmage. \i\Then a semblance of at Cheyenne a fearless man wh c .. y as q trigger w a s wanted for shc nff


2 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. D ick Strong seemed to fill the bill and he was el ec t e d without C heyenne had a jail. and Sheriff Strong was jus t the m a n to keep it filled, if he could get to the rob bers and murderers ahead of the vigilantes He was well known to all the desperadoes in the vicinity of Cheyenne, and for a few clays after his election they kept quiet. N one of them cared to meet him in single combat. They knew if he started out to arres t them, he would do it, or add another grave to his private cemetery. Sheriff Strong was al one in hi s offi c e one morning, when a stranger pushed open the door and walked in unannounced. The stranger introduced hims elf as Bill Vv oods, a prospector. He was dressed in the s t y le o f that localitywoolen shirt, thick trousers, hi g h boots and a broad slouch hat. In the belt arouncl his w a i s t the stranger carried \ vo r e v ufre: s of l a r g e calib e r his : ;irf th': s t r rcmg h ad already learned that the g r ea t law a n d hi s gang h a d 19cated in the vicini ) A n.ue ; in ta(t:, he had ?.n idea they were ri g,.t O \'n at that time, s o he was not startled b y ement o f Mr. Vv oods He h a d suspect<:d the alle ged prospector had enterc

THE JESSE JAMES STORH:.S ... 3 "You are sure they have planned to rob the stage? "Yes; a member of the gang be among the passengers. He will give a signal when the stage reaches the place where the robbery is to place." I will consider your plan. Come back to-morrow, and I will giYe you some instructions, if I decide to act on it." Bill Vl oocls turned and left the room, a smile of triumph on his fa c e. But lie s t opped suddenly outside, with an ext lcimc.tti0n of surprise. He had found himself face to face with a handsome yow1g man, whose flashing black eyes seemed to be loo k ing him through and through. The young man was nrnch b etter d ressed than the average mine r or prospector, but a big slouch h a t was pnll ecl low over his forehead . "So y o n haYe turne d traitor, hav e you, Bill \Voocls? A prett y pl o t i s this you ha:ve made to cap hire Jesse James. the man \Yho had many times saved you from prison and the gallov v s But the plot wi 11 fa ii. Jesse J arne s dull know h e h a s a trai tor in h i s c amp."" \\:ho a r e you?"' exclaimed \Voods, as bis hand s o u ght the hutt o f one o f hi s p i s tols. v\:ith a smile, the )'OUJ)g man removed his s louch h a t. and a mas s of w a yy bl ack hair fell clown over hi s sl:oulders The outla w s pi stol droppe d to his sid e and he sprang back with a l ook of terror in his eyes. In a ho;.irse whisper, he exclaimed: "Calamity Jane!" CHAPTER CXIV. TlIE CA:l.IP OF THE O UTLAWS-A GAME OF CARDS. "Boys, if there is any gold in \tVyoming, we' ll find some of it, and while we are waiting to strike paying rock we've got the best of any band of prospectors in the territory." Jesse J arnes surYeyecl his c amp and his men with a smile of satisfaction

THE JESSE Jf\MES STORUES .. much valuable information about the movements of the stage coaches and the amount of gold they us ually carried out of Cheyenne on their eastern trips. Jesse James bad returned to camp from a pros pecting tom. as he called it, and, calling his men ;trntmd him. he informed them that he had a mine. H e h a d been to Cheyenne, and had picked up a lot of inf ormation about the schedule of the c;.stbollncl stages, a n d tl _1e amount of gold they carr i ed o n each trip. 'fhen he had foliowed the stag e road for a dozen miles care fully notin g the lay of the land, and had select ecl a pla ce where the next heavily-laden stage conlcl be ea s ily held np and relieved of its valuable frei g ht. ''Boys, I've arranged a little job for you, now tha t you have had a good, long rest. There'll be something like one hundred thousand dollars in it, and it will be just as easy as finding that much coii1 in the road." "Good! goo

T H E JESSE JAMES STORIES. A thoughtful, puzzled look came o ver the face of Calamit y Jane when s he wa s left alone near the office of Sheriff Strong. 'Twel v e of them are out of the w ay Could there ha\ e been thirteen? It i s an unlucky number. The sc o undrel may be right. There may be one more. If there i s I s h all find him soon, and then my 'Nork will be clone. But fir s t I mus t find Jes se James and warn him. He has been a true friend to me. He s h all not fall a vi c tim to thi s scoundrel's treachery, if I can prevent it and I think I can A strange ''"om a n and a strange feature of the wild life of the far \ Ves t was Ca lamit y J a ne. She had found her old father, and the two had become recon ciled after she belie, ed her work of vengeance w a s done. She had gone Eas t with him to a comfortable home in civilizati o n but her wil d and adventurous spirit soon wearied of her new and peaceful surroundings. She l o n ged for the wild, free life of the far West again. where she could be free from restraint and conventionalitie s Her father died suddenly one day, and she was agai n alone in the world. He left her property and money enough to make her comfortable for life, but she sold the property, and, turning back on civ ili zation, plunged aga in in t o the wild whirlpool of vVestern adventure and excitement. In Cheyenne Cal amity Jane found a number of old friends, and she opened a faro hank. Her old time luck had not deserted her, and few men ever left her table winners. In fact, the miners called her gambling-house "Calamity Hall." Every night Calamity Jane could be found at the tables in her gambling-house de a ling faro. She ahvays dealt a fair game-the heavie s t lo s ers ad mitted that-and her tables were well patronized. l\tlurderers, thie v e s an c l s tage robbers, as well as miners and prospectors were gathered in Cal a mity Hall every night in large numbers, but, rough a s the crowd w as, there vvas ne ve r any di sord er. Every man in the room knew the reputation of Calamity J a ne t h e s lender d a rk-e y ed wom a n who sat at the dealer' s table. A g lanc e fr o m her flas hin g black eyes, a mov ement of the sle n de r whit e h a;1ds toward the butts of the silver-mounted revolvers in her belt was enough to quell any attempt a t a disturba nce. * * * * Bill Woods found the Jam es boys 111 camp when he returned. The outlaw leaders looked at Woods suspi ci o usly, bnt s aid nothing. He avoided them as much as possible and managed to whisper a few words in the ears of Neel Stanley, Ciel Miller, and two other members of the band, who h a d agreed to a i d him in the betray al of Jesse to the authoritie s An hour before sundown \Voods slipped quietly out o f c a mp a nd rode away in the direction of 1 Chey enne He was foll ow ed in a short time by Stanley, Mil ler and the other m e mbers of the band who had been taken into hi s pl o t A mile from c a mp the traitors met in a seclucleri spot, and their leader reve a led hi s plans. "There is a little job that mus t be disposed of to night," said Woods, "to in s ure the success of our plan to get rid of Jesse Jam es Calamit y Jane is i n Cheyenne. She h a s dis covered our plot b y accident, and will warn J e sse in time. if she is not put out of the way. She is running a faro b a nk. \ V e w ill go in there to-ni ght and start a fig ht. In the excite ment I'll s end a bullet through t he brain of the she devil, and make sure that s he d o c s not interfere with our work. "\Vould you shoot a woman?" asked N e

6 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. CHAPTER CXVI. A MYSTERIOUS WARNING. A blaze of light from a score of kerosene lamps illuminated Calani.ity Hall at nine o'clock that night. Miners, prospectors and gamblers were sea.ted around the tables in the room playing poker. At the big deal table in the rear faro was being dealt, and the table was piled high with chips and gold. There was little noise, except the ceaseless rattle of chips and an occasional oath from a miner, who had lost his last ounce of gold dust. A stranger was dealing faro. Calamity Jane was not visible1 and the regular patrons of the place wondered why she was not present. A tall, rough-looking man, with a heavy black beard, entered the place, and looked around as if in search of some one. His eyes scanned the faces of the men around the card tables, and he noticed that a stranger was dealing faro. A look of angry impatience passed over the face of the but he spoke to no one. A few moments later two other strangers entered the place, and glanced around as if expecting to meet some one. They noticed the tall .man with the heavy black beard, and then they seated themselves at a table and ordered drinks. Two other men came in presently, and stood near the door searching the room with their eyes. The man with the black beard approached, and said something to them in a low tone. Then the three men moved idly about the place, all the time watching the door back of the faro table. The tall man, with the heavy black beard, was Bill Woods, the outlaw, in disguise. The four men who had entered the place later were his confederates. Woods was standing in the midst of a crowd of miners, watching an interesting game of poker, when a voice that appeared to be right at his ear, said in a low tone: I have found the man." The outlaw started and looked around. No one appeared t o have spoken to him. Every man around him was apparently watching the game closely. He did not recognize a single face in the crowd. Woods turned to watch the game again. In a moment the same mysterious voice spoke "You were right. There were thirteen of them. The days of the last of them is numbered. The outlaw turned pale, and moved away from the table, closely scanning the faces of the men around him. None of them had, apparently, heard the lowspoken words. The voice seemed .to come from some invisible source. Bill Vv oods was trembling, and perspiration had started out on his forehead. Only one person in the world, except himseif, could have understood the meaning of the words he had just heard, and that person aione could have spoken them. The outlaw was a coward at heart. He was thoroughly frightened, but his terror had made him perate. He moved about the room, mingling with the throng of miners, but all the time watching the faces of those around him. Suddenly _he stopped still, and his hand dropped to the revolvers in his belt. "Stop!. I have you covered. Move a hand and I will shoot you dead where you stand." A slender young man, who was better dressed than the others in the place. had come face to face with the outlaw. Despite the male attire, Woods had recognized Calamity Jane. Instinctively he had reached for his revolver. Th1:11 came the warnirig command to stc1p. It was given in a tone so low that only the man for whom it was intended heard. The order was obeyed. A small silver-mounted revolver yvas in the hand of Calamity Jane. I ts muzzle was pointed straight at the heart of the outlaw, and a slender white finger was on the trigger. "I understand your game, Bill 'vVoods, and I know you now. I will meet you in Dead Man's Gulch. I shall be a passenger on the eastbound stage next Thursday." Keeping the outlaw covered with her revolver, Calamity Jane moved away, and was lost in the crowd about the gaming tables before the outlaw could say a word. The meeting and the dramatic scene that followerl had attracted no attention. Most of those present i,vere too much interested in the games of chance


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 7 gving on around them to notice an ordinary interruption. \Vith a muttered oath 'vVoods turned on his and walked away. I -Ie hunted up his companions, and spoke a few words to them. They soon left the place, but 'vVoocls remained behind. Half-an-hour later, the outlaw noticed a tall, well-built man moving slowly about the room. The new comer was also disguised, but 'vVoods easily ;-ecog nized Jesse James. Confident that the outlaw leader could not pene trate his disguise. \Voods decided to remain and watch Jesse for a while. He fell in close behind nirn, and followed him from table to table. ''There is a shadow on your trail to-night, olcl man," \ Voocls clmckled to himself, as he watched hi s leade r "and that shadow proposes to find 0ut what yon are up to." Jesse Jam es seated himself at one of the tables, and was about to join in a game of poker when he felt a light touch on his shoulder. ''Don't play to-night! You are in danger!" The words were spoken so lo w that only the ban dit chief heard them. He \\heeled around like a flash to face the speaker. A slender young man stood nea r him. ''Meet me here to-morrow! I will warn you of your clan ger!" said the same low voice. "\tVho are you?" "Calamity Jane." Jesse James was about to utter an exclamation of astonishment, but, placing her finger on her lips as a signal for silence, Calamity Jane move d away with out another word. A few minutes l ater Jesse James quietly left the place, and, mounting his horse, started back to camp. CHAPTER CXVII. BILI, wooo' s PLOT. Bill Woods and the four men who had agreed to .join him in the attempt to bring about the capture of Jess e James die! not return to the camp of the out laws. They had become aware that they were regarded with suspicion by their leader and the members oi the band who had been true to him. It would not be safe for them to remain longer. They knew very 'vVell what their fate vvoulcl he if Jesse James was convinced they intended to turn traitors and found them again in his camp. Bill \Voods was at heart a scoundrel of the worst t y pe. He had long hated and feared Jesse James, and had secretly planned to him as leader of the band of outlaws. \Voods thought the spoils of the raids and robberies should be' divided equally among the members of the b a nd. He objected to the James boys alwayc; taking the lion's sqare. But there was another reason for the outlaw's enmity toward hi s chief. On one of the raids of the gang in Missouri, \tVoocls ,,anted to abduct a pretty girl, the daughter of a farmer, and force her ti.!) live with him. Jesse James learned of His intentions, and gruffly threatened to blow his brains out if he attempted anything of the kind. It was the proud boast of the James boys that they nor any member of their band had ever harmed a woman. \tVoods was a brute who had no respect for womanhood, and he resented the interference of Jesse with his plan, but dared not say so openly. The meeting between Jesse James and Calamity Jane, in the latter's gambling room, had been seen by Woods. He overheard the warning given the outlaw chief by the woman who hacl been a true friend to him in times past. \Voocl s knew that he -must act quickly. If Jesse Jam es learned from Calamity Jane of his in tended treachery, \iVyoming would not be large enough for both of them. The one who got the drop would remain. The other would pass in his checks. There was another reason why he must put his plans into force as soon as possible. He had reason to fear Calamity Jane quite as much as Jesse James The woman was a relentless enemy. No one kne1.v this better than Bill \iV oocls. In cunning and courage she was more than his equal. She had already foiled his plan to murder her in cold blood. \Voods had shacl

8 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. C o lorado. Dakota and 'W yoming before h e went to Mi sso uri and joi n ed the James g ang to escape the vigil antes. A numbe r of his former confederates in crime were operating in and around Cheyenne at this time. The y were without a leader, and 'vVo o ds had decided to take them into his b a nd. They were all d esperate charac ters, a nd, with Jes se James out of the wa y 'vVo ocls beli ev ed he would be able to organi z e a band of o u t l a ws that no officer in the West would dare at t ack. Stanl e y was commissioned to find hi s old friends, and induce the m to become members of the 'vV oods g a n g 'vVo ocls gave the ot1 1er men in structions, when and where to meet him again, and al s o gave them a general outline of his plan s for a w ee k ahead. He al s o warned the m to keep out of sight of the Jam e s boys Then he left the m and, t a kin g a room at one of the c a bins called h o tels, he set a b out p reparing for the carrying out of his plan to capture J esse J am es. 'vVhen 'vVoods a ppeared on the streets of Chey enne, the followin g morning, he w as s o c a refully d isguis e d h e wa s c o nfident ne i th e r C a lamit y Jane nor Jess e James could recogni z e him. For severa l h ours he loite r ed about the entra nce to C a lam i t y H all. He wa s watchi n g t o see if Jes se k ept his appointment to meet Calamity J a ne. v Vhen he saw a man disguised as a prosp ector, just arriv ed fr o m the East, he k n e w t h e b andit chi e f would s oon l earn of his trea c he ry. Two hours later Vl oocls a g a in vis ited Sheriff Strong at th e l atter's office. The sheriff received him rather cooll y "I ha v e come to arrang e our pl a n s for the capture of the James boys, s a id t he outla w "'vV e c a n catch them in the ac t of robbing the stage. "I h ave d ec ided to h a ve nothing to do w ith you or your pla n," s a id She riff Stron g q uietl y Vv oocls was puz zled by th e sudden ch ange in the sheriff. "It will be an ea s y job," h e s ai d "Pos s i bl y but I decline to J1a ve anything to do with it." "It will give you a great reputation." "That I have already." "I will divide the reward with you. "No: I shall have no thing t o clo with you or your l pl a n and you h a d better not com e h ere again. As a s worn offi cer of the lavv, I mi ght have to arrest you for murder ::i..ncl robbery in Mi s souri. If you want a word of friendly advice, I will tell you that it will be a good plan for you to leave Cheyenne without del ay. While you a r e playing the shadow on Jess e J a m es there i s a s h a d ow on your trail." V v oods turned pale, but made no reply He was thinking o f a time when a woma n or a young g irl she w a s t hen h a d sworn a terrible o ath of ven g e ance and he knew how w ell the o ath had been kept. He did not need to a s k the identity of the shadow that was on his trail, and would follow him lik e a relentles s fa te. Dick Stron g w as w atching the face o f the outlaw cl ose ly, and he s miled a s he s a w tha t hi s words hacl struc k h o me. \ V i t h a n a ir of bravad o, w h i c h he did not feel, W oocls turne d and left the of-fice CHAPTER C XVIII. I N DEA D MAN'S G U LCH. V'IT h e n Cheye nne Pete, whose fame a s a stag e dri ver, wa s second only to tha t o f Col orado Charley, m o un te d hi s box to start on the regu la r trip east on Thursday m o rnin g, followin g the e vents just related, he w as a w are that something unus ual was to be connected with the t r ip in some way. He knew tha t the e xpress compa ny s boxes contained on e hundre

THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo Their arsenals included an assortment of pistols and bowie-knives. "I guess there's fun ahead, bnt, as it's not my business to ask questions, I'il just wait until it be gins," said the grizzled driver rto himself. Cheyenne Pete had been a pony mail rider, a government scout, cowboy and miner, before he began stage-driving. His thriiling ad ventures and narrow cs c ape.s from death would fill s everal vol umes. He w a s cool and fearless under ail circum stances, and many times his nerve and daring had saved the stage from robbers. Pete notic e d that She riff Strong and all the armed men rode inside, while the miners and other ordinary passengers were given the seats on top of the stage . Before the order to start was given, the windows were coverec l with fadccl calico curtains, so that it was imposs ible to see from the outside, if there were any pa ssengers in the coach. a grim smile in anticipat!on of a liv e ly time, Cheyenne Pete gathered up hi s reins and shoute d to his horses. They knew his voice, and, like a flash, they were off in a s v vinging gallop Ten miles were coyerecl in ics s than an hour, and nothing had happen ed. Dead I\Ian's Gulch was reached, and along the narrow and dan gerous trail Pete held his horses to a walk. After a mil e of tortuous \Yindings, gulch and trail broadened, and a long stretch of down grade Gega:1. Here the driver tightened his rein s and the horses started into a smart trot. "Whoa, there! Now, for the fun!" With a sudden and powerful jerk, that almost threw them on their haunches, Cheyenne Pet e pulled up his horses. Fifty feet ahead the trail was completely blocked by a pile of stones. There was no chance to drive around or o ver the obstruction. "Up with your hands, Pete, and stay where you are until we interview your passengers!" A dozen armed men sprang from the rocks, and chaparral, as Cheyenne Pete brought his team to a standstill. They had him covered. He held up his hands without a word, and the passengers on the top of the stage followed his example. "What have you got inside?" asked a tall man, who appeared to be the leader of the robbers. "Go in and see for yourselves," answered Pete. "Just what we are going to do, but you want to be a little more polite in talking to gentlemen." The tall outlaw advanced toward the rear of the stage. Not a sound had been hearJ from those i;:s ide the stage and the driver was b eginning to wonder what the game was. Two of the robbers kept the men on top and the dri ver co v ered, and the others followed their leade:: toward the door. "Hello in there! Put up your hands, and get out!" There w as no movern.ent in response to this order, and one of the robbers advanced and threw open the door. "Come out, and be d--d quick about it. I am Jesse J a m es, the Prince of Road Agents, and I won't stand any nonsen s e shouted the man, who actin g as leader of the robbers. "You a re a liar, a coward and a traitor." Quic k as a flash a man had leaped from the stage,. and stood facing the robber chief, a cocked revolver in each hand. "Jesse Jam es!" The pistol in the hand of the leader of the robbers fell to the ground from hi s nerveless hand, as he ut te re d the name of the great bandit chief. "Yes, Bill \rV oods, I am Jesse Jam es ; and your little game of playing as my rival of the road is up ., At the first mention of the dreaded name of the great outlav v chief, the other would-be robbers turned and fled. They did not run a moment too soon. Half a score of armed men suddenly le a ped from the stage, and fired a volley at the flying figures, without effect. Bill Woods was thoroug hly frightened by the su

10 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. By the time Sheriff Strong and his men recovered from their astonishment and realized that they weoe really face to face with the great bandit chief, that individual had them covered with his revolvers. With a smile, Jesse said: "Gentlemen, you had better follow those robbers at once or they will escape." The sheriff and his men saw at a glance that it would be folly to attempt to a:rrest Jesse James, so they promptly acted on hi s suggestion, and started in pursuit of Bill vVoods and his men. \Vi th a smile, Jesse turn eel to the four guards, and told them they could clear the road and let the stage proceed. They at once went to work removing the pile of stones, leaving the stage unguarded. Their work was almost completed, when half-a-dozen men suddenly appeared on the scene. In an instant the four g\.tards were co vered by the pistols of the newcomers. Several of the leaped into the stage, and threw put the boxes containing the gold. In a twinkling they were rifted of their contents. "You can go on with the stage, Pete," said Jesse James, with a smile, when the robbery was complete. "D--d if that don't beat me," was all that Cheyenne Pete could say, when fie realized the cunning with which Jesse James had planned for his own men to appear on the scene a:t the right moment and secure the treasure. CHAPTER cxrx. IN LEAGUE WITH THE WYOMING REGULATORS. When Bill Woods realized that he was to be al lowed to get away with his life he lost no time in going. The outlaw was thoroughly frightened when he found himself face to face with the man had tried to betray to the officers. He had learned, as he thought, that Jesse and his men had decided to abandon the ,proposed stage robbety in Dead Man's Gulch. He did not discover until too late that Jesse had purposely given out that information, where he knev,r it would reach the cars of the renegade. Then Woods decided to rob the stage himself with the aid of the little of desperadoes he had gathered about him. He would operate on reputatio:1 of hi s former leader. He thought no one in that section knew the great tandit chief by sight, and he concluded that the mention of the dreaded name would be suf ficient to cause the pas sengers and guards to submit to being robbed without any attempt at resistance. But other plans had been arranged while the rene gacle outlaw had been scheming to get possession of the one hundred thousand dollars in gold. When Jesse Jam es told Woods to go, that indi Yidual gave his men a s ignal. and in a mome11t they had disappeared into the chaparral brush to the ri ght of the trail. Their horses were tied nearby, and, at a few bounds, they 'vere in the saddle. "'vVe must get out of this in a hurry," \\roods cried to his men. This was hardly the course they expected of their new leader, who had so often boasted that he on: y wanted an oppol'tunity to clown Jesse J arnes but they were all too much frightened by their nanow escape to discuss the 111.atter then. vVhen Sheriff Strong, his deputies and the guards started in pursuit of vVoocls and his men at the suggestion of Jesse James, which suggestion was emphasized by his cocked revolvers, the would-be stage robbers had already reached their horses. The officers vYere on foot. Vv'hen they reached the spot where the outlaws had mounted their h orses, they realized that farther pursuit would be u seless. They stopped a moment to clisct1ss the situation. "Seems to me we had better get back to the stage," suggested one of the stage guards. "Jesse James is not the kind of man to walk off and leave one hundred thousand dollars, V.'hen it is lying around without any one to watch it." "Just what I was thinking," said Sheriff Strong. The officers hurriedly retraced thefr steps. As they approached the place where they left the stage, they heard the sound of flying hoof-beats. Rushing fornard they were ju s t in time to catch a glimpse of a small band of horseme11 galloping away in the direction of Cheyem1e. Jesse J a111es and his men had turned hack on the trail, and '"'ere riding straight to their camp with the gold the stage company had contracted to deliver safely in Denver. The officers ran 'toward the stage, with a vague


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 idea that something had happened during their ab sence. "You fellows are the biggest chumps in 'vVyoming," said Cheyenne Pete, who sat on his box as quietly as if nothing unusual had occurred. "What's the matter, Pete?" asked Sheriff Strong. "Nothing now, as the little boy said after the cow ran over him; it's what happened a while ago that hurts." "'vVhat do you mean?" "Look inside, if you can't guess." Sheriff Strong and his men ran to the stage door, and looked in. The strong boxes in which the gold had been packed were all scattered over the bottom of the stage. They were empty. "Who did this?" asked Dick Strong, with a trace of excitement in his voice. "Jesse James, I guess, the real Jesse, too," re plied the veteran stage-driver, quietly. "Not alone?" "No; his mei1 helped him." "His men? \!Vhere were they?" "Hid in the chaparral on the other side of the trail. They came up like a brood of prairie chickens at the call of the hen, when Jesse sent you feliows trooping off there on a wild-goose chase after his rival, the bogus bandit." "Damnation!" This was the mildest word Dick Strong C01;lld think of to express his chagrin at having been so cleverly and easily outwitted by the bandit. "A pretty sum this clay's work will cost the stage company," remarked Cheyenne Pete, whose first thought was always of the interest of his employ ers. As for the guards, whose duty it had been to protect the treasure with their lives, if necessary, they had nothing to say. They knew they had lost their positions. Every one in the party quickly realized that they could do nothing to remedy what had been done. The outlaws \Yere gone, and the gold them. That was all there was to it. Dick Strong swore he would catch them and recover the money, but that was easier said than done. This was his first experience with the Jam es boys and their gang, and he was compelled to admit that it had not been a pleasant or profitable one. As soon as the trail was clear, Cheyenne Pete gathered up his reins and prepared to start. The mails had been left undisturbed, and they must be carried through. The crestfallen guards climbed into the stage. Sheriff Strong and his men decided to return to Cheyenne on foot, where they could procure horses and start in pursuit of the robbers. The stage moved off down the trail, and the officers took their march home. No one had noticed in the excitement that the black-eyed young man who had been a passenger had disappeared. * ... ... * Cheyenne Pete, with his chagrined and silent gaards, must be left to continue their journey eastward with the stage, Dick Strong and his men to walk back to Cheyenne, and Jesse James and hi<> gang to divide the gold at their camp, while we fol low Jesse's rival of the road, Bill Woods, and his outlaws. As they increased the distance between them and Jesse James their courage gradually rose, and, at the end of five miles, they slackened the pace of their' horses. "\i\That's the plan now, captain?" asked Ned Stanley, riding up by the side of Woods. "The plan is to rob a bank, hold up a stage or do anything there is money in. The fact is, I am broke and I've got to strike pay-clirt-2.nd strike it quick." "The next stage we rob, let's make sure Jess is not among the passengers." "Enough of that. We would have cleaned out Jesse and the stage, too, only I was afraid these thieves you've picked up out here would jump the game the moment the shooting began." Stanley smiled at this, but said nothing. He knew that W oocls had jumped the game before there was any shooting. The outlaws had left Dead Man's Gulch and were riding along the main trail toward Cheyenne. As they turned a sudden sharp bend in t he trail they found themselves face to face with a score of well-armed and well-mounted men. "Hands up, there! The first man who moves goes clown !" The outlaws were taken completely by surprise, and, before they could make a move to draw a


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. weapon. they were. covered by the Vvinchesters vi the entire crowd of men in front of them. ''vVho are you and what do you want?" demanded V./ ood s sullenly. "vV e are the vVyoming Regulators, and we want you and all your gang. There has been horse-thieving in these diggings, and we are gomg to put a stop to it. Get your ropes ready, boys!" replied the man, who seemed to be the leader of the regulators. A sudden desperate plan to save his ov. n neck occurred to Bill vVoods, and the cowardly scoundrd lost no time in putting it into execution. "\!\!ell I guess you have made a mistake this time, old man. We are not horse thieves." "Can you prove it?" 'I rather think I can." ''\ Vho are you?" I am a Pinkerton detective, hunting for Jesse James ancl his band of outlaws, who are known t he hiding somewhe r e in this part of the country. I have full descriptions of the men we are after, ancl copies of the rewards offered by the Governor of Missouri. I also hav e m y comniiss i o n as a detect ive." The outlaw was playing a bold game. He was with the James gang when they killed a Pinkerton cletecti v e in Missouri. vVood s ha cl s earched the pockets of the detective after he was dead. He h a d found and taken possession of the man's commission as a detective. Realizing that it might be u se ful to him at some time, he had kept it. The time had come when he could use it. "Here i s mv commission and the other papers. These oi.1ght convince you that I am not a horse thief." The leader of the regulators advanced, and read the commission. "This s e ems to be correct. Sorry to have held yon up, captain, but every stranger in these parts must show his credentials." One of the regulators here c alled the leader aside, and spoke a few words to him in a low tone, at the same time pointing to one of the rustlers \ iVoods had picked up at Cheyenne. vVood s realize d that something was up. "vVho are all these men with you, captain?" sai c l the leader of the regulators. "Men I have employed to help hunt clown the out laws." "V.J ell, for a Pinkerton detective, I think you have employed some very poor help. We have just recog nized one of the men in your party as Jack Brody, the \vorst claim jumper and horse thief in the territory He is one of the scoundrels we in tended iaaklng an example of as soon as caught." The reg-ulator pointed to one of the outlaws . who was k eeping well in the rear trying to avoid 1,ieing see n. 1 "That man i s only a guide 1 picked np clown the road. I know nothing' about him. He told me knew e very foot of the country around here, and I employed him to act as guide. 1 he is a thief, I s hall 1.Je glad to be ricl of him. Bill \ t\ioocls, lik e the co\v-ard he wa s, would turn over one of hi s m e n to be hung to the neares t limb, and assist at the hanging if he could save his own neck by so doing "Say, cap, that's m y horse the cussed scoundrel is riding now," cried one of the regulators, who had gone close to where Brody \Vas trying his best t o conceal himse lf. rt' was fortunate for Vv ood s that the regulators were o nly miners comparatively new in the V ./ es<:. They had had little experience with the despera. cloes who infested that locality else they would subjected him and hi s men to a much closer examination. But the credentials of a Pinkerton detective, who ,,a s hunting Jesse James, was enougJ1 for them. They had heard that the great bandit was somewhere in the territory, and they all feared him. Tlwy had robbers enough in their midst already. These miners h a d suffered greatly at the hands of the thieves and rustlers, who stole horses and cattle and jumped claims, but did not have the courage necessary to rob stages and banks. They had organized an amateur band of regulators to make an example of some of the thieves. Horsestealing in that locality \\'aS a crime always punished with death, when the thief was compelled to stand trial at the court of Judge L ynch. "String him up, cap! String him up!" shouted the regulators, gathering around Brody, who was now thoroughly frightened. He had heard the statement of vVoocls to the miners about being a Pinkerton and the rustler knew he would receive no aid from his new .Jeader. "String him up, boys! vVe'll make an example of one horse thief!" One of the miners ran forward \vith a rope, ancl, in a twinkling, Brocly was dragged from the stolen horse he was riding, ancl was beirlg dragged toward the nearest tree with a noos e about his neck. "Sorry to take. your guide away from you," said the leader of the regulators to vVoods; "but you see the boys have lost so many horses they are compelled to do somethi1fg in self-defense." "That's right," replied \.Voo

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. is nothing of the kind. He i s a thief. He was a member of the James gang until he tried to betray his leader. He says he is hunting the great bandit. That' s a lie. He is running from h im now An hour ago h e met J esse J arnes face to face, ::ind ran away from him l ike a cur. You can hang me, but what I tell you is the truth ., "String h i m up! String him up!" shouted the n:gulators, who were getting impatient at the de l ay. "Yes, string him up! I'll h e l p yo u. The scoundre l i s telling that lie in the hope of g-aining time,"' cried B ill \ Voocls, angrily. The scoundrel wa" be ginning to fear he would not get off as easily :is he expected. \ Vit h the stoicrs m of an India n Brody faced l1is captors and tol d them to pull away. with his own hands he aclittsted the noose about his neck, so it woi.1lcl be to do its work swiftly and surely A t a word of command from thei r le ader, the reg ulators seized the rope, and in a moment the form of Brody, the rus tler, was d angling from a liaib close b y the side of the tra il. His struggles soon ceas ed, and hi s body hm:g limp and lifele ss. t h e n one o f the regulators wrote a placard, which read: This will be th e fat e of all ho r s e thie1es w h o fall into our hands. THE REGVLATO.RS. This was fastened to the breast of the dead rustler, and hi s body was l e ft h a nging there, where it could be seen by all who passed along the trail. "A d--d clo s e call for me," muttere d Bill woods to himself. ''Now, captain," said the leader of the regulators, "we are ready to help you capture Jesse J ames." "Good; we will soon have him a prisoner. Then, if you have any more horse thieves you want to put out of the way, me and my men will be at your ser vice." "That's a bargain," cried the regulators, in chorus. "But one question before we start," said Woods. "If we capture the James boys, how shall we divide the reward? It is the reward my men and I are after." "You can keep the reward for funera l expenses," laughed the captain of the regulators. "All we want is to rid the territory of robbers and thieves. You are welcome to all the rewards." "Good; we will work together as long as there is a robber left in \IVyoming. Now, to the camp of the James boys." The regulators were soon mounted, and, led by \Voods and his men, they galloped away in the direction of the camp of Jesse James and his men. CHAPTER CXX. JESS E JAMES A PRIS ONER. \IVeightecl down with the gold stolen from th<: stagecoach Jesse James and his men rode slm., 1 y back to their camp in the hills, knowing they would not qe followed. The success of the e xpedit i o n was the subject o f much joking o n the ride. It was the best planne 1 and execute d pi ece of \ \ -ork they had ever done, a:1..l e very man in the gang congratulated Jesse 0;1 h i::. cunning and courage. Reaching camp, the men dismounted, and gath ered about their leaders-] es s e and Frank. "Now, boys, we'll di v ide the plunder at once. and then we w ill hunt a new camp. That Sheriff Strom is lik e ly to come prowling around here to-night o<; to-mo rrovv. From all I have heard of him, h e is not the kind of man to go the other way when he knows where we are." ''Can't the boys have a little fun before we under take another job? Gi\ r e them a chance to put some of the coi n in circulation." suggested Dick Little. "You can have all the fun you want, but don't get caught while you are at it." Jes se then piled the gold take n from the stagecoach in a heap, and divided it into two equal parts He and Frank took half, and the other half was divided equally among the members of the band. "Now, boys, I want a word with all of you before we break ca1i1p," said Jesse. The men gathered around him, and listened in silence. "Five members of the band, led by BiH 'vVood s, hav e turned traitors and left us. They are trying to operate on my reputation, and \IVoods is going to capture me and get the rewards, at leas t, he thinks he is. You all know the oath of the band. Are there any others who are dissatisfied and want to join Woods and the other traitors?" An emphatic "No!" from every member of the band was the answer. "Good!" said Jesse. "I think I can trust all of you." "With your life," replied Dick Little. "I let Bill \IVoods escape to-day, to give the regulators a chance to hang him; but if they don' t do it quick, I shall bring him back and make an example of him. The man who tries to betray me dies. I'll give one thousand dollars to any man who brings Bill \IVoods or any of the other traitors into camp. Boys, remember your oath, and the fate of those who have turned traitor in the past. "Now, we will scatter for a few days to throw the officers off our trail. When we get together again I shall have some work for you to do." Jesse then told the men how to fj.nd the place he had selected for the new camp, and they rode away


1 4 THE J ESSE JJ\.MES STORIES. singly, each man going m a separate direction, in orde r to b afi1e Jes se and Frank w e re the last to leave the camp. Before mounting their horses, they opened their saddle-bags and donned their best disguises. "N O\V, old man, we'll have a little quiet fun up in Cheyenne before we do any more work, said Jesse. \!Vhen the two outlaws mounted their horses, they looked very little like th e desperate bandits who had that morning robbed the richest laden stage that ever went out of Che y enne. They had put on clean white shirts, and fairly well-fitting clothes that were not more than six months behind the prevailing fashions of the East .. They had greased and smoothed down their hair, and their beards had been trimmed with a rusty pair of scissors carried for the purpose. "I guess we are as fresh a looking pair of tenderfeet as you can find in the territory," said Jesse, surve_ying himself in :-. small and badly-cracked hand mirror. "Oh, we'll pass anywhere! E very gambler in Cheyenne will be trying to get us into a game. They'll all pick us up for easy victims." "Well, let's be going before some meddling de tectives or regulators come prowling around the camp and strike our trail." The James boys mounted their horses, and rode slowly out of camp. They made their way care fully down the gulch, until they reached the Cheyenne trail. As they rode forward, they kept a sharp lookout to the right and left for enemies. They knew that news of t!.e stage robbery would spread rapidly, and that in a short time the coun try would be alive with officers and amateur detect ives looking for the robbers. They reached the Cheyenne trail without meeting any one, and turned their horses' heads toward the town "Not much clanger of any one r ecognizing us as stage robbers while we wear these togs,'' said Frank. "Hello! What's this?" "It's that cl--n traitor Woods," said Jesse. "vVhere did he get all these men? Mus t have picked up all the thieves and rustlers in the terri tory." "They are the Wyoming Regulators, I guess. It's just like that snake to fall in with them, and lead the gang of them to our camp, where he can make a sneak while they do the fighting." "Do you think he will recognize us?" "If he does, there' ll be some fun." "\!Vill we attack all that crowd?" "Go through them like a cyclone." "Vlf ell, don't make any break; the y may not sus pect who we are. \!Ve can settle with V\Toods some other time." "Too late now. They are on to us. \!Voods and Stanley probably recognize the horses." The party of regulators were pulling up their horses on both sides of the road, in such a position as to block the passage of the two horsemen approaching. Jesse and Frank had been riding slowly forward all the time, and were now quite close to the head of the column of regulators. Bill vVoods, they noticed, had cautiously moved back toward the rear, and was talking in an excited mann,er with a man who appeared to be the leader of the regulators. In a moment the latter rode forward to the head of the column, carrying his vVinchester in his right hand. "Halt, there, and give an account of yourselves!" Jesse and Frank Jam es were little more than fifty feet away when the order to halt was given. They were ali'eady prepared for it. "Now, straight through them! Make every shot count!" said Jesse, in a low tone. Quick as a flas h the two outlaws took their bridal reins in their teeth, a pistol in each hand, and, putting spurs to their horses, they dashed into the midst of the regulators. Their advance was, indeed, like a cyclone. It was entirely unexpected by the regulators, and in a moment the latter were thrown into the wildest confu sion, As the outlaws dashed forward, they fired right and left, and at almost every shot a saddle was emptied. Yelling like demons, they went, and no man dared attempt to get in front of them and stop their mad rush. As soon as he saw them coming, Bill vVoods droppe d to the ground, and concealed himself behind his horse. He fired a shot at the outlaw chief as they went by, but it went wild of the mark. The captain of the regulators escaped the fusil lade of shots. unhurt, and was one of the few in the party who did not lose his head. "After them, boys! After them! Don't let them escape! Shoot them down!" he shouted to his men. He wheeled his horse about as quickly as possible and, bringing his \i\ Tinchester to his shoulder, fired a few shots at the bandits, who were by this time through the lines. A few of his men rallied at his command, and started in pursuit. In the excitement of the moment they did not no tice that Bill Woods and his gang, who had volun-. teered to lead them to the camp of Jesse James, were going the other way as fast as their horses could carry them. They had no desire to attcm,pt the capture of the great bandit chief. By the time Jesse and Frank were safely through


THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo 15 the lines half the regulators had turned and started in pursuit. Several bad been shot down, killed or wounded, while the two outlaws had so far escaped without a scratch. "Don't let them escape!" shouted the captain of the regulators, as he spurred his horse forward and led the pursuit. For half a mile up the trail the race was an exciting one. The Jam es boys turned and fired at their pursuers, as they rode until they had emptied their pistols. Then Jesse dropped his bridle and began reloading his pistols as h e rode. His horse slackened speed while he was getting out his cartridges, and the regulators began to gain on them rapidly. The horse ridden by Frank had been st1:uck by a bullet. The wound \\'as a very slight one. but it made the animal frantic and he was plunging ahead at full speed. Frank was unable to control him. At e\ery bound he was gainingon the regulators, while J esse \\"as being left behind, and was a lmost over t a ken. But t h e great bandit chief had s ucceeded in getting one of his pistol s l oaded. He wheeled in his saddle for another shot at his pursuers at close range. But this time he was a moment too late. He heard the swis h of a rope through the air, and before he coulcl dodge to one side a noose had settled around his arms like the coils of a serpent. Among the regulators were a number of cowboys, who had handled a l asso for years, and roped cattle until they were experts. One of them had quietly unfastened his la sso from his saddle as he rode. As soo n as he \\"as ne a r enough, he whirled the long rope around his head in a series of graceful, sweeping curves, then it shot forward like a snake, striking its prey, in a twinkling the noose had settled clown over the head of the great bandit chief, before he could make a move his arms were pinioned to bis side as firmly as if they had been held in a vice. "Damnation!" ejacu lated Jesse J ames, as he strnggled to free his a rms. As soon as he saw that his throw had been trne, the cowboy sa id so methin g to. hi s h o r se and the welltrained an imal threw his fore feet forward as a brace. a nd stopped with a snddenness that would have un seated any but a mos t experienced rider. One end of the long lasso was secured to the sad dle of the cowboy A n instant after his horse stopped the rope was drawn tight, and Jesse was jerked from hi s horse. H e \\"as stunned by the fall, and before he could get on his feet the cowboy was drawing in the rope hand over hand, atid the regulators had come up. Jesse James, the g 'reat bandit chief, was a bound and helpless prisoner. CHAPTER CXXI, THE l\ODNIGHT OATH-THE SHADOW IN IlLACK. Bill \Yoocls and his little band of o utl aws went into camp for a few clays to rest and plan another robberv_ The 'men who had joined the b and at Cheyenne, and knew something of the country and its crim in als, were sent o ut to look for recruits. Woods wanted more men. With. a large enough force he b elieved he could terrorize t h e entire section and rob when and where he pleased. The following clay he learned that Jesse James had been captured, and safe l y lodged in jail at Chey enne. His joy over the nevvs kne\v no bounds. He ,,ould hav e been g lad if h e could have obtained the bi g reward offered by the Go vernor of Mi ssouri for th e capture of t he great bandit chief, but he did not have the nerve to earn it, and he knew it. \ Vith hi s rival out of the way, \tVoods believed he could get together and lead a band of outlaws that could defy the authorities o f the territory. He \Yoncle r ed \\hat had become of Frank James and the other members of the band, but he did not fear them so much now that their leader was behin r l the bars. In fact, he believed several other mern bers of the band would join his gang, if he could find them. \i\Tith a strong band of desperadoes in that wild country; Vv oods did not fear Dete ctive vVith ers, the famous sleuth who was known to be in that section, and whom he s u spec ted had been sent for b y the stage and express companies to guard their property. Three clays after the attempt to rob the stage, the men who had been se nt out to look for recruits for the band returned to report. They had found half a do ze n rus tlers who were hidin g from the regulators, and were anxious to join t he band for their own protection and for the better chance it would give them to carry on their stealing. Arrangements had been made for them to meet vVoods and the other members of the gang that night jus t outside of Cheyenne. The meeting-plac e wa s to be a graveyard, and there they were to take the oa_th that would make them full-fledged members of the outlaw band. It was close to midnight when \i\T oocls and his men arrived at the appointed meeting-place. A lonely and weird place it was, on the side of a h ill, a mile from the town. Th lights of Cheyenne gleamed faintly in the distance, while all a.round ant about them were newly-made graves. One of the fir s t i11dustries started by new towns in that section in those clays was a graveyard, and in every in stance they could be classed among the growing industries from the start. There were no tombstones, but t_he fresh mounds of earth marked the graves very plainly.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Every hnn bnriecl there had died with his boots on. It was an approprite pl a ce to take an oath for deeds of blood and daring. The recruits were wai t;;u...-\\ben Woods and his men arrived. '' They were introduced to the outlaw leader, and he repeated to them the terribl e oat h they were to take. Some of the mer; at it, or the graves that looked so ghostly in the p al e moo:1light, but none of them backed out. :C very !::Jan took the u ath, it after Woods. """;-; O\\', kiss a gr:we." he comn'.anded. l:>t:ry man stooped, and p:esse

THE ,JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. When the citizens of Cheyenne had had time to recO\ er from the excitement they remembered tlMt Caiamity J a n e had been mi s sing from her faro bank since the morning of the clay Sheriff Strong started out to capture the stage roboers. Her absence, however, attracted little attention, as it was not an unusual thing for h e r to di sappear entirely for se Yeral days at a time without accounting for it. w e n t o n a s u s u a l ia C a l a m i t y Hall during her because she h acl a nrnnar:>: e r a nd a faro empl o y e d t o rnn t h gam e s for her. True, t h e pla y w a s not s o b r i !,;ht w hen ::;Ile was ab sent. b e ca u se o:arn1J1 e r s \Vod d v e nture mor e n nclc r the sp e l l of he1:--i b s ii: : 1 g b l ack e yes tita n a t any other time. A ffairs b a d s e t tl e d down to t hei r nonn:1 l c onc1i tion s am1 the j a il was n o lon g-er c r m n led w ith vi s i tors to see the s t a r prisoner. Sher iff Strong-, how ever, h a u not relaxe d any o f his vi ;; i!a n c e v v hile waiti n g to hear fr o m t he Governo r of Two trusty men were constatly on duty at the jail during t-he day to wa tch the bandit chief. The next even t to attract public attention in Chey enne was the arriva l oi a young min ister from the East. He was a se:iou s cle r ical-look i ng young man, dressed in a ministerial suit of bla ck. :\. jaunty little mustache adorned hi s upper lip, but he wore no jewelry of any kind. The young clergyman announced that he h a d been sent out by a religious society in Bosto11 to s e e what could be done to Christianize the Wild 'vVes t. He had brought along a bountiful supply of tract s and religious literature for free di stribution, and he announced tha t as soon as he had time to look around the town a little he would hold a series of religious meetings. Some of the cowboys vvanted to shoot holes in the clergyman's black silk hat and his bundle of tracts, by way of giving him a genuine \i\T estern reception, but older and cooler heads persuaded them to let him alone. However wild and wicked the old Western miner may be, he never makes sport of religion or of a minister of the gospel. One of the first things the missionary learned at the ,hotel was the story of the capture of the great bandit chief, Jesse Jam es, and the fact that he was a prisoner in the town jail. "I mus t go and see this wicked person, and give him some tracts to-morrow, when I have rested from my journey," said the parson, after listening to the story with e \' i

\ t 18 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "Diel you give him a tract?'' asked the guard, d'.':> he unlocked the door of the outlaw's cell. "Two of them," the parson answered. "Found him ripe for repentance, I guess." "Yes; he is a changed man." The cell door swung open, and the parson stepped out. In each hand he held a cocked revolver, and he had the drop on the guard. "Step inside that cell, young rnan, and be quick about it." "And give me your keys," said Jesse James, who was close behind the, parson, and also beld a revolver in each hand. \t\'hen the young missionary entered the cell he mu s t h ave been a walking ar-senal. The guard was taken completely by surprise, aml made no attempt at resistance. He stepped in side the celhvithout a word, as Jesse Jam es walked out. His keys were _taken from him and in a moment the h eavv iron door was locked on the outside, and he was a prisoner in stead of the outlaw. The pretended minister and the bandit chief hurried to\Yard the fron t door of the jail. "Hello! \Vhat's this?" cxclaime ( l the guard on 'dut y there. as he caught sight of Jesse James walk in g close behin d the preter;clecl parson. H e sprang to hi s feet. but before he could ri1ake a move to draw a weapon he was felled to the floor b y a blow on the head with the butt of a heavy re voker in the hands of the meek and quiet-looking parson. The guard was quickly disarmed, and then he was back to the cell and locked in with his companion. "Good-by, boys! You have been kind to me, ancl I am sorry to have to handle you so roughly. I won' t forget you if I ever have a chance to do you a good turn." Jesse James and his rescuer hurried irom the jail. Their departure was not noticed by any one on the street, or about the building except the two guards, who w ere powerless to prevent it. The pretende d preacher led the way around to the rear of the building, where two splendid-looking horses, already saddled, were tied. The horses had been left there only a few moments before by the man to whom the preacher had given a tract while on his way to the jail. The two men mounted the horses, and, putting spurs to the spirited animals, they rode out of town at a rapid pace. Among others who saw them riding away was Dick Strong, the sheriff. "He did not recognize his 'late pri so ner. but he at once suspected that something was wrong, and he hurried to the jail. The two guards locked irl .the cell soon informed him of vvhat had occurred. The sheriff got together a strong posse of men 'IS quickly as possibl e to follow the trail of the outlaw and his rescuer, but by the time they were ready ;o start the bandit chief and his rescuer were mires away. CHAPTER CXXIII. A RIDr: FOR LIFE. "Boys. there is only one person in v\Tyoming who could have clone this, and done it so well said Sheriff Strong to his men, as they started in pursuit of the escaped bandit, and his rescuer. "Ancl that person is--" "Calamity Jane, the Queen of the Plains." "Just my iclea. Dick." sa.icl Captain Thompson, of the vVyorning Regulators, who had joined the pur suing party. ''That is the most wonderful woman I ever heard of. I would like to know something more of her p as t history. I wonder what she ;s running a faro bank in Cheyenne for, \\hen she is reported to be immensely wealthy?'' "'There may be several reasons for that, but her rescue of Jess e Jam es was a surprise to me. I thought Jane was dealing a square game with law and orcler." ''I think I know why she re scued the bandit king." ''\iVl}y ?" "She is in love with him. If a woman like Calami ty Jane has any place in her heart for the tender pass ion called love I think the king of the road agents has found that spot." "I guess you are right. They have been good friends for several years. and have always stood by each other through thick and thin." "A woman will risk anything for the manshe lov es, ancl I think that is why Jane has taken this risk for Jesse James. She has not been at her place for three clavs." "I wi s h I had known that sooner." "\Vhy ?" "Then I should have kept a stronger guard at the jail. I did not suspect that she thought of a res cue. "But didn't she work tha t parson game on the boys jus t too nice for anything. No one else would have thought of the trick. \!\That are you going L0 do with her when we capture them?" "'v\T e have not captured them y et, besides the prisoner was rescued by a man. Vv e have no proof that it was Calamity Jane in disguise." "Oh, I see," said Captain 'rhompson, dryly, and he changed the stibject. To himself he muttered: "If I ain t a bigger fool than I think I am there is a tender spot in Dick Strong's heart for Calamity Jane, and no court in the territory is ever going to get al'i.y proof that the woman released this pris oner."


THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. 1 9 The trail of the prisoners could be followed without difficulty, and the sheriff and his posse, all mounted on fresh horses, pushed forward at a rapid I pace. Dick Strong and Captain Thompson were right. It was Calamity Jane in the guise of a preacher just from the East, who had rescued Jesse James. She had planned it, and it was by previous arrangement that the horses were waiting for them close at hand when they got safely out of the. jail. Jesse James' first thought when he was safely out of the town was to find his brother and the other members of his scattered band. Once aga in at the head of his own men, he would defy all the officers and regulators in \tVyoming. From Calamity Jane he learned that none of them had been killed or captured since he left them, but of their whereabouts she knew nothing. The outlaw chief knew that his men would not leave the neighborhod leaving him behind, so he expected to find them without trouble. He decided to go first to a spot that had been partly agreed upon as a camping-place before they broke up their old camp after the stage robbery in Dead Man's Gulch. The fugitives slackened their pace when they were several miles out of Cheyenne, and then they lost considerable time in riding around in a circle to get their bearings. The country there was new to both of them, and they were compelled to move continu1 ously. They had no fear of pursuit, in fact, did not believe they would be followed. They had ridden to the top of a hill, and were looking about them to decide on the direction they wanted to go, and also in the hope of sighting some member of T esse's band. "\i\/hat's that?" asked Calamity Jane, suddenly pointing to a cloud of dust rising from the trail a mile away to the east. The practised eyes of the outlaw chief watched the moving dust cloud for a few minutes, until he could make out therein a number of shadowy forms moving rapidly toward them. "It is a pursuing party, I guess. This is as good a place to fight them as we will find," said Jesse, quietly. "No; we must not fight them. They outnumber us ten to one, and if Dick Strong leads them it would be a fight to the death. We must give them a race. We can win it. See, our horses are fresh no-w." Jesse reluctantly agreed to make a race for liberty rather than fight, but it was plain that he would have preferred to1make a stand and fight it out then and there. He was spoiling for a fight that would give him ;i. chance t o vvipe out the disgrace of having been lassoed by a cowboy. wheeling their horses to the west, the fugitives put spurs to them, and then began a race for life. The sheriff's posse soon reached the hilltop; and then they cattght sight of the fugitives. With a yell, they urged their horses to their best speed, and the race was on in earnest. The pace was a killing one for the horses, and the race could not last long. The outlaw chief and his companion were entirely ignorant of the country, and were trusting to luck in the direction they had taken. This time they had gone wrong. Without knowing it, they were riding full speed toward the steep banks of a deep, narrow river, vvi1ich had a swift and treacherous current. For a mile the race was unchanged. The fugi tives were not gaining on their pursuers. "What is that break in the ground ahead there?" asked Jesse Jam es, pointing to the bank of the river, which suddenly loomed up to bar their way. "Heavens! It is the river. We must turn aside here. The banks are high and treacherous. We cannot cross the stream." They checked their horses for a moment, anrl started to turn to the right, but they saw that the stream was only a few hundred yards away in that direction. Then they turned to the left, only to make the discovery that they had ridden into a horse-shoe shaped bend of the river. It was too late to turn back now, and the shouts behind them gave warning that their pursuers were gaining on them. Much valuable time had already been lost. "Vle must ride straight ahead, Jane, and trust to luck," said Jesse, grimly, as he realized the situation. ''If we can t get across, they can t, and we tan fight it out, if they close in on us." "\t V e can, at lea s t, die together," s ai d Calamity Jane, under her breath. as she set her teeth firmly and urged her horse forward. Sheriff Strong' s posse was close behind them now. They knew the river and the bend where they had driven the fugitives like rats in a trap. \i\Then Dick Strong saw the fugitives urge tht; i f horses forward straight toward the river, he be lieved they were riding straight to certain death, and he shouted to them to stop. His shouts were not heeded. Strong ordered his own men to pull up their horses in time, and then they watched the outlaw and his companion ride on to the river. The bank of the stream was fifty feet high at that point. It was a frightful leap, and no horse could' make it and live. Jesse James reached over, and placed his hand on the arm of his companion as their horses ran side by side straight to the brink of the high bank. "\i\T e must make the leap," he said, quietly.


' 20 THE JESSE J/\MES STORIES. "What are our ch a nces?" a sked C a l a mi t y J a n e and there w a s no trace of a tremor in h e r voi ce "Very few, I think." "Then, let us make the leap together." "Why together?" "Because I love you, and when you are ne a r s o mething of tli.e woman in me comes b ack to life. I would not tell you this only we are face to fa c e with what seems certain death. It will be pl e a sant w

,. THE JESSE JAMES 21 Then he sat clown at the table, and bought fifty dollars' worth of chips. l-1 e placed half of them 011 the qneen. "Oueen wins!" said the dealer. stranger started at the sound of Faro Jack'.:; voice, but in a moment he reoovered himself, and placed another bet. Again he won. He placed all his _winnings on the turn of the next card and won agam. The disguised stranger WilS the first player that night \Yho had had a run of luck. He placed a dozen bets in rapid succession and won them all. There was a big stock of chips on the table in front of him. He soon began to grow reckless, and placed his bets with less care. Then fortune turned against him, and his chips were rapidly raked in by .the dealer until he had only one hundred dollars' worth left. He staked these, on one card, the queen. ''You cannot win on the queen again. The queen understands your game," sa id the dealer, in a low tone, as he put the cards in the box. The stranger looked up quickly at the words, but Faro Jack was bus y \\ ith the c ards and paid 110 attention to him. Calamitv Jane was standing just behind the dealer, and she, too, heard the remark. It caused her to look at the man in front ()f the table closel y A peculiar glitter came into her eyes as she looked at him, and one jeweled hand dropped to the butt of one of her revolvers. and rested there. She glanced quickly at Faro Jack, but he was busy with the deal and, had not noticed that h is remark had attracted anv attention. ''Queen loses, said tl{e dealer. "It's a cheat; give me a fair deal." cried the stranger, excitedly, as he threw his chips down. "You cannot win on the queen," said the dealer, quietly, as a smile played about the corners of his mouth. The stranger's right hand went to his pocket like a flash. But, quick as he was, Faro Jack was quicker. Before the man with the false beard could draw his pistol the dealer had him covered. "The queen is against you, Bill. Do you want to settle to-night?" said the dealer, in a tone so low that only the man for whom the words were intended and Calamity Jane heard. The stranger sprang from his. seat with an oath. F;wo Jack' s finger was pressing the trigger of his revolver, when Calamity Jane leaned over and whisered to him: "Leave him to me, Jack. Remember your prom' s e. He is one of them. Let him go to-night. He come back as the moth returns. to the candle. e shall not escape." The stranger did not hear these words, but he backed awav from the table until he was well into the crO\\'(l. Then he turned and hurried from the place. "Place your bets. gentlemen!' shouted Faro Jack, and the game went on as though nothing had occurred. CHAPTER CXXV. A F .\TAL Dl; Er On hi s return from the trip o n which his stage h a d been robbed of one hundred thousand dollars in gold by Jesse J a m es and his men, Cheyenne Pet?, the driYer, and all the guards had been suspenclecl b y the stage company pending

22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. enne Pete, with a yell like an Indian, staggered into the room, a 'nd fired three shob at one of the lampc:;. attendants ran forward to put him out, but he covc : ed them with his revoivers and made them stand back. "I've ccme here to see Calamity Jane, and I am going to see her," he shouted, making his way to ward the faro table. The crowd made way for him. "\!\The re is the queen?" he demanded of Faro Jack, wit h an o a th. "Not in ju s t nov,-. Join the game?" answered the dealer. quietly. "Chips!" replied Pete, briefly, throwing a handful of gold dust on the table. A stock of chips were placed 'on the table in front of him, and he placed his bets with an unsteady hand. His mo 1ey and chips were so o n gone. Then tne drunken stage driver arose in a terrible rage. "I might have knO\vn it he shouted. "Calamity Jane is a thief. There is no chance to get a square deal in her place." "You are a liar and a coward !" Faro Jack spoke quietly; but there was a dangerous flash in his eyes and when the stage driver at tempted to draw his weapon he found himself cov ered by a gun in the hands of the dealer. "You' ve got the drop. A man don't get any show in here," said Pete, sullenly. ""What show do you want?" "A square deal." "You had a square deal in the g a me, and lost your money." "You call e d me a liar and a coward w:1en you had the drop." "You lie again. I pulled aft e r you reached for your gun. Do yon want a fight?" "If I can have a shovv." "You sha 11 hav e it. I ought to shoot you clown like a dog, but I'll give you a chance. I'll fight you for your insult of Calamity Jane. Ch ey enne Pete ag:::in ;eached for his gun, but Faro J a ck c o vered him before he could reach it. "Not in here. I'll meet you on the street tomorrow," said the faro dealer quietly. vVith an oath, Chevenne Pete turned and stag gered ont of the place. Calamity Jane had not been present while the trouble was in progress. \!Vhen she entered the hall, a few minutes later, the games were all going on as if nothing unusual had occurred. A number of .miners and gamblers who were standing around the faro table when Cheyenne Pete and the dealer arranged the terms of their street duel had overheard all that passed between the two men. They smiled in anticipation of the fight to the d eat h which they knew would take place as soon as the two men met on the street the following clay. Calamity Jane, mingling in the crowd around the table s o verheard the talk about the duel and learned all th a t had occurred. She said nothing to Faro Jack, but, slipping quietly out of a side door. she made her wa y alone to the cabin of Cheyenne Pete. The drunken stage driver was lying on the floor fast askep. His vVinche s t e r was lying at his side The Que en of the Plains, with a quick, stealthy movement, bent over and picked up the rifle. She examined the si ghts, adjus ted them deftly, then, placing the gun back at the side of the drunken sleeper, she stole away as silently as a shadow, and five minutes later was back in her gambling-house watching. the games. People in Cheyenne who had heard of the pro po s ed duel were astir early the next morning. They l ooked anxiously up and clown the streets from time to time for th e princip als in the a ffair. Every man in town wante d to see the fight, but they did not care to get in range of stray bullets. They had a long time to wait. It was i1early eleven o'clock when Cheyenne Pete awoke from his drunken slumber. The first thing he remembered was that he had a bottle half full of liquor in his cabin. He picked it up, and drank every drop of the fiery stuff without removing the bottle from his lips. Then he felt better, and the scene at Calamity H all the night before all came back to him. He remembered that the dealer had agree d to fight him, and, \Yitliout a moment's delay, he picked up his rifle and started down the street Persons who were on the lookout hurried over to Calamity H all as soon as they saw Pete leave his cabin, and told Faro Jack that the stage driver was hunting for him. The dealer said nothing, but, a moment later, he picked up a \i\!inchester rifle and went out on the street. He had not gone three steps when Pete saw him and opened fire. He got the first shot before Faro Jack could get his gun to his shoulder. The shot mi ss ed. By this time Faro Jack had his gun to his shoulder. Faster than men could count three shots were fired by each man without moving their guns from their shoulders. Spectators peering through doors and windows saw a little speck of dust rise from the coat of the stage driver at each shot, and they knew he had been hit hard. After the third shot Cheyenne Pete took two steps forward and his gun dropped to his hip. He was staggering, but, steadying himself, he pulled th!! lever of his gun once more.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 23 The shot was wild, and .then he reeled. gaye \\ay at the knees, and sank to the ground, face down ward.' Faro Jack tt;rned and walked back into Calamity Hall unhurt. ., Cheyenne Pete was picke feet. "Take em off, boys.'' he said, pointing to ':iis boots. ''It's for my old mother's sa ke. I promised her I would ne ve r die in a saloon or with my boots on. and I won't." His boots were taken off and with a s mile of satis faction on his lip s Cheyenne Pete gave a gasp and was dead. He had kept his promise to hi s old mother, and died outside a saloon vvith his boots off. He had been hit three times. and every b all passed entirely through his body. Se e this, boy s !'' said one of the miners, picking up Pete's rifle and pointing to the telescope sights They were se t to shoot at one thousand yards. The men were not two hundred feet apart when the duel was fought. "It's the work of Calamity Jane." said Dick Strong, who had arrived too late to prevent the duel. CHAPTER CXXVI. LOVE ANb LIFE. Jess e James and his fair rescuer, Calamity Jant?, did not leap to certain death, as their pursuers supposed when their horse s canied them over the precipice into the river. By a lucky chance the horses struck in deep water, where there were no rocks. Jesse 's feet were clear of the stirrups as the horse s went over, and when they struck the water he slipped out 'Of the saddle His companion was close by his side, an d he caught her around the waist with one arm, and pulled her off her horse. The noble animals sank below the surface, and were carried some di stance clown the s trean1 by the swift current before they rose again. The httnclit chief \vas an excellent swimmer. He was unhurt by the fall. and could easily keep his head aboYe wate; The hig h bank at :hat point projected out over: th e stream some distance. and there was a narrow. sloping bank close to the foot of cliff. Supporting his companion with o n e arm, Jesse, with a few strong strokes reached this b ank, and they were safe from any chance of drowning. Their sp lendid horses they were compelled t<>. abandon to their fate. The n ob l e animals were already so me distance clown the st re a m struggling brave l y against the S\Yif t current. There wa s little chance for them t o reach the banks at a point where they co uld get o ut of the bed of the stream. The first thing th e outlaw did after reaching the hank \vas to examine hi s pi s tol s They were all right. an d his belt fnll of cartridges was s till around his waist. They could not be see n b y any person on the cliff above fr o m \\'hich they had mad e the leap into the stream, so the pursuing party suppos ed they had met death in the river. 1 t was a c lo se cal I Jess,'' sa id the Queen of the Plain s quietly, when they \.yere safely ont of the water. ".\bout as close' as I ha ,-e had in some time, the outlaw replied. "\Vill we get .out of here?'' "Of course we will get out.'' J esse, l ha,e something to tell you. One of my: enemies still Ji,es. I thought him dead until a f e. v days ago, \\'hen he ca me to me him self and reminded me that there were thirteen of them." ''Was he in a hurry to die that he came to tell you this?'' "]'(o: he thought I would not recognize him after all the years that have passed since that terrible clay at the mountain cabin. He \vantecl something to hold over me, so he tried to make me believe it was another, and that he alone could tell me who and where the man was. But he could not disgu ise his Yoice and I recognized him. "He still lives?" "Yes; so m e strange impul se caused me to play with him as a cat plays with a mouse. The sight o f him did not fire m y blood, as it was fired when I met the first of them. He will come back to me as the moth returns again and again to the candle." ''\t V ho i s the man?" "An enemy of yours as \Yell as mine. ''His name?" "Bill Woods!'' "My 1 ival 011 the 1:oad. A traitor < in(l a coward he i s Leave him to me. I ha ve a debt to settle with him The fate of those who break the oath of the James gang must be a warning to others." "How are we goi11g to get but of here?" ''I'll find a way out," Jesse; "trust me foti that.., They crept slmYly alid cautiously along t he


24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. row and slippery bank beneath the overhanging cliff for some distance down stream without finding an opening through which they could make their way CUt. T11e bank began to grow more and more narrow, as they approached a sharp bend in the river, where the water ran with great velocity, and beat against the huge rocks in the bed of the stream with tremendous force. "Well, this begins to look interesting,'' said Jesse. Bidding his companio n remain where she was, tJie outlaw crept forwacd a short distance on his hands and knees. A rift of light breaking through the cliff showed him a narrow opening through which it appeared possible to climb out of their perilous position. It was the only chance, and they began the rough and perilous climb. A fter half-an-hour of hard work they reach ed the ground above ju s t as darkness began to settle over the hills and plains. "\N"hat shall we do now?" asked Je s se. "Get hack to Cheyenne as soon as po s sible." "And get in jail?" "No; I 'll keep you out of jail. If vve can reach the town before morning, I'll hide you away in a room until you can shave off your lieard, and make some changes in your dress. Then I will give yo u a position in my bank, and introduce you as a n e w faro dealer from Denver. y OU can play the role well enough until yo u find a chance to communicate with Frank and the boys." The fogitives reached Che ;enne on foot, ju s t be fore da ylight o n the follO\ving morning, ancl in dne time Faro Jack made his appearance at the deal tab le in Calamity Hall. CHAPTER CXXVII. THE SHADOW AND THE SUBSTANCE. When Bill V\,T oods, in disguise, visited Calamity Hall, h e left Ned Stanley and Cle! Miller waiting for him in a secluded spot on the outskirts of the town. Those t wo were the only members o f hi s band left. The others had all deserted him, after some disastrous raids. The outlaw had grown moody and desperate. Fate appeared to be against him in e ve rythin g he undertook.. Even in hi s dreams he was haunted by visions of a :woman in black, who gave him no rest. The worn;tln he saw in his dreams carried a long dagger iy.J: her hand, and on the blade of it in letters that gle1amecl like phosphorus he could make out the word r N ernesis." \IV-noels swore to murder Calamity Jane. He bc liev,td she was responsible for his bad luck, since he toJ:l d her of his plot to betray Jesse James. ;J He r eso lved to risk a visit to Calamity Hall for a t wofold purpose. He thought he might learn something there of the fate of J csse Jam es since his rescue from pri s on, ancl h e was also determined to shoot th'2 Ol1een of the Plains if a favorable opportunity ofie;ecl. Carefully disguising himself, he had entered the place wh ile his men waited for him where they would not b e discovered. \tVoocls had recognized Jesse J a m es in the guise of Faro Jack, the new dealer, in Calamity Hall. Once he resolved to attempt the assassination of both the bandit chief and Calamity Jane, but he was foiled. Jesse James was too quick for him. "What success?" asked Ned Stanley, eagerly, when vVoods at last came back to the i11 eeting-place. "They are there," he answered, sullenly. "They?" "Jess and the woman. He is in disguise, but I recopnized him There is no u se fig hting against that pair; they are in league with the devil. The shadow of that woman crosses my path and blocks1 my game at every move." "\i\!hat shall we do?" "Clean out the eastbound stage to-morrow, and then get out of this infernal country as quickly as possi ble ." Stanley lau g hed. H e was thinking of their former attempts at stage robbing. "V../ e can do it this time," said vVoods, who di-, vined the thoughts of his confederate. "Te s s his band are scattered, and the detect-} ive has left town. The stage lea ves at daylight, w ith : thee boxes of gold. There will be only two pas-8 sengers, and the driver is a new man. \!Ve'll meetr: it in the narrow gorge this side of Dead Gulch It will be easy this time." [1 "\tVe can try it, a n s \ \ered Stanley, but his manner shov, \ ed that he wa s not so hopeful of success as hiSt le ade r. The three outla\YS turned to leave the spot. 1 "What i s that?" as ked Ciel Miller grasping \N"oocls by the arm, and pointing to a black shadow that appeared to be g lidin g s l ow ly away from th

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 CHAPTER CXXVIII. stage leaped ont with Winchester rifles in their BILL woovs: CAPTURE. hands, and began firing at the three robbers. The driver passed the reins over to his companDaylight was just breaking over the eastern hills ion, and leaped to the ground with a pistol in each the .fo!Towing morning when the stage for Den-hand. ver started out of Cheyenne on its long journey "Put up your hands. Billy. or we'll riddle you." There was a new driver on the box, and a strange "Not for you, Detective Withers. I'd rather die guard rode by his sic.le. tln11 surrend e r to you," replie l the woumied robber. Inside the stage were two passengers and three _with an oath. boxes filled with gold. ''I've got the drop, Bill; better put 11p you:-hand." As the stage rattled down the trail toward Dead r[he stage driver was Detective \V ithers in disl\J lan's Gulch. the drive r and his companion kept a gmse. sharp lookout on both sides of the trail and ahead. His companion on the box, ;incl the two passe!1-Stage drivers in that locality were always on the gers inside the stage coach, were three of the bravest lookout for robbers, but these had s pecial reasons detectives in the Vv est. for keeping their e yes and ears open that morning. Withers h a d received warning of the proposed The amount of trea st;re in s ide the stage was l e ss robbery in a mysterious irntnn e;-. :rnd he had made arthan was usually carried on the trip east, but there rangements to checkmate the robbers. was enoug h of it to tempt any robber of modest Fie easily r e cognized Bill 'vVoocls as the leacler of the three robbers. taste. .. The approach t o Dea d Man's Gulch was through The quick shot of the detective, which broke the a long, narrow gorge, bounded on bot h sides by big arm of the out law leader, won the battle for the cle rock cliffs. In many place s the trail was so nar-tect i v es. row a mz..n on horseback coukl not have passed the At the first volley from the rifles of the two detecr. stage. In other places the gorge spread out to a ive-passengers in the stage, Woods' companio11s width of thirty feet. whe eled their horses around and started clown the The sun was rising "hen the stag e entered the trail at full speed. They kne w Detective Withers orge, bet the tall cliffs on both sides shut out most too well to take any chances of a fight with him of the light, and the driver c ould not see objects one wh e re the chances were eqnal. undrecl feet ahead very distinctly. A \ olley was fir e d a t Stanley and Miller as they clashed a way, but, by throwing themse lves forward They were almost at the entrance of the gulch, on t he n e ck s of their horses they e s c a p e d unhurt. nd in one of the narrow, rock-bound passages of The continued firing frightened the horse ridden he gorge, when the figures of three horsemen sud-by \i\T oocls. enly loomed up out of the uncertain light directly The animal reared, and, wheelin;:; suddenly, threw n front. his rider to the ground. The driver spoke a word to the man at his side Before he could ri s e to his feet, W oocls was overnd to the passengers inside the coach. Then he powered and disarmed by the detectiv es rged his horses forward, and, in a moment, they r 0- ad come up to the three mysterious horsemen. F 15 face ''as pale "ith rab e. and the p a m of hi s The driver held the reins in his J d t hand. arm, but he made a show of bravado that h e "Halt and put up your hands!" shouted the fore6 die}, not feel. . o-, . e ost of the three horsemen, as the stao-e came up !he cards are 1 un.111111:> ) Ocll W e,) now, Mr. Deth 1:> tect1ve, but the luck will turn soon, and I'll take 0 em. d I' 1 I e It was now so light that the faces of the horsemen you 0 not ,,g e t away a ive t 1e next time get you in ould be seen plainly. power. I he detectl\'e laughed at the threat. e al'. armed, a: 1 d they had the drop on "You've tried to clown me s e veral t;mes, but you e d1 tver and his compam.on on the box. fail e d. I guess you won't get another chance after "Put up your hands, drive r, and be cursed qmck I get you back to Missouri." bout it," repeated the leader of the three horse"You'll never take me there." en. "vVait and see. You are no good as a robber in "Not this morning, Billy, not this morning!" this country. Your attempt to play rival to Jes se As the driver of the stag e spoke, his right hand Jam es has failed." me up like a flash. There was a sharp report, vVoods ground his teeth in rage at these taunts cl the right arm of tr, I! man addressed as Billy but he kept silent. 1 11 to his side, broken by a bullet from the driver's Detective Withers detailed one of his men to act stol. as driver, and the other as guard. and they went on At the instant the two passengers inside the with the stag e to the first reg-ul a r stopping-place,


26 THE JESSE JAMES STORiES. where o n e of t he compan y s regula r dri\er s w ouid r e lie v e them. \ V i t h the o th e r m a n he starte d b ac k t o C h ey en ne with hi s priso n er. 'i\T oods was s ufferin g se\e r e l y w i t h hi s wo unclecl nrm, but h e made n o c o mpl a int. His mind was bu sy w ith tho u g h ts a nd pl a n s of e< c a pe \ V hen th ey arriv ed a t C h eye nn e th e p r i so ner w as taken t o the offi c e of the stage company. The o nly doctor in the t o wn was summoned ar o nce t o dress the outla w' s wo un d A fter his arm had been dress ed Sh e riff Strong was notified. and 1 1 e came t o tak e the pri so n e r t o the tow n j ail for safe k ee pin g. A few m o men ts aft e r Di c k S t rong en.ter ecl thr'. office Calamity Jane came in. S h e l ook.eel a t the w ounded pri soner with flas hin g e y es. \ \T o od s c aught sight o f h e r as he w as abo u t to l e d aw ay t o pri so n The sight o f th e \ Y o man s udd e nl y arouse d all t h e fur v o f his bruta l natm e T h e wounded o utl aw w as tranc ;for rne d i n t o a w i ld b y his un restra ined p ass ion Jn Ca l a m ity J a n e h e recogni z ed the shadow t ha t was ove r his lif e For m onths s h e had crossed his pa th :tn d t h warted his plan s at e1er y turn. H e ki1E''.Y t hat h e was t h e last o f a fatal th i r tee n w h o m Cal am i ty Jane h ad sworn to kill. \\"bil e s h e Ji1ed t h e r e \YClS no esca p e for him \Vith a c r y of rage. lik e t he sc r ea1i1 o f a m a dclene l wil d b east, Bill 'vVoocls s udd enly sp rang forward a nd sto o d fac in g the Q u een of th e Pl ains ... Yo u h ave co11e t o g loat o v e r m e. h ave you?" h e hi sse d th ro ugh h is c lin c h e d teeth "I o w e this to "011-von d evil!" B e f o Je a h an d co u l d b e raised t o r est r a in him t he o utl a\Y s n a t c h e d a l o n g g l eaming kni fe from the b i cast of h i s lea t he r jack et. V i tli a t e rri b l e oath h e r a i s ed it a l o ft in hi s l eft h a nd \1ith t h e p oint a im e d a t the heart o f Calamity l a n e J \ t th e same i m tan t a s h a d ow darken e d the cloor1vlY. i'here \1as a fla sh a s ho t a nd Bill Voocls, t h e o utla w sank t o the Hoor with a bullet through hi s h ea rt. The l o n g knif e fell by his s ide. a nd J1e wa s de a d before he rec o gnized the m a n who fired the shot. Calamity Jane b ent o ve r the body an in stant, a of sa ti s faction pla y in g about her lips. Then she kn e lt b y the d ead outlaw, and, raising h e r right h and, she s aid as solemnly as if in prayer: :\ly foster-father, rest in peace. I have kept m y oatl1. The last of your murderers is dead. None escaped me. The l i ttl e p arty of stern-faced men present l ooked on i11 a wecl sil e nce, until the woman ros e from he;! knees She did not look at the body of the outlaw again. A great chan g e had come over the face of Ca lam ity Jane . The hard, stern line s around her mouth and e y e s w e r e m e ltin g a w ay, and a look akin to w o manl y te nderness was creeping over her face. 1 < She t o the group of men who w e r e watching her in silence, and spoke to them in a voic e s o gent le th ey sc arcel y recognized it as hers "My work is done." s he said quietly. "It was l terri b le. but I hacl taken an o ath tp. a venge h i s mnrder. "Thank G oel. i t i s ail over n o\\'. The de sperate creature you h av e known as Ca l amity Jane i s a woman on c e m ore, and n ever again will her hands be s t a ined with human blood, unle ss it b e in defense of lier h onor or h e 1 ; life. I s hall le av e yon soon, and will s a) r good-by now. Some o f yon hav e be e n m y friends, and you know tha t Calamity J ane never forgets her friend s "Good-by The wom an. s t ern and unforgi\in g no longer, acl Yancecl an cl s h ook hands with the detective and the s h eriff. Tea r s ca m e into h e r e y e s as she said good-by. T h e y w ere the first tears she had shed for years a nd they seemed to 'Nas h out the last trace of the h a rd cnie l lin es in her face The men shook hands with her warmly, and s a id good-by with real regret. ''Diel you s e e the man who fired the shot?" a sked Dick Strong of Detective Withers. "Yes ." Diel you r ecognize him?" "Ye s." "He wa s--" "Jesse James di sguised a s F aro Jack, the cad d ea l e r a t C a lam ity HaJl. CHAPTER CXXIX. I S TEALING A GOLD M l='

, l THE JESSE J AMES STORIES. 27 to rescue him before he was taken away from Chey enne. It was past eleven o'clock, the night after Bill V\T oods' death, when the entire James gang gathered in Calamity Hall. Some of them were playing cards, while others only stood around the tables and watched the games. Jesse James, in the gui s e of Faro Tack. was at the deal table. Calamity Jane was in the hall, but she apparently took little interest in anything that was going on around her. There was a look of gentleness in her face. All the old hard lines were gone. and in their place had come a look of utter weariness, almost sadness.-Frank James a few chips at the faro table, and played long enough to exchange a few words with the dealer, whom he had easily recognized. Then he got up and mingled with the crowds around the tables in various parts of .the room. Suddenly the front door of the place was thrown wide open, and hdf a score of armed men rushed in. They were led by Detective Withers and Sheriff Strong. "We have come here for the Jam es b')ys, and we are going to take them. Let every one else keep hands off, and they will not be molested," said Detective Withers. "We know they are here. The house is sur rounded, and every exit guarded. Now, boys,. you had better come forward and give up without a fight. I've got you dead to rights this time." Calamity Jane sprang to her feet, and the old hard lines came back to her face in an instant. Her voice rose above the din in the room, and commanded instant silence. "You will not arrest my friends in my house, Detective Withers. I did not think you would do this." "I must do my duty," answered the detective "Not to-night. You will arrest no one here. Calamity Jane has not forgotten how to shoot, and she never deserts her friends. Have you turned against me, too, Dick Strong?" "I am the sheriff, and must do my duty," he an swered. Once more Calamity Jane appealed to the officers to go away quietly, but they refused. Then she bent over. and whisnered a word in the ear of Jesse James, who was still sitting quietly at the faro table. Suddenly the outlaw leader leaped to his feet, and threw a deck of cards into the air. "Here I am, come and take me!" shouted Jesse, dravving two pistols and covering Detective \Tithers and Sheriff Strong. "Shoot him clown, boys!" the detective shouted to his men. The orde1 was not obeyed Before his men could dra\v their weapons they found themselves looking into the muzzle s of a score of revolvers in the hands of the members of the Jam es gang. The outlaws crowded close together, and placed themselves between their leader and the officers. The latter were taken completely by surprise, and for a moment stood still, not b:owing what to do. They had not counted on finding the entire band of outlaws in Calamity Hall. Calamity Jane saw that the officers \Vere at bay "There is a secret way out. It may not be guarded. Fo!low me I am ready now to give up this wretched life for your sake," said the Queen of the Plains, approaching the bandit chief. "But I cannot leave my men "They can follow us. I'll give the signal to put out the lights when we reach the door." "Keep them covered, boys, and follow me out o f here," Jesse shouted to his men, and, with Calamity Jane leading the way, he started toward the secret door. His men followed, backing away from the officers, and keeping them covered with their revolvers. "After them, boys! They shall not escape me again," cried Detective Withers, drawing his r e volver. But at that instant a shot rang out from the rear of the hall, and, in an instant, every light in the place was extinguished. The officers dared not fire in the dark for fear of hitting one another. The detective was furious at the delay. He m anaged to find the front door after some time, and, telling his men to follow him, he led the way around to the rear of the house. But again the detective was too late. His men on guard at the rear had been knocked clown like so many tenpins by the butts of the revolvers of the outlavvs. Down the street there was a clatter of hoofs. and in the darkness the officers could see a score of men riding rapidly away. Again the James boys and their men had escaped from a trap set for them by the shrewdest detective in the West. The fleeing outlaws were scarcely out of s= Jht when a sheet of flame burst through the roof of Calamity Hall. The place had been set on fire by Calamity Jane, who had given up her wild life for ever, and gone away w i th Jesse James, the only man she had ever loved. In a moment the fire was beyond control, anq when morning came a pile of smoking ruins was all that remained of Calamity Hall. TO BE CONTINUJ<'; O.


THIS WEEK! NEW CON'".rEST: ALL ABOARD: THIS WEEK! THE DEED5 Of f AMOU5 MEN! 1 B oy s the PR.IZE CHARACTER. CONTEST end s this week I ts s u ccess h as been simply great. The ent r i es h av e p oure d in upon u s b y th e A11d re still c o m ing. The entry lis t s w ell e d up to m : rny thousa n ds The r e w e r e b u t twentyt w o pri z e s, s o ev e r ybody could not win one. W o uld you like to. know w h o w o n the prizes? WATCH THIS SPACE FOR THE WINNERS' NAMES. The y w ill ;111 b e publi shed her e ju s t a s soo n a s t h e j udges can exa m i ne the s t o rie s. Thi s w ill neces rnr ily ta k e t w o o r thr ee w e ek s So successful was that Con 1 est tha t t h e new one will be conducted on the same lines. I VALUABLE PRIZES FOR Tf/E BEST ARTICLES I ABOl/T FAMOUS MEN I HERE IS THE PLAN: Loo k up wha t inte r e s tin g fact s you ca n a b out a n y famous Ameri can-living or d e ad Chose a n y bod y you please-Washington o r Linc o ln P aul Revere o r G e n e r a l G r a nt B o b Evans o r Admiral S ampson, o r an y b o dy e lse yo u want to write a b o ut. Then sit d own and write a n a rticl e about him Tell :ill about h im, the bra ve de e d s h e did or the famou s wor ds he uttere d etc All o f the b es t a rticles will b e publish e d during th e p rog re ss o f 'the c o ntest i n a sp e cial J e p urtment of the Jesse James Weekly. No contribution mus t be l o n g er th a n 500 words. 'If' 11 ;:-RE 1'-.1.I: El\/.[ EE R: Whether your contribution wins a prize or not, it stands a good chance of b e in g p u bli s hed together with-the nam e of th e w rit er. To become a conte st ant for the prize s you must cut out the Character Contest Coupon, printed herewith. Fill it out properly, and s e nd it t o Jesse James Weekly, c a re of Street & Smith, 238 William Street New York Cit y together with your article. No contribution will be co nsidered th a t does n o t have this coupon accompa nyin g it. .;!-..;!. .;:. THIS CONTEST CLOSES FEBRUARY 1, 1902. t-IERE ARE THE PRIZES: TWO CAMERAS. FIVE MAOJC LANTERN OUTFITS. FIVE PEARL-HANDLED KNIVES. TEN COMPLETE SETS OF PUZZLES. 'l'h e two who send u s the most interesting and best wl'i t t e n art icles will each rec eive a first-class Camera, complete wi t h achromatic lens, and l oaded "

ABOUT FAMOUS Boys, do you see the announcement of the new Contest on the opposite page ? It's O'Oina to be a rattler, like the one that has. Just closed. "' :::, Everybody is to have another try at the valuabl7 p rizes offered. Don't miss this opportunity, but send in your article at once. Following are some of the best articles received dl!Jring the week. Read them, and then send in your own! Nathan Hale, the Martyr. ( By Frank Williamson, Jersey City, N. J.) In all the aunals of American history there is no man whose death calls forth greater sympathy than that of Nathan Hale. In the southwest corn e r of City Hall park stands a bronze statue erected in memory of Captain Nathan Hale. Iii 1776 when the American troops had evacuat e d New York and were encamped on Harlem Heights, Captain Hale volunteered to euter the enemy's lines on Long Island and secure for Geueral Washington information as to the strength and dispo s ition of their forces. He secured the information, but while making his way back, he was caught and without even a trial was sentenced to death as a spy and on the scaffold was denied the use of a clergyman, and the Jetter he had written to his mother was torn in pieces by his execu tioner. His dying words were, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.'' The Briti:;;h themselves couldn't help but to adn1ire such patriotism. In 1762 was built what is now the New York Hall of Records. It was used as a prison during the Revolution ary war. Tradition says that Nathan Hale spent his last day in a ce1I at the bottom of this building. Ulysses S Grant. (By Victor Nieblas, Sau Francisco, Cal.) Ulys ses Simpson Grant saw his first service at Jeffet,.son barracks, Missouri. The regiment was transferred to Louisiana the next }"ear, 1845, he was commissioned second lieutenant and, with his regiment, joined Gen eral Zachary Taylor in Mexico. Here he took part in the battles of Palo Alto, Resacade laPalma and all the battles of' Scott's campaign. In August, 1848, he was married to Julia B. DeI?t, $1ld resigned from tht! servi'1e in 1854, having reached the grade of captain. In 1861 he tendered his services to the government, :111cl was appointed colonel of the 21st Illinois, and in August, brigadier-general of volunteers. In the early part of 1S62 he Forts Henry and Donelson, and fought the battle of Shiloh. In April, 1863, he \YOn the battles of Port Gibson and Champion Hill, driving tlie enemy behind Vicksburg, which, after a lobg siege, surrendered July 4, 1863, with 30,000 prisoners. For this Grant was made major-gen eral of the regular army. ordered to Chattanooga, and drove the enemy from Tennessee. In March Grant was promoted to the rank of lieuten ant-general, and given command of all the armies of the United States, with his headquarters with the army of the Potomac. He sent Shern;an into Georgia, directed Sigel to penetrate the valley Qf Virginia, and Butler to threaten Richmond by way of the James, while he in person took the field against the army of Northern Vir ginia, under Lee. After a hard struggle Grant captured Richmond and received the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox, 9th of April, 1865. Congress created for him the rank of general, and honors were showered upon him by a grateful public. In 1868 he was chosen President of the United States and in 1872 he was re-elected to the same office. After the close of this term of office he traveled in Europe for two years. Finding himself unable, with his income, to proper-ly support his family, he became a partner in a banking house, in which one of his sons and others were interested. The bank failed and he found that he bad been robbed by two of his partners. Then only did he consent to write his personal me moirs, which he did in about a year's time, under the greatest of difficulties, for it was discovered that he had a cancer at the root of his tongue-in fact 1 that he was dying. B11t in spite of the paiu and even agouy, as well as weakness, the old soldier' 'fought it out all sum mer," and all winter, too, till the book which was to provide for his family v;as finished two days before bis death, July 23, 1885. j


3.0 THE JESSE Jl\MES STORIES. Don't Give Up the Ship." (By Matthew Schwimmer, Chicago, Ill.) tering oue another on different things. Finally some one sugges ted that they should s e e who could carve bis n a me the hi5hest on tbe side of the stone bridg e which In the war of 1812 one of the bravest American sea arched over the creek. One tried it, then anothe r and so fighters was Captain James Lawrence. As I choose him 011 until it came to George's turn. With a stroug mind for 'my hero I will try to explain bis exploits. and without the least bit of fear, Washington scaled the One in Japuary l8l3, La. v:rence, who was then wall, and to the surprise of his friends who stood n ear the captalll the was satlrng along the coast of aud watched the f eat which he accomplished tlley saw the West Indies near an island named San Salvador. that h e had reached a higher point than an y of his He had not sailed far when he met the English ship, fri ends, and he carved his name above all the r e s t. the Peacock. Thus, as I have sa id, he proved himself the s11perior of The Peacock challenged the Hornet to a fight aud in a few minutes the battle began. In fifteen minutes the Peacock was a wreck and then it snrri=ndered The ship had surrendere d wh e n it was found that there was a l eak in its hold. o ffice rs and cre w were hurried abo a rd the Hornet while nine men stayed on board to try anci meu d the leak. Three men of t!ie H o rn e t crew voluntee r e d that they wo n l d help the m e n o n board the Peac ock and were put on board wh e r e 110 soo n e r had they begun their w ork wheu tbe ship s ank, carryi11g d ow11 the men on b o a r d Lawr ence tr..::ited the nnglish crew kindly, for lie ''' as much 11ote d for his ge n e ro sity a nd then went back tq Bo s ton There he w a s p ra is e d b y all the Ame r i c a ns and wa s put in. co111nrn11d o f the Che sa p eake. He w as just starting out o f B os t on when he rec eived a polite cb alleuge from C aptain Broke of t!Je Shannon to fight him. Lawrence a cc epte d the ch a llen g e and w ent out to m eet the en e m y. The Ch e s a p ea k e since the fight .;yith the Leopard was always c a l le d an. unluck y sh ip, and so it proved to be. At the b eginning of the b attle b etwee n the Chf'.s apeake and Shannon Lawreuce was mortally wounded, a11d while being carried below h e cried out, 'Don't give up the ship." In about half ab hour after the fight the Chesapeake was disabled and the British sprang upon the Chesapeake, shouting with joy while the American sailors hauled down their beloved flag and wrapped around it the body of their captain; tor Lawrence, brave and generous, was dead. The British carried him to Halifax, where he was buried, honored and respected by all true America11s. A Stor y A!3out Washington. (By J. F. Blackburn, Indianapolis, Ind.) One day, when Washington was a boy, be and some of his playmates were playing in a creek uear his home Virginia. As the b oys say nowadays, they were ban-his fri ends and his name stands to-day above all of his t im e b y d eeds he did. A Story of Jess e James. (By B. Novak, Chica go, Ill.) A story is t o ld of Jes se which shows that he was not impervious to the appeals of the suffering. One day he was ridiug in a sparce ly settled region in W e s te rn Texas. Passing throug h a belt of timber along a strea m, he came to the carnping-place of an emigrant fam i l y Ther e a m ost sptc tacle presented itse lf The 'movers" w e re pe op l e in i!idi gent circ um st;:mc e s evi deutly. The old blind horse a nd poor mule which had drawn the ricke ty wa g ou s eerned as if their days of toi l were about nun1Lererl. The m a n who h a d d r i ve n the m h a d died there u nder a tree tw o d av s b e fore The w orn an was exteadecl o n the earth, alm os t iu the agonies o f de ath, and thr e e childre n, the el des t not m o r e tha11 nine y ea r s o f age, were crouched aro und, wailing pite ousl y for b Ollletbin g to stay the rav o f huuge r. .J e ss e sa w the rnis e rnbl c condition of the unfortunate e mi grant fa : :iily. H e at m i ce dismouuted, examine d the poor s ic k w oman, administered t o her a s b es t he could, a n d al s o g a 1 e the childre n something to eat fr o m his own small store of supplies. H e the n bid the wo1nau to b e of g o od chee r an d pro;11-i se d to come again before u ight. He m ounte d his horse and galloped away in search of assista nce. Ten miles from the camp he fouucl a physician aud two miles further he fouud a co l fo1-111aker. The first he sent to the lonely camp by the strea111-the other he set to work to make a coffin. Then he found a man with a spri11g wagon and e11gaged his service s. With a supply of things of present necessity, he turned once more toward the camp. Arriving there he prepared the food and made the coffee hi11:self for the unfortunate family. The physician came and prescribed for the sick lady. The undertaker brought the coffin, and the owner of the spring wagon came to remove the" bereaved woman and her little ones to a place of shelter. 'I'he stranger was buried out there on the lonely prairie. The bereaved one and h e r orphaned children were carried to the house of a pioneer some miles away, and every want was bountifully pro.vided for, and in a pleasant farmhouse she and her children soou called their own home. She could scarcely believe her ears when she beard who it was who bad aided her.


Hunting and Trapping Department. \ Thi s department is brimfu l of informa tion and ideas of interest to th e young trapp e r and hunter. Write us if you have any questions to ask concerning these subjects, and the y will be answered in a specia l column Address all communications to the Hunting and Trapping Department." D uck .Hunting. An enthus ia stic duck hunte r s ends us the follow ing interesting sugg e stions Oil duc k hunting in general and a p articular duck hunt he went on: There are three ways of killing ducks-sh ooting from ;;i blincl, a sink-box, or a sneak-boa t. If the day is fair and bright, and the wind "on our" shore w e :1se the blinds, which are nothing more nor le ss than pl atforms built oqt in the water from s om e p oint of l and on which the gunner can lie concealed by a scre en of c edar bushes. Ile then waits his chances for a shot at the d ucks, who, on such a day, are constantly on the wing. If, however, the wind is b lowing toward the other sho re some strategy will have t o b e empl oyed. Then we will h a v e to u s e sinkbo ats, and although greater hardships accompany this method of gunning than any other, the y are offs e t by the fact that it is the mo s t exciting. Before the fir s t peep of dawn we will b e up and off. W e mu s t row acro s s to the mars h e s or' 'fl ats" on the opposite side of the rive r, and each of you will be left with a dog and a gun in some coffin-shap e d arrangement which appears to b e jus t Oil the verge of sinking You step in your coffin which i s nothing more n o r l e ss tha n a sinkbo a t, with con siderable trepidation, for you are very fearful that the combined w eightof you and your dog w ill cau s e it to dis ap.pear entire l y The dog is a s p l endid retriever, call e d a Ch esapeake Ba y dog, who will prove very u se fnl during the day in coll ectillg your "cripples and dea d ducks. You h ea r the r est of the party d isembark ing farthe r c;lown the riv er, and you suddenly b e come imbued with the fact tha t it i s v ery c o ld Your t eeth ch atter, your ears and f ee t a che, and y ou s hi ve r a ll o ve r ; you a r e about c o n sidering the advisa b i lit y o f h alloing to the n egro b o y s in the b oa t w h e n -Hark! what is that? l H a ve the demons of the othe r worl d b ee n l oos ed, or is the bottom o f the river fall e n out, and thi s 111ighty noi se caused by the falling o f the w a t e rs of our bay do w n, down to China ? Neither.; it i s m e r e l y the du cks' waking up. Not that we hav e ;ipy direct evidence that a duck ev e r g oe s to sle e p but it is by this title that th e dubs t!l e mi ghty quac k i11g the ducks make a s the y prepare to star t for the ir e ar l y breakfast. Now. as th e s ky b e c omes a little lighte r in the east y o u begin to ex;i min c your bea r i n gs. First, an in s pe c t tig11 of the sink -bo at. It i s a b oY. seven or eight feet loug. about four feet wide and three de e p. You d o not know the fact but it b q s a fals e botto m un de r which a ball ast of stouesor s and k eeps the top o f tli e box al m o s t down t o the s urface of the w a t e r A flan g e made o f boards about a foo t wid e p l ace d a t right a n g les with the sides of the box, serve s to keep the box afloat, and the little wave s from d ashing ill a n d giving yon two or thre e inches of ic e wat e r t o l i e o n ins t ea d of the co m fort a ble piec e s o f old rag ca rpet in til e botto m o f the b o x. Y o u n ow f ee l r eas01rnb l y a s sured tha t yo u h ave not been l e ft ont there t o d row n a n d the proximity o f your game h a s ch as ed a w a y a ll th o ughts o f th e c old, and y ou begin t o l o o k t o w ard the mi d dl e o f t h e r iv e r to s e e bow long i t w ill b e b efo r e y ou c a n s ee to s h oot. H eavens a nd earth! At le as t fift y ducks a re g allantly rid i n g the waves all aronnd y o u within t wenty yards o f t he b o x 1 Y ou uen o u s l y grab y our e i ght-bo r e, slip in t wo s h e ll s a nd c ock b oth h a mm e r s Vo n pause for a m o m e ut a u d a u aw ful s u s picion c reeps o ve r yo u Y e s, it is trne These clucks w ithiu suc h a t e m p tin g di s t a n ce a r e o f v.;ood. They a r e your d ecoys aucl we r e in th e ir p ositious a t th e sa m e ti me the eve nin g before tha t your sink-box w as fir ml y fixed t o t erm fir m a wi t h a large sto n e. Y o u wiJI nev e r forge t the l oo k o f disgu s t o n y our dog's fac e a s yo u unco;::k your gun and r e pl a c e it s il e n t ly a nd c a refull y in th e botto m o f the bo x Ent no w c om es d ay li ght in e a rn es t and as yo u s t ra in y oiir the midd l e o f the river y ou s ee thous an d s o f cluc k s there ap p are ntl y silting bolt upright in the w a t e r, wil d ly beating th e ir win g s to a nd fr o l:\S i f in ludicrous imi\atig n of a q a ll-n ight "cab by try in g to kee p himse lf w arl)l. E v e r y n o w and then 'I floc k of from five to two huuclred d ud;s leave the ge neral as s em bly and flop seda t e l y u p the river in s ea rch o f the ir b reak fas t. But here con ies a flo c k to wa rd y ou ; they ha v e ev i d e n t l y e sp i ecl your d e co y s and a re b e nt O!J di sc overin g w h a t these fift y ducks are ea tin g so c almly. Y o u crouc h d own in the bottom o f the box, grab yo11r gun, and awai t d e v e lopmr.outs How your h eart beats as they Qpparently start t o fly by y o u ; with a s ud(:]en turn and a dar t howeve r they a ll 'draw do wn" in a l ong li11e. for a duck n eve r settles w i th th e wind, but always agai n s t it-so tha t b e can s c eut foo d or d a nger. N o w is your time! Up and at the m! Your dog is as e x cited a s yo u wlie n you draw a be a d on the l eader and fir e your l ef t barrel at the lu scious fellow just as he touches the water. H e falls awl the rest of the floc k im m edi a t ely start to pu11 up stake s but just for il 1110ment they huddle t ogethe r preparato r y to rising. Now is y;:mr chance. 'em yor dght barrel, which is


. 32 THE JESSE JAMES STORBE5. not "choked" as much as the l e ft, and. e s p e ci a ll y iu tended for shooting a t a flock. B y the h o l y poker T wo fall one stone dead and the other a "cripp le," w h o immediately starts for the middle o f the river. Ent R over s ees it all, and with a spl as h h e is afte r hi m It does not take him long to c atch the d uck, w h o o nly h as a wing broken, a nd in a trice he h as brou ght h i m bac k and starte d for the two dead ducks. Three for two ba r r e ls is not a bad beginning for the day s b ag, r.nd yo u load up with a light h eart and wait for your u ext s h o t. "But how about the sneakboat s you m ention ed?" q:Jeries one of our li steners. ''Wha t d o you m ; e them for ? Well there is usually more work and less game with a sneak-boat or' 'bush-whacker, as it is knmYn, tha n in e ither blind or sink-box shooting, but s ometimes you have to use it or go without ducks It is a l a r g e flat b ottom ed rowbo a t, with a scre en of canvas or c eda r bu shes in the bow to conceal the gunner and hi s sculler S ome days when the sky is overcast aud g l o omy, or wh e n it is sno wing, the ducks will lie out in the mid d le of the river, and are seldom o n the w ing. Then comes t he u s e of the sne a k-bo a t You put off from t he s ho re 'l':ith a m a n to sc11ll your boat with a s h ort s te ering oa r Yo u can frequently steal up quite clo s e to where a flock are floating in the river-for ducks are v e r y i nquis i ti v e -and w ait tu examine this white arrangement wh i c h c om e s floating down with no vl sible mea n s o f loc;:omo t i on Yon a re right on them w hen they ri s e, and u s u ally have no trouble in bagg in g two o r three ducks wi t h y our pair o f g uns. Y 011 a re not al wa y s lu cky e nou g h, how e ver, to get n ear them, aud 'sneaking' i s v e r y slow work. How to J\eep Rabbits. In a recent issue we told our readers how to make a simple and eff ective rabbit trap. Now this week we are g oing to tell our young hunters how to keep their rabbits if they want to, after they have caught them. Rabbits should be provided with roomy hutches, having a grass run, deeply tiled below the surface, for at le ast six or s e,en inches, to prevent the chances of e sc a pe. Wire netting let into a trench, and afterward filled up with earth, stones and cinders, would be a more economical and equally succ ess ful method of keeping the animals within bounds. During the winte r months, of course the hutches should be taken indoors, tbut be sure and put them in a place where, although protected from cold draughts, the bunnies may have plenty of light and fr esh air. This is most essential to the health of all rabbits. Let your pets have exercise, too, twice a day, if po s si ble. It is downright cruelty to keep them alway s shut up in a stuffy hutch. On fine days, even in winter, take the out of doors for a while. Do uot k e ep m o re stock than you really want. N ever overcrowd a hutch. On the other hand, it i s all wrong to keep only one rabbit. Every animal should h a ve as a companion at lea s t one of its own kind, else its life is only one long spell of solitary confinement. Abunda nce of straw should be provided, and the hutch frequently cleaned, when the do e has a young fam il y, at which p e ri o d the less she is disturbed the b et t e r Set tbe hutc h i n s uch a -manner that mice ca nnot g e t in, a s they s poil q1e food and greatly annoy rabbi t s Variety .in food i s one of the first e ss euti!1ls in keep-in g r abbi t s healthy . The foll owing ciai ly bill of farei s as good a one as we k11ow: S u nday mo rn in g R o o t s and dry oats M olld a y m orning-Roots, crushe d oats and tea leaves. Tue s day m orni n g-So aked o a ts. Werl ne s d ay 1 uo rn in g -Barle y, dry. 'Ihursda y morning-Ro o ts and dry o ats. Friday m orning-Hay au d ro ots. Sat urday m o r:i iug-D ry stuff. S unday eveniug--N!as h o f pot a toes and meal. Mo nday e v en ing-Bre a d an d m e a l m ash. Tues d a y e v e u i n g --Dri e J crus t s o f b r ead W e

JESSE JAMES STORIES WE were the first pub-lishers in the world to print the famous sto ries of the J anies 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. Lawso n, in a New Library en titled The Jesse James Stories," one of our big five-cent weeklies, and a sure winner with the boys. A num-. "' her 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. BUFF !LO BILL STORIES The only publication authorized by the Hon. Wm. f. Cody ( Buffalo Bill) Buffalo Bill. WE were the publishers of the first story ever written of the famous and world-renowned Buffalo Bill, the great hero whose life has been one succession of exciting and thrilling inci-dents combined with great successes and accomplishments, 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 already obtained shows what the boys want, and is very gratifying to the publishers. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York. NICK CARTER STORIES THE best known detective in the world is Nick Carter. Stories by this noted sleuth are issued regular1y in "Nick Carter Weekly" (price five cents), and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the patrons and readers of the Nick Carter Series of Detective Stories to know that these famous stories will soon be produced upon the stage under unusually elaborate circumstances. Arrangements have just been completed between the publishers and Manager F. C. Whitney, to present the entire set of Nick Carter stories in dramatic form. The first play of the series will be brought out next fall. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, NEW YORK. DIAMOND DICK STORIES Diamond Dick. THE celebrated Diamond Dick stories can only be found in "Diamond Dick, Jr., the Boys' Best Weekly." Di;imond Dick and his son Bertie are the.most unique and fascinating heroes of Western romance. The scenes, and many of the incidents, in these exciting stories are taken from real life. Diamond Dick stories are conceded to be the best stories of the West, and are all copyrighted by us. The weekly is the same ize and price as this publication, with hand J ome illuminated cover. Price, five cents. I STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York.


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