Jesse James' exploits

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Jesse James' exploits

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


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

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University of South Florida
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University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
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028820460 ( ALEPH )
08650894 ( OCLC )
J14-00032 ( USF DOI )
j14.32 ( USF Handle )

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.. cc5c !nR1fe I llnl 11 ru. 111 I A weeKLY PEALlftG Wl1l1Hf' DETECTIOft Of CRIME I . Issued Weellly. By Sub,,;ription $2.JO per year. Etered as Second Class Matter at tlt:e N. Y Post Office, /ty STREET .t: SMITH, 238 William St., N. Y. Entered acaJrdingto Act of Cong-ress in the year u;or, i11 the Office 1f tlte Liwarian of Cong;-ess, ivasliinrton, D. C NEW YORK, December 14, 1901. Five Cents. -'Jesse James' ExPloits. By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER CXXXVII. A D A NGE:ROUS TEST-THE OLD NEGRO. On a certai n clay in the summer of 1881 a band of stern-fac ed me n were gathered together in a se cluded holl ow, near the Missouri River, in Missouri, and not many miles from the Iowa line. The ne arest habitat ion was a n old negro's cabin, nearly a mile away. The hollow was shut in from view from surround in g plantations. by a wild tangle of vines and trees, while a heavy c arpeting of so ft moss made a comforta b le r estin g p l ace for the five men who formed the band. Tethered in a de n se t h;c ket near by were five h o r se s all bea ring ev i dence of hard riding. F our o f the men were conversi n g in low tones. T h e fifth stretched at full l e n gth on the grass, w i t h his hat ov er his eyes was fast asleep. T v v o o f the ta l ke r s were Frank and Jesse James. The t h i rd. t all. mus cu lar. wit h a sea med and scari fied c ountenance, an d eyes that e xpressed a cold, relen t l e ss feroci ty, was Jim Cummings T he fourth was E d M iller, a brother of Cloll Miller \ Yho was shot i n the Northfield raid in 1876. A .. quartet of desperadoes such as America had sel do m bee n CL1 r s ed with. The robbery of the Chicago, Rock Island ana Pa cific Railroad train in July had scattered the band of the notorious Jam es boys, and a project wa:s no:w under discussion to further weaken the present force by withdrawing two of its members. "Three of us will go one two another," said Jesse Jam es. "Miller will do for me and Frank, for we are likely to pick up Matt Chapman, Andy Ry a n and Dick Little near Independence." And then the outlaw leader went on and unfolded the daring scheme for the robbery of th.e Chicago and Alton train in a deep cut i n the Glendale region near the Mi ssouri Pacific crossing. Jim Cummings listened intently, but made no re mark. But ever and anon, while Jesse James was talking, he would glance at the form of the sleeping "Now, Jim," said Jess e at last, "I'll come to your racket. The band divides as you are aware, in order that we may kill two birds with one stone. The country i s getting too hot for us. We must make a big haul as quick as old Nick will let us. "The train my party intends to hold up will dis gorge enough boodle to take us all to California or l\.fcxico while the haul you and your comrades ought


2 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. to make at the bank. will set us up in any line of honest business we may severaily choose to adopt. "The leadership of this bank raid Jim, lies between you and Polk. I know your plan of attack and his do not agree, but I know also that both ofyou have been too long with me not to know the value of discipline and obedience when once an af fair is under way and life and death hang in the bal ance." "You needn't fear on my account, Jess," grunted Jim Cummings. "If Polk makes the riffle I'll stand in and obey his orders, if they lead me plump to the gates of sheol." "Same here, old hoss ," exclaimed a light, cheery voice, and the man who had been sleeping threw hi s hat from his face and arose quickly to a sitting po sition. ;He was young-not more than twenty-two or three-with a powerfull y -built frame and a beardless face that was marked with grit and fearlessness. Although young in years, he was old in crime. During the past five years, while either a member ) of the Jam es' boys band, or occupied in lawless enterp. rises on his own hook, he had m anaged to slay over twenty men. Such was Charles Polk Wells, sometimes called Bloody Polk Wells, but oftener addressed by hi s outlaw comrades as plain Polk Wells, one of the .most daring and ferocious follow ers of the notorious Frank and Jesse Jam es. "I'm with you, my gentle tarrier," he continued, with a nob at big Jim Cummings, "and if your pl a n has to go, together with your leaders hip I'll wade knee deep in gore, but what I'll be at your back from f.rst to last." "That's all .right, Polk," said Jesse J ames, "and, -as you're both agreed, we will now the ques tion of leadership. \i\Thoever shall prove to be the best man. takes command, and carries the thing through." "\Vhat kind of a test will suit-marksmanship, muscle or book larnin ?" queried Cummings, in a sort of growl. "If it's book larnin you can count me out, for I'd be nowhar o Polk." The smiled with cou s ciou s s up e riority. 1 Polk, was a scholar, for had he n o t been t h McGuffey's Third Reader, and could he not ,, in fractions? it's not a matter of educati o n, sa id Jess e "nor yet mus cle 11or the handlin g of a gun or pistbl. ''. , "What,1 i s to be the testl'' inquired Polk \Veils, care1e ss ly. "It is to be one of nerv e and .slcill. Jim Cumming drew a breat\i of r elief. His nerve was of the order of iron. Nothing had ever phased hi and he would walk into any danger, no matter how g re a t or terrible, as coolly as if he were walking int o a restaurant t o get his dinner. "We h aven' t had any knife pra ctice for a long time ," remarked Frank J a m es "Su pp os e J ess you let the boys be g in with a try at eac h other. "You've reacl. my mind, Frank, the same as i f i t were a book. The knif e tes t was what I was goi n g to propose." Neither Cummings nor Wells s l owed by their countenances that th e m atter was one i n wh i ch the y were particularl y int erested. Eel Miller, w h o was the yo ungest o f the b a nd. glanced at the two candidates for the leacle r s hiv clo sely, a nd then shook 1: is head as if be wo n d e r ed o f what s tuff these men we re made. The prelimin aries were soon arr an g ed. Every outlaw presen t with t h e p oss ible exception of Miller, wa s an e x p ert in the u se o f the knife If not as proficient as the profess i o nal juggle r they could yet make s uch a s h owin g in t hrowin g the sharp-edged weapo n as wo ul d ca use the eyes o f the average person to ope n wide in wond e r and admirati on A h a lf-d o llar toss-up ga e Jim Cummi ngs the pri v ilege of opening the ball. With a cool coll eted mien P Q lk v V ells s tepped forward to a large syca m o r e1 ju s t onts ide of the lit tle hollow, and pl ac e d his back firmly agains t the broa d trunk. He was bare-headed. and his h a i r w hich w a s worn lon g, hung clown upon his should e rs. One lock few in c h es b eyond the e a r as he straightened u p and braced him self against th.e tree. Jesse J ames pointed to it. "Take tha t fir s t Jim, he said. The burly desperado drew a bowie-knife from liis belt. Holding it up so th a t t h e r a y s of the s un sh o n e upon the steel a nd m a d e i t glit t e r like silver he cri t icall y insp ected t he p o int and ed ge. Frank James paced o ff fifteen fee t At that dis t an ce from the huma n target Ji m C u m m ings was to try his s kill an d Polk \i\!eUs' nerve. The conditions o f thE' t est we r e s u c h tha t i f the knife-wield e r o n the one hand fail e d t o touch the mark aimed at. or so mu c h a s d r ew blo o d from the J human target, he wa s then and ther e t o be d eclared the l ose r. On the other h and, should \\ ells s h r ink from th e ordeal, or through fear o r nervou sne ss s o alter his p os ition as to ca u se an accident to him s elf o r p re< vent Cummings from hittin g the targ et then he was to be counted out o f the game. vVhen once in position Cummings grasped the handle of his bowie firmly, and, r aising it over hi s ( [


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES., 3 shoulder, began to make it describe a number of swif t curves a nd circles. "Now ," he shouted, and at the same instant Polk Wells' heart stoppe d beating. Zip bi ff! The knife shot through the air and, passing within a n e i g h t h o f an in c h o f \ V eil s ear, cu t off the stray c url of h a ir and im b edded itself in the bark of the t ree. ' H u rrah!" sho uted E d Miller; "score one for J im." T h a t w as ve r y neat," c a lmly r emarked Frank Jam es. Jesse sa i d nothing, but his co ld blue e y es twin kled i n satisfacti on T h e out law ieade r brou ght forth from the breastpocket o f his coat a d ec k o f c ards Sel ecti n g the ac e of h earts, he h anded it to V I/ ells. "Hol d that abov e your he a d a n d again s t the tree,"' was t h e co mmand. T h e n to J i m o w o ld son, yo u m ust split that he a rt, or out you g o. The burl y outlaw's eyes g leam e d fiercel y, and he shut h s lips t i g h t l y ''I'll do it," h e muttered u nde r his breath; "I'll do it, or n e ver lift a k nife agai n Polk \ Veils g r i nn e d a n d s howe d his white tee th. O nce more was tbe bo w ie-knife poised hi g h rn t h e air. Once mor e it made it s curves a nd circl es. "Ready! Now! breathle ss lm s l followed t h e passage through t he ::ii r bf Jim Cummin g s' kn ife Then, "He's done it, was th e cry o f hit it p lu111b in th e ce nter." nd s o !e h ad. 'Pol k's all r igh t! said J ess e James Now, set tle t he arrangements a mon g yoursefre s for yon m ust star t this evening for \ Va t5on, where you wiil m eet Bill Ga r t n e r an d J a ke Shelford. The four of \vou oue-h t to do t h e t rick without any trouble. Ten 1 ays we will me e t again in the hollow if vve are 1out o f iimbo.'1 Sudde n l y the party s a w an old negro coming tovar d t h em. He sa luted t h e five outl a w s respectfully, and then hambl e d on. "Tha t old f e llow s true blue," said Jesse James; r do n t k n o w him perso n a lly but I'll bet a big do! kir that h e knows m e \ V o o d Hite has often spoken ; "'l h im. H e u se d t o live in Clay County, but not in -my nei ghborhood. s \ Vhat's his n a m e ?" queried Polk wells. 'Old N ic odemus." e "Old N i c k eh? Then he must be a devilish good ,;eJJow. I feel that I ought to make his ac tn ain t a nce." The time was to come when both Vl ells and Cum mings were to have the liveliest recollections of the a g ed Ethiopian . When the five outlaws passed from view of the grass land into the thicket and shrubbery Old Nicodemus began to act in a peculiar manner. He stopped short in his walk when the band of the dreaded James boys were no longer in sight, and gave utterance to a low chuckle of satisfaction. "Fooled 'em, sure,''he muttered. "Jess never su specte d but what I was the genuine old Nick. If b e knew that the old d arkey passed in his checks a. fort n i ght a g o he d be after my credentials in short order. The d arkey w as a cold fraud. T h a t i s h e was a fr a ud as a colored man. As a m a t ter o f fact he Burton Braham, a noted v.,r este rn de t ective. Though not yet twentyfive years of age, he had made a reputation for bra very and shrewdness sec o nd to none of his brethren in the profession. "Ther e i s some de v iltry afoot or the boys would not ha v e rendezvoused in the hollow," he said r::> him self. a s h e gazed in 'the direction of the spot where the o utl aws had gone, "and I'm going to fin

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. ing back to the hollow and staying there a few hours, l ong enough to accommodate me. Accommodate tne," he repeated, with a harsh laugh. "No, that's not the kind of accommodation I'm likely to meet at their hands. "But I'm not going back to the cabin, now I've got so far on my trip. I'm going to inspect their old camp. Maybe I may strike something that may give me a clew to their new game." He made as little noise as possible, and had reached a point about twenty feet from the edge of the clearing -that held the hollow, when the sound oi voices in 'earnest conversation greeted his eats. The sour, disappointed look on his face immediately gave way to one of delight. Slowly and carefully he made his way forward un til he could see into the open space. Leaning against the big sycamore were Polk Wells and Jim Cummings. Jesse and Frank Jam es and Ed Miller had gone. The two outlaws-late rivals for the leadership of what Jesse James had called the bank racket-were discussing the details of the lawless and venture. Burton Braham, listening with all his ears, soon learned that vVells and Cummings had in contempla tion the robbery of the bank at Riverton, a small town in the southwesternmost county of Iowa, on the line of the Burlington ai1d Missouri River Rail way, and about a dozen miles from the Missouri line. Polk vVells was talking. "My plan is," said he, "to make a bold clash on the bank in the daytime, say just after the doors are opened, and the first rush is over." "Rush! There won't be much of a rush in a town of six hundred .inhabitants. Maybe old Deacon Smith and Elder Crabapple will rush. in with a handful of dimes, but there won't be anx kind of a rush that will be likely to interfere with our game." "No, Jim; I don't think there will. We'll take the bank people by surprise, and there won't be any shooting if things turn out as I expect they will." "Who cares for the shooting," grumbled Cum mings. "Neither you nor I, Jim, But we're playing for safety this trip, and then for a skip out for Mexico or California." Northfield was raided in the daytime, and the boys got it in the back of the neck. I don't see how you kin count on no shooting, Polk, on this lit tle game o' yours. "There was too much P-in aboard the outfit that tackled Northfield ," said Polk. "This time-at Riverton-we'll waltz into the work cold sober. W c can buy the biggest jagin the country afterward if we feel like it." The lost not a word of the conversation, and when he left the spot he had the full details o f the plan to rob the Riverto n b ank in hi s mind Here was the chance of hi s life By apprising the sheriff cf Fremont County of the intended raid a posse of d e t e rmi ned men couicl be on hand at the moment of the attac k and t h e t wo noted outlaws could be e a sil y c aptured and the James boys gang broken in twain. Burton Bra h a m saw the o u t la w s prepa rin g to mount their hors es, and he t h en hastened to the cabin that th e old negro had occ upied in life rle reached the d oo r, opened i t, and then started back in wond e rm e nt. For there in the one s m all room, a n d i n the only chair, a i ocke r was a yo un g a1:icl beautiful woman. "Good-eve n i n g Uncle N i c k ," s h e said, wit h a smile and in the sweetes t of voices Burton Braha m c a m e wit hin a n ace of losi n g his pres ence of mine!. But he rec ove r e d hi mself in t i rue to a n swe r i n the v oice o f the old negro. "Good-eb en i n', h o n ey, a n how is yo' bressed se'f dis eb e11ing' ? CHAPTER CXXXVIII. A CHALLE NGE ACCEPTED. The girl-s he co uld not have bee n more than sev enteen-was a g olden bl o n de of the pures t type, with a captivating m outh and eyes t h a t s p a r k led saucily "I'v e been wa itin g for yo u for mor e than an h our, Uncle Nick ," s he sa i d with a pouting ai r. "Where in the name o f good ness h ave you be en?"' The disgui sed detecti ve, i nstead o f answering her, as ke d a qu estio n himse lf: Whar did y o cum fr o m honey?" "Where did I c o me frorn? vVhy, from C)a ) County, of course; fr o m the ol d h o me. I t can t bt tha t y o u ha v e forgotten me, U ncle I i c k a n d we hav in g such romps t ogethe r only two month s ago." Burton Braha m w as on the point o f betraying hi m s elf a s the fair g irl c e a se d speaking, but h e c h ec ke< him self quickl y as the t h o ught obtruded it self tha thi s i\tiis souria n b eauty mi g h t be related to the Jame b,Jys. He mus t b e q u i t e sure t hat she could b e truste with hi s secret b efo r e h e d i sclosed h imself t o h e r a a white man. Therefore h e a n swe r e d her in t his w ise: ''I's e gittin' o ld mi ssee, and I'se done los' sorn ob my rec ollectifie r. l knows yo' face, suah, n < body couldn't n e b e r fo'gi t a lu b l y face like yo honey; but I clar t o goodness d a t I cyan't recon mem b e r n o ne o' vo' folks. L e m m e see Dar w1 ; de J ames e s and o l e M i ss Samuel s, the-" j He p a used and l ooke d a t h e r q u es ti o nin g l y . j; "Ugh!' with a shudde r of r e pul s i o n. "Don't mei


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. tion those horrid creatures, uncle. I know you've pretended to be friends with some members of Frank and Jesse's band, but that was for a purpose. I know just what that purpose was, too, do you know that?" archly. T he p seudo Uncle Nicodemus showed the white5 of hi s eyes, an d professed the greatest astonishment. "You know w'at ok up at her. "Uncle will leave for New Orleans to-morrow, and while he is gone there will be no one at the old homestead but Aunt Polly, her daughter and my s elf, unle ss you will consent to stay with us until he re turns." "Ob co 's e I will ," exclaimed the false darkey im pul s ively ''ob co'se I will. Miss Marshy. Diel de kunnel ax you to come an' see me 'bout gwine down to Libertv ? "Yes. -He has the highest opinion of your capacity, Uncle Nick. He will not fear any raid by the James boys, or any other band, while you are there." At this moment a thought came to Braham which made him knit his brows in perplexity. The robbery of the Riverton bank h a d been planned for three days hence. If he went with this lovely Missourian to her uncle's place near Liberty he would not be able to assi s t in the arrest of the robbers. All he could do in the event of his accompanying Miss Calving to her home would be to write to the sheriff of Fremont County, warning him of the purpos ed raid on the Riverton bank. ''How loi1g will your tmcle be gone?" he a s ked, in the vague hope that he might be able, as the saying is, to kill two birds with one stone. "Two weeks."


6 JESSE JJ\MES STORIES. As the words left the fair girl's lips steps were heard outside. Burton Braham, who had been in a kneeling po sition, straightened up quickly and faced the door. As he did so Polk Wells and Jim Cummings appeared at the threshold. The moment was a critical one, but Braham retained his coolness and nerve. Without paying the ,slightest attention to the false Uncle Nick, the two outlaws fixed their gaze upon the girl. Her lips curled in cold disdain when her eyes fell on big Jim Cummings, but a slight shudder passed over her when she looked at his companion. "You didn t know I was in these parts, I reckon, Miss Marcia?" said Polk Wells, with a cool grin. "No, I did not," she replied shortly. Then she deliberately turned her back to the pair of desperadoes. "Uncle Nick," she called out, "my horse is at the back. If yours is here we will start now." "Start? That means home, doesn't it?" Polk Wells was again the speaker. The girl paid no attention to him, but made her way to the back door of the cabin. This door opened into a little shed inclosed on three sides. In this shed were two horses, one belonging to Miss Calving, the other to the detective As"the girl was about to step from the cabin into the shed Polk Wells called out, roughly: "Hold on a bit, Mi s s Impertinence, I've got a crow to pick with you about the way you treated me in Liberty last summer." The false Uncle Nick now spoke up for the first time since the advent of the outlaws. "Don' t badder wid de po' girl, Mistah Man. She'iS gwine get back home dis ebenin', and she'll hab ter ride like de berry debbel ter git to de railway sfation, kase it's nigh on ter sundown a'ready." ''Tie up your clapper, old man, Jim Cummings replied harshly, "or you'll get a crack in the jaw that'll make you see stars." M arcia Calving stepped into the shed. I reckon you won t go home this evening, not if I know J11yself, remarked Polk and upon the words he started across the roorn to reach the young girl. But Burton Braham, standing erect, and no longer seemingly old and decrepit, barred his progress. "Stand back, you hound!" he cried out, sternly, in his natural tones, "or I'll blow the top of your miser able head off." A revolver cocked, and pointed straight at the outlaw's forehead, emphasized the command. "A detective!" hissed Jim Cummings, )Vho wa s at Polk \Neils' side when Braham spoke. "Then, take that for keeps!" Two reports rang out almost simultaneously, and were quickly followed by a thir_d. Each one of the three determined men had fired. But two of the bullets were meant for the false Uncle Nick, and both had sped unerringly to the mark. -The detective was lying prostrate on the floor when the smoke cleared away while Jim Cummino-s, with a ball in his shoulder, stood over the body wfth a fiendish grin on his ugly countenance. He was stooping clown to get a closer l ook into the face of his victim whe n a cr y from hi s compa ni o n caused him to straighten up with a start. Polk Wells, half way to the back door, stood gaz ing ahead of him at something that astonished him greatly. Jim Cummings' eyes al s o opened widely as he took in the full importance of the scene, and for a moment not a move made he, not a word left his lips. vVhen the shots were fired Marcia Calving wa s at her horse' s side, and within a few feet of a corner where stood a rifle belon ging to the detective. vVithout a moment' s hesitation, tho ug h her h eart was beating violently she s ei z ed the w eapon, c oc k e d it, and then hurried to the doorw ay. It was her pos ition on the thres h o ld with the trusty rifle at her sh oulder, and h e r eyes a leamino with desperate res ol v e, that had induce d Polk to stop on his wa y to the shed and utter the ej a cu lation vvhich had startled Jim Cummings. The two de s perad oes, fero c i o u s a n d d a rin g tho u g h they were, were s o t aken aback at the girl's promptitude and courage th a t they could d o not hin a for a tjme but stare a t h e r in s tupefied a m azement Mi s s Calvin g spoke fir s t and her voi ce v i b r a t e d with deadly earnes t n e ss : "Throw down your pi s t o ls, both of yo u and the n leave this cabin. Q uick o r I 'll s h oot." The muz zle of the rifle was o n a line with Polk v V ells' forehead. He looked into the barrel, sa w death writte n the r e in c a pitai lette rs, and might h ave wea k e n e d if h e had b e en a n ybod y else but P o lk \Velis But, bein g P o lk Wells, who h a d face d th e kin a , f terrors in c o untl ess s h a p es since h e h a d arrive d a t man's e s tate, a nd who kn e w not the m ea nin g of the word f ear, he cri e d out, sneeringly : "Shoot and b e han g ed. I She he s itated. bluff won' t work, m y fine l ady," sa id Jim Cummings, who h a d got over hi s ast:onis hrnent, "so the sooner you lower that gun th e better c h a nce you'll hav e of gettin g h o m e t o your p ap p y t o ni g ht. The burly outla w's remarks were unhe e ded, for at that moment the girl's e yes were turned on the


.THE JESSE JJ\MES STO R IES. m l,rfonless and bleeding form of the person she had takeii ror Uncle Nicodemus. She now knev.i that she had been imposed upon, but there was no anger in her heart at the decep tion for Braham's actions had spoken stronger than words of his friend s hip for her, and his opposition to the designs of her enemies. Watching his chance, Polk Wells sprang forward when her eyes were downcast and while her thoughts were turned in a new channel, and, seizing the rifle by the barr el, turned it quickly so that the muzzle pointed upward. On the in stant of this action, the weapon was dis charged, and the bullet lodged in the ceiling "Now I've got you, Miss Spi tfire, Polk wells cried out, in savage triumph, at the same time catching the trembling girl about the waist. In the extremity of her terror and despair she gave utterance t o a piercing scream. Burton Braham's body began.. to quiver. Jim Cummings, with his eyes on his comrade in evil. exclaimed, v v ith an oath: 'Shut her wind off, or s he'll bring the whole cottn try down o n u s The words of the big de sperado had the effect of bringing out another and a louder and shriller scream than the first. If s h e could a larm the country in that way it was her bu s ine ss to do it. "Curse yo u take that!'' snarled Cummings, and, on th e bruta l impul se o f t he m oment. he struck the g irl across the mouth with his open hand. T h e ne x t moment something happened of a most as t onish in g characte r The see min g l y dead or fatally wounde d detective s pran(T t o h is feet and with one blow deli vered with s led ge-hammer force a n d precision and str a i ght from the s h oulde r sent Jim Cummings to the floor. His h ead struck the boards \Yit h s uch force as for t h e time to kno c k all the se nse an d strength out of him. Polk \i\Tell s withdrew his arm from about the person of Miss Co l v ing and \Yent for his revolver. B u t hi s wri s t was seized by the courageou s girl before h e could exec ute his murderous intention. "I am ready for him. pis tol o r no pis t o l cried t h e disg u ised d e tective. hose blood wa s up, and wh ose eyes were gleaming fiercely "Don't hinder hi s movemen ts, plea se Let him shoot if h e wants." The sne e rin g t o n e in which the words were ut ter ed stung th e M i ssourian o utl aw to the quick. wrenching himself fr o m }'.fiss Colving s grasp, he flung hi s pisto l to the floor. The knife worn at his belt f ollowed s ait. T h en he h e ld up his hand s above his head. "There," he cried, hotly 'I am u na rmed. Do you want to fight with these ?" He dou bled up hi s fist s and struck a pugilistic attitude. Burton cast caution to the wind s upon the mo ment. Down on the floor went all the weapons he had upon his person. "Keep yom; eye upon those articles, M i ss Colv ing," was his quiet remark, "while I show this scoundrel that I am ready to meet him on any ground he may choose to se lect." Off wen t his negro wig and b aggy coat. A han dkerchief from his pocket quick l y remove d the grease paint from his face and hands. A young man, with close-cropped brown hair, a smooth, handsome face, and dark, searching eye s and a powerful physique stood in the place of the fal se Nicode m u s. The combatants were about to step outside an

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. As the combat promised to be of the go-as-you ple a!::e sort, no time was wasted in prelim i naries. The two men, as they stood facing each other, seemed to be about evenly matched physically. Both were tall, both were built as the saying is, "from the ground up," and both were men of indomitab le n e rve. V v ells led off with a right-hander, aimed at the detective's neck. It never reached its mark, for it was parried scien tifi ca lly and a left-hander was sent in that, catching Wells unde r the jaw fairly lifted him off hi s feet. Just about that time the bold outlaw made an unplea sant discovery. Burton Braham was a more skillful and scientific fighter than he. A nd at the same tirpe the honors were easy in the matter of pure strength. Therefore, if the banner of victory was to float o ver the head of Polk Wells tha t closel y-presse d i11-di v idu a l w o uld have to resort to some trick not in the schedule of Hoyle, the Marquis ..of Queensbury or the London prize ring. So, at the first opportunity, when both had drawn apart for a moment's rest, he made a clash forward and struck hi s antagonist an unexpected and vicious blow "below the belt or, to be more explicit, in the pit of the stomach. The b low was meant to wind Braham, a nd it did. It nearl y doub led him up and for the moment he was as weak as the proverbial cat. But he did not fall over, for all his weakness. Quick to take a still meaner advantage of the de tective, Wells followed up his "foul" by a blow that would hav e caught Braham square between the eyes, if he had occupied the position to receive the blow that the treacherous outlaw had calculated on. But Braham did not accommodate his adversary in thi s second move to attain the championship. He did not se e Wells square off to let dri ve the forehead staggerer, but he divined that such :ln act was next on the programme. Therefore, when the outlaw's knotted fist went forth ch a rged wit h murderous force, Braha m 's hea d was beyond the line of clanger. And at thi s stage of the proceedings the detect ive s wind returned. He straightened up quickly. upon escaping the blow aimed at his head, and his dukes came int o pl a y in a manner that cau s ed 'vVells to see more stars tha n ever the heavens afforded. The enraged detective caromed on the outlaw's nose, neck, mouth and eyes, and he was rapidly reducing \Veils' physiogomy to a pulp, when thing struck him on the side of the head and made him fall like a log upon the grass. The something the stock of a rifle, and Jim Cummings had wielded it. / There had been no som1cl from t h e cabin e fight outside had commenced. '1 What th e n had happened to bring Cummings safely past thos e w ea p o ns of death he l d in the hands of brav e Miss Calving? And why wa s she so silent? To a n swe r these question s it will be neces s a r y to return to the moment when Polk 'vVells and Burton l e ft the little room on their pug ilistic mi s sion. A t that moment Jim Cummings rai sed his head fr o m the floor, a nd leanin g on his e l b ow, he g az e d with a ferocious scowl on h is s in-lined c o u ntena nce at the b ea utiful girl who was s itting on guard o ve r him. She expected him to speak, but h e never opened his m o uth. All h e could do was t o glar e at her. Besides, t h e r e was nothing to say in t he w a y o f explanati on for the g irl' s lo o k and p os i t ion c o u p le d with the ab s enc e of the d e tect i v e a nd P o lk 'vVeli5 told the v vho le story. He w as, in effect, a pri s on er, and t his chit of ri. girl w as hi s jailer. He raged in wardly for a mome nt and t hen set hi s evil \Vit s to vvork to circunwent her. One thin g gave h i m confiden c e in hi s a bil i t y t o get the better of his j ai!o r. He wa s armed. In r e m ov in g the two pi s t o l s fr o m th e floo r wh e r e they h ad been ca s t b y the two combatants outs ide she had given no thought to th e weapons w hi c h the vill a in at her feet might carry abou t hi s pers on. J im Cummings felt for hi s knife but as he dre w it from hi s belt t h e girl' s fie rce whisper m a de him pause in hi s d e s i gn. "Drop it, o r I'll fire!" with a halfa udibl e curse, h e let hi s hand fall. His jaw f ell at the sa m e time. At thi s juncture the h ea v y brea thing of the fio-ht ing men o u tside, with the fre quent alterna ti o n s a plunk! th a t sp o ke o f a blow s ent fro m the shoulde r with t he desired effect, cau se d Mar c ia to turn her eyes to the door. A slight noise behind her jus t t h e n attracte d Jim Cummings' attenti on. He r a i sed his h ead, and look e d t o\Yarcl the door opening into the s h ed and t h e r e o n the thres h o l d saw a sig ht that m ad e hi s h eart pulsate in w i c k ed J Oy. A short, thi ck-set man, wit h a s t u bb y bla ck be a r d, swarthy face, and s hort curly hair, stood winkin g a t the outlaw significantl y. Cummings incline d hi s head t ow a r d the gi rl wh o all uncon scio us of thi s dumb b y -pla y was lis t e nin g with beating heart to the sounds of the struggle in open air. Burton Braham had in s tin c ti vel y dodg ed the blow


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. meant to take him between the eyes and lay him out like a slain bullock, and was about to begin his terrific onslaught on his less scien tific adversary, when a l a rge, coars e hand was pressed roughly over Miss Colving's mouth, and she was lifted quickly from her ch ai r and carried to the shed. With th e one whisper, "Hold her tiit I come back, or something happe ns, Jim Cummings left the man who had so op p ortunely come to his assistance, and hurried out of doors. It was a lmo s t dark, but he could see the two com batant s and he could see also that his confederate in arms was getting the worst of the encounter. He had not neglected to bring his rifle when he rushed out, and, clubbing i t, he seized the first con v en ient opportunity to deal the detective a blow on the head that sent him to grass. Before could recover him self, he was bound hand and foot. The tables h ad been turned, and in a most unexpected manner. Miss Calving was a prison e r, and her protector, who h a d foolishly undertaken to settle hi s account wit h Polk V/ ells after the manner of a prize fighter, wa s in the most dangerous situation of his life. \ V hat shall we do with t his hound of a detective?" queried the man whose s wollen and bloody face bore con spicuo u s eYi

f O THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. CHAPTER CXL. A QUESTION ANSWERED Colonel Alp heu s Herring arose from hi s comforta ble bed in hi s olcl-fas hionecl h ouse near Liberty on th e morning after the events narrated in the la s t chaptG-r in a state o f mind that ,ar from com fortable. His niece h ad promised to return by the late train the night bef ore, after having transacted her busi ne ss with Uncle Nicodemus. She had not returned, nor had she sen t a ny mes sa g e expla i n ing her absence. The failure of Marci a to make the trip in the t im e agreed upon was annoying to the colonel, for the reaso n that he had made hi s arrangements to leave for New Orleans th a t morning to attend to business in volving thousands of dollars. He did not become alarmed at her non-appearance-for she was a girl of plucl< and re so urce, an

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 had freed hi s ankles before he rose to the surface of the water. But he was w i se enough not to show his head in the immediate vic init y of the spot where he had sunk, so he S\vam under 'Nater until he had got be yon d the patch of moonlight where the ripples could be seen, and then s lowly rose to the surface. The of feet on the bank above him denoted that the two outlaws were leaving the place. Braham was one of the be s t swimmers the West ha s e ve r produced, and he rather enjoyed the swim d ow n the ri ve r in search of a point where the banks wou ld permit of an eas y landing-. At la s t the moonlight showed him a spot favorable for hi s purpose, and he put forth rapid strokes to re ac h it. In another moment he had scrambled up the bank. It was in the early fall and the night was warm, and afte r the water out of his clothes he felt quite comfortable. He approached the cabin with caution, but soon discovere d that no one was there. The outlaws had gone, and with them the beautiful niece of Colonel Herring. \i\There had they taken h er? And what were their designs? Burton Braham groaned as he asked these ques tio ns o f him self, for he knew he could make no in tellig ent move in searc h of her until da y light came. Another circumstan c e gave him cause for both anxiety and annoy ance. His h o rse was gon e. It was so rrel that hf' prized highly on account of it s s pirit, i ntellige nce z.nd docili!ij. W i thout this fai thfu l animal or any sort of subst itu te-the cab in was in an un settled part of the country-he must be gi n hi s sear c h on foot. But it \ vas no u se to cry over s pilled milk as !t were, so Braham tried to make the be s t of the situati o n T h a t ni ght he slep t at the cabin but he was up and ready for actio n at the break of d ay. He started off through t he fields, following the only trail that was clearly defined-that which led to the holl ow where the Jam es boys and their confed erates h ad h e l d their meeting the clay before. In t h e hollow h e p icked up a lad y's g love. Its small s ize and th e faint odor o f heliotrope which clung t o it co n v inced him that it belonged to M i ss Colving But as a clew t o h e r whereabouts it was valueless. All that it p rove d was that it s fair owner had been forcib l y ca rri ed away b y two of the most notorious de speradoes in Nii sso uri. B r aham followed the trail beyond the hollow until it merged into the main road lea ding to Watson. In t h e h ope th a t he might l earn something in the to wn, and a l so for the purpose of notifying the leadI ;\ ing peace officers there of the contemplated raid '.:>n the Riverton b a nk, he hurried forward in its direc tion. He had not traversed more than a quarter of the di stance when he gave a cry of delight. Tied to a tree by the roadside was N apo, his faithful sorrel. As soon as he saw the animal he conjec tured what its presence there meant. The outlaws knew that Napo was well known throughout the State, and that its possession might bring them into troubl':! at a time when they were anxiotis to avoid it. Therefore they had left it in the road for the first comer to carry off. The hors e gave a loud whinny of joy when his master came up, and went off at a rattling pace when sprang into the saddle. But the detecti v e did not enter Vv atson as he in tended. Before he reached the town he met a horseman whom he knew. It was Jingo Pitts the ally of Wells and Cum mings, the man who had seized Colonel Herring's niece in the old negro's cabin. Braham knew him for a double-dyed scoundrel, a wretch who would betray his best friend for money. He had served the detective on several occasion3. His treachery to the outlaws who trusted him had, howeve r ne ve r been suspected, so shrewdly had the fellow played hi s game. He started as if he had seen a ghost when he rode up close enough to catch a glimpse of Braham'.> face. This exhibition of amazement meant something, and the detecti ve, who was notslow-witted, quickly arrived at the conclusion that Pitts had been in formed of his murder by the two villains who ha

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. ''You've hit the bull's-eye, as you always do, What good could I !tave done to step in? One c a p'n. But that' s all right, ain t it. I do your against two. and the two h ardest nuts t o c rack this work, I run the risk of getting my wind shut off, and side of the Rockie s \,"\Thy, cap'n, if I had p u t in m y you whack up the boodle for it. I have never played oar they d have laid me out qu icker n a mule can you for a sucker yet, have I?" flick his hoof." '}J o, for I wouldn't allow it, Jingo. See here, The detective said no more on that point. spoke the detecti ve, earnestly, ' I do want your as"Besides, cap' n," the ras cal went on, I was w.ork-sistance, and if you give it there's big money in it for ing for another firm tha t ni g ht. You we re n t in it, you." as far as I was concerned." "Name the sum." "No, I see I wasn't," Braham grunted. "How would a thousand suit you?" Then he said: "It strikes me where I live-in the dead center of "You took the girl to this h o u se d id yo u my deepest affections. A thousand dollars! Tell do next?" me what I must do short of breaking my neck to I went on to \ atson to meet \1 ells and Cumearn it." mings." "You must trust yourself under my leadership for ' An d did yon meet them?" one week." "Sure enough, and I rnet some other f ello ws, t oo, "Is that all? Iss ue your orders, cap'n." that you ought to ha ve a n interest in. Braham belie ved he could rely on Pitts when the ''\Vho are they?" matter of the reward had been settled satisfactoril y "Jake Shelford an d Bill Gartn e r. judging by his experience hitherto with the man. "\Vhat a re those hus tler s doing in w atson ?" 'A f ew question s first. Where is Miss Colving?" The detective w as well aware, fr o m hi s eavesclrop"Ah grinned Pitts, "I see you are posted. No ping in the holl ow, what was t h e Jiat ure of the bus i -sort of use in trying to humbug you." ne ss that h a d brought Gartner and Shelford to \,Y at"No sort of use indeed." son, but h e affected ignorance for the purpose o f "Miss Calving, cap n i s staying with a relative of further t est in g the hones t y of Pitts profess i ons. Polk Wells in a little house 'bout a mile from the ''They came in to k e e p a n appointment." nigger's cabin, where we found her. That is, she "Made with whom?" stayed there last night. \tVhere she may be this VI ells and Cummings." ble ssed minute I don' t know, nor I can't guess." "\Vere you present when tbe meeting between "But you can reckon, can't you?" the four men took plac e ? "Nary. I can neither reckon nor guess. But I I was cap'n, for you see I'd b een let i n t o t h e can do better; I can find out just where she i s snap by the b oys las t nig ht. "Then find out at once." "\tVhat i s th e snap?" 'Twon't do to take you along, cap'n, until I lo"There is no s n ap n ow, but the s nap was to rob cate her; 'twon't do at all. You go on somewhere or the Riverton bal'lk up in Fremont Coun ty, Iowa." other to a place where I can meet you this afternoon, "Do you me a n to say, Jingo, t hat the plan i s off ? and I'll start right out to hunt Miss Marshy up ." That Wells and Cummings have flunked ?" "I will meet you at the negro' s cabin," said Bra-Pitts looked oddl y at Bra h a m for a m oment. Then ham, "and whether you find her or not you must re-he broke into a cackling laugh. port to me there not later than four o'clock." "Well, if you ain't a n innocent, then I d on't wan t "All right, cap'n." a cent! Here yo u' ve been pumping me for facts Pitts wa s about to ride on when the detective that you had already scoope d in. Shoot me for a stopped him. skunk, but you're a cool one, tap'n." I have not done with you yet," he said. "I de"Never mind my cooln e ss, but an S\\er my q u es sire to know what happened at the cabin last night" 1 tion." after I was laid out." \ Veil, then the robbery won t come off." "The girl was put on a horse, and taken to the "What h as occurred t o interfere with the pro-house I sooke about." gramme?'' "Who -took her there?" "Two things. Cummings a n d \t\ ell s ha ve sp lit I did and Wells ha s got the notion into hi s head that you "\Vhat Were you at the cabin when the fight were onto the job before yo u met the boys, and h a d was going on between Wells and myself?" posted the sh eriff of Fremont County, or some of th e ''Yes." Atchison officers." "Then why didn't yo u interfere when you saw that ''That's a mistake. I have posted no one, an d I I was being carried to my death?" said Braham. in-never learned of the projected raid un ti l last night.'' dignantly. This frank admission on the part of the detective "\tVhy didn't I? Because I am not a blanked fo01. made Pitts' e y e s twinkle curious ly.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES .. The time came when Burton Braham had reason t? regret that he had been so outspoken on this occa s i on All the same," continued the dark-featured rascal, "the boys have dropped the snap, and it won't go." "What about Cummings? You said he had split wit h Wells." "So he has. You see, their p lans did not agree, and b es ides, Jim is jealous of Jesse James, and he thinks Jes s has gone off o n an e x pedition that promi ses more boodle than t his Ri verton layout." "And ha s Cummings left Wells?" "Yes, l e ft him this morning, a nd started off to join J es s and Frank near Independence." "V\Jiat does \/Vells propose to do?" O h he s stuck on this g a l we run in last night, an d he s pl anned to s tay around this region for a whil e and put in hi s time courting." B r aham

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. it's a wonder how he managed to mosey over to the isl and from hi s house. I w a ited till he had tied the boat and was starting up the bank before I hail e d him. He and I are old cronies, and he opened up at once." ''Is my niece on that island now?" asked Colonel Herring, impatiently. "I reckon she is, sir." "\i\/ho is with h er?" "A deaf and dumb nigger woman." "And where is tbis Jute Payne now?" "At his home." "Then what is to prevent us from starting for the island at once?" The start for the island was made without any delay, Pitts acting as guide. They reached the spot on the shore where the dug-out was fastened, a couple of hours before sun down. "Is that the island?" asked Colonel Herring, pointing straight ahead of him. "No," answered Pitts, "it's beyond that. You can't see it from the shore." Colonel Herring, the detective and Pitts entered the dug-out, and it was shov ed off into the stream. They had scarcely disappeared beyond a bend be fore Polk Wells appeared at the water's edge, and looked after the retreating boat. Then he went down the shore to the place where the boat had been fastened, and looked impatiently across the waters. A short time elapsed, and the bow of the dug-out shot around the bend. it had but one occupant. Tlie spot fr _om which the outlaw looked had a leafy screen,

THE JESSE J AMES STORIES. 15 A gold watch and chain, two rings and over two hundred dollars in money rewarded their search. A fair div i sion of the plunder was made, Pitts taki n g the watch as a part of his share. It h a d been presented to Colonel Herring by an a ssociation of Confederate veterans at the close of his ten11 as presiding offi cer, and there was an .ap pro pri ate inscription o n the in s ide of the case H aving disposed of the body of the colonel, the murderers turned their attention to the detective. The blo ws given him had been severe ones, and. tho ugh the skull had. not been fractured, yet his stertorous breathing and hi s pi-otracted insensibil ity indicate d that he was suffering with concussio n of the brain. "He may n o t come out o' this yer stupor for clays ,' said Jute Payne, as he fixed hi s one eye criti cally Q n the injured man's pal e face, "and he may neve r come ont of it a t all." the better if he doesn't make another chup. I've a good mind to give him a nother crack, and settle h i m for sure." ''No. I wouldn't do any m o r e t h a n I haYe. if I were you, Let Polk \i\T ells give him the se ttler. He's the lad t o do it and h e'll fee l hmt, h e will, if he ain't given t he chance." 11 ri g h t Jute: w e 'll iet h i m alone, then." It was arranged that Payne should remain o n the island as g uard over the detective unt il either Pitts o r Polk Wells should arrive t o relie ve him. I t was close upo n sundown \\'he n Jingo Pitts pus hed off in hi s d ug-out for the main shore. He pushed his Ettie craft stead ily on, and had co v ere d abou t h alf the dis tance to the lanclin g -place. w hen a rifle shot rang o u t sharp and clear, and he fell forward into the water, with a bullet in his brain. He heard not P o lk \ Nei l s' exultant cry, for he was dead b efo r e the second shot was fir e d. Believing that he had killed the detective Wells became anxiou s to secure the dug-out anrl hasten to the little isla nd, where he hoped t o fi.ncl hi s evil comrades s till in the Janel o f the living. There was a pos s ibility. and a strong one, he was forced to admit, that Braham had put both of them o i t of t h e wav. But, in a n y event, he must go to the i s l a1icl. As the dug-out refused to d rift shoreward, he was c.0111pellecl, much ag2inst his inclinations, to disrobe a11cl sw im out to iL The redhanded outl aw reached the dug-out, clambered into it, a nd prepared to row it to shore. > t CHAPTER CXLIV. THE DETECTlVE MEETS WITH A REVERSE. Rowing to the shore, Polk Wells put on h!s clothes, a nd, re-entering the dug-out, pulled for the littl e i s l a nd. He was met at the door of the brush tent by Jute Payne, whose first question sent a horrible suspicion into Polk Wells' mind. "Whar's Jingo? Did you leave him behind?" "Leave him behind? Nonsense! WHy, he's here, isn't he?" "Here nothing-. He went off in the boat." "But the cletective-w here is he?" "Inside, with a head on him bigger'n a p'isened purp. You didn't take Jingo for the detective, did you?" he quickly interrogated, with a keen glance from hi s one eye into the outlaw's1 pale face. "That's what I did,'' Wells groaned. Then he stiffened up and looked sternly at his confederate. vVhat's clone," he said, in a hard tone, and with a meaning look, "can' t be _mdone, and it's policy good p olicy, Jute, for you to keep a stiff upper l ip about what has happened to Jingo. "Then he h as--" "He has leit the country," coldl y interrupted \!Veils "and he won' t b e back this year, nor next, maybe. Now, that's all that need be said about it. T ell me what kind of a r acket you had over here." Jute Payne's story please d vVells greatly. He w ent in the tent, took a look at thej11sensib l e detective, and then came out again. Darknes s was approaching. I reckon you brought over a smack to eat, didn't you?" he said to Payne. "Yes, there s an ash cake, cold ham and' sich in the c orner inside." good. Reckon I'll camp here 'to-night. To-morrow we start for Iowa, and the nex t clay, if nothing happens, we will sail into Rivert()n and make the biggest winning of the year." \i\There are Shelford and Gartner?" \i\Tith the horses, beyond VVatson They'll wait for me." "Don't you w is h Cummings wa s with you, Polk?" "No; Jim' s a tarri er, but he's cranky, and he mi ght hav e kicked over the traces. at tJ:ie last moment, though he did promise to obey my orders. Let him. go with Jess, if he likes, but, as for me, I want comrades who will stay by me, and who won't be shooting off their mouths at the wrong time." After h aving refreshed himself from the provision s \Veils found a lantern, lighted it, and then for so m e time sat beside the detective's form, in a deep study. It was while he was revolving some weighty subject in hi s mind that Braham opened his eyes and fixed them steadily upon the outlaw's face. "Ah!" exclaimed W el'ls, in satisfaction, come to, have you?" "I have been awake, if that's what you mean, jor some time.,'' was the slow response. "Been shamming since I came i n, eh?"


.. 10 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "No. I found it more comfortable m this poor light to keep my eyes closed." "How's your head?" "It aches some." "If yon could be a\lowed to have the dearest wish of your heart at this moment, what would it be?" .. To meet you in a fair fight, with or without weapons, in any shape, or in any style you might propose." Polk Wells smiled and rubbed his hands . "You're a game one, Mr. Braham, and, to be honest with you, I don't like you any the less for your spunk. If it were not for the fact that I have important business on hand I would go you one more just for luck." -"" 1 ''What; with fists?" "No; pistols or knives." "Let your business go and accommodate me," ex claimed the detective, with eagerness. "Can't. Too much boodle involved. I must be in Riverton day after to-morrow, and I mustn't monkey any more with edged tools if I expect .to be there." "Then you fear the result of a meeting with me?" "No, I don't;'' said 'vVells, coolly. "That isn't it. Ifs my luck that I am afraid of. It might go ag'in ine if I tackled a sick man." "But I am not sick. Cut these bonds, and you will see." "Not this evening, Mr. Braham; after my return from Riverton I'll accommodate you." This statement suggested two important ques tions, and the detective asked them one after the other: "So you intend to rob the bank, do you? and you are not going to kill me right away?" Wells bent a look of amusement on the eager, questioning face that was upturned to his. "Of course I intend to rob the Riverton bank. Doesn't your experience with Jingo Pitts go to prove that he was a liar if he told a different kind of a story?" "Yes, yes; I ought t<-,, v e reflected that a traitor is always a liar." "As to your other question, I will say this, Burton Braham, I am going to let you live, for, if any man has ever earned the right to hold on to life a 'Vjlile l o nger, you are the man. But you've got to ');tay h e re however, for two days more', until the River to n job is done. Then Jute here will let you free to c!o you please about me, or go where you please ::m yo ur own or other people's busines1>." \ great load was suddenly lifted from the detect c s breast. B e might not be able to prevent the robbery, but his release might come in time to rescue the beauti ful niece of Colonel Herring before any se rious harm had befallen her. He did not mention Marcia's name, for fear of breaking the shell of the outlaw's spell of good hu mor. Wells released Braham's hands so that he could help himself to something to e at, after which he secured them tightly again. All three men slept in the tent that night. Before Wells left the i s land in earl y morning he informed Braham that Colon e l Herring was dead, but he laid the blame entirely on the shoulders of Jingo Pitts, who, he said, had exceeded his instruc tions in killing the girl's uncle. "You can't score that crime against me," continued the desperado, "for I wasn t here, you know. Braham said nothing in reply After he had gone Jute Payne came into the tent, and sat by the detective for an hour or more with out opening his mout h, though hi s one kept blinking in a singular manner for ne a rly all that time. Braham knew that the fell o w had something on his mind, and that it would eventually come out. So he, too, kept silence and waited. At last the jailer said, in a voice th a t was more wheezy than usual: "I 'low Poke' s gitten chicken-hearted in his old age." "Yes?" "Else why did he tell me to take good care on you till day arter to-morrow, and then turn you loose?" "He has his reasons, I suppose. "Reasons be danged! He's no right to act that a way without consul tin' me. Where do I get off? I'm too old to be meanderin' aroun' the country chasing after stages 'n' railway trains n banks and sick fodder, an' so I have to stay 'roun' home an' 'do sich odd jobs as fall inter my way." "What can the fellow be driving at?" thought the 'detective. "Now. where Poke made his mistake w a s in leav ing me out of his calkelation. He se z to him s elf, 'I don't keer if the detective i s loose when my fingers have closed on that bank boodle, for I'm going to California with Jesse James 'n' the gang, and he s welcome to folly me, if he wants together with the whole raft of detectives and sheriffs from Chic ago to Omaha.' "Poke says this to himself, and I gits the order to turn you loose. But, as I said before, where do I get off? You air turned loose, and the first thing you does is to go after me for a killin' the colonel and snaking off the girl and I d unn o what el se. No use i for me to skip, for m y nn( :c a n d my fly-catcher would give m e a wa y in a holy minute. "No, sir! no, sir-ree; Poke has made a mistake That's what, and what's more, I ain't a-gain' t( make another to keep him company. He may votf

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 17 fo r lettin' you go, b u t my judgment is t h a t you've got to have your wind shu t off He paused, closed his one eye a moment, then s l owly opened it, and gazed g r avely a t Braham. The detecti e fe l t t h e c o l d shivers pass over h i m at Payne's matter-of-fact statemen t o f hi s murderous intentio n A moment 'ago h e h a d bee n congratul a ting hims elf ove r t h e pro p ect o f freedo m Now he was confron ted w i t h the prosp ect of immediate death for Jut e 1 ,)a ync \Ya s a m a n with n o m o r a l c ompu ncti o n w h o ) hear h i m tal k and to l ook a t h i m ; w o ul d as soon murder a man a s eat. As the b o und m a n recei Yed t h e staten;ent in si P ay n e, aft e r a lo n g p a use, b egan to speak aoam. I reck o n you r e a m a n n f y o u r word, a n d t hat i f you pro1 1 i s e

18 THE. JESSE JAMES STORBES. to her within a. week with a minister of the gospel, who should man-y' them hard and fast. The next morning a d ea f and dumb colored woman -an Amazon in strength and build-brought in her breakfast. The prisoner's deli ght m ay be imagined, when in the poor creature she recognized a former slave of her uncle's-one who had dandled Marcia hen a child on 1-:er knees. T he recognition was mutual, and the mute exhih ited her joy ful surprise in a manner that l ef t no doubt oi its genLiineness. By means of the deaf-and-dumb alphabet, which Ma ;ci8. understood. s he was assured bv the mute that no lnrm s h o uld happen to her. and when it w as safe to do so she might le ave the hous e and make her \vay across the. fields to \Vatson. Jtite Payne came to the house at noon, and reri1ained a short time. After he h ad goae, tlie mute. by sig ns, gave Marcia to understarnl that s he \';oulcl shadow the one-eyed rascal until she learned bis destination, and, if i t \Vas at sof11e distance from the h ol:se, the departure of the girl need not be l o nger delayed Marcia grew un easy as the hours sped on, and the mute did not return. She had about given tp all hope of ever seeing her faithful senant again \'.:hen the mute reappeared wi t h some start iing news. She had followed Payne. to see him meet Jingo Pitts near the old negro's cabin, to form some i dea of their conversatio n, which l:id for a subject the carrying out of an order giYen b y Polk vVells that Colonel Herring, who was at the cabin that aftern.oon, should he decoyed to the little island in the nver. Anxious to discover more concerning the plot against her old master, she had remained in the vi cinity of the cabin until she saw Co lonel Herring and P itts leave for the river shore. Payne had gone to the islai1d over an hour before. \Vhen the party had passed out of sight, she had hurried back to the house. lVIarcia's mind became filled with dire forebodings at the news that her uncle had gone off with the man who had treated her so b 'rutally in the cabin. She was a quick-witted girl, and she instantly concluded that the lives of Colonel Herring and the brave yo ung man who had taken her part the day b efore, were in i171minent danger. The mute agreed fo g u ide the brave girl to the i s land, and to support her in any effort, however dangerous, which she might make for the be!lefit of her friends They started forth early t he next morni ng. They d id not v enture near the spot where the dugout had been sec ured, b u t m a d e for a point half-a mile below, where the mute fel t sure another apology for a boat could be obtained. The craft was there, but it wa s a small raft, and not a dugout. The mute had manipulated it b efo r e, and, as she was gifted with greater strength than the ordinary man, she sent it across the water wit h the greatest ease. They reached the little island after Polk vVell s bad qn:tted it. But their arrival was not unobse rved. Concealed' b ehincl a huge cottonwood, Jut e Payne witnessed the ianding. without making any attempt to prevent it. He was curious to kn ov..-\\hat had brought them over. Perhaps Polk Wells had sent them. Anyway, it would not be policy to u se violent measures until he had become s atisfied that hi s own and his employer's in te r ests w ere seriou s l y menaced. As l\farcia and the devoted deaf mute walked up the bank Payne stepped from b ehind the tree and confronted t hem. There was an u gly g rin on h is fa ce, as h e sa id, wi t h a rasping \vheeze: "Come OYer for a picnic, I reckon. ' \Vhere is my uncle?" sternl y demanded f rcia "Hes resting easier than he was a while ago," he answered, with a meaning his bearer did not inte r pret. Then he added, qnickly: "\i\Tho sent you h ere, an

THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIES 19 less form, and then w:ith the instinct of self-preservation strongl y upon her turned aside and fled through t he trees with the speed of a deer. It was s heer good luck that brought her in sight of the tent, for she had no idea of its location when s he landed on the island. When she started to run she had drawn her only weapon of defense-a s mall pocketknife-and she had it in her hand, opened, when she rushed into te nt where Braham was lying bound and helpless up o n the ground. Her story finished, the detective, sorrowful and unpl easant as the duty was, felt bound to tell her t hat her uncle had been killed. She bore the loss with a fortitude befitting the occasio n and her heroic character. They learned the pl ace of burial from the defeated viilain, P ay ne, and when they left the i sland it was wit! the intention of making arrangements at Wat SOll both for the r e moval of the body to Liberty, for tl1e burial of the faithf ul mute's remains. and for the conveya 1 ,1ce of the one-eyed conferl.erate of Polk Wells to the county jail a t Rockport. They r eached Watson late i n the afternoon, and a fter their bu siness wi t h the and the undert a k e r had be e n concluded. Braha m found that he had time to catch up tra in for Riverton. The bank robbery had been set for the next day, a nd he w o u l d be enabled to notify t h e sheriff of Fremont Count y and the loc a l officers i u time to prepare a n unl ooked-fo r surpri s e fo r Polk 'vVells and his murdero u s gang. He w as s orry to leaYe M i ss Cohin g. and she was e qually sorry to se e him g o. They p arted with the promise from Braham th a t h e \\"o uld call o n her at Liberty s o soon as his busi-. n e ss in Imra had been concluded. D ey o n d El P a o, and near the big bend i n the Missouri. so m et hing h;;tppene

20 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. CHAPTER CXLV. LED INTO A TRAP. From the sheriff of Fremont County Braham learned that the robbers had descended upon the bank so unexpectedly that no resistan ce on the part of the officials of that institution was poss ible. The raid had been carefully planned, and the num ber of raiders had been variously estimated from five to fifteen though the sheriff was inclined to think that four would cover the entire number. A large sum of money in coin, notes and securities had been carried off. No attempt to follow the robbers had been mad e until they had remounted their horses and passed be yond the town limits. Then a poss e of determined n_en was hastily or g anized, and a hot purs uit undertaken. A few miles out the robber s were overtaken, and a running fight ensned, in which the posse suffe red defe at, n o one bein g kill e d ontright, but every mem-ber being wounded. "That fellow. Wells," sa id the :;heriff, "fought like a devil incarnate. The men of the poss e outnumbered his force three to one. and yet vV ells himself seem ed in vestee! with the punishing power of ten or dinary men, for his shots never missed, while the bul l ets flew around him lik e hail, and never touched his person. "And, what a perfect horseman he is, too! \Vhy, tl1ey tell me that he ri valed a Comanche warrior !;1 the s kill and agilit y with which h e gyrat ed about his horse while the fight was on. "I was up at the county seat when the robber;r took place," concluded the sheriff, "or else I shoufrl have been in the field at an earlier moment." "Haveyou any clew as to thei r present where abouts?" asked the detective. "No definite clew, but I am inclined to think that, as Jake Shelford was one of the gang, the first hid in g-place will be in the vicinity of Watson, across the line in Missouri, where Jake's folks live." Watson! Why, he, Braham, had left Watson two days before, and he had left Marcia Colving there. What if Polk Wells had had the reckless daring t r J return to a part of Missouri where he was well known, while the echoes of the Riverton robbery were still vibrating in the air, and while the great valley region roundabout was in arms against him, and seeking his capture, ali e or dead! The more Braham pondered the matter .the more he became convinced that vVells had started for Vv at son after he had successfully made his plundering raid into Iowa. The detective readily consented to join the sheriff's party. When near the Missouri line, information received from a farmer induced the sheriff to change his course. "They have not crossed over to Missouri/' he said to Braham, "but have gone into Tayl o r County. The best plan, then, will be to rid e to the nea rest railway station, and get over into Taylor County as quick as we can." ''Are you sure your information can be depended upon?" "Why shouldn' t it? The man who gave i t i s an old re sident, and he got it straight from J ake Shel ford's uncle. Finding it impossib le t o dissuade the sheriff from taking the new track, the detective announced hi s int e ntion of proceeding to vVa tson alone. "I h ave business there that must be looked after immediately," he explained. The sheriff parted with him with sincere regret for h e had a great admiration o f the young detective abilities. Braham arriv ed at \i\! atson shortly after noon, and, before satisfy the needs of the. inn e r man, went to the hotel \\he re he had left Marci a Colving. She was not there. Inquiries of the landlord elicited the information that s he had gone to Liberty on the trai n whic h bore i he remains of her murdered uncl e T h e detective breathed easier after this intelli gence. He went to a restaurant. ate a hearty meal, and was in the act of starting out for the depot to take the train for Liberty. \Yhen a telegram was placed in his ha n ds by a me ssenger boy. It wa s dated at Liberty, and read as follows : DEAR MR. BRAHAM-Will s tart in an hour for Blue Springs Jackson County, an a matter of life and death. If you. can man age to meet me there this evening others will be obliged be s ides your fri e nd, MARCIA CoLVING. "A curious telegram this," thought the detective. Could the fair girl whose image had been engraved on his heart ever s ince their first meeting, be the author, or was it the cunnin g de v ice of an enemy to lure him into a po sition of peril? There was a way of solvin g the probJem whi c h b e set his mind, and he took it at once. He went straightway to the telegraph office, he was well known, and h ad the operator at Liberty wire for certain important The answer came in a s h ort time, and it was to the effect that the dispatch which Braham had received had been written and sent by Miss Colving. A lso that duplicates had been wired to Riverto n and E l Paso, a s the young lady was n o t certain at whi ch one of the points the detective would be found. \i\Thile he was in the office anot her telegram came for Braham. The sheriff of Fremont County, Iowa, at Bedford,


THE JESSE JAMES 21. s the s end e r and it conta ined some surprising news It ran: I h ave g o t the stra i g h t b u s in ess a t la st. The robbers divided aft e r reaching this plate, Gartner, She lford, and a party who s e nam e I hav e n' t ye t l carnt>d, g o ing n o rthea st, in the direction of Wis c a n sin, while P o lk W ells th e l eader, headed for Mi s souri, hi s d est inati o n b e ing Blu e Springs. H e i s probably there by this time. Have wire d th e s h e riff of Jackso n County and shall trust th e m atte r o f a t tending to \ Y ell s to y o u and to him. The two telegrams, taken together, g :ave Braham food for serious n eflection. Polk W ells and Marcia' Calving bound for the same point? What could i t mean? \ V hat new piece of d eviltry was on foot? He c o uld not re a d t h e riddle try a s he would, but he re solved, all the same, to be at Blue Springs as quick a s r ailway steam power could take him. H e h a d an hour at hi s disposal before the train l e ft, a nd h e th o u ght h e coul d not devote the time t o b e tt e r purp ose t h a n b y calling at the jail and haY inoa n int ervie w w ith J nte Payne. b . Bef ore g oin g t o th e pl a c e, he obtamed some points about the pris o n e r' s famil y. T he one -eye d pri so n e r screwed up hi s mouth in mal e v o lent r ag e when Braham entered his cell. Curs e yon/' h e whee z ed, ''but some one will do you up for g ittin me in a hole like this. \Vait till Polk \1V ells runs afoul of you." "I will wait for that time with the greatest of pleas ure," said the detecti ve, compos edly. \i\fh a t do y ou want h ere? grO\dcd Payne, when his vi sitor had tak e n a seat and was coolly observ-ing him. . . "I w a nt to know who 1 s lo olong after your sick wife?" ''The neighbors, I expec t." "The neighbor s are too remote to be of any serv-. ice \ Nell, then, I'll h a v e the county look after he1." 1 nd she may die while the county's officials are getting ready to do s om ething. Jute Payne trembled and turned pale. His black heart had o ne soft spot. and that was a lin g erin g affection for the w o m a n who had stood by him s o faithfully for s o many years "'v\l hat arc you ringin' in my \\'ife on me for?" he dema nded as he choked down a s ob. 'For a purpos e of cours e .. returned the detective, coldly. ''Out with your purpose. \tVhat is it?" "I w ant c e rt ain information. which I am satisfied you are a ble to give me and in return for which I will see th a t your wif e recei ves proper care and atten tion ." T e ll m e wh a t you w ant? s aid Payne, submissi ve ly, "and if it won't make it any warmer for me 'JI stand in and help you-" "I want to know why Polk \Vells has gone to Blue Springs." The one eye of the pri soner twinkled knowingly. "I've got no call to give anybody away," he said. "Neither have I got any call to help the wife of ,1 murderer, who may be as bad as he is, even though she may be in serious w ant of assistance at this moment." Payne glared at th e p ass ionles s speaker as if he \\'ould like to strang le him. Braham smiled in\\ arclly, and \vaited for the prisoner's surrender_ He had not long to wait. .. 'E\ery man for him s elf ,' I reckon, is the best motto, I low arter all ,'' muttered the one-eyed wretch. "\iV ell s aid he to the detective, I'll teil you why Polk \Al ell s ha s gone to Blue Springs. There's to be a m eeting of the gang there to-night." "What gang?'' "\i\fhy. Frank and Jess e James' gang, o' course." ''\Vhat i s the object of the meeting?" "Dunno, but I can guess.". "Guess then." "The boys intended to hold up the Chicago and Alton train a few mile s beyond Blue Springs, at the deep cut, the y call it. night before last, but I'm told by the mars hal that the party did not come off." "\i\i ell?" ''But it will come .off. though, sure pop, as long as Jess e and Frank James are runnin' things; an' my idee is that the meeting at Blue Springs i s to set the time and put up the job for another attempt." "Why should Polk V1/ells be there?" "\i\f hy he's Jess e James' best man, next to Frank, an I'll bet a hog that the reason that the train wasn' t held up 'cordin' to programme was because Polk vVells wasn' t there." "But Jesse James sent them northward to Riverton on another layout." "I don't keer. You jus t go on to Blue Springs, and see if I ain t right." "I am going there," returned Braham, with grim determination, but added, in a more kindly tone, "I'll see that your wife is looked after before I start." There was but one other matter that worried B.raham when he had taken pas sag-e on the train for Blue Springs, and that wa s the reason for Marcia Colving's departure for the place. She had gone on a mission of life and death. \i\lhose life was menaced? The answer to this question came when he reached Blue Springs. He had taken the precaution to put on a disguise before leaving \Vats on, and it was as a forlorn spec.imen of a poor white, or "cracker," that he appeared on the streets of the little town. It was twilight when he walked from the statio n


22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. toward the pri ncipal hostelry, where he expected to find Miss C o l v ing. But he had n o t gone h a lf the distance before a light touch on the arm c aused him to look around :with a start. A trimbuilt neiro girl stood before him. "Is yo' name Bra yum, sah ? she a s ked, m the sweetes t of v oices The detectiv e l ooked at the girl : with s u s picion in hi s eyes. "Why do yo u a s k?"' h e sa id. "'Cos if yo is I done got s omefin fo yo "My name kain't be Braham," said the young man, experimentally. "What is it, den, ef I dun mek bold to ax yo', "It is Dennis. "Dennis? A n yo' s ho' yo hain' got no udde r name?" She spoke seemingly in seri o u s innocence. Braham answered grav el y : "I reckon m y name mout be anything from Moses ter Mud, 'cordin' ez how I w a r treated. "Can yo read white folk s es writin' ?" "Sometimes." "Den read dis." She held out an envelope. The light was just sufficient for him to reaa the inscription, which was in a woman' s neat and delicate handwriting: MR. BURTON BRAHAM. Immediate It was from Marcia Calving, of cours e. "My name is Braham," he said, in his natural tones, as he tore it open. Inside was a halfsheet of note paper, with these \Yords written upon it: F o ll ow the b earer. She i s k ee nw itt e d and faithful and s he will guide you to me. M C. "I am at your service remarked Braham, politely, when he had placed the note in his pocket. 1 he girl showed her white teeth in a pleasant smile, aTJ. The stronge s t and the brav e s t weep, for a s a rule, they are the most emotional. And tears are sorrow's bes t antidote. The next whil e she was about t o leave her room to call on Aunt Polly for a di sc ussion 1 f material m atters connec ted with t h e h o u seho l d Chloe timidl y knocked at the door J Given p ermiss ion to ente r s he came in with ey e s rolling with exciteme nt. l "Mo s e V vashington's yere, 1' Ii ss Marshy," s h e said. gasping l y "That's the co l o r ed boy w h o lives near Rockp ort,l i s n t it ?" returned h e r m istress, k i n d l y. "Yessum, but h e s n o boy, Miss Marsh y, he's a growed-up pu ssen, an' ol er than I i s "Ah and what b r ings h i m t o Liberty?" "Dat's wa'at I come to t e ll yo u 'bout, Miss Mars h y," Ch loe went o n. w i t h more ca lmness. "Hes: y e a recl som e fin ' b o u t

ifHE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 23 crifice or peril to bring the red-handed outlaw to "It is my intention," she went on, "to overhear u stice. what is said at that meeting, if such a thing be pos"Mose, 11e tole me," continued Chloe, "dat he ain't sible." ole no one else 'bout de mattah, ca'se he wan' yo', "l will do my best to a id you." iss Marshy, to boss de whole business on 'count o' "Ef you i s goin' to dat Springs place Miss Mar-o bein' kynder pregidised ag'in dat bad Poke felshy," put in Chloe, with decision, ''den I goes right er." along wid yo'. I ain gwine trus' yo'se'f alone wid Prejudiced against him! Prejudice was a feeble

24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. to investigate the house, Miss Coking would have a man to stand by and protect her from harm. The little darkey spoke with such serious earnestness, albeit his eyes did twinkle curiously, as the words fell from his lips, that Chloe herself insisted that she should undertake the mission. The faithful girl had been gone from the house about fifteen minutes when there came a knock at the front door. Mos e began to tremble. "That's queer," he chatteringly said, "very queer. vVhy should any one knock at the door of a house no one Ii ves in ?" "Perhaps some of the people living in this region saw us come in, and have called out of curiosity," returned Marcia, with forced composure. The knockinl:" was repeated. "I'll-I'll go to the door if you say so Miss Colving," said Mose, but he looked as if he would rather loose an arm than do it. Marcia gave him a contemptuous glance, and then boldly started to answer the knock. "vVho's there?" she demanded, in clear ; firm tones, when she reached the door. "A messenger from Burton Braham," was the re ply, in a voice she had never hear4 before. She threw back the bolts on the instant of the wel come announcement. And she immediately regretted her haste. For the door was opened quickly, and two powerfully-built men stepped into the little hall. One was Polk Wells, the other was Take Shel ford's Uncle Billy a counterpart of Jim Cummings in strengtl;i, ugliness and ferocity. It was child's play to them to secure a young woman taken by surprise, and with no weapon of de fense at hand. Marcia had not time to scream before Polk \Velis' hand had closed oyer her mouth. \i\That followed seemed to her like a nightmare, as she attempted to recall it afterward. When her mind became collected, she found he;self in a cellar and lying on an old mattress. She could not move, for the wretches who had attacked her had firmly bound her with cords to guard against the possibility of escape. CHAPTER CXL VII. DUEL IN A CELLAR. Burton Braham, overcome by Polk Wells and Uncle Billy Shelford, as he entered the house on the heels of Chloe \Vas dragged into the main apartment, where there were a few ricket y chairs and a bench and there suffered to remain in darkness, 3. prey to the wildest conjectures until a lantern, brought by Shelford, had been lighted. He had been bound immediately upon hi s hea\ fall to the floor, and, after his enemy had flashed t h rays of the lantern into his face, to note it s exprel sion probably, he was lift ed to a sitting pos ition a111 propped against the wall. Thus placed, Braham looked calmly about him. He was alone in the room with Polk Wells Uncle :Billy Shelford, agreeable to the arra nge ments, 'had left the two men to have t f 1eir confab i i private. Jesse James' famous comrade broke the sile nce b : "Didn't look for me here, I r eckon?" "No; I did not." "Didn't ever suspect that I put up the job to g e you out here, either?" No, and I don't suspect it now." "'vVell, I did all the same. Let me tell you how i was. Time's no object, and we ve got all ni ght be fore us." Braham wrathfully gritted his tee th. "Don't make faces, my friend, s aid \i\T ells, pl ac icily, "for they clon t become your s t y le of be auty." After li2"hting a cig-arette ancl exhaling a f e w puff! of smoke his nostrils h e w ent on with pro coolness: "The girl, Chl o e, who brought you h ere, nevei played a trick on you. She is true to her mistress Miss Marcia." 1 "Is Mi s s Colving here?" in terrupted the dete ctive; "Yes, she is here and under my protection." Braham groaned. "As I was saying pur uecl Wells, "Chloe is no in my service. Her lover a young moke of th 1 name of Mose is. See?" "No, I don't s ee ;:tBeg pardon, I was hasty. Y o u don't knon After a while I'll brin g h i m in a nd i ntrodu a him to you. He' s a nailer I tell you. Sharp as 1 a steel trap, and able to pull the w o ol o ver t h e eyes o the cutest de t ective that ever hu s tl ed f o r a rew ard. t "Well, thi s nigger, Mo s e did exac tl y a s I tolit him to do. He inveigled M i ss Marcia o u t here b 1 S means of a cock-and-bull story, and M i ss Marcia prompted by Mose, drew you to the pl a ce a s 'Nell. }cl pretty slick I it. s He chuckled softly, and rubbed hi s hands. "Now that you've got i'Tle in a trap what d o yo1 intend to do with me?" asJ

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 "Correct And I h av e returned from Riverton," rej oined Wells, complacently. Braham lo o ked at the outlaw as if he could scarcely credit the evidence of his ears. "Do you mean to tell me serio u s ly," he said, "that you took all this trouble to get me here for the sole purpose of giving me another chance to meet you iu fair combat? "That's what." The tone w as positive and since re. "You're a curiou s fellow, vVells." "So I 've be e n told." "What if I kill you?" "Then I'll be dead, and all my worries will be over." And Miss Calving? If I come out ahead in the propose d duel, what i s r eserved for her?" "Your arms. If I kill you she' s mine. If you kill me my intere st i n her c ea s e s forever. See?" "I s e e Where i s she?" "Down cellar. Chloe i s with her, I expect, for I told Mo s e to yank her down the re the moment she came t hrough the door. And Uncle Billy went down there when he left us, so I reckon the girl is fixed the same as h e r mistress." ''But your comrade, Uncle Billy, as you call him, won't h e int erfere if I get tbe b etter of you?" "No, for he won't be h e re when the scrap takes place. He'll be mile s a\va/,,h e n it' s O\ er, and he'll neYer come b ack." 'vVha t sort o f a clue! h av e you thought of?" asked the detective, after a thoughtful pau se "A duel with pisto ls, and in the dark." Braham felt a cold chill pass over him. Bu t in a moment his nerve came to his aid and he steeled his heart against a further exhibition of M weakness. \.nd it will c ome off continued the imperturbable outla\Y. "in abo ut fiftee n minutes." H e left the room afte r uttering thes e words, returning in a few moments with th!' announcement that all was serene in the c e llar and that Uncle Billy Shelf o rd h ad ta k e n his departure. "As f o r Mose, wheth e r he stays or not makes no d ifference If you win, h e will light out for the othei sicle o f the w orl

26 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Jesse James' red-handed comrade smiled de risively Once in his own corner, with the keg and the lantern at hand, \;Veils prepared for the closing act in the preliminaries. The lantern was placed in the position already spoken of and the keg raised with a short stick. Then Polk Wells, tall and terrible, looked across the room in the semi-darkness at the shadowy form of his courageous opponent. "Are you ready?" No answer. Out went the outl aw's foot, down with a thud came the keg, and out went the light. On the instant th a t the keg fell two reports rang out so close together that they became nearl y blended into one. A howl of pain from one of the corners. Crack! crack! again, but the combatants. being men of shrewdness, had shifted their places and onl_v the air in the room \Vas perforated. Crack! Another groan, and no answering shot, but a heavy fall upon the floor. The victor now fired into the ce ilin g, for the purpose of determining, in the Bas h of light caused by the explosion the exact location of hi s fallen foe. Having satisfied him self as to the place he moved forward cautiouslv in that direction. No need to obtained that fla s h of light, for the vict im 's groans \Ye re a s u fficient guide. At last the man who !:ad come out first in the struggle reached the prostrate form of hi s enemy. He placed one hand upon the breast. and then was about to strike a match, when he was seized around the waist b y two arms of tremendous pO\ver. "I am not dead yet," hi ssed the assai lant ''and if I can't kill you one way I will i n another.'' The speaker was Pol k 'vVells, and it was Bnrton Braham, the detective, who had come out unharmed in the contest. But the danger was not yet oyer. A terrible hand-to-hand struggle commenced. Each man realhed that he .ns fighting for hi s CHAPTER CXLVIII. A DESPEHATE CRIMINAL. Though se e rel y wounded by the bullets fired from the detective 's pistol. Polk Wells struggled with the strength and desperation of a lion at bay. If he understood the reson why he failed to brin g hi s adversary down when the ball opened, he kept it to himself for not a word escaped hi s lip s as he wre s tled over the Aoor with t he equally game and skill ul detective. Suddenly there came a rush of feet and the flashing of a light in his face. The next instant vVells received a blow on the head from a clubbed re volve r that knocked him senseless ''Are you hurt?" inquired the re s cuer, anxiously. "Not a particle," answered B raham, as he arose to hi s feet and started in amazement at the question. I didn't intend that you should be hurt, sir, for if things had gone amiss Chloe would never have forgiven me." The speaker was Mose \i\Tashington, the .. colored youth, whom the detective had regarded but a short time before as a traitor; as th e wretch who, at Polk \/Velis' instigation, had lured him to the hous e. "I have wronged you, }\/lose," he said, contritely, as he offered hi s hand to the d arkey. I had placed you in the list of my enemies and the friends of that scoundrel there, pointing to the pro st r ate outlaw. "Yes, I reckon I played my p art for all it was worth, sir. I h ad to work it pretty s lick or I never wo ul d have deceived Mr. \!Veils. I knew you wanted to capture the robber of the Riverton bank, and I knew al s o that Mi s s Colving was anxious to bring to justice the man who caused, the death of h e r uncle, a nd so I put up a scheme t o get Mr. Wells in a hole." ''You see I'd worked for him before when Chloe and I were strangers, and I wa s kind o c a reless a s to what I did. ancl so I ell into this job as ea sy as yo u please. "I mi g h t haYe worked it so that you could h av e been first at the h o u se, and surprised him when h e came in. but I concluded i t wou l d be s afer to t h e course I di

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 2 7 face as he entered, but when she saw his handsome features a glad cry escaped her, and she arose blush ingly to greet him. The moment was an auspicious one for Burton Braham, and Marcia made no resi stance when he clasped her in his manly arms, and imprinted his first kiss upon her burning cheek. Mose looked at the lo vers a moment-for such they now were-and grinned from ear to ear. Then he walked u p to Chloe, who was standing dem.urely in a corner, and, 1\ing in g his arms around neck, brought h is lip s to hers, and induced an o sculatory explosion that mad e the detective and his sweetheart start guiltily a nd look around. Poke Wells remaineo in the house all night, guarded by Mose and Braham, and in the morning was placed on the north-bound train, to be conve yed to Fremont County, I.owa for trial. The d e tective had hi1;n in charge. Mi s s Calv ing, Chloe and Mose were passengers on the same train. The detective's sweetheart got off at Kansas City for the purpose of visiting relatives there. Chloe and M o se went on to Liberty in another train. At the fir s t station in Atchison County several roug h-lookin g men bo arded the car in which Brah a m and \.V ell s had for some time been the onl y occupants. A t one point iQ thi s section the railroad runs near the ri ver, and on account of repairs that were going on in th e roadbed the train ran at a very slow rate of s oeed . B-ra h a m w a s looking out o f t h e window at the sce n e r y, w ith no th o u g h t of danger, whe n o ne of the n e wc o m e rs, w h o s a t behind him, _struck him a in g blow on the he a d with an iron bar. \i\Then he recovered con s ciousness the conduct.or vYas bending o ver him and his prisoner was gone. J ess e J a me s had come to the rescue of his redoubtable comra de. T he m e n \ Y h o h a d entered the c a r at the first Atchison station were adherents of his, a nd had acted according to instructio n s: Bra h a m was intensel y chagrined at his mi sadve nture, a nd in spite of his injuries l ef t t he t r ai n at \Nat so n a nd o r g anized a p oss e to s earch for t h e escaped robber and murderer. But he did not l eave town that da y for a faintne ss overtook him in the hotel, which he could not sub due, and for twenty-four hours he was under the doctor's care. When he managed to. get about again, he received the cheering intelligence that Polk Wells had joined his comrades in the Riverton bank robbery, and was now over the Iowa border and in Wisconsin. Braham took the first train for the northeast, and the next day was in Portage, Columbia County, Wisconsin, on the heel s of the outlaw fugitives. Here he met the sheriff of Fremont County, Iowa. "I am glad you h ave joined us again," said that officer with earnestness, "for we are close on to the gang, and I want men with me who can be depended upon. The next morning Polk Wells, crawling stiffly out of his nest in a haystack near Fox L ake, looked over the fields gloomily, and then accosted Jake Shelford, who was cooking a hasty nearby: "It's lucky my left arm caught the bullets the other night, or I'd be badl y h andicapped for the scrap that i s soon to come off in this neighborhood." "Why, Polk, what's come over you? There won't be any fight hereabouts. You must have been dreaming some condemned nonsense to make you t alk like that. Who's to fight us, I'd like to know?. We slid into this county unbeknown to the officers, and here \ ve've been since noon yesterday, with no sign of an enemy in the distance, and with grub enough to last a week." I did have a dream last night," said Wells, "and with me dreams generally come true." "What did you dream?" interrogated Bill Gartner, another of the party. "I dreamed tha he s eriff of Fremont County w as ,after us, a nd Burton Braham, the detective, who has more liv es than a cat, was with him. I dreamed that Bill Gartner had just picked up a hot potato--" At this juncture Gartner, with a smile took a potato out of the hot ashes of the fire in front of him. \i\Tben a bullet from the detective's rifle knocke d the potato into smi thereens and u s jump for cover." Ping! came a sharp detonation, and the potato which Gartner held high in the air was shattered into bits. The o utlaws sprang to their feet in alarm.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. ?\o one \1as more surprise d than Polk \ Velis. He had piacecl no credence in the dream, and had narrated it in a semi seri o u s manner for hi s own amuse m e n t. At the top o f a hill a couple of hundred yarcs a way, a n armed fo r ce of mounted men could be seen. At their head was the sher iff of Fremont County, and b y his s ide rode Burton Braham. T he h o rses of the outlaws \\'ere tethered near the haystack. but t h e r e was no time to m ount and n1ak e an escape. The comrade b f e s e J a1nes must make a stand with his m e n then and t h e r e and fig;h t stubbornly for life. T h e outlaws 1 1 e r e four in number. Opposed to th e n 1 wer e a doz e n of th e b r ay e s t and most dete rmi ned men in the State of Iowa. The haystac k 1ras u t ilized as a barricad e, but Jake S helford 1ras toppled 01e r lJ: a bullet 1rhi c h pierced hi s brain befor e h e cou l d get un de r coyer. Polk \Velis di scharged his rifle l11 i ce and liad the satis facti o n o f seeing o;1e enemy drop at each shot before he attempte d to seek t h e safe s helter of th e s tack. The bullets f a irlv r

't I .. Send in your exchange n .oti ces, boys. We will publi s h them all in a special "Exchange Department." ABOUT FAMOUS MEN. Boys, turn t o page 32 and see the announcement of the new Contest. Ifs goi n g t o be a r a ttl er, like the o ne that h a s just clo se d. Everybody i s t o have another try a t the valuable prizes offered Don i miss this opportunity, but send m your article at once. F ollowing are so me of the be s t art i cles received during the week. R ea d them, and then sen d in yo ur own! A Brave Commander. (By Edward W Everson Providence, R. I.) I have rea d with interest the biographi es which have from ti1ne to ti11Je in the Weekly, hu t uoticecl that IJO oIJe h a d selec t e d the brave Ameri c an whom I have d e cided t o wri t e about. The fearle ss m a n of whom I spea k was Stepheu Decatur. Decatur \vas of Southern ori g iu, having hee n born at Sinnepuxe11t, MarylaIJd. He had a natural inclination to go to se a, as his fath e r had followed tha t o ccupati ou, and so at the age of uin e t een b e b e c am e a m idshipma n. A t that time, America was challenging France's ri ght to plunder our ve ssels; thus D e c atur saw some senice in defendin g that claim. He was p romot ed, af ter on e yea r's s e r vice, t o the office of li e11tena11t When Thomas Je fferso n ) \la s e l'ect e d P r es ident, one of his first ac t s was to s end Commo do re Da l e wi th a squadron, t o the Mediterranean Sea, to pt1t a stop to the piracy w h ic h the Barbar y Stat es in d u lged in. M an y Ame rican ships had been plundered a ud the passe ngers a u d cre1vs were so ld as s l a ve s o r held for ransom. The Enterprise a twelYe-g un schooner, of w hi c h D e catur was an officer, and the co m mander Lieutenant Sterrett, overtoo k a Tripolitan fourteen-gt m ship, an d i11 a runnin g fight of three hours, durin g which Decatur distinguislie d h i m se lf for brave r y, captured her afte r killing or IYounding fifty of the corsai rs bu t without losing oue of herow11 m eIJ. Bu t the most famo u s ach iev e m ent of Decatnr was exec u ted in 1 803 Tripoli s till persisted in p lun d e r iu g our vessels, so Commodore Prebl e was sent to that vi cinity with a sq uadrou of s eve n vesse l s. While c hasing a Tripolitan vesse l, the Philadelphia, commanded by Ca ptain Bainbridge, ran as h ore and was captured with all 011 board. The Pacha go t her off, but Preb l e d ec i d ed t o destroy her. So Decatur, with a small v esse l, ran iu captured her, and s e t h e r afire And this was do u e under the fire of r 44 guns! The ves se l bl aze d u p, makin g the c it y as b ri ght as day, until her magazine w a s reac h ed when with a terrible e x p losiou, she disappeared. Nelson, in speaking of the expl oi t said it was "the most daring a c t of the age. For this piece of work Decatur was made captain in the foll o wing yea r. In r 8 1 2 h e again showed his f ea rless nature when he captured t he Bri tis-h fri ga t e Macedon i a n but afterward h e was surrounded by four friga t es and for c ed to surr e nd e r after the l oss of one-fourth of hi s crew .1 In r 8r5 he punished the Algerians and forced the beys of Algeria and Tunis and the pasha of Tripoli to pay d amages to the Unit ed States for breaking their treaties. Decatur did no t Ii ve lon g a ft e r that. In a duel with C o mmander James Barro n h e was killed 011 March 22, 1 820 at the age of forty-one. Iu his short but l.Jrillia1Jt career he showed himself to be a d escendent of the spirit of "76," a pattern for all Americ ans. The Bravery o-f Israel Putnaf:'l. (By V. T. L evy, Pittsbmg, Pa. ) If w e would find some truly great m e n, we must lo o k for them when the.. ciistress of the natio1j aroused her sous for h e r defense. Suell a time was the period of the Revoluti on. Foremost among the many great men of tha t time \\'as Israel P11tnam, familiarly called ''Old Put." He wa s born in Sale m, Mass., in 17r8. He was muscnlar, co nra geo11s and po s ses se d an iudomitable will. As a boy h e distinguish e d himself by killing a she wo lf which ha d terrorized the country for miles around by its depredations. He crawled into its den, and shot the animal by the li ght of its own glaring eyes. He distinguished himself in the Freuch aud 'Indian wars. At one time be wns captured by the Indians, and was a b out to be burned a t the stake. Then he showed his strength o f purpose and his utteii fearlessness of death, for he endured the torture without a murmur. Just as his limbs were scorching, and death seemed cer tain, he was saved by a French officer. His uoble generosity was shown while he was doing scout duty. At the imnfin en t peril of his life he rescued a comrade who had been captured. He came out of the encounter with no fen er than fourteen bullet holes in his cl o thes. At Fort Edward when all the rest had fled be alone fought ba c k the flames which were separated by only a thin partition from the magazine where three hundred barrels of powder were stored. Expecting t o be b lown to pieces every moment, the undaunted hero kept up the fight and finally conquered the flames. He came out of the battle so burned that when he removed hi s gloves the skin came with them. He snperjntended the construction of the fortifications of West Point and held many other important positions. His deeds of daring were many, and he was always ready to risk his li f e in a just cause. On one occasion, when hotly p'ursued by a band of BritiSh, he escaped, with a bullet hole in his hat, ouly by riding down s u c h a steep declivity that the enemy did not dare to follow The British offer ed him gold and the rank of rna jorgeueral if he would desert 1the American cause but the incorruptible patriot scorned their offers; be would not sacrifice his honor. Such is the story of the life of one of America's noblest sons.


HuntiPq a n d Trapping Department. T his departmen t is brimf u l of i n formation and idea s of inter e st to the young trapper and hunter. W rit e us if yo u have ar.y questions to ask c onc erning these subjects, and they will b e a n swered i n a s pecial column. A d dress all communications to the Hunting and Tr a p ping D epartmen t." A Correspondenf s Questions. I r eacl with much interest e\ erv week the Trap. p i n g D epart111 e11t, which is cert ni1d al! right. Seein g in yo11r d epartment that all qil e s t io n s about liu11tiug aud trapping wot1ld b e a u s w erecl, I would be "\ery muc h pleased to see an : rn s we r in til e trapp e r s quiz colu1m1. I am intencliug and liave been for s e \ eral years, t o go u p North and try rny lucl.:: i11 the trappi11g line I am u sed to t h e woods a n d rougl1iu g it, but am not yery well informed in the trapping line:, h e u c:: I eagerl y read you r c olunrns. I wolllcl like t o l earn w hat size of traps to use and m ethod s of setting them fo r fflillk, 11H 1 skrats and mar t e n s, al:oo something about the metlwds o r sl.:inning t h a t i s to tak e the skins off \Yithont rippi1ig u p t h e back or stomach. Ai.i ; o, v vhat s i ze of a rifle to u se. Loudon, Canada. TRAPPE!{. A good deal of t h e informat io11 you ask for wi ll be fo und i11 recent number of the JESS E ].&,.:MES \\'r:E10,Y, espe c ially N o 22, wllic h c ontaius so111 e v al11able lii11t s o n the points you mention. So mauy questions s imilar t o your own have been received, howeve r that we w i ll answer a ll of your questio n s i n this nllrnber. The size of trap s for muskrats i s kJJow11 as N o r and has jaws whic h spread fonr inches. It i s especiall y designe d for the capture of the mi!!k, marte n :rni mal s o f s i m ilar size As for setting the traps, mucli m o r e i s required tlrn n i s generally s upposed. T h e mere fact oi a perso n s bei n g able t o set a trap clever l y and judicious l y forms but a small par t of h i s proficien cy, and unless h e 'euters deeper into the s u bj e c t a n d learns somet h ing o f the n ature and habits o f t h e a nimals h e i n t e nds t o c atch, h i s traps will b e set in vain or at best meet with but indi ffe r ent success. The sense o f smell, so largely developed i n m a u y a11in 1als, b ecomes one of the trapper's most s e rious o bstacle s and seems a t t i mes t o a mount almos t to positive reason, so perfectly d o the creatures b affle the mos t ingenious attempts of ma11 in h is e ffor t s t o capt ure the m In t h e art o f t rapping, t h e bait i s often entirel y d is pensed with, the traps being set and carefully conceale d i n the runw ays o f the v a r i o u s anim a l s. T hese by-paths are easily dete c ted by ai1 experience d trapper, and are imlicated either by footprints o r othe r evideuces of t h e animal, togeth e r with matted leaves and brok e n t wigs aud grasses. Natural cham1els, s n c h as hollow logs o r cre v ices b e tween rock,; or fa ll e n trees, off e r excellent s ituatio n s fo r steel traps The m ost e ffective baits u se d i n tbe a r t o f are those w hich are used t o attract the animal through i t s s e u s e o f smell as d i stinct from that of its mere appetite for food. T hese baits a r e k nown in the profes.sion medi ci ne," or sc ent baits, and the r emarkabl e power o f attractin g the various a nima l s from great distances, and leading them almost irresistibl y t o any d esired spot. S uch i s the bark s t o n e or castoreu m o t snch valu e in t h e capture of the beaver, and the o il o f auis e so commonl y used for the trapping of a n imals iu genera 1. In a ll cases avoid handli n g t h e trap w i t h the bare h and. Many a n a m a t e u r h a s set ;iu d r e set his traps in vain and r etired from the field o f trappin g i n d i sg11st from the mere want of observing t h i s rul e. Animal s o r keen scen t a r e quick: i11 the s lightest odors a m l that l ef t by t lie touch of a hum a n hand o f t ell s11ffices t o drive t lie creature a way from a trap which, under other circumstances, would have been i t s c ertain destrnctio n To be s u r e the various sc.e11t baits alre aciy a lluded t o wi.Jl in a rneasure human trac e s, but not a l ways e ffectually, and in o rder to insure s u c cess n o precautions s o s imple should be A pair of clean b ucksk i u gloves are yaluable requisites to the trapper, a n d s h ould al way s b e 'on hand" w h e n setting or tra nsporting traps. A s for skinning animals, this department of the trapper's art i s one o f the mos t important and n e c e s sary, as a ffecting pectmia.ry profits. The value of a skin in the


111 J THE JESSE J AMES STORIES. 31. fu r market depends enti re l y u pon t li e c a r e with whic h it i s t aken fr om t h e a n imal a n d af terward perpar ed, and w itho u t a k nm-vledge on this s u bj e c t t h e oung tra pper n ill in vain see k for h i g h p rice s for h is fu rs. Large quantitie s o f valuabl e skins are sent t o our m arke t s a n nua ll y by inexpe r i enced amat e u r trappe rs, a n d in many c ase s ra re and b e autiful furs have b e e n almost spoi led by want of care in skinui u g and curing. The rule s a r e sim p l e a n d e asily foll o we d, a little care b e i n g a ll tha t is n e c essary t q in sure mos t perfect s u ccess In e\'ery case the skin s h ould b e r e move d shortl y af t e r d e ath, or a t l e a s t befor e i t h as b e c ome tainted with decay. F ull d i r ec t ions we re g iv e n in this department last week W e know o f no way to skin anima l s w ithout ripping u p the b a c k or s t o m ac h Great 'pain s sboul d be taken in skinnin g. A v o id the adheren ce o f fle s h o r fa t to tbe skin, and g u a r d a ga i ns t cnlting through the h i d e, as a pi e rc e d s ki n i s m u c h in jmed in value The parts abou t eyes, legs and ears s ho u ld b e ca r efull y re111 o v e d In a ll case s the foi:s should be a ll ow e d l o d r y in a coo l airy place, fre e from t he o f the s u n o r t h e h e a t o f a fire a nd prot e c t e d from rn i u. Astri ngeu t preparat io n s of va r io u s k inds are u sed by man y trappe r s, but they are b y no m ean s necess ary. The most common dress in g co nsi sts o f eq u al part s o E roc k a n d alum, d i ss ol v e d i11 wate r. r;fnto this a s uffi c i e11t amount of c oa r se fiou r o r w h e a t b ra n i s stirr e d to giye the m i xtur e tbe co n s i s t ency of b atte r, af t e r w h i c h i t i s spr e ad t hi ckly over the skin and a ll owed t o

All Aboard for the New Contest! . THE D EEDS OF FAM.DUS MEN! 'fl' fl' 'ti' fl' HER.E IS THE PLAN: Look up what inte resting facts you c a n about any famous A m erican -living 01 dea d. I Chose anybod y you p lease-Washing t o n o r Lincoln, P aul Revere, or General Grant," Bob" E vans or Admi r a l Samp son, o r anybod y e lse you want to write abou t. Thc u 8it d owu un d I write a n arti c l e abou t him. 'l'ell all a b o u t him, t h e b rave deeds [ b e did, or the fam o u s words h e u t t e r cll, etc. All of the be s t a r t icles will be pub li s l i e d during the p r o g r ess of t h e contes t in a s p e ci a l departmeat of the J E SS E JAMES i W EEKLY. I No contributio n mus t be long e r than 500 word s REMEMBER: I Whether your contribut i o n wins a ri ze or not, it stands a good chance of b eing publis hed, togetiier with the name of I the writer. CAMERAS, MA61C LANTERNS, PENKNiVES AND P UZZL[ S GIVEN A'-VAYl The two who send u s t h e most i nter e R ti n g and best-written arti cles will each receive a first-class Ca m c r u c omplete w ith achromati c l e n s and loadecl with s h : exp osu r es each. Absolutel y ready fu r u se For s q uare 3 I-2 x 3 1-2 inches; capacity, s i x exposures without reloading; s i z e o f came r a 4 1-2 x 4 1 2 x 4 i uches ; weigh t 15 ounc e s ; well mad e, covered with grai n leatli e r n n d h a 1 ; d somely finis11ed The fiv e who send us t h e 11e x.t be s t a r t icle s will each r ec e i \ e a "Sterling" i\lag i c Lrrntcrn O u tfit together w i t h ?'!. admission tickets and a show bill. E a c h lantern i s IO m c h c s h i g h, I 4 inches in diame t er, wi t h a r inc h pianoc o mpl e x c ondet\; s i n g lens und a 3-4 i nc h doubl e o bj ectiv e l e n s U ses k erosene oil onl y I The fiv e who send u s t h e n ext best arti cles will each rece i v c I a Handsome P earl-Hand led Knife These kuwes h a v e each I four blades o f the best Bngl i s h steel, har d e n e d and t empere d 'rhe hand l e i s pearl t h e lining brass and the bol s ters German si l v e r For t e n next b es t des cript i o n s, ten sels of t h e latest and m o s t I enter t a i ni n g f'.u zz les a n d :::\o velties o n the m arl,ct, m :rn b cri;ig 1 three puzz les each, including U ncle I s a ac 'n P::wnsh o p Puzzle, I the Magi c M a rble Puzl',l e, a nd t h e D emon Outfit I 'l'o become a c o ntesta11t for the priz e s mus t cnt o u t the C haracter Conte1

JESSE JAMES STORIES Jesse James. WE w ere the first publi shers in the world to print the famous sto ries of the Jam es Boys, written by that remarkabl e man, W. B. Lawson, who s e name is a w atch w or d with our boys. We hav e had many imitators, and in order that no one s h all be deceive d i n acceptin g the spurious for the real, we are n ow publishing the best stories of t he J a me s B oy s, b y Mr. Lawson, in a New Library entitled" The Jesse James Stories," o n e o f our big fiv e-cent weeklies, and a sure w i nner. with the boys. A numb e r of i ss u e s h av e already appeared, and t hese wh i c h foll ow will be equally good; in fact, the b est of their kind in the world. S T REET & S MITH, Publishers, New York. BuFF ALO BILL 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 Buffa lo Bill, the great hero w ho se life has been one succe ss ion of excit-' ing and t hrilling incidents com bined with g re a t s uccesses and acc omp li s h ments all of wh i ch will be told i n a se r ies of gran d s torie s which we are now placing before the American Boys. T he popularity they have already obtained shows what the bo y s want, and is very gratifying to the publishers. STREET & S MITH, Publishers, New York. NlCK CARTER STORIES THE best known detec tive in the world is NiC'k Carter. Stories by 1 this noted sleuth are issued regularly in "Nick Carter Weekly" (price five cents), and all his Nick Carter. work is written for us. It may interest the patrons and readers of the Nick Carter Series of Detective Stories to know that these famous stories will soon be produced upon the stage under unusually elaborate circumstances. Arrangements have just been completed between the publishers and Manager F. C. Whitney, to present the entire set of Nick Carter stories in dramatic form. The first play of the series will be brought out next fall. '-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." Diamond Dick and his son Bertie are the m-0st 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 size and price as this publication, with hand some illuminated cover. Price, five cents. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, New York.


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