The James brothers' big prize, or, Robber against robber

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The James brothers' big prize, or, Robber against robber

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The James brothers' big prize, or, Robber against robber
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
32 p. ; 26 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
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.
Resource Identifier:
028820651 ( ALEPH )
07356863 ( OCLC )
J14-00038 ( USF DOI )
j14.38 ( USF Handle )

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' A WffKLY DfALlftG Wlfff Of C RIPIE -Issued TVeelly. By Subscriptio n $2.5 0 per yea r Etftered as Class I.fa tter at tire N. Y. P o 1 t Office, 'by STREET cl SMITH, 238 Willi11m St. Y Ent e re d acc o r ti i n K t o Act of Conpe ss i11 tlte year IQ02, i n the Office o f the Librarian of Congress, V/aslti nrto11. D. C. No. 38. NEW YORK J anua r y 25, 1902. Price Five Cents. THE JAMES BROTHERS' Blfi PRIZE; OR ReBSER 1-\G1\INST RBBER. By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER I. THE B.\N K PERIL. "In o n e minute yo u will b e a d ead man!., There was sil ence for an ins tant, and th e n fr o m th e summit of a wooded hill away to the so uth came t w o pist o l s h ot s, fir ed i n quick succes s i o n. "The re's the s ignal, partner." One of the two m e n t h e re in the thi c ket \\ ith r e vo l ver s p o inte c l at t h e h eart of an unarme d 111211 nervo u s l y th e c :irection of the so und a s h e s p o ke. .. Y es," w as the r e ply ' th e r e s so m e o n e coming. \Y e mu s t make quick w ork o f i t n o w .' The fa-st speaker made a m otio n o f di sapprov al and p o int e d toward the so uth. '' \ Ve may a s well 1rnit unti l they pa ss ,' he said. On every side stre t c h e d the rol ling hill s and plea sant valley s of K e ntucky It was early morning in the m onth of l\Iarch, and o v e r hill and field, and ple asant fo r est glade lay th e warm, s1veet sun s hin e o f the S o uth. But th e evi l-fa ce d m e n s ta11ding th re atenin gly b e fore 1 h e handso me muscular y oung fello w they h a d d oo111e d t o d eat h 1vere n o t thinki n g o f th e beanty of th e m o rn i ng, o r of the sc e ne in whi c h they s t ood. They \\-er e th e re to commi t a bruta l cowardl y murde r, a nd \\er e thinking o nly o f the gold they 11cr e t o re ceive fo r th e d ee d. The thre e m e n the ca ptiY e an d th e capt o rs lis t e n e d m t c nt l y for a m o m ent with o ut The r e 1rns a gkam of h o p e in th e earnes t Lro1rn e ye s o f th e yo un g man who s t o od th e re so near hi s death. lJis a;m s w e re c ro sse d up o n hi s brea s t, but every n e rve and mus cle in hi s s plendid form 11 a s a lert, an

2 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. leaned fonrard and made an eff ort t o sec through fa e thi c k fringe o f bushes wh i ch shut out th e country road The n ext instant the cold muzzle of a r e v o lver came in contact \Yith his forehead. "One word o n e moti o n d es i g n e d t o attract atte ntion, and you fall dead in y our trac k s." The v o i c e wa s 10\v and si11ooth, but all th e pas s ion s of the evil one s eemed to flas h from th e e y es o f t h e s p e aker. Griffit h drew back. '.fhe gleam of ho p e died out o f his e ye s . Out there b eyo nd the line o f underbrush whi c h s kir te d the tme ven r o a dway, t h e r e was life, and all that life means to the xoung and strong. But here, onl y a f e w yards away, death p e ered fr o m the shining muzzles of tl:e de s p eradoe s' wea po ns. The v o i ces o f t h e two h o r se m e n co uld n ow be d isti nctly heard. I d on't understand th os e pis t o l s h o t s on e of th e m said. "They sound e d li/'e a s ignal. '] t might have be e n a du e l in the w oo d s," said the other. with a la ugh "The p eo ple dO\rn h e r e arc lfp to that sort of thing .. "If I a m not 1m,tc h mi stakrn, s aid the fir s t speake r, ''the s h ots b o th ca me from th e s a1m : gun. 'vV c s hould h a ve investigated the matte r. ''If th e r e i s an y c hanc e for exc it e m ent in i t wa s the repl y '' let u s r e turn. I am tire d o f the laz y lik w e are leading." I am a trifle w eary m yse lf,' said th e o tb e r, "but w e strike acti o n sooner than y o u i1112g ine Every word ca:rn.: cle arl y t o the cars o f the m e n \ Y ai t ing in the thicket. The desperad o e s hardly brca t he cl. They w e r e anxious fo r the spe a k er s t o pa ss a l o n g, m ordeT that t hey might s e t ab o u t th e ir b loody task. Gri ffith. r eso lvin g t o make o ne d es per a t e effo r t for his Ii fe, gathere d all hi s strength for o n e qni c k s p ring. Befor e he c o uld carry out hi s int e nti o n lio1nver. a hand was laid h eavil y o n his should er. The face o f t h e desperado standing th ere b y his side, w as pale as death and his breath c ame hot o n the young man s cheek. In a mom ent Grifnth un de r s t o o d 11 ha t had happe n ed. The hors emen had ha lt e d i n t h e ro a d, dir e c tly in fr o n t of the l itt l e gronp A muttered o ath escap e d from the lip s of the d esperado a s he bent forward and listened It was evident that the horsemen .had dismounted, and w e r e preparing to e nter the t hi cket. "They have dis cover e d th e marks of th e s cuffle we had in the r o ad said t he fell o w who had seized G riffi t h "and \\ e mu s t fight if we r e ma i n h e r e S h all w e retreat? By wa y o f an swe r th e f ello w's c o mpanion pointed tO\v arci th e road 'It i s t o o l a te," h e sa id. T h e new comers \\ ere G e t y our gun ready alr e ad y forcing thei r way thro u g h th e h e a vy underbrus h and in a m oment wou l d be within si g h t of the three m en. The de sperado was about to take hi s hand frbm Griffith' s s h o ulder in orde r that he might go into th e fight with two w ea p o n s in s t ea d of on e wh e n he caught the expr ess i o n o n th e lat t er s fa c e "Oh, y ou cant g e t a way," h e sa id, with a fierc e oath 'Tl! bl o w y our brain s out fir st!'' H e l e v e l e d hi s ;evol ver as h e s p o ke. The se c ond d es p e rado sprang forward. You mns t b e mac!," h e s aid. ' S av e your b ull ets for th e m e n wh o are armed The r e m o n st ran ce cam e t o o lat e T h e d e s p e r a do fir e d The bull e t 1 Y h i zzecl harml es!'. l y o v e r th e h e a d of t h e i n t e n de d vic tim. With a qui c k moti o n o f his hand, G riffith had thrown up th e muzzle o f the revolver and darted awa y The m e n c o uld be heard forcing their wa y through the thick underbru s h ancl young man to o k that direction M o re th a n o n e bull e t whi z zed pa s t his cars, but he re main e d uninjure d for the d es perado es 1\ ere t o o e xcited l o s h oot well." Jn a m o m ent m o r c he wod ld b e b eyond th e r e a c h of his purs u e r s The n at t h e very edge of th e lin e o f bu s he s hi s foot ca u ght in a tan gle of vin es, a nd h e fell h e a vily to the ea rth. J 11 a Eeconcl, b efor e h e could m a k e a m o ve to g e t on his fee t th e d es p erado stood o v e r b im, the muzzl e o f hi s pistol pres sing against hi s bre a s t "Fate is again s t you, he s aid grimly G riffith realizing that su c cessful was impossible. clos ed his eyes. ! "This i s th e last o f earth," he thoughr.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES .. He heard the strangers advancing through the thicket,_ but the sounds seemed miles away. The distance between that lead .en me ssenger and his heart was so very short Then he heard the sharp report of a pistol. He wondered that he still possessed the of th ought and motion. In a second, however, he realized that he \Yas unin jured, although he could not understand why. Surely there had been no chance for hi"s enemy to miss his aim. Then he heard a fall, and knew that some h e avy b ody was holding him down. Something vvarm sp urted over his face and hands. He held up the latter to find them covered with blood. There was another pistol shot, and another fall, and then the young man put aside the dead body of the des perado, which had fallen across his breast, and staggered to his f eet. It see;;-ied an age since, tripped by the tangled vines, he had fallen to the ground, although less than a minute had elapsed. "Clos e call that, stranger." Two men, vvearing wide-brimmed slouch hats, and clad in stout, serviceable garments, stood leaning on repea ting rifles just at the edge of the thicket. Both \\ere very mu scu lar, and both would have been handsome but for the dare-devil cruelty which found expression in their eyes. The younger man certainly not more than frve-andt\Ye nty years of age, wore a heavy beard while his com panion, whom he greatly resembled had only a m'-'S tache. It was easy to see lhat the men were closely related to eac h other. Besides the rep eat ing rifl es, which they carried in the ir they each carried two h e avy re vo lver s in their belts. In ste ppi1;g fornard to me e t the men who had saved his life, the young mans foot came in contact with the form which but a m o ment befor e had pinned him to the ear th. He stooped <\ vn and laicl his finger on the wrist. was n o t the faintest flutter of the pulse. The desperado Lad been s hot through the heart. "One shot is enough, ch, Frank?" said the younger man with a light laugh. "It was in your case, J esse," was the reply, "but my man see m s to b e moving yet." Griffith now approached the two men. "You ha ve saved my life," he sai ''The men who make and execute the laws are his friend s and confederates."


4 'THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "You are in hard luck," said he who had been called Jesse. "Yon have still one remedy, however." "And that is--" "To m e et your enemy alone, in a quiet place, and get the dirop on him. Do, you understand?" Griffith shuddered. "I can't do it," he said. At tha t moment the desperado who had b e en r.eferred to as only wounded was seen to make motion s as if desirous of the men to his side. "Vv e may l earn s omething rcgarcfo1g the matter from him," sai

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. there was more than o n e who sec r e tl y di slike d and mi s trusted him. :t\ o o ne kn e w whe r e all the money h e d e p os it e d in the v illage bank came from-that i s, no o n e outs ide of his familiars Every m onth his deposit s amounted to about one hundre d tho usand dollars, and the money was never drawn out for u se, but was sent to the large cities and invested in s t ocks and b onds Pratt arose from the table, carrying 111 his hand a m e moran dum of the amounts in n o t es and coin and s t o o d b y the \ Y i nclo\' ; overlooking the vall ey to t h e n orth. "Th e r e is g a in ove r l as t m o n t h," h e mut t ered "I all m y a ff airs w e r e in a s good s h ape a s i s this branc h of m y busi n ess .. Ile s t oo d the r e by t h e \Yindo\Y a long time, \Yat chin g the road which w ent do w n into the v alley. P r ese ntl y a h o r se m a n riding furio u s l y, das hed out o f a thicket fa r dmrn in the h ollow, and spnrred his horse tow a rd th e v illage. A m o m ent later t w o m o r e h o r se m e n made the ir appeara nc e, h o t in pt1r suit of the fir s t ride r Andrew P r att shut his t eeth hard as h e watche.J the exc it in g r ace. "The foo l. the b li n d fool," h e mutte r e d "to ride t hi s \Ya\ whe n d e t ecte d and foll o\Yc d If the m e n who arc trave lin g so cl os e to his h o rse's h ee l s s a w anything d own the r e in the forest, Mott's c om:se w ill rui n u s b oth." But t h e fir s t r id e r gain e d slmd y o n hi s purs u e r s, w h ose h crs'Cs see m e d to b e a nythin g bu t fres h The n t h e m a n a t the windO \\ s a \\' a Has h of s t ee l and the n e x t m o m e n t t w o l i g h t puffs of s m o k e circl ed in the ai r abov e the h ea d s of t h e "Th e d ev i ls arc s hootin g a t h i m," g r oane d the old man. "They nms t have see n so m ething t errible i n the woo d s to j u s t i f y such a course.' But t h e bullets o f t h e pnrs uers. see m e d t o g o 1yiclc o f the ir mark, for the m a n in advance ro d e on uninjured. A ft e r firing the second time the t w o riders put up th e i r gun s and turne d their h o r ses in t o the thic k e t again. In a m o m e n t they w e r e out o f sight. The n t h e man who m P ratt had call e d Mott d ecreased In a s hort time the r e came a quick, sharp knock on the doo r of the room w h e r e the old man stood. "Co m e The door opened, .and the man who had bee n in deadly peril but a fe w moments before stepped, smiling, into the room. "Well?" Pratt advanced toward the f e ll o w as he s poke. There was a strained, cager l oo k on the old man' s face, and his hand trembled a s he laid it on the table for supp ort. : \Iott thre1\ himself into a chair, and lit a cigar. He see m e d to enjo y the ago n y of impatienc e \Yhic h marke d the co ld face o f h is c ompanio;1. I saw what took place dO\Yn there in the h o ll o \\'," Pra t t s aid, ina moment. Y o u mean the rac e and the s hooting? "Certa inly.'' You should have se en what t ook place in the thicket." T ell me about it. Is everything all right?" "Yes, everything i s all right. There arc three dead men clown in the valle y "Three?" Pratt sank into a c lrair and co v ered h is. fac e wi t h his hands ::VIott r egarded him with a hare: stare for a m o m ent, and then broke into a laugh. ''You are not in church n o w, he said, "so don' t pose. It i s hardly worth your while. Things could n o t be in b ette r shape. "But I d on't understand. " Y o u ,sa \\ the m e n who pursued me?" "Ye s." \ Vell, they kill e d Jim and : Mack, and I did the. same kind office for your very good friend Griffith." "You ?" u Y es. It see m s that Jim and M;.-ck got the drop on G riffith and were about to earn their money in good shape, \\ h e n the m e n you saw came up and s e t tl e d their has h.'' 'Go otl." I h eard the shots and crept down into the valley. I the s p eed of hi s h o r se, and b y the ti m e he reac h e d the m e t Griffith working his way out o f the thicket, and you g e ntl e emine n ce upo n which the h o u se stood, there was know what followed. nothing un t 1 s ual in his appearance. "I am sorry for Jim and Mack."


6 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES "Pshaw! Their tongues \Yere too Jong. It is just as well that they are out of the way. Vvhew but those fellows gave me a hard run. Pratt walked to the window, and stood looking out into the valley. "Three dead m e n in that quiet patch of \\ood s," he said. "There will be great excite m ent whe n the bodi es arc discovered." "I suppose so. "And you will b e by the men who pursued you. It was a rash step, yom coming here. It may ruin everything." Mott laughed uneasily. "You ha ve n othing to fear from th em," he s aid. "vVhat do you mean? " They dare not show themselves here." Pratt l oo ked a t his compani o n in amazement. ""Why not?" he asked. There is a price o n both their heads ." Do you mean that there are rewards out for them?" ", r ewards amount ing to more than twenty thousand d o llar s "In Heaven's name, who arc they?'' "Frank and Jesse Jam es!" P ratt glanced at the mone y o n the table and, almost in voluntarily, dropped his hand toward hi s pi stol -p ocke t. Mott saw the m o tion and smiled grimly. "How do yo u know that the men you saw are Frank and J esse James?" demanded Pratt. ''You forget that I lived for years in Cli;iy Coun ty, :'.\Iis souri, the h o me oi th e Jam es b oys." "True." There was a s h ort silence, during \\hich Pratt nervously rattled a heap o f g old pieces w ith one white, tre1?1bling finger. Do you think th ey will come here? he asked, finall y "The y are h e r e." You know what I mean. Do you think they sus pect that s u c h a sum of money i s in this house?" I don't know \Yhat to think. They may have heard of your habit oi depositing a large s um in bank at one time.'' Pratt began gathering up the money. ''I'll hide it awa y," h e sai d and have the house guar ded.' :r.Jott srnilecl g rimly, and amu sed \1imself by t oss ing a gok' piece int o the air and catching it. "The Jame s b oys arc not sneak thieves or burglars," he s aid "If they take a notion to r e liev e you of this wealth, they will probabl y ride through o ne of the l owe r windows and take it, all in the broad light of day.'' "It's just my luck to hav e them show up at this time," grumbled Pratt. ''I c an 't understand how the y came to s hoot Jim and M ack. " They saw two men blazing away at o ne, I suppose, and it was like t h e m to take a hand in the game. I \von der if they went back to Griffith after the y grew \Yeary of shooting at me? Pratt started. "Suppo se Griffith s h o uld n ot be dead," he said, with a tremble in his voice. "But he is dead ," was the reply. "There \\ as not the slightest m o tion in pulse or heart. Poor Be rtha!" "Why do you say that?" demarided Pratt, an angry flush creeping into his face. "You murder your rival, and then become sentimental over his death. Mott's face grew grav e in an instant. I can never win your daughter 's heart, he said. "You talk nonsens e," wa s the r e pl y "No w that Griffith is out of the way, you have a clear field. Mott made no r e ply He walked up and down the little r oo m for a moment, and then turned almost fie rcely upon his companion. "vVhere did you frrst n\eet Griffith ?" he demanded. "You have al w ays remained silent regarding him. Pratt looked s urprised but he answered r eadily enough He came here and found employment in the bank." Yes ." "And finally prese n te d letter s of introduction to me." "Fro m whom?" "From a-a r e lativ e in Philadelphia. "Well?". "Years ago I k11e\\ his father, and we had some deal ings together. We parted in anger, and the cider Griffith went to the dog s I have n eve r see n him since we close d our business rdaiio n s." "I can imagine how yo u closed them,'' said Mott, dryly "Well, Philip came here, and fell in love with m y daughter. His lov e was returned Then th('. young fel lo w began to investigate the affairs of the old firm of Griffith & Pratt .. ''The more fool he. What did he discov er?"


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 7 "That every dollar I am \\orth actuall y belonged to h im:' Whew!" "Every dollar,'' r epeated the o l d man. "vVhy didn't you let him marry t h e girl?" Pralt 'sprang to hi s f.eet in a "I hated the s igh t of him," h e "I swore that h e should n e v e r touch a dollar of my money-should n eve r become the husband of the s pl endid woman who will inherit it all. You see how I have kept m y YO\Y. He. lies there in the thicket:' "But by n o act of yours. After your murderers had failed, I was obliged to kill him in self-defense." "In selfdefen se And he was unarmed .. :;\fott turned hi s eyes to the floo r and made no repl y. He was a s niall man, wit h pale blue eyes and very light hair. "r-Ii s for e h ea d \Vas low and retreating, and the whol e expr essio n o f hi s freckled fa ce was that of cunning. He had been in the place bttt a few n i o n t h s, and was dis l iked in the little village. He 1\as known as "Pratt's clerk," and it \\'as generally believed that h e ''had some hold on the o ld man.'' N" o one s uspected that the mil cl-looking little fel low \\ as one of Pratt's truest agents in an unlawful sc h eme, and had, therefore, beco m e aln.10st a necessity in the maguificent re s id ence o n the hill. A t once cunning, brave and un scrupulo u s, :-Iott \ras just the tool Pratt nceclecl in hi s business. .:\ fter a short silence, ::VIott poi11ted to the money, '.d1ich t]l c o id man was p;icking into. a s maller space o n th e table . "\Vhat arc you goin g t o do \ri th it ?" h e asked. 'Put it in bank." 'With the James. b o ys in the ricighbor ho?d ?" Pratt looked perplexed. .. Wher e s h a ll I put it ?" h e demanded. "Keep i t in th e house fo r a clay o r two." Tbc old man began packing the rnc m, into a h uge l eather valise 'Tl! hide it away so m e wh e re," h e said. passed through the cloonyay, and started down stairs. Pratt calle

8 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. One of th e m sprang to the ground, and darted into the hall whiJ,e the other k ept t.he old man and his clerk and guards cove r ed with t\YO h e avy 1'evolv ers "If yo u don t \ yant the tops of your head s blown off," h e said i n the c alm est to n e in the w o rld, "stru1d where yo u arc, and t11ro\Y up your hand s \Ve o nl y want the money the o ld man there s tole fr o m the peopl e last month." old man cri e d out to hi s guards to protect him but all stood h e lpl ess b efo r e the flashing, cruel eyes o f J esse J a m es. CHAPTER III. \\"H.\ T DE C.\Cl-lE OF THf: BL.\CK V.\LISE. \Vhen Jesse James s pran g int o the h a llway of the Pratt re sidence, l\fott dodged back so as t o place the guards b e tween him se lf and the dar,in g robber. He knew that th e James boy s \YOtd

THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo 9 O n e mu s cu lar fello w evi de n tly armed wit h a p i st ol, lower e d h i s hand. T h e r e w a s a qui c k sharp r e p ort, a nd t he fello w lay dead o n t h e floo r o f th e hall. The o th e r s cro wd e d b ack aga i n st th e w all. "Thi s i s no t im e for foolis hn e ss ." As h e sp o ke, Jes s e r a i s e d th e valis e f r o m t h e p face w h ere i t had fal l e n and hac k e d s l ow l y a w ay towar d t h e fro nt. Be qui c k J esse Shots w e r e now h eard in th e s treet. A sco r e o r m o r e of th e village r s we r e ad v a n cing u po n t h e ro b9e r s T h e w o rd s w e r e hardl y o u t of the elder bro th e r' s mo n th w h e n rt rifl e b all pas s ed thro u g h hi s coat s l eeve. J e s se, carryin g t h e h eavy vali s e i n h i s h an d sp rang to w a rd hi s h o r se. T h e m e n in s i de t h e h o u se w e r e s t ill c o ve r ed b y th e re vo lve r s in F ran k s h a nd s but m th e ge n e r a l exc i te m e n t t h e y rus h e d forll'ard Mott darte d toward t h e r ear doo r an d di sa ppear ed, close l y follo \red by a bull et fro m the out l aw's weap on T h e next m o rhent h e was see n run ning to w ard th e grou p of arme d m e n. ';S h oot h e s h o ut e d exc it ed ly. "Sh oot t h e m dow n l ike d ogs They a r e F r a nk a nd Jesse James! T h e a nn o un ce m e n t did n ot h ave th e des ir e d effect. I nstea d of advanci n g w i t h a ru s h the m e n c lr e \ r b ack For an i n sta n t n o o n e \\ a s br ave e nough to e ngage i n de a d l y combat \rit h the n o t ed o utl'aws. Sh o o t, s h oot, s h oot!" r oa r e d ::viot t. "Th e m a n w h o brings o n e o f th e m clo\rn r ece i ves a re\': a r d of twenty t h o u s and dollar s !" The n g r e ed too k t h e p l ace of co ur age. A scatte rin g fir e swept alo n g st reets. But the m e n wer e exci t e d a n d th e bullets flew w i de o f their mark. By thi s tim e J esse wa s in th e s ad dle, an d th e h o r ses' h e a d s w er e turned towar d th e n o rth. F r a n k had t h e s tron ge r a n im al, a nd t h e h e a vv v alise w as passed ove r to him. No1Y s h oot to kill! s h o u te d J esse The o utlaw s set spurs t o the ir h o r ses, a n d da s h e d a w a y s hoo ting t o th e r ight, aud andrear a s t h ey went. Pratt, w ho, on acco u n t o f his year s a n d app::ire n tly f e e bl e c onditi o n h a d r ece i ved o nl y a s l ight b l ow stagge r e d to hi s f ee t as t h e m e n s ped aw ay. H i s fir s t t h o u ght w as o f th e hu ndred th o usand dollars i n t he v ali se, n ow r esting easi l y o n t h e fron t of F r ank J am es s addl e His rage a m o unted a l most t o ins a n ity whe n he saw that t h e m01iey 1rns gone. "Y 01 1 are all cowa r d s h e s h o: tt c d s h aking his frsts a t th e group of m e n a b o u t him . .l\fot t tried in vai n calm h i m \Ve w e r e four t o o n e h e s h o ut ed, "and yet t h ey robbed m e in my ow n h o u s e a nd i n t h e broad lig 'ht o f day T h e you n g m a n pointed to th e ck::.\ m a n l ying o n t h e floor of th e hall way '"H e resi s t eel t h e ro b be r s," h e saic:, "and yo n sc:c what hap p e n e d to him". The o ld m a n clas h e d in to t h e st r eet, i n time to see a sec o nd m a n fall b efore t h e d ea dl y aim o f J e sse J a mes. T h ose wh o wer e n ot i n active pursui t of t h e ro bb e r s gath e r e d a r o un d P r a t t, w ith expressio n s o f sym p ath y o n th e ir lip s B u t t h e o l d m a n wo uld n ot l iste n "After them!" h e scr ea m e d ; Ten tho u sa n d dolla r s to th e ma n w h o re s t o r -es yo nd e r black valise." "An d te n t h ousand ex t ra for t h e J arnes boys," adde d Mott; ,;a n d t h e r e 1rnr d h o lds g o od w h et h e r they a r e b r o u g h t bac k de ad o r alive." Mott pr e f erre d having th e me n b ro u g h t b ac k dea d He did not care to h a ve th e o nl y w it ness to hi s c ow a r d l y s hoot i n g in th e t hi c k e t put o n tri a l i n that com muni ty Pratt continu e d t o r a v e up and clown th e st r eet, ca llin g fran t i call y for a h 0 r se and a g un. "The r e i s tre ach e r y so m e wh e r e," h e sai d H ow did th e vi llain s l earn th a t th e m o ney w a s in th e h o u se?" H e l o oked su s pi c i o u s l y at Mot t as h e gav e u t t e r a nce t o thi s l ast expressi o n 'No o n e kn ew th e mo n e y w a s ther e," he c o ntinued "exce pt t h e m embe r s of m y ow n fa mil y There i s s ome t hin g ver y s u s pi c i o u s a bo ut th e w h o l e affair-s omething w hi c h mu s t be ex plain e d." M o tt l a id hi s hand on th e o l d man 's a rm. Be c areful \\'hat y ou say," he s aid. "Do yo u th ink


10 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. young Griffith, in his cap a city of clerk at the bank, If Griffith was alive, that surely was the easiest way to kne\r ? ' find him "1Ie knew that it i s custom to make a very large Jn the mean t ime, Frank and Jesse James, pursued by as d eposi t ab ou t t his time in t h e month," repli ed th e o ld wild and rev e ngeful a m o b as eve r chased an ontlaw, at a man. safe distance, were riding fast fo r their liv es. Mott turned away, with a scared l oo k o n his face T h eir h o r ses were not the bl oode d anima!S they u s ually ':It is barely poss ibl e,' he thought, ''that neither one rode, and the riders behind gained slow l y upo n them. of my shots i11fticted a fatal wou nd. In that case, the robb e r s might have rec e iv e d the ir information from Griffith Yes, that i s the on l) wa) the occmrence can be ac counte d fo r.'' -But \\here was G riffith? Had the James bo ys co nvey ed him to a plac e of safety? There wa s n o t a doubt of it in tr 1 e minds of the sc h e m-ing young man, \\'ho had l'eso rfed to such desperate m ea n s for tne ren:oya l of hi s riva l but a few h o urn before. 'If Griffith sti ll lives," h e t h ought, "I s hall no peace, night or c lay. I must learn t h e truth at all hazards, and se ttl e th e matter. for good and all." As a matter of fact, Griffith was found, a few clays la ter, in a cabin i;1 ti!:; 11oods, where the James b oys had taken h i m. A number of horsemen now r o d e up, and, after a short c o nsultatio n clashed dGwn the valley road. The James boys were still in sight, and now an cl then a s hot was fired after them. Mott gave a whispered order to a servant, and in a very s hcrt time was m ounted o n ba c k of the sp l endid animal whose speed had already once saved his life that clay. Instea d of joining in the pursuit, howe ver, h e spurred bis horse down a narrow lane and ca m e o ut, after a short ride, o n a road running parallel wit h the one take n by the robb e rs. Then h e to the north, and forced hi s horse along at the top of hi s speed. "If they have a hiding-pla ce anywhere in this par t of the country," h e thought, "it c ertainly i s l ocated in the v ic{nity pf yonder rocky hills, and there Gri ffith will he found, i f b e i s s till alive." Mott bad ho idea that the James bo ys would be either killed or capture d and his idea was to reach some point in the wild l oca lit y toward which he was riding, from which h e might observe the actions of the outlaws, who had had plenty of time tq remove and care for .the. wounded man. l:;:Talf-way down the valley, J esse turned in his saddle, a11cl l ooked ba ck at the flyin g h o r se m en. Ther e were at least a score of them. In five m inu tes," he sa id, "th ey 11il\ he within shoot ing distance." 'Yes, said the elder brother, "and w e must tpink as well as act. Have yo n any scheme in m ind? ' J essc s ho o k hi s h ead "v\. ai t until the time comes,'' h e sai d. In a very s h ort time the bull ets of t h e pursuers were whizzin g past t h e ears o f the outla 1 1 s. 'This \rill never do,'' said Frank. 'We may as w ell tur n into t h e thicket here, and abandon our h o r ses." "Tha t is a slow way of getting out of the country," suggested the younger broth e r "It can't be h e lped." was the r e ply "On ce in the s h elter of the 1rnods, we may elude t h e m until we can pick u p decent h o rs es. \ Ve shall be killed if w e continu e 111 our present course. Just ahead was a l ittle bend in the road. It \;;-as agree d that. 11 he11 th:ey r eached that point they should turn their horses into. the t hicket on one s id e of the highway, and take to the woods on the oth er. Jn this way t h ey might throw th e ir pur suers off t h e track fo r a short time vVe a1c almost there?., s h oute d l'rank, in a moment. \i\T h e n the bend concea l s us from view, force your h ors.e into the woo d s o n the right, an cl jump for the opposite' si de of the road. The 1 1 orcls \\ ere hardly out of h is m o n t h when the sound of h oo f s came from the direction of the turn. Cornered!" 'Out with your g un s and shoot!" The next moment the outla\vs 11hirled around the little turn. Ther e they found themsei_ ves confronted by. fom horse men. Alarmed by t h e shooting in the direct i o n of the village,


THE t)ESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 the planters living farther down the valley had armed themselves, and started for the scene of the disturbance. Behind the four came half-a-dozen others. As the James boys dashed aroimd the bend, the planters halted their horses, and stood in a silent, threatening line across the narrow road. Every man had his r e volver ready for use. "Halt!'' The answer was quick and to the roint. It came in the shape of a volley of pistol balls. Two horses galloped away riderless. "Straight ahead, Frank!" Down with them, Jesse!" The daring men swept beyond the first line in a second, but there were the horsemen farther down the road! "Are you hit?" Jesse asked the question, as Frank swayed in his saddle. "It is nothing," was the reply. "Shoat at the men in the middle of the road, and keeQ moving." The men ahead bunched their horses and waited for the attack. TI1ey did not intend to allow the men who had murdered their neighbors before their eyes to escape. "Shoot at the horses!" shouted one. "Shoot at the riders!" shouted another. "Ride them down!" muttered Jesse James, between his set teeth. And ride them down they did. The shock of the <;ollision forced three men from the saddle, and the steady weapons of the outlaws emptied two more. Crack! Crack! Crack! The bullets flew like hail, but for a moment the James boys kept their seats. Then Frank's horse fell heavily to the ground, landing the rider in a cluster of bushes to the left of the road. Jesse sprang from his horse and darted in,t() the thicket. The pursuers from the village galloped around the bend. Frank and Jesse gained the shelter of t\rn giant trees. ''After them, boys!' "They are hiding behind the trees!'' "Into the wood.s r But the pi.1rsuers did not charge into the \VOod_s. They contented themselves with shouting and firing at random. They w e re too cautious to again place themselves within range of the death-dealing weapons of the James boys. As none of the bullets thus fired, without pmpose, C..'\: cept to make a noise, came \\'\ thin several yards of the trees behind which Frank and Jesse had taken refnge, the boys felt comparatively safe. They frnished reloading their weapons. As the James boys dodged from tree to tree, Indian fashion, the firing in front, which had gradually died away, was resumed with increased vigor. "That's strange," said Jesse, pausing behind the tree which sheltered his brother; "the firing has shifted to the north and east." "That's a fact," replied the other. "Wnatever they are doing, they are not shooting at us." The brothers stood still, unable to account for t.he strange and fortunate occurrence. Presently the hoarse, excited voice of one of the vil lagers reached their ears. "Ee careful!" he shouted to some companion in the dis tance. "They have confecferates on the east side of the road. lVIartin just got a ball in the back." "That explains it all," said Frank, with a smile. "Cole Younger, Jim \Vhite and the Shephard hoys are over there, stirring up the animals after the old style." Jesse gazed at his brother in amazement. "I didn't know they were in the State," he said. "I left them up in Nelson County," said Frank, "and it was understood at the time of my departure that they were to come here." "And you never said a word to me about it?" ';There was plenty of time," \\'as the reply. "They were not due l:iere until next week." ''Well," said Jesse "they came just in time. vVe may as well work over that way, and take a hand in this new game." "The outlaw start e d away as he spoke. Frank called him back. "'Wait," he said. "Wait? What for?" Jesse seemed very much annoyed.


1 2 JESSE JAMES STORIES. "The boys can take care of themselves," said Frank, in explanation. "But we want to be in at the death, don t we?" "The chances are, replied Frank, "that they are and that they opened up on the mob for the express purpose of giving us a chance to get away, for they must have ki:own that we up the rumpus." Jesse was not satisfied. "We'll lose track of them," he said, "if we stand idle here." Frank p o inted to a rocky ridge, some distance to the north. "\tVe are to meet them there," he said. "\tVell, lefs be moving," said Jesse, impatiently. "\Ve want to recapture that black valise .. "Yes, curse the luck! said Frank. Only for the old \.vound that kept me in bed so Jong in Nelson County, I could have carried it away. \tVhat a fall the horse did give me!" "You had all you could do to carry yourself away,'' said younger brother, with a smile. I thought for a moment that you had been strnck by a bull e t, and knocked out for good." Frank threw open his c oat and ve st, and revealed a b l ood-stained shirt. "It is only a t'rifle, ., h e s aid. "I was lucky to get off so easily. You came off without a scratch, as usual?'' "Yes without a scratch. Let us be moving." CHAPTER IV. A RUN ON THE BANK, " the street !" I With the reins in their teeth, they shot right and left. Relentless as doom itself, the outlaws dashed on. "Keep in your houses, and keep quiet!" shouted the leader to the frightened people, as the band galloped along, "and you shall not be harmed ." Half a block from the bank two members of the band drew rein and faced to the rear. This was clone in ;iccorclanc e \Yith orders previously is sued. The robbers had no idea of allowing a crowd to collect about them while they were stripping the bank. Thus guarded in the rear, the raiders swept on to the bank. Jesse James and Cole Y o un g er sprang from their horses and enter ed. The other m embe rs of the party remained on guard in the street. An occasional shot notified the men in the bank that th e ir sen tin els were attending strictly to business It was just after nine o'clock, and the cashier had r e cently opened th e s afe. \Vhen Jesse and Younger entered the books were lying on the counters, read y for the clei'ks to begin the labors of the clav. The cashier wa s busy a heap of gold c oin. Never mind that,"' said Jes se. "\tVe"JJ take your \\"Ord for the amount." The cashier looked np to see a pair of revolvers within an i;1ch of his nose. He understood the situation in a moment. His :flrst thought was of the bank fi.mds. He sprang toward the safe the door of \\"hich s tood "Into your houses, every one of you!" \Yicle open. "Straight ahead to the bank, boys!" His idea was to close and lock it. The exclamations were liberally punctuated with pistol Then th e robbers would secure onl y the s mall amount shots. of rnoney on the paying teller's desk. A dozen horsemen headed by Jesse and Frank James, But the cashier did not have time to clos e the safe. were riding furiously down the village str e et, in the di rection of the bank. The clatter of hoofs brought the residents of th e plac e to their doors and windows, but the volleys of bullets "Stop!" There was no mistaking the order. his hand within an inch of th e safe door, the cashier stopped and looked back. which marked the progress of the riders caused them to "Let that door alone! ' seek safety 'in the interior of their houses and places of The cashier was very pale, and :ii s hand trembled, but business. his nerve held out. Each horseman was armed with two pairs of revolvers. He reached for the safe again.


t'HE JESSE JAMES STORIES "Go back t o your de sk, or I'll blow your brains out!" Moving along 'lik e o n e in a dre am, the cashi e r obe y ed The re was n othing dse for him to do Befo r e h e coula cl ose th e d oo r and throw on the com binati o n h e w ould b e riddl e d with bullet s. The l oss o f hi s lif e cou l d n o t s a ve the bank from loss. L e a v in g t h e offic ial in charg e o f Cole Younge r, Jesse paid hi s respects to th e safe, taking ev er ything in s ight, includin g a f ew sta mp s Y o un ge r swe p t the g o ld off th e c ounter, and s to we d it a w a y in o n e o f hi s capacious p o ck e t s Whe n J e s se l e f t th e s afe, he plac e d th e s tamp s b e for e t h e ca s hier Y o u ma y wa n t t o m ail so m e l e tt e r s t o day," he s aid with a grin T h e robb e r s we r e greeted with a che er from their asso cia tes w h e n they a p peared a t t h e d oo r of t he b ank, wi t h t h e b ags w hi c h t h ey had t a k e n in e mpty, w ell-fill e d w i t h ba nk-n o tes a n d jinglin g coi n. A crowd w a s colle c t in g in th e s treet1 but th e p eop l e too k good care t o keep o u t of pist o l ran ge. "A br a v e h aul, b oys," J esse s aid. "Now u p and aw ay. Shootin g to th e ri ght and l ef t again, t h e robb e r s clash ed out of th e v i lla g e They had, h o w eve r been o rd e r e d n o t to s h oot at t he people o n t h e street The s hooting w a s s impl y don e to intimidate t h e vil lage rs and keep th e m qui e t until th e raid e r s could mak e the ir esca p e The inha b it ants, h ow e ver ma de n o effort t o opp ose th e r o b b er s The y see m e d h e lpl ess again s t the wild daring of the outla ws Led b y J esse James and C o l e Y o un ge r the adv enture r s da s h e d o u t o f t h e pla ce 'lik e a w h i rl w ind mu c h i s there?" a s k e d Y ounge r as they rod e along. "Th e r e mu s t b e m o r e than th e black v ali se contain e d y e s t erday," w as th e r e pl y for the old m a n banked his m o ney la s t ni ght, afte r hours "Th e n t h e bank w ill have t o stand t h e l oss? " I s upp ose so." "It's t oo b a d," sa id Y o un ge r . "The o ld man is th e fellow w e \Ver e a f t e r." "\iVe'll g et him yet, replied Jesse "How?" Jesse d i d not r eply for some mom e nts. They wer e n o t yet out of the v illag e, and members of th e band w e re s till s hootin g to keep th e p e opl e ba ck. The vall ey road was finally r e ached however, and the n J es:,e turne d to hi s co mpani o n. Do yo u know h o w th e old man g e ts hi s 1 i 10ney ?'' he a s k e d. N o " H e run s a s nid e l ot t e r y "One o f th e kind in which th e ow ner draws all t he big prizes?" E x actl y "Wh e r e do th e d ra>>:ings tak e pl ace?" "In a S o uth e rn c i ty. Y o u s hall kn ow all a b o ut it 111 ti me "Wh y n ot now?" "My pl a n s are n o t yet mature d.' "Well, rem embe r that I m in w ith the d eal.;, Y o u see," s aid J esse, th e o ld f e llow 's a ge nt tents an ope r a -h o u se, a n d m a k es a big sp r e ad o f the drawing .' "Of co u rse "The big prize i s o n e hundre d th ousa nd d o llars, and h e ha s t hat s u m in g o ld o n the s t a ge "And p ays it oi1t t h e re?" Yes, if th e own er of t h e lu c k y tick e t i s in th e h o use. "And th e owner o f th e luc k y ti c k e t i s so m e one in with th e game?" "Certainly." "Then th e w h o l e thin g i s ea sy " T o o ea sy for an y thin g repli e d Jesse." vVell," laugh e d Younge r, "you have succee ded in tell ing m e ab o ut all the re i s to k n o w of the scheme after all. "The plan form s in m y mind a s I talk, w as the reply. "The n k eep on t a lkin g H ow are yo u go ing to get th e m o n ey ? O n th e way t o th e opera-house? " I think n o t " H ow, then ? "Unles, s I chang e m y mind I shall walk up on the s t age w ith a few goo d men and insi s t on drawing the big prize ." C o l e Y o un ge r fairl y s hri e ked w it h laught e r "That w ill b e a g o od thing for the papers," he said, but w hat w ill the audie nce b e doing?" Sitting there


14 THE JESSE JAMES. STORIES. "Sitting there shooting, probably." "Not much. They will understand that for once the big prize is being paid to a man not in with the s cheme." "It is a bold plan, Jesse." "The bold undertakings are the ones that win." Yes, that see ms to be the fact." After riding some distance to the north, the outlaws turned to the we st and rode rapid'.,' for a dozen miles or more; then they turned to .the south, making for the wild country across the Cumberland River. "The whole country will be out after us in a short time," said the l e ader, "and we must get out of the State." "Haven't we lost time traveling north?'' asked Younger. ';By no means," was the repl y "The purs uers will probably ke e p on going north." I see." "Besides," continued Jesse, ';I wan t ed to r eac h t h e road \Ve are now trave ling. There is a littJ.e town down here where they have a great game." "Poker?" "No; faro." "You can't let th e cards alone when you hav e m o n ey, H e looked pal e and ill and Jesse decided to rest for the night on the bank of the stream. The me n had had a long ride, and it was nearl y dark, so the propos ition m e t with fav o r. "I'd like to lmow how we are going to across in the morning," said Younger, lo oking out on the wide expanse of sw iftl y -flowing water. "There's a ferry jus t below," sa id Frank. I have b ee n down the re, talking w ith the m e n in charge." Jesse walked away, buried in thought. "It will never do for the > v hole party to cross here h e s aid, in a short time. "The officers will spot u s s ure, and t hen we shall have a race through. T en nes see 'That i s all provided for," said Frank. I explained to the men at the ferry that I had been up in the State buying blooded horses and that the drove would be along, in charge of two men, so me time in the night; so yo n see that part of it i s all right. "Goo d idea," said Jesse. "But how are the boys to get across ?" asked Younger. "There are plenty of boats sca tt e red along the river," r ep li ed the elder brother. ;'Th ey mu st take one anOU." "All right. 'vVe can trnst to Frank to get the m e n and h orses ove r and we ca n join qie party in the morning."


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. After s upp er the tw o o utlaw s started away. "How mnch money are yon taking?'' asked Younger. Ten th o usand dollars, in' large bills," was the r eply. "The re s t of the money i s in Frank' s care." "I have on l y the gold I raked off the cashier's tabl e,'' said Y o unger. "You'll have to stake me if I go broke ." "All right." After a short walk, th e robber s reached a old building, standing i n a grove, n ot far from the bank of the Cumberland River. Not far away was a landin g w h e r e the river steame r s procured w oo d and took o n and discharged freight. A large pa ssenger and fre ight s teamer was pulling o ut as the outla ws walk ed u p "That's lu cky," said Jesse. R emembe r wh e n we get in there, that we are sports from St: Louis, and that we j n s t mis sed that boat." Entering the hou se, the men. found themselves in a long room, with a h,uge fireplace o n o n e side a nd a bar on the other. A dozen o r mor e slickl ooki n g fellows wer e lounging about the room. "What time does the n ext boat l eave?'' J esse asked the question o f the bartender. "May be o ne along in th e morning," was the reply. "This i s a nice place to spen d th e ni ght," said th e robb e r, with a scowl. "No chance for fun h e re, I.suppose?" "Where you fr o m?" "St. Louis. 1' By boat?" "No; across country, and a cursed bad country at that. "\iV ell," sa id the bartender, "the boys are running a little game upstairs but it' s on the quiet ." "Just the thin g," said Jesse. "Can we get in?" "I s u ppose so." The feJIO' W left the room abruptly, but returned in a few moments, and reported that everything was all right. "Bee n t o supper?" asked the bartender. The men had eaten h ea rtil y at the camp, but th ey went thi:ough the moti o n s of e ating, in order to ward off sus picion . In half an hour they were in the gambling room. Half-a-dozen men 1\' ere playing faro, while as man y 4 more were deep in the mysteries of draw poker. ''How h ig h ? '' asked J esse, laying a h u nd reli-doll:u bill o n the tahTe. Twenty-five cas e and fi'fty doubl e ." Bot h m e n bought stacks, and began to play. In a m ? ment the sound of angry words, followed by a scuffie, was h ea rd at the poker table. J esse turned around. "You took th e card from the b o ttom, s aid a sli m young fellow who w as, e vidently, just l e arnin g t h e game. His oppo n e nt a professional gambler,, drew a re vo lver. Younger touched J esse o n t h e sho uld e r. "That bully is the man w ho s h ot at yo u in St. Loui s," he said. "Th en h e dies, .. w hi s per e d Jesse, "for will r e cognize u s h ere." "Take that back," yelled the bull y t o hi s opponent in the game, "or I'll put a hole through you big enough for a r ailway t unn el." No, yo u won't!'' Every person in the room turned to\\ : arcl t h e faro table, at w hich Jesse was still seated. The slim young fellow, in the general exci t eme nt slipped ou t of the door. "What is it to you? demanded the bully. He saw that Jesse had the drop on him and s p oke in a quiet tone. "You'd better give th e young man the m oney you stole from him o n a foul hand, said J e;;:;.::, ::oal \y. Thi s to o rni1ch for the gambler He rais ed hi s weapon and fir ed There vvere two rep orts ins tead of one, a nd J esse's re vo lver spoke firs t The gambler plunged forward and f e ll dead a c r oss the table. His bullet entered th e wall, jus t above the head of the o utlaw The gambler's fri ends rush ed forward, and the sound of hurrying footsteps was heard on the s tair s and in the hall outside. The two outlaws retreat ed to the wall of the room, and stood with their weapons ready for a c tion.


16 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. CHAPTER V A NERVY SHERIFF. "We got in action quick enough," said Younger, a s the t\vo men stood with their backs against the w all. I won der what'll turn up next?" The deal e r sprang from his chair, and began putting awa y th e layout. "'Ne can't deal in thi s kind o f a ra cket," h e sa id. you pack away the m o ney drawer," coolly, "s upp ose you hand out that hundred-dollar bill. The chips are there on the table." The dealer wanted the money, and the chips, t oo. "The game i s closed," he s aid "You s h o uld hav e cashed in before y o u began s h ooting." J e:;se moved the 1m::i:zlc of one of his r evolve r s s o that it cove red th e d ea ler. I "Put that mon e y ol't here ," h e said, "o r I'll be lookin g through yonr h e ad at the wall in a minute." The fellow seemed to understand what kind o f a man h e had to deal with, for he passed out the mont.,, and the n asked how much Young e r hac: inv ested in c hips. "One hundred," said the outlaw. The fellow paid it without a word. "Now get out," h e said. At that mo!'nent a small b ell hanging over the tabl-e be gan to ring violently The clamor at the door increased. The players began to huddl e around a co rn e r of th e room close to where Jes s e and Younger were standing. The man \vho had been guarding t h e d oo r has tened to turn out the lights. "Hurry ," he whisp ered.. "That mean s that the qfficers heard the s hooting, and are c o ming up ' Officers in this place?" exclaimed J esse "There's been too much s hoot ing going on here lately, was the reply "anct the place ha s been watched for some time. Hurry out. Then a sec ret door in the corner w here the play e r s hacl co1lected opened so ftly and the frightened fellow s c r ept down a winding st air way ending in the cellar. In the general anxiety to get away from the officers, the friends of th e dead gambler had n o tim e to av enge the death of their chum. Jesse Jame s anci Yonng e r were the last ones throu gh the door When the y reachecl the cellar, t h e men who had pre ceded them were out of sight. The place was very d a rk, and, whichever w ay they turned they met a solid wall. This may b e a trap," said Younger "It look s like it, was the rep ly. Jesse st ru c k a match, and looked aro und the place. The o nly mean s of exit see m e d to be the st airway by which the y had entered. They listened but could hear noth ing. Jess e a s cended the winding stairs t o the ground floor, ancl struck another match. The re was no door in sight. "It's an infernal trap," he said, r eturning t o w h e r e Yonnger was standing. "What s hall we do?" "Go back to the faro room and s ho ot o ur wa y o u t. ' "That's the stuff, Younger. You're a man after my own heart The prosp ect o f a fight see med to please the o utlaw greatly. The t wo m e n went back np sta irs and wer e soon at the s e cret door. Listening car.efully, they voices on the other side. "Then you don't know th e man who did the shooting?'' asked a voice. "A stranger her e," wa s the reply. "\i\That was he like?" The per so n of wh o m t h e que s tion had b ee n asked g i ve a very fair d esc ripti o n of Jess e . "That's o ur man all right enough," said anoth e r voic e "It's J esse Jame s." "Jesse James The voice of th e dealer fairly trembled. Ves," was th e reply. "He's been tu r ning things over up the country, and we 're him a n d his gang. I'm the s heriff of Loga11 County." "They ca me here alone," the deal er. The gang is n o t far away," was th e answer. \Ve mea1i to hunt every inc h of ground ove r a s soon as it gets light in the morning ." T her e came a knock o n th e d oo r of the room. The lis tening men heard so m e one open it and then all was still for a mom e nt. Presently the door agai n and then the d ea l er spoke his un ste ady w ith excitement.


THE ,JESSE JAMES STORIES. 17 "If vYe h elp you get these m en," h e sa id, "are we in w ith th e r e ward?" "Ce r t ai n l y." "vVell, \Ye have th e m t r ap p ed." "Tra pped? James trap p ed "Exac t l y," w a s th e r eply. H ow, a n d w h e re?" "They a r e i n t h e cella r thi s minu te, and th e r e 1 s n o way for the m to ge t o ut. The dealer h es itat ed H e did n o t desir e t o g ive away hi s sch e m e to t h e l ocal officer s w h o w e r e w ith th e s h e riff o f L ogan Co un ty. H e d id n ot ca r e to t ell t hem that a pa ssage l e d fro m th e .cella r t o t h e bank of t h e riy e r and t h a t th e doo r t o t hat passage h a d bee n cl ose d purpose l y by t he fri e n ds o f th e de ad gamble r in orde r to get eve n w i t h t h e m a n wh o had kill e d t h e ir fri e nd. "Never mind th e details," sa id t h e s h e riff seeing h ow matte r s s tood. \i\! e d o n t ca r e h ow h e go t int o th e ce l lar, a s l ong as h e i s t h e r e "He's th ere, all r ig h t e n o ugh a n d ca n't get o u t," w a s th e r e ply. \Vell, l et's g o and get him ." "Bu t how? He's mighty q ui ck w it h hi s g un,'" sa i d t h e d ea l e r. \ V h y n o t sta rve t h e m o ut?" sugges t e d anot h e r I t w ill tak e t oo l o ng," s aid th e s h e riff. "We h ave t o th e whol e g an g b efo r e w e r et urn ., J esse t o u c h e d h is c o mpan i o n o n th e s h o ul der. "What do you t hi n k of t h at?"' h e as k e d ''He m a kes me t ir e d was t h e reply I wo n d e r i f th e boy s a r e th e r ive:? .. ask e d J esse "They o u g h t t o be, by t hi s tim e," sai d Yo un ge r J esse r e m a in e d sile nt a mo m e nt an d the n w h ispe red: I h o p e they are still o n thi s bank. I h ave a sch e m e." "What i s it ? 'Tm going t o h o ld up a s t ea mb oa t. " H ow can yo u do t hat?" W a it and see. " \Veil," sai d Y o un ge r yo u 'd bette r ge t o u t o f t hi s a p e b efo r e yo u m ake plan s for th e futur e." W e 'll ge t out all ri g ht." H o w ? " Didn't yo u make th e prop os ition t o sh o o t our way out? "True but I d idn t expe ct to fight a d oze n officer s." "Th e m o r e th e m er ri e r,'" sa i d J esse. "Kov v ," sa i d th e s h e riff 0n th e o ther s i de o f th e do or, "I infer that t h er.e i s a sec r e t pa ssage l ea ding fro m this c e llar. 'Yes I want it gua r ded. Sh ow so m e o f m y men the e n trance, and yciu ma y rest assure d that t h e r o bb e r s will not escape b y th a t w ay " A nd yo u ? ' O h I s h all t a k e three o r four m en and go d o wn into t h e cella r. "You 'll get yonr h e ad s h o t off b e for e y ou g e t half-wa y do w n,'" said th e d ealer. \ V h y n ot h ave th e m e n go in fro m th e ot h e r "That"s a go o d i dea, r ep li ed th e s h e riff "Sh ow th e m w h e r e it is, and l e t thein d ri ve t h e r asca l s up the s tairs. I'll a w a it th e m h e r e "Al o n e? "Hardly. When y o u go down send u p three of m y m en. I t wo t o o n e w ill b e a b o ut r ight." T h e d ea l er, clos e l y followed by t h e l o cal officer s and the l o un ge r s wh o h a d collec t ed in th e ro o m went o n d o v y n sta ir s Fo r a n i nstant th e s her iff w as al o n e in th e roo m He was jus t c o n g ratulating himse lf o n hi s good lu ck, w h e n h e h eard t h e s h a r p cl i c k o f a spr i ng, a n d th e n ex t m o ment a g ust o f co l d d a m p a ir s t ru c k hi s fa ce. ' Good-eve n i n g s 8 e riff T h e o fficia l u r t o s e c two poin t e d his hea rt. "Do n t i n o ve, .. s a i d Jesse. wit h a s mile 'fo r I m i gh t mi s take your in t e nt i on, a n d s e n d a n o u nce o f l e ad i n you r d i rec ti o n " Y o u h ave th e drnp," sa id th e s h e riff ca lml y "You r e a n e r vy c hap s ai d J e s se. "I've a g reat m i nd to l e t you go back to your fri ends \\That e l s e cou.!d vou do?" J esse po int e d t o t h e d e a d body o n the floor w hi c h in th e ex c ite:1en t had n ot been r e m o v ed. I inte n ded p u tting yo u a l o n g s ide of that :hari,'' he sa i d "You ha ve everyt hin g y our ow n wa y," s aid th e s h e riff T h e r e c am e a knock a t th e door which t h e sheriff had lock e d a f t e r th e d eparture o f th e local o fficers


18 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "Your assistants, I suppose?" Jes se, turning to the sheriff. "Yes." "Tell them to go a.vay." The sheriff walked toward the door. "Boys," he said. His answer was another knock on the door The officer s face was pale as death. He glanced around the r oo m for an instant, and then went on: "Boys, the James boys are in this room. Jesse sprang forward with an oath, but the s heriff went on: "I'll be dead in a minute, but ne v er mind that." Younger, whom the officer had mistaken for Frank James, seized the nervy fellow by the throat. But the sheriff was ;:i powerful man, and managed t o finish the sentence: "Break down the d oo r and s h oo t the devils at sight!" Cole Younger leveled his revolver at the office r 's heart, and was about to fire. Jesse s topped him. "Hes to o goo d a man to die like thi s ," shou ted the o ut\\.. "Hit him ove r the head ." T he n ext mom e n t the brave officer f ell to the floor, kno c k ed by a b low from the handle of a heavy revo lver. Hell be all ri ght for a s h o rt tim e," said Younger, toward the d o o r. "If there w ere more officers like him ," said Jesse, "they w o uld soo n make i t too h o t for u s." "Correct." The m e n outside had pro c mecl axes by thi s time, and 1Yere chopping away at the h eavy door. Y otmger darted to the rear encl o f the r oo m and rai se d a curtain. "It's only a short distance to the ground," he said. "We can jump out without much risk. At that minute

. THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 1 9 It had evidently been used recently, fo r the oars were in the pins, ready for use. The two m e n sprang in and pushed .out into the st r ea m. The ni ght w a s so d ark that there was n o clanger of their being cliscoverecl by those on the riv e r bank. "That was a close call," said Younger, pulling lustily t oward the oppos it e side. "Th e r e was n o g reat clanger," r e pli e d J esse ''\Ve ran a greater ri sk at the bank." Ha:lf way ac r oss th e stream, a dark ob j ect l oomed up before the little boat. "It i s the ferry," s aid J esse. "The m e n are getting the h o r ses acro ss." Such was indeed the case. J esse gave a signal well known to the members of his band. The heav y scow used as a f erryboat stdpped for a mo m ent, and then drifted slow l y clown with t h e current. "Take u s on board." R o pes we re thrown out, and the two men wer e soon o n th e boa t. "\iVher e did yo u f ellows come fr om?" demanded the f erry man suspicious l y "We came up out o f the river," said J esse "Turn your boat clow n st r e am if y o u want t o keep a whole hide '\i\There do yo u want to go?" demand ed th e ferrym an. ''We'll t ell yo u when to stop," was the r ep ly. '' \ Vhat was the s hooting up there?" ask e d t h e fella\\', turning the boat according to the orders h e had r eceive d "Sh oo tin g at the mark, s aid Younger. L e aving the ferryman t o manage th e boat the outlaws a ssem bl ed at th e front e nd o f th e scow. Frank James and Jim \ V hite were th e o nl y o nes there. \i\/h e r e are the Gth e r s ?" asked J e?se ''They went across half an h our ago," r eplied Frank. '\Ve'll have to pick them up ," said J esse "Thi s i s easier than ridin g acros s country." "You're right about that," said Frank, "but I m afraid i t is not as safe." Jt's safe e n o u g h, wa s the r eply. In a s h ort time a call came from th e opposite bank of th e riv er. ';There they are," said Frank. "Yes, we must get th e m aboard, but we mu s t b e ca r e ful for we are right onto C lark sy ille." The scow was an cho red and J esse w ent to the shore in a little rowbo at. In a very short time the outlaws were all o n the ferry b oat. we'll have a quiet time," s aid Younger. Jus t then th e so und of a pistol shot came from th e n orth bank of the strea m. "A sig nal ," whispered Frank. "," replied Jes se. Tell the boys to keep still. If the makes a n oise, put him to s leep and throw him overboard." In a moment an answering shot came from farther \1P the river. Then came the n o i se of boats putting out. "They mean busin ess," said Frank. "It is probable that ther e'll be so m e shooting done. Did they get you cor nered up there at the landing? he continued, turning to J esse. "Th ey thought th ey had us cornered," was the reply "Listen." "Th ere's a steamboat coming d ow n. "Right you are." "The officers will board it and pass us. Then there will be a fine ruction." It was C ole Younger who spo ke. "Wait and see." The boat made the landing the ferryboat had l ef t and tied up Th ey are foolis h if th ey take that b oa t," sa id Jes se. ''\Ve can land anywhere, while th ey cannot." J esse walked back to th e ferryman. "Can we cut a c r oss country h e r e," h e a sked, "and head off that s t ea mboat?" ''You might if we could land. " Run the boat in shore; we can land easily enough." "What are you going to do?'' asked Frank. "I'm going to rid e across a point here ," was th e r eply "and hold up that s t ea mb oa t officers and all:" CHAPTER VI. HOLDING UP A STEAMBOAT. The red light of a t orc h flared up on the south bank of th e C umb e rland Riv er A s h ort dis t a nce above, a ste amb oat was s l owly churn ing its way toward th e Mississippi.


20 THE JESS E Jf\MES STORIES. I t was quite dark, and the wooded shores on either side "Three men got on the boat with him," said one of the were just bare outlines of shadows, seeming

THE JESSE JAMES 21 Frank James and Shephard had the drop on them. "Thro\Y up your hands, gentlemen," commanded the former. "You see, we were up to your little game." There was nothing else for the officers to do, and up went their hands in the air. Jesse turned for an instant from t h e clerk. "Take away their guns, and handcuff them," h e said. "You will find the irons in their pockets." "Goocl idea," said Frank. T h e \\' Ork was clone in short order, and then Frank threw the keys t o the handc uffs into the river. 'You won't need them to-night," he said to the sheriff, with a sm ile. 'I hacl intended them for a different us e," said the officer, looking clo\\'n toward his wrists. In the meantime the clerk was throwing the money into the bag Jesse had given him. A 11 .vas o n the boat. The shot fired by Jesse hacl the passengers and the ere\\'. ) The mate rushed fonvard, vith an iron bar in his hand. Before he could raise hi s hand to strike, h e fell dead on the deck, shot through the heart. The passengers began to crowd toward the office, many of them not being a ware of what \\'as going on. "Stand back, every o ne of yon," s h o llt cd the outlaw l ead e r, "or you will get a ta ste of lead." The captai n of t h e boat n ow made his appearance. He \\as a h eavy, bullying fello\\-, and thought to encl the whole matter in a moment. "Jump on their necks, boys!'' he sho uted. "Cail up the deckhands!" He darted forward as he spoke There was a sharp r eport, and the captain lunged for \vard, and lay o n the deck, in a pool of blood. The deckhands came up o n a nm. They were r ec kl ess, devil-may-care fellows, and for an instant the outlaws feared ser i o u s trouble from th em. "Hnrry !" shouted J csse to th e clerk. "Take the stuff out of the safe, and put it in the bag 1\ith the rest." ''It is all there, .. said the clerk. "Then put your revolv e rs in," said J esse, "and be care ful to keep the 1Jmzzle s point cd toward yourself while you have the111 in your hands. T h e ones I h o ld might go . The clerk lo s t no time in obeying orders. Jesse then seized the bag, and turned to the group of pa ssengers "Get into your rooms," he sa id "and ho one w i11 be injured." There was a great scampering, and in a moment not a pas senge r was in sig ht. There remain ed only the deckhands to deal with. A few sh o ts drove them pell-mell into the hold Then Jes se gave a peculiar \\'hi s tlc. The next moment t h e voice of Cole Yotmger rang out. "Now, pilot if you want to keep a whole hide, make for the south bank." "It will wreck the vessel," was the cool rep l y. Younger sent a ball wirhin an inch of the pi lot's left ear. fo r th e s h o r e,'' h e repeated. "The next bullet -.vii i pass through, in s t ead of by, your head." The boat swung s lo1d y toward the south bank. As it did so, a large rowboat shot out from the shore. ''There are th e boys!'' s houted Younger. "All ready, there!" i;ame from b e low. ":\ow, b oys !'' The out la \\'S sp rang for the s id e of the steamer, and l eaped into t h e Cumberland. Then in an incredibly s hort space of time, they were seated in the rowboat, \\et but happy. "I have al\\'ays , anted to h o ld up a stea m er,'' said Jes se, \fringing the water out of hi s coat. The passengers and crew now swa rmed to the side of the s teamer. O\\ that the o n t la ws \\'ere gone, they were all very brave. A few \\ h o po s sessed rev o lv ers began to shoot at the ro1vboat. They shot wildly, ho\\' eve r, and n o o n e ,,,as injured. A volley fro111 the \ V inch esters of the outlaws soon put a s top to the shooting. The pilot headed the steame r for the 111iclclle of the riv e t The outla\\'s turned their boat into a little creek, and rested on their oars. \ V h e r e are t h e h o rses?" asked Jesse. "Over there, in a hollo w," wa : the r ep ly "'l'V ell, g et them out." To-night?'' Yes." 1


22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "They \ von't b e worth mu ch t o -m o rrow i f w e rid e t o night, s aid Frank James. ';But we mu s t get a w a y fro m thi s landing," r e pli e d Jesse "That s teamer will s t o p at the firs t po ss ibl e place and turn a h o rde of yahoo s a f te r u s." I w ond e r h o w th e s heriff likes hi s t rip ?" l aughe d Y o unger. H e'll have a fine t i m e getti n g t h ose brac e l ets off," said J esse. L e t him atte nd t o a ffa i r s in hi s o w n county, th e n," said Frank. I am half sorry w e di d n t kill him. The men mounted their horses, and rode through dark fore s t highwa y s for seve ral h ours Just at da y l ight the y halted in a pi ec e of timb e r n o t far from the bank of the ri v er. "\V e' ll have t o s tay h e re all da y," s aid Jes se. "Any thing to eat in the cro wC: ? ' V er y little,'" r e plied F rank. "Then. I 'll have to hu s tl e," s aid Jesse. "The bo ys mu s t eat in order to keep the ir s pirit s up "Hus tle?" s aid Younger. "Where can y ou find an y thing to eat in thi s countr y ? "There mu s t be fa rmh o u ses b eyoMd thi s b e lt o f w ood s," said Jes se. The l e ader started awa y alone but Co l e Y o un g er in-sis t e d on going with him . Afte r riding t hrou g h th e w oo d s for so m e dist a nce, t he y ca m e to a la r g e tra c t of till e d land "The r e's so me yo un g cat tl e ove r t h e r e,' s aid Y o un ge r pointing to a barnyard n o t far fro m a farmh o u se 'I'll go anC: bu y o ne, s aid Jesse. Buy one?" r e peated Y o unger, in am a z e ment. "These p o o r d e vil s ha ve all they ca n d o t o get al o n g," said Jesse with o u t our ta k ing their c a ttle. The far m is pro babl y m ortgag ed a foD t de ep." The o u t law s rod e u p to t h e g ate and s t o pp e d T hey w otilcl have go n e o n t o th e doo r b u t a dozer d o g s s pr a n g o u t at t h em t h e m o m e n t t h e y a t te mpted t,) ali g ht. Y o unger dre w h i s rev olve r H o ld o n ," s aid J esse. ''Tha t w o n 't d o \Ve mu st n o t s tir the pe o pl e up un til w e g e t a bit of m e at In a m o m e nt an old w o man o p e n ed t h e d oor a n d c alled the dog s awa y They act migh ty bad ," s he s aid b y wa y o f ap o l o gy. Jesse wa s not lon g in informin g th e w o man o f t h e purp ose o f the vi s it. "Strange r s in these parts, I r e ckon?" a ske d th e woman "Yes." "Goin do w n ?" "Yes Can we get s ome b e ef o r mu t t on: ''I r eckon Se e what t he ol' man s ay s .'' The o ld man wh e n he finall y cam e t o th e doo r wa s v e r y red o f face and v e r y hea vy of eye The w rinkled hand he pbce d on t h e rough fe nce s hook v i o l e ntly. D o wn t o the landin' with the boys last ni ght," h e sai d in e xp lana t i o n of hi s conditi o n Jess e pa sse d o u t a b o ttl e o f w hi s ky whi c h h e al w a ys carri e d but rare l y u sed. "Th a t'll h e lp you Olft," h e s aid. T he o ld man drank gre edil y He h e a r d what the robber s had t o s ay abou t buying so m e m e a t, and then hastened to the barn a large struc ture a short di s tan c e do w n r o ad As h e entered the building a bo y abou t t welv e year s o f a ge l e ft th e h o use and joined him In a f e w mom e nts a horse gall o ped a w ay fro m the barn g o ing in the opp o sit e directi o n fro m that in whi c h th e o utl aws were ''That's s ingular ," said Y ounger. '\V h y doe s the rider s n eak awa y lik e t hat ?" I t d o e s see m a s if h e mjght have taken th e road," r eplied J esse. "There's treacher y her e," said Younge r. The o ld m a n now made hi s appearance. "Have y o u sent away for what \Ve want?" d emande d Jesse. "Sen t t he boy a ft e r a bo ttl e,., w as t he r e pl y :.1y head fee l s big 's a washtub." "lt w a s e vid ent that the old man w a s l ying. He Idt th e m in a moment and b egan t o c hase a floc k of s h eep a b o ut a pa sture not far a w ay. H e is n o t try in g t o cat ch one, sa id Younger. H e i s d o in g th a t to ke e p u s h e r e un til the men h e ha s s ent after a rrive. T h is w a s th e t ruth New s o f t h e bank ra i d a nd th e figh t n ear Clarksvill e had preceded th e o utl a w s d ow n th e river and the old man in c o mpan y with a d o z e n or m o r e of hi s neighbors, had bee n o u t h u ntin g for th e o u t l aws all the lat te r part o f the n i g ht. At th at m o m e n t a sco r e o f armed men wer e in camp on t h e ri ve r bank, o nl y a short di s tanc e a way. \Ve o ugh t t o h ave s t o l e n a calf," said I n e v e r t ri ed to d o the s qu a r e thing in m y life tbat i t didn t g e t m e into troub le." The fa rm e r finall y l e ft the s heep and darted into th e h o u se. A m o m ent lat e r h e r e appeared, with a g un in hi s hands The n a d oze n or m o re mounte d men swung around a corn er, and rod e straight a t the outlaws. They wer e b e t w e e n th e outl aw s and their fri e nd s H e re s a n ot h e r of fight," said Jesse drawing his rev o lv e r s


THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo 23 CHAPTER VII. IN A nt:RNfl\'G BUILDL'\G The posi tio n i n which J esse James and Cole Yonnger found thems elves was incleecl a d es p erate one. Their h o r ses had been t raveling all nigt1t and were, unabl e to cope \\ith the fresher animals of th e I pnrsuers. 'Our o nly h ope see m s to lie in getting help from the boys," sai d Younger. ' T he y'll come fast e n ough when they h ear. the shoot ing,''. said J esse, ''but they may co me too late .. The purs uer s o pen e d fire, although they \r ere still too far a tray to make their s h o ts count. The o ntlaws \rere ahout to dash away in t h e opposite direct ion ,,hen a cloud of du s t clown the road attracte d their attention. \Ve ar e surrounded!" s houted Younger. Jesse forced hi s horse over the f e n ce .and rode him in to the barn, the do ors of which stood open. Younger followed, and the two meq were soo n engaged in closing th e entrance s t o the p l ace. "Now l et them s ho ot," sa id J esse ''The m o re powder they burn, th e quicker the boys will get here." The man-hunters dismounted and c rept t oward the harn, taking ca r e to k eep in the s h elter of trees and fen.ces. Presently a Y o i ce cried out: ''You may a s well surrender. You ca n n eve r get o nt of the barn alive." The o nly answer was a pisto l s h ot. Then t he o ld farmer thrus t his h ead from behind a tree. 'Come out an' get that s heep, he sa id. The r e ma r k rai sed a little laugh among the farm ers, but in a m o ment the merriment cl'iecl a way The. o ld man fell to the ground, mortall y wounded. H e had kept his head in sight a moment too long. ''.T he old fellow \\'Oul d have d one b et t e r to ha ve so l d t!H; s h ee p and kept his mouth shut, Younger, who had fired the fatal s hot. "All traito r s s h ould be se ryecl. in the sa m e w a y," replied Jesse. The besiegers drew back fo; consultation, and th e o ut law s sa \V' \\ith a good deal of satisfaction, that, they had left their h o r ses some. distance in th e rear Directly the farmers scatte r ed, taking safe p os iti o n s o n eve r y s ide of the barn. ''They mean to starv e u s out," s aid Younger. There w e r e but two entrances to the barn and the o ut law s watch .eel th ese very cl ose ly. The ::farmers amused themselYCs by shooting at the knotholes in the structure, making a gr eat n oise, but. do : \ng no dam:ige Occasionally t h e o u t l a \\'S were s ummo1ied to surrender, but they made n o reply, unless th e y saw a good mark to s h oot at. "It's a l\" Onder the boys don't come up," sa i d Je sse after a time. ''I'm getting tired of thi s." ''Th ey will be here all right, ., r eplied Younger. ''Take s them a long tim e to get h ere," sa id J esse, im patiently. Younger, who .\1as indu strio u s l y enlarging a small crack in the door, in order th at h e might have a better c h ance to shoot if a was ma de, now ca ll ed Jesse to hi s side. Yo u S ee that lin e of bushes out there?" h e asked, when J esse stoo d by hi s side ''Yes." ''\iVell, that's where t hey l e ft their horses ." "What of it?" clemanclecl J esse "\\Tait and see," was the r eply. Pr ese ntl y a h o r se m ove d across a clear space at one end of the line of s hrubb e r y In a m oment anot' e r followed, and another, and an other. !'What does it mean?" demanded Younger. J esse waved his hat in the a ir and a lm ost da nced m his exciteme nt. ''Ca n 't yo u g u ess;-" he asked. ;\ o. \ V ha t arc you acting t ha t way for?" 'The b o ys are back t h ere stealing their h o r ses." Younger l ooked in t h e face of hi s lead e r with a blank exp r ess ion in hi s e\es. W hat do you ; h e asked. ''The 6' o Y s would b e pumping' lead into those yahoos out there, if th ey w ere within s hooting distance." ''They 'll do that, after they take care of the horses," \\'aS the r eply "That is o n e of F rank"s sche mes t o keep the m from follo\ving u s." ... o ntl a\l's \\at c h ed until th e h o r ses had all disappeared, and the n Jesse \1ent back to his p ost. ''It won't be long n ow," h e sa id 'I hop e n o t," was the r eply, for I'm hungry to cat a St. Louis pancake." The firing continu ed, but the men in the barn were in n o \\hatev eli "It strikes m e," sa id Jesse in a mome n t, ''that there is .some trick about ail thi s s h ooting.'1 \i\lhat t ri ck ca n there be?" "I don't k n o\\'. vVe'll soo n fin d out." 1 snppose," sa id Younger, "th e b oys will -clas h down h e re \rith a conpl e of fresh hor ses as soo n as they ge' th e mounts of the g rangers out of the way." "Of c ourse." "Th en th e lead cro p will b e goi n g in the opposite rcction," Younger, grimly I J


24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "Do Y0\1 sme ll anything peculiar?" a s ked Jesse, after a short silence in the barn "There is something strange about the atmo s phe re in here." "What does it see m lik:e ?" "Sm o k e "You 've st ruck it." "vVhat do you mean b y that?" "The devils hav e set fir e to the barn. " Impossibl e." "That's what they have done, in s i st ed Jesse. Younger sniffed the air vigorously for a m o ment an

'-: THI;: Jt:SSE Jt\MES STORIES. 25 "I like your nerve, said Younge r My nerve is all right was the laughing repl y I alway s carry it in m y whiskers. CHAPTER vnr. DRAWING T H E RIG PRtZE. The g reat drawing! One hu11dred th o usand dollar s for a bit of pa s teb oard! The s plendid So uthern c it y wa s crowded with st rangers. They c o uld n ot all draw th e mag nific e nt prize, but all wh o c ould cr owd int o th e o p era' h o u se mi ght a t l east see it. J esse and Frank Jame s a nd Co l e Y o unger w e re s it ting in the re a r r()()m o f a drinking-pla ce on a prin c ipal s treet, not far fr o m th e opera-h o u se. \i\Th e r e are the bo ys?" a s k e d Jess e w ho had been ab s ent fr o m the gan g n e arl y all th e m o rnin g, la y ing plan s for the desp e ra te ru s h whi c h wa s s oon t o b e mad e "They are waiting at a lit tle sa l oo n close t o the st age e ntrance to th e o pera-hou s e," wa s th e r eply, "and t h e ir horses are r ea dy ." ''They are not s h ow ing themselves?" the y are to r e main quiet unl ess th e re i s a fight \Yhe n "e p a s s o ut o f th e buildin g \Yith th e m o ne y." ; Thi s m o ne y will ena ble u s t o rest for a s pell ," said Jesse. ;'\Ve have th e hundred thou s and tak e n from the bank the s teamb oat money an d thi s prize will mak e n e arl y twent y thousand apiece. Qui.te a nea t s um, ch?" ' Ye s," r e plied Frank, "and not a man killed in getting it-not a man of our part y, I mean ." ';\\' c have been very luck y," said J esse, look ing at hi s wat c h .;and we s hall so o n kno w w he t her our luck i s t o h o ld o ut for it i s time t o be mo v ing/' A s the three m e n pa s sed int o t h e public ro o m J esse no ti ce d two men standing at the bar They \Ye rc wat ching hi s e v e r y m o y e i1ient b y m e ans of the big mirro r behind the bar. Cole Y ounge r tou c h e d th e o utl a w' s arm. 'Tho s e rrien w ere in th e gamb ling-house n ear C lark s ville," h e s aid in a whis p e r 'That's right," r e pli e d J essc. T h e o utlaw s walked o n t o th e fr o nt d o or and t urn e d s harply about. The t wo m e n \\er e follo1, ing t hem T her e was no d o ubt that th ey had pe e n r eco gnized ''It lo o ks bad," s ai d J esse u'vV hat c an \\e d o t o g e t those fellow s off the trac k ? Shoot off ," s ai d Y o unger. Correct," s aid Frank. At)d get the wh ole city ou t after u s repli e d J e s se. "Thaf never d o ." / 'l "The n l e ad th e m t o th e place w here th e boys are," said Fra11k. "They wili tak e care of them. " Good idea ," o b sene

26 THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo : "I want one of these men to watch those fellows, he said. "I don t want to be arrested for assau l t and battery until after the big drawing." He laid a ten-d ollar bill on the conntcr as he s poke. ''A ll right." The bartender shoved the bill into his p o c ket a s h e spoke. As Jesse went out he w h ispered to Shephard: "Shoot them if they try to get away. After seeing that the horses of the entire party were hitched in a convenient p l ace, the two James boy s and Col e Younger entered the opera-hou se. The stage was rapidly filling with people, and the outlaws at orn,:e went to th e wings by way of a box and stood waiting. "vVhat do' you want clemanded anfrom Keritucky," said Jesse. "Vve want no committees h e r e," said the officer. "Get off." "vVe came here t o see fair pla,,'' said Frank. "Gef off." ' . .. "Let the1i1 al o ne ; cried a voi ce which t h e o ut)a\\s re c ognized as that of l\I o tt. Vie want eve ryb o dy satisfied."' T h e offic e r went away grumbling. "\i\Tatch that fdlow," \Yhis pered J esse. "He"s the man the bank clerk told u s abont." Younger walked boldly across the stage t o he1e :\Io t t stood, jnst i-i1 th e edge of t h e foi1ith entrance. \i\Th ere s the big prize?" h e asked. i\fott pointed to a lea t h e r hag lying o n a table. "There it i s," he sa id. "It ha s jus t arrived." The man in charge o f the drawing nov\"" rappe d fo r orde r and. }[ott advanced to the center of the stage 1 \ ith t he box es containing the numbe r s and th e tickets. The huge whe e l s were already in place, Then h e \\cnt back to t h e wing an d came ba c k with the leather bag-. At that moment Younger sa \ a giant of a fellmY pic k up a valise and make fo r the door 1yit h it. His s u spic i oris w e r e .at o n ce arb11secl. '"He did n ot kno11 :bat. 1rns in the valise, but he knew that. .it cantaine

Send in your exchange notices, \Joys. We will publish them all in a special "Exchange Department." ABOUT FAMOUS MEN. .. Only one week 1)1ore of the Contest, boys Everybody has a chance to win one of the valuable prizes offered. Don i miss this opportunity, but send in your article at once. Following are some of the best articles received during the week. Read them, and then send in your own! The Hero of Manila. (By Charles E. Bowers, Hanover, Pa.) Admiral Dewey v.-as born a Vermonter sixty-oue years ago and was appointed to the Naval Academy from that State in l 854, and four years later graduated and wa s sent aboard the steam frigate Wabash for a cruise in the Mediterranean. Dewey got his commission as a lieutenant in 1861 and was immediately assigned to join the Mississippi gun boat and do duty with the Vlest Gulf Squadron. 'rhe hottest fight the Mississippi was ever engaged in was her last one, and this was perhaps as hot as any one of the war. In March, 1863, the fleet tried to run by tlle Confederate batteries at Port Hudson. Some of the ships got as far as a narrow part of the channel, where they met land batteries almost muzzle to muzzle, aud then they were forced to retreat, the Mississippi did not get as far as this. A foggy day had been chosen for tbe attempt, and this was soon made more obscure by the smoke of the battle, and amid this the Mississippi lost her bearings and ran ashore. Her officers found that she had struck just under the guns of a battery, and oue of the strongest of the lot. In half an hour 250 shots struck the vessel and she was riddled from end to end. There was no chance to hold her, and the crew took to their boats and lauded on the opposite shore after having set her on fire. Soon, lightened by the loss of the crew and by the fire, she drifted off and blazing and saluting with bursting shells she drifted down the river until finally the fire reached the magazines, and her career was ended in one great explosion. Dewey was next attached to the gunboat Agawan, and took part in two attacks on that vessel. In 1065 he got bis commission as lieuteuant-conmmauder, and as such served on the famous old Kearsarge, and ou the Colorado, until 1868, when he was sent for service to the Naval Academy. His first command was in r8io, when he bad the Narragansett fo.r .special service. He became a commander in April, I8i2. He got bis commission as com mod ore on February, l 896 aud was at about the same time made president of the Board of Inspection and Sur vey. This place he held until he was put in command of the Asiatic Squadron in 1898. At last the chivalrous deed which he accomplished at Manila astonished the whole civilized world and it happened on May I. It is said that those men that fought under the already mentioned famous patriot, Admiral Farragut, were not afraid to stand, "while the shot and shell were streaming upon the great battleships.'' It was as Dewey said that in liis early experience under that fighti11g hero of the Mississippi River, Farragut, that combats are deCided more by skill in gunnery and the quality of guns than by auythiug else, and another lesson learned is that first-class men are required behind those terrible spitfires which don our big fight_ ing monsters. This was the case at Manila. With good men and a renowned commander, they decapitated the entire Spanish fleet. Being well aware that be is a brave man, as well as having done chivalrous deeds, I greatly admire him and kuow that with his sterling qualities he 'is one of our greates t heroes When Sheridan Came. ( By Bernard Schleuter, St. Louis, :Vfo.) Abo11t the middle of October, 1864, Sheridan went to Washington, and while ou his way back slept on the night of October 1 8 at Winchester. At i a. 111. on the 19th, he heard guns, but paid no attention to the sounds till nine o'clock, when a s he rode quietly out of Winchester, he met a mile from town \Ugou trains and fugitives, and heard that Early bad surprised his camp at daybreak. Dashing up the pike with au escort of t1Yeuty men calling to the fugitives as he passed them to turn and face the enemy be met the ariuy drawn up in line eleven 'miles from Winchester. "Far away in the rear," said au old soldier, "we heard cheer after cheer. Were re-enforcements coming? Yes, Phil Sheridan was coming, and be was a host.


28 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Dashing do1, n the line, Sheridan shouted: ''What troops are tlie se ?'' ''The sixth corps,' came bac k the response from a hundred voices. '\Ve are all rig lit," said Sheridau, as be swung his old hat a11d dash e d along the line to the right. "Never miu

THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 29 President Garfield made to visit W illiams Coll e ge, wh ere his two sous were to be placed as stu dents. The President a lso arrange d a short v acation with his w ife, who wa s sick, at t11e s e asid e On the n \orning of July 2d, acco n 1panied by Secretary Blaine and a few fri e nds, the President entered a Baltimore Rail way station at Washington. A m oment aft erward he was a p proached by a mise rabl e miscreant named Charles Jule s Guiteau, w90 came un s een behiud Prf!sident, drew a pistol and fired upon him. The aim of the assassin was t o o well taken, and the second shot struck the President in the right side of the b a c k. At first the people thought that he would r e cover. Two operations were p erformed, but blood po is oui n g s e t in." On the evening of Septem ber i9th the anuiversary of the battle of Chicka\Ilauga in which Garfield had gained his principal military re putation, he di e d. Chester A. Arthur, the Vice-Presi dent, at once took the oath of office and became the twe nty-first President of the United States. TALES Of HUNTING AND TRAPPING. BRADY'S -l"\...DVENTURE. By SANDY GRISWOLD. Samue l Brady, the hero of the following adventure, wa s over six fee t in height, with light blne e y e s fair skin and dark hair. He was r emarkably straight -and athle tic, bold and vigorous, a backwoodsman, inure d to all the toils and hardships of a frontier life, and had be come very obnoxious to the Indians from his numerous succ essful attacks on their war partie s and from shoo ting them while on his hunting excursions, whe ne ver they crossed h i s path or came within reach of hi s rifle; for he w a s person a lly engaged in more hazardous c o ntests with the savages tha.n any other man west of the mountains, excepting Daniel Boone. He wa s iu fact, "an Indian hater," as. many of the early border'ers were. This class of men appear to have been more numerous in his region than in any other portion of the frontiers, and this, doubtless, arose from the slaughter at Braddock's defeat and the numerous murders and attacks on defenseless families that for many years followed that disaster. Brady was also a very successful trapper and hunter, and took more beavers tha n any of the Indians therns e l ves In on e of his adventurous trapping excursions to 'the waters of the Beaver River, or Mahoning, which in early clays so abounded with animals of this species that it took its name from this fact, it so that the Indians surprise d him in his camp and took him pris oner. To have shot or tomahawked him ou the spot would have been but a small g ratification to that of satiating their revenge by burning him at a slow fire, and iu the presence of all the Indians of the village. He wa s therefore, taken alive to their encampment, on the west bank of the B eaver River,r.about a mile and a half from its mouth. After the usual exultations and rejoicii1gs at the capture of a noted enemy, and causing him to nm the gantlet, a fire was prepared, near which Brady was pla. ced after being strippe d naked, and with his arms unbound. Previously to tying him to the stake a large circle was formed around him, consisting of Indian men, women and children, dancing and yelling, and uttering all man ner of threats and abuses that their small. knowledge of r the English language could afford. The prisoner looked on his savage foes and these preparations for de a th with a firm countenance and steady e ye meeting all their threats with a truly savage fortitude. In the midst of their rejoicings a squaw of one of their chiefs came near him with a child in her arms. Quick as thought, and with intuitive prescience, he snatched it from her, and threw it in the miqst of the flames Horror-struck at the sudden outrage, the Indian;; simultaneous ly rushed to re scue the infant from the fire. In the midst of this confusion, Brady darted from the circle overturning all that came in his way, and rusheq into tht' adjacent thicket with the Indians yelling at his he e ls. He asc e nded the steep side of the hill, amid a shower of bullets, and darting down the opposite de clivity, secreted himself in the deep ravines and laurel thickets that abounded for s everal miles to the west of it. As the Indians came up he was compelled again to take flight In leaving hi s retreat he was in ftill view of the. In dians. They could e a sily have shot him, but being bent on taking 11im alive for torture, and to glut their long delayed revenge, they forebore the use of their rifles .He was now again leaving them behind, and the In dians seeiug him likely to escape, they all fired upon him. O ne bullet wouuded him severely in the hip, but not so badly as to prevent hi s progress. Brady advanced a good distance ahead. His limb was growing stiff from the wound, and as the Indians gained on him, h e made for a pond, which now bears his name, and, p lunging in, swam under water a considerable dis tance, and came up under the trunk of a large oak, wh i ch had fallen into the pond. This, although lea\ing only a small breathing place to support life, completely sheltered him from their sight. The Indians, tracing him by the blood to the water, made diligent search all around the pond, but finding no signs of his exit, fiually came to the conclusion that he had sunk and was drowned. As they were at one time standing on the very tree beneath which he was concealed, Brady, understanding their language, was very glad to hear the result of their deliberations, and after they had gone, weary, lame and hungry, he made good his retreat to his home.


PRIZE CONTEST: THE DEEDS OF FAMOUS MEN! HERB IS THE PLAN: Look up what interesting facts you can about any famous American-living or dead. Chose anybody you please-Washington or Lincoln, Paul Revere, or General Grant," Bob" Evans or Admiral S ampson, or anybody else you want to write about. 'l' h e n sit d own and write an article about him. Tell a ll about h im, the brave deeds he did, or the famous words he uttered, etc. All of the best articles will b e publis h e d during the progres s of the contest in a special department of the JESSE JAMES WEEKLY. No contribution must be longer than 500 words. REMEMBER: Whether your contribution wins a prize or not, it stands a good chance of being published, together with the name of the writer. CAMERAS, MA6IC LANTERNS, PENKNIVES AND PUZZLES AW A Y % The two who send us the most interesting and best-writ ten articles will each receive a first-class C amera, complete with achromatic lens, and loaded with six exposures each. Absolutely ready for use. For square picture8, 3 Ml x 3 1-2 inches; capacity, six exposures without reloading; size of camera, 4 1-2 x 4 1-2 x 4 inches; weight, 15 ounces; well made, covered with grain leather and handsomely finish e d. The five who send us the next bes t articles will each receive a "Sterling" Magic Lantern Outfit, together with 72 admission tickets and a large show bill. Each lantern i s 10 inches high, 4 inches in diameter, with a 1 1-2 inch piano-complex conden sing lens and a 3-4 inch double complex objectiv e lens U se s kerosene oil only. The five 'i\ho send us the next best articles wilt each receive a Handsome Pearl-Handled Knife. These knives have each four blades of the be s t English steel, hardened and t empered. The handle is pearl, the lining brass, and the bolsters G erman silver. For ten next best descriptions ten sets of the latest and most entertaining Puzzles and Novelties on the market. numbering three puzzles each, including Uncle Isaac's Pawnshop Puzz le, the Magic Marble Puzzle, and the Demon Outfit. To become a contestant for the prize s you must cnt out the Cilaracter Contest Coupon, printed herewith. Fill it out properly and send it to JESSE JAMES WEEKLY, care of Street & Smith, 238 William Street, New York City, together with your article. No contribution will be considered that does not have this coupon accompanying it. COUPON. '' JESSE JAMES WEEKLY CHUACTER CONTEST No. 2. Date . . ....... 1901 Name ....................................... . .......... CltY or Tows . , ... State ... . . . .. ,. THIS CONTEST CLOSES FEBR.UAR.Y 1, 1902 SHELDON'S 20rH CENTURY LETTER WRITER The best guide to correct modern letter writing published! PRICE. 10 CENTS. Jn this volume ; every phrase of letter writing. is treated and innumer a ble samples of correctl y-written letters are given, showing how a young man may address a banker or a teacher a friend or a str a nger, a bridegroom or a widower, etc., etc. A FEW OF THE MANY SUBJECTS: Grammar-Paragraphs-Titles-Construction of a Letter -Postcripts -Stamps -Social Letters Family Letters-A Father's Letter to an Erring S on-A Brother' s Warning to a Sister-The Si s ter's Reply -Letters of Intr duction-Letters of CondolenceLetters o f Congratulation-Love Letters-vVedding Announcements-;-Ceremony and Reception-Form Suitable. for Invitations-Marriag e Announce ment-Valentines-General Invitations-Acceptances and Reg r e ts-"-N otes of Ceremo n y and Com pliment-Business Lette r s-Applicatio n in Answer to AdvertisementMisc ellaneous Letters, etc. etc. For sale by all newsdealers. II by mall, add four cents for postage STREET & SMITH, 238 wmiam St., N. Y. City. .....


-JESSE JAMES STORIES. ( L ARGE SIZE.) The Best Sto ries Published of the Famous Western Outlaw. 1--;-J esse Jam e s, the Outlaw A Narrativ e of the J ames Boys 2 J c ss e J ames' Lega c y ; or, The B orde r C y cl o n e 3-J ess e Jam es' D are-Devil Dance; or, Betrayed b y One of Them. 4-Jesse Jam e s' Black Agents ; o r The Wild R a id o n Bull ion City 5 J e s s e Jam e s' Oath; or, Tracked to D eath. 6-Jess e J ames i n \i\Tyoming; or, The Den in the Black Hills 7-Je s s e James Rube Burro'vvs & Co. 8 -Jess e J ames' D a rin g D eed; or, The Rai d on the Pine Ridg e J ail. 9-Je s se James at the Throttle; or, The Hold-Up at Dead M an's Ditch. 10-Je s s e James' Dou ble; or, T h e Man from Mi ssouri l r-J ess e J ames Among the Moonshiners; or, The Train Robbers Trail i n Kentucky. 12 J ess e J ames C l o s e C all; or, T h e O u tlaw 's L ast Rally in Southern Wyomin g 13 -Jess e James i n Ch i ca g o ; or, T h e Bandit King 's Bol d Play. 14-J e sse J ames in N ew Orlea n s ; or, The Man in the Black Domi no I 5 J ess e Jam e s' S i g n al Code; or, The O u tla w Gang's Desperate Strategy. 1 6-J e ss e J a m e s on the Mi ss i ss ippi ; or, The Duel at M idni g ht. 17-Jesse J a m es' Cav e ; or, The S ecret of t h e Dead. 1 8-The James Boys i n St. Louis; o r The M ysteri e s o f a Grea t City. 1 9-Jess e J a m es at Bay; o r The Train Robbers' T r a il. 20--Jesse J ames i n Dis gui'se; or, T h e Mi ssouri Outl a w as a Sho wm a n. 21-Jesse James' Feu_ d wi t h t h e E lki ns G ang; or, The Bandit's R even g e 22-J esse J a m es' C hase Throug h T e nn ess ee ; or, Tracked by B loodhounds. 23-Jes se J ames In D e t d wood; or, The G h o s t o f Sha d o w G ulch 24-Jess e James' Dea l i n Dea d Valley ; or, A t Odds o f Fifty to One. 25-Je s se J a m es on the Tra i l for Rev e n ge; or, The Outl a w 's O ath. 26-J esse Jam e s' K iclna p i n g P l o t ; o r The M assacre a t \!Veldon's 27-Jesse J ames A m o n g th e Mormo ns; o r Conde m ned t o Death b y the Saints. 28-J esse Jam e s' Capture a nd Esc a pe; or, Outw ittin g the Pan cak e Digg ings Posse. 29-J e s s c J a m es' 'Hunt to Death; o r The F a t e o f the Outlaw V asquez. 30--J ess e J a m es' E s ca p e From C h eyenne; or, In Leagu e with the \i\!y oming Regulators. 3 1 J cs s e J a m e s' R ic h P rize; or, T h e Battl e at the O ld Sto ne House_. 3 2-Je s s e J a m es and His Ally, Pol k \ Veils ; o r A n Errand of L ife or Death. 33 J e s se J a m es in N ew York ; o r T h e M i ss in g i\ri illio na i r e 34-J es s e J a m es' Deal in Sacr a m e n t o ; o r H o ldin g Up the o,erland Express 35-Jesse J a m es the Record: or, S e ven HoldU p s i n a Week. 3 6-Jes se J am es and the Woodford R a id ; or, The Ner vy B a n d i t Hard Pushed. 37-Jess e James Narrowest Escape; or, Chased b y a D e sperate Band. 3 8 -Jesse Jam e s and the Bl a ck Vali se; or, Robber Again s t Robbe r. AU of the a b o v e numbe r s always on han d. If you cannot g e t them f rom your newsdealer, five cents a copy will b ring them t o you by mail p ost paid STREH & SMITH, Publishers, 238 William Street, New York.


15 Solid Gold Watches GIVEN AWAY N j Not Gold Filled Watches Not Gold Plated Watches BUT ABSOLUTELY Solid Gold Watches WARRANTED UNITED STATES ASSAY. FULL PARTICULARS IN NUMBER 20. BOYS OF AMERICA. COMING! IN Noo 20, BOYS OF AMERICA. OUT JANUARY 30th NEXT, .fl Corking, Up=io=Date Story .FRANK MERRIWELL The Fainous Ya:ie Athlete, Entitled The All:;:Star Athletic Club; OR. The Boys Who Couldn't Be Downed NO BOY CAN AFFORD TO MISS THIS FASCINATING STORY. The wonderful record of the All-Star Athletic Club, their bitter rivals, their battles on the ice, in the g,,1nnasium, on the snow, in the rinR, the plots of tbeir enemies, etc., etc., are just a Cew of the features of this remarkable stor7, throbbing with enthusiastn and excitement. Don't tniss No. 20, BOYS OF AMERICA, containing the opening installment of this great story. I


THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY r' Edward S. Ellis Horatio Alger, Jr. James Otis Matthew White, Jr. Gordon Stables Manville Fenn W. H. G. Kingston 1 Wm. Murray Graydon Brooks McCormick AND OTHER CELEBRA no AUTHORS THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY of eighty-eight copyrighted titles pub lished in this series only. The books are bound in highly illuminated cover designs, and equal in every respect to the average high-priced works. Price, 75 cents e4-ch. For sale at all first-class book stores. Catalogue on applica tion to the Publishers, .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. .;t. STREET & SMITH, 238 WILLIAM ST., NEW YORK


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