Jesse James' spy, or, Corralling a whole town

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Jesse James' spy, or, Corralling a whole town

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Title:
Jesse James' spy, or, Corralling a whole town
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Creator:
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
32 p. ; 26 cm.

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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
028820926 ( ALEPH )
07359177 ( OCLC )
J14-00044 ( USF DOI )
j14.44 ( USF Handle )

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serial

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;;,-.,;ed iveekly. By Subscrzj)tiOll $2-SO ;!>er year. Entered as Second Class Matter at J\'ew York Pust Office by .YrREET & SMITH, 238 fVmzam St., i'l. Y. I No. 44. Price, Five Cents. BILL WILLIAMS DROPPED DEAD IIEU!ND HIS OWN BAR, WHILE JESSE .JAME!; COVERED SODGER JIM WITH THE STILL SMOKING REVOLVER.

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A". --.. A weeKLY DfALlnG WITH DcTECllOn Of CR'lf1E Issued Weellly By Subs c,. i ption $11. 50 fer" yea,. E .. te,-ed a s &cond Cl a ss .Matter at t h e N. Y. P o s t Office by STREET &: SMITH, 231 William St., N. Y. E n t er e d accordi nl{ t o A ct of 0J nl{r es1 i1l t/.e y ear 1 Q02 in tk q f t k Lil>ra,.ia,. o f Ctml{ress, Washinl[ton, D C. No. 44. NEW YORK, March 8, 1902. Price F i ve C m t s JESSE JAMES Sl?Y; O R, eorralling a whole Town. By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER I. C O RRAL T,ING A NEW 'l' OWN. "You say tha t J ess e J a m e s i s a d es perado, an u tha t h e s h o ul d be s h o t at sight; well and good so m u c h I von't di s pute. But w hen y ou c all h i m a cowa r d and a s n ea k w ith out a grain of fairn ess i n h im, th a t i s n t so, Bill W illi a m s, a n d I c o ul d put up t h e prioof o f it!" "\i\Tall, m y young roos t e r whoeve r y e m ay be, I ain't goin' to take bac k ary syl l able that I 've exp os t u la t ed," sa i d th e great, hul k ing pi lgrim w h o t e nd ed bar in the n ewest sa loon in th e lates t tow n i n Sou t h e;istern A ri zo n a It w as a bri ght morning, a f ew yea r s ago. Tha t the m o rnin g was bright n eed h a rdl y have been men ti o n ed o f t hat sec ti o n how ever, e x c ept tha t it me a n s that the r e was n o w ind stirring, and con seq u e n t l y n o du st. The first speaker was a w e ll-built fellow of twenty two, and as han dsome as they make them. "No offeme inte nd e d by what I ha v e said ," r e turne d he, i n h i s q u iet, p os i t i ve way, "but, a s yo u say, I a m ready t o stand b y m y s tatement. T here are two sides to every man, and t h e r e i s a better one t o Jesse J a m es than you o ften hear about." "P'ti ck l a r pa re! o' your'n, I reckon," ch i pped in a grizzl e d old l oafe r who o\\ed \ V i iliams a b i g score for drinks, and s o m ade i t a po i n t to i ndo r se all t he barten de r 's r e m a r ks "He i s not a frie n d of mine, i n any sense of t h e word." T h e younger man w h eele d q u ickly as h e sa i d this, a n d there w as a faint flush i a his rather pa l e chee k s 'Keep ye r b r it ch es o n yonngster-yer'
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2 THE J E SSE JAMES STORIESo dark games. 1 1 1ere vver e fair m e n a l so, w h o had en o u g h t o do to guard their inter es t s again s t the s h arps. It w as generally unde r s tood that J e sse J a m es ..-;as not th e sort to w a d e in for a s m all s c o op. T he mi s chief o f it was, bu s ine ss in the n e w t o wn g rew so fas t tha t so me m e n wit h ca si1 got together a nd s t arted a b ank-not o f the faro kind. Shaving notes, carry in g d ep osit s s u bjec t to c he ck, an d negotiating securiti es, all with an e y e t o fairn es s and a decent profit w e r e i'n th e line of the new in stitution, a mi of course, it w o uld sc5on b e incorpora t e d as a national b a nk. A railroad was buildin g in t ha t di re c t i on. But the town was of the "sooner" sort-it w as s t a rted in an ticipation of the railw ay. In a m onth o r t w o m o re it would be all ri ght; but n ow-well, as a center f o r a l a rgr aggregati o n of ca p it a l it could not b e r e c o mmended in the matter of s afety. The cashier of the bank h a d been held up as he wa s c oming out of the bank the s e cond d ay after it was running, but he was unexp e c t e dl y h a nd y with a g un, and shot the desperad o who had ordere d him to throw up his dukes. It was a shot to kill i and the outlaw' s rnate did not stop to take his medicine. The ca shier, who s e name was Grime s, w as a gam.f2y fello w He did not so much a s menti on the incident; and, had there not be e n a witn ess in the b arber-shop acmss the way, the story woul d n o t have b een told As it was, of course the affair became no secret, and Grimes' reticence, and the matter-of-fact way in which he anted up for business b e hind the bank railing at the usual hour next morning ins pire d the s had y element of the town with res p ect. A s econd attempt of the sort had not been made. A lr eady the money trans aotions of the bank w ere considerabl e A t the end of the first mont h a b al a nc e -sh e et was stuck up near the entrance to the institution, to s h o w how s he stood It testified to a c a s h -o n-h and item of t w e n t y-three tho u sand doll a r s And n o w the t h i r d d ay after t he p osting o f the firs t statem ent o f the new bat,J.k 's a ssets, it was s aid that the J a mes b o ys, picked g an g w ere m a k-ing for the town. Tha t l ooked as if there mus t be a spy in the pl a ce. This very su s picion had been sugg e sted in the g eneral talk in the Williams s aloon, in the course of w hich the yo ung man we hav e in troduced s p o ke a wo rd in favor o f J es s e Jam es. T h e r e wer e u g l y l oo k s throw n in the directio n of t h e yo un g f ellow. T h e g rizzle d loun ger saw that \iVilli a m s w a s fingering a revol v er; so he fingered his, thou g h h e kn ew there w as not a cartridg e in the c y l inder. H e c o uld s till bluff William s for a drink at the bar ; bu t for the purcha se o f p o wd e r and provender he had lon g b e en at the e n d of his s la te. T he yo ung man, w h o at the hotel as Melton G a y seeme d n o t to realize tha t he had arou sed a dangerous s u s p i cio n agains t him s elf by wh a t m ay h av e be e n an idl e remark in praise of the n o t e d king of b o r de r d es p eradoes The sa loon was h a lf-full of loungers but they were o f the lazy, loafing sort, who are made stupid rathe' tha n u g ly b y b a d whis k y and only t w o or three of them seemed t o take a ny interest in the discu ss ion. Melton Gay noted th e m enacing action of "Williams and hi s toady, and was the first s u ggestion he had of the m eaning which h a d been drawn fr o m his s peech H e ought to have known that it wa s a good time to quflif y hi s words, or to take the11) back, if he w ere not of t he quickshooting But he did nothi n g d the kind nor did he do the othe r thin g-tha t is, pull a gun and get h is back a gai nst the w all. In othe r w ords, he b ehaved just a t e nd e r foot w it h ple n ty of n e rve. Perhaps he \'Vanted to d ie. "Say, young ster, p us h out a gun arn1 back up agin' suthin', fer Lawd s ake!" hoarsely whispered the friendly ranchman. "You s ay the Jame s boys and their crowd are re BOrted as on the tra il toward thi s here t own?" queri e d Willia ms, a ddress in g the m a n with the empty revol v er. "It air so declared over to the bank. My fri e nd, Grimes, ther cas h yeer, s ays he reckin s that Jesse wants to throw in a note and clra\V out ther deposits. "Jess e James ain't no clary v o yant to git news o f the b u s i ness a t the bank in t h i s t o wn without so me hum an c uss to do t h e s py in'. A nd who i s there h ere but w e know s s uthi n' abou t ? Not a doz en count 'em all up. And who is there tha t say s a good word for J esse ? Not ary one, savin and excludin' the s tarc hed and b 'ile d rooster ri ght th a r Gents, I ain t of t h e has t y sort, and, b e in' sort of d e p e n dent for biz on th e r good n ature of the people, I'm willin' to leave

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THE JESSE JAMES 3 it to a vote of the majority as to whether we shoots the youngster full er and then investigates, or as to whether we investigate and then shoots? Bein' as I holds ther drop on ther rooster, I'll 'low yer hal f a minute for deliberations." Sodger Jim-which was the title by which the saioon-keeper's toady was quick to respond to a call up to the bar on a treat-cast his red-rimmed e yes aroun d the room, and swelled out his stomach with there and snap it five times. That'll either pr.ave you a truth-teller, for once, or kill a liar!" "Lawd, mister if there happined to be just one shot left in the gun-I may have forgot, ye know!" vvhined Jim. "Pull away or I'll test mine. Mayhap I've forgot to l oad. Trust your memory or mine-your choice!" The stern lips of the speaker relaxed jnst a trifle as he said this. importance. Sodger Jim squinted at his weapon, his face His reference to Grimes, the cashier, as "his white as a sheet. A moment before he had been friend" was calculated to gain him a special hear-sure that there was not a cartridge in the cylinder; mg. but now there loomed up a score of possibilities that "For me, half-a-minute is too Jong for that sort of he might have been mistaken. a deliberation, when it comes to pertectin' the in-He was miserable; but he didn't feel like commilt'rests of my fr i end Grimes' instit ootion,'' he ob-ting suici
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4 THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIESo attempt, but I can't do more for you till I know more -you savvy?" Melton Gay stared at the stranger with whitening cheeks "You-you are not--" he faltered . "Yes, I am," said the other. "I am Jesse Jam es, and I have corralled this town!" "My God!" gasped Melton. And still a revolver hung at hi s hip. He was like a man in a dream. ii CHAPTER II. THE TAKING OF SODGER JIM. It was Jesse James who roused l\!Ielton Gay from the strange apathy into which he seemed to have been by the disclosure of the identity of the coo l stranger who had saved hi s life. The bandit king stepped to the, side of the young man and took the weapon from hi s hip. The other made a quick attempt to seize it-but he was too late. "You're under my care now, youngster, and so won't need the gun," said the desperado. His tones, in striking contrast to those in which the orders to the other inm ates had bee n given, were almost kindly. Was i t the manifestation of a nevv trait in the char acter of this strange man? It will take more than one chapter of this tale to explain it. At that moment several of the inmates of the saloon made a concer te d movement toward the door. They thought the outlaw did nrot see them. But he vhee led quick as a flash. Bang !-one of the men fell in his tracks, without so much as a moan. The others s curried back like a lot of frightened rabbits. Sodger Jim had not been one of those to attempt to escape, but he sidled up to Jesse James with a fawning sq uirm. "I-I'm the sort to stand by a brave man, Mr. James," he began. But the back of the outlaw's hand struck the fel low full on the mouth, and he reeled. "I've no breath to waste on yo u ," said the outlaw. Then to the ranchman who had warned Melton Gay to be cautious: "Y d u look to have more wit than the rest of this crew, and I take it that you know my reputation well enough not to try any monkey tric ks. I just said that I had corralled this town. It is true. You know there are only two trails that will lead a man clear of it-by way of the pass and the canon?" The ranchman nodded. "\Vell, I have them both plugged up with a crew of men that you wouldn't like to try to fight a way through." ; "All right, mister," said the ranchman, coolly. "I have had a spy here for a week. You have a few gamey men here, but you aren't organized. If I could only depend on two or three of you to peddle out a little good advice, it would save the lives of some men that it would be a pity to shoot." The ranchman nodded again. An oath leaped fr.om the lips of Jesse James. "Can you do nothing but bob your head like a dummy?" he cri ed "I didn't know prezactly w hat yer was drivin' at, and I ain't the sort ter grin and gabble like a durned female wofoan, without ary thing to say for it." "If I merely wanted to hold up the new bank and two or three citizens, I mi ght do it inside of an hour, and get out of town. But I want to do more. This appears to .be a pretty good p l ace, and I don't care to amb le out of it as if I wasn't wanted here. I come with my friends to tarry with you a bit." Again the ranchman nodded, a faint grin relaxing his lips. Jesse James seemed to be in better humor, perhaps because the old fellow did not appear like a sneak While the bandit king made it his business to in spire terror of his very name in e very breast, he, nevertheless, despised those who caved too readily, and who fawned upon him, pretending to be half friendly while hating him At the same time, his answer to actual disobedience to any command was always a bullet, straight to heart or brain. "You t wo gentlemen," he went ion, indicating the ranchman and Melton Gay, "are of the kind to keep a pledge, if you gave one." "That's right, fu1'. as I can speak for the pair on us." "Then I'm disposed to let you go on parole, if you will bind yo urselves by a promise lo take no band in any game against us for four days." The ranchman and Gay were both siient. Just then three men came into the saloon. Jess James seemed not to see them.

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Dave Wheeler, the ranchman, recognized one as Frank Jam es, the brother of Jesse. The other two were members of the gang. At that moment then! was not a store, saloon, barber-shop or other public resort in the town without two or more members of the outlaw gang on guard. Only the bank was exempt, and this was due to the promptness and nerve of Grimes, as well as to the fact ,that Jesse James had given no positive orders to take posse s sion of the place immediately. He had laid his plans so carefully, and felt so sure of wimting the , vbole game, that he wanted to add a new laurel to his r eputation by playing a particularly cool hand. He meant not only to scoop the assets of the new bank, but to take anything els e that he might take a fancy to in the town. "There is no time for palaver, said the stern tones of the outlaw chief, still addressing Dave \i\Theeler. "\i\Thy don't ye put ther terms to the young fell er. Or, maybe, ye count him out of it." "One at a time. Do you, on your honor, give me the pledge I have just named?" "And must I stay right here in the town till the time's up?" "All the citizens will have to do that." "Ye ain't goin' to give any travelin' privileges?" "Nary a privilege." "And a try for the open risks gittin1 busted in two 'with a gun?" "It isn't a matter of risk, but a dead sure penalty." "I reckon I'll give ye the pledge." "Up with your right hand, and make it solemn." Dave Wheeler obeyed. Jesse James turned to Melton Gay, who had re treated t o the side of the room, and stood leaning against the wall as if he were either in deep dejection, or overpowered by some emotion. "Melton Gay," said the bandit king. II'he young man turned with a start. "Did you hear the pledge I just took from your friend yonder?" "Yes, I heard it. But why do you need to im pose it on me? You just saved my life . I am a man of honor, and that counts for something." "You will have to take the pledge. If I have rea son to suspect that you intend to break it, there isn't a life in the town that I would hold as cheaper than yours." "All right. I will take the pledge-with one con dition." "'I'here are no conditions that you can name. I make them, if there are to be any." "\Vait-hear what I have to say. Noel Grimes, cashier of the new bank, must not be killed. He is a brave man, and I would stand betwixt your gun and his body." This speech elicited a low laugh frotn Frank Jam es, who seemed to be an interested listener to the negotiations. "You might put a piece of paper betwixt 'em, youngster-it would do jt1st as much good, and save having the lungs shot out of ye." "Noel Grimes as you call him, will have to save his own life, or fose it. You can do nothing for him," said Jesse"] ames, quickly. "You will give him more than the ordinary call. He is not the sort to throw up his hands because he is told to do it." "The worse for hitp, then . What is one man to me more than another?" "You are giving me a special show now. That proves that all are not alike to you." "Bah !-give me the pledge, or, curse you, I will swear you in as a member of my gang, and shoot you at the first hint of treachery," snarled the outlaw chief. Melton Gay did not hesitate longer. He knew that he was facing death, and why should he die without having gained better terms for the one for whom he pleaded mercy. "Frank," said the younger of the Jam es brothers, turning his back on Gay as if he expected never to see him again, "you can line up these pilgrims for any kind of an oath that "JOU think will hold them. Shoot the first kicker at his first kick. Wait-boost that shivering cuss this way. I want to take him with me." Sodger Jim got the knee of one of the outlaws in the small of his back, and he brought up in a groaning heap at the feet of the bandit king. "Get up, and follow me!" ordered Jesse Jam es. Sodger Jim got up and folfowecl. 1As they went out, there was a sound of shooting on the street, in front of the newly established postoffice. Jam es' horse was waiting patiently at the

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6 THE JESSE JAM ES STORIESo door of the saloon. He flung himself into the saddle, saying to Sadger Jim: "Follow close, pilgrim-see that you don't let me Jeaye you out of sight, or I'll have to shoot you in." "Oh, Lawd !" groaned Sodger Jim. He was not built for sprinting, but the stern look and tones of Jesse James held him like a slave The horse went np the street at an easy canter, and Soclger Jim, sweating and puffing, managed to keep alongside. "He'll serve me better than a nigger!" muttered the outlaw chief. "-I can't keep up--much furder !" panted Jim. Jesse James swung a revolver toward the gasping figure. "Shall I put you out of your misery?" "No, no-Lawd, no!" "Then wag your pins. That's right." Sodger Jim wagged them, and so proved what a man may do when his miserable life hangs in the balance. He kept alongside of thehorsernan until the postoffice vvas reached. I 'here a scene in the drama of the new town was be,ing enacted. Cole Younger and Hank Starr, with two other kJl!owers of Jesse James, were shooting in at the windows of the postoffice. There was now and then an answering pop from the other side of the sash, from which all the gla:ss had been smashed. As Jesse James rode up, some one within opened the door a crevice and thrust out a Winchester. Crack -but at such an angle that no harm was possible to the outlaws. The door swung open wider.....L..a hand and arm ap-peared behind the \i\Tinchester Crack !-again. This time it was from the revolver of Jesse James. The \;\Tinchester dropped, and before the door could slam shut the bandit king sprang up the steps. CHAPTER III. JESSE J WAY 011 RUNNING A POS'l OFF'ICE. There were two men and a boy inside the post-office. In the place was kept a stock of general merchandise, and the proprietor was p'Ostmaster. The boy, who was not more than fourteen, was his son. The other man was a clerk, and it was he who was doing most of the shooting. The proprietor had counseled surrender without resistance. The clerk had been a stagedriver, and was full of fight. As Jesse James sprang into the building the exstagc-driver leaped toward him, firing as he did so. The bandit was untouched. Crack !---from his revolver, and the man went down. The postmaster flung up his hands. "No use losing life, and the game, too!" he exclaimed. Jesse gave the man a sharp glance fr ,om his keen eyes. "Any more here?" he demanded. "Nary a one." "Pass out your guns, then." The man had only a single pistol, and that he gave up with the air of one who was glad to g-et rid of it. The firing outside had not ceased, although, of course, there was no further demonstration from the interior of the postoffice building. The reason for this was tha t a half-dozen citizens from a place at the opposite end of the street had gotten together with a miscellaneous lot of guns, with which they were banging at the mounted desperadoes at long. range. It was a kind of fusillade which was noisy rather than sanguinary. Younger and Starr paid little attention to it until the crew came within closer range. Then they opened a return fire, sent three of the citi zens to .the dust, and the of them scuttling to cover. This was what was going on outside-or a part of it, at least, to show that the men of the new town were not being "corralled" without an effort t.o clear themselves. It has often been wondered at that Jesse Jam es seldom failed to hold up a train, or ev:en a town, when he made the attempt, even when the odds were nat urally very heavy against him. The secret may be easily explained. The bandit king never bandied words when bullets would talk quicker and surer. His men all had the same orders; and often he gave them orders to show no quarter, when, if he had been the one to do the shooting, he would not have cared to shed innocent and defenseless blood. In other words, mercy .and quarter were never to be gained except when there was a chance for a direct personal appeal to him. His commands to men when they were not to do all their fighting at his side, were these: "vVhen sure of your man, shoot; when in doubt about him, shoot; when you have the drop, shoot; when he has it, trick him by pretending tio cave, then shoot. Never give a man your gim as long as there is lead inside of it." Need anybody wonder that such rules as these, carried out almost to the letter, gained for Jesse J arnes the reputation of being invincible? So, when he heard the firing out on the street of tbe new town, the bandit chief did not so much as take tl}e trouble to look out and see what was the meaning of it. The bank, as he knew, had a cordo!l of his best men drawn around it. He knew that Grimes, tha

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES cashier, would try to do some killing before he sur rendered bis trnst, and of all the men in the town there was not another-excepting Melton Gay-that Jesse James had the lea s t compunctions about kiil mg. This, in brief, represents the conditions as they stood while the chief of the o u tlaws was himself tak ing po ssession of the postoffice. As matters stood, there was no call for haste. The town was his already. The small details of k e eping it in order could be managed as they came along. "Now, man," he sa id to the po:;;tmaster, I shall have use for you, if you like living on the best terms you can get. How often do you receiv e a mail here?" "Once a da "How man y go out?" "One." "Has there been one either way to-clay?" "No." "When does it come in?" Riggsley-which was the postmaster's name looked at the dock. He had been all of a tremor; but now he was calming down, for a possible sphere of u s efulness loomed up before him. "It's clue in h alf-a n-hour. "All right. .And do you have a pouch made up to send right out a s soo n as the stage gets in?" "The driver stops to ea t his dinner, changes horses, spends half -an-hour in Bill \!Villiams', and then starts on his return trip. He goes about three o'clock." "Bill \!Villiams doesn't run any place just now un les s they h ave f m in hades. I'm proprietor of hi s shop, but bu s ine ss will go on at the old stand just the same. I'll see that your people don't go thirsty. You've a lot of lette r s to go out, I suppose?" "A pretty go'od bunch of them." "Shovel them out on the counter there, and we'll look them over. Any registered packages?" H.iggsley h esitated. He was a sworn servant of the government, and h e could not aid a robber to seize the matter intrusted to his care, unless---J esse James observed his hesitation. "I can run a postoffice as well as I can a saloon, and I don't know as I've any u se for you, anyhow," he said, as he slo wly brought a revol ver up to a level. '"There"s 110 help for it and I'll do anything yon say," cried Riggs ley. Jesse James as a matter of fact, preferred just then not to work up too big a quarrel with the United States Government, as there were some old scores which he knew the deputie s were anxious to settle with him. "All right, postma13ter. Trot out the stuff that has got to g o out, and we 'll see how it look s Riggsley haul ed out a square soap box, which was placed under the letter slit for the deposit of mail, and dumped the contents on the counter. As is nsnal in a young and booming town, th e re was a good quantity of mail matter sent out and re ceived every da y Much of it was of value. although there were the u s ual "letters home" from the new arrivals. There were several registered letters to go ont, all containing money. The amounts of thes e were mostly small, but they amounted to considerable in the aggregate. But this was not all. The place had just been made a money-order office, and some hundreds of dollars had been de posited for which orders on othe r offices had been written. This cash was in a safe in the office. lfhe se facts were quickl y drawn out in answer to the inquiries of Jesse James. The latter was, in deed, as capable of running the business of the post office as was the real in cumbent. Having obtained possession of everything that had a cash value in the office, Jess e James proceeded to investigate the contents of some of the ordinary let ters which ha d been mailed, either on tha t thorning or since the departnre of the mail on the previous day. The addres ses of most of them did not interest him, a nd he did not even take the trouble to open them. There vere a few which he opened and read. One of these elicited a mu.tter e d oath. A dark flame leaped into his cheeks, and he leaped to hi s feet, holding the opened letter in his hand. "Riggs le y !" he exclaimed, "look at that envelopt:, and t ell me who addressed it! If you equivocate, cur se yon, I'll shoot the skin off yon, inch by inch!" The postmaster stared at the address, and studied the handwriting. The eyes of Jesse Jam es wa tchecl every expression of his countenance. "God help me!" muttered the postmaster. "\t\ Tho wrote that address?" repeated the bandit. "I don' t know. "You don't know!" mimicked Jesse Jam es. Riggsley wa s looking into an iron tube, which had dealt death to more men probably, than any other the whole country. "It i s true-true! I d on't know vYho wrote that letter. But it was mailed by-I think--" He h es ita t ed. The muzzle o f the r evo l ve r bumped against hi s nos e "By Mabel Grimes, the bank cashier's daughter!" CHAPTER I V JESSE JAMES PUMPS FOR POIN'l' ERS. The lette r which excit e d so mu ch interest in the outlaw chief was addressed to the s heriff of the county, and it c ommunicated the fact that inform;;.-

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8 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. tion had been given of a meditated visit to the new town from Jesse James and his gang of marauders. The signature was plainly that of a fictitious name. No other special precautions had been used in the writing of it, and certainly the address was plain enough. The writer may have foreseen the possible inter cep t ion of the letter, and so had guarded against the tco ready discovery of his own identity. The bandit chief lowered his weapon, and for the moment he seemed to forget the presence of Riggsley altogether. He appeared to labor under a singular agitation as a c o n seq uence of the answer the postmaster had given him. Outside there was an increasing hubbub, made up of shouts, gruff la ughter yells of terror and cries for mercy, and the occasional report of a firearm. The so und s were of such a peculiar character J esse Jam es would ordinarily have ascertained the occasion of them. But, instead, he seemed to be ab sorbed in a sudden train of reflections, or disturbed by some problem of action which h e did not know how to solve. Riggsley stared and wondered. He saw that the outlaw held the letter partially crumpled in his hand, while he allowed the revolver to lie on the edge of the counter without touching it. But he suddenly roused himself, caught up the weapon, gave Riggs ley a quick look, and then said: "You say Grimes' daughter mailed this letter. That doesn't mean that she wrote it. \Vas it put in with the letters sent out by the bank?" "No." "It seems to me that you are devilish certain on that point. When I asked you the question I didn't expect you kept tally of all the letters posted here, and just who dropped them into the box. I reckon you are telling me the yarn just because you think I expect something, and that any kind of a yarn will \lom spent so much time on what would se em like a trifling matter. Yet it was not tmn s ual for him t o follow with all the patience and care of a detective a clew t o anything like suspected treache'.y on the part of _any of his gang, or one ac tm g as a spy on him. This \Vas the secret of hi s thoroug h and searchinO" questions. He had had a spy in the town to him \\' hen a raid would be likel y to prove profitable. Now, by this letter, it appeared that some one had discovered hi s intention. though not ill' season to give adequate warning to the citizens of the town. This letter in which the bandit king showed such d ee p interest was, in substance, as follows: 1 ha,e been w a rn e d that an atta ck on thi s town for purposes o f whol e s ale robb_e ry _is being pl_anned by the James boys and t h eir gang. It is 1mmment, and if you ca n no t get h e re in tim e to preve n t it, if thi s reaches you, you may at least intercept the outlaws in their flight from the town. The letter had no signature, and, for that matter it needed none. What troubled Jess e Jam es most was the fact that the information could not have been given to the writer except by one of his own spie s or by some one in whom the spy had confid en ce. Jesse James would have given then more for formation that would nail the guilt of the spy than for assurance that all the treasure in the town would be hi s. "Death to treachery!" he hoarsely muttered. Meanwhile, the uproar out on th.e street became greater. Melton, Gay and Dave \Vheeler, talking earnestly togethe r, walked down from the Williams saloon. They could see that Jesse J a.ines had truthfully stated the situation. The outlaws were already practicall y in posses sion of the town, and there seemed to be little show ior any citizens who might try to make resistance. Mounted men were riding up and down the street, at the heads that now and then appeared at windows, driving the few market men and others \\ho were P.ttending to their duties on the street to c.oYer. Tbis was easy \ to do, for the very sound of hostiJe shooting, coupled with the name of Jesse James ut-

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 9 tered on every side, was sufficient to send them scurrying out of sight like jack-rabbits. It was some time before Melton Gay and Dave Wheeler reached the vicinity of the postoffice. When they did so they were in time to witness a comical farce. Cole Younger,'Ha'nk Starr and half-a-dozen others of the James gang stood in a semi-circle about a post on the opposite side of the street from the postoffice On the top of the post sat Sodger Jim, his le gs cnrlecl up, his head bare, his hands clinging, his face the picture of terror and every other kind of misery that a coward may suffer. "For the Lavvd' s sake gentlemen, good gentlemen, heer what I hev ter s ay to yer !" he was saying, as Gay and Wheeler came up. "Heer, heer !" mimicked Younger. "In the fust place, gentlemen, I'm a veteran of the late wah howled Sodger Jim. "Heer, heei !" roared Starr. "I was wownded in the hip, and starved in the hoss pittle and the gover'ment didn't even give me a pen sion?" "Which side was ye on-the North or the S outh?" demanded Hank Starr, with a sudden assumption of sternness. Soclger Jim squirmed. He around on the crowd, and tried to make out whether it were sa fer to claim allegiance with the Federal or (Qnfederate side in the great "unpleasantness .. "\i\lhy-er-ther South most er ther time," he said. Starr and Younger uttered simultaneous roars of pretended fury. Bang-bang! Both of them fired at the dangling legs o f Sodger Jim. They w ere not the S ort to mi ss so good a mark at that distance, and yet they did not do him serious injury, it being their purpose, rather, to leave their marks on him. "Shoot him ter pieces, the durned rebel!" roared Starr. "Push the lead into the traitor to his country!" howled Y ounger. "I-I was mistooken !" groaned Sodger Jim, be twixt his yells of terror and pain. "It was sich a durned long while ago, and my mem'ry is sorter poor, anyhow. Come to think on't, I fit clean through the wah under the Stars and Stripes! "Yow-yow !-the cursed Yankee!" howled two or three others among his tormentors. "Shoot the legs off'n the durned Yank!" Bang, bang, bang! "Trim his boot heels!" "This is what ye call brandin' calves!" "Ow !-marcy-marcy, on a poor, old soldier!" wailed Sodger Jim. At this juncture Jesse Jam es came out to the door of the postoffice. He smiled grimly as he observed the antics of Sodger Jim. Then his stern tones rang out. "That will do-let the p0or devil loose!" In an instant Sodger Jim was released fr.om his awkward and painful position. "Come here, you' sneak!" ordered the 'oandit chief, catching the eyeof the whining coward. Jim limped across the road, and up the steps. A roar of laughter followed, and he heard the banging of \Vinchesters further down the street. As he believed that every shot was designed to end his precious life he cast apprehensive glances over his shoulder, and scuttled to the side of Jesse James in a fever of anxiety to gain his protection. "Come in Sodg;er Jim, ordered Jess e He accompanied the command by a push that sent the man headlong across th e threshholcl Jesse paused outside to give one or two terse orders to his men, and then returned to the interior of the office. With a gun at the head of Sodger Jim, he put in ten minutes of close pumping for pointers. And the effort was not wholly a vain one, as 1,"esults t.o prove. CHAPTER V. "TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN." Jess e and Frank Jam es, with their followers, had no t pursued their most usual course in making the attack on the town. Ordina rily they started in terrorizing a place by ridin g furiously along the streets ancl shooting at everything in sight. Then they u s ually entered the hank and made their cash haul and after another shooting act on the street they would ride out of the town again. Their entrance and exit was usually like that of a cyclone. In the present case their action at the start had been in the line of strategy. They had actually gained possession of the town before the majority of the citizens knew that there wa s anything the matter. It had b ee n their intention to seize everything in the bank immediately. But, on approaching the door of the institution, they found it closed and locked, and evidently so barricaded as to make them considerable trouble before they could enter it and seize the plunder. This was the first intimation that Jesse Jam es had that any one in the town had been warned of his intended visit It was here, too, that they met with their first

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I 10 THE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES resistance. A well-aimed shot from one of the win dows had sen t one of the outlaws to the dust in front of t he bank building. S u ch marks m a nship, with the advantage of pos i tion wh o lly wit h the enemy, decided J esse James t o act more cautiously in that quarter. It w a s too much lik e attacking a fortress w hile expos ed to its fire. While Jessie Jam es was interviewing Sadger Jim, Melton Gay and Dave wheeler passed into a side street near t he bank. \ i\Tall, s aid Dave, "our posish in the present dif fik ilt y i s so rter peculiar, with a chance of its gittin' monotonous." I a m not worrying about t he monotony," returned Melton. I reckon that in dealin' with a cuss of the measure o f J esse J ames, a man is pretty nigh jus tified in breakin g hi s parole. "No,'' said Gay, sharply; "I will not do that, nt0r all ow it. "Oh, yer won't," chuckled Dave, with a shrug. "Glad ye told me, 'cau se I would be afeard to do a thing t-ha t ye sai d I mustn't." Gay gave the older man a keen g l a nce but made no retort to thi s speech. His mind was on another matter, and if there was a bit o f sarcasm in the words o f the old ranchman he did not t a ke the trouble to pick it up. "'Look a t the b ank yonder,'' he said. "It is evidently b arricaded within, and surrounded without. I am sure that Miss Mabel Grimes is there with her father. Now, Mr. Grimes might find it to his interest to be more friendly toward me." "You're sweet on the gal, I've hear'n." "I do not blu s h to admit t h:it I love Mabel Grimes, and it is equally certain that she loves me in re turn." "And the old man don't favor ye?" "He has forbidden her to marry me." "Tough line s aio t they? Lawd!-this would be. a good chance to git hold of the gal and a couple of good b osses and light out. Ye an't pertick'ler w hether or no ye're spliced in this town or some other, I reckin." Melton Gay compresse d his lips. "Mr. Grimes is a keen man, and a brave oi1e, but he had taken a n unaccountable prejudice against n1e." \i\That air hi s objections? Has he named 'em?" "He says that I am a comparative stranger, and and--" The young man h esitated, and Dave gave him a sharp look. "'S u sp i c i o us, eh?" he ventured. "Yes. '1 "\!Vhat about?" "You heard what was said in the saloon before Jesse Jam es came in and shot Bill Williams." ''Erbout your bein' a spy?" "Yes. Grimes see m s to entertain a s imil a r suspi cion." wall, I s'pose thar must be reasons of some sort. The t a lk had to begin somehow." "The rea so ns with him are, I b elieve, the same as those that made the talk in the saloon. I have once or twice spoken of J esse James as a man not wholly bad. In that I speak from a conviction which I have good reason to h o ld. Y o u know that jus t now, in shooting Bill Williams, he saved m y life. "That's ri ght, youngster. But there' s them that woul d co'tmt hi s marcy to ye as agin' ye." "He spared you, and placed you o n parole on the same terms tha t he did me." "He h e ercl me caution ye. He reckincd we was pards. I tell ye, it a ll counts agin' ye in the eyes of the crowd." "An d does it with you, Dave Wheeler?" The eye s of the two men met. The hand of the ranchman went out and caught that of the younger man and gripped it hard. "Yer eyes air honest as the s un and I 'll be durned ii I'ni gain ter s u sp i s h a g in ye till I he s better rea son than I h ave see n yit." "Thank you. It i s good to feel that I have a friend." "Somebody besides Jesse James, too. He is Hail Columb y on the sBoot and I reckin he sticks by his self and his brother Frank pretty .good. But I'm durned if I keer to depend on him for a pard." "He is a brave man, and can be true to a friend, when he i s sure that a friend i s true to him. But I' take it that he has found real friendships a pretty rare a rticle. It embitters a man to have those he believe s to be true prove false "That's right. That's why everybody hates a spy, and thinks death too g-ood for one." Again Melton Gay gave a keen glance at the face of his companion. It almost seemed to him that Dave Wheeler had a lurkin g suspicion that the young man mi ght not be ju s t what he seemed-that 'there might be an unstated reason for the good words spoken for J essc James. They approached ne arer to the bank buildin g, but from a narrow street that had been l a id out to the r ea r of the main thoroughfare of the new town. The structure in which the bank had been established was two stories in height, built of wood, but in a ll re spects the most substantial of any building tl1at had yet be e n completed in the place. Several others of a better characte r were being built h oweve r, a nd in one of thes e Grimes intended tci kn-e the banking rooms as soon as they were ready. He had, hm\7ever, taken pains to have the ing whic h he was then occupying made as stanch as

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\fH E JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. 11 possible, against any pos s ible attack by desperadoes, which contingency he had seemed to foresee from the start. M e lton Gay had the best of reas ons for believing that Mabel w as in the building wit h h e r fat h e r. He was in a feve r of imp atie nce to ope n communication with her. He knew that Mr. Grim es wou l d be very anxiou s in her behalf, and he felt tha t t he m a n s fa vor might b e gained in some degree if he Gay -were to do ::.o m e thin g t o s e cure her s afety. The building was su rmounte d b y a cupola, with four windows. As Gay g l a nced toward this he saw something dart from one of the win d ows, flying obliqu e l y upward. ]11e ne .xt momen t the object fell in the narrow stree t a short di sta nce from where they were stan d -. m g It was a n arrow, and, as Melton sprang to pick it up, he saw that there w a s a s lip of pape r tie d on near th e feather end of the missil e Wall, wall! ejacu l a t e d Dave Wheeler. Melton s tri.p pe d off the pape r and found th a t a m es sage was written on the in s i d e of it. As he rea d it, his face b e came as white as a sheet, and ther e was a h u s ky sound i n his throat. v Vheeler watched his countenance cur i ously, but asked 1110 questions. TI1ere was a moment o f silence. Then Melton Gay looke d his co mpanion in the face. "You have just promi sed to tl 'ust me. Read t his, and I will know whether o r not your confidence i s of the sort to stand a test." Wheele r scanned the plain ly-written message, wh i ch was a s follO\ vs : To whom It May C o n cern: E very h o n est ci t izen i s h e r eby informed that I Noel Grimes, believe that a spy info r med J e sse J a m e s t h e d es p e r ado, of a c h a n ce for a rich h 2 ul in thi s town and th a t the spy i s n o ot h e r than the y o ung, p lau sib l e a pp earing m a n calling h i mse lf Me lt on G ay. I advi se that h e b e s h o t at sight! (Dupli ca te N o 5 ) CHAPTER VI. "HT S F RIEND S A R E FOES, WHILE HIS F OES A R E FRIEND S." "Gee -whillikin s excla im e d D ave \ V h e el e r, as the s i g nific a nc e o f t h e w r itin g d a wned upon him. N ow what d o you think of me?" d emanded Mel ton. "Why th a t tell s me i f I'm an honest citizen, t o s h oo t y e a t s i g h t "Well, yo u se e me." "But I a in t got n o gun!" "Nor h a ve I, o r I s hould be t empte d to turn the muzzl e agains t m y ow n breast." "Yer d be a d nrned foo l t o do that." "It wou ldn' t ha s t e n matters ve r y much, since t h is is evidentl y a dupl icate of a messag. e of w hi ch four others, at leas t have beien fired i n differe n t di r ec t io n s to be picked n p by any chance The re are not many hones t-c i t i z e n s abroad, probably, but it i s c ertain that the informat ion will be circulated, and that I am lik e ly t o b e s h o t from ambus h at any moment." O nly a durned g aloot would do that. "If I am a s py I deserve it. "So y e do. But I don't swaller the s u spish. Grimes is nutty he i s If I w a s you, I d g i t a good hoss a n d swipe onter the r gal g i t spliced in some other town and t ell the old gent to whi s tle "I s h ail n e ver l ea v e thi s tovvn ali v e There w ill be a hundre d r ea dy t o shoot me within a few hours and there i s litt le s how o f e s caping. "It is givi n y e no fai r s hake, durn it. Ye're e n titled to a trial, if it is no better than before Judg e Lynch. Say youngster, I reckymend that ye take a h o ss and light out. ''And s o c o nfirm su s picion a g ain s t me?" "No u s e of bein tho u ght inno ce n t aft e r y e r e dead. Bu s t i t all !-g it a g it on y e! "And l e ave the g irl I lo v e "Go straight to Jesse J a m es and t ell him how ye arc sitoated. Show him that message. If h e s got t he honor that y e tell ab out he 'll give ye a chance to git outer the to wn, and hel p ye to take the gal along be side s TI1en, when yer air in a pers i s h to pro_ve that yer air all right, waltz back inter town with yer wife a nte up with the p r oofs a n d make h e r dad sc rape h i s k nees on the doorstep a x in' yer forgiveness-that i s if h e happi ns to be liv in', wh i ch I doubt. J esse Jame;,; is g o in to shoot Noel Grimes i nter s h o e strings afore he lea v es the t o w n onle s s I'm mistook. "That must n.o t be I will stay here, i f for no other pm-po s e tha n to protec t Noel Grime s "Yer durned fool! "He is the fathe r o f Mabel." "Whater that? She didn t pick him out for a father. All's fair in courti n' and cu s sin' Git a git on ye I say!". Melton Gay l ike o n e in a dream, l e d the way back t o the p r inc i p a l s treet. A s they pa s sed a corner bui l din g t h ey saw a man sta ndin g c on c ealed i n an an g le with an arrow in one hand and a s lip of paper i n the other. He had picked up one of the duplicate mes sa ges. He l oo ked up reco g ni ze d Melto n Ga y, and, quick a s a flas h ; pulled a r evo l ver. A y ell burst from the lips o f D a ve Whe eler. "Don' t ye shoot, cu ss ye!" h e cried B ang! fhe bull e t t hudded in a wooden wall at the b a ck of Melton G ay ] \.fake for co v er, or ye 're a gon e r yelled \ i\/h ee ler. B ang !--again.

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12_ THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIESo Melton fell. At the sa me time a scream rang from a window over the bank. \iVheel e r saw a face at the window and knew it was Mabel Grimes. He saw her throw up the sas h and step out on the broad s ill. The distance to the ground wa s not great, yet not many girls would have dared to m a ke the 3ump. But she d i d not he s itate. She caught hold of the s ill with her hands, got on to her knees, and sei let herself down at arm' s length. Then she dmpped. By this time Wheele r had reached the s ide of Melton Gay,
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q'HE JESSE JAMES STORIES 13 "You deny ha\'ing anything to do with writing the letter?" "Certainly I did not write it." "Who did?" "It was given me to mail by my father. But I doirt think he wrote it. The address was not written by him I am sure." "I asked you who did write the letter, not who didn't. Stick to the point." I don't know who vvrote it." "Non sense, miss! Probably you are not lying, but shot a woman once, abc;)Ut two months ago, for try mg the same trick you are tryii1g to deceive me. \Vomen don't like to tell a square lie that can be nailed to them, because they're afraid to do it. But they manage to get along with telling as little of the truth as they can and that is mighty little. It won't do, mis s v V ho
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14 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "And you are under bonds to deliver the pouch in good order at both ends of your route?" "'{es." "Well, if you go on the box and fail to report that the pouch has been tampered with, and that the one to come back will be, then you will forfeit your bond. If you can't go at all, you won't be held responsible. I'm shoulderin
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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 15 this way, and the mission which h e wished Sadger Jim to perform will be explained later. The c oncluding line of the brief message was this: "If the citizen into whose hands this message is se nt shows it to any other living soul, his life will be forf eited as a traitor!'' The me ssage was unsigned, but the handwriting was that of Noel Grimes. "Another from this secret service man!" muttered Jes se James. "I beg parding, but I didn't understand yer last re mark, drawled Sadger Jim. "Tha t doesn't matter, I aHow, if you u n d e r stand the clip I gave you just now." "Lawe! but I ain't er-blamin' of yer, Mister James. I air so ab s ent-minded that it takes a rap now and then ter keep my wits erbout me "You will get something heavier than that if I catch you playing the traitor again. You were going to ob e y this order from Grimes, when you knew that you had sold yourself to me. Now, if I turn my Lack on you, you will play the sneak again." "I sw'ar, solemn as a parson, that I won't do nothin' er the kind." "Your oath is nothing. It isn't worth the wind you blow out in uttering it. Fear is the only thing that will count with a coward. Now, look you here, Sadger Jim!" "Yas, I'm er-lookin'." "The next sign of treachery that I see in you will send a bullet through your worthless head, and I won't stop to ask a question. You will find that my word is good, if yours is worthless." "Law d, Mister James-" i "Enough. Stick close to li1e now until I say you may go. And keep your mouth s hut, except when I ask you to open it." Sodger Jim bowed his head in humility, and as the king of outlaws rode slowly along the street the pilgrim< slunk o ve r the same way at the side of the horse. J esse Jam es took care that neither of them should come within range of any of the windows of the bank, for fear that one of those on the lookout within should catch a glimpse of them. He did some reconnoitering at a little distance, and at the same time he was deciding upon a course which, at first, seemed like a doubtful one to pursue. The clinching reason for accepting hi s own mental suggestion was uttered aloud: "It can do no h a rm, even if he weakens and betrays the truth. He knows nothing of my plans. If it suc ceeds it may help me; if it fails, it will neither help Grimes nor injure me. It i s a go. That fox of a secret service m a n will find that he has run up agains t it." "What did ye say, Mister James?" drawled Sodger :The outlaw king turned upon the bum, and the lat-ter trembled under the fierce eyes which, it seemed to him were capable of reading bi s most secret thoughts. ''Do you suppos e that that bank, with only Grimes and two or three ass i stants, can hold out against me and my men when I get ready to order him to open the doors?" "I reckon they kaint, Mister J am es." "Do you reckon I'll show any quarter to them when they come to throw up the spo nge?" "I reckon not." "You are reckoning about right, Sodger Jim. Now, I m going to let yo u do what Grimes just asked you t o
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16 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. was ready to h ave him go, but there was s omething he expected him to do, and there were some hard ways of dying in store for Sadger Jim if he failed to fulfill the commission with which he was charged. The report was that there were three men with Grimes in the bank. They were armed to the teeth, and appeared reckless l y indifferent to the death which i t appeared they were certain to meet. For that Jesse Jam es would show mercy to any who gave him extra trouble was hardly to be expected. Jesse con s ulted with hi s brother Frank, to whom }1e for the first time oonficled the discoveries he had in regard to Grimes. \i\ T ell, he is a fox, isn't he!" exclaim eel the olde r brother. He probably came to the town with the idea of cleaning out the robbers and outlaws who are dead s ure t o gather in a new place in t his part of the coun try He may not have thought there would be a chance to meet you and me, and on the other hand, we may be the ve ry ones he was looking for, only we got here befor e he expected us. You know when we were last heard from it was in M issouri ." "He didn't count on seeing us quite so early, I reckon,'' was Frank's comment. "Another point: he has th men with him. It don't take four me11 to do the bus i ness of a new bank in a place of this s i ze. That means that they are dep u ties masquerading." "Do you believe it ?" "There isn't a doubt. Ordinary bank cle r ks wo uld ha ve scuttled out of there as soon as they he ard that we had struck the town, and pleaded with u s to take charge of their guns. They cav\ easy Grimes h as shot one man who tried to hold him up, and he made no fuss about it. His clerks are made of the same stuff. That i s why I have been a little s l ow about cleaning out the bank." "But she gets cleaned out just the same." "Yes, and before another sunri se. You know we planne d to sojourn here a couple of days, and to run thin gs to suit ourselves while we were here, just for the novelty of the thing. "The citizens didn't put up enough of a fight to make it livel y." "Wait till we get into a shooting match wit h that Grimes. He has three men with him, and I've made up my mind that every man of them i s a deputy under the county sheriff, specially appointed, and trained in the business. No ordinary bank clerks would undertake to back up Grimes against you and me and our Crt')Wd .'' "Looks like it. But when do we begin the game?" "In a little more than an hour it will be dark. That i s our time. A half-dozen of u s go. in and take pos session, whi le others are shooting at the windows from the outside " G o i n a n d take p ossessio n eh! How?" "By way of the passage that Sadger J im got in and out." "Correct! Jess, it will be a minute when we get in. Gi:imes will die game!" "I don't want to shoot the man if he can be taken alive." "Thunder! It will be tough to get him that way." "He is worth more to me live-weight, instead of killed and dressed. But we"ve no time to Jose. There's a chance of some smart Jimmy in the town thinking h e can drive a crowd against us, and hustle us over the bo rders. There is only one way to keep them down." ''Shoot every cuss of a citizen that ventures out of door_s. "Yes. Don't shoot women unless they act cious. But if you catch any of them prowling around pull 'em in and we'll find what they're up to. Terror will keep the town quiet while we tarry here." They separated. Jesse James gave orders to several o.f his men to keep up a scattered shooting at the windows c1f the bank. This would hold the attention of the inmates, and prevent them from taking any ri sks It would prevent any communication with the citizens outside. Jesse kept Soclger Jim close to his side, fearing that he might sneak into the building and warn Grimes of the plans to capture the bank. In this enterprise Jesse Jam es had t h e largest gang of men employed that he had called together fo r a long vvhile. The prospects were in favor of a fair haul in the way of treas nre, as they did not intend to leave much in the town that they cared to take away. A t the same time, Jesse knew that there were officers in that part of the country who had boasted that the Jam es boys could not scoop everything out that way after their style farther east, in Kansas and Missouri. The y meant t o show that all parts of the country were the same to them, when it came to working a clean-out Meanwhile, Melton Gay Dave Wheeler and Mabel Grime s h a d beaten a retreat to the eastern end of the town, where the girl was left with a fami l y where her family had boarded when they first came to the place. Gay had resolved not to accept the proffered passports from Jesse James for leavin g the town. He kn ew that to have done so would have clinched the suspicion of his bein g a spy in the employ of the bandi ts. Besides, Mab e l did not w i sh to l eave the town until the fate of her father had been d ecided. Neither did she wish now to be under obligations to J esse James, the outlaw. "Pair of cussed fools! was the comment growled

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THE JESS E Jl\MES STORIES. 17 out by Dave \i\Theeler, when he and Gay once more entered one of the streets in the vicinity of the bank. "You and I have guns with us, anyhow,'' said Gay. "Blessed little good they'll d o us with lead in our hearts." "\Ve may weather the storm, and leave the town with colors. flying when the battle is over." "What good a gun if ye kaint use it? \i\T e're under parole not to vamoose without permish from Jesse; nyther can we shoot Jesse or his men; nyther can we shoot anybody belongin' in the town, 'thout bein' spected of bein' in league with J esse. \ Ve' re nyther bosses ner steers, and \Ye don't carry ther brand of n yther one ranch ner another, and any durned g'loo t kin rustle us that takes a notion. Melton Gay laughed. The quaint philosophy of hi s partner could not depress his spirits then. Mabel Grimes had testified uninistakably to the strength of her lo ve for him, and that m ade all els e in the_worlcl see m bright. He felt as though he were proof against the bullets of citizen or outlaw. A young man in love doesn't feat bullets. But Dave Wheeler did not feel'that way. They had, indeed, obtained revolve rs, which they had concealed carefully about their persons. They well knew that Jesse James would have them disa rmecl again if he knew it. But the bandit chief doubtless expected them to prepare themselves against the suspicious citi ze ns, at least, for that would be no breach of parole. "Noel Grimes must be saYed, if any hazard will do it," said Gay. "\i\That kin we do without breakin' our parole? You're so durned squeamish e1bout honor toward thet cuss of a band\t, that ud shoot us in ter whiplashes j est ter amus e hisself, ef h e happine d to feel thet wav." i s honor, and Jesse James respects it when he find s it. He h a s s een so little of the real article, though, that he doubts about it s existence." "Yah snarled the old ranch man, with oi1e of his sidelong looks at the face of his friend. He wanted to say something which the other would have little liked t o hear. Dave coul
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18 THE JES SE Jl\MES STORIES. guard fell" and clutched at the dirt floor in a silent death spasm. Then the rush vvas made, for the way into the bank seemed to be clear. The basement of the bank building was dimly l ighted with an oil lamp on a bracket. T11e James boys reached the foot of the stairs together and dashed up them side by side. Two of their comrades followed. But at the head of the stairs there was another and, like the first, it was securely fastened. was not all. It was a heavier door than the other, and when esse James flung him self against it it did not show the slightest sign of yielding. A fierce oath burst from the lips of the younger brother, and it was echoed by the elder "Barricaded!" hissed Jesse. Bang !-from the other s ide A winchester bullet cut through, and this time a low ejaculation of rage and pain broke from the lips of Frank Jam es. He staggered backward, and bti.t for the quick aid o f his brother, would have fallen to the foot of the stairs. "Much hurt?" questioned Jesse, with hi s lip s clos e to Frank's ear. "I think not-but cms e the luck! I'm bleeding l ike a butchered calf!" "Shot for shot!" hi ssed Jesse A nd his own \,Yin che ste r pas se d a s h o t throug h one of the h eavy pane l s There was no sound from the other side to tell whether o r not the shot was in any way effective. Frank was assisted to the foot of the stairs and at the same time the other outlaws poure d a volley from their Winchesters at th e door. Ti1e p a nel s were fairly riddl e d with bullets, but from the other s ide there was no re s ponse of any kind. "No m o re waste of le ad o n a door," ordered Jesse James. A h as t y examination of Frank's wound discovered it to be comparatively insignificant. It was a scratch over the rib s under hi s left arm. It did not even crack a bone, and the blood that flo\ved was doubtless some of the worst in bi s body-and all of his blood wa s bad enough, as hi s foes had long ago found out. There is something about the effect of a bullet wound that seems to weaken a man all out of proportion t o the apparent importance of the hurt. It was so with Frank James. He had to sit down on the lowe s t stair, while Jess e stanched the flow of blood and stuck on a strip of plaster with styptic cotton, which he always carried with him for use on him s elf or a comrade, in case of need. (The other outlaws also retreated to the foot of the stairs, for there was a possibility of shots being fired from the other side, which they were not now al lowed to return. Frank James soon braced himself to rise to his feet. Outside, there had been a steady fusillade from the outiaws posted in the street, and who had been ordered to shoot at the windows of the bank. The fire was ineffective, except to the extent of not leaving an unbroken pane of glass in any of the windows on that side of the building. Although the bandits were not informed on that point, the upper rooms of the building were occupied as a tenement by two different families. There were no children, but there were two women a nd the ir hus bands, and the latter, co oped up by the relentl ess power wielded by the outlaws, were ready enough t o go clown and a ss ist the cashier and clerks in their defen s e of the bank. They had not been called upon to do so until shortly before th e attack had been made at the basement of the building. Hence the bandits h ad two more foe s to contend with than they h ad counted on when planning the attack. \ V e ha ve made a slick scoop in this town up to the point of stri ki n g Grimes and his in stitution," said Jesse, when h i s brother indicat ed that h e was ready to s h oulde r hi s part of t h e load again. "But here we s eem t o have run up against something that we didn't count on. But the house has got to fall just the same, and it is merely a matter of using bigger guns to smash the fort." "You seem to be talking riddles, Jess," said Frank. "Let u s get out of here and I'll show you how we'll s ol v e them. But stay. I want two of you to remain on guard h ere, and so make sure that the game doesn't slip through our fingers at the last moment. Grimes has got to cave. I would rather hold of him alive than to have him pass out all the treasure in the bank vault on condition that he should go free." Frank sent a quick keen glance into the face of hi::; brother. The reason of it was that he did not often hea: Jess e speak in that tone. I It indicated the making of a terrible resolve-one that boded ill to the foe who should stand in the way of the accomplishment of any of his designs. Younger and Starr were left to guard the base ment, with orders to kill any man who should attempt to pass through. The outlaws surrounding the bank were directed to continue occasional firing at the windows of the building, to keep the inmates occupied. On the way to the postoffice and general store, Jesse for the first time broke the silence "I'm going to wake up this sleepy young town, while I put a few of its pig-headed citizens to s l eep Frank."

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 19 "I reckon eel you were simmering somethim.g, Jess." "I'm going to take what bla s tin g powder or d y na mite th e y happen to have in the s tore If they haven't either, two cask s of gunpov\ der \\' ill do." "And blow up the bank?" "Ye s "A g'ood idea. But if the citi z ens h a ve any nerve that w ill stir the m to make a de sperate e ffort to rus tle u s o u t of the town." "Let th e m rustle v V e 'll b e throug h here by that tim e any h ow But th e q uick e r it i s clon e the better. Th a t Gr imes i s a fox that w ill m a k e a run to s o me oth e r h o l e if h e h as a n h our's n otice." "vVon't y ou gi\e him a c han ce t o surre nd e r with-out the blo w-up?' "I will g i ve him five minutes to d o it in-that's all." "There are w omen in the buildi n g, I reckon." "Five minutes will allo\v them to get out. That is all the time I 'll give an ybody under the roo f." They were qui t e near the p ostoffice when the outlaw chief spoke thes e words As yet the n e w t own h a d few street lig hts, and the shadows were lon g and black in th a t local ity. Shel te red by those shado ws w e re the forms of Dave wheeler and M elto n Gay, an
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20 THE JESSE JAMES tell any of his men that tries to stop ye that ye're sent by Jess with a message to Grimes. D'ye git the idee ?" "Oh, Lawd !-I kaint !" "Jest as I told ye, Gay," said Dave. "And I'll have to shoot the cuss now, so t he won't betray us to the bandits." "Lawd-Lawd I won t, I won 't!" chattered Jim. "I'm goin' to shoot ye!" "I'll kerry the message-I'll kerry the message!'' "Sure?" "Yas, yas-to save my friend Grimes!" Melton Gay was writing it while Dave was intimi "dati1:g the mes senger. Scra\vled in the dark, it was nevertheless as plain a message as need have been written. It was given to Sadger Jim, and he hid it among his rags. But he was quaking a s he never quaked before. He expected J ese James to appear before him at any moment, and he was morally certain that the outlaw would demand to know of everything that had passed since they separated. He was equally certain that he would not be able to keep back a word of the truth. Yet it was true that he did not want to know that he might save the life of Grimes and refused to try. He realized that an important mission had been intrustecl to him and he sucld enl) ; felt a s en s e of the importance of it. He did not lo v e Jess e James The latter had knocked him clown two or three times and treated him like a dog all the tim e "Lav\d !-but I hate the cus s vYa s his thoug ht. "Ge t a wiggle o n ye!" g rowled \,Yheeler. Sadger Jim started off, and he moved almost as fast as he could have clone had Jesse James been there to prod him with the muzzle of a revolver. He met several of the outlaws, but he seemed to be on such urgent business that n o ne of them attempted to detain him. Indeed, tl1ey thought he vvas doing an errand o f some sort for their leader. "See Sadger Jim waggle his pins!" was the com-ment of one. "Goin' to see his gal, I reckon," s aid another. "Maybe he has drawn a pension." "Amble along, Sadger!" Such were the crie s and remarks that followed him as he made his way towat d the dwelling next to the bank. At the door he was met by Hank Starr. "vVhat's the word, Sadger!" growled Starr. "I goter go up and see Grimes." "I reckon not, Sadger." "I goter. Jesse Jam es sent me, speshul." "'Got a .message?" "Yas." "Show it." "Durn it!-it ain't writ out. It's in my head." "Then tell it." "Lawd !-he'd kill me! Let me along, or I dunno what'll be to pay." Sometimes half-wit s erves better than keen wit. It was so in this case. Starr was deceived by the a .ir of earnestness on the part of Sadger Jim, and he did not give the latter credit for wit enough to dissemble. "Go along, then. But I reckon you won't come it over Grimes, just the same." He got to the door where Frank James had been shot. Here he paused to listen, and then knocked. He heard a slight movement on the other side. Then he put hi s lips to the crack and mumbled: "It's me-Sodger Jim! I've got a message for ye. Save yer lives, I reckon." The door ope ned and the muzzle of something stared Sadger Jim in the eye. "Come," said a voice. Jim advanced and the muzzle backed away as he v vent through the door. It did not cease to stare at him until the door was closed behind him. It was Grimes himself who oonfronted the bum in the dim light, and to the eyes of Jim his glance was almo s t as terrible as that of Jesse James. Noel Grimes wa s a short, stocky man, with the air of pos s e ssing great re s erve strength of muscle as w ell a s force of v\' ill. A hard man to nm up aga in st, w ould, have been the verdict of any r eader of character. "'Trot out the message, Jim," ordered Grimes. "Y ere it i s ." Grimes read it sl o wly, and his eye had a queer flas h in it as h e noticed the s ign ature of Melton Gay. \Vho gave you thi s?" he demanded. "Mr. Ga y Dav e \!Vheeler was w ith him." "\!Vho else ? "Nobod y ." "Don' t lie to me about this Sadger Jim, as you have done about some other things. Don't think that I am i gnorant of your being pledged to Jesse Jame s as well as to me. I know that you came in here as a spy the last time you showed up." "Lawd !-but how could I help it? He hild a gun to my head jest as you are doin', and he would have blowed me inter scraps if I had refused to do what he asked of me. Ye know what a reputation Jesse James has got, Mr. Grimes. He don't keer how many men he kills." "Neither do I, if they prove treacherous. I'm not Jetting you live now because I feel a sense pity for you, or because I'm naturally merciful. I need you, that is all.. He would have killed you when you had serv ed him enough. Now, you will have to stay with me until the end of this affair, for you would blow on the whole business that has come to your knowledge just as soon as he got his eyes on you. About this message, you must tell me the exact truth. You

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THE JESSE JAMES 2 1 must tell me what you suspect, as well a s what you know. Do you believe that Melton Gay sent me this message because Jesse Jam es ordered it, or on his own responsibility? You are not a fool, though you are such a blamed coward that one might think so." "I don't reckon that Jess Jam es knO'ws anything about this message bein' sent to ye." "You really think Gay sent it for my benefit?" "Yas." "\tVell, then, I may have been mistaken about the fellow. Time will tell. It seems that he hasn' t been shot, as I directed, and that seems to prove that he has been protected by the outlaws, who have had full swing in the town." Grimes made the door doubly secure, and then f.orcecl Sodger Jim to go up ahead of him into the banking-rooms. These looked like the inside of an arsenal, rather than a bank. There were more than a score of \Vinchesters, as many revolvers and other small weapons. All the articles of furniture had been piled in front of the windows, to guard against the bullets which frequently slipped in through the sl;attered panes. One man, wounded, reclined on a settee. Three others were sitting near, guns ready, faces fearless and grim. "We have got to get out of here, or die the death of -rats in a trap!" was Grimes' announcement. CHAPTER XI. A REIGN OF TERROR IN TI-IE NEW TO'vVN. 'f.he time occupied in the writing of the warning message by Melton Gay, and it s delivery to Grimes by Sodger Jim, was really brief. Jesse James, meanwhile, met with more difficulty in procuring the powder which he wished to use in blowing up the bank than he anticipated. The stock of ammunition at the store where the postoffice was kept had_ run low. It had been the intention of the proprietor to replenish within a day or two. But there was another store in the town that usually had a larger trade in powder, and which, therefore, was bette r supplied. To this Jesse James was oblig 'ed tG go to obtain what he required. Then a team had to be found to cart the kegs to the vicinity of the house through the basement of which access to the bank was gained. It was near 1;1idnight before these arrangements were completed. Just as the wagon with the kegs of powder started from the store, a horseman dashed up the street and halted at the side of Jesse James. It was one of the men whom he had left in the street near the bank. He was intensely agitated, and i t wa s a moment before he could speak. "Come, Jake, what sti c ks in y-our throat?"' demanded the bandit king, harshly. '"I-I reckon that devil has given u s the slip, somehow!" "v\!hich devil, curs e you?" "Grimes in the bank!"' "Ho\\. can that be? Who ha s been playing the traitor again? By Heaven! I will h:ive every traitor Hayed ali v e as fas t a s I c atch them, f rorn this hour! "I don't know how it could happen. Vv have
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22 T H E J ESS E JAMES STO RIESo ion of the iatter was still unconscious, although it was evident that he was not seriously injured. Frank was trying to get a coherent account from Starr. But the latter seemed to be bevvilclerecl by the blow which he had received on the head. Jesse pounced on him like a hawk. He poured wJ1isky into him, rubbed his hands and legs as he wou l d have done in case of freezing, and so speedi l y r"stored the faulty circulation. The out l a w was revived by a tingle from head to feet. "Now, how was it? How did that devil get by you?" demanded Jesse James. "Easy," growled Starr. "There were five of them, and they com e at us with clubbed guns. They might have shot us just as easy; but they didn't, and pounded our heads with iron instead." "And what were you doing all the while?" "I'll own up, Jess, that we was off guard for the minute, not thinki.n' that there wa s the shadow or a show for Grimes and his cr e w trying to get by us." "That isn't the whole story. They wouldn't have tried the trick if they hadn't been warned. There has been treachery. Frank-go out and order a round up of the fugitives! If they are allowed to slip out of town, I'll never rest till I have nail e d the treache1;y and the carelessness where they belong, and made the responsible ones pay the clearest price for it that flesh and blood can be made 'to pay." The words were no more than out of the mouth of Jesse James before the order wa s being obeyed by Frank. The latter rus hed out on to the street of the town like a cyclon e The w ord pa s sed from man to man, and s o from on e end of the place to the other in an incredibl y brief s pace of time There w a s a flash, flash! and bang, bang! of guns at widely -scattered points From door to dO'or rushed the outlaw-police, demanding admittance where there were locks turned agains t them, and entering without permission where there \Ye re n o ne. More than one sharp report sealed the doom of a citizen who resisted such intrusion. More than one man of good courage pleaded for his life, and told all the truth he knew to keep the deadly lead out of his brain. It was the beginni11g of a brief and terrible rei a n of terror in the new town-a deeper terror than been inspired by the first advent of the outlaws, twelve hours before. The warning reached the bandits who guarded the only ways of exit from the place, and they became ; doubly alert. 'They were ordered to allow no person to pass out until either Jesse or Frank James appeared in person to give the word. This was to guard against the use of any kind of a ruse. Meanwhile Jesse, the bandit chief pumped the from the lips of Hank Starr. The outlaw guard felt that he had been less careful than he should have been, and therefore he vvas reluctant to tell of his admittihg Soclger Jim with the message, which Jesse Jam es had not a doubt of having been the means of warning Grimes of the intended blowing up the bank. Starr half-expected his leader to kill him in his wrath. But, as a matter of fact, Jesse James real ized that either Frank or he might have done the same thing under like conditions, and he was not in clined to hold Starr responsible. Neither was his anger directed against Sodger Jim. "I should have known better than to expect him to be faithful, and I didn t expect it,'' was his thought. ''But he did not really g-ive the warning, for I don't believe he knew what I intended to do. He was put up to it by somebody else That infernal traitor of a spy-the one I had here to prepare the way for methe one I have trusted! And it is that one who has betrayed me all along, and who gave me away to this Grimes-whoever that deYil may be." So ran the bitter reflections of the outlaw chief. At that moment he cared more about the betrayal of his confidence than for the escape of the man he had been s o -determined to destroy. The companion of Hank Starr was revived from the stupor re sulting from the stunning blow he had received. But he cou l d thr ow no more light on the mystery of the betrayal than had the other guard. Out upon the street went the bandit king. And from one to another of his men ran another command. It was this: "Proclaim a re\vard for the discovery of Sodger Jim, alive!" Then through the new town, with its dark and citizen-deserted streets, rang a weird cry: "0-yez !-o-yez !-o-yez One thousand dollars to the man who brings in Sadger Jim, alive and un hurt!" There was more than one sha
PAGE 24

THE JESSE JAMES 23 absolutely necessary to save life. He knew firinoin tha t vicinity would call others to the spot, or be likely to do so. So some witness would be l ike l y to escape and spread the al arm. Thus had the sudden onslaught been made that knocked the o u t law g uards insen s i b l e Another who had been e ncountered outs ide was sened i n the same way. So had they gotten c lear of the vi cinity of the bank. After that they went 111 a beeline toward one of the m ountai n b a rriers that walled the town. One, only, lagged behind, keep up the pace. That one was Sadger Jim! because he could not CHAPTER XII. JESSE JAMBS SPY. Jess e James opened the doors o f the bank, had the rooms lighted up, and proceeded to make that p l ace his headquarters He had scarcely clone this-and the hour was n o t much pas t midnioht-before a shrinking and pleado ing indi vidual was brought in b y one o f l11s 1nen It was S adger Jim! 'Without a word Jesse James placed the a m ount of the promised reward in the hands of vvho had performed the service. Then he d is m isse d the m a n and so was the bum left alone, face to face with the' one whom he had been compelled to betray. The outlaw chie f gazed at hi s prisoner for a full minute in s ilence \!Vhen he at last spoke, Jim s t arted as if a pi stol had d ischarge ? close to \i\Tell you are w i t h me agam, So_dger Ju:i, sa1_cl the outlaw, a faintly mocking smile curlmg his bearded l ips Lawe!!" quavered Jim. "Brace up-I'm going to give you a chance to live and be happy I'm going to give you all the whi s k y you will drink, and turn you loose to work at your old trade of beating after I am gone. How i s that?" "Law d !-but I reckin e d ye'd sk in me clean down to my naked liv Q r . "No-I'm a mild-tempered m a n. Im likewise ot the sort to be eas ily pers u a d e d and foo led. One, Grimes has found that out-curse hi1'n. But yo u will talk a iittle, won' t you, as a rew arc! for m y kind ness?" Jim did not what to say,_ for the of Jesse James \Vas entirely beyond hi s comprehens 10n. v Vhat-what ye want me t o say?" he asked. "You carried a warning to Grimes, in the b ank. That was a neat thing for you to d o, and I expected it, and I like you devili s h well for it! But I'm just a little curious about i t jus t the sam e I want to know who is the friend of mine who sent you with the message. \Vill you tell me?" D i d Jesse James me :in 1\hat h e sa id? Jim a sked him s elf. Jesse looked seri ous. and Jim decided that it was all right. J-:le was not a fool, but hi s fri ght had t aken all the sense out o f him. '"I s'pose I hadn't orter. teil ye," h e r eturned. "I s uppose you h a d orter Soclger. Ont with it. \!V h isky for the truth: a qu icke r and more merciful dose if vou lie to m e." "Jt--it wa s that young feller." "\Vhat youn g fellow?., ''l\lelton Gay." The face o f the bandit ki1! g was li vid "I-Ie sent the message to Grimes?" "Him and t'other feller wit h him." "\\'ho was the other?., "Da, e \Vheele r. "And both were on parole, and pledged! Curse them!" Jim was s ilent. .. \ Vas the message written ?" Jesse asked, after a m o m e n t, when h e seemed t o have gained control o f his feeling s "Y as." 'Do you know what it saicl ? '' "No. "\!\"here were they when they g ay e you the mes-sage?., .. Pretty ni g h the postoffice." "Can you t ell me anything m o r e about it?" "I reckin that G rim es was surpr ised that h e s h o uld be saned so ell by Melt o n Gay?., "Likel y h e was. A nd so am I surprised. Have you see n Melton Gay s in ce G)im es escaped?" "Y-yasonct-jest a glimpse." "Did he have an y more messages for you?" "Nary a message." "Ver, well. Now I think I a m close to the sec r e t as to , ; ho h as been warning the town again s t me. Mel to n Gay i s the man. But-whatever they may think here-he \vas n o t m y spy. He got the secre t from some one else. Ten thousand fiends !-would s h e do that thing? And i s t his girl-Mabel Grimes, as s he calls h e r self-the one w h o for three year s was the same as a d a u ghte r t o me?" Suddenly the outlaw chief paused in front of Jim, and demanded: 'Do you kn ow where Mabel Grimes can be found?. Gav took her off somewhere in th e afternoon." ': I don't know. It might b e out to K imberiy's. " \ Vhere i s that?" "A house a t the east end o f the town. She ana Grimes Lised to board ther e a spell ago." "Show me the way, and amble along as fast a s your legs will let you. Here_:have a drink of this.' Jin1 snatched eagerly at the proffered flask and he took a long ,pull at it. It put new life into his lim bs-,,

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2 4 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. and h e f elt lik e doing a nything that J esse J a m e s mi ght as k o f him. H e l e d t h e way t o the dwellin g where Melton Ga y h a d left M a b el. Here Jesse d i s m issed S o
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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 humb l e d we lli n g and up t o the age o f thirtee n she had knm vn in him that w hi c h c ame nearest to a father's love of a nything i n h e r experi e n ce In those days the stern b a ndit chief o ften in dulged in a fr olic wit h the b ea utifu l littl e I nez Morena And so had she known perhaps, as few oth e r s in t h e wo rl d ever knew, that there \Vas a gen t le a n d geni a l sid e t o the nature o f the m a n wh o was t h e t e rror o f th e bor der. S o much, as \ veil as o f th e less in te r es t i n g stances under which s h e ca m e t o b e adop te d b y Noel Gri m es had bee n c o nfid e d to Melt o n Gay. A nd it was b y this mea n s t h a t h e beca m e aware tha t J es s e J a m es h a d a better s id e t o his nature. Gay h a d p e r sonally met the hanclit king tw o years befor e the date of these event s u nd e r c irc u m stan ces whi c h 111?\le them almos t frien d l y f o r the time b e in g. W ithout knowing who he wa s Melton had t h e n clon e Jes s e J a m e s a personal favor, s uch as many m e n stra nger s to e ach other, m a y at t i m e s r eq uire Now Mab el-a s s h e shoul d more properl y b e called-t o ld Melton Gay the r es t o f the truth. Since separating fr o m Jesse J a m es, w h o s e bounty s h e no l o nger required, s h e h a d k ept up a n o c c a s ion a l c orrespondenc e w ith him o f a fr iendl y c h a r acter. \i\Then s h e had learned of sc hemes for hi s ca pture she had n o t h es i t a t e d to wa rn h im o f the m b e lievi n g tha t it was a duty clu e to one \Yho h a d beea s o much to her a nd w h o h ad never r efu s ed her a kind ness But i t was afte r she h a d com e to the n e w t own t hat h e fo r the first t i m e requ i r e d of h e r a s e r v ice a p prox im ating to tha t o f a s p y H e h a d a sked her t o inform h i m concerning the defensi v e conditi o n o f the town,' and the prospects of obtaining a good h a ul if h e s h ould make an attempt. She h a d giv e n him much informatio n but i t was w i t h t h e understandin g tha t he woul d not t a k e lif e, unless it were actua lly in s elf defen s e and that h e shoul d the l i v e s of any who should fal l in t o hi s h a nds. Duri n g their corresponde nc e s he h a d been ad dressed as Inez More na, a n d w hil e h e k new t hat s h e w as unde r the g u a rd ia n s hi p of a wealthy fri e n d s h e h a d fro m m o tives o f prude n ce, n ever t o ld him t h e n a me. O n t h e o t h e r h a nd she did n o t know th a t Noel .Grimes was a S ecret Service detecti v e. This e xplains the s ingular complic a tion s whi c h led up to the dramati c e vents whi c h h a v e bee n r e corded. When she t o ld M el ton of the fa ct that s he h ad, even though r e l u ctantly and i n a modified way acte d a s the s p y of Jesse J a m e s, it wa s almost with a fear that he would d e s p i se h e r for it But no such impulse for a moment entere d his hear t. * * * As dawn broke over t h e te rror-ri d d e n town three m e n were lin e d up in front o f the building whi c h h a d been the bank. They w e r e he lpl ess l y boun d and at t h e hea d o f the s h ort l ine s tood Noel Gri m es, t he m an o f nerve. A p o le w a s procure d a nd t wo outlaws held this over the heads o f the p r i s o n e r s The hands of the l atter w ere r e leased a n d t h ey were required to g r as p t h e p o l e i n s u c h a \\"a)' a s t o mai n t a in it s p osit i o n a bove the ir h ea ds Then their legs were boun d and from within the b ank buil di n g a m a n s t epped, revolver in hand. H is f ace w as complete l y hidde n by a m ask. He co n fron te d t h e d o omed m en and t h ere w as a silence, broken onl y by terrifi e d breathing so unds from two o f them. The face o f Noe l Grimes w as p a l e hut i t w o r e a faint mocking s mi le whi ch th e s tare o f death had n o t the pow e r to banis h Bang! One o f the pri soners hung h e avy on tb.e p o l e Ban g A secon d o ne swayecl a t t h e o p p o site en d of the p o le \ Y it h arms o f i ro n Grimes k e p t ll 1 e m from fallin g Then a wild s c reafn r a n g on the a ir and Mab e l Grimes cla shed t l w o ugh th e l ine of out l aws a n d flung h e rself upon her ad o p t ed fath e r clin ging to h i m and h el ping t o s u pport him wit h h e r arms. B:ing !-a third s ho t from t h e r evo h e r o f t h e mas k e d J esse J a m es. And N o e l Grimes fell the s hot h avi n g pass .eel within a n i nc h of t h e b re a st o f M abel. The n the outlaws, in r espons e t o a s h a rp co m m a nd fr o m the ir lead e r leaped into t h e i r s a ddl e s and rode furi o u s l y out o f t h e t ow n whi c h the y had cor r alle d t w enty fou r hour s beforefir in g in t h e a ir as t he y d eparted. Grimes w as n o t mortally w ounded, an d l\I a bc l i n t im e nurse
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Keep it up, boys! Those stories that came in last week were corkers. They came in in bunches, t oo T his contest has opened with a big spurt. Don'-C let it sl o w u p We have received some o f the best and most up-t odate boxing st o ries ever seen anywher e. Here are a few rattling goo d ones. A fight for the Championship. ( By E ri c H Palmer, New York.) During the s umm er of 1900 I was a m embe r of the B. S. A C a club composed of boy s w hos e ages ranged betwee n ten and sixteen years. They participated iu almost every sport and exercise, and one of these was th e "manly art"-boxin g Boxin g m atches between the membe rs were h e ld almost every day. S oon it was di sco v e r ed that two boys, Calvin Hosmer and Frank Adams, were a ble to defeat their f ellow-membe r s with surprising ease. Both w e re a s quick as lightning, a nd could delive r the punch. At l as t Calyin challenge d Frank. The latter at ouce acc ep t e d, and all the 111eu1bers of th e club prepared for a most exciting bout. It would b e for the champiot1ship of the cl u b. July 27t h was the da y appointed for the bout. I \\ as c h ose n ref ere e . Calvin and Frauk h ad b e e n training eyery day, and w e r e in exce ll e nt c ondition w h e n the time cam e t o s t ep into the ring. Both \\"ere iit to fight tl1e battl e of the ir lives They "ere dresse d in n eat suits, such as "om in boxing bouts. I s t e p ped into. th e rin g. The ti me had come! T !te witnes ses gatheri1ig close l y around tlie ri11g, were 'breathless with suppressed ex citement. "Sh a k e hands!" I ordered, aud Calv i n a n d Frauk met in tbe ce11ter of the ring. ''Time!'' I called, when the ch eers for eacll fighter had cea sed The fight begau. Cah-iu kept moving his hands up and down for perhaps a minute and th e n suddenly s h o t out his l e ft fist. His opponent wa s keenly w atching, howeve r and the blow was blocked. Another was dealt in return. It struck C a lvin lightly 011 the cheek, and tbo:::e \ v ho favored Frank's chances of victory gaye a shout. But their exclamations of j o y and del ight soo n turned to groans of di sappointment. Calvin s uc c e ede d i n passing Frauk's guard, and Frank recei v ed a terrific blow on the jaw, which caused him to nearly leap from the floor. "A corker!" was the cry. Calvin foJJo,-.; ed his opponeut up. Frank 1i1et him half-way, and deal t him a quick blow on the chest. A f ew seconds o f footwork ensued. 'Time!" I exclaimed, for the first round was over. 1'be second round began with a lively exchange o f blows, both heavy and light. For a minute science \Yas thrown t o the winds, and King-Pummel reigued. The spe ctato rs were delighted. Cra c k Calvin rece ive d a terrific blow over the left eye, and became a stndeut of astronomy. Bi ff! Reveuge i s sweet, aud s o Calvin tliou ght whe n he hit Frank a hard blow in return. Suddenly Frank seemed to slip and Cal vin darted at him t o give him a punch. Bnt Frank sprang u p, and deal t Calvin a bl ow which stretched him o n the floor. Calvin's h ead struck the floor with a resouudlng thnrnp, and I counted him out. Frank Adams had won a fight for th e ciin111pionship, f\ Three-round Bout. (By Gerald Lewis, Conn. ) "Yes," I said, I think I c a n out box y ou:" I was s p eaking to Samuel 'l'ravis, a boy tv;o years old e r tban m yse lf who w as celebrated for his pro wess as au athlete. He laughed . "Don t boas t, he said. "I'IJ box with y ou to-night i n m y barn. ' "Agreed!" I cried. 'l'hat ni ght over twenty boys wer,e assembled in the barn t o see the boxing match. We cleared an open spac e in the middle for a ring. The barn was light ed b y three big stable l anterns which we suspended from a rafter directly over the ring. Samuel too k off his c0:1t and vest and rolled up h i s sleeves. I did the same.

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THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 27 I confes s that w h e n I l o ok ed at his broad s h ou l de r s and braw n y arms I was a little bit frightened "If h e s hou l d ever la u d 011 my j a w wi t h o n e of thos e great fists!" I tho u ght. Bnt what'\Vas the n se of thi nk in g a bou t it. It wa s t oo l a t e to bac k out now. I m us t do m y best-win or l ose '"l'i rue !" It was the call of the b o y we bad chose n for r efe r ee It rou se d m e fr om m y st11p or. I arose to my feet and fa ce d Travis F or a mom ent we faced ea c h other, feintin g and look ing for a n o p en ing to land. He advanced slowly b acking me into one corner. Then he led Heaven' that fis t shot p ast my hea d w ith the s peed of a s t eam e\l g ine. I L arel y d odged it and l a nd ed l ig htl y in r e t urn. All m y n e r v o us n es s bad l ef t me now. I da nce d around 'rrav is leap iug in to l and a li ght blow now a tid then. I could tha t bis temper w as up. Lowe r i n g h i s head, b e a t me with a t errib le l eft s w ing. Ins t ead 1 1oving back, I forward t o meet him. I knew t ifa t his swi nging) fist would fan t h e a i r somewhere behind only 1iis arm would strike rne If-he had struck a straight blow I would hav e l e a pe d back. My calculations were correct. There I was ins id e h i s guard. I pressed one glove against his right arm t o blo c k an y blow he m ight aim a t me. Then ri sing on m y toe s I hooke d my l e ft fis t to his chin. H e fell to the floor The bout was over in one round. I had proved that I was no boaster. Finlay's Victory. ( By John Summers, Mas s.) George Finlay was a slim, pale boy, not b y any means athletic-looking. No one would ever h a ve su s p e ct e d him of being a skillful boxer. He looked as thoug h b e would be an ''easy mark' for any boy who put o n the gloves with him. So thought Will D a ws on, a boy in G eorge's clas s at school. Will had a set of boxing gloves and was very fond of tryiug hi s s k i ll with various boys of hi s acquaintance. He generally was succes s ful in these little boxing matches, but once in a while he ran up against a Tartar. One day he boxed with a boy somewh a t old e r than himself and received a black eye. This m ade t h e othe r b o y s in the clas s laugh at him, and Dawson was very an g ry H e decided to persuade Finlay to bo x with him. ''He will not be able to hurt me he thought, ''and I will give him suc h a be ating tha t the other boys will stop making fun of me.' To his surprise, Finlay agree d readily to h i s prop os a l that they should box. It was a plea sant afternoo n and the two b oys, follo w ed b y a group of their companions, wended their way to a gra ssy corner of the school y ard. There they divested thems el v e s of their coat s collars and neckties and donned the pad d ed boxing glo ves One boy who had a watch was proclaimed timeke eper, while the oldest and biggest boy in the class was chosen for refere e. Then the two bo y s faced e a ch other. "Just in fun," s aid Daw s on. "We won't hit hard." "All right,'' said Finlay. Da w s on edge d ne are r t o Finlay, wh o e asil y k ept out of di stance. H e determined t o hit as hard as he could, and ha d s p oken a s h e did in order to mi s lead his oppo ne n t. He was a tre a ch e ro u s b o y at h eart. ''Bang!'' He hatl struck F inlay with a ll the strength in his bocly The b low l a uded ou the sm a ll e r bo y's forehe a d. D ow n h e went i n a h eap. Ther e was a cry from a ll t h e boys round the ring. ' One t wo, three, four, five --" counted the r e feree. But .Finlay was on h i s f ee t again There was a look of g r im d ete rm i n a ti o n on h i s p ale face. He d ash e d forw ard. / D a wson w a s b e wild e red b y the shower of blo w s that was ra i ned u po n h i m. He triad to hit back, but his blo ws neve r la n d e d. N o w t hey w ere avoided, now'.,. blo cked. Whe r e v e r h e t urned he c o uld not get away fr o m F i n l ay, who was s t i ll se ndin g in stinging blows. C ra ck! Finlay had lan de d a l e ft o n his nose It felt as if it was cr u s h ed. D aw so n buri e d his h ead in liis anns and tried to avoid the s tingin g ra i n of blo ws . B ang! ba ng! Two mor e had l an d e d on his chin. "Let me go!" h e sc re amed, "I'm lic k ed. He dropped on bis knee s a s if to b e g for merc y. "Get u p you c ow ard," s a id Finlay, drawing h i s glo ves off. "Lea rn by t h is n ot to au unfair aclvaut-a g e o f an op p o nent." Champ ion of the Schoo!. ( By Clarenc e S a ndford, Vt.) At the bo arding -sch o ol which I attende d w e h e ld a b oxin g tournam e n t e v ery y e a r. I entered it with but little hope of comin g o ut a w inner. I had to b o x three diff e ren t b o y s. W e boxed three roun ds t o eacl1 b o ut. 1'he fir s t t w o roun ds w e re of two miu u t es each, an d the third a n d l as t roun d l aste d three m inutes. Tile boxing, of cours e was for points 'l'h e bo y who la n ded the greatest numb e r o f cl ea n blmYs b eing proc l a imed vi cto r. I found my fir s t two op p o n ents eas y T h ey were slow and clumsy, and a s I h2d a l ong r e ach I land ed 011 t hem al m o s t at will. M y thi rd o pp o nen t howe ver, was a c orke r. H e w a s r ep u te d t o b e t b e b est boxer i n t h e school a n d the c h ampi o n s hip for this yea r d e pe n d e d 011 the re s ult of our bout. T he first t w o rou nds were s l o w We were bot h careful sparring a nd feinti ng the greater p a rt of t he ti m e fighting at l o n g and landing very few blows In the thir d r o und, h owev er, my o p po nent d e c id ed to hurry matters a litt le. He rushe d into m e like a whirlwin d. I fought bac k, but I s a w tha t I was bci u g outpointe d. ' Crac k ' He h a d struck me on the jaw and I feil t o the grou u d. I looked up at him. I sa w that h e h a d lost his t empe r. H e drew bac k his arm and struck me a s I la y o n the ground. The n the refe r ee-on e of our tea c he r s -rus hed i n and for c e d him to his corn e r. I am now ch a mpion of the sc hool. M y opponent for feited the victo ry for striking me while I w as d ow n.

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TALES Of HUNTING AND TRAPPING. HOW DAVID CUMMIDGE KILLED A CATAMOUNT. THE STORY OF A H-YEAR-OLD BOY'S DARING. In the y ear 17-, E z e k iel Cummid ge the father of our hero, a t that time a re sident of Portsmouth, N H ., received, tllld e r sanction of the C rc wn a s mall grant o f land lying withiu the limits of th e t ow n,; of Os s i pe e and Sandwich, situa t e d a little t o the ea s t of north fr o m Winnipise o g ee L ake, which, in the abo ri gi n a l l a n g uage, is, ''The s mile of the G r ea t S!Jirit." No more b eautiful lake e ver exi s t e d tha n t h is sa m e Winnip i s eo gee, with its thre e hundred a nd :'lixty-five fairyl i ke i s lan ds A w inter or two pre c e d i ng the c o nferm ent of the grant, Ezekie l Cum1nid ge in com p a n y with a n O s s i p e e chief n a med W ya tan, lia d ma d e a w i d e circuit o f the lake in one of their 111oosehunti11g e x i ; ed itions, whic h brou ght the m into the f ertile and p i c l m e sq u e r eg i o n which compri s e s the present site of O s s i p e e a nd Sand wich Afte r obtain in g the c ove t ed grant, Ezeki e l Cummid g e and h i s famil y cons i sting o f h i ms e lf, wife and four childre n M artha the e l des t a re d-c h eeke d b run e tt e o f sixte en or s e v ente en, old e n ough a t all events t o ha ve a lover in th e ba s hful perso11 o f a s hi pbuild e r's apprentice; David, the h e ro o f the p res ent sketch, t w o years y o un ge r, and t" o s mall e r o n es started ou foo t, a ll b ut the two younge s t who w e r e p e r mitte d t o o ccu p y spa c e in the one-h o r s e c art, w hich c o n t ain e d their s t o re o f provision s and ag r icultural u lells il s n ecessa ry to the comfort of a pioneer se ttl er T lie di s t a nc e to the ' n e w grant'' was about s e v enty mil es throug h an almost unbroke n wilde rness-traversed a t that tim e o nly b y the hunte r and roving savage. But E z eki e l Cum mid g e f e l t quite s ecure from all p eril in c o n nec tion with his ab original neighbo rs, so long a s he hacl the frie n dly p ro mis e of p rotection fr o m t h e manly a nd trne-hearte d chi e f Wyatan. The site sele c ted by a majority of the Cummidge s for the ere cti o n of their c abin was on the nor t h e rn margin of a little sheet of wate r, now di g nified by the title of "Oss ipe e L a ke. Here Ezekiel Cunnnidg e pitched his canvas tent, and with tbe assistance of his faruily commenced the erec tion of a small lo g cabin, aud a cow sh e d. When completed the re was but one win ow to the cabin, containing half a do z en panes of glass-which was, inde e d, a rarity. The cow siled, which was built first, for the protection of the s tock from the encroachments of wild b e a s ts, was located about twenty y ards from the cabin. There was n o entrance to this, e x c ep t by a narrow do o r and a sm a ll lintel wind ow, about a foot and a half square. This was sectuely clo se d i n the ni ght time b y a l i e a vy plank slide, so that no w ild animal c o uld po ss ibly find ingres s while the family >Ve r e asleep. The y knew w ell that the mountains w e re infested with wild beasts of eve ry de s cri p t i on known to our northern w i l d s The y h a d l o s t two o f th eir sheep, a nd a su cking pig, b efore the y wer e a b l e to properl y shelter their stock; but now the she d w as com p l e t e d, a s well as the c a bin th ey felt m o re secure Of ni ghts, the horrid c o nc er t of the brut e world went on reaching far up the mountains. One ev enin g a few da ys afte r the co mpletion of their c a bin whil e seat e d in a family group, Martha, who was n earest the sm a ll winclow, utte red a wild sh r i e k of ter ror, aucl d ro pp ed fr o m the sto o l on which s h e w as :seated in actua l convul sio11s. The wh o l e family sprang to their fee t in a state of nervo u s alarm, a n d glance d anxiously about them to a E ce rtain the cause of Martha' s terrible fright. It w a s soon apparent to every one, for on looking ha stily in a line with the little sq uare window, a sight greet e d their startled visions well calculated to curdle the h eart's blood of even the boldest. Erect upon its hind legs stoo d a fie rce, wild beast of the c a t spe c ies, of a t a wn y -brown color, and of enormous size Its huge forepaws re s t e d on the narrow window-sill-just barely wid e enough to admit of its entrance if it felt disposed to make the attempt. For a n in stant all were paralzyed, but the senior Cummidge was the first to r e cover self -command. His fir s t impulse wa s to s e ize his musket, banging against the wall ; but a second thought changed his determination, and he called to the little house-dog Tip, who was barking furiously at the unwelcome visitor. The sagacious animal instantly comprehended the tention of bis Jnaster, and immediately followed him to the door. With trembling fingers, Ezekie'l Cummidge raised the wooden latch, and opened the door just wide enough to admit of the exit of the dog. No did Tip perceive the opening made for him

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, THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 29 than he darted out, spitfire-like, into the darknes s, making an instant and heroic assault upon the monster, who dropped from the window like a flash, and as quickly picked up bis puny but plucky assailant, who yelled and ki-ied frantically when he found himself fast in the toils of the mountain monster. Closing and barring the door, the frightened pioneer seized a small table, and, elevating it to the window, held it there for some minutes by main strength, till the occasional yelps of the ill-fated 'I'ip, growing fainter and fainter in the distance, convince d him that the terrible beast was making off to the mountain with his prey. With thanksgiving of praise the little family then ascended to the attic by means of a ladder, aud carefully securing the trap, they resigned themse lves to sleep, and in dreams, the most of them saw the frightful epi sode of the eveuing vividly re-enact e d. 'I'he next morning they tracked the bloody monster to the foot of-the mountain by drops of blood and bits of hide, which had once assisted in making up the physical sum total of poor 'I'ip. A portion of the ensuing day was spent in securely barricading the window, which was done by 11ailing strong cross-bars of hard wood to the lo g s athwart the opening by means of solid iron spikes, wl,lich 110 human or brute force could have power t o remove. There was little doubt in the settler's mind but the visit of the previous evening would be repeated on the succeeding night; and so, after their frugal supper, and the candles had been lighted, the old fliut-lock musket was taken down and carefully primed, after being re loaded with heavy slugs, and the Cummidges-father and son-took up their station in the cow shed to watch for the anticipated arrival of the monster. The slide to the lintel aperture was shoved back, so as to permit an unobstructed view of the intervening space leading to the cabin so that no animal could advance in that direction without attracting their speci a l notice. ''Davie!" said the senior, after they were inside the shed, and the door securely fastened, ''you may staud the first two hours' watch but if you see the beast be sure and awaken me the very instant you discover it. Don't by any means fire at the varmint, for you are only a boy my son, and your aim, in consequence, cannot be very sure." Master David, like most boys of his age, had cousiderable confidence in his own prowess; but he promised, nevertheless, strict compliance with his father's injunction. Co11soled by the promise of our youtbful hero, the senior Cummidge stretched himself out on the floor, and was soon sound asleep-as his melodious snori1:1g would have indicated to less practiced ears than those of Master David. "My eye!" soliloquized our youthful hero, glancing sharply through the narrow aperture," dad thiuks r dun know bow to shoot; but I reckon I does, a few. Let the varmint jest come along, now, and Sf'e if I don't-by Jerusalem Grundy! Sp'ose c'ause I'm a boy I can't see straight, nor do nothiu'. I guesses that ain't so-no how, whatsoever! And if the pesky varmint do come, I'll jest show dad a trick worth seein'-I will, that, by Grnudy !" As young Daviq stood with the silvery moonlight from the narrow aperture irradiating his handsome face, you could see there was no lack of courage aud determination in bis manly expression. With the old musket cleverly poised in his impaitent hand-vigilant and watchful as a lynx-as he stood thus, proud and reso lute, he l ooked every iuch the youthful hero. ''I reckon it's about time the varmint corned along, I do, by Grundy!" mused the courageous Da v ie, growing momentarily more impatient at the protracted delay "But bowsomever it do go, I won't call dad-that's. flat! I'll hang out till morni11g fnst-I will, by---" His exclamation was cut short by a dark object creeping stealthily through the long grass in the direction of the cahin. There could be no doubt as to the identity of the nocturnal visitor, or its blood-huugry purpose in coming. With a thrill of pl easure Master Pavid watched its cat like advance, stealthy, and si lent and treachernusly bent up on mischief-and grasping his slug-laden musket with a firmer hand-the pupils of his eyes dilating and gleamiug with a purplis h luster that deepened perceptibly into an intenser and deadlier li ght-he forced the rusty barrel noiselessly through the narrow aperture, and made ready for the fitting moment t o fire. Iu the meantime the crawling monst e r made its way directly to the cabin, and paused before the little win dow, from which the light of the interior still gave out a faint reflection The next moment it rose erect on its hind legs, placing its ,huge paws upon the window-sill, as upon the preceding night. As the fierce brute stood, it presented to David from his n a rrow port-hole in the lintel a m ost inviting target. Our youthful hero, in taking aim, unintentio11ally made a very slight noise, sufficient to attract the attention of the monster, which turned its head with an angry snarl in his direction, preseuting two fiery orbs, which gleamed like living coals of fire. It was an opportu11ity not to be n e glect e d, and David ha s tily pulled the trigger. There was a loud explosion, and the maddened brute made a wild leap of full thirty feet in the direction of the cowshed, and then plunged forward, biting and tearing the earth furiously in its death agon y The noise of the musket awakened the senior Cummidge just in season to witness its expiring throes. It proved to be a catamuunt of the large s t size, measuring ten feet from tip to tip. ''Well done, Davie, my boy!'' f'aid Ezekiel, proudly. ''I couldn't 'a' done better myself!" The Plumage Hunter. Not very long ago the writer accompanied a gold-min ing expedition into the tropical forests of Guiana, and stumbled across au English traveler who was collecting birds for a London and Parisian firm of merchants. He

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' THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. wa s settled in a village of A c a wo i s India ns, fa r from any of the h aunts of the w h ite m a n. Ever y m ale Indian o f the village w a s in his serv ice, aud a t the con cl u s i o n of e ach w ee k they received pa y a ccording t o r esults in ch e a p knives po w d er, hatc h e t s, c ooki n g ute n s il s, etc. pay day being u sually c e lebrat e d by a f eas t, in which all the men got f earfully intox ic a t e d o n a filthy c o m pound called p a i warri. We started out every morning immediately after breakfast. The Indians w ere a r m e d with bo ws and arrows and blow-pipes. The coll ector di v ided the m into sections, and s ent them off into the bus h, himself a ccompanying one group, but without d oing any shooting I fastene d on to a man a n d a boy, and kep t clo se in t hei r wake all d ay. With the skill o f a denizen of the woo d s, my man d i d n o t walk a step withou t rou sing a feathe r e d creature of s om e sort. Sometimes a l a r g e birda to u can or a macaw-would fla p clum s il y out o f a bush, and t h e twang of the b ow-string wo ul d announce its death. Small birds fluttered acros s o u r path con s t antly, and thes e we r e promptly b rought dow n with the pipe. N o w ano then a flight o f a s co r e o r t wo would s u d d e nl y settle all over in the branches a b out onr h ea d s and on thes e c ca sion s t h e India n m a naged t o kill a doz en or s o b efo r e the y a p pe a r e d t o r ealize their danger It was kill, kill, kill, w i thout a moment's pause. As the birds f e ll the boy secure d the bod i es a u d drop p ed them i n t o a long wicker b as k e t which was strapped a c ro ss his forehead and hung d ow n b is bac k On ou r r eturn t o the vill ag e t h e men w e re com in g in and em p t y in g their baskets on t o a long tabl e in t h e mi dd l e o f the E n g l is hman's hut. Many o f the birds w e re of the mos t br i lliant pl11mage; but there wer e hun dreds o f birds, not boasting a n y bri g h tness of co l or, t h a t w e r e of no us e T h e s l a u ghte r, i n fac t, i s much g r ea ter i n r eg ard t o t he birds t h a t are n o t wa nted than t hose whic; h r each the English market. The co ll ector, s tripped t o t he shirt and w ith h is sleeves rolled u p, set t o work a t once, going through the gam e He handled every b i rd, dropping t hose pretty eno11g h for a b o n ne t or v a luabl e e uo ugh for a collection into one h eap, a'1d t he use l e ss o n es ii1t o a nother. Not mo r e tha n o n e b ird i n t eu wa s r e tained; t h e res t had be e n s l a u ghte r ed use l ess ly When I reproache d my friend with thi s wanton was t e o f f ea ther ed li fe, h e r ep li ed tha t h e could n o t atte m p t to kill the birds himself, and i t was imposs i b l e t o get Indian s t o discrim i nate b e t wee n va luabl e and wor t h l e s s specirnens EXCHANGE COLUMN. (Notice.-'l'h is co lu m n i s free to a ll o u r readers, but we can not u e respons ib l e for tran sactions made through i t. A ll offers m u s t be strictl y exchange offers, and no "for sale" adYer t i se m en ts, or exchanges o f explosives o r worthles s articles w i ll be printed Address a ll communications for t hi s co lumn to "Ex change C olumn.") Albert Wa ibel No. 280 Vrelan d avenue, P aterson, wi ll ex change a N J foo t-power bracket saw for a m andol i n o r the best offer. W illi e M. Feilrl, V. P. I. B lackbury, Va., will exchange five cent novel s in good co ndition for a small typewriter or for o t h e r novel s o r anything e l se you may h a v e t o trade. A ll communications a n swered. i Boxing Contest Now Running SEVENTEEN PRIZES SPALDING PUNCHING BAGS BOX I N G GLO V ES The two boys who write the bes t stories will eac h receive a Spaldin g hExpert11 Punching B ng, made 9 finest selected Nap{\ ta.n leather. The workmanship is the saine as in the Fitzsimmon s specia1 b;lg_ Doublestitched, v.relted senms, re-i n forced one-piece top. Best qualitv Para rub. ber blatlder. An extremely d urable and lively bag, and qar-eu) l y selected before packing. Each bag complete in box with bladcJ.e.r, rubber cord for floor and ror'e for ceilin g attachn1eot. 'rhe four nex t best stories will win for their wnters sets of :Spalding regulations o z boxing gloves. T1.VO PAIRS OF CLOVES TO EACH SET. M ade after the Corbet t p a ttern of s oft cra..ron t a n leather, well-padded, with elastic wris t There will b e eleven prizes in t h e tj)jrd c lass." E levei;i set& of two pair of Spalding boxing gloves. Regular pattern, m.iidti o f light,colored soft tanned leather, well-padd"ed, elastic wristbands. Thes e b4gs a n d gloves a r e The Best t hat can b e obtained anywh e re. T/1c y .tre w eil worth trying for. HOW TO CET THEM Think of any boxing bont vou lt(lve or participated i n Sit down a n d wnte as good a of it as ycln how. 1\Iake it lively. Throw in a ll the upper cuts and half arm jolts, and do it in five hund red words o r less. Every boy who bns e ver seen a boxin g contest has a chance to capture one of the prizes. The contest 1nay b e between o r men, beginners o r w ell -known a,mateurs. If you shoi.ild net. win El pl i z e you stand a good chance o f seeing your s tory and l)an,e Jn prmt, anyway. To become a contesta.nt you mu,st o u t out ll) liloxipg Contest Coup o n on this page. fill it out properly, and s'ellt it to .SSJ?. JJ\)IES WEEKLY, ,,a William Street, New York"City, tilg'etl)e r tb yo\!r erticle. No contd bu tioo w ithout this coupo n will be considered. C omo along, boys, and make things huro. THI S c;ONT i;:S T CLO SES MAY 1, 1902. C O UPON JESSE Jf\ME S W EEKL Y B O XING CONTEST Date ............................................. Nam e .. ........... . ..... .................. ... City o r Tow n ........ . ........................ ................... . State . -................................ ,, ................. ,,, .. ..

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JESSE JAMES STORIES. (LARGE SIZE.) The Best Stories Published of the Famous Western Outlaw. -;-Jesse James, Rube Burrows & Co. 8-Jesse J arries' Daring Deed; or, The Raid on the Pine Ridge Jail. 9-Jesse James at the Throttle; or, The Hold-Up at Dead Man's Ditch. 10--Jesse James' Double; or, The Man from Missouri. 11-Jesse James Among fhe Moonshiners; or, The Train Robbers' Trail in Kentucky. lz-Jesse James' Close Call; or, The Outlaw's Last Rally in Southern Wyoming. I 3-J esse Jam es in Chicago; or, The Bandit King's Bold Play. 14-Jesse James in New Orleans; or, The Man in the Black Domino. 15-J esse James' Signal Code; or, The Outlaw Gang's Desperate Strategy. 16--J esse James on the Mi!lsissippi; or, The Duel at Midnight. 17-Jesse Jaii1es' Cave; or, The Secret of the Dead. 18-The James Boys in St. Louis; or, The Mysteries of a Great City. 19-Jesse James at Bay; or, The Train Robbers' Trail. zo-J esse Jam es in Di sgui se ; or, The Missouri Outlaw as a Showman. 21-Jesse James' Feud with the Elkins Gang; or, The Bandit's Revenge. zz-Jesse james' Chase Through Tennessee; or, Tracked by Bloodhounds. 23-Jesse James In Deadwood; or, The Ghost of Shadow Gulch. esse J a m es' Deal in Dea d Valley; or, At Odds of Fifty to One. 25-Jesse James on the Trail for R evenge; or, The Outlaw's Oath. 26-Jesse James' Kidna ping Plot; or, The Massacre at vVeldon's. 27-J es se Jam es Among the Mormons; or, Condemned to Death by the Saints. 28-Jesse James' Capture and Escape; or, Outwitting the Pancake Diggings Posse. 29-Jesse James' Hunt to Death; or, The Fate of the Outlaw Vasquez. 30-Jesse James' Escape From Cheyenne; or, In League with the Wyoming Regulators. 31-J essc James' Rich Prize; or, The Battle at the Old Stone House. 32-J esse Jam es aml His Ally, Polk Wells; or, An Errand of Life or Death. 33-Jesse James in New York; or, The Missing Millionaire 34-Jesse James' Deal in Sacramento; or, Holding Up the Overland Express. 35-:-J esse Jam e s Against the R ecor d ; or, Seven Hold-Ups in a \ Veek. 36-J esse James and t he Wood ford Raid; or, The Nervy Bandit Hard Pushed. 37-J esse Jam es' Narrowest Escape; or, Chased b y a Desperate Banc!. 38-J esse Jam es and the Black Valise; or, Robber Against Robber. 39-The James Boys Driven to the Wall; or, The Three Lives of Wild Decatur. 40-J esse Jam es' Ruse ; or, The Escape from "Lame Horse Settlement." 41-Jesse James in Mexico; or, Raiders of the Rio Grande. 42-Jesse James' Double Game; or, Golding, the Dandy Sport from Denver. 43-Jesse James Surrounded; or The Desperate Stand at Cutthroat 44-Jesse James' Spy; or, Corralling a Whole Town. AU of the above numbers always on hand. If you cannot get them from your newsdealer, five cents a copy will bring them to you by mail, postpaid. STREET & SMITH, Publishers, 238 William Street, New York. r

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7 5 Solid Gold atches GIVEN AWAY ctt ;+ .. Not Gold Filled 'Vatches Not Gold Plated Watches BUT ABSOLUTELY Solid Gold Watches WARRANTED UNITED STATES ASSAY. FULL PARTICULARS IN NUMBER 20. BOYS OF AMERICA. Now Running in "Boys of America" A Corking, Up=to=Date Story RA K .RI ELL The Famous Yale Athlete, En.iitled The All=Star Athletic Club; OR., Ti1e Boys Wl10 Couldn't Be Downed NO BOY CAN AFFORD ... .fO M1ISS THIS FASCINATING STORY. The wondeJrful record of the AH-Star Athletic Club, their bitter their battles on the ice, in the g7mnasium, on the snow, in the rink, the pliots of their enetnies, etc., etc., are just a few of' featurem of' this remarkable s tory, throbbing with enthusiasm and excitemento Don't miss No. 20, BOYS OF AMERICA, containing the opening installment of this great story. :. '-i

PAGE 34

THE BOYS' OWN LIBRARY Edward S. Ellis Horatio Alger, Jr. James Otis Matthew White, Jr. Gordon Stables George Manville Fenn W. H. G. Kingston Wm. Murray Graydon Brooks McCormick AND OTHER CELEBRATrn AUTHORS THE BOYS OWN LIBRARY consists 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 each. For sale at first-class book stores. Catalogue on application to the Publishers, .:I-.:I.:I.:I-.:I.:I-.:I.:I.:I.:I.:I-.:I-.:I-.:I-eJI. STREET & SMITH, 238 WILLIAM ST., NEW YORK


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