Jesse James foiled, or, The Pinkertons' best play

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Jesse James foiled, or, The Pinkertons' best play

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Jesse James foiled, or, The Pinkertons' best play
Series Title:
Jesse James Stories
Lawson, W. B.
Place of Publication:
New York
Street & Smith
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
32 p. ; 26 cm.


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

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
028821046 ( ALEPH )
07363194 ( OCLC )
J14-00047 ( USF DOI )
j14.47 ( USF Handle )

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... A weeKLY p .fALl"ff G Wllft THE-DETECTIOff Of CRIME fVedly. JJj Sf4/JscriPfum $#.50 per ye,.,., E11tered "'Second Class Matier al the N. Y. Post Offiu, fJy S'1'1U:ET & SMITH, 1!18 William St. N. Y Entered accof'ding to Act of Conp-ess in the ye11r rqaz, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Was/ting-ton D C. No . 47. NEW YORK, March 29, 1902. Price Five Cents. Jesse Jatnes Foiled; OR, ,-.. ....... .. THE VINKERT0NS' BEST l?L1\Yo By W. B. LAWSON. CHAPTER I. 'THE OUTr,AW IN DEADLY PERIL. A lumbering stagecoach was making its way from B ear Gulch to : Mud Hollow, in the Salmon Mountains The stag e was behind time and the sun was setting. The driver, Jim Cole bawled at the leader, while Bob Bates, one of the nerviest "shotgun messen gers" in that section sat b e s ide him on the box and sn o red like a steam engine. Ins ide of the stage were thre e pa ssengers, two men and a girl. The y had been riding all day and vvere asleep apparently. Suddenly, a pistol cracked, and one of the leaders went down. The messenger was awake in a second, and had raised his weapon. "\!\That ther deuce?" he began, just as the door of the coach flew open. "Hold on! Hello, up thar \!\That's up?" yelled a lu sty voice. The driver was swearing at his horses as they plunged and reared on the very brink of a precipice. He had glanced around sharply, but there was n:::> one in sight. The shot had come from a roc k to the left of the p ath and about forty feet ahead. It w a s hardly large enough to conceal a man, yet he knew there must be one behind it. The shotgun me ssenger had answered the excited p assenger' s questions: "It's a holdup, you fool! C .an't you tell t _het thar without askin' ?" The stage, door op. ened wider and the m 'an stumbled out. . A sudden lurch of the coach sent him sprawling head-foremost .f>. second later there was a shriek from the young


, . 2 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES.. girl a n d the third pa ssenge r a man o f h erculean build leaped out and began a search of the fallen man's pocke ts. "Hello! Thar' s som ethin1 wrong a t both ends I reckon!" began Ji m Cole glancin g o v er his shoul d er. "Cu ss ed if thet thar a in t a roa d agent, pare!! \V e've b ee n foole d b y th e r ra s c a l! Git er bead on him an' be quick about it! The m essenger would h a ve o b eye d but he had other business to attend to. Another bullet came from t h e same direction as the fir st, and the se cond le ader fell dead in its har nes s Jim Cole ripped out a n o a t h as b e r ealized hi s po si t ion. He wa s hemmed in b y roc k s on one s i d e a nd the abyss ya w ne d upon the o t her. Old h a nd at the r ibbo n s as he w as, the situation alarmed him H e wound th e lin es around bi s wri s t s and braced him s elf for the ordeal. Crack! we11t the pist,ol again, and a bullet whiz z ed pas t the messenger' s ears, while the g irl in s ide of the coach k ept up her shrieking. The two remaining horses bes ide thems elves w ith fea r. A sharp s t _ruggle betwe en the t w o men behind w as in prog r es s Jim Cole pulled the horses t o their haunches, just as the robber delivered a knockout blow. With a leap they reared again. This time he could not hold them. Bob Bates leaped to the ground. He had thought of the girl inside of the coach, and for just a second his obli gations to the express company were forgotten. He meant to try t o sav e the girl in prefere nce to the. strongbox, which w a s under the driver' s s eat, and contained ten thousand dollars in bank notes. As he reached the ground, Cole dropped the lines and follo w ed him. They were hardly upon their feet when ea c h receiv e d .a s tin g in g blow in the face. Then an athletic road agent who had been a pas senger in the coach threw open the stage Cloor, which had closed in joltin g. He; caught the girl in his arms and lifted her out. The next second horses, coach and all went cras hing over the precipice. When they struck on the rocks fifty f eet below, the g o rge b e twe e n the hills gav e b a ck strange ech o es. The m oment the g irl wa s safe, the man who had saved her gave a shrill whistle. Bob Bates opene d hi s eyes and took a qui c k look at him. He was t o o dazed to move, but he comprehended the s itu a tion When he saw who his pasenger was he rolled over on hi s back and clo sed his e y es. The n ext minute the sc ene had changed like magic a nd he w a s listening to what most men would have c alled a bloodcurcll iHg 1conversatio n \i\Thoop Hello, Frank! Get a m ove on, Nig Spicer! I've knocked out the of 'em, but they'll come to in a minute! I want one of you to stand guard while I go down a fter that strongbox!" "Better not undertake tha t climb Jess It' s fully fift y feet to the bottom!" warned a v oice and a man w earing a black mask came from behind the rock. A n other s p e cim e n of brute manhoo d droppec! clown from a n o a k twenty yards aw a y, and ap proached the g r o up. He wa s black as the ace of spades, but there was a ma s k o ve r the uppe r h a lf of hi s face and h e was armed to the t eeth with murderous-looking we a p-ons. Neit h e r Jim Co le n o r Bates moved a muscle as t he y cam e up. They w e r e both bra v e m e n but the y knew the ir captors. T hose two n a mes "Jess and Frank," w e re en ough for them. They knew the y had fallen into the hands of the "James gang." Jess e J a m e s h a d di sguise d him s elf, and ridden all clay in the stage. It prov ed that he was .the cleverest road agent on record, for both of these men were aware that he was in this section, and had been warned to look out for him. In spite of the warning, he h a d fo o led them completely. N ow their live s were in hi s h a n ds. J ess e Jam es wa s a determined man, and he was obliged to be ca utious. H e w a s "wanted" by every sheriff and .governor we s t of the Mi ssiss ippi. Moreover, there was a re ward of ten thousand dollars offered for his head by the United States Government. The grea t outla w was thinki ng; of thi s when an s wered hi s brothe r.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES .. 3 "I've got to have the money, Frank! It's in bank notes, and can be used with greater ease than nuggets. I'll need it, I reckon, before I get out of Cali fornia." "But you are risking your life, Jess,'' went on the other, as he picked up the messenger's "sawed-off" shotgun, and extracted the charges. "Bosh! As if that was anything new!" retorted his brother. He uncoiled a long horsehair lariat as he spoke, which he had taken from his pocket. Nig Spicer, the villainous-looking negro, disarmed the driver, and was just in the act of putting his hand on the young woman's shoulder. The girl gave a shrill cry, and attempted to run. Jesse Jam es roared at the fellow in a voice that sounded like a clap of thunder. "Let the gal alone, Nig She's under my protection! Lay your black hand on so much as her shawl and I'll blow a window in you." The girl stopped running at. this, and crept back to the group. A minute later she was kneeling beside the elderly man who had been knocked into unconsciousness by one of the sledge-hammer blows of the outlaw. Jesse James tied the lariat around his waist just under the arms; then he passed the loose end of it to his brother. "I reckon it's lon g enough. I had it made for just this business! Keep a bead on all four of them, N ig Don't forget the gal L She looks as sweet as a peach, but women are deceitful!" he rattled off,. glibly. The three men had been disarmed now, and the g irl had no weapon. Nig nodded hi s head. His part of the work looked easy. Frank James braced himself near the edge of the precipice, and Jesse James looked over into the chasm. In the darkness below he could outline a black mass, vvhich he knew to be a jumble of stagecoach and horses. "Nig will help you pull me up! Don't let go!" sa id the outlaw, as he began the descent. The young girl turned, and looked at him, her eyes widening in horror. The whole thing had happened so quickly that she had hardly collected her senses. She knew these men were bandits, or "road agents," of the worst description. They had struck her father a blow and killed him, for all she knew; yet, in spite of this, she looked upon Jesse Jam es' next act with horror. She never expected to see him appear alive from the depths of that cafion. Frank James uncoiled the lariat as his brother went down. It tightened slowly at fir s t, and then Jesse began jerking it a little. "Take a look and see what he wants, Nig I don't dare go any nearer," he ordered. The negro looked at the three men. Bob Bates was groaning as if he was coming to his senses. The driver was breathing hard, and his muscles were twitching. The elderly man still lay as stiff as a graven image. "Reckon I kin risk it," muttered the negro, as he advanced to the edge of the cliff. Jesse } ames hallooed up to him the minute h e leaned over. "I've got the box on the lariat! Pull it up, and then let the rope down again! There's a package of registered mail aboard that feels heavy! Nig repeated the message, and the lariat was pulled up. Frank James untied the box, and then tied a stone on the encl of the horse-hair rope. vVhen it dangled clown again Jesse James secu1:ed it around his body. Nig turned back to his charges, and found Bob Bates upon his feet. He had sprung up like a cat, but his knees looked shaky. The negro pulled a bead on him, and he thr. ew up 9oth hands promptly. Reckon, I won't turn my back on you ag'in, curse you," muttered the negro, with a grin. "Yer a slick cluck, Bates! Haw! H aw It's a wonder Jess fooled yer He couldn't er clone it if he wasn't er corker!" "He's all of thar I knew my day'd come some time,'' growled Bates, a little sheepishly. "It's ther fust time tho', an' I've been runnin' on hy a r route fer nine years or over!" "Look at Jim Cole, Nig The fellow i s stirring!" warned Frank James, taking a look over his shoul der.


,/ 4 THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIESo It was growing dark rapidly now, and the three men were fully ten feet from each other. Nig walked backward a few steps, keeping his pistol leveled at the messenger. He was stopped short by Jim Gole jumping sud denly to his feet, and letting out a stiff right-hander. At the same instant Bob Bates made a dash for his I weapon. The fellow held it with an iron gr. ip, even after he went down, with Cole on top of him. Frank James wheeled around,, but Jesse jerked the lariat taut at that minute. He had to use all his strength to help pull his brother up. When he was straining every nerve, he became aware of a fresh danger. There was a clatter of hoofs over the rocky road, and a party of four men dashed up like a cyclone. "\.Vhoop Hold on, boys! We've caught 'em!" yelled the leader. He pulled his horse to its haunches to keep from running over the girl. A cry from Nig followed. Be was being throttled. Frank James caught a few words before they were shnt off entirely. "It's the sleuth-hounds, d--n them! Yer must fight or run--" Frank James lost no time in taking the lasCalternative. He dropped the end of the lariat, and took heels. He was out of sight in the darkness, while the newcomers were pulling in their horses, and trying to discover which were passengers and which were bandits. The young girl came to her senses at that minute, and rn'"ade a few explanations. "Quick! Help us, if you are honest m en We've been held up and robbed, and the coach has gone over! That was Jesse James who went down! He's after the mail pouch and money!" The leader of the four riders slipped from his sad dle at once. Bob Bates looked up from over the strangled negro, aad grinned at him. "Thar's one less of ther curses, parcl vVe've killed ther nigger! Now then, which way did Frank James go? Jess is down below I reckon he broke }'is neck \vhen Frank let go ther lariat .!" -Jim Cole was putting one of the negro's pistols into his belt as he answered the question. "Frank bolted into ther rocks at ther right! I reckon he kaows thar's er pass through ther bowlders ter ther holler! We kin overhaul ther rascal when we'Ye corralled ther mail pouch! Haw! Haw! It was kind of Jess ter save ther bank notes for us!" He picked up the box as he spoke, and closed his arms over it. The three other men had dismounted, and were holding their horses by the bridles. One of them leaned over the shoulder of the young girl as she bent again over her father. "So Jess is down below, is he?" asked leader of the four, in a curiously strained voice. "Thet thar' s whar he is, pard Reckon I'd best drop er stun on ther reptile ter be sure he's dead," was Cole's answer He lifted a big stone as he spoke, but his companion stopped him. "Hold on, pard If it is really Jesse Jam es we must have his body! The government will never believe he's dead unless it sees his carcass! I move we pull him up somehow or other. \.V e're from the Pinkerton Agency, you see, so we've got to do it!" "Snakes! Thet thar's luck! They're hounds, pard !" yelled Cole, looking over his shoul der. I "Kerzackly what ther coon said with his last breath," was the answer. "I reckon now them was ther only truthful vvords thet thar scamp ever spoke, and he wouldn't er let them slip ef h e hadn't been er' dyin' !" "I don't know how he knew us, but it's all right," went on the detective. "Come on, boys! Get your wits to work! It looks as though our work in Cali fornia was about ended! If Jesse James is dead in the chasm below we've got to get a move on and rescue his body!" "Apd what if he ain't dead? I can't seem to get it through my head that it's true, Star," laughed one of the others. \i\Till Star, the most famous detective from the well-known Chicago agency, nodded his head as he answered: "We'll bear tliat in mind, Jake! I'll believe he's dead when I see him, and not before! That's the only reason why I want to recover his body. It's too good to be true! Splice .your lariats, boys, while I hold the horses! I'm going down after Jess and that P.Ouch of letters!"


THE JESSE JJ\MES STORIESo CHAPTER II. n m O UTLAW' S DARING A'l TEMP 'r. The young girl held her breath at these' daring words. It was bad enough for a robber to attempt this feat, but it chilled her marrow to think of an hon est man attempting it. Jake West, one of the detectives, had raised her father to a sitting posture, and given him a drink of whisky. When she saw that he was reviving, she seemed to reco ver her spirits. "Oh, s ir, don t go clown! s he pleaded. "If be isn't dead, he may put a bullet through you!" "Exactly what he will do! You can trust Jess for that!" laughed Star, as he watched the splicing. Jim Cole took the bridle s out of his hand, and quieted the hors es. when the young girl saw that her words had no influence in stopping Star, she knelt by her father and put her arms around him. Five minutes later the detective's head disappeared ov:er the brink of the chasm. His three companions were paying out the lariat, while Bob Bates lay flat on the ground and looked down at the dangling form, as it disappeared in the darkness. What would be the fate of their friend they did not know. It was one of the riskiest things that the brave de tective had ever undertaken. They shuddered as they thought of what might him. Suppose Jesse Jam es had escapee!, and was crouching in some crevice between the rocks? Over and over again Jesse James had escaped death when the chances were against him. There were those who thought that he bore a ch;umed life. Danger of every description would environ him yet he always came out alive and a lit tle more daring than ever. It did not seem possible that this could be the case now; still knowing him as they did, the detectives could not help being anxious. Star was beloved by his friends, and his deed was a trifle foolhardy. He was risking his life to satisfy the government and the people. It was a foolhardiness that would be deplored, and yet appreciated, if it resulted in a fatality. It wottld be a sight that would thrill the robber with joy tosee the detective's body dangling help lessly over the chasm. Every man up above strained his ears as he thought of this possibility. They expected to a pistol or feel the lariat swing free at any second. There was a breath of relief when Star finally shouted up to the1:n: "Pull me up, boys! The cur isn't here! Pull steady! A little to the right, where the rocks are smoother!" The men obeyed promptly. As they moved three feet farther to the right, a pistol cracked below them. There was a gasp of horror, but the rope did not I slacken. A second later there was a sharp jerk that showed the detecti\f e was still living. Bob Bates leaned further over the chasm, taking the ri s k of getting a bullet through his head, and bawled down into the darkness: "Who fired that shot, pare!? Was it you or thet thar cursed robber?" There was no reply, except another jerk of the lariat, which had begun to slacken while Bates was yelling. "Hold on, Bates! He can t answer for fear of showing the rascal where he is! Jess is alive, all right, and it's nip and tuck between 'em!" said Bob Lindsay, another detective. There was another silence after that. The men waited and listened, but there was not a sound from the chasm. Jim Cole had entrusted the horses to the young girl and was on the lookout for Frank James. He did not mean that the second greatest rascal in the country should come back when he was not wanted without meeting a reception as hot as bullets could make it. Colonel Hank Spencer, the elderly passenger, had recovered his senses, and his daughter explained the situation in a hurried whisper. \i\Then he learned who his fellow pas!lenger had been, the gentleman was startled. He felt in his inside pocket, where he had been carrying a wad of several thou!land dollars. The bank notes were gone, as were hi!I watch, two pistol s and a v aluable scarf pin.


6 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Miss Spencer had already gone over her own pos sessions, and found none of them missing. She wore a handsome watch, and carried a small sum of money, but the had made good a wellknown brag. It was stated that he claimed never to war on women. This, perhaps, was one of the many good traits that the outlaw possessed, but that did not weigh in his favor at the present minute. If the group on the brink of the chasm could have seen him they would have seen him at his worst. Fortunately for him, the darkness screened him, and no amount of guessing could ever quite picture his present situation. Half-way down the face of the cliff he was crouching on all fours. The space was so narrow that he was obliged to dig his nails into the rocks to pre vent losing his balance and pitching down head fore most. It was this position that had saved Star during his descent into the chasm, but, by using his teeth, the outlaw had managed to discharge his weapon. He hoped the sound of it would scare the detect ive so that he would lose his foothold. When he found that this had not occurred, he wc;s mad with fury. Star had escaped him by creeping a little to one side, but, as the detective did not know his plight, he did not know what to do next. He was afraid to swing out, and let his friends pull him up, for fear of the outlaw seeing him. To climb up without help was absolutely impossible. The monotony of the situation was broken by the three detectives, who could not the strain any longer . An0ther dark body appeared over the edge of the cliff, and began to descend. Both Star and Jesse James saw it outlined against the sky, and crouched closer to the rocks in order to avoid it. When it was ten feet above Star's head he recog nized it. The boys were lowering the dead body of the negm in the hope of either scaring the outlaw or dislodging him 1from his position. It looked for a minute as though they were going to knock Star clown instead. The detective jerked the lariat sharply, and the body swerved a little. As it swung close to-Jesse James the outlaw sud denly took desperate chances. Star suddenly caught sight of him standing erect. He leaped forward at the same time. There was a dull thud on the rocks below a second later. Jesse James had performed a marvelous feat. He had cut the lariat with his knife and allowed the dead body to drop' at the very second that he swung his own weight,upon it. Star's eyes flew open at this demonstration of agility. Jesse James had never done anytbing before that so excited his admiration. The outlaw hung to the lariat like a dead weight after he had secured a good hold. Star expected every second to see the slippery rope slide through his fingers, but he hung on like grim death. The outlaw was taking desperate chances. It was his play to be pulled up by the three detect ives. If they did not recognize him he reached top there would be a chance to do a little dam age. He preferred the risk of being shot above ground to dying in the chasm. Star tried to warn the boys, as quick as he collected his senses. The lariat was still around his waist, so he jerked it gently, thinking it best not to shout, and tell the outlaw his position. There was no response to his pull upon the rope. He jerked it again, and then gave a cry of horror. :ijis friends had fastened it to a rock while they lowered the dead negro. Jesse would be up on top before he could tell them their error. Some one hallooed down the chasm just then. "We've knocked him dO\yn, pards Thet thar will settle him, I reckon! Pull ther dead nigger up ; he 's done his duty, and then all get hold of ther tother lariat together!" This e xpla ined the situation, and Star waited no longer. He made a megaphone of his hands, and sent his voice up the rocks like a clarion. The words were drowned by a pistol cracking.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Jesse Jam es was holding on with one hand, and had fired with the other. Star shouted again, with the same result. Another report of the .outlaw's weapon drowned his words completely. The men above were still pulling at the rope, and Star nerved himself for a final effort. Just as he succeeded in bracing himself so that he could pull a bead on the dangling form above his head he caught a cry from Bob Bates that showed that his friends were growing cautious. "Hold on parcls Let th er cuss hang a minute!" he bawled. "Thar's too much racket down thar fer one ma)1 ter make! Vv'ait till ther smoke rolls away, and I kin git a look at ther nigger!" "He' s ther liveliest corpse I ever handled!" came in a fainter voice. "Hold him just as he is, boys, till I jerk the other lariat!" Star felt a tug on the rope that was around his belt at that minute, and he promptly responded with a strong pull on the lariat. There was a cry from above, and then Bob Bates leaned over the chasm again. "Whoop! Hullo! It's Jess, by ther etarnals!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "Ther cuss has cut ther lariat and dropped ther nigger! Hold him steady, parcls, while I pepper ther sinner!" Star held his breath, and leaned close to the rocks. He was glad the boys had recognized the outlaw, but he hated to lose the body. Before a pistol could speak something shot by him in the darkness. "By Jove! He's let go the lasso himself fl' he ejaculated, as he heard a thud be)ow him. "Curse the rascal! He's game clear through! when he found his trick wasn't going to work he--" The last words were cut short by something tapping him in the face . It was the loose encl of the lariat that had been dropped by the men above him. A second later the echo of the pistol shots died out completely, and the smoke passed away, so that the brink of the cliff was again outlined clearly. "Hello, Star!" shouted Jake \iV est, in an anxious voice. The detJctive answered promptly: "All right, Jake! Pull me up, boys! Steady, and svving her out as far as you can! I've had enough of this hole, and coming up for a consultation_!" There was a cheer from the men, and then the lariat tightened. Bob Bates gave the word, and the ascent was begun. As Star swung out to clear himself from the rocks, he felt a peculiar sensation, and for a minute he was so dizzy that he could hardly keep his wits about him. The men above were pulling steadiJy, and Star's body rose to within three feet of the brink. Bob Bates leaned further out, and extended his arms. He had just caught Star's shoulder when the lariat parted. There was a shriek from Miss Spencer, as the four menwent sprawling over backward, and the detective shot downward with the speed of a comet. CHAPTER III. JESSE JAMES' STRATAGEM. The detective struck squarely upon the pile of dead horses. He bounded off against the rocks, and lay unconscious for several minutes. vVhen he finally opened his eyes, Jesse Jam es was bending over him. They were in the bed of the gorge, and the stars looked like candles, they were so far above them. The first words of the outla\ brought the detect ive to his senses. "Cussed if you ain't the nerviest chap I ever met! You deserve another chance, \\T ill Star, and, by the eternals, you are going to have it!" Star did not answer. He was aching all over. As he mbved to relieve a severe pain in one ;irm, Jesse James took a flask from his pocket, and offered it to him. "The stuff is all right! It ain't drugged," he said, with a chuckle. Star smiled rather faintly. The outlaw seated himself on a rock, and went on talking coolly. ''That was an awful drop! \iV e'd both have been killed if it hadn't been for the horses! W your friends up above are thinking? Reckon they fancy we are as last year's lizards. Ha! Ha! Ii they do, it s because they don't know us!" Star put his hand to his belt before he answered. Jesse James broke into another laugh, as he saw the movement.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. "I've got your pops, Will Star!" he said, j ov ially. "Reckon, now, you didn't expect to find 'em, did you?" "What are you going to do with me, now you've got me?" asked Star, indifferently. The outlaw glanced up at the frowning cliff above them before he answered. "I was waitin' to see what those curs up yonder are going to do. I'd have chanced another ride on the lariat, now that I've made a change in my costume,'' he said, finally. Star opened his eyes and stared a little then passed his hand over his shirt and trousers. "I see! You've exchanged togs with me!" he said, quietly. "Yes, I thought it would be safer. If I can get my head above the cliff up yonder there'll be three detectives less in the world I reckon! It's a deuced shame they' ve given up so e a sy They might have sp liced their lariats--" "That's what they did do. There's no u se waiting for that, Jess!" broke in Star, sitting up. "The game is in your hands! All you've got to do is play it, but before you put a bullet throug h me, just an swer me one question. How the blooming blazes do you ever expect to g e t out of this gully?" The outlaw roared with laughter. Star's indifference to his fate amused him. He had no objection whatever to answering the question. "There's a path out of the cu sse d hole, but it's a trifle steep, I reckon. I could do' it all right if I hadn't broken my ankle." He groaned as he spoke, and Sta r stared at him in amazement. He had put up such a good bluff that the detective did not dream that he was injured. "I did i t dragging you down from the mess up yonder," he explained between his groans. "I'd have s hown more sense if I'd have run a knife into you and left you, but, to t e ll the truth, I was too hot for that. I brought you down here because I wanted the fun of talking to you and I'll have it yet, in spite of my ankle." There was an ugly ring in his voice that Star knew meant business. Besides he was familiar with the outlaws' methods of dealing with detectives. As the outlaw continued groaning, Star did some rapid thinking. While he felt that his hours were numbered, still it vvas his disposition to die fighting. He me ant to play his last card before Jesse James claimed a victory, and added him to the dozens who h ad fallen his victims. Better let me help you out of the gorge before you murder me Jess! There's nothing like making good use of your enemies ," he said, dryly. Jesse James gave him a quick look. "As if I could trust you, you whelp!" he muttered, sa vagely. "I reckon you could trust me if there was a reward in sight. I'll make a barga in with you, Jess!" began the detective. "Let's have it!" growled the outlaw, with another keen look. "I'll help you out of the gorge if you'll give me back my pistol and one chance to use it! A duel at twenty paces would suit me to a T !" "Bah! I could kill you before you pulled the trigger!" snapped the bandit. "I'm n o t so sure! Give me a chance and see!" urged Star. The outlaw's eyes began to snap. He was always eager to show his skill at handling a shooting-iron, and, besides he was in need of the detective's as sistance. "I'll give you your chance, you cur!" he said, finally. "I'm in bad shape to travel, and I need y_our help. Get me up to the level within easy reach of the stage route, and I'll give you your chance. I'll keep my finger on the trigger, meanwhile, and if you balk by s o much as an inch I'll blow you to blazes! His voice had turned to a bulldog's growl. Star felt cold chills up his s pine as he listened to the words. Jesse Jam es tested the strength of hi s ankle, and went on with his growling. "There's another little job you can do for me, Will Star. You c a n carry that cursed m ail pouch over your shoulder. I've hung on to the thing s ince I found it but it' s growing neavy ." H e threw the pouch a t the detective as he spoke and Star slipped the strap that was attached to it over his shoulder. "I reckon I can use you in more ways than one," went on the outlaw. "I'm in for a siege with this broken bone, I reckon, and, of course, Frank is dead,


THE JESSE Jt\MES STORIESo 9 as well as the nigger. There'll be no way of getting to the hollow except by hoofing it." He gave Star a keen lo .ok as he s poke, but ti1e de tectice avoided it by glancing upward. He did not mean tha't Jesse should know that Frank had escaped. Such news as that would act like a tonic on the bandit. He would be looking for his brother to come to his rescue at any minute, and the anticipation would keep him more alert than ever. "Reckon Frank is dead?" repeated the outlaw again. Star laughed a trifle hoarsely. "You didn t suppose we d lose both of you, did you?" he a.sked. A curse followed the question. "It'll mean another bulllt in your carcass, you cur! I'll keep my word, and give you your chance, but disobey me by a word and I'll let daylight through you!" "As if I didn t know that!" retorted Star, laughing. "Well, it's a novel position, to say the least! I'm on the warpath for your gore, but I have to wait and play lackey! Ha! Ha! A new feather in your cap, and one that will go clown in history! I sup pose you'll advertise the fact that your life was saved by a Pinkerton detective?" Star was growing but the outlaw paid no attention to him. He was sitting on the ground trying to bind up his ankle vvith one h a nd. The other h and \vas kept. employed pressing the hammer of hi s weapon. Star tried his strength by moving once or twice steal thily, but each time he caught a flash from the o\1tlaw's eyes through the darkness. "Vl e detective s ain't bad fellows when you come to know us, Jess," he went on, while the outlaw struggled with the strip of flannel he was using for a bandage. "Of course, we've got to kill you if we can, but there ain't a coward in the agency, and if you're the best man, I'll admit it every time! Now then, shall I give you a lift with that bandage, Jess?" The offer was accepted, but the outlaw took a firmer grip upon his pistol. If Star had moved his hand an inch above the ankle he would have gone promptly to eternity, with an ounce of lead in his body. When the job was completed Jesse James stood up. Star staggered to his feet, for he was suffering in tensely, and allowed the outlaw to rest his arm on his shoulder. "\Vhich way?" he asked, as Jesse Jam es hesitated. He glanced around as he spoke, but could see nothing but roc;ks all about them. The bed of sand they were standing upon was not three feet wide, and stretched only about ten feet ahead in the inky darkness. The outlaw got his bearings in less than a min ute. Leaning heavily upon Star, he limped straight to a narrow cut between the rocks that did not look wide enough to admit his body. An hour of desperate climbing followed He fqrcecl Star to go ahead, and then half-lift him over the bowlders. When they finally reached the top, they were a mile from where they started, the whole distance be ingan incline of the rugged mountains. Over and over again Star had tried to get the advantage, but he was suffering such agony from his own bruises that he could not put his schemes into action. Once, as the outlaw followed him through a narrow crevice, he tried to strike him with a rock. The click of .a trigger almost under his nose made him abandon the intention. Jesse James seemep to read his thoughts; and outwit him even in inky darkness. It looked as though there was little to oe hoped for when he had completed his services as lackey. His only hope was in the outlaw's promise. There would be one more chance when he was again fingering his weapon. The moment level ground was reached the outlaw gave the order to stop. Star dreaded the thought of a duel just then, for he was shaking with fatigue and the pain from his in juries. Fortunately for him, Jesse was in the same condi tion The outlaw intended to r .est before the trial of skill. As Star saw this, he dropped to the ground, promptly. The next act of the outlaw made him grind his teeth savagely.


10 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. J ess e J a m es le veled hi s we apon at his head, and orde r e d him to th ro w up hi s arms \ V h e n his h a nd s were e xtended a b o ve hi s he a d the bandit tie d his wri s t s together with a pi e ce o f strong c o rd. The a gony at first w as a l m os t un endura ble but St a r dropped t o the ground and l a y with out a murmur. Jesse James made himself comfortable, with his back against a tree. He did not relax his h o ld upon hi s w eapon for a minute. ' W e ll sleep an hour before I kill y o u he said with a sneer. "The moon will be higher by then. Lie quiet, you dog! A move and you are a d e ad m an!" Star did some hard thinking in the hour that fol lowed. '!' he s ky wa s clear n ow, and ni ght v v as balmy. They were in a clump of tree s to th-e left of the road over which the ill-fated stage had pas se d on its l as t journey. Star bega n to wonder if he would b e able t o hold a pistol. His finger s and v v rists were grow in g stiff and rigid L w as a mean advantage that the outlaw was takmg. Somewhere in the di stance a timber w olf. began h o wlin g It w as a doleful sound, but it befitted the occa sion. Star glanc ed at the outlaw, and saw that his eyes were clo s ed, but the detectiv e knew he was not sleepmg. Tl1e wolf stopped howling after a minute, and all wa s still. Suddenly Jesse James put hi s ear to the ground a nd listened intently. Star did the same, and then both men sat erect and st a red at each other. 4 \;vh a t the deuce i s it?" as k e d Star, trying to w ork his hands a littl e looser. Jess e J a m e s s hook his he a d a nd then g ave a whoop of pl eas ure. "}3y the eterna l s It's a n other stag e! h e s aid in a low v oice. I re c k o n it 's a s pec ial fr o m I nju n H ill t o t he Hollow If it is, it's got fiv e tho u sa nd on board! Ha! Ha! Here's a new r o l e for you to play Will Star. You've g o t t o h e lp me hold up that s tage a n d rob the passengers He whipped out hi s knif e as h e s p o ke, and cut fh e co rd s around Sta r's h a nd s He se em e d to ha ve forgotten bro k e n a nkle en tir e l y I w on t b e mu c h good as a roa d agent \ vithout a g un ," be gan Star. "Oh, you 'll do all ri ght! I 'll c over the whol e gan g, after I'v e dropped the l eaders All you'll hav e to do i s go throug h t heir pockets T hey 'll be so scared that you can do that e asy. Jus t talk big and mov e fa st! Quick! Get behind th e tree yonder!" Star moved t oward the tree. He w as a little dazed at the outlaw's orders Before he h a d gone ten paces h e understoo d them better. A bull e t whistl e d p as t his ear, taking a lock of hair w ith it A s he wh e el e d around another struck him s qu a rel y in the shoulde r. H e dropped lik e a l og, with hi s e y e s on the bandit king's fac e J es se J a mes looked mercile ss, with the moon lightin g up hi s stern features. It was only another d emonstration of the outlaw's shrewdness A s Star felt the world fadin g from under his feet, he knew tha t he had be e n tricked. Jus t a s he la sped into uncons ciousness Jesse relie v ed him of the mail pouch. CH APTER IV, T H E SECO N b "HOL D UP, There was no time for Jesse J a mes to prove that Sta r was dead. T h e s tage w as coming at a rattling pace, and he could hear the drive r bawling at his \eaders. "The cur will keep! I'll have a look at him after I've done thi s job," he muttered, as h e limped be hind a t ree on the edge of the roadvv"ay. The next second a heavy coac h drawn by six mules came into v i ew. It w as jus t a s he had special stage fr o m Injun H ill a settlement ten miles di stant, bringin g money t o pay off the miners at the hollow. J esse h a d kn ow n o f the stage before, but the a m o un t h a d not t empte d him H e d i d not expect to be able to make more than


'THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 11 one haul in that section, and the first stage was the prize that he had his eye upon Here was a second opportunity, after he had lost the first'. The moment the stage swung into view he took careful aim at the Crack! Crack! As his revolver spoke, the two animals fell. The outlaw did not stop, but emptied his weapon. He wished to convey the idea that there was a dozen or more bandits lurking in the bushes. His efforts were greeted by a chorus of yells and curses. Waiting just long enough to reload his pistol, the outlaw darted behind another tree. This changed the direction of his fire, and before the driver and his companion, another shotgun messenger, could lo cate him, he was pouring a chorus of leaden hail directly into their bodies. As the men pitched from their high seat, a woman' s voice yelled shrilly from the window of the stage coach: "My God! It's robbers! Oh, we shall all be murdered!" "Hush! Keep quiet, madam, and I will protect you!" answered a weak masculine voice. Jesse James strode up to the coach, with a cocked weapon in each hand. The m oment the woman saw him she gave a yell of terror. "It' s the devil! Save me! Save me!" she ho" .. led. Some one jerked her down to the s e at, and then a man's face showed at the window. "Hands up! N: ot a move, my good man, or I'll make a corpse of you!" roared the outlaw. The man gave a howl that rivaled the woman's, and as Jess e James grabbed the handle of the door, he collapsed completely. They were the only two passengers, and the out l2w looked disgusted when he saw them. Except for the five thousand, which he felt sure was aboard, there was poor picking for a road agent. "Get out, please, and let me look at you!" ordered the outlaw, promptly. "'Twouldn' t be the first time I'd found diamonds on beggars if I was to find 'em on you! Shell out if you have any, and be quick about it!" The man shuffled out, but the woman threw her shawl over her head, and began to cry. There was one mule left uninjured, and the beast was plunging and kicking, but Jesse James, after taking a sharp look around, paid no attention to it. Grasping the man by the collar, he shook him thoroughly; then, keeping an eye upon the woman, he proceeded to rifle his pockets. A watch, a pis tol and a small roll of bills rewarded his efforts. Then, giving the trembling man another shake, he faced him about, and started him toward the clump of trees. ."Hands up! March!" he ordered. The fellow walked away, with his knees knocking together. Jess e James glanced at the woman again, and then climbed up to the driver's seat. It took him but a minute to find the cashbox. Carrying it to the nearest rock, he smashed it open and p ocketed the money. Then he cut the mule lo os e and mounted upon his back. The bandage had loosened around his ankle, and a dreadful pain in the broken joint made him faint for a moment. "Curs e the sleuthhound He's dead beyond a doubt!" he muttered, as he turned the animal's head toward the hollow. Jus t as the mule decided to move, he thought of the woman. He wheeled the animal again, and w ent back to the coach. The woman was sitting on the floor of the vehicle rocking back and forth, and moaning. "There'll be a team by here at noon to-morrow, madam,'' he said, gruffly. "I reckon it won't kill you to wait for thtm, inasmuch as you have com pany. Just tell them, will you, that Jesse James held up the coach all by his lonesome and corralled the five tho u sand, and, by the w ay, there' s a dead sleuth from Pinkerton's l ying yo nder among the trees! The g overnment may be interested in recovering his bo.dy !" He laughed scornfully as he spoke, and then turned the mule again. This time he did not so much as look back o ver his shoulder, but hurried on down the road as fast as his mount could carry him. When he p a ssed the scene of the first hold up, he rode with a weapon in each hand.


12 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. He fully expected to be overhauled by the three detectives, who had been left to do a little guessing whe n he and Star went over the precipice. There was no one in sight, so he kept on toward the hollow ) taking the short cut through the rocks that Jim Cole had mentioned. As he rode along, he talked to himself, and his meditations proved the shte\Vdtless of his nature. It was his knowledge of men that made him so successful. He knew exactly what to expect, and was rarely off his guard for a minute. "Reckon they're down below, trying to find that cur' s body," he growled, as he scanned the rocks. N ow1 if I knew whether Frank was dead or alive, I'd get on to their game. If he's alive the rascals have divided forces, if he's dead, t .hen--" A low whistle from behind a bowlcler interrupted him. He recognized it instantly, as he supposed, and answered it. A second later some one crept from behind the rocks. Jesse James opened his eyes wide and stared as if he had seen an apparition. Some 0ne had imitated his brother's whistle. "Hello, Jess!" The words were spoken with the utmost indiffer ence. Jesse James leveled a pistol at the fellmv's head, and returned the salutation. "Hello! Who the devil are you?" A harsh laugh followed, and the man moved out farther into the moonlight. "It's too bad I didn't get along before, Jess," he went on, jovially. "I reckon now-you bit off more'n you could chew ter-night, you? I overheard a conversation an hour ago that gives me thet thar impression." "W1ho did the talkin', stranger?" asked the outlaw, shrewdly. "Snakes an' crocodiles! Don't yer know me yet. Jess?" retorted the man. "By the eternals, if it ain't Milt Sharp! What the deuce are you doing here?" asked the outlaw, after another look at the fellow. There was another laugh, and Milton Sharp, "the lone highwayman," who usually opeiated in Nevada, came close to the mule. "I was layin' fer ther Injun Hill stage, Jess," he said, honestly. "I'm a little shy on nerve, so I de cided not to tackle Jim Cole an' his side partner; be sides, I knew ther was a fighter, an' hed been held up before--" "Bosh! He was as weak-kneed ;rs a chicken! His daughter had more spunk than he did!" broke in Jesse Jam es. "Then I'm a fool not ter hev risked it! I reckon, tho', 'twould;1't hev done me much good, seein' you was ahead. How much hev yer made out of ther night's work, pardnet ?" Jesse James shook his head, and let out a volley of ctu-ses Sharp listened to the story of the fall over the precipice, but the knowledge that the money was not in the outlaw's ha11ds seemed to please hil11 mightily. 'Reckon I'll overhaul that combination before they get rid of ther stuff," he said, with a chuckle. Jesse James rai sed the trigger of his weapo11, coolly, and leaned forward over the mule's head. "Tell me what you heard to-night, word for word," he sa id, sternly. The "lone highwayman" looked surprised whert he saw the outlaw's muzzle so near his face He gave vent to his di sapproval in the CLtstomat-y manner. "Curse you, Jess \Ii/hat ther devil do you meart? I ain't above tellin' what they said, that is, if it's worth anything to yer !" Jesse Jam es ran his left hand into his pocket, and pulled out a couple of bills. Sharp glanced at them critically, and decided to tell his story. "I was waitin' fer ther stage jest below hya1 in ther gap, when I saw a galoot skulkin' by," he began. Cussed if it wasn t Frank, goin' as if ther devil was after him, "You mean my brother?" broke in the outlaw. Shai-p nodded his head, and put the bills in his pocket without lowering his hand below the buckle of his suspenders. "I qowed you two had planned to hold up ther stage further down ther cut, an' I was jest chucklin' ter think I had ther bulge on yer, when er passel of riders came along. Ther minute I clapped eyes 011 'em I kn ew you'd clone yer vvorst. They was Jim Cole and B ates, with the colonel's daughter between


IJ'HE JESSE Jf\MES STORIES. 13 I em, and the old man and three sleuths bringing up he rear--" "And you let 'em go on?" snapped Jesse Jam es, avagely. "See, hyar, pard l" Milton Sharp lowered his voice to a dignified whis p er. f'I may be a road agent, but. I'm cussed if I'm a murderer! No man ever lost his life through me, Jesse James! Hang it, I'm clever enough to steal without bloodshed! If I wasn' t I'd quit robbin' this confounded minute!" He drew himself up with pride as he spoke, and, i11 point of fact, the fellow was speaking honestly. Milton Sharp was known to be a successful "road agent, but no one ever could prove that he was guilty of murder. Jesse James' only reply to his statements was a groan of anguish. His ankle was paining him. Sharp pricked up his ears, and looked at him with interest. "My ankle is broken. Got any liniment about you?" asked Jesse, shortly. Sharp pulled a bottle from his pocket, and passed it over "Put it on fo.r me, Sharp. I'll pay you for your trouble," s aid Jesse, with another click of the trigger. The "lone highwayman" laughed. "Snakes! You mus t be carryin' a wad; Jess! Reckon, now, yer don' think I'm such a fool as ter hold you up, do you, pard ?" he asked, jokingly. "I'm not taking any chances. There, that's bet ter," remarked Jesse, as Sharp cut off his shoe with a bowie. The liniment was applied, and Jesse James handed out another bill. At that minute Sharp made a discovery that amused him. The detective's clothing was so tight for the outlaw that it gave his figure a grotesque appearance. "You ought to see him," said Jesse, when Sharp mentioned it; then the outlaw threw his head back, and let out a roar of laughter. "I reckon, now, the governor will open his eyes vvhen he sees those togs!" he roared. "A..-nd,. as for old Pinkerton, the cuss will have hydrophobia! Ha! Ha I A good joke! The best I ever played on a sleuth-hound! I've sent the whelp home to be buried, with my shirt and breeches 01i. J "What do yer mean, Jess? You you left him back yonder in the trees !" ''With that of idiots to keep him company, and a mule team due over ther route to-morrow, he'll get back to Chicago withotlt a doubt!" chuckled the outlaw. "Hanged if I don't wish I could be there to see the commotion! There's a dozen of the reptiles that'll recognize the clothes the minute they clap eyes on 'en1 !" He was so amused over the situation that he almost forgot Sharp for a second. When he looked at him again, his companion was fingering a weapon. "Good-by, and good luck, Jess!" said the "lone highwayman," tersely. He raised his weapon as he spoke, and began back ing toward a clump of bowlders. Jesse James did not answer, nor move a muscle. When Sharp disappeared 'behind the rocks, he went on t oward the hollow. The moon was sinking now, and the path was growing narrower. He had left the stage route, and was following a trail that wound among the rocks. There were points where it took hard squeezing to get through, and before he had gone a mile his ankle was as bad as ever. Jesse waited until the path had widened a little, and a fringe of scrub oaks had taken the place of the bowlders for a little distance. He dismounted carefully, and put his ear to the ground. Not hearing anything, he picked his way between the trees, and, tying the mule to a limb; he dropped to the ground, and once more attempted to ease the pain in his ankle. There was not a sound, and the place was as dark as a p ocket. The moon had disappeared, and only a few stars were shi11ing. The. outlaw made himself as com fortable as possible, and in an hour he was asleep. It was a risky thing to do, but he was desperately in need of it. At daylight the mule awoke him by braying loudly. The outlaw sprang to his feet, and looked around. Not ten feet away a half-breed Indian was seated upon the ground, with a rifle across his knees. As Jesse pulled a bead on him in the twinkling of an


t4 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. eye, the half -breed raised one hand and made a n odd gesture. Jesse James put his pistol back into his belt, with a sigh of relief, and then fell back upon the ground by the side of his strange companion. CHAPTER V. TREACHERY IN THE "GANG." "So it's you, Black Bear?" he began. The half-breed grunted. "\Vhat's the news? Any signs of trouble at the Hollow?" "No. Everything quiet." The Indian answered without apparently moving a muscle, "Is Frank there?" "No!" Jesse James looked astonished. "Frank is waiting in the \!Vitches' Cave The sleuths have gone on to the hollow," explained the Indian. the whe l ps down yonder have heard by this time that I am coming! By the eternals, they shall not be disappointed!" "There's nothing at the hollow, Jess!" "Bah! That's all you know about it!" "Milt Sharp has been there!" "\!Vhat !" The half-breed nodded. He stretched out one leg to rest it before he an swered. "He held up the mule team, and robbed the treasure shack! There's nothing left! The men think you did it!" "Yet you said they were quiet?" The Indian grinned. "They are waiting," he said, quietly. "I see! That's different. If there's nothing in sight, I'll cut for the border. No use risking my head in a hornet's nest; still, I'd like another chance at that strong box, confound it!" "The sleuths have hid it, Jess. The I ndian's eyes glittered as he gave the informa-tion. Jesse Jam es turned on him instantly. "Where have they hidden it, you mongrel?;' "Easy, J ess! I won't tell!" growled the halfbreed. Jesse James jumped to his feet, and drew his weapon. "Curse you for a sneakin' coyote!" he began, ex citedly The Indian sti;etched out the other leg, and took a chew of tobacco. "Do you refuse to tell where the stuff is hid, you yaller-faced mongrel?" roared the outlaw. "Look a'hyar, Jess, bizness is bizness W hat'll yer give ter know?" asked Black Bear, sullenly. Jesse James' cruel eyes took on a crafty expres s10n. "I'll give you a third of what's in the box, if you'll capture it," he said, promptly. The Indian shrugged his shoulders and chewed hard for a minute. "See here, you skul kin' redskin!" went on J ess, more cautiously, "you seem to have forgotten that you belong to the James gang, and that I am the cap tain! If you know where those curs have hidden the box, it's your business to tell, and, by the per nicious polecats! you've got to do it!" He snapped the trigger of his weapon, but the half-breeq only grunted. He had no fear of Jesse shooting him until he had learned all he could about the money. "I've got to divvy with Frank as well as you, so I can't share even," went on the outlaw. "There's ten thousand in the box, and it's all in banknotes! There'll be no bother with dust and nuggets! Come! talk fast, you scamp! Will you lead me to the box, or will you go and get it? By the jumping sandhills you'll do one or the other!" He was dancing up and down now, and the half-breed gave him a sharp look. A second later, the mule brayed again. The creature wanted water. Black Bear sprang to his feet with the quickness of a cat. "There's a spring just ahead; I'll water the beast; Jess!" he began. Jesse James stepped between the fellow and the mule. He heid the cocked revolver poised on line with the half-breed's eye. His face was a dull gray and his lips were ashen. "Not a step, curse you!" he roared. "Quick! answer my question! Will you get that money? R e-


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 15 fuse, and, by the gods! I'll let daylight through "Halt! Hands up, Jesse James! Another step you!" and your career is ended!'' ''I'll get it, Jess! yer kin put up ther pop!" said The outlaw wheeled like a flash. the fellow slowly. Will Star stood before him. The outlaw lowered the weapon, but did not put i t He was near the spring, and the mule was between in the holster. them. There was a gleam in the. half-savage rascal's eye There was not a sign of the treacherous half that warned him to be cautious. breed. "Shall I water ther mule, Jess?" asked the fellow, "I've got a bead on you at last, Jess e James!'' after a second. went on the detective "Throw up your hands, you Jesse J a me s picked up the mail pouch that he had wretch, and be quick about it!" laid upon the ground, and, sitting clown, he ripped it words were hardly uttered before there was a open with his jack-knife. flash of fire. "Yes, water the beast, and be quick about it! The weapons of both men had spoken together. Leave your rifle where it is! he ordered, sternly. Star went down upon one side o f the mule and the The half-breed obeyed, but there was a dull, reel outlaw upon the other. flush upon his cheeks. The cre2ture was drinking, and did not budge an As he led the mule toward the spring, Jesse James atom. looked after him and chuckled. Black Bear crept out from behind a rock with a "The snake will cut my throat, if I don' t look out," weak-kneed specimen of a man be hind him he muttered, under hi s breath. "Curse the rascally It was the passenger that Jesse James had robbed redskins, anyhow! They are all a lot of traitors!" and ordered into the clump of trees the previous There was a rustling in the trees behind him at evening. that minute. As the weak-kneed individual bent over Star, the He had the registered letters in a p i le upon the half-breed picked Jesse James up bodily, and threw ground, but was on his feet in a second, as he heard him over the mule. the rustling. Then, by belaboring the creature vigorously, he "What's ter pay, Jess?" bawled the half-breed started it toward the hollow. ,over shoulder. There was no one to stop or even watch him, for Jesse James had scanned every limb of every tree Star was bleeding profu se ly, and the frightened man in the vicinity, and could see nothing. was working over him. Then he. dropped to the ground and listened a When Star came to his senses, the fellovv, whose second before he answered. name vyas Barnes, was talking excitedly: By placing his ear close to the g-rotmd he detected "Exactly what I was expectin' You was a fool a faint vibration. to .oiler him in sech shape as you was! Why, thef In a second he had gathered up the letters and there fust wound was enough ter kill you! Novy, I 1 stuffed them in his pocket. reckon you've got your last call, my fine young \ Black Bear was out of sight, but not out of hear-feller!" ing. Star tried to smile, and gave up the effort Jesse James started after him but walking backpromptly. ward. Barn. es wet his handkerchief at the spnng and He felt sure that some one was skulking from rock bathed his forehead. to rock and hiding behind trees when the shelter of "Where is he?" asked the detective, rallying suffi1 the rocks failed him. ciently to look around. "An Indian trick I" he muttered, under his breath. "Ther Injun run off with him! Let ther sinner "I wonder if that sneaking redskin has really turned go! Ain t y ,ou full epough of bullets?" traitor! If he has, I--" "I reckon I am," said Star, very faintly . The se;1tence was cut $hort by a gruff but . Barnes tore his shirt into strips and did some fairly der_; skillful banda&ingi'


16 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. The outlaw's first bullet had gone straight through Star's le f t shoulder. The second bullet left the right arm hanging limp and lifeless "I reckon you'll lay by a while fer repairs now, young man," went on Barnes, who was growing brave, now that the outlaw was gone. "I reckon you'd best not move fer a time. I'll git over to the road and lay fer the mule team, by and by. Thet 1 there son-of .-a-gun said there was one due to pass this way by noon. Now, what in thunder has become of Miss Higgins?" He raised his voice as he spoke, and his fellowpassenger came limping out from behind a pile of rocks. She was ragged and dirty, and presented a wretched appearance. "Is he dead?" she asked, with a gasp, as she pointed at Star. Barnes shook his head, and put a pin in the bandage. "Reckon he's darnation ne a r it!" he said, candidly. "We was fools, you and me, when we let him faller ther cuss! We'd all on us hev been better off if we' cl stuck ter ther stagecoach. I 'low v v e've had this hyar night's tramp all fer nuthin', Miss Higgins." The woman dropped on the ground and began to cry. She had flatly refused to be left alone in the stage coach and the night's tramping over the rocks had worn her out completely. Star was too weak to talk or move a muscle. He lay like a log, with the woman moaning and grnaning near him, until Barnes started off to look for the mule team. It reached the spot a little ahead of schedule, but stopped to inspect the stage coach and the dead mules. When they saw the signs of the first hold up, some one looked over the precipice. There were six men on the team, but their faces were all as white as ashes when Barnes hailed them. The half-scared-to-death fellow had hard work to tell his story. He had to lo.ok dovvn the barrels of six rifles as he talked, and his teeth chattered so he could hardly articulate. When they finally believed that he was not re sponsible for the damage, the men listened eagerly. An hour later, Star was lying in the carf, wrapped in half-a-dozen coats, and the men were bathing his wow1ds and dosing him with whisky. As soon as he could talk connectedly, Star told them the whole story. He ended by saying that Black Bear was a treacherous rascal. He had promised to deliver Jesse into their hands for five thousand doliars Ten minutes later. he had been bargaining with Jesse fo get the strong box for him. Star had finally gott<:_n the best of him by drawing a bead on him unexpectedly while the cunning plotter w as begging for a glimpse of the n1oney. There \Vas no use trying to follow the outlaw now. Star had worn himself out already with his exer tions, and was anxious to get medical care as soon as possible. A mile from Wind Hollow they overhauled the tracks of the mule. They followed it until it left the r.oad and struck east toward a spur of the Sahnon Mountains. Star did not know the locality well enough to venture an opinion, but one of the men pointed to a ledge of granite in the distance. I reckon ther reds kin has tote d Jes s ter ther witches' Cave! It's ther safest place hyarabouts! An army couldn't rout him outer them thar quar-ters! 1 "If I w a s uninjured, I'd try it!" muttered Star under his breath. The woman was seated on the cart near him and ga\re him a look of a{:lmiration. Her spirits had revived w o nderfully, and she finally stopped crying. "We'll git you to ther holler afore you change yer mind and git after tl:ier cuss, then," said one of the men. "I've heerd a lot about you Pinkerton fellers! Cuss me! if I can belie ve, tho', you went over thet cliff! Air yer sartin sure yer did it, stranger?" Star tried to smile, but it was a sickly effort. "I'm dead sure of it, pard, but I wouldn't do it again for a fortune! It's the foolhardiest thing I ever did, and I've done a good many since I got on the trail of that rascal! "Keep your eye peeled for ther cuss, pards !" warned Barnes, nervously-"I'm doggoned if I don't think he's the devil's double! Ther redskin was bad


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 17 enough, but Jess Jam es ain't got no equal! Snakes I'll never forgit my fust glimpse inter ther sinner' s weapon!" "And I won't forgit my last one," said Star, with a groan; "I thought there was a pound of lead in my body! I can' t stand this jolting much longer, pardners !" "Then we'll slow up a minute,"' began one of th( men, who was bossirig the animals "Whoop! hello! what ther deuce?" broke in one of the men who had been v,alking by the leaders. The driver flourished his whip and bawled for the mules to stop. He pulled them to one side just in time to a v oid a collision. A group of men mounted on bronchos had swept around a steep turn in the path. They were coming so fast that they could not have stopped, and the sudden swerve of the mul e s gave them room to pass s afely. "Queer h o w them thar rocks shut off ther sound!" muttered the driver, as he clapped his hand to the butt of a pistol. He had left his rifle on the wagon, and Star was already reaching for it. Before he could grasp it some one yelled, excitedly: "By thund er, it's Star! \i\Thoop hurrah! he is s afe! By the jumping Jerusalem, this is more than I expected!" Star recognized Bob Lindsay' s voice with a thrill of delight. The next minute his three friends with Jim Cole, Bob Bates and four miners from the hollow were standing around the cart e xamining his injuries. Before they reached \ V ind Hollow they were in p ossession of all the facts, and an hour later a posse of fifty men was ready to visit the cave. Not bne of them knew that Frank James was there. They supposed that Jesse, either dead or badly in jured, had been carried there by the half-breed and that the capture of the outlaw would be comparatively easy. Star was put to bed in one of the shacks, vvith Nellie Spencer to nurse him. Mr. Spencer, her father, had gone back to Bear Gulch to report the catastrophe and ask the sheriff at that point to intercede with the governor. It was his opinion that United States troops would be needed to capture Jesse James. Up to the pres-' ent time the detectives had not succeeded in bagging him, and they had been chasing the outlaw for years-a fact that justified his theories CHAPTER VI. THE DETECTIVE'S CLEVER TRICK. But Jes se James was not to be caught napping. While there was a breath of life in his body his wits were at work, and Star's bullet had only ploughe d a hole through his side without doing se rious damage. He fou n d Frank hiding in the cave, and, after a stormy interview, in which Jes se accused him of leaving him to his fate in order to save his own hide, the matter was patched up, and the brothers went on together. An hour after the meeting a t the cave, Jesse James was leading the way around the hills to Wind Hollow. He felt reasonably sure that the miners would be scouring the hills on his trail before many hours, and he had a reason of his own for wanting to visit the hollow Black Bear stalked along between the two brothers. He knev v that Jesse h a d warned Frank by a look to keep a bead on his heart, and the second greatest o utlaw in th e vvorld wa s obeying the warning. Half-way to the holl o w the re was a deep r a vine. It was r e all y the dried bed of a mountain torrent which le d clow n to the level count, r y As they m a de their way, single file, between the mountains of rock, Jess e Jam es wheeled suddenly and put the muz z le of his pistol clo s e to the halfbreed' s temple. Now, then, you wh e lp! talk fast! \Vhere is that box?" he hissed. The fellow was taken off his guard, and, besides; he saw that Jesse meant business. "In Walt Whittaker's shack! Under the floor!" he stuttered. As he spoke, he drew a weapon. Jesse James dropped the hammer of his weapon, and there was a dull report. Then all the rocks in the ravine seemed to give back the echo. Frank James dodged back to keep the smoke out of his eyes.


18 THE JESSE JAMES STOR!ES. Then he stepped over the dead body of the half breed and walked on with his brother. As the poss e of miners, headed b y the three de tectives, made their way out of the hollow, the brothers crouched behind some rocks half-a-mile up the mountain side and watched them curiously. "They're heading for the cave,'' chuckled Jesse. "Too bad we ain't near enough to identify the mongrels! I'd feel easier if I knew those three sleuthhounds were with them." "You think Star is dead?" asked Frank J;;imes, s!owly. Jesse Jam es let out a curse. "He must be!" he s aid, coarsely. "I was sure I'd finished him back yonder in the timber. When I saw him at the spring I thought my eyes deceived me! Ha! ha! he' d have to be a good one to live after the close I gave him! He went clown like a log! I'm sure I killed him!" "Then the others don't count, so let's be moving, Jess," said Frank, promptly. Jesse James waited until the posse was hidden between the hills, then two resume d their weary tramp over the rocks to the hollow. There were only about fifty shacks in the hollow, and there was only one shaft to be seen in -the mountains. Jesse Jam es would never have come to this spot looking for a rich haul, for it was only 011ce in six months that there was money at the hollow. Then it was either the salaries of the miners, which were paid by a syndicate in St. Louis twice a year, or a strongbox containing funds shipped over the route by \Velis-Fargo. Of these two prizes he had already captured one, :ind the other, if Black Bear spoke the truth, was waiting at the hollow. He had opened the letters on the way and e x tracted the money, but this was only a matter of a couple hundred dollars. Stopping upon a bluff that overlooked the hollow, the two robbers made a few observations. J?elow them in three narrow alleys that did duty as streets, they could see a number of women. Then Frank Jam es discovered something and called his brother's attention to it. "The stuff is there, all right, Jess! Walt Whit taker's shack is to the right of the ledge yonder, and I can see what looks like a guard around it." Jesse James strained his eyes, and saw the sun glinting on what seemed to be rifle barrels. The sight made him eager to press ahead imme diately, for it told him that the coveted ten thousand was really hidden in the shanty. "There's no use, Jess! It would be madness to attempt it as we are!" went on Frank. "'vVe are both nearly fagged out, and, besides1 we need horses. We might steal down and kill the guard, but how would we escape the women?" Jesse Jam es did some hard thinking, and, as us:1al, he hit upon a plan. Five minutes later he had talked Frank over, and the two were hurrying toward the hollow, but keeping out of sight of the natives as much as possible. There \Vas a strong wind blowing down the mountain side, and the few trees were as dry as tinder. Just as the women began to disperse to cook their evening m eal there was a blaze of fire on four sides of the hollow. Several piles of timber were scattered near the shacks and H1e shanties were just dry enough to catch the sparks easily. A hubbub foll-owed that delighted the souls of the outlaws. The guard, after a hurried consultation, deserted its post, and rushed to fight the conflagration. Jesse Jam es had stolen a horse from one of the barns at the first rush of the guard, and Frank was not long in following his example. Together they dashed up the main alley and dismounted before 'vValt Whittaker's cabin. There was not a man on guard, but they were confronted by a woman. Nellie Spencer had left Star at the first cry of fire, and had just turned the corner of the Whittaker shack when she came face to f;;tce with the outlaws. A cry of horror from her lips. She had recognized them instantly, and half under stood the situation. Jesse James gave her a sharp look, and then raised his weapon. For the first time in his life he threatened to kill a woman. There was a and a bullet passed the young girl 's ear by an inch. She like a deer f(nd darted away, screaming. "That ;iettles h The jade will warn the


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 19 and we'll have a hornet's nest about our ears!" growled the outlaw, furiously A great wave of smoke had rolled between them and the little handful of miners who were throwing water on a burning sh ack, and Jesse James put hi s shoulder the door and attempted to ope n it. Frank J a mes wheeled his horse and sto od guard. He he ard shrieks and c1 ies from the w o men, and they b egan pouring out into the alle ys. The r e w e r e about t wenty in all, and they all bore i n th e ir arms some of the ir household treasures Jus t as t he doo r b urst there was a rus h o f w ind through the h o llow. It c a me from a cu t b etween the ro cks and w as so sudden and so s evere that it too k the smoke and fire b e fore it and forced it bac k up the s ide of the mount a in "Hurry, Jess They' re c oming!" c alle d Frank James, as h e sa w the m e n c oming back, and the wo m e n droppin g the ir valuab l es and s t a rin g in hi s d irecti on. J ess e J a m es came out o f the s h a ck with th e box under hi s arm. In a secon d he vv,as in the s a ddle and galloping to ward the opposite end o f the hollow Frank J a me s kept betwe en him and the miners, who had jus t d i s co vered them, a nd rode b a c kward o n his mount, with a cocked re v olv e r in both hands. Crack! Crack! Crack! The m e n wh o had held on t o the ir fook quick shots a t the robbers, but the bullet s only whi stled a b out their ears and did n o d a mage Crie s of L y nch the rasca l s I t 's the J a m es boys c ame to their ears The two b a ndi t s onl y laughed and urged their horses to greater speed. In le s s tha n fiv e minutes they were far b eyond the re a ch of the W inc h e s t e r r ep e a ters. \ i\!he n they r ea ch e d the brow of the fir s t hill J esse J :im es lo o k e d back. The fir e had b eaten itself out agains t t he rugged sid e o f the mountain, and there w as n o t so much as a s moke clo ud h a n ging over the 1 _10llo w "The p la c e i s properly n a m e d! It's a wind h o l l o w all ri g h t he c h uckled. Look a t the n i nni es, Frank! They're gapirig after us like s o many mon ke ys !" "I reckon we made a new sort of whirlwind for em, chuckled Frank, as he glanced back "That wa s quick w ork, J ess Now, if we only have the luc k t o d odge that posse!" Jess e James w as riding easily with the box in front o f him. A littl e farther o n he stopped and dismounted. P ick ing up a large stone, he smas h e d the box. A look of chagrin pas s e d o ver hi s fea tures. There was n o t hin g i n the box but a bundle of blank paper. On the to p o f the bundle was a bit of pastebo ard. T h e w ords, "Complim ents o f the Pinkerton Agency," were written o n it. T he o utl a w 's bro w g rew as black as a thundercl o ud w hen he read i t, and, as usual, he relieved hi ms elf by a v oll ey o f curse s Both W ill Star and Black Bear came in for a share o f hi s abuse. T he o utl a w kn ew h e had been tricked either by one o r both o f them. "By --d I'll sq u a r e tha t, if it co s ts my life!" he roared furi o u s ly. "Curs e the w help s do they think they ca n o u tw i t th e greates t robber in creation? I'll h ave tha t money yet by the everlastin g eternals! a nd I'll wip e out m y score with that sleuth with pow d e r and bull ets "But you s aid h e wa s dead, Jess!" said Frank, afte r a mi n ute. J e s se James se t hi s teeth hard and got back into sad dle. "Th a t j o b d o n t l ook like it! That was one of Star 's t ric ks, as sure as the sun i s s etting! He' s a shrewd one all right, the shrewdest that ever left Chicago o n t he trac k of Jes s e J a mes; but I'll outwit him yet! T o think of hi s ,fooling me curse him! I t was a clever trick to hide an empty box and put a guard around it! Tha t expl a ins w hy they were so ready to desert their p os t, I reck o n," b egan Frank. Bo s h! N o d o u b t the sleuthhound was the only on e w h o kn e w the box was empty! The cur must h ave the notes in hi s pockets this minute!" "Then the white-livered fool you left him with has got them by now, broke in Frank. Jess e Jam es stra i ghtened up, and his features lig htened. "We 'll g et after tha t fellow hotfoot," he said, quickly H e 's so me where ne a r where I left him, if I a in t mi s t a k en. The re wa s onl y one w ay for him to g et to the h o llow and that was by the mule team.


20 THE JESSE JAM ES S TO RIES. Reckon they haven't come along, or else we've missed 'em!" "That's likely the ca se. Hold on, Jess!" said Frank, sharply; "pull out behind the somebody coming!" The outlaws had barely secreted themselves be hind the rocks, forty paces from the roadway, when a solitary horseman could be seen coming toward them. The man was dressed in the regulation miner: s garb, which c.onsisted of a butternut-colored shirt, a wide hat, heavy boots and leather breeches. A minute later he was joined by a woman. He was riding a winded horse that could hardly hobble. Jesse Jam es s aid something to Frank, and both men dashed out into the road. They aimed their pistols at 'the two riders, and Jesse James gave an order. "Get clown and peel off thos e to gs, you lubber!" Jesse repeated the order and dropp ed the hammer of his weap o n. As a bullet whi s tled by the man's ear, he slid from the saddle and began undress ing. Frank James rode up to the woman and ordered her to di smount. He would h a ve had her clothin g in another min ute, if something had not int errupted. There was a distant clatter of h o of s and a ch orus of shouts. The posse was coming back, and the Jam es boy s had either to go back to the hollow, or go forward and face it. Frank James took a sharp look around. There was no place to hide, except behind one rock, and that was only large enough to conceal two of the horses. Jes se James had made o ne of his lightning changes, and was dressed in the clothing that he had just confiscated. Pulling a gray beard from one of his pockets, he fastened it over his face, and then pulled the sfouch hat down over his eyes. In this guise, he resembled the miner closely. A person would have to come nearer than Jesse James ever allowed strangers to come to be able to penetrate the di s guise and recognize the outlaw. As soon as he was ready, he began to issue orders. \i\Then the posse turned the last corner, Frank James and the man were crouching their horses be hind the rock, while Jesse James and the woman were riding slowly toward the hollow Jesse had exchanged mou.nts with the mjner for obYious reasons and the woman was riding her own badly used-up broncho. CHAPTER VII. JESS E J AS AN UNDERTAKER. It was a good thing for the outlaw that dnsk was falling. He was in a tickli s h position, and he realiz e d it keenly. He had to mutter a threat to the woman at his side to make her play her part, which was to make the posse belie v e thf! outlaw was her hus band. Behind the rock Frank James wa-s doing a double duty, al s o. He was keeping a bead on his companion' s heart and at the same time he was trying to identify every man in the pos se. The 'moment th e y turned the corner and saw the couple Bob Lindsay gave a shout : "Whoop! Halt! Hold on there!" he yelled. v V here d you come fr o m s trangers?" J ess e James turned his head and answered the qu estion: "Reckon thet thar' s none of yer biz stranger! I low, tho', we re on our w a y ter ther h o ller! Mebbe one of them thar fellers is the r cuss we're lookin' fer, Sally?" He turned to the woman as he spoke, and the poor thing nodded her head. The outlaw' s cruel e ye s had completely scattered her senses. "It's Bill P e rkins, I reckon!" remarked one of the pos s e riding forw a rd. "He's the r undertaker at vVild Horse, ther settlement back yonder, near ther bor der." "We'll have need of his services, I reckon, pard," called another of the men. "I'll swear thet thar smoke came straight from ther holler! Thar's been a fire of some sort, or I'm devilish mistaken!" "We' d best hurry, then. Snakes! s'pose thet thar outlaw has been hyar !" answered the first speaker, as he reined up directly between Jesse James and the woman. "I was thinking of that! It would be one of his


THE JESSE JAMES 21' tricks I That's why I it1sistecl up on the guard around Whittaker's shack, s aid Lindsay, promptly. The other men pressed ahead, and were abreast of the rock where Ftank James was hiding, and, rather than get out of of his brbther's pistol, Jesse James turned his mount clum s ily and jogged back a few pace s "Thar's been a fire at ther holler, all right, parcls," he said hoarsely. \Ve seed ther smoke er mile back, didn t we, Sal? I reckon now thar's er shack er two missin', an', if thar' s a man er two gone, 't\von' t worry n'le none. Biz is poor over at \iVilcl Hoss, an' me an' Sal are nigh starvin' !" "Then I reckon you are the sinners that started the fire, growled one of the men. "Keep a bead on em, pards, an' set 'em a movin If anything' s wrong at ther holler, it's time we was clown there!" "Cuss yer we ve je s t got hyar !" snarled the outlaw, as a trigger \vas snapped in his face. "How ther devil could we fire ther holler w' en we ain t s o much as sighted it? Keep them thar muzzles outer my face, or I'll do damage, parclners A roar of laughter followed and the po s se spurred up their horses. Lindsay took his place just behind the outlaw, and J a ke vVest kept beside the woman. "Reckon we 'll never git thar, pards, if we let them beasts set ther pace f e r us ," said the leader. of the posse, looking back over his shoulder. "I 'low we d best look inter thar cred e ntials an' let 'em come along ier suit themselves! What do yer say ter th et thar arrangement, Mr. Lindsay?" The detective glanced at the disguised outlaw, and nodded his head. There was nothing that he could s ee to arouse his suspicion s Lindsay's eyes \Vere not like \tVill Star's, and, be s ides, he vv as not so familiar with the bandit's many disguises. ''I'll jl1s t see if he's armed, I guess," h e began, moving forward. There was a crack of a rifle and a bullet struck his arm. Lindsay pitched head-foremost from the saddle and his horse, a spirited creature, made a dash for ward. Like a flash, Jes se James leaped from his own b east .nto the saddle on Lindsay's mount. At the very same instant he bawled at the woman, and then emptied the chambers of two sevenshooters in quick succession. / A t the same time, the bullet s began coming from behind the rock. Frank James had threatened the miner with instant death if h e did not help him, but, in spite of this, the old fellow l o \\'ered his aim s o as to kill nothing but horses. The po s se was taken by surprise, and when the woman began shooting 2.lso they went down like magic. It was tw enty to four, but the outlaws had the vantage As the last horse fell, carrying its r.ider \ V ith it, the bandit brothers made a clash for liberty. T he miner and his wife had both emptied their weapons, and as the James boy s galloped a way not a bullet followed them. Five minutes of hard riding was clone before they pulled in their horses. Then Jes se James leaned low in his saddle and iet out a roar of laughter. "A pretty piece of work, Jess!" said Frank James, aclmiringi y "J don't see how you managed that jump v Yith s uch a side as you ha v e g:ot. Better let me take a look at the bandage, h a dn t you?" No! the ra g i s all right! Ha! ha! what a victory! I couldn't hav e clone better with the whole James gan g behind me! N ow, where, the perdi tion polecat s i s th a t ten thousand dollars?" "Haven' t yon given that up yet, Jess?" asked Ftank James, anxiousl y Jes se gave him a scornful glance and answered contemptuously: I believ e you'd be fool e nough to gi v e it up, Frank! H ang i t what did I come here for, if not for that mone y ? If the stuffs in this sec t ion, I am going to have it. The thing now is to get my men together. There's four of t he gang in Sis kiyou, if 1 c a n only find them. "Suppos e w e go bac k to the cave a11cl talk it over?" Jesse James glanced at the s ky and shook his head. ''It' s too dark for that rough ride and, besides, I feel diz z y! Reckon you'd better look at that bandage, after all Frank! I mu s t ha v e opened the wound and did n o t know it. Frank J a me s sl ipp e d from hi s saddle and went to his biother.


22 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES o Jesse Was white around the mouth and began to groan terribly. "It's lucky we've got such a start, Jess," he began. "If the rascals should chase ns, we wouldn't be one, two, three in the race. Great snakes! you're bleed fog like a pig! Get down, Jess, for a minute." Jesse James dropped to the ground and sat clown upon a stone. Frank removed a blooc.1-soaked bandage, and then tore his shirt into ribbons. He had just fastened it in place when they heard a tremendous yelling-. "Quick, Jess l They're after us! Some one has given the alarm," whispered Frank. Jesse Jam es bent his head and listened a minute. He felt too weak to ride if he could avoid it. When he had calculated upon the strength of the posse he made a q u ick decision. "Scare the beasts and send 'em ahead!" he ordered. "I'm too weak to ride. I'll have to hide and take chances He hit his horse a ringing blow as he spoke, and the animal darted off like the wind. Frank James did the same, and the second animal leaped ahead snorting. Then the two brothers crept into the rocks and bushes twenty feet from the road. They were hidden securely, and the darkness aided them. They reloaded their weapons and then waited breathlessly. A minute later six men ro. de by. The James boys let them pass, rather than miss one in the darkness. "I heard that fellow Lindsay's voice, so we didn't kill him," muttered Frank, after they were at a safe distance. "And I recognized West and that fellow Ray," an swered Jesse. "They're hard to kill, curse them!" "Exactly what they think of us, I reckon, chuc kled Frank. Jesse Jam es listened a minute longer, and then as sumed an easier position. "I'll rest a while, I guess," he said, after a minute. "Those curs are likely to go on as long as they, hear the horses ahead of them! Snakes! wouldn't it be great if we could have another look into the hollow? ,That money is there somewhere, just as sure as shooting!" "And thJre can't be much left in the way of law and order," added Frank. "They're probably carrying on like a pack of mad hyenas now! If it wasn't for your side, I'd be willing to risk it." "Bosh! my side is well enough. I'll be ready to start in a minute!" There was another brief silence, and then Jesse James crept out into the road. Ten minutes later the brothers were on the bluff looking down into the hollow. Jesse James had decided to risk his life again for ten thousand dollars. Below them a dozen or more pine torches were flaring. They could tell by this that the settlement was up in arms, but these symptoms did not deter the James boys an i'nstant. They had counted a dozen dead horses along the way, but there vYas not a corpse to tell of their vic tory. These had either been hidden in the bushes or car ried to the hollow. They began to think they had not done as much damage as they fancied. It was a relief to Frank James to know it, but J esse was indifferent. He would not have cared in his present mood if he had wiped out the hollow. The outlaw discarded his gray whiskers and turned bis coat wrong side out. It was the best he could do to alter his appearance, and he merely did i t from force of habit. Keeping in the shadow of the rocks and trees, they made their way down to the hollow. Frank Jam es kept looking behind and listening for the posse, while Jesse started ahead, on the lookout for a sentry. The y did not meet a soul until they were within a dozen rods of the first group of shanties. Tr{en Jesse Jam es stumbled over a man lying i n the road. He saw at a glance the fellow was dy ing. "Snakes! if it ain't the white-live red son-of-a -gun!" hissed the outlaw. The next second he had Barnes by the shoulde r and was 'shaking him. "Let him alone, Jess! The fellow is dyi ng!" warned Frank. Jess e J arnes leaned over and put h i s lips to the dying man's ear.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIESo 23 "Tell me what was clone: with the ten thousand in banknotes, and I'll save your life1 he s aid, in a sharp whisper. Barnes opened hi s eyes. Be had been shot during the fr2, cas upon the hill. but had said nothing about his wound and started nt the second tirne with the posse. He had turned back at the last minute, and fallen from hi s horse. \,Yhen Jesse James spoke to him he was almost deliriou s j In a choking gasp he answered th e question: "The detecti\e Will Star-he has it, I reckon!" Jesse James was furious in a secoqd. vVhere is he?" he began. Barnes shook his head, ana turned the color of a shes. He had breathed his last a secood later. So the cur is alive, after all!" muttered Jesse am es a s he rose to hi s feet. "Then, by the' eternals I'm glad I cqme back! There are two prizes to win i n this cursed hollow! I'll never leave it till I see 1im dead, and have my clutches on that money." Frank J ames did not answer, for he could hear nen and women coming. He flattened himself out upon a pile of timber, .vhile Jesse stole into a s hed and crouched between t wo winded horses. A moment later two women came out of the iearest shanty. The light from q, torch fell on their faces and both andits recognized one of them as Nellie Spencer. The young girl was weeping, and held a handker: hief to her eyes. In a high-pitched voice the other woman endeav red to soothe her. "I reckon he s better off! 'Tain' t much fun t young feller like him ter be a-chasin' rascals! ear me! I hope they'll ketch tber murderin' r obbers his time fer sartin !" Jes se James pricked up his ears, and th e blood eaped through his veins. He could hardly keep from shouting when h e 1eard Mis s Spencer' s ans\.ver: "Poor Mr. Star! he was the cleverest man on the rce, they say! Oh! if Jesse James should kill my ver, it would drive me crazy!" Tht!re was a burst of tears, and the two women isappeared. J e s s e Jame s took his life in hi s hands by leaving the s h e d and skulking over behind the pile of timber. "Diel you hear that, Frank? That sleuth, Will Star. i s d ead There's a cha nce and a good one, to g e t that money!"' You th ink he ha s it o n his person?" asked Frank. "Sure; a n d the c o rp se i s in that s hack if Tm not mi stake n "The n I 'll go in have a l o ok at it," began Frank, with a mov em ent to s lide do w n from the timber. There w a s a chorus o f y ells, and a dozen men came toward the shanty. They swung their torches s o that the blaze lit up the timber, and the o u t la\\'s did n o t d a re to breathe for a minute. "Safe!" whispered Jesse, as the crowd filed into the shanty Come, Frank, we'v e got to go easy, I s e e! \ V e'll wait til the y v e paid their re s pects to the dead, and then--" The s entence ended b y Frank stepping upon t1is s houlder. A s econd later the y w e r e crouchin g in the shed, w aiting for the ne x t m o ve in the diabolical game they wer e playing. CHAPTER VIII. JES S E J .\MES' GRE A i' E S'l DEED. The return of the poss e bringing in the two rider less hors es, was the next occurrence. A s they swept by the s hed where the outl aws were hiding, Miss Spencer opened the door again, and gave a s cr e am of pleasme. Lindsay sprang from his saddle and took her in his arms A s she laid her head upon hi s shmtlc;ler, the young girl whispered something which made the brave de tective s hiver like an aspen. "My God! Star i s d ead!" he cried ont, in a hoq.rse whi s per. Instantly Stfclt's two friends Jake \Ve s t and Ned Ray, dropped from their s addles. / "Curs e tha t s cotmdrel, Jesse J a mes it w;:ts hjs bullet s that killed him!" cried Wes t. "That o ne more rea s on why vve should hunt the 'rasql down. and I take o a th right here to track him to


24 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. cover! The fiend must die! He is a curse upon .God's footstool!" "Aye, that's what he is!" growled one of the men; then the entire pos s e dismounted and filed into the shanty. "N ow's our chance, Jess! Shall we steal a couple of horses and bolt?" whispered Frank James, softiy ,There was a low curse, and Jesse James rested his hand upon his brother's shoulder. "No, by the eternals! The cuss is dead and he has got the money I'll take another chance before I run from the mongrels !" "It's foolhardy, Jess! There's half-a-hundred of them," began his brother. "A half-a-thousand would not stop me! See, they are leaving the shack! In a minute they'll be plot ting and planning \Yhat to do next, and, as like as not, the body of the sleuthhound will be left with the w ,omen." "And would you rob the dead, J ess? I'm not overparticular, but it's a creepy to do, and--" Jesse James came near giving vent to laughter. "You're a fool, I believe!" he growled, under his breath. A flash of light from a torch came within ten feet of him at that minute, and the outlaw slunk farther info the inky darkness between the horses An hour passed, in which the entire settlemem seemed upon the move. The alleys were being patrolled by mounted men, and there was a constant moving in and out of the shanty which held the detective's dead body. The. bandit brothers were hemmed in by the torches. A move fr o m their hiding-place would discover them to the miners, and they were in constant expectation of some one coming to lo o k at the horses An hour after midnight the settlement grew quiet, but this did not that the guard had been abandoned. Every available man in the hollow was in the streets, armed to the teeth and on the lookout for trouble. The shanty was finally left alone, except for one man who patrolled it, armed with a vVinchester re-peater. As he passed through a glare of light on his journey around the shanty, Jesse James recognized the detective, Neel Ray, who vvas Star's dearest friend and companion. lie wa ited until the majority of the miners had as semb l ed before a shanty a few rods distant, then, drawing a keen knife from his bootleg, he crept out toward Ray's line of march. As the detective came in view again, something whizzed through the ai r. Ray caught the flas h of the keen blade and jumped to one s i de. The knife struck him on the shoulder and sank deep into the flesh . The detective let out a yell of pain and then blazed away with his repeater. "Quick, Frank! stand guard at the window! I've got a minute, at any rate!" called the outlaw, softly His plans had failed, but he was not to be thwarted. He had expected that Ray would fall without a sound, but the fact that the whole settlement had been warned only fired his blood with fury. He rai sed the sas h of a low window and leaped into the shanty. There was tim e to lower the sash behind him and j at that minute Frank James dropped the det:ctive with a bullet and darted for the timber. A rush followed Ray's cry, and, as Jesse James bent over the detective's coffin, he knew by the sounds that the house was being surrounded. Something had to b e done, and it was for him to do it. As u s ual, his wits worked best when he was in the most dangerous predicame1;t. He raised Star s body, and a low cry escaped his liP._s. There was a large package of bills under the de tecti ve's s hould ers, and the outlaw was not a second in grasping the situation. "Ha! ha! they were going to ship the money with the remains!" h e his sed, between hi s teeth. "I reckon they thought the stuff would be safe in a de tective's coffin!" He lifted the detective out as he spoke and laid I hi i n on a t ab le, just as a dozen shoulders were placed I against the door of the shanty. There was a pile of brush in one corner to be used for firewo od. Jesse J ames touched a match to it and then crawled into the coffin.


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 25 He let the cover fall into pl a ce jus t as the door was b urst from its hing es A bla ze of fire g r eeted the men as they poured i'nto the room. A lot o f women's clothing h a d i gnited and was burning furi o u s l y, and in a se cond the fire had spread to the w all s a n d roo f of the shanty. "Qui ck! the c o ffin boys! y el ie d J ake West a n d a dozen h ands r eached for the pine casket tha t they a ll bel ie ved contained the body of the detecti v e The fire roared about the m but the men stuc k t o t h eir task. They h a d just set the coffin o n the g r o u n d forty fee t from the burning s h anty, whe n S tar was s e e n in the blaze aliv e A s h out went up tha t echoed throug h the hollow. There was another h e r oi c attemp t and the detec t ive w a s brough t out, the miners minus t heir h air and eye brows, and their face s s corch ed and d isfigured. He had not been dead, but in a t r a n ce and the roug h handlin g and heat h a d res u sci tate d h im. Ther e was a rus h for t h e coffin. W h e n they tore off the coyer they found it empt y. Ther e was not a s i g n of a banknote lef t undei the lini ng. The p andemonium that followed wa s n o t t o b e described b y words. Men turned to m aniacs a s they rushed. h ither and thither, and Jess e J ames w o u l d h ave fared h ard if h e h a d been found in the h ollo w In the mids t of the e x cit ement a posse of fift y h o r semen cl atte r e d down the hill. It w a s headed by Col o n e l H ank Spe n cer, and the s heriff of S i s kiyou County was one of th e n umber. A thorough s e a r c h wa s m a d e fo r J ess e J a m es, b u t t h e sun rose w i t h out a tf"ace being fo u n d o f h im The cle ver b andit had escaped from the i r clu tc h es, a nd moreover h e had vanished w i t h the t e n tho u sand dollars. This was p erhaps the cle ve r es t feat eve r per forri1e d b y Jess e J a m es, and it \vove about his name a fres h garl and o f hono r Will Sta r t h e brave de tecti ve, was back to hea l t h a g ain and, with the oth e r three detecti ves, only waite d to recover from his wounds before h e went on with the work o f tracki n g the James boys t o c o v er. \i\lh i l e L indsay \\"as recoverin g fro m hi s wounds h e made good u s e of his time, and a month or two late r he m arded M is}' Spencer. Ned Ray hovered betwee n life and death for. nea rl y three week s, but fina lly recovered both his health and spirits The a d ventures of J ess e James in Siskiyou C o u nty: were spread fr o1111 Eas t to W e s t until the who le U nited Sta te s t hrob bed with indignation agains t him. R ewards were d ouble d and ev e n trebled, and e very qe t e cti v e agency w es t o f the Mississ sippi had men o n t h e trai l of the famous outlaws. Jim C o le a n d Bob B ates went back to the stage route, and for y ears they we r e on the lookout fon Jess e Jame s Every p a ssenger over the line was treated with suspicion unti l the t w o men were sure they were not the famous road agents. Col o n e l Spencer never recovered the valuables he had lost, but h i s fate was the fate of many another. 'n:IE END Next wee'k's i ssue (No. 4 8) will contain "The J a m es Boys' Steamboat; or, The Ri ver Cruise of the B a n dit Brothers. I t tells how Jesse J ames won tw en t y t h o usand dolla r s i n a p r i ze fig h t. O n e o f the most exciting per io d s of hi s life will be d e al t with. Look o u t fo r it; boys. LETTER FROM A PRIZE W I NNER. Here's a l etter from G eorge Nordlin a worthy mem ber o f the great b au d of bo y s who read the J e s se James Weekl y. He won a prize in the last c outest-a camera. Here's w hat he has to say a bout it. ST. PAUL, MINN M es s r s Stree t & Smith, New York-De a r Sirs : The ca m e ra y ou sent me c a me as a ple as ant su r p ri s e. It i s all an d more tha n y ou re p resented it t o be I a m una bl e to f ull y express my s incere thanks o n p ape r C onside rin g t h e s plend i d articl es that we r e sent in, I f e el esp eciall y h o nor e d t o have a first p r i ze gi v e n to m y ow n little effort. S t r eet & Smith cert ainly keep the i r p ro mi s es, e v en though they h av e made s o m e pretty large ones late l y. W h e nev e r I get a ch an ce to say a w o rd for them I shall c er t a inl y do rn. Wishing a l01Jg l i f e to the Jesse James We e k l y and all yom other pub licat io ns, I r e mai n, Y o u r s r espe ctfully GEORGE NORDLIN. Thanks for the g ood wis h es G eorge. You d e served t h e prize, as all w ho read your s t ory will a g r e e e v en if yo u are mode s t about it. We want friend s just su c h a s you and w e w i s h y o u the b es t of l uck with your cam e ra.


BOXINCi CONTEST ,) A lively pace you're setting, boys. Plenty of upper cuts and left leads flying about the editor's head in the shape of good bo;x:in:,r stories. The more the merrier. Send them right along. Full particulars of contest on page 3t. An Interrupted Match. ( By John W a l ke r Ohio ) It w a s about s e v en m o n t h s ago when J J o ne s A. Moran, H. Ande rs o n and m yse lf w e re going out to the woods when .we s aw J Martiu a n d M Rom a fighting o n the stree t. We c a m e u p to th em a ucl asked them if they were sat isfi e d to h a ve it out with boxiu g g lo v e s, a nd they s ai d "Yes." So we went into a u old h o u se a ud Jone s got the box ing glove s a nd then the y starte d boxing. Roma w a s sixteen' y ears o ld while Nlartiu was half a year young er. R o ma w as h eavier tban Martin, but Mar tin knew b o w to box better than R oma. Roma ch as ed Ma rtin a ll o v e r the room which was 2 oxr5 fee t, and Moran and Jones started l a u ghin$ at Martin, but Martin kne w wh a t h e w as doing, b e cause Roma wa s h eavier a nd got tired soo n e r. The n s u d d e nl y M artin l e d with hi s left for Rom a s face, but Roma wa s on his gnard and put his right u p and Martin's l e ft struck R o ma's right hand. But at the same time Roma struck Martin in the fa ce with his left hand, which caught Martin on the nos e a n d made it bleed Martin struck Roma bet wee n the e y e s, whic h made Roma stagger to ward the w a ll. Thell Roma hit Marti n o n the e a r, but a t the s a m e time Martin struck Roma over the heart, which m ad e him st.:i.gge r again, but Roma was not goiug to giv e up so easy, and h e rus h e d at M artin again. Martin ducked and hit Roma in the e ye At the same time Rom a g a ve Martin an uppercut that put Martin on his kne es. When Martin got up Roma starte d chasing Martin again, and got him in a corner, and m ade a blow at his face, but Martin slipped unde r hi s a rm, aud a s rnon a s Roma turned around M artin l a nd e d on Roma's no s e and made it bleed. Roma then hit Martin 011 the ear. Tha t sent him on his k n e es again but he wa s up in a second, and jus t a s Rom a made a blow at Martin's heart he block e d the blow with hi s l e ft hand a nd la nded with his right 011 Roma's ey e Roma then made a punch .at Martin's face, but Martin s t eppe d a s id e. and Roma s left hand p asse d harmless ov e r his shoulde r Martin then m ade a punch at Roma's heart, and Rom a guarde d the blow with hi s left hand and struck Martin with his right in the face, before he could block it. Martin then went with hi s right at Roma's face. He stepped a s ide and hit Martin with the left, an uppercut. Martin lead with his ri ght for Roma's face, and a s Roma's l e ft w ent to block the blo w Martin hit Rom a over the heart. Roma w a s going to clinch and Martin got in an uppe r c ut. I the u s aw a pol icemau c oming, s o we jumped from the window and cam e to a creek, where the boys wa s hed thems el v e s. A Three-Round Bout. ( By Chas. R ogers. N Y. ) Before the Horton law which prohibited boxing in New York State there w ere some li vely bouts for boys held in the Samps on Athletic Club of Broo klyn. O n e o f the b outs I remember witnessing was between Perry Benzie and Bob Williams. Perry w as a lad of eighteen while Bob had just passed his seventeenth vear. Bob entered tl;e ring first shortly followed by Perry, and both took their corners, and were being rubbed down when the ref e re e call e d them to the center of the ring They listened to the rules and returned to their co r -


THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. 27 ners, and when the gong sounded all but the fight ers and re f eree were out of the ring in quick or. der. Round One. Perry makes a wild rush, which Bob quickly stops with a right to the stomach. They clinch, and Perry puts bis right to the eye and nose. Bob is stunned, and it seemed as if he was doomed, when be gains his wind and upper-cuts to nose .and stomach. Perry jolts bis left to ear, followed by right, which is blocked by Bob, who, in return, shifts his right to Perry's jaw at the sound of the gong. Round 1'wo. Perry counters with right and left. Bob is wild and swings right and left, but is wakened up with a stiff right to nose, which draws the first blood. He chops a hard left to Perry's eye, and, in return, receives a jolt on the jaw, which knocks him to the floor. He is saved by the sound of the gong. Round Three. Bob begins to dance around the ring in Corbett's style, but is quickly stopped by a right and left to each side of jaw. This makes him wild, and he sends a wild right, which is blocked, and receives a well-planted jaw breaker, which knocks him senseless. He is counted out. 1'be bout was on account of a girl whom both boxers loved and a side bet of ten dollars. Boxing on the Levee. (By Philip Fruthaler, La.) One Saturday evening, in the latter part of January, a number of young men were gathered together in an old stable on the levee front, as there was to be a five-round boxing match between Kid Hurdy and Bill Camden. The people were growing restless when the referee entered the ring and started the ball a-rolling. Hurdy opened things up with a left swing to jaw. He then tried. for a body blow, but was blocked by Camdeu, who sent a vicious swing to Hurdy' s nose, which drew blood, but this did not stop him, for he shot one in on Camden's neck, which sent him up against the rop e s Camden recovered himself quickly and sent a hot one to Hurdy's jaw, and both men were in a clinch when the b e ll rang. Camden openeti up things in the second with a light tap on Hurdy's jaw. He tried an uppercut, but iu this be was too slow, for Hurdy blocked him and rushed .him to the ropes Camden clinched and saved himse lf. Hurdy then started to tantalize Camden with right hooks to the face and body when the bell rang. In the third Hurdy tried for the bead, but fell short. Camden rushed Hurdy, and sent him to the floor with an uppercut. Hurdy. jumped up and rushed Camden, who sidestepped and caught Hurdy a blow on the nose which started to bleed again. Hurdy clinched, and in the breakaway he landed on Camden's and both were fighting hard when the bell rang. The fourth opened up with Camden sending a hot one to the body. Hurdy tried a right for head, but was blocked, and in a mixup Hurdy sent his right to body and left to face. They played around the ring for a while wh e n Hurdy saw an opening and s ent bis. glove iuto Camden's face and followed this up with a left swing to body, which s ent Camden against the ropes. Camd e n fought his way clear and sent a light one to the neck, be then t r ied for the face. Hurdy ducked and hit Camd e n over the e y e splitting it. It would have b een all up with him had not the b e ll rang just then. The two men came up for the last round very groggy. Camden tried for body, but fell short. He tried another, which was blocked by Hurdy, who sent in an uppercut which came near putting Camden out of the business. Camden was game and went for his man again. Hurdy knocked him away. He came again and tried a swing for Hurdy's jaw, which Hurdy sidestepped, and sent a hard right to the head, which sent Camden down and out of the business. Counting the Blows. (By Chas. Frankenberger, N. Y.) The two boxers puf on their gloves and stood in an erect position, then they shook bands with e'ach other and began hitting rizht and left. The first blow hit one of the boxers-A.-right along side of his chin, and the second blow hit right below the heart, and the third blow was a swing with the right hand to hit A. on his face, but B. was not quick enough, so that A dodged it. The fourth blow hit B in the chin. The fifth blow was guarded by B. s right hand, so A. made a false hit. Then came a clinch, so that the referee had to go and separate the boxers. He got hit at the same time. The seventh blow was one right above the waist, which made B. a little weak. He said he would not give it up yet, however, so he had to rest for about five minutes to catch his breath. Then when they started to box again it went so hot and heavy that you could not see whether they were hitting each other or not, so that the men and boys that were standing around were to beat the band. When they finished the fight they had a good rub-down with alcohol. Then they took a good bath and dressed themselves to go home, and on the next morning one of the fellows was so hoarse that he could hardly speak. You must have quick eyes and a good memory, Charlie, to see all the blows as .they were struck and remember them. Two Good Contests. (By B Boyle, Pa.) Conte s t No r.-short but lively. This contest was between Young Foster and "Mid get'' Preston, both of Philadelphia. It lasted half a round. At refere e's word both arose and shook llands at sound of gong. Foster landed a right arm jolt on Preston's jaw. Preston struggled to his feet and landed a left hook on Foster's jaw. Foster got up and with a left-hand swing put Preston down and out.


28 THE JESSE JAMES STORIES. Contest No. 2.-This contest wa s between T o mm y Markee and Jim Sullivan, both of Philadelphia and lasted three rounds. Round One. Both fiddl e d for au opening. Markee lands on Sulli van's head with a left. Sullivan counters with a right on Markee's chest. Markee comes at Sullivan with a right and left on head. Sullivan takes the count, Sullivan is groggy and hugs till the round is ended. Round Two. Markee opens with a left hook on the chest. Sullivan clinches to save himself. Markee feints for the heart. Sullivan lauds on Markee's jaw with a right hoo k. Markee looks groggy. Marhe recovers and walks into a right jab. Both are fighting clos e with short jabs on stomach and chest. Round 'fhree. Sullivan opens with a wiid swing for Markee's head. Markee returns with a straight left and follows Stillivan into his oorner, and with three rights and lefts on head puts SulliYan down and out. The Great Match. (By B. G. H ickman, Hawarden, Iowa.) There wa s excitement in the little town of Jaspar, especially among the boy s Jaspar had been making rapid s t r ide s in athletics and it wa s the custom to have a High School Tournament or Field Meet annually. The chief attraction this year, for the tournament was near at hand, wa s to be a boxing match between Joe Ege Ison, familiarly known a s the "SI ugger," and jac k Watson, a fine, manly boy, who lived with hi s widowed mother on the outskirts of the villag e. The people of the town had off e r e d a prize of fift y dollars and a gold medal to the winner. Jack wa s very anxious to win the prize, for the las t installment on the mortgage would s oon be due, and unless they could pay it bis mother and hims e lf would be forced to leave the neat little cottage they bad so long called their own Tournament day dawned bright and clear, and b y three o'clock in the afternoon 5000 people had collected at the grounds to witness the great match. A platform had heen erected ne a r the grandstaud, s o the young antagonis t s would be in plain view of the audienc e. At las t the boxers made their appea rance, and were greeted with shouts by the people. The 'Slugger" wa s a short, heavily-built fellow, abont eighteen years of age, and he had a d etermined. aimos t brutal look on hi s face. Jack Wats on was two years younger than his opponent. He weighed twenty pounds le ss but his slender, athletic figure s howed great q nicknes s and power. He had a marvelous way of k e ep ing his feet, one essential of a good boxer. The contestants advanced to the center of the ring, shook hands and ''squared off.'' 'fhe whistle sounded and the fight was on. The Slugger bit mostly for the fac e1 but the movement of his elbows, as he retired to his corner showed that Jack's body blo w s were telling. In tile s e cond rou11d the SI ugger opened by sending his r ight for the jaw, but Jack clev erly parried and returne d a jab on the wind. In the third round, Jack re ceived a blow on the chest which brought him to bis knees, and while attempting to recover, the S lugger closed and landed an uppercut which knocked his opponent to the ropes. Slowly came the referee's count. One, two, three, four, five, six----Jack had risen to his feet, and although swaying unsteadily and lookng daz e d, he was as game as ever. In tbe fourth round he completely changed his tactics and had the Slugger following bim around the ring continuously. The n ext round fouud Jack comparatively fresh, and his antagonist's wind rapidly failing. The Slugger knew that if he did not do something quickly he wotild be winded, so he made a nish for Jack, intending to settle him then and there. But Jack leaped nimbly aside and hit for the neck. The blow landed squarely over the jugular, and 1i a v i11g all the weight aud force of the body behind it, the Slugge r was stretched on the platform. It was a "finishing" blow, and amid the yells of the spectators he was slowly counted out. That night Jack placed the priz e money in his mother's hand. "My s on, you Jiave saved our home, she said, and there were tears in her e yes as she spoke. The Young Boxers. (By Henry Lins, N. J.) On a bright sunny day the two boys known as "Tl1e Young Boxers" started from their homes to box for a prize. They came into the ring, shook hands and the referee gave the signal and Frank caught Jim on the eye. Jim aimed a blow at Frank's chest, but Frank wanged in with his ri ght and gave him an uppercut, catching binl' on the chin. Wang! went Jim's left in Frank's eye, and his' right landed on his arm. Frank tried to hit Jim with bis left, but Jim dodge d it, and landed an awful one on Frank's chest, and Frank went down In they came again. The signal sounded and Jim gave Frank oue in the ear. Frank h i t at the wind with his left. fell but was up in a moment, and hit left and right. F1:ank f elt a whack each time, when be got red in the face and hit Jim on the chin, while' Jim caught him square in the nose, which s oon began to bleed. Frank got mad and he soal.:ed Jim in the side of the head and gave him an uppercut in the chin. Frank w ent down at a blow Jim gave him on the head with his right. Jim ran hit him and stumbled over him and fell. Frank saw his chance and soaked Jim oae on the ear and nose, and with au uppercut caught him in the face. Jim's right lauded 011 Frank's face. Frank's left hit the air, and Jim dodged Frank's right, which at him, while his right hit him plump on the head. Frank's right shot on Jim's shoulder, and Jim jumped to one s ide, and when Frank came up to bit him be hit him on the ear. But out shot Frank' s left, right in Jim's face with such force that Jim fell.


EX<21T1'NG 1-\DVENTURBS. GENTLEI\<'.IAN J" THE Ot:.JTLAW. BY WILLIAM H. LILLIS. It was with a sensation of supreme joy that Frank Greyling left grim old Mr. Raynor's private office. When he entered it half an hour before he had no expectation that his whole future career was to be affected by the interview, but now he left it feeling assured tbat his life was drifting toward a brighter and broader channel. To be favored by such a sour old gentleman as Mr. Raynor was a piece of good luck, and Frank Greyling had indeed been favored. He was only a poor clerk in the banking house of Samuel H.aynor, and when he was summone d before that gentleman his surprise can be imagined when a subject was broached that made him feel that a high honor bad been paid him. The conversation that ensued was to this effect: A large, productive mining claim in. Colorado had fallen unde r the notice of Mr. Raynor. It was for sale, and he had determined to buy it. But in thos e days-for oilr story treats of events of years ago--mails and similar accommodations \Vere irregular and unsafe, and he bad disliked to conduct any negotiations through such me diums; so it was necessary to s end a trusted agent to purchase the mine. The young man received his in structions, and was ordered to start on his journey the next night. He was given a large amount of money with which to make the purchase-real money, too, for checks or drafts would probably be declined in the isolated district that he was to It was several weeks before Greyling, traveling by the tedious coaches that existed in those days, arrived in Colorado, but at last, one June eveniug, h e found him self standing before a rudely twostory inn, about thirty miles from his destination. While awaiting the stage coach at this point, Grey ling receive d information which made him rather uneasy This information related to the exploits of a noted road agent, known as Gentleman Jack, wlrn had been a terror to timid travelers in that part of the country. The driver of the stage coach which left tbe little Colorado inn that night did not seem a person to invite confidence; and as Grey ling was the only traveler from this point, his reflections were not very cheerful. The vehicle had kept the main road, and was la boring alo11g a rocky lane that l e d through a deus e forest when au alanni11g incident occurred. A large stone crashed through the stage lamp, sending the shattered glass in all directions. B e fore Greyling could recover from bis astonishment, for midnight darkness put everything in gloom, he felt himself jerked from the stage, and in a moment more sank to the ground unconscious, from a violent blow on the head. He was in the hands of Gentleman Jack, wbo had struck him senseless with the butt of his pistol. When Greyling came to his senses he was in a rude chamber in the outlaw's dwelling, whither he had peen conveyed by the outlaw's confederates, and h e had been searched and plundered. It would be difficult to portray the tide of emotions that surged through his soul as he lay in that darkened cbam ber upon the hard floor where the outlaws had thrown him. All his bright thoughts-all the hopes of a brilliant future were now things of the past. Before him was 11aught but disgrace, for what would his em_ ployer think of him for having permitted himself to be robbed? His paiuful reflections were forc e d to give way to the realities of the present when he h eard the key turned in the lock. A stream of light flashed into the rooin, and h e observed some 011e ente r. For an in stant he thought that he was that the beautiful be in g who entered the room was but a creature of bis ima'gination, but that idea was diepelled when she sp o ke. "I have conie to save you," murmured the intruder, a beautiful girl. The young man gazed in enraptured silence 011 the girl's radiant e y e s and w ealth of gold e n hair. He seemed spe ll bound b y the beauty o f her face and the shapeliness of her form She c ould not have b ee n more than s even teen, and h e r attractiveness was increased tenfold iu Greyling's eyes hy the comparison between her and her su rrouni:li ngs. ''I ha v e come to save y ou, ' she repeated, raising the lamp that she held on a line with her head, so that sl'.c c o uld command a bette r view of him . "Why do you take the trouble?" Grey ling getting on his feet. "Becaus e I 111ust not allow a human being to I must do something to c ounteract the wickedness of this hou. se the fair girl replied, a sh a de of sadness clouding her fac e "\Vho a r e you?" "Ab, wh e n you know who I am, you will look on i;ne with s u s picion, for alas! I am the daughter 9 the lllllll who has doom e d you to die!'.'


ao ''Impossible!" said G rey ling, astonis h e d that a scoundre l like Gentleman Jack should b e hl e s se d with s u c h a child-such a vision of lo velines s. ''Alas! it is true. Oh, but how I hate this lif e How I shtJdder when I think that I a m the child of that m a n How his iniquities cau s e the blus h of shame to continu ally surie into my fac e," and tke speaker's voice trembled, and tears came into the be autiful e y es. ''Why do you not leave him?" ' Because I dare not. Where could I g o ? And then, though I do not love him, he i s m y parent, and no matter how low he may h a ve fall e n it is ruy duty to rem ain beside him." He was struck with the sincerity of the girl' s word s. It was singular that she, livini amid a life of crime, should retain all her innocen c e, and the qualities of a Christian heart. He remarked that she spoke as fluently and with as much culture as a New York belle "And you have com e to save me ? he asked. 'Yei1, and you must lose no time in leaving this place.'' ''Where is your father?" "In the room below, with a few of his men ''Miss, I shall not l e av e this hous e until I recover my money.'' Greyling was determined to reco ver his money so h e gave no attention to the girl's remar k s but moved toward the door, and cautiously made hi s way to the flo o r below. The girl follo w ed, him t o giv e no thought to the money, but he was firm in his purpo se The li:-ht of tile lamp s howed him _the door lead in g into the room. First pos sessing himse lf of a load e d rifle which stood in the hall he opened the door and entered. Three men, in addition to Gentleman Jack, were s itting in the room They sprang up and glance d at him threateningly an d be returned the in q1e same s pirit. "I demand my money," Grey ling said. "You fool!" hissed Gentleman Jack; and he rus hed at Greyling. The young man raised the rifle and covered Gentleman Jack. The outlaw paused. Hii1 followers gazed on sullenly not daring to draw a weapon while tbe young m a n h eld the rifle i1;1 their direction. "Give me my wallet!" he cried. With a bitter curse, Gentleman Jack dre w the w allet from his breast and threw it at the young m a n s feet. The latter, for the moment, forgot bis cauti011 for be lowered the rifle and stooped down and grasp ed the wallet, and as he arose Gentlema n Jack aimed a fearful blow at his ueck. Greyling adroitly meved aside, and the blow only fell lightly on his llhoulder "Ha!" he cried "You would be treacherous,'' and the outlaw, who had all but lo s t bis equilibrium, re ceived a blow b etween .the ey es before he could recover himself. He fell backward to the floor, and his followers over-coming their fear rus hed at Greyling. He shoved the wallet into bis pocket, and raising the rifle to his shoulder be took aim a t the foremo s t man and fired. The man fell, mortally wounded, and the other two paused. Taking advantage of thi' s, Greyling dropped bis w e a po n a n d m a de for the doo r. The outlaw' s daughter, hidden b y the door, h a d witnessed all and as Greyliug rushed into the hall she ex claimed: ''Quick! There are more outlaws in the bouse and i f you r e m ain h e r e another instant you will be capture d. F o llow me and clutc h i n g his arm, led him to a door at the end of the hall. She opened it, and, followed by Greyling, stepped out into the wo ods. Evidently the girl's words were true, and the house was full of outlaws, for he hea rd numerous voices them Gentlema n Jack's, and then the rus h of man,y f eet; so slamming the do o r to, he cried to the g irl : ''You must come with me. These men will punis h you for r e lea sin& me .'' I will with you she replied. "I would not d a re remain after has occurred." So d ee p wa s the d arkness that the young nrnn could not p erceive his companion, so, allowing herto retain hold of his arm he followed where she led him. The next instant he found himse lf amid bushes, tan t a li zing branches, .sticking in his fac e and bands-led on b y hi s fa i r frien d. ''They a .re follow ing us,'' he murmured, as the bushes b ehind the m c racked and snapped. Nearer and n earer his purs u e r s were approaching and they s eem ed within a fe w feet of him when his companion exclaime d : "Here is the road!" Was he s a fe 1 iow? he aske d hims elf, a s he stepped n p on a bro a d e ven road Would Gentleman Jack a ud bi s b a nd foll ow him there ? "Now we will have no trouble in avoiding our e n e mies," the girl sa id. ''Won t y ou, thoug h exclaimed a voice from the path they had is s u e d fr o m an d in an instant Gentleman J ac k a n d h i s m e n confronte d them. ''Oh, father," cri e d the beautiful girl, 'spare this man!" "Nev e r r eplied the outlaw, and drawing a bowi e k11ife fr o m his belt h e rushed at Greyliog. In another second of time the knife would have been buried in the young man's body, but ere the outlaw could a c complish hi s fatal design there w a s tile r eport o f a rifle and Gen t lem a n Jack fell back with a bullet in his lungs The r e w a s the traniping of many feet, the sound of v o ic es, and from the other si d e of the road appeare d a bo d y of men wearing the uniform of the United States army, and before the outlaws could recover from their surprise they were prisoners. Greyliog was ama zed at the turn affairs bad taken, and he h a d not yet regaine d bis composure when the commander of the soldiers, a handso me man, his features cloud e d with a settled s adness, l aid his hand upon his shoulder. We arrived at the right mom ent, didn't we?" be s aid t o Greyliug. ''You did ' r e s po nd e d t be young m a n g r atefully. "You saved my 1 ife. C a n 1 h ave the honor of knowing the name of m y preserver?'' ''I am Colonel Williston, and you--''


THE JESSE Jl\MES STORIES. Si "Iain Frank Greylit1g, of New York." "Well, Mr. G r eyli11g," sa id Col o n e l W illi s t o n, "for the past w eek I ha ve be en searching for an outlaw s t y lin g himse lf G e ntieman Jack--" "This is the man," interrup t e d Greyling p ointing t o where the outla w lay upon the ground writhing in dire a gony. A l o o k of pleas u re swept eyer the colouel's fa ce and he g l anced a t the fall e n man. No s oon e r did be look than h i s fa ce b e c am e as pale as d eath. 'Great H e a ve n!'" h e cri e d. ''Ed ward Prentic e!" At the sound o f tb at name G entle m a n ] ack rais ed his h ea d a n d g l a nc e d around. "Who calls m e E d wa r d Prentice?" he cried. I d o!" r e plied the co lonel rushing to him and dropp in g on his knees b eside hi m "Wr e tch, wh ere is my dau gbter?-the c h i ld tha t y ou s t o le from m e so long ago?" D eath h a d n ea rl y cl a im e d the outlaw's so ul, and at the co l on e l s words h e shudde r ed The bl ood rushed up from h i s l u n gs, but h e s u cce e d e d in speaking "Fo rg i v e me!" h e pl ea d ed, p i t e o u s l y Forgive me! There i s your chil d." The dy in g outla w r!olis e d him s elf and pointed to the beautiful g irl who had befriend e d G r eyling. She had witne s se d the e xciting proc e ed ings in amazed si l e nce but a t Gehtlema n J ack's wo r d s s h e rushed to h is s i d e cry ing: "Is it true ? Am I not your child?" N o you a r e not m y ch i ld !'" he replied. "Thi s soldier is your father," pointi n g t o Williston. M y daughter!" the c o lo n el jo y fully c r ied and s pring in g t o hi s f eet, he embrace d the girl. Gre y ling s to od by witnessing this dramatic epis ode iu si lence ''I a m dying, c ri e d the o u tlaw. "I have at times thought of my wickedne s s, a nd d etermined to repent, a n d now, a s m y life bl o od i s grad ually flowiu g awav r em orse clutches at m y h eart, and I think wi t h horror o f m y l a wles s care er. T wenty ye a rs ago, and the m a n appeared to b e address in g G re y li n g 'I was a well to do mat?, re si d iug in York. I fell in J ov e with a beautiful young wotn a n. ' I lo v ed and lo st! Leonie Elwin preferred the Jove of Charles W illi s ton to mi ne, and he w on h e r. ''They were nrnrried but m y hatred for the m a n who b a d won the g irl I l ove d bec a me so intense tfrnt I determined to ha ve r e\'e n g e I w ai t ed for years but I o b t ai n e d i t a t la st. Wile n t heir child w as born, and I o b s e r ve d b o w W ill is t o n..idolized i t I s a w a w ay of rending h is h eart with a ngui s h and wh e n the child-the beauti ful girl b e fore me-was a ye a r old I sto le h e r fro m her parents and c o n c e a l ed her. So m e how, they le a rn e d that I w a s the k id n aper, a nd I w a s hound ed by the officer s o f the law, and at l a s t it was n ecessa r y for m e to fly to the West with the child, w he r e I h a v e since remained, l eading a l if e of crime bur story has quite a rom a nt ic s e qu e l. Colon e l Williston's daug h te r w a s n a med L eo nie, af t e r her m other, and Frank Greyling form e d au attachmeut for her that soon g re w into passionate Jov e a11d a s Leo nie s feelin g s toward him were of a si milar 11ature it wa s n o t long be fore t he y were marrie d Boxing Contest Now Running SEVENTEEN PRIZES SPALDING PUNCHING BAGS FIFTEEN SPALDING BOXING GLOVES SETS OF .... .... The t w o boys who wl'ite the bes t s tories will each receive a Spalding "Expert." Punching Bag, tnade of fines t selected Napa tan leather. The J.vork1nanshi p is the same as i n the Ii'itz&itnmons spe cial bag. I;}ouble stitc h e d welted seams, r c itrforcecl one-piece t o p. Best.quali t y Para rubber bladder. A n extr emely durnbJe and lively bag, n n d carefu)ly selecte tl befor e p acki ng. Each bag complete i n box w .ith b l a d der, r t1\lbe r cord for floor and r ol?e fo r ceiling attachmen t The four n e x t best Gtories w ill win fo r their writers set s o f Spalding r e gulati o n s o z. boxing glqve s TWO PAIRS OF CLOVES TO EACH SET. Made a fter the Corbe t t p a t t ern o f soft cra ven t a n leather, well-pa dded, w i t h el astic wris t b n.nds T h e r e w ill be eleve n p r jzes in the t hird cla s s. Eleve n or two pair o f Spal ding boxin? gjoves .P'lttern1 rtlad e of light-c o l ored soft tanned leather, wel7-padded, elastic wristban ds. These bngs a n d glove s are The Best thn t caa be ob tained atJywliere 1'hey are wtli 'worth trying for. HOW TO CET THEM T h in,k o f a n y e x citing b o x i n g b o u t you h ave witnessed or parti cipat e d in. S i t down and write as good a description o f it as you know how. Mak e it livel v. Throw i n all the upper cuts and half arm jolt s, and do it i n five hund r{;d w a r d s O r l e s s E very boy who h a s ever seeu a boxing contes t has a chanc e to capture one of the p r izes. T h e co ntest mny b e between boy s o r men, beginners o r w ell k n own amateurs. If you should n o t win a prize yon s t and a good chance of seei n g your s t o r y and name in p r int, anyw a y. 'l'o become a c o n test ant you 1nust cut o u t t h e Boxing C o upon on this page, fill it out p ror,erlv, and sent it.t o JESSE JJ\..ll:E S W E E K LY, \ Vi1lian1 S t reet, New\' o r k C i t y together with you r article: No contrib u t i o n without this coupo n will be considered C ome along, boys and make t hings hum THIS CONTEST CLOSES MAY 1, 1902. COUPON. JESSE JAMES WEEKLY BOXING CONTEST Dat e ................ ..... .... . N ame . ............... ..... ........ ..... ......... ..... . City or To w n . ........ ... . .............................. State ........ . ......... . : . ..... ,...... ..........


)' JESSE JAMES STORIES. (LARGE SIZE.) The Best Stories Published of the Famous W estem Outlaw. 112-Jesse James' Close Call; or, The Outlaw's Last Rally in Southern Wyoming. 13-J esse Jam es in Chicago; or, The Bandit King's Bold Play. :14-J esse.J am es in New Oi-leans; or, The Man in the Black Domino. 115-JesseJames' Signal Code; or, The Outlaw Gang's Desperate Strategy. !16-Jesse James on the Mississippi; or, The Duel at Midnight. I 7-J esse Jam es' Cave; or, The Secret of the Dead. 118-The James Boys in St. Louis; or, The Mysteries of a Great City. James at Bay; or, The Train Robbers' Trail. 20--J esse James in Disguise; or, The Missouri Outlaw as a Showman. 21-Jesse James' Feud with the Elkins Gang; or, The Bandit's Revenge. 22-Jesse James' Chase Through Tennessee; or, Tracked by Bloodhounds. 23-J esse Jam es In Deadwood; or, the Ghost of Shadow Gulch. 24-J esse J ames' Deal in Dead Valley; or, At Odds of Fifty to One. 25-Jesse James on the Trail for Revenge; or, The Outlaw's Oath. 26-Jesse Jam es' Kidna ping Plot; or, The Massacre at Weldon's. '27-J esse Jam es Among the Mormons; or, Condemned to Death by the Saints. 28-J esse James' Capture and Escape; or, Outwitting the Pancake Diggings Posse. 29-Jesse James' Huntto Death; or, The Fate of the Outlaw Vasquez. 30--J esse James' Escape From Cheyenne; or, In League with the Wyoming Regulators. 31-J esse James' Rich Prize; or, The Battle at the Old Stone House. 32-Jesse James and His Ally, Polk 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-Jesse J ames Against the Record; or, Seven Hold-Ups in a \ Veek. 36-Jesse Jam es and the Woodford Raid;' or, The Nervy B andit Hard Pushed. 37-J esse Jam es' Narrowest Escape; or, Chased by a Desp-erate Band. 38-Jesse James and the Black Valise; or, Robber Against Robber. 39-The James Boys Driven to the Wall; or, The Three Lives of vVild Decatur. 40-Jesse James' Ruse; or, The Escape from "Lame Hor se Settlement." 41-J esse James in Mexico; or, Raiders of the Ri o Grande. 42-Jesse James' Double Game; or, Golding, the Dandy Sport from Denver. 43-Jesse James Surrounded; or The Desperate S tand at Cutthroat Ranch. 44-Jesse James' Spy; o r Corralling a Whole Town. 45-The James Boy s' Brotherhood; or, The Man of Mystery. 46--Jess ie James' Railroad; or, The Outlaw Brotherhood 'at Bay. 47-J esse Jam es Foiled; or, The Pinkertons' Best Play. 48-The James Boys' Steamboat; or, The River Cruise of the Bandit Brothers. 49-Jesse James' Jubilee; or, The Celebration at the Bandits' Castle. 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 mail, postpaid. STREH & SMITll, Publishers, 238 William Street, New York.


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 ANO OTHER CELEBRA no 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 all first-class book stores. Catalogue on applica: tion to the Publishers, .;t. $ .;t. $ .;t. .;t. $ $ $ $ .;t. $ $ $ $ STREET & SMITH, 238 WILLIAM ST., NEW YORK


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